Thursday, April 13, 2017

#100MilesOfCourage

Happy April, everyone! I know, I know.  I'm a horrible blogger.  This year has been a bit of a doozy but despite everything going on both personally and professionally, I still think it's already been a much better year than 2016.  Someday I promise to share more about what's going on but for now I'll keep those details private out of respect for those that are impacted.  I hope you all understand!
 
I do have something exciting that I'd love to share with everyone.  As you all know, every year I try to find a philanthropic cause to dedicate my time to. This year I've joined the #100MilesofCourage campaign as an Awareness Leader and I have committed to run/walk/hike 100 miles in the month of April for National Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Awareness month. I even had the opportunity to work with some of the amazing team members on the campaign's promotional video.  No speaking parts for me because I'm incredibly shy and the idea of any kind of spotlight or focused attention gives me anxiety, but I had a ton of fun participating.
 
 
I may/may not have squealed in excitement when the promotional video was launched.  They did a great job on it and it's been amazing to see how much engagement and participation it's helped to bring to the campaign.  If you're interested in seeing the promotional video, click here.  I'm apparently not tech savvy enough to figure out how to embed the video without completely distorting the quality.  I'll figure it out one day.
 
So far I've only ran 16 miles for the month so I have a lot of catching up to do but I'm determined to get in the 100 miles that I committed to at the very least.
 
Please consider joining me on the #100MilesofCourage team to help bring awareness to such an important cause.  If you're not interested in committing to the miles, please consider supporting the campaign with a donation to the Monterey County Rape Crisis Center. 
 
 Every penny counts and every donation makes a huge difference:
 
 
Thank you!
 
Do you have a philanthropic cause that is important to you?  What do you do to support your cause?  Any tips on increasing engagement, participation and/or donations?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 

Monday, February 6, 2017

It's February!

Happy February everyone!  I had grand plans of kicking off the new month with some killer workouts, runs and hikes but California weather has been very uncooperative lately and it turned out to be another wet weekend.  Nonetheless, I still got in a fun adventure with Michele and Chyrl on Saturday.
 
The three of us decided to take a trip up to Nisene Marks State Park since none of us had been there before.  Even though the weather was predicting some rain we decided to go for it anyway.  The skies were overcast but stayed dry for the most part.
 

We took a pic of the trail map
to make sure we didn't get lost
 
I would tell you what trails we hopped on but I honestly can't remember.  In fact, I'm the most directionally challenged person on the face of the planet so even if I did tell you where I thought the trails were, I'll probably just get you lost. Sorry!
 
We started off by jumping onto a trailhead right off of the first parking lot after the entrance kiosk.  It was just so scenic out there and I was immediately in my happy place.  It was also very muddy so we hiked pretty much the entire time. 
 

Travel the road less taken

Sooo pretty. The single track was my fave.
 
Three happy girls

About halfway through, it started raining so we made the executive decision to turn back.  None of us wanted to risk getting sick or twisting an ankle in the mud.  I will say, I was surprised by how many runners, hikers and even cyclists were out there.  It was so nice to see!  It was refreshing to see so many new faces who were equally passionate about spending time in nature being active.  We'll certainly be back again for a more extensive hike/run trip...preferably, when it's warmer and drier. 

Love that there's so much water in the river
 
Run happy
 
After all of our trail shenanigans, we headed over to New Leaf Community Market to grab some brunch and do some shopping.  New Leaf Community Market is like a local Whole Foods/Trader Joe's.  Really cute with lots of unique food items that I've never seen elsewhere.  I wanted to buy everything and somehow left with a bag full of stuff and a $70 bill.  Still not sure how that happened.  
 
Happy ladies ready to grub

Refueling!
 
If you've never been to Nisene Marks, I highly recommend it.  And while you're out in the area stop by New Leaf Community Market.  Completely worth the trip!
 
What did you do this weekend?  Did you do anything new to ring in the new month?  Were you watching the game on Sunday?  Or are you non-Superbowl fan?


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

January 2017 Update

Hi everyone!  It's February!  Is it just me or does this year seem to be flying by? 

I'm finally well enough to be back running and working out so I'm sooo unbelievably happy! Instead of boring you all with a long drawn out blog post with my January updates, here's a fun (and short!) update via pictures.  Enjoy!

Saturday, 01/21 - Trail run with the Treadmill Tribe!
Photo Credit: The Treadmill
 
Happy faces at the summit of the Treadmill run
after running in down pouring rain and hail
 
Tuesday, 01/24 - 5:00 AM Body Combat to start the day!

Wednesday, 01/25 - I tried Rocket Yoga for the first time. I died.
 
Thursday, 01/26 - Body Combat to end the day and release some work stress
 
Friday morning alarm situation

Friday, 01/27 - Super early run at 4:50 AM with Michele
 
Saturday, 01/28 - Easy paced morning run with Liz
 
Sunday, 01/29 - Hills and more hills on the trails with Darlena

I'm starting February off on the right foot and can't wait to continue to get more consistent with my running and workout schedule.  So far 2017 is off to a great start!

How was your January?  Are you on track to reach your 2017 goals? 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Back At It!

After two weeks of being sick and completely inactive, I am finally better! Hallelujah!  I cannot tell you how cranky I was getting about not being able to workout and run.  It was horrible.
 
On Thursday I still had a lingering cough but I couldn't take it anymore so I attended a HIIT the Barre class at the Carmel Barre studio.  The instructor, Gracie, killed me with burpees, push-ups, planks, crunches, various squats and lunges, etc.  I loved every torturous second of it!
 
On Saturday I woke up with full-on soreness from the HIIT class but I still decided to attend the #BODYPUMP100 launch at our local gym.  My friend was co-teaching it and I had never tried a BodyPump class before so I was really excited (but scared) to give it a try.  It was awesome!  I readily admit that I don't lift weights and I have absolutely no upper body strength so it was really challenging for me. It was a good challenge though and I'm looking forward to incorporating it into my cross training schedule.
 
On Monday my friend Sarah invited me to join her for a run on the trails in Fort Ord.  You guys, I was so deliriously happy to be able to run again!  Yes, my pace was much slower than it normally is and yes, my lungs were still compromised.  But I ran!  I was literally on a runner's high for the rest of the day.
 

So happy!

Look at those smiling faces
 
I am so relieved to finally be feeling normal again and can't wait to continue hitting my runs and workouts hard.  This girl's got some goals to smash this year!
 
What did you do over the weekend?  Did you do anything fun for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day?

Monday, January 9, 2017

January 2017 Update

Oh 2017, I still love you but man you've given my new year a rough start.  I came back from Vegas and immediately came down with the gnarly cold that's going around.  Me being the typical stubborn runner that I am, I insisted on still toeing the start line at the 2017 Rio Resolution Run because I refused to let some cold keep me from starting the year off doing what I love.
 
Smiling but miserable
 
I finished the race but holy cow it was one of the most miserable experiences I've ever had, with non-stop coughing and difficulty breathing.  In fact, I made an mid-race decision to downgrade to the 5k instead of the 10k I was registered for because I was struggling so much.  At one point I swore I was going to throw-up because I was coughing so hard.  Not cool!
 
Needless to say, I probably added several days to my recovery and have been homebound since.  No running, no working out, no doing anything.  At all.  To say I'm in dire need of some kind of physical activity is an understatement.  Talk about cranky!
 
I have my fingers crossed that I'll be back to normal soon.  I'm feeling better but I still have a residual cough that's driving me nuts and some congestion.  I need to do something before I go crazy from inactivity.  Literally.
 
How has your 2017 been so far?  Have you managed to avoid getting sick?


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Good-bye 2016, Hello 2017!

This year has flown by and I hate to say it, but I'm looking forward to 2016 being over and starting anew in 2017.  This year has been so hard for so many people and I am no exception.  I cannot wait for the new year!

Luckily, I got to end 2016 on a good note and spent some major quality time with my family for Christmas.  Our family rotates locations every year and every year a different family hosts the festivities.  This year, my brother hosted our Christmas party in Las Vegas, NV and our party theme was literally "Las Vegas". 

Y'all my family goes all out for Christmas!  We always have outfit changes, both group and solo skits, and games galore.  For this year's Vegas theme we had people dressed up as Elvis, the Jabbawockeez, Criss Angel, a bride and groom complete with bachelorette party, etc.  For the games we had a hula hoop competition and Minute To Win It type games (i.e. moving a cookie from your forehead to your mouth without touching or having it fall, moving as many skittles from one plate to another in one minute with your mouth and a straw, pencil balance and catch, etc.) along with our usual Apples to Apples, HedBanz, Pie Face Showdown and card games.  We had so much fun that everyone was up until 3:00 AM the next day.

My everything
 
Our "small" family gathering. And this wasn't everyone!
 
Jabbawockeez with Baby Wockee
 
After the family Christmas festivities, my parents and I got to spend some awesome quality time visiting Hoover Dam.  None of us had ever been there before so it was extra special to experience it with them.  After we got back from Hoover Dam, we headed out to dinner with my sister, brother-in-law, and baby niece one last time before I headed home the next day.  It was a fantastic trip and the perfect way to bring December to a close.
 

Hoover Dam
 
Last dinner with the fam

Now that I'm back home, I cannot wait to get back into my normal routine.  Typically, I post about my goals for the new year however my birthday post basically outlined everything that I want to focus on in 2017 so I feel like that would just be redundant.  However, I do want to share one other tidbit with you.

Some of you may have noticed that there's been quite a change to my sidebar and many of my ambassador buttons have disappeared.  In an effort to stay true to my goals for 2017 I decided not to renew most of my ambassadorships next year.  Don't get me wrong, I loved each and every opportunity to be an ambassador for amazing companies that I truly believe in and I wouldn't trade that experience for the world.  I just feel that with my focus next year, I can't fully dedicate the time and effort that I feel that an ambassador should and what those companies deserve.  If I can't give my 100% to an ambassador role, then I don't feel that it's fair for me to take a spot from someone else who can.  That doesn't mean that I love those companies and products any less.  I'll continue to support and promote every single one of them as I truly believe in their products as well as their mission statements, philosophies and approach.  I'll just be doing so in a more unofficial capacity going forward.  Who knows, if all goes well and I feel I've accomplished everything I set out to do in 2017 maybe I'll decide to serve as an ambassador again in 2018.  Time will tell.

How was your Christmas?  Any fun plans for New Year's Eve?  What will your 2017 goals and focus be?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

#OptOutside

Is it just me or has this year flown by?  I can't believe it's almost December!  I'm not ready!

This past weekend was Thanksgiving weekend and I had so much to be thankful for.  The four day weekend started off with an easy run on my local recreational trail on Thanksgiving morning.  Every day I am grateful to be able to run out of my front door onto one of the most scenic recreational trails in the country.  How many people can say they can run by the ocean every day?  It never gets old.

Afterwards, I headed out to San Jose, CA for Thanksgiving dinner with my Dad's side of the family.  Holidays are hard to parse out when you have a huge family so I tend to celebrate Thanksgiving with my Dad's side of the family and Christmas with my Mom's side of the family.

Per usual, we had a ton of food and I was actually smart this year and showed up wearing clothing comfy enough to allow me to indulge in eating all of the food.  Stretchy pants for the win!  Three (or five) platefuls later, and I was happily lounging on the couch in a severe food coma catching up with my cousins and cracking up at the usual shenanigans that tend to ensue when we're all together.  I laughed so hard that my stomach hurt (and not just from all the food I ate), my face was sore and I had tears streaming from my eyes.  Gotta love family time! 

All of the food (minus the dessert table) and my Auntie.  Isn't she cute?

Of all the things I'm thankful for, I'm especially thankful to be blessed with the family that I would have picked for myself if given the choice.  I know how extremely lucky I am to sincerely love, and love spending time with, every single family member on both sides of my family.  What's even more amazing is that both sides of my family love, and get along with, each other!  It's a rarity that I never take for granted. 
 
Some of the fam.  We had a photo fail and forgot to take a pic with everyone.
 
The day after Thanksgiving was a planned family hike at Mission Peak in Fremont, CA to burn off all of the turkey day calories.  We were all anti-shopping and wanted to do something active outdoors so it was a perfect opportunity for some family bonding.  The majority of the family was still in a food coma state that morning so it ended up being a party of two and my cousin luckily (or unluckily, depending on how you look at it) got to share all of the miles with me.
 
It was so pretty!  I'm glad we decided to hike so that I could enjoy the view
 
Since my cousin isn't a runner, we agreed to hike instead.  I had only been to Mission Peak once before and ran it was during the hottest part of the day in the middle of summer.  Needless to say, I didn't get to enjoy the view at all.  I took full advantage of the fact that we were hiking and soaked in all of the views.  There were gaggles of wild turkey that would meander across the trail (I'm pretty sure they were thankful not to have been dinner the night before!), lots of cows lazily grazing on the hillside, and plenty of birds and rabbits.  I cheerily said good morning to every person (and every animal) we came across and made plenty of new friends along the way.  To say I was in my happy place was an understatement!
 
My new friend.  We were doing the mannequin challenge
 
In what seemed like no time at all we reached the summit and we took some time to soak in the view.  It was gorgeous!  Apparently it tends to get really packed up there so we were lucky enough to have hiked early enough to miss the huge crowd.  Per usual, I chatted it up with random strangers about all things running, hiking and food.  And of course I had to take an obligatory pic on the Mission Peak pole!
 
On top of the world
 

That view!
 
After a while the crowd at the summit started growing and we noticed that more and more people were on the way up so we decided to head back out.  Instead of going back down the way we came, we opted to go back down the opposite way on another trail that was considerably less crowded (we saw maybe 10 people along the way).  Much to my cousin's chagrin, I made the executive decision for us to run the entire way back. 
 

Don't let that smile fool you.  She hated me for making her run. HA!
 
Listen, I know I'll probably get some flack for "forcing" my cousin to run but hear me out.  I know her.  I know how far she can go, how much she can be pushed and what her personal fitness goals are for the upcoming year.  She's more than capable of running, and she fully admits that she loves how she feels afterwards.  All she needs is a little tough love to get her started.  So we ran.  A little over three glorious miles of mostly downhill and oh man were my quads burning!  I haven't bombed downhill that hard in a while.  By the time we got back to the parking lot and stopped my legs were jello and I loved it.  And my cousin who swore up and down that she hates running, ran the entire way and had the biggest smile on her face when we finished.  She did it!  I can't tell you how proud I was of her and, most importantly, how proud she was of herself.
 
Saturday was a rainy, dreary day.  Perfect for an active recovery day.  I hit up my local recreational trail for an easy walk/jog since my quads were shot.  I knew the soreness was only going to get worse the next day so an easy activity was the perfect way to try to minimize the upcoming soreness.
 
Sunday was a full rest day which was exactly what I needed because my quads HURT.  I literally cringed every time I had to stand up or tried to sit down cross-legged or with my legs under me.  Any thoughts of a downhill marathon being a fun idea were thoroughly quashed. 
 
So what do I do when I can't workout or run?  I eat!  I met up with my Uncle (who is also my godfather and second dad), Auntie and cousins for breakfast at a Filipino restaurant in Milpitas.  My cousin, who I consider my other brother, was in town from L.A. so I wanted to spend some time with him and the fam to catch-up.


Dad#2 and my second family

After breakfast we headed to my other cousin's home to hang out, catch-up and basically dote over the baby.  She is so dang cute and one of the happiest babies I've ever seen!  Playing with her made me miss my niece but thankfully I'll get to love on her soon when I visit for Christmas.  And of course I had to spend some quality time with my four-legged niece, Casey.  Sweetest dog ever!  I may or may not have tried to steal her but she didn't quite fit into my purse.

Casey!  Love my four-legged niece
 
As sad as I am that the long weekend is over, I am so glad to get back to my normal routine.  I'm realizing that as fun as eating all of the food is in theory, in reality it's not so fun.  I felt so sluggish and gross and my body certainly felt the impact of eating a ton of junk without the corresponding hard work out/run to balance it out.  Happy to be back to the grind!
 


How was your Thanksgiving?  Did you #OptOutside or brave the Black Friday shopping crowds?