Blog Archives

Four Month Hiatus

My last post, written four months ago, was a little intense, Catastrophe Before and After Ragnar Relay, and I took a break from blogging for a while. The good news, well at least for me, is that I’m back, and making a commitment to update regularly. It’s been a busy four months, and all of these updates, probably deserve their own post, but for now, let’s do a quick re-cap:

Racing continues. As soon as I got the clearance to run, once my ectopic pregnancy had finally terminated, I hit the ground running…

Coaster Run 5K at Knott’s Berry Farm on March 8th

2015_CoasterRun_logo coaster

Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation 10K on March 29 (Go Team Brody – Reaching For A Cure 2014)

PCRF

Ragnar So Cal – April 10-11 – Team Name: Great Bowels of Fire (1st Place in our Division)

Ragnar
Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland on May 10. (Finish in 1:58:42)

tinker bell half

On May 3, my friend, Stacy, and I were baptized at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, and our amazing group of friends were there to support us. We were also photo bombed by Pastor Rick Warren himself!

baptism

baptism2
I celebrated a wonderful Mother’s Day with my beautiful family.

Mday

Mday2
We went on a 4-day Carnival Cruise with our good friends and our girls’ bff’s! Together, our two families had 5 girls within 14 months of each other! We had a blast!

cruise
At the end of May, my brother and I were able to pull off the surprise of the century, and surprise my dad for his 60th birthday! He had no idea we were coming (I live in California, brother in North Carolina and dad (and sister) are in Maine).

dad

dad1

I also got to visit my mom and some of her family in Maine. It was an amazing trip!

mom
I surprised Trent with a “day date” on June 12, our 6 year wedding anniversary, and we played Foot Golf! Possibly, a new favorite sport!  

footgolf

Katelyn and Chelsea turned 4 in June and we celebrated their birthday, with good friends, at Pump It Up!

piu2

PIU
The family celebrated Father’s Day one week early, and headed to Angels Stadium for our first family game of the season! Katelyn says “Mike Trout is the best baseball player ever.” I have to agree!

bball
The girls completed their last day of preschool and officially start pre-k this fall! They are growing up way too fast!

preschool
At the end of June, we traveled to Pismo Beach to visit Trent’s family. It was great to see everyone in one place!

ava

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This summer, we’ve spent a lot of time in the pool and the girls have come so far with their swim lessons! I am so proud of them!

summer12

It’s been a busy 4 months, so this update seems action packed! I still can’t believe the girls are four. They make us laugh every day and our family is truly blessed. I promise our next update will not be 4 months away, so stay tuned!

One-Year RUNiversary

983580_1435109673398181_300747634_n (1)Today is a special day for me. It is my one-year RUNiversary!

Twelve months ago, I was not a runner, not even close! In fact, I hated thinking about running. I loved to sprint, fast, but for 100, 200 yards, maybe. I loved to run around the bases in a softball game or do sprints for a warm-up. Anything beyond that, was just not for me.

One year ago, today, I completed my first “official” run, by joining an 8-week run club. That night, I ran 1 mile around the track. Little did I know, that mile, would be the start to an amazing, positive, change in my life.

I never thought I would ever complete a half marathon. I had no endurance and honestly, no desire to even try. I had myself convinced, that I was a sprinter, therefore, I could not run long distance, but last October, my mentality changed.

I set a New Year’s resolution, for 2013, that I was going to be Fit for 30. It was the year, I turned the big 3-0, and I worked hard, to get in the best shape of my life. I felt that I completed my goal when my 30th birthday arrived last October, but something was still missing. I got in shape, but I still couldn’t run. I was finally ready to stop saying, “I can’t,” and start believing in myself.

It was never easy. I made mistakes. I learned from them. I sustained injuries. I set my alarm for 5 a.m. runs. I had runs that were good and runs that brought me to tears. Most importantly, no matter what, I never quit.

I’ve learned a lot of things about myself since I started running (13.1 Milestone: Lessons Learned), but I think one of the most important ones is to have a positive attitude, not just in running, but in life. I had convinced myself that I was not good enough to run long distance and that I would never have the endurance to run a half marathon. The reality was, I just never had the desire or the patience to prove myself wrong.

I learned how powerful your mind really is and how much control your mind and your attitude have over your body. If I hit the road with a negative attitude, my run is horrible, every time.

I learned that 90% of your race, is your mental state that day. Of course, training is important, and your body needs to be properly trained, fueled, and hydrated to go the distance, but it’s just as important to train your mind, along with your body. When your body runs out of steam, your mind needs to tell your legs to keep moving.

If you told me one year ago, I would run a half marathon, I would have laughed out loud and told you, you were crazy, because I can’t run.

In the past 12 months, I have completed 2 5K’s, 4 10K’s, 1 sprint triathlon, and 2 half marathons, and I will be running my 3rd half marathon on October 26th.

5K
11/9/13 – Big A 5K 24:56 / 8:02
2/9/14 – iTRTathlon 5K 24:57 / 8:03

10K
11/28/13 – Plymouth Rock N Run 10K – 54:49 / 8:50
12/14/13 – Troutman Sanders Santa Run 10K – 53:54 / 8:42
3/2/14 – Coaster Run 10K – 49:23 / 7:58
3/30/14 – PCRF Reaching For the Cure 10K 49:20 / 7:58

Sprint Triathlon
2/22/14 – Race on the Base – 5K 24:40 / 7:57, Bike 13.1 mi 48:17, Swim 5:41

Half Marathon
5/26/14 – Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon – 2:03:23 / 9:25
8/31/14 – Disneyland Half Marathon – 1:56:37 / 8:54

It is almost overwhelming to look back at the last year and see, not just the accomplishments, but to see how much running has changed me as a person. I really believe it has given me a new outlook on life.

Running was something that once scared me, because I was so intimidated by it, but now running is a part of who I am.

I started my own Facebook page, Mission TwinPossible: The Twin Mama’s Journey, and I have learned that anything is possible with the right attitude, hard work, and dedication.

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

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

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