Wednesday, October 18, 2017

thinkThin Seasonal Bar Review

I recently tried two of the seasonal bars from Think Thin. I had never purchased their bars before though I've seen them on the grocery store shelves.

Pumpkin Spice tasted great as an afternoon snack with my afternoon cup of coffee. The texture was chewy and it was very satisfying on tasty. There was no after taste like some other bars I've had with similar texture. I preferred it over the Dark Chocolate Peppermint. But honestly enjoyed both flavors. For me, these were a great snack, but I wouldn't use them as a meal replacement.

They were only 150 calories and high fiber and protein. Totally kept me satisfied til dinner. Great paired with coffee or almond milk.

They offer a number of regular flavors that look intriguing. Cupcake batter, s'mores, salted caramel, anyone?! But next, I want to try their Protein Cakes - they look tasty!

Custom Training Program Sale - THIS WEEK ONLY

I'm a busy mom of three. I know how busy life can be!! But I also know that running and following my passions have made me a really awesome mom and spouse! I just finished my 14th marathon this month and have another 60 half marathons under my belt.

I want to help you make yourself a priority, too! If you are interested in starting a running/walking program or want to run your first 5k or half marathon - I can totally help you design your fitness routine around your famil...y's busy schedule. Together we will make you a priority -- and I will hold you accountable with my weekly check ins and motivation. I have worked with more than 700 women to help them realize just how awesome they are!!

This week I'm offering my custom training programs at the reduced, one-time rate of $75. This also includes weekly accountability check ins. Reach out and I'll send you my custom training program survey so that we can get started on your journey ...

I'll be watching Daniel Tiger.

Sometimes, life really has a way of telling all of us to slow down. Even when we don't want to listen. You are constantly on the go, moving, laughing and playing. Until you need a break. Like naptime. To get a reboot on your day and on life. To get ourselves better, healthier and stronger.

Today, I removed my activity tracker and adjusted my fitness and nutrition goals in My Fitness Pal. Life is just different right now and I don't need constant reminders that I should be doing more. Or that I'm "any less" than I once was.

It's obvious from the response that I've received that I will still be able to hold my clients accountable and motivated - just in other ways - at least temporarily. And maybe it will show some that they can do things on their own and that they have all the tools that they need.

I look forward to ringing that cowbell from the sidelines on Saturday and Sunday and seeing two dozen women complete their first 5K and half marathon.

In the meantime, I will be cuddling up with these sick, blue eyes and watching countless episodes of Daniel Tiger, doing accountability check-ins from my couch and writing custom training programs to help these awesome women achieve their fitness and weightloss goals.

Monday, October 16, 2017

I know that this isn’t the end of the road for me.

I stopped running at mile three of my marathon yesterday, because my impending injury became too much.  I’ve pushed through pain and struggles so often through running and racing– to the point where my body would no longer allow me to run.  And then later to walk.  I hobbled the 1.5 miles back to my hotel room in tears as I could not physically pick up my foot and bring it back down to the ground. I later spectated the race, as a client finished her first marathon, but could not physically go down to the finish – because I could no longer physically get there. It’s all kind of a metaphor. I got an early diagnosis yesterday and am meeting with a specialist this afternoon. My damage is mostly nerve related - and a bone spur on the top of my foot.  And I am thankfully not physically in pain.
There are no words for the heartache that I’m feeling right now. I’ve cried and I’ve sobbed and I’ve felt sorry for myself so many times over the past twenty-four hours. The unknown scares me.
The unknown scares me. Because running has always been the constant and my place to turn to when something awful like this happens to me. And I currently don’t have that outlet.
When I was a young mother with Little Diva, I discovered running and it lit me up.  It brought me joy and made me feel good about myself. I never had experienced something like this before. I’d always had low self-esteem and running made me feel like I could accomplish anything and that no one was judging me or comparing me like other team sports or activities.
I struggled with a miscarriage in between Little Diva and Little Dude and running gave me something to focus on and kept my mind occupied as I got through month to month with various running goals for myself until I conceived again with my son.
I was in a miserable relationship for fourteen years.  We both turned to running and exercise to deal with our emotions and it provided an excuse to spend time away from home.  Neighbors noticed me running around the neighborhood over and over and over again – running away from my problems.
Running provided me with a constant as I went through an ugly divorce and started my new life. When I could not be with my children – it occupied my time (and still does). I did not seek professional help because running was my therapy and helped me work through things, during the lowest point of my life.
Mileage got me through rocky situations at home, when it was the only thing I could physically control during my day.  And I was determined to fit it in, because it mattered to me. I could control that.
I am told that my training got me through childbirth three times without pain medication.  The nurses said that my breathing techniques and mental toughness helped me push beyond unbelievable pain and that my head could “go places” where others cannot.
I’ve pushed and I’ve pushed and I’ve pushed.  And I have not stopped.  Until now.  I am not weak.  I am strong.  Running has taught me that.  My body is telling me to slow down – in every aspect of my life.  Maybe it wants me to slow down and grieve and accept all of the things that have happened and that I cannot control – and to accept this too.  I know that this isn’t the end of the road for me.  There’s another mile marker up ahead.  I’m just slowing down and enjoying the course …
Thanks for spectating.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Favorite Snacks

These snacks help satisfy my sweet tooth and the crunch that I so often am looking for.

I'm a running mom. Everyone wins.

I'm a running mom.  Everyone wins.
I do epic stuff.
It's not just the medal ...
I get out the door and make myself a priority.
I am happier for myself.
And I am happier, stronger and more patient for them.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Running moms can rock three miles while opening a pack of fruit snacks.

Running moms can rock three miles while opening a pack of fruit snacks.  Anyone with me?

November Women Working on Wellness - NOW IN STUDIO OR ONLINE!

Women Working on Wellness | Fitness & Weightloss Accountability Group with Running Diva Mom
Run, Walk and Run/Walk training options available!
November 1-22

Investment in yourself:  
ONLINE ONLY: $30 (virtual accountability only)
STUDIO + ONLINE: $80 (four studio group sessions + virtual accountability group)

Now offering STUDIO sessions!  Studio sessions will include the monthly virtual accountability, plus participants will have weekly weigh-ins at the Running Diva Mom Studio, followed by a group outdoor walk and discussion.  Group meetings are on Wednesday evenings at 6:00-7:00 pm.  November 1, 8, 15 and 22. Studio sessions are limited to ten participants.


Participants will receive:
- Three week calendar with an introductory running or walking program and wellness challenges to be completed on your own
- Personalized daily step goals
- Weekly private individual weigh-ins virtually with your coach
- Gain additional accountability by sharing your daily step count and food log with the group (optional)
- Daily group fitness check-ins, weightloss & nutrition tips and motivation from your coach
- Private Facebook group for motivation from other participants and your coach

Participant with the highest percentage of weightloss will receive a FREE ENTRY into the December online accountability group.

If you would like to avoid the Eventbrite fee, please email me at runningdivamom@yahoo.com to pay by cash or check.

Monday, October 2, 2017

2017 Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon Race Report

After attending my son's football game, we made the trek to Milwaukee for packet pick up for my fourteenth marathon.  This would be my third Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee.  I have also spectated the race twice.  The race starts north of Milwaukee in Grafton and runners complete the 26.2 mile trek to downtown Milwaukee.  

Packet pick up was at the Westin downtown this year, which complicated things a bit.  I'm not sure if there was free parking this year, but we eventually found a parking ramp - that charged $9 for the first hour.  Once we got out of the car, we noticed that our little one had wet through her clothes.  We got inside and finally found a restroom and packet pick up inside of the swanky hotel.  I couldn't locate a changing table, so I changed her on the floor.  Then I realized that we switched diaper bags and I didn't have any extra pants for.  I remembered every single item I could possibly need for race day, but forgot a spare pair of pants for my kid.  Nice, mom.  So, she attended the expo in her diaper.  Maybe folks were amazed by her new light-up sneakers and didn't notice?  Restrooms were also out of toilet paper (runners!).  Expo was small and a little chaotic this year.  I picked up my bib and they informed me that they were out of my size shirt that I registered for.  I'm assuming that they let other women switch sizes and ran out of mediums.  So, they would be mailing it to me.  I was in a little bit of a bad mood about our expo experience, but then had to remind myself that none of this was a big deal.  I was feeling really good about my training and my weightloss and felt like I was going to have a good race on Sunday morning. Regardless of all of the dumb mishaps.  Until we tried to exit the parking ramp and pay our $9 and couldn't get out.  Yeah, that happened, too.

After that, we headed north to Grafton, where we would be staying.  We find this to be the best option and typically stay at Comfort Inn & Suites, which is a short jaunt to the startline at Grafton High School.  When I haven't had spectators or kids with me, we've also stayed at the host hotel in downtown Milwaukee and taken the morning shuttle up to Grafton, where they drop everyone off at the startline. Staying in Grafton would allow my husband and daughter to see me along the route.

We checked into our hotel and ordered delicious pepperoni and green olive pizza from the same place the year prior.  I stuffed myself and enjoyed every bite.  I've been doing great on tracking my food and accomplishing my weightloss this year.  But, I don't believe you should cut certain foods out of your life if you really enjoy them.  Everything in moderation.

I had a lot of anxiety about sleeping with our toddler in the hotel room.  She sleeps amazing at home, but getting her to sleep in a hotel room is no easy chore.  She's not a cuddler and will not sleep with us either.  Instead of a king bed, we had two fulls and hubby and I opted to sleep separately, which we both struggle with. We turned on the sound machine and shut out the lights shortly after 8pm.  Soon our daughter asked to go to bed and she was out momentarily.  Not a peep.  Sweet ...

I laid there for about an hour, drifting in and out of sleep.  I woke up about every hour, checking the clock.  I typically rise between 4:30-5:30 daily and finally got out of bed when the clock hit 4:00.  My alarm was set for 5:15, but I decided to scroll Facebook, use the bathroom several times (dang nerves) and lay around in bed.  I got up and made some coffee and got dressed and put my makeup on.  I packed my own breakfast and opted not to pack my toaster.  Continental breakfast wasn't open, but I took my english muffins downstairs and toasted them and ate breakfast in the room:  two light english muffins, peanut butter, Chobani yogurt, one cup of coffee with sugar-free creamer.  Hubby loaded up the van, while we let our little one sleep.  I frantically used the bathroom a few more times and made sure I had everything I needed.  

My plan was to leave the hotel at 6:30 for the 7:30 start.  We would let her sleep, I would walk the fifteen minutes to the startline and they would see me around mile five.  I headed out at 6:30 and wore an old race shirt to keep me warm on my walk.  I got to Grafton High School by 6:45 and made my way inside to the sea of runners sprawled across the floor.  I sat down and had a banana and a sleeve of Clif Shot Blocks.  I typically have trouble eating and chewing before a race.  This morning, I was chowing down and eating fine.  I don't think I was nervous this time - just excited - and confident.  I ran into someone I knew, chatted with her a bit, and then headed back outside to the bathrooms. I stood in the line (always the wrong line!) for quite a while and then got right back in another line.  This is what I do!  There were ten minutes to start time.  I used the bathroom again finally and then heard them say that there were three minutes until the gun.  

I walked to the startline and found the 4:00 pace group, and seeded myself in front of them.  With a minute to go, the announcer said that the weather conditions were perfect and that if you were going to PR today, this would be it. My husband had also been telling me to push my limits - but I was hesitant.  Running is so much more than running to me - it's all about the experience.  I don't like feeling totally uncomfortable, having negative energy about my run and get more out of my races than my finishing time.  But, when I got to the startline, I decided that I was going to go for it.  My marathon PR was 4:02 from the same event in 2010.  I haven't even come close to reaching that time in the past seven years.  I typically finish 4:05-4:10.  I was now hoping to PR, and achieving my running dream of going sub-four hours would be absolutely amazing. If I couldn't do it on this perfect day and super-flat course, when would I accomplish it?  A 3:59 would be 9:07 min/mile pace.

We headed out promptly at 7:30 and I worked on getting into my groove for the next mile or two, as we headed out through neighborhoods and then into the country.  This event has amazing crowd support along the route.  I love it.  My watch was consistently clocking around 8:00-8:30 min/miles.  Something that was unheard of for me.  I spend so much time coaching others to achieve their goals, that I honestly don't get to push myself to my full potential very often - especially for several hours.  I felt great with the pace and was super pumped.  But would I regret it in another hour, two hours or worse ... three?  I just decided to go with it.  If I got too uncomfortable, I would slow down ... or worse, walk.

At mile five, I knew that I would be seeing my family.  I turned down my tunes and shouted out to them and sped up a bit as we pushed toward the 10K point - our first timing mat.  The timing mats pushed me to push my pace and pick things up. This first one clocked in at 53:24.

We headed towards Concordia University and the crowd support was amazing.  Last year when I ran the race, it was really cold and raining.  So crowd support was sparse.  This year, it was really moving to see and hear so many spectators cheering for their friends and family.  Strangers were calling out my name after reading it from my bib and gave me an extra boost.  A couple people even said "Go Running Diva Mom", which shocked me a bit.  It was just what I needed to keep up the pace and propel myself forward.  Towards my goals.  You also got a nice glimpse of Lake Michigan at Concordia.

I was taking gels every five miles, per my plan.  Since I consumed so many calories at breakfast, that by mile 10 my stomach was already starting to feel a little off.  But, I decided to stick to my plan and sip on each gel with water over the course of a mile.  I was going to need calories and energy if I was going to follow through with this.  I had Honey Stinger gels at miles five, ten, fifteen and twenty (480 calories).  I brought an extra, but didn't need it. I also took a sports drink and water at each aid station - which was about every two miles.  I also kept refilling my water bottle (twice) along the way.  I don't run water stations, so this can be quite the balancing act.  I also went through 2/3 a pack of sugar-free gum during the race.

I saw a couple runners from Sun Prairie during the course and it was nice to see familiar faces.  I saw my husband again at mile ten.  I still had a nice spring in my step.  My little one sat nicely in the stroller and perked up each time I ran past and called her name.  Hubby gave me a high five.  He always told me I looked strong or great.  Usually, I feel like people just say that to motivate you.  But this time I really believed it. I was feeling strong.

I hit the half marathon point at 1:53:36, which is an amazing single half marathon time for me in recent years.  I would've been very happy with that time if the finish time had been overhead.  But, I had to keep going and run another thirteen miles.  I saw more familiar faces around mile fourteen.  And then I saw my little family again around mile fifteen.  It was warming up a bit, but the breeze had picked up as we headed south - a head wind which we would have on and off until the finish.  I was really happy I opted for the tank top.  I felt comfortable.  I was slowing down a bit, but still clocking in the upper 8's for each mile.  The course was heading towards more upscale neighborhoods and along treelines.  We were pretty close to the lake but you couldn't see it.

I absolutely hate miles fourteen through nineteen of a marathon.  Time seems to slow down and gets lost.  I kind of get in a mental funk, unless there is a lot going on.  I struggled a little here, slowed down a little bit more (a couple of my miles coming in the low 9's), but kept moving forward.  I love hitting mile twenty.  Crowd support was great at mile nineteen, which pushed me towards the time clock at mile twenty, where I knew my family would be waiting for me again.  I looked down at my watch and it read 2:55:13.  I was freaking going to do it!  I was going to PR - AND go sub four hours.  But how far below could I go, knowing I was already slowing down?  I saw my family and just started sobbing.  I couldn't hold it together anymore.  The emotional experience of achieving what you think is impossible for yourself is really surreal.

I pushed forward.  Earlier in the race, I was running back and forth with about ten of the same women.  Now, I seemed to be jockeying for position with some men.  Some runners were now walking, sitting on curbs or stretching out cramps.  I hit the mile 21 marker and a man three runners in front of me went down.  Not just down to a knee to get a breather ... he was laying on his back, blank stare and his eyes were rolling in the back of his head.  There was not an aid station close by, just spectators up ahead.  Several us slowed down or stopped and time just stopped. We froze as one guys was quickly down on the ground holding him.  It was the scariest thing I have witnessed on a race course.  The runner was talking to him and asking questions and he wasn't responding.  Another runner stopped and I mentioned to someone else that I would run ahead and get one.  A bystander called 911 as I turned around and kept running.  I flagged down a volunteer and then saw a police vehicle driving towards the pack I was running with.  I flagged him down and pointed a few yards back where the runner was down.  My whole body was in shock from what I just witnessed, my stomach turned and a shock literally went through my body.  A lot of me felt guilty for running ahead to get someone.  But the professionals were on their way.  I soon heard an ambulance headed in our direction.  I couldn't stop thinking about this man and looked at every spectator for the next five miles, wondering if it was his family or friends waiting for him to pass by. 

After that, my pace slowed to 9:30-9:40 during the final miles.  I mentally had difficulty shaking it, but kept pushing forward.  I tried to use the energy I had to encourage others.  There were three men during my final two miles that were walking separately.  I tapped them each on the shoulder and encouraged them to join me and "keep going".  They did and that felt great.  But of course each of them passed me during the final stretch of our journey.  Dudes!  

I never saw pacers during the race, which usually are super deflating to me.  But my pace must have been pretty consistently paced, because my husband said one pace group was always in front me and the other behind me.  He also saw the same 10-12 runners ahead of me each time, so he knew I would be arriving soon.  That's something I haven't always mastered, so I felt good about that.

The last two miles of this race seem long, because the downhill along the lake is long and you can see the finish line.  I always feel like I'm almost there, but not quite.  We made our final turns into the park and crowd support was awesome.  I vaguely saw my family to my right as my tunes were cranked, crowds were loud and my focus was intense at this point.  My watch read 3:53 and some change and I really wanted to see if I could crank it on the final stretch and go sub 3:54.  I crossed the crowded finish line and my watch said 3:54:01, but my chip time actually read 3:53:59 which felt absolutely amazing.

I got some goodies and a finisher's photo after stopping along a fence to breath deeply and collect myself and my thoughts for a few minutes.  I was feeling nauseous after stopping and also wanted to take the whole experience in. Savor it.  The nausea passed and I soon reunited with my family.  I lit up when I saw them.  I smiled.  He smiled.  She smiled.  I collapsed in my husband's arms and just sobbed.  It was truly remarkable.  And I did it.  Me. This non-runner become runner for fun and weightloss crossed another big item off of her running bucket list - actually two items.

Don't ever doubt yourself. Don't limit yourself. Every training run and every finishing time serves it's purpose.  The good the bad -- and everything in between.  Some are good reminders.  Some are good lessons.  Some are social outlets.  Some are therapy.  Some runs train your body to push yourself - faster or further.  Some training runs will tell your mind to push more.  Some are amazing and wonderful.  That's why I love this sport so much.  It's so much more than running.  You learn so much about your physical and mental capabilities - it's unreal.  If someone had told me that I'd one day run a marathon, I'd think you were nuts.  If someone had told me that I'd do fourteen and have five dozen half marathons under my belt, I'd have looked at you sideways.  I didn't believe in myself or know what I was capable of.  Now I do.  I am capable of anything.

Marathon #14 is now in the books.  And #15 will follow in Milwaukee in two weeks.  This one will be hard to top.

Chip time: 3:53:59
Overall pace: 8:55 min/mile
554/2,292 overall
171/1,088 females
36/187 F 35-39

10K:  53:24
Half Marathon:  1:53:36
Mile 20:  2:55:13

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Same girl ... smaller jeans.

Every fall, I dread (DREAD!) putting on my jeans.  All summer I wore athleisure wear, shorts and dresses.  Then in September or October, I'd jump up and down, pull and tug and shimmy into my skinny jeans.  I'd take a deep breath, zip-up and close the top button.  And then upon exhaling, I'd feel uncomfortable, bloated and sad - down on myself. 

Not this year.

This year they were baggy in the butt.  I didn't even have to unbutton them to get them on.  They just slid on up -- and then proceeded to fall down. So, I treated myself to a few pairs of size five skinny jeans.  Size 5/6.  SIZE FIVE/FRIGGING SIX!

I'm not motivated by being "thin".  I'm motivated by these feel-good-feelings. By feeling fit.  Healthy.  Accomplished.  Feeling comfortable in my own skin.  And feeling comfortable in those new skinny jeans, too. I am not a different person since I reached my goal weigh. I am the same girl ... in smaller jeans.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

RISE EARLY! 15 minutes a day = 450 mins per month

I'm a morning person. I haven't always been. But running long distances and a busy schedule have caused me to find my productive hours - when I function best. And it's first thing in the morning, with my cup (or two or three) of coffee in hand when I find I'm getting the most done. I'm rising between 4:30-5:30 every.single.day to work on training programs, check in with accountability groups, respond to emails or coach or run for myself. It starts my day off right.  
And I'm getting SO much done before the rest of my family starts their day. It's been the most productive - and most successful - two years of my life.
Not a morning person? Just try getting up 15 mins earlier. Think that won't make a difference?? In one month that is 450 minutes. Think about that! If you even tackled 1-2 extra items each morning, that would be 30-60 things off of your list. Or give yourself 30 opportunities to write a to do list, go for a walk, meditate, read and focus on yourself.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Women Working on Wellness | Fitness & Weightloss Accountability Group with Running Diva Mom

Women Working on Wellness | Fitness & Weightloss Accountability Group with Running Diva Mom
October 1-22
Investment in yourself:  $30
Run, Walk and Run/Walk training options available!


- Three week calendar with running or walking program and wellness challenges to be completed on your own
- Personalized daily step goals
- Weekly private individual weigh-ins virtually with your coach 
- Gain additional accountability by sharing your daily step count and food log with the group (optional)
- Daily group fitness check-ins, weightloss & nutrition tips and motivation from your coach
- Private Facebook group for motivation

Participant with the highest percentage of weightloss will receive a FREE ENTRY into the November 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, September 5, 2017

UPDATED Sun Prairie & Madison Area Running Routes

Sun Prairie:

Running Diva Mom Studio:  105 N Bristol Street

Orfan Park:  2050 St. Albert the Great Drive

Sheehan Park (West):  1115 Linnerud Drive (across from the Sun Prairie Public Library)

Stoneridge Estates Park:  300 Stonehaven Drive

Wyndham Hills Park:  675 N Heatherstone Drive (shares lot with Horizon Elementary)

Carriage Hills Estates Park:  901 Woodview Drive

Madison Area:

Upper Yahara River Trail:  West of Windsor Rd/River Rd Intersection, Deforest/Windsor

Lower Yahara River Trail: 4081 McDaniel Ln, McFarland

Glacial Drumlin State Trail: Park at Cottage Grove Trail Head, 220 S. Main St, Cottage Grove

Pheasant Branch Conservancy: http://www.pheasantbranch.org/Interactive%20Map/ Middleton

UW Arboretum:  Park at Zoo or Arboretum Visitor’s Center on Arboretum Drive, Madison

Capitol City State Trail:  Park at Olin-Turville parking lot near Sheraton, 1156 Olin-Turville Court, Madison

Machinery Row (near Monona Terrace):  Park at surface lot at
601 Williamson Street, Madison

Badger State Trail: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/badger/ Madison

Military Ridge State Trail:  http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/militaryridge/ Fitchburg/Verona

Token Creek County Park:  Park at first surface lot, 6200 US Hwy 51, Deforest

Olbrich Botanical Gardens:  Park at Gardens and run along commuter path, 3330 Atwood Ave, Madison

American Family Trails:  Park anywhere along the American Family Parkway complex and enjoy several 1-2 mile loops.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Be stronger than your excuses.

Not feeling it today?
Something else you’d rather do?
Too many things on your to do list?
Mom guilt?

Me too.

You’ll get more enjoyment out of the run and nature and the scenery than you will out of sleeping in.

Your body will loosen up and move more freely during the rest of your day than it will if you sit on the couch and stiffen up.

You’ll get more satisfaction out of your workout, than you will out of watching that Grey’s Anatomy episode.

You’ll be more productive to tackle that to do list later today.

Your kids and your spouse will thank you for the more pleasant and positive mom that returns after her workout.

I get it. We all have excuses. You’re stronger than your excuses. Now … GO GET IT …

Setbacks; Comebacks

I’ve been nursing an injury since last fall.  Yikes, it’s almost been a year.  In October I ran a marathon, followed by a half marathon that I coached two weeks later, followed by a weekend of a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday.  Yeah, I guess that’s a lot of running.  Makes sense why my body was hating me, didn’t want to cooperate and was screaming NO while my mind said YES.  I did really well at my races and was really happy with my finishing times – and my medals.  But my right hamstring was telling me that I did too much. 
I then opened the doors of my indoor running studio the following week and began coaching 12-15 sessions a week.  All of that pounding really took a toll on my body.  Once I started running outdoors with clients in the spring, I was still running about 15 times a week, plus running on my own.  My hamstring communicated with my sciatic nerve, which then spoke with my shin and calf.  They all were telling me to shut up and slow down. 
In my world, rest isn’t really an option.  This is the part where I say, “Listen to what I say.  Not what I do.”.  Oh yeah, so I signed up for another marathon, which I ran in June.  I don’t even want to know what my stride looked like during that race.  But, I was elated with my run and I finished in good time.
Then I stepped back …. Ok, just a little.
I seriously feared that I wouldn’t be able to run for myself any longer.  That I wouldn’t be able to coach any longer.  I don’t know which I feared more.  It was a scary feeling.  I was feeling lost.  I crave the run and the feeling it gives me.  I also love the feeling of helping others achieve their goals and watching them blossom as runners.  I was worried that all of that would be taken away from me.

I’ve used this summer to get really in tune with my body.  Running has taught me to appreciate my body.  Not just pound the pavement (or the treadmill for that matter).  But this injury (err, injuries) have taught me to REALLY appreciate it.  Appreciate what it does for me.  What it allows me to do.  It’s a privilege.  I’ve rolled out my muscles, iced when needed and tried to embrace some rest – and lots of walking.  I’ve also done lots of reading up on this sport that I love so much and researching injury prevention. 
I focused on tightening up my diet and embracing my accountability groups.  This allowed me to hit my goal weight earlier this summer.  It made me lighter and leaner and even more appreciative of my body and what women are physically capable of.  We are beautiful, amazing, strong creatures.
I’m really good at taking care of myself and exercising.  But I’m not very good at self-care.  So, I finally booked a massage and she worked her magic.  She focused on all of my problem areas and really got to the core of it.  It has seriously - changed … my … world. 
Right now, my coaching schedule is still really intense.  But I’ve made a conscious decision to scale back and focus on my clients’ goals – but also focus on myself and my well-being – and my family.
And the injuries?? …. My body is feeling so strong and healthy right now.  I’m ready to tackle my upcoming marathons in October.  My injuries are pretty much nonexistent.  And my long runs have felt really great.  I’m a different runner right now.
Being injured is no joke.  It changes you as a runner.  As an athlete.  As a person.  And it has changed me as a coach, too.  

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Optimum Nutrition Whey & Oats and Greek Yogurt Protein Smoothie Review

I recently tried two different types of protein powder from Optimum Nutrition.  I first tried the Whey and Oats.  The flavor I tried was Vanilla Almond Pastry and that's exactly what it tasted like.  It tasted like an protein bar or granola bar, but a shake version.  The scoops are large and contain 190 calories per serving, 4 grams dietary fiber, 16 grams carbs and a whopping 27 grams protein.  This is made with premium whey protein and contains complex carbohydrates from whole oats.  I mixed it with unsweetened almond milk and a banana.  It was tasty and frothy and I felt full, using it as a meal replacement for both lunch and breakfast.  My kids liked it, too.  I used the blender and some ice and it all frothed up deliciously.  It was convenient when I was out running around with the kids this past month.  Our life has gotten extremely busy.  I also enjoyed it after a mid-distance run and this powder is great recovery fuel!  You can also mix it with water, but I much prefer mixing with milk or almond milk.  The powder dissolved well, too.
We also tried the Greek Yogurt Protein Smoothie in Blueberry flavor.  It tasted like a liquid blueberry muffin, when mixed with ice and unsweetened almond milk.  I didn't mix this one with a banana. The Protein Smoothie version also comes in Strawberry or Vanilla. I tried this as an after snack and pick-me-up and it was refreshing while sitting out on our deck, watching the little ones play.  It contains 130 calories per scoop, 8 carbs and 20 grams protein. 
Neither powder had any weird clumps or after taste, something I've experienced with some other brands on the market.
I also am a HUGE fan of their Cake Bites.  We've consumed dozens of packages of these tasty protein bites over the past year. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

SEPTEMBER Women Working on Wellness | Fitness & Weightloss Accountability Group with Running Diva Mom

Women Working on Wellness | Fitness & Weightloss Accountability Group with Running Diva Mom
September 10-30
Investment in yourself:  $30
Run, Walk and Run/Walk training options available!


- Three week calendar with running or walking program and wellness challenges to be completed on your own
- Personalized daily step goals
- Weekly private individual weigh-ins virtually with your coach
- Gain additional accountability by sharing your daily step count and food log with the group (optional)
- Daily group fitness check-ins, weightloss & nutrition tips and motivation from your coach
- Private Facebook group for motivation

Participant with the highest percentage of weightloss will receive a FREE ENTRY into the October accountability group.
If you would like to avoid the Eventbrite fee, please email me at runningdivamom@yahoo.com to pay by cash or check.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Running Diva Mom Featured in The Star

Running Diva Mom recently opened its doors in downtown Sun Prairie.  The studio and I were recently featured in our local newspaper, The Star.  You can read the whole article online.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Busy Mom's Guide to Tracking Your Food

Most of my weightloss success can be credited to logging my food. I run marathons and sometimes log 40-50 miles a week.  But I can easily consume many of the calories that I’ve burned if I am not careful.  Logging my food and activity with my monthly online fitness + weightloss accountability groups has really helped me realize what portions are realistic, what foods I enjoy fueling my body with – and also just how active my lifestyle is. I don’t cut anything out permanently – I am just smart about it and look at the big picture.

Tracking my food didn’t come without growing pains.  Like with most things, this doesn’t happen successfully without a plan, streamlining your process and making a habit out of it.  Routine is definitely key.

Here are a few of this busy mom’s quick and easy tips for tracking your food in a nutrition log, like My Fitness Pal.
- Don’t track it twice.  Don’t write it down and later log it into your device.  Log it once and get it done.  Otherwise, you are just causing more work for yourself.

- Take advantage of the bar code scanner.  With one quick scan, the app will quickly insert all of the nutritional information.

- Use the frequent meals feature to routinely add the same meals.  If you’re a creature of habit like me, you probably eat similar foods before your long run or pack the same things for work every day.

- Just like meal planning for your evening meals, you should also get into the habit of meal planning for your day.  Empty your sack lunch when you get to work in the morning (or as you pack it) and log your foods for the whole day.  This will also help you stay on track with portions and avoid adding in extra snacks throughout the day.

- Fill up a glass of water and log it immediately.  Use the same glass or tumbler, and the specified number of ounces will be one, easy click away.

- Log your workouts before you actually work out.  You will be less inclined to cut your workout short, because you won’t want to edit the duration or intensity (unless you decide to go longer!).

- Take advantage of the syncing feature.  Sync your smart scale or activity tracker for the most accurate success and gain a few minutes back in your day.

- Weigh in only once a week versus once a day.  This is good from a time-management standpoint, as well as a mental standpoint.  Scales can vary and your body can fluctuate immensely over the period of twenty-four hours.  Give yourself a break – and a chance to see some real changes.

- So, now that your tracking is done - don’t forget to reflect on calories in versus calories out and see how your day ended up.  Truly touch base with yourself on how you are feeling emotionally, what your body is craving (specific foods or a rest day, perhaps?), and any stressors that perhaps came into play.