Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Thoughts

The Winter Woes and Overcoming Them

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

If you are just tuning in to my blog, well…I have to apologize that you haven’t come at an opportune time. Things are still pretty rough for me. My mind wanders and for some reason, it has a tendency to gravitate towards negative thoughts. And with the holidays in full swing, it’s gotten a lot harder for me to be optimistic.

I try though. For the past month or so, I’ve been listening to podcasts almost every chance I get – when I run or when I’m driving. It keeps my mind occupied so negative thoughts don’t creep in. Listening to music has been harder with all the love songs out there. It’s rare that I can find a song that won’t make me cry. Boo.


So for now, podcasts it is. In a way, it’s a blessing. I’ve always been a creature of comfort. Even as I’m typing this, I’m in bed underneath my weighted blanket. I like the routine…almost a little too much. By forcing myself to listen to podcasts, I’m realizing that there are things worth learning. Here’s my list of the podcasts I’ve been listening to and if you have time, try listening to one. You might like it 🙂

The BibRave Podcast – a show about all things running (I recommend the Leadville 100 episode if you ever need a reason to motivate yourself to run)

NPR’s Hidden Brain – focuses on different topics in human psychology (for those thought provoking moments)

NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me –  a game show format on the week’s current events (for laughter)

NPR’s How I Built This – Interviews with entrepreneurs and their journey (I recommend the Spanx or Reddit episode)

Stuff You Should Know – super random topics, but there are a wide range of ones to choose from

Hooray for distractions!

Anyway, a huge thanks to the Aftershokz crew for making these distractions possible. Running while listening to podcasts and also being able to listen for nearby cars or bicyclists have made my runs a lot safer. Also, a thank you for making a pair of reliable and comfortable wireless headphones that don’t stick in my ear and make my ears sore. I’ve been wearing these so often that I sometimes believe they’re an extension of me. LOL. Really though. I’ve had them on and forgotten that they’re on my ears.


For a more thorough review of the headphones, I’ve reviewed a pair of the Trekz Titanium Minis here. This time, I received a pair of the regular Trekz Titaniums and they’re in green and I just love them. I thought they’d move around a bit more when I run since they’re a bit bigger, but turns out, both sizes work on my head. Whoo.

To read more about what other BibRave Pros had to say: Ryan – Sara – Jenna – Meridith

Soooo what podcasts have you listened to? Any one that I should be aware of? I’m always on the lookout for new interesting ones. No sad ones please. The world is kind of too chaotic for that right now. Recommendations extremely welcome. Please and thank you!

Posted in Running, Thoughts

October and November Endings

November has gone and now it’s December. Wow. And since I didn’t write an October re-cap, this post will combine both of them.

Highlights in October 

Running my second marathon in the Windy City

Followed by my 18th half marathon at Rock N Roll Los Angeles two weeks later

My first author paper on chromatin assembly was published into the Journal of Biological Chemistry

Lowlights in October

My three year long distance relationship ended

October started off as a really strong month for me. My paper was published. I ran my second marathon, PRed by 25 minutes, and decided that I would really try and get into this whole marathoning business. Then, still suffering from the post-marathon blues, my SO broke up with me and my world kind of just stopped. Things were still happening around me and I tried to take part, but it was hard. Ever pretend that things are okay, but it actually isn’t? Yep. That was me.

Highlights in November

I bought a weighted blanket

Discovered NPR podcasts: Hidden Brain, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, and How I Built This

Ran my 19th half marathon and crossed it off my bucket list

Discovered AirBnB experiences


Begun to kick the post-marathon blues

Lowlights in November

Seasonal sadness

November was slightly better. I didn’t have as many highs in November, but I also didn’t suffer from incredible lows either. I bought myself a weighted blanket. (They are awesome and I highly recommend them). Ran my 19th half marathon. Listened to podcasts and learned really interesting things. Met a cool Harris hawk through AirBnB experiences, and resumed running (just in time for the Dopey Challenge).


It’s still a challenge, but I’m still trying and I think that’s all I can ask of myself right now. 🙂

Burst Cherry Tomato Linguine with Shrimp from Run Fast. Eat Slow.

How was your November? Tell me something happy that happened to you. 🙂 

Posted in Running, Thoughts

To Run or Not to Run…

If you follow me on social media, you’ll notice that my training posts have scaled down dramatically. A part of the decrease in mileage is due to the post-marathon blues and yes, a huge chunk of it is due to my recent break up. Bleh.

I originally took up running almost 4 years ago as a way to cope with a break up. I was diagnosed with depression and it took me months to get the control I needed in my life. What started off as a horrible 3 miler led to what I’ve accomplished today – 2 full marathons and 18 half marathons. That being said, I find it incredibly stupid that I can’t bring myself to run and regain that control. I think I’ve only run 5 miles this entire week.

Taking one step at a time
I have one more scheduled race for 2017 and it’s this upcoming Sunday for the Rock N’ Roll Las Vegas half marathon. I’ve been debating all week long about whether I should run it or not. My flight’s already been booked and my accommodations have already been set, but the motivation isn’t there. This race has been on my bucket list for a few years and I was looking forward to running the strip at night. However, it’s difficult to be surrounded by happy and energetic people when you’re struggling with your own self worth.

As I’m writing this, I am still scheduled to run the race, but I’ve modified my travel plans a bit so I’m not out of my comfort zone (i.e. my room) for too long. My goal for this race? Just to make it through.

I do apologize that the past few posts have not been very upbeat. If you’ve ever met me, you’ll know that I am very open about my feelings, both happy and sad. So much so that I’ve lost friends in the past over it. I will try to keep these kinds of posts to a minimum, but for now, I just needed to let it out.

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.


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 Thoughts

My 100 Happy Day Project

If you remember back in January, I posted my resolutions for the year. As expected, most of those have kind of fallen by the wayside, but that’s okay. I’m still working on more than half of them and that’s still a win in my book.

Today’s post will focus on one resolution in particular – my 100 happy day project. You may or may not have heard of it, but it’s a very simple project. For 100 days, you take a minute or two out of your day and reflect on something that made you happy that day. It can be something small. Something someone said. Someone opening the door for you or even just a sunset that made you feel at peace. The purpose of the project is to help you focus on the positive things in your life. Don’t dwell on the negatives, but reflect on the positives. That’s what will keep you going.

A few years ago, I did this project. I was going through a really bad break up at the time and was in a complete rut. I was going to therapy, taking medications, and nothing seemed to work. So when I came across someone else’s happy day project, I decided to try it. For those 100 days, I took photos and videos of food, friends, and activities that I did and posted them on social media. The project doesn’t require you to. You can keep it completely confidential if you choose to do so. I chose to post on social media to keep me accountable. With each photo and video that I took, I felt better about myself and my situation. I really believe I came out a stronger person after the project was over.

I haven’t been having the best outlook on life lately, so I decided it would be a good time to begin a new 100 happy day project. 🙂 This time around, I will be recording myself recapping things that made me happy that day. It’s not as exciting as pictures, but I find that if I say it out loud, I believe it more. I’m almost two weeks into my project and I definitely feel more appreciative of things I have in my life. I may or may not show the entire 100 clips on here since I think that would be too long, but I may post a few here and there for you to listen to.

I will end this post with pictures from my first 100 happy day project. Oh how much I’ve grown since then. 🙂

So tell me, have you heard of the 100 Happy Day project or done something similar? What was your take on it? 

Posted in Thoughts


Do you ever have that feeling of not wanting to go out and face the world? You would much rather just chill out in your PJs, eat ice cream, and watch Netflix all day? Yeah? Last week, I had one of those days. I had a bunch of personal deadlines and very little time. The clutter in my room was driving me nuts and I just couldn’t deal with everything anymore.

And then came the minor breakdown.

Living with anxiety and depression

It’s difficult to admit, especially to a bunch of people who don’t know me very well, but I didn’t want this blog to be a facade. I want it to be a genuine reflection of me. I’m not always upbeat and positive. I struggle with mild depression every so often and I’m just trying to figure out life as much as the next person. And that’s absolutely fine. We put way too much pressure on ourselves.

Everyone wants to be better. More attractive. More productive. Smarter. Faster. But on our quest to do all that, a lot of us forget that we also need to be more patient. Change doesn’t happen overnight and as long as you’re generally moving in the forward direction, you’re doing a-okay in my book.

I’m doing better this week so don’t you worry. Despite wanting to hide out in my room, I made the effort to keep going out for runs and I think that helped me a great deal. I will come back with happier thoughts in the next few days. If some of you follow me on instagram or twitter, you will already know that I got some good news last week and I will talk about it in my next post. Until then!

Have you ever experienced depression? How do you cope? 


Posted in Running, Thoughts

Running In the Dark

I’m most definitely a night runner, but that is not what this post is about.

Today, I wanted to talk to you about depression. I want to be insightful or thought provoking, but I’ve never been extremely good with words. So I guess you’ll just have to deal with my ramblings for now. 🙂

A few of you know this, but I started running as a way to cope with bouts of depression. Running was my way of taking back my life and in a lot of ways, it helped me realize that I’m stronger than I thought. With the holidays in full swing, depression has been on my mind more often. Not because I’m currently experiencing it, but because I genuinely believe it’s something that is often overlooked during this time of year.

Remember that not everyone is having a happy holiday season. 

There are people who are battling their own demons and sometimes, the holidays make it worse. I know. Believe me. I experienced it first hand a few years ago. I couldn’t get out of bed and it took the jaws of life and a lot of caring people to get me back up and running (mentally and physically). Here are a few blog posts I came across and wanted to share –

A Reason to Run

Running from Darkness

Strategies for a stress-free Christmas

I guess what I’m trying to say is…Be there for one another. Reach out. Be kind. You never know what others are going through and you could just make someone’s day by saying a few words to them. And don’t just stop with the holidays. Keep it going through the new year and hopefully, for the rest of your life. With all the hate recently, I think the world could use a bit more kindness. 🙂 I’ll leave you with these signs that students around my university made during their finals week. They made me smile and I hope they make your day a bit brighter. 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!




Have you ever been depressed? How did you cope? Will you be kinder this upcoming year? I know I will.

Posted in Thoughts

Why I run.

People make the common misconception that I love to run. THAT is simply untrue. Growing up, I hated running. Sure, I was active as a child. You could find me climbing around a tree any day. However, as I grew up and entered middle and high school, running became more of a chore. In physical education, I had to run under a 9 min/mile to get that A. I always ran around a 9:30 – 10 min/mile. We also had something called conditioning where we had to run 6 laps to get an A and I was always one lap shy. In high school, I played Field Hockey as a defender. My endurance was horrendous and playing an offensive position would have probably made me collapse on the field. I only participated in Track and Field (I only did long and triple jump) to stay conditioned for Field Hockey.

So, If you were to tell me that a decade or so later, I’d be running 5ks, 10ks, and even half marathons, I wouldn’t have believed you. I guess the big question is what changed? Why do I run?

I run for my health  – both physically and mentally.

My family has a history of health issues linked to high cholesterol and at the age of 24, I was diagnosed with high cholesterol.  I suspect it’s familial hypercholesterolemia as almost every family member has it and we don’t eat all that badly. It’s only slightly out of range and not high enough to take medication for so I run to keep it in check.

I have been running here and there every so often, but I never stuck with it until a year ago. About a year ago, I was diagnosed with depression and for the first few months, I couldn’t find a reason to get up in the morning. I had lost so much control of my life and it was one of the worst feelings I have ever felt in my life. I just felt completely alone and lost all motivation to do anything.

Something my therapist told me while I was in therapy was to start off with a small goal everyday and try to accomplish it (i.e. eat breakfast, brush teeth). So I started making goals. I thought about things that I’ve always wanted to try. Running a half marathon was one of them.  I started off by signing up for a 10k and a few 5ks and after a few weeks of training, I accomplished them. As time passed and I accomplished more goals, the better I felt.  I felt more in control of my life.

With running, the only variable was me. It was my legs and it was my breathing that I could control and honestly, I needed that. I don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t taken up running. It really was just the step I needed to start picking up the pieces of my life.

So that’s the reason I run. I run for myself and that’s a pretty darn good reason.

Running down mile 11 at the Nike Women's Half Marathon in SF 2014
Running down mile 11 at the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in SF 2014

Also, those shiny medals I get are an added bonus.

There will be many more medals to come next year.
There will be many more medals to come in my lifetime.