The Mental Block

The power of our minds is beyond amazing! What we think we can, or can't, do has so much impact on what we really do.

I have been coaching darling daughter for our upcoming 5k race. We are running as a Mother-Daughter team meaning we need to start and end together. We did it last year and she was a trooper and surprised me that she didn't call it quits when we finished the first loop and ran past the finish line to do the second loop. Fingers crossed she has that same strength this year. She is better prepared but not quite to where I hoped we would be in terms of endurance for her.

But in our training she has battled so many mental blocks that all runners face. There was the run through the hilly neighborhood where she was adamant she couldn't but once she stopped whining about how it was too hard and found her happy her run became better and her time was her best! Then there was the day she said yes she would do a training run with me but couldn't run a mile. So we ran up and down our street tossing in drills and guess what? She ran a mile and was shocked at the end when I told her so.

The best run for her was the time we were in the hilly neighborhood and she was coaching me up the hill and teaching me the course. It was our first run together here in a long time and she was so distracted by teaching me that she forgot she was running up a nasty hill. She was more focused on telling me I could do it that she had no time to think she couldn't do it. And isn't that true for all of us? It is easier to accomplish a hard run when we run together and encourage together.

My race day plan for her is a run/walk strategy but I need to be the tough coach on the walk portions and make her stick to a time frame. She still has mental challenges to overcome and is far more capable than she believes but that confidence will come through tackling challenges and finding out at the end, I can do it!

It will be the same joy she expressed yesterday when she got the saddle on Capone. All of a sudden we all heard a delighted "I did it!" and looked to see the saddle perfectly in place on top of Capone and darling daughter beaming from ear to ear. Yes, she did it! It took many, many weeks of trying and asking for help when she just couldn't get it all the way up but through practice she got there and we celebrated the milestone. And in running, do the same.

Celebrate the milestones, embrace the challenges, and push through. Be the little engine that could and tell yourself you can and you will.

There was a time the crazy wind today would have kept me inside but today things are different. I have faced the wind and finished my run. Yes, my pace will slow. Yes, I will be knocked around. Yes, there will be times I feel I am making no forward progress and am being pushed back but thinking negative thoughts serves no good purpose. I will embrace the wind and perhaps have a bit of fun!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the stables and darling daughter horseback riding instructors.

Daily Bible Verse: And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him? ~ Matthew 8:23-27


The Kaua'i Marathon -- Training has started!

I was blessed to do a midweek long run last week and able to run it outside! It wasn't long long but the longest double digit run I have done in awhile. Yes, I have had some 11 mile days but those were running doubles days. I am not saying that those miles don't count but there is some merit to running those 11+ miles straight. I ran 12.15 miles (although dear hubby wasn't happy to hear that was all it was...he is still not convinced). I even tackled going up to the 3rd pole on the monster hill right before turning around to head back. It was a hard climb and the downhill was hard but I did it because I am running the Kaua'i Marathon this coming September and I need to be ready. 

First, here is the elevation profile for my 12.15 mile run. I am bummed because I can't figure out how to get the feet showing on the Nike Running graphic anymore. They keep changing things so I don't know if if it me or them but for all of our knowledge, the elevation range was from about 2,800' to 3,100' and you need to look really hard to see the elevation shading behind my pace profile. Not much when you see what I am doing in September. But first, my run last week....

Now here is the Kaua'i Marathon....


Now the first incline just scared me more than it should have right now. Now really the way you want to start a marathon but hey, I did run the Kaua'i Half Marathon way back when in 2011. This was two weeks before my very first marathon and the half and full marathon runners start out together on the same course but when the half goes to finish things up, the full veers off to the right to tackle more hills but I read that the runners get to see some amazing sights and I believe it! And my point here is if I did it then, I can do it now!

Kaua'i was magical to me and I have been wanting to go back with my family since 2011 to share the experience with them, even though dear hubby will be entertaining darling daughter while I run. I hope they we see me off but then I will convince them to go back to the hotel to enjoy a nice breakfast, play in the pool, etc. while I run. I have been told by many not to expect a PR and one 3:30 marathoner told me it took him over an hour longer on the Kaua'i course. So nope, I am not looking to break a 4 hour marathon in September (but perhaps December).

With that said, my plan is in place and posted on the fridge. I will be training with the GMP of breaking a 4 hour marathon. I am tossing in more inclines when I am on my treadmill. I am running outside more and braving the wind and rain telling myself it is making me Kaua'i tough and I will be ready. Come September I will be ecstatic, and perhaps nervous, to be make on Kaua'i and following the next leg in my running and marathoning journey. I have grown so much through each run, race, and marathon it is unbelievable! 

I have seen PR's slip away and have had great races with remarkable PR's and each one of those races are part of my story and my journey. I will still strive to break that 4 hour marathon one day because hey, why should I give it up? Because I am getting older? What kind of story is that for me? Yes, I do realize with time and age I can and will slow down one day but I am not letting go of dreams and settling for less than my best. If I am not pushing and training for that best I am only failing myself. But in that training I also listen to my body and give it the rest it needs.

My training cycle this go around is part of that. I am not doing 40+ mileage weeks over and over again to keep me at a training level that fits well with my full time job, blogging, family, and spiritual time. I want to play with my daughter and need time to sleep. Some may argue I am sacrificing a better time but this is the best I can do with what I have.

But in those miles I am focused on quality and that means some days are easy days but I will also do fartleks, tempo runs, intervals, miles at GMP, and strong finishes to help me get to where I want to be. I will be adding in running drills on top of my weekly miles and that is another reason I didn't fret if I was below 40 miles as those drill miles will add up. I will do yoga and other strength training too I am sure but have not structured them out. And I will eat well and continue to offer homemade food as much as possible. Hey, homemade tortillas are so much better than store bought and that goes with so many others things too.

I can't wait to share my journey with you and will get back into the groove of offering regular training updates as they are good for me and perhaps we can support one another in our up's and down's.

Have a wonderful day and tell me, what is on your training schedule or dream race list?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my home treadmill!

Daily Bible Verse: But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” ~ Matthew 19:26


Oops....I got it wrong


Yes, it is me. You may remember this look and feel with my banner and watermark.

Now, this is me!

When I wrote my goodbye I had every intention of not blogging for quite some time. My reasons were solid and I thought I got things right. Blogging was distracting me from all the other things I want to do. God was calling me on a different mission and it was time to part ways and venture off on that new unknown and perhaps scary path.

I almost immediately removed twitter and instagram from my phone to resist all temptation to check into those outlets. I changed some of my profiles to private and just hid in the comfort of my soul searching mission and I ran. And through running I kept stumbling upon stories I wanted to share and realized, oh yeah, I don't blog anymore. Hmmm..... I guess I will just tell my stories to close friends? It just didn't seem the same. I love to write. Do I write the stories just for me and hide my blog?

Then one day when I was listening to the Phil Sandoval Show something happened. I really don't remember the topic of the show or the week but I do remember he was asking artists and writers to call in with their two cents. He also was showing appreciation for their talents and thanking them for using them and it dawned on me. Writing is a part of me. Some have even gone as far to say I am good at it. Who knows how good I am at it but I do love to write. Many times if I am upset or frustrated my best form of communication, or at least sorting through my feelings, is writing. Ask my mom. She received many notes from me as a kid with my thoughts of what was unjust in the world. I can see darling daughter following in those footsteps. No, I haven't got any unjust notes yet but she is writing book after book after book. I really need to start a collection of her works and do a digital masterpiece to record them all in. You can only keep so much paper but once again, I digress.

This show got me thinking. Am I supposed to be writing? I put out a survey with some of the thoughts/questions I had and truly value all of the input I received. Thank you so much! If you still want to give me your two cents go right ahead. I will check responses and value your input.

But through this journey of not writing I realized, I got it wrong. I wasn't being called NOT to write but to let go of PRIDE. Yep, pride. That is a hard thing for me to stomach as my love language is words of affirmation. I really should fill you in on love languages one day but there are five and from my guess, words of affirmation is what makes me click. But when praying for the weaknesses in me to be revealed this came to the surface. OUCH! Too much pride little girl!

Yes, I love to hear the words well done. Who doesn't? And then I added that it is my love language so I "need" this but I don't. Really, I don't. I need to refocus on what I think I should get and let go of all of that. I need to let go of the numbers, the comments, the ratings, the opportunities missed, etc. and focus on what is really important. And that, my dear friend, is that last breath I take. Will I be happy with how I lived my life? Will I be able to say I did good and used my talents to the best of my ability? Will I be able to say I made a positive impact on the world and led a life I would be honored darling daughter would follow? Not once will I ask if my blog got enough followers or a post enough comments. I won't be thinking about twitter stats or facebook ratings. I will be thinking of the core of who I am. All that other stuff is fluff.

In the race of life we need people at every level. There are those in first place and those in last and tons in between. Each and every one of us is equally important. Yes, the guy or gal who comes in last is just as awesome as the guy or gal who comes in first. I honestly believe that. Always have, always will. It is time for me to step up to the plate and accept where my path in life is right now and this is where it is.

I will be blogging. I will not force myself to get x posts a week but when I write, trust me, it will be because it is a story I want to share. It may not get 100's of views but if it touches just one person, makes one person stop and think, then I can tell myself....well done. And sometimes that person may just be me!

Yes, I will blog about my faith but don't you stress. You do not need to be Catholic or even believe in God to follow along and participate. I love each and every one of you!

Have a delightful weekend!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I can admit it when I get things wrong.

Daily Bible Verse: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. ~ Proverbs 3:5


I want your opinion

I know. I said I was done blogging but hey, I love writing! The thing is, I think I outgrew my blog and am pondering blogging but going down a different road. You see, I have LOTS of stories to tell and so many times over the past week or so I had an idea of something to share thinking perhaps it might help others. With that said, I am still on the fence. I don't want blogging or social media to pull me away from what is important in the world but there is still that undercurrent coursing through me saying, you can make a positive difference by blogging but the blogging can be on a different time line with a redefined focus.

Will you be kind enough to help me sort through things? I have put together a brief survey and truly do value your opinion as I chart my course.

Love to you all and may God bless you!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for blue skies.

Daily Bible Verse: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. ~ Matthew 7:7


Meb for Mortals

I received an uncorrected proof of Meb for Mortals from Runner's World to review. I did not promise a positive review and the opinions expressed are solely my own.

This is my 1,001st post and I am feeling pretty good that my final post is a book review of Meb for Mortals. You can read more about my goodbye here.

Meb for Mortals became possible due to urging from David Willey and Mark Weinstein. In fact, it was David Willey who came up with the book's title. But first, before I talk about the book let me bring you up to speed on who Meb is because there is a chance that some of you just may not know.

Meb Keflezighi is an awesome runner who I have heard from many who have met him is down to Earth, kind, and approachable. From reading his book, I would have to agree. He is indeed very personable. His life began in Eritrea and in 2004 he became the first American to win an Olympic medal in the marathon since Frank Shorter in 1976. In 2014, Meb became the first American to win the Boston Marathon since Greg Meyer in 1983. He is the only marathoner to have won the New York City Marathon, Boston Marathon, and an Olympic Marathon. He knows what he is doing!

His book, Meb for Mortals, goes over all the aspects of running from training, to recovery, to racing, to drills, to strength training, to cross training and gives tips that can be applied to the recreational runner. I love that he is grounded in his Christian faith and can see it is at the base of his three keys to success -- good goals, commitment, and hard work. Without these, how can anyone really succeed?

He also acknowledges that a recreational runner may not have the time to devote as much to each element of training as he does. He doesn't look down upon us for that but gives tips on how we can still benefit by adding in his additional elements of training to improve our running to achieve our goals -- not his. Each one of us has different goals and that is wonderful!

I devoured this book and not because I had a deadline but because the information was relevant, well presented, easy to read, and most importantly useful. Immediately I started implementing changes in my running routine.

The first to go was my arm band. Meb had a good point that carrying phones, etc. on our arms interrupts with our arm swing. I couldn't immediately run to the store to get an alternative (running without my phone wasn't an option as not only does it track my distance and time, give me music to listen to, it is a safety element I never want to be without). What I did in the meantime was start alternating which arm I wore the band on to even out any damage I may be doing. I know have a pack I wear around my waist when I run that my phone fits in nicely.

Second, I started doing drills after more of my runs. Today they left me winded and I love that I am adding in new elements and have room to grow. I have added just a few of Meb's suggestions and don't worry, the book gives you illustrations along with describing what to do so it makes it easy to visualize and learn the drill.

Third, I have learned some new stretches and strength drills and am excited to have some I can incorporate into stretch/strength breaks at work on my stability ball. Yep, I work sitting on a stability ball, which Meb concurs is better that sitting on a chair and I can honestly say, I see improvements in my core strength since I adopted my stability ball. However, I do see I need to continue to work against the damage sitting does to my quads and glutes. I will work on this!

I have read plenty of running books and some are inspirational stories that make me feel good; however, the ones with tips often left me feeling blah. This book is different. Meb for Mortals is really a book for any runner who cares about their body and their running and isn't that all of us? Why else would we run? It has stuff in it that anyone can adopt and it encourages you that you can improve. Meb isn't saying you are going to win the Boston Marathon but he does tell his story, his mistakes, and how his training has changed over time. Why not take the opportunity to learn from that?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful to write my final post on Meb for Mortals.

Daily Bible Verse: Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11


Fit Snack Subscription Box Review

This is a sponsored post. I received a month's box at no cost to myself to review. I did not promise a favorable review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Aloha! First, thanks for all the love and comments in my Goodbye post. They brought me tears, smiles, and chills as I am wrapping up my final obligations with today's subscription box review. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post and then yes, I will go silent on the blogging frontier. I am still toying with the idea of staying somewhat active on facebook, instagram and twitter beyond Daily Mile updates. I will be on Daily Mile.

Now let's talk Fit Snack! I have tried many subscription boxes. A monthly delivery to my door of very yummies with some newbies to try -- bliss! The thing is, often the boxes leave me feeling down and out as they contain things that are not a good fit for my family and make me feel like I am wasting money or wasting food/supplements. Or perhaps the box has some delicious yummy I am heads over hills in love with but only get a little sample and am left wanting more.

The Fit Snack box was different. First, before I even agreed to sample a box I asked if they had a non-dairy version. Nope, but they said only about 1/3 of the box has dairy in it. Since dear hubby eats dairy I figured why not still give it a try and let him be treated to some new goodies.

The box arrived and true to what they said, 4 of the 12 items inside had dairy in them and I handed those over to dear hubby. He instantly tried the Compete Energy Bites and was excited about the Level Life bar and Nogii Protein Powders (one vanilla, one chocolate --- okay, he was probably less excited about the chocolate). The thing is, all four of those items are products he WILL consume. Nothing wasted.

The other 8 were ones designated for me or family. There were two single serving bags of Simply 7 quinoa chips (both darling daughter and I loved) and lentil chips. I love that these items have only 7 ingredients that I can read and understand. They are Non-GMO, Gluten Free, and Kosher and something I feel fine giving to darling daughter. We don't do chips much but if we were going to have some, I like these and felt good knowing we got a little protein in us too with the quinoa chips. We shared the bag right before darling daughter's horse lessons. The box also contained a package of gluten free pancake mix, a Lenny & Larry's protein chocolate chip cookie (this thing is big and scares me with its size and is not something I would share with darling daughter), 2 individual packs of Sunbutter (perfect for bringing to work to go with my morning steel cut oats), a pack of Fit Snack Raw Almond & Pumpkin Mix, and a pack of Fit Snack Veggies Chips. I haven't tried all the products yet but am impressed that they are all real sized items. I am also thankful that there are no supplements, energy pills, etc. I don't want those things in my life!

The boxes start at $15 a month + S&H (if you get a year subscription) and I think that is a reasonable price for what was included. If you want to try just one month it is $19 and $5 shipping (yep, just $24 meaning an average price of $2 per item). I don't know how prices run in your neck of the woods but in mine, that is a reasonable price.

Have you ever tried Fit Snack? What do you think?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful there are reasonable priced subscription boxes that contain real sized products that the whole family can enjoy.

Daily Bible Verse: Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. ~ Colossians 3:23