Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ocean Breeze Marathon - 6/23/2012

Ocean Breeze Marathon - 6/23/2012
Long Beach California

Ocean Breeze Marathon was held in beautiful Long Beach along the scenic bike path with views of the Queen Mary and downtown Long Beach.  It was a fabulous day and I was feeling great!  I finished 6:45:11.

perfect running/walking weather...I love Southern California!

OMG!  What did I get myself into?  I'm doing Hermosa 24 Hour Run,  June 30, 2012 and the race is run on soft sand. I did a little training today and could only walk a mile!  Help!!!

beautiful day!

The start...
Congrats Angela on your half marathon finish...
Thanks Mark and Michelle for a fabulous race!

Anything is Possible

Life holds no promises
as to what will come your way.
You must search for your own ideals
and work towards reaching them.
Life makes no guarantees
as to what you'll have.
It just gives you time to make choices
and to take chances
and to discover whatever secrets
might come your way.
If you are willing to take
the opportunities you are given
and utilize the abilities you have,
you will constantly fill your life
with special moments
and unforgettable times.
No one knows the mysteries of life
or its ultimate meaning,
but for those who are willing
to believe in their dreams
and in themselves,
life is a precious gift
in which anything is possible.
Deanna Beisser-

"My Journey to Guinness " book is now available both paperback or ebook!  Get your copy today!

Running with Dad Marathon - June 17, 2012

Running with Dad Marathon - 6/17/2012
Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park - Riverside California

Running with Dad trail marathon was held at Sycamore Canyon is Riverside California.  This trail is my love to hate trail.  I ran it back in March and it rained all day and this time it was 97 degees and I got heat exhaustion.  Expect the unexpected and always be prepared!  I finished 7:05:24.

Marathon buddies Rudi, Dale and Steve...We rocked Sycamore Canyon...
Maniac Bob from Altantic...

I saw two of these on the trail...

This is how it work

Each new day is a blank page in the diary of your life. The pen is in your hand, but the lines will not all be written the way you choose; some will come from the world and the circumstances that surround you.  But for the many things that are in your control, there is something special you need to know.

The secret of life is in making your story as beautiful as it can be.  Write the diary of your days and fill the pages with words that come from the heart.

As the pages take you through time, you will discover paths that will add to your happiness and your sorrows, but if you can do these things, there will always be hope in your tomorrows.
-Doug Pgels-

Friday, June 22, 2012

In the "Spotlight" with Paul

Meet Paul who went from a "pack a day" to Marathon Maniac!!!
I never set out to become a runner… I started exercising fall 2009 because I was tired of the way I looked and felt.  I weighed 250 pounds and had a pack a day cigarette habit that spanned 25 years.  I stopped going to beaches or pools because I was too embarrassed to take my shirt off in public and simple tasks like walking up stairs or playing with my kids were becoming tiring efforts.  Since 2004 I’d lost one sibling to colon cancer, one to heart disease and was about to lose another to breast cancer.  With all this going on, it didn’t take a genius to figure out it was time to change.  One day I got up my courage, walked to the nearest Bally’s and signed up.  I was still smoking then, so exercise for me was weights, treadmill walking or the elliptical machine.  Weight loss came slowly and so it wasn’t until someone mentioned the benefits of running for weight loss that I considered it.  I played neighborhood league baseball and football for many years but never considered running as a sport and no clue how to get started. 

I began incorporating running in my workouts early 2010 and I’ll always remember the first time I tried.  It happened on the treadmill and like all good “Treadmill-ers” I set my speed and went.  I ran for what seemed like an eternity and found myself gasping for air, so I nervously found the stop button and took a moment to compose myself.  I looked down at the display to see what I’d accomplished and boy was I disappointed… 5 minutes, .2 miles.  Part of me was discouraged initially but there was a part of me that said “try again tomorrow”.  So the next day I got right back on that treadmill and did so every day after that.  The more I did it, the easier it got and soon I was running a mile, then two, then three.  Feeling confident in my ability, I signed up for my first race June of 2010 which was a 5 Miler.  I completed the race in 52:52 for a 10:34 pace and was hooked! 
The sense of accomplishment left me wanting more so I did what came naturally and signed up for my next race, a 10k.  It was a muggy July day and I started the race well but by mile three I felt that familiar gasping for air, only now I couldn’t catch my breath.  Ultimately, I finished the race but by walking the last three miles.  Feeling demoralized and lucky I didn’t pass out in public, I decided that day to say no more to smoking.  I went home, destroyed all my cigarettes and anything else related to smoking.  I haven’t picked up a cigarette since. 

Feeling good about my decision to quit smoking, I began running all the time.  The weight began to fall off and a month after that hot July day I did my first half marathon.  By the end of 2010 I’d run four halves, four shorter races and began training for my first marathon.  Running the 2011 Disney marathon is where my passion for the sport really changed.  I not only found my preferred race distance, I officially became a member of TeamUp with Autism Speaks.  Choosing to run for Autism Speaks was a no brainer, my daughter Gabriella was diagnosed at age 2 so running events on behalf Autism Speaks is personal.  I’ve participated in Disney and the NYC Marathon 2011 and am currently fundraising for 4 future events, the 2012 NYC Tri, Chicago Marathon, NYC Marathon 2012 and Ragnar Relay-Miami to the Keys, 2013.  I feel blessed to have an opportunity to turn my passion into fundraising, especially since it’s in honor of my Gabby.

Since that fateful treadmill day in 2009, I’ve participated in sixty-three running events.  I’ve done twenty-seven marathon distance or greater events since January 2011 and I’m scheduled to race another 25 marathons/ultras before the close of 2012.  I am a proud member of the Marathon Maniacs and 50 States club where I’ve accumulated 20 states so far.  I’ve lost a total of 82 pounds and have been smoke free for almost two years.  This sport has taken me to places I would not have otherwise visited and introduced me to people who will forever impact my life positively.  I breathe, eat and sleep running and I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bear Lake, Utah Valley & Holcomb Trail 6/8/2012

Bear Lake Marathon Idaho - 6/8/2012
Garden City Utah - Day 1
I'm back!  Three marathons in three states in three days!  Day 1 was Bear Lake Idaho and I had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Larry Macon, "Guinness World Record holder of "Most Marathons Run in a Calendar Year by a man.  113 marathons in 2011!  Bear Lake Idaho was my third year and my best.  Why?  It didn't rain! This year had an early start at 4am. I finished Day 1 in 6:23:43

Miles of lake views along the course...
The lovely Gypsy Lady Cindy...
The drive into Garden City Idaho was beautiful...
Utah Valley Marathon - 6/9/2012
Provo Utah - Day 2
Utah Valley Marathon in Provo Utah this year hosted the Marathon Maniacs reunion.  It was nice to see and meet many Maniacs.  The course was beautiful, fast and scenic. I finished Day 2, 6:12:38
The course was scenic and pretty...
I love my bling...

Holcomb Valley Trail Run (33 miles) - 6/10/2012
Big Bear Lake California - Day 3
Day 3 was awesome.  Holcomb Valley Trail Run 33 Miler was held in beautiful Big Bear Lake California.  I was a little afraid of the altitude which was not a problem this year.  I felt strong and full of energy.  The course is a beautiful loop on Forest Service Roads and the Pacific Crest Trail with gorgeous views of Big Bear Lake.  I finished 9:11:50

Ultra Ladies...looking good!
beautiful views...

a pretty rocky crossing...
Thanks Race Director Gary for a race well done!
 I finished 3 marathons (and beyond) in 3 states in 3 days!

"We can scare ourselves or inspire ourselves...We are the architects of our own attitudes and experiences. We design the world by the way we choose to see it."
-Barry Neil Kaufman-
"My Journey to Guinness" book is now available!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Canyon Meadows & Diablo Trail Marathon 6/3/2012

Canyon Meadows Marathon - 6/3/2012
Oakland California

Canyon Meadows trail marathon is located in Oakland and the course travels through beautiful Redwood Regional Park.  The trail has spectacular views and wind through tall redwoods.  It was a pleasure to meet Jackie from Waco Texas.  I finished 7:46:24

that was a dirty course...

Diablo Trail Marathon - 6/2/2012
Clayton California

Mount Diablo has spectacular views of San Francisco Bay Area and surrounding areas.  The course is very technical and difficult with two trips to the summit.  Actually it's very hard and the course made me cry!  I finished crying 8:09:39. 
Get your feet wet with new experiences, but be sure you never get in over your head.  Try to realize how capable you are, and that your possibilities are unlimited.  Never give in to negative thinking; it saps your energy for so many other things.  And keep responding in a positive way to the challenges life always bring.  And it's okay to cry...
"My Journey to Guinness" book is available on paper back and ebook!  Get your copy today!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Meet pretty Rossana "Living With" Breast Cancer

Meet pretty Rossana "Living With" Breast Cancer Survivor!

My life turned out pretty amazing. 
I was never really active, unless you consider shopping and all of that mall-walking ‘good for your health’.  At 42, I faced those two words, “It’s cancer.”  I was diagnosed with breast cancer, but there was no history of cancer in my family, and six months earlier I had a normal mammogram.  There were more words from my doctor, words like, “so young”, “chemotherapy”, “bilateral mastectomy”, “radiation”, and “reconstruction”.  Why did I find myself apologizing to my husband?  I was traumatized the first 24 hours.  That was 2009. 
My first surgery inserted a port for chemo, to help keep my veins from breaking down.  The next three weeks were one test after another, a set of needles after another, and I often fought tears past smiling because the pain was great.  Eight rounds of chemo, three weeks apart.  Every chemo was followed by an injection to ward off infections, only to produce flu-like symptoms, a very normal side effect.  “Exercise is medicine”, said the posters throughout the cancer ward.  I walked because that was all I could do.  A girlfriend accompanied me every morning and we walked, rain or shine, for an hour every morning.
Too weary to walk, I envied people jogging and bicycling.  I felt one step closer to peace, one step closer to being wearier by the moment, and yet happy to know that chemo was doing its work.  Every ounce of my body ached, and strange as it may sound, walking eased the pain.

My husband and friends never left my side.  I had to stop riding my motorcycle, too dizzy to hold up my bike.  I spent Christmas day sleeping on the couch, drained.  My son turned 16 before my final round of chemo.  My other son learned to sit with me while I slept.   Two weeks after chemo ended, I would endure my second surgery:  bilateral mastectomy.  My hospital room had the most visitors that morning to see me off; they were actually kicked out because it was too crowded.  After surgery and in more pain, I had to keep walking.  However, I was ordered by my doctors not to sweat while my stitches healed.  What?!  Walk and not sweat?  I came so far only to slow down again.  My walking girlfriend made sure we dragged on slowly, and she kept me laughing to ignore the slow pace.
Six weeks of healing brought me to radiation.  Thirty-four rounds of radiation - every morning, Monday through Friday, and it was draining.  The only side effect was fatigue.  It was easy. 
I celebrated the end of treatment by learning how to run, and running my first 5K.  My son ran by my side in Tacoma City Marathon/Half Marathon/5K, the day before I returned to work.  Since that race, I would go on train for my first half marathon, You Go Girl Half Marathon.   By the end of the year I had reconstruction, my final surgery.  That was 2010.  With more training, I completed my first marathon, returning to Tacoma City Marathon in 2011.   I went on to complete my first ultra at Rainier to Ruston 50K.   Somewhere in this time I became Half Fanatic 606 and Marathon Maniac 3876, and my husband met me at every finish line.  I hope to cross finish lines without crying, so happy to have endurance when there was a day I could barely sit up.  When I’m tired of running I still cry, because I remember envying people doing exactly what I’m doing, exercising for medicine.  I entered 2012 with my mind made up to endure more joy.  When I was on the course the number one question I noticed was, “Why do you do it?”  I say, “It was cancer; now, I do it to celebrate. “
-The Amazing Rossana-

Friday, June 1, 2012

In the "Spotlight" with Rachel

Meet Rachel from San Diego California...She finished Nanny Goat 100 miler in 25:27:12!!!  Rachel made Nanny Goat 100 miler look effortless, fun, and jazzy!  Rachel has a lot of style and she's cute too!
I was the girl who despised the “mile” run in Junior high and some of high school. I was gasping within minutes, although I was quite fit. Doctors blew it off as exercise-induce asthma and gave me an inhaler; it didn’t help. After years of frustration, I was correctly diagnosed, I had vocal chord dysfunction. For part of my therapy, I also began doing what I once feared, running. I remember calling my dad, in tears, the first time I ran a mile straight. I heard about a 15k run in Coronado and knew I had to try.

I came in 10th to last out of over 1,000 people, but I am positive I had one of the biggest smiles crossing the finish line. I continued running. It became spiritual, my time with God, myself, and nature. In January 2006, while I was running the Rock n’ Roll half marathon, my vocal chords closed at mile 4. I nearly passed out, and an ambulance came. My dad met up with me to give me a hug and encouragement. I pressed on and finished. At 16 years old I ran the Rock n’ Roll marathon in 4:57. Months after, I ran the Women’s Nike marathon with my mom ( her first marathon).

 After marathoning for a year, I decided give something new a try; triathlons. After hearing about the “ Ironman” triathlon, I KNEW I had to do it. November,2008, I became one of the youngest girls to ever finish an “official Ironman”. I finished in a wonder woman outifit, and tears rolling down my face. My grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and brothers were at the finish line. The first year of college brought on new struggles; room-mates, caf food, hard classes and boys. This is around the time an eating disorder began. I ran less, and was constantly low on energy. I signed up for my first ultra ( PCT 50 mile) near the end of my Freshman year. I was curious to see just how far I could go. The race was a disaster. My camelback was too big I realized, and I often stopped because of stabbing back pain. I was not prepared for the distance. I dropped at mile 32, dehydrated and grumpy.

Two things hit me about this race, the people and the beauty of being out running on trails. I got a picture with Catra Corbett (and talked to her for a while) , and was encouraged by Jakob Herrman. These people are stopping for pictures during a race?? HAHA! I finished my first 50 with Jakob Herrman’s help a few months later. At this time the thought of running a 100, started crossing my mind…. I DNF’d my 1st 100 attempt at Javelina Jundred 2010, but what I learned through that race has helped me grow tremendously as a runner. February 2011, at the age of 20 I ran and finished my first 100 mile run, The Rocky Road 100. With lots of friends help and hugs, I had a blast. My last loop ( 85-100) were miles I will never forget. I realized just how far I came, not just in this race, but how running has changed my life. I can do things I put my mind too!
This past weekend I finished Nanny Goat 100 miler in 25:27:12. Though a few low points occurred, I focused on the finish line the whole time. Attitude is everything during ultras. A friend texted me the day before the race, “ Just stay positive and it will happen!!!!!” Every mile is a gift, every step an accomplishment. I am in my last year studying at Point Loma Nazarene and am looking forward to finishing Javelina Jundred this year. I hope to be a wellness coach/personal trainer and encourage people to find something they are passionate about. There is so much more to life than running, however I often feel most alive when I run. Smile through pain, and celebrate that we are able to participate in these events.