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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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. ❤

Took A Poll: Ultra Marathoner

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Over the weekend I took a poll.

QUESTION: If you walk AN ENTIRE 50k, can you call yourself an Ultra Marathoner?

This is something that has been boggling my mind for some time.  I think some people misunderstood the question as if you walk at all, but that is not what was meant.  This question was all about if you literally walk the whole thing. But anyways, I asked, and you answered with some shockingly surprising answers.  Shall we start with the positive first, because that’s always a good thing, right?


FOR THOSE THAT ANSWERED YES…..

“Yes, but no good runner should keep the volunteers out there that long.”

“I would say I DID an ultra, but I didn’t RUN it.”

“People walk every distance, so sure.”

“As long as you finish in the time limit.
I know a fair few folks that do multi-day races and they never run a step and still cover way more mileage than me in the same event.
I’ve done many 50k’s and as a mere mortal, in ultras, I walk the ups and run the downs and flats.Ultras aren’t tied to that hackneyed pablum of “if you walk you didn’t do it!”
I’ve been doing ultras for over 20 years and i can tell you, at some point everybody walks.”

“50k is 50k no matter how fast you do it.”

“Absolutely.  I don’t know where the premonition came that someone can’t walk during a half, full, 5k, or ultra.  What about Jeff Galloway?  Is he not a “real runner”.


Let’s talk about Jeff Galloway for a minute.  He introduced the RUN, walk, RUN training method.  Again, the question for this poll was about WALKING THE ENTIRE race, not using the interval method to see you to the finish.  The run, walk, run method was mentioned in other responses too.

“If you run/walk that is fine, and some walking is fine, but walking the entire ultra seems kind of pointless.”


FOR THOSE THAT ANSWERED NO…..

“If you walked a marathon, you can’t say I ran a marathon.”

“It’s mocking the sport.  A lazy approach.  Why even sign up?”

“You did an ultra, but you can’t say you are an ultra marathoner.”

“No, ultra walker.”

“Great question! Tough one. I think if you walk any distance race, you should call yourself whatever you want, but indicate that you walked.  The racer in me says “NO!”, but the other side loves that you moved.”

“If you are honest about your time/pace, then maybe. But, it’s really hard to call yourself an ultra marathoner when you walked it. It’s a running sport, not a walking sport.”

“Historically, marathon cut off time are around 6:30- 14:52/mile.  In military, the standard for a Ruck March (12 miles) is 3 hours-15:00/mile, except you have 35-65 lb gear.  Walking the whole way doesn’t count. Once you get slower than 15:00/miles you’re not really racing, you’re just participating.  It degrades the integrity of the race.


So there you have it.  I asked. You answered. Now bring  on the debate.  This was so 50/50 and unexpected.  If you did not get to answer, or after reading this you now have thoughts, please feel free to share.

QUESTION: If you walk AN ENTIRE 50k, can you call yourself an Ultra Marathoner?

 

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:

So You Want a Jogging Stroller?

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Much like anything else with babies, and all things babies, picking the right stroller is overwhelming.  There are so many choices, each with their own pros/cons. Depending on budget and needs,  an expensive stroller might not be necessary for everyone.  When you research jogging strollers, it’s only inevitable that the top rated ones are crazy expensive, at least to the family who lives pay check to pay check and can’t fathom spending $500+ on a stroller. Especially since we will only use them for a few years, give or take.


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When it came time to add strollers to my baby registry, I did a lot of research.  I compared prices, weight, reliability, durability, other mothers views and opinions, and convenience; basically everything.  I knew if I put a $500+ stroller on my registry, no one would buy it.  And we couldn’t afford that kind of money on a stroller, regardless of how much it would be used.  I was heading into a 7 month unpaid leave.  We had to save everywhere we could.  So I narrowed my search to jogging strollers that were under $200.  My chances of getting one as a gift, at that price were a lot higher.

Enter the Graco Fast Action Click Connect Jogging stroller.  I was so excited when my BFF got it for me.  I didn’t really care what kind of stroller I got, as long as I could do what I loved with my new little love, that was all that mattered.  I loved it because it already came with everything I needed to take Clayton in his carrier as an infant.  I didn’t need to purchase any accessories, that also cost a fortune.  It folds up easily.  It weighs the same as a BOB revolution.  It was good to me.  I had no complaints.  We did a lot of running with that bad boy, including some 5k’s through hilly terrain, and  one at the boardwalk.

As Clayton grew out of the carrier, and we were able to run with him sitting forward, we started to do more and more runs together. The one and only thing that became an issue was the sun/wind.  The shield didn’t come down far enough to block the sun.  I bought a cheapo rain/wind cover at Target, and love it. That helped with the wind, but the sun was still an issue.

So why did I get a BOB? Well, simply because I am basically doing all of my runs with him now, and I wanted to get more serious about racing with him. That meant giving him the best there was, including the darn sun shield.  It also didn’t hurt that I got it for a steal of a deal. Sales on sales on discounts.  I would NEVER justify spending $500+ on a stroller.  EVER!! But $300…..okay…you got me.  But I still refuse to spend even more money on the cup holder for him and I ((it doesn’t come with any)), and the wind/rain shield.  Not when I can use my Choopie that is nicer, bigger, and cheaper, and I already have the rain shield from Target for like $7.

But okay, what is the difference between the two?  There is one big, noticeable difference and that is the way the stroller feels. It’s almost effortless.  It is a much smoother ride for Clayton and I.  It feels lighter, despite weighing the same, and my paces are faster ((but that could be because I’m getting stronger, and am a lot further into my postpartum comeback)).  So is it worth the extra, EXTRA money?  Well that depends. But for me, it was.  Would I have been fine with the Graco?  For sure.  And I still think it’s a great jogging stroller for the price. But I am glad I splurged a little for the BOB, and my hubby is too.  He noticed a huge difference. So whether you want to spend a lot of money or not, there is a stroller for you.  Depending on the needs, I would still recommend both to a mom in question .

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. 🙂

Confessions of a Struggling Runner

 I want to run. To do what I always do, have always done, for the last three years of my life. Escape, flee into the shadows, run happy, run free. But this time, I’m tired of running because I have to.💜 I want to run for me, for the love of the run.

Confession, I don’t think the marathon distance is for me anymore, or at  least at this time. And I’m not even upset about it. I loved E V E R Y T H I N G about my first go around at it. I found myself ((and even wrote a blog post about that awhile ago)). I found my true strength during that training cycle, and it felt awesome. But this time, this time is so different, and at the end of my list of reasons why is a simple, “I’m just not into it.”

Now let’s not confuse that with I don’t love running anymore, because I do. But I love it for so many different reasons and so many different ways since becoming a mommy. I love the miles with my boy in tow, pushing the stroller. I love the speed workouts, and random “I feel like running” runs.💙 I just don’t love the long runs. Why? I’m not exactly sure, but it always seems like God is telling me that it’s just not my thing, or my time.

Among the crazy list of reasons why I’m not meant to be a marathon runner at this time is my son. This is by no means a jab at any other mama out there, it’s just my own selfish reason, but I want to spend my weekends and every free moment with my boy. During the week, I only get to see him for a few hours in the evening. Working again has taken its toll on me emotionally. I miss him. I miss him terribly during the day. And every time I have to spend a few hours away from him on the weekend, it rips at my heart strings. And before you say, “why don’t you run when he’s asleep, or before he wakes up?”, I do try to run during the week while he takes his evening nap. BUT I don’t have the luxury of a baby that sleeps through the night. He’s in his crib, in his own room, but no matter how many nights, weeks, months we spend sleep training, he just doesn’t do it. And it’s okay. He is unpredictable through the night, and sometimes, most times, he is up in the time frame I would have to workout in the morning. And then sleepless nights don’t go well with intense training; mentally, physically, or emotionally. Now, you might be thinking, “Then why don’t you take him with you when you run?”. I DO! And they are my favorite runs. But I also don’t want to force him to spend over an hour in the stroller, when he’s still learning to crawl and figure this world out for himself. I want him to have time to play with mommy, doing the things he loves, not being forced into a stroller. 

I also find myself missing my other loves, like yoga. I used to go to yoga and hot yoga eveey other day. Now, between momming, training, working, and everything in between, I simply don’t have enough time to do it all; running, yogaing, lifting, cycling, cross training, cooking, sleeping, hiking. Shall I keep going?😑

Postpartum running is ridiculously hard. It’s been so frustrating. I’ve made tremendous progress since being cleared, but with short runs and half marathon distances. When it comes to long runs, I struggle. It isn’t getting easier. And for some reason, it seems every long run of this training cycle something goes wrong, or something happens that causes me to get in my head and then I can’t get out. The longest I’ve gone without splitting up a run is 15 miles and that happened today. I’ve done 16, but split it into two. Between the weather, getting sick, being a mom, weekend plans, and then silly things like creepy guys on the trail, and getting lost on runs, I’ve just had enough. 

Like today for example, I planned a route and instead of uploading it to my Garmin, or using the map on Strava, I wrote the directions on a piece of paper. It worked out just fine until I reached a fork in the road, or none of the roads had street name signs. 📍And about three plus miles into my run, I got fed up with my Garmin. It was telling me my pace was 12 minutes, it didn’t matter if I sprinted or stopped, it stayed on 12. And it was messing with me mentally. So I don’t even know if I was actually three plus miles into my run. I wanted to quit. I texted my hubby in an all out annoying rage. Thankfully, he was able to walk me through trying to fix the problem. And wouldn’t you know, the stubbornness in me didn’t want to stop my watch and start it again because then I would lose the total mileage of the run. But I listened, and it seemed to help. So on I go again. But with none of the roads being labeled, I had to keep stopping to check Google maps. I was getting so frustrated with the stop and go. It’s so darn hard. But here I was in the middle of nowhere, so I had to keep going. It started raining, but forward I went. I eventually found a groove, and got out of my head for a short while before those dreaded stomach pains came. It only meant I was going to have to go to the bathroom soon. BUT WHERE? I’m in farm country. It’s all wide open fields. So I ran/walked until I found a familiar place and cut my run short to make it back to my car. No lie, I almost pooped in my pants. 💩💩💩💩 At least I got to spend some time with the cows!🐄

Anyways, I’m not giving up on marathons, or maybe even ultras in my future. And I will finish the NJ marathon in a few weeks. I’m just going to take it day by day, and get back to running because I want to, not because I have to. We shall see where training for Chicago takes me come this summer. But for now, I’m dipping my toes into the Tri life. Yup, that’s right, it’s finally happening. I’ve always been run, run, run. Then I became run, bike, run. And now, I’m excited to become swim, bike run. I finally bit the bullet and signed up for my first Sprint triathlon. It’s time to change gears up for a little and redirect my focus!🤗 Who knows, maybe I’ll get hooked into this.

You’re a Runner When….

You lace up your sneaks && you go.

That is all there is to it.  


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This has been a topic of many of my conversations lately && it is something that has become quite transparent across social media.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love the running community, and the the people I have become friendly with.  Most of you out there are genuine and real, and respect everyone for their own unique running abilities.  BUT I’ve been noticing a trend of runners posts that solely focus on how great it is, or that they are, because they are “fast”, or that they bounced back from an injury//illness at the exact same place they were at before they had to stop running, or because they can run a million marathons in a year//back to back//every weekend ((kuddos to those of you who bust your butt to get to where you are)). This is not meant to bash anyone in any way.  But there is so much  more to running then being the best, unless  of course it’s  doing your best day in and day out. And there is definitely more to running than being able to “brag” about how great you are.

I’ve always considered myself a runner since I started this awesome hobby almost three years ago, but for a very long time in my running journey  I didn’t consider myself a “good runner” and it is because of those very same posts I continue to see day in and day out, as mentioned above.  It is because many runners on social media make other runners feel less of themselves because they boast about their abilities daily.  Or they only engage with other runners who are just as fast as them, or run marathon after marathon.  But does that really make them a “good runner”?  What is a good runner?  Is a good runner fast?  Is a good runner young?  Is a good runner experienced with years of running?  Is a good runner someone who has thousands of followers? Is there really such a thing as a “good runner” anyways?

Aren’t we all good runners, because we simply love to run?  When I first started documenting my running journey on IG, I was embarrassed to post because of the overwhelming amount of people on there who were “better”than me. But as I continued to run, and continued to share my story, I became more confident in my abilities.  I still wasn’t fast, and I could barely make it past a 5k distance, but I was feeling better and better with each run and I was making connections with people who only inspired me to continue doing my best.  That is what it is all about folks. WE ARE ALL RUNNERS, because we love to run and we love to share that love with others.

So here I am writing this to remind those runners  who are questioning themselves and their abilities that if you love running, you are a runner. If you step out the door, you are a runner. If it’s your first run, or your millionth run, you my friend, are a runner. If you run for pleasure or you run for competition, you are just as equally a runner. Don’t ever let the mass array of media posts swooning over how fast people are, and how many marathons they run, ever deter you from thinking you are not worthy of being a runner. Whether you run half a mile or run ultras, whether you run without stopping or you run taking walk breaks, whether you are fast or not as fast, whether you are coming off of an injury, or maybe you just had a baby ( =] ),  MILES ARE MILES. You are putting one foot in front of the other and pounding the pavement.  That’s the nice thing about running. It’s yours && yours alone. I said this the other day, and I am going to say it again.  Running is a special kind of love.  It is a one of a kind, totally unique, make your heart happy kind of love.  It will never leave you, fail you, or desert you, until you decide you no longer want it.   ❤

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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