Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ooohhhh A CAPE!

I love that I was given the Team Challenge Peninsula Team Spirit Cape!

This is a cape that is given to a "spirited" individual on Team Challenge. I am so excited to be the first person to get it! So we are responsible for decorating it and then it gets passed to someone different every week!

Breanne (our endurance manager) gave me a cute tote bag that had puffy paint to decorate the cape but due to my lack of coordination and creativity I chose to embroider my cape! I embroidered right underneath the TEAM CHALLENGE PENINSULA TEAM.. my name spelled out and my blog name! "Anya Ratanawan Live.Run.Donate" and of course in my favorite color pink!

Surprisingly its not that easy to find a place to embroider a single item. After calling several places that I found from Yelp and being referred to different groups and getting different quotes I went with Custom Apparel by Susan Kay! I was able to get a quote over the phone, come into their store, and pick it up in 2 days!

I love the way it turned out and can't wait to rock it at tomorrow's Training Practice! Mentors host a practice everyday of the week except Friday at various places in the Peninsula/South Bay. And of course our group practice on Saturday!

I am running tomorrow rain or shine! I'm hoping its shine tho. ;)

Fundraiser Clinic #1 at Sports Basement in Sunnyvale Tuesday March 30, 2010 at 6:30PM

Yesterday I attended a very informative clinic about different and creative ways to fundraise!

As part of this new adventure of joining Team Challenge not only am I running a half marathon for all those affected by Crohn's and Colitis but also committing myself to raising $2600.00 for the CURE of the disease.

Our Fundraiser clinic at Sports Basement was really informative. There are so many creative ways to ask for money and depending on your comfort level you may like e mails, facebook, or you may want to ask face to face.

Here are some neat tricks that I learned:
- Making a list of everyone that you come in contact with and let them know what you are up to and make sure to follow up!
- Put a deadline on asking for money because its easy for people to forget!
- "Cookies for Crohn's" doing a fun fundraiser- selling cookies
- Putting a link at the bottom of your e mail signature of your donation page

I actually bought a bag of candy and put labels on them that say "Help Anya Ratanawan raise $2600.00 by July for the cure of Crohn's and Colitis and running a half marathon!" With the Team Challenge Logo and my donation site on there. I gave these little candies out to people at my work, my book club meeting, people at my gym, etc. Just a fun way to give out candy and hopefully getting people to donate!

One of my fellow Team Challenge teammates Brian and Bel also posted about how Cisco does corporate matching for $50.00 and up! So for people that work for Cisco or you know work for Cisco hit them up to do a donation so the company could match! Here is the article that explains the step by step. Cisco corporate matching.

You may find that your work does corporate matching too! Ask your HR department to be sure. :) Can you imagine? Pool in money of $300.00 and get $600.00. Amazing!

Also another Team Challenge teammate, Twila owns a Party Lite Consultant business and is allowing Team Challenge members to participate getting 50% of the sales! Check out her catalogue and let me know if you like anything. :)

There are also upcoming events that I can sell tickets for and fundraise that way!

May 7th- One of the Team Challenge Mentors Sean Roth will be playing with his band at Mt Charlie's Saloon in Los Gatos!

June 5th- Indian Dinner- place and price TBA.

So far I am 59% to my fundraising goal thanks to all of you! That's $1530.00 out of $2600.00! I appreciate all the love and support!

I'm so excited for tomorrow's Team Challenge Practice in Los Gatos and of course the one on Saturday at Stanford!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Oakland Running Festival 5k! I BEAT MY PREVIOUS 5K TIME!!

LOL today was a crazy day! In total I probably walked/ran about a half marathon. Haha. Let me break down the day for you. My second 5k! Oakland Running Festival 5k! OH and this blog post is dedicated to one of my dearest friends Cindy N. that pretty much saved my life and kept me sane for my race.

So in the morning of the 5k I went on my first Team Challenge practice at the San Thomas Aquino and walked and that was 3 miles.

My 5k was at 6:30PM in Oakland. I drove up around 3PM so I can go to the Oakland Convention Center for the Health Expo and to pick up my race packet- t shirt, timing chip, and bib. The 5k was SOLD OUT! 1100 registered for it! So amazing!

Talk about an organized race! I got so many e mails about what to expect, what to do, and how grateful the city of Oakland is. This was the inaugural race and it hasn't been in Oakland for 25 years! I'm so excited that I was able to run in this inaugural race and I look forward to doing it next year as well.

The health expo was really neat. Some of the booths that were there and giving out fun freebies were: Geico, Rock N Roll Marathon, See Jane Run, Cliff Bars, TEAM CHALLENGE, At&t Giant Race, etc. So after exploring I asked where Lake Merrit was beause thats where we were running. It was 3 miles away! This was about 5PM so I asked if there was parking around there and the person I asked said it would be really hard to find parking so me and Cindy walked it. I definitely wouldn't have walked if I knew it was 3 miles because originally someone said it was a little bit over a mile AND if I knew there actually WAS parking. haha.

So when I finally saw the Lake it was close to 6pm and I realized I LEFT MY PHONE AT THE CONVENTION CENTER! I was like OMG - how am I going to walk back, find my phone, and do this race?!? I seriously was about to have a nervous break down. What if I don't run this!?! My amazing friend Cindy offered to walk back and get it while I went to the starting line. Thank goodness she actually found it and everything worked out. :)

The lake was so beautiful and running the 5k in the evening was great! The path around the lake was pretty flat and on concrete. We didn't run on the street at all really so we didn't have to worry about traffic. The race was organized and had runners start by their pace time which was good so we weren't in the way of those fast runners. Their were people at the 5 minute pace spot! WOW! This is where I met Jin because we were around the 11 minutes pace mark. We were so excited to do this race! There were a lot of people cheering us on and I had music on pumping me up. My goal was to beat my time! I tried to work really hard for that and IT HAPPENED! I beat my time!!!
33:33 minutes My first 5k at the Chinese New Year Run in Chinatown SF my time was 37:56 minutes. I beat it by 4:23 minutes!! I will try to beat this time on my next 5k run.

Here is a video that my friend Cindy took of me GUNNING it at the finish line because I so desperately wanted to finish strong and beat my time!

At the finish line there was water ready for us, a band playing, and we got two free beers! It was a very yummy light beer that I'd never tried- Miller Genuine Draft with only 64 calories! Oakland Firemen were passing them out as well. Their was also Rib n' Things that had a tent and was selling food and we had to hit that up too! Ribs went well with that beer!

We also got to meet Mark Curry- he was cheering the finishers on! Definitely and local celebrity and representing Oakland well. He was on the show Hanging with Mr. Cooper that was based out of Oakland. I told him that my boyfriend talks about him because they both went to the same high school- St. Joe's! He said "you have the best boyfriend." haha. He was super nice!

All in all the 5k was a success! Even though I had the morning Team Challenge practice, almost lost my phone, walked to the 5k, ran the 5k, then walked 3 miles back to the car. haha. It was so exhausting but it felt good! I can't wait for my next race in April! Its a 10k too! Woo!

Here are the rest of the beautiful pictures from Oakland Running Festival 5k!

First Team Challenge Practice at San Aquino Trails in Santa Clara on Saturday March 27, 2010 at 9:30AM

I was so excited for our first practice! When I showed up at 9AM there was already a parking lot of full people in their work out gear ready to run/walk.

It was neat to meet some new folks and see some others from the kick off party.

Breanne presented a Team Challenge item to the top fundraiser! Way to go! Hearing the successful stories motivates me to keep asking everyone I know to contribute towards the cure of Crohn's and Colitis. I tell them nothing is too small and anything helps!

Breanne also presented me with the Team Spirit Cape! I am so honored THANK YOU! This cape gets past on to someone new each week after that person has tagged it. I have different ideas of what I want to do but I am not creative enough or good with puffy paint to do it so I will most likely get it embroidered. :) I'll post the pic once I do it. I wore it through out our practice run.

The San Aquino Trail in Santa Clara is so pretty. The weather was amazing and somewhat hot already Saturday morning. We did 3 miles and I was so sad that I didn't run it but I had a good excuse! I was doing the Oakland Running Festival 5k! I wanted to save my energy so I could beat my time from my last 5k. Along the trail we were next to a wash that had little duckies swimming about. We also had a view of Great America as well and hearing people scream on the rides. I got to walk with several people and learn about how they got involved in Team Challenge and just talk about different experiences.

I was also rocking my Team Challenge hat that I won from the Kick Off Party at the Human Bingo Mixer! Its super cool!

After the nice run/walk we went to Sports Basement and had a shoe clinic and gait analysis. We had a neat presentation from Josh about the importance of shoes, running socks, and also insoles. Sports Basement had refreshments and snacks for everyone too. We also were able to get 20% off that day! I didn't get a gait analysis because I got my running shoes fitted at Athletic Performance in San Jose but a lot of people were and that's great because being in the right shoes especially for long distances are oh so important.

Here is the video that our coach Randy sent us for those that missed the shoe clinic and gait analysis.

Here are the rest of the pictures! Enjoy!

See you at one of the practices this week- either Campbell Track, Cisco, Los Gatos Trail, or Stanford Track! I'm going to try to make it to 2 to 4 practices a week so I can really get my body ready.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Before and After Pictures!

So I've always been a medium girl. Every time I go shopping I can always bank on getting a medium size and it would work out.

Somehow the transition from being on the volleyball team in high school, to being in a sorority in college, and then a desk job after college my body took a toll. I gradually gained weight. I felt like I was eating the same way - not very healthy but I was still gaining weight! Obviously as I get older my metabolism is slowing down and without the activities of going out all the time or riding my bike through UCSB campus it was all catching up to me.

Its funny how one deals with weight gain too. Instead of working out and eating less which is a sure sign of losing weight. Burning more calories than consuming is key I ADAPTED to it. I started buying bigger size clothes, larges, extra larges. I started wearing flowy tops, no sleeveless shirts, and banning myself from shorts. It was torture! Also looking at all my small friends I always felt jealous like how come I can't be like that.

Well since I start working out 5 times a week, giving myself fitness goals like this week run 5 miles for 3 days, and eating less I've lost weight and feel much better about myself!

I have a little bit to go but I've made progress.

Weight breakdown:
High School 2003: 135 lbs
End of Freshman Year of College 2004: 140 lbs
By the end of graduation 2007: 165 lbs
By the end of 2007: 175 lbs (this was my heaviest)
By the end of 2008: 165 lbs (trying to work out)
By the end of 2009: 155 lbs
RIGHT NOW MARCH 2010: 138.8 LBS!!!!

My goal is to get to 135 lbs or LESS. I'm hoping my training for a half marathon and eating better will get me there. Check out the pictures below.

Running Through Life Blog Giveaway!

Hey guys,

I discovered this really cool blog where someone else is documenting their life of love of running just like me! I thought it was especially cool because she is also a 20 something living in Northern California and her goals of losing weight, becoming more fit, and raising money for Team Challenge is similar to mine but I have joined Team Challenge.

Congrats on losing 55 lbs so far!

Check out her giveaway and enter just like me!

Happy Friday! Ready for the Weekend!

Tomorrow is our first Group Training in Santa Clara! It looks like its going to be a nice day so I'm sad I won't be running and not because I am being lazy.. its because I am running a 5k tomorrow evening in Oakland! Its the Oakland Running Festival and I am doing the Twilight 5k! I want to be sure to beat my time from the previous 5k I had in February which was 37 minutes and 57 seconds!

Look for my pictures of both events after they happen! Woo!

Happy Friday!! So ready for the weekend!

Hey Running Through Life is having another giveaway! This time a beautiful black and pink Adidas jacket perfect for running out! Your chance to enter before the giveaway ends on March 29th! Click here!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Team Challenge Kick Off Party at Savvy in Redwood City!

I went to the Team Challenge Kick Off party tonight with Anthony (my boyfriend and personal cheerleader) and I had so much fun meeting everyone! We met up at Savvy Cellar Wine Bar and Wine Shop.

Its pretty much official now huh? I'm really gonna do this whole half marathon thing. The more I talk about it the less scary it seems and the more exciting it gets! I think I have officially been bit by the running bug!

Met Bel and her boyfriend Brian. She was able to influence her boyfriend to be part of Team Challenge too and that got her a cute Team Challenge hat! Congrats!

Jill (one of the mentors) and "the guy she married" Her words! haha

At the Kick Off Party it was nice to see Breanne Long (Endurance Manager), Honorees, and Mentors that I met at the Informational Meeting but also all the new faces!

Got to meet my mentor Deanna Morris! Also the other girls on my team Audrey, Michelle, and Kathryn.

There was yummy wine and cheese at Savvy and I felt so special having the place closed for this special event!

We also played a game called Human Bingo and that gave us a chance to match the neat facts to people in the room. Some of the memorable facts were:
- Speaking Norwegian
- Having eat a crayon
- Having Crohn's
- Watching cooking shows
- Favorite food being chocolate

There were a lot more on the sheet and it was fun finding out who the facts belonged to! I also won a Team Challenge hat for completing the Human Bingo with two other ladies!

At the end of the meeting Breanne had a few more announcements by introducing and re-introducing the mentors and our coach Randy. (And you so don't take bad pictures like you said- you look great Randy!)

Our First Group Training is at 9:30AM for 3 miles at San Thomas Trail and the Equipment Clinic/Gait Analysis right after at 11AM at Sports Basement in Sunnyvale. I can't wait to see all of you there! I'm sad I won't be running with you- I want to save my energy for the 5k I am doing later that night at the Oakland Running Festival. :)

**I am at 51% of my goal for donations at $1335.00 out of 2600.00!!!**

Donations Galore!

I am so impressed by the donations that are coming in on my donation site!

When I hear of people that know others close to them or they are affected by Crohn's and Colitis it makes me so excited that I am doing this fundraising for them!

I have hit up my dear loved ones like mom, boyfriend, friends,etc through phone calls, texts, facebook messages, e mails, etc. Its just so easy for people to donate through the website. They have then become such amazing campaigners for me by spreading the word. How you approach someone to donate money is truly going to make a difference. You don't want to put pressure on anyone and of course I would never want someone to donate beyond their means. I know times are tough right now.

I let people know that I have joined Team Challenge and that I am raising money towards the cure for Crohn's and Colitis and training for a half marathon. I then ask them - Would you like to run with me or donate? More than 95% have said I will give you the money. haha.

I also get super excited because I have a Blackberry and every time someone donates I get an e mail from I literally put my fist up and go YES!! (while getting strange looks from people nearby)

As of right now I have $985.00 out $2600.00 which is 38%. Not too bad I must say. I am certainly giving myself a pat on the back for this one and if you donated then give yourself a pat on the back too!

I want to personally shout out to my mom, boyfriend, and best friends that are campaigning for me by sending e mails to their co workers for families. My mom got her classmate from Thailand to donate and guess how much they did.. $500.00! TALK ABOUT GENEROUS!

My mom inspires me so much. I love you!!

Me and my mom in Mykonos, Greece- June of 2010

Tonight is the Team Challenge Kick Off Party at Saavy in Redwood City! I get to meet my mentor and others that are part of Team Challenge going through the same experience! Super excited. Will post pictures after the event!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Work Out Gear

Happy Friday! Its such a lovely day out here in the Bay Area!

I went for a quick run around my apartment complex last night and realized that what you work out in really makes a difference. I've personally always stuck with capris because there is some breathing room for my ankles and I don't have to worry about my legs chaffing. Eventually I would like to wear shorts so its more light weight but with my thick thighs that could be a problem. I'll keep you updated.

Here is my average workout gear break down. I usually hit the gym or even run races with this stuff on just because I am so comfortable with it. What do you guys wear?

On my head:
I like to obviously have my hair in a high pony tail but I also wear a thin elastic Puma headband as well so my little frays won't bother my face.

I've always wanted to wear those cute little sports bra tanks that I see athletic girls wear but I'm so self conscience about my stomach that I end up wearing a lose t shirt. I actually really like wearing free t shirts that I get from various events or the many sorority shirts I still have from my college days. Check out this cute tank I found on Zazzle!

Underneath the Shirt:
Okay as a woman it is so important to have a supportive sports bra to support your girls. I personally need ones that hold them tightly down so they are not all over the place. My favorite brand is Champion and I find really good deals at Target and Marshalls for usually 10.00 or less. I don't like the sport bras that are really flimsy or the ones with the wire- they hurt. Just ones that are nice and supportive so its not painful when you start running fast.

Capri Pants!
I mean any brand will do but I really like capri stretch pants from Adidas. I like the spandex material and they have to be elastic waistband. I can't do the draw string stuff because they will just slide off of me. I will eventually try shorts because Nike has such cute ones and of course I'll let you know when.

Oh gosh it is so important what type of shoes you wear when you are working out. I am a big fan of Nike because I've always liked the Shox. When I started running more heavily I decided to buy actual running shoes. I went to this really cute store in San Jose called Athletic Performance and they were so nice to me! They were looking at the arch of my feet and having me test out the shoes on a tread mill! That is some customer service. I ended up going up half a size and it worked out great. I wear the Nike Women's Zoom Structure Triax +3 and I love them! I wish I had gotten them in pink instead of red but it had to match my Nike Sport Band. These are Nike Plus shoes which you put the sensor in under the sole on the left shoe to track everything on your sport band. Yes I will have a review for this!

Okay you would think that any type of socks would do but everyone has a different preference. I like the short socks but you have to make sure they are not too short and thin that they run down your ankles. Ugh hate that. I got these socks from Athletic Performance for free and they are soo nice! They are so cushion-y and comfortable. On the pricey side for 8.50 a pair but they are way nice for important runs like on race days. They are by Balega Sports in pink!

Okay this is a pretty thorough break down of what I like to wear when I work out but I always like to look at other people's outfits and they look so cute! Its not as important to look cute versus comfortable but hey.. it doesn't hurt!

*Funny how I find a blog about what people are wearing for their workouts! Check out this giveaway by Running Through Life! Enter and win C9 Women's Scoop Performance Tank in Blazing Coral. Size Medium. Check it out!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My First Blog!

Hello Everyone!

Thank you for visiting my blog and reading my very first entry. I lie this isn't my first blog. My first one was when I had Xanga but that had maybe 3 entries in it and it was rambling on about nothing. This blog is FOCUSED! This blog as Determination! Okay maybe that is too much but I wanted to do this blog so I can inspire others that have inspired me!

I got this idea from my sorority (Gamma Phi Beta- Delta Psi Chapter) little little little sis Rachel W. Check out her amazing Runner's Blog!
A blog is such a nice way to record your adventures and if this gets ONE person to donate or run or just have a healthier lifestyle I have totally done my job.

I am excited to say that I have joined TEAM CHALLENGE!
They are an organization that raises funds for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America and they are going to be training me for my first half marathon. It is the Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon in Napa, CA on July 18th, 2010.

Mind you I have only done one 5k and that was a couple months ago. This is a big jump for me but I am willing to take on this challenge.

I have to raise 2600.00 by July. I only set up my website yesterday and I've already had some generous people donate! YOU are helping Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of American find a cure.

Shout Outs to the following people:
- Stacy Wong
- Debbie McGwire
- Galina Velikanov
- Jackie Li
- Wembi Dimandja
- Rachel Watkins
- Shirley Truong
- Vy Nguyen

Who will donate next?!?!

My Donation Page

Please Support! I will keep you updated on my trainings, different events, and of course just random thoughts about life. Happy reading!