I quit drinking diet Coke

For good this time. Really.

For the longest time I would never ingest an artificial sugar and then something happened. I gave in to the temptation and picked up some bad habits from my friends. I started drinking diet Coke and it became part of my life. It was "the best way to start the day", "an afternoon pick me up", "a stress go-to" but in all reality, was it really what I wanted and/or needed? No, not really.

I easily stopped this nasty habit when I found out I was pregnant about 5 years ago but fell back into it once I was not nursing anymore. Why? I can't remember. But I did.

However, I am back into the mindset that I don't want to put artificial sugars into my body. I want to set a good example for darling daughter. I want her to cherish her body and fuel herself well. I want her to know it is okay to indulge but to indulge smartly....not with fake sugars....chemicals.

It took me quite a bit of effort to end this bad habit of mine again, for good. You see, I was surrounded by temptation. Co-workers popping tops and the sound made me want one. Friends saying if diet Coke was the worst thing I was doing than I was doing pretty good. Maybe, but why not strive to be better? Honestly, I could say if I was running a 2:10 half marathon that is pretty good. But wouldn't most of us try to do better? I did, I wanted to break 2 hours and I did. So why not break the diet Coke?

I finally found the thing I needed. The "person by my side supporting me" in my efforts. I jumped onboard the Hint 21 Day Challenge to cut sugary drinks out of my life. Now I felt like I had a team of supporters who felt I was making a good choice. I was ready to go....and I had 21 days. I think that second part was what made it work for me. Going cold turkey without an additional concern (like a baby growing inside of me) wasn't working for me.

Therefore, I broke the 21 days into 3 stages for me.

  • Stage 1: Only drink a diet Coke first thing in the morning....the time of day I craved it the most.
  • Stage 2: Try to not drink those AM diet Cokes but if I did, it was okay, drink less.
  • Stage 3: No more diet Cokes lady. You are done.

I wasn't sure if I would make it through stage 3 with no sips but was ready to accept a sip with the primary goal being no more after day 21. But I did it. No sips in stage 3, which ended over a week for me.

So there it is.  I have gone over 14 days without a diet Coke. Sure, the "idea" of one still sounds good at times but I know I don't need it and if I took a sip, I really wouldn't like it or feel good about myself. So why do it?

What am I drinking? Primarily water. Sometimes I add nuun, sometimes lemon juice, sometimes just a lot of ice, and sometimes some protein powder (which I make sure has no fake sugars). I drink unsweetened ice tea for a work treat now. I drink a morning cup of coffee with no cream, no sugar. I had a small glass a juice a few days ago when I felt I may have had a touch of a cold and wanted some vitamin C. But in all reality, I drink juice perhaps 6 times a year. I'm not a juice drinker. And occasionally, a cup of almond or soy milk. And if I want a really special treat, I buy a bottle of Hint Water and sip it with pure delight.

How do I feel? Better about myself. I would love to say my complexion rocks but to me it is the same. Dear hubby has been giving me more complements on my skin so perhaps he sees something I don't. I feel and want to be healthier. About halfway into the challenge I craved more healthy eating. I am buying more fresh fruits and veggies. I jumped on the bandwagon and started a monthly subscription to Healthy Suprise. I feel more in control of my life. I have diverted some the money I would have been spending on diet Cokes to saving for my future (sorry, can't say retirement because that seems so foreign to me and it isn't much....but every penny counts, right?).

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for companies out there that try to inspire us to do good.
Daily Affirmation: I am stronger than a can of diet Coke.


Just a little thanks.....

Have you read the Little Critter books? My darling daughter loves them and they popped into mind as I wrote my title today.....just a little thanks.

I was going to post on training plans, get all focused and detailed, share my thoughts, ask you yours, but in all reality.....my mind is already gone on racecation and I am just waiting for my body and soul to follow.

So words of wisdom, encouragement, frustration, etc. will need to wait for another day. I do have to say, I have prepped my blog like I have my "real" job....things are all lined up to run smoothly while I am away. Gotta say though, writing those posts for you were a whole lot more exciting! Must confess though, I won't be hoping online just to feed the posts to facebook and twitter....they will be here for you....if you want them....and I will be back with a race report and hopefully very cool stories! And most importantly, a great big mahalo (or thank you) for all your supportive comments and well wishes!

Have a great weekend!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the opportunity to go on racecation with my family...to combine my love of running with my love for my family...to have some mellow-out time...and to play care-free!
Daily Affirmation: I am truly blessed.


Almost Race Day....and I think I'm Ready!

My training recently has been completely off course from what I hoped. I set out to run 2 miles yesterday but ran 1 mile with achy legs and spent a lot of time stretching. Today my hope was 5 miles but alas, darling daughter woke me up at 2:00 am. I ended up getting out of bed shortly after 4:00 am to spend time with her versus heading out the door to the gym. That was Plan A....head to gym, run, then go chaperone the field trip.

I guess she was starving hungry and couldn't sleep so I made her a quick breakfast, got her set-up with some "homework" (isn't that what all 4-year old's do at 4-something in the morning?), and jumped on the treadmill. I ended up running 2 miles and felt wonderful. Yes, I could have run longer but with Plan A being abandoned, dear hubby "volunteered" me to take darling daughter to school cutting my "extra me" time out.

Ironically, I am not bothered by this. I believe things happen for a reason. My left piriformis is being pesky, as it always is before race day. I know I can run the 13.1 miles come Sunday and am trusting that the cosmic forces are ensuring I don't overdo my runs up until race day. Or at least, I must believe that to avoid getting frustrated, discouraged, and doubtful.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful there was no rain on the field trip....a walk to a local bakery.
Daily Affirmation: My flexibility makes me a better person.


Wear Your Seatbelt - PSA

I was tempted to post this yesterday but in all reality, seat belts have nothing to do with running and this is a running blog, right? And the event isn't directly linked to my life. However, it is still lurking there in the back of my mind so hang in there with me as I deviate one day from blogging about running and fitness to blog about wearing your seatbelt.

I am sure you have heard it 100 times. Wear your seatbelt. If you live in a state where it is mandatory, you probably hear it more. Wear your seatbelt.

Thing is, so many times people don't. I really don't know why they skip it. It takes a second and it makes a huge difference. Really, it does.

On Sunday there was an awful car crash just minutes from my home. You can read about it HERE and HERE. The collision involved a total of 9 people: 6 in one car, 3 in another. 5 people died....four 20-year olds, one 19-year old. Of those 5, NONE were wearing a seatbelt and they were all in the same car, a car that was ripped in half by the force of the collision. The driver of that car was wearing a seatbelt and is still alive.

This story touches me for various reasons: those who lost their lives are so young, it happened on a stretch of road I travel daily, I am typically on that stretch at that time Sunday mornings going to church (darling daughter convinced me to stay at home longer....and for some reason, I didn't resist that morning), each day there are runners, walkers, and cyclists along that stretch of road, a simple act of wearing a seatbelt may have made it less tragic. Yes, there are other factors involved that could have, and should have, been avoided but still.....

Ironically the next day my husband texted me as I was driving home from work. I didn't get his text until I was at home. Oops...he wanted me to pick up spaghetti sauce and wasn't too happy I didn't. But you see, I ignore my phone when I am driving. Sorry, that is the way it is. He ended up calling his son to pick some up on his way over, and he brought some. But this turned into a teachable moment for me. When stepson arrived I thanked him for picking up the sauce and let him know I ignored his Dad's text because I was driving. We talked about how anything can wait until I was safe at my destination. Plus, if someone really needed me, they would keep calling/texting and I would know to pull over to see what was up. I think the message hit home.....especially in light of the awful accident the day before. On a side note, my darling daughter already understands the rules of driving and no distractions as she will ask "Mommy, when you get to a red light can you hand me your phone so I can play a game?". Yep....I won't even hand my phone back to her when I am driving.

The actions we take and the things we do impact so many others. The first ripple just gets bigger. Those victims, I don't personally know any but a friend of mine does. It hurts. And today I hope I generated a ripple that might touch one person and convince them to wear their seatbelt and to drive safe.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the freedom to speak about things like this.
Daily Affirmation: I have the ability to embrace and act upon teachable moments.


Wahine Half Marathon: 5 Days Away

Last year's bib
Have you heard of the Diva Half Marathon series? I heard about it for the first time in September of 2010 when I received a flyer for the inaugural race for Hawai'i....the Wahine Half Marathon. It was to be held on O'ahu and I just had to go....and I did.....and I loved it as much as I imagined I would. You can read about my race experience HERE. And even though my race time represents my slowest half marathon to date, I am amped to be going back again in just a few days!

It is hard for me to pinpoint what it is exactly about this race that gets and keeps me so excited. Perhaps it is that it is all girls....but I really have no problem running with or against guys. Perhaps it is because it brings out the feminine side of me. Truth be told, I didn't even start wearing running skirts until prior to this race last year. I felt this race deserved me opening my mind to giving running skirts a try. Perhaps the race is so lovable because of the boas and tiaras at mile 12. And being able to travel to another island for a little racecation is never a bad thing....but I do that for other races at times too so that cannot be the sole piece of appeal.

What I can say is that I am impressed by what this race series has to offer. The volunteers rocked last year and Coach Kendrick is amazing with the amount of personal support he is able to provide to so many ladies. Check him out on facebook and if you say something don't forget to tell him {lifeasa}RunningMom says ALOHA too!

But let's talk race!

The half marathon starts at 6:00 am and they have a 5K that starts at 6:30 am. They are predicting temperatures ranging from 68 to 83 degrees Fahrenheit and you know what, it was hot and humid last year. I am going to be completely prepared this year with nuun! Guess I need to remember to pack a little saran wrap for that extra tablet or two. Perhaps that impacted my time last year.

The course route is absolutely beautiful and runs along city streets but also ventures into parks and has ocean views. Some of which took my breath away last year. Thing is, the city running isn't as flat as you would imagine. Check out the elevation profile.

Hmmm....perhaps I was totally prepared for that last year....although not likely since hills are not new to me. 

And of course there is great bling. Check out the finisher's medal from last year.

Last year post-run
I am looking forward to running this year and crushing my time from last year. However, as much as I feel I should be running to set a new PR I really don't want to. Don't get me wrong, I would love to have a faster half under my belt but for some reason, this race just makes me feel like having fun. There are so many races out there and many times I push myself to go faster, to go further, to run harder. This race just makes me want to have fun. Yes, setting new PR's can be incredibly fun but this Sunday I am going to be racing to remember all the fun running can be. I want to enjoy each step. I want to give myself permission to ease up a bit to take in the scenes. But don't worry, I will also push myself to run well and to not hit the wall this year.

Daily Gratitude: I am so thankful that my family is safe, healthy, and strong.
Daily Affirmation: I have the power to make myself happy...and others.


Stretches for runners

Perhaps it is my age or perhaps it is my running routine, but I am noticing that I am not as flexible as I used to be. Stretching is becoming more and more important to me for keeping my body feeling good and ready to go.

Coming from a background of soccer I am used to the standard stretches that can be applied for your legs. I can't say I am doing the same routine required of me in High School but have developed one that works for me beautifully. And no, not every stretching day is the same.

Today I had a fantastic stretch after my morning 1.21 miles. My goal today wasn't running, distance, or speed but loosening up my body. So how do I do it? First, I hardly ever stretch without warming up. I would love to say I never do but there are those times at the office, or at home, when I feel I need a little extra and I just go for it.

Here is my favorite standard stretching routine:

Standing Quad Stretch: I aim to hold each leg for 30-60 seconds depending on need. One rep each leg.

Lying Hamstring Stretch: I hold each leg for 60 seconds and often do two reps for each leg. I keep both legs straight and slowly pull my raised leg closer and closer to me. I feel this gives me a better stretch than having the non-stretching leg bent. Be careful to not overdo the stretch and if you focus, you can feel when your muscle truly releases and relaxes into the stretch.

Lying Pretzel Stretch: I hold each leg for 60 seconds or more and often do two reps for each leg. Again, if you focus you can feel your muscle relaxing into the stretch. I pull my leg closer to me when this happens. This is a critical stretch for me and I have variations I can apply when standing.
Lower Back/Piriformis Stretch: I hold each side for about 30 seconds and just do one rep each.
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch: I hold each leg for 60 seconds and often do two reps.

*All images are Bing images and not my own.

In lieu of my normal ending of "today I am grateful for" listing 5 things, I am switching over to a daily gratitude and daily affirmation for each post. I hope you enjoy!

Daily Gratitude: Today I am grateful for the lovely early morning text from dear hubby thanking me for making coffee.
Daily Affirmation: I am at peace with myself.


Rest Days from Running - Are they important?

Friday I overslept when I was supposed to run 10 miles. Instead I ran 1.04 mile in 7'56". I didn't get too down on myself. I figured I needed the sleep and decided to go with the flow.

Yesterday I couldn't run when I usually do on Saturdays since darling daughter and I had a more important mission. We wanted to be at the finish line for dear hubby when he placed first in his division for the 'Iao Valley Half. Yep, I knew he would. And the best part is we were able to touch base with an awesome lady, who completed her first half in 2:07 after only a mere year of training. What a rock star!

After the race we hung around so dear hubby could eat and get his special prize. However, being a marine-focused family we were a little torn that it was a conch shell. Beautiful but we aim to keep shells in the ocean even after the animal has moved on. After all, the shell can become a new home for a hermit crab....an awesome example of an animal who reuses to the max!

I lucked out that there was still room in the Kids' Club when darling daughter when I got to the gym so I cranked out 7 miles and felt absolutely wonderful! I felt like I could run forever! I just hope I feel this good next Sunday for race day.

Later in the evening dear hubby began focusing on me and my upcoming race. He wanted to make sure I was going to take two rest days before race day. Hmmm.....sure honey but I will still run, but just a mile each day. He seemed okay with that.

It used to be I would not run the day before a race. Not one step....except for the Front Street Mile with darling daughter before my first marathon but that was more like fast walking so I thought it was okay. But now I think the running is better than not running.....for me.

I was achy this morning. My glutes and quads felt tight. I really wanted a massage last night but didn't want to ask dear hubby to give me one on "his day". I was feeling the need this morning, until I ran a slow and easy mile. My legs feel looser, more relaxed. But I still wouldn't mind a massage tonight.

Rest is relative, just like a short or long run, fast or easy pace. We are all different and we need to train according to what works for us. I have found that I am loving my "rest" days in which I run a very slow mile. It doesn't do too much wear and tear on my body, gets the blood flowing, and helps keep me loose. And we all know I need that with these pesky muscles of mine!

What do you think of rest days? Are they important? How do you rest and recover?

Today I am grateful for:
  • Dear hubby being "daddy rabbit"...think the tortoise and the hare and me, I am the tortoise!
  • Darling daughter being able to brush her own hair
  • Temper tantrums when they are done and over
  • The generosity of strangers
  • My thighs and glutes...yep, the same ones that made me feel self-conscious for so many years because of their "big" size but now I appreciate what they allow me to do


Race Report - Run 'til Your Green

All good things are worth waiting for, right?

I could have written this post immediately post-race last week but I am detail-focused and wanted to ensure I was given you the exact race time, not my estimation of what it was.

I had some major pre-race jitters for this race this year and it must be because I wanted to race well. I really, really wanted to break 24 minutes, which would be running less than an 8-minute mile. I wasn't entirely sure I could pull it off since I don't consider myself fast. I am more of a "slow and steady go the distance" kind of girl.

It was warm and windy pre-race and you could feel the fun and excitement. I met a virtual friend and it was nice to chat a bit face-to-face instead of through my blog, facebook, or Words with Friends. Shortly before the race the race director gave us the briefing and said we may be starting a wee bit late and that in five minutes we would be escorted to the start. I was getting too antsy to wait anymore and started walking over, with a few others, since I knew where to go. I got to the start, set my Nike+ app to be ready, and did a bit of dynamic stretching. I also drank a couple of small cups of water and was quite thankful there was some at the start. However, I really think it was just nerves making my mouth feel dry. It happens all the time....that and the incredible fear/urge that I should have gone to the bathroom one more time before the start. I am always fine though so once again, nerves. I am learning to ignore all those quirky signals.

Stretch of race course
Once we got the "okay" to go I started running strong but didn't let myself be pulled too much by some of those guys ahead of me....especially since I knew their past times and fully understood they run at warp speed. The head wind I experienced last year was back and I just hoped for a good wind against my back in the second half and kept running. I don't think I ever got it. I got to mile marker 1 at about the same time my GPS told me one mile and that I was running at 7'25" pace. Woah! That is fast for me. I told myself I could ease up a bit to make my goal with the idea of picking it up again in the final stretch. I didn't want to crash and burn and miss my goal. A few guys passed me and I tried to resist the urge to pass them back as I was passing other runners throughout the race.

Elevation Profile
I made the turnaround and got to mile marker 2 pretty quickly. I was listening to my playlist and knew what the songs meant in terms of pacing and pushing myself. However, when the push-it song came on I knew I was already doing so. My pace for the second mile was 7'49" and I was picking it up as much as I could. I passed one lady and kept on going but appreciated her telling me good job. I passed another and she got competitive and passed me right back. I let her go. I was running as best as I could. With the finish in sight that first lady passed me back. As much as I wanted to pass again, I was sick to my stomach. I was running as hard as I could and I knew that since I almost always can pull out the reserves when I see the finish....this time I couldn't. And you know what, part of me was glad I couldn't. Why? Because that meant I pushed myself every step of the way. I didn't take it easy anytime. I completed the 3 mile race in 23'02"! I made my goal and was ecstatic. I grabbed some water and remember that lady who passed me? I had to go tell her good job and confessed I just didn't have it in me to pass her again. We chatted and laughed.

On my walk back to the post-race party I felt good and reenergized. Funny how you can run so hard and feel so bad yet feel so good later. I even got a high five from a guy I guess I flew by. I appreciated the congrats and couldn't wait to see my family, who unfortunately couldn't be at the finish line. I enjoyed one cup of light beer (courtesy of the race), stayed for the awards (I always like clapping for those who place), and headed out to dinner with my family....and darling daughter talked me into the Fun Factory.

All in all, I am a very happy running mom. I reached my goal. My average pace was 7'36" and represents the fastest I have ever run in my life. Really, even in high school I was in the 8-range. I placed 10 out of the 77 female finishers and 44 out of all 144 finishers. It was a great run and I look forward to returning to this race next year, for my fourth consecutive year!

Today I am grateful for:
  • Proof that hard work pays off
  • Proof that things can get better with age
  • Proof that I am growing as a runner and becoming better at racing
  • Proof that I am blessed in life and no, I don't take one thing for granted
  • Proof that there are a lot of amazing people out there....don't be afraid to say hi


I Ran Today!

Sounds kinda funny doesn't it since I am on day 84 but let me bring you up to speed.

I had dreams of a great night last night but life happened and my evening turned from great to awful in a split of a second. Nothing truly terrible. Just silliness and hurt feelings which left me feeling worthless. I went to bed with things unresolved (I am so against this but you can't force others to do what you want) and when my alarm went off this morning I just wanted to tell it to go away. I laid in bed with no desire to get up. I thought of my goals to run 10 and 6.2 miles the next two days and still couldn't get up. Finally, I pulled my unwilling mind out of bed in just enough time to pull off 6.2 miles before work. I still didn't want to.

On the whole drive to the gym I had no motivation, no desire, I was grouchy. I tried giving myself pep talks about how pushing through this barrier will improve my mental training for race day. Bah humbug. I then began to get annoyed with myself by letting hurt feelings impact me so much. But I was too grouchy to listen to me.

So I made it to the gym and told myself it would be foolish to not run now. I got on the treadmill and told myself just one easy mile. You can't let hurt feelings break your running streak. I set the speed a wee bit lower to give myself a bit of a break and started running. I was still grumpy but getting really mad at myself now by letting little things cause me so much distress. I told myself I had to stay on the darn treadmill until I was happy. Yep, I just pulled the "you are not leaving the dinner table until you finish your vegetables trick" on myself for running. Kinda funny, huh?

By 3 miles I was happy. Quite happy. Having fun happy. Feeling good and optimistic happy. I met the condition I set for myself and could get off now. But why on Earth would I stop running when I really wanted to run a 10K and I was happy? That would just be crazier than crazy! So I ended up running 6.38 miles with an average pace of 9'24" and you know what, I am happy.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Getting it done
  • Good songs that helped cheer me up
  • Pop Tarts - I really do love these for pre-run fuel for my longer runs, don't ask me why but they work for me
  • My insulated coffee cup....really, I can put coffee in it before 5:00 am and it is still warmish 3 hours later
  • Patient Volunteers


Wordless Wednesday

Post run quick stretch

Time to get ready to work

Who said compression sleeves aren't for work?


It's all in the PROOF

It is funny how you see a word used so many times and honestly, I don't always think much about it. How many race photos have you seen the word PROOF on? Countless if you are like me. Yes, I know why it is there but with a recent FitFluential challenge to show pictures of ambassadors engaging in fitness I started pondering the word a bit more. PROOF. No longer is this just a "sample" photo but "evidence" that you did pass that photographer on the sideline or at the finish line.

What does all that mean to you? Perhaps not much but essentially, I am going to focus a bit more on some of the images I am sharing with you and aim to get action shots. However, since I workout solo 99.999% of the time, this is a huge challenge but let's see what I can come up with.

I did manage to get myself up quite early this morning but after reflecting on my training plan up until race day on the 1st, I realized my Daily Mile goal to run 10 miles today doesn't truly fit. Yes, I want to run. But more importantly, I feel like I need to stick somewhat closer to my training plan right now so I can do what I want to do on the 1st. And the plan said to run an easy 5 miles. Alrighty then!

On the way down to the gym I tried a sesame seed Bumble Bar from the Healthy Surprise package that arrived yesterday. I learned about this company in some giveaways and couldn't count on winning so opted to start getting some monthly treats. I am already in love with the company idea, product, and customer service. And this bar.....delicious!!!!

It turns out it was probably a good idea I changed my running plans. All the treadmills were full! I ended up doing a warm-up on the Stairmaster for a few while I waited for a treadmill to be available. Thank goodness I lucked out. However, I should eat a bit more prior to an early morning run. I was starving hungry halfway through. My stomach was grumbling. But I completed my run with an average pace of 8'43", day 82 completed.

And if you have been following my blog for awhile you probably have heard me talk about stretching, foam rolling, and using The Stick at work to help alleviate some of those pesky aches here and there. Yep, I truly do have a massage stick at work and it does get used. I wish I had a photo of all the "pen marks" on my dress last week. I couldn't figure out where they were coming from and later realized, it was The Stick. So today, jeans will go well with my "relaxation" time.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Creativity
  • Others inspiring me to think outside the box
  • Draw Something with Friends
  • Healthy Surprise
  • Schools that are great early learning centers


A Time for Gratitude

You have all heard when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Sounds okay to me but I have a different philosophy.....when you run and treat yourself well, you won't mind the lemons.

I haven't blogged about this much but I embarked on the HINT 21-Day Challenge to get sugary drinks out of my diet. I really didn't drink that many types but I had a huge addiction to Diet Coke. Yep, I did. ONe I tried to quit 1747519871973017 times. And you know what? I think I have finally kicked the addiction but I am not counting my chickens before they hatch. But with less artificial sugar in me I have noticed I am feeling better (although it took some yucky days) and fueling myself better. More on that to come later. Just trust me, it is making a positive difference in my life.

And that just makes me want to stop and smell the roses, like this lovely comment that was left on my facebook page

I can't even express how much it meant to me and how it brought happy tears to my eyes. 

And today I read through the comments on my post yesterday and am touched by the support of the online running community.  A huge mahalo to each and every one of you because you all inspire me, or push me, to go one step further!

And for running news, I promise, my race report is coming soon but I am waiting for the official times to be posted so I am completely honest with you.

Have a beautiful day!


An Open Letter to my Daughter

To my darling daughter,

Few people know that growing up I was constantly under pressure to be perfect, to be the best, to win. I have come to learn winning isn't always necessary and in fact, it just put too much pressure on me and made me feel like I was never good enough.

But that doesn't mean I don't still push myself and strive to be the best that I can be. Note, this is different from being the best out of all. And about perfect, no one is perfect. We all make mistakes. We can all improve ourselves. So please, don't ever set yourself up for disappointment by trying to be perfect.

Why am I writing this to you right now? Because of our conversation Friday night when I was putting you to bed. I was confiding in you my goals to run my best at the Run 'til Your Green 3-mile race and told you I really wanted to break 24-minutes and run sub-8 miles. You told me you would be super proud of me if I won. Hmmmm.....nope, that isn't a realistic goal. So I explained to you why I wasn't running to win but to be my best and to do the best I can do. You then told me you would be super proud of me for running my fastest.

Well baby, I did. I achieved my goal and I "won". No, I didn't get a medal but I got so much more. Pride in myself for doing the best I can. Pride in myself for pushing myself even when it was hard. Pride in myself for teaching you such a valuable lesson at such a young age. Life isn't always about being first. Sometimes the greatest accomplishments may happen and many times those can be unseen by others. But trust me, I will always see each and every one of your accomplishments. I will always be your cheerleader supporting you in each and every endeavor you take. And I truly do appreciate your support, love, and hugs.

I love you always....no matter what....your running mom.

P.S. And I must be a honest mom too, I do love my bling when I get it!

P.P.S. The true race report will be coming in later....perhaps tomorrow.



Run 'til Your Green is Just Around the Corner!

I tend to be very focused on my half marathons and marathon training; however, that doesn't mean I can't be equally excited, and somewhat nervous, about race day tomorrow. What is the race? The Run 'til Your Green 3 miler! Currently, there is more information HERE but I am sure that will change in the future. So then you can go HERE.

This isn't the first year for me to run this race. I ran in 2010 and again in 2011. What makes this year different? This year I am not just running to have fun. I want to have fun and race well!

The weather here has been rainy and windy. It looks like the rain has moved on but the wind is still here. The good thing about blogging race reports is that you can go back and easily remember last year's run. Yep, the trade winds were crazy then too, even at the time of the race. I had a headwind for the first half and then the wind was to my back. Okay, I can handle that. I even forgot that last year was just after the tsunami! Okay, no funny smells this year!

I can run 3 miles. No problem. What I want is to run those miles at a 8'00" pace or less. Wish me luck!

Now onto the fun stuff. At first I was going to wear this...

But then the race director put out an email and challenged us to be green. The greenest wins a prize. Okay, I won't be the greenest but look what I ended up picking up. 

Yep, new outfit for a race. Totally unlike me but I will be fine. The brands I have run in before and I can endure anything for 3 miles. Never, ever will I try new for anything longer! No matter what the challenge is.

And check out the Bondi Band I have!

And darling daughter can't be left out of the green fun...

And dear hubby, he has some green pants but couldn't wait until tomorrow to wear them so no picture for me to share.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Store sales that let me have some fun and put a little green in our day!
  • Healthy Surprise...I haven't even got my first box but I am so excited to try it and customer service rocks!
  • A day off of work...okay, I just worked four 10+ hour shifts to get to today, but now I have a three-day weekend
  • Race day is tomorrow!
  • Children shows that educate my daughter about cetaceans...she is getting a good sperm whale lesson right now!


Thank You Milestones Jewelry....

and Canadian Runner in Exile.

Just before Valentine's Day Caroline at Canadian Runner in Exile had a Milestones Jewelry giveaway. I had to enter since I was so much in love with this RUN bead that looked like it could really fit on my Pandora bracelet.

Well guess what? I won and I was beyond excited! I was in love with the bead and I was in love with the entire product line for that matter. Mainly because it is sports focused and hey, if you love to run, you love to wear running jewelry, right?

However, it didn't turn out as I expected. It just got better and better! It seems I didn't only win the bead, I got to pick out a bracelet too! Now this is fun! Granted, I didn't NEED a bracelet since I already own one but this one was hard to resist. You know I love pink, right? The sizing was a bit tricky since I don't own a tape measure and couldn't find one, so I just guessed 7.5 inches.

The package arrived pretty quickly was it was shipped and came in a nice padded envelope. Gotta love nice, safe packaging. But once again, it got better and better because inside I found a beautiful present that darling daughter was eager to rush over and join in on the fun. Dear hubby watched from the side. Once darling daughter tore through the tissue paper (quite carefully by the way) we discovered a darling jewelry bag that housed the bracelet and the charm (in an additional little bag). Talk above putting lots of love in your packaging!

In all reality, I should have ordered an 8 inch bracelet if I wanted to wear it all the time. This one fits, but snug. However, we quickly found it is darling on darling daughter's wrist and gives her a little room to grow. She is so happy to have a bracelet that is so beautiful! And I am happy that she is happy. Once clasped it slips over her hand but doesn't easily fall off. Right now I am cool with this as she can take it on and off and knows it isn't for beach time. And the bead....it fits awesome on my Pandora bracelet!

Oh yeah, I just discovered they have silicone necklaces WITH a clasp for only $6.99 (or $4.99 currently). I am so stoked about this since dear hubby gave me three charms on a silicone necklace that pulls apart and I worry about running with that. I guess I will be going back to Milestones Jewelry at least one time in my future for some shopping fun!

Today I am grateful for:
  • A doctor who cares and listens
  • Inspiration to continue to get healthier
  • Cool giveaways
  • Cool prizes
  • Being able to share the love with my darling daughter, and kinda with you too!


I choose to challenge myself

You never know what you can truly do unless you push the limits.

I want one now! Source
You never know if you will like something until you try it. Sometimes, you may need to keep giving it a try. Like tomatoes. No way would I eat one raw as a kid. Now I devour them!

You never know what is out there unless you open your eyes and really look.

All that said and done, months ago I would have said no way could I run more than 6 days a week, and even that was pushing the limit. I challenged myself and found out I was wrong.

I am a firm believer in celebrating the little things in life. Don't overlook the baby steps because you are focused on something bigger. Don't miss the splendors of today because you are hoping for a better tomorrow.

So today I opted to celebrate the little milestone in my life, day 75 of running, by running 7.5 miles. I would love to say it was a blissful run full of delight but it wasn't. First, my favorite treadmills at the gym were all in use and I had to use one of the less-than-ideal ones. Okay, no problem. I can deal with this. At least there was one (and only one) available. I was blessed.

Then my earplugs kept falling out. Really? Why is it that they stay perfectly in place or constantly fall out? Why not fall out a few times and problem resolved? No worries. Keep on running. I posted my challenge to the world to run 7.5 miles today and good golly, I am going to do it.

I even played around with a couple of mantras. Dig Deep. Be #OpHardcoreFit. And how about Dig Deep Chickaroo?

I even toyed with some rationalizations. So what if this isn't your favorite treadmill, are you always going to be able to run your favorite routes on race day? So what if you are really hot, do you think you are never going to be hot on race day? So what if you are annoyed with the earplugs, do you think you will never get annoyed on race day? So what if you are bothered by your pace, does it really matter during this challenge and training run? Stop complaining girlie and keep on running!

Today I am grateful for:
  • Being able to tell when I have been grouchy and can apologize for it, sorry again dear hubby
  • The courage to post my challenges to the world
  • The determination to embrace and complete the challenges I give myself
  • Hearing about healthysurprise.com and the temptation to give it a try
  • Social media and being able to connect with and learn from so many fascinating people


Setting Goals

First I gotta say, tomorrow will be day 75 of my streak in 1+ 2012. I have been taking it day-by-day and not really yelling from the mountains because I feel the streak is small in comparison to others. Yes, I also know it is more than others but honestly, we are all runners doing the best we can each and every day. No one of us is no more special than another. But than that is my viewpoint on all humankind. With that said, tomorrow will be day 75 and I feel I need to do something to celebrate the day for myself. What about 7.5 miles before work? Sounds good to me. Now please kick me out of bed early enough to get in done. Mahalo.

This morning I ran 4.01 miles before work and maintained my easy treadmill pace. Usually the easy runs are one of the hardest for me due to boredom but I had so many thoughts of upcoming races and goals swimming around my head that it was easy to stick to my plan. Why is this important? Because I used to train and always push, push, push. I always ran intervals or progressive runs. I always aimed to up the pace. And I have been plagued with injuries and perhaps not gaining as much as I could have. I have read many people say easy runs are just as important as speed work and I am honestly aiming to give that approach a try this year. I still have my interval runs, tempo runs, and speed work but they are all tossed into the mix with those easy run days.

But let's get to the exciting stuff...

Goal Setting!

In order for you to truly give me valuable input let me tell you that I am registered for four A-races this year, the races that are dearest to my heart.

  • Run for the Whales - Goal was to run a sub-two. Goal achieved. Read more HERE.
  • Wahine Half Marathon - Goal ????
  • Maui Marathon - Goal is to run with dear hubby. Time goal TBD but definitely want to beat last year's time.
  • Honolulu Marathon - Goal ???? And this race will mark my first race in a new division! Okay, unless I slip some other races into the mix before than, which is highly likely.

I have also registered for or will register for multiple motivational races. These are the ones sprinkled throughout the year to keep me focused, keep me motivated, and keep me remembering that running is fun. They can range from 3 miles and beyond, but all are less than a half marathon. But I don't always take these races lightheartedly, remember the Valentine's Day run where I ran my heart out?

With all that said and done, I am racing on March 17th in the Run 'til Your Green 3 mile race. Note, I said racing not running. Therefore, you already know I intend to put my all into it. But I am a firm believer in setting SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) goals and a goal to place doesn't quite fit. I will be running as a Celtic Warrior (age division 18-39). But I do want to beat my time from last year, which was 25:40. Thing is, I ran the Valentine's Run at 25:28 so I really think I should run a sub-25, considering it is 3 miles, not 3.1, right? By the way, my 5K PR is 25:05.

My next race will be the A-race, Wahine Half Marathon. You can read what I did last year HERE. My race time was 2:19:15 (ironically, I always remember 2:22 but that number wouldn't be too bad in itself because it was my Dad's birthday). Okay, stop rambling. This represents my slowest half marathon race time and I had multiple issues I was battling. It is hard to pinpoint what the major factor was but I am now pondering, do I run to beat my time last year and get an acceptable time, say 2:08, my first half marathon time, or do I run and try to PR again? I am leaning towards the first. I am traveling to this race so perhaps that is factoring in elements I can't predict, but then again, am I cheating myself by next asking myself to do more? Granted, I don't to decide today so what do you think?

And why are both of these races on my mind today? Since they are close to each other, but not too close, and I feel I need to look at the big picture when setting goals.

Today I am grateful for:
  • More rain since it created rainbows
  • Spring Break, although I don't really get to have all the fun
  • A successful dinner last night, my creativity paid off
  • Showing appreciation, although I think dear hubby and darling daughter both skipped their turns last night, how did that one slip by me?
  • Having a wonderful weekend with darling daughter, dear hubby had to work a lot


A Good Day

I must confess, I did ponder the irony of me posting THIS about quitting a run after posting THIS about how to stay motivated to run....especially since the two were back-to-back. But first I must say thanks to all the supportive comments about reinforcing it is okay to have a bad day. And second, one thing I didn't mention in my post about conquering boredom on the treadmill is that I don't let myself quit a run unless I feel comfortable enough with my reasoning that I can say it to the world. So a reason like I broke my fingernail just won't do (and no, I don't have fingernails long enough to break anyhow). But a reason like I am hurting in a new way is good enough especially with two races around the corner (a 3mile on the 17th and a half marathon on the 1st).

I want to set a good example for my daughter.
Today my goal was to run a mile at home on the incline treadmill and in the first couple of minutes I was still feeling sluggish but that quickly evaporated. I ended up running 2.34 miles at an easy pace but wrapped it up since I wanted to have time to do a good stretch. I still have chores to do before heading over to a dear friend's with darling daughter to get my hair colored. Yep, today is henna day!

Don't worry, it isn't on. Key is out.
And today I am feeling happy, optimistic, and great!

Today I am grateful for:
  • More blue skies and sunshine
  • That my sister and her kids are spending some time with my mom
  • Friends who are willing and able to do my hair for me
  • My dear hubby not noticing any gray in my hair....it isn't a lot but I think it stands out like crazy!
  • Yoplait smoothies...I think I am going to make one for darling daughter and I to share on our outing


I'm having an off day

You would think after 9+ hours of sleep last night I would be happy-go-lucky and everything would fall into place. Nope. I am grouchy and somewhat irritable.

I tried to start the day right. Make some wheat french toast for the family and then hit the gym. I got darling daughter all checked into the kids' club ready to run 9 miles but not even at 0.5 miles my left glute was aching. Ironically, this pesky muscle often complains but not during a run. I didn't have the willpower to fight with it. Or perhaps I had the sense to listen to it. I wrapped up one mile and headed straight to the foam roller for some love and dedicated stretching.

On the bright side, the muscle feels better. On the downside, my pocketbook was negatively impacted by the sale and clearance items at Old Navy, the nuun and GU at Sports Authority (and darnit...they only had one vanilla bean left), and the necessary food items at Costco. I would love to say I am feeling awesome now but I am still grouchy and my attempt to get henna done today to cheer me up failed. I have to wait a whole 18 hours or something crazy like that.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Sunshine
  • Allowing myself to indulge in a few Girl Scout cookies guilt free
  • Making dinner at 1:00 pm....okay, I am pre-cooking and will wrap it up later
  • Spring Break and the dream of more time with darling daughter
  • Knowing it is okay to have bad days