Elon Homecoming.

I feel like…there are just not enough hours in the day.  I can’t be the only one who feels this way.  In fact, I know I’m not, because my mom tells me all the time that she needs more time to do stuff.  And I’m 100%, completely in agreement.

Anyhoo, moving right along.  My weekend.

So, the weekend started off furiously.  Because of a little hiccup at work, I had to pull together a Zumba/Cardio Dance party within a matter of like 5 days. and surprisingly, it came off without a single hitch.

So Friday at 6:30, we started, and danced literally for like two hours nonstop.  Surprisingly, coming off the heels of Chicago, I felt really good, and someone from the class even remarked they were surprised I was moving so well.  They clearly have not seen my thighs, which, as of 10/19/15, have not fully regained all the skin that used to be on them.  Dang chub rub!

Zumba/Cardio Dance Party
Zumba/Cardio Dance Party

So, bright and early on the next morning, I headed down to Elon to start homecoming. I’d skipped the step show the night before, which was probably for the best. Not because I hate step shows, but because that’s a lot of drinking on a Friday night of me. My first official Elon Homecoming event was an inaugural 5k through campus to show off some newer construction. Of COURSE I ran it, and at the finish line, I made some friends in a young couple, one of whom had attended Elon. We hit it off, and I somehow made friends enough that we were able to go freshen up in their hotel room (after we got all sweaty), hit the Food Lion and made it back in plenty of time to start tailgating. We heated up the grill, drank beers, and traipsed all over campus, eventually making it over to the Elon Black Alumni Networks’ tent for food, the Black Cultural Society tent where folks seemed to be hanging out, and eventually, Twisted Measure’s tent, where we had more beers and food. We hung out there until campus security had us wrap it up, and then we walked over to the Twisted Measure house, where we carved pumpkins, I took a nap, and we danced for a good portion of the night, with small breaks to visit others at different houses or parties.

Sunday, after something of a late start, I took some time for myself, without the noise and hustle and bustle of seeing tons of people you haven’t seen in forever, and walked around campus by myself. I went to the campus store, to an old sandwich shop I spent a lot of time in in school, and drove through town before winding my way back to Raleigh.

I know it sounds corny, but there is just something so special about seeing folks who knew you when you were a baby. Some of us are married now. Some of us have fancy jobs. Some of us have kids. And it’s so cool to see someone that knew you as a baby, see you when you’re just a little bit more sure and confident.

What did you do this weekend?

Sweat Hope 5k – small but mighty

Earlier this month, I told you guys about the Sweat Hope 5k, and this weekend was the big event!

So Saturday morning, after about a week straight of rain, I woke up and the running Gods smiled on Raleigh, and I woke up to nothing but straight sun and beautiful temps.  I headed down to Wake Med Soccer park in Cary, and easily found my way to the race, where Whole Foods, Sola (a local coffee shop), Headbands of Hope (obviously), and a few other local vendors were set up.  I got my bib, and lined up with a little over 300 other runners to run the 5k, which started promptly at 9am.

HoH 5k1

I’m almost ashamed – I’ve lived in Raleigh on and off for the past fourish years, and until Saturday, had never run at Wake Med Soccer Park.  I was surprised!  The trails were really packed down, well-maintained, and ridiculously hilly!  For 3.1 miles, we ran up and and and up and down and up again – easily one of the most challenging 5k courses I’ve run.

HoH 5k

Overall, the race was a blast, incredibly well-done, and I would totally do it again, and hope to again next year!


So in my secret life, I sing and recently recorded a song with an extremely talented local rapper for the purposes of performing it at a show on Sunday night.  So me, the husband, Marc “Franchise” Jusino, and a bunch of spectators hit the stage on Sunday to compete in a show.  Spoiler alert: we didn’t win, but we totally should have, but I have a lot of respect for the guy who did win.  Excellent excellent performer.

ShowBut we totally should have won!

What’s one cool thing you did this past weekend?


Sweat Hope 5k

I have a very very special place in my heart for the 5k.  I think a lot of times, that runners, especially those of us who have a few marathons under our belts, tend to look down on the 5k.

Why would you put a 5k sticker on your car?  What’s hard about a 5k?  You’re proud of 3 miles?

But that’s not fair is it?  Because we all started somewhere, even if we’re running ultras right now.  And a 5k is exactly where I started.  The 5k was my gateway, when I knew that I could do some amazing things.  And I love to sign up for a 5k now and then to assess exactly where I am, and to reminisce about a time when I couldn’t even imagine running 3.1.  5 kilometers is an amazing distance.  And guess what?  Just because you’ve run a few marathons doesn’t mean that there isn’t a day that picking up your legs to run 3.1 doesn’t hurt like hell.  Cause it happened to me last week.

That said, I have something cool for you guys.

HoHThis is Jessica Ekstrom, founder of Headbands of Hope, a really cool organization that has caught FIRE she she started it while she was a college student a few years ago.  For every headband/hat/buff purchased from her site, Jess donates one to a little girl being treated with cancer, and $1 is donated to cancer research.  It’s so cool, and I feel so lucky that I’ve known Jess with time to see her extraordinary business grow and grow and grow.

Seriously – here she is repping the company on the Today Show.

Here’s where you, and my love of 5ks comes in.

The Sweat Hope 5k is popping off on September 27th in Raleigh, NC, and I will be running it.  On September 27th, you’ve got a chance to run this race, meet the founder of a great org, and save on your registration!

For $5 off registration to the Sweat Hope 5k, use code overactiveblogger here, and come out to run, enjoy some amazing food from local vendors, and ring in the inaugural Sweat Hope 5k!

How long did it take you to fall in love with running?

I’m becoming a big fan of the Hungry Runner Girl, Janae, because she’s so freaking positive.  It’s funny, I’ve seen a few things written about her online, and the overwhelming “complaint” about her, if you even want to call it that is that she’s too positive or that she gets too excited about the littlest things.  I can relate to her – I actually had an associate at Barnes and Noble physically back away from me when I expressed my excitement that they had the Gavin DeGraw album in stock.  Okay lady, let me be happy, kay?

Anyhoo, so HRG posts yesterday and posed this question:

How long did it take you to fall in love with running?

The truth is, I don’t really know.

Sport Photo mailed me this blast from the past from my first race in 2011.  I’m not sure what possessed me to sign myself and my boyfriend (now almost-husband) for the race, except it sounded really really cool, and I think I saw in ad in one of the women’s fitnessy workout mags that I’d been reading like a Bible.

Mud Run

Austin so sweetly agreed to to the race with me, an obstacle 5k in Virginia, and we drove up there after a shift at the Whole Foods Bakery.   Yes, I know.  I’m a fitness director, and I worked at a bakery my first gig out of graduate school.  But I like my sweets, and I love Whole Foods so it worked.

I ran that race.  Finished in decent time.  Felt great afterwards, and within about a year’s time, I was running my first half-marathon.

There was never a moment where I was like “aughhh this is awesome,” but I guess I always just liked the way it made me feel.  I also loved the way you could kind of click into cruise control for a long run and just…run.  Like after a while it didn’t feel like death on a stick, but it just felt like a state of being, as natural as anything else did.  Sure, there were still some runs that made me feel like vomiting on on the side of the road, but the vast majority of the runs just felt…good!

So all that to say is, I just don’t know when I started to love running.  I’m not particularly fast or fancy, but it feels natural to me, and it feels like the kind of workout you can seriously do anywhere, and burn the most calories/stress off without killing yourself.

So my question on this wonderful Friday is….

When did you fall in love with running?



Mud runs + a giveaway.

I have a love-love relationships with mud/obstacle runs.

My first race was a 5k, the Warrior Dash in the fall of 2011.  I’d read about them in a runner’s magazine, and decided that me and Austin should sign up for one in Virginia to run one and to see how it went, never having raced before in my life.

It ended up being a total blast, and was the gateway drug to my subsequent half marathons, and full marathons.


And go Austin for letting me drag him to all of these things!

Okay, so that brings me to Giveaway Time (for something really cool, keep reading)!

Also, if you don’t win anything, I’m gonna hook you up anyways with a sweet sweet  discount code anyways cause I’m obviously obsessed with you if you read this blog.

So I’ve already signed up for the Reebok Spartan Obstacle Race in DC in July, and for you, I will let you pick your race of choice here, and I will let you decide where you want to race.  I’m giving away a free one!!!!  The cool thing about this race, which you will find out if you click on the landing page is that the race seems like it’s going to be more challenging than some of the obstacles races out there, and even has launched its own all-terrain shoe in the process.

So if you want a free race tell me your literal most embarrassing story about yourself.  I’ll choose the best one, write about it, and then YOU get a free entry to the race of your choosing!

If you’re too shy to share your most hair-raising stories, no prob, I’m gonna be generous and provide you with a discount code. http://bit.ly/spartanwarrior <- that link will generate a 15% off discount code to the race of your choosing.

How can you lose?

[Full Disclosure – I was given a race entry (minus the cost on insurance) to talk about this but all opinions are obviously my own since I have been running 

My year of running. #runchat #run

I cannot believe that we’re approaching the end of the year. I don’t know where the year went, but I feel so hashtag blessed that I’m still here.  It has been an absolutely beautiful year.  I’ve experienced a ton – good and bad, but I’m excited to see what 2014 in store for me and my family.

yearofrunning 225x300 How was your year of running?

I stole this fun idea to sum up my year of running from Miss Zippy, and I encourage you guys to go ahead and steal it from me now!  I’m nosy as hell, so I’d really like to know about your year – and I’ll post this to my Facebook status so some of you guys can play, and I’ll pull some of your comments into my blog.

What was your:

  • Best race experience?  Hands down, my best race experience this year was the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, which I blogged about back in April.  The race itself was awesome.  The weather was beautiful, the terrain was flat, and it was just incredibly well-organized, and I feel super lucky, because for the second year in a row, I won my lottery entrance into the race.  Eep!  Additionally, I am so enamored of Washington, D.C., and spending the weekend there with good friends made the weekend super duper enjoyable.  Now I hope this year my ENTIRE name makes it onto the wall of race participant names they plaster the street with in Georgetown.  ‘Member this?


  • Best run? I need to choose a few.  One of my best runs was in Asheville, the weekend of Alexa’s bacherlorette party up in Asheville….

cabin 4

And this view of the river we stayed along…
Cabin 3
And I’d have to say my second favorite best run was a run I did with my brother the day after Thanksgiving a few weeks ago.   It was just fun to work out with a member of my family who kicked my butt.  It’s also so nice to talk to that kid, who’s really impressed me with how he’s matured in the past year.  Kid gets up at 3:45 to go to swim practice, and still manages to make it to school each day.  Like – bye.  Amazing.

  • Best new piece of gear?  Geez, that’s hard.  I have a lot of good stuff.  But I think my favorite piece that I’ve acquired this year would either be my Glycerin 11s, cause that shoe update was so  sweet, or this purple Moving Comfort full-zip that work gave us at the company holiday party.  I have a problem staying warm, so the fact this jacket can stand up to some of the ungodly temps we’ve had lately around here in the mornings says a lot to me.

Moving Comfort

  • Best piece of running advice you received?  Put one foot in front of the other.  A co-worker told me this as I was training for Shamrock in March, and that’s really all you can do, in racing, and in life.  When a race becomes challenging or miserable, you have to tell yourself to place one foot in front of the other.  There’s simply not another option.
  • Most inspirational runner?  I cannot pick just one, because working with runners, I am so inspired by my coworkers.  Jenny, who I ran Shamrock with, was a mother, a wife, and still found time to run that full with me.  Kerri teachers a full yoga course load, works, and trained hard and well enough to qualify for Boston.  Kerry runs a big race a month.  Fast.  Shelly is pregnant and still running.  I could go on and on and on, but you get it.  My coworkers rock, and when I don’t feel like working at my running, I think of them, and I usually can muster up enough to get moving.
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Be present.  Don’t let worry or anxiety steal your happiness.

Now it’s your turn – fill me in in the comments, on your blog, on my Facebook, or Tweet me little tidbits!

The humble brag.

I did this the other day.
Humble Brag

I know guys.  It’s not quite the a humble brag, which is defined as, 
a brag statement artfully planted within a slightly deprecating statement; used in order to conceal pride that would otherwise be apparent by Urban Dictionary,
 but almost. It’s kinda like when you post a status about that 20-miler, but you do it under the guise of “Ugh omg, annoying Family Guy was totally on when I was running my 20-miler at an 8:47 pace. Gross!” What I did would slightly be considered the humble brag because I was sort of letting folks know I work out.  But it has a place.  As annoying at it is, the humble brag has a valuable place in health and fitness. 

The following morning, my alarm went off at about 5:20 am, and I briefly considered closing my eyes, and going back to sleep. But I remembered that I’d posted that I was going to Yoga, and then the thought of deceiving my friends and family, or not being accountable for what I’d said I’d do really made me feel uncomfortable.  Plus, I wanted to get my Yoga on!

So say what you will about people who post the details of their workouts on social media, and no, we’re not talking about you who posted about tying your shoes too tight, let’s not get into the minutiae of how your workout went, however, posting about your 5k, posting about nailing a pose in yoga, posting about hitting the gym 5 times instead of your usual 3, for example, is okay, and encouraging, both to others, (believe it or not, family and friends may be inspired by your actions), and it holds you accountable to a WHOLE LOT of people.  So keep up the humble brags.  Well, sorta, I don’t care if you’re gonna be douchey about it, but if it keeps you accountable?  Keep it up!


Running runs in the fam.

I was talking on the phone with my mom yesterday, when she just started shrieking “CONGRATULATIONS” in my ear.

Once I got her calmed down, and the permanent deafness in my ear wore off, I found out it was because my brother, who’s 17, all muscular and stuff, made captain of his XC Team.

Armour FAM

Me and the broski are centermost in the group. Pardon my hair, it was horrible and disheveled, a combination of severe NC humidity and the race I’d run the night before.

Anyhoo, how awesome is that? So at 17, the kid is slaying my 5k times by nearly 10 minutes, and captaining his XC team? I need to get my life. And quickly. Congrats, bro! Oh, and happy Labor Day!

Fat Camp Motivation

I apologize for the somewhat sporadic posts, but as things go, my life has been turned every which way.  While I was at camp, I got word that my first-floor-condo had flooded when the guy on the third floor went to throw in a load of laundry.  The water dripped (and dripped is the absolutely wrong word for what it did) down and destroyed the building.  Weirdly enough, the belongings were good, but the walls, the floor, the baseboards, everything, just had to be ripped out.

And so there was the mad dash to find a place to live.

And then the mad dash to get everything packed.

And then the mad dash to recruit victims to help move.

And now, I’m here, blogging to you amongst cardboard boxes, trying to eat my breakfast out of a Gladware container because I can’t, for the life of me, remember where I packed the bowls, and even if I did remember, I haven’t put any contact paper down to put them away.  Oh well.  Can’t be bothered right now.

Anyhoo, so in the midst of all of that, the Greensboro Marathon is still approaching, and I’ll be darned if all of this will affect my training.

But I needed to do my long run (10 miles) yesterday, and I didn’t feel like it.  I really didn’t feel like it.  And then, like a sign from the heavens, I checked my Instagram.  And one after another, pictures like this started to come across.

This is  Mama Jo (Joanna).  We've spent almost 3 summers together raising our babies, working out, and toting the British counselors (The Brits) along with us on weekly trips to CVS.
This is Mama Jo (Joanna). We’ve spent nearly 3 summers together raising our babies, working out, and toting the British counselors (The Brits) along with us on weekly trips to CVS.

CPT, my camp home, hosted their second annual 5k yesterday.  It’s kind of, no it is, incredible, because you’re talking about kids that came to camp not having exercised in weeks, months, years, some of them.  For them to be over halfway done with camp, and to have run a 5k, is nuts.  Absolutely nuts.

So my whining turned to motivation when I saw picture after picture after picture of my girls, my fellow counselors, and the guys finishing their 5k, some of them shaving TONS of time off from their 5k in the previous year.  With that in mind, I set out on my 10-miler that wrapped up with me feeling accomplished and like I’d shared with my girls, the 5k experience.