The Seven Sorrows of the Mother of God

To me, overall fitness is more than physical fitness. It also involves emotional and spiritual fitness. My Catholic faith is my foundation in all aspects of my life. With that being said, today I wanted to share the Seven Sorrows of the Mother of God. I reflect on these seven sorrows almost daily and they are helping to ground me in what really matters in life and focus my will on what is important. 

Feel free to print out the image below. I laid it out on a letter sized page of paper, folded in half, and laminated for myself and to include with the Seven Sorrows prayer beads darling daughter and I make. If you are interested in a one-of-a-kind handmade Seven Sorrows prayer bead set, email me. The cost is $20 per set and the prayer beads also include medals for each of the seven sorrows. Price includes shipping in the continental United States. I am willing to ship internationally but will need to charge you additional shipping costs.


Can you train hard while on vacation?

When you think of summer vacation, do you think marathon training? Some may, some may not, but for me when I visit my mom in Texas I think....more running time outside!!!

It isn't as easy as it seems and ironically getting those runs in can be a struggle so how did I do this summer?

On vacation I ran a total of 141.62 miles with an average of 6.16 miles per day or 43.12 miles per week. When you compare this to my June training average of 4.83 miles a day or 33.83 miles per week, I call my summer vacation training a success!

But it wasn't necessarily easy, I had some double or even triple run days and had to squeeze in runs between other family activities and pool fun time. I ran multiple double digit days and my longest run was 16.2 miles. I ran home after 10.2 miles to refill my CamelBak and check-in on the family and went back out running. Those final 6 miles were tough after the short reprieve in air conditioning while the summer heat increased and the heat index in Texas was brutal.

But I loved every minute of it and always will. There is something magical about running in Texas, the land that I grew up in. I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Gotta love my Bondi Band headbands for keeping the sweat out of my eyes. Try one yourself and get 10% off with my coupon code EGFITNESS

Daily Bible Verse: And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:19


How to say the rosary

To me, overall fitness is more than physical fitness. It also involves emotional and spiritual fitness. My Catholic faith is the foundation in all aspects of my life. With that being said, today I wanted to share how to say the rosary. I really should say the rosary more than I should but like every area of growth, it takes one day at a time and a commitment to continue to strive to be better. 

Feel free to print out the image below. I laid it out on a letter sized page of paper, folded in half, and laminated for myself and to include with the rosaries darling daughter and I make. If you are interested in a one-of-a-kind handmade rosary, email me. Single decade rosaries are $15 and traditional rosaries are $25. Prices include shipping in the continental United States. I am willing to ship internationally but will need to charge you additional shipping costs.


Just think healthy

After hearing Patrick Madrid on Immaculate Heart Radio recap the findings from Standford University that positive thinking can extend your lifespan by 71% darling daughter told me, "Just think healthy, mom."

This opened a beautiful conversation and I am constantly awed by her depth of thought. I responded that yes, I do feel I exercise more than people my age. She agreed and was proud of me but I also confessed that I struggle with perceiving myself as a slow runner. A battle that I have been struggling with years and a mental game I know I need to overcome. Thinking slow thoughts won't help my performance and ironically this morning during my prayer run I focused on this thought process. It is just a sign of negative forces taking over and trying to pull me away from the good that I can do and the who I am.

I love conversations like this with my 9 year old and hope that one day when she is facing negative self talk our moments will come into her mind. I told her I need to change my way of thinking. That I need to say I am a runner and take the speed description out of it. By golly, I am a marathon runner! She eagerly agreed that yes, I am a runner and yes, yes! I am a marathon runner. These descriptions she approved of....and so do I.

But that was not the end of it. She reminded me that I am shorter than others and won't run as fast as those taller than me. She went on to elaborate that Jamaicans are tall and run everywhere. All they do is run. I will never beat a Jamaican. Never. I am short. No sugar coating on her part.

There is some truth in that and it brought me back to a similar discussion we had just last night after her horse lesson. I have short legs. I do. Not only am I on the short side, my torso is long. I have short legs. Little pony legs. Not horse legs. All things kept equal, a pony is not going to run faster than a horse. The pony's gait is shorter. It is just how it is. I have seen this for years as I watch her and other girls ride their ponies and horses around the arena and the horses lap the ponies time after time. It is just a matter of design and function.

I can also attest to the power of healthy thinking. When I am sick if I think and tell myself I am sick, I seem to stay sick longer, but as soon as I tell myself I am fine and getting better, I start to get better as long as I have all the things I need to get better. I am not saying positive thinking will take the place of doctor's advice and antibiotics, etc. when the doctor prescribes them. That is why we have doctors just like horses have farriers to take care of their hooves and caretakers to ensure they are healthy and in good form. Anything else would be negligent.

So if thinking you are healthy and more active can prolong your life expectancy can thinking you are strong and fast increase your running pace?

I do not see why not. I am ready to try and focus on the power word I chose for 2017.


Fortitude, courage in pain or adversity. One of the seven spiritual gifts along with wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. Normally when I think of fortitude I think of what martyrs face and endure but believe we all have our times of adversity in life. Times when we need to have the courage to do something even if it may be painful, scary, or hard.

Seeking help when I realized I was drifting back into a black hole of depression is one such moment and I am beyond happy I did. I was able to talk about those dark, deep secrets and hidden scars and sorrows inside. I was able to admit I have PTSD/PASS and that I hated myself for the choices I made but then by going through this process I realized that it is okay to hate my choices but not me. I would hate no one else who made the choices I made. I would embrace them with love and understanding and learned it was time I treated myself the same way.

But I still struggle with that negative self talk on a different level by telling myself daily that my run wasn't fast enough, long enough, strong enough. Seriously?! Where is the fun in that? If someone else ran the speed and length I did I would congratulate them and tell them job well done and I would mean it. In all reality, it is often the runners in the back of the pack that impress me the most because they spend more time on the course enduring the elements especially when we are talking about the heat of a marathon. So why is my pace and runs not good enough, fast enough, long enough?

This reminds me of the mercy and forgiveness I was unwilling, and maybe unable, to give myself for so long about making a bad choice. I have come to accept I made the best choice I could at that time, even if it isn't the choice I love today. So each day I need to accept I ran the best I could run that day and celebrate. After all, today represents day 2,031 of my running streak and that in itself is worth celebrating, don't you think?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my daughter, our talks, and my short little pony legs.

Daily Bible Verse: He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit. ~ Titus 3:5


3 Day Refresh - take 2

I did my first round of 3 Day Refresh at the start of the year. You can read that review HERE. That review will outline some of my initial fears and concerns but  since I did it again, those fears were only.....fears.

Why did I do it again?
After coming back from vacation I was feeling a little too lethargic, my clothes were a little too snug, and my sugar and coffee cravings were a bit too intense. This momma did not need a fancy coffee each day made with frothy coconut, almond, or soy milk and topped with cinnamon sugar. This momma needed some good old-fashioned, nature-made fruits and veggies.

What did I eat?
The idea of a cleanse may scare some and any restrictive diets are not something I am into but this is different. Yes, it does restrict calories but to be perfectly honest, I stuck to 21 Day Fix portion containers as 5 baby carrots and half an apple won't work for me. Plus I wasn't going for a weight loss jump just a cleansing of the diet and rebooting/eliminating of the cravings so to speak.

For breakfast each day I had a vegan Shakeology and a serving of fruit. Day 1 was Cafe Latte with banana and Day 2 and Day 3 were vanilla with pineapple. I strongly suggest that combination by the way. Oh the yumminess!

Instead of my traditional AM snack there is a fiber sweep drink, which I learned in January to mix and drink immediately. Some do not like the taste but I felt it was just fine but as darling daughter likes to say, "But Mom! You like vegan cheese!". Texture may mess with some people though but again, it was doable for me.

My lunches on Day 1 and Day 2 were a small salad with oil and vinegar plus an apple on Day 1 and pineapple on Day 2. Day 3 I had zucchini and carrots with hummus and that filled me up so much I could not eat my apple. Oops. I also enjoyed a vanilla fresh protein drink with each lunch to ensure protein needs are being met on this vegan plan.

Each day I also had an afternoon snack. Day 1 and 2 was zucchini with hummus. Day 3 was my apple from lunch with all-natural almond butter.

For dinner on Day 1 I had veggie stir fry with the family. Day 2 was a girls' night so I had a delicious cucumber and tomato salad that had fresh herbs in it and I made a cup of organic veggie broth with fresh arugula, basil, and parsley in it. For Day 3 I had a spring mix salad with fresh herbs added in. Dear hubby kept commenting on how delicious this salad was so I will be making it agin. He did add sardines to his salad for his protein needs as I had a vanilla fresh protein drink with each meal.

Any issues?
Intense cravings on the first night but darling daughter kept me strong and focused calmly telling me, "Mom, you probably will have cravings like that on a program like this". Gotta love her! On the second day I had a bout with diarrhea but in retrospect, maybe I should not have had pineapple twice that day. And then there was the dull headache of caffeine and sugar withdrawal but that eased up and was not an issue on the third day but maybe that one cup of coffee helped and the good thing is, on that day I did not crave my afternoon coffee!

Any cheats? 
On Day 2 I had a small chai tea latte with a touch of soy as a headache was about to rule my life in a negative way and I still had to navigate a store and traffic on the way home. I also had no coffee this day. On Day 1 I had a few sips and on Day 3 I opted for a morning cup, black, as allowed by the plan. In addition on Day 2 I had 6 small peanut butter pretzels later in the evening. I was hungry. The headache was still there and the pretzels took the pain away. I had this same headache-need some carbs reaction in January. On Day 3 I also opted for a small cup of oatmeal at darling daughter's horse lessons as I knew dinner would be later than usual. Good thing because dinner was close to 2 hours late!

Did I continue to workout?
Yes and no. The first two days I ran just a mile on the treadmill but by Day 3 this momma needed to run and feel the wind in her face so I ran 4.5 miles in the morning and another 2.3 miles in the afternoon. I felt good and strong. The day after the program I ran a strong 8.1 miles outside in the crazy wind and I feel my pace was perfect for the wind I was facing and the uphill climbs I had.

What did I discover the second go around?
This truly is a doable program and helped curb those sugar and coffee cravings. That is huge because ironically the program ended just when my sugar cravings are intensifying due to hormones. I lost 3 pounds and 1 inch around my waist. I also lost 5/8 of an inch around my hips and 3/4 of an inch around my things. My jeans are back to fitting how the usually do.

The others who did the challenge with me also lost weight and felt revitalized at the end. Their weight loss was 4 pounds and 4.8 pounds.

Like me, they went into this with more than a weight loss goal but the intention to refocus their diets and get back on track. The cravings of life and our individual weaknesses do creep back in and I am happy to say, today I drank my coffee but didn't want or need any creamer or additional flavorings. I am sure I will indulge from time to time but it isn't an every time three times a day habit anymore. That is my weakness as a cup of coffee offers so much comfort through the warmth, aroma, and more but I can find just as much comfort in other things.

Today after my run I didn't want coffee. Yes, I would go to coffee. I drank a can of unsweetened green tea and feel wonderful. I also snacked on a couple of hard boiled eggs.

In addition, I saw my daughter's enthusiasm emerge again as she wanted to "clean up" her diet and I couldn't order her Daily Sunshine fast enough for her to try. Since I feel this program is based on a solid foundation I have no issues using it to teach my daughter about clean eating and how sometimes after we indulge a little too much, we just need to go back to the basics and refresh.

I want to teach a healthy relationship with food and this program aligns with that in my mind. It stresses clean eating and eating from the source, versus processed, and I am all for that. And the dinner ideas are inspirational and we had added some new meals to our family menu.

I love that this program pushes me out of my comfort zone and encourages me to try new fresh veggies and herbs while practicing self control and that, my friends, is a lesson that can be applied in so many ways in life.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for good eating plans and great friends who support me.

Daily Bible Verse: Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20


June 2017 Training Report

I know July is more than halfway over but I did not want to skip doing my June training report just because analysis was delayed due to vacation, etc. I also intend to write up a vacation running report as I worked hard doing those weeks off from work and am recovering now from the increased time on the cement running.

My June goals from my Busy Mom Marathon Training Plan were to run 40 miles a week and to nail a 16 mile run day.

How did I do?

Well, I ran a total of 145 miles in June and since I love numbers that averages out to 4.83 miles a day or 33.83 miles per week. Bummer! I fell short of my weekly mileage goal but was up from running 21.9 miles per week in May so all in all, I am happy. My longest run was 13.5 miles but I had multiple double digit run days so again, I am happy because in May I had no double digit run days.

May was a tough month for me and I really did hope to bounce back in June but didn't quite get to my original plan but I am still celebrating my successes. I will not alter my plan but understand if I continue to fall under the curve some due to where I am now on the curve.

My vacation training was intense with Texas heat and increased time on the cement so I am taking a few days off right now to refresh and to compensate for any over training symptoms I may be experiencing. With that being said, I remain hopeful for an amazing month of July training. Stay tuned for the vacation training and July training reports.

But since my training is more than running these days, I put together a chart of active minutes that logs my running minutes and cross training minutes. I feel this is another good metric to see where I stand because sometimes I am running less because I am cross training more.

Since June marks the middle of the year and the first time I can report this data, I am going to report my active minutes for all of 2017, month by month.

  • January 1,150
  • February 1,444
  • March 2,019
  • April 2,757
  • May 1,606
  • June 2,225

With the second half of June having barely any cross training time (only 63 minutes), I am very happy with what these numbers represent even if my overall mileage did not hit the targets I hoped to hit.

In addition, the end of June brought me to 628 miles in 2017 and 8,387 streak miles.

Want to try some Shakeology? I have a July special going on for my blog readers -- get 3 packs of vegan Shakeology (chocolate, vanilla, and cafe latte) for $10 (including shipping). That is right! In a nutshell I am gifting you one FREE pack of Shakeology. Payment will be via PayPal. Email me for details. Supplies are limited.

Proud Bondi Band Ambassador! Use coupon code EGFITNESS to get 10% off your purchases. Shop today and save.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the new product Daily Sunshine that can help darling daughter meet her daily protein and nutrition needs. This is a win-win because she likes to be like Mommy with a shake and doesn't like to eat protein much. I just ordered her a sampler pack to see what flavor she prefers and got her a cute and functional shaker cup of her own to take her shake on the go. I love the design of this cup!

Daily Bible Verse: Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6


Time to Refresh! 3-Day Refresh and more....

It is time to buckle up and focus on clean eating and getting back on track with my eating plan.

Vacation spoiled me and brought me back into old habits of too many carbs and too many fancy coffee drinks. My jeans are tighter, my stomach more bloated, and I just feel off. I am hoping my struggling running pace may be a factor of all this too.

So today I start 3-Day Refresh with some amazing friends and by golly, accountability partners make all the difference. I love doing challenges with a support team who can cheer you on. Yes, even as a coach my challengers motivate me. It is a two-way street of awesome-sauce.

What this involves is me saying no to coffee and alcohol and yes to more fruits and veggies. I will be eating vegan for three days and the protein shakes contained within the program ensure I will get the protein I need. I have done this before and did not feel starved but did struggle with those daily cravings that try to take hold of me and rule my life but by golly, I am stronger than those cravings.

I want to get back to my normal eating plan and this structured, yet tough, jump start helps decrease or remove those cravings.

For the next few days I will also focus on running just a mile a day to let my body truly refresh in more than one way. I am hoping this will help me get back on track with my running paces and allow my body to focus its energy on renewing itself and recharging its energy restores.

This is not a quick fix and not a restriction diet of any means. I don't like or believe in those things. This is about commitment and involves eating and snacking throughout the day, drinking plenty of water, cutting out sugar, caffeine, and alcohol, and fueling your body right. I want to get rid of the heavy, bloated body feeling and get back to feeling strong and energized in order to train at full capacity for my 11th marathon in October.

And just so you can an idea of what dinners will be like for me and my family, tonight I will prep an amazing vegetable stir fry, tomorrow a cucumber and tomato salad with a veggie broth and fresh herb soup, and Wednesday we will be dining on a spring mix salad with assorted veggies and another cup of the veggie broth and fresh herbs.

My daily snacks will be homemade hummus and veggies and I am looking forward to my daily tea breaks of caffeine-free teas, such as a lovely ginger tea I have in stock.

In case you missed it, my July special is still going on where you can get 3 packs of Vegan Shakeology for $10. Email me if you are interested and I will provide you with payment details. Payment is via Paypal and supplies are limited.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for safe and effective clean eating challenges.

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


Post-Vacation & Time to Refresh!

Aloha y'all!

I had an amazing 3+ week vacation in Texas along with darling daughter and we cherished every moment with my mom, swam almost every single day, I ran outside every single day, she ventured out with me a few times, we explored two playgrounds, and so much more!

I have so much to share about that time, fitness-wise, but that will have to wait as I am spinning trying to get back into the groove of "normal" life and summer is flying by and before I know it, darling daughter will be an official 4th grader. How did that happen?! I promise she was just a baby yesterday!

What I do want to focus on today is getting back on track fitness-wise. My mom did a great job cooking all our faves and tried her best to fatten us up through homemade goodness and love. In all reality, I only gained a few pounds but those few pounds are pounds I don't need and the result of saying yes one too many times to carbs and dairy-free ice cream. Oh my! Good thing I can't find all those delights at great prices on Maui if they can be found at all. Too much sugar, momma! Too much sugar!

But that is okay and I am not beating myself up over it but modeling that now that we are home, it is time to eat a bit healthier and more on plan for me. I am excited to be doing the 3-Day Refresh program again with some great friends. Date to be announced later but feel free to join us either by doing the full program or just following along and cleaning up your diet with meal plan suggestions, saying no to extra carbs, and saying yes to more fruits and veggies. To join or learn more, email me, so I can add you to the group and ensure you get the daily inspiration and y'all, it is just 3 days of focused clean eating. 3 days of refreshing your body and renewing your energy sources. I have done this before and it really helps to get me back on track after falling off the nutritional wagon (or becoming too dependent on coffee).

Want to try some Shakeology? I have a July special going on for my blog readers -- get 3 packs of vegan Shakeology (chocolate, vanilla, and cafe latte) for $10 (including shipping). That is right! In a nutshell I am gifting you one FREE pack of Shakeology. Payment will be via PayPal. Email me for details. Supplies are limited.

Proud Bondi Band Ambassador! Use coupon code EGFITNESS to get 10% off your purchases. Shop today and save.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for today's 7.25 mile run outside.

Daily Bible Verse: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. ~ Romans 12:2