Respect for the USA
When I woke up this morning freedom wasn't really on my mind but on the drive to work a song came on and made me think....I am lucky to have all the freedom I do.

Freedom to blog. I really love that one especially when I stay true to my core beliefs. I may be tempted to be swept away into the rumblings of other things but in all reality, I am blogging to share my story, to  inspire others, and to be inspired. The third part is actually of the greatest importance to me. And I am inspired by so many of you! And my poor family gets to listen to be rave about you gals/guys and your accomplishments from time to time. Like this lady....I am so proud of her for placing first and being able to break the ribbon in a recent race. She is amazing, kind, and has a heart of gold! Trust me, she does. She even took the time to lend me some advice about potty training a little one when I reached out to her. Yep, she is cool!

Freedom to wear what I want. Of course, this is within reason. At work I must wear work-logo'd clothes but you get the point. I can run and race in a running skirt and bra top and I do. You don't have to. No one is forcing anyone of us to do otherwise....I hope. And this was at the core of my thoughts when I heard the "debate" on the olympics last night about the beach volleyball women's bikinis. Oh my! For me there are bigger things in the world to worry about.

Freedom to listen to what I want. Yep, we can all choose what we want to listen to in our cars. Dear hubby is a lover of public radio. Not that I have anything against public radio but I honestly prefer to listen to some good music and please make it country! Hee-haw! And today, I turned up the volume some, which I don't do often, but I was enjoying the freedom to do so with no one else in the car.

Freedom to be who I am. I have a job in fundraising and data analysis. Yep, that's my real job. Freedom got me to this place in my life. I made my choices along the way. I chose my degrees, my schools, my jobs, and this is where I am. And I am happy here.

The thing about freedom is that we can make good choices and bad choices. We have the freedom to do so. A bad choice can just take you on a detour and that can turn to be a great learning experience. It is just those bad choices that cause others harm that make me sad. We all do it from time to time. Usually we don't mean to and we apologize. That is good. And with that, another song played this morning and I want to wrap up this post with some of those lyrics since they too are at the core of me....

From Big And Rich, That's Why I Pray:
Now I'm begging for forgiveness
I wanna make a difference even in the smallest way
I'm only one person, but I can feel it working
I believe in better days
That's why I pray

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for freedom.
Daily Affirmation: I am at peace with my training and where it will bring me.


The Long Run Pace

If you have been running and training for awhile you are familiar with all the paces - speedwork paces, tempo paces, race pace, and then the easy/long run paces. If you are new to running, here is the gist in a nutshell. Your speedwork paces are the fast and shorter duration. Great for intervals. Tempo runs should feel uncomfortably comfortable. And that's my personal spin on it. It is the pace that pushes me and I can hold it for the 3-4 miles on my schedule but it takes some effort. It isn't a walk in the park but I am not dying either. Now those easy paces.....the paces for recovery days and long runs.....I have a real problem with those slow runs.

Here is the logic behind the slower pace - it allows your body to adjust to running longer distances and to build up base without damaging your body too much. Logically, that makes perfect sense. Think of it this way, yesterday's long run of 16 miles was a training run to get me used to running longer distances and gave me time on my feet. It allows me to build endurance. According to the Runner's World Smart Coach app on my iPhone my pace should have been 10'00". Earlier in my training my target was 10'12". Yesterday my overall pace was 10'05" and I honestly still had the target 10'12" in my mind. I hadn't looked at my target paces in awhile. And yesterday I wasn't even listening to splits, I opted to run by feel and ended up running the end of my run faster than the start.

Here are my issues with the long run pace:

  • I have a hard time trusting that getting my body used to running 16-20 miles at 10'00" in training will allow me to run 26.2 miles at 9'07" come race day. And I didn't pick that number out of a hat. That is the pace Smart Coach predicts I will be able to run come race day.
  • I question the impact running at elevation and running hills has on my target pace. Should I make adjustments or stick to it?
  • I didn't ease up too much in my long runs during training for my first marathon and ran even slower come race day.

Essentially, I have a hard time trusting that the easy/long run pace will prepare me for breaking a 4 hour marathon. Like I said earlier, Smart Coach predicts it will. I am not convinced. Perhaps I need to put more trust on the other paces and work in my training. To bring you up to speed, and myself, Smart Coach says my speedwork should be at 7'59" and tempo runs should be at 8'37". I am definitely doing my best to train hard but if you have been following me, you know I wish I had time to do more. I am eager to see how my performance is come September. Stay tuned and I will let you know. I will also let you know if I stick to the Smart Coach formula or shake things up for my training for my next marathon in December.

What do you think of the long run pace?
Does it properly train you to run long at a faster pace?

P.S. In defense of the easy/long run pace - in my last two long runs I have felt strong cardio-wise. It is aches in legs and mental hurdles that I am fighting.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for sunshine and rain.
Daily Affirmation: I have the power to live the life I want to live.


Marathon Training: Long Run Week 10

Today's long run goal was 16 miles. My alarm went off at 4:30 am and I could tell that dear hubby wasn't going to move a millimeter for quite some time. Therefore, I chose to rest for 30 minutes before getting up and eating breakfast. I started my day with oatmeal with lilikoi (aka passionfruit) and some coffee.

By 5:40 am dear hubby was beginning to stir and I got darling daughter set up with some breakfast to make things easier on Grandma. It was close to 6:00 am when dear hubby and I headed out the door to start our run.

As much as I tried not to be grouchy about the delayed start I still had some in me. Or perhaps it was the annoyance that once again dear hubby took off and was leaving me behind. I like to start slow. He obviously doesn't. We need to work on this. It probably took a good few miles for me to get over the annoyance of that and being able to hear his music over mine but call it good mental training. I thought about just turning around and didn't. I thought about taking the detour and just run home and I didn't. I stuck to it and overcame my mental hurdles.

The run in itself was pretty uneventful and we didn't really communicate much with each other. Once we got in rhythm with each other we pretty much stayed but I did have to tell dear hubby a few times to stop singing. I was working hard with my running and didn't relish the idea of hearing him sing along knowing my pace was so darn easy for him. If he only understood how frustrating it can be to be "the slower runner".

Along the way we saw goats (okay, a ram), cows, and horses. The scenery was beautiful. The weather varied from cloudy and hinting at rain to sunny. We ran through somewhat chilly to somewhat warm. I did enjoy the changes in weather but have to say, the overcast was better than the sunshine. But I didn't necessarily like the little headwinds that liked to pop up right before an uphill climb....but they were never much.

In all reality, I am very happy with my run today. I feel I ran strong. I ran my run. And I love my splits. Check them out below but please note, my Nike+ sensor had us at 17+ miles and I re-calibrated to our true mileage - 16.14 miles. Splits are not corrected and that accounts for the discrepancy but the point remains the same....the end of my run was faster than the start. And that final mile? Oh yeah, I pushed it! And this is half marathon + #12 for 2012!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful that my mom had prepared scrambled eggs and orange rolls for us to come home to.
Daily Affirmation: I am spiritually strong.


Running Updates

Let me bring us all up to speed on my recent training. I think I am back on track and my mind is becoming more positive and less doubtful. That is a good thing!

On Sunday I ran 20 miles with dear hubby and you can read about that HERE. I did a 1:01 plank. It was hard.

Running streak day 208
On Monday I took a recovery day and ran 1.0 mile on my incline treadmill at home in the afternoon. I was feeling okay but my legs were a bit stiff. The run helped loosen them up and I really did regret waiting until the afternoon for this run. I did a 1:20 plank.

On Tuesday I got up early and ran 7.0 miles at the gym. My legs were sluggish at the start so I started with an easier pace and got to my standard pace within 15 minutes.  My legs were still feeling achy and I volunteered to go up and down the stairs at work every time it was needed. I was striving to get those juices flowing to flush the aches away. I did a 1:37 plank.

Running streak day 209
Wednesday I was off of work and it was a family day. I opted to run on my incline treadmill at home in the morning. I surprised myself by still pulling off some speed work and did eight 1-minute intervals. My original goal was to run 2 miles, it changed to 30 minutes, and then to 3 miles. I followed it up with a 1:17 plank. It was a great start to the day. Afterwards, the family went to the lavender farm and the lavender scone was to die for! I could have eaten so many more!!! We then had some beach time and went out for fajitas for dinner. Darling daughter and I shared a chicken/tofu combo and dear hubby and Mom shared steak/chicken. I absolutely love tofu fajitas!

Yesterday didn't turn out anywhere how I planned it to be. I was going to get up early to go to the gym and slept. I decided to just go to work and get an early start with the idea I would go to the gym afterwards. I got to work and was locked out while waiting for staff...that must have overslept. Those 30 minutes of waiting irked me as they could have been good running minutes! When I left work I was feeling grouchy and headed to the gym and the entrance was blocked by utility trucks. I am sure this was only going to be a temporary thing but it was my last straw and I headed home. I hopped on my incline treadmill with the intent to get at least a good 30 minutes in only to have a little llama drama from darling daughter at 1.3 miles (less than 15 minutes). I gave up, helped her, and did my best plank to date - 2:08. Yippee! P.S. Mom took darling daughter and I out to dinner as dear hubby was working late. What a treat!

Running streak day 211
Today I got up dark and early and got some good running in. I could have run longer but my goal was to get to work early again so I could get home earlier. What can I say? I am trying to maximize my time with my family right now. I ran 3.0 miles and stopped and stretched my hamstrings. I then had a clever idea of running another mile and to push it to see how fast I could do it. I did it in 7'35". And I followed it all up with a 2:11 plank. I'm getting better!

Now all this plank stuff has me wondering if it will really makes a difference. So I got crazy bold today and took a picture of my abs to document what is happening. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So here are my abs on day 10 of my #plankaday. I haven't missed a day. I try to go longer each day but that isn't always the case. But I have a minimum that I must hold the plank for at least a minute and so far I have been able to stick to that. Only time will tell.

Abs #plankaday 10

Are you doing #plankaday? If so, for how long? What differences have you seen?
Anyone else excited about the Olympics?
Any crazy plans this weekend?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for Words with Friends as it is an interesting way to stay in touch with family and friends.
Daily Affirmation: I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.


The ABC's of Me

Aloha and Good Morning!

The idea of this post has been popping around in my mind for some time so I thought today would be the day you get to learn a bit more about me...ABC style! Sorry, that is the mom of a preschooler part of me coming out. 

A - Adopted. I am adopted and honestly feel I am completely adjusted. You here about syndromes adopted children may face...or at least I have when reading books about being adopted....but not me. However, there is the slight fear of people leaving me but in all reality, I think anyone can face that. :)

Blue Eyes
B - Blue. One of my favorite colors; although, not a color I prefer to actually wear. I love that the backlight for my car console and radio is a lovely shade of blue. And I have blue eyes! I like those.

C- Candy. I have a sweet tooth but I am pretty darn good at resisting candy. However, cookies are a completely different story. I strive to keep them out of the house because they are so tempting. And if I am feeling tired or stress, my will power can crash and I fall victim to eating a cookie or two.

D - Determined. I am very strong-willed and determined. It is good in some instances but in others, not so good for my overall happiness. I can become focused on little things too much. Thing is, I am also able to back down if it means keeping the peace. Sometimes peace of the group is more important than my own happiness. Please note, I said sometimes. 

E - Erica. My name. My dad chose it. I like it and am glad he chose a "c". The Erica's I have met have all been very attached to their correct "c" or silly "k". I met one Ericka. Really, she had a "ck". I think her parents were either indecisive or were trying to free her from the silly "c-k" battle.

F - Flowers. I really don't like receiving cut flowers as a gift. I tend to think they can stay where they are and I can appreciate them in nature. Although, if darling daughter picks some flowers from our garden to bring in to me, I love that!

We grew this from a seed
G - Goats. We are in our second house on Maui that is in close proximity to goats. We literally have goats across the street we can watch from our living room window. It makes me happy. And darling daughter loves it too. At times we bring them "goat salad" made from grass and weeds from our yard.

H - House. I do feel the American dream of home ownership is at risk...or perhaps my view is tainted because I live in a place where a simple home can cost close to $400,000. I am not talking mansion ladies and gentlemen. I am at a phase in my life where this is troubling me somewhat. I would love to own a home but feel I won't ever be able too. But on the bright side, I am pretty darn good at turning a rented house into a home in a matter of minutes! Okay, maybe hours.

I - Ice Cream. I used to be hooked on this stuff and in all reality, I can resist it now. I do like a bit of mint chocolate chip or cookies and cream here and there but could live just fine without it.

J - Jellyfish (aka Sea Jellies....this is the better term, please use it). I once worked on raising some Phyllorhiza sea jellies. I loved those little guys. They are so darn cute!

K - Kindness. This is extremely important to me. I feel we should treat others with kindness as much as possible. It does make the world a better place and it is contagious. Start spreading more today!

L - Lipstick. I am drawn to the idea of lipstick in awesome shades but feel I look ridiculous in it. I really shouldn't ever put any on. I am not good at picking the shade for me I guess.

M - Menus. I create a weekly menu of what our family's dinners will be. It keeps me focused during shopping, helps with the budget, and avoids that end of the day "what's for dinner" dilemma. I stick to it pretty close unless dear hubby announces he won't be home for dinner. Then darling daughter and I have an easy meal with girls' night. I am not big on cooking a big meal for us when I am fine with nachos and she is splendid with a sandwich! Why make life harder on myself? P.S. I am also a firm believer in a family eating dinner together as much as possible. No excuses unless dear hubby is working.

My hand and nails
N - Nails. My fingernails are in rough shape. Well, perhaps not rough but short. I can not maintain growing them and will never put nail polish on them. Why draw attention to their shortness?

O - Open-minded. I am pretty open-minded. You don't have to agree with me. I don't have to agree with you. But I feel you deserve the respect of me being open to your opinion or argument, and vice versa. There is more than one way to slice an apple.

P - Perfection. I believe it doesn't exist but still strive to be closer to it. Go figure!

Q - Quiet. I tend to be the quiet one in the group. I will stand up and speak when needed. I am fully capable of doing a presentation to a small or large group. But I enjoy listening to the thoughts of others. I think this ties into the open-mindedness.

Before a long run....aloha fam!
R - Restless and Running. I am a restless spirit in some regards. I am not good at all at sitting and doing nothing. Stuff is always racing through my mind and I am always juggling more than one thing. I can't even sit and watch a show without doing something....either actively or mentally. Running helps me ease my restless spirit. This may not be a good quality.

S - Streak. One of the best decisions I made in my life was to run every day. It makes me happy. It makes me make time for me. It allows me to be a better me. It works for me. I love it!

T - Teacher. I worked as an informal educator and camp director. It was probably one of the hardest jobs in my life. Teachers deserve more respect. I don't know how they do what they do everyday. God bless them.

Spinner Dolphins
U - Underwater. It is peaceful here but I have not SCUBA dived since before darling daughter was born. Sometimes I miss it but not often. I have found an equal peace in cuddling with her and running.

V - Vicious. It hurts me when people say mean things to others. There really is no reason to it and often results out of hurt feelings. I think hugs and empathy are more valuable tools! P.S. I am a Libra...do you see the trend of equality and balance coming out in me?

W - Wishes. I still make wishes (aka dreams, goals). Without them, how could I push myself to be all I can be? Wow, now I am sounding like an Army commercial but you get the point.

Zebra at a zoo
X - Xterra. Nope, not me. Hmmmm.....I said that once about streaking.....

Y - Yawn. You may often find me yawning on my way home from work. As much as I try to keep my energy reserves full through exercise, sleep, and good nutrition....I am so tired at times!

Z - Zebra. I truly love the eyes and eyelashes of this animal. Beautiful!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for family who will listen to me vent when I am frustrated.
Daily Affirmation: I have the power to make the most out of my life.

Sisters and our kiddos!


My Favorite Running Spot

More on where I run HERE
Over the years of running I have to say my "go-to" spot for long runs changes. It could be the "flats" of Kihei, which can be hot but gives you plenty of access to water fountains. It could be the rolling hills of Wailea that are well manicured and provide shade, but do give you some good inclines. But right now my favorite spot has to be upcountry along Kula Highway and beyond.

I can't say I sat down and weighed the pros and cons of where I would do my long runs this training season. In fact, I gave it little thought. I was more focused on scheduling when they would be and how to arrange them to be with dear hubby. If you didn't know, my goal is for us to run a marathon together in September. And I really think this means more to me than him but hey, he is sticking to it for me so that has to count for something.

To Thompson Rd
Due to time constraints, etc. we ended up doing our first long run (18 miles) upcountry along his running route. It worked and we returned to it for our 20 mile training run. And he may not realize it yet but we will be returning to it for future long runs. And I just may stick to it for the training runs before marathon #3 for me in December.

What is the draw?

Simply put....it is quite beautiful even though you are along a highway. It is challenging and I am liking that for training runs. Essentially you are running hills at elevation. The elevation profile ranges from approximately 1,900' to 3,100'. If you run long enough to can take a detour off the highway onto Thompson Road where it gets more scenic and a bit more hillier. You will no longer be running on the shoulder of a highway but along a single lane road, which is frequented by many walkers, runners, and cyclists.
Google map and A is Thompson Rd

I wouldn't say I am a big highway runner. I have opted for sidewalks or areas less frequented by cars during the bulk of my runs. But this highway seems to feel a bit different to me. Perhaps it is because it is common to see runners along it; however, you can still run it and never see another runner during the course of your run. The vast majority of drivers are compassionate to runners and will give you a nice berth. Plus, did I mention the wide shoulders? There are a few segments of narrow shoulders though so I strongly advise running while facing oncoming traffic, but do I really need to promote that safety measure?

Along Thompson Rd
Along your run you can see awesome views including blooming Jacaranda trees (when it is their season), cows, horses, mountains, ocean, etc. It gives you plenty of distraction and just enough nature to ease your mind....somewhat.

What are the drawbacks?

Lack of water fountains along the way. I miss them sometimes. And it can start chilly which means, no getting accustomed to running in the higher temperatures we will face come race day when we run through Lahaina. But I am hoping the benefits of training with ongoing hills and at elevation will bring some great results come race day.

I'll let you know!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my mom.
Daily Affirmation: I am love, loved, and loving.


Marathon Training Week 9 Long Run

Running streak day 206
I really wanted to write this post yesterday while things were fresh on my mind but alas, I wisely chose to spend some good quality time with darling daughter and mom, but we will get back to that later.

My alarm went off at 4:30 am. I was supposed to get out of bed and eat to allow my body plenty of time to digest breakfast before my planned 5:30 am departure time. I could hear the coffee brewing but the warmth of the bed was seducing me to stay. I did end up to get my wits together and got up at 5:00 am so I would still have adequate digestion time. I poured a cup of coffee and ate two toaster waffles with a touch of peanut butter and a banana on top. Usually a great choice but this time it left me feeling not so good in the tummy. I truly contemplated many ways to sack this run especially since dear hubby, who was to run with me, wasn't stirring yet.

What if I just go back to bed? Nope....I would not be able to do that and would really dislike myself later.

What if I just snuck out and went to the gym and ran solo? Nope....I wouldn't do the 20 miles, would piss off dear hubby, and would really dislike myself.

I ended up posting to Daily Mile my mental hurdles and texting my little sis and whined about how pitiful I was feeling. After telling me health was more important I confessed it was probably just running nerves. And I am sure it was. I was beginning to feel the doubt and nerves mounting since Saturday....or perhaps even Friday. I even wanted to run early to just get it done with. She was a great little sis and quickly told me then to "get ur butt running :)". Great words of wisdom from a very supportive non-runner.

And at that time dear hubby emerged dressed to run and darling daughter emerged wanting me to stay with her. And then Grandma emerged to tell darling daughter she was there for her. Talk about getting the whole house up dark and early!

We managed to get out the door at 5:45 am. Not my ideal start time and the delay had my nerves going crazy and resulted in some crankiness in me. And this just made me more cranky since I was annoyed with myself for caring since it wasn't like we had to be at a start line at a certain time. Good golly! We were just heading out on our own to run. We drove to our starting point and after some set-up hiccups we were off.

View from Kula Hwy
Of course dear hubby started to leave me in his dust immediately and I had to remind him I wasn't starting fast, I wasn't racing, I was doing a training run. But eventually we got in sync....at least for most of the run. I have to confess after I took my first GU gel (around mile 6) and hit a portion of the run I love I left him in my dust. Really? How on Earth did he get way back there? I slowed so he could catch up and still think he must have snuck off for a pit stop or something. That is the only think that makes sense.

Around that time I was completely stoked to see some cows just off the road and waved at one....and then felt ridiculous. We ran on and the cows stared. I even told dear hubby that the cows wouldn't stop staring at me. He didn't see my humor. I ran on in silence.

I had portions of running that felt perfect, I had portions in which my legs ached, and I had portions of extreme mental hurdles. Thing is, I knew I had a different mindset than dear hubby and was trying to run my own run and not be pulled by his pace. He just ran a marathon on the 9th so this is "only 20 miles" to him. I just came off of two weeks of cut back miles so I was feeling very little confidence in myself. That is my own battle. I had to face it and run through it. And yes, he would tell me this is hard for him too and I know that but I also know how the mind can make things harder....or easier.

View from Thompson Rd
Since I was running with my Nike sensor (the GPS won't last this long) we had to estimate the turnaround point. We knew the 9 mile mark and the length of Thompson Road so it was easy enough to do. I feel pretty comfortable we were dead on. I had asked dear hubby to tell us when to turn and he did so at the exact place I felt it would be. If two runners agree, it must be pretty dead on, right? And like I said, we know this road like the back of our hands.

And it was this road, the middle two miles, that I felt like a slug. The up's and down's were killing me. The sun was bearing down on us. Up until this point we were pretty much running in shade and now we had sun and no breeze....but beautiful views. Ironically, it was this portion of the run that I ran my fastest splits. You can see them below but don't get sucked into the mile marks...my sensor feels we did 22.2 miles. We didn't. And I failed to calibrate correctly at the end. But it still shows a pace trend and that is good enough for me.

I took another GU at about 12 miles and we ran on. Thing is now, we were running out of Gatorade. Thank goodness dear hubby agreed and took that third bottle....but it was stashed along the road and we had four miles to go to get to it. I tried to conserve the water as much as I could, but I was needing to drink like crazy this time. Please note: dear hubby was only resistant on taking the third bottle since in our 18 mile run it was untouched. I was seriously not drinking like normal during that run. You can read about it HERE. We ended up only having to go 2.5 miles with no hydration but all I could think about was that water bottle with Gatorade. Ironically, when dear hubby picked it up I kept running and waited for him to hand it to me when he was ready. I guess just knowing it was in our hands now was enough.

We passed the cows on the return and dear hubby stated that "the steers are still staring at you". It was my turn to not be amused.

And those final miles dragged on. My legs ached but I was still feeling wonderful in all other regards. It then popped in my head that it was just the devil at work trying to convince me I was weak and incapable. I stomped on that thought and pushed through....although I still didn't appreciate all of dear hubby's yoo-hoo's and yippee's and singing. Darnit....another's runner's high can be darn annoying when you are battling mental challenges. I apologized later for being a butt. :)

After returning home I drank one scoop of Muscle Milk and slowly got myself together for the remainder of the day...after doing a minute plank that is. Dear hubby had to go to work so darling daughter, mom, and myself went to the movies to see Ice Age: Continental Drift and did some window shopping!

P.S. We completed our run in 3:26:14 with an average pace of 10'18". This marks half marathon+ #11 for me in 2012.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful to have someone with me during the long runs....even if we don't really talk to each other.
Daily Affirmation: I am aware of my thoughts.


Are you planking?

I am and have to confess it is because of twitter influence. How could I resist the draw of #plankaday any longer when I was seeing the progress so many others were realizing? I was certain I would incorporate more strength training and cross training in this round of marathon training but I'm not. I completely flopped on the Ab Challenge at Run to the Finish since getting online to see the daily task was too much for me. I know, it sounds silly but it is true. But how could I flop on a plank? It is easy. I don't need to look up what to do. I can do it anywhere. And how could I not add a minute or so to the end of my running time for some planking?

And today I got darling daughter into the action and she planked with me. Although her form could use some work it was nice to have a plank buddy! And I got a nice tweet too to keep me encouraged!

But now onto running talk...

My goal was to wake up at 4:00 am and run at home to maximize my time with the family. Thing is, darling daughter woke up at 4:00 am as well and I knew if I got up, she would get up. And she needed more sleep. So we both went back to sleep and I secretly crawled out of bed at 5:30 am to do my run. My goal was 1 hour. It didn't take long before darling daughter, dear hubby, and my mom emerged from their rooms to join me. Okay, they didn't start running but I got to watch them stir when I wasn't looking out the window watching the sun move across the land and ocean.

My run felt relatively effortless as I took an easy pace on the incline treadmill. My legs are feeling exceptionally strong. And I turned to a little bit of diluted nuun every 15 minutes or so since I tend to turn into a sweaty mess when running at home. I ended up running 5.5 miles in just over an hour before cleaning up and heading out with darling daughter and my mom. After going to the chiropractor for a check and adjustment, we headed to the nearest Safeway and I finally scored and found some Cheribundi to try. I got TruCherry and have to say, it is as good as everyone is saying!

Now I need to find a way to resist all the sugary treats my mom keeps tempting me with and to stick to a tight budget and not go on vacation spending mode while mom is here. Wish me luck!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful that things always seem to work even if it defies my reasoning.
Daily Affirmation: I accept responsibility.


Running with Cold Sores...kinda

Did I get your attention? Perhaps because in all reality you may be thinking what does a cold sore have to do with running. We all know about those blistery things around your mouth caused by the Herpes simplex virus. They really don't impact running performance.....do they?

Simply stated....no, not really unless you are a bit of an oddity. Did you know that you can spread your own cold sores to other parts of your body? I learned that this is quite common. Imagine having a cold sore and drying off from a shower. Hmmm....perhaps drying your face off first isn't such a good idea. 

I have had a few cold sores over my lifetime and they were nothing very serious but somehow one day I managed to "infect" myself elsewhere and it has become more bothersome. I did go to the doctor and tests confirmed that is what must have happened. I will get an outbreak a few times a year and it is stress related. I know stress is bad. I know there is no use in worrying. But it is hard not to worry. I am working on that. In terms of the outbreaks, I am supposed to keep my anti-viral prescription in stock and at home at all times. I kinda slacked on that.

So that brings me to today and my decision to share a little bit of inside knowledge on this topic.

Before an outbreak I tend to get irritable. But since people can get irritable for many reasons an instant light bulb doesn't go off. Then I get tired. Really tired. Once again, people get tired, especially runners who are training. So now you have a tired, irritable running mom and no, no instant light bulb goes off. Then the skin sensitivity begins and then the proverbial light bulb goes off. An outbreak is on its way. Some are essentially nothing. Some are a bit more determined. You never really know. And then the headache hits. I tend to get a major headache in which it feels like someone is squashing my head from all directions and it lasts a few days. Nothing helps it. So now I am tired with a headache. The irritability is gone....unless it starts up again from the headache.

If I actually take the anti-viral at the start of sensitivity the whole cycle is shortened and I find relief quicker. I may even miss the headache phase. If I don't have any at home since I was trying to save money, and then it wasn't ready when it was supposed to be and I have to wait longer, the cycle continues. And that brings me to today.

Today's Run and Plank
I was dead tired this morning. I was a running zombie. I am on day two of the headache and my run this morning was hard. I really wanted to run for 90 minutes. I only had the energy for 40 minutes. I truly felt like I could fall asleep running on the treadmill and that didn't sound safe. The good news is my energy will start picking back up. I will get my prescription this afternoon. The down side is this time my running skirt seems to be rubbing on the outbreak and causing an annoying discomfort. But all will be fine.

And why am I sharing this since it is quite a personal story to me? Mainly to show that all runners have their issues and we can each pull through them and succeed. Don't let a "bad" run bring you down. Every run you run is a good run....even the ones that leave you discouraged. Why? Because you ran. Simply put. And I also didn't think it would hurt to let others with cold sores know to be careful....don't give yourself another dose of your own cold sore!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful my mom is in town.
Daily Affirmation: I create my own positive change.


Yippee! My mom arrives today!

There is so much more I could say but all I can say is I am so excited! My mom is flying in for 3 weeks to help watch darling daughter during her school break. For awhile I was worried about getting my running time in and having time to share with Mom too. But then it dawned on me, I will be able to have a little extra time each morning since I won't have to leave work at 2:00 pm on the dot to pick up darling! It will all work out fine.

And today I started my day with a 2.15 mile recovery run at home on my incline treadmill. I am feeling wonderful and am ready to run longer tomorrow!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the kind comments on my blog yesterday. I am thankful to live in a beautiful place. I am thankful for the power of love.
Daily Affirmation: I am able to see the glass as half full even if others see it half empty.


198, 199, 200 for Dad - The running streak continues

Aloha All!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend full of good running, family fun, and lots of love! I must confess, I fell off of the blogsphere yesterday as I got so wrapped up in family adventure, fun, and celebration that I chose to let my writing wait a bit longer. I totally believe we should all put family first whenever our whim wants us too!

But to bring us all back up to speed, here is what I have been up to this weekend and beyond.

On Saturday I ran my first long run for the weekend. I ran 12.42 miles with an average pace of 8'26". You can read more about that run HERE including my reasoning for doing two back-to-back long runs.

Yesterday was day 199 of my running streak and I had long run #2 for the weekend on my schedule. I opted to run at the gym and I am glad I did since I went through water like crazy! I ended up running 13.19 miles with an average pace of 9'11". This marks half marathon #10 for 2012. A bit slower than the previous day but I was happy. It was also hard. My legs felt tired. Not hurting. Just tired. But that does make sense with what I was asking them to do.

Mentally the run started off tough but then it popped in my head....this was my last run in the 100's. It was a day for celebration. Forgot about 200 for now and live in the present and enjoy day 199. This carried over post-run to a lot of family fun at the park, pool, boardwalk, and at home! It was a fantastic day!

My running nutrition:
Pre-run - Oatie muffin and a touch of coffee
During the run - Gatorade, water, and a chocolate GU at about the 45 minute mark
Post-run - 1 scoop Muscle Milk

And that brings us to today. Day 200.

Woah....this is a big day for me in terms of my running streak, which will be continuing for those who don't know, and for how I chose to honor today. I opted to run 60 minutes in memory of my dad who lost his life to leukemia. Yesterday I recorded a video and it turned out quite raw in clearly showing the depth of my emotion. And I wasn't looking too glamorous after all the play time outside in crazy wind. For a moment this morning I was tempted to not share it since it is so personal and I felt so vulnerable. I pondered this during my run.

How could I take the easy road out and note share the video? For all those who learn they have leukemia, can they turn the diagnosis back in because it leaves them feeling vulnerable and potentially scared? Nope. And this is just a little video. This pales in comparison to so many other things in the world. So here it is...with any insecurities I have about sharing it and how it will be received. But it is me, clearly me, and expands on why running today for my dad is meaningful to me.

Today's run started out easy enough. I got out of bed and started the coffee. I was lazy and didn't set it up last night and decided I really did want a few sips this morning. I then got all my stuff together and headed out to the gym. It was surprisingly busy but I hopped onto a treadmill and started running. My legs felt a wee bit tired but amazingly good. And time seemed to be flowing by. I felt good. I altered the pace with the beat of the songs and thought of my dad throughout the run. Many times.

Running Streak Day 200
And then it got to the last minutes. I had less than five minutes left and I could feel the emotions welling up inside and was holding back tears. I opted to put on my power song just because it got to the core of me. So with Aerosmith's Dream On I kept running for dad. And I kept getting more emotional. And tears did sneak out because all I could feel was that I didn't want to stop running. I didn't want to leave this moment with my dad. I told myself it was silly to feel this way since he will always be with me in spirit - it didn't matter if I was running or not. But it didn't make me feel like I would be ready to stop. I told myself to run to the end of the song. Take it one step at a time. Ironically, the song ended right at the one hour mark. I paused my iPhone Nike app, jumped on the edges of the treadmill, and stood still for one minute.

It was a minute of quiet. The gym vanished. I didn't hear a think. It was just me and my thoughts and the rolling treadmill. After a minute I stopped the treadmill, gathered my stuff, and headed to the locker room...fighting back the tears each step of the way. And I can't imagine a better way to start the 200's.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful no one started asking me if I was okay at the gym because I would have totally broken down crying.
Daily Affirmation: All my emotions make me stronger.


Long Run #1 for the Weekend

Why is it so hard to hard the camera still?
Recently I read this article questioning, and supporting, that you should split your long run under certain circumstances.

Here were my thoughts...
  • I see that a "slower" runner would take longer to do the training runs, incur more wear and tear, but they would also take longer to complete the race. Does it really benefit them to split long runs and then race for a longer time?
  • How feasible is it for a runner to find time to run long twice in the same day? Personally, for me it would be a juggling nightmare and cut into my evening time I devote to my family but I know others can do this.
  • Is running twice a day really safer approach to avoid injury?

I am still uncertain and will stick to doing my long run all at once but would love to hear all of your thoughts on this? And please note, they don't suggest all long runs are split.

But I must also confess this article did pop into my mind as I was returning to running long after my short sabbatical. As much as I want to run my 20 miles ASAP my instincts were telling me doing so this Sunday, tomorrow, wasn't wise. The chiropractor still has me coming in for rechecks because the hip does try to go back out of place and needs to be reminded to behave. Although, it is getting much better at listening. What effect would running 20 have on it? Would it do more harm than good? Yes, I have been running without being aligned for months so I really could do it, but should I? And I tend to take a conservative approach to running and try to run smart, which sometimes means I may do things a bit easier than I should/could.

My original conservative approach was to run long yesterday, easy/short today, and long again tomorrow. But like I said, the article popped into my mind. What if I did do two long runs back-to-back 24 hours apart? What if I aimed to get 20+ miles done this weekend but not all at once? Wouldn't that have a training benefit? I definitely think it is better than skipping the long run last Sunday and not running long again until tomorrow and cutting that run short.

So darling daughter and I hit the gym this morning and it was awesome! I was dead tired and yawning non-stop as I dropped darling daughter off at the Kids' Club. Oh, you don't consider that awesome? I then headed over to the treadmills and hopped on and started my run. Time was going by as fast as molasses. Oh, you don't consider that awesome either? Hmmm.... Eventually at about 1 hour and 5 minutes (yep, I know the minute mark) I found my running extreme happiness and began enjoying the run. I have to tell you, I really do believe it takes me twice the mental power to run a treadmill run versus a road run of the same distance. But even with all that, it was awesome! I knew the run would take me from exhausted to energized from the get-go. My body was feeling great. My hips were happy and I do love feeling the difference in my gait now versus a week ago.

Day 198
I ended up running 12.42 miles in 1:45:00 with an average pace of 8'26". Tomorrow my goal is to run for 2 hours...or perhaps a touch more. If I didn't have Kids' Club time constraints I would have gone for 13.1 today but it took me time to get started, I needed a pit stop, and I had to stretch post run. And I had to do all that and get back to the Kids' Club in 2 hours. But this running mom is not complaining!

Today's run nutrition:
Pre-run - two frozen waffles with a touch of macadamia nut butter and banana, coffee
During the run - water (forgot Gatorade) and 1 chocolate GU at 50-minute mark
Post-run - 1 scoop Muscle Milk

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful darling daughter is crafting so nicely while I type.
Daily Affirmation: I know how to endure the boring to get to the wonderful!


Running Streak Day 197....

My run this morning is nothing like I was planning or expecting it to be. First, I overslept a wee bit but I am not concerned since I have BIG dreams for my runs tomorrow, Sunday, and beyond. But so early into the run I was tempted to call it quits. I had 30 minutes of running time before I needed to head off to work but I was tempted to run a mile. Why? There is no good reason why. Because my mind has become lazy with my recent cutback in mileage.

I do not regret one moment the choices I made to cut back running time and to take care of my body. In fact, I am very grateful I did but it is time for me to really get my game back on and to stop being timid. Part of me wants to take it easy so I don't hurt myself...blah, blah, blah. You have heard it all before, perhaps from yourself, so why give that kind of talk credit but doing it more?

The thing is, if I train half heartedly I will get half of the results. So not me. I am an all or nothing type of gal and really like to go for it all! Why not?

So I told myself I HAD TO run my 30 minutes or I would be sorry and then I started pondering a Daily Mile comment I got yesterday.

Day 200 is just around the proverbial corner and I feel it deserves "celebration" in one way or another. Of course the number 200 just makes me want to run 20 miles. It would fit nicely into my training schedule. I was suppose to do so last Sunday. But alas, Day 200 falls on a Monday. I have to work. The gym opens at 5:00 am. I typically aim to get into work at 6:00 am or shortly thereafter. I don't believe in running the streets in the dark solo. Do you see what I am seeing? This won't work too well. This has been a slight bummer to me since I want to do something special for myself. In all reality, who else would it be for? It is me celebrating me making the choice to run every day and doing it.

Look at what I have done with a not-really-100% body.

So if I can do that when I was out of alignment imagine what I can do when I am in alignment! Why am I giving into fear of hurt when I have persevered so much? Trust my body. Trust my muscles. Time to let them surprise me. Time to run. And then it came to me......

I know EXACTLY what I want to do on Day 200. It is perfect. It is exactly what I should be doing on this day. It touches the core of why I love to run, what running has taught me, and where I turn to when I need support. On Monday I am going to celebrate Day 200 by running for my Dad. My run will be in his memory and a sign of my ongoing love for him and his ongoing presence in my life. I will run for everyone who has lost their life to leukemia and for everyone who is battling leukemia. And just so you know, typing this now is bring tears to my face. I know I have BIG running plans Saturday and Sunday but I WILL run for 60 minutes Monday. I don't care about pace. I could be as slow as a turtle but I WILL run and honor my Dad Monday. Wanna join me?

Oh yeah, and my run today....I ended up running 3.55 miles with an average pace of 8'26". Thanks Erik A! Your comment yesterday was today's motivation.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for all the comments you leave me because I never know when one will be the one that kicks me in the butt and gets me focused on what is important.
Daily Affirmation: I am at peace with myself. 


I'm writing about sleep?

I must confess sleep is my weakness. There are only so many hours in the day and I have so much I need to do AND want to do. Finding time to sleep often slips to the wayside as I crawl into bed "late" often 9:45 pm and pull myself out of bed way early to run often 4:00 am. If you do the math, this leaves me with a measly 6.25 hours of sleep if I fall asleep instantly and sleep through the night.

I tend to survive on this but don't necessarily think it allows me to thrive. Keep in mind, on Friday and Saturday nights I get a bit more sleep since I don't have to get up so early to run before work. All that said and done, I fall below the recommendation of 8 hours of sleep each night. Now don't get me wrong, I don't beat myself up over it since I am not dragging all day. The only time I feel I need more sleep is if my body needs extra healing time due to fighting an infection or healing an injury. Magic happens at night!

Yahoo Image
So today I opted to run a bit shorter and sleep a bit longer. Why? Because of the chiropractic work I am getting down. Things are being shifted back into normal positions and in some regards it feels instantly wonderful but in others, can you say achy? Think of it as muscles that were pulled and cramped one way for so long are being pulled and stretched in a new way....the right way. For me, it leaves me with one achy night but by morning I am so much better.

I iced myself last night. I thought about how I was holding my body. And I slept to give those muscles a little extra love. And this morning I am feeling so much better! It is amazing the improvements and differences I have noticed just since Monday afternoon. I go back tomorrow for another check to see if the hip is being good and staying in place and to see how my neck is doing. We are troubleshooting my daily headaches as well. BTW, no headaches for the past couple of days. 

Besides doing weird things, icing, and sleeping I hope to have some good running time this weekend. Oh yeah....and cleaning the house from top to bottom since my mom is coming next Tuesday!!!!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for alternative medicine.
Daily Affirmation: I am stronger than my food cravings.


Wordless Wednesday....almost

Awww....I am so touched by the sweet and supportive comments on my post yesterday. Kisses to you all! Have a great Wednesday!!


Getting Focused....again

I am feeling completely out of tune with myself and honestly, I have only been off my training plan for less than a week....not much less since today is day 6. This is not anything huge and should be no reason to cause alarm, uncertainty, panic, or other fidgety thoughts. But it seems I am losing confidence in myself, my body, and my capabilities.

All this was going through my mind when my alarm went off at 4:15 am. I was supposed to get up and go running but I started pondering how I didn't feel strong anymore. I felt

Yep, I felt fragile. I didn't trust my body. I wasn't sure about my muscles and if they would support me. I was tempted to just stay in bed, rest longer, and do just a mile later after work. But I was tired of just a mile. The just a miles were wearing me down mentally. I know a mile is better than none but I wanted needed more to reestablish my confidence in myself. I wanted to feel strong.

To put things in perspective for you here is what I have been doing. I ran 18 miles on the 1st and loved each step. Monday I did 1.5 miles. Tuesday through Saturday I did a daily mile mainly because I tweaked my hip on July 4th. I got a massage on Saturday and I was all crooked before and achy after. On Sunday I ran 3.25 miles and I could feel my body flushing aches out. Yesterday I squeezed in a mile before taking darling daughter to school and went to a chiropractor in the afternoon. That in itself is a topic for another post. And today I lingered in bed so long I only had time to run 2 miles before work. And that is where I am....stuck. Aching. Doubtful.

I know the aches are due to my muscles readjusting. It is to be expected after deep tissue massages. I was told to expect it after my adjustment (and I have to go in for a recheck tomorrow to see if things are holding). I know I am working my muscles in new ways to get them back to where they are supposed to be. I know I am not turning into a weakling incapable of running over the past few days. I know that this week was to be a recovery week anyhow so I shouldn't be beating myself up. But I want to get my game back on. I want to feel strong again.

And in all reality, to get my game back on I have to step up to the plate and be ready to get my game back on. Tomorrow I NEED to get up early and run before work because if I don't I risk not being able to run tomorrow. If the chiropractor has to do another adjustment she will ask me to take the evening off again to allow the work to take root. So I WILL get up early and run tomorrow morning.

I know I have uncertainties about getting back into my long run schedule but I really do have confidence that I will make it happen. I know I am concerned about juggling my training schedule with my mom being here for three weeks but I have faith I will make it happen. No one can give me confidence in myself. Only I can take away my confidence. Only I can give it back. So it is time for me to suck it up. Stop feeling sorry for myself. Stop letting a little ache bring me down.

I am strong. I was strong enough to cut back miles when I wanted to run since it was the smart thing to do. I was strong enough to overcome my fear and walk through that chiropractor's door. I was strong enough to not stay in bed so long this morning that I had no time to run. I was strong enough to tell the world that I felt weak and fragile.

I will make my dreams happen and so will you!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I can share my insecurities to a wonderful online community.
Daily Affirmation: I am strong.


Motivational Monday

I tend to reserve this for my facebook page but I really wanted to share this one. I had a great day yesterday with the family and unfortunately am back to work today. Dear hubby headed out very early to run a marathon on his birthday...happy birthday to my love...and I am waiting to hear from him on how it went.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful dear hubby helped get me some new running shoes!
Daily Affirmation: I know what is best for my body.