The Weekly Pursuit #13

Happy Monday! I know, we tend to not think of Monday as “happy,” but let’s go with it. Thinking positively can make the day a good one. What do you think? Let’s keep our heads up and rock the week ahead of us! Also, for most of us, we have a three-day weekend coming up, so if nothing else, there’s that! 🙂

Saturday run

Saturday’s group run in Winter Park.

This past weekend, I did a good deal of running. I actually ran both Saturday and Sunday which is rare. On Saturday, I got up for my usual group run and did a 10k training run. Boy was it humid as heck. We just aren’t getting a reprieve from this heat anytime soon it appears. Florida is always very warm, but we haven’t had as much rain this summer and that usually helps cool things down a bit. That said, I tend to hope for evening rain so that the next morning’s runs are slightly less humid.

After the run, I got cleaned up and showered, then headed out to the car dealership for an oil change. My now one-year-old Honda Civic (named Marty) needed it’s second oil change. Fortunately, I had one freebie left at the dealer, so I made an appointment on Friday for after my run on Saturday morning. Once I got to the dealership, I opted to make use of the shuttle they offer to check out the mall since my car was going to be in for like an hour or so.

Sandhill Cranes

I saw two sets of Sandhill Cranes this weekend in different areas.

The mall was less than impressive. I pretty much never go out to the malls anymore. Now I know I’m not missing anything. Ha. Also, that particular mall wasn’t great in the first place, but at least I walked around for most of the hour while I was waiting for my car rather than sitting around waiting in the lobby of the dealer. Always better to be active than sitting on your butt.

After the dealership fun, I got a couple of errands done and I went to go see my mom for a few hours. My dad now has a weekend job, so she asked me to drop by for some girl time. I’m not one to turn down girl time and of course more time with my parents birds and guinea pigs. I love those creatures and the cuddles I get with them when I visit.

Clermont group

Clermont hill run group

On Sunday, when my alarm went off at 4:15am, I grimaced. Two early mornings in a row didn’t thrill me. A part of me just wanted to hit that snooze button and roll back over in bed. But, I had agreed to meet a friend for a run in Clermont for some hill work, so I dragged myself out of bed. I tried to tell myself that a nice nap was in my future after the run, but that didn’t stop the exhaustion. Ha!

There were a total of six of us from my Orlando Galloway group that came out to run the hills in Clermont. I have done Apopka hills, but not this area before, so I knew I was in for a treat. By treat, I mean a challenge of a workout. And, boy was it a challenging run!

Amanda and Shannon

With Amanda after our hill run.

I was definitely feeling it in my calves when we were out there on some parts of the run. Also, I knew part of it was that I had run yesterday morning. While some people run more than one day in a row, I tend to have a day or two between my runs. I usually run on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. So, any multi-day runs are rare for me. I’m not against them, I just tend to feel that with the history of my back, it’s better most of the time that I have that day in between. But, I can see myself doing a multi-day race challenge in the future…not Goofy I don’t think, but a 10k and half marathon in a weekend seems doable with training.

The six of us ran together for the first couple of miles, then two of the girls decided to head back. That left four of us conquering those hills. My friend, Amanda and I discussed doing about 6 miles, and that’s what we ended up with, plus an extra just over half a mile. The two of us turned back about a mile and a half before the other two runners, and I was glad we did. It felt more challenging heading back for some reason. I suppose that one hill that we went down on the way out would explain part of that. Ha. That was definitely the killer hill. We considered trying to run a part of it, but that became laughable when we both had to really push just to walk up it.

Clermont hills

A look at one of the hills in Clermont.

In the end, we finished with 6.60 miles. I was glad that we did the run, but boy was I exhausted. It was a good exhaustion though intermixed with a runners endorphin high. On my way back home, I stopped for a cold Powerade Zero at the convenience store. That 32oz drink was gone by the time I got home. It was quite awesome after the hot run. Everything seems to taste better after a run.

The rest of Sunday was spent napping and then heading out to the store to pick up a few groceries. I was more than ready to do a lot of nothing after two days of running and getting up early. I love running, but those early wake-up calls can be tiring. I’m glad I’m not training for a marathon this year, as I’m getting to sleep a bit more on weekends. But, I am looking forward to doing a marathon in 2017. I’m shooting for a second NYC Marathon next November. It’s already something I’m looking forward to, and it’s over a year away.

The Weekly Pursuit

Looking back at last week’s goals…

1. Logging my food everyday. I am doing much better on this one. Especially in the last few days. Since my post about getting serious about my health journey again, I’m feeling more motivated to get it all done right.

2. Listening to God, being thankful to Him. I thank God for all of the blessings that He has continually given to me. He is so amazing and great.

3. Commenting on fellow blogs regularly. I am making sure to visit more blogs every day and have been commenting more again.

4. Hydration. Work on getting in 60oz each day. Much better on this goal as well. Gotta stay hydrated especially in this heat!

5. Read ‘Mornings with the Holy Spirit’ each day. This is the only one I didn’t do so well on. So, I’m going to make sure I improve this week on reading this book.

This week’s goals…

1. Logging my food.
2. Read ‘Mornings with the Holy Spirit’ daily.
3. Listening to God, being thankful to Him.
4. Hydration.

...by grace you have been saved


How was your weekend?
What are your goals for the week?

Product Review: OOFOS Sandals

Oofos sandals

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Ooofos Ooriginal Sport Sandals to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I was SOOO thrilled to get the opportunity to review these sandals. Having a great pair of recovery sandals is very important as a runner. You can’t just throw on a pair of cheap flip flops and expect your feet to be happy. Just like you invest in your running shoes, you need to invest in your recovery shoes, or sandals.

Oofos ater a recent run

Wearing my Oofos sandals after a recent run.

Oofos are like clouds for your feet the moment you slide them on. The OOfoam technology absorbs 37% more shock than other materials out there. They are extremely durable, the OOfoam holds its cushion wear after wear. The sandal reduces stress on sore feet, knees and lower back, and it cradles your arches. Oofos footbed is biomechanically designed to allow your feet natural motion. They are so soft and can take you post-run and are great beach wear. You don’t have to worry about them getting wet, as the sandals are moisture resistant and won’t retain any funky smells.

Oofos sandals

When I’m not wearing my running or workout shoes, these have become my go-to footwear. They are supportive and you feel incredibly light as you walk around in them. Honestly, they are like heaven for your feet. Your tired soles will thank you for recovering in Oofos. My Oofos come with me on every long run, and immediately after, I swap out my running shoes for my Oofos.

Oofos sandals

Oofos plus Skirt Sports = happy runner girl

What makes Oofos so amazing is the OOfoam technology that absorbs impact thereby taking pressure off of your joints. Runners and other endurance athletes greatly benefit from this during the recovery process, allowing your body to recharge itself and reinvigorate itself. The sandals can even help if you suffer from plantar fasicitis or other issues like bunions and neuromas.

The bottom line is, if you are a runner, cyclist, fitness lover, or really ANYONE, you need these sandals. From the moment you put them on, you won’t want to use those old flip flops you find yourself going to all the time. Ooofos will become the sandal you want on your feet going forward.

Oh, and right now, if you want the same style of Oofos I’m reviewing here, they have an awesome limited edition Rio Olympics edition sandal. Let me tell you, I am in LOVE with it. The colors are so beautiful, and I’m a huge Team USA fan! So, get in on those if you love them too!

**Join the fun at the August 30th #BibChat on Twitter at 9pm Eastern. Sponsor is Oofos, you could win Oofos sandals!**

Food vs. Me: Weight Loss Journey Goes On

I love food. In all honesty, it’s one of the best parts of my day, when I get to eat. I pretty much think about what I might be eating later for a particular meal. And of course, I always think about what I’m going to eat during a long run. Food eaten after a long run always seems to taste so much better.

This year, I’ve particularly struggled a bit more with my food. Usually, I can have that one day a week where I allow myself a few treats and I can maintain my weight. However, since I’m up 8lbs from where I was last year when I ran NYC, I need to reign things in, be more disciplined again. It doesn’t seem to take too long to develop bad eating habits again when you don’t keep yourself on a “food budget.”

base my day around eating

Since losing 80lbs between November 2008 and August 2009, I learned that I needed to have a calorie budget for myself. It really is about calories in, calories out. I know for some people, they are able to utilize other means for getting healthy and fit, but counting calories worked for me. And when I have kept myself within a 3lb range, it was always about those calories.

I’ve made a couple of “half heart” efforts the last couple of months to get back on track and kick these extra few pounds to the curb. I haven’t succeeded because in all honesty, I didn’t give it all I could. And, I tried telling myself that I was still healthy, I mean heck, I workout regularly and I’m nowhere near where I used to be. Not to mention the fact that I just flat out love food. 🙂

calories in, calories out

So, I’m putting it out there that I’m making this a priority. I’m going to get my calorie-intake back in order and get back to where I know I can be. Where I want to be. It’s going to be a challenge, but I’m ready to take it on. Nothing worth doing is easy. It’s cliche, but true.

That said, I’d appreciate any support along the way. Especially the first 2-3 weeks, those are always the toughest it seems. And, if you are on your own healthy weight loss journey, let me know. I’d love to support you as well. Time to get this thing done!

The Weekly Pursuit #12

Happy Monday, friends! How was your weekend? Mine was mostly good, less for one incident I’ll explain shortly. Otherwise, I have to say, it was pretty darn good for me.

Baldwin sunrise during run

Sunrise during my morning run.

The biggie of the weekend was Saturday’s long run. While I’m not running a marathon this year, we have some runners in my group that are. As a group leader, we make sure to cover their miles with them. We had one runner that needed 23 miles and another that had 20 miles on the schedule. So, Molly (one of my co-group leaders) and I were basically splitting the mileage. She took the first part of the run and I jumped in for the last 12 miles.

Boy was it hot and just gross out. I was thankful that my back which had been bothering me the day or so prior had calmed down for the run. Despite the weather conditions, I tried to keep my mood light and joke around with my marathoner ladies. They are training for their first marathons (Chicago & NYC), and I remember how difficult the long miles can be for your first 26.2.

Barb & Shannon

Barb and I during the Saturday run on top of the Cady Way bridge.

The last half of my 12 miles, the NYC runner went off to head back toward the school where we start from, and I continued on with Barb for her Chicago miles. She was beginning to feel some discomfort when we got down to just over four miles to go. So, we walked for awhile. It doesn’t matter how you get the miles done, that endurance still builds when you walk the mileage. Definitely helps when you get “lead legs” and are feeling like stopping. Barb is a strong runner, she’s tough and I knew that she was going to get her 23 miles done. I’ve run with her for just over three years now, and I know how determined she is.

By the time we reached the end, aka the school we were both much happier. While I wasn’t feeling sore, I was most definitely sweaty as heck and way hot. The ice towels our program director brings out are sooo awesome after a hot run. Then, the cold water, Gatorade and ice pops are glorious. Our support crew left water out later than planned and I know it was very appreciated. I can’t imagine running in these crazy hot conditions without our great support team and program director. It makes all the difference. That and the awesome friends I run with each week.

After the run, I stopped to get my post-run reward, a smoothie. Thinking about that smoothie helps during the run too, you’ve got to have a post-run treat! Then, I showered and relaxed for awhile watching the Olympics coverage. Then, I headed out to do a few errands on my way to see my parents.

Rupp wins Bronze

Unfortunately, it was the last stop, at the local Target that proved to be the downer of the weekend. I was inside for probably thirty minutes (which is pretty good in-and-out time for Target LOL), and when I came back out, I discovered someone had hit my car. No note, nothing. Nice. It seems that someone had tried to pull into the space to the left of my car and hit my driver’s side back bumper. Of course, there was no car in that space when I came out, so I had not a clue who it might be.

When I arrived at my parents house, my dad took a look at it. He wasn’t sure it was minor at first, but since it started pouring rain, he couldn’t get a real good look at the damage. Thankfully, when he was able to really check it out later, he told me he thought it might not be so bad. The next day, he was able to push out the bumper that was pushed in most of the way, then sanded and started paint work. It still needs a bit more work, but I’m thankful that my dad is so handy and is able to fix it for me. Now, if people would be responsible and admit when they hit your car, that would be nice…sadly, there’s a lot of rude folks out there who don’t want to take responsibility when they cause damage to someone’s property.

Orlando rainbow

Beautiful rainbow in Orlando.

I rented the ‘Angry Birds‘ movie while I was over my parents, and we watched it Saturday night. While it had some funny parts, we found the movie to not be what we expected it to be. It was sort of odd, definitely not something I’d watch again. Compared to ‘The Secret Life of Pets‘ that I recently went to see in the theater, it was very disappointing. Usually I love the cartoon family friendly movies, just not this one.

Sunday started with church service via the live stream from my church. I love that Northland offers the streams, as my parents have been watching them a lot lately since the church itself isn’t close to them. Then, we watched the Men’s Marathon at the Rio Olympics. It was a good morning between worship and watching my favorite sport.

On my way home, after spending some quality cuddle-time with the birds and guinea pigs, I saw a rainbow. Goes to show that there’s always something beautiful for us to see. God gives us such beauty each day. We just need to open our eyes and see through all the other stuff going on in this world. Seeing that rainbow made me smile.

the weekly pursuit

Looking back at last week’s goals…

1. Start 21 Day Fix plan. Well, this didn’t exactly go as planned. I started it and lasted about two days on it. Not sure it’s for me. I got nauseous and just got off of it. I’m back on what I know works for me if I follow it like I should…so, we’ll see if I decide to give it another go at some point.

2. Hydration. I did well on this goal. I was drinking and peeing all the time it seemed. LOL!

3. Listening to God. Doing okay, as always a work-in-progress. I am thankful that God so amazing and so forgiving of us with all of the things that go on all around us and that we get involved in.

4. Comment on more blogs. Did well on this one last week, and I plan on continuing this goal.

5. Plank everyday. Well, I planked for most of the week, just not everyday like I had wanted to.

This week’s goals…

1. Logging my food everyday.
2. Listening to God, being thankful to Him.
3. Commenting on fellow blogs regularly.
4. Hydration. Work on getting in 60oz each day.
5. Read ‘Mornings with the Holy Spirit’ each day.

How was your weekend? Did you get in a long run over the weekend?
What are your goals for the week?

To God All The Glory

To God All The Glory

I love Team USA. Not only are our athletes some of the most inspirational and amazingly talented men and women in the world, but they know who to thank. Hearing athlete after athlete giving God all the glory for where they are and how far they’ve come puts a big smile on my face.

The faith these athletes have is so awesome. Every time I’ve heard them giving thanks to God for their blessings, I get a warm, fuzzy feeling. They have done the work, put in the countless hours, blood, sweat and tears, but having a strong Christian faith means so much. It’s so refreshing to hear in a world filled with so much negativity these days.

Some quotes that stick out to me from our Team USA athletes…

Photo credit: Christian Examiner

Photo credit: Christian Examiner

God was completely sovereign throughout this entire journey. He knew how it was going to happen, when it was going to happen, and we know why it happens—to make me more like Christ.” —David Boudia (Diving)

I never expected to be a professional athlete; I had to really trust him and his plan for my life. We always have our own idea of how our life is going to go, but we really have to follow the Lord’s will. I had to trust him in regards to injuries and other life situations.” —Allyson Felix (Track & Field)

Usually, before I salute the judge I’m able to just grab the event and I pray on it and that really grounds me. For some reason, once I do that, I am able to think clearly and I’m able to calm down right before I compete.” —Laurie Hernandez (Gymnastics)

All glory to God. Isn’t he awesome! I am extremely blessed. A long, tough year, but may more good things to come.” —Simone Manuel (Swimming)

I feel like my faith is something that is so individual, it’s never measured against another human being. It’s where I don’t feel vulnerable. It’s where a lot of my self-worth and a lot of my understanding of what is important to me, what I want to achieve in life, comes from.” —Jenny Simpson (Track & Field)

God be all the glory

My faith in Christ is so important to me. I know it’s because of Him that I am able to run. It’s because of God’s blessings that I’ve been able to become a marathoner. With God, there is nothing that you can’t do. All things are possible!

Do you BibRave?

Do you BibRave? If you don’t know what BibRave is, well you are missing out on something awesome. If you run races, whether they be 5ks or marathons, BibRave is a site you should have in your bookmarks.

BibRave

BibRave is all about runners and the running community. It strives to connect runners and the best races to one another. If you are looking for what fellow runners think about a particular race, head over to BibRave.com. There, you will find reviews of races, large and small that other runners have done and reviewed. It’s all about giving you honest reviews of races.

You know you want to get in on BibRave! All you have to do is head over to BibRave.com, register on the site and you are set to go. Read all the reviews you want, and definitely post some race reviews of your own! It’s all about helping out our amazing running community.

BibRavePros

In addition to race reviews, if you are already a BibRave fan and want to get more involved, apply to be a BibRavePro! I love being a Pro, as it gives me some awesome opportunities to review running gear. Not to mention that there’s the oh-so-fun BibChat every Tuesday night at 9pm Eastern each week on Twitter! You can always join in on the fun chat, and you might even win some cool swag or gear!

If you want to find out more about being a BibRavePro, head on over here to read all the details. If you love talking about running on social media like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, being a BibRavePro might just be a fit for you! Either way, you really do need to join the fun of BibRave!

Diving for the Gold

In case you missed the ultra close finish last night of the Women’s 400 meter race at the Rio Olympics, Shantae Miller of the Bahamas “dived” across the finish line to win Gold. The dive gave her the win over Allyson Felix who was charging full force three lanes away toward the finish.

400 meter finish

It’s because of the dive that Miller beat Felix crossing the finish by a mere .07 seconds. Talk about a thin margin! Felix was going for her fifth gold medal of her career at the 400 meter race. Allyson Felix is the most medaled female athlete in track and field history.

Instantly, viewers on social media like twitter were abuzz about Miller’s dive for gold. Tweets popped up in the #rio2016 feed stating how running shouldn’t allow a dive for a win. Some joked that they were confused about what sport they were actually watching with that finish.

400 meter photo finish

There was controversy and debate about using that tactic to win. Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones whose presence has been on twitter during the track & field events in Rio, informed folks that what Miller did was perfectly legal. Furthermore, Americans have dived for wins before. “…most pros have used that tactic to win…Miller didn’t cheat Allyson, she won fair,” Lolo tweeted.

So, while the method might be debated, it’s completely legal to do in track races. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s likely to be a much talked-about race finish from the 2016 Rio Olympics for years to come.

The Weekly Pursuit #11

Hey everyone, how was your weekend? Mine was good, I even had two runs! That’s not usual for me, but it was for a good reason. I mean, when you get the chance to run with an Olympian, who says no?

Last week was pretty typical for me. Got in my five days of workouts, three run days and two gym days. I admit, I look much more forward to my run days than my gym days. That’s because of my running group. Even an iffy run is never truly bad when I’m with my group.

Running Agents group

The group post-run on Saturday morning.

On Saturday, I did a six mile run. I have been having a bit of trouble getting up in the mornings due to the Olympics, but I never slept in! Okay, so I could have run 8 miles instead of the 6 miles if I got there at 5am instead of 5:30am, but that’s as close to “sleeping in” that it got for me this past weekend. Ha.

The run went well, and I sure as heck was a sweaty hot mess afterwards. Some of my running friends like to joke with me that I don’t look sweaty, but the group picture from Saturday’s run proved how much I can sweat! I’m looking forward to some slightly cooler temperatures, but that won’t happen here in Florida for awhile.

Melissa & Shannon

It was my friend, Melissa’s birthday on Saturday. So, a fun selfie pic was in order.

The remainder of Saturday was spent napping (I love post-run naps!), watching Law & Order: SVU and of course the Rio Olympics coverage. It was nice that the track & field events were in high gear, so I was into all of those events.

Sunday morning, I got in a second run. That’s because Jeff Galloway was in town for a fun run followed by his Running School at Track Shack. I’ve run with Jeff before when he’s come for our Galloway group, and it’s a good time. You don’t pass up a run with Olympian Jeff Galloway! He’s the man whose run/walk method has enabled me to be able to run marathons.

I ran 3 miles before heading home real quick to clean up and shower before the Galloway Running School. I’ve been to his running school three times before and it’s always a learning experience. I learn something new every time I attend. Jeff is a wealth of knowledge and he’s just great to hear speak.

Since the Women’s Marathon at Rio was taking place at the same time of the running school, I asked my parents to DVR the event so that I could watch it later that day when I went over to see them. So, just after 12pm, I headed over to my parents house.

Lori, Jeff and Shannon

Fellow runner, Lori and I pose with Olympian Jeff Galloway.

Spending the afternoon and early evening with my mom watching the Women’s Marathon was nice. I also got time with the birds and cuddle time with mom’s guinea pigs. Guinea pig cuddles are the best (only second to cuddle time with birds). I then stopped at Whole Foods on my way home that evening.

The plan for this week is to start being serious about my weight loss. I’m going to be starting the 21 Day Fix plan along with one of my running friends. I’ve been reading up a bit about it online and searching Pinterest for ideas and such. I’m staying positive that this will help me kick-start the 8lbs I want to lose.

The Weekly Pursuit

Looking back at last week’s goals…

1. Logging my food. I did good with this last week. It’s important to keep an eye on what I’m putting in my mouth as nutrition, my food is more of my struggle than anything.

2. Rest, listening to my body. Well, less for not getting to bed as early as I should due to the Olympics coverage, I’ve been doing pretty good. Naps rule.

3. Hydration. Did a lot better at my hydration last week. Looking to do even better this week.

4. Blogging at least 3x this week. Well, if you count my Weekly Pursuit post, I did three posts. 🙂

This week’s goals…

1. Start 21 Day Fix plan.
2. Hydration.
3. Listening to God.
4. Comment on more blogs.
5. Plank everyday.

I'm doing this for me!

How was your weekend? Anyone run a race?
What are your goals this week?

Don’t Bang on Closed Doors

What a difference a year makes. This time last year, I thought a rejection on something I held near and dear was heartbreaking. I was devastated and wondered what was next. It wasn’t easy, but I told myself that it was a door closing and something I was no longer supposed to be a part of.

don't bang on closed doors

When a door closes in your life, even if you don’t understand the reasoning why, it’s hard to not want to bang on it and try to pry it open. I had this deep passion and at that point, I found myself crouched on the floor by that closed door wonder what, or where that passion would now shift to.

But, God closed that door for a reason. Because of that, my training for NYC wasn’t as stressful. Of course at first, I wanted to reach out and grasp something else to “replace” what was behind the door, but that’ not how it works. You just have to wait patiently for the next open door. Once I was able to stand up and walk away from the closed door, I began to feel more relaxed. Upset turned into happiness for all the great things ahead of me.

It’s taken some time, but God has opened another door for me. The light coming from inside of it is bright. I felt extremely drawn to go through that open door. At first, I did sort of stand there in awe of what was potentially on the other side. Was this truly the opportunity I had been waiting for?

Post-run photo

Excited to see where God is leading me.

So, I prayed. I prayed to God asking Him to give me a sign that this was my next step. More than one came at me, the biggest being a magnetic sort of feeling that this was right. That this His plan.

I’m nowhere near a perfect disciple of God, I make mistakes and sin each and every day. I question myself and decisions that are in front of me regularly. Learning to trust that Christ will lead me is anything but easy. I can’t help but wonder at times if it’s what I want or if it’s what He wants. Thus my pause in front of that open door.

Great new things, great new opportunities are just beginning. I can’t wait to see where God leads me.

Things you are passionate about

Wordless Wednesday: Olympic Inspiration

*** Inspirations abound at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. ***

Featuring some of the amazingly inspirational athletes competing in Rio at the 2016 Summer Olympics for Team USA.

Credit: Reuters

(Photo Credit: Reuters)

Photo Credit: Reuters

(Photo Credit: Reuters)

 (Credit: AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Credit: Mark Reis

(Photo Credit: Mark Reis/Colorado Springs Gazette)

Photo credit: Getty Images

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Photo Credit: Denver Post

(Photo Credit: Denver Post)