Friday Featured Runner (series 17)

Today’s Friday Featured Runner is Raechel over at Psyched 2 Run.

Raechel’s Running Journey


When I was living in Sacramento, CA (first for my Master’s in Psychology and then as a psychology professor) some friends of mine (including my husband, Matt) were really into running.  I couldn’t understand it – anytime Matt talked me into going out for a job, I threw up.  Every run ended the same – me on my hands and knees, retching.  However, I am naturally a very competitive person and also enjoy spending time with my friends.  Since they were always running, I tried to get more into it.  In 2012, I ran a couple 5Ks and also a couple of half marathon relays, with Matt as my partner.  Every race the same – painful, ending in vomiting.  Finally, in 2013, I decided to really just take a leap that would challenge myself beyond anything I had yet done in my life.  I signed up for a half marathon training group with Fleet Feet in Sacramento.  Training began mid January for a St. Patrick’s Day run.  Somewhere during my training, I met new, life-long friends and, little by little, the pain of running subsided.  I began to really crave running, finding it an excellent source of stress relief.  I would meet friends for long runs and then running also became less isolated.

At the end of the summer of 2013, Matt and I moved back to Gainesville, Florida (which is where we met).  We had both signed up for the Outer Banks Half Marathon and so I started training again with a group.  But the heat and humidity were killing me and I didn’t really find anyone with similar goals and/or pace to train with.  The OBX half was painful – tough weather, tough course, just tough.  Afterward, I wanted to prove to myself that I was still a “runner” (whatever that meant in my own silly head).  In February 2014, I ran the Florida Keys Ragnar with 10 other friends and it is the thing I am most proud of to this day with regard to my health and well being.  Following Ragnar, I ran off and on but for the most part lost my motivation.  This summer, since it’s my first one not working, I joined a local fitness studio and am working on getting back into a healthy regime.  I’ve signed up for a Spartan 5K in November, a half marathon in December, and am on a team being sponsored by Epic Relays and EBOOST for the Epic Oregon Relay next June.


-What made you decide to be a runner? I decided to become a runner because (1) it would challenge me more than anything else I could think of and (2) it allowed me to spend more time with friends.
-What is the longest distance you’ve ran? The longest I’ve run at one time is 13.1 miles.  For the Florida Keys Ragnar, I ran 18.3 miles over four runs in one 24 hour period.
-What is your favorite post run fuel? My favorite post-run fuel is chocolate milk.  That’s usually all I can get down following a long run.
-What song is currently being played on your playlist when you run? I don’t run with music.  I actually have a really interesting blog post about whether music is beneficial during running. (
-What would you tell an individual who has just started their journey into running? I would tell a newbie runner to find a partner or community of other runners to join for support.  Regular running is difficult and difficult to stick with.  Don’t be afraid to train at your own pace and reach out to others with similar goals.  And definitely, definitely, DO NOT compare yourself to others.
Places to follow Raechel
Twitter- (@psyched2run)
Want to be a Friday Featured Runner? Send me an email.

Foodie Friday: Banana & Blueberry Ice Cream

This is my first time joining in on the Foodie Friday link up. I’m linking up with Montana from Pretty Lil’ Mudder, Emily from Whatever Floats Your Oats, Esther from Chocolate Runner Girl and Farrah from Fairyburger to create awesome healthy recipes each week! Today’s theme is a healthy dessert.
Possible Logo for Foodie Friday
This is a very simple easy and healthy dessert. I love ice cream but with all the sugary and added ingredients in ice cream I just can’t eat regular ice cream anymore. So one day I made a banana ice cream homemade.
-1 frozen banana
– handful of frozen blueberries
– 1/2 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract (watch the ingredients a lot of extracts contain HFCS)
 -1/2 tablespoon of PB2 (you may be able to use natural peanut butter, I haven’t tried it yet)
-1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
-sprinkle of unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)
 Place all you ingredients into a food processor and mix until blended, don’t mix it for to long it will turn into a milkshake like substance and we want to avoid that.
blend blended after
Place your ice cream into a bowl and devour. It is so yummy and so simple to make. It’s much healthier than store bought ice cream and you know what ingredients are in it.


What are some of the healthy sweet treats you’ve made?


Friday Featured Runner (series 16)

Today’s Friday Featured Runner is Angela over at We Beat Fat.
Angela’s Running Journey


When I was on my journey to lose 200 pounds, I got tired of walking on the treadmill because it wasn’t fast enough.  I moved on to a jog and somehow I became a runner.  I started running in 2012 and my first race was a half marathon.  In total I’ve run 19 half marathons and 6 marathons. In May, I ran the Great Wall of China Marathon!
-What made me decide to become a runner? Walking on the treadmill just didn’t do it for me any more.  I felt the need for a little bit more speed.
-What is the longest distance I’ve ran? 31 miles in the Texas heat.
-What is your favorite post run fuel? Lowfat chocolate milk and a banana dog (aka a banana in a whole wheat hot dog bun with peanut butter)
-What song is currently being played on my playlist? The Spark by Afrojack.  It’s an inspiring song that always gives me the spark to keep pushing towards my goals.
-What would I tell someone who just started their journey? Take it slow and don’t compare yourself to anyone else.  Set your own goals and define your own victories.
Places to follow Angela
twitter- @WeBeatFat
Instagram- @AngelaBeatFat
Want to be a Friday Featured Runner? Send me an email.

Running Jams

Ever wonder what people are listening to when they are running? I know when when I see someone running by I often think and wonder. Music plays a huge factor for me when I’m on a run, especially if it’s a scheduled long distance run. Running can get boring sometimes. I notice when I’m running with music my running gets faster to the beat of the music. I have ran without music and notice my tempo slows. Some people prefer running without music. If you are one of those people who DO enjoy running with music. Here is a list of running jam I enjoy that keep me going.
 –I like it- Enrique Inglesias feat. Pitbull (when I started running this was my favorite song to run to)
–Blackout- Breathe Carolina
–Problem- Ariana Grande feat. Iggy
–Turn Down for What?- DJ Snake feat. Lil Jon
–Dark House- Our Last Night (Katy Perry cover)
–Deja Vue- Sleeping With Sirens
–Sleeping With a Friend- Neon Trees
–Neon Lights- Demi Lavato
–Wasted- Tiesto feat. Matthew Koma
–Really Don’t Care- Demi Lavato feat. Cher Lloyd
–A Love Like War- All Time Low feat. Vic Fuentes
–Tipsy- J-Kwon
–Take Out The Gun Man- Chevelle

–Boom Clap- Charli XCX

–Hollaback Girl- Gwen Stefani
–It’s Tricky- RUN-DMC
–Heaven Knows- The Pretty Reckless
–Take Me Home- Cash Cash feat. Bebe Rexha
–Welcome Home- Coheed and Cambria
–Numb/Encore- Linkin Park feat Jay Z
–Work B*tch- Britney Spears
–Rock Box- RUN-DMC
–Ain’t it Fun- Paramore
–One For The Money- Escape The Fate
–Team- Lorde
–Uprising- Muse
–You’re Going Down- Sick Puppies
–Animals- Martin Garrix
–Get Lucky- Daft Punk feat Pharrell Williams
–Turbo Swag- Attack Attack!
–Memories Of A Broken Heart- Crown The Empire
–Life Lessons Learned The Hard Way- A Day To Remember
–Wooly- Breathe Carolina
–BURN IT DOWN- Linkin Park
What are some of the songs currently on your playlist right now? I’d love to hear. Leave a comment.

Tips for newbie runners

So you want to take up a new sport and you are thinking about running? Here are a some tips that every new runner should know before hitting the pavement.
–Finding the right sneaker is key. A good pair of running shoe goes a long way. Getting a gait analysis test by an expert is the best way to go. A lot of local running stores will have this type of testing in store. They will fit you with the right sneaker that fits your needs.
–Get the right gear. Running is a high impact sport. You want to be the most comfortable when it comes to not only running sneakers but the clothes you wear play a big factor. Finding something comfortable and will withstand your run. Always check the weather beforehand to dress accordingly.
–If this is your first time running. You may want to take it slow. Using a training program like the Couch to 5k is great way to start. There are many training plans out there that you can follow that best fits your ability.
–Always remember to do a warm-up and stretch before any kind of running to prevent injury and always cool down and stretch. Click here for some post run stretches.
–Feed your body. Eating a post run snack not only benefits your tummy, but it also replenishes your muscles to help build and repair themselves.
–Know running terms. Runners have their own type of terminology. I have a great post you can read all about it here Running terms every beginner should know.
–Try changing up your running up to prevent boredom. Do some interval training, which not only helps with endurance but also benefits fat loss.
–Set goals. All runners have goals to either run a 5k, a half and so forth. Set a few for yourself, Setting goals is  a great way to motivate yourself and you find yourself accountable.
–Some of us have a busy lifestyle and we can’t always get out the door and hit the pavement so we fall for the treadmill. If you want to change up your scenery try going for a run outside.
–Remember to stay safe when running, whether you are running in the dark, solo or with friends, Always wear some sort of reflective gear. Try and run on sidewalks if available. If not run in the opposite directions of traffic. Pay attention to your surroundings. Remember to tell your loved ones where your running route will be that day and also please invest in a Road ID. Not all of us who run carry some sort of ID. This not only has your info on there it also has your medical info too.
–If you are looking for improvement. Try some interval training like sprint intervals, which will increase your speed and endurance. Tempo runs, will also increase your speed and endurance. Also try some hill work. Find a great incline. Running up hill will increase your endurance.
–If you are serious about running and on a training plan. Please stick with it. It helps you build endurance, speed and confidence.
I hope some these help those who are just started taking up running. We all start somewhere and have all been there. Good luck and happy running.

Getting back on track. Week 2 complete.

(photo credit:
I can’t believe I’m already 2 weeks into this workout plan. If you want to read more about the workout plan I’m doing click here. I have started to notice that I feel a bit stronger and my running has improved slightly. I have been eating pretty healthy. I also did a measurement of my waist before I started the plan and I’ve already lost an inch and half around my waist. So phase 1 of this workout plan is officially completed. I get to move onto phase 2 which is a little tougher and doesn’t have me running as much. I don’t know how I will deal with this but I will try to sneak some kind of run in. I have to start marathon training sometime in September.
While doing this plan. I have found some great meals and different snacks to make that are clean and better for you. I made this awesome cucumber salad. I will post a recipe in a future post. Pinterest has become my new best friend for clean recipes.

Friday Featured Runner (series 15)

Today’s Friday Featured Runner is Kristin over at Tink’s Fast Feet.
Kristin’s Running Journey
My journey started about 4 years ago.  I just wanted to get into shape & I thought why not I will start running.  I started slow & then over did it & hurt my knee.  Six months later I was back at & training slowly.  After training for about 6 six months I finished my 1st 5k in 36 minutes.
-What made you decide to be a runner? I know what really made me decided to become a runner, I do know one day I just thought “Hey I think I will start running!” My sister (who is also a SPA) & my dad are both runners, they have both been influences on my running. Also, I know running is very good for your health & makes you feel better about yourself.
-What is the longest distance you’ve ran? I have only done 5k races but I ran a 5 mile leg of a marathon.  That was a lot of work to get ready for that!!

-What is your favorite post run fuel?
Water & lots of it or Gatorade!

-What song is currently being played on your playlist when you run? Ok this may sound odd but Work B**tch by Britany Spears or Happy are my 2 favorite songs to listen to while I run.  Also, the Black Eyed Peas are good too!!

-What would you tell an individual who has just started their journey into running? I would tell someone who just started running start slow & don’t overdo it.  Enjoy yourself & have fun!
Places to follow Kristin
Instagram- @KRISTIN_RAE0822
Want to be a Friday Featured Runner? Send me an email.

Getting back on track. Week 1 complete

(photo credit to:
I’m so sorry I have been seriously slacking these past few weeks on keeping up to date with my blog. I’ve been very busy changing my lifestyle around for the better as I mentioned in a previous post Day 1: To a Stronger Me, that I was tired of slacking on my working out and running and was ready for a change. I want to be at my strongest and healthiest come marathon day Which is February 1, 2015. I have a lot of work to go before then so I figured this was a great time to go a head and get stated. I’m part of this awesome  supportive group for mothers who run Moms Run This Town.
Pam the creator of Moms Run This Town posted a photo on her Facebook and I was just in awe over her 12 week transformation. I couldn’t believe it. How did she do it? Where can I find this program?. She posted the link. It so happens the wonderful ladies Tiffany and Whitney over at have created a workout plan geared towards runners who still want to run but also build strength at the same time. I thought this couldn’t have come at a better time. Pam the creator of Moms Run This Town has also joined in on them with this workout plan.
I went with the “at home” plan. I canceled my gym membership and bought stuff to use at home. I find myself more confident at home and less distracted. The first thing I needed to do was CLEAN up my diet, my biggest struggle. I cut out a lot of junk, that didn’t need to be in my diet. I had my husband take before photos, gosh they are never pretty are they? I went a head and started this workout plan and finished up week 1 on August 6th and I will say with only a week in I can see results, my usual shorts that were once snug are slightly loose. I feel more alert and less sluggish as I did before.
I hope at the end of the 12 weeks I will have an amazing transformation photo to share. I will continue with the end of the week updates until then.

Friday Featured Runner (series 14)

Todays Friday Featured Runner is Lara over at Cookies Cardio and Clothes
Lara’s Running Journey
In 2011 I was nearing my goal weight on Jenny Craig and was looking for a new challenge. I’d always wondered what it would be like to be a runner. Here’s the thing though,  I’d never ran before. I was the fat kid who hated the Presidential Fitness Exam in gym class because I knew I’d have to run a mile and would be the last one to finish. I was stalling a bit in my weight loss and running would be a new challenge. Hey, my brother runs marathons, I can run a 5k.
Like so many people I used the Couch to 5k app and in June of 2011 I ran my first 5k, the Komen Race for the Cure. That year I ran a few more 5ks and in November, I told my husband that I wanted to run a half marathon. He thought I was insane but was completely supportive. I downloaded a training plan on-line and in April 2012, completed my first half marathon. I think that’s what I’m still most proud of, going from not running at all to a half marathon in a little over a year. It was something I never thought I’d be able to do and I’m still amazed that I can lace up my shoes and just go for a run!
-What made you decide to be a runner? I’m ridiculously competitive. My brother runs marathons, heck, I can run a 5k.
-What is the longest distance you’ve ran? 13.1
-What is your favorite post run fuel? A bagel sandwich. Sometimes on morning runs, the thought of that bagel is the only thing that keeps me going.
-What song is currently being played on your playlist when you run? I start every race with Guns and Roses, Welcome to the Jungle. It always gets me pumped up and ready to run. I also love “Hearts on Fire” by John Cafferty. It”s the one they play in Rocky 4 during the training montage when he runs up the side of the mountain. Seriously, an awesome song for hills.
-What would you tell an individual who has just started their journey into running? It’s not going to be easy. There are going to be days when you’d rather do anything else than go for a run. You’re going to have awful, just awful runs and you’ll want to quit more than anything else. Don’t. Slow down, walk if you have to, but don’t quit. Then one day you’re going to go on a run and it will be amazing. The temperature, the course, it will all come together in a glorious moment and you’ll wonder why you ever doubted yourself. You’ll live for the feeling of that amazing run, and that’s why you have to keep going.
Places to follow Lara:
Twitter- @cookiecardioclo
Instagram- ljn162
Want to be a Friday Featured Runner? Send me an email.

Friday Featured Runner (series 13)

This Friday’s Featured Runner is Polly over at Polly Defies Gravity
Polly’s Running Journey


I was at my heaviest state (56 kg – December 2010) and had health-related issues. My friend suggested to try running and since then I got addicted to it. My very first was last 2011, it was a sweet 5k run. I noticed that I lose a lot of weight after only 6 months and aside from that, I get this euphoric feeling from endorphins hitting my brain or whatever bodily processes that create that ‘runner’s high’. My day just isn’t complete without a good 5k-8k distance. June 2014, I finished my last half-marathon with a PR of 2 hrs and 19 min. This is my best so far.
-What made you decide to be a runner? 
I had weight issues and my friend suggested to try running (because dieting isn’t just enough). I noticed that I became less sickly and I did in fact, lose a lot of weight. Emotionally, I feel stronger and more confident, as though I could take on anything the world wants to throw at me. I also found myself a community of friends who showed me that running can bring out the best in myself.
-What is the longest distance you’ve ran? 25 km (November 2013)
-What is your favorite post run fuel? 1-2 (or more) cups of brown rice + grilled pork belly. Yup, I eat like a pirate. Hahaha!
-What song is currently being played on your playlist when you run? I have a weird selection of songs from ACDC to System of a Down. I like fast/upbeat songs when running on a track oval.
-What would you tell an individual who has just started their journey into running? ENDURANCE! Focus on distance rather than time. For now, do not worry about your pace instead build mileage gradually.
Places to follow Polly:
Want to be a Friday Featured Runner? Send me an email.