Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving! The Many Reasons I am Thankful For

First and foremost, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! I can't believe how fast this year has gone. Christmas is literally right around the corner. Today I'll be spending the day with my family at my abuelita's house. We are having dinner early so I'll probably have dinner twice. I haven't had a Thanksgiving with my family in a really long time so I am pretty excited. I usually always work so I never come home. Actually my parents are not even in the country. They left last Sunday so I won't even spend the holiday with them. Luckily I'll still be around family and spending Thanksgiving with my aunts, uncles, cousins, and of course my abuelita. 

Along with wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, I also wanted to give you guys a little update on what's been going on in my life. Lately I haven't really been blogging. It just hasn't been a priority in my life right now. It's not because I don't love doing it, it's just that I have been keeping my focus on a more important matter. A few months ago I opened up to my readers about my infertility issues. Ever since October, I have been undergoing treatment towards doing IVF. It's consisted of multiple doctor appointments, labs, ultra sounds, and medications. It's been draining, stressful, costly, and down right exhausting. For those of you that don't know what IVF is, IVF is the process of fertilization by manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish, and then transferring the embryo to the uterus. It's usually a last ditch effort for those who can't conceive me.

Sounds intense right? Well it is. I've really tried to stay as positive as possible during this entire process, but it's been tough. Just two days ago, I lost it. I had left from a doctor's appointment feeling defeated and frustrated. I started doubting this entire process and most importantly I started doubting my faith in God. I mean the tears just came flowing and I just couldn't control my emotions. What frightened me the most was that I was losing faith. I immediately texted a few of my close friends and just asked for prayer. Prayers to keep me focusing on the bigger picture. Prayers to not feel defeated. Prayers to not lose my faith in God's plan. 

As far as what's next with my IVF...well next week they will do my egg extraction. This is actually a really big deal that has been giving me some anxiety. As of right now my follicle count is still low considering how many hormones they have me taking either by tablet form or injections. Basically the more eggs they can get, the better. It increases your chances of conceiving. Unfortunately all women are not built the same. Some women that go through IVF can get more than 10 follicles after all the medications, but I was given the unfortunate diagnosis of low follicle count for my age. Right now I have about four that "okay" but not "great." 

So this week I have been extremely grateful and thankful for my close friends. They have been my rock during this ordeal. To the few that know what I have been going though, they have been there for me through prayer. They have been incredibly supportive. Good friendships are hard to find, but I am blessed to have friends that are like family in my life.  Their friendship means the world to me. I should also point out that my husband has also been very incredible during this whole process. Not to leave him behind here, but I am grateful to be going through this with someone so kind and compassionate. 

I guess what I am trying to point out is that this year I really have a lot to be thankful for. My heart is full with gratitude and love. Not only am I back home but I have a great job that I truly love. We have a roof over our head that provides comfort and I have my adorable pups that just love me unconditionally. This year I have been spending as much time with my family since life is short. In the blink of an eye, your whole life can be turned upside down. Ever since my father and cousin's cancer diagnosis's, I have truly been trying to spend time with the people that matter the most to me. So today hug your parents a little longer, embrace your kids and hold them close to you, and send a thoughtful text to the friends that matter the most to you. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed and you never know how much of an impact you'll make on someone just by a simple gesture. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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

I am linking up with Amanda from  Running with Spoons

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Places to Run in San Diego: The Harbor/Embarcadero

Okay so I have another great running location to check out in San Diego. As many of you know, I have been having such a great time getting reacquainted to my city by checking out all the wonderful places to get a good run in. This city seriously has so much to offer! This time around, I want to tell you about running by the San Diego Harbor/Embarcadero.
I actually drive by the harbor multiple times a month since the airport is right there. My husband does travel a bit for work, so I am either picking him up or dropping him off. Every time I drive by there, there are always people running and it makes me a bit jealous. Well two weeks ago, I finally got to run there.
Getting to the harbor is pretty easy. From the airport it is literally right there and from the 5 freeway it is a few block away. Just follow the signs towards the airport and you'll reach the harbor. Free parking is available right on the harbor but it is only free for 2 hours. Further towards the Embarcadero you'll find additional metered parking.
Just from the start you are pretty much blown away from the beautiful views. I was there on a pretty cloudy day but I was definitely not dissappointed. Throughout the harbor you'll find restrooms and some water fountain drinks. If you run towards the Embarcadero you also get the opportunity to do some sight seeing while getting a good workout. Oh and did I mention the entire run is flat?

If after your run you find yourself a bit hungry or want to do some shopping, then you are in luck. Seaport Village is right along the harbor. This is a pretty popular place to check out for tourists. You actually start to see the beautiful views of the Coronado bridge along the running route.

Now since this is San Diego afterall, running along here can get a bit hectic and busy with tourists. The weekends are really busy especially during the popular tourists seasons. Mornings are usually the best time to get a good run in. I should also point out that since it is right next to downtown, there are plenty of hotel accomadations to stay at.   

Can't say enough good things about running on the harbor. If you are visiting San Diego or just looking for a new running route, then go check it out. Trust me you will not be dissapointed. Gotta love finding great new places to run in San Diego!
Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

Linking up with Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Silver Strand Half Marathon Race Recap

I know, I know...I have been MIA lately. Trust me I have my reasons. I'll let you guys in the loop later this week. But for now I wanted to take the time to just write a quick recap on my last race: The Silver Strand Half Marathon.

I ran this race a week ago today with some of my good friends from out of town, Sylvia and Andres. It was technically the last race I had in my calendar for the year. My plans to run the San Antonio Rock n Roll fell through a few months ago, so this race was the final one for 2015. Since I now live in San Diego, finding runs and races around here is pretty easy. I swear you can find some 5k benefiting something almost weekly. I haven't ruled out running maybe a Turkey Trot or a Christmas 5k. But for sure no more half marathons for awhile. Time to give my knees some rest.

The Silver Strand Half Marathon is a combined event. It consists of a 5k, 10k, and a half marathon. The kind of cool thing about this race is that it is open to not only runners/walkers but to skaters, ellipticals/elliptiGO, hand cycles, and wheelchairs. The course is known for being really flat. It starts in Coronado and ends in Imperial Beach. During the course you not only get to have Pacific Ocean views but views from the San Diego Bay as well. The course itself is what sold my friends on coming down for this race. 

We arrived at the start line about 45 minutes before the start time. There was limited parking there. They had suggested parking areas further away with shuttles but it comes in handy having your own personal driver.  Thankfully my husband dropped us off and then headed to the finish line to meet up at the end. It gave us just enough time to use the restroom, warm-up and stretch. As usual the lines in the bathroom were long but it took me maybe 10 minutes so overall it wasn't that bad. It just seemed longer. The weather was pretty perfect. It was overcast and cloudy with cool temps. My fave! 

So we took a few pictures before the race, stayed towards the back and waited for the race to start. Sylvia's knee had been causing her a lot of pain lately so we wanted to keep it easy and light to not over due it. Since this wasn't a PR for me, I felt it would be a great way for both of us to run a race together. Now a little back story on my friend Sylvia. She used to be a runner and a fast runner at that during college. She however really didn't have a passion for it and just stopped. Her husband and I had been hounding her for years to get back at it. This year she finally agreed and I am so happy she picked this race!

Okay the course was really pretty. Having views of the waves from the ocean to the still waters of the bay was sooting and relaxing. It was cloudy and overcast so not that much sun was out. There weren't that many spectators either since there really wasn't that many places they can cheer along the road. We started off with the 2:20 pacer but almost immediately passed that one up. I was kind of impressed our pace was pretty good. Before we knew it, we had passed the 2:10 pacer. I was actually shocked that our pace was better than we had expected. All of a sudden was had made it to the 8 miler mark, but that's when I just kind of started to slow down. I tried to focus on the fact that we were more than half way done, but I was losing fuel and fast. I had my GU gel packs with me but I refrained from taking any. I guess I should point out that I was having some major digestive issues throughout the entire race. I woke up beyond nauseous and with an upset stomach. 

I will have to say the worst were the last three miles. At the 10 mile mark the half marathons runners and the 10k runners broke away. We continued to run a small loop with a very small hill that felt like a giant mountain. We kept pushing each other but I knew I was done. We saw Andres around the last mile. He ran the final leg with us and told us he was shocked to see us. He expected us to be further back. He signaled my husband up ahead and then he ran with me. We could see the finish line and as much as I was giving it my all, I told Sylvia to go ahead. I just had no more in me. My final time was 2:07:09.

Overall, I really enjoyed this race. It made it so much better having my friends and husband there though. I really didn't take any pictures during the course since I just kind of took in all the views. If you are a local San Diegan and looking for your first half marathon, I would highly recommend this one. 

Afterwards there was a beer garden and a live band performing. We stuck around for a bit, stretched, ate our post race snacks, and just kind of enjoyed the show. Andres came in fourth for his age group, missed placing by like 6 seconds! 

This race ends right next to the beach too so the great views just keep on continuing!

Things I loved about the race:
  • A great local race
  • Flat course
  • Excellent volunteers
  • Great medal (bottle opener)
  • Race Expo at Road Runner
  • Plenty of water stations
  • Finish line entertainment: beer garden/food/live band/vendors/etc.

Not many bad things I can say about this race other than they could have more bathrooms. To be honest I feel this way about every race! Afterwards we went to local bar/restaurant in Imperial Beach and refueled with some good food and some cold beverages. Since it was Sunday too, we made sure to watch some football. Overall it was a good race day spent with great friends. Cheers!

How is your weekend going?
Any one running a Turkey Trot?

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

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

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Places to Run in San Diego: Mission Trails

One of the best things about moving back has been getting reacquainted with amazing running locations. There are so many great places to break a sweat around here. It makes me fall in love with San Diego just a little bit more every time I get to visit new running routes. This past week I took my running shoes to a brand new place: Mission Trails.

Mission Trails is actually a regional park that is 7,220 acres of both natural and developed recreational areas. It has rugged hills, valleys and open areas. It is located in central San Diego, only eight miles northeast of downtown San Diego.  Mission Trails Regional Park is a quick, natural escape from the urban hustle and bustle. 

With beautiful views you can easily fall in love with this place. But if you are not into running there are still other things that can be done here. There is a campground where you can camp over night on Friday and Saturday. There are great trails that can be used for great hikes and for mountain biking. There are about 25 hikes to explore and they are categorized by difficulty.

If you are going for the first time, I would highly recommend stopping by the visitor center. There you can get great information about the park and be directed on the right path. If you park in the parking lot there though, just be warned the gate closes at 5pm every day. There is always parking on the street if you wish to stay later.  

Just a few recommendations while visiting the park:
  • Stay in the marked, designated paths.
  • Always bring your phone and water with you.
  • Please be kind and don't liter or feed the wildlife.
  • Use the restroom at the visitor center or go before (unless you wish to use the porta potties on the trails).
  • If you take your dog, please make sure they are on a leash and please clean up after them.

But honestly the views make this place so amazing!

I have barely started to explore this place, but I know I will be running here a lot more! Can't wait to check out new trails and get a few good hikes for some cross-training. 

Do you like to cross train with hiking? 
Do you have a favorite running location?

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

Linking up with Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama

Monday, November 2, 2015

Holiday/November Challenges to Stay Fit During The Holidays

I can't believe this year is almost over. And you know what happens at the end of the year? Holiday food from all the parties! I swear it starts with Halloween and then it's all downhill until January comes along. Of course by then you've gained a few pounds, added that winter coat, and have to buy new clothes. So it makes sense that staying fit and in shape during the holidays is in everyone's best interest.

Last year I participated in Pile on The Miles from RunEatRepeat. It really kept me on track during the month of November. I made a weekly goal and really stuck to it. This year I am trying to stay active by doing a minimal of 30 minutes of exercise every day. Best part about this challenge is that it's virtual and free. On top of being free, there are prizes given throughout the entire month. If you want more information, check out RunEatRepeat post.

I am also doing an entire Holiday Sweat Challenge through my Sweat Pink Ambassadorship. This challenge runs from 11/2-1/2. So now I really have no excuse to not stay active during the holidays. The reason I do love this challenge is because it is with my other fellow ambassadors and we really motivate each other. Every day we log in and jot down how many minutes we've done and post them through social media. So if you follow me on Instagram fair warning it will have a lot of pictures of me exercising during the holidays. This challenge is also virtual, free, and many prizes will be given.

I love the holidays, but I am not a fan of the notorious weight gain. I'm really hoping that these challenges are going to keep me on track. I would highly encourage all of you to participate in a challenge this winter. Wether it is one of the ones I listed above or if you know of any other one. Sometimes local gyms or even workplaces will do challenges. So keep an ear out for one that fits you. Last thing you want is to regret not making an effort and then having a closet of clothes that no longer fit.

Now for the honest truth...I am doing everything that I can to stay in shape, but the next two months I will be gaining weight due to hormone medications in preparation for IVF. Last month I was open about my infertility issues. It took a lot out of me to lay it out there. Since then I have had such an amazing response from so many or my friends and readers. So these challenges are meant to help me stay active but to also keep sane.  I am going to need to destress by working out because the next few months are going to be busy and stressful. I just need to keep smiling and luckily running makes me smile.

Are you participating in a holiday challenge?
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 Spoons
Healthy Diva Eats and Her Heartland Soul