The Green Girl Meets Mr. Timms

The Green Girl's coworker, Brandy, attended Comic-Con last weekend where she was introduced to a little orange wind-up fish named Mr. Timms at booth #3913.

From what I gather, Mr. Timms is featured in a trailer for an upcoming movie, Rango, starring Johnny Depp.

Mr. Timms appears to be part of a viral marketing strategy to stir up excitement for the movie. Fans of Mr. Timms are asked to take pictures of Mr. Timms and submit them to the website.

Brandy mentioned her friend would be traveling to Greece for the Athens Classic Marathon when she picked up a Mr. Timms for me. She said the girl at the booth got really excited.

I now have my very own orange Mr. Timms. Apparently, there also are some rare limited edition silver Mr. Timms out there.

In all honesty, I'm not sure how I feel about being part of a viral marketing ploy but I did agree to take Mr. Timms to Greece so I will keep my word. I think Mr. Timms might enjoy lying out on the black sandy beach in Santorini.


Cool Running 'CasITa-to-5k' Running Plan

A couple of coworkers approached the Green Girl and mentioned they were interested in getting into running.

Since I had so much success with the Cool Running Couch-to-5k Running Plan, I mentioned the program to them. They seemed receptive and asked when we could start. I let them know Tuesdays would work for me - I could do the program with them and then head down to my Sole Runners track workout. They could do the other two days on their own.

When I followed the Couch-to-5k program, I pieced together the weekly training plans into a printable format that I could carry with me in my pocket for each session.

To help create some excitement and motivate my coworkers, I shamelessly stole the Cool Running Couch-to-5k trademark and made a CasITa-to-5k logo.

The CasITa-to-5k training program debuted last Tuesday.

I used Mr. Green Garmin's interval workout training mode to alert us when to switch from running to walking.

In the interest of convenience, we simply ran through our parking lot to adjoining parking lots.

While not especially scenic, we were grateful for the shade cast by the buildings and trees since last week was unusually warm.

Yesterday was our second session. We stuck to our familiar parking lot path.

I'm really excited about our little CasITa-to-5k training program.


San Francisco Half Marathon Race Report

The Green Girl represented Team Jamba Juice as she ran over the Golden Gate Bridge at the San Francisco Half Marathon this weekend.

Rad Runner Girl and I flew up to San Francisco first thing Saturday morning. My sister, Patti, picked us up at the airport and we headed straight to the Expo. The goodie bags were reusable drawstring backpacks with spaces for us to fill in our bib numbers on the back. The Half Marathon shirts were an aqua blue with a drawing of the bridge with either 13.1 or 26.2 printed on the deck.

We browsed the booths and collected free samples. I picked up some replacement bottles for my Nathan Speed 4 hydration belt. I also ended up purchasing a Neoprene Double Pouch from iFitness to use on shorter runs.

As we walked around, I handed out Jamba Juice coupons to the Expo participants and even to some of the exhibitors.

After the Expo, we checked into the Hotel Vitale. I had stayed there last year and felt the convenience and ambiance were worth the price.

Next, we crossed the street to the Ferry Marketplace for some lunch where we got to meet up with another blogger, Jill.

After lunch, we walked around the Mission District. For dinner, our friends, Jackie and Janey, joined us for some burritos Papalote. For dessert, we stopped by Bi-Rite Creamery for some unusual ice cream flavors. I had a scoop of Balsamic Strawberry. My sister had her favorite, Ricanelas, which tasted exactly like a snickerdoodle.

When we returned to the hotel, we went through the usual pre-race preparations before we settled in for the night.

Rad Runner Girl and I were dressed and ready when my friend, Leah, from SparkPeople and her friend, Maria, knocked on our hotel door early the next morning. Downstairs in the lobby, we met up with Jackie and Janey before we headed across the street to the Starting Line.

I was in Corral 8 so my start time was an hour later. I hung out with Jackie, Janey, Leah, and Maria, for a bit and then I headed down to my Corral to meet up with the Sole Runners so I could cross the Starting Line with Babak, Betty, and Jim.

The race course started out northbound along the Embarcadero towards Fisherman's Wharf and then veered west towards Ghirardelli Square before passing Crissy Park and leading us to the Golden Gate Bridge.

I felt really good. My body was free of aches and pains - my hamstring soreness was completely gone.

Instead of using a set run/walk interval, I just ran until I felt tired and then walked until I felt satisfied. Since I'm a strong hill runner, I ran up every hill and walked down a lot of them. This strategy worked well for me.

I loved running across the bridge with the fog. The weather was absolutely perfect.

Before I reached the end of the bridge, the deck was re-opened and the runners were routed back up on the sidewalk. I was forced to maneuver myself between the oncoming runners and the walkers going in my direction.

By the time I looped back onto the bridge, the crowd had grown sparse. When I got to the streets, I discovered they were no longer blocked off and we were forced to obey the traffic rules. I may be a true back of the packer, but I never had to wait for the crosswalk signal to change before. Some intersections didn't even have signal lights or stop signs so we had to creep out cautiously and then sprint across.

Not easily discouraged, I maintained my pace and kept going. Despite the fact that it didn't even really look like I was still participating in a race, I knew I was making good timing.

As I was running through the Presidio, I spotted what appeared to be a large branch covered in pine cones.

Jackie, Janey, and Rad Runner Girl were waiting for me at the Finish Line. My official time was 03:10:02.

The post-race area was still well stocked with food and beverages for the runners. The blueberry scones in individual paper sleeves were amazing.

We took the shuttle back to the Embarcadero for the post-race party so I could stop by the Jamba Juice booth before heading back to the hotel for a nice, hot shower.

I was pleased that my second race representing Team Jamba Juice also went really well.


The Green Girl's San Francisco Half Marathon Playlist ♪

The Green Girl is too tired to download any more songs. For better or worse, this will be my playlist.

The Green Girl Is Ready For The San Francisco Half Marathon

The Green Girl is all packed for San Francisco Half Marathon.

There are only a couple of things I still need to do when I get off work today. I am going to see if I can find some black running pants to wear with my Team Jamba Juice shirt at the Expo tomorrow.

I also want to download more songs for my new mp3 player.

The Green Girl's Packing List

I've discovered after trial and error that the easiest way to travel with my hydration belt is to simply attach it to my backpack.

I always compare my list against Coach Steve & Gary's Race Day Checklist for a sanity check.


The Green Girl's New Creative Zen Nano Plus

The Green Girl isn't exactly sure how to say this but she had to say goodbye to her iRiver iFP-795T today.

I purchased my first mp3 player, an iRiver iFP-390T back in 2005. My faithful iFP-390T got me from the CoolRunning.com Couch-To-5k program to my very first marathon.

When my iFP-390T died, I was devastated, but my friend, Chris, managed to locate an iFP-795T collecting dust in the back of his closet for me. The iFP-795T was manufactured in the same year as the iFP-390T but instead of 256 MB, now I had 512. I was finally able to expand my musical library.

Sadly, I had to bid farewell to the iFP-795T tonight.

Some things don't change, though, and I'm still a cheap Green Girl so I begged my boyfriend to give me his spare Creative Zen Nano Plus and he agreed. It's going to take some getting used to because I've grown so accustomed to the iRiver players but it will be nice to be able to update the playlist because I haven't been able to add any new songs to my old player for over a year.

I'm currently in the process of putting together a running mix for San Francisco Half Marathon.

The Green Girl's Track Walk and Stretch

Last night, the Green Girl attended her second Sole Runners track workout at Long Beach State.

After my positive experience last week, I was looking forward to another productive session.

My only concern was a nagging pain in the middle my left hamstring that I woke up with on Sunday. I had applied a couple Phiten Discs and the pain had gone away so I was hopeful I'd be able to run.

I got stuck in traffic and missed the ChiRunning body looseners. I arrived just as they were starting to do the three easy laps around the track.

Once we warmed up, Coach Steve had us start the 100 meter drills. He had us do skipping, high knees, heel kicks, and crossovers. The heel kicks aggravated my hamstring. I opted out of the crossovers again for fear of re-spraining my ankle.

After the drills, we walked a lap before we moved to the fast running. I ran a single lap at a medium pace but the pain in my hamstring became constant so I stopped. I talked to one of the mentors, Matt, and he recommended I walk, do some stretching and ice when I get home. I slowly walked a couple more laps and then laid out my yoga mat and sat down. George, aka 'Hillbilly Yoga', showed me some stretches for the hamstring.

After I felt I had sufficiently stretched my sore hamstring, I got back up to walk a few more laps.

A loud rumble in the sky caught our attention and we all looked up at some sort of large military plane flying overhead.

We followed our track workout with our usual post-run yoga.

When I got home, I iced my hamstring and then did some light stretching and foam rolling before I went to bed. I will book a massage today and take off the remainder of the week to allow my hamstring to heal before San Francisco on Sunday.


The Green Girl's Phiten Sample Pack Giveaway

The Green Girl stopped by her favorite Phiten store in Torrance after work today and the awesome salespeople gave her some samples for a blog giveaway. As I mentioned in the past, I am a huge fan of Phiten products.

Phiten is named after "phi Φ," which symbolizes a perfect balance in the natural world.

The Phiten company was founded in Japan in 1982 by Yoshihiro Hirata, an alternative medicine practitioner.

Phiten's scientists discovered a method of dissolving titanium in water to create micro-titanium spheres. They refer to this as the Phild Process. Phiten's 'Aqua-Titanium' is composed of these micro-titanium spheres that are absorbed into fabric like dye.

This Aqua-Titanium is used in the Phiten necklaces and apparel. According to Phiten, their products can improve your circulation and reduce muscle stress based on the theory that stiff muscles and fatigue may be caused by distruptions in the flow of your body's bio-electric current. Phiten says the entire fabric is permeated with the Aqua-Titanium and is capable of emitting energy to effectively control the body's bio-electric current to improve the alignment of the body's positive and negative ions.

If you would like to witness the benefits of Phiten's titanium technology for yourself, enter this giveaway for a chance to win a sample pack that includes:
There are two ways to submit your entries to win this Phiten Sample Pack:

One entry per person. The deadline to enter is Thursday, August 5th at midnight Pacific Time. The winner will be announced on Friday, August 6th.

Good luck to everyone!

Jillian Michaels: Yoga Meltdown DVD Review

Green Girl Disclaimer: The Green Girl is not a fan of yoga but she is a huge fan of Jillian Michaels.

After the Green Girl's break-up with yoga, she was thrilled when her Snowboarding Buddy gave her a copy of the Jillian Michaels: Yoga Meltdown DVD for her birthday earlier this year.

My first impression of Level 1 of the DVD was that you need to have enough yoga experience to be able to perform the poses without guidance because Jillian offers little in the way of pose instruction. I'm also used to a lot more emphasis on breathing from the instructor during yoga sessions.

Instead of defaulting to Downward Dog as the resting pose, Jillian had us start and end the sequences with Tadasana (Mountain Pose).

I learned a new and much more challenging variation of Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation) from this DVD. Jillian had us start in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), raise our arms overhead in Urdhva Hastasana (Raised Hands Pose), gently arch our back, lean forward with a flat back, bend forward head to knees, lunge, plank, Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose) slowly with a hold, Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog), Downward Dog, lunge, head to knees, straighten with arms overhead, gently arch our back, and return to Tadasana.

I was also introduced to two new poses: Ushtra-asana (Camel Pose) and Advadanta Sirsasana (Dolphin Poses). I was not able to touch both my hands to my ankles at the same time for the Camel Pose so instead, I sat in Virasana (Hero Pose).

When Jillian had us move into Locust Pose (Salabhasana), I knew this DVD was made for me. I have a strong core but a weak back. I'm tired after a single Locust Pose.

The pose I struggled with the most was Vasisthasana (Side Plank Pose). I was able to alternate from side to side but my weak right wrist was unable to hold the pose for an extended period of time. I tore the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) in my right wrist a few years ago and it never fully recovered.

When Jillian had us do Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Pigeon Pose), I was sold. I struggle with insanely tight hip flexors and Pigeon Pose is my friend.

I won't move onto Level 2 until I feel I have sufficiently mastered Level 1.

In conclusion, I would not recommend this DVD to a yoga first-timer because I think it's important to have some level of familiarity with the poses before following Jillian's routine. I feel Jillian's target audience for this video are people like me who know they should be doing some yoga but find traditional methods slow and/or frustrating. For someone with limited flexibility and a strong core, this is a great workout.


The Green Girl's Run Along The Strand

After volunteering at the Christmas In July 5k Run, the Green Girl went for a run.

I started at Dockweiler State Beach and headed north on The Strand.

The Strand is a 22 mile paved bicycle path that runs along the coast from Pacific Palisades to Redondo Beach.

Despite the warmer temperature, I felt strong today. I felt quick on my toes and I was able to maintain a good pace without pushing myself.

When I hit Ballona Creek, I crossed over the bridge to the Ballona Creek Bike Path but instead of following the path east, I headed west towards the narrow peninsula.

At the entrance of the headland, there was a gate that was fashioned to prevent bicycle traffic from entering. I zigzagged my way through and continued down the path.

This section consisted of a paved bi-directional path bordered by rocks. Fishing lines were propped along the sides.

A considerate seagull moved to the side when he saw me heading in his direction.

I luxuriated in the beauty of being surrounded by a body of water on both sides. The gentle sound of waves crashing against the rocks soothed my soul as I reveled in the sensation of the cool ocean breeze.

I ran the length but instead of turning around right away, I stopped to sit and just enjoy the scenery.

On my way back, I realized I had rediscovered a certain joy that's been absent from my runs for awhile now. I felt liberated.

Christmas In July 5k Run

The Green Girl volunteered at the Christmas In July 5k Run today at Dockweiler State Beach Playa del Rey. I proudly represented Team Jamba Juice by wearing my gear.

The race was organized by a small group of Team In Training triathletes to raise money for the The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

I knew one of the organizers, Sara, through Team In Training from back when I was training for my first marathon but we'd never actually met in person. I came out to show my support but I was also looking forward to finally meeting her.

I helped mark the registration area and set up the water station.

There were about a hundred participants registered for this race. It was amusing to only see two porta potties and no line!

The post-run area had bananas, oranges, and water for the runners. Tents were set up by Activate Drinks, Guayaki Organic Yerba Mate, and KIND Snacks to offer free samples to the participants.

Small plastic cones were used to designate the course route along with copious chalk markings. Volunteers in fluorescent yellow vests also assisted in directing the runners.

The race itself went smoothly. Since we had enough designated water station volunteers, I went ahead and took pictures of the runners going by.

As a volunteer, I received a Christmas In July drawstring backpack and a matching water bottle along with a sample of Biofreeze.

The Christmas In July 5k Run was a small race with a really big heart.


The Green Girl Witnesses A Running Epiphany

After nearly melting in today's heat, the Green Girl waited until the sun started to go down to go for a run with one of the Sole Runners, Michelle.

We headed down to the Shoreline Pedestrian Bikepath and headed east.

The hazy sky muted the sunset colors into a beautiful pastel palette.

We passed a handful of beach volleyball courts with games in progress. We saw sailboats and cruise ships.

To the west, we saw a sliver of a crescent moon.

A runner shuffled by and I commented to Michelle that I thought if she ran like that, she could probably go a little faster. We're both back of the packers but she's significantly slower than me so I usually run ahead and then take pictures until she catches up. This arrangement works well for us.

She stopped to observe his technique and then tried to imitate his movements.

She commented that she wasn't used to lifting her knees up so high. I fell in sync with her stride and compared our knee heights. It didn't seem like she was going unusually high to me.

As an experiment, we continued at this pace. All of a sudden, Michelle exclaimed that for the first time in her life, she actually felt like she was running. I looked over at her and quickly realized I'd never seen her look like this before. I blurted out, 'You look like a runner!'

Michelle's running epiphany was our primary source of entertainment and amusement for the remainder of the run.

Before we headed home, I snapped a shot of the Grissom Island off-shore oil rig for my friend, Kitzzy. I always think of her and her boyfriend when I see it because like everyone else who sees it, they couldn't believe it was an oil rig.

Grissom is one of four oil islands named after the first four NASA astronauts to die in the line of duty - Freeman, Grissom, White, and Chaffee.

The artificial islands house oil and gas production equipment. The brightly colored facades designed to disguise the facilities make them look like they could be part of Pleasure Island.


The Green Girl's Track Workout

Last night, the Green Girl attended her very first Sole Runners track workout at Long Beach State.

I was really reluctant to attend because I haven't had good experiences with speed training but at the last minute, I decided to go. I also hesitated because of the scorching sun but something inside me told me I should give it a try.

We started off with our ChiRunning body looseners and then Coach Steve had us run three easy laps around the track. I struggled to run at about a 13:30 pace in the heat.

Once we were warmed up, he had us do some 100 meter drills. We did skipping, high knees, heel kicks, and crossovers. I refrained from participating in the crossovers because I am terrified I might sprain my right ankle again.

After we were thoroughly exhausted from the drills, we walked a lap and then Coach Steve instructed us to run a lap as fast as we could and then walk about 50 meters out and 50 meters back to the start to start the process all over again.

I started out running as fast as my little body could. I was huffing and puffing immediately. I looked down at Mr. Green Garmin and he told me I was doing a 7:50 minute mile. Gasping for breath, I slowed down to 8:00 but all that speed upset my stomach and I had to stop before I puked all over the Long Beach State track. There was no way I could maintain that speed over 400 meters.

After that, I slowed down significantly and walked a lot. I was grateful as the temperature decreased and an occasional breeze wafted through.

It finally came time for our cool-down of two easy laps. My stomach had settled at this point so I joined the group and was able to maintain a 10:30 pace. Coach Steve commented that I had gotten a second wind and I laughed and explained to him how I'd gone out way too fast on that very first lap.

We finished with Coach Steve leading our post-run yoga in the grassy area in the middle of the track as the sunset cast shadows over our mats.

The grass was plush so the ground was soft beneath our yoga mats. I was pleased to see some improvement in my pose transitions. I also focused on keeping my wrists straighter when I did downward dog.

I wore a brand new pair of New Balance 1012's to break them in before San Francisco. After the run, there were little bits of the dark red track material stuck to the sole.

For the first time in my life, I felt satisfaction instead of frustration after speed work. I'm glad I gave the Sole Runners track workout a try.


MLB All-Star Charity 5k Race Report

The Green Girl did the All-Star Charity 5k at Angel Stadium. Along with the Major League Baseball All-Star FanFest, the All-Star Charity 5k is celebrating the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

One great thing about this event was that 100% of the registration fees are going to cancer charities.

The All-Star Charity 5k was my first event representing Team Jamba Juice. I had on my Jamba Juice branded apparel and I applied a Jamba Juice tattoo to my left leg.

I met up with my coworker, Brandy, her husband, Oscar, and another one of the Sole Runners, Isabelle, under the giant Anaheim Angels baseball cap.

We made the obligatory porta potty stop and then lined up at the Starting Line. The majority of the runners were decked out in the Anaheim Angel's red so I blended right in with my Team Jamba shirt.

In the first mile, I ran into another member of Team Jamba. We chatted briefly and then I took off to catch up with my friends.

The course was conspicuous and the hydration stations were well-marked. The crowd support was literally non-existent but the energy among the runners and walkers was palpable.

Shortly after we passed the Mile 2 marker, the course led us into the stadium, and around the perimeter. Although it created a significant bottleneck, I really enjoyed the experience and didn't mind the fact that the clock was ticking as I strolled the baseball field.

Participants were featured on the JumboTron and you had the option to give an announcer your name to hear it read over the loudspeakers.

I was absolutely thrilled when we finally crossed the Finish Line and I received my very first 5k medal.

I grabbed the green Jamba Juice bag containing the stacks of Jamba Juice coupons from my car and headed back to the post-race area.

As soon as I started asking people if they would like some $1 off Jamba Juice coupons, others would overhear and come over and ask for a few. The response was overwhelmingly positive. It made me feel really good to see the pleased expressions on people's faces when I handed them the coupons.

Handing out coupons went so well that I gave away almost the entire batch within minutes.

After the race, I headed over to the All-Stars FanFest to help out at the PennyCollector.com booth with the smushed pennies. I also handed out more Jamba Juice coupons.

I'm thrilled that my first race representing Team Jamba Juice went so well. I had a really good time and it was great to see how receptive everyone was to the $1 off coupons.
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