Resolutions and ClifBar Winners!

Last week I checked in on my resolution progress. I loved reading all of your comments and started out strong responding but then, work took over. I gotta say, directing a road race is tough! I must confess, I am loving it. Every. Single. Stressful. Crazy. Moment. Although I will also love to return to my standard training schedule but it looks like this week will be like last week, perhaps with even less mileage. Too bad I am not tracking my running around the office, back and forth to my car, etc. And all the heavy lifting adds in to fitness not being recorded but that is all fine and dandy because yesterday I got this comment, "oh, you are just showing off how strong your working out makes you" or something along those lines when I carried a large tent box by myself. Thing is, that box weighed less than my daughter and yes, I still carry her from time to time. I call it strength training and ladies, don't we need that to keep our bones strong? Okay, guys you do too.

But let's get to the GOOD STUFF! The ClifBar giveaway I posted last week is over. All good things must come to an end. There were a total of 113 entries! Do you know how badly I want each and every one of you to win?!

The 5 lucky winners were selected randomly through rafflecopter. They will each receive an email and as stated, if I do not hear back from a winner by February 5th a new winner will be selected. Winners - you gotta email me your physical mailing address to lifeasarunningmom(@gmail.com). Please use the subject heading WINNER in all caps to make your email stand out so I can promptly attend to you! The winners' addresses will be emailed to ClifBar, who will be sending you your gift packages.

And the winners are.....

Thank you to all that entered and keep up the great work on your goals!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful to be sharing some goodness with 5 lucky people today.
Daily Affirmation: I am at peace.


Monday Check-in

Woo-hoo! It is Monday again! Yes, I am trying to pump myself up and see all the good in the world because it is there. I just have been feeling a bit grouchy and overwhelmed so it is harder to see it through the fog. I am hoping writing what I did do last week picks my spirits up because in all reality, I am feeling guilty still that my running and training is falling to the wayside in my life right now.

You can read HERE about how the week before was not good at all. My legs felt so awkward on the treadmill and my confidence came crashing down. I was desiring a nice road run and each day I thought I would I came up with a 1,000 reasons not to. Some are good. Well, I think they all were. I was  making choices and yes, sometime work does need to take priority and yes, my daughter will ALWAYS take priority. With that said, here is what I did!

Monday: 1 mile before work. My thought was that adding in just a mile days here and there may help my legs. I also did 15 minutes of yoga - Beginner Flexibility with some intermediate poses - but my earphones were acting up. I could hear the background music but the teacher's voice on my app was barely there. Good thing I kinda knew what to do next through continued practice but it was a bit harder to flow through the class.

A touch of what I am working on!
Tuesday: 4.03 miles after work. My goal was to do just a mile as I was still determined to let my body fully recover from lack of sleep, too much stress, whatever. The run felt too good though so I kept on going. I followed it up with 30 minutes of yoga - Intermediate Flexibility.

Wednesday: 2.15 miles before work. Oh me oh my! I dreamed of a longer run today but the howling wind kept me up the night before. The torrential downpours extended my drive time. I was lucky to get this in with 15 minutes of yoga - Beginner Flexibility with intermediate poses - before work. And the earphones? Still acting up. It was funny to run to songs where you could hear the instrumental but not really the voices. If you heard the voices, there were in faraway tunnel. I did my yoga without the earphones and could barely hear the instructions over the noise in the gym.

Thursday: 3.01 miles after work. I came to terms that I just may not get 40 miles in this week...and perhaps next. My work load is willing taking a toll on me. I am sleeping less; therefore, my body just isn't recovering as it should. As I type this it still stings to have to accept what is here for me now and I must have faith all will be fine and no huge detrimental things will impact my overall training. Good thing FAITH is my power word for 2014. I need a lot of FAITH right now! I followed up my run with 30 minutes of yoga - Intermediate Flexibility - and that felt great! Yes, I could sacrifice yoga time and run more but I really think I need to stick to both and not just because it is a goal. I am discovering positive impacts of yoga and feel cardio, flexibility, and body awareness are all important. I also have FAITH that each will contribute to me achieving my goals. My hammies are happier each day!

Friday: 1.06 miles after work as I slept in again. I am just so tired but that makes sense with limited sleep Tuesday night. Followed up my run with yoga - 15 minutes of Beginner Strength with intermediate poses.

Saturday: Felt like a 10K was in order so 6.2 miles at the gym. I kept my pace a bit slower as I am still rebuilding confidence on the gym treadmill but I did do two minutes at a 9'05". It is a start! Followed it up with 30 minutes of yoga - Intermediate Combination. Afterwards darling daughter attacked our errands and chores for the day but we treated me to a yoga kit from Costco that included a strap, two blocks, a book, and a DVD for $16.99. I though 28 days of consecutive yoga deserved to be rewarded and darling daughter didn't let me talk myself out of it. Earphone update - my adaptor to screw in the earphone plug into my waterproof case was the issue....again. I just replaced this piece a mere 6 months ago and the first only lasted about 6 months. I got a new phone case that is water resistant and earphones plug in. Nice!

Sunday: I wanted to run outside today. I really wanted to run the Run for the Whales course but dear hubby has been sick all week and coughing like crazy. Darling daughter started feeling bad Saturday night so the Mommy-nurse in me came out. I ran at home and split my minimum goal of 10 miles between two runs so darling didn't go too long with out Mommy's healing love. We both attempted the yoga flow on the DVD too. Darling didn't last long but I did the 15 minutes but think I like my app more. I seem to be able to relax more into the practice but perhaps it is just because it has really cool background music that soothes my soul. In all reality, this was a wonderful day as I played so much with darling daughter. We crafted, played school, painted, played Barbies, and I built her a fort. At the end of the day I told her to make sure Mommy stops and plays more. I needed it!

I ended up running 27 miles last week. I would love to say I am okay with it and as much as the logical part of me says, yes, be happy, there is a part of me, perhaps my competitive or ego side, that is thinking, oh man, I didn't even break 30! The thing is, I got to remember that years ago, before my running streak began, at this time of year I would have run nada, zero, zilch. I would have gone weeks with no time dedicated to myself and my fitness until things at work calmed down. I got to remember that this phase happens every single year and that last year I went through it and achieved my big goal. I got to have FAITH.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I got to run and do yoga every day.
Daily Affirmation: I am a good organizer.


2 minutes to a brighter me!

Today I am coming out of left field with a crazy post. Okay, not that crazy but something I never really get into with my blogging. Okay, it is something I never really got into until recently. Yes, there was that time in Junior High and early High School years but then I abandoned ship and went naked.

What am I talking about???

Make-up! Of course!

Yes, for years I have gone without a speck of make-up on and those early years, please erase them from every one's memories. What can you expect from a kid that bleached her hair blond? Oh darling daughter, you don't need to fully follow the path I have lead in my life. Thick blue eyeliner and bleached blond hair --- can I just blame the 80's?

But onto today. Just recently, about a month ago, I got inspired to pick up that make-up bag and get back into it. Yes, I restocked it with some new items. It really is simple, some loose powder with a brush, some blush, three sets of eye shadow, a tube of mascara, and probably 6 choices of lip color. Can you see what I like to play with? And yes, I take a whole whopping two minutes, if that long, to brighten up my face.

Why? I joke that my co-worker inspired me, or at least that was my story at work when the change first happened and I was bombarded with praise and comments. The story goes, well, she always looks so good and put together that I had to do something? My post run rambled look just didn't seem right. But perhaps it was more, perhaps it was me getting braver and more confident. And I truly feel that plays a role because I am feeling better about myself, feeling good in my skin, and feeling strong. Strong enough to venture out and experiment with putting on a fresher face. To brighten my eyes and to feel well, perhaps even beautiful...beautiful to dear hubby and darling daughter. And it took her a bit to get used to the scary spider eyes (the mascara was odd to her) but she likes it now. And she really likes it when I go bold with the lipstick.

How about you? Are you a skip it kind of gal, give me two minutes and I am done, or more involved with your beauty routine?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the opportunities in my life.
Daily Affirmation: I have lovely bright blue eyes!


Resolution Check-in: And a Clif Bar Giveaway!

Photo courtesy of ClifBar
This is a sponsored post as I was offered the opportunity to giveaway Clif Bars to 5 lucky readers. I was not paid to write this post or told what to write. I was asked to talk about Blue Monday and resolutions and since it was time for an update on my flexibility progress, I accepted.

Resolution Check-in: And a Clif Bar Giveaway! How is that for a title? Creative genius at work! Perhaps I could have found something a bit more catchy but hey, it is hump day. The first hump day after Blue Monday. Say what? 

Blue Monday. I just learned about this day recently. The saying goes that the first Monday of the last full week of January can be a very depressing day. In fact some may argue the most depressing. I am not sure if I buy into this 100% but I gotta say, this past Monday was the 20th of January. I was coming off of a training lull and finally, today, on hump day, I seem to be back on track.

Why am I talking about this? Well, January 20th would be the 20th day of some of us attacking, or abandoning, our New Year's Resolutions or goals. Some may also argue that it takes 21 days to establish a habit. I don't agree with that 100% either as come on, some habits are harder to break and reestablish than others. That is one reason why I believe strongly in baby steps. Continual improvement. Change one thing at a time and once that has been well incorporated, add another.

755 days ago (okay, a bit more since I had the idea before I started the idea) I didn't say, hey, I am going to run and do yoga everyday! I said, hey, I wonder if I can run everyday in 2012? Done. Then I added on an element...can I run everyday in 2013? Done with more mileage covered. Woo-hoo! Next step, okay Erica, you can run every day as long as the good Lord keeps blessing you but can you do yoga everyday in 2014 as well? 25 days done. Woo-hoo!

And even though I set sensible goals/resolutions such as running daily, increasing flexibility through yoga....I had some tougher goals such as fuel my body better and be a stronger representative of Maui running. Funny that my big goal of breaking a 4:00 marathon wasn't listed in my resolutions but then, not really that funny. My goals are habits I want to establish and build upon. My big goal, it is icing on the cake and I feel just driving for a number isn't the best way to set myself up for success...emotionally or physically.

How am I doing? I am running every day and continued to run through a string of sucky runs last week. I am beginning to feel better in my running legs. I am doing yoga and am seeing improvements in my flexibility. Check these photos out!

Start: 12.19.13
Making progess: I will get better!
For fueling my body better, I am focusing on freggies but sometimes you just need to grab something quick and not all bars are created equal. Some just don't taste nice at all. Others are delicious. The seasonal Clif Bars were indulgent! And guess what?! Today you can enter to win some Clif Bars to try yourself. 5 lucky winners will be selected on January 29th and if I am not completely wrapped up in race director stuff, I will contact the winners by January 31st! And jump on this opportunity to try some fuel to keep your body strong and energized to tackle your fitness goals! And I love that some varieties of Clif Bar are indeed dairy free!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Now the final point, being a better representative of Maui running. I am working on that. My family has participated in two local races and I have yet to write a post. Granted, one just happened Sunday but one was at the start of the month and part of the delay is due to me waiting for the official times to be posted. I want to be more prompt in this. Wish me luck!

How are you doing with your New Year's Resolutions/Goals?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for getting to work safely in the crazy rain.
Daily Affirmation: My faith keeps me strong and confident even if I am shaking like a leaf....like during part of my drive today.


Thank You

First, I have to say, thank you so much for your comments on my post yesterday. Thank you so much for your advice and sharing your stories. I am touched.

When I sat down at my desk today the thought of overtraining did pop into my mind. Am I overtraining? You can read the signs of overtraining at the link I just provided.

But right now in this moment of time, do I think I am overtraining? No, not really. I do see I have some of the symptoms with sleep disruptions and irritability (related to sleep disruptions) but the sleep issues have to do with the race I am planning. You know those pre-marathon nightmares you might get? Well, I guess I am getting the same with pre-race execution day. Dreaming of the race not going off, running out of food, etc. etc. etc. And it is all good and all will be fine. I just really care about this race and the runner experience. It means the world to me.  And I need to take the awesome advice you all gave me and give my body some love. I know this is a tough time at work so maybe, just maybe, it isn't the time to increase training efforts. Maybe it is the time to just put time on my feet and not worry about pace. That won't kill me or my training to do that for a few weeks. In fact, it may be good!

Even dear hubby is giving me advice with suggesting I mix things up. Well, honey, I am kinda good at that with the gym versus home treadmill, varying paces, running in the AM before work or after work, and dreaming of running outside. I really should do that again soon. That always makes me feel good, fast, and strong. And yes, I know some of you may think the treadmill isn't mixing things up but hey, I do it a lot and dedicated an entire page to TM Running and the games that I play to keep me into it. Some may say it is just the necessary evil - what I need to do to do what I wan to do. Who knows, maybe tomorrow I may just have more fun running on the treadmill at the gym by playing some games and incorporating my tactics to conquer treadmill boredom.

I am already feeling much better and more confident. Seriously, thank you for taking me down this trip of memory lane, to go back and revisit some of my blog posts, and to reconnect to who I am as a runner.

I am indeed happy and ready to embrace the day...and my run at home after work...which seems to be the better time of the day to run right now. Maybe it is just becasue I don't feel so alone with darling daughter chattering away at me during my run. She is such a blessing!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for good advice.
Daily Affirmation: I have the power to overcome this hump!


Training Update

Yes, it is time for me to return to training updates on Mondays. Please, forces that be, let me continue to sit down and do this recap and evaluation of my weeks.

I am in an odd training phase right now as my key races are way out there in September and December. I just commented to dear hubby last night it is hard to train without a race closer. He says I will have races but without them officially registered for I feel like I am wavering. And a part of me is sad that this will be the second year in a row I am not running the Run for the Whales. Guys and gals, I seriously LOVED running that race and invite you to do the same - live or virtually! But I digress, training last week....well, in one word....sucky.

Last week sucked and I really hope my efforts this morning are not an indicator of how this week will go. I thought my body may have been responding to lack of sleep, stress at work, or the daily yoga. Who really knows and I don't think I can put too much effort into trying to ascertain what the thing is since it may be all of them combined. What I do need to do is look at what I did and plan on where to go from there. So here we go!

Monday: I ran 1.5 miles at home after driving through crazy traffic to get darling daughter from school. Traffic here is pretty non-existent but this was awful. I added in 15 minutes of yoga - beginner relaxation - and darling daughter said my eyes went from red to blue.

Tuesday: 3.38 miles before work and they were hard. The treadmill is feeling foreign to me. It took pure determination to keep running. I followed it up with 15 minutes of yoga - beginner flexibility - and that lifted my spirits. I ran another 4 miles at home and those felt more natural.

Wednesday: 3 awkward miles before work again. Geesh! Why do I feel like I am a ping pong bouncing around on this darn treadmill? I am so tense. 15 minutes of yoga - beginner flexibility - but I am thinking about up'ing my yoga classes to the intermediate level.

Thursday: 2.5 miles on the home treadmill. I couldn't resist the temptation to cuddle more with darling daughter in the morning but ended up missing getting my exercise done before work. I also did 30 minutes of intermediate flexibility. Some of these poses are a bit challenging - gotta love it!

Friday: Got my bootie to the gym before work for 2.88 miles - miles of determination and frustration. I really wanted 3 but my legs felt foreign, the treadmill is still feeling weird, I gave up and went to the corner in the gym for some yoga - 15 minutes of beginner flexibility to give my body and mind some love. Once home I did another 3 miles of running. I know I am stressed with work and all I need to do - I know I need to keep on running to find that inner peace. It is there....somewhere.

Saturday: #megsmiles. 7.51 miles run at the gym in her memory and to honor my running streak day 7.51. It took over 4 miles for me to feel a bit more like me. It took over an hour of running for me to feel comfortable on the treadmill and trust my footfalls. This run started and ended with tears. My heart still aches for her family and friends, as well as another runner who lost his life due to a car hitting him. The tragedy is almost too much for me to bear. I followed it up with 15 minutes of beginner flexibility; however, I am now replacing some starter poses with the intermediate version. I ran another 3 miles later at home.

Sunday: Kind of a funny running day. I ran 0.14 miles and the breaker blew. It took darling daughter and I a moment to realize no, the power didn't all go out but boy does that house get dark quick! Did another 5 miles on the treadmill and took a break to get dinner started and a load of laundry in the washer. Back on the mill for another 3.75 miles to reach my goal of another 40 mile week. Followed it up with yoga - 15 minutes of beginner relaxation. I need more inner peace.

One month check in!
All in all, I should be happy I achieved a 40 mile week but I am troubled by how hard the easy runs felt. I still attribute a lot of that to lack of sleep and stress. I am having nightmares and that is negatively impacting my sleep and frame of mind. There is so much going on and I know I am blessed to be able to run and do yoga every day. I am. I just need a day with some good news so tell me, who's having a baby? Getting married? Got a new job? PR'd? Found true love?

But seriously, I do see the goodness around me. I feel it in my heart and am honored to be part of the running community. A group of people who will run in memory of people they may never have met in real life. Thank you for caring!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful my daughter's swim coach is okay after having a cycling accident. I am thankful my stepson is okay after being hit by a car while on his cycle. I am thankful my co-worker and dear friend's mom is okay after being rushed to the hospital. I am thankful that my cousin's daughter is okay after falling off of a horse. But I still mourn the loss of two runners I never met and I mourn the loss of a wonderful lady, a great volunteer, who will be deeply missed. It has been a tough week and a half for me. I am thankful I am finally able to write the words down even if it means I am shedding more tears.
Daily Affirmation: My empathy makes me a better person.


Suck it up Buttercup!

Yes, it is time for my to firmly tell myself to suck it up and get on with it....or better yet, get over it!

My running this week has been no walk in the park. No rushing endorphins. No feeling of grandeur. It has been a true testiment of determination to do what I know deep down inside I should do and what I want to do. Don't get me wrong, each day I have wanted to run. The thing is, my runs have felt awkward like a new baby taking their first steps. My legs seem to be disconnected from my brain and feel funny. I feel myself tensing up on the treadmill. In all reality, I am tense from the second I step onto it. With this fear I started my run today, did a measly 2.88 miles, and stepped off to go do my yoga. As I left the gym I pondered how on Earth can I break a 4:00 marathon if a simple 3 miler is kicking my butt?!

The thing is, I know I am stressed and feel the burden of the world on my shoulders. I know there is a lot going on, a lot I need to do. Each day dear hubby asks me how work is and I say busy. He says good but in all reality, less busy would be fine. An avalanche is crushing down on me and burying me so deep I wonder if I will ever pull myself out. I run and do yoga daily. I scratch to keep my breathing hole open and to keep in touch with myself and my inner core somehow but I am barely hanging on.

And then something happened. On my drive into work today I had a thought. An idea. A vision. Something I want us to do at work. I know it is hard but I also know we can do it, we should do it. Just dig deep. Keep asking. I feel myself being buoyed up with inspiration and the hope of better things to come. I feel....wait...optimistic!!!! Yes, optimistic! I am back!

Even before leaving the gym I knew I needed to stop mourning the miles I didn't run. I was beginning to see the light and accept where I am today. I realized what I run today really won't negatively impact my big goals in running. I know I am doing yoga and that is impacting my body. I know I need to stick to it as I do see improvements. I know my body is working hard, adapting, and getting stronger. I realize it could be affecting how my legs feel. I know these little runs feel measly to me but I also know they are big. I could have chosen not to run. I wouldn't...but I could. Years ago I would have. But not now. I am getting mentally stronger. And the fact that I keep going back to my daily run each and every day this week when they have been blah and I feel fear building up inside of me just shows me that the inner strength I will need to achieve my big goals is there. This string of yuck will make me a better runner. It will.

I need to suck it up and stop being so hard on myself. I need to just go with the flow and have faith that I will indeed not be buried alive at work. I won't. It will all be fine. I will do great with each task assigned to me. I will perservere and grow through this experience. I will. Because in all reality, the thing weighing the heaviest on me is the desire to organize and put on an amazing race. Read about it HERE. And I will.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for finding my positivity again!
Daily Affirmation: I am strong!


Run for the Whales - and a GIVEAWAY!

Please note: This is a completely biased post. Honesty is indeed the best policy! I work for Pacific Whale Foundation and am Race Co-Director for the Run for the Whales. I do care about its success. However, I am writing this post on my own free will and this post in itself is not part of my work nor was I asked to do it by my work. The giveaway is also my own free will. I am personally supplying the VegaSport Sampler package to one lucky winner who helps me spread the word. Details at the end of this post.

The Run for the Whales is an annual race hosted by Pacific Whale Foundation. I have participated in this event for years along all different avenues. When I first started at Pacific Whale Foundation I assisted the Race Director with handling registrations and preparing the race packets. I was then fortunate to become a supporter of the event by running the race. That was fun! I have run the 5K, the half marathon as a double loop, and the half marathon modified without a double loop. Last year I didn't run the race as I served as an assistant again to the Race Director with a focus on managing the course on race day. That was hard work. You can read about it HERE.

If there is one thing we probably all learn about life is that it is constantly changing and that includes the race course for the Run for the Whales. Yes, it has changed again and I believe each change is a step in continual improvement. This year the run is being brought "home" and by that I mean, it is starting and ending at Ma'alaea Harbor, the home to the offices of Pacific Whale Foundation. How great is that?! The races offered have also changed ever so slightly - the half marathon is ever present, there is a 10K run, a 5K run, and a new 2.5 mile walk. The walk is on a separate loop from the run courses, which are all pretty simple out and backs. That is awesome news as a race course that is simple is wonderful, isn't it? Course maps are available HERE. Please note, runners will be running out and back on the same side of the road.

If you have participated in this event in the past you know the course profile had some hills, twists, turns, and tunners. Those are gone and the new course is pretty flat so you can aim for an amazing PR! But don't worry, you still have awesome ocean views! But I will be honest, you are quite likely to start the race against a head wind but rest assured, a tail wind at the end is amazing! I have faith you have the toughness to do this!

My personal focus this year for the Run for the Whales is the runner experience. As a committed runner who loves to race, I know what makes races more memorable to me. With that said, there will be plenty of aid stations along the course and Gatorade will be provided at select aid stations to support the runners. Frost Glacier Freeze this year. We even have some local businesses and organizations set and ready to go to provide you aid at select aid stations! And many thanks to the volunteers already signing up to help. They are very excited to be there for you!

Recent race photo by Randy Sherman
Marty Dread will be joining us at the after party to keep you and your family entertained post race while you enjoy a continental breakfast and await the award ceremonies, slated to start around 8:00 am. Medals will be given three deep to overall finishers and in each division for the half marathon, 10K, and 5K runs. All participants will be eligible to win a door prize and the prizes available this year are things I truly want myself. I dreamed of everything I would love to have and tried to make those dreams come true for you!  Race participants are invited to tour the Pacific Whale Foundation offices and will receive a special runner discount on whalewatches. And don't forget to take a moment to look at your race photos as a local photographer, Randy Sherman, is on board to capture you along the course or at the finish. Registration is available online if you are ready to race with us!

Not on Maui? Don't worry, you are still able to support a great cause and participate in the Run for the Whales virtually. And yes, virtual runners will receive the same race shirt and yes, I have pulled aside some door prizes for you guys too! All virtual participants will be entered into their own separate drawing.

Now for the giveaway - all I am asking for is your help to spread the word about this event. One lucky person will be selected randomly to receive a VegaSport Sampler package that I put together myself. Yes, I am doing this for you to thank you for helping me! Entries will be accepted until race day, February 1. Since I will be busy that weekend, I will notify the lucky winner on Monday, February 3rd. Thanks for your help!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for your help.
Daily Affirmation: I know when to ask for help.


Blog of the Month!

One of my goals in 2014 is to make more connections in the world and spread the love. With that said, I dreamed up Blog of the Month. Yes, I know it is nothing Earth shattering. Monthly features are indeed nothing new and revolutionary but this feature on my blog is new. I put out the idea to fellow SweatPink, Kindrunner, and FitFluential Ambassadors and I am not at a loss of blogs to share. You see, I did it this way so I wasn't just promoting blogs I already read but hoped to find some new gems as well!

January's Blog to Love is a new one for me and isn't that a great way to start the year and this feature!

Introducing Run Away With Me! What a beautiful blog name, and yes, let's go run away on some lovely country roads. I'm serious here - I have a dream of running on a long, quiet, beautiful country road. Perhaps one day. Until then I get to meet Kristen!

Kristen is a 26 year old runner from Philadelphia. Her blog focuses on running but like me, the topics may vary at time as she talks about the occassional hiking, camping, or baking adventure. Nice! Sometimes tangents are delightful and I can't wait to get some baking inspiration!

Today Kristen is talking about her Monday Motivation to Scare Yourself. Trust me, this is a good thing and she recently scared herself by running her first 8 mile run! Congrats Kristen! Keep up the great running!

Kristen is a fellow SweatPink Ambassador and feel free to hope on over to her blog and share some love and support! And can even let her know Life as a Running Mom sent you her way.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I found a new blog gem today and yes, I will be following Kristen's adventures!
Daily Affirmation: I am getting faster!


You NEVER regret a workout

You never regret a workout. We all hear that a million times and there is a reason for that, it is true. I can't think of one run that I regretted. Okay, maybe that time I went back and ran a little extra and tweaked my IT band. Or maybe not. I really don't regret going to the gym and running that day. And I did stop before things got too bad. But at 4:00 am it may be really hard to remember all the good reasons I run.

Today was one of those days. You know them. The days when the alarm goes off and you don't want to climb out of the bed and go out into the cold dark world to make your way to the gym. Yes, I know my cold isn't anywhere near the cold others face but trust me, I really do think the 55 degrees this morning was cold. I feel like a wimp now.

I thought of how I could run after work. That is true. I could and I would. I knew I would have the time and desire to run and do some yoga at home and yes, I could sleep in bed one more hour before going into work. The thing is, I really didn't want to do that. Deep down inside I did know that - even though that little voice was trying to convince me to snooze. But I didn't listen to it. I remembered how good I felt the day before at work with the run and yoga in me. I was better prepared to handle the stress at work. At one point I even commented, "Thank goodness I ran and did yoga this morning!" I needed that within me today. I needed that good for my body to start a work day overloaded with things to do. I needed my energy and faith reserves. I got up and headed out the door.

My run wasn't anything spectacular today. Just a nice and easy progressive 3 mile run. I followed it up with just a simple 15 minutes of yoga focused on flexibility. In my run I "worked". Yes, I thought of work, the things I needed to do, the emails I needed to send, the planning I needed to do, and the orders I needed to enter. My head was swirling and the miles flew by. During the yoga my mind was silent. Not one thought drifted to work. I listened to the guidance, I breathed in my nose and out my mouth, I stretched, chilled, and relaxed. I only pondered life outside my body for a moment when I was doing the corpse pose. I wondered if someone would get concerned about a "dead body" laying on the floor in the corner of the gym. I told myself, get over it. And I did.

The funny thing is as I walked out of the gym sipping my VegaSport all-in-one nutritional shake it dawned on me. I didn't hear one single thing when I was doing my 15 minutes of yoga. The gym machines. The music. None of it. I just heard my yoga studio guidance and my breathing. How cool is that?

How did you start your day?
Have you ever done a workout you regretted?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my cute, new space heater!
Daily Affirmation: I am at peace.


NeoCell: A Product Review

This is a sponsored post. In October I received product from NeoCell at no charge to review. I received one bottle of Keratin Hair Volumizer and one bottle of Super Collagen +C to sample. I did not promise a positive review. The opinions expressed below are solely my own.

Aloha and Happy Tuesday!

When I received the email from NeoCell I was instantly interested; however, when I looked deeper I saw that the protein powder they originally offered did contain dairy. Bummer. I expressed my interest in their product but said I am a dairy free type of gal. They kindly directed me to the page of their supplements that are indeed dairy free. Woo-hoo! My dream of healthier hair may just indeed come true!

Yes, that is the girlie side of me. I dream of lovely curls bouncy beautifully in the wind with vibrant color and no yucky ends. Don't we all? The sales representative listened to my dreams and pointed me more firmly in the right direction telling me those who tried the Keratin Hair Volumizer have had happy results. We also decided upon the Super Collagen +C for dear hubby to try to see if it helped his aches.

Before I go further, let's talk about collagen and what all this hoopla is all about. First, collagen is the main structural protein in your connective tissue. Mine too. In fact, all animals. If you really want to get into it, collagen yields a gelatin when boiled. Fun, huh? Okay, so collagen is in our connective tissue. So what? Well, it is argued that taking collagen supplements can increase the strength in your bones (nice news for a lady with osteopenia), nails, hair (yippee!), and skin. It is further argued that collagen can help your heart and increase the rate of wounds healing. Coolio! Sounds pretty neat, huh? But you know where I was dreaming of going with bouncy, beautiful curls. For dear hubby, I was hoping it would help his aching knees.

Introducing November. My goal was to take my Keratin Hair Volumizer daily while dear hubby took the Super Collagen +C daily. I succeeded. He didn't. I guess I should have given it to him myself each and every day but seriously, I am not one to force someone into things. So his trial is essentially null and void. Don't worry. I added on a personal trial myself of the Super Collagen +C in December in order to write my honest review of both products.

Keratin Hair Volumizer: I must confess, at the end of November I did notice a bit more bounciness in my hair. I had also secretly hoped that I would have less hair falling out. I really don't know if I do since it did cycle anyhow but I am leaning towards nope. I still have hair falling out left and right. Oh well! The changes in this first month weren't mind blowing though as nothing was night and day. Just small changes that I thought I could see but wasn't 100% convinced I wasn't seeing things that weren't there. Does that make sense?

Super Collage +C: In December I was out of the Keratin Hair Volumizer  and started taking the Super Collagen +C. Please note, I started taking one tablet a day but in a few days I opted to take two. The recommended dosage is 6 but I am not one to take tons of tablets multiple times throughout the day. What kind of test monkey does that make me? Well, a good one because by the end of December I can honestly say, this stuff is making a difference! What I can't say is if the Super Collagen +C is better than the Keratin Hair Volumizer (with the two tablets I am taking now though it is more collagen supplement each day) or if I just needed more time with the supplements in order to see marked improvements.

My hair, yes, it is healthier but I made another switch in December with the shampoo darling daughter and I are using. That is another post. Is my hair still falling out, yes. I guess it always will. Darnit. So what is so wonderful? I HAVE FINGERNAILS!!! Honestly, I haven't had fingernails with any sort of length my whole entire life except for one not quite nine month spell. Yes, I had long, strong nails when I was pregnant. I attribute that to my pre-natal vitamins. Hmmm....I wonder if there is collagen in those??? And they were prescription vitamins so I can't even go look at a label in the store.

In a nutshell, I am hooked! When I am out of this stuff I will be buying more Super Collagen +C from NeoCell. I can't see what it is doing inside in terms of my connective tissue and/or heart health but I can say, visibly stronger nails is a plus and I have enough knowledge in me to know that my hair must be getting stronger too. Who knows, maybe one day I will see less hair fall!

Thank you NeoCell for giving me this opportunity to try and review your product!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for this opportunity from NeoCell.
Daily Affirmation: I am a beautiful, strong woman.


Resolutions 2014

Time is already flying by this year. I can't believe how quickly each day slips by as I am extremely busy in home and work life. But in all reality, I would rather have more than enough to do than nothing to do. And now it is the start to a new year so it is time to write down some resolutions. First, I must say I don't view resolutions in the traditional sense. I am not looking to redefine who I am, give up something big, or try to live a new life in any way, shape, or form. Instead, resolutions are more like my life goals. Where I want to see myself growing and developing in the new year. Yes, you can set these goals at any time in your life but in all reality, with all the hype of a new year why not choose the beginning of a new year? Plus it sets a good time frame to measure your progress by and yes, any goal you set for yourself, or I set for myself, must be SMART - specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.

With that said, I have four primary goals for 2014.
  1. Fuel my body well. This is a continuation of my goal in 2013 to eat cleaner. I have made improvements but I feel there is still room to grow. Each day I make choices on what to eat and what not to eat. I want those to be guided by how those foods make my body feel. I am not going to say I will never drink a drop of alcohol or eat a bite of sugar. Yes, those may make my body feel less than 100% but I do feel it is okay to indulge and enjoy life as well. My goal is to get more freggies into my diet and by this I mean perhaps adding in new recipes or new varieties. 

  2. Improve my flexibility. I want to be able to touch my toes again. Hey, I wouldn't even mind being able to do the splits again. I see amazing yoga poses and dream of being able to do them. Are any of these elements truly that important? Yes and no. Yes, because I do want to try to get more limber and yes, because I feel they will help with my cranky hips and running. I feel my tight muscles, particularly the tight hammies that are compounded by having a desk job, contribute to my hips being pulled out of alignment. I know I feel better when my hips are in place and my legs can move freely. I believe working on flexibility will round out me as a healthier person. And the no part? I realize no fireworks will go off if I can touch my toes or do the splits or do amazing yoga poses. I realize I can benefit physically even if my efforts don't lead to those results. But still, I like having those metrics in place since they will clearly show improvements are in place, making this goal SMART. On December 19th darling daughter took a picture of me trying to touch my toes. I know have a reference point and a foundation to measure how I am doing. And how do I hope to achieve this? YOGA! Without realizing it was ever going to happen I seemed to have started a yoga streak! Today is day 6! And yes, my running streak will continue. That brings us to #3!

  3. Run every day. Today marks day 736 of my running streak and I want to keep at it all year (and beyond). Tied into that I have the new big dream to break a 4:00 marathon. I am already setting the foundation by increasing my easy pace run based on my last marathon performance. I will move to increase my speed work pace as well, probably next month. Yes, I do things in stages. This is all my pre-training as my marathon training will official begin in June with the same coach. I already have him on standby. I still have the dream of running an ultra one day but that road is still blurry. I feel if there was an official ultra on Maui I would pave it better but right now I feel the road to a speedier marathon is the right road for me to be on. I know numbers don't mean everything but my gut tells me there is more for me to learn about me here so I will continue my dream. And yes, I have a big, big goal but if you know me at all, you know I won't vocalize that one yet. I need to get to the big goal first. Baby steps my friends!

  4. Be a stronger representative of Maui running. I started this with my last race report in which I provided full race results for the local Women Helping Women race. I want to do more of that with the local races on Maui. I can't promise all races since I want to be able to tell a story too but for races my family participates in, I will strive to provide a nice overview of the race with results for all participants, not just me, dear hubby, or darling daughter. Think of it as a race review and a place where all can find results. It may be easier said than done but I will do my best!
And last but not least, my power word for 2014. In 2013, it was STRENGTH. It is the word that popped in my mind when I needed a bit of more power. A word I could repeat as a mantra. I won't drop that word from my vocabulary but it is a new year; therefore, time for a new power word to focus on. This year it will be......FAITH. Faith in me. Faith in God. Faith in love. Faith in my training. Faith in life. Faith in {you fill in the blank}. FAITH.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the YogaStudio app on my phone to guide me through my yoga practice.
Daily Affirmation: I am a caring, giving person.