Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy Running: Tough Week

Guess what????
Chicago Bound!!!
Thanks to God I got in the Chicago Marathon through their lottery system. Chicago is my dream marathon so I am super excited and thankful!!! I ask for your prayers as I head into training for Chicago. As you can tell, my kids are just posing for this picture, they really don't know what's going on :)
walking with the kids 
 Last week training was super tough. I focused on speed but my nutrition was not on top shape. One of the highlights of my week was pushing 73 lbs of pure delight in one of my cross training walks.
A great thing to see, always. 
My long run was the most difficult run I've had in a while. I didn't eat well the night before AND it was super humid but thanks to my training buddies I made it through. My goal for this week is to be super strict with my nutrition and keep training smart. Today's cross training session was very successful. 12 days away from the 10K I am feeling thankful for all God has done and all He will do for me. 
Well, just wanted to share the good news! Happy running everyone!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Happy Running: 10K Training Starts

I come with awesome running news! In 19 days I will be running the Green 6.2 Race (a 10K) and I am so excited about it! It’s been 11 weeks since the Houston Marathon happened, which makes it a great time to get out there and compete again.

My pre-marathon training strategy is: be ready to complete a half marathon at any point. After I rested from the 26.2 miles I earned, I started to build my miles back up. I kept the cross training going and paid a little more attention to strengthening my core muscles. My long runs reflect the mileage I'd run in order to be ready for a 13.1-mile race.

You must remember my race recap from last year’s race. The Green 6.2 has a special place in my heart because it was my first Texas race. I finished it in 1 hour and 5 minutes. I noticed that this was a Houston Marathon qualifier and I saw the pace team out there. This year I am going for a PR and if I am so blessed, I’d love to finish it in 51 minutes. I guess I’ll have to wait til race day so see how I do.
Crossing the Finish Line in 2013

For now, my training continues. I already know what I am doing as far as long runs go thanks to my running buddies who are the best - I appreciate them all! I am taking tempo runs more seriously for the next weeks before the race. I am taking them so seriously, I have even programmed my Garmin so that I know my pace. I have never programmed my Garmin before (Ha!).

As far as nutrition goes, I will make sure that I drink plenty of fluids daily and eat the best nutrition. My challenge is to stay away from the stuff that is not a necessity for my body such as added sugars. My personal challenge is to stay away from desserts and substitute them with grapefruits.
Move over desserts, we're sticking with fruit. I hope...

I love competing and I am looking forward to having a great time. I will not take myself and this experience so seriously that I forget to go in and keep a smile on my face while I race through beautiful City Center.

I want to invite you to join me. Green 6.2 is a run/walk race. I hope to see you out there but if you’re too far away to join me, come back for a big surprise, for 2 training updates and for my race recap.

Thanks for reading and Happy Running!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My kind of Lent, Homemade Bread and Stinky Water

My kind of Lent includes full focus on Jesus' Life
• Growing up in Brasil I didn't observe Lent as I see it observed in the US. I actually didn't know it was a 'thing' until I heard people having conversations about giving up alcohol for 40 days in Grad School. I believe I was asked 'what will you give up for Lent?' and my answer was "what is that?"
This year I decided to go on my own Lent journey and I started by praying and asking God to enable me to see Jesus in a different way this season. In order for this to happen I knew I needed to be focus on Jesus. My next step was to read the YouVersion devotional 40 days of Lent. I'm on day 30 and I can tell you that it has been completely awesome! As far as my kids go, I am being intentional about teaching them the real Easter story. We have a few different books about it but I mostly get out their kid's Bible and start reading a few stories before Jesus' death and resurrection. We also sing a couple of Easter songs they absolutely love when we finish reading the Bible. The songs are upbeat, the words are Bible based (I can't wait for them to make that connection in the future!) and we have some cool moves that go along with it. We have decided to make Jesus' Resurrection the focus of our teaching, thanksgiving and celebration this season.
• I am still part of a denomination that does not push a bunch of Lent traditions this time of year and it's totally okay with us. What we are doing this time of year is raising money for Missions. The kid's challenge is to use the money they would spend on sodas and candy towards missions. Our kids do not drink soda or eat candy on a regular basis so the only 'extra' thing we do is to buy a $5 pizza. We decided to save that money and make our own pizza instead. Yes I did friends: I repurposed a box we had laying around just for the fun of it:
Adding fun to any task works for us!
 I also learned that baking bread (without a bread machine) is not that difficult so I gave it a try. Let's say, my husband was so thrilled!
my first loaf of bread. 
This first loaf was white, gluten full and not as healthy as it could be because it was an experiment. This week I improved on the recipe and made whole wheat pizza crust:
Check out the bite marks: the kids couldn't wait!
I feel I can still improve on the flavor although everyone loved the pizza. The kids helped me with theirs and started eating the crust before they put their toppings. Talk about a love for pizza!
The challenge for Mission lasts 8 weeks. We have 2 weeks of homemade pizza down and 6 to go. My hope is to find a recipe that works for us so I can double it, freeze it and keep some fresh stuff around for a while.
• I don't know why it seems like I've been leading worship more than usual these past 6 weeks. I lead worship most Wednesdays but I've been filling in for my wonderful husband some Sundays. We've had a death in our extended family, he had laryngitis and it's just been a bit busier than normal. Let me tell you, we are so honored to serve our church in the Worship department and the team we serve with is fantastic! The thing I enjoy the most about leading worship is enjoying God's presence with all my church family. God's presence is in fact my greatest reward.
• In the fitness world I am again waiting to hear if I make it through the Chicago Marathon lottery. I got in Houston through the lottery system and I am filled with expectation for Chicago. Just like with Houston,  I am expecting to get in but if I don't, I will keep on training. I've been so blessed to run with my running group in our off season (February-June). I do most of my long runs with the group and to be honest, they have been a mix of speed training/long runs. My goal is to be in better shape this year than I was in 2013. I am also enjoying new routes because my old one didn't get old but the smell of stale water in the Houston heat was getting to me. I've been looking for routes that have mostly fresh air - that's not too much to ask, is it?
• Hope you enjoyed my update! I'll be back next week with something good for you. Enjoy your weekend friend!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Forward to your Change

March 9th marked the day where most of the US started observing Daylight Saving Times. We call it ‘Spring Forward’ (and we made up a silly song about it) at our house. Regardless of your personal feelings, we’re all following the same time system. One of the advantages of it is to enjoy the daylight in the mornings and lighter evenings. I hear it’s supposed to save energy too.

I believe we can also Spring Forward into the life we always wanted to live. What if, you could simply set your internal clock forward and start living in a new way? Let’s say your goal is to be more organized. You would set your clock forward and live as an organized person lives. You would do what it takes to maintain that lifestyle and you would reap the benefits of your organization.
The same principle can be applied to success in your studies. Ask yourself, how does a successful student lives? Well, as you set your internal clock forward, you will find out that a successful student not only studies the material but masters it. A successful student completes all their assignments. A successful student maintains communication with their teacher in order to better understand what needs to be done to pass their class.

I hope you are beginning to understand that change can come in different seasons. Some people changed their internal clocks January 1 but some of us needed a little more time in order to achieve our goals. The important thing to remember is that your change is within reach. Spring Forward into your change my friend!

When I decided to be a healthier person, I changed my internal clock and started living as a healthy person lives. In my opinion, a healthier person:
• Eats nutrition rich foods;
• Knows what moderation looks like;
• Counts on a Doctor for regular checkups and advice;
• Drinks plenty of water daily;
• Exercises;
• Learns from their mistakes;
• Rests and relaxes;
• Measures the quality of their life not by a number on the scale but abundance in all areas of life.

I’m not sure what’s making you frustrated today my friend but I’m guessing that might be an area of life you can Spring Forward to your Change.

Before you go to sleep, set change your internal clock and begin to live the life you always wanted.