Dog Days Virtual Run

I recently (and finally) began getting back into running.  I’m taking it super slow for the simple reason that barefoot running kind of requires that.

My life is full of coincidences, and so soon after I started running again Level Up Runs took me on as an ambassador.  They’re a company ran by runners who offer virtual runs with fun medals to help keep you motivated.  I do love to get some bling for my running, who doesn’t?

I skipped the first few races because I was so recently back to running, but I’m not missing the next one! They’re having an August Dog Days run, and  for every entry, Level Up will be donating a toy, blanket, or a dog bowl to the Second Chance Dog Rescue in San Diego, Ca. Running, a medal and helping a good cause all in one.  Can’t beat that! The run is $25 if you are in the US, you can get more information and sign up here.

Check out the medal design for the run, who doesn’t love Lady? And Stitch, though I don’t think he actually qualifies as a dog.




I was exploring other blogs out there and stumbled across a girl who started a New Year’s challenge for herself to paddleboard 100 miles in 100 days.  A mile a day doesn’t sounds like much, but when you take into account the fact that it’s an activity that you can’t do on a daily basis, it’s weather reliant, and not actually all that close to the house it puts it into perspective a bit.

I liked the idea so much I decided to challenge myself to do the same.

I just started bicycling a couple of weeks ago, so I thought it would be fun to bike 100 miles in that time too.  That’s something I can just go outside and do, as long as it isn’t lightening.  Fun!

Then I decided to sign up for the Dare Greatly Trail half marathons.   It’s 3 halves starting in December.  I mean, ya I’ve never run more than 4 miles and I haven’t run at all in a year, but what the heck, right?

I even made this great banner photo thing for my post.


Then I announced my super great plans to the boyfriend, aka partner in crime.  (AKA person I’m volunteering to do this with me.) And he used his stupid logic on me.  How many weeks in 100 days? About 14. So that’s less than 7.5 miles a trip.  Easy, right?  We usually paddle about 3 miles, what’s the difference?  Unless, of course, we skip a weekend which is a given considering 5 kids between us. Plus jobs that easily take 50 hours a week. Plus his other job and out frequent non-paddling adventures.  Hmmm, maybe not quite as easy as I thought.

The bike part really should be easy though, we tend to ride the trails near the house about twice a week so that part should be easy peasy. Heck I’ll ride around the block until I hit 100 miles if I have to.

The running, well that’s not a given and not something I’m great at being consistent about. But we have 7 months until the first half, so it’s probably doable. Right? Sure.

So the question is whether or not I should give it a go.  No point trying something you know for a fact you can’t do, but then how do you know if you don’t give it a try?

Any opinions? Are there 3 things that you enjoy doing so much that it would be fun to challenge yourself to do them a lot more than you currently are?







River Run 2015 – Giveaway

I have a confession to make.  OK, it’s not really a confession because everyone knows and I’ve said it before.  I am a LAZY runner.  I’ve been running for ages and still have never run much more than 4 miles because I tend to take breaks. Usually just because I lose the bug, sometimes, like this last time, because of a ulcerative colitis flare. Even when I take a break because I’m sick I tend to milk it.  I haven’t been sick in over a month and I just started running again last week. This time I decided to stop pretending like I have running pride and I am sticking to a beginner 5K plan I found on Runkeeper. For free!  Check them out.

Anyways, I found the perfect motivation to stick with it for a couple of weeks at least, and by then I’ll be back in the habit.  Sunday, May 3rd at 10am Cigar City Brewing is having a fun run in downtown Tampa along the Tampa Riverwalk.  There’s no color being thrown on you, no obstacles and no mud.  So what makes this a fun run?  Well.  Let me tell you.

First of all, it’s only 2 miles making it the perfect run for someone who hasn’t been running so much lately. Short and sweet, sounds perfect!  Secondly, since it’s being put on by Cigar City Brewing you know you’ll be getting a Cigar City Beer afterwards. AND the medal that you get doubles as a beer opener. Which (call me an optimist if you must) I feel pretty confident will also open my Angry Orchards. You also get a t-shirt. I really should begin calling myself a professional t-shirt collector between running and donating blood!

RiverRun2OH, lets not forget that this run is just one part of a BIG weekend in Tampa!   As part of the RiverFest 2015 there will also be the Bloody Mary Festival and a downtown carnival, both of which I’ll be doing a giveaway for very shortly. There’s PLENTY more going on as part of RiverFest 2015, you really should check it out!

But, back to the run.  Want to go?  You can check out the run and register here. Or, I’m giving away a pair of tickets to a random winner.  To enter just leave me a comment telling me what your first run was, or letting me know if this would be your first!  Don’t forget to click HERE: RiverRun giveaway and let me know you are entering!  That way I’ll have your email address to let you know if you win.  🙂  The contest runs through Sunday night and I will contact the winner on Monday.

I received 2 tickets to River Run 2015 as a member of Tampa Bay Bloggers thru their partnership with the Big City Events in exchange for this giveaway. All opinions are my own, of course.

10K Update 2 and Margarita Fest Winners!

First things first, the winners of a pair of tickets to the Margarita Festival in Tampa are Elliot W and Chris B.  Congratulations, I’ll email you your tickets tonight!

I also want to check in on my journey to a 10K.  This last week was not as successful as the first 2, I’m going to repeat the week.

Sunday was my ‘long run’ of 3 miles.  It was also Mother’s Day and I talked my oldest son into going with me to meet a running group and do a trail run. Happily, everyone there was really nice and I had a great time.   Unhappily I forgot that trail running in Florida often means  running in soft sand which totally and immediately wrecked me.  I have no idea how far we ran because I brilliantly tried to use a new to me program to track mileage but didn’t actually mess with it to see how to use it before starting to run.  Brilliant!  I decided to turn around and head back, and found that we had gone pretty far, but I really doubt it was 3 miles.  And also, we made a wrong turn on the way back because if I’m in the woods I kind of have to get lost a little.  Especially if there are witnesses.

I wasn’t too torn about not making my 3 miles since the terrain made it feel like about 30.  I without a doubt worked harder than if I had done 3 miles on the treadmill!  But then Tuesday I didn’t run do to poor planning on my part.  Thursday I did run but instead of 3.5 miles on the weekend I only did 2.  Blah.

So here it is Tuesday again, the first day of my running week.   I’m calling a do over on last week and following the same plan again.  I have a lot of the same things going on as last Tuesday, but this time I’m buckling down and not letting things get in the way.  Like writing this in the morning instead of trying to fit in writing at night.  🙂

Do you have a backup plan for when things come up and throw you off schedule, whether it’s a running schedule or something else?  If you are following a training plan do you have a problem with doing a week over if you do not have a hard date (like a race) you have to be ready by?


Checking in

Happy Tuesday!  First things first, the winner of The Color Run entry is Sadie B!  Sadie please email me at and I will give you your entry code.

Second things second, we’re more than half way through January, have you been working on any New Year’s resolutions or monthly goals?  I usually don’t set any goals for the whole year but you know this year I decided to try to run 500 miles by the end of the year.

I keep turning it around in my head trying to figure out a plan. Hmm…

  •  250 miles per half year
  • 125 miles per quarter
  • 41.666 a month
  • 9.6153 a week
  • 1.369 a day

The further I break it down the easier it sounds. Heck. it’s only about .057 miles per hour this year!  Ya.  I haven’t actually run 9 miles a week, as a matter of fact I got off to a very slow start on the running front. But I’m already picking up the miles a bit and I figure if I can keep steadily increasing my mileage I shouldn’t have a problem catching 500 at the end of the year.

Granted right now I am only at 15 but, you know, I wanted plenty of room to improve.  🙂


How are you doing with your running goals?  Are you going to running this year?

Miles for Christmas

This year I haven’t set any particular goals or resolutions yet.  I’ve had two things circling round in my mind – I think I’ll set a goal of running 500 miles this year and it would really alleviate the whole single mom stressing over the holidays thing if I started putting away money for the holidays now.

As luck would have it I somehow came across a blog post on Just call me B! giving me the perfect way to tie these two goals together.  Pay myself a dollar for every mile that I run.  500 miles in a year equates to about $10 a week, not an amount I’ll miss but an amount that will be very helpful come Christmas!  As I’m not the most crafty person in  the world I’ll spare you a picture of my empty but clean pasta jar with the lid glued on.  I mean miles for money jar.  Whatever.

Anyways, I have not just one but 2 motivators to run my 500 miles this year because I also signed up for Run This Year 2014.  It’s a running community committed to run 2,014 miles, or 2,014 Kilometers in 2014.  When I first read about it I thought interesting, but ya, NO.  I can’t run 2,014 miles in a year – I’m lucky to hit 3 miles on my long runs!  But they also have a third choice, Get Your Own Goal.  Perfect!

Run This Year 2014
500 miles here I come, and I have both a group of equally determined runners AND a promise of a Christmas actually pre-paid to motivate me to get there.  Win and win.

Do you track your miles run, miles biked, pounds lifted or something similar per year?  What’s your goal for 2014?

Combating Sitting

I have been having a bit of a problem lately with headaches, neck aches, and sore shoulders at work.  While I’m sure that the stress of being a single mom to 3 during the holidays has added to it significantly I also think it has a lot to do with having a desk job.  Sitting at a computer 40 hours a day can’t be good for me!  So of course here I am at home sitting at a computer, but whatever….

I mentioned last week that I decided to join a ‘Just 1 Thing‘ challenge for this year, which asks you to chose one thing to work on for your health at a time.  My one thing for the moment is getting back to daily yoga.  Since tonight I came home with especially sore and stiff shoulders I decided to look for a practice that focused on this area.

I found this video on Do Yoga With Me’s YouTube channel  and it is wonderful for getting a good stretch throughout the neck and shoulders.  I had forgot how great it feels to do 30 minutes of yoga that just focuses on relaxation!

If you work on a computer all day another thing you can do to help is to give yourself hourly reminders to stand up, roll your shoulders and shake out your hands, or just to sit up straighter.  I created an hourly pop up message reminding me to sit up straighter because it seems that as soon as I stop thinking about it I’m slouching in my chair again.

If you think that an hourly reminder would be helpful to you too it’s easy enough to add a reminder to your computer.  Here is an explanation on how to set it up.

Do you have a desk job?  If so how do you combat the effects of sitting 40 hours a week?


About a week and a half ago I decided to take a week or two off running because I was having a problem with the bottom of my feet hurting.  I figured it was partly because my shoes I wear all the time are crazy uncomfortable even though they’re almost flat sandals, and partly because when I ran with my kids for their Couch to 5K I was jumping and fooling around instead of thinking about my running – not my brightest but not my dumbest moment ever.

Unfortunately although it has got better it hasn’t totally gone away, and I’ve found that just going hiking with the dogs made it worse, it isn’t just the running. Great.  So what to do?  Once again I got used to running 3 miles and then got derailed. Not by much and not for long but still. There are people who start running and then do a marathon that year, so why am I still not even running a 10K? I’m not motivated enough, not dedicated enough, most of the time I think I just don’t care enough to push through things to do better.  Except that if I didn’t care I wouldn’t be so frustrated about the whole thing.

This is the first year that I’ve run with any kind of consistency but I’m still not anywhere near where I want to be.  I don’t have grand plans for a marathon or even a half but I would like to at least work my way up to a 10K and I would like to somehow learn to push myself at least a little instead of backing off as soon as something looks like it might be getting hard.

Tonight I wasn’t feeling good physically OR mentally but I felt like going for a short run.  I didn’t want to run barefoot because I didn’t feel up to paying attention to what I was doing – where I was stepping, how my form was, or anything else. So for the first time this year I put on my old running shoes, put in both earphones to blast some metal and went out for a very short, very not paying attention to anything run.  Good thing I didn’t run across any snakes because I wouldn’t have seen it until it bit me. Not something I would make a habit of but it was kind of nice. Of course I started off way to fast and immediately tired myself out, but whatever. It was one of those nights.

You know the funny thing?  My boyfriend got me a book on barefoot running for Christmas that I’ve been reading. And as a result on my first shoe-ed run of the year I figured out a major piece of my barefoot running form that I’ve been doing wrong. The book mentioned the fact that part of running lightly is not picking your feet up higher than you need to – therefore coming down lighter on your feet. I already knew that but it seems I hadn’t thought about it in a while.  I realized that while I’ve been concentrating on cadence, bending my knees and lifting my feet I’ve been over exaggerating that lift and almost been running like I was doing a high knee exercise.  Not really to that extent, but I’ve definitely gotten in the habit of picking my feet up much higher than I used to while concentrating on the other parts of my form. Somehow or another ignoring my running form made me realize a major piece that I’ve been doing wrong.  Kind of funny really.

Anyways I still don’t know exactly what to think about my running.  I feel like I need a goal or some kind of plan but I don’t know what I want to do.  Run further? Just run stronger? Run more often? Definitely more often but that doesn’t sounds like a very exciting goal.

Do you have any running goals for 2014? How did you decide what you want to do?



Wrapping Up 2013 and Smiling About It

I have never been big on making New Year’s resolutions. I fully support resolutions made by anyone else, I just rarely make them myself.  It’s kind of like most of my sisters clothes. They look great, I really like them.  Um, no I don’t want to wear them, I meant they look great on YOU.

But I would like to improve a lot of things this year.  What to do?

First I went and signed up for the #Just1Thing Challenge Kat at Katrina Elle is hosting.  To be honest I’m not certain if you’re supposed to pick one thing to work on weekly, monthly, or  maybe even daily mini challenge but whatever way it goes I’m in.  What’s 1 thing?  Easy-peasy.

Next thing is to decide what I’d like to improve, but first I wanted to think of the things I did in 2013 that I’m most happy about.  I didn’t realize what a good year I’d had until I started thinking about it, I highly recommend you do the same!

1) New job

I got a new job that allows me to drive about 40 minutes each way instead of an hour and a half.  You can imaging the difference all that extra time makes!  My kids have been on their own for weeknight dinners for years, now we can actually eat together like a family. Definitely my biggest win this year!

2) Still running

I’ve been running off and on for a couple of years, but this is the first year that I’ve actually run steady the entire year, no month or two taken off.  I still don’t always run 3 days a week but I do know now that I won’t be quitting running any time soon.

3) No more hip pain

This is also huge for me.  My hips used to hurt almost all the time, and after a long car ride I could sometimes barely get out of the car. Talk about feeling old!  It also had a lot to do with the inconsistent running – running made it worse.  I started running barefoot and it made all of the difference in the world. Now days the only time my hips ever hurt is when a bout of ulcerative colitis is coming on and then all my joints hurt so whatever.

4) Started Barefoot running

I already mentioned why I got started but running barefoot and becoming a part of the online community has done a lot towards improving my running form (not perfected but much improved).  It’s also just a lot of fun I’m really happy I started and stuck with it in spite of some critics. I even did a barefoot mud run in December!


5) Living without regret (still working on this one)

I’ve never had much of a problem with telling people close to me when they were pissing me off.  But when it comes to telling them anything that sounds remotely like I care it was never an appropriate time.  Letting people know you care feels kind of like an open invitation for them to know they can hurt you.  Jaded much? I know, and it’s dumb.  Now is the right time.  I changed my thinking to what if something happened to me and I never told people how important they are to me?  Now I make a point of telling my kids how great they are at every opportunity, bragging about their successes in front of them to other people, and telling the other people in my life how I feel about them – even if it’s not because they pissed me off.  (I still tell them that too)

6) Pointing out the positive

Last one, promise.  It bothers me that most people will complain when something is wrong but we are much less likely to speak up when something is right.  I started making a point this year of pointing out the good. So if it’s true I’ll go up and tell the person singing at the bar that they have an incredible voice, tell the waitress what a great job she’s doing or to be sure and tell the cook the food was wonderful, or stop a stranger to tell them they look great in that shirt.  Corny?  Yep. But it never fails to get a smile from both of us.

Oh yeah, plus I started a (now overgrown) garden, have been blogging more constantly, and Mia and the rats joined us! I can think of a lot of little things but I’ll spare you.


So now it’s time to look forward to 2014.  I have no idea yet what my goals will be or how the year will go but looking back I’m feeling pretty positive.

What great things did you do in 2013?

Vegan Meatless Mondays

I always see posts for people doing ‘Meatless Mondays’ and I’ve been thinking it would be a fun thing to do here on my blog too.  Kind of a fuel for running kind of thing.  The problem is, that feels kind of like cheating because I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 17, over 25 years now.

What to do?  I’ve decided to do my Meatless Mondays vegan.  I’m vegetarian but I eat way too much dairy (and other junk), it’s something I’ve been wanting to cut back on for a while but just haven’t bothered.  So here I go trying to make a pledge to myself and actually keep it – one day a week will be completely vegan AND unprocessed.  How hard can it be after all?

So here is my first Meatless Monday / Fuel for Running menu.


The kids and I have been on an overnight oatmeal kick but I tried a green vegan recipe and I didn’t really like it.  The green part was good, but it was much soggier than when I use yogurt.  I’m hoping to find the perfect mixture and when I do I’ll let you know.

Until then it’s my usual quesadilla but I’ll use beans instead of cheese.  I made a crock-pot full of seasoned pinto beans (cooked with an onion and 3 cloves of garlic diced about to liquid in the Ninja, chili powder, pepper, garlic powder and a bit of cumin) Sunday so I’m ready to go.  Just spread some pinto beans, onion and jalapeno on a tortilla, sprinkle on some chili powder and throw it in the toaster oven.  Dunk it in salsa and you can’t beat it to start the day!


I’m either giving myself a pass here or I’m a horrible cheater.  I made a huge pot of goulash and then realized the whole wheat noodles I used where egg noodles.  I thought they where just shaped like egg noodles.  Fail!  For that I will have to eat more vegan meals throughout the week!  But for next time it will be easy enough to look at the label and make it vegan:

1/2 bag of pasta

1/2 a huge white onion

3 cloves garlic

A pound of fresh green beans broke into bite size

2 can’s diced tomatoes

1 can corn

Pepper, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, onion powder

I just browned the onion and garlic, cooked and drained the pasta and threw it back in the pan with everything else and cooked it about 10 minutes more. Not much of a recipe but I’m not much of a cook. Next time I’ll cook the green beans a little before adding everything together, they could have been less crisp!

LunchOK, that picture looks gross like it has seafood in it, but I swear it tasted good.

Dinner: Kale salad

Two kale leaves cut in thin strips (minus the stem)

Half a diced ripe avacado

Half a diced cucumber

Garlic, onion powder, oregano, basil, juice of a slice of lemon

I found out I LOVE kale salad as long as the kale is sliced nice and thin.

So there you go, my first vegan meatless Monday.  And now you know why I will never, ever be a foodie blogger. Or a cook.

Do you do Meatless Mondays?