Bucket List: Feet on Dugout

On Wednesday, my husband and I had our first date night this year! Where would we go? The Angels game of course!

It’s always been on my bucket list to be able to go to a baseball game, sit in the first row, and put my feet up on the dugout! Wednesday night, we had the opportunity, and I was over the moon, excited!

Feet on Dugout

The players were standing right there in front of me. They no longer appeared 3″ tall, like they did in the nose bleed seats!

photo 3

We were so close, I felt like I had to take a few practice swings too!

Trout Warmup

Even though the Halo did not light up that night, and the Angels were swept by the Mariners in their opening series, we still had an awesome time, and are stoked that baseball season is back! Angels Game

Special thanks to my amazing husband for making this night happen, and helping me cross one item off my bucket list.

Hubbs

 

Go Angels! 

 

Time For a Dentist Check-up!

Today, my girls were scheduled for their first dental cleaning. Naturally, I was nervous.

The first dental visit, which was a quick visual inspection of their teeth, resulted in a long wait, lots of tears, and a frustrated mommy.  I knew that was not going to be the dental office for us, so I was already dreading future dental visits with toddlers.

After a year slipped away, from that unpleasant experience, I realized it was time to schedule their first cleaning. I decided to go to my twin mommy’s and ask them for help in selecting the right dentist. I immediately had referrals coming in, and reassuringly, they were all for the same person, Dr. Tina Azin, in Rancho Santa Margarita.

These moms could not have been more right! Everything about this dental office was perfect! From the moment you walk in, you feel like you’re at a tropical beach. The staff greeted us right away and the girls headed straight into the Tiki Hut, where they found toys, and video games.

We signed in and were happy to find out they are a paper-free office, so a few digital signatures and we were ready to go! The girls were called back right away and were seen at the same time, which is fabulous when you have multiple children!

The girls climbed in their chairs and were excited about the “ride,” as the chair reclined backwards. What was even more exciting, was the fact that there were TV’s on the ceilings that were playing our all time favorite movie, Frozen! Katarina and Danny were the Registered Dental Assistants that did the cleanings, and they were awesome!

I was in shock. The girls laid back in their chairs, listened to Katarina and Danny, and had their teeth cleaned, flossed, followed by an application of fluoride, and they were 100% cooperative…the entire time! It was like watching a movie. Were these my kids?

After their cleaning, the girls received a goody bag, which to a toddler, was like receiving a pot of gold.

Next, Dr. Tina (Azin) came over for one final look. She counted Katelyn’s teeth and Kate was surprised to find out there were 20 in there! When it was time to count Chelsea’s teeth, Katelyn helped Dr. Tina count. She wanted to make sure sissy had 20 in her mouth too! (She did.)

Overall, the dental visit was amazing. The girls did great, the staff was wonderful, and they can’t wait to go back for their next check-up! Finding the right pediatric dentist is so important. Our girls felt so comfortable here, from the moment they walked in the door. We hope to continue visiting Dr. Azin’s office as long as possible!

 

Reaching for a Cure

So, why do you race?

Testing your limits? Focus on fitness? A sense of accomplishment? An adrenaline rush?

I run for all of these reasons, but to me, there is no greater race, then running for a cause, and raising awareness, and funds, for something you are extremely passionate about.

On Sunday, I raced in the 16th Annual Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF)Reaching for the Cure, 10K Run. The race was part of theRenegade Race Series and took place over two days, March 29-30, at Irvine Valley College.

This race meant more to me than words can say. About a year ago, I met the sweetest little boy, Brody, and his amazing mother, Elizabeth, at a localFit4Mom class. He immediately stole our hearts with his loveable smile. After talking to his mom, I found out Brody, was actually a cancer survivor.

Brody was born on February 20, 2011. He was always a happy baby. Around 8 months old, he began to have trouble keeping his food down, was vomiting daily, and coincidentally, tilting his head to one side. The pediatrician and specialists suggested that physical therapy and reflux medications should help. After numerous sessions and trying different medications, Brody’s vomiting only increased and his weight dropped substantially. His parents rushed him to the emergency room to demand answers.

On January 13, 2012, a CT scan revealed that Brody had a 2 inch by 2 inch tumor on his brain stem. He was admitted to Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and scheduled for surgery three days later. The neurosurgeons removed 99% of the tumor. The risky surgery was successful, at least they thought.

A week later, Brody’s parents received the devastating news the Brody had atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT), an extremely rare and aggressive form of brain cancer. According to statistics, only 30 children in the US are diagnosed with AT/RT each year. The neurosurgeon explained that even after surgery and chemotherapy treatment, Brody would have a very low chance of survival, roughly 10%.

His parents learned about a doctor at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles who specialized in brain tumors, as the basis of 20 years of research. Under his guidance, Brody began the fight of his life. His treatment lasted 7 months and included 2 rounds of intense chemotherapy, 3 rounds of high-dose chemotherapy, followed with stem cell rescue, and 28 sessions of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) photon radiation.

Brody completed treatment in August 2012, and has been cancer free ever since.

Each year, cancer kills more children and adolescents than any other disease. I was completely shocked to learn that pediatric cancer research only receives 3.8% of the total funding raised for cancer research each year! During the PCRF Reaching for the Cure Ride/Run race, 80% of all funds raised, go directly to research! Pediatric Cancer Research, saved Brody’s life.

This weekend, I ran for Team Brody.

Over 100 members signed up to be a part of Team Brody, to raise awareness for Pediatric Cancer Research. Team Brody, alone, raised over $8,000!

I’ve heard many people say, they are running for their lives. This weekend, over 7,000 people gathered in Orange County, to not only run or walk for their own life and health, but to take strides, to bring hope, and fund the crucial research we desperately need, to cure childhood cancer.

For updates on Brody’s progress, please follow his Facebook page:
Blossoms for Brody www.facebook.com/pages/Blossoms-for-Brody/170995623005581

PR: PCRF Reaching for the Cure 10K

PR (by :03 seconds)
PCRF 10K
49:20 / 7:58 pace
3rd Place in Division (F 30-34)

Image

Train Your Mind…

Laguna Hills Half MarathonIf you asked me six months ago, “Would you ever run a half marathon?” I would probably laugh out loud while boldy asserting the word, “NO!” as my response. Oddly enough, I begin my 12-week training program for my first half marathon this week!

I signed up for the Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon on May 26th, which is exactly 12 weeks from tomorrow! I will say, 13.1 miles still intimidates me, but I am determined to make it happen, and am ready to dedicate the next couple months towards achieving that goal.

For me, a half marathon seemed unreachable, because I had always told myself that I was “just a sprinter.” I used to hate running anything further then 400 meters because I told myself that I could not do it. Finally, I’ve learned, that the biggest hurdle in my way, was not that I was not good enough to run, it was my mind telling my body that I was not good enough, and my body listened.

I was great at making excuses in life; I’m too tired, I don’t have time, or I’m not good enough. All of these excuses were just my mind’s way out of doing the work. I have finally learned that to excel, you have to train your mind, like you train your body.

My new attitude is yes, I can do this and I will do this. I learned that my fear and anxiety only live in the future, and right now, all I can do is focus on the present, one run, one day at a time. When I am feeling exhausted and want to quit, I tell myself, that these tough moments won’t last forever, my body can get through this and regrets last forever. Run, simply because you can.

Run because you canThe mind is extremely powerful over the body. The negative thinking was completely killing my run. Where your mind goes, your body follows. If you tell yourself you cannot run anymore, your body stops. Your brain needs to be trained just like your body to help you overcome this negative thinking.

I learned that I need to stop doubting myself and be more confident. I need to remain positive and remember the good runs I have had and not focus on the bad ones.

I learned not to compare myself to others. Today, I ran in The Coaster Run 10K at Knott’s Berry Farm. It was a personal record for me and I finished with a time of 49:23 / 7:58 pace. I beat my first Turkey Trot 10K time by 5:26! That is huge! I finished in under 50 minutes, which was a personal goal, and I placed 4th overall in my age division. Sadly, my first reaction to finishing 4th in my division, was feeling like I did not do good enough. Thankfully, my brain slapped that thought out of my head quick, and I realized, how happy I was to accomplish my personal goals. Running is not about me being better then someone else, it’s about me being better then I used to be.

Coaster RunThe Coaster Run *Photo courtesy of Nicole L. (Pictured: Hollie, Jen, Nicole, Heather)

So, my half marathon training begins this week. Not just the physical training but the mental training as well. I am excited for the new challenges and ready to hurdle the mental obstacles that I will probably throw in my own path.

Running-challenge

My First Tri

Five weeks ago, I signed up for the Los Alamitos Race on the Base. I had not even purchased my bicycle yet. A sprint triathlon sounded like so much fun, that I knew it was something I wanted to “tri.”

BikeI purchased an awesome mountain bike, from a good friend (Thanks, Lauren!!), shortly after signing up, and immediately took it out for a spin. I did not get a mile down the road, before I over shifted and realized all of the chains were now dragging on the ground. I called my husband, waited for the “laugh” on the other end,  and walked my bike back home. He fixed my bike, gave me a shifting tutorial, and then I was off again, on my first “real” ride in years.

Training had officially begun. I was focused and determined to get ready in the short five weeks I had to train. I trained Monday, Wednesday, Friday mornings, when the girls were in preschool, and on the weekends, when my husband watched the girls. I ran, biked, and swam laps at Waterworks Aquatics, 3-5 days a week. I did have a minor setback of about 10 days during my training, due to illness, but I was not going to let that hold me back.

Today, was the BIG race. Surprisingly, I was not nervous, but excited! I felt very prepared after attending 2 of the 3 triathlon clinics that were offered at the base. I felt like I knew the course, what to expect, and was mentally prepared, and I think that was 90% off the challenge.

Race on the Base 2014
There were two waves for triathlons, and the second one included the “newbies,” so my race started at about 10:15 a.m. My goal was to finish in less then 1 hour, 30 minutes. When I arrived at the base, I set up my bike, on the end of my rack, in the transition area. I was psyched.
Arrival5K Run
This sprint triathlon was in reverse, so the order went, run, bike swim. The Los Alamitos Race on the Base is the largest reverse sprint triathlon in the country… so it’s kind of a big deal! You start with a 5K (3.1 miles) run, 13.1 mile bike, and end with a 200 yard swim.

I made my way to the front of the pack to start the race, and when the blow horn went off, I was feeling good, up until about ¼ mile when I was hit with dry, cotton mouth. I was over the moon to see a water station at the ½ mile mark! Thank you ROTB… you’re a lifesaver!

I was kind of nervous about this run, because it was my first run without my GPS or music. No inspiration in my ear and no way of knowing how much further I had to run. I tried to make up for that by wearing a watch with a stopwatch. That way, I’d at least know how long I had run. It worked out pretty well, because I actually ended up running next to a guy who was wearing his phone on his sleeve, and since headphones were not allowed,  I was able to listen to his GPS tell him his pace every now and then, which was reassuring!

I have always wanted to run a 5K with a pace under 8 minutes, and surprisingly, with no music or GPS, I hit my personal record on this run, with a time of 24:40 and pace of 7:57. Does this mean I will run with no music or GPS in the future… NO.

I made it to my transition area, and jumped on my mountain bike. We rode 3 laps around the airfield, which was such a fun ride! I was pedaling as fast as my legs could go, but no matter what I did, road bikes were just breezing by me. I started to say in my mind, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can,” but no matter what I did, my bike was not as fast as those thousand dollar bikes zooming by me. I decided to just do take it all in and enjoy my ride. I finished the 13.1 miles in 48:17.

Transition 1

I was feeling pretty good…up until this point. When it was time to dismount my bike, I jumped off, and suddenly, both my feet cramped up. My legs almost buckled underneath me because I was not expecting that to happen. It felt like my feet just folded in half. I started to run to my transition spot, but realized a hobble was more realistic.

Transition 2
I think my body was dehydrated at this point and I’ve always had a history of severe cramps in my feet (ask my husband about me waking him up out of a dead sleep, because I just leaped 4 feet off the bed in excruciating pain).

I hobble-jogged to the pool, thinking, “Oh my gosh, I am going to drown now.” By the time I got to the pool, my left foot felt okay, but my right foot was in a lot of pain. Moving it sent crazy sharp pains, so I knew swim was going to be a struggle.

Run to Pool

If you saw my swim, you may compare it to a cat in the bathtub, a little scary. You would probably be very concerned to learn that I used to lifeguard and was responsible for the safety of your children. I promise, I really can swim. In my practice laps, I was swimming a 200 in just over 4 minutes, but in the race today, I finished in 5:41. I’m not even sure what stroke I used to get to the end, but thankfully, I finished the race, did not drown, and finished within my target time.

???????????????????????????????

END

Triathlon MedalSo.. here are the overall results:

-5K Run – 24:40 / 7:57 pace* (*Personal Record)
-Transition 1 – 1:35
-13.1 mi Bike – 48:17
-Transition 2 – 2:46
-200 m Swim – 5:41

Total Time: 1:23:00

Overall Place  – 79/474
Overall by Sex – 13/250
Division F 30-34 – 4/26

I am definitely happy with my overall time, because I completed the triathlon within my goal, but still a little bummed about the swim portion, thanks to the unexpected shooting pain.

I had a lot of fun with my first triathlon and will definitely be signing up for this race again next year!

Big shout-out and congratulations to my friend Jenny, who placed 1st place in our division (F 30-34), and 6th female overall, with a time of 1:19:11! You were awesome!! So glad we were able to do this race together! Twin mamas ROCK!

Jenny
And another BIG shout-out to my wonderful husband! Thank you for being so supportive in all of my training. I am so thankful to have such an amazing man by my side. Also, thank you for being my official photographer today! You ROCK!

My next race is just a week away at Knott’s Berry Farm, the Coaster Run 10K!

Fear will pass…regret is forever.

Running – The Sport I Used to Hate

medal1My running journey, and the first year of my 30’s, continues into 2014, and I am looking forward to this new chapter that I have opened up in my life. I have been skipping this chapter for years, because I thought I would hate it, but it turns out, it’s actually starting to grow on me, and I like the new challenges I’m facing!

Today, I completed the iTRYathlon 5K in Laguna Niguel. After being sick, for well over a week, and coughing myself to sleep last night, I woke up this morning, unsure if I was going to make it out of bed when my alarm clock went off at 4:45 a.m.

Health-wise, I feel pretty good, but my throat was burning and the cough was driving me nuts. Then I remembered my new motto, and the quote that is written on my bathroom mirror…

“Fear will pass, but regret is forever.” ~Jillian Michaels

It’s my current quote to live by, and I said it over and over in my head this morning, until I finally made my way out of bed and into the shower.

Bright and early, my friend Lorrie and I, drove out to Laguna Niguel to participate in our 5K. I was already feeling better and so glad that I made the decision to run! It felt great just to be back on my feet again!

I finished the race with almost a personal record, with a time of 24:57 (PR – 24:56), but as a bigger surprise, finished 1st in my division (F 30-34), and 20th overall.

results

medal

1st Place DivisionSure, it would have been easy to NOT go to the race this morning, and make an excuse, but I definitely would have regretted that decision.

Now, it’s time to get back into training mode for my next big adventure, the Los Alamitos Race on the Base Reverse Triathlon…which also happens to be the largest reverse triathlon in the United States!

The triathlon, which is in two weeks (2/22/14), begins with a 5K run, transitions into a 13.1 mile bike, and finally transitions into a 200 meter pool swim! I think I actually signed up for this triathlon before I found my bike, so I was a little excited!

Now that I’m up to at least 85% healthy, my training can get back on track this week. I think I would focus primarily on bike/swim, if it wasn’t for the fact that I also have the Coaster Run 10K coming up in 3 weeks (3/2/14)! That detail may have been looked over when I signed up for the triathlon, but I still don’t think it would have deterred me.

A lot of exciting things happening within a short time frame, but I am enjoying every minute of it! After this 3 weeks of crazy, it will be time to focus on the BIG run. The HALF Marathon. Just saying that, gives me goosebumps because 13.1 miles is CRAZY intimidating to me, but it IS happening this year! I am signed up for the Disneyland Half Marathon on August 31st. Plenty of time to train, but I’m already nervous!

2014 and the first year of my 30′s is already off to a running start!!

Running: A New Journey

Santa Run Medal 2013Now that I have started to run, it’s safe to say we have a love-hate relationship. I love it because it’s challenging and I am doing something I never thought I could do. I hate it because it’s hard and being competitive, I know I’ll never win a long distance race. But that being said, I have finally learned, that I am in competition with no one, but myself.

Running has taught me that, I am capable of so much more then I have ever imagined, and I am walking away from 8 weeks of run club and 3 completed races, learning to believe in myself and to focus on the journey, not the destination.

“If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.” -John Bingham

Ten weeks ago, I was not a runner. Since then, I have completed one 5K and two 10K’s, and it feels incredible.

On December 14th, I met my girls from the Fit4Mom Irvine/Tustin Running Club, at Hicks Canyon Elementary School, for the Troutman Sanders Renegade Santa Run. It was my second race sporting my Sparkle Athletic skirt, which I just love! “We don’t sweat, we sparkle.”

Run Club - Santa Run
Overall, I felt so much better during this race then I did at the Turkey Trot (which I was totally unprepared for). The first half to 3/4 mile was completely overwhelming because there were so many people running on the path, that it was extremely difficult to weave in and out of the crowds, making my pace for the first mile, the worst. After, the crowds finally started to break up, the race was a lot smoother and I actually felt pretty good during the 6.2 miles.

Wow, when I write that, “6.2 miles,” it still boggles my brain. I never pictured myself to be one to run any kind of distance. This running thing is going to be hard but completely amazing at the same time!

The official results are in…

  • Plymouth Rock N Run Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 10K – 54:49 (8:50 pace)
  • Troutman Sanders Renegade Santa Run 10K – 53:54 (8:42 pace)

2013 10K Medals
They say racing is addictive and it’s true. No matter how hard it is during the run, and I go through just about every emotion while I am running, the feeling of accomplishment at the end is like no other. In 2014, I am going to continue to focus on improving myself and continuing my new journey!

My next race is already on my calendar, Coaster Run10K, at Knotts Berry Farm on Sunday, March 2!

Running

Elfie: A Gift From Santa

Katelyn & Chelsea received a very special package on the morning of Thanksgiving, from none other then himself, Santa Claus! The girls and I were coming inside from playing outback, when we heard the doorbell ring. We all ran to the door to see who it was, and we found a very special package on our door step.

Special DeliveryThe girls knew exactly what it was when they saw the box, and were super eager to open it up to find their very own, Elf on the Shelf!

We have been eagerly awaiting this special package from the North Pole for the last two weeks, because we have been learning all about the Christmas magic through An Elf’s Story!

Elf on the ShelfThe girls understood all of the big concepts about their new Elf already, thanks to our special book and DVD.

  • We need to give our Elf a name before she gets her Christmas Magic.
  • The Elf will lose her Christmas Magic if she is touched.
  • Our Elf flies to the North Pole to see Santa every night when we are sleeping, to report if we were naughty or nice.
  • We will find our Elf in a new place every morning.

Together, we opened the box and read our book, The Elf on the Shelf A Christmas Tradition.

Elf on the Shelf

We talked about a whole bunch of names for our new friend that Santa had sent us and the girls decided on the name, Elfie. A few hours later, the girls went down for a nap. When they woke up, they ran downstairs to re-visit their Elf on the Shelf box only to discover that Elfie was gone!

She had received her Christmas Magic because we gave her a name and when the girls were sleeping, Elfie had flown out of the box to the top of our Christmas tree! The girls were ecstatic when they found her!

Elf on ShelfEvery morning, we all wake up, excited to run downstairs, and search for Elfie!

Elf Shelf

Elf ShelfWe are thrilled to have Elfie join our family for the Christmas season and look forward to welcoming her back year after year!

Thanks Santa!

Running Milestone: Turkey Trot 10K

I joined the running club with my Fit4Mom Irvine/Tustin moms in mid-October, with the goal of completing a 10K on December 14th. I have always hated running any distance, because I stunk at it, but I love sprinting short distances.

On November 13, I came home from run club, feeling good after a 4 mile run, and sat down at my computer, for what was supposed to be a minute, to log my run onto my daily workout sheet.

Before I know it, one thing led to another and somehow I clicked a button and signed myself up for the Plymouth Rock N’ Run Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 10K. I sat there smiling, starring at my computer and then it hit me, I’m going to be running a 10K in two weeks. What was I thinking? As my girls would say, “Ooops.”

Up until this point in time, the furthest I had ever run was 5 miles, once. My compulsiveness hit me once again and all of a sudden, I was supposed to run 6.2 miles in two weeks! Three minutes after clicking the submit button, the anxiety started to sit in.

My run training was less then par after that night. I was sore from the 4 mile run at run club, so I took a few days off. Then we purchased a treadmill, so I decided to break it in with a 5-mile run. Apparently, there is a lot more to this running stuff then I originally thought. My body was not used to the new surface, so I felt some unusual pain in my knees which forced me to take another break for a couple of days.

Now, one week before the big race, I decided to get back on the treadmill and run a 10K. I had to make sure I could do it, for my peace of mind, I guess. I got it done, but was in a lot of pain after, for days. So, please don’t follow my “balls to the wall” approach when run training. I was only able to run those two times before my race and went through a lot of unnecessary pain. Lesson learned. Follow your 10K run schedule or your run coach! (Note to Carmen: I will listen from now on!!)

I don’t think I slept much at all the night before Thanksgiving. My alarm went off at 5 a.m. and I woke up to get ready for my 7:15 a.m. race.

My friend told me,

“If you can run a 5K, you can run a 10K, but it’s going to be painful if you don’t train right for it.”
-Chris Brown (the CPA, not the rapper).

Well, he hit the nail on the head with that one!

I drove to Yorba Regional Park on Thanksgiving morning, put on my bib and checked in. I was actually excited. The gun went off all I could think was, “This is it, my first 10K race.”

The race was on, my music was blasting and my legs were moving, although, they felt like they were moving through quicksand, they were moving. I passed mile marker 1 with a smile on my face, 5.2 more to go! It felt like every mile marker was a little bit further then it should have been. Mile 5-6 were the hardest. If only I worked on my endurance training more and less on the finish line. We will chalk it up to the sprinter’s brain error…mind only on the finish line. Yah, I need to work on that.

The last part of the race was the best! Maybe the last 100-150 yards were full of people cheering me on to the finish line. Something happened in my legs and they just sprinted full force to the finish markers! I made it!

It was the most amazing feeling. It was a challenge run, but the feeling of crossing the finish line was indescribable. I was completely overwhelmed with emotions. The pain of the run was completely worth it. Now, I understand why running is addictive. That feeling of accomplishment is simply incredible.

Three months ago, I would’ve told you, there is no way I would ever run anything more then a 5K, and I just proved myself wrong. Although I trained the wrong way, I learned from it, and I think I am looking forward to another chance in two weeks!

Here are my official results from my first 10K race!

I am now two weeks away from my next 10K, the Troutman Sanders Renegade Santa Run! I am still sore from my 10K yesterday, and I have definitely learned my lesson, to take it slower, and follow my training schedule. I don’t see myself running more then 4 miles at a time over the next 14 days.

My first two races (5K, 10K) are in the books since turning 30, seven weeks ago and I have one more to check off before the end of the year. If it were not for the amazing girls in Run Club (and a huge thank you to Carmen & Lynsey), then I would have never achieved these new goals, because I would have never believed in myself.

Believe

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