Friday Featured Runner (series 20)

Today’s Friday Featured Runner is Cassandra over at Powered By BLING.
Cassandra’s Running Journey


My running journey started as an aside to my triathlon journey. On October 7, 2010 at 8:34am, three months after my 39th birthday and one month before my daughter’s 5th birthday, I heard the three words no one ever wants to hear You Have Cancer.
That November, I had intended to register for my first IronGirl Columbia race.  Instead, I was registering in the Operating Room for surgery.  Over the next two years, I underwent three surgeries, eighteen chemo treatments and thirty straight days of radiation.   In 2013, I completed the Ulman Cancer Fund’s Cancer To 5K program, the 2013 IronGirl Syracuse, the 2013 IronGirl Columbia and a relay in the 2013 Ulman Cancer Fund’s Half Full Triathlon – Olympic Distance.  That’s when I became addicted to BLING (race medals).
I can honestly say that at that time, running was the hardest for me.  I am an Athena triathlete with a good amount of excess weight.  Running is not easy when you have to carry excess weight up the hills.  But, one step in front of the other, I continue to push myself.  When I started running, I ran 18 minute miles.  A couple months ago I was running 15 minute miles.  Last week, I ran my first 13:39 minute average on a 3.2 mile run.   My husband is a runner and has been his whole life.  Our 8 year old is an amazing athlete already competing in swimming, travel soccer, track and triathlon.  Since I have never been one to let something defeat me, I decided that I was a runner.  I began running more, registering our family for 5K’s on our spare weekends and focusing on Galloway Method as my means to becoming a better runner.
Along with my husband, I now belong to two running clubs – Flying Feet Running Program and the Westminster Road Runners.  Our family continues to run races together.   On July 15, my husband and I signed up for the Disney Princess Half Marathon!  This will be my first half marathon.   We also signed the 3 of us up for the 5K (shhhhh!  It’s a surprise for my daughter).  I have never run 13.1 miles in a row in my life, but next February I will.  Inspired by getting one of the coveted spots, I PR’d my 5K time that evening at 42:43. I am finally enjoying running and loving it more with each training session.
-What made you decide to be a runner?  I wanted to lead by example for my 8 year old daughter.  I want her to grow up in a household that puts health and fitness as priorities, so that for her lifetime she will look at fitness as a fun, every day part of her life.
-What is the longest distance you’ve ran? 5 miles
-What is your favorite post run fuel?  Super Smoothie – kale, spinach, cuke, celery, beets, blueberries, strawberries (our family has gone vegetarian)
-What song is currently being played on your playlist when you run? I try to split my run time between some days with no music and some with music.  While I enjoy music, I don’t update my music often as I find beats that I like and stick with them.  My current playlist includes songs such as My Life Would Suck Without You, Raise Your Glass, Stronger, and Part of Me.
-What would you tell an individual who has just started their journey into running? Challenge Yourself to Cross Your Own Personal Finish Lines (Powered By BLING Trademark Philosophy).  Don’t worry about whether you run 1 mile or 5 miles.  Don’t worry about whether you can run the whole time or have to walk some.  Start out without worrying about the miles.  Run for 10 minutes (5 minutes out and 5 minutes back), and then increase that to 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, etc.  If you can’t run for that long, use the Galloway Method.  Choose an interval like 1 minute run, 1 minute walk (1:1) or 2:1 or 5:1, whatever works for you.  As you build your endurance and your muscle memory, you will get stronger.  Before you know it, the 1 mile that took you 18 minutes will take you 13.  The mile you couldn’t run today will become your warm-up and you’ll finish your run at 5 miles.
Places to follow Cassandra:
This is my last round of Friday Featured Runner. I had such a fun time getting to know other runners of all types. This feature meant a lot to me and I hope you enjoyed this series as much as I did.

7 Reasons to start running

Friday Featured Runner (series 19)

Today’s Friday Featured Runner is Michelle over at  OneMoreMile.
Michelle’s Running Journey
My running journey started running in 1993, when I joined my school’s Cross Country Team. Many years later when I became pregnant with my first child I continued to walked/ran during my first pregnancy but stopped running shortly after giving birth to my daughter. After my third child, I decided to get back into running but realized I had severe bladder incontinence issues after my three pregnancies. I could not run after my kids, jump, or walk. Even coughing or laughing was hard for me.  After having a bladder sling operation, I tried running again. That was three years ago. It took some time to get back into shape and before I started loving to run again. Just running down the street was hard and my body was so sore/stiff but  I am training for my 4th half marathon.
Running has taught me a lot of lessons and has helped me through some really hard and dark times. This picture to me represents how running can be life changing. This was my two oldest (my son ran ahead) first 5k that almost didn’t happen. That day in May (yes it hailed and snowed) was one of my worst days ever. Some really horrible things happened that brought me to my knees and left me breathless.  Still, I decided that I needed to be strong for my family. I was not going to let anything ruin my kids’ experience. I needed to be strong for them, so I sucked it up and we ran the race. They both ended up placing!
Running half-marathons has taught me that I have overcome, both mentally and physically. I have more energy to keep up with my family and have more zeal for life. I take my worries with me on the road, leave them there, and come back a better person.
-What made you decide to be a runner? Running has taught me that what happens in life doesn’t have to define me or knock me down. I am a fighter!
-What is the longest distance you’ve ran? To date the longest distance I have ran is 13.1 miles.
-What is your favorite post run fuel? My favorite post run is an EAS protein drink blended with banana, spinach, and flax seed.
-What would you tell an individual who has just started their journey into running? Start off slow. It will take some time. Don’t be discouraged. Running can be hard to do at first but if you keep at it, you get stronger day by day. If you have bad days, don’t be hard on yourself, you can start again the next day. Take one day at a time and pretty soon you will be amazed at how far you have come. Most important of all, you need to love the run! Once you love running, the distance will come later.
Places to follow Michelle:
Twitter- @Onemoremileblog
Want to be a Friday Featured Runner? Send me an email.

Friday Featured Runner (series 18)

Today’s Friday Featured Runner is Cassandra over at Almost Getting It Together.
Cassandra’s Running Journey


I’ve been running distance for 11 years now. It started when I was 14 and hasn’t stopped. In high school I ran through a few injuries then took a few months off when I started college and primarily did spin, swam and used the elliptical. One day I had a lot on my mind and went out for a trail run and completely fell back in love with it again. I’ve ran 9 half-marathons (my PR is a 1:52) and I hope to break 1:50 by the end of the year, as well as run a full marathon. I’m also running the Cumberland-DC Ragnar in September!

What made you decide to be a runner? I started running when I was around 14. I just wanted to be outside one day and thought I should go for a run. Later that school year, the high school cross country coach saw me running in gym and thought I had good endurance and asked me to come out for the team. I ran varsity cross-country four years in high school and was captain my senior year. I continued running for exercise in college then begin running half marathons.

What is the longest distance you’ve ran? 15 miles… hopefully that increases soon as I want to run a full marathon, but I love running the 13.1 distance.
What is your favorite post run fuel? It changes, but usually after my long runs I like a big salad with protein and then sweet potato with yogurt, a turkey wrap or this weekend – two eggs with a sprouted gluten free English muffin with lots of peanut butter!
What song is currently being played on your playlist when you run? I saw Jay-Z and Beyonce in concert two weeks ago so they have been on repeat for me lately!
What would you tell an individual who has just started their journey into running? GO GET FITTED FOR SHOES. Seriously, running in the wrong shoes can derail your entire plan. Next would be to have fun. Don’t put pressure on yourself right away – do it for you.
Places to follow Cassandra:
Twitter- @cpisone
Instagram- @cpisone
Want to be a Friday Featured Runner? Send me an email.

10 Tips on how NOT to run a marathon

I just started training for my 2nd marathon and I sometimes wish I came across some marathon tips like this when I ran my first marathon. I was overloaded with gear I really didn’t need or use. Here is a list of things NOT to do when you run a marathon.

-Not drinking enough fluids during the race. Running 26.2 miles is pretty grueling. You should be drinking at least 3.0 to 4.0 liters of water during the marathon. Take advantage of those water stops.

-Eating the wrong foods before the race.  Kick the habit and don’t jump in the car and hit up McDonald’s also don’t try anything new. While running your stomach takes an impact. Try and stick with similar foods you’ve been eating throughout your training. Your stomach will thank you.

-Wearing something new on race day. Don’t go out buy a really cute outfit for the marathon. Especially a new pair of sneakers.

– Don’t start training a few weeks before your scheduled marathon debut. Training is very crucial. Take your time and try and start training months in advance. Practice is key.

-Not adding anti chaffing products on those delicate areas. Let’s be real here some of us chafe some of us are lucky and don’t chafe at all. If you do chafe, body glide will be your best friend. I apply it to my ankles.

-Wearing cotton. I fell for this during my first marathon..I wore a cotton t shirt and I chafed and the sweaty shirt feeling BLECK!!!

-Starting the race off like buzz light year. Start off at your normal pace. If your set off to run the race fast and trained for it that way then be my guest. But if you trained at an average pace stick with that pace. There is plenty of time at the end if you have the energy to gun hoe to the finish.

-Not being dedicated to your training. Like a relationship you must stay dedicated. Trust your training. It is so important and  a major role played in running a marathon.

-Running in the wrong sneakers. Some statistics say to change your  shoes out every 300-400 miles. Don’t buy a brand spanking new pair of shoes on race day to go with your new race day “outfit”. Shoes are super super important and play a big role in helping you run that marathon. You want to be comfortable.  Buying a brand new pair before race day can cause injury, blisters and are not broken in properly. DON’T DO IT!!

-Forgetting to eat after the BIG finish. Running a marathon burns a considerable amount of calories and your body looses a lot nutrients you must replenish them after a race. EAT THAT BIG MEAL at McDonald’s now if you like. (Although I don’t recommend it). Don’t fall into any of these mistakes some of us make  on race day. Running a marathon is a serious challenging distance. Do the right things to ensure you are comfortable, injury free and remember to enjoy the rewarding experience. What are some mistakes you’ve made preparing for a marathon or any race distance? I’d like to hear about them. 

Another year older


In celebration of my 32nd birthday I figured why not just make a funny post of some of  the things I can relate to being a 80’s baby and a 90’s kid. I also have a pinterest board dedicated to my childhood. You can view it here.


 Who remembers the episode of Saved by The Bell when Jessie Spano was taking caffeine pills to stay awake to study more? She went a little crazy. It was probably one of my favorite SBTB episodes. Taught me to stay away from stuff like that as a kid.

Who remembers playing The Oregon Trail on the MacIntosh computer? I could play this game hours on end at school or at a friends house during sleepovers. I don’t think I ever beat the game. I always died of dysentery.

6de6625c719a5402a4d0a71840df9ee4 Oregon-Trail I’m so guilty of this every time I hear someone say “STOP”, I finish with HAMMERTIME! What the heck was up with those pants?


mchammer_15-1333060863OK I’m not embarrassed to admit that I was HUGE Hanson fan. I absolutely loved them. Still enjoy listening to them to this day and no not once did I think they were EVER girls :)


orig-21209193 AIM before social media and texting came about. I remember searching for my friends on AIM and looking at peoples profiles and joining chat rooms. Loved hearing that sound that I received a message.

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We all had celebrity crushes as teens. My very first crush was JTT aka Jonathan Taylor Thomas. You can thank Home Improvement for feeding me my crush once a week on TV. Then the posters on the walls began. When his character had a “cancer scare” on the show I thought my world was going to come crashing down all around me and I seriously thought I was going to marry him someday. What ever happened to him anyway?

ea2d319c9e19913e25e39338941436e2 jtt3

Boy Meets World was another one of my favorite shows. We all dreamed for a love like Cory and Topanga’s. To this day I watch reruns and now love the spin-off on Disney Channel. Girl Meets World.

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What is some of  your favorite things you remember from your childhood?