8.28.2015

Run & Walk for the Whales - Join Me!

Please note: This is a completely biased post. The Run & Walk for the Whales is hosted by Pacific Whale Foundation and the race director is....me! I am not writing this post as part of my job but on my own personal accord. All opinions expressed are solely my own. 

Aloha All!

How is life going? For me, pretty good as I am in taper gearing up for race day just 9 sleeps away! You can read more about that HERE but today's post is about another race. A race much further away. In fact race day is January 30, 2016 but I won't be toeing the start line. I will be behind the scenes, or somewhat in front of the scenes, taking care of the million things that need to be taken care of in order for a race to go off without a hitch and the run, or runs in this case, be as awesome as possible. 

As a runner myself, I truly care about the runners' experience during a race and as a race director, I truly appreciate the effort that goes into pulling off a race. With all these storms lined up and swirling around the Hawaiian Islands my heart goes out to the race director for the Kaua'i Marathon. If it was me and a mere couple of weeks before race day I would be watching and perhaps sweating a wee bit more. Why? Because I care.

As a race director for the Run & Walk for the Whales I care about so many teeny tiny details. Details I hope you as participants never have to think of. This goes beyond timing, course set-up, and race bling to how many cups we need and where, how many bottles of water and where, that the signs are set up in the exact right place so participants aren't misled on race distance, that police officers are at key points and know the course, that medical aid is on stand by, that post race food and festivities is in place and that the food will span the needs of those with special diets. Yes, I am dairy free and I think about that. If someone can't eat dairy, is there something for them? If someone is gluten free, is there something for them? Can participants find the food, the porta potties, etc? Is there something to keep family and friends engaged while their loved ones run?

Guess what? For the Run & Walk for the Whales the answers are yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

The course is an out and back (the walk is a loop) and is relatively flat but be warned, you are starting at one of the  windiest harbors in the world. Yep, it has the potential to be quite windy but trust me, if you run against the wind, you will have the wind at your back later and often towards the end of the race. No promises though. I can't control the wind, the rain, or any other natural factors but I do run and love this course. Yes, I run along this course myself as I do love it and its views. In fact, all of the photos included in this post are from my recent runs along the course.

The race consists of a half marathon, 10K run, 5K run, a 2.5 mile walk, and a virtual option when you join the Virtual Team. There is something for everyone...even your kiddos. If you have young ones who may not like hanging out while you race with your significant other or perhaps you and hubby want to run, sign them up for a special edition of Ocean Camp offered on race day from 6:00 am to 10:00 am. The Pacific Whale Foundation education team will look after and entertain your little ones and they just may come back to you knowing a bit more about our precious oceans. How cool is that? And yes, that was a personally motivated add-on to the race since dear hubby and I often race and wonder, who will watch darling daughter? What if more races offered this option? Wouldn't that be cool?!

So what are you waiting for? Join me today! You can register for the race HERE or the virtual team HERE.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful that I can use my personal running and racing experiences to direct the Run & Walk for the Whales.

Daily Bible Verse: So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. ~ Matthew 7:12

8.25.2015

Marathon Taper: Here we are again

12 sleeps until the Kauai Marathon! Yee-haw! I am officially into taper, granted, pretty much the
beginning of my two week stretch and so far I am calm, cool, and collected. Oh yes, I am a calm as the morning dew, cool as a winter breeze, and as mellow as Jell-O. For now.

Nature is doing a really good job of keeping my mind off any creeping taper blues as I watch disturbance after disturbance drift around the Pacific. I have seen more lightning in the past few days than I have in the 12+ years living in Hawai'i! Good golly, Ms. Molly, it is crazy here and can go from bright sunny skies to turning my street into a raging river with rapids.

And call me selfish if you must but I keep crossing my fingers and hoping for sunny pleasant days once marathon weekend rolls around. This is the family trip we have been looking forward to for months (personally, I have been looking forward to it since I ran the Kauai Half Marathon).

I am not heading over to Kauai to PR but to run my little heart out and soak up the wonderfulness of life. To run for God and feel that great spiritual connection I felt on the island of Kauai. God created some really beautiful masterpieces there! I am excited for darling daughter to run the Keiki Run, I can't wait to run in the group run with other runners and some really cool top dog runners who motivate me, and I am excited to chill out in the pools at the resort. Yes, pools. They have more than one and fingers crossed, the sun will shine and we can try them all out! Darling daughter can't wait and I intend to savor each second with her.

As much as I am excited and distracted, I know that eventually those taper nerves are going to come crashing down on me but I will remember, I am running this race for God and try my best to set those nerves aside and trust in his plan for me. For those of you who have been following my journey for awhile you know I am turning over a new life. No time goal. Just running for God. Enjoying life. Savoring each step. Trusting my training....and all the curve balls in it.

Now if just our weather can calm itself down in time for marathon weekend. But hey, why worry? I can't do one single thing about it.

Have a blessed day!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the times when my mind is quiet, my soul is peaceful, and my heart is full.

Daily Bible Verse: He said to them, "Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?" Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, "What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?" ~ Matthew 8:26-27
He said to them, "Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?" Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, "What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?" - See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Weather,-God~s-Sovereignty-Over#sthash.0kAGlFaC.dpuf
He said to them, "Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?" Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, "What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?" - See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Weather,-God~s-Sovereignty-Over#sthash.0kAGlFaC.dpuf

Other posts you may like:
Why taper?
Faith - as it relates to running and racing
I achieved my big goal -- now what?

8.20.2015

Clif Bar: Organic Energy Food and more

This is a sponsored post. I received product free of charge for review plus additional product for my family. I did not promise a positive review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Aloha All!

You know I am an SOS Rehydrate lover but sometimes a gal needs a little bit more on a run. As I stated previously, I am using less gels than I used to due to a great electrolyte drink but come on, I can't see how I can even imagine running 26.2 miles without an added boost.

I am big into the natural and want something that is easy to swallow, has a nice consistency, and tastes good. And yes, it needs to settle well in my tummy but with less gels being consumed, my tummy is staying happier.

I have found all natural items that are grainy and I just can't do that. And I don't want things too thick that linger in my mouth. Yes, I know I am to drink lots of water with gels, etc and I do but I don't want to feel like I must swish the water around my mouth vigorously to remove gel residue.

Enter...Clif Bar Organic Energy Food. I was dying to try this the moment I read the flavors available: pizza margherita, sweet potato with sea salt, banana beet with ginger, and banana mango coconut. I received the last two to review and dear hubby chuckled when I opened each to give them a taste test at the kitchen table while I was waiting for dinner to cook. Both tasted remarkable and are flavors I would consume just because but no, I won't be grabbing an energy food for a snack. Just realize, they taste good!

And both have a smooth consistency that is thin but not watery. Thin enough that a good push can send it flying out the packet (yep, dear hubby did that) and I LOVE that the packets can be sealed back up. Not only does this allow you to consume just what you need it will eliminate the gooey mess left in my hydration vest when I stow packets to be tossed later.

Feedback from the family on their products:

Dear hubby loved his Clif Shot Bloks and he really enjoyed mountain berry and black cherry...especially the black cherry!

Darling daughter adores her Clif Kid Zfruit and is rationing it to ensure she has some yumminess to turn to for days to come! P.S. This is an item I have given the Easter Bunny a seal of approval to leave for darling daughter in lieu of a basket full of chocolate and sugary treats. That may be why darling daughter views this as a treat and not an everyday go-to item.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the generosity of Clif Bar. 

Daily Bible Verse: This is what the LORD says: "A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more." ~ Jeremiah 31:15

8.17.2015

GUILTY: The Comparison Game

I have been running long enough to know that I should never compare myself to others and I am really good at saying I don't but then I realized....I was.

It wasn't the I want to run as fast as she can, or as long as he can, or anything like that. It was plain and simple, darnit...they are nailing their training plan and I am flailing. This training cycle has been a crazy roller coaster, much like every other one I have gone through. I honestly believe it is because I am a full-time employee, a mom, and a wife devoted to my family and faith as much as I am devoted to running. I only have so many hours in a day and life has a magical way of creeping up on you and provided you with twists, turns, etc.

The past 10 days or so have been ridiculously busy and it was that "final week" before things start tapering down for real. I was annoyed I wasn't finding the time and/or energy to nail my runs and I was in a delicate balance game between pushing myself just enough and pushing myself too far and risking injury or illness. And then it dawned on me. I wasn't upset about the training I had done. I was upset I wasn't training like "they" were.

That is the crazy thing about social media. You can easily see how far or long someone ran but you don't always see what obstacles they are facing, how full their days are, how they are feeling about x, y, or z. You just think...I didn't do that. And I am not alone. I have a runner friend who recently confessed her own running life jealousy as others post their accomplishments and she thought, but I only did this.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Seriously! We are all rocking the boats we have been given in a very awesome way! Yes, you are rocking the boat beautifully!

The Kaua'i Marathon means a lot to me and I am not selling myself short when I say I do not expect to PR, I expect it to be hard, and I hope to run well and finish strong. I have another marathon in December and perhaps a third in January. I know this isn't my A race in terms of pace but I hope it to be my A race in terms of FAITH and COURAGE. In all reality, many could consider it a training run for my next two marathons and I should do the same.

My body is trained and ready to go. Yes, I would have LOVED more long runs in the 18+ mile range but that is okay. By December my training will be remarkable if I come out of Kaua'i strong and able to keep on going and that is my goal. I am going to have a BLAST on Kaua''i as it is another part in my marathon journey.

Running isn't all about the races. Those are icing on the cake and can help make you feel good and that is perfectly fine by me. I am ready to indulge in some race time delight and to hang out in an AWESOME resort with my family. I will pour my heart in soul into my race but I will stop looking down, feeling sorry for myself, and wishing I ran as long as she did or as far as he did or as fast as they did with the belief that they are nailing their training every single day. I am running my race my way and at the end of the day, I just pray God says, "Well done good and faithful servant, well done." What could be better than that?

Daily Gratitude: I am glad I realized I was guilty of comparing myself to others so I could put an end to it all.

Daily Bible Verse: His master said to him, "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master." ~ Matthew 25:21