September 2006

I’d been dying to chop my hair, but held off until after the half-marathon because I needed it long enough to be tied up in a ponytail. So yesterday after work, I went and got it chopped. I showed the lady the picture on my college ID (age 21), she said, “That’s cute! Okay.” and went to work. 15 minutes and 9 inches later, it was done, and I was happy. How refreshing it is to feel the way I did at age 21 again! Here’s a cameraphone pic of me at work today (after a little bit of a large-barreled curling iron):

Is it just me or do I still look tired from my run?

We got a 5-defendant special circumstance preliminary hearing this morning. The district attorney came up to my desk to alert me to the fact that we need 4 interpreters for witnesses, for the languages of Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and Arabic. “What is this, a liquor store shooting?” I joked.

“Actually, yeah!” the DA said while a private attorney for a defendant laughed.

I was surprised. “I was just making a cliche statement joke, I didn’t really presume –”

“I like her sense of humor,” the DA said.

“Yeah, just don’t let it get beyond this courtroom,” I said. Before I posted it online for the world to read.

(as always, rest your mouse pointer over my photos for captions)

Shortly before 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, Mr. W was awakened when his cell phone received the livetracking automatically generated text message that indicated I had just passed the 5K point in the Disneyland Half-Marathon. He got up, jumped in the shower, checked the course map to see where the 5K marker was, then decided to drive out to Angel Stadium (which is Mile 10) to take photos of us. He didn’t expect to see me because he had no idea where I was by the time he got to the stadium, but figured he could take photos of the runners by the stadium and photoshop me in later. Turned out, he didn’t have to because I ran right up to him. He didn’t even know it was me until I waved in his face. I’d thought he had it so perfectly planned; turned out it was just chance.

At the completion of the 13.1 mile race, finishers were given this gawdy huge gold commemorative Inaugural Disneyland Half-Marathon medal, which on our tired bodies felt like 3 pounds. But it was really only 2 pounds. Haha.

An exhausted Vicky right after she finished:

Thanks to Mr. W for the photos, and for making me feel like walking the half-marathon is not an option. And for driving me around the next day and waiting on me hand and foot because I was in too much pain (whilst calling me an emperor penguin for my hobbling). “It’s my job,” he’d said when I thanked him on Sunday. “It’s not your job to chauffeur me around,” I’d said. “It’s my job to take care of you,” he told me with a kiss.

I was out of bed at 3:30 a.m., down in front of the hotel waiting for the shuttle at 4:15 a.m., at Disneyland at 4:35 a.m., in my corral waiting for the start of the race at 5:05 a.m., sniffling in the cold darkness. Yes, there were indeed people in trash bags, just like Greg said. There were also people in Tinkerbell and Peter Pan outfits, and those were just the men. A lot of women wore Minnie Mouse outfits, one in Pocahontas, another in Snow White, and lots and lots of them wore Mickey ear hats. When we were going down the Downtown Disney street being funneled from the corral to the start street, I looked up and saw that they had stopped the Disneyland Monorail directly above our path and a ton of Disney cast member characters in costume were hanging out of the Monorail cheering and waving at us. That and the pyrotechnics as we launched were pretty cool.

My goal: be done by 8:30 a.m., especially because it looked like it was going to be a clear and sunny day. At 4:30 a.m., the sky was dark but with visible moon and stars. Darn it!
What I did not expect: it took me 10 minutes to even get to the start line. Oh well, I guess I should change my aim to 2 hours and 30 minutes from the time I started, which would make it 8:40 a.m., which I acknowledge is optimistic considering I haven’t trained more than 3 or so miles before the race.

the liveresult emailed to me: to email-services
More options 8:34 am (6 hours ago)
CINDY [my last name], 02:22:47 @ Finish: Disneyland Half Marathon presented by Kaiser Permanente, Disney Destinations LLC


Other stuff I did not expect:
* running through Disneyland and California Adventure took forever because people kept stopping in front of me to take pictures with the Disney characters that had come out to cheer us on (I hit 5K or a little over 3 miles in 45 minutes; 3 miles normally takes me less than 30)
* I felt so incredibly good through mile 8 that I thought I could run an entire marathon; I only stopped to a walk twice at that point, both times for 30 seconds to drink some water that was offered
* the first physical pain hit me at mile 10; the PowerAid I’d drunk the mile before was giving me pain on the right side of my waist, like it does when I eat too much and then play too hard, so I walked for about 30 more seconds
* after rounding the bases inside Angel Stadium, I ran out of the stadium to see Mr. W on the side of the track taking photos (photos to come as he shrinks them down enough to be uploaded)
* I ran near a banana almost the entire time (an Asian guy in black tights wearing a banana suit shaking maracas — I didn’t get it)
* the last 3 miles were so incredibly hard because the physical pain kicked in; my right 4th toe felt tingly and sloshy, like a huge blister enveloped the entire top half of the toe; the left foot’s 4th toe hurt, too, but not as badly; to compensate for the weight I’m trying to keep off the toe, the inside of my ankles started hurting. I was having trouble lifting my shoes entirely off the ground in the steps
* Since I started 10 mins late, and I started having some problems toward the end, I figured there was no way I would finish before 8:30; instead, I finished at 8:32a; the chip time (which takes into account the fact that I crossed the start line late) is 2:22
* Vicky, doing her run-2-minutes-walk-a-minute routine finished only 32 minutes behind me, and she was feeling good with no injuries (except a slightly swollen ankle)

The music I had on the MP3 player helped immensely. I know this because for a brief moment, the gap between 2 songs was unusually long and I was running in silence. Hearing my footsteps pound on the ground, I was immediately drained. But as soon as the music started back up, I was all good and could run uphill over the 5 Freeway without slowing down much. During the run, as I surprised myself with how well I was handling everything cardiovascularly, I thought about Greg (the commenter who suggested I wear a trash bag) and the time I ran with him in San Francisco from the clock tower through Embarcadero to some old battalion thing under the Bay Bridge during the Blue Angels Air Show. It wasn’t until after the 12-mile run that I found out the farthest he’d ever run up to that point was 3-4 miles. “Then why’d you run this with me? Why didn’t you tell me?” I’d asked him. “Because I told you I’d run with you, and I didn’t want you to be all, ‘Oh, we didn’t do 12 miles because Greg wimped out.’ ”

I was afraid to look into my shoe after the run because I didn’t want to remove the sock and see a toenail fall out, which I hear is a relatively common occurrence. But what it appears to be, is a blood blister around the toe and under that nail. Despite the fact that the toe is the color of a black grape, I was instructed not to drain the blood for fear of infection. Maybe when the blood clots, the nail will fall out anyway, I dunno. I ran into an old friend, who’s also a running trainer, at the end of the race. She lectured me, “Next time, Cindy, when you decide to do something like this…TRAIN!” Well, hindsight, 20/20, etc.

The mandatory Fitness Expo at Disneyland Hotel was pretty cool. They gave out a lot of free edible nutriments, and the free t-shirt that races give participants turned out to be a Champion brand long-sleeve double-dry commemorative tech shirt. That’s almost worth the $80 this race costs! Okay, not really. I’d also been looking for trendy sunglasses, and bought 2 pairs at the expo. They’re really different from what I usually wear, mostly because I normally resist trends. Oh well, I gave in to them because I like the way these glasses look on me. One is a rhinestoned light blue lens, and the other is squared larger black frames. I have two pairs of Brooks Bros sunglasses that the Cheating Ex had given me for my bday a couple of years ago, which I don’t wear anymore, and friends were telling me to put them up on Craig’s List or Ebay. However, because some of those same friends were complaining about another friend of theirs putting up their gifts to her on Craig’s List, I don’t think I should do that. I mean, it’s kinda rude, isn’t it?

I just finished compiling a bunch of running songs into my MP3 player. At least 3 hours’ worth. And if it takes me longer to finish the half-marathon, well, then, I would be disqualified and shipped back on the bus. I’ve also set up the runners’ tracker so that me, Mr. W, and Navy Girl Vanessa get an instant text message on our cells whenever Vicky or I cross certain checkpoints, i.e. 10K, halfway, and finish line.

On my way to Dwaine’s house party, then to Disneyland! I can’t believe I’m gonna be in bed by 8. I bet neither Vicky nor I would be.

Me: *trying to cram out some last minute divorce cases before leaving for the day* Is there something ironic or inappropriate about divorcing people right before the weekend I run a half-marathon at Disneyland?
Mr. W: No, because these people will be overjoyed to get their divorce papers in the mail and they’ll wave them around and say, “Yay! I’M going to DISNEYLAND!”

How sad. I bet these people would’ve never thought that when they were getting married. Well, not the women, anyway. The men were probably forced onto the altar at gunpoint (or expecting baby-point).

Which reminds me. During warmups at jujitsu on Tuesday, the instructor asked Creepy Guy, “So what’d you do over the weekend? You got married?” Creepy Guy (who can’t even get a girl to go out w/him) responded with “Psh, I wish.” I instantly felt a “what a weirdo!” expression come over my face and looked around the mat to see who else thought Creepy Guy was a total moron for wishing he were married. Simultaneously, my instructor was responding, “No ya don’t.” And then I thought, “How sad is this? The institution of marriage is TOTALLY bastardized in my generation. No one thinks marriage is a good thing anymore. It’s more of a sacrifice you make when you don’t want to lose someone.”

Can you tell I was a bit cranky in my last post? Almost as soon as I was done, something came in to cheer me up. My Zaino crap has arrived! Yay! UPS is awesome. Now if I can only squeeze out some time to wash and Zaino my car this weekend. Maybe after the run, after visiting my parents.

…at least that’s what I’m SUPPOSED to be doing. I’m not geared up. My run yesterday evening made my feet hurt, so maybe my new Thurlos socks made my shoes too small. I got some blisters from that run, too. That is not good. I’m not gonna do any exercise until Sunday’s run.

Vicky called me this morning to finalize our plans before the Disneyland Half-Marathon. Talking to her about preparation just makes it feel all too real, and makes me feel ultra unprepared. When I trained 3 years ago for a half-marathon, I just got up and did my 12-mile practice runs, no special diet, no special anything. I didn’t need to stop and drink water, to use the restroom, eat runner’s packaged goo, overhydrate the day before. I just took my time jogging along at a 10-minute mile pace until I was done. No biggie. No sunglasses, no special caps, no fanny pack to hold my cell phone, keys, goo, water, spare hair ties, socks. I keep telling myself that this run is gonna be no big deal. I’ve done the distance before. I can take my time, it’s not like I have any hopes of WINNING the darn thing. It looks like it’s gonna be a nice misty foggy morning all through the run, so I don’t have to think about heat or sunburn or sun-protectant gear. But the reality is, I haven’t run more than 4 miles in preparation for this race, and most of the time I run 3 with Mr. W.

So the plan is, today after work I’m packing 2 or 3 potential outfits for the run. In case it’s cold and I want to run in pants. In case it’s fine and I want to run in shorts. Or maybe I want shorts within my pants. Or maybe I want a sort of runner’s fitted capris. Should I wear a tanktop? Or a t-shirt? Or a long-sleeved shirt? Vicky recommends buying a cheapie sweatshirt to start the run in, and as I warm up, to just discard it on the side of the road. My Asian genes aren’t happy with throwing a perfectly good sweatshirt away. Anyway, so I pack up clothes today, then go to Mr. W’s. Saturday morning, I’m gonna pick up my race packet from Disneyland, which they’re requiring all runners to do. Then I’m off to Dwaine and Andrae’s 30th bday party at Dwaine’s house in Chino. That’s gonna be a 2-hour drive. But he’s gonna have Jamaican food CATERED so how can I say no? Then I’m gonna come back and meet Vicky at the Disneyland hotel where we got a room. She wants to be in bed by 8. She has Xanax she could take to knock out. I’m an insomniac as it is.


I found this site that shows you what the gasoline prices are in any area of your choice (in the US and Canada) as of the past 48 hours. Just click on your state, then click on your city. Or, enter your zip code. For your convenience, I’m also including this site on my sidebar, to your right.

Local prices for my area are $2.65/gallon thru Costco. I’ve been looking at what Costco has to offer with renewed interest since Mr. W added me to his Costco account. Boyfriend perk.

Something interesting:
map of gas prices across the US by color-coding
I appear to live at the wrong half of the state for a premium gas car.

I think it was in the early months of 1996. I was a junior in college. Childhood friend Sandy and I were hanging out in another family friend’s living room during one of our multi-family get-togethers that our parents used to have with their fishing buddies. She was admiring a pearl ring I wore on my right ring finger. It was a one-month anniversary present from my first boyfriend, whom I’d gotten together with shortly after Christmas. Pearl is my birthstone (although I much prefer my alternate semi-precious birthstone of Alexandrite), and a white one was set in four yellow gold petals. Two tiny diamonds connected the petals to the band. Sandy was saying, “Wow, he must really like you. My mom says you can marry someone with a bad temper, or marry someone poor, or marry someone boring, but you should never marry someone cheap. Someone who’s cheap to you will make your life really, really bitter.” This was back in the day when Sandy started really taking to heart old Chinese proverbial advice from her mother about whom she should date because, at the ripe age of 20, anyone we dated seriously at that point is a potential husband. The irony, of course, is that 10 years later now, neither of us are married. And we’ve both swept through strings of men. Heck, we learned a lot about ourselves in the process of dating wrong people, though.

The fun part of this memory is what follows. I had to go pee, so I got off the couch and went to the restroom behind the living room. I closed the door behind me, then walked the length of the long restroom and sat on the toilet. The door was to my left. Suddenly, there was a bang as the door swung violently open and Sandy flew through the door into the restroom with an “Oof!”, stumbling. Then she paused, laughed, and ran out the door, slamming it behind her. I just sat there and looked down the length of the bathroom. What the heck just happened? When I left the restroom, I walked out to see her laughing hysterically on the couch. “Do you need the restroom?” I asked her.
“No!” she gasped in between gales.
“What happened?” I asked.
“I was just — *gasp* I was just — messing around *laugh laugh* — I was gonna pound on the door and say, ‘LET ME IN! LET ME IN!’ and mess around like you locked me out, but the door wasn’t closed and I fell in!”
HAHAHAHA!!!! Talk about a stupid practical joke/stunt backfiring and making you look stupid! I can just picture her sitting on the couch having this brilliant idea to be stupid, then walking around to the bathroom raising both fists to pound on the door, and then one pound and the door gives way and she falls in. HAHAHAHA!

Okay, you had to be there.

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