Saturday, June 30, 2012

Run For Your Lives: Race Recap

It's been a busy week at Casa de Sexy! I finally have time to sit down and write to you all about my incredibly fun experience with Run For Your Lives!!!

Fred and I got up at the not-so-lovely hour of 4:30am. We had some coffee packed our gear into the car and headed down the road. It's a 4 hour drive from our house to Knightstown, IN where the run took place. Then we have to add in an hour for the time change. The RFYL website recommends getting there at least 2 hours prior to your heat to allow plenty of time to park, pick up packets, deal with any traffic, etc. Our heat was at 1:00pm, we arrived at about 11:30am.

I don't know how everyone else is the morning of a race, but I am a bit, uh, let's say psychotic. Fred is laid back. Psychotic and laid back don't exactly jive. I just want to get there and have everything ready to go. I don't care if I have to stand around waiting to start. I'm good with that. My goal was to be out the door and on the road by 5:30am giving us time to stop for gas/food/any other unexpected emergency. Fred's goal was to get out the door just a little bit later, get there after the recommended 2 hour cushion, thus proving to me that all of my psychotic time management was all for naught. At least that's what I think. I'm totally right too.

At about 11:00am, we get the call from our friends, Kristen and Brandon, saying they are there and parked and where are we. Well, we stopped for coffee and a quick bite to go. Now I just want to get there even more and I notice that Fred is driving 65 mph. Fred NEVER drives 65mph. It becomes quite obvious to me that he is purposely driving slow just to freak me out more. I called him on it, words were exchanged... loudly. He vehemently demanded I give him some raspberry bread, we both started laughing. We arrived about 5 minutes later.

We found Kristen and Brandon in the parking lot. The four of us headed toward the packet pick-up tent  and immediately got to take in some epic people watching. There were 'zombies' walking around either waiting to start their shift or coming off of their shift. Of course, tons of participants walking around, some in costumes. Then an ambulance drove in with lights and sirens. That's always reassuring... to know that they can and will come for you, even in the midst of zombies, should the need arise. I wouldn't count on it in a real zombie apocalypse though.

The ambulance. Like any race, accidents can happen happen at Run For Your Lives. Be careful out there!

There were lots of teams wearing matching shirts or costumes. My favorite was a group of men and women wearing shirts that said:

Because You Can't Tap Out During The Apocalypse

We got our packets and put on our numbers and flag belts. You wear a belt with 3 red flags during the race. If the zombies get all of your flags then you 'die' and when you finish the race you are transformed into a zombie. If you 'survive' with at least one flag then you are eligible for awards.

Once we were all ready, we stowed our gear at the 'Gear Check' tent. That was a HUGE CONVENIENCE! Saved us from hiking back and forth to the car which wasn't a long walk necessarily but still not something you want to have to do repeatedly. Also, I was very impressed with how organized this was as well as everything else.

Fred repeatedly pointed out that we didn't need the extra recommended time because everything was so well organized and flowed well. However, if we hadn't had that extra time, I know 398 things would have gone wrong and I would have had to nag him to death about it every day for the rest of our lives. As in, fifty years from now, "Remember that time you made us late for the Run For Your Lives race, then I lost three of my fingers and our car was stolen by Elvis zombies??? Yeah, that and the other 396 things wouldn't have happened if you'd listened to me and we had gotten there two hours before our heat."

When the time came, we lined up in one of the three lines for our heat. The first line is 'Appetizers'. This line is for the faster runners. There was a middle line that I think said 'Entree' and then the last line was 'Dessert.'  That's the line we got in. Our strategy was that since we were actually faster than the pace indicated, we could use the others in the group as our human sacrifices and also the zombies wouldn't be expecting us to run fast. We are so clever.

While we stood waiting for our heat to start, I looked up and noticed a very apocalyptic-looking ring around the sun. Very cool. Then I heard my name and looked to see Ila coming over to see me off. She had already ran her heat that morning. Ila gave me a hug for good luck along with a few tips such as, "Stay in a group, and stay very low when you go under the electric fence. One guy with us got zapped and was out for a second."  Uh, what's that now? Before I had a chance to ask the next 50 questions popping into my head, everyone was moving. Our race had begun.

Almost right away we were crossing a creek with water above the ankle. Now my shoes weigh ten pounds each as I climb the bank onto sand. Running in sand is hard anyway but seems to be even more so with wet shoes. Awesome. I actually mean that. I was immediately grinning from ear to ear, ready to  take on whatever RFYL's had to throw at me. Electric fence was temporarily forgotten.

We ran through the woods, through fields, down hills, up hills, across creeks, and army crawled through wet sand/rocks. All while trying to keep our flags out of the reach of the zombies. We also had to endure the obstacles. My favorite was a cargo net which you have to climb up and go over on the other side. That was fun!  

Zombies Don't Talk, Zombie-Girl!

One of the first interactions I had with the zombies, a zombie-girl started calling out the color of my shirt like she was playing pool and I was the pocket. Clearly, I had just been targeted in what I can only refer to now as poorly-coded-zombie-speak. Luckily for me her running skills were less than par and I was able to dodge her feeble attempts. Actually, I was a little freaked out and just ran for all I was worth while possibly shoving someone slower into her path...

Once you got beyond a certain point, the zombies stopped chasing you to stay in their designated area and wait for the next herd of runners. Usually. I had just gotten through a group of zombies with flags intact when I heard Fred yell from behind me, "Bekah!!! RUN!!!!" I briefly looked over my shoulder to see a gimpy zombie running after me much faster than any gimpy zombie should. He seriously didn't even break character, kept the limp the whole time he's sprinting after me. I took off and started dodging the slower members of our herd trying to get away but I could still hear Fred yelling at me to run faster. I'm trying not to laugh as I'm sprinting up hill on gravel while being chased by Gimp-Zombie. He didn't get me but it didn't matter because in my attempt to escape I ran around a person who was walking only to practically run right into another zombie who quickly snagged one of my flags.

By now Brandon and I were down to one flag. Fred and Kristen had lost all of their flags so they started running defense for us. This was hilarious as I dodged, ducked, and darted around Fred. At one point I just plastered myself to his back so the three zombies surrounding us couldn't take my last flag without prying us apart.

After another sprint through a group of zombies, I was getting worn out. Then I looked up to see two more in the path. At this point I said to Fred (loud enough for all to hear), "I just did something to my leg back there. Ouch..." Fred: "Are you okay?" Me: "I don't know. I really twisted something." I hobbled through the next two zombies as they kindly let us pass and set their sights on healthier looking  food.

We went through another obstacle, a maze this time with zombies waiting for us on the other side. We sprinted around them while Fred blocked for me. Then we had a break from the zombies. Fred asked, "How's your leg." I replied, "Oh, it's fine. I just said that because I knew those two zombies would leave me alone if they thought I was hurt." Fred looked at me with pride in his eyes and said, "That's why you're on my team."

Fred valiantly putting himself between me and the zombie as we came out of the maze. 

The zombie in the bloody blue shirt here is chasing Brandon for his last flag.

Sometime during the third mile, Brandon and I both lost our remaining flags. We fought a good fight though. After our flags were gone, we just really enjoyed running the course and doing the last few obstacles. Except that I was too short to even reach the monkey bars so I just jumped into the water and walked across while throwing the floating spinal cords at Fred.

The fence at the end, the one Ila had warned me about, was no longer electrified. Much to my relief.
The four of us crossed and got our medals, laughing pretty much the whole time. We stopped for a few pictures. Couldn't resist getting a few pics with these guys...
Kristen with the Bikini Bottom Brothers!
Kristen and Brandon

After we all got cleaned up, we hung out for a while to watch the festivities. We watched some of the next race, listened to one of the many bands they had playing and checked out more costumes. We all decided that this is a must-do for next year. We all had a few bumps and bruises but it was well worth it. Seriously the most fun I've ever had at a race. Thank you, Run For Your Lives!!!

Bekah and Kristen

Peace, Love, Happiness!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tomorrow is Carter's Day: You will never be forgotten.

On Sunday June 3, 2012 I woke up as usual and checked Facebook. As I was scrolling through the news feed I saw my friend Amber’s status that said, “Carter has left to be with the angels”. Instantly, tears flowed and I wondered what happened to her sweet little boy. As I searched longer I noticed that Carter was born with Hydrocephalus. I did not know that he was born with this. His Mom, Amber obviously did not let his condition define him. She always posted cute, adorable family moments that had happened with him and his older brother, Tyler. As a Mom, I struggled with what to say or write to Amber. No words can accurately or fully express my condolences. So, that is what I wrote to her. Of course, as the amazing person she is she took the time to reply to me and everyone else that posted messages. I also noticed that she had a Hydrocephalus Walk scheduled for September 15, 2012 in honor of Carter previous to his passing, therefore I emailed her and asked if I could share Carter’s story. In Amber’s words…

This is Carter’s Story:

Three weeks before Carter was born we found out he had hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a condition where there is an excess of water build up on the brain. Not all types of it are genetic but his was. My brother also had hydrocephalus, however we had no idea it was genetic. Carter was delivered via c-section 2 weeks early and within 24 hours of his birth he had brain surgery to have a shunt placed. He was in the NICU in Rockford for 28 days. When he came home to us be began Early Intervention services. Once a week for an hour each he would meet with a physical therapist, occupational therapist, developmental therapist and speech therapist. He was doing things that the doctors at Rockford Memorial Hospital never thought possible. On September 2, 2011 he had a second brain surgery to have a different shunt placed. This time we went to Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. They gave us 9 more months with him that we wouldn't have had otherwise. He was doing so well. He was signing and laughing and he was such a happy little boy. On May 26th we had a 1st birthday party for him. He had a blast and was laughing and loving it all. The next day he became sick. His big brother was sick too so I really didn't think much of it. I stayed home with both of them for two days. On the second day I woke Carter up from a nap and he was limp and blue. I rushed him to the ER where he was life flighted to Children's Memorial in Chicago. After several long days he passed away. The cause was complications of hydrocephalus. He had been having extra pressure on his brain, most likely a shunt malfunction. He ended up having permanent brain damage and a brain hemorrhage. Carter went to be with the angels on June 2, 2012.


I have thought about Amber every day since I heard the news about Carter. I see her posts that say to hug your babies. I have thought about what I would want if I was a Mom that had lost her child. The answer was clear to me, I would not ever want them forgotten and I would want their life rejoiced. Today will you take the time to leave a comment about this sweet little boy in the pictures above to let his family know that he will not be forgotten? Let them know that his story touched you. Tomorrow, June 29 I am declaring it Carter’s Day. He has been gone for 3 weeks and 5 days and although he is dancing with the angels now he will not be forgotten and his story will touch each of us forever.
Thank you all for participating in Carter’s Day and taking the time to make a comment to her and her family.


For those of you who have asked how can we help? What do you need? Here is an opportunity to walk with us on September 15, 2012 in Carter's honor. The link below should be the sign up for Carter's Crew. There are a few options: Join our team to walk on September 15, join our team and virtually walk with us to raise money or just donate to our team. Basically it is a 2 mile walk at Soldier Field in Chicago meant to raise awareness and money for the Hydrocephalus Association. Hydrocephalus is the condition of having fluid build up around the brain. This is something that ultimately contributed to Carter's passing. 

Please walk with us if you can - it would mean a lot.

Derek, Amber, and Tyler

SYCAMORE – Carter Andrew Hiland, 1, of Sycamore, Ill., went to be with the angels in heaven on June 2, 2012, from Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. He was born May 28, 2011, and was the son of Derek and Amber (Graves) Hiland of Sycamore.
Carter was a very happy little boy who instantly made friends with everyone he met. He had an infectious smile and loved being tickled, producing hearty belly laughs. He loved being with the other children at day care and loved being rocked and cuddling with his mommy and daddy. He also loved watching his big brother play. He loved music and being sung to with an acoustic guitar. His favorites were "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and a special hello to Carter song. Carter loved foods of all kinds, especially spaghetti, peaches and ice cream. Although he loved all these things here on Earth, he is now dancing and singing lullabies with the angels in heaven. Carter is survived by his parents, Derek and Amber; a big brother, Tyler;


Our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you and your family~
~The Sexy Mother Runners~
Danyelle & Bekah

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

'C' is for Calming Yoga Workout

For Today's Letter 'C' Theme: Calming Yoga Workout

I found a great 10 minute yoga workout in Shape magazine a while back. It's a nice way to start the day. I added the 5th pose because I personally love Forward Fold. I do it before and after every run just to get everything stretched out. Move slowly into each pose, take your time finding your balance and don't worry if you don't get it right away. Practicing these poses will help you gain balance. 

Hold each pose for 5 breaths. Repeat each pose 3 times. 

1. Tree Pose

2. Warrior II

3. Reverse Warrior

4. Warrior III

5. Forward Fold

Don't forget to check out all the great tips from these lovely ladies!!!

Peace, Love, Happiness! 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Healthy Collaboration: "B" is for Bicep!

Who doesn't want some Sexy Arms?!

Sexy Mother Runner is joining forces with four other great fitness pages this week! We are all ready to bring you daily tips on workouts and nutrition to keep you motivated. If you haven't yet, be sure to check out the lovely ladies at:

Today our letter of the day is "B"!
"B" is for Biceps!


Pushups build muscle and strength in your biceps, triceps, chest and back. If you lack the upper-body strength to do a regular pushup, consider doing a modified version. Place a barbell on a power rack at chest height. Put your hands on the bar and move into the pushup position. Attempt to perform 12 pushups with the proper form. Lower the bar one notch on the rack if you can complete more than 12 pushups, and raise the bar one notch if you can't complete 12 pushups.

Seated Bicep Curl

Seated bicep curls build muscle definition and strength in the biceps area while also working out the shoulder and trapezius muscles. Sit on a military press bench, and place your feet on the floor. Grasp two dumbbells with your thumbs wrapped around the handles and palms facing forward. Allow your arms to hang at your side while pushing your shoulders back and down.

Bring the dumbbells to your chest by gradually bending your elbows. Avoid arching your back. Keep your butt, shoulders and head in contact with the bench, and avoid flexing or extending your wrists. Lower the dumbbells to the starting position. Do four sets of 15 repetitions to develop lean, muscular biceps.

Alternating Cable Curls

Alternating cable curls help to add lean muscle mass to your biceps. Set the cable pulleys to low, and grasp the stirrups with your palms facing forward. Keep your elbows stationary, and pull one stirrup toward your shoulder. Slowly lower the stirrup until your arm is fully extended. Repeat the movement with your other arm. Do four sets of 15 repetitions to tone your biceps.


Engage in aerobic activity three days each week for 30 minutes per session to increase your heart health and shed fat, which will add definition to your biceps. Exercise your biceps once per week. Resting a body part for seven days helps you to fully recover and the muscles to build for subsequent workouts.


Race Recap: The Tremont Triathlon = Pure Awesomeness!

5:30 a.m. self-portrait! :)

The alarm went off at 4:30 Saturday morning and I couldn’t believe it was finally time for my first Triathlon. I was so excited I couldn’t stand it! I planned the right pre-race breakfast this time. A touch of coffee, water, and a toasted peanut butter sandwich. I was feeling good. I loaded my bike and took a self-portrait of myself at 5:30 a.m. leaving my house. Thank goodness most people are not up in my neighborhood as they would think I was completely nuts or vein! Who takes a picture of themselves at 5:30 a.m. in the morning?! Um, this girl. Ya know, the one leaving to do her first triathlon!

The drive to Tremont, Illinois was a breeze. It was 30 minutes door to door. I pulled into town and found the race easily on my right. Beautiful. I even got a front row parking place. Being a newbie I looked around and decided to follow the pack. The “pack” at Tremont was friendly and helpful. I even asked some girls what to do and they giggled and said they were tri-virgins, too. Instantly, I liked these girls. We took each other’s pictures throughout the day.

All racked!
There was no need for me to arrive in Tremont at 6:00 a.m. since I was in the later heat, but I did not want to miss a moment of finding out what to do and observe. After racking my bike (yep, first time I have ever done that and it sounds a lot harder than it is. You literally just put your bike seat on a rack. Seriously. J). I placed all of my transition clothing on a towel under my bike. Of course, I was following everyone else’s lead on this one. I asked a volunteer if “my stuff” (yes, this includes my catch all big red organic food bag that goes everywhere with me) would be okay? With a trusting, “absolutely” (Did I mention how much I love the people of Illinois? Honest, trusting Midwesterners! What’s not to love?). Next, I was off to the park pavilion to be marked and pick up my race packet. To be marked means you get your race number put on you with a thick sharpie on both arms and your age on your leg.  Actually, my age is still on my leg as of yesterday. Yes, I do shower. I am sure all of Peoria wonders why I have 37 written on my right calf. I just like to keep people guessing!! J

Off I went back to my bike to put my bib on my transition clothing. At this point I am all set! I decided to observe the “fast” triathletes with their swim and ran into one of my favorite people, Marianne! This absolutely made my day! Having Marianne in your life and at a race means you have the biggest, most positive, cheerleader with you! She is an incredible athlete and person. She is always helping others achieve their goals. She was a race volunteer for the day. She was in charge of distributing our timing bracelets.
Me, Marianne and Bill!

The infamous swim caps!

My race partner, Kathryn arrived soon. We had so much fun that morning figuring everything out. The best thing was that  neither of us knew we had matching pink swim caps. Hilarious! Awesome, we were twinkies that both looked like we had big pink condoms on our head! I loved it! Before we knew it, it was almost time to start. We downed our GU and off we went to wait for our swim lane.

One of the awesome Race Participants!
Loved his shirt!
His wife said to not encourage him! :)
One of the biggest highlights of the Tremont Triathlon was the race participants. As we waited to swim everyone talked, smiled, encouraged you, and was happy to help with any questions! This is HUGE for a newbie! I never felt uncomfortable or intimidated. I felt excited the entire day!

Thumbs up!
Before I knew it my lane was open! I crossed the transition mat, my bracelet beeped and off I jumped into the water. The Tremont pool was clear, crisp, and clean. The temperature was perfect. It felt great. I shared a lane with a fellow athlete. The swim flew by and before you knew it the race volunteer stuck the orange stick in my lane, said “Great job! This is it!” and I was out of the pool running towards the transition mat to my bike. The swim was awesome and the best part of my race that day. This cracks me up as the swim was the heat I was most intimidated with and it was the most fun! Want to know the best part?! I completed my swim in 11 minutes and during every practice it took me 13. Pure awesomeness!

I was at my bike in no time! Now to change clothes. This takes time when you are wet. That is unless you get one of those awesome Tri-suits! I am seriously considering the T3 suit as it is Florida State Seminole colors! Woot!!! Now when I notified T3 of their awesome color choice with a “War Chant” this brought about “creative” differences and possibly a switch to a “Crimson Tide” design in the future. Hey guys, just let me get one before you change the colors, k?! J

As I looked up (while struggling to get my race shirt on over wet skin) from transition came my friend, Kathryn. She finished her swim in 10 something! Wow! She started changing and we were off together on our 13.22 mile bike ride. One of the best things about this race is that Kathryn and I decided to stay together. We talked, laughed, and made a very special memory on Saturday.

The bike route was generally flat, although it had a slight steady incline on the way back and we had to cross a very hilly overpass both out and back. It was an out and back course and a little bumpy on the way in, but what do you expect from country roads? It was fun to watch the farmers in the field and fellow athletes as we passed each other. Many “Good Jobs” and “Good Lucks” were yelled across the road to and from fellow athletes. I love Illinois! My friend Cyndi’s bike just zoomed. I love that Specialized Alex! Wow! It was light as a feather! I crossed the bike transition mat at  54:58! Now I am off to get ready to run.

As, I am taking a drink and throwing off my bike helmet I watched Kathryn come in from the bike and she looked like a rock-star! I wish I had a camera to take a picture of this beautiful, new grandma who looks like she is 25 gliding in! We took a breather, chatted and we were off on our 3.1 mile run. It took quite awhile to get our running legs. We decided to take it slow. We had a nice time visiting and stopped at the hydration tables both out and back. They had the nicest young ladies volunteering there. We talked and enjoyed the moment. Before we knew it we were close to the end. Of course I said, “Let’s sprint it in!” and we did! The best part was at the finish the majority of the race participants were still there cheering everyone in. I thought this was awesome! Of course, Marianne was there too! J

Tremont Triathlon 
Proud finishers!
Kathryn and I cheered others in, took some picture with our medals, and enjoyed the post-race refreshments. They had sub sandwiches from La Gondola, chips, water, and Starbucks coffee. It was such a nice spread. I was very impressed!

This race was an A+ in my book and I can’t wait to do it next year! Anyone considering a triathlon in this area should sign up for this one. It is small (250 participants), the people are friendly, and it is challenging enough to make an awesome PR! The race director James Nissen covered every base. He facilitated the beginners meeting, the pre-race meetings, was throughout the course the entire day, and was announcing participant’s names as they approached the finish line. He answered all of my pre-race questions when I called him months prior and he communicated with all participants via email. There was not one question that he did not address thoroughly and politely. He never made you feel inadequate, either. This race was top notch and it is on my calendar for next year!

For more information about the Tremont Triathlon visit their website here. I would definitely put this on your race wish list for next year! Why wouldn't you give it a Tri?


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Monday, June 25, 2012

How Do You Like Them Apples?

Yes, I totally have been looking for any excuse to use one of the best movie quotes from one of the best movies ever and just couldn't resist it today. : ) 

Sexy Mother Runner is joining forces with four other great fitness pages this week! We are all ready to bring you daily tips on workouts and nutrition to keep you motivated. If you haven't yet, be sure to check out the lovely ladies at:

Today our theme is the letter 'A' so I am all about Apples! 

An apple a day keeps the Dr. away!

It is well known that apples contain Vitamin C and soluble fiber, which helps to lower blood cholesterol, but did you know that they are also high in antioxidants? They are. Why is that important? Well, because antioxidants have been linked to the prevention of cancer and heart disease.

Apples also have a glycemic index of about 38 which is considered low. They make a great snack any time of day and are an excellent addition to your juice if you are a juicer!

Apple Cider Vinegar

I have posted before about the excellent benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar but I wanted to reiterate a little bit. Here's a few of the great benefits listed on the Bragg's Organic Apple Cider Vinegar website:

  • Rich in enzymes and potassium
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Helps control weight
  • Promotes digestion and ph balance 
  • Helps soothe dry throats
  • Helps remove body sludge toxins ( still don't know what those are but they don't sound good)

If you suffer from acid reflux, you need to try apple cider vinegar. My hubby was on prescription meds for his acid reflux which at one point was so bad we ended up spending several hours of our vacation in the ER. Not cool. He was in severe pain and nothing they gave him was helping. Finally they made him drink enough GI cocktails that the pain began to lessen but it did not go away completely until the next day. He started taking apple cider vinegar 3 times a day (1tsp with water) and stopped taking his prescription. Eventually he backed down to about once a day. This was about 3-4 years ago. He no longer has any symptoms of acid reflux and he forgets to take the apple cider vinegar on a daily basis so it's more like once a week now. 

So, in conclusion, eat your apples! Grab one before you hustle out the door in the morning. Keep one in your purse, bag, briefcase, man sack, whatever you carry around. They are quite portable. If you are a gas-station-snack-buyer, they usually have a basket of fruit. Grab an apple out of that instead of your usual bag of chips, cookies, cereal bar, or whatever else you usually grab on the go. Apples are easy, convenient, tasty, and healthy.  

Peace, Love, Happiness!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Featured Runner Friday: Meet Emilie!

Every runner has a story. At Sexy Mother Runner we believe sharing those stories is a great way to share the gift of running while helping to motivate others.  This week's Featured Runner started with a desire to do something she had always wanted to do. She accomplished her goal and so much more proving that it doesn't take years to become a runner, just a willingness to do so. 

Meet Emilie

Emilie and her son after her first 10k.
My running journey began a little over a year ago when I heard a commercial on the radio for a running class at my local YMCA. It was along the lines of "Have you ever seen people out running and wished you could? Well, if you answered yes, then this class is for you!" It went on to explain that this was a 9 week course for the non-runner (that was me) that would gently ease you into running and at the end of the class, you would be able to run a 5K. It sounded like this class was made for me! I have never been athletic my entire life and certainly could never run. Any attempts soon failed after about a block of running and not being able to breathe!

I signed up for the class which turned out to be a life changing experience for me. It was a challenge and there were times that were very, very difficult but I really wanted to do this. I remember being so excited to come home and tell my family that I just ran 5 minutes straight! That was a very big deal!

Fast forward to present. I stuck with it and I LOVE IT! I now run an average of 5 days a week and have faithfully since that class ended last May. Upon conclusion of that class I ran my first 5K and it felt amazing! The sense of accomplishment was overwhelming! I had just achieved something at age 38 that I had never done before in my life. I did several 5K races last summer and it just made me want to keep going, get stronger, go farther, and accomplish new goals!

I was fortunate enough to be able to be a part of this year's YMCA couch to 5K class...only this time, it was as a volunteer and to help others who were in the same place I had been 1 year ago. I wanted to help others discover the joy of running like I had.

I am not much of a speedy runner, even after all this time, but for me it's really about being a part of the race, the awesome race atmosphere, crossing the finish line, and just being able to say "I DID IT!" Not to mention, I feel great and those runs provide a lot of therapy for me! I've also met some really wonderful people along the way. I completed my first 10K race two weeks ago. It felt great, had a great time and got to enjoy it with my son who volunteered to run it with me!
Next stop for me… half marathon. I think I'm up to the challenge! Who would have ever thought that I would someday run a half marathon? Certainly not me! If someone would have told me a couple of years ago I would be doing this, I NEVER would have believed them. I never thought I'd say words like, "I ONLY ran 4 miles today"!

This quote was shared by the teacher of my couch to 5K class and I wanted to pass it along:
~ "Training for a race is sort of like a metaphor for life — it shows you how important goals are, it shows you how much you are capable of, it shows you the power of dedication. I've never run 13.1 miles, but I know I can do it. I will do it. " Ashley Cadaret, Running: A Love Story, Other Voices blog, Runner's

June 2, 2012 I participated in the 5K race again that was my very first one, one year ago. I was so curious to see how I would do 1 year later. I was fortunate enough to feel great that day and had a really good race. I've never, ever have considered myself fast at all but I guess I kinda was on that day! I ended up with the first place ribbon in my age division! And, it felt pretty amazing that I was at the top end of that 30 to 39 age group! I remember looking around thinking, did they just say MY name? It felt so amazing. I am so proud to call myself a runner. I have to admit that I felt a little emotional after winning that little ribbon, thinking back on the last year and how far I'd come.

I also want to say how proud I am of my Couch to 5K class. A lot of them were able to attend the race and they did a great job! I thoroughly enjoyed working with this class. When one of class members came up to me after the race and threw her arms around me, thanking me for my words of encouragement and support throughout the 9 weeks, I was so touched. It really meant a lot to me to have the opportunity to help out. It is after all, where I started on my journey to becoming a runner.

Emilie, (3rd from left in front row) with some of her running group.

I am very excited to be a featured Friday runner! I've come a long way in the last year and I hope I can continue running for many more years to come. It feels great to be a runner and I feel blessed to be part of the running community that I only used to admire from afar!

Here is another great quote that I just love:

If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.
-John Bingham

We are looking for more people who would like to be a Featured Runner!!! 
If you would like to share your story please email us at and tell us!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Run For Your Lives!!!

It's finally HERE!!!! The zombie apocalypse... well sort of. It's the Run For Your Lives 5k obstacle course with zombies. I have been waiting for this race since last year when I first heard about it. I remember watching videos pour in from participants and thinking, that is the coolest race I've ever seen. I'm going to do one.

After I talked Fred into doing it with me, I registered us for the Indiana race. Now it's just two days away. I'm stoked.

It's funny because I've never thought of myself as being 'into' the whole zombie thing. I like action movies so Resident Evil is on the top of my list but more because Alice is HOT and she totally kicks ass, than because it has zombies in it. I didn't even bother to watch I Am Legend until it was the last movie on our Netflix stream that we hadn't watched. Fred is a Walking Dead fan and I admit that I got sucked in last season. However, I watch it with a book at the ready so when the really freaky parts start up I can quickly divert my attention to something fluffy and less nightmare-invoking. So it's not like I'm 'into' zombies but since I told everyone I know about Run For Your Lives, all my friends now associate me with them.

Oh, and Zombieland is one of the funniest movies ever... so okay, maybe I am kinda into zombies.

This will probably be me...
I'm trying to be as prepared as possible for this race. It's a 5k obstacle race where zombies chase you, jump out and scare you, make creepy zombie noises, all while trying to snag a flag from your flag belt. Sounds awesome right? I know. My biggest fear is that I will start laughing uncontrollably, fall on the ground, and be swarmed by undead. If that happens I will probably wet myself as well.  From the uncontrollable laughing part, not from fear mind you, because they don't really use real zombies.

Here's my list of supplies that I am taking along. After the race I will probably have a few more things to add...

1. Fingerless gloves
2. Change of clothes including shoes
3. Waterproof disposable camera
4. Extra gallons of water for washing off mud and zombie guts
5. Face wipes
6. Towels
7. Food and Water
8. Soap
9. Alice (okay, yes, she's totally my girl crush but she slays zombies like no other)

I will of course remember to limber up.

Fred and I will be doing this race with two of our friends, Kristen and Brandon. Also, my friend, Ila, will be there with her family. One of her sons is the event coordinator. How cool is that?!?! She's running an earlier heat though so she will be done by the time we get there. We will get to see them after our run at the Apocalypse Party. It is going to be a great time and I will be sure to tell you all about it!

Peace, Love, Happiness!

What is the coolest, most fun race you've ever done?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Training for my first Triathlon!

Triathlons have sparked my interest for quite some time and this Spring I just could not get it out of my head that I wanted to complete one. The thought would come in and then negative thoughts would follow next. Thoughts like “When will you find the time to train?” “You really don’t have the proper bike for it!” “You know how to swim to keep yourself afloat, but you have never done laps!” Although those thoughts kept swimming in my head, the persistent urge of doing one never left me. Therefore, I started looking for the right one for me. Finding the “right” tri just fell into my lap. I wanted it close, I did not want an open water swim, and it had to be in June. When I put that criteria in the search engine the Tremont Triathlon popped right up! June 23, lap swim, and only 30 minutes away! Woo Hoo! Even though I found the right one it took me a week to actually sign-up. I asked a friend if she wanted to do it and she was hesitant and nervous. The urge still nagged me and finally I convinced myself that I was signing up either way. The stars were aligned and I knew everything would just fall into place.

As I was getting ready to press submit on the entry form a thought came to me about my friend Kathryn doing triathlons before. Kathryn is amazing! She is one of the nicest people I know and has known me since I was a kid. She has completed marathons, triathlons, etc. etc. I instantly messaged her to see if she had any interest in doing one and she instantly said, “Yes!” I was ecstatic! We both signed up within minutes of each other. I am bib #210 and she is bib #211. Woot!

Next, the bike and the swim. Thank god I know how to run already! J Let me start this by saying that I truly believe god puts special people in your life and if you trust in that and believe the rest will fall into place. The first example of that was, Kathryn.


The Bike:
While talking to my friends and co-workers at Gold’s Gym I told them I had registered for a triathlon and laughed that I did not technically know how to swim and bike, but I was doing it. The next the words out of my adorable, very pregnant friend Cyndi’s mouth was, “I used to be a competitive biker and you can use my bike”.  Instantly, I am speechless and overwhelmed with gratitude. Cyndi then invited me over and gave me a biking lesson. She taught me about clip-in shoes, gears, etc. and off I went with her Specialized Alez. Upon leaving Cyndi’s house she said to me while laughing, “Don’t break yourself….or the bike!” I knew at this moment that this bike cost some serious coin. I googled it and almost gasped at the price tag. Needless to say the bike is our new baby and on June 23 I will be delivering it with kid-gloves back to my friend. Thank you, Cyndi for the lesson and the bike.

The Swim:
In May, at a play date that I hosted at my house for our daughters (Glamour Shots for 5 and 6 year olds, this was seriously adorable!) as we were ‘glamming’ our little peanuts up I mentioned that I needed to learn how to swim this week while laughing of course! Various conversations were discussed and my friend Rhya said, “Did you hear that Danelle just said she was a competitive swimmer and was on team in High School?” Instantly I was surprised as my very humble, sweet friend has never mentioned this and we have known each other for 4 years. We even watch each other’s children often. She instantly offered to give me a lesson. What I learned from Danelle that day I contribute to every lap I successfully complete. I could not have done it without her. Plus, she helped this girl without ever making fun of her. She even helped me put my swim cap on the right way. Seriously, I can’t stop laughing at this! My pink swim cap actually looked like a condom had gone wrong on my head! J. She then showed me how to do a flip-turn. No, I won’t be doing this at the tri as I might hurt myself or someone else! Breathing was the biggest hurdle for me. After practicing for 3 hours a week for over a month I finally have got it down to a comfortable pace. I am so happy! I learned something new that was very challenging. I never knew how hard swimming would be, especially because I thought since I run great distances swimming would not be a big deal?! Boy, was I wrong!  Currently, I complete 16 laps in 13 minutes. Not too shabby for a girl who just learned how to swim. The best part is that I have become a better runner from swimming and will continue this new exercise long after the Tremont Tri is over. Again I want to thank you, Danelle.

I can’t believe that in three more days I will be able to say I have completed my first Triathlon! I am so excited I can’t stand it!

~ Danyelle

Have you completed a Triathlon or want to?
What is the biggest thing you learned from your Triathlon?