Running, What Makes Me Smile

4th of July – Virtual Race

Happy 4th of July. This is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate. Sweet berry pies, kids waving the flag during parades, hot dog competitions (Congrats Joey Chestnut on win #12), pool parties and bright, crackling fireworks. But the most special part of 4th of July is honoring the military that allows Americans to live in freedom and celebrate holidays like this with so much patriotism. I am extremely proud to be an American!!!

There was no better way to show my love for this country than with a 10k virtual race. As I have said in other posts, the Virtual Run Events powered by Moon Joggers allows runner enthusiasts to do self-motivated races and earn medals, and 15% of all registrations goes towards a worthy charity.

The 4th of July medal I received was the most beautiful I have seen. My alarm beeped extremely early this morning but I jumped right out of bed to get dressed and head out for my run. I kind of got sluggish mid-run (stayed up way too late watching Stranger Things) but I pushed harder and faster when I thought about what our veterans have sacrificed for America’s freedom.

The charity that this medal helped support was the Homes For Our Troops, an organization that builds homes for severely injured veterans. What an amazing cause and a charity that is doing God’s work.



Running, What Makes Me Smile

Running for Donuts

June 1 National Donut Day!! Woo Hoo!!

I knew where I would want to celebrate one of the most yummiest holidays around (move over Thanksgiving). One of my favorite donut shops, Sweet Dozen, located in Sacramento, offers some of the most colorful, fluffy, and creamy donuts.  They have bright purple donuts,  donuts with crunchy cereal on them, donuts with chocolate chips sprinkled all over, donuts with oozing jam. MMMMmmmm….


Knowing I would consume probably a dozen on my own, I signed up for a virtual race through Moon Joggers to help keep the extra calories at bay. I signed up for the Dash4Donuts race, and you could pick between running a 5k or a 10k. I chose the 10k, knowing I would need the extra miles. The best part is 15% of every entry was donated to Action for Healthy Kids, an organization to make families more aware about healthy choices in schools and at home.


As a runner who loves the bling, I love that I can go to Moon Joggers and find some crazy themed runs with coordinating medals. They have holiday races like 4th of July and Halloween. Holidays for National (Food) Days like the National Pineapple Day  that takes place this June 27. Races for flamingos, aliens, pets, Jesus!!  Each race benefits a different charity, too. Like Soles 4 Souls, whose mission is to creat sustainable jobs around the world. And organizations like Active Heroes who provide support to military heroes and their families.

Moon Joggers will send you a beautiful medal and race bib to commemorate your run. I was really impressed with the quality of the medal. Now that I know I can earn medals and help out a good cause, I will be doing more virtual races. Stay tuned for more amazing medals and see which charity we will be working to help next.

Running, Uncategorized, What Makes Me Smile

Sacramento Zoo Zoom

My daughter is such a huge inspiration to me. She really enjoys running and is always asking me to sign her up for a 5k.  She’s pretty good too!!

So it was a joy to read our local zoo was doing a fun 5k run. We love our Sacramento Zoo. We gladly have yearly memberships there. It is small and quaint, but clean and full of lush trees and majestical animals.

The Zoo Zoom has you running through beautiful Land Park, where streets are lined with classic homes from the 30s and 40s and canopy trees that shaded us throughout.

The “little” pushed and pushed. She never wanted to quit, and our run ended right at the zoo, where we were granted free access for the day.  We quickly replenished with water and snacks and enjoyed the rest of the day watching the monkeys swing and the lions sunbath.

It’s such an honor to share this hobby with her and see her grow into the sport.


Running, Uncategorized, What Makes Me Smile

RunDisney – My First Experience

It’s been over a month since I left for my first runDisney trip at Walt Disney World to take on the Dopey Challenge. The name was a complete understatement. It was more like the What-Kinda- Get-Up-At-3am-24degrees-run 48.6miles-Idiot-Are-You Challenge. It was insane. I did wake up every day at 3 am Eastern Time (12 am in California). It was freezing in Orlando. It was the one year Florida actually had snow. I did run nearly 50 miles. But you know what? It was awesome! So, I thought I would share some highlights of this crazy race located in the most Magical Place on Earth.

Vanessa and I set out for Orlando on January 2nd. We landed the next day in Orlando, and the unexpected wind and cold hit me hard. The days before we left, I was sure the weather report for Orlando was wrong. Florida doesn’t get cold. I don’t need a coat. I certainly don’t need a scarf, gloves or hat. Luckily, as we were about to get in the car to drive to the airport, I ran back in the house, grabbed my coat, scarf, gloves and hat, and carelessly tossed them in my suitcase. My brother and cousin, who flew out the next day, didn’t heed my warning: ‘Pack your warm stuff. It is cold”. Nope. They didn’t.

We chose the All-Star-Movie Resort to stay, a perfect dream for a 7-year old, with favorite characters towering three stories high. After checking in to our room, we hurried on a bus taking us to the ESPN Center for the runDisney Expo. We picked up our race bibs and all our race shirts. I, myself, collected a handsome 6 shirts commemorating each race and challenge: 5k, 10k, half-marathon, full-marathon, Goofy Challenge (people who are running the half and full marathons), and the Dopey Challenge (racers running all 4 races (that was me. Im a huge dope)).  The race expo was very crowded, and I had no idea there would be so many runners, rumored to be over 80,000 registered racers.

Exhausted from a long travel, we went back to the room and clicked on the Disney Channel (of course),  and into dreamland ZZZZzzzzz….. And then 3:30 am came and by a miracle I sorta woke up. I slept through my alarm that was set for 2:50 am. The good Lord somehow woke me up naturally.  I shook Vanessa out of her slumber and without thinking, threw on our clothes and hurried out the door and ran towards the bus. They recommend all racers be on the bus from their resort no later than 4 am to make it to the race. Droves of busses were headed to the same place, Epcot, where each of the four races would begin and end.


After walking through a heavily secured area, we were welcomed with cheerful volunteers and entertainment to warm us up.  Not too many people can say they danced the YMCA with thousand of other people before 5 am.  This did help keep our minds off the frigid temps. I along with the other people in my corral, shivered with crinkly, silver nylon blankets (this space blanket did little to keep me warm) all the while telling myself ‘what the hell was I thinking’. Once we were all situated, we all waited anxiously for the fireworks to signal each corrals release. My heart burst with excitement each time the fireworks went off prompted by cheers of a crazy crowd.

Boom!! Me and Vanessa were off. I held her cold little hand as we ran through World Showcase in Epcot. Every building was lit up, beloved characters were out to take pictures with, and our favorite Disney music was blazing through the park. Runners were dressed in costumes and people were cracking jokes. It couldn’t have been a more cheerful race. We were laid beautiful medals after crossing the finish line.


My 10k, half and full marathon were no less exciting with even more fireworks, characters and people cheering. The half-marathon leads runners from Epcot and through the Magic Kingdom. I did start to cry as I ran through the castle, despite furiously telling myself not to shed a tear. Characters were on the trains welcoming us in and cheer teams lined the sidewalks motivating us to carry on.

The next day I took on the full marathon. That was hard. Despite sleep deprivation, the excitement of running through all 4 Disney parks kept you going. Coming up to the end of my 26.2 miles, I looked over to see my cousin and my brother propping Vanessa up over the crowd watching me cross over the big word FINSIH!!!  I did it!!!

I knew I always wanted to do the Dopey Challenge, and when I signed up the year before I said I’m doing this no matter what. It was worth all the freezing cold 3 ams. I would do it again in a heart beat. We will see what next year brings, but I hope to be back again for Dopey Challenge 2019.