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. ❤

Currently….

 

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When Angela (@Runlikekale) posted a fun blog about her currents, I was excited to play along.  She always has awesome, informational posts that you should all follow. It will definitely make you smile and laugh out loud. Plus, who wouldn’t want to see ridiculously cute pictures of G?  🙂  So currently, I am….

Loving: Watching CT explore the world on his own now that he can crawl, stand, sit, and walk with assistance. He is loving this new freedom, and it makes me smile from ear to ear.  Overnight, he has become fearless, independent, and so grown up. Gahhhh! ❤

Working On: Finding some kind of summer job, something that includes Clayton.  It’s almost I M P O S S I B L E! 

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Inspired By: The fierce mom club we have established on IG. 


Thinking About: S U M M E R break, and starting new traditions with our family of three. Day trips, hiking, teaching Clayton to swim, the beach, and oh so much more.

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Watching: The Leftovers, and driving my husband crazy, because I ask a million and one questions. Even after watching it over and over. It’s so confusing, but it hooks you.


Reading: Hands Free Mama…..Hands Free Mama is the digital society’s answer to finding balance in a media-saturated, perfection-obsessed world. It doesn’t mean giving up all technology forever. It doesn’t mean forgoing our jobs and responsibilities. What it does mean is seizing the little moments that life offers us to engage in real and meaningful interaction. It means looking our loved ones in the eye and giving them the gift of our undivided attention, leaving the laundry till later to dance with our kids in the rain, and living a present, authentic, and intentional life despite a world full of distractions.

Eating/Drinking: I’ve been on a mission to go more wholly with my foods and eating habits. So, I started Whole30, cheated once and it went downhill from there. But in the first week with no cheating, I lost 7lbs and learned a lot about how food makes me feel. So now I am starting over, and really trying to stick to it for the 30 days. #noms


Learning: To read braille. One of my students is partially blind and to help her become more independent we thought it would be a good idea to learn it.  And it grabbed me in, so now I want learn too


Dreaming of: Being a stay at home mommy. I miss it. I need it. I want it so bad. 


Trying: To juggle everything that goes with being a working mom, and finding time for myself, while still getting all the chores and daily house hold shenanigans done.

Missing: My little peanut.  Is it 3:00 yet?

 

Planning: Clayton’s FIRST birthday!!  Say what?!?!?  It came way too fast.  Like seriously, I get so emotional thinking about the last year and how far he’s come.  Why can’t they stay little forever? 


Needing: To get a hair cut desperately. And maybe going back to blonde……

Screenshot_20170417-161828-01.jpgExcited About: All the stroller races Clayton and I have, and the fact that some of them are letting me run with the stroller ((as they haven’t in years past).

 

Want to play along? Copy and past this in the comments and let me know what you’re currently up to.

Loving:
Working On:
Inspired By:
Thinking About:
Watching:
Reading:
Listening To:
Learning:
Dreaming of:
Trying:
Missing:
Planning:
Wearing:
Needing:
Excited About:

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. 🙂

Cross That Off the Bucket List- NYC Half

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If I am going to be completely honest here, I thought when I entered the lottery for this race that I was actually entering the lottery for the marathon. Enter face palm here. 🙈But when I got the email that I made it, I quickly realized it was for the half. And while I was slightly disappointed, I was still super excited to run a race in NYC. EVERYONE WANTS TO RUN A RACE IN NEW YORK!!  🙌But before I can get into the good stuff….

Enter back story here….So, many of you know that I am a country girl, through and through. 🐮But for those of you that do not, let’s just say I grew up with cows in my backyard and the smell of manure was, and still is, like the best thing ever. 🐄 Why am I telling you this? Well, for you to fully understand the anxiety and fear I have with BIG cities.  [[Why would any one be afraid of cities? ]] It sounds silly.  But the fear of traveling alone, and one way roads, and traffic, and horns honking, and people filled streets, and the overall rush, rush of everything.  It’s more than overwhelming.  IT IS SCARY && causes me to have some serious anxiety.  🙊 Then you are probably asking yourself, well why do you have to travel alone?  I don’t, usually. But my hubby had to stay with the baby, and my BFF had to cancel her entry due to an injury. And there are so many others I could have, and would have traveled with, but the cards weren’t working out and everything was up in the air, and the fear of not knowing was also causing me to stress out. But God has a funny way of hearing your prayers, and last minute, a friend from church got an entry into the race. Yay for traveling buddies!🙏

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EXPO! EXPO!– Well besides meeting MEB (@runmeb ) and running into Erin (@thelittlerunnergirl), the Expo was disappointing!! Where were all the vendors and fun stuff to look at?  For being a HUGE race, the expo was nothing short of picking up your packet and leaving.  Talk about a waste of a trip to the city. Luckily, I had better things to attend to, like the WeRunSocial meet-up!




 

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Yes, we know, the flag is upside down. That’s just how we roll.🙃 Well that’s how Gregg rolls, and he’s the best thing since sliced bread, so you know, we be the cool kids!  Anyways, when you’ve been dying to meet @NYCsweat ((Gregg)) for your entire running career, and then he happens to be there when you walk through the door, you do a crazy lady happy dance and hug him without warning. That’s the amazing thing about the running community.  Even though you’ve never met in “real life”, you know there are a million people you can count on, and turn to for support about running, and life outside of running.  And when you finally put a voice, a hug, a laugh, a face to face conversation with one of those friends, it’s an experience like none other. 🤗💙 It was so much fun finally getting to meet Haley, Gregg, Anne, and Kim and learning about their lives outside of a square. And to catch up with friends you met before (Dani) is pretty awesome too! This BIG world we live in, is really quite small, and I am so, so happy to have met these awesome people.  THANK YOU Brian and WeRunSocial, and for everyone who came out, and for the running community on IG.  Gahhhhh!!




 

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The night before the BIG race, I laid out my outfit, and contemplated pants and an extra long sleeve shirt for hours.  I packed and repacked my bag. I checked and rechecked that I had the Metro card, my bib, and the reserved parking ticket a million times. ✔ I made sure the babes and I were ready for bed by 8:00, because that 3:00 am alarm comes way too fast. And wouldn’t you know, I COULD NOT FALL ASLEEP!  💤😴I tried and tried and tried. The last time I looked at the clock was like 10:00 and it was after I just fed little man.  At 12:00, that boy was up and crying again, and he thought it’d be the cool thing to do to cry until 2:15. So I got max, 2.5 hours of sleep. Talk about nerve wrecking.I thought for sure it was going to the death of me during the race.

20170319_070834Race mornings always have me a bundle of nerves.  I am so paranoid of being late, and rushing, and the unknown with parking.  I’d rather get there early and hang out than have to run to my corral.  That happened once, at the Disney Princess half. At 17 weeks preggers, I was sprinting to my corral that was two miles away! NEVER AGAIN! So i stood in line for what always seems like forever to go pee, and made it to my corral with plenty of time to spare and freeze my tushy off. Hence the old man sweatshirt and sweatpants. But hey, Lauren (@lauren_runs_here) found me and we talked about running a different race. Forget the one we are in line for, let’s talk about future  races.  But seriously, she is so awesome.  She said she would pace me for the second half of my marathon in April.  Who does that?  I know I am going to need it if I want to get that 4 hour marathon!  Okay, okay, back to the race.

The anthem was sung, the corrals were moving, and before I knew it we were running. I kept saying is this it, did we start, because we never crossed a line, but then it appeared and the watch was started. Guys, it’s only normal to take off like a clown is chasing you, and I did, but I kept remembering what everyone told me about taking it easy the first half because of the hills in Central Park. So I found myself having a continuous conversation with myself, telling myself to slow down, you’re going too fast. In hind sight, I wish I wouldn’t have listened, because I was so close to breaking the two  hour mark, but at the same time, this race was part of my marathon training plan, and going off plan wasn’t a major concern of mine.  I wanted to have fun, and have fun I did.  GUYS, I DID NOT STOP SMILING!  That has never happened at a race before.😀




 

Central Park was amazing! I never realized how big it was, and every time I saw a part I recognized from a movie, I would get all excited.  Like, this is real life, it does exist. Or I would think about Home Alone and Elf, and basically every Christmas movie, and who doesn’t smile about that?

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But nothing in the history of running history will ever compare to the thrill of running through Time Square.  Though it was some what creepy, because it was quiet and almost dark, it was the most exhilarating, ridiculously fast paced miles I have ever run. Like where did that speed come from //a 6:54 and 7:10 mile//????. And the tears?  Why?  I don’t know why. I couldn’t even tell you if they were happy tears or sad tears, or maybe a mixture of both.  But it was overwhelming.  The crowd. The kids fun run starting and their contagious smiles. The posters from fans. The lights. The smells. I wanted pizza so badly running through Time Square.  The random bursts of cold air. The  crazy wind gusts before turning onto the west side highway. So many experiences in one small stretch. It is something everyone needs to experience.🚕

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No lie, the stretch along the high way was a tad difficult mentally.  The crowd dies down, you hit a wall, your watch leads you to believe you are like a mile away from the finish, only your two miles away ((at the end of it all, my Garmin said I ran 14.2 miles in 2:03//8:43 pace)).  I should have known that wasn’t true, because I have yet to hit that pace for races postpartum and that would have meant I finished the race in 1:54, two minutes shy of my PR.  YEAH RIGHT!!  But I’m not gonna lie, it messed with me so mentally.  And the water stations….I usually wear my hydration vest, but we weren’t allowed for this race.  I’ve never been one to have to use the water stations, but I made sure to grab one at every stop, except for one. That was a whole new ball game. I choked a couple of times, because i refused to stop, but then by the end, I realized I needed to slow my roll, and I didn’t like that that affected my time. Anyways, the tunnel at the end was a tad creepy.  I got light headed when we first entered it, I am assuming because it was bright out and then almost black and windy.  But I adjusted before coming out the other end and I knew we just had to round the corner and the finish line was there. 400 meters.  I started to take off, but not too much for fear of the dry heaving debacle happening to me again.  That seems to be a common thing for me now when I hit the end of races and try to sprint, I guess I can’t keep up with myself and my body shuts down.  So in fear of that happening, I didn’t take off as hard as I could, but definitely got them legs moving. I was even able to finish the race off with an obligatory finish line jump! 🏁

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Regardless of my finish time (2:03), I am so happy with this run.  I didn’t stop.  I didn’t walk.  I SMILED the ENTIRE TIME! I met new friends.  I conquered some serious fears. I high-fived kids cheering us on.  I pumped up fellow runners and told them not to quit. I ran through the streets of New York with some amazing runners.  I made memories to last a life time.

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If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere
It’s up to you, New York, New York!

Alexa’s Thunder Run- Trail Half Marathon

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So I came back for some more torture, only this time around it was 13 miles of mountain climbing, instead of 8.  But you can’t beat a good time that benefits an amazing cause.  Unlike last time, I went into this one slowly && by feel.  The only time I looked at my watch was to see the elevation climbs as they took place. And it worked out in my favor.  I was able to run the entire race, minus the vertical mountains, because let’s be real.  Even when I thought I was running up them, I was basically hiking them.  I don’t think anyone can run up them and maintain the same pace.  NOT POSSIBLE!  I mean just take a look at the elevation plot…

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That last one is no joke.  And coming down it was no joke either.  That is where I busted out in song, singing my new jam to Alicia Keys’ song, “My quads are on fire!” There were points coming down that mountain that I thought my legs were just going to buckle underneath me.  They were beyond jello legs, but it was a battle of one foot in front of the other, and when I hit the bottom, I knew it was almost over && had myself running in the low 8 minute pace. After all that.  I was pretty impressed with myself.

Anyhow, maybe I should take it back to the beginning. I got ahead of myself. So sorry!  🙂  Let’s see, I had oatmeal and coffee for breaky. Then on my way there I had myself an Evolv energy drink ((all natural, no caffeine)) && met up with my people.  We joined in prayer and toed the line.  ((it’s an imaginary line)) and I’ll talk about that later.  As usual, the start is very slow, because hundreds of people are cramming into a single track trail.  But this time, I was okay with it.  It helped me pace myself.  I wasn’t worried about speed or placing.  I just didn’t want to burn out like last time.  This course followed the 8 miler in the beginning, so I knew what to expect for most of the run.  That also helped me pace myself.

Because I didn’t need to stop and walk ((except the vertical climbs)), I did not take any pictures during the run. I am borrowing these from a friend who also ran the race. BUT it was gorgeous.  This is why I run trails.  It’s not for speed.  It’s not for wins.  It’s for the views. The isolation. The challenge. The stillness during our chaotic breathe, as we place one foot in front of the other, just so, to get the perfect position to make the puzzle come together. The adrenaline rush. The satisfaction when it’s over.  There is nothing quite like it.  NOT EVEN A MARATHON!  ❤ And to cross that finish line with a smile on your face.  That is EVERYTHING!

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I know I’ve raved about this organization and these races before, so it pains me to have to say what I am going to say next, but it wouldn’t be a true recap if I didn’t express my real feelings.  The course itself and the run are by far one of the best races I have ever done.  The negative happened when the race was over.  They have what they claim to be chipped timing, but one, you never cross a start line to get your actual start time, and two there wasn’t a line to cross at the finish either.  So an accurate timing is not justifiable even though there is a computer involved.  Second, they hoot and holler about having kiosks at the finish to check your standings.  So naturally I did, and it to my surprise it said I had taken third in my age group.  SAY WHAT?!?!  Obviously, I got super excited….

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BUT HOLD UP…Don’t get too excited for me.  That title of a win was taken from me due to a computer error. BUT going back to what I said earlier, there weren’t any chip timer lines to cross at the start or the finish, so none of it makes sense.  BUT whatever.  I got over it.  Here is the other negative of the day.  The awards ceremony was non existent.  As people finished and saw that they placed, they just asked for their medals so they could leave.  Now, I get things happen and people do have to go.  But it started a trend, to where every single person who won, got their medals and left.  BEFORE EVERYONE EVEN FINISHED RUNNING.  In my opinion, that’s just tasteless.  WE are all runners, and each of us works just as hard as the next to cross that finish line.  Everyone deserves a crowd of people cheering them on at the finish line.  And then having people cheer for them if they placed.  Now we don’t know who placed, or what they even look like, or if they truly even won those medals.  Racing isn’t about the bling, but when it comes to it, everyone who crosses the finish line deserves one.  This race did not have finishers medals.  That is kind of unheard of for a half marathon, and a trail run at that. And the course was short of 13.1.  This happened for the 8 miler too. BUT then I keep reminding myself that all the proceeds go to a good cause, so I should just shut up.

After all the people had gone, we continued to cheer for those still running and let them see we were having a good time, and that their fight to the finish line was well deserved.  Despite some getting lost, and others taking some pretty nice falls, the trails will always have a special place in my heart.  ❤ I am glad I got to experience today with some pretty amazing people too.

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I’ve already got my eyes on some trail halfs in the future.  And I look forward to getting better and better with each one.  🙂 God is good.  Life is good.  And I’m just gonna keep on smiling with every accomplishment I tackle post baby!  ❤

20161107_075141The goods, in case people wonder about that.  🙂

 

 

Runtastic Fall Fit Challenge

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It’s a double blogging day for this mama. 🙂  I’m back to tell you a little about the awesomeness of runtastic && their YouTube channel.  Oh, and let’s not forget the fun fit-for-fall challenge they are hosting, along with the ladies at Fitapproach.  The contest is STARTING TOMORROW and it runs through 11/5.   And there’s prizes ya’ll. Sweet prizes.  So who wouldn’t want to join in on the fun, change up their workout routines, and be eligible for prizes? I know I would. ❤

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So what’s the hype with Runtastic?  Well, I will tell you.  It’s the whole shebang. It’s a workout for anyone.  A recipe in the making. A guide for all things fitness.  A personal trainer.  A running coach.  You name it, they’ve got it.  I’ve been using their workouts off the YouTube channel for a couple of weeks now, and love that they are FREE, they are easy to use and follow, and there is something for just about anything I want to work on, including better eating. Just saying?  The struggle is real post baby.  🙂

Here is the link to their page.  I subscribed && I think you should too.

https://www.youtube.com/user/runtastic

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I’ve been doing their workouts on my porch daily, to add even more fall feels to the fit for fall fun.  Ohhhh yeah all those (f’s).  My English teacher would be proud of that alliteration. 🙂  SO anyhow…. the deets of the challenge.  Well for starters, just by reading this, four of you are eligible to win a prize.


AND WHAT’S THE PRIZE you’re asking??

A 12-month Premium Subscription to Runtastic app (iOS and Google Play), and you can see your account online too.  You know that personal running coach I was talking about, that is part of the deal.  I’ve already downloaded my spring marathon training guide made by Olympic champion, and running coach, Dieter Baumann!  BOOM!!! 🙂

And if you play along in our week long fun fit-for-fall challenge, you can also win.  A winner will be chosen by me EVERYDAY! That’s 9 total winners ya’ll!  How cool is that? Here is a sneak peek into the daily challenges we will be doing together:

So go get yourself a pumpkin and be ready to get fit for fall, have fun doing so, and you know win some prizes.

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And don’t forget to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more fun workout ideas, recipe concoctions and daily motivation.  RIGHT FROM YOUR HOME TOO!! ❤

https://www.youtube.com/user/runtastic


 

To be entered to win via this blog post, leave a comment about why or how the Runtastic App could help you, and subscribe to their YouTube channel.  That’s it.  The four winners will be chosen at the end of the week.  There you have it.  I’ll stop rambling, you start subscribing.  🙂  See you tomorrow for the day one of the fun fit-for-fall challenge.

XoXo