Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesdays with Erika: Getting my Greens

Today's Workout:
6 mile run

Did you know that April 30th is Honesty Day? In the spirit of this holiday, I will confess that I don't eat enough veggies. I'm a big advocate of eating healthy and consuming as much fruits and veggies as possible, but the truth is that I don't eat nearly as many veggies as I should. No need to fret my friends because I have discovered a solution for this!

Have you ever heard of spirulina and chlorella? Spirulina is a blue algae that contains a plethora of vitamins, minerals, proteins and amino acids. It helps fight viruses and it boosts the immune system. Other benefits include:

  • Anti-inflammatory (good for runner's muscles).
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-oxidant (helps remove free radicals in the body).
  • Anti-cancer properties

Spirulina comes in powder form and capsules.
 
 
 
Chlorella is a green algae with large amounts of chlorophyll. Chlorella contains zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamins C, E and B12, phosphorus and vitamin A. Other benefits include:
 
  • Aids the immune system.
  • Helps fight bacteria and viruses.
  • Removes toxins from the body.
  • Cancer fighting properties.
  • Balances pH levels.
  • Aids in digestion.
 
 
Chlorella, like spirulina, comes in powder form and in capsules.
 
 
Here are some tasty spirulina smoothie recipes:
 
 
 
Papaya Spirulina Smoothie
1 teaspoon spirulina powder
1 papaya
1 lime juiced
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Ice as needed
Directions:
Blend in your blender until smooth and enjoy!

Spirulina Banan-er Smoothie
1 banana
1 ½ teaspoon spirulina powder1 ½ cups milk – you can also use almond milk
1 tablespoon honey
½ cup yogurt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Ice as needed

Directions
Blend in your blend until smooth and enjoy!


Double Protein Smoothie
1 cup frozen strawberries or blueberries
1 banana1 scoop protein powder
1 ½ teaspoons spirulina powder
Ice as needed

Directions
Blend in your blender until smooth and enjoy!


Here are some chlorella smoothie recipes:

Green Goodness
8 oz apple juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ tablespoon chlorella powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Ice as needed

Directions
Blend in your blend until smooth and enjoy!


 

The Rejuvenating Chlorella Smoothie
1 cup fruit juice
1 banana
½ cup blueberries
1 teaspoon chlorella powder
Ice as needed

Directions
Blend in your blender until smooth and enjoy! The Ultimate Very Berry Chlorella Smoothie
1 banana
½ cup strawberries
½ cup raspberries
½ cup blueberries
1 carrot1 teaspoon chlorella
1 sliver of ginger
1 cup apple juice
Ice as needed

Directions
Blend in your blend until smooth and enjoy!


ENJOY!
 
 
Do you eat enough veggies?
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Monday, April 29, 2013

The Sunshine Vitamin

I am happy to say that today I ran 5.5 miles and it felt great! My knee is still healing and the surrounding muscles are pretty tight and sore, but it didn't feel too bad.

My timing wasn't the greatest, but I have to take baby steps (I have to remind myself of this!) and make sure that I get better before I go "all out" again. Besides, my reduction in running miles has enabled me to fully recover from the Boston Marathon and it has helped me find motivation to cross-train and strength train.



Today I want to talk about the supplements that I take as a runner. There are four vitamins that I take and I consider them my "must haves."


Iron, Omega 3 fish oil, Bioastin, and Vitamin D.
 
 
Since I don't eat red meat, my iron levels tend to be low, so I supplement my iron deficiency with 25mg of iron a day. The omega 3 fish oil has a number of benefits, which include reduction of heart disease, reduction of joint pain and stiffness (very important for runners!), prevention of cancer and stability in mental health (woohoo, no PMS!). Bioastin has been considered "nature's strongest antioxidant." It protects cellular function and supports joint and tendon health (important for runners).
 
Last but not least: VITAMIN D. I would venture to say that if I would only be allowed to take one vitamin, I would choose Vitamin D. The "sunshine vitamin" like some people like to call it, has a vast number of benefits, which include:
 
  • Aiding in the promotion of calcium absorption in the bones. Calcium cannot be absorbed into your bones without Vitamin D. So, more calcium consumption does not equal stronger bones.
  • Vitamin D deficiency can impair muscle contractions, which can affect the way your heart pumps blood in your body. This in turn, can also affect your kidneys because the lack of blood pumping into your kidneys will not enable the kidneys to get rid of waste and toxins in your body.
  • Vitamin D helps your immune system fight off diseases such as the common cold.
  • Vitamin D influences cell production which means that it helps with the creation of new cells. This is extremely important because most diseases such as cancer, stem from abnormal cell growth.
Another interesting factor about Vitamin D, is the link that researchers have made with running performance and the deficiency of this vitamin. Since low levels of vitamin D can affect one's immune system (point #3), researchers found that vitamin D deficient runners got injured and sick more often. They also pointed out that some runners would experience more joint pains and inflammation in their muscles, which makes sense because low levels of vitamin D affects one's bones (point #1) and one's blood flow (point #2).
 
So my friends, make sure to get plenty of sun (in a reasonable amount of increments) and don't forget to take vitamin D. I take 10,000 IU of vitamin D which people think is a crazy amount, but I have never found any literature indicating an over-dose of the vitamin. If you like to air in the side of caution, I believe that about 2000 IU would be a good amount.
 
 
What vitamins do you take?
 

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Music, Play & Fitness

Rise & Shine Friends! Today is a gorgeous Saturday and I am ready for some play time!!
 
 
I started off my Saturday morning by going to the gym and doing a strength training session. The session consisted of:
 
  • Leg press 3x20
  • Push-ups 3x10
  • Seated row 3x20
  • Plie squats 3x20
  • Shoulder press 2x20
  • Deadlifts 2x20
  • Bicep curls 2x20
  • Tricep extensions 2x20
 
 
 
 
Then I hopped on the stationary bike and cycled for 30 minutes. My knee injury is feeling better, but for some reason I woke up with my leg swollen. Hmmm? Not sure why?
 
 
Left leg is a bit swollen.
 
 
Looks a bit better don't ya think? =/
 
 
 
Anywho, my mother-in-law invited my hubby and I to a musical last night. It was spectacular! Ever heard of South Pacific? It's a musical that was written in the late 40's and performed in Broadway. We actually saw at the University of Miami theatre and it was performed by the students.
 
 
 
 
Well friends, I'm off for some more playing time. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter for updates.
 
 
 
What are you doing this weekend?
 
 
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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Erika's Spring Challenge: Cross-train

A few weeks ago, I posed a Spring Challenge for myself. One of the challenges was to get stronger and to cross-train. As an avid runner, the thought of spending "quality" time in another sport seems almost impossible. I find myself making excuses not to cross-train such as:

  • I don't have time.
  • I'm too sore from running.
  • What could possibly be beneficial from this?

So, I promised myself that after marathon season I would make an effort to strength train and to engage in some other form of cardiovascular exercise such as cycling, yoga, boot camp, etc. Yesterday was my first official strength training session and oh my gosh I am sore today! That's ok because I actually like the feeling of being sore (is that weird?). I did a total body workout that included:
  • Dumbbell squats 3x20
  • Lat pull-downs 3x20
  • Lunges 3x10 (each leg)
  • Bicep curls 3x20
  • Dumbbell bench press 3x20
  • Quad leg extensions 3x20
I took the day off from strength training today and I cycled for 30 minutes and then ran 2 miles on the treadmill. The treadmill felt nice on my legs since my knee still hurts. The treadmill did a great job of reducing the pounding on it.

 
 

There are a number of reasons to cross-train whether you're a runner, cyclist, swimmer, triathlete, etc. For example, according to Runner's World there are 8 beneficial reasons to do it:

  • Injury prevention: It reduces the strenuous impact on the same muscles.
  • Rehab if you're injured: You won't lose fitness because you'll be doing another form of exercise.
  • Greater running fitness: You could run faster because you're working out other muscles and you gain strength and power.
  • Active recovery: It's a good way to recover from running without ceasing all forms of physical activity.
  • More motivation: Cross-training may motivate you to run more because you avoid the boredom of solely running.
  • Less stress: Cross-training may rejuvenate your body and mind by allowing you to take a break from the hard training you engaged in the running season.
  • Enjoying other activities: This will introduce you to other sports and physical activities.
  • (For women) Fit-pregnancy: If you're pregnant, it will make you feel healthier and it will aid in labor.



What do you do for cross-training?

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Tipster: Grocery shopping with Erika

Hello Friends!
 
 
I'm so thrilled to say that today I went to the gym and did a total body workout with weights. Granted, I was using the 5lbs weights, but that's ok because at least I feel a lot better! After my weight lifting session, I went outside and jalked, yes jalked! I jogged so slow that I was pretty much walking. Anyway, I jalked 2 miles and then called it quits. My knee feels about 80% better, but I still have to rest it so it could heal up completely.
 
 
WOOHOO!
 
 

 After my run, I decided to head over to Publix (the local supermarket in South Florida) and buy some groceries for the week. These are the guidelines that I follow when I buy food at the grocery store:

  • Most of the food that I choose are on the perimeter aisles (this is where you find the meat, produce and dairy products).
  • I try to choose foods that are fresh versus in a can or frozen.
  • I stay away from highly processed foods that contain artificial ingredients and a ton of sugar.
  • I make sure that I am not hungry when I go grocery shopping so that I won't "eat with my eyes." People tend to pick up things that they normally wouldn't choose because they're hungry.
  • I choose foods that are whole wheat and organic if possible.

I spend most of the time here.
 
I grabbed: green beans, raw garlic, oranges, grapefruits, asparagus, sweet potatoes, bananas, fruit bowls and avocados.
 
Organic chicken.
 
 

Organic eggs.

Plain Greek yogurt.

Almond milk.
 
Organic cold-pressed olive oil.

Walnuts.

Organic oat bran.

Coconut chips.
 
 
I hope these tips helped!
 
 
What do you normally buy when you're at the grocery store?
 
 
 
 
 

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The sweet smell of Failure

My lack of physical activity in the past week has left me thinking about a couple of things. When I wrote the Boston Marathon race re-cap, I failed to include something very important that happened to me. As I have mentioned before, my goal time for the race was 2:55:00. I was successfully hitting every mile split until I reached mile 23--then everything went downhill (no pun intended).

As I was running downhill at mile 23, I suddenly stumbled upon a railroad track which caused me to trip. I abruptly fell to the ground and suffered an injury to my left knee which inevitably ruined altered my finish time. I limped in agony to the finish line with an end time of 2:59:18. Four minutes shy of what I WANTED! I was PISSED OFF! There is no better word to describe my sentiments when I finished that race. I was upset because I wanted that 2:55:00 so badly and I had trained endless hours for it. I dwelled in self-pity for about an hour trying to make sense of that freak accident. Why me? Why me? Nothing made sense to me.



Well, a week passed by and here I am, sitting in front of this computer dumping into words the thoughts and the possible answers as to why the freak accident occurred. I've never been a person to make excuses, on the contrary, I always blame myself for the mistakes that happen in my life. Unfortunately, in a conventional society these mistakes are seen as unforgivable failures thereby making a person unfit for success. Blah, blah, blah!!

I'm here to tell you why Failure smells so sweet. I learned an important lesson at Boston: Failure is the gateway to success. I considered myself a failure because I didn't finish in the time that I hoped for, but what truly happened was that I was paving the way for a successful future. To achieve your personal best you must welcome failure. You can't dwell on the present mistake but rather you must look at the bigger picture. You must embrace failure if you want to succeed. Besides, if you always win you will never know if you're putting forth the most amount of effort.

If there's one thing I can attest to is that the sweetest victories have been the most difficult to achieve. It's the one that forces you to give it your all and fight until you have no more. Surely it may seem very difficult while you're doing it, but the reward at the end is everlasting. I believe that failure and defeat teach us many lessons. Failure leads to determination. Failure leads to perseverance. Failure teaches you how to do it better next time.

I think that in order to accept failures one must possess the "No Fear" attitude. So what if you don't get the first time? There will always be a next time. Besides, the journey to success is the best part of the equation. Thomas Edison said it best:




Be positive. Have no fears. Embrace failure. Love success. Be happy.
 
 
What's been the most important thing you have learned from a failure?





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Monday, April 22, 2013

Leftovers? Yes Please!

Hello everyone! Since it's the beginning of the week, I thought I would share with you some ideas on how to eat clean and prepare your meals for the week. As an avid runner and health-conscious freak athlete, I always prepare my meals ahead of time in order to avoid:

  • From eating out
  • Eating processed and unhealthy food
  • Save time during the week
  • Save money

Preparing meals ahead of time may seem like a daunting task at first, but once you get the hang of it you will see how easy it is. Besides, your physique and your pockets will thank you later ;). So, where do you begin? First, clean out your refrigerator and get rid of old and moldy food. Once you have done that, make a list of the foods you need. I usually don't have a food list per se because I get the usual stuff:

  • Fresh veggies
  • Fresh fruits
  • Cage-free eggs
  • Organic chicken and fish
  • Nuts
  • Almond milk
  • Beans
  • Quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, oat bran
  • Etc...
  • TUPPERWARE and MASON JARS (you will need this to store your food!)

After you buy all the food the fun part comes next...

First, clean all the veggies and fruits. Then slice them up and put them away in containers. For example, cut celery stalks into 4" pieces and put them away in a container with water. The small pieces of celery will make a great snack for the week.




After you're done, this is how your refrigerator should look like:

 
 
 
Next up: Cooking for the week. There are plenty of recipes that you can cook ahead of time that will make a great breakfast or lunch. I usually take about two hours to prepare my meals, but I am free to do what I want to do for the rest of the week. I usually make:
 
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Grilled chicken in the oven
  • Grilled fish in the oven
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Oven-baked beans
  • Make a salad and store it in a mason jar
After cooking it, I put it away in containers and voila, I have lunch for the rest of the week. (Click here to see what my pre-made meals look like when I go to work).
 
How to use the leftovers:
 
  • Mix the quinoa and/or brown rice with grilled veggies
  • Add the chicken and/or fish with veggies and throw it in a wrap
  • Have the hard-boiled eggs as a snack or make an egg salad
  • Toss the beans into a salad or with quinoa
 
 
Have a healthy, clean-eating week! ;)
 
 
 
How do you prepare your meals for the week?
 
 
 
Here's a quick update on my knee injury. It's feeling a bit better but I still don't have full mobility on that leg. It's still difficult to bend it and to use the stairs. The throbbing has somewhat stopped.
 
 



 
 
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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mind Your Munchies

Rise and Shine Friends!
 
 
Here's a quick status of my knee injury:
 
Isn't that gross? I've been feeling a little bit better, but it's still difficult to bend my knee. I don't think it's infected anymore, but it's still swollen and warm to the touch. I'm anxiously waiting for the injury to heal so I can get out of the house and have some fun. Can anyone say cabin fever? =/
 
 
Anyway, I've been asked by a few people how I've managed to keep my weight off during all these years. After learning the concept of eating in small portions every few hours, I attribute my weight loss and maintenance of it to that idea.
 
How it works: When you eat smaller meals during the day, the speed of your metabolism increases thus converting the food into energy instead of stored fats. Eating frequently also keeps your blood sugar in check so your insulin levels won't spike. When your insulin levels spikes your body cannot burn fat so you end up gaining weight. Also, when you skip meals your body goes into starvation mode and it'll crave junk foods, such as sweets.
 
 
How to do it: It's easy to eat frequently you just have to know what to eat. For example,
 
  • High protein foods such as lean meats, hard-boiled eggs and beans
  • Good fats such as nuts, avocado and olive oil
  • Good carbs such as veggies, fruits and whole grains
The idea is to pair a protein when you eat carbs and fats. For instance, a great snack can include 1-2 hard-boiled eggs (protein) with an apple (carb) or cottage cheese (protein) with pineapples (carb) or a stick of cheese (protein) with crackers (carb) and almond butter (fat). Remember, when choosing a carb make sure it's a complex carb. Complex carbs take longer to break down in your body so it'll make you feel fuller longer. Simple carbs give you energy too but they convert to glucose and fat really quickly which causes weight gain. Simple carbs include fruit juices, white flours, sweets, sodas, etc. (NO BUENO!)
 
 
You're probably wondering how to eat snacks on the go, after all, Americans are always out and about and on the go go go. Well my friends, this is how I do it:
 
 
Exhibit A: Purse + snacks
 
 
Exhibit B: Snacks go inside purse!
 
 
I always take a big purse whenever I go out because I store food in it. Since I don't know how long I'll be out for, I always make sure I have food with me. I also take snacks to movie theaters since I don't eat candy, sodas and popcorn. I TAKE FOOD EVERYWHERE, I mean everywhere!!
 
 
 
Why it works: It's basic science, just follow me: When you eat a carb your pancreas creates insulin which causes your body to store glucose (sugar). When you pair the protein with the carb, the protein uses the glucose which doesn't allow the glucose to just sit in your body as fat. The protein uses up the glucose as energy so it burns fat. Also, eating more frequently helps you feel fuller longer so you don't binge eat later. It also reduces cravings because it makes you feel satiated longer.
 
 

 
What's your favorite snack?
 
 

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Post-peak Blues

Hello Friends and Happy Friday!
 
 
Ok, I've come to terms with the fact that the Boston Marathon has come and gone, but now I'm forcefully in recovery mode. I think any runner would agree with me when I say that the recovery period after a race is the most dreadful experience. Whether you're injured or not, post-marathon all runners should:
 
 
a) Eat well and replenish glycogen stores.
CHECK
 
Brown rice, organic chicken, veggies and avocado
 
 
b) Hydrate and drink limit alcohol consumption.
CHECK
 
Water, lots of it!
 
 
 
 
c) Take an ice bath for muscle soreness.
NO CHECK
 
 
d) Take about a week off from running and slowly introduce it the following week. This is also a good time to cross-train since your body is recovering from the pounding of running.
CHECK, CHECK
 
 
e) Rest!
CHECK
 
 
Can anyone say cabin fever? I was supposed to return to work today, but due to the physical nature of my job, my doctor said I would need to hold off for a few days. I went to Holy Cross Hospital yesterday and the doc told me that my puncture wound was infected. He also said that my knee had bursitis. So he prescribed some antibiotics and lots of R&R.
 
Knee Bursitis: 
(According to the Mayo Clinic)
Knee bursitis is inflammation of a bursa located near your knee joint. A bursa is a small fluid-filled, pad-like sac that reduces friction and cushions pressure points between your bones and the tendons and muscles near your joints. Knee bursitis most commonly occurs over the kneecap or on the inner side of your knee below the joint. It causes pain and can limit your mobility.
 
 
So now that I'm forced to relax, unwind and recover, I will do so in the most diva-way possible. Don't you think?
 
 
 
 
What are you doing this weekend?
 
 

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Miami Runs for Boston

As a proud Miamian, I am happy to say that the Brickell Run Club in Miami held a silent run for the victims of the Boston bombings on Tuesday, April 16th. The organizers made special bibs for the 600 runners that participated in the 3.3 mile run.


 


A part of the running route included Biscayne Boulevard, which is the starting point of the Miami ING Marathon, a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. Despite the miles between Miami and Boston, there is nothing that can stop us from showing support and love to the running community. Part of what makes the US such a wonderful nation, is the gallantry and bravery that is shown from its people. We have proven to be a resilient nation time and time again. My prayers go out to the victims of the bombings and to their families.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend the silent run because of my knee injury. It appears to be a puncture wound so it's difficult to walk on my left foot. The knee is swollen and all my leg muscles are tight and sore.

 
 
 
 
Hopefully the doctor will have some answers today for the injury that I sustained. In the meantime, I will try to get better fast so I could start running again! =)
 
 
Is there a tribute run for Boston in your city? Tell me about it!





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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston Marathon- Race Report

A Day in Beantown- The Boston Marathon

When I arrived at the Boston Marathon Expo on April 13th, I was given a “Welcome” book that outlined the itinerary for the race. Upon opening the first page, the first sentence read, “This is personal.” I was immediately captivated by those words so I continued reading. The remainder of the message said, “The Boston Marathon. It’s more than a race to you. It’s the culmination of a longer journey- a personal one. It’s your chance to make a statement to the world about who you are and what’s important to you. This is about your goals, convictions and hopes. This is your day. This is your marathon.”


The words written in that book resonated in my mind for the remainder of the weekend. I had trained so hard for the Boston Marathon and I had anxiously waited three years for this day to come. Finally, I would prove to myself that I was worthy of running in this race and I would validate why being called a runner is the most prestigious title one can have.




From the moment that I woke up at 5:30 am on April 15th, the Boston Marathon was nothing less than a spectacular journey. As I rushed to the Dedham Corporate Center train station at 6 o’clock in the morning, I began repeating my mantra in my mind: This is your day. This is your marathon! While waiting for the train to arrive, a man at the station immediately befriended me. He introduced himself as Malcolm from Toronto. Malcolm shared his running success stories with me and I was immediately drawn to his energy. Malcolm had run more than 40 marathons, including one where the temperatures were below 10 degrees. As we entered the train, the train employee asked me for the $6.00 fare. “I thought it was free for runners,” I thought. I looked down and told Malcolm I didn’t have any money. Without hesitation, Malcolm took out a $20.00 bill and told the train employee, “Make it two tickets.” With a sigh of relief I shouted, “You saved my life! You are a good Samaritan Malcolm.” After the train ride, Malcolm and I hurried through the streets of Downtown Boston to catch the bus to Hopkinton, which was the start of the race. I was in disbelief when we arrived to the park. There must have been about 2,000 runners waiting for the school buses to arrive. I’m going to be late for the first wave at 10 o’clock, I told him. “Erika, I will hold your spot in the back of the line. See if you could get a spot in the front. If you don’t come back, I’ll know you got through.” Those were the last words Malcolm and I shared. I clandestinely got into the front of the line and into one of the buses-this must be my lucky day I thought.


Forty five minutes later, I was finally in Hopkinton. As I waited in the “runner’s village,” I snuggled in a blanket to shield my body from the low temperatures to conserve energy. At 9:40 am the first wave runners were escorted to the start of the line. The distance from the village to the start of the line seemed like a marathon itself. I was shaking from the cold and from the overwhelming sense of excitement. As I got into the corral, I began stretching and praying to God for a safe and fun race. At 10:00 am on the dot, I was ready to go…


By the first mile in the race, I took off my ear warmers and gloves and I lowered my arm sleeves. I was warned about the first mile downhill, so I steadily kept my pace at 6.38 minutes (per mile). I had set a goal of finishing at 2 hours and 55 minutes, so I consistently kept my pace between 6.38 and 6.39. There were moments throughout the race where the crowds would provoke a burst of energy within me. The streets were flooded with thousands of people wearing Boston shirts and caps. I saw red and blue everywhere. There were young and old people. There were young children putting out their hands to receive a high 5 from the runners. There were beautiful college girls holding up signs that read “Kiss me!” Everywhere my face turned I saw glimpses of smiles and laughter. I saw young people kissing and older women yelling “Never give up!” At about the 13th mile, I heard an older male panting behind me. I immediately shortened my steps and I asked him if he was ok. “You have an excellent pace,” he said. “We BOTH have an excellent pace,” I told the older man. As I continued running a young female runner yelled at me, “Come on girl, let’s do this!” “I’ve been waiting for these hills all my life,” I said to the young girl.


A burst of energy filled my body as soon as the 16th mile began. Someone had told me that the race really began at mile 16, so I cautiously ran through it to save my legs for the Newton Hills starting in mile 17. As I ran through the hills I prayed to God to help me overcome all pain and to help me conquer my dreams because all things were possible through Him. I repeated those words until the last hill at Heartbreak. Running the Newton Hills was like a roller coaster, both physically and mentally. My quadriceps were tight and the little voice inside my head had moments of weakness. Somehow my body and mind fought through the moment and I regained momentum when I reached mile 23.


As I ran down the hill at mile 23, I suddenly tripped over a railroad track. I immediately stood up and a young male runner shouted, “We fall to get up!” His encouraging words helped me wipe the dirt off and off I went running. I limped for a few yards and then began jogging. “I have come too far to quit,” I thought. As I continued limping I fought through the pain and imagined the finish line. I was sweating profusely and panting in agony. By mile 25 I saw the big Citgo sign and I knew I was close to home. I ran and ran and ran without looking back.


My left knee


By mile 26 my body begged me to stop. The pain was growing worse but the spectator’s cheers masked all my doubts of finishing. Their voices and praise helped me finish that race and my heart was thankful when I passed the finished line.


Looking back at the Boston Marathon I have to say that my experience was very personal. It was a personal journey and a personal race. I did not finish in 2 hours and 55 minutes, but somehow I managed to finish in under 3 hours (2:59:18). I proved to myself that faith goes a long way. You have to believe in yourself and what you’re capable of doing. I am thankful for the runners who ran with me and for the spectators who helped get through the race. It was an emotional journey for me and I am honored to have been a part of the most amazing marathon in the world.
The paramedic at the medical tent was very attentive.
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Cradle of Liberty

 
First of all, I would like to say thank you to all my friends for the emails, tweets and messages that were sent to me after the Boston Marathon. I feel honored to have such great friends and people in my life. Yesterday's tragedy has left me speechless and full of mixed emotions. What started off as a blissful day turned into an eerie scene of horror.
 
In the midst of these emotions, I must say one thing, my experience at the Boston Marathon was nothing less than amazing. From the moment that the race began in Hopkinton to the end in Boylston Street, Boston's spectators were like no other. Their loyalty to the City of Champions was clearly reflected by their resonating energy. The sidewalks were filled with thousands of locals adorned with Boston Red Socks and Boston Celtics apparel. "Never give up!" yelled a group of women. "It's just a hill, get over it!" read one sign.
 
For me, Boston has re-defined what a true marathon should be. I feel honored to have run the Boston Marathon and I proudly say that "I was all in" on the most amazing day of my life. Despite the horror that occurred yesterday, Boston will once again prove to be The Cradle of Liberty. Boston revolutionized the US once and I have no doubt that it will do so again.
 
Stay tuned for my race report...
 

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Boston Bound

Hello Friends!
 
 
Today is finally the day I leave to Boston after anxiously waiting for three months. I woke up bright and early and by 6:00 am I was already in the Miami International Airport.
 
 
 
My partner in crime and number 1 fan came with me...
 
The airplane ride was quite adventurous. I slept for the first hour and then I woke up with the sight of a woman taking off her bra in the airplane! I cannot make that up!! My neighbor to the left had her shirt lifted as she removed her bra. This isn't a flight to Vegas..Hello!!
 
After a 3 hour plane ride we safely landed in Boston.
And off we went to the Boston Marathon Expo.
 
 
I was excited to see the "Elite Tent." That's the staging area for the elite marathoners like Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan. So cool =)
 
 
Milo and I on Boylston Street near the Finish Line
 
 
Finally at the expo...with my luggage!
 
 
My runner passport in one hand and my bib in another.
 
 
I promised I wouldn't be star-struck but I totally was. I can't believe I met Desiree Davila. She was very nice and surprisingly short =)
 
 
 
She gave me an autographed picture of herself.
 
 
I also got to meet Ryan Hall!


 
Now time to study the race course and my strategy.
 
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Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday FUNday

Today's Workout:
6 mile run

As I tossed and turned this morning in bed, I opened my eyes and I was suddenly filled with a burst of energy. I couldn't tell what time it was since I have blackout shades in my room, so I got up on my feet and grabbed my cell phone. As I turn it on, I realized it was 3 o'clock in the morning! What?! This can't be? What am I supposed to do now? Go for a run? I would have probably gone for a run, but I decided to stay in bed and rest my feet.

Oh, what anxiety I am feeling! I feel like a caged animal that wants to run free! Yes, this is typically how I feel before a big race. The good news is that the pent up energy will help me run during the race, but the bad news is that I NEED to rest! Anywho, as I laid in bed with eyes wide open until 6:00 am, I finally got up and went for a slow 6 mile run. The run felt nice because I released some tension and energy, but my body begged for more.

After my run, I went to my usual nail salon venue and I got a much needed pedicure and manicure. My toenails desperately needed some help! Like always, I had an ingrown toenail on my right toe.


Ugh, not fun!
 
I also got a manicure...
 
 
"Dives in Head First" Whatever that means. Hey, that's the color of the nail polish!
 
After my rendez vous with Marion my nail tech, I went home and got a massage and body alignment. Ahhhh!
 
Jodie Espinet was AMAZING! She thoroughly massaged my legs, back and neck and she aligned my hips. It was heavenly.
 
Later, I received a text message from my friend Kelley and she was super stoked to let me know that this is how the weather in Boston will be during the weekend:
Can't complain about that =)
 
To end my day, I received this package from FootWorks:
My sponsors sent me this nice gift to get me ready for the next race. Whatup?
 
 
 
Oh, I also wanted to mention that my weight loss story was featured on the Walk Jog Run blog yesterday. Check it out... Enjoy =)
 
Happy Runnings Friends!
 
 
How was your Friday?
 
 
 
 
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