Unrestrained and Full of Energy

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Ya’ll—–Amazing Grass has done it again!!  I was lucky enough to be a part of their Protein Superfood campaign awhile back, and now as part of their latest product the Effervescent Tablets.  Oh. My. GOODNESS.  I don’t even know where to begin.  At first I was skeptical of it all—how it was going to taste, the way it looked, how it was going to make any difference in how I felt or looked.  Man, oh man was I in for the biggest surprise.

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FIRST OFF, the definition of effervescent means a lot when describing the way the AMAZING GRASS product makes you feel.  The words [vivacious, lively, full of energy] are all  just one of the many ways the green superfood tablets will change your life. And if you want to stick with definitions and meanings—-the definition of effervescent when used as describing a liquid is –giving off bubbles; fizzy. Who doesn’t love bubbles? ❤

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These self-dissolving gems are some serious fizzy magic, and taste great too.  They might look funny or displeasing to the eye, once dissolved in your water, but trust me when I say that that is deceiving.  They don’t have any bad after taste, or chalky texture like other water tablets.  They are smooth, and something I look forward to drinking each and EVERY day.

 

 

spot_nosignreduaI received the the tablets at the most perfect time, too.  As a teacher, the back to school year shenanigans brings about a lot of new germs and nasty colds.  The colds you dread and despise because you already have enough going on with trying to get into a new routine and learning new kids, writing lessons, the whole shebang. Well this year, I was prepared.  I was going to kick the germs to the curb.  Thanks to the Amazing Grass Effervescent Tablets, I have made it six weeks into the school year without a hint of a cold or not feeling well.  This coming from a mama whose little man got sick going back to school too, and whose husband also got little man’s cold.  That’s huge folks, HUGE!

20171006_1305192046888749.pngContinuing with my whole back to school motion, I like to use the tablets as my afternoon pick me up.  Since going vegan two months ago, and starting school,  I’ve found it difficult to enjoy that second cup of coffee.  One, because of time and all that jazz, and two, because our school doesn’t offer vegan creamer options like almond milk or coconut cream.  So if I don’t remember to pack my own, I have nothing to put in my coffee.  ENTER the Effervescent tabs.  They actually give me more of the energy that I am so badly needing in the middle of the long school day, when grading essays becomes so tedious and tiresome.

20171006_1257481821807137.pngAfter drinking at least one tablet a day, for an entire month, I noticed big changes in my skin; its overall complexion, and almost zero acne issues.  I noticed a change in the way my stomach felt; less bloating and irritability.  And an overall feeling of incredible energy and lightness.  Since having my son, I have struggled with hyperthyroid issues and have been making changes (going vegan) to correct it naturally, but still having to take medicine to bring my levels down.  At my last visit in August, I was put on an even higher dose of medicine to bring my levels down, as they were still incredibly high.  With the vegan diet change (and maybe the medicine), I have brought all my levels to normal, except one, which has now pushed my into the hypo stage of thyroid-ism.  This recent discovery has come to me at no surprise, because I have been dealing with weight issues.  Despite working out every day and eating healthy, the hypothyroid levels I now have are causing me to gain weight.  It is something I am struggling to accept, but I am seeking a second opinion in a few days and hoping I can try taking myself off of the medication, or at least lessening the dose tremendously, so that I can get back to myself.  Anyways, enough off topic rambling.  I can honestly say though that I feel like the Effervescent tabs have helped my body continue to retain the energy it needs to function well, despite my body lacking in speed of metabolism, heart-rate, and overall function.  So that is another win.

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Basically, you need to get your hands on these gems.  You won’t regret it. You can click the link here to get to the Amazing Grass website and use code: SweatPink17 for 40% off your order.  That is a steal of a deal, love bugs.  And if you are feeling extra lucky, head on over to my Instagram page to enter to win your own box of Effervescent tablets. @faith_to_tri ❤

 

Happy energy and bubbles,

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Tanya

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Never Have I Ever Missed A Rook Run

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Since the beginning, like way back to the fall of 2014, I have participated in the Rook Run.  This run holds a special place in my heart for many, many reasons.

 

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First, Rook Coffee partners with the Valerie Fund to raise money to support children with cancer and blood disorders. Ugh, that right there is a huge reason to get out and raise awareness. Over the past three years, The Rook Run has grown in numbers from 1,000 participants to over 3,000 and raising nearly half a million dollars for the children of The Valerie Fund. HOW STINKING AMAZING IS THAT?!?!?! Secondly,  The Rook Run was one of my first 5k’s to take part in, in which I didn’t consider myself a runner.  It was just something a bunch of us decided to join in on to help a friend start and team and raise money. Like a finish time of 28 minutes ((which sounds crazy, I know, but thinking of what I have done since then, it makes more sense)), and a lot of I think I am going to throw up, who does this for fun, I am going to die ridiculous thoughts. Anyways, enough rambling on year one.  Another reason I hold this race so near and dear to my heart is that it holds my pre-baby 5k RACE PR. From the girl above to the crazy lady who thought training for a marathon would be cool, I started to become “good” at this running thing.

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I had spent the summer of 2015 busting my butt training for my first marathon.  With that consistency and insane hours spent running, I started to build up some serious speed.  And I loved the first Rook Run so much, I decided it was worth the 1 1/2 hour trip back.  Such a fun time.  And at that moment, I would say it was the BEST Rook Run ever.  I pushed myself to the point of dry heaving after the finish, unable to smile through the finish line.  I wanted it so bad.  It didn’t give me the PR or pace I was able to do on training runs, but it still felt amazing to shave 4 minutes off my time. That’s like a minute per mile and then some, so awesome.  I finished in 24 minutes, brining me into the top ten of my age group.  I was disappointed after this race too, because I didn’t get the 23 minute time I knew I could do, and I worked so hard for the 24 minutes it was disheartening.  BUT then it was brought to my attention how much I earned that in comparison to the year before and I was so proud of myself.  I never wanted to be a runner, or ever even liked running.  In soccer, I would whine and complain about our runs at practice.  It wasn’t my thing.  But that year of marathon training changed me, inside and out, and The Rook Run was a huge part of that.

Enter the third annual Rook Run, and just another reason why this race has my heart.  It was my FIRST stroller race with my little best friend, at just three months postpartum.  It was my slowest Rook Run to date at a whopping 31 minutes.  BUT, I made the mistake every stroller runner makes at their first race, and started in the back of 3,000 people.  It took me the entire first mile just to make it out of the crowd.  None of that mattered though.  I could not wipe the smile off my face.  This run was EVERYTHING! It made me more than just a runner, it made me a mother runner.  A MOTHER FREAKING RUNNER, y’all.  And I’ll never be the same.  This race was the start to many, many stroller races with my boy.  We make a pretty great team, too.  We’ve won some age groups, including first place, and if there was a stroller division, we would have taken them all.  We’ve experienced mommy’s first DNF because he just wasn’t feeling it, and we’ve conquered many, many miles together.  In fact, most of my miles accrued this year have been with him in tow. It is my favorite thing to do and something I look forward to continuing.

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And last but not least, the FINAL reason as to why The Rook Run is my favorite.  This year, I wasn’t sure how this race was going to go.  My postpartum comeback has been nothing short of a hard, harder, and hardest rollercoaster ride I’ve ever experienced.  I struggled in the beginning, totally expected.  I started to get back to myself, only to be sidelined by mole procedures that left me with some nasty stitches that lead to a staph infection.  Then on my comeback round two, with marathon training, I hit the biggest road block of my life.  I was diagnosed with Graves Disease and the affect on my physical stamina was detrimental.  Like everything seemed impossible and it broke me down, so far down that I didn’t think I’d get myself out of it.  But I am a pretty stubborn lady and I fought hard to find answers for myself and did a lot of research after months of no getting better, and here I am today.  Feeling almost 100% back to myself and yet again, making my comeback.  Okay, so that was a lot, and really didn’t explain why or how this is the final reason I LOVE THE ROOK RUN.  But here it is….

Little man and I, despite some seriously nasty weather on the way down to the shore and an unsure mommy on whether or not we should race, achieved our 5k Stroller PR.  FINALLY!! I didn’t think we’d do it, because the race is such a confined space with 3,000 people, and stroller running in crowds is insane, but we did it.  I was the first female stroller runner and second stroller runner to cross the line finish line, and I AM so stinking happy.  The crazy rain and storms that went on all morning long brought about an intense level of humidity that was messing with me ((mostly all in my head, but it was there and creepin and I wanted to punch it in the face)).  But I fought through, literally sprinting through breaks in people, to get myself to the top, and when I finished, Clayton was asleep.  I couldn’t help but laugh, because I was talking to him and cheering saying, “we did it, buddy, we beat our 5k time!” And he was out. EEEEKKKKK, I am still beaming with pride and joy of the things we have accomplished together in the last year.  All starting here, at The Rook Run together, and bringing it all back full circle to snag that pretty PR. I can’t imagine running, and racing without him.  We are a team, a darn cute one, too (I am talking about him here).  And I cannot thank him enough for making the runner I am today.  He is my pride and joy, and sharing this love with him makes my heart go round.

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THANK YOU to The Rook Run for four years of amazingness and truly memorable moments of my life.  Thank you to the staff and volunteers for a darn good race.  Thank you to my friends for making the trek with me every year to run for 20 minutes.  Thank you to those who actually read this all the way to the end.  Next up for little man and I is a Christmas 5 miler.  I am already scheming costume ideas.  ❤

Seasons of Change

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I knew going back to work was going to be tough, in many ways, but I did not expect it to be so overwhelming. Change is inevitable. Change is necessary. But working through change can be exhausting. This last week, I experienced many changes, and many emotions, and literally had no time to just sit and breathe. Take it all in. Reflect.

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I’ve experienced the back to work, from stay at home mom thing before, but it still didn’t prepare me for this second round of back to work shenanigans; especially after a long summer together. Clayton is older, wiser, and busier. He is at such a fun stage. Like crack you up till you pee your pants, constant on the go, can’t sit down for a second, curious, outdoor EVERYTHING stage. He is the best. He makes my world go round, and I his. The first couple of days were hard, but different. He enjoyed himself, and didn’t miss me too much. Although, the welcome home hugs were just as strong. But by mid-week, he began to make the connections. He knew if I was dressed, make-up on, ready to go that I was leaving. He started to stop sleeping through the night, after so much work to get him to that point (totally understandable), but it wasn’t just waking up and crying. It was mommy pick me up and I am going to cling to your neck and hug you kind of waking up. It was the mommy don’t put me down kind of mornings. It was the when you get home, I am going to cry kind of changes. This time around was much harder than the last. He is smarter, and makes connections to everything. He knows how to read my body language and when I am trying to play him over (to sneak out and leave). And the transitions are not over for him. This last week, he was at home with my mom, who was kind enough to fly up from Florida to watch him for us, as his nanny’s daycare isn’t open yet. But next week, he transitions back to his home away from home, and yet again learn to adapt to a different environment (a familiar one, but one he has not been to in a while). I’m hoping this transition will be a little easier because he will have his little friends to play with.

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With the change came a week, yes I said an ENTIRE week, of no running/biking, real intense exercise. Instead, it was filled with rainy evenings splashing around, evenings going for walks and doing things Clayton wanted to do. It was filled with grace and patience, family dinners and porch hangs. Travels to PA to see my family, and my brother and his wife visiting, before his big deployment to Afghanistan. We celebrated my birthday a little early together.

We watched Clayton run around the billions of acres my dad has, picking apples and pears, and running until he crashed. We (meaning they, mostly), were open-minded enough to make and eat a vegan meal, including my very yummy, and beautifully made vegan and gluten free birthday cake. The time we had together wasn’t nearly long enough, but it was exactly what I needed to celebrate the BIG 3-0!

So, I went on a little tangent, but the point was that I needed this time of grace and rest to get me through the changes happening at one time. I may not have put on my running shoes once this last week, but I spent it with my favorite people, doing the things that they love.

Anyways, back to changes, because I am not quite finished. Sorry. I know. This is a long one. Going back to school, and leaving my boy and our fun together, wasn’t the only change happening this week. There have been some big changes at my job, my position, my world pretty much. For those of you that have known me for awhile, like the past 6 years of my life, know that I was the Life Skills Program teacher, for Special Education. I created it, I molded it, I transformed it. For four years, that was my baby. My world. My everything. My first and only job as a new teacher. I ate, slept, and breathed that program, the students in it, and their futures. Then I got pregnant, went on maternity leave, and came back to changes. Changes out of my control. Changes without explanation. Changes I didn’t want. Changes that took me out of that program and into a different aspect of special education. This year, I am an English collaborative. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is still a great job to have. I am still changing lives. It’s just different. I am a little out of my element. The change is new. I have a lot to learn. My needs are different. My job is different. And the change into this new me has been overwhelming. It’s not just me and my ideas anymore. It is me and the four other teachers I work with, in four different classes. I went from knowing my same eight students for five years, to learning the names hundreds of students and their needs. I am learning new curriculum. I am learning the teaching styles of others. But I am embracing it. I am working through it. I am learning my new normal. It’s necessary. It’s life.

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It’s for this booger right here. And the new hundreds of students who need me. It’s for our community. It’s for the future. I may not understand why it happened, but I understand the importance of working through change, and making it the best it can be.

So this week, running/riding, and getting strength workouts in just wasn’t what I needed. This week I needed family. I needed rest. I needed stress free evenings, going to bed early. I gave myself the grace it needed to adapt to so many new changes. And now, heading into the new week, I have a sense of my new normal. I have a better understanding of when and how I am going to focus on some ME TIME. I still have a lot to adapt to, a lot to learn, and a lot to practice before I get my new schedule under wraps. But I am ready to tackle it all, and become that super hero mom, teacher, wife, daughter, athlete that everyone needs me to be.

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If you’ve made it this far, thanks for being such a supportive and caring part of my life. Cheers to the long weekend. ❤

No One Fights Alone- The Makings of a Benefit Half Marathon

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About a month ago, I was contacted by a girl named Texie to share this run on my social media accounts.  I didn’t just want to post a picture and say, “Hey, please sign up for this race.”  I wanted to know more.  So I asked Texie if it wasn’t too much, or too hard to talk about, if I could know more of the background story, and if it was all right that I share more about her mother and her love of running with my posts.

She was more than gracious in the information provided, including awesome videos of her and her mom getting tattoos together.  Her smile is enough to brighten your day. Below is a quote directly from Texie herself.

My name is Texie June Petchel. My mom, Tonya Petchel, recently passed away in January at the age of 47, after an 18 month battle against liver cancer.
My mom had been running for roughly 2 years before she was diagnosed in 2015. Running meant the world to her. She never played any sports when she was younger and she wasn’t sure if she even could run. She caught the bug though and completed 9 half marathons. Running was actually what helped to discover she had cancer because she would get this terrible pain, that was much different from a normal cramp, while she would run. We believe that running helped extend her life because it got her more in touch with her body and made her go to the doctor to check things out.
Before my mom passed away, she had been chosen to be a beneficiary of Charity for Charity, a local charity in Temecula. The charity event, where they were going to reveal their big surprise to my mom, ended up being the night of her memorial. It was a very difficult day for my family and I but, there were some incredible things that came out of it.
Charity for Charity is hosting The Tonya Petchel Half Marathon on May 13th in Temecula, CA. We are so thrilled about this and know this is exactly what my mom would have wanted. We would like for this to become a huge annual event. For that to happen, there needs to be a lot of participants in order for the charity to want to keep this event going.
I am asking you to please promote my mom’s half marathon on your platform; even just an Instagram post would be incredible! It would mean the absolute world to my family and I. I know you probably get a lot of emails asking for you to promote events but, my mom is genuinely the best person I have ever met. You can ask anyone who knew her, she made anyone she spoke to feel like they were the most important person in the world. Even during her long battle with cancer, she continued to care for others before herself. She is incredible and deserves the biggest half marathon anyone has ever seen.
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Click on the image to the left for an article on the event from the Temecula Valley Wish Fulfilling Organization. The idea that No One is Left Behind is so important in the running community and our world as a whole.
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The FAMILY FRIENDLY event is going to be held in Temecula, California, on Saturday, May 13th.  They offer a kids 1k walk/run, a 5k and a 10k walk/run, and the half marathon. For more detailed information on the event, and to sign up, click on the image above.


I feel honored to share this event and only wish that I could participate. Please, if you live in the area, check out this event. It’s in memory of another mother runner, and benefits a good cause.  Round up your family and friends and have a good time. 🙂

Hot Chili Challenge- 8 Mile Trail Run

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Way back when, when I decided to look for races, and get myself signed up, as a means of pushing myself  postpartum, I chose the Hot Chili Challenge. 8 miles seems like nothing, and seemed like nothing when I signed up.  Silly me hadn’t even ran a trail race, let alone a trail run in over a year.  Last September to be exact. BUT I can hang for 8 miles.  I did just run a half marathon for Pete sake. 🙂



I was a pile of mixed emotions going into it.  I usually know at least one other person running a race, but this time I was solo, && I didn’t have anyone to tell me to shut up and just run. The last time I had run a race on this course, I got bit by something right off the bat, and had trouble using my leg for the entire race.  So I was nervous about that.  I was nervous about falling, because I was running in normal sneaks. I was nervous about placing ((I put so much pressure on myself, because pre-baby, I placed all the time)), which made me nervous about the hills. BUT I was excited to be in my element. I was excited to challenge myself.  I was excited to take in the fall foliage.  I was excited to run.  Especially since I could worry less about my little man, and have some time to myself.

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If you know me, you know that I have a big mouth && a big personality to go with it, so making new friends is a piece of cake.  PLUS, I needed someone to take my pre-race picture, or it didn’t really happen.  Am I right?! So, I started up conversations with a lot of people, but found they were all running the 5k && 10k.  It looked like it was just me, myself, and I for this race.  BUT I actually prefer that on the trails. There is a lot more to pay attention to, and holding a conversation just isn’t in the cards.  It was time to hit the rocks && run the race God placed before me.

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I let the adrenaline rush get the best of me, and started wayyyyyy to fast, but it felt good, so I kept going.  I was running the hills (I shocked myself haha),  I was keeping pace and then, wait for it….. and then it hit me.  A wall like I’ve never felt before, not even during my marathon.  It felt like I had been running for 17 miles, but it was only 2.5.  I am accounting it to going way too hard, way too fast.  So I slowed it down, I think I even walked a little and kept plugging away. But it sure wasn’t without some negative thoughts.  I even said out loud, “I think I got a little too ambitious about my postpartum goals.” and someone was behind me.  She practically freaked out when she heard me say it, which startled me.  I came to find that she (a mom of four), just ran 100 miles.  Say what??!  I just kept telling her she was amazing, but she would only return that I was amazing, and she couldn’t believe I was out there already.  As much as thought she was just being nice, and couldn’t take the compliment, it was nice to hear, and distracted me from my own negative space.  We ran together for about a mile && then she left me. 🙂

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I felt like I got my mojo back around mile 5, but it was still a struggle to catch my breath.  When I reached a little over 6 miles, I got the worst stomach cramps and couldn’t hang on the hills anymore.  They owned me. But that’s okay.  The hill at mile 6/7 is gi-freakin-normous.  By mile 7, I felt like I could run a million more.  The highs and lows I felt during this run were some of the most extreme I ever experienced. So strange.  But, the views were absolutely breathtaking.

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The best thing about these races are that 100% of the proceeds goes to providing free mammograms to women.  The Friend2Friend mission is dedicated to assisting women and their families whose lives are impacted by a cancer diagnosis. The SCWF strives to provide early detection services, support and resources to the women of Sussex and surrounding counties.  They have awesome volunteer staff along the courses and the runners themselves create an inviting atmosphere you can’t pass up.  At the end of the race, you get some awesome grub, the main dish obviously being chili (beef, chicken and vegan options available)).  They mean business haha! ❤

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When I crossed the finish line, I checked my stats, and thought I might’ve placed.  BUT I took a 5th place finish for my age group.  No complaints.  I just wanted to finish.  And based on how I felt in the beginning, I didn’t think I was going to.  BUT then again, you’re kind of in the middle of the woods, and have no choice but to finish.  🙂 I am still super nervous about completing a trail half marathon in a couple of weeks, but this mama is only going in one direction, and that’s forward.

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Lucky for me, I get to come home and cuddle this cutie after every race!  ❤

 

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Race Recap: Nuun Year Dash

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Nuun hydration is literally the BEST company out there for providing fuel and hydration for all sorts of athletes.  I decided to give Nuun a try about a year ago.  I can’t have normal sports drinks with electrolytes, because of the sugar content and the affect they have on my body.  Drinks like Gatorade gave me stomach aches and heartburn.  Others had caffeine, and I have to stay away from that stuff too.  I was desperately searching for a product that fit all of my needs.

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Enter Nuun.  LIFESAVING! Delicious. Light. Sugar free. No carbs. No side effects. NOTHING BUT PURE HAPPINESS!  ❤ I am not an ambassador for Nuun and hold no affiliation with them.  My opinions are strictly out of love for the company and the product.  I never would have made it through those disgustingly hot and humid summer months of marathon training if it were not for Nuun.  I like to think that it helped me achieve PR’s on my half marathon, and 5k times too!! 🙂 I not only drink Nuun during my runs, I use it when strength training, hiking, when I feel a cold coming on, cycling && whenever I want something refreshing.

When I saw Nuun decided to host their very first virtual race, I had to be a part of it.  It was the perfect race to start the new year  and a new running season.  I’m not sure what my race season is going to look like this year, since I am expecting my first baby, but I am going to make each one count. And each one will hold an even greater spot in my heart, since I’ll be running for two!  🙂 ❤

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The race swag is fun, and really elicits what running together looks like.  They nailed it, down to the safety pins for your bibs.  They left nothing go unnoticed && when anyone had a question about ANYTHING, they responded within minutes.  We had runners from all over the world come together to support one amazing cause.


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Nuun’s mission is to inspire a healthier, happier, more active lifestyle so everyone can achieve life’s next personal best.  All of the proceeds raised were donated to the Challenged Athletes Foundation, a charity organization that benefits disabled and paraplegic athletes nationwide. I have never been more astonished and amazed than I am when watching those with challenges we cannot understand, succeed and compete in what some would call the unfathomable.  They are the true heroes.  They are the real inspiration.  They are true athletes.  ❤

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It may not have been fast, but I had a blast && loved being a part of something so big, so powerful, so life changing.  Thank you Nuun for a great product, an amazing message, and a great inaugural New Year Dash!  Congrats to everyone who participated.  I’ve enjoyed seeing everyone’s posts, pictures and amazing stories.  Let’s continue to run together && change the world, one stride at a time!  ❤

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imagesTanya