being sidelined

I have to admit being sideline is not fun. I’ve gone through all the emotions. Anger.. Sadness.. Guilt.. Depression of not running. As my running friends get ready for The San Francisco Marathon, I feel a bit sad that I won’t be running the race. I am humbled that friends have asked to write my bib number on their bib as they run the race for me.

The SF Marathon was my “A” race of 2014. It was what I was training for since the beginning of the year. Though I haven’t run many half marathons, SF is the one that I love. My hometown, weather, the views and crowds. I know the course like the back of my hand. I know which part of the course to take it easy (downhill on Lincoln), where to let my legs fly in Golden Gate Park and which of the views I can never get tired of (running on the footbed of the Golden Gate Bridge) Last year, I did not hesitate to sign up for the race two weeks after finishing.

It’s hard to be patient and listen to the doctors. Walking for 30 minutes and water aerobics. Not my thing. I do it just to keep somewhat active. I used to think I wasn’t a runner. But the more time I have had to think these past three weeks, I really am a runner. I use running to see and experience the world around me. Funny but true, I am probably only person in my circle that knows where to use the bathrooms around the Embarcadero, Crissy Field, Fort Mason, Presidio and Golden Gate Park. Yep, that’s what I learned in my two years of running. Joking aside, I miss feeling the wind on face as I run the hilly parts of the Presidio. I miss the sounds, sights and not so great smells of Golden Gate Park and Panhandle. I miss my four mile speed workout that I used to do every other Wednesday around Lake Merced.

Regardless, I will be present during the SF Marathon weekend to give back to running all that it has given me. I will be at expo on Friday and Saturday at the information booth. I will be at the finish line and Ambassador tent cheering and celebrating with everyone. I am sure there will be tears, hugs and fist bumps all around.

Running & Training Hiatus

The past week has been overwhelming with doctors appointments,phone calls with Aetna to triple check my insurance plan covers the doctor visits / treatments, trips to the lab for blood work and the Walgreens down the street from my house to pick up new but old prescriptions of medications that I used to take when I was unhealthy. The pharmacists at Walgreens gave me a long time no see greeting since I haven’t been around for the past two years to pick up seven types of meds due to losing weight. It was heartwarming to get a welcome back but not really. The medications have made me feel dizzy, sleepy, stomach upset, using the bathroom more than I need to and slower. I feel like I am in a daze. The dosages are no joke and I feel horrible. I try to down play how I physically feel but all I want to do is curl up on the couch and sleep .

I get advice from family (mainly my parents) telling me to cheer up and smile. My dad tells me that it’s because I eat too much cheese or diet that caused my chest pain. I love cheese but I wasn’t pigging out on it. A couple of slices here and there after running. That was it. It was my treat after running 8-10 miles. My mom tells me to get off the couch and move.That I don’t have to be half-marathon runner to be healthy. She told me that I could Zoomba. No offense, but I am the most uncoordinated person in the world and don’t want to make a fool out of myself.I know that they mean well and scared them with my hospitalization. I am thankful for my friends and extended family who let me vent and cry via text, FB messaging and phone calls. It’s been sad.

I am thankful to be able to recover. Though, my heart is a little broken that I can’t run or do any work with the trainer for awhile until my medical team figures out why my blood pressure and heart are crazytown. I have never been one to love fitness or running. Somehow during my time losing weight these past three years, I came to enjoy it. It gave me a sense of accomplishment that I did burpees and kettle bell exercises. The results seeing definition in my body was also a boost of confidence.

Although, I didn’t let training and running define me, it has been a big part of life. Having a shitty day at work on a Monday or Thursday? Trust trainer to kick my ass and make me laugh about trying not to flash the gym. Feeling sad or have a race coming up? A speed run around Lake Merced usually made the ache go away. Running was how I got my life back together after being lost. Talking or taking meds didn’t cure my depression. Running and getting outside did. I miss my group runs on Saturday through San Francisco and hanging out with my pace group. It frustrates me that all the work I had been building has come to a stop even for awhile. I didn’t do all that work to end up at the same place I was three years ago. I am at a lost. A friend told me last Friday, everything happens for a reason. I surely believe that whatever reason it is, I will see it soon. Hopefully, I will come back stronger.

Thank you everyone for all your thoughts, well wishes and texts messages over the past week.

Zooma, Why I Heart the Running Community and My Health

Zooma was a great race. I was doing good and feeling the course until mile 10 when I experienced leg cramps. Knowing myself, I should have worn the compression socks on the longest run of training but I forgot to pack them. Alas, I wore the socks that Zooma gave away to all the participants. The course was beautiful. Sun and lots of wonderful views of the Napa Valley. This race took me three hours to finish.  It wasn’t my best time and I didn’t care.  It was a training race before the real race. I’ll have a full recap soon.

The real story of Zooma was I landed in the hospital on Saturday night.  I was feeling chest pain like I never felt before. Like one of my nephews was sitting on my chest and wouldn’t get up kind of pressure. It would come and go in the afternoon after the race when we were touring Napa. Though after dinner but when I was lying down, it wouldn’t go away. So my friends who are saints and my guardian angels, drove me to Queen of The Valley Hospital.  Within five minutes of checking into the ER, I was called in by the nurse and hooked up to an EKG machine and blood pressure cuff.  My blood pressure was extremely high and the EKG had a little abnormal reading.  The nurse took my blood and administered blood pressure medication. For the life of me i couldn’t remember the meds I took.  Results of blood test showed I had an elevated level of troponin. This caused concern along w my high blood pressure to the doctor and I was admitted to the hospital.  I stayed in the ER for about five hours monitoring my BP, heart rate and testing my blood. My blood pressure wouldn’t go down after a couple of doses of IV meds.

I was taken up to a room around 4 am.  I have never been hospitalized.  The nurse I had was gruff and didn’t really listen to me. She kept on asking what meds I took for my asthma and i kept telling her, I do not have asthma. She didn’t explain what the meds she was administering in my IV, even though I asked.    I knew I was in for the long haul.  Nurse kept asking me why would I run a race and how come my blood pressure was too high.. The bed side manner wasn’t really there.  No offense to the nurses I know, but this lady was rough.  Around five thirty, I was moved to another room to be on a constant drip of high blood medication and BP / heart monitor checks every 15-30 minutes.  My BP was slowly going down . The attending physician made his rounds around 9:30 am and explained my situation.  I needed my BP to go down and see the cardiologist.  The cardiologist was very kind . He took time to get my health history and facts. He told me that it was good that I was in the hospital and told


What The SF Marathon Means to Me

The San Francisco Marathon is thirty-two days away.  The race holds a special place in my heart.  It was my first half marathon.  Some say, you never really forget your first race.  I look back on my first SF Marathon with great pride . It was the race that made me believe that I was a runner.  Most importantly,  it was where I celebrated life and my health.  Even during the challenging parts of the race,  I never felt so alive and happy to be running through the streets of my hometown.

It can be a little dramatic to think that a race can change a person’s life, but I have to say that it does. Running opened the doors to many possibilities.  I am not the same person that I was last year. My outlook on life is brighter. I feel like the cup is half full instead of empty. I still have some challenging days, but I take it all in stride.  I have come so far and don’t see myself stopping.

This year, the journey has come full circle. Not only do I get to run the second half but it has been an honor to be a part of the ambassador team.  I don’t have any time goals. Like last year, I will be celebrating at The SF Marathon another year of good health and life.

Happy Running,



Hydrating and Fueling

Disclaimer:  Please note that these are my opinions and views alone. I am not sponsored nor compensated by any of these products mentioned in this article. I am not a medical professional.  If you have specific questions or issues regarding nutrition, please contact a medical professional.

I have been asked how do I fuel and hydrate during a training cycle. I am not really an expert.  All of us are different. What may work for me, may not work for others. Most of the time it’s a game of trial and error for me. I test out some things a couple of weeks into training and usually stick with what works.

The key thing I know is to stay hydrated throughout the week.  I drink an average of ten glasses of water a day. For some, that may seem like a lot and boring.  I have learned that it does help to keep hydrated during the week to prepare me for long runs . On Fridays, I a try to slip in a tablet of Nuun (pronounced “Noon”) in my water to kick start the electrolyte intake. What is Nuun? According to the website,” it’s a self-dissolving, sugar-free electrolyte tablet that dissolves in your water.” I discovered Nuun, while training last year for the first half of The SF Marathon.  Unfortunately, Gatorade , Gu-Brew and Power-Aid doesn’t sit too well with my stomach. So during a shopping trip to Sports Basement, I bought a tube of the Lemon Tea flavor. From that purchase on it has been my constant hydration companion.  It hardly gives me any trouble and it’s breaks up the monotony of water. What I love about it: portable, sugar-free, a variety of flavors and most important happy stomach! My favorite flavors are: Tropical, Fruit Punch and Citrus Fruit.  Do you see the tropical theme here? Nuun will be the electrolyte on course for The SF Marathon this year!  Awesome!

Photo courtesy of Nuun website/

Photo courtesy of Nuun website

Besides hydration, fuel is important while running.  There are all sorts of products out there. Gels, chews, bars and whole food. So many to choose from so little time. It takes time to figure out what works and doesn’t. My magic combo this year has been Chocolate Outrage Gu Energy Gels, Chocolate Haze Pocket Fuel Nut Butter and Pomegranate Passion Fruit Honey Stinger Energy Gels.

Photo courtesy of PocketFuel.

Photo courtesy of PocketFuel.

Photo Courtesy of Honey Stinger

Photo Courtesy of Honey Stinger

Photo courtesy of Gu Energy L

Photo courtesy of Gu Energy Labs

Now, I don’t use everything at the same time but I do like to have variety. For runs longer than 5 miles, I take four Gu’s and either a package of chews or Pocket Fuel just in case I get tired of gels. I start my fuel thirty minutes before a run and then every 40 minutes while running. I find this timing works best for me. It saves me from getting delirious and hangry (hungry and angry) while out on the road.  What I love about all these fueling options are that it gives me the energy and nutrition that I need. Gu is not sugar-free but has just enough to not send me into sugar shock.  PocketFuel is pretty gentle on my stomach and is a good whole food option. Honey Stinger has fun flavors also organic and gluten free.

The most important thing is it to try all sorts of things. Practice fueling and hydrating while on your long runs. Logging the miles during training is important . Practicing your fueling and hydrating is also key. It is during this time you will figure out what works, so come race day, no surprises.

Hope this helps!

How do you fuel and hydrate while training?
Do you prefer gels or chews?

Happy Running,


Training and Some Thoughts

Not sure what to title this.  I just have some deep thoughts to get down.  May not make sense to some but will try.

The thing about training, is that you learn a lot about yourself during your time on the road or trails.  Heck, you are out there for so long that you begin to start thinking deep thoughts about your journey. Case in point, this training cycle for The SF Marathon has been a bit different. Some of my long runs have not been with my group due to starting at the crack of dawn so I can attend family functions on the weekends. I do miss my group but being by myself on the road has lead me to think about life.  I never thought that I could run without music for eight or ten miles. Yet, I have and it feels good . Some thoughts I have:  how thankful I am to be able to run, figuring out how to work through a specific project I have been dealing with at my job or dreaming of what I am going to eat after running through the streets.

There have been training runs that have not been ideal. Either my stomach is angry or just feeling crappy.  As much as I want to quit at mile two, I dig deep and just keep going. Call me stubborn, crazy or determined.. Training your mind is essential if not as important when racing.  It will get you through the challenging parts of the race or when you aren’t feeling that you can’t take another step.   It takes a lot of guts to complete a run or any activity when your mind is telling you to quit.  Every time you push through the negative thoughts, you become stronger. Little by little your brain and heart believe that you are tougher than you think you are.  This is what I have been learning about myself this cycle. I am capable of much more even though things are not quite ideal.

Running like life is full of ups and downs.  You have to keep going in order to fully discover your inner strength and what you are capable of. It is then you will discover your greatness.



Happy Running,

Travel and Training

Sometimes plans take a little bit of a turn. A busy week of work travel and airport delays. I worried about my weekly mileage and if I will still be on track with my training. Then I figured that I shouldn’t worry about it. I will just run this week by feel and push my ten miler to next Saturday. It’s not ideal but, hey we adjust.

I did manage to get one run in during my trip to Chicago. Up and down Michigan Ave with a small dip into Millennium Park.  Running is the best way to go sightseeing for me while in a new city.  The weather was nice and cool compared to my CA peeps who had 90 degree weather for most of the week.  Below are some pictures I took while running:


This weekends long run was only eight miles . I decided to change it up and go off road . I started at Crissy Field, made my way through Fort Point into the Presidio to proceed up Park Trail and parts of the Bay Ridge trail. It was just what my mind needed after a busy week . I lost myself in the trees and fresh air. All the beauty around made me focus on the present . I Walked up the steeper parts of the hills and ran most of the flats and rolling hills.  It wasn’t ten miles but I believe I pushed myself hard to get the long run.  I even stopped and took a picture:

Image After yesterday’s long hilly run, I did a short 3 mile recovery run to end the week.  My legs felt heavy but I pushed through.  My breathing sucked but you can’t always have that epic run.