Interview with Biggest Loser Season 7 Cousins

As some of you know, I am obsessed with the TV show Biggest Loser. I love that show. Love it!! Watching the contestants change their lives and get to the root of the issues… always motivating to me. Every Tuesday during the season I would faithfully watch the show. Being out West, I also avoided social media and any texts from my equally obsessed friend who HAD to talk about it right away! If I didn’t get a chance to watch it, I would avoid any articles about it the next day, and, after a few spoilers in emails from said friend, made her write in the subject line: ‘NO BL Spoilers’ to make sure I would read her emails, lol. Anway…. I recently had the opportunity to talk with Filipe and Sione Fa from season 7 of The Biggest Loser. Remember them? The two Tongan cousins? I loved them from the start, their support and strength were such motivators for me, and who didn’t love their dances?? After their season, Sione had completely transformed his life as a professional trainer at Biggest Loser Resorts, focusing on healthy eating, staying active, and a dedication to helping others struggling with their weight.  Filipe on the other hand, had fallen back into old habits, gained 119 pounds, and weighed in at a life threatening  350lbs. Sione vowed to help his cousin get his life back and serve as his trainer and track his progress towards a goal of losing 70 pounds by the end of the series.Together, the two have chronicled the journey through Walgreen’s and Biggest Loser which can be seen HERE.

For those that haven’t heard of Walgreen’s Way to Well Commitment program, it’s great! I have my Fitbit synced to the site and get badges and points for steps I take! Walgreen’s dedication to helping people “get, stay, and live well” through their Way to Well Commitment program has inspired the eight episode web series on NBC.com centered on former Biggest Loser contestants and cousins Sione and Filipe Fa. On the show they both lost over 135 pounds, and were Season 7 fan favorites. While they may have shared similar progress towards the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle during their time on the show, once the cameras were off the relatives could not have been more different when it came to their commitment towards sustaining a healthy weight.

Here are their before photos:

The Biggest Loser

Filipe Fa Before

The Biggest Loser

Sione Fa before

I prepared my questions around the day to day struggles of someone who is trying to lose weight or lost weight and regained and has to “start over” as Filipe did. I also asked some questions on motivation. Things I thought many of us could benefit from. Here is a recap of my interview! (My thoughts are in italics)

1: Could you discuss the struggles you had with feeling like a “failure” for gaining weight back and losing sight of your goal? How hard was it to admit the failures and ask for help?

                Filipe: It was very difficult, especially after being on a TV reality show about losing weight. I swallowed a lot of humble pie. It was a huge help to finally admit that I am vulnerable and human. That gave me power to start over, with that, I lost stress and realized I could lose at my own pace, whatever that was. I love that he mentioned realizing he was human and needing to reset his goals to what worked for him in the real world.

2: Sione, What worked for you to stay on track?

                Sione: I had challenges as well, fell off track a little, but made the decision to break the cycle. I stopped stressing about weight and looks. I learned to be present in the moment and do for myself. I realized I have the power to make changes in my life. I still fall off track, but now it is minimal.

3: What advice would you give people who have faced this struggle and have to start over?

                Filipe: My advice: Make sure the purpose of WHY is strong and motivating enough to be the catalyst to move you forward in weight loss and health. Take it one day at a time. It’s a struggle when you do a whole lot of work and see no improvement. Focus on that day, not the week or month or the numbers. Also, write down your successes every day. It helps to see your successes even if there is no weight loss. Perhaps you didn’t lose weight, but you hiked with a friend for an hour, identify all your successes, not just the number on the scale.  Remember, it’s a lifestyle change, it took a while to gain the weight, it will take a while to lose it. Our society is a microwave society, we want everything instantly, and with health, it is a lifelong process. I loved this response. Loved it! I actually took out my journal that day and wrote down my successes for the week. I make sure to do this now, so I know what I have accomplished every day.

                Sione: Take it day by day, do it for yourself and remember we all go up and down. It’s not failure, it’s trial and error. Also, remember personal trainers aren’t perfect. I used to think they worked out all the time, never drank and always ate steamed chicken and vegetables. That’s not true. Also, don’t have a pity party, we have to decide how badly we want it and remember, there is no all or nothing mentality; that is what got you where you are.  I think the words “it’s not failure, it’s trial and error” are going to be my new motto. I also love his comments on how “all or nothing” can be destructive. Very sound advice on staying positive and in the moment.

4: What do you do or say to remain positive through the journey?

                Sione: We help each other when we struggle, and just having each other is a support. If your family isn’t supportive, find a group for support, they’re out there, so you really cannot use “I have no support” as an excuse. There are run groups and hiking groups, group fitness, etc. There are support systems out there, find them. This is SO true! My husband is very supportive, but doesn’t run. I have found great support in the running community to help me reach my goals. Search the internet, try meetup.com, there are options out there to find support groups.

5: What benefits have you seen from having a support system in your journey?

                Filipe: We work out together 6 days a week. You need accountability and we give it to each other. Sign up for races or join groups to keep you motivated and accountable. Your support group is the key to your success.

6: For those of us that are like you Filipe, and love food, what suggestions do you have for continuing to eat food you enjoy and stay healthy?

                Filipe: Eat it! That food you really love, find a healthy alternative and eat that. On the ranch we follow a 90/10 rule (eat healthy/clean 90% of the time). Remember to make it a cheat MEAL not a cheat DAY. Having to recover from a bad meal is much easier than a day with 3+ meals in it. Don’t completely restrict any food. Enjoy the meal, but then get back on track. We wait too long to get back on track and the downward spiral continues.

7: When you work hard, eat healthy and do what is needed, but don’t see the changes on the scale, how do you stay motivated?

                Filipe: You won’t feel motivated to work out every day. Some days you have to force yourself. Those days, visit the purpose for the goal. Why do you want to lose weight? The purpose and the why will lead you to your success. This statement made me really look at my purpose and my goal. Taking the time to really think about it and determine this will help in the long run.

8: What are you hoping viewers take away from the web series?

                Filipe: For those that are on track, to keep them motivated; for those that aren’t on track, I hope they come back, see that struggle happens and get back at it; and to those on the fence, I hope this helps them go workout more often. I hope it motivates people in some way to inspire themselves and others; to help someone somewhere; that people work to pay it forward.

9: As a runner, I remember the struggle to run my first mile when I was overweight. Filipe, when you ran that mile in under 15 minutes, how were you feeling mentally and emotionally?

                Filipe: At 10 minutes, I wanted to die. I had to focus on finishing the goal. Sione told me to not look at the clock, I focused on a tree outside the window the whole time, not the clock. Afterwards, it was a huge boost of confidence and strength mentally that I can accomplish a goal. It doesn’t make this easy, but to just believe in yourself and that you are capable of accomplishing goals was a huge boost. Remember that not everything is easy. Some runs, you have that runner’s high, other runs you keep praying for it and it never comes, but you keep running. YES! YES! YES! When I started running, it sucked, but I kept at it, and there were runner’s high moments and moments of struggle. There still are. The key is perseverance.

Here are their after photos!

The Biggest Loser

Filipe after Biggest Loser

The Biggest Loser - Season 7

Sione after Biggest Loser

I cannot begin to tell you how inspiring and motivating this conversation was for me. As I have recently blogged, I have gained a little weight back, I was struggling with the why, the restart, you name it. This interview really helped me take a step back and refocus my goals. These two were a great inspiration to me during their season, and continue to inspire me today. Thank you Sione and Filipe for being honest and keeping it real during your journeys to lifelong health!

Follow Sione and Filipe on Twitter @FilipeFa and @SioneFa and Instagram @flipmo81 and @sionefa to keep up to date on their journeys! Also, continue to turn into NBC.com to watch the web series. Go to biggestloserresort.com for more information on their locations and wellness programs.

KindRunner.com

We as runners know the importance of good shoes. If you are like me you initially spent hours mulling over the choices, fit, styles, and brands. I learned more about heel drop, cushion, pronation and supination than I ever thought I would. I have also fallen in love with a running sneaker to the point where a sale on them is better than Christmas.

Kindrunner.com is an online shoe store like no other. With years of experience and video reviews, their shoe fitters are able to offer expert advice and assist you in finding the right shoe for you!

But that is not all that makes KindRunner.com unique… they strive to make running fun and enjoyable for everyone while reducing the running community’s impact on the environment and helping people in need around the world. How you ask? By repurposing your old sneakers. You may not be able to run another race in some of your old running shoes… but someone somewhere could use a pair of shoes. KindRunner will donate your old running shoes to Soles 4 Souls and The More Foundation Group, and for each pair you return, you will earn credit towards a future purchase! A great way to unload the old running shoes and get new ones!  

KindRunner.com launches June 1st. The revolution begins. To tide you over until then… here is a preview of their mission!!

Also, be sure to follow them for updates on their launcha and mission!

Facebook: http://facebook.com/kindrunner
Twitter: https://twitter.com/beAkindrunner
Instagram: http://instagram.com/beakindrunner
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/Kindrunner

iBodyFit Review

Want even MORE good news? Good… because I am ready to share!!

Have you been struggling with how to eat healthy or where to start with exercise? Are you active but looking for a change? I was a little of both and found a great way to wade through all the information out there and feel grounded and knowledgeable enough to get a great start. Disclosure: iBodyFit.com provided me a free month of the Premium plan for review. Although I received the items, the views and experiences are mine and were not influenced by the gift.

A fellow FitFluential Ambassador Franklin created the iBodyFit.com program: an online program that can be tailored to help you meet your health and fitness goals. The best part… there are MANY options to help you figure out exactly what you need, no generic “do this” program.

Now I will admit, I have slacked lately in the world of health and fitness. I have been running, but not consistently. I am on target to reach my goal of 13 half marathons, so, I haven’t completely lost my way. I will also admit I have NEVER been a fan of strength training. I know its purpose, benefits, etc. but it was never something that grabbed my interest. Running: yes, Cycle class: yes, Yoga: absolutely. Lift weights… um, I have the sniffles was mostly how it went.

When I initially lost 60 lbs, I did strength train, but when my life gets hectic, it’s the first thing I cut out (judge me later). To say this year has been stressful is an understatement. Some has been good stress, some has been medical stress, some has been grief. I lost focus, honestly, I wasn’t even attempting to find it. I was more just trying to get through the day. (yes, I know working out helps with stress, but, hey, so does cuddling with my dog). By mid-April I didn’t even know what time zone my body was in anymore.

However… what I did notice: I was putting weight back on, my mood was edgier than normal, my fitness levels were dropping and my clothes didn’t fit as well. I knew I needed a change… but, was thinking, AGAIN?! I have to figure this out AGAIN?!  Since we are being honest here, I started my first routine in 2010 with a bunch of workouts cut out of magazines. Maybe not the smartest method, but it worked. Being even more honest, I have put back on 10 lbs. This is not helping my running goals.

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Time to change this body….

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… back into this body!

Why the lengthy, whiny back story you ask? Well… because at just the right moment an opportunity knocked. Franklin was offering a month of his program to interested fellow ambassadors to try out and review. I was excited to start this opportunity. So, I emailed Franklin and we got started. I sent him an email that pretty much vomited out this back story and some more info. He actually thanked me for all the info and got me started.

My month included access to him as a personal trainer (he may totally be regretting that now) a customized meal plan, customized workouts and help when needed.

I was torn between low-fat and Mediterranean diet plans so he gave me a combo of the two. When I looked them over in more detail, I was definitely more of the Mediterranean style as the low-fat had more packaged foods in it than I’d like (I’ll actually make a salad dressing vs. buy one). He was pretty helpful on what exchanges I could make if it was a food I didn’t eat, which was great. He also gave me some great insight into how to swap them foods properly. I also later remembered I added green smoothies into my day, and we adjusted as needed for those. So far, so good on the eating (okay, okay… if you follow my twitter/instagram, yes, I baked pie, but I shared it, a lot).

Next up, the workouts! The let’s go nuts side of me was like “let’s do this super intense challenge, 30 days of workouts, RAWR! Let’s do it all!!” he kindly and very smartly said… let’s start small to get you back on track and go from there. So, we found a great workout plan that won’t take hours to do and will work the total body. I can do this workout 2-3 times a week. He also gave me some exercises geared towards runners. The realistic side of my brain loves this.

So… I am off and running! I am in my second week so far and loving the workouts. Not too hard and not too easy. I definitely sweat and my muscles let me know they got a workout in, all while still being able to conquer my runs without exhausted legs. Also, the workouts change from week to week lessening my chance of boredom. The further I get into this program, the more I love it. You heard that right, I am loving the strength training in this workout. The other night I was EXHAUSTED and started the workout and realized how horrible my form was attempting squats. So, I called it and made that day my rest day. The next morning I was able to get the routine in since it doesn’t take an hour to do! I felt so accomplished before 7:00 AM!

Okay, okay… yes, I said good news. So, other than the fact that I am getting myself back on track what is the good news you ask? Well… Franklin at iBodyFit.com has offered to give one of you fine followers a free month of the Premium Program (the same program I am doing).  All you have to do is tweet us @solesisteronrun and @iBodyFit why you’d like to win with the #iBodyFit! Winner will be selected at random on May 29th! Good luck!!

Ready For A Positive Change

Disclosure: I’m part of a sponsored campaign for the Under Armour What’s Beautiful programand I’d love for you to join my team!

Hello everyone! Another piece of GREAT news… I am part of a wonderful campaign with Under Armour: What’s Beautiful: a campaign that celebrates and redefines female athletes and strength.

As a female who still struggles with the realization that I am an athlete, I love the concept of this campaign. Women who join set goals for themselves and with the support of the community work towards their goals. You can also create and join groups that have like-minded goals. Working to help Under Armour redefine the Female Athlete.

This campaign opportunity came at the perfect time for me. Stress in certain areas of my life is decreasing and I am realizing/admitting it is time for a change to get me back to my happy place.

The other day I was thinking to myself:  Here we are again. Really. For those that know me, in 2010/2011 I started working out and running and lost 50 lbs. I was by no means “skinny” but I went from 225 to 175. I was healthier, fitting better in my clothes and felt great. For the most part, I fluctuated between 172-180. I was running consistently but did much less strength training. I have never hidden my dislike of strength training. Yes, I know its benefits, but honestly, never really took to it.

Late fall last year things got stressful for me. We had just purchased our first home, work was stressful  and busy, my eye issues started, and holiday travel was coming up. I was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. I was running, but more to get the runs in than out of pure enjoyment. I rarely made it to the gym, my eating was all over the place.

Then… it continued. I couldn’t seem to reign myself in. At times, I just didn’t want to. I was stressed (seriously, I need to learn to say no). My eye issues were still around, and I set a goal to complete 13 half marathons in 2013, which, while I love this goal, it adds some challenges with the travel. My grandfather was placed in hospice and on Easter Sunday, passed away. The grief was overwhelming. I continued to not eat right, not exercise much and struggled to find the ambition to care.

So, here I am again. And this time, I am angry. I am angry that I let things get in the way of my health goals. That I put weight back on (I’m closer to 190), that my clothes don’t fit as well and honestly, angry that I have to start this, AGAIN. What didn’t I learn? Where did I go wrong?? Wait… I was human. That is okay. But I want to get back to this:

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One positive: I have been able to maintain my running. Maybe not 3-5 times a week, but I am out there running and have completed 5 of the 13 half marathons for the year. Right on track.

Well, this time I am more determined to make the changes that I will be able to maintain and turn into a lifestyle. I have learned a few things about myself in this journey:

 

  1. I enjoy being at home. After work, I want nothing more than to head home and play with my dogs.
  2. I am NOT a morning person (not even on race day, but I get myself there)
  3.  I do much better with a plan.
  4. I enjoy baking and treats. I do not enjoy making everything super healthy. In my mind, let a cookie be a cookie.
  5.  If I meal plan, I eat healthier.
  6.  I feel amazing after yoga and after a run.
  7. I can convince myself to strength train if it will be 40 minutes or less.
  8. I am human, life happens.

 

Okay, so what do I do with this information? Well, for starters, I am involved in a campaign that will help keep me motivated: Under Armour What’s Beautiful Campaign. The campaign goal is to redefine the female athlete and help women set goals to help them become healthier, happier versions of themselves. I’m in, are you?

For starters, I am NOT setting a weight goal. I am setting GET HEALTHY goals. I love yoga, but always struggle with Crow Pose, so, I have set a goal to be able to hold crow pose for 5 full yoga breaths; I have set a goal to improve my run time; I have set goals to be healthy and learn to love myself.

I have also created a team: Love Yourself! Where the goal is to make healthier choices and to learn to love yourself: body, mind and soul.

So… with the Under Armour Campaign, #IWILL:

 

  1.  Hold crow pose
  2. Complete a half marathon in under 2:20
  3.  Make healthier eating choices
  4.  Not deprive myself of anything
  5.  Add in strength training
  6. Learn to love myself: body, mind and soul

 

Want to join me? Sign up and follow me HERE and join my group HERE!  

 

What goals will you set for yourself to define #WHAT’SBEAUTIFUL?

My Eye Issues Explained

WARNING: Some descriptions are not pleasant.

In late October last year I started having issues with my left eye. It would feel irritated and sore almost all the time. Numerous visits to the doctor left me with “use lubricating eye drops” and feeling even more frustrated. Then one morning I woke up and everything changed. I opened my eyes and it felt like someone shoved a hot needle in my eye. My eye felt like it was on fire, my vision was blurry and my eye wouldn’t stop watering. I called the doctor and they could get me in that afternoon. I somehow made it to work and tried to get some things done at the office. I had my husband meet me at the doctor’s office because my eye was no better and depending on what they would do, I might not be able to drive home.

I knew it was bad when the tech walked in, looked at me and said “Oh my god! Let me give you some numbing drops and then I’ll come back to ask questions”. The moment the numbing eye drops started to take effect I could feel the tension leave my body. After an exam and tests, it was determined that I have a weak spot on my cornea which, coupled with the also new diagnosis of severe dry eye caused Recurrent Corneal Erosion (RCE). Or, as a friend so aptly nicknamed it: Stupid Eye. What does all this mean?

Well, the severe dry eye needs to be treated with lubricating drops, gel drops and, at night an ointment in the eye. This helps keep the layers of the eye moist. However, this dry eye and the weak spot on the cornea are a bad combination. The two together caused the cells in that weak area to erode over time, mostly when I open my eyes in the morning. To put it in plain terms: when I open my eyes in the morning the eyelid and cornea stick together and when I open them, it peels a layer of the cornea off in that weak spot. Yes, ouch. Really ouch. Again, hot needle stabbed into your eye type of ouch.

So, that is what happened that day. This in turn caused a tear on the cornea which was becoming infected. Yes, even more issues. So, long story short, lots of eye drops and treatment later, the tear and infection were taken care of.

However, the dry eye and RCE would not stabilize. I was back in the doctor’s office every couple of weeks between then and mid-March with a recurrence. On a day to day basis it felt like a grain of sand stuck under my eyelid I couldn’t get rid of. I was on lubricating eye drops, steroid eye drops, a salt eye drop, ointment at night, using a humidifier and taking whatever precautions I could, to no avail. To say I was frustrated was an understatement.

This was interfering with a lot in my life. I was missing work, I wouldn’t run outside if it was windy, I would have to travel with a humidifier, I always have eye drops on me, ALWAYS, I have woken up on race mornings with an incident of RCE, blurred vision and a headache. I am terrified daily to just wake up and open my eyes, travel adds a new level of stress because of the dry air in hotels and airports. The intense searing pain is horrendous and takes me out for the day. My anxiety and stress levels were through the roof in trying to figure this all out. I wasn’t sleeping, would freak out anytime I felt like I was in a situation that would make it worse, and panicked if I didn’t have eye drops.

Finally, towards the end of February they suggested punctal plugs. Tiny little silicone plugs they place in the tear ducts to keep the naturally produced tears from draining too quickly in turn keeping the moisture on the eye. I was willing to try anything. So, March 18th they were inserted.

punctal plugs

Finally things have been stabilized. I still use a humidifier at night, lubricating drops, the salt drop and the ointment. I constantly have eye drops with me. I try to avoid being outside in high winds situations. I still stress a little bit every morning before I open my eyes, and always have eye drops on the nightstand to grab and put in my eyes before I open them.

Unfortunately, this will never go away. My aunt has a more severe issue in Fuchs Dystrophy and the likelihood of me developing that has increased.

Knocking on wood, this has been in maintenance stage since March 18th. I told my doctor (who has been great) at the appointment when they inserted the plugs that although I like him, I hope to not see him for a minimum of 6 months. So far, I have 2 months down with no incidents.

I have also developed a new love and appreciation for numbing eye drops. Whoever created them, thank you.

Resources for Recurrent Corneal Erosion:

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1195183-overview

 http://www.stlukeseye.com/Conditions/CornealErosion.html

Resources for Punctal Plugs:

http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/punctal-plugs.htm

FitBit Affiliate

I promised exciting news… and here is some of it! As some of you know, when I first started my weight loss journey in 2010 I purchased a Fitbit Classic. That little tool that attached to my bra or pocket, to me, was a game changer. It tracked my steps and activity level. It would sync with a program to my computer that tracked this information, where I could enter my eating and progress. I earned badges for meeting step goals and seeing this progress (or lack of progress) kept me motivated.

The little gadget also tracked my sleep to determine how long it took me to fall asleep and how restful my sleep was. This was an eye-opener. I may have been in bed 7+ hours but was rarely getting over 4 hours of sleep. Not good. I was able to work on my sleep which improved my fitness and energy levels.

The dashboard lets you see your progress (can you see I have a sedentary job?!) and interact with friends for a little healthy competition.

dashboard

With the Fitbit, exercising regularly and eating healthy, I lost 60 lbs. For the most part, I have kept them off. I have a sedentary job so I make sure that when I can, I get moving.

I am beyond excited to share two bits of news with you. I have become a Fitbit Affiliate, helping to promote the benefits of the program and spread the word about the great Fitbit tools available!!

Second bit of news: they are creating a Fitbit Ambassador program that I will be a part of as well, another way to spread the word!

Fitbit has a wide range of products to help you meet your goals!! Check out their website for more information!!

Upcoming: Under Armour: What’s Beautiful Campaign, iBodyFit and Discussing my eye issues… Stay Tuned!!

My Fabulous Weekend Part 2

After the Komen event Saturday afternoon my husband and I grabbed a bite to eat, changed out of sweaty clothes and headed to Santa Ana, CA so that I could run the OC Half Marathon on Sunday. Yes, I am crazy…

We got in around dinner time, got settled, ordered room service and I headed to bed. A 3:30 AM wake-up call for the race would be here before I knew it.

I went into this race weekend fully expecting to have a bad race, not that I haven’t been training, but, I was up for two days straight Friday and Saturday, walked about 20 miles those two days and was busy all week from morning till night with work and meetings. I wanted to do this race and finish, as it is part of the Beach Cities Challenge I am going for, but knew with no sleep and a lot of physical activity, it may not go well.

I was concerned going into this race on how it would all unfold due to a lack of organization I noticed with the race company. I paid $25 for packet mailing as I wouldn’t be able to make it to the expo, and 3 days before the race I finally received my bib in the mail (standard USPS postage) and a letter telling me to get my shirt after the race. I was peeved that I spent $25 for an envelope and stamp. But… let’s move on, I had my bib (unlike others) so that was good.

Race day came: we left the hotel with PLENTY of time to make it to the fairgrounds for parking and shuttles. Then, sat in traffic to get in for a long time, only to stand in line with HUNDREDS of runners in front of us and behind us waiting for shuttles. It was now close to 6:00 AM and the half was set to start at 6:15. The bigger concern, they were asking if there were any full marathoners waiting for a shuttle, that race STARTED at 5:15. Eek!! So, by the time we got on a bus and to the start line, we were late. After checking our gear, the entire race had started and the announcer just said, let’s get you all across the start line. That was it.

To say that race started hectic is an understatement. I chose to start with a 3/1 run-walk interval to see how my body would do. I did surprisingly well. The course itself is a net downhill, so when there was a decent stretch of downhill I gave up my walk breaks and ran the last 1.1 miles in. I finished in 2:29:46. WHAT?! With my exhausted mind and body? Sure did. Awesome.

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The course itself was beautiful. Views of the ocean, quaint neighborhoods, nice parks. Throughout it, there were several volunteers sitting down playing on their phones not even looking at racers. The insanity after the race of standing in line for an hour to get my stuff from gear check, even more frustrating, I was tired, cold and hungry. It was 55 and cloudy. Then, we get to where we need to go to pick up the rest of our race packets that didn’t get mailed and received our t-shirt. Just the t-shirt. None of the other swag. Gee, thanks… and again, what did I pay $25 for? Oh, and they weren’t verifying this… so if you wanted another shirt, I am sure you could have snagged one. No list to check? I also heard they ran out of half marathon medals.

Charlene and I only got one photo together. 🙁 Usually we are photo happy at races… not this time.

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Thankfully my husband met me there afterwards and managed a parking spot at the far end near an exit so we were out in no time. Some people sat in traffic up to two hours to leave.

We headed back to the hotel to grab a quick snack, shower and head out. Hubby and I walked around Newport Beach, grabbed a seafood lunch (yay!) and then saw THIS parked next to me:

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This car is everything my dreams are made of… well, okay, the convertible version, but sweet beautiful car!!

We then headed back to the hotel so I could nap, then went out to tour more of the area, have some dinner and relax.

Lessons learned:

1: ORGANIZE!

2: But for me, I learned something really important. I was so mentally exhausted my brain shut off for this race. I just ran it, I cannot remember a single thought I had, other than how beautiful the ocean looked. I was up for two days straight and also physically exhausted. I ran that half in 2:29. This taught me one very important thing: PHYSICALLY I can do this and am strong. MENTALLY I need to learn to shut the heck up and let my body do what it does! I know what I need to work on, turning off the negative self talk and the I can’ts, because apparently, I CAN!!

My Fabulous Weekend Part 1

Okay… now that it’s almost the next weekend, here is part 1 of my wrap-up:

My weekend was so fun-filled I need two blog posts to discuss it!! So, here is Saturday, well, technically many months of planning and a week of serious busy… but, all for what occurred Friday night into Saturday afternoon!

This past weekend I was the Race Chair for the 18th Annual Susan G. Komen of Southern NV Race for the Cure. With an AMAZING committee I can’t rave enough about, we planned and executed a successful event. We held our expo for a few days prior and spent Friday night with a final meeting, and the beginning of the operations side of things. Overnight items were moved to areas they would be needed, sponsor banners hung along the race route and everything set up. By 6:00 AM what is normally a vision of party-goers was a beautiful expo and race location. Approximately 11,500 supporters enjoyed the festivities and entertainment.

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I gave my first ever (and second) welcome speech to those in attendance.

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Gave a TV interview with CBS Channel 8 discussing the race and planning.

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Was overwhelmed by the emotion of seeing this:

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And lastly, was able to enjoy the smiles, cheers, tears and support of everyone there.

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So… a huge thank you to all that helped make this day possible: the Komen staff, the committee, volunteers, and supporters. Also, a huge thank you to my husband for helping out and being more than okay with all the time I spent planning this event. I am beyond excited for next year!!