Posted in Running, Travel

Princess Challenge Weekend

I don’t know why it has taken me so long to post this trip recap. This trip took place almost three months ago!!! Oh well, better late than never!

February 23-26 2018
I have travelled to a few different places throughout the United States- Portland, Oregon, Washington DC, Las Vegas, to name a few. However, I usually travel with other people, either my travelling partner Giovanna, my sister Destiny, or my family. I had never travelled anywhere alone. That is, until February. That’s right, I went on my first solo trip at 27 years old.

I first travelled to Orlando, Florida last year in March 2017 for WrestleMania. I was there for almost a week and went with my travelling partner, Giovanna. This time I went to Orlando for four days and I went for the Disney Princess Weekend. I was there for about five days and had sucha blast!

I have to admit that the thought of it freaked me out so much!!! In fact, there were a few times that I even considered cancelling my trip rather than going alone. But after thinking about all the cons and pros of travelling alone, looking online, and speaking to someone who has gone on many solo trips, I decided to go for it. After all, what was the harm in travelling solo at least once?

Airplane Ride/Airport
Just getting to the airport was a mission! I walked to the bus stop from my house. Then I took the Metro Gold line to the Union Station, from there I got on a shuttle to LAX. I barely made it to the plane on time. I got to LAX ten mins before the gates closed. Lucky for me, there was no line for security checkpoint. As soon as they checked me and my things, I ran all the way to my gate. I got there four minutes before they closed my gates. I have never been that close. I am normally at the airport at least an hour before my flight is scheduled to leave, sometimes even two hours. I was so scared that I would miss my plane.

I got to Orlando airport around 430am/5am on Friday. I stayed there until about 830am/9am. I just listened to my ipod and used my tablet. I also ate chick fil a for breakfast. I think I even fell asleep for a while. I finally decided I had been there long enough and went to the expo to pick up what I needed for the two races.

Expo
The expo to pick up the bibs and shirts was huge. In fact, they had three different locations to pick everything up. The first building is where you pick up your bib. Then you have to go to another building for your shirt. In the second building, they also had non Disney vendors. I bought some running stickers and energy gels. Then I went to the last building to pick up some pins I had preoredered and in this building they had Disney vendors. I wanted to buy everything! They had such a huge selection of things, including cute leggings, pins, cute shirts, anything Disney Princess thing you can think of! It was way more than I had planned to spend. Since the lines were really long, I decided not to get anything after all.

Hotel
After the expo, I decided to go to my hotel to check in. The hotel I stayed at was in Kissimmee, Florida about 15 minutes away from Disney World. Unfortunately, it wasn’t ready when I got there. The people at the hotel told me I could go to the pool for a while, so I went in for an hour. It was really hot outside and the pool felt really good. I went to see if it was ready and they still needed more time to finish cleaning. So I decided to walk to Target, which was about 1.5 miles away, and window shop. Went to eat lunch at Burger King and then I walked back to the hotel, which was finally ready.

I spent three nights there. For the price I paid, I was expecting a small room. I was shocked when I walked into my hotel room. It was much larger than I expected. The first thing I saw when I walked in was the kitchen. It had a full size kitchen with a fridge, microwave, stove, dishes and utensils, and a sink. Next up was a dining room for four, the first bathroom, and even a living room with two small couches and a television. As if that wasn’t enough, there was a bedroom for me with a television, another bathroom, and get this, a Jacuzzi in my room!

It was awesome staying in this room, but I admit that I did get a bit scared at night, to the point where I slept with all the lights on and the door locked. The first and second nights I only slept about 3/4 hours each. The final night I slept maybe 5/6 hours, which still wasn’t enough.

Saturday morning I ran my 10k race. I did pretty well. I didn’t really go anywhere once I got back to my hotel because I didn’t want to be too tired for my half marathon and because I was a bit scared to go out by myself.

Sunday morning I was at the race by 330am! I went early to take pictures in the morning. After the race, I took some pictures with some of the Disney Princesses. Instead of going to the hotel, I decided to go to Downtown Disney. I knew if I went to the hotel, I would fall asleep and not want to leave the room for the rest of the day. I changed out of my race clothes and wore my three medals around.

Disney Springs/Downtown Disney
I went there last year. We went on the last day, so I didn’t have much money to spend. This time I was able to visit Hard Rock Café and got myself a mac and cheese burger. Kind of on the pricey side, but so worth it! I also got a creme brulee from one of the bakeries and a strawberry frozen margarita. I basically spent my whole time at Disney Springs eating lol One of my favorite things to eat was the poutine.

Universal City Walk

On Monday, my last day in Orlando, I decided to visit Universal City Walk after checking out. One of my favorite things about going to Universal City Walk last year was going to the Chocolate Emporium and getting a red velvet milkshake, which had a giant red velvet cupcake on top! So I couldn’t wait to go back. I also went to Fat Tuesday and got myself a blue raspberry icee. I went to the movies and watched Fifty Shades Freed. After my day trip at City Walk, I headed over to the airport to go back home.

Trip Back Home
After the scare I had getting to LAX really late, I made sure to get to MCO at least 2 hours early. I am so glad I did, because the security checkpoint line was huge! I had a stop in Colorado. Right when we got off the plane, we could feel the freezing cold air! I guess we were close to the mountains. I was only there for an hour and then I was back on the plane to LA. I got to LAX around midnight, I was exhausted when I got home.

Travelling solo was a lot more fun than I ever imagined! I would definitely recommend that everyone travels solo at least once in their lifetime. Yes, it can be scary, especially for someone like me who is an introvert and very shy.

My only complaint about travelling is having to use Uber or Lyft all the time. It can get pretty expesnive, especilly when going to Disney World or Downtown Orlando. I would rather use the public transportation or rent a car.

My next solo vacation will be a weekend trip to San Francisco during the summer. It will be another racecation, I will be running the San Francisco Half Marathon!

Posted in Running, Travel

Disney Princess Races

The night before the 10k race, I told myself that I would try to be asleep by 9pm in order to wake up at 3am to be at Epcot parking lot on time. That did not happen. It was really difficult for me to sleep so early, especially given the time difference. By trying to go to sleep at 9pm, it was like trying to go to sleep at 6pm! Plus, I was a bit scared of spending the night in a different state by myself, so that didn’t help. I eventually fell asleep around 11pm or so. I woke up a little before 3 am. I had scheduled an uber to pick me up at 330am, so right at that time, I went outside. I got the message that they were on their way. However, after waiting outside for 15 minutes, the driver cancelled! I was so mad. Had to request another uber and waited an extra 15-20 minutes.

10k
For the 10k race, I was in corral B. Although I have done many 10k races before, I was still pretty nervous about this one. Mainly because I had heard so many bad things about the Disney Princess races. I did much better than expected though. I finished in 1:04 hours. However, I didn’t end up stopping for any character stops. After the race was over, i did take a few pictures. I took pictures with both Ariel and my favorite Disney princess, Belle.

Half Marathon
For the half marathon, I was in corral C. This time, I made sure to try to stop for as many character stops as I could. I got to the Epcot parking lot around 330am. Since I was so early, I was able to take a picture with Anna from Frozen! I waited about an hour in line. After that was over, I went to the corrals. There were so many people! I think at least 15,000+ people ran/walked the Princess half marathon.

So I ended up running my second slowest time ever, 2:36 hours! But it didn’t matter because I had fun. I took pictures with at least 5-7 characters.

Posted in Running, Travel

San Diego Weekend

Two weeks ago I went to San Diego with my boyfriend and our friend. We went because I had signed up for the San Diego Half Marathon. This was my first time going to San Diego in almost 10 years. This was also the first weekend getaway trip for my boyfriend and me.

We left on Saturday morning. It took us about two and a half hours to get there. It rained the entire first day that we were there. However, we did not let that ruin our day. I went to the expo to pick up my bib and shirt for the race. After that, we went to go eat. Our friend took us to a pizza place. Since I wasn’t eating any meat at that time, I decided to get a pizza that had artichoke, tomatoes, and jalapenos on them. This was my first time tasting jalapenos and it was better than expected.

Later on, we went to the Donut Bar. We got there around 430pm and unfortunately it was closed. They opened at 5pm, so we decided to just wait until it opened. The donuts were worth the wait! I bought myself four donuts and ate two that same day and two the next day. My favorite was the strawberry shortcake donut and the Harry Potter butterbeer donut.

We went to Coronado Beach, but it was still raining too much and way too cold, so we ended up going back to the hotel. My friend slept over at his family’s house, but my boyfriend and I stayed in Downtown San Diego. When we checked into our hotel, we were shocked to see that it was actually a hostel. Even more shocking, it looked nice. We got a private room, it was small but cozy. In the hostel, they had a kitchen, laundry room, and even a small library! There were many paintings on the hallways from local artists. The only thing missing was a tv in the room.

For dinner, we walked to a Mexican food place accross the street from Petco Park. It was really good. I just wish I had been able to try their food with shrimp.

I woke up Sunday around 630am for my half marathon. I didn’t plan to PR this race since I had the LA Marathon the following week. My goal was to run the half marathon in 2:30 hours. I ended up finishing in about 2:15 hours. Not bad, considering I had been dealing with calf pain and knee pain during my runs. The course was really nice. For the most part it was flat. I think it was around mile 9 or mile 10 that we hit some hills. They were a bit challenging, so I ended up walking most of it, which hurt my time a little bit. This was the first time my boyfriend had ever gone to one of my races and seeing him near the finish line was really special for me.

For lunch, we went to Lucha Libre Taco Shop, which I had seen on the Travel Channel before and it was on my bucket list. They are known for their massive burritos. You can find burritos all over San Diego, some with french fries, some that are surf and turf, but Lucha Libre’s burritos are some of the best. I got a burrito with black beans, French fries, avocado, and sour cream. I also got a cup of esquite, which is corn in a cup with mayo, chili, and Mexican cheese. My boyfriend got a burrito with carne asada and he loved it. Next time we go back to San Diego, I am definitely going back there again.

We went to Balboa Park and walked around. We didn’t visit the San Diego Zoo this time, we just didn’t have enough time. However, we got to enjoy a lot of other things. Then we drove home.

I enjoyed my weekend in San Diego and we are making plans to go back soon. I just hope next time we go back it isn’t raining and that we can enjoy the beach.

Posted in Running

LA Marathon 2018

Last weekend I ran my second full marathon, the L.A.Marathon. My official time was 5:13:36 hours. My goal had been to run the marathon in under 5 hours but that didn’t happen unfortunately. However, I am happy to see that my time improved by 6 minutes from my first marathon in Long Beach back in October 2017.

I was originally supposed to start my training in late November/early December, but that didn’t happen! I’m fact, I ended up running only twice in December, one of those times was a half marathon which I had signed up for in November. In January I decided I need to start taking my training more seriously. I ran about 50 miles in January and 100 miles in February. One thing I did differently during this training was finally start running with a running group. I did a few runs with them, including the 17 mile run.

One thing that worried me was whether I would have enough energy and fuel for the marathon as a vegetarian. I had decided to take part in Meatless March, so by the time I ran the L.A.Marathon, I had gone nearly 3 weeks without eating any red meat, poultry, or seafood.

I was so nervous for the L.A.Marathon. I didn’t get much sleep the week before. I ran the San Diego Half Marathon with a time of 2:13 hours and felt pretty good. I also ran the L.A.Big 5k the day before the marathon. I was worried that these two races would hurt my time or that I would be overdoing it.

The night before the L.A.Marathon, I went to eat at a local Italian restaurant with my running group. I ended up eating spinach lasagna and ate three pieces of garlic bread. The food was good. I managed to go to sleep early, by 9pm, but unfortunately, I ended up waking up at 2:30am the day of the marathon. I was unable to go back to sleep because I was so anxious.

My journey to the Dodger Stadium took a while for me. I left my house at 430am and drive to the Atlantic Metro Station in East L.A. From there I took the gold line to the Union Station in Downtown L.A. Once I was there, I took a shuttle to the Dodger Stadium, where I met up with my running group. We started the marathon a little bit after 7am. 

I ran about 12 miles with one of my friends from the running group, but we got separated. From the beginning, I had some mild pain in my right calf. Luckily I wore a compression sleeve and kt tape on both calves, which definitely helped. 

I’ve driven around many different areas of Los Angeles before, but it’s a different thing to see everything while you’re running. We went through Downtown L.A., Chinatown, Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Brentwood to name a few. The crowd support was incredible! No matter where you ran, there were groups of people cheering you on! I definitely needed that especially in the last 4 miles of the marathon, when I felt like giving up. Hills are always tough,but it’s worse when the hills come after you’ve already been running for 20 miles.

There are many things in would change about my training for the next marathon. I would stick to my training plan and add more long runs. Between January and the L.A.Marathon, I only had one long run that was 17 miles. I guess the fact that I did multiple half marathons during this time helped me stay in shape and prepare for the marathon. I also need to add more hill training, speed training, and cross training.
As crazy as it sounds, I can’t wait to run the L.A.Marathon again next year. In fact, I’m already signed up. My goal is to run the marathon in 4:45-5:00 hours. The next race I’m training for is the OC Half Marathon, where my goal is to run a sub 2 hour half. I would be happy with the time of 1:58 . Will start training for this race tomorrow!

Posted in Events, Football/Soccer, Life, music, Running, School, Travel, Work, Year Review

Looking Back at 2017

A lot of people say 2017 was a bad year, but for me personally 2017 was a great year! Here are a few things that happened in 2017.

Graduated from Cal State LA with a bachelors degree in history
After so many years of going to school, both back in community college and Cal State LA, i could finally say I got my degree. It was tough at times, going to work part time and going to school full time. To make things harder, I didn’t have a car for most of my college years, which meant i was usually going to school and work on the bus. It took me a little longer than I had expected to get my degree, but better later than never right?

Got a job at my local gym
In August I decided that I needed to get a second job because I wasn’t getting enough hours at the supermarket where I was cashier. So i decided to apply to a few local areas. Someone I knew from the gym where I have been going since 2016 told me they were hiring there. I decided to give it a shot even though I felt there was no way they would hire me. I was wrong. Within two weeks of Applying, I got hired! I was so happy. For three months, I worked both jobs. It was hard at times, but I decided to stick with it. At the end of 2017, I decided two jobs was two much and I needed to pick one job. My choice was easy. I picked the local gym.

Which brings me to this major thing i did in 2017. I finally left the job I had for 5 years.
This was pretty scary, not going to lie. I was not happy at this job, I spent all year being miserable, but I was too scared to quit. I had originally planned to quit in May after my graduation, then I decided summer I would get more hours so I Should stay a little longer. then decided I would quit in September, that didn’t happen either. I said I would quit around Thanksgiving, that didn’t happen either. I finally said that I would quit December 31, and i didn’t want to keep postponing it. I gave the manager my two weeks notice on December 15, 2017, the whole process was easier than I had expected. December 31, 2017 was my last day and it was a really long 8 hour shift. Before I quit, they gave me a certificate for being there five years. It was bittersweet. On one hand, I was happy to be getting away from retail life and rude, demanding, self entitle customers, but I will miss the friends that I made while working there.

I ran my first marathon
I never thought I would one day be able to run 26.2 miles, but on my 26th birthday, I decided I wanted to celebrate turning 26 years old in a big way, so that’s when I decided to run a marathon. My first ever marathon was in Long Beach, California and it took me about 5 hours and 17 minutes to finish. it took me four months to train for it. I thought this would be my only marathon ever, but I signed up for the LA Marathon, March 2018, and I am currently training for that.

Went to Orlando for the first time to attend Wrestlemania
I went with my friend Giovanna. We have gone to Portland, Oregon, Washington DC, and now Orlando together. We went to Universal City Walk, where I had the best tasting milkshake ever, red velvet with a red velvet cake. Yum! We also went to Universal Studios, where we went on so many rides and got to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I tried butterbeer for the first time. Besides Wrestlemania, we also went to Monday Night Raw, NXT Takeover, and the WWE Hallf of Fame. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I had so much fun. We got to meet a few wrestlers at one of the events, inclduing Baron Corbin and R Truth. Wrestlemania was amazing. Our seats were so close. We got to see Undertaker retire, Seth Rollins vs Triple H, Hardy Boyz make their return, John Cena propose to Nikki Bella, and many other things.

Went to Las Vegas
I had never been to Las Vegas, which is crazy because I am 26 years old and most people go there for their 21st birthday. I never had much interest. Until I decided to run the Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon and 5k. I went with my mom, grandpa, and three of my sisters. My mom drove us there and it took forever to get there. I had fun there, i didn’t gamble once, but i did have fun walking around and trying the all the different drinks. One of my favorite things that I did was getting on the roller coaster at the New York New York hotel.

Visited San Francisco twice
The first time was with my family, my mom, three sisters, and brother. We did all the touristy things, like visit the Golden Gate Bridge and the Full House/Fuller House house. We ate crepes and clam chowder, which was super good. The second time I went, it was only with my grandpa and my sister Destiny. I went to run the San Francisco Half Marathon. It was one of my best races. I can’t wait to go back to San Francisco this year. It is a much nicer place than i ever thought. It is one of my top favorite places to run.

Went to a Tim McGraw concert
Tim McGraw is by far one of my favorite country singers. I had the chance to see him and his wife Faith Hill in concert at the Staples during the summer. I loved it. It was so great seeing them. I was so happy when they announced they would be coming back in 2018, I have to see them again. I also discovered a new singer whose music I love. Her name is Rachel Platten and I feel like her song Fight Song is my theme song in life! Haha

Watched my two favorite soccer teams play each other
Went to the Coliseum in Downtown LA with my sister Angelina to watch Real Madrid vs Manchester City. Manchester City won, but it was fun just seeing them. While I was there, I ran into my friend from work and his friend, who is a manager at my old job.

These are the major things that happened in 2017. I was also blessed to meet people who I now consider my friends, I lost a couple friends, but made new ones. I spent time with my family, boyfriend, and friends. Hope 2018 is just as good or even better than 2017 was!

Posted in Running

Running in 2017

At the beginning of 2017, I set a goal to run at least 300 miles. I ended up running 438 miles. I ran the most miles in August 2017. I ran 13 5k races, 6 10k races, 6 half marathons, and a marathon. 

I even travelled to San Francisco for a half marathon and Las Vegas for both a 5k and half marathon. It was fun getting to go on short weekend racecations. 

I think my biggest accomplishment in running In 2017 was running the marathon. It was my first time ever running 26.2 miles. I trained four months for it. It took me 5 hours and 15 minutes to finish. My Next marathon will be the Los Angeles marathon. My goal will be to finish In under 4 hours and 45 minutes.

Having done so many different races, I feel like my favorite is the half marathon, 13.1 miles. It’s challenging but not as hard as the marathon. I also like the 5k races, but I’m not a big fan of the 10k races tbh.

In 2018, I hope to travel more places and run more miles. I also want to set more PRs. My running goal is to run at least 500 miles in 2018. 

Posted in Running

Long Beach Marathon

I did it!!! Back in January, about a week before my birthday, I decided that I would sign up for a marathon. At the time I had only been running 5-6 months and the idea of running a marathon (26.2 miles) seemed crazy to me.

I decided that since this would be my first marathon, I should start my training in June so that I would have at least four months to train. I followed my plan as much as I could, though I did have to stop training for the first three weeks in July. The reason for this was that I hurt my foot and had trouble walking. Despite the break i took, I feel like my training really helped me prepare for my first marathon.

Before the Long Beach Marathon, I had done three half marathons. The longest run i did in training was a 20 mile run. The day of the marathon, I woke up really early because I was so nervous. In fact, the whole week before the marathon, I kept thinking to myself, what did I get into?? I really did not think in would be able to finish the 26.2 miles. I felt so unprepared.

It took me 5 hours and 17 minutes to finish the marathon. There were a few moments during the race when I wanted to quit. I felt a little dizzy at miles 13-15, but eventually felt a little better. At the end I felt really sore. Was in so much pain all over my body! But I’m already looking forward to doing this again at the LA Marathon in March 2018. I’ve learned a few things that I will do differently next time.

I’m happy to be able to call myself a marathoner!