Wednesday, July 9, 2014

'I Hate Running' No More

I never enjoyed running laps around the fields or on the track in high school. I remember being told once that I had a slight case of asthma when I was a kid. I convinced myself that was the reason as to why I am a slow runner. Excuses, excuses. When I ran, I would get a cramp right under my rib cage on my right side and the only thing that would ease the pain would be to apply pressure and rest. Completing a mile under a certain time wasn’t a goal of mine and I had an incredible metabolism. I didn’t need to lose weight.

Fast forward almost 20 years and just over a week since beginning to jog on a regular basis, I am at 2 miles and under 12 minutes per mile. The metabolism I once gloated about is gone but a competitive side of me is very well present. I can see how running can be addicting. I am constantly pushing myself to go farther and be faster. Without even trying to run on a regular basis, I said I hated running. I would get sharp pains in my knees, my feet and my shins. I haven’t felt those pains in days.

This new running passion began after a recent trip to Santa Cruz with my best friend, Christy, and her family. She had signed up for the SF Giants 10K with our girlfriend, Christina, but Christina forgot that she had another obligation that day or weekend. Christy was already committed but dropped down to do a 5K. Christy has always wanted to become a cop and she is in the process. She wasn’t thrilled with her fit test results and wanted to improve. With working full time and with two young kids, it’s hard to make time for herself and go for a run or fast-paced walk. So I said I would wake up early on Sunday morning and run with her from my girlfriend’s house where we were staying to the beach, which wasn’t too far. But getting out there, being physical and with a friend’s encouragement, you can’t say no. Christy doesn’t ever want to displease or disappoint anyone. We agreed to do this before we left for Santa Cruz and she knows I typically work out at least 5 days a week and I was going to make her stick with it. And we did. We were a bit behind schedule with the babies and all, but her boyfriend, Cesar, was supportive and we got out there.

The beach was less than a mile away and the sun came out just in time to make the jog just a little bit more challenging. We stuck with it. We stopped at the one stop light and stretched and kept moving. We jogged at the perfect pace together. We reached the corner of the beach, stopped, caught our breath and made our way back. I honestly was surprised that I didn’t stop. I didn’t want to tell her that because I know she’d say that we could stop if I wanted to. I didn’t want to. I tried to push myself more as we got closer to the house. Home stretch! I lengthened my strides and unclenched my fists to allow air to hit my sweaty palms and cool me down just a tad. We stopped at the beginning of the street of my girlfriend’s house. I challenged Christy to a race to sprint to her minivan at the house. She rolled her eyes and I said ‘C’mon!” I told her to count it off. I jokingly tried to get in position like I was a track star. 3, 2, 1, GO! And I was completely out of gas. She was way ahead of me before I took five strides. All I felt were the beads of sweat coming down my forehead and the side of my face and I just laughed to myself. Loser. She won even after she let off the gas.

That was 1.4 miles and for a few minutes, I was still sweating like crazy in the house. Cesar was laughing at me. I was not a runner. The next day, my entire body felt sore. It may partially be because I was carrying my niece and nephew anytime they wanted around The Boardwalk but I like to think it was because of the run. And I love that soreness.

My girlfriend, Megan, told me that she’s starting to run as well as she’s been working with a personal trainer. She uses the app, RunKeeper, so I downloaded it as well. It does a great job of tracking your time, distance and progress. It will track your hikes, walks, cycling, etc. I walk Bevo 2-3 times a day so I definitely add that to my steps taken in a day, however he does stop to smell the roses and almost everything else so my times aren’t that great. It could also track your heart rate but you need a special device for that.

I am enjoying pushing myself to keep going, to not even allow myself think “I can’t” for a moment and reach my goal. Next goal is 2.5 miles. At 3 miles, I plan rewarding myself with some new work out gear.

Are you a runner/jogger?

When did you start?

What is the most rewarding thing about running to you?

Update 7/14/14
haven't ran since Thursday morning. Apparently I have a case of runner's knee already. There's a pain below both knee caps. I jogged alongside my nephew this weekend at Roaring Camp in Felton, CA and felt some discomfort and even feel it walking today. It's very disappointing that this is happening because I really enjoyed jogging and taking advantage of this great weather. I guess I should rest and get some appropriate shoes. I was waiting to reach 3 miles to get a new pair of running shoes but I might have to spend some money today. Time to go shopping!
Article: Beating Runner's Knee

Friday, June 13, 2014

I Swear I Lived

"I hope when you jump, you don't fear the fall..."

Life has been such an amazing but sometimes challenging journey since I took control of my own happiness. But damnit, I overcame so much and am stronger than ever. Jumping out of a plane was a fear I wanted to put to rest. #DBAP I want to thank my Cugino, my cousin Ron, for the incredible birthday present. I remember being at his bar in San Mateo saying I wanted to do it. Shortly after he texted me to check my email. I was at work, and holy moly, he bought me tickets to go skydiving. I immediately got nervous. For month, I had anxiety over the thought of it. But on D Day just days before, a military vet at the age of 90 did it just because he still could BY HIMSELF! So, there was absolutely no reason to NOT do this jump. It was already paid for and I would never hear the end of it if I chickend out. And I'm glad I didn't. I did however call my dad in Hawaii to tell him I loved him before we were on our way. Y'know, just in case.

Here's what I posted on Yelp.

I do love me a cowboy, and a Cowboy is what I got here! My instructor was called Cowboy and he was super fun. He could tell I was nervous and he was playful and sarcastic AND held me back to the end of the line of folks loading the plane so I would be the first one to jump.

It was a very hot this past Sunday and it wasn’t any cooler when you walk into the facility. There are items hanging from the ceiling, the room is surrounded by cupboards and lockers, and folks re-packing their chutes. The check-in counter is at the opposite corner of the entrance, so make your way over there and fill out your paperwork while watching a pretty ancient video with the missing member from ZZ Top. But the info is all the same I guess.  If you’re nervous like I was, go use the potty at this time. It’s in a different building, with 3 stalls, and 2 shower stalls and soap available in a bicyclists’ water bottle.

Our numbers were called and went in the next room. We were introduced to our instructors and they helped us get strapped into our harness. You’re being told to remove all your jewelry and there are small, shallow drawers to house it all.  I’m glad we didn’t have to put on a jumpsuit that someone else just sweated in. And the jokes kept on coming from Cowboy. Good!

I met my photographer, Ginger. And she IS a ginger! A cutie pie of a red head and just as petite, and jumping solo. She probably has more cajones than most men! She was a doll. She did a great job. I loved my video and got some cool photos. Cowboy was smiling in every single one. What a pro.

We’re in the plane. Ginger and Cowboy both can see I was so nervous and they were both talking to me. Cowboy again was trying to make me laugh and relax. No complicated instructions were given. Just to relax and follow directions. My knee was bouncing out of control and my eyes started to water. Solo jumpers next to me were so awesome, smiling at me and giving me high fives and pounds. I was too nervous to execute those exchanges in a confident way. Nothing like a limp high five. Then we stand up and I’m not ready. 3, 2, 1!!!!!!!!! We are out the door and twisting with 13,000 feet to the ground. The experience is amazing. We spin, I forget to do other things besides keep my position as best as I could and smile then Cowboy gives me direction again to do something for the camera like blow kisses. I do and manage to get a shaka as well for my family in Hawaii. The air caused my eyes to water in my goggles so I’m squinting most of the time and then the chute gets pulled and free falling is over.

You’re able to catch your breath and all you can say is something along the lines of ‘Holy sh*t that was incredible’ over and over again. Cowboy advises that he’s going to be loosening some straps just a bit and my harness isn’t as restrictive. He let me guide the chute and let me say all the corny things that were just spilling out of my mouth. He had us take tight turns, you feel as if you’re stopping and going backwards. Instructions on landing were really simple and he did a good job of avoiding Mr. Oblivious as we landed. I’ll say it again, the experience was incredible and Ginger did a great job of even capturing the landing, the immediate and natural feelings when you’re back on the ground and the gratitude I had for her and Cowboy. An amazing experience. I want to do it again!!! Be sure to sign his book and tip them both. They had your life in their hands.

If it’s your first time, get the video and photos. It’s totally worth it.

Post jump

"I, I did it all.
I, I did it all.
I owned every second that this world could give,
I saw so many places and things that I did,
Of every broken bone,

Friday, May 23, 2014

Time Flies

It certainly does. My niece, Jennalynn, graduated from the eigth grade last night. WITH straight A's again, I should add. Below is a picture of her graduating kindergarten. I was there for that too. It is just amazing at how quickly time flies by. There is 9 years worth of memories, lessons and growth in between those photos, for both of us! I couldn't be more proud of her. She has drive, the motivation and the strength to keep going and does it well. Congratulations, Sweetheart! Why she didn't want to sit on my lap last night, I'm not sure! Joking!

Here are her proud aunties. Alda, a very good friend of Jennifer's, my sister, Melyssa, Jennifer's sister Jocelyn, Jennalynn and myself.  "The ladies that have been by my side when I was pregnant with Jennalynn until now." - Jennifer. We'll always be there for you.

I had a dream that my Brittany just found out that she was pregnant. She's in Utah now with her husband. I texted her that I had that dream and asked if she had something to tell me. Inquiring minds want to know. Sometimes my dreams are spot on!
She wasn't but she said "I can't wait for you to be an auntie to my little ones. I love you, you know. You mean so much to me. I'm so blessed to have your sweet spirit in my life." She knows I'm a really good Auntie and was told I was great with kids last weekend when I met Baby Haylee for the first time at her first birthday party.  But for Brit to say that, it really is a reminder that no matter how far you are away from the ones you love most, you're still in their heart and are thought of. Let's hope that stays true forever and ever.

Unfortunately, I couldn't accompany my sister and her family to taking my nephew, Brent, to Legoland for his birthday. Next time, Baby.

I AM a good auntie. I will even keep them save on my motorcycle. 

Happiness is being an auntie.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

National Bike Nights - Hayward

See you there!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Make It Reign

The Make It Reign Runway and Trunk Show is happening on Saturday, April 26th in Oakland. It will be featuring Bay Area designers and for only $5, it includes one drink. See you there!

My sister is good friends with the owner of Harumi K. We have to show some support!

Update - May 1, 2014

My sister and I before the show. Of course, I am rocking Stella & Dot jewelry.

Harumi K's line at the top and a few of my favorite pieces from the show.

Amore rocking this edgy number.

One outfit, one model, one statement.

The SF Chronicle posted this on via Twitter.

Be sure to keep in touch with the Oakland Fashion Network for other upcoming events.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

My Photo Shoot with Dylan Douglas

Just a teaser of what Dylan Douglas was able to capture today. More to come! I haven't done a shoot in some time and really had an amazing time posing for old friends, Dylan and his girlfriend, Christina. 

Book him now! Portrait sessions starting at $100! Of course tell him I sent ya!
(C) - wearing the Kahlo Bib ($228) by Stella & Dot.

Boy, times have changed. Here's a pic from older modeling days maybe circa 2001 by Photographer, Marianne Monnin on the Embarcadero of San Francisco. I have definitely gotten older but some good shots were achieved. Can't wait to post them! Stay tuned!

But seriously, book Dylan Douglas. He's great to work with and has an amazing eye with great ideas.

Here are the final results. What do you think?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hell On Wheels

I was able to take my Christmas present to myself out for the first time today. I was so excited! It was a probably 15-minute ride around my sister's neighborhood in Bethel Island but was able to reach 55 mph on the long strips. The forecast called for rain but I brought my gear just in case it didn't start raining yet and I was so lucky because soon after my ride, it started to rain.

This what a happy girl looks like:

I didn't know my sis took video of me taking off but it wasn't cool whatsoever because it was the first time I've ridden it! I didn't gun it, nor did I think the foot rests were as forward as they were.  When I'm more confident on it, the videos might be worth publicly posting but for now they're just on my personal and private Facebook page. But here's a still:

Cannot wait to possibly ride tomorrow and continue my Hell On Wheels adventures. Can't wait to also ride with many friends that ride, male and those bad @ss women.

I'm a defensive driver as it is but look out for motorcyclists! It might just be me! Thanks in advance!