I Run4 Toby Virtual Race Recap

Disclaimer: I received free entry into the I RUN4 race hosted by Running on the Wall in exchange for promoting the race. I did not promise a positive review but only that I would share my race story.

Running on the Wall rocks and has a wide variety of products, such as medal hangers, and a virtual race series. One race immediately caught my attention as it focused on who you run for and you got to pick what your answer. That answer would be added to the bling in the package and the bling varies from race to race but this one had a shirt (I picked the ladies tank), a bib, and a medal (and I added on a second medal). I had no idea what the personalized items would look like as I only got to pick the color of my shirt and my run for word, which was TOBY of course!

When my package arrived (which was extremely quick for Maui and always is) I eagerly opened it to check out the bling and it was beyond awesome. TOBY on the tank was a shiny silver that made my girly heart sing and the medals were beyond amazing! The medals and bib were personalized with Toby's name in the same turquoise tank colored I picked. Way, way cool!

Now I had to run to earn those medals and my virtual race day (that I selected for myself) was April 28th. My goal: 13.1. miles. I HAD to run a half. But it was also a work from home day so I knew I would be juggling work and running. And since the night before I had awful insomnia, I opted to not start at 4 am as I hoped to allow me to get my run done before taking darling daughter to school and delving into full work mode. I needed a wee bit more sleep so I could actually stay awake during the day.

My run started with 3.1 miles before taking darling to school, I came home and tackled work for an hour or so and got back to running. I ran an additional 6.25 miles before taking a 10-15 minute work break to forward more important emails and to see if I had the copy I needed. No copy yet so I could hop right back on and keep running. Let me tell you something, it is hard to get back to running after a 10-15 minute break when you have already racked up 9.35 miles for the day but 9.35 was not 13.1. Not even close. I needed more. My goal now, just 5 more miles although I secretly thought another 6.2 would be sweet. I made it to 5 and called it a day. I had more work to do and I was pushing the pace. My legs were beginning to feel it especially since the day prior I added some cross training after a 3.1 mile run with squats and lunges. Oh legs, keep on going! Run with endurance!

I was more than happy to have ran 14.35 miles. Half marathon+! One happy running mom. For the first 3.1 miles my overall pace was 9'29". For the next 6.25 miles my overall pace was 9'36" and for the final 5 miles my overall pace was 9'27". All for Toby. All for God. All beyond awesome!

And with that said, I signed up for this race again and paid the fees to get a I RUN4 GOD race set! The cost is $32.99 and I opted for the second medal add-on for an additional $5.99. But wait, that means I would need to earn those medals too. I'm game! How about you?

Daily Gratitude: I am so thankful for this opportunity to run and promote this virtual race hosted by Running on the Wall.

Daily Bible Verse: And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. ~ Hebrews 12:1


Run Like a Hurricane Virtual Race Recap

I love virtual races because they are good motivators during my training. The downside of living on Maui is we don't have a ton of races and sometimes I can't make them due to conflicts with other priorities in life or the need for childcare. However, a virtual race can be done anytime, anywhere, and I like that!

I especially like the races hosted by I Run4 Michael (as well as another source but that is a post for another day coming up real soon).

The latest virtual run for I Run4 Michael was the Run Like a Hurricane race which raised funds for epilepsy. Every virtual run through I Run4 Michael raises funds for a worthwhile cause as this group matches runners with special needs kids and adults. Learn more here and sign up to be a runner or get a match for your child.

For this race series you can select your distance and since I like to push myself, it has to be double digits and ideally a half marathon. Things don't always work out as planned though.

My goal was to earn my medal for myself and my buddy (yes, the race comes with two medals!) on my long run on Friday, April 22nd. I had the time but little did I know I was going to be a moody, emotional mess since my mom left town just the day before.

I started running on the treadmill and ended at 1 mile feeling completely depressed and broke down in tears. Darling daughter asked me what was up and I told her. She gave me a huge hug and told me not to be sad as I would see my mom again in just two monthss. I asked her to going running with me outside a few minutes later thinking she would say NO as she often does but....she said yes! So we hit the hills for another 2.15 miles and enjoyed some mother-daughter time. And she knew I would want to run more and I did. When we got home I ran another 3.1 miles on the treadmill bringing me to 6.25 miles. Phew! I made it to a 10k. I know the race has a 10k option but like I said, I like double digits and use virtual races to push myself.

The next day I was still blue but tried again to get some good running in between chores and horse lessons for darling daughter. My day started with 3.25 miles on the treadmill, then another 4 miles, and then another 3.1 miles. I would have had less runs to get the miles in if I didn't sit sulking so long in the morning before finally lacing up. And yes, darling daughter got me moving. Total miles: 10.35. I was pretty happy with that.

And with my Friday-Saturday miles totaling 16.6 I was feeling pretty good saying I earned the medals. After all, if two triple run days back-to-back didn't qualify as running like a hurricane, what would?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for darling daughter.

Daily Bible Verse: But for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. ~ Joshua 24:15


My thoughts on the changing world

I realize this post could stir up emotions and opinions so before we get too far into it let me say one thing: I am not here to pass judgment on anyone. I truly believe we are to love our neighbors as God loves us. My faith guides me in so many ways and it is what is guiding this post today. My post on how much the world seems to be changing...in ways that seem so quick at times...leaving me feeling like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof yearning for tradition and wondering if I am going to reach my own breaking point.

Frankly, Tevye is right. Tradition does help us keep some balance in life. But like the turmoil in Tevye's time, we have our own turmoil and I have had enough of the intolerance of the world. The intolerance centered around if someone speaks their viewpoint and it isn't the politically correct viewpoint that they become under fire. The intolerance where civil conversation seems to be gone. There is no structured, mature debate of differing viewpoints. Just name calling, yelling, or worse.

I am a Catholic and yes, I have Catholic ideals but I do not demand that you all follow or agree with my ideals. However, I do feel we all have the right to express our opinions and my opinion is that the world today is not the world I grew up in. Yes, each generation has had its issues, changes, and turmoil of varying degrees. Some changes have been great such as the end of slavery. Some not so great such as Roe vs Wade. Sorry but I'm not sorry to say that the right to choose is not in the best interest of the women. There are way too many harmed and damaged by abortion and the vast majority who had gone down that road would tell you about the devastation. That is, if they had the courage to speak. How ironic that it takes courage to speak about something that is a choice and a right but that just supports my point of intolerance for a viewpoint that isn't mainstream and politically correct. Abortion becomes the Scarlet A on the heart of way too many women.

I also believe that marriage between a man and woman is sacred and special. I grew up in a world where a man could not marry a man and a woman could not marry a woman but now they can. I know this has stirred lots of debate on both sides with name calling, refusing to bake cakes, etc and I just don't feel any of that is necessary. My Catholic marriage is a sacrament that I was called to get validated last July. I am still amazed that the timing of our marriage validation was so close to the redefinition of marriage. This matters to me. What others do or do not do does not affect or diminish the vows I made to my husband but I am glad we brought deeper meaning to our marriage. I may or may not agree with what everyone else decides to do but I love them. It is not my job to judge. I have made plenty of my own mistakes so will not call out the mistakes of others.

But the recent debate and turmoil over the bathroom law and Target has me cringing. Not because of the law per se but because of how I see people treating one another. The things that are being said on social media are just plain rude too many times. There is too much name calling and too much passing judgment. Some are celebrating the decision while others are expressing fear of the potential risk of the door being opened to more sex crimes. Honestly, I prayed on this and it came to me clearly that the bathroom law in itself will not increase my own personal risk of being raped. But I am annoyed by the treatment of others and the inability for people to have a conversation. You can't have one without listening and perhaps every now and then, try to see things from a different point of view if only for a moment. It doesn't mean you have to accept it.

And for those expressing fears -- we all have the right to express our fears and concerns and to be honest, many times my fears are not based on what is rational but they are still real to me. That is the downside of anxiety issues. And I do not like it when I express an opinion or fear only to be ridiculed or be told I am not getting it. I don't like to see others treated that way and I try to respond with love versus react. Perhaps that is where today's post comes from.

The other day a friend posted on facebook that all those uncomfortable with the bathroom law are religious people forcing their values on others and that they have no compassion for transgender people. I tamed down the wording as it was not stated so kindly. The words stung but I did not react. In most cases, it is best to think before you speak.

I am religious. I do have compassion for all my brothers and sisters no matter where they live or if we have ever met. I love praying for others and I will be there for anyone in need. I truly love you all! But the bathroom law doesn't settle peacefully on my shoulders. Not because of the transgender aspect. I may or may not agree with transgender thoughts and that is not the issue. It is just that the world is changing and the ideals and ways I grew up with are changing a bit too fast for me. Do I fear a man going into a women's bathroom and doing harm? Yes and no.

Yes, because all the hype has planted that seed in my mind and now I realize it could happen but not because of the bathroom law but because people do make bad choices. Do I think my risk has increased? No. A man could have done that at any time if he wanted and still can. To be brutally honest, bad stuff happens, anytime, anywhere.

Just a week before all the Target heat our little island got shook up by a horror of its own. A man went into a grocery store and stabbed three people with an ice pick. One victim died. Moms, children, dads witnessed this horror and were negatively impacted. Bad stuff happens. But lets get back to Target.

The other day I had to stop at the store with darling daughter. The choice was Target or Wal-Mart. They are right across the street from each other. It is literally a turn left or turn right decision. I choose Wal-Mart. Not because I feared Target per se. I did not fear a pervert in the restroom would harm us. From what I hear that pervert is in the parking lot at the local mall offering women money to watch him do things that they shouldn't have to watch. See? Bad stuff happens anywhere. But I choose Wal-Mart to avoid any potential drama at Target. I didn't have 100% faith that citizens wouldn't be protesting or calling people names as they entered into the store and I find it sad that those thoughts drove my decision. I just didn't want that dark cloud over my head.

I can not live in fear and act out of fear and I long for a world that judges less.  I have been wondering what the world will be like when darling daughter grows up. Sometimes it scares me on what it could be like. I feel like we may be slipping down a slippery slope and that America isn't the home of the free where we do have rights to express ourselves. I fear the world we are creating for our children and grandchildren will not be a better world. I fear if we let go of too much "tradition" we will lose what America was founded on and fail to truly love one another as we should. And I wonder what my "Chava final straw" or breaking point will be.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for God's mercy and peace.

Daily Bible Verse: I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. ~ Romans 16:17-18


A new start

Do you know what I love about running? It is always there for you and you can always start fresh whenever you want. If things aren't going as planned, that is okay. Just lace up and start again!

My training was knocked off plan with my mom's visit, darling daughter's First Communion, time off of work, my injury and rash, and just being a mom and wife. But I refuse to let that get me down! My mom going back home left me down enough. I am talking two gloomy "I am miserable" unhappy me days before I was able to "suck it up buttercup". Those days were tough and darling daughter was a champ giving me hugs, reminding me we will see her again in just two months, running with me, going to the farm with me, holding my feet for me while I did sit up's etc. Seriously...what did I do to get such an amazing daughter? I am blessed beyond what I deserve. Thank you God!

And that is where my training is getting a new start. When my mom was in town I was running on my treadmill versus outside. My runs were shorter but I still got it done daily and I ran while reading the daily prayers, intentions, and readings in the Give Us This Day book and going through the Seven Sorrows of Mary. I didn't necessarily do every word each day but I spent time in prayer and reflection while running. I enjoyed it so much that I am renewed and committed to getting up at 4 am to run and do my daily prayers each and every morning...in the dark...on my treadmill. I don't want to let go of that quiet time and there is something magical about studying The Word while running. I know this might not work for all but it does for me. It makes me smile to think years ago I answered the question, "Why do you run?" with "I run because it is what my spirit is meant to do." Fast forward to today and I am running and communing with Jesus at the same time....and in many other times throughout my day and life.

So that is Part one of my new start. Get up earlier. Run on the treadmill with God.

Part two is pushing myself. I am playing with my treadmill more in a good way. I am changing the pace up and pushing myself as I should. No longer lazy just hit 6 and run. I can run faster than a 10'00" pace and should. Those easy days are okay sometimes but seriously girl, take the moment to pick up your hand and hit + every now and then and push yourself! And look beyond the pace.

When I got my newest treadmill I got one with adjustable incline...use it! And I am. I even hit 10 (the max) one day and gave that a whirl for a brief (very brief) amount of time. Phew! That was hard! But by doing these things I am making my running on the treadmill more valuable for my training and guess what? I am sweating more (but that just may be the indoors conditions) and can feel my heart rate increasing more often. This is what I need to increase my fitness!

But that isn't it. There is a Part three. Do something different and cross train. I am doing Cross Fit at home  -- thanks to an article in my most recent Women's Running magazine (and I think the last one I will receive from this subscription and that is okay). I am squatting, sit up'ing, lunging, push up'ing myself to a stronger me and I am beyond determined to stick to it. My goal is three times a week but right now if I just get it in twice I will be happy. I also hope to be adding in burpees and will do some days but right now I feel pretty mean adding that pounding sound in my house before my family, and the neighbors, wake up. Consideration pays off, right? And trust me, after my 11 minutes of effort this morning post my 5K run my heart was pounding.

So in a nutshell, this is my three part plan, and new start, to my running and fitness plan.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my treadmill and that I love it again.

Daily Bible Verse: And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. ~ Colossians 3:15-20