Tag Archives: running

Merry Thanksgivoween

Merry Thanksgivoween

Happy Monday! I have 12 anatomy classes left to teach until I’m off for Thanksgiving break….not that I’m counting or anything. 😉


After Thanksgiving week there are only 2 “teaching” weeks, exam week, Xmas break, and then the school year is 1/2 over! Craziness!

Lets discuss how Christmas has overpowered Thanksgiving.  Heck, even Halloween. Basically, Christmas truly starts in July. I feel like this has slowly become a trend over the past few years, but this year it is completely out of hand. Sooooo many houses are decorated for Christmas and I am having a hard time finding Thanksgiving stuff in stores!! Those that do have Thanksgiving stuff already have it marked 50% off. For that, I am thankful! Seriously, most cities have already decorated for Christmas, a majority of stores are playing Christmas music, some radio stations are only playing Christmas music, and every other TV commercial is Christmas related.


Confession….I like it. Half of ya’ll agree (those that have decorated) and half are appalled. Another confession, my house would totally be decorated for Christmas if I wasn’t hosting Thanksgiving dinner! Christmas decorations are 1) beautiful and 2) pricy! They shouldn’t be stored in a closet/attic for 11 months! Speaking of storing Christmas decor…I want a Christmas tree closet in my next house . One where you can simply roll your decorated (artificial) tree into it for easy storage. You will never have to deal with the assembly/disassembly again.  I tried hard to convince Philip to include one in our current house’s plans when we built a few years ago. Yeah, didn’t happen and won’t ever happen.


Anyway, let me share how my Monday started….I set my Keurig to brew a large cup of coffee with no coffee mug set to catch the brewing coffee. Yep, that was a lot of fun to clean up. No, what was fun to clean up were Izzy’s coffee pawprints all over the kitchen floor.


While Monday didn’t start so great, my weekend was excellent. I continued my change in routine & scenery by going “home” this weekend. I have not been to Birmingham since April! April! That’s entirely too long to go without visiting my favorite stores family. 😉 While I don’t have any exciting stories, I do have some not-so-exciting photos to share that I snapped throughout the weekend.

It rained during my entire drive both Friday and Sunday. That rain provided for an awesome rainbow the seemed to circle all of B’ham as I drove into the city Friday afternoon.


God’s artwork.


Double rainbow

Friday night I gave into my weakness… Ok, Saturday night, too.  Thank God there isn’t one of these in MS.


I spent Saturday doing what I do best: using my husband’s credit card shopping.


View from one of my fav malls in the city


Accessories…another weakness of mine


What?! You don’t take pics of yourself in a dressing room? 😉

Two things about this picture…

1) If I am shopping alone I always send pics of the clothes I am considering buying to my mom and friends. I’m so dang indecisive. I believe the message I sent with the text was “Yes, this is pink, buttttt it’s totally different from any of my other ones because”….   Yes, I bought it and now it is at home in my closet with its 50 cousins.

2) My boot socks. AKA boot cuffs/boot candy. Obsessed. OBSESSED. It is “the” accessory of the season and I loveeee them. I already have 5 different pairs and only two are shades of pink. Be impressed. Wait. You can be impressed when I make a pair myself. Yep. I actually can knit and I obtained a pattern for them. Again, I made myself sound really old and boring.

Speaking of old and boring…Saturday night I was flipping through one of my mom’s many magazines on her coffee table and I came across this gingerbread house.


My neighborhood is still planning to do a gingerbread house competition in December. The neighbors are going down now. I’ve got the blueprints of a winner. 😉

Sunday I hit the pavement in the drizzle and did 15 miles throughout the streets of my childhood. I have a route that I love to do and the miles fly by because it’s so reminiscent.


Fall colors


I am so dang sore due to all those awesome hills.

And one last story/pic. My dad and I went to a pet store during my visit and he kindly bought Warrior a new bed. The dog tore all of his stuffing out of his old bed during his horrible puppy years and he’s been basically sleeping on the concrete ever since. Anyway, I put his new bed in his pen last night and he whimpered for 10 minutes. He would NOT  lay on it. As soon as I put his old bed in the pen and he curled up on it and went to sleep immediately.


I sent Dad this pic and he replied, “I feel sorry for him. It is like Tom Hanks getting off the raft in the movie Castaway and not wanting to sleep on a comfy bed. Warrior likes concrete”. Bahahaha. That seriously cracked me up. I will try the new bed with him again tonight.

And just because…..Izzy loves spinach. No, I don’t let her eat any, but she obsesses over it the entire time I eat it. She stole an empty bag of it off the kitchen counter and squeezed herself into the bag. She’s quite entertaining.


So…what are your thoughts on Christmas decor making an appearance a little earlier each year? When is it too early? (I definitely think October is too early).


My favorite workout items & Weekly Phone Dump

My favorite workout items & Weekly Phone Dump

Vacation week is here! I should be super excited, but I’m kind of stressed at the moment. Not only do I have 1 million errands to run, 2 million classes to teach, and 3 million loads of laundry to do, but I also have to pack…4 million outfits….lets just keep the exaggerations coming. 😉

Anyway, I think that 90% of the people that know me in real life have asked me “will you exercise on vacation?”. Really?! And I thought these people were my friends….


OF COURSE! I will run laps around the ship and use its awesome gym. Heck, there are spin and bootcamp classes offered on board, but I am def an instructor snob (as are some of you) and prob will not partake in them (I’ve tried them on past cruises).

Work out clothes and items are actually the first things I pack. Priorities, people. No, really that is b/c those items take up the most room and are the easiest to pack…no worries about coordinating shoes, jewelry, etc. Anyway, I thought I would share w/ you a few of my favorite workout items that I use (almost) daily and am packing….aside from the usual: 10 pairs of shorts, 10 tops, 10 hats, 10 pairs of socks…not kidding. The suitcase is already quite full….


1) I’m going to go ahead and declare the Brook’s Adrenalines as my (2nd) fav shoes. RIP my beloved Cadence 1s….hint, hint, Brooks… I just received the 13s today and LOVE them. As soon as they were delivered I went out for a test run and they passed my test. I ordered them rather than buying them at a local store b/c I wanted the special edition color that was only available online. Yeh, I’m special like that ridiculous. You’ve got to admit that they are beyond cute. Yes, I realize I’ve probably written 5 posts about my work out shoes….they are crucial to my job. I’m not obsessed. Promise!

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2) My headphones of choice are Jay Buds. No worries with tangled wires, etc. These are wireless, bluetooth headphones and are truly amazing. I find that they also do a good job eliminating environmental noise, as well. While I can’t use the bluetooth feature on the trip (no Internet), they do work flawlessly when I am at home, running, or whatever. It’s so easy to talk to people, have Siri read my text messages aloud, etc, etc all while never touching my phone. People on the other end of the line have no idea that I am using these–meaning it sounds like I am inside my house on my phone rather than outside running. Okay, the gasping for air may give it away after a while… Yes, they are pricey, but you truly get what you pay for with these.


3) I have gone through 8 different Polars and Garmins watches and my fav is the Polar FT40. Garmin users will not like it since it doesn’t have a GPS, but hey, there’s an app for that I use to monitor my mileage. The heart rate % is used daily in my classes to gauge my workload and to inform my members what % they should target. Calorie counting is also a addicting, evil, important primary feature. I love the FIT test component, fat burn %, and daily/weekly exercise comparision charts. I actually find the FT40 easier to use than some of the simpler Polars.


4) I am obsessed with the Fit Bit One. Yes, it does some of the same stuff as Polar, but it has a lot of additional features. I love seeing my daily steps on it, viewing the graph online, and monitoring my sleeping pattern. What’s cool about the Fit Bit is that you wear it on your clothes against your skin (waist band, bra, etc) and it wirelessly updates every time you are within a set range of your computer. Below is an image from their website….ha…7hrs and 40 min of sleep….def not my graph.

fitbit_graph_annotated_full Fitbit_Sleep-Graph-smaller

While I don’t have a screen shot of my graphs, let me share with you my averages….yes, I think you are that bored interested.

Steps per day: 30,000

Fun fact: (I walk 7 miles a day JUST IN MY CLASSROOM!!!!)

Most steps taken during: 4am-6am. ha!!! When most of ya’ll are sleeping…I have issues.

Minutes to fall asleep: 20

# of times awakened during the night: 12

Active sleep time: 5 hours, 7 minutes

Yes, it’ll track your calories in/out if you utilize their food log, but…


No, that’s not why. I simply prefer MyFitnessPal for that. I’ve used it for years and all of my journals are on that site, why change?!

My only complaint about the Fit Bit is that it is not water proof…beware. The company says it’s “water resistant” and has actually replaced three of my sweat ruined Fit Bits. Yes, it has a waterproof case, but obviously that case has nothing on me.


5) Males, this isn’t for you, but girls I love this!! It’s really only needed for those of you that do long runs, but I’ve come to love mine. Meet The HipS-sister.


From their website. HipS-sister is not just a fashion accessory, it’s a new and funky way of expressing your style and holding your small personal items. Leave the fanny pack at home, but be hands-free and live hands-on! HipS-sister is a band of high quality material with several pockets and a hidden top loading pocket. Just slide it on and it follows you anywhere your lifestyle takes you.

It holds all of my crap accessories needed for long runs, but it isn’t water proof…boo.

HipsS-sister tries to demo that you can wear the accessory with “real” clothes, but I just don’t know…..


Okay, yes, it’s a glorified fanny pack. Lets face it, it’s hard to make a fanny pack look cute….even with Fluffy attached.


Someone needs to alert PETA…

Yes, I will take all of these with me on vacay and use them (almost) daily. Don’t tell Philip, but we are doing a race at one of the islands and a jungle hike up a mountain/zip line down the mountain at another!! mua-ha-ha-ha!!

Philip and I always split up the islands (usually 2 and 2) and secretly choose the excursions for “our” ports. Then we surprise each other with our choices once we are on board the ship. So fun…sometimes! 😉 Mine always involve hikes, zip lines, biking, kayaking, etc while he selects the party boats, jet skies, and scuba diving. We shall see what this year’s trip holds!

Onto the latest and greatest pics from my phone….aka pet and Creation overload.

Pets first….


Question: What do you notice about Warrior’s tongue in the last picture!?

Answer: A chunk of it is missing.

Why: He was a hellion of a puppy and bit off part of his own tongue!!!


Latest Creations:



Really, local stores, really? already!? :(

Really, local stores, really? already!? 😦


Beautiful, but stormy sunset..enjoyed by me and Warrior.



The funniest text pic as of recently:



My favorite inspiration text pic as of recently:


I laughed so, so hard. But, I later found myself in a more contemplative mood and wondered how many of us are the poor rhino aiming to look like the unicorn. Silly, rhino, it can never look like a unicorn…they don’t exist!!!! How many of us are living in a state of longing to be “something” better (thinner, faster, smarter, etc). Sometimes we need to take a hard look at that “something” and decide that we don’t need to aim for that certain goal. Perhaps that “something” would totally change who we are or maybe that “something” doesn’t even exist. I’m all about goals, but make them realistic, beneficial, and non-comparison. Andddd that’s about as deep as it’s getting, peeps. Vacation time!! I think my next post will be “how not to gain 100 pounds on a cruise ship” 😉

My favorite things & Weekly Phone Dump


Happy last week of June. Whattt?!?!? No!!!!  I know that you’ve been waiting for my weekly phone dump, so here it is. Enjoy the randomness of my phone’s life.

I’ve learned that several of ya’ll are vying to earn the weekly “favorite/funny” picture of the week. They all crack me up; however, this person knew how to get to the top spot….perhaps you need to be a science nerd to appreciate this….or a science teacher.


I died…

Don’t give up, losers, there’s always next week   😉

My favorite blogger, Janae, did a top 3 favorite things survey for bloggers. I figured, why not!? However, in my typical fashion I broke the rules and sometimes only listed 1 favorite instead of 3…..come on….


So, people that know me in real life….let’s see how well you really know me!?

1. All-time Favorite Running Shoes:

-Brooks Pure Cadence 1s…lets not discuss their discontinued status…


2. Favorite running song(s)

-I don’t run to music… but I currently love these artists in my car and spin class: Ryan Macklemore & Lewis, AWOLNATION, Imagine Dragons, Robin Thicke, Pitbull….I could keep going….


She’s just jealous I didn’t mention her…

3. Favorite app:



4. Favorite races:

-No brainer…Tough Mudder

5. Favorite dessert:

1.  My choc chip cake and TCBY. This self-serve fro-yo stuff is crap…thank goodness there is not a TCBY close to my house.


Ha…that’s awesome. I don’t know anyone who could put that away, though.

6. Favorite foods:

-Peanut butter and  Shrimp.  Ummm, no worries, not together.


7. Favorite store to buy clothes:

-Franscesca’s Collections

8. Favorite TV Shows:

Biggest Loser, Big Brother (it starts Wednesday!!!!!!!!), and Bachelor/Bachelorette.

9. Favorite WorkOut Mantras:

-Unless you puke, faint or die, keep going.  -Jillian Michaels

-What doesn’t challenge you doesn’t change you

-You never regret a workout.


10. Favorite vacation spot:

-Hmmmm, not really a spot, but a cruise around the Caribbean. Philip and I are expert cruisers….I’m available to plan your vacay for a small fee….like a free cruise… 😉

11. Favorite color:

-Really? Do I even have to state my answer?


12. Favorite way to relax:



No!!! That’s not true regarding my cooking at all. Promise!

13. Favorite sleeping position:

-Curled up on my right side

14. Favorite time of day:

-Early, early morning…


Change that to 5am…

15. Favorite pic of you and your spouse/sig other:


Yes, of course, our wedding pics and vacay pics are my favs, but this pic is special and speaks “1,000 words”. I threw P an awesome surprise b’day party that took 5 months to plan.  More than 80 people kept it quiet and it was a huge success. This pic was snapped as soon as he walked in the house, the lights were turned on, and everyone shouted “surprise”! So fun. Ummm, I can throw one heck of a surprise party…again, I’m available for hire. 😉

Well, there ya go, maybe you learned something about me! Any surprises!? Feel free to answer some of the questions about yourself in the comments!

WIAW & WOW #12

WIAW & WOW #12

I swear I took 30 pics of the pets and that is the best “family portrait” I could get!


In case you want to know what happened the moment after I took that picture…Izzy scaled the couch, jumped onto Cody’s back (black dog), and sprung off him onto Warrior’s tail. She hung on to it mechanical-bull style for an impressive 8 seconds. That’s a new record. Once she was flung off his tail she somehow landed on the windowsill.


Ooooo scary cat pose.

That performance exhausted her and she has now taken over Warrior’s bed the living room couch.


Never a dull moment here. Anyway, it is Wednesday which means Jenn hosts What I Ate Wednesday.

wiaw sensible snacking button

Sensible Snacking is the theme for June and I think that is fitting since this is what I am currently inhaling eating….


That would be a massive bag of frozen grapes. I discovered them last week and may or may not be on my third bag of them……It’s a costly serious problem.

I’m not a big snacker and I don’t have any genius snack ideas–as is the point of Jenn’s WIAW theme (go to her blog for tons of snack ideas/themes). What I do have are two main snack “rules” that I follow and encourage my clients to do the same. (Actually, these are meal and snack rules, but whatev…)

1) A snack should always include a protein (carb + protein or fat + protein). ALWAYS. I could lecture the importance of why, but school is out and this teacher is done preaching for a while. Just trust me–or read this. (a small excerpt out of Jillian Michael’s sidekick Bob Harper’s newest book). My all time fav = apple + peanut butter. (Krema PB…trust me, I’m an expert).


There is no such thing as personal space in this house..

Ummm, that combo is definitely dinner 99% of the time when Philip is out of town. Do practice portion control, people! Only 1 spoonful of pb!


2) Snacks should be one-ingredient foods. Both items should only be one ingredient. I say that and people look at me like I’m crazy.


Then they ask me what I mean!?!? Excuse me, but I think they are the crazy ones…. one ingredient!?! An apple. A banana. etc, etc.


In other words put down the candy protein bar!!!! This is the ingredient list and food label from a popular candy protein bar (ok, I’ll stop…). Ummm, how many ingredients do you count? Def more than 1. How about this….how many do you recognize? Exactly….do some googling and let me know when you will be eating that crap bar again…


BTW…Krema peanut butter has 1 ingredient: peanuts. Toss the Jiffy NOW!!! I’ll stop for real…


Onto WOW (Work Out Wednesday)… Did ya’ll know that today is National Running Day!!? YAY!! What a great day to continue streaking!


I’m actually not going to discuss running or even a sweat-inducing workout regarding this WOW. People that know me, please sit down for this news. I took a Reformer Pilates class Sunday and a yoga class today and enjoyed both of them.


I know. Actually, I don’t know…who I am anymore. What I do know is that fitness is divided into three realms (strength, endurance, and flexibility) and I’ve ignored the third componemt for far too long. My chronically sore hamstrings are a reminder of that downfall. I know that yoga/stretching is so important for runners (the running Bible states so here) so I made it my summer goal to incorporate pilates and yoga into my weekly routine.

Ok, there it is. My goal is etched in stone on the Internet so I have to stick to it. Oh, and for those of you that envision yoga as sitting around, de-stressing, and meditating you are wrong! As was I… It is a total body strength workout. You’re continuously striking poses that resemble leg lunges, squats, pushups, handstands, planks, etc. I was definitely feeling the burn at times.


Have a good Wednesday, friends! Is anyone slightly motivated to read their nutrition labels or take a yoga class……yeh…didn’t think so. At least I tried! 😉

A 30-minute mile & Weekly Phone Dump

A 30-minute mile & Weekly Phone Dump

Soooo how is everyone doing on the Streaking Challenge?! While a lot of people have joined me in the challenge, several have broken my heart said that running is boring and they are not interested in it. Never, ever, ever. WHAT!?!


Ok, I understand that running isn’t everyone’s “thing” and that’s FINE. What if you did a workout that had you run a mile without you knowing that you ran a mile!?  Mua-ha-ha!!

I did these two tire flipping circuits this past week in bootcamp classes and with clients. Some of those people were truly shocked that they had run a mile by the end of the circuit. Maybe I have some new streakers!?!



As you have probably guessed, each circuit took about 30 minutes. The time flew by, though, at least to me….


And what post wouldn’t be complete without some cute Izzy pics and some random pics from my life? Enjoy!

WIAW & WOW #11

WIAW & WOW #11

Finallyyyyyy….school is out!!! Izzy and I have been busy cleaning the house, replying to month old e-mails, and grocery shopping/unloading during my first few days of summer. Speaking of e-mails….a lot of you ask me in person or through e-mail about how to get blog updates (rather than noticing them in your FB and twitter feeds). On the right side bar on the homepage there is a “Follow me” widget under the “Follow Blog via E-mail” caption. Click on that widget and enter your info. I know that my life is so exciting that you want to do that….

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We’ve also made a few new slow cooker meals….


Actually, I started the meal in my slowcooker and then completed it in my panini grill pan. Ohhhh, fancy!!!


Slowcooker Chicken Cheesteak Panini

Philip loves Philly Cheesteaks (that may or may not be one of his nicknames)….so he definitely approved of this healthified (yes, it’s a word) version! It was something very different for us. Give it a try and modify as needed–the broiler of you oven would work just fine if you want to eat this meal in a wrap, but lack a panini type pan.

While we are on the topic of food…….. frozen grapes! WHAT?!?!?  Why hasn’t anyone told me about doing this!?!??! AMAZING.


Moving on to Work Out Wednesday….Lets discuss running!


Well, actually lets discuss this streaking challenge! I participated in this streak  over the holidays and am up for it again! Most of you know that if a challenge is presented to me I am hooked…   It’s a serious slight problem….

Runner’s World Summer Run Streak 2013

From Memorial Day to Independence Day run at least one mile, every day.

Media: RW Summer Running Streak 2012

Per RW: It’s that time of year again. Many of you have completed your spring goal races, and training for fall races doesn’t start for another month or two. Summer is also around the corner and the beach, ice cream, BBQs, and vacations are likely calling your name, giving you countless reasons to skip out on runs.

But don’t panic! Runner’s World is bringing back the Run Streak to help people bridge the gap and maintain spring fitness through the summer. RW is challenging participants to run at least one mile per day, every day, starting on Memorial Day (Monday, 5/27) and ending on Independence Day (Thursday, 7/4). That’s 39 consecutive days of running.

If you finish the streak, you’ll have access to the coveted RW Run Streak finisher’s badge. Happy streaking!

RW had their first streak during this past holiday season. I thought it was a great idea to keep people on track during the most indulgent wonderful time of the year. I was surprised to receive the summer streak e-mail today. Personally, I don’t lack exercise motivation during the summer. I actually love running at noon in July. Yep…again…


The dead of winter (terrible third nine weeks in “teach talk”) is when I struggle with the workout motivation. Yes, I do have to workout since it’s my job, but getting my butt outside to run Cody is not an easy feat. 


Anyway, we are all different and maybe you struggle with summertime workouts. Perhaps the streak will motivate you!! No excuses!! I swear I can hear the excuses circulating in your brain right now….”but I’ll be at the beach”, “but I don’t run”, “but I’ve got an entire day of airline traveling”. Excuses!!! You know I’ll bust them all………walk the airport for 10 minutes while waiting on your flight, walk the beach, etc, etc.  Just streak do it! !


Come on, people?!! Who’s in!?!? (Yes, we are a couple of days late…NBD. Get outside NOW)!

Isabelle & Weekly Phone Dump

Isabelle & Weekly Phone Dump

Eeeeeee!!!!! Looooookkkkkk!!!!


Meet Izzy!!! Yes, I ate my words and got a kitten.  The workers at our local non-kill shelter convinced us that a kitten would do better with our dogs than one of their adult cats.  Honestly, getting a pet was the last thing I expected to do on Saturday, but it just kinda happened. Once I saw the little fur-ball I was sold and Philip knew there was no chance in us leaving the shelter without her.

Izzy is 8 weeks old and was in a litter of 5 with a really sad story that I will spare you from hearing/reading. The happy news is that she now has a good home with some crazy brothers. She is fearless around the dogs and pops their noses and tails without hesitation. She is FULL of personality and is going to rule this house.

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We haven’t had a cat toy in our house in years. Warrior ate all of Abby’s toys (jingle balls and fuzzy mice) as a puppy and we never replaced them. She was older and was perfectly happy playing with my ponytail holders. Anyway, this is Izzy’s fav toy….She also loves straws, shoelaces, and Q-tips!


My dad feels sorry for her and is mailing her a goody package! 😉

Ok, are you sick of the cat pics/news?  How about viewing a few of my phone pics from this past week. 


Af and Lac

Yep, the sweet ducks are still living in our pond. They’ve been named and are still chatty and friendly.

Foot pics…..very odd for me…. Here’s a confession regarding my two new pairs of sandals…..I bought both of those 80% off from Zappos in October 2012 and just took them out of their boxes. I do this all the the time—hit up crazy good deals at the end of a season and don’t wear the item until the following season. Yes, I took both of those pics in my classroom and I stood in the green ones all day. Another confession…I had a back-up pair of flats in my purse that day.

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Anddddd I’m back to the Brooks in regards to running/aerobic shoes. For those that care, these are the Brooks Adrenaline’s 13. I broke them in with a tough double-digit run today and they did well. The Cadence 1’s are still my all-time fav and I am so sad that they are no longer being manufactured. I contacted Brooks and demanded requested that the Cadence 3s mimic the Cadence 1s. No, I don’t think I’m that important…I just take my exercise that seriously. Lets just say that I’m low-man on the totem pole and they really don’t care….


Most of you warned me that Under Armor shoes won’t last and you were right. Enormous holes formed on the inside heels and gave me blisters the size of Texas that prevented me from running for a few days. Not cool. What is cool is UA’s warranty/return policy. I mailed them the shoes and they gave me a 100% refund.


I’ve also made some cute cakes/treats/creations this weekend. Thanks, friends!

And here are two pics that were sent to me that created completely opposite emotions….

I was very happy and grateful when Philip sent me this pic of our new washer.


Laundromat visits are a thing of the past…I hope.


I was sad and jealous of this pic of an amazing spin room. A great friend/gym member sent me this pic of his new gym in Dallas. Those bikes are awesome with their digital cadence/resistance/mileage screens.



Have a great last week of school!!!  I’m sure my next post will have some more Izzy pics! Be excited! 😉