4 year streakiversary!!!

Today marks the 4th anniversary of my running streak and I am beyond excited! I would have never imagined four years ago when I took that first step to running every day that it would bring me this far. A running streak is a funny thing that starts to take on a life of its own but in it, it has enriched my life.

To celebrate 4 years I came up with 4 running streak inspired lists. Are you ready? Let's go.

List 1: My 4 tips for starting your own running streak
  1. Don't embark on the mission to start a running streak until you have a solid running base to begin with
  2. Do go slow and incorporate just a mile days to allow your body to rest in a new way
  3. Don't feel bad if you are not running as far or as fast as other runners even if they are streakers too
  4. Do celebrate small milestones along your streak
List 2: My top 4 running must have items
  1. My Saucony running shoes! I particularly like the Ride and Kinvara models. 
  2. My SOS Rehydrate to keep me rehydrated. It has almost replaced the gels I use completely and if SOS Rehydrate came up with a running gel substitute my day would be complete! (Use the coupon code AMB-DGU-GKF to get 15% off your purchase.)
  3. My CamelBak marathoner vest. It's endurance is beyond amazing!
  4. BodyGlide - 'nuff said.
List 3: My 4 most memorable running moments from 2015
  1. Running the Kauai Marathon in September!!!!
  2. Running just after midnight in Texas as a bad hurricane was to come in. It missed us so I got to run again!
  3. Running with my daughter whenever she will indulge me. She is more of a horse riding type of gal.
  4. Getting off of the treadmill on a bad day and plopping down saying I just can't do it. Darling daughter rushed to my side and asked, "Did you at least run a mile?" When I said yes she responded, "Okay, you can stop if you need too. Maybe later you will feel like running more."
List 4: My 4 most valuable running streak lessons
  1. Not every run is going to be joy-filled. After running just a mile on a hotel treadmill dear hubby asked me how my run was and my response was "blah". He seemed disturbed by my response and asked why I do it then if it isn't fun. I explained not all runs are fun but upon further reflection it is more than that. Running streaks develop their own life and become part of your life. Am I really going to end my streak because the treadmill at the hotel was boring? I think not!
  2. It is okay to run slow. By going slower some days you can go faster other days. But with that said, race times matter less to me these days.
  3. To run every day you need to have a reason to run that matters. I run for Toby and to honor God and yes, I run because it makes me happy...even a blah run leaves me happier than the idea of no running.
  4. People will judge me and think I am crazy. People will tell me I can't run every day. I will always remember I can and that there are many streak runners who have run longer than I have and they will always inspire me. May I never pass them up!
Daily Gratitude:

Daily Bible Verse: Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. ~ John 14:1-3


Weekly Mission Update

I think it is time to buckle down and get back into reviewing and reflecting on my training on a more regular basis. I have been running by the seat of my pants and as liberating that can be at times, it may not be ideal when you (or I) have greater goals.

On July 27, 2014 I started running for Toby and started a virtual mission to run from Maui to Nebraska (where he lives). Just the other week as I saw myself getting closer to California I felt that it would be fun to share mission updates with him on a weekly basis and today I realized that would tie in beautifully with weekly training reviews on my part that I could share with you!

It is always fun to share my crazy thought process.

I ran 26 miles last week and it wasn't the training week I dreamed of as the Christmas planning, baking, and festivities took more out of me than expected. Add in a crazy menstrual cycle and my long run did not happen. I was just way too weak from way too much blood loss. I should seriously consider being more proactive and start increasing my iron intake in the days leading up that time of the month. Of course, I will run this by my doctor and see what she thinks. All I could say was thank you God that it wasn't race week!

I also stopped structured yoga classes. I know! Schreeechhhhh!! What am I thinking? The thing is, I had slowly been moving away from structured classes to yoga breaks which can now become more of stretch breaks. This all came about through a funny development. I tried some yoga classes on Amazon Prime and some just didn't rest well with me. Then a couple of days later I was listening to a show I love on Immaculate Heart Radio and the host started talking about yoga and potential spiritual risks THEN I stumbled across an article with the same theme. The signs of my life....

I am not saying yoga is bad. In fact, the host pointed out that the yoga we do here in the west is not "true yoga" and agreed yoga can have positive physical benefits but to think that Sun Salutation is to honor the sun god versus just warm up my body in the morning changes my perspective a bit but yes, I will still be doing poses that open up my hips and I would love to master crane! Like I said, many poses are indeed wonderful stretches but I won't be committing myself to x-minutes of yoga practice per day mainly because my life is quite hectic, my marriage has its normal up's and down's, and I need to keep my mind focused on the good in life and not worry if the yoga sequence I am doing is honoring a false god and hindering the spiritual growth path I want to be on. And if I ever find myself with a good dose of free time, I will research this more!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for vegan fudge!

Daily Bible Verse: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." ~ Matthew 11:28


Run with Grace

It has been a busy day...scratch that...a busy week! On Monday I ran a virtual race as a Running on the Wall Athlete. The Run with Grace 10K. It was just the added motivation I needed to get a good run in when on my list of things to do was to bake cookies, more cookies, and more cookies. And since I have been off all week with darling daughter, extra motivation to run on a treadmill is always a plus. Anyone want to send me some good running vibes for Saturday? That run needs to be LONG! The Maui Oceanfront Marathon is just around the corner and with missing the Honolulu Marathon, my running/training schedule is all messed up. 

I totally adore this virtual race series and the gift packages are wonderful! There always seems to be a surprise as this time the Keep Running charm was for your shoe versus a dog tag and I am completely fine with that. The shirt is short sleeved and snug but nice so if you want a looser shirt, perhaps order a size larger. Sorry guys, I can only say this for the ladies cut shirts. I have no clue how your shirt runs in sizing. I added the magnet to my fridge with one I received from a previous race and the inspiration is growing! Plus I ordered a second medal for my buddy, Toby. I LOVE it when I can do that. He is receiving my race big and my medal for this race and my race bib and a chocolate bar from the virtual race I did in November. You can read about that one HERE.

Well, I better get running! It is Christmas Eve and we have been tracking Santa all day HERE. It is really cool. He is on his way to Brazil right now and I need to get some early dinner preps going on before Christmas Eve Mass. 

Love and hugs to you all!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for sunshine.

Daily Bible Verse: And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. ~ Mark 11:25


I RUN4 TOBY Mission Update

I splurged and gave myself a holiday present by going pro on my virtual mission because I thought the added features could be fun and bring some life to my mission to run from Hawaii to Nebraska!

Why Nebraska? Because that is where Toby lives! I started my mission on our match day -- July 27, 2014. Every day I run and every mile goes to my virtual mission to run to him. It is fun to see the miles add on with new meaning and I can't wait to get over land and see some sights! The time on the big blue Pacific Ocean is wearing me down. It took hardly any time to get from Maui to the ocean but boy, that ocean is big!! It makes me ponder when people traveled by boats. What a journey they must have had! But one would imagine that got to their destination a lot quicker than I am BUT I am lucky to not be confined in a boat battling with potential stormy conditions and seasickness. 

I would LOVE to write more. I have at least three blog posts in my head ready to be written and posted. As much as I thought this week off of work would give me more time I completely underestimated how long baking can take. I baked for 7 hours yesterday! Oops...that may make a fourth blog post. My 2015 holiday baking list and recipes! Perhaps my 2016 New Year's Resolution should be to get better and scheduling my blogging time!

Merry Christmas and God bless!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for vegan fudge.

Daily Bible Verse: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ~ Isaiah 9:6


After the Honolulu Marathon: DNS is tough


For those new to running acronyms DNS is Did Not Start and it hurts. It is tough. No matter what the reason.

For the most part I was doing pretty good flying with dear hubby and darling daughter, going to O'ahu knowing I wouldn't be running. I still felt the peace of my decision even through the packet pick up and walking through the EXPO with dear hubby. I felt the peace waking up early to run a mile before he headed to the start. I felt the peace heading out with darling daughter to watch the elites and wait for dear hubby to pass us before mile 6 or so. I felt the peace racing with darling daughter to beat the Kenyans to the finish line. Our race was much shorter coming from breakfast. I even felt the peace watching runners come in and waiting for dear hubby clapping and cheering until my hands stung but still persisted for the runners in the final stretch.

But then the peace left. Darling daughter was getting antsy and dear hubby expressed he would be perfectly fine with us leaving and letting him be. I felt deflated because all I had was the ability to be the supportive spouse and cheerleader. I would love to say I let it go but I have a very hard time with that.

I tried to let it go at the lagoon in the water looking for shells. But the hurt was there and the silence was killing me and I headed back to the room and let darling daughter play more with dear hubby. I thought some peace and quiet would heal my soul and then the doors of despair broke open with my flood of tears. I didn't race and as much as I still felt I wasn't suppose to, it is really hard not seeing the reason. And no, I never expected to know why but yet I still cried until my head ached and struggled with my wants. I wanted dear hubby to be understanding and give me a hug and say, I understand how you feel. I was there last year. I understand. It is okay to be sad. DNS is hard to swallow under any circumstances. It is okay.

None of that happened and all in all, it is a learning lesson for me. I can't think of what I want but what is best for all and yes, this applies even in circumstances when I am feeling grumpy and gloomy due to a DNS for a race that in all reality is just a race.

But the trip wasn't all doom and gloom and stay tuned for some fun trip updates later!

Love and hugs to all the DNS'ers out there. I feel your pain. It is okay to be sad. Go ahead and cry. I am there for you.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I got to do one outside run on O'ahu and see whales.

Daily Bible Verse: When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. ~ Psalm 34:17-20


Video Blog on Why I am not Running the Honolulu Marathon

Aloha All,

I recorded this video for you yesterday morning but due to technical hiccups....it took me until today to post. And as odd at it may sound, I am at peace and have slept better the past couple of nights than I have in a LONG time. And....I just got a very gracious offer from the Maui Oceanfront Marathon for FREE entry into his race this coming January!!!!

I referenced a blog post in the video. This is it: When Fear Sets In

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for God's peace.

Daily Bible Verse: Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. ~ Habakkuk 3:17-18


When Fear Sets In

I have a confession to make, I have been afraid. I know this may sound silly. We have all experienced fear...sometimes paralyzing fear. Fear is part of being human but fear is something I want less of as a God-loving Christian and remember, my power word for this year was COURAGE. How ironic that at the end of the year I am writing a post on fear. God is marvelous because I do see Him at work in all of this.

The San Bernardino shootings struck me at a cord a bit too close for comfort. When my phone received the alert my heart sunk and as I texted my co-worker and close friend the response what that the location was close to where her brother is. Once again too close for comfort. Then I found it was at a facility that serves those with special needs and that too close for comfort began to feel like the carpet being pulled out from under my feet. My heart broke for those affected and I cried on the way home as I heard reports and tried to comprehend the why and what would drive people to violence and then it hit me. Violence can happen ANYWHERE and I was getting close to running the Honolulu Marathon. I got scared and questioned, "Should I?" Once again I texted my co-worker only for her to say, "YES!"

But things didn't become peachy instantly. Just last night I had a bad dream in which I firsthand was experiencing terrorism and by God's grace, we were not harmed...just felt it outside our doors very close as we prayed for protection of all. And then I woke up shaken once again asking, "Should I run? Is this a sign I am not to race? Am I in danger? What about my family?"

The thing is, I will be called home exactly when God calls me home and my life, that of my husband, and that of my daughter are all in God's more than capable hands. On the first day of fear I was comforted by this verse...

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are 
with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
~ Psalm 23:4

It immediately reminded me that I am not to react to fear but to respond trusting my Lord and having faith. Hiding under a rock the rest of my life would not do anyone any good and definitely sets the wrong example for darling daughter. Still, a few days later the dream shook my foundation and faith a wee bit. I became doubtful.

"Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water
 and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning
to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand
and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" 
~ Matthew 14:29-31

Good question, isn't it? Why am I letting fear, which comes from the devil, cause me to doubt? Why not have confidence in the Lord and safety along the race course? Why not have faith?

Because bad dreams can lead to doubt but God is always at work reminding me to have faith. And as I discussed my recent lack of courage with another good friend, my faith began to grow. That is why I LOVE having sisters in Christ...we support one another and lift each other up! And my bible study led me to this verse...

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God,
so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 
For our struggle is not against flesh and bone, but against the rulers, against 
the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual 
forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God,
 so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, 
and after you have done everything to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth 
buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 
and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can 
extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet 
of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
~Ephesians 6:10-17

So where do I stand now? Stronger in faith and more confident that God is by my side...each and every day. I will fear no harm knowing He loves and cares for me and frankly, I am beginning to grin ear to ear because pre-marathon jitters are not new to me. They happen each and every time. This time they are just testing my faith and you know what? That makes me a stronger believer!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the struggles in life as through these challenges, I grow closer to God.


Earn Your Turkey Virtual Race Report

As a Running on the Wall athlete I ran the Earn Your Turkey 5 miler race on Thanksgiving. I loved the message of this race, Always Earned Never Given, because I believe that is true regardless if the race is live or virtual. I earned my medal and bling on race day in so many ways.

Originally, my plan was to have 5 miles of the 8.6 mile road race to count as my virtual race but life got in the way. Rainy days caused darling daughter's horse lessons to be rescheduled more than once and when it came down to the final straw, we opted for a morning lesson on Thanksgiving Day meaning....no road race for me AND an early wake-up call. Not what I had imagined but throughout  the week I did Thanksgiving prep as much as possible to leave Thanksgiving Day as happy and stress free as it could be for the one cooking the feast.

And I was adding a new element in this year....we would be attending Thanksgiving Mass. The plan was to do the evening mass the night before but when I got home after a long day at work and the family was groaning I decided, okay, I will take darling daughter before horse lessons. One less battle.

Thanksgiving Day came and I woke up early to run 5.1 miles for the virtual race (yep, 0.1 miles extra), made breakfast, had time to run another 3 miles, got darling daughter and myself ready for church, found out horse lessons were cancelled again due to rain, and headed off for mass trying not to feel down that I was still missing the road race. The comfort I found was knowing I was putting God first. Since we did not do mass the night before and I WANTED to attend, the road race was definitely a no go. You can't be in two places at once and mass was AMAZING!

You see, I was missing family this holiday season and once I walked into church and was greeted with so many sincere "Happy Thanksgiving!" from genuinely happy to see you faces I realized something. I was home for Thanksgiving. These people are part of my family. They brighten my day and lift my heart whenever I see them. Many have watched darling daughter grow up over the years and remember when I sat way back in almost the last pew as I felt uncomfortable. Now I am completely comfortable in the front pews. And I felt honored that Father related us to the one leper out of ten that returned to Jesus to thank him for healing them. It was right to give thanks to God on Thanksgiving...and every other day for that matter.

All in all, I ran 11.2 miles on Thanksgiving....much better than the 8.6 miles I hoped for. God is GREAT and I earned my virtual race bling. Of course, some I shared with darling daughter and my buddy, Toby, and they earned their part of the bling too.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for virtual runs.

Daily Bible Verse: In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. ~ Hebrews 1:1-2