If I had my life to do over…

Holidays are usually a time that we all pause and reflect on what really matters and if you aren’t sure what that is, please do come over and watch one of the bazillion Hallmark and Family Channel holiday movies that I have been subjecting my husband to.

Until then a great reminder in this article from Erma Bombeck because I couldn’t say it better.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner." There would have been more "I love you's." More "I'm sorry's."

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute...look at it and really see it .. live it .and never give it back. Stop sweating the small stuff.

Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what.

Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.


Comments are closed so you can enjoy time with family, but I’d love it if you share this if it speaks to you!

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Healthy Holiday Articles - Helpful or Negative?

Bear with me as I do a little Think Out Loud Thursday…on Wednesday…everything get’s thrown out the window on Holiday weeks!

I’m done with “lose 10 lbs in 10 days” or “six minutes to six pack abs” articles, but I’m ok with still seeing them in magazines and blogs because they are usually filled with some interesting moves or tips that a lot of people will find helpful on their journey.

I am 100% over the idea that we must look or eat a certain way - whether that’s thin or strong, vegan or paleo - which is why I love Carla Birnberg.

She says it like it is. She has shown me what it means to be a phenomenal mother. She has helped so many realize the “what you can when you can” motto is about learning to be easier on yourself.

BUT I disagree with her on “no more health holiday articles
{paraphrasing her idea, please go read the entire well said story}.
Are healthy holiday articles actually helpingI will most certainly be enjoying everything I want tomorrow and have been eating cupcakes, pizza and many other “not healthy” foods lately with absolutely no guilt.  However that only happens now because I am able to eat as she recommends MINDFULLY.

Meet my turkey cupcake, I’ll call him Harry, decorated at last nights Jillycakes party. I will be licking the frosting off guilt free today, thanks to lots of experiences…that started with reading all of those articles.IMG_0126When I first began losing weight, I needed to count calories.

I had to learn about food to start leaning in to a life filled with vegetables.

I needed articles that told me a piece of pecan pie was a 4 mile run; at that time I was lucky to make it 1.

I certainly wasn’t aware of emotional eating or how that might be amplified during the holidays.

I didn’t realize I might be eating that extra pie, stuffing, ok everything because I was bored.

Eating mindfully or exercising mindfully isn’t something I was able to simply step in to…I had to go through the process of learning about it all to now be able to live that way. While I agree with the idea that we should all strive to live from that place, I think it’s harder for some and I think there is value in educating everyone about what is healthy.

Holidays are also a time where we have perpetuated the ideas that “it’s ok to overeat” and holiday meals are inherently unhealthy while simultaneously living up to the “I’m so busy over the holidays” stigma that we stop working out.

Many of the holiday articles I’ve seen have also been to help us all restructure these ideas.

Why can’t our green beans or mashed potatoes be a little healthier??
Why can’t we embrace a little more movement (built in workouts with snow shoveling)? 
Why can’t we buck the trend of being overly busy?

Sure for those who have been around fitness or healthy living for years these might seem like intuitive ideas, but I remember when they were not.

I remember holidays being an excuse to sit for hours watching TV under a blanket and heck yes that will happen this year too {I adore the Hallmark movies}, but it will be balanced with moving and not coupled with eating my way through a bag of hot tamales.

So yes please enjoy the food, enjoy the friends, enjoy the festivities.

Let go of the guilt.

But it’s also ok to be mindful of your health and your choices too…so maybe that’s where I fall at the end of the day…balance between choosing veggies and choosing a treat between marathon watching Hallmark movies and an extra walk with David.

So let’s talk, what do you think?
Are healthy holiday articles actually helping?

Are you tired of the healthy holiday discussions?

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Creative gift ideas for runners and triathletes

In the months after standing in awe on the sidelines of Ironman Kona, I indeed started cross training and quickly found out just how much more gear you need to train in all weather and areas for triathlon!

I started running because it was cheap. 12 years ago any old pair of shoes and cotton shirt would get me out the door…but as with any hobby the longer you go the more you get excited about the new toys, gadgets and gizmos.

Gear is fun and I LOVE testing it all out….then yes giving a lot of it away. I can only wear or use so much at one time anyhow! So if you’ve decided to go all out this year, I’d like to give you some different and fun ideas to spoil the athlete in your life!
creative gifts for the runner and triathleteWhether your runner is considering their first tri or simply needs to do more cross training they will certainly appreciate being spoiled these gifts. (all product names linked)

Torch Bicycle Helmet ($150)
HOLY COW this helmet actually has a built in front and back light!! Talk about ensuring rider safety, I love it! They come in a few different colors and yes they are spendy, but my brain is worth the price tag.

Bike Book or iPad caddy ($19)
When the weather drives a biker inside this can save the day! First you can put books on it to read OR you can put something like the waterproof Sony tablet on there to watch tv, stream videos etc. Passing hours on the bike goes much quicker this way.

They do have iPad specific one’s but this is cheaper and more versatile! I know a number of people who have studied for exams while biking and I love that idea! Wish I’d have known about this in college.

Speedo Swim Cap ($14)
Also for the head, but this time way more fun! If we have to cover up our hair for protection, streamlining and all that jazz we might as well have fun doing it and I think this cap suffices.

Pearl Izumi cycling gear
Cross training quite simply means a need for different gear than we have for running…a few long bike rides taught me this the very hard way {they aren’t called saddle sores for nothing!}.

I have had a number of different shoes and the Tri Fly IV blows the others out of the water. They are a more narrow fit, much lighter, more breathable and well just cuter, ha! Additionally these happen to be the ONLY cycling shorts that I can stand to wear!

The padding is just enough without feeling like a diaper, the legs don’t have seems which can rub after hours peddling and again…cute. It’s a factor all right!

David also uses the Pearl Izumi X-Alp cycling shoes designed for mountain biking, which means he can clip in or wear them walking around. He loves how well they fit and that they just look like a regular workout shoe.

SportCount Swim Lap Counter ($40)
Awesome for swim workouts where you constantly lose track of what lap you are on! Slips right over the finger and can easily be pressed as you flawless execute another flip turn. This particular model also lets you track things like fastest and slowest laps, there is a cheaper version that does laps only. 

Milestones Sports Bangle Bracelet ($40 -50)
Just because we’re athletes doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy feeling a little girlie sometimes…and yet of course even our jewelry can speak to our personality! I am loving these bangle bracelets which can be customized for the half marathon to the marathon, Disney runs and so forth.

Garmin 910XT ($499 triathlon bundle)
I often talk about wearing this watch for running, but truly it shines when being used for cross training. I have the bike sensor on my bike so it picks up RPM which allows me to practice going at 90RPM to mimic the number of foot falls per minute we want when running.

And of course it is totally water proof, so you can head out in the pool or ocean with it tracking distance. A number of studies have found this GPS watch to be the most accurate.

Acupressure Mat and Pillow ($26 sale)
Ahhh everything aches, it is quite simply part of training some days. While I am a huge fan of massage and acupuncture, sometimes you need to just take care of things at home and this is a nice addition to using the foam roller.

The pressure points hit through the weight of your body are reported to help reset nerve path ways, to clear blocks and reduce pain. You can absolutely bet I have one of these on my PLEASE get me this list.

Runner’s Connect Gift Card
At the end of the day what many of us really need…is some coaching.

I thoroughly enjoy coaching those who are training for a first time at a new distance from 10K to marathon, but know there are much better coaches for the high intensity or BQ athlete. With a gift card here they can work on running form, nutrition or strength training. And really what’s better than a gift saying “hey I want to help you reach your goals next year?”!


I really do love coming up with new and creative ways to thank my friends and family. Sometimes it is with experiences like “hey I registered us for a race together” and sometimes it’s thinking outside the box on gifts they might never ask for but truly use.

Following are more great ideas that have been going around from other athletes!

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This is not a sponsored post, though I may have tried out some recommended items for free over the years, many are linked to Amazon which is an affiliate. As always it costs you nothing to use.

Creative ways to support a runner in training

You need not be a runner to support someone who is in training!

You may not always understand our commitment to early morning wake up calls on the weekends, our post run need for time in the bath with ice or epsom salt, our insistence to eat clean until post race when anything goes…

BUT you can support us along the way, which will deepen our bond in ways you may never expect.

You see running isn’t just something we do, it becomes part of us.

We’ve talked about how to be a great race spectator and even given them 18 race sign ideas, but that only accounts for 1% of time running!

What about all the weekends spent putting in long runs and babying sore muscles? I posed the question on Facebook and was truly amazed at some of the great ways your friends and family are already supporting you….

and of course the many folks who said “I WISH someone would do that for me”.  Creative ways to show support to runners training for their first 5k to marathonIf you’d like to send someone a little hint about how to help you {besides gift ideas} or get inspired to better support someone in your life, checkout the way these amazing people support their runners whether they are training for a first 5K or a 100th race, it all matters:

  • Sending me voice recordings of them cheering me on for race day. I added them to my playlist so at random times one would come on. Virtual cheering! - Carolyn B
  • I am an early morning working out person. My husband makes sure when I am showered my breakfast and tea are ready to go so I can get to work on time. Great help with trying to balance everything. -- Mo Faller
  • My boyfriend runs the first few miles of my marathon training long runs with me and then meets up with me for the last few miles, too. He'll bring me water and anything else I need for the last few miles and he also makes me breakfast while I'm out running so we can eat right after I'm finished, AND he'll wait to eat with me.  - Katie Rosenbrock
  • My best friend will make all of us who are running the best running themed sugar cookies before a big race.  - Whitney Blankenship
    Whitney Blankenship's photo. 
  • Hubby, mom, or mother-in-law hanging with our kids every Saturday morning since January so I can do a long run!! -- Kristen Myers
  • My husband always goes and picks up a few backs of ice when I'm on a long run so it's ready for an ice bath when I get home. - Danille Nardi
  • They listen with intent. Even when they aren't a runner or have any advice. Sometimes you just need to get or fears or frustrations out so you can move forward. - Stefanie Munos
  • Making me dinner on long run days so when I got home,it was ready and I didn't have to stress about it. Encouraging me and believing in me. - Sherilyn Peabody
  • He came home with a giant 4 feet x 4 feet plotted/printed calendar for he and I to keep track of our training for my first marathon and hung it on our living room wall. On days I would forget to fill in my runs, he did it for me and on weeks I hit my mileage goals he gave me a smiley face! - Rebecca Kelley
  • Long runs: My friends have been texting me on my last few long runs cheering me on. And I read the texts and text back when I am on my walk breaks. Helps ALOT! - Jodi Tivey
  • Leg massages!! Way better than a foam roller. -- Lori DeJarnatt
  • Leg and foot massages. And an extraordinary amount of verbal praise. He goes on and on about how proud and in awe he is of me. -- Mary Annette
  • Twice a week, when I have an evening run after work, my husband works on homework with my son, makes him dinner, and does the dishes. On my weekend long runs, he makes my son breakfast and plays X-Box with him for "quality time" together. I think they really enjoy that my runs are getting longer and longer! LOL - Lisa Subia Ellison
  • My husband fully supports my running. He sends me texts the morning of my races, if he isn't there with me. He stays with the kids so I can get my runs in. He buys me fantastic run gear that I wouldn't buy myself and encourages girls' weekend racecations!   - Angela Solbak

Click to tweet these ideas out to your friends {a not so subtle hint} and then leave a note below:

What do you wish your family and friends knew about supporting your running habit?

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  • Holiday Sweat Challenge Last Chance - Kick Off

    It’s about to get sweaty up in here and I hope you haven’t missed out on signing up because this group is phenomenal! We start on the 24th!

    Not only do we have brand new workouts, clean eating tips, motivation and stellar prizes…but a serious line up of participants from yogis to walkers to marathon runners all ready to support each other in staying on track with working out regardless of the weather and finding ways to enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie rather than the whole thing!

    We have too many great prizes to list them all, plus then you wouldn’t be surprised. So you’ll be seeing weekly shout outs on Twitter…but here are some of our favorites. Holiday Sweat Challenge Prize Preview

    We only have 38 days left until we kick off 2015 and I don’t know about you, but I plan to make the most of them and part of that for me is having a little bit of extra accountability from friends and some motivation to win prizes for being healthy.
    38 days until New Years

    Click here to register now or read more about the challenge.

    Late registration is $25 - Nov 24-28th.

    If you are registered for the challenge and haven’t received any emails, check your SPAM filter then leave a note below! You’ll be missing out if you aren’t getting those emails.

    Added fun…chat with me for a moment:
    What fitness thing are you asking for this Christmas??

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