Archives for April 2012

Off Season Motivation


Well my friends, it is that time of year. Here in the south, the distance racing season is over. You up north may be saying “huh? What is that crazy girl talking about, we are just getting started!” I may be crazy, but you would be even ore crazy for running a half marathon or marathon (heck even a 10k) past April. Yesterday, it was 87 degrees at 1:30. Yesterday morning at 6:45 on my run, it was 67 degrees (the sun wasn’t above the trees yet!) and it was 96% humidity. Friends, I love running, but I have absolutely no desire to die of a heat stroke. True there may be a 5k in my future before fall, but that’s even questionable.


This problem leads me to a conundrum. What do I do all summer? We have the shortest spring race season ever (just when I was starting to get faster, too. Darn!) and I have no plans to run distances in the heat and humidity until October (oh yes, it will be in the upper 90’s till October) so I am trying to figure out what to do with myself.

Well, that’s not entirely true, I know what I WANT to do, but the problem is, will I actually be motivated enough to do it. Looking at a goal race that is five and a half months away is a really difficult thing for me to wrap my brain around. Sure once it gets close I am sure I will get the bug to train hard, but right now I just feel kind of “eh, I’ve got time.” But I know if I keep that attitude, I will keep having mediocre race times and then will be kicking myself for not working harder.


Never fear, I have a plan! well…loosely. I have a few ideas rolling around but before I decide on any concrete training plan I wanted your opinion. So tell me, how do I keep off season motivation in the hot summer? I want to continue (if not step up) my lifting routine and really work on my speed. Jen has given me a few great pointers already for my interval training, I just hope I can force myself to stick with it. It’s going to be a long hot summer……You got that right Keith Urban.

QOTD: I need your help! Give me your best tips, ideas, motivation for the long hot summer, and I may post some of them in a future blog post!

PS Look how short my hair was two Easter’s ago!


Weekly Recap: April Week 4


This was one of those “eh” weeks for me as far as fitness goes. I ate a lot and worked out well…not a lot. I was in Disney World after all! Which, I am aware is a totally lame-o excuse. The good news is, Bobby and I are going on a cruise soon and so I will have another “chance” to prove my workout-on-vacation abilities to you all.  (Sounds like I need to take my own advice, huh?)


Granted, I did do a fair share of walking. Three full days of parks = several miles of walking. My feet were definitely hurting at the end of every day, so at least that’s better than nothing. Here is what the week looked like:

Sunday: Walked the parks 2-4 miles

Monday: Walked the parks 2-4 miles

Tuesday: Walked the parks 2-4 miles

Wednesday: traveled in the car aalllllll day = rest

Thursday: back, biceps, ab’s, and legs, 15 minutes stationary bike, 20 minutes elliptical, stretching

Friday: easy paced 2 mile run, stretching

Saturday: rest


Here are the different workouts all summed up for you:

Running: one lousy 2 mile run.

Weights: lifted one time

cross training: elliptical and bike one time each

walking: lots.

I am definitely not “proud” of my week, but honestly my head just hasn’t been in it lately. I struggle with this every year about this time, and I plan to address it more in a future post, so I don’t want to get into it too much here….but I am one of those people that if I have nothing to train for I start to slack. I really want to change that this summer!


QOTD: Do you slack if you don’t have some kind of event to train for?

RWS Features #22


Happy weekend! We are busy this weekend taking care of some business obligations in my hometown area. I feel like I am on the go so much lately, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon, but that’s ok. Today I want to introduce to to Rachel.


Rachel blogs at Running Backwards in High Heels and knows how to rock out a running skirts skirt! (I also love her sassy hair color!) Not to mention she has amazing fashion sense, and the cutest kids! Be sure to go check out the awesome photographs on her blog, this is definitely one to add to your reader!

1.) How/Why did you start blogging? I originally started blogging as a journal for what our family was up to- my oldest was starting to talk and I was pregnant with our second girl. It was a way to show pictures and keep family up to date, that didn’t live close. It’s evolved over the years as our family has grown.

2.) Sum up your blog in a couple sentences: Running Backwards in High Heels is a hodge podge of what I do– constantly on the go. It highlights crafts, family times, those redheaded princesses, running, photography, fashion, and college football.

3.)What do you wish to accomplish/achieve by blogging? I just want to share my story. Hopefully it motivates some, makes others laugh, all while staying real to who I am. And I am always over sharing.

4.)What is your biggest healthy living accomplishment? I think that is a tie between running a half marathon and losing 35 lbs after baby #2 was born.

Thanks so much for sharing Rachel! You can also follow her on twitter @runinhighheels

QOTD: Are you always on the go or do you try to stay put as much as you can?

Now What? What to do after you run a 5K


I know a lot of people who have had great success with the Couch to 5k program. It is structured, it is easy to understand, and it produces results. I think a lot of people love and complete this program, then fall off the face of the running earth so to say because they just don’t know what to do next. Well, you are in luck. I am going to offer you a few (of many) options for you after your initial 5k glorious runner’s high wears off.

Now What?

1.) Complete the couch to 10k program. Oh yes my friends. Lovers of the 5k program will be happy to know there is also a 10k version! Double the distance? Sure! why no right? You can do ANYTHING you set your mind to do!


2.) Work on your strength. I found after running a few races that while my legs were getting stronger, the rest of my body was well…squishy. I decided to start lifting weights 3-4 times a week and I can definitely tell a difference in the shape of my body, and I think my overall strength is helping my running, and helps prevent so many injuries. Not to mention, I like flexing. Just kidding…kind of. If you aren’t a member of a gym, free weights at home will do just fine, as will kettlebells.

3.) Work on your flexibility. The same constant running motion can do a number on your body, specifically your hips. I have very tight hips and found that adding yoga into my routine to stretch out and get more flexible has helped with post run soreness and the amount of injuries I tend to get. More yoga = less injuries for me. I still feel awkward and odd in class, but I have gotten over caring about how I look because I know it’s helping me! No I can’t even touch my toes.


4.) Stop running. This is a perfectly acceptable thing to do. Some people just don’t like running and would rather participate in crossfit, yoga, or a team sport after completing their 5k. That’s ok! It’s not for everyone, so don’t let anyone make you feel bad if this is your choice. Just keep moving.

5.) Sign up for another 5k. While I am sure you are pleased with your time, most people’s next thought after finishing their race is “could I run that faster?” Why not! Sign up for another 5k and set an attainable time goal. You have already done it once so you know what to expect. The next one won’t be so scary. Cross my heart.  If a 5k is as far as you ever run, that is FINE! Keep running them (luckily there are usually plenty of local ones) and work on your speed and your form. Oh, and buy cute running outfits.


6.) Take the plunge and sign up for half marathon. A lot of people love the 5k and go straight to the half marathon distance (with training, of course!) if you loved your 5k and training and want more more more, then keep running! SLOWLY add more mileage every week, and after a few weeks decide if signing up for a half marathon is for you. I love signing up for a race because then I know I have to train and keep on running, I already paid for the race.


*Please note I do not recommend going from a 5k or 10 straight to a marathon without ever running a half. I know some people do it but I personally just don’t think it’s a good idea.

Whatever it is you do, don’t stop working out!! Keep moving no matter what your fitness passion or goal may be. Don’t forget to look back and smile at how far you have come! Remember, no matter how slow you run, you are lapping everyone on the couch.

QOTD: How did your running progression go? 5k to 10k? 5k to no more running? Share!

*This post may contain affiliate links


Vacation Recovery

I am back! I got home just in time for dinner last night and it was so good to see Bobby and the girls. Vacation is great but there’s no place like home. 🙂 blogging will get back to normal for now (well a week!) and a huge thanks to my guest posters!

For today though here are just a few photos from my phone of the trip.









I hope everyone has had a great past couple of days! I am back to the grind today with work and working out. I didn’t do much on vacation but more on that later.

QOTD: would you rather visit Hawaii or Alaska?

Homemade Granola


Hey Guys!


I’m Ashleigh from Waking Up In Vegas!

If you can’t tell from my blog name, I am from Las Vegas and love every minute of it!

I am so grateful that Heather let me take over her little corner of the world (If I were her I would be very territorial of this blog, because it’s kinda awesome!? I’m sure you agree.)

I am venturing into the world of writing about healthy living and fitness; and thought I would share one of my favorite granola recipes! I am a huge fan of quick and easy snacks, something that involves no baking is even better! [but don’t let me full you, I can whip up a mean cupcake]

This granola was inspired by “Chewy S’mores Granola Bars;” I love them so much, but really I can make it for so much cheaper!

Can I let you in on a secret, and please don’t hate me..but..I don’t like chocolate [gasp!] I know..I am I even considered a woman! 😉 Anyway this recipe is sans chocolate but of course you may go ahead and get down with your bad self and add it..



1cup Old Fashioned Oats

½ cup Quaker Oatmeal Squares

1 tbsp. Honey

1 tbsp Peanut Butter [or whatever nutbutter you prefer]

1 tbsp Butter

Marshmallow Bits


Melt the Butter, Honey and PB in a pan:


combine both oats and cereal:


Add Marshmallows to melted ingredients:


Add Dry ingredients to wet ingredients:


mix and taste:


Put in a wax paper-lined Tupperware and store in the refrigerator!

It is just that easy!

Now like I said you can add chocolate if you must! You would add it to the dry ingredients in the beginning!

I like to have this granola plain, on yogurt, or mix it with some dried fruit and call it a day!

Sometimes this guy likes to help out in the kitchen and be a taste tester


I hope you have enjoyed this recipe!

For more come check me out (not literally..unless you want to of course)

Here (link:

Thank you again, Heather, for letting me take over your sweet blog! =]]


Be sure to stop by Waking Up in Vegas and say hello! Thanks again girl!

QOTD: Do you make your own granola? what kind is your favorite?

Running With Chronic Illness



“Nausea” Pencil drawing by Malinda Ann Hill

I started running when I was 22. Over the last 18 years, I’ve run dozens of races and completed 7 marathons while living with chronic illness. I have gastroparesis (delayed stomach emptying) which causes severe stomach pain, nausea and vomiting. There is no cure for this condition and only a few treatments available which offer temporary relief. After many years of failed treatments, hospitalizations and feeding tubes, I had a gastric neurostimulator (stomach pacemaker) implanted on March 3, 2011. While the pacemaker has provided some relief, my symptoms continue to be debilitating. I continue to run whenever possible even when I’m experiencing stomach pain and nausea. However, there are many days that I cannot run because of vomiting and fatigue.

I hadn’t run for weeks when I met Joan Benoit Samuelson at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Miler Expo. During her talk, she kept repeating “run your own race” – inspiring words that I needed to hear at the time. It can be an emotional struggle when I want to run but my body won’t let me. It is especially difficult when I see my identical twin sister running consistently and surpassing her race goals.

I’ve learned that I cannot compare myself to my twin or any other runner. I cannot even compare myself to the runner I was before I got sick. My body has changed and my running has changed. I have become the “go with the flow” slow runner and that is the runner I am meant to be today. I am truly grateful for every step that I am able to run. I appreciate every moment when I run – that is why I run without expectations, without time goals, without music, without a Garmin, but always with gratitude.

On her photo, Joan Benoit Samuelson wrote “Wishing you a great run through life” and I am determined to do just that!


My twin and I dubbed ourselves “Twins Run in Our Family” since we are identical twins and opposite runners. We run together to support Alex’s Lemonade Stand for Childhood Cancer in memory of Leah’s brother-in-law Michael who died of leukemia on March 17. 2003. We’ll run the Broad Street Run (May 6) Chicago Marathon (October 7) and Goofy’s Race & a Half Challenge (January 12 & 13).



Leah Connor and Malinda Ann Hill


Malinda, thanks so much for writing! I got to meet Malinda during the Princess half marathon weekend, she is so sweet! Be sure to stop by and say hello to her!

QOTD: Do you have a medical condition that makes running difficult or impossible? Would love to hear your story, you inspire me already!



Hey guys! I am having a great time in Disney, so I have turned the blogging reigns over to some willing participants for the next couple of days. I hope you enjoy, and show them the same support you all show me. Today’s post comes from Courtney. Be sure to check out her blog!

I remember what it was like when I traveled from my town outside of Houston, Texas to Colorado for softball tournaments. The warm-up run would begin and I am wondering, “What is wrong with me?” Sometimes I would even feel queasy, even flu-like symptoms. As the old saying goes if I knew then what I know now things would be completely different.


For most athletes, weekend warriors, etc. a change in altitude will never be a problem. However for those that altitude will be an issue – here are some ideas to help you train for your event:

1. Compete within 24 hours of arrival to altitude

2. Train at 1,500 to 3,00 m above sea level for at least two weeks before the event

3. Live at a high altitude and train at a low altitude

a. There is controversy on this method. It is also for those more elite athletes or those who are not just weekend warrior

b. It is said that it increases your red blood cell mass by EPO which means you will have an increase in VO2max – which everyone wants


Generally at altitude endurance performance decreases and for sprinters and interval training performance increases. This would explain my unusual feelings as I tried to do the old warm-up run around the field before pre-game rituals. When it comes to altitude changes and performance not only do you have to be prepared you also need to know your body!

QOTD: Have you ever struggled with altitude issues? Any stories?

Weekly Recap: April Week 3

Good morning from Disney World! I am here at the Grand Floridian for the next three days! Today we are hitting up Hollywood Studios and having a fabulous nice dinner at California Grill at the Contemporary. Yum!


Because I ran a half marathon last Sunday, this week’s workouts were definitely lax. I wanted to be sure to recover well since I ended up being injured and since it was so hot! I can happily report my hip is no longer bothering me. I have only run once since the race not sure what to think of it. Anyway, here we go!

Sunday: Half marathon number 12

Monday: rest and ice

Tuesday: upper body weights, abs

Wednesday: yoga, 10 minutes elliptical

Thursday: ran 2.5 miles of intervals at race pace, upper body weights

Friday: 15 minutes elliptical, upper body weights and abs

Saturday: rest/travel day


miles run: 15.5

yoga: 1, one hour class

cross training: X’s 2

weights: X’s 3

For the week after a race….I’ll take it. Not my finest week but at least I wasn’t sitting on the couch doing nothing, right?


and don’t worry. I will be working out on vacation and may hit my favorite running trails while I am in WDW!


I wanted to make you aware of a cool thing New Balance are doing. All you have to do is give your favorite spring training tips in the comments section of this blog, (the link, not my blog)  and you are entered to win a great prize package! (think full outfit + running shoes!) Sweet!

QOTD: What does your recovery week look like after a big race?

RWS Features #21


Happy weekend! I am in an especially good mood because I am on my way to Disney World this morning! It is just a quick trip, girls only, with my mom and two aunts. We are driving part of the way today and part tomorrow so we will have more time tomorrow in the parks. Can’t wait to be back in my happy place! It has been a kind of stressful week for me so I need this trip!

Oh, here are a couple pictures I got from the Gulf Coast half I ran. Maybe you can see how sweaty I am and how MISERABLE I was in that heat! The first one was about mile 6 maybe?


mile 9…


mile 12…trying to give a thumbs up. not too convincing eh?




This morning I want you to meet Charlotte from Wild Things Run Free.  She is super sassy and fun and has a very cute blog. She lives in Maryland, and likes to travel like me!


1.) Why did you start blogging?

I have blogged on & off all of my life. In high school I had a
live journal account — only at the time I didn’t realize what I was
doing. I just used it as a place to vent/talk about my day to day life
& talk with people all over the world. I had no idea there was an
official name to what I was doing…. I was just having fun &
releasing stress that was built up from my anxiety of talking to
people in my day to day life… After livejournal I had stopped
‘blogging’ all together for some time… Until I was diagnosed with
ovarian cancer in 2010. I needed a place to go & just discuss the
things that I love & things that scare me, without the judgment of my
friends/family (most of whom were clueless to my medical condition!)
It’s been a non-stop thing ever since!
2.) Sum up your blog for me:

Wild Things RUN Free is designed to show the world that no matter
what obstacles lay before you, if you have a dream you can achieve
ANYTHING. Say it — Do it — DESTROY IT!
3.) What do you wish to accomplish with your blog?

My wish is to motivate people who are afraid to tackle their
dreams that we, as humans, are capable of anything we set our minds
4.)What is your greatest healthy living accomplishment?

I’ve done a lot of things. I’m now a runner, I now eat healthy, I
am now in a healthy relationship, I’ve quit smoking.. But I think the
biggest accomplishment of all is that through all of my healthy
activity, I have learned to believe in myself.

Thanks Charlotte! Very inspiring! You can also find her on Twitter, be sure to give her a follow and go say hi on her blog!

QOTD: What blogger inspires you? Share!