Friday, May 31, 2013

A New Decade Approaching

On Tuesday I turn 30. Whoa, I remember turning 18 and thinking how old I was then. Although I do not have any reservations about the next decade of my life, it is still an age I have always thought I'd be an adult.
How I still think I look and how I still feel!
And I am far from being a real adult. I do not have a job, I am still in school, I party like I did in college (and by that I mean much less often, with fewer drinks, and much more hung over the next morning). I still call my parents if I need advice or a want to talk about my crappy day. But maybe I will never feel like an adult, even when I get a job, get married, and have children (gasp).

That all being said, I am also very grateful for my life. I have an amazing fiance, family, and friends. I am in school for a career that I know I will enjoy going to every day, and I have my health.

In one of my classes we are studying about physical therapy management for people who have tetraplegia (new term for quadriplegia). On Wednesday, we had a guest lecture come in to talk to us about working with people with C1-C4 tetraplegia. This population may require a respirator for the rest of their life and are completely dependent on someone else to perform activities of daily living. We were also fortunate to have two guests come talk to us who are people living with high tetraplegia. It was a very eye opening experience. These two people rely on a ventilator to breathe for them. If their nose itches, they can't just scratch it, and if they are thirsty, they can't just reach for water. As I mentioned in an early post, I did a project where one of our teammates was in a wheel chair but had full use of their arms and abdominal muscles. Getting around in that situation was difficult and took much more time than with someone who is not in a wheelchair.

It just made me realize that even though sometimes I look at my arms and wish they were more toned, or that I could run just a little faster I would be happier, but in reality, I am able to use my arms and legs without any problems. I went on a run today (procrastination technique to avoiding studying for my midterm tomorrow) and while I was running, enjoying the weather and the pavement under my feet, feeling my muscles burn, I was appreciative that I was able to run. It made studying easier (just a little easier). I know I will still have insecurities, be jealous of other people's lives (especially right now while I am in school), and not have everything I want, I have to remember everything I have.

Sheryl Crow has a quote in one of her songs that I live by "it is not having what you want, it is wanting what you've got."

So as in the words of Tim McGraw: In my next 30 years, I will try and live by these words. I will appreciate my loved ones, the body I am in, and everything that I have. That is a tall order, but I am going to try.

So as last Sunday started my 30th birthday celebration, the party continues until at least Tuesday (on my actual birthday). Cheers!

Here is to fun!

Anyone have words that they live by?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend!

My itinerary over Memorial Weekend:
Friday afternoon marked the beginning of my Weekend fun. A few of us had bought a Groupon for 2 months unlimited membership at Rock City Climbing in Anaheim, so on Friday after our cadaver lab we headed over for our first climb.
Photo Credit: Leslie Lam
It was really fun and a great work out. I could feel my forearms like I have never felt them before. I have rock climbed before, but never for over an hour. And yes, I was completely sore the next two days, but it was so worth it.

Late Friday night, I flew home to Seattle. I landed around 11pm where Christopher picked me up, with a flower on the front seat, and we headed out to Capital Hill to a cute little bar called Poco Wine and Spirits. We ordered a glass of Kinker Brick Zinfandel that was absolutely delicious! The bar also offered great service and has a cute ambiance.

My rose waiting for me in the Car at the airport.
The next morning Chris and I were going to drive up to Bellingham, but because of the I-5 bridge collapse we decided to stay in town and have a Seattle day. So Chris, Andrew (who was also in town), Shelly, and my parents all headed out to Pike Place market where I purchased my usuals: honey sticks and Jelly fruit rolls. After enduring the crowds at the market, we decided to check out the spice store down the street. On the way, we happened upon a little wine tasting room called Masquerade Wines. It is actually based out of Bellingham, but they have a tasting room below the market. We sipped delicious red and white wines and bought their Syrah before heading to the spice market.

Sunday morning, Chris and I headed over to his parents house to celebrate my birthday. Which birthday is this you ask? Well my birthday isn't for another week, but it will be my 30th birthday. We had a lovely brunch with Chris's parents at the Club House in Tam o Shanter on the golf course and then discussed wedding stuff (my new favorite topic). The time flew by and we had to rush home because we were heading out to Palisades to celebrate my 30th and Shelly's 25th birthday with my parents. The restaurant was fabulous.

Photo Credit: Shelly Short
Enjoying my delicious dessert
A little dark, but Chris and I in front of the Seattle backdrop. 
Dinner was amazing spanning from the wine to the service to the food to the company.

My parents dropped Shelly, Chris and I off at a bar on Capital Hill so we could meet up with some friends. It was an intimate group, but the company was fantastic.

Monday, I woke up when my internal clock told me to wake up (I may or may not have been drunk the night before) and my mom and I ran 9 miles from Leschi to Seward and back. We though we were only going to run 8, but to our surprise (and it is always a good one), we did an extra mile. The temperature was perfect, but it did drizzle the entire time, so I was a little wet by the time we got back into the car. The only reason this was an issue is because we were meeting up with the family for lunch. We went to Goldberg's in Factoria where I ordered a Reuben Sandwich. It was amazing, but since it was so big and I could not order a half, I was forced to take the other half back to California with me which I did enjoy for lunch the next day. 

Monday night I flew home and landed in Orange around 10pm. Tuesday was spent in class, enjoying my second half of my sandwich (people were jealous of it) and going rock climbing again followed by a yoga class later that evening. I will say that I am happy I went climbing and did yoga, but my upper extremities and upper back are a tad bit sore. Totally worth it.

What did you do this Memorial Weekend?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Colorful Running

With tradition…The last few races I have run with my mom, I have posted the picture of us after completing the race…So here it is:
You see, it even says Proof that we finished the race.

Okay, now on to the current week...

Saturday morning I completed my 1st color run. What is this you ask? It is a run where you get an array of colors thrown at you at different check points along the course of a 5K. It was so much fun. A group of us from Chapman (plus two guests) met at school at 6:15am (a little bit too early for a Saturday morning, but definitely worth it) and carpooled down to Irvine.

The race started at 8am, but since 15,000 people were all trying to drive into one entrance we thought it would be best to get to the start line a little earlier.

Below are pictures (credit Tiffany Yu) showing how much fun we had at the run.

The group before the race started

One of the color stations, you can see the orange dust.

After the run, a little bit more colorful!

I was trying to add color to my outfit

Our outfits

So much fun, Jumping for joy

The 3.1 mile flew by. In fact when I saw the finish line I was convinced we had only ran half the distance (either because I ran it so fast or I was having so much fun). I did plot the mileage later that day and it was in fact a 5K.

The run was well organized and they did a good job of pumping everyone up so early in the morning. I highly suggest participating in these types of runs. There were so many different shapes and sizes of bodies, people of all different ages, and athletic abilities. It was just a great way to get out and exercise.

On Sunday (after calling my mom and soon to be mother in law), a group of us set out on the town for a project for our Rehab class. The assignment was to have a member in our group do errands in a wheel chair. Our activities were to go to lunch (and the person in the wheel chair had to go to the bathroom), go to the post office to buy stamps, and then go to the schools theatre to watch a show. Here was our day...

Eating lunch at the Gastropub

Crossing the street

At the post office…there were no ramps…definitely not within the ADA guidelines

At Chapman's Theatre.
The project was very eye opening. Although our "patient" was very high functioning and independent with his activities of daily living, getting in and out of a car, through a door, or into public buildings took extra time and work. But it was nice to see (except for getting stamps at the post office), that the city is wheel chair accessible.

The rest of my free time this weekend was spent in the library for two reasons:
1.) It has been so damn hot here that I needed an air conditioned spot (plus they have free cookies in the library because next week is the undergrads finals week)
2.) I have a test on Monday that I just started studying for on Thursday!

Have you had any eye opening experiences lately?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Race Recap - 27th Half Marathon Completed!

This weekend was a great weekend. It started out with me picking up my wedding dress! I bought my dress at a trunk sale in Rancho Cucamonga which is about 40 mins North East of where I currently live. I recruited a few friends to drive out there with me to pick it up. After picking it up with a large smile on my face, my dress carefully placed in the trunk, we stopped at a restaurant to "celebrate" with sangria. 

Lauren, Kelsey, and Jenny enjoying the delicious Sangria!
Hummus trio we enjoyed with our drinks
Later that night, my mom flew into town. She was down visiting to a) see me and b) run the OC half marathon. She arrived at 9pm and we both decided that we were a little hungry and thirsty. We decided on a restaurant in Old Town Orange called Gabbi's. It is an amazing Mexican restaurant that I have been to once before and have thoroughly enjoyed both times.

We ordered Pisco Sours and veggie tacos as our late night snack.
The pisco sour
Etta enjoying the warm weather and her Pisco Sour

Our delicious tacos with plantains
Saturday morning my mom and I had a leisurely morning, went to the expo to pick up our bibs for the race, ate a lovely lunch at Rutabegorz in Old Town Orange and made sure to give our legs plenty of rest. At geriatric dinner time (5:15pm), my mom and I headed to a restaurant in Irvine called Prego. We wanted to make sure that the food settled in our stomachs before we went to bed and since we had to be up at 3am the next morning, we went to bed really early. The dinner was fabulous. My mom and I ordered a glass of Syrah from Cline Cellars (a Sonoma winery), asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, a pear and goat cheese salad, and we split a pasta with sausage and mushrooms. We were happy and full.

We came home, set up our race gear, and went to bed around 10pm.
My stuff all ready for the morning
I got a really good nights sleep and woke up almost bright tailed the next morning when my alarm went off at 3:15am.

The OC half marathon (and marathon) is a point to point race, which means it starts and ends in different places. The race started somewhere in Newport Beach, but ended at the OC Fair Grounds in Costa Mesa, so you park there and they bus you to the starting line. Our shuttle time was set for 4:45am. We didn't want to worry about being late and/or missing the bus, so we left my house at 4am and arrived at the fair grounds around 4:20am. This was a smart idea, because when we were on the shuttle to the start line, we noticed a long line of cars getting off at the exit to park. I have experienced this before and ended up being an hour late to the race start which isn't a good way to start a race.
My mom and I at the start line around 5:30am
The race was really fun. I believe about 9,500 people did the half and 1,500 did the full, but the way they organized it, I never felt like I was crowded by people and I was able to run at my own pace the entire time. The course is beautiful and pretty flat. I think there is about 200ft of elevation, but the hills are very manageable and there were ample water stops along the way. The temperature was a pleasant 50 to 60 degrees so I didn't stop at all the water stations.
I finished the race in a little over 2 hours. I was not trying to PR,  just finish. I felt great the entire race and felt even better when I crossed the finish line of my 27th half marathon and received this wonderful medal.

I have to decide on my next 3 half marathons to run by the end of the year. It all depends on where I get placed in my clinical rotation next semester. Does anyone have any suggestion of wonderful races in Southern California or the Seattle area from now until December?