I am a blog ambassador for Level Up Virtual Run

ambassador2017-logoI hope by now you know you have heard what virtual races entitles to. If you don’t, let me tell you: A virtual race event is the one you participate by either running, swimming, walking, or cycling in any location you want. You can do any mileage you want (either a 5K, 10K, or a half marathon) at the pace you want. You can do it alone, on a treadmill or run along with some friends and family.  No room for excuses here.  And with my busy schedule, I am pretty excited to share with you all that I had become a Level UP Virtual Run ambassador. I am so excited! For future reference use code: acure4bc10 to save 10% the cost of the medals.

awakenings-medal
I had participated in the Runners awakens and let me tell you, this bling is huge! And it is a detailed oriented medal! So hurry up! This virtual run is going fast!

 

And I am more excited to share they are having a wonderful sale from previous virtual runs.

level-up-medals
Currently, they have 25% off their previous virtual run medals

Aren’t they gorgeous? Look at Thor! or the Incredibles! What about Dory? or if you are not at the Star Wars Disney race, May the 4th be with you!. Remember, as long as you are honest, you can do this run anytime.

In order to register, check Level Up Virtual Runs

I can’t wait what they have in stock this year! Have you participated in a virtual run before? How did you like it?

 

10 tips for a quick running recovery after donating blood

 blood-donor

 

I am a blood donor and as long as I can I will give blood. I have been on the other side receiving 7 pints of blood at one point in my life and there is not a better feeling than knowing there are super heroes that can save your life. Before I was a runner I did not have any complications but now, it can limit my training abilities. Here is all you need to know to safe a live and recover faster!

Giving blood is easy. However, all blood donors are required to meet FDA eligibility criteria to donate blood, every time. After meeting these requirements, there are 4 steps of donating whole blood:

  1. Registration: Pamphlets are given to inform you about the requirements and the Zika virus. Show your ID (you need to be 18 years of age and older), and some organizations they ask you for your SSN.
  2. Physical test: answer some questions in private interview about your health history and places you have traveled. The nurse will check your temperature, pulse, hemoglobin, blood pressure and they will ask you if you if blood is save to use or not.
  3. Donation: Giving blood actually takes from 5-10 minutes, depending how hydrated you have been. There are plenty of staff to help you out answer any questions. I personally donate whole blood but some types of donations may take up to two hours (like platelet, plasma).
  4. The Goodies: After giving blood, it is important to eat and drink area. You will escorted into the refreshment area and you will be ask to leave after 15 min before getting into your normal routine.

 

heart-beat
So, how long should I wait before running again?

 

 

Right after you finish giving blood, the nurse may tell you to not to do any strenuous activity for the next 24 hours. The first time I heard it I asked the nurse, but I can run right? I was afraid to hear the news. Not after 24 hours she said. I was bummed but I understood that if I don’t get better, my running may not get better either.

You see, your body has no more than 8 pints of blood, more or less depending how tall and big the person may be. Blood takes oxygen from the lungs to the cells of your body. Blood takes carbon dioxide from your body’s cells to the lungs . Your blood carries nutrients, iron, hormones, and waste products around the body. When you give 1 pint, you loose about 10 percent of your total blood volume; meaning that your heart have to work a bit harder and the ability to transport oxygen to your muscles is lessened.Your hemoglobin level may take between 1 week to ten days to be replaced. All of this factors makes your heart rate be more elevated for any level of exercise. Now, you know that a fast and/or high heart rate is not a good idea. As we run, our heart rate increases naturally. Giving 1 pint of blood and running makes your heart rate even faster.

So as each runner’s body is trained different, it is expected to not to do strenuous activity for 24 hours after. Some may take more than a day to recover because it all depends on your hemoglobin level, the type of blood you donated and how trained your body is. Bottom line, it is best to avoid performing any activity where fainting may lead to injury for at least 24 hours. Again, call your doctor or 911 if not feeling good.

During my last blood donation, I did not eat healthy and did not have a meal full of nutrients. My hydration was ok. What did I experience after my donation? High heart rate, leg muscles pain, and was very fatigue. So…..

Here are 10 Tips for a quick recovery after donating blood:

  1. Notice that in some athletes performance level considerably may drop so if you are training for a race, it is best to give blood after the recovery time of your race.
  2. Assure you pace and time will decrease somewhat so just make sure your legs are hitting the pavement.
  3. Donating during the beginning of the training period is also a good idea since it will be less impact on your body.
  4. Make sure your not iron deficient.
  5. If you are training, try to schedule your donation that follows a rest day.
  6. Your heart beats faster to compensate for the decreased blood volume and less red blood cells to carry oxygen. Hydration, hydration, hydration is the best medicine
  7. Eat well before and after donation. Eat plenty of carbohydrates and lean proteins to replenish your energy level and to replace essential vitamins and minerals.
  8. Eliminate caffeinated and alcoholic beverage.
  9. Keep taking iron supplements and/or multi-vitamins if you are low in iron and vitamins.
  10. Know that each pint of blood can save up to three lives! Best recovery before running, don’t you think?

I want to hear, have you donated blood before? What were your side effects? How did you recover?

donating-blood

Race Recap: Mermaid Series ~ Breathe. Live. Believe!

 

I have done this race before in a different city, so after checking out their medal, I could not resist and registered for the Mermaid Series Run.  That meant it was time to Breathe. Live. Believe.  I was excited to do my formal second 10k race and more so to represent, as a mermaid ambassador that I am for  The Mermaid Club; a very dear to my heart organization.

MERMAID S ME
Mermaid at work!
MERMAID Sbeginning its beautiful here
The race started at Quarry Lakes Regional Park. It’s a water-oriented recreation area, which offers picnicking, boating, swimming and fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing. Although I did not see any wildlife, it was just a beautiful and peaceful place~ just like how mermaids like it.

The race was located around 45 minutes from where I live. I knew that a badass mermaid was also running the Sirena 18 and since she started earlier than me I drove super fast to meet her and wish her Good luck. She is such an inspiration ! Go check her out  here

mermaid bad ass
Super happy to run into this wonderful mermaid!!!!

 

 

MERMAID S LAKE
The race course was beautiful. Water surrounded the path, just in case if a mermaid needed to get wet.
MERMAID S LAKE WHILE RUNNING
It looks cloudy as there was a chance of rain. Would it rain during my 10k?

 

MERMAID ------------------------------------------ TRAIL
The path was very flat. It reminded me of MY trails. I just kept listening to the “crunch” sound. Oh heaven!
mermaid medal
I finished my 10K! I was so proud of myself and very emotional. It was the day before Mother’s day so I missed my mom who passed away from cancer. I dedicated that race to her. I am sure she was proud of me because I gave it my all. I finished 20th place for my own division out of 230 people within my division.

 

 

MERMAID SSAMBAZON I JOINED THE TRIBE FOOD
Within the many sponsors, Luna bar and Sambazon were my favorite sponsors. Definitely I joined the tribe.
MERMAID S FOOD
Mermaid series run is known for their good food. I was so hungry, because oh well,  I did not eat breakfast before the race, so  I started eating my bagel before taking this picture. LOL.
MERMAID S THE END
Just when I was leaving it started to rain. It was one of the best mermaid runs ever. Hands down I would do it again!

Friday is Earth Day! My Countdown suggestions for everyday to make this Earth green-er!

What we do in this world leaves an implant on people and also in our earth! This Friday is a celebration of Earth Day. Here are some suggestions and strategies that can make a difference not only during Earth day but everyday.

 

Here is my top 5 countdown tips:

 

5) Save Energy. Energy use is the #1 cause of greenhouse gas emissions. When you are not present in the room, turn off lights or use a dim low light outlet. Unplug items when they’re not in use. Another way to save energy is by hanging up clothes instead of using the dryer when possible; that is if you are not picky on the wrinkles. This alone can save you tons of $.

4) Have you noticed how much junk mail do you receive? I really didn’t until a friend was performing in theater and asked for junk mail envelopes. Holly Molly! In a week I was able to collaborate over 20 envelopes! The research numbers are outstanding on how many trees are harvested each year to produce paper for junk mail. Go to DMAchoice.org and opt out of direct mail or even email junk! 

3) Recycle, Re-use, Reduce and Compost.  We all do a bit of our part to recycle, re-use and compost~ mostly because our community or cities are enforcing it, I believe. And if you know me, I am sucker for recycling. So recently I painted my bathroom and had some half empty paint cans. At work, nobody were interested so I did some research and found my community recycling rules. Check http://www.earth911.com for more information. They have plenty of information for recycling those empty egg cartons, mesh bags in the vegetable or fruit isle, or even old phones. And if you have kids or work with them, this site is also wonderful as it provides wonderful craft ideas to work with children: planetpals.com/green-earth-day.html

2) Swap out your cleaning products for eco-friendly ingredients.  I like my classroom to smell really good so I tried an eco friendly product that you can DIY: refill my wallflower plug-in. Here is how!

LAVENDER

~Using a knife slowly and carefully lift the rubber plastic lid that covers around the glass container. Be careful not to break it because you will need it again.

~Pour the essential oil with water into the bulb

~Snap the plastic lids back on the glass container tightly and you are cash in cash in!.

Note: I heard that you need to take the nail out of the cotton stick by turning it and wash it till it rinses through (even though the smell will still linger). Due to lack of time I did not have time to take the nail out and didn’t even bother to rinse the cotton stick. I think no matter what you do the odor will still linger. I put my lavender oil and awesome blossom, my room is starting to smell like lavender!

 And my number one way to  celebrate Earth Day is by running or walking!

Stay healthy my friends!

 

 

 

Race Recap: Sasquatch Racing~ Finding Big Foot

Do you believe in Big Foot? I do but I had never seen one. Lucky me? Not so much for the ones who had claimed to see one. And for those who have claimed that they say it is scary. But I was eager and energetic to find Big Foot during my Sasquatch racing. After juggling many difficult circumstances that fell in the same days as the races we chose for the year, we were able to register to find big foot, aka for me as trail running Sasquatch racing.

entrance to park Big foot
It looks squatchy to me

 

 

We drove 1 hour to the no-service phone line forest. The area was very squatchy and a bit hard to find for those who had never been in that area before. Once situated, it is not hard to find that the area is surrounded by beautiful redwood trees. Because we arrived early and we had happened to have a terrible cold, we decided to keep warm by waiting in our car. The weather was supposed to be warm or hot later on the day but as it goes in California, it gets cold in the morning and later on it gets hot. People forget that the race is about Sasquatches and what do they do, as they say, they “spy” on you until you see them. With that said, it was interesting, to say the least, how guys would find a restroom around the parked cars. Although there aren’t portable potties, the park has allocated restroom facilities.

finish line big foot
Start and Finish line

The race was about to start and we noticed it was a very small race. I was not thinking about obtaining a PR since I was terribly sick. My motto for this race was to have fun and enjoy the last few races I will be doing with my BRF. She was also sick so we agreed in enjoying nature and doing our first trail race run.

Apparently, it was easy to get lost. Upon picking up our bibs, it was given to me a cheat sheet race with turn by turn directions. For a first timer doing a trail race in the middle of the forest I was scared. Well, wasn’t a sasquatch race suppose to be scary?  The race was divided in colors based on how far you were going. Mine was a 5K so I had to follow the yellow ribbon. Black and white ribbons meant it wasn’t a trail and I was not to go there.

playground bigf foot
A few tens of a mile of the start line.

 

Once the race started the pathway was absolutely beautiful. The 5k trail was a bit muddy but because foliage falls on the trail, I felt I was walking on a wet carpet. I like to run and hear the sound of the creek, or my feet hitting the crunchy sound of the rocks or breaking out old branches as I step on them while running/walking. I like to be hand on hand with nature. And that is what happened. The creek sound was the background noise of my run and in some parts, the branches or leaves were the music of my run. My 5K trail run did not have too many rocks as the trail I ran into by my community but nevertheless to say, in one occasion I stepped on one and I almost fell down.

more forest trail big foot
A nice little creek on the side of the picture

 

another forest 2 big foot
Nice little forest

forest big foot

The Trail treasure hunt is an activity that includes part of the race and prizes are awarded based on what the back of the wood medallion says. Well, my BRF found one! We were so excited and her best part was that she was able to keep the treasure hunt wood medallion. However, if you did not find a wood medallion, raffle tickets were given at the end of the day to win other prizes. How fun can Sassy be?

medalion big foot
Treasure hunt wood medallion

Post race fun was outstanding. I haven’t been in a race that is so integrated. There was plenty of food (from bananas, oranges, popcorn, nuts, Hint water, regular water, madeleines, granola, beer, yogurt, potato chips, and I could continue to name some more) from both the race and the sponsors. Music was provided by a robot that was hilarious to see.

wood medallion
 I received my medal: my first woodmedallion medal!!!!!

 

 

At the end, I found out it was a very small race. But if you wonder if I was able to encounter Big Foot….. yes I did! The sweetest, friendly and ugly looking Sassy ever!

 

 

i found big foot

Mermaid Ambassador ~Recipe Swap

If you know me you would know that I love-love chocolate. And after knowing that both of my parents passed away from cancer, I started to investigate more about food nutrients and which kind of food are effective in reducing the risk of cancer. Definitely chocolate is not a cancer fighting food and we have a passive aggressive relationship until I found this awesome recipe that not only is super easy to make, vegetarian, gluten free, and dairy free! It only takes 20 minutes to make and it satisfies you because you know me!  it has chocolate or better yet, raw cocoa nibs!

So let’s make some….

almond chocolate chip cookies
Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c. almond meal (buy it at already made at store or use some almonds and process it on high)
  • 3 TB melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 2 TB maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • if desired to make it double chocolate chip cookies, add 1 TB of cocoa powder.
  • How to:
  1. reheat oven 350
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl
  3. Roll out 1 tbsp of batter into a ball
  4. press lightly in center
  5. bake 13-15 min till golden brown

Cookie should be firm up as it cools down but center will stay soft. Store in sealed container for up to 5-7 days.

WArning:  dough is delicious on its own and it can be eaten when mixed but warning, if it is gone then you need to make another batch.

So try it, and let me know if you finish the dough first or did you wait to make the cookies?

Almond Nutritional information and Health benefits:

Nuts are important  for the prevention of cancer. Nuts contain antioxidants (quercetin and campferol) which makes an alkalinizing effect on the body, meaning that it can suppress the growth of cancer tumors. As many people are allergic to nuts ( itchy mouth, tight throat, wheezing, etc), it is important to stop eating them when feeling those allergic reactions. If you have nut allergy, taking a selenium supplement can do the trick.

Especially, Almonds, known as brain food, has many health benefits. Did you know that when you eat almonds,

  1. Is good for your brain- especially for brain growth in children.
  2. Reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  3. Is good for your heart, bone, immune system, and skin.
  4. Regulates blood pressure and cholesterol, and is protects against diabetes.
  5. And what I found the most important health benefit about almonds is the prevention of colon cancer. Why? Besides being an antioxidant, mostly because almonds can improve the movement of food through the colon, hence preventing build-up and colon cancer.

Now, as there are many studies out there and everyone is different, there is no magic trick on preventing cancer and eating almonds all day does not guarantee to be cancer free. But, after reading this wouldn’t you feel that you are eating healthy with one of the foods that fight cancer? Give a try to this recipe and let me know your thoughts!

http://livelifemakewaves.com/

 

RunDisney Avengers half marathon Race Recap: A magical experience.

 

“All our dreams can come true but if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney.

Originally I signed up for the Inaugural Disneyland Avengers Half Marathon and after having the opportunity to defer it due to my mom’s passing, NOW I am able to finally say: I ran the Disneyland Avengers Half Marathon and my dream became true!

After checking in, off I went to the expo. The crowds were very manageable and I found it very organized. Just wished that would be more volunteers guiding you to find what’s needed at the expo (lines for picking up bib, etc) as there were so many booths in the underground parking garage. At the expo, I met Jeff Galloway and as a speech therapist, I became speechless!

expo

I barely buy anything at the expo but could not pass my tinker bell shoes! Another dream became true!

tinker shoes
I can fly!

 

I haven’t been in Disneyland since Cars Land 5K race (about 3 years ago), so I was thrilled to be there. Made a huge mistake of going to the park on Friday and Saturday and not resting my legs. Hopefully, I was able to watch  the fireworks through our hotel window.

fireworks
Watching the fireworks from the hotel was a lifesaver! Still I went to bed super late.

 

 

I set up my costume as I was Iron Woman. The race started at 5:30 a.m.  The weather was cold and there was chance of rain (20%). My BRF and I  felt a few big drops falling into our faces when we were heading our way. They did a great job entertaining us so early in the morning and even we were in the big screen! The amount of photographers taking pictures of us was unbelievable! I truly felt like a super hero celebrity! But honestly, waiting to run was freezing cold. Some runners were using their disposable foil wrappers given at their 10K the day before to keep warm. It would have been nice for Disney to offer it at the beginning of the race as opposed to the end of it.

on tv
Super Heroes on TV! The perks of being so early (3:30) at the Super Heroes HQ!

 

iron ma
Iron Woman

 

superheroes Hq
Being so close to the stage pays off! What a Magical experience!

 

Disney races are about costumes, PR’s, having a great time, and running with friends. We opted to enjoy the course and have a magical and unforgettable time. At first we decided to take some pictures with the 4 characters and the agents of shield but, lesson learned, hydrate before the race. We spent too much time finding restrooms. Boo.

carland
There were 6,000 runners for the 1/2

 

In those parts, I decided to walk because it was pointless to keep a pace. Never had ran a half marathon at Disney so I expected to run through the castle, but apparently the half’s do not go through it. This course went through the gates of Frontierland, Critter Country, crossed through Fantasyland through Tomorrowland and with less than 2 miles running in the park off I went to run in the streets of Anaheim. Another dream came true!

Heading to Angel Stadium was amazing but not before running through narrow paths full of dirt and barely concrete. (this is what I heard it was windy for the Inaugural race and dirt was flying to your eyes I guess).

angel stadium
The course was very nice. Every 2 miles there was a water station and Cliff bars (sponsor) provided free goodies. It was great to have this at mile 9.

 

 Before entering through the stadium, it was the beginning of free food.  Jeff Galloway tent was giving pretzels and free candy. Going through a stadium makes it special to me and as I headed out the stadium, military personal was cheering on us. You could dance with them too! This part of the race was very special to me, just like Disney.

behind scenes
Free candy from strangers, military personal cheering on us, and  the behind the scenes as we enter the park.

 

As I headed back to Disneyland, I entered through the back gates of Hollywood Land. Different employee shifts were also cheering on us, through the course, and some of them hang up posters congratulating the runners.

I was about to taste the finish line and received that beautiful medal. I have to admit the last half a mile or so was dreary. Maybe if I would have the time to check out the start and finish line it would be less dreary but as soon as I saw the finish line I ran like a super hero I was that day. Family spectators and supporters were waiting at the finish line. At the end, not only I became a super hero but my dream of running and finishing a Disney race became true!  I had a magical experience!

medal