10-Week Training for the SF Half Marathon

The SF Half Marathon is coming up on July 23, and it will be my FIRST half marathon, finally!! Finishing 13.1 miles will accomplish one of my 2017 New Year’s resolutions, and I can check it off my bucket list! I have a goal to beat 2 hours, which is about 9 minutes per mile. I started running once a week on Sunday morning with Anita or Joy. Then I found this 10-week training plan for a Sunday race on halfmarathons.net even though I had 11 weeks left until the race. I have been asked about my mileage and pace, so I’m blogging my training plan now that I have gotten into the habit of running 5 days a week and stayed on schedule to Week 4. See my Workout Log.

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 6.24.35 PM.png

I am dreading that I will have to keep up my training in Hong Kong for 5 weeks this summer, my last month before the race. I will have to make it happen, whether paying for the gym or waking up in the wee hours to run outside before it gets uncomfortably humid. Also, I only have a week after returning from Hong Kong to adjust to the weather back home and recover from jetlag before the race. I realized it takes hard work and discipline to train for and run a half marathon, especially having to push past mental laziness after an exhausting day of teaching first graders. I have nooo interest in running a marathon and don’t know what people think about for such long runs. It hasn’t gotten any easier or any less painful to run after 3.5 weeks, but I am slowly chipping away at my pace, getting faster and stronger, and it will be worth it once I’m done. On another but related note, I just signed up for my second 10K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day!

Some random photos from my training over these months…


An Eventful Two Weeks

Back to my blog! Since my last post, I had an eventful two weeks with something or a few things back-to-back almost every day that kept me busy out of the house and away from my usual blogging, cooking, and reading that I have been busy with in this new year. Even with this post, I feel rusty after not writing for two weeks. The first week was unusually busy in the evenings for a work week. The second week was Ski Break! I have been asked so many times what Ski Break is, but I grew up in Saratoga having this Presidents Day week in February off too. My coworker said they started giving this holiday because so many families would miss school to go up to the snow? Anyway, these two weeks were filled with LOTS OF HANGOUTS and getting my to do list done to catch up on life outside of work. Thankful for Ski Break, my friends, and the opportunities to have fun, catch up, and spend time with so many of them!! For being absent from my blog, here is a recap of my last two weeks with an overload of selfies and food photos…

Monday, 2/13: Purposeful run to the local library to borrow DVDs for a class rewardscreenshot_20170227-201229

Monday, 2/13: Discipleship with Deb at Men-Bei Ramenwp-image-1593941029jpg.jpg

Tuesday, 2/14: Feeling loved by my students on Valentine’s DayIMG_20170214_180528.jpg

Tuesday, 2/14: Valentine’s Day dinner with Pillar friends eating jajangmyeon at Tong Soon Garden

Wednesday, 2/15: Happy hour at Opa! and red velvet/chocolate mint cupcakes from Susie Cakes for a long overdue catch up and early birthday celebration, HBD Brittney!

Thursday, 2/16: Luzia by Cirque Du Soleil with my bestie Serena who won free tickets from work and the show was so good, most notable act was the most flexible guy on the planet

Saturday, 2/18: Mom and me’s Saturday morning tradition of coffee and bagel breakfastIMG_20170218_102218.jpg

Saturday, 2/18: Ed’s last-of-his-twenties birthday at Dave & Buster’swp-image-321886739jpg.jpg

Discipleship got us ordering the same food 😆

Why so serious, Jo? 😂


My coworker Ursula spotted me in the crowd of people at D&B

Bumped into my coworkers Binh and Ursula on the first day of Ski Break!

Saturday, 2/18: Dinner with family friends at Koi Palace in Dublinwp-image-88107980jpg.jpg

Sunday, 2/19: Run with Anita – Same 3 miles around Quarry Lakes without breaks this weekscreenshot_20170227-201511

Sunday, 2/19: Book Club with Grace and Rebecca discussing Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering by Tim Keller and eating delicious breakfast croissant sandwiches

Sunday, 2/19: Dinner with relatives at Golden Palace

Monday, 2/20: Lunch at the Bae’s with Berean friends (Chois and Tsengs) and all 3 Pillar pastors and families, so nice having my two worlds together and HBD Tina and Silas!pixlr_20170220165829319.jpg

Monday, 2/20: Dinner and nails party with Pillar girlswp-image-1502831843jpg.jpgwp-image-372322069jpg.jpgwp-image-1224780976jpg.jpg

Tuesday, 2/21: Dentist appointment. Got my car maintenance and some parts fixed in the shop. Thankfully Sam saved me from the long wait and picked me up for ramen at Shalala and boba at Teaspoon in Mountain View. Finished a book at Starbucks

Thursday, 2/23: Back to the dentist for a cavity filling. Hangout and dinner with the Lo FamilyIMG_20170223_181415.jpg

Thursday, 2/23: Missing photo of Denny’s hangout with Pillar friends after midweek

Friday, 2/24: National Clam Chowder Day – Boudin BOGO clam chowder bowl with MomIMG_20170224_132807.jpg

Friday, 2/24: Small Group hangout over dinner at Krung Thai and my first escape room which was so much fun even though we almost escapedIMG_20170224_191738.jpgIMG_20170224_220632.jpgIMG_20170224_220708 (1).jpg

Friday, 2/24: Missing photo of game night with Pillar friends

Saturday, 2/25: Homemade brunch with Pillar friends and rewatched La La LandIMG_20170225_114809.jpg

Saturday, 2/25: Dinner with family friends, seeing them two Saturdays in a rowIMG_20170225_191428.jpg

Sunday: Run and lunch with Joy at Demiyascreenshot_20170226-112029-1img_20170226_110536img_20170226_124612img_20170226_124630

Sunday, 2/26: Dinner with Pillar friends at QQ Noodleimg_20170226_182158

Now back to reality and work, but looking forward to Tahoe this weekend! Work hard, play hard!

Read the Bible in One Year: Leviticus

Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. Keep my statutes and do them; I am the LORD who sanctifies you. –Leviticus 20:7-8

God gave the law to His people down to all the details of burnt, grain, peace, sin, and guilt offerings, the priests, the consecration of Aaron and his sons, clean and unclean animals, childbirth, leprosy, cleansing lepers, cleansing houses, bodily discharges, the Day of Atonement, unlawful sexual relations, and the list goes on and on. In the middle of the law, there is a story of God’s immediate judgement on Nadab and Abihu, two of Aaron’s sons, who died because they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded. The holy God is pleased when He is worshipped in the way that He commands, and God the Creator is just to punish His creation when they do not obey Him. The priests must have been beyond exhausted having to continually atone for the sins of the people each and every time a sin was committed either intentionally or unintentionally. The priest would sacrifice the animal and then wash his hands clean, only to have to start the process all over again for another sin, another person. Studying Hebrews with my college church helped to glean understanding of the law in Leviticus. It is incredibly humbling to remember the price of the precious Lamb of God whose blood was shed to pay the penalty of our sins against the holy God in the past, present, and future. Jesus Christ was the perfect sacrifice once for all! The repetition of “I am the Lord who sanctifies” (ESV) or “I am the Lord who makes you holy” (NIV) (Leviticus 20:8; 21:8, 15, 23; 22:9, 16, 32) is assurance of our faith in Jesus Christ. Not by my good works or the mediator of a priest who offers up sacrifices for my every sin, but by God’s grace and mercy at the cross. Praise the Lord who has done the work of redemption and sanctifies us and makes us holy like Him day by day.

And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. –Hebrews 10:10-14

This Bible in one year reading plan seems to be moving along fast. On to Numbers…

(For previous reflections in my resolution to read the Bible in one year, see Genesis and Exodus.)

Read the Bible in One Year: Exodus

I finished Exodus. It starts with an engaging but frustrating story of Moses, Pharaoh, and the Israelites who were brought out of Egypt and then ends with law and more law. Just as God delivered the Israelites from Egypt, God also delivers us from sin and death through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus who is Lord, Savior, and Redeemer. The focus of Exodus is on God, specifically His power and guidance. God repeats in Exodus, “I am the LORD.”

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” –Exodus 3:14

Moses is called by God to speak to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt. God showed Moses His power through signs like his staff turned into a snake, his hand turned leprous, and water from the Nile River turned into blood, but Moses was not confident in God Almighty and only looked at his own inadequacies. The Lord’s anger burned against him, and He was about to kill him, but God gave Moses his brother Aaron to help him speak. Even then, Moses repetitively doubted God’s power to deliver the Israelites – “O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me?” (Ex. 5:22) and “But Moses said to the LORD, ‘If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with faltering lips?'” (Ex. 6:12).

Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” –Exodus 4:11-12

God hardened Pharaoh’s heart from letting the Israelites go to worship God for 3 days in the desert. Though he admitted sinned and asked Moses and Aaron to forgive him and pray to the Lord to take away the plagues, Pharaoh changed his mind again and again. God did all the plagues, acts of judgment as he foretold, in order to completely deliver the Israelites out of Egypt.

“But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, Pharaoh will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and bring my hosts, my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them.” –Exodus 7:3-5

Like Pharaoh, the Israelites forgot about God’s power and grace. They complained about their circumstances when they were in Egypt and wandered in the desert – “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” (Ex. 14:11-12). God protected the Israelites from all of the plagues on the Egyptians and delivered them out of Egypt, thus setting them apart as God’s people. God also provided their physical and spiritual needs for survival and a place to worship in the desert. But the Israelites did not believe or fear God, and instead they grumbled against the all-powerful God.

Say therefore to the people of Israel, “I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the LORD.” –Exodus 6:6-8

After this point, I found it a bit tedious to read about God’s law. However, studying Exodus in Sunday School at Pillar has been shedding light on God’s purpose for each and every detail of the law and the Tabernacle, which is helping me to understand the second half of Exodus. God delivered His people, and the holy God teaches His people how to be holy too. And this lesson will continue through Leviticus, which I will be reading tomorrow until mid-February!

(For previous reflections in my resolution to read the Bible in one year, see Genesis.)