I'm giving away SOS! Yes, SOS Rehydrate!

To celebrate counting down the days until I meet Toby I am giving away some SOS Rehydrate. In a mere 26 days I will be able to hug my buddy but in a mere 2 weeks one of you, yes you!, will receive samples of SOS Rehydrate. I have three sticks on my desk right now - berry, citrus, and mango - and you can receive this taste test pack to choose which flavor is your favorite.

Why am I doing this? Because I love you! Because I love to give and share! And because SOS Rehydrate keeps me "rehydrated" on my run and has eliminated the need for me to turn to salt tablets on my longer runs AND keeps my tummy happy.

What are you waiting for? Enter the giveaway now to keep your tummy happy and your body rehydrated!

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And just recently, I have found the means and the way to get even better with a health and nutrition program that keeps me energized and yes, stronger! Do you have goals that you are trying to reach? I just may have the answer, even if it is just only added accountability, to keep you on the road to success. Learn more HERE.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for SOS Rehydrate and Beachbody.

Daily Bible Verse: And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. ~ Luke 9:23

This giveaway is hosted by Life as a Running Mom, who is personally providing the prize. Entries are open to the US only. The giveaway ends on June 8th and the winner will be contacted via email. If the winner does not respond in 3 days, a new winner will be selected.

NOTE: Even though this giveaway has ended, if you are interested in trying some email me and I will see what I can do.


Interval Training

I got to say, intervals are one of my favorite things to run as they can keep me motivated and going when running in place on a a treadmill. They are a great way to break a long run into little, manageable pieces and help bring you to your end goal with ease. Well, perhaps not easy ease but it helps.

With this in mind, my interval training isn't always at maximum interval training effort. Sometimes I need to pull back on that intensity because trust me, no one should run at 110% effort for every run especially when they run every day.

I know many may know exactly what interval training is but for those who are new to running or just want a refresher, here you go!

Intervals are specific speed work that consists of a set number of repetitions at a set distance and a set pace with a specific recovery. Traditional the work is done in 400m or 0.5 mile increments with a rest and work interval. This is how intervals are different from fartlek runs where you randomly pick up the pace and ease back. Intervals are structured and specific and have an intended purpose. And it is best to run them where you know the exact distance. A track is awesome but soft terrain works well too as long as you know the distance.

Last Saturday I strayed a bit from the norm and ran my intervals in 5 minute segments. This works beautifully for those running at a pace of 10'00" or faster as it is pushing you a wee bit further in each interval. But that isn't why I opted for 5 minutes. The end state goal of running 10 miles seemed too big for me when I stepped on the treadmill so I broke it down into 5 minute segments and focused on time, not distance. After a 1.5 mile warm-up at a 10'00" pace I started my interval work and worked for 75 minutes never dropping below a 9'50" pace and wrapped it up with a 1 mile cool down at a 10'00" pace. Ironically, my 95 minutes run brought me EXACTLY to 10 miles! Thank you God!

But what are the benefits of running intervals? Intervals can be tough but they are not full sprint tough. They are beneficial since running intervals trains the cardiovascular and muscular systems to better utilize oxygen while removing carbon dioxide and lactic acid. They improve your fast twitch muscles functioning and this is good since these fibers tend to fire fast and tire quickly. They come into play in anaerobic conditions and you want strength here. The three things I love about intervals is that running them can promote more efficient running form (I do feel my body pulling into shape), teach patience with low grade physical discomfort, and keep me motivated. And intervals improve strength.

With all those good benefits, why not run intervals right now? Well, there are risks.

You could be risking injury to soft tissues and muscles or fatigue. This list isn't too long but a serious injury could sideline you longer than you would like so push yourself but be sensible. Like I said, since I run intervals a lot to keep me going, they are not always at 110% effort.

Should you run intervals? I think we all can as soon as we are ready. Runners need a solid base before adding on other elements. If you are running more than 20 miles a week and have done tempo runs, hills, and fartleks, you may be ready! If you add in that you are an experienced runner with a base of 500+ miles you are definitely ready! Having one 20 mile week in which you do one tempo, one hill session, and one fartlek doesn't give you the green light just yet. Keep building up your pace and by golly, listen to your body!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful the intervals brought me to my mileage goal.

Daily Bible Verse: Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. ~ Hebrews 10:23-25

Still need help? I am a certified running coach and offer virtual training with personalized lesson plans plus I am here to help you with all of your fitness and health goals. My contact info is HERE.


30 days until I MEET TOBY!

Let the countdown officially begin!

Okay, I have been counting down for MONTHS but now that we are in the final stretch...join me. In 30 days darling daughter and I will be starting our summer vacation right with MEETING TOBY!!!

Poor dear hubby, he will be staying home keeping the fort safe and watching our pet family. What a trooper! We better bring him back some good goodies!

In case you don't know, I run for Toby -- a precious nine year old in Nebraska -- and have been running for him since July 27, 2014. In a matter of minutes, I fell in LOVE with him, his mom, and his AMAZING family.

Toby has Down syndrome so I have a special place in my heart for Down syndrome awareness so you will hear me chat about that here and there and you may see LOTS of posts and updates that refer back to this precious boy. Oh God is great and perfectly matched us together and watching him grow hasn't only blessed me but darling daughter. She does so much artwork in blue and yellow and tells me it is for Down syndrome. And her heart is growing for all kids with special needs. She even ran to me after school Thursday when I picked her up beaming with joy and guess why? You won't guess it. It is because the boy with autism in her class got a school award for GREAT BEHAVIOR! She was so proud of him and I am too -- and also for her for sharing in his joy enough to tell me about that. How cool is that?!

Daily Gratitude: I am so thankful to have Toby and his family in my life AND that I get to meet him in person!!!!

Daily Bible Verse: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. ~ 1 John 4:7-10


Oh the carbs!

Today, let's talk carbs.

I know you may hear a lot about them and how some avoid them completely. In fact I have a co-worker going no carbs in attempts to lose weight. I just shake my head as I am always an advocate of everything in moderation and thought I was doing a-ok in my eating plan...even if I was feeling a bit bloated here and there. And yes, I do say NO dairy for myself but only because eating it causes intense stomach discomfort PLUS congestion like you couldn't believe. I cut dairy out years ago when I was going in for test after test for abdominal pain and getting no answers. On my own whim I cut out dairy and within days my head was draining like crazy and I could breathe through my nose! This was AMAZING! So if your own body says no to something, by all means, avoid it.

But back to carbs.

I thought I had it all in balance with my eating plan -- a "plan" that could include bean burritos and/or nachos every day of my life! Don't forget waffles or pancakes on the weekends and I haven't even touched onto snacks or dinner. And the more I looked at it, my snacks were carbs. Bad carbs. Processed food carbs. And I was hungry....ALL. THE. TIME.

A week ago I received a wealth of information in the challenge I signed up for and officially start on Monday and to be honest, the carb part has me a wee bit worried.

Upon first reflection I was eating about 10 billion (okay, maybe a dozen) allotted containers of carbs every day. Six times more than I should be. I am striving hard to get to the plan that is based on my weight and as much as a struggle, I am still over-consuming carbs. Now let me add, we are each different and yesterday it was hard to adapt the plan to my 10 mile run in which I did consume carbs on the run. I counted them but in all reality feel I could just knock them out as they were my run fuel.

But this eating plan isn't all about carbs. It is about EVERYTHING! And I am awful at eating my protein and still have fallen short a day or two. I am easing into this plan and come Monday, I want to be more on target but I have found, when it comes to eating/drinking changes, I can't go cold turkey (except for that dairy example I just gave you because the benefit of NOT eating it far outweighed the joy of eating it).

I tried many times to STOP drinking Diet Coke and it finally worked once I weened into it so I decided to ween into the new eating plan for me.

And it is worth it. I am feeling energized throughout the day and that afternoon slump is not happening like clockwork anymore. I honestly feel it is because I am not constantly sugar crashing as I am eating healthier whole foods. Seriously, I did think I was doing this! But I think the awesomeness I am feeling is closely linked to my increased protein intake AND that my breakfast is now twice as big as it has been. It seems my breakfast was WAY too small -- especially when you factor in I eat after my morning runs.

I have always been against any diets and anything that tells me what I can or can't eat. I guess I am not good at being told what to do when it comes to enjoying food. But this plan is AWESOME! It doesn't tell me WHAT to eat but HOW to eat and I like that. I am a runner. I LOVE to eat but I also what to feel good, energized, and not bloated. A happy tummy makes a happy mommy...and I have an inkling my entire family will appreciate that.

Now my question to you, do you think I can keep this up on my summer vacation which includes a....CRUISE!!!!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful my mom has blessed darling daughter and I with the chance to cruise the big blue sea this summer!

Daily Bible Verse: Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. ~ 3 John 1:2


My Story - My Why

With the big changes happening in my life and with me signing up to become a fitness and health coach, I thought it was time to really tell you my story in one concise post. My story is LONG but I will try to keep it short.

Growing up I was always active but I was't a runner. I played soccer from about 3rd to 12th grade but I wasn't a runner. I had no real health concerns but then college happened and like many, I gained weight. I went from a size 6 to a size 12 encroaching on 14. I wasn't happy about that. Fortunately, I HAD to sign up for gym/PE credits at the college I was attending as they built a new gym and had to pay for it. God was already working on me and I was clueless. I took aerobic running class, twice, and had an awesome coach. I ran my first ever 5K and dropped down to a size 8. I was hooked but when I moved to Maui it all went to the wayside. I began my slippery slope.

My first husband and I grew apart but yet remain great friends and that is cool. But in those treacherous years I made bad choice after bad choice. I told myself it was okay. I was just going through that college phase I missed in college as I worked through college as a married lady. But that was just me lying to myself. In those dark years I made the worst choice ever in my life and I won't go much into that right now but know this,  I was near rock bottom and felt no love for myself. Somewhere in all that gloom I grew close to my now husband; although, our beginning years were full of hurdles including me moving to O'ahu to prove to myself we were meant to be and not me just latching onto a man. I started to seriously run again for my own peace of mind but now I was going to the extreme. I got too thin. I was a size 0 and barely 110 pounds. As much as I liked the number on the scale deep down inside I knew it wasn't good. I forced myself to eat and feared I had anorexic tendencies but I was never anorexic per se. I ate.

Fast forward a couple of years and I thought things were getting good. I moved back to Maui, I got pregnant, and due to past decisions and the emotional trauma, I was fearful every day of my pregnancy. My doctor told me not to run so I did NO workouts. I gained weight. I felt bad. I was losing any self esteem I had left but was blessed with my daughter. My saving grace in so many ways. But I still hadn't hit rock bottom.

Once she was born I had a series of issues and went to the doctor time after time. They just told me I was a new mom and aching and being tired was normal. Then one day I was sitting by the changing table looking at my daughter beside me and felt nothing but empty. I knew I needed help. I broke down and made an appointment to talk to a therapist. I had a lot going on as my dad was recently diagnosed with leukemia as well. The night before my therapy appointment I got a call. My dad started bleeding...in his brain...it was bad. He was on life support and didn't want that. I went numb but still walked into my appointment hours later. My family told me to go. I told the therapist I couldn't talk since it was the worst day ever. She told me then it was the best day ever to talk and I pured my heart out. Everything since my daughter was born up to the call in the middle of the night. I talked. I cried. She listened. At the end she looked at me with the deepest compassion and said dear, you have been suffering from postpartum depression. You need help and things are critical right now. I told her I had to fly to Texas. She said I had to get antidepressants first and take them. I asked if I could wait until I was in Texas and she said yes. Just get them now. I did.

On the plane I felt there was an angel sitting by me and I cried but kept it together as much as I could since my young daughter was with me. As soon as I walked into the hospital I took the first antidepressant. I could now. I had family around me to help me with my daughter if I needed it. I took them for three months and they helped me start running again BUT they were no good for me. I had to stop them. I didn't want to be chemically happy and now I had a new mission --- to run a marathon in memory of my Dad. This was June 2010 as my Dad died in March. I ran my first half in September 2010 and my first full in September 2011. My aunt and mom even flew to Maui to watch me cross the finish line!

In my training long runs I felt God calling me back. Slowly but surely he called me back. My spirit was meant to run. Running had a meaning only he knew. Over the years he has slowly revealed his plan to me and mainly revealed I cannot do it all on my own. He called me to sign up as a Beachbody coach and almost instantly it is changing my life....for the better.

In just 10 days of my first challenge I am more energized, I see new meaning in life, and I am eating better (hence the improved energy due to no more sugar crashes). But this has already extended beyond me. Darling daughter is working out with me and teaching her pets the workouts. You should see her bunny "jack it out" with her! Beyond cute!! My husband is the happiest I have seen him in YEARS! He keeps saying how this is good for me and how proud he is of me doing the new workouts. Seriously?! I am investing more time and energy (and some funds) into myself and EVERYONE IS HAPPIER! As a working mom I NEVER invested in myself much. Money would be "wasted" on me. Oh how wrong I was!

The best part, I can finally look at myself in the mirror and see the child of God that God has loved so greatly and you know what? I am loving myself again. This is HUGE! The scars I carry will always be there but I finally can forgive myself and LOVE myself. And to think, a challenge through Beachbody is making this happen to the fullest!

My story of success isn't a huge weight loss story but a story of endurance. A story of overcoming obstacles and finding my way. A story of faith, trust, and hope. Yes, hope. Hope that this is the means and the way for dear hubby to retire in 3 years (he is 20 years older than me). A hope that this is the means and the way for my family to move back to the mainland to be closer to my mom, sisters, and all of our extended family. And a means and the way to do what I always wanted to do --- to help others find their strong and happiness through and active and fit life.

Won't you join me today?

Follow my journey through this blog, on facebook, and sign up for my monthly newsletter, Running Mom News.

I am done slacking. I will do what God has called me to do. I look forward to working with you, inspiring you, and our joint accountability groups. We can achieve so much together. My vision includes Challenge Groups, FREE workouts, recipe ideas, clean eating motivation, and most importantly.....support.

I am dreaming up a team name and contemplating TEAM ENDURANCE. What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts and input too as this will become our team. You, me, and so many others united to be stronger and healthier peeps --- emotionally and physically. Won't you join me?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for God's persistence and love.

Daily Bible Verse: And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. ~ Hebrews 12:1

P.S. Maybe one day I will make it through this story without crying. My eyes are now puffy red and my nose all stuffy.


More than a Number

Numbers have a way of trying to take over us -- or at least me. My crutch is that weekly mileage number and when it falls below 20, like this past week, it is hard to not get a wee bit annoyed, grouchy, or other emotions that essentially mean I am beating up on myself.

But there are natural reasons for the number to fall -- such as taper -- but that isn't my excuse this time. Neither is being sick, another good and plausible reason for that number to fall. Thank you God for my health!

My reason this past week is plain and simple. Cross training.

A few weeks ago I made the commitment to invest more in myself and start cross training. I was doing a few moves I found in a magazine. I put in 20 minutes one week and 30 minutes the next week spread out between 2-3 workouts per week and told myself I was doing good. Yes, I did feel a bit of something but deep down, I knew I wasn't doing enough. Deep down I felt that my cross training commitment was the equivalent of wanting to run a marathon but only running 7 miles a week. I wasn't really increasing my training load to the level necessary to maximize my personal benefits and to achieve my goal.

And I have a goal. I want to be the best me that I can be and tied with that, I want to step up my game in my commitment to others and to help them along their fitness and health paths. I have always cared about YOU and have a special place in my heart for moms, especially new moms, but in all reality, I am there for all of you. And as part of that, I share my journey of running and beyond and recently stepped out of my comfort zone and made the commitment to be a fitness and health coach. Yes, to actively pursue my dream to help you!

And as part of that I want to reflect on numbers today and tell you my story. Yes, I ran less this past week but I have committed to a new cross training plan. I have been doing 30-minute workouts every day and they can be intense! But they are also fun and leave me wanting to join in the next day…even if some left me walking around aching as much as I may after running a marathon. And that is a good thing!

But before I pull you into all the details -- here is my why.

I want to be a better me. Personally, I want to feel energized. I know diet affects me and I will be working on refining that and that challenge officially starts May 23rd. I am learning my new plan and trying a few things out as I try to correct so many wrongs I have been making and didn't realize.

I thought I had the eating thing down right 80% of the time but I have already learned that I have been overdoing carbs and not getting enough protein and perhaps, not eating enough. I have been grabbing that Belvita bar pack way too much and need to turn to better, cleaner sources of food. I hope this helps keep me energized throughout the day and can honestly tell you that just by correcting my breakfast, which was half the size it should be, I may be less hungry throughout the day and not turning to bad choices.

Many lose weight in this challenge and that isn't my goal. Okay, losing 5-10 pounds could be nice but ultimately, I would prefer to see and feel a stronger and more energized body so that I can be a more energetic and happy mom and wife. That is my goal. An energized better me. Remember, we are more than a number and that includes the number on the scale.

I am excited to share this challenge experience with you and my sampling of workouts leaves me believing with 100% confidence that by the end of my full on three week challenge beginning May 23rd I will be on the way to a better, stronger, more energized me. If you want to join in on the challenge, let me know by commenting on this post or emailing me at lifeasarunningmom@gmail.com. If you want to just follow along, I love it and feel free to cheer me on! One great way to stay in touch is to sign up for my monthly newsletter HERE or to follow me on facebook.

Let's stay in touch and be fit!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my husband and his support in all I do.

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


The Cat Nap Magic

I have been going through ebb and flows in life with afternoon grogginess and I am about to tackle that full force with an upcoming challenge focusing on fitness and nutrition. Perhaps a few small changes can make a HUGE difference but I can tell you one thing, when I came home from work beyond tired Monday, after a 30 minute work out I was energized and ready to tackle my late afternoon and evening duties. Talk about a win-win for me and my family!

Yesterday was another beyond tired day. I did my work out, played with darling daughter, and knew I had to start dinner but I was tired. It was nearing 4 pm and I knew I didn't have the steam to get me to bedtime without losing it so I turned to darling daugher and told her, "Wake me up in 15 minutes."

I snuggled into the couch and she cuddled up next to me and for a few seconds I wondered if this would work. Will we both crash? I closed my eyes and told myself not to worry. Just chill and enjoy cuddling with your awesome 8 year old. And we cuddled until I felt her move away and get up. I thought, really? 15 minutes already?! I looked at the clock and saw I was only chilling for 10 minutes and shut my eyes again once more wondering. Will this work? Will she give me 5 more minutes.

In a few seconds she was cuddled up by my side again and I could hear her flipping the pages of a book. She was reading quietly and I rested. Then bingo..."Mom, it is 4:15!"

I opened my eyes and got up and felt refreshed and energized. My eyes could open and my body was no longer dragging and it never ceases to amaze me how magical a cat nap is as I never really slept. I heard darling daughter and felt her movements. I was aware of my surroundings. But somehow those 15 minutes of eyes closed, laying down, and chilling make me feel 110% renewed and refreshed on days where I just need a wee bit more. And they do not make it impossible for me to go to bed later on time. Another win-win for my family.

Do you take cat naps? Are they magical for you too?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful darling daughter cuddled and chilled with me.

Daily Bible Verse: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. ~ Acts 1:8


Team Work

Let's be honest. I didn't always like to run. In fact, in the days of high school soccer running was my least favorite thing to do. Okay, maybe my second least favorite. Those boxes we had to jump up on were probably my least favorite. That last box was HIGH!

But eventually, thank you God, I had the blessing of meeting an amazing running coach in my college years and she taught me how to run or at least, how to find the fun in running. The focus came off of the time and went on to just improving myself. Yes, she timed us so we could see our progress but the focus was on running our best, having fun, and being safe. And through her and running, I went down from a size 12 to a size 8. Yes, I was one of those gals that ballooned after high school. Being on your own doesn't always mean doing your best in terms of nutrition.

Fast forward to today and I am in the best shape of my life but I am going to be honest, I still have some nutritional hang up's and fail to truly give all my fitness workouts 110% effort. I kinda suck at cross training and know I need to do it to take care of problem areas. I can make the best running plan for myself and you (if you want me to -- just email me at lifeasarunningmom@gmail.com) but when it comes to cross training, I flop. I need help. We all do at times. And for cross training I feel I need someone standing behind me saying go, go, go! Don't give up. Just go!

Yesterday I kinda had that as I tried out a cool cardio workout. I even got darling daughter to join in with me and to be honest again, I didn't think she would stick with me for 30 minutes but she did! Yes, she modified some of the workout moves and that is perfectly okay. We all need to do that at times but she stuck to it and when the instructor said don't give up I saw her efforts increase and had to increase my own. It was awesome working out together as a team and we gave each other high five's after each segment of the workout. And I loved that it had some rest breaks built into it. It was a really good workout and a lot of fun too. And I could feel it targeting some of my weak points much better than what I have been trying to do on my own.

Hard work pays off and so does investing in yourself. Stay tuned as I will be sharing my cross training journey with you and in another post I will target my nutrition flops and successes.

Have a beautiful day!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful to have darling daughter as part of my workout team.

Daily Bible Verse: Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-12


Change is in the air

It never ceases to amaze me how many opportunities there are for all of us in life if we open our eyes and look for them. Some come knocking quietly at my door while others are banging with a fierceness I can't explain. I am one who says I embrace change but in all reality, I am like so many others, change can be unsettling because the life you are used to is about to be turned upside down. That can be scary!

But not all changes are the empty the basket of apples kind of changes. One change is I signed up to be a lector at church. Seriously, this seems so simple. Just read. But it was a LONG road. It had been on my heart for months gently knocking. I would write down the number to call week after week for weeks but yet, never pick up the phone to call. I really can't give you any good reason. Then on Good Friday darling daughter and I walked into church for mass and the Stations of the Cross. As I walked in I was asked if I would read at one of the stations. I hesitated a bit but then said, "Yes". I got my card and read my part and moved on. Fast forward a few weeks and I was at the back of the church looking for a Charity Walk form and Emily came to me, said she heard me read at the Stations of the Cross, and asked if I ever thought about being a lector. Well yes, I just wrote your number down again in my planner to call you just last week. Training starts on the 17th and I am excited. Super excited. I can't give you one good reason about why I never called except perhaps fear if I was enough. If I would be accepted. If I could read in front of a crowd. Oh nelly! I need to read in front of the whole congregation!!! YIKES!!!! Fear. It is a nasty emotion.

But let's move on.

My life is full of those small little knocks...such as the 54 day novena for my marriage. Things aren't always peachy keen for dear hubby and I and it has been on my heart for months to try this approach presented by Mother Miriam to another wife who wanted to pray more/better to improve her marriage. I finally broke down and started it and am working my way through it. What took me so long? I didn't think I could do it. I thought I would fail to make it every night for 54 nights. But how would I know if I never tried?

And the knocks continue with opportunities presenting themselves to me left and right and some I am not ready to talk about as I am still discerning God's will. Do I or don't I? What is holding me back? Fear. 99.99% of the time it is fear. Am I enough? Can I do this? Will I fail? Thing is, you will never know if you never try. And you will never know how much you can do if you don't put in the effort.

So in another avenue in life I started a newsletter: Life Matters. It is tied into my pro-life advocacy and Silent No More commitment (which I also recently stepped up to the plate on and pushed that fear of being judged to the side). If you want to sign up for the newsletter you can do so HERE. It will come out monthly and this month's focused on Mother's Day and how some moms are mourning the loss of their children. My heart goes out to all parents who have lost a child. The pain is deep and real and they truly do need our love, mercy, and compassion.

I love all these changes in my life and what I am doing. Truly, I do. But I would be lying if they haven't left me feeling unsteady and fearful at times. Vulnerable at other times. I don't know what will come of following each and every path I am asked to follow but I have faith, if I do as I am called to do, something wonderful will come out of it all! And if that is only pleasing God by following His calling, that is more than enough for me!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the opportunities in my life.

Daily Bible VerseBecause I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded, because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you, when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me. ... ~Proverbs 1:24-33


Training Update

My new start seems to be paying off and that is good news. And in case you miss it, here are the three elements that I incorporated into my new start.

I have been keeping these three part of my plan front and center in my running and training. I have stayed focused and determined to actually stick to my running plan as much as possible AND to cross train to work on building a stronger me. Why? Because I truly do feel there is a connection between how I take care of myself and how I feel about myself and how I respond to the challenges of life.

How has this new start been manifesting itself?


I wake up at 4 am now Monday-Friday in order to devote my morning to God and running. Some argue there is no better way to start the day than with a run. Some say there is no better way to start the day than with prayer. I do both and love it. It is leaving me feeling centered, revitalized, and focused. It helps start me off on the right foot. On Saturdays and Sundays, I let myself sleep in an extra hour. A little weekend treat that doesn't mess up my sleeping rhythm too much and that is good. Consistency pays off in so many ways...and so does pampering yourself.

I cross train after my runs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. No excuses. Just do it. Take those 10 or so minutes to push myself, pump up the heart rate, and feel sweaty, happy at the end. I look forward to slowly adding weights to my moves but am working on establishing a solid routine, habit, and base first. This will build a stronger me and to be honest, I am 43 and I have read in so many sources that "women my age" really should strength train so let's go!

I push myself. I am playing with those speeds and inclines on my treadmill. I am pushing the pace - not every day but enough to keep things fun, challenging, and motivating.

Last week I ran 39 miles - my best week since early March. I needed that in more ways than one. That April's Fools Day fall took way too much out of me in terms of motivation, energy, and positivity. It was time for me to reclaim myself. And part of that means I will be blogging more again. It is easier to blog and share my story, faith, inspiration, etc when I feel good about myself and when I am motivated to do something. And last week I had two 10+ mile days and felt so strong at the end of the week! Happy dancing going on here.

How is your training going?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for peace.

Daily Bible Verse: Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. ~ 1 Peter 3:9-11


I Run4 Toby Virtual Race Recap

Disclaimer: I received free entry into the I RUN4 race hosted by Running on the Wall in exchange for promoting the race. I did not promise a positive review but only that I would share my race story.

Running on the Wall rocks and has a wide variety of products, such as medal hangers, and a virtual race series. One race immediately caught my attention as it focused on who you run for and you got to pick what your answer. That answer would be added to the bling in the package and the bling varies from race to race but this one had a shirt (I picked the ladies tank), a bib, and a medal (and I added on a second medal). I had no idea what the personalized items would look like as I only got to pick the color of my shirt and my run for word, which was TOBY of course!

When my package arrived (which was extremely quick for Maui and always is) I eagerly opened it to check out the bling and it was beyond awesome. TOBY on the tank was a shiny silver that made my girly heart sing and the medals were beyond amazing! The medals and bib were personalized with Toby's name in the same turquoise tank colored I picked. Way, way cool!

Now I had to run to earn those medals and my virtual race day (that I selected for myself) was April 28th. My goal: 13.1. miles. I HAD to run a half. But it was also a work from home day so I knew I would be juggling work and running. And since the night before I had awful insomnia, I opted to not start at 4 am as I hoped to allow me to get my run done before taking darling daughter to school and delving into full work mode. I needed a wee bit more sleep so I could actually stay awake during the day.

My run started with 3.1 miles before taking darling to school, I came home and tackled work for an hour or so and got back to running. I ran an additional 6.25 miles before taking a 10-15 minute work break to forward more important emails and to see if I had the copy I needed. No copy yet so I could hop right back on and keep running. Let me tell you something, it is hard to get back to running after a 10-15 minute break when you have already racked up 9.35 miles for the day but 9.35 was not 13.1. Not even close. I needed more. My goal now, just 5 more miles although I secretly thought another 6.2 would be sweet. I made it to 5 and called it a day. I had more work to do and I was pushing the pace. My legs were beginning to feel it especially since the day prior I added some cross training after a 3.1 mile run with squats and lunges. Oh legs, keep on going! Run with endurance!

I was more than happy to have ran 14.35 miles. Half marathon+! One happy running mom. For the first 3.1 miles my overall pace was 9'29". For the next 6.25 miles my overall pace was 9'36" and for the final 5 miles my overall pace was 9'27". All for Toby. All for God. All beyond awesome!

And with that said, I signed up for this race again and paid the fees to get a I RUN4 GOD race set! The cost is $32.99 and I opted for the second medal add-on for an additional $5.99. But wait, that means I would need to earn those medals too. I'm game! How about you?

Daily Gratitude: I am so thankful for this opportunity to run and promote this virtual race hosted by Running on the Wall.

Daily Bible Verse: And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. ~ Hebrews 12:1