On the verge of a Marathon

I‘m sitting at my computer, contemplating my upcoming endeavor, and realizing how nervous, anxious, scared and REALLY SCARED I am.  Three years ago, the San Francisco Marathon was a far out goal that I had set for us, and I was sure, like most things in life, I’d give up on before I reached it; or get distracted by; or make some crazy excuse as to why I couldn’t finish it.  But the time is here, and in 6 days I’ll be running with thousands of other people from all over the world with a goal of their own, and with some of the most supportive people I’m lucky to know and about to meet.

The journey of my marathon has taken me to some supreme ups and downs but it a journey that I would not trade for anything in the world.  This path has kept me sane through my back injury and recovery and cancer.  My first half marathon taught me to respect the course and to respect the race because every day and every race is a difference beast that must be overcome despite how many times you’ve run the same streets, or raced the same distance before.  IF you don’t, and you are over boastful, the race will conquer you.

My last half marathon taught me to enjoy the run.  To close my eyes for a few miles, and follow the sounds of the foot steps around me and to enjoy the course, the energy and the view.  It taught me to relish in the moment because that moment can fade at any time and become something so much more different.

Every race has taught me that being alone is one of the greatest discoveries out there.  At 3am when the rest of the world is sleeping, and I’m up.. starting my race day routine the silence and the tranquility is amazing.  Some races more than others, but all to some degree show me every time that there is energy in spirit.  The air of race morning, as I walk to the starting tents/line is pumped with energy, positivity, and so much emotion I get teary before each race.

My second SF half marathon taught me what the runner’s spirit and community is all about.  I ran 2:05 (my PR at the time) and stopped to share my gu, cheer people on, grab an ambulance for a guy who collapsed on the side, and to speak positive words to people all around me, who were struggling or needed a little lift.

This training, however spotty at times, has taught me that I can overcome anything I put my mind to.  8 months ago I was told I have permanent spinal cord damage and will need my cane and a metal stint installed in my spinal cord and running was not an option for me.  But I push through the daily pain, and I run, I’ve trained myself to “suck up” the pain as best I can, to train, and to try my hardest to keep with the routine and schedule that I need for this marathon.

Two years ago I had surgery to remove some cancer, and I know it’s coming back (the nature of my type will always come back)… but I still run.

Enk ran 2013 in 1:55

Enk ran 2013 in 1:55

So July 27th & my San Francisco Marathon, I’m anxious to see what lessons I learn (good or bad) from you. Thank you to everyone who has supported our quest to accomplish this goal.  Without you I wouldn’t be here, and for that I am forever indebted to you.


Spartan This

I’m doing it!  I’m joining the masses as a newbie Spartan Challenge acceptor, will you join me!?!?


You can take your pick, and sign up to compete/run/go crazy on the Sprint, Super or Beast this year in Hawaii.  I’ve chosen the Sprint because well… I’m a burpee hating machine.  But I can’t say no to another piece of running/obstacle course swag like the sweet medal that we get when we finish.

The courses range from hard to “I wanna die” but the rewards are amazing.  The sense of accomplishment for completing something you thought you’d either never do, or thought you couldn’t finish is something amazing all in its own.  The Spartan team inspires you to be great, and to accomplish what you never thought you could.  Join me and my friends on August 16 & 17 as we complete the Spartan Sprint!!!


To break it down for you Spartan virgins, here is a little course info to help you choose the right course for you.

logo-sprint Sprint

What is a Spartan Sprint? 3+ MILES / 15+ OBSTACLES



logo-superSuper Spartan

What is a Super Spartan? 8+ MILES / 20+ OBSTACLES




Spartan Beast

What is The Spartan Beast? 12+ MILES / 25+ OBSTACLES



logo-deathThe Death Race

What the #$%! is The Death Race?



Email me now with your reason to take on the Spartan Challenge for a chance to win a free entry!!  Winner will be announced on August 1!!!  See you at the finish line!


-Include: Name, Birth date, Email & your reason to be a Spartan Champ!!



finish 2

Something to Ponder..

IMG_4849The other day I was standing in line at Long’s Drugstore, waiting to purchase my Dramamine and trying not to throw up from my pain.  The woman in front of me was the same woman who was rushing through the store and almost ran me down with her cart (I don’t think she even recognized me from two minutes earlier).  She was a well-kept, petite woman in her 50’s wearing loose white slacks and a fuchsia top, with a sticker on the right shoulder/chest area.

As I stood there, concentrating on my breathing I could hear her smiling and talking to cashier.  A younger local boy, who smiled and spoke back.  I don’t know exactly what was said, but as I picked my head up I saw her holding a $20 bill and then it clicked.  She was trying to figure out if she had enough money to buy everything she wanted because she didn’t bring her purse for the quick shopping trip, she just brought that $20.  She told the cashier to see what the total was without the chocolate first, and they would go from there.  As I stood there, watching him run the items over the scanner, and giving her the total with each swipe, I did something I rarely do anymore (but should do more often).  I took out my wallet and paid attention.  She needed $3 to get everything because her total was $22.25.  Before the cashier could void the chocolate, I put down $3 onto the black conveyor belt and said “here you go.”  They both stared at me in disbelief, like I had a giant bugger hanging out of nose.   After a few seconds, the lady closed her mouth and said “I don’t need money, my husband is in the car, I have money.  I just ran in, it’s ok…”  To which I replied, “I know, but take it.  I’ve been there.  Please take this.”  She stared at me for another minute, with her mouth open and a look of amazement, reiterating that she has money, and didn’t need it.  All the while the cashier is still frozen with his mouth hanging open, his eyes moving between us both.

I told her that I know she has money, but to take it, so she could enjoy her chocolate,and just pay it forward one day.  She asked, “why?”  I smiled and said “because you need it, and I have it.”  Her response was “wow, so just some random act of kindness?”  and I smiled and nodded.

Something to ponder…

When I was 19 years old, I was a senior in college.  My life was awesome!  I had the best mother in the world, I was going to college & loving every moment, to study what had been my dream since I was a kid.  I was at the top of my class, having a ball, living on my own, modeling for work and cooking in kitchens for extra cash, that I gave my mom.  Life was grand!  Until my life came to a crashing halt, and my mom and 2 month old niece died in a car accident five days before my mom’s birthday!  After which I went through a lot of ups and down’s leaving me homeless for a good portion of my life.  I had no money, there was no insurance, just bills.  I can remember sleeping on a park bench, and in an old car. I can remember taking showers in fast food restaurants and hanging out in Wal-Mart because it was safer than the street in the middle of the night.  I never went to a shelter and I’m not sure why the idea never came to me as an option.  I had no friends that would take me in, no family to help, no one and only the last $75 dollars my mom gave me (which I couldn’t bear to part with) the day before she died.

What I did have was the charity of The Ronald McDonald House, which gave me a place to stay while I collected my mom and my niece’s bodies.  They gave me one night of one less thing to worry about and for that I’m eternally grateful, and will spend the rest of my life trying to repay.

When you look at me now, most people can not believe the details of my life.  My life was for a long time, my deepest darkest secret because I was ashamed.  But what I learned back then being 19 years old, orphaned and completely alone was something that changed me.  It changed my soul, my heart, my everything.

People need help sometimes in life because of circumstance, and not because of fault.  Being homeless, or “on a strict budget” isn’t always a choice, it is something that happens in life: like an accident, like a sneeze, or like a random act of kindness.  You never know why someone needs something, and it is not your place to ask why, or to pass judgement.  Just give.  Give a dollar, hold a door open, push a cart for someone, just do something for the good of it.

If it is within your power to help someone, please do… without ego or glory because you never know how your dollar can change someone’s day or life.

Basic Juicing Recipes



Juice, Basic Recipe

Yield: About 2 cup


Some Basic Juicing Recipes that are great tasting and good for you!  Remember to scrub the fruit and vegetables well, and to trim the root ends off. Change the combinations up to personalize them your own tastes, drink them immediately after juicing, and remember to drink the equivalent of a meal.  If you like apples, add more apples!! .  Just be careful to balance the yin and the yang of the juice!



5ea                 Large Carrots, trimmed

2ea                 Fuji or Red Delicious Apples, cut into smaller pieces

1c                  Spinach


  1. Process all ingredients, starting with the first listed.



First Juice: Carrot, Apple, Kale & Celery Juice

First Juice: Carrot, Apple, Kale & Celery Juice

Oxygen Goodness

5ea                 Large Carrots, trimmed

2ea                 Fuji or Red Delicious Apples, cut into smaller pieces

1c                  Spinach

1ea                 Red Beet

5ea                 Strawberries

½ med          Cucumber(skin on)


  1. Process all ingredients, starting with the first listed.



Greed Goddess

3c                   Spinach

2c                   Kale

1sp                 Ginger

5ea                 Strawberries

2ea                 Carrots, trimmed

1ea                 Fuji or Golden Delicious Apples, cut into smaller pieces

1ea                 Cucumber(skin on)

½ c                 Broccoli


  1. Process all ingredients, starting with the first listed.

    Our First Day! Cheers!!

    Our First Day! Cheers!!

Team SF Marathon 2014: Training for “The WALL”

SF 2012..Our first race

SF 2012..Our first race

It all starts with an insatiable stubbornness, and the goal to drive on for me at least :)  I’ll soon be coming up on my 3 month mark of the accident that left me bed ridden with damage to my spinal cord.  BUT this Sunday marks the very first time that I will be “racing” since last year and I’m scared, under ready, and heavily panicked.  It is only a 5k (3.xx miles), but it will be the longest distance & duration of time I’ve tried to walk since my accident.

I am nuts as some would say, but I am determined to run the SF Marathon, and grab that elusive sweater I once spoke about.  The marathon is 179 days away, and I panic every time I think about it, because I am loosing precious training days.  Every day I want to lace up and get out there, but can’t because I can barely walk around with block.  However, I figure I am training a different way.  I am working on overcoming “THE WALL.”

“The WALL” was always this elusive thing to me, that I felt like I experienced every time I ran, because quite frankly I am weak in the brain.  For those of you who are not familiar with “the WALL” it is the part of the race, where you’d like to stop.  The moment when your body draws back, every ache is magnified, and your brain is screaming “I hate you, please stop.”  It is the moment when you start to think “can I really do this?  Can I finish this race? forget strong. Can I just finish this?  Why the hell did I think this was a good idea?  I’ll just walk for a few step…”  I didn’t think it existed like the rumors and the stories I had heard and read about, until I ran my first 25k, which was the longest distance I had run.  I remember thinking “ehh it is only 2.5 more miles than the half I just ran” and that was my first mistake.  I completely underestimated and disrespected the race.

I had felt great running this course, it was cold, raining, a good course because I was familiar with it and up until 13.8 miles I was cruising.  I was running faster than what I had planned and I was thrilled.  I felt good.  Then mile 13.8 hit, I remember the mile because I felt it, and I looked down at my watch and thought “FU**!” I still had 2 miles to go, and it just felt like I physically ran into a wall.  My brain started thinking, this hurts, that hurts, etc…etc…etc..  All of a sudden the pain became real, and I wanted to stop.  My body was screaming stop in my head.

“The WALL” is no joke, and is something that a lot of people face during endurance runs. My goal now is to practice and train to overcome “the WALL”  that I may face during my first marathon by walking every race in Hawai’i until I can run.

Here are some tips on how to worth through “the WALL:”

- NEVER say it’s just XX.X miles.  No race is the same, no run is the same no matter how often you run, or have the course.

- Practice pushing yourself with mental games.  When you’re tired, give your self a goal like “I’ll run until the next corner” then when you get there give yourself another goal.  The   trick is to say it in your head.

- RUN. RUN. RUN!! Practice running up hills down hills, and practice focusing on your breath, your foot steps, your form.  I like to say to myself “left, left, left” with each impact of my left foot.  This keeps my brain focused on other things.

- Be part of the running community.  Focus on the person ahead of you, or passing by.  Share your GU, give a “high-five” to a “great job” or even a “I like your running __” to someone who looks like they need it.  It keeps your mind occupied, increases the endorphins in your body and brain, and it uplifts your mood!  I promise!  Try it!!  I did this during my second SF Half Marathon, and the time flew by.  It was hands down my best race ever and I firmly believe it’s because I focused on others and not myself.  To be honest it wasn’t until mile 11 that I realized where I was in the race.

- Take a moment during the race, and when it is safe.. close your eyes, take a deep breath and realize the magic around you.  On every course I run, in every race I run, there is always a moment when I do this, and the five steps I take with my eyes closed are amazing.  Second only to the moment when my eyes refocus and reopen to see what I’m doing.


MAC 24/7

Last night, after a very long day of doctors appointments and Honolulu traffic, my awesome neighbor Liz, and I decided to try MAC 24/7.  The BEST decision of my life!

If you are from NY, Cali, or any other place that does food WELL(by well I mean good variety, flavor & taste), you would have a hard time finding good places in Honolulu.  I rarely eat out anymore after countless attempts at various restaurants, trucks and cafe’s.  But this place… oh my!!  The name says it all.. they are located in Waikiki, but are part of the Aloha2Go service that delivers all around town.  Last night we got it delivered, and it was delicious!!

For some time, I had heard great things about MAC24/7 but hadn’t tried it because I also heard the bad things about the service from a few friends.  We ordered Caesar salads, mashed potatoes, the baked potato soup and the meatloaf.  The caesar salads were delicious!  Great dressing, and amazing croutons.  They give you two slices of this cheesy garlic toast on good bread, not the stale old croutons that most people use.  The soup…amazing!  Cheddar cheese, bacon and potato soup is a must here!!! The mashed potatoes come in a variety of choices, all of which were great! The meatloaf was even amazing!! Full of flavor, well cooked, not under or over seasoned. Amazing I tell you!  The only sad thing was the vegetables that came with the meatloaf but to be fair I’m not sure if it is because it was a to go order, or if that is normal so I will reserve judgment for my dine in experience!

Alas I have no photos because I ate it all… before I could snap a pic :(

All in all a great place to try out various dishes including the MAC & Cheese!!!

MAC 24/7

Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel
2500 Kuhio Avenue, Waikiki Beach, HI 96815
Direct: 808.921.5564 | Fax: 808.921.5507