New reads! #runchat

I swore, after my last marathon, during which I sobbed and vomited miles 18-26.2, that I would not run another marathon until after we got married.  One, because of the sheer volume of time I had to dedicate to training (most Sundays were dedicated to running), and two, because of the misery that vomiting during a race could potentially bring.  I really wanted to focus on wedding stuff and wedding planning (which is a total blast, ps, and I’ll fill you guys in as I do more stuff).

So anyways, fast forward to December, where everyone is talking about their spring races.  And I literally have this disease called FOMO (fear of missing out), and I almost can’t stand not running a race during spring race season when everyone else is running around having their fun.

Also, I think I’m addicted to the feeling when you finally cross the finish line.  I’ve only crossed a marathon finish line twice, and I’m not sure I’m ready to hang the shoes up until after I become a Mrs.

Basically, I’m seriously toying with the idea of doing Rock n’ Roll in Raleigh.  

If I do this, and that’s a big friggin’ IF, I need to do this right.  Like I absolutely refuse to get sick and cry though another race.  Not gonna happen.



Insert new reads here.  A friend PR’d at Chicago using this method.  I’m not sure that I’m going with this method – there are a TON of miles a week as opposed to regular marathon training, and it is definitely something I need to fully commit to.  But I’m very interested in the book in general, and super excited to tell you guys what I learn.

What do you guys think?  I’m getting married in August, should leave plenty of time to profusely apologize to my spouse for neglecting him between January and April.  What do you think – can this marathon be done? 

The Christmas Creep…

My dear handsome Austin does this thing where he records the first incidence of Christmas anything in his phone, to see if Christmas is creeping up earlier year after year, like they say it is.  Generally, the phrase “Christmas creep” refers to the phenomenon that is Christmas literally creeping up earlier and earlier each year.  Sort of a marketing/consumerism thing.  As a total side note, the Christmas creep doesn’t bother me at all, I quite enjoy Christmas any time of the year.

Fun fact: This is the best x-mas album ever, and if you grew up as a black child in the states, this and the Temptations x-mas album were a main staple of any holiday.
Fun fact: This is the best x-mas album ever, and if you grew up as a black child in the states, this and the Temptations x-mas album were a main staple of any holiday season.

But when I say creep, I’m talking about the pounds.  Conventional “wisdom” used to tell us that the average adult person in the United Stated would gain anywhere from 7-10 pounds during the holiday season.  But according to the Times, that number is closer to 1 pound, which doesn’t sound so bad, except that typically, we hold on to this pound for the rest of our lves.  So for all of the holidays that we do over our adult lives, we’re supposed to just hang onto that pound?  Over 20 holiday seasons that’s 20 pounds, for those of you who aren’t too math oriented, which is well above the +/- 15 you get when you’re at your ideal weight.  Total yikes.

What can we do to avoid the creep and avoid feeling like a slob kabob after December 31st?


    • If you overdo it, go here.
    • If you know you tend to overdo it, create a plan of attack.  Take a teeny bit of everything, and not a lot of any one thing.
    • Walk. Walk walk walk walk walk after a big meal.  It just…works.
    • Drinks.  If you indulge, stay far away from the creamy, sugary alcoholic bevvies, and stick to simple, low cal bevs.  I get made fun of all the time, but I truly think Michelob Ultra is sorta refreshing, and I love a vodka and soda with lime.
    • Dessert. SKIP IT.  (Totally kidding).  But same rule as the food.  Take a little bit, and realize there will still be more pie the next day.
    • Get some sleep! Seriously.
    • And stick to some sort of workout schedule.  It can be really nice to sneak away from family for like 40 minutes for this.  A few years ago, I took the family dog for 5 miles on Christmas.  No one really missed me, plus I didn’t get knocked too far off my workout goals.

For me, to combat the poundage, and to avoid falling off the fit wagon, I plan to do a running streak between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, similar to the one I did between Memorial Day and the 4th of July this past summer.  It’s at least a mile a day, every day, for however many consecutive days that is.  I suck at math so that’s like….34 days right?  Someone get back to me if this is wrong…

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling…


26 has never looked so good.

Okay sike kinda.  Today is my 26th birthday, and I write to you, not from my fancy vacation, but from my desk on my way to work.  Since I’ve absolutely sucked at doing my 30 days of thanks, I’m gonna hit you with 26 incredible things that happened in the past year, and that I’m thankful for.  Here goes (in no particular order)!

  1. I ran two marathons in my 25th year.  Right before I turned 25, I ran my first half, and I guess I caught the bug.  More specifically, I ran two half marathons, 2 fulls, and I think one really fun 5k.
  2. I got engaged!  I was telling my mom yesterday, that I never would have thought that I’d meet someone I’d love enough to marry just 4 years after I graduated.  After I broke up with my college boyfriend, I really thought that was it for me, and I was content to live with my animals.  Seriously, before Austin I’d fallen into this dorky routine of working out, watching Dancing with the Stars, and getting into to bed before midnight most Fridays.  What a difference a few years makes, right?
  3. I learned about the power of networking.  They always say it’s not what you know but who you know.  And I’ll be gosh darned, they were right.  And I credit that with this next one.
  4. I got a social work job. After searching for what felt like 50 years.
  5. But I also worked full-time for Fleet Feet, a running specialty store, and I have to be honest with you, I’m still in love with the company, and I’d consider opening a store with my husband.  Bob and Kathy, my bosses, and my coworkers, are such amazing, good people, and working there really pushed me to be a better athlete.   I think that speaks for the company.  When your job creates a better and more competitive athlete out of you, that’s something special.
  6. I got my cat, Martin.  He is the worst behaved cat I’ve ever met.
  7. My grandmother passed away.  That is not the good part, obviously.  The good part, and the part that warmed my heart was the fact that all of us, all 3 of my siblings, and both of my parents were able to coordinate enough to get on planes and make it to her services on short notice. 
  8. I got to go to my second home, camp. It was just as beautiful as I remembered.  After my first summer there, I literally thought I’d never see the place again, and I would dream about coming back there at night.  I made it.  And I love those kids.
  9. I bought my first car.  When my ’99 Taurus died on me (transmission issue), I laid down and bawled, not sure what I was going to do.  Austin helped me through the process of buying a car, and I made my first real adult purchase, a little Lancer, with an equally little payment.  It’s perfect for me.
  10. I went through some interviews with some not-satisfactory results.  But you know what?  Every “failed” job prospect was a great learning opportunity, and I think I emerged from each experience a little stronger.  At the time, I was shaking my first and gnashing my teeth, if you will, but it was all for the best.
  11. My mom is still with us.  The same weekend I bought my new car I was actually signing the paperwork for my new car, when my mom called me.  “Hey.  What are you doing.  You sound kinda weird,” I’d said kinda causally.  “Oh, I just…well I’m in the hospital.  But everything’s okay!”  and the way the universe takes care of me is the minute I’d signed the paperwork on that new car, I was able to drive down and spend what would turn out to be a couple of weeks with my mom, who’d, as it turned out, had a small stroke at some point.  She’s doing better and better each day.
  12. My bank account is looking a little bit better than it was, this time last year.  Praise.  Let’s keep that thing on the rise.
  13. I got a library card.  Maybe now I can stop pouring money into my Kindle.
  14. I chose a wedding venue!  Kinda superficial, but I had a rough go of it for a while!
  15. My siblings are all successful, productive members of society.  Not everyone can say that.  Armours. Bettah. Werk.
  16. I attended my 4th Elon University Homecoming (nearly didn’t make it out alive, as you’ll remember last weekend), and now I’m considering become even more involved with my alma mater, and not just offering my meager financial support.  I really don’t mind giving back to the school that literally taught me how to become a grown up.
  17. I have great friends.  I worked at Fleet Feet the other night, and fell right back into an old pattern like no time had passed.   The same of Elon Homecoming, it truly felt like no time had passed.
  18. I got closer with my friends.  And this year, I vow to be an even better friend if it kills me.  More coffee dates, more phone calls, more visits.  I’ve let it get a leetle too far in between some friend dates.  My sincere apologies, ladies and gents.
  19. I participated in one FANTASTIC wedding, which was fun from start to finish.  My good friend Alexa got married in May, and since I was a bridesmaid, I got to participate as far as getting a cute dress, contributing to her bachelorette weekend in Asheville (which meant I got to run in some crisp mountain air), and I got to celebrate her wedding….
  20. And I attended the wedding of another good friend in Cincinnati.  And it was like an Elon reunion all over again.  All this to say, guys, I’m sorry, if you notice a few similarities between your wedding and mine – but they both were so different and so beautiful, that I’d love to try and recreate these moments all over again.
  21. I started doing yoga.  Actually on January 1st, I started, and I credit that with singlehandedly allowing me to get through my first marathon without hurting anything.
  22. My home.  Admittedly, I miss my old condo, the one I lived in when I started this blog.  I had to move because the owner sold it (or is trying to sell it for way more than it’s worth, but that’s just my two cents).  But as I strolled through my apartment this morning, freshly vacuumed and smelling nice, I was thankful for my toasty little nook in the woods.  Often, when I run, I look under bridges that I pass, and I’ll often see vestiges off a little home there.  Foodstuffs, blankets, sometimes and old mattress.  And I thank God that I have a warm place to lay my head at night.
  23. This blog.  I raised some money last year, and I really appreciate for people to tell me when they’ve been following along.  I mean, I love to hear myself talk, so I’d prolly continue writing even if I suspected that only cats are reading my blog, but man, I’m happy and grateful that this blog “happened,” so to speak.
  24. This country.  Things are a hot mess.  But we live in the best nation in the world.  Run and tell dat.
  25. My health.  I continue to be amazed at where I can push my body.  Part of the reason for the tears at the finish of each marathon is to thank heavens that my body is able to hold up for that long, and recover quickly.  Not everyone can say that.  I hope they can, eventually.
  26. Real Housewives of Atlanta is back on.  And I really don’t need to say much more about that.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for reading, and thank goodness for another year.  Here’s to 26 being another good one!

I overdid it. Now what?

I celebrated Elon University’s Homecoming this past weekend.  Elon is many things.  It’s beautiful, stunningly beautiful.  The student body is smart, attractive, and critical thinkers.  And…we know how to throw a party.  I’m not really going to get into what all I ate/drank yesterday, but suffice it to say, it was off my normal nutritional path.


So, with the holidays approaching, it may happen.  To me, to you, we may overindulge in drinks, food, and feel terrible about ourselves for the rest of the day.  So what do we do when we overindulge?  With the help of our friend, hot mom, Maria Kang, I’ve compiled a few tips to help you beat after-overdoing it despair.  Not that I’d know…

  • If you can, make a plan so that you don’t actually overdo it.  Two Thanksgivings ago, my sister made an amazing pumpkin pie.  I ate SO much pie, that I felt sick for like two days after.  If I’d approached that meal a little more reasonably (like only had a teeny bit of everything), I probably would have saved myself a ton of grief.  Plan.  Plan.  Plan.

So you’ve actually overdone it, and you feel like you need to be rolled to you car…

  • Don’t do this. “Well the day’s already gone to hell, might as well eat everything in sight.” Don’t starve yourself either, though.  Take it one meal at a time.  And your next meal?  It might not be a bad idea to eat something nice and light, so at the very least, you don’t feel like crap the next day.  A salad, some veggies, just something that won’t make you feel like you’ve compounded your issues.
  • Drink water.  For me, it feels like the water flushes out some of the nasty you’ve had.  If you’ve had a meal high in sodium or fat in particular, this tip works wonders.
  • Work out!  This probably isn’t the time for your 20-miler.  And it SHOULD NOT, should not, be viewed as a punishment for yourself.  Just go for a brisk walk to kind of get the gross moving.
  • Do better.  Just move on.  You had a good time, and got a little rowdy with libations.  Next time, plan for better, and try to recommit to healthy foods for the rest of the week.

Do you guys have any tips you like to follow to get back on track after a particularly gnarly meal?

I broke my scale.

[Insert joke here]

But no really.  I was rushing around yesterday, and I knocked my Weight Watchers glass scale over.  It was leaning up against a wall so it wouldn’t sit in the middle of the floor, and when I was rushing out the door, I knocked it over, and it made a horrid noise.  I quickly put it back in its home, and didn’t think anything of it before I rushed off to teach another class.

Fast-forward to this morning, after I snuck in a really quick run.  I decided to step on the scale, pre-breakfast, when I noticed that the digital numbers weren’t computing.  In fact, the little window was blank.  So I kicked it.  I turned it over and scrambled with the batteries.  Nothing.

I think, if you’ve ever lost any amount of weight, or if you’re watching your weight, or if you work in a gym with insanely beautiful and fit chicks like I do, you tend to get sucked into the scale.  It’s especially annoying when you read one of those articles in like People’s Bodywatch section that give an actor’s height and weight.  You start to compare.  Well, I’m 5’8″ too, but nowhere near 110 lbs.  Am I missing something?  No, I’m not missing anything, that could be a lie, or it could be true, but I’m in phenomenal shape, and my body looks good.  Who cares about her number?


It’s not a problem for most of us, but you have to tell yourself that no, stepping on it every day or multiple times a day isn’t good for you.

So in short, I broke my scale.  But for now, I don’t think that’s a bad thing – in fact, I think I’ll take a little while to replace it, and give my mind a break from obsessing over those numbers.

Be kind to yourself.

Hey, I need to follow my own advice.  I’m sometimes horrible to myself, and I’m on the more confident end of the confidence spectrum.  I’d be lying if I said I don’t stand in front of the mirror and kinda turn, and assess what’s going on.  More often than not though, I wink at myself, do a little dance, and conclude that I’m pretty boss.

But at yoga last week, the sweet, kind little teacher reminded us to “be kind to yourself. Be kind to everyone you meet.”  And I was so glad she’d reminded me of that, because I can use a little help in this department.


One evening, earlier in the week, I taught an evening Zumba class.  Two of my regulars, loyal faithfuls who keep me on track, were present, and totally ready to go.  When the blonder of the two started.

“What’s wrong with these mirrors?”

“Girl I know!”

And the whole while, I’m standing there, completely puzzled. What were these two even talking about?

“The mirrors over here! They make you look bigger.”

“I know!”

They turned to me. Shit.  What did I do?

“Except for her.  They don’t ever make her look bigger.  I been coming for over a year and I ain’t never seen her look any bigger.”

I was stunned.  Let’s do the math.  So, according to these women, the mirrors in the studio are selectively choosing folks to make look bigger?  I don’t think so.

So ladies.  And gents, really, I don’t discriminate.  Be kind to yourself.  Spend the next week choosing your words wisely.  And the very second you’re tempted to poke at your tummy, frown at your skin, or pinch your butt, say something nice instead.

#runnerprobs, part 2

Okay.  I know I’m a little dramatic.  And darker-skinned than some of you.   But this bee sting I suffered the other day while running freaking sucks!



It’s itchy. I ran today, and it stings.  And the only time it feels good is when I’m in the shower and my high-pressured water thingie runs over it.  To all my peeps out there, experienced in this sort of runner’s tragedy, what the HECK do I do to make this thing stop itching, and to turn my collarbone back to the delicious shade of latte with skim it’s supposed to be? I’m desperate here!

“I just don’t have time to work out”

We don’t embarrass people here on the blog. So no names. But a few years ago, a co-worker who knew I taught fitness classes asked me how it was that I’d managed to say in such good shape throughout school. She was interested in beginning to work out. I thought that was great! So I told her to make sure that she was doing something every day. Walking, going to Zumba, running, swimming, just doing something. And she told me that she’d love to lose weight for a cruise she was going on later that year, but that she didn’t have time to do all that I’d told her. Um. First off. Why did you freaking ask me if you’re just gonna be like “Nah, definitely not doing that.” Second off, what the heck do you mean you don’t have time to work out?!

I get it. You’re busy. We’re all busy. I work full-time, I work at the gym, and I have relationships that I’d like to maintain. But if you’re anything like me, you also may like to maintain a healthy weight, you want to feel good in your clothes, and you’d most importantly, like to avoid diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, high blood pressure, and the like. Right?

So if you feel like you don’t have time to work out, take 5 minutes out of your busy day, and look at my suggestions. I’ll have you working out in a second!

  • So, like, what sort of stuff do you do to maintain your personal hygiene? I know it’s a weird question, but work with me here. Do your pluck your eyebrows kinda daily? Do you floss? Do you paint your nails? Wash (or in my case, twist) your hair? You need to start regarding working out like you do some of these things. So tell yourself you’re not allowed to go to happy hour til you spend like 45 minutes on the elliptical.
  • Build your workout into your day to make it more convenient for you. When I was in my second year of grad school, I had like, 8 hours of classes on Tuesdays. So between my 2nd and 3rd class, I would spend the hour and a half doing something. Sometimes I’d run. Sometimes I’d hit the gym where I worked for a class. Sometimes I’d row. And then I’d baby wipes the gross parts and put extra deodorant on for my class. So if your day is jam-packed? Consider a lunch-time workout. Consider a workout while you have a break.
  • Have a date with yourself. I assure you, I have a brain. Actually, I have a Masters. But there’s something simply delightful about carving out the half-hour, the hour, or the hour-and-half to work out while Judge Judy, Maury, Swift Justice with Nancy Grace (which no longer comes on much to my chagrin), the Real Housewives of Blah, or Dancing with the Has-Beens blares. You focus on the crap, and somehow, your time spent on the machine kind of melts away.
  • You have homework to do? A paper to write? Break it up. If you’re pulling a marathon stint, writing your final paper of the semester, write half, write 3/4ths, go for a walk with your dog, and then finish up. You’ll have a little more energy, and some gnarly ideas may come to you when you get the sweat pumping.

So like seriously, if you want to be the sexiest person in the office, in your graduate school cohort, or at church, as I often find myself to be, sneak your workout in.  You’ll perform better.  You’ll look better.  And you’ll finally feel  better cause you’re not making some lame excuse to stay out of the gym.

This entire week has been a hot mess.

A hot mess.  The universe is off-kilter.  Between Monday’s horrific tragedy in Boston, and continued weird events throughout the week, I am 100% confident in saying, that we all could use a vacation.  And a hug.  And a smile.

And knowing that the universe was acting strangely, I forced myself to run yesterday.  And usually when I do this, it  ends well.

My first mistake?  It was over 80 degrees, kinda humid, and I was wearing Nike Dri-Fit Capris.  “Oh, it’ll be fine, these hot capris will keep your chub from rubbing!”  False.

Then, I drank enough liquid to solve the clean water crisis in Africa.  I was thirsty!

Third?  I really didn’t feel like running.  Not I was just being lazy.  I really wasn’t feeling it!  But sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference between laziness, and your body telling you to chill.  Learn to tell that difference.  So you won’t be a mess like me.

I set out on a short run before I had to teach a class yesterday.  And I began my gallop down the sidewalk with the grace of a Holstein Cow.  Took a few more steps.  And the liquid began to slosh around in my belly.  My pace fluctuated as wildly as my breathing did.  Sweat began to drip into my eyes.  And all I could think was.  “Shucks.  This is a bad run.”

It was a bad run.  Really bad.  I haven’t felt so defeated since I began to run.  And you know what you do when you have a bad run?  Drop it low, do a dance, be grateful you’re not injured, take a day off, and revisit running when you feel up to it.

Bad runs happen.  You’re emotionally drained.  You’re physically exhausted.  Your girlfriend just dumped you.  You lost your house.  You’re going through a divorce.  And your body is like. “Nope.  I need to expend energy grieving and repairing myself, not messing around here in this hot weather, inappropriately dressed.”  At that point, it’s tempting to push yourself harder, and try and redeem yourself, prove to yourself you can run.  You can.  You know it.  You’ve run 5ks, 10ks, half-marathons, marathons.  You need a break.  So when a bad run happens to you, (and it will, because you’re a human being), take it in stride.  Take a day off.  Come back when you feel ready to come back.  Dress a little more appropriately.  And do your thing a little better and smarter next time.