Pages

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Why cross train with Pure Barre

Post Boston Marathon last year I began having a lot of anxiety even trying to get out the door to go on a run. As much as I pushed tried to push through, my body seemed to be reacting to the trauma I put my body through experienced during that race. Whenever I kept thinking I was over it, it seemed to pop up again in odd ways. That combined with some other things I wrote about previously, my coach and I decided it would be best for me to pull out of my fall races. During that time I started looking for something new to keep me in shape and build strength. I've never been a huge fan of strength training. I always wanted to run constantly, but I understand it's importance. I just never found another exercise that resonated with me. I like yoga, but it wasn't quite enough. I like pilates, but the gym only offered it once a week. I got bored during other weight classes. So I needed something else. That's when I discovered Pure Barre. I'm honestly not sure what exactly drew me to it. I have never been a dancer, and I really didn't know anything about what actually happens in a class or known anyone who's taken a barre class. All I seemed to know is that people who go, tend to be obsessed. So I tried it out... and I'm so so happy I did!

My first class I didn't know what to expect. When I walked in I was greeted warmly by the "barre tender" and instructor.  I was given a brief overview and tips for class, and was ready to go! You begin class with a brief warm up- warming up your core and legs. Then move on to a couple minutes of weights to sculpt your arms. Next you move to the barre to do your thigh, seat and ab series.  All of your movements should be small and controled, which helps you to really work your muscles. The idea is to find your "shake zone" which is working your muscles to fatigue- from there you're building muscle.  I began seeing changes in my body before my 2 week package was over, and I was hooked! For the first time in my life I have upper body strength! I can do push ups! I can hold a 90 second plank, no problem (usually 😉!) Not to mention how great my abs look lately.. And the physical benefits are just part of it. It's also a super positive environment. All of the instructors are great, people are always so friendly and supportive. And it's women owned, which is always a plus for me.
Once I picked up my mileage and started training for the OC Marathon, I realized that Pure Barre has also helped me become a much stronger runner. You're working different, deeper muscles than you do running, which strengthened my legs even more. Going to Pure Barre has also greatly increased my flexibility, which has really opened up my stride and increased my speed. On average, I've shaved off a minute + per mile. I effortlessly ran 7:36 splits the other day, it was crazy! My core feels even stronger, which is important to help maintain proper form when you are getting tired or hit the wall running.
Overall I feel much stronger and more awesome, which is always great! I do think it's helped me combat some of the anxiety I was experiencing before as well. My one tip to fellow runners is if you're on a schedule always try to get your run in first. Especially when starting out, it can be hard to run afterwards. Even in your legs feel fine. When I first started Pure Barre I had so many runs thinking, "what gives, I used to be good at this," and eventually realized oh.. my legs are super done.  Also don't get discouraged if you can't lift your leg up as high or straight, or aren't as flexible. Runners typically have tight hamstrings, so if anything it really helps your flexibility. If you're looking to try it out, my studio in Anaheim Hills or Brea is having an open house next weekend- 3/24-3/26 where new clients can try for free. If you're not in North Orange County, studios are always having open houses or specials going on. Speaking of OC Marathon, it's coming up fast! Make sure you get registered! (And don't forget to mention me.) If you're on the fence, see my previous posts on why you should run OC.  If you're not ready for the full or the half, there is a 5k option.

* I should also note that this was written purely out of my love for Pure Barre :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Oct and Nov 2016 Stitch Fix review

I've had a lot of people asking me about Stitch Fix so I figured I'd become one of those weird people who share their fixes and experience. I'm going to work on getting better pictures, but until then here are some bad phone/mirror pictures :)

Stitch fix is a personal styling service that shops for you and sends 5 items of clothing or accessories to your door, either monthly or whenever you choose. I've been doing it for about a year and a half now and I've had some mixed feelings. I felt like up until now I wasn't always getting things that matched my notes, size and style. I feel like as they've grown they've expanded their brands, etc I'm getting some better items. I do like it because it makes you try things you may not pick up for yourself. Also you can get some items you wouldn't always find in stores. 
The way it works is for $20 they send you 5 items- this can be shirts, pants, sweaters, jackets, shoes, accessories... many things. It seems like you typically get 4 pieces of clothing and 1 pair of shoes/accessory of some sort.  You take a survey when you sign up regarding your sizing and what pieces you're looking for. Which is nice because you can request to not receive certain items, colors, fabric, etc. Whatever you don't keep, you send it all back in their prepaid envelope. But if you keep at least one item, that fee goes toward the cost of your item.

It's pretty important that you are as specific as possible on clothing you like, what you are looking for, your favorite stores, etc It only helps getting the best fixes. It's also super helpful to have a pinterest page and pin outfits you like, even better if you add a note on why you like it for your stylist to view. A lot of times they look for similar items to send to you. I follow all of the Stitch fix boards and pin right from there since it's items they have. My biggest complaint is I am always getting super loose fitting styles that are way way way too big for me and look terrible. I typically add this to every single note to try to avoid that. I'd say the one caveat is to size down. I find their brands runs large, which for me makes me unable to keep a lot of things since xs is the smallest.  It does depend on the brand though, and they offer free and easy exchanges if you want to keep something but need another size. Overall, it's pretty fun. I enjoy getting a little surprise every month and have gotten some great pieces of clothing that you couldn't find otherwise. It's definitely great if you hate shopping and need to add some staples to your wardrobe.

Stitch fix day!

October 2016 #20-

I'm not going to lie. I peaked at this one and remember being really disappointed. However, it just goes to show that you need to try things on and not peak because you don't get the best photos and never know what it may look like in person. This ended up being my favorite fix that I've received. I completely fell in love with the blazer and dress. They're perfect. 

41 Hawthorn- Corinth Blazer

This blazer is super comfy and very versatile. You can easily dress it up or down.  I originally paired with the dress but I also included a photo on how I wore it today. This was definitely a keeper. 


I wore this today



RD Style- Gia Dress & Romolo Fringe Necklace

This was also a huge love. Probably my favorite item I've received. I fell in love with the pattern when I opened the box. I was a little worried because it is form fitting for work, but with a blazer or sweater over it was perfect. It's also form fitting but not a super tight fabric which helps. When I wore it to work it was with a sweater and flats.  I also kept the gold necklace. It's not something I would ever pick up, and hated it out of the box but put it on and loved it. 



Closer look of the pattern.

Renee C- Leena Printed Pencil Skirt & Haldis- Roll Tab Henley Blouse

I ended up returning these two. I would have kept the skirt but I have such a similar shirt I couldn't justify keeping it, even though it'd give me the discount for keeping 5 items. I was still debating the skirt even but in the end I wasn't in love and it was an xs and a little big so I decided to pass. 


Lots of room...


November 2016 #21- 


Kut From The Kloth- Mollee Knit Dress

I'm a little confused why they sent me this. 2 boxes before they sent me the same exact dress, same name, just with long sleeves instead of short. I did keep that one and love it. The drapery is flattering. I found something about the long sleeve one to be a little more flattering than this one.



Closer look of details

Here is the long sleeve for reference


Laila Jayde- Busby Cowl Neck Zipper Detail Knit Top

At first I was meh on this one, it definitely looks better on. When I put it on its soft, comfy and flattering... and you know I love cowl necks... It's a nice forest green color too. It's also relatively thin for a sweater, which is good for our Southern California "winters." Sometimes they do send regionally inappropriate things, so I appreciated this sweater. 




THML- Colinda Sheer V-Neck Sweater

This was a no for me. I did like the fit of it and it was soft and comfortable, but I couldn't get passed the mesh V-neck. Without it I probably would have kept it... just wasn't me. 


Kut From The Kloth- Brianna Skinny Pant

I tried to keep these.. but the zipper area seemed like it wasn't sewn right and stuck out kind of weird. It looked like there was another 0 available, so I put in for an exchange, sent these back.. and then they sold out :( It's probably for the best as they ran large, but I figured they'd be a good pant for when you want a little extra room ;) I think if they had stretched at all they'd be way too baggy though. They are a nice olive color which I love. I styled with the sweater above and a J Crew button down below. 



Bay to Baubles- Jane Oval Drop Earrings

These were returned. Just didn't love them, too plain for me. 


Interested in trying yourself? Stitchfix.com


Saturday, November 26, 2016

"Hope will never be silent"- Harvey Milk

The past two weeks have been rough, as they have been for many people. I have remained pretty silent as I was really processing and alternating between numb and hopeless.  Quite honestly I am not ok. I am not ok. I guess I'd like to start by saying I don't believe all of my friends and family who voted for Trump are sexist, racist or homophobic- but it is something I have been struggling deeply with for some time now. You can not be ok with a lot of the things he said or did, but continuing to support him is still saying something about it being acceptable. I've also heard some pretty horrific things come out of people's mouths that have also been hard to digest- that combined with something that happened to me last week I decided I finally needed to say something. I guess if anything I wanted people to know that a lot of these things are happening to everyone- because this is centered around sexual harassment I will say that I have asked every young woman I know- no matter what race, political affiliation, sexual orientation....whatever, and 100% have said they have seen an uptick in harassment over the last year or so. I do not believe any of them are "egging this on." I certainly have not. (Not that I even like saying that, because no woman is ever "egging them on" and victim shaming is ridiculous.)   So I guess I hope that if anything this will make you stop some of the horrific things because said about the "victims" of Trumps America and at least have a little empathy for the other side.
I feel like throughout most of this election I stayed quiet. For several reasons I feel as though I have been struggling this past year or so. And honestly, I did not feel like I was in a safe space and I just did not have it in me to fight. So often women’s opinions are dismissed and I just couldn’t take on any more of that in the state I felt I was in.  Now I am mad at myself. I am mad that I didn’t fight more. I’m mad I didn’t make myself heard and try to at least share how a family member or friend voting for Trump made me feel. Until this actually happened. And this all really has nothing to do with the fact that Hillary lost and everything to do with who she lost to. And I am not necessarily scared of Donald Trump. (Quite honestly I feel like I have no clue what he’s actually going to do because you never got straight answers from him. And if you did it, changed whoever he was in front of.) I am terrified of the world which Donald Trump has created. I have seen the environment around me change and it terrifies me. And I am absolutely terrified of the people that he is surrounding himself with and putting into positions of power.  
So here is my experience thus far in "Trumps America." In the past year I have been grabbed, followed and had pretty horrific things said to me by strangers.  It was getting to the point where at least once I day I was fearful or uncomfortable in public. I was being harassed so much I do not run anymore. I have not run outside since I was followed/chased by a man, then told by my neighbors I was overreacting. I would get yelled at or stared down at AT LEAST once every time I ran.. I was followed in a car not once... not twice.. on three different occasions over the course of a month. Twice 2 separate guys drove by, made a U-turn then pulled up next to me on the road trying to talk to me. No, these men are not "acting" by his direction, but every single one of them had one thing in common- Trump stickers on their cars.  
The Thursday before the election I encountered a group of men sitting in plastic chairs in the parking lot with trump signs and stickers who began shouting pretty horrific things at me. I encountered them again this past Friday evening where it escalated and I ran when one of them got up and moved towards me as his friend yelled "Grab her by the pussy." And they laughed as I ran away.. I had multiple encounters with men while I was at working (you know.. telling them about how we can make their daughters strong leaders...) in which they waited outside by my car (daughters sitting in the car,) told me "I didn't need to work if I was with them, I could just sit in lingerie all day" or touching me and then telling me I was overreacting when I asked him to get away- or just straight up ignoring me and refusing to leave. I was just a young woman trying to do my job. It felt as though I was a young women trying to do a job, and that offended them. I stayed silent because I was terrified and tired of having very real fears dismissed by more men. This is not ok. This is not ok that this is just reality now. This is not ok that based on things we've seen happen since the election, all of the people committing these actions have now been validated and empowered by that man being made president. And yes, you can sit there and agree these actions aren’t ok, but a vote for trump is saying this is at least acceptable. I need for everyone to understand that these things are happening to so many women. And it's only getting worse.  On top of that, the day after the election I had to have a horrible conversation regarding my healthcare. I have a preexisting condition and I had trouble being covered before Obamacare. The only place I could get some healtcare from was planned parenthood. The medication I am on that allows me to get out of bed, and not lay there in a ball of excruciating pain costs $7,000 every 2 weeks- and even that only takes me to about 70-80%. Wednesday while I was already crying I was told I need to prepare for the chance I won't be able to get covered. As of right now, there is a slim chance this will happen as my eligibility is 3 days after the election, and the chance it'll go away that quickly is very rare.. but still, need to prepare as you just never know- and it's something I will need to consider whenever switching jobs.
I am also completely aware of the fact that I am at least half white and living in a pretty liberal state. I am so terrified for the safety of my LGBT friends, some of whom have already had acts of hatred or violence committed against them post-Trump victory. I am terrified for all minorities and the fight ahead of us.  I have had so many people tell me to get over it, and that its much more than his treatment of women, minorities, etc. This election got extremely personal because of actions that were being taken from Trumps words. You may not like Hillary, but you must understand that as I listened to people attacking her and telling me they were voting for Trump felt as though they were saying “it is ok for people to treat you like this.” I am not alone in that feeling.  
I have spent my (albeit short) life giving a voice to others and giving service to others. In 2008 someone I considered family was attacked and beaten so bad he was in a coma just because he was leaving a gay night club. He was denied coverage because his partner’s company would not recognize him. The police essentially said he was in the “wrong place at the wrong time” and refused to arrest the attackers. He was terrified of speaking out and standing up for himself so I did. I was livid. I was livid that he was seemingly left to die just because he loves differently than them. I was told “that’s the law, if you don’t like it change it” and I literally did. He was too scared to stand up for himself (completely understandable btw) so I did. They weren’t going to come after me. At one point my tires were slashed- they weren’t hurting me- they were hurting him and our LGBT brothers and sister and I wasn’t about to let anyone hurt anymore. I share this because it is about to be so very important that we stand together and protect each other, especially those that can’t or don’t have a voice. I encourage everyone to find their voice and share you're stories. I encourage everyone to give to those organizations fighting for our rights. If you can't give money, give your time, give your voice. 
I will learn to find solace in the fact that she did win the popular vote. And that number is growing every day. I will try to remember that most of the country did actually vote for “love.” I will learn to find solace in the fact that our little red county went blue for the first time since the great depression. I will try to remember that, and hope someone comes to help me if I continue to have these scary interactions. I will treat him with more respect than they treated Obama because it's the decent thing to do. And I guarantee I will fight like hell the second he doesn't return that respect.
I wanted to leave with some of my favorite quotes that I have been thinking of lately to try to get me through: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ― Margaret Mead
“All men are created equal. No matter how hard they try to erase those words. That is what America is all about.” – Harvey Milk
“We do not need magic to change the world; we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better.” –JK Rowling
“all young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential.”- Harvey Milk
Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”- Buddah

Friday, April 22, 2016

On Calloused Soles We Find Our Way- Boston Marathon recap

4/22/2015 I sat with the rest of the Membership team and we went around the room sharing our life's dream.  Mine has always been to run the Boston marathon, and almost a year to that day it came true. Not quite as planned but it never is.. Still it was an incredible incredible experience. 

We got to the East Coast super early Friday morning and got to enjoy lots of great time with family and visit our second love, Providence. The time difference was definitely taking a toll on us, so we ended up getting into Boston a little later than planned on Sunday, and ended up having to skip some of the DFMC events. I really wanted to be able to enjoy the excitement of the city and the expo. The atmosphere was incredible. There really isn't anything like it, the whole city was buzzing with excitement. 













Race morning started off wonderfully. I actually slept a solid 7 hours, which has never happened before a marathon. I guess that's one of the perks of the late start. I thought I'd be freaking out, but I was surprisingly calm. I even managed to eat some oatmeal and shake balls. David walked me down to the common to catch the bus, and people were already filing into the finish area and the bars were already packed. It was also packed with security and cops which was a little chilling. There was definitely a different feel than I remember, they were all getting ready for a big day. There was this kind of interested atmosphere of excitement and nervousness. 


The bus ride seemed very long, which made you think.. man.. what am I about to do? Everyone was super cool, super friendly and super excited. It was infectious. Even sat next to a fellow Orange County runner.. what are the chances? It was pretty cool how there are even people cheering for the busses.. it makes you feel like a bit of a rockstar. When we got to athletes village I wandered around for about an hour, and walked 2+ miles looking for the DFMC refuge. Then I remember that I had a phone with gps. In my wandering I encountered about 10 different cops who all were cracking jokes and so encouraging. Everyone just seemed so excited for Marathon Monday. It was exactly what always made it my favorite day of the year when I was in Boston. 



Then came the walk to the start. I thought ok.. now I'll get nervous but it never came. Nerves are usually my downfall with pretty much anything in life.. but it was nothing but excitement. I felt so ready.. I'd worked years for this. Even got to hug Teddy Bruschi on the way into the corral. There was just a short wait at the start and we were on our way. 


I'm not going to lie... the race is a little blurry, which I wish was not the case. I started out real strong. The crowds were incredible. There isn't a single part of that course where there aren't people cheering you on. The first half flew by and I was pacing for a 4:45-4:50 finish up until mile 17, which I would have been happy with. I got to hug some old friends, and just fed off of the energy of the crowd. For me it was perfect weather. I believe it was about 70 at the start, which if anything is cool for us. I went through Wellesley where they had some wonderful signs; and that's where things started to not feel right, but just kept thinking.. just make it to mile 17 where everyone is. And remembering who I dedicated the race too.. dad and Gma Lolly. They fought hard, and this was nothing compared to that. That's also about when the temperature began to drop quickly. It's hard to replicate Boston weather and prepare for some of these things in Southern California. I am used to headwinds, but not cold headwinds. 



By the time I hit the family I was definitely not feeling ok. It hit me right at about 16.5 and I started to get extremely dizzy, nauseous, my throat felt thick and it was getting hard to breathe. I had been hydrating a lot so I just kept telling myself I was ok. By the time I hit the family, I was trying not to throw up or pass out. I stopped with them for a little while and drank some water and that definitely helped. Water seemed to be the only thing that helped keep my throat in line. Mile 17 was my first visit to the med tent. They had me sit and warm myself up for a little while since I was dizzy. Luckily that went away and I started out again. Kept trying to push through, but by 19 I was done. I think I visited every med tent for the next couple miles, just trying to warm myself up enough to keep going. 

By 22, I stopped going in because I knew they would make me stop I was getting so sick. I ended up having to walk most of the rest. Which was so disappointing. Every single time I tried to start running again I would throw up. I was basically choking on the wind by then. When I started walked I started getting even colder.. which started a whole new slew of problems. Still, the crowd was incredible. I felt like such a failure so I don't think I enjoyed it as much as I should have, but I was so impressed they were still out there. Lots of people chanting my name and cheering. Which just made me cry.. because I felt like I was failing hard. My legs felt completely fine.. but my lungs were on fire. I had a pain in my chest that I knew was not good and my body felt like it was turning to ice. By the time I got to Hereford I thought, you have to run this in.. I didn't quite make it.. threw up again.. took a left on Boylston and it was incredible. I couldn't stop crying, and I did manage a slow jog to the finish. My ears finally stopped ringing yesterday the crowd was so loud. It was intense. 

I finished barely holding myself together and sobbing.. for many different reasons. It was an extremely emotional experience. Somewhere on the course I was behind someone with a shirt that said "On calloused soles, we find our way." I remember it making me tear up as it's so so true. (Also, I need to find that shirt.) Running has helped me process and deal with so many things. Helps me find my way. Boylston was such an emotional street. For everything that happened 3 years ago.. for fulfilling my life's dream, but also feeling like I failed. I was very happy to see David and Auntie Daryl about 10 ft from the finish line. Got to hug them for a while until I started to fade fast... 

For Dad and GMa Lolly

So many tears...

This is where things get really fuzzy... I remember leaving David, freezing and being stopped by a medic. She just grabbed my hands, which I remember thinking my hands are way way too cold walking up. She grabbed my hands and gave me the most genuine hug I think I've ever received from a stranger. Then walked me over to the med tent hugging me and wrapped me up in a foil blanket. I kind of don't remember what happened next other than meeting a dude from Palo Alto but somehow got to the recovery zone they made me go right to the med area and wrapped me in a Becca burrito. I don't remember getting there. I do remember being wrapped up and pulling out my phone and texting David, Sara and Nikki really weird things. Turns out I wasn't crazy and had mild hypothermia, but I recovered pretty fast. Changed clothes which was the most amazing feeling ever and made my way out to the family.   


So.. I finished. I wish I felt better about it. I know I should, but I can't shake the sadness I feel around it.  Now that the finishing high is over I'm just getting bummed out about how I performed, and how I didn't truly get to enjoy it. But it is what it is. I did what I could.. Fought long and hard for that finish line. My lungs and chest feel like they're never going to feel better from choking on that wind for about 20 miles but they are slowly getting better.  Overall.. still not the worst race.. I think last years LA in 100 degrees will always have that title. 



So.. now I'm not sure what's next. I'm thinking concentrate on halfs for a while, since I've been killing it lately with those. Get my time even better... Maybe I'll try Boston again in a couple of years after our bank account recovers. I probably wouldn't have done it the same year as getting married but too late now. I'm also thinking of maybe doing the full at Long Beach, or considering San Francisco. I'd like to see what my time would be soon as I think I'm finally starting to get some of my speed back. My legs feel stronger than ever, I'd like to see how I'd actually do right now in a full in weather I'm used to. I wish I could be recovered enough to run OC next week, but that worries me doing another full so soon. I already feel like I'm ready to run again, but I think it's safer to stick to the half. 

Speaking of OC.. you can still register! Make sure you say "Rebecca Harnois" sent you in the ambassador drop down. 



Also if you keep forgetting.. donations can still be made until May at http://www.runDFMC.org/2016/rharnois 

Thank you so much for everyone who came out and cheered me on!!! They even made adorable shirts, equipped with bunny. Thanks for everyone who's supported me with donations, words of encouragement, etc! It's all very much appreciated!!! Looking forward to returning to normal life again for a little while. Also thanks for everyone who had to deal with my bailing on life to go run for hours every day... mostly David and Sara.. I won't keep bailing on Disneyland and hanging out. In fact.. going to enjoy some active recovery at Disneyland tomorrow! Hopefully that'll help pull me out of my funk. 


Until next time... whatever that may be, because "On calloused soles we find our way."

Monday, January 18, 2016

Boston Bound! Lets conquer cancer together!


Well.. it’s been a long time.... lots of things happened. Lots and lots of miles, lots of news, decent amount of races and way too much work... but hope to get this thing started again.
Biggest news.. :) I got in to Boston! I’ll be running with the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge for in 2016! So excited.. nervous... anxious...felling all the feelings.

This year is a special year for me to be fundraising for such an amazing cause. Last March marked 25 years since I lost my dad to cancer. I’ve tried to write this post many many times for over 4 months now... I’m not one to talk about personal things.. definitely not my dad. But I think anyone who knows me knows that raising funds for cancer research is a huge passion of mine. 

My dad was a wonderful father, husband, brother, soldier. I’ve had way too many people tell me I was so young.. or there is no way I can remember him.. so it’s easier for me.. (BTW don’t say that to anyone ever...) And yes most of my memories are most likely from stories. But I’ve felt his absence every single day. I never really say anything but every holiday, every life moment, it’s always on my mind who’s not there. To the point I didn't want to attend graduation and it took me a long time to feel ok enough to have a wedding. Planning a wedding has obviously been difficult... lots of randomly crying in front of way to many strangers when they ask things like “how many corsages do you need for the dads.” Then there are all the things you don't realize stem from losing someone so young. But they say out of tragedy comes inspiration. It can inspire acts, and deeds, and abilities beyond ones expectations. It’s inspired me and hundreds others to run the Boston marathon as a part of the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC) team. And what better city to run in than the one that houses the Celtics and Red Sox, the teams my dad whole-heartily supported.

DFMC directs 100% of the funds it raises to the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research at Dana-Farber, which enable scientists at to achieve better cure rates and to enhance patients’ quality of life. When I worked for the American Cancer Society in Mass I encountered countless survivors who were treated at Dana Farber. They always called them “miracle workers.” I’m so thankful to be able to run with such an amazing group.
First Red Sox game



Cancer does not rest. It doesn't cool down like after a long run. Cancer doesn’t sleep. Cancer is relentless. It doesn’t discriminate. Cancer has no friends, no allies. It doesn’t need any. It does its damage on its own. It is its own army. It is creeping into the lives of everyone; leaving a path of destruction and tragedy in its wake. It is this tragedy that way too many people have experienced and one that we live with every day. 

Raising money for cancer is our means of empowering the army of doctors, nurses, clinicians, scientists, and support staff that are in our hospitals and labs. These are the people on the front lines working tirelessly to make the dream of “no more cancer” a reality.

Please join me by making the DFMC your way of making a difference in the fight against cancer. Yes, money can be tight. I know many of you are spending a lot of join us for our wedding. But remember, cancer takes no rest, no vacation, needs no help, and is not slowed by the economy. Without some of the great strides made in cancer research so many of our family and friends would not be able to share that special day with us. And there are too many who are not able to be there, including my dad and both grandfathers among many others. It’s why David and I are asking for donations over gifts.

Please contribute and help me in my continuing efforts to help wipe cancer off the face of the earth. I’ve said it for over 15 years now.. I want to make sure that no other little girl has to grow up without her daddy… or walk down the aisle without her dad. You may send me a check made out to Dana Farber Marathon Challenge or you can contribute online at: http://www.runDFMC.org/2016/rharnois

Love this picture.. we wanted to stretch too.. just remember everyone wore short shorts then. lol


Um...also I was asked to return as an ambassador for the OC Marathon on. You can save $10 until 1/23 using code REBECCA10OFF to register for the full, half of 5k. Race day is 5/1 this year.


Monday, May 11, 2015

OC Marathon Recap

Another great year at the OC Marathon! Always the best of the year! Should have done this last week as my memory is already a little fuzzy.. so sorry about the rambling. This year I go to experience it slightly differently as an ambassador for the race also, which was fun.

Started out Friday by working an ambassador shift at the expo. I was in the Legacy booth which was a really eye opening experience. Basically..we all need to be a lot nicer to everyone :). Working with the public every day, I have experienced my fair share of inappropriate, misdirected anger at me when there is really nothing you can do about it. There were an alarming amount of people who yelled at  me for a bib not being labeled, etc. (This is why you should always confirm your entries.) As a volunteer there is literally nothing you can do about that... or know why it happened. Or anything. All in all there was waaaaaaaay to much attitude from people upset, probably about 75% of people were mad about something. That there was a line.. the shirt sizing.. really anything they could be mad about.. It was pretty ridiculous and made me a little disappointed in the racing community. I just really hope we don't all treat race volunteers like that. We couldn't race safely without them. 

But anyway.. I digress... met up with the lovely Sara after my shift to pick up bibs, etc.  I believe the expo was in a different room this year, as there was significant more space which made it real easy to move around. It also seemed like there were a lot more vendors than the last couple of years. We made our way around and I escaped without spending too much money. I just picked up a super comfy hoodie I've been living in since and replenished my Kool N'Fit stash. Also got my super cute Legacy shirt and pin. Didn't sign up for anything else.. I'm on the fence with Surf City next year being so close to LA. I think I'll wait to see if I get into Boston or not next year to determine if I'll do LA again. Overall the expo was great, Long Beach level great. It was so easy to get around, unlike Surf City and there were some real quality vendors there this year.



I spent most of Saturday debating what I was going to do transportation wise for the race. David has always been able to drop me off/pick me up after the race but he had to work so couldn't pick me up. I didn't know what to do as I'd heard the shuttle/parking situation is not ideal so I was debating taking an uber back.. parking at the start.. I was so torn. I ended up driving and parking at the finish and I'm so glad I did. I showed up the the Fair Grounds around 4:45 and barely even saw another car pulling in. Never hit traffic.. parking was so easy.. everything went well. Got out of the car and immediately on a shuttle which then closed it's doors and left. From home-start line it took a little over a half hour. It was super easy. 

Race was great as usual. Lots of support on the course and pretty views. There was even less bottlenecking in certain areas and there were no groups you had to dodge which was awesome. There seemed to be more people out this year than in years past. Most of them were with one group.. which they made it pretty clear.. There were several times when they were cheering for one of their own then stopped and stared at me when I was behind.. but whatever I just pretended they liked me too. Everyone else was super nice and encouraging though. All the police seemed to be having a really good time cheering and watching the race.

This might be one of my favorite race photos. I look like I'm having a really good time..


The split even seemed less depressing this year :) When the half and full split the crowd gets extremely thin and you go from running in a group of 50 or so to maybe 10. But the course remained exciting enough that it never really mattered. While you don't have the pretty ocean views or awesome Corona Del Mar houses it twists and turns more so you're always looking at something new. I don't remember there being as many hills.. and I felt bad 3 hills later after telling 2 women I what I thought was the last one.. But it was never bad thanks to training up to Cooks Corner :) 

I didn't get the time I wanted, but I'm still pretty happy with how great I felt through the whole race. I was tired towards the start just from the early start time, but through the whole race I never hit a mental or physical wall. My body felt great the whole race, and my form stayed perfect which usually doesn't happen... Unfortunately my knees however did not. I was able to stay strong and on interval until around mile 22 when I got to the Snails Pace tent. Right before the pain was getting very intense, and not something I'd experienced before.. not a normal knee pain. When I got there they had me sit because both knees were so swollen. I iced for a while and they gave me patches to put on but it really didn't make a difference. 

The next 2 miles were pretty bad... the sitting actually made it worse and the swelling and pain was getting pretty bad. Luckily I did push through and around 24-25 I was back to a good pace. I helped a downed runner who took a nasty fall around 25.5 a sad time to go down. The amount of blood he was losing was pretty scary, and I'm hoping he's fine. A spectator and I walked him to the Fairway intersection where the EMTs were waiting for us. They gave me things to clean up and I was on my way again. Finished really strong so I was happy, the pain definitely wasn't as bad anymore. Sara waited after she finished the half which made me smile on the way in. 

Medals were super awesome as usual. OC always has the nicest medals.. I am so in love with the shirt from this year too. I wish I tried it on though, it's a little small. It's a nice color and design though. I love the back with the "Run the OC" down the back. 



Poor Sara did have to deal with a little post-marathon brain as I tried to remember where I needed to go afterwards.. what I needed to pick up and made her pretty much just wander for a little while lol. And ramble incoherently about things. I just got some Kool N'Fit, picked up my extra Double Dog medal and we made our way home. I was dreading this part because I hear nothing but horror stories of trying to get out of the Fairgrounds parking lot but we drove right out no problems or stopping at all. Not sure where they are leaving from.. After a little ice I felt fine. Scary fine actually.. I really had no soreness or anything. 


Overall another great year in the OC! 
Can't wait for next year!