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Monthly Archives: December 2012

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A Week and Year in Review

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This week has been an incredible week for me so I thought I’d share my accomplishments and thoughts.  A week in review.  Then it dawned on me that that since I am reviewing the week, why not the time I have not been blogging…oh sure, why not the entire year of 2012.  But first let me review this week.

The temperature and weather have been interesting and challenging.  As I have mentioned, I really do not like cold weather.  Therefore by default, I really do not like snow.  This week has provided both.  Yes, I know it’s winter and all and who doesn’t want a “white Christmas”.  Well, not me.  I think snow should be appreciated in pictures and on television.  Oh well, it’s part of life here in northern Nevada.  So what is this passionate runner who loves to run outside supposed to do with such obstacles?  Run of course!! Let me just say that last year, I would never run outside.  Only in the gym.  I do not have anything really against treadmills, they serve a purpose but I made a point in the beginning of the year that I would run more outside than in.   So my promise or challenge for 2012 was to take the stride outside.  I never realized where that would take me.

My running coach set a minimum of 40 miles but up to 50 was good.  What?? The most I have ever run in a week is around 30 and that was a challenge.  So now, add temperatures in the single digits and highs reaching up to 32*, add some wind (never really light winds here either), some snow storms, icy roads, and unpaved roads/sidewalks and I say “challenge accepted“!!!

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My mileage goals were met for this week.  Total miles for the week – 41.25.  These miles were earned when there were many valid reasons to not go outside and run.  Also, these miles were earned exclusively outside, not on a treadmill, outside in all of nature’s glory.  It would be very easy to waive off some run days due to the weather but you know what, feels good to push through and do it.  So that’s my week in review.  🙂

What about all of 2012?  I do not believe in resolutions so I didn’t make any.  I will not make any for 2013.  I just believe in living life and enjoying what I do.  If I see something that interests me…well, worth a try.  So I tried a few things in 2012.  I learned how to run outdoors.  A bit different than indoor running but put on the list and accomplished.  I also decided I wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle.  Took classes and received my endorsement! Rode as much as I could over the summer months.  Traveled to a few cities for quick get-aways.  Completed my graduate program and received my MBA and moved closer to getting my business up and running.  Yes, 2012 was an adventure filled year with ups, downs, and all arounds. What will 2013 bring? I do not know but I am ready to make it exciting and adventurous!

Happy New Year!

 

 

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Who am I?

New Me

This is me, Diana.  But who am I and why bother sharing my story?  I believe that we all have a story to tell if we so choose to share.  My story is diverse, full of challenges, battles, and victories.  I will spare you the finer details of my trials but I would like to share a little bit about what I have experienced (in a nutshell) that has made me who I am today.  You see, who I am today is a collective gathering of painful, joyful, and awesome journeys.  So where to begin….

I grew up in a warmer climate…southeastern seaboard.  I am a nice blend of Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Italian. I am a tropical gal…bring me close to the beach and warm humid lands and I glow with excitement.  Ok, so it may be a sweaty glow but hey, it’s in my blood.  I grew up with hurricanes, palm trees, and awesomeness.

When I was 10 years old, my father died.  Cancer.  Lung Cancer.  Self inflicted due to smoking cancer.  I barely knew him and he was gone.  I knew right then my childhood was over.  With a younger sister and a single mother, there was a lot to do now.  My poor mother did not know how to handle the loss and as a coping mechanism, we moved around a lot.  Hey, it’s much easier to walk away from conflict or troubles than it is to face it head on, right? She did the best she could under the circumstances we were in.  She was my mother, my father, and my best friend.

As I entered adulthood (legal age), the world was mine! Finally, I can do what I wanted to do.  Well, so I thought.  Our many moves landed the 3 of us in Northern Nevada. Why?? Who ever knows, I hated it and wanted out bad.  But I had to get a job and get some money saved up.  My life would change in 2 monumental ways that January in 1990.  One, I met the love of my life, best friend, and oh yes, husband.  Two, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Cancer.

After 15 years, 2 remissions, and 3 battles, she lost her battle.  She was only 54.  There were others in my family that battled and lost to cancer along with many other diseases.  During this time, I married, had two amazing children and just lived life.  I didn’t care about anything other than, work, sleep, children, and repeat. I lost focus. This was the result of losing interest in me…

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I gained a lot of weight and health issues.  I was seeing a doctor every six months because of my blood sugars, cholesterol, and blood pressure.  Add this medication, take away that medication, go through classes, more doctors, etc.  Not fun at all.  I was too young for this.  I was done.  After visiting my doctor for my 6 month check-in, my numbers were climbing in the wrong direction. I knew I was spiraling out of control.  I got mad, real mad.  I made a decision that day that would send my life into a new direction.  I made a decision to live and not die young.

It’s been over 3 years now on my new journey.  My passions include health, fitness, good for you food, and now running.  This is me now on my new journey…

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So who am I?  I am a woman that has lived an interesting life, gone through some battles, and has some scars to prove.  I have also conquered a few too.  I have a plan to live a long healthy fun filled life. I don’t think my personality has changed over the transformation.  I’m still the feisty puerto rican with lots to say and wants to conquer her world.  I just am doing so much more healthier than before and with a passion for good health, healthy food, and exercise.  I have swapped out my medications for vitamins and quality nutrition.  Now, I’m into running, cycling, and would like to pick up swimming.  Did you see that?? A triathlete in the making! For now, I am a runner.  And as my journey continues, I would love to share my adventures, mishaps, and seek out the support of friends and family and you.

So continue on and enjoy life. Get out there and get active! BUT…have fun doing so.

Until next blog entry…

Christmas Day 2012

Christmas day 2012 in the Jones house was fantastic.  We have a tradition in our small little family that focuses on a “no stress” attitude.  We shop for our loved ones with purpose; but, we do not shop with anxiety.  It is known that gifts are easily exchanged or returned if needed. We also like to shop and leave some items on the list.  Why? Well, it is just as fun shopping after Christmas as it is to sit and wrap and open the gifts.  It is another chance for us to have some family quality time.  No stress…just lots of fun.

After our gift exchange, we sat around, rested for a bit and watched a little bit of television.  I looked up the weather forecast for the day.  Weather forecast websites/apps on smartphones is this runner’s best friend! I try to plan out when the best time of the day to get in that run.  For Christmas 2012, it was around noon.  A break in the storm predicted.  Sold.  I would run in the snow flurries, rain, or whatever but if given a choice, um, I would choose that lull in between precipitation waves.  So how did it work out for me? The weather was as good as it could be…

The next wave is approaching.

The next wave is approaching.

I stopped to take a shot of the patterns in the clouds.  They are my focal point when I run.  I like to soak up the details in the scenery when I run.  This is true even on my DuReno E-Team winter evening practice runs. There is always some light that shines down and accentuates the mountains, rocks, and even the pavement becomes a work of art.

The roads were in better condition than most days this week.  Nice and plowed and enough room on the side for a runner to grab on and pound out the strides.  Here are some more lovely pics…

It's always great to have "room" to run...

It’s always great to have “room” to run…

Traffic was intermittent and I even had a few *wave* to me very nicely.  Good holiday spirit.  Some were texting while driving or talking on the cell phone while driving and those drivers I am very scared of.  I can see them swerving close to the line.  Don’t worry, I always identify my “way out” if needed.  It is part of my soaking up the scenery.

Representing team jacket while on my run...

Representing team jacket while on my run…

Isn’t running fashionable?? Not exactly a glamour shot but I do have a lot of fun out there!

I was able to accomplish a nice 6.37 miles (yes, I count the change in the miles too :)) Nice and easy in a low heart rate zone (so low I had to check my watch a few times).  It is getting much easier to accomplish the mileage.  Next post I will share a bit of where I came from in the running world to where I am today.  I have faced obstacles and doubt, but I pushed through with the focus and determination as well as support from my family, friends, and running team family.

Now, get out there and do something fun and active! Enjoy your day…

My gift to me!

Happy Holidays!! Today was an incredible day.  I was up at 3:30 a.m. this morning getting ready to head on down into town (south end, approx 25 miles from my house) for team practice.  My team has practice 3 days a week with a morning session and an evening session.  Today, they started at 6 a.m. for spinning and then 7:00 a.m. for running.  I usually do not attend the morning sessions due to my work schedule.  This morning I was excited to join the group for the first session.  I decided to join in on the running session.  Bundled up, ready to go, I slide under the partially closed garage door and greeted my team.  I’d say at least 10 of them were on their bikes spinning away while a few of us were standing around getting ready for the morning run.  Man, they really do a great workout!!

Unfortunately, due to the amount of precipitation (snow & rain) and below freezing temps at night, a nice layer of ice covered all possible surfaces to run on.  I’m pretty sure my coach was not pleased to be outplayed by nature; however, we all took the opportunity to wear our newly arrived team jacket and sweats. We were disappointed that we could not run outside this morning. Many tested the surfaces and quickly discovered how slick it really was.  So what are we to do at this point?  We decided to stand around, chat, sip coffee, and nibble on sweets.  Christmas Eve!  Aaahh.

Leaving this morning practice left me completely amped up! I was ready to hit the stores for a final shopping sprint.  I was able knock out some serious shopping in under 2 hours with energy to spare.  Got some good gifts and surprises.  So what did I get for myself??  I’m glad you remembered…

Since I was not able to log on the mileage this morning, I decided I would do so in the afternoon.   The sun was shinning and the temps not so bad.  I mean there was no wind really, ok around 4mph, highs around 37*.  Perfect time to hit the pavement.  So I laced up, stretched, and headed out the door with my favorite running partner…my husband. Today I was going to go the distance.  Seriously, I wanted to run longer than I have before. And you know what?  I DID!!

I logged 8.11 miles.  This is monumental for me on a few levels.  My longest run to date, prior to today, was 6.2 miles and that was recently accomplished within the past 2 weeks.  It is not like I have been pumping out that ‘long’ run for a while.  So today was freakishly fantastic!!

I couldn’t believe it.  I did it.  I made the distance.  Then it really came to realization that not more than 6 months ago, I could not even run/walk a 5K (3.1 miles) without taking rest breaks.  I was running high throttle and could not even run non-stop for a short distance.

My gift?  My gift to me this Christmas Eve 2012 was the gift of great satisfaction in conquering a running milestone.

The day may have started with some challenges; however, those challenges did not dictate how the day would go.  When we are faced with such challenges that appear to block us from reaching our goal, we must make a decision.  Will we allow the challenge to rule the day or will we overcome the challenge and accomplish what we set out to do?  The choice is yours.

Happy Holidays and hope you and yours are having a warm, fun, and safe holiday!!

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The Eve of Christmas Eve Run

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Running in Northern Nevada, in the winter is very interesting.  The photo was taken during a break in a winter storm passing through our area.  I had already decided that I would log in some mileage and deciding when to do so can be tricky this time of year.  Not only are we planning the holidays, squeezing in shopping, and going through the day to day stuff, I need to decide when to get my “run” on.

I began running consistently in the beginning of 2012.  I made a promise to myself that part of the evolution process from recreational runner to an athletic runner was to move the running from inside on a treadmill to the great outdoors.  This is challenging as you may know because the weather does not always cooperate with our intentions.  The weather here in Northern Nevada changes frequently.  Throughout one day, all seasons could be experienced.  Now you might be ready with a response like…”Maybe so but not in the summer”.  I have lived here for over 20 years and can tell you that I have seen it snow in July!  As a matter of fact, it did snow on the 4th of July one year.  No joke.  Waiting for the fireworks show, it began to flurry.

Another weather ‘personality’ here includes strong winds.  VERY strong winds.  Steady winds coming from the West/Southwest can average 10-20mph with gusts hitting 40+mph.  That is just in the valley and foothills.  At peak spots in the Sierras, an easy 100+mph gust possible.

Running outdoors can be interesting to say the least.  As I write this blog today, we have experienced rain, sleet, snow, wind, and icy roads.  So what’s a runner to do?  Go outside for a RUN!!

I am part of a running team, DuReno, and one of our sponsors, Reno Running Company, hosts a Sunday morning 8am run for anyone willing to run at all levels and a variety of mileage.  It is a great opportunity to meet vendors and people in the community that share the same interests.  Also, the snacks and beverages after a nice group run is awesome!

Today was a brisk morning with temperatures at 32*  (with a feels like 18*) and winds at 15 mph with max speed of 46mph.  Sounds like a great day to run, right?  Several of my teammates showed up and we had a blast.  I pre-fueled with a nice hot cup of coffee and a Nature’s Bakery Fig Bar.

Running up a steady incline as the gusts of wind offering a nice resistance

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Along our way, we had a cheering section

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Actually, I think they wonder what the heck we are doing out there running.

I truly enjoy running outdoors.  Weather is no obstacle.  I look forward to more winter runs and great adventures.