Raising a Runner to live a Relentless Life

Week 3 of really trying to live a relentless life was not without its ups and downs.

We received news that Ronin might be better served by changing classrooms, I started to feel a little bit under the weather, and the scale did not budge one single pound despite me doing EVERYTHING right.

My workouts this week were pretty awesome.

On Thursday, Connie and I walked 4 miles as part of our training plan for the Holiday Halfathon in December. I made up Thursday's WOD on Friday. My legs are certainly feeling much stronger and I'm pretty confident that when we go for a new one rep max on back/front squats that I am going to set a new PR.

Here is all my activity for the week. Not quite sure WHAT I did on Friday, but wow...I did something right!


But what I really want to talk about today is raising a runner.

For most of my young life I dreamed of being a runner. But I wasn't. I was too big. And into my adult life I used to dream of being a runner. Finally I became a runner at the age of 40. But it was short-lived. Injury sidelined my running, and honestly as much as I dreamed of being a runner, I never really LOVED it. I didn't run for the right reasons. I ran because it burned calories. Plain and simple. I got the most bang for my exercise buck by running.

But during my stint with running I discovered that my son Ronin LOVED to run. When we ran our first Gasparilla race together in Feburary 2011 he was 4 years old. He didn't know the meaning of the word pace. We were all in the pack together (me and the 3 kids) and when the race started and we finally crossed the start line, Ronin took off like a Cheetah. He was too fast for me to catch, and I just hoped that he'd have enough sense to wait for me somewhere along the course. Up ahead I could hear people cheering and screaming "look at that little boy run" and I knew that they were talking about my Ronin.

I found him sitting down at the Mile 1 marker. He was spent. He gave everything he had in that first mile, and we spent the next 2 miles doing a run/walk pace, more walking than running, and he was simply exhausted. But when that medal was placed around his neck, a smile quickly engulfed his face.

During the next few years whenever I'd have the opportunity to bring along one, two, or all three of my kids to a 5K Ronin would usually bolt off, putter out, and then complain that he wasn't fast enough to keep going.

But recently something changed in him.

He wanted to run.

He wanted to go faster.

He wanted to run more.

In January 2014, he started running on his own. A mile at a time. Unbroken. We have a little loop near our house, so I'd walk it while we ran, he'd pass me, high five me, and I'd turn about and watch him. Often he got out of my eyesight, but I was okay with that. Our neighbor's all know him, and this is the only neighborhood we've ever lived in, so he knows it well.

In the summer he ran a few times with gym friends while I walked. And then he'd go back into the kids club and wait for me to come back.

And then in April our gym, CrossFit En Fuego started hosting monthly 5K fun runs. Ronin wanted to go. Ronin wanted to run.

So we went.

But I can't run.

He was supposed to stay and walk with me.

But he can't walk. He HAS to run.

Thankfully I have great runner friends who would take turns running with him.

But I always felt guilty having them run with him. Was he slowing them down? Was he disrupting them?

But they said that they didn't mind. He was great company, so we kept doing it this way.

And then I got a bike. A S.L.O.W. bike. A really slow bike. With room for a passenger. This meant that I could pace Ronin and if/when he tuckered out, he could take a ride on the bike, get his breath and legs back and then get back to running.

The first time we did this, we ran an 8 MINUTE mile. Yes, 8 minutes. Unbroken. And then he rested. And then he ran. And then he rested. And then he sprinted to the finish line.

We've been doing this a lot around our neighborhood. I've noticed he's been "pacing" better. He's still starting off like a cheetah, but he then settles into a good pace, and just runs.

Yesterday all this training was put to the test.

The kids and I were invited to participate in the Girls Scouts of West Central Florida Thin Mint Sprint.

I haven't "run" since February 2013, but I've been walking like crazy. Haley doesn't like to run, and Ella is injured. Haley and I decided we'd walk the race together, Ella sat out the race helping other Girl Scouts pass out cookies, and Ronin, well Ronin decided he was going to try "to win."

They announcers made their announcements and declared "this is a self-seeding race, any runner who thinks that they can place in the top 50 should be at the start. Walkers to the back. Please be honest."

This is where I found Ronin.

He self-seeded right at the starting line.

A beautiful rendition of our national anthem was played on the sax, and then we were off. I wasn't sure if/when I'd see Ronin again. But we had a plan. He knew where to go if he finished before me, he knew to just sit and wait for me on the course if he felt like he needed me. I felt confident. He felt confident.

Haley and I were walking, when we saw the leader pass by us on the return. He was FLYING! And then came another man, and then a pack of 3 men, another few men, then the first girl, I was trying to count in my head how many were passing us when suddenly I saw him!!

And I called his name.


He just stopped and looked at me. The poor woman behind him wasn't expecting that as you can tell by the look on her face and the placement of her hands. She looks like she's going to strangle him! So I quickly asked him if he was okay, he told me YES, so I told him to keep going, and off he went.

And when Haley and I finished, this is what came up to greet me!

HE DID IT!! He placed 47th!! He earned his box of cookies!!

I asked him what his time was and he had no idea. He said someone handed him a blue card, and he turned it in for his cookies. Off we went to find his blue card at the Fit Niche table.

And there it was sandwiched between 46th and 48th place.

Ronin doesn't write very well, but he had written his name and bib number on the card, but the time area was left blank. So we "guessed" based on the placement of 46 and 48 and came up with a finish time of 31:15, which is about a 10 1/2 minute mile.

I am one proud mama. When I asked Ronin this morning what he loves most about running he just looked at me, ran his fingers through his thick blond hair and said "mama, I LOVE the way that the wind goes faster through my hair when I run faster. So the faster I go, the faster the wind goes, and I like fast wind."

He was the youngest child to "place."

And it just goes to show you don't have to be a runner to raise a runner. You just have to set the example that physical activity is important. I am relentless in my goals to live a healthier lifestyle, and that is a trait being passed down to my children. I don't care what activity they do, AS LONG AS THEY DO SOMETHING!




Relentless Life September 7-13

Wozers what a week it was!!

I spent nearly ALL of Sunday with this lady.

She's a badass. But I didn't get the chance to WOD with her. Which is a-okay in my book. Instead I got hours and hours and hours of nutrition advice, which I greatly need right now.

Sunday-REST DAY!! As I mentioned above, I spent the day with Christmas. I came home and the kids, James and I went on a bike ride through our neighborhood. It was quite nice Smile

Steps: 8,195 (lots of sitting in the seminar. Now I know how working folks feel!!)

Calories: 376

Monday-CROSSFIT! I walked into my box ready to really work. I had my new #RelentlessLife diet plan all ready to go, and I was pumped!

I started off my morning with a protein shake, worked out, walked 2 miles, came home and an hour later re-fueled!

I did a bunch of chores around the house, laundry, kitchen cleaning, the stuff that I normally do, and then returned to CrossFit En Fuego a few hours later for the kids to do their CrossFit Kids class.

Faces blurred to protect those kids who don't have blogger parents.

I did get a little "hangry" earlier in the evening, but I was still really trying to wrap my head around this whole block thing.

Steps: 16,319

Calories: 826

Tuesday-CROSSFIT! I spent a bit of time on Monday night reading all about blocks, and I had a BREAKTHROUGH and it all finally started to make sense!! And it was so easy. Sometimes it just takes me a bit longer to figure things out! Tongue Out Christmas was great about answering my questions, and offering advice on meals.

For breakfast I had my protein shake again (I'm loving these!!) and headed into my box.

The WOD was supposed to be a partner WOD, but I did it alone; for 2 reasons. 1) I wanted to go heavier on my power cleans, and Coach only wanted one bar per partner team, and 2) I'm modifying my bar facing burpees and I didn't want to slow anyone down and have them wait on me, so I just figured it'd be easier to go at it alone. So I did. I took a 60-90 second rest between each round. I'm not totally sure how many I completed, but I'm guessing it was about 10. I should have kept track.

I had to hustle after the WOD to take Ronin to the dentist to get his first ever cavity filled. It was not a good experience for him. He doesn't react well to anesthesia, and while he wasn't going to be "knocked out" I did let the dentist know of his adverse reactions. They assured me that he'd be fine with the "happy gas." Um....not so much. After about 10 minutes they came out to get me. Apparently while they were holding the mask over his nose he tried to bite, kick, and pinch them. So they came to get me and gave me 2 options. 1) They could totally sedate him (either orally or IV) and 2) I could try to get him to take the "happy gas." I decided to start with option 2.

They ended up calling me the "ASD Whisper." But really I'm just mom. I can calm him down, and get him to relax. So he got his cavity filled and I'm pretty sure that's an experience he NEVER wants to go through again, so I'm hoping this means he'll brush his teeth a little better. Tongue Out

After the dentist we hustled over to the other side of town to pick up our weekly produce! YUMMY!!

I immediately made Zoodles with onions and tomatoes and thought I prepped enough for the week.

Steps: 16,801

Calories: 628

Wednesday-CROSSFIT!! Again I started my morning with a protein shake. I was feeling really good and ready to tackle what ever my day had in store for me!

But I wasn't expecting that WOD! LOL. But I did it. I set a goal of rowing the 2000m in under 10 minutes and I DID IT!! Laughing I was really proud of that!!

And I don't run. Not at all. Not with my foot the way it is. So I walked 2 miles instead. Not really for time, just to walk.

And then I came home and had ground turkey meat with my zoodle mix. It was SUPER GOOD!!

And then I went for some physical therapy on my foot, and my doctor determined that I have an uneven pelvis and overcompensate on my left side. So he adjusted my squat stance and let me tell you...IT MADE A HUGE DIFFERENCE.

Wednesday night the kids had CrossFit and Ronin had CubScouts.You'd think a WOD like this would tire the boy out. But no. He went scouting where he had to continue to do PE type exercises. He didn't crash for quite some time!

Ronin was once again TOP popcorn seller for his Den, so a HUGE thanks to our friends and family. And you can order your own popcorn HERE.

Wednesday was a busy day!

Steps: 14,867

Calories: 578


Thurday-CROSSFIT! It was 9-11 so I pretty much knew that we'd have one heck of a WOD. I arrived at the box only to realize that I had left my heart rate strap and transmitter at home. WHAT?? I never do that, but at the last minute I changed purses and didn't switch out that ever important pocket. I made a spur of the moment decision to quickly head home for my gear. I had a goal of my own to burn 911 calories, and I needed my stuff to make sure that happened.


Back Squats
1 x 8 @ 65%
1 x 8 @ 70%
1 x 8 @ 75%
1 x 8 @ 80%

Front Squats
1 x 5 @ 60%
1 x 5 @ 65%
2 x 5 @ 70%

"9-11 Tribute WOD"
*In a 3 person “Engine Company” Team complete a 25 minute AMRAP of:

- 110 Power Snatches
(representing the 110 floors of WTC Tower 1)
- 110 Burpee Pull-Ups
(representing the 110 floors of WTC Tower 2)
- 343 Double Unders
(representing the 343 lost Firefighters)
* Stair Climbs

We made it through ALL the back squats and ONE round of front squats before time was called and we had to stop so that we had enough time to complete our Tribute WOD.

Our WOD was tough, but in teams of 3 we cheered each other on, and we finished!

I was feeling sad, and cried a few times remembering how horrible that day was 13 years ago.

I didn't watch the news, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. The memory will forever live with me. I don't need to rehash it with video footage.

But something cheered me up.

A beautiful pair of Reebok Lifters!!! They are absolutely BEAUTIFUL. I can't wait to wear them on Monday night when I do my squat program. Combined with my new squat stance, I am picturing a new PR in my future!! You can see more about the Reebok Lifters HERE.

It was so nice to actually not have to rush out and do anything on Thursday night. We just chilled out at home and all 5 of us got to bed nice and early!

Steps: 20,482

Calories: 912

FRIDAY-REST DAY! Can you believe it? An honest to goodness rest day!! I am still in shock myself. Why a rest day? Only because I had to take Ella to a doctor's appt for her back. She injured herself in early August after slipping on a "ride" at a local restaurant and after suffering from a broken rib, and injured back, the pain in the back just hasn't gotten any better after nearly 5 weeks, so off we went to the doctor. We left with a RX for Physical Therapy for 6-8 weeks 2-3 times per week. I'm already stressing thinking about how I'm going to add that in to an already stressful life. But I'll make it work.

The girls are participating in Google Start Up Weekend Tampa Youth, so I spent a majority of Friday evening shuttling them back and forth. It's well worth it, though my step count is weekly low for the day. It truly was a rest day.

Steps: 9,701

Saturday-REST DAY!! Well, it was supposed to be a rest day. After getting my girls off to SWTampa, I came home, did some laundry, cleaned the kitchen and told my husband and son that we were heading out NOW for a bike ride. 

We did 12 miles. Ronin and I stayed together while the husband cycled a little bit faster, so he got in a little more miles. But even after all of that cycling, Ronin still had a TON of energy left! This kid just never stops!

We went out for lunch to Chili's and they were more than happy to make me a #RelentlessLife lunch!

We spent the rest of Saturday (well, I spent the rest of Saturday) doing laundry, picking up children, and writing this post. Tongue Out Ronin and James relaxed and watched the movie Bears. It was cute, I could hear the film while I was typing, and would glance up and see some of the documentary. Very well done.

Steps: I'm aiming for 10,000.

Calories: 859 (that's from the time we left home, until we got back, so not all is activity burn.)

And that was my week!! How was your week??