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:

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

H A L L O W E E N (fun) Run

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I was super excited for this race.  Like counting down the days excited.  It was going to be my hubby’s first 5k and our first fam[ily] race.  ❤ We were supposed to be a theme; my boys being wild animals, and I being their zoo keeper.  It was cute. But unfortunately, Clayton didn’t take to his 4 month shots well.  And this mama had to run solo. I was even contemplating not running as well, and just cuddling the fever right out of my poor boy.  BUT daddy said he would love him, and I should go run, because I had to miss out on my weekly yoga session to stay home with my little man on Friday.


So, the night before, I changed up my outfit to something more comfortable and a little less costume.  I was crossing my fingers that his fever would break by the morning, and then we could all still go, which is why little man’s outfit was still pictured.  PLUS, it is just the cutest freaking thing I ever did see. Mostly because he is still so tiny and you can’t really see his legs, so he’s just all warm and fuzzy up in the body of the elephant.

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Race morning came, and my little was still running a fever.  People said fresh air would be good for him, but it was really cold and I didn’t want to mess with all the variables of the situation.  AND I am glad I didn’t bring him.  The roads were like pot hole//cracks// crater central and massive vertical climbs.  We would’ve ended up walking the run.  Anyways, it was nice because they opened the school gym for registration and all the fun little extras, so you could stay warm too.  While waiting around, I came across a guy dressed like Forrest Gump, and thought it was the bomb.com.  So I had my obligatory race picture with him.

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He was fast too.  I tried to keep up with him, because a finish photo with him would’ve been EPIC, but I couldn’t hang. So back to the race shenanigans.  We lined up, and they sprayed fire extinguisher goods at you, which was so cold.  I couldn’t believe how cold it was.  BUT it made for a cool affect.

Remember I mentioned vertical climbs a little earlier.  Like no joke, they were mountains.  Right off the bat, you were required to climb the biggest hill of the event.  I remember my watch dinging about a quarter mile in that I had reached my stair climb for the day.  And then I just laughed out loud.  BUT I was proud of myself.  I ran every single hill without stopping.  At the top of the hill, I thought I was loosing my car key, so I stopped quickly to check, and that was when I lost the second place win, but that’s okay.  I wouldn’t have wanted to trace my steps looking for my key if I lost it.  🙂

 

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It’s not a very good picture because of the sun, but do you see that guy running in the dinosaur costume?  Mad props to him.  I don’t know how he did it.  Let alone, how he breathed in it, but it was hilarious and he kicked booty too. In between the first massive hill and the end, was more up hill/down hill, through neighborhoods and back.  The end was such a tease, because you knew you were back to the school, but they made you run around the school and up another little hill to get to the rear of the building, which is where I experienced a first.   I made it to the top of the hill and immediately started to dry heave.  I couldn’t even walk.  It forced me to stop dead in my tracks and just ride it out.  It was miserable.  I just stared at the finish line, right there, maybe 15 feet away.  At that point, I was wishing I would just throw up, so I could move on.  Finally, I had stopped, and made my way across the line.  The only other time I experienced this, was after PRing at a 5k along the beach, but I was told it was because of the salty air and pushing myself really hard.  BUT it happened after I crossed the line.  This, this happened before and it killed me.  I was so stinking proud of myself too.  I was on a roll and doing so well, given the course.  Somehow with (in my eyes) a not so nice pace, I still managed to take third in my age group.

Despite the day, not going anywhere near how I had envisioned it, I really enjoyed this race. The event was very well organized.  They treat their runners nicely, with awesome swag and goodies.  Their medals are above and beyond, and the atmosphere was super inviting.

I love the shirts, and you also got a travel coffee mug and lots of other good stuff that I didn’t need.  But yeah, definitely doing this race again next year, and hopefully as a family of three.  ❤ 🙂 Thank you to the hosts, the volunteers, the people.  You all put on an awesome event.

 

 

Hot Chili Challenge- 8 Mile Trail Run

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Training is Over, Now What?

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When the marathon was over, I didn’t really know how to feel.  I was tired, sore, and struggling to walk.  All I could think about was how I was sure I was done running marathons.  I kept thinking to myself, “I worked so hard to feel like this?”  But that second day, post marathon, I could walk.  I finally got to take the time to reflect on all that went into becoming a marathoner.

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I realized I had never been happier than I was while training for my first marathon.  I loved having a plan, a schedule, a routine.  I loved knowing when to run, how much effort was to go into a run, and the thrill of finishing a run, bringing me that much closer to the biggest challenge of my life.  I enjoyed running long runs on Sundays, earlier than most people get up, and enjoying brunch as a reward.  I loved running for fun, and letting the run be whatever it was.  I was happy to finally learn how to become mentally strong, so I could ignore those moments that I wanted to give up.  I enjoyed crossing off weekly mileage on the calendar, and watching my monthly totals grow beyond anything I ever imagined being capable of.  I learned to love running on the trail, and being one with nature, sometimes barely missing coyotes and bears as they ran out in front of me.  I learned to love running.  Running became a part of me.  The habit of running turned into a desire to run.  So it was only natural to feel the post marathon blues.

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The first couple of days were manageable, but then I just wanted to run.  I was so excited I was “cleared” to run, per the recovery plan, and laced up my shoes without any hesitation.  But I was quickly overwhelmed with this feeling of nervousness and anxiety.  “What if I can’t run? What if it hurts?  What if I lost my pace?  I don’t want to start over.”  I couldn’t believe I was allowing myself to become so worked up over my first run back.  I was getting angry at myself.  I wanted the excitement back.  So I just ran.  I probably ran way faster than I should have  (7:20 pace), but it felt good.  I was pretty much saying “in your face” to myself the entire time.  Then the second mile came, and I was riding the struggle bus like no one ever has.  I couldn’t breath right, my cadence was a mess, and my mind was getting the best of me.  I finished, and was surprised my pace was pretty darn decent.  I felt “great”, but it was almost like a forced feeling.

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I decided I was going to take the next day to just focus on myself, so I did more yoga than I’d care to admit.  I spent time talking with other runners, and asking them what it was like after they finished their first marathon.  And then I went hiking with my BFF.  It was nice to catch up with her, and get her side of things, post marathon.   When our feelings were pretty spot on, I felt better about things.  It’s okay to feel tired, it’s normal to feel like running is “hard”.  It’s okay to not be at the pace you were before.  Your body was put through the ringer, and giving it adequate time to repair and recover is vital.

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So where am I now?  Well daylight savings hasn’t helped make getting into the swing of things any easier, but I’m following the marathon recovery plan.  Don’t let that kid you though, I still feel lost, and confused.  I still miss the runner’s high I had while training.  But I’m maintaining my fitness, and slowly working my way back to the level I was at pre-marathon.

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The plan is to continue following the recovery running plan for two more weeks, and then focus on strength training, cross-training, flexibility, and speed.  I’ve got big goals for this next year, and I cannot wait to start crossing things off the list.  I am going to be focusing a lot of my energy into my yoga practice, and overall strength in the near future.  I know focusing on those areas will make me a stronger runner.  My husband also got me into cycling during marathon training, but I was not able to really put any bit of effort into it, because I did not want it to interfere with my running schedule.  I really want to dive into that, and see what it does for these running legs. Maybe in the future I’ll even attempt a triathlon.  🙂 goals

My future goals, for this year, may not be bigger or better, or a new distance, but they are goals, and they are important to my running career.  I want get stronger, faster, and focus on improving my half marathon time.  I want my 5k time to become my time for long distances, and for it to feel comfortable.  I want to dive into the sport of running, and find out everything I can about it.  I want to take my love for the sport and share it with the world.  I want to inspire others.  I want to coach people. I want people to see running how I see it.  I will run another marathon, but I will run it better, faster, and more knowledgeable.

Challenge

The key to beating the blues is to get out there.  Keep running.  Keep smiling.  Keep remembering how running makes you feel.  It will get easier.  It will come back.  You’ve done something only 1% of the world has ever done.  That in itself is enough to make anyone motivated.  Make new goals.  Sign up for the “next race”. Find a new challenge.  Broaden your horizons.  Do what makes you happy.  And never forget how crossing the finish line made you feel.

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imagesTanya