Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My Top Running Songs: September

I can't believe this month is almost over! It went by incredibly fast. Since my race is this Sunday, I am tuning up my playlist. Music always keeps me going when I am running. Regardless of how tired I am, the beat of a catchy song keeps me on point.  This coming race I have quite a bit of a selection of music to choose from. It's hard to pin point my favorite. This month I had a bunch of songs on repeat. Here are my favorite September songs:

Please share your favorite songs of this month!
I need a good playlist for my race :)

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

Linking up with Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama

Monday, September 28, 2015

Weekend Celebrations and a BIG THANK YOU!!

Happy Monday! I had such an amazing weekend. Definitely much needed time off from work. But first I want to say a big thank you to all who commented/text/emailed me on my last blog post. Posting it was very nerve wrecking and hearing all the support and love from you guys put my nerves at ease. I am trying to stay positive with all of this infertility but it is very difficult when you feel alone. Hearing stories of others going through this made it less taboo for me. I don't know what the future has in store for me, but I have my faith that will get me through anything.

This weekend I was busy with both a Bachelorette party and my abuelita's birthday party.  Friday night I met my friends for dinner and a show at Lips. Lips is a drag queen show in San Diego that I had been wanting to go to for a long time. She is a friend from back in Fresno so they were looking at me for recommendations. The show was awesome! These ladies were so fierce and beautiful! Everyone had a blast. Our waitress was VaVa Voom. She was hilarious and so much fun. Her show was probably my favorite. Not going to lie but I am pretty jealous of her booty.

On Saturday, I spent the first part of the day with family. It was my abuelita's birthday and we had a Fiesta Mexicana themed party. It was so hot but it was so good to see the family. When I was there it made me sad yet happy. Happy that I was able to celebrate with her and all of my family, yet sad that I had missed so much in the last 14 years I had been away. 

My family even got a baile folklorico group to celebrate. My abuelita was clapping and enjoying the show. Now a days it is hit or miss with her reactions. Her alzheimers has it's good and bad days. Every time I talked to her I had to remind her who I was and after a few hours she was a bit overwhelmed with everyone.

I at least was able to take a few pictures with her and with my mother. After this though, she wanted to lay down and go to sleep. 

 The rest of the time I tried to catch up with as many family members as I could. We had family from Bakersfield and LA  come down for the party. It was great to see everyone.

I left the party early in the evening, since I had more bachelorette activities to attend to. I missed the day activities, but I told my friends I would make it to the club crawl. The club crawl started at 10pm and it went through 4 clubs. One of my friends made the day trip down from Fresno. It was great to see her.

We unfortunately started a little late since the bride to be was running behind. We caught up with the remainder of the group and started dancing the night away as soon as she arrived. The music was on point but I will say my feet were beyond tired by the second club. I felt the blisters coming and I was just tired over all. I definitely felt my age at that point. I was sober since I had to drive home and was planning a run on Sunday morning. Overall though, I was happy to spend time with my friends especially since I can't make the wedding. 

On Sunday I had all these plans for a run, taking my dogs on a walk, clean the house....and all I did was watch television and veg out. Haha! I guess the club crawl was harder on me than I thought. I had a blast this weekend thought. Got to spend time with my family and pretend like I was 21 again. 

Now I have less than a week until my next race. It's go time! I am looking forward to this race because we are staying with friends and my niece happens to also be running. She runs for the UC Merced Cross Country team. I am super proud of her and all of her accomplishments. She wasn't able to make it to the family party so it will be nice to spend some time together. So a few more short runs, but I am ready as I'll ever be. This is another fun run for me and the completion of the Sole 2 Sole series. 

How was your weekend?

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with SpoonsHealthy Diva Eats and Her Heartland Soul

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Real Reason I've Gained Weight

I know I've mentioned quite a bit about my "unexpected" weight gain over the last few years. You've heard me talk about how frustrating it's been to see the number on the scale keep getting higher and my clothes keep getting tighter. And you've heard me complain about regardless of how much I run or workout, I just cant seem to loose the weight. Well I guess I should start being honest and tell you guys the real reason why I have gained 20 pounds over the last two and a half years. Well here goes:
For the last two and half years I have been on hormones and fertility medications which have caused this weight gain. husband and I are infertile.
It is something that I honestly didn't even know how to deal with myself. My husband and I always knew we wanted children. But after trying for close to a year with no success we had to see what was the issue. Well come to find out I was never ovulating. So we started fertility treatments to get me to ovulate. Of course I still didn't, so they had to increase my dosage. This went on for five months and just like that ten pounds came on along with mood swings and night sweats. Not only was I on medications but I was also having to have labs, special procedures, and ultra sounds done to see if everything was functioning corretly. This went on for a few more months and there came the next five pounds. If you are following along then that makes it 15 pounds of added weight caused by my infertility. You can imagine how hard this was for not only me but for my husband. We were stressed beyond belief and unsure of what our future had in store for us. All this time we thought I was the only one with issues, but we discovered that not only was it me but my husband as well. Now our chances were even slimmer than what we had hoped to concieve naturally. Our next option was to try IUI with a different fertility specialist. Well the last five pounds came shortly after that. We attempted one round of IUI and failed. We failed because I had to many follicles. Basically I was now to fertile and they couldn't risk me being the next Octomom.  After that horrible experience we just decided to take a break. Emotinally, physcially, and financially we were drained. The only option we had left and still do is to try IVF.
So that leaves us to present day and 20 pounds later.  I have never really been comfortable talking about having babies so you can imagine when all this was happening how alone I felt. Only a few of my close friends knew I was going through this. It's just not something I really wanted to share to the world and honestly not that many people really want to talk about it. To be honest I was just a bit embarassed. Friends started noticing the weight gain but I just kept making excuses.  I couldn't bring myself to telling them the truth. That this weight gain was completely out of my control. That I was infertile.
Being 20 pounds heavier made me feel so insecure. The extra weight literally weighed me down. I could instantly feel the difference in my running. Now it's been a few months since we stopped everything and the added weight is still there. I've come to terms with it though. All of this almost broke me. I was miserable, depressed, moody, and just so unhappy. I couldn't get past how unlucky I felt.  You can imagine how much I hated (and still do) being asked when I'm having kids. If people only knew, that is the one thing my husband and I want more than anything in this world. It used to break my heart knowing we may never get to have kids. But that time off really helped us. We realized this is all in God's hands. All I can do is try to keep positive regardless of all the negativity around me. We are faithful that we will have a child either through IVF or adoption. 
I want to really thank you guys for letting me get this off my chest. In the next few months my husband I will embark in another fertility journey...IVF. There will be more weight gain, more crazy hormones, but maybe we'll finally get that baby we have been hoping for. So please be patient with me as I go through this.

Other places you can find me:
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons 


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hoka Bondi 4 Review

A few months ago I had the opportunity to choose a new running shoe. I was given a gift certificate from my former co-workers as a going away gift. Since I was in need of a new running shoe, I took a chance and tried something new. This past year I have been suffering from plantar fasciitis so I was desperate to try something to take the pain away.  So it was in my best interest to explore different options which led me to the Hoka Bondi 4.

I had seen this shoe multiple times at the running shoe store, but to be honest I just couldn't get past the overall look of the shoe. I mean it is super bulky! I know most running shoes lately are all about the bright colors so I've been used to that but a shoe with a sole that big was just unheard of.  I had to put my shoe insecurities aside and look at the big picture. Since I had read great reviews, I knew that it was really worth looking into.  If this shoe could help with my pain then I had to try them. These of course are my own personal thoughts on the shoes. 

Hoka One One has definitely made a name for themselves in the last few years. They have quickly changed the way you look at running shoes. Their shoes are meant to offer more stability, cushion, and durability. I ended up with the Bondi 4. Once I finally tried them on, my feet felt like they were on a cloud. Yes the shoes looked like clown shoes on me, but they felt so lightweight. I could hardly believe it. 

This shoe is meant for road running and weighs only 9 ounces. It is categorized as a neutral shoe with maximum cushion. But here are all the logistics on the shoe from their website:
  • Lycra ComfortFrame Upper
  • TPU External Heel Counter Provides Support 
  • Early-stage Meta-Rocker Provides Propulsion 
  • Full EVA Midsole Provides Signature Bondi Cushioning 
  • 10 Deg Heel Bevel Provides Smooth Heel Transition 
  • Flat-waisted Geometry Provides Inherent Stability 
  • Strategic rubber placement provides durability

Since getting these shoes, I have put in quite a few miles and have even ran a half marathon race wearing them. At first the shoes felt great when I was breaking them in. But as soon as my mileage increased, I started noticing a few changes. My feet would feel a bit hot. Now I've experience this with other shoes, but only when I ran on the treadmill. I had never felt that way when I ran outside though. I also started noticing that as soon as I ran more than 8 miles, I would start to get small blisters. I thought at first it was just because maybe I was wearing the wrong socks. But then on my race day, I got the worst blisters of my life. They seriously looked like tumors growing out of my feet. It was quite gross.

Needless to say I was super disappointed since they felt great when I initially purchased them. But here is where I realized something. The shoes still felt like I was walking on a cloud when I just did normal stuff around the house or ran errands in them. And I realized they were still great for running short distances. Since they were a bit on the pricier side ($150), I really wanted to try to find the good in them. So I decided to try them one day for my shift at work. 

Now my plantar fasciitis pain started from work. Being on my feet all day has definitely taken a toll on my feet. Needless to say, wearing them to work was the best decision I could've made. Not only did I go the whole shift without any pain, but my feet weren't even remotely sore. I swear I hadn't felt that way in almost a year and a half. From that day on, my Bondi 4's became strictly my work shoes and my walking the dogs shoes. Yes I still wear them for a 3 mile run or so, but I have learned my lesson to not use them for long distance runs. 

I wish the shoes would have worked better for me for my long distance running.  At least I found really good use out of them. Honestly I'll continue buying these shoes just for work. They have the best cushion out of any shoe I have ever tried. They still feel great so I can't really complain.  

What is your favorite running shoe?

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

Linking up with Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Things I Am Loving Lately

Happy Friday! I guess I should be more excited about that, except that today is my Monday. I'll be starting my first of three shifts. I like working weekends though, less drama and no management. My husband has been out of town this week, so I am actually happy to have something to do. I get a bit mopey when he leaves. What can I say, I love the guy!

Anyways just wanted to share some of the things I am currently loving:

  • Coloring Books! Yep that's right I am trying to find ways to destress and I have come across this coloring book: Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns. I got it on and I am hooked. It completely brings me back to my elementary school days. I literally loose track of time.

  • Sephora: Since September is my birthday month, Sephora emailed me to tell me they had a gift for me. I hate to go shopping in stores, so I went online to order some hair product and claim my gift. The best part about Sephora is that they also give free samples! And who doesn't love free samples!

  • Pro Compression Socks: I love compression socks for so many reasons. They are great for training, recovery, and best of all they are great for my long 12 hour shifts at the hospital. There are also many health benefits with wearing them, but I'm hoping to write an entire post about it next week. Stay tuned...I'm even giving a lucky reader a free pair of compression socks! In the mean time I have a discount code for you guys: PRO15. This code will give you guys 40% off marathon socks and sleeves from their website.

  • Brussel Sprouts: I know most people find these repulsive, but not me. I have been on a brussel sprouts kick lately. There is this really cool restaurant in my city that has probably the most amazing brussel sprouts I have even had. They make them with bacon and cheese and they are so good!

  • Rain: Earlier this week, San Diego got some much needed rain! California is under a severe drought so seeing this rain was breathtaking. It really helped control the many wildfires in my beautiful state. Unfortunately I read that we are headed for another heat wave this weekend! 

  • Runner's Connect Podcast: I got asked to check out a running podcast this week: Runner's Connect, Run to the Top. I really enjoyed the podcast because obviously it is geared for runners, but there is a lot of great info. The guest speakers are great and the topics are stuff that I can completely relate to. The guest speaker for this week happened to be one of my favorite bloggers, Janae from Hungry Runner Girl so I had to check it out. Janae was the first blogger I ever read online. She has been one of my biggest role models and she continues to inspire me to keep running. I know many people love to workout listening to podcasts, so check it out: 

  • My Hair: I am still getting used to my haircut! I swear I look like two different people depending on how I do my hair. I have natural curly hair, but it has been fun straightening it. Even my husband told me he feels like he is cheating on me when my hair is straight! the best part is that even though I cut off 11 inches, my hair is still long enough to be placed in a small pony tail for running. It really is the little things.


Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Life in Leggings and Running4Cupcakes

Places to Run in San Diego: Fiesta Island

Hello! Just wanted to share with you guys yet another running location in San Diego. If you haven't been reading this blog for the past few months, I've been sharing some of my favorite running locations here. I've also come across quite a few others, so I am just sharing the wealth. San Diego is beautiful and I want everyone who comes to visit to experience what a great running city it is. 

Fiesta Island is a peninsula located in Mission Bay that is very popular for charity events, races, camping, runners, cyclists, and triathlons. To get here you take the 5 freeway and exit on Sea World Drive, head southwest, then make a right onto East Mission Bay Drive, then left to Fiesta Island. There is parking throughout the island but also at the entrance. All parking is dirt parking but there is plenty for all.  

Running on the island is super easy. The course is flat and you share it with cars, runners, and cyclists. The traffic is one way so you don't have to worry about too many cars sharing the road. You have views of the bay throughout the course which makes the run very beautiful.

If you choose to just run on the street, then the total distance is a little over 4 miles starting and ending from the dirt parking lot entrance. If you choose to run the entire perimeter of the island then the total distance is close to six miles. I am not a fan of running on dirt/sand so I stick to the paved road.

There are no trees for shade so make sure you bring a hat or sunglasses to beat the heat. Also don't forget to wear your sunscreen. You'll find some potter potties throughout the course but there are no drinking fountains. If you are really needing a drink of water then you can run towards Mission Bay where you will find public bathrooms as well. I tend to bring my own water bottle just to keep hydrated.

Oh and Fiesta Island happens to have a huge dog park! It is fenced off on the west side of the island. The space is massive which is wonderful for all you dog lovers out there. I can't wait to bring my two labs here. I am sure they will love it. 

Fiesta Island is a great little peninsula that is one of my favorite places to get a quick run. It is not always packed (except for holidays) and you get beautiful views.  I like coming here because you kind of forget you are on a little island. The running route is perfect and flat which makes the run really enjoyable. 

If you ever come to visit, you should check it out! Even if you don't come for a run, you can have a little picnic and enjoy a nice bonfire watching the sunset or rent a kayak or paddle board. There are plenty of water activities to do while you are here. One of the many reasons I love this city!

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

Linking up with Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama and Amanda from Running with Spoons

Monday, September 14, 2015

That One Time I Chopped My Hair & Donated It!

The month of September happens to be Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. In the U.S., 15,780 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer every year.  Approximately 1/4 of them will not survive the disease. A diagnosis can turn the lives of the entire family upside down. Over five years ago, my beautiful niece was diagnosed with Lymphoma. It took our entire family by surprise. Unfortunately she passed away almost three years ago.  Her death was very devastating and left us heart broken.  Even through all her treatment though, she still had such a great spirit and never let her faith be tested.  Marlene was such a wonderful person inside and out; I miss her everyday. 

Prior to her death, I made her a promise that I would donate my hair.  Well that was three years ago, and last Friday I finally kept my promise.  It was such an emotional day coming. All last week, all I could think about was how much I wanted Marlene here to see this. The last three years I have been a better person because of her. I got closer to God. I ran in honor of her. I finished my first triathlon in her name. And most importantly I learned to appreciate every day because of her. She taught me to love unconditionally and to never loose faith.

I knew I would cry as my hairstylist made the cut. I knew they were good tears though. Even though she wasn't physically there with me, I knew she was there spiritually. Three years of growing my hair...and poof! The 11inch braid was gone. Immediately I just smiled.  I kept my promise and it felt so good. Now the fun was about to begin...the new me!

My hairstylist happened to be my old high school friend. Actually we've know each other since middle school! I pretty much let her do whatever she wanted. Since my hair was pretty much virgin hair again, the new color took beautifully. I was amazed at how different I looked. Honestly I loved it the second I saw it. I think it's crazy that just a haircut and color can completely transition the way a person looks. I felt like a new me! 

Donating my hair was such a great experience. If you ever have the opportunity to do so, then I would highly recommend. My hair is being donated to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. I am happy to make someone's life a little better with a new wig. Cancer is a horrible disease, but if there is something I can do to brighten a cancer patient's day then I will do just that. I just want to continue making Marlene proud. 


Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with SpoonsHealthy Diva Eats and Her Heartland Soul

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thoughts On My Next Race

I just realized I haven't actually talked about my upcoming race. It just so happens to be in the next few weeks. October 4th to be exact. That really only gives me about three weeks left to train. My race is the Judgment Day Half Marathon in Bakersfield, CA. It is the final race for the Sole 2 Soul Series. Now for those of you that don't know where Bakersfield is located, well you aren't missing much. The city happens to be in the arm pit of California. It is kown for being hot during the summers, oil fields, and agriculture. Sooo basically not really much to do there. I do however, have family and some really good friends that live there. The cost of living is great compared to other places in California but that's about it. But as much as I talk crap about this city, it really isn't that far off from Fresno (where I used to live for 7 years).

If you follow me on Instagram, then you have seen me trying to train as best as I can. I am not really following any specific training program, just kind of making it up week by week.  The old me would have followed a program step by step, feeling horrible if I missed a day or ran a mile too short. I used to need that scheduled format mostly because the type A personality inside me just needed a list to check off. I somehow felt better knowing I was doing everything that I was supposed to do. The first running schedule I followed was actually given to me by my college friend. We were both doing our first half marathon, The Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco.  She was doing it with Team in Training and I was doing it solo.  So she let me just copy what she was doing. Even though I followed that program, I still found myself over training and feeling all the symptoms:
  • fatigue
  • beyond irritable and moody
  • insomnia
  • constant soreness
  • decreased immunity
  • starting to get injured
The last two years though, I have pretty much tranformed into a better runner. Not necessarily faster but smarter. I've had to remind myself that running is only a hobby of mine. I will never be fast, so why kill myself trying? Why risk injury when I should just be enjoying the runs?
Here is the thing, I know that in order to get faster I need to do the work. I need to do hills, sprints, cross train, and increase mileage. I do most of those things just according to my schedule and not someone elses. This summer I have been exploring so many new places to run and have honestly been having a blast with my running. Some weeks I am on point while others I just relax. The point is that I am happy to no longer being tied down to a running program. My runs are now spontaneous and not a part of a boring routine.
I am not saying that running programs/shedules are bad. I mean I did them for years! Maybe in the future I'll return to them. I've even considered getting a running coach in the future. But for now I am happy with what I am doing. I like being able to dictate how my training goes. I guess because I have no pressure to PR, I am looking at things way differently. Two years ago, I needed to get that PR to prove to myself that I could keep improving.  Now I am just proud of myself for crossing that finish line with a smile and with no pain. That has probably been the best part of all this change. I am listening to my body and taking the time to rest when it is needed.
This summer training I have just been trying to stay as positive as posible. Yesterday, one of my really good friends from Fresno text me. She told me that she could tell just from the pictures that I have posted on Instagram that I am truly happy. I coudn't help but smile and agree. I am very happy. I haven't been this happy in a long time. I truly believe that training this way has helped with finding some peace of mind. I finally have a good balance with my running. I am once again loving it and just enjoing all the beautiful views I see while running in San Diego. As my next race is approaching, I hope to continue this feeling. Like I said, all I want to do is cross that finish line with a smile.

Other places you can find me:
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Places to Run in San Diego: Pacific Beach

I just love running by the beach! With just a 20-30 minute drive (depending on traffic of course), I am able to enjoy beautiful views of the beach and listen to the sounds of waves while I run. Moving to San Diego has been such a blessing.  I feel extremely fortunate to live in this amazing city. Living so close to the beach has definitely inspired me to get out and run more. 

So if you find yourself in San Diego or already live in this city, get out and enjoy the beach views of Pacific Beach. This beach happens to be a favorite among college students and tourists. With three miles of boardwalk and a lively atmosphere, P.B. (as the locals call it) is a great place to find fun in the sun, burn a few calories, and enjoy a nice meal after running. Pacific Beach offers a variety of things to do beyond the miles of sandy beaches. 

Getting there is pretty easy. From the 5 freeway take Garnet Avenue west all the way to Mission Blvd. Unfortunately, parking there can be an issue. You can park at the lot at Tourmaline Street, side streets, and paid lots scattered throughout. If you plan on making a day trip after your run then parking in the paid lots may be your best option. 

The boardwalk can get a bit crowded during certain times of the year especially the summer. You'll find runners, walkers, roller bladders, and bike riders sharing the boardwalk. I tend to run in the mornings so it isn't as crowded during those times. Throughout the boardwalk you'll find drinking fountains and bathrooms (that are relatively clean) which is a definite plus.  Running the pier is also a great place to run.

Even when I am having a bad day, I can always enjoy my runs here. I can have the slowest times, but the views alway make up for it. There is something about seeing those waves crash down that completely relax me. The best part is I can alway cool down with a little dip in the water. Lately the water has been perfect! 

Not only is this beach easy to get to, but there are so many other activities that can be done. If running is not your thing, there are great restaurants to eat at, surfing, paddle boarding, and kayaking. Of if you are in the mood for a good cocktail then PB is a great place to visit. The beach does have a young college life but I still love it. And I am hoping if you ever visit, you will too!

Have you ever visited San Diego?
Where is your favorite place to run?

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

Linking up with Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama