Hello December! And 5 Day Re-Focus on Health Free Challenge!

Hellooooo to my little neglected blog. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! It’s been a long time but just wanted to type up a little update since it’s been about 4 months since I last updated.

I last updated in late August. Geez! What has happened since then? Let’s make a brief list, shall we?

* Ran and completed in the Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare Challenge in Anaheim, CA in September. The Disneyland Half was Half # 7 for me.
* Took a much needed Disneyland vacay in September (Disney trip and Dumbo Challenge were during the same trip…yup, a race-cation)
* Completed Half # 8, the Rock N Roll San Jose Race in San Jose, CA in October. Let’s just say I pretty much walked that Half.
* Completed Half # 9, the 10th Anniversary of the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco, CA. It was my first time running Nike and I loved it!
* Paid a visit to Grapevine, Texas (near Dallas) for an awesome weekend of personal development, workouts and awesomeness.
* Saw an advanced screening of The Best Man Holiday with the BFF. Such a great movie filled with lots of laughs and tears.
* Completed Half # 10 last weekend- the Inaugural Berkeley Half Marathon in Berkeley, CA.

Besides that fun stuff, I’ve been busy with work. I was able to attend a recent dinner event for work that launched the new Dockers Wellthread line. Wellthread is a new clothing line that focuses on sustainability both in design and process, and will be released in Spring 2014.

Thanksgiving was just a couple of days ago, but look- it’s already December and getting ready for Christmas is in full effect!

And so is cleaning up my post-Thanksgiving eating! I’m leading a free 5 day Re-focus on Health Challenge Group starting on Monday- December 2 and I’m SOOOO looking forward to it. I have 10 participants plus myself and we’ll be following the same clean eating plan, doing workouts of our choice and having daily accountability check-in’s via a private FB group. I’ve been eating poorly and have been inconsistent with exercise, so I’m happy about this challenge group giving a jump start to better habits. There will be more challenge groups that I’ll be leading in the near future, including a P90X3 challenge group starting in January.

And yes, you did hear that correctly….there will be a new P90X program released very soon…P90X3 will be here in 10 days. WHOOHOO!!

P90X3...in 10 days!

P90X3…in 10 days!

It’s Ambassador, Ms. Ambassador if you’re nasty.

Official See Jane Run Ambassador

Official See Jane Run Ambassador

I’m proud to announce that I was selected as a See Jane Run Ambassador! See Jane Run has been a brand that I connected with from the very start when I went from ZERO running to training for my first Half Marathon. Their Rockridge store was where I had my first gait analysis and bought my first pair of legit running shoes (Asic’s Gel-Kayano 17’s). I’m super excited that I was selected to be apart of their Ambassador program- they are such an awesome company that represents women athletes to their utmost, something that I highly respect and connect with.

See Jane Run was started here in the Bay Area, and not only do they have their annual Half Marathon and 5k races that takes place in Alameda every June, but they also have events in Boise (Idaho), Seattle (Washington) and Wichita (Kansas)! Last year, my good friend Lianna and myself ran their 5k race for the first time and it was such a fun and well-organized event that we decided it will be our “annual kick-off to summer” race to run together. I can’t wait to run it with her in a few weeks!

Lianna and myself at the 2012 SJR Bay Area Finish Line

Lianna and myself at the 2012 SJR Bay Area Finish Line

Which leads me to this…why don’t you join us?! I have a discount code to share with you all! Save 10% for the SJR Bay Area races that take place on Saturday- June 8, 2013. Use code: SJRSFAMB13 and register NOW. I mean Helloooooo? Why wouldn’t you run a race where you get champagne (in a super cute collectible champagne flute for you to KEEP, might I add) and chocolate at the Finish line!? Oh yeah…did I fail to mention that part? More details on my 2012 SJR Alameda 5k in a blog post to come in the very near future. 🙂

Race Recap: 2013 San Diego Half Marathon

I sit here on St. Patrick’s Day morning, just finished watching the elite runners cross the finish line of the 2013 Asics LA Marathon via the live stream on KTLA, and I feel nothing but excitement and giddiness and I think back that 1 week ago this morning, I was running the 2013 San Diego Half Marathon…and I PR’d!

Race morning…March 10, 2013….I don’t really remember if I automatically woke up, or if I was woken up by Lianna’s alarm, but I looked at the time and almost freaked out because I realized my alarm clock didn’t wake me up. It was my fear to be late for the race considering that DST just started that morning (well in the middle of the night while sleeping that is), and when I checked my alarm clock, I saw that it had been set to “PM” instead of “AM”. Umm…what? I could have sworn that I set it for PM. But eh…*shrugs*…we woke up and got ready.

We left the hotel and due to it being hecka cold, decided to take advantage and warm up with a little run/walk/run action, especially since we had to find the Resolutions Tent and then drop my bag off at Gear Check before getting to our Corral. We ended up passing the Resolutions Tent since it was on the other side of the street than where we were at. I was able to exchange my tech shirt with no problem. With that taken care of, I had to drop my bag off at Gear Check- that took a little longer than expected since they didn’t have many volunteers working it.

Lianna and I hanging out in Wave 14 Corral

Lianna and I hanging out in Wave 14 Corral

Start/Gun Time was 7:18am. That was a bit odd in my opinion. We were in Wave 14, the second to last Wave, so we didn’t cross the Start line until 7:47am. Lianna and I ran together for the first few miles. We were talking strategy and it was awesome to hear such helpful tips from her. Also, we were slightly ahead of the 3:00 Pace Group. My goal time was 3:00 and so I wanted to be in the vicinity of the Pace Group.

Around Mile 4-ish, we broke off and Lianna went her way. We had planned to each run our own race, so it was nice to run the first few miles together. Miles 4-6 was when I got in my groove and felt really good and warmed up. My music was keeping me motivated and I was enjoying the scenery. I decided to slow it down a bit after Mile 6 and conserve my energy knowing that I had that big Washington Street hill in a few miles and I knew it was going to be a big hill.

Around Mile 8, there was a little hill, and I decided to put my hill training to the test and ran up the little hill at a slow pace. Soon enough, we turned and were on Washington Street. We started making our way, but you could only see so far ahead, then the street veered slight to the right, and I looked farther and thought “Holy crap, now THAT is a hill!” As far as I could see, everyone that was on the hill was walking. I thought to myself “There is no way that I’m going to put all my training runs in SF to waste. NO WAY. I may not be able to run it all the way, but I’m going to fartlek this thing as best as I can.” And that is exactly what I did. During my climb up Washington Street, there was only one other runner in my vicinity who was run/walk/running the hill just as I was doing.

Up until that time, about Mile 9, the 3:00 Pace Group and myself were taking turns passing each other. They had passed me somewhere around Mile 7 or 8, I can’t really remember. But it was the Washington Street hill where I caught up with them. As they were walking, I ran past them. I reached the top of the hill, and felt good. But it had tired me out so I was doing some walking intervals around Mile 10. I had taken more GU Chomps at the water stop after the top of the hill. I started giving myself positive self talk to pump me up as there was only a few miles left and it was a slow decent to the Finish Line. Somewhere between finishing the Washington Street Hill and slightly before Mile 11, the 3:00 Pace Group had passed me (again). So I needed to pick up the pace and catch up with them if I wanted to reach my 3:00 goal.

Right at Mile 11 was when I started getting a second wind and saw the 3:00 Pace Group ahead of me. I picked up the pace, was coming up right behind them and yelled “I’m shooting for a 3 hour PR today!!” and as I was passing them, they yelled back at me “You got it! You got it! Keep going!!” and that is EXACTLY what I did. It was very emotional for me from that moment on. A million thoughts were going through my head. Major one being that if I kept up this pace, then I was going to finish within my goal time…even faster because technically, I had already passed up the 3:00 Pace Group. And secondly, I was thinking of Mike- who I had dedicated to the race to. The weekend of the SD Half was his 1 year mark of being gone. I was becoming an emotional wreck with all of these thoughts, and I was getting tired. I was pushing as hard as I could.

Somewhere after Mile 11 when I realized I was going to meet/beat my goal time! This may be one of my favorite race photos to date!

Somewhere after Mile 11 when I realized I was going to meet/beat my goal time! This may be one of my favorite race photos to date!

When we made that final turn onto 5th Avenue, it was the home stretch. I could see the Finish Line in the distance but it still felt so far away. I was still checking behind me to see if I could see the 3:00 Pace Group behind me, but I couldn’t see them at all. I checked my Garmin and knew that I was going to beat my goal time but I don’t think it really registered fully in my head. I just wanted to haul ass to the Finish line. I knew Lianna was somewhere there waiting for me. That’s when the tunnel vision kicked in, and everything in my peripheral became a blur. I saw the jumbo tron and saw myself cross it and heard them announce my name. I was a bit confused because it seemed a bit ahead of the actual Finish Line mat which what I wanted to cross and stop my Garmin. As I was crossing, and heard my name, I looked ahead and saw Lianna waiting for me and cheering me and I could vaguely hear her say “You did it! You did it!” I was already in tears and immediately stopped my Garmin. I looked down at my watch and freaked out. I had surpassed my 3:00 goal time and finished under 3 hours. I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT!!

After getting my beautiful medal, and catching my breath, I was able to catch up with Lianna and found out that she PR’d as well! WE BOTH DID IT! We both PR’d! Lianna PR’d at 2:47. And I PR’d at 2:57. I am so incredibly proud and happy for both of us! I surpassed my goal time of 3:00. NEVER did I think I would do a Sub-3 that morning. I was shooting for an even 3:00 to really beat my previous PR of 3:08 (at 2012 Inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon). To do a Sub-3 would have been my next goal, lol! For some it may not be a big deal, but for me it is HUGE and I am incredibly proud of how I did at the 2013 San Diego Half Marathon. I ran my hardest. I was strong with my training in the months leading up to the race and with it being a dedication race, I put my heart on the line.

2013 San Diego Half Marathon FINISHERS...BOTH of us PR'd!

2013 San Diego Half Marathon FINISHERS…BOTH of us PR’d!

I DID IT! Half Marathon #5 done...with a new PR!

I DID IT! Half Marathon #5 done…with a new PR!

It was my first time running the San Diego Half; it was their 2nd year of having the race. I really wish I had know about it last year so I can have been an Inaugural runner because I definitely would and want to run this again next year. Majority of the course was flat and fast with the exception of the Washington Street hill. I had a few other friends run the Half as well and they all PR’d. Congrats to all of our PR’s! It was a well organized race with tons of volunteers and help (with the exception of Gear Check). I really liked how the Water Stops were marked with signs saying what mile we were at AND it also noted how much further the NEXT water stop was. That was very helpful! And although I never use them, it looked like there were plenty of potty stops along the way with minimal lines. There were also Race Guards running the race and it was nice to see them running and making stops along the way to help those in need.

All cleaned up and ready to go eat, proudly wearing our medals!

All cleaned up and ready to go eat, proudly wearing our medals!

A close-up of my latest bling!

A close-up of my latest bling!

San Diego Half, you kept it classy and you treated us well! There’s a good chance we’ll be returning to run in 2014. Until next time…

Packing for Tink

So I leave in 2 days for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and I have yet to really pack. I’ve pulled things aside, mainly clothes. The plan was to start packing a few days ago, but I’ve been working late hours and am tired. I did take the time to pack my snack/food bag. Yup, a whole bag just for snack and food! Not only will I be down in Anaheim for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, but I’ll be staying for a whole week for a little Disney vacation and hanging out with friends and family.

A peak instead of my snack bag. What's in there?

A peak instead of my snack bag. What’s in there?

So what’s in my snack/food bag?

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Go Picnic food packs- my friend Lianna posted that she bought some of these for her WDW Marathon trip last weekend and they looked pretty cool. I went on their website to find out more info about these Go Picnic boxes and immediately liked that they had so many varieties to choose from. They are basically a picnic in a box that contain individual portions of different snacks that are individually wrapped. They even have gluten-free and vegan options. I found them at Target and they were on sale, 2 for $7. I think I may have bought each of the variety’s that they had.

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I was planning on buying my favorite Emerald cocoa roasted almonds, but when I went to the “nuts” section, I saw that Planter’s had their own version of mixed nuts in individual portions, NUT-rition energy mixes. I got the Chocolate Nut mix and look forward to trying it. I also bought some Clif Z bars in Chocolate Chip and Ice Oatmeal Cookie.

I also packed some Clif bars and of course my GU Chomps (for the actual race). Shakeology and my new Hamilton Beach personal-sized blender was a MUST. And I threw in a bar of Ghirardelli chocolate since I love my sweets.

Considering that I’ll be on the go for 2 days prior to the Tink Half roaming the Expo and the Parks, and then I’ll be on vacation for the week post Tink, I wanted to make sure to pack some snacks that would keep me sustained between main meals and not something that was totally junky. PLUS my snacks help keep my budget in control as we all know that food at the Disneyland Resort can add up.

Do you bring your own snacks when you travel or do you just wing all of your meals and snacks? What are your favorite snacks to bring when traveling?

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I GOT IN!

What a great way to kick off my new blog than to share my excitement that…I GOT IN! Yesterday, I was selected to participate in this year’s  2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Meet-Up hosted by runDisney and “Diet Diva” Tara Gidus. I am SO excited that I was one of 50 people selected to participate in this exclusive, private meet-up taking place at the Disneyland Resort. I’m an inaugural Tinker Bell runner; the 2012 was my first half marathon! I had no clue that these meet-ups at the runDisney races exist. Later, I found out about them after my friend was selected for the 2012 Princess Half Meet-Up.

Confirmation email received from runDisney Confirmation email received from runDisney

Being that I missed last years meet-up, I was determined to try and get into this year’s meet-up. I had an idea how it worked- that announcement and selection is made on the same day and it doesn’t get posted until approximately 1 week until the race. I estimated that the meet-up would take place on Friday morning, which meant I had to be in Anaheim by Thursday night. And that’s exactly what I did, made travel arrangements months in advance to arrive on Thursday night just in case. (And if I didn’t get in, then I’d just be there for an extra day prior- no biggie as I’m an Annual Passholder). Thankfully all of my “stalking” paid off, and my email was selected when I sent in my RSVP yesterday afternoon. I’m happy that my friend (and roomie for Tink) Jindy got into the meet-up as well as some online friends that I look forward to meeting.

After reading blog posts about previous runDisney meet-ups, I know that each of them offer something special and exclusive, they are all different in their own way. I can’t wait to run with Jeff Galloway. (I met him at last year’s Tink Expo and he was SUPER nice and friendly!) But I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing the Disney Fab 5 in their track/workout costumes. I’m giddy in anticipation waiting to experience that special morning. I can’t think of a more perfect way to kick off the 2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend! I’m so excited to return to Anaheim and run Tink again, as this is the race that started it all for me. Who knew that I would be running half marathons and actually like it? And this year, I’ll be running together with one of my oldest and dearest friends, Sarita. Last year, we did Tink together (it was both of our first half marathons), but we got assigned to different corrals, and us being newbies didn’t know we could join each other in the furthest assigned corral. We made sure to register as a team this time, and will running as Team Until the End of Time, complete in our first running costumes (costume to be unveiled on race morning).

As I put this first blog post public, I want to wish everyone participating in the Walt Disney World Marathon events this weekend, GOOD LUCK! AND CONGRATS TO ALL FINISHERS OF THE 2013 WDW HALF MARATHON that took place this morning! I have a few friends down in WDW and wanted to give extra prayers and good juju to my friends Jindy and Lianna (and Team B too)! Both of them will be running in their first full marathon tomorrow morning! (It’ll be race #2 for Jindy this weekend as she ran the Half this morning as she’s doing the Goofy Challenge). runDisney issued a heat advisory for this weekend and it has me a bit concerned. Stay hydrated and replenish with electrolytes, runners. I’M ROOTING FOR MY FRIENDS, TWITTER AND FB FRIENDS, AND ALL RUNNERS PARTICIPATING IN THE WDW MARATHON FROM THE BAY! ROCK IT OUT, STAY HYDRATED AND FINISH STRONG. YOU ARE ALL AMAZING! 

*List of confirmed 2013 Tinker Bell Half Meet-Up Attendees*