Friday Featured Runner (series 4)

This week’s Friday Featured runner is Erika at MCM Mama
Erika’s Running Journey
I didn’t really become a runner until my first child was born. I began running as a way to combat postpartum depression and quickly fell in love with it.  However, it wasn’t until my son started preschool that a friend convinced me to run my first race.  I ran an 8k and completely fell apart at the end (metric conversion fail – an 8k is NOT just 4 miles), but was totally hooked on racing.  Next thing I knew, I was signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon and had started my blog.  2 marathons, 31 half marathons, and countless other races later, I’ve found my favorite distance: the half marathon.  I’m currently on a mission to run a half marathon in every state!
Q & A
-What is your favorite go to fuel during long runs? 
I prefer to fuel with real foods or only liquids on long runs and races. Most of the time, I am fine drinking Nuun from my handheld bottle. If I have the option, an oreo is my favorite. In a pinch, I’ll use Gu.

-What race is on your bucket list? 
There are sooo many races on my list!  One of the top non-half marathons is the Boilermaker in New York.  I really want to run that ones some day.  My other big goal is to run my third series of five half marathons in five states in five days, this time in SD, ND, MT, WY, and NE at Mainly Marathon’s Center of the Nation series

-What running shoe brand do you prefer?
I run all of my longer runs in Altra running shoes.  I love their Intuition 1.5 and am just now trying out the Intuition 2s.  For shorter runs, I mix it up between Brooks Pure Flows and Skechers.

-Your favorite race medal? 

My favorite medal is the one I got this spring when I did the Riverboat Series and ran in five states along the Mississippi River.
-What is your best advice you’d give to a new beginner just starting their running journey?
Take your time and appreciate where you are. Relax and enjoy the journey. If you do it right, there will always be new goals and new adventures ahead of you.
Places to follow Erika
Want to be a Friday Featured Runner? Send me an email

Friday Featured Runner (series 3)

This weeks featured runner is Kristen at Faith and Margaritas

Kristen’s Running Journey 
Dad and Kristen Crossing the Finish Line

Like so many, I grew up playing sports, but was often criticized for being the heaviest girl in my class. At the time, I couldn’t understand why I was so heavy when I played sports. It couldn’t possibly be because I ate a bag of chips to sustain me through basketball practice. And I only ate one double cheeseburger and medium fries at 9:30 at night! In junior high, my exercise increased tremendously to prepare to play for the school’s “A” basketball team. Because of the drastic change I became injured and told I would likely never run again due to the chronic effects. This was devastating to me, as basketball was the only form of exercise that would keep me from becoming even more overweight. I struggled with depression from 9 years old and taking away my only form of exercise made me sink even lower.
When I went to college my unhealthy food choices caused me to gain over 20 pounds in a year. By my senior year I was incredibly sluggish and depressed. I hated seeing my people my age running on campus. They all seemed so happy… and fit. I finally had enough of the depressing, hateful thoughts towards myself and set off to start running too. I couldn’t run more than 100 yards before I had to walk. But I channeled my depressed thoughts into encouraging thoughts when I wanted to quit. It was then that running became an unexpected (and welcomed) part of my identity. I fell in love with running. Within a year I signed up for my first half marathon and haven’t stopped since. I’ve also become a personal trainer and group fitness instructor to share my story with others and help them change their thoughts of depression and hatred towards loving themselves. I love celebrating the milestones that each client has in their health and fitness journey, no matter how small.
Everything was going really well until August 27, 2013 when my life was forever changed. I received a devastating diagnosis: I have Multiple Sclerosis – an autoimmune disease that attacks the nervous system, often causing extreme fatigue, numbness and walking problems, among others. I turned to my running and fitness knowledge to fulfill a new role in my life – preparing my body for what ever it might endure. I now see fitness as a way to stay mentally and physically strong to defeat the sudden onset of Multiple Sclerosis flare-ups. The disease is unpredictable in every way, but staying healthy and strong is the only thing I can do to prepare for the unexpected. I’m so excited to say that on New Years Eve 2013 (only 4 months and 4 days after my MS diagnosis) I crushed my half marathon PR by over 4 minutes. It’s safe to say that I’m dominating my diagnosis!
As a matter of fact, prior to my diagnosis I was running on vacation in Hawaii with my dad and we talked about how much fun it would be to run his first half marathon together. On the day I was diagnosed he sat with me as we listened to all the ways MS would likely disable me physically and mentally, and right before we left he told the doctor with tears in his eyes and determination in his voice, “We’re supposed to run a half marathon in March and we’re GOING to run that half marathon.” And we did. We ran every step right next to each other- my third half marathon (second since diagnosis) and his first half. It was one of the best days of my life!
I understand the pain of being overweight, the pain of injury, and the pain of muscle soreness. And I’ll take the pain of soreness any day. I love encouraging people with my story, but more importantly, I love encouraging them on their journey to a new lifestyle!


-What is your favorite go to fuel during long runs?
During long runs like either Gatorade’s Energy Shots or GU.
-What race is on your bucket list?  
 I’ve got a ton of races on my bucket list but my biggest one is the New York City Marathon, which I’ll be running on November 2, 2014! Other than that I’m excited to run the Whale Run in Hawaii!
-What running shoe brand do you prefer?
My favorite running shoe brand is Mizuno!
-Your favorite race medal?
My favorite race medal is the Rock N Roll Dallas Half Marathon medal partially because it looks awesome but also because of the memory I will always have of me and my dad running the race together!

Kristen and Dad with Race Medals

-What is your best advice you’d give to a new beginner just starting their running journey?
The biggest piece of advice I’d give a new runner is to KEEP GOING! Everyone has days that running is hard, so do not give up! In the beginning the first mile is always the hardest mentally and physically, but once you learn to push past that mental and physical barrier the world is open to the possibility of any distance! Don’t give up! Keep striving towards your goal!

Links to Follow Kristen

Wanna be a Featured Friday Runner? Send me an email


The Girl Who Inspired


Inspiring others was never something I set out for, but learning that I do inspire, that’s something I’ll carry with me on every run. After I ran my marathon this past January I changed lives and for the better. My best friend The Running Fire Wife tells me every day that since my marathon that I have inspired her to run more. She signed up for her first half marathon at Disney in November. She will be running Wine & Dine with her fireman who also says I opened his eyes completely to running. This man would say “anything over 3 miles is crazy”. Another friend tells me he just bought a new pair of running shoes and is going to start running. He’s been following all my running posts on facebook and wants to now take up running. It’s amazing how 1 race changed lives for the better. I never thought I would ever feel so happy for them. I can’t even express how it makes me feel to know I opened up their lives to a healthy lifestyle.

aae7b1441636b8ec54a12047afe8c013 d22a6c1c2999e0736eb132d9a426f635 5a521d2baba396b21a151699c4336caa


Cardio: Shopping

Yesterday was a nice easy relaxing day. Daughter went to my sister in-laws to play with her cousins for the day. The hubs and I made a date of the day, some lunch, shopping and a movie. Did I say shopping? I will say it’s a shame that the first place I head for in a clothing store is to the workout clothes. I had to be peeled away from that sections. I ended up with 2 pairs of compression shorts, 1 tank top (love the saying on it) and a new belt for my phone for when I run.


Hubs wanted to hit Rack Room of Shoes.. oh bad idea BOGO 50% off. I found my absolute favorite pair of Saucony running shoes EVER! I haven’t been able to find them in the blue and yellow color in a while. It was the last pair. It was meant to be.


I have the awesomest hubs to allow me to indulge in running gear every once in a while. It’s not often I buy things for myself.

Friday Featured Runner (series 2)

This week’s featured runner is Lauren at Finish Line Runner

Lauren’s Running Journey 

Autism 5K official 2 MeI’ve always being athletic and played sports while growing up and when I was in high school.  I was never much of a long distance running until one day my best friend and I decided to sign up for our first 5K race.  Which by the way was “Run for the Cookies 5K” and let me clarify “Girl Scout Cookies!!!”  And who wouldn’t want to run for girl scout cookies!!!   That was February 2012 and we haven’t stopped racing since then.  It has been the most exhilarating and rewarding experience for me. This year I decided I wanted to take my running to another level.  I started training harder and ran my first 10K race in March. People always ask me what makes me get up so early to run and I tell them I just love the feeling of accomplishment the races give me.  When I get out there, push myself and cross that finish line; there’s nothing like it!  I have seen so much improvement in myself over the last couple of months.  My next accomplishment will be completing my first half marathon race in December.
Q & A
What is your favorite go to fuel during long runs? WATER!!!!  It’s all I drink to hydrate with!
What race is on your bucket list?  Run Like a Diva Half Marathon in St. Augustine, Florida (December 2014)
What running shoe brand do you prefer? I run in Nike.
Your favorite race medal? My 4 mile Daytona Beach Easter Beach Run.
What is your best advice you’d give to a new beginner just starting their running journey? Never give up; even when it gets hard.  It’s going to be hard starting the running journey, but I promise it is so worth all the pain, sweat, and tears.  What seems hard now, will one day your easiest run or easiest mile.
Links to follow Lauren

Want to be a Friday Featured Runner? Send me an email.

Runningluv Review


I was very lucky to be able to try out this product. After I contacted the company they were willing to let me try out their product in return for my review. 

What is runningluv

The band of the gluv is a quick drying, lightweight, moisture wicking, Lycra™/Spandex and Nylon blend. Lycra™ stretches up to several times its original shape, therefore allowing the fit for most hand sizes. It easily molds back to retain its original shape. The highly absorbent towel-and-tissue is a Bamboo/Organic Cotton terry blend. It is breathable and hypoallergenic. One side features small, short loops with a soft texture, and thirsty absorbency. Perfect for the sweatmode™. The opposite side is flat, absorbent and gentle to the skin. Great forsnotmode™.

As most runners I tend to sweat a lot while running who doesn’t? Living in Florida and running outdoors can be pretty sweaty and who doesn’t wish they had a handy towel to carry around while on a run that’s not so bulky and carrying tissues can be messy and get clumpy and just plain gross.

 There are some different ways to wear runningluv as stated on their website .
You can wear it on your wrist, your palm, around your hand.
I started out with it around the hand method for the first mile. I will say I truly did not like the way it felt around my hand. It collected a lot of sweat from just being around my hand. I eventually moved it to my wrist and loved it there. It was easier to access. It stayed in place well while I ran and when I needed to use it to wipe the sweat off my face it easily unfolded and collected a lot of sweat off my face. It also easily folded back up but trying to do it while running was a little tricky. I’m sure after a few more runs with it, it will become less tricky.
runningluv recommends hand washing with a little bit of laundry soap and cold water or in the wash on gentle cycle. After my run it surely needed a washing. I went with the hand washing method.  I put a little bit of laundry soap on it and let it soak in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes and then I hand washed it and hung it to dry and it looks like new and ready for my next run.
I was very happy with this product. I would recommend this product to anyone who has serious sweat issues or any kind of drippy droppy things while running.
runningluvs website:
DISCLAIMER: runningluv sent me the product for free to review. I was not paid in anyway. All opinions are  my own

Friday Featured Runner (series 1)

I wanted every Friday to feature a runner. I thought this would be fun and a great way to get to know other bloggers/runners out there.
Todays featured runner is Sara, I’ve been following her blog and facebook page for a while. I’m so glad to feature this wonderful lady on my blog. She just finished the Boston Marathon this year.
                        Here’s Sara’s running journey.
I have always been an athlete, playing soccer through college, so I guess I have been running since I was a very young child, but I never loved to run (unless it was as part of an organized sport.)  I started to just run in March 2010 after my father was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.  I needed to feel that happy, endorphin rush I missed from playing competitive sports.  It was the only thing I could do at the time that helped me deal with the stress and sadness of this very sudden and unexpected diagnosis.  My parents had been divorced since I was 1 years old and I was all my Dad had, so the responsibility for his care was mine. I didn’t mind this at all, it was just a lot to handle as I lived 45 minutes away, worked full time, was commuting 3+ hours a day and was planning a wedding for that May. While knowing the hourglass was running out, I was trying to keep up my daily responsibilities while taking care of my Dad, getting him to all his appointments while trying to savor what little time we had left together.  Running helped me stay grounded.
Q & A

-What is your favorite go to fuel during long runs?

I currently fuel with ENERGYbits and if I have to supplement after that, I will usually use Roctane or Haribo gummy bears because they are really easy to carry and convenient.

-What race is on your bucket list?

I want to do a trail race (which I just signed up for!!) and I’d also like to do a Ragnar Relay and a Tough Mudder at some point.
-What running shoe brand do you prefer?
Brooks. I used to only run in Asics and when I made the switch this past October, it was like night and day. I LOVE Brooks, although my model (Defyance) could use some more fun colors—are you listening out there Brooks?? 
-Your favorite race medal?
I’m not a huge medal person, they all currently sit in a box at the bottom of my closet, with the exception of my 2014 Boston Marathon medal, that one will forever be my favorite race medal.
boston medal
-What is your best advice you’d give to a new beginner just starting their running journey?
I would tell them not to underestimate the power of proper nutrition, a good training plan, stretching and proper sneakers/clothing; these things can make all the difference in your experience!  Also, never judge a run by the first mile (or in my case, the first 3-5!!)  It will get better and easier, just keep at it!!
Links to follow Sara.

Wanna be a featured runner on my blog? Please send me an email.

Mid Week showdown (May 5-8)

Yay the weekend is approaching.  Lots going on hubby’s birthday is Saturday and Mother’s day is Sunday.
This week has moved pretty quickly. Monday was Cinco De Mayo. I ran a good 7.20 miles and I PR’ed my 10k time. You can read about it here.
Tuesday I recieved my nike plus heart rate monitor to go with my gps watch I was so anxious to try it out. I hit the gym and I rekindled my relationship with the elliptical. 45 minutes at level 5. Loved that I was able to accurately record my heart rate.
Wednesday I worked a 12 hour shift and still managed a 4 miler in after work. This was my first run with my heart rate monitor. To see where my rate average was pretty cool.
Today is rest day. I need it. I worked my butt off the last few days and I’m ready to rest my body. Tomorrow I’m excited for my new feature on this blog. Every Friday I will be starting a series called “Friday Featured Runner”. Look for this feature tomorrow.