Training Week 8: Putting In The Work

Top o' the week to ya! Today I'm joining up once again with the Fit Dish and Faith & Fitness crews.

Over the weekend, I made a spontaneous decision to run a local half marathon. Many small-towns have 5k's and 10k's but it's not often they throw together their own half marathon. Instead of doing my 1:45 long run solo, it sounded much more appealing to actually run with other people!

The weekly Faith & Fitness Bible verse is Proverbs 14:23.
All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. PROVERBS 14:23
As I dug into the application in this verse, I found that the "profit" mentioned isn't exclusive to financial gain.

According to the Merriam-Webster, profit is a valuable return; a gain. A gain is something that is wanted or valued that is gotten through some activity or process - a.k.a. work!

Applying this verse to Saturday's half marathon...

The WORK: 8 weeks of training (for a different race but it still counts!)
The PROFIT: Physical fitness, endurance and preparation to run the best race I can on that day.

If I had just talked about running a half marathon for the past 8 weeks instead of putting in the work, I would have lacked readiness and fitness to run the race. That's exactly what poverty means - the lack of something! Mere talk just doesn't get the job done. 

The truth in Proverbs 14:23 applies to everything we pursue; especially our spiritual growth.

If we want to grow in our relationship with the Lord and knowledge of God's Word, we need to put in the work of spending time with Him.

Put your work into what matters. It is worth the gain!


Run Roll Ride Half Marathon Results:

Finish Time - 01:45:00
Average Pace - 8:01/mile
Placing - 4th Overall out of ??


Leaving the house by 6:45 am with both of the boys felt like an accomplishment in itself! We had to meet my husband on the road to drop off his forgotten wallet and then left on our way to the race.

We made it by 7:30, just in time to meet Grandma, register and make a potty break for E before starting time.

The morning was cool and a little breezy with 88% humidity and thick fog. The half marathon runners set off at 8:00 am, followed by the rollerbladers and then the bikers. The 10k and 5k runners had their own starting lines at different points on the course. This was a point-to-point race, starting in one town and ending in the neighboring town.

When we took off, E told Grandma, "I miss mom." (Grandma informed me of this after the race) It felt good to know he actually misses me sometimes!

For the first 3 miles, I hung with the front group of runners, which was perfect because the course was unmarked and I had no idea where I was going! The group of half marathoners spread out after that point and the thick fog made it feel like I was running alone again for quite a few more miles.

Mile 1 - 7:27
Mile 2 - 7:48
Mile 3 - 7:42
Mile 4 - 7:48
Mile 5 - 7:48

At around the 45-minute mark, I came to my first water station where they were handing out full water bottles. I was thankful they had water available for us but wasn't sure how to handle running with a water bottle in-hand. I carried it for a while, took GU #2, drank some water and then left it on the side of the road. I had intentions of picking it up on our drive back...

During training runs, I start slower and speed up at the end of the run (negative splits) but my races always work backwards. I knew I started out too fast with that lead group and payback time would come.

By mile 8, I felt like my energy was tanking. Bikers and rollerbladers were zooming by and they were very encouraging. That helped me to keep trucking through the headwind!

Mile 6 - 7:53
Mile 7 - 7:56
Mile 8 - 8:07
Mile 9 - 8:04
Mile 10 - 8:13

When I hit mile 10, I kept telling myself, "Just a 5k left. One mile at a time!" I was SO hungry! Eating one GU before starting and then one at 45 minutes just wasn't cutting it. I wanted a cheeseburger... bad!

Taking a walk break was tempting and my mind was offering up excuses - hey, you had a baby 3 months ago, just take it easy! - but I kept pushing. Walking meant it would take longer to get more food!

Mile 11 - 8:25
Mile 12 - 8:41
Mile 13.1 - 8:04

I followed another group of bikers into town, which was perfect because I didn't know where the finish line was. Sounds like I prepared well, right?! Finally, we made it and, WOW, did it feel wonderful to cross the finish and stop running.

Racing long distance is a lot like childbirth. There are times when I ask myself, "Wait, why did I decide to do this again?" but the feeling of being able to push through that mental barrier is worth it. After crossing the finish line, I think, "When can I do that again!?" (Don't read into that too much - we are currently NOT expecting baby #3!)

I changed into non-sweaty clothes during the car ride back to the starting line (no, I wasn't the one driving!). We stopped in to the local cafe for a "second breakfast" and some time to visit.

The food was awesome - breakfast is always awesome - and I was thankful to have that special time with some of my favorite people. THANK YOU, GRANDMA, for watching the boys and hanging out with us :)


Wild Hog 1/2 Training Week 8

8/24 M - Easy: 3 treadmill miles, 27:00 @ 8:58/mile + Strength Training.

8/25 T - Speed Intervals: 5 miles, 42:00 @ 8:20/mile. 3 x 1600m - 8:20, 7:37, 7:25,  Finished with a little extra time to spare before everyone woke up so I ran an extra mile before going inside.
8/26 W - Strength Training.

8/27 H - Tempo Run: 5.56 miles, 45:00 @ 8:05/mile. 9:02, 8:20, 8:04, 7:37, 7:40, 7:38 (.56 mile)

8/28 F - Rest.

8/29 Sa - Surprise weekend race instead of solo long run! 13.1 miles, 1:45:00 @ 8:01/mile. 7:27, 7:48, 7:42, 7:48, 7:48, 7:53, 7:56, 8:07, 8:04, 8:13, 8:25, 8:41, 8:31, 8:04 (last .08 mile)

8/30 Su - Off. Race recovery day.

Total Mileage: 26.66 miles

What are you putting work into this week?

Linking up with the Fit Switch, Jill Conyers and Faith & Fitness Friday. #dishthefit  #FridayFaithFitness

Alone | Five-Minute Friday

Good morning! Today I'm joining up with another Five-Minute Friday link-up.

What's a "free write"? No editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write!

This week's word is:

00:00 START the timer!

Since becoming a stay-at-home mom, the concept of "alone time" has taken on a whole new meaning.

Alone can be a word that translates to loneliness. Or it can be a word that means peace and rest.

While I treasure the time I have with my sons and my husband, waking up for that special alone time in the morning is something sacred. Usually the word "rest" makes us think of sleep. For me, I feel a rest in my soul by starting my morning in peace, quiet... alone.

Alone time isn't something I am entitled to. It's not something I deserve and some days (or life seasons) it just doesn't happen!

Starting my day in God's Word or going out for a peaceful morning run or just going to the bathroom alone are gifts from the Lord.

Jesus knew that His disciples needed rest and that's exactly what He gave them.

Can you believe they didn't even have time to eat? That part of the below verse is relatable for most of us - especially moms with little ones at home!

Even if finding a little window of alone time seems impossible, go to the Lord and He will give you rest in His perfect timing. He knows exactly what we need!
Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and His apostles didn’t even have time to eat. MARK 6:31 NLT

05:00 STOP the timer!

What's in My Bulu Box? REVIEW + SPECIAL OFFER

Last week, I received some fun mail from Bulu Box! As a Sweat Pink Ambassador with Fit Approach, I was sent my very own Bulu Box to review.

I love getting "fun mail" (a.k.a. not bills). As soon as the box came in the door, my toddler was all over it, ready to dig in!

Here is a little rundown on how a Bulu Box subscription works:
"Bulu Box is the first health, nutrition and weight loss discovery box designed to help you feel your best. Each month, you’ll get a custom box filled with a new mix of 4 to 5 premium samples from top brands to try. Every sample is sufficient enough to decide if the product is right for you." (from the Bulu Box website)

What's in My Bulu Box?

One of the best features of the Bulu Box is every month you receive a different combination of products. It's always full of surprises! Here is a quick look at the products I received in my Bulu Box:

A photo posted by Amy Will (@creativeaim87) on

Nuvia Café

First, let me admit that I am a slight coffee snob. I like my coffee dark and bold! Nuvia Café had a great flavor, for an instant coffee, and even earned my husband's coffee approval. It is considered a "healthy" coffee because of its special ingredients including Ganoderma extract, ECGC, and pomegranate.

Martha Stewart Vegetarian Multi-Vitamin Gummies

Who knew that Martha Stewart has her own line of vitamins!? It was news to me! I did like that the gummies look like those spice drop candies - all sugar coated and tasty. The Multi-Vitamin Gummies' taste reminded me of the Flintstones vitamins I took as a kid. Chewing one of these vitamins is much easier than swallowing a horse-pill every day!

Movit Energy Gummies

These energy gummies have cute little smiley faces and they taste great! This was another product that was approved by my husband, too. I made sure to keep these Movit Energy Gummies away from toddler boy because they look like fruit snacks and he doesn't need any extra energy!

BPI Sports Funnbar

I was not a fan of the Funnbar protein candy chews. The chew samples came in citrus and caramel & chocolate. Both were very chalky-flavored. Protein is great and all, but I will pass on these!


All-natural, packed with DHA and EPA from sustainable algae and no fish aftertaste? Sounds like a good deal to me. The Ovega-3 pill size is on the bigger side but the benefits are likely worth choking them down.

Urgent RX Upset Stomach

This product is a good one to keep in the diaper-bag or purse, you know, just in case. You don't even need water when taking the Urgent RX fruit-flavored powder packs!

Try Bulu Box for Yourself!

The Nuvia Café takes the cake as my favorite product in this Bulu Box. Try Bulu Box to explore more vitamin, supplement and healthy snack samples for yourself.

Use the code SWEATPINK to receive 50% off a 3-Month Subscription to!

While I was sent a free Bulu Box to review, I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own.

Training Week 7: Whatever I Do

Heyo! Here begins a new week and another meet up with the Fit Dish link-up and the Faith & Fitness crew! This week, the [optional] Fit Dish topic is to share a "day in the life" photo collection.

Not too long ago, I shared a day in my life as a new mom of two. A month has passed since then and our days are developing a little more routine, yet there are always surprises with a toddler and 3-month-old.

Despite the daily spontaneity, there are constants to my day. A day in my life usually includes:
  • Bible reading and prayer
  • Morning coffee with half n' half
  • Exercise (rest days are the exception)
  • Baby W diaper changes
  • Nurse Baby W throughout day
  • Dishwashing - We finally got a dishwasher after 3 years of marriage!!!
  • Laundry stuff
  • Reading books to toddler and sing songs together
  • Outdoor adventures

Over the past week, some of our adventures have included going for a family run, eating my husband's famous sourdough waffles, baking a bunch of muffins, painting E's playhouse, camping with family and dancing it up at a wedding.

Working at home can feel monotonous with never-ending dishes, diapers and laundry to do, but no matter I'm doing, keeping an eternal perspective motivates me to give it my all.

Whatever I do...

Whether it's an early morning run,
Studying the Bible,
Reading to my kids,
Cooking meals for my family,
Or folding the endless heap of laundry,

I want to work at it with all of my heart. God cares about the work I do - yes, even the mundane daily chores - and it is the Lord Jesus Christ that I am serving. Some times I may feel unappreciated but Jesus sees my heart and my efforts.


Wild Hog 1/2 Training Week 7

8/17 M - Easy: 3.04 miles with the double jogger, 29:00 @ 9:32/mile. Family run with Leo and I taking turns pushing the stroller!

8/18 T - Speed Intervals: 5 treadmill miles, 42:00. 4x800m @ 7:30, 7:30, 7:00, 7:00/mile pace with 800m recovery at 9:15/mile pace
8/19 W - Strength: Pump & Burn DVD.

8/20 H - Tempo Run: 5.5 miles, 45:09 @ 8:12. This run felt hard. Hope I'm not getting sick.

8/21 F - Long Run: 6.2 miles, 52:00 @ 8:19/mile avg. Shorter long run for this week.

8/22 Sa - 3.11 miles with the double stroller, 35:00 @ 11:15/mile. Great visit with my sis-in-law while running! I'm not a fan of pushing the stroller on gravel but it was a great talking pace.

8/23 Su - Off. Wedding dance recovery!

Total Mileage: 22.85 miles
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. COLOSSIANS 3:23-24
What are the "constants" in your daily life?

Linking up with the Fit Switch, Jill Conyers and Faith & Fitness Friday. #dishthefit  #FridayFaithFitness

Find | Five-Minute Friday

Hello Friday! Time for a free write with the Five-Minute Friday link-up!

What's a "free write"? No editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write!

Our topic for this week is:

00:00 START the timer!

For quite some time, I asked God how I could find His will for my life. Looking back over my 20's, the way His will for my life looks has changed drastically from age 20 to 28.

My 20's began with me having no relationship with the Lord. I was bitter, empty, and frustrated with life. There was nothing of this world I could find that would fill the void.

Then I surrendered my life to God; one of His lost sheep was found.

At 28, my life looks drastically different. God changed me from the inside out when I gave my life to Him in 2011. Now He is sanctifying me day by day, chipping away at my sinful, selfish heart and transforming me to be more like Christ.

What does God's will have in store for my future? It's not my job to find out. What I do know is I trust Him and I know that He will give me the strength for whatever lies ahead.
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” JAMES 4:14-15
Life in God's will is a great adventure that has stretched me out of my comfort zone over and over again. It's beautiful, more wonderful and more challenging than I could have ever dreamed up.

I am so thankful the Shepherd found me. He drew me to Him, threw me up on His shoulders and took me home.
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. LUKE 15:3-7

05:00 STOP the timer!

What would you write on "Find"?

Training Week 6: Mind Over Matter

On Sunday morning, I woke up already exhausted and feeling defeated before my feet even hit the ground. My thoughts went a little something like this:
"How can I run for 1:45 when I'm already worn out? Baby was up so much last night and my bed is nice and cozy... Can't I just skip this one?"
I knew that if I slept through this workout, it would start a motivation mudslide. If I skipped one, it would be that much easier to skip the next one... and the next
"Let's give it a try, one foot in front of the other. I will just run for 45 minutes. Then 45 more minutes. And then 15 minutes more."
Out the door I went. Breaking the run up into 45 + 45 + 15 minutes sounds much less intimidating than 1 hour 45 minutes! Sounds weird but it works for me.

Changing the way I thought about the run made all the difference and I ended up running 5 minutes extra so I could hit the 13.1 mark. I came back in the door sweaty yet totally re-energized. I felt victorious and thankful, so blessed that my husband watched the boys to give me a little early morning break.

All it took was a change of thought to get out the door; to change something that intimidated me into a blessing.

Running talk aside, the thoughts we let into our mind affect everything in our lives:

Our attitude.
How we treat our family and friends.
Whether we live in victory - or defeat.
The way we interact with random grocery store acquaintances.
How we see ourselves.
And even the way we see God.

What we think will eventually work its way out in our words or actions.

The messages that we allow into our minds - whether it's through social media, television, books, magazines or conversations - greatly influence our thoughts and attitudes. Thinking on good things uplifts the spirit while allowing junk into our minds brings defeat.

If we filtered our thoughts and only allowed in the things that please God, how would our lives look different? What would it be like to live as a constant victor in Jesus Christ rather than defeated by the Enemy's lies?
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. PHILIPPIANS 4:8

How to Establish a Healthy Thought Pattern

Philippians 4:8 is the perfect filter for establishing a healthy thought pattern. By choosing to think in a way that pleases God, we are able to live a life of purity and spiritual fitness, free from the anxieties that drag us down.

We can test our thoughts by using the below questions based on that verse:

Is it TRUE?

True: Honest; honorable; upright.

Is it NOBLE?

Noble: Having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals.

Is it RIGHT?

Right: Morally good, justified or acceptable.

Is it PURE?

Pure: Wholesome and untainted by immorality.


Lovely: Very pleasant or enjoyable; delightful.


Admirable: Deserving respect or approval.


Excellent: Extremely good; outstanding.


Praiseworthy: Deserving approval and admiration.
(Thanks for the definitions, Google)

When we struggle with negative thoughts - because, well, it happens - we can take them to God in prayer and fill our heart and mind with His Word. By practicing a disciplined thought life, Paul says, in verse 4:9, that the God of peace will be with us.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. PHILIPPIANS 4:9

Let us fill our minds with thoughts of God and His Truth and live in victory through Jesus Christ!

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 CORINTHIANS 15:57

Wild Hog 1/2 Training Week 6

8/10 M - Recovery: 2.53 miles with the double jogger, 25:00 @ 10:00/mile. Ran to the park with the boys!

8/11 T - Speed Intervals: 4.5 treadmill miles , 37:00. Intervals were 400m @ 8:30, 8:00, 7:30, 7:00, 7:00, 6:45, 6:45, 6:30 with 400m easy jog in between.
8/12 W - Strength: Pump & Burn DVD.

8/13 H - Tempo Run: 5.55 miles, 45:02 @ 8:07/mile average. Eased into the run and the last 2.55 miles were in the 7:00's.

8/14 F - Rest.

8/15 Sa - Easy: 3.25 miles, 30:03 @ 9:15/mile. Hot and humid by 6:00 am!

8/16 Su - Long run: 13.1 miles, 1:50 @ 8:23/mile.

Total Mileage: 28.93 miles

A photo posted by Amy Will (@creativeaim87) on

How do you keep your thoughts in check?

Linking up with the Fit Switch, Jill Conyers and Faith & Fitness Friday. #dishthefit  #FridayFaithFitness

Learn | Five-Minute Friday

It's time for another Friday free write with the Five-Minute Friday link-up!

What's a "free write"? No editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write!

Our topic for this week is:

00:00 START the timer!

Last night I finished reading "Tramp for the Lord" by Corrie Ten Boom. This book belonged to my Great Grandma though I'm not sure if she ever read it herself. I will have to ask the next time I stop by the nursing home.

Wow. What I learned from Corrie Ten Boom's writing!

This was one of my favorite quotes from the book:
"The life of a Christian is an education for higher service. No athlete complains when the training is hard. He thinks of the game, or the race." Corrie Ten Boom
The world is our classroom. We just need to be aware of what God is teaching us and be willing to learn each and every day! To grow to be more like Christ, we must have a humble, teachable spirit.

But what can God teach me while I spend my days with a 2.5 year old and 2.5 month old or while I'm out on a run?

So much!

Lately God has been telling me to TRUST Him. Quit trying to trust Him and just do it. Trust Him with my plans for the day. Trust Him with wisdom in parenting and marriage. Trust His Spirit to display fruit in my life.

Live boldly in faith and complete trust in His plans for my life.

05:00 STOP the timer!

This was another quote from the book that really spoke to me too. Added after the timer:

What lesson is God teaching you today?

Training Week 5: Running and Breastfeeding

August is National Breastfeeding Month so it is fitting to talk running and breastfeeding today. Plus it's something I have spent a lot of time doing over the last 2.5 months.

Can running and breastfeeding work together?

Sure they can! Though I wouldn't recommend trying to do them literally at the same time.

While I was gearing up to train for a Fall marathon after having our first baby, I was told that "running will make you lose your milk supply". Baby E would only be 7 months old on race day so I pumped extra to make sure he had enough milk for at least his first year.

Well... I didn't lose my milk after all (which I am very thankful for!) and was left with an epic collection of frozen milk. If anything, regular exercise caused my milk supply to increase.

Continuing to run while caring for and nursing a baby does require a lot more motivation and energy but it's totally do-able. Despite the running and breastfeeding myths, running hasn't had any negative effects on the quality or quantity of my milk supply.

I nursed our first son until he was 14 months and my goal is to make it to at least a year with our second son. Breastfeeding is such a beautiful bond. It's borderline miserable in that first month (at least for me!) but once mom and baby get the hang of each other, it's a wonderful gift.

Here are a few of the benefits of Exercise and Breastfeeding from
  • Higher level of cardiovascular fitness 
  • Improved blood lipid profiles and insulin response 
  • A feeling of well-being from improved energy and reduced stress levels 
  • Enhanced maternal-infant relationship Alleviation of depression symptoms in those with major depressive disorders

**I am NOT a lactation consultant. This is just an account of my experience with breastfeeding and running.**

Running and Breastfeeding: What Works for Me

Double-Up on Sports Bras

More support means a more comfortable run! Nursing pads are great for preventing potentially very awkward leaking situations.

Pump Before Longer Runs

"Running on empty" is a good thing when you're a breastfeeding runner! I always pump before long runs and races. That way I feel more comfortable and there is plenty of milk to leave for baby's bottle.

Bottle prepped for baby and extra milk for the fridge. (The bottles look funny due to being in the fridge and being filled with warm milk.)

Eat Quality Calories

Breastfeeding makes me so hungry - much more hungry than during pregnancy. In the latest Runner's World magazine, I learned that it takes 22 calories to produce just one ounce of milk. That means one pumping session of 8 ounces of milk burns approximately 176 calories! That explains the crazy breastfeeding hunger. The key is to eat quality calories, especially extra protein and calcium.

Source: Runner's World Magazine, August 2015

Time Runs After Feeding

Nurse baby or pump right before you head out the door for a run. If I'm running with the kids in the stroller, I bring with the nursing cover just in case baby's hunger strikes again.

Continue Taking a Prenatal Vitamin

To make sure both mom and baby are getting the vitamins and minerals they need, continue taking a prenatal vitamin even while breastfeeding. Through my pregnancy with Baby W and now while breastfeeding, I have been taking the <affiliate link> Rainbow Light Prenatal One.

Stay Hydrated

Being a breastfeeding mom that runs means you need even more fluids to stay properly hydrated. If you want to boost your milk supply, drinking Mother's Milk tea is a great option. I drink this tea now and then when Baby W is in a big growth spurt. I'm picky about my teas but I really like the flavor of this one, especially with a little added half n' half!


Wild Hog 1/2 Training Week 5

8/3 M - 3 miles with the double jogger, 30:00 @ 10:00/mile. Quite a few walk breaks to re-insert Baby W's pacifier!

8/4 T - 4 treadmill miles of 400m hill intervals, 38:00 @ 9:30/mile average. 400m @ 6% grade followed by 400m recovery jog.
8/5 W - Pump & Burn DVD workout from Beachbody.

8/6 H - 5.32 miles, 45:00 @ 8:28/mile. Legs felt like lead but I pushed through and felt much better by the last couple miles.

8/7 F - Off. I'm trying Fridays out as a new rest day. Sundays are the perfect long run day because my husband is home to help with kiddos! We'll see how this trial week goes.

8/8 Sa - 3.25 miles with the double jogger, 32:00 @ 9:43/mile.

8/9 Su - Long run: 10.4 miles, 1:29:47 @ 8:37/mile. Negative splits.

Total Mileage: 25.97 miles.

What day(s) of the week do you take off from exercise?

More Running & Breastfeeding Resources:
Running and breastfeeding: what you need to know
The Breastfeeding Runner
Running Research: Running and nursing

Linking up with the Fit Switch and Jill Conyers. #dishthefit

Here | Five-Minute Friday

First of all, happy Friday and happy birthday to my husband who is the "big" 2-7!

Today I'm joining up with the Five-Minute Friday link-up for the first time and I'm so excited to be a part of this. For anyone new to this link-up (like me), here is how it works in a nutshell:

To participate, you write for five minutes on the topic of the week and share it with the Five-Minute Friday crew on... Friday!

Here comes my favorite part:

"This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write."

Thank you, Kate, for hosting this link-up and allowing me to join in!

"Here" is the glider rocker in our bedroom. It's 4:30 a.m. and I'm up nursing baby boy.

Baby is content, toddler is fast asleep and so is Daddy. The world is so still right now and here I sit awake, enjoying the peace.

Sleep is precious but so are these moments. I treasure these cuddles. Soon enough this baby boy will proclaim himself a "big boy" like his brother and not want Mommy cuddles, unless he has a boo-boo or a bad dream.

It's my husband's birthday today. Four years ago we started dating - great birthday present, right? Marriage, a house and two kids later, God has brought us here.

Some days I struggle with contentment but others I am in complete awe of where God has placed me.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 TIMOTHY 6:6
Baby is asleep and I'm set to wake up in an hour. Five years ago this life of marriage and two little people in the house would have terrified me.

Thank God that He knows me better than I know myself. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in this entire world than right here.

In this moment I feel so blessed, so thankful. Still somewhat flabbergasted that toddler threw baby's pacifier in the toilet yesterday.

It's beautiful here. Sleep-deprived, messy and beautiful.

Training Week 4: My Long Run "Flat Self"

When I was a kid, I got my kicks from cutting apart my Great Grandma's old JC Penney catalogs to make clothes for my paper dolls. Nerdy? I prefer the word "meticulous" :)

This week on Jessica and Jill's link-up, the Fit Dish, we're doing something that brought back those flat paper doll memories ... except we're talking workout clothes, sharing photos of our own wardrobe and I'm not a JC Penney's model from the 90's. This post contains affiliate links.

The night before a morning run or race, I lay out my clothes to save a little time after my morning alarm goes off.

Finding the right workout clothes is much harder in the morning (before drinking my coffee) and in the dark! That extra fumbling around increases my chances of waking up baby and/or toddler.

This was my "flat self" all ready to go for Saturday's 90-minute long run:

TANK: adidas Performance Women's Ultimate Tank Top

SHORTS: Under Armour Running Shorts

SPORTS BRA: Marika Tek sports bra from Sam's club. Yes, I bought my sports bra at the same place I buy my groceries. A deal is a deal!

SUNGLASSES: P52 Polarized Super Light Frame Sunglasses - This year I have finally started to wear sunglasses while I run and these are the best! They stay in place and don't make my nose sweat a ton. Downside is that they scratch easily.

WATCH: Garmin Forerunner 405 - My ancient and sometimes malfunctioning running watch bought back in 2011. That baby has been everywhere with me!

TUNES: Apple iPod nano (4th gen) - Another ancient artifact. Amazon informed me that this iPod is discontinued by the manufacturer (along with my watch).

FUEL: GU Energy Gels, Vanilla Bean - I take in one GU right before the run and then another one at 45 minutes in, always with water!

SHOE: Nike Flex Trainer 3 - These cross training shoes are my go-to for running on gravel roads. My Scott running shoes have an open-back design and the rocks that sneak in are really annoying!

Do I absolutely need all of that stuff for a long run? No. But having the "right stuff" does make running long distance more enjoyable! GU gels are much easier to carry around than PB&J sandwiches and listening to music or podcasts on my iPod helps me to ignore the fact that I'm tired.

For me, long runs are 80% mental and 20% physical workouts. Being prepared is one way to be mentally on top of your game before a key workout.

If my mind is in the right place, I can cover the miles - maybe slowly but surely - even if my legs feel like lead. So much of distance running (and life) is controlling your thoughts!

Really, running is one big metaphor living a life of faith. Pushing your body to new limits isn't comfortable - just as living a life for Jesus isn't always comfortable (Matthew 10:22).

We press on because the prize is worth it. In running terms, crossing the finish or completing a workout is worth the (sometimes) temporary physical discomforts.

In the big, eternal picture, pressing through the troubles of this life is worth it because it leads to an eternity spent in God's presence. Now THAT'S worth it!
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. PHILIPPIANS 3:14

Wild Hog 1/2 Training Week 4

7/27 M - 4.1 mile run with speed intervals, 35:00. 400 m intervals @ 7:00-7:30/mile with 400m rest @ 8:30-9:00.

7/28 T - Strength training.
7/29 W - Off. Road trip with the little guys and my in-laws!

7/30 H - 4.94 mile tempo run, 40:00 @ 8:06/mile average.

7/31 F - 3 easy-effort miles with double jogging stroller, 31:30 @ 10:30/mile average.

8/1 S - 10.25 mile long run, 1:30 @ 8:47/mile average.

Total Mileage: 22.29 miles

How do you prep the night before morning workouts?

Linking up with the Fit Switch and Jill Conyers. #dishthefit