Friday, January 20, 2017

ABC Intervals

Pick a topic.  Then think of everything you can for one minute that starts with that letter.  Great topics include foods, animals, brands, celebrities.  Best done with a running buddy!  Always follow with five minutes of stretching.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Valentine's Day Treadmill Packages

Valentine's Day Treadmill Packages

I have a few special treadmill timeslots available in March. Pass this information along to your spouse - or purchase a package for yourself!  Chocolate and flowers aren't going to get you to your goals anyway!!

Cost:  $75
- Three individual treadmill sessions
- Water Bottle or Pouch
- Journal
- Gift wrapped with card
Thursdays, March 16, 23, 30
6:00 or 7:00 pm

Email me at
runningdivamom@yahoo.com to place your order!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Hot Mess Running Playlist (40 mins)

I'm always running around town in my messy bun and my sweaty running gear, with an over-flowing diaper bag in a dirty minivan with a to do list a mile long.  (run-on sentence much?!)  I love having running tunes that I can relate to and that motivate me to be a strong(er) woman.  This collection of eleven songs will push your limits as a runner and a multi-taskin' mama during that next 5K.

Hot Mess Running Playlist
Hold Me Down - Halsey - 3:25
Focus - Ariana Grande - 3:31
Girl on Fire - Alicia Keys - 3:45
Lip Gloss - Lil Mama - 3:40
Confident - Demi Lovato - 3:26
How Far I’ll Go - Alessia Cara - 2:56
Rise Up - Andra Day - 4:13
Hide Away - Daya - 3:12
Scars to Your Beautiful - Alessia Cara - 3:50
Fly - Nicki Minaj - 3:33
Stronger - Kelly Clarkson - 3:42

Duration:  approx 40 mins

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Non-Mainstream Treadmill Tunes Running Playlist (40 mins)

If you're like me, sometimes you get tired of running to the same Top Fourty tunes that are on the radio.  Sometimes I really enjoy finding a new artist with lyrics that motivate me or a beat that moves me.  Here is a collection of eleven songs that you may or may not have heard before.  But, each song is sure to help you rock your next three to five miles.
Non-Mainstream Treadmill Tunes
Running Playlist
HandClap - Fitz & the Tantrums - 3:13
Wild Horses - Bishop Briggs - 3:10
Good Grief - Bastille - 3:26
White Flag - Joseph - 3:20
I Never Get Old - Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats - 4:14
Dark Necessities - Red Hot Chili Peppers - 5:02
River - Bishop Briggs - 3:35
Fire - Barns Courtney - 3:18
Empty Heart - Grace Potter - 3:16
S.O.B. - Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats - 4:08
Wherever Is Your Heart - Brandi Carlile - 3:50
Duration:  approx 40 mins

Move it Mama Running Playlist (30 mins)

Before you struggle through that next treadmill run, try mixing up your tunes.  I've assembled a list of some of my favorite running tunes with a super, fun beat.  Sometimes I feel like I'm dancing on the treadmill with these songs.  Ok, maybe I am!  Moms (and non-moms) will love this thirty minute playlist. 
Move it Mama
Running Playlist
Hide Away - Daya - 3:12
Run - Tiggs da Author - 2:50
Focus - Ariana Grande - 3:31
Shape of You - Ed Sheeran - 3:54
Side to Side - Ariana Grande - 3:46
Confident - Demi Lovato - 3:26
Stronger - Kelly Clarkson - 3:42
Run the World - Beyonce - 3:56
Roar - Katy Perry - 3:43
Gold - Kiiara - 3:46
Duration:  approx 30 mins

Mom's Me Time Workout

Hey, let's face it ... sometimes we only have thirty minutes to squeeze in for ourselves at naptime or during soccer practice.  No fear!  A half hour and a plan are all you need to get your sweaty glow on and decompress over a quick run.  Try this 'Mom's Me Time Workout' the next time you are headed downstairs to the treadmill or to the gym for a quick in-and-out treadmill session.  Because, sometimes thirty minutes is all you've got!  And don't forget to stretch for five quick minutes after you've hit stop.  I promise I won't judge if you're stretching while making dinner or folding laundry.

Why Choose Running Diva Mom?

Selecting a running coach is a personal decision. And I want to make it easy for you.  Running Diva Mom is a unique and more personalized approach to running.  I can relate to you, your goals and your struggles.
I am passionate about running and am a Road Runners Club of America certified coach.  And, I love to share my enthusiasm and commitment to the sport.  I have been running for more than a decade.  But, that also means that there were twenty-five years of my life when I was inactive and battled with my weight.  I understand that making a lifestyle change is a choice – and that it isn’t always easy.  I am a middle-of-the-pack runner and love the journey.  With that said, I have completed more than fifty half marathons and twelve full marathons.  I have shared my passion and lead more than 600 women and children through my running programs.  I have often been described as a “gentle encourager” and love motivating my clients in a positive way as they accomplish their goals.
When selecting me as your personal coach, you will receive one-on-one individualized coaching.  Personal coaching is done in a personal and private setting – via goal setting sessions, training runs, text and email support.
Group runs are completed in small groups and an encouraging atmosphere.  You won’t get lost in the shuffle, as routes are typically completed with an out-and-back route so that everyone is included – at every pace.
Like myself, my clients are not typically “natural athletes”.  Many are mothers or busy women who struggle to fit in time for themselves around daily scheduling obstacles.  As a busy mom of three, I know how easy it is to lose YOU in your family’s routine.  I develop my clients’ custom training programs around their life – not the other way around.
If you need an accountability partner or some guidance, I would love to help you reach your goals.  Please contact me at runningdivamom@yahoo.com to complete your custom training program survey. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Womens Running Group – Starts June 1 & 2

Womens Running Group – Starts June 1 & 2
This womens running group is a great option for someone who has completed a 5K or two but isn't really interested in pursuing longer distances - such as a 10K or half marathon.  This class will help you continue to fit running into your routine, while we complete longer run/walk intervals at our own pace for four weeks.  A training program will be provided with three workouts per week.  The group will run together once per week.  Jogging strollers welcome.
The group will be training for the Her Half Marathon 5K on Sunday, June 25 at Hilldale Mall in Madison.

There are two session options for this four week class.  First sessions are at Orfan Park in Sun Prairie.  Parks/locations rotate.
Thursday evenings (starts June 1 at 7:00 pm)
Friday mornings (starts June 2 at 8:30 am)
Please contact me at runningdivamom@yahoo.com if you would like to pay by personal check.

February Fitness Friends (Run / Walk / Weightloss Accountability Group)


February Fitness Friends (Run / Walk / Weightloss Accountability Group)
February 1 - 28, 2017
Lose 5-10 lbs & move every day in February!
Investment in yourself:  $30 (your friend gets to participate for FREE!)
Run, Walk and Run/Walk training options available!
--> Do you need a little motivation/routine to get your workouts in regularly? 
--> Would you like accountability to lose five to ten pounds?
--> Do you have a friend that could use a little motivation, too?  Your friend gets to participate with you for FREE this month
•Four week calendar with run/walk training program, core workouts and wellness challenges to be completed on your own and with your friend
•Weekly private individual weigh-ins virtually with your coach
•Daily group fitness check-ins with your coach
•Weightloss tips, motivation and recipes each week
•Private Facebook group for motivation
Do you have a friend that could use a little motivation, too?  Your friend gets to participate with you for FREE this month.  It's time to team up and give back to someone that could use this!  Just email their name and email address to runningdivamom@yahoo.com after your session fee is paid.
Participants will be entered into a drawing for a FREE entry into the March accountability group!
If you would like to avoid the Eventbrite fee, please email me at runningdivamom@yahoo.com to pay by cash or check.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A slower 2017 in snapshots.

I will still be writing about my running adventures on Running Diva Mom this year. But I also want to share my desire to focus and improve on other areas and relationships in my life in 2017. 
- saying "no"
- playing with my kids
- being a couple instead of parents
- connecting with my family, husband, parents, friends, clients
- slowing down
- having new experiences
I'm really hoping to turn off all devices and social media by 8:00 pm.  Unanswered texts and emails can always wait until the morning.  And no one is going to worry if I don't like their social media post.  I always pile my kids in bed for reading time at 8:00, followed by bed time.  I'm hoping to use my final hour of the day from 9:00-10:00 as quiet time for myself and for us as a couple.  This time will be used to journal, read, shower and hopefully get a few more minutes of shut-eye.  My husband and I also enjoy having financial and planning dates.  So I hope to have more of these too.  These are great times to connect and talk about our day without interruptions, plan our week, discuss races, schedule family vacations and get excited about upcoming events.

I thoroughly enjoy getting up early - to work, run and coach.  I am most productive from 5:00-9:00 am.  I am most creative from 10:00 am -1:00 pm.  Learning these things about myself and being aware of these peak hours, I'm hoping to design the best routine as possible to make me the strongest mother, wife and coach possible.  I also want to be honest and good to myself.
I will be posting daily images of my real-life accomplishments and struggles on the Running Diva Mom Facebook page.

Treadmill Workout for New Moms

It can be very difficult to find "me time" during our busy days as moms and parents.  I have found that I really need to schedule and plan my workouts around our busy schedule and routine.  If I think I'm just going to workout when I want to workout - chances are it isn't going to happen.  Sometimes a nap doesn't last as long as I think it will.  And sometimes my little one is fussier and curious than normal.  If I want to get in a few miles by myself or with a client, I often have my little one next to me in a pack and play or toy.  This was easier to accomplish when she was an infant.  But, now as a toddler, she is more mobile and more interested in what I am doing.  She will typically occupy herself for 1-2 miles; sometimes 3-4.  But typically her curiosity causes her to want to be included in my workout.  It's not that she wants me to stop what I'm doing.  She just loves being a part of it.  I've often taken her out of the pack and play and strapped her on me in the baby carrier.  Walking at a slow pace, I've always felt comfortable walking with her - just like outdoors.  Most of my clients are mothers or parents and enjoy having her be a part of our fitness routine.
Below is an easy workout that you and your baby can do together.  It incorporates some power-walking as well as some core workout and stretching with your baby.  If 4 MPH is too fast for you right now, you can simply adjust the treadmill pace on this routine to 3 or 3.5 MPH.  This is a great option for new mothers that are looking at getting back into a fitness routine after having their baby.  New mothers should always have the approval of their doctor before starting a new fitness routine.

Treadmill & Core Workout

As runners most of us just focus on our mileage and distance. But stretching, core work and cross-training also should be incorporated into our routine.  It can be so easy to squeeze in our scheduled mileage on the treadmill or around our neighborhood.  But as soon as we hit stop on the treadmill or our stop watch, it's easy to tend to our families or chores around the house.  Instead of scheduling thirty minutes of running and twenty minutes of core work or cross-training, trying blending everything into one routine.
Here is a sample blended treadmill and core workout.  All you need is 45 minutes to get a well-rounded workout done.  Talk about multi-tasking?!  Complete this workout three times a week - ideally every-other day.  After week one, bump up your planks to one minute at a time and try switching your crunches to burpees or increasing the number of crunches.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Custom Training Programs & Virtual Coaching

Running Diva Mom Coaching & Training Program Opportunities 2017

Commit now
One Short Training Session (one hour) - $20

One Endurance Training Session (up to three hours) - $50

Six Session Punch Card (one hour sessions) - $99

Custom Training Program & Virtual Coaching (up to five months) - $99

Endurance Package - $199
One custom training program with virtual coaching (up to five months). Three long runs with your coach (up to three hours each).

Twelve Month Accountability Package - $850
Two custom training programs and virtual coaching (one spring and one fall); twelve individual running sessions with your running coach; unlimited virtual accountability groups (12-15/year). This package can be invoiced monthly at the rate of $70/month.

Unlimited Weightloss/Accountability Challenges (twelve months) - $199
Unlimited access to virtual running/walking/weightloss/accountability groups online via Facebook. 12-15 challenges held throughout the calendar year. ($400 value)


Running Diva Mom is a Road Runners Club of America Certified running Coach.  Jamie offers custom training programs for Couch to 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon events. She has worked with more than 600 women and children in the Madison-area, as they have trained for their first 5K and beyond.  She also owns an indoor running studio for women in Sun Prairie.

Virtual coaching options include weekly check-ins and motivation via text and email from your running coach (for the duration of your package - up to five months).  Virtual coaching also includes a CUSTOM training program, designed to help you achieve your goals around your other personal commitments.

Individual short training sessions include a one hour active running and stretching session with your running coach in the Madison, Wisconsin area.  Dates/times/location will be determined by the running coach and the runner.

Individual endurance training sessions include a two to three hour active running and stretching session with your running coach in the Madison, Wisconsin area.  Dates/times/location will be determined by the running coach and the runner.

Please contact Jamie at runningdivamom@yahoo.com if you would like more specifics or to pay by cash or check.
Please visit www.runningdivamom.com to review other program options:  treadmill training, outdoor running groups, virtual running/weightloss accountability groups.

Ladies 10K Running Group with Running Diva Mom - Starts March 11

Ladies 10K Running Group with Running Diva Mom
Starts Saturday, March 11
Saturdays, 7:00 am

This running group is designed to take runners from the 5K to the 10K in eleven weeks.  We will meet together approximately once each week.  Parks/locations will rotate in Sun Prairie, Deforest and on Madison's Eastside.

Class starts on Saturday, March 11.  First class will meet at Orfan Park in Sun Prairie.  Class meets for twelve weeks at 7:00 am on Saturday mornings.  There will be class, but no instructor on April 1.  A full training program with locations will be sent to participants during the week of the first class.  Must be able to run/walk 30 mins at first class.

This non-competitive running group is geared towards women of all paces and abilities.  Everyone will run/walk at their own pace and an out-and-back route will be planned, so that the entire group can stick together.  This is a very encouraging and fun atmosphere and is perfect for runners that have run a handful of 5K races.

If you are interested in avoiding the processing fee, please reach out to runningdivamom@yahoo.com to purchase your session by check.

We will be training for the Run Madtown Twilight 10K in Madison on the evening of Saturday, May 27.  This race is optional and is not included with your session registration.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Running Diva Mom's 2016

2016 was a crazy year - and a crazy good year for me at Running Diva Mom.  I returned to running on January 10 at just 2 1/2 weeks post-partum.  I didn't really have any personal goals for myself or my running.  I just wanted to get the baby weight off and get that high back from running long distances. I spent my final twelve weeks of maternity leave increasing my mileage on our treadmill at home with Baby Diva alongside me.

I pumped exclusively for 10 1/2 months. Baby Diva was having trouble latching.  This also became the best scheduling option for our family since I was constantly coming and going with work, my business and Little Diva and Little Dude's activities.  So, I juggled 6-8 pumping sessions a day with working as an office manager half-time, growing my coaching business - typically coaching 5-12 times per week, transporting the kids to school and activities - and then there was my own training, too.  

As soon as the weather warmed up, we invested in a nice B.O.B jogging stroller and she joined me for most of my runs and even several of my running groups.  She really enjoyed taking in the scenery and the movement of the stroller; often getting most of her morning naps in on-the-move.

I started running in 2005 and this was by far my highest mileage year - by several hundred miles.  I finished the year with 1,429.9 miles.  In past years, there were very few months in eleven years where I reached close to 150 miles in a single month - this year there were five months with substantial base.

January - 56
February - 104.5
March - 80.1
April - 91.15
May - 107.85
June - 113.8
July - 148.6
August - 147.1
September - 176.6
October - 170.8
November - 145.1
December 88.3

I finished six half marathons, two full marathons; including one weekend of back-to-back half and full marathons.

I lead many, many couch to 5K groups, two 10K groups, a half marathon class, stroller classes and a introductory class for children and pre-teen girls.  I helped clients locally and across the country complete 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons and full marathons through virtual coaching and personal training sessions.  I also started virtual accountability groups for running accountability, challenges and weightloss.  In November, I opened the doors to a small running studio, to help hold my clients accountable throughout the year.

My knowledge and words were printed in Runners's World Magazine. I started doing freelance articles and blogging for a local organization.  I became more consistent with my own blogging again and enjoyed getting my thoughts and words documented.

I also somehow managed to read sixteen books this year:

  • Let it Snow - John Green
  • Happiness Project - Gretchen Rubin
  • A Dog's Journey - W Bruce Cameron
  • Running: A Love Story - Jen Miller
  • Fast Girl - Suzy Favor Hamilton
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up - Marie Kondo
  • A Dog's Purpose - W Bruce Cameron
  • My Year of Running Dangerously - Tom Foreman
  • Situation Momedy - Jenna Vonoy
  • Blog Inc - Joy Deangdeelert
  • The Mommy Group - Elizabeth Isadora Gold
  • Popular - Lauren Urasek
  • Meternity - Meghann Foye
  • Carry on Warrior - Glennon Doyle Melton
  • Love Warrior - Glennon Doyle Melton
  • Power Your Happy - Lisa Sugar
I ended the year much lighter than I started it - in fact much lighter than I started the year before, too.  With 38 pounds gone, I am very close to my goal of losing 45 pounds total.

I'm not sure how I'm ever going to top 2016 and all that I managed to accomplish, see and do.  But, I'm certainly going to try.

Friday, December 30, 2016

He is half-way to adulthood.

My middle child turns nine today.  I can hardly believe it.  Little Dude is nine.  Where has the time gone?  When I started writing my blog, he was barely one.  And here he is half-way to adulthood.  He is so bright in school and life and is a gifted learner.  Many things come easy to him.  He loves math and science; building things and is more curious than anyone else I know.  His mind works so differently than mine.  He can figure out a Rubix cube in minutes and understands how my phone works better than I do.  He enjoys performing science experiments at home and making his own Lego creations.  He breaks things so that he can “fix” them and reassemble the pieces.  He reads manuals step-by-step and if he misses a part of the process, he will start over so that is done correctly.  He loves to test limits – but he is truly a rule follower.

Even though he is a growing boy, he loves to be a part of my day and loves my attention and affection.  Sometimes I am reminded that he is that “middle child” and should not get lost in the family’s birth order.  I try to give him my attention and carve out special time with him – because he needs it and craves it.  He pretends to be tough, but loves to have sleepovers with his big sister on the weekends and loves starting our day together over “coffee”.  He’s my early riser and was always my easy sleeper.

I enjoy learning from him and how his mind works.  My interests are different from his.  Because of this, it is fun to step outside of my comfort-zone with him and try new things together. 

I hope that he never stops being curious and can one day learn to redirect all of his energy into a more formal outlet.  He is going to do amazing things someday.  All of that energy and determination that he harnesses will someday provide him with the initiative to succeed in life.

Happy ninth birthday, my Little Dude.

Friday, December 23, 2016

We've been loving her for one year.

One year ago, Baby Diva entered our world – two days before Christmas.  We brought her home on Christmas morning.  We have been loving her for one year today.

At one point I didn’t think that my love could multiply again – but it has.  She has been one amazing blessing.  I didn’t know how I would “start over” again with a tiny infant.  But we simply adjusted our routines and made new ones.  Being a mom of one was busy; being a mom of two was a struggle; but being a mom of three has been amazing chaos - and joy.  My days are completely full (like my heart …) and require a lot of planning.  With the kids being so many different age groups, their needs are so different.  But we have made it work.  And, she has just gone-with-the-flow. The easiest baby ever.

She loves joining me on coaching and running adventures.  I finished a marathon and ran 1,000 miles while she was in my tummy.  Running has just been a part of her daily routine - by my side or in the jogging stroller.  I started running again at 2.5 weeks post-partum and she has joined me for most of my miles this year. She is my co-pilot during errands and extra-curricular activities, and she is a gentle playmate to our rescue dog.  She’s always been a very good sleeper.  I think it is because she knows that we all need time to rest from our busy day; as does she.  She just fits in …. and she makes our family complete.

From the moment we brought her home, her daddy always told her “You are so brave.”.  At first I laughed, but it really is true.  She is so curious and loves to learn and be a part of our lives and routine.  She is rarely fearful of new adventures and has already observed and experienced so much.  And we love having her along for the journey.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

10 Ways to Beat Treadmill Boredom

Do you feel like you are bored out-of-your-mind while you are running in place on the treadmill?  Well, you certainly aren’t alone.  Running in place can make any run seem longer and staring at the display screen can make the time move slow.  If you are missing running on your favorite trail, try using these ten tips to make your indoor run a little more fun.
1.       Intervals.  Instead of running at a consistent pace for your traditional thirty minutes.  Try running run/walk intervals.  Use these treadmill interval workouts to mix walking in with your running. 
2.       Update your playlist.  If you love running with your headphones in, treat yourself to three or four new songs each month.  A few new songs is a minimal investment, but an upbeat tempo or motivating lyrics can make the extra mile that much faster.
3.       Take a break.  If you are struggling to fit in other cardio, agility or core work, mix it into your running routine – instead of before or after.  Run for ten minutes, then do a core workout for ten minutes, then hop on the treadmill for another run, followed by ten minutes of cardio.  Your workouts will flow together and the separate workouts will seem less daunting.
4.       Location is key.  If you are using a treadmill at the gym, find a machine that overlooks an exterior window or a television or positioned in a key location for people-watching.  
5.       Lighten up.  If you are running on a machine in your basement, surround yourself with motivational posters, mirrors and lamps for extra light.  Extra light and motivation can go a long way.
6.       Speed it up.  Interested in claiming a new PR at your next race?  Treadmills offer a great opportunity to work on your speedwork in a controlled environment.  Mix faster periods running in with your running routine.  Push your limits with these speedwork interval workouts.
7.       Change your focus.  Adjust how you have always thought about your run.  Focus on running a specific distance.  Or focus on running for a certain amount of time.
8.       The hills are alive.  Play with the incline on your treadmill to mimic the natural grade outdoors.  You will challenge yourself and work your quads and rear in the process. 
9.    Race indoors.  Try racing the person next to you on the treadmill.  They don't even need to know you are doing it.  There is nothing wrong with a little friendly competition.  Pick someone and see if you can outlast or run faster than them.
10.       Let’s motivate each other.  Hire a running coach or personal trainer to push you to a higher intensity and make the time go by faster.  Contact me to run side-by-side on treadmills.  We can work together on building your endurance or speed.  Great conversation and motivating tunes also makes the time go by quicker at the Running Diva Mom Studio.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Thirteen years ago.

Thirteen years ago.  Thirteen year ago my water broke in my mom's vehicle in the Walmart parking lot.  Wow - thirteen years ago.  It's hard to wrap my mind around that.  I was twenty-three years old and about to become a mother for the very first time.  I always knew that I wanted to be a mom.  But I really had no clue what being a mom really meant.  I was about to meet that little squirmy baby that had been moving and hiccuping inside of me for the past nine months.  I had all of these cute leopard print outfits to dress her in.  But I don't think that I thought much beyond giving birth at the hospital and playing dress-up.  Meeting her changed me.

We grew together and learned together.  We loved one another and struggled together.  I learned to make someone else's needs come before mine.  But she also taught me how to balance life and make time for myself, too.  Busy became a different kind of busy.  Nights in became more exciting than nights out.  My heart grew and it grew every single day.  Being a mom was sometimes intuitive.  Being a mom was sometimes hard.  But loving her was always easy.

She's growing into such a beautiful young woman.  Someone that I am proud of.  She works very hard.  She knows her faults and works on them.  She aims to please.  When she thinks she's right - she's right.  She has found her passion and lives and breathes it.  She is a planner and thrives on structure and routine.  She really is very much like me when I think about it. 

Here's to many more years of growing and learning - together.  Happy 13th birthday, Baby!

Monday, December 19, 2016

New Year's Eve Printable - 2017

Being a very goal-oriented person, I love to reflect on the past year and set goals for myself around the time of the New Year.  Some are running goals for the next step of my running journey.  Some are personal goals.  Some are financial pursuits.  

I love to get my family involved, too.  For the past few years, my family of four sits around the dinner table and completes this New Year's Eve printable worksheet during this time of reflection.  It is fun to review the existing worksheets and the answers given one year prior.  The kids grow.  We all change.  It's enjoyable to not only set personal goals as individuals, but also goals as a family.
Here is the New Year's Eve printable for 2017.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Milwaukee Running Festival Registration - NOW OPEN

Ever feel like you  just need to have something on your schedule to keep your momentum and hold you accountable?  I'm officially registered for my first event in 2017!  I look forward to running the Milwaukee Running Festival Marathon again next fall.  The race was moved up to mid-October next year.  I hope that you can join me.  It is my favorite marathon to date.
Registration is now open

If you are interested, take a moment and read my
race report from the 2016 Milwaukee Running Festival Marathon.

Friday, December 16, 2016

The doctor's scale.

Oh you know ... that time when you went to the doctor's office for your annual physical - and you were actually EXCITED about stepping on the scale.  Yeah, that really happened.  I took off my heavy winter coat and boots and was down twenty-six pounds from my postpartum appointment.  And down eleven pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight.  No cringing or looking-away this morning.

This year has been a time of transformation again for me.  Every year of adulthood, I have struggled with my weight.  Up and down and up and down.  I was 39 weeks pregnant and awaiting the arrival of Baby Diva last year at this time.  At my postpartum appointment I had started running again, but was still struggling.  Coaching and training for all of my own races this year have really motivated me to get rid of the baby weight this year.  I'm just trying to decide what's next - to keep me motivated.

In the meantime, I'm feeling comfortable in almost everything I wear.  I can't express how awesome it feels to put on a pair of pants and feel great in them.  I'll never be a twig; I will always have stretchmarks and there are still parts of my body that I need to work on.  But I am happy with me.  Yup, I said that, too.

Clear the Clutter - 31 Day Calendar

With a fresh-start approaching in January, many of us are setting New Year's resolutions, filling empty calendars and planning for new opportunities.  If you would like to simplify your life, organize your home and clear the clutter a bit, try this Clear the Clutter - 31 Day Calendar for January.  In only thirty-one days you will have thirty-one different projects crossed-off of your to-do list.  Things that you've been neglecting, projects you've been avoiding.

Week one you will tackle the clutter in the kitchen.
Week two you will organize your electronics, computer and social media.
Week three you will clean out the bedrooms.
Week four you will organize your essentials around the home.
Week five you will wrap up with a few other random projects.

Here's to starting the year off right, creating some new habits, and clearing the clutter.

Wrapping gifts and wrapping up the year.

I am done wrapping Christmas and birthday gifts.  All three kids have birthdays this next week – phew!  But, I’m also wrapping up the year – and reflecting.

As 2016 is coming to a close, I don’t even know how to wrap my head around it.  This year has been filled with some of the most intense and scary struggles of my life – and some of the biggest blessings.  Some days I felt like we hit rock bottom and could barely get through the day.  But 90% of the time, our days were filled with purpose, plans of action, dreams, blessings and most importantly – unconditional love.  Love is what gets us through the hard times.  Love for ourselves.  Love for one another.
My life isn’t perfect – far from it.  Sometimes I wonder why things happen to me.  Why did this happen?  How did we get here?  Was it to make me learn a lesson?  Am I being asked to simply appreciate what was given to me and what I have?  Was it to make me slow down?  Am I proving to myself that I'm a devoted spouse or a dedicated mother?  I often find that the struggle is what makes me truly appreciate the good in each day.  Kind of like when I run a marathon …. If miles 22-24 are excruciating, I collect myself and get a second-wind at mile 25.  I pace myself and finish the race out strong with a smile on my face.  When you’re running a race and struggling, do you turn around and run the other direction or just stand there?  No.  You move forward.  You get through it.  That hard stuff is hard.  Like, really hard.  But closing in on the finish line is so rewarding – not just because I ran twenty-six miles … but, I made it through the hard stuff.  And I left that stuff behind me.

The holidays seem to bring hard times upon us.  Often.  If you are going through a difficult time right now – I promise it will get better.  Sometimes we just need to fall down or trip a little in order to make the race of life a little more humbling.  We need to believe in ourselves and make adjustments to what we've been dealt, take one mile and one day at a time and surround ourselves with our support crew.
Thank you for being a part of my year this year.
Don’t fear moving forward.  Fear standing still.

The transformation.

I don’t just like running with other women.  I love it.  But, it’s not just the running.  It's these amazing women.  The entire the experience.  The transformation.  The change in attitude.  Sweatpants are shed to reveal strong legs in running tights or better yet - shorts.  The new bright technical running gear.  The ability to stand out – because with running comes confidence.

I was training with one woman for the past month.  She’s one of the few walkers that I work with.  For some people, this might come easy.  But for her it does not.  She totally lost sight of time for herself, while home-schooling three children and running her household.  We came up with a plan together – to hold her accountable.  She was going to develop healthy habits for herself.  For her.  Because, routine is everything, right?  We would wake up by 4:30 am and I would pick her up at 5:00 just to get her to my studio treadmill at 5:15.  She knew that I would be there waiting for her.  And when all was said and done, she had her workout in and was home when her husband had to head off to work.

We started off by walking at a slow pace and getting distracted by easy conversation.  Each week she was tempted to run, but always felt that she wasn’t capable.  By week four, I finally made her realize that she could do it – that SHE could do it.  I wasn’t doing it for her.  She was picking up the pace for herself.  So, she ran for one minute.  … Then she asked to do it again – and she asked to keep going.  Ninety seconds passed and I could sense that something changed in her.  She appeared different to me on the drive home.  Confidence was back.  She had transformed.

The next week we ran for much of the duration of one entire song and tears were brought to both of our eyes.  I knew that it was possible.  She didn’t initially – but SHE was in there.