Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Every Family Needs A Little Crazy

Our family may be convinced that we are the crazy ones. No meat, almost no dairy. Yeah, we've gone off the deep end. Fred actually said to me the other day, "You know they all think we're nuts, right?" I just laughed because I'm pretty sure they've all thought this long before we changed our eating habits. Like when we told them we were thinking of having another kid...

I made it though. I made it through Thanksgiving without getting too out of hand. I ate a pretty typical Thanksgiving Day dinner sans turkey. It smelled good but just didn't appeal to me so it was quite simple to do without. Honestly, I was a bit shocked at that.

I enjoyed the day, my family, and the dinner. BUT, I didn't exercise all weekend and, wow, did I feel it. I felt awful. On Saturday I put on my running clothes and was so excited to get to go for a run in the snow. I was trying to talk Fred into it when he blinded me with Ancestry.com... Next thing I knew, it was dark out and I have a great great uncle named Orange. Here, Gwyneth Paltrow thought she was so cool with 'Apple'... What now, Gwyn?

Anyway, long story short, ancestry.com will suck the life right out of you and eat your soul. Okay, not really, it's actually just very fascinating and makes you lose complete track of time. Fred has now followed his family tree back to the 1400's. I'm still stuck in the 1800's with Orange.

Speaking of family... Fred's brother always brings a gift when we all meet at their sister's house for Thanksgiving. He snagged this classy little guy as last year's gift. I believe it came from a truck stop. Anyway, it always looks great adorning the table. 

Nothing really says, "Give Thanks" like a deer wearing biker leathers, chugging a bottle of wine, with it's, uh, 'tail' in the air... yeah, we're the crazy ones. ;)

Tonight we had our Spartan class. It was a great post-holiday workout and I've little doubt that moving will not really be an option tomorrow. It's going to have to be though because I have been slacking long enough and I'm so over it. I have a run scheduled for tomorrow as soon as both kiddos are dropped off at school. I'm making Fred go with me because that's what you do when you are in a loving, committed relationship. You push each other to keep going, you support your mate by forcing exercise upon them, you pretend you were asleep and having a nightmare when you kick them in the middle of the night because they pissed you off in a dream. Just me??? Right.

I'm getting right back on track. No holiday is going to get the best of me. Come on Christmas, bring it!

Peace, Love, Happiness!


Friday, November 23, 2012

Sexy Mother Runner Featured Friday Runner: Meet Janet!

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. 

I am so thankful for this lady! Janet and I 
have gotten to know each other better 
this year and it goes without saying that she is an awesome runner, 
but even bigger than that is her amazing heart! 
Love ya, Janet! ~Danyelle

 My story started about 4 years ago. I had my daughter in November of 2008. I had gained quite a bit of weight before pregnancy as I had been on many different steroids to aid in having her. After she was born I gained some more weight. In January of 2010, I had already decided that I had to get serious about losing weight and just being healthy, when several people I taught with decided to have a “Biggest Loser” contest. It was just the push I needed. I joined Weight Watchers and picked out an exercise program that worked for me, a busy working Mom of two with a husband working out of town quite frequently. By August of 2010, I had lost over 40 lbs and had met my first goal weight. For some reason though, I just wasn’t satisfied. When we returned to school in August I saw one of my friends I taught with who had been doing the Couch 2 5k program over the summer. I was very curious! Then in September she came back from her first run, the 2 mile Pumpkin Classic run. I couldn’t believe the difference in her, not just her body, but her confidence! I thought, “I WANT THAT!” So, I asked her about it. She sent me the links and I downloaded the Couch 2 5k podcasts onto my MP3 player. I started the program the last week of September 2010. In just a couple of weeks it will be two years since I became a runner.

When I tell you running changed my life that is NO exaggeration. I did lose a little more weight after starting my running journey, but I GAINED so much more! I completed the Couch 2 5k program in November of 2010 and ran my first 5k, the Jingle Bell, in December 2010. Since then I have ran in numerous 5k’s, a 10k, Steamboat Classic 4 mile and 15k, 3 half marathons (already registered for the 4th), had the wonderful opportunity to be a St. Jude runner  and am in the middle of training for the Chicago Marathon in October! I have also had the privilege of meeting some of the most amazing women through running and am proud to call them my friends! I couldn’t get through this journey without them!

I am proud of the medals and accomplishments I have achieved since I became a runner, but how it has impacted my children is what I am truly grateful for. I always tell people that I no longer run just for me, but also for my children. My son is an asthmatic. He has struggled with it his whole life. He completed the Couch 2 5k program this summer and ran his first 5k with me in August. I can not even begin to put into words the pride I felt when I crossed that finish line with him. The look on his face when he realized what he had just accomplished will forever be with me! If I had never began my running journey, I would have never dared to open this door for him! My daughter loves to dance and run back and forth in our basement while I do my treadmill runs, she is constantly telling us about her busy day and the “miles” she has to run that day. She is my biggest fan, beaming with pride every time she asks, “Is it your big race day Mom?”

Running has allowed me to push myself in all areas of my life. It has taught me that I AM stronger than I ever thought I was. I not only push myself when running, but I do it even in life now. This past Spring I made a decision that before running I would have never had the courage to do. I decided to put my 14 years of teaching on hold to stay at home to be a full time wife and mom. I love every minute of being at home with my daughter, being able to be at all of my son’s baseball games, appointments, etc… I am training hard for my first marathon. I focus on keeping an organized and clean house and providing healthy and tasty meals for my family. 

I am forever grateful to my friend for inspiring me to start this running journey! My life will never be the same and for that I am truly thankful!

Janet, rocked the Chicago Marathon on 
October 7, 2012 and finished in 04:55!
We are so happy for you, Janet! 
You are an inspiration!

Would you like to be a SMR Featured Friday Runner? 
If so, send us your story to sexymotherrunner@yahoo.com 
and inspire someone today!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful Thursday Thanksgiving Edition: Melissa is sharing her thankfulness for her cousin Inessa!

Inessa, Melissa, and Jenn! (left to right)

Hi!  I want to share my story with you.  My name is Melissa, and I am a runner!  I loved to run as a child, always did track in elementary and middle school, but at 18 while pregnant with my first child, I got varicose veins.  Everyone said they would go away when I had my baby, but they didn't....  They looked awful, and hurt a lot.  No insurance company would cover the surgery, because it was considered cosmetic....  I gave up running, and never ever showed my legs.  I gained ALOT of weight, and became quite depressed.  I took medication for depression, but still felt tired and sluggish all the time.  About 5 years ago my cousin Inessa really got into running.  She trained hard, got healthy (looks amazing!) And she ran her first marathon.  I was out of town, but I was amazed!  I never knew anyone who had run a marathon!  Then, everything fell into place....  I found a doctor to do an ultrasound of my legs for free...  Turns out I had grown a second set of the main vein that runs through your legs, but it did not fully develop....  No longer a cosmetic issue!  My insurance covered the surgery!  Before I healed, I announced to most everyone I knew that I was going to run a marathon.  Being seriously overweight (obese according to my doctor), addicted to Starbucks, depressed, and seriously lazy, I was not met with an overabundant amount of support.  I got a lot of snickers and a few flat out "you can't just decide to run a marathon".  The ONLY person who showed any support (besides my husband who figured it was another hair brained idea that would blow over) was my cousin Inessa.  She answered every question I had from "how far is 5k?" To "How do you keep your underwear from going up your butt when you run?"  She helped me find racing sites.  When I ran a whole mile without stopping (it took me over 18 minutes) she called me to tell me how proud of me she was.  I decided to sign up for my first race, and I decided to go big....  I signed up for the Eugene Women's Half.  I did not train properly, and she was gone the weekend of the race.  I HATED it.  I decided around mile 5 that people who love running were crazy, and liars....  But, I didn't know how to get back to my car, so I kept going.  The time limit was 3 and a half hours, I finished in 3 hours 29 minutes.  I cried for the next 45 minutes.  The first person I called was Inessa.  She explained that the crying was normal and told me how proud she was.  3 months later, I went to Portland where she lives, and ran my second race (another half marathon) with no training....  ugh.  Again with the hatred for all things running, but she ran it too, and met me at the finish line....  6 minutes faster!  Okay, I CAN do this.....  I now have an entire wall in my house covered in racing bibs and medals, and April 29, 2012 she came to Eugene as I completed 26.2 she ran the half, met me at miles 16, 20, and 25....  I am down 40 pounds and completely off all medication.  I rise in the morning ready to run, and dream about it as I sleep.  I have never met someone so inspiring and willing to help a fat girl with little motivation.  I am joining her again December 16th for the Holiday Half in Portland.  Ready to set a new PR.  <3. 

We are so happy for you Melissa and thankful for you Inessa! 
It is amazing what can be accomplished when you have a positive, 
supportive person(s) in your life!

We wish all of our followers a very Happy Thanksgiving!

~Danyelle & Bekah

Has someone inspired you and you are thankful for them?
If so, share your story with us!
Email it to sexymotherrunner@yahoo.com with the title
"Thankful Thursday" and make someone smile today!

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Twitter, & Pinterest or drop us a line at

Friday, November 16, 2012

Electric Run Anyone?

Have you heard of this crazy fun 
run called the Electric Run
If not, you need to!  

The Electric Run is a 5k run/walk at night with amazing lighting effects that are synchronized to music! Participants are encouraged to get their glow on by dressing up with neon attire and glow accessories!

You run through areas like this!

And this!

And you look like this!

Yes, this race has quickly rose to the top of my "Races to do in 2013 List"!
I just hope they bring it close enough to Illinois!
The map below shows where they have races scheduled currently!
Bring the Electric Run to the Midwest...pretty pllllease!!!! :)

Would you like to do an Electric Run?

If you would like to check out the 
Electric Run more click here!

Until Next time...Happy Running!

~Danyelle :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Last Race of 2012...maybe

This is the 'medal' received for finishing the 10 miles. This is actually
Christina's, I stole the pic she posted of it since it was such a cool pic.
That's how I roll. 
Here in Illinois it was in the 70's on Saturday. This morning it was 28 degrees when I woke up. Welcome to our crazy Illinois weather!

I ran the McNotAgain trail race on Saturday. It was a beautiful day for it. Sunny and dry. This was the same course that I ran a while back when the remnants of Hurricane Isaac were coming through. Very different run that day compared to Saturday.

It was still a very tough course without the rain and mud. This trail is 10 miles of hills basically. Someone described it by saying, "God took every hill in Illinois and shoved them all into this park." Which must be true because Illinois is pretty flat everywhere else. Just when you think, please God, no more hills. There's an even bigger hill ahead... laughing at you. I'm very glad that I decided to sign up for the 10 miles instead of the 30. I might have been able to finish 2 loops for 20 miles but it would not have been pretty. It also would have probably taken me the full 11 hour time frame. Fred did finish 2 loops and I'm vey proud of him as that was a new distance pr for him.

Here's a pre-race pic of some of us. Colleen, Renee, Steph, Bekah, Christina
...and the guy in the back 'Photo Bombing' us is Steph's husband, Joe.
He's awesome.

We had several friends running it as well. I ran with four of my friends the whole time. We stuck together and made it a fun event. One of the things I love about trail running, there is no pressure. It's so much more laid back than road running. I'm not a competitive person/runner so it's really enjoyable for me. The race directors and other runners are amazing and will even send runners out to pace with you if you are struggling. They really care that you finish and will help you to do just that. It's a really fantastic community of people.

Fred and I after his 2nd lap.

Plus, I have to say, this was the best post-race spread ever! One of the race directors has an awesome wife who made chili for everyone. She is so awesome, in fact, that she even made vegetarian chili. It was delicious. There was a ton of other snacks there as well. Which you definitely needed after this 10 mile course.

I currently have no more races this year. This was the last race of the year for me. I'm both sad and happy about that. I feel like I need a break from training runs so I can just run. Too many training runs for me starts to feel like work. Now I can run just because I want to. Unless I get talked into something else before January...

Peace, Love, Happiness!


One of my friends, who I met because of running, won first place in the 10 mile run for the women. 
Congratulations to Crystal Kyle!!! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Rick's story!

I have to give a huge thank you to Eli Sapharti.  On February 14 of this year, I weighed 426 pounds.  I came across a video that Eli had done and he seemed very sincere and passionate about helping others beat obesity.  So I took him up on it.  He agreed to coach me, and slowly I started leaving the old sedentary life behind for a new, active one.  A few weeks into it, he posted that he was going to be running a half marathon and asked who would be joining him.  I, jokingly, put on there, give me a few years and I'll join ya heh.  He responded with, well if you're serious Rick, let's shoot for a 5k later this year.  And so began my passion for jogging.  At nearly 400 pounds, all I could run was 10 seconds when I first started.  And just like with losing weight, I took things one step at a time till I could add to that time.  Today, 7 1/2 months later, at 286 pounds, I can jog a 5k all the way and under 40 minutes.  I will be running my first 5k with Eli on November 3 and I can't wait for it!!  I think it will be an amazing experience.  So again, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Eli for pushing me, believing in me, for helping me through the rough times, and for being an amazing friend and coach.  You've seriously changed my life into someone I want to be.  You're one of my best friends and I haven't even got to meet you in person yet.  Keep on spreading the good news my friend!

Rick Wyckoff

Rick, how was your 5K?! We can't wait to hear!!

Have a special person that you want to thank for their thoughtfulness?! 
Send your story to sexymotherrunner@yahoo.com and 
tell someone just how much you appreciate them today!

Monday, November 5, 2012

What can you do with 4 weeks?!

The answer is a lot! I have a friend who absolutely has inspired me with what she accomplished in 4 weeks. My friend Steph started eating clean, exercising, and in 4 weeks she lost almost 10 lbs. and 14 in! I am so proud of her dedication and hard work!

Why do I tell you this? Because, you have 4 weeks left of the Sexy Mother Runner Weight Loss Challenge. Yes, I am talking to YOU and YOU and YOU. I don't care if you have not done anything at this point or even gained weight. This is not the time to give up. In fact, it is the time to jump in. It is time to do it for you! Not anyone else, but you. So stop looking in the mirror and wishing, stop going to the fridge for comfort, and stop looking at someone else and comparing. It is time to get your booty into action and make good choices! It will take work. It will take dedication. It will be worth it! I want reports on Friday that say I had a loss. There are prizes to win and weight to lose! So, get busy!

Yes, I just "Jillianed" you!

Happy Losing!

AKA-Sexy Mother Runner Jillian! :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Midwest Super Spartan: Bekah's Recap!

I'm still so excited that I don't even know where to start. I'm bruised and still a little sore even and yet, all I can do is smile like an idiot every time I think or talk about the Midwest Super Spartan. I had a blast. 

Friday night before the race, Fred and I went shopping for race gear that would keep us warm. Depending on which weather app we checked, the temp was supposed to be anywhere between 31 and 50 degrees. We were being optimistic and planning for low 40's. First we hit Dick's Sporting Goods. Big mistake. I don't know why, but I'm always shocked at the lack of service at these stores. I don't even know why I expect anyone there to know anything but this trip really set the bar at a new low. Not only did the employees we hunted down and asked to help us not know where or what the products were but on more than one occasion they themselves bashed the store. One girl didn't even know where the dressing room was, not kidding. It was her first day so I could totally cut her some slack but instead of getting on her little headset and asking someone, she turned her back and went back to folding clothes. At this point, I was mentally practicing my spear throw with Dick's employees as the target. 

Next stop Bass Pro where we bought what might just be the best invention ever. SealSkinz socks. (Not made from real seals, which is nice so they've got that going for them.) They are supposed to keep your feet warm and dry. If you run during the winter, you know how horrific it is to have wet, cold feet. Honestly, there are few things I dislike more. These socks are not cheap. Fred and I both felt they were worth the expense though since we both plan to do a lot of trail running in the colder months. Oh, and also because we are wimps. They did great during the Spartan though. I was really surprised they kept my feet dry after complete submersion the first several times. Danyelle and I even joked saying I would still buy them even if they were made from real baby seals. (*Key word here, 'joked', I would not buy anything made from a baby seal nor do I condone wearing baby seals on your feet. Unless you are freezing to death and that is the only way you can survive, then it's probably okay...)

We also picked up some Under Armour base layer to wear and trail shoes. Yes, we waited until the night before to get pretty much everything we needed. Living dangerously is just what we do. 

Morning of the race we woke up to the beautiful sounds of our alarm at 5am. I got ready, had some oatmeal and coffee, then woke up my children who were sound asleep and are possibly becoming bitter about us running races which cause them to be awake at ridiculous hours. They were not thrilled. Neither was my sister when we dropped them off at her house but she pretended to be. She's awesome like that. 

Skipping right along... we arrived and parked. Ended up being parked almost right behind Danyelle and her husband. The four of us grabbed our packets and headed in. We ran into a few friends right before our heat was about to start. One of the people we saw was our Spartan Class trainer, Eric. He ran the 8:00 Elite heat and was already done... in about an hour and a half. Eric finished 19th overall in the Elite heat. He's one of the two pretty amazing guys who led the Spartan training class that Fred and I took in preparation for the race. I'm so incredibly thankful for that class and our two awesome trainers. 

Midwest Super Spartan finishers from the Spartan Class at Peoria Athletic Club
Our Trainer, Eric, is in the back row, second from left and our other trainer, Lee, is back row on the right. Eric recently left us to go to work with Spartan Race. Michelle, bottom row, second from left has been helping to lead the class. She's quite awesome. Completed her First Race Ever a little over a month ago. It was a Spartan Beast. No 5k's to start out for that girl, oh no, she is a bad ass. I want to be just like her when I grow up.

Kory, Danyelle, Bekah, Fred
This is us before the race.  Fred surprised me on Friday afternoon by coming home with a mohawk, he's awesome.
The ambulances at the race entrance are always comforting...
The four of us, myself, Fred, Danyelle and her husband, Kory, all ran the 10:00 heat. We all knew we were going to take it easy, have fun, and try to avoid serious injury. We skipped out on the competitive heat for a reason. Fred was actually more into really pushing himself but elected to stay with me and our team. Okay, I totally threatened him with 'loss of privileges' if he left me. 

My biggest fear was the climbing walls. I've been dreading them all summer. I'm short. I don't like to fall/drop any distance. So, I wasn't as concerned with getting up the wall as I was with getting down the other side. The first two climbing walls were angled toward us which made getting up difficult but allowed you to slide down the other side. It was very muddy and you slid fast but it wasn't that far so I was good with it, in theory. Then I did it. On the slide down, there was a plank in the wall that stuck out just a little bit farther than the other planks. I cracked my elbows on that while sliding down, especially my left one. I managed to do this on BOTH of the walls because I'm awesome like that. I managed to make it over all of the climbing walls with the help of my team. Especially Fred, he helped me up each wall and then came around to the other side to make sure I didn't fall getting down. 
Lovely bruises all over my arm, five days later.

I was surprised at how much upper body strength I've acquired since starting the Spartan Class. One of the hills was so steep and muddy that there were ropes to help you pull yourself up. This was one of the first obstacles and I was nervous about having the strength to pull myself up. Once I started up, I couldn't believe how easy it was. I'm not saying this was a simple task but I really expected it to be harder for me. Those push-ups and dips payed off! Thanks, Lee and Eric!

Another obstacle where I was again thankful for Lee and Eric was where we had to pick up and carry a weight that resembled a round pillow. I don't know how much the 'girl' ones weighed, I think someone said 40 lbs. We had to carry it up and down little hills on a trail that reminded me of a dune buggy track. It made me think of the time in class when we had to carry weights up and down 5 floors of stairs in a parking deck, over and over. I did it without any problems. I don't think I could have said that 3 months ago. I won't go into detail on every obstacle, too many, but there were only 3 that I did not even attempt. All of the obstacles were challenging in some way and I really enjoyed seeing what I could do. 

The first obstacle I opted out of was a really high climbing thing, or as I like to call it - Certain Death. It was just 2x4's going across giant poles. You had to climb up and over and down the other side. Sounds easy enough but the rungs were spaced pretty wide apart which makes it even more difficult for my short legs and it was really high. And of course everything is now muddy and slick at this point. I watched Fred go up while I debated whether or not to do it. When he got to the top and started down the other side he looked at me and slightly shook his head. This is the guy who pushes me to try everything so I figured if he thought I should skip it, then I should probably skip it. I'm pretty sure this obstacle was the reason for the 'death waiver' I signed before the race. I did my thirty burpees instead. 

The second obstacle I opted out of was the monkey bars. I will be practicing these. I will not opt out again. This is my new goal. They are kind of high up so I would have to step up on a platform and then onto a hay bale they had sitting there and I would still have to have help reaching the first bar. Yes, I'm really that short. This frustrated me. Not just the lack of arm strength to make it across but the drop distance scared me too. I need to get over that.

The last one was the rope climb. It's in muddy water. The few minutes we stood and watched, no one made it to the top. I'm talking guys who look like they "pick things up and put them down." It was crazy to watch. Burpees, please.

Then there was the mud. This wasn't normal mud. This was some hybrid mix of mud and glue. It was crazy how it stuck on to you. It was fun though! We rolled under barbed wire, slogged through muddy water and watery mud, climbed up mud hills just to slip down mud slides on the other side. We all pretty much laughed and smiled the whole time while trying not to lose a shoe. People were friendly and helped each other along the way. They yelled encouragement and cheered too. There was a lot of great energy.

This is my friend Teisha, taking the climbing wall like a pro! And that is the climbing wall responsible for most of my bruises. See that board, the widest one sticking out just a hair farther than the rest? Yep, that's the culprit...

Each obstacle brought a different challenge. Though I tried, I didn't make it through all of them and ended up doing burpees on a couple others. That's the rule, if you opt out or do not complete an obstacle, you do 30 burpees. I think I did burpees a total of 5 times. One of the last obstacles is the spear throw. You literally throw a spear-like instrument at a target. If it sticks, great. If it doesn't stick or misses completely, 30 burpees. I totally stuck my spear!!! It was awesome! 

The gladiators at the end took pity on us. I also admit to using Danyelle as a human shield. I'd do it again too.

At the end we were completely coated in mud. We collected our medals, t-shirts, and then headed to hose off. It was cold and took forever to get the mud off. We put dry, clean clothes on cold and still slightly muddy bodies. We cranked the heat in the car and focused on thawing out. I was happy to be done. My entire body was spent. Soon, I felt like I'd been run over by something very large. Totally worth it.
Still had mud caked on my braids but somehow it just didn't matter. 

Tips For Spartan Races:

~Take towels, at least one preferably two. I had a hand towel that I kept wiping my hands on so I wouldn't get mud from my race clothes onto my clean clothes. I used a bath towel to wipe down with.

~Baby Wipes/Face Wipes: I keep these in my car anyway to use after a run. They come in quite handy.

~Gloves: I wore fingerless gloves and they worked great. 

~Trail Shoes: If you don't have trail shoes at least make sure your shoes have decent tread on them. It will help with the trail running and hill climbing. Once you are in the mud pits though it won't matter.

~Braids will keep your hair out of your face and are less likely to get caught on barbed wire than ponytails and buns.

~No loose clothing! It will snag on everything and/or get weighted down with water and mud, possibly leading to unintentional nudity. Also known as 'wardrobe malfunction.' Drawstrings are a bonus! 

~Most importantly, join the Spartan Class at Peoria Athletic Club!!!!

There is some crazy talk going on about signing up for a Spartan Sprint which is 3-4 miles, another Super which is 8-10 miles, and a Beast which is 10-12 miles. If you complete all three in a year it's a Trifecta. If you look closely in the group photo above, you'll notice Eric is wearing a Trifecta medal. Fred and I are thinking about it... wonder if we can talk Danyelle and Kory into it too! (Yes, that's a completely blatant hint, Danyelle.) 

Peace, Love, Happiness!

Have you done a Spartan? What do you think about obstacle races? 
We love hearing from you!!!