No seven year itch here

Facebook reminded me today that 7 years ago was my first 5K! I was not a born runner by any stretch of the word. I was on the track team in 7th and 8th grade but mainly for the social aspects of it, making it around the track once seemed like an impossible feat. Running was just never my thing. Right up until a little over 7 years ago.

I had started to run a little bit here and there beginning with the walk and run method. And then one day I wanted to see how far I could go without stopping and ran 3 miles without stopping! Then, I did it again and then again. It felt good, I finally realized the secret was to keep breathing and it was almost fun. OK, not fun but it felt awesome when I was done. My work friend Susannah was a legit runner and stared talking to me about doing a race. “A race? Me? No way!” But, it was too late, the thought was in my head and 7 years ago today I ran that first race with Susannah and my mom (who had been running quite a bit back at that time) and that was the beginning of the end for me. I got bit by the bug hard and as soon as I crossed that finish line, I wanted more! 
First 5K- March 2010

In the past 7 years now I have completed over 31 races: 1 marathon, 6 half marathons, a 10 miler, and countless 10Ks to 5Ks. Running has transformed me, it’s that simple. Running has helped me mentally get through some really hard losses in life and helped me find focus and myself again after having both of my sweet boys. It’s an activity that I can basically do anywhere and feel decent about at any skill level. I have made some of my absolute best and most inspiring friends thru running. If I can do it, anyone can do it!


Why do you love to run? Have you been running your whole life?


RunCLE40- Back on track

Here we go again!  Its March and a fresh start! Thank God!

To be completely honest February pretty much sucked. I'm calling it a wash and it happens, its life.

March is where the party's at!  And getting back on track is as easy as re-committing to it again.

I wrote this about wanting to read the Bible from start to finish, and I'd like to do it again.:

This week will be back to my regular training schedule. Running M/W/F and a weekend day and my total body toning class on Tu/Th. I'm excited to get this back on track. I'm also going to start adding in some interval training and hills.

In the meantime I snuck in a half marathon this morning! It was awesome and full of hills but great to be back out there! The Mill Creek Classic is in Youngstown and pretty much in my backyard. It's great to run a hometown race. The only real goal of the race was to use it as some awesome training time. My running bestie Lynanne is training for the Pittsburgh full and I'm training as much as I can with her.

The hills today- Intense with a capital I!

It was really cold today, colder than I planned when I signed up. It was 17 this morning in the car, felt like 7. Brr. I really layered up and we got going.

The first mile was really, really cold and I was cursing myself for not bringing my gloves. There were also 5 hills within mile 1 which wow!  It's been a minute since I have done hills out there, (like roughly 2 years). So, it was a little crazy. We took lots of walk breaks and did the best we could. The walking took over the last few miles out on the course. The final little leg of the race was all uphill, and we were both completely spent. Roughly 40 yards out we started the slow roll to the finish line and the most amazing thing happened. There was about a dozen people at the end and they all started clapping and cheering us on! It was so great, there was only about 10 people behind us but it made us feel like rockstars. Then I looked again and I was shocked as heck to see my awesome boyfriend standing there cheering us on too! It was the best and I couldn't be more lucky!

Overall, it was a super tough course but we did it and I'm so glad we did!

Here's to a great week of training! Have you guys signed up yet?

And be sure to see what all of my other fellow ambassadors are doing! You can also follow me on IG @running_with_jazzhands!

Have a jazz-tastic week!


Where is you?

This is what my son Jack asks me when he can’t find me around the house. It’s adorable in his 3 year old little voice.

But where have I been?  It has really been a hectic few weeks and training has been hit or miss to say the least. My mom had some pretty invasive back surgery about 3 weeks ago that we all expected for her to be back up and at it within days, but now, weeks later and multiple complications later she is still in some serious pain and recovering from two surgeries and a fractured pelvis.

Generally speaking, my parents take the boys to school a few days a week which helps me keep up my 7-4 schedule so I can get them after school. But, with them out of the picture for a while, I am taking the kids to school and getting to work much later. I love taking the kids to school and spending time with them in the morning, but the reality is that my job is an hour away and if I don’t start at 7am then something has to give and lately it’s been my lunch breaks that I use to train and/or blog. I have been feeling a lot of the “winning at nothing” these past few weeks. It’s the epitome of being stretched too thin.  The bottom fell out yesterday when I went to the dr to confirm what I knew already that I had strep throat for about the 5-6th time in a year. Apparently, my stress likes to reside in my deep pocket tonsils.(so gross) 

So moving on, the tonsils will come out in the summer- after my planned races. I’m doing decent at the training and ran 12 miles last weekend which felt a little rough, but I know that I can do the miles for the half. My focus will be to be getting the miles to tick by faster. I’m working on a plan for that too. I need to focus a workout a week on hills and speed work to make this happen. It’s another hiccup in life and nothing that I can’t overcome. Life is hectic and busy and super unpredictable but that is part of the beauty of it too right?

Cleveland has been working their butts off with some cool stuff for the 40th anniversary race this year! Here are my favorites!

Sweet race apparel
  • Leggings- we have our own leggings this year that are super cool!
  • Shoes- did you know that we also have some pretty cool Cleveland Marathon shoes?  The race is really going all out this year and these are pretty cool!
  • In training shirts- they are super cool this year! And they look a lot like the ambassador ones that I have been rocking as much as I possibly can!

Buy them all here! You know you want to! 

Medals- As always, they look awesome this year!  

New course- This might be my favorite change!  This year its been changed so that we finish in Public Square and not on the shoe way! This is a huge change because right at the end you really need that push and surge of energy from the crowd, at least I need it. And the shore way was usually my most dreaded part of the race, so YAY!   Its going to be the best year yet!

I have finally committed to the 8K/ Half Marathon Challenge and I couldn’t be more excited about it. You can sign up now too! Prices go up again March 9th
Or check out Holly’s blog for a chance to win an entry! And also because she’s awesome!

And be sure to see what all of my other fellow ambassadors are doing! You can also follow me on IG @running_with_jazzhands!

Have a jazz-tastic week!



Today I made a choice. It was a choice to adjust my schedule to do something that I truly feel good when I walk away from- running. No matter how much a procrastinate getting to the start of a run or how much I feel like junk ahead of time or even during it, I always feel like a rockstar when I’m done, a freaking badass ready to take on whatever comes my way today! And I know that I feel this way because I took time for me.
Your run may be a quiet cup of coffee reading a book, or yoga or swimming or watching that half hour show that you fell asleep before the end the other night. Whatever it is that makes you happy, you MUST take the time to do, even for 10 minutes a day. Because this life is so short and if you don't do it for yourself then its pretty unlikely anyone will tell you to do it. This world is so busy and there are constant pressures to get everything done quicker and faster while juggling work and relationships and family and just life. 
I know when I take some time to do what I love I am better, I am a better mom, a better friend, and more focused at work. Let’s make this happen today people! Practice taking 10 minutes for you, no kids, no chores and laundry and multi-tasking, JUST YOU! I promise you will feel like a million bucks!
Make time for yourself!:
photo credit


RunCLE40- Eating better and more miles

Week 3 of training was good! I’m feeling a little bit stronger day by day and that is exciting! I have also started to eat a little bit better. Yeah, I know. I’m as shocked as you are! Work is hosting a biggest loser contest for the next few months so I figured double motivation to eat better, loose the darn cookie weight from the holidays and get my ass back into some decent shape. Now, I am not one to harp on healthy eating because I sure do enjoy myself a hostess cupcake as much as the next guy, but I know moderation and eating MOSTLY healthy is key. Side note: to this day, I strongly regret not paying as much attention to my nutrition class in college as I should have, but at least I have Pintrest! So, I’m eating better, I have more energy, I feel way more focused and sleeping like a baby. A baby that puts two other babies to bed and then gets up at the ass crack, but I digress. Eating better is a great idea!  Some of my favorite healthy snacks are: hard boiled eggs, peanut butter toast, lots of berries and apples and vanilla yogurt with some granola in it. It’s a start and a step in the right direction.

Since May seems like it’s right around the corner, I’m thinking of other races that I can run to prep for May. I may possibly do the Youngstown Distance classic which is March 5th. It’s a half marathon, but I think it would help me get in race mode. I’m also considering the Hall of Fame half in April. And for a post CLE race, I’m really excited to be a part of the Youngstown half marathon that is an inaugural race June 4th, I think it’s a great way to celebrate my birthday weekend too!

It was a good week of training. Working out on my lunch break is what I have found to be the key for my success. It’s a win- win really. It doesn’t take time away from the kids in the evenings and it really energizes me mid-day to help me be focused for the rest of the day. Lots of people have asked how I can fit it all in. Generally, I get 35-40minutes to work out. And yes, I can fit in a 1 minute shower to rinse off the sweat. I don’t do much to my hair, but 100% of the time I am really happy that I took the time to go.
Here is what last week looked like for me
Trip home from Buffalo
3 miles at lunch 11:24 pace
Long meeting at lunch- no lunch workout- grrr
4 miles with Lynanne
TBT class- cardio and weights
3 miles
7 miles in the sun- what???   YES, the SUN in January in OHIO!
Things you should know this week:
  • New this year, all participants will receive and awesome CLE 40th anniversary keychain!

  • If you are reading this as a new year’s resolutioner then congratulations! You made it past Janurary 17th which is ditch day, the day that most people give up on their resolutions!  I’m so proud of your for sticking with it! It’s not always easy and way more fun to say in bed, keep watching that show and the list goes on, but if you want the result you need to stick it out!
  • If you want a chance to run the Cleveland Marathon with me for free- Check out my friend Andrew’s blog for a chance to win! He’s a fellow ambassador and a bad ass runner!

And be sure to see what all of my other fellow ambassadors are doing! You can also follow me on IG @running_with_jazzhands!

Have a jazz-tastic week!