Sunday, April 20, 2014

Running On Empty

It's no secret that today is the holiday Easter. I'm sure we will all hear about egg hunts, the 'Easter bunny', and so on and so on ( anyone else find it strange that a bunny hides chicken eggs?!). Some celebrate with chocolate bunnies and eggs, still others church dresses and bow ties, and then there's those who just don't even think anything of it.  I think on Easter daily; so to speak. 

 
There are many days I feel like I'm running on empty. Nothing left to give in the tank. Be it in mothering, working, running, or studying. But because of Jesus' empty tomb, God's sacrifice, I can boldly carry on in life. And when I feel as though I can't, He is there to carry me on. In the good and bad, the worn and weary times, and throughout the happy and blessed times.  

This verse reminds me that during their deepest and darkest times these people found a hope to run towards. It's as though they were racing to see the empty tomb. They were panicked at first, but at the end of the day they knew their Jesus was very much alive. And my God gave each of us that gift, if you'd receive it. The gift of hope, Grace, Peace (John 20:21), and of Salvation. 


So when you're running on empty, can't see the light of day, and feeling as though the world has betrayed you, rest assured there is a living hope. Run towards the One who can save the soul. Choose this day to live an abundant life, filled with faith, hope, joy, and love. 
Run the race set before you...and when you find yourself on E, you know where to fill up ...on the Holy Spirit. Better than any GU or sports drink! 

***Happy (& Blessed) Easter (& Running)!!***

Saturday, April 19, 2014

REST


Rest, we all need it yet many of us tend to deny ourselves this true necessity for our bodies, minds, and spirits. 
Last week I worked seven consecutive days Monday thru Sunday (I mean even God rested on His seventh day!) the next day we drove 8.5 hours down to Florida for a funereal, stayed two nights, woke up, and drove straight back. We managed to get a run in while down there which was super cool, but on returning instead of taking the morning off before heading to work I went to the gym. Dumb. And I went exhausted but I was determined to get my workout in. Two lousy miles and a few dumbbell reps later I went home feeling worn. As I type this out to you today, I am worn. My head is pounding and I am every but of sexy and snotalicious. Oh, that's totally a word. 
My point here is, we reach a point where we have to tell ourselves to chill out. It can be so hard when we play the comparison game: 'Well miss thing went and ran a marathon, worked 10 days straight, and has 5 kids she home schools, and completed a mission on Mars, and grows her own garden, and she can even scrapbook!!' 
Ok. So that story was completely fictitious and way out there, but you catch my drift here. We tend to look at all the awesome and awe inspiring  things (things being a key word, meditate on that for a while.) they do and feel as though we don't measure up. I'm going to say this loud and clear because I need you (myself included...) to hear it:

Put down the measuring stick!

Because more than likely it is flawed and a bit too long. However, measuring progress is a good practice and an excellent way to stay motivated, if done properly. Measure yourself against your own self, own personal goals, and dreams. 

Some key ingredients for REST success:

• Know your body inside and out 
• Learn to listen to your body when it sends you worn out signals 
• Toss guilt in the garbage when you do rest 
• Enjoy rest!
• Make it 'active' or 'productive' by reading books on running (or whatever hobby/sport of your choice) and devoting       that time to learn something new. (You don't have to sit around and twiddle your thumbs. Unless that's what you just want to do.)
• Try something new like Yoga or gardening. Just be sure take on an activity that is light and relaxing.
• Stretch, foam roll, and TLC that body for 'active' recovery if needed.
• If you must miss a workout or run because your body is feeling worn, it is okay. Your body will not suddenly lose all fitness. I believe it's about two weeks worth of zero activity when your body begins to lose a substantial amount. 
⬇️ see below. 

Check out this well researched article on losing fitness:

http://runnersconnect.net/running-injury-prevention/losing-running-fitness/

For all practical reasons it is extremely important for the avid runner and competitor to know their body and let it rest when it needs it. Particularly the marathoner. 

Check out 10 body indicators that it's time to rest for runners:

http://runnersworld.com/running-tips/time-rest

We can't very well run the race set before us ill prepared and overtrained. Rest is vital. 

***Is it difficult for you to rest? How do you spend your resting period?*** 

***Happy (& Blessed) Running (& Resting).***


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Running Is Hope

Running brings hope. Each run you step out in faith that your body will not fail you. That your legs will carry you on. 
When someone crosses a finish line a new hope is born; an 'I can do this is' is lit up inside them that translates into their everyday life. 
When someone survives their first marathon the reminder that they can do anything is reiterated. I'm personally reminded that my God is with me. 
This verse found in Isaiah is a little gem that rings so true for the marathon race and the marathon of life. There will be times you feel completely, utterly, and wickedly spent. But the good Lord holds you. And when the time is right he will lift you up. 

"The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." 
(Isaiah 58:11 NIV)

Then there's running that brings hope across the world for others. There are those who can not and wished they could. So we encourage and run for them. Running can bring hope to people who fight for their dreams and fight for others dreams, wellness, cures, and support fundraisers. 


A noteworthy organization I came across, I Run 4 (Run For Michael), the idea is you email and get matched up with a person who cannot run due to a disability and you post, message and stay connected through a Facebook group and log your runs for them. 

"The mental and emotional encouragement for both runner and honorary runner is proving to be a whole new level of motivation and awareness.  Runners are able to find a whole new sense of purpose in their running while sharing who they are running for and bringing awareness to diseases and disabilities of all types."

Find the group here:
http://www.whoirun4.com

I love the running community. I've rarely come across a rude runner. Most have huge hearts, ready and willing to 'go the distance' in any circumstance for anyone. 

Happy Sunday. 

:-)

***Happy (& Blessed) Running!!!***

Friday, April 11, 2014

And The Winner Is... Plus, #FFAprilAbs Challenge

Congrats to Chris! I have sent you an email with details! Woot! Thank you to everyone who participated. If you didn't win or missed out on participating do not fear, I have even more super-cool, awesome giveaways planned.
Until next time, I'd like to leave you with a thought on running mixed with other forms of exercise {{GASP! The nerve of some so called runner to even mention it!}} and wondered about your thoughts:

In the past I have dabbled in some yoga and other forms of "cross-training", but I always thought if I wanted to be a real runner I would just run. All. The. Time.  Recently I've been devout in yoga once a week every Wednesday, weights (strength training) once or twice a week ((depending on my work schedule...thank you crazy pharmacy career...PS- that's one reason I haven't posted too much lately due to working seven hundred million days in a row)), dancing with my honey every Monday (again, until work interferes..*sigh*), and every now and then we go walking or hiking (although hiking with little D seems to always be so dramatic, anyone have hiking tips with kids?! He's 9 years old so old enough to be hiking a good bit.). And I must say, I truly believe it is making me a stronger runner overall. If it weren't for my sweet fiancĂ© I would have never ever even considered stepping into the weight room at the gym. I am grateful he turned me on to lifting weights. ;-)
I find it makes me a more balanced person overall as well as a stronger and more balanced runner. 

In other fitness news, FitFluential is hosting a plank challenge on Twitter and Instagram during the month of April. It's not too late to enter!! Use hashtag #FFAprilAbs and plank it out for the prescribed time each day. You can plank however and wherever! 
You can find more info here:



http://fitfluential.com/2014/04/ffaprilabs-plank-a-day-in-april/

And you can find the calendar here: 


I find that when I'm faced with a certain challenge or goal I'm more apt to get on the ball. I love challenges from other bloggers and Fit Fluential! ((I think hosting a challenge will be in this blogger's future.. Hang tight!)) I've always been a believer in that a strong core= a strong runner. Really, having a strong core will make you stronger in all you do. Your core is your powerhouse and can also be the most challenging part to tone up! Planking is one of the simplist ways to help you strengthen your center.   

**My question to you, do you cross-train, weight lift, or practice yoga at all and if so what activities do you do? Do you find it to make you a stronger runner?**

**Also, what kind of challenge would ups like to see here?**

***Happy (& Blessed) Running (& Planking)!!***

Monday, April 7, 2014

Feeling FREE Friday except it's really Monday Edition 3 + Emergen-CGIVEAWAY!

I meant to get this post out this past Friday but last week and this weekend was a bit busy with the kid having a birthday! And we had a great weekend. So my sincere apologies for the delay.
So with this feeling free edition, I'm going to give something away for free!

What?! What?!

So Yeah. FREE. The freebie I'd like to send to one awesome blog reader is a variety pack of Emergen-C. I had read somewhere that drinking a packet before/after a run helps keep your electrolytes stocked up and of course pack your system full of vitamins and minerals. So I put the claims to the test and found it to be true and very helpful to myself.
I'd like to give someone else the awesome experience to fuel your runs/workouts like I've had with them! 

Source
You can follow them on Twitter here: @emergenc and Facebook
So I have given y'all several options to enter for a chance to win a cool goody bag, a variety pack of Emergen-C just for you to try. You can "like" me (which shouldn't be too hard, haha) follow me, tweet about it, but you must comment below about how you fuel your runs and work outs. Entering is super easy, just click on an option below on Rafglecopter and get to it! Happy entering!! \

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here's a little Monday Motivation for y'all. I know. I needed it today. It is a rainy, dreary kinda day here in western NC and I contemplated not running or working out today. {{gasp!}} 


I know right?! What was I thinking. Well the story is, I did get my workout in and feel so much better now that I did get my run in. I feel like I can actually conquer my laundry now. Funny how that works isn't it? Working hard helps get you more motivated to keep working hard.
The most challenging step is the first step. 

***How do you get motivated to get out when you really don't feel like it?***

***HAPPY & BLESSED RUNNING!!***

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Thursday Thought: Perseverance

I signed up for "Daily Kick In the Butt" emails from Runner's World some time back and every once in a while they send me a meme that really resonates within. 

{{Photo by RW Photo Director Michele Ervin. You can follow her on Instagram Here:  http://instagram.com/mervling}}

When I come across a quote that inspires me I like to research who said it and why. I like to know who I'm quoting. I used to just fling quotes around like you would burgers but I find it to be so important to understand them. Maybe it's because I'm a total nerd and a glutton for knowledge. Who knows. But try it sometime before you pass on a quote via social media. You might find the person you agree with to really be worthy of repeating or not. At the very least I find it interesting. Knowledge is power. I'm not saying that passing along a quote without knowledge of the said quoter is a horrible thing to do, I'm just suggesting that really knowing why it was said could deepen your understanding of the words said and potentially translate into your everyday life instead of saying to yourself, 'oh that's a nice thought. Maybe I should think more like that.'
Then again maybe I'm reading too much into it. 

And how did I know this one was from a marathon runner?? Marathoners tend to bond and agree with those who seek to get the best out of themselves and push their limits. This also translates beyond running and into everyday life. Marathon spirit is a lifestyle, not just a race. We must be patient in life when we can not see the "finish" line ahead. 

For more info on the guy:

http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_de_Castella


***Happy & Blessed Running!!***
 
 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Does a Healthy Diet Really Cost More? Answer Inside.

***Disclosure: I am NOT a nutritionist, medical doctor, or certified in any way to advise you on your personal nutrition. This post is merely to enlighten you on the costs of healthy foods vs. unhealthy foods. Please see your primary doctor or nutritionist for further advice on creating a healthy meal plan for you.***

Discuss #healthyeating with me on Twitter

"But eating healthy just costs too much!"
If I had a dime for every time I heard this phrase I'd be a millionaire by now.
At any rate, I've always begged to differ and found that excuse to be a lackadaisical way out of trying to be successful in finding fresh eats for themselves and their families.
 
So you want a snack? Bag of chips (often times filled with GMOs, bad carbs, saturated fats, and high calorie count. However, there are brands of chips without all that garbage like, Kettle Chips) vs one banana. 
Chips: about $0.99 for a "snack" size at your local grocery store or gas station.
Source: 18 Healthy Things a Banana Can Do For You
 
Banana: about $.54/lb on average usually equally about $0.34 per nanner. 
If you can do basic math that comes to about $0.65 savings. 
But I don't want a banana. Well then, that's on you.

HOWEVER, with this being said, I did come across an article in my Pharmacy Times magazine (I'm a CPhT so I'm nerdy or rather super, awesomely intelligent like that and actually like to do my research.) that says, according to a recent study in BMJ Open it amounts to about $1.48/more per day or $1.56 more per 2000 calories than unhealthy diets, with organic GMO free meats being the biggest expensive culprit. Good news for you vegans! The difference between unhealthy snacks and healthy snacks, such as soda pop, candies, fruits, vegetables and juices isn't as big of a difference.
Even a USDA study agrees, a healthy diet costs more. For an in-depth look at the study find it HERE.
And you'll find another article HERE from Live Science.

So all you who have said, healthy eating just costs too much, you would be correct. So how can we make nutrition rich diets more affordable? Well, I told you I had the answer to one but not the other. These studies have proved there is a need to bring down the costs of healthy foods so more Americans can enjoy a healthy diet. But in the mean time, we can all make small, smart choices starting by choosing a banana over a bag of chips.
Live Science also provides 12 Tips HERE for Eating Healthy On a Budget.

On a positive note, choosing to eat healthy has tremendous health benefits that could potentially offset the costs of medical care. For example, a vial of insulin for diabetes per month averages around $25 to over a $100, depending on insulin type. You could buy one banana each day for 30 days and only spend around $10.20 based on $0.34/banana. Bananas can raise blood sugar so if you're already diabetic please check with your doctor on that note. Now, I am not ignorant to the fact that choosing a banana a day would rid you of all diseases and unhealthy woes, but I'm just simply suggesting that making a conscious choice to eat well will benefit you in so many ways.
Add, gym memberships, races, workout clothes and you'll never be able to afford to live healthy. NOT true! I'm working on another segment of posts for that stuff...the world is your gym, for example, and I'll show you a few things on that note another week.

This short blog post was only to open your eyes, and even my own, to the high cost of healthy living. My personal blog post is not an in-depth study, but the above links are. I try to keep my posts short, uplifting, and informative when possible. So that's enough research and study for me for a week. Feel free to click on some of the above links and follow up on the research. I found the studies to be interesting and quite insightful. I can no longer say, healthy eating doesn't cost any more. The proof is in the pudding. So to speak. Ha!

***How do you manage the costs of healthy eating? Any Tips? Please share!***
 
***Happy & Blessed Running((&Eating!))***