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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Smush Your Tush Virtual Race for Team Healthy Kids!

Hey you, get off your tush and race for a good cause! 

Want to register for an inexpensive race that has no weather impediments, allows you to choose your own distance, choose the day you run, has the raddest finishers' prize around and 100% of the profits go towards the Action for Healthy Kids, which funds nutrition and physical education programs in schools across the United States?  Here is the opportunity you have been waiting for!!!

Sign up now for the Smush Your Tush Virtual Race right this instant!  Do not delay, as this race is limited to only 200 runners! 

Why am I hosting this virtual race for charity?  A huge goal I set this year was to run more races for charitable organizations.  Since I am a pediatric RN, I am quite passionate about nutrition and fitness education in schools as preventative healthcare for children.  The Action for Healthy Kids (click the link above for more information) is the perfect organization for me to assist with, and thus I vowed to run the LA Marathon on March 9th for this cause. 

  • Did you know that more than 30% of American children are obese or overweight?  This is triple the number in 1980. 
  • Did you know that only 8% of elementary school students and 6% of middle school and high school students have daily PE at school?  With budget cuts, these programs are among the first to get slashed. 
  • Did you know that 35% of school-age children watch an average of 5 or more hours of TV on a school day? 
  • Did you know that overweight kids miss school four times as much as normal weight kids?  If kids aren't in school, they cannot learn. 
  • Other consequences of childhood obesity include increased risk of cardiovascular disease (the number ONE killer in the US), and an increased risk of asthma, sleep apnea and Type 2 diabetes. 
  • These health risks contribute to the rising national obesity related health care costs!  If we fail to help children learn to eat right and be active every day, then this generation will be the first to live shorter lives than their parents.  SCARY!! (Cited from

A virtual race is the perfect platform for me to raise funds.  I am not one to go around asking for donations.  I'd rather do something fun that everyone can get involved in, feel good about helping out an excellent cause, and obtain a cool award in return.  In lieu of traditional finishers' medals, I am providing these AMAZING super-hero lightening-bolt running knee-socks.  Yes, they say they are womens' sized, but look here, my size 11.5 hubby can wear them with ease.  Adorable right, hairy legs and all?!?  Please note, these are NOT compression-style socks, just high-quality running knee-socks.

How to register and participate, registration accepted through March 9th, 2014:

Step 1: Please pay $22 to my paypal account,
If you select family/friend then I do not have to pay a fine with paypal.

Step 2: Please fill out this private google doc, providing your address and race distance (don't worry, only I can see it):

Step 3: Run your pledged distance by March 9th and post pics and let me know how you did at

Step 4: Expect your incredible lightening bolt socks the following week and bask in all the glory of how awesome you are for supporting kids across the country on their quest to learn about fitness!

Thank you everyone for your support!!  Please e-mail or facebook me (facebook page posted above) with any questions at all.

Friday, February 7, 2014

How Being an RN Correlates to Running an Ultra (Making Lemonade)

Yesterday I completed my first week at a new place of employment.  Since the move from Portland to Orange County several months ago, I have enjoyed being sans job and home with my kids, driving them to preschool, exploring our new territory, pushing them in the double stroller on long runs to the playground every day, and literally soaking up this new concept of sun (new to us native Pacific Northwesterners).  It took far longer to obtain my California RN license than I estimated, and thus this Monday was my first day as a nurse at the Children's Hospital here.

Being a Pediatric RN has fun perks!

The truth is, it has been a rough and emotional week for me.

I loved my days home with my children.  Loved.  The stress of changing our routine, bringing an unknown person to the house to care for the children while I was away, the commute, the long hours spent with sick patients, the confusion of learning a new way to do a job you've been confident with for years, and the scared sensation of entering a tightknit group of RNs as the "new person" has truly caused anxiety and tears this week.  I know I will persevere, as I always do, but I must be honest and admit that it has not been easy. 

And therefore, I have been thinking a lot lately about how working as an RN at a busy Children's Hospital is quite beneficial to running an ultramarathon.  So here are my thoughts.

1. Thirteen plus hours on my feet spent scurrying around like a maniac to obtain supplies, physicians, medications and provisions for my patients and their families on a "rest day" is the best kind of active recovery.  Surely it is better than sitting on the couch right?

2. Lengthy 13 hour shifts also double as mental training for when I am in that lull of a race, bored to tears and ready to be done.  Hour 11 of a long shift is the similar sensation, complete with frequent time checks.

3. Working the night shift is perfect training for those sullen hours of a 100 mile race; these night shifts will whip my circadian rhythm into shape and instill a sense of normalcy in going 24 hours without sleep.  Furthermore, I have a few training runs planned for directly after I clock out just so I can train while physically exhausted AND sleep deprived.  Much easier to actually do this kind of training when I'm already sleep deprived from my job than if I simply tried to stay up all night in my own home.

4. Every single second of every single day at my job I am reminded of those enduring far more suffering than I have ever known.  The strain I experience at mile 88 of a 100 mile race is not comparable to the burden a child sustains on his 8th dose of anti-nausea medication to minimize his post-chemo symptoms; the empty feeling I cope with at 4 A.M. while running a 100 mile race is nowhere near the sadness that a four-year-old may be feeling while she is left alone at the hospital to recover from her brain tumor surgery because her mother has no choice but to stay at home to care for her siblings; unlike the paraplegic 13-year-old with Spina Bifida, I am not confined to a wheelchair, unable to experience the thrill of the final quarter-mile kick.

I vow to remind myself of this when I am in the darkest hours of my races, when every step is excruciating and my mind insists that I quit.  I cannot quit, because in the end, my pain and suffering is nothing.  It is a choice.

Running is such a privilege, and though I may complain a bit about returning to work, I am thankful for the daily reminder that I am so lucky just to be alive.  I will continue to live limitlessly.