Book Recap // The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life

No, we aren’t turning this blog into a book review site. Ha! However, continuing the summer reading challenge (which only has a few days to go!) I just finished, The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life and thought it had inspiring tidbits worth sharing.  We all know running is good cardio, but did you know it can teach you things about yourself?  And others?  This book won’t make you faster, but it will help you see running in a positive light!  Written by Amby Burfoot, a former Boston Marathon winner and a popular editor for Runner’s World Magazine, it offered inspirational quotes, stories & perspective on distance running.  Below is an overview and some personal thoughts!

Inspiring Quotes: 

  • “First, we try to run faster.  Then we try to run harder.  Then we learn to accept ourselves and our limitations, and at last, we can appreciate the true joy and meaning of running.”
  • “It’s not about how fast you go.  It’s not about how far you go.  It’s a process.  As we run, we become.”
  • “What can I do right now to make myself a better, happier, healthier person?  What can I do to make a small difference in someone else’s life? We simply have to give our best effort every day.  If we are the best athlete and best person we can be, then we have assuredly won the race of life.” 
  • “Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves.  It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we go.  It helps us find what we are made of.” -P Plumer, American Olympian

Cliff Notes & Thoughts: 

  • Lesson One // Why Run?  There are many reasons Amby lists for why he runs, but my favorite is “there is no better way to see the sunrise and sunset.”  I’d agree.  I love to watch the sun rise or set, take pictures at sunset and I especially love to see all the beautiful scenery this world offers.  Running on vacations is an amazing way to see new cities and beautiful sunrises/sets.  Later in his book he states, “For reasons that I can’t begin to explain, any day will be better if you start it off with a run.  And not just any run.  It has to be a run that begins before sunrise and welcomes the day’s first light.”  I’m not a morning person myself, but I’d make the exception for an early run if I knew I was going to see a gorgeous sunrise!
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Christine racing the BrokeMan’s Summer Solstice race 2017

  • Lesson Two // Starting Lines  A starting line, whether it be at a race or any milestone of life, symbolizes new beginnings.  “There’s nothing like the thrill of the first time.”  He talks about the joys and hardships he’s had in his life and that starting lines – new beginnings – are his friend.


  • Lesson Three // Connections  He starts off the chapter discussing being a pacer at the St George Marathon and curious about whether or not runners will embrace the concept of “pacers.”  Wow!  I didn’t realize the author was one of the founders of the pacing concept.  Pretty cool!  I have run with many pace groups, as well as paced a few races myself and definitely believe in the idea!  He discusses the concept of future pacing experiences and states “Everywhere we go, runners are eager to join a group, to have some fun, and to chase after their dreams.”  He also explains that training runs should be run “easy” or conversational 80+ percent of the time… so find a running buddy or group and chat through the miles.  Later in his book he states, “I love almost all my daily training runs.  But the best by far are the ones when I’m running with a regular training partner.  On these runs, I feel relaxed and connected, physical and human, a friend with a friend.” 
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Pacing the Columbus 10K 2015

  • Lesson Four // Winning We all eventually slow down. You won’t win every race forever. Learn to focus on your attitude and level of effort… that’s what winners do. A winner, both in life and running, concentrates on doing his best, always. Winning is not always about racing or being the first to finish.  “A winner is a person who goes out today and everyday and attempts to be the best runner and best person he can be.”


  • Lesson Five // Tradition Whether you have an annual favorite race or a family reunion every summer, “traditions… reconnect us with the people and places we love.”  Continue some passed down to you and/or make your own!
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Our annual traditions include… The Living Fit Columbus Independence Family Fun Run // Our family end-of-summer park tours (we try to visit seven parks in seven days the last week of summer vacation) 

  • Lesson Six // Time  “I don’t always need to be in a rush.  I don’t always need to be doing three things at once.”  AMEN!  Do you ever feel like you are too busy to… well, just to enjoy your life?  Being a teacher, I have the luxury of a little more downtime during the months of June & July and I fill that time with all the things I love, especially family, friends, fitness & travel. Every fall I vow to take on less, slow down more and just enjoy every moment.  And then by mid September, I’m back to being the usual busy, busy, busy working mom.  Amby states, “When something is important, it shouldn’t be hurried.”  Oh, you mean… life?  SLOW DOWN!  I’m trying to make more time for fitness & people that matter and learning to say NO when needed.  I’m also learning to enjoy my runs.  Sometimes its nice to put the Garmin away and just run.  “A run is most meaningful and most enjoyable when it exists for its own sake, when it doesn’t feel the pressure of a ticking stopwatch.”  My goal is to do at least one easy run per week without any gadgets (except maybe my iPhone camera) and just run for the fun of it.  And be thankful that I can.
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Stop & enjoy the run!  Mid-run yoga breaks on our 10 miler, Puerto Rico 2017.

  • Lesson Seven // Listening  “Through countless hours of practice, running has taught me to listen to myself and believe in myself.”  Amby encourages the reader to hang up the headphones and spend some time with yourself, your own thoughts and the world around you.  I usually run with a buddy or my upbeat playlist, but I did enjoy listening to the crashing waves on my last few beach runs.

Go for a solo run and just listen to your own thoughts & the world around you

  • Lesson Eight // Losing  As a middle of the packer myself, I couldn’t relate to some of this chapter, as Amby expresses his saddened moments of not winning a race or not making the Olympic Trials.  What I could relate to, was what he learned from “losing” and that sometimes, the run just has to be about the run… and not to win. You might not always have the best race of your life.  You might be setting out to win or to PR and then the race just doesn’t measure up.  Maybe you’re injured.  Maybe it was raining or the course was hilly & challenging or maybe you just didn’t have a good run!  Sometimes, that happens, despite all your months of training and hard work. Shake it off and re-focus on your next one.  In his case, as he got older, Amby states, “I kept running, but without expectations and pressures.  It became simply a process-path to good health, stress relief, creative thinking, and fun times with friends.”  There was a bit of overlap from lesson six and I was reminded that sometimes the run should just be enjoyable.  I hope our running group continues to do a destination race each year… not for time or to PR… but just for fun, friendship & of course, lots of pictures to remember the memories.

Kentucky Bluegrass Half // Running for “fun” although two girls PRed!

  • Lesson Nine // Materialism  “I already have everything I need to enjoy happiness and success.”  This lesson discusses the joy running brings and that you only really need a good pair of running shoes.  No fancy gym memberships or private lessons from country clubs… just shoes.  In fact, he has a friend that runs barefoot, therefore, you could argue that you don’t even need those.  I’d not recommend this though. 🙂 My personal favorites are the Saucony Kinvara and the Saucony Freedoms.

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  • Lesson Ten // Brothers (aka family)  “In the long run, there will always be family.” Amby writes specifically about his brothers and their continued support of one another through life, running, etc.  The lesson could easily apply to just family in general.  Who supports your running life?  Perhaps a spouse that watches the kids.  Maybe your mom or sibling that cheers you on at races or runs next to you to pace you.  Let them know you are thankful for them. “Family… we are there for each other and always will be, no matter what the place of time or situation.” 
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My youngest training buddy!  My husband, mom & son are all very supportive of my running goals and I’m thankful every day! Hopefully my daughter will join too!

  • Lesson Eleven // Simplicity  This lesson reminded me a lot of lesson six so I won’t reiterate much. Amby states, “My life gets harried as anyone else’s, and whenever it threatens to spin out of control, I simplify.  I slow down.  I focus on just several things, and one of them is always exercise.  I eliminate everything else that’s not absolutely essential.”  My personal essentials would be my Four Fs; family, friends, fitness, faith. Other than working to earn money for my family, I try to fill my remaining free time and “bucket” with those four Fs!


  • Lesson Twelve // Courage  “The potential for greatness lies within each of us.”  This lesson discusses the concept of courage in everyday people, in our every day lives.  You don’t have to be a super hero that slays the dragon.  You just have to have courage to face your own fears, conquer your own goals, etc.  He tells the story of Oprah Winfrey being courageous enough to conquer the 26.2 mile challenge & Linda Downes, who despite severe polio, refused to be bound to a wheelchair.  “I have seen many acts of courage in running.  Indeed, the sport has a special appeal for those who are looking to change their lives.  While running at first appears to depend on great physical strength and endurance, it is, in fact, based almost entirely on strength of mind.  Those who have the will will succeed.” 


  • Lesson Thirteen // Goals  This was one of my favorite lessons, perhaps because I am fascinated by goal setting.  I love making lists and crossing things off.  I love setting goals and working towards them.  I love hearing about goals of others, whether it be runners in our group or students in my classes. Amby uses the strategies of hill running and relates them to life in general, with the first strategy being, “the first and most important step, of course, is a positive attitude.”  I always encourage my runners to have two-three goals when racing, not just one… that way they don’t feel defeated if they don’t meet their ‘push’ goal.  A wise friend & run coach, Teresa Turnbull, taught me this strategy and I use it regularly!


  • Lesson Fourteen // Children  Amby talks about allowing your children to find their own path in the aspects of life, passions, career choices, etc.  We can model behaviors and passions that we find to be of value, but ultimately, he states, “{My children} have taught me that we are all very different. We all have unique passions and unique paths. We have to let them run free to discover themselves. It’s the greatest gift we can give them.”  I won’t get too deep on life, education, etc but when it comes to fitness, our family definitely sees the importance of modeling a healthy lifestyle and incorporating family time around many fitness activities! Someday they will choose for themselves whether they like to run, what sport (if any) they want to play… but for now, we’ll encourage a wide variety of healthy activities!
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Whether you push them in a jogging stroller or let them run next to you… the littles would probably love some fitness time with momma! 🙂

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Various programs around Columbus incorporate momma-fitness time while the littles watch.  What better way to model a fit lifestyle!?

  • Lesson Fifteen // New Year  “Every year holds such potential for new beginnings.”  This chapter was similar to chapter two on starting lines & new beginnings. Amby tells of the annual jump-in-the-lake tradition that started in the late 1960s.  Afterwards, he feels refreshed and reenergized.  Personally, I’m not jumping in a frigid lake in the middle of winter, but I do believe in new beginnings!  Whether its the school year for us teachers, the calendar year for your fitness goals, or whatever makes sense to you… allow yourself to sometimes press the RESET button and start fresh.
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January often brings new fitness goals & we posted this on our Instagram in early 2017, from @SweatPink “No matter who you are, what you look like, what lights your fire, where you are in your journey, or what your guiding purpose is, you are POWERFUL. You are a force for positive action and achievements beyond your wildest dreams.” So get ready for a new year and a better you!

Overall it was a great book!  Feel free to suggest any of your favorite running books below!

Book Recap // Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training

This summer brings the annual challenge of participating in the Columbus Library Summer Reading Club.  I used to take the challenge every summer, but for the last few years due to a busy life & time constraints, I’ve only signed up my little ones.  This summer, I’m back!  I signed up both kids, along with myself, and we are getting our reading on!  The first “adult” milestone prize was a BOGO from Chipotle, so why not?!

My latest book was Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training. I’m hoping to break two hours this fall, a feat that should be achievable, but its been a few years!  So I figured this could be a refresher on what I should (and shouldn’t) be doing to try and meet my goal.


I read through it quickly, and although it was mainly geared towards beginning runners new to the half, I still enjoyed it. While I did learn some new information & perspective, I felt like much of it was a review.  You know, stuff you already know, but just need to actually make yourself do!  I did make a few tweaks to my fall training plan, based on some of his advice.  I’ve used several of his plans for various races in the past, and will probably try one again after this September’s half.

Takeaway points from the book

Some of Higdon’s “Secrets of Success” include…

  • be consistent & commit yourself – stick to your training plan
  • train faster & farther – for intermediates, kick it up a notch!
  • SLOW down – enjoy those long slow runs & take your rest/recovery days!
  • hire a coach and/or partner up – seek advice & camaraderie from other runners

I love my running tribe!  Finding friends for conversational runs make the miles pass quickly.

Ashley Weingart, blogger @ Running With Skissors, was featured in Hal’s book & listed ten reasons she loves running.  I could resonate with almost all of them! Some of my favorites included enjoying the great outdoors, running as therapy & the joy of racing, which I personally use to keep motivated.

Ch 6 is dedicated to the concept of hard/easy.  Beginning & intermediate runners especially should avoid training hard more than a couple times per week, and hard days should always be followed by an easy day.  PUSH, but learn to also recover, rest and dare we say it… relax!  “Running hard one day and running easy the next will guide you safely through your training to race day” claims Higdon.  I agree!


Alternate hard & easy runs!  CRC Dublin offers “track Tuesday” workouts and Thursday tempo run homework… then you’d better rest up on Wednesdays and Fridays!

For the intermediate training plans, he has two options; one focuses on distance (more weekly miles) and the other focuses on speed (less weekly miles, but faster paced more intense runs).  I have tried both versions and had success both ways!

Ch 14 is called HM3 and a theory I’ve used in the past.  Running only three days per week and cross training the other days.  This “less is more” theory is what I’ve used in maintenance mode and when training for halfs “just for fun” vs racing to PR.  Higdon discusses various cross training options, those aerobic activities that actually get your heart rate up, including swimming, cycling, walking and even winter options like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.  He suggests that yoga and strength training are good, but not “aerobic.”  I don’t think he’s ever been to Harbor Yoga. 🙂

Overall it was a good read.  Now, on to the next one!  Any good running books you’d recommend?

Three reasons to take on a #Runstreak

Have you gone streaking?  Run streaking that is.  With clothes on.

I participated in a run streak challenge last year, but didn’t quite meet my original goal of 30 days.  I believe I made it to day 21 and although that was the longest consecutive streak I’d accomplished to date, it fell a bit short.

This year, I attempted to streak from June 4th to July 4th… and I did!  I just finished 31 days of streaking, running a minimum of one mile per day.  I ran in several states (Florida, Georgia and Ohio), different terrains (beach, road, trail, track, treadmill) and all different times of day. Somedays were easy rest days and I only ran the one (slow) mile.  Other days were more challenging and I did long runs or speed work.  Some runs were solo and many were with running buddies or family (my little guy tagged along for several!)   Regardless of the details, I always ran at least one mile.  And most days, I enjoyed it!  I talked myself into an “I GET to run today” mentality and embraced the task.


I really enjoyed the challenge and thought of a few reasons you should consider taking one on for yourself.

  1. It helps make running habit forming.  And I’m not talking about that 21 day myth thing.  I just mean getting out there, everyday… it gets you into a daily routine.  It forces you to make time for running.  Time for yourself.
  2. One is rarely enough.  One mile that is.  Most days, even if I was tired and had told myself, “I’ll just go run one slow mile,”  I would end up running more than one.  Its like, you get dressed, you get your playlist going, you get out the door… and then adrenaline & endorphins kick in, leaving you running for 20-30+ minutes instead of the “one slow mile” you’d talked yourself into.
  3. Be a part of the awesomeness of the streaking community.  I loved checking the #runstreak and #RWrunstreak hashtags and seeing what others were up to.  I felt good about taking on a new fitness challenge. And now, of course, I have run streak bragging rights… if that kind of thing is impressive.  We runners are a strange breed.  If you are one, you get it.  If you aren’t… well, you’re probably not reading this anyhow!

This year I missed the Runner’s World challenge start date of Memorial Day, but hopefully I’ll hop on one of theirs someday.  Popular streaks I’ve heard of are Thanksgiving to New Years, Memorial Day to July 4th and then the longer one of Memorial Day to Labor Day.  I’ll surely partake in one in the future!

I’ll leave you with this quote from one of the #RWRunStreak Instagram posts by @RunnersWorldMag.  “Everyday is a good day when you run.” Its true.  So I had 31 good days in a row.  Don’t you want to say the same?

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Summer Racing… and a one year race challenge

Racing Cbus and beyond 

Races are what some of us train for.  What keeps us going.  Maybe you are doing it for fun, to raise money or awareness for a charity or perhaps you’re chasing that next PR.  Maybe you like to travel and running/racing is a fun way to see a new city. Whatever your reasons, we understand them. And support them!

Personally, I have several race goals, including a half marathon in half the states and a new run goal this year, participating in at least one race per month for a year.  I didn’t start until April so I’ll be chasing this challenge into March of 2018. 🙂   Here is what I have on the books so far…

April 2017Run the Bluegrass Half (recap)Cap City Quarter (recap) 


MayDuchenne Dash (Team Austin 5K) | FORE! Miler (hometown favorite, recap below)


JuneFind Me Where the Wild Things Are – one hour night run (my first!)


JulyLiving Fit Columbus Independence Family Fun Run/Walk 


AugustEmerald City Half or Quarter | Rocky Fork Run Club Racing Series | SuperHero Bull Run and/or Irish Festival 5K (still pending)


SeptemberScioto River Run Half Marathon


October – Still pending, perhaps the Cbus Half?

NovemberHot Chocolate 15K


I haven’t thought past that so if you have any favorites for December – March, send them my way!  Hoping hubby will let us go somewhere warm in the winter months!

So what are you waiting for?  Go sign up for a race!  Maybe by yourself with your race face on.  Or maybe with your kids to help them finish their first one.  Heck, you could even start your own race for a cause!  Just go do it.  You’ll be happy you did.  🙂


FORE! Miler 2017

I’ve been super busy and traveling and baaaaaad about blogging… but here is a quick recap from this year’s FORE! Miler.  This is our third year since the race began in 2015 and I hope to do it for years to come.

Race day was ANOTHER rainy Columbus day.  Almost all of my races this year have had rain, so it was nothing new to me!  Some bailed, most showed up.  Some had ponchos and rain jackets, some braved it in tanks.  This was another “run for fun” race for me personally, we were just out there to get in some miles, take some pics and enjoy the after party.  We all huddled under the Golden Bear Club until the race started, attempting to stay dry until it was time.

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My husband and his buddy wore their bathing suits.  We thought this was hilarious, but they thought it was perfectly normal…. if its going to be raining, why not? 🙂  I didn’t realize until now looking at this pic that I think they are both due for some new running shoes.


It is a nice four mile course through my hometown of Dublin, Ohio.  The rain came and went, but it actually kept the heat at bay (the last two years it was HOT!!!) so it was actually a welcome change.


I ran with my friend Jen and there were Living Fit crew that finished ahead of us and behind us.  We carried on conversation during the run, finished with a respectable time, grabbed our bling and then headed to what M3S is known for… their after party!

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Another great race and a fit happy hour with friends.  We will be back next year!


Well, I spent more time on this post than I’d planned.  Time to go conquer the day.  Make it a great week!  Hope you get to enjoy International Yoga day tomorrow!

Post-cleanse follow up

The ten day (Advocare) cleanse was a success!  I felt AMAZING during those ten days, zero heartburn, lots of energy (whole foods, good sleep and a little Spark each morning) and managed to lose five pounds… only a few more to go to get to my pre-baby weight!  I won’t bore you with lots of details and we are heading to the beach here shortly, but here are a few highlights.

Eating Clean

This part was so much easier than I assumed it would be!  I would like to say I typically follow the 80/20 plan, eating “clean” 80% of the time with 20% sweets & such… but its probably more like 70/30, especially on weekends or vacations.  This plan helped me realize that whole, clean foods can be delicious and really nourish your body!  I was not hungry and the only thing I really missed was coffee.  Preparing and cooking can be time consuming, so I did allow myself a few splurges like a take-out kale salad from Harvest, a juice from Native after our run+yoga and a mid-week smoothie from Zest.  I also drank more water than usual, as well as lemon water.

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I really have stuck with the clean(er) eating, even after eight days of vacation!  Although the 10 day plan is 100% whole, clean foods, it made it easier for me to get back to 80/20.  I’d like to be 90/10 someday… but balance. 🙂   I hope to “eat to run” (eat whole foods that will fuel my runs) more than “run to eat” (eat cheats and sweets because I “earned” them after a run).  I’d also like to look into the book Run Fast Eat Slow this summer.


Like any health plan, exercise is vital!  During the ten days I tried to do some sort of activity every day, mostly running (short, long & speed sessions) with a mix of walking, biking and yoga.  We had our first summer run+yoga event and also attended our third annual FORE! Miler race.

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The Advocare plan has you take supplements pictured below (see previous post for details).  After the cleanse ended, I am continuing to take the Omega 3s (fish oil) and my regular multi-vitamin.  I plan to keep eating whole, clean foods as well, so that will get me all the additional fiber & nutrients my body needs to be healthy and fit.

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After thoughts 

I would 100% recommend this plan to anyone looking to detox, cleanse or lose those last stubborn few pounds.  Although you “can” do it every three months, I personally don’t plan to do it more than once per year.  Don’t do this plan if you are pregnant or nursing and always consult a health professional before doing any sort of drastic change to your normal routine.  Here’s to cleaner eating!

2017 Bike month & #bikeDublin recap

May was National Bike Month & we participated in the #bikeDublin challenge, riding over 50 miles around our community.  Some days were shorter 3-4 mile rides, some longer 7-8 mile rides and others were “Let’s drive to a park and let the kid/s ride their bikes while I/we run next to them.” I know 50 miles of biking is nothing to most cyclists, but I’m a runner and this was a new monthly mileage PR for me!

We had a great time trying to find the pins (our four year old son, JP, loved it!) and utilized various two and three-wheeled contraptions to get around.  Dublin really is a beautiful community… part of the reason my husband and I chose to come back to our roots and raise our own family here.  Here is a quick recap of our May adventures…placed in pin order (not chronological/date order).

Pin 1 – Ballantrae “Bunny” park – this pin went missing early on so we didn’t actually get to snap a picture with it.  We did an 8 mile ride, JPs furthest to date, and stopped at a few spots along the way including a picnic lunch.  JP loves his new WeeRide co-pilot bike trailer and so do we… his little legs can’t make it very far yet on his own bike!  Ballantrae has fountains for kids to run through and a few community playgrounds within biking distance.

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Pin 2 – Coffman Park – we came here at sunset and did a five mile ride roundtrip.  This is one of our favorite parks with two playgrounds and lots of bike/running paths.  Our 15 month old, Maddie, rode in the bike trailer attached to “dada’s” bike and JP rode on his own. Pin 2 CoffmanPin 2 Coffman parkPin 2 Coffman play

Pin 3 – Amberleigh Park – this is actually the first pin we found!  We came here to let the kids play and Maddie noticed the large sticker on the ground, starting our month long scavenger hunt!  Amberleigh is another favorite of ours, with a unique playground, a hiking trail into a wooded area and steps to go down by the river.  This trail also connects to the Dublin Rd path that our Living Fit run crew typically uses for group runs.  Pin 3 Amberleigh

Pin 4 – Kiwanis Riverway Park – wow what a beautiful place!  The park is actually on both sides of the river and we’d never been to this (east) side.  I wouldn’t normally refer to the Scioto River as “gorgeous” but it truly is here!  The riverwalk goes over beautiful green wetlands and would be a perfect place to visit at sunset.  Be forewarned, this was not a terribly friendly “bike” park.  We tried to access it the day prior on our bikes coming from Historic Dublin (we first looked for the pin on the west side of the river) but could not find a safe route through the Riverside drive roundabout.  We came back the next day with JP’s trike and he enjoyed riding all around the boardwalk.    Pin 4 RiverwayPin 4 Boardwalk

Pin 5 – Red Trabue Nature Reserve – this park is close to my heart!  Red Trabue is directly behind Gordon Farms apartments, where we lived prior to buying our house… where Joey proposed, where we raised our puppy and where we first lived as husband and wife!  We frequented this park almost daily and now its become one of my favorite spots for photography.  We biked here early one morning for another 8 mile ride and enjoyed breakfast in the park.  Pin 5 Red Trabue

Pin 6 – Field of Corn – This field is less than a mile from our house… so we stopped for ice cream after to get in another mile on our ride. 🙂  The corn field isn’t really a kid-friendly attraction (no playground and no bathrooms), but its an excellent place to #StopDropandYoga!  Pin 6 Field of CornPin 6 Field of Corn headstand

Pin 7 – Bishop’s Run & Glacier Ridge Metro Park – this was one of the stickers I really had to search for!  Google Maps had Bishop’s Run further south on Hyland Croy so we got a little turned around at first.  We brought Maddie’s trike and she “biked” around looking for the pin (okay, she can’t even pedal yet so more like she got pushed!) and I got in a run, crossing over to the trails and boardwalk at Glacier Ridge.  This was Memorial Day, so we also had gone on a family bike ride earlier that day, biking down to Historic Dublin to see the Veteran’s Memorial and firetrucks preparing for the parade.  Thank you to all who have served! #FreedomIsntFree Pin 7 Bishop's RunScreen Shot 2017-06-05 at 7.13.59 AMPin 7 morning ride

Pin 8 – Emerald Fields Park – We came here at sunset and JP wanted to show off his current favorite yoga pose, Namaste (he learned this at school during movement!) This was a JP bike day, while I got in a short run and “dada” played with Maddie at the playground.  The park has a giant playground, trails and a large restroom facility that is open seasonally.  Pin 8 Emerald Fields

Pin 9 – Emerald Park Tunnel – this is right on our almost daily trail that runs along Dublin  Rd.  Whether its biking with the family or running with the Living Fit girls, this is our go-to path for exercise and getting around Dublin!  The route/path from Starbucks in old Dublin to the north end up to Wendy’s in Shawnee Hills is 4 miles and has plenty of hills to get you a great workout.  We came here on Mother’s Day with “Gigi” and the kids in the bike trailer.  We didn’t have our helmets on for the pictures, but always remember bike safety out on the trails! 🙂 Pin 9 Emerald Parkway

Pin 10 – Avery Park – this was another pin that really made us search!  “Gigi” and JP biked around the perimeter of the park looking for it, while I ran what seemed like all over God’s creation.  Finally after 25 minutes of searching, we “cheated” and asked some other bikers if they had seen it… they directed us toward’s St Brigid church.  So after a three mile run/ride, we found it!  Avery has a great playground and is home to our Saturday morning soccer games.  Pin 10 Avery


More of our adventures…

Time to cleanse


After being pregnant for almost 40 weeks and then nursing for almost 15 months, my body has been through the wringer for almost two full years and is still a little out of whack.  I’ve been exercising, eating “mostly” clean, drinking lots of water and attempting to get enough sleep.  But those pre-baby summer-white skinny crops are still snug.  Okay, they barely go up over my hips.  And although this blog isn’t about weight loss and being “skinny,” it is about being healthy, whole and happy.  And I’ll be a whole lot happier if I can get back into those skinny crops at some point. 🙂

I remained “sugar free” for 21 days when prepping for my wedding day back in 2011 and did a TLS 21-Day Challenge (cleanse) shortly after my first son stopped nursing in 2014, but this will be my first time trying Advocare.  It is pretty popular in the fitness arena here in Columbus so I figured, why not?  I’m always up for trying something new!

For this cleanse, I have to do the following for the next 10 days:

  • Start each morning with the probiotic supplement, 30 minutes before breakfast, and a large glass of water
  • Before one meal daily, drink the fiber supplement mixed with 4 ounces of fluids, followed by an additional 8-16 ounces of water.  The packet states drinking it with 8 oz, but some veterans suggested mixing it with 4 to get it down faster!
  • Take the Omegaplex (Omega-3 fatty acid supplement) twice daily
  • At bedtime, take the herbal cleanse caplets with a full glass of water
  • Remain coffee free (yikes!) but can replace my love-of-caffeine with Advocare’s Spark Energy vitamin & amino acid supplement


As far as eating, just eat clean!  The thing I didn’t like about the TLS challenge was you couldn’t eat ANYTHING other than fruits and vegetables the first seven days.  I’m not a rabbit and I’m pretty active… I need protein!  The Advocare challenge allows you to have clean proteins and low GI complex carbs (in small portions and preferably early in the day) including sweet potatoes, brown rice and oatmeal.  In addition to eating clean, there are some “don’t consume these” rules…

  • No coffee (or if absolutely needed, at least drink it black)
  • No alcohol
  • No processed foods (whole/real foods only)
  • No added sugars, salts, condiments, marinades, etc

So what will I miss?  Coffee, wine, Quest bars – in that order.  Waking up to a warm cup o’ Joe is the reason I get out of bed at 5:55AM.  So that will definitely be the hardest.  I’ll also miss dairy (yogurt and cheese) & chocolate, but I already try to limit those, so 10 days should be doable. If we weren’t going on vacation in early June, I may have tried the 24 day challenge, but I wanted to be done before we started our travels to Florida.  I mean, what’s vacation without a non-fat, no-whip, half caff, two-pump caramel latte?

I stocked up on fresh produce & clean snacks (nuts, hummus) and plan to boil a bunch of eggs.  I read this post “Tips for a successful 10 day Advocare Cleanse” and mentally prepared myself.

My mother-in-law is starting tomorrow, so at least I’ll have a partner in crime.  I plan to also replace one meal a day with my go-to green smoothie recipe and drink at least 75 ounces of water per day.  Wish me luck!

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Have you cleansed before?  Tried Advocare or a similar product?  Send us your tips & suggestions! 

May = #BikeMonth

First, let me say that I am not a ‘cyclist.’

I don’t have a fancy bike, don’t know the rules of the road and just found out a few days ago that biking isn’t as “social” as running (did you know when biking, you should not ride side by side and gab?!)  I don’t own those nicely padded biker shorts, although I hear they are super comfy.  And when I was a kid, helmets weren’t a thing.  But now, biker safety is a priority so I’m trying to be a good role model and started wearing one… just last week.  If you have tips on how to make a 15 month old keep hers on, send them my way.

BUT. I don’t have to be an expert to promote a fun month!

Our garage is full of various contraptions including three bikes, two trikes, a buggy/trailer and we just ordered a WeeRide co-pilot for our four year old (he’s been eagerly waiting for the package to come for days, I’m a sucker for free shipping!)  We enjoy cruising around Dublin as a family, seeing the sights, all while getting some fresh air & exercise. We live in an amazing community with TONS of bike paths – formally referred to by me as running paths.  Dublin has been awarded a “Bicycle Friendly Community Bronze” for several years from the League of American Bicyclists.

On a recent outing to Amberleigh park, we noticed a large sticker on the ground.


We literally stumbled upon it and I’m glad my daughter took interest in it.  Come to find out, Dublin is promoting bike month with a fun scavenger hunt!  The campaign is called Brake Here for Bike Month & the website reads, “National Bike Month – Where will the ride take you in Dublin?”  Ten pins (stickers as my kids call them) have been placed around the parks and miles of bike paths.  Find all ten, post to your favorite social media platform with the hashtag #bikeDublin and be entered to win… ready for it?  A Trek bike! I won’t retire my retro looking Schwinn for good, but maybe I would take more of an interest in duathlons!

We are halfway through and have found five of the pins, visiting Amberleigh, Kiwanis RiverWay, Field of Corn, Emerald Parkway tunnel and Coffman Park.  Follow us on Instagram to check out our biking adventures @LivingFitColumbus and make sure to tag us as you make your own adventures!  Ride on Columbus!


Cap City 2017 Recap

Its #throwbackThursday so a great time for a race recap!  The weather really put a damper on some people’s finish & overall race experience at Cap City this year, but personally I had a great race and wanted to remember it as a positive event.

The expo was held at VUE this year and I dragged little man along with me.  He was excited to tag along… so excited he fell asleep on the way there. 🙂  FullSizeRender(14)The first volunteer I encountered was super helpful and walked us to where we needed to go (we had to make a registration change, as I decided to drop from the half down to the quarter.)  We also had VIP passes so we made the treck upstairs to get our additional swag.  I’m not a huge expo junkie, so the smaller size didn’t bother me at all, although I have several running friends that missed the traditional large-scale event.  We got our goods, took some pics and headed out.


Our dear friends from out of town decided to come down for the race, so we had a fun Friday night of “catching up” and watching all the little ones play (my two and my friend Kate’s two, ranging in ages from 1-8).  We set our alarms for 5:40AM, checked the weather for what seemed like the 1 millionth time and headed down to the Columbus Commons at 6:20AM, ponchos in tow.  We met up with some other groups of friends, took some group photos, of course made a pitstop at the porta-pots and finally around 7:40 made our way to our corrals.


The weather held off and we started promptly at 8AM.  My husband and our friend, Mitch, helped pace me as I was attempting a PR finish of under an 8:52/mile.  We started with the half pace group of 8:47/mile pace and stuck with them until they veered off a little after mile two.  The first few miles were SUPER humid & sticky and shortly after, the storm began to move in.  It rained lightly for the last part of my race and helped give me the extra motivation to finish strong… I wanted to get to that dry VIP tent!

I struggled the last mile.  I was tired, wet & my lungs felt like exploding.  I honestly thought about walking at one point.  The guys kept me going though, pushing me the last stretch with an 8:10/pace and a strong finish.

As I crossed the finish line, I proudly redeemed my medal & finally got a glimpse of my overall time… a new PR!  Although my Garmin said 8:25/mile average, my eventual chip time would be an 8:29/mile, but a much improved time which gave me a big smile. 🙂 We posed for a few photos, waited for a bit at the finish line, then started to head to the Commons as the sky turned black.

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In the VIP tent post-race, we enjoyed drinks and FANTASTIC refreshments catered by Cameron Mitchell including The Pearl Grilled Cheese, Marcella’s Meatball Sliders, Hudson 29 Roasted Chicken Salad, Guild House Honey Cake Bites & Buckeyes.  I’m sure I put back on most of the 784 calories that my trusty Garmin claims I burned.


After hanging out for a while, the storm really started to move in and the race was eventually black flagged.  It was sad to see all the runners get moved off the course (some of our friends had trained hard and had to stop between miles 10-12), but lightening was all around us & safety was their priority.  Around 10AM, we decided to call it a morning and make a dash for the car.

Back home, our littles greeted us with hugs, stole all our snacks (granola bars, bananas & other goodies we’d collected at the finish line) and put on our medals with giant smiles.


After the gloomy, chaotic storm-filled morning, the weather in Cbus took a turn for the better and we were able to spend our afternoon and evening wearing tank tops & playing outside.  It was a fabulous weekend with family, friends & the Columbus running community!



Note:  We know things got crazy during the storm.  A lot of feedback was provided and we are aware that not every runner had as positive of an experience as we did.  I honestly believe that M3S Sports puts on great events, values feedback and is consistently working to improve what they do.  Whether your experience was fantastic or subpar, we hope you’ll take advantage of the 50% off next year’s registration that M3S is extending to all 2017 participants.  They posted this message to their FB page last week…

“YOU “weathered the storm” last weekend and we want to CELEBRATE YOU at the 15th Anniversary of the OhioHealth Capital City Half Marathon, OhioHealth Quarter Marathon and Commit to Be Fit 5k on April 28th, 2018.  The week of May 15th, we are going to email all of you who participated in 2017 a coupon code to register for 50% off the early registration fee good ONLY on May 30th and May 31st. Registration opens to the general public on June 1st at the regular price.” -Giddyup, David Babner, Race Director M3S Sports.

Watch for their email and we hope to see you at the starting line in 2018!  Better yet, meet up with us at some of the other 2017 events, we’ll be at the FORE! Miler, Emerald City and The Ohio State Four Miler for sure!

Tour of Columbus // Blogger Dinner @ Mitchell’s “The Guild House” with M3S Sports!

Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, recently named the Official Restaurant of the OhioHealth Capital City Half Marathon, hosted a promotional dinner at The Guild House last week.  With a busy schedule and two little ones, I don’t usually attend blogging events, but this one just fit.  My love of running.  My love of delicious, runner-friendly food.  Bonus that it was fancy food. 🙂  I excitedly said YES and anticipated the event for several weeks.

I arrived at The Guild House downtown just after 5:30PM – plan for rush hour traffic and parking, although there is the option to valet.  As the hostess seated our party, the food bloggers were positioning themselves at the end of the table near the window light… as a photographer, why didn’t I think of that?  It worked out, however, as I was fortunate enough to snag a seat right next to the Cap City race director himself, David Babner. We were immediately served delicious fresh “adult” juices and a variety of freshly made appetizers.


This was my first time at The Guild House and it was a top-notch experience.  The American cuisine is marketed as “farm to table” – utilizing locally grown ingredients whenever possible and supporting local businesses down to the fresh cut flowers on the table.  Each dish was “made with love” and as the chef explained, compliments a runner’s desire to be filled up, but not weighed down. The seasonal offerings they chose for us were all healthy yet amazingly delicious and included hummus, kale, quinoa, roasted brussel sprouts, pork, salmon & scallops.  I wasn’t taking notes as well as the food bloggers, so I may be forgetting a few. 🙂  They were all visually pleasing and super yummy!  My iPhone pics don’t do them justice…


As I mentioned, I got a spot right next to David Babner.  Mr Babner is the founder of M3S Sports, the race management company that hosts the Cap City Half events, along with several other great races throughout the year.  Throughout many courses of delicious plates, I got to chat with David about the origin of his company, some of his favorite races and the curiosity from my running group…. “With all these Columbus-based events… why the race in Arizona?!”  We also learned more about the partnership between M3S and Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, which seems to be a perfect pair.

As far as the partnership goes, both companies (M3S Sports and CMR) recognize their shared vision of offering an excellent experience.  Some race-specific promotions include…

  • Friday, April 28 // book your pre-race dinner and enjoy a special menu that will help you prepare for race day!  Locations include its four Short North restaurants; The Guild House,  The Pearl, Marcella’s Ristorante Pizzeria & Wine Bar and Martini Modern Italian.
  • Saturday, April 29 & Sunday, April 30 // “Show Your Medal” promotion earns you 10% off your food bill and a $1 donation to the OhioHealth Foundation.  Just bring your bling to one of the following; The Guild House, The Pearl, Marcella’s Ristorante Pizzaeria & Wine Bar, Martini Modern Italian, M at Miranova, Cap City Fine Diner & Bar or The Avenue Steak House.

All locations accept reservations & offer a wide variety of meal options, whether you want to carbo-load or go for something lighter.  Most Friday and Saturday nights offer live music as well so don’t forget your dancing shoes!

The other bloggers were food bloggers and I really enjoyed gabbing with them and obsessing over their blogs and Instagram accounts over the last week. 🙂  Meet them…

Alicia of Wander & Whine //  This blog is amazing!  When you have some time to sit down with a yummy beverage, check it out.  Although Alicia does enjoy blogging, her jam is Instagram.  Follow her @alicia.wanders for visual inspiration on local food, drinks & travel!

Erin of The Spiffy Cookie // Erin’s blog focuses mostly on food, but she does enjoy working out so of course, we discussed running and all things sweaty around Columbus!  From her site: “I also love to work out… You will find me regularly at the gym doing cardio, weight lifting, or a group fitness class such as spin, core, pilates, or yoga.” Follow her on IG @thespiffycookie for all her food blogging highlights.


Overall it was an awesome night and I felt super pampered trying all those scrumptious foods, all the while getting to chat it up with some of Columbus’ best in the food & fitness arenas.  We took one last group photo upon leaving… although a few attendees had already scattered off.


Pictured left to right:  Samantha (PR firm for Cameron Mitchell), David (M3S Sports), Gretchen (Cameron Mitchell Marketing), Teresa (Living Fit Cbus), Brent (M3S Sports) 


Cheers to all those running Cap City, we will see you at the starting line and the after party!  And don’t forget to bring your “bling” to a Mitchell’s restaurant near you to celebrate on Saturday night.  Gotta replace those calories burned, am I right?