I Was A Little Obsessed With #AltitudeSickness #Peru #MachuPicchu #RainbowMountain

This time last year I had not heard of Machu Picchu. Heard of Peru but could have not pointed where it was located on a map if asked by anyone. When I found out Peru was our next trip, I started doing lots and lots of research. My favorite place to do this is on Pinterest. Isn’t Pinterest the greatest? So I typed in Machu Picchu and Peru. I was bombarded by the words “altitude sickness & high altitude” on almost every pin.

I have asthma although thought I had outgrown it. Never really have. I don’t have attacks but was reminded last year that my lungs only operate at 50% capacity. Imagine the fear I continued to have about not being able to breathe because of the high altitudes. I researched the heck out of this subject. I know I probably took it a little overboard. You know what though? I did NOT get altitude sickness! Coincidence? I will never know but I wanted to share with other what worked for me so they will not freak out.

Here are the things that worked for me in no particular order.

1. Recovery Bits

I have taken ENERGYbits and RECOVERYbits for a while as a runner. This is real food. I had read liquid chlorophyll was used by many tourists in Peru to prevent altitude sickness. I even went and purchased this at health food store and brought it on trip just in case. Well I normally don’t take the RECOVERYbits every day although I should. Then it hit me that this was chlorella which brings vital oxygen to your body. I started taking them every night two weeks before we left and I took them every single night while we were on the trip. I copied the information below from the website at http://www.energybits.com.

“RECOVERYbits® Health Benefits

The list of health benefits from our RECOVERYbits® algae tabs is so long that we only have room to mention a few here. RECOVERYbits are 60% protein (the second highest concentration of protein in the world (second only to spirulina) and three times the protein found in steak), they have forty nutrients, and are just one calorie per tab. But more importantly, they help build your immune system and bring vital oxygen into your body. RECOVERYbits® help to defend your health 24/7. Yes, even while you sleep.

Chlorella has the highest concentration of chlorophyll and antioxidants (which fight free radicals) and its unique structure allows it to swiftly absorb toxins and safely remove them from your body and bloodstream. Yes, even alcohol. So next time you have partied too much, just swallow a big handful of RECOVERYbits® before you go to bed and say good night to that hangover. But it gets even better. Chlorella’s high concentration of minerals and electrolytes balance your internal chemistry naturally and its high concentration of chlorophyll (the highest in the world) helps to clean your blood. Chlorophyll is what makes plants green, but did you also know it’s a powerful antioxidant and a natural disinfectant? Amazingly, chlorophyll’s chemical composition is virtually identical to our blood so it was often used during WWII if there was a shortage of blood for transfusions. Are you starting to comprehend the power of chlorella?”

Here I am with my ENERGYbits container at Machu Picchu.

I was so excited that I applied to be an ambassador for this product and I found out this week I am now an ambassador! What this means is that I will share these great products with everyone and they can get discounts when they order. If you order use my code lisarunsonfaith to get 20% off.

2. Coca Tea

I had read all about this tea and the leaves in helping with altitude sickness. These are actually the leaves that are used to make cocaine. No worries though. It was safe to drink. I was drinking this tea like it was water in my attempts to not get altitude sickness. Wouldn’t matter if I was bouncing off the walls with excess energy as long as I did not get sick, right? We were offered it when we first go to our hotel. We would be awakened in the mornings in our tents with hot coca tea. We would have it before dinner. We would have it with our snacks. I liked mine with two scoops of sugar. Let’s say that this tea was so good that I actually gave up coffee for the time we were in Peru. I am going to order some of this off of Amazon. I may start having tea time 🙂

3. Water…..lots and lots of water

Coca Cola has the market share on water in Peru. I always got mine “sin gas’ which means not carbonated. We spent lots of money on water.

Water is all I normally drink during the day so this should have been easy for me. There was only one little bitty thing though that prevented me from drinking as much as I probably needed to……no bathrooms like here in the USA! The guides dug a hole in the ground on our hike trip to Rainbow Mountain. I would also have to pay 1 Soles to go to the bathroom while we were hiking. I would recommend drinking double what you normally drink.

4. No alcohol

Someone had told me to have zero alcohol because this dehydrates you. This was no problem for me.

5. We Took It Easy First Two Days

Rob lives at 623 feet elevation. I live at 863 feet elevation. The elevation of Cusco is 11,152 feet! We allowed two full days in Cusco to get climatized. We took it easy, rested and toured the city.

6. Bought a Pulse Oximeter for Peace of Mind

Anxiety has been know to derail me. I knew Peru was out of my comfort zone. I didn’t want to start freaking out that I was getting altitude sickness. So I read someone had brought this with them to monitor their oxygen levels. I went to the health food store and they did not carry them. I went to Walmart and of course they had them. I bought one and it stayed close to me the entire trip. It really did bring me peace of mind.

7. Cordyceps

Never heard of this until mid-August. Read on someone’s pin that this stuff helped them the most to not get altitude sickness. I went to health food store and got some. Only learned about it two weeks before trip so didn’t have too much time to get it in my system. Then I started researching this and it has been know to help improve asthma! WOW! How exciting. It is gross though.

This is what worked for me. There is no rhyme or reason on who or why you get altitude sickness. Rob and guide both got it on Rainbow Mountain. I am extremely thankful I didn’t get altitude sickness because it would have been worse on my anxiety than actually getting sick. I also am thankful for Rob. He comforted me, listened to me and really understood my fears. He gave me great advice. Thank you God for my husband.

I would love to hear what other things you have used to prevent altitude sickness. Also, if anyone can show me how to post my blogs on Pinterest as pins I would be so appreciative. My accountant mine cannot figure it out.

Thank you for reading along. Until next time.

In His Strength,


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Are we there yet? #MachuPicchu #Peru

I love to fly. I would fly out to stay with my dad in California in the summers when I was young so I caught the travel bug early on in life. However, when I became a mom flying took on a different meaning. While I still love to fly, I always get slightly anxious since a plane crash would mean my boys would be without me. I face the fear though head on and do a lot of praying while flying.

The length of the flights to Peru were really not on my radar. I didn’t even pay attention until it was time to leave for our trip. Let’s just say Cusco, Peru is a long way from Nashville, Tennessee. Leaving North America flying to South America takes time. Here are maps of the two continents for an overview.

Clayton was gracious enough to drive us to the airport. I want to think he did it out of the goodness of his heart but I did offer to give him gas money so that helped. It was hard leaving him for 12 days.

Our flight left Nashville, Tennessee at 3:25 PM headed to Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas. It was a 2 hour flight.

We got photo bombed 🙂

Our flight did not leave Dallas/Ft. Worth Texas until 10:22 PM which meant we had a five hour layover. Time went quickly as we caught up with each other, explored the shops in the airport, ate dinner, read, called loved ones and relaxed. Had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season and charged my phone up.

Next stop, Lima, Peru!!

Flight was 7 hours. I can normally sleep while I fly. Not this time. I was up all night. My anxiety probably played a big part of this because I was freaking out about getting altitude sickness.

When we arrived in Lima, Peru we had to pick up our bags at baggage claim and have them rechecked to fly to Cusco. Not being able to speak Spanish made this a bit tricky. However, we managed to find people who spoke English and successfully rechecked our bags and made our next flight on time. While waiting I already started using my pulse oximeter to make sure oxygen levels were still good. I was a little over the top about this. All was good. We had to walk outside the building and use the ramp to walk up to get in the airplane at Lima, Peru. Nothing attached to the building. At this point, I knew we were not in America anymore.

Our plane left Lima, Peru at 7:40 AM and landed in Cusco, Peru at 9:05 AM. I had listened to a podcast about Peru and learned that the airport in Cusco does not use radar. That was a little concerning. I prayed and tried not to think about this the entire flight. Thankfully, we made it safely. Again, nothing attached to a building like here in the States.

We saw this sign as soon as we got into the airport. I was super excited about seeing this on our trip. I covered up the V so it would look like “Lisa.” Ha!

We were exhausted by this point but excited. We had to claim our luggage and then look for our person from the Travel Group Peru to meet us. Talk about trust. We walked out of the airport and there was our guide holding up a sign “Robert Millman.” What a relief. Here are pictures of Rob and guides walking to van, billboards across from airport and the airport.

The guides got us to our hotel safe and sound! I was still a little anxious about altitude sickness. The altitude that we flew into in Cusco, Peru is 11,152. I will post about the preventive measures I did for this which allowed me to NOT get altitude sickness the entire time on the trip and we even climbed up to 16,466 feet! Woo Hoo!

Our return flights were the reverse of the flights to Peru. We were too tired to take pictures at that point. We did take the one below. We were delirious! We left Lima, Peru at 7:40 PM on 9.13.17 and arrived in Nashville, Tennessee at noon on 9.14.17. I had scheduled a work meeting that afternoon. Needless to say it got cancelled.

Here is a map of Peru to give you an idea of our location and to help as I post about our trip.

In His Strength,


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We are going where? #MachuPicchu #Peru

Well I don’t think I will ever get back to my Big Sur marathon recap. Life has a way of getting in the way of my blogging. Stay tuned though.

Rob and I recently returned from Peru. I will tell you this time last year Peru was no where on my radar and I had never heard of Machu Picchu. Rob’s hobby is climbing mountains. Not just any mountain…..he was aiming for the 7 highest mountains on each continent. He has climbed 4 of the 7. We got married in April in Yosemite and I ran the Big Sur Marathon. This meant we were away from work for 10 days. Rob had his third trip to Denali planned in June. He could not take off work that close to our wedding/honeymoon since he is self-employed. He was able to transfer his money to a hiking trip in Peru. He asked me if I wanted to go. I said I would have to think about it. To be honest, after he asked me I had to Google “Machu Picchu.”

Google Machu Picchu

Historical place in Peru
Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru, above the Urubamba River valley. Built in the 15th century and later abandoned, it’s renowned for its sophisticated dry-stone walls that fuse huge blocks without the use of mortar, intriguing buildings that play on astronomical alignments and panoramic views. Its exact former use remains a mystery.

Hmmmmmm……this didn’t look too bad. Then he said we would be hiking the Inka Trail. This would involve sleeping in tents, no civilized bathrooms and who knows what else. I admit I was freaking out just a tad. I never gave Rob an answer and then all of a sudden he said that he signed me up as a wedding present to me. I didn’t know what to think. I know I should have been immediately grateful but talking about out of my comfort zone!!! All I needed to do was get my passport to the travel company. Well it was tax season and no one gave me a date I needed to get the passport to them. A couple of days after they had received my passport they called and said the trip was full and I they could not include me in the trip. I admit at that point I felt a surge of relief. Rob wasn’t too happy. I took it as a sign that it was not meant for me to go on the trip. Then all of a sudden he found another guide company and we would be hiking the Salkantay Trail.

On this side of the trip I am thankful that I stepped out of my comfort zone and made the adventure with my husband. You may be wondering why in the world would I not jump at the chance to go on a once in a lifetime trip. Here is the one big reason:
1. Fear of getting altitude sickness. The City of Cusco is 11,152 feet. The mountains we would be climbing are higher than this. I read so much about altitude sickness that I was a little freaked out. This will get it’s own blog post soon.
 2. I have asthma although I thought I had outgrown it back when I was 10. I no longer have the asthma attacks but I learned last summer that my lungs are still operating at about 50%. So I imagined myself struggling to breathe in Peru.
3. I am a single mom with a 16yo still at home. He needs me although he wouldn’t admit that. However, I learned that he will be flying the nest soon so it is good for him to learn to manage while I am not around.
4. To be real……fear of dying.
5. Fear of not having a toilet.
6. Fear of not having a shower for days on end as a newlywed.
7. I had never hiked over 2 hours. Never hiked with a backpack.
8. Never flown out of the country.
9. Can’t remember a lick of Spanish from high school or college.
10. Fear of basically everything that could go wrong.
I talk about trusting God in everything that I do in my life. Yet, here I was fearing and letting my mind wander all of the place about all the things that could happen. So I turned everything over to God and a peace came over me. I was ready to take on this adventure and spend 12 days with my husband. On average I see him about 6-8 days a month since he lives in Indiana so I needed to cherish this time together.
The trip was a once in a lifetime trip. My goal is to post about our adventure so I may give any insight to others who may traveling to Peru. I found so many great sources of information from Pinterest for our trip. I went from fear to wanderlust.
In His Strength,
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Holding onto a Closing Gym Door…….

Well my next post was going to be about the Big Sur Marathon and Expo. I haven’t made the time for that yet so that will have to come later. Today was an eventful day for me so wanted to make sure I got my feelings out while they are raw.

I overslept my time at the gym this morning working out with my trainer….again. It has happened way too many times lately. I have had the nudge that it is time to find a gym closer to home. I drive 30 minutes one way to get to they gym. I can hear you asking why would you drive 30 minutes to get to the gym when there are two in your city? Well I am glad you asked.

In 2009, I woke up one day with a determination in my heart to start working out and being healthy. My children were learning horrible habits from everyone around them so I felt nothing speaks louder than actions. I did not grow up an athlete although I was active. I wanted a gym with a track so I could run when it was raining or cold outside. Ha….that was before I grew to love running in all sorts of weather. Our city did not have a gym with a track and I am not sure we even had a gym at that time. I picked up the phone and called the Family Ministry Center at First Baptist Church in Hendersonville. 9 1/2 years later I can definitely say the place is a ministry. The woman who started working out there in 2009 is not the same woman today.

For 9 1/2 years I would get up at 4:30 or 5:00 am (schedule changed several times) and workout. I was never a morning person before joining this gym. I would hit the snooze button for an hour. Yet something clicked. Looking back over the years here is what I see when I look through the gym doors:

  • Me starting to workout at the gym coincided with the ultimate demise of my marriage. The marriage was bad before then but an event occurred that opened my eyes to what I was really dealing with although had no idea how to deal with it.
  • I got into the best shape of my life.
  • I received encouragement to actually start running and not walking.
  • The most caring and compassionate people work out and work at this gym.
  • A place where I could escape the demands of life and focus on myself.
  • I would find the strength to make the courageous decision to finally end my marriage.
  • I would run a 1/2 marathon with Mayson, my oldest son.
  • I would run 3 marathons, Goofy Challenge and many half-marathons.
  • I would share rides with Clayton, my youngest son, before he started driving by taking him to Hendersonville High School and then I would drive to the gym or he would go with me and wait.
  • I was growing into a woman who would need to be in shape to keep up with her new husband, the ultimate adventurer and love of my life.

A complete life change happened from the time I started at the gym until now. God has worked miracle after miracle in my life. Time is now more precious than ever. I have an amazing husband, Rob, who will be moving here soon and my children are one day closer to leaving the nest. There are still many dreams to dream and lots to accomplish as a disciple of Jesus Christ. An hour on the road is too much time to waste. This is why I decided this afternoon that I would join the gym in my city. Actually signed up and got it done. The hardest part was telling my trainer. What an awesome man of God he is. He was so kind and said it has been a real pleasure training me and walking thru life with me over these many years. For that reason right there I struggled to close the door.

Looking forward to this new chapter. I want to take my fitness to the next level. I am still going to be a member at FMC because I have a friend who wants me to do yoga with her. In that I find comfort and look forward to what is on the other side of the closed door.

In His Strength,


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Big Sur International Marathon 4.30.17 #bsim – Training

If you have followed my blog for a while you know a continuous, planned out training plan for running half marathons and marathons really never been part of my routine. Life, in generally, tended to push running to the back burner and my training runs would happen haphazardly. I would run but not consistently and I didn’t track my pace or really push myself.

As I mentioned in my last post, I got into the Big Sur International Marathon through a lottery system. Naturally I started to check out the course. The thing that kept getting me was the elevation change from the start to the finish…close to 2,500 feet!

Talk about an intimidating course! I already had a trainer for strength training and he also runs. Something kept telling me though I needed to do something radical.  I have followed a running coach, Scott Fishman, on Twitter for several years. I liked his approach towards running and life in general. He would even ask me how my running was going for several years. Around September I saw where his company, Team All American, had a promotion going on for new athletes and they were offering a free one hour consultation. So I decided to check his approach and company out.

I knew the thought above was true! The biggest thing that sold me on hiring a running coach was his encouragement for me to become the best that I am able to with running. See, I have never mentally considered myself an athlete with my running. I struggled and wanted to basically run without any pressure on myself due to all the pressures I have in the rest of my life. Yet, he specifically asked me why I would put all this time and effort into running half marathons and full marathons and not train to do it at the best of my ability? Hmmmmmmm, yes, why would I do that? I am a goal oriented person and I should apply this mentality to all areas of my life. I really needed to get honest with where I was and where I wanted to end up.

I ended up starting my training program in October and I trained for six months for the Big Sur International marathon. I was really clueless as a runner. As I mentioned earlier, I really didn’t know what pace I was running while I was running. I knew the overall pace at the end. I finally bought a Garmin watch and I have never looked back. What an eye opener. I stuck to my training plan for the most part. I went from December until about 3 weeks before the end of tax season without missing a scheduled run or workout. It was tough.

Would I do the same thing again? Yes! A customized, training program actually works 🙂 Being accountable to a live person was key to me. My last marathon I ran at Disney as part of the Goofy Challenge in January 2015 and I completed it around 6:20 and it was flat. I finished Big Sur at 5:40. My only goal was to finish which had to happen in 6 hours or less or they would pull you from the course. So to finish at 5:40 on the toughest course around I am quite proud of the accomplishment.

When when I read the words from my coach where he called me an athlete that was the moment I realized I had earned the right to call myself an athlete. This marathon was a game changer in my approach to running. I am an athlete and I have lots of room for improvement. I may be 47 but I am in better shape now than I was in my 20s. I may have been thinner back then but I was not in shape like I am now. Looking forward to the runs to come!

Training as a fiance, wife, mom, entrepreneur, friend and the list goes on does not happen without a lot of support, understanding and encouragement from the ones who mean the most to me. Of course, it wouldn’t happen at all without God Almighty allowing me to pursue my passion. Thank you, God! Rob was simply amazing at allowing me the time to run when we were together, even ran with me several times. Even when I wanted to give up the week before after driving the course he encouraged me to finish what I had started. He even agreed to get married in California the week before the marathon, even though it was a very special date on the calendar for us. I love you, Rob. Your love and level of encouragement and support is a blessing to me. Thank you, Rob!! Mayson and Clayton allowed me the time to workout and run although they are teenagers and have their own lives basically. Thank you to my friends for understanding when I had to bail on get togethers get my runs in.

If you are wanting to take your running to the next level, I highly recommend hiring a running coach. It will change your life.

In my next post, I will share week leading up to the marathon and expo.

In His Strength,


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Big Sur International Marathon Recap 4.30.17 #bsim – Choices Create Your Life

I completed my 3rd marathon last Sunday. Life has changed dramatically from the time I entered the lottery for the marathon until the day I laced up my shoes to run the most intimidating run to date. It all started in July 2016 when I saw that the Big Sur International Marathon was opening up entries in a lottery system. It caught my eye and intrigued me. I was ready for a new challenge. So I thought what the heck. I will enter and if I get in then I will come up with a training plan and if I don’t then I will try again another year.

On August 12, 2016 I received the above email. I GOT IN! I was so excited. I was scared. I was ready for the challenge. However, it would take me about two months to realize that this marathon was going to require me to actually train. Life normally gets in the way of training so I normally struggle through the runs. I knew how miserable that was and the marathon was going to be immediately after tax season. So I hired a running coach which held me accountable.

Little did I know but the love of my life would propose to me on October 1, 2016. Of course, by this time I knew he was the one after putting God first in my life. We were ready to be married right then. However, he was climbing Aconcagua in December 2016 and then tax season started in January until April 18, 2017. Since I had the Big Sur marathon on 4.30.17 we decided to elope and get married in the redwood forests in Big Sur. We were so excited. However, Mother Nature had other plans. Fires had closed many of the parks in July 2016 and the worst rain storms in years collapsed the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge shutting off access to Big Sur.

Well we looked at Lovers Point Park in Pacific Grove and many other places but nothing was speaking to our hearts. Then we looked at getting married at Yosemite. Yosemite ended up being the perfect place to get married for us. Here are a few pictures of our elopement in Yosemite on 4.22.17.

The title of this post is “Choices Create Your Life” because the choice to randomly enter the Big Sur International Marathon ended up leading a memorable day in a perfect location simply because the actions had been put into motion back in July 2016. What choices are you making in your life? Are you truly living life or settling? Are you settling for good or do you want to become your best self? See, I thought I was entering the lottery to run a marathon. When in reality, I was making a conscious decision to set a goal that was bigger than anything I had ever attempted. That one choice, led to other choices, and they led to choices which have become the best days of my life. I challenge you to start living life differently. Get off the couch and move. Sign up for that 5k. Take the art class. Sign up for that dream vacation. You have the choice to really experience life abundantly as God designed our lives to be. We are not here to simply exist. We are to bring glory to God in all that we do. Start being intentional about your choices. They truly do create your life.

I normally post my entire run experience on one blog post but the Big Sur International Marathon such a life changing event from the moment I decided to enter lottery to the actual date of the marathon that I am going to break down into several posts. That way it will be easier to read and I will actually get them completed within a reasonable time period.

I will share my training plan in my next post. Thank you for reading.

In His Strength,


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Mt. Juliet Holiday Half Marathon 12.10.16 Recap – #running


Well I am living proof that training makes all the difference in running a half or full marathon. I signed up for this half marathon back in September. It was one of two half marathons I had signed up for on my way to training for the Big Sur marathon in April 2017. When I had signed up, I went online and printed out a generic half marathon training plan. Life, as usual, kept getting in the way of my training plan. I knew I had to do things different if I had any chance at all finishing the Big Sur marathon. So at the end of October I enlisted the help of a running coach. There is so much about this one topic that I need to devote an entire post to that. For now, I want to focus on this half-marathon.


This 1/2 marathon started later than most that I have ran in the past. It started at 10:45. The temperatures were cold so it was probably a good thing that it started later rather than earlier. The temps ranged from 32 degrees to 41 degrees from the time I got to the bib pick up station to the time I got back in my car after the run. I wore compression pants, running skirt, long sleeve shirt under a t-shirt, hat and gloves. Here I am in the comfort of my warm home before heading to Mt. Juliet, which is 45 minutes from my home.



I prefer to run in the cold weather. What I do not like is having to wait long periods of time before the 1/2 starts. This was the smallest marathon I have ever participated in (297 runners.) I normally run Disney or Nashville with runners in the 20,000 – 30,000 range. I had no idea what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised that we got to wait in the warm Middle School with real bathrooms right up until the time the 1/2 started. WOW. That was a huge positive in my eyes.

img_1526Me sitting in the warm building 5 minutes before 1/2 started. Thankful I didn’t have to wear a jacket while waiting and then have to wear it around my waist when running after I heated up when running.

I was in my zone when the 1/2 started. I enjoy running in the cold weather and it was sunny which always helps with the attitude. The first 3 miles or so is running through the closed off streets with people on the sides of the road waiting for the Christmas parade to start. The parade follows the 1/2 marathon. After about the first mile, I started following other runners and giving the kids high fives as they stretched out their hands and I wished them a Merry Christmas. What fun! That was the highlight of the entire race. I felt really strong on this race although I ran faster than my training by my coach called for. I really tried to slow it down but the adrenaline kept me moving. I felt really strong until about mile 11. Then I started to get tired. I kept pushing and running without walking long stretches. That was my goal. To actually run and not walk. I had the best run. Only three minutes shy of breaking my old PR. Here are my stats:

Overall Place: 190 out of 297
Chip Time: 2:24:42
Gun Time: 2:25:16
Pace: 11:03
Age Group (Female 45 to 49) Finish: 11/19
Gender Place: 86

Here are the pros and cons of this 1/2 marathon:


Able to pick up bib on race morning

Not a lot of runners = lots of running space

Stay inside warm building until time the 1/2 starts

Real bathrooms up until the 1/2 starts

Lots of people cheering you on

Christmas atmosphere

Ability to print out results immediately after 1/2

Cute long-sleeve tech shirt

Fair price


After the parade route, a lot of the roads were not closed off and cars were extremely close as I ran. They had us running with the traffic which also made me nervous because I couldn’t see the cars behind me. Extremely dangerous. For this one reason, I do not know if I will run this one again unless they make changes.

Overall, it was a great opportunity to get back in the 1/2 marathon world again. I love the 1/2. I feel so alive when running it. By the time I finished, I know I have accomplished something. My legs hurt. I feel I have been run over by a truck. Yet, that’s why I do it. To see what my body and mind is capable of accomplishing.


As you can see my gloves were off by the end.

img_1533Closer up view of medal and sweat.

If you relate more to emojis, here is a summary:


This is fairly accurate 🙂 My burger and fries never tasted so good after the run.

It feels amazing to be back!

In His Strength,


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