Fitness 4 All Trick-or-Treat 10k Race Report

Fitness 4 All Trick-or-Treat 5k/10k Finisher Medal
The Green Girl participated in the Fitness 4 All Trick-or-Treat 10k yesterday.

The race benefited the National Marfan Foundation. 75% of the race registration fees will be donated to the organization.

The event was in memory of Laura Coughlan Siqueiros , the wife of fellow Sole Runner mentor, John Siqueiros, and in honor of a young man, Ethan Johns.

Laura had planned this race to share Ethan's Marfan syndrome story but unfortunately, she passed away from Marfan syndrome complications earlier this year.

Marfan syndrome is a genetic disorder of the connective tissue that can affect the skeleton, eyes, heart and blood vessels.

Ethan Johns at the Fitness 4 All Trick-or-Treat 5k/10k
People with Marfan syndrome are at risk of aortic enlargement. Without proper treatment, the aorta (the large blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart) could enlarge and could tear or rupture. Aortic ruptures are usually fatal.

Possible Symptoms of Marfan Syndrome

Heart and Blood Vessels (Cardiovascular system)
  • Enlarged or bulging aorta, the main blood vessel that carries blood from the heart (aortic dilation or aneurysm)
  • Separation of the layers of the aorta that can cause it to tear (aortic dissection)
  • “Floppy” mitral valve (mitral valve prolapse – MVP)
Bones and Joints (Skeletal system)
  • Long arms and legs
  • Tall and thin body type
  • Curvature of the spine (scoliosis or kyphosis)
  • Chest sinks in (pectus excavatum) or sticks out/pigeon breast (pectus carinatum)
  • Long, thin fingers
  • Flexible joints
  • Flat feet
  • Teeth that are too crowded
  • Eyes (Ocular system)
  • Severe nearsightedness (myopia)
  • Dislocated lens of the eye
  • Detached retina
  • Early glaucoma
  • Early cataracts
Other Body Systems
  • Stretch marks on the skin, not explained by pregnancy or weight gain
  • Sudden collapse of the lung (spontaneous pneumothorax)
  • Swelling of the sac around the spinal column (dural ectasia). This is found with CT or MRI scans of the back

Sole Runners Hiroko, Krishna, John, and Isabelle at the Fitness 4 All Trick-or-Treat 5k/10k
Laura was passionate about raising awareness of the symptoms of Marfan syndrome so undiagnosed cases might be identified and lives could be saved.

The morning started off chilly but as the race time approached, it really warmed up.

The scenic race course was along the Long Beach Shoreline Pedestrian Bikepath.

Volunteer Karla at the Fitness 4 All Trick-or-Treat 5k/10k Halloween aide station
A number of runners were dressed in Halloween costumes to celebrate the holiday spirit.

The aide stations were Halloween themed complete with trick-or-treat baskets filled with treats.

It made my day when I was able to snack on a Reese's at Mile 1.

Laura and John Siqueiros at the 2010 Seal Beach 'Will Run 4 Cupcakes' 10k by Betty
It was a beautiful day to do what we all love in memory of Laura and in honor of Ethan.

Those we love don't go away, They walk beside us every day, Unseen, unheard, but always near, Still loved, still missed and very dear. Unknown


Run Like It's Recess 5k Race Report

The Green Girl ran the Run Like It's Recess 5k this morning at El Dorado East Regional Park along with a number of Sole Runners.

The Run Like It's Recess event featured a 5k run/walk, 1k kids run/walk, and 50-yard Toddler Run.

The race benefited a local school, Newcomb Elementary.

The morning started off with some light drizzles but the sky cleared up as the race start approached.

Run Like It's Recess 5k backpack, shirt, and goodies
The event was well staffed with volunteers and the late registration process went smoothly.

I wasn't expecting a goodie bag so I was thrilled when I received a green Run Like It's Recess backpack containing a race shirt, an anti-bacterial gel from the LBS Financial Credit Union (the bottle fits the holder on my Nathan Trail Mix belt), a Newcomb Elementary water bottle, and a Naked Juice berry blast lip balm.

The Green Girl and the Sole Runners before the Run Like It's Recess 5k
I went into this race without any expectations. I'm still struggling to build up mileage without aggravating the Achilles tendon bursitis (retrocalcaneal bursitis) in my right heel.

Before the race start, they warmed up all the runners with some upbeat music and exercises.

Run Like It's Recess 5k pre-race warm-up
As we crossed the Starting Line, my body felt good so I immediately fell into a brisk pace.

I managed to do the first mile in an even 9 minutes but I couldn't maintain that pace beyond Mile 1.

I slowed down significantly on the second mile but continued to try to push myself.

The Green Girl's 5k PR 32:53:55
I wasn't able to make it to Mile 2 without a walk break. I tried to catch my breath and pull myself together before I started running again.

I dug as deep as I could for the last mile and really engaged that ChiRunning lean.

I couldn't believe it when I got to the Finish Line and the clock read 00:32:xx.

Run Like It's Recess 5k Finisher Pancakes
According to Mr. Orange Garmin, I finished in 32:52:55. I unofficially shaved almost two minutes off my 2011 Wrigley River Run 5k time of 34:41.

As I exited the chute, Coach Steve congratulated me on my PR and advised I keep moving since I was breathing so hard.

Mixing the Run Like It's Recess 5k pancake batter
Fresh pancakes complete with strawberries and whipped cream were served to the finishers.

I was pleasantly surprised and pleased with my performance today. And grateful that my Achilles wasn't aggravated.

For the past few months, I've been working with a personal trainer, Chris from Beach Cities Mobile Fitness, to correct my biomechanical running issues through strength training.

It was nice to see that work paying off. Even though I'm not in good running shape, I was able to run a pain-free 5k today and unofficially PR by almost two minutes!


Blog Action Day 2012: Tumaini for the Future

Blog Action Day was founded in 2007 to bring together bloggers from different countries, interests and languages to blog about one important global topic on the same day.

The Blog Action Theme for 2012 is 'The Power of We' to celebrate people working together to make a positive difference in the world.

Tumaini for the Future

The Green Girl met a Kenyan runner, Moses Waweru, last year at the 13.1 Chicago Half Marathon.

Moses is originally from Nakuru, Kenya. He currently resides in the Midwest in Wisconsin.

When Moses visited Nakuru last September, a local school teacher reached out to him.

The teacher explained the parents of the school children in her class could not afford the tuition and consequently, she had fallen behind on rent, and did not have money to purchase ugali (cornmeal) and tea to feed the students.

Moses vowed to do everything in his power to help this teacher keep her school and continue to provide an education for these children.

Moses Waweru with the Tumaini for the Future school children in Nakuru, Kenya

As soon as he returned to the US, he transformed his vision into Tumaini for the Future.

The future home of the Tumaini School
Tumaini means Hope in Swahili.

Moses founded the non-profit organization Tumaini for the Future to provide educational opportunities for underserved youth in his hometown of Nakuru, Kenya.

When Moses spoke to the school teacher, he discovered the ugali and tea served at school is sometimes the only nourishment the children get.

Unloading the Tumaini School building materials
Tumaini for the Future needs your support. $100 US donated to Tumaini for the Future will feed all of the Tumaini school children for an entire month.

Tumaini for the Future is also raising money to build a new school which will be called the Tumaini School. The goal is to raise $10,000. The land and some building materials have already been purchased.

Sole Runners running for Tumaini for the Future
Tumaini for the Future has no administrative overhead so 100% of your donations will go directly to the Tumaini School.

Tumaini for the Future has partnered with Coach Steve Mackel and his running group, the Sole Runners, to help spread awareness.

Sole Runners donating used running shoes and clothing
The Sole Runners also collect used running shoes and clothing for Moses to take back to aspiring runners in Kenya.

Please help celebrate and make the Tumaini for the Future dream come true by spreading awareness to your family and friends.


Trek Lexa SLX XS (43 cm) Road Bike Accessories

Trek Lexa SLX XS (43 cm) in Satin Crystal Pearl White/Sparkling Silver/Platinum
The Green Girl loves her Trek Lexa SLX XS (43 cm) road bike.

Since I purchased Lexa, I've received a number of inquiries from fellow shorties regarding the XS (43 cm) model.

For the record, I am an exactly 4'10.5" tall Green Girl with an approximately 27" inseam. The biggest obstacle for me was to find a bike with a low enough standover for me to actually stand over it.

The 2012 Lexa didn't come in the 43 cm size but according to Trek, the 2013 will include a 43 cm.

The Green Girl and Lexa at the End of Boardwalk along the Balboa Peninsula
I love how Lexa fits perfectly in the trunk of my 2009 Toyota Camry with the backseats down.

Her rear tires protrude slightly onto the backseats so I just tuck a tarp over her. No one would ever guess there was a road bike in my car.

As one might imagine, the smaller, women-specific geometry is somewhat restrictive in terms of accessory options.

The Green Girl and Lexa at the Tour DaVita Century Finish
For example, for those interested in purchasing a U-lock, please keep in mind due to the limited space on the frame, you will need to carry it on you in your pack.

I purchased a small U-lock but I've never used it since I discovered Lexa is small enough to roll into public restroom stalls when I'm out on long solo rides.

The smaller frame will only accommodate a single bottle cage so I always wear a Nathan Intensity hydration vest. I put sports drink in the bottle and water in the hydration pack.

The Green Girl and Lexa travel with spare tires and tubes
Most adult road bikes have 700c wheels but the smaller Lexa SLX XS features 650c wheels.

In terms of tire replacement, I am currently using 650c x 23mm Continental Ultra Gatorskin Tires.

For spare tubes, I purchase standard thickness butyl tubes in size 650c x18/23mm with 48mm long presta valves.

When I travel with Lexa, I carry two spare tires and a few extra tubes because I know the 650c size is not common like the 700c.

Lexa and her Serfas LT-2 Medium Speed Bag in Laguna Nigel
I store all my cycling essentials in a Serfas LT-2 Medium Speed Bag.

The only modification I had to make to the Serfas Speed Bag was to trim the velcro straps since they were extending past the saddle and irritating me when I was cycling.

Lexa on the Long Beach Bike Path
If you are in the market for a bike trainer I would just take extra care to make sure the trainer will be able to accommodate a smaller bike. There have been instances where Lexa was too small for the trainer at the bike shop.

Lexa was absolutely one of the best investments the Green Girl ever made.


Sole Runners at the Long Beach Marathon

The Green Girl and Moses Waweru joined the Sole Runners for the Long Beach Marathon.

Coach Steve kicked the race weekend off with the Sole Runners group picture in front of the Long Beach Convention Center.

Moses Waweru with the STARTS runners before the Kids 1 Mile Fun Run
Before heading to the race expo, Moses went over to the Aquarium of the Pacific Kids 1 Mile Fun Run to show his support for a group of school children who were participating in the fun run as part of Long Beach's Grace United Methodist Church's Yes We Serve STARTS youth organization.

Moses Waweru with the STARTS runners after the Kids 1 Mile Fun Run
STARTS stands for 'Soaring To Achieve, Reaching To Succeed'.

The non-profit organization provides afterschool activities such as art classes, dance and sports instruction, theatre training, and tutoring for underprivileged first through third graders.

After cheering the SMART runners on the course, Moses congratulated the finishers on a successful race.

The Green Girl test drove her dream car, the Beetle
After the Fun Run, we headed over to the Long Beach Convention Center for the race expo.

The highlight of the expo for me was the opportunity to finally test drive my dream car - a Beetle. Except it wasn't lime green.

Coach Steve leading the ChiRunning Body Looseners
Pre-race Sunday morning, Coach Steve led all the Sole Runners through the ChiRunning body looseners.

Before the runners headed to their respective corrals, the Sole Runners formed the traditional Sole Runners pre-race team huddle.

Coach Steve leading the Sole Runners pre-race team huddle
Once the race started, we headed over to Mile 6 to cheer the Sole Runners as they ran by on the beach path.

In addition to the Kids 1 Mile Fun Run, Marathon and Half-Marathon, there was also a Run Forrest Run 5k which started shortly after the marathon and half-marathon.

Moses Waweru at the Run Forrest Run 5k Starting Line
Moses finished the Run Forrest Run 5k in 15:20.

After the 5k, I headed out onto the course to cheer on the back of the packers.

Other support Sole Runners were out there, including Coach Steve, making sure all our runners were okay.

Sole Runners Charlie, Moses Waweru, and Coach Steve
The Sole Runners tents didn't go down until every last Sole Runner runner had crossed that finish line.

It was the end of another successful season and Long Beach Marathon for the Sole Runners.
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