Marathon Training – Week 17 – Fakin’ It ‘Til I Make It

Sometimes the only way to do something that you don’t want to do is to just do it … Fake it until you make it.  Smile and pretend that you’re having a great time, and turn off the voices in your head that tell you that you’re tired, etc.  That works for me, anyway.  I just keep pluggin’ away and talk to myself, telling myself positive things … there’s the occasional cursing in there, but for the most part, I get what needs to be done, DONE!

Me, Bel, & Cory
I love these girls! Tigger & Pooh!
My Twitter Budz! @mikebravo11, @erikarae74, & @cindy_rivera209

Sunday:  I was skeptical about running the St. Joseph’s Stockton Half Marathon.  I was exhausted … literally bone tired.  I hadn’t been sleeping well the whole week, nor had I been eating as well as I usually do.  But … I was going to run.  I signed up for this race, and I would run it.

She got up early to support her Mama & friends!

I was thankful that my husband was able to take the day off so he could come with me.  Like I said, Chris is my biggest fan.  He’s my driver, my cheerleader, my BFF.  We brought our daughter, Grace, who loves to come hang out with us and cheer the runners on.  We got up early, hit Starbucks, and headed on over to the race start.

We were able to find my friends, Cory, Erika, and Cindy easily.  We took advantage of the time we had and hit the porta potties, then took our customary pre-race pictures.  It was nice to have a lot of time and not have to rush.  Race start was promptly at 0730.  After a pre-race speech by the race director, Tony Vice, and by Mike Ricks, VP at St. Joseph’s Hospital we started without incident.

Me and Hardy!
Beautifu, speedy Melanie & I.
Some random guy I got to throw up a "shaka" sign as we passed the photographer!

The race was pretty uneventful.  The weather was perfect.  The course was completely – COMPLETELY – marked.  It was similar to last year with just a little tweaking.  I ran mile 1 and 2 with Erika and Cindy.  Erika was pacing Cindy to PR.  I didn’t want to screw that up too much ’cause I was just running.  I ran a few feet of mile one with my friend, Hardy.  He’s a FAST runner, so I told him I’d see him at the end.  At mile 2.5, I knew that I had to stop and take a potty break.  Good thing, too ’cause I really had to gooooo!!!  I ran mile 3 thru 5 pretty much alone.  At mile 6, my friend Melanie caught up to me and we ran together until mile 8.  Melanie’s FAST(er) than I am so when I started to peter out, I told her to go.  I saw Chris and Grace and their awesome signs!  My favorite cheerleaders!  I ran alone from there on out until the end.  Not really alone though as I ran with others and I did my best to encourage them as we ran together, or as I passed them.  I did get a one guy to throw up a “shaka” sign as we came towards a course photographer! Too funny!

Rounding the corner to the finish!
My FAVORITE pic - coming up to the finish line. Thanks to Mike Bravo's Bro for this shot!

Finish Line shot!

From the back!

Around mile 10, I had to have a talk with my very heavy legs.  They were trying to tell me that they were tired.  I told them that they were not, that we had a little over 3 more miles to go so they had to suck it up, STFU, and keep on moving!  Basically, I said, “Too effing bad, you better keep moving, and get the rest of us to the finish line!”  They follow directions well … cause I got to the finish without much incident or anymore complaining from them.  I love that when I rounded the corner from Grand Canal towards the finish, I briefly saw Chris and Grace, then I heard the announcer over the PA announcing … “Annnnndddd comin’ in towards the finish is one very happy Row. Wallen.”  Since it’s Stockton, and it’s where I live, I have the hometown advantage.  Lots of people that knew me were there cheering me on!  It was such a great feeling!

This was by far a really great race!  So much better than last year.  Packet pick up went very smoothly at the new Fleet Feet of Stockton.  We not only got a nice tech shirt, but also a reflective running vest from Mizuno.  The expo, albeit small, was friendly.  I love how most of my friends were running the booths!  On the course we were given COLD water!  OMG!  COLD water is like gold!  The Gatorade that was offered was also COLD.  There were ample aid/water stations, and enough porta potties on the course.  As I mentioned earlier, the course was completely marked.  The volunteer police, as well as the paid police on patrol guiding and controlling traffic were very helpful.  The volunteers at each aid station were all very lively, enthusiastic, and motivating.  I absolutely LOVED the mile 12 volunteers who danced with the sign and encouraged every runner as we ran by!

Post race we were offered not only our medals, but a towel, and water.  We were also provided with some awesome post race nutrition – cookies, fruit, and Togo Sandwiches.  The race photographers,, took some great – seriously GREAT –  race pictures before, during, and after the race … AND … they provided us with FREE photos to pick up at the race, or to download from home.  I have a lot of pictures from this event, so if you want to see them you’ll have to log onto FB and check out my album there.

So much fun.  I’m thankful to have been able to run this race once again this year. With the sponsorship of St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Tony Vice, the race director, was able to put on a great race this year.  Thank you so much for providing Stockton with a venue that we can all be proud of.  =)  I ran a great, happy race … can’t ask for much more!

Monday:  Thought I’d take a rest, huh?  Oh no …

I’ve had serious DOMS since very early Friday morning. I could barely walk then or on Saturday. Then I ran a half marathon yesterday. You’d think I’d rest today, but nooooo … the hubby said I needed to go workout with him. So … okay … I’ll go …

The Warm Up:
800m run
High Knees
Butt Kicks
Opp Heel Reaches

Deadlifts – “Find a weight that is slightly uncomfortable.” Really? What exactly does that mean? Heehee. For me … it’s 90lbs. I know … weak. Oh well. I worked it. I LOVE deadlifts.

The Workout:
10 rounds –
3 HSPU (modified to 6 hand lift push ups ’cause of my healing shoulder. I asked to do HSPU and was told NO!)
6 Deadlifts
12 Pull Ups
24 Double Unders

Hahahahaha! This was a great workout! I can feel myself getting so much stronger. I know that this workout ROCKS. I love it so much. I love my trainer! He’s awesome!

Tuesday:  For the life of me, I can’t remember what workout I did on Tuesday!  What the heck?!  I know that I went and worked out because  … I know I did, then I went home and showered and went to lunch with my gal pal, Linda!  Aaarrrgggh!  I can’t find it on my trainer’s website either because it’s down for maintenance!  Okay … This day is to be updated … Oi!

Wednesday:  Since I worked last night, I decided to go ahead a make today a rest day.  I know.  Lame.  But It is what it is.  I’ve been working my butt off at home, at work, on the pavement, and in the box so don’t judge unless you’re walking in my shoes.  My body is one EXHAUSTED mother!

Thursday:  My body said, “Row., you’re tired. Stay home. Rest.” Did I listen? No, of course not. I got myself dressed, and out the door I went.

I was late and I thought about not getting out of the car, of just driving away when I got there … But I was seen so there was no backing out now. So I got out and started …

The Warm Up:
Run 400
Leg swings – side/side, front/back
Good mornings
Then … Then … Wait for it … Sled Pull at just about my body weight to 400m! HOLY COW, Batman!

Bench Press on a ball

The WorkOut:  (As if everything else wasn’t enough …)
4 Rounds
20 sec L sit
20 KB swing squats
8 burpee broad jumps

That workout took a lot out of me. Wait … The sled pull took a lot out of me. My trainer said he wanted to work my “powerhouse muscles.” Really? Yep. The backs of my legs were on FIRE!!! Yep. It zapped my energy. It tested my faith in myself. I asked to be killed. And yet … I survived. Thanks to my trainer.

Friday:  I so wanted to stay home.  Heehee.  It would be so easy for me to just climb into bed once Grace gets on the bus.  However … I know better, so I got my hubby up and off we went …

“Maybe we should’ve stayed home,” was my first thought when we got there. The box was full, people were everywhere … so we just settled in and started the warm up …

The Warm Up:
Row 1500m OR
Run 1 mile … I ran one mile
10 Wall Balls
10 Pull Ups
10 Walk Out Push Ups

3 rounds of
10 Back Extentions
20 GHD Sit Ups

The WorkOut:
20 minutes, As Many Reps as Possible (AMRP)
Run 200m
15 DB Thrusters
Okay … I did this workout three weeks ago and jacked up my shoulder, so my DB Thrusters were modified to Back Squats. I was happy with my 45 lb bar. Once I started though, my trainer and his partner came at me with some weights for each end of my bar. They added 30 lbs to my measly little bar. What could I do? I just went with the flow, gutted out the workout and finished 8.5 rounds! It’s all good. =)

Saturday:  Would you believe me if I told you that I went and worked out?  Don’t.  I did nothing.  I worked a long ass 12 hour shift, came home, slept, then went to Stockton Thunder Hockey!!!!  I made myself have a rest day and spent it with my awesome Fam Bam!  I seriously still hurt.  My body hurts.  I’m sure it’s from the cumulative effects of constantly pushing my body and asking it to do more and more everyday.  EVERYDAY!  Even on rest days I’m still doing something.  Like today … Rest?  Hahaha!  I did a lot of stretching before and after going to the game.  I mean, seriously, I am very thankful for my body.  I am thankful for all that it does when I push it.  I know that I ask a lot of it, but it always delivers.  Always.  There’s usually some moaning and groaning coming from the mouth, but my everything else delivers.  So if I want to slack off a little and just lay in bed a little longer … then so be it.  My body deserves it.

Hockey was fun.  It was Halloween day, so my lovely daughter, Grace, dressed up as her requested “Dead Zombie Cheerleader.”  I never knew that she was such an avid hockey fan!  She was all over the place – screaming, cheering, clapping, and just having the time of her life!  I love it because it’s loud and fun!  I also love it because it’s time with my family that’s been a little to few and far between.

I can tell my body needs to get to the Chiro.  I also need to make another massage appointment.  My shoulder is still pretty tight and sore, and my legs are full of lactic acid!  LOL!  =)  I’ll do that next week.

I got my hotel for the Fresno Two Cites Half booked, and I got my registration in for the Walnut Creek Half Marathon finally.  Was just waiting on some final details.  I know.  Crazy.  So … it’s been a very eventful, busy week.  Next week doesn’t get any easier, it’ll be just as crazy with Fresno coming up.

On a good note … my muscles a poppin’!  Hot damn!  My trainer’s been workin’ me hard and he promised me that if I was faithful and put in 100% that I’d see results.  He was right.  I’m very pleased with what I’m seeing … No … I’m stoked!  I’m happy.  I’ve been working hard!  My trainer always tells me to “Stop testing the waters and just do it.”  I know … I think too much, and he can see that I do too.  He pushes me all the time, never lets me slack.  Love it and hate it at the same time!

Week 18 comin’ up … 4 weeks left.  I’ve gotta get this sh!t done!  I’m tired, but I’m not going to think about it anymore.  I already know what I need to do and I’m just going to work hard and get it done!  I need to get a 20 miler in!  Eeek!  Train HARD!  Train SMART!  Have FUN!  Let’s goooooo …. =)


Marathon Training – Week 16 – Running On Fumes

It’s just about time to start gettin’ down to business … Week 16 … Uh yeah, Row.  We’re gettin’ down to the nitty gritty and it’s time.  There’s no time anymore to dilly dally or fiddle fart around.  Com’mon now, Row.  You better get real about this marathon, or this marathon’s gonna get you!  I know.  I’m just lazy, and like I said … I’m just not into it.  This marathon’s gonna end up biting me in the a$$ if I’m not careful.  Ah well …

NWM ... I Run To Be MIGHTY!!!
Customary - Shaka at the Start!

Sunday:  This is the day of Nike Womens Marathon.  This race was my first real run that wasn’t a 5 or 10K not even a half marathon, but a MARATHON.  I started running this race because my husband thought I’d rock it!  He thought it’d be a great way to honor my father that passed away a few months before registration opened.  Thinking that it was a lottery, and that there was no way I would “win,” I entered … and then … I “won!”

This year would be no different.  I’m old hat at this race, right?  I know what to expect.  I know what to do, where to go.  I’ve got a routine down.  Right?  No sweat … Except this year was a little bit “off.”

Starting on Friday when our Party Bus took a dive while Chris worked to ready it.  He worked so hard to determine the problem, but he was unable to that night.  On Saturday he thought he had the problem fixed, only for it to hesitate as we drove it to go pick up Cory.  We took it back home because we didn’t feel it was safe to drive it such a long way, and we worked on formulating a Plan B, which was to find a rental car to drive.  As we searched for one, we were fortunate enough that Cory offered to drive to the city.  Thank God!

I, myself, felt “off.”  I wasn’t feeling like myself, I was so unusually exhausted that no matter how much I slept I never felt as if I was rested. I attribute this to me getting the flu shot, although this has never happened to me in the past after getting the shot.  So I dunno.  I just could not get myself together.  I thought it would pass and I’d just go about my merry way, but when you’re not 100% it’s rough going.

Me, Cory, and Claudia at the Start ...
Sooooo many people!!!

Sunday morning, I found myself awake at 0300 and unable to go back to sleep.  Try as I may, it was not happening.  0500 came quickly.  Cory and I dressed, and packed up our stuff and prepared to haul it back to the car that was at the parking garage.  Chris’ plan was to drive the car to a destination close to the finish line.  We left him at the parking garage and off Cory and I went to the start.

At the start of a huge race like this … we found ourselves in a sea of people.  There were 22,000 people registered to run this race.  Add on their families and miscellaneous viewers and you really have a lot of people!  A LOT!  I knew that going to the restroom prior to race start would be an issue.  The lines for the porta-potties alone were sooooo long.  I told Cory that it would be faster if we could just go back to the hotel and use the bathroom there, however we had no room keys!  Ugh!  Lucky for us, our friend Claudia was close by and she gave us her room key to use!  Quick jaunt back to the hotel, and less than 15 minutes later we were back while people were still in line to use the porta potty!  Wow!  Pre race we were able to get a good 1.5 mile warm up in trekking from the hotel to the parking garage, to start, back to the hotel, then back to the start.

Making our way to the start we encountered a mob.  We were gridlocked, stuck in a mess of people who happened to not be moving.  Seriously, Cory, Claudia, and I were stuck!  We tried to push our way through with no such luck!  Then Evan found us … actually, she saw ME of all people.  Evan barreled her way through that crowd like a champ!!! Yep!

We did the customary pictures at the start.  There was no reception for me so to post on Facebook, or tweet anything wasn’t worth the effort and waste of battery.  We just took the pics, and tried to send out a few texts … most didn’t go through at all.  It took us about 25 minutes to get to the start line.

I ran the first 2 miles with Cory and Claudia.  At mile 3, I turned around and they were no longer beside me.  I knew that the big hill was at mile 6 then again at mile 9 … I was prepared.  Running in a sea of walkers was no bueno.  Walkers, TNT walkers, 5 deep … WTHeck?  Where is race etiquette here, people?!  I found myself weaving in and out of walkers countless times.  I was not a happy runner.

You know how sometimes you just know that things are not going to go according to plan?  This was one of those times for me.  I’ve only had one really good running experience in San Francisco and that was my first Nike.  I just don’t know if San Francisco likes me at all.  I love SF.  I spent my summers there with my grandma, and I wanted to live there as a kid!  My memories of the SF Half from July hit me like a 1/2 ton of bricks.  It was as if I had PTSD!  Whoa, the flashbacks!  I never saw any of my running friends.  I ran alone … But I talked to myself and reminded myself that it would be okay and to just keep going …

Did I have a good run?  Of course, I did.  I love Nike.  I love that I am able to honor my father by raising money for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society!  I should know better than to do well in SF.  I should lower my expectations and just be happy running. I was very disappointed that I did not see one friend (besides Cory who I drove up with, or Claudia who stayed in the same hotel as we did).  I didn’t see Shiloh, or Linda, no Mac, no Mel.  I didn’t see Felisa, or Norah, or Brooke.  I didn’t see Erika Rae.  My friend Jessica, nope.   I saw no one … Not even at the finish area.  Ugh.  It was really sad …  I was really sad.

This is kind of silly, but I only have one of my Tiffany Necklaces out and that’s my first one.  The others are still in the box.  Someone asked me why I don’t sell them on Ebay.  Well … think about it … they’re my medals.  I wouldn’t think about selling my other medals on Ebay, why would I sell my necklaces?  I worked HARD for these medals.

Fffrreezzzzing!!! But my feet felt sooo much better!

Post marathon, Cory and I did quite a bit of walking back to the car.  We know that we walked just about 2 miles to get back to the car.  It was a little difficult because … Because … I broke rule number 1 … “Don’t try anything new on race day.”  Technically, I didn’t break the rule.  I got new shoes and had worn them on short runs, but the long runs I didn’t try them on.  They felt okay with the short runs so I took a chance.  I felt some pain at mile 6 but gutted it out and finished the race.  Post run, my right foot really, really hurt.  Walking was slightly difficult.  When I got home, I set up my foot spa as an ice bath.  Oh. My. God.  That hurt!  I could only put my feet in for 30 seconds at a time and that was it!  Total mileage for the day 17 miles!  Ugh!

Monday:  I’m exhausted!  I mean EXHAUSTED!  Beat down tired and I just want to sleep.  Unfortunately, I promise my mother that I will help her with some things around the house that she needs done.  So I spend my morning with my mother.  As much as I love her, her negativity grates on me.  Everything is a “problem.” Oi Vey!  Really, Mom?  Negativity drains me.  It saps my energy.  I missed my morning workout, but it’s okay.  I contemplate making it a rest day for a minute, but I found myself ready to go in the afternoon so I took myself to AMAA and worked out with a bunch of my favorite people!

Kickboxing with my favorite people is awesome!  I love AMAA!  45 minutes of intense cardio combined with resistance training!  Yep.  Combo punches, kicks combined with squats, ground kicks.  Ab work … Ugh.  Yeah.  Love it and I felt much better after having finished.

I finally brought my St. Joseph’s/Stockton Half Marathon registration in to Fleet Feet for Tony to register me.  I lagged getting my registration in.  Oops!  Ah well, I got it in and I’m “In.”  While at Fleet Feet, I picked up some really crazy cool running shorts that match the jacket that Chris got me at Nike Town!  I’m excited to run which is weird because I wasn’t this excited to run Nike which is pretty sad.  To be more excited to run Stockton instead of Nike … I know, I’m pathetic!  But I am excited to run in my home town …

Tuesday:  You found me in the box today.  Chris and I hit the box at 0900.  Too crazy!  I will admit that I was a whiner today. Not really whining, more like sarcastic under my breath talking to myself, etc.  I don’t whine really. It’s a defense mechanism for me to become sarcastic. Really. I did go workout today so that’s winning for me.

The Warm-Up:
3 sets of each –
5 Deadlifts
5 Power Snatches
5 OH Squats
5 Rack Snatches

Finding 70% of Max 3 sets of 2 reps of OH Squats
*Since I have this injured left shoulder, I was to do the same but of Front Squats.

The Workout:
3 sets of each
Row 500m
15 Pull-Ups
15 Ring Dips
(Time 14:30)

Wednesday:  I have to tell you that I made today a rest day.  Gasp!  I know!  My body is still not 100% – I still feel sooooo blah, and my poor left shoulder still cries.  I have this “issue” with my left shoulder. I injured it one day during an intense workout (probably the one where I skinned the cat), and ended up straining my sub-scapular muscle and even impinging it! That was 2 weeks ago. It still hurts.  I’m sure it’s because of the fact that I’m not a good “rester.”  I push my little body pretty far, and I test it’s limits more than I should.  So today … today I rested and my body sighed a huge sigh … only to remember that I have to work tonight!

Thursday:  My intent was to hit the box at 0800 – immediately after working my 12 hour shift.  Instead what happened was some things happened at work and I was not able to leave on time, so it was decided that I would hit the 1500 time slot.  I asked Chris to wake me up at 1400.  Wow!  I slept well, but not enough.  But I got up and I went.

Since my shoulder is still pretty jacked, and I was given orders to rest it, I reminded my trainer and he promised to “modify” my workout.  He told me that today’s workout would be absolute torture for my shoulder so I was to do a workout completely different from what everyone else was doing.  I was thinking that I’d get off scott free … Oh, no!  My trainer don’t play!  “Modified” workout my a$$!

The Warm Up:
Run 400m then 2 sets of –
20 High Knees
20 Kick Butts
20 Jacks
Then run 400m. Stretch.

My “Modified” Workout:
3 Sets of –
50 Jump Lunges
50 Ab Mat Sit Ups
Run 400m

Then …
3 Sets of –
15 Back Extentions
25 Box Jumps

My Cool-Down:
Row 1500m

I watched others do handstand crawl-outs, and rope climbs, and “L” sits.  My workout was definitely the harder of the two!  Wow!  I got my a$$ beat literally!  I know that my legs are gonna be thrashed tomorrow!

Friday:  My glutes and hammies hurt!  I have DOMS really BAD!!! They ache.  Seriously … I hurt.  BAD.  I got dressed this morning after work and headed off to the box, however, I was late so I went home thinking that I would go with Chris to the 0900 class.  I fell asleep – with all of my clothes and even my shoes on as I waited.  Oh boy.  I did nothing today.  Not a dang thing.  And I feel guilty.  I feel really bad that I did nothing.  I feel as if I am lagging.  I’m lame – figuratively and literally.  It hurts to walk.  It hurts to move fast.  I tweaked my shoulder a little more today because I couldn’t wait for someone to put the 5 gallon water bottle up on the dispenser.  I did it myself and just about tore my shoulder out of it’s socket!  Ugh.  I folded my laundry standing up because I felt bad.  Yeah … I’m straight trippin’.  I am also running on empty.  You know when you’re driving your car and you know that you’re just about out of gas?  You know when you look at your gauge, and check the range and it tells you just how much you have left to go before you run out of gas?  Well, I am running on fumes and saying prayers that I make it to the next station … You know you’ve done it.  You look at that gas gauge and tell your self, or like in my case, you lie to yourself telling yourself that you’ll make it to that next gas station.  Then you tell God that if he allows you to make it, that you’ll never do anything stupid like that again.  Yep.  That’s me in life also … always skating by on a wing and a prayer.  I’ve always made it, God hasn’t let me down yet.  Yet I know that if I continue down the path that I’m headed, that my luck will eventually run out and I’ll be stuck, out of gas and praying won’t help.

Look who found me at FF ... Erika Rae & Thor!!!
See ... I clean up well ... =)

Saturday:  Uh … yeah … nothing.  Not a dang piece of training to post.  Zero!  All I did today was stretch my VERY tight glutes and hammies out, and ice my shoulder as well as try to stretch that out also.  I am having very serious doubts about running tomorrow’s half.  I am tired as all get out, there’s no time to rest because I’ve got stuff to do today, and then a birthday party to attend tonight.  Oi vey!  All I want to do is sleep!

Packet pick up for the St. Joesph’s Stockton Half was at our local Fleet Feet.  Grace and I were browsing around the store and I heard someone call out my name … I turn and see Erika Rae in line.  I haven’t seen her since June because I’m such a lame friend! She looked fab!  We hit the tiny expo and then headed out.  Grace and I did a few more things that we needed to get done before heading home, then it was time to get ready for zeeee party!

The birthday party was a 50th birthday celebration for my friends, Fern and Felisa!  Chris and I had such a great time mingling, then dancing.  The food was good, the company was great, and the party was rockin’.  We had a really nice time.  It’s just so out of our element to be partying.  But we had a good time.

Right when I got home, I got my race gear ready and went to sleep as I was sooooo tired.  It’s so irritating to run on lack of sleep … this was to be one of those runs.  I was hoping that between my DOMS and my lack of sleep that I would do okay … let’s hope.  (To be continued …)

That’s week 16, people!  I know that I need to get more rest.  I know that I need to take my rest days seriously and actually do nothing.  I push and push and push my body and myself, asking and demanding more and More and MORE …

I wish I could say that I was having a good time with running.  I’m just not.  I’m still having a hard time and I’m only running bare minimum.  I need motivation.  I need some really good motivation.  I feel as if I’m running on empty literally.  Most days I’m exhausted and I feel as if I’m not 100%.  The injury to my shoulder really has nothing to do with running – meaning that it hasn’t hindered it at all, but it still makes me realize how much I really thrive on being 100% and when I’m not … when I’m struggling … I realize how much I really use (and ABUSE) my body.  I don’t ever take my body for granted.  I am thankful for everything that I have been blessed with and I am grateful that I am able to move, run, throw, jump … everything.  You just don’t realize until you’re injured just how much you rely on your body.  I’ve been icing, getting massages, using heat, muscle rub, H-Wave, to help get it back to 100%.  I am not one of those people who will sit by idly and hope that it will just heal itself.  I have not taken any pain meds, not even a mere tylenol.  It’s not that painful, it’s just irritating.  And I’m more pissed than anything that I’m injured!  Really?  It’s a sub-scapular strain with an impinged muscle!  Wow!  And only on the left shoulder.

I have 6 weeks left, I’m guessing.  I’m hoping that all goes well and that my mojo will find it’s way back to me STAT!!!  Anyone wanna help a sister who’s floundering with motivation out?  I’m sure I just need a very swift kick in the a$$!!!

Until then … I’m not going to “hope” that week 17 looks brighter.  I am going to make sure that week 17 rocks me to my core!  I know that if it is to be, it is up to ME, not anyone else.  I’m going to take whatever fumes I have and make sure that I harness it and use it to it’s fullest advantage.  I will make it a great week … make yours the same.  Train HARD!  Train SMART!  Have FUN!  Go! Go! Go!

Marathon Training – Week 15 – Setting Myself On FIRE!!!

I will be my own catalyst & set my own self on FIRE!!!

The countdown to CIM continues and you know what?  I’m still not worried.  This could be bad because I’m not sure it’s because I’m not worried or if I really don’t give a flying effff … err … flip!  I’m sure it’s because I really don’t give a crap about this stupid marathon.  It’s the wrong attitude, I know.  I know … I’m registered to run it.  I am already confirmed “IN.” So … in the interest of NOT DNF’ing … I will run it.  And in the interest of getting through it, I will change my piss poor attitude and become my own catalyst.  What am I talking about?  I means that I will be my own flame and fuel, and I will be driven by my own determination and persistence.  If you know me, then you know how tenacious I am and can be.  I will set my own self on FIRE!!!

Why?  Why am I so unmotivated and not excited to run this marathon?  This will be marathon number 4 for me.  I know what it takes to run the distance and I respect everything about it.  26.2 miles of running.  What the eff?  I know that I let myself be influenced by my friends, and I, in turn, asked others to run with me … It is because of this fact that I will run.  The fact that I feel “obligated” to run with my friends that I asked to run with me.  That and I’m not into seeing DNF or DNS by my name.  That is NOT me.  No, that is NOT me.  It’s okay.  I know that I will run with heart and that I WILL finish.  I know because that IS the me that I know.  I have lots of fuel.  LOTS of fuel!  That being said … Let’s go!  BRING IT!

MiniRow .. BEFORE
MiniRow ... AFTER

Sunday:  Muddy Buddy San Jose!  Yeah!  I love this event.  7 miles of smiles – biking and running!  Yeah!  So much fun!  This is year 6 for me doing this event!  It’s year 4 of me and Rosa as partners, but it’s our first year with a team name that will stick throughout the years!  Team Nucking Futs!  Yep, don’t mix the letters up.

Once we got to San Jose, Claudia and I met Felisa at REI to pick up our packets and our shirts, and what other little things we needed – Gu, etc.  Felisa and her family was kind enough to take us to dinner at Bupa di Beppo where we carb loaded on yummy garlic bread and all kinds of yummy miscellaneous pasta dishes!

I was fortunate enough to be invited to stay with my friend, Felisa, who was partners with Claudia.  Felisa ended up staying with her husband who had gotten his own room, so Claudia and I had a room all to ourselves!  It was a great room at the San Jose Convention Center Plaza!  Claudia picked that room purely on the fact that they had “cool chandeliers,” so she says.  Lights out was at 2030!  Yep.  She laughed at me because I slept with the bathroom light on.  I’m a day sleeper okay?  I sleep in the light!  Hello?

Fueling Up ...

We started our day at 0530!  We hit up Starbucks where we got these great Artesian breakfast sandwiches that Claudia introduced me too, and our coffeeeee! Yum!  The drive up to Mount Hamilton was beautiful, albeit on a VERY narrow, two lane road.  I was still sad that my hubby wasn’t going to be there, but when I looked on my Squawk I had seen that he was on his way!?!  What?  Really?  That totally made my day!  My hubby has only missed a few races (no more than 3) of mine in all these years.  I like having him there supporting me, so to see that he was coming to be with me was a HUGE BONUS!!!

It was a really nice day in San Jose!  The weather was perfect.  Claudia and I had a few issues with putting the tires back on our bikes.  We had a little panic attack as Claudia couldn’t figure out how to get her disc brakes open.  They were shut tight.  We asked maybe 6 different men, 2 straight up admitted that they didn’t know, while the other 4 tried to help us, but they really had no clue.  They tried though.  They were able to help me with mine which was a big help.  I knew how to do it, but I had to make sure … Who knew that there was a certain way that the tread went?  Felisa found us quickly and noticed Claudia’s panicked face.  We explained the situation to Joe who quickly assessed Claud’s bike and fixed the problem in less than 30 seconds!  Wow!!!  Claud’s mood quickly changed and we were all happy girls once again.

Team Nucking Futs ... BEFORE
Team Nucking Futs ... AFTER

The event booths were just a short walk from our parking spot.  My buddy, Rosa, and her beautiful daughter, Ari, found us quickly and we got our bikes and selves “decorated.”  We got our numbers on, Felisa and Joe got brooms for our bike, and we had these really cool dri-fit shirts that I had our team name put on.  I finally found Chris and Grace prior to the start.  It was great to see them.  They were with Michael and Fern and their family.

I love this pic of Felisa ... It's one of absolute joy!
With Claudia & Felisa - Team Sassy!

The course had been the same every year.  We start the bikers start first then the runners.  I’m not sure whose idea it was to let our group (76-85) go last, but there we were … Wave 11 … the very LAST wave to go.  We start going uphill … No, really … UP a HUGE freakin’ MOUNTAIN!  1.2 miles.  It was almost impossible to navigate my bike because so many women stopped and got in my way!  Really?  Move the eff over!!!  It took some time to navigate through the sea of women walking their bikes up the mountain!  Finally at the halfway point, I was able to get back on my bike and ride!  Obstacle one was done, and I took off running, while Rosie took off on the bike!

My Buddy Becky & Pamela - Team Muddy Mothers (I think it shouldda be Muthas, but that's just me!)

It went on like this, leap-frogging and doing an obstacle course, for the next 4 more times.  I love the bike ride for my second biking leg as it’s ALL downhill and it’s an exhillarating ride down, all the time screaming for the runners to move to their right!  LOL!  I skipped the slide obstacle … for one, the line was long, and secondly, I have NEVER liked the slide … EVER!  My workout buddy, Becky, found me on my second run, and she thunked me on my shoulder.  I wanted her to run with me … and she did for a little while as I yelled, “Becky, where you at?” the entire time.  I encouraged every biker and runner that I passed or passed me.  It was a good time!

I got to the finish line at sub 60.  My goal was 49 minutes this year, but I was slightly off.  It’s okay.  It was FUN!  Rosie was slightly peeved that we didn’t make better time, but I told her that we really didn’t train at all!

My Grace LOVES the Twins!
Love My Friends! =)

Post race fun was had at Hot Pot in Milpitas.  We had a good time!  We met up with Felisa, Fern, Michael, Joe and their families and just had an all out great time trying to figure out how to cook our food.  I am very thankful for Felisa and Fern picking up the tab for my family and I.

Muddy Buddy 2011 in the bag.  Great fun.  Great atmosphere.  And a GREAT support crew this year!  I loved it!

Monday:  I’m not sure what I did to my left shoulder … Well … I know what I did – I injured it some how during the dumbbell thrusters last Thursday, and tweaked it a little while on the bike yesterday at Muddy Buddy.  My range of motion to my left arm and shoulder is pretty shot … I can only lift it 45 degrees laterally.  After that it’s painful.  I’ve had my husband massage it. I’ve rubbed analgesic/medicated ointment on it.  I’ve tried to keep moving it and rehabbing it myself.  By the end of the night I was able to move it more, to maybe 75 degrees, but it was still painful.  So … I made Monday a rest day.  I did go and get a flu shot and called for a deep tissue massage appointment.  I’m not worried about my arm.  I know that it’s more muscle than anything else.

Tuesday:  My left arm is better but it’s still painful to move it up and down laterally.  My plan for today is to do cardio, no weights, and to hit the Chiropractor.  Chris did massage it early in the morning which helped, but it was only 75%.  I whined about missing my workout but there was NO way I would be able to lift any weight.

I went to lunch with my girlfriend, Linda, then waited for my kiddos to get home from school so we could hit the Chiro.

Dr. Crawford adjusted me from head to toe and got my left shoulder to about 80%.  It still hurts, but I can move it more freely laterally.

As far as cardio goes … I hit the spin bike for a good hour and twenty minutes as I watched Biggest Loser.  I love Biggest Loser.

Wednesday:  I only went to go workout because my husband was tired of me “whining” about how I wasn’t working out.  So … he sent me out the door and into the doors of the box where I was greeted with a hearty, “Row.!  Where the hell have you been, girl?”  Alrighty then … Time to get started.

The Warm Up:
Run 800m
10 Catterpillars
10 Leg Swings Each Side
10 Squats

Cleans to Over head Squats
We practiced the move until we got it down, then added weight and then did the move until perfected.

The Workout:
Ground To Over head with the dumbbells.

It was an awesome workout and I really would have liked it better had my left shoulder not hurt so dang much. My trainer showed me some great stretches for it though and it really helped.

Thursday:  It’s my birthday!  Good excuse to skip out, right?  Uh huh!  No way!  I know that this may be my last workout for the week so I had to go.  But first … Gotta take care of business.  DEEP.  TISSUE.  MASSAGE!!!  Oh yeah!  I love my maseusse!  She is awesome!  She applies DEEP pressure how I like it!  I mean DEEP.  She hit my left shoulder with a vengence and attempted to work out that nasty kink that I have in my scapula.  I can feel it!  It’s there!  It felt much better after Marie worked on it, but my range of motion is still limited.

My Trainer with my "Special Workout"

My workout … Oh yeah.  It was awesome!  AWESOME!  I drug Noah with me and off we went.  Chris thought he could get away with “hiding” in car … no way!  Our trainer spotted him and called him out! Our workout (mine and Noah’s) went something like this:

The Warm Up:
Run 200m
10 Roll Up/Roll Jump Up/Roll Up Piston Jump
10 Toe Touch Jumping Jacks

The Work Out:
2 Minute Drills
– Max Double Unders (48 I could’ve done more but this hurt my shoulder to spin the rope)
– Max HSPU/Hold (1:05)
– Max Ab Mat Sit Ups (78)
– Max Push Ups (42 – I could’ve done more, but my shoulder)

The “Special” Workout – “The 43s”
43 Wall Ball Squats
43 KB Swings
43 Burpees
43 Broad Jumps
43 Cal Row …

OMG!!! I worked out with a bunch of kids today, My Noah included. They all whined, and all I could say was that I was an old lady, old enough to be their mother … so Suck it Up and do the work!!! We all laughed. It was a great day! =) Happy Birthday to Meeeee!!!

Friday:  I got no real data for you.  All I did today was rest and stretch.  I’ve been blah since getting my flu shot and I just feel as if I got my butt kicked.  Whoa!  It’s something else, but I probably need to rest and just get my mental game in order.

Saturday:  I am not 100%.  I am uber distracted with all this NWM buisness and everything that needs to be done in order to leave for SF today.  Our Party Bus broke down yesterday.  As Chris frantically worked to get it in working order, I can tell you that things went from bad … to badder … then better … then worse!  It took a massive dump.  I felt really bad for Chris because he had worked so hard to try and get it in working order, but it was not to be.  I called Cory to let her know that we were running late and why.  As we scrambled to come up with a Plan B – searching for rental cars, etc., Plan B kind of fell into our lap with Cory calling us to say she would drive.  Thank you, Jesus!  Within an hour, we were on our way to SF with Cory at the wheel!  Wheeeeee!

I Run For My Dad ...
Me and Cory ...

We were fortunate to find a safe parking garage quickly that was close to our hotel, and we hit the NWM Expotique (“expotique” because it’s sooooooo freakin’ small and soooooo freakin’ crowded).  We had a *tiny* SNAFU attempting to pick up one of the bibs, but we were able to quickly rectify it and get Linda’s bib from Kris!  Thank God!  Cory and I were feeling sooooo claustrophobic that we got our bibs, didn’t stay for anything in the expo, took a few pics, and hightailed it over to NikeTown!  We experienced more claustrophobia while in NikeTown and while at the Wall of Names.  We just got what we wanted and left … It was turning out to be a little bit crazy.  We trekked it back to the garage, got our stuff, and headed to check into the hotel.

So … all in all … maybe a mile and a half of walking total.  LOL!  That’s the mileage that I have for you for today.

Cory, Me, Shiloh, & Linda
Birthday Cakes ... Bite Me!

We met Linda and Shiloh for dinner at Ti Piacera on Polk Street to carb load.  While there we called Judy to see if she was coming because she said that she was, but it turned out that although she picked up her packet, she said that she would meet us in the morning.  We kinda knew what would happen next, but that’s not my story to tell.  We had a great dinner, then I was surprised with a HUGE box of cupcakes from Shiloh for my birthday!  Fun times!

We had a good day … But I was physically and mentally exhausted.  I was not running on all cylinders and felt way less than 90%.  I was able to fall asleep pretty quick … but you know how that goes pre race … (To be continued …)

So … that’s my Week 15 recap.  Decent and fun, but my midweek could have been sooooo much better had I just sucked it up and done the work.  Instead, I felt very out of sorts.  Seriously, for my husband to “have to” shooo me out the door to go workout is pretty pathetic.  I’m not sure if it was the flu shot that I received, or if I was just “blah.”  Probably a combination of the flu shot, lack of sleep, and over-training.  I know that’s what it is.  Eh … excuses, excuses.  I have so many.  I could blame this, or say it was that … but seriously, it is what is is and that’s all.

NWM is an awesome race that raises funds and awareness for blood cancers.  I am fortunate enough to be running it again this year.  I am thankful that with the help of my friends, I was able to raise $1,000 on my own for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society!  I am so happy and proud of my friends.  They are so awesome in supporting me as I run in honor of my father!  I miss my Dad and I know that he will be with me as I run NWM.  Again … Thank you to all of my supporters!!!

So … as Week 16 lurks around the corner … I remind you that I have a lot of fuel, and that I also know the number to my local fire department … 9-1-1!!!  I am thankful to have survived another year, to have had a birthday so I could eat cake and ice cream and then cupcakes!  I am thankful to have had the opportunity to run NWM again.  And I’m thankful for my family and friends … especially my husband who works so hard to keep me crazy happy!  He is my rock, solid and strong!  Thanks, HPP, you’re my favorite.

If you see me out there “lagging,” I give you permission to find some fuel and throw a match on me to help me keep myself on FIRE.  I also give you permission to help me put some of the fire out if my hair happens to be on fire.  Okay … Go … Go get your training on.  Train hard.  Train smart.  Have fun!  See you next week!

Marathon Training – Week 10 – Changes Abound …

It’s week 10, halfway there I’m guessing.  I have yet to find the marathon training schedule that I chucked during week 5.  Oi.  Hee hee hee.  I’m slowly finding my mojo and my footing, and am once again getting excited about training.  Life is good, and I know it’s because I seriously changed up my workouts!

Tori, my Twitter BFF, and I at the Disney Expo.
Ali and I

Sunday:  This was seriously the FUNNEST run that I have had in a long time.  Besides the Giants Half last weekend, this Disneyland Half Marathon was a BLAST!  Wow!  My friend Judy, once again had a bib that she was not going to use, so I quickly asked my Twitter BFF, Victoria @easelytorie, if she wanted to run with me.  I got a resounding, “Yes, of course!”  But she was worried about finances, etc.  I explained to her that I was given the bib and that if she wanted it, it was hers.  Last year, she was in a similar predicament where she had to give her bib away, so she was very grateful for the opportunity to run this year.  She had been injured, so she was worried that she would slow me down.  I told her not to worry, that we would just run together and have fun.  We met for the first time in real life at the Disney Health and Fitness Expo.  It was as if we had known each other for a long time!  We also met Ali @alitherunner there, as well as our friends Kristy @kristylpants, and Lauren @liloruns!  Good times.

Row. and Torie ready to goooo!

The run on Sunday was on a day with ideal conditions.  We met early in the morning at my hotel and walked the short walk to the start.  One complaint that I had was that once you got in your corrals, there were no porta potties to be seen!  So although I had to go, I couldn’t unless I walked back out to where they were herding runners.  It was okay, just irritating that waiting in line would add to my time.  Oh well, just subtract 10 minutes from my time.  We hit the first set of porta potties just after mile one – perfect.  Hardly any lines … except people were peeing so s l o w l y … What the heck, people?  Drop and go!  Drop and go! How hard is that?  Heehee!

The run was pretty uneventful, meaning, no running issues for me.  We took water at every water station, and we ran side by side for the entire race.  It was amazing.  I thought that I was slowing her down, and she thought she was slowing me down.  It was perfect pace though.  I had a little twinge in my right foot, but it was tolerable and in the end did not cause me any undue issues.  The weather was awesome – slightly overcast, 60s.  Crowd support was awesome!  The volunteers were great – always smiling and encouraging.  Cheerleaders, Boy Scouts, everywhere … they were so happy, and all I could do was thank everyone for being there for us!  Running thru Angels Stadium was a nice experience.  I high fived all the kiddos, and we saw our friend Kristy as we went in.  Wow!  I loved it.  It was an awesome run with someone who I interacted with only via web and text … She was a great partner!  =)

Disney Blingage!!!
Soooo Much FUN!!!

Post race we were greeted with “cooling” towels, water and, the most important, BLING!!!  We did the post race picture thing, then headed back to my hotel.  This race was very well organized, from parking, the expo, the volunteers, to the corral herding, to the post race festivities.  Everyone knew what they were supposed to do.  I had my reservations in the beginning, but I seriously had a BLAST and can’t wait to run it again next year!!!

Poor feetsies just couldn't catch a break!

I thought I’d catch a little break after the run, however, I had my kiddos with me and they deserved a little fun, too, right?  So while they headed off to breakfast, I hit the showers and got ready.  As it was a little pricey to hit Disneyland for a family of six for just one day, we decided that Knotts Berry Farm was the place to be … and we were right!  The kiddos had sooooo much fun there!  We had heard from the locals earlier that Knotts was definitely much better than Disney.  The Wallen Kiddos are not much into crowds or rides, so this place was perfect!  10 hours and maybef 6-8 miles of walking later, I’m sure that you’d think that my legs would be screaming.  In all honestly, they were not.  I felt great, the only time I ached was when I quit walking for a minute … then my right foot would have a tiny bit of trouble getting started again.  Nothing a quick ice bath couldn’t help with after we got back to the hotel.

Monday:  Monday, Monday … What can I say?  We did a little bit of walking when we hit up Citadel on the way home, but other than that, it was more of a rest day as we headed home.  My kiddos were tired but happy … Life is good … =)

Tuesday:  Back to the grind.  Back to training in full force.  No time for slacking. 1 mile warm up. 3x: 30 kettlebell swings w/ 26lb kettlebell, 30 box jumps, 400m run. Tabata rows x 4 min. Tabata barbell push press alt with burpees x 8 min. Then 3x: 12 push ups, and 12 clean and presses!  Holy cow!!!  I seriously thought I was gonna die, but didn’t.

Wednesday:  Today’s workout left me gasping for breath.  Literally.  1 mile w/u run. 3 x 10 straight legged dead lifts with 75#s, then 30 box jumps. Then 1200 m run, 50 kettlebell swings with 26# kb, 800 m run, 50 kb squats, 400 m run, 200 m run with the kb! Oh. My. God!  All I could do was just lay there for a second to recover.

Thursday:  I made every effort to get to the gym after work.  I brought my clothes, changed into them, but as I was driving I began nodding off.  I decided that it was probably not the best idea so I proceeded to head home and immediately crashed as soon as I hit the bed.  Now, if you think I took a rest day, think again.  I got up early before work, and set a goal to run at least 2 miles.  I ran 3 and felt like a million bucks.  Okay.  Okay … I felt like $1.50, but still … I got the work done.

Friday:  Today I was going to do it.  I once again got dressed, and headed on over to the gym.  I made it this time.  However … I started questioning myself immediately after I got there.  That was quickly nixed in the bud when my trainer said, “You’re here after working all night?  And you’re smiling?  You’re badass.”  Then I saw the workout of the day … Whoa.  Yeah, I was wishin’ that I just went to bed … Warmed up with 1 mile run … Then … For time:
25 Walking lunge steps
20 Pull-ups
50 Box jumps, 20 inch box
30 Wall ball shots, 10 pound ball
30 Kettlebell swings, 26 pound kb
50 Sit-ups
20 Hang squat cleans, 15 pound dumbbells
30 Push Presses, 15 pound dumbbells
30 Push-ups
1/2 mile run

I did this workout after working a full 12 hour night shift. I came in with a smile on my face, and left with an even bigger smile on my goofy face. I gave it 100%. I thought the weights of the DB and KB were a little too heavy, but my trainer said that, “Hey, you are a little bit strong. You are a stud!” So how could you not push harder. I left it all on the floor and am so proud of myself. Love my trainer!

Saturday:  Okay … I really debated getting out of bed for this one.  I should’ve just stayed in bed and slept.  Nooooo … I got my butt outta bed and I went.  Maybe not the bestest idea that I ever had, but too late now.

Warm up: 50 high knees, 50 butt kickers, 50 squats, 10 pull ups, 20 burpees, run 800 m.

150 wallball squats with 14# ball.
30 burpees, 30 DB thrusts. X 3
30 DB deadlifts, 30 jump lunges x3
Run 800 m

This workout put me in check.  See, I have always believed that I was a good athlete and that I’m in fairly good shape.  This workout challenged me and I wondered if I could *really* do it.  Today I’m sooooo sore that I’m starting to doubt my ability.  It probably was not the best idea either as tomorrow I’m running the Buffalo Stampede 10 mile run.  Oh boy.

So … that’s my week in a nutshell.  It’s pretty crazy what I’m doing, changing up my workouts and all, but it’s all good.  I can feel the changes and I’m having fun working out and getting put into place.  It may look like I’m not doing much running, but believe me … it’s there interspersed in all of my workouts.  I’m running on dead legs let me tell you, but it’s good to know that they still move after all that I have put them thru.  My quads, glutes, and hammies are SCREAMING at me!  Screaming, I tell you!  Whoa!  But it’s a good hurt.  It’s a good kind of pain.

Oh … here’s something to ponder … The new “thing” at work is to talk health/fitness/exercise to our patients as part of their vital signs. No problem for me because I practice what I preach. The only issue I have is when patients scoff me, telling me that I’m skinny, etc. They never believe how hard I have to work to stay in the shape that I’m in, and they don’t get the difference between being “skinny” and being “fit.”  A lot of people don’t get that.  Also, ALL of my patients one night – EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM – was a woman between the ages of 45 – 65 who was as round as they were tall. Some didn’t fit on the gurneys properly. All had a BMI of 40 – 60+. What has happened to our society?!? I just don’t even know … I just do the best that I can to help & encourage, but it makes me sad, and, honestly, it creeps me out …  And honestly, I’m not sure why I have to waste my breath for someone who’s not going to do more than lift a fork to their mouths?!  But I’ll do it with the hopes that I may inspire even just one person to get out and get movin’ …

Week 11 comin’ up.  It’s gonna be a good week … I can feel it!  Have a great one, everybody … Train hard, train smart, and you know … have FUN while you’re at it!  =)

Marathon Training – Week 9 – Breakin’ Me Down To Build Me Back Up

It’s no secret that last week’s training for me was somewhat of a joke.  However, I need to remember that even rest days are training days … I just took more than one day.  I took 5 days.  FIVE very much needed days to rest and regenerate.  I’ve still got 12 weeks to go in this marathon training cycle … 12!

It’s just about September (where has the time gone???) and I have 2 Half Marathons scheduled this month!  First one comin’ up this Sunday … The Disneyland Half Marathon in sunny Southern California!!!  I have to tell you that I have a few reservations about this race, just because it was booked on a whim and not really well thought out on my part.  But I’m going to have fun and have a great time with my family!

Sunday:  Planned to get up early and run with the Fleet Feet Group, however, decided it was more important to rest my aching foot and figure out my shoe/insert issues.  Besides … I really wanted to sleep in, okay?  Don’t judge!

Balance and coordination. Serene peace. I love S.U.P.

Over the last few weeks, I have been researching S.U.P. or Stand-Up Paddleboarding.  As an island girl from the beautiful islands of Hawaii, I was an avid beach goer.  Wasn’t really a surfer, more like using it as a flotation device, but I got on and never really got that great at it when it came to riding swells.  When I heard about S.U.P., I knew that it was for me.  My co-worker, Elaine, and I happened to be talking about working out one night at work, and she mentioned that she was going to try it.  What?  Serendipity, right?  We decided that we would go together, and it was by chance that the instructor could include us in her class today!! Really?  That’s awesome!  So off we went to Lodi Lake, where we met the instructor, Tasha, and another student, Melody.  I was hesitant at first, because I’m such a hydrophobe, and this was soooo out of my element, but not to worry … After a mini panic attack when Elaine said that if I fell off that I would not touch the bottom … I caught on quickly and found peace within the water!


Two and a half hours later, I was somewhat proficient at maneuvering the board around Lodi Lake and the Mokolumne River, and found myself inquiring about purchasing my own board, or renting it out for a weekend.  It was a beautiful day, and I got such a GREAT workout in (probably a good 3-4 miles of paddling) … I could feel it in my core and my upper body, but especially in my obliques!  I seriously loved this workout, and I am so glad that I overcame my fear, stepped out of my little box, and went.  It was easier than I thought, and I’m looking forward to more workouts with S.U.P.!

Monday:  OMG!  I rocked my workout this morning!  I love my trainer … he didn’t let me slack at all.  Warm up with jump rope x 5 mins and rowing x 5 mins.  6 x 5 reps with increasing weight loaded front squats, then 20 minutes of Row 250 meters, 20 Kettle Bell Swing Squats, and 10 pull ups – I was able to do 5 rounds of this madness.  Then run … Only once did I want to throw up.  I had such a great workout!  So much fun!

Tuesday:  Today was a killer workout day.  Killer, but a great one none the less.  I’m loving what I’m doing, and I have to say that I “feel” all my workouts.  Today’s workout was a mile warm up.  Turkish Get Ups – 25 on each side with a 9lb kettle bell.  Next up was 5 rounds of 25 GHD sit-ups or 35 regular sit-ups, 20 R side push presses with a 12 lb dumbbell, 15 burpees, then 20 L side push presses again with a 12 lb dumbbell.  Holy Mother of God!!!  By round 4 I was dying, but I pushed through and finished all 5 rounds, then finished up with a one mile run!  Wow!  Let me just say that finishing up that workout left me feeling quite proud of myself!  =)  I love how I was doing push presses and my trainer says, “Row., when you jump, I don’t want you jumping off the ground.”  So I countered, “Why are you trying to keep me grounded?!” And he tells me, “Don’t you worry, you’re gonna fly soon enough!” He’s awesome!  Breakin’ me down to build me up.  Yep.

Wednesday:  I’m feelin’ every bit of my muscles today.  All of ’em.  I’ve got D.O.M.S. at its finest and I love it.  I love that feeling that I’ve “really” worked out.  I almost didn’t go.  I could’ve used the excuse that my body ACHED! I made my way back to AMAA, my second home, and I love my trainers and my peeps there!  They are a great bunch of people.  I’ve made some really good friendships there, and I can’t complain.  Today’s workout was running while Ed added resistance and pulled me with a resistance band that was around me and I used a med ball to first push out, then we switched, Ed ran while I pulled the resistance band behind him and he used the med ball, we ran and switched for awhile all the while with a med ball to work arms and core.  We then slipped on resistance cuffs and proceeded to workout with them – punch with dumbbells, squat knee lift x 2 for 3 min, punch, squat knee lift x 4 for 3 min, punch, squat knee lift x 6 for 3 min, all the way to 8.  Then drop down for pulse ups – HOLY CRAP!!!  I thought they would never end 1:30 on each side!!! Then it was round house kicks with the resistance band 100 on each side.  Yeah … my glutes were SCREAMING!!! We finished off with more combos of kicks and punches that made me happy, also more core … =)  I tell you … I never leave AMAA without a smile on my face.  Everything that I have, I leave it on the floor.  I never slack and I’m ALWAYS in the front row, hence the nickname “Front Row.” I’m thankful for my friends, Karyn, Z, Camille, and Ed who were my motivators today.  They rock!  They always say that it’s me that motivates them, but they help me just as much if not more.  I was very thankful for the movement today as I was seriously TIGHT, especially my right bicep for some odd reason.

Thursday:  Thursday was almost a rest day.  It could kind of be considered a rest day.  I wanted to go workout in the morning, I had every intention.  I didn’t go though.  I slept instead.  In the evening, I hit the spin bike – 11 miles is 35 minutes.  Seated climb, and speed drills … quick, but effective.  Then I hit my core exercises.  Easy schmeasy.  It was a great day.  Went to lunch with my friend, Linda V., who brought out some thought provoking conversation.  I love her.  =)  Since my right forearm was pretty shot, I put the H-wave on it as I fell asleep … It worked like magic.  I woke up with NO pain!  SCORE!!!

Friday:  Holy mother!  My workout today rocked.  It taxed me somewhat, but didn’t take me to my beloved puke point.  Let’s start with my 5 min jump rope, then 1 mile run warm-up.  Then … dead lifts.  Easy, it’s all good, until he changes it up just a little … He tells me to add weight to my 45lb bar.  Okay.  20# on each side.  The routine:  5 push ups with increasing dead lifts from 1 – 10.  No sweat.  Ahhhhh … then 50 wall ball squats, then run 1 mile.  Okay.  I get thru the push ups and deadlifts no problem.  The wall ball squats were a little challenging because my trainer kept wanting me to throw that ball up higher … no, Higher … com’mon, Row., HIGHER!!!  Okay, okay.  I finish the routine in 10 minutes, then head out for my mile run.  My legs were pretty worked over by the time I hit that run, but I gutted it out and finished strong.  Not done yet … nope … get on the row machine, Row.  2000 meters … my goal? 10 mins.   Go!  Missed the goal by a few secs, but I’ll get it  next time.  At my height I was at a  huge disadvantage on the row machine, and my trainer  joked to, “Use your superior height and go!”  It was a fun workout, like I said, it taxed me, but it didn’t take me to puke point.  I can already feel a HUGE difference in the week that I have change up my workouts.

For lunch, I met my friend, Becky, and we went over some goals and came up with a plan for our fitness goals, etc.  It’s gonna be awesome as we have the same goals and aspirations and we have the same mentality when it comes to working out.  Becky and I met at AMAA, and we both teach kickboxing and do Krav Maga.  We have the same hardcore mentality and we just have so much fun together.  She is an awesome human being.  Becky is good for my psyche, my soul, my fitness.  We plan to rock this mutha out!  We have so many ideas and it’s going to be a great ride.

Saturday:  I’m posting this early.  I’m planning to make Saturday my rest day as we’re driving to Southern California for the Disney Half Marathon early in the morning.  I plan only to walk the expo, nothing strenuous.  =)  It’s going to be a fun weekend as I’m going to run with my Twittter BFF, Victoria.  I hope to see and meet many of my friends there.  I’m slightly disappointed that I’m not running with Mac because she opted not to go and sold her bib to Ali.  One of the reasons that I signed up for Disney was to run with her.  Oh well … It’s all good.  I looked for Eeyore colors to wear, however found none … I’m taking it as a sign to not be so blah, and instead I’m going with purple and I’m gonna have FUN! My family plans to hit Knotts Berry Farm while I’m out running and hanging out with my friends.  I’m excited to meet people that I have been interacting with via the net.  =)

As a closing to this post, I just wanted to share a few pics from the Giants Half Marathon from last Saturday.  I had such a good time at this run and my photos show it.  This is what running should look like …  

Cory & I at the start!
Big Cheezer!
Wild Woman!

That’s my week 9 recap!  It’s been a fun week for me getting out of my comfort zone and changing up my workouts.  As I head into Week 10, I’m guessing that I *really* should find my training plan and get serious about my running.  Yep.  Okay.  Okay.  Week 10 brings much promise.  I plan to keep changing it up and working hard.  Life is good.  Train hard, train smart, and have FUN!!!  =)

Marathon Training – Week 8 – Downshifting

OMG!  This week started off soooooo wrong!  So wrong!  How can this be?  I had a good week last week, why?  Why?

I know that not all weeks are the same.  I know that some are good, some are bad, and some are downright U-G-L-Y!!!  I get that, but I want all good weeks from here on out!!!  (Said in best pouty, whiny voice ever!)  Here’s the thing … I understand … I get that sometimes in order to progress you have to take a step-back, you have to downshift … and I know that’s what’s happening.  I know that’s what my body has had to do in order for me to move forward.  So … here I sit … stuck in second gear, or almost in reverse kinda.  I’m just idling … yeah, that’s what it is … Idling.

My body doesn’t quite recover quite as quickly from working 12 hour night shifts anymore.  It’s sporadic … but most nights have been rough on me lately.  I know what it is … I’m just not getting good, quality sleep on some days and I’m running on an empty tank.  That makes a big difference.  I know that as long as I get a good nap in on that first day, I’ll be good to go for the upcoming night and nights.  But if I don’t sleep good, I’m toast!

All this week, all I have wanted to do is sleep!

Sunday:  I meant to do something in the morning after working all night.  Instead … I drove home and I crawled into bed with every intention of waking up early and doing something.  I did.  I got up and I planted myself on my spin bike and rode for 10 miles.  30 minutes.  Perfect.  I worked a little on my core, but other than that, that was it.

Monday:  I gots no data for you.  I can tell you that I was beat down exhausted after getting my behind kicked at work.  12 hours running around without a break … yeah … I was tired.  A little stretching, and massage, but that’s all.

Tuesday:  Again … NOTHING.  I know.  What’s happening here, Row.?  What the hell?!  It’s so unlike me to have nothing.  But like I said, I was exhausted.  What can I say?  I have no excuses. I did go get my hair done, then got my eyebrows threaded, then I did go to lunch with one of my good friends, Linda!  Life is good.  In case you’re wondering, I am feeling a little bit weirded out that I haven’t done anything strenuously physical, but I know that I physically can’t do it.  I’m so run down and feeling so out of it.

Wednesday:  Okay … It gets a little better here.  I went to Cross Fit!  OMG!  I loved it.  Too much fun for me.  I told Gabe, my trainer, that I was a little out of my element and that I was slightly intimidated.  He laughed at me.  He said, “I can tell just by looking at you that you look like a phenomenal athlete, and I don’t even know anything about you.” Let’s just say that I wanted to puke at least three times, but in typical Row. fashion, I gutted it out and finished the hour long workout.  Rowing, jump rope, dead lifts, then 12 minutes of 5 burpees, 5 flat hand push-ups, and incremental clean and press/jerks … Whooo whee!  Run one mile, then back to core – 50 x weighted Russian Twists, and 20 x weighted sit-ups … I did this 4 times!  Awesome!  I so needed this.  I talked to Gabe for a little bit, told him what my goals were, and he told me that in the month that I’m there, he would break me down to build me up!  I am so thankful that my friend Ly gave me her groupon, and that my friend, Gina, convinced me that I could do it.  I love my friends!  I can tell that it’s going to be a gnarly 30 days, and I’m sooooo looking forward to it!

Thursday:  Talk about D.O.M.S.  My body is TIGHT!  Holy crap!  Yeah, I’m a slacker.  All I did today was a lot of stretching and got a massage.  Whoa.  I’m sore.  Yeah, I told you, the nights have been kicking my butt big time!  I’m not gonna fret anymore about not getting a workout in.  It is what it is.

On another note, my friend Judy was going to run the SF Giants Half with me on Saturday, but at the very last minute – literally the very last minute, had to bow out of this half.  What the heck?!?  It was a mad dash to find a replacement, but not to worry, my friend and running buddy, Cory, was able to  find coverage for her shift and stepped up and agreed to run the Giants Half with me.  =)  Yea!!!  (**I’m really sorry, Judy, that you had to bow out.  You’re a great running buddy and you know that I love running with you!)

Friday:  Nothing.  Rest day ’cause tomorrow is a half marathon!

Cory & I Ready To Gooooo!

Saturday:  I have NO expectations for today.  I really just want to run and have fun.  I’m thankful that my friend, Cory, was able to get the time off and was able to run with me.  We started our day pretty early – 0500.  We ran to Manteca to pick up Cory’s bib, then headed for SF.  We got there on time, except parking was horrendous!  Lots of traffic!  But eventually we made it into Lot A and headed straight for the porta potties!

The start was somewhat chaotic as well with 15,000 people running the half marathon, 10K, or 5k.  I lost Cory for a second as we headed into the corral – there was a little bit of a panic.  Not to worry, I found her.  I did not find Shiloh or Mel though.   =[  It was decided that Chris would run the 10k since he had not been training.

Me, Inagural Endorphin Dudette, and Tony, Endorphin Dude at Mile 1.

Race day was perfect.  The weather at the start was about 55, cool, overcast.  Nice.  The race started on time, no delays.  Lots of happy people surrounded us as we ran down Embarcadero.  I found Endorphin Dude just as we hit mile 1.  I just about gave him a heart attack as I hugged him from behind.  Posed for a quick pic, then a hug and I was off!

The miles went by pretty quickly and were uneventful.  Cory and I just enjoyed the scenery and focused on the mileage.  Our training called for 11 miles today, and we were happy to not be running in Stockton.  At around Mile 6, we saw Brian Wilson, and hit Crissy Field at about Mile 6.5.  There was an abundance of aid stations and porta potties throughout this half.  Lots of great volunteers that provided much needed encouragement.  Miles 6.5 to 8 were run on sand which provided a little challenge for Cory.  We had fun, pushing each other every step of the way.  I am thankful for my ability to run backwards to encourage Cory every so often.

Bling and Cheezin' post race!

Mile 11 got hard for Cory, but she was never that far behind me.  I ran ahead and started to encourage the other runners.  I love doing that.  I know that they were thankful, too,  because a few of them found me at the end to thank me.  I really enjoy doing that for others.  Running into AT&T Park was amazing.  I loved it.  I like the Giants, although I don’t follow baseball much except for that of my boys.  This half was really nice and very organized.  Loved the course!

The after race Expo was a different story.  Talk about CHAOS!  Lots of walking and mazes.  But we eventually got our post race goodies – Race Shirt, Medal, and bobble head.  So much fun!  I loved that half, and I plan to run it again next year!

I know that this week lacked a lot of mileage and quality workouts.  The one workout and run that I did were awesome!  But in all honesty, I have been burning that candle at both ends and have just worn myself out this week and needed to rest.  I’ve got lots planned for the upcoming weeks though.  Not to worry … I’m gettin’ back on that bandwagon pretty quick here.

Week 9 brings much promise and a chance to start over again!  I have two halves coming up in September, starting with the Disneyland Half next Sunday!  Changing my mindset and mixing up my workouts is going to be awesome!  So thankful to be blessed with good friends, a body that works like a machine, and for the ability to do what I do and have what I have (work, travel and run local races, workout, be a mom, be a wife, etc.).  So even if this week was a bit of a minor disappointment in that I had to downshift and slow down to an almost complete stop, I know that it’s not permanent and that it’s not the end of the world.  My life is still awesome, and I am still one very blessed woman!

Have a great week everyone.  Train smart, train hard, and have fun while you’re at it!  =)

Marathon Training – Week 6 – Finding My Way Back To The Pavement …

It’s been over a week and I’m still finding my way back to the pavement which was once the second home for my feet.  I once lived for the rhythmic tapping of my shoes hitting the pavement, which was music to my soul.  I still have no desire to just pound it as much as I once had, and I can’t force it …

That said, I’m sure you’re all wondering how exactly I’m going to pull this marathon off … Don’t worry.  It’s still early in the game.  I’ve got this.  I’m still in full on training mode.  My mentality has not changed.  I’m still going at it as best as I possibly can … giving my mind and my feet a much needed and deserved rest.

This was after my first post meltdown a run last week, but it's all good.

Sunday found me on a spin bike.  I wanted to get some mileage in before work, so I hit it for 30 minutes.  Seated climb, standing climb, then 10 x 1 min intervals.  30 minutes … 9.5 miles.  Perfect.  I left my spin bike drenched, with that ache in my legs that let me know that I got a good workout in for the short amount of time that I had.

Monday:  Tired.  Thought about making it a rest day, but only for a second.  I got dressed and headed off to American Martial Arts Academy.  Great choice!  I love Jeanne!  She knows that I’m capable of more and NEVER lets me slack.  Nope … no, no, no!  Medicine ball and dumbells … alone they’re a great workout by themselves, but it’s kinda rough when you pair them with cardio!  Lots of arms and shoulders, push ups on that dang med ball, planks with rows, then lower body … just let me say that my behind was screaming and sighing at the same time!  Gotta love weighted cardio exercises!

Tuesday:  Rest day.  My do absolutely nothing at all day.  Remember rest days are as important as training days.  Don’t worry, I did run around the ER where I worked which equaled about a couple miles.  No joke.  There was no sitting, I was in constant motion helping everyone.

Wednesday:  Self-Care day.  Hit the Chiropractor.  My most FAVORITE Chiropractor in the world … Dr. Brian Crawford.  He’s awesome.  I’m kind of sadistic and prefer the “torture” of a manual adjustment versus gun manipulation.  I LOVE the sound of my spine clicking into alignment, and I love the feel of it all coming into place – from my neck down.  I’m serious!  Dr. Crawford aligns my thoracic spine by “throwing” me against the door.  I had to laugh because I noticed that there was now new padding hung against the doors where there once was none.  You always know that it’s me being thrown against the door because of my loud exhalation “scream” (it’s not really a scream, more like all the air escaping from me) as soon as it’s done.  I love it!  Makes me happy.  Dr. Crawford not only aligns my spine, but also my hips, ankles, and feet.  He opens up my sinuses by manipulating it with the gun.  I get a massage in which I remind his assistants to push with all their weight – and they do, hitting all the key parts including my feet.  I also sit for H-Wave therapy for my feet and ankles, then lay on the traction table and chill for about 20 minutes.  I believe wholeheartedly that I am and remain healthy because of Chiropractics.  There is documented evidence that individuals who receive regular chiropractic care have 200% greater immune competence than those that do not.  You would not believe how much your spine plays in your health and well being.  For that reason, I will continue to be a loyal patient.  My Chiropractor ROCKS!

Thursday:  I had a good day today.  I put in a great 30 minute spin workout on my bike.  Intervals/Sprints, and a seated

Motto for the week/weak ... Keep. Moving. FORWARD ...

and standing climb.  11 miles.  Yeah!  Immediately afterwards, I got my medicine ball out and opted for a quick resistance workout because I was short on time.  Squat/swing 2×30; Halos 2×25; Triceps 2×25; Biceps 2×25; Step Ups 2×30.  Had to get something in, and I did …

Friday:  Didn’t do much today … just a core workout which was good enough for me.

No stress. Hence, the smile!

Saturday:  My first organized run since my Mini Meltdown.  I was okay going into it because I knew that there was NO expectations.  I had registered for the Riverbank Keep Moving Forward 10k.  Two reasons why I registered: 1) It’s walking distance from my Mother-In-Law’s house.  Literally just right across the street.   And 2) I like little races and knew that it would be a good training run for me.  It was a great venue that supports Vision Impaired (read: Blind) Individuals.  I am thankful for my vision and my ability to see.  I had such a great time at this event!  I even won a Hawaiian Shirt!  How cool is that?!  The ease of packet pickup and race day registration was well organized.  There was breakfast and coffee at the start, which was also post race fuel.  It was a really nice spread, too!  Starbucks coffee, bananas, watermelon, cookies, chips, etc.  There was also LOTS of water, and electrolyte drinks.  The course was well marked with support crew everywhere directing all of the runners – despite my husband laughing and telling me that I would get lost.  Joke’s on him.   Water stops were at mile 1.5, 3, and right before mile 5.  Bathrooms?  Yep!  No course porta-potties but it’s only a 10K so it wasn’t expected.  But the Galaxy Theater in Riverbank opened up their bathroom for us to use pre/post race!

Finished also with a smile!

The run for me was pretty uneventful.  It was a nice run through the streets of Riverbank.  I didn’t PR, which was not the goal, but I didn’t PW either. I’m pretty sure I was in the top 5 of my age group.  I just ran, and as I ran I encouraged all of the other runners, and high fived  all of the support crew.  It was fun, and that, to me, is what running is about.  Having fun, and helping/encouraging others.

I’m still here.  I’m still working out and running.  This week may look light compared to others, but it is what it is.  I’m happier training my way.  I like that I don’t hear the voices that once invaded my head.  I’ve gotten “me” back … the me that is strong willed, strong minded.  I’m sorry that I let so many people influence me for that short period of time … it won’t happen again.  I’ve got a great week planned next week … Week 7  – Look out!

Marathon Training – Week 4 … Getting It Together!

It’s Week 4 of CIM training, and I planned to make up for last week in a BIG way let me tell you! It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt, right? I know that will be me if I don’t get serious about my training. I don’t have much time to waste, and I have to make good use of the time that I do have. Some days I wish that I could afford a Coach to tell me exactly what to do. Other days, I know I’m okay without one. Every day, though, my friends hold me accountable. Thank God for my friends.

It wasn’t the week that I wanted, although I did try to get it together. I almost feel as if I am bipolar with my training, but more down/low days than good days. To recap my week 4 …

Sunday: It was a great run with my running buddy, Cory. We started off at 7 and ran our scheduled 6 miles. The morning was nice and cool – kinda cold for me, actually, and I ran with a hoodie on the entire time. I know, huh? It’s been in the hundreds temperature wise, and I’m running with a hoodie? What the heck? We had a really nice run along the levee, down to Target, short walk thru Spanos Park to regroup, then we picked it back up all the way back to Cory’s house. We were able to negative split our last half because we were running pretty fast. It was nice! Total mileage was about 7 miles.

Monday: Turned up the heat today. I went to my favorite place to workout … Central Valley Krav Maga, and I hit it up for a double – back to back- a$$ whopping! Dang! What was I thinking? I worked out with the resistance bands around my ankles for two classes – lots of leg work today. Intervals interspersed with squats, lunges, kicks, knee raises, mountain climbers, jacks, “fast feet,” push ups, then core. I felt it in my glutes and hammies the next day, but it was a very good hurt. I love working out there! =) All day I tried to talk myself out of it, and it *almost* worked, but in the end, I did what I always do … I got dressed to go workout, got in my car and drove there, and by the time I got there I was good to go. I left it all on the floor!

Tuesday: Hit InShape for Rodger’s infamous Spin Class! Love that class! I’m thankful to have “free” gym membership there thru work. 20 miles on the spin bike, then 3 mile interval run! Yeah, baby. Brick Tuesday!

Wednesday: Sucked it up and ran 4 miles … in the heat! Ugh.

Thursday: Rest day. After working all night it was a little difficult to get myself going.

Friday: Thought about going to cardio, then thought against it. You see, I’m running the San Francisco Half Marathon on Sunday and I need rest. I haven’t been feeling well, nor have I been getting enough rest. So the decision to skip out was an easy one.

Saturday: Hit San Francisco with my girls, Mac and Melissa. We’re all running the First Half of the San Francisco Marathon. It should be fun! We walked throughout SF for a total of 3 miles. Lots of hills and even a little resistance work.

Sunday starts a new week, so you’ll have to read about SF in another blog. But we’ll see. I have A LOT to say about that because I realized a lot of things during that run. Not just little things either … HUGE realizations.

My training was not as amped up as I would have liked it to be, but I next week not only starts a new training week, it’s a week that I’m starting over kind of. It’s hard to explain, just that in my training my program is 18 weeks long. Starting in July added another 4 weeks. That means next week marks the “official” marathon training. So much to do, so much to say. I’m not starting my marathon training next week. Right now, that’s all that you need to know.

So … so long week 4. It was a good effort … just not the week that I wanted. Time start over … again …

It’s All On YOU!

What's It Gonna Be?

We all want it to some degree … some MORE than others. Some just dream about it, while others are out there working hard to get it. Some try and take shortcuts believing that this gadget, or this new diet fad is gonna work for them this time. Let me tell you though, that it’s NOT. The only thing that’s gonna get you that body that you desire is pure HARD WORK. Eighty percent is eating “right,” and the other twenty percent is working out hard. I don’t just mean a leisurely stroll, nor do I mean working out until you puke your guts out. I just mean, getting a good sweat on. Cardio and resistance training. Find something that you love, that you enjoy, that makes YOU happy! Hate running? What about riding a bike or dancing? Don’t like lifting weights? Try resistance bands or TRX! Just move!

I’m tired of watching people around me slack. They talk about “wanting to lose weight and getting into shape.” They talk A LOT. But talk is cheap. Talking only works your jaw and tongue muscles. All I can do is encourage, and try to guide in the right direction … but they have to want it more than to just talk about it. They have to put forth the effort or else I’m just wasting my breath. They have to want it for themselves.

I’m not “perfect,” but I work hard at maintaining and improving what I have. I’m in that gym or hittin’ that pavement 5-6 days of the week. Some call me OCD, but I know that if I didn’t … I’d be “soft” and my heart and entire body would suffer. I’m over 40 and I function and look so much BETTER than some, okay, most who are younger than I am.

There is no magic get skinny pill. There is no magic diet. There is no magic exercise gadget. Sorry, but there’s not. There is only YOU. You and your decision to make your life better. It’s not going to be easy. There will be days of frustration. You will hurt in places you didn’t think you had muscles. But think of that end result … A better, healthier, stronger, fitter YOU.

I know and understand that I am supposed to be encouraging and motivating.  Do it, or don’t. That decision is all YOURS. I’m not going to force you. I’ll ask you to come run with me. I’ll invite you to come to the gym with me. But if I keep hearing your excuses, trust me … I won’t ask or invite anymore. I’ll just wait until you’re my patient … no, I’m kidding, I won’t. I’ll keep encouraging (I may roll my eyes a little), I’ll just know to not waste too much of my breath and to save it for someone who actually cares. I know, I’m hardcore. I know, I can be “mean” and sound somewhat “demeaning,” but trust me … I don’t mean to sound like that, it’s said with love and respect. It just comes out sounding more like a Drill Sargent, than all “lovey dovey.” That’s just how I roll.

So … What’s it gonna be? You in? Or do you keep doing what you’re doing which isn’t exactly working for you? The choice is YOURS and yours alone. But whatever you decide, be happy with what you choose. If you keep doing what you’ve always been doing, you will ALWAYS get what you’ve always gotten. In order for changes to happen, you have to step out of your comfort zone and be willing to do the work. It WON’T be easy, but trust me … it WILL be worth it. The only thing standing in your way is YOU.

With that … I’m done and I’ll get off my soapbox now. I’ll leave you with one of my FAVORITE videos inspiring motivation … Enjoy. Make good choices, and have a great day!!!

Update:  I realize that this blog may seem a little harsh.  I should be kinder to those individuals that want to do better, but yet do nothing, right?  My husband says that I’m somewhat demeaning.  Well, all I can say is that I know that I’m not exactly the nicest person.  I know that I can be brash, harsh, hard … BUT … I am also hardest on myself when it comes to stuff like this.  I am the best person at kickin’ my own ass and beating myself up.  Being nice only gets you so far.  I’m an ER Nurse, for gosh sake.  I am one of the FIRST persons that sees first hand what all this nonsense does to people who make excuses.  Obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes … I’ve seen my share of “stuff,” and believe me, it is NOT pretty and I will admit that I don’t like to touch fat!!!  Our society is a society of wanting quick fixes and easy way outs.  There aren’t any!  NONE!  So … what you do with your body is your choice.  I’m just saying that it’s easier to put in the 30 mins to an hour 5 times a week, than it is to have a hospital stay that may render you bed bound for a LONG period of time.  Okay … I’ll get off my soap box again.

“UnBurn” That Sunburn (Product Review)

If you look at me, you wouldn’t necessarily believe me to be one of “those” people who are prone to sunburns. I’m Filipino, and I’m brown as heck naturally. Yeah, well, don’t ever believe a Filipino who tells you that “Filipinos don’t sunburn.” That is a bold faced lie. Most Filipinos don’t sunburn because they avoid the sun like the plague – covering every part of their bodies, then using a large hat and then staying under a sunshade. I know that’s not true of all Filipinos, just some, but most do avoid the sun, preferring the coolness of the shade instead.

I am one of “those” Filipinos. I don’t care to be out in the sun as the heat makes me cranky, and I tan WAY too easily without even trying. Seriously – I can go from stark white to dark brown in the span of less than 10 minutes of being exposed to the sun. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I am an athlete. I am a runner. I am a runner who does not always care to do her running on a hamster whizzle. That means, I take my runs outside … in the sun …

In the past, burning was not an issue … just a nice, deep, dark tan. However, add to the mix that I am a “little” older, and my training runs are “slightly” longer, therefore exposing me to the harmful effects of the sun for longer periods of time, and have, on occasion, “forgotten” that much needed sunblock (because I never used it until a few years ago) … well, yeah … I’ve gotten a few nasty burns. I try to remember to lather on that thick, sticky goop, but most times I believe that I’ll only be out for a few minutes so I don’t need it. Oh the lies that I tell myself …

Enter my Twitter and FaceBook friend, Kassy, aka @runaholickassy … Mind you, Kassy knows nothing of my “issues” with the sun, she just happened to contact me one morning and said that she had something for me and would I please DM her my address. Hmmm … skeptical at first, but I didn’t believe that she would stalk me all the way from the Philippines, I gave it to her. She told me to look for “the gift” in a few weeks. Okay.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I continue to do my own thing, my everyday living, etc., which one day included me going to my boys baseball game. I did bring my sunblock – I put it in my bag, and my husband brought a large sun umbrella. No need for me to slather on the sunblock or bust out the sunbrella, I thought, there was a large sunshade covering the bleachers that we sat on. I believed that I was “protected” enough from that sunshade. Not smart on my part. 2+ hours later … I was quite sunburnt, not bad, just enough … Yeah, no bueno! I know better!!!

UnBurn by Water Jel Technologies

To my surprise, my package, my surprise gift was found in my mailbox that very day! UnBurn by Water Jel Technologies … arrived just in the time of Nick! What did I have to lose by trying it, right? Instead, I learned that I had much to gain … like INSTANT, IMMEDIATE cooling relief! With vitamin E, aloe, and 2.5% Lidocaine in a water based formula … yeah, killed that sunburn pain right there! A couple more applications here and there throughout the remainder of the day and that sunburn was gone.

I am thankful that my little surprise came when it did. Like I said, perfect timing – “emergency” sunburn care literally as noted on it’s packaging! I found it to be easy to use, and very soothing upon contact. No goopy mess. It’s non-staining so staining of clothes would not be an issue. As an RN, I am aware of medications and the treatment of various issues requiring basic first aid. I found nothing that would steer me away from this product. At about $10.00 for a 4 ounce bottle, the price paid would be well worth the relief that it provides. I would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone especially now that summer is in full force! I would, though, first recommend that EVERYONE, Filipinos included, use sunblock!!! The devastating effects of skin cancer from wreckless sunbathing are so NOT worth it!

Many thanks again to Kassy and to KPR-NYC for providing me with the hook up!!!

Have a wonderful summer, everyone. Stay safe, keep cool, and wear sunscreen!!!