Monday, September 3, 2018

Taking a digital sabbatical

You may be wondering why I haven't been writing on my blog since the beginning of summer along with taking several weeks off all my social media.  I decided that I needed a digital sabbatical.  Modern connection technology has given us the ability to become more connected but less have less humanity.  We are always engaged but increasingly isolated.  Modern technology provides the following:

  • Community:  We can connect and find a tribe.
  • Communication:  Ease and ability to communicate especially with long distance relationships.
  • Self-Improvement:  We use technology for motivation and inspiration along with education.  You can learn how to practice yoga, cook, speak a different language or learn a new skill.
  • Awareness: We now have world events at our fingertips in an instant.
  • Exposure:  We can discover new items and enrich our lives.  
However, with all these wonderful items come the following losses:

  • Time:  We get online to check email, social media and we lose valuable time.
  • Empathy:  We lose our lose human aspects to see people as people with real feelings.
  • Action:  We click on "like" but do we really ever do anything about issues anymore.
  • Downtime:  We are always "on" and do we ever feel that we have downtime or time to discern.
  • Confidence:  Social media is exhausting and leaves us comparing ourselves to others.  Are we ever good enough anymore?
  • Focus:  We use the internet to distract us instead of focusing when we don't want to do something.
So, I asked myself some questions:

  • Is this making life better or worse?  
  • Am I avoiding something or learning something?
  • Is it making me feel better or worse?
In being honest with myself, being online was making me feel worse. I felt as thought I was in a time warp and couldn't escape.  I felt overwhelmed, lonely, depressed and lacking in being a person.  So, time for a digital sabbatical.  I needed to reset my circuit breakers!

Taking time off was the best possible thing for me. It's all about self love! 
 I learned to relax, not compare myself to others and enjoy life.  I learned to listen-the birds singing, the quietness of water falling, the beautiful sounds of outside instead of always being connected.  I learned to actively listen to others instead of always looking at a screen.  But most of important, I learned how to connect with myself again.  Running has always been my outlet in my life but with my social media ambassadorships, I felt as though I was failing.  I started to compare myself with others and could never compete. I would never have enough time to train, enough money to attend races and events, even being an older runner felt awful.  So time off social media gave me a new perspective.  It gave me a chance to discover why I needed to step back and take time off.  

I learned to listen again to God and rejoice in His wisdom, strength and appreciate His love for me.  I realized that I'm worth it everyday of my life and even in my depression that there is no one like me in the whole world!  

I needed to feel good again about myself and my running.  And I do!  I will never be a fast runner again, have friends to attend races, have enough money to do more than a couple of race vacations a year but now I'm okay with all of that.  Taking time off and listening instead of constantly being connected allowed me to focus on me!

In rejoining our digital world, I have made a commitment to disengage every day.  I want to enjoy the simple things in life-reading a good book for hours, petting my cat, sitting outside with a good cup of coffee and enjoying the warmth of the sun while remembering you am I and what I am capable of doing good in this world.  

Do you ever take time off social media?  How do you manage your social media?  

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Global Running Day Discounts

Today is Global Running Day!  One of my favorite days of the year!!!

To celebrate, I have some race discounts to share.  I am an ambassador for all these races and recommend them all due to the great swag, course and runners village after the race!  I hope to see you at some of these races and please let me know if you are planning on being there.  I would love to meet you!

RockNRoll is running the best prices of the year!  I did my first half marathon with RNR in Las Vegas and it was a blast!

Hot chocolate charlotte has chocolate stops, great swag (a jacket!) along with a fabulous mug and a medal with  chocolate afterwards.  What's not to love about a race that has chocolate in it!  Use discount code:  CHANNA19.

Ride and Run Race  series allows you to run through some cool amusement parks and then ride all the attractions for free afterwards. What's neat is that there are four options to run:  a half marathon, a quarter marathon, a 5K or a 1 mile.   I love the swag as it is the classic Peanuts gang and if you do more than one race, the medals are roller coasters magnets so that they all look like a classic roller coaster ride!  Use discount code:  RR-AMB-AnKa.  

Bull City Run Festival is a fabulous way to see the city of Durham.  What's really cool about this race is that there is a food truck rodeo at the runner's village!  You can run a half marathon, 5 miler or a 1 miler.  I did this year last year for the first time and I loved the runners village due to all the selections for food afterwards along with the beautiful settings.   Use discount code:  BCRFANNA.

Zooma Florida is one of the top twenty women's races in the country.  It's set in beautiful Amelia Island and I can't wait to attend for the first time this year.  I have done other Zooma races but since I live driving distance from Florida now, I am able to do this race this yeTillar.  I'm looking forward to attending and wait to see this beautiful race site!  Use discount code:  ANNA18.

Till next time and remember my journey continues..If you can dream it, you can do it as Walt Disney said!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Whole 30 (April 2018)

As a librarian, I'm always intrigued by books that are consistently checked out.  This was the case of Whole30.  So, I decided that since I was in a slump to check it out to see if I could gain some tips about losing weight and feeling better while having more energy.

After reading more about the program, I made the decision after talking with a friend who had done this to start on April 1st.  For 30 days, I wouldn't consume the following:

  • No added sugar, real or artifical.
  • No alcohol in any form, not even cooking.
  • No grains (wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgar, sorghum, sprouted grains, etc).
  • No legume (beans of all kinds, peas, chickpeas, lentils and peanuts).  No peanut butter, soy, edamame.
  • No dairy.
  • Do not consumer carrageenan, msg or sulfites.
  • No recreating sweets, foods, etc.  
  • Do not weigh yourself.

Quite an extensive list of don'ts there!  Yes, you may be wondering what you do eat.  That was the hardest part for me.  I had to do extensive research into reading labels,  finding shopping lists and recipes that would work for me.

I was excited to start and planned out my first week meals. It is recommended that you practice good mealtime habits such as eat at the table, no distractions, chew slowly and enjoy your food.   The book was correct in the day by day breakdown of how you would feel, what to do and help with motivation tips. 
Day one was wonderful as I was excited to try this.  Day two and three I actually felt "hungover" from withdraw of sugar and other foods.  I never went through the "kill all the things" and "napping" phase.  I did have the hardest days from day seven through fourteen.  After day fifteen, I noticed that I was feeling better.  TIGER BLOOD was happening!  For those of you wondering where the phrase originally came from, it was Charlie Sheen, in an interview with Esquire Magazine. Of course, no one knew what he was talking about!   It basically means that you are more in control of food, cravings, energy and your body.

I noticed that I had no cravings, was feeling better and getting used to what I could eat verses what I couldn't eat.  The hardest part at this point was that I ran Raleigh Rock-N-Roll weekend on April 7-8th and I couldn't eat what I normally do to prepare for races.  Going out to eat with friends that weekend was extremely hard and I felt hungry.  However, I did notice that even though I hadn't been training well, I wasn't sore at all after running a 5k and half marathon!  What a discovery to realize that my body didn't have the inflammation that I normally have after a race weekend!  That was the first thing that I discovered was working well with Whole 30.  I also discovered that my energy levels were better along with my sleep and my snoring was under control if not gone!  Breakthroughs!!

The hardest day beyond that was Day 29 when I just wanted to be done with the program.  It was funny that the next day there was a late night pancake breakfast on campus and the girls brought me pancakes at 11:45 and said that I could eat them after midnight because it was May 1st and my Whole 30 program was done!  I didn't eat those pancakes but it was tempting!

I was actually surprised because I thought that I would want all the foods that I had to give up for thirty days however I really didn't want them.  I did notice a lot of changes that occurred after this program.  The book calls these non-scale victories and here's what I noticed:

  • My clothes fitting better.
  • Less bloating during the 30 days.
  • Feeling more confident in my body image.
  • Less chronic fatigue.
  • Less to little snoring.
  • Sleeping more soundly.
  • Improved moods.
  • Started to feel like moving and exercising more.
  • No more binge eating late at night on my job.
  • A healthier relationship with the food that I ate.
  • Fewer and then no cravings.
  • Trying new recipes.
  • More knowledgeable about nutrition and labels.
WOW!!!  I also lost 11.8 pounds and I feel great.  The biggest question that I get asked is will I stay on the program or go back to eating the way that I did before I started Whole30.  My answer is that I'm trying to stay as close to the program as I possibly can these day.  Why?  I learned so much over these 30 days in April about how the food that we eat affects our bodies and minds.  I learned that I'm in control more of how I can be healthy.  Is it hard?  Absolutely!  Do I want to eat all things some days?  Again, absolutely! Would I trade this for the way that I felt before Whole30? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!

I'm proud of my accomplishments and how I feel these days.  I feel great and whole again!  I'm still gaining back some of my confidence, running abilities but now have a newer perspective of how strong I am in my abilities to conquer things that I didn't think I would ever be able to do in my life.  

Till next time and remember my journey continues...If you can dream it, you can do it as Walt Disney said!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Wanderlust Raleigh 108

Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary ticket to Wanderlust Raleigh 108.  This provides me with entry to their Wanderlust Raleigh 108, however no other compensation was provided and all travel and other expenditures are paid for by me.  As always, all thoughts are strictly my own.

I was able to attend the Wanderlust Raleigh 108 venue on Saturday, April 21st.  The mission of Wanderlust is to help you find your true north-to cultivate your best self.  They create events, media, products, and experiences to help guide you on your path toward a healthy and inspired life.  

I had heard about these events for the past couple of years and was greatly intrigued but never had the opportunity to attend.  So, when the wonderful people at Wanderlust emailed me about helping them promote the Raleigh event, I was beyond thrilled.

Wanderlust is entitled as "The World's Only Mindful Triathlon".  There are three mindful activites-running, yoga, and mediatation all done in local parks.  Wanderlust 108 is the ultimate opportunity to come together around shared values and practices.

First, the 5k is  entirely how you wish to complete a 5k.  You can run, skip, hop, dance your way to the finish line.  Second, you attend a gigantic yoga party in which a DJ and yoga teacher will guide you through a 90 minute yoga flow.  Third, you have a guided meditation for 30 minutes.  Afterwards, you can attend a ton of mini-classes to participate in for the afternoon.  

Wanderlust 108 is also good for the world.  For every ticket sold, $1.08 will be donated to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS through (RED).

My day started early at 6:00 am since I had to pick up everything and was given a press invite to attend.  I drove to Dorothea Dix Park since the event was being held there.  I was able to park across from the field where the event took place and walked around for about 30 minutes before the event started.  I found a space for my yoga mat and read until 8 am. 

I also found a face painter and got my face painted.  I loved that aspect of being placed in the mood of "warrior" and "finding my north"! 

At 8:30 am until 8:45, there was a pre-race stretch workout and the 5k started promptly at 9 am.  A lot of the women were walkers and 90 minutes was allocated for the time limit.  It was a beautiful sunny day and we were told to enjoy the 5k, allow our minds to rest and get ready for a mindful day for ourselves.  I finished and grabbed some water, ate an apple and got ready for yoga at 10:30 am. I even found a buddha wall!

The yoga instructor on the stage was great with her voice and her instructions.  Yoga lasted for an hour followed by thirty minutes of a mindful mediation.  At this point, it had really warmed up and laying on my yoga mat with my eyes closed during the mediation with the warmth of sun really set the tone for relaxation!  

I had packed a lunch so I didn't need to wait in the long line for Wanderbowl (the food tent) and I was thankful for that.  I would recommend packing food or pre-ordering food if you attend an event.  The afternoon consisted of a choice of multiple activities such as Aerial Yoga, Essential Oils, and Hooping to AcroYoga, AcroYoga Therapeutics, Tarot 101, and Bodywork.  I decided to try Aerial Yoga.  

I was a bit hesitate but decided that this was my chance to see if I enjoyed it and whether I should sign up for a more extensive class.  I loved it until the instructor stated that we were to flip over and just hang. 
I went into a panic and couldn't move so one of the guides help flip me back.  Of course, the picture that they took while I did this makes me look like a complete dork (which I am or feel like I am!). 

But it was fun and I can now say that I've done that.  I'm not sure that I will do it again but who knows.  I headed home after this as it was close to 3 pm and I was just done for the day.  

Wanderlust Raleigh 108 was a wonderful day filled with a total relaxation for me.  I loved everything about it!  From the moment that I arrived at the park, I was filled with the wonder of beauty, warmth and community.  Wanderlust builds on that throughout the day and allows you to find or be YOU!  Would I do it again?  ABSOLUTELY!  Would I recommend that you do it?  YES, and YES!!!!

Till next time and remember my journey continues...If you can dream it, you can do it as Walt Disney said!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Spring Forward: 5 Reasons to embrace Spring Running

Spring has officially sprung!  Why should you love spring running?

1. That fresh spring feeling and a fresh new wardrobe

Spring allows us to bring out those short-sleeve shirts and tanks, capris and shorts with fun socks. I’m a fan of shopping for new running clothes and shoes this season. Who doesn’t love the new bounce of color in their running wardrobe after a cold, dreary winter! I especially love the new Brooks Rock ‘n’ Roll Limited Edition shoes!

2. April showers bring May flowers and epic runs

Spring also brings warmer temperatures and rain. Although running in the rain can be challenging during a race, a rainy run every now and then is refreshing and relaxing. You can be a kid again and splash in puddles, dance in the rain, and allow your body to feel new. Get outside and wash away the coldness of the winter months. Besides, running in the rain can feel pretty hardcore. Embrace the uncomfortable conditions and take pride in running in them.

3. Longer days mean more rays and more runs

As we get further into the spring months heading towards summer, we gain more daylight hours. Depending on where you live in the world, you may have had a pretty dreary winter. Enjoy the daylight and embrace the sensation of the sun’s warmth on your skin! Get up early, see the sunrise, or go for a late evening run to catch the sunset. Either way, more daylight means you can get out the door for that run you might have avoided during the winter months.

4. A spring in your step and in your headphones

Tune your run to songs with energy and sunny vibes. Add some Beach Boys, Jimmy Buffet and songs such as “Walking on Sunshine”, “Uptown Funk,” and anything that will make you dance and jump for joy! Be courageous and bold in your playlists. If you want to see what fellow Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series participants listen to on their training runs, check out the community playlists on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series channel on Spotify. As a RocknBlogger, the Rock ‘n’ Roll community is so eclectic. You’ll definitely be able to find some songs that fit your spring style.

5. Spring is beautiful – don’t forget to look up from the road

Look at the new beginnings on your journey. The trees are starting to bloom and the flowers are beginning to bud; new life is appearing everywhere! Maybe you will even see chicks, ducklings, or does on your paths. Breathe it all in; take long deep breaths and feel the new life as it fills your lungs with a sense of new beginnings. Spring running allows us to start new journeys, look forward to new races and a new race season, see old friends, and make new ones! Relish this journey, make it yours and begin anew!
Happy spring, happy running!  Till next time and remember my journey continues...If  you can dream it, you can do it as Walt Disney said!  

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Why I've been away

I'm finally back!  You may have been wondering why I haven't been blogging or posting since November.

First, I started working as an academic librarian at the end of August.  My work schedule is Sunday-Thursday from 4 pm until 1 am in the morning.  At the time that I accepted my current job, I was working a temp job from 8 am until 3 pm.  So, I was working close to 80 a week until the second week of December.  I also returned to a temp job for the month of January.  It has only been a couple of weeks working only one job!

This has left me with little or no time to do anything except to sleep.

The biggest reason why I have been away is that I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease at the end of October.  Hashimoto's Disease is a disorder in which the immune system turns against its own body's tissues.   Initially, the doctors thought that my cancer was back and it was a relief to know that it wasn't cancer. 
  I've been struggling with sleep deprivation, depression, lack of energy in addition to gaining back the twenty pounds that I lost.  I felt lost and struggled with doctors to find a treatment to help me get back to myself.  It has been a journey to finally start to feel like my old self again.

This has been extremely hard for me as I'm used to having a lot of energy, staying focused and being positive.  The last four months have been rough and I have felt like a failure.  Both to myself and you!  I hesitated reaching out and posting about this due to the depression but mainly because I was ashamed. Being ashamed of putting the weight back on, not sticking to my running routines and training plans, not blogging or posting and being inspirational for myself and you.   I had also had a bad experience with online support in the past and it brought back some painful memories for me.  So, I opted to stay away and try to find a solution to this on my own.  

I now have a treatment plan and am still struggling with some issues but hope to feel more like myself in the next couple of weeks.  I'm learning how to live with an autoimmune disease, how to eat more healthy, how to overcome fatigue and depression. I'm working with a thyroid doctor who is trying some homeopathic remedies along with diet.   I'm starting back at square one again with my running and weight loss however I'm not giving up!

Life is a journey and it is what you make of your journey-who you have on that road, who helps and supports you, what decision you make as you come along to an intersection, etc.  I am used to figuring this out on my own and trying to get better about asking for help and assistance when I need it.  I'm much better about this now then in the past and learning to trust myself more.  This was also a journey in taking a rest from life when I needed to take care of myself.  In the past, I would have struggled through and then given up.  Running has taught me not to give up but rest when necessary, breathe and then start again!  

Thank you for all your support and not giving up on me!  I'm always a Gracious Warrior. Till next time and remember, my journey continues...If you can dream it, you can do it as Walt Disney said!

#RIOTS Week Six and Seven

It's weeks six and seven for the #RIOTS.  I got a week behind as I had a lot of personal things going on these last two weeks. I ha...