Monday, January 28, 2013

Things I'm Loving Lately and an Update--Running, Motherhood, Life.

A few of my favorite things right now:  Brooks Ravenna 3s, Tiger Tail massage roller, Epsom Salt

It's been awhile since I've taken the time to write a blog post.  Most of my updates or writing has been on Runninghood's Facebook page.  I still haven't fallen in love with Twitter and I'm guessing that at this point, I probably never will.  My lack of writing on here hasn't been because I haven't had things to say or ideas flowing.  Life has just been busy...marathon training, preparing for a move, being a mother to three kids, trying to make their last memories before moving be full of AMAZING, and much more of that thing called life.  Love it.  Yesterday, I ran in the Vancouver Lake half marathon as a training run where I was working on confidence with my marathon pace (more on that later).  While there, I saw several people I knew or recognized or that knew me.  One fellow running blogger/mama said hello and asked me if I'd quit blogging and another came up to tell me that she loved reading my blog (put a smile on my heart).  These moments were a reminder to me that 

1. It has been too long.  
and
2.  People really do care.  It may seem like sometimes that this blog is just for me and that it doesn't matter.  And you know, for the most part, it is true that Runninghood is mostly just for me.  But it has also helped me connect with some pretty special people and opportunities in life. And you never know what kind of impact you make when you share yourself.  

So, brief update on where I'm at:

  • Still staying home with my kids and LOVING MOTHERHOOD!  Wouldn't trade it for anything.  
  • Training for the Napa Valley Marathon on March 3rd.  And the Boston Marathon will be for fun. Napa will be fun too but it is just the race I'm training for and then Boston will be off of the base I build for Napa. 
  • In about a month we will be moving from Portland, Oregon to Asheville, NC.  For Fun.  For an adventure.  Because life is short and we have a good opportunity to see another part of the country and show our kids things they wouldn't otherwise see.   No time like the present.  Even if it seems scary.  Good things are often on the other side of fear.  
My "Lucky Charms".  This necklace will be worn during my marathon.  It jingles when I run and when I hear it, I'm reminded of those that love and support me...the people in my life that matter most and want to see me succeed...the people worth holding close FOREVER.
Things I'm loving Right Now:

  • My Marathon Pace 13.1 Run yesterday. Marathon pace all the way until the last mile.  Felt strong, happy, easy, comfortable...all the things you want to feel for a workout like this on semi tire/sore legs after a 65ish mile week. I needed this:  7:32; 7:20; 7:32; 7:25; 7:30; 7:28; 7:26; 7:29; 7:30; 7:26; 7:22; 7:27; 7:05.  Official workout time: 1:36:59. I'm so glad I got myself up and out the door for a half marathon yesterday.  Not racing for me but a chance to get myself in a race environment, nail marathon pace and build marathon day confidence.  Feels good to see the pieces coming together and patience pay off.  I will take this confidence with me through the rest of training and continue to be INTENTIONAL about my life decisions...with training and everything else.  I love how training/Running carries over to LIVING. So many lessons about ourselves that we learn along the way...so many things that help us live life with the same joy, dedication, perseverance, and sense of accomplishment and gratitude that we gain from our RUNS.
  • Brooks Ravennas.  So glad I changed shoes.  The Ravenna 3 (see top picture) really seem like a great fit for me.  I think they will be what I run my marathon in too.  Why not?  
  • Tiger Tail Roller (also in picture at top).  This Tiger Tail stick goes with me everywhere.  I'm not joking.  You'll often see the top orange handle sticking out of my purse on a normal day.  I LOVE it.  It was one of the things we got for running Hood to Coast with Nuun.  I would say every runner should own one.  So much better than those blue foam rollers.  
  • Epsom Salt. I've posted on Facebook about the GREAT benefits I'm finding from my nightly epsom salt baths.  I swear by them now and I'm certain they have been part of my hamstring healing and holding together for me.  Not only has it helped with sore muscles, stress, and my tweaked hamstring, but I'm convinced it has helped to give me the magnesium and sulfates that so many of us are lacking.  


  • Udo's Oil.  The website speaks for itself.  I believe in it.  And YES, I notice a difference in the way it makes me feel with stamina, recovery, and strength.  I encourage you to check out the research yourself.  It's expensive but worth it to me.  


  • KT Tape, otherwise known as Kinesiology Tape.  This stuff, like Udo's Oil, is well worth the money.  My hamstring will look like the picture above for the duration of my training.  I love this stuff.  I first started using it after my complete tear of my right hamstring in 2010.  Since then, I've worn it off and on as hamstring strains and niggles have come up.  Now I always have it taped if I'm going to be running.  I know lots of people who have had success using this tape...on knees, legs, shoulders, arms, etc.  Check it out yourself!  


  • Running Journal Time.  My running journal used to be my main training tool in the past.  A couple of weeks ago, I was kind of doubting myself as far as marathon pace went.  Then I realized that in addition to the physical work I've been doing, I needed to spend some time WITHIN and do some of the mental/self work.  So glad to have come home to my Running Journal!  My journals (I keep several) are a big part of who I and how I grow...as self, mother, wife, friend, professional, athlete and more.  Creating Vision Collages in my Running Journal is one way that I spend time visualizing and empowering myself as an athlete.  The one above is one I did last weekend to refocus and get my goals clear and my confidence up.  
  • Kid Jokes.  This school year has brought with it the tradition of giving my kids a joke every morning before heading to school.  They have come to cherish this as I also have.  Not only is it a positive start to their school day but it helps them gain a better understanding of language, humor, and other things that keep their brain working!  My five year old daughter never lets me forget.  I usually just google "kid jokes" but I found this site today that will be a favorite until we've used them all:  Childhood Beckons.

  • Motherhood Moments!  I'm savoring them all right now.  Here's one part of my life that makes me smile....My youngest kids helping with coffee grinding at Trader Joe's.  This is one of their favorite parts of grocery shopping.  The rest of the shopping experience isn't always peaceful though.  I try to remember this instead of the cart crashing, apple pile spilling, loud shouting, hair frazzling walk down the wine aisle with a crazy 3 year old boy, and the melt down moments at being told "No" to getting __________.  But coffee grinding is fun!  
Really, I could go on and on and on here with things I'm loving.  Life is truly good right now and there is lots to love.  I'm feeling inspired again and FULL of ideas and motivation.  I'm also a little stressed and FEARFUL of this upcoming move across the country.  But it is the kind of fear that I know holds with it some pretty amazing stuff if I can push past it and JUST DO IT!  This goes not only for moving but in putting some of my ideas to action instead of just writing about them.  Good things ahead.  I can smell them.  

What are YOU loving lately?  

Amanda 

43 comments:

  1. It's funny..I think we all have our likes/dislikes with different social media platforms. I love Twitter but kind of suck at FB engagement!

    Great job on your half--if that is training pace, you're gonna rock your marathon in March and I'd guess Boston will fall right into place, too.

    I am loving hanging w/ my kids these days, too. They've had some school delays due to weather and it kind of makes my day to have an extra couple of relaxed hours with them in the a.m.

    Have a great week!

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    1. Yeah, Twitter is just too much for me. I get overwhelmed on there. Facebook works so much better for my brain. :)

      Thanks for your words of encouragement. How are you feeling about your marathon?
      Extra time with our kiddos is awesome! Enjoy!

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  2. Wow, great job on your half! I can only dream of running that fast. Glad to see a post on your blog. Even though I don't comment much, I do read and enjoy your blog. Good luck in your training and with your big move.

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    1. Aw, thanks Linda. So great to hear from you. I appreciate your words here.

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  3. I am glad that you wrote a post today. I have been following your facebook posts, but you know how much I love your writing. So excited to follow your journey to Asheville.

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    1. Thank you so much Rene'. I appreciate your words...thanks for the comment.

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  4. Congrats on your half-marathon training run yesterday! Those paces look so strong and I can just see you smiling while you were running them. :)

    I am going to try the epsom salt bath while the kids are napping today. I have soaked my feet for various reasons before but never realized it could help with sore muscles. I need to get better about stretching, too, but in the meantime I will just take a bath.

    More that I want to comment on but have to get the kiddos down. Can't wait to catch up with you and hear more details about running, the move and life! xo

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    1. Thanks Girl. Looking forward to spending time catching up with you too. Hope you enjoyed your epsom salt bath. I'm heading there in a minute!

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  5. Epsom salt has relieved many a weary muscle for me. I totally agree on the Udo's Oil too. Just got another bottle a few days ago.

    I am loving a temporary (hopefully) addiction to Butterfingers.

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    1. Yay for epsom salt! And yes on the Udo's!

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  6. I've been wondering about that Udo's Oil. Going to check it out. Girl you killed your MP 1/2 yesterday!! Good things to come for you at Napa I'm sure. I do think it is a blessed thing when you really enjoy the company of your children. I am also in one of those times right now - they make me laugh, think and experience life differently than I would otherwise. Oh and they also make me pull my hair out, but that's just part of it all, right?

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    1. Hi Beth. Great stuff. Thanks for your comment. Always nice to hear from you. Yes yes, my kids make me pull my hair out too. I'm surprised I have any left.

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  7. Still smiling about your nonrace race:) Awesome! Now stay healthy, keep doing what you are doing, and all will be super in Napa. So one months until the move. Gosh, must be crazy trying to arrange things for the move. Will Waylon get a bit of time off while you settle over there? Is Ray super excited? How awesome it will be to actually be able to train face to face with your coach! Love the kids jokes! Love hanging out with my little guy though I surely needs my breaks from him, ha!
    Happy things are going well:)

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    1. Thanks for smiling for me AM. Such a good friend you are. Yes, keep on keeping on this way...that's the key. Been having some sleep issues the last few nights so that's been hard. Won't be very close to Ray...4 hours away. But I hope to see him for some races and training here and there. He's excited...Great coach for me. Really great. MIss you. Can't wait to see you in Boston.

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  8. Awesome training run/half marathon - great things to come in Napa for sure!

    Love seeing your running journal - reminds me that I have been neglecting mine - internal work is so important!

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    1. Thanks Michelle! So easy to forget about my journal but when I do make the time, it is so good for me.

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  9. LOVE the Ravennas, too!

    Glad you are doing well!

    And a great joke book for kids is the Jokepedia? (I think that's the name. It's huge and yellow, and not very expensive...)

    We have the same goal marathon date. Coolio! I'm so glad your training is progressing nicely. :)

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    1. Yay for the Ravennas! Thanks girl. Jokepedia huh? I'll have to check this out. :) Can't wait for your marathon speedy YOU!

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  10. Well, is it TMI if I tell you that I am typing this as I sit in an Epsom salt bath??? You inspired me to give it a try and have enjoyed them!!! How do you tape your hamstring?? Did a doc show you how? My hamstring is slow to heal - I would love it if you would share!

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    1. Awesome on the bath!! Not TMI at all...hard to be TMI with me. :) I will try to post a video of me taping it sooner or later. Yes, my chiro showed me.

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  11. One day you're going to be in the supermarket by yourself, pushing your own trolley with no kids arguing over who's turn it is and you're going to smile wistfully at those lovely memories.

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  12. Ok, now I have to go buy KT tape and epsoms...
    Good to hear from you and your family, even with your busy move coming up. And yay for new shoes! It feels great to find a new pair you love!

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    1. Yes yes! Good things Gracie. Been thinking of you a ton lately. Hope you're healing.

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  13. Sounds like life is rich right now, glad you're able to enjoy all those blessings and not let them pass you by! So many adventures ahead for you and your crew! 2 marathons in 6 weeks! You're crazy strong girl! Love that your goal marathon pace felt so comfy, what a reassuring sign. Seems like you're setting yourself up well for those races!

    Just realizing now that I never got back to your Facebook note. So I race in the Adidas Adios, love them. They are pretty awesome for 10k-half distances and have this amazing contextual tire grip on the forefoot that is great when going through those sloppy water stations. Your shoe could for sure have contributed to that hip pain. The body is one kinetic chain where it all starts at the feet and alignment is important. Did you ever have your gait checked out before choosing the Flows?

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    1. Thanks for the info Britt. Sounds like a good pair of racers. I'm sure Brooks has a pair that will work perfectly for me when/if I'm ready for a faster shoe.

      Yes, life is Rich. Always...just takes pulling my head out of the clouds to notice it. Easy to get in a funk here and there. Hope life is good with you! You've certainly been running great...as always.

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  14. Love your journal!

    I have a serious case of marathon location envy. Napa Valley? You can't lose;)!

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    1. Thanks Adrienne. Napa Valley...yes, certainly beautiful. I remember it from the first time I did it. Just gorgeous!

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  15. Great to read a post from you:) So much to comment on! First, I love the Ravenna's too. I'm nearly positive this will be my primary training shoe. I wonder if I'm one who doesn't do as well with wearing so many different shoes so I will likely stick with these and the Launch (rotating a couple of pairs of each) and maybe work a few miles into a Pure shoe each week.

    As you know, I was just so very happy for your race yesterday. So very very happy for you and the feeling I knew you had afterwards!!! Can't really describe all that surrounds this but realize how much I feel the emotions of those I love because I was definitely on a bit of a running high on the drive home:) So excited for your marathon. You are going to be in such a stinkin' good mood in Boston:)

    YOU are a person worth holding onto forever. Deeply loved:)

    I could keep on here about your journals and what a good mom you are and your impending move but I'll catch you in email hopefully soon.

    So happy in this post. Love it:)

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    1. Thanks Jenn. I thought of you a lot on this run yesterday..I could hear you and AM just making me feel so supported and loved no matter what I did. Such an affirming run for me...to feel strong and happy and like I could keep going and going at that pace...good feeling.

      Yeah, I'm the same about one or two pairs of shoes. I'm not a big rotator. :) I might just stick to the Ravennas exclusively until the Launch comes back. Maybe try the Cadence. We shall see.

      Thank you for you Forever Friend.

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  16. I can't believe you are moving in a month! I am really excited to hear about your new adventures, but I am also sad that I won't be able to see you before you leave. I love you live life the fullest everyday. You are such a role model to me!

    Your running seems to be going great! That is a really speedy marathon pace long run. Napa will be a blast. Be sure to have a glass of wine for me!

    Right now I am loving being adventurous and trying new things. Snowshoeing was so much fun on Saturday. Who would have thought this weeny girl who hates snow would love it so much?! I am also loving being healthy and feeling myself getting stronger. Life is good!

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    1. Awesome Tasha! Love hearing you getting stronger. You are a force to be reckoned with when you are healthy and strong..c.an't wait to see! :) So glad you are enjoying new things. Thanks for the comment.

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  17. Is that a new blog header? I like it :)

    So glad you opted to do the Vancouver Lake half! What a fantastic run..and a chance to pick up on some of that race/running vibe that always comes with a great race. Solid training going on for you, friend.

    Epsom salts. I love them too, but am out, so I've got to put on my list!

    It seems funny that all of a sudden I am seeing all of these fast women running in the ravenna and cadence and other shoes I thought were for stability..Did you need that, and it was missing? Do I have the shoes wrong? Or is it just a better fit? You have my curiosity! I am still in ghosts, but willing to explore all the options. Though the color I would take in a ravenna is out in my size.

    How fun for your kids that you tell a joke every morning. I like the idea of starting the day off with a smile! I might copy that idea :)
    I don't want you to move, but it will give me another reason to travel.

    Get ready girl, you are about to have a couple of good races!! Keep healthy!

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  18. WooHoo - awesome job on the half at marathon pace!!! Impressive!
    Glad to read a post - so much fun all in one place!!!
    I'm sure you will make the move and transition a great experience for your kids! I hope you are able to enjoy it even with everything you have going on!
    I have never tried Epsom salt baths - I probably should - sounds much better than an ice bath!!!

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  19. Amanda, have you tried the scented Epsom Salt's? I have always been a fan of the salt baths and when I found the Eucalyptus Epsom Salt... totally Fell.In.Love! :)

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  20. Psyched to try Udo's Oil! I believe it is what I need right now as I am trying to balance training, teaching, and family. I hit the wall the past few days. Thanks!

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  21. I'm so not a Twitter person and I hate that everything has a hashtag or whatever. It's annoying, because I just want you to speak to me in a full sentence please.

    My massage therapist last week mentioned that I should take a bath with Epsom Salt. I may just have to try this now.

    Congrats on your half marathon...that is amazing times. I am so not there yet. What makes me happy is knowing that I am going to be with my boyfriend on a new adventure; however, I have to keeping waiting seven more months for it to happen. But like you, I'm doing the memories of my home before I leave. I'm scrapbooking it, as well.

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  22. Thank you for posting your blog post! I enjoy reading it and miss it when you haven't written for a while. Although, I understand how busy you are. I don't know how you get it all done at home, plus have time for marathon training. I only have one little boy to chase around and I don't always get a run in (which makes for one crabby, stressed out mommy).

    Thank you for posting the link to the Web site with Kids Jokes. Very cute. My little boy loves to sing karaoke at one of our local restaurants when we go out to eat (most of the time we are the only ones at this particular restaurant). He likes to start out his performance with a silly joke. Usually it doesn't make any sense. This material will help him :)

    Looking forward to reading about your move to Asheville. Enjoy your last few weeks in Portland. Go run in all of your favorite places. My favorite place to run in Portland is Mount Tabor. Challenging, but so beautiful.

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  23. Things sound great for you right now. So good to hear. Love the recommends. I'm def. curious about the tape since it seems my hamstring niggles never go away.

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  24. I'm a fan of KT tape! Got me through my injury over the summer for sure. I've heard nothing but good things about Brooks Ravenna. I'm in the market for new shoes so might check those out to see how they fit my feet.

    Motherhood moments? We just made the switch to big kid beds over the weekend for my twins. Needless to say it's been interesting...emptying out every single dresser drawer, pulling every tissue and wipe out of boxes, no naps, falling out of bed at 3 a.m.....Ah the moments! :)

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  25. The Ravenna's are looking sweet!!

    I should look into getting a stick

    We do care, the thing about blogging, we are connected by a mutual interest of endurance sports. But we get each other, that is why we care, we get the ups, the downs, the highs, the lows, we understand it, we been through it. Chances are we will never meet 90% of the people we correspond with with blogging, but in some stange way, we are all family

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  26. Love hearing from you! Excited about your move! That's really great! And yes with the epsom salt! Been preaching epsom salt for a while now! Running over to research udo's oil now!

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  27. I'm glad you're mostly keeping it together. And your tips on handling your 3 year old I'm using to handle my 12 year old (girl). Lordy lordy. I think I need all the Udo's oil and Epsom salts I can find...

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