#JellyBean Virtual Run(s) Race Report

I usually am pretty good at blogging about things I plan to do before I do them but this one fell through the cracks. Run with Jess was/is hosting a virtual run series. You can do a 5K, 10K, 1/2 marathon or bike 21K. It ends tomorrow. I signed up when I first heard about it and I committed to all three runs. Thing is, the virtual race series slipped my mind as well until Jess kindly sent me a reminder email. Okay, she sent all participants but you get the point. Mahalo Jess for the reminder!

My mind was so focused on my upcoming road race that the virtual series slipped my mind again. Sorry Jess. And once again, thank you Jess for the reminder email on how to submit our results. That final email gave me the final kick in the butt to do what I committed to.

The thing is, once I received this reminder I was already one race down as I had planned on the Valley to Sea Half Marathon to count for the Jelly Bean series as well. You can read that race report HERE. No use hashing it out again.

And that brings me to the last two days. Time is ticking, ticking, ticking and I still had a 5K and 10K to run. Yes, I had already run a distance of 5K+ this week but to me it seemed wrong to go back and count that as my 5K as I wasn't running it with jelly beans in mind. I establish interesting rules for myself. My goal was to get up and run the 5K yesterday before work but I was up a good portion of the night with darling daughter coughing and my throat hurting due to a nasty cold brewing in both of our heads. Not fun. The virtual runs were on my mind but at 4:15 am in the morning with a painful throat and a coughing child, I could have cared less. That all changed within a couple of hours. I did care. I wanted to run my run.

Fortunately for me, yesterday was a mini day for darling daughter and I got off work early. That gave me plenty of time after work to do all the things I needed to do and wanted to do. After feeding us both lunch, I got on the treadmill determined to run my 5K without a concern in the world about pace. My head was aching and I had a stuffy/runny nose.Does anyone else find it odd you can have both at once? But I did do my 5K. I noticed I immediately felt warmer than usual and attributed it to the head cold and I envisioned my body eradicating the nasties inside with heat. I felt happy....yet still sick.

Come this morning, I felt a bit better than the night before and a lot better than the morning before so I headed to the gym bound and determined to run my 10K. Yes, I have tomorrow but in all reality, I want to run longer tomorrow. And yes, I could count the 10K split but to me, I prefer not to if it encourages me to run a little extra another day. Once again, I immediately felt warmer than usual and again, pace wasn't my sole focus. I am smart enough to know that I am running with a head cold and should have some sense of reasonableness in my run. So I fluctuated between the low and high end of my easy running pace range (9'40" to 10'00" by the way if I am not on the incline treadmill). It felt harder than it should but that makes sense. Unfortunately, my run ended with some stomach cramping that I attribute to gallons of snot being pounded out of my head with no where else really to go. And I am still envisioning my body eradicating more nasties. Perhaps by tomorrow morning I will be 100% again?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I completed all three runs in the Jelly Bean Virtual Race series.
Daily Affirmation: I am responsible for my own attitude.

P.S. Did you know this week is National Tsunami Preparedness Week? Go figure! I would learn about this on the final day. And yes, I think I am somewhat/kinda prepared for the unknown but yet, it is unknown so how can you be fully prepared? But I did include a link if you want to learn some more!

Happy Aloha Friday!


Valley to the Sea Half Marathon: Race Report

Five days post race day and I am feeling good....well, kind of. I seemed to have caught darling daughter's cold and was up most of the night since she was coughing and my throat was aching. The good news is, my legs are feeling back to normal. Yippee! The delayed onset muscle soreness only lasted a few days and it really wasn't as bad as I feared. Yes, I feared dreadfully painful-not-being-able-to-walk legs mainly because of the downhill portions of the course and that pesky IT band issue I had a few weeks prior to race day. Fortunately, all my fears were meaningless. Thank goodness!
On race day I woke up about an hour and a half before I wanted to leave the house. I like to eat my small pre-race meal a couple of hours before race start. It allows me to calm my nerves, stomach, whatever. Perhaps I just like the quiet time in the morning since my family tends to stay in bed when I make my journey to the kitchen. This particular day I had a couple of graham crackers with a touch of peanut butter and half a banana. I had a small cup of coffee and drank about 8 oz of plain water.

After sitting around for a bit enjoying the morning and getting more race nerves I started getting myself geared up and ready to go. It didn't take me too long so I took a moment to write Dad on my kinesiotape and darling daughter and dear hubby added some artwork. I had been debating for days whether or not to tape my IT band and finally did. Think of it as a security blanket. And yes, my taping is not traditional but the supporting band did cross where my IT band felt most tender and seemed appropriate for me.

At 5:45 am we all left the house. Dear hubby and darling daughter were going to drop me off at the start and meet me at the finish. The course is point-to-point from near the 'Iao Valley needle to the Humpback Whale Sanctuary. And for a bonus, dear hubby could bring darling daughter into work first and get a few things done. It was a dark drive and the sun couldn't rise fast enough for darling daughter and I can't really say when it did rise. It was plenty dark when we passed several cop cars and flashing lights on the way to the start. It was light when we got to the start. And I got to chat some with a good friend, Yolanda, I met through blogging. I am truly blessed to have her in my life and her support is very much appreciated, as is all of your support. And the sweetest blog follower came over to introduce herself and say hi. It was nice.

Okay, we are at the end!
The race was to start at 7:00 am but we were delayed. Thankfully there was a nice fire knife dance to distract and entertain us all while we were waiting.
Remember those cop cars? Well, it seemed a truck drove off the road and they were there for that. And we were delayed as we waited for the tow truck to pull the truck out and clear the road. Then the cable broke on the tow truck and we could start. I don't know all the details but I really hope no one was seriously hurt.

Once the race started I tried hard not to go out too fast and to not be propelled beyond my goal and limits by the other runners. Starting smart is hard. Starting smart on a downhill is even harder. But I got good advice from a trusted runner to not go out too fast in the first three miles. The downhill will make us all fast but no use risking thrashing your quads for later in the race.

Throughout the race I checked in on my pace but honestly, it was hard for me to predict what pace I should be hitting on this course. It had the downhill, flat stretches, and some minor uphill. I knew what I needed to PR so I just kept that in mind. And of course, I was on target. I had a good downhill start, remember?

My IT band was rather quiet. It may have  hiccuped here and there at the start but in all reality, I think it was my mind not my body speaking. I didn't have 100% confidence in my leg and I truly believe that was holding me back a bit. I was afraid to push too hard and end up on the sidelines. I really did want to finish....and to PR. Fellow runners crossed my mind here and there and so did memories of my Dad. I thought of how I wanted to feel Tuesday and knew I wanted to be recovered and ready to train hard but know I pushed myself reasonably on race day. Did I achieve that goal? Yes. If you forget about the cold.

I took a GU at mile 4 and mile 8 and wondered if I should have fueled better before the race. Did I eat too early? I guess I can't complain as I did perform well but it is always worth considering. And no, I didn't ponder these questions during the race. Just afterwards as I reflect back.

Mile 8 - am I feeling too good?
It was wonderful seeing my dear friend's husband at mile 8 for support, cheers, and I even slowed some for a photo. It truly does lift your spirits to see support along the course. And this course was quiet in that regard. But I did thank the cops at all street crossings. I truly did appreciate them directing traffic, or should I say stopping traffic, for us.

And part of the reason why I may have been tentative with pace along the course was the beach section at the end. The website said 0.5 miles on the beach and about 0.25 miles on the road to the finish. Pre-race the race director said 0.75 miles on the beach and about 0.25 miles on the road to the finish. There is a big difference between 0.5 miles and 0.75 miles....okay, not really but in the last minutes it had me wondering. Either way, I was expecting to see the 12 mile mark before the beach section, right? Well, it was on the beach. I don't know how much we ran on the beach. I feel it slowed my pace and I did walk a few times to get onto the beach, go over rocks, and climb back up to the road. On the bright side, the running guy who was playing leapfrog with me the whole race, or running by my side for some, said I lost him on the beach. I confessed to him, if he passed me on the road to the finish I was going to kick butt and pass him right back up.

I was happy to make the final turn to the finish chute. I was happy to see I was on time to PR. And then when I saw the clock ticking closer to 1:55 I had to ensure I broke 1:55. And I did. My official time was 1:54:46 with a 8'45" pace. A new PR. P.S. My previous PR was 1:56:20 with a pace of 8'52" set at the Wahine Half Marathon in April 2012.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful to start my 2013 racing season with a PR.
Daily Affirmation: I have what it takes to commit to my 2013 marathon training. I will realize my marathon goals.


Push It Wednesday

We all get into lulls in our training and don't fret....that happens. So this Wednesday I am leaving you with a brief message and a motivational image. Happy Wednesday and do not be afraid to push your limits. I believe in you!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for warm, cozy sweaters.
Daily Affirmation: I grow stronger every day.


What's in my fitness closet? #fitnesscloset

This post was spurred by an idea/challenge put forth by Pavement Runner. And yep, it was supposed to be launched yesterday but what can I say? I am a busy working, running mom and things just slipped past me. But I spent so much time taking and editing the pictures, I had to post a day late!

First, I do have a closet at home. Dear hubby and I share one. It is the kind with those mirrored doors that slide back and forth. Don't judge too hardly if mirrored doors aren't your cup of tea as we rent our home. And yes, it is a pain to clean fingerprints off them all the time. But my side of the closet is rarely used. It houses dresses and girly shoes....things I don't grab very often. In fact, one of the main reasons I go into my side of the closet is to grab a chico bag to put my work clothes into for the next day. In case you didn't know, I love to use chico bags as gym bags mainly because I can wash them right afterwards! No yucky sticky smell growing.

Second, I don't own a traditional dresser. Neither does darling daughter. Dear hubby does. Darling's set-up is similar to mine but she does have some smaller cubbies as well. And we can trade bins if we want a new look or new color in our rooms! Sharing is nice.

Since I do have some compulsive tendencies, my running gear is divided by type into bins: sports bras, running skirts, socks, running bottoms. I used to roll my running bra into matching shorts and store that way but in all reality, once I became a mom that became too much work. And since I don't get too crazy with different colors it isn't too hard to find a matching top. Secret: when running at home I care even less about how badly I may clash. Darling daughter doesn't care.

Sports Bras - Yes, I just toss them in. Once again, please don't judge me too harshly. I thought about tidying up before taking pictures but that really wouldn't be honest. And I value honesty more than I fear you thinking I am somewhat of a slob. It is just sports bras don't wrinkle and I would rather play with darling daughter or run than take the time to fold each one and stack beautifully. Sorry Mom.

But I did have fun going through my stash and realized a vast majority of my sports bras came from Old Navy. I know I shopped there often for them but it was shocking to see the assortment and how biased I was to their product. At least years ago as I haven't purchased many in a long time. That speaks pretty darn good about how well their product holds up! On a side note, I do feel extra happy every time I get to run in the Oakley Sports Bra I won from Run to the Finish.

Running Skirts - I love running in a skirt and I go for the kind with compression/boy shorts underneath. My favorite is the Nike Pacer, which seems to have been discontinued. I just like the length, it has a nice back pocket, and it has brought me good luck in races. Yep, I always race in one of my three Nike Pacers. It is a superstition thing I think. I do have more running skirts than pictured but some have been removed from the running scene since they are not of prime quality. I keep them in the same bin, at the bottom, and you can find me in one every now and then at work.

Socks - I like no show to minimal show running socks...the ones with a little support around the arch. Do you know the ones I am talking about? The vast majority are Adidas as our local Costco sells a pack of six at a good price. Fortunately, I ended up loving them more than the Nike version I had before but just because they are a bit thinner and the cuff is lower. When going through my socks I realized I had a pair from the Maui Marathon. Forget I had those. And I am loving my runs in my Swift Wick socks I won from Running Moose. They are thinner than my Adidas so they take some getting used to but I do love their feel. I just wonder if I should have picked a size smaller but I did go by shoe size like they suggest. I also have a pair of Zensah compression socks for my longer runs and Tommie Copper calf sleeves that I don't wear often anymore.

Running Bottoms - I turn to these for dual run days or some runs at home if the run will be short. I don't really dig running shorts but do feel happy when I wear the Oakley running shorts I won from Run to the Finish. What can I say? Running in something connected to a memory makes running more happy! Once again, a lot of these shorts were purchased from Old Navy years ago. When I first started running I did wear running shorts and since we don't have a plethora of running stores on island, Old Navy was a good go to, especially when they were having a sale and I would stock up! Those were the days before darling daughter when I did have a bit more disposable income to throw into running clothes. And the Nike Pro Combat shorts....I love them under blowy skirts when working. It is good to be covered when you work in the second windiest harbor in the world!

But what about running shoes? Aren't they an essential? Yes they are! And nope, I do not keep them in my bedroom....well, except for the retired running shoes that are hiding in my closet. I keep the three pairs in my current inventory out by my treadmill and cycle through them. Don't all runners keep their running shoes on their treadmill in the living room? I try to rotate a different shoe every day. Sometimes I get lazy and just pull the pair off the top again but most times, I am good and pay attention to the rotation. But I also take into account the run and make sure the shoe matches my needs. And yep, they are all Saucony!

And don't forget the Bondi Bands! They sit in an easy to grab basket in our bathroom!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the supportive community of runners on social media.
Daily Affirmation: I am a kind person.


Making Memories: 5 Tips to a Digital Memory Masterpiece

I gotta say...I love the technology we have today. As a kid a Polaroid camera was amazing but now, I can use a camera or even my phone to take a zillion pictures, immediately see them, delete the duds, reposition people if necessary, and make digital creations until my little heart is content. I love being able to play with images and add them to my blog but more importantly....I love creating books to cherish memories for years to come.

Like any new mom, I took a gazillion pictures of darling daughter. And like any mom, I still do but sometimes not as many, which is kinda sad considering I always have my phone's camera on me. But don't you fret, I still have a million pictures of her to sort through each year as she gets one year older. Why is that? Because I wisely, in my mind, started the tradition of making her an annual yearbook documenting the year in her life. This was to replace those photo albums my family had when I was young. And yes, I could do scrapbooking and yes, we do some of that too, but honestly, I love doing the digital books online and getting a nice book printed and mailed to me. And I just ordered the year 5 book and can't wait for it to arrive!

With that said.....

My Top Five Tips for A Digital Memory Masterpiece:

  1. Take pictures throughout the year of all sort of things including artwork. Some of my favorite pictures of darling daughter were from lunch at Taco Bell where she was being plain silly and the pictures are now masterpieces on our walls!
  2. Take notes throughout the year. I kinda slack on this one but I do strive to jot down some of darling daughter's cutest comments/questions throughout the year. I then select some of the finest and add them to her yearbook. 
  3. Upload pictures throughout the year to the forum you will be making the book from. Trust me, this will make things easier. But fear not, even if you are like me and don't listen to my advice, you can do a HUGE upload and then begin to have fun! As much as I say I will upload monthly, I don't. But it would make life easier if I did.
  4. When your child is old enough, involve them in the process of picking the theme, book color, etc. It makes the process theirs too and just increases the memories.
  5. Be Personal. I add special lovie comments we say to each other and really love to end each book with a special message from Mommy. This allows for me to not only capture images and her thoughts (from tip 2 above) but my own thoughts and perspective at that time. It truly does turn the book into a type of time capsule.

Bonus Tip: Have a plan and have fun with it! The process is just as fun as the end result. And as you can see from above, I established a theme with the size and cover of the book and plan to stick to it. It makes storing them nice but don't ask what I will do if the book format is no longer available.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for technology.
Daily Affirmation: I can connect with my inner creative side when needed.


Valley to the Sea Half Marathon - One more sleep

It is funny how a race you have always known about can still sneak up on you so quickly. It seems I went from 3 more weeks 'til race day to 1 more day in a blink of an eye. Am I ready? As ready as I will ever be!

I also find it ironic that a half marathon can trigger up more doubts in me than a full marathon. Don't get me wrong, I get jittery and doubtful with the full but half's make me more nervous. I am sure there is a rationale explanation. If you got it, please share! I would love to hear the psychology behind it. But I wonder if it is because I set my goals a bit higher, think I can go a bit faster, have a bit more to prove? And I can't blame the IT band issue a few weeks ago. I have gone into a marathon with a nagging cough and felt confident I would finish. So why do I fear not finishing a half marathon? And I think the proverbial light bulb just went off. If I run marathons and finish then I should be able to run half's and finish. To not finish a half would be more detrimental to one's ego than not finishing a full, right? Does typing that make me feel any better? Nope. Am I going to finish? I have faith.

My Dad, My Hero
Not only do I have faith, I have my Dad. His loss has been weighing heavily on my soul recently. I didn't realize how much until a song came on the radio a few days ago and the sense of loss came rushing to the forefront and it dawned on me why I have been feeling the way I have. Of course, I knew my Dad was on my mind. March 31st marks the anniversary of his entrance to Heaven. Yeah, I have a really hard time using the d word. My Mom has been on my mind. I have sent cards of support, we have talked, and I have been trying to be supportive as I know this is hard with March 31st also being Easter. I was so wrapped up in providing support I didn't realize that my own grief is still so tender. Honestly, I think it will always be that way. And before you think I have completely gone down the wrong road in this post, I am telling you this since tomorrow I will be racing in my Dad's memory. I have done this before for my first marathon. He is always on my mind with each and every run. I may even call out to him that I need his help. But tomorrow I am dedicating my race to him again. I can't think of a better way to run, overcome my fears, battle my perceived weaknesses, and embrace each step I have been blessed to take.

I don't know what my race time will be. I would love a PR. I see it as doable with part of the course being downhill. I expect the beach portion to slow me down. And I have faith I will finish just how I am supposed to. I believe I can run strong from start to finish. I plan to start smart. I would love to pull out some negative splits at the end but in all reality, they won't be true negatives as I expect my initial downhill pace will be faster than I usually go out on races. I will have fun. I will savor running outside with other runners. I am excited to see some running friends. And most important, I am ecstatic to see my dear hubby and darling daughter at the finish line.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the ability to write my thoughts and find my inner peace.
Daily Affirmation: I am going to kick some butt tomorrow!


Push It Wednesday - The Freggie Edition

Being fit isn't just how you move your body but includes how you fuel your body. I am participating in the Spring Bootie Buster Challenge at Run to the Finish and this always makes me more aware of what I am fueling my body with. You see, participants can earn points for eating enough freggies and drinking enough water each day. I am earning my points for each everyday. And that got me thinking....do people trust that I am and see it is as doable? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. Therefore, freggies are coming to the forefront this Push It Wednesday!

Let's talk freggies!

Eating right doesn't just happen. It takes planning. It takes commitment. And it needs to allow for those occasional indulges in chocolate macadamia nut fudge when you feel like the universe is crushing down on you. Yep, I ate fudge Monday and don't regret it. It was a bit of an emotional indulgence. I knew it was. I accepted the treat and moved forward with more healthy eating. Come on, if you can't indulge every now and then what's the point?

I eat well 99% of the time. Truly I do. And that starts with the foods I buy. My family may not always agree with my "No, I won't buy that." but I accept my responsibility to care for myself and my family by stocking the home with good food choices. And yes, there are some treats here and there. I am not completely crazy and restrictive beyond belief. And when my daughter chooses her snack of carrots or yogurt it makes me smile....inside and out!

So now I have healthy foods in the house. What about getting enough servings of freggies? How do I do it? I start out early in the day. I make sure my first meals contain some. Here's how.

This morning I grabbed a small homemade muffin to eat before going to the gym. It was made with peanut butter, carrot puree, banana puree, flour and some sugar (cut back). I may have left an ingredient or two out. So there you go, a teeny bit of freggies in me already! Perhaps not a whole serving but every little bit counts.

Let's move on to breakfast. Here is what I had yesterday: cottage cheese topped with a large banana and blueberries. There is over 2 servings of fruit right there by 8:00 am. P.S. I had a muffin on my way into work too, the same one I had today. 

Yesterday's lunch was spinach quinoa casserole that was loaded with spinach and I "stole" my co-workers carrots as she despises them. Please don't tell her I put them in the muffins she eats and loves. And on the side of most of my lunches, cut up mini sweet peppers and grape tomatoes. Absolute love!

And there is no dinner at my house that does not include veggies. Even a meal that looks like it could be veggie-free isn't. Check out this tuna salad I made for today. In addition to the tuna, it includes 1/2 cup broccoli puree, 1/2 cup zucchini puree, chili powder, paprika, and pepper. Completely nutritious and the purees give it some moisture so no need for yucky things like mayonnaise. If you like mayonnaise, I apologize but do consider replacing it with plain yogurt or going without to make foods more nutritious!

Finally, for those afternoon pick-me-up's when I feel like a lump on a log, I make a green smoothie. My favorite go-to is spinach and banana blended with water and ice. Sometimes I add in peanut butter or protein powder if I need a protein boost. You can also add in blueberries for fun!

Let's talk water!

I really don't buy drinks. Okay, I buy milk, coffee, tea bags, and Gatorade concentrate for my longer runs and dear hubby. But you get what I mean. I don't buy soda or juices. If you are thirsty, drink water. We have mint in our garden and darling daughter loves making minty water as much as I do. I drink water all day. I start the day with coffee and then it is water, water, water. I drink a good 8 oz each night before bed. I have water by my bed that I sip on during the night. I have water at work that I drink all day. The only problem right now is that the water dispenser in the work fridge is broken. I sure hope they fix that soon! But no fears, I will still find a way to get plenty of water throughout my work day. Now if only I could get dear hubby to love water so much.....

Let's get moving! 

Yes, I did move today in honor of Push It Wednesday. Since I am racing on Saturday I tried to keep things tame. After warming up I ran 2 miles at tempo pace. I followed that up with a 0.5 miles at a decline since the race Saturday is downhill at the start. I tossed in four strides at the end and called it a wrap. I ended up running 3.9 miles, did some lovely stretching, and it was time to start the rest of my day!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for bird song.
Daily Affirmation: I will face my fears courageously today and on race day.


Training Plans - A necessity for this runner

Running without a plan can be fun for a little bit. But then, the funs wears off because I feel unfocused. I have big goals and I feel without a plan, a road map, I end up on a detour to no success land. Sometimes I choose that detour out of necessity, like a tweaky IT band, sometimes I just end up there.

The past couple of weeks I have been in no success land. Don't get me wrong. Perhaps I can still succeed at the end of the day but my training plan was ripped off my fridge, tossed away, and I run my low mileage to prevent larger injury feeling bad about myself. Honestly, I have been feeling like a failure. When dear hubby asked if I was excited about my race on Saturday my heart started to beat faster in response to a perceived fear of failure and doubt about what my leg will do. I did tell you yesterday in my Happiness post that I am not always skipping through life. But I am still choosing happiness and trying to find the silver on my dark cloud.

And I did. With less time running I was able to pour hours into the beginnings of my training plan for well....the rest of the year! Isn't that what all runners do when they are down? Some may think a year long plan is a bit excessive but for me, it makes sense. I like to see the big picture, not just bits here and there.
So not one size fits all!

I am feeling really good about my plan so far. It is far from down as I need to double check mileage and see if it leads to my goal of 2,013 miles in 2013. What is the point of following a plan that won't meet one of my goals?

But let's step back a minute. In the past I based my plans off of what was recommended by the Smart Coach app on my phone. I would adjust their recommendation according to my life obstacles and set my plan of x-miles per day. It also guided me on training paces....kinda, sorta. And often I would have weeks I felt like a failure because I didn't hit x-miles for whatever reason. Or I would go way overboard.

Just recently I had the pleasure of taking the Running Certification Course through RRCA and yes, I plan to start offering coaching advice soon but in the meantime, I have been applying what I learned to my own training. Setting up the mesocycles makes sense. It prevents my year from being mundane. And I have some shorter races scheduled in to tune into my pace and adjust training paces as needed. The biggest change is I don't have just x-miles on a day but x-y miles. This gives me a range of miles to hit each week and I feel this is the psychological boost I may need to stick to my training a bit better because I won't get so discouraged. And I need to stick to my training if I hope to achieve my larger running goals. It is time to make running a priority on some days, the days scheduled as such. I really, really, really want to break a 4 hour marathon and to do so, I need to run and train hard!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my morning conversations with darling daughter.
Daily Affirmation: I have what it takes to run fast!



"Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections." ~ Anonymous

What a beautiful quote and this really does sum things up. Happiness is a choice we each make every day. We choose to be happy or not. And I choose happiness. But does that means I run through life singing songs, skipping, and smiling? Nope. Like everyone, I have tough moments, moments where I may want to cry, but I can't let those moments define who I am. I need to make the change, the choice, to be happy.

I think the choice becomes harder when you get older. The responsibilities of life tend to weigh heavier. You may begin to get more aware of your own personal mortality. Wonder if you are making the most out of your life. Questioning your purpose. It is okay to entertain some of these thoughts for a moment but in all reality, what is the point of life if you are questioning life all the time and aren't happy?

"Dream as you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today." ~ James Dean

This seems to be the motto of my life...at least the second part. I want to enjoy and savor each moment of my life because I don't know what tomorrow will bring. I don't want to live with regret that I didn't do something or didn't say the right things. The past is gone. Leave it there. The future is unknown. Stop worrying. The present is here. Enjoy the gift.

I am not saying live recklessly and jeopardize your future but make sure you aren't living so much in what can be that you fail to enjoy what is. And yes, the past defines us but don't let it keep you from savoring the day. I do regret not getting on a plane and getting to my Grandfather when he was dying. Finances seemed too big at the time. My heart hurts when I did get on the plane to go see my Grandmother she died while I was in the air. And that plane trip for my Dad was the worst ever but yet, my memories are fond and I hold no regret. I did get on the plane just weeks before. I did hold on extra long giving him a hug goodbye. I know he knew how much I loved him. Our last moment that we shared together was and will always be wonderful.

"Tears are words the heart can't express." ~ Anonymous

Oh my! Did I just bring tears into a happiness post?! Yes I did. Tears don't always have to be a negative. They can be a positive. They help wash away emotions and yes, express things when the words can't be found. Tears can be happy. This makes me think of last Mother's Day at my daughter's preschool. All the moms were there sitting on the grass watching the kids perform and sing songs. The kids then sang a special song to their moms. There wasn't one mom who wasn't crying happy tears.

And that brings me to my final point,

"Whenever you are in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude." ~ William James

Choose happiness.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for new windshield wipers.
Daily Affirmation: I can find my own happiness when things get tough.


Goals: Running and Racing

It is time to fully wrap my head around the fact that I am registered to run a half marathon on March 23rd. It has been there in the back of my mind always. It isn't like I forgot about it. But my mind has ironically been daydreaming of marathons at the end of the year, dreams of breaking a 4:20 and eventually a 4:00 are still there for me. But honestly, it is time to get my mind back into the present and focus on next weekend.

What are my goals for the Valley to the Sea Half Marathon? If I only knew....

Seriously, that IT band jiggle has me uncertain how it will hold up come race day. I have been running less, resting, recovering, and trying to prevent true injury. I think I am good to go but you never really know until you actually get out there and go. It seems to be a double edged sword or a lose-lose situation: run less and heal leads to doubts in ability vs. run the distance and aggravate the IT band more leads to injury. Of course, there is that third option, run more, feel fine, and build confidence. Risk and reward. A tough analysis.

So let's approach my goals systematically.

In a perfect world my body is performing well meaning no issues with the IT band. I would like to break a 1:50 half marathon. My PR is 1:56:20 set in April 2011 at the Wahine Half Marathon. 1:50 should be totally doable as some of the course next weekend is downhill. That totally works in my favor for pace but is a risk.

In an okay world my leg feels the struggles of the downhill (at the start of the race by the way) but doesn't get too aggravated. I finish the race PR or no PR.

What other option is there? Okay, there is that option I fear. The course rips me up and I pull my phone off my arm and call my husband to tell him I am on the side of the road in tears with pain. I totally don't want to go down that road. No one does. But we all know, that road is always there and could happen to anyone of us any day. Is it the end of the world? No. Will it feel like the end of the world? Probably so. Am I going to end up there? Not if I have anything to say about it. Do I have any say? Do any of us?

But now that I have faced that dark fear, said it out loud (writing and blogging it counts as out loud, right?), it is time to focus on the positive. Fill my soul with confidence, trust, and faith. Each step of each run is a blessing in life. I am grateful for the journey. I have huge plans for the year. Next weekend marks race #1 of the year. It is time to toe the starting line because being away from it so long is making race day harder to embrace.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful that I passed my RRCA Running Coach test and completed my taxes!
Daily Affirmation: I am in complete control of my personal happiness.

P.S. Did you know I am doing a survey on running? You may have seen the tab on my blog, a tweet, or a facebook post. If you haven't participated yet, please do! And please share! Feel free to grab teh survey button and link it back to the survey! The data analyst in me would love more responses. I do have a good number now and will be collecting data all month!

P.S.S. I am toying with the idea to do running surveys on different topics throughout the year and reporting the results. Would you like this or am I just too nerdy for my own good?


Push It Wednesday

I didn't know my running plan this morning other than I needed to get my butt out of bed dark and early and run before work. My main motivation isn't going to be what you would think. I wanted play time with darling daughter. So if I run early, we can play after school. Yes, this Mommy wants to play and I can't wait to get the Barbies out later with the most precious girl in the world!

You would think I would be highly motivated and get up and go. That is kind of true. I did a pretty good job getting up, getting ready, prepping breakfast for darling daughter with a note to surprise her when she wakes up, and heading out the door. But I was a dork this morning. It took me a bit to realize it but I passed the gym and was heading to work. I said I was a dork. I turned around and made my way to the gym already calculating what my error amounted to - one less mile. Do you do that? Calculate time lost in the day in miles?

Once I started running I knew I wanted to do something different in honor of Push It Wednesday but I also know I have a race in 10 days. Still far enough out to do some fun stuff but not far enough to go all out crazy. So I ended up doing a mini-ladder since that was all I had time for. It looked like this:

It was a fun run. I felt strong and happy at the end. It would have been nice to break the 5 mile mark today but obviously it wasn't meant to be. I guess I need to pay better attention to where I am driving to in the mornings. But all things happen for a reason, right? And today I learned, I can be a dork and still stay focused, get to where I am supposed to be, and pull off a good run.

What are doing to push things up a notch today?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for U-turn points on long stretches of divided highways.
Daily Affirmation: I am at peace with myself.


Treadmill Workout: 3-2-1 Boredom Buster

If it were feasible I would run every run outside. But it just doesn't work with my life, my schedule, my other commitments, etc. On most days, this doesn't bug me or bring me down. Some days, it does and I find myself envying those who can "easily" go out for a 20-mile run. I put easily in quotes because I am not saying the run in itself is easy. It's not. But it is easy when you don't have to arrange for childcare. I occasionally daydream of being a stay at home mom, dropping darling daughter off at school, and hitting the roads and running my little heart out, working my butt off, but blessed for the opportunity. I could then return home, make scrumptious and healthy food, and pick up darling daughter. Ahhh..... Okay, I will burst my own bubble now. That dream won't happen. So instead, I create fun runs on the treadmill for days when running in place feels like I am getting nowhere. And by nowhere I mean my training has plateaued or my mileage is not growing the way I want it to due to those time constraints. Honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way!

Introducing my newest addition: The 3-2-1 Boredom Buster!

I created this on a run and on the day, I wasn't bored per se. I just wanted to change things up. In all reality, if I was running road side, my easy run days wouldn't be at the same pace like it can be on the treadmill. I don't run naturally that way. Does anyone? So I figured, why not change the pace a bit during a course of my run? And since I tend to be systematic in my approach to things, the idea of 3-2-1 popped into mind. Plus it breaks a chunk of running time into little segments (hence the boredom busting part for those who need it....or days when I need it).

If I am doing any run plan on the treadmill I always start with a 10-minute warm up. Adjust this if you need but for me, I do a 10-minute mile. It works well. I am warm and ready to go. Some may need more or less time and I do like the round mile versus a warm up of 0.87 mile. Odd....

After that you enter the running cycle of three parts. Three minutes of pace 1 (you can stick to 6.0 for a 10-minute mile), two minutes of pace 2 (your starting pace plus 0.2 or 6.2), and one minute of pace 3 (your starting pace plus 0.4 or 6.4). You then go back to 3 minutes of pace 1 and repeat as often as wished. If by chance you lose track of where you are, don't fret. There are too many things to worry about! Just keep running, smiling, and have fun!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for no rain this morning. Sorry, I am. I really don't like driving in the rain.
Daily Affirmation: I have the power to get faster and meet my running goals.


A Weekend of Running

Running makes me smile!
Monday came way too quick for me this week. And I know it is because my weekend was crazy busy and wonderfully full of good running things. And not all of the running meant time on my feet. But I am also happy to announce that my time on my feet is steadily increasing and I am feeling so good about it! So good that I would love to pound out a 10-miler today but I am keeping myself in check for the greater goals in life. 

First, I must say, if you are forced want to take some time off of running to heal recover take advantage of the added time in your life and get some sleep. It was wonderful to get some extra zzz's and hey, it helps promote healing! Go ahead, go to bed early, sleep in, savor the moment!

But does that mean I was snoozing all weekend? Hardly so. In fact, I got up earlier than usual on Saturday and Sunday so I could run before attending RRCA Running Coach class. But before I get into that, let's talk running.

On Saturday morning I was scared. I still have that underlying fear that a run will push me to the verge of pain again. That a run could leave me like the poor lady I met this weekend who hasn't been able to run for 15 months due to IT band issues. It is a real concern although logically I think I am not at that point because I didn't try to run through pain. She did. More than once. She learned her lesson. I am trying to learn from others and not repeat the same mistakes. And yes, I responded quickly but does that mean I am good to go? Part of me says yes. I corrected the issue by getting back into alignment. You can read about that HERE. But then there is the part of my mind asking me what came first? The chicken or the egg? Did being out of alignment tweak my IT band (I am leaning to yes) or did my IT band pull me out of alignment (obviously, I am leaning to no)? But honestly, who am I to say? Clearly the egg came first since the chicken hatches from it. But wait, you need a chicken to lay an egg. You see where I am going?

You are correct! I am going down a tangent and far away from talking about what I ran Saturday! My goal/hope was to break the 2 mile mark. It seems pathetic that a running mom who trains for half and full marathons is worried about a measly 2 miles. Why 2 miles? Everything I read says the IT band tends to start complaining in the first 1-2 miles of a run. Okay. I had done a string of 1, or just over a mile, runs. I was okay. 2 miles. Hadn't touched it yet. It was time. And my fear escalated as I got closer to the mark. Ironically, or fortunately, the song If I Were Jesus came on at about mile 1.6 and carried me to mile 2.1. I focused on the words of the song. Visualized images and refused to look at where I was in my run until the song was over. I ended with 3.44 miles and my pace was slightly slower at 10'11" overall.

Pace. I tend to slow if I have issues going on. Makes sense, right? You are recovering from a long race or hard run, run slow. But from what I have read, the IT band doesn't care about pace. You can run fast and it can get mad. You can run slow and it can get mad. So not fair. Just thought I would add those two cents before moving to Sunday.

Sunday. Time flies! Once again, I got up early to run before class. My intention was to do an easy run but once I started running I wanted more. I must confess, the lower mileage is hurting my ego. I know it is good for me and all but I love the bigger numbers. Don't we all? And if I can't run 10 miles, I want to run an awesome hardly any miles. I ended with 4.55 miles on Sunday. I did a mile warm up at a 10'00" pace, 2.5 miles at tempo pace (about 8'27"ish) and cooled down for just over a mile at slower than 10'00". Towards the end, I did a few minutes at 10'40". It just seemed like the right thing to do. 

I think my IT band and knee are holding up well. I don't feel pain when I run. That is for sure. I do notice slight aches in my knee at night but as soon as I move, it is happy. The IT band itself is less tight and seems normal for me. I am stretching diligently daily but not going all out crazy. Yes, you can go all out crazy with stretching. And today, as much as I want to continue to grow those miles I think I may run shorter. Time will tell as I am running later in the day. 

It is hard to know what is right or wrong to do right now. I know many other runners face the same predicaments. I know that race less that 14 days away is toying with my mind and my decisions. But I am trying to stay focused and do what is smart. But I still have to question - Am I being too cautious? Am I being too ambitious? Am I being just right?

And one last thing....the RRCA Running Coach Class: When I wasn't running this weekend, I spent over 16 hours with 11 other people who love to talk about running! Life is sweet! Too bad I couldn't have that and my time with my daughter. What can I say? I feel like I lost precious time with her this weekend. I know she is fine. I will be fine. The class was good for me. Now I just need to move on with it, face the fear of failure and take the test within 30 days. Oh my!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the opportunities in my life.
Daily Affirmation: I am strong. My knee is strong. My knowledge base is strong.


Will a chiropractor help?

I am now on day 6 of lower mileage, day 7 if you count last Saturday when I cut my long run short at the gym. It was more of a start and stop and start and stop and start and stop day but you can read about it HERE.

Everything happens for a reason. We don't always know the reason, we may not like the reason but who are we to argue?

With that in mind, I want to rewind a bit and cement my learning experience and perhaps provide insights for others.

Way Back When
Years ago I woke up one morning and my left leg ached. I took it easy for a bit and the leg got worse. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with sciatica and told to walk it off. Nerves need movement. I walked. I got worse. Dear hubby was at the end of his wits with me. I went back to the doctors and got a different doctor. He instantly knew it wasn't a nerve thing. He thought perhaps I tore a muscle in my glutes (piriformis?) since I was explaining exactly when he experienced when he tore a muscle. Thing is, he knew when he did it. Getting on his bicycle by the way. I didn't. New course of treatment....rest flat. And he did give me a shot to ease the pain. Marvelous!

Many months later. Okay, over a year of months. My left piriformis was still pesky. I could run but often had to ease back. I foam rolled. It helped some. I went for massages. It helped some. My masseuse, who happens to be a friend too, kept saying I was not aligned. She kept hinting telling me that I should go to a chiropractor. She does muscles, not bones. My bones needed help. I didn't listen. I was afraid.

A few more months. Okay, enough is enough! Stop whining you silly piriformis! During this time you could find me at work with a heating pad and/or heating massage element. My co-worker had the same on her back. Different story. Different incident. We made funny office companions. She suggested the chiropractor too. Now I had two people suggesting the same course. I was beginning to listen. I expressed concerns about trust in chiropractic care. They assured me the woman they were recommending was good. I bit the bullet. I went.

Chiropractic Care Day 1
I found out my insurance didn't cover the care but they had a good kama'aina (local) rate. I continued forth. My hips were out of alignment. She recommended plenty of icing time, sit properly, no crossing legs, and come back. My muscles have been messed with for probably over a year and needed to learn to do things right again. She also did a full body check and targeted my neck too. Those daily headaches? Nope, not necessary. She had the power to incinerate them!

The beginning of my care was intense. I went three times the first week, twice the next, and once the third. My body was holding the adjustments better. I was advised to come once a month to keep things in check. I was feeling good. Life is nice without daily headaches and a constant pain in the butt!

Ongoing Chiropractic Care
Did I do once a month? Kinda, sorta, not really. I would return when I felt tightness in my left hip. I could feel the muscle ache as it was beginning to be pulled funny. In all reality, I was trying to save money. I am a working mom. Money could go to better things than my own personal chiropractic care. Or so I kept telling myself. Other friends and family would disagree with my arguments.

Last Wednesday I ran to a nearby track and met up with some wonderful gals. We did some mile repeats and it was fun. At the end I felt tightness in my right knee. Once I got home, it was a mild hurt. I foam rolled and stretched. I ran less the next day. It was okay meaning no pain. I did two runs the Friday. I don't remember any pain per se but my pace was feeling slower. I wasn't overly concerned. I had run fast Wednesday and not just the mile repeats. My pace to the track was much faster than I anticipated. Dear hubby kept telling me it was because it was downhill. Saturday, my legs were lead. My mind wasn't into running. Darling daughter convinced me to give it another try. Afterwards when we were walking into the store my knee really hurt. I knew from the location it was my IT band. I knew it was tight from the foam rolling I do. I was scared. I didn't want to be knocked out of running for months.

I iced. I ran less. I even propped up my leg. Thing is, it wasn't responding the way I thought it should. I had a full feeling in my knee. Not pain. Just full. It also felt like it needed to be popped. One day walking to my car after work I noticed my gait felt funny. Kinda like I was limping but not. I knew all these things but wasn't putting two and two together to get four. Wednesday morning I ran before work and a proverbial light bulb went off. In my recent stretching I was noticing that my left hip felt tighter than my right. Okay, tight left hip flexor and tight right IT band. I was beginning to put two and two together properly. After my run, I looked at myself in the mirror. I mean really looked. I put my thumbs on my pelvic bones and looked at my hands. They were not even. I looked at my shoulders. They were not even. In fact, my right side was "taller" than my left side.

This made me feel stronger yesterday.
Chiropractic Care
I made an appointment as soon as possible. Thank goodness it was a day she was open. It was confirmed, my hips were out of alignment. I was sure to tell her about the tight IT band and associated knee pain. She checked my right knee. Yep, it was out of alignment too. She put me back in place. It hurt. I walked. The fullness in the knee was gone. My gait felt smoother. I was happy.

But all good things take time. For me, the days after a treatment can have some different aches and I attribute it to my muscles getting used to normal. And I think it is time to put me on the top of the list. I went over two months without a visit. I have been told, monthly. I skipped it and then wasn't really listening to my body as quickly as I should. It was telling me the same thing but in a different way. I am glad I went. For me, chiropractic care does help. It makes a HUGE difference. I will aim to make it a monthly ritual.

Does it work for everybody? I can't say so. My one friend, absolutely! My other, nope. Her issue wasn't one that could be treated with chiropractic care and our chiropractor was honest enough to state as such. And with any health related, always check with your doctor and get an opinion. I am not a doctor and can't not lead you down which road is right for you. This is just my honest description of my experiences. And please note, I had visited the traditional doctor many times and got lots of references before selecting a chiropractor. If you are on Maui and want to know who I see, feel free to contact me and ask!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the learning lessons in my life.
Daily Affirmation: I am in tune with my body and am striving to put two and two together with greater speed.


A Healthier Easter Basket

Spring is in the air! Okay, I live in Hawai'i and each day is pretty much like the next. Oh how I do miss those great Texas thunderstorms but I do not envy those who are snowed into their homes without power. I hope things are brightening, and warming, up for them. And I must confess, the idea of driving in the snow terrifies me! I guess growing up in southern Texas and living in Hawai'i has turned me into a winter-wimp. But we can have some heavy rainfall here every now and then.....

But onto Easter!

I completely remember Easter as a child. My sisters and I would each receive an Easter basket, sometimes hidden, and there was usually a family plate with Easter goodies too. Imagine lots of different kinds and shapes of chocolate, jelly beans, marshmallow animals, etc. It was a dentist's dream! And hey, as a kid I didn't mind too much but I did tend to make my basket last quite awhile. So instead of gobbling up in one go, I was indulging in sweets day after day after day after.... Well, you get the picture.

But times change, or perhaps I am a mean Mommy, but I am completely against sugar bombs for Easter. I do allow the occasional indulgence in sweets because personally, I like a treat every now and then myself. And yes, I grew up eating tons of sugar and drinking gallons of soda and turned out okay, right? So why shouldn't I let my daughter do the same? Simply stated....because I don't want to. I won't feel good about myself. Done. This Mommy does things differently. And I don't think I am the only mom out there making the transition. And after talking to friends, some of them didn't grow up with the sugar bombs but with real hardboiled eggs hidden outside. Okay, that kinda scares me in a warmer climate but go for it if it is your cup of tea.

So what is a mom to do if she wants the Easter basket tradition without all the meaningless sugar?

Put on your creative hat and have fun!

Last year Darling Daughter received this beautiful basket.

I was not doing a good blogger job since I never took a picture of what was inside but she had some fruit twists, about 6 dinosaur bath fizzie eggs, a bottle of Dora bubble bath, and two small chocolate chicks. And they were the good kind - Dove dark chocolate. She was delighted! And why the chocolate? I feel it is okay to add just a touch because it teaches eating in moderation. I don't believe in being too restrictive as I feel that can backfire. I don't want my child growing up feeling regret or bad about herself for indulging. It is fine to indulge.....some times.

This year I haven't quite nailed down what I will do but the general concept will be the same. Healthy snacks, perhaps bath stuff or art supplies, and a touch of chocolate. Here are some snacks I feel better giving to my daughter.

Fruit Crisps: These are really good and when she was much younger, darling daughter ate them on a regular basis. I felt safe giving them to her when she was learning to chew since they dissolve well in your mouth. Now that she is older, biting into an apple is less worrisome. And on the plus side, I could sometimes find them at our local Costco store. I do dehydrate my own fruit now from time to time but these are still an option. They are convenient and healthy. And she would be happy to have some again since it has been so long! I am seriously leaning towards a pack of these!

Organic Twisted Fruit: I could do the same as last year and get a variety box of these. Darling daughter fell in love with them in the early days of Kids' Club visits to the gym. It was part of the process. Mommy runs. She got a fruit twist after. We don't do that anymore but I do like these for her as they are a fun alternative to fruit chews mainly because of the twisted shape.

But let's talk fruit chews for a minute. Over the years these treats became a little too prevalent in our house so I recently implemented the no corn syrupy chews rule. Darling daughter wasn't too happy with it as she loves the chews. And I must confess, it was easy to grab a bag and go. But it wasn't right. I wasn't treating her nutrition as well as I should so bingo, no more corn syrupy treats. Darling daughter asked what would she have instead and I told her, we will try to find something chewy that she likes without the corn syrup.

Organic Fruit Snacks: Lucky for me, the following weekend I noticed these at our Costco. Like every product, it isn't always there so I often have to resort to Amazon.com. I scoured over the ingredients and decided yes, this could be an alternative. They are a bit pricier than the corn syrupy chews but it is worth it. Plus I have rules about how many she can eat and try to keep dear hubby's hands out of her box. Sorry dear, you can take something else on your runs and leave these treats for darling.

Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks: I haven't tried these yet but the ingredients passed my inspection and I do love other products by Annie's. I do like the bunny shape for Easter so this is a strong contender, even though I like the less sugary option of the Fruit Crisps. I guess now I need to decide between cuteness and health. Perhaps a little of each?

So you can see, I still add eating stuff in the basket but I do try to make the treats healthier than the traditional chocolate, marshmallow, and corn syrup jelly beans. And I reinforce that even though these snacks are fruit, they are still sugary and need to be eaten in moderation. Does my child get it? Absolutely. Is she always happy when I say no more sugaries today? Nope. But that is fine. Because she is learning the lessons and coming up with some alternative snacks on her own. Just the other day, she wanted a snack and I told her to pick something out. She picked out a big handful of baby carrots and asked for a little dip to go with them. The lesson is being learned! And it helps that I try to keep fresh fruits and veggies in the house for the grabbing.

Do you have any other suggestions for Easter baskets?

Daily Gratitude: I am grateful I live in a warm climate.
Daily Affirmation: I am a good Mommy.


Push It Wednesday: February in Review

Some of you know this already, I am taking a big recovery week this week due to an irritable IT band....and a touch of fears. I am also planning on trying to get into the chiropractor today so wish me luck that she is open and has spaces available.

So in honor of pushing things, I am going to get my butt in gear and finally write up my February review.

All things considered, February was an awesome month. Yes, I had a lot on my plate outside of running. Yes, my work load tripled quadrupled and my stress tried to skyrocket. But I dug deep. I pushed it and I ran 133 miles in February. This is up from 66 miles the February before and brings me to 280 miles in 2013. I was determined this year to not let work get in the way of my running and I am proud of my accomplishments. Too bad March isn't starting out so nice.

If I get into the number play my daily average of miles in January and February remained pretty consistent at 4.75 miles/day. That is cool. And when you look at how I am doing with my 2013 goals, February 28 marked day 427 of my running streak and brings my streak miles to 1,748. I am very happy about this and keep it on my mind at all times. I often think, how will what I do today impact what I can do tomorrow? I think this keeps me grounded and prevents me from pushing too hard too often. Or is it a crutch holding me back? I would like to think the latter is not the case. In terms of achieving 2,013 miles in 2013...I have a long way to go with this goal. I am averaging 32.9 miles a week. I need to bring that average up some to achieve my goal. It is a big goal but I feel the goal is still within reach....even if I have a low mileage week here and there. I must keep telling myself that.

Other big accomplishments for me this month include sticking with yoga and doing it on a pretty regular basis. I do love the feel of yoga and think it is a good addition to my daily life. I also bit the bullet and joined a group track session the last Wednesday of February. It was fun and I want to keep going....although I will be missing out today due to the pesky IT band and dear hubby has a meeting anyhow at the same time. Everything happens for a reason.

On that note, let's wrap up this post with some motivational images that have made it into some of my past posts.

Have a great Push It Wednesday!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the support I receive from others.
Daily Affirmation: I choose love over fear. Therefore, I choose to love my recovery weak and not fear what will happen will I run long next. I just may need to keep telling myself this a billion times each day.


Saucony Virrata: Does the glass slipper fit?

Oh the land of fairy tales! Being the analytical minded person I am, I always found it hard that out of the whole village, the glass slipper only fit Cinderella. Honestly, don't you think there could have been at least one other maiden in the land with the same sized foot?

But life isn't a fairy tale. Just one look at my feet would convince us all that I am not a princess in the least. Nope, these are not the feet of a princess.

And as I have said before, nothing in life is one size fits all. But it isn't one size fits one either. That is the good thing because it means that my recent find but fit you too!

Introducing Saucony Virrata!

Take a look at these beauties! Okay, the pink sings to me and may not sing to you but a color is just a color, right? They do have other choices. These shoes are light and flexible, perhaps that will sing to you too. And when I first slipped them on it was like the magical moment of the glass slipper fitting perfectly on Cinderella's foot. Honestly, it was like putting a glove on my foot it felt that nice and hugged just right. A good fit is so important in a running shoe.

But let's step back a moment. If you are anything like me, you have tried many brands and models of shoes. How can you not as a runner? But over the years, I have been coming back to Saucony with confidence. My love affair began a couple of years ago in a Famous Footwear. There was a Saucony Shadow Genesis on the wall. I had heard great things about Saucony. I had to try especially at the price tag hanging from that shoe.

Fast forward a year and I needed another pair of running shoes soon but it was dear hubby's turn to look at shoes. We headed to Sports Authority and as he took a very long time bending, inspecting, trying on, jumping in various shoes darling daughter got restless. We headed over to the women's side and there it was, a pink Saucony Cohesion with another great price tag. Hello love of my life #2. The perfect shoe and fit for longer runs. Of course, I bought it.

So when I got the opportunity to review a pair of Virratas from Saucony I gladly accepted. The Saucony brand was proving reliable and my past purchases seemed to not only feel good but lasted well with a good number of running miles. I can't quote exactly as I am just now taking better notes on miles per shoe.

As with any new shoe, I enter the test period with caution. I do not don a new pair of shoes and go run for miles. I start slow and short, or perhaps fast and short, but I do start short. I put the Virratas to the test on my incline treadmill on day 1 and loved it. Not an issue at all with them. Shortly thereafter, I took them on a journey outside running up and down some hills. Again, love. They felt wonderful on and at times, I felt light and fast!

Will I be running every run in my Virratas now? Nope. And this isn't anything negative about the shoe but about my running style. I cycle through running shoes. I like to give them a breather between runs, which is a good thing since I run daily. And I do feel a single runner can have multiple shoes for multiple purposes.

The Saucony Virrata have been added to my go-to running line-up of shoes that have vague guidelines. Cohesions for my long runs (usually greater than 10 miles) due to added support, Shadow Genesis for my medium runs (typically 5-10 miles), and Virratas for my shorter runs or speed work sessions. Each shoe has a purpose and I love cycling through different models as I feel each works my legs a bit differently.

So go ahead, give Saucony Virrata a try, run natural, and see if this glass slipper will fit you too! And if I ever register for another 5k race, I will be lacing up my Virratas and striving for a PR!

Please note: I received these shoes free of charge to review through being a FitFluential Ambassador. I was not compensated for this post. I did not promise a favorable review. The opinions expressed are solely my own.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I found a running shoe brand that my feet love so much!
Daily Affirmation: I am a creative mom. Check out my good morning treat for darling daughter today! If I can't see her in the morning, I can leave her happiness.