Monday, April 20, 2009

Hawaii, Day 1 (Friday March 27, 2009)

Getting out the door was the hardest part. I spent all week going over everything, terrified I would forget something important. Turns out, the only things I forgot to bring, was more party dresses! With all the stress leading up to Friday, I found myself awake and sick at 4 am, most likely from nerves. Luckily after getting past that I was able to get an hour or so more of sleep before leaving to meet up with Matt and Marty to carpool to the airport. Needless to say, I was pretty tired though, so once we boarded I completely passed out for the majority of the plane flight.

When we finally landed in Hawaii I was finally feeling a bit more rested and ready for the weekend. Stepping off the plane into the fresh air was like drinking in a huge gulp of tropical bliss. Here's a fun pic I took of everyone exiting our plane:

After that it was off to baggage claim! Here's me and Matt as we wait for our bags.

Next I checked into my awesome hotel room and took a nap. It was so nice an roomy, with a gorgeous view!

Two years ago, my family and I had vacationed at this same resort. My dad had at that time joked about how the islanders loved him so much they erected a shrine in his honor:

So since March 27th is my Dad's birthday, I felt it was only fitting to pay him a little visit.

After hanging with Dad for a bit, I ate some lunch over by the Dolphin Swim pool! See him swimming just under the water? It was so fun to watch them swim whilst I dined.

Now this next photo is hard to make out because it was so far away, but the tiny black spot in the middle near the horizon, is a whale!

It was so amazing! This family of 3 whales were just jumping out of the water like crazy!!!!

After lunch, the team went down to the lower parking lot where we claimed our bikes and went for a little test ride to see where our transition area was. It was so exciting to finally be here and with all of our gear! I was so happy to see my bike made it safely.

Here's Jason and I chilling before taking off on our ride.

That night, Matt, Marty and I relaxed in the hot tub before having a lovely dinner with Matt's parents. It was so great that they were able to make it out to support Matt during the race. I very much enjoyed dining with them, they're very kind and fun people.

Finally it was off to bed. We had a big morning ahead of us on Saturday. I was very excited to get a full nights sleep on a bed too, Friday just felt almost too long!

Next post: Saturday! Also, if you still wanted to contribute, the last day that donations are being accepted is April 29th. The race itself may be over, but the race to save lives is still going strong! It's not to late to make a difference! Also, thank you every, your support is really what brought be through all of this, I was not alone in any of this, thanks you to all. Have a wonderful day and check back very soon!

My Team in Training Donation Page


Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I want to apologize for not getting a post about my trip up sooner. I haven't had much time to catch my breath since getting back. I was home for two days before jumping on a plane to Orlando to be a Guest at a Fantasy Convention, that really just stressed me out more than anything. I came back wishing I had just stayed home, relaxed and gotten my life back in order. I'm also feeling somewhat of a post event depression. The Team in Training/Lavaman experience was just so amazing! I loved every minute, especially the ones that really made me work for it. I got home last Monday and hit the gym again Wednesday to just keep up the momentum. I'm glad to have healthier habits in place, but it's just a little sad that this goal I have been working towards for so long has finally come to an end. I find myself both relieved and bummed all at the same time.

I will definitely be posting pictures as well as a full write up of the event very soon. With how busy and down I've been, I just haven't gotten around to it. There is still some fundraising to be done, and as the last day to donate is the 29th of this month, it's going to be exciting! I am looking forward to the next couple weeks, and the adventures I'll have. Thank you for continuing to follow along with this journey, it's been wonderful to have your company!!!

My Team in Training Donation Page


Tuesday, March 31, 2009


All I can say is Wow. I just got home from Hawaii. To summarize, it was amazing! Be expecting several posts over the next couple days recapping one of the most incredibly intense weekends of my life. Thank you all for being with me in this, as it was not a feat I could have done alone.

Just for fun, here is a pic of my bike on Race Day, all setup and ready for my transitions in between events.

Alright, time to go apply the special soothing gels to my ridiculous sunburn. Have a good night, and check back soon!!!

My Team in Training Donation Page


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

So Close!

This past Saturday was incredibly packed. I had a laundry list of responsibility and had to schedule everything to a T! I went to Team in Training practice in the morning, and jumped in the ocean for yet another cold and murky swim. I think the hardest part anymore about swimming in the ocean is once my hands and feet go numb from the cold. It was a great swim though and I didn't feel like I was the caboose this time. Unfortunately, since practice started later then usual I was only able to do the swim and had to skip out on the run so I could get to work. Yay for overtime! ...Ok, maybe not, but it's part of the job. So I got to work, and did as much as I could, then had to run off to get my taxes done. Thanks to LA traffic, I was 5 minutes late, which apparently didn't matter because my accountant was 30 minutes late. Once taxes were done I headed back to my end of town to pick up a friend and get over to the Pretentious Poker Party Fund Raiser that Joel, Ryan and Marin were kind enough to help me throw. I will do a separate post on the party, as it was incredibly too epic to include in this post and without any pictures. Overall, Saturday was incredibly productive, checking several things off my list. I am in so many ways ready for this weekend, and yet very shocked that I'll be getting on a plane Friday morning to head to the race. I feel prepared and still have no idea what to expect. I love adventure!

I leave you with this awesome and epic photo. Thank you Pai Wei once again for your generous and beautiful photography.

(I think I look silly with my swim cap on. I like my hair!)

My Team in Training Donation Page


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Did I just run the full Triathlon Distance?

I did it! This past Saturday we did a full swim, bike and run! I was certainly anxious heading in to it, and with overtime all week, I was not feeling particularly rested. Friday night I set everything out on my couch, and imagined going through the three parts of the race, and making sure I had everything I needed. I then put my bike on the back of my car, that way I'd be ready to just jump in and go first thing in the morning.

5am: I hit snooze for 5 minutes.

5:05am: I drag myself out of bed and get dressed. Put all my pieces in the car and begin the drive up to Zuma Beach in Malibu. So after driving too far (thank goodness Mommy was on the bluetooth with me and looked up the address) I finally get to the beach and setup my bike and lay out all my bits and pieces for the transitions.
Here's a pic of everyone setting up by the bike racks. (the pink handle bars belong to my bike!)

Once everything was setup, we slipped into our wet suits and zipped up! We ran, well, walked shivering down to the water. It was colder then last time, and the waves a little larger and choppier. I let a little water into my wet suit, and began swimming. A couple of the coaches said I was doing really well, and Pai even mentioned that he could tell I was doing better this time. More then anything I was struggling with the cold, and that won't be an issue in Hawaii. I thought to myself, "if I can handle this, I can handle anything!"
The Pacific Ocean, cold and waiting for us to come in for a swim:

When I finished my swim, I scurried up the beach to the parking lot and dried off. I was so cold I ended up putting on my exercise pants on over my tri shorts, as well as my tank top, long sleeved Yamaha shirt and my Alvin hoodie. One of my teammates was kind enough to loan me her extra pair of riding gloves. I guzzled a bottle of Gatorade, hopped on my bike and took off up the Pacific Coast Highway. It was pretty chilly, but the scenery was gorgeous! I had to snap a few pictures to share, as well as remember.

Here you can see me as I straggle behind, this will be the last time you see other cyclists in the photo, as they all leave me in the dust! (It's ok, I know I need to go at my own pace to keep my asthma under control)

A couple fun scenic shots along the way:

This was taken on my way back, the road winding along the coast is what I had already gone up and come back on.

Once I finished the bike ride I went for my run. I walked more then I plan to in the actual race, but was wanting to take it easy on my knee. Its been acting up a lot, and I really don't want to injure it before the race. On the bright side, the test race was overall a lot less intimidating then I thought it would be. Once I started I got in the zone and just went! I'm so excited now to get to Hawaii and reach that finish line.

This just delighted me to no end! Not only was I biking through Malibu, but here is the gate to Barbie's Mansion!!! I had to snap a picture.

My Team in Training Donation Page


Friday, March 13, 2009


It feels great to be past the half way mark with my fund raising! Just looking at how many people have come together to support this cause is so incredible! This experience, while not always easy, has been such a blessing. Thank you to everyone for being a part of this! There's no way I could do this alone.

Speaking of not being able to do this on my own, Joel, Ryan and Marin have been kinda enough to host and help me throw a Poker Party! It's going to be a blast! So come on out and try your luck!!!

Saturday, March 21, 7:00PM

12919 Walsh Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90066 US

Dress Code: Elegant attire is Highly Encouraged

7:00 PM Doors Open
~ Hors d'oeuvres and Dealer's Choice Poker
~ Suggested donation of $10 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

9:00 PM Texas Hold'em Tournament

~ $30 buy in (covers door charge)
~ RSVP to get on the Tournament list (e-mail
~ Half the pot goes directly to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
~ Winner takes the other half

RSVP for the Party through Evite!

It should be a lot of fun, so if you're interested let me know, or reply by Evite. We do need to know who wants to be involved in the tournament though, so if you're planning to participate you MUST e-mail me ahead of time to put you on the list.

Tomorrow is going to be quite exciting, we are going to be completing the full distance of our Triathlon at practice. So please keep me in your prayers! Have a wonderful day everyone and thank you again for being a part of this with me.

My Team in Training Donation Page


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Rocks!

Over the Summer, my friend Damian invited me to attend the City of Hope Cancer Survivor's Picnic dressed as Mrs. Incredible. This was then followed by a trip to the hospital to spend time with children still struggling with cancer. It was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had in or out of costume. Seeing the faces of the children light up when they saw me was so beyond anything I can describe. Here I am dressed as a super hero having kids, that are more heroic that I ever have been, running up to me with pure excitement and adoration! The entire experience was beautifully humbling. Here's a picture from the Picnic with one of the most adorable little girls!

It was so cute, she kept finding me throughout the day to show me various crafts and and things she had done.

The whole day I felt like it was the best use I ever got out of a costume. So when Brie, Jeff and I came up with the idea of "Happy Rocks" and how we could combine it with my costuming to make children smile, how could I refuse?

"So what are Happy Rocks" you ask? Well, they are little polished reminders of the things that make us happy, directly from Disneyland, the Happiest Place on Earth! For every $10 donation a Happy Rock will be given to a child in the Pediatric Wing of the Hospital. Whenever seen or touched it will be a reminder of something one is either happy or grateful for. I will be delivering them dressed as the Giselle, from the Disney Movie "Enchanted", bringing a little Disney Magic to the children's day. While the focus is primarily on the children, if you would like a Happy Rock for yourself, please let me know!

My Team in Training Donation Page


Thursday, March 5, 2009

This past weekend I was able to put my wet suit to work! I woke up at 6 on Saturday to get dressed and on the road up to practice. By 7:30am we were suited up and walking down the beach towards the ocean. Before getting into the water Coach Pete talked about not letting the shock of the cold water speed up our heart rate too much, and to remain calm and just swim. We began walking into the water and it was brutally cold! Sure enough my heart rate went up with every freezing wave that hit me. After wading out far enough the wave were no longer an issue, and it was amazing to see how effortlessly we all just floated in our wet suits. Before I go into the next part of my tale, I would like to preface it with this. I have swam in the ocean before! My family and I have done several snorkeling trips in both the Caribbean and Hawaii, and I've never had a problem. In fact, here's a fun pic of me just snorkeling away in Hawaii (photo courtesy of Daddy) not a worry in the world:

See how beautiful and crystal clear the water is? Not to mention how warm!!! Here's another picture snapped of some fishies in Hawaii!

So imagine my surprise when I put my face in the water and all I could see was this:

That's right, brown, gross, freezing cold water! I suddenly felt incredibly claustrophobic and could not put my face down in the water. I bobbed behind as everyone else swam out to the buoy. Thankfully Paiwei stayed behind and he gently talked me through everything. Showed me I really had nothing to worry about, so I just needed to breathe and take it a stroke at a time. He swam along side me the rest of practice and it was so incredibly comforting. By the second lap around the buoy I was feeling great in the water, just gotta think like I'm a turtle! I really appreciated Pai taking the time to stay back with me, it was so calming and encouraging.

Hey! I Survived! (Photo courtesy of Pai!)

A special thanks to Pai, your help this past Saturday was more then I could have known to ask for.

My Team in Training Donation Page


Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Everyday I feel I am reminded about my purpose in this triathlon. In recent weeks, days even, I have been confronted with many reasons, or suggestions to quit. The funny thing is around December I was on the fence about continuing, but in January something happened. With some incredible encouragement and prayer from my friends, and some dedicated support from people like Jeff and Brie, I suddenly realized I could do this. Massive brainstorming sessions and actions began. So many pieces started falling into place, and I have confidence that it will all work out. So I don't need to fret. I know God has a plan, and as I continue putting forth the effort, it will be rewarded. The thing is I am not actually doing this for the money. This is so beyond money, or ability. This is about doing whatever I can for this cause. So no matter what, I can not and will not give up. Giving up is not an option. When I think about not finishing the race, well, I just can't picture it. What I can picture is running across that finish line all sweaty a gross with a huge smile on my face and my hands in the air! So watch out Lavaman, here I come!

My Team in Training Donation Page


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

So I'm a bit behind on updates. Work has been so busy, and the rest of the time I'm either training or sleeping. Wednesday morning's training session with Laura was great! I was definitely feeling tired when I got to the gym, but Laura got my energy up and we did some really fun exercises. Starting Monday we will be doing some more yoga and pilates! Laura wanted to make sure I had built up my strength to really endure the various poses. We started doing a few at the end of the day, and it's definitely a lot harder then it looks! I'm really looking forward to it!

Here I was having to prop one leg on the step, while lower and raising myself with the other. The weight made it harder then just lifting myself. 3 sets of those and my legs were burning! It was awesome!!!

Another fun workout with the step. I am so amazed at all the different uses things like the step and yoga ball have! They really make you focus on your core and work your entire body, even if you think you're only focusing on arms.

My Team in Training Donation Page