Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Let's Help Wipe Out Breast Cancer With Valvoline Instant Oil Change.

I partnered with Valvoline Instant Oil Change for this project, however opinions here are my own.

I remember the ring of the phone that evening as I sat in my Mom's kitchen while I was visiting her. I was a year out of college and had just moved into an apartment with a friend, after spending a year back home after graduation. I knew of course that my Mom's younger sister was gravely ill with stage 4 breast cancer, but I never thought it was a possibilty that we would live a life without her. She was so beautiful and full of life - she loved to laugh, play softball with friends and dote on her four young children. The kids were extremely young, the baby maybe still in diapers, but definitely not in school. In many ways, the memories are all such a blur. We felt so isolated living in California while the rest of our family was in Ohio - my Mom was fretful, getting daily updates on her sister's condition. It became so painfully real in those hours that she was not going to live much longer. How does this happen, we asked ourselves? How are we going to lose this beautiful person that we love to such a horrible disease.... how will her family cope without her?

From left to right, my Aunt Elaine, Aunt Irelita (passed away from breast cancer) and my Mom. Photo credit - my Aunt Elaine. xo

The next day, my Mom received the call that she needed to come and quickly. She needed to get on a  plane to help care and be there for her baby sister before it was too late. My head was swimming and I didn't take the trip (until the funeral later), but watched my Mom go and thought I've never seen her so sad in my life. Please God, please don't take my Aunt from us.
Weeks later, she was gone. Heaven was lucky and we all felt like we got a raw deal. It was the first time I closely brushed the arm sleeve of death and I hated it. It was hard to digest the idea of someone truly being gone forever. Never to hear their voice again, never to have another conversation with them. The blessing in all of this, was that all of her hard work paid off and her kids are so incredibly successful. I can't stop the tears running down my face as I write these words. One daugher is a doctor - the first doctor in our immediate family! The other is a nurse and now a hospital executive. The boys have gone off to be successful in their own right. She would be so proud. I vividly remember her hugs - she could hug like no other. Real hugs that lasted for a full minute and made you feel like magic. Our family has been through many tough times with breast cancer. My Mom is the oldest of seven and three of her sisters have battled this horrible disease and another sister later fought ovarian cancer. 
Sometimes life isn't fair, but we're still grateful for every moment and we live the best that we can each day - it's all a big gift, you know?

When Valvoline approached me with this opportunity to celebrate breast cancer month, there was no way I could turn it down.  I sincerely ask that you join me in celebrating this extremely important cause in our world. WE MUST FIND A CURE. Did you know every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer AND 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime? As a Mom to two young daughters, it scares me to think that this could happen to me - or that later in life it could happen to them. That it could happen to you. Or you. Or you. Or my friend with three young children that it DID happen to and she is beating it every.single.day.
Let's help wipe out this disease, shall we?

- Valvoline Instant Oil Change (VIOC) has raised over $86,500 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation since 2012 and that number will continue to grow.

 October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Valvoline Instant Oil Change is partnering with AutoTex PINK to raise funds and increase awareness for National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc®.

- Buy a pair of new windshield wipers (winter is coming and you need a new pair!)
You may choose from full Pink Wipers or Black Wipers with a small pink ribbon and are available at participating VIOC locations found HERE.

- Once you buy the wipers, then enter the Pink My Ride Photo Contest for chance to win up to a year of free oil changes! Go HERE for all the info.

In the meantime, I've got an awesome coupon for you to use for a discounted oil change!

- VIOC is a full service 15-minute drive thru oil change with no appointment needed. Customers stay in their cars during the entire service making necessary car maintenance easy for busy people and moms since the kids don’t have to get out of the car. To learn more about the campaign and find a location selling pink wipers near you, visit their website HERE

The girls and I went for an oil change today after school and it was so great! We never left the car, the customer service was impeccable and it was quick + super easy.

I'll do everything I can to protect them from this awful disease.

- National Mammography Day is October 19th – schedule your mammogram today! I need to schedule my yearly mammogram and this is the perfect incentive to get it done. 

- VIOC is making a double donation on all wipers sold before 10/19 and VIOC is doubling NBCF donations on DD-Day “Double Donation Day” - Saturday, September 29th on all wipers purchased! Get out there this weekend and help make a difference.

We can all work together to make sure another woman is not taken from her family.

Do Awesome Things.


Friday, September 21, 2018

I Lost My Appetite And Now I'm Eating Everything + 11.5 Weeks Till CIM

As I rounded the corner onto my street, I couldn't wait to be home. You know I love running, but after 19 miles, I was ready to be finished. Finally - 19 miles done. My routine after a long run is this:

1. Walk in the door and take off my shoes (we don't wear shoes in our house. Do you guys wear shoes? People used to think we were really weird, but now I think it's pretty normal). Oh wait, right as I walk in I have the calf stretcher at the door and I'll stretch my calves for a couple of minutes and then take off my shoes.

Incredible sunset 

2. Go straight to the kitchen for a big glass of water. Some days I can chug it down, other days I have to sip it. This time, I had to sip it. I also like to drink a glass of some type of electrolyte drink (like Nuun) - it's gives me some energy and it tastes so good.

3. Stretch a little bit.
4. Eat a banana and a teaspoon of almond butter. Sometimes, I don't want to have a heavy meal right away, so a banana and almond butter is perfect! I wish I could drink chocolate milk, but I can't. Milk hates me. HATES ME. I decided to try chocolate milk (again) a couple of months ago and my stomach was swollen so much I swear you would have thought we were having a 4th child (in that case, Jerold I think would have walked out the door and escaped to like... Turkey. He's like - no more babies. :).
Yes, not only was my stomach swollen, but it hurt so badly I could hardly walk and spent the rest of the afternoon in sheer agony on my bed and couldn't move. I'm not joking - I was begging the kids to bring me stuff and it was a total mess. SO, no milk.
5. Take a shower. Even if I take an epsom salt bath, I like to shower first right away and peel off my soaked clothes. It's pretty gross.
6. Eat a meal. Except for Sunday! I sat down to have this delicious meal that I normally would love and it looked awful to me. I was like - I can't eat this. What is this? (pasta and veggies + chicken). I can't eat this. I have to eat it. I can't eat it.
So I nibbled and hoped that the banana and almond butter was enough to refuel for a while. By the way, there's no question - when you are marathon training ALWAYS buy bananas when you go to the store. No matter what, you can never have enough bananas.

Training last week went well. The flank soreness I was having has completely gone away - hooray for that. I never take being healthy/non injured for granted. Injury can happen in a second - it can take your running away with no mercy and so I know each day of running is a gift.

Saturday miles with my #1 running partner

Here's what training looked like last week:

Monday September 10th - 5 miles easy
Tuesday September 11th - 8.6 miles am/3.40 miles pm
Wednesday September 12th - 8 miles
Thursday September 13th - 3.45 warm up, 5 mile tempo (6:41), 2 mile cool down
Friday September 14th - 7.5 miles
Saturday September 15th - 8 miles
Sunday September 16th - 19.1 miles (7:31 pace)

Total miles: 70.05

My appetite is indeed back, so give me food. NOW. :)

What else... on I was on the Rambling Runner this week! We talk about running, the power of positivity, Suite Run and more. I hope you guys check it out! 

Brooks sent shoes to keep me going in my training!

The top pair is my tried and true Ghost 10 and the bottom pair is the Revel 2 which I've never tried before! Don't you love the pink laces? They are a 12 mm heel to toe drop and a pretty light weight shoe at 9oz even, which is light enough for me for an everyday training shoe and yet sturdy enough to keep me going. The Ghost is also a 12mm heel to toe drop. I took the Revel 2 for a spin yesterday and I can already tell I'm going to love them. It will be interesting to see how my body likes it vs. the Ghost.

I gotta go pick up the kids! I hope you have a great start to the weekend friends.

Dream Big.


Thursday, September 13, 2018

12.5 Weeks Till CIM

As my feet reluctantly touched the floor and the chill of the air hit my body, I didn't feel energized like I normally feel. Instead I felt achy, tired and a little worn. Any runner training for a marathon, or any race for that matter, knows this feeling well. You're putting in the work and the body will tell you when it needs a break. Our job is to listen to those clues, to have the ultimate relationship with our bodies... not confusing it with an excuse to get out of a training run, but to take the break when we need it. These were my feelings last Monday morning. I had run 19 miles the day before - a hard effort for sure and for the last couple of weeks every so often I would have an achy feeling in my flank area. I knew on Monday that I needed to hightail to the doctor for a check to make sure nothing was really wrong. Luckily, everything was fine - maybe some strained muscles, but I could still go for a run. Huge sigh of relief... we have to have our running time, am I right?

I moved things around a bit to give myself more rest time - Monday off, Tuesday and Wednesday easy... anyway, here's what the week looked like:

Monday September 3rd - REST

Tuesday September 4th - 8 miles

Wednesday September 5th - 6 miles

Thursday September 6th - 6 miles

Friday September 7th - 6.2 miles AM/ 8.25 miles PM (this was a workout of 12 x 600's with 1:30 jog in between. Warm up and cool down also). One note about this workout: 1. I was so happy to get some fast miles in for the week and 2. 600s are really fun! A little less of a grind than 800s and yet a quality workout.

Saturday September 8th - 12 miles AM/ 6 miles PM

Sunday September 9th - 15 miles (first 4 miles at 8:02 pace, next 7 at 6:57 pace, last 4 miles at 8:45 pace. Easy/hard/easy). Really happy about the quality of those 7 miles! I will work on running these tempos within a long run faster as we go on and I get stronger, but we are on the right track and I hit the paces that coach wanted me to hit. Patience!

Total miles: 67.45

Lots of sleep but I always could use more. Also, there have been a couple of nights this week that were too late. Ugh. Trying to balance real life (and Suite Run!) with marathon training....

One of the keys to staying injury free

The achiness of my flank basically turned out to be achiness in my entire mid section, so I've been in the bath every night - and haven't done any core work this week. I don't think I pulled anything doing core, but you never know. I've also had a slight shoe change (still in the Ghost - but went from Ghost 10 to the 11 and the 11 is a tad heavier) so looking at all factors.
I feel really good this week and have been listening to my body for cues. So far so good!

Switched to the Launch 5 for speedwork this week. I will most likely run the marathon in the Launch. #runhappy

We are getting into a back to school rhythm. The kids are tired every night and I've been really on top of prepping everything before I go to bed to make mornings smoother. Let me just say, this is HARD. I don't feel like prepping anything at night - I just want to go to sleep, but I've been forcing myself to do it anyway, so we can all smile in the morning.

She's got some Jerold in there, but mostly me. When I look at her, it's like looking in the mirror when I was 8 years old. CRAZY.

I woke up this morning so excited about my training and excited for CIM!! I love taking the time out every day to train and work toward my goals. Some days it's a grind, but I do love it.

Do what you love and joy will follow my friends. Have a wonderful Thursday!

Be awesome.


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

September Is Here, We Went To The Lake, 13.5 Weeks Till CIM

As the fog rolled in yesterday for the first day back to school, I took a breath of the crisp air and it made going back to the fall routine a bit easier. In our neck of the woods, this is a complete tease, as some of our very hottest months come in September and October, but we'll take the cool down for now. Labor Day weekend was all things glorious with our short trip to the lake. 

Kayaking as a family is one of our favorite things to do and this was the first time that Elle was old enough to go and enjoy it all too. 

It really turned out to be a picture perfect day with gorgeous weather. Josh and I were in a kayak together and I'm going to put a 100% into being the best Mother In Law someday, cause I need him around. He makes me smile...

We really didn't plan for them to take the picture in this particular order like perfect stair steps...

We spent the time relaxing, eating, kayaking, exploring and I got in a run too. One of the most beautiful runs I've been on in a while - loved the change of scenery and the altitude wasn't too bad after the first couple of miles. Bonus - this sweet girl helped me finish the last 100 meters of the run...

Josh and Meg weren't interested in running - they were into their own adventures...

We caught this breathtaking sunset...

As much as I love the ocean, I'm definitely a mountain and lake girl too. We can't wait to have more lake life soon!

The first day of school was a success! 6th grade, 3rd grade and Kindergarten!

Elle loves her Kindergarten teacher and friends. Today, when we got home, she gave me a huge hug and said she missed me a lot today, which resulted in lots of hugging and snuggling this afternoon. For some odd reason, I haven't cried yet about her being gone all day. I think it'll be a delayed reaction - like next week the reality will sink in and the waterworks will start.

It's 13.5 weeks till CIM! Training has begun and I had a good week of training last week:

Monday August 27th - 5 miles easy

Tuesday August 28th - 8 miles

Wednesday August 29th - 4 miles am/ 7 miles pm

Thursday August 30th - 1 mile warm up, 8 mile tempo (at 6:54 pace) 1 mile cool down

Friday August 31st - 4 miles am/ 8 miles pm

Saturday September 1st - 8 miles

Sunday September 2nd - 19 miles (I didn't do my 8 x :30 second pick ups this week, so decided to add more speed into the long run. Last 4 miles at 6:53 pace, for a total average pace of 7:25. First mile I eased into it at 7:40)

Total miles: 73

I'm feeling a little tired this week. Took Monday off, and my body was screaming for a nap today so I took it. I'm also craving water all the time, so lots of water. 

Easing into some higher miles and getting excited about a great September! 

I hope you guys are having a great week. Our Suite Run weekly newsletter comes out tomorrow and I'm very excited about it! You can subscribe HERE.

Do awesome things.