Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ready for the Ocean!

So Monday was very exciting because my wet suit arrived! Now, I won't need to wear the wet suit in Hawaii since the water is so warm. However, in order to get used to swimming in open waters, we will be practicing in the Pacific Ocean which is very cold, so I need one!!! I of course had to try it on to be sure it fit, which it did! Check it out!

I feel like a super hero!!!

No Capes!

My Team in Training Donation Page


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Renewed and Ready!

This past Sunday morning I went to church as I usually try to do. The service and worship was wonderful and uplifting as always, with an insightful message that left me with a feeling of positive outlook for the week. I had no idea that when I walked through the doors that morning, I would be so incredibly blessed. After the service a woman, Ann, came up to Anysia and I while we were chatting. She spoke a little with Anysia, then turned to me... Ann's husband, Larry, was diagnosed 2 years ago with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML). While it's treatable, the medicines have very heavy side effects, such as bone pains and digestive problems. We didn't talk long, but the love and concern she felt for her husband was so incredible, and I could feel it as she held my hands. It's not as though I had forgotten why I began this journey, but all of a sudden its true purpose was brought to a new level. Up until Sunday I had been running in the memory of Tom. I wanted to help families going through the same struggles that Tom's went through. When Ann hugged me, I realized I was running for her and Larry and their family. They are the ones I am doing this for. Suddenly all my stresses and concerns for my own life melted away, and I felt renewed in my goals for this cause. I can not thank their family enough, and I am willing to do whatever I can to help them! We are in this together and I have no intention of giving in, no matter what!

Thank you Ann and Larry for allowing me share this experience with everyone. Please let me know if I can ever do anything for you. My prayers are with you every day. God bless!!!!

My Team in Training Donation Page


Friday, February 20, 2009

What? I had Plans???

Sometimes, no matter how perfectly planned out you may have things, or how hard you try to make things work when obstacles come up, there is just a point when you need to sit back, laugh and roll with it. Yesterday was swim practice at 7:30. Usually it's not problem getting there because I get off work at 6. Of course, this is the week we go onto Overtime at work, so I try to find out if I can go to practice, then come back and do my 2 extra hours after. At first my lead said no, thinking that my current shot was in a different place then it was. Once he saw what I had, he said it was fine. So I run home to change into my swim stuff and grab my bag. Once I got out into the alley I see a bunch of cop cars to the left of my garage where the alley Ts and you have to go either right or left. I figured someone got robbed or something and that I'd just go the other way to get out. I pull my car out of the garage and suddenly there's a spotlight on my car from the helicopter bellow that starts following me! Thankfully one of my neighbors came over to fill me in. Apparently there was a high speed chase that ended when the man driving the white car drove it straight into the apartment building where the alley Ts. 3 guys then bailed out of the car, leaving one behind who was then arrested. The police then proceeded to barricade the entire neighborhood off and refused to let anyone leave or enter for over an hour, which was after swim practice started. Needless to say, this was pretty funny. Not only could I not make practice, but I was not able to finish up my overtime at work. I decided to just work on getting everything ready for the garage sale on Saturday and laugh at how ridiculous the day was. I thought I had everything worked out, and life just said, "nope, today you're going to be trapped at home for an hour." It was a great chance to just look at the other possibilities around me. I realized how fortunate I am that, even though this was never what I had wanted for the evening, this incident only threw off my night. People who find out that they have a blood disease, well that sorta throws off their whole life, so why should I think I get to complain? Really, I'm just grateful everyday to be healthy and alive. Sure stress comes and goes, but I have so much to live for, and I am happy for the perspective I've gained while preparing for this race.

This weekend is looking to be very eventful. I have high hopes for good weather, successful garage sale and super fun party! For more information on these events, please check out my previous blog post.

My Team in Training Donation Page


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Moving slowly, but still moving forward!

Today I hit the snooze alarm twice, and barely made it to the gym by 6. I have been moving like molasses! After a great workout with Laura I came home and cleaned up and heavily debated going to work or crawling back into bed. I of course chose to be responsible path and made it to work and have been a busy bee all day. I'll be in bed early tonight for sure!

So aside from training, I have also been raising money to help find a cure for Leukemia and Lymphoma. Honestly, I don't know what stresses me out more sometimes, the physical training, or raising money. It's times like this I get to be creative! Out of a lot of support and collaboration with friends, I am excited to announce a couple fun fund raisers I'm involved in!

*First of all, my friend Stephanie and I are holding a Garage Sale Saturday morning in Westchester. Half of what we raise will be going towards the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the other half will go to the National Coalition for the Homeless. If you're in the area and are interested in stopping by, here's the info!
Garage Sale
Saturday, Feb. 21th, 9am - 3pm
~Fingers crossed for No rain!!!~
7620 Kittyhawk Ave.
Westchester, CA 90045

**Second!! Saturday evening, Matt and I are hosting a Winter Beach Party at Dockeweiler Beach from 6-10pm. There will be all the fixings for hot dogs (veggie option available) and smores, so come on down and have a good time!

***Third!!! After Brie had a very silly adventure visiting Disneyland, an idea was born! For every $10 donated, I will be hand delivering (dressed as Giselle from Enchanted) polished "Happiness and Gratitude" Rocks to the children in the hospital. This is a great opportunity to not only help fight Leukemia and Lymphoma, but also brighten the day of a child. All you need to do is make sure to include "Rocks for Kids" in the comment section of your online donation.

The "Happiness and Gratitude" Rocks!

My Giselle costume that I will be wearing to spend the day with the children!

Have a great day everyone!

My Team in Training Donation Page


Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday Monday Na na Na nana na!

So today I woke up at 5am so I could get to the gym on time for my personal training session with Laura. I scheduled this last week, not realizing I had off work today, which meant I could have slept in and done a later session. Oh well, it got me out of bed at least! Today we did a lot of lower back and abs, which is always really hard, but I feel GREAT after! I love walking away from a work out really feeling the burn of achievement in my muscles!!!! Looking back I can't imagine being as successful in my training without a personal trainer. Twice a week, Laura helps me hit areas of my body that wouldn't be getting as much attention just running biking and swimming, as well as strengthening the areas I will be using most in the race. What I love about working with Laura is she has my best interests in mind. She is great about showing me how to do things, like using the yoga ball, so that if I were to get one, I could easily do things on my own! Also, throughout the week she e-mails all of her clients with various health tips, nutrition info, recipes and fun facts to help us as we make lifestyle changes. If I ever have any questions, I know I can drop her an e-mail and she'll get back to be asap, which is really a great luxury to have. I feel very blessed to have gotten such a wonderful trainer, I owe a lot of my success over the past couple months to her. Everything from exercise habits to eating right, I have been able to better grasp thanks to her.

Here are two pictures from our session today. I was on this machine that would keep my body straight but on an angle so I could bend at the waist allowing me to really hit my lower back muscles.

First I would start by holding the weight and bending over, not arching my back, but bending at the waist and keeping my back straight.

Then I would lift the weight up over my head really hyper extending. It feels so good, but really starts to burn fast!

I love lower back days.

My Team in Training Donation Page


Friday, February 13, 2009

Thank you everyone for your prayers and support yesterday. I really needed it. Today I am better rested and feel much more capable again!

Swim practice was good, I did around 25 laps (50yrds each) and barely stopped for more then 30 seconds a couple times. It felt really good, even if people were passing me in the pool. I've just learned to take it at my own pace. Sometimes I like to hum songs from the Little Mermaid to help me relax. It makes the time pass at a more enjoyable pace.

Here is a funny pic from last night:

At first this may look like a silly picture of my assistant coach, Kevin McCabe. Well look a little closer....


....still don't see it?

I'll help you out:

That's me freezing in the background! Hahaha At least once I got going I warmed up, but getting in and started is always the hardest part.

So thank you again for your support. I would not be able to make this happen without each of you! Have a lovely day.

My Team in Training Donation Page


Thursday, February 12, 2009


Today I feel exhausted. So much so that I almost just want to go tuck myself into bed, cry and then sleep until Monday. The stress of this week has hit all aspects of my life; personal, professional, physical, emotional and spiritual. It's not any one thing, just lots of little things. The idea of swimming in 50 degree weather is not helping my motivation, even if the pool is heated. If there were ever a day I could use some extra prayer, today would be it. Thank you to everyone who has believed in me so far. I refuse to quit. This is bigger then me and I will not give in just because of a rough week, but I would be lying if I told tried to tell you things were great today.

I did pick my bike up from Helen's on Saturday though. Look how pretty the pink handle bars are! I will be taking her for a spin this weekend.

My Team in Training Donation Page


Monday, February 9, 2009

Riding Tips!

I started today off with my personal trainer session at the gym, which was great as always. Laura is such an excellent trainer, she makes working out fun! Nothing like starting of the day feeling like you've already accomplished something.

I just got off the phone with my Uncle Alan who happens to be a very experienced cyclist. He's done all sorts of amazing bike events and really knows his stuff. Now, I know very little about bike, other then that I apparently needed a "road bike" for the race, or I "was going to make it very hard on myself." Thankfully, I have acquired a very nice bike just this weekend, and it's currently getting tuned up over at Helen's Cycles. Yay! So I now turned to my uncle for some advice. Uncle Alan had some wonderful tip and suggestions to share, both on the setup of my bike, as well as ways to ride more efficiently. I wanted to post today about what he said, since it's making me very excited to hop on my new bike tomorrow and start practicing!

1) Positioning myself on the bike. It is very important, since I'll be riding into the wind, to make myself as streamline as possible. Otherwise I am creating unnecessary resistance that will only make riding that much harder.
-Once I get going on the bike, I should lean my body down as much as I can support so that I can lift my head to see and cut through the wind.
-It's likely to be very hard at first, but it will ultimately help me to not waste energy, when I will need it for the run.

2) Practice using all the gears! It is important to practice shifting steadily through the gears when riding to best preserve your momentum as you ride up and down hills.
-It is important, as you approach a hill, to begin shifting into a lighter gear. Then as you ascend the hill, continue shifting one gear lighter at a time. This helps to keep you pedal pacing steady. If you shift from a higher gear to a lower gear very quickly, you'll just end up spinning your pedals really fast and loose a lot of your built up momentum. At that point just wasting your energy.
-As you approach the top of the hill it will be time to begin switching back to higher gears one at a time. As you start the descent down the hill, be aware of how your speed will pick up and shift when appropriately to maintain a strong control over the speed and energy of your pedalling.

3)When on the bike, be sure to keep your knees pointed forward above your feet. That way all the energy in your legs will push straight down into the pedals. If you would to aim your knees out, the angle at which you would push on the pedals would be less effective and ultimately waste a lot of energy.

4) Keep the bike as light as possible. The less weight you have the easier the ride.
-If there are water stations on the path, then only carrying one water bottle would be fine.
-If there are no water stations available, perhaps get a second water cage attached to the bike.

5)HYDRATION IS IMPORTANT!!! Your body will be more efficient in it's use and storage of the water during the race if you do this.
-Begin Hydrating yourself at least 3 days before the race.
-Be sure that you drink at least 8-10 full glasses of water a day.

That is all I have for the moment. Thank you for reading!

Uncle Alan, if I have not correctly expressed your advice please let me know. It is possible that some of the value has been lost in translation. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me tonight, I found it to be quite informative and encouraging!

My Team in Training Donation Page


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Run Run Run

Saturday mornings are our Bike/Run days, and this week was running due to the rain. Now, I am not a morning person, and weekends are great for sleeping in, so I'm always such a grog~pog when I have to get up at 6:30 and drive myself to Santa Monica to run, especially in the cool and rainy morning. I ran up several hills, twisting through beautiful neighborhoods. When I reached the top it felt great! My knee was getting a little sore, but my asthma had not flared up at all! After some stretching and talking with Pete about taking my running time and focusing on my breathing, I took off back down the hill. As I ran back, I slowed my pace, so as to have better control of my breathing as well as run for longer periods of time. During my run, I found myself thinking of how grateful I am. Grateful for all the support I have received from so many friends, the new relationships that have developed in my life and the realization that I can dedicate myself to anything I put my mind to. When I got back to the picnic tables my knee was throbbing, but I had hardly noticed until we stopped. Turns out I ran 6 miles!!! Not only is that the farthest distance I've run to date, but it is the distance I need to run in the triathlon. An accomplishment I was feeling pretty good about.

7am on Saturday, looking out at the rainy Santa Monica Pier

The team hanging out by the picnic tables. They setup a cool little tent to help keep people's stuff dry while we ran.

Chilling with Coach Pete after getting back from our run!

Oh yeah! I'm feeling good!

Now that I'm all dry and warm, it's time to start a new week! Have a great day everyone!

My Team in Training Donation Page


Friday, February 6, 2009

Just Keep Swimming!!!

Thursday nights are swim practice nights with the Team. Honestly, I was not feeling it yesterday. It was cold and rainy, and the idea of hopping into an outdoor pool was not exactly on the top of my list for enjoyable things to do when it rains. On top of which, I am usually so exhausted after work, that I just want to go home and rest, so energy was at a massive lo. Of course, as nice as it would be to take a night off, I know there are people out there who, as much as they hope and pray, are unable to take even an hour off from their blood cancer...who am I to complain about getting in a pool when it's raining. I mean, I gotta get wet anyway. Matt and I got to practice early, so we did our best to stay warm and dry as long as we could. Once I got in the pool I just started swimming. I ended up swimming around 20 laps (50 yrds per lap) only stopping to rest for 30-60 seconds a couple times. It was by far my best swim practice yet. Funny how you can be so against doing something initially, but when you finally do it, you're surprised by your overall achievement. In the end I'm glad I went to practice. As the triathlon draws closer, I am amazed at how far I've come. I honestly never thought I could do something like this, much less make it as far as I have. Everyday, I am so grateful for this opportunity in so many ways.

Matt hanging out after we got to the pool. The rain let up for a few, but it was still cold!

Everyone swimming who came for the 6:30 practice. My practice was at 7:30.

Me bundled up before the swim and still feeling too cold to get in!

I wasn't able to get any more pictures as it began to rain once it was time to hop in. Maybe I'll have some next time!

My Team in Training Donation Page


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Taking it to the Next Level

I have been training with TNT since November. A little over a month ago I realized I wasn't reaching the physical goals I was setting for myself. I was running, biking and swimming, both with the team and on my own, yet didn't feel like I was building up my strength and endurance as quickly as I was hoping for. Getting in shape for the triathlon is great, but I wanted more! I wanted to make actual life style changes, so that even after the event is over, I can continue to stay active and healthy. So I signed up for a personal trainer at my gym. I've been meeting with her at 6 am, twice a week for over a month now. Yesterday was my first progress check point since signing up. In just a month I've gone from 23% body fat to 14%, lost 3 lbs and an inch here or there. The most exciting part of this for me is just how capable I feel! Like I can take on the world! Triathlon, here I come!

Here are some pics from yesterday's training session that I thought would be fun to share:

We worked the lower body, this was an exercise where I would step onto the box, jump to switch feet and come back down. I had to do this for a minute (which feels a lot longer then it sounds)

This was a really interesting pilates type exercise where I would balance on one foot and my hands, and bring the other leg under my body, knee bent, then extend it out behind me and hold for a moment.

I was feeling so good after my work out, that I wanted to wear something cute to work.

Thanks for checking in! Have a great day!

My Team in Training Donation Page


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Team in Training ~ Racing to Save Lives

Hello Friends!

Back in October I signed up for a triathlon to raise money to fight Leukemia and Lymphoma. In November I started training, learning the proper ways to run, and realizing how incredibly long it's been since I've had to swim laps. Today I'm over half way through my training, the race is coming up at the end of March, and I can not believe how much of a life changing journey it has been so far. So I wanted to start this blog to be able to share some of my experiences as well as document for myself the adventure I have been on. Here's the link to my Team in Training (the organization work with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society) site with the story of why I got involved in this.

My Team in Training Site

If you'd like to make a donation you can do so easily through the site. If you have any questions feel free to leave me a comment, or drop me an e-mail

I am planning to post several times a week, so check back often! Have a great day!