Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Desert Classic Marathon - 1/28/2012

Desert Classic Marathon - Surprise, Arizona - 1/28/2012

Desert Classic Marathon is an Arizona original.  It's an easy out and back course and the weather was great too.  I finished 6:15:18

Here's a nice article that was published on Active.com.

Run in the Sun Marathon - Lake Forest, CA - 1/29/2012

Run in the Sun is one of my favorite local races.  I finished 6:40:07
I had the pleasure of walking with the legendary Mr. Jim Simpson. Jim's has run 875 lifetime marathons! Jim celebrated his 70th birthday and hopes to reach 1000 lifetime marathons within the next two years. That's amazingly awesome... Congrats Jim!
All who have accomplished great things
have had a great aim
and fixed their gaze
on a gaol which was high -
one which sometimes seemed
-Orison Swett marden-

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In the "Spotlight" with Shannon from Southern California!

Meet Shannon an amazing Chef from Southern California!
This week featured in the spotlight is Shannon owner and chef of  City Chick Premiere Catering and Personal Chef Service, armed with a passion for cooking.  She's an inspiring chef with big dreams.  Checkout City Chick Catering's website.

People Who Achieve Success...

They have confidence in themselves
They have a very strong sense of purpose
They never have excuses
They always strive towards perfection
They never consider the idea of failing
They work extremely hard towards their goals
They know who they are
They understand their weaknesses
   as well as their strong points
They can accept and benefit from criticism
They know when to defend what they arr doing
They are creative
They are not afraid to be a little different
They look for innovative solutions
   that will enable them to achieve their dreams
-Susan Polis Schutz-

Monday, January 23, 2012

Carlsbad Marathon 1-22-2012

CARLSBAD MARATHON January 22, 2012

Carlsbad Marathon was my very first half marathon back in 1998.  Who would have thought that fourteen years later I would have power walked 307 full marathons???  Not me.  I finished 5:56:34

I enjoyed walking a few miles with Paula and Sara!

I run/walk because it's so symbolic of life.  You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles.  You might feel that you can't.  But then you find your inner strength, and realize you're capable of so much more than you thought.
-unknown Arthur-

Nothing can be done without hope and confidence!
Keep believing...
-Yolanda "Walking Diva"

In the "Spotlight" with Rich from St. Louis

Meet Rich from St. Louis...He's awesome!!!
Hi, my name is Richard Anderson, and I am currently the president of the St. Louis Track Club, established 1970. Here's some brief facts about our club:
We have over 1000 members, and welcome all levels of participation at our events from elite runners, recreational runners & walkers, to casual walkers. Our annual memberships are $30, which includes everyone in the household. The change from "family" memberships to "household" memberships was an important step forward to include & embrace non-traditional households. The main benefits of our memberships are the monthly magazine, and discounts (more than $30 annually) to all our events. We are a 501(c)3 State of Missouri Not for Profit Corporation, and have (4) paid positions; Office Admin, Web Admin, Editor, and Treasurer.
Our most well known member, 3-time 10,000m Olympian Craig Virgin, was inducted into the 2011 USA Track & Field Hall of Fame December 3, and we stand very proud of his accomplishments. We also have 2 members, Adam MacDowell & Julie Lossos, who have qualified for the U.S. Olympic Marathon trials, and will be at the starting line to test their skills against the finest in the country in Houston in January.

Here's all about me in a nutshell:
I'm 54 years old, a St. Louis native, and have been involved in track & field for the last 40 years. I've lived here most of my life, with the exception of living in Southern California during the '80s, with a front row seat participating in the rebirth of distance running in the U.S. By education I'm an engineer/physicist, and have worked in the profession since college, both teaching at the college/university level, and in structural design & analysis for several major aerospace companies. I am currently a Senior V.P/Principal Engineer for a St. Louis-based corporation.

My passion has always been physical fitness, specifically running, and I still compete in such events as the Senior Olympics, World Masters Track & Field Outdoor Championships, and the USA Track & Field Masters Indoor Championships. Although my proudest honor has been to be elected to lead such an organization, steeped generations deep in running tradition, I will be ending my tenure as president of our club on Dec 31, 2011, but will remain on the board of directors to continue my position for the 3rd consecutive year as race director of our marquee race, the 2012 USA Track & Field Regional Half-Marathon Championship/33rd Annual St. Louis Track Club Half-Marathon. This race takes place the first Sunday each November. Our race attracts such international talent as Kenyan standouts Philip Lagat, Sammy Rotich, & Mica Tirop to name a few, but is just as well known as the "less than $50" race, considered by far the best value in our region.
Our race, although a USATF Championship, is also a walker friendly event, and will always be such as long as I am race director. Our focus is inclusiveness, and we have a walkers committee to help us archive this objective, which can get lost without proper attention and planning. We are proud to welcome all levels of ability, and wear this as a badge of honor, a distinction that not all races can claim. We are the only major race to still allow walkup, race day registration in the age of $145 mega races. We embrace our uniqueness
Our club's mission, in a nutshell, is to be the regional resource for providing health & wellness support to the St. Louis metropolitan area, which includes western IL. A second, but just as important part of our mission is to be an excellent community partner, and we do this by supporting charitable organizations with direct funding. We support the Special Olympics, Pathways to Independence, Girls on the Run, & Forest Park Forever, just to name a few. One of the best examples of our success in the region is not our elite races, but our winter "Frostbite Series", which is a 5-week (every other week) winter training/racing series which draws about 8,000 participants. We are proud to be able to provide a venue for our community to stay fit, even in freezing temperatures, from December through February. It is our most popular event, and we consider participation in it as feedback that we are doing something in our community worth doing.
Richard Anderson, President
St. Louis Track Club est. 1970
6136 Southwest Ave.
St. Louis MO 63139
(314) 781-3726 (office)
(314) 435-8822 (mobile)

Monday, January 16, 2012

RNR Arizona - 1/15/2012

Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon one of my favorite winter races.

Why do I workout?  I'm at a high risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. I don't want this as my future.  I found a workout that I enjoy and it comes with some great swags.  Beautiful medals, traveling to some great cities, and I have met some of the most amazingly beautiful people!

"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase."
-Martin Luther King Jr.-

In the "spotlight" with Daniel from New York!

Meet Daniel from New York and see the face of determination!

            2001 was the year that changed my life. I’ll never forget the pain that radiated throughout my chest. I’ve heard of heart attacks, I’ve never had one, but I knew something was happening that wasn’t quite right. I kept feeling pains in my left side and I was petrified. The pain was so sharp, that it would paralyze me with fear.

  Unable to face this fear, I turned to my usual comfort, food. There I was, possibly having a massive heart attack, but lifting the lid of the pot to grab a spoonful of arroz con pollo (chicken and rice). This how bad my addiction to food was.

  I realized I had to check myself into a hospital as soon as possible. I was overcome with emotion at the thought of saying goodbye to my daughter forever. I took a cab to the closest hospital and was immediately admitted. Extensive tests were run, and I was told that I was not having a heart attack. My relief was short lived as they found highly elevated sugar levels in my blood.

Right then and there, I was diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic. I was grateful that I wasn’t having a heart attack, but still there was this dread. Diabetes meant to me a lifetime sentence. I was so angry with myself, with no one to blame but myself for my predicament.

 I was in the hospital for 4 or 5 days. During that time the doctors performed a variety of tests, one in particular was the stress test. It was humiliating, because even the smallest of activity left me breathless.
 A battery of health care professionals came to see me while I was hospitalized. They all seemed to have the same message, to change my life and my destructive habits.

Their change meant medication, but I wanted a different way. I didn’t want to be chained to a medicine cabinet for the rest of my life. I remember going over my test results with an endocrinologist, and his prescriptions. I could feel this wasn’t right, something inside me couldn’t accept this. I pleaded with him to let me try to balance my life. I would eat right and exercise for the first time in my life. The skepticism in the doctor’s eyes was understandable, but I was adamant.

 So I started researching about diet, exercise, and diabetes. I wanted to become informed about this disease and how I could fight it naturally. The run/walk program from the American Heart Association’s website was a revelation. After pouring over the information from their site, I decided I would follow this plan.  It consisted of an end goal of running for 30 minutes building up in increments. Initially, you run for 1 minute and walk for 29 gradually increasing the time spent running.  I was fired up with idea of finally taking control of my life, running a minute seemed completely feasible. Then came the harsh reality of actually running that minute. The humbling stark truth was that even 30 seconds seemed more than arduous but impossible. I even wrote in my journal how can runners run for hours when 30 seconds seemed so long. But nevertheless I was determined to run that minute and succeeded. I finally was able to run 30 minutes in four months time, bringing tears of joy to my eyes.

I ran on my treadmill for a few years, afraid to run in the streets like “real” runners. But entering my daughter in roadrunner’s races sparked my interest in running in race for myself. With a friend’s added encouragement, I completed a father’s day 5-mile race.

 The solace I sought in Chinese food and pizzas, I replaced with the serenity of running. Since starting this life style change, I have lost almost 200 pounds, reversed the effects of my diabetes and improved my asthma. I have successfully completed 9 marathons. I have gained a great new circle of friends that support this change. I have the security of knowing I will see my daughter grow up.  I guess you could say that running saved my life.

Friday, January 13, 2012

My Fair Wedding with Danica 1/15/2012

Check out Danica on "My Fair Wedding" 
 WE tv, Sunday January 15, 2012
check your local listing
My beautiful friend Danica will be on My Fair Wedding!  Congrats Danica!!! 

David is skeptical about Danica's "barbecue picnic" theme but is very impressed by how well she has executed her plan thus far.

YAY another sneak peek for the episode on Sunday! Can't wait! http://www.wetv.com/my-fair-wedding/videos/my-fair-wedding-surprising-the-bride
David surprises Danica with a relaxing bridal shower, complete with facials, champagne and gourmet picnic food.
Check your local listing for time...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Camarillo & Running from a Angel Marathon - 1-8-2012

Camarillo Marathon had winds gusting to 46 mph!!! I had ten miles of strong gusting head winds but I managed to finish 6:18:50.
Happy New Year Todd and welcome back Guillermo...we missed you...

 Wishing you many marathons in 2012 Eddie, Charles and Hector!

Be at peace with yourself.  If you are not at peace with yourself, you are at peace with nothing.

Running from a Angel Marathon
January 7, 2012
Beautiful blue skies and perfect temperatures at Lake Mead. Running from a Angel is one of my favorite winter marathon.  I finished 6:15:20

Keep going.  That pain you feel?  That's fear melting away.  Like wax off a candle.  That's weakness washing out of your pores like a monsoon.  That's the old you being shed away like dead skin.  That's the new you, rising out of the ashes of your former self.
- Author Unknown-

Monday, January 9, 2012

In the "Spotlight" with Valerie

Here's an update on the beautiful and courageous Valerie! 

What an honor to update my story!  On this blog in April 2011, I shared how running helped me overcome anorexia.  The truth is, I have struggled with both sides of the weight issue.  When I was around 10, I started to gain weight and became a chubby girl.  I was made fun of by the majority of my peers, and I grew to hate my body and hate feeding my body.  Later, in my teenage years I started to think about nutrition and naturally began to lose weight.  At some point, though, after losing a lot of weight my healthy eating turned into a game of restriction and self-control.  I lived my waking moments continually calculating how many calories I had eaten that day.  I still hated my body and feeding it, and this was how I felt control in my life.  As family issues surfaced, I dealt with them by eating even less and feeling powerful for doing so.

And, then as I described in April, I decided to become a runner in 2000.  This truly freed me and my need to restrict.  The dramatic change in my life and health is encapsulaated ina quote by one of my favorite ultrarunners ( and ex-anorexic) Pam Reed in her novel The Extra Mile:
"And when change did accour for me, it wasn't in the context of treatment for anorexia.  It was in the context of running.  When running (which I very much wanted to do) came into conflict with eating (which still made me uncomfortable), something had to give."
I am grateful that the running "won" and my life forever changed.  Since my original Spotlight in April, my personal life has been rough.  Family issues resurfaced, and my marriage went from bad to worse.  This eight-month period has been one fo the most stressful in my entire life.  In the past, I would have dropped 10-20 pounds from this stress- turning to physical hunger as a comfort.
Remembering back to this August, there were about 2 weeks when I went hungry...thinking I was a bit too big which stemmed from the stress I was dealing with.  I lost 5 pounds in 2 weeks and during that time I felt too weak to run.  My muscles ached even though I was not running.  This scared me, as it was the closest I have come to sliding down the dangerous anorexia slide in a really long time.  Fortunately, a race was approaching that I had had my eye on for several months.  After some encouraging words from many including Yolanda, Ed FancyPants, and the race director Rajeev, I signed up for the 50 miler a few days before the race.  My desire to run this race pulled me out of the funk I was in and stopped my restrictive behaviors.  For me, running really cures all. 

My main way of coping during this time of stress has been to set higher goals with my running. Since my first Spotlight in April 2011, I have completed 4 ultras and 5 marathons. This included my longest run ever of 55.8 miles in a 12 hour timed race July 2011 and winning 1st place female in a 50-miler August 2011. I just completed my biggest achievement yet: 4 marathons in 4 days at the Savage Seven Marathons. Yes, Marathon Maniac #1057 now has 6 stars!!! My times ranged from 4:57 to 5:22 for the four marathons. I am incredibly proud of myself. With running, I like my body even though I am not stick thin, I like feeding my body, and I love what my body can accomplish.
When I was anorexic, I was so self-centered: my entire focus was on my self and my eating and getting thinner.  Now, even though I do spend "me" time running, my main priority is my 2-year-old son Sebastian.  I provide for him and am present with him in ways I could never have been when my eating was disordered.  Running has helped me become a healthier, kinder person and I believe a great mother.

Please forward to all the girls and young women in your life.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

In the "Spotlight" with Chris

My awesome & handsome nephew Chris graduated from Piedmont High School in San Jose California and is now attending The American Academy of Dramatic Arts!
Chris to accomplish great things, we must not only plan, but also believe.  The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.  Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined.  Dream big Chris!!!
My brother Rodney, a very proud father!  Congrats Rodney you did it!

Good luck Chris.  We love you!
Chris and brother Alex with Samuel L Jackson.

Believe in the power of believing.  Say, "I believe", and believe it.  Believe in something, anything, that gives you the courage and strength to continue on when it would be so easy to give up.  Believe that you're beautiful.  Believe it when someone tells you, "You deserve to be happy".  Believe that you have choices and that you can choose wisely.
-Rachel Snyder-

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Across the Years 72/48/24 Hour Run


Across The Years is a fixed-time multiday running event celebrating the New Year.  Runners have 24, 48, or 72 hours to cover as much distance as possible.  I walked the 48 hour event.  Each runner is free to run, walk, stop, eat and sleep whenever they wish, but the clock is always running.  I met this amazing young woman, Jameelah, stay tuned for her story.  Sneak preview:  She drove from Atlanta to Phoenix, was 10 hours late, got out of her car and started running and ran the first 12 hours non stop at a 9-10 minute mile pace!!! Unbelievable...
 The race was held at Camelback Ranch in Glendale Arizona.  Camelback Ranch is the spring training facility for the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The course is a 1.05 mile loop on primarily gravel path with short sections of asphalt and concrete. The course features beautiful desert landscaping, lush greenery, and a lake with waterfall.

Congratulations Tony "Endorphin Dude"!  Tony made Titanium!  52 marathons in 52 weeks!  You are truly an inspiration.

Congrats to Cyndie, second place Marathon Maniac of the Year!!!  You are awesome my friend!

It was a pleasure to walk a few miles with Western State 100 Mile finisher Tammy from Maryland.

It was fun camping out but at night it dropped down to the low 30's.  I finished 105 miles in less than 36 hours.  Across the Years was an awesome race and an excellent race for first timers.  The food was the best. I have four buckles!!!

Never say never, challenge yourself, dream big, set goals, believe you can and you will achieve your goals.  Happy 2012!
-Yolanda "Walking Diva"