Training Report: #irun4toby update

How was your week? I am pretty happy with mine. I wrote up my virtual Spread Your Wings race review and launched an SOS Rehydrate giveaway where one lucky reader will receive a box of my absolute favorite electrolyte drink. Blogging on my new tablet is paying off and a new keyboard arrived today. It is charging and hopefully all the keys will work. In the meantime, I am tapping away my story just for you!

Running wise, my mileage and long run grew this week. Double yay! My body is still an achy mess but my back feels better on the run and I am doing my stretches, using heat, and ordered new running shoes. The ones I have are old and my last order was for a cheaper Saucony, not my usual Rides, so I but the bullet and bought Ride. An older previous version as yes, it cost less, but they are Rides nonetheless. I am also taking a good look at my nutrition as perhaps I am not eating enough prior to running.

So here is what I ran:

  • Monday - 4 miles outside with an average pace of 9'25"
  • Tuesday - 4 miles outside with an average pace of 9'36"
  • Wednesday - 4.25 miles outside with an average pace of 9'16"
  • Thursday - 2.1 miles on the treadmill with a 9'13" pace and another 5 miles on the treadmill with a 9'29" pace
  • Friday - 4 miles outside with an average pace of 9'57"
  • Saturday - 10 miles with an average pace of 9'38"
  • Sunday - 2.1 miles with an average pace of 9'34"

Each day's run started with a rosary via my Immaculate Heart Radio app. It is a wonderful addition to my running which has always been centered on prayer.

My virtual mission has taken my Angeles National Park and I am loving sharing information with my buddy each week on where we are such as Pearblossom, California received its name by the numerous pear farms that used to be there. How cool is that?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful our mail lady returned to our house with the box she forgot to give us.

Daily Bible Verse: I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart. ~ Psalm 138:1


Giveaway! SOS Rehydrate - enter today

Woo-hoo for leap years! I don't know why but leap years are super exciting to me. Is it just because they come once every four years? Last leap year I was newer to blogging and more on top of things and hosted a virtual race with lots of goodies. I contemplated a repeat this year but to be honest, just making it through the day can be a struggle. Life with a 4 year old was so much easier! Fast forward four years and you may find me saying life with an 8 year old is so much easier.

But even though there are times we may not see eye to eye, like the "I don't want to take a shower." and hour ago that turned into "All my pajamas hurt." mixed in with way too much whining and crying I could handle without my post work day cup of coffee. There are lots we do agree on such as....

SOS rocks!

She is partial to the mango flavor and let me be clear - this is not an everyday go to drink. It is an active I need rehydration drink taken in moderation. I believe this is important to note especially for kiddos. Water is best but sometimes she needs more such as after an intense riding lesson in the hot sun. Mid-lesson she gets a sip or two of water on the horse. SOS comes later when she is untacking and again, just some. I do not give her a full stix.

But me, I get a full stix or more. Mango is good but since I started with berry I tend to turn to berry especially for my long runs. Better yet, mix the berry and citrus for a tropical delight. At my last marathon I even increased the stix in my CamelBak to two berry and one citrus. It kept me running happy with just a few gels on the run. I would love to eliminate that or perhaps SOS can create a perfect gel just for me! Okay, all of us. I'll share. You know I love to share and that is why I am here writing today. To offer one lucky reader a box of SOS to try! You can even pick your flavor of choice: mango, berry, or citrus.

Enter today and you could win and don't forget to spread the word. Perhaps if your best running buddy wins they will share with you!

What are you waiting for? Start entering and some entries you can do daily. This giveaway will end March 14, 2016.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Daily Gratitude: I am glad darling daughter's fuse blew before dear hubby got home. That would seriously impact date night.

Daily Bible Verse: I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief. ~ Mark 9:24


Spread Your Wings Virtual Run Race Recap

I am excited to tell you about a race I did recently as part of the I Run 4 Michael group. Not only does the group match runners with special needs buddies but they host virtual runs throughout the year that raise funds for various great causes and they always offer not one but two medals!

Spread Your Wings was one of these races and this race honored all of our buddies who gained their angel wings.

I am happy to say my buddy is alive and well but being part of this group has opened my heart to the challenges others face and I have cried for many lost souls. I feel honored their parents are willing to share their struggles, pain, frustration, sadness, and triumphs. The group seriously keeps you humble and focused on gratitude in life and reminds you to never take anything for granted.

This race being scheduled for February also touched me since my Dad celebrated his birthday on the 22nd in Heaven.

I ran 6.3 miles. Not my fastest but if wasn't for this race, I probably would have run less.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my family and their health.

Daily Bible Verse: I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26


My Wake-Up Routine

We all know sleep is important but this morning I realized I have developed an interesting wake-up routine for myself. A long time ago I said no more snooze button. I would hit it over and over and over again and end up out of bed later than I wanted, grumpy, and mad at myself. Today, I have to say I am not hitting that snooze beyond what my plan is and it is working for me.

Essentially, I have a hard time going straight from deep sleep to fully awake. I have always been that way. Now, if I need to become fully alert due to a child etc., no problem. My body does what it needs to do and on days I am scheduled to wake up really early due to extenuating circumstances, my wake-up routine doesn't necessarily apply because I may opt to not put it into action because step 1 may be way too early.

Here is what I have been doing and I am sure there may be plenty of people out there saying it is wrong. In a nutshell, my first alarm goes off about 40 minutes before I need to be up. I am often very confused by its sound and stumble to find the source and silence it knowing I have time to chill and slowly wake up.

15 minutes later my second alarm goes off. This time I am quicker to understand what is happening and silence it and either drift right back to sleep if I am extra tired or enter into some silent prayer and reflection.

Another 15 minutes go by and my third alarm goes off. I either get out of the bed if I am in a hurry and/or am already ready to tackle my day or more frequently, put it to snooze for 9 minutes of silent reflection and prayer. This is the one and only time I am allowed to touch snooze.

My alarm sound is a very quiet cricket chirping so nothing too loud or startling.

I don't know how I stumbled across this or what took me so long to find it, but it works. Once I do climb out of bed my mind and body is ready to tackle the day and I feel...dare I say...refreshed! Of course, to be totally refreshed your wake-up routine needs to be paired with a good bedtime but that is another post for another day.

How do you wake up? Do you follow any routine?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful my chirping wake-up routine affects no one else in the house.

Daily Bible Verse: Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. ~ 1 John 4:1


Training Report: #irun4toby Mission Update

Aloha and how are you? I know, my training report went MIA last week and by the time I had the time to write it I figured, why bother? Hey, just being honest. I just let it fall to the wayside with increased determination to get back in the game of diligence and hard work.

So, I wrote this post: Running Excuses --- BE GONE! and it transformed my week. It still didn't add up to the best week ever but it is a step in the right direction.

Here is what I did:
  • Monday: 1 mile on the treadmill in the AM before errands and then 2 miles on the treadmill in the PM. I dreamed of running a half marathon but honestly, I was tired from World Whale Day. My running average paces were 10'00".
  • Tuesday: 1 mile outside with an average pace of 9'57" as I felt heavy with stress.
  • Wednesday: 1.02 miles on the treadmill in the AM with a pace of 10'00", 3.5 miles outside with an average pace of 9'47" and wrote that blog post up there about no excuses.
  • Thursday: 3.1 miles in the AM with a pace of 10'00" and 3.1 miles in the PM with a pace of 10'00" to sweat out the cold germs and clear my head of congestion. This worked!
  • Friday: 3.5 miles outside with an average pace of 9'20" and I finally wrote my Valentine Virtual Run recap!
  • Saturday: 6.3 miles on the treadmill with an average pace of 10'00". I will be writing a separate blog post about this virtual race run.
  • Sunday: 1.5 miles for God with an average pace of 10'00".

So in a nutshell, once I stopped falling for my excuses my game increased a bit. No more rest day miles as I want to strive for them to be rest day 15 minutes. No more letting stress cut me back down. Hello running! But I will be honest, I planned on running another 6.2 miles on Sunday to make it a half marathon weekend BUT when cleaning the shower Saturday I tweaked my back...again...and couldn't move at all for a couple of seconds since the pain was so bad. I could barely sleep Saturday night due to pain that left me wanting to cry or throw up but I did lace up, painfully, and ran. And I felt some loosening up on my run. So it may be a "fail" in terms of no 6.2 miles but to me it was a success since I went beyond my typical rest day mile on Sundays to a rest day 15 minutes.

I have some ideas about my back but let's save that for another post. All in all, I am happy with what I did this past week. I turned myself around a bit and gave myself a much needed kick in the butt. I look forward to adding on more mileage and speed when my body is ready to go. I will push myself but I will push myself wisely.

And here is my #irun4toby mission update and for those who are new to me and my blog, I am on a virtual mission to run from Hawaii to Nebraska, where my buddy lives. His name is Toby and he has Down syndrome. I run for him!

How was your training last week?

Daily Gratitude: I am so thankful my back pain finds relief in running.

Daily Bible Verse: There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. ~ 1 John 4:18


Valentine Virtual Race - Virtual Race Recap

I did this virtual race as a Running on the Wall Athlete and was given free entry. The race report and review are purely my own thoughts. 

On February 5th, nine days before Valentine's Day, I ran my 10K Valentine Virtual Race for my buddy. It wasn't my fastest 10K with an overall pace of 9'25" but it was my longest run since the Maui Oceanfront Marathon and that made me happy. And I ran it early as I was in the middle of the busiest time of work. So busy that it has taken me this long to tell you about it!

Instead of filling you in on the run details (mainly because they have become foggy and a run is a run, right?), today I am going to tell you about the bling that comes with this race.

I got an awesome tank top and in all honesty, I prefer their tanks over the t-shirts but I am not a t-shirt type of gal. I love my tank tops and am often in them. Usually fitted ones with bra top inserts but this race tank is perfect for running. I am getting older and more modest these days, so I love wearing a light weight tank over my running bra top. What can I say?

They also provide you with a race bib for every single virtual race. I do not run in them but give them to my buddy with the race date, distance, time, and overall pace on the back to make it seem more official.

You also get a medal with each virtual race and some provide you with the option to purchase a second medal. I like this! You know I want to give one to my buddy!

This race also came with a cute zipper charm but I must of yanked mine funny when throwing my bag in the closet the other day as it is falling off. But I took a good look at it and see what I need to do to fix it so no big deal.

There was also a purple wrist thing that says RUNNING that has an opening on the back. For me, I do not see how I could use this but do see it may be a nice hiding place for something while you run. It does fit snugly on my wrist but darling daughter fell in love with it so it is hers now!

And I know it isn't pictured, but the race also came with a RUN bumper sticker that is cute but black. I am not sure what I am going to do with this right now. I have used decals from a previous race to make a framed art so you can see sometimes I like to think outside of the box.

For $29.99, this is really a good deal and the second medal is $4.99 and as a race director who purchases medals, that is a realistic cost for such a cute medal. You can also add on shirts, arm sleeves, charms, etc. with this and some of their other races so there are lots of options to find what is the perfect fit for you.

I have done other races with them too and you can check those out below:
Run with Grace 10K
Thanksgiving Always Earned 5 miler
Challenges Change You 10K - guess I missed writing a recap on this one. Oops!
She Believed She Could Do It So She Did 10K

I would really love to to their Lucky You 10K and Run Mommy Run 10K too. And don't fret, they have 5K options as well.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for all racing opportunities.

Daily Bible Verse: Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. ~ 1 John 4:11-12


Running Excuses --- BE GONE!

We all have those days when we can think of a million reasons not to run or should I say, we just have no energy to think at all and the idea of running brings no happiness to mind. I would be lying if I said I made it to running streak day 1,511 and jumped with joy every time I laced up. Here are some common excuses I or you may face.

I don't have the time. In the past, this resulted in no running. These days, I run just a mile but sometimes those just a mile days pile up more than I would want. Perhaps I need to change my way of thinking from just run a mile to just run 15 minutes.

I'm tired. Of course I am tired! I am a mom with a full-time job that was beyond crazy recently. Stress, work, and doing a million things at once can leave anyone tired but in all reality, that run energizes me. Get up and run!

I want to be with my family. They will miss me. Okay, in all reality, dear hubby won't cry if I go running but my running often happens when he is at work anyhow. Darling daughter is old enough, and wise enough, to know that I am happier after a run but sometimes, this is valid. On special days, family should and will come first. But I can't let that become an excuse for not giving my running and myself 100% effort.

The weather is yucky. I have an indoor treadmill at home so I can't really use this excuse and I do live on Maui where the weather is pretty pleasant day in and day out most of the time but this year, we have had some crazy weather! I am talking lightening. I saw more lightening in the past year living here than all 17 years here!!! And yes, I am a wimp but it has been colder. I am talking in the high 40's when I leave the house. Stop laughing! That is cold to me and let me add, all my running clothes are the same. Running skirt, bra top, tank top. Nothing more. Nothing less. So on those days where it is cold, or rainy, or so windy I wonder how I am staying on the ground, perhaps I should invest in one lightweight long sleeve running top/jacket that can be taken off if needed but still offer protection on those 1-2 days a year I may need or want it. Like today. WINDY!!!! Rainy. Kinda chilly. But I do know, after running awhile I will warm up but it makes it hard to head out the door. I told you that you may think I was a wimp.

The treadmill is noisy. This is a complaint I may hear from dear hubby or darling daughter and it means I run outside more, which is good. But I did buy that treadmill for a reason so perhaps I should stop using this excuse and suck-it-up-buttercup and get up early to run longer on the one day of week I run when they are both home. Seriously, they will be okay. And my new treadmill is quieter.

What is your common running excuse or excuses?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the birds singing in the background as that means, the rain may be slowing!

Daily Bible Verse: To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” ~ Luke 9:59-62


What do those ashes mean?

Today is darling daughter's 8th birthday! It is also Ash Wednesday and after a meat-free birthday dinner, we will all be heading to church. And since it is a day of fasting, I will be less indulgent in what I eat but for the sake of her birthday, I cannot deny her a bit of celebration of her day. And her choice of a meal is plain Jane spaghetti, which is perfectly fine with me. Pasta with a very simple tomato sauce, nothing else. And my serving can be smaller to honor the fast.

But why church and fasting? Tradition (and yes in my mind I heard Topol singing in Fiddler on the Roof and no, he wasn't talking about Ash Wednesday).

But in a nutshell since this is a running, health, and fitness blog with religion on the sidelines, I will keep things short and sweet. But my faith is important enough to me that I won't hide it under the carpet.

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent...the 40 days leading up to Easter. It is the start of a time to reflect, pray, fast, sacrifice, repent, and aim to sin no more. This season involves a whole lot more than fasting and sacrificing as there are a ton of acts of kindness, charity, alms giving, etc that is added in for many that truly lets you grow closer to God and stronger in your faith.

On Ash Wednesday, those who attend the mass will receive ashes on the forehead. They are actually the ashes collected from the burned palms from the previous Palm Sunday and signify that we all come from and return to ashes. We will all die and we don't know when. For me that leaves the very strong question, if I met Jesus today, would I be ready? Would I hear those words, well done good and faithful servant?

So if you ever wondered why people have black smudges on their foreheads, now you know and thank you for letting me tell you about my faith. Have a blessed day!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for time to blog.

Daily Bible Verse: His master replied, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share in your master's happiness"  ~ Matthew 25:23


Lent: What I am giving up and why

As I sit here with a cup of coffee, chocolate macadamia nut with coconut milk, I am ready to tell the world what I am giving up for Lent.

First, what is Lent?
Lent is the season leading up to Easter. It is 40 days, if you don't count Sundays, and starts on Ash Wednesday. It is a time to turn away from sin and grow closer to God.

Why give something up?
I have heard multiple explanations with one being to let go of sin. Give up sinning. But growing up as a kid often I was encouraged to give up candy and candy in itself is not a sin. The explanation I like better is to give up a pleasure in life. Something extra that isn't necessary for survival and that might be a bit hard to do to let yourself share in the suffering of Christ. Both elements hold appeal in different ways to me today.

For my daughter, I do not ask her to give up candy. I tend to focus on the turning away from sin in terms of behavior modification. Last year she did a great job in becoming less whiny. This year she plans on working on her sassiness. I would rather her see Lent as what it is in terms of the days leading up to Jesus' crucifixion, why he died for us, and his resurrection. I want her to learn her faith and grow stronger spiritually and not feel aggravated and pull way from her growing faith because she wants candy. Okay, she doesn't eat much candy but you get the gist.

For me, I want more. Last year I gave up alcohol with dear hubby and he announced, let's do it again, dear. Okay, I will but since I hardly drink alcohol after last year's "sacrifice" I feel it in itself is a lame "sacrifice". So I thought, hey, I will give up yelling. I have a bad habit if things build up too much I can yell out of frustration and stress. I don't want to do that anymore. I am getting better but I want to get even better. But still, those two seemed not quite enough.

This has been on my mind for months. Even since before Christmas and then it dawned on me. I always had the thought, don't take away my coffee! So that is exactly what I am going to do...kinda.

You see, I learn from others that if you bite off more than you can chew your Lenten "sacrifice" can become a hurdle or chore versus bringing you closer to God so...I am only allowed one cup of coffee each day. EEK!!!

When I told darling daughter and dear hubby they both confirmed what I already knew by telling me, "Woah! That is going to be tough for you!"

Picture my typical day - it starts with coffee going down to work with me and a cup after work and sometimes, a cup at work!!! Sundays, I wake up with my cup of coffee, brew another cup to take to Sunday School to drink while darling daughter learns, and then another cup later in the day after we get home from horse lessons. Yep, three cups of coffee on most days going down to one. Darling daughter's advice, think hard mom and decide when you want your cup of coffee the most each day. In the morning or after work. My initial response, BOTH!!!! But perhaps starting the day with it is better...or coming home to it may be better...oh my!!! Help me!

I know it will be tough but I am a marathoner and I am confident by choosing the "Please don't take my coffee!: I will learn something wonderful about myself and in all reality, it is a lot easier than dying on a cross.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for free speech.

Daily Bible Verse: For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. ~ John 3:16


Weekly Training Report

I can't believe yet another week went by and here I am again with another training report. I will get back to normal blogging ASAP. This craziest time of work is about to settle down and yes, I will still be busy but much less stressed...and that is a good thing! But I do have hopes and dreams of finding some time later today to schedule out some posts swirling in my head.

I am happy to say this week was better than last week in terms of miles run BUT oh my aching back!!! It is happy with just the right about of rest and movement and I am trying not to lift and to stretch more. Fingers crossed I do not destroy all my hard work in healing this coming Saturday.

Here is the week and yes, I do want to get back to running 35-40 mile weeks:
  • Monday: 3.1 miles outside, average pace 9'16"
  • Tuesday: 1.52 miles outside, average pace 9'45"
  • Wednesday: 1 mile outside, 10'02" pace
  • Thursday: 3.1 miles outside, average pace 9'25"
  • Friday: 6.2 mile virtual run (race report to come) with speed work, average pace 9'25"
  • Saturday: 4.5 miles on treadmill, average pace 10'00" (this was split in two runs) and this was day 1500 of my running streak!!!!
  • Sunday: 1.1 rest day mile for God, 10'00" pace

In addition, I have been doing yoga poses Friday, Saturday, and Sunday that focus on opening my hips, stretching my glutes, and loosening my lower back. 

Here's to a better week this week! I need to start running more so I can hit land!!!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the new path I am on in my life! Scared but excited! Following God is beyond amazing!!!

Daily Bible Verse: "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." ~ Matthew 5:43-45


Training Update {and a wee bit of MIA}

Oh golly, Ms. Molly, I have been BUSY! And not running much. And no stretching that really matters and no strength training that I can report. Just a sore back from working way too hard and lifting way too many boxes and being stubborn and not asking for, or insisting on, help. Any tips on easing an aching lower back?

How is that for a week of training in a nutshell? But because I do believe honesty is the best policy and that this week can show making something happen with the hopes of dusting yourself off and getting to better running days as soon as possible, here is what I did:
  • Monday: 1 mile outside, average pace 8'39"
  • Tuesday: 3 miles outside, average pace 9'22"
  • Wednesday: 1.6 miles outside, average pace 8'49" and 1.1 miles outside, average pace 8'59"
  • Thursday: 1.15 miles outside, average pace 10'11" and my stress level is through the roof
  • Friday: 1.5 miles outside, average pace 9'50" and I am not sleeping well
  • Saturday: 1.0 mile on the treadmill, average pace 10'00" and today is race director day
  • Sunday: 1.0 mile on the treadmill, average pace 10'00" and it is my standard rest day mile for God day but I was beat
My hope was to build up miles post Maui Oceanfront Marathon and to run happy and strong to balance the building stress of directing the Run & Walk for the Whales. Some may see the mileage run and see failure as miles are pretty non-existent but if I am honest with myself I can see the success too (as long as I let go of that shameful pride and ego thing).

Prior to December 30, 2011 (day 1 of my running streak), this time of year would result in days...even weeks...of NO running. So that little running up there...it is better than none even if I wish that my January miles were a whole lot more.

We cannot always get what we hope for but I did get something truly unexpected. I got to meet this guy....Guy. He has run 7 consecutive Run & Walk for the Whales but last year life got the best of him....or should I say....dehydration. He collapsed and my volunteer on the course, who happened to be a nurse, caught him. I got to hug and talk to this guy and introduce him to his angel and made a new life-long friend. God bless Guy!

And who can not cherish this photo of him placing third behind Wild Bill (may he rest in peace) and dear hubby two years ago.

So in a nutshell, life doesn't always toss you what you want. In all reality, what you think you want may not even be what you really want. But life will toss you things that are so much better if you are willing to let go of your preconceived notions and ideals and follow the path God has set for you. I knew I was meant to run for years. I knew it was something my spirit was meant to do. I never knew I would be directing races and touching lives...and more importantly/accurately...that their lives and stories would touch mine.
Coming in with the final half marathoner Saturday - she has been battling plantar fasciatis

Running with Roosevelt and his 50th half marathon in memory of his brother
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful that today is day 1497 of my running streak and even if it is just a mile, it means so much more.

Daily Bible Verse: But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. ~ Psalm 59:16

P.S. I do promise to get to blogging more beyond the weekly updates as soon as work calms down and my world stops spinning. Love and hugs!