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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Planting Pennywort and Harvesting the Last Figs

Not much going on in the garden in September. I brought down some pennywort and flat-leafed chives from my mom's garden in Oregon that needed to be planted so I finally started working on the narrow space outside my kitchen door. The row of amaryllises are along the wall on the opposite side of the steps. I'm leaving the amaryllises there, but the space is really too narrow to plant other flowers.

9.18 Planting Pennywort and Harvesting the Last Figs 1

There's another dirt strip opposite that, and then these two long narrow dirt strips, which seemed ideal for me to plant herbs. Right outside the kitchen door so I could cut a few herbs when cooking and the contained space would keep the them from spreading too much.

But first, I needed to pull all those weeds.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Umami Burger - Anaheim

Umami Burger - Anaheim 1

After finishing the Disneyland Half Marathon, I was staaarving. While racing, I teased Valerie Chinn and her husband about taking them to Quan Hy Vietnamese Restaurant - Westminster for the best banh beo (Vietnamese steamed rice discs with dried shrimp) in town. But Little Saigon was too far away when they still needed to get back to their hotel to get ready before check-out.

Then I remembered that Umami Burger opened in Anaheim last year and a bit of Googling turned up that it was only 1.1 miles away. The clincher was when I told them that the burgers were made with Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce) and that people waited for three hours for tables when Umami Burger opened this summer in New York City.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Disneyland Half Marathon - Anaheim - Part 2

When I last left off, the official half marathon pacer was passing me by (See the tiny orange flags in the center of the photo below?) If I was behind the required pace, I could be picked up by the sweeper vans at any time and driven to the finish line, which meant no medal.

Disneyland Half Marathon - Anaheim 52

I had sent my friends, Valerie Chinn and her husband, on ahead and now ran alone. Despite being behind the orange flags, there were still a good three or four dozen people behind me.

I wasn't last!

Just barely.

I briefly chatted with a woman who came out from Florida to run the half marathon until she ran ahead. Then another woman, who said she always walked behind the orange flags, but hadn't been swept up yet. And she had completed seven of them! So feeling a little encouraged, I figured as long as I stayed within sight of the orange flags, I would hopefully avoid the sweeper vans.

Except the orange flags were moving farther and farther away, until I couldn't see them at all.

With no one else to talk to, I finally put in my earphones and continued my run/walk. If I make it, I make it. If I don't, I can always try again. Now, I know 16-minute miles aren't extraordinary, but I'm slooow. My high school days of running crosscountry and soccer were looong behind me. My usual runs these days are around 18 minutes. I can do 15 minutes, but that's if I'm only running a mile. I'd already done five miles, which was the most I'd ever done at one time.




Did I mention it was 90 degrees that day?

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Disneyland Half Marathon - Anaheim - Part 1

Disneyland Half Marathon - Anaheim 2

At the beginning of the year when I was back in Portland, I met up with my friend, Valerie Chinn, who happened to be in town too. (I recounted the story before of how her dad, who went to high school with Bruce Lee, saw the one-inch punch in person.) While catching up, she mentioned that she and her husband were planning to run the Disneyland Half Marathon and asked if I'd be interested in joining them. Ever since I went to see lil' sis finish the Disneyland Half Marathon, I've had it in the back of my mind as something to do one day. Valerie's husband is a serious racer though, having run half a dozen half marathons and almost as many full marathons in the past few years. But when she mentioned that she mostly walked the races, I figured I could do that.

She alerted me when the registration opened a few weeks later. This was the eighth year for the half marathon and the first year Disneyland was offering a 10K as well. Doing both, back to back, was called the Dumbo Double Dare. The 10k and the Dumbo Double Dare sold out within hours. The Disneyland Half Marathon sold out the next day. So just a heads up that if you want to do this, be prepared to pony up a chunk of dough and to do it fast. Registration was $175 for me. When lil' sis ran it three years ago, it was $150. *Gulp.* That was a lot of money, but it'll only get more expensive each year, so I bit the bullet.

My plan was to run three days a week -- two short runs on weekdays and a long one on weekends, adding a mile every other week. I figured it was doable if I trained for nine months. Ha! With my dad in town for several months at a time to work on the house, a sprained ankle, and just life in general getting in the way, I ran a few times a week, but never more than 5 miles at the most.

All too soon, race day drew near and I was woefully unprepared.