April in Review

Do you believe tomorrow is May already? Where does time go?

Although I am still technically in my maintenance phase of my training cycle my mind is already gearing up to switch over to officially starting my marathon training. That won't be until later in May but it is good that my mind starts now. And you will see the beginnings of that with my monthly updates. I am going to get back to focusing on goals, any obstacles, where I have been, and where I need to go.

So let's begin!

Accomplishments in April:
  • I PR'd at the Wahine Half Marathon and am still completely stoked I pulled that off! It truly means so much to be and I don't take it for granted one bit. I think it just emphasizes that I need to continue to do what I am doing - running daily, doing easy runs, and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone at times too.
  • I have completed 5 half marathons for 2012 so far for my 12 in 12 goal. Way cool! I truly think I will do more than 12 and honestly believed I would when I set that goal. I was more focused on ensuring I do at least one a month to keep my training in check. How can I not go above 12 with the upcoming marathon training?
  • Today marks day 123 of my 1+2012 running streak. Such a small number but very fun to type. It is not easy every day to get my mind wrapped around running but I am doing it. Case in point, I couldn't pull myself out of bed this morning but managed to just in time to hit the gym before work. Darling daughter woke up and I couldn't resist comforting her sadness. Mondays are hard. I still got into my running clothes but headed to work and as much as I wanted to say "run later" I went outside and did a quick mile in the wind. Now I can hold true to my promise and dedicate myself to darling daughter after I pick her up from school. And mentally, I feel better for getting it done and I knew I would be fine as soon as I took those first few steps....even if they were against a fearsome wind.
  • My monthly miles are at 109 from 78 last April. Woo-hoo!

May Goals:
  • Successfully host and run a half marathon for the Sweat Pink with Me Virtual Run I am hosting. It is not too late to register and there are so many awesome door prizes! You can choose between a 5K, 10K, or half marathon and run anywhere, anytime May 12 - May 13. Why is this so important to me? Because I love to give back to the running community and provide opportunities that might inspire someone to step outside or on a treadmill and run. Trust me, races (real or virtual) are great motivators for myself!
  • Register for and race in the Jacaranda Run....and perhaps dear hubby will want to run with me!
  • Run with dear hubby more often.....but this one I can't do on my own. He will need to get back to scheduling himself off on Sundays and be willing to run with me. So perhaps I should consider this a wish since I can't personally make it happen on my own.
Last year's Jacaranda Run
  • Select my training plan for the Maui Marathon in September. Once I pick my plan, I will post it for all to see!
  • On a unrelated note, continue to live greener with weekly shopping trips and one stay upcountry day. I am already feeling the benefits to my personal stress levels and my pocketbook. This is a good thing....but it is hard to get everyone's buy-in everyday. Old habits are hard to break!

May Obstacles:
  • Darling daughter has a busy school month even though she is on break for half of it. I need to ensure I stick to my running plan on our little staycation. 
  • Getting someone to watch darling daughter if dear hubby and I race the Jacaranda Run together.
  • Ensuring that my family still has great quality time together with all of my running and dear hubby's running.
  • Keeping communication lines open in this busy world.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful that the bad taste is gone from my mouth.
Daily Affirmation: My life is full of miracles.


A long run in minutes

My Smart Coach training plan has me slated to run 18 miles for this recovery week. I am already at 20 Daily Miles and still have tomorrow. Part of that is what guided my long run today.

As much as I wanted to run 10+ miles I really thought it would be in my best interest to try to stick to a recovery week, which is getting really close in miles to my runs last week. Hmmm.....I think I need to work better on incorporating these recovery weeks. What do you think? Anyhow, I abandoned our traditional gym/Kids' Club Saturday and headed to my own incline treadmill. Yep, I was going to run at home....at an incline....for an hour.....no matter what.

I know that sounds tough but essentially I wasn't going to let the incline get the best of me as it has been a very long time since I logged more than 30 minutes or so on this puppy. And I wasn't going to let any unexpected home distractions serve as a road block. Thank goodness no birds today.

aka Sippy Bottle
I must confess just over halfway through I was tempted to quit. I was getting way hot and sweaty. Ironically, my legs in the Zensah compression socks seemed to be the coolest part of my body. Go figure....my calves were comfy.....I was hot. But I persevered by asking darling daughter to bring me a sippy bottle of water and she was quite quick at it!

The end result was 5.5 miles with an average pace of 10'56". Some days that pace may make me cringe but not today. I accomplished my goal of a 60 minute run at home and even added on a whole whopping 13 seconds to even out to 5.5 miles. Hey, I would have added on whatever I needed to in order to achieve a pretty number.

Now it is off to the weekly shopping....after I finish enjoying my hot cup of coffee with a hint of cream and no sugar.

Calories burned
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for pbskids, even if the shows are not entertaining to me they kept darling daughter intrigued.
Daily Affirmation: I am strong.


Are short intervals worth it?

I guess it really depends on what you are trying to achieve but overall I have to say YES! Why wouldn't they be?

Today I had a short bit of running time but I didn't want to do my standard recovery mile day. I also didn't want to go all out and push it for a timed mile. Why? Because I am doing a recovery week and hoping for a nice long run tomorrow. Therefore, going all out is out of the question but some of you may be thinking then a recovery mile makes sense. Perhaps but I wanted more.

It was a stressful work day and I just needed to do a little bit more for myself. So for my 11-minute run I did an easy minute, increased pace minute (but not all out), and repeated with my final minute being easy. The increased pace minutes did result in increased breathing and heartbeat but at the end I felt good to go to tackle some strength training. Result: 1.06 miles with average pace of 10'22" at 10% incline.

Do these short interval sessions benefit my training? I am a firm believer in them. They trick my body since I don't do them all the time. They push me a little bit more here and there. And they are fun and keep me going back to running for more.

Do you ever do short interval workouts? What do you think of them?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the great team of co-workers I work with on a daily basis.
Daily Affirmation: I possess good problem solving skills and can communicate solutions with ease.


Running and a Bad Taste

What do the two have in common? Nothing really except that I am doing one and dealing with the other.

Have you entered yet?
I got to bed on time last night but it was still hard to pull myself out of bed this morning. I thought I could run after work and knew I would but still, I felt I would be disappointed and would be a lot happier with myself if I just bit the bullet, got my butt into gear, and ran at the gym before work. I even thought about running the roads near work but now I am happy I stuck to plan A. The smell of cane smoke is bugging me like crazy today. It wouldn't have been the happiest of running. But I am happy that I got 3.0 miles in with an average pace of 8'34".

But my head ached and my eyes burned a bit. And this got me thinking. I have been bugged with a funny taste in my mouth for weeks. I even talked to an advice nurse who suggested I change my toothpaste and eat more yogurt. Done and done. Taste persisting. I thought perhaps a bit too much nuun (due to its sodium content and the taste being a wee bit salty). I cut that out. Taste persists. I have cut out coffee and have really tried everything I could to find out what is causing this annoying taste. I even went as far as scheduling an appointment to actually see a doctor....for tomorrow...but after my thoughts this morning I think I may see if I can reschedule for today.

Running opens my mind and I realized that for as long as this pesky taste has been going on I have had a dull headache and have been a bit more tired. Hmmm.....perhaps another sinus infection of sorts? Really, that is logical and explains all symptoms and the eyes burning today....totally a precursor for me to other sinus related issues. So I will see what the doctor thinks but in all reality, I think I was a bit slow at putting all the pieces of this puzzle together!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for all the supportive comments from all of you!
Daily Affirmation: I am free to be myself.


Why are you running again?

That is the question darling daughter had for me at the final push of my 1.0 mile run today....run number 2. I just smiled and said, "What?! I already ran today?"

But in all reality, I ran again because I wanted to. I was feeling a bit grouchy and a bit guilty for being grouchy and knew a run would just make me feel better. So even though my goal was a super short run since I don't want to bring on any overuse injuries (I ran two times yesterday too and typically don't do this) I pulled on my 110% Play Harder compression shorts to run in. They are quite compressive and I always wanted to try out running in them and short runs are perfect experimental runs.

The run went well. I felt good and no birds....I will fill you in shortly if you don't follow me on Daily Mile. My pace was 10'36"...those incline runs really slow me down.

This morning I did an incline run as well resulting in 2.0 miles at a pace of 10'25". My run was cut short by a huge BANG resulting in my screaming and jumping 10' in the air. Darling daughter calmly told me "Mom, it is just a bird." Yep, it was another bird hitting our window and this time, the bird did not win. Fortunately I have good friends I can call on and "uncle" came to the rescue to remove the evidence while we were away from the house and darling daughter is none the wiser. And this running mom needs to come up with some idea to keep birds away from that darn window.

And while I am at it, yesterday's second run was also an incline run of 2.73 miles with a pace of 10'57". In all reality, I don't get all bent out of shape on my pace at home since I am running at a 10% incline but also some days it is just plain HOT. I can be sweating like crazy no matter how many windows are open. It all depends on Mother Nature, the temperature outside, and the amount and direction of breeze. But I do think I need to consider always starting at a slightly increased home pace like I am doing for my gym pace.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for friends who will come to my rescue even if it means driving out of their way.
Daily Affirmation: I am really good at jumping in the air and returning to a good running form on a treadmill while leaning to peak out the window to check on a bird.


What Kind of Runner are You?

Running is my me time and often I can find myself pondering all kinds of questions. Today I thought about my running. I am not the fastest running mom. I am not even the running mom pushing the most kids. And trust me, I am not the running mom logging the most miles. But none of that really matters because in all reality when we really get down to looking at the nuts and bolts, each runner is facing and conquering the same battles.

I am an everyday runner. I am a running mom. I am a treadmill, roadside, pushing jogging stroller runner. I am an easy run, tempo run, speed work, interval, incline runner. I can be a really slow runner. I can be a faster-than-I-imagined runner. I may get faster, I may not. But one thing I can promise you is that I will continue to be the "I love to run" kind of runner and to me, that is what is most important. Sure, I love the bling. Sure, I love to PR. Sure, I love to place well. But at the end of the day the moments I remember the most aren't really those.

I remember running the Kaua'i Half Marathon and the views and spectators. That was an amazing experience. I clearly remember the one lady sitting outside her house with her family, bundled up with blankets with an oxygen tank. I remember how touched I was that she was out there watching us run by. I remember the spiritual connection I felt with my Dad. I really don't remember my finish time. I did fine but I can't tell you the exact time. That race was two weeks prior to my first marathon and was one step in my journey to that race day.

Don't get me wrong. I do push myself. I do train and hope to improve. I recently re-incorporated strength training into my daily running routine to help balance me out and keep me strong. And at times, I do want to "win" in terms of running a new PR. I dream of going faster. I dream of going longer. And those dreams are based on how much fun I have during the journey. Because once I cross the finish line, it is over. And if that one second was the most important thing to me I feel I would be wasting so many others. Think of how many hours go into your training and running the race. Why make the final second the prize? Make the journey the prize and then the photo album of your running life will be full and inspiring.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for being able to run today.
Daily Affirmation: I intend to be an instrument of infinite kindness and inspiration.


Balancing Running and Life

If you have been following my blog and reading my recent posts you may have noticed an increase of "I'm tired" comments. I have been tired and as much as I aimed to go to bed early, I failed miserably as I tried to give some quality (and perhaps a bit grouchy) time to dear hubby.

Weekly Mileage
Yesterday darling daughter and I woke up to our normal Saturday routine and headed out on time to hit the gym when the Kids' Club opens. My training plan had me slated to run 14 miles. I knew I only had 2 hours. Thing is, I was tired and my motivation was long. I was contemplating doing this long run next week and taking next week's long run of 6 miles and doing it this week. Perhaps my miles have been up and my body just needed a bit of a break.

As I was getting darling daughter out of the car at the gym I noticed an awesome rainbow. Absolutely wonderful! I even pulled out my phone to take a picture.

Once we were in the gym we had to wait a bit to check darling in and I realized I forgot my water bottle. It wasn't all that far away....just in the car. Many times I would have just gone back out and got in. In all reality, I have never left it in the car before in my life. So I took this as a sign....perhaps running for two hours isn't what I should be doing. Yes, I could have gone and got the bottle. Yes, there are water fountains in the gym. But if you haven't noticed yet, I tend to listen to signs when they pop up. I opted to not run for 2 hours but to aim for 6 miles and if I feel okay, 60 minutes.

I ended up running 7.01 miles with an average pace of 8'33". I did slight incline intervals. And you know what? It was a good decision. Although, my miles this week pretty much match last week's and if I do that 14 miles next week, hmmmm...., there won't be a big recovery week. But I will continue to listen to my body. Oh yeah, and darling daughter blamed the rainbow for me forgetting my water bottle.

After gym time we had errands to run, which included some time at the Fun Factory and our weekly grocery shopping. It is always a good idea to mix in some fun time with darling when you need to run all around time for errands.

Today I ran a mere 1.25 miles. I was going to run more while watching Flipper with darling daughter but in that short time, she interrupted my run twice for legitimate reasons so I threw in the proverbial towel and decided a rest day wouldn't kill me and could only heal me from my lingering fatigue. And so far, I am feeling pretty with it and energized today.

So it looks this weekend I am doing a good job of balancing my running desires with my personal health needs and my family essential and fun needs. Just be glad you can't see the chaos developing behind me as darling daughter decorates a fort/house for her sweet toy dog.....you know, the one that ate my training report!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful God answers are prayers and understand that sometimes that leads to sadness. 
Daily Affirmation: I am always expecting the best for myself and my family and can achieve this by appreciating what we have been given instead of desiring more.



Sweat Pink with Me Door Prizes Piling Up!

I have wonderful news...Kendrick Ribeiro has jumped on board and agreed to offer some of his wonderful products for me to give away as door prizes. All you need to do is enter the Sweat Pink with Me Virtual Run and enter your results by May 15 and you may be one lucky door prize winner on May 16. The virtual run takes place May 12 and 13.

Never heard of Kendrick Ribeiro? You can learn more about this awesome coach for the Diva Half Marathon series in this interview post. I can't say enough times how much I love the constant support he provides daily on his facebook page and beyond!

Here is what I get to offer....

Two copies of the e-book "Why Fat Loves Women". This is a good read and really made me re-examine how I was fueling myself daily. I tend to eat pretty good but I still found ways to fuel myself more effectively by strategically planning the timing of my meals with quality foods at certain times. In addition, I discovered that I really do function better, feel better, and maintain a better weight when I do eat five times a day. If I forgot my PM snack....I become grouchy and end up making bad choices later in the evening. I even printed out a copy of his eating guide and have it posted by my work desk!

Two copies of the e-book "Upgrade Your Running Style". Who can't benefit from tips to improve running form and the effectiveness of your training? And a great bonus to those of you building up mileage to your first half marathon, it includes a 12 Week Half Marathon Plan. How cool it that? And those exercises to help prevent injury....this is just a reminder I need to re-focus and start doing more of them! It is always better to begin this regime prior to an injury than after one!

And now on to RUNNING!

What have I been up to? Well yesterday I ended up squeezing in a mile after getting home and before having to do 10,000 things before dinner....and I only had a mere two hours! I am so glad I moved running up on my priority list and darling daughter completely understood it when I said, I just need to get my run in before doing anything else. The time I took to run 1 mile really wasn't that much and in all reality, everything else could wait until I was done....especially since darling daughter had a brand new stack of good reading from our library trip we took on the way home from school. Yes, you can give quality time to your little one and take some time for yourself later. Yesterday was her day.

But today was my day. I got a huge chunk of me time before heading to work. Not as much as I dreamed up but I'm not complaining. My goal was to run 30 minutes and I ended up going a wee-bit over 35 minutes. Hey, at 30 minutes I was too close to 4 miles to not keep running! I ended up running 4.36 miles with an average pace of 8'02". Today's run was pyramid style with the fastest running in the middle of my workout. Hey, sometimes I just need to shake it up and trick my legs by doing something different. It is good training.

Daily Gratitude: I don't say this often but "THANK GOODNESS IT'S FRIDAY"!
Daily Affirmation: I am organized and am creating the foundation for a peaceful, happy home.

I am receiving no compensation for providing information on these e-books. Kendrick Fitness is offering them free of charge for door prizes. The opinions are solely my own.


The run running moms may never talk about

I am not the only running mom out there and I am not the only running mom that blogs about her runs. I love to read about other running moms getting it done and their tips for success. But truth be told, some days are really rotten as a running mom. And instead of blogging about just the runs that go well, I feel I need to tell you about the ones that try my patience.

Yesterday was field trip day for darling daughter and I was a chaperone. We talked about our plan prior and the idea was that she would leave with me instead of riding the bus back to school for me to just go there to pick her up. All that would happen when they got back was nap time and if she doesn't go to school, she doesn't nap, and goes to bed better. It seemed like a win-win situation to hang out together post-field trip. Especially since we were lunching at the park we love to run around! I envisioned a beautiful run with her after her playing and eating and then we would head home. I even reconfirmed that this was indeed what she wanted to do. So we said good bye to the teachers and headed off.

Thing is, my darling daughter is in a phase of uncertainty. Many tears have been shed. Many screams screamed. And many times this running mom has prayed for patience to endure and told darling daughter that I am not playing that game anymore. Fortunately this doesn't happen daily but when it does it goes like I want this, I want that, I want this, I want that, I want this....there is no happy ending. So when we got to the car and got her in the stroller and she announced she wanted to ride the bus my first thought was "oh no, here we go". The idea of running solo was equally enticing but I knew if I took her back to the group she would say "no, I want to go with you" plus I know from experience that it is really difficult to manage a field trip with kids coming and going. The last thing I want is a kid to be left behind due to confusion on how many kids are still with the group. So I held my ground and no, she won't be going back to the group. We are running.

I headed off running with her screaming and pondered how long it would take for her to run out of steam. Usually her tantrums are strong and short. Sometimes she gets so worked up she doesn't seem to know how to stop...no matter what I do. This ended up being one of those. I tried every trick in the book. Picking flowers and grass for her to throw at me or whatever. Promising a reward for quieting down. Ignoring her....essentially a time out when I really can't go anywhere else. Distractions with barracuda sightings and seeing a person dressed up as the Statue of Liberty. I would get brief reprieves but it would all just start up again. Man, that girl is determined! Kinda like me. 

I ended up running 2.58 miles and wavered between feeling strong and feeling like the worst mom ever. I got her situated in the car, still crying and screaming, and began the 40-minute drive home determined to find my happy place. She continued her protests over halfway home until she finally zonked out and I finally found blissful peace. My running mantras served me well and I kept repeating to myself I am strong, I can run on, and I choose to be happy. I am getting better at keeping my cool during her mega-tantrums, which fortunately may happen only once a month, but still question if there is something more I could be doing to help her through it all. But hey, if you are going to scream your lungs out roadside may be the perfect place. So to all the moms out there....what would you do? What is your advice? Any tricks I am forgetting to use?

When we got home all was better and we had some water play and relaxation time. And we both needed that. And at bedtime when we were snuggled close we discussed this incident and what we can do in the future. I turned it into a learning lesson about why we need to make up our minds, especially at really important times. I had to reiterate that it is okay to change you mind every now and then. I think she got it and I implemented an ask mommy trick. She can ask me if this is a game time or serious time when making a decision to help her know when there is no second chance.

Today's run was much quieter. I ran 5.0 miles with 3.15 miles at tempo pace.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the opportunity to write a guest post for FitFluential....yep, two guest posts in one week!
Daily Affirmation: I am a good mom.


Running and Sweat Pink Swag

Yesterday after work I was determined to get my 4 miles in. The plan was to run an easy four and I stuck to it. I have been exhausted recently so running slower didn't seem like a half bad idea. Thing is, my legs that felt like lead before the run felt wonderful during the run. It was one of those runs where everything is in its place. I had plenty of time to get my run done before picking up darling daughter so there were no time pressures. This is a nice thing since it always seems I am running before having to run off somewhere else. I felt strong, my mind felt peaceful, and every song was perfect. I stuck to the plan and ran the 4.0 miles in 37:25, a 9'20" pace. And the only pink I was wearing was on the soles of my

But I think it is time to make them pinker with some of the Sweat Pink swag that arrived in the mail the end of last week. And it all came with the loveliest note. How sweet! I have an awesome Sweat Pink tank to wear now and it fits perfect! I am picky about tanks and usually go with bra top camisoles but this one is so comfy I really didn't want to take it off. It has a bit of Spandex in it so perhaps that is the secret. And if you register for the Sweat Pink with Me Virtual Run (May 12-13) and enter your results by May 15, you will have the chance to win one for yourself! It is one of the fabulous door prizes!

But wait there's more! Yep, now I sound like a cheesy television commercial. Check out all those lovely pairs of pink shoelaces! There is one pair for me and 12 pairs for me to share via giveaways, door prizes, whim, whatever. I am thinking 6 pairs will be dedicated as door prizes for the Sweat Pink with Me Virtual Run. Registrations are coming in daily and I am stoked to say I even have one kid registered to run with their mom! That is so cool!!

All this is courtesy of Fit Approach and being a Sweat Pink ambassador.

Darling daughter and I made the bling
But what does this all really mean? That I am very fortunate and there are many blessings in my life. I get to share my love of running and fitness and be pink at the same time. I get to slowly spread the pink around the world via cool door prizes and fun virtual runs. I don't think I am any different than any one of you who are reading this right now. We are all given blessings daily and it is up to us to determine what we want to do with them. And me? I want to share with you!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for each and every blessing in my life.
Daily Affirmation: I know the struggles in my life make me stronger and make me better able to appreciate the blessings I am given.


Monday Musings

I had a great weekend! Darling daughter and I had two "stay upcountry" days and I didn't start my car engine for over 48 hours! I thought it would be hard but in all reality, we had the best weekend of our lives! Okay, maybe not that great but it was pretty darn awesome! We spent time blowing bubbles, making dinner together, gardening, making a fairy garden, recovering pillows with baby blankets for the couch, stringing beads for necklaces, playing catch, crocheting (okay me), reading, cuddling, and yes, I did my running at home. We also spent time doing some good green cleaning. My spirit feels rejuvenated!

Although, I am still dead tired. I think I am going to bed too  late and getting up too early so I have to commit to a "go to bed early" night. Sorry dear hubby. I just need my sleep.

And what about the Boston Marathon? Are your tracking the runners/bloggers who inspire you? You can do so HERE. You just need to know their full name or bib number. So far my ladies are doing great....but I had no doubts!

And for my final random thought....I wrote a guest post as a Sweat Pink ambassador at Fit Approach. You can read it HERE. Check it out and see how I found my aha! moment.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful that my daughter is embracing the changes I am making in my family's life.
Daily Affirmation: My life experiences make me a better person.


ProSource NytroWhey Product Review

As a FitFluential ambassador I got the opportunity to review a whey protein product, NytroWhey Original from ProSource. Prices start at $27.95 for 2.2 lbs and you can choose from strawberry, natural, fruit punch, chocolate mint, vanilla, or chocolate. Please note: the website indicates this is a discounted price from $55.90 but I don't know for how long.

I opted to go with vanilla to sample and ProSource sent me a 2.2 lb container. Why vanilla? I stick to the plain flavors as I sometimes add my protein powders to pancakes or oatmeal. It arrived very quickly after they notified me it was sent and this is amazing, especially since I live in Hawaii. I eagerly opened the container to prep me a sample to use the following morning after my run. I immediately noticed how light and fluffy the mix looked and was intrigued. But before I go further I must add that this fit my protein powder criteria...and I verified this before agreeing to sample and review the product: it is only 150 calories per serving (I won't use powders with 200+ calories) and it contains no artificial sugars. Please note: a serving size is 1 scoop for 4 ounces of water or milk. I always use water.

How does it taste? The vanilla is delightful and easy to mix with my blender bottle. The more you shake, the creamier the drink. In all reality, I usually shake very briefly and it ends up with a couple small clumps and that is okay with me. They are very small and I prefer that over extra creamy. But hey, I may just be a bit odd.

To go one step further I decided to find out if others besides me were equally impressed. My stepson often drinks protein drinks so I made him test it. He loved it. Dear hubby never drinks protein drinks. I made him try it. He loved it too. In fact, the next day I caught him going in for more!

And before I could really tell you what I thought I had to make some pancakes with it. I added 1/2 a scoop to my mix like I usually do, whipped it up well, and made vanilla cinnamon pancakes. And you know what? I believe this is the first time I made pancakes with a protein powder and actually tasted the hint of vanilla. I loved them and so did darling daughter. 

So now you know I love it and that it is only 150 calories but you still aren't sure if this is worth trying. One scoop has 4 grams of fat, 23 grams of protein, <1 gram sugar, 128 mg calcium, and 210 mg potassium to start with.

Is this a product I will keep using? Absolutely for $27.95 but for $55.90 I'm not so sure. After all, I am a running mom on a tight budget.

Have you tried this product? Did you do a review and write about it? Why not comment below and feel free to add a link to your post. The more information we share, the better!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for this FitFluential opportunity and discovering a new product I love!
Daily Affirmation: I can accept the things I cannot change. 

Please note: I received no compensation for writing this post. ProSource provided me with the product at no cost to review. The opinions are solely my own.


This week's long run

I know I am fully capable of designing my own training plans and long run calendar but I have fallen into the comforts of using the Smart Coach app on my phone. And I am very lucky to have this convenience in life because it gives me more time to focus on other things - like family and running. However, it seems I follow it as closely as I followed my own creations....with flexibility. And the no mileage days the app puts in become 1-2 mile days for me.

This week the Smart Coach had me scheduled to run 12 miles for my long run in the maintenance phase of my training cycle. Yep, you can tell it how hard you want to train and what you want for weekly mileage. Cool, huh?

Since I was off of work yesterday due to darling daughter's Easter break I opted to do the long run then instead of today. No real reason. I just felt motivated and knew it would give us the full weekend to enjoy at home. So after starting some homemade soup from some "spare" ingredients I had at home (one chicken breast, celery, carrots, onion plus seasonings) we got ready to go. By the way, this meal fed us all last night for dinner with seconds and dear hubby took leftovers to work today for lunch.

I was completely amazed on how busy the gym was on a Friday morning. I really thought it would be quieter than the same time on Saturdays. But since we are early birds we got a spot in the Kids' Club no problem and I was lucky that all the people exercising didn't want a treadmill. After a hug and a kiss I left darling daughter to play under great and kind supervision and I headed out to run with a "enjoy your workout" from the Kids' Club staff.

I had a bottle of nuun, prepared by darling daughter, and a chocolate GU gel (new to me) along with my gym "towel". I am only putting towel in quotes since I use a wash cloth. I find them easier to pack and manage and they serve the same great purpose. I am even thinking about making some pink wash clothes in honor of Sweat Pink but I digress.

The first two miles were tough. My left leg felt tight and ached. It wasn't anything huge or overwhelming so I ran on hoping the movement would loosen things up. Thank goodness the trick worked and within 30 minutes I began dreaming increasing my distance from 12 miles to 13.1 miles. I mean, it seemed silly to stop at 12 when I could just put in another approximate 10 minutes to complete a half marathon. Plus I was confident I could do this in the time allotted for kid care.

At home post run
So I ran on surrounded by chatty people walking on treadmills but today the hum of their conversation didn't seem to bug me. I was too grateful to be able to run while darling daughter was playing and having fun. Yep, I pick a treadmill with a vantage point to the Kids' Club so I can see her occassionally bouncing around playing while I run.

At about 10 miles I  "heard" an announcement from the Kids' Club....or at least I could tell they announced something but couldn't make out one word. I took out my earphones to listen better and ended up chatting a bit with the lady walking next to me. She wanted to know how long I had been running and share her tales why running doesn't work for her. No problem, she was walking good on that treadmill and I can't look down on anyone doing anything to better their health. Any activity is better than sitting....always.

Stop with the camera mom!
I finally determined the Kids' Club must have just been announcing people's names on the waiting list and put my earphones back on to complete my run. And then one very sweaty running mom who just ran 13.26 miles went to go get her darling daughter and she got to "help" me shower.

Afterwards we did our downcountry errands and even stopped at Old Navy. I had some Super Cash and decided to use it even though I had to spend some money to get the money. In all reality it resulted in everything being 50% off for me since I stuck to my plan and didn't spend more. And hey, every now and then a running mom needs to treat herself to a couple new running bras, tank tops, and sleep shorts!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful darling daughter and I will have two stay upcountry days this weekend. What to know what on Earth I am talking about? Read this post.
Daily Affirmation: I am in control of my own happiness.

P.S. This is half marathon #5 for my 12 in 12 goal.


Greening Up My Diet

Besides my family, my one passion in life is running. A close second to running is the environment. Combine the environment with fitness and you have a win-win for me.

The more I run, the more I think about what I am putting into my body. And as a mother, I think about what I am putting into my child's body and what kind of example I am setting for her to follow.

No one is perfect and there is no way I can make the perfect decision every moment of every day for every decision I need to make. The trick is to make great decisions most of the time and accept that sometimes, you won't. And you know what? That is okay. I eat healthy most of the time but sometimes I will indulge....and that is okay.

With all that said, I am on a quest to greening up my eating....and I don't mean by eating more green colored food, although that will be part of it. I recently stumbled upon a book that is making a positive impact on me. The book: Eco-Friendly Families by Helen Coronato. It is a good light read and is full of ideas on how this running mom, who rents a home, can make a smaller carbon footprint in her daily routines. And it is about taking small steps and being good most of the time, not all of the time.

My first mission is centered on how I feed my family. I feel our bodies are temples and that we need to respect them as such...and I recently started focusing on this path when I finally quit drinking diet Coke and committed to monthly shipments of wholesome goodies from Healthy Surprise.

My next step is to bring this focus up front and center. To achieve this I am incorporating some of the strategies presented in Eco-Friendly Families.

  1. I am going to aim to decrease the impact of the dirty dozen in our lives by opting organic whenever possible. The dirty dozen includes apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, imported nectarines, imported grapes, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce and kale. The bolded items are ones my family often consumes.
  2. I am going to frequent our local farm more often for locally grown produce even if it limits the choices available.
  3. I am integrating gluten-free, vegan snacks for quickies on the go through Healthy Surprise.
  4. NO artificial sugars are allowed. And look closely, they are hidden in many items such as Yoplait light yogurt, sugar-free Jell-O, some vitamins, and many drinks. 
  5. I am limiting the amount of corn syrup my family consumes mainly because items with it have little nutritional value. Sorry darling daughter, fruit chews are not the best but how about some Clif Bar Fruit Twists
  6. I am limiting the amount of food dyes used in our foods. These chemicals have been linked to a number of health problems and serve no nutritional purpose. And often you can find an alternative with natural coloring that is just as good. Surprisingly, when I did a spot check in my cupboards the other night I discovered my purchases were pretty good. I only found some pudding packages with yellow dye and in all reality, that is okay. I may make pudding four times a year! So once I use those packages up, I will be looking for an organic option. 
  7. I will continue to shop thinking about minimal packaging and how far the item had to travel to get to me. Being on an island, most things do need to travel but how about bread from a local bakery versus bread from who knows where? 


Trust me, I know what some of you may be thinking. That would be wonderful to do but how on Earth can I afford it? Organic food costs more. My income is limited. The economy isn't at its peak. Every penny counts. And don't worry, I am in that exact same boat with you and have the same concerns, even now as I am stating that this is my goal.

But I have confidence that by making good decisions about implementation and being budget-minded I can accomplish this goal. And if it is a big fail, I will let you know. So how do I think I can do this? Once again, I am implementing, or re-implementing, suggestions from the book.

  1. My family and I will come up with a menu for dinners for the next week every Friday. They already know if they fail to participate I will make the choices myself. The menu will be planned in such a way to have a minimal impact on the budget. For example, dinners will lead to leftovers for work and school lunches. Dinners will be based off of a list of similar ingredients so one large bag of potatoes will serve multiple meals instead of us using some potatoes for one meal and some potatoes rotting. 
  2. Our family will continue to grow some of our own foods and focus on the ones we are succeeding with. For example, I very rarely buy herbs as we grow our own basil and cilantro. Perhaps it is time to try a third option.
  3. My darling daughter and I will do the shopping weekly on Saturdays. This is a perfect day as we can head to the necessary stores after the gym in the morning. We will pack snacks for our adventure and head home afterwards. I will only buy what is needed on the list. For example, yes, dear hubby may like ground turkey, chicken breasts, fish, and sweet potato fries but if we don't need the items for the menu, I am not buying them. Period. Can you tell he is the primary carnivore in the family? This will save gas expenses of running to the store for a few items multiple times a week (gas here is currently $4.89/gallon). And it limits money spent on spontaneous purchases each time we are at the store. And that adds up.
  4. I am re-implementing a one day a week no driving day....or very limited driving. This decreases wear and tear on my car and saves gas expenses. It is a 20-minute plus drive to get to most stores. It takes almost 40 minutes for me to go to work. So one day at no or very little driving is good. I am thinking Sundays and yes, I know I may drive to church but that is upcountry and okay with me. So I guess I should say one no driving downcountry day!
Is this all going to be smooth sailing? Probably not. I think it will take time to get back into the groove on weekly shopping days. It will take practice to really know when I need to buy that gallon of milk to avoid a trip to the store to just pick up milk. And it will involve communication from dear hubby when he is running low on x, y, or z so that he doesn't have to go without and I don't need to make a special trip. 

Why do I think this will work and allow us to eat greener and not kill our budget? Mainly because of the planning and not buying x-number of items just because they look good. Is that item needed next week? No, don't buy it. And darling daughter and I already looked through the Costco coupon book and pulled out the coupons for items that were already on our shopping list --- created from what was on our menu. And that menu, when I was thinking of it with my family I was going off of things I already knew I had in the house for many meals. 

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for store discounts and coupons.
Daily Affirmation: I am confident in my ability to feed my family good wholesome foods while sticking to my budget.

Would you like a copy of Eco-Friendly Families? Enter the Sweat Pink with Me Virtual Run, enter your results, and me eligible for a door prize drawing for this book and other "sweet" and potentially pink prizes!  THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW OVER.


I found me today

Happy Thursday!

And I am saying that with complete enthusiasm today. But I must confess, the past couple of days I have tired and grouchy. The grouchiness is side effect of being so darn tired. I have been trying to get enough sleep, keeping the mileage low, but I just can't seem to kick the sluggishness aside.

This morning as I crawled out of bed my legs felt like lead and the last thing in the world I wanted to do was run. I slept a wee bit extra so my plan was to head to work and run later. The thing is, I was feeling really bad about myself. I didn't get my second run in yesterday since I was tired and now I was skipping my morning run for the same reason.

As I pulled into work I could just hear the advice from others saying things like "girl, you just need to take a break from running and rest" and that annoyed me. Why is it I can't run just because I am tired? I have been busy burning the candle from both ends. Of course I am tired! Maybe I should let something else go and run on. What do you think of that? Can you tell I am pretty good at giving myself a good dose of attitude?

So I walked into work, went into my office, pulled out my running clothes, changed clothes, laced up my shoes, and ran out the door. I am fortunate enough today to have leeway with my actual start time since dear hubby is watching darling daughter so I can make up the time and leave work a bit later.

I headed straight to the highway (not many choices here) and started running back towards the way I drove into work. My iTunes selected the perfect song to start the run and I could instantly begin to feel the happiness taking over. I didn't care about pace today. I didn't care that technically I was to run 5 miles. None of that mattered. I needed to run and find my running happy moment. I needed to recharge. I needed to find me.

There is something about running outdoors that is so liberating to me, perhaps since I don't get to do it everyday. The views were breathtaking and I even stopped to take pictures of the views to my right and left.....to share with you of course. And even though I knew it was okay to take this time for myself before work and start a bit later, I knew co-workers are used to be being the early bird so I kept my run short. After about a mile I turned around and started heading back and I really picked up the pace for most of the return. And I found me.

The peacefulness and tranquility have returned. I am still a bit tired but now I don't feel weak. I am tired and strong. And that makes me happy.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for flexible work schedules.
Daily Affirmation: I will concentrate on what is truly important today.

P.S. I think I found a replacement for Picnik that is closing its doors.....FotoFlexer.


Sweat Pink with Me: Virtual Run and More!

It may be no secret out there but I do like the color pink....and I love fitness especially running.

So when I heard about Fit Approach and Sweat Pink Ambassadors I had to hop on over and learn more. I am ecstatic to announce that I was accepted as a Sweat Pink Ambassador!!! I immediately embraced this opportunity and that little line in the email saying "let us know if you have any ideas" opened the door. I always have ideas! Some bad, some good. Just like running days, some are bad and some are good.

And my first idea, which I am even more stoked that the peeps at Fit Approach embraced, is a virtual run!!! I had so much fun hosting the Leap Year Virtual Run mainly because of the participation and honestly, I couldn't wait another four years. I was just looking for the right moment that made hosting a virtual run click for me. And what could be better than sweating pink together?

Introducing the Sweat Pink with Me Virtual Run!!

Dates: May 12 - May 13, 2012 (in honor of Mother's Day weekend)
Time: Any time
Place: Any place and treadmills are perfectly acceptable
Distance: 5K, 10K, or 1/2 marathon....your choice
Who: Any one....moms, dads, non-parents, kids
Why: Why not? But in all reality, it would be a wonderful running gift for yourself or your active mom. Imagine the joy of running and sweating pink guilt-free. 'nuff said. Oh yeah....and there will be door prizes!

I am still working on gathering the list of door prizes and will post them as they become confirmed. So far I can promise one Sweat Pink tank top courtesy of Fit Approach, one fitbook courtesy of fitlosophy inc., two copies of the e-book "Why Fat Loves Women" and two copies of the e-book "Upgrade Your Running Style" courtesy of Kendrick Fitness, one Pampered Runner package (yep, I still have one waiting for you), and one copy of Eco-Friendly Families by Helen Coronato. I am also on the look-out for something nice and Hawaiian to give to the top finisher of each race category. 

Go HERE to register.

You can print out a race bib HERE.

Race results are due by May 15 to be eligible for the door prize drawings. The winners will be announced on this blog on May 16, 2012. You may enter your results HERE.

I look forward to running and sweating pink with you! And in all reality, I will probably be running on the Saturday with the Kids' Club giving me the Mother's Day gift of watching darling daughter while I run 13.1 miles.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for warm, aromatic bubble baths.
Daily Affirmation: I get knocked down but I get back up again.

Wanna see the prizes and learn more?



The Dog Ate My Training Report.....

Sure, you may think it is just a toy dog but it really does walk and bark....and eats my training reports!

But enough silliness, I don't know where time went but March was wonderful!

Check out my stats from March 2011...or read more HERE. Just don't ask me how runningahead.com has 80.8 miles and my paper log from last year has 79.54 miles. Either I input something wrong online or I hit a wrong button and that itty bitty calculator. Gotta love daily mile these days!

And take a look at March 2012....

What caught my attention immediately, besides logging 19 more miles, was that with those miles, and running every day, I only ran about 25 more minutes! Amazing, huh? That is less than a minute a day if you were to average it out over the month so yes, this running mom can take that little bit of extra time for herself each and every day. Oh yeah, it helps I am getting a wee bit faster too.  And it seems March marks my one-year anniversary with my foam roller, I still love that purchase, and I am still dealing with a pesky piriformis. But in all reality, I feel it is always going to be there for me complaining every now and then. And I just embrace it as a reminder to stretch and roll some more.

I ran one race in March....and PR'd. I ran my third half marathon for the year. I become a FitFluential ambassador. And I quit drinking diet coke!

I feel the proverbial doors opening up for me as I embrace life and the new challenges it brings and with that, I am taking the time for almost every blog post to include a daily gratitude (outward focused) and a daily affirmation (inward focused). I would love to say I am stress-free but nope. I'm not. But I feel I am better able to handle at least some of the stresses in life.....unless I am really near that tipping point.

My goals for the remainder of April are to keep running daily and to stick to my maintenance plan. I have not officially started marathon training yet. I also hope to get my information for #OpHardcoreFit turned in on time and hey, maybe you will read about April before a week of May has gone by!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for kind customer service representatives who are patient with silly questions.
Daily Affirmation: Patience is like a muscle that grows stronger every time I use it.