Friday, August 31, 2012

Featured Runner Friday: Meet Cassie!

Every runner has a story...
At Sexy Mother Runner we believe that sharing those stories is a great way to share the gift of running while helping to motivate others. Losing weight is usually not an easy task, especially after having children. Cassie has done an amazing job getting back in shape though. Her pictures speak for themselves.

Meet Cassie:

My name is Cassie Nickel.  I am 30 years old.  I have been married for over 6 years to my loving and supportive husband. I am a stay at home mom, and we have two very handsome boys.

So. Here is my story.  I was thin in high school and was on the Danceteam so I was in shape.  I never had to watch what I ate.  Oh, the joys of being an active teenager and having great metabolism! Into Junior college, I put on about 20 pounds, but thought that was okay.  I enjoyed being with friends
and definitely eating out was fun, fun!! Finishing up my undergrad, I managed to put on a little more weight, but never realizing it.  I was totally in denial. I never gained any of my weight fast, so it really never bothered me.

After college, I got a job at LA Weight Loss.  I was a consultant that helped clients lose weight.  I was preaching this stuff for a living and still not believing it.  I helped a lot of people, but never really did great with their program.  I may have lost about 15 pounds in about 9 months while working there.

When I got married, my wedding dress was a size 16.  The real kicker was that the whole dress had to be let out.  That really made me feel like crap and I finally started to realize that I had put on about 50 pounds or so in 6 years.  I would just tell myself, "Oh well, It could be worse".  Plus, (silly me) I thought that I didn't look that bad.

After being married for a little over a year, I got pregnant with our first son.  I already weighed 200 pounds.  Doctor told me that I should really only gain about 10-15 pounds during the whole pregnancy.  HA!  Try 40 pounds!  I enjoyed "eating for two" a little too much.  I did lose all my baby weight in just
3 weeks after having our son.  Breastfeeding was a big helper in my weight loss.  So, I was back to 200 pounds. I felt good that I had lost the baby weight, but still wasn't happy with myself.

I was overweight and I could feel it.  I was robbing my baby of his early childhood.  I was lazy.  Looking back,  I cannot believe how sorry I was feeling for myself.  Wow, did I cry A LOT.  So for a few years, I stayed around 200 pounds and continued to feel sorry for myself.  I have no idea how many diets I started in that time. Then I got pregnant with our second son and gained 40 pounds during that pregnancy too.  With the second baby, the weight didn't come off as easy.  I only lost about 25 pounds in about 6 months.  It was really starting to get to me that my pre-pregnancy clothes were not fitting and I had a 6 month old baby!  I needed a change...

Hello Change!!  My sister and her husband introduced me to MyFitnessPal.  Who would have ever thought that a free app on my phone would help me lose weight!?!  Well, It has totally changed my life! March 2011, I weighed 240 pounds and May 2012, I weighed 147 pounds.  I lost 93 pounds in 14 months!!  I am so proud of myself.  It has been a struggle and definitely life changing.  I am so much more happier, especially with myself. I can finally give my all to my husband and our boys.

I am definitely fighting for these last 7 pounds.  I have been running for 4 months now!  I really enjoy it.  I have never ran before except for in PE in high school.  I am up to running 4 miles without stopping. I will run in my first 5K this fall.  I am totally amazed at what I have accomplished in the past year.  I have lost a lot of weight.  I am a runner. I have confidence and I am happy again.  My smile is back, not just for show, but it stays on my face when I am alone too.

My pictures were taken on Mother's Day.  May 2011 & May 2012

Would you like to share your story and be a Featured Runner? 
If so, send us an email at 
We'd love hear from you!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New Kicks & Foam Rolling

A couple of weeks ago I started getting a pain in my left foot. I've had this pain on and off for the last year. It seems to start up when I up my mileage. Which I have started to do since I'm once again in training for a half marathon. After extensive research (aka Google) and self diagnosis, (don't try this at home) I have decided it's overuse and also time for new shoes. If you have had any experience with this type of pain and have any helpful tips, I'd love to hear them.

The pain is in the ball of my foot and first three toes.  It recently got worse after my spartan class last Tuesday. I blame the hills. The next day there were shooting pains in my toes while I was driving. When I got home I just thought I'd check the tread on the bottom of my shoes and sure enough, it looks pretty brand new everywhere except right where the ball of my foot is and on the toes of my left foot only. So... and pay attention because this is RIVETING stuff, people ... the right shoe was worn also on the ball of my foot but not where my toes are. Thus, my right foot and toes are quite lazy in comparison to my left. 

I called my local running store, Running Central, to see if they had any Glycerin 9's in stock and unfortunately they did not. However, Brooks online, of course, had them and the added bonus was that they were marked down from $140 to $85 because the Glycerin 10's are now out as well. I'm all about last year's line for $55 less! Brooks also happened to have FREE SHIPPING on orders of $75 or more. Double bonus! 

Brooks Glycerin 9

This made Fred especially happy since I just purchased my Brooks Ghost 4 from Running Central in April and paid full price. He's not thrilled about spending $100+ on new shoes less than six months later... 

I really liked the Ghost 4 shoes. They fit great and felt good but I really love the Glycerins. My only complaint is that I wish they had more color choices like they do in the Pure line. I love all of those bright colors. However, we and several of our followers posted on their FB page about it and they let us know that we have been heard. What a great company! 

Along with my foot I've been having pain in my right knee... now I know what my mother always means when she says, "It's hell to get old." I totally get it. I'm not even old really, but I get it. I decided to take my own advice and hit the foam roller. We spent some time together today and my knee almost instantly started feeling better. 

This is how I roll.

If you haven't tried foam rolling yet, I highly recommend it. It is great for your muscles after a run or workout. The video below is very informative. He does a great job of instructing you how to use a foam roller. His accent is quite lovely as well. 

Now that I have my new running shoes, I'm on the search for some trail shoes. 
Any tips??? 

Peace, Love, Happiness!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Talking about "My Happy Pace Gear" and the SPIbelt that I love!

I was the lucky winner of a SPIbelt from My Happy Pace Gear nearly 3 weeks ago. How did I win it? Easy, I was their 600th like! Seriously, it was that easy and they do these giveaways like this all the time. You should follow them on Facebook.

When they told me I had won they let me choose which SPIbelt I would like. Of course I picked out this cute little polka dot number! It had 'Danyelle' written all over on it! My husband wished I had picked black as he wants one now, too! lol! Come on, real men wear polka dots!

What is  a SPIbelt?

A small personal item belt! A SPIbelt™ is sleek, expandable, secure, and does not bounce. It can hold an iPhone™, Droid™, keys, cash, credit cards, identification and many other small personal items. SPIbelt™ won't ride or shift while running or participating in other vigorous activities.

It's dimensions are:
Fits waist size 25" through 50".
Pocket length is 6.5" and expands to 3"D x 4.5"H
Plus it is proudly made in Austin, Texas!
Price: $19.95

I have used my SPIbelt on long runs and short runs and quite honestly I do not know what I would do without it. It has become part of my 'staple' running gear. It appears quite small when you get it, however it is very stretchy and can hold quite a lot. It held 4 GU's, a bag of pretzels, sports beans, and my ginormous set of keys on my 20 mile run! You want to know the best part?! It stretched right back and looks adorable again! Love me some SPIbelt!

Plus, My Happy Pace Gear has to be one of the nicest, prompt companies out there. My gear was to me in a couple of days with a sweet little note in it! I love added touches like that. Also, if I email them they reply to you almost instantly. I love a company that makes you feel important! 

The SPIbelt, Steph, and I after our 20 mile run!
The SPIbelt doesn't look like it just put in 20 miles! 

If you have ever considered a SPIbelt I highly recommend one and you won't be disappointed with working with a company like My Happy Pace Gear. I know I haven't!

Until next time...Happy Running!


We love to hear from our followers! Tweet us, Facebook us, Email us, mail us! You name it, do it! We'd love it!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Featured Runner Friday: Meet Debbie!

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. Today's Featured Runner is a woman who decided she wasn't willing to just give up and give in. She took back her health and her life. Oh, how I love a good story about overcoming health issues! 

Meet Debbie: 

Hi there, I'm a mom and a runner also. I love to hear other runners experiences as well as share my own. If I can give some one else motivation to run or shape up with my story then it will have been worth telling .

 About 6 years ago I went thru a bad break up and started having daily head aches. I happened to work for my doctor, so I mentioned them to him. Turns out my blood pressure was high. He told me he wanted me to lose weight, he was giving me a few weeks before he put me on blood pressure meds. He said to me that he knows I can't run because of my asthma ( he's an avid runner himself) but I should walk a few miles everyday. 

At that time I was on 2 inhalers and 1 pill for my asthma. I also couldn't tolerate cigarette smoke or strong odors from cleaners or perfume, as well as extreme temps would make it difficult to breath.  But what I was thinking was if I couldn't run at 37 what happens when I'm 47, I can't walk? And 57 oxygen? I couldn't accept that. Sooo I ran. 

I had always lifted weights & worked out but my eating was not controlled. But I dragged my self to the track & every week I added a lap in a combo of running & walking. I soon signed up for a local 5 mi run. I loved the camaraderie so much, I then signed up for a 10k followed by a half marathon. By then my asthma symptoms were lessening & I didn't get sick for the entire year . 

I ran my first full marathon 1 year after I was told I couldn't run. The rest is history, I've now come off all of my meds , I haven't had an asthma attack in 5 yrs & have run 11 marathons as well as a bunch of shorter races, oh & I lost 30 lbs in the process, & my blood pressure is normal. 

I started a fitness page so I can help others realize any one can achieve a higher level of fitness if they try.
  Thanks for reading,
          Debbie from


Be sure to check out Debbie's Facebook page, show her some love! 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I hate what I am about to write, because then it is in black and white.

Here it is written. I have a problem. I have an injury. Now I must deal with it. Ugh.

I am injured. Yes, it is true. I have not even told, Bekah. Writing this makes me admit that I am worried and I need to deal with it. Since Saturday I have been in pain. The first three days were excruciating which I just contributed to the long 20 mile run. However, since yesterday I think it is much more than that. I have not ran since Saturday and actually the muscle pain has went away. What hasn’t went away is the constant foot pain and tight muscle in the middle of my left foot. It is so tight and it feels like my foot needs to be arched all of the time. It is so bad that I am wearing tennis shoes 100% of the time, except when I sleep. Even if I slip my Nike support flip flops on it is a short lived notion. My self diagnosis is plantar fasciitis. The second symptom that continues to hurt is the left side of my knee. This I can actually tolerate it’s annoyance. It hurts all the way down the leg from the knee. When I bend down I can actually hear my knee crunch like tissue paper. Good times. Ugh.

What is plantar fasciitis?

According to Wikipedia: Plantar fasciitis (PF) is a painful inflammatory process of the plantar fascia, the connective tissue on the sole (bottom surface) of the foot. It is often caused by overuse of the plantar fascia or arch tendon of the foot. It is a very common condition and can be difficult to treat if not looked after properly. Another common term for the affliction is "policeman's heel".[1]
Longstanding cases of plantar fasciitis often demonstrate more degenerative changes than inflammatory changes, in which case they are termed plantar fasciosis.[2] The suffix "osis" implies a pathology of chronic degeneration without inflammation. Since tendons and ligaments do not contain blood vessels, they do not actually become inflamed. Instead, injury to the tendon is usually the result of an accumulation over time of microscopic tears at the cellular level.
The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band of connective tissue originating on the bottom surface of the calcaneus (heel bone) and extending along the sole of the foot towards the toes. It has been reported that plantar fasciitis occurs in two million Americans a year and in 10% of the U.S. population over a lifetime.[3] It is commonly associated with long periods of weight bearing. Among non-athletic populations, it is associated with a high body mass index.[4] The pain is usually felt on the underside of the heel and is often most intense with the first steps of the day. Another symptom is that the sufferer has difficulty bending the foot so that the toes are brought toward the shin (decreaseddorsiflexion of the ankle). A symptom commonly recognized among sufferers of plantar fasciitis is an increased probability of knee pains, especially among runners.

What am I going to do? Well, I am stubborn and don’t feel like going through the three ring doctor referral process at this time. Therefore, I keep resting, rolling, and stretching my foot and calf for the plantar fasciitis and I am praying. Praying that I heal. All I want to do is finish my marathon without causing permanent injury. I will never, never, never give up! I am doing this!!

Until next time please pray and…Happy Running!


Have you ever been injured?

If so, what did you do that was helpful?

Vegan Stew Recipe (No, it's not made with real vegans)

Well, it's happened. Fred kept hinting around at starting a more plant-based diet and now he has. Aside from the half&half in his morning coffee he is meat and dairy free. I don't see him giving up the half&half anytime soon, some lines are just not to be crossed.

So as I type this while eating my Greek yogurt, I am pondering whether or not I am capable of giving up dairy. So far, not so much. This Greek yogurt with honey is really good. I mean REALLY good.

We are eating a lot of vegan meals now though. Last night Fred made a stew with eggplant, zucchini and red peppers. It was seriously one of the best things I've ever eaten. Keep in mind, I love food, good food, as in Top Chef type food. I just don't eat it anymore. This stew though, so good. Even though it was mostly vegetables, it was a very hearty, comfort-food meal.

I highly recommend hitting a local farm stand/farmer's market or your own garden if you have one and getting the ingredients to make this meal. We used all fresh, local produce which I believe makes a huge difference in flavor for any meal.

Below is the recipe I pulled up from We omitted the parsley and rosemary since we didn't have any on hand. Give it a whirl and let us know what you think!

Peace, Love, Happiness!


eggplant (cut into 1 inch cubes)
14 cup olive oil
1 cup onion (chopped)
5 cloves chopped garlic
12 cup basmati rice
zucchini (cut into large chunks)
red bell pepper (chopped)
fresh tomatoes (diced)
1 cup marsala wine
12 cups water
12 tsp salt (taste)
14 tsp red pepper flakes
14 cup fresh basil (chopped)
14 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
1 sprig fresh rosemary (chopped)
Eggplant, Zucchini, and Red Pepper Stew
1Place eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with salt.
2Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot. Rinse eggplant and pat dry. Saute until slightly browned. Stir in onion and saute until transparent. Stir in garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
3Stir in rice, zucchini, red bell pepper, tomatoes, wine, water, salt and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture reaches a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
4Remove from heat and stir in basil, parsley and rosemary.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 332Calories from Fat 125
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14 g21%
Saturated Fat g9%
Trans Fat0%
Sodium 317 mg13%
Total Carbohydrate 38 g13%
Dietary Fiber g25%
Sugars g
Protein g
Vitamin A41%
Vitamin C 61 mg102%
Calcium 64 mg6%
Iron mg8%
Potassium 821 mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The No Tears Twenty!

Saturday’s 4 a.m. alarm went off three times before it resonated with me. I stumbled through my house staring at the walls and making my way to the coffee that had auto-brewed. I poured a cup and went to the bathroom where I sat thinking “what in the world am I doing”…followed by the “your getting ready to run 20 miles this morning” thought.

Friday night I spent preparing everything for Saturday’s run. Clothing laid out, water and Nuun ready, charged my Garmin and iPod, and packed the SPIbelt with GU and pretzels. All things that are a necessity if you are getting up at 4 freakin-crazy- a.m.!! Goodness, I remember the times that I came home at home 4 a.m. not woke up then! Yeah, that was 15 years ago*sigh*.

As I walked out the door to leave for my run the breezy, perfect temp of 52 degrees greeted me. I began to smile. I turned on the tunes and jumped in my truck to greet my fellow, crazy, running friends at the planned running route.

The awesome ladies I run with!
My friend, Steph who is doing the Quad Cities Marathon planned an awesome running route. Followed by packing a great cooler. She is always a treat to meet! I met her, Deb, and Casey and off we went. As I started the run my body and brain thought like they always do, “I don’t want to run!” But, never listen to them folks as after one mile they realize that YOU are in charge of them. We chatted and before you knew it we finished nearly 8 miles. Casey turned back at this time as she had 14 on her plan and we met up with Linda, Trinity, Molly, Laura, and Emily.

We headed onto the East Peoria Trail. It is a nice, busy, paved trail. We all had different goals. Deb was going for 12 and she was only 4 away at this point. Trinity and Laura had 12 for their new PR goal and Linda had 10. Molly was nursing a knee injury so she was taking it easy and Emily was a walker today. As the miles went by, we all started to split off. Now Laura, Trinity, Steph and I were left with the balance.

Our sweet friend Trinity had placed a cooler earlier that morning with water at about our half-way point. This was very useful. She is such a thoughtful gal. She was even passing out water to fellow runners that she did not know. This is just one more reason why I love all these girls so much.

Honestly, the miles just kept passing by. I don’t remember feeling much pain until about mile 18, but at that point I knew we had this. All things pointed to a good finish. We kept chugging along encouraging each other and during the last mile I turned on the tunes and left the ear phones off. Sometimes distraction is just what you need and who can’t be distracted by Eminem and Nirvana?! You can’t stop when you are listening to those fellas!

As I looked up I saw Stephanie cover her face with two hands at the finish. Would this be tears?! Well, almost but no go! Even if, they would have been happy ones!!!
PR People! Deb, not shown but not forgotten!

As we all finished I can’t remember feeling more accomplished ever in my running career. Is career the right verbiage?! Hmmm…I doubt it, but it sounds good so I am leaving it! J I can’t believe we did 20 miles!!! I was so happy to share Laura and Trinity’s 12 mile PR! They made such an awesome time and are absolutely going to nail their half!!! We celebrated with hugs and chocolate milk. Plus, Deb made a new 12+ PR and Linda a 10 mile PR! Woot! It was such a great day!

Welcome to the 20 Mile Club!
It's a bit different than the mile high club! lol!
The rest of Saturday was spent lying around with bags of frozen fruit on my legs. Yes, they hurt. Yes, it was worth it as its Monday and I am still on a high! I still can’t walk normal, but I am still on a high.

I saw later on our Facebook page a follower wrote that they don’t think they could ever run 20 miles. I am going to tell you and everyone else who has ever thought this YES, YOU CAN!!!! If I can do it, you can do it. I remember having the same thoughts as you. I remember joking that I would only run if I was being chased. All you have to do is want to and never, never, never give up. Trust me, the feeling of accomplishing it is all worth it!!

Until next time…Happy Running!


What was your favorite running accomplishment?!

What is a goal you want to complete?!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Featured Runner Friday: Meet Christina!

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. Today's featured runner is Christina. She is on an amazing journey to health and fitness. I am truly in awe of her, everything she has accomplished, and her continued determination to achieve new goals.

Meet Christina

Hi my name is Christina Norris, I am 31 yo wife and mother of one. In late 2010 I finally had one of those “clicking” moments in life when you wake up and say this is not who I want to be anymore”... I had always been a little “chunky” and as I was knocking on the door of turning 30 I was going through personal struggles and having a child with special needs so I never made time for myself. I questioned who was I , what did I like to do, where did I see myself in 5/10/15 years??

Over the years I had reached my heaviest weight EVER.. I was miserable with myself and didn’t feel I deserved or could find the time to do anything for myself ; putting myself last like many mommy’s and wives do. I turned to food for comfort when I was stressed, upset or even happy, then would turn to feeling guilty and unhappy and eating more- forever on the yo yo diet rollercoaster many experience. Lose 10 gain 20 and so on.

One day I had an angel mentor come into my life who showed me the way to fitness. She encouraged me through positive reinforcement that I could do ANYTHING I wanted to do and that I WAS worth it. You see I personally believe nobody gets to be almost 250lbs because they are hungry alone; it is a mental battle within yourself. It's an internal struggle.

I then began Weight Watchers and slowly began more and more classes at the gym with her eventually having the motivation to do them on my own. The weight began coming off in waves and I would discover more and more confidence. I would always see those “runners” out rain or shine and think “you people are crazy”; never imagining I could even come close to achieving any kind of fitness or self discipline to achieve such a goal of running. I was always one of those people who joked “If I ever got chased I might as well lay down and give up because I won’t make it around the block”.

One day I woke up last year in late September 2011 and said to myself, “you really need to step out of your comfort zone and do something you never thought you could do” and running was the FIRST thing to pop in my head. I decided I wanted to do a 5K so I began using “Couch to 5K”.

Boy O Boy, even though at that point I considered myself to be in “decent” shape with my gym classes I was not prepared for what I experienced. I could barely run 90 seconds without feeling like I was gonna DIE.. my pulse would race at close to 200, but I NEVER gave up. Once you set your mind to something you must NEVER give up... your achievements are limitless.

Over the next few months I followed the routine all on my own; I knew no runners around the area. I then had a local ex-co worker see my posts about running on FB and said “Hey let me add you to this awesome group called the Sole Sisters.” I was immediately on board and excited. Seeing all their wonderful posts were amazing even though I hadn’t had the luxury of meeting any still at that point.

Then the BIG day came of the Jingle Bell Run- My first 5K was finally here. I was a COMPLETE nervous wreck! It was raining and even at that point in my training I hadn’t completely ran a full 3 miles without stopping to walk a few seconds to catch my breath. I felt like my goal was unachievable and was filled with doubt. I. Was. A. Mess!! It was raining as I lined up at the starting line. I was so blessed to have my son and husband waiting for me in the rain to cheer me on.

As the race began my adrenaline was pumping and we set off. As I ran I kept thinking “I CAN do this... I WILL do this.” I ran the full 3 miles finishing at 33:13 total. As I crossed that finish line all the amazing feelings good, bad, and in between rushed me at once-I lost it.

The euphoria of experiences I have been blessed to partake in over the last couple years are life altering. I re-experience this feeling almost every time I run now and even as I type this the emotions are humbling and still overwhelming. I have since ran a couple more 5K’s and even a 5K Mud Run; each time feeling so blessed to be able TO run! I now am looking forward to a 10K in September this year and to do St Jude next year and pushing myself further.

I have met some of the most amazing women and friends through this journey and the Sole Sisters and am so thankful for them all, each having their own story and journey to share and are such an inspiration. My son even says “Lets go run mommy.” I now get up most mornings at 4am to run a quick 2-3 miles (ha I still can’t believe it when I say that) and experience that “runners high” of happiness. I have embraced my new lifestyle and enjoy helping and encouraging others reach their potentials and goals whatever they may be.

I have officially currently LOST 75lbs of fat and so much more baggage of self doubt but have GAINED a wealth of happiness. This began as a journey of weight loss but has continued to be a path of self discovery of the person I could be and was meant to be…I cannot wait to see where else my path leads in the future…The possibilities are endless!

Christina's before and after picture.

Just this morning, I was informed that Christina has registered for her FIRST HALF MARATHON which will take place in October! I look forward to more runs with Christina and watching her continue  in her running journey. Good luck lady, YOU GOT THIS!!!   ~Bekah

Would you like to share your story with us? 
We would LOVE to hear it! 
Email us at

Thursday, August 16, 2012

You Can't Out-Exercise A Bad Diet

How many times have you said/thought/heard, "I ran today, I deserve to eat this." I know I've been guilty of it. (You probably know by now my undying love for cake.) Treats once in a while are probably not going to do too much harm. (Depending on which study you read.) When it becomes a habit or lifestyle though, you will not get the results you want. You are pretty much undoing all of your hard work.

If it's not there, you can't eat it. 
Reward yourself for your hard work by tossing the junk-food! This will help get you the results you want and deserve. A healthy diet is what your body needs. Period. There is no 'two trains traveling in opposite directions' story problem to solve here. Eat carrots instead of chips. Eat some raw almonds instead of beer nuts. Just make some smarter choices. Fried green beans do not count as vegetables. In fact, just a good rule of thumb, if it's fried, don't eat it. I know it tastes good but how do you feel an hour after you eat it?

Nothing Tastes As Good As Thin Healthy Feels.

Need more reward? 
Me too! Set some goals, write them down. When you reach a goal reward yourself with something you've been wanting like some new running gear, a massage, a new outfit, a trip to Tahiti... whatever. When I hit the 30 lb loss I went out and got not one but two, oh yes TWO, new dresses.

That being said...
I'm not perfect with my diet, I love cake and even though I've sworn off fast food and soda, I still give in to a craving for Culver's cod and fries once every month or two. Yes, I realize this totally goes against my 'if it's fried, don't eat it' rule. Again, I'm not perfect. I'm getting better though. :)

 I do know that I feel a ton better when I am on the right track with what I'm eating. Not only do I feel better, my skin looks better, my clothes fit better, I'm just plain happier and the scale is off my hit list. I also know that I'm lowering my risk of early death, which is nice.  So, I've got that going for me.

Fred is watching videos and documentaries again which means we are likely in for another big change around here. I'm pretty sure he's going to spring 'vegan' on me next. I have to admit, I really do believe it is the healthiest way to go. Knowing and implementing are very different things though. And, hello, CHEESE. How can I not eat cheese??? We've already dropped meat (except fish occasionally) and gone to a mostly plant-based diet but (in the words of Bugs Bunny) that next step is a lulu! Totally plant-based is still a little scary to me. Again, cheese.

Until next time, peace, love, and happiness!


How do you reward yourself for your hard work? 
What big changes have you made to your diet?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Time for Viente!

Last Saturday's 12 mile taper run was a welcome relief! It was 35 degrees cooler than the following week's miserable 18 that we mastered. We kept an even pace of 10:45 on the first 6 miles and averaged overall at an 11:15 pace for the entire 12. I will take that! We were thankful for a much better training run than previous. So, what gives? I think two major factors are the cause and effect for this great run that we logged. 

1. 58 freakin' awesome degrees!


2. I did all my midweek runs!

Who knows it could have been partially psychological, too?! Going from 18 to 12 just sounds so much more doable if I do say so myself!

So, what's up this week? Viente! Twenty that is! The temps forecasted at this point look lovely. I am pretty excited about conquering this one! Let's pray it stays cool as it is time for another PR!

Until next time...Happy Running!


So, what's your favorite temperature to run in?!

Wednesday Challenge!

Time for another challenge!  
I know, you're welcome. ;)

Your mission, should you accept:

100 Crunches
50 Push-ups (any style)
50 Squats (weights are optional)

When you are done let us know how you did by leaving a comment here or on our Facebook page!

Good luck and enjoy your day!

Peace, Love, Happiness!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Blood, sweat, and tears…a short novel about the truth of an 18 mile run!

What it looked like when I left
for our 18miler last week!

Okay, there wasn't really any blood, but there might as well have been! My training run last Saturday was brutal to say the least. Let me first say that there were a few circumstances that might have made it that brutal. The first one is that in the past month I have not put in the training work. I ran 16 miles before vacation and then I was gone for 3 weeks and did not run once. You might ask why didn't you run on vacation? Well, this was my first Mommy and kid vacation and because of that I had no one to watch them.

Once I came home thankfully my home sold! Suddenly, I became even busier with packing a house, trying to catch up at work all while trying to entertain the kids. I know, excuses, excuses! So, I ran one time consisting of 4 miles and then I ran 18 miles! Yes, this is confessional. I feel like I know what some of you are thinking, “Well you deserve it then!” and others of you are thinking “Wow, thank goodness she is normal and can’t fit it all in all of the time!” Well, I think both thoughts are true! J

Although, I truly blame the hard run on my lack of training I think my training partner Stephanie whole heartedly would agree that it was the hardest run she has ever completed and she NEVER misses her training days. I do believe one other component may have been the culprit, too.

THE HEAT!! Our run temperatures and humidity were THROUGH.THE.ROOF! At the peak of our run the temperature was in the mid 90’s and 99 degrees with humidity. UGH!!!

We started the first half of our run at 6 a.m. with a nice group of friends! We got through the first 9 miles with ease and Bekah met us to complete the last 9 miles. Our group separated at this point and Heidi, Laura, Deb, and Trinity went on to finish their training route. Many of our friends made PR’s on Saturday. It made it a very special day! Laura, Trinity, and Deb did 10.5 m. for the first time and Holly did 6 m.! Woot! Holly left a bit earlier on the route.

I call these ladies the double-digit girls!

We hydrated along the way with our packs, hydration bottles, and belts. Surprisingly, we  had already consumed all of our packed hydration. We stopped at this point (mid-point) to refill from our cooler that Steph strategically placed on the training route. Yes, these are the things you have to plan when you are on a long run, hiding coolers! This is the first time we noticed that we did not have enough hydration with us as we emptied the cooler at this stop. Luckily, our friend Laura volunteered to fill us up after she finished another mile and a half. She was a lifesaver that day!!! Our group separated at this point and Heidi, Laura, Deb, and Trinity went on to finish their training route. Bekah, Stephanie and I then ventured off to complete the last 9!

Our cheerleader, Bek!
Bekah jumped right in and we went another 4 miles with ease. Then the temperatures rose with the humidity making the last 6 miles excruciating to say the least. We drank, we GU’d, we Gatoraded, we Nuun’d and no matter what, it was a slow go. Bekah was our constant cheerleader and Steph the fearless leader.

As we kept chugging along we stopped and borrowed a few sprays from the sprinklers as they hit the sidewalks. At mile 14, I vividly remember feeling like dirt. My calves and feet hurt terribly. Bekah said, “Only 4 left! You can do 4 miles!” Of course I thought, I know I can!!! I chugged along slowly. Steph kept going a bit ahead. She was a rockstar!

As the sun beat down I felt like I was in the dessert. We turned onto another trail and I walked a bit. Then I would run a bit. Then walk a bit and run a bit. You get the idea. At mile 17.4 Bekah said, “Come on Sexy Mother Runner you got this!” and I burst into tears and said “I CAN’T!” Followed by, “Who’s stupid idea was it to sign up for a marathon?! Why in the world would I pay $150 to do this crap!!!” Yes, I am slightly embarrassed to say this is all true. Then I looked at her and said, “And, why in the heck are you here?” “You don’t have to do this!" Then we both busted into laughter!!! Anyone who knows me knows that I have banned the word “CAN’T” from anyone’s mouth in my household (along with stupid, fat, plus the Lord’s name in vein… just to mention the top 4!) and I hardly cry.

The last .6 mile was ridiculous. It felt like it took forever. As we turned onto North Knoxville I told Steph to be careful that she might get hit by a car coming into the turn lane and she said “I think it will feel better than running any longer!” We all laughed!

We turned into the parking lot and went up a street. Bekah said, “Your almost done!” Then I almost puked. No freaking kidding!!!! The hot and cold chills ran up and down my arms. Then we laughed as she said, “Puke there! It is public property!”. OMGosh!!!! Needless to say, I did not hurl and laughed hysterically instead. Thank goodness. I got a small, extremely short-lived burst of energy and sped up to finish the last.03 miles. Thank-freakin-goodness!!!! I ended at the cooler! A picture was taken and Bekah picked us up to take us to our cars.

Steph our fearless leader & amazing friend!
I am so happy to have completed this run with her!

As we arrived to our cars there was a GIANT blow up slide next to Steph’s car and white slips on our cars. I instantly freaked out and thought we all received parking tickets, but we were pleasantly surprised to receive two awesome notes from Heidi and Trinity saying “Good job” “Your awesome!” Seriously, they are the one’s who are awesome!!! More laughs were exchanged over my freak out!

So, this was a special memory for all of us! Our friends made PR’s earlier in the day and were along for the first half of our journey. Bekah saw me cry for the first time, say I can’t, and Steph and I completed an 18 freakin’ mile run!!!! We celebrated by meeting Steph’s husband Joe (A fellow runner who gets it!) by hobbling into One World for brunch. He laughed at our “rodeo” walk and the whole training run story. Yes, we looked and walked like we had been on a three day cattle drive. Then we ordered more food that would actually fit on our table. Many doggy bags came home!

Am I happy about our run? Yes, because the bonding with friends and stories shared were priceless. The memories made will never be forgotten. Plus, the lessons we learn from training runs are gold for our races.

Next up a 12 mile taper training run this morning, then the BIG 20 next week!!!! Until then…

Happy Running!


Have you ever had a really bad run?!