Pan-Mass Challenge

This weekend I participated in the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) for the first time. The goal of the event is to raise money for cancer research and treatment. So, if you can, please give in any amount that you can.

I decided to ride because I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t been touched in some way by this terrible disease; a family member, a loved one, a close friend, a colleague at work.

As a rider you choose to ride either one day or two days. Each day offers different distance options.

Saturday offers two options – 84 miles or 111 miles. Sunday offers more options – 27 miles, 47 miles, or 80 miles. Riders get to choose which days and distances they want to ride.

I chose to ride both days; 111 miles on Saturday and 80 miles on Sunday. 

I’ve been riding for about a year now and had never ridden more than 80 miles in a single day.

The thought of having to ride 111 miles in a single day didn’t scare me much. I knew I could do it; even if I was the last rider to finish. What scared the hell out of me was the thought of having to get up the next morning and ride another 80 miles!

I’m happy to to report that I completed both days without a single thought of regret. The entire experience was amazing. 

The event was very well organized logistically. Volunteers were very friendly and encouraging and helpful. The rest/water stops were spaced out well. There were tons of people cheering along the way. What really made it special were the people riding. Some were cancer survivors. Others were riding for parents and children and brothers and sisters. I bet there is an incredible story behind every rider. 

I was fortunate to have joined a team of extraordinary individuals, Team Year Up. Thank you for making my first PMC such a memorable experience. 

Here are some of the pictures from the event. 


About the PMC
Each year the Pan-Mass Challenge brings together thousands of impassioned cyclists, committed volunteers, generous donors and dedicated corporate sponsors. Together, they strive to provide Dana-Farber’s doctors and researchers the necessary resources to discover cures for all types of cancer.

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It’s been a while

I stopped posting about my progress at the end of last year. It’s kind of difficult to pick up again after stopping for a while. At first it was “I’ll do it tomorrow”. Tomorrow became next week. Next week became next month and before I knew it SIX months had gone by.

Here’s a QUICK update about nothing specific just to get going again. 

The great news is that simply because I stopped writing about my progress I didn’t actually stop my activities. 

I’m glad I listened to suggestions about bundling up during the cold weather and go outside. I was running during snow storms and it was great 🙂

I’ve kept up with my jogging regimen until I twisted my ankle during a jog at night; not very smart. 

I’ve gone out on the bike every chance I get. I’ve been increasing my distance and speed. This year I’ve been out 33 times and have done over 800 miles. The most miles I’ve ridden in a single day alone was 80 miles. I’ve also gone out a few times in group rides which are a ton of fun. 

I’ve picked up a few other activities too. This year has been a year of many firsts. Things like yoga. Things like Zumba. Things like spinning class. 
All in all this year has been pretty  awesome. 

Until next time 🙂

Back to ‘normal’

I feel as if I’m getting back to my cadence from a month ago. As a matter of fact I think I might be doing better. I had my weekly goal of 4+ active days. I’ve increased it to 6 active days a week.

During the two weeks I was sick I was active only two days per week. Last week I started my new regimen of 6 active days a week. I didn’t do anything on Friday, every other day I was doing something; jogging, biking and walking.  

The weather is getting cold. Soon I won’t be able to do much outside. Typical this is the time when I hibernate and don’t come out until next spring erasing any progress made this year.

This year I’m determined to break this cycle. I have a gym membership and I believe I’ll be cancelling it. I’m thinking of joining a crossfit gym instead. Having different activity options will probably help me keep me going back. 

New goal: keep blog  entries short and frequent. 

Keep moving. Keep making progress. Keep going. You’re doing great. 

Weekly update #12

Health and wellness is the catalyst of my recent lifestyle change. At the end of last week I felt discouraged and deflated. The lack of active days, pain, and gaining 5 lbs overnight! Needless to say last week was really tough; but it helped me refocus and also reminded me why I started my lifestyle change. It’s not going to be easy, it’s not going to be quick, it’s not going to be fun. It’ll take hard work and it’ll take a long time. 

This week was the complete opposite of last week. I feel re-energized and super satisfied with my activity and overall results. I feel I’m back on track. I lost 6 lbs this week, 1 lb net lost since last week. My goal is to lose another 2 by the end of the month. I should be able to lose that in the next 4 days. 

I had been putting off jogging due to the pain from plantar fasciitis the day after the jog. I had been icing and rolling my affected foot without much improvement. It was suggested by my manager to ice and use the roller immediately after jogging. I don’t want to  jinx it but it seems to be doing the trick.

This coming week I will be on vacation, staycation. I’ll be playing host to my childhood friend visiting from California. I love playing tourist around Boston. I’m sure we’ll be doing a lot of that. I should also have some extra free time to explore new bike courses and jogging routes.

Weekly breakdown:

Monday & Wednesday & Saturday: Jogged the 3.7 mile course around my house and the beach. The time ranged from 50 min and 30 sec to 51 min and 30 sec. Not too fast and not too slow. I walk for the first 15 minutes to warm up. 

Friday: Biked 19.8 miles / 1 hour and 21 minutes / 689 ft of elevation / 14.6 mph average speed / average heart rate 152 bpm. I emphasized heart rate because it’s the primary way to know I’m actually doing work and burning fat. I’m still obese and speed will come as I lose weigh and get stronger. 

Friday Night: I went out dancing. I’m counting it as exercise because it was four hours of nonstop dancing (30 mins break for a drink). I think I sweated more than any of my jogs or rides.


Sunday: I’ll be repeating the same course as Friday, 19.8 miles. I’m expecting similar stats too. Although I want to break the 15 mph speed average.

Some noteworthy items throughout the week: 

Wednesday I had my first James Hook lobster roll. I’ve walked/driven by this iconic place in Bosyon for so many years and never went in.


Thursday night I went to the movies, watched the Mechanic. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Jessica Alba and Jason Statham are some of my favorite actors. Before the movie I treated myself to a Salvadoran delicacy: Minuta!


Saturday night I served as a judge of a beauty pageant. A friend has been running this pageant for about 9 years. It’s always a fun show. 


I’m really looking forward to this coming week.

Weekly Update #11

Last week was the slowest in months. Last Friday I woke up with pain between my back and chest. Felt as if I had pulled something. I had some trouble moving and breathing at times. 

Monday my friend and I went out for an easy walk at Deer Island, 2.7 miles. We jogged up some hills, but we walked most of the peninsula. 

Friday I went out on the bike and completed 25 miles. My body was complaining for the last 10 miles. Saturday I was feeling pretty damn sored. I suppose it’s to be expected when I took a full week off from the bike. 

The good news is that my chest and back pain are gone.

Saturday my brother and I decided to take the boat on the water for a couple of hours. The sea was pretty damn choppy for some reason, but it was lots of fun. 


Lucas is home! Vero, Jose and Lucas left the hospital on Tuesday evening. 


That’s pretty much the week. 

Some of the issues that have risen can be discouraging but I have to make sure to remind myself why I’m trying to get healthy in the first place and push myself when I’m down to keep going.

Thanks for reading. 

Weekly Update #10

I feel the week flew by too quickly. Work was pretty hectic and before I knew it it was Friday. 

This week was didn’t meet my desired goal of 4+ activities a week. I only went out on the bike on Tuesday and Thursday. Both days I rode the 27 miles course. Although on Thursday I only intended to do 20 miles but my GPS took me through the 27 miles instead. Both courses are the same for the first 10 miles, then they splits in the middle of the forest.


Saturday was a lot of fun. I had a school reunion at an amusement park. I got to go on some fun rides with my son and some old friends. 


I intended to do another biking session on Sunday morning but plans changed. A problem I’ve had this week is insomnia. After my run of shame I couldn’t fall asleep until 4:30am. Monday I went to work on two hours of sleep. On Saturday I also had a hard time going to sleep. I think it wasn’t until 3am when I finally fell asleep. So Sunday morning I slept in instead.

Today I’ve been on baby stand by. My sister in-law, Vero, and my brother Jose went to the hospital at 2am because she was having contractions. It’s almost 10pm and baby Lucas doesn’t want to come out yet. I’m currently at the hospital and hope that she has a safe birth soon.


On Friday morning I woke up with a pain on the right side of the back which hurt a lot when I breath or eat. I think I either slept the wrong way or pulled something. It has gotten better over the past two days. If it doesn’t go away I will go see a doctor and make sure it’s nothing serious. 

Throughout the week I’ve been rolling and icing my foot in an attempt to get rid of my plantar fasciitis once and for all. It definitely has gotten better. The pain is back to the way it was a week ago. 


This coming week I need to do better and get more active. I’ll also start to be more careful with what I eat. I’ve been neglecting my diet for a while now. I want to look better in two weeks. I’ve been asked to be a judge at a beauty pageant 😎

That’s it for now.  Hope you had a great weekend and look forward to the new week. 

Guilt Run

Sunday I decided to go out for a jog at 11:05 pm. Why did I do this? I felt guilty 😔 It was my jog of shame. I was procrastinating most of the day before I decided to jog last second.

Why guilt? Two reasons 1) my goals have  4+ active days out of the week. I had only gone out on the bike three times. 2) I went  out with my friend Oscar to celebrate him getting his GED. I stuffed my face with a 20 oz T-Bone steak. 

Saturday I rode 27 miles and I wanted to use Sunday as my rest/recovery day. But at the last second I jumped in my running shoes and shorts and headed out for a 3.7 mile jog from my house to the beach and back.

I thought to myself don’t make excuses. Check off the 4+ activities for the week in your goals. Also, I shouldn’t need too much recovery time after only 27 miles. 

The good news: I came back 48 minutes and 30 seconds later. When I started jogging back in April this same course took me 1 hour and 4 minutes to complete. I’m happy with the progress. 

The bad news: Monday I woke with a really bad case of plantar fasciitis. PF had all but gone away. I had gone out multiple times for longer jogs at Breakhart Reservation. The two differences 1) Breakheart has lots of hills and 2) I was moving faster on Sunday. I felt good; I didn’t feel pain; I wasn’t tired. I was really surprised when I almost fell to the ground when I got off my bed Monday morning!

My solution: Stop jogging/running for a couple of months until PF is completely gone. I will probably see a therapist about it. I’ll be going out on the bike on a regular basis to stay active. 

I’ll increase the distance of my rides every week. Last week I did 20 miles. A few days later I did 27. This week I intend to do a 46 mile course. I don’t care about speed for now. I’ll focus on distance first. Speed is next on the list, but I want to be comfortable on the saddle for 3-4 hours. 

I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for reading. Keep moving.