Monday, August 27, 2007

It's Been a While...I'm Back!

Okay, so you're wondering...dang, is Chandara still running these days? And yes, I am happy to report that even though I've been on vacation with my blog, I have been keeping up with my running every week..yay! So, I'm back and so juiced to tell you all about how I've been doing these goes:

Training Week 4, July 28:
As I mentioned previously, the having to take the GRE on my regularly-scheduled Team Challenge training day, July 28 was a bummer to say the least....believe me, I would have rather been running outdoors than taking a 4-hour long exam. I did manage to surpass my own goal and score pretty well on the analytical writing portion...but riddle me this: I studied like zero to none for math and my score was significantly higher on that portion than on my verbal..go figure!

Training Week 5, August 4:
So, this was a great one although I was utterly disappointed to learn that I'd be running my 6 miles at the same darn sticking place...the Palo Alto Baylands Preserve..ick! I even contemplated skipping it and running elsewhere, but then I missed running with the team the week before already, so yes, I made myself wake up bright and earlier (at 6am) to head out to Palo Alto...and oh yeah, I had also remembered that I promised my honoree, Kelly, that I would make up for missing the Honoree Brunch last week and take her out to lunch instead.

But you know what? It was a nice, breezy morning and do you know what this means? Okay, here's an equation to sum up this run: Nice breezy morning + 75 degree weather + more breeze + 6 mile run at the Baylands = One much nicer run than week 3! That's for sure. I started out with a pretty steady jog and to my surprise, no funky running buddies this time around. Rather, I had the nice bay breeze caressing my cheeks as I watched some Canadian geese congregating in the marsh area..which, thankfully, neglected to impart any funky smells. :) When I got to the stretch that had smelled like nasty sulfur during my previous run, I was prepared to hold my breath for the long haul, but lucky for me, still no smell. Having said that, I think I spoke (or at least thought too soon) because during the final mile, I was met with an overpowering putrid odor that nearly knocked the wind out of me and thus, had to take it easy...but you'll be happy to know that I did manage to hold my breath and make it...finally!

After getting some stretching out of the way, Kelly and I decided to do lunch in downtown Palo Alto (check out our picture below) b/c we didn't want to remain anywhere near the baylands and secondly, because I have never been to Palo Alto. I know, I go to college for 4 years in Berkeley and never even manage to make it out to see our rival...SSSSS!!! Well, that and probably the fact that the BART doesn't take you straight to Stanford was reason enough to deter me from visiting. Well, not sure if you've ever been to downtown Palo Alto, but it's one street (University) and driving down, it's lined with little eateries typical of a college town. We decided to dine outdoors at a small Mediterranean cafe where we each ordered a tasty wrap in keeping with our attempts to stay healthy and away from the greasy fast food joints that defeats the purpose of having exercised. For me, it was a nice change of scenery since, as you can see, I always love experiencing new things in the bay after my weekly trainings. I guess you can say it's my way of 'rediscovering the bay' to make up for all the times I took the place for granted during my years in college. And it was a great way of getting to know more about Kelly...who is amazing for having gone through this entire ordeal and still maintaining such a positive outlook on life. She's been active in sports for practically her entire life and I just couldn't imagine having something like Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis prevent you from leading the lifestyle you've been so accustomed to. If you ever fall in love something, you know it's like an addiction, regardless of what it is---good or bad. For Kelly, it was staying active in sports and for me, it's just plain staying active and fit. But you know...we're fighters, we all are in our own rite and being surrounded by people who are strong makes me stay strong as well....through my own trials and tribulations!

Well, needless to say that Palo Alto is also home to the ritzy and flashy. I ended up meandering to their outdoor strip mall while I was there and although all the stores whose names I couldn't pronounce and whose prices I couldn't much less afford were plenty, my Reason to Smile was the Farmers Market at the mall..yes, it's on the far side of the mall, but it is there. It seems so out of place, but it was so befitting b/c how many times do we wander into malls and there's nothing to eat except Steak Escape, Burger King, a yogurt/ice cream place and the greasy Chinese fast food? Well, this was nice for a change and I ended up with my 4 golden California nectarines to take home as parting gifts from Palo Alto. Gotta love CA's simply the best!

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