Why I Quit being a Beachbody Coach

This post has been in the back of my mind the past few weeks yearning to come out and explain why over a year ago I quit being a Beachbody Coach.

First, I love their workout programs and still do them...not every day but every week. Some weeks every day. There are some programs I love more than others and I do keep my All Access Beachbody on Demand going. That expense I can rest easy with as it is less than a gym membership for a year and I can "attend" classes whenever and wherever I want. Those are good selling points.

And the shakes weren't too bad. I kinda liked them and was excited when they offered more vegan flavors. That was a win-win for me but I can find a good vegan shake that costs less and honestly, I don't really need to drink a protein shake every day of my life. Just saying... And when it comes to hydration I stick to SOS Rehydrate and you can get 20% off with my friends and family code EGFITNESS.

But I didn't quit because of product. I quit because of reality.

The reality of the return on investment (ROI) and the reality that I did not like what I was being asked to do.

Essentially, I despise high pressure sales. If I walk into a store and I am nagged, I will leave. Don't pressure me. Don't push your product on me. Let me come to my own decision. You can ask if I need help but if I say, "No, thank you." trust me and let me be. And this mentality of mine was 100% opposite of the Beachbody sales strategy I was to adopt to "be successful". I was to nag everyone non-stop. Of course, they didn't use the word nag but I was to invite at least 2-3 people a day to "join me". I was to hunt them down on social media and start the "sales" conversation after stalking them. I know, sounds creepy and totally not the words they used but it is the reality of it. Nope. No stalking for me. No high sales. No pressure. And I am not going to "friend" you in hopes to make money off of you. I wouldn't want to be treated that way so why would I?

And I was supposed to convince them that it was worth every dollar. Maybe it was...or not....but I am a mom and wife trying to pay off debt and the last thing I want to do is put someone else into debt taking advantage of their desire to look and feel better. There are better ways to look and feel better.

And let's take a side step to the look thing. I was to post transformation pictures weekly essentially saying look at me, or so and so, and how fit and beautiful they are because of this! Well, we all come in different shapes and sizes and I am sorry, women have enough to deal with in this world. I did not want to be part of any form of body shaming or setting unrealistic expectations or making any woman feel less about herself. NO. That is not me.

Furthermore, I started this adventure when I was in a dip in my life and yes, Beachbody gave me tools to move through my depression with workouts I still love but I was also growing deeper in my faith. I was watching my daughter grow up and seeing her ideals of modesty and that is what I support. It may be old fashioned but I do believe in modesty. Transformation pictures aren't the most modest things out there. Too much skin, too much ego/pride, not enough humility.

I also signed up to be a coach because honestly, I was scared. Scared of the future. Fears of no security or stability as dear hubby approaches retirement age. Fear of being the "sole provider" of the family, so to speak, when all I really ever want to be is a stay at home mom. So an at-home income had appeal. And my OCD had my mind thinking I had to take care of things. To secure things. But I was naive and of little faith.

All my plans in the world mean nothing if they aren't aligned with God's will. I did pray before signing up to be a coach and had the sense, yes, give it a year and see.

After that "trial period" I realized this wasn't working for me anymore and there was no real ROI. I wasn't even breaking even with the cost of being a coach and the shakes and that made no sense to me especially since my shake stock was piling up a wee bit. Did I mention I am not a protein shake every single solitary day kinda gal? My upline, for the most part, did try to convince me to stay and keep forging ahead. I do have to say the coach I worked directly under never once pressured me. He is a good guy so if you are reading this Mr. Good Guy, thank you for that!

Fast forward a year or so from when I quit to today....how am I?

I am happier. I have more time with my family and to do more meaningful things versus worrying about "nagging" and inviting people to challenges. I do virtual challenges solo or with a group on FitBit and more. I share fitness and health tips and what I truly care about. Most importantly, I am aligned with my faith and core beliefs.

On top of that, I am in better financial shape. Not perfect but better. I still have debt I am tackling but I have a proven method for doing so based on the income God has always been providing my family. I have a budget app (Every Dollar) that I love and log every single purchase. That in itself is a huge reality step to seeing where you spend your pennies. I set limits and stick to them. I am trying hard to get dear hubby to stick to his too. It is a battle but a worthy battle.

Darling daughter is learning about budgeting and applying the same questions and principles I am - Do I need this or just want this? Do I need it now or can it wait? And the budget gives us the freedom to splurge and have fun as I set up an account for that. Treat ourselves guilt free, buy gifts guilt free, donate with confidence, and work on that snowball of debt.

That makes me happy and that truly is what God wants for all of us. And the future? Who knows! I am going to leave that in God's hands. He is much more capable than I am.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful that I listened to my inner voice and stood up strong adhering to my faith and principles.

Daily Bible Verse: Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire. ~ 1 Timothy 2:9


June & July 2018 Training Report

The year is more than halfway over and I am not totally stoked with my progress with my 2018 goals - to run 1,170 miles (and break 10,000 streak miles) and to log 70 new cross training workouts.

Since I kinda flopped on putting together my June 2018 Training Report, I am going to wrap up the past two months. But I do need to step back a moment and tell you, this year has been incredibly hard. Thanks be to God, it is not due to depression, anxiety, or PTSD/PASS. As I reflect back now I am thankful for those challenges I faced as they are helping me stay focused on what is truly important.

I lost two beautiful men to cancer this year. Ironically, they both had the same form on brain cancer. One died on my daughter's 10th birthday and the other, my brother in law, just recently on July 7th. But our God is an amazing God and I was able to get to Texas and darling daughter and I got time to spend with my brother in law, my sister, their children, and just be present in this hard time. God also has a sense of humor and likes to test me I think because the following day I received a call from my hubby, who was holding down the fort on Maui, that his car was stolen. 

There was a time this news would have caused me great anxiety and the need to fix it all. To be in control. And this is where I feel my mental health battles prepped me. I just tossed my arms in the air and said, "God, handle this for me." And He did. On His own timing.

And I am going to bring that same perspective into my training report for June and July. I have my goals. My ideas. My plans. But I am going to toss my hands up in the air and praise God for what I have accomplished versus fretting over what I have not.

In June I exercised 36 hours, ran 162 miles, and did 2 new cross training workouts.

In July I exercised 31 hours, ran 153 miles, and did no new cross training workouts unless you want to count swimming laps and maybe I should. After all, that is cross training and I did do a lot of laps (at least a lot for me!).

That brings me to 861 miles for the year and 9,691 streak miles. I only have to log 309 miles to reach my running goals. I am so ahead of the bar on this one!

For my cross training goal, I am at 24 new workouts. EEK! There is a long way from 24 to 70 but what I am going to celebrate now is this....I am still cross training on a regular basis and working out an average of an hour a day. I think that matters most. Those are impacting my health and maybe that is another reason why I am handling things emotionally better right now. I am giving myself the move it and workout time I have found yields optimal benefits. Granted, it is not evenly spaced and I do feel it mentally when I have a string of low workout minute days lined up in a row.

Am I going to give up on my new workout goal? No. I will still look into finding new ones that intrigue me but have been doing ones I can listen to through my phone and know pretty well so darling daughter can do her thing on the TV. I might stake my claim here and there but ask myself, is it more important to do a new workout or workout? I say, workout, especially since those on my phone that I can easily stream are ones that make me the happiest and truly work my body hard. Gotta love that!

The end of July is also bringing other changes into my world. I have opted to home school darling daughter in her religious education and got a couple of core study books to research the curriculum and process available through Catholic Heritage Curricula. I got to say, I am already impressed and we haven't got too far in it. Her week 1 spelling words introduced her to two new vocabulary words that even stumped some friends at the stables. That I like! We even picked up a lesson plan for sewing!!!! But I will get more into that another day in another post.

Until then, be happy and take care of yourself. Run with the wind and cross train yourself strong. I believe in you!

God bless!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful that I was able to spend so much time with my brother in law before he died. He may not have been able to talk or move but we did make eye contact and I truly believe he heard all I said and understood. Please pray for the repose of the soul of CJ and his family.

Daily Bible Verse: He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. ~ Revelation 21:4


10 Workout Motivation Tips

How's your summer going?

If it is anything like mine, you may find yourself struggling to maintain your workout routine. There is something about summer break, summer camp, and vacation that throws me off track. Although it isn't all bad. Vacation usually means more outside running and higher mileage weeks for me -- and that is a good thing. But motivation can still go to the wayside even under the best of conditions.

Summer is wrapping up, I know, this may seem early for some of y'all but kiddos go back to school starting August 6th here on Maui. This makes it the perfect time to address motivation with 10 tips to staying motivated in your workouts.

  1. Know your why: We all have different why's to why we are working out. And to be honest, your why can and will change over time. Stop today and ask yourself, "What is my why?" Refocus on that.
  2. Eliminate negative self talk: It is so easy to be hard on ourselves, isn't it? Maybe those few extra pounds, the extra indulgence, the slower pace, etc. Don't let those rule you. What you say to yourself matters and frames what you think of yourself. Thoughts are powerful. Don't use your thoughts against you. Think good! 
  3. Love your body: This is closely related to #2 but what I mean is to really appreciate your body. Whatever you do and achieve your body is pulling you through. Appreciate all the elements of your body that lead to your success. One prayer I turn to on rough days is a simple, "Thank you God for my running legs." They may not be model beautiful but they are mine and I appreciate all the hard work they do for me.
  4. Avoid comparisons: Don't compare yourself to others or yourself in the past. Just be in the moment, the day, and be thankful. Yesterday is gone. Forget about it. Tomorrow isn't here yet. Don't worry about it. Today is present. Live in the moment and acknowledge what you just achieved - the gift of one more workout.
  5. Start small: Whether you are starting, restarting, or readjusting, make your goals small and achievable. I would love to run an ultra one day but I am not going to go out tomorrow and run a 20 mile training run. I also know now is not the time to work on that goal so my goal is more focused on the now and to average 1 hour of working out a day. It used to be 30 minutes a day and you can see, even though my big goal is still a distant dream, I am making small steps to realizing it.
  6. Put your plan on paper: Document what you want to achieve and how. It is harder to slip up when you have it written down. I am notorious for printing out my training calendar and posting it on the fridge front and center for me to see throughout the day. It makes it impossible to ignore your plan and goal. 
  7. Join a workout group: This can be in real life or virtual. Fitbit friends can be amazing motivators even if you are all in different states racing to the finish line. For me, virtual challenges can be equally appealing and Fitbit has group and solo challenges. And the Amerithon Challenge is really cool!
  8. Be forgiving: It will happen. A day will come when you are off plan. It may even be a week. Don't beat yourself up. Reflect on the why this happened. Traveling back to Maui from Texas totally messed me up. I have taken more than my usual just a mile days to let my body get back on track. I am calling it a rest week with the intent to push onward and upward next week. 
  9. Create a mantra: Have a phrase you turn to when things get tough. It can be made up by you or a quote. You already know my "Thank you God for my running legs." but I also have "Run with endurance". My mantras are closely related to my faith but yours can be whatever lifts your spirits and propels you forward over the rough patches. 
  10. Reward yourself: If you are like me, it is hard to spend money and precious resources on yourself. I feel guilty when I do but have established a set reward plan for myself. Every 100 days of running every day deserves a treat. I gotta confess, I haven't rewarded day 2,400 which I hit a few days ago yet. I feel torn and wonder if my two new pairs of much needed running shoes that I bought in Texas count as a pre-reward. What do you think? But in all reality, I may splurge a few dollars and get a new Bondi Band - maybe one I design myself that says "Run with Endurance"!
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for each day I workout.

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


Amerithon Challenge - ACCEPTED!

I don't run road races much anymore and I truly do miss them. But with the rising costs of racing and the fact that they are often held on Sundays, I am gladly going with other priorities in life right now.

But running without changing it up at times can grow tiresome and I am beyond thankful for virtual challenges. I stumbled upon Amerithon earlier this month, thanks to sponsored posts on facebook, but this one intrigued me and I looked into it more. Darling daughter got sucked in too when she glanced at what was getting my full attention. She was also hooked. There are many package options to this virtual challenge and we opted for one we can both do and still stay within my budget. Budget matters.

You can check out the Amerithon Challenge and more HERE (if your code has expired, email me for an updated code) - and yes, this is a referral code given to me after I signed up. Any monetary benefit I receive from you signing up will go to purchasing a medal for my buddy, Toby. A wonderful boy with Down syndrome that I run for through the I Run 4 Michael program. The medals are HUGE and somewhat costly so I appreciate you signing up through my referral link if you are interested. Mahalo!

But back to the challenge and what it is.

The Amerithon Challenge officially starts annually on July 4th but you can still join the mission to run, walk, swim, bike, whatever your way across America. The goal is to complete the challenge within a year but if you don't, that's okay. You can keep going!

You can do it as a team or solo and darling daughter and I opted to each do a solo challenge. The journey is 3,521 miles long and broken into 36 segments in which you receive badges to track your progress in your passport. And along your journey when you hit target check points you get to add a piece to your medal! There is even a finisher piece that you receive at the very end.

It is all easy to do and has a tracker for you to log your miles. It is even broken down into categories - run, swim, bike, other (and maybe some more). For me, I am logging my actual workouts - my runs and the rare times I swim laps. For darling daughter, we are tracking her overall fitbit stats for each day as she is just 10 and this is an ambitious goal for someone her age. Geesh! It is an ambitious goal for me! And I want to keep it within doable ranges to keep her motivated.

We have posted the map to log our progress in the hallway with our medals. Right now both our medals are empty waiting their first addition but we have both earned our first badge for our passports! Not too shabby for starting on July 5th and we are both pushing ourselves to get to our next badge...in completely healthy ways.

I hope you join me today. It will be a lot of fun and just wait until you see your first flyover video! What a fun challenge this is and it is both good for your brain (you will learn a lot) and for your body.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for amazing virtual challenges and that proceeds from this challenge goes to charity.

Daily Bible Verse: Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. ~ Colossians 3:12-16


Running Streak Day 2,400 and beyond - 24 lessons I have learned by running every day

Way back when in December of 2011 I challenged myself to run every day in 2012. Being the type of person I am, once I decided to accept this challenge I started immediately on December 30. I mean, why wait? Why take the 31st off?

When I accepted this personal challenge I wasn't sure I could do it. What if I got sick? What if I got injured? What if I was just tired?

6 years, 6 months, and 25 days later and I am still running at least a mile a day. This is something amazing to me considering I was maybe running 3-4 times a week before I started. And I was getting sick, injured, and had I am just plain tired days. How did I manage to achieve this?

First, I want you to know I am no more special than any one else out there. I do not have super powers. I am a normal working mom struggling to make ends meet and hold myself together but by the grace of God I was given the gift of finding joy in running. Okay, not every run is joyful but overall, I find joy. With that said, after 2,400 days of running every day I want to share 24 things I have learned through my running streak.
  1. You can achieve things greater than you ever imagined!
  2. A mile really does not take too much time out of your day.
  3. I am getting sick less often with regular daily exercise.
  4. When I do get sick, I am recovering faster.
  5. I am experiencing less running injuries and none have completely sidelined me.
  6. I listen to my body better.
  7. It is okay to slow down and/or run less miles today in order to run longer and faster tomorrow.
  8. Running outside is easier than running on a treadmill.
  9. Hotel treadmills can be an uncertain experience.
  10. Running in and through airports during layovers does work.
  11. People often look at you funny when you are running through an airport.
  12. People will always tell you that you need to take a rest day or you will damage your body.
  13. Many people accept the counter argument that a 10-12 minute mile is no different than spending some time in the garden, walking up and down stairs, or doing errands - all normal events that people do every day without damaging their bodies.
  14. You do not need energy gels, energy foods, or other processed items to run long.
  15. You can run long during a fasted run.
  16. Public restrooms are very hard to find in parks and play areas around Katy, TX.
  17. Public transit drivers may be some of the worst drivers - steer clear of them as much as possible during your runs.
  18. Maui needs more sidewalks and/or running routes.
  19. Running times and race results really aren't the most important part.
  20. You can run in capris in 100 degree weather and not overheat. 
  21. You can chaff in areas you never knew you could chaff.
  22. You can run long and not lose any toenails.
  23. Listening to podcasts may slow your running pace.
  24. A running streak is built from good and bad runs - removing either would break your streak.
And as a bonus: I wouldn't want to run without my BondiBand to keep the sweat out of my eyes or my SOS to keep my refueled along the way. Use EGFITNESS to receive a discount. 


Angels all Around

Today I am taking this blog post on a different journey. I am going to talk gratitude in times of struggle. You see, I feel this is important for a variety of reasons. First, with so much negativity in the world it is nice to spread good cheer. Second, maybe you are struggling and need a little encouragement. And third, it will serve as a reminder to me to never lose faith.

Last week I had a day that started out pretty much the same as any other summer day. I took darling daughter to camp, conveniently located at my work, and before we left I almost told her to pack extra slippers (or flip flops for those who use that terminology) in case hers broke. I didn't. I stopped myself thinking I didn't want to be one of those moms. I should have said something. Her slippers broke. We chuckled about it and I told her next time I get a random thought I would listen as maybe God is trying to direct me.

After camp and work, we started heading up the mountain to get a Starbucks treat prior to horse lessons. My check tire pressure light popped on and I looked at it slightly puzzled but didn't pay much mind. It has come on many times, I get around to checking the pressure, add air, and move on with life. We parked the car, got our drinks, walked back out and oh my! My back left tire was in dire need.

With a prayer to God to help me I slowly backed out and made the 5 minute or so drive to the closest gas station to get air, hopefully, if it is working. I get there and realize I don't have one dime in my purse so I grabbed my wallet hoping for a cash machine and a nice cashier. I step out and look at my tire and oh nelly! Flat as a pancake. On the rim dead flat. I felt equally deflated.

I look to the door hoping to find good luck inside and a man about to go in stopped, turned, and looked towards us. I asked for help and he came. This is about the time I was wishing my car came with a spare tire versus the flat repair strange kit machine that the nice man figured out for me and got me set up. It instructed me on what to do and after spending a good chunk of time helping me, when on his way with lots of thank you's from me.

When the pressure in my tire got to an acceptable level I stopped the air and leak fixing pump only to immediately discern that there was a constant stream of air coming out where the screw pierced my tire. Yes, I could discern the issue. Darling daughter was worried about her horse lesson that we were trying to make and I was thinking this is not where I want to leave my car oddly parked at this gas station. I was debating if I should move on or stay.

I was leaning towards just go but worried and as I was weighing my options another gentleman pulled up to get gas, saw me, and offered help. I told him my predicament, my concerns, and what I was hoping to accomplish. He said go for it if I can get where I need to be in 10 minutes. That was close to the driving time.

Since I was wedged into place and a car pulled up behind him, he talked me through backing up and squeezing out and as I drove off with my window still down, he called out words of encouragement. "You got this!" "You will be okay!" "Good job!" "Everything will be okay!"

And I drove off praying to God to guide me telling darling daughter we will make it but will stop if needed to add more air. And I did stop about halfway there as I felt the tug on my heart to do so. It was a safe pull off spot so why not. And we made it to horse lessons just on time.

But I still had a flat tire but was beyond thankful for the two gentlemen, complete strangers, who came to my assistance with no hesitation.

Once at the stables I then focused on tire repair. My car needed one and we were now up the mountain with the only help down in town a good 45 minutes away. I was adding air every 10 minutes. I was obviously worried but dear hubby came to my rescue .and got my car down, tire replaced, and home safely and I got to watch darling ride.

What could have been an awful afternoon tuned out wonderful. I was beyond thankful for the help that came my way, thanks be to God, and for God giving me calmness in a situation that would normally stress me completely. Plus, I am thankful that my new budgeting strategy I started just this past month allowed me to have the emergency funds saved to cover the cost of my new tire.

And this is why I wanted to share my story. God is beyond amazing and sometimes struggles, or screws in your tire, can just be avenues to show you all the many splendors in the world.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for all those who helped me yesterday.

Daily Bible Verse: Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. ~ Exodus 23:20


Finding My Strength on the Treadmill: Emotional, Physical & Spiritual

Over the years the treadmill has been my go to for running.

It hasn't always been easy. In fact, it has been extremely boring and discouraging at times. But I did what I needed to do to get my runs in over the past 10.5 or so years of being a mom.

I have run on hotel treadmills with darling nearby, or on treadmills in the gym while she is in their childcare, or on the treadmill at home while she slept, play, or ate her snack. In fact, it has become a routine and a natural way of life for us. That and my cross training but today it hit me.

The treadmill is not to be dreaded or looked upon with disgust. It has strengthened me in so many ways that go beyond physical fitness.

You see, actively working out is one of my best fighting elements in the battle against depression. I have found I have a sweet spot of around an hour of working out a day to keep symptoms at bay. It doesn't always happen or have the desired effects but it helps. I just need to remember the times I least feel like doing anything are the times I need to do it the most.....especially if those down feeling days are in a row that seems to be growing longer each and every day.

But in the past year or so the treadmill has become my spiritual combat zone and I mean that in a positive way. I can do my daily mass readings and other devotionals while running in place and not only does it help pass the time away, it gets me focus on what really matters in life....and that is not my running pace.

One of my favorite things to do while running, especially on the treadmill, is say the rosary. I use my fingers for the Hail Mary beads. And as I move through each decade on the treadmill, I increase my pace. I make my rosary prayers a sign of faith and effort as I trust in the Lord to carry me through and promise to not slack in life. Or at least do my best to not slack.

Some days are faster than others and  that is okay. Some days I do a much better job at listening for God's guidance and hearing it through the clutter of my mind. Those days propel me forward in the same ways of getting a new race PR or placing in a race. You know, the icing on the cake days of fitness.

To me, spiritual fitness matters most. My physical fitness is a gift from God and I thank Him for giving me the ability to run every day and cross train most days to help keep my emotional fitness in check. And He gives me blogging inspiration on the run and I wish I had a better way to document those inspirational moments than relying on remembering them. Maybe the posts I remember are the only ones I am meant to share. Maybe I am slacking and need to make a greater effort to document those AHA moments. I. really don't know.

But I do know this.....

The treadmill is my battle zone. My area to grow emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I have broke down and cried for so many reasons. I have cried out for help. I have "danced" for joy.....at least the best way I can dance while running on the treadmill.

The treadmill is my discovery zone. I have found forgiveness...most importantly being me forgiving me. I have found determination, worth, and value in life. I have found peace, comfort, and acceptance. I have found God always there by my side and nothing can top that.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful that I have a treadmill at home.

Daily Bible Verse: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. ~ Matthew 5:6


Saint of the Month - Global Running Day edition: Saint Sebastian

With it being global or national running day and so many runners reaching out to other runners wishing them a good running day it crept into my mind.

Is there a patron saint for runners?

Well, yes, there is! Well kinda. This saint isn't just for runners. He is actually the patron saint of athletes and archers. Meet Saint Sebastian!

He is depicted on this post in a way he is often depicted - tied to a tree and shot with arrows. But why? This imagery is said to be symbolic of virtues and gifts needed in times of adversity: strength, stamina, perseverance, courage, and justice.

But who is Saint Sebastian?

Sebastian was born into a wealthy Roman family. He was was an early Christian saint and martyr and according to traditionally belief, he was killed during the Roman persecution of Christians many years ago in 288 AD. As much as he tried to conceal his faith, it was discovered in 286 that he was indeed a Christian. Diocletian, the Roman emperor, took action and commanded that Sebastian be led to a field, bound to a stake, and archers shoot him with arrows. He was shot by so many arrows but yet, the arrows did not kill him.

Irene of Rome found him still alive and took him home to nurse him back to health. When Sebastian later bad mouthed Diocletian for his cruelties to Christian, Diocletian was not only shocked Sebastian was still alive but also ordered that he be sieged and cudgeled to death.

Since Saint Sebastian is considered a champion of Christ, he is the patron saint of athletes and again, the patron saint of archers. He is also considered a protector from the bubonic plague and so much more.

Perhaps this is a good saint to learn more about.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for all the saints who have modeled how to live a good life following God.

Daily Bible Verse: To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints; grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. ~ Romans 1:7


Cross Training Calendar for June 2018

I did it! I put together a June 2018 cross training plan on a lovely calendar that I have already posted up on my freezer door.

Typically, I am ahead of the ball with training plans and create them before the start date but this month, not so much. It was a spur of the moment decision yesterday to get fully back into cross training mode in addition to my regular running. I realized how necessary this was when I typed up my May training report.

And I promised you I would share the calendar so here it is.

I did add in those oldie but goodies I planned to but also added in some new workouts. 11 if I remember right and I can't easily glance right now because this momma is blogging on the go.

Yep, I am sitting at the stables blogging while darling daughter tacks up. My tablet is a good carry along device for when I am writing on the go and my June 2018 cross training plan is at home on the laptop and freezer door. Ironically, I created that and printed it while on my laptop sitting on the driveway at our first attempt to do a yard sale style craft sale. That was a flop.

But my plan wasn't but today's execution of the plan almost was as when I was trying to gear up to cross train I crumbled apart emotionally. Gosh that depression!

I am happy to say I did cross train. I recognized the depression symptoms and know they make me want to not work out but working out alleviates the symptoms especially when I do Core de Force, which was exactly what I had on the schedule for today.

And darling daughter helped me. She showered me with kisses and let me use the TV for streaming my sweaty attempt to punch the bazigons out of depression. And yes, I just now created the word bazigons. Call it creative writing freedom. Gotta love that! But seriously, there is something about MMA workouts that work extraordinarily well at decreasing the symptoms of depression and anxiety in me and perhaps my lack of cross training in May is correlated to the increase in symptoms I have noted.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my daughter's love.

Daily Bible Verse: Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10


May 2018 Training Report

It's that time again. A new month, time to review what has happened, and a fresh start.

My 2018 goals are 1,170 miles and 70 new workouts and I knew I was doing good and off par before I even looked at the data. I knew I did a great job getting more miles in....and more runs in outside. Yay! I got to thank Fitbit friends and workweek hustle challenges to keep me going Monday through Friday but I also am learning to rein in the pride and desire to "win" the game and enjoy cheering everyone on. Risking injury is not worth it and sometimes life has other demands that rise to the top.

With their help, I ran an amazing 169 miles in May! I am certain that isn't my biggest mileage in a month ever but it is my best month so far in 2018 and that, my friend, is worth celebrating. And I am with a delicious cup of coffee while I type up this blog post. I am talking a nice huge cup of caramel creme flavored coffee from a local Hawaiian coffee company. It is the the little things in life that make me smile.

I also knew prior to my analysis that I have flopped on my cross training and doing new workouts. I mean I flopped to the point that I only cross trained twice in May! Running extra takes time but I was still down on myself for not making it happen until I did my analysis and that is why I stress reflecting back on what you have achieved.

I trained 34 hours in May, which means, I averaged more than an hour of sweat time per day. And no, it wasn't split evenly over the days but this is the most time committed to sweating so far in 2018. Check it out!

This is exciting news as working out and sweating helps keep my depression and anxiety at bay. I wish it was enough. I have had some tough days emotionally and I have already established a plan to help me get back on track. Really focus on what I am putting into my body. Increase my fruits and veggies again. Stock up on easy to grab healthy foods and commit to taking care of me....even to the point of enjoying a delicious cup of coffee and taking good long soaks in the tub. These things matter.

And so does hydration. With my love of coffee it may be easy to get to the point of running around dehydrated, especially with my logging more running and workout hours. So I have started logging my water intake on my Fitbit app to help me stay accountable. It is harder to reach for a cup of coffee when I realize I haven't logged any water. 

I will also get cross training back on my calendar in June and successfully completed an oldie but goodie workout today. At this point, I would rather nail cross training days of any sort even if they aren't a new workout. If I know I can squeeze in an oldie but goodie via my phone so darling daughter can use the TV, I will.

And how am I doing overall in my mileage goal? With 546 miles so far this year I have 624 miles to go. That is only 89.14 miles per month. I think I have nailed this goal, God willing, if I keep running strong and happy.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the ability to focus on what really matters in life.

Daily Bible Verse: We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. ~ Romans 5:3-5


A New Month ~ A Fresh Start

I haven't done my May training analysis yet but I will. My gut says I have had some successes in better running mileage but some flops in cross training, Logically, this makes sense as there are only so many hours in a day and so much to do. But as I feel depression rearing its nasty head, I need to do something to address my feelings.

Depression sucks and is very misunderstood. Some may be left baffled that I can sit here with a complete inner joy and peace with God but feel weighed down, alone, and incapable of moving or motivating myself. It really is a crazy condition and I think the only ones who can truly understand are fellow sufferers.

But this post isn't about depression.

This post is about a new month, a fresh start, new beginnings.

We are used to the new start of January 1st but each month, in fact each day, is a new start and I am ready to embrace the craziness of June, summer camp, vacation, different work hours, later dinner times, and later bedtimes with a positive attitude.

Geesh! But how?! Even typing that left me feeling burdened and overwhelmed.

That is why I need a plan.

I need to plan to succeed and place my plan up front and center right in front of my face. I need a workout plan at least for the first few weeks of June before vacation. I need structure! I crave structure! And once I have a plan I can work on the timing on how to fit it in between four days a week at the stables while darling rides. Oh nelly!

The number one factor to success I feel is diet. What I eat affects how I feel and how I feel affects what I do so it is time for me to stock up on the veggies I love and yes, some salad kits for easy lunches...or maybe dinners. With a hectic schedule I need healthy, easy to grab food but I also need to stay on a very tight budget.

Is this possible?

I would like to say yes and I am going to start with Costco and look at what I can stock up in terms of healthy foods at bulk prices. What can be frozen for hot prep meals or smoothies and what I need to keep fresh for crunchy delights. And I seriously need to rethink meal planning. It has fallen to the wayside but I think I need that structure back. A dinner plan that uses that crock pot for late nights so maybe I should get some homemade frozen crock pot meals lined up that I can grab, drop, and go and come home to a nutritional dinner. Wouldn't that be lovely?

And the strategic meal planning means less scrambling to get things pulled together and more time sweating myself happy! And less bad food that I turn to.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for this blog holding me accountable.

Daily Bible Verse: The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes to poverty. ~ Proverbs 21:5


Running and Effort

You get out what you put in is a good motto for anything in life but today I am going to focus on running.

Today is day 2.342 of my running streak. That is 6 years, 4 months, and 28 days but ultimately each day, each mile, is a gift from God but in those days I have learned one very important lesson. Listen to your body.

You see, to keep my streak alive I need to run at least one mile every day and that changed how I looked at running in so many ways. The good is that I learned to listen to my body better and more closely. The down is the streak can take a sense of control you never realized would happen but that is a post for another day. Today we are talking effort.

Effort matters and good effort does not always equate maintaining the same pace and mileage.

Things in and out of your control can affect effort so keep a record of how you feel, what is going on in your life emotionally and physically, and what your perceived effort is.

Perceived effort is just what is sounds like. What you perceive your effort level to be and it is a good general assessment you can apply easily. If you are running and able to sing a song perhaps you should try pushing yourself a wee bit harder. If you are running and can`t get one word out perhaps you want to ease up a bit.

But ultimately it depends on what your running goal is.

Long easy run? You want to be able to run and talk but singing? Not so much but you should be able to carry on a short and brief conversation with a running buddy. If you can't form and speak short sentences (being abrupt is okay), you are at the wrong effort level for achieving your goal.

Doing speedwork? Forget about singing or forming sentences of any length. This is when it is okay to push yourself wordless especially if you are running intervals. Be speechless at those fast paces and then bring yourself down to being able to say a word or two before tossing in that next fast interval.

You could even go as far as running by your heart rate. I know this works for many but I just am not at the point where I look at my heart rate on the run but could get to that point. I do wear my Fitbit and have my heart rate at my fingertips....literally. And I could sit down and do the math and determine my personal heart rate zones. I just haven't yet but may do so...one day...maybe.

What I am liking is premium Strava and the relative effort calculations. Granted this is based on generalized heart rate zones but it is a good tool for evaluating my runs and applying more metrics to effort and heart rate analysis. The one catch is it only works for my runs I do outside with GPS data....unless I am missing how to apply it to my treadmill runs and other workouts but that is okay.

I don't need detailed analysis for every run and knowing I get this "added value" for outside runs encourages me to hit the roads more often. Gotta love running motivation!

According to Strava, today's 8.1 miler was tough with a relative effort of 148. Distance, terrain, and heart rate all factor into this. You can get the details of what percentage of your run was in the endurance zone, moderate zone, tempo zone, threshold zone, and more. This was a good effort as lots of my outside runs tend to be in the 75-85 zone but they also tend to be 4-5 miles.

Looking at this data, or just noting your perceived effort, can help you evaluate how hard you are pushing yourself. This is important as yes, sometimes you want to push harder to achieve results but if you want to keep running injury free, or start/maintain a running streak, it is important to have those recovery/easy run days too.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for technology that helps me apply metrics to my perceived running effort to help me stay accountable to my training effort and desired results.

Daily Bible Verse: For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord, because they have called you an outcast. ``'It is Zion, for whom no one cares!' ~ Jeremiah 30:17


Make getting help easier on the roads, trails, and beyond

Recently I started running more outside again and with that I decided it was time to get back into the habit of wearing my RoadID.

I got my first one many years ago after a comment from my Dad. I love that I can share this loving story of him over 8 years after his death. I don't remember all the details but I can tell you this - he did not like the idea of me running around outside without any ID on me. He wanted me to at least carry something. Thanks Dad for caring!

Since I am now a committed Fitbit wearer I didn't want the wrist version any longer and felt it was worthwhile to update my info anyhow. I checked out their website only to find new designs and opted for the slim charm that I could add to my chain I wear everyday.

What is best is you get to completely personalize the info you want and get to pick the style - on your wrist, shoe, around your neck, etc. The info I added was my name, that I am Catholic (yes, I want a priest called if I am found in dire straits), my blood type (almost put darling daughter's and that could have been a deadly mistake so proof read more than once!), and two emergency contact numbers. No, I really am not that paranoid but this made sense. Although if darling daughter reads this she may comment that I am a bit too much like Monk.

I spend my outdoor running time mainly in two states - in my home state, Hawaii, so I have hubby's number followed by HI and when visiting my Mom so I have her number followed by TX. It just made sense to me. Why call my hubby in Hawaii if my Mom in Texas is closer to me?

With the recent disappearance of more than one person coming across my radar I got to thinking. This RoadID could be so much more. It could be a means to help many who are lost, potentially with not remembering who they are either due to injury or illness, find their way home if someone has the knowledge to look.

So here is a picture of what RoadID can look like in its many different styles just in case you come across someone in need.

And on that note, I want to stress how important it is to keep your eyes open and to look at people. So many times we may want to turn our heads and eyes and not see that dirty, homeless looking person on the corner, walking by, or lingering outside the store window. They look grungy and disheveled. Maybe beat up.

But that person is someone's daughter or son. That person may be lost and someone may be desperately looking for them like this man in Vancouver.

I do not know this man or his family but I do know one of his friends who is heartbroken that he is missing. All his friends and family are.....I can't even imagine! And his story is breaking my heart and I am desperately praying and kindly asking for you to do the same. And if you are in his neck of the woods, keep your eyes up.

And that keep your eyes up goes for wherever you live. You never know when you will be the one person who finds a person in need and I can only pray,  if they can't tell you who they are for whatever reason, that they will have some sort of ID on them to help you out. And this RoadID around my neck....it is on my body more often than my phone.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my RoadID.

Daily Bible Verse: And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. ~ 1 John 5:14


Signs of over-training - Signs of depression

It is important to listen to your body. It can tell you so much and we are designed in such a way that our body gives us cues, warning signs, for when to slow down. Like a  yawn when you are tired, your body will tell you when you are over-training in hopes you listen, slow down, and recover.

So let's take a look at this warning signs of over-training:
  1. Exercise performance - you stop improving or start declining in performance
  2. Increased rate of perceived effort - your workouts just feel tougher and not because you are going faster, longer, or stronger
  3. Increased fatigue
  4. Increased moodiness or agitation levels
  5. You aren't sleeping well
  6. Your appetite is waning
  7. Your motivation is lacking
  8. You feel depressed
  9. Your muscles feel sore and don't seem to be recovering with rest
  10. Elevated resting heart rate - If you have a Fitbit like me, this is easy to monitor but in itself, it is not a good clue. I'll get back to that later.
That goes for most of these signs. In themselves they do not mean you are indeed over-training. They can be signs of other things. Like depression.

The popular signs of depression are:
  1. Excessive fatigue
  2. You are easily irritated 
  3. Your sleep is disrupted with you sleeping more....or less
  4. Your eating is disrupted and you may lose your appetite or turn to carbs for support
  5. You feel achy 
  6. You lose interest in things....kinda like losing motivation
  7. You may get harder on yourself
  8. You have problems concentrating
  9. Things may get messier around you and you don't care
  10. You feel numb
There is quite an overlap between those two lists, isn't there?

So how do you know what is going on and how to properly interpret what your body is telling you?

This can be tough especially if you do suffer from depression and turn to running and cross training to help keep your depression under control. You see, you don't need to experience all the signs for either over-training or depression to be present. Just some of them. And the one that seems most grounded on actual metrics, resting heart rate, does vary especially for women along with their menstrual cycle.

But you can still look at the trends and try to discern what is going on. Perhaps give yourself a rest day or two and see if you are feeling better...or worse. If you feel refreshed, then over-training was probably your issue. If you aren't bouncing back, perhaps it is leaning more towards depression but this isn't 100%. Nothing in life is guaranteed but I strongly suggest if you are feeling in the rut and a couple of rest days isn't helping, check in with your doctor. They are in the best position to guide you and help you. And on that note, I am a strong proponent of annual physicals and monitoring your blood panel. 


April 2018 Training Report

Another month has gone by. Can you believe it?! And in just another month it will be summer break! Well, summer break for darling daughter. Not so much for me. I think we need to start a movement that we all deserve breaks like the breaks kids get from school! If only.....

But let's talk goals. My 2018 goals are 1,170 miles and 70 new workouts. I can't say I am on par with both goals but I do feel I am making good progress on the mileage but let's see what the stats say.

In April I ran 123 miles - my largest month this year with the second largest being 100 miles in March. The third largest is 85 miles in January. Let's not talk about February. February is always brutal!

Ironically, with running 23 miles more in April than March, I worked out 1 less hour and that is probably why I feel my cross training has slacked. I am at 21 new workouts for the year, which means I only added 3 new workouts to my 70 new workouts goal. As much as I want to achieve my goals, I feel this is one I don't want to get too wrapped up in because right now, running is bringing more joy. Like the "old days" so I am okay if cross training slips a bit while I run happy. However, I see the value in cross training and refuse to let it totally slip to the wayside. At this point in life, I need to cross train and I do find joy in a good weight training session....or a fun hula hooping session....or MMA....that MMA makes me work extremely hard and has a great happy factor to it. So yes, I am going to cross train but may not need to do so many new workouts to keep working out fun.

What I am finding fun is running outside more again. I learned to download my Fitbit GPS runs and upload them to Strava so I can see how I am doing on segments I have created, look at my relative effort, and really delve into stats that make me want to run some more and gather more stats. I started the Premium free trial for Strava and think it has enough value to go ahead and pay for it...at least for a year. I really do love stats! And I want to see my progress on "Monster Hill".

I am also digging Fitbit challenges. A friend invited me to a weekday challenge to really up our steps and hey, maybe I do like the friendly competition to keep the steps coming along. I like that! Friendly encouragement.

So...watch out May! Here I come! I know my schedule is crazy busy with end of school, Confirmation for darling daughter, horse show for darling daughter, and more but I am ready to lace up and go!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for tools and friends that encourage me to keep on moving.

Daily Bible Verse: So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. ~ 1 Corinthians 9:26


Stepping up the Steps

How many steps do you take each day?

When I first got my Fitbit ages ago I stuck to the predetermined 10,000 step goal. I didn't think much of it and many days I surpassed it as I was deep into marathon training. But as time went on I realized, I did not always hit the 10,000 goal and me being an overachiever in so many ways, I changed my goal to 12,500. This happened maybe 6 or more months ago. I really don't know when or why I picked that number except it was greater than 10,000 and I felt I should be able to do it....especially when training hard.

But life changes, things change...and my steps suffered. I will get back to that in a minute but want to focus on 10,000 steps.

Why 10,000 steps? 

Well, most sedentary people hit maybe 3,000 steps a day. My research revealed a number as low as 1,000 but I want to say 3,000. We do not want to be sedentary. 10,000 steps is about 5 miles based on the average stride of people. Reaching this goal also means you have most likely nailed your at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day healthy heart goal.

Personally, I see the connection as when I was deep in my rut I was not nailing 10,000 steps a day. In fact, I went too many days in the 5,000 to 7,000 range and I was feeling the negative impact of that. I was feeling blah, moody, and just not me. My energy levels were plummeting making working out harder - a vicious cycle. My food choices also suffered. In the past few weeks I have said enough is enough and refocused on getting those steps in, getting those running miles logged, and I am already reaping the benefits. I am feeling more like me and much happier. And eating better. Ironically less mindless snacking and more wholesome eating --- like homemade cream of broccoli soup! Yes, you can make it healthy and good for you. It is easier than you think!

For me, 10,000 is still not a good enough goal and I think it is time to challenge myself from 12,500 to 14,000 steps a day. This would be about 6.6 miles a day and that seems like a healthy challenge for me as it will push me to keep moving even after my daily run - which now ranges between 3.6 to 5 miles most days.

I have set a move reminder on my Fitbit mainly for those in the office days to remind me to move around and not just stand in place entering data. This is set for 6 days a week but not Sundays. Sundays will be my rest day. A day that less steps is okay but I honestly believe it is important to have a down day at least once a week. God thinks so too! I love that He suggests a day of rest. A day to do no work. I try my best to honor that day. That too is easier said then done when you have a household to manage and a full-time job but I do the best I can.

But back to steps....

Today was a great day. Today I am at 23,554 steps so far and won't log too many more as I am already settling in for the night. Today I ran 8.4 miles and did 12 rounds of MMA plus moved about cleaning house and more. I am excited to see what tomorrow and the rest of the week will bring as today I had a lucky break - working from home makes it easier to move and log more miles!

Do you have a step goal? What is it?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for active and productive days.

Daily Bible Verse: They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. ~ 1 Timothy 6:18-19


Hula Hooping for Fitness

I recently purchased myself a weighted hula hoop as a reward for another 100 days added to my running streak. It came with a workout video and to be honest, I had no interest in the video. I thought I would just hula hoop alongside darling daughter. Her riding instructor suggested it as an exercise to help loosen her up, etc. to enhance her riding.

However, one day I thought, I will just put in this video and see what it is like. I decided not to be biased and assume the workouts would not be any good. It had some really easy stuff to it but some of those really easy moves were great for stretching my ever tight hamstrings and my tense shoulders. In fact, it is my shoulders that burn out first when I do the hula hooping routines. Go figure!

After 26 minutes of hula hooping, stretching, and do upper body moves today I felt I had a pretty good workout even if it wasn't as intense as many more of my workouts.

My 5 mile run today burned about 483 calories with an average heart rate of 158. My 26 minutes of hula hooping and more burned 128 calories with an average heart rate of 111. So obviously, hula hooping isn't a big calorie burner for me but does it have any health benefits?


First, hula hooping keeps my heart rate in the fat burn zone. That in itself does indeed have benefits and trust me y'all, it is better than sitting on a couch. You can even increase the benefits by increasing the work efforts with a weighted hula hoop. Mine is 3 pounds can be changed from an easy to medium to hard configuration. Right now it is on easy but I think I am ready to move it up the spectrum since the actual hooping part is easy for me. The arm workout won't be impacted much by the change in configuration as it is more of a range of motion, keeping arms raised, mobility thing for me.

Second, hula hooping is a good low intensity all around exercise. After miles of hitting the pavement, or the treadmill, it may be good to switch things up. When you hula hoop you will definitely work your core muscles - abs and back - as well as your hips, thighs, glutes, thighs, and obviously arms. How you position your legs can change how you work your body and one thing I like is trying to hoop in a squat position to totally engage my quads and lower body more.

Third, hula hooping can help loosen you up. Think about the rotational movements of hooping and how those will improve flexibility along your spine. This is the primary reason why darling daughter's trainer recommended hooping. To loosen her up! To help her separate upper body movements from lower body movements. Teaching yourself to move one half of the body one way and the other half another way....or not at all! I wonder if this will help with my pesky left hip that tends to be tight.

Fourth, hula hooping can aid in your coordination. The biggest way is by trying to hoop in your not dominant direction. Yes, you will have a way that feels more natural. Now go backwards. I naturally hoop counter clockwise. Changing foot position and more while hooping helps coordination but go wild, hoop the other direction! Hooping clockwise takes a lot of focus for me. I cannot do as many tricks but I am getting better at it.

Last but not least, hula hooping is fun! So many of us can take life way too seriously, including our workouts. We need to be able to chill and have fun and when you can have fun and burn calories, that is a win-win. Plus moms, it is a great way to play with your kiddo's and engage them in the fit life too.

Daily Gratitude: I am so glad I invested in a hula hoop and would love to get the 5 pounder too!

Daily Bible Verse: For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. ~ 1 Timothy 4:8


Running Streak day 2300 and beyond

If we are friends on facebook or twitter you may have seen this yesterday....

Yes! Yesterday was day 2300 of my running streak and a day worth blogging about. I shared a bit of my story on social media but kept it short and sweet. But honestly, there is so much more!

2300 days of running at least a mile a day. Running outside, running inside, running in sun, running in rain, running on streets, running on paths, running on the beach, running in airports, running in Texas, running in Illinois, running in Nebraska, running in California, running in Hawaii. I have also run in Spain but unfortunately, that was pre-streak days so does not count much today but that was a fun run. I kinda got lost. Kinda. I did not have to resort to my GPS map to guide me home but almost had to. But shhh....I don't think I told my mom I almost got lost in Spain.

Those 2300 days also represent fast days, slow days, so-so days, painful days, running on pure joy days, and I don't wanna days. Yes, there have been I don't wanna days...more than I would like to admit but when it got down to it, when I looked at my reason for not running it did not seem to be the reason I would like to have to use every time I said I ran every day until x happened. That x needs to be a good reason. Not a lazy, pathetic reason. Not a weak mind reason. And I am thankful for this experience as it set me up to be a better support for my daughter when she recently struggled with a similar feeling as it relates to horseback riding. Y'all, whatever sport you choose, there are going to be bad days. Hey, there are bad days in life! We just need to learn to roll....or run....or ride....or JUMP with them!

And don't forget to reward yourself for your achievements and you know what, I need to set up a reward system for darling! Her sport is hard! I just need to put one foot in front of the other. She is a heels down, toes up, leg on, close the hip angle, stay focused, type of sport. PHEW! I wonder if she knows how proud I am of her? I will need to tell her....again...and again, and again, and again.

Celebrate those milestones!

I set up just a thing for myself about 100 days ago. For every 100 day increment in my streak, I get to treat myself to something! My idea was a new running outfit. Bondi Band has a new Bondi Wear line with awesome stuff and hey, I do like to match and maybe look a bit stylish when I workout. I am in my workout gear a good chunk of each day so it matters. By the way, you can get 10% off when you shop at Bondi Band with my friends and family coupon code EGFITNESS. You can also get a 20% discount at SOS Rehydrate for an amazing electrolyte drink with the some code - EGFITNESS. But I am getting distracted in telling my story. Hey! I love sharing deals and products I love! If you have any affiliate links that don't compete with mine (sorry, no competition zone) enter them in the comments below, okay? I would love to support you if it is something I could use! And if I can't, maybe one of my readers can!

Anyhow, my 2300 day treat ended up not being a new outfit but this....

Yes! A hula hoop! It is a weighted hula hoop and the segments can be moved around to make it easy, medium, or hard in effort levels. And y'all, I tried a couple workouts yesterday and it made me sweat! Who knew hula hooping workouts could be hard! And who knew it would work your arms and shoulders! I have really tight stressed out shoulders so some of the moves really worked, and stretched, those areas and this is a good thing to return to time after time. Did anyone else sing time after time? If you did you may also like this song that popped up when I was running today.

Run like James Bond!

I really do need to "run" now and get to work but I have one final thing I want to share. When I run before work near the office I don't get to shower. There is no hot water. That is a story for another day but I am not a cold shower type of gal. I have used athletic wipes more than once in the past but found these that are biodegradable (win!) and have peppermint and tea tree oil in them (another win!). There is also one with lavender oil! No affiliate link for these but I found them on Amazon and just wanted to share.

Have a great day!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for an amazing 4.2 mile run today --- outside in the wind! 

Daily Bible Verse: These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. ~ John 15:11


Virtual Run across Alaska

When you are running and racing on a budget sometimes you need to get creative to keep the momentum going.

One thing that has motivated me over the years is virtual races --- some I have paid for, some where comped, some were free for all, and some I created on my own. Like my current mission - running across Alaska for my buddy.

Through the I Run 4 Michael program I signed up to be a runner for someone who signed up for a runner. It is a mutual thing. A runner signs up, a buddy signs up, and you are eventually matched. Buddies are matched FAST! Runners, you gotta wait but hey, you are used to training and waiting for results so this is no different.

On July 27, 2014 I was matched with my beyond amazing buddy, Toby. He has Down syndrome and is very close in age to darling daughter. A match made in Heaven! Since then, I have grown to know and love him more along with his mom, family, younger brother, and his brother's runner. Both Toby and his younger brother have Down syndrome and were adopted! How cool is that?! Seriously, this is way cool!

I try to keep things fun and different with my running for Toby. When we were first matched I did more road races as it was in the budget but things have changed so now I try to do things with little to no budget. The virtual runs I set up through My Virtual Mission are a cool addition! I have run from Hawaii to Nebraska, Hadrian's Wall, Land's End to John o'Groats, and now across Alaska for Toby! Some have medals (if they are organized by My Virtual Mission and have a fee) and some don't but that is okay.

One thing I have realized in my current Alaska mission is this one is harder with less landmarks and a lot of icy conditions. It makes sharing cool updates and information harder. When I ran from Hawaii to Nebraska that was different. I was able to share more about landmarks. Now I feel I am running through frozen nothingness but still, it is something to share.

I am 439.2 miles into my 719.2 mile mission, a mission that started 167 days ago on October 25, 2017. Out of all the missions I have done for Toby, this is the first where I started and continue to be ahead of the ball in mileage and that is really cool! I was also kind to  myself and gave myself 473 days to complete this mission which means I was expecting to average 1.52 miles a day. A reasonable and realistic goal back in October when just a mile took all my heart and soul to complete. As of now I am averaging 2.63 miles a day. May that average increase over the next 279.9 miles!!!

This is also the first mission I did with a fundraising goal but to be honest, I have not been sharing or asking for support....until today. All funds raised will go to Catholic Charities and I appreciate your support. I have to manage this through my Paypal account because it was not one of the charities linked through the My Virtual Mission website. The linked causes were not near and dear to my heart...just being honest.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for virtual runs and the help of volunteers.

Daily Bible Verse: Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 3:13-14


Hello Smoothie! - Getting back into the protein powder groove

Fitness is a journey, like all else in life, and recently I have been not drinking the daily protein shakes like I was for the bulk of the 2017. To be honest, it was financially motivated but I do feel not drinking the shake has had another cost factors. 

My overall health and energy. As odd as it seems, that almost daily protein shake shapes my food choices all day as it gets my nutrition on track....and perhaps prevents me from snacking mindlessly as I feel famished. 

The benefits of a protein shake is that they can help fuel your body and replenish muscle stores after a workout. The thing is, if you load that protein shake with add on's, or drink it at the wrong times, it can also lead to weight gain. It all comes down to the basics - calories in should not exceed calories out as it will result in weight gain no matter what you are eating or drinking. And some people may be tempted to drink their protein drink alongside a meal doubling up their meal intake without realizing it. This is not good.

And this is not, or has not been, my mode of operation. Initially my shake was to replace afternoon snacking but in time I realized this was not ideal as I could be mindlessly snacking throughout the day. It kept me from not snacking during food prep for dinner and the next day lunches but there is a better way...at least for me...and I think for many depending on your fitness routine.

I am a morning fitness gal. I start my day with a workout; therefore, starting my day with a protein shake makes sense. It is my first meal of the day...a meal that comes after working out. The best time for my body, and most importantly my muscles, to benefit from the protein shake. And yes, I add some fruit and maybe some instant coffee to my shake to liven it up. It makes it a good, wholesome breakfast.

I also go for vegan shakes.

I want a non-dairy choice and I love that the vegan shakes often increase the veggies in the shakes and this means a lot to me. The added veggies add fiber which can aid in digestion. A win-win to me when compared to just whey based powders that will irritate my stomach and give me little in addition to protein. I am looking for a wholesome breakfast that is easy to eat, or shall I say, drink on the go. 

And it sets a great example as darling daughter models what she sees and today wanted a shake for breakfast. She drinks one formulated for kids and added a banana for creaminess and blueberries to hers today. This is a much better choice than a carb-based breakfast. I am glad she is nourishing her body well because she is growing and is quite active with her equestrian sport and cross training with me. Yep, she rides three days a week and now cross trains twice a week!

Gotta love support and having a workout buddy!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for an affordable vegan shake choice. 

Daily Bible Verse: And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. ~ Genesis 1:29