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2014 - 2015 Lucky 13 

Runners Train for the 2014 Carlsbad Half Marathon

 

Meet the Lucky 13, a group of thirteen individuals from throughout San Diego's North County who have been selected to participate in the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Half Marathon on January 18, 2015.

This special group, all of whom have or are currently overcoming health challenges, will train with fitness experts at the Tri-City Wellness Center in Carlsbad to prepare for the 13.1-mile race. Get to know them and follow their journey to the finish line.

The Coaches

  • Siene Freeman
  • Paul Carey
  • Melanee Thys

Image Gallery


Tom Anderson, 54, Encinitas

Tom Anderson has been in an out of the hospital with pneumonia, atrial fibrillation, cardiomyopathy, lap band surgery, bariatric bypass, metatarsal infection, and surgeries. He went from a total weight of 498lbs to 300lbs on his own through a combination of surgeries, various diets, and light exercise. After losing weight and plateauing at 350lbs, Tom decided to get help through the lap band procedure. Complications from the procedure led him to having a bariatric bypass in 2012. After surgery he contracted a metatarsal infection from which he has been recovering from for the past 2.5 years. After all these difficulties, he is now fully healed and dedicated to his goal of losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle. 

Follow Tom

9/17/2014

Last night the Lucky 13 met up in Encinitas to scoop up a pair of new kicks courtesy of Movin Shoes!

Our gratitude goes out to the staff at Movin Shoes for this fantastic opportunity!

9/5/2014

In a recent conversation with Tom, he was explaining how he's recently taken up 2-a-days 4x a week not including his Saturday run. Wow! I feel not only exhausted just thinking about 2-a-days, but feel I must step up my game now! Tom also lives a very busy lifestyle so he has connected with Siene to help fulfill any of the workouts he may end up missing by assigning some old fashion homework. "I'm pretty thrilled with my experience so far. Everyone is great at TCW and I'm looking forward to my workouts each day", says Tom.


Stacey Baker, 51, Carlsbad

Stacey is a single mother of three children ages 13, 16, and 18. She has pursued losing weight on her own and has dropped more than 80 lbs. After she hurt her back, she endured over 2 years of recovery and physical therapy. While recuperating from a microdiskectomy, Stacey also dealt with considerable nerve damage to her right leg. She is now recovered and ready to make a big change for herself and her children. Her theme for this year, "The year of taking back control!" 

Follow Stacey

10/9/2014

Stacy kindly exchanged some feedback with me today. Over the past few weeks she's been asked what it felt like to be a member of the Lucky 13. She felt there was more to the answer then simply stating the obvious or cliche. Stacy wanted to convey a message of substance that was symbolic of both her appreciation for her teammates, and the opportunity.

She writes, "Want I need to make clear, what I have thought about the most during the last few months - is that I’m lucky to be part of a group. 

Its not just about me, its about 12 other lucky people that have been brave enough to share their lives and their troubles with me and each other. We, together, make up the Lucky 13.  

We support each other.  We encourage each other.  We motivate each other when needed, we commiserate as necessary and we celebrate our successes at every opportunity.  We are lucky, and we all know it! 

I am lucky to have been selected as a member of the 2014 Lucky 13 group. Lucky to have met these AMAZING people.  Lucky to be involved in what I can only explain as a life changing experience."

 

9/17/2014

Last night the Lucky 13 met up in Encinitas to scoop up a pair of new kicks courtesy of Movin Shoes!

Our gratitude goes out to the staff at Movin Shoes for this fantastic opportunity!


Melissa Cappuccilli, 51, Carlsbad

Fourteen years ago Melissa was diagnosed with a rare heart condition and informed that she would need to eliminate all strenuous exercise. Over those years Melissa endured multiple heart procedures, medications, ablations, and 4 different ICDs. Over 2 years ago, she went into congestive heart failure and was admitted into the ICU. On November 13, 2013, Melissa received a new heart! Today, while continuing to grow stronger, she hopes to be a role model for others to lead a healthy life. Plus, Melissa's lucky number just happens to be...13.

Follow Melissa

9/17/2014

Last night the Lucky 13 met up in Encinitas to scoop up a pair of new kicks courtesy of Movin Shoes!

Our gratitude goes out to the staff at Movin Shoes for this fantastic opportunity!

9/11/2014

Melissa like many of her teammates continues to conquer any shortcomings she may be encounter. She recently expressed how much enjoyment she was getting out of the program that extend beyond the act of physical exercise. She writes, "The program is going great. All three of the coaches are doing a great job of working with the team and working with individuals with their different needs. 

Between the Alumni and the new Lucky 13 team, everyone has really formed close bonds and has become a very supportive cohesive group. It makes it fun to go work out because you have an opportunity to socialize with a great group of people. It has been such a positive experience from the start."


Ceci Haas, 54, Oceanside

Ceci has overcome numerous physical and emotional obstacles throughout her life. She has blossomed despite having osgood schlatter at a young age, rheumatoid arthritis in college, and a double foot surgery in her 30's. Ceci also experienced the difficulty of having several close family members pass away from cancer or cancer-related illnesses. In 2005, while stopped at a red light, an SUV rear ended her vehicle which resulted in thoracic outlet syndrome. Even still, she doesn't allow this to act as a burden. Ceci believes in keeping things natural and staying healthy. She hopes to take this opportunity to show other 50+ year olds that someone who has never really run can complete a half marathon and improve upon their health.

Follow Ceci


10/17/2014


Ceci has had her bouts with illness and bodily injury as of late. Down but never out. Ceci goes on to explain...

"The program is fantastic. From the first day we ran/walked 1 mile to running 8, I just can't believe that I have been able to do this! I will turn 55 right before the race (December 29th) so this is a great milestone to show other "older" folks that they can do this too. I feel healthier (except the flu) than I have in years, and was able to water ski with the endurance of a 20 year old!  

At first I was having severe pain in my knees, which I have never had problems like this before. Siene is so good though, she told me how to use a tennis ball to get deep into the VMO muscles, and that took care of it - no more pain there! 

Things were going great until our 7 mile run, and about the last 1/4 mile I had a bad asthma attack. Thankfully I carried an inhaler and it soon passed. I have never had asthma before, but have seemed to develop sports induced asthma since starting to run the longer miles. 

Then things were good the second 7 mile run. We started the 8th mile run and everything was great until the beginning of the 8th mile and my left IT band started hurting excruciatingly!  I have had to rest it now, and tried last week to do the 6 mile run, but only could do 1 mile before it got bad. Siene is going to work with me to see what is going on, and I'm sure she will help me get past this. I'm determined to go the whole way, and I really would like to do the Triple Crown."

 

9/17/2014

Last night the Lucky 13 met up in Encinitas to scoop up a pair of new kicks courtesy of Movin Shoes!

Our gratitude goes out to the staff at Movin Shoes for this fantastic opportunity!

9/2/2014

Ceci from my vantage point is enjoying the program thus far. She appears to be a natural athlete and has the mindset of one. You can find Ceci running the track post workout to put a little extra effort in!


Laura Keany, 60, Carlsbad

Laura is now 2+ years out of breast cancer treatment this past April. When first diagnosed with stage II breast cancer, Laura admits to being in denial when treatment began as she had always been healthy, trim and exercised regularly. Several weeks into chemotherapy, Laura lost all her hair, strength, and endurance. She first attempted chair yoga and realized the extent to which her body had been debilitated by the several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. After finally testing free of cancer, Laura has worked diligently to overcome the neuropathy, fatigue, and weight gain which accompanied treatment. First starting with gentle yoga at the Tri-City Wellness Center, Laura has graduated to Vinyassa Yoga, Mat Pilates, and Zumba. Laura plans to continue her journey towards fully recovering her strength, endurance, and health. 

Follow Laura

9/30/2014

Laura takes the bull by the horns with a very calming demeanor. She lends this happy go lucky vibe off that somehow makes the most rigorous moments of our workouts seem a tad more enjoyable. No matter if its hills, sprints, or lunges, Laura has an expression of elation on her face. Either she really loves working out, or I have yet to discover that this is her way to hiding any discomfort! Regardless, Laura is really applying herself, which is what it takes to get the results we all seek.

9/17/2014

Last night the Lucky 13 met up in Encinitas to scoop up a pair of new kicks courtesy of Movin Shoes!

Our gratitude goes out to the staff at Movin Shoes for this fantastic opportunity!

9/10/2014

Laura and I shared a conversation while on the treadmill last night. I'm surprised she was unable to understand the words coming out of my mouth as I was panting out my sentences. I simply asked how the program was going? She replied that she could not be happier. She brought up the fact that she was more energized throughout the day, and at times exhausted. I think in this program, feeling exhausted comes with the territory regardless of our fitness experience. So, with that said I can relate. Her conditioning is great based off her effort last night, which wasn't easy. She shows up early sometimes to get a solid warm up in, a great example of her desire to succeed. Good for her. Wednesday is water aerobics day, a nice change of regimen.


Tina Knight, 53, Oceanside

Treated for sepsis at Tri-City Medical Center, Tina was not expected to live. Her kidneys shut down and she lost her fingers and toes. Through nothing short of a miracle, Tina survived and is no longer on dialysis. She accredits some of that miracle to the care she received from Tri-City staff such as: Dr. Nielson, Dr. McCarthy and Dr. Rameonfosky. Tina has a special connection to Tri-City Medical Center and we have a connection to her. She hopes to get back into shape and keep her kidneys functioning right while she does it. Tina is ready to tackle this half marathon and check one more thing off her bucket list! 

Follow Tina

10/14/14

*Quoted per Tina!

"I am doing great with my training! I love all the great trainers and how our group gets along so well! I am trying to learn to adjust to the longer runs and not do too much with my workouts during week nights. After consulting with the trainers, I am cutting my days down as I have been doing 4 nights since we started. Last week I did only 2 nights and had the best 6 mile run! Hoping I can find the happy medium!"

 

9/30/2014

Tempo training was no match for Tina last week. She's really starting to make large gains in endurance as well as performance. She mentioned she has been dropping weight, which seems to be a boost of added confidence for Tina!  

 

9/17/2014

Last night the Lucky 13 met up in Encinitas to scoop up a pair of new kicks courtesy of Movin Shoes!

Our gratitude goes out to the staff at Movin Shoes for this fantastic opportunity!

9/2/2014

Tina to this point is our team leader. She is vocal, energetic, and full of encouragement, always quick to pick up on the nightly routine and always putting on a high-octane performance.


Allison Malstead, 40, Fallbrook

Allison struggled with depression and binge eating since her early teens. Due to resistance to treatment and late diagnosis of her conditions, she endured many years of weight cycling and self-hatred which often accompany serious emotional disorders. Four years ago Allison enrolled in a class offered by a local non-profit, this class changed her life. The message of the class was that it is possible to "recover" from mental illness, as there are many avenues that can enable you to construct a healthy, hopeful life, while still recognizing that you may continue to confront symptoms and challenges. After completing this class she was able to understand how important exercising was to her mood and that she didn't need to wait until she was completely cured of her illnesses to begin living her life. Allison now plans to become a Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

Follow Allison

9/17/2014

Last night the Lucky 13 met up in Encinitas to scoop up a pair of new kicks courtesy of Movin Shoes!

Our gratitude goes out to the staff at Movin Shoes for this fantastic opportunity!

9/27/14

I was overly impressed with Allison this past Monday during tempo training. Coach Paul had the Lucky 13 working on intense cardio with short rest intervals. The idea was to sprint 30 yards from cone to cone and finish off the sprint with a run or jog around the Health facility in the parking lot. Each circuit was anywhere from 50% to their top speed. Allison was at the head of the group the entire time. No doubt 100% given and the desire for progress.


Gary Maziarz, 44, Carlsbad

As one of the first responders during the World Trade Center tragedy (Gary typically worked on the 102nd floor but was off site on 9/11), he arrived on 9/12 and spent a month digging through the rubble. Like many other workers, Gary risked his life inhaling toxic debris, like glass fibers which have imbedded themselves in the walls of his lungs. Since then, his ability to breathe had steadily decreased until July 2014, when there was a slight improvement owing to the treatment plan his doctor prescribed. While Gary continues to battle through his breathing issues and PTSD, he finds that the gym, yoga, and being around positive people is the best medicine for him. Gary plans to use this opportunity to beat his physical and emotional setbacks so he can reclaim the life that was spared.

Follow Gary

9/17/2014

Last night the Lucky 13 met up in Encinitas to scoop up a pair of new kicks courtesy of Movin Shoes!

Our gratitude goes out to the staff at Movin Shoes for this fantastic opportunity!

9/2/2014

Gary is coming along. During our stretching routine and leg regimen days he appears to excel. His leg strength is sound, a must in long distance training. He prefers to run, and appears very athletic. With that in mind, I think Gary is on the right track.


Judy Miller, 60, Carlsbad

Judy was selected last year as one of the Lucky 13 and through rigorous training, worked up to running long distances. The first time she was able to run just one mile, but then worked up to running 12 miles through the daily training sessions. Race day arrived this past January and she felt that she had prepared to the best of her ability. At mile 11.5 both calves, both feet, and both inner thighs cramped to the point that she was unable to continue the race.  Judy knows that she had done all that she could do to prepare for the race and describes her experience as; "What happened, just happened." Although she is anxious it will happen again this year, she is determined not to let that fear keep her from accomplishing what she started. We're thrilled Judy decided to participate this year and we know she has what it takes to complete the half-marathon. 

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10/14/2014


In recent days I asked Judy how things were going? Her response is as follows!

"Still an AMAZING experience.  I’ve been doing two TCWC trainings a week (a few times 3) plus the Saturday wogs (running/walking). Trainers are putting in some new things we didn’t do last year. Paul had us sprinting outside for a couple of Monday night workouts. One of Siene’s exercises was to do a backward lunge recently. “Ummmm so really?  How do we do that?”  Whew, a whole new muscle group got a good workout.

Love the support from all of the trainers, Lucky 13 and alumni."

 

9/17/2014

Last night the Lucky 13 met up in Encinitas to scoop up a pair of new kicks courtesy of Movin Shoes!

Our gratitude goes out to the staff at Movin Shoes for this fantastic opportunity!

8/31/2014

Judy as you know was a Lucky 13 participant last year. Coming so close to finishing in last years' half marathon by 1.5 miles is a wrenching thought. She already has a foundation of fitness from last year that I'm confident will translate into success for the upcoming event.


Carin Nelson, 39, Carlsbad

After chest pain led her to visit Urgent Care, Carin discovered that she had a hole in her heart and was experiencing heart failure at 29. That year she had heart surgery and endured a difficult recovery. In 2009 Carin gave birth to a daughter diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a chronic lung disease. She said at that point, her life changed forever. She knows how important exercise is for her daughter's health and was told by her doctor that the best thing she can do with her daughter is take up running. While Carin's daughter is too young to run now, Carin's goal is to be able to run with her when she is old enough while acting as a role model.

Follow Carin

9/17/2014

Last night the Lucky 13 met up in Encinitas to scoop up a pair of new kicks courtesy of Movin Shoes!

Our gratitude goes out to the staff at Movin Shoes for this fantastic opportunity!

9/10/2014

Carin is giving 110% everynight. Much like the rest of her teammates, they all work well together and quite honestly carry the most potential of any class in program history due to their dedication and self-encouragement. Carin, as mentioned in her bio has an ambition to boost her running potential for her daugher in the coming years. I can say Carin is definetly striving for that goal. During Saturday morning, Carin and I crossed paths on the coast highway going in opposite directions. I saw runners confidence. All small steps into the larger picture of creating a lifestyle change for the better. Good job Carin!


Alejandra Paredes Guillen, 23, San Marcos

Upon being employed by Tri-City Wellness Center, Alejandra saw the complimentary membership pass offered to employees, as an opportunity to get in shape. Within the first few days of working out she began weight lifting, without proper training or warm ups. Shortly after she began exercising, she developed severe pain which radiated from her lower back to her entire leg, and kept her from getting out of bed. After withstanding the pain for 3 weeks she took a trip to the emergency room, where the doctor diagnosed her with sciatica and prescribed pain medication and physical therapy. Looking to find alternative solutions, Alejandra educated herself on her condition and began stretching frequently. She describes this experience as her wake-up call to focus on her health. She is participating in the Lucky 13 to be in the best shape of her life, so she never again feels hopeless due to a lack of physical activity.

Follow Alejandra

9/17/2014

Last night the Lucky 13 met up in Encinitas to scoop up a pair of new kicks courtesy of Movin Shoes!

Our gratitude goes out to the staff at Movin Shoes for this fantastic opportunity!

9/10/2014

I had a chance to speak with Alejandra post workout last night. Good spirited and optimistic, she was telling me how much she has enjoyed the program so far. Yesterday, was intense cardio which consisted of 2 minutes on the treadmill (15 incline), 2 minutes off (box squats) followed by repeating x 4. For those of you who are not up-to-date on your treadmills, 15 incline pretty much has you facing the stars. You feel like an exhausted astronaut on a moon mission. With that in mind, I have to say Alejandra did a fine job last night!


David Saenz, 58, Oceanside

After a lifetime of unhealthy lifestyle choices, David purchased a bicycle and began riding to try and improve his health. In 2008 while biking he had his first heart attack. This prompted him to make changes in his diet. About four years later after reducing his weight from 270 to 220 lbs., he had another heart attack, also while biking. Since 2012, David has striven to change his diet by eliminating trans-fats and hydrogenated oils, replacing them with whole grains and omega-3s. Today his lipids are well under control as a result of his diet and continued exercise. He continues to work towards living the healthiest lifestyle he can by participating in charity bike rides, such as the Bike the Coast Century, the Solvang Century, and racing in the Fiesta Island 20k Time Trials (twice). He has even succeeded in reducing his medications! He decided for his newest fitness challenge, he will be switching gears, from biking to running, to complete the Carlsbad half-marathon.

Follow David

9/17/2014

Last night the Lucky 13 met up in Encinitas to scoop up a pair of new kicks courtesy of Movin Shoes!

Our gratitude goes out to the staff at Movin Shoes for this fantastic opportunity!

9/4/2014

Aside from diligently improving his overall lifestyle habits, David has found a comfort zone so far in the Lucky 13 program. He's absorbing all the available techniques and is executing the regimen to the best of his ability. He combos walking and running and continues to improve. I have to say, David is strong in his lower extremities. Wall sits are usually never well-received and always come with the common "ugh" by many. I've yet to ask David if he likes this particular exercise, but he sure demonstrates it well. Perhaps the biking he's done in the past? Maybe I need to go buy a bike too!

9/27/14

David had a quality week of exercise output. Monday consisted of a high tempo training with short time intervals between sets. He lasted the challenge and finished strong. David also showed off his pair of bright highlighter running shorts on Monday. Literally, you could spot him from a mile away easily! I can't lie, I want a pair myself. Other than that, David has been careful to nuture his leg as the journey continues. All is well.  


Ellen Wityak, 54, Carlsbad

After overcoming breast cancer in 2010, Ellen endured three separate reconstruction surgeries in order to counter the damage that cancer had done to her body. During the course of her treatment, which included rigorous bouts of chemotherapy, Ellen regularly attended the YMCA and worked as a guidance aid for the Encinitas School District. Although the illness and it's recovery were mentally and physically challenging for Ellen, she was able to persevere. Ellen now works in a day preschool for children with autism and looks forward to taking on the challenge of training for the half-marathon.

Follow Ellen

9/17/2014

Last night the Lucky 13 met up in Encinitas to scoop up a pair of new kicks courtesy of Movin Shoes!

Our gratitude goes out to the staff at Movin Shoes for this fantastic opportunity!

9/11/2014

Ellen recently re-aggravated an old injury in the area of her knee putting a temporary halt on anything more rigorous than a speed-walk by recommendation. Other than that she is raving about her positive experiences to date. "I am enjoying the team and all the training sessions. I have been enjoying the Tri City Wellness facility and all of the friendly members, staff, and trainers.  It has been a great experience so far." - Ellen. 

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