Wednesday, December 3, 2014

While You Were Sleeping

I was getting ready for work this morning when I turned on the TV and saw an old friend of mine doing her now weekly make-up segment on the morning show. Now that I have Fios in my room, I've decided to embrace the mature adult I've grown into and actually watch the morning news. Though I am quickly remembering why I never liked it. There is hardly ever anything positive on the morning news. Not even the weather! Crazy! but I digress. It really brought so much joy to my heart to see her up there on the big screen. My big screen lol She has such a passion for make-up and has worked her butt off to turn it into a career. Over time she has grown into the person she needed to be to achieve the goals she set for herself. Goals to make her dream a reality. This is just one story of many, but it was a nice reminder of how dreams do come true and quite a motivating way to start the day. Sometimes I get upset about the time it will take to get to where I want to be. I know I've made significant advancement, but I get a little impatient at times. Just like anyone else, I imagine. I'm so proud of the person I am today and I do my best to improve each day. I just want to be better than yesterday and stronger than the girl I once was. 
I keep seeing that quote floating around about "you have one month to finish the book of 2014. Make the last chapter a perfect one." I'm happy to report that despite the crazy obstacles that came my way, I still managed to get out on top and let's not forget... finishing a full marathon! The year isn't over and I'm sure there will be other obstacles, but there is plenty left on my plate to get done and more people that need helping. All I can do is take it one day at a time :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

At Least I'm Not Addicted to Cocaine

(because we're all thinking it)

Tis the season be thankful? happy? For some it's a time of love, joy and family. A time for couples to share and bask in each other's company at the nearest Christmas tree or ice skating rink. Maybe it's a romantic candlelit dinner finishing just under some mistletoe getting that one perfect kiss under a few snowflakes... Yes, the happy perfect couple. Then there's that young family with children who always get along and play well together huddled in the snow working together to create their own Olaf. Not a single ounce of hardship or turmoil in their smiles. 

For others it's a season of countless nights in the back corner of a dim lit dive bar, drowning their sorrows in a bottle the best way they know how, all while being forced to listen to the same old Christmas pop songs playing in the background. If you ever saw Miracle on 34th Street with little Mara Wilson, you'll know what I'm talking about! Also reminds me of that scene in French Kiss when they talk about happy people and Kate goes "You'll be one of those grumpy old men sitting in the corner of a crowded cafe, mumbling to yourself, 'My ass is twitching. Your people make my ass twitch.'" You know the kind of people I'm talking about. The ones who keep their houses dark and cold. Who wear the same pajamas for days refusing to shower, drinking their way through a bottle of whiskey while reminding yourself of why you hate people and holidays. wait what? did I just say? Yep... I'm looking at you, buddy! 

But hey, don't get down on those happy flourishing couples! With all your anti-social antics you won't have to worry about being invited to that Ugly Sweater Party or Santa Baby contests. You won't have to fight for a spot on the couch in front of the TV. Nope. Shoot, you won't even need to waste money on trivial things like electricity because who doesn't enjoy a nice dark room to match that black cold hearted soul every once in a while. Just give those happy fools a little time and keep that seat on the couch warm. They'll be joining you one day soon enough! Until then, I'm going to have to politely ask you to get the fk off my couch with your problems! BAH HUMBUG! 

Merry Christmas you filthy animal...

Sunday, June 29, 2014

People Helping People

Yesterday we celebrated the grand opening of Missing Link Physical Therapy!! A dear friend of mine decided to open his own practice and asked yours truly if she would be a part of the mission, vision and above all... dream. Let me just say that I was truly touched at this request. There was no turning this down even if it meant a lot less sleep going forward! haha This is someone who has spent his life helping others and getting them well. He's one of the few left out there with a genuine and selfless love to help others. I am so thankful to have him and his family in my life. They have been so supportive and encouraging helping me chase my dreams. They were there when others backed down and walked out never doubting my abilities. I will forever be thankful for that. So now it's my turn to return the favor!
This is no ordinary Physical Therapy office. This is much more than that. I'd go as far as to call it an overall wellness center. It's a holistic approach to all things health related. Sure he's an amazing physical therapist, but our team also consists of an awesome Massage Therapist(another cool friend of mine), a personal trainer, a dance instructor/trainer, and his beautiful wife enriching everyone with all things Arbonne related. If you haven't checked out their products, you definitely should! We will also have someone helping out with a mental health background. The purpose of this clinic is to get everyone feeling better and healthy. Not just returning to your activity from a sprained ankle but rather all things mind, body and soul related. 
Since we both share the same passion to improve qualities of life, he felt it would be beneficial for both of us if I joined the team. I would have joined anyway, but the perks here are that I will get to be on the injury side of health and fitness! I'll be able to get all kinds of training and gain new knowledge of all things relating to my passion and ultimate goal in life that I'm currently working towards. I'm so excited to get started this week since we are now officially open for business! I'll still be working for the running company and school will still be very much a part of my life. I know I'm taking on a big load here, but I'm happy to do it and the way I see it is it's only temporary. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made to get to your final destination. It will be much more rewarding in the end and all these "sacrifices" are actually blessings and will only help me along the way. You know you're on the right path when your life just suddenly falls into place and everyone is happy to help you reach your destination.  :)

Meet Dr. Andre Heletsi and his beautiful wife Amanda!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I Release You

Sometimes I wonder if I’m wrong for not feeling anything
And sometimes I blame you for feeling nothing.
Sometimes I wonder if I should have fought harder for us
And other times I can’t grasp my mind around why.
Sometimes I think back on how perfect everything was
And how it was all just a figment of my imagination.

I remember so much laughter, the music, the movies and the jokes.
I even remember the Nerf gun fights, teasing, and chocolate covered strawberries.
I close my eyes and I’m back in your arms, in the midst of passion and so much love.
Waking up next to the one thing I wanted more than life itself. 
The reason for my smile every morning and night.

But I have to also remind myself of the lonely days, dismissed feelings and confusion. 
I remember that final day as if it were happening now.
In seconds I'm back in that moment and I can see my heart shatter. 
I feel it breaking into a million pieces with no one around to help.
Your words on the other end with no remorse.
The words of someone I had never met.
But they were your words. It was you. This was real.
And the person I had come to know and grown to love was but a 
Fallacy created in my head over years to hold onto the one thing I never had…

Sunday, June 15, 2014

1st Marathon - DONE!

The North Face Endurance Challenge

oh boy, where to even begin with this one? I guess first things first... WHAT WAS I THINKING SIGNING UP FOR A MARATHON WITH ONLY A MONTH TO TRAIN?!?! I must have still been high on endorphins from the Nike Half. It just seemed like a good idea at the time. I mean, I was practically half way there with training, right? and wait a minute, this was no ordinary marathon. It was a trail run. I mean I knew trail runs were harder so I trained over and over on the hills around my neighborhood. I even went out one day to the actual course to get a better idea of what I was in for. I knew I wasn't going to breeze through it, but I also knew I would at least finish. At this point, that's all I wanted. To finish a full marathon. I would work on better times with future races, but I wanted to get it out of the way instead of continuing to put it off. I actually amazed myself with how many half marathons I had completed since the Nike Half with all the training. Prior to race day, my longest run had been 19 miles. Sounds like a good amount except I'll be honest in that it did involve walking. There was just no way I was going to be able to run all that straight through. I did the best I could with the time I had and I felt like I was on cloud 9 the closer and closer we got to race day. I was so pumped and ready to get this done! Then 24hrs prior to starting time, nerves set it. Had I really trained the best I could? Had I done everything right? Had I eaten enough that week and had I consumed enough water in all the days leading up? How was I going to do with a CamelBack for the duration of the marathon? I am not used to having anything on my back, but it was supposed to be one very hot day and only 5 aid stations total. I could either suck it up and haul some water around or run the risk of dehydration. I knew it would be harder than my other races, but I was ready to get this done and have a full marathon in the books.

Race Day

It was a beautiful day and I of course was all kinds of nervous. I must have pee'd 4 times before even starting. One of the guys let me borrow a CamelBack for the race and we were good to go. It was 3 of us running and only 2 of us were running our first marathon ever. I'll try not to bore you with too many details, but let me just say that all the training I did had not prepared me in the slightest for this course. I should probably look into elevation changes and figure out exactly what they mean next time I sign up for something like this lol Some of these inclines were just unimaginable. I couldn't believe the 50 miler group was already finishing up and running past us a full speed. We were only just a few miles into ours when a girl tripped and fell. She was screaming at the top of her lungs for a medic and while the guys ran to get one, I ran to her and stayed until someone came back for her. As I approached her I thought for sure there would be a bone sticking out of her skin, but thankfully that was not the case. She finally calmed down and apologized for being so dramatic. That maybe it was only a charlie horse. Let me tell you, when I saw her fall and the level of screaming she was doing I thought for sure I would not survive this race. There was no way... not that I would get tired and give up, but more that I would actually die or have some serious injury that would result in me bleeding to death. Yes, fear was instilled in me at only mile 4ish. At least i think it was 4 ish... there were no mile markers unless you were at an aid station, but alas there was no turning back. I had to keep going or at least try. Despite having my feet fully submerged in water a couple times, the overall course scenery was just beautiful! The aid stations were phenomenal too! Apparently it's pretty standard for Ultra races. They had potatoes, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, oranges, candy, chocolate, bagels, etc. Definitely made me want to consider doing it again next year. 

"Harder than most of my races" was an understatement. I was tested in more ways than one. It was THE hardest race of my life. It started at Algonkian Park in Sterling, VA and went out to Great Falls Park in McLean, VA. We were to There were times I didn't think I was going to make it to the cutoff. I finished my last half marathon with a 2:30 time and I didn't make the half marathon mark of this race until after 3:30. We were cutting it close on time and I was starting to worry. I was already pushing myself and well at that point I was going to need a miracle to get us done in time. We got the final warning of the hard cutoff at the last aid station and even with all the encouraging from my awesome running buddy, it still wasn't enough to get us there in time based on what the girl told us. I kept pushing and I gotta say that my back hurt more than my legs. I hate hate hate that I had to carry a CamelBak, but I know it was one of the smarter decisions I had made. It was confirmed when we saw a guy passed out at an aid station from Heat Exhaustion. Yes, I know I have to learn to run with one, but this race wasn't the time to do it lol We got closer to the end and when I could see the finish line we took off running again. There was no way I was going to WALK to the finish line. Especially when I had an awesome cheer team waiting for me at the end. I mean, my own mother actually came out for this. She never comes to my races! This was a big deal. I had already felt like a failure for not making the cut off, but was happy to know I did complete my first marathon. Zoila's(one of the BFFs) daughter ran into the course to greet me as I was approaching the finish line. I told her to grab my hand and together we crossed the finish line. Just weeks before I was with her to cross her first 5k finish and now here she was at my first marathon finish. There was a lady at the end holding our medals and I was just overwhelmed with emotion. I totally cried. Like a big baby. It was one of my biggest accomplishments in life at that point. I had no shame in my tears lol

I went to get my free beer(s), take some pics and finally get in my very first Ice Bath! During all that time we found out that we were actually fine on time. That we didn't miss the cutoff and that actually we still had over an hour left to finish! I was extremely happy to hear that and even more so when I was surprised with some Tres Leches cake while soaking in my ice bath then finding out everyone wanted to come to the house for a BBQ. I actually had my 10 yr high school reunion that night, but I wasn't about to cut my time short celebrating with the besties to see a bunch of people I don't really even talk to. Though I totally wanted to brag a little about completing my first marathon haha It was such a perfect day in so many ways. I'm excited to do it again next year, but this time I will have sufficient time to train and I'll have adjusted to wearing a Camelbak and hauling around extra weight. It's true what they say, running a marathon will change your life. As if my life couldn't change any more. It seems to always be changing for the better these days and thank God for that! It's about time things start looking up for me. I fall in love with my life more and more with each day. 

 "When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, that is when you will be successful." 

Race Recap

So I've managed to keep moving since the Nike Half. I mean that's always good news, right? Figured I'd update the blog with the latest shenanigans. Not too long after the half marathon, one of the BFFs informed us that she was doing the March of Dimes and asked if we wanted to join. We had been out the night before celebrating Cinco de Mayo on our own terms and well let's just say arriving to this event was a challenge in and of itself! haha BUT we made it AND even got to meet one of the Redskins. He was actually nice enough to take a picture with us which I was forever grateful for. Still waiting to meet London Fletcher, but I guess this will do for now *sigh* It was actually really pretty. A lot of people came out and it was a beautiful day at Reston Town Center to head out onto some trails. I will say it felt weird to just walk as opposed to run, but we did get to meet some good peeps and her coworker even had a friend that lived on one of the street and got us some oranges to snack on. A bit random, but hey... why not? I'm glad we survived and were able to add another race to the list for 2014. I guess it's not really a race, though if you're walking. Whatever. I'm counting it!

Next up... Mother's Day 4 miler. My brother was actually supposed to do this one with me. Seems he partied a bit too much the night before and well, I was left to run this solo. It was actually kind of nice. I've been working on running without music and it was yet another beautiful day for it. Good turn out and because it was one of the races from the company I work for, I was able to do it for free. I can't say no to a free race. Anyway, along the course I ran into a coworker of mine who had also done the Nike Half. It was nice to chat with her for a bit. She had a system down for a run/walk which I did for a while until we got near a crowd. I'm not a fan of crowds so that's when I took off and ran until I had more open space. She still beat me in the end, though lol good for her! I couldn't stay for the race shenanigans, because I had a family BBQ to get ready for and can I just say the margaritas and food was DELICIOUS!! Epic day for a race and family BBQ.

As the finale to this post, I am including the Run or Dye 5k at RFK Stadium. This was my second time doing this race. Last year I ran it with 2 of my BFFs, Bessy and Zoila, but this year Bessy couldn't join us and instead of just Zoila and I, it was also her 8yr old daughter Cassandra. It was her first 5k ever! She finished and did an awesome job. I was so happy to be a part of it and even more thankful that we were prepared for the color blasting this time around. No one suffered direct shots to their eyeballs or up their nostrils! All in all a success with post race Victory Waffles ...YUM!!  
But wait... there's more! :)


Dream World

Wait for the guy who gets up early 
to cheer for you on race day.
The one who waits for you at the finish line 
with Starbucks and a foam roller.
The guy who encourages and supports you 
every step of the way.

Wait for the guy who surprises you with 
race entries or running shoes instead of jewelry. 
The guy who delights in weights, 
protein shakes and the outdoors.
Whose idea of a perfect date is a gym sesh, 
good hike, sporting event or outdoor concert.

Wait for the guy who wakes up 
with the same drive to be better than yesterday.
The confident one who grabs and pulls you in 
for a passionate kiss in the middle of a crowd.
The guy who can't wait to show you off 
to his friends and tell them all about you.

Wait for the guy who looks at you the same way 
I look at my Nike Frees... ❤