Being Green

Have I mentioned that I have taken on the June Green Smoothie Challenge at Run to the Finish? This is one of the many 30-day challenges Amanda has hosted, or will be hosting, throughout the year. Some are good fits for me, some aren't. This one sounded good enough to start before June 1st and you still have time to tackle it too.

It has been less than one week and I am already seeing some positive improvements. My energy level is slowly increasing although I still need an afternoon pick-me-up. But what I really like is that my complexion is getting better. This is probably the most meaningful to me right now since it has been buggy recently and I am in a current phase of complete unhappiness with my hair. So every little bit helps. And starting my day with fruits and veggies seems to be impacting my food choices throughout the day by making me crave more fruits and veggies. Who can complain about that? I can't wait to see what else is in store for me throughout the remainder of this challenge.

And on a somewhat related green note, here is a little video from me introducing you to my little garden.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for other bloggers taking the time to challenge us all to be healthier.
Daily Affirmation: I am confident I will be able to find the peace I need daily in my life.


Virtual 5k for CFF Report

Luv Zensah atheltic compression socks
As soon as I heard that Running Moose was going to host this race I wanted to sign up. However, it took me time to actually get around to doing so. The virtual race is supporting a great cause: finding a cure for cystic fibrosis and funds Lauren's Lifesavers. Really, to learn more go check out Running Moose since he tells the story so much better.

Many years ago as a child (in elementary school) I remember watching a movie about a little kid with cystic fibrosis. I wish I could remember the title but even at such a young age that movie touched a cord in me. I really felt the pain and difficulty this whole family had in facing this ailment and realized how lucky I was to be healthy. I don't remember much from my younger years. Ask my mom...it's true. But this movie stuck so when I heard about this race, I had to run. 'nuff said.

I must also confess I don't always put my all into virtual races. Sometimes I just use them for motivation to push myself a bit more, to stay focused on my training, and to add a different element. But for this cause, I wanted to push myself and ran a progressive 5k. My end result was a time of 23:44 with an average pace of 7'38". I thought of the cause and Lauren every time I picked up my pace a bit more and at the end, I knew I pushed myself and ran well today.

In terms of training, I have speed work on my schedule for tomorrow but I think this may count for that. What do you think?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my health and the health of my family.
Daily Affirmation: I am able to continue to test my limits and challenge myself.


Fueling My Body

I read a lot about what people are eating....or not eating. Sometimes it can be inspiring but sometimes it can make me feel frustrated as if I am not doing enough for myself and my family. Health and nutrition is extremely important to me. In a perfect world, I would only buy organic and local produce but in all reality, I can't afford to do that. Therefore, I choose to do the best I can and realize every small step of improvement I make in our family diet is good.

Part of my frustration can be linked back to the fact that I was a vegetarian for a long time. I even went through pregnancy vegetarian and pretty much through nursing as well. But in the early years darling daughter had low (but not critical) iron so I decided it would be best to incorporate some heme-based iron into her diet since it is easier to digest. Therefore, I started eating meat again since it is easier to make one meal for the whole family. But I still incorporate many vegetarian days into our weekly diet and look to meat on occasional days and on a side note, it makes dear hubby happy too. He is a carnivore.

With all that said and done, I look to eat healthy and fell in instant love with Healthy Surprise for snacks. I am on my third month and after the first month I upgraded from the Starter pack to the next size, the Healthy Pack. There is something for everyone in here and darling daughter and I excitedly open it each month. We immediately pick out a few snacks just for her and label them with her name. She isn't as keen on the nuts and some of the "odd" treats so to keep her eating healthy, trying new things, and excited I feel it is a must for her to stake her claim on nutritional snacks.

Here is what we received this month:

And healthy snacks are important as I eat five times a day and rely on nuts or fruit for my am and pm snacks. And apple, pear, or banana with almond butter rocks! And some days I get really ambitious and make some fruit chips for the family with our dehydrator.

Check them out:
Apple, pear, or pineapple work great!
To be honest, my breakfasts recently have been less than ideal so I am ecstatic to announce I am taking part in 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge at Run to the Finish. I have been intrigued by the idea of green smoothies but scared even though I love veggies. And I was so excited about this challenge that I started it yesterday. Why wait until June? My plan is to drink a smoothie for a new and improved breakfast. So far I am blending together spinach, banana, marionberries, and vanilla soymilk. Today I sprinkled a little cinnamon on top. And these are so delicious that darling daughter is drinking it up too! Just don't tell her spinach is inside....her four-year old mind might rebel. And when I am not sharing with darling daughter, I will add some protein powder or the hemp seed sample I got in my Healthy Surprise pack this month.

My smoothie yesterday:

My smoothie today before blending with soymilk:
I even got a new blender for this since mine was dying
My smoothie today ready to drink:
Do you see the cinnamon on top?
Often my lunches at work are leftovers from dinner the night before so I aim to make extra vegetables, etc. that will do well reheating at work. But on weekends you can often find me eating homemade nachos topped with vegetarian refried beans, cheese, pepper, mixed sprouts, and tomatoes. And sometimes, I toss on a few orange slices too!
A sad day....no more tomatoes
Lentil soup w/ chunky veggies
And what's for dinner? Pasta bake with pureed veggies, tofu nuggets, falafel my way - a healthier version, spaghetti with meatballs (and I don't have to eat them and the sauce is made with pureed veggies), vegetable enchiladas (that resemble cheese enchiladas), tuna melts, chicken and veggies, roast and veggies, homemade split pea or lentil soup (with hidden veggies) etc. And I am always sneaking veggies into anything I can mainly to up the vegetable content of our meals but now it is more important as darling daughter is getting a bit picky about her foods and I want her to eat more veggies than she is. So I hide them. And in all reality, she does love them all but is going through a phase so instead of a huge battle I compromise. Eat a little of everything on your plate and then mommy will sneak more into your smoothies and afters and ensure you are eating healthy snacks throughout the day. And how do I know she loves her vegetables? Because yesterday when given the choice of splitting a chicken bake or a salad for lunch she choose salad. Thank goodness since that is what I wanted too. Mommy tip - if the child picks the salad the child will eat it with less fuss and lunchtime will be merrier. Just don't ask for advice if the child picks the chicken bake....mine almost always picks the salad so I don't often have to eat the chicken bake.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the light showers that watered our garden this morning.
Daily Affirmation: I believe in myself.


This Week's Long Run

Long runs are one of my favorite parts of training. I just like to run long even though they can be really tough at times.

I was scheduled to do my long run today but I got to thinking yesterday. I am off the next 9 days due to a cleaning break at darling's school so I will be frequenting the Kids' Club a bit more often...or shall I say, darling daughter will be. So if I can save a day of fees, why not? Therefore, I got the inspiration to do my long run yesterday when dear hubby was in charge of child care duty. Makes sense, right?

I posted on Daily Mile my desire to run outside, even in the intense wind. And I was on the edge of doing it until I realized I had no sunscreen in my car. Okay, not too serious. I could still wing it. Just get my water bottle. Hmmm, no water bottle? Common sense came over. No way should I tackle 12 miles in the middle of the day with no sunscreen and no water. And honestly, I had no desire to buy them since it defeats the purpose of running then to save money. So I headed over to the gym to my trusty treadmill located so close to that faithful water fountain.

When I started my run I was one of the few in the gym but that changed over the course of my run. People came, people left, and I kept running. I was even tempted to tell the guy to my right trying so hard to get the treadmill going to look at the sign on the treadmill stating it is broken right now. He figured it out and I didn't need to embarrass him. What would you have done? Would you have said something or just let him figure it out?

Back to the run....I was feeling pretty darn good and was doing an okay job of battling the boredom. Seriously, running outside is much more fun due to change of scenery, etc. But at about mile 9 my legs really started to complain some. Nothing too serious but I knew they weren't happy. This was kinda discouraging as I knew I ran a half marathon earlier this month at a faster pace. Here I am taking it slower and my body is unhappy? I told myself to keep running and started analyzing my recent runs. In the past 72 hours I had run 15.24 miles so it does make sense my legs are a bit tired going in. Plus I usually do an easy, short "rest day" run before my long run days. This run will only make me stronger, right?

lifeasarunningmom on Instagram
I ended up completing 12 miles in 1:48:49 with an average pace of 9'04". I know a few milliseconds ago you heard me complaining a bit about this run and how I felt but once I saw my final time I rejoiced in my odd way. 1:48:49.... Not only do I like the sequential 48, 49 but yesterday was day 148 of my streak and today is day 149. Am I reading too much into numbers? Perhaps, but it made me smile.

And today, on day 149, I ran my rest day mile at home at an incline. It was a slow mile but a happy mile since now my legs are feeling less cranky and they are ready to tackle the day.

Daily Gratitude: Instead of my normal gratitude I want to do a call out to an awesome lady and blogging friend who just completed her first marathon. Great job Megan!
Daily Affirmation: I have the courage to overcome any fear.


Marathon Training Love

I don't know what it is but I truly do love to be in marathon training mode. I love having my training calendar out there and posted on the fridge. I love marking off each day. I love seeing the long list of days I still need to do. I love seeing those days melt away. Some may ask if I love it so much why not have a training calendar always posted? It won't work. If you get a treat everyday that treat loses its specialness. And this is the special time of year for me and I want to savor it. In all reality, I am always running and training but I aim to truly enjoy each step of the journey to my next marathon as much as I enjoyed each step of my first journey. After all, it is the journey that is most important to me.

Now don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean I wake up giggly with joy for each run. In fact, Wednesday before tackling my tempo run for the day I posted this on Daily Mile:

And I saw this response right before I stepped on the treadmill:

And I truly did, and still do, appreciate that support and kick in the butt. I ended up running a total of 5 miles as planned. One mile warm-up, three miles tempo, one mile cool-down. For my tempo run I  even stepped up the pace a bit each mile in. I usually don't do this as I usually hit my tempo pace and hold it. However, Wednesday was an odd day for me. My rate of perceived exertion was increasing as I increased my pace (normal, right?) but about 0.5 miles into the mile segment I felt I was breathing "easy". Hence the increase in pace. I may need to take a look at my target tempo pace again but in all reality, if I listen to my body and know how much effort I should be exerting, that is better for me. My overall pace was 7'57". It was a good running day but I know I will continue to "dread" my Wednesday tempo and speed days. It is my human nature. But I will also get them done. I am dedicated to this day this year. Last year I didn't really focus on speed work or tempo runs. I just ran. This year I want to add more meaning and work to it all. 

Thursday had 5 miles marked on the calendar. I ended up running 5.24 miles since I just had an undying urge to round out my time to an even 45 minutes. Just because. Why not? This was to be an easy run day for me and my overall pace was 8'35". I felt good and even envisioned doing my long run today so I didn't have to pay the Kids' Club tomorrow. I haven't done it yet. I was up late watching 50/50 with dear hubby (good movie and I didn't cry as much as I feared) and couldn't resist cuddling darling daughter a bit more this morning. And I didn't HAVE TO run the 12 miles today. It is scheduled for tomorrow. Today is supposed to be a 1 mile rest day. I don't know what I will end up doing later. I know I will run. I just don't know which run I will do. I'll let you know.

Have you ever wondered why I am "obsessed" with orange numbers? I know I have gathered some new followers and want to welcome each one of you but I also want to explain the orange you see sprinkled throughout my blog. My Dad is one of my heroes and unfortunately he lost the battle to leukemia. In all reality, the time from when he was diagnosed to when he took his last breathe was way too brief. I don't think anyone of us expected our time was so limited and I still miss him dearly. There are still days I say/think/scream "I want my dad back" but I know he is with me each and every day. And the orange numbers are my sign of love for him and his battle with leukemia. It is a way I can remember him each and every day.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for being able to speak my mind and share my thoughts openly.
Daily Affirmation: My mind is focused and I have clarity and energy in all that I do.


6th Annual Jacaranda 10K Race Recap

Elevation gain 1,300'
I ran this run for the first time last year (2011) and was set on performing better this year. Please don't take that as I was disappointed in my performance last year. I am just someone who strives for continual improvement in all aspects of my life. Last year my time was 1:07:59. I wanted to beat that. And I wanted to break an hour. And I wanted to place well again. Last year I placed 2nd in my division. These are all pretty ambitious goals if you take into account that the race is essentially all uphill. Woah!

And this is a race that gives me the jitters. Part of that is due to it is a small race in terms of turnout. It makes me wonder how crazy I am to embark on this journey not once, but twice, and with plans to keep coming back for more. I love how it is organized and that there is no race bib. They have a great popsicle stick method for keeping us all straight and like I said, the turnout is small and I am sure that helps. This is one of the many races I love to do that are hosted by Valley Isle Road Runners.

The race starts in Makawao at Seabury, a beautiful school campus. After a pep talk telling us the course, that it is hard, that it is uphill, that we should add 10-15 minutes to our 10K PR for our expected end time, etc. we are off. You would think I would have been completely ready to go after lining up but not really. I was more focused on pulling dear hubby back a bit from the front to allow the local "elite" to get up front to fight it out until the end. One benefit of racing with the same crowd a lot is that you know who is fast and who you don't want to stick to. Plus for me it is a sign of courtesy to not crowd those going out fast. Let them have their space. I have the whole race course to have my space.

When we would told to go, I went....obviously. I diligently started my Nike GPS app and then put my earphones in place while running. I told you I wasn't completely ready but this was no problem. I know how to deal with earphones while running. The race starts with two loops around the field at the school and I wanted to start out good like last year. Perhaps a fast start but a good start. I like it that way for this race. Shortly into the second loop I swallowed a bug. Nice protein, huh? I took a sip of my nuun to rinse it down and kept on running and then it occurred to me. I am up here running with dear hubby and the guys. Hmmm....not good since I am not the fastest running girl out here. It wasn't until we hit the road that some ladies passed me. I was okay with that since I realized I was running 1 minute per mile faster than my target pace for the race. In hindsight I wonder if I should have pushed it a bit more and tried to secure a better overall standing but I will save that for another year.

2 miles in I was still running faster than my goal race. I did the first uphill fine but we were coming to the big long hill and it knocked my pace back....significantly. But it must have been doing the same for all since those in front of me weren't pulling away that I could tell and those behind me weren't passing us. I was happy and I was at my overall goal pace. But I knew I couldn't keep the pace too slow for too long. I had to push it.

After the big hill there was a bit of a downhill. I pushed it and flew and enjoyed the feel of the breeze through my hair and we passed one lady. I liked it. Sorry I did. Score 1! The hills came back and my pace eased up. Honestly, there is a delicate line between pushing yourself and killing yourself. I wanted to race well and finish strong. Not die at mile 5.8 or something crazy like that.

However, there was that guy in front of us. I was determined to pass him. We did. Score 2! And we kept running. I really think dear hubby was giving me words of encouragement along the way but it was hard to make out. My mind was focused on running and absorbing my tunes, which remarkably were perfectly aligned with my running. I made my play list perfect for this run and the run faster songs and run with soul songs came on just when I needed them. Amazing!

We were moving into the final stretch and there was another lady in front of us. We were following her for awhile and I wondered if she was in my division. Last year a lady passed me at the end and she was in my division. I didn't want to be in the same position. But she seemed to have the same running plan as I did and our distance wasn't shrinking....until....wait, I am getting closer? We eventually passed her (score 3!) but I was certain she was going to be coming right back. I pushed myself as much as I could but I was beginning to feel sick to my stomach. I honestly wasn't drinking as much as I usually do during my runs. I had no real desire and was forcing sips. I wonder if that is why my stomach started getting unhappy. I usually don't get nauseous in races. But I told myself to keep going and focused on my spiritual side of running. And then there was another increase in elevation. Really? More? Here so close to the end? I pushed it as much as I could and then I saw the people at the end. And again this year an inner reserve pushed me to the final stretch. I saw the clock. 1:00:36. I was pissed for a moment. Really? 36 seconds? But then the logical side of me took over. I just beat my last time by 7'23". I have nothing to complain about. And I was too sick to talk. But in moments, I was better and ready to enjoy the after party...in Kula.

Dear hubby and I both placed 1st in our divisions. A happy ending to running together, don't you think? And he kept saying he was not with me at the end. I thought he was right behind me.....but look. Oops....how did I lose him?

Do you want to read more about this race? Check out this blog post or this associated video.  
Please note: this are from another runner and his girlfriend on island and were not written or produced by {lifeasa}RunningMom.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my legs.
Daily Affirmation: I see the blessings in my life, every day.


Marathon Training Plan: Getting ready for the Maui Marathon

This plan has been in the making for the past few days. I have revised, edited, and revised some more but I am finally comfortable with every aspect of this plan. Comfortable enough to post and share.

Click HERE for full size

I love having a "firm" training plan. I only put "firm" in quotes since I know life happens and I do end up juggling a lot throughout my training but I think this is a good foundation. For my first marathon I googled marathon training plans and edited one mildly to fit what I thought I could do in time commitment, running days, etc. This year things are a wee bit different as I am running every day. Plus I have my long runs alternating due to time commitment and childcare.

Step 1: I started my plan using the Runner's World Smart Coach app and set it to what I wanted for weekly mileage and intensity. I know I changed a lot around from this initial step but I will still look back to it since it tells me what pace my easy, tempo, and speed runs need to be at. I input my last half marathon time so it could predict realistic paces.

Step 2: I wrote this all out on a piece of paper and started moving long runs around to where I knew they were more likely to occur. I can do some on Saturdays at the gym but only have 2 hours and I really want to do most outdoors. Therefore, some need to be on Sundays and I even slipped one in on a Friday. With this I had to adjust other runs around so I didn't end up doing two long runs back to back. It sounds more difficult than it truly is.

Step 3: I looked at overall weekly mileage to see if I was still on track. I had to increase or decrease the distance of some of the other runs to keep me where I wanted to be. I also ensured it followed an increase and recovery cycle my body responds well to. If you look at it, it isn't the standard build, build, build, recover, build, build, build, recover. My body does well with irregular builds and recovery and can tolerate some big builds.

Step 4: I input the couple of race distances I plan on running and surprisingly those didn't cause too much strain to the schedule. The one 10K race was on a 6 mile day but I decided to switch my 20 mile run to before this versus the day after. It was a gut feeling thing.

Step 5: I compared monthly totals predicted from this to monthly totals from last year to make sure I was in a doable place. I am.

Step 6: I printed out a copy and posted it on my freezer door. I also input the adjusted run lengths into my phone calendar so I can keep it all straight when I am not at home.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I am so inspired by planning and love charting out my course.
Daily Affirmation: I CAN do this!

P.S. Check out my guest post at Blogitness for a great enchilada recipe!


Being FitFluential...

Personally, I am honored to be a FitFluential Ambassador primarily because it represents an amazing group of bloggers, and non-bloggers, dedicated to fitness. What isn't there to love? Plus FitFluential pushes me to be a better me whenever I reflect back on their foundation of Eat, Sleep, Move, Enjoy

I do a lot of soul reflection during my runs and today I pondered if I am really fitting the bill of being FitFluential. As a woman who has had self-esteem questions throughout her life it seems a bit "big-headed" to say I am influential to others. But in all reality, we all influence people every day of our lives. Every contact you make with someone is a moment of potential influence, either positive or negative. What impact do you want to leave on the world?

I want to leave a positive impact. I want to influence others to believe in themselves and to embrace fitness. Am I achieving this? I think so but that doesn't mean I have done my job and will hang up the proverbial running shoes. Hey, if you know me, I am NEVER hanging those up. But here is how I feel I am doing okay so far....

How I did it post
EAT: I am striving to bring more wholesome foods into the house and limit the sugars. I have set a good example for darling daughter by quitting diet coke and avoiding all fake sugars. She may not realize much about this right now but one day she will. I have also set the foundation for healthy snack choices and she knows the difference. I have faith she will make good choices now and later in life....at least 90% of the time and I can't ask her to do more than me.

SLEEP: This is my problem child and I can't say I am influencing others to be better at this while I am still working on finding enough time to sleep more myself. However, I have discovered that wearing compression wear to bed on my achy nights helps me sleep better overall. I am striving to get to bed earlier as my early morning runs need it. But my hurdle is balancing my sleep needs with giving time of myself to dear hubby.

Treadmill is off. No power at all.
MOVE: I run everyday and darling daughter is my primary witness. She often gets to see the transformation of an overwhelmed mommy into a peaceful mommy with just a mile. She sees me stretching and doing strength work and comes out to do her workout too. I have to believe I am making an influence since darling daughter is already doing good yoga moves on her own...with their right names. Imagine if I was a yoga expert! But it goes beyond my daughter. Dear hubby has confessed that I motivated him to start running and he has already put one marathon under his belt and has more running in his future. And through the virtual runs I have hosted, I have heard great feedback from runners worldwide who ran on a day they may have skipped just because they said they would. That makes me smile.

And did I move today? Yes, today marks the second day of my official marathon training plan and day 144 of my running streak. I have learned running each day helps me recover faster. I raced my heart out this Saturday and was able to run 5 miles today (after 1 mile yesterday) and my legs felt great and strong. There was a time in my past where that would not have been the case.

ENJOY: Life is too short and too precious to not be enjoyed. If you aren't happy with what you are doing, change it. Be happy. And remember, happiness begins with yourself. You choose to be happy and to be mad. And yes, I know it is hard at times when things are so frustrating to say, hey, be happy. I fall into the grouchy traps more often than I would like but I have also found my life preserver. Running. It may work for you. It may not. It really doesn't matter, just find something that does make you happy and do it. Enjoy life!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I have a job and can provide for my family.
Daily Affirmation: I eat healthy and nutritious foods.....90% of the time.


What to do with old race shirts

In a previous post I mentioned that I am really picky about t-shirts. I have to wear one almost every day at work and to find one I love to wear outside of work is near impossible. You are more likely to find my in a bra-top camisole when I am not in my running clothes....or a dress. And some races are giving out some really good tech shirts and shirts in ladies cut. These are both positives but still, it doesn't mean I like the way the shirt fits. On the other hand, dear hubby proudly wears every shirt he gets without complaint. What a trooper!

The thing is, I still love the shirts...especially the ones I feel I have really earned with a marathon or the half marathons. And some are really cool! It seems a waste to have them sitting in my drawer under the shirts I do wear. Eventually I said enough is enough. Do something useful with them. So I made this....

Go small and lumpy!
It is easier than you think. I started by cutting out the fronts and backs that I wanted. You can pick the size of the square or rectangle you want. You can also pick out how big you want your pillow to be. The only limit is the number of shirts you have and your imagination. For this pillow I opted to not mix cotton with tech but I really think that would be fine if you wanted to do it. I may next time. I used mainly shirt fronts but grabbed the backs of my pink shirts to add some extra color and I love pink! I think that is why I am stoked to be a Sweat Pink Ambassador.

Once you cut out your squares/rectangles determine the pattern you want. I then pulled out my sewing machine and started sewing them together and I didn't care about thread color. Sorry Mom. Make sure you are sewing them so each square/rectangle is facing the way you want it to. You can do this by hand if you have the time and don't own a machine. I am way too impatient for that and you will see that later.
Go oval!

Then face the outside of the pillow inside and sew around three edges. Leave one edge open to turn the pillow right side out and then begin stuffing with fluff. This is wear things get fun and darling daughter loves to help. You can by Fiber fill from many stores....even your neighborhood Wal-Mart....but we reused a pillow this time. I had a long body pillow we no longer used that we tore into, fluffed up, and converted in this pillow. I then turned the edges in and stitched shut with the sewing machine. It is hard to do it this way with a stuffed pillow and I know hand stitching is best but remember, I said I was too impatient for that. And ta-da! You have a new pillow and can showcase your race accomplishments!

And other shirts work!
If you don't want a large pillow you can do smaller ones with just one shirt front and back or two fronts. Make it yours. Make it useful...floor pillow, toss pillow, small nap pillow, whatever!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my darling daughter.
Daily Affirmation: I show great patience in the face of difficulty; however, even the most patient people can reach their limits at times. Sorry, it's true!


Accomplishing Goals

I had three dreams for today's race....beat my time from last year, break an hour, and place again in my division (and I really wanted to at least secure 2nd again like last year).

Not all my dreams came true but I'm not complaining. I crushed my time from last year and set a wonderful new PR on this course AND I place 1st in my division. Those 37 extra seconds....although they bugged me a minute or so post race, I'm not bothered much about them anymore. More to come later.

6th Annual Jacaranda 10K time: 1:00:36

Have a beautiful Saturday!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the strength my faith gives me during races.
Daily Affirmation: I am strong and there are plenty of surprises and great accomplishments waiting for me in my future.


Many Thank You's!

I am still amazed about the love and support from the online running community. I just want to send out a big MAHALO (or thank you) for all your kind and supportive comments along my journey....yesterday's included. It truly is appreciated. Have a beautiful day!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for you.
Daily Affirmation: I am a daily runner and will run later today. No doubt about it!


When it feels like things are spinning out of control....I run

Somedays I feel like I am in a mix of chaos, treading water, just trying to stay focused and centered on what is really important in life.

Right now things are crazy for me. My mom has moved out of the house she sold. This was the dream retirement house for her and my dad but it is too much work for her alone. She knew, as we all did, that it was best to sell it after his death. I am happy for her but torn inside. I have woken up in the middle of the night shedding tears for this house and feel I am mourning my dad again. If I feel like this only God knows how heart wrenching it must be for my mom. If only I lived closer and could help.....

Today also marks the day that dear hubby's son #2 graduates from high school. Yes, this is happy times but I am sure it has been taking an emotional toll on dear hubby as he goes through this life change with son #2. But unfortunately the communication lines at home are currently scrambled and I really don't know. No worries, it will sort itself out in due time. That happens with communication.

And work it amazingly chaotic, uncertain, scary, dramatic.....and I could go on. Nothing terribly terrible but still enough to keep my mind spinning.

And in the middle of this darling daughter has a cold and a cough that is keeping her, and me, up most of the night. Exhaustion is building and I feel helpless in not being able to do a thing to bring her relief. Such a sad feeling.

But if you think about it, life is like running. I know God doesn't give me anything I can't handle and that each challenge makes me stronger, like each run makes me stronger. And with each new PR I push myself a bit further to go faster, or longer, to test my limits. Life is like that too. With each challenge I overcome I will get a new one that pushes me, tests me, and drives me to be the best me that I can be. And when it is all said and done, I will be fine. The chaos will settle and life will be spinning happily along again.

I must thank my city run for my positive attitude. Even though I had life roadblocks I still opted to run before work. I knew I needed it personally. I knew after work things would be tight with getting ready for graduation. I knew darling daughter will need my full, loving attention after school. I needed to run this morning and I didn't want the gym treadmill so I did something different. I ran right out the gym door and did a run through the city, a run that will be my new gym loop. It was fun. I had dirt, grass, and cement. And this city isn't necessarily the same as your city. Check it out!

I ran 1.6 miles and although it was brief, it was good. My overall pace was 8'41" and I didn't feel like I was pushing it. It felt like a nice, easy and relaxing run. And this has me happy because I need to maintain a 9'40" (or less) pace this Saturday on my uphill 10K in order to finish at 59:56. My run today was short and pretty flat but I think it bodes well with me achieving my goal Saturday....I think.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful my mom's dream came true and that she will be moving into a new home soon.
Daily Affirmation: I am at peace with the universe. I trust what it has in store for me. I can endure the storms.


Sweat Pink with Me Results and Door Prizes

Aloha and congrats to everyone who raced and submitted their results to be eligible for the door prize drawings. Those winners will be announced in a moment but right now....here are the race results and I did try to share some link love. Please note: A few race times were entered in a different format and I truly do believe I converted them properly to the hh:mm:ss format.

Half Marathon
Dear Hubby 1:49:00
{lifeasa}Running Mom 1:51:37
Ashley Mc. 1:54:26
Jill W. 2:14:59
Pink Hat Runner 2:38:27
Elle 2:52:37

Gwen 56:58
Marie S. 58:32
Fancy Nancy 1:01:59
Carla O. 1:02:29
Heather W. 1:03:06
Lori M. 1:06:15
Stacey K. 1:09:00

Jamie 25:53
Yolanda 28:33
Taryn P. 29:53
Toni C. 30:19
Suzanne 30:44
Ronalee D. 31:05
Connie K. 31:42
Heather W. 32:09
Karen 33:00
Cathy L. 35:14
Daryl C. 36.57
Jen D. 38:42
Faye S. 43:22
Debra H. 44:13
Lisa S. 46:35
Esther C. 48:13
Melanie O. 57:05

First Place winners of the 10K (Gwen) and 5K (Jamie), please email (lifeasarunningmom at gmail) me with your physical mailing address and I will send you a sweet treat for a job well done! Please put WINNER in your subject.

Door Prize Winners - the winners were selected randomly with random.org and dear hubby and I were removed from the list of eligible winners. If a runner ran two races, their name was entered twice into the drawing.

Pampered Runner Package - Pink Hat Runner
Sweat Pink tank from FitApproach - Suzanne
fitbook from fitlosophy, inc. - Taryn P.
Why Fat Loves Women ebook by Kendrick - Stacey K. and Heather W.
Upgrade your Running Style by Kendrick - Melanie O. and Heather W.
Eco-Friendly Families Book - Jen D.
Pink Shoelaces from FitApproach - Jill W., Fancy Nancy, Toni C., Cathy L., Lisa S. and Esther C.

All door prize winners need to email me (lifeasarunningmom at gmail) with their physical mailing address so you can receive your prize. Please put WINNER in your subject.

All prizes (first place and door prizes) must be claimed by May 21, 2012. I received no compensation for hosting this race. FitApproach, fitlosophy, inc. and Kendrick Fitness donated prizes for this event. I did not promise positive reviews or comments. 

Race Recaps
Some runners were kind enough to share their race recaps with me. If you posted a race recap on your blog and I did not link it below, please provide your URL in the comments below. If you provided me the link and I missed it, I am truly sorry.

My Post
Running, Loving, Living
Michigan Fit Mom
One Tough Cookie and Beer
Little Fancy Nancy

And a huge Mahalo to the runners who shared race pictures with me via email or on facebook!

Eat Run Sail

Jill W

Karen L.


Toni C.


Mother's Day Run and More

I really hope you had a great weekend and I truly hope all the mothers out there had a blast! I had a fantastic Mother's Day and couldn't ask for anything more than the time I got to spend with my family.

We started the day by heading to one of my favorite spots and did some running. Darling daughter really wanted to run with dear hubby and myself so we left the jogging stroller in the car. I ended up breaking our one run into three segments to allow for me to accurately track my solo running time. The whole family started out together with darling daughter setting the pace. She immediately learned going downhill is faster than going uphill. What a smart cookie! We ran 0.57 miles with an average pace of 15'07". Pretty good for a four-year old. I then headed off a bit solo and ran 2.02 miles with an average pace of 8'53" and took some pictures along the way. When I met back up with the family we did another 0.27 miles with an average pace of 13'51" so I guess darling daughter finished her run with a bang! By the time we were all done we were hungry enough for a great breakfast out. Here are some pictures from the run.

After all that, we headed to the beach for fun and picnic. Darling daughter hooked me up with some nap time when we got home. It was the best day ever! I felt mentally refreshed and wasn't ready to return to the real world of work. But I did.....

In other running news, I am trying to rest up my legs for the Jacaranda Run on Saturday. I finally looked at my time from last year...1:07:58. I want to beat it. Thing is, I really want to break one hour. From my standard paces, not a problem for most runs but this is an all uphill run.....essentially. I know I do a lot of work on the incline but I am still wondering what race pace I will be able to sustain. Plus I placed 2nd in my division last year and I would love to place again this year....and maybe move up a bit.

All that said and done, I am running shorter and easier to make sure my legs are fully rested. Yesterday I ran 1.37 miles with an average pace of 8'11". Today I ran 1.38 miles and did a progressive run to test my legs and give them a bit of a increase in turnover far enough out from race day. My average pace was 7'48". If you have been following my running streak you may see the little game I am playing with myself to keep the low mileage fun and not boring for myself. Yep, today is day 138.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the gifts in my life and for the growing knowledge of my daughter. We were watching Frozen Planet the other night and they were discussing the weight of polar bears and whether or not they are getting enough to eat. Darling daughter asked how could the polar bear give birth if she isn't getting enough to eat. What an awesome question especially since they were not discussing that topic at the time or mentioned if the bear was a male or female. And yes, I embraced the teachable moment.
Daily Affirmation: God gives me what I need each day in order for me to achieve my purpose in life. 

P.S. Today is the last day to enter your Sweat Pink with Me Virtual Run results to be eligible for the door prize drawings to be announced tomorrow!


Call for Sweat Pink with Me Virtual Run Results

I have to much to tell and share but right now I just wanted to put out a quick reminder to submit your race results HERE by tomorrow, May 15. I will announce the door prize winners on Wednesday and I wouldn't want you to miss out if you did run!

If you wrote a post about your race results as well, please share the link in the comments and I will even try to pull a few into my main post body....such as Running, Loving, Living. I have to say stories like Toni's is what makes hosting virtual runs so cool for me. Not only did she get out and run when she wasn't feeling 100%, she ran negative splits! Way to go girl! P.S. I love the pink socks!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for a wonderful three day weekend and a great Mother's Day. Now if only I could get back into the work groove.
Daily Affirmation: I can and will run well at the Jacaranda 10K and yes, I finally officially registered.


Sweat Pink with Me has Started!

And for me it started a wee bit early....like yesterday. I ended up taking a vacation day yesterday so I could go to darling daughter's school May Day show and Mother's Day luncheon. The show was a bit after May Day in order for them to combine the two events and I really do appreciate that. It makes it easier for a working mom to be there and darling daughter was a rock star!

But before even seeing how awesome she performed (as well as the other kiddos) I hit the gym to do my Sweat Pink Run with Me Virtual Run half marathon. Why make her sweat two hours at the gym when I could do it when she was happy at school? Although she never complains about the Kids Club, it gave me the mental freedom that if it took me longer than two hours, it was fine. I ended up running my half in 1:51:37. I am pretty stoked with my time as I wasn't "racing" since I still have my eyes on that Jacaranda 10K that goes uphill on the 19th. I need my legs to be rested and ready. This also marks half marathon #6 for the year for me!

For everyone running the Sweat Pink with Me Virtual Runs this weekend a huge mahalo, good luck, and awesome job! Remember to input your results HERE to be eligible for door prizes. I really do hope to get my act together and post all finishing results too. Do you have cool pictures you want to share? You can post them on my facebook page HERE.

After the show and luncheon, darling daughter and I spent the afternoon together and I didn't touch the computer except for when she wanted a little pbskids.org. Instead we put on our creativity caps and turned race shirts into a nice, comfy floor pillow! Check it out! What I love most is that I now have these shirts and memories in something I will love and use. Yes, there were all tech shirts but I still didn't like the fit. I am so picky about t-shirts and how they need to fit. The proper neckline. The proper sleeve length. The proper cut so I am not in a box, etc. It was a fun project and I am happy with the results.

Today I started with an easy 1 mile run....the beginning on many easy runs up until race day if I ever get around to registering. I will....today....I think. These short, easy runs are going to drive me crazy but I know they are best so my legs are ready for the race on Saturday, which will have to replace my scheduled 14 mile run unless I secure childcare on Sunday or I may aim to run Monday?

Daily Gratitude: I am happy for sunshine.
Daily Affirmation: I can turn things not being used into things that are useful.


Zensah Compression Socks - Product Review

I have seen and heard enough stories of compression socks to be intrigued even though my feet and calves are not my "problem children". So when Zensah contacted me with the opportunity to review a pair I leaped at the opportunity. I must confess, I was determined to prove that running in those things were uncomfortably hot. I mean, how couldn't they? I live in a warm climate and races can be hot. How I Earth could anyone, especially me who can't stand more than a bra top and running skirt, wear something that goes up to my knees?

Today I stand here telling the world that I was wrong. The athletic compression socks were not hot and in fact, in some of my test runs my calves were the coolest part on my body. I even tried them on my home treadmill when I am always a sweaty mess and had no desire to pull them down for temperature relief.

Darling had to try!
In terms of performance, I can't say if they make an positive impact but they definitely didn't make me run worse. I wore them outside for a pretty intense uphill and downhill run and post run I had minimal aches in my shins. Yes, this is one of the few times my lower legs will ache for a bit. That downhill running isn't something I don't do often and it does take a physical toll on my body. But it is through this muscular damage that I grow stronger, right?

And to truly give the socks a full test, I slept in them a few nights. I didn't get too hot. I felt comfortable all night. And my legs felt rested in the morning.

Darling and Mom
Will I keep sleeping and running in my Zensah compression socks? Sure! What is the harm of some preventative measures? My only complaint is the sole of the sock attracts lint like crazy and that is only aesthetics....it totally does not impact performance or comfortability. Just keep that in mind if you are going to walk around your home and sleep in them like I did. In addition, the socks are nicely labeled with a L and R. Pretty sweet, eh?

Do I recommend them to others? Absolutely! I can only imagine the positive impact these can have on someone with pesky calves. And if you were worried about being too hot running in them....you won't be.

Note: I received no compensation for writing this review. Zensah provided me one pair of compression socks free of charge and I did not promise a favorable review. The opinions here are my own.