#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!

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Inspiration: For the Weekend

This is bookmarked on my phone. I read it daily. I’ll be the first to admit that I have a lot of trouble handling #15.

Running is more than running – it’s teaches you about life.

17 Things Running Teaches You

Posted by: on May, 17 2013
Found on ThoughtCatelog and written by Kovie Biakolo

1. To be good at anything, you have to put in the time and effort no matter how talented you are.
2. Your abilities and someone else’s abilities are not the same. Do the best that YOU can do.
3. If winning is your objective, realize that you have to work 10 times harder than the next best person.

4. No matter how hard you work and how prepared you are, disappointments will happen.

5. The most gratifying experiences usually come as a result of enduring the most painful trials.

6. To be great at anything, you have to risk failing terribly at it.

7. A lot of people endure the same pains that you do.

8. If you focus on putting one foot in front of the other, you will eventually reach the finish line.

9. You cannot reach the finish line unless you start.

10. The mind is a very powerful thing. If you can train your mind to keep going even when your body wants to quit, you can achieve some incredible things.

11. Learning the difference between physically being unable to continue and giving up.

12. Accepting that every day is different — some days 5 miles is really easy, other days it feels like a cruel punishment.

13. Pace yourself.

14. You cannot give 100%, 100% of the time.

15. Sometimes you need a day off, a day off from everything.

16. The worst time, the slowest pace, the last person to finish the race is still better off than the person who refused to try.

17. Even if you fall, even if you cannot finish today, you can and should pick yourself up and try again tomorrow.

To bookmark it yourself, click here.

Until the next post…

keep on running!

“..re-routing..re-calculating..”

Darn you, GPS. Just be quiet already!

I’m not talking about the GPS that’s on your wrist, arm, or even in your car. I’m talking about LIFE.

That’s right: my GPS = my LIFE.

It is the very reason why I’ve gone missing since my last post. Don’t get me wrong – I think about posting every.single.day. I post in my head while driving and at work (don’t tell my Supervisor), but we don’t want to know what else is in my head as it is a huge Sudoku mess.

Let me break it down for you…

JUST WHAT THE HECK HAS BEEN KEEPING ME INSANELY BUSY?

  • My 9-5. There’s a lot of work to be done and so much so that I have to bring it home on a regular basis. Note to work: stay at work.
  • Driving. I’ve recently had to do a lot of driving to get from Point A to Point Z. What the heck happened to Points B-Y? Exactly.
  • Training..in the gym. I’m currently on a higher phase in my transformation process and because my personal trainer listens to my every want/need (AKA complaint), my workouts have been harder and longer. #beastmode
  • Running..in recent humid weather has not been the biz so I’ve had to make some timely adjustments. Sure, some might say it’ll help with elevation and such but, excuse me, I do not want to be that runner who passes out over heat exhaustion, thank you very much.
  • Baking AKA my side gig. My cupcakes are like my babies. They’re golden to me. It’s a process, especially since I’m the only one in the kitchen. Actually, I’m the only one baking while every one else is waiting for me to finish to snatch one up in the kitchen.
  • *Eating
  • *Sleeping

* – though should be a natural part of every person’s daily routine, busy bodies might forget due to new priorities and priorities being out of whack

I absolutely, positively love running, training, and baking. I also enjoy blogging. Trust me when I say I’ve been hustling and grinding to replace “My 9-5” and “Driving” with “Eating” and “Sleeping.” I know – it’s terrible but it’s

LIFE.

Has anyone read this book? I just stumbled upon it so maybe it’s meant to be.

Until the next post…

keep on running (and run with life!)!

Inspiration: For the Weekend

What a whirlwind it’s been the past couple of weeks, my readers! I’ve been hustlin’ both as a Nike Women’s Marathon and New Year’s Race Los Angeles at Night Ambassador..and training for the San Francisco Marathon that’s coming up in less than two weeks! Ack! I am incredibly fortunate and humbled to be an Ambassador for both events as I’ve been learning so much behind the scenes and seeing the definite value of being a part of a supportive team. There were times when I had thoughts of giving up mid-run because, well, the mind is a pretty powerful thing. I believe the following picture sums it up for me.

Until the next post..

(don’t give up and just) keep on running!

All I need to do is run.

After New Year’s Race Los Angeles at Night, I absolutely needed a new running program. I considered going back to the one I used for Nike Women’s Marathon SF 2012 but knew I’d quickly get bored of it, so I browsed online until my sister said “Hey, I have a program you can use.” I checked it out and “Yes, this is the program I will use to train for the LA Marathon!”

The LA WHAT?! I’ll get to that in the next post.

This is Brian’s baby girl. I used to be her preschool teacher. Now she’s my personal trainer. Who runs who now?

Welcome to BRIK Fitness. The owner’s name is Brian Nguyen though I knew him before this. One day, BRIK held a fundraiser for Train 4 Autism. “Donate $10 and have some fun working out!” I’m all for donating to causes I believe in and it sounded like a good time, so I went. I’m not saying this because I know him but I had the most fun working out with encouraging coaches and friendly faces! I dislike any sort of strict/mundane/no-pain-no-gain workouts so this caught my eye. I didn’t sign-up with them after this though because I didn’t think I needed it. It came time to train for the LA Marathon and I, coincidentally, received a message from Brian.

“Hey, how’s it going? When are you coming into the gym?”

The what? Yes, even though BRIK had me at first kettle bell I didn’t think it was necessary to join any gym. For what? All I need to do is run.

“You need more than running. You need strength training. You need to build your core before you can be a successful runner.”

To make a super long story short, it took a lot of convincing to get my butt in the gym because I can be that stubborn. He created a program specifically for me: a long distance runner who wants this, this, and this. BRIK’s workouts are super fun but really kick your butt when all is said and done, which was exactly the program he designed for me. This was (is, actually) my daily schedule: go on my fun run and then do my fun workout or vice versa. One day, he told me he’d been watching me run and had some suggestions on how to improve my form (among other things). Every so often he’d hint at reducing my running schedule, too (with good reasons, of course). I’d let the latter slip through one ear and out the other though, and call it a day. Every.single.time. I already agreed to work on my core (which makes sense to me now. Runners, please, work on your core to become a better runner!) but I stop at anyone telling me to reduce one of my great passions in life.

It came time for the LA Marathon and I tried to keep what Brian told me, on the course, in mind. Once I hit mile marker 20, however, I threw everything out the window because I just wanted to cross that dang finish line. I happily finished and felt like a super champ so I was (already) ready to train for my next marathon. I gave my body a week to recover and got right back on that pavement the following week. Familiar pain started making itself apparent right when I took that first stride. Crap. Instead of assuming what it was or guessing how I can relieve it, I texted Brian for some guidance. Would you like to know what he responded with? Here you go:

“Stop f*cking running. You need to…”

I about had it. I threw my phone (gently, of course) and began bursting into tears. Who the *beep* was he to say that to someone who lives to run? Though his following messages included “..your body needs this..please listen to me..I care about you..blah blah blah..”, I never felt such anger towards someone who has never done anything wrong to me or my family. I didn’t talk to him for a while after this. I actually don’t know who contacted whom first but I somehow found myself back in the gym, and we had a nice little pep talk. We have a lot of little pep talks every time I see him in the gym now. I’m pretty sure it’s because I wreak of stubbornness and he knows how much I love running. Through pep talks, trying to understand biomechanics (runners, you know what I’m talking about here), and telling me “I’m not trying to hurt you. I care about you. I know you’re going to run no matter what. I just want you to be a successful runner.”, the one thing that finally stopped me in my tracks was when he said

“As long as you come into the gym, you can continue sticking to your running schedule. But if you get injured, don’t come to me because I’ve been talking to you about this.”

Hearing that brought so many flashes of runners I personally know getting injured, stories of runners who would persist through the pain and end up having to bail on a run because it became unbearable, and professional runners who had to stop running for good because their body just couldn’t take it anymore. To hear a doctor tell me “You can’t run anymore” would be one of the worst moments of my life. I truly want to run for as long as I live. The very next day, I gave Brian my running program to adjust. It’s been a frightening ride but I (finally) trust him. After all, he’s been an athletic coach for years and is the personal trainer of Mark Wahlberg. Yes, that Mark Wahlberg with the funky fresh body.

Meet Brian.

Runners: listen to your body and argue with your strength trainer. It’s been an emotional as well as physical process but I’m seeing results (don’t tell Brian – I don’t want him to think he’s been right all along ;)).

Until the next post..

keep on running (without injuries, of course)!