Week 28 - 2017 Goals Check in!

Happy Monday!!

The moment you rewrite your schedule, and it all falls apart, is the moment you need to be reminded a plan only fails if you let it.

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I squeezed in runs, at night, instead of taking time in the mornings when the weather is 10+ degrees cooler, because I felt my body needed to sleep-in. 

There is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself (sleeping in, and working out), so stick with it, even if it means missing Wheel of Fortune a few times here and there.  

I've also been reminded this past week that reading a book that feels like a struggle is probably an indicator I need to find a different book to read, right now. Putting a partially read book back on the shelf is not defeat/quitting, knowing there will be a better time for me when that book will be more effective.  

I made it to the beach last week! Such a great day for it, and we found an epic spot to enjoy the view! 

Beach, palm tree, ocean. ❣️ 

Beach, palm tree, ocean. ❣️ 

What's your favorite book, right now? 

Life Changes

Holy buckets, there is SO much I have not shared with you!!! First, I'm running again!!!! I can successfully, and comfortably, run a full 5k without issue! I only run, currently, once a week but have big sights on getting up to 10 miles in one run by fall!! Crazy how I ran a marathon last year and now I'm excited about completing 3.11 miles!

Second, we're planning a HUGE move! I will share more on this as things get closer to getting the keys to the new home!

Third, I'm creating a subscription based recipes section after a lot of people have requested me to write a book and share more of my creations. If you want more info, please go HERE.

Talk to you sooner than later, this time!

6 weeks until Marathon Day, I've hit a road block

Happy Monday!!! It's been a month since I've posted, and the reason is because I hit a road block mentally in my training.

Have you ever noticed when one thing in life is lacking, other areas of your life also feel as if they fade off a bit? That's how the past month or so has been for me.

Monday's are great days to hit the reset button: new week, better mindset, same goals. So, here we are!

Yesterday, I started 2 personal development programs which lead me through prompts to reaffirm myself and break negative thinking habits. One is 7-minutes twice a day (petakelly.com), the other is 30 minutes once a day (healthymindandbody.com; this is for members only, I am able to help you setup your membership account). Making time for these is important to make sure I finish the marathon, and everything else in my life stays the course and propels me to amazing things.

Of all the advice that I've heard through this marathon training, the most spoken was "It's mostly mental" so while I was warned about it, I really didn't think the mental part would happen in my training. I know it's going to be a mental struggle on race day, but I am sure it won't be as much of a struggle as training is going mentally.

Mental road block running? Yep. I know. Running is usually as simple as lacing up shoes, grabbing a water bottle, and heading out for an hour or three. But since this is my first marathon, and the half-marathons I've trained for had shorter training schedules and mileage, it becomes a battle for me. Here's a few things that run through my head when I check my training schedule for the day: -Have I fueled properly -Am I hydrated properly -What's the weather like -I haven't slept decently -I'll do it later today -I'll get to it tomorrow -I've walked that many miles today And so on.

I really don't want to get hurt, I want to be able to finish the marathon on my own accord, but the daunting 26.2 miles really freaks me out that I'll be out there for over 4 hours.

I've decided this will be my only marathon, and I'm relieved knowing that once I cross the finish line I will only run a few times a month if I'm craving it. I've decided I'm taking next year off, I might run a fun 5k here and there, but nothing longer.

I always wanted to run this marathon, and I honestly was planning on doing it next year. Now that it's 6 weeks away, I really just want to get this over with. I made the commitment, and my fundraiser is $25 away from my goal, so I will finish this thing and make sure there's a buffet of all my favorite foods at home afterwards.

Sometimes, taking a step back at what you're doing is really needed to make sure you're going down a path you want. Sticking to commitments is important, if you don't follow through then you'll be in the habit of quitting and never really knowing what life would be like had you finished.

I want an elevator in my house

HAPPY SUMMER!!! Yesterday was my longest long run EVER: 16 miles. My thighs would really like an elevator, or they're threatening to make me sleep on the couch instead of climbing up the stairs to bed. I didn't plan the day enough, but it seemed to work out in the end.

The day 6:00am alarm: overnight peanut butter oats, get dressed, put in contacts, put water bottles into Fuel Belt, grab bag full of dry clothes, flip flops, wallet, post-run protein recovery, and face wipes.

7:30am: get in car and drive to group run. Error #1: I left 10 minutes late, and stopped at the post office not along the way to make sure I dropped off a package, and realized I forgot a water for the drive. I toughed it out, drove amazing, and arrived 2 minutes before scheduled beginning time.

8:13am: About of us 5 out of the 13 that showed up headed out from the store on our planned route. We started at Mill City Running, you need to go here if you're in MN and have never been, it's an amazing local couple that run this cute store. This store offers supported long runs once a month, they open their doors early only for the group, have aid stations along the route, and allow you to hang out inside smelling funky until you cool off. It's great. For this privately planned shorter long run, they offered only one aid station at mile 3.5.

Since I was the ONLY person out of everyone who needed to run over 10 miles, I knew I would be running alone for most of the time, and felt great about it. Error #2: not paying attention to the route I would be running alone to find water and bathroom accommodations. I remembered what I was told should be my route, but I didn't pay attention to signage while I was running. I knew the path I was running would go on for a very long time so I just stuck with it, even though the breeze and shade were lacking. Sixteen miles, which means I was looking forward to mile eight because it was my HALF WAY POINT.

Error #3: Not knowing where to refill my water in case I needed more water than I carried. I carried 40 ounces, 8 ounces in each 5 bottles, and I was planning on using one bottle for every 3 miles. And then the humidity set in, by mile 6 I knew I was going to need ration. I was running along a bike path, equipped with tire pump stations but zero water fountains, so I started backtracking my route in my head to see where I would be able to fill up. I knew at mile 14 there would be water fountains, and MAN was that a long way to go but I figured it out and stuck to the new plan.

At mile 10 I passed by this cute park I remembered seeing a bathroom sign at when it was mile 6, and there were these neighborhood ladies taking care of the Primp Your Park flowers. They pointed me in the direction of the water fountain, and I refilled 4 out of the 5 bottles I was carrying. I'm still not sure why I didn't fill that last bottle. I drank two mouthfuls of water while I was there, too. Clearly that should've been a clue to refill that last bottle.

The shade of miles 10 through 12 were great, trees galore and even a little wind! The view was amazing, you had no idea what type of neighborhood you were running through but it felt like it should be upscale. At mile 12.5 I saw it, the aid station Mill City Running left! Oh, all I could do was hope there was still water in that giant jug and hopefully some Nuun left in the gallon bottle! And when I arrived, THERE WAS!!! The water in the jug was still cool, and the Nuun was still lemon-lime tasty! GLORIOUS!!!! I drank a cup of Nuun, filled up all of the bottles, drank a cup of water, and headed to finish this thing.

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I felt so strong now that I had enough hydration to finish the day, a lesson in marathon training I never want to go through again.

When a runner goes camping

A little over a week ago my dad asked if I wanted to go camping (in a big camper) Father's Day weekend. I immediately said yes!! Parameters: leave around noon Friday, pack light, and campfires. Planning ahead isn't necessary for a weekend getaway for me and I'm so thankful for that. I've missed out on a lot of camping trips (back when they did sleep in a tent) because of having work obligations. First, we had to find a camp site long enough for the equipment as we needed a 53' gravel pad to park on. It took a bit of learning how the reservation website worked, and there were only 2 spots available. Neither had electric hookups but since the camper had batteries we could bring the generator and recharge for an hour each day and be set. SCORE!

Second, I had to pack clothes in 4 days. I planned to wear shorts, so I packed sweats, a pair of jeans, a pair of capris, one running outfit, rain boots, and flip flops. I also packed my tiny shower bag which has a travel size 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner, body wash, exfoliating fash wash, and a loofah along with my shower flip flops (they have holes through out the soles for fast draining). I packed a tee and tank for each day, and a spare hoody just in case I spilled or got caught in a down pour. I always bring my own blanket and pillow, and since this was a camping trip my blanket for this trip was wool.

Third, I need to pack my food. I always bring 2 meal shakes per day, my greens, adapotgens, natural sports drink mix, Nuun, Target brand airborne, my Garuka bars, a GoGoSqueez, and homemade trail mix. I also brought some Zico chocolate coconut water, my homemade coffee concentrate, and some cold pasta salad I put together last minute.

Finally, it was time to go!

We made all dinners over the fire. Pro tip: bring a glove for grabbing hot things.

Our spread the first night. Check out the fancy tea cups! They may have contained wine. My dad had the genius idea of using the dry wood planks for serving the burgers, like the fancy restaurants!

 Nature in all its beauty was definitely the reason we  went camping.

    

It's a little snake!

I went for a run Sunday morning. It was a little humid out so I chose to run on the entrance/exit road instead of running through the park on the paved trail to make sure I had a good breeze on me.

  

I used this spickot the entire weekend, nice cold fresh water!

  

I use the Nike+ Running App for tracking, you don't need data enabled for the GPS to live-track your routes!

It was a great trip.

What did you do last weekend? Do you have any plans for a camping trip? What stories can you share about previous camping trips?

Gladsoles Sandals (& Get 15% off!)

It is summer, which means ADVENTURES!! I'm going RV'ing with the family this weekend, and I'm putting together my packing list. Shoes for RV'ing for me include, boots for muddy adventures, running shoes, rain/waterproof boots, and sandals. You know when you're walking in flip flops and walk right out of them, but don't want to deal with uncomfortable flat sandals that have the metal buckle on the back that keeps them on your feet? You know when you're walking on a flat trail, and get a rock or stick stuck in there because it FLIPPED in from the flop?

You need Gladsoles! I had been eyeing them for almost a year, and then finally got them!

The bag is great!

You get to pick the lace color, and the cinch tab color so you have your ideal color scheme!

They are great! You trace your feet when you order them, so they fit your feet perfectly!!!! (There is an instructional on how to trace your feet)

Once you get them tied to your comfort level, you just slip them on, cinch and go! They're great for everything: running, walking, yoga, and hanging out in the yard.

Nutrition, Yoga, and go everywhere sandals!

AND, since they're not clumsy like flips flops, you can wear them on the beach and save your feet from BURNING!!

The sand in Turks & Caicos was at least 120 degrees F, so wearing these was easier than flips and didn't burn my feet!

Truly, amazing!!! I've very excited to have these in my adventure bag.

Check them out, they have 4 different types of soles: Eco - Made from Upcycled Rubber Tires Street - The lightest model Trail - Rugged & Grippy for off the beaten path Hybrid - Combination of Street and Trail, ideal for the first time barefoot sandal wearer.

If you decide to purchase, use EmRunFree (caps not required) at checkout and get 15% off!

Everything ships FAST, via UPS Priority Mail, so you'll have your order typically (from what I have experienced) within 7 days of ordering. If you think about it, since they're handmade, that's crazy fast!!

Happy Adventuring!

I ran a half-marathon. Again.

May 23rd, 2015. Stillwater, Minnesota. I dressed for what I thought the weather would be like. Note the patriotic colors. :)

The forecast was in the 60s and moving into the 80s, chances of spotty rain showers, which means humidity and clouds. It was an 8 am start time, and I had to drive about 40 minutes to my friends house so her mom was able to drop us off at the start. The start line drop off was race-illegal, the start location was not ideal for on-site parking or drop off, but we made it work by walking a block from where we were dropped off. Definitely better than the 10 minute yellow bus ride most other runners had to take. We waited in the port-o-pottie line for about 15 minutes, because there were 8 of them for everyone. Eight. Craziness.

You could get 3 people wide through that, it was a slow start.

The start line was also not close at all to the finish line, which isn't uncommon, but the weird part was that we ran mostly on a bike/paved trail. The cheer zones were when the trail crossed the road, which is also where the fuel/water stops were. It was a bit amusing, I'm assuming, for our cheerleaders finding where they would be able to see us, getting there, avoiding the road closure/traffic stop. But they were at each possible cheer zone, and it was amazing!

The run itself wasn't the greatest, to be honest. I had prepared to the best that I could according to the elevation they had posted on the race website, but they changed the posted course on the website on race week. The original race started in a neighborhood and followed roads the entire way, which is easy to train for if you're able to replicate (or run the actual course). The actual race was on a bike trail, which isn't as easy to replicate DAYS before the race.

A downside to having a tree lined trail, is the lack of a breeze. Since this day was cloudy, it held the humidity in, and the trees kept the breeze from giving us any sort of break. My girlfriend started to overheat pretty quickly, so this was difficulty number 1. At about mile 3 I was at max for the heat so I ditched my shirt, thankfully friend's mom happened to be right there so I handed it off to her. Friend apologized profusely for slowing us down, and told me to keep running, but since I told her we would walk the entire thing if we had to because I didn't sign up to do the race alone and she had zero reason to be alone. It was a run for fun, not for time, and I was going to stick by her side unless she decided to leave the race early. She said she would have felt terribly for a long time if she quit, so we ran/walk for random periods of time when she felt up to it.

This trail is beautiful, well paved, tons of miles to take on, and there is an unpaved portion for horses which makes it even more majestic. The trail is also hilly, and not the every once in a while big hills, it was filled with the small frequent hills. There was a hill at least twice a mile. My girl friend had sciata issues going into the race (she never told me it was for at least a month before hand, probably knowing I would've told her to stop training), and those little hills put her in a lot of pain. I went into the race with tight shins, and those little hills flared my shin splints. Welcome difficulty number 2.

When we started the road portion of the race, there were a few big hills, which are expected in Stillwater (if you know the area, you know they're actually called bluffs), but after the first 8 or so miles having a lot of hills my shins were SHOT. Welcome the stupidity that I tell myself: ignore the pain and push on.

We slowly ran the last mile, most of it was down hill. I kept checking my Nike+ Running app, and told her the time we were coming up on. We finished the race at 3 hours, give or take a few seconds. When I told her at the 13 mile mark that if she walked the last few feet that she would surpass the 3 hour mark, she gave me the look of disgust and pushed through it.

Not the best, nor the worst, finish line photo.

While it wasn't the prettiest of runs, it was a beautiful scenery, and I'm so glad I stuck with my girlfriend to finish the race together, since we started this adventure together. She's taking the rest of the summer off, except a few fun 5ks, while I start marathon training officially on Monday.

The Birdtown 8k - There will be hills

Last year was The Birdtown's inaugural event, I ran the 8k last year and felt it was a good race for the weekend before my half-marathon on 5/23/15. When I registered for this year's: I forgot about the hills. I forgot how too-fast I ran. I remembered feeling good afterwards.

I wasn't mentally prepared for this race, my sleep was lacking because one of our cats decided a lot lately that he wants everyone to walk up at 5am, and since I rarely have a reason to be up that early, I do not go to bed earlier enough to get a lot of sleep. We left about 15 minutes later than I really wanted to, but I was the reason for that because I didn't have my bag packed the night before like I usually do.

I forgot that the main road to get to the parking area would be blocked for the half-marathon and 4k that started before the 8k, and that the typical road to take as an alternate was completely shut-down for all of the distances. We had to park 5 blocks further away than I would have liked, so we had to walk that much further to get to the start. We arrived at the start line 1 minute before the gun went off.  One Minute.

The weather was okay, the temperature was in the 60s, there was some wind, but the humidity was higher than it should be in May in Minnesota. I was deciding the final 2 miles if I should run without a shirt, as I usually would run with only a sports bra for a top in that kind of weather, but since that required exertion I decided to just think about it instead of act upon it.

Thankfully, I did run this event last year, so I remembered how many potholes and uneven the pavement would be for a majority of the course. I also remembered how little vehicle traffic there would be so I could run on the road for portions that the sidewalk was not comfortable, and run on the sidewalk when the roads wear really uncomfortable. This was MAJORLY beneficial.

Since we arrived one minute before the gun went off, I didn't get to use the port-o-potty before the race like my body is accustomed to, so I had to pee immediately. I didn't see a single port-o-potty until mile 3, which was mentally tough fighting my bladder on all of the hills before getting to 'go.' But once I was relieved, my mood lightened, until I remembered the final hill.

My chip time was 2 seconds slower than last year, even though I did take walking breaks, I also stopped to use the port-o-potty this year, so I did run it faster. What was I thinking? I probably wasn't, but I still felt good mentally. Until 4 hours later when I sat through my brother's college commencement for 2.5 straight hours, my shins started feeling very tight.

Birdtown Results

My shins hurt a lot last night when I finally returned home, and was getting more difficult to walk up the stairs. I slept with my Zensah Calf-Sleeves on for compression, and turned on heated mattress cover to keep the muscles warm. I woke up and they felt healed! I spent an hour in heated yoga this morning, and my brain and body are all sorts of happy now!

Side note: I realized I ran 85.5 miles in April, my highest mileage month to date. WOO HOO!

Next week is the half-marathon, I'm hoping to keep this peacefulness my brain is currently in through the next 7 days. :)

Happy Sunday!

Stirrup pants are back in my wardrobe!

When I was little, I LIVED in stirrup pants. I cried when I wasn't allowed to wear them any more (out grew them, and they stopped making them)!! I remember how warm they kept my ankles, such an important detail about pants. Warm Ankles! Well, I've brought them back into my life! While they're not exactly back in fashion, I'm going to ROCK them!

Here they are, my beautiful stirrup pants!!

"Emily, why would you buy SEE THROUGH stirrup pants?"

Well, because these aren't just ANY stirrup pants. They're compression tights!! They're the Nike Recovery Tight, to be exact. A few weeks ago I started to seriously research recovery pants/tights for marathon training, and wanted to get them in time to really test them out to see if they would incorporate into my training. I had a few brands and styles in mind, but hand to get my hands on them, and my legs in them, before really deciding.

I had some time to kill before picking up boyfriend from the airport, and decided to pop into the Nike Store at the near by mall. I had actually never heard of these, but saw them on a mannequin and thought they were for yoga. I thought they would be phenomenal for yoga by how they looked, and asked an associate where they were in the store to buy. He informed me they were definitely not for yoga, but were practically medical grade compression tights. MY WHOLE BODY WAS ECSTATIC!!! He showed me where they were, and told me a bit about them.

They come in this case:

It's a hard case! Would be great for iPad or Kindle safe keeping.

I took them out of the case, looked at them for a few minutes, saw the price tag ($140!), and told him I'd need to think about it due to the price. I did some further research online about compression tight pricing, and happened to go across the Nike.com page showing these tights happened to be on sale (at the time of this writing, they're no longer on sale)! I went to an outlet store to see if they happened to be selling them, they weren't but I was informed Nike purchases online or in-store have a 30-day return policy so if you try it out and it doesn't work (and you don't trash the product) you can return it!

I jumped onto the website, and hit purchase! The first day I tested them out, I wore them under sweat pants. Since they're dry fit, they didn't add much warmth at all and did wick sweat.

The second day I wore them out of the house it was a bit warmer out and I was going to a Fun event, so I wore this:

Dress! Cover-Shawl/Sweater

I had on a pair of low socks to be comfortable in the boots, and I was SET! It was fun, and they worked great! These will also be fantastic for long travel days, we're going on a road trip (14+hours) as well as a few LONG flights (10+ hours) and I'm excited these will be helping me out!

I highly recommend doing your research into big purchases, even if your definition of BIG is more than mine ($50). You never know what kind of deals you'll get on something you already want!

Do you have compression pants/tights? What fun ways do you dress with them?

March Assisted Long Run (ASL)

I participated in my first group assisted long run last Saturday morning, March 14.  It was a cooler March day, which means I had to wear long-sleeves, fleece-lined pants, and an ear band.  I've been running since 2007, and participated in organized races since 2011.  The fact that it's 2015 and I'm just now joining group runs might show you a trend: I incorporate something "new" into my running every 4 years.  This may or may not be as effective as the elected officials' who are in office 4-years or longer. ;-) An assisted long run (ASL) has at least one water stop, and, if you're lucky, fuel.  This particular group I am now part of has both on their ASL's, which are held once a month.  If you're in the Twin Cities area, you may have heard of Mill City Running.  This is an amazing place for all things running, and they have weekly runs, various in type and distance.  I love going in there just to window shop, and now that I'm running with them it gives me even more opportunities to browse the beautiful selection of gear.

Back to this ASL: since this was my first group run, I was not familiar with their route.  They did a route preview in-store just before heading out, and there were many people that were 'elected' as pacers.  It was a large turn-out, too.

For my training, I only needed to run 6 miles, but they had a 22 miler laid out if someone wanted/needed to go that distance.  It was a lollipop route, which means it looks like a lollipop!

Here are some of the photos I took along the way, since this was a new route for me, and I adore it!  I plan on running along here many days to come, with or without the running group!

Do/have you run with a group?

How to Not Overeat

Happy International Be Happy Day!  In doing preparations for my first half-marathon, I read the book Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance, by Matt Fitzgerald.  Since I'm training for my second half-marathon in preparation for my first full, I decided to read the book again.

I've found a lot of the information beneficial to everyone, not just endurance athletes, which the book is geared toward.  For example, there's a section of managing your appetite and "How to Not Overeat:" 1. Learn the difference between belly hunger and head hunger 2. Clean out your kitchen of the low-quality temptations 3. Use smaller dishes 4. Spoil your appetite 5. Keep healthy foods handy 6. Plan for temptation 7. Avoid distracted eating 8. Limit Variety

Under each are tips and ideas of how to manage your appetite better.  There are three more books in my Kindle Library I 'must' read, so I better finish this book!

Since I love food, and can do a great job eating what's in front of me, there are times I eat faster than I should and regret it later when my belly is swollen, and I move slowly.  I'll keep my self in-check and hopefully not look like this:

What are your go-to books?  Have you read a Matt Fitzgerald piece?  What do you like to eat a LOT of?

Week 2 training accomplished, & today I finished a tough run

March 1st was the first day of training for the Stillwater Half Marathon, which will be a little hilly course.  Day 1 of each week is "strength and stretch," as I'm following the Hal Higdon Intermediate Half-Marathon training plan.  Since the race is on a Saturday (woohoo!), Day 1 of each week is a Sunday!  Yoga is my stretch and strength regimen, I attend a class each Sunday morning.  This ensures I won't be doing the same moves each week, and it gets me out of the house doing something my mind and body need. I've followed the training plan really well, so far.  I have even managed to add in some strength training to more than just the days it suggests.  I want to be overall strong, not just for running.  I only do 20 minutes of full-body strength 3 days each week, max, in addition to my yoga practice.  Typically I'll do strength M-W, as the rest days are falling on Thurdsay and/or Friday each week.  I leave Saturdays for long runs, only, as well as only do Yoga on Sundays.  It has worked out well for me, so far.

Today was my first TOUGH run.  I know it's going to happen more than once during training, but I really needed to talk myself through it.  First my shin was acting up, so I stopped and readjusted my shoes.  That fixed it.  Next, my music sucked; it's the same music from 1.5 years ago when I ran my first half, so it's just old to me at this point.  So, I flipped on iTunes Radio and picked the first one.  That worked for 1.5 miles, then I just ran "silent."  I also had issues with my route, I ended up just taking corners randomly, crossing my fingers the sporadic new route would be long enough to get my 3.5 miles in that were scheduled.  That really did end up being the best medicine, and I will need to remember to just run in silence on my next tough run.  My route did end 3.5 miles, exactly, too.

It truly is a head game.

What have you done to get through a tough run?

56 Hour #Fast - WHY?

Monday morning I decided I needed to Fast, and I decided on a 56 hour Fast.  For me, that means not consuming a meal until Wednesday (today).  Purposefully not having a meal for an entire 56 hours, but if you really think about it I fasted for 64 hours because I slept 8 hours before waking up on Monday.  So I will now call it a 64 hour fast, but not retitle the blog post. :) The reason I chose to Fast is because I am getting ready to do some MAJOR training, I have thrown my name into the lottery for the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon which is June 20th.  I have also registered for the Medtronic Marathon (here and here).  Going through a Fast gets my head into the game, makes me really plan what I need to achieve nutritionally, and to clean my body and mind of any nasty cravings.  I'll be doing a 64 hour Fast once, every other week.  The amount of inflammation alone that is removed through urination is AWESOME!  Professional athletes complete a 24 hour Fast on their "rest" days, so I may switch to those once my actual 12 week training program begins.

I successfully completed my 64 hour fast when I woke up this morning, and had an amazing breakfast to replenish the natural nutrients I need.  I had a vegan protein shake, and a Protein Ice Cream Shake.  The Ice Cream shake counts as my snack for the morning, too.  I did a little research into the history of fasts, because some people question why do them, and it's the Christian Faith that really populated my search feed.  I encourage you to do a search of your own, in case you're on the fence.  I don't nutritionally deplete my body, I follow a system that includes herbal remedies (that taste good, to me) infusing the body with healthy nutrients.

During my short research into Fasts, I also found this little picture, and noticed the Fast side is basically how I already function.  I have nutritional meal replacements (~250 calories each) for breakfast and lunch/dinner, have a few small snacks in between, and then a sit down lunch/dinner (~400-600 calories).  I'll need to be conscience about the meat, but I believe I can handle it.  Now I consider what to 'give up' for Lent.

This is already how I eat, except the meat part.

Are you able to follow this type of Fast pictured? Would you follow the fast I just completed? Are you abstaining from anything for Lent?

I'm running a Marathon - WHOA

On February 5, 2015, I made a life-changing decision.  It effects more than just my life, which makes it slightly more exciting/anxious.  I decided, and registered, to run my first marathon.  Twenty-two point six miles.  Consecutively.  In one morning. I made the decision at a Charity information session, this will be the first year Childrensmn.org will have a fundraising running team, and I am very excited to be one of their Superstars. "About Children's Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is one of the largest pediatric health systems in the United States and the only health system in Minnesota to provide care exclusively to children, from before birth through young adulthood. An independent and not-for-profit system since 1924, Children's serves kids throughout the Upper Midwest at two free-standing hospitals, 12 primary and specialty-care clinics and six rehabilitation sites. Children's maintains its longstanding commitment to the community to improve children's health by providing high-quality, family-centered pediatric services and advancing those efforts through research and education. An award-winning health system, Children's is regularly ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top children's hospital and by The Leapfrog Group for quality and efficiency."

What a fantastic organization to partner up with on this LIFE CHANGING journey!!  My fundraising page: https://secure.qgiv.com/event/account/72706/.

October 4, 2015 is the day!!  The Twin Cities Medtronic Marathon is the event.  It has been rated in the Top 10 popular races for multiple years, and there are many reasons why.  I ran the 10 mile event last year, it shares part of the marathon course, and it has an amazing volunteer support team, extensive crowd support along the majority of the course, and the scenery along the route is spectacular!!  The fall leaves, the fall air, the river, the old brick homes, and the rolling bluffs (read: this is NOT a FLAT course) are beautiful!!!

Please, share your tips, stories of first races, and if you've ran, or will be running, this event!!!

2015 Race - Finally registered for one!!

Happy Tuesday!!! I usually have 5 races I've registered for by this time of year, but considering how drastically my life has changed in the last year, race registration is going to be a LOT different.

So what did I choose for my first race of 2015???

The Hot Chocolate 15K!! (http://www.hotchocolate15k.com)  This will be my first Hot Chocolate Race, and I'm excited!!!

I'll be running in Minneapolis, but they have 14 other cities you can run in!

Next week is the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon lottery entry, and I'll be throwing my hat in that ring.  It would be a phenomenal deal if I was able to run that, and then I'm also considering running the Medtronic Marathon in October.  Those are my only plans so far this year, a lot different than the past two years.  I have my reasons for not running several races that I have in the past, but a lot of it has to do with now owning my own business.

Have you ever ran a CHOCOLATE race before??

Sick Day turns into Zombie Week

Hey!  What day is it?!  If it weren't for my phone, I honestly would have no idea until I turned the TV on and checked the channel guide.  I'm hoping this post doesn't confuse you, too much. I flew home from California the 20th, and on the 22nd I had this horrible congestion in my lungs.  I did the usual: pop zinc, drink tea, drink warm water, take it easy, nap, get fresh air in small amounts, and lay in bed with the heating pad on.

Yesterday, I tried Mucinex D.  BAD IDEA!!!  1. It has pseudoephedrine (Sedafed) in it, which DRIES you up at the same time as making your sinuses DRAIN.  I went through 3 boxes of kleenex!!!  And my chest did not break anything loose, the entire day.  Since it's a 12-hour regimen, I thought perhaps the first tablet was the starter and it would maybe increase the medicinal attributes, so I took a second one at the time it was supposed to be taken.  BAD IDEA!!  I was up almost the ENTIRE night, nothing came out of my chest, and by this time my nose was RAW from blowing it so much.

I even carry a full kleenex box in my purse, because those tiny little ones wouldn't keep up.

Maybe that's why I am having trouble thinking today, I literally blew all my brains out. :')

Needless to say, when I woke up this morning (after sleeping 4 hours, thanks to doing a toxin cleanse at 2am when I determined the Mucinex needed to be flushed) I immediately called my clinic to be seen as soon as possible.  Thankfully, the 'float physician' was available right away.  He did his questions, and simple tests, and told me I have what is very COMMON right now, and I'm probably only stuck with it for a few more days.  It's a virus.

There wasn't anything he could give me to make it go away, as it is with viruses, but he did give me somethings to make my life easier until the crud gets expelled from my lungs (which could take a few weeks).

1. He tells me that coffee will soothe my throat.  SWEET!  He says honey in coffee is sometimes better than cough syrup itself, as far as making the throat feel better.  NICE!

2. He prescribes me cough syrup with Codeine which will mean I can sleep at night (finally!).

3. He prescribes me these little throat suppressant pills that will calm my throat when the cough syrup isn't needed anymore.

4. He prescribes me an inhaler, since I do have asthma and do not have an inhaler anymore.

The appointment took less than 20 minutes, I was even at the Pharmacy before they opened waiting for my meds to get bagged up!  What makes this whole illness even harder, it's been in the 40's this whole time and I can't go run in it. :'(

Hope your day is going better!

I stopped Running: WHOA

Happy Monday!!I stopped running almost 2 months ago. WHY??? I injured myself in my last race, and I know time will heal, in addition to strengthening the weak muscles.

SO what have I been doing in the meantime? I have been weight training. Sometimes I use actual weights, sometimes I just use my body weight. I mix up the routine, but working out 20 minutes a day 6 days a week seems to be working for me.

What was injured: My right hip joint, and my left knee. It was pretty difficult to walk while I healed at least one of them. It would have been easier if they were both on one side of my body. A very important lesson has been learned. How did I injure them: Not strengthen the muscles with weight training.

Seriously. Something so simple made me string up the running shoes for almost TWO MONTHS!!

I'm feeling stronger, now, but I'm going to ease back into running to nurture, and not destroy, my progress.

The agony of not running. InjuredRunner (Image source: http://emilymahr.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/4b838-cryingnorunning.jpeg) #thestruggleisreal

There are MANY body weight training routines, start here for a list of resources: Pop Sugar

Has derailed running happened to you? How did you handle it?

Armpocket + iPhone 6 Plus = #awesome

Oh man, oh man! It's been a great month, so far!First we will talk about: I was fortunate enough to get a product sample to give feedback of the newest Armpocket, the one that will fit the iPhone 6 Plus. I had it in time for the Medtronic Marathon Weekend (race recap still in the works), and am EXCITED with what they did! 1. They kept the awesome bamboo fabric that wicks sweat and is soft on the skin = COMFORT WINS 2. They gave the phone enough room to fit WITH a slim case (like the leather one from Apple that I have) on the phone = SIZE WINS 3. The case is STILL water proof, in all the awesomeness. Puddles be warned! WIN! 4. For the size of the phone, the arm band didn't move. It still has the amazing material with velcro keeping it from slipping, but having flexibility to not strangle your arm. COMFORT WINS 5. The touchscreen capabilities are the same = awesome. I can stop/start my apps just like that! WIN! 6. All of the interior compartments are still roomy enough for a key, ID, a hotel key, and some cash. If you have a slim chapstick, I'm sure that wouldn't be uncomfortable to run with for short distances. WIN! All-in-all = Winning!

I've seriously considered using it for shopping, since it holds the necessities (key, card, cash, chapstick) and it can't get left on a store shelf or in the shopping cart.

This armband is called the Armpocket Mega i-40 and is now available for sale. You can find it here!

Take a look at what they've done for other phones, they do have the armband for the iPhone 6, too: Armpocket.com. It's a MUST HAVE for runners! I have the i30 for the iPhone 5, and was not paid for this review. Everything is my honest opinion, and I was simply given an armband to review so they could perfect the final product. All negative feedback was given to the company and they fixed the problems in the final product. After I received, the test product I was notified I would receive a free final product.

#runthisyear half way point

I joined the #runthisyear 2014 challenge and I have a goal of running over 300 miles this year. As of this moment, I'm just over 160 miles. Yay!!!I would like to thank my new protein powder for making me a faster runner, helping me recovering faster, and for pure bliss post run. I've recently had to go up in sports bra size to accommodate my larger obliques so I can breathe and function better in the rib cage area. :/ Not sure how I feel about that.

Where are you on your 2014 goals? What is new in your world that has helped your end game?