Posted in Daily happenings, Running, Thoughts

And it’s June.

And just like that, the month of May is done and we’re onto June. You know what that means, don’t you? It’s time for my monthly recap!

Networking – For the past few months, I have been helping the San Diego chapter for the Association of Women in Science (AWIS) plan a STEM conference called WIST (Women in Science and Technology). I decided that being involved was better than not so I put myself out there and worked with other scientists in all different fields. Isn’t that what networking is about? Putting yourself out there and hoping you make an impression? I don’t know if I have made an impression on anyone yet, but I think I’m bettering myself just by going to these events.

All of the months of preparation culminated in a conference with inspirational keynote speakers, motivational workshops, and enthusiastic attendees. I walked out of that conference inspired and ready to jump into new experiences (even scary ones) head first. “If they could do it, why couldn’t I” was the mentality I had walking out of there.

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At WIST’s non-bench career panel
Graduate School – Thank goodness for attending the WIST conference. Ever since attending, I feel like I’ve been more productive. It also helped a lot to hear about other scientists’ struggles through graduate school and beyond. There are still moments where I worry about my future, but I tell myself to just put one foot in front of the other and before I know it, the scary part will be over. At least that’s how I’m approaching my committee meeting deadlines. So far it’s worked for me and I hope it will continue to work in the future. 🙂 *Fingers crossed*

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Preparing for my committee meeting
Traveling – It’s been awhile since I last traveled. This month, I went to Austin, Texas for a few days to visit the boyfriend. He actually lives outside of Austin so I got to experience a lot more countryside. It was a nice change of pace and I enjoyed walking around the area. I even saw fireflies by the Colorado River!

While in Austin, I went to Sixth Street and went into a few bars to escape the heat and listen to some music. There were some cool bands and I’m sad I wasn’t able to stay longer. The heat just drained me and I napped a lot while I was in Texas.

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Walking down Sixth Street
LOL. Maybe I’ll drop by again on my next visit. I also did another escape room called The Escape Game Austin and did not escape. Womp womp. Despite not escaping, it was the best escape room I’ve ever done. I would recommend this room to anyone in Austin. The puzzles were extremely clever and intricate. There was so much teamwork involved and I never felt left out of the group.

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Prison Break!
This visit was just to get my toes wet. I will actually be visiting again this month and I will be better prepared for the heat. Any suggestions as to what to do there? 

Running – I didn’t run any races this month, but I did hit my monthly mileage goal of 83 miles. I actually ended up running 90.7 miles! Woohoo. I think it was easier to hit this month because I started doing more group runs. Movin Shoes, a San Diego based running shoe store holds weekly runs and I’ve been able to make a few of their weekend ones. I even started my memorial day with a 10k run up and down a monstrous hill. I also attended a few other group runs with Run North County and Lululemon for their #morethanmilestour and have found them to be more exciting than running alone. Six + miles isn’t so bad when there are others running it with you. 🙂

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We got free lululemon apparel for participating in their tour too!
This is good news guys and gals. It means that I won’t be running alone during my long runs this summer! Hooray! I expect to run some long runs alone, but at least I’ll be mixing it in with group runs too. Yay!

That sums up my month. How was your May? Anything interesting happen that you’d like to share with me? 🙂

Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

Half #14 here I come

Yes, it’s that time again: the week leading up to a half marathon, the San Diego Rock N Roll Half marathon to be exact. I’m not going to lie; I’m pretty excited about it. I didn’t race at all this month and I’ve been missing the racing atmosphere terribly. Maybe that’s why I’ve been doing more social runs lately; so that I can be around people when I run. LOL. I’ll also be meeting some online bloggers for the first time so I’m pretty stoked about that too.

Anyway, today’s post is a bit of a ramble. I’ve been feeling more confident with running as the months go by. I’ve managed to maintain my average of 21 miles a week and this past weekend, I logged almost 24 miles! I also ran every day this week, not because I was obligated to, but because I genuinely wanted to. Every day this past week, I woke up wanting to run. I didn’t necessarily run in the morning, but the feeling was there. At night before I fell asleep, I thought about how many miles I could feasibly run the next day. It’s kind of crazy. I might be enthusiastic to run because I’ve been so stressed out about my pre-thesis committee meeting that I’m using running to keep my stress level in check.

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Running around
Or maybe it’s because I’ve run for 3 years now and running has now become a part of me. And you know what? I love it. I love talking to people about running (probably a little too much) and I love encouraging others to run. 🙂

Speaking of which, if you are visiting the health and fitness expo on Saturday, let me know! I’ll be volunteering at the HoneyStinger booth from 1 – 3 pm and we’re giving out free samples. 🙂 Come say hi! 

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My personal HoneyStinger collection – can you tell I love them? 

 

Posted in Running, Thoughts

The Running Community

Apologies for such sporadic posts. I’m in the midst of writing my manuscript and preparing for my pre-thesis defense committee meeting and my blogging has dropped in priority.  I did set out a resolution to write at least one post a week so here’s my post for the week. 🙂

I wanted to write a little bit about the running community. During the past few months, I’ve met these fantastic runners and I just wanted to share three things I’ve learned about runners.

Runners are extremely supportive. I don’t think I’ve ever met a more supportive bunch of people. Every runner I’ve met online or in person has always encouraged me to pursue my run goals. They get excited hearing about them and push me to keep going even when I’m feeling discouraged after a bad run. Also, if you didn’t know, most runners will stop and help out a fellow runner in need (See examples A and B).

Runners are social creatures. Ever do 10+ miles alone? It’s not fun. Runners, for the most part, thrive when running with other runners. There’s some type of camaraderie that’s formed during a run. I’ve done a few social long runs and I can definitely say that there is a difference in the run. I go to these runs alone and always find it refreshing when other runners strike up a conversation with me during the run. Even if we’re not speaking, the fact that they’re there with me running the same course makes it better somehow. Speaking of which, if you are in San Diego and need a long run buddy, let me know! I have to start training for the Chicago marathon soon and running in the summer for 13+ miles is going to be brutal alone. 


Runners are just amazing people. Maybe I’m just meeting the right people, but every runner I’ve met has been awesome. Maybe it’s the endorphins? Last weekend, I met a runner who asked me if I took a minute out of each day to appreciate the fact that I was living in San Diego. He was just so grateful to be living here and it definitely made me take a step back and appreciate how lucky I was. 🙂 That same weekend, I met another runner who was completely supportive of my goal to run a sub 4 marathon. Yikes! Did I just write that – a sub 4 marathon? Ack. Anyway, she started giving me tips and was super excited about the goal. I told her I was concerned about running long runs alone this summer and she immediately asked her friend if he could tell me about social run groups in San Diego. Because of that connection, I found out about a lot of SD run groups and am hoping to check each of them out. 🙂 

So there you have it – a few things I’ve learned about the running community. What have you learned? Care to share? 

Posted in Running

Five races down, Six+ races to go 

Happy Friday everyone! This will be a short post, I promise. The year is almost half over and I have run five races – two 5ks, a 10 miler, and two half marathons. That leaves me with at least six more races to go. I say “at least” because I haven’t completely banned myself from signing up for more races even though I really should.

I started off 2017 with six planned races. I kind of got carried away along the way (FOMO is real guys and gals) and signed up for more. LOL Oops? Sorry, not sorry. I’m having a blast racing about my city and later this year, I’ll be racing in 4 additional cities. 🙂 Hooray! Updated 2017 Race ScheduleAnyway, the running bug is back. Maybe I’m overwhelmed with work and this is how I cope – by literally running away from all my problems. LOL. I kid. I am thinking about about signing up for a trail half marathon though. I’ve never run a trail race before and I think it might be fun. Also, I really want to try a Ragnar Relay one year. Running day and night while also hanging out with your sweaty running buddies in a van? Count me in. LOL. I was invited to two different relays this year, but because of timing it just didn’t work out. Hopefully I’ll be able to do one soon. They look like so much fun. 

Have you done a trail race before? A Ragnar Relay? Did you enjoy it? Any advice for a potential first timer? Also, what other fun running activities are there out there? I’m all ears. 🙂 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running

AfterShokz Trekz Titanium Mini – Product Review

Disclaimer: I received a Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Minis to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own. 

It’s been a month since I last reviewed a product, but I’m back with a review for the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Mini headphones and it’s a good one. 🙂 I’ve been testing these out for almost a month and a half and honestly, I don’t know how I ever went on runs without them. Let’s get down to it, shall we?

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What are type of headphones are they? The Aftershokz Trekz Titaniums are a set of wireless sports headphones that have an open ear design, meaning they do not stick directly into your ears. Instead, they rest on your cheekbones and sound is delivered to your inner ear through mini vibrations. TrekzTitaniumBoneConduction

 

What advantages do these headphones have over other ones? 

  1. Wireless – There are no tangled wires that can get caught on things as you run. Ever run by a branch and have your headphones catch on them and pull your earbuds out? That will never happen with these. Wireless headphones are also huge right now ever since the new iPhone 7 came out and did away with the headphone jack.img_8636
  2. Open ear design – The headphones sit over your cheekbones and are never directly put into your ear. This allows you to hear outside noises, which is especially important if you’re a runner. You’ll want to hear if others are running by you and if cars are nearby. These headphones allow you to be alert and safe while out on your run. If you really don’t want to hear outside noise, these headphones actually come with a pair of ear plugs that you can use. It may sound counterintuitive, but all you have to do is put in your ear plugs, put on your headphones, and ta-da, you’ll only hear your music, podcast, show, etc. I did this while on a 3 hour flight and it was a total game changer for me. I went from not being able to hear my podcast because of all the outside noise to hearing my show crystal clear. I will always try to fly with a pair of ear plugs and these headphones from now on.img_9213
  3. Multipoint pairing – This is kind of a nifty function and I don’t actually use it all too much, but it is cool to note. You can pair the headphones to two different devices. The most common combination would probably be your iPad or computer and your phone. If you were watching Netflix on your iPad or computer and then got a call, your headphones will automatically switch to your phone. Once you’re done with the call, the headphones will automatically switch back.

Are there other noteworthy features? Yes, of course. 🙂 My favorite feature is that I can use these headphones to talk to people on the phone. Some headphones have mics that are inconveniently placed and I will have to move the mic closer to my mouth to talk. The mic is well positioned on these headphones and the person on the other line hears me perfectly fine.

Controls are very easy to use. If your music is playing, double click on the multifunction button to skip a song. Click once to pause or play a song. You can adjust the volume with mere clicks. If you don’t have music playing and someone is calling you, click once to answer and click again to end the call. Easy, right?

Despite the open ear design, the sound quality is surprisingly still very good. I’m not an audiophile or anything, but I’d give these an A. 🙂

The headphones are lightweight. They don’t bounce when you run and fit very well around your ears. Also, if you need to take them off, you can just have them hang around your neck without any fear of them falling off.

The battery life on these lasts anywhere from 5 – 6 hours. 🙂

Are there things you didn’t like about them? As I said before, these are my opinions and yes, I did find a few things I didn’t like about them, but I think they’re very minor issues.

If I wore them long enough, my neck would feel a little sore, but I think this might actually be due to “text neck” if anything. Also, if was very windy outside, I wouldn’t be able to hear my music very well.

If you’d like to learn more about these headphones, please feel free to ask me or check out other BRP reviews below. They have two sizes – the regular or the mini. I have a small head and tried out their mini and it fit perfectly for me.

Amy – Jenna – Jessica – Frank

You can order your own through bibrave.aftershokz.com and get a free Stainless steel water bottle with your order. 🙂 Also, join us on Twitter @BibRave for #BibChat on Tuesday, May 30th at 6 pm PST for a chance to win a pair of Aftershokz Titanium Minis. 

Have you tried these headphones? How do you like them? 

 

 

 

Posted in Daily happenings, Thoughts

A heart to heart

Disclaimer: This was a very emotionally charged post for me to write so please be kind. My life isn’t always rainbows, butterflies, and personal records. It’s often filled with anxiety and self-doubt and I thought it was time I let you in on some of that. 


Hello world. It’s been a few days since I’ve been back from a much needed mini vacation and although, I’m still not quite ready to return to real life, I thought I’d pop by to update you as to what I’ve been up to lately. A lot has been going on with me and I thought a mid month update was needed.

Graduate school – For those of you just tuning in, I’m a graduate student in the biological sciences. I’ve been in graduate school for almost five years now and this year will be my final year as I’m trying to wrap up in the lab. I‘m currently finishing up an experiment just finished what is hopefully my last experiment for my project and will be furiously writing my manuscript in the next few weeks in hopes of getting it published somewhere. In less than a month, I will be meeting with my committee, a group of principal investigators, that will decide whether I’m ready to graduate or not. I will present my work and they’ll ask me questions about my work. Questions on literature that pertain to my work may come up and I pray that I will know the answer to their questions. If they decide I’m ready and knowledgeable enough, I will have a couple months to write my dissertation (a very long essay on my five years of graduate work), submit my manuscript to a journal, perform experiments that reviewers may ask regarding the manuscript, and defend my dissertation to my committee, friends, family, and anyone else that really wants to come. My stress level in grad school? HIGH.

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Beyond graduate school – This year is full of uncertainty and doubt. What will I do after I graduate? Do I want to take a break after I graduate before doing a job search or should I start looking for a job now while still in school? I’ve practically been in school since I was 5 and have had some sort of income since I was 16. The idea of a break sounds nice and I still have a few countries on my bucket list that I want to visit, but I haven’t been unemployed in over a decade and don’t know how I’ll react to it. If I do take a break, how long should it be? As long as it takes me to find a job? What if it takes me 6 months to a year or even longer to find a job? Will I be okay? I haven’t been sleeping all too well the past few months and these are just a few of the reasons why. I’ve been in academia for so long that I don’t know what it feels like to be thrusted into the “real” world. It worries me. ThePlanPhDcomics

My 100 Happy Day Project – I’m sad to say that I didn’t finish this project. I was a third of the way done when I had a few days where it was too difficult to find that silver lining so I stopped recording. I will finish this project this year because I said I would, but I will have to modify the project so that it will be to find 100 happy days within the calendar year and not 100 consecutive happy days.

Long distance relationship – My better half left for a six to 12 month internship at the beginning of April. I guess I was hoping it’d be some elaborate April fools joke, but it wasn’t. He left and it’s been incredibly tough because I find myself alone again. Don’t misunderstand. I do get to talk to him, every day in fact. I’m incredibly lucky to be living in an age where we have cellphones, skype, and other ways of communicating with people living in other areas, but it’s still difficult. I put on a brave face every day, but by the end of the day, I’m drained because I miss him. I want to hold him, but this is simply how our individual paths are currently unfolding and I’m trying to accept that.

So there you have it – the more vulnerable side of me. I hope everyone has a great weekend and I’ll be back with hopefully some happier things to write about soon: 🙂 

Posted in Running

Summer racing – San Diego Craft Classic edition

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the San Diego – Craft Classic as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro(ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own. 

I run year round, but summer is probably my least favorite season to run. It is, however, the best season to be out and about and enjoying the sunshine. It’s so conflicting sometimes being a runner. As a runner, you have to wake up early to beat the heat and get your long run in. During the summer, sometimes you have to wake up at 5 am to get up to run especially if it’s a 20 miler and it’ll take you 3+ hours to complete. And the weather is unpredictable sometimes. A few years ago, I ran the America’s Finest City (AFC) half, which is the last race in the Triple Crown Challenge series, and I MELTED. I think the race started before 7 am and by 9 am, it was already 70+F. It was so hot and humid that day that I chafed in places I didn’t think I could chafe.

So why am I telling you all this? Well, because I want you to see how crazy I am. I, yours truly, signed up for another summer race, the San Diego Craft Classic, because seriously, I never learn and honestly, why not? LOL. I am a racing fiend and FOMO is so real. I sometimes will avoid social media on Sunday mornings because I get super jealous of seeing other runners with their shiny new medals. I mean, I’m super happy for them because they accomplished their goal, whatever that may have been, but I also wanted to run the race too. Hah.

Here’s the run down on the San Diego Craft Classic.

Date: July 16, 2017

Distance: Half marathon or 5k

Time: 6:30 am for the half, 6:45 for the 5k

Cost: $85+ for the half and $50+ for the 5k (Price increase is dependent on how many participants are registered so register early!)

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Why: If you like beer, more specifically Green Flash Brewery beer, THIS IS THE RACE FOR YOU. Both distances end up at Green Flash Brewery where all participants will received a commemorative pint glass, an event shirt, a medal, and obviously TWO FREE BEERS from Green Flash. For you ultra fast runners out there, the prize for the top male and female finisher is their WEIGHT IN BEER. LOL.

Okay, I’ll be honest with you. I’m not running this race for the beer. I’m running it for the medals obviously. I’m a collector of bling. LOL. This race, when run in the same calendar year as the San Diego Holiday Half marathon, gives you a 3rd medal – the route 56 medal! Both races are run along parts of route 56 so it’s fitting that this medal is of the route 56 sign. I ran the Holiday Half last year and it was fantastic.

Free Social Run Series – Another thing I really like about this race is that if you’re in San Diego, you can train for the race with other people that also like beer! They have free social runs happening at the Green Flash Tasting Room on May 17 and June 28! You can RSVP here. The first 75 attendees of each of the runs gets a free beer and there is also a raffle at the end. You have to get your raffle ticket at the bottom of the hill though. The organizers said you have to earn it. LOL There’s always a catch isn’t there? 🙂

If you’re into beer and want to run this race, use the code “BIBRAVEHALF” for $10 off the half marathon and “BIBRAVE5k” for $5 off the 5k.

Now that I’ve told you what I run for. What do you run for? Medals? Beer? Fun? Speaking of beer and fun, have a great weekend everyone!