half marathon training, moving forward

Happy Friday!!!!

Happy Friday, everyone!! I hope you all had a fantastic day!!! I’m so happy it’s the weekend, I don’t know about you!! Tonight’s workout was 3 sets of 30 reps-biceps and shoulders. 4 set of 30-crunches and my daily plank, ANDDDD my first mini long run. No, 4 miles isn’t considered long, but it is for me where I’m at in my pre-training phase so I’m pretty pleased.
Any big plans for the weekend? We’re keeping a close eye on hurricane Elsa…🌀😬🏃🏻‍♀️



half marathon training, Keto adventures, moving forward, Recipes

What a difference a day can make

Wednesday I went out for my short run after work, and felt incredibly strong. I always wonder how I can pull these runs after working all day, but I got it done and it felt great. Fast forward to today’s long run, and whoa…but we’ll get to that in just a bit. I haven’t gotten a chance to write since my last post about mid-life due to crazy schedules, but just thought I’d share a little about my week last week.

Like I said, my mid week 5k went great. I settled in after the first mile and was able to let go and just run. While I often miss my once speedy average pace of 9:15 for short runs, I will celebrate my time no matter what. I didn’t get to run much for the year of 2016 while my husband was deployed, and 2017 was busy playing catch up for the year I lost with my husband, and moving my family across the country to start our Florida adventures.


This weekend started out really lovely. Friday night I cooked dinner and we relaxed at home. Saturday my husband came up with the idea to drive to Clearwater to watch the sunset and have dinner with one of our neighborhood friends. It felt SOOOO great to have my toes in the sand!!!!


Today was my long run. The last one before the Gasparilla half marathon on the 24th of this month in downtown Tampa. We had ten miles on deck, and I knew as soon as we walked out of the front door, that this run was going to suck. Mile 2 my stomach started to talk to me and we had to make a pit stop at the house after mile 3. (I don’t think Mexican food is a good idea before a long run, especially when its going to be blazing hot with full on sun with absolutely no clouds for miles. Thank God for the breeze!!). Mile six, the same thing happened and we had to swing back to the house yet again. We had gone 7.5 miles and I just didn’t think I could keep going. I drank some Nuun and had some Huma Gel, but I was still grey and pale. My hubby said I needed to stay home, and he was right. He finished out his ten miler, and I spent the next 30 minutes getting my body temperature regulated. Looking at my Garmin stats it showed my heart rate had gone to 195 bpm. Yikes. This will definitely be my last long distance race this season. I’ll stick to 5K and 10K distance until the fall/winter months, or until I cave and get a new treadmill. (My Mom had given me one back in IL, but it was old and just wasn’t working anymore so we had to get rid of it).


For dinner tonight I made Beef bourguignon over cauliflower mash and it was amazing. To keep it keto friendly I omitted the carrots, but I feel like it was missing something with leaving them out.

Please click the links for the recipes!

How was your week/weekend? Are you training for any specific races? How do you handle running in extreme temperatures?

Cheers, and have a great week!!





half marathon training, Keto adventures, moving forward, running, Thankful

Half marathon training, week 9 long run

Despite not sleeping well last night, I knew I needed to get my long run done for the 9th week of training as I didn’t get it done over the weekend due to being stuck inside on a very rainy Sunday.

Once I got home from work I immediately changed clothes and headed out for my neighborhood loop/running trails. My plan called for a 10k race pace but I had planned to go a little farther to make up the 3 weeks of training I missed due to bronchitis. (That nasty cough is still lingering but getting a little better every day). The first mile felt surprisingly well, and I couldn’t believe I actually had a 10 mm in the mix, as well as I kept under an 11 mm pace for the entire 6.5 miles. Over all I was thrilled with this run.

Not to shabby for this rusty runner

Splits! Check out that 10 mm!

My cheerleader!

Today’s thankful 5:

  1. Easy commutes. Today’s commute both to and from work were surprisingly quick with no traffic, accidents, or crazy people that haven’t had enough coffee yet.
  2. Smooth days at work. Today was one of the first “good” work days I’ve had this year, and man did I need it.
  3. Left overs. I baked a big batch of chicken thighs yesterday, so all I had to do for dinner was heat them up along with a bag of steamed cauliflower rice.
  4. My daughter being so excited about trying out for her school’s play. We reciting her audition lines about two dozen times tonight, and I pray she gets the part.
  5. Good runs. Man did I ever need tonight’s run. My right knee has always been my bad knee, ever since I popped it back in high school track. And it sure hasn’t been happy with me this month. I just ordered some new knee braces off Amazon.

This brace got me through 3 full marathons! Got two, one for each knee!

How is your commute to work? What’s your favorite thing to have for leftovers? Get any mileage in today?



half marathon training, Thankful

Wednesday’s Thankful #6

Ok guys, I am not going to lie. I am going to have to dig deep to not be a little repetitive in my thankful post today, because I am having a bit of a struggle compiling my list. Sunshine and my dog are a given. Today was a rough day at work, and I’ll simple put between instrumentation and staffing issues this year, I snapped. I snapped at doctors, snapped at coworkers, hell I even snapped at myself for snapping and quickly apologized to the victims of my snaps, LOL.


My thankful post for today:

  1. My ability to still run off the stress of a bad day even when my legs feel heavier than the sandbags I filled for Hurricane Irma (click link to check out my first month of adventures in FL) back in 2017!!!! I’m in week 9 (having missed 3 weeks due to bronchitis) of training so I can’t quit now!
  2. My husband, who on days like today is extra sweet, extra supportive, and even had dinner ready when I got home from my run.
  3. The fact that my daughters come to me with their problems. The fact they feel I am a “safe zone” shows me I’ve at least done something right despite the struggle of the preteen/teen years.
  4. The roof over my head, and food on the table. I often find myself for wanting more, when really I have all that I need.
  5. HUMP DAY! We’re almost to Friday, y’all!!!


What are you thankful for today? Do you have a favorite day of the week?



half marathon training, moving forward, Thankful

Week 8 long run/Thankful #4

I have been down for the count for exactly 3 weeks. My last long run was Christmas where I was able to run 5 miles fairly easily as I’ve been running 3-4 miles for quite some time. I’ve only walked/ran a couple of times since then, so decided I either 1. get off my butt and run (even if that meant some walking due to coughing still), or 2. ditch the notion of running the Gasparilla half marathon on February 24th in St. Petersburg FL. My hubby is also running this race, but is three weeks ahead of me in training and I know he didn’t want to slow down to run my slower pace so I sent him off for his long run so I could run solo.

The temps were in the perfect low 60’s and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. There were however, left over winds from the crazy storms we got last night which took my breath away several times. I ran the first loop (3.2 miles) slowly but I felt quite strong. I started to feel a little light headed, so I ran past my house to fuel and take a potty break. I had a HUMA chia gel which are my go-to for long run fueling, some water, and I headed back out. I did ok until I hit mile 5 and this was my “wall” to today’s long run. I slowed to a pace of 11:54 and mile 6 was an 11:53. Thankfully I caught a second wind and my last mile was 11:14 with an average pace of 11:18. I am learning that it’s not always about pace, and that I need to celebrate the distance.


Today I am thankful for:

  1. Long runs=therapy sessions. I am thankful for the hour and twenty minutes I had to myself to think, process issues and just enjoy the sunshine.
  2. The ability to run as I get older. My knees have 30+ years of running in their  history and I often struggle with a short run. Thankfully supplements, creams, and knee braces are my saving grace.
  3. Sleeping in. I know, I used this one yesterday but having the extra day to the weekend did wonders for my sleep deprivation.
  4. Sunshine and perfect running weather.
  5. Perspective. I used to always worry about running faster and running farther. Now I simply try my hardest and enjoy every mile.

Did you work today? What’s your favorite way to release stress? Are you training for any races right now?




Races, Recipes, Sunday Supper

Great Western Trail half marathon race recap with a recipe

I preface this post with the fact that I have only been working on speed every so slightly, once or twice each week on short runs in the last few months, and that I am an idiot for not being completely thrilled with my PR. 

I’ve done this race now three times, and was excited to possibly break my course record of 2:01, as well as maybe crush that good ole sub 2 goal I’ve had for the last several years.  The weather was nearly perfect at the start, with the temps in the low 60’s and a nice breeze. I was giddy as I got to hang out with Wendy from Taking the long way home, as well as the fact that this was my first race of 2015.

With that, I took off too fast, and only was able to hang with Wendy momentarily.  But I felt GREAT so heck, I was going to give it my all. “The faster you run, the faster you are done” rang sweetly in my head along with “Slow down you idiot or you’ll burn out!!”  I honestly could picture my PR/Sub 2 the entire race, and gave it my ALL.  I tried my best to keep my pace at or below 9:09, only faltering on that goal for a couple separate miles.  But as the temperature rose, and the sun came out in full force I could feel my head throb and hands swell by mile 11.  The spectators and volunteers were amazing, and after a couple high fives from some VERY cute little dudes I picked it back up.

But then, there’s that last mile of the Great Western trail half marathon that isn’t for the faint of heart or weak of mind.  It will take everything you have, and more to get through the winding hills, and never ending trail that seemingly is about to end…but then it doesn’t.  I pushed, feeling as if I was going to pass out, and then pushed some more.  I crossed the line with an official time of 2:00:11.  And I cried.  Sobbed nearly as big sweaty, salty tears stung my eyes.

And then I got mad, for not being happy that I got a PR, and that I finished strong WITHOUT passing out.  My awesome friends were there to hold me up, and celebrate with me all I had accomplished and I am so very thankful I didn’t feel sad for very long.

A huge shout out to the Fox River trail runners, the race organizers, volunteers and spectators.  I love this race! (Minus that last mile, lol)

Teri from Reinventitude, Wendy from Taking the long way home, and Karen from Trading in my Heels ❤

This pic, truly says it all.  Thanks to Dave Sheble from the Fox Valley Marathon for capturing it!
This pic, truly says it all. Thanks to Dave Sheble from the Fox Valley Marathon for capturing it! What AM I doing with my hand, though?

I finished my day by prepping/cooking Sunday Supper.  Tonight’s theme was Asian inspired. I even got my mandolin out, and if you recall from my Christmas post the mandolin and I got in a fight.  I decided to tackle my fears.  Heck, if I could PR in this heat, I can use a mandolin right? Mandolin 1-Michelle 1!

My husband is just hilarious, right?  LOL
My husband is just hilarious, right? LOL

Asian inspired short ribs

What you’ll need:

Short ribs (we used beef, but pork is fine too)-season with kosher salt and pepper and set aside


1 cup of low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup of chili garlic sauce

2 cloves of garlic-grated

Fresh ginger-grated

Juice of 2 limes

Fresh cilantro, finely chopped

5-6 green onions, chopped-use all of white, and some of the green

Drizzle in some extra virgin olive oil and mix well.  Pour over your ribs and let refrigerate for a couple hours.

Bake the ribs for about an hour (covered) at 325 degrees.  I might try lowering the temp next time, but they were amazing.  I served with ginger infused mashed sweet potatoes and a fennel, green apple and baby bok choy salad.  YUM!


Did you race or run this weekend?  Any new recipes in your rotation? How do you handle missing your goals?

Have a great week, y’all!!  It’s time to retire to the couch!


moving forward

Sometimes you just have to start over…Snow, Sluggish miles, and Super Bowl fun

My year started out a little rocky between injury and stress levels running at an all time high.  For the first few weeks of the year I couldn’t run OR cook.  yeah…#killmenow basically was in affect.

But today, as we start the second month of the year I woke up happy, nearly rested, and ready to run.  We were hit by a terrible snow storm over night, and I am honestly just a wimp as I’ve aged with running outside in bitter temps/wind/crazy conditions.  It was snowing…SIDEWAYS.  yeah.  I was staying INSIDE.

But as I stepped on the scale before I changed in to my running clothes my heart sank a little, and I knew it was time to start over.  Despite giving up some bad habits in the past, I’ve taken on some even worse habits of snacking at 9 pm at night which have cause my weight to go up higher than I’ve seen since the birth of my last child.  I have honestly weighed the same give or take a few lbs. for the better part of my adult life….so fighting with the scale is a new battle for me.  But…

No more.  Time to start over.

This morning I started my day with a run. Loud capris and shoes in tow…Yup…that’s how I roll.

Longest run to date this year!
Longest run to date this year!

My kids played in the snow, while I made my Detox soup for the week!

detox soup, ready for my lunches this week!
detox soup, ready for my lunches this week!

Look at those smiles!
Look at those smiles!

I researched and found a new plank challenge for beginners that I will post daily on my FB page.  Have you liked my page yet? Please look over to the right margin of my page and give me a little love!

Check it out!
Check it out!

And then, I roasted an amazing pork roast as my hubby prepared to stream the Super bowl via the internet.  YAY!

I served this with a salad of fresh greens and baked sweet potato fries.  YUM.
I served this with a salad of fresh greens and baked sweet potato fries. YUM.

Not the ideal way to watch the game, but hey!  It worked!
Not the ideal way to watch the game, but hey! It worked!

We are ending the night with the hubs plowing and shoveling, AGAIN…note the look of disdain on his face…LOL

Closing in on almost 8 inches I think?
Closing in on almost 8 inches I think?

So with all that…today I am starting over (again).  I realized that the most important thing in life that we can give, is love…I’ve fought the emotional battles of “not being enough” and it just isn’t worth it.  People will make an effort to be a part of your life-if they truly want to…and sometimes, you realize that your efforts are falling on deaf ears and you need to step back and focus on YOU.  Starting over, daily, because isn’t that what life is all about? #Movin’forward

And sometimes….most times…and always.  You need to be your own hero.

How do you overcome the negative forces in your life? Are you an all weather runner?

dedication, goals, moving forward, running

Monday truths and week wrap up

I caveat this post with a disclaimer.  This post (and all my posts) are simply a journaling of my thoughts, experiences, hopes, dreams, struggles as lived and breathed by yours truly.  They in no way are directed to anyone, nor are my opinions directed toward anyone other than…ME.  I share these said experiences as it helps me, by hopefully inspiring, helping, or provoking thought by others.

Moving on…

Ack, I haven’t blogged in a week.  Mind you, it’s always been in the back of my mind to take the time to sit down and write…but the time just escaped me last week.  My girls go back to school on Wednesday with my eldest entering high school and my youngest starting 3rd grade.  It’s been a scramble to get school supplies, shoes, registration, dentist appointments, physicals and lastly gym shoes with ‘free time’ being sparse.  But…we got it done…and Wednesday my first born will be walking the halls of high school where life will bring her challenges, heart aches, and success stories all wrapped up in four crazy years.  Lord help me have patience and strength to help her…My youngest starts 3rd grade (and pray her cold subsides, please!)…and I pray she finds her groove this year.  Prayers all around!

My hubby and I got in two amazing 4 milers this week, and I have now been using Myfitnesspal app for a week and am down 2.6 lbs.  YAHOO.

posted previously, but so proud...
posted previously, but so proud…

second 4 miler.  bam!
second 4 miler. bam!

Friday was our date night…it’s been a while, so we planned an amazing tapas style dinner at a local Italian place.  It was.  AMAZING.

Lemon cello cheers!
Lemon cello cheers!

We went to see the movie, “The hundred foot journey” and we both really enjoyed it.  Although I wasn’t pulled in emotionally by the acting, the story itself was profound.  It highlighted the fact that if you truly have a passion for something, you can achieve your goals!  A home cook turned Michelin (sp?) star Chef what???  Yup…GREAT motivator to not give up on my dreams.

Saturday we ran errands and finally after three years of living in our home bought curtains for our bedroom.  Baby steps, right?

The beautiful comforter is a handmedown from my parents...Love!
The beautiful comforter is a handmedown from my parents…Love!

Saturday night was carbloading for our 10 mile run.  I haven’t ran double digits since my half marathon in May, and this was my husband’s FIRST double digit run.

Rice pasta with meat sauce...win!
Rice pasta with meat sauce…win!

We got up before the sun on Sunday, and headed out to Geneva running outfitters for our 10 miler.  I was pacing the ten minute mile pace group.  And my Garmin died.  Just like that.  GAH….but thankfully one of my runners said he would pace us, if I would direct us…and we finished strong.  What an amazing group.

Pic taken from my friend Cindy..ack, do I really hunch over like that?  (I am in the orange)
Pic taken from my friend Cindy..ack, do I really hunch over like that? (I am in the orange)

And I got to meet one of my Movers, Sarah!  Awesome day!
And I got to meet one of my Movers, Sarah! Awesome day!

We got home early, pigged out, and tackled house cleaning.  I spent the afternoon on the couch watching “Divergent.”  GREAT movie.

I asked my hubby why he decided to run a half marathon while we shared a celebratory glass of wine…”To do something with you, of course.”  My heart sang.  After 11 years together, and 10 years (nearly) of marriage this man never stops taking my breath away.

This week marks my monthly 6 day work week…and tonight, after work I rushed home to shower, change, and head out to the marathon committee meeting and I still find myself learning so much that comes to planning a race.  Please, take a moment to thank your local race committee and directors.  It’s a job that doesn’t pay monetarily but makes you feel so darn good.

Gosh we look so serious.  lol
Gosh we look so serious. lol

At the end of the day, I find myself counting my blessings this past week.  My  family #truths:

We don’t have a lot of ‘disposable’ money.  We get our hair cut at Cost Cutters.  We shop consignment, 95% of the time.  We don’t take lavish vacations or have fancy cars or home(s).  But we do treat ourselves once every couple months to a nice dinner or a cool running outfit (for example).  We celebrate our laughter, and embrace our tough times…together.  We may get frustrated with each other…but we always work together.  We don’t compromise who we are…instead, we figure out how we can meld together as a cohesive unit.  It’s not easy…

But we do it.



Have you ever volunteered for a race?

Does your family support your dreams?


❤ Michelle



Wordless (mostly) weekend wrap-up…

We welcomed Friday with open arms after a very long couple weeks at work, with minimal days off…what did we do to celebrate?  Yard work…yup.  Call me crazy, but it was therapeutic to FINALLY get some work done around the house.

I don't think my family was quite as excited as I was to pull this mountain of weeds...
I don’t think my family was quite as excited as I was to pull this mountain of weeds…

But after 2 hours of work, and shaky arms, we let our hair down and enjoyed a couple of my husband’s famous daiquiris.  DELISH.

Let's just say, this glass of amazing goodness went down a little too smoothly, LOL!
Let’s just say, this glass of amazing goodness went down a little too smoothly, LOL!

Saturday we took the top down on the Jeep and drove around running errands.  We ate a late lunch, so I decided to make a light dinner I like to call “Little bites.”  We had bacon wrapped figs stuffed with goat cheese, and shrimp toasts.  To. Die. For.  And so easy.

Holler if you want the recipe!
Holler if you want the recipe!

Saturday evening I got my gear out as I religiously always do before a long run or race, and was in bed by 10:30 (which is GREAT for me).  We had 8 miles on deck for Sunday morning, and I was again pacing the 9:30 half marathoners for our 3rd training run.  Nerves always set in, but I was able to sleep until about 4 a.m. when I woke up in fear I  missed my alarm.  Ack…I still had an hour before I had to get up!  I stayed in bed, trying to rest, and finally rolled out of bed at 5 to get ready…

Obligatory gear post
Obligatory gear post-what’s your favorite fuel?

My hubby and I met up with all my friends, and we smiled, talked, and chatted as we got ready to line up to run.

Photo thanks to my friend, Jitka: here is me, Jitka, and Carolyn!
Photo thanks to my friend, Jitka: here is me, Jitka, and Carolyn!

And we were off…the first couple miles Jitka, Brian, and Debra and I ran quite easily on the trails.  Wow…2 miles done already?  Awesome!  I was holding pace easily, and then the hill of hell at Japanese gardens came…THIS hill nearly killed me in the full marathon last year, but our group barreled up it full force…so much so that I missed the turn, and nearly tacked on a good quarter mile to our route.  Woops…a couple runners got irritated, and I apologized profusely.  This nearly set me off course, but I had Jitka and Brian cheering me on, and I quickly brushed the negativity off my back.  (note-those that know me well know how directionally challenged I am…so leading a group this size can be a bit daunting).  We finished strong, and I had a huge sigh of relief when we were done despite losing part of my group.

8.2 miles done at a 9:27 pace!
8.2 miles done at a 9:27 pace!

Me and my hubby-this was his FARTHEST run to date!  So proud!
Me and my hubby-this was his FARTHEST run to date! So proud!

And then….there was the food…

Give. Me. ALL. the. FOOD.  Yup, he earned this!
Give. Me. ALL. the. FOOD. Yup, he earned this!

And then…we napped.  I am surprised how tired I get after these long runs, seeing that last year my mileage was double.  I AM enjoying being home by 8:30 in the morning after a ‘long’ run, I’ll have to admit.

What is the farthest you’ve ran?  What’s on your race docket this year?

I am sticking to half marathons this year…with my 3rd full scheduled for next summer with my sister.  Training starts in February, so stand by for details!


Keep Movin’, y’all!!

❤ Michelle


Three things, Thursday

I haven’t slept worth crap (is sleep really worth crap?  I digress…) this week.  I can pretty much pin point the problem, but it’s a good problem if that makes sense…

1.  I am breaking up with my love of my nightly glass (or 2 or 3) of wine.  For those that know me, you know I LOVE wine.  I love researching vineyards, checking out new wines featured in the “Wine Spectator”  magazine, and my husband and I enjoy attending wine dinners.  And so my habit formed, and I saw myself downing at least 2 large glasses in the evening, which of course let to a “good night’s sleep.”  But was it good?  Nah…I wake up feeling unrested, and sluggish.  Hung over?  Nah…I’m not THAT bad, lol.  But unrested regardless.  So this week with my goal of not only having fun training for my hubby’s first half marathon, I decided we needed to cut back on our other passion…sorry wine…you and I will still meet up, but at a lesser frequency.


tee hee
tee hee

2.  Sometimes, people will hurt our feelings.  I will leave this one a bit vague…but I will say I have a teenage daughter.  (Enough said?  lol)

Despite having a great day at work, my heart got the best of me, and I let attitudes and looks nearly ruin my day.  I went upstairs to change in to my running clothes, yet really I just wanted to sit in the bathroom and cry silent tears.  I splashed water on my face, got my gear on, and came downstairs to get ready with my husband for our 4 mile run.  Thursdays work perfectly for our run as we drop our youngest off at the Park District at dance class for an hour, which is just enough time to run and peak in and see her dance for a few minutes.  But my oldest saw my face…and knew I was upset after I finished getting ready.  “Mom, can I have a hug?”  Of course…I love my daughters dearly…#sigh


3.  My husband and I had a GREAT run.  Neither of us has been feeling very rested…between the wine, and working more hours than we can count, we decided tonight’s run we would take it easy.  We did our speed/hill work out Tuesday, so tonight we planned on settling in with him letting me dictate the pace.  My goal was to keep it under a 9:30 pace, with a desired average pace of 9:15.  We finished at a average pace of 9:18, and the best part?  Him looking at me nearly bewildered saying, “That was a GREAT run, and I felt like I could’ve kept going!”  WIN.  During our run along the Fox River we spotted several fisherman that had 6-8 fishing poles set up.  My husband remarked, “Just think, some of these guys are probably relying on those fish for dinner.”  And suddenly my piles of student loans and debt seemed very small…and I silently slapped myself in the head for always wanting more…

Oh, and my hubby has learned this lesson too during his long runs…LOL

Doh!  Embrace the chafe?  LOL
Doh! Embrace the chafe? LOL

How is your week going?  Do you use speed/hills in your training? How do you prevent chafing?  (I use good ole Vaseline)  Have you counted your blessings tonight?  There is still time…


❤ Michelle