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.  ❤

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.

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!

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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How Do You Always Have Such Pretty Running Pictures?

 

I’ve been getting asked this question almost daily lately, so I figured I’d make a blog post about it that way everyone can join in on the fun.😋

So first and foremost, I don’t have a fancy camera. I didn’t go out and buy an expensive GoPro, although I do want one. I don’t have a photographer run with me, that would just be torture. I use my phone. That is all. And well, an app to edit//brighten//add text, etc.

So how do I do it?

 Well it’s not with the timer, that takes too long and half the time they don’t come out right. I simply put my phone on video, and then screenshot my fav parts later. 

And what apps do I use to edit?

Snapseed. That’s about it. It’s my jam. I love it. It’s fun. 

All you need to do now is find some pretty scenery and get to snapping. Oh and run, that kind of has to happen too!!😄🤗

Tag me in your first one, so I can see.💕💕 I’d love to share in on your fav running spots!!😍