Posted in Lifestyle

Finding joy in running

I am ecstatic to continue to share with you a series on running.

To start things off I wanted to share with you my running journey.

Although now it is my go to #1 hobby, it wasn’t always my favorite. In fact, I used to dread it in school. When I received my first C in P.E in 5th grade, it was because I wasn’t fast enough while running a mile. I would volunteer for extra-curricular activities ever since to help my grades and avoid P.E. However, in high school like most teens, I became more aware of health and fitness. I began attending the gym regularly, mostly doing some cardio and a bit of weights. It wasn’t until I did my study abroad where I really began running and loving it.

In France, the weather was pleasant and conveniently there was a park right outside of our dorms where I would do my runs. Getting a gym membership wasn’t very convenient due to my budget but running was free! I began by doing 1-3 miles. Over the course of 4 months I was able to do 5 miles to about an hour of steady running. At the time, I wasn’t focused on times or speed. I just liked to clear my head, distract myself, enjoy the weather, and get a workout.

After one of my runs in Aix-en-Provence

When I returned home I didn’t want to lose the endurance I had built. I would sneak a couple of runs and went back to the gym. Florida weather is very hot and humid almost all year long so, running wasn’t as pleasing. However, as my schedules became tighter I realized running was one thing that really helped me release stress. Unlike the gym, where I felt so insecure, unable to lift heavy and being watched just isn’t my thing. Whereas with running, no one is watching you the whole time. It is a time for you alone, to explore new routes, to challenge your limits, to think and to relax. (To non-runners, this may seem odd, RELAX? Yes, running is a cheap form of therapy.)

Those views were beautiful

I met a professor who ran marathons and races routinely in one of my university courses. He even had a blog too! So, I became curious, I already loved running why not challenge myself? I was very hesitant, I had never kept track of how fast I was, or how good I could become. I mainly did it for me. But seeing his drive and blog, made me look into races. I tried following a couple of simple training guides found online to see if I could last. I gradually became a tad bit faster, and increased mileage.

I still had a lot to figure out though, it is amazing how simple the sport is and yet how many factors really help determine success. Things including, breathing, hydration, time-keeping, music, shoes, form, even socks!

I set my eyes on the runDisney races, I have always loved Disney so the idea was fascinating. I had looked into the themes and they seemed so much fun, so I began training with a “goal” in mind. Around a year went by of me being hesitant and a bit turned off by the prices for races. I mean to be fair, I had started running precisely because it was free, and now I was expected to pay for something I wasn’t even sure I could finish. This is why I kept running more, to make sure I’d be able to finish the thing!

The rest you guys can find out in my last post. But to recap, Ben was generous enough to gift me my first race entrance for my birthday to none other than The Dark Side Half Marathon! I mean, common, Star Wars, running, Disney, I felt like a kid again.

It was such an amazing race and enjoyed it incredibly. Now I am prepping for my second race this November. And finally, we are all caught up on how running became “my thing”. I had always been a bit jealous of people who had a “thing”, and I loved doing a lot of different things, but now I know what it means to truly have a hobby that fills you up. It is difficult to explain to friends and family, why even when sore, tired, sleep-deprived, at 6 a.m., on the weekends, when it is freezing outside, or when it is like 100 degrees out, why do you do it? The short response would be something like, because without running I have all the wrong feelings lol.

Now that I’ve shared my journey , I hope you join me through my next training adventure!

Posted in Uncategorized

Linda Runs

I hope the January come back wasn’t too much of a tease.

To be completely honest, I had too much on my plate. Although I love writing and blogging, it was quickly pushed to last place. With school, work, training, family, and my pup I barely had time to sleep!

I also was in a bad place to even be sharing. I have so much to be grateful for, but being in such a draining work environment everyday nonstop was taking a heavy toll. Now don’t get me wrong even though I needed a change , I am grateful for everything I learned ( good and bad) , about the lessons it taught me about myself and other people. Without disclosing too much, I met amazing people , and not so kind ones too. But hey that’s the workplace right ?

I ended up in what felt like an escape mission , I was completely unmotivated and it dragged into everything around me. I was unmotivated to run, to study, or even spend time with my family ! I wasn’t myself , I was unhappy and it reflected.

Anyways , more on that for another blog. The point here is that I ran my first half marathon during this time.

And I survived!

I am so grateful and proud . Especially because like I mentioned, I lacked the energy to train properly . I did a couple of long runs 8-9 miles , about 5 tempo runs , and then my regular 5-7 mile runs. Very unstructured and very draining. But I felt so happy the week of the run. There really is a vibrating energy before and during the race.

I ran the Dark Side Half Marathon at Disney World in April. What better first run could I have possibly have asked for?

It had always been my dream to run a Disney race, and Ben came through and gifted me that for my birthday! Honestly best birthday gift ever!

The weekend was amazing! I was on such a high, with the people I love, at the happiest place on earth! Although I loved the race, I do have some honest feedback to share.

1. Price for value: you are paying for the experience . End of story, you are not paying for quality but for magic. This run is about the costumes, music , lights, characters. It is not about the best run ever. You’re essentially paying to take photographs with characters in your run gear. I did not stop at any of the photo booths during the race. Although some were tempting, because it was the Dark Side , neither Yoda nor Chewie were there ( the only ones I would have stopped for). The lines were way too long. I wasn’t aiming for PR or anything but, I wasn’t willing to stand in line for half an hour !

2. Fueling is totally up to you! I read the blogs and website information so much. It said they had drinks and energy snacks. No . Besides , if it is not what you’re used to taking what is the point? I figured the expo would have some neat snacks too. But they only had the regular stuff you could find at a running store or the running section at Target. I don’t know why I was expecting thematic snacks and drinks. I ended up getting water at almost every other station. They also had Powerade, and energy beans at one stop. I didn’t try the beans because I had never had them. I drank Powerade at one stop because I was feeling very dehydrated but it wasn’t sitting well, so I stuck with water . I saw most runners had their own Gu packs or bars. I don’t regret not having Gu or energy drinks. They never had settled good or made me feel good. However, I do wish I had practiced more with fueling and drinking. Definitely something I’ll try and plan better for my next run. One perk about their stations though, was there was a station almost at every mile! That is really nice to have the option to have water especially in the humid Florida weather. Some stations had Biofreeze and Vaseline too.

One of the few fuels I had tried during practice runs, didn’t use it during the race. But it was the most tolerable . #1 were Sour Patch Lol

3. Post race: I feel this was unorganized . I ran solo, so I wasn’t following anyone or guided at all. First of all as soon as I crossed the finish line, my brain turned to mush . I saw Ben and Brett, then Ben was screaming to get my medal. Everything was so backed up. Immediately after the finish line there were two rows of volunteers giving out medals. But none of them spoke or said anything. I didn’t know if those were for everyone , because there were several challenges going on. So I initially didn’t grab mine. I had to go back and ask for my medal to which, the volunteer seemed confused as to why I was asking. I am sorry , this sweaty and tired runner wasn’t familiar with mute and I sluggish volunteer language.

Then there were tents with Biofreeze, cold towels, and ice packs . I just grabbed a towel. I am unsure and need to do more research on this, but my body felt cold when I stopped. I thought this was unusual because I had been running in humid temperatures for 2 hours. I felt cold , even while still sweaty.

The snack boxes followed and then the photographs. The snack boxes weren’t too bad, but they weren’t impressive . They had water , a banana, chips and Oreos. I am not sure about other runners but Oreos was not what my body was craving after. The banana and water were all I had.

The photo lines were fairly quick at the end, once you get your medal.

4. Bathroom situation: let’s address this because if any of you are running a Disney race I want you to know this. Stop at the park restrooms! Please do so , when you run through Animal Kingdom and Epcot these bathrooms are open for you to use. Don’t be like me and for lack of wanting to wait in line end up using a disgusting beat up port a potty . At the end of the day you are still stopping and even the port a potty have lines. Please please, don’t be like some gross people I saw go in the side . That was unnecessary, there are restrooms available at almost every 2-3 miles.

Also, as someone who never really had any stomach issues while running. I am not sure if it is the anxious energy or drinking more water than used to, or not eating enough before. But let’s just say, you’re gonna have to go , it won’t be pretty or fun , but listen to your cues.

5. Family experience: my family were the ones that were the most disappointed. Unfortunately they waited for me for 2 hours and a half by the end of it all. In the website we had read they would be able to see us at around mile 10 but that never happened. There was a viewing area to the start line , then a bus to the finish line where they were the entire time. There was some music and the hosts. But they were hungry and bored most of the time. For Disney I guess we were expecting a bit more entertainment . And they weren’t expecting free food , but there was no place they could even buy food from! That was the major downside for me because it is a big deal to have your family there , and for them to be that unhappy taints the experience .

Nonetheless, I did enjoy the race . I loved it , so much fun and very proud moment for me. I hope this helps any of you thinking of running a Disney race and some tips on how to plan for it.

In the meantime I am currently training for my second half coming up in November. It will not be the Disney one, unfortunately I didn’t feel like the price was totally worth it again. And I wanted to experience a more serious run this time. I would probably love to do another Disney Run in the future , but I also want to challenge myself .

Posted in Uncategorized

January Favorites

  • And I am back !

Hope eveyone’s first month of the year was successful. This first month was definitely fruitful and packed of new projects.

I’ve taken some new projects at work and school. Going back for my masters is no joke, especially with a full time job. But I am excited to be studying something that actually interests me. I am optimistic that the hard work will pay off in the end.

Also, training Chewie and watching him grow has been a great experience. My pup is getting big now! He has had a couple stumbles in the potty training, but we are trying to get him back in track.

In this post I’ll be sharing with you some of my January favorites, I personally love to read and watch these types of blogs and vlogs. I hope these help any of you with trying new products. With the cold winter days I had to try new skincare products some which served to be very successful.

Here are my top picks :

  • Origins Mineral-Enriched Renewal Cream – This saved my skin during this winter. It’s consistency is nourishing, the best part is that this it is perfect for men and women!
  • Origins Super Spot Remover – When I get stressed I break out, December definitely had me breaking out. Although very exciting, there was a lot going on. This little guy is perfect for spot treatments or adding it on areas of trouble . It really helps reduce the size and inflammation by the next morning. I place a little layer at night and next morning it’s almost gone!
  • L’Oréal Voluminous Mascara Primer- This has changed my make-up routine ! No need to curl my lashes anymore . I apply these before I finish my makeup and then apply my regular mascara about 2 minutes after. It makes a difference. Thanks to Becca Bristow for the recommendation.
  • Rituals Eau des Indes- As you can see from this photo I am almost through this, I love the scent and have gotten several compliments whenever I wear it. It’s a fresh clean scent , not fruity or sweet just clean .

  • Heated blanket- This was actually Ben’s Christmas gift, but during the days when it was in the 20s it was a saver . I loved that blanket.
  • Method Daily Shower Cleaner – This smells amazing , and no harsh chemicals or smells.

  • Amazon Music – This app has saved my rides to work! It’s free with Amazon Prime ( thanks Ben) , the playlists are good and you can create your own. My favorite part is I can skip , rewind, and repeat the same songs as many times as I want , unlike other music apps out there.

Hope some of these products hit your next shopping spree, and let me know if you guys like them and any recommendations.

Posted in Uncategorized

Golden Globes 2018

The 75th Golden Globe Awards was last night. As I was rushing home to see them, Brett decided we have a competition and see who could guess the winners.

After looking at the nominations, I came to the sad realization I haven’t had much time to watch half of the movies or shows nominated .

Now almost all of the movies have been on my bucket list since I’ve seen the trailers, but the holidays, work and life have left me with enough time to sleep and eat lol.

Now , I do hope to see most of these movies within the next weeks , and of course before other award shows including the Oscars. I did submit my predictions and did my best to go with reviews I’ve heard and how well they shows and movies have been received . I do want to mention that some of my predictions are based on what I’ve heard , especially for those that I haven’t seen, not based on who I would like to win.

The show was pretty good, not a huge fan of the host to be frank. The Time’s Up movement was a better movement than last years. If Hollywood is going to make a statement it really should be to help their fans and work environment, not just to criticize and input personal commentary. It was nice seeing all the actors and actresses in black. Not only did it make the ceremony look classy, but I loved seeing the support. The women in the show looked amazing and empowered and I was feeling very touched by those who honestly want to improve their workforce and make it a better place.

I honestly hope that this movement grows and becomes a positive one. Not that it faded out after they’re done accusing the perpetrators, but that it focuses on empowering and lifting up its victims. At the end of the day it shouldn’t be solely to ruin another persons life, but come out and put an end to it to make it better for you , your coworkers ,your friends, and your kids.

Now without a further a due here we’re my predictions . Sadly after tallying up our scores , I only won 5 and Brett got 13 right. The winner is Brett. Hope those of you who watched enjoyed it and got to see some of your favorites. For me I’m beyond thrilled Gary Oldman won! That has been one of my favorite movies, and his portrayal was impeccable.

Best motion picture drama:
Call me by your name

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Get Out

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Sally Hawkins

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Gary Oldman

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Margot Robbie

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Daniel Kaluuya

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
Octavia Spencer

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
Willem Dafoe

Best Director – Motion Picture
Christopher Nolan

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Guillermo del Toro , Vanessa Taylor

Best Motion Picture – Animated

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
First They Killed my Father

Best Original Score – Motion Picture
Hans Zimmer

Best Original Song – Motion Picture
Remember Me -Coco

Best Television Series- Drama
Stranger Things

Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Nicole Kidman

Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Ewan McGregor

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series – Drama
Claire Foy

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series – Drama
Sterling K Brown

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Issa Rae

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Anthony Anderson

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Chrissy Metz

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
David Harbour