ABC Fun!

Getting to know me...X, Y, Z

X: X-rays Besides getting my teeth X-rayed I have had my foot X-rayed. To be exact, my left small pinky toe. A stool came crashing down on it. I went silent in pain. I was told it wasn't broken. I was later told, oops, it is indeed broken. That time represents a growing period in my life. So glad it is over now.

Y: Yellow Growing up yellow was my favorite color. I would even say it was my favorite color even when it really wasn't. Blue became my new favorite. I would say blue was my favorite color even when it wasn't. I think I like pink and purple more now....especially pink. Yes, pink is my favorite color. Well, at least until it isn't anymore. Who knows, maybe yellow is my favorite color. I do have yellow bath towels, bathmats, and a yellow kitchen. Hmmmm.... 

Z: Zodiac What's your sign? Me? Well, I am a Libra. In fact, my sun and moon signs are Libra. That means the Libra qualities are really strong in me...if you believe in that stuff. Do I? Well, I am overly obsessed with equality and balance in life. Hey, maybe that's why I change favorite colors! To give them all a chance! I do like to surround myself with beauty. Perhaps just a coincidence though.... P.S. Dear hubby is a Cancer and I lovingly call him my crusty crab and darling daughter is an Aquarius. Perhaps I should read up on that! On a side note, according to the Chinese signs dear hubby is a Dragon and darling daugther and I are both Rats! Gotta love that! Just don't ever ask me to touch or love an actual rat....yuck!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for volunteers.
Daily Affirmation: I am confident enough in who I am to embrace my "ratty" sign!


ABC Fun!

Getting to know me...U, V, W

U: Ultramarathon I want to run one someday. I am even crazy enough to be contemplating doing the 52 mile Hana Relay solo in order to achieve this. Thing is, those winding hills scares me. But I was once told, if a goal/dream doesn't scare you you are dreaming big enough. Okay, I must be dreaming super big as I am super scared!

V: Van I have driven a 12 and a 15 passenger van in my life. It isn't necessarily fun. Those things are HUGE but man, you can see pretty good way up high like that. Note: If you are in the early stages of pregnancy driving said vehicle may cause car sickness. Please wear motion sickness bands on your wrists and proceed with caution. Yep, been there. Done that. Glad it is over!

W: Water Loving You would think living on an island surrounded by ocean that the beach would be my favorite place. Not really. Don't get me wrong, I see the beauty and wonder. I have fun there. But in all reality, I would love to hang out in a pool. Better yet, how about a hot tub? Not that is the life!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for being employed.
Daily Affirmation: I see the silver linings in life and that makes me a better me.


ABC Fun!

Getting to know me...Q, R, S, T

Q: Quiet I tend to be a quiet person, especially in a new atmosphere. But I am able of being noisy and having a lot of fun when with people I know and trust, or feel an instant connection to. And I have no problem with public speaking. I used to but I overcame that. As long as I know my topic, I am fine. Who wants to talk about running fun?

R: Raisins I know they are good for me but they aren't one of my favorites. I tease it is because I ate so many of them from tiny boxes as a kid. Thing is, they are really yummy when mixed in with the pumpkin seed, flax, granola cereal I find at Costco. A bowl of that with raisins and soymilk = yum!

S: Sugar Packets As a kid I remember my dad giving me sugar packets at restaurants from time to time. I would eat it with my finger tips. I learned later he did it to keep me quiet. And yes, I have used my dad's trick twice (not more than that...at least yet) with darling daughter when things were getting hairy at a restaurant. Before you judge me for feeding straight sugar to my daughter, it is one packet and more than 50% spills on the table. Plus 99.9% of the time she eats great. In fact, I need to stop her from eating the broccoli before I buy it. And she will help herself to grape tomatoes whenever we have them.

T: Turtles I used to work with sea turtles. Green sea turtles to be exact. I have made a special turtle gel and developed a couple of recipes specific to their health needs. I have given a turtle an enema, not fun, and have had a turtle try to eat my hair...repeatedly. In fact, the only stitches I have received in my life due to injury (sorry, C-section doesn't cut) was from a cut I got on my leg during a sea turtle release. Life is fun!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my marine biology degree.
Daily Affirmation: I have full of hidden talents.


Blogger Love!

Woo-hoo! It is another day of Blogger Love! A feature I hope to have sprinkled throughout my blogging here and there as a means to introduce you to some amazing bloggers! And hey, I can find some new loves along the way.

Today, please welcome Erin from Running Tall. Her answers to my short and sweet Blogger Love! Q&A are below.

How would you describe your blog? My blog documents my life through my adventures in fitness and nutrition! I'm a 6 foot tall runner, fitness instructor, and general fitness nut. I love to try new workouts and learn everything I can about healthy living. I also love to post an insane amount of pictures of my chocolate lab, Sadie. You've been warned.

What are your current fitness and health goals? I have so many! I set new fitness goals every year - I'm kind of goal addicted. At this moment, I want to get as close to a 2 hour half marathon time as possible, try Crossfit, do 10 unassisted chin-ups, and maintain a consistent clean diet.

Brag time! Go ahead...tell the world! What is your most recent greatest accomplishment? I recently passed my Can Fit Pro Personal Trainer test! I have my practical exam to do still and then I'm a full fledged certified personal trainer! This has been a big time goal of mine for a while and I am PUMPED!

If someone were to read just one post on your blog, which one would you like it to be? I want every woman to read my post "Ladies: Why I Want You To Weight Train". Weight training is such a key component of a healthy exercise routine and so many women continue to be afraid of it! Embrace the iron!

Do you have any final thoughts or comments? I want to say thanks to Erica for letting me blab about myself! As I if I didn't have enough outlets to talk about myself already...;) I also want to say hey to all you Life as a Running Mom readers! Nice to officially meet you. Swing by my "office" aka blog if you ever want to talk running, fitness, or just about what craziness went down on your favorite TV show last night. Chances are, I watch it too #TVaddict.

Thank you very much Erin for stopping by and introducing yourself. I have defintely added your blog to my Bloglovin list of blogs I just don't want to miss! Have a great day, congrats, and fill me in on what on the tube!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for all the kind people in the world.
Daily Affirmation: I am PUMPED to be the best me I can be!


ABC Fun!

Getting to know me...M, N, O, P

M: Mom My mom is an amazing woman with an unbelievable strong spirit. The most amazing thing she did, she read from the testament just days after my dad's death at the cancer hospital he was at. That is courage. That is amazing. That I will never forget. First, she read to a room full of sick people and in a place that was a sore reminder of our tragic ending. Second, she read a story about death as it was Easter time. Third, she didn't let her spirituality waiver and stood as a testament of her own faith.

N: Neat Freak That's me. I honestly can feel myself getting stressed when things get too messy. My standards have lowered since I became a mom but hey, if you use something put it back where you got it, okay? Regardless of my beliefs on how life should work, I still am picking up after others every. single. day. Dear hubby thinks I like to clean. Not really. I just need things clean.

O: Organized This ties into the neat freak thing. I find order in chaos and love to organize. Organizing is different than cleaning. In organizing you can make cute charts, or storage boxes, or whatever. That is fun!

P: Punctual I will be where I am supposed to be when I am supposed to be there. In all reality, 99.99% of the time I will be early. I don't like to be late. I wasn't raised that way. What can I say?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for all of my life lessons.
Daily Affirmation: I have an understanding heart.


ABC Fun!

Getting to know me...J, K, L

J: Juggling I wish I could juggle. I try. I impress darling daughter but I have a long way to go. I don't know why this fascinates me so much but don't you think it is a good talent to have? On a side note, I have learned to make balloon animals!

K: Kindness This is HUGE to me. I believe in the Golden Rule 100%. I believe if we hand out kindness, kindness returns. It may not be directly from a person you were kind to but it comes back. I feel I have been given so many blessings in my life since I do strive to be kind. I think if I didn't, I wouldn't have so many wonderful opportunities.

L: Lemons I adore lemons. I could just slice one and eat one. I love lemons in my water and could just squeeze lemon juice on a salad. This is one reason I am striving to grow a healthy lemon tree - to keep me in a good supply of lemony happiness! And yes, I am passing this love on to darling daughter. And limes work perfectly fine too!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for birds singing - even if they start before the sun comes up.
Daily Affirmation: I am a good listener.


ABC Fun!

Getting to know me...G, H, I

G: Gardening I really do love to garden but sometimes I feel I lack in consistency. I would consider myself a newbie too since I am still troubleshooting what to do with those pests....such as catepillars on the lemon tree, which is growing in a large pot. Our family has had some really good tomato seasons but also, some pitiful ones. The deer ate our carrots and a vast majority of other yummy treats. That's my story and I am sticking to it! Especially since it is highly likely.

H: Headstands I did them as a kid but as I got older, I stopped. I really wanted to do one again and guess what? I did! Woo-hoo! I am now having fun teaching darling daughter how to do one and perhaps one day we will both progress to handstands! Did I just say that?

I: Ice Cream Confession time. Years ago when I was a young child, okay, probably not so young. Maybe Junior High. Maybe High School. Anyhow, while clearing the table one night I told my older sister I couldn't finish my ice cream and handed her a dish of horseradish sauce. It didn't go over too well.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for antibiotics when you need them.
Daily Affirmation: I have the power to achieve amazing things.


Blogger Love!

Blogging isn't just about me and my story. There are so many stories out there and today, I want to introduce you to Jenny, who blogs at simply be...me. I love it because all I can do is be me and I strive each and every day to be a better me!

Jenny was kind enough to play along and answer some questions for my Blogger Love! feature. Yes, you will see more of this here and there. Check out what she said below!

How would describe your blog? simply be...me is a place where I write about my everyday life with a focus on running and family. I am a working mother of 2 (a 4-year-old boy and an 11-month-old girl) and as of May 2013 I am officially a marathoner! Race recaps, weight-loss, recipes, and randoms are a few topics you will discover on my blog. Join me as I run, write, live, and simply be...me.

What are your current fitness and health goals? Overall my fitness and health goals are to get back into pre-pregnancy shape, and ultimately into the best shape of my life. I am utilizing running, strength training, and clean eating to help me reach these goals. At the same time I want to stop focusing so much on how my body looks and focus more on what it can do. I have four races coming up (three half-marathons, and one 10K trail race) and I want to push my body and mind to be the best it can be at this point in time.

Brag time! Go ahead...tell the world! What is your most recent greatest accomplishment? Finishing my first full marathon! I decided while I was pregnant with my second child in 2012 that I wanted to train for and finish a full marathon in 2013. I ran a 10K two-months post-baby and registered for the BMO Vancouver Marathon shortly after that. Since having my girl 11-months ago I have ran a 10K, two half-marathons, and the full marathon. I ran the marathon with Team Fox and raised money for Parkinsons' Disease research. My father-in-law suffers from Parkinsons so this was a cause close to my family. Although I was proud of my achievement when I initially crossed the finish line, it wasn't until I presented my father-in-law with my medal from the marathon that it really hit me just how big of an accomplishment it was, and how grateful I am to be able to do something I love every day of my life.

If someone were to read just one post on your blog, which would you like it to be? Life is like a Christmas Tree - I still struggle with the comparison trap and re-reading this post helps remind me to focus on myself and no one else. As I wrote in the post, I need to be proud of what I can do and not let the abilities of others overshadow my own.

I am so thankful that I got to "meet" Jenny and got to know her by opening up my blog to those who wanted to play along. I will defnitely be following her journey and her story did make me a wee bit teary eyed! How about you?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the delightful sound of children playing.
Daily Affirmation: My own spirituality is growing.


ABC Fun!

Getting to know me...D, E, F.

D: Dentist I am really nervous about going for fear they will find another cavity. I went too long as an adult without going and paid the price. Go to the dentist. Make an appointment now. Not going never pays.

E: Eggs I get really excited about decorating Easter eggs and love that darling daughter is into it too. At least for now. I used to never eat the yolks. Now I will. They aren't as bad as I thought they were. And hey, if the egg is pink, how can you not eat it? P.S. We will even color eggs at other times of the year too! Why not?

F: Frogs They are mushy and I don't like them. But it is more out of fear of smooshing them than touching their slimy body, I think. Or because I grew up with so many dead frogs in the streets. Yuck. I still find them on my runs. Gross. And to think, in college we had to do some crazy lab experiments with frogs. I never ran out. I did them. On a side note, I even plucked a pigeon solo when my lab partner ran out. I thought guys were tougher than that? Oh well...

Have a beautiful day!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for all the experiences in my life.
Daily Affirmation: I am generous.


ABC Fun!

Getting to know me....A, B, C. And yes, more will be coming!

A: Athlete I just recently got the courage to call myself an athlete. This was a HUGE leap for me and you know what, I am glad I had the courage to take it. The vlog is at the end of this post if you want to see it.

B: Butt Muscles I have always been self conscious about my butt. I had fears it was too big. Now I know it is me and who I am and kinda like the nickname that has been given to me, Butt Muscles, since it was given with thought to how those muscles help  me achieve all of my great running. Awesome!

C: Christian I do believe in God. I don't blog about it often but it is at the core of who I am. I believe my spirit was meant to run and it was during a long run that I reconnected with my spirituality. I will be forever grateful.

Have a beautiful day!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for puppies.
Daily Affirmation: I am a loving daughter.


Running Like Crazy and Getting Nowhere!

I try to look on the bright side of things because I feel if you dwell too much on the negativity that all you will see from that point on is the negativity. And I still feel this way but sometimes life can just get all wrapped up crazy and I want to hit the pause button if only to regroup. I need that now. I need a pause button.

The thing is as much as I feel overwhelmed and in desire of a break I am surrounded by good. Yes, there is some yuckiness in there but like a good friend told me, that's life. And it is. So let's focus on the good. My bank's fraud department rocks the boat and stopped someone from using my card number too many times before I even realized they started to. How cool is that? Yes, I am still having the hassle of changing automatic payments, filling out the necessary paperwork at the bank, and waiting for my money to magically and officially reappear in my bank account but in all reality, I see the good in it all. I just don't like the time it has taken out of my week and yes, the final weight will come of my shoulders when the money is where it should be. The thing that is nagging me that I have having problems quieting is that ongoing question - What did I do wrong? How did I cause this to happen? Questions that will never be answered so they really should just drift away and I should move on.

Second craziness --- getting ready for darling daughter and I to go on vacation! Super exciting right? Yes but there is that underlying guilt of being so excited when dear hubby is staying home. I am trying to not be overly amped but darling daughter and I can't stop talking about our plans. And this brings me to yesterday. I could have run longer to get my run fill but I didn't. I couldn't. Well, I could have and as much as falling off target in my running this week is bugging me it bugged me more to leave dear hubby with an essentially empty fridge, freezer, and pantry. He did tell me he would be okay. I know he would but honestly, what kind of wife leaves her husband with barren cupboards? Not me! So I called him yesterday with my crazy idea to just go shopping. He agreed and we made an evening trip to Costco to get him stocked up with goodies and it was worth it.

Third craziness --- darling daughter is graduation preschool tonight! She is so excited! I can't wait to see their Aloha Night performance. I know those kids have been practicing hard as darling daughter is keeping me filled in. It will be an awesome night and yes, there is that underlying sadness that next year she will be going to a new school. We will be learning new routines. It makes me sad...in fact sad enough to be getting a bit teary eyed. I already told her not to be bugged by me crying tonight. I will. But I am happy. She is so excited to start kindergarten next year and her teachers fully agree she is completely ready. Beyond ready. She is already calling herself a kindergartner and you know what, she is. It is just her final month or so of preschool is the equivalent to summer camp for those preschools not on an extended year. But I will miss her loving teachers and her education being grounded in our faith. Guess I will be looking into Sunday School classes soon too, huh? And yes, I could have run longer this morning before work, as I won't have time after work due to the graduation ceremony, but I didn't. It was more important for me to take that running time and convert it into shopping time to get darling daughter a lei for tonight....plus a cute flower! I don't know how preschool graduations are in your neck of the woods but here they are a big deal! There is no way on Earth my precious gem won't have a lei of her own!

My plan tomorrow is to get my butt up early and hit the gym for my long run and I know I will. I can't skip out and run a bit at home since I already promised the staff I would be there tomorrow to pay my one day overdue dues. Yep, that compromised card number is kicking me in my butt. I knew updating things online on Monday probably wouldn't be quick enough for the change to cement in place and for my gym to collect its dues. And no, I couldn't settle things today since that transaction can't happen until later in the gym hours. The good - they know me. They know I will be back. They let me run this morning....even if it was only a measly two miles. Argh! This mom needs a longer run!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for quiet mornings.
Daily Affirmation: I have in it me to break a 4:20 marathon!


Push It Wednesday Burn Out

Burn out probably isn't the right phrase to use but I just need a break. I started Push It Wednesday as a formal entry on my blog to stay committed to my frame of mind to push things a step further in my training. You can read more about its beginning HERE. But the thing is, recently I am not pushing it just on Wednesday. My training is intense and my life is full so I feel each day I am pushing it, even if that means just finding the time for a nice and easy run. Therefore, I am finding it hard to write a meaningful, and hopefully motivational, post each Wednesday to document my journey.

See, long run moved to Thursday, intervals on Tuesday
The commitment to my training is still there but some of those Push It Wednesday runs have been moved to Tuesdays to accommodate my long run moving to Friday. I was even tempted to still do the intervals on my plate today since I couldn't yesterday. I had to run at home to accommodate dear hubby's birthday run and I really didn't want to adjust the intervals to that incline. I wanted to nail my prescribed time. But in the back of my mind there was doubt that I should do that and just have one down day before my long run on Friday....and that must be Friday. Do you see where I am going? Perhaps a bit crazy but still determined.

Those intervals may be lost this week but I feel I have room for them in upcoming weeks with a bit of jiggle. I haven't been jiggling much this training cycle and hope this jiggle time is just now and I will get back to the structure I was loving. Here is a glimpse at that structure.

I already modified my training to move runs to their respective days from this point forward. That will help. I had my original plan, I made adjustments to account for upcoming family time, and I solidified them formally. That makes me feel good. And the next three weeks will be a true test of determination as darling daughter and I spend time with Grandma, Aunties, Uncles, and Cousins and this Mommy finds a way to have fun and play while busting out some intense training runs. To be honest, I am looking forward to the challenge and feel it can all work out beautifully! My mom is incredibly supportive and has already formulated the Plan B of me running on her community's treadmill while she takes darling daughter to the pool. Can't you just see the bliss of me running in place knowing they are splashing in the pool? And yes it is a Plan B since it will be hot, hot, hot. Too bad dear hubby won't be with us this go around. He will be missed. But I do have a nifty new running vest to try courtesy of CamelBak. Now that will be fun! I hope.....

So I will be pushing my training on a regular basis and foresee that I will return to my weekly Push It Wednesday posts if I feel they add value, or if you tell me, hey lady, I needed those! Until then...I will still be posting my progress and letting you get to know a bit more about me. Stay tuned for some ABC Fun posts coming up the next few weeks! I will be going through the alphabet as a means to tell you about me and don't worry, I am doing a 3-4 letters a day. Each post will be titled ABC Fun and have a cute button that darling daughter drew for me! I was tempted to share her artwork today but decided, you just gotta wait!

Enjoy your day and the summer!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for those who ask, how are you doing?
Daily Affirmation: My faith is my strength....and I will set a good model for my daughter to have the same faith in her heart.


June Review - Marathon Training Progress

Does anyone else find summer time crazy busy? Yes, I realize that it coincides with ramped up training for my fall marathons but still, it seems crazier than usual this year!

So let's jump in with both feet into June to see how I did!

#nofilter dairy free comparison - tummy to come later
My Body and Mind
For most of June I was plagued with tummy issues. These had started in May and were persisting. With ongoing tests coming out clean I opted to try a dairy free diet for 14 days. Within days I was hooked! My body is feeling so much better without that dairy element. And the 2-3 times I accidentally ingested dairy only confirmed I am on the right path. So no dairy for me. For the most part, I don't miss it much but sometimes, like today, I miss the idea of a nice hot coffee with hazelnut cream. The reality of it would not be pleasant and I realize that now. And I like how my eyes have brightened up too!

Mentally I am doing great too! I busted out a 21 mile run split between two treadmills (and yes, techically that was in July but it supports where I am mentally) and defied all obstacles that in a previous life might have made me back down. I do prefer to run my longer runs outside on the roads for the training benefit of running on harsh concrete but in all reality, I realize that the mental edge I am gaining doing long runs on the treadmill can't be overlooked either. And please note, my training goal was 18-20 miles and I did tack on another mile to compensate a wee bit for the "easy" treadmill run. Trust me, running in place is never really easy!

I am feeling good about myself and how my body is adjusting to this training cycle. I am seeing positive benefits and am staying in alignment the best I have for quite awhile. Perhaps learning that a certain pair of running shoes wasn't ideal for me is paying off - and yes, I was already decreasing my time in these shoes since they didn't just didn't feel right. Thank goodness for a virtual custom fit analysis at Kindrunner to confirm what my heart was telling me. And I can't wait to get my toes into the shoes Joe recommended for my long runs!

The Numbers
As much as I would have wanted 175+ miles in June I ended up with 157 miles. In all reality, I shouldn't complain. It seems I caught a nasty bug that slowed me down but didn't knock me down like others I know. Poor dear hubby. I am at 891 miles for 2013 and have 2,359 running streak miles. June 30th marked day 549 of my running streak. I averaged 36.63 miles a week in June bringing my 2013 weekly average down to 33.35 miles a week. I am feeling like my 2,013 miles in 2013 goal may be slipping through my fingers but I am not backing down and giving up. I refuse to give up. I will continue to do my best!

In June I grew my tempo run to 6 miles (8'20" pace) before incorporating some speedwork. I am working on mile repeats and my first interval run this session was on the 25th. I did three mile repeats at a 8'00" pace.

July Goals
You know I already did one 21 mile run but I am hoping to do a couple of 16-18 mile long runs in July. If I get 20 miles squeezed in it would be a blessing but my next scheduled 20 miler is on August 11th. There are good reasons for this that extend beyond just my personal running goals.

It would be lovely if I break 2,500 streak miles in July. That should be completely doable because all I will need to do is run greater than 141 miles in July. With what I have been doing, it is possible. But the question is, will I be able to pull it off while spending more time with my extended family? Only time will tell!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the 157 miles I ran in June.
Daily Affirmation: I am a strong, beautiful woman.


21 Miles of Determination


It can be a good thing. It can be a bad thing. When darling daughter gets determined and resists coming back to her cooperative side I can get frustrated but deep down, I see strength there. That same determination that may be driving me nuts is the same determination that drives my running goals.

And it took every ounce of determination to turn my goal of 18-20 miles into 21 miles.

My alarm went off at 4:30 am and as much as I didn't want to get out of bed I knew I had to. If I wanted to get that long run done that I dreamed of I had to start early. Postponing things never works for me.

I climbed out of the warmth of the covers, got into my running clothes that were already laid out on the treadmill, and put some peanut butter on a couple of graham crackers. I ate those and drank some soymilk as I laced up my shoes. I grabbed my bottle of VegaSport Hydrator out of the fridge and headed over to the treadmill. I turned on the fan nearby and started my run as quietly as I could. Darling daughter stirred on the couch bed beside me. We had a special slumber party night the night before. She said, "Mommy, get up!" She saw I was up and said, "oh, you are up. Good night." and snoozed some more. She knew my crazy plan. 10 miles at home. 10 miles at the gym.

After some time she did wake up and started crafting. When she was hungry she made herself a bowl of cereal and is loving that she can pour her own milk. I pointed out cardinals and a finch that were coming to the bird feeders she made. I ran on. She played. 10.19 miles done. About 2 hours of running. Time for phase 2.

I hopped of the treadmill, did a quick batch of dishes washes, put a load of laundry in the wash, and ate a dairy free brownie and rinsed it down with the rest of my Hydrator. My only fuel during my run was the drink so I needed some energy to go on.

We got to the gym and my determination was tested. The child care attendant was late and after waiting over 15 minutes I got darling daughter cozy in a corner with my phone (she loves playing Hay Day) and I started running. I thought this was going to be a short phase. It lasted 4.68 miles. I did take a Hammer Gel, courtesy of a dear friend, and it went down nice at about mile 3. My only other fuel was more VegaSport Hydrator but diluted since darling daughter's sip was bigger than I thought it would be.

At that 4.68 mark I was informed child care staff was on site. I moved darling daughter into a better care position - always better to be able to run and play - and after a prolonged check-in period, got my butt back on the treadmill with tunes now! Yippee!

Thing is, the phone started toying with me at the start. It asked about voice control. I said no and ran on. It behaved until the end of the run when it kept stalling in attempts to turn on voice control. I kept saying no. It kept trying. I wondered what I was inadvertently hitting.

Darling daughter had suggested I ran an extra mile when I told her I only had just over 5 miles to do when I got her settled into child care. I didn't think I would have it in me. I did. Final count - 21.05 miles. The final leg was 6.18 miles.

Finishing that run put a HUGE smile on my face. I am not a big proponent of breaking up my long runs. The break between part 1 & 2 was about 1 1/4 hours. The break between part 2 & 3 was about 5 minutes. And all in all, I am so glad I did it and I am glad I tacked on the extra mile. It kinda makes me feel better about doing my long run on treadmills.

Post run fuel: VegaSport protein drink as I was out of my Recovery Drink stash. I ate a couple of animal crackers for carbs but was LOVING the pumpkin seeds. Something about that salty yumminess made my heart sing!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the support of the staff at my gym because without it, my long run may have been cut short. I seriously doubt my determination to get back on that incline treadmill later in the day.
Daily Affirmation: My determination makes me strong and I am setting a great example for my daughter. 


Push It Wednesday: Inspirational Quotes

No matter how committed you are, no matter how determined you are, it is always AWESOME to get a bit of inspiration! Here are some quotes that are meaningful to me and my own personal reason to run.

Have a great day!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for being able to run.
Daily Affirmation: I am a positive force in the universe.


Interval Training: Should I run intervals?

Yes and no.

How is that for an answer? Ambiguous right? But the thing is, training plans and strategies are not one size fits all and even though I am a huge proponent for running intervals, that doesn't mean everyone should head out today and do so. There are risks. But there are also benefits so let's review what intervals are and if you are ready to run them.

What is interval training? Intervals are specific speedwork that consists of a set number of repetions at a set distance and a set pace with a specific recovery. For example, today I ran mile repeats for my intervals. I started with a 1/2 mile warm-up, ran a mile at 8'00" pace, 1/2 recovery pace, mile at 8'00" pace... I completed four intervals. You may see this noted as such on a training plan: 4x1600m @ 8'00" w/ 0.5 mile recovery at 10'00". This is how intervals are different from fartlek runs where you randomly pick up the pace and ease back. Intervals are structured and specific and have an intended purpose. And it is best to run them where you know the exact distance. A track is awesome but soft terrain works well too as long as you know the distance. My intervals today were on the lovely gym treadmill. Gotta love it!

What are the benefits of running intervals? Intervals can be tough but they are not full sprint tough. They are beneficial since running intervals trains the cardiovascular and muscular systems to better utilize oxygen while removing carbon dioxide and lactic acid. They improve your fast twitch muscles functioning and this is good since these fibers tend to fire fast and tire quickly. They come into play in anaerobic conditions and you want strength here. The two things I love about intervals is that running them can promote more efficient running form (I do feel my body pulling into shape) and teach patience with low grade physical discomfort. And intervals improve strength.

With all those good benefits, why not run intervals right now? Well, there are risks.

What are the risks of running intervals? You could be risking injury to soft tissues and muscles or fatigue. This list isn't too long but a serious injury could sideline you longer than you would like.

Who should run intervals? I think we all can as soon as we are ready. Runners need a solid base before adding on other elements. If you are running more than 20 miles a week and have done tempo runs, hills, and fartleks, you may be ready! If you add in that you are an experienced runner with a base of 500+ miles you are definitely ready! Having one 20 mile week in which you do one tempo, one hill session, and one fartlek doesn't give you the green light just yet. Keep building up your pace and by golly, listen to your body!

Finally, I have to add, consult with your doctor before making any changes in your current exercise program. I am a certified RRCA adult distance running coach and feel comfortable sharing knowledge but want to say, running can be dangerous if you jump in with both feet and don't pay attention. And since running isn't one size fits all, it is always good to ensure you are on the best path for yourself!

Happy Running!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the warm sweater dear hubby brought to me at work.
Daily Affirmation: I am at one with myself.

 If you liked this post, you may also like Running Doubles: Should you do it?, Tempo Runs: Why run them?, or Am I Overtraining?.


Marathon Training Week 13 and a WINNER!

This past week I began week 1 of my marathon training cycle focused on strength and speed. However, for some reason I just need to focus on the week of marathon training I am in overall. How ironic that it is week 13. Oh that lucky number 13!

But before I go on about my training this week, and dairy, let's congratulate the winner of the Heads Up Bands giveaway - Trish Parrell, please email me at lifeasarunningmom (at gmail.com). If I do not hear from you within 3 days I will need to select another winner. To make your email stand out put WINNER in all caps in your subject. Thanks Trish and congratulations!

Now onto running this week....here is what I did in comparison to what I should have done.

The best way to explain this week is to break down and tell you my story...dairy and all. And some fun random pictures of this weekend's crafting fun to keep things light!

You may remember that I was having tummy issues and was under doctor's care about it. I did tests to find the cause and the good news, all tests were coming back good. The bad news, my stomach was still not perfect. I had an endoscopy scheduled for 6/21 and my gut told me that it would find nothing either. On the 20th I made a choice for me. I was going to stop taking the prescription antacids (I don't like taking anything everyday besides my supplements - which I don't really take everyday either) and try dairy free. I had read this post by Amanda and felt empowered to try to find my best diet. I got the journal from Go Dairy Free and started working. Thing is, I was already tracking what I ate and how my tummy felt. This journal took me a step further to look at all symptoms I was feeling, not just the tummy. I had looked at this journal before in the past and my thought then, I am okay. No food bugs me.

Making homemade bird feeders
June 21st I stopped eating dairy and my congestion started vanishing almost immediately. June 23rd my head started draining like crazy but I could breath. This is a BIG thing for me. I always, always, always woke up congested. Every. Single. Day. Except when I was pregnant. It was just the norm for me. June 24th my throat was sore from the drainage. This is an important element as it is also the first day of this past training week. I hit my training goal.

Tuesday I nailed my intervals, a day early. I was feeling good. Wednesday my legs couldn't get into my run. I could breath and felt good though. I felt I just needed that massage I had scheduled. The massage that night was wonderful! Thursay and Friday I was feeling worn down. The coughing was getting to me as it was interrupted my sleep. It was all triggered by that tickly feeling in my throat. I blamed the no dairy and my body cleaning itself. My extra busy life was getting to me too. I was runing around like crazy and didn't have time to put my feet up. I went to the doctor's Thursday and yep, I had an ear infection. I was sick. Bummer. And as much as I wanted to dig deep and do my scheduled long run, I knew it wasn't the wise thing to do.

Making 4th of July home decorations
As I type this today part of me is bummed that I only had a 25 mile week but another part of me is happy. Over 549 days ago (the length of my running streak so far...and it will get to 550 days later today) I would have used all those elements as excuses to not run. And I don't think that would be best for me in terms of achieving my goals.

How am I feeling? I am energized and I can breath! The coughing is just trying to clear all this mucousy guck out of my body. I think going dairy free started it but I know once my body reestablishes itself, I will be feeling beyond great! And yes, I truly feel dairy is a problem for me because one day I accidentally ate some dairy and my nose started getting stuffy almost immediately. Oh yes, how's my tummy? It is doing great! I am not sure how much it was dairy or other elements. I could just be a coincidence that it was already overcoming its issue when I started this experiment.

And hand painting a tote bag!
I have always been a huge supporter of everything in moderation but now I am seeing, I really do need to listen to my body as it relates to food. The thing is, I kinda always knew since I was a kid that dairy could hurt. I knew not to drink more than a glass of milk. My tummy would hurt. I was cutting back the cheese, etc. I used on my foods. I just felt better not eating to much ooey gooey yumminess. Am I missing the dairy? No, not really. Only as creamer in my coffee but in all reality, the coffee wasn't making me feel awesome either. Neither does beer or wine.

Is it worth avoiding foods that hurt? For me, yes. I know that hurt is small in terms of its impact. I won't die from a stuffy nose or a headache (wine gives me headaches) but I won't feel awesome either. So why bother? Why not just enjoy the foods that make my body feel energized along with a nice bottle of sparkling water if I feel like indulging?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the support of my doctor while I investigate a dairy free diet.
Daily Affirmation: I am able to truly listen to my body.