The Joy of Running

I started running when I was at least in Junior High School. It was largely due to me having “them running legs” as everyone called them. I was tall and skinny and at least looked like I had the potential to be athletic. I joined a local team and they trained me. I fell in love! I found myself running for sport and I enjoyed it. Fast forward to now. I picked up running again in the last 2 years to help maintain my weight but running became much more!

In “The Joy of Running” arranged by Jackie Corley it breaks down a runner’s heartbeat. As an adult with a family my reason for running has changed. The “Joy” of running isn’t just for weight maintenance anymore. If that was the case I would have fallen off a long time ago. Joy in running is beyond the moment when the happiness falls. Happiness in running wains in about the first 3 miles. The pain of running kicks in you need Joy pushing behind you. During my 4 am wake up calls where I’m alone and no one to push; Joy kicks in.

I love when David Bedford says:

Running is a lot like life. Only 10 percent of it is exciting. 90 percent of it is slog and drudge.

He’s referring to life in this quote. “The Joy of Running” breaks down how running affects a person’s whole being. Unlike my junior high running has a more intimate meaning. I talk to God and go over my life when my feet hit the ground. I take on life’s stressors when I hit the ground. I take on all of my inconsistencies when I hit the ground!

Monte Davis says:

Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it’s hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also there are hours of clearheadedness that follow a long run.

I practice self-care and self preservation on the ground when I run every single time. There’s not one time when something has been on my heart or mind that running hasn’t allowed me to figure it out or give me peace that it can’t be worked out.

“The Joy of Running” is a runner’s reminder of remember your why. I dedicate to leaving this book by my bed. It’s usually where a runner’s biggest struggle comes from. If I wake up and get up even if my time is slow or my miles low; I showed up for myself and “The Joy of Running” pushed my spirit to hear herself!

I highly recommend this book and if you or someone you love stresses a desire to run-gift them this book! It’s a collection of love letters as I call tjem to a runner’s soul! A runner would understand and align themselves back to the “Joy” and their why!

To get your own copy you can get it here!

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Week 5: Storr Summer Adventures

Well this week was a bit slow. I got what I thought was a sinus infection and my oldest had a Summer cold! So laid a bit not this week! We still had fun! So heres is how we ended up with a messy situation but ate well and spent time recovering for our Hershey Park trip! A total of 56.28 was spent!

Monday

Mondays are always uneasy! It was also national gummi bear day so we decided to do an ice-cream gummi bear dessert to celebrate. I love gummi bears and being Vegan didn’t have to miss out! With non dairy ice-cream and vegan gummies I was still winning! I had the Chunky Monkey ice-cream in house! I bought the kids Sour Patch ice-cream and gummi bear materials for $10.78!

Tuesday

We definitely kept it indoors as the heat was picking up and went to GPCC indoor swimming! Who didn’t need to cool off last week in Philadelphia?! We had a great time as usual! We grabbed snacks on the way for $12.00!

Wednesday

I find that these are low days and I secretly love them! I had an event so the kids hung out with family! I was able to get work done and attend the Philly Influencer Mixer which has brands come and meet Influencers and bloggers to work with! It’s an amazing way to network! Thank you to Davida for being our fearless leader! Follow especially Philadelphia bloggers or influencers as a Fall Mixer is up next and you want to be in the building!

Thursday

We got our and about! I had my physical with my doctor! I’m happy to announce that I’m in great health! My doctor is over the moon with my numbers. I encourage everyone to see about their health physically and emotionally!! I feel my best when I take for me! It’s not just about working out or just food it’s about the total mental health too. Doing what I love makes me complete! While there I was able to visit my old co-workers! We went to lunch and the kids got McDonald’s! Total was $12.71! I had the new plant based bowl at Qdobo for $10.79! We were going to go bowling but traffic was at an all time high so we made slime! To all of my parents you already know my plight!! But…..they had a blast! Materials were $10!!

Friday

It was entirely toooo hot but we also needed to get ready for the weekend Hershey Park trip since we were doing an overnight trip! So that meant cleaning, packing, and laundry! We also elected to do shaving cream art and keep things a bit messy! Armed with shaving cream and food coloring we had an amazing time!

I know if we hadn’t had a few sicknesses this week we would have been out and about more but with the way the heat was set up and the way our air conditioning bill has been we should never leave so we can feel like we are getting your money worth!

This week is already adventurous! We added a new activity for the week! I’ll highlight it next week!

Lancaster Vegan Fest

I had the best time of my Saturday! The one thing I adore about Summer is being out and about and festivals. Like who doesn’t love good food, good people, and fun? Non humans I suppose!

Today I went to Lancaster Vegan Fest. Since becoming vegan I’ve kept up with my lifestyle and it feels amazing to even know about these types of festival even exist. Not only do they have vegan fests in my city of Philadelphia but all around too! I guess it’s true you don’t know until you know! Today I attended the event in my hometown of Lancaster with my twin, my youngest daughter, all of my nieces, my brother, my sister in love, my sister in love’s mother, and cousin brother. Talk about a fam bam explosion!

Now my brother Mr. Not Vegan still had a great time too. He constantly makes fun of my “leaf eating life!” They had live performances, great food, and great drinks even some adult juice tasting as well. They had a kids corner with face painting? Arts and crafts and even a bubble spot which was a big splash with my nieces

Talk about an amazing happy crowd? It really doesn’t get any better!

Now on to the food! The kids had icees, juices, and my highlight chocolate covered fruit. There were over 50 something vendors so I had to be selective! But goodness….

Shout out to the Pop’d Shop who had an amazing selections of soda and some super bomb popcorn! I bought the caramel one and whew it was super delicious!

Also I stopped at the one and only Chef Oliver of Culinary Services of Chef Oliver and I had the Sausage Ragu over White rice-it was vegan and I’m really sad I didn’t get any for the road. It was full of flavor!!!

Overall even if you’re not plant based, just want to taste different options, or just curios, attend your nearest vegan fest! Trust me the selections will surprise you and the crowds are amazing!! I hope to see a few followers at the next one! There is a Philadelphia Vegan Fest on June 8, 2019!

Paris owes me Nothing Part 3

Time to be tourist! After a long sleep we were up and out! We passed Pont d’ Arcole to get to Notre-Dame Cathedral. We took the metro. That was an interesting adventure. It was crazy to see what the fire took of the Cathedral. I hope it will be repaired as soon as possible. They also had a lot of armed guards there and a lot of police in the area.

Esmeralda

It started to rain so we stopped at Esmeralda, a restaurant that looks towards the Cathedral where I enjoyed a crepe filled with bananas and chocolate and wine. My husband had a hamburger and fries which was hilarious as I informed him he at least celebrated national hamburger day! My girl Kyla enjoyed her fries and wine! We decided we were going to keep walking and hit up some more sights but not before I had my real banana gelato! It’s so much better here than in the States.

Shakespeare and Company

I’m such a nerd but I spotted a book store and not just any store; Shakespeare and Company book store. I was in Heaven! Floors of books and old fashioned ladders to get the books that are higher up. It was a little more modern than I expected but I was in pure bliss!

Pont des Arts

Near Pont des Arts I spot a clown. Yes a clown! I want a picture with him. He takes one of me by twirling me, Marques snaps a few pics, and then he has me and Marques take some of just he and I! The clown grabs Marques and snaps some of him by having him hold his leg and attempts to kiss him. The laughter alone….don’t worry no clowns were harmed!

Louvre Museum

The day we visited it’s closed. So of course we continue to take pics at the Louvre Pyramid and Tuileries Garden! It was still an amazing time. Everyone was smiling and having the time of their life even though it soon started raining!

Place de la Concordé

This tall statue is so breathtaking with its golden tip. I’m amazed at how much history and architecture is in Paris. If you love both you will be blown away.

Champs-Élysées

This section of Paris is beautiful and rich. From the shopping and fashion district to the history, cathedrals, beautiful gardens I’m super glad we didn’t miss this. Also we stopped at the Arc de Triomphe.

Body Attack

Most folks would do this high level of working out prior to going on vacation but since working out is a lifestyle and not just a swimsuit ready venture, my girl Kyla had us at Les Cercles de la Forme to take a body attack class. Kyla teaches it in the States. I have taken her class and she’s very official. The class in Paris which was like one door down from our hotel, was just as intense. Kyla needed no help with the routine as she knew it! It felt good to work out with her! Glad she found the class even though she tried to kill me!

Buffalo Grill

It was definitely time to eat after all of that waking and workout! So we ventured to Buffalo Grill! It’s hard to eat for me since I’m vegan and the French love their meat and cheese. I had to make a lot of adjustments to make it vegan approved but we made it happen! I had about 25 ozs of wine and made sure I ate bread and whatever vegan options I could make up. They had steaks etc.

Eiffel Tower Take 2

So although we did see the Eiffel after the wedding on the boat, seeing it lit at night was amazing! I mean having to almost break our necks to get a justifiable picture wasn’t an easy task but we did it! It was amazing in all of his glorious lights! It’s the simple everyone knows Paris by! It is unifying and pure joy! I don’t think I smiled that hard in quite some time!

Paris day 3….

Bday Weekend Recap

I had a great birthday not doing a whole lot. Since attending so many events I find relaxing is my number one go to. A night filled with good food, a workout out, adult juice and quiet works for me.

I spent my birthday working only a half a day. No half day in the office and a half day at home working, straight half day working period. Once home with the kids I took a shower and my husband brought me my order from Hip City Veg. It was my first time as I continue to add vegan restaurants to my line up. I ordered the smokehouse burger (vegan), sweet potato fries with sriracha sauce and the birthday cake non dairy milkshake.

Smokehouse burger

birthday cake milkshake

Vegan or not this meal was amazingly everything and more. I love great tasty food. I wanted my birthday night to be calm. I did manage to get a workout in so I felt even better! After eating and a few adult drinks I happily fell asleep! My night was made!

Shout out to Go Vegan Philly for making me another amazing vegan cake! I had more cake than I could ever have. I haven’t had cake especially vegan cake since the big switch! I definitely have made up for past times. You can definitely insert the Rihanna song!!

vegan vanilla cake

Saturday I finally was able to attend my son’s soccer game. I didn’t even realize how busy I had become how I hadn’t attended my son’s game for this season! He did amazing by the way!

My husband arranged for my girl friend and I to have dinner together at one of my new faves, True Food Kitchen! What I love about them is their seasonal rotating menu. Since the last time I was there for Valentines Day weekend, there were different meals present for me to choose without feeling like I was only limited to the same options. I have to shout out Marques for working covertly with one of the besties, Kyla to make it happen!

Vegetable soup

Hey Kyla

kiwi mousse with strawberry

I’ve gotten a lot of amazing gifts this birthday and so much of my friends who knew my heart! I’m honored that I was thought of. I’m grateful for an amazing weekend which ended with a little trip to Ulta and ended with a bubble bath, a good book and I was in bed on Sunday by 8pm. If that wasn’t the most peaceful weekend I don’t know what was?

Never forget to sign up for birthday rewards! And brand that you already utilize and patronize, should be your number one go to. I love getting freebies or discounts on the very things I already use or will use!

Until the next one…..let’s get this personal New Year going!!!

Mother’s Day: Miscarriage, Loss of a child, and Infertility

Again I say that Mother’s Day doesn’t always bring these cookie cutter images that television and marketing companies want you to believe. It’s a place of grief for so many women and men all around the world.

When a woman conceives or attempts to conceive, there’s very little ways to do it without your heart becoming attached. With that in mind there are large amounts of women who mourn the day because it’s a reminder of what they desire (d) and can’t have. It’s a place of pain that can’t be measured. With all of the cards, flowers, and joy that should be given to women I want to recognize the women who aren’t in the celebratory spirit.

Are you pregnant?

It’s down right rude to ask a woman of whom you do not share an intimate space if or when she is ready to conceive. That conversation needs to be when and if she is ready to ever have it. Our culture has no boundaries on other women and their uteruses. It needs to be reminded that some women endure a heartache that they haven’t or may never be able to share. Asking her when and if, may inflict a level of pain that she may want to keep private.

Infertility

She may also have suffered a miscarriage and those wounds no matter how long ago it may have been are always fresh and sometimes gets reopen on days like Mother’s Day. You mourn all over again what your child would be and it’s hard. It’s debilitating to have to keep reliving the pain. We need to do a better job of acknowledging this and being sensitive. Your comments matter. Saying things like “just try again” or “it will happen in its time” may not always be received well. There are women that no matter what just can’t hold life and it’s the one thing that we all feel is reserved for women to “naturally” do yet it doesn’t always come so easily!

Miscarriage

Hearing your baby’s heartbeat is the most scared part of pregnancy. It doesn’t matter if you’re high risk or not; anytime you’re able to hear it, you hold that sound dear to your heart. There are many women who may or may not initially wanted to be a mother but once life has entered inside of you, a real mom will want to protect that life. Not hearing your child’s heartbeat is one of the most devastating events a woman can experience. It signals that even through no fault of your own, life has stopped. The process following that silence is grueling. We don’t speak about what a woman goes through emotionally, mentally, or physically but it’s life changing. It’s real and it can cut a woman to her core.

Loss of a Child

There are women who unfortunately either through miscarriage, still birth, death of a child or late pregnancy miscarriage experience the greatest loss known. Not knowing how to deal with those feelings have sent many women into a tailspin. It takes love, patience, sometimes medication, therapy and some of the most amazing support systems to get through. Outsiders are the first to put a time stamp on this level of grief when it’s no one’s time frame to control. You will forever remember and never forget.

Regardless of where you as a woman or the woman in your life fits, please understand that these are delicate topics that deserve reference during this time. Please be patient with yourself if you fit the above categories. Know that even if you feel you should be passed a point in your healing that healing is up and down and constant. Some days are better than others. If you need help it’s okay to receive it. If you’re struggling it’s okay as well. You don’t have to have it altogether. Just know that I for one understand! I sent you love! I send you peace!

2019 Broad Street

Another year done! I am so proud of my Broad Street Run. I am proud of the training, perseverance, and dedication. It’s no east task to run in pouring rain but there was no way I wasn’t going to finish injuries or not.

Before the race is the bib pick up as well as the Health and Wellness expo. It’s interactive with some amazing vendors having all that you need to make your run that much better. It’s two days, Friday and Saturday. It’s in the Convention Center and convenient hours to make sure all runners have the ability to attend. It also is serves as an information station for runners to help ease with pre race questions.

Broad Street Run is a major ordeal in Philadelphia. The city comes out in swarms to show love and support. I can’t tell you the many people who had the most heart warming signs, funny signs, and the best quick pep talks you will ever hear. I read one sign that said “you’re running better than the government.” I always love reading them. Interesting enough this year I saw some companies with actual tacos to give the runners. I didn’t have any because running and eating is never a great idea, but that was something I hadn’t seen in any race.

I remember the countless times as I was tired that someone would be with an encouraging word. From “hey sis in the red we see you keep going” to “let’s not get tired,” it was all necessary! It pushed me when my socks were soaking wet and my feet were so heavy I felt like I was dragging.

I came down with an injury to my right foot where I discovered I lost arch support. The pain was excruciating. I had to find a brace that supported me in a matter of a day. This was after running a 9.3 mile run 2 weeks ago. So back to back runs may have played a huge part in the before run injury. To compensate, I found myself working and leaning on the left foot during the actual race. That within itself felt like more of a little injury during the race as well. However as I did and nurse my little wounds, I’m still grateful for finishing and pushing through. I think I will attempt to have only shorter runs so close to Broad Street next year.

Huge as always shout out to my run husband Marques. He does not run at all but he’s up with me race day, makes sure I get to the race without a hitch, he catches or attempts to catch me at various locations during the race and he’s there to get all of the post race recovery food and drinks. He’s not a morning person so a 5am wake up call is never his favorite. He’s also my photographer for the day. He amazes me with the shots as during the race my mind was far from snapping. Also we usually have to get the train from near the Wells Fargo on the Broad Street line!

After the race as we proceed to get our post race food it’s always so crowded. From the runners finishing up to the large supporters gathering, it can be intimidating. Philadelphia does an amazing job with large crowd control, police presence, and awesome volunteers who do their best to keep the crowds moving! Shout out to every volunteer from the water holders, to those who pass out the medals. It takes a whole village of support to make it happen! I can’t imagine what the behind the scenes looks like. However the end result the runners always feels super supported from the time their foot hits the road until the last car pulls out.

Since this year I am vegan I had to find something to eat for my post race meal. With it being Cinco de Mayo, I knew I wanted some vegan tacos. I decided to get some from Soy Cafe. Let me tell you the picture doesn’t do it any justice. The Philly cheesesteak vegan taco was absolutely amazing. I also ordered the vegan chocolate chip cookie. Topped both off with some margarita mix with top shelf tequila and it made for a wonderful post race nap!

You already know if you follow me for any run that I did my post soak with Epsom salt. I always hear my great grandmother saying “baby get the Epsom salt.” I was surprised that I didn’t do my usual sit on the couch until I was able to get up. I came home and cleaned up a little then took my bath time soak and facial mask. It’s my ritual that relaxes me!

Shout out to Black Girls Run. You know by now they are the running group and family that I’m involved with. Between their support and the support of my family and friends, the love is real! To my friends you are so loving and awesome. My Fitbit was pinging with messages that pushed me from the time the race started until it ended. It felt amazing to read all of the love during the ride home. Shout out to my twin who kept the kids while I raced! It’s amazing to run for them knowing they were safe and secure!

So another year down and I await for 2020!! As long as I get in I’ll run it!

So what’s next? 2 Days of rest and then back at it. It’s a lifestyle not just to be summer time fine. I’m looking to be lifetime fine!! Now will I be slaying this summer? Yup. Fall, Winter, and Spring too!