Yoga Pose of the Day: Camel

I started a yoga streak on December 29, 2013. This was added on top of my running streak that I started on December 30, 2011 but that is another story. Through daily yoga I can feel my body growing stronger and I am gaining the much desired benefits of increased flexibility. I tend to focus on that and hip openers as those are what I feel my body craves the most. I am not a yoga expert so you won't see me in pretzel form but you can read what I learned from 100 days of yoga. In addition, I am here to share some information and personal insights on some yoga poses by tackling a pose here and there.

Today's Pose: Camel

What are my thoughts? I started with half camel which involves just reaching one hand back and lifting the other arm up. It has taken practice to find more comfort in this pose but it has become one of my favorites as I feel it undoes some of the damage of my day job at a desk. I can tell my lower back has become stronger through practicing this pose.

What are the benefits? It stretches the entire front of your body and strengthens the back and shoulders.

How do I do it? I start in a kneeling position and rise up onto my knees with them hip distance apart. With my hands on my lower back for support, I exhale and press my hips forward while reaching back to my ankles. I deepen the bend by continuing to press my hips forward. To come out of the pose, I bring my hands to my lower back for support, inhale, and bring myself upright. I return to a kneeling position.

Please note: I am not a trained yoga instructor and am only sharing my personal experiences. As always, I advice checking in with your physician before starting any new exercise programs or routines. 

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful my coach.
Daily Affirmation: I will break a 4:00 marathon.


Our Favorite Races: Christmas Town Dash 8K

Recently I posted about My Favorite Races. Today it is time to read about some races I have never done but others recommended!

This race was recommended by Daneene Kelley. You can also follow her on twitter!

Race: Christmas Town Dash 8K
Distance: 8K
Where: Williamsburg, VA
When: early December

Reasons given for the recommendation:
Daneene LOVES this race! It is held at Busch Gardens and runs through the park. Plus, since it is held at Christmas time the decorations make it extra special.

You can read Daneene's race recap HERE!

From my personal experience, I can attest to the wonders Christmas decorations add to a race experience and what a better way to celebrate a winter racecation! I find my own Christmas wonderland when traveling to O'ahu for the Honolulu Marathon.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for summer!
Daily Affirmation: I see the good in life.


Our Favorite Races: Malta 5K

Recently I posted about My Favorite Races. Today it is time to read about some races I have never done but others recommended!

This race was recommended by John Schuerzinger.

Race: Malta 5K
Distance: 5K
Where: Malta, NY
When: early September

Reasons given for the recommendation:
This is a new but growing race. In its 4th year this past September, participation grew from 400 runners to 600 runners. This is a great race for someone looking to run their first 5K. It is mostly flat with a few hills to keep things challenging. The race is closed to traffic. There are no medals but for $25 you get a nice technical shirt.

John added that there are three other reasons he really likes this race.
  1. It was his first race ever. You always remember your first!
  2. It was on the one-year anniversary of the day he reached his ideal weight after dropping 68 pounds and being overweight for all 25 years of his adult life. (congrats John!)
  3. He had a goal of finishing under 30 minutes and smashed that with a time of 27:14! (great job John!)
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the power of prayer.
Daily Affirmation: My mind is open.


Yoga Pose of the Day: Bow

I started a yoga streak on December 29, 2013. This was added on top of my running streak that I started on December 30, 2011 but that is another story. Through daily yoga I can feel my body growing stronger and I am gaining the much desired benefits of increased flexibility. I tend to focus on that and hip openers as those are what I feel my body craves the most. I am not a yoga expert so you won't see me in pretzel form but you can read what I learned from 100 days of yoga. In addition, I am here to share some information and personal insights on some yoga poses by tackling a pose here and there.

Today's Pose: Bow

What are my thoughts? Initially this was a bit challenging and I found myself breathing heavy and rocking a lot during the pose. It has taken me time to relax and enjoy the pose more. I do find from time to time I feel a twinge in my knee so please proceed with caution. Personally, I feel those couple of twinges were related to my legs being tighter than usual and I immediately lowered my legs some. Yoga should not be painful.

What are the benefits? It increases flexibility and strengthens the spine. It strengthens the glutes (yay!), hamstrings, and lower back. It stretches the hips, groins, chest, neck, shoulders, abdomen, and thighs. All in all, it does a lot!

How do I do it? I start from lying face down in reverse corpse. I bend both knees and grab onto my ankles. As I inhale I push my feet out and up into my hands while lifting my chest from the floor. I exhale and raise as much as I can within comfort and yes, it is okay to rock a bit with your breaths. Like I said, at first I was in rough seas. Now I am on calm waters. Exhale as you release back down. I tend to repeat this pose twice with a rest between.

Please note: I am not a trained yoga instructor and am only sharing my personal experiences. As always, I advice checking in with your physician before starting any new exercise programs or routines. 

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for Italian sandwiches on sunflower wheat.
Daily Affirmation: I walk the talk.


Yoga Pose of the Day: Cobra

I started a yoga streak on December 29, 2013. This was added on top of my running streak that I started on December 30, 2011 but that is another story. Through daily yoga I can feel my body growing stronger and I am gaining the much desired benefits of increased flexibility. I tend to focus on that and hip openers as those are what I feel my body craves the most. I am not a yoga expert so you won't see me in pretzel form but you can read what I learned from 100 days of yoga. In addition, I am here to share some information and personal insights on some yoga poses by tackling a pose here and there.

Today's Pose: Cobra

What are my thoughts? This is a pose I have done many times throughout the years. It is a pose I would do even when I didn't "do yoga". It felt pretty easy and natural to me so that was an added benefit. I am now tilting my head back to get a better chest stretch and just learned that I can try to hover my hands above my mat to challenge my back muscles even further. I haven't tried that yet.

What are the benefits? It increases flexibility and strengthens the spine. It stretches your chest, shoulders, and abdomen.

How do I do it? I start from lying face down on the mat and place my palms under my shoulders. I roll my shoulders back, hug my elbows in, and aim to engage my back muscles, versus my arms, to peel my body up from the floor while inhaling. Once up I focus on relaxing my muscles to make sure my shoulders aren't up by my ears and my glutes aren't all tight. I then exhale as I release back down to the floor.

Please note: I am not a trained yoga instructor and am only sharing my personal experiences. As always, I advice checking in with your physician before starting any new exercise programs or routines. 

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for warm sunshine.
Daily Affirmation: I am a great mom!


When Progress Seems Slow

Confession. I am a competitive person. I know that can bring up negative thoughts but in all reality, I am truly only competitive against myself. I am completely for teamwork, supporting one another, and the common greater good. But I set goals for myself. Challenges. And recently I have been feeling a little down on myself.

Let's talk about why.

At the start of this year one of my goals was to be able to touch my toes. Last December, no luck. By mid-January, success. But it only made me want more. Do you see the competitiveness here? Okay, if I can go from not being able to touch my toes to touching my toes in a month, where will I be in a year? Now it is June and I feel my progress has got stuck in the mud. Some days it is really hard to touch my toes, other days not so bad. And I see that it makes sense depending on what else I am doing with my body but I still wonder will I ever be super bendy in this regard? Does it matter? Okay, that is a post for another day. Today it does matter to me. At least the journey to find the best me I can be.

First, take a look at my progression with January on top and May on bottom.

What do I notice? First, my left knee likes to pop up. That makes sense. My left side is tighter than my right. Yes, from top to bottom. I am working on that. Second, my head is coming down. That must count for something, right?

Now for where I am today.

What do I notice? My knees are still popping up some but it seems the right and left are aligned. My head is down and I can see my face below my arms.

This is one reason why I support progress shots if there is a clear cut goal that can be measured. Without posting this and really reviewing where I was and where I am I felt I was making no progress. In all reality, before sitting down to type this I felt I was stuck at February status. Okay, so dropping my head may not be huge to someone but for me it is as I know I can feel the stretch not only in my legs but in my back. And in my legs I feel the stretch from ankle to sit bones. I am making progress.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for darling daughter taking my "toe picture" each month.
Daily Affirmation: I believe my nose will touch my knees one day!


Blog of the Month!

It is that time of the month again! Time to spread some love and share some information on another wonderful blog out there. Perhaps you know it, perhaps you don't, but why not read a bit about this month's blog and tell me what you think?!

Introducing 14 in 2014! Debi is the wonderful blog author and she is a former half marathoner, near fatal car accident victim (8/28/12), and was told she would never run again due to injuries and hardware. She ran/walked two half marathons in 2013 and is on a mission to run more in 2014 and beat her PR! Her goals are to tone muscle, lose weight, and resume training.

I don't know what you think but this lady sounds beyond amazing to me! I was so happy to go to her blog today to see what she posted as I like to share the new story from the Blog of the Month. Yes, I get it. If you check this out after June 17, 2014 the new story is old but trust me, this story is good any day of any year and it touched a cord with me today.

Today Debi talked about Making a Life Change. I have to confess, I am on the cusp of a life change and feel things are no longer in my control. Like Debi, I have to have my faith and place it in God's hands and pray as strong as I can that things do go down the path I so hope they do. You see, someone I love deeply is unhappy and I can't take responsibility for that anymore. I have accepted that I can not be blamed nor can I fix it all. Don't get me wrong, I want to wave my magic wand and make everyone happy and it breaks my heart when I can't do that for someone I love...but I can't. You see, happiness comes from within and like Debi says, you need to address the three C's: Choice, Chance, Change. So Debi, I hear you, I agree, and today I am making the choice to continue to give unconditional love and support hoping for the chance it will make a difference and that the change will be more happiness. 

P.S. Debi, I also agree, those who like my journey can follow my blog's page. I try to keep my personal page for family and close friends too!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for "meeting" Debi today and will be following her journey!
Daily Affirmation: I have the power to love unconditionally when my heart is hurting.


My Favorite Races

Close to two years ago I blogged about my top four races in Hawai'i. You can read more about those HERE. Fast forward to today and three of those four races still exist. One, The Wahine Half Marathon, left the islands. If by chance it were to return, I truly feel I would sign up for it again! Why? Because it was a fun race, a good distance, and it was a mini racecation for my family and myself.

Racing is motivating to me. I set goals for myself and focus on training throughout the year even if I am in the off portion of my training where I am not pushing myself quite as hard. Think of it as a nice recovery training phase to ensure I stay connected to the joy of running.

And racecations are a great way to race if you have the time and resources to tie your dream race into a family vacation. With that in mind, and the fact that I live in "paradise" I figured I would highlight three races that I still love.

Race 1: Run & Walk for the Whales
Distance: Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, 2.5 mile walk
Where: Maui starting and ending at the Harbor Shops at Ma'alaea
When: January/February annually
Why do I recommend this race? It is hosted by a local non-profit, Pacific Whale Foundation, that is commited to protecting our oceans through science and advocacy. I must add I am biases as I work for the non-profit and I am the race director. It is a lot of fun and your registration fees go to the research, education, and conservation efforts of Pacific Whale Foundation. There are medals three deep for overall winners and three deep for the age divisions. The course is flat and fast but the local winds can get a bit breezy! In 2014, the race drew just over 700 participants.
Race Report: This is from 2012 on the old course as this was the last year I ran the course.

Race 2: Maui Marathon
Distance: Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, Front Street Mile, Warrior's Challenge
Where: Maui
When: September annually
Why do I recommend this race? It is hosted by the local running club, Valley Isle Road Runners. It has a distance for everyone but I do have to be honest. The course can be hot! On the bright side, race time has been moved up 30 minutes earlier this year so perhaps things will get better! But even if it is hot, the views are absolutely wonderful and the support along the course is getting better each year! I even love just driving to that side of the island and turning this race to a little racecation on my home island. The marathon is a point-to-point course so plan your transportation well. The number of marathoners is small. There is a shuttle to get marathoners to the start from the finish; however, last year the shuttle to get marathoners back to the start who parked there didn't show.
Race Report: This is from 2013.

Race 3: Honolulu Marathon
Distance: Marathon
Where: O'ahu
When: December annually
Why do I recommend this race? Because I PR'd there and reached the goal I had been chasing for three years!!! Okay, not really but yes, that does play into it. But honestly, I love this course. I love running through the Christmas lights. I love the huge number of runners. I love the amazing number of volunteers. And who can not love the glimpse of the elites running back past you when you are still heading out to the turn. The course is a loop that starts and ends in Waikiki, but not at the exact same spot. Plan your transportation to take this into account.
Race Report: This is from 2013.

Stay tuned to hear more about races others recommend to be posted thoughout the next few weeks. In the meantime, why not comment with your own race recommendation?!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful to those who submitted race recommendations.
Daily Affirmation: I am a source of knowledge.


What a Wonderful World

Just before my alarm went off darling daughter told me she was cold. I bundled her up in the blankets and pulled her to my side. I delayed my alarm going off for another 20 minutes and held my precious gem. She quickly dozed back off to sleep and I kinda did the same. The next thing I knew my alarm went off. I silenced it and didn't move one iota. I just pondered that I had 10 miles to run and I felt crampy and tired. After a moment I told myself "Get up, get up, get up". It really took three get up's to get me up and on my way....after getting gym bags gathered, lunch bag packed, coffee started, and homemade waffle toasted. With 10 miles, I needed to eat.

I ate on the way to the gym and enjoyed the dark quiet roads and thanked God there was no sugar cane burning today. That always adds an element of anxiety to my morning drive just due to the one sugar cane fire that got out of control, hopped the road, and sent me, and other drivers, into complete smokey darkness. I am still so grateful no one got hurt and amazed that we didn't bump into each other. Seconds of no visibility seemed like hours and that memory makes me shaky every time I see a burn now.

I didn't get to the gym as early as I dreamed because of that 20 minute delay but all was okay. I had some flexibility today with when I needed to get to work and told myself "No excuses".

I got on the treadmill and did my one warm up mile before tossing in the speed work that was on the plan as well. Four repeats of 0.5 miles at an 8'00" pace with a 0.5 mile recovery. I figured get them out of the way ASAP to get them off my mind. I had them done by mile 5 and realized, I still had 5 more miles to run and this was mentally challenging. I told myself running on tired legs is good training. I took an easier mile before running a mile at 8'57". I eased up for a mile and did another mile at 8'57". By the time I got to 9 miles I felt beat. So ironic isn't it? I just ran 16 miles Sunday and this 10 miler has me beat at 9 miles. Yes, I do realize some inherent differences. On Sunday I took gels. Today, nope. Just my sports drink. I get that. I do.

But I also love serendipity. You know, like thinking "Oh my gosh, one more mile, how?" and the song Over the Rainbow/It's a Wonderful World comes on by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. This man's voice is above amazing and as much as I love him, I can't for the life of me say his last name. I really need to sit down, digest it, and do it. But thankfully he is often referred to as Bruddah IZ.

I LOVE this song! It touches my soul in a magical way and as soon as it came on I said "thank you". Out loud. I am not sure if anyone heard me but it just came out. And within seconds I felt light as if I was being carried. I felt the presence of my Dad and my guardian angel. I thought of my future buddy, of moms who have lost their lives, of a precious 14 month old girl who recently lost her life, and I thanked God for being able to run. The chains of my mind broke free and my spirit was able to fly. I ran purely for my spirit and for my joy of running. That final mile flew by with the voice of an angel. I am so thankful for serendipity.

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole is truly an angel and was blessed with the gift of an amazing voice and huge heart. I feel all of his songs are a personal reflection of his soul. I would like to think he is smiling in Heaven, looking down, and feeling loved and honored by how well his songs are still being received.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for serendipity.
Daily Affirmation: I am strong.


The Long Run: Anxiety and Doubts

Last Saturday I posted this on my personal facebook page:

It doesn't matter how many marathons I have trained for and raced. I will always get long run anxiety. Tomorrow I will have my faith and the love for my Dad lifting me up. Tomorrow I will nail my official first training long run and succeed at hitting my scheduled paces. #iwill as this is what #fitfluential looks like! — feeling determined.

And I was determined yet anxious. And seeing that the plan had me slated to run 10 of the 16 miles at a 9'00" pace freaked me out for some reason. My coach calmed my nerves somewhat by pointing out that the overall pace of my last couple of long runs achieved that but still, I knew the course I was running and I am hard on myself. Very hard. And I try not to let up too much.

I started my run with determination knowing that I wanted to nail some of those paces on the uphill climb and not rely on 8 "easy" downhill miles to bank those faster paces. My first mile clocked in at 9'44" and I had mixed feelings. First, darnit, not fast enough. Second, get over it girl! Traditionally this first mile on this route is between 10'30" and 11'00". You are warming up on a mild uphill climb. Stay strong. Hearing that my overall pace was coming down made me feel good and my next two miles were at 9'27" and 8'55".

The thing that you don't know is that when my Nike GPS gives me splits it gives average pace, not my current pace. When you are trying to nail x pace that is a bummer. During the run I had no idea that mile 3 was sub-nine. I just knew my average pace was coming down. As much as I would love for that knowledge to carry me on it was battling against harder uphill climbs, doubt was setting in, things were getting tougher, and my pace reflected it. Miles 4 and 5 were 9'54" and 10'25"...my slowest mile.

I was hearing that my average pace was slower and as much as I felt I couldn't I knew I had 11 miles left and needed 10 miles at 9'00". I tried to bury the doubts and do my best. Mile 6 was a 9'53" mile and then things eased up. Literally. The uphills leveled up and this stretch of the run I can always pick up my pace. My next two miles were at 8'04" and 8'07". I still had no idea what pace I was running but I knew I was going faster. And I knew at the turn I always tend to slow down a bit. And I did. The next two miles were at 8'51" and 8'55". My goal pace. On somewhat flat ground. Yes, there were gentle up's and down's but the intensity of climbs were less. Ironically, the downhill portion isn't all smooth sailing.

By mile 12 I felt sick. I went to drink some water and really wanted to throw it back up. My head felt funny and I realized I needed some extra electrolytes and took a salt tab. In hindsight, the two miles leading up to this were at 7'50" and 7'58"...a minute faster than my goal marathon pace....that could have played a role in the sick tummy. I still didn't know my splits and I came to terms that I would just have to be honest with my coach and say I did the best I could. I was hot. I started my run an hour later than usual and I questioned if that was what was getting to me. More doubts. I ran slower the next two miles at 8'26" and 8'45". Then I got determined...again.

I knew I had just a mere two miles to go. I can do anything for 20 minutes, right? Yes, I always think my miles are 10 minute miles. I pushed myself as hard as I could. Run fast to that pole and then you can have a little break. Run fast over that bridge then you can ease up a bit. Run fast up that hill then you will be able to see the end. It will be easier then. Run as fast as you can. Make this last mile count. My final two splits were 8'02" and 7'34". Mile 16 was my faster. How cool is that?

I still didn't realized what I had done but there are some things I did know. At the halfway point my average pace was 9'18". At the end it was under 9'00". Part of me was happy but part of me wanted more and still does. You see, I want my overall pace to be even faster. Yes, the real overall average was 8'49". Yes, my goal marathon pace is 9'00". But I know these hills and this downhill stretch and wonder if that downhill bonus is skewing what I will actually do on race day on a course not like this. Doubts.

I want more. I want to hit the turn at an average pace of 9'00" and bring my overall pace down lower too. I push myself. Hard. I am my own worst enemy at times. And this is one major reason why I strongly believe in getting a coach. Yes, I am a certified running coach but I can be very hard on myself. Trust me, I am more logical with my clients. I need someone to apply that logic to me as well.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my coach.
Daily Affirmation: I will reach my goals.


It is bad to run every day?

Hearing those words can really hurt me since I do run every day and I can firmly state that it is not bad for me. It is good for me. It is very good for me. But when things in life get busy and out of the normal routine it seems way to easy for dear hubby to tell me that my daily running streak is causing the family to make sacrifices. When asked what that means it comes down to me being "tired" at the end of the day.

Thing is, yes, I get tired at the end of the day but no more than I did before running daily. In fact, running energizes me. Yesterday being on the road at 3:30 am brought me a sense of serenity that I can't explain. The world was quiet and peaceful. I pondered what the few other drivers were out doing and you would be surprised how many of us there were. I felt a connection to those early morning souls, walked into the gym, got greeted by friendly familiar smiles, and ran my 10 miles before work. By the time I got home, I was still on a runner's high for achieving what I set out to do that day. For not giving into excuses. For finding my strong.

And yes, early wake up calls mean earlier bedtimes and I do see that means less late hours with dear hubby but in all reality, it isn't the quantity of time but the quality. In life we may have just moments to make a difference in someone's life. You have the choice to make that be what you want it to be. A happy moment. An agonizing moment. A frustrating moment. A loving moment. A forgiving moment. It is really your choice.

Like happiness. Happiness is a choice. I choose to be happy each day. If I am not, it is my responsibility to find my happiness. People may do or say things that make me unhappy but they don't make me unhappy. I have the power to return to my happiness. I do not need to relinquish that power to them. It is my choice. I will not blame or find excuses. I will be happy.

Like moving my body every day. That is my choice and I will continue to do so for myself and to set a good example for darling daughter. There are so many reasons why daily movement is important. Aerobic activity, like running, can help alleviate the negative symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. Hot flashes can be less extreme and I find that my anxiety levels and fuzzy head moments stay lower. I am happier.

The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity at least five days a week. With my running streak I have two rest days with only a 1-2 mile run. That is a maximum of 20 minutes and right now I have at least one 10 minute run day a week. And this is the minimum.

I can even step outside of the mainstream box and look at the blood type recommendations. I have O+ positive blood and all the reading suggests that I need vigorous physical activity up to an hour a day. I don't know if I buy into the blood type diet and recommendations 100% but they do make sense for me. If we take a side step, they state that dairy is bad for me. Yep, I figured that out over a year ago. I just don't want to totally buy into all their claims since I love my daily small cup of coffee and they say that is a no-no for my tummy. And yes, my tummy doesn't like too much coffee. I am in denial. But do I buy into the activity? Absolutely!

When I am down and out stressed a run can make a world of difference. And I hate to say it but I get cranky without my run/yoga time. I need that for me to feel better, more refreshed, cleansed, powerful, relaxed, peaceful, and calm. Is my family making sacrifices for me? I guess you could say yes but don't all families make sacrifices for one another and I am only using the word dear hubby used. In all reality, I feel it is compromising. Coming together and finding a way that all members in a family are able to get their needs and desires met within reason. Back to yesterday, I opted to run early, yes. But I also got home early so dear hubby could go out and run. Does that make me a hero? No. Does that mean I am harming my family? No. Does that mean I am working as a team? I would think so.

So the next time you feel you want to vent or say something to a loved one stop and think. What is it that you really want to say? Are your words loving or hurtful? If these end up being the last words you say to that person, how would that make you feel?

Long story short - Is it bad to run every day? No. If you are not physically harming your body or another, no. Is it bad to use hurtful words out of spite, frustration, annoyance? Absolutely!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful to have love in my heart.
Daily Affirmation: I am a loving and forgiving person.


National Running Day!

Woo-hoo! It is one of my favorite days of the year! National Running Day!!!!

What more can I say? Except if you want to know more about the day head on over HERE but essentially, it is a day for all of us to remember our love of running, begin a running journey, and just be grateful. Okay, those are my words but it is the general gist.

When I woke up this morning I didn't realize today was my day. I never do. It sneaks up on me each and every year. And I like my "celebration" this year as it is a true sentiment to who I am and how I got to day 888 of my running streak. Seriously, 888 on National Running Day? I like those numbers!

I was up half the night with darling daughter. She was coughing and moaning and was plain miserable. I did give her a little something for the cough and did the Vick's on the feet with socks trick (that helps by the way) but she still went through cycles. At 3:10 am I was awake and ready to get up and go to the gym for my scheduled 10 mile run but she woke up with fitful coughs. I pulled her to my side to comfort her. I told her, I will run my 10 miles tomorrow. I will do a switch. She proclaimed, "No! Go to the gym. It's okay." By the end her voice was less than convincing. I told her I would have to get up now and I could see the sadness in the dark room. I went on to told her it was okay to do a switcheroo and reminded her my coach said so. She brightened up, cuddled close to me, and told me I have a nice coach. I do.

It took an hour for her coughing to settle down and she eventually drifted back off to sleep. I got up and headed to the gym. I ran 4 miles instead of 10 and did my speed work that I was supposed to. That 10 miles will come tomorrow. I am okay. My training is okay. My daughter received comfort. The story of my life. Juggling all I want to do.

And now I reflect on my future buddy. Who else will I be able to run for? What is his/her story and how can I make their life a bit brighter? No, it won't be late night cuddles. It will be miles, thoughts, prayers, and posts. I am honored to be on the waiting list for I Run for Michael and will receive my buddy just when I am supposed to. I am blessed.

I wouldn't be here today without the grace of God. Each day of my running streak is a blessing and I believe through running I have a story to tell, a purpose to serve, a mission to fulfill. I just hope that each day I stay on course and don't get distracted. I also look for that inner strength that hides from time to time to achieve my running goals as I continue to push myself to go further and faster. It I don't push my limits how will I know how far I can go? How can I show my daughter to never give up and to not be afraid to try? How can I support my buddy in their challenges if I am unwilling to challenge myself?

Who do you run for?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my running legs.
Daily Affirmation: I am not afraid to say what I believe in.

P.S. A little birdie said Women's Running magazine has a special today in honor of National Running Day. You can add or renew a subscription for just $1 an issue. Hello! I think this is my sign that now is the time! I am under no commitment to share this deal. I wasn't asked to. I get nothing for sharing. I just saw it and thought, hey, this is cool!


Establishing a Habit

Good Morning!

How are you doing? Hopefully splendidly awesome! I am very happy that sunrise is so early now. By 6:00 am this morning I was certain it had to be closer to 8:00 am since the sun was so bright! And that may, just perhaps, help me establish my new routine. Getting up super duper early. You heard that right, super duper early. Too bad the sun can't rise at 3:20 am to help me get up as early as I need to on Wednesdays. And the other days aren't much later. I will still be up before 4:00 am.

But since I can't control the sunrise I will have to work on other elements to establish my early wake-up habit. And yes, habits can be formed through diligence and patience. Don't expect to change the world in a day and don't go trying to change a zillion things at once. Take one step, work on that, and build. My one step, get up early.

First, it is a good idea to know why you want to establish this habit. And no, your habit doesn't have to be the early wake-up call. It can be anything you want. Drink more water, eat more veggies, exercise more often, whatever. My reason, I have a training plan with the goal of breaking a 4 hour marathon. To achieve that goal, I must train hard. With summer break, I am working four longer days; therefore, the mornings are the best time to get my run/yoga in.

Second, commit to it. For me it helps to tell the world but you can do it however it works for you. Be determined and have faith you can do it. The power of positive thinking plus commitment is AMAZING!

Third, don't punish yourself. If you fall down don't be hard on yourself. Get back up and try again. We all fall down. I am sure some mornings I will struggle but don't punish yourself and I won't punish myself.

Are you working on any new habits right now? What advice do you have? 

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for early sunrise.
Daily Affirmation: I can get up early.