Down syndrome awareness: 31 facts

Happy Halloween! Instead of the traditional Halloween trick-or-treating post I am going to wrap up Down syndrome awareness month by recapping the facts I have been sharing daily on facebook, instagram and twitter.

  1. There are more than 400,000 people in the us with Down syndrome.
  2. Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal condition. 1/691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome.
  3. Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or extra copy of chromosome 21; therefore, they have 47 chromosomes instead of 46
  4. There are 3 types of Down syndrome – trisomy 21 (nondisjunction), translocation, and mosaicism. Trisomy 21 is the most common.
  5. The incidence of Down syndrome increases with the age of the mom but 80% of babies with Down syndrome are born to moms under 35. Why? They are having more babies.
  6. The common physical traits of Down syndromeDown syndrome are low muscle tone, small stature, upward slant to the eyes, single deep crease in the center of  the palm. The degree varies with each individual.
  7. Those with Down syndrome have an increased risk of congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer’s disease, childhood leukemia, and thyroid conditions.
  8. Life expectancy is increasing for those with Down syndrome from 25 in 1983 to 60 today!
  9. Those with Down syndrome can go to school, work, and contribute to society in many wonderful ways.
  10. All with Down syndrome have cognitive delays but it is usually mild.
  11. Quality home care and education is essential to those with Down syndrome to lead a life to their full potential.
  12. Down syndrome is not related to race, nationality, religion or socioeconmic status.
  13. Babies with Down syndrome are feared in some countries and sent immediately out of the home – they are viewed as a curse.
  14. Down syndrome is usually identified at birth or shortly afterwards based on physical characteristics.
  15. A chromosome study (karotype) confirms the diagnosis of Down syndrome by grouping chromosomes by size, number, and shape. Doctors can use blood or tissue samples.
  16. Prenatal screening is available – the triple screen is done between 15-20 weeks and measures various substances in the blood but there is a high occurrence of false negatives and false positives.
  17. Sonagrams can discern some physical traits associated with Down syndrome.
  18. Prenatal diagnostic tests are available for Down syndrome: amniocentesis between 12 and 20 wks, chorionic villus samples between 8-12 wks, percutaneous blood sampling after 20 wks.
  19. Down syndrome is caused by an error in cell division. The cause is unknown but the error occurs at conception. The mom did nothing wrong during pregnancy.
  20. Children with Down syndrome are more like other children than different. Inclusion is important!
  21. Those with Down syndrome need early intervention for physical, speech, and developmental therapies. This is lacking in countries that fear Down syndrome.
  22. Children with Down syndrome can attend neighborhood schools and some can attend regular classes although some may need special education classes if they have more specialized needs. In the last several years, the average IQ of a person with Down syndrome has increased. Down syndrome kids can attend college – it is  not out of the question.
  23. Many adults with Down syndrome are capable of working in the community and giving back.
  24. Newborns with Down syndrome need an echocardiogram to identify any heart problems 40% of the kids have congenital heart defects.
  25. In the United States, Down syndrome is the LEAST funded major genetic condition. This is shocking since 1/691 babies are born with Down syndrome.
  26. Down syndrome is named after the English doctor, John Langdon Down, who first categorized the common features.
  27. Dr. Jerome LeJeune discovered that Down syndrome is a genetic disorder with three copies of chromosome 21 versus 2. In the rare forms of Down syndrome not all of the chromosome is tripled and the extra chromosome isn’t in all cells.
  28. In the case of hereditary Translocation Down syndrome (a rare one to two percent of all people with Down syndrome), an extra chromosome 21 is inherited from one of the parents.
  29. 38% of americans know someone with Down syndrome. Do you?
  30. By law, people with Down syndrome in the United States must be provided an appropriate and free public education.
  31. Some people with Down syndrome live independently or in an assisted independent arrangement. They are just like you and me and a small but growing number have a romantic relationship and even get married.
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful to be matched with Toby. He has Down syndrome. You can read more about him HERE.
Daily Affirmation: I made a difference today.


Eating Real Food

Food has been on my mind a lot lately.

First, darling daughter went on a field trip with school to a local theatrical show about food. It was awesome hearing what she learned and she started telling me how important it is to read labels. She firmly stated food without labels, such as apples, are best since they are real! She then went on to inform me I should buy locally grown bananas because they are picked by hand when they are ready. They aren't picked green and gassed later. What a wealth of information!

Second, election day is just around the corner and a big thing on the ballot on Maui is the GMO initiative. I will save you all the details and drama it is drumming up here but yes, what we eat, how it is grown, how it is treated, etc. matters. I am so glad we get to vote on this but would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about the outcome. Darling daughter and I have had lots of talks on this issue and how the different sides can be telling their stories and sometimes people try to confuse us. It is so important to do your own research and learn the facts. Ironically, she is also studying the difference between facts and opinions at school.

But once again, I digress. Food.

I saw the opportunity on facebook the other other day and am challenging myself, and my family but they don't know that yet, to eat only real food for 5 days. When I started delving into this and what it really meant I felt pretty good about myself. We do a good job eating real most of the time but nope, that everything bagel I had with dinner last night would be a no-no. And I am not saying a forbidden fruit such not something I would want to eat everyday. And guess what? I don't!

So if I am doing pretty good why challenge myself?

Because I can always do better. I feel better when I eat more freggies and drink more water. AND I like how it ties into what darling daughter learned earlier this month. She will be helping me with our menu planning and grocery shopping. We will look at the source of the food and factor in so many options when coming down to our final decision.

I won't put up too many unnecessary battles such as potatoes. Yes, I know sweet potatoes are more nutritionally sound but if my family won't eat them and enjoy the experience, I won't torture them. I may end up with russet potatoes if I can't convince darling daughter to give the orange sweet potatoes a try. Recently I purchased the local purple ones and she was completely unconvinced of their wonder and barely took a nibble. No use fighting between two types of real food based on nutritional profiles. Let's keep it real!

Is this going to be a hurdle? Yes and no. Basically, my breakfast and lunches are already pretty darn real. Dinner falls to the wayside here and there with pasta, bread, etc. but that is easy to take care of. My weakness is snacks and if I am not prepared for them. I will need to make sure I have freggies packed and ready to go to keep with me when I am well....on the go! And I really want to see darling daughter turning to more real food for snacks too. Stay tuned! I will be sharing our journey with you next week - Monday through Friday!

How do you fuel yourself and your family?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for this challenge.
Daily Affirmation: I am real!


Letting go of goals

Sunday morning
This weekend was a big one for me....emotionally and physically. First, I accepted that my chronic ailment wasn't going to right itself all by itself like it normally does. I broke down and emailed my doctor for medication. She has assured me a thousand times that the meds pose no harm and do only good but I am not good at taking any anti-stuff. What can I say? I want to stay healthy all on my own.

With that said, I was an emotional roller coaster because a) I didn't feel good and b) I was questioning my running.

My training isn't 100% rock on and that is bugging me. I know the reasons why but still I am bugged. Then I got to wondering, does the goal to break a 4 hour marathon really matter? I posted it to facebook and one brave person chimed in that nope, it doesn't matter. I love honesty. And it doesn't matter. That doesn't mean that the hope and dream to break a 4 hour marathon has vanished from my heart. That would make life easier. It is still there but tucked deeper as other things take priority.

Sunday afternoon
First, my long runs were shifted to Saturdays from Sundays to accommodate Sunday school and church and I wouldn't change that for the world. Yes, we could do mass the night before and dear hubby could take darling to Sunday school. Darling daughter and I discussed it and agreed - we love the mass we go to and the friends we are making. We love the music and I love my quiet time to study the bible while she is in class. I am not giving that up.

So Saturday is long run day...for now. Which means long runs on the treadmill most days and that is discouraging but doable. Fingers crossed that darling daughter's horse lessons aren't permanently changed to Saturdays because that will take some serious planning. But all in all, it is doable. And in all reality, I think my recent long run issues have been due to boredom on the treadmill.

Monday afternoon
These are all challenges I am willing and able to overcome but with all this going on, do I need or want to add the additional stress of hitting certain paces? Is it worth it to me? How much does it matter really?

Right now I feel that focusing on the time is wearing on me and making me feel not-so-good about myself and running is a gift that shouldn't leave me feeling blah. I am so lucky to run every day and I want to feel that joy. I also feel my life being pulled to a different path. A path that doesn't need faster but better. And stress triggers my chronic condition to reveal itself.

At a moment of weakness this weekend I sat teary-eyed and darling came over to see what is up. I asked her does time matter? Does breaking a 4 hour marathon matter? She hugged me and said, no, it doesn't matter how fast I am, just how far I go. My first thought was wow, I have a very smart daughter. My second thought was a marathon is 26.2 miles and right now 6 felt tough. Granted, I am not 100% but you get the point.

This morning
And she is right. And how far I go doesn't always have to be a distance but how far I let my heart go. I will run the Honolulu Marathon for my daughter and I will finish it for her. I will also be running for Toby and Down syndrome awareness. This is where my heart wants to be. It matters more the impact I make on the world, spreading acts of kindness, caring for others, taking a moment out of each and every day to reach out to someone way over there in Nebraska to say, I am thinking about you. My eyes are opening to so much more and so are my daughter's. I am blessed to run for Toby. God gave me a gift --- well tons of them but the newest was Toby.

Time doesn't matter. At the end of the day I won't score my life on paces but rather on did I do the best I could? Did I make a positive impact? Did I do a good job raising my daughter? Is she learning the lessons in life I want her to learn? Will she reach out and include someone no matter what? I want all of those answers to be yes more than I want to break a 4 hour marathon.

So for now, the time goal is being set to the side. I let my coach know and now I just want to run that marathon the best I can and be happy. He is on board with me. I need to let go of some stress in life and just be happy.

It took me awhile to type this as I felt I was quitting or giving up. It took me time to realize it takes strength to divert off of the path you were on and step onto an unknown path. I do not know where this path leads. I am nervous but I am also excited.

Let's run!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for a supportive coach.
Daily Affirmation: Through prayer and reflection I move along my life's path.


A less sugary Halloween for kids

I grew up with cookies in the house every day. I would come home from school to fresh baked
cookies. We had soda in the fridge and ice cream for dessert. And yes, Halloween was candy, candy, candy. In fact, all the holidays were.

Don't get me wrong. My mom did nothing wrong. She also prepared home-cooked well-balanced meals. Each dinner included a tossed salad, protein, and another vegetable. We may have even had nice warm rolls. We drank water or sun tea, unsweetened, for dinner. It was how things were. But things change.

I do not keep cookies or other sugary treats in the house and we hardly ever have ice cream. Forget the fact that I am dairy free as I could always get non-dairy ice cream. I don't. But I do make cookies here and there for special occasions and yes, I make cakes. But when it comes to doing things for kids and my daughter's school, I aim for less sugar and more fun!

There are enough parents handing out sugar. I do not need to be one doing it for every holiday but I do enjoy giving to others and want my daughter to feel the same way. We will go trick or treating at the mall since it isn't 100% candy and I grade the candies. Complete junk gets tossed. Sorry, no pixie sticks. Yes, I know I loved them as a kid but no.

But I don't want darling daughter to feel deprived as that could lead to eating issues in the future. I want her to see and understand the balance I am striving to create in my home so when we started getting things for her goodie bags to share at school it followed my guidelines. What would I like her to receive? What would I feed to her? What is okay? What isn't? She gladly chimed in and this is what we came up with.

  • Cute bags - Yes, they are plastic and from my conservation side not perfect but I have to ease up here and there. Please note: get a wider mouthed bag. These were a headache for our fillers. We learned our lesson.
  • Little Halloween bags of pretzels - Each goodie bag got an orange and black pack of pretzels and this were the tough things to put in the bags.
  • A Halloween pencil - Perfect for doing homework!
  • Halloween tattoos - One per goodie bag and this is the crazy fun part that darling daughter wanted to add and she can't wait to hand out her goodie bags next Friday.

With that said, I am not convinced we even always need to share edible treats. Have you heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project? This is so cool! Essentially, it is a way to address allergies and if you have a teal pumpkin, parents know that your house is offering non-edible treats only. How cool is that? If kids came to our house, I would have a teal pumpkin!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful darling daughter sees the joy in giving practical and fun treats.
Daily Affirmation: I am teaching good nutrition to my daughter.


My 942nd blog post - who I am

I really was happy to see darling
I wrote my first blog post on February 16, 2011. Wow! That was a long time ago. I thought of it this morning and my thoughts weren't grand. I knew it was short and an introduction but I couldn't quite remember what I said so of course, I had to go look today. Oh my goodness, this post brought me chills! Not because of anything grand. No fancy writing. No fancy images. In fact, no image at all. Those did slowly come in and watermarking was way down the line. But what brought me chills is that is was honestly me.

No, I didn't think I lied to you from day one but my statement that I had no idea where this blog would go or evolve hits me to the core.

It has evolved mainly because I have evolved but I am still true to my mission and my goal to be a great and patient mom. Oh man, I am still working on that patience thing. But let's rewind a bit to my mission: "inspiring women to believe in themselves, to be active, and to run strong in life!" There is only one thing I would change and that would be women to others. I haven't lost that special place in my heart for women, especially new mom's trying to get back into fitness, but I don't want to discriminate against anyone. So you may see that changing in the near future.

And my blog name: Life as a Running Mom. I often wonder if it was the best name for me when I see other blog names and think, wow, that is a cool name! But the name is true to me and what my blog is about. It is about my life as a running mom. And who knew where that would take me!

Since I started this blog I started running daily. I was inspired to start by an awesome lady, who happened to have a blog, and yep, she is still running daily too. I started my running streak on December 30, 2011.

And through this blogging and running journey I found my spirituality again. I am certain my parents were beyond ecstatic that the faith they raised me in was coming back into my life. I am also certain my mom loved that she could send a devotions book to my daughter for my birthday and knew I would view that as the best present ever! Yes, through blogging and running I have come out of my shell and will tell the world I believe in God and strive to keep Him at my side and in my heart each and every day. I couldn't do any of this without Him.

Who would have imagined that social media would become a bigger thing for me? Blogging brought me to twitter, a facebook page, instagram, pinterest and so much more could happen. Some may say that is a bad thing but for me it is amazing. It was through a facebook post from a fellow runner that I learned about I Run for Michael and after what seemed an incredibly long wait, but not as long as pregnancy, I was matched to my buddy Toby. Running has new meaning.

My life has deeper meaning. I am now running for so much more than just myself, or my daughter, or my spirituality. I am running for Toby, for Down syndrome awareness, for God. I am evolving...or should I say, I am following a path in my life that I am certain is the exact path I should follow....well, if you forget those road bumps here and there. But that first initial question remains - what will this blog evolve into from here? Only time will tell.

Thank you for being part of my life.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the support of others.
Daily Affirmation: My life is on the right path.


Feeling strong!

First, I want to say thank you for all the support and comments on my Discouraged post. It means a lot to me. My main reason for writing the post was to be honest. Dear hubby often says my blog is happy, happy, happy and that isn't me. Well, yes and no. I am not always happy and I feel I do a good job showing that without bringing people down. Who wants to hear non-stop complaining? Not me!

And then I saw the comment below on my blog's racing page today and my first response was to delete in and shrug off their intent to spread negativity but then I didn't. I responded because I wanted to. No, the person who wrote the comment may never see my response but perhaps someone who really needs to will. Because I am strong and so are you!

The bad side of running is the numbers. It leads to comparisons that shouldn't be there. But those numbers are also good things that allow you to see how far you have gone, how you have improved, and where you can go next. There is a delicate grey area between allowing your numbers to build you up and letting those numbers bring you down.

Never compare yourself to others. Don't do it. It won't ever lead anywhere good. And don't covet what others have. Yes, I am onto one of the commandments but it is indeed a good lesson. Don't desire another runner's time. It will do you no good, bring you no happiness, and in fact, may make you feel bad about yourself. Just don't do it.

We are each given special gifts in life that cannot be measured on a clock. If you read my most recent marathon race re-cap you can see this isn't a brand new thought to me. That time is pretty meaningless in the grand scheme of life if the time is all you care about. But I am not saying don't rejoice when you get a new PR, qualify for Boston, etc. Rejoice! You deserve it and I will be the first to congratulate you. But I will also stand up, get darling daughter up by my side, and start clapping and cheering like crazy for a guy I do not know. A guy whose friends were sitting by us after the Maui Marathon. A guy whose friends were anxiously awaiting for him. A guy who finished the marathon in just over 6 hours. His accomplishment brought tears to my eyes and made my heart swell. He didn't give up AND he had to spend more time out there in that crazy heat than the fasties. He is strong! And so are you.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful that I did not delete the comment on "slow" times and that I responded to it.
Daily Affirmation: I am a great runner! I am strong!



Hopes and dreams are common for all of us and this week I am feeling a bit discouraged and lost. My buddy's family had hopes and dreams that aren't manifesting and won't right now. They are mourning and my heart is feeling heavy for them. In fact, the night I read the news I wept a little as I put my head down to sleep. I just felt bad for them but know that in time the great plan for their lives will reveal itself. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and try really hard not to get discouraged.

A run always makes me feel better
But then I come home to a table covered with papers, grass and mud on the floor I just cleaned, and a piles of dishes to put away...some of which need to be rewashed since that salad dressing is oily and so hard to clean from the little plastic tubs. I get it. It is hard. I try not to get annoyed at dear hubby. I go to grab my vinegar only to discover wine under the kitchen sink because I guess that is easier then moving my protein powders to put it on that shelf where it usually goes. I lost my cool. I was annoyed, tired, and needed a run. I wasn't slow to anger at all and I feel discouraged. I am trying really hard not to respond negatively to the small things in life but I failed to take a deep breath, count to ten, and move on.

And I am discouraged that so far my virtual run for Down Syndrome Awareness and Toby is showing little to no interest. I realize it is not a contest but I had a dream of being able to tell Toby and his family how many people care enough to say yes, I will dedicate my run to you even if I am getting nothing in return. I have done so many virtual runs personally and I love them. It seems the ones I host only hold interest if I offer prizes and as much as I see how that can be motivating sometimes it leaves me discouraged. I don't want to bribe people into doing things. I want to motivate people to do things and that brings me to the next point.

Am I being too focused on personal achievements? Should I care less, do what I feel is best for myself and mankind, and let the chips fall where they lie so to speak? Life is not a contest for me. I am not trying to be better than anyone else. I am just trying to be the best me and to do the work that I was meant to do. Am I off course? Is this what I am to do? I feel lost and discouraged.

I picked up my bible and aimed to do some reflection and mediation last night before bed but dear hubby kept interrupting me. He obviously wanted to talk and bond. I felt annoyed. Couldn't he see I was trying to find some answers for myself? But by shunning him am I being unloving? I put down my bible and turned my attention to my husband and the football game. I can't say I feel 100% good about it. The teams playing held no true interest for me but if I am striving to enhance my marriage am I achieving that by focusing on my studies? Did watching football make a difference? I really don't know and yes, I feel discouraged especially since all conversation died after I put my bible down.

But even through this heavy weight of feeling discouraged in so many aspects of life I found encouragement. I ran an easy mile today. A rest day mile. I was going to run 7 miles to make up for feeling bad last weekend but when it came down to the time to start running it hit me, run a mile. It means more to have fresher legs tomorrow and nail my 16 mile run. That would feel great. Afterwards I moved onto my plank and push up challenge. I saw that today had some scary sets for push up's: 20/10/10/8. I cringed. I saw it also had 3:30 minutes for planks. Yikes. I was scared, put on some nice tunes, and tackled it. And you know what? I did it! After the first set of 20 push up's I felt...dare I say it...encouraged. My hard work is paying off. This challenge is making a difference even though I am not doing it daily as I should. At the beginning of the month I could hardly pull off 10 push up's in a row. Progress! And my plank routine - tough but done. Yay!

When darling daughter woke up I told her Mommy did 48 push up's today. I felt wonderful. She told me good job. That felt nice. Then she said I should work my way to 100. Oh my! Am I up to the challenge? Will I let that discouraged feeling sink in? I hope not.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for cooperation.
Daily Affirmation: I have it in me to see beyond my discouraged heart to the goodness in the world.


Run for Down Syndrome Awareness AND Toby

October is Down Syndrome Awareness month. If you follow me on facebook, twitter, or instagram this is no shocking news as I have been posting a daily fact every day so far in October and yes, it will be continuing. Don't worry if you have been missing them, I will be doing a final wrap-up post here as well. It is the least I can do for my buddy, Toby!

With that said, I had a crazy idea less than 24 hours ago. A virtual run for Down Syndrome Awareness and for Toby! Who wants to join me? It really is easy and since I am pulling this together all pretty last minute, it is quite informal. But when are virtual runs really that formal anyhow?

Here is the scoop:
  • Run any distance you want on October 31st. Why October 31st? Because it is the last day of October and Down Syndrome Awareness month. Let's wrap things up with a BANG! And it is my favorite holiday, just saying. Hey, I just got an idea! Read the next point....
  • If you are feeling the Halloween spirit run in a costume!
  • You can run ANYWHERE you want. Inside. Outside. Just run.
  • Speed doesn't matter. This isn't a race. It is about building awareness, love, and support.
  • Post your pictures on my facebook page. I would love to pull them all together in a collage to show Toby how many of us ran for him and Down Syndrome Awareness; therefore, by sharing your pictures you are giving me the ok to use it.
Are you ready to run?

Sign up!

Thank you so much and please help spread the word! You are more than welcome to grab the button.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the power of technology.
Daily Affirmation: Raising awareness makes me happy and is a good thing to do.


The end of Fall Break

Aloha and yes, I am still around. It was Fall Break for darling daughter last week and I took the week off of work and blogging. Well, I was almost completely off but you see, I do social media for the company I work for so that took some time. Plus I kept my social media networks active with Down Syndrome Awareness month, etc. I just never sat down and typed a blog post. I missed you guys and gals!

But the week was fun. We went snorkeling, saw dolphins, and played at the beach for Toby! I love how much darling daughter embraces sharing our moments with him.

We also visited the pumpkin patch and picked out a few pumpkins for me to puree and prep some seeds. I just didn't make it that far in those preparations. I kind of forgot to do it yesterday but the pumpkins are still waiting. We will be going back next week or maybe a bit later to get the pumpkin to be carved. The local farm is charging admission now during this time. $1 per person but that goes to any purchase you make so for us, it is still the same! We always buy pumpkins, veggies, or treats! If you are on Maui check out Kula Country Farms.

I celebrated my birthday. Yikes! I am 42 and it hit me....I am getting old! Darling daughter loves to point out my grey hairs and wrinkles but then turns to me and tells me I have young skin. She is keeping me looking hip too as she kindly pointed out that two pairs of pants I was looking at were Grandma pants. I guess she doesn't like the idea of me in flowy pant legs. She is too used to me in running gear or spandex leggings. Oh well....no flowy pants....yet.

image from Old Navy - too Grandma?

And with much determination we made it to a full horse lesson! One was cancelled before it started, we went the next day and it was cancelled before the kids got on the horses, and success on Saturday. Yay! Thank goodness that rain went away.

But my long run didn't happen as it should. I was feeling wiped out beyond belief. I still am not sure if it was environmental (think vog, pollen, funny winds, rain) or I had a touch of something. Today's run finally felt nice! But I did get an outside run on Thursday and my pace was stellar! So maybe two tempo runs in a week kicked my booty. Oopsies!

And how could I completely forget to tell you! My birthday gift - an air popper for popcorn....just what darling daughter wanted! We will get lots of use out of this like the waffle maker she got me years ago or either my birthday or Mother's Day. She knows I like things to be practical! And that I want to pick out my own running shoes. Time to do that!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I had the energy to run this morning.
Daily Affirmation: Bringing awareness to Down Syndrome is a good thing to do!


Why I ended my #yogastreak

Tuesday I had no desire to pull myself out of bed at 4:00 am. I didn't sleep well the night before so I opted to just run after work. I knew this wasn't ideal since I already promised darling daughter I would take her to the library but I knew I would make it work somehow. Perhaps make a quicker dinner?

As we were driving to the library we discussed all we needed to do - return books, get new books but no, you don't have to rush to pick them out, Mommy is going to run and do yoga, darling daughter has homework to do, pets to feed (bunny, fish, bird), lunches to make, dinner to make, showers to take, hair to braid, clothes for the next day to pick out. I commented that perhaps Mommy should just run a mile. I had four miles on the schedule but Friday was a one mile day. Perhaps switch.

We got to the library and looked around. She picked out most of her books, I picked out a couple, and then she asked about bunnies. I found the pet section for her and we found bunny books. Then upon checking out I had to update my address, etc. etc. etc.

Once we were finally in the car and on our way back home it hit me. Yoga. It is causing me undue stress. I announced that Mommy was going to end her yoga streak. Darling daughter gasped and asked why. In a nutshell here is what I told her.

I have so much I want and need to do each and every day. It is hard to squeeze everything into a set amount of hours and I am tired of running less just so I can do yoga. Let's say a mile takes me 10 minutes. Now add in the 15 minutes of yoga I was committed to every day. That gives me 25 minutes. In 25 minutes I could have run 2.5 miles...closer to my training goal for the day. She still wasn't convinced.

I continued. You see, I want to do yoga every day. I will still strive to do yoga every day but if a day comes by and time is pressed, it is okay to not do yoga. I will not give up my running streak. That means more to me. But letting go of the yoga streak may be just what I need to do.

When we got home I ran the 4 miles I was supposed to do, I made lunches, made dinner, we did showers, etc. I tossed in a few yoga poses here and there. Not the 15 minute class that I was striving for but still some yoga.

Yesterday morning I woke up early, ran 2 miles, and did a 15-minute yoga class. I felt better in that class than I have in weeks. I really felt relaxed and into the class versus pressured about time. It was just how yoga should be.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my daughter's support.
Daily Affirmation: I know when to let go.


Maui Marathon: Race Recap

It has been over a week, I have pictures, I have thoughts, and it really is time to tell my story before it grows too fuzzy and old.

First, in case you haven't been following along, I had a lot of doubts in this training cycle. I had a heaviness on me based from last year's race experience. I was determined to turn my nemesis of the Maui Marathon into a golden, shining light. Okay, maybe not that brilliant but I wanted to overcome the jinx this race holds for me. The jinx that as much as all is going great, it falls apart leaving me feeling hopeless.

My big goal was to break a 4 hour marathon. If that was slipping way, set a new PR (break 4:10:18). If that wasn't in the books, PR on this course (break 4:36:16).

Come Friday I was finally getting into the mindset and was so excited to share the expo with my running buddy Toby. Come race day, I was ready to run for him. I had faith.

Once we got to the start and parked, I stepped out of the car and realized I forgot my sunglasses. Oh well. Go with the flow. Do not let it get you off your game. I did the porta potty thing, listened to the entertainment, and stood in the corrals waiting to make the walk to the start. We finally started walking as a group and it was announced this year there was an electric pace car. It was a cute little white car and I didn't give it much thought. I got myself into my own frame of mind. Dear hubby was nearby but honestly, I needed to stay in my mind.

We stopped at the start and the race director was saying some final announcements, the drummers were drumming, and I was silently praying...focusing my mind and thoughts on my path to come. Then things changed. I felt the energy changed. The drums stopped. I looked to the left and couldn't comprehend why a car was coming towards people and that there was a person on the front. Was it the pace car? It all happened so quick. The engined revved. The car backed up some and went forward more. Police were trying to come through with their car but had to wait for runners to move out of the way. I tried not to get annoyed at those trying to film what was happened. I just prayed all was well. I found out later that evening, or perhaps the next day, it was a drunk driver who came out of the parking lot against police directions, drove over cones, and hit someone. The person had minor injuries, thank God, and didn't even have to go to the hospital. The driver was arrested. We saw him being taken to the police car before we started officially running. It took a few minutes for me to shake all of that from my mind. I had 26.2 miles to run. I had to forgot the car and my worry for the person it hit. I was still in denial. Maybe it wasn't a person. Although it was that worry that compelled me to look up the story to find out what happened.

I checked in on my pace after two miles and oops, I started out too fast. I eased up some and ran along. I felt good. My legs were loosening up, my breathing perfect, I felt wonderful. The miles seemed to be moving by nicely. I knew a gentleman I was near. I knew he was faster than me but close to my big goal. When I found myself in front of him I eased up. I kept him in sight for a long time..or until things started pulling away.

The pali (or hills) were approaching and I eased worry out of my mind. I knew after those hills came the part of the course that hits me negatively every time. I tried not to let worry take hold. I told myself the past is the past and to run in the present. Not to push the hills too hard and not to worry too much about pace. I was still ahead of my goal by a few minutes so losing some time on the hills to have strong legs later was fine. It was smart. Just run smart.

I got to the tunnel and knew this was the magic point for me. The hills are behind me, I am about halfway there, stay focused. My Nike sensor had been off all along but knowing the time helped. I could do math but then it said, "Run Complete." Ummm, nope. I am not done. I have over halfway to go! I toyed with the thought of trying to start another run or just put music on while I ran along. I went with option two. Get some music going and run by feel. Forget time. Perhaps it was a sign. Forget time. Just run with faith.

I don't know if that was the best decision or not but there is no going back. I ran by feel and kept going but then, things started getting tougher. I was hot and sweating like crazy. I took a salt tab as I recognized the need for one. I kept running and stuck to my fueling strategy as I knew that was key.

At some point as I ran along convincing myself no walking until mile 20 it crossed my mind, at other races there are warnings or the race is called at temperatures like these. Who knows why this came into my mind. I didn't know the temperature. I knew I was hot but seriously, I didn't have a thermometer or a news broadcast on me. I started walking around mile 18.5. I told myself just a bit but that bit grew as my heart and mind opened to an entirely different journey.

I looked out at the ocean I despised so much along this stretch and saw its beauty. I thought of my goal and need to get moving but honestly, I didn't care anymore. The thought came into my head that no time clock anywhere really mattered in the grand scheme of life. My marriage is on a bumpy road. That matters. My husband matters. My daughter matters. Toby matters. That time --- it didn't matter. I was so blessed to be on this course doing this...even walking. I was blessed. Part of me thought if this is the last marathon I ever do, I want to have fun and feel blessed. I do not want to feel tortured. It even crossed my mind to skip the Honolulu Marathon. To send dear hubby by himself. Hey, it would save airfare for me and my daughter. Money is tight. Yes, that is what I would do.

I ran some, I walked some, I ran some more. I thanked volunteers. I smiled at runners. I enjoyed God's beauty and knew I was walking with him. I tried to text my friend to say she didn't have to rush to the finish but my sweaty fingers couldn't work my sweat drenched phone. I moved along with the thought, I will get to the end when I get there. Period. The end. No worries. Just move.

I chatted with another runner. He was from Honolulu and nope, he hasn't done that marathon. He opted to do the Maui Marathon at the $26 deal. He was falling off his goal. We talked about the heat, I told him to do Honolulu because it is better. My race times are ALWAYS better there. It is fun! Do it! We turned the corner and the police pointed out the downhill to us. Neither of us were ready to run yet. I saw a small patch of shade and wanted to stay in it longer. I grabbed a piece of watermelon and a slice of orange from the family that is always on that corner. I thanked them for always being there for us. Their kid sprayed me with water. I ate my fruit and started running. Front Street, here I come. You may be abandoned and hot but I am coming.

And you know what? This is the first time ever I ran down Front Street with a smile. It was hot. I stopped at aid stations to get cold water. The drink in my CamelBak was hot. I sipped it for electrolytes but also wanted sips of cold water. I loved every step down this street. As I neared the end where the misting tunnel always is a lady offered my half of an Otter pop -- a frozen treat I normally shun for the whole family I eagerly took with a smile from ear to ear. I thanked her profusely and savored that lime Otter pop like it was gold.

And I ran on. Yes, I walked some more. Yes, I thought I could possibly still get a course PR if I only knew the time. Looking at the teeny numbers on my phone in the sun is not possible. This is why I say perhaps I should have restarted another run with Nike. I would have known better. I would have known I was minutes way. I would have run further, faster, harder. I would have pushed. But then perhaps I would have missed out on some happiness and savoring the moment. I wouldn't have detoured from a direct run to the finish to go to my family and friends to give my daughter a high five. I wouldn't have paused and given high fives to the other spectators who reached out to give me a high five. I would have run straight by them focused on a number.

I finished the Maui Marathon in 4:38:12. Not a course PR but better than last year. When I crossed that finish line I also knew I was going to Honolulu to make my dreams come true. I am not done running marathons. My dreams are still strong but on this race day I ran a race and had a journey that is completely wonderful and amazing. I wouldn't change a thing.

You see, I was strong. I forgot my sunglasses and ran on. The sun got bright and I ran on. The car at the start shook me, I prayed for the one hit, and ran on. My Nike sensor was acting up and I ran on. My Nike sensor quit on me and I ran on. The cap fell of my CamelBak, my water was leaking, I tapped it with my finger, grabbed the cap, put is back on, smiled at the spectator watching with concern, said "all is good!", and ran on. I was hot and tired and ready to give up running marathons. I ran on. I didn't give up and stop. I lost count of ambulances going back and forth with sirens. I prayed and ran on. I found my priorities in life that day and ran the race God gave me. I learned so much about myself during those 4 hours 38 minutes and 12 seconds.

I placed 14th in my division. That is cool. I also found out later that marathon week was a record breaking week in terms of temperatures. In fact, on race day temperatures got up into the 90's breaking the temperature record set in 1977. It was a hot one.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for a safe run.
Daily Affirmation: I am strong!
I wish this photo was clearer.