I'm giving away SOS! Yes, SOS Rehydrate!

To celebrate counting down the days until I meet Toby I am giving away some SOS Rehydrate. In a mere 26 days I will be able to hug my buddy but in a mere 2 weeks one of you, yes you!, will receive samples of SOS Rehydrate. I have three sticks on my desk right now - berry, citrus, and mango - and you can receive this taste test pack to choose which flavor is your favorite.

Why am I doing this? Because I love you! Because I love to give and share! And because SOS Rehydrate keeps me "rehydrated" on my run and has eliminated the need for me to turn to salt tablets on my longer runs AND keeps my tummy happy.

What are you waiting for? Enter the giveaway now to keep your tummy happy and your body rehydrated!

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And just recently, I have found the means and the way to get even better with a health and nutrition program that keeps me energized and yes, stronger! Do you have goals that you are trying to reach? I just may have the answer, even if it is just only added accountability, to keep you on the road to success. Learn more HERE.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for SOS Rehydrate and Beachbody.

Daily Bible Verse: And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. ~ Luke 9:23

This giveaway is hosted by Life as a Running Mom, who is personally providing the prize. Entries are open to the US only. The giveaway ends on June 8th and the winner will be contacted via email. If the winner does not respond in 3 days, a new winner will be selected.


Interval Training

I got to say, intervals are one of my favorite things to run as they can keep me motivated and going when running in place on a a treadmill. They are a great way to break a long run into little, manageable pieces and help bring you to your end goal with ease. Well, perhaps not easy ease but it helps.

With this in mind, my interval training isn't always at maximum interval training effort. Sometimes I need to pull back on that intensity because trust me, no one should run at 110% effort for every run especially when they run every day.

I know many may know exactly what interval training is but for those who are new to running or just want a refresher, here you go!

Intervals are specific speed work that consists of a set number of repetitions at a set distance and a set pace with a specific recovery. Traditional the work is done in 400m or 0.5 mile increments with a rest and work interval. This is how intervals are different from fartlek runs where you randomly pick up the pace and ease back. Intervals are structured and specific and have an intended purpose. And it is best to run them where you know the exact distance. A track is awesome but soft terrain works well too as long as you know the distance.

Last Saturday I strayed a bit from the norm and ran my intervals in 5 minute segments. This works beautifully for those running at a pace of 10'00" or faster as it is pushing you a wee bit further in each interval. But that isn't why I opted for 5 minutes. The end state goal of running 10 miles seemed too big for me when I stepped on the treadmill so I broke it down into 5 minute segments and focused on time, not distance. After a 1.5 mile warm-up at a 10'00" pace I started my interval work and worked for 75 minutes never dropping below a 9'50" pace and wrapped it up with a 1 mile cool down at a 10'00" pace. Ironically, my 95 minutes run brought me EXACTLY to 10 miles! Thank you God!

But what are the benefits of running intervals? Intervals can be tough but they are not full sprint tough. They are beneficial since running intervals trains the cardiovascular and muscular systems to better utilize oxygen while removing carbon dioxide and lactic acid. They improve your fast twitch muscles functioning and this is good since these fibers tend to fire fast and tire quickly. They come into play in anaerobic conditions and you want strength here. The three things I love about intervals is that running them can promote more efficient running form (I do feel my body pulling into shape), teach patience with low grade physical discomfort, and keep me motivated. And intervals improve strength.

With all those good benefits, why not run intervals right now? Well, there are risks.

You could be risking injury to soft tissues and muscles or fatigue. This list isn't too long but a serious injury could sideline you longer than you would like so push yourself but be sensible. Like I said, since I run intervals a lot to keep me going, they are not always at 110% effort.

Should you run intervals? I think we all can as soon as we are ready. Runners need a solid base before adding on other elements. If you are running more than 20 miles a week and have done tempo runs, hills, and fartleks, you may be ready! If you add in that you are an experienced runner with a base of 500+ miles you are definitely ready! Having one 20 mile week in which you do one tempo, one hill session, and one fartlek doesn't give you the green light just yet. Keep building up your pace and by golly, listen to your body!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful the intervals brought me to my mileage goal.

Daily Bible Verse: Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. ~ Hebrews 10:23-25

Still need help? I am a certified running coach and offer virtual training with personalized lesson plans plus I am here to help you with all of your fitness and health goals. My contact info is HERE.


30 days until I MEET TOBY!

Let the countdown officially begin!

Okay, I have been counting down for MONTHS but now that we are in the final stretch...join me. In 30 days darling daughter and I will be starting our summer vacation right with MEETING TOBY!!!

Poor dear hubby, he will be staying home keeping the fort safe and watching our pet family. What a trooper! We better bring him back some good goodies!

In case you don't know, I run for Toby -- a precious nine year old in Nebraska -- and have been running for him since July 27, 2014. In a matter of minutes, I fell in LOVE with him, his mom, and his AMAZING family.

Toby has Down syndrome so I have a special place in my heart for Down syndrome awareness so you will hear me chat about that here and there and you may see LOTS of posts and updates that refer back to this precious boy. Oh God is great and perfectly matched us together and watching him grow hasn't only blessed me but darling daughter. She does so much artwork in blue and yellow and tells me it is for Down syndrome. And her heart is growing for all kids with special needs. She even ran to me after school Thursday when I picked her up beaming with joy and guess why? You won't guess it. It is because the boy with autism in her class got a school award for GREAT BEHAVIOR! She was so proud of him and I am too -- and also for her for sharing in his joy enough to tell me about that. How cool is that?!

Daily Gratitude: I am so thankful to have Toby and his family in my life AND that I get to meet him in person!!!!

Daily Bible Verse: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. ~ 1 John 4:7-10


Oh the carbs!

Today, let's talk carbs.

I know you may hear a lot about them and how some avoid them completely. In fact I have a co-worker going no carbs in attempts to lose weight. I just shake my head as I am always an advocate of everything in moderation and thought I was doing a-ok in my eating plan...even if I was feeling a bit bloated here and there. And yes, I do say NO dairy for myself but only because eating it causes intense stomach discomfort PLUS congestion like you couldn't believe. I cut dairy out years ago when I was going in for test after test for abdominal pain and getting no answers. On my own whim I cut out dairy and within days my head was draining like crazy and I could breathe through my nose! This was AMAZING! So if your own body says no to something, by all means, avoid it.

But back to carbs.

I thought I had it all in balance with my eating plan -- a "plan" that could include bean burritos and/or nachos every day of my life! Don't forget waffles or pancakes on the weekends and I haven't even touched onto snacks or dinner. And the more I looked at it, my snacks were carbs. Bad carbs. Processed food carbs. And I was hungry....ALL. THE. TIME.

A week ago I received a wealth of information in the challenge I signed up for and officially start on Monday and to be honest, the carb part has me a wee bit worried.

Upon first reflection I was eating about 10 billion (okay, maybe a dozen) allotted containers of carbs every day. Six times more than I should be. I am striving hard to get to the plan that is based on my weight and as much as a struggle, I am still over-consuming carbs. Now let me add, we are each different and yesterday it was hard to adapt the plan to my 10 mile run in which I did consume carbs on the run. I counted them but in all reality feel I could just knock them out as they were my run fuel.

But this eating plan isn't all about carbs. It is about EVERYTHING! And I am awful at eating my protein and still have fallen short a day or two. I am easing into this plan and come Monday, I want to be more on target but I have found, when it comes to eating/drinking changes, I can't go cold turkey (except for that dairy example I just gave you because the benefit of NOT eating it far outweighed the joy of eating it).

I tried many times to STOP drinking Diet Coke and it finally worked once I weened into it so I decided to ween into the new eating plan for me.

And it is worth it. I am feeling energized throughout the day and that afternoon slump is not happening like clockwork anymore. I honestly feel it is because I am not constantly sugar crashing as I am eating healthier whole foods. Seriously, I did think I was doing this! But I think the awesomeness I am feeling is closely linked to my increased protein intake AND that my breakfast is now twice as big as it has been. It seems my breakfast was WAY too small -- especially when you factor in I eat after my morning runs.

I have always been against any diets and anything that tells me what I can or can't eat. I guess I am not good at being told what to do when it comes to enjoying food. But this plan is AWESOME! It doesn't tell me WHAT to eat but HOW to eat and I like that. I am a runner. I LOVE to eat but I also what to feel good, energized, and not bloated. A happy tummy makes a happy mommy...and I have an inkling my entire family will appreciate that.

Now my question to you, do you think I can keep this up on my summer vacation which includes a....CRUISE!!!!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful my mom has blessed darling daughter and I with the chance to cruise the big blue sea this summer!

Daily Bible Verse: Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. ~ 3 John 1:2