Making the effort to… eliminate the annoying pebble in your shoe.

The sandy Boo Hoff Trail!

You know that feeling when a pebble has somehow made its way into the exact position in your shoe that causes pain? Ugh!! Of course you do! We all have had experienced that one nagging irritant that controls yours thoughts step after step. On today’s run with my hiking buddy, the sand seemed deeper and it did make its way in both of our shoes. It got me thinking of how those little irrational thoughts can take hold and sabotage the rest of your run or race. Maybe it is that the mind is super focused while running, paying attention to foot placement and stride that when your mind recognizes a irritant it stays on it until it is not an issue.

If you have prepared for your race or run by reviewing your route and weather then probably your equipment/gear is the cause of that nagging pebble. I have my favorite running shorts and shirts and when I have to wear another not so favorite it seems that is all I think about. It can be the way the shorts ride up, sports bra rubs a sore or the sleeves on a shirt have a rough spot. If you know that those tend to cause you distress then don’t wear them on important long training runs or races and try to keep to your favorites. And never try out a new garment on big day.

Do I have the answer for “how to distract yourself when you are irritated..?” No, but when you do have a problem during a run/race simply ask your self “Is there something I can do to make it better?” If yes , do it and if not just taking action gets you into the mindset of acting and not reacting.

All we can do is keep searching for the perfect gear and running clothes and yes I need to start wearing Gators.. lol!

Last week at work was busy and eventful so I need to do some “Thank You ” baking. Homemade Cinnamon Rolls it is. I was able to get a little bit of meal prep done for the week and happy about the effort I put forth in training.

Meal Prep- Yogurt Fruit Parfaits, Turkey Taco Meat, Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies.

Exercise- 25 miles including Pick Ups, Hill Workout, Long Run and Trail Run.

Have a Happy and Healthy Week!

Making the effort… to commit to change!

Headed up for more Blue & Green ..and cooler temps!

What a beautiful week! I was able to get my training in and feel good. Weather still too hot for comfortable running at normal hours but that just means you need to be creative. Runs were done on treadmill, very early mornings, or up to a cooler location. The hill workout challenge is on week two so that means two hills, had never used this type of workout before and having fun with it. Next week three , yikes!

The Morning Light in the Desert. The Boohoff Trail run is getting more comfortable and I really trying to push it.

Well Crap… say Goodbye to dairy! Received my results of the Food Sensitivity Blood Panel, this one measures the food specific IgA and IgG antibodies that are present after eating a food. The reaction and symptoms may vary by individual. I went into this thinking that maybe I was sensitive to Gluten but never even gave a thought about dairy;(

So to read the results take any food item that is a II or above as negatively reactive by your body. I had also been told that I had an allergy to egg when I was born but brushed that off as not valid. Guess I was wrong! So am I grateful to have this information? Absolutely but I am also disappointed that I have a whole food group that I will have to eliminate from my diet. I choose to take this test with the hope of gaining information that will improve my health and my next step needs to be to incorporate what I have learned into my diet. I am only looking at the results I will be getting and not feeling regretful of what I cannot have because in this day and age there are so many vegan sub items I am confident that I will be able to find what I want. Other interesting findings.. Bananas, Lamb, Tuna and Beef. Good thing I have given up beef or over 27 years.

I spent time investigating stores that I will be able to get the items I want to try and have a feeling this will be an ongoing project. I was impressed with Trader Joes. I went in and after a few attempts of walking in circles I asked for assistance and was surprised when I was given a print out, a list with all of the vegan items that they carry. I purchased a few different milks (coconut and rice) to try and was very impressed with the coconut yogurt. I also expected to have to pay more for these items but did not. One huge take away.. I wish I would have done this 20 years ago.

To make Cauliflower Mash- 1 head of cauliflower steamed, blend in a food processor salt to taste, 1 teaspoon of Parmesan ( or plant based vegan option) and 1 teaspoon of soy creamer.

Exercise- 25 miles, hill workout, pick ups, trail run and long easy run. 1 day of weights.

Meal Prep- Chicken Salad for lunches, Salmon with blistered tomatoes, Cauliflower mash, Chocolate Nut & Coconut drops.

Have a Happy and Healthy Week!

Making the effort… to take the long runs/life easy.

This week my training seemed to finally start clicking. Yes! I decided to incorporate a long easy run to start to build up my base and the weather just wasn’t permitting in the desert. So Big Bear Lake and cooler temperatures was my Saturday morning destination. It was so worth the hour and a half drive up. “Long Runs should be at an easy pace….” That is what seems to be the latest theory on training, at least that is what I am learning. Again I am no expert on athletic training, and definitely a novice but I am trying to read as much of the latest research and opinions from respected sources.

Reading an article from Runners World….


.. On easy days, you’re mostly using slow-twitch muscle fibers. They have a higher density of mitochondria, high levels of aerobic enzymes, and greater capillary density than fast-twitch fibers, which are more involved in higher-intensity training, says Dan Bergland, principal sport physiologist at Volt Sportlab in Flagstaff, Arizona. On easy days, “you increase mitochondria and capillaries and blood flow to those muscles, so they’re better able to utilize oxygen,” he says. “Without that, you can’t do the intense runs.”

Then there is the whole subject of fueling/glycogen stores…from Greg McMillian

With long runs during a marathon program, you are trying to accomplish two distinct purposes. On the one hand, you are trying to maximize your ability to burn fat and spare your limited muscle carbohydrate (glycogen) stores as well as improving your leg strength and resistance to fatigue (both physical fatigue and mental fatigue). You are also trying to teach your body to better handle lowered blood glucose levels. On the other hand, you are trying to become more economical at your marathon race pace (learning to burn less fuel for a given pace) along with testing out your race equipment and nutritional plan. You also want to give the mind a taste of the focus and determination that will be required in the latter stages of the marathon itself.

My long run (10 miles) started at 39 degrees with the sun just barely up in a very clear blue sky and my confidence at a high. Well that didn’t last long, I mean the confidence part the weather stayed just perfect. Mile 1 -10.40 min pace.. so I thought this was too fast. Tried to slow down the next three miles but still managed 11.0 min pace and checked my heart rate which was high ( meaning extra effort) but the only thing I could blame it on was the altitude. So now I am thinking slow it down Marta … the goal of this run was to not push it.

Why do we seem to always be pushing it? Whether it is my long run, or just in day to day, I can’t help but strive for more. Now I know in certain situations that is a good quality to have but not if you cannot control it. The final last three miles of my long run were at a pace I had planned for but by that time the pace wasn’t as flowing as I had hoped. I finished happy with the long run and banking the 10 miles but also with a feeling that I need to get my pace under control. I will take a serious look at my exertion or effort and try with practice to know how a long easy run should feel.

Exercise Week- 24 miles total that included, hill workout, pick ups, long run and a trail run. No weights or plyometrics.

Meal Prep- Steel Cut Oats with cinnamon & apples, Bacon, Deviled Eggs, Homemade Chicken Soup.

Have a Happy and Healthy Week!

Making the effort to …stay hydrated.

Boo Hoff Trail on a day with heat & humidity.

You know when you have sweat on your forearms before you even get to the trail head, you will be in for it! Today my hiking buddy and I started out a little before 7:00AM and we were one of the only ones out there, I would figure this out by the end of the hike. So let’s talk heat and humidity, since I live in the desert I should have a lot to say on the subject…lol! I am one of those people that do sweat, and I will be honest I sometimes compare my effort depending on how much I sweat. I believe it is healthy to sweat and not only is it the body’s preferred method of cooling but I believe it is a good way to remove toxins, so taking this all in account hydration is a very important aspects of healthy physical activity.

Hydration Plans should be individualized and be able to enhance performance in training and competition while minimizing risks for dehydration, over-hydration and any type of heat illness. First we need to monitor hydration by:

Urine Color-look at first mornings urine and if the more clear and minimal yellow color then hydration is good. Darker yellow or the color of apple juice is an indication that you may be dehydrated. Super bright urine can be caused by consuming supplements.

Sweat Loss- Change in body weight before and after activity can be used to estimate loss.

Dehydration can happen even when it is not hot. Some other factors are Humidity, Body Size, Gender, and Fitness level. The more Fit a person is the more one will sweat because the body is cooling the body more efficiently. Another example, you can sweat while swimming or even playing winter sports. The goal should be to hydrate prior, during and replace fluid loss after activity.

Warning signs – thirst, flushed skin,premature fatigue, increased temperature and faster breathing and heart rate. Be aware that thirst is not always indicative of dehydration.

I have not always been good at prioritizing hydration as I should but I am monitoring more of what I bring with me on a run/hike, and I am also conscious of what my intake is like immediately after a strenuous workout for the following hours. One idea I do – I like to make a refreshing smoothie, my favorite one is a Grapefruit Smoothie. Simple to make, just smash as much pulp and juice into blender add ice and a swig of maple syrup and blend. Another idea would be to eat soup or fruits and veggies with a high water content, after a heavily active or hot day.

This week a few outside factors had me cut back one day of running so I was only able to get in not quite 15 miles of running with one day on the trail/elevation. I did get two days of weights and one of jump-rope ( cardio). Still focusing on base strength and am happy so far with what I am doing.

Tough but good elevation on a 7 mile trail.. and that is Runner/Crazy Eyes in the background!

Meal Prep – Today I was able to prepare Spinach Basil Pest, Steel Cut Cinnamon Oats, Tuna Salad, and Gluten Free-Peanut Butter Choc Chip Cookies.

Have a Happy and Healthy Week!

Making the effort … to see the shadows.

The Boo Hoff Trail in the shadows.

Another week that feels as if it were a month. Do you ever have those weeks? Maybe it is we cram too much in each hour of each day, too much scheduled, or it is just the pace of life in 2019. A mostly good week that ended with my third training trail hike/run in the dark. Today’s hike was in a more agreeable temperature but not the perfect 50 -60’s that I am dreaming about. My hiking buddy and I started out on the trail with our headlights at about 5:00 AM. Not much talking in the beginning, just trying to breathe as we ascend up. I did notice about 30 minutes in that I wasn’t anxious or even thinking about some of the fears that I had before on my previous hikes in the dark. Amazing what facing your fears, bringing them out in the light can do. The rising light in the sky would stop us both in mid-sentence as the hike continued. The turn around point for me was a Spring Energy gel washed down by lukewarm water and a smile because now we would run. I have not gotten strong enough to be able to run up the 1600 feet (3.5 mile) or maybe my mind has convinced me of that. This trail is more technical so I definitely will need my confidence and maybe a third lung if I intend to run it completely. As we were running down the trail we saw that the rising sun had cast glorious shadows along the terrain and that got me thinking. Do we honor the shadows like we should?

The eye is always caught by light, but shadows have more to say. Gregory Macguire

All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow. Leo Tolstoy

The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy in the shadows. Brene Brown

I recently enjoyed an outdoor photography workshop where this idea of taking pictures of what is in the shadows was discussed. It surprised me when the instructor right from the beginning had us taking photos in the shadows not in the light. He then talked about showcasing the shapes and darkness that the shadows cast and that it can enhance the composition of a picture. I now see that the intensity reaches another level for both the lightened area and the dark. I believe that shadows can truly enrich a photograph.

The balance of light and shadow.

Light and shadows add a sense of balance, and balance is what we all should be striving for…. Right?

Exercise for the week – 21 miles running/hiking, 1 day weights & balance, 1 day jump rope and one legged exercises.

Meal Prep-Baked Crusty Bread, Steel Cut Oats (will add toppings of fruit), hummus & veggies bowls, Pizza Zucchini bites, & Salmon (3 ways- plain, Pesto, spices)

Have a Happy and Healthy Week!

Here is something to leave you with ….

This is NOT me and hope it is NOT you 🙂

Making the effort to ….. welcome the sufferfest!

Los Liones Trail- 10 miles + 2100 ft elevation gain= Tough one

So if you haven’t had your head stuck in your phone or laptop since Friday then you have not caught the UTMB ( Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc) bug! Talk about a SufferFest, probably the most well known ultra marathon races that start and end in Chamonix in the French Alps. There are 6 races of ranging lengths but the final race is a 106 mile race with huge elevation gain and all are considered the toughest foot races in the world. This year I followed some of the best runners from America.

Thanks to technology I was able to follow the live stream at the finish and I just couldn’t concentrate until I knew the podium winners. America was represented extremely well. I knew more about the female runners but not gonna lie I caught myself holding my breathe while watching all of the runners. Such emotion and such humility!

After watching the race I began thinking, all the runners know that they are going to hurt.. like really hurt. What does a person say to oneself to prepare for that kind of pain? Or do they know and it is just their ability to shut it out and see the outcome?

Sufferfest-A workout or race in the arena of endurance sports that involves prolonged suffering on the part of all who participate.

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.

Muhammad Aali

I found a cool article on Suffering –

The Article ‘Ultra -Marathons: the 15 stages of suffering in the Ultra Running magazine by Sean McCoy,July 2016″ and below I will paraphrase.

  1. Jitters (a couple days before)- Hello… I am about 6 months out from mine and I am already nervous!
  2. Panic-full blown panic should set in night before the race (I will be an overachiever in this area)
  3. Adrenaline-… and Run! The pack moves fast, probably faster than you should go (which you will regret quickly).
  4. Reality Check- Oh Boy .. what am I doing here? and I better get my pace under control because I have a long way to go.
  5. Aid Station #1- Everyone feels good so they run past. This is a good time to do a mental check and see if you need to attend to any issues .. and take in some calories!
  6. It is gonna be a long day-the first twinges hit you and you think Ok let’s do this!
  7. This is bullshit- and so the cussing begins along with the pain.
  8. Bargaining- The mental game of an Ultra is a monster! At this point you will make any deal with yourself .. both to quit and to keep going.
  9. Halfway there-Yeah!.. & Oh No!
  10. Point of no return-you probably picked a point in which no matter what you will finish… (hopefully this hits about 2/3 ‘s way in my race and gets me to the finish line).
  11. The Pain Cave/ SufferFest- every thing sucks and you are just pissed, nothing tastes good and all you can think about is the pain. Remind yourself “this is what you came here for..”
  12. Realization- in the middle of the pain you will realize and recognize your worth… and may give a little smile.
  13. Will this EVER end?- where is that stupid finish line? .. and they better have Ice Cold Chocolate Milk waiting for me.
  14. Smelling the Barn- You are that close you can smell it- I personally find this part loooonnng! I usually have to look down at my steps because the finish line just keeps moving away.
  15. The Emotional Avalanche-Why is my lip quivering? The relief is overwhelming and the tears, high fives and WooHoos may come.

I hope you read the article in its entirety, because I believe that Sean McCoy nailed it. I can speak from experience, I have recently had a couple of SufferFests. Mount Whitney and the LA Marathon, but I would not trade those experiences for anything.

These two events came at 50 , 51 and this year I will be 53yrs old and racing my first Ultra. Goodness .. what was I thinking! LOL! Wish me Luck.

I am almost 6 months out from the Antelope Canyon Ultra Race 55K so you will probably hear more on this. As far as training-The last couple of weeks I have really tried to up the training in Elevation Gain and Altitude while continuing to include more time in the gym. I seem to see the biggest results when I am consistent with these. Today I did a 10 mile with about a 2100 ft elevation gain and tomorrow (holiday – off work) will hike Mt San Jacinto .. not quite sure that elevation gain but it is about 12 miles I think. These back to back days are not only for strength but for my mental training I want to really push it and know that I can.

Meal Prep- will have to wait until tomorrow. I did bake some sweet potatoes and pork chops that I can pull from this week.

Have a Happy and Healthy Week!

Making the effort… to surprise yourself!!

#2 Night Trail Hike/Run could not have gone better!

Do you know that feeling when you go in to something with low expectations, a little anxious, worried and you totally surprise yourself? Well I truly wish if you haven’t, that you do!

Surprise yourself every day with your own courage.

Denholm Elliot

The most delightful surprise in life is to suddenly recognize your own worth.

Maxwell Maltz

The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but they seize us.

Ashley Montagu

I believe that Ashley, Mazwell, and Denholm must have been on my Night Trail Hike/Run! My hiking buddy and I decided to do another Night trail hike/run this weekend and we just happened to pick a night with humidity and heat. I was dripping sweat down both my forearms before we got to the trailhead a little before 5:00 AM and grateful for the water I brought. Breathing always feels more of a struggle when I am overheated, so this hike up felt more difficult but good. I did notice about mid way thru that I was not as anxious as the first Night Hike, much more confident and a little chatty. We talked about our upcoming Joshua Tree Night Hike 1/2 Marathon in November and our plan to get a look at the route over the next month. Also I was thinking thru my next 6 months training regimen that will prepare me for my first Ultra, and after that just not thinking, just enjoying my surroundings.

Yea.. I surprised myself but is it more than that. That feeling fed my momentum. It is not easy to create momentum and unless momentum continues resistance can set in and destroy the progress you have made. When you gather momentum, you simply ride the ride, you take on the bumps as they come and you move forward until you reach the goal. This feeling makes me feel unstoppable and I wish it for you.

Exercise for the week- 1 day weights, 12 miles, night hike.

Meal Prep- Overnight Oats w/ apples, Israeli couscous with tomatoes, Chicken Enchiladas in Green Sauce.

Have a Happy and Healthy Week!

Making the effort use our time wisely!

What a crazy busy week and fun packed weekend! And how did I get it all in? My answer is.. By Planning and Making the Time. I had decided this year that I wanted to actually see some of these Ultra Races I have been a fan of in person. I had participated in the Antelope Canyon Half Marathon this spring and got up super early before my race to cheer the 100 mile race participants at their start. My other excuse was to get the lay of the land for next year’s 50K I hope to do (I have signed up). I had also heard about the AC100 (Angeles National Forest) and the Kodiak 100 (Big Bear) which are literally in my backyard and I have no excuse not to make time for, so when I was looking at this summer I knew I had to block off time for these events. The AC 100 I ended up volunteering at and the Kodiak 100 I was able to watch this weekend in person up at Big Bear Lake.

Perfect segue into … Time Blocking. Have you heard of it?

Time Blocking is a methodology which can help you become Ultra Productive ( wink wink 🙂

Time Blocking is a type of scheduling that can help you manage your time better. Instead of working with the clock, you can focus on finishing tasks one at a time. This will help you limit distractions, and not put such an emphasis on when you will do something but that you will complete within a time frame such as a day or week. It never fails that when I try to stick to a hourly schedule I get interrupted and end up having to push back tasks anyways. This type of plan to me is more realistic and less self sabotaging.

Now all the reading I have done on this subject has mainly been about Time Blocking for Work/Personal, but it got me thinking. What if it was just for our Healthy Habits? I remember the blackberry and the leather covered organizer I use to carry with me everywhere and I do miss it. I think we have to gotten away from this style of organization over the last ten, fifteen years or so and it sounds like “Time Blocking” is a cry from those of us that crave order and need help to keep focused, to bring back something more updated.

So to get started, in your calendar simply block off a specific or generous amount of time to preform your healthy habit ( running, meditation, biking, massage, swimming…), a healthy “To Do List”. By scheduling a block you are prioritizing the healthy habit, giving it as much weight as a project at work or an appointment with the dentist (boy I am just cracking myself up over here). Here are some tips:

  1. Get tools- There are a ton of Apps that you can use – such as TimeCamp, ToDoist, and Wunderlist…
  2. Prioritize- For the day or week, list in order of importance and block the time of day when you know you are the most productive.
  3. Be able to adjust. We cannot predict our day so we need to be able to be flexible and know that as long as we get the task done that day or week that is good.

Now back to my beautiful weekend. What a race! I was lucky enough to see the some of the elite finishers for the Kodiak 100 and was humbled and definitely geeked out a little. There is a new course record for the 100 mile set by Rod Farvard in 19:31 and it was his first attempt at this distance. For the 50 mile race the first female finisher, Katie Asmuth just happened to be the 2nd place finisher for the 50 mile race overall… that was Crazy Good!!

Needless to say I am so happy I made time for this getaway weekend. I plan on planning more of these…lol! okay enough already!

Exercise- I had a minor shoulder twinge in the start of the week that left me waiting until the weekend to do any major exercising. I was able to get in 16 altitude miles- 8 trail miles with elevation and 8 road miles. & 1 day of weights.

Meal Prep – Grilled Turkey Burgers w/ rice, Shrimp, and roasted broccoli. At my time share where I stayed there was a nice big grill so I brought some items to meal prep for the week.

Have a Happy and Healthy Week!!

Making the effort to…. to improve the composition of our health picture.

View of Santa Monica from the Los Liones Canyon Trail

I am using the word Composition in the title of this week’s blog as a synonym, referring not only to the reference in photography (went to an awesome workshop) but also for the picture of our individual health. I have written about the health exams I have had recently and a few still in the process. The results will give me a better composite of my health. I had the following labs: CBC w/differential platelet, Metabolic panel, Lipid panel, Thyroxine Free, TSH, Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy, Triiodothyronine (T3). The results from the CBC and Metabolic were right in line. The Lipid and the Vit. D results had me more concerned only because Vitamin D levels have been known to decline with age and had been low the last time I was tested. I was happy to see that my levels were with in normal range but will continue to take the Vit D3 supplement. My Total Cholesterol has always ran high due to my high HDL(High density lipoprotein) count ( 95, range is >35). The view point out there is still that a high HDL is beneficial. HDL helps to remove LDL (Low density lipoprotein) cholesterol from the blood and transport it to the liver where it can be processed and eliminated. I am use to my total cholesterol number being higher but unfortunately this time the LDL was above the recommended range. After speaking with my physician we decided that I will be adding oatmeal to my everyday diet until my numbers are within range. So, if I had not taken the tests I would not have this information and I would not be making these small changes to positively effect my health. I have also scheduled a food sensitivity and a micronutrient level test.

Composition literally means to put together, so when you think about the composition of your health, you need to think about all the elements that effect your health. If we look at how to improve the composition of a picture, photographers look at techniques or simple guidelines like balance, leading lines, texture, symmetry, depth of field and so on. Let’s use those techniques in another way. Balance can be associated with eating and exercise habits, keeping on track most of the time but allowing a few special times when a treat or a rest day are necessary. Leading Lines, keep your focus and follow the path you set for your self. Texture, keep it interesting in your eating and exercise. No one wants to eat boiled chicken and salads every day or only run on a treadmill 1/2 hour every day. Symmetry or order can be as simple as cleaning out closets or making your bed every day.

This picture has a different subject matter but a better composition than the picture above!

Had a wonderful day at the Outdoor Photography Workshop up on Mt San Jacinto and learned that I have much to learn.

About 20 Miles of Trail Running and Hiking, 1 day of Weights and 1 day of Yoga. Meal Prep: BBQ Chicken, Quinoa Tomato & Kale Salad, Corn Muffins and Matcha Tea.

Have a Happy and Healthy Week!

Making the effort …to be Happy and Enjoy the Day!

Finding a New Trail on San Jacinto!

“Okay….1..2..3..Jump!!” Imagine two female hikers on the Round Valley Loop trail with the mid day sun shining, surrounded by huge boulders, pine trees and both facing a IPhone propped up to take a live action shot. Well… taking many shots because each picture kept getting worse. I think we actually scared the animals by all of our laughing and snorting.

Had too much fun out there on the trails plus a killer workout!

That day was a good one…. When was the last time you had a really good day and recognized it? To be HAPPY in today’s world is difficult but I believe our health depends on it. How can we be happy?

  1. Know what makes you happy (for me it is being in nature, travel and animals, finishing daily tasks, running/hiking or working out, photography, challenging myself and coffee). Each person has unique needs to achieving happiness. Look at your needs.
  2. Move forward in the direction of obtaining happiness, it will immediately put you in a positive state.
  3. Surround yourself with positive, happy individuals and know that everyone deserves to be happy. Negativity can effect anyone, it wears on you and can be very difficult when you hear it constantly.
  4. And IF you find yourself happy.. then it is your responsibility to be content and have gratitude.

Experiences make us happier than possessions. Material things come and go but memories last a lifetime. I enjoy traveling to new places and even though traveling comes with it’s own list of stressors to know that you were able to get thru them gives you a sense of accomplishment.

Being able to manage the emotional ups and downs is important for both body, mind and can build resilience. Exercise is an extremely effective stress reliever and can even quick start a dropping energy level. A negative mind set can lower your body’s immunity and increase inflammation so keep it positive.

I was reading the Harvard Health News Letter and in it it the article discusses the pathways to happiness, which are recognizing what makes you feel happy and minimize pain, engaging fully or being totally immersed, and searching for meaning outside yourself by giving back and doing good. The last one I do believe is the most important for me, I believe it is vital that people should give back to our community. I volunteer for organizations that I believe in and that I respect their purpose. I just volunteered last night for a 100 mile endurance race and it made me so happy to know that I was helping others and that I was able to assist the athletes and make them smile.

I also was listening to a couple of Ted Talks and it is always surprising that the simplest of ideas can really make an impact to me. One such talk implied that by saying out loud as soon as your feet hit the floor in the morning “It is going to be a great day” … it starts you out in the right direction (positive) for the day. Let’s give it a try!

Work Outs for this week- Ran 10 miles, hiked 6 with altitude, and did a day of weights. I will try to do more miles and incorporate one more day of weights now that I am making progress.

Meal Prep- Salmon ( 3 different ways), Homemade Pesto Sauce, Twice Baked Potatoes, Parmesan Baked Fries, Green Salad, Pina Colada Cashew Balls.

Have a Healthy and Happy Week!