1 mile craziness: 3 sleeps to the Maui Marathon!

I am so ready to run! My legs are feeling so much better and as much as I know I made the decision to cut back to just a mile days this week, I am going crazy. After a mile I really don't want to stop. I am feeling good and deprived of some running...just where I wanted to be.

Tomorrow is EXPO DAY! I am so excited! I haven't been this excited for an expo in years and I think it is because I just want race day to get here. Each day as I drive into work I look for signs of race readiness (my drive goes along a portion of the course). Nothing yet. No big lights. No cones. Nothing. But the grass has been cut!

And I will be doing something odd tomorrow. I will look around at the expo as I really want to find something cool for my buddy, Toby. My family is picking me up from work and we will make the drive to fun! And hey, since the expo is close to an hour from home...dinner out! Yippee!!!

The Maui Marathon is almost here. I am actually beginning to feel confident that I am going to kick butt! Warm temperatures - I am ready for you!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my optimism.
Daily Affirmation: I WILL break a 4 hour marathon. I WILL!


Healthy Eating - What is safe?

I must confess - as much as I strive to eat well there are times I just want to scream and pull out my hair. Is nothing safe?

I try to not get paranoid or too stressed over the food industry but then things happen that make me feel very helpless. I am a busy mom trying to feed my family well. I want my daughter to grow strong and healthy and live a very long life. I want my husband to move into his golden years with the energy to keep running strong.

Is this possible?

I have eliminated almost all processed foods but yet there are still some processed snacks in the house. I read ingredients on everything I buy - no dairy, no fake sugars, no corn syrup in those fruit chews my daughter loves so much, no things I can't even pronounce, etc., etc., etc.

Just the other day I read that carrageenan is a no-no and for some reason this is still bugging me to the core. I know what carrageenan is and that it comes from red algae but seriously, it can be a no-no? I am only saying "can" to avoid getting stuck on any side of the argument as I haven't done my research but it got me thinking. What is there that I can feed my family safely? Even my almond milk has carrageenan and yes, the soy milk does too and yes there are arguments about soy but I think you see where I am going.

I am at a complete and utter loss and I haven't even started talking GMO's - my husband isn't convinced they are an issue and actually sees them as a means to feed the world. I am not convinced. I often feel a good thing can get warped into something very bad. I reflect back on Mendel and his peas. It not only demonstrated dominant and recession genes but in fact in the purest of terms - he was genetically modifying the peas. Were the results harmful? I argue no. Can I say that about all GMO's today? No.

Like many of you, I care for my family and am on a budget. I am trying to balance all that I can and provide nourishing meals. We try to grow some of our own food but that is limited but boy do I wish we could do more and be more successful. I aim to organic and those snails seem to love what we grow.

I am not expecting any real answers today but hey, if you have any two cents to give me please do. I am open to knowledge. Help a running mom out!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the awesome crop of carrots we got months ago.
Daily Affirmation: Through prayer I will find the way to nourish my family. Today I took the first step, asking for knowledge.


Let's Talk Maui Marathon Goals

I have been procrastinating enough. Sticking my head in the sand so to speak thinking if I don't think then I won't have to deal with the crazy taper emotional roller coaster and put it out there to the world, and myself, what my goals are.

First, I feel beyond blessed that I have so many people around me who have complete confidence that I can and will break a 4 hour marathon. Thank you for all of your loving support. Yes, this is my big A+ goal. It is my dream. I just am still working on building that confidence. When I was feeling a bit edgy yesterday I told darling daughter how sorry I was. That I was in taper mind and worried about if I can break a 4 hour marathon. She immediately got up, crossed the room, and gave me the gentlest embrace ever and quietly told me, "You can do it, Mommy." After some teary hugging and chuckling I thanked her for her confidence and she bounced off saying I could break a 3 hour marathon! Even a 2 hour! Well, there you go...6 year old reasoning and undying belief in her mom. I am blessed.

I went to bed last night still pondering my goals and thought, well, now is a good time to pray. It went something like this:

Dear God, I am very scared. I really want to break a 4 hour marathon but I do not know if this race is the race or if this goal is your goal for me. I know you have a plan for me and that I am running for you. Whatever happens Sunday, I pray I run with swift and strong feet for you. Whatever time I get is exactly the time I was meant to get. Help me to not loose faith in myself or in you. May I run to honor you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

As much as I can cast my worries up to Heaven I feel I still need to be centered on Earth. To set tiered goals to allow me to have faith in myself. So my A goal is to PR. Currently my marathon PR is 4:10:18. There is still a HUGE difference between this race time and my race times at the Maui Marathon.

Therefore, my B+ goal is to PR at the Maui Marathon. This will be my fourth time running this race and to PR I will need to break 4:36:16 (set in 2012). Last year was tough and I ran the race in 4:39:46.

And just to round things out, my B goal is to finish knowing I did my best, that I kept my faith, that I tried my best, and that I am able to run again on Monday.

Phew! That took so long to sit down to type but yet, once I started typing it all became crystal clear.

Maui Marathon...here I come!!!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for finallly typing out my goals.
Daily Affirmation: On race day, my faith will keep me strong. Toby will be the wind at my back. Darling daughter will be my heart.


Which path do I follow?

I find it quite interesting that I popped on to blog today to see this post is receiving a lot of attention Boston vs. An Ultra. It is a post from May this year but the question still lurks in the back of my mind. How long do I continue to try to go faster and when do I try to start to go longer? Both are dreams of mine but sometimes it is hard to determine what path you are to follow.

The Road Not Taken 
by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,   
And sorry I could not travel both   
And be one traveler, long I stood   
And looked down one as far as I could   
To where it bent in the undergrowth;           

Then took the other, as just as fair,   
And having perhaps the better claim,   
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;   
Though as for that the passing there   
Had worn them really about the same,          

And both that morning equally lay   
In leaves no step had trodden black.   
Oh, I kept the first for another day!   
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,   
I doubted if I should ever come back.           

I shall be telling this with a sigh   
Somewhere ages and ages hence:   
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—   
I took the one less traveled by,   

And that has made all the difference.

Oh how I love that poem and am forever grateful for that book of Robert Frost poetry my dad gave me years ago to read. This one line forever comes back into my mind....Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by....

Does this help me decide between a marathon or an ultra? Nope. That is not the purpose. I was just intrigued that a post focused on decisions was getting so much attention today when I feel I am at a crossroads.

There is so much I want to do and achieve in life but ultimately, I want to make a difference. I want there to be meaning to my life. I want to know I did everything in my power to be the best me, the best mom, the best wife, the best daughter, the best employee that I can be. I am not asking for perfection. That doesn't exist. I want my words to be kind, supporting, and uplifting. I want to rest my head down with confidence knowing I did do my very best to be loving, gentle, and kind. That I passed on words of encouragement, support, and knowledge. That I made a positive impact even if it was just a tiny ripples. Ripples grow bigger.

In addition to running daily, doing yoga daily, and training for a marathon I have a full time job. I have now added in more priorities in my life. Getting darling daughter to Sunday School and mass afterwards, which takes Sundays out of long run days forcing me to run long at home on the treadmill the bulk of the time. This could impact my training but that is okay. I am thankful I have a home treadmill...that I can train and hit the miles I want and still contribute to the spiritual growth of my child. I am embarking on my own bible studies and love the time to read things that get me thinking about what I am doing and what I can be doing better. I have incorporated some crazy changes in my family's life and hope that it all turns out wonderfully well. Silly small changes like Family Game Night and lighting a candle every night now for my peace of mind, reminding me I am blessed, and filling the home with sweet scents. I want to make a happy home. 

I am also on a mission to bring awareness to Down Syndrome. You will be reading more about that later in a future post but I am so excited for the crossroads that I came upon. I am taking the road less traveled. I am pushing aside fears, insecurities, hesitations, and having faith. I am making ripples and I can only hope they are good.

Have a beautiful Friday!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my freedom of speech.
Daily Affirmation: My spirituality is a strength.