Inspiration: For the Weekend

The following picture sums up what I’ve been thinking about this past week. It is so.dang.true.

Stay tough always!

Until the next post…

keep on running!

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Spread joy (and cupcakes!)

I’ve been running up a storm, you guys! As well as occasionally baking on the side. 🙂 I’m very grateful to be staying busy with two of my passions but I do miss the days of blogging in my virtual journal for all to read, encourage, and inspire. Speaking of, I’ve never been on the spectator side in my adult running career so I thought I’d give it a go at:

LA Marathon 2014

Rock ‘n Roll San Diego 2014

and, most recently, Conquer the Bridge 2014

When I ran X-Country and Track & Field in high school, I absolutely loved seeing and hearing my fellow teammates cheer me on. It was the boost of encouragement to keep going when my mind would drop to the thought of “Why am I doing this?” to, with their help, “Because I can.” Fast forward years later and I had forgotten that feeling when friends and courageous strangers thanked me with kind words and sweaty hugs. Initially, I was confused because I didn’t see what the big deal was until I stopped and saw it myself. When running, it’s you vs. you and because the mind is the most powerful thing in a human’s body it can force it to think/do almost anything (i.e. “I want to give up.”, “I’m going to stop.”, etc.). Also, a majority of us don’t run with a smile on our face which is something I’m still trying to figure out because we love the sport so darn much, you know? I’ll leave that up to science. Anyways, so when you see someone (or some people) cheering you on during moments of “I may want to give up.” and “Let me get to that darn finish line already!” it brings you back to why you started in the first place. It brings you back to joy, which naturally puts a smile on your face. 🙂

Until the next run…

keep on spreading joy!

Official pacer = a challenge in itself

My pacing partner Rose got me through using my own advice.

The Malibu Marathon 2014 was the start of my first official pacing gig…and it couldn’t have been the worst and best experience of my life.

My interest for pacing grew from a non genuine place in my running heart. “I want to run a free race! Pacing shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Sign me up!” It’s very true what they say:

When you begin something that’s not from the heart, you finish it with a huge life lesson learned.

Looking at the course map, it displayed a seemingly flat with a tainted description of it being a fast course. I thought pacing a 5:30 for a full marathon was going to be a walk in the park since it’s a slower-than-average time for me. Easy, right?

The first ~5 miles were fun until my legs realized “Hey, the terrain isn’t changing. It’s too flat!” Yup, my legs have a mind of their own and don’t prefer a flat course for long periods of time so they started buckling. The view didn’t help the situation until the course wound through fancy schmancy homes and the beautiful ocean water appeared ahead. This was where it got interesting, too…with them hills…rolling hills, to be exact…incredibly high rolling hills, to be extra specific.

Having to keep a slow, steady pace for 5 hours and 30 minutes was incredibly taxing on my body. It was hurting and my mind began failing. “This hurts…that hurts…what the…I can’t finish this…I can’t…” My pacing partner kept trying to get my mind right but I was a ball of crazy emotions. Runners were depending on me to get them through their goal time in exactly 5:30 – no more, no less. I told my partner “Go. Go without me. I’m done.” She said “You start it so you have to finish it.” What she said is how I live my life on a daily basis so why on Earth would I quit now? Even though it was an absolute struggle, I almost crawled my way to the finish with tears ready to stream down my miserable face.

Though I crossed the line 4 minutes behind goal time, my pace lead assured me that almost everyone had a rough race with it being really hilly and the course lies we were initially told. Still, I was disappointed in myself and wondered why the heck I got myself into pacing the first place.

I signed up with the mind frame of “It’s a free race!” but succeeded with a fresh outlook of “I inspired many runners to keep going. If I’m inspiring them, I better follow my own inspiration during times of despair.” An advance runner even told me as I was hobbling in the sand “You paced this advanced course? You’re an advance runner now.” I believe that all things happen for a reason so there was a huge reason why I signed up and had this official pacing experience be my first. I had a new appreciation for pacers/pacing, I should pat myself on the back every so often, and this was a challenge to better myself because

If you believe it, you can and will achieve it.

Until the next post…

keep on running!

#FuelYourBetter

Being a Sweat Pink Ambassador, we’re given wondrous opportunities to review products that are up-and-coming or have been on the market for a while. I’ve been so super curious about Vega Sport because it’s plant-based and I’m, unfortunately, used to eating (AKA relying on) chemicals out of a bag. My veg/vegan runner friends swear by its taste and results so why not try it, right?

WHY HAVEN’T I TRIED IT EARLIER?!

The package came in a tightly sealed dry ice box, already letting it be known that it isn’t your typical energy bar but made from real food. My co-workers, who are athletes themselves, were very hesitant to try it because they believe in the power of chemicals. I convinced them because, really, what do they have to lose? So I passed the bars around and this is what they said:

“OH MY GOSH, THIS THING IS DELICIOUS! IT TASTES LIKE REAL FOOD!”

“DO YOU HAVE ANYMORE?”

We compared it to a competitor brand we consume on a daily basis and unanimously preferred Vega Sport because of its natural taste. And as it just so happened, we planned to workout shortly after indulging in this protein goodness and my energy levels couldn’t have been better! I didn’t feel bloated, heavy, and it didn’t take my body a while to get moving, which is what the competitor brand does to me.

This review is honest and in my own words – there’s absolutely no reason to sugar coat anything because it doesn’t benefit anyone. With that said, I dare you DARE YOU to go out and buy just one bar yourself. I promise you’ll enjoy it more than all other brands and really feel the difference. I must forewarn you though that it might get addicting like, you-can-eat-it-all-day addicting. 😉

Until the next review…

keep on running!

Lottery: Chicago Marathon

Whenever a runcation (run + vacation) presents itself, I’ll quickly clear my calendar because being able to do two passions at one time is like hitting the jackpot. Except, in this case, I had to go through a lottery first.

The lottery for the Chicago Marathon, to be exact.

It was an usually busy day at work so I wasn’t able to check my personal email or stay up-to-date with social media. Not that I should be doing things other than work during work hours but, you know, sometimes you just need to “getaway.” Right before I packed up for the day and catching a moment to browse my email, my eyes quickly noticed this subject line:

“Congratulations! You’ve been accepted into the Chicago Marathon!”

It was real, folks. It became all too real: I won the lottery and I’m officially running the Chicago Marathon!!!

I can’t wait to see this, run this, and eat their food because I hear it’s all amazing. 😀

Until the next post..

keep on running!

Inspiration: For the Weekend

STAY STRONG and DIG DEEP to those running the LA Marathon and any other race this weekend.

Until the next post..

keep on running!

Balloon Lady in Training

For those who know what a Balloon Lady is, beware! For those who don’t, she is a sweet lady..who sweeps you if she’s about to pass you at runDisney races. Wait, what?! Let me break it down for you: if you ever find yourself at a Disney race and see groups of women holding balloons, you better hustle your butt to the finish otherwise, they’ll transport you in a vehicle towards the finish line. And, no, you will not get your finisher’s medal. It’s true and unfortunate but “once they sweep, you start to weep.”

Still having that nagging injury from Rock ‘n Roll Los Angeles Halloween 2013 and knowing very well I would be pacing the Malibu Marathon 2013 two weekends later, I could not participate at Run Hard Rock Cafe 2013. I, literally, walked the entire course since it was not an option to not be present (remember, I have this cringing feeling of having DNF, DQ, or DNR next to my name). Luckily, it was just a 5K (and I say that with grace because I’ve been running marathons) so I decided to have some fun with it.

Since I’m intrigued of becoming a Balloon Lady one day, I trained myself to be one at this race. I didn’t do a very good job as I passed up several walkers at a fast-walking pace. Oops! Side note: I just had to represent my cupcakes on those balloons. 😉

This was an out-and-back race, which I am not a fan of but to be able to run, er, walk down Hollywood Blvd. without traffic/cars/crazy people made it so much fun! Time to turn around!

I took some serious thought into whether I should sprint or jump for joy to the finish. I made the smart (and healthy) choice and crossed with so much joy. 😀

I met up with some Instagram friends afterwards. What a fun bunch!

This was Run Hard Rock Cafe’s inaugural event and I must say, unbiasedly, I and everyone else had a ton of fun! It was well-organized, fully stocked with on-course and post race munchies and liquids, and the medal was bangin’! When registration opens later this year, I highly recommend signing up yourself and your friends. It’s a good time to be had by all!

Until the next post..

keep on running!