Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Holiday Weight Gain

Well, the holidays are over.  I have this love-hate relationship with the holidays.  I love the opportunity to see more of family and friends.  I love the heart-warming moments and the traditions.  I love seeing the kids' faces light up when they open a gift.  I love the random acts of kindness that aren't completed during the other eleven months of the year.  I love the good food, sweets and drinks. 
Oh yeah - about that - I gained 8.5 lbs between Thanksgiving and December 26.  Yup - I said it.  Even with running about 15-20 miles per week.  We had family in town after Thanksgiving for almost two weeks and the celebrations continued all month long through Christmas Day.  I am not typically a consumer of alcoholic beverages, but this Wisconsin Girl can't resist a good ol' Brandy Old Fashioned (or two or three or four) at a family gathering.  I ate way too many sweets and treats.  What's one more when you've already had a half dozen??
I'm headed back to journaling, cleaned out the pantry and refrigerator, meal planning, and eliminating alcoholic beverages from my diet.  I'm also starting my next round of the Advocare Ten Day Cleanse

I'm finding that balance again - between healthy eating and working out.  I can't just run and run and run - and expect to eat and eat and eat.
I headed out for six miles the day after Christmas and felt so weighted down.  My legs felt heavy and I felt slow.  My stomach turned and resisted.  My legs and tummy jiggled with each step.  My running gear was tight.  It was only a month and a half since I ran an awesome marathon and I was now struggling to log a few miles.  I thought about calling it a day after my routine 5K around my neighborhood.

But the weather was beautiful.  So, I stuck with it.  I pushed myself.  I enjoyed the fresh air and the clean streets.  I had missed the sunshine over the past couple of weeks and the sun shining down on me lifted my spirits.  So did my music.  I got my feet in sync with the rhythm of my playlist and just went with it.  Eventually my six miles turned into ten and then a half marathon was completed at sunset.

I felt better.  Of course I did.  I've kicked my booty back into gear.  My run got me out of my rut.  And I can still go out and run a half marathon - just like that.

Friday, December 26, 2014

New Year's Eve Printable Worksheet

Being a very goal-oriented person, I love to reflect on the past year and set goals for myself around the time of the New Year.  Some are running goals for the next step of my running journey.  Some are personal goals.  Some are financial pursuits. 

I love to get my family involved, too.  For the past few years, my family of four sits around the dinner table and completes this New Year's Eve printable worksheet during this time of reflection.  It is fun to review the existing worksheets and the answers given one year prior.  The kids grow.  We all change.  It's enjoyable to not only set personal goals as individuals, but also goals as a family.

Running Motivation for the Holidays


Running Day Trip to Milwaukee - Run Indoors - January 10

Running Day Trip to Milwaukee
Saturday, January 10 - Depart Sun Prairie at 8:30 AM
Register Now ($12):

Start your New Year off right! Take the opportunity to get off of the treadmill this winter - and run with friends in a fun and encouraging atmosphere!!

Enjoy the 443-meter indoor track at the Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee. This is the same location as the Icebreaker Indoor Half Marathon and Marathon events two weeks later. Enjoy the distraction of figure skaters and speed skaters on the ice rink. The US National Speedskating competition will be taking place center rink.

We will meet in the Sun Prairie Woodman's parking lot at 8:30 AM and travel to Milwaukee for an indoor run/walk at your own pace. (track admission included)

We will follow with lunch at Pewaukee's Thunder Bay Grille, featuring the best salad bar around! (lunch not included). We will return to Sun Prairie by 3:00 PM.

What you will receive:
•Admission to the Pettit Center Ice Arena track ($4 value)
•Lots of motivation and time with great running buddies!

An Indoor Running Group - Limited to 15 Spots!!!


Register now!

Interested in staying motivated this winter? Want to keep up with your running and your new year's resolutions? Hate the cold? But, love the encouraging atmosphere of a group run?

If you answered YES to any of these questions - this group is for you! This class is perfect for existing runners to train for a spring 5K or the Crazylegs Classic (5 mi). Participants will run/walk at their own pace. A training program will be provided to keep runners motivated this winter.

$35 for four sessions. Register separately for January and February sessions.

Each monthly program includes four sessions. Sessions will take place indoors at the Waunakee Village Center track on Thursday evenings from 6:00-7:00 pm.

Participants will also need to purchase a 10 pass punch card for the indoor track. Non-residents - $12 for ten visits to the track. Punch card may be used to run other days/times during the week.

There is a suspended track above the gymnasium. The track is 1/16th of a mile and is a great place to walk or run. There are a limited number of strollers available to use while using the track. They are available on a first come, first serve basis. Personal strollers will not be allowed.

Feeling a little bloated? Try a 10 Day Cleanse

Ask me about my Advocare Herbal Cleanse experience!

Purchase your 10-day cleanse and start your New Year off right!! I follow the Herbal Clea...nse once every four months and it helps keep me on track, eases bloat, keeps me full and makes me conscious of my eating habits. The best part .... it doesn't interfere with my running routine. I prefer the taste of Peaches and Cream, however the Citrus flavor has been said to be more effective.

Give it a try!  

Friday, December 19, 2014

Taste of Nature Bars Review & Giveaway

I am in love with these small and scrumptious bars by Taste of Nature (HERE) . I can't say enough about them.  They are 100% certified organic and gluten-free.  And just like advertised - they taste as good as they look - REALLY!

I loved the California Almond Valley bar the BEST (HERE).    With wholesome ingredients like almonds, raisins, sesame seeds, agave nectar, sunflower seeds, brown rice syrup, pumpkin seeds and whole grain brown rice crisps with a sunflower oil blend, you can't go wrong.  I was admittedly a little hesitant to try "another organic" bar.  But these transportable bars are super tasty, healthy and delicious.  I love the sweet and salty taste of each of the bars I tried and the mixture of chewy and crunchiness in each bit.  They were NOT bland and the goodness that held the wholesome ingredients together was sweet and chewy (almost like a marshmallow consistency in rice crispy bars).   

The Quebec Cranberry Carnival Bar (HERE) was next on my list.  Peanut butter lovers will enjoy the Argentina Peanut Plains bar.  You can purchase one of their six standard flavors or try something new (HERE).

One bar has about 180 calories and 5g of protein of greatness.  Great for an addition to your breakfast or lunch or a great mid afternoon snack.  These bars are tiny and light, but filling and have a satisfying crunch.  The light and weight would be perfect to slip into your purse or gym bag.

Want to purchase some Taste of Nature bars for you and your family?  Head on over to their website or check for a retailer near you (HERE).  

Or, you can win a sampler pack! ....
One lucky winner will win
a sampler pack from
Taste of Nature Bars
1 – Become a follower of my blog or already are?!  LEAVE ME A COMMENT
2 – Follow Running Diva Mom on Facebook HERE.  LEAVE ME A COMMENT
3 – Visit the Taste of Nature Bars website HERE and tell me what you think is fabulous.  LEAVE ME A COMMENT
4 – Become a fan of Taste of Nature Bars on Facebook HERE (and let them know Running Diva Mom sent you!).  LEAVE ME A COMMENT
5 – Post about this giveaway on your blog, Facebook or Twitter (@RunningDivaMom #RunningDivaMom) account. LEAVE ME A COMMENT FOR EACH.
Enter now though December 28.

[If you would like YOUR product or website featured on Running Diva Mom, please email me at ( runningdivamom at yahoo dot com ) ]

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Winter Indoor Running Group



Register now!

Interested in staying motivated this winter? Want to keep up with your running and your new year's resolutions? Hate the cold? But, love the encouraging atmosphere of a group run?

If you answered YES to any of these questions - this group is for you! This class is perfect for existing runners to train for a spring 5K or the Crazylegs Classic (5 mi). Participants will run/walk at their own pace. A training program will be provided to keep runners motivated this winter.

Each monthly program includes four sessions. Sessions will take place indoors at the Waunakee Village Center track on Thursday evenings from 6:00-7:00 pm.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Thinking Out Loud

A friend once told me over a run that when he found love again, he wanted to have that kind of deep love where you would greet each other each evening with a hug, a kiss and then a slow dance.  Taking a break from the craziness of life ... together.  I thought it was kind of a crazy thought at the time.  But, I've held that concept with me for the past three years.  Since that run, my friend and I have both been lucky enough to find love in the best of partners.  The best kind of love.
I love music.  I love quotes.  I love lyrics.  I love words.  Dozens and dozens of itunes got me through a difficult time in my life four years ago.  Upbeat music got me through tough workouts that I needed for my version of therapy.  Emotional tunes got me through emotional times.  Endearing lyrics gave me hope.
When I met my husband three years ago, we took my friend's suggestion.  We would slow dance in the living room of my apartment.  We would embrace each other and take a pause in our day to enjoy each other.  Fast forward three years and the slow dances still exist - but they have become more infrequent over time.  Life gets busy.  Life gets in the way.  Being an adult is exhausting.  And, with the holidays here, life is busier than ever.

The other day I fell in love with Ed Sheeran's new song, Thinking Out Loud.  The lyrics reminded me why I fell in love with my husband.  Why he fell in love with us.  Not just me, but my two children, too.  It reminded me to be present.  To live in the moment.  I am such a planner and am always thinking ahead. Sometimes, all it takes is five minutes of slowing-down ... and dancing.
A slow dance, lit by the lights of the Christmas tree, steps instructed by Ed Sheeran's lyrics, was just what I needed.  What we needed.
And, just like Ed Sheeran ... it's causing me to Think Out Loud ...

I feel so blessed for this life.  This life we are creating together is more than happy, smiling faces posted on social media.  We are more than finish line photos with great big smiles.  We are more than posed family photos in color coordinated outfits.  It's the "good stuff" behind the scenes that makes me blessed.  The uncaptured moments.

It's about the everyday things we share together.  It's about the great moments we share as a family.  And the struggles that we embrace and discuss.  The blending of families.  The struggles with raising two children - two children that are not your own. 
I am always amazed by your touch.  The kissing of my hand or on my forehead when you know that I need it.  The way we look in each other's eyes and my eyes fill with tears.  How you embrace me and breathe in the moment.  I didn't know that love like this existed.
I love how we don't raise our voices.  How the kids express and observe that we don't raise our voices.  How they see you hug me and want to be a part of it.
How we talk about things.  How we react.  And when we don't react well, that we talk about it again and make things right. 
The financial struggles.  The financial triumphs.  The good choices.  The bad decisions. 
I love how you help me navigate parenting, while realizing that you are not their father.  How you are involved, but realize your boundaries.  How you suggest, but don't enforce.  How you praise, redirect and love.
I truly believe that I've found a partner.  Not just a husband.  We are a team.  I didn't just find you.  I chose you.  And you chose me.  You chose us.

I've told you that I wish I'd found you sooner in life.  But you remind me that everywhere we've been has led us to each other.  To this point in our lives.  We weren't ready for this amazingly, wonderful life together.  That's why you ended up back here.  Maybe we both had to endure the struggles and hardships to make us appreciate this life we are creating together. 
As Ron Pope's lyrics sang during our wedding ceremony, "Even after all this time, there's nothing else I'll ever find in this whole wide world that can shake me like you do.  There's truth of something so sublime, that there aren't words yet to describe, the beauty of this life I've made with you.".
I'm so appreciative for the past three years together.  I am overly excited about the possibility that our future holds together.
But, most importantly, I'm thankful for the present.
For today.
With you.