Long Run - Week 2 of Marathon Training

It seems odd thinking that I am in week two of training especially since week one was focused on recovery and just getting some running in each day. For those new to my tale, I ran the Maui Marathon on September 16 and am training for my third marathon, the Honolulu Marathon, on December 9.

Creating training plans isn't new to me but I did have a problem fine tuning the start of a new training cycle essentially right at the end of one. The time between the two races doesn't leave much down time, read that as none, and I knew this going the Maui Marathon. And as much as I want to run each day according to the plan, I have already detoured. However, I am not going to get down on myself as I feel the decisions I am making are smart for me right now. And I hope come next week I will run each run as planned.....no excuses.

This week I cut back two 3 mile days to 1 mile days. I have been crazy busy, I am still very tired, and I have a very slight nagging cold. Extra sleep sounded good and I wanted to run my long run as planned.

Today was long run day. My goal according to the training plan was 8 miles. Darling daughter and I headed to the gym and off I went to run. I started okay but my legs felt sluggish. At 2.5 miles my mind felt sluggish and I began to get a wee bit too annoyed by those walking on the treadmills beside me, giggling, hitting each other with towels, etc. If there was another treadmill open I would have moved but I ran on and tried to drown out their games by turning up my tunes a bit. And to think, dear hubby thinks people are just picking up other people at the gym. Nope, this girl is trying hard to ignore the other people and run on.

I made it to 6 miles at my scheduled easy run pace of 10'00" and still wasn't feeling it. It had been 60 minutes of mental battles and determination and then it dawned on me.....my hip was tight, my legs were heavy, and I just ran a marathon 13 days ago. These now 6.01 miles were the most I have done since the Maui Marathon and honestly, I think 6.01 miles on day 13 post-marathon is great. Yes, 8 miles was on my schedule but that was formed off of suggestions from Smart Coach, who wasn't taking into consideration my running up until that point. Just that I want to run a marathon in December. I ran 11 miles last week and am now at 17.32 miles so far this week. I still have tomorrow's miles to factor into week two. So I called it quits on this week's long run and feel no regrets. Yes, I could have pushed the final 2 miles but deep down I don't think I should have. I need to build back up in miles smartly and stay strong in these first weeks of training so I can train hard and on target the final weeks.

So let's open a can of worms and see who all agrees or disagrees....honestly, what would you have done?

Have a beautiful weekend!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for 9 days off of work!!!!
Daily Affirmation: Through organization I find peace.


Debit vs. Credit

umm, no pics during beauty time
Sometimes I feel I must have been born on a different planet or in a completely different time as there are a few things in life I just don't get no matter how hard I try. I do think I have some pretty good problem solving skills (hence my work focus on data analysis and forming some projections here and there) and I feel my common sense is pretty strong too. Although there are still times I shrug my shoulders and try to move on. The operative word here is try.

I realize I am risking vulnerability here but putting this all out there today but hey, maybe one of you can shed some light on things for me.

Confusing Case 1: Debit or credit. Like many of you my bank card can be used as a debit or credit card. I do understand my reward points accrue slightly different based on this choice but in all reality, the money still comes out of my bank account. And the reward points aren't that big of a difference to make this crystal clear to me why I have to answer the question "debit or credit" for so many purchases. I often shrug and say, it doesn't matter, but does it? Am I missing something here?

leaky pipe, not cool
Confusing Case 2: Darling daughter had a field trip yesterday that was cancelled due to rain; however, the teachers opted to still give the kids the bus ride to the park and back. And since darling daughter really wanted me to, I followed the bus to the park and watched as the teacher told parents there that we were just going back to school. I waited a bit and then started heading back to the school thinking the bus would be right behind me. Slowly other parents started showing up at the school but no bus. After 30 minutes passed I really was quite confused/concerned/emotional wondering where the bus was and if I missed the "memo" that they were going somewhere else. I imagined darling daughter out of the bus without her lunch, I had it, wondering where Mommy was and why she wasn't following the bus. And as I stood there in bewilderment with the vague description from the secretary about the whereabouts of the kids (the teacher called, they are on the bus and on their way back) I wondered why I was the only mom that seemed to care or have any concern. I did say something to the head teacher once the kids returned and was informed that they had to go an alternate route back per the bus company and that she was calling the secretary every 5 minutes telling her to give the moms updates. Yeah, that didn't happen. But now I am left feeling vulnerable and slightly embarrassed that I was troubled by this when no other mom seemed to be. Am I just odd? Would this have bothered you?

I really think I had a third example but it has completely slipped my mind as I ponder this bus scenario. But onto a brighter note, here is my week three Sweat Pink vlog talking about music and what it means to me....and I added in some of my garden love!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my daughter.
Daily Affirmation: I may not "get" it all but I always do my best!


Girls Gone Sporty News

You may have already figured this out but I have been selected as an ambassador for Girls Gone Sporty by seeing the icon on my right sidebar. When I first heard about the organization I was intrigued but questioned if me, a mom almost in her 40's, could adequately represent a group called Girls Gone Sporty. It conjured up images of youth and stamina but then, why not? Who am I to put a label on what age a female can or cannot be to be still considered a girl? And trust me, you are more likely to find me in "sporty", comfortable attire versus a "stuffy" evening gown. And don't get me wrong, formal wear is beautiful but I am just not at home in it.

So if you hop on over now to the website for Girls Gone Sporty, you will notice the tab says Women's Fitness Resource. Talk about love! As I really feel I do fit the definition of a woman. And yes, I am sporty even according to their definition stating that a sporty woman can do anything she puts her mind to as long as she has the resources. And this is completely aligned with my own personal mission of "inspiring women to believe in themselves, to be active, and to run strong in life". Sounds like a match made in Heaven, right?

But can one person serve as an ambassador to more than one organization? I say yes. An ambassador can be defined as a messenger or an authorized representative. And since all the organizations I am an ambassador for have the same central theme, fitness, it makes perfect sense!

I do not take being am ambassador lightly as I feel I do have a responsibility to process and truthfully share information and promote the organizations I believe in. But hey, I love doing that anyhow and don't we all? Think about a company or product you fell in love with, don't you want to recommend it to others? Think about an exercise class or a fitness instruction who rocked your world. Wouldn't you want to suggest others to give it a try? It is human nature, or at least my nature, to want to help spread the good word and promote fitness, activity, and health.

What do I get in return? The chance to connect with other amazing people, to learn from others, to share my story, and perhaps the chance to inspire someone to step out of their comfort zone and take the first step to a healthier life!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the blessings in my life.
Daily Affirmation: I am a loving, happy person.


Post-Marathon Recovery

First, I got to say I do not do things the normal way. Last Sunday I ran my second marathon and I pushed myself hard. If I were to follow a textbook I may have taken days off and done nothing. But that is not what I did so today I am going to outline what I have done the past week not only to keep you in the loop but to provide firm documentation for myself. I feel by keeping notes, blogging, etc. that I am better able to evaluate my training in the future.

Sunday (running streak day 262): Ran the Maui Marathon with dear hubby and set a new PR for myself. Read more HERE.

Nursing chafing & latex allergy
Monday (running streak day 263): Did a slow barefoot mile on my incline treadmill at home in the morning before work. My pace was 15'00". My legs ached but felt better afterwards. I didn't want to go to work but I did. I also tried to minimize the number of times I went up and down the steps at work. After work, I had to take darling daughter to swimming. It was a long day and I was feeling it at the end.

Tuesday (running streak day 264): Once again, I didn't want to go to work but I did. Ran a slow barefoot mile on my treadmill in the afternoon. My pace was 14'45". Legs achier but felt good to run on them a bit to work out all the tightness and aches of going up and down stairs at work. And yep, I was annoyed enough by not being able to walk "normal" on steps so I counted them. There are 26.

Wednesday (running streak day 265): Did a slow barefoot mile on my treadmill in the afternoon. Legs still ached but felt "bouncier". My pace was 14'50". Got a massage later in the evening. P.S. I was able to walk "normal" on work steps. P.S.S. Had the post-marathon blues and grouchies emerging.

Thursday (running streak day 266): Feeling better day by day. Ran an easy mile at home and still running barefoot. I ran one minute at my normal pace and kept rest slower so my overall pace was 13'08".

Friday (running streak day 267): "Plugged" myself back into technology and laced up the shoes again. Ran 2.0 miles at home with overall pace of 11'21".

Saturday (running streak day 268): Ran 3.0 miles at home with overall pace of 11'27". Feeling good about myself and optimistic with my training and recovery. Dear hubby gave me a good, deep massage as legs still have aches.

Running streak day 269
Sunday (running streak day 269): Ran 2.0 miles at home with overall pace of 11'34". Later in the morning I went out to help garden and started cutting the grass with scissors. I know, funny image. I moved and felt a tweak in my left quad. I continued cutting, moved some more, felt another quite uncomfortable tweak, went inside disgruntled, and put ice on my leg.

Yesterday was a low point as I started doubting myself, my capabilities, and my ability to know what is best. All the naysayers were coming forward in my mind and I doubted all ability to run daily and run my third marathon in December. I was at a critical low point and was seriously contemplating ending my running streak. I posted such on Daily Mile and got overwhelming input and support from others. Needless to say, I appreciated each and every comment.

Taped up w/ kinesiotape
Today I took the day off of work. I started my day taking darling daughter to school and headed to the gym full of support from others. I knew I could start my run and end it if it hurt (great advice from a fellow Daily Miler and streaker). As much as I wanted to hit the streets I figured a treadmill today was a good place to test the leg. Plus I taped up the tweaky spot last night with kinesiotape and by the way, I should have put on that "magic tape" much earlier!

I took it easy and ran 3.01 miles with an overall pace of 9'58". I know this is my fastest this week but I wasn't running at an incline so that lets me go faster and still be taking it easy. And this is my target easy pace according to my training plan. And I ran what was on the plate for the day.

After doing a few necessary errands, like the car safety inspection and picking up more Epsom Salt, I returned home to be "lazy" and do 101 things from my couch. I am all caught up on all I need to do have have a couple of hours to myself before I need to pick up darling daughter and take her to swim.

Post run hammie stretch
Note to self and others: Take a day off of work post-marathon if for nothing else besides mental sanity and treating yourself to indulging in chic flicks or manly stuff for the guys!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the comments I got on Daily Mile yesterday.
Daily Affirmation: I know where to go for support when I start doubting myself.


#SweatPink Vlog Week 2

Vlogging takes time! Oh my! But without further adieu....here I am answering the questions for week 2 as I play along with some of my fellow Sweat Pink Ambassadors.

The questions:
  1. What is my favorite fitness based activity? Any guesses on what I will say?
  2. Has my fitness activity changed over the years?

Daily Gratitude: Thank goodness for Aloha Friday!
Daily Affirmation: I am strong enough to overcome my doubts and see my true strengths.


Honolulu Marathon Training Plan

Just sharing some braid fun!
What does every runner do four days post-marathon? Blog about their next marathon training plan! What?! Not all runners do that? I must confess I have been told once or twice that I am kinda crazy.

But why am I jumping into this so quick? Because my next marathon is on December 9th. Because I need to distract my mind from potential post-marathon blues and focus on the positive. Ironically, even if I PR I can still fall into a post-race slump mainly fueled by achy legs not doing exactly what my mind wants to do.

I formulated my training plan for marathon #3 pretty much the same way as I did for the Maui Marathon. I started with the Runner's World Smart Coach app on my phone; however, I didn't adjust it with my most recent race time. If I did, it would decrease my training paces and I don't feel I need to do that just because I had a tough second half of the Maui Marathon. My training paces felt good and seemed to be at the right rate of perceived exertion. I don't want to ease up on that. I then looked at what was on my calendar in terms of family commitments and my ideas of upcoming races. I juggled runs around to accommodate all of those. And the two races I would love to race seemed to have fit just nicely into my training plan. Which means, I didn't have to do anything huge to squeeze them in. Just minor juggles. I like to do all of this before cementing the plan to make the plan more doable and perhaps to run the plan as scheduled. However, that hasn't happened to me yet. I hope the third time is a charm! On that note, I don't really do training plans for anything besides half and full marathons so far. 

So here is my "baby"!
View larger image HERE

Things to note:
  • I changed my training week from Sunday-Saturday to Monday-Sunday. This allows me the necessary jiggle room to run my long run on the Sunday vs. the Saturday without causing weekly mileage craziness. It just seems easier to manage within the same training week and yes, I would like to move some of those long runs to Sunday and perhaps run with dear hubby. I am just not going to plan on it as I want to get my runs done. Period. By if opportunity knocks, I will answer. And I may be knocking on a dear friend's door a few times over the next 12 weeks.
  • My first two training weeks are pretty darn easy. I am focused on recovering and need to listen to my body and not worry about miles so much.
  • Week 6 is an increase in mileage week without any tempo or speed work. This was pulled directly from Smart Coach.
  • The tempo weeks and speed weeks were also directly pulled from Smart Coach. These runs are to occur on Wednesdays.
  • I have 2-mile rest days. I am aiming to phase out 1-mile days but if I need them, I will run them.
  • Local races are in blue.
  • The Honolulu Marathon is in pink.

I have to be honest, this training plan is tough but doable for me. I am going to have to work hard to get my runs done and to stay focused, rested, and strong! I am going to have to get to bed early some nights and get up early. I need to be committed. I believe I can do this but I know it won't be easy. I am going to have to be kicking butt but I feel through that I can run well on December 9th. And I am keeping my mind open to splitting some of my mid-week longer runs into AM and PM runs if needed.

Other goals this training cycle:
  • Get more time running on roads, especially downhill stretches.
  • Get more time running "downcountry" in warmer temperatures.
  • Continue with #plankaday.
  • Incorporate green smoothies into my diet again.
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the massage I got last night.
Daily Affirmation: I CAN run my training plan as written.


Maui Marathon - The Race Recap

Sunset before Maui Marathon
Aloha Friends!

My mind is still spinning but I feel I need to just settle down and share my tale before it gets way too fuzzy. Once again, thanks so much for all the congrats and supportive comments. I can't express enough how much it means to me and how much I appreciate each and every one. Many mahalos!

Now onto race day!

Putting on Body Glide
Since darling daughter was having her first sleep over at a dear friend's I was able to get to bed at a decent hour and have a good night's rest. I really am not sure how well I slept because I still remember dreams/nightmares about marathon day. In my dreams I kept forgetting when it was and I would wake up slightly and remind myself it was in the morning. This happened repeatedly through the night. However, come morning I was okay and ready to wake up....as much as you can be at 3:30 in the morning.

I got up and headed to the kitchen to pour myself a cup of coffee and ate my two waffles with peanut butter and banana. I eat early so I have time to digest my food and absorb my drink. I also drank about 8 oz of vitamin water. Mentally I was feeling ready to go. Physically I was feeling ready to run. And I was.

Dear hubby and I got to the race start with just enough time to take one last potty break, drop off our stuff at the bag check, and move into our corral with just a minute or so to wait until we all started walking to the race start. It is at this time that I remembered something I read years ago. Sorry I don't remember the source but essentially it stated that men tend to place themselves ahead of where they should be and women tend to place themselves behind where they should be. I placed dear hubby and I exactly where we should be....in the 4 hour to 5 hour corral. Dear hubby wanted me to move forward. I said nope and he was fine with that.

As we waited the few minutes for the race to actually start dear hubby and I chatted very little. I have a pre-race ritual of bringing myself into my mind. Reflecting. Saying a silent prayer. Singing a bit of Peace is Flowing Like a River. But he did mention that there were a lot of people, only 1,000 or so though, and that Honolulu Marathon will be more crowded for me. People don't bother me. I get into my own mind.

Dear hubby gave me a kiss and then we were off. My goal was to start sensibly and to be in charge of my pace. My goal was to run negative splits with the hope I could pick things up halfway through when the course flattens out. I started running and felt wonderful. I was tempted to check in on my pace but told myself no. I was afraid that learning my pace might mess with my mindset. I was running well, I was feeling good, I didn't feel like I was overexerting myself at all but I didn't feel like I was taking it too slow. We passed some runners, some runners passed up, and eventually we ended up in a pretty good running bubble. Of course, there was still some passing and being passed throughout the remainder of the race. Lesson 1: Perhaps check in on my pace at the start to ensure I am on target? After reviewing my splits I ran my fastest mile first, although only by seconds. We maintained about a 9:30" pace for the first half. If I were running even splits, my target pace was closer to 10'00".

About 30 minutes into my run I fully realized my play list wasn't playing in order. I guess I had my phone pre-programmed to shuffle songs regardless if I picked a list or went for all songs. Oh well...I didn't let this bother me as there was nothing I could do about it anyhow. It just wasn't important. I put my faith in God that the songs will be there when I needed them and ran on.

Around mile 7 we started a good decline and my right hip began to complain by feeling tight. Nothing too serious but annoying. Lesson 2: Incorporate more down hill running in my future training. This downhill stretch didn't last long and we went into some rolling hills as we moved on through the tunnel that marked the end of uphill climbs and the beginning of some more downhill and then the essentially flat end of the course. Shortly after coming out of the tunnel we reached the 13 mile mark and I checked in on my pace. We were at just over 2 hours and I was happy. I still had dreams of maintaining this pace or perhaps picking it up but I also knew that Front Street was going to be hard for me. I had that ahead of me from about mile 22 to mile 24. But I didn't dwell on it. I ran in the moment.

Throughout this race I repeated the manta "stay in your body". It kept me focused on the present if my mind wandered away too much or if I was bugged by runners passing me. "Stay in your body". It was the only place I could or wanted to be.

My fueling and hydration plan throughout the race also kept me focused on the moment. Every two miles or so I drank some Gatorade or Powerade when we shifted over to the course drank. Dear hubby was in charge of our water bottle and refilling when necessary so I could keep on running. I took a GU at 5 mile marks initially but towards the end the distance shortened to 4 miles as I felt I needed the fuel. Now that I have been able to review my splits I know I was listening to my body well and was probably taking the GU at the same time minute wise. Yep, my pace was slowing.

The second half of the race was TOUGH! Mentally tough. I was fighting the hardest battle of my life and had a couple of times I just wanted to pull over to the side of the course and cry....or perhaps scream. My legs were achy and I kept telling myself they were lying to me. That I was stronger than they were trying to tell me I was.

But for some reason running by this

and this

and this

was annoying me beyond belief. I wasn't loving the beautiful coastline. It was never ending and it was HOT. And the heat was getting to me. And I remembered all the stories of other runners, like you, who had tough moments. And I remembered that Dean Karnazes even found this stretch hot and tough. Lesson 3: Incorporate more training runs that occur in hotter parts of the day. I was prepared for the heat mentally in some regards but wasn't thinking it would start wearing on me as early as it did. And I did my best to keep cool. I took every sponge offered. I even stepped it up by taking cups of water and pouring them down my body.

Once we hit Front Street at mile 22 I was harder off than I imagined I would be. It was getting harder to drink and my sips were getting smaller. Part of me didn't even want to drink as the idea made me sick. Front Street was torture and I envisioned it as a deserted ghost town in the middle of the desert. And in some regards that is a fitting description. On a normal day there would be bumper to bumper cars moving at a snail's pace and the sidewalks would be crowded with people shopping, eating, walking, whatever. But on race day this road is closed. And the aid stations seem to be minimally manned. But that one family as you just begin to enter this zone of drudgery was there again at the corner with fruit. I gladly took some again as I entered what I knew would be a tough 2 miles.

And it is in here my memory is already getting fuzzy as to what happened first. I remember grabbing a piece of watermelon and thanking a volunteer from the bottom of my heart. He told me to go through the cooling tunnel. I detoured a bit to the side and obeyed. At this point, getting my phone too wet didn't matter and it didn't look like a rain shower. And it wasn't. It was Heaven on Earth. There was a slight mist as I entered and then a cooling breeze. Indeed Heaven. I found a moment of peace and then had to run on out of it. I think it was post cooling tunnel and somewhere near mile 24 that I asked dear hubby for water. Up until this point I always kept moving while drinking. For some reason this time I stopped. Lesson 4: Don't completely stop. I still remember seeing the policeman at the intersection while I took a sip of Powerade. And then I honestly felt as if I was swaying or the world was spinning. I told dear hubby to "take the water, NOW!". He did and I held my head for a nano-second to ascertain what was happening to me. All I could think was get moving so I forcibly shook out my hands and got moving again. Isn't that what we should all do when we feel we are about to hit pavement?

My ideal race plan was to start picking up the pace when I left Front Street as there would only be 2.2 miles or so left. I tried. I don't think it was working. Runners passed us. Dear hubby kept pacing himself with each passing runner. I was getting annoyed. Trust me, I don't like to be passed but I was really giving it everything I had at that moment. I had checked in on my pace at mile 24 and knew I could PR if I just kept moving. I kept moving as best as I could. Mile 25ish came and I really wanted to put more into it. It didn't work that way. I was making the final turn and I wanted to put more into it. Once again, I couldn't find any reserves. The finish was in sight and two ladies on the side cheered and must have said just the right thing but for the life of me I can't remember what they said. I found my final reserves and gave a final kick. And then I crossed the finish line with a new PR and felt good....and drained.....and ready to collapse....and my legs hurt. But I was happy.

My time was 4:36:16. I had a new PR. I placed 14th out of 63 in my division. I did my best.

Lesson 5: I am mentally strong. Mentally strong doesn't mean you run a race with only positive thoughts. I feel you are strong when you are able to knock each and every negative thought out of your mind and keep going. Around mile 20 I did think about quitting. I didn't. Those times I wanted to pull over and cry I didn't. Although if I did, that would have been fine and maybe it would have served better at flushing the negative thoughts out quicker. Who knows.....

On bus back to start
Lesson 6: Take your playlist off of shuffle. Although this didn't bother me during the race I think it is worth doing if you are going through the time and effort of lining songs up in a certain order with "uplifting" or "upbeat" songs being played when you know you will be mentally challenged.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful that I am able to run....no matter what the pace.
Daily Affirmation: I know my body. I listen to my body. I push my body sensibly.


Maui Marathon - Mission Accomplished!

I am not going to get into the full race report just yet. My head is still spinning....kinda literally too....and I just need the thoughts to slow down a bit so they can be organized in a fashion that perhaps others will follow.

But for a preview, I did PR! It was a tough battle and I learned a lot along the course. I finished 14th in my age division and my time was 4:36:16 with an overall pace of 10'32". This is in comparison to my first marathon in which my time was 4:46:40 with an overall pace of 10'58". What is cool is that I am indeed comparing apples to apples as both marathons were the same course and race. And out of my three goals, I did achieve a new PR and for that I am thankful. I am also very thankful for all the supportive comments I have received here, on twitter, Daily Mile, and facebook. I do indeed read all the comments you leave me and they make me smile and some even bring happy tears to my eyes. Thank you so much!

I also want to thank all of you who donated, spread the word, or ran for Stroke Awareness. If you have a time you want to report, or a blog entry, please leave the link below so we can share the love. For all of you who helped try to spread the word I aimed to follow you back, if I wasn't already, and I hope I didn't miss anyone. Thank you again for raising awareness and for caring.

And on a fun note, I was asked if I sing the karaoke version of The Thunder Rolls on my playlist --- not often but there have been times when I sing a little. But often I am pushing myself just hard enough that singing becomes difficult.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for running slowly today on day 263 of my running streak.
Daily Affirmation: I will heal, get stronger, and achieve greater dreams!


Running Music: My Play List for the Maui Marathon

For those of you who read my post yesterday, I know I was procrastinating on this easy task of making a play list. Really, what could be so hard? You just need to move songs from your collection into the Marathon Play List. Easy, right? Not really. I overanalyze at times and I really do think about my frame of mind, my adrenaline rushes or plummets, and the beat of the song. I also strategically place certain songs in certain points of time for a particular reason. It could be to lift me up and get me moving or to calm me down and keep me focused. So what did I decide upon?

Dad, I always run with you in mind
Here it is in all of its long, drawn out glory. Songs were selected and organized by their beat or just by how they make me feel. Some songs were added for warm, fuzzy childhood memories such as "I Love a Rainy Night". I just remember being in the car as a child and it was raining and my Dad was enjoying the song. And just because a list of songs can be a wee bit dull, I added a few photos too!

Me and God - Josh Turner
Here Comes the Sun - The Beatles
You May Be Right - Billy Joel
Ours - Taylor Swift
Way Down South - Josh Turner
Lose Yourself - Eminem
My Sharona - The Knack
Up on the Ridge - Dierks Bentley
SexyBack - Justin Timberlake
Waka Waka (this Time for Africa) - Shakira
Can't wait to see this tomorrow
Come Together - The Beatles
The Real Slim Shady - Eminem
Suavemente - Verschiden
We are Young - 3OH!3
One Way or Another - Blondie
Beat It - Michael Jackson
Heart of Glass - Blondie
The Way you Make me Feel - Michael Jackson
Pressure - Billy Joel
Move Along - All-American Rejects
Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
Another One Bites the Dust - Queen
Country Girl (Shake It for Me) - Luke Bryan
Without Me - Eminem
On the Floor - Jennifer Lopez
Dream On - Aerosmith
Tall Cool One - Robert Plant
Drivin' My Life Away - Eddie Rabbit
Black Horse and the Cherry Tree - TK
Rakata - Verschiden
Whole New Way - Scissor Sisters
Why Don't We Just Dance - Josh Turner
Give It Away - George Strait
I Gotta Feeling - The Black Eyed Peas
I Love a Rainy Night - Eddie Rabbit
White, Clean and Neat - Robert Plant
All You Need is Love - The Beatles
That's one big flower!
Sparks Fly - Taylor Swift
Would You Go With Me - Josh Turner
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Di - the Beatles
Little Bit of Me/Life - Craig Morgan
Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys - Willie Nelson
We Will Rock You - Queen
Push It - Salt-n-Pepa
I'm Gonna Getcha Good! - Shania Twain
Beer for My Horses - Toby Keith and Willie Nelson
On the Road Again - Willie Nelson
Honky Tonk Badonkadonk - Trace Adkins
Hard to Love - Lee Brice
If I Was Jesus - Toby Keith
A Woman Like You - Lee Brice
The Thunder Rolls (karaoke version) - Garth Brooks
Gonna Fly Now - composed by Bill Conti
Pontoon - Little Big Town
Rag Doll - Aerosmith
Time For Me to Ride - Toby Keith
It Happens - Sugarland
Red Solo Cup - Toby Keith
My spirits will be with me tomorrow
Where I Come From - Montgomery Gentry
Ain't No Particular Way - Shania Twain
Pontoon - Little Big Town
5-1-5-0 - Dierks Bentley
One More Night - Maroon 5
Wake Up Call - Maroon 5
The Wind - Zac Brown Band
What A Way To Wanna Be! - Shania Twain

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for all the supportive comments.
Daily Affirmation: I am strong.


Maui Marathon in less than 48 hours and a VLOG!

Pre-race nerves & excitement!
So it is Friday and 48 hours from now at this exact minute I would have been running for almost 1.5 hours. In all reality, I will probably be running by, or have run by, exactly where I am sitting right now. How does that make me feel? Well, let's say:

  • Nervous
  • Excited
  • Anxious
  • Restless
  • Fidgety
  • Scatterbrained
  • Overwhelmed....as there is so much I still need/want to do like make that darn play list!

Therefore, I don't think I could write any coherent, thought provoking, or inspirational post today. I really just want to get out of here and rush to darling daughter to pick her up from early dismissal. We have a ton of errands to do (what's new?) after taking her out to lunch and then I need to get home, run a mile, and sit my butt down, settle down, and make the play list. I must do it today! I am so tired of procrastinating on this pretty easy task.

Tomorrow I have a play date set up for darling daughter in the morning and then dear hubby, darling daughter, and myself will be heading to the EXPO to get our race packages! Yippee!!! Then later in the evening a dear friend will be picking up darling daughter to go to not one, but two, parties. She volunteered for darling daughter to join the sleepover at her house with two other kiddos she is watching and found out the 1-year birthday party is Saturday evening. Darling daughter is going to have a blast but I am a mental wreck. This is the first night darling daughter will be away from mommy and daddy. This is the second night I will be away from darling daughter. The first was over a year ago when I ran the Kaua'i Half Marathon.

I am trying to be strong and positive but I am going to miss my cuddle buddle; however, the idea of not having to pull her out of bed dark and early, drive over to our friend's, wake her up dark and early, and make the kid drop-off sounds like a wise choice.

Now onto fun stuff! Okay, all of this is fun but how about a vlog? I recorded this last night after four attempts last weekend. Each of my previous attempts was interrupted by darling daughter charging in the room or my phone ringing so I am happy to at least have something. Although, I do need to work on the background scenery. But why not check it out and see why I am vlogging and what I know today about fitness that I didn't know years ago?!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for massages from dear hubby.
Daily Affirmation: I am going to kick butt Sunday!


Answering 10 Quick Questions

Read more HERE

Another Mother Runner put together 10 quick questions on her blog post HERE. How could I resist joining in on the fun and answering them? So get ready to perhaps learn a bit more about me....again!

  1. Best Run Ever - It is hard to pick since I love all of my runs - the good, the bad, and the ugly. Each run makes me a better runner and a better mom! My best race experience though was the Kaua'i Half Marathon in 2011. It was just so spiritual and I want to go back!
  2. Three words that describe my running - Determined. Persistant. Daily.
  3. My go-to running outfit is -  Sports top, running skirt, and Adidas running socks or Zensah athletic compression socks for long runs.
  4. Quirky habit while running - I shake my hands out a lot. Yep, it is a stress release technique.
  5. Morning, midday, evening - Morning is best and midday comes second. Once we hit those "evening" hours I better be done!
  6. I won't run outside when it's not safe. If I am running outside I often have my darling daughter in the jogging stroller. Safety is a priority!
  7. Worst injury and how I got it - I have been lucky. My worst injury was a broken little toe that kept me out of my running shoes for awhile. I got it when darling daughter knocked a side table on my foot. It was my fault for not paying better attention. Actually, it is a good story. Read more about it HERE.
  8. I felt most like a badass runner when I managed to PR at the Run for the Whales Half Marathon even after being sent the wrong way along the course.
  9. Next race is the Maui Marathon on the 16th!
  10. Potential running goal for 2013 is the Kaua'i Marathon and running with TNT.

Feel free to participate if you want to join in as well. And look for the #motherrunner tweets for answers from other participants.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for Aunties and Uncles.
Daily Affirmation: I am happy and grateful for everything I have and receive daily.


The top 5 blog posts and common keywords

Do you ever stop and look at your stats? Sometimes it amazes me by which posts are liked the most by others. When I write I don't think about the popularity of the post per se. I think about what is important to me at the time, what I want to share with you, and if what I share could be beneficial to others. If it doesn't fit that criteria, I skip on writing about it. I mean, who really wants to hear about my sad African Violet that I can't find a way to make happier? With that being said, let's look back to on somethings together.

Here are the top keywords people are using today to find my blog.

Here are the top keywords people have used since my blog was born.

Yep, it seems people are still very interested in comparing Nike Free and Reebok RealFlex. Who knew that that post would be such a hit? I didn't. And it is, which is okay but I can't say it was a post that touched my heart strings like some of my more recent posts. Still, who am I to judge what others like. 

And to stay on this trend, here are my top liked posts, with links, from so far today:
Pumpkin Delight - Recipes courtesy to this post from a fellow blogger, Couch to Ironwoman

The top liked posts from all time:
....and so I don't end on an expired giveaway, Wahine Half Marathon Race Report & Ekphrasis

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for cinnamon to add to my coffee.
Daily Affirmation: I can find harmony in the middle of chaos.


August 2012 Training Report

First, I have been completely lazy in recapping August and in all reality, I think it was out of fear. I wasn't ready to analyze what I have done for fear of falling short of what I should have or wanted to accomplish. However, I should have pulled my head out of the cloud and read all the supportive comments on this post earlier. You guys truly rock and thanks for all the support. And for those wondering, this will be marathon #2 for me.

So now on to August. Let's just jump in with both feet to the numbers. Here is what I did in 2011 and 2012.

Not too bad. Yes, I hoped to put more miles in but how can I argue with improvement? I did run more miles. I did put more time on my feet. And for that I should feel happy and confident. I also ran two 20 mile runs in August. You can read about them HERE and HERE.

But how did I do with the August goals I truly set for myself. Let's look.
  • To train hard and be committed. To work on increasing mileage throughout the month. - I say I succeeded with this goal. I kinda knew I wasn't going to hit a 50 mile week yet and I didn't force it. That will come when it comes.
  • To run with dear hubby at least twice. - HUGE FLOP! I probably could have found a way to make it happen but I think we will be fine.
  • Continue to #plankaday and do at least a minute. - I give myself an A-. I didn't plank everyday but I did most days. And I always did at least a minute and did aim to increase time a tad. 
  • Give my body love through stretching, eating well, and sleeping. - Oops on the stretching but my diet and sleep routine are rocking right now!

September Goals:
  • Run awesome at the Maui Marathon!
  • Continue to #plankaday. I shared a abs photo progress below and please note, the first two weeks of #plankaday were using long arms versus the bent short arm technique I adopted shortly thereafter. The second way is much harder!
  • Begin training for the Honolulu Marathon by establishing and posting my training calendar.
#plankaday progress
Now onto a confession.  I have been questioning my taper. It started a bit earlier than anticipated since I felt a cold coming on. Then there was that fuzzy, dizzy head thing. So I had to take a sneak peek into September and see where I stand this year in comparison to last year. And please note, last year I flew off to Kaua'i to run a half marathon just two weeks before the marathon. 

Phew....did you hear that sigh of relief? I am still ahead of my performance last year. It is time to stop doubting myself, trust my training, make my playlist, and run strong and happy!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for meticulously keeping my running notes and for Running Ahead.
Daily Affirmation: I CAN PR!


Maui Marathon: T minus 9 days

Time is clicking by and before I know it, it will indeed be marathon day. I am in the phase of pre-race nerves that I always get before any race. The longer the race, the greater the nerves. They involve a lot of self-doubt and questioning my training and my ability to perform to the best of my capabilities. The good thing is that deep down inside I know I can run it and that I will do fine. How I will achieve my goals....I'm not so sure but I will get to those in a moment.

Been planking too!
What I have been doing is this. Sleeping. I am resting. I am still running daily but I am running less and running in the afternoons at home. For the most part, I am feeling strong and rested except for some crazy sensations such as a tingly leg/foot and a sense of dizziness but not really dizziness. More of a fuzzy mind sensation. Nothing severe but with all things together, I ended up having a friend drive me and darling daughter to the doctor on Monday.  Blood work was done and for the most part I am a-okay but one thing did pop up. It seems my thyroid stimulating hormone has increased some over the past year. I need to go back in about a month or so for a recheck so no huge worries right now. I am still within the "normal range". But because I listen to my body and am not afraid to tell the doctor each symptom in its own is small but all combined leave me feeling just not right we may have detected something before it becomes a bigger issue. I must confess though, all this has left me doubting my strength a bit more than usual the past two nights.

Communication is so vital in life and unfortunately, communications mishaps happen all the time. But please don't be afraid to speak you mind, stand up for yourself, and ask again for help if you feel you need it. With that in mind, here is a link to a vlog by Pip telling the story of his second stroke. And it is through his determination to speak his mind that the true diagnosis was unearthed. In case you haven't heard, or read, I am dedicating my second marathon to stroke awareness. You can read more about it HERE. Please help spread the word, run virtually, or donate.

Now onto my marathon goals:
  • I really, really, really want to break a 4:00 marathon. I think I am on this path but I don't think I am on it firmly enough to pull it off next weekend. It may not be a SMART goal for me right now. Perhaps in December? But I hear that course is hillier and tougher....
  • I would love to break a 4:20 marathon. I may be here if all goes well and I run well. Keep your fingers crossed....
  • I feel I must PR. My previous marathon time was 4:46:40. It wasn't want I dreamed for last year but it is what I got. My primary goal last year was to finish and I did have hopes of 4:20. I really don't see why I shouldn't be able to set a new PR this year with the training I have done. If this isn't in the cards, oh my......

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I have a doctor who is willing to listen to me.
Daily Affirmation: I know my body. I am in charge of my life.


Treadmill Running: Another Way to Conquer Boredom

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Today I thought I would introduce a new treadmill run I do from time to time. It is a fun "leap frog" running approach I started toying around with years ago. It is fun and pushes me and the little decreases seem to allow me to endure the increases well. Essentially, it is a progressive run where you systematically cut back.

I have done this with many variations of time and even songs. Pick up the pace by 0.2, cut back by 0.1, pick up the pace by 0.2, cut back by 0.1 and so on has always been my standard speed play. I think the focusing on simple math and transition points distracts my mind enough to let me have fun and run a bit faster than usual while not getting bored.

On Tuesday I focused on running this run more systematically so I could give some clear guidance. In a 15 minute run, I increased my speed by 0.8 overall. Completely doable but you can see how at the end you will be pushing yourself a bit more. You will end on a decrease minute and I must confess, I ended up running a total of 16 minutes just to get a final minute in at a speed 0.9 faster than my start. Then I decided I needed to stay focused on evaluating the workout for you.

I also love that this run can be modified for longer runs as well. 15 minute runs are great for days when I am squeezing things in but you could easily increase this run to 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or 60 minutes (and beyond) by increasing the intervals to 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 4 minutes respectively. I wouldn't suggest staying at the 1 minute interval for longer runs just because you may push yourself into a speed gain out of your limits, or you may have to just start a bit slower to do so. No matter what you choose, have fun and run!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for positive test results.
Daily Affirmation: I can refocus on the harmony in the world when I feel out of balance.


Day 250: The end of a three day weekend

How was your Labor Day weekend? Mine was MARVELOUS! I had so much fun with darling daughter. I really do love that girl! I know that sounds silly as any parent loves their child but she cracks me up! She has the most loving and generous heart and is developing a great sense of wit in her humor. Gotta love that! Plus any girl that will cuddle up on a couch bed and watch a running movie with me at the end of the day deserves miles of praise!

Once upon a time a long weekend may have meant I would have crawled along at a snail's pace and been lazy and sleep the hours away.

We saw this fellow in our backyard
But not anymore, I am still running everyday and darling daughter is turning out to be a great cheerleader, supporter, and champion.

Labor Day run
We also stocked up on fruits and veggies and been eating our little hearts out!

From a coloring app for my darling
And as much as I wanted to get my run in this morning before taking darling daughter to school (had to do it as it is picture day), I didn't. But I am not concerned because I know I will run later. I will run happy on day 250 of my running streak. And when darling daughter asked what we would play after school I told her whatever she wanted but I needed to run first. She completely understood and pretty much said, yeah mommy, we will play after you run! And she said it in such a way that seem to express she knew it was a given. To top it all off, we had a great idea of making an easy dinner so we could play even longer! I will not cut out running time. I will not cut out play time. But cooking time? That can indeed be decreased!

Daily Stroke Fact: The average time for an adult stroke victim to get to help is 12-24 hours after recognizing the symptoms. For children, the response time increases to 48-72 hours! Source

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the support and thank you's I have received for sharing information on stroke.
Daily Affirmation: I am a good wife, mom, employee, and runner.


Training Status Check

It is Saturday, which means gym run day with darling daughter in the Kids' Club. I was feeling tired and not into it this morning but I have days like that, I go run, and feel 100% better. So I didn't take any detours. Once there we waited and waited and waited for our Kids' Club lady to show up. Fellow staff were confused on where she was and had no clue why she was late. Darling daughter was eager to start her day. I was eager to start my run but patient. Eventually one of the guys offered to start watching her so I could start my run and joked that I was going to do 20 miles and come back. I told him, that was last week, thanked him, and off I went.

I kept my eyes on that Kids' Club more closely than usual since I knew he was doing me a huge favor. I watched him and the other fellow swap turns while they tried to do other things they were supposed to be doing. I ran 30 minutes, picked up darling daughter, and thanked them both from the bottom of my heart. It wasn't the 1.5 hour run I planned but you know what, it was still the best run. Those two guys deserve huge pats on their backs for filling in the gap and the lady who was supposed to be there....still didn't show up up when we left post shower. And I am glad I did what I did.

What would you have done....
  • Cut your planned run short to give the guys doing you a favor a break?
  • Run the run you planned and not worry?
Onto other news, I just completed my lowest mileage week in my past 15 weeks of training. My lowest mileage week since I officially started my Maui Marathon training. And I really think I am okay with it and here's why.
  • My miles were less this week but I pushed myself harder in terms on speed and/or incline many times this week.
  • I am just not feeling 100% health wise with a touch of a cold and a sensitive stomach. 
  • My body just needs more sleep right now. Case in point, I slept 9 hours Thursday night and today I coaxed darling daughter into letting me take a 30 minute nap while she watch Dora the Explorer.
I hope to be back to myself tomorrow and already made plans for dear hubby to watch darling daughter in the morning to give me some good running time. Afterwards, I get to take darling daughter to a birthday party so I guess I am just going to need to be better!

Stroke Fact for the Day: Strokes don't just happen to adults. Kids, and even infants, can have a stroke. For children under 15, there are 6 strokes for every 100,000 kids annually, and the risk is slightly higher for kids under 2! The stats have remained pretty consistent for the past 10 years but stroke remains in one of the top 10 causes of death of kids in the US. Source Are you as shocked as I was?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for a healthy, strong, and very opinionated daughter.
Daily Affirmation: My own stubborn streak makes me successful but I have learned to know when to listen to my inner drive to go and when to say "shush, time to rest".