Happy mother’s day 2017

It was a perfect mother’s day celebration week. It started with this note that daycare sent us. Teachers asked kids why you love your mom. Sofia said: ” Because my mom always read me books at night”.

I was about to cry when I read it. I know Sofia loves me reading her books and we do that for 10-15 min 9 out of 10 days. But I didn’t know how much she loves it until that day. I know some days I really just want to say goodnight and go to sleep myself, but I try to make extra effort to spend those 10-20 min with her by reading her the book she chooses. I think more than the reading itself, what she loves more about it is my 100% attention with her.

This note inspired me to read her even more… and create more regular one-to-one moment with her to cultivate our bounding.

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She also made some wonderful wall décor for me and a lovely card

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I love her sooooo much!

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on Saturday we didn’t have anything planned and she asked me to bake with her.. so we made vegan chocolate together with tofu frosting.

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Sofia put some pink sprinkles on hers

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it turned out great! Soft, moisture and no one complained about lack of cream and sugar for the frosting.

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Tony was the second tester and gave it a big thumb up

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Sunday started with my hardest run during this marathon training cycle. I run 8 miles with 6 steady miles run on Saturday, followed by 18 miles run on Sunday, which 3 miles warm up, 4 miles at 8:50 ish pace, 8 miles at 8:30 and last 3 at as fast as I could. Here’s my log

“I started struggling… due to not great sleep. I thought I wouldn’t be able to hit the pace at all today. My plan was to finish the run. Then surprisingly for 7-8 miles I was hitting the pace, but then the humidity, the sun, and just lack of confidence my pace slowed down. I really started to struggle from mile 12 onward. I wanted to stop. Nothing was hurting but I felt struggling. I had to stop few times to try to find out where to continue as I was running in a new route to keep it interesting. But overall it went better than I expected during the first few miles.

Fueling: I had coffee and 1 packet of oatmeal with 1/2 banana and protein powder 45 min before leaving the house. No GI issue. Had two GU and 1/2 packet of beans. I carried the camelback and had about 1.6 gallon of water. I really like to be able to drink when thirsty instead of every mile or two as it would be during the race.

the weather was gorgeous but too sunny. I kept telling myself that I was lucky to be able to run in this beautiful city (below crossing Georgetown, last mile)

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I forgot to restart garmin few times so I run 18.5 miles or so.

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So glad Tony was waiting for me at Georgetown with cold chocolate milk. He’s best!

Then after I got home, ice bath for 10 min, shower, we went to Season52 for lunch with the family. Lizzy was super excited and kept looking around.

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so happy to have two adorable girls in my life

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they are my biggest loves

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Sofia is my first love and she will always be special to me… for many reasons, I’ll always save some extra love for her

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I’m also so thankful of my mom… for being a caring, loving, wise mom to me, and a wonderful grandma to my daughters. I can’t imagine what it would have been for Sofia without grandma all these years.

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Food was okay but as all fellow moms know… dining out with two kids are challenging. And the restaurant was super crowded and noisy. We didn’t stay for dessert but got froyo afterwards. My legs were crying for some rest.

Last but not least, flowers from my dear husband, and a lovely card. I “demanded” it to him. Not as romantic as I wish.. but at least I got them. 🙂

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Life lately: april

April flied by. I was super busy with work and with my training.

I run the cherry blossom 10 miler. Had my crew to cheer me up.

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it was a gorgeous day and over 20000 runners

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I had stomach flu the last couple of days so I was feeling weak the last two runs of 3 miles. I was concerned about the race, whether I’d even finish it without having to stop by potty, much less possible to do at the suggested time 1 hr 22-24 min by my coach. But I was feeling energized by he runners and my body was feeling normal. I went 7 miles conservative, breathing through nose but still was hitting below 8:20. Then I picked up at 7 miles and finished strong. Finished just under 1’22’m. 🙂

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the medal is beautiful

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Sofia had a good month… playdate with her friend Smaranda

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making mars

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calendar keeper
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started soccer

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she’s really into drawing lately

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and always wanting to play with things that are meant to be for Lizzy 😉

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she got sick and had to stay at home for 4 days. Her fever went very high the first day, so Tony took her to the doctor the following day and was diagnosed to have flu. But she behaved well at home with grandma and Lizzy

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As the weather got warmer, I was concerned about hydration during long runs

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so I got a camelback finally and it worked great! I had my first 18 miles run after 8 miles run the day before.

Fueling strategy worked well that day. I had coffee and oatmeal with protein powder an hour before I left the house. I had 1 packet of ucan after 5 miles. I didn’t like the taste. Then at mile 9 I had 1/2 packet of GU, the other half at mile 12. Sipping water along the way. I didn’t stop for potty, and didn’t have any GI issue. I would have had another GU but really didn’t want to have more sweets. So I just followed my instinct. My legs were fine the first 6 miles. Then tired from 6-9 miles. Felt better between 9-13. The last 3 miles were harder. I didn’t feel tired my upper body, nor hips. But my legs felt weird, not sore, but tense, specially my front leg. But I kept telling myself that this is how it will feel at mile 23. Overall I felt good, not as strong as last week’s 16 miles, but considering that I had 8 yesterday, it was good. One long run down! 🙂

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Then I had ice bath for 10 min before showering. Had a Vega recovery afterwards and a pancake. An hour later I had lunch, vegetable dumplings.

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Last month Tony and I had a lunch date. I went close to his office and had a great French meal

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it was nice to have a meal alone and chat. Almost two years since he came to live with us. We’ve been through so much together which just made us a stronger couple. I feel so in love these days, and I think it is because of a change of perspective. A trick I recently learn is to treat your significant other as “love object”. So Love is action. If we focus on how much love we can give instead of how much we expect to receive from the other, we both enjoy loving each other more.

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NYC: race weekend with the family

We had our second family vacation with Lizzy. This time we went to NYC for the weekend of Shape women half marathon 2017 event.

Our family of 6 left Saturday morning in a rented mini-van. Tony drove alone for 5 hrs and we arrived the Big Apple around 2pm. Girls behaved really well during the ride. Lizzy didn’t nap at all but ate assorted snacks, same with Sofia who had a sugar-comma that day. (sigh….) After checking in at Hilton Midtown, we went out for a walk. We stopped by a French pastry store for a quick snack. Lizzy enjoyed it.

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Sofia got an ice cream instead

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Tony went to Metropolitan museum alone, the main attraction for him in NYC. Dad wanted to take a nap at the hotel before dinner, so I went out with grandma and the girls. Lizzy was so happy to see so many people on the street

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Sofia was excited too, first time in NYC, and she got a new set of Legos (Elsa obviously).

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love love her smile

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and Lizzy was being silly with her sister

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This picture of 4 women in the family together will be cherished for a long time. I can’t be more grateful to have my mom who’s taking care of my babies the way she does, and how lucky Sofia and Lizzy are to have grandma in their early lives.

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then we went to NYRR to pick up the bib and fun pic was taken

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we had dinner at a Chinese restaurant with a friend from DC. The food was just okay but we all enjoyed the atmosphere and the company.

After dinner, we went back to the hotel to call it a night for most of us. Tony went to see Phantom of Opera. His first Broadway show. I stayed with Lizzy to have a good rest before the race.

On Sunday I woke up around 4am and got up around 6am. I had laid everything out the night before to not wake up Lizzy and Tony. Sofia stayed at grand parents’ room. I had my coffee and a bar in the hotel lobby and left the hotel around 7am.

I met with the group of girls in the wechat group I created. They were coming from Boston, NJ. First time meeting them and it was nice talking to them in person.

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just few minutes before 8am, we went to my corral. My last half marathon back in September 2016 was 1hr 55 min. My goal this time was under 1 hr 50 min, and ideally around 1’48” as my last 10 mile would have predicted.

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I Cut 7 min! I started a bit slow due to so many runners (+7000!) which I think was good for me to warm up. Then for the following 2-3 miles I had to hold myself to not go too fast, although I still did pretty fast. Then I worried I was going to run out of gas after 7-8 miles so I hold it back and averaged around 8:15-8:20. I felt great the whole run despite some rolling hills. The last time I did a half marathon race I found miles 7-10 to be hard. Not that day. They went very well. Then the last mile I pushed and finished strong. I think the training really prepared me well. It gave me more confidence for the marathon in June.

After the race, I walked to meet with my crew.

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the medal

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so happy to see them after the race

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Lizzy was happy to be munching on the bagel I had

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then we walked to Time Square

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so crowded as usual

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then we had lunch as Xi’an noodle bar… Tony loved it! I ate few bites on mine before giving it to Tony, it was too spicy and too oily. I then grabbed a turkey-brie sandwich to eat on our way home. We arrived home just past 7pm.

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it was a short trip but a fun one. Can’t wait for our next family vacation in early june for my big race, the rock n roll san diego marathon! 🙂

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