5 Reasons Why I Run

I was tagged by @mainrungirl for a #stopdropaselfie + 5 reasons why I run. I just got my Honey Stinger cycling jersey in the mail while we were in Nashville. I’m starting to feel a lot better, so I decided to test out the new jersey on my bike trainer this morning. Hopefully feel good enough for a run soon!

IMG_20150429_091244Here’s my “5 Reasons Why I Run”:

1. For health. It’s a very high priority for me! I want to be around for a long time, and staying active is a large part of that.

2. To be a good role model for my daughter. While I mostly try to run and exercise while she is in preschool, she does see me being active and I think that is so important! She sees me working towards my goals and she sees that exercise can be fun. I love when she wants to join in!

3. To clear my head. If something is bothering me, going for a run generally helps. I’m at least a bit more relaxed after getting at least a couple miles in.

4. To spend time with family. My parents, my sisters and my husband all run so either training with them or doing races together has been awesome! I love bonding over a race weekend.

5. For the challenge. I’ll never be a runner who qualifies for Boston, but I enjoy challenging myself with new distances and trying to get new PR’s.

I tag @run_happy_dani@perfectly.imperfect.life, @organicrunnermom and @laurenon16th to play along!

Why do YOU run?


Race Recap: Country Music Marathon

IMAG4805IMAG4808-1Apologies as this is a long-winded post. What a great day it was! We were all so nervous there would be thunderstorms and the race would have gotten moved to Sunday. We were so lucky with the way things turned out. The local news had expected the storms to roll in early afternoon, so it was such a huge surprise to see the cloudy morning turn into a sunny 80* day! It was beautiful out! Very humid, but so much better than dealing with storms.

We got up at 4:15AM after a rough night. We ended up having to switch hotel rooms in the middle of the night because our AC unit freaked out and it sounded like we had a train in our room and it was so hot in there! Thankfully the new room was nice and cool and no weird noises. We were downtown sometime in the 5 o’clock hour. My dad and husband ran the 5k that started 6:45AM so we wanted to make sure we left early to avoid traffic, get our parking spot, and have time to walk to the starting line.


CMM Finish video (Turn your sound down. My dad screams at the beginning haha!)

When my wave went out, I immediately had a side stitch in my ribs. Thankfully, it went away by about mile 3. My mom was in a corral just a few behind me. We originally were going to run together, but decided it was best to split up for various reasons. She caught up to me around mile 9 and I saw her a few times before seeing all the ‘Stay Left for Marathon” and “Stay Right for Half” signs around mile 11. I was staying pretty much on pace with my goal until the 1/2 point. Then I started to slow down a bit.


Putting on a happy face for my dad at mile 17.

Mile 17 just hit me hard! I suddenly felt sick to my stomach and the aches/pains really started to set in so I started run/walking. I was so shocked because I never felt this awful during my training runs. I live in a pretty flat area, so when I trained I was hunting out hills to run on.  Even with that, I never came close to the 950 feet elevation GAIN that this course had. I’m sure that was a large part of it, and the heavy humidity didn’t help any. At this point on the course, I was running right past the finish line. I tried so hard to put on the blinders and not watch as tons of runners were finishing the half, but it was impossible not to look away. I was so happy to see my family at this point. They knew I would be going past the area so they were watching for me. My husband ran along side me for a minute and tried to motivate me into not giving up.

Mile 18, I started crying because I felt like I couldn’t take another step. I tried so hard to think of something else, but my knees and hips were screaming. I don’t know who she was, but a girl in a red shirt (I believe it was someone with St. Jude) started running with me and tried to cheer me up a bit.  She put her arm around me and was just so sweet! It really did help me get a little farther along.


Getting knees wrapped in ice bags after finishing.

Mile 20, the tears came back and a nice guy came up to me and said, “I’ve done 3 marathons, and I never think I’m going to finish them…but I do.  You will too! Just walk if you have to. You’ll get that medal! Hang in there!” I wanted to walk right into one of the med tents and just quit so badly. But then, I thought about how disappointed in myself I would be if I just gave up.  So, I kept pressing on continuing with the run/walking. The running happened mostly when going downhill and walking up most of the hills. I have to say that even though I was in agony, I really enjoyed the views in Shelby Park. My husband texted me a picture of him and my parents giving me thumbs up while I was in the park. I smiled and laughed about it. I glanced down at my pace band and then at my watch while in the park and saw I had just hit the 5 hour mark. My first goal was to finish, my second was to finish just under 5 hours. Well, goal 2 I was far from reaching. So I was a little sad at first when I noticed that, however I realized I only had a few more miles to go and I could finish it! I took out my phone and texted my husband as I got closer. He saw me right at mile 26 and ran with me for a few strides before going back up on the sidewalk. I heard my parents cheer for me too! It helped me push through to the finish for sure. I was so happy to see those mats on the ground and to have finished that last little stretch strong!


Foam rolling the hip pain out in the parking lot post-marathon!

One of the great things about this race is how amazing the community is! There were people bringing out oranges from their homes and cutting them up for runners, handing out cups of water, donuts (yup!), and even beer haha!! The support along the route was amazing. The second half there was significantly less of that, but there were still volunteers out there.

After getting cleaned up and relaxing in the hotel for a little while, we headed out to Taco Mamacita. Seriously amazing tacos! And they are awesome for those with celiacs or gluten sensitivity too. So if you’re in Nashville, go stop in there for some great food!

Do I really want to do this again? YES! I absolutely want to run another marathon. Just not this particular one. I love Nashville, but I’d love to do a much flatter course next go around. The feeling I got while crossing the finish line was incredible! It’s a big reason why I want to continue doing road races. While hills are a great challenge, the distance alone is enough for me. So, I’ve collage_20150425205741728-2got my eye on another one for next year in the fall. Until then, lots of other fun races and challenges in my future! For now, I’m just focused on healing and making a full recovery!

Thank you to everyone who sent me congrats and well wishes! I really do appreciate it.

18 Post Marathon Thoughts

Marathon recap coming as soon as I get a chance to type it up! But, until then…here’s a few random thoughts that have gone through my head since yesterday’s marathon.

  1. Oh my gosh…I did it!!!!!!
  2. I feel like I can do anything now!!!
  3. I can’t wait to go out to eat!!!!!
  4. I want to take a nap.
  5. Wow! I feel pretty good for just running that far. Knees a little sore, hips really tight, but I feel good!!!!
  6. Holy sunburn! Did not expect the sun to IMAG4816-1come out today when they forecasted thunderstorms.
  7. 1 day post marathon – Bending legs to sit down on the toilet is now a challenge. I should have installed a handle bar on the wall for support in marathon recovery.
  8. Make note to have handle bar installed in bathroom when we build our next house.
  9. Oh crap. My daughter has school tomorrow and there are steps to get up to the doors to the school. That’ll be fun!
  10. Oh heeeey! Post marathon bonus – My husband is forced to do the laundry because I can’t walk up or down stairs.
  11. I’m never running another marathon.
  12. I can’t wait until I can go running again!
  13. I should look into some local marathons and see what the elevation gain is on them. Maybe I could do a flat one next year. Wait no! Not doing another one.
  14. Ahhh my lower body is so sore!! Why didn’t I book a post race massage again? Someone rub my legs, please!!!
  15. Oooh the GR marathon is expensive! I’ll have to put it on my calendar to register early.
  16. Plugs in Garmin GPS watch – whaaaat??? 950 ft. elevation gain??? I’m awesome!!!!!
  17. Aww man. I can’t get out of this chair. I suck.
  18. I love running.

Packing for a Destination Race

It’s time to pack for the Country Music Marathon! My parents, husband and myself are all riding down together (Dad and husband doing 5k, my mom is doing the half and I’m doing my first full). I was trying my best to stay away from weather.com as I know how a bad forecast can increase the nervous energy, but I just looked at it. Here’s the weather forecast for Saturday as of 9:30AM 4/20/15.  Not exactly ideal. Nashville weather for CMM '15 We’re just hopeful that it’s not cancelled. Not entirely sure on their cancellation policy. I know they won’t cancel for rain, but I don’t know about thunderstorms. So, we’re planning on rain in the forecast as we pack. Below is what I’ve got in my suitcase in addition to regular street clothes and toiletries. I would suggest bringing these items if you are running in a wet half/full marathon as well. If you’re flying, make sure race essentials are in your carry-on luggage.

Purse: (other than the norm)

  • Packet pick-up confirmation sheet
  • Final race day info sheets

Pre-race items:

  • Rain protector sprayBreakfast food that you typically eat before you run (if you can’t buy it there – I am gluten free and alway bring my GF bread so I can have my peanut butter toast and banana before heading to the start line. I actually brought my own toaster from home last year as I was so paranoid about getting my bread contaminated!)
  • Vaseline to put on common chafing areas
  • Spray your shoes with rain / water protector (at least 24 hours in advance)

Race gear:

  • Race shoes!
  • Race top
  • Running shorts
  • Sports bra
  • “Run-derwear” 🙂
  • Running socks
  • Visor (or hat for sun and/or rain protection)
  • Pace band
  • Garmin GPS watch! (charged and turned off until 10 or so minutes before start)
  • Poncho (Or garbage bag even if it’s not raining, nice to keep warm before race starts)
  • If it’s really cold, “throw away” clothing to wear on top of race clothing
  • race suitcaseBandages for heels if you have or expect issues on heels, etc.
  • Running belt
  • Honey Stinger energy gels (3)
  • Honey Stinger energy chews (1)
  • Extra glob of Vaseline in plastic ziplock sandwich bag to put in belt pouch (anticipating extra skin irritation if it’s raining)
  • Phone sealed in sandwich bag and then placed in zip pouch of running belt (to help find family after finish)
  • A little toilet paper (in case the porta-potty is out — been there!)

Post-Race Items to leave in car:

  • Reusuable water bottle (filled)
  • Nuun hydration tablets (I normally drink this during and after my runs, but I’m not going to be wearing or carrying a water bottle this time so I’ll be using Nuun after I finish the race)
  • Luna Protein bar
  • Towels to dry off
  • Change of clothes (including something warm like a zip-up fleece for possible post-race chills)
  • Compression socks
  • Change of shoes
  • Umbrella for spectators (for my dad/husband who will finish first)
  • Foam roller (I seriously plan to use this in the parking lot if it’s not raining when I finish)
  • Anti-inflammatory meds like ibuprofen

Post-Race Items to leave at hotel:

  • Gallon size ziplock bags (for “ice packs”)
  • Gallon zip lock bags (to fill with ice for ‘ice packs’)
  • Stretch band (to help stretch my hamstrings)

That should be it for my “must haves!” Thinking of everyone running Boston this morning! Good luck runners!

20 Facts About Me

I was tagged by two lovely ladies on Instagram, @jen_hoffman & @run_eat_lift_smile, to post an #ilovemyselfie with 20 facts about myself. Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 10.00.18 PM

  1. I go wine tasting at least once every year. Michigan’s cherry wine (any winery) is amazing!
  2. My first race was the Mackinac Island 8 Mile when I was a junior in high school, and I didn’t train for it. I could barely walk the next day!
  3. I didn’t start running regularly until Feb. of 2013, but it didn’t take long to become hooked!
  4. I am growing my hair out to donate to a local organization. Getting close to long enough!
  5. I’ve met several celebrities including: John Stamos, Carrie Underwood, Mario Lopez, and Blake Shelton.


    Blake Shelton at CMA Fest (year?)

  6. I eat very healthy, but could easily overdose on peanut butter (or almond butter) and chocolate.
  7. My husband and I own 5 wooded acres near the lakeshore and hope to build our “forever home” on it next year. Can.not.wait!
  8. I still to this day enjoy coloring. One of my fave things to do with my daughter! So relaxing.
  9. I despise coffee (I know, I’m in the minority here!). It was even worse when I was pregnant. My husband was forced to bring his coffee maker to the basement because just the smell would make me sick haha!
  10. I love planning (everything). You can never be too prepared ;).
  11. I am super scared of swimming in water where you can’t see the bottom. And yet, I am signed up for a triathlon! Eeeek!
  12. I am extremely close with my family, especially my mom.  I was even born on her birthday!
  13. If money wasn’t an issue, I’d go back to school to become a Registered Dietician and a Personal Trainer. I do hope to at least work in a gym once my daughter is in school full time.
  14. One of my fave musicians is Keith Urban.
  15. I was in choir in junior high, high school and college. I love to sing!
  16. I used to not like reading books for fun, but will admit I love “chick-lit” / beach reads.
  17. I love the color pink!
  18. I’m slightly addicted to Pinterest (for recipes + getting ideas for our future home, etc.).
  19. Celebrity crush on Adam Levine + girl crush on Heidi Klum.
  20. I am cold almost all the time. Our house isn’t “cold” but I always have several layers on and socks + slippers. Actually started drinking tea simply to try to warm myself up!


Hi, friends! I decided it was time to start a blog. I enjoy documenting my training and figured this was another great outlet for me to do so with more details than on Instagram. I hope you check back often and continue to follow my running journey.