The Green Girl's 100 Things for 2013

The Green Girl was inspired by the Day Zero Project's '101 Things in 1001 Days Challenge' to start her own challenge of attempting to complete 100 things in a given calendar year.

The Green Girl's 100 Things for 2013 - [048/100]
  1. Accrue 60 professional development units (PDUs) for my PMP certification 01.16.2013
  2. Create my elevator pitch 02.16.2013
  3. Update my resume 05.06.2013
  4. Get a promotion or new job 03.01.2013
  5. Get Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
  6. Learn a new technical skill 01.19.2013
  7. Find a mentor
  8. Go completely paperless/automated for all bills 01.14.2013
  9. Get at least 5 sponsors for the Angelman Syndrome Foundation annual walk
  10. Re-assess the Tumaini for the Future project 10.31.2013
  11. Answer the '50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind'
  12. Simplify my life in 10 tangible ways [10/10]
  13. Volunteer at an assisted-living or retirement home
  14. Start journaling again 01.07.2013
  15. Write a short story
  16. Get a library card 01.07.2013
  17. Read Sophie's World
  18. Read Chi Marathon book
  19. Mark all the places I've visited in my 1000 Places To See Before You Die book
  20. Do something outside of my comfort zone 01.19.2013
  21. Do something spontaneous
  22. Get a new luggage 03.15.2013
  23. Buy a necklace 02.10.2013
  24. Buy a dress 08.29.2013
  25. Buy a pair of black heels 05.25.2013
  26. Mend clothing that need repairs
  27. Go on a road trip
  28. Go camping 09.06.2013
  29. Go dancing
  30. Ride a bus with Jade 12.25.2013
  31. Ride a train with Jade 02.17.2013
  32. Build a snowman 02.10.2013
  33. Go on a picnic 08.03.2013
  34. Go zip lining
  35. Play Pixar Monopoly
  36. Get mole check
  37. Get my wisdom teeth removed
  38. Get new prescription sunglasses 01.15.2013
  39. Give contact lenses another go 09.19.2013
  40. Meeting a blogging friend in real life
  41. Update The Running Green Girl's header
  42. Update The Running Green Girl's About
  43. Improve The Running Green Girl SEO
  44. Update my running playlist 10.26.2013
  45. Consolidate/prune my address books/contacts 08.29.2013
  46. Organize or digitize photographs
  47. Organize family photographs online 03.27.2013
  48. Put pictures in frames
  49. Do Pilates on a reformer 01.31.2013
  50. Explore a new place with Lexa
  51. Do a century with Lexa, Angelina, Chris, Kapil, and Nevil
  52. Learn to ride Lexa clipped in
  53. Take Lexa for a ride on the Metro 06.23.2013
  54. Complete Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred
  55. Run a race in a costume 07.07.2013
  56. Get a facial
  57. Spend a day at a spa
  58. Go to Disneyland 09.01.2013
  59. Go to California Adventure 09.01.2013
  60. Get another tattoo
  61. Meditate 05.02.2013
  62. Attend a self-defense class
  63. Attend a gun/firearms training class
  64. Renew CPR/First Aid certification 01.12.2013
  65. Organize bathroom cabinet
  66. Coat shower liner with baby oil and see if it prevents soap scum
  67. Organize the kitchen pantry
  68. Update my recipe book 01.14.2013
  69. Get a green mixer
  70. Take a cooking class
  71. Roast a whole chicken
  72. Make vegetarian sushi
  73. Make homemade mac & cheese 04.10.2013
  74. Try a new cuisine 05.04.2013
  75. Go fruit picking
  76. Eat a new fruit 03.18.2013
  77. Repair camera or get a replacement 02.05.2013
  78. Learn how to use manual features/settings on camera
  79. Take pictures of the sun rise and set in the same day 09.07.2013
  80. Take a picture for each letter of the alphabet
  81. Take a picture for the numbers from 0 to 9
  82. Take a picture of the same place every month
  83. Document a day in the life of a Green Girl in pictures
  84. Take a picture of a Dead Drop
  85. Send a care package to the little boy I'm sponsoring through Vision Africa
  86. Perform a random act of kindness 08.14.2013
  87. Make a scrapbook
  88. Help microfinance a small business through a Zidisha loan
  89. Get a new Road ID 01.29.2013
  90. Obtain Amateur Ham Radio License 01.20.2013
  91. Get a ham radio 01.28.2013
  92. Inventory bug-out bags 01.15.2013
  93. Get 10 more bug-out bag items [10/10]
  94. Inventory emergency food/water supplies 12.10.2013
  95. Inventory first aid kit 01.15.2013
  96. Purchase second first aid kit for home 02.13.2013
  97. Give all family members paracord bracelets/keychains 01.29.2013
  98. Print out map with routes to ride to San Jose with Lexa
  99. Take bug-out bag for test ride with Lexa
  100. Private


Manhattan Beach Yuletide 5k Race Report

The Green Girl and her friend, Janey, ran their very first race on the sand at the Manhattan Beach Yuletide 5k Saturday evening.

The Manhattan Beach Yuletide 5k is the sister race to the annual summer Manhattan Beach 5k.

The Manhattan Beach 5k takes place each June and coincides with the Summer Solstice, the longest day of sunlight for the year. The Manhattan Beach Yuletide 5k was scheduled for the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of sunlight for the year.

Manhattan Beach Yuletide 5k at the Manhattan Beach Pier
A solstice occurs when the part of the Earth’s equator that faces the Sun is tilted at its highest or lowest point. The day of the Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year and the Winter Solstice is the shortest day.

The solstice provides an extremely low tide, creating ideal running conditions for on the hard-packed sand.

Sunset at the Manhattan Beach Pier
The Manhattan Beach Yuletide 5k consisted of a 5k run/walk on the sand and a Little Elves Dash.

Each participant received a cotton t-shirt and a glow necklace. The timing chips were conveniently attached to our bibs.

Christmas Tree at the Manhattan Beach Pier
The evening was unusually cold and on occasion, a raindrop would fall. The sunset faded into the horizon as the runners shivered and waited for the race to start.

The Manhattan Beach Pier glowed with holiday lights which reflected on the dark waves and the wet sand.

Manhattan Beach Yuletide 5k Starting Line at the Manhattan Beach Pier
Spectators lined the pier from above and cheered us on as we started the race.

In the darkness, you could see the fluorescent glow of the necklaces moving along the beach.

The course was an out and back loop along the water. The well-packed sand was the perfect surface for running since it was just like running on a dirt trail.

Manhattan Beach Yuletide 5k Mile 1
Volunteers shined bright lights on the mile markers so they could be easily seen.

I had so much fun running on the beach. The Manhattan Beach Yuletide 5k was the perfect race to get me into the holiday spirit.


The Green Girl's Updated Motivational Collage

The Green Girl decided it was time to update her Motivational Collage.

Since my last collage, I did manage to accrue 54 out of the 60 professional development units (PDUs) required per three-year cycle for my my PMP certification.

In terms of dreaming and following my heart, I took some chances and ended up with some bumps and bruises along the way.

My updated collage reflects the following:
  • Heal
  • Balance head and heart

My number one focus right now is an amelioration of my mind, body, and soul.

A significant portion of this healing process will be the rehabilitation of my right heel. I've been struggling with Achilles tendon bursitis (retrocalcaneal bursitis) since the beginning of this year.

I believe finding a balance between my head and heart will be an integral part of this journey for me.

Healing comes from taking responsibility:
to realize that it is you – and no one else –
that creates your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions.

Peter Shepherd


Really Big Free Half Marathon Las Vegas Race Report

The Green Girl did the inaugural Really Big Free Half Marathon Las Vegas at Lake Mead National Recreation Area at the beginning of this month.

This race was the brainchild of the io events race management company. The strategy was to offset the registrant costs to the race sponsors.

A refundable deposit of $50 was required during registration.

Really Big Free Marathon Las Vegas Starting Line at Lake Mead National Recreation Area
According to the Really Big Free FAQ, all runners who crossed the Starting Line with their timing chips will be refunded in the form of a $50 check four to six weeks after the event.

Fellow Sole Runners Barb, Kerri, and Sandy, also participated in this race.

Sole Runners Sandy, John, and Barb at the Really Big Free Marathon Las Vegas Starting Line
We arrived at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area just before sun rise to see Kerri off for the marathon.

We quickly discovered the fortuitousness of already being there for Kerri's early marathon start when the half was delayed due to logistical parking and traffic problems.

Really Big Free Marathon Las Vegas Half Marathon Starting Line
At one point, the race organizers even announced there was a possibility the race could be cancelled.

The course was along the scenic rolling hills of the River Mountain Loop Trail.

I went into this race undertrained and without any expectations since I'm still dealing with the Achilles tendon bursitis (retrocalcaneal bursitis) in my right heel.

The course was along the scenic River Mountain Loop Trail
To avoid aggravating my heel, I started off easy and maintained a steady jog throughout the race.

The slower pace enabled me to relax and enjoy the beauty of Lake Mead.

Since the course followed the River Mountain Loop Trail, it was easy to follow and all crossings were clearly marked.

Sole Runner Barb taking a post-run dip in Lake Mead
The aide stations were well stocked with water but there appeared to have been a shortage of sports drink.

At the finish, a number of runners took a post-run dip in Lake Mead in lieu of an ice bath.

I really enjoyed the inaugural Really Big Free Half Marathon and look forward to participating in future Really Big Free events.

Update: As of Friday, January 4th, 2013, the following message appears on the Really Big Free Half Marathon Las Vegas Race website:

This is the hardest message we have ever written.
You would think that business is business but THIS business represents years of real blood, sweat, tears, memories, and sacrifice. The past year we’ve pushed ahead with the attitude that failure is not an option, emotionally vested in a business and industry that has slowly realized it is not as recession proof as was once touted. Our emotional commitment to our races blinded us to some serious problems such as significantly increasing race organization costs, increasing regulatory red-tape, declining participation numbers, sponsorship cut-backs, and our burgeoning debt.
We forged ahead, investing in the races waiting for the economy to improve, sponsors to follow through on their promises, and for there to be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel – yet the reality is, at least for us, there is no hint of glow coming from the path ahead. Aggregate participation numbers have been significantly down for the past year and numbers going forward look even worse. And it’s a struggle many race organizers our size are sharing. At this point, our credit cards are maxed out… and with some vendors having been paid and others still waiting we find ourselves in a tough spot with our backs against the wall; we’re broke, and we’re facing a dire and unfamiliar situation that appears to have only one solution; after nearly 7 years of organizing races, we’re closing our doors. This closure means the cancellation of the Really Big Free Series.
As for refunds - we're working on it and we hope to have a time table available in the coming weeks.
For those of you who have supported us through the years we are so grateful – we wish we could push on; we’ve poured our hearts into this company and the prospect of not organizing races is just heartbreaking.
See you down road,
~Karen & Richard
You may email us at contact@ioevents.com / or call our office at (928) 855 - 4887.


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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