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I literally just posted a blog and was informed by my ever-updating blog source that I had just posted my 65th blog! You poor souls. You had no idea you’d be reading mindless material 65 posts later, did you? Ha! Well, hopefully I can provide some beneficial information…and maybe a few laughs along the way. Most importantly, I just want you to know you’re not alone in your daily challenges to find time to exercise and ways to live a healthier lifestyle.

The Fan

Life is meant to be enjoyed, but you can’t enjoy life to the fullest if you’re always sick, feel run down, lack energy or motivation, or are consumed by stress. Right? So let’s face it. As much as you wish it would just come naturally to make smart decisions about food, and to exercise and get enough rest (I’m guilty), it is never quite as easy as it seems. We struggle for several reasons. Maybe it’s because you don’t have a clue how to exercise or what kind of exercise you should even start doing. The important thing is to just get moving.

Start with walking. Join a gym, or try some classes. You might like some things and completely hate others. If you don’t try though, you’ll never know. Here’s another important message…ask questions! You are not the first kid on the block. Take advantage of people you know who have “been there done that”. Learn from others and take everything with a grain of salt. Fill your mental library with knowledge from multiple resources, then pull the information that is most relevant to your lifestyle, fitness level, health, and overall goals. Lastly, find your cheerleader. This could be a spouse or significant other, a child, parent, friend, or even a co-worker. Find that person who will support your goals and lifestyle, and who will cheer you on through the toughest days, but who will also tell you when to suck it up.

Most importantly, take it one day at a time. Focus on the positive changes, and set out to be an example for others.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.”

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I have no idea where my children get their sweet tooth.

Literally, a kid in a candy store. My kid.

Hi. My name is Luciana, and I’m a sugar addict. I’m okay admitting it. I love sugar. I love chocolate. I love cookies and cakes and buttercream frosting…I’m killing you, aren’t I?

Hi. My name is Luciana, and I’m a runner. I’m okay admitting it. I love getting up before the sun and hearing my own heartbeat, feeling my muscles warm up, and pushing myself further each day. I love doing what others are afraid to do. I love going out thinking “Man, I could use another hour of sleep”, and coming back an hour later with one of my best runs. I love buying new running shoes and trying out the newest workouts and gadgets. I love registering for races. I love the after-race huddle with friends and family. I love getting lost on long runs, and at the same time finding new paths.

Turns out, I love running more than sugar. Huh…who knew?

The Dark Side

(a good substitute for your sweet tooth moment)

1/2 C Honey

1 C  Cacao Powder

1 T Vanilla

1/2 C Melted Coconut Oil

1/2 C Raw Coconut Flakes

1/4 C Coconut Flour

You can add ANYTHING to this your little heart desires. How about some toasted hazelnuts or pecans? Oats? Puffed Rice Cereal? Add more or less honey depending on your preference.  Roll into little balls or cut into squares.

The more organic and natural you can make it, the better it will treat your body.

On a side note, these are awesome frozen little treats too.

Happy Running – Happy Eating!

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Simple Pleasures

So, it comes down to this. The only chance to blog is when I’m waiting for my son at the dentist office. I’ve been thinking about you for a while though. It’s been too long. Life gets busy – too many distractions and “have to’s” on the list each day. As with any woman though, there’s always more than enough going on in my head to always have something to blog about (lucky you). The problem is, there’s too much going on inside of my head that I can’t decide what to write about first!

I opted to focus on what I enjoy the most (coffee and wine) – no wait, that’s not this blog. Running? I love it, but it isn’t my life. Then, I came across this picture and it sums it all up for me. Seeing my kids play in nature.

Yes I run because I love it, but I want to be an example to my children. I cook because it calms my soul and it’s my responsibility as the Mama to nourish their minds, souls, and bellies. I clean because I can shift my focus from a messy, disorganized life, to time with my children and my husband. Through all of these things I can teach them the value of teamwork, and the reward of a job well done.

We’re always looking for ways to get better at something, and it never seems that we’re quite satisfied in our lives at this exact moment. So, as I get back to blogging about the basics I challenge you to take a break, find a quiet place, and take a deep breath.

Simple Pleasures

Simple Pleasures

Jude 1:2  ~ “May mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance.”

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Mind

This morning’s run brought with it a milder morning in the dead of Colorado Winter, as well as a strange encounter with a friendly neighbor. I was smack in the middle of a hard tempo workout, with eyes set and mind focused on pace and form that it wasn’t until I was crossing the road did I look up and lo’ and behold there was a man standing in the road with his dog. I was caught a bit off guard (note to self), but still acknowledged him with a hearty “Good morning”. As a female runner you’re always cautioned about running in the dark…alone…on back country roads…(I made the Corridor Newspaper for this one). The man replied with a “Good morning”, quickly followed by “You know, walking is easier”.

You know when you have so much to say you just don’t know where to begin? After collecting my thoughts all I said to myself with a smile was, “Yeah, but Boston’s more fun”. Who cares what’s easy? That’s what we do and what society has trained us to be like ever since I can recall. Let’s make things easier with our fast food joints, our remote controls, and our no-lose mentality. Let’s not let ourselves discover failure, heaven forbid we allow our children to fail. Yes, I said allow them to fail. If they don’t know what it feels like to fail, they’ll never know what it feels like to succeed. They’ll also never know what it feels like to work through failure and to learn to seek help and guidance from others.

Take a step back. Look at your life and determine where you want to do more than just “take it easy”. What do you really want to excel in? What is it that you wish you could do and have never accomplished?

My challenge to you is to not simply take it easy. Are you up for it? After all, we are created in His image.

I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. ~ Psalm 139:14

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Old Victory Road

0001OI

Last weekend’s long run was a hilly 12 miles at an easy pace. Even though we live on the eastern plains of Colorado there are definitely hills to be found. Most however, are on the back dirt roads (win, win). I thought I would challenge myself beyond my normally hilly route and try one of the back roads that I knew was nothing but a collage of ups and downs. Eight miles in and I was re-thinking my over zealous strategy, but stuck to my guns none the less.

Preparing for races includes not just the running itself, it also includes resting, good nutrition, and the mental training and knowledge that you can overcome any obstacle come race day based on past training runs and confidence in your abilities. When you can do it in training, you can conceptually do it on race day. Knowing that I’ve run in the heat and survived, or in bitter cold temps and have kept my legs moving, run into the gustiest of headwinds, or through the sheer exhaustion of a long training run; once I’ve pushed myself through it I have undoubtedly proven to myself that I am indeed capable of doing it again.

Toward the end of last weekend’s long run, though exhausted from the extremely hilly route, I felt victorious…literally. As I rounded the corner to head back home I looked at the sign that belonged to the road whose hills I owned that morning. Old Victory Road is its name. Fitting. I smiled to myself, waved goodbye until next time, and told myself come Boston in April, Heartbreak Hill will be my bitch.

Achieve your victory.

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Bird’s-Eye View

Part of my morning run.

As a runner it’s easy to get in a rut, especially if you’re a creature of habit (like me). I wake up at the same time each day, have my routines to get me out the door, and run the same general routes. I have gone off the beaten path several times the past summer as I felt trapped by the one thing that used to make me feel free.

I began venturing out on the dirt roads in the dark (nothing I had done previously because I didn’t want to end up twisting my ankle or running into wildlife). Throughout the summer months I expanded my training routes. No longer did I feel like I was doing the same thing day to day. The moon would light up the back roads and I could see surprisingly well. And only a handful of times did I encounter a skunk or two, a cow that had ventured out, or a magnificent hawk perched on a road sign. I actually very much enjoy interacting with nature on my runs because I realize I’m not alone. I can hear the coyotes howling in the not-so-far distance, and though at times I might panic slightly, strangely I feel more comfortable encountering wildlife than I do the occasional farm truck. Not to mention the daily light shows of shooting stars and almost epic trails of white dust they leave against the black velvet sky.

Though this morning’s run was one of those that ended up being character building, I enjoyed views I knew were well worth the efforts. Running early on a crisp and cold morning after a snow, and seeing nature untouched by humans is both captivating and motivating.

Sometimes all you need is a new perspective.

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Husband’s Long Run Thoughts

Another Saturday and another long run under the belt. Some of us like long runs more than others, but no matter how much we may or may not like spending a few hours on the road it is what makes a distance runner…well, a distance runner. Unfortunately, there is no miracle pill by which we will have the stamina, determination, or strength to make it to the finish line if we aren’t willing to put in the time on the road to help get us there. It’s more than one good long run too ~ it’s a whole series of them that we challenge ourselves with week after week.

There are a lot of runners hitting the roads today. I’ve seen quite a few posts from friends and family about races they’re participating in or runs that they’re doing to start off their weekend too. Nothing like a little camaraderie to feel like you’ve got a force of running pals to help you get through the miles, and thank goodness for those random thoughts that sometimes pull us out of a momentary loss of consciousness.

I asked my husband what he thought about today on his long run and was given a little glimpse into what was on his mind. His thoughts were different than mine, mostly. But in a unique way there were a few things where even though the miles separated us our thoughts intersected and we traveled on mutual ground if only for a short while.

Running really does bring people together.

xo 

Running

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