Tag Archives: charity

Continuing To Support My Friend’s Place (or Learning New Ways To Help Others)

I’ve written a few times in the past about My Friend’s Place. It’s an amazing organization that helps homeless youth in Los Angeles. So many organizations to help the homeless focus on adults and their needs. So it’s great that there is a place for homeless youth to get support and services they need. They do such a great job with providing education, health services, housing information, and other services that homeless youth need. Every time I have things to donate I bring it there since I love the work they are doing. I always just wish that I could do more to help.

At the SAG-AFTRA Convention, we encouraged delegates who were staying at the hotel to donate their hotel toiletries if they didn’t need them. Since My Friend’s Place has shower facilities, toiletries are needed so they have enough supplies for everyone who wants to clean up there. When there have been National Board meetings in LA, board members from other locals come and stay at a hotel here and they have been encouraged to do the same. We’ve managed to collect quite a nice collection of things to donate from people at the union.

I also had some things from friends who knew that I do donation drop offs. Sometimes people just need a way to be able to make a donation easily and don’t have the time or ability to do a drop off on their own. So this week, I went along with 2 other members of SAG-AFTRA to do a drop off of the things we collected.  It felt so great to be able to go with lots of donations even though most of them were from other people.

A lot of times when I do drop offs, I just bring things over and then head back. But this time we had some time to be there and I’m so glad that we weren’t rushed. We got to check out a new thing that My Friend’s Place is doing called the Corner Collective.

The Corner Collective is art, apparel, housewares, and jewelry that was made by the youth at My Friend’s Place that is for sale. Artists come in from time to time to teach a class and then the youth get to create their own work. And now, they are selling them so the youth are able to gain new skills like marketing and are able to gain confidence knowing that what they create is valuable. I know it must give them so much pride to know that someone is buying what they made. And I bet that confidence and pride can be shifted into other areas of their life so they can continue to make steps to getting a job and getting a place to live. It’s such a great idea and I love that we were able to see the work that was for sale!

We also found out that they are going to be doing their 30th anniversary gala on April 7th. It’s going to be held at The Hollywood Palladium and I’m definitely going to see if I’m able to attend. I’m sure it’s going to be an incredible event and I know that supporting such a great organization is something I want to do whenever I can.

I wish I had the ability to donate more items to My Friend’s Place because it is an organization I believe so much in. But since I can’t give as much as I’d like, I figured I could help continue to spread the word about them and the work they do. I found out about them through someone telling me so hopefully I can inspire others to do the same. They have a list of donation items that they are always looking for on their website. I know that some people have been hesitant to donate to certain organizations because of how they may use the donations. With My Friend’s Place, I know that the things we drop off go directly to the youth that they support in Los Angeles. There isn’t a corporate office that determines who gets what. It all goes right there and is used by who needs it first.

If you are in Los Angeles, please consider donating to My Friend’s Place the next time you have items to donate. Or if you have to buy a gift for someone, please browse what The Corner Collective has available and know that your gift will go to support the homeless youth in Los Angeles. And if you are interested in attending their gala, there will be more information on their website soon.

Southern California Fires (or Some Ways To Help)

Even if you don’t live in Southern California, you’ve probably heard on the news that we have multiple fires happening right now. While wildfires are something that we get from time to time, this time it seems different. Having multiple fires at one time isn’t the norm. But also they seem to be surrounding us.

There is a combination of things that are happening that make things worse. We had a good rain season this past winter so there is more plant life around than there was when the drought was at its worst. But since our summer was hotter than normal the plants all died which left dried plants everywhere to catch on fire. The humidity in the air is lower than normal so the fire risk is higher. And we currently have the Santa Ana winds which are very strong and are blowing the fires and embers into new areas. All of that combined means that the fires are big, tough to fight, and keep moving.

There is a fire up in Ventura County near where my brother and sister-in-law live. My brother was working at his hospital the first day of the fire and things were getting pretty bad then. He hasn’t worked since that day, but the fire continues to get worse and more out of control. Their home should hopefully be fine, but it’s still scary to see the fires getting closer to them.

I have a lot of friends in the valley who are on evacuation watch. Hopefully those fires won’t get into their neighborhoods, but even without there being a fire it is still difficult to breathe. The smoke is pretty thick and the wind doesn’t seem to be clearing it. The smoke and wind are the problems that I’ve been encountering. There is a fire near my gym and that smoke has come over to me. I’ve been trying to stay inside but since my house doesn’t have the best insulation it smelled smokey inside my house.

And I’ve had some family that was evacuated because the fires are in their neighborhood. We are all very hopeful that their house will be fine. There was a fire in that neighborhood about 70 years ago and their house was still standing because it was built out of stucco and not wood. We don’t know when they will be able to go back home to check on their house, but I hope that it is soon so we can find out what their next step is. And we all just want all of the fires to be out so more homes aren’t lost.

But the sad reality of these fires is that there has been loss of property, animals, and some people. And help will be needed because not everyone will be able to rebuild on their own. I read one news story about a family that just closed on the purchase of their house last week and it burned down this week. Hopefully they had some sort of insurance, but insurance doesn’t always cover everything.

There are a couple of ways to help. If you live near an affected area, there may be volunteer opportunities but it seems like a lot of those are filling up quickly. I’ve seen people who are buying bottled water and leaving them near where the firetrucks are so that the firemen fighting the fires have water. But with many disasters the best way to help is with money. Organizations that are set up to help with disaster relief need funds and they will know where to put that money toward.

The Salvation Army is a good place to donate. They’ve been setting up shelters around Southern California and many people in the shelters have no idea when they can go home or if they will even have a home to go back to. And there are so many animals that have needed to be evacuated. Many of these are larger animals like horses that need to be transported to a safe area and that is not cheap. So the Humane Society is accepting donations to help animals affected by the fire. There is also the Southern California Wildfire Relief page through the California Community Foundation. That page has a lot of different places that are providing help and offering information to those looking to find out what is going on.

I don’t know how much longer the fires will be burning, but the relief efforts are going to take a while. There is no quick way to rebuild someone’s life after a fire has taken everything. If you have the ability to donate, please do. I know that is what I will be doing it when I figure out how much extra money I have in my budget this month. I know that there have been so many natural disasters lately and it can seem overwhelming. But hopefully the links that I’ve provided can help you find where to donate so that you can help those affected by the fires happening all around Southern California.

Running For Cancer (or Health Supporting Health)

I’ve been a supporter of breast cancer research for a very long time. Even before my life was personally affected by it, I would do breast cancer walks and purchase things that donated a part of the profits to research. Once my mom was diagnosed, I started to do more research on what those donations go to and started to be a bit pickier (sadly, some of those organizations don’t really give much to research or charity). But the Susan G. Komen charity gives so much to programs and education so they are one charity that I’ve continued to support.

Through Sweat Pink Ambassadors, I was given the opportunity to run or walk miles for charity this month. I knew I’d be signing up to do it even before I knew what charities were going to be supported by it. And I was very happy to see that Susan G. Komen was one of the options to put my miles and donations toward. So I signed up and got ready to start tracking my miles!

Between my workouts and any runs I do on my own, I know I’ll get a bunch of miles this month. Going to Tahoe helped a lot too! This is a great motivation for me to keep up my workouts and doing as much as I can with my run/walks to get more and more miles on my counter.

But more importantly than the miles, I want to hit my fundraising goal of $250. I don’t think it’s a huge goal to have, but I know that money will be put to such great use. There is a lot known about breast cancer, but there is still so much more to learn and educate others about. I know that most people are aware of the BRCA gene mutation, but a lot of people don’t understand what that means or what choices they have if they find out they have the mutation. There are ways to stay on top of your health, but I know some people are scared to see what they may find out.

When I had my first mammogram, I was terrified. I knew I didn’t have a lot to worry about, but I was still scared. Since my mom’s cancer was when she was older, I don’t have that high of risk now. If her cancer is genetic, I probably wouldn’t get it until I was post-menopausal. But just because that cancer isn’t going to happen to a younger person doesn’t mean that I can’t have a different type of cancer. So the days leading up to my appointment were scary and I tried to avoid looking up things online since that always makes things worse.

The mammogram wasn’t fun (I was expecting it to hurt, but it hurt differently than I thought), but getting my clean bill of health was worth it. When I had my second mammogram, I wasn’t as scared as the first time and again I felt great finding out that I’m perfectly fine now. This year, I will be probably getting a breast MRI to check for cancer (I’ll write about that when if it happens) and again I am scared. But fortunately I have the knowledge and education to know what is happen and the slim likelihood that anything is wrong with me.

I’m fortunate that I was raised in a medical home and I know quite a bit about breast cancer now. I know what to expect and why I shouldn’t worry. But not everyone has that luxury and fear can make people put off medical testing. And putting off that testing can make cancer caught at a farther stage than it should have been. So I want to raise as much money as I can for Susan G. Komen to get more education out there and to help relieve the fear so more women will get their annual exams and tests.

I would love your support no matter how big or small. If everyone who reads this gives $1, I will be ecstatic! I promise to keep working this month to get more and more miles and I may add some challenge for each donation I get (maybe doing 10 burpees for each donation?). I just want to make sure I do whatever I can to help make breast cancer less scary and more treatable. I would love if the survival rate at any stage gets higher so more people can see their loved ones come through this disease with a smile on their face just like my mom did.

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A Major Cleanup (or Saying Goodbye To The Old Me)

A long time ago, I wrote about how I was having issues getting rid of my old clothes. Every single thing in those under bed storage bags had sentimental value to me. There were dresses that I loved, the perfect jeans that I found and bought in every color (it’s not easy finding jeans), and fun clothes that I got as gifts over the years.

I’ve always figured that if I got down to those sizes again, I’ll pull the clothes out of the bag and wear them again. But that post about not getting rid of my clothes was over 3 years ago. I’ve been holding on to those clothes for over 6 years. I don’t have a ton of storage space, but since they were kept under my bed I didn’t think too much about it.

But the other day I just got fed up. I don’t need to keep reminders of who I was when I was at my skinniest. So I took an afternoon, opened up the bags, and started sorting things out.

There were some things that I knew I wouldn’t get rid of. Those included my high school prom dress, my absolute favorite pair of jeans from my skinniest (but only one pair), 2 designer dresses that I got at a discount store and had tailored to fit, and a workout jacket that I love. But almost everything else in those bags I felt could go. I don’t care about a lot of the shirts and sweaters I had been storing. I don’t need to have jeans in every size. So many things aren’t really in fashion right now. And it’s not just that. When I lose weight, I might lose it in a different way so even if I got down to that size again I wouldn’t necessarily fit into those pieces.

After going through my under bed storage and closet (I had a couple of things in there that I didn’t need to keep), I moved on to my entry closet where I keep coats, shoes, and purses. I wasn’t going to get rid of any shoes (I had done that lately and while I have more shoes than some, I don’t have a ton). I got rid of some hoodies that I got at old day jobs and a jacket that I got on clearance but never really loved.

And I seriously had too many purses. I pulled out some of the fancier ones and I have friends who are going to trade me or buy them from me. But I had a lot of purses that I got at a cheap store to wear with a particular outfit and never used the purse again. Or they were so small that they weren’t really ever used because I couldn’t put my phone in there. Like the clothes, there were some purses that were kept for pure sentimental value. I have one designer purse that my grandma gave to me after she heard me say how much I’d love to own one one day (she had the purse and never used it). But I probably pulled 10 purses out of my closet to donate.

In the end, I had 4 very full bags of clothes and purses to donate to people who could really use and need them.

Clothes Donations

It felt so good to get all that stuff out of my house. I don’t miss them at all and things feel less cluttered than they did before. And I’ve rediscovered some clothes and purses that I had forgotten about because they were buried under all the other stuff.

After getting rid of all those clothes and purses, I also felt inspired to work on clearing out my fridge, freezer, and pantry. I’ve bought food that I felt that I should eat. I had some frozen fish, different veggie patties, and other quick meal things. I never ate any of them because they don’t taste good to me. There’s no need for me to keep healthy food in my house that I don’t eat. So a friend of mine took the perishable food from me and I donated the non-perishable stuff. I didn’t replace it with unhealthy things, but I wanted my healthy choices to make me happy and not make me feel guilty that I should eat them. My healthy options don’t have to match everyone else’s.

I probably spent a good chunk of my afternoon and evening cleaning out things from my house, but it feels so amazing now that it’s done. My clothes are only things that I wear now and make me happy. And my fridge and freezer doesn’t make me feel horrible when I’m looking for something to eat and nothing seems good to me. I’m making my house make me happy, and it’s working and I feel the results from that already.

Helping People Help Others (or A Drop Off At My Friend’s Place)

I’ve gotten to work with My Friend’s Place a couple of times in the past. It’s such an amazing organization and they really can use all the help they can get. And unlike other organizations, I know that they use everything that is donated and pretty much everything goes directly to the youth that needs it (some things like office supplies goes toward running the organization).

I wish that I could donate more to charity, but right now in my life I can’t. But I’ve had the chance over the past month to do some collections so I could do a wonderful drop off at My Friend’s Place.

Somehow I got on a mailing list for pregnant women. I have no clue how that happened on what list I’m on to be taken off it. Most of the things I get just go into the trash because they are ads or promotions if I start a baby registry or buy things that I wouldn’t buy. But one box was actually 2 cans of baby formula. When I got that, I knew in a heartbeat that I would be bringing that with me to My Friend’s Place for their parenting program.

I posted online that it’s weird I’m getting baby stuff but I’m glad I did so I could donate it. From that post, several friends reached out to me asking how they could help too. I explained about My Friend’s Place and told them how they could drop things off. But then I realized that might not be easy for my friends with babies to do so I offered to do a drop off for them.

I’ve been getting things from friends since the end of October. And my parents had things for me to donate too when I saw them at Thanksgiving. They had pet supplies that Tucker is too big for and my dad had a small collection of hotel shampoos and conditioners that he doesn’t need anymore.

I put all of my friend’s and family’s donations together and was able to make a stop at My Friend’s Place after my class this week (it’s only a few blocks from my class so that was easy). My trunk was pretty filled with everything that people gave me (plus the 2 cans of formula that I got in the mail).

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When I dropped off all the donations, I could tell right away that the staff was so grateful. I wish I could have taken credit for what I was dropping off, but really it was all due to the generosity of my friends and family.

I think I’m going to try to run donations drives again in the future. I think a lot of people don’t donate things because of the hassle to drive to where you have to drop it off. Or they don’t think about it and forget later. But if someone is reminding them to do it or is making it something easy, they have no excuse not to do so.

If you are local to LA and want to donate to My Friend’s Place, they have a wish list on their website. Anything on the list (even if you only have one of something) really can make the difference in someone’s life and will be appreciated.

This is the season for giving, and let’s try to work together to give to those who might not usually have someone giving them a gift.

A Week Until Race Day (or Helping Out My Friend’s Place)

The 3rd Hard Rock Cafe 5K is just over a week away. I’m excited for the race to see if I’ve made any improvement since my last 5K. And my best friend is coming to town to do the race with me! I’m also nervous because I know that my calf injury isn’t totally healed (it’s super close!) and I don’t want to hurt myself during the race.

There’s not much I can really do about how my calf (or my hip) will feel during the race. I know that I’m not going to push myself as much as I might have just to be careful. And I am going to time out my workouts leading up to the race to make sure I have rest days right before.

Since I can’t do much about dealing with injuries at the race, I’m trying to focus on something else. Last year, I got to tour My Friend’s Place, which is the official charity of the Hard Rock Cafe race. I’m so glad that I had that opportunity because I never really thought about homeless youth in Los Angeles. I’ve helped at shelters for homeless adults, but youth have very different needs. After touring  My Friend’s Place, I knew that I wanted to help out with donations in the future.

I hadn’t really been able to donate in the past year, but My Friend’s Place was always on my mind. Whenever someone mentioned having things to donate, if they were things on the wish list, I’d recommend they donate there.

Then, at the SAG-AFTRA Convention, one of my fellow delegates mentioned how AFTRA used to do donations at their conventions (this was before the two unions merged). Many delegates come from out-of-town and stay at the host hotel, and we know that most people don’t use the toiletries that the hotel provides in the bathroom. So at the AFTRA conventions, they would collect these toiletries and donate them to a place that could use them.

I connected with the delegate who brought up the donation idea (and got it all started) and said that if she didn’t have a charity in mind that I’d love to donate them to My Friend’s Place. So all of our donations (about 5 bags full) went to My Friend’s Place recently and we know that they will be going to good use.

I’ve also told my parents to bring all of the dog supplies that were Dante’s or Tucker’s that Tucker is too big for because My Friend’s Place allows the youth to bring their pets there and they need collars, leashes, and other pet supplies. So I will be doing that donation after Thanksgiving when I get them.

And the other day, a box showed up at my house. Somehow, I am on a baby/pregnancy mailing list (I’m not pregnant) and lots of baby related coupons have been arriving at my door. But this day, there were two cans of powdered baby formula inside!

Baby Mailing List

So I will be adding those to my post-Thanksgiving donation and several of my friends with kids will be giving me baby clothes that their kids have outgrown, the leftover diapers in a box that their baby has sized out of, and other baby supplies that are on the wish list. I’m really excited to have another nice size donation that I will be bringing to My Friend’s Place soon.

If any of you are in Los Angeles, I highly recommend donating to My Friend’s Place if you can. They are so happy for any donations they can get and I know that they are working on helping the homeless youth find jobs and homes so that they don’t have to sleep on the streets as adults. I know that I haven’t made a lot of donations in the past there, but I’m hoping to fix that now and to make donating there a somewhat regular thing.

Lunch and Learn (or Learning More About My Next 5K)

I was recently invited to be a part of a blogger lunch and learn for the Hard Rock Cafe 5K. I was so excited to attend since this will be my second year participating in this 5K.

The first part of the lunch and learn was the lunch section of it. We were brought back into a private room at the Hard Rock Cafe at Hollywood and Highland and we were given a sample of some of their appetizers.

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It was all super delicious (and my share of what was on our table was pretty much my meal for the day).

While we were eating, I was seated with 2 other bloggers and a representative from My Friend’s Place. My Friend’s Place is a center for homeless youth and is the official charity for the Hard Rock Cafe 5K. They were actually the charity for last year as well, but I’m embarrassed to admit that I signed up for the race because I wanted the medal and not because of the charity.

During lunch I learned a lot about My Friend’s Place including some of the programs that they offer to help get youth off of the streets and into safe places. I also learned that they are one of the rare homeless organizations that will let people bring their pets with them (although the pets do stay outside).

I was so interested to learn more about My Friend’s Place and fortunately the second half of the Lunch and Learn was a tour of the facility and to learn even more about it!

It was a short drive over and as soon as I got inside, I noticed how different it looked from other homeless organizations I’ve seen around LA.

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They make it as cheerful and homey as possible. We started our tour in the entry room where people come in each day (sadly, the center is only open during the daytime and weekdays right now).

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At the front desk, everyone can get clean socks and underwear. It’s the little things that can make you feel like a new person. We learned that they have to buy men’s briefs because they are cheaper, but they would love a donation of new boxers to give out (I’m hoping to make a Costco run to pick some up to donate). At the front they also have a mail service. Anyone who wants to get mail at their address can do so. And they can use the address to get a state ID card. I never thought about it before, but you cannot get an ID without an address.

Next on the tour was a room right off of the entry way. And it was not something I was expecting to see.

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A circus classroom! Cirque du Monde is a program that was created by Cirque du Soleil. While it might seem silly to have a circus program at a homeless shelter, there is a lot of good that can come from people learning circus tricks. Many of the homeless youth have not been in environments where they can trust others. But in Cirque du Monde, they have to be able to trust the instructors and have respect for the lessons.

After we learned a bit about the program, we were given a chance to walk on the wire in the room. I jumped up and was the first to go.

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It was awesome! I was able to go up and back and it felt amazing. After I went, all the other bloggers tried it out and realized how great of a confidence booster an activity like this is.

Next we toured the classroom where they have GED classes and tutoring as well as computers for the youth to use.

Next to that was the clothing room.

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While it looks full, they can always use more donations of clothes and shoes.

We then headed upstairs to see the mothering program room.

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They have parenting classes and are able to provide diapers for little kids. And they mentioned an amazing idea for people to donate diapers. When your kid outgrows the size of diapers you have at home, donate the extra ones so that they will have some to give out! They don’t mind that it isn’t a full box. Any diapers are helpful.

We also learned about some of the other programs that are available at the center such as legal aid, health services, life skills (like finding a job and permanent housing), and counseling.

Honestly, while I have volunteered at homeless shelters before, I never learned as much about homelessness (and homeless youth) as I did during the Lunch and Learn. I know that when I have money to donate to charity, this is going to be one of the first places on my list to get money. These kids need help and many times they don’t have anywhere else to turn.

I highly encourage everyone to learn more about My Friend’s Place and donate either goods or money if you can. And if you want to join me for the Hard Rock Cafe 5K, you can still register and get an awesome medal as well as help an incredible organization.

Marching For Maddie (or Being A Supporter And Not A Walker)

Saturday was the March of Dimes walk. I’ve done this walk a couple of times in the past, and I always do it in memory of my friend Heather‘s daughter Maddie who passed away several years ago. I never knew Maddie, but through Heather’s blog and all the stories she has told about her, I feel like I did know her.

I had every plan to do the 5K walk on Saturday, but then a couple of things didn’t go my way. First, I had the horrible experience with the Hollywood Half 5K and my major hip pain (and almost inability to walk for a few days after). Then, it rained the night before and my hip pain came back with a vengeance right before the 5K.

It was pretty much a sign that I was not supposed to walk at this event.

But just because I couldn’t walk it didn’t mean I couldn’t support it. So on Saturday morning, I got on the light rail and took it to Exposition Park where the walk was happening. I wanted to at least get to see my friend Heather and let her know that I was supporting her (plus I wanted to see her super cute kids!).

I got there pretty earlier so I got to chat with a few other people on the March for Maddie team before Heather and her family arrived. I hadn’t seen Heather since the documentary premiere (she was one of our twitter stories) and it was great to see her again.

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I also got a quick picture with Heather’s husband Mike (who is a writer for BuzzFeed).

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There was a lot of time to hang out before the walk started, but once everyone was heading out on the course, I turned around and headed back to the light rail. I just didn’t want to risk being in so much pain (also, Sunday and Monday were Disneyland days and I needed to be as pain-free as possible for that!).

But Heather did tell me where they were all meeting up for food after the walk, so once I got back to my car I ran a few quick errands and then headed out to the restaurant to meet up with the group again.

It was a really fun brunch. I knew a bunch of people there from doing the walks in the past and I got to meet a few new people as well. And of course, I was excited to catch up with Heather and her family.

Hopefully this will be the only 5K I miss out on for a long time. While I’m a little disappointed in myself, I know that I did make the right (but tough) choice to skip out.

I think my next 5K is in about 6 weeks so I’m hoping that I can work on some of my hip pain issues before then.

Also, if you would like to also support Heather and family, they started a charity in Maddie’s memory. Friends Of Maddie supports families who have babies in the NICU and is a wonderful charity. Part of what they do is create support bags for families and they drop them off at various NICUs around the area so families have some of the things they need while they wait to be able to take their babies home from the hospital. I know that every dollar helps them out so much and they would appreciate gifts of any size.

Hollywood Half 5K (or Not Starting Off My 2014 5Ks In The Best Way)

My first 5K of the year was this past Saturday. I had been looking forward to this for a while, but it ended up not being so great.

It started out on Thursday when I went to go pick up my bib number. I didn’t get my number for last year’s race because my friend Kate was doing the 5K as well and got both of our packets for us. So I didn’t know quite what to expect at the expo. Well, it was crazy! It took me about an hour to find parking, and once I got inside, there were so many vendor booths. I’m used to just going to a place where you pick up your number and that’s pretty much all that’s there. But this place had a ton of people inside and so many things for sale. I tried to get my number and shirt quickly and head out (I had parked at a meter and didn’t pay for a lot of time). Of course, as soon as I got back in my car, I had to get a selfie with my race number.

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On Friday night, I tried to go to bed early and I set multiple alarms to make sure I would get up in time.

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Fortunately, I woke up about 2 minutes before the first alarm, so that was pretty awesome. I hate waking up to the jarring sound of an alarm clock! I had a little bit of chocolate milk before leaving (I found that that’s easy enough on my stomach and I need to have a little something so I could take my painkillers) and I headed out the door.

Getting to the recommended parking lot wasn’t so great. They actually ended up blocking off the street right before you could turn into the lot. But I followed some other cars, made a couple of legally questionable u-turns, and was finally able to make it into the parking lot (I have no idea why they told us to park there if you couldn’t legally drive into the lot).

I got to the start line at about 5am. The race was set to start at 6 and it was very clear on the website that nobody was allowed to start after 6:15 so I wanted to make sure I was there nice and early.

I hung out around the start line for a bit.

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And then I saw a friend of mine (who is also a blogger) who was going to be a course angel for the 1/2 marathon.

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As a course angel, she raced to mile 9 and they stayed there and cheered on all the runners as they passed her. Then, after the last runner went by, she continued running her race.

After chatting with my friend for a minute, I realized that it was 5:40 and I should head back to my corral. I somehow moved up a couple of corrals compared to last year, but since I figured there might be runners behind me, I made sure I was on the very side (so I would be out of the way).

6am came, and nothing seemed to happen. For the next 20 minutes, my corral never moved forward. We had no idea if the race had even started. All that standing around was starting to hurt me, but I tried not to focus on that.

Finally, we started to move up. At 6:30am, we still hadn’t started yet.

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That was my best attempt of getting a picture of my watch (saying 6:29) and showing how far away we still were from the start line. We finally started around 6:35am and as soon as we got going, I realized that the course had been changed.

Last year the course was out and back (although the start and finish line were not in the same place). According to the website a few days before the race, that’s exactly what the race was supposed to be this year.

But as soon as we started, we turned a corner and walked down a side street (it was a slight downhill incline so we had to do the uphill to go back to Hollywood Blvd.). We ended up doing a couple of those side streets and all of them had at least a little elevation.

I was definitely not happy about this. Right when I started, my right hip (the one that has already had one surgery on it) started to hurt. The elevation changes did not help at all. But I pushed through. It was not a pretty race for me at all. I did enjoy some of the cool costumes, though. This one was the absolute best.

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I crossed the finish line in 1:03.36. That’s about 6 minutes slower than what I was doing toward the end of last year. While I was happy that I finished, I was pretty pissed that I was over the 1 hour mark again.

But I was very happy to get my medal and loved that it was a new color this year.

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After the race, I took the subway back to the start line (so I could get my car) and starting chatting with a few of the other racers. A bunch of people were unhappy about the side streets and their elevation changes. And people thought the race seemed long this year.

I went home and looked to see if the new course had been put on the website, and it had through Map My Run.

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This is almost what we did (except it’s missing 1 of the side streets we had to walk up and back on ). Even with it missing the street, it’s still longer than a 5K. With that missing street added on, I bet it was closer to 3.3 miles. That would help to explain my longer time.

While it wasn’t my best race, I still did it. I’m not doing as many 5Ks this year, so I’m being pretty selective about which races I sign up for. Right now, I’m unsure if I’ll do this one again next year. I’ll probably end up signing up for it because it is a fun event and people there are pretty nice.

My next 5K is a charity walk for the March of Dimes. And today happens to be the 5 year anniversary of Heather and Mike Spohr’s daughter, Maddie, passing away. I’m walking in memory of Maddie for this 5K and I’m hoping to raise some money for this event. If any of you could donate anything, I know that it would go a long way. And if you are in the LA area and want to join us, please feel free to join the team. All that information is on this link.

DJ Tanner and Lip Gloss (or Just Another Saturday in LA)

This past Saturday, I happened to have the day off from my main day job. I was going to do some random work for friends, but I pretty much had the day off.

I was checking twitter (you all know how much I love twitter) and I saw that Candace Cameron Bure was tweeting about how she was selling lip gloss for charity at her kid’s hockey game. I guess a bunch of people tweeted back at her saying that they wanted to buy lip gloss, so she tweeted out again that she was only selling them out of the back of her car and you had to be in LA to get some.

Well, I’m in LA and I really needed lip gloss for my friend’s wedding coming up, so I tweeted at her and asked if I could buy some. And I was so excited to get a tweet back saying yes!

So I headed down to where she was, and the whole time I was thinking how the younger me would be totally freaking out that I was about to meet DJ Tanner from “Full House”! I loved that show as a kid, and even now, when there is a rerun on tv, I’ll still watch.

I got down to the practice, tweeted at Candace that I was there, and she met me at the front to sell me the lip gloss! And I have to say that she is the sweetest person I’ve met. We had a really nice conversation, and then she suggested that we take a picture so I could tweet it out (I love that I didn’t have to ask to take a picture).

 

Not only is it a great picture, but I absolutely love the kid posing in the background!

I didn’t want to take up too much of Candace’s time, so we said goodbye and I headed to my personal organizer job that I had that afternoon.

And the lip gloss that I bought, it’s pretty great and I got some nice colors!