4.17.2015

I want your opinion

I know. I said I was done blogging but hey, I love writing! The thing is, I think I outgrew my blog and am pondering blogging but going down a different road. You see, I have LOTS of stories to tell and so many times over the past week or so I had an idea of something to share thinking perhaps it might help others. With that said, I am still on the fence. I don't want blogging or social media to pull me away from what is important in the world but there is still that undercurrent coursing through me saying, you can make a positive difference by blogging but the blogging can be on a different time line with a redefined focus.

Will you be kind enough to help me sort through things? I have put together a brief survey and truly do value your opinion as I chart my course.


Love to you all and may God bless you!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for blue skies.

Daily Bible Verse: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. ~ Matthew 7:7

4.02.2015

Meb for Mortals

I received an uncorrected proof of Meb for Mortals from Runner's World to review. I did not promise a positive review and the opinions expressed are solely my own.

This is my 1,001st post and I am feeling pretty good that my final post is a book review of Meb for Mortals. You can read more about my goodbye here.

Meb for Mortals became possible due to urging from David Willey and Mark Weinstein. In fact, it was David Willey who came up with the book's title. But first, before I talk about the book let me bring you up to speed on who Meb is because there is a chance that some of you just may not know.

Meb Keflezighi is an awesome runner who I have heard from many who have met him is down to Earth, kind, and approachable. From reading his book, I would have to agree. He is indeed very personable. His life began in Eritrea and in 2004 he became the first American to win an Olympic medal in the marathon since Frank Shorter in 1976. In 2014, Meb became the first American to win the Boston Marathon since Greg Meyer in 1983. He is the only marathoner to have won the New York City Marathon, Boston Marathon, and an Olympic Marathon. He knows what he is doing!

His book, Meb for Mortals, goes over all the aspects of running from training, to recovery, to racing, to drills, to strength training, to cross training and gives tips that can be applied to the recreational runner. I love that he is grounded in his Christian faith and can see it is at the base of his three keys to success -- good goals, commitment, and hard work. Without these, how can anyone really succeed?

He also acknowledges that a recreational runner may not have the time to devote as much to each element of training as he does. He doesn't look down upon us for that but gives tips on how we can still benefit by adding in his additional elements of training to improve our running to achieve our goals -- not his. Each one of us has different goals and that is wonderful!

I devoured this book and not because I had a deadline but because the information was relevant, well presented, easy to read, and most importantly useful. Immediately I started implementing changes in my running routine.

The first to go was my arm band. Meb had a good point that carrying phones, etc. on our arms interrupts with our arm swing. I couldn't immediately run to the store to get an alternative (running without my phone wasn't an option as not only does it track my distance and time, give me music to listen to, it is a safety element I never want to be without). What I did in the meantime was start alternating which arm I wore the band on to even out any damage I may be doing. I know have a pack I wear around my waist when I run that my phone fits in nicely.

Second, I started doing drills after more of my runs. Today they left me winded and I love that I am adding in new elements and have room to grow. I have added just a few of Meb's suggestions and don't worry, the book gives you illustrations along with describing what to do so it makes it easy to visualize and learn the drill.

Third, I have learned some new stretches and strength drills and am excited to have some I can incorporate into stretch/strength breaks at work on my stability ball. Yep, I work sitting on a stability ball, which Meb concurs is better that sitting on a chair and I can honestly say, I see improvements in my core strength since I adopted my stability ball. However, I do see I need to continue to work against the damage sitting does to my quads and glutes. I will work on this!

I have read plenty of running books and some are inspirational stories that make me feel good; however, the ones with tips often left me feeling blah. This book is different. Meb for Mortals is really a book for any runner who cares about their body and their running and isn't that all of us? Why else would we run? It has stuff in it that anyone can adopt and it encourages you that you can improve. Meb isn't saying you are going to win the Boston Marathon but he does tell his story, his mistakes, and how his training has changed over time. Why not take the opportunity to learn from that?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful to write my final post on Meb for Mortals.

Daily Bible Verse: Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11

4.01.2015

Fit Snack Subscription Box Review

This is a sponsored post. I received a month's box at no cost to myself to review. I did not promise a favorable review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Aloha! First, thanks for all the love and comments in my Goodbye post. They brought me tears, smiles, and chills as I am wrapping up my final obligations with today's subscription box review. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post and then yes, I will go silent on the blogging frontier. I am still toying with the idea of staying somewhat active on facebook, instagram and twitter beyond Daily Mile updates. I will be on Daily Mile.

Now let's talk Fit Snack! I have tried many subscription boxes. A monthly delivery to my door of very yummies with some newbies to try -- bliss! The thing is, often the boxes leave me feeling down and out as they contain things that are not a good fit for my family and make me feel like I am wasting money or wasting food/supplements. Or perhaps the box has some delicious yummy I am heads over hills in love with but only get a little sample and am left wanting more.

The Fit Snack box was different. First, before I even agreed to sample a box I asked if they had a non-dairy version. Nope, but they said only about 1/3 of the box has dairy in it. Since dear hubby eats dairy I figured why not still give it a try and let him be treated to some new goodies.

The box arrived and true to what they said, 4 of the 12 items inside had dairy in them and I handed those over to dear hubby. He instantly tried the Compete Energy Bites and was excited about the Level Life bar and Nogii Protein Powders (one vanilla, one chocolate --- okay, he was probably less excited about the chocolate). The thing is, all four of those items are products he WILL consume. Nothing wasted.

The other 8 were ones designated for me or family. There were two single serving bags of Simply 7 quinoa chips (both darling daughter and I loved) and lentil chips. I love that these items have only 7 ingredients that I can read and understand. They are Non-GMO, Gluten Free, and Kosher and something I feel fine giving to darling daughter. We don't do chips much but if we were going to have some, I like these and felt good knowing we got a little protein in us too with the quinoa chips. We shared the bag right before darling daughter's horse lessons. The box also contained a package of gluten free pancake mix, a Lenny & Larry's protein chocolate chip cookie (this thing is big and scares me with its size and is not something I would share with darling daughter), 2 individual packs of Sunbutter (perfect for bringing to work to go with my morning steel cut oats), a pack of Fit Snack Raw Almond & Pumpkin Mix, and a pack of Fit Snack Veggies Chips. I haven't tried all the products yet but am impressed that they are all real sized items. I am also thankful that there are no supplements, energy pills, etc. I don't want those things in my life!

The boxes start at $15 a month + S&H (if you get a year subscription) and I think that is a reasonable price for what was included. If you want to try just one month it is $19 and $5 shipping (yep, just $24 meaning an average price of $2 per item). I don't know how prices run in your neck of the woods but in mine, that is a reasonable price.

Have you ever tried Fit Snack? What do you think?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful there are reasonable priced subscription boxes that contain real sized products that the whole family can enjoy.

Daily Bible Verse: Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. ~ Colossians 3:23

3.31.2015

Why I am saying goodbye

Just the other day I came up with a blogging schedule for me and I was ready to go on that plan and then today while listening to Immaculate Heart Radio it sunk in. I do not want to blog anymore.

It isn't because I don't love to write and share my stories. I do! That is what kept me going so long after I got that first inkling that maybe it is time to stop. I am stopping because I am tired of the games and pressure. I am tired about hearing you need more instagram followers, you should do this, you should do that, you need to engage more, get more creative, have this kind of look, etc. Sure, some of those tips may be well meaning but in all reality, it is a game. I game I despised in high school and a game I do not want to play as a 42 year old adult. Life is not a popularity contest or about what can I get if I do this. Life is about people.

If you have been following my blog for awhile I am sure you have noticed some of my shifting focuses over the past year as I started running for Toby and talking more about my faith. I have goals in my life and I don't want to be pulled off track by games that aren't really going to get me where I want to go. I want to reach my final days knowing that I did good in the world. That I made a positive difference.

For awhile I fooled myself I was doing that through blogging. Sure, I may have touched lives and made a difference but there is the growing undercurrent of that never dying game. There are those non-stop emails of promote this, do this, sell this. And yes, I have hopped onto opportunities that did ring true to my core beliefs. In fact, you will be seeing a couple of more posts from that that fulfill my final commitments because that is the type of gal I am. If I tell you I will do something, I will do it. I have a subscription box to tell you about and by golly, is is the best I have seen to date! And I have a book to tell you about that I am finishing right now and I am thinking that would be the PERFECT final post. I don't want my blog ended on the sad notes of the blogging games. I want to end on a positive note.

That being sad, in my years of blogging, and this is my 999th post, I have met wonderful people. Some in person, some still online. You know if you are one of those wonderful people that truly touched my heart and soul because we are "real" friends on facebook and not just connected through my blog. My blogging journey was part of my life that God laid out for me to follow...I have no doubt. But as my faith grows deeper and my desire to serve Him, I realize blogging is getting in the way. I do not want to feel compelled to check stats, write a post, share an image, etc. I want that time to do bigger things.

I want to pray.

I want to study the bible.

I want to help the hungry.

I want to run more with my daughter.

I want to make a difference in peolple's lives in a more one-on-one fashion.

I want to become more active in the church I belong to. The sisters that have been serving the church for 47 years are leaving. Their numbers are too low and they are stretched too thin. There will be a service gap there. I wonder if I am being called to help out more there.

I want to invest in the relationships in my life. When people come for seasonal visits, I want to spend more time with them. I want to spend more time with darling daughter and have the time to try to crochet her that hat she wants. I am doing it now and she is overflowing with gratitude for just me trying. I want to nurture my relationship with my husband. I love him dearly and he just doesn't feel it.

I need to be a better wife, a better mom, a better servant to God. It is time to stop blogging and move forward and accept the baton God is handing me. It is time to let go of my familiar patterns and do something new. It is time to say "I will".

Once again, I have two more posts to write so I will have time to answer any questions you may have but after that....love and peace to you and God bless!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for being able to see that it is time to change course in life.

Daily Bible Verse: His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness! ~ Matthew 25:23