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Hello!  I’ve been away from blogging just because I haven’t gotten much interesting stuff to share.   I thought I would pop in here and update on how I’m doing with my goals for 2017.

1) Read 25 books this year 

I’ve read 18 books so far in 2017 so I’m definitely on track. I love how easily I’m reaching this goal. I have been lucky with discovering good books lately and when a book is good, I finish in a couple of days so this goal has been pretty easy to reach.  A few friends have asked me how I find time to read books… I don’t watch TV so that frees me up for reading!   I have a few favorite books from past few weeks:

1) Dark Matter.  Read this if you like actions and sci-fi.  It’s about a man who travels through parallel universe, it’ll really make you THINK what your life would’ve become if you had chosen certain paths.  I could not put this down and couldn’t wait to read it each day.

2) Orphan Train


It’s not as depressing as it sounds.  Trust me!   It is actually a feel-good read!  If you like Angela’s Ashes, you WILL love this.  The story takes place around the depression era and I admit, that era really really fascinates me and I love reading anything, everything about it.   Read this! This is not a depressing read!

2) Take 15000 steps each day on average 

I’m doing very well with this goal since I’ve been running 30+ miles a week.   Also I walk a lot on my commute to work.  I don’t feel like I even have to think about this goal.  It just happens with my lifestyle.  

I lost my Garmin watch recently.  After much much much comptemplating (do I really want to complicate my life further with another gadget?), I decided to buy an Apple Watch.   Literally a day after I got my Apple Watch, I found my Garmin in a purse I hadn’t used in a while  😭

Average steps this month = 17000 (or 8.5 miles a day on average)



3) Try a new Instant Pot recipe each month

Major fail on this goal.  I’ve been using my instant pot to make beans but not trying new recipes.  I have not been in the mood to explore new recipes. I’ve been sticking to the basic recipes like soup/stews and stir-fries where I can just throw in a bunch of random stuff.   Also, I’ve been seeing lots of Instant pot recipes for meat dishes but our household (my husband and I) rarely cooks meat at home.  I’ve bookmarked some meat recipes to try in instapot though. It’s just that we don’t crave or want to cook meat at home,  is it weird? We are omnivores.  We do enjoy eating meat when we eat out but we just don’t cook meat at home. Instapot is amazing to cook meat dishes. I should really try some new recipes!  I still love having instant pot at home to make beans.  They taste much better than canned beans.

Some updates from past few weeks or months:

We went to Portland (I shall write a post about this fun-filled weekend). 

Bay Area stuff:

Fourth of July at A’s game


Poutine!

Eating with the fam bam:

Cooking at home:

My cousin’s baby shower (I made the diaper cakes to add to the existing beautiful decorations – she’s having twins so TWO CAKES :))


Some trail running:

Damn I lost so much fitness. This route was a breeze 2 years ago but I was dying on this run.  


See you on next post 🙂

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Consistency is essential in training.  It’s not a single workout that improves your fitness.  It is a few weeks or months of being consistent with runs and workouts  that brings you closer to your goal.

I’ve been consistent with my tempo runs and track workouts past two weeks and I’m already seeing some improvement in my fitness.  I realized how much I’ve missed speed training!

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Week 2:

M – upper body weight (10 mins)

T – 6 miles with 2 mi tempo @ 8:08, 7:54

W – rest

Th – 5 mi w/ 6 x 400m @ 1:52, 1:53, 1:50, 1:50, 1:47, 1:44

F – 3 mi easy

S – 10 mi easy

S – 6 mi easy

Weekly Total = 30 miles 


I ran by this during my 10 mile run and I had to stop to take a picture.  (Golden Gate Park)

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Week 3: 

M – lower body weight (10 mins)

T – 6 miles with 2 mi tempo @ 7:53, 7:46 — improved from last week and felt easier

W – rest

Th – 6 mi slow w/ hills mixed in, 900 ft climb

F – 3 mi easy

S – 10 mi w/ 2x800m @ 3:37, 3:48; 4x400m @ 1:46, 1:46 1:48, 1:42 — another improvement

S – 5 mi easy

Weekly Total = 30 miles
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I am now ready to increase the volume/length of these speed workouts. 

This morning (week 4, Tuesday) I did a 3 mile tempo run during my 7 miler and the tempo miles averaged 7:45-7:50 pace. Progress! Little at a time.

Summer is approaching and life will get a little busier but I will plow through this 5K training 🙂 just one more month!

On a COMPLETELY unrelated note, how sick is my new phone case?? I may be a case of 33 going on 3, I still love glitter like a little girl.


A few weekends ago, I went on a little hike in the Marin Headlands (north of San Framcisco.)  I had been to certain parts of the Marin but not this.   

One of my bros was visiting from out of country so it was nice catching up 🙂 even though I saw him back in January in Singapore.
  

I really like the idea of “nature walks” aka hiking.  I don’t think I can do this alone because I would lose patience and start running only because it’d be done faster. But as a family outting, it was fun to chitchat, walk, and get lost in the scenery.

 

Then the following weekend, I went to Berkeley’s Tilden park to watch a trail race.  

I love the energy of a trail race. It’s much more intimate than a normal road race.  

While the race was happening, I walked around alone. I didn’t think I could walk alone for long but I did.  I didn’t run since I was running a half marathon a day after in SF.  I wandered around Lake Anza. It’s probably a one-mile lap but involved some climbing on the tree roots by the water to complete a loop. 
   

# no filter.  Everything was so GREEN. El Niño, you are amazing. It was so serene and not a soul in sight.

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Some parts of the lake had 50 shades of green since its spring! ☘

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But we are still in a drought…

  

And this is pretty cool. If I ran 100 miles, maybe I’d want to put these on my bumper too. I don’t care if people think I’m a nerd.

Then I saw V finish his race. I was inspired to do more trail running.

   

Or any kind of sweating will do.  Spinning has been fun. I don’t think I can make it a part of my weekly routine but I’ll try to enjoy it whenever I can make it there. Good music and lots of sweat = good endorphins = happy Jess.

 

I should end the post with something food related 😁 I made a poke bowl at home and it’s so good. Chop up some sushi-grade tuna (I used half pound here) and toss them in soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, and hot sauce. Serve over rice with any toppings you like! So easy.
 


I was just looking through my Instagram pics and realized that I sort of have a green theme going on. Kind of sort of 🙂

  

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 

It is probably too late to say this now because it’s almost 9pm, but stay out of trouble, folks 😏


It’s been 9 days since I got back.  I’ve been catching up at work and with friends, family, and relatives since I got back. It’s nice to be back!  

I have to say though that taking a vacation is good for your soul and it sure makes you appreciate your daily routine/life when you get back!  You live out of your luggage for days or weeks and experience unfamiliar yet exciting things. Then you feel removed from reality to some extent after a while. I don’t know if this makes sense.  One of the best things about coming back from a long vacation is to be HOME and back to the routine that you love (and if you don’t love your daily routine or your everyday life, it’s a wake-up call to make changes.)

Having said that, I’m back to my running routine.  I’ve been running long distance for the past couple of years.  This was the longest break I’ve taken from running and lost quite a bit of fitness.  Last month, I ran only 39.5 miles total. That’s less than how much I typically run in a week last year during training! It’s gonna be a long road back to fitness.  

After watching the dramatic finish of Shalane Flanagan and Amy Cragg at Olympic Marathon Trials past weekend, I’m feeling more inspired to kick-start my speed training.   

 

So…… I am registered for a few half marathons this year to keep my running fresh and motivating.

March – Oakland Half

April – San Francisco Rock n Roll Half

September – Giant Race Half 

So I will say this here for accountability that I will train for a PR at the September event. My half marathon PR now is 1 hour and 43 minutes.  Last year I wasn’t able to focus on half marathon pace since I trained for a 50K and two full marathons at much slower paces. I’m excited about this change of pace!  

You all know I love to blog about food all day long. I kind of miss taking photos of food 😊 I have not been eating anything so exciting lately to be honest.

XLB on Geary: 

Chinese New Year Picnic with relatives. Apparently my aunts forgot to bring main dishes so we ate what we had 😁  

My Valentine was out of town on Vday so I spent it with my parents. (My dad and I were sitting on the bench at first and my mom swooped in quickly for the pic. Hehe)  

Hot pot with family:  

Some home cooking:  

My favorite way to make salsa.
 

Finished a page on my coloring book:  

Bought these in Thailand and love them in my skincare routine! Good to know that I can buy big bottles from Amazon when I run out.  

Have a nice day!!


Speaking of some Hawaiian food, I had some pretty good poke bowl over the weekend!

  
It was at Simply Bowl in Berkeley. It made my tummy so happy, that’s all I have to say 🙂

I heard that the infamous 85C cafe opened in Berkeley and just had to go and check it out. In fact, we were there on both Saturday and Sunday to get some boba and pastries. The highlight was this iced sea salt drink. After shaking up the foam on top, this drink was a straight-up creamy milk shake. We tried several of their pastries, my personal favorite is the milk brioche.  I could eat the whole loaf in one sitting.  Its very light.

Thanks to Diana, we got to enjoy the truly authentic Chicago deep-dish pizza… Giordano’s…. Straight from our oven! It fueled me well for my trail race the following morning!

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The not-so-good meal I had on weekend was this. Maybe I should just conclude that I don’t like corned beef. It doesn’t have enough fat or flavor. The BF said good corned beef needs to be fried really well, and I guess he’s right. This was at Doyle Street Cafe in Emeryville.