Letting go of goals

Sunday morning
This weekend was a big one for me....emotionally and physically. First, I accepted that my chronic ailment wasn't going to right itself all by itself like it normally does. I broke down and emailed my doctor for medication. She has assured me a thousand times that the meds pose no harm and do only good but I am not good at taking any anti-stuff. What can I say? I want to stay healthy all on my own.

With that said, I was an emotional roller coaster because a) I didn't feel good and b) I was questioning my running.

My training isn't 100% rock on and that is bugging me. I know the reasons why but still I am bugged. Then I got to wondering, does the goal to break a 4 hour marathon really matter? I posted it to facebook and one brave person chimed in that nope, it doesn't matter. I love honesty. And it doesn't matter. That doesn't mean that the hope and dream to break a 4 hour marathon has vanished from my heart. That would make life easier. It is still there but tucked deeper as other things take priority.

Sunday afternoon
First, my long runs were shifted to Saturdays from Sundays to accommodate Sunday school and church and I wouldn't change that for the world. Yes, we could do mass the night before and dear hubby could take darling to Sunday school. Darling daughter and I discussed it and agreed - we love the mass we go to and the friends we are making. We love the music and I love my quiet time to study the bible while she is in class. I am not giving that up.

So Saturday is long run day...for now. Which means long runs on the treadmill most days and that is discouraging but doable. Fingers crossed that darling daughter's horse lessons aren't permanently changed to Saturdays because that will take some serious planning. But all in all, it is doable. And in all reality, I think my recent long run issues have been due to boredom on the treadmill.

Monday afternoon
These are all challenges I am willing and able to overcome but with all this going on, do I need or want to add the additional stress of hitting certain paces? Is it worth it to me? How much does it matter really?

Right now I feel that focusing on the time is wearing on me and making me feel not-so-good about myself and running is a gift that shouldn't leave me feeling blah. I am so lucky to run every day and I want to feel that joy. I also feel my life being pulled to a different path. A path that doesn't need faster but better. And stress triggers my chronic condition to reveal itself.

At a moment of weakness this weekend I sat teary-eyed and darling came over to see what is up. I asked her does time matter? Does breaking a 4 hour marathon matter? She hugged me and said, no, it doesn't matter how fast I am, just how far I go. My first thought was wow, I have a very smart daughter. My second thought was a marathon is 26.2 miles and right now 6 felt tough. Granted, I am not 100% but you get the point.

This morning
And she is right. And how far I go doesn't always have to be a distance but how far I let my heart go. I will run the Honolulu Marathon for my daughter and I will finish it for her. I will also be running for Toby and Down syndrome awareness. This is where my heart wants to be. It matters more the impact I make on the world, spreading acts of kindness, caring for others, taking a moment out of each and every day to reach out to someone way over there in Nebraska to say, I am thinking about you. My eyes are opening to so much more and so are my daughter's. I am blessed to run for Toby. God gave me a gift --- well tons of them but the newest was Toby.

Time doesn't matter. At the end of the day I won't score my life on paces but rather on did I do the best I could? Did I make a positive impact? Did I do a good job raising my daughter? Is she learning the lessons in life I want her to learn? Will she reach out and include someone no matter what? I want all of those answers to be yes more than I want to break a 4 hour marathon.

So for now, the time goal is being set to the side. I let my coach know and now I just want to run that marathon the best I can and be happy. He is on board with me. I need to let go of some stress in life and just be happy.

It took me awhile to type this as I felt I was quitting or giving up. It took me time to realize it takes strength to divert off of the path you were on and step onto an unknown path. I do not know where this path leads. I am nervous but I am also excited.

Let's run!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for a supportive coach.
Daily Affirmation: Through prayer and reflection I move along my life's path.


A less sugary Halloween for kids

I grew up with cookies in the house every day. I would come home from school to fresh baked
cookies. We had soda in the fridge and ice cream for dessert. And yes, Halloween was candy, candy, candy. In fact, all the holidays were.

Don't get me wrong. My mom did nothing wrong. She also prepared home-cooked well-balanced meals. Each dinner included a tossed salad, protein, and another vegetable. We may have even had nice warm rolls. We drank water or sun tea, unsweetened, for dinner. It was how things were. But things change.

I do not keep cookies or other sugary treats in the house and we hardly ever have ice cream. Forget the fact that I am dairy free as I could always get non-dairy ice cream. I don't. But I do make cookies here and there for special occasions and yes, I make cakes. But when it comes to doing things for kids and my daughter's school, I aim for less sugar and more fun!

There are enough parents handing out sugar. I do not need to be one doing it for every holiday but I do enjoy giving to others and want my daughter to feel the same way. We will go trick or treating at the mall since it isn't 100% candy and I grade the candies. Complete junk gets tossed. Sorry, no pixie sticks. Yes, I know I loved them as a kid but no.

But I don't want darling daughter to feel deprived as that could lead to eating issues in the future. I want her to see and understand the balance I am striving to create in my home so when we started getting things for her goodie bags to share at school it followed my guidelines. What would I like her to receive? What would I feed to her? What is okay? What isn't? She gladly chimed in and this is what we came up with.

  • Cute bags - Yes, they are plastic and from my conservation side not perfect but I have to ease up here and there. Please note: get a wider mouthed bag. These were a headache for our fillers. We learned our lesson.
  • Little Halloween bags of pretzels - Each goodie bag got an orange and black pack of pretzels and this were the tough things to put in the bags.
  • A Halloween pencil - Perfect for doing homework!
  • Halloween tattoos - One per goodie bag and this is the crazy fun part that darling daughter wanted to add and she can't wait to hand out her goodie bags next Friday.

With that said, I am not convinced we even always need to share edible treats. Have you heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project? This is so cool! Essentially, it is a way to address allergies and if you have a teal pumpkin, parents know that your house is offering non-edible treats only. How cool is that? If kids came to our house, I would have a teal pumpkin!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful darling daughter sees the joy in giving practical and fun treats.
Daily Affirmation: I am teaching good nutrition to my daughter.


My 942nd blog post - who I am

I really was happy to see darling
I wrote my first blog post on February 16, 2011. Wow! That was a long time ago. I thought of it this morning and my thoughts weren't grand. I knew it was short and an introduction but I couldn't quite remember what I said so of course, I had to go look today. Oh my goodness, this post brought me chills! Not because of anything grand. No fancy writing. No fancy images. In fact, no image at all. Those did slowly come in and watermarking was way down the line. But what brought me chills is that is was honestly me.

No, I didn't think I lied to you from day one but my statement that I had no idea where this blog would go or evolve hits me to the core.

It has evolved mainly because I have evolved but I am still true to my mission and my goal to be a great and patient mom. Oh man, I am still working on that patience thing. But let's rewind a bit to my mission: "inspiring women to believe in themselves, to be active, and to run strong in life!" There is only one thing I would change and that would be women to others. I haven't lost that special place in my heart for women, especially new mom's trying to get back into fitness, but I don't want to discriminate against anyone. So you may see that changing in the near future.

And my blog name: Life as a Running Mom. I often wonder if it was the best name for me when I see other blog names and think, wow, that is a cool name! But the name is true to me and what my blog is about. It is about my life as a running mom. And who knew where that would take me!

Since I started this blog I started running daily. I was inspired to start by an awesome lady, who happened to have a blog, and yep, she is still running daily too. I started my running streak on December 30, 2011.

And through this blogging and running journey I found my spirituality again. I am certain my parents were beyond ecstatic that the faith they raised me in was coming back into my life. I am also certain my mom loved that she could send a devotions book to my daughter for my birthday and knew I would view that as the best present ever! Yes, through blogging and running I have come out of my shell and will tell the world I believe in God and strive to keep Him at my side and in my heart each and every day. I couldn't do any of this without Him.

Who would have imagined that social media would become a bigger thing for me? Blogging brought me to twitter, a facebook page, instagram, pinterest and so much more could happen. Some may say that is a bad thing but for me it is amazing. It was through a facebook post from a fellow runner that I learned about I Run for Michael and after what seemed an incredibly long wait, but not as long as pregnancy, I was matched to my buddy Toby. Running has new meaning.

My life has deeper meaning. I am now running for so much more than just myself, or my daughter, or my spirituality. I am running for Toby, for Down syndrome awareness, for God. I am evolving...or should I say, I am following a path in my life that I am certain is the exact path I should follow....well, if you forget those road bumps here and there. But that first initial question remains - what will this blog evolve into from here? Only time will tell.

Thank you for being part of my life.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the support of others.
Daily Affirmation: My life is on the right path.


Feeling strong!

First, I want to say thank you for all the support and comments on my Discouraged post. It means a lot to me. My main reason for writing the post was to be honest. Dear hubby often says my blog is happy, happy, happy and that isn't me. Well, yes and no. I am not always happy and I feel I do a good job showing that without bringing people down. Who wants to hear non-stop complaining? Not me!

And then I saw the comment below on my blog's racing page today and my first response was to delete in and shrug off their intent to spread negativity but then I didn't. I responded because I wanted to. No, the person who wrote the comment may never see my response but perhaps someone who really needs to will. Because I am strong and so are you!

The bad side of running is the numbers. It leads to comparisons that shouldn't be there. But those numbers are also good things that allow you to see how far you have gone, how you have improved, and where you can go next. There is a delicate grey area between allowing your numbers to build you up and letting those numbers bring you down.

Never compare yourself to others. Don't do it. It won't ever lead anywhere good. And don't covet what others have. Yes, I am onto one of the commandments but it is indeed a good lesson. Don't desire another runner's time. It will do you no good, bring you no happiness, and in fact, may make you feel bad about yourself. Just don't do it.

We are each given special gifts in life that cannot be measured on a clock. If you read my most recent marathon race re-cap you can see this isn't a brand new thought to me. That time is pretty meaningless in the grand scheme of life if the time is all you care about. But I am not saying don't rejoice when you get a new PR, qualify for Boston, etc. Rejoice! You deserve it and I will be the first to congratulate you. But I will also stand up, get darling daughter up by my side, and start clapping and cheering like crazy for a guy I do not know. A guy whose friends were sitting by us after the Maui Marathon. A guy whose friends were anxiously awaiting for him. A guy who finished the marathon in just over 6 hours. His accomplishment brought tears to my eyes and made my heart swell. He didn't give up AND he had to spend more time out there in that crazy heat than the fasties. He is strong! And so are you.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful that I did not delete the comment on "slow" times and that I responded to it.
Daily Affirmation: I am a great runner! I am strong!