At the 2012 Revlon Run/Walk

The 19th annual EIF Revlon Run/Walk benefitting the fight against women’s cancers was held last weekend at USC and it was an event to remember. I attended and walked as part of Team Macy’s (one of the sponsors) and it was a powerful experience to see so many people come together and participate.

People of all ages and entire families all showed up to support the cause for a 5k walk around the LA Coliseum. Everybody had someone special they were walking for. Most people wore big signs and bibs mentioning their loved ones battling cancer who they were walking for and supporting, or honoring their memory, which was extremely moving to read and see. I saw a few que casi me hacen llorar, so it definitely makes me appreciate health and that we must do everything in our power to fight this disease.

I took some pictures of the event which I wanted to share below. If you are interested in participating and/or making a donation to find a cure for cancer, please visit and see how you can get involved. The statistics mentioned were pretty scary if you are a woman, but you CAN fight it and beat it if you detect it early on. So if you’re around the age of 35 or older, you should request,and demand to your doctor if needed, to get started with mammogram testing once a year.

Women, we need to take care of ourselves. ¡Cuidémonos todas! Here’s to good health, positive vibes and Godspeed in finding a cure for cancer.

Around the USC campus before the walk, the fair starts really early around 6:30 am.

At the starting line on Figueroa Ave, everybody looking good and ready for a 5K.

Team Macy’s 2012 supports the cause. Macy’s is one of the major sponsors of the RunWalk.

The beautiful and amazing Halle Berry is the Revlon Spokesperson and year after year speaks at the event. I loved her new curly hairdo, rizado chinito chinito!

Look at those dimples! Mr. Mario Lopez also was there to support.

Matthew Morrison of Glee gives a big hug to Lilly Tartikoff, one of the cofounders of the Run/Walk.

So inspirational! Lilly Tartikoff, co-founder of the Run/Walk, knows we will find a cure.

Julia Goldin, Global Chief Marketing Officer from Revlon, cheers everyone on at the starting line and talks about why it’s so important to join the cause.

Stacy Kiebler also walked and spoke on why she supoprts the cause, since it has affected her family. She’s very nice in person, pero no llevo al George Clooney!

Halle speaks and tells us women: Starting at 35, ask to get a mammogram! “Early detection is our best defense!”

And then I look at her and think, Hmm como que she looks like la Whitney Houston, verdad? Un poquito.

Confetti and cheers at the start.

All cancer survivors received a pink hat honoring them.

After the walk, a few refreshments inside the LA Coliseum.

Yeah, Macy’s. ¡Asi se compra!

Cupcakes for all!

Big party at the Coliseum lawn for thousands of people.

The runner in me is BACK.

Start up the “Chariots of Fire” soundtrack, people…. I am running again!

After a few years of hiatus and silly excuses (my back pain, no time to do it, la flojera– who are we kidding!) it feels good to know I am putting the effort into it. The progress has been slow, extremely slow, pero ahi la llevo. I guess you can say I can’t run a mile yet without huffing and puffing. I can swim a mile or two, but I can’t run it. How ironic is that?

You wouldn’t know it if you saw me, but there was a time when I ran on a daily basis. I finished two marathons, Honolulu and New York. I had a subscription to Runner’s World Magazine….Then one day about 3 years ago I stopped running. My back was hurt from an earlier incident and a doctor advised me to switch to walking. And then it became a habit NOT to run. Every time I started going again, it was hard, it was torture, it was not what it used to be. So I gave in to my laziness and idleness, and I’m sorry to say, my body has paid for it.

This year however, I had an an AHA! Moment and realized: MY (40 year old) BODY WANTS TO RUN AGAIN. Not to do any marathons, not to race anybody, I just want to experience the “Runner’s High” that makes me feel so good.

One of my favorite paintings by my favorite painter, Abel Quezada. “Corredor Solitario del Cental Park”. 1978. Vi este cuadro el año pasado en la exhibición “Código AQ” en el DF. Click here to see the images.

My homage to AQ, a version of the Solitary Runner of Central Park, a totally random photo that popped up from my NY photos, sin querer queriendo! I took this photo on Feb. 18 this year.

So it has been going pretty well so far. Then the universe conspires, you know how that goes, and this morning I heard a story on NPR which scientifically explains why human beings are  basically “born to run” (nod to a great Bruce Springsteen song) and all the benefits you get out of it, including the “runner’s high.” You can check the link here: “Wired to Run”

To make it official, this weekend I invested in a new pair of running shoes. My sister told me of this great store called “Road Runner Sports” where they test your running style and make customized insoles for your feet. It sounded like something I needed and frankly my old Nike’s had seen their better days. Time for new shoes.

After a video test and cushion molding at the store, I came out with a running shoe profile and a new pair of insoles that make all the difference for my high arch and medium flexibility.  They even took a video of my feet running on the treadmill which proves something my Mom has told me all my life: that I run/walk with my feet pointing out…basically that I run like a duck! (Las Mamás siempre tienen razón. Listen to your Mother!)

Sorry Nike. For the first time in my life I will not be running in Nike’s or Asics. I purchased the Brooks Ravenna which feel amazing! Who knew? Next to them are my state of the art customized running insoles, which support my arch and back. So far so good.

So the shoes are broken in and I am planning on adding on the mileage to these babies. One step at a time.

For inspiration, I have a few of my friends’ blogs on file, which I have been reading (and secretly envying, pero envidia de la buena ok…) and which help me get off my butt! Here are their links, you may want to check them out. Son excelentes escritores y los admiro mucho.

Iron Kai (Go Karime!)

Sosaku Runner (Dale Gonzalo!)

Araiz Corre (Vamos Araiz!)

My Sophie era la más excited con mis nuevos running shoes. She LOVED them, and the fact we can now run a little bit longer.

First time hiking in LA: Fryman Canyon

Los Angeles is a wonderful and complex city, filled with freeways and concrete, but surrounded by hills and a sprawling landscape that every once in a while reminds you to connect with Mother Nature.

A mi no se me da mucho eso del hiking y los nature walks, neither am I the outdoorsy R.E.I. type. But when presented for the first time ever with an invitation to go hiking last Sunday, it was honestly an offer I couldn’t refuse. The place: Dearing Mountain Trail: Fryman Canyon to Tree People Park.

Starting the hike.

The location was right off Mullholland Drive (the famous spot of many movies and weird incidents) and it was a hike that promised a bit of adventure.

A group of newfound very cool friends, all experienced hikers and nature lovers, organized and lead the hike. So off we went.

It was initially a challenge for moi; going down a hill with slippery dirt, rocks of all sizes, not to mention ubiquitous poison ivy. When you haven’t done this, it can be a task not suitable for the faint of heart (ni para los que sufrimos de vertigo– at one point where I looked all the way down, I thought to myself, what was I thinking?!) But I kept trying to not look below, enjoy it as much as I could, and take a few pictures.

Don’t get me wrong, I may be eco-friendly, use those funky foquitos en espiral, and recycle often, but the thought of going too far with this did cross my mind. Some sections of the trail are extremely narrow and the way down looks quite bottomless.  (Or I may exaggerate. Aquí su segura servilleta se medio ‘panickeo’ cuando vio las profundidades de las barrancas, bien bien profundas y verdes. Pero mentalmente me puse a cantar la canción de “Sacaremos a Ese Buey de la Barranca” y me alegró el momento.)

Yet, the views are amazing and the walk provides time to meditate or just catch up with nature and make friends.  After a few hours on the trail, when we arrived back at the parking lot, I emerged with a newfound appreciation for nature in LA, and with a slightly improved concept of hiking.

This is another perfect example of why we are spoiled in California, with great backdrops and idyllic landscapes, a stones throw away from the city.

So I want to say Thank You AMIGOS– Gracias Ken, Aaron, Olivia, and everyone. They are new friends and made this experience one to remember. ¡Gracias a todos! And especially thanks to Loic for the post hike dinner. Truly a treat.

One of the views of the hike.

Poison Oak interweaves everywhere. It is not to be messed with! (Primera vez que la conozco en persona, pero de lejecitos.)

Ahi vamos todos, going up the hill.

Taking a mini break. Every once in a while you would find these kind of spots, with a bit of space for conversation.

When coming to a fork in the road, naturally we had to go in the direction of the rainforest.

Nice group shot by the lovely Ms. Erin Tamayo. We stood by the sign just to prove we had "arrived" at the rainforest.

Another group shot of the hiking friends.

Post hike rest and stretch at the parking lot. There is free parking, by the way.

A view from the trail. This is a great place for meditation and nature appreciation.

Better get moving people.

Let’s file this one under Health Tips: buenos, bonitos y baratos

Ay, ay, ay. Feeling a little weird this morning. Maybe because the weather finally changed in LA and it’s getting nice and warm. And I’m feeling big and heavy (Ooops was that my inside voice?)… Confieso que I had a little too many sweet treats for Easter.  Prácticamente celebre todo el weekend, and today I’m paying for it.

On my ride to work today, I heard this piece on NPR about physical fitness vs. sitting all day. It made me think about how much time I spend SITTING DOWN. Whether at work or watching my tivo’s (hello Reina del Sur!) I can tell you, it’s at least 8 hours. Even if I walk for 30 minutes plus, those 8 hours sitting down are taking a toll on the body.

So if you have 7 minutes, listen to this piece. If you don’t, and you also spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer,  just make it a point to move, stretch or walk in place for at least one minute an hour. The body needs to snap back into movement for all the time it’s spent idle, and we need to move and contract our muscles, otherwise we’ll lose them. (Como dicen por ahi, “Use it or lose it.”)  So now I’m setting up a reminder on the computer to prompt me to move every hour for a few minutes, which is what they recommended in the piece. Click below to go to NPR.

Sitting All Day is Worse for You than You Think. April 25, 2011. NPR

And since we’re on the subject of sitting down in front of the computer, here’s a great tip that mi Tia Marie sent me over the weekend. We should all be improving our posture as we sit and type, otherwise we’re going to look like Hunchbacks of Notre Dame in our old age (Cancelado. Cancelado. Cancelad0!)

Here’s the clip. Put it to use and have a great work week.

Behold: The last Tamal* of the season.

(* Ojo: puse Tamal y no Tamale, como incorrectamente le dicen los gringous. Even I have to follow some language rules here!)

¿Siguen comiendo? OK, pues ya estuvo bueno de tanto overeating, if you know what I mean. In my case, it was as if there was no tomorrow since before Christmas. Le entré duro! And now I regret it a bit, as I’m sure you can relate. Before you know it, ya te echaste 5 pounds en una semana. WHY? Why is it so hard to not stuff yourself and eat without abandon during the holidays?

Enough is enough. Esta noche, me eché el último tamalito que quedaba de los tamales regalados (los homedame tamales de Mama Lilia volaron como todos los años, but that’s another story.)

I guess no relative of mine remembered there was still a beef tamale (como  les dicen por aquí), Sonora style, in the fridge. But how could they? After the stuffing ourselves with New Year turkey con relleno, glazed ham, cranberry jello, bacalao a la vizcaina, menudo, y de postre: pies de manzana y berry…and all the bread you can think of, ya ni se acordaron. Mucha comida, gracias a Dios. Pero mañana deberia irme a correr 5km según lo decreté en mis “resolutions” y la verdad, pues estoy que no me muevo. I guess it’s the first test to my newfound resolve. Ahi les platico.

Estaba bueno.

Haciendo el Sun Salutation Pose (a ver si asi nos sale el sol en CA)

Lina Navia, de Umbral Yoga, nos muestra el saludo al sol, una de las poses básicas del yoga.

(Confieso que he tenido ganas de empezar a practicar yoga. Everybody that practices it swears it makes a difference in their health and well being.)

I took this clip from youtube on my ipod and did it this morning at my local park. It’s the basic sun salutation pose with the cobra and the downward dog sequence. If you’ve never heard of them before, don’t panic. They are easy to follow.

There was no sun yet, since all we’ve had this summer, thus far, is gray days by the beach in California, but the exercise is simple and the result is nice. Kind of a baby step, it’s yoga for the rest of us.

Lina and Umbral Yoga just launched a great video DVD, in English and Español, and you can buy it here online. I am ordering my copy today.

Umbral Yoga DVD now on sale. English and Spanish.