Turkey Day Anticipation

Tomorrow is one of the best holidays of the year, Thanksgiving! I love the gluttony and indulgence, the family time, the wonderful decor and of course the entire holiday season! This year I am starting a new tradition: I will be running my very first 10k race Thanksgiving morning, and I hope to run a race every year from here on out. I have been training a lot to get up to the 6.2 miles this race will cover, and my body is paying for it in the form of an overuse injury in my IT band.  This comes from increasing mileage or speed too quickly. Those three weeks I took off to heal from my egg donation cycle put me back a bit in my training, so last week I really pushed it, running a 5k race my first day back to exercising, then a 4.5 mile run, a 5 mile run, and finally a 5.83 mile run this past Monday which left me gasping in pain in the last quarter-mile as it felt like someone was jabbing me in the outside of my right knee. I have been aware of knee pain through a lot of my training and have been crossing my fingers I wouldn’t end up here, but it’s pretty inevitable for a runner to have some sort of injury. Because running hurts. It can also be pretty wonderful. And so you have my love-hate relationship with running. It hurts me, but I love it.

This Thanksgiving I am most looking forward to and am thankful for:

My first ever 10k race in the Almaden Valley Run Turkey Run event

Making Grandma Ople’s apple pie and healthy mashed potatoes for my family

25% off my entire purchase at Sports Authority which is quickly becoming one of my new favorite stores. They are open 9am-3pm and I’ve already been there twice this week alone haha (got myself a sweet new long-sleeved running shirt and an Under Armour visor, a foam roller, KT Tape, a hot/cold pack and GU chomps with caffeine for my race)

Having two Thanksgiving dinners, one with each of Billy and my families

A fantastic day off

Shiver inducing temperatures that make being cozy and warm inside so much better (it doesn’t snow here, but it will be the California equivalent of low 50’s tomorrow hehe)

Seeing Harry Potter 7.1

Getting and decorating our Christmas tree

Visiting friends

What are you looking forward to this Thanksgiving? Do you have any special traditions, or any healthy dishes to share? Do you participate in Thanksgiving day runs or walks in your community?  I want to hear from you!


We’ve got a winner!

I am back in the cool, wet weather of the Bay Area from sunny and warm Phoenix! I brought home a new fascination with body building and fitness, I guess you can say I caught the bug, and now I want to be a part of this whole new world! Oh no, don’t worry, I won’t be competing, I just want to figure out a way to be involved by doing hair and makeup for the competitors at different fitness events all around the country. I am scheming, and I have big plans, just you wait!

You may think of body building and immediately see Arnold Schwarzenegger or some pumped up manly woman, but it’s not all about the big muscles and the meat heads. Well, there is a lot of that, especially in the body building classes, but there are also amazingly beautiful women who have lovely toned and muscular bodies in the figure classes, and lean, toned and beautiful women in the bikini classes. I was especially interested in the bikini division because my friend Tiffany was competing in that class, so I knew the most about it.

Tiffany blew us all away by placing 5th (top 5 placings were qualified for national level shows) out of 13 in her very first show. Frankly, I think she looked amazing and should have placed top 3, but the judging is weird in bikini, and you never know what they will be looking for. Tiffany looked absolutely fantastic after 4 months of preparations, diet, exercise, posing lessons, and trips back and forth to Arizona to work with her trainers at AZ Pro Physiques to get ready for the NPC Western Regionals. I have never seen someone with more dedication, self-control, willpower and enthusiasm for something so difficult to achieve. She wasn’t feeling all that hot come show day, but she sure looked amazing!

This collage shows Tiffany the night before the competition with her spray tan all aglow, day of hair and makeup, on stage in one of her poses, and with her trophy at the awards ceremony.

This is 4 of the top 5 girls, the blonde in the pink on the far left didn’t make it. That skinny little girl in the center won 1st place. I didn’t agree. She was far too thin and bony looking to have won 1st, but once again, the judges are all looking for something specific and it always changes.

This is our gorgeous, amazing, rockstar 5th place winner!! It was a very long day for her! We were up at 6am (after not sleeping well for 4-5 hours), at the venue by 8am, and this was taken around 11pm that night!! We decided show makeup is a cross between Jersey Shore and Oompa Loompa, it’s a real winner of a combo, don’tcha think?

Also, it’s Mingle Monday! (Tuesday by my clock saying almost 1am, but I haven’t gone to bed yet, so it doesn’t count! Make sure you stop by Life of Meg and check out the awesome bloggers who participate in Mingle Monday.

Oh, hi Gorgeous!

I think you are absolutely beautiful. You have a body to die for. You have so many unique and wonderful characteristics. You are perfect.

Now, let’s get real for a minute and recognize a problem in our lives. We women have it tough. We are constantly blasted with images of conceived perfection- super models in their skeletal glory, Victoria’s Secret Angels with their perfect tousled hair and curves for days, celebrities on the cover of tabloids with new noses, boob jobs and tummy tucks or looking like a million bucks because of their trainers and meal delivery services. If you are anything like me, this can bring you down and make you think you are fat, ugly, or need to change everything. In reality, those women work their butts off to look the way they do because they are paid to. Seriously, if you and I were paid the big bucks to look fly all the time, we would do it. I could get to the gym every day to workout with a trainer, and eat my meal service delivery food like a good little starlet if someone was paying me to.

We need to be realistic. Not all of us have the ability to workout 5 hours a day, 7 days a week to look like Katy Perry or Heidi Klum. I for one have a hard enough time fitting in my 3 runs each week, let alone follow it up with a weight session at the gym, and not just because I have a busy schedule, most of the time I. just don’t. want. to.

We also need to be realistic about what is acceptable and healthy for our bodies. Not everyone is meant to have 6 pack abs, or an hour-glass figure. One of the things that I would love to have is something I call square crotch, which is where your inner thighs don’t touch and create a gap. I have very athletic thighs, they have always touched. Even at my thinnest in high school, I didn’t have square crotch, so it’s not realistic for me to pine after them. But I do. We all have a desire to look differently, and sometimes that can cloud how we see ourselves, making us focus on all the negatives, rather than embracing the positive. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to wake up every day and truthfully say you love yourself, even the flaws? It’s deeply embedded in our culture to want perfection, so this is a tough concept to learn and employ.

To refocus my health and fitness mindset, I have made a goal to be strong and healthy, rather than skinny and weak. I know my body carries more muscle, my weight has always reflected that, so I won’t be saying I need to lose 10 pounds to get to a goal weight. Instead, I will continue to run, workout when I can, and eat sensibly, without becoming obsessed. Now, the not becoming obsessed part is probably going to be the hardest for me, since I am a control freak and I like to micromanage everything in my life. Most of all, I want to love myself the way I am now, imperfections included, and take that love into my workouts and my diet. I don’t want to change because I hate what I see, I want to change so I can be strong, run further, and most of all be healthy.

What are your healthy goals?

It is my greatest wish that all women would learn to love themselves the way they are, not with 10 less pounds, or a different nose, or thinner thighs. I hope this motivates you to love yourself and set healthy goals. I also hope you have someone in your life who tells you just how perfect you already are, and how much they love the way you look. If not, Bruno Mars can do it for you with this song …

Also, lots of hugs and many thanks to Meg, of  Life of Meg, for featuring my blog on her Fabulous Must Reads post! It is an honor and super exciting to be featured on a site I just love to visit 🙂 If you are stopping by because of Meg, THANK YOU, and welcome!

I just put the fork down

Recently I got to hang out with my friend Jenn. She is a clever girl and unintentionally funny in a sarcastic and irrelevant way. Our conversation of course came around to her smoking hot body, and how she has recently lost a little weight. I asked her how she did it, to which Jenn replies “I don’t eat anymore.” Dead pan, as if that makes perfect sense and should easily answer my inquiry. Of course I wasn’t satisfied with that answer, and continued to pry. “But really, you can’t just not eat, you have to eat, so how does that work?” I asked. “It’s easy, I just stop eating” she casually replied. “But how do you stop eating?” I entreated. “It’s easy, I  just put the fork down” she said.

I was cracking up at this point, knowing she was only half serious and it wasn’t something to worry about. It made me wish I had that kind of self-control, to just put the fork down and stop eating! Life would be a whole lot simpler if I could stop eating.  If that were the case, I wouldn’t be banned from making chocolate chip cookies (my diet kryptonite) or cupcakes on a daily basis, because I would be content to just have one, and save the rest. Instead, I will eat a whole batch of cookies, and 6 cupcakes before I get full, and you better believe I am thinking about whatever is left over, obsessing really, until I end up finishing the rest! No. self. control. This is why Billy says I am not allowed to bake unless I have a predetermined agenda for it, so nothing stays in the house and is all pawned off on someone else, and not left to tempt me!

Just keep tracking

I decided to take a page out of Fooditude’s book and keep a public food diary for the week. You can read her original post about this here and perhaps join in this party for yourself? I’m not sure yet whether I will be able to track what I eat each day, or compile a blog at the end of the week, we shall see how busy I get 🙂 Keeping a food diary is a great way to pin point where you take in too many calories during the day, and can be quite helpful if you are looking to lose weight. I have been startled by the amount of calories I sometimes take in without even realizing it.

When I do track my food, which is about 75% of the time, I use the Daily Plate. TDP has tons of verified food and exercises to search through, so you can usually find something that matches what you ate or the exercise you did to get a good idea of the calories you are taking in as well as burning. You even have the option to customize your goals, such as losing up to 1 or 2 pounds a week, maintaining, or gaining weight. You can track your progress right on the site, and best of all, it’s free. I’m sure  there are a lot of sites that do very similar things, so find one that suits you, and keep track!

I’m very glad I am not starting my tracking today, I made way too much food this evening, and chocolate chip (and peanut butter chip) cookies were part of that, and those are my kryptonite when it comes to breaking the diet and healthy living mantra.

Wish me luck!

Bay Vista 5k

I completed my 2nd 5k this past weekend! The inaugural Bay Vista 5/10k in San Mateo was a huge success, with top name sponsors, a huge turnout, and super great organization, overall I was super impressed.

Not only was I impressed with the event, I am impressed with myself as well. My last 5k I completed in 30:31, and this time around I wanted to come in under 30 minutes. I ended up shaving off 3 minutes from my finishing time, coming in at 27:28! I sustained a 9 minute mile pace for most of the race, even with a gargantuan hill in the last half mile. I attribute my faster time to not having 12 creek crossings to slow me down, and perhaps the donut I ate the night before helped fuel me too (but I doubt it)!

Official times were posted online today. I came in 43 overall, and 6 in my age group (20-29) for women.

I think one of my favorite parts of this race was the goody bag!! Lululemon was a sponsor, and they provided the bag, which I have wanted, but could never afford to shop there to just get the bag. There were samples of several kinds of granola, rocktape, a Larabar and other goodies as well as a book of coupons and info on sponsors. The requisite race t-shirt I received was equally snazzy, and is made of dry-fit material and fitted to the body. This is unusual for race shirts, as they are normally unisex brands with a funny picture or sponsor’s names on it, and made of cotton.  I feel like I made our like a bandit! I probably wouldn’t do the Henry Coe 5k again, but this I would!

My friend Fraggle was my support staff for this race, as Billy was working and NO ONE else volunteered off my Facebook posting that begged for a friend. I thought it was funny that I got no other responses, even people saying “sorry gotta work/I’m busy” etc. I hold no grudges, it was just interesting to see.

Here are the few pictures we took at the race, it’s pretty hard for anyone to capture the action of a run, but Fraggle did alright, he at least caught me coming through the finish line 🙂

Heading to my place in the 9-11 minute pace group pre-race. I’m a happy camper.

Finish line. Why are there never any good action shots of me running? Just once I’d love a photo of me all stretched out, graceful and lithe. Sigh.

On my cool down post-race, again with the waving.  Oh well, it was over, I was happy!

Inspired by: Olivia Wilde

Actress Olivia Wilde is my inspiration today!

She is stunning. Heartbreakingly so, even. Her pale green eyes are mesmerizing, she has a body TO DIE FOR, and on top of all of the other great things about her, she’s a freaking PRINCESS! Now, please tell me how that came about, because not every girl gets to grow up and actually embody the little girl fantasies every other one of us has, but never get. Tao Ruspoli, her Italian prince of a husband, makes films and they live a very bohemian life in Venice Beach, CA. What a life those two have.

Olivia is inspiration because she once won a pancake eating contest, eating 33 pancakes in 20 minutes- because people said a girl could never enter the contest- and she won.

She is a fitness inspiration for me as well. To work off those pancakes, she takes regular spinning classes, practices yoga (who in Hollywood doesn’t?), dabbles in karate and hikes. Of course she is paid to look fabulous, and probably works out with a trainer and nutritionist along with her above activity, but it’s awesome nonetheless to see that her activities are so achievable. Heck, I can take a spin class at any of the local 24 hour fitness locations practically any time of day. I respect that she and Tao have banned the word “fat” from their home, if they eat too much, they say they are “clogged up”. Interesting approach.

I also love the smart vivacious doctor she plays on House, Dr. Remi Hadley, or more often known as Thirteen. I’m so glad Olivia is on network TV!

She has been tweeting about her charity work in Haiti,  through Artists for Peace and Justice. I like seeing Hollywood giving back, both of their money and their time. It’s one thing to throw money at a problem, but those who give their time are actually walking the talk.

I hope Olivia Wilde can be your inspiration today as well!

Official 5k results are in

Wow, I just got the Henry Coe 5k results posted by e-mail, and I am so impressed with myself!

I was the 35th of 113 people, 12th woman, and 3rd in my age group to cross the finish line, and my official time was 30:35! That has me very happy, and I look forward to working toward even better results in my next race which is to be determined.

Guess all of that training, healthy eating and goal setting paid off 😉

5k race pictures!

Wow, what an experience!! The Henry Coe Park 5 and 10k race was awesome! It was a ridiculous day overall, with the race and then the filming, but the pictures are more fun than detailing all of this hehe

The bald guy in the green shirt is my roommate Donald, one of Billy’s oldest friends from childhood. He is the perfect roommate, and I will have to write a whole blog just on him soon!

Billy and I created an “Adrian” gang sign to throw up while we were waiting on the race start. Should my Jersey Shore name be “A-Wow”?

Donald didn’t manage to capture the race start, because it was so crowded and the race start was narrow. So the race itself….wasn’t so bad! I had my iPod playing my training music, but I ended up skipping over the Lady GaGa that had been so prevalent in my training. I opted instead to listen to New Found Glory, Jimmy Eat World, Skillet, The Almost and Fire Flight. I have found that good music makes all the difference when I run, and it was true for the race as well!

One thing I hadn’t trained for or expected were the water crossings! The race was straight in and back, with a turn around at the first water station for 5k, which took us over 6 creeks that ALL had water in them each way. Normally, this time of year all of the creeks would be dry, but the late rains kept the creeks wet. 3 of the creeks had a little over a foot of water in them or knee-deep on me, whereas the other 3 were about ankle-deep. Running with water-logged shoes was the equivalent of adding about 4 pounds of extra weight to my feet, which made for a tough run, especially up the hills that dotted the course. I kept up my pace, even with the added water, and was able to weave through the other racers and charge up hills. It took me about a half mile to actually start looking around, and seeing the beauty of Hunting Hollow, with the sun yellowed grasses, the oak trees and absolutely gorgeous blue June sky! The dry dirt path was extra stirred up by all of the runners, so I tried to move out of the packs and pass runners whenever I could. It was incredibly difficult to swallow with the dry throat the dirt created, and at the water station I had a crazy hard time drinking water, and ended up spitting most of it out. Accidentally.

All through my training I was ending the last 1/8th of a mile in a sprint, but the end of the race where I would be sprinting (also where we began the race) was one of the wider creeks, so I had to hop through that and use the last 100 feet to sprint with soggy shoes…not a very good combination! I ended up running the 5k in 30 minutes and some seconds that I can’t remember now, so I made my goal of under 31 minutes! Tiffany’s husband Tom quoted a FaceBook update of mine from January 21, 2010 where I said I was run/walking 3 miles in 40 minutes, and set a goal to get down to 30 minutes, and I got that too, it was awesome to see where I have come from in the last 6 months.

You  see that LAKE behind me? I had to run through it, TWICE!

Giving my bib number to the time guy, I was still trying to catch my breath but I was thrilled to be done! Check out how wet the legs of my shorts got from trudging through the creeks!

Oh please, no more pictures! I was so sweaty, tired, and so over pictures of me in the previously mentioned state.

5k and a TV pilot- in the same day!

It’s here it’s here it’s here!!!! The Henry Coe Park 5k  that I have been training for the last 3-4 months is tomorrow morning! In the last 4 months I have: sweat gallons, had more aches and pains than I knew what to do with, lost 7 pounds (woo hooo!!), ate cleaner than I have in years, listened to Lady Gaga more than I thought I ever would, accomplished so much, and made myself proud.

My goal: to finish the race in 31 minutes. This is on par with my training, knowing I run a consistent 10 minute mile, and the course is 3.1 miles. If I can do it quicker, great!

Now, I had originally planned on going to a yummy crepe breakfast at a restaurant in Gilroy after the race, but a few days ago, one of my salon co-workers called and offered me a really cool opportunity. His karate master instructor John Ozuna of KO Karate has a book coming out soon, and is hoping to launch a TV program called “Save Your Life” to correspond with the content of the book- using martial arts training to overcome obstacles in your life. Some of the stories he writes about are a Holocaust survivor using martial arts to battle the emotional demons and scars from what he went through, a child with autism who is able to “come alive” and interact with his family and friends through martial arts, and also how the master himself used his training to deflect a violent situation that erupted on the street in New York.

We will be filming the last scene as part of the pilot tomorrow, after my 5k. Truth time? Yes, I think so. I am freaking SCARED to do this project! I have worked on a film previously, but I did hair, and occasionally touched up powder and lipstick when the makeup artist was off set. This is my first project where I will be key makeup and hair. I have this slogan that I have stuck with for the last 4 years: FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT. I have to embrace this idea tomorrow when for the first time I am completely accountable for how the actors look.  No pressure or anything.

I think if I am asking for any good wishes and luck, that it be for the filming, rather than the running. The running I have down, but the filming….yeah.

One last thing: good makeup is SUPER expensive!! Building my makeup kit has been quite the ordeal. I never imagined the cost makeup artists had to stomach when building their kits, because as a hair stylist, I buy bobby pins and products occasionally, and can use the same irons, products etc for every person. Not the case with makeup. Every person has a different skin tone, needing different makeup colors, and I have to provide them! Whew. You would not believe the amount of money I have spent the last 2 weeks, and I won’t share, because most went on credit, and that’s way scary!

Wish me luck!