The Friday Five Link-UP! Favorite Motivational Posters.


Well hello friends! It’s been TWO weeks that I’ve not posted on a Friday. Gah. Life gets crazy busy. So glad for the Friday Five link-up hosted by Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar. Check out their rules and future topics HERE!

So here we are and I am so ready for some more sunshine and NO MO SNOW! Y’all…for real…the snow has been beautiful, the kid has thoroughly enjoyed every minute, and it’s good for watering the earth so to speak…but I’ve had enough of the treadmill. However, I am so glad my hubby fixed it! Without it this week would have not been as successful with marathon training! Silver lining friends!


Anyway, so this week’s Friday Five is “freebie”. I can post any 5 things I’d like to. So today since I was feeling bummed this morning I’m going to post 5 of my favorite motivational posters. Enjoy!

1.) This picture is from my first ever marathon, OBX Outer Banks NC. As a single parent, achieving a full marathon was the greatest feeling in the world. This race taught me that I could indeed do anything I set my sights on. Now I relentlessly, fearlessly pursue my goals everyday.obx

2.) Strength.


3.) “They will soar on the wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary.” Probably my most favorite.

IMG_15234.) This one reminds me that God has got this and that I can and will finish  my race in victory!


5.) Always be proud of who God created you to be! Every step forward is a step no matter how long it might take you! I recently heard a thought on a podcast that many people give up because the start up of their projects are taking too long. Don’t stop. The time will pass anyway in your life so be proud NOW of each and every little step you take.


That’s it! see you guys next Monday!

What are some your favorite motivational posters or sayings? How crazy was your week?

blessed and beautiful running.


Marathon Monday and CLIFBar WINNER!


Hey hey guys! So sorry this post is up super late and it’s ridiculously, sporadically compiled. I had an early start, like 5:00 am start, to my day so this post was definitely squeezed in last minute after running, kid, work, some kind of frozen dinner (yes, I know. *hangs head in shame* in front of all my amazingly talented pre-prepped foodies out there. This is not one of my finer skills.) , and now WordPress.

So why the 5:00 am start today? My treadmill is broke and I had to make a run to the gym, run five miles, get back home in time to be taxi mom, and employee ready by 8 am. Plus I don’t do no-light-whatsoever-dark-o-thirty-running. Just seems too dangerous. I try to be smart. You know, as I was walking into the gym today I thought to myself how awesome would it be if I was actually on my way to work here? Soon enough. So let me just …


I’m finally sitting on my butt for a minute.

Anyway, y’all aren’t here to read about my boring daily rush routine. I know. It’s cool cause I have a winner picked thank you random Rafflecopter app!

And the winner is….

Ms. Autum H.! I’ve got your contact info so be on the lookout for an e-mail soon with directions to obtain your goodies. Thank you so much to all who entered and take the time to read my ramblings. 🙂

So what’s new? Well, we have been getting snow and ice. Guess that’s not too new. I’ve decided that running in it was definitely beautiful and peaceful. And that it made me a total tough running rockstar…

But there’s more snow on the radar. So I’m basically over it now. I’m tough but I’ll be the first to admit I’m also tired of being “tough”. I have my limits. I’m training in all this cold weather and I’m just waiting for that marathon day in April to be like 85* hot and humid and I will roast like a puffy, white marshmallow.

As far as mileage last week I hit all my runs except an easy five miler. I had a tight hammie from snow/ice running. I didn’t get in my weight training either as we were snowed in for a good portion of the week…I did practice yoga…I realize I could have put together a body weight routine in place of my regular weight room at the gym routine (Jess at Blonde Ponytail is great at sharing new ideas)…but sometimes…


pizza..yes please.

When I’m snowed in…I swear I could eat pizza all day every day. Well, even when it doesn’t snow. It’s a flaw. A serious condition. I need to be conditioning my body for strength. Not every day needs to  be a “carb loading” day.. *shakes head in shame* again. Seriously.  I need one my awesome fellow healthy foodie bloggers to create, cook, and feed me healthy food all day, everyday. Logically I know that good food fuels the body for success and strength…but for now I’m doing good to keep my running up. As the mileage increases (on top of a full-time job standing on my feet all day every day) the harder it seems to want to eat celery, carrots, and healthy grains and fit in other critical cross-training and strength training routines. Increased mileage = insatiable appetite and lack of energy to “workout”. Ya feel me?

But this is a new day. Let’s #getafterit!! So this week I find myself on a mission to eat less pizza, after today because I totally did, line-up at home strength workouts for the impending snow days, and yoga it up more this week. You are more likely to eat smart and work out if you plan in advance! Also planning around things like snow.

So this week’s mileage line-up:

Monday: 5 easy w/5 strides

Tuesday: 8 w/8 hill repeats

Wednesday: 9 w7@MP + yoga

Thursday: 4 easy + strength training

Friday: Rest/or XT

Saturday: 3 easy

Sunday: 13 long slow distance + yoga

Total goal miles: 42

How’s your training going? Are you a pizza addict? Would you be willing to solve my poor eating habit?! Any week specific goals on your agenda this week? 

blessed and beautiful running.


How to Enjoy 18 miles in Freezing Weather


#IRun4Dylan 🙂

Running through falling snow has a way of making you feel giddy like a child. It’s an uninhibited joy when you choose to embrace and enjoy God’s creation. I’m by no means a huge fan of winter. In fact, I usually state that I HATE winter. But hate is such a strong word and I’m sure God doesn’t appreciate my strong disdain for His seasons. All season serve a purpose. And snow is cleansing…

So today’s run started out a wee bit warmer like 22* instead of -9* warmer. Hey, I’ll take it. We were practically in a heat wave today! I had 18 miles on the schedule today and with CamelBak in tow, two ClifBar gels, and my trusty pepper spray I felt ready. Nervous though because the last time I ran any distance over 14 miles was way back in August. However, my body felt great. No known issues. No terrible aches or pains. All systems go. Two miles in I met up with the BRF and ran a few miles with her. She had an event to be at later that morning so unfortunately I was again on my own for another 14 miles. I had a lot on my mind that morning…so a good 14 miles with Pandora radio and just my thoughts may have been what the doctor ordered.

It was definitely cold out but manageable. The wind didn’t pick up too terribly with the exception of a few miles. On account of the black ice and un-scraped sidewalks I was forced to hit the road for a good portion of the run. Which I don’t mind but cars and big suvs apparently do. I almost died a few times. Between mean traffic and slick sidewalks I believe I lost about 10 years of my life today in fear. o.O

So were the 18 miles worth it?

Without a shadow of a doubt, YES.

Because as difficult as today’s run was today I proved that I had it in me. I have the guts to stick anything out. I know as most of you are runners yourselves you’ve heard a bazillion times how great running is at bringing out the best in you.  Today, I felt this real life parallel strongly. This run was a strong mental will battle.

So fast forward to mile nine after two near slips on ice and one vanilla ClifBar gel I seriously began to question my sanity. I kept battling inside my head and started bartering with myself:

“Okay Jess, you got this. Maybe just make it at least 15 miles. That’s only like 6 left. Man, it’s really cold out here. Like frigidly freaking cold. Is this even safe? Of course it’s safe. You’ve run in colder. Suck it up! Yeah but not like, 18 miles in this colder coldness…okay, make it to mile 15…”

Well by the time I hit mile 12 the ClifBar had hit my system and I began to feel a little better. And began a new bartering system with myself:

“Giiiiirl, you made it this far. Wait, is that SNOW? It’s definitely snowing. It’s so cold…so cold…so… pretty…so soothing…So you had 16 miles scheduled last weekend but you only raced 10, so maybe you can make it to at least 16. Yeah. You can do that.”

I hit mile 14…time for my other ClifBar.

“Oooh, this one has one shot of caffeine in it. Yes! This is really cool, this whole running while it’s snowing thing. I feel like a total rockstar. I’m a running beast! Only two miles till mile 16. Thank you God! Hmmm…I’m hungry.”

Mile 15, Caffeine kicks in.

“I’m on top of the world! I think I’ve caught my second wind. Either that or it’s the caffeine talking …. either way I’m gooood. I scheduled 18 miles today… I simply can not quit now. I only have like two miles after this mile left. I totally got this. Okay..time to stop thinking and just run. Animal mode on.”

Mile 18:

“I freaking did it!! Praise God! That wasn’t so bad…”

If it wasn’t for seeing this post this morning I would’ve probably given up on today’s run. But I’m too stubborn strong willed and determined to throw in the towel…I kept thinking on these words:

The lesson I took from this run was that victory isn’t always easy, clean, and tidy. It gets icy, sweaty, and messy but if you push through the “I just want to quit and die” thoughts, victory is just on the other side. You have to fight those negative thoughts with all your heart sometimes. And you know what?

It feels amazing.

If it wasn’t for the ClifBar my physical body probably would have bonked. But I also truly believe that because I run for a higher cause the Lord carried me through much of it. Well, truth be told, He carries me through all of it. Through all my fears, insecurities, failures, and victories. Running has that profound affect on the soul. Clears the soul of toxic waste, frees your mind of garbled clutter, and allows your spirit to breathe freely. Even if it is labored breathes due to freezing temps…. you catch my drift…

I also run for my buddy who can not run himself. I run for those who struggle physically and mentally. When I think of cold I go back to the movie Unbroken.

We are all “broken” to a degree in some fashion. But I believe when we do not allow our brokenness to stop us, we become undeniably unshaken. It’s hard to keep a good woman (man) down. I run for all those broken pieces. I run to unleash my heart…to allow my thoughts the freedom to think that anything is possible. I run because someday, I want to change the world. To leave a strong and positive mark on this world…

And with this, I’ll leave you with a few of my personal tips that help carry  me through tough runs…

Here’s a few “get you through” tips should you chose to run in the great frosty outdoors:

  • Play mind games with yourself, like okay, we will only run this far today… but you usually end up going the full distance 😉
  • Promise yourself treats i..e ClifBar snacks at mile(s) xyz
  • Layer up. Bundle up. Be prepared for the elements.
  • Do not forget the sunscreen. Prevent windburn.
  • Stop thinking and turn on animal mode.
  • Don’t forget to stay hydrated.

***Don’t forget about my ClifBar giveaway! Tonight is your last night to enter! Go ahead and head over HERE! Entering is easy and fun.***

What was your victory today? Do you have to play mind games with yourself to finish runs? Any epic snowy runs lately? If you’re a believer of the faith do you feel like the Lord carries you through?

Blessed and Beautiful Running.


TNT Tuedsays: Appetite Control for the Vicious Marathoner Stomach


**Disclosure: I am not a nutritionist or registered dietitian. Please seek your own primary care physician or RD for a nutritional plan. I’m simply sharing what’s worked for me.

As the miles increase so does our hunger. And accordingly, so should our calorie intake.

But how much is too much or too little?

We don’t want to undo all we’ve worked so hard for yet we don’t need to starve our bodies of necessary nutrients and energy. We run hard, work hard, play hard…and then we consume an entire large pizza solo. Well…you know…it happens.

Eat to run strong.

Eat to feel well.

Eat enough to stay properly fueled.

Meaning don’t starve yourself but don’t over do it with the extra sugars because you ran 10 miles.

How many carbs do we really need? From Dietitian Today:

Runners need between 7 and 10 g of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight during training and closer to the upper end of this range before long runs.

(To calculate lbs to kg divide your body weight in lbs by 2.2 w(lb)/2.2=w(kg))

If you have time I highly recommend visiting Dietitian Today’s article on Marathon Fueling. It is packed with info on fueling your body during training, race day, and recovery. Especially if you’re a numbers nerd like I am. I get way too much satisfaction over playing with numbers and calculations..

Tips to help control the urge to over indulge:

  • If you’re feeling hungry you may simply be dehydrated. Sometimes your body mixes up the two. Try drinking a full glass of water first, then if still hungry grab a quick healthy bite. Read THIS LIVESTRONG article for more details.
  • Keep healthy options stocked! We try to keep plenty of fruits and veggies on hand. I prep some and pre-pack them into snack size containers so it makes choosing healthy snacks easier.
  • Remember why we eat. To fuel our bodies. Remember this.

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

  • Opt for a cup of decaf, green, hot tea about an hour before bed. Helps curb appetite, detox your system, and sleep sounder.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I really do struggle with food, calories, and self-image. I feel as though I’m constantly battling my mind and stomach over how much is too much and how little is too little. Constantly counting calories in and estimating my calorie expenditure during my runs. This isn’t healthy. This is called obsession.


We are ultimately in control of our bodies, minds, and thoughts. If not, we allow the urges to control us.

What it all boils down to is listening to your body closely. It will tell you when you’re truly hungry and in need. Just don’t mistake your need for calcium for a three scoop bowl of ice cream… 😉 it’s all about a healthy balance. One scoop should suffice.

On another note, we had a few flurries coming down today! It was beautiful with part sun and part clouds and a few teeny tiny flakes. It was refreshing, peaceful, and calming. Even though I had set out to run five miles of tough hills. I set out to run the toughest hills in town. Which isn’t too terribly hard to find in western NC. In fact, it is more challenging to find a zero hilly route around here. But that’s a good thing! Hills=strong glutes my friends. But I swear, when it’s cold and I’m running uphill over and over again I feel like I’m breathing like a moose on steroids. Terrible.


a hilly, chilly 5 miler complete with flurries. You can’t really see the flurries though..iPhone photos..

Do you fret over calories in and calories out? Do you follow any kind of eating plan while marathon training or do you follow the “feed-my-stomach-when-its-hungry” plan like me? Are you running in snow yet? Do you breathe like a moose in the cold?

Blessed and Beautiful Running (and eating).

Friday Five: December Favorites

Here we are again, it’s FRIDAY! This week I’m joining in Run, Eat, Pray DC‘s Friday Five December Favorites edition. Along with Mar On the Run and You Signed Up for What?! For more info on the link-up click HERE. Be sure to check out all the other great bloggers linking up.

I have a love/hate relationship with winter. I strongly dislike the cold, but I do enjoy the snuggling under fluffy blankets and hot cocoa that comes with it. Freezing cold weather is not fun to run in but I guess it beats being drenched in sweat…nah, just kiddin. I’d rather be a hot, sweaty mess. But aside from that here’s a few things I do love about December.

1.) The Brevard Center for Women’s Reindeer Run 5k. This was my first race so it always holds a very special place in my heart. And this year I’m blessed to encourage SMART Girls to the finish line! My son will also be running this race with SMART Boys so this will be his third 5k! His first reindeer run though. I’m pretty excited about this.

2.) Christmas time — especially putting up the tree, baking cookies, wrapping presents, mailing cards, the stress of having zero money…haha just kidding. I love it all regardless. We all know the real meaning of Christmas and all that’s important.

3.) Twilight Tour — It’s our local downtown festival. Hot cocoa, horse drawn carriage rides, music, lights, shopping…FOOD!

4.) Birthdays!! My husband’s birthday is a few days before Christmas so we make sure he doesn’t get overshadowed by the jolly red fat guy. His birth into this world rocks my socks off. My brother and nephew also have special days too!

5.) Snow. We tend to get some snow in December. I don’t like playing in the snow but I do like watching the snow fall, the kid play in it, and drinking hot cocoa until I’ve had at least 20 pounds of chocolate.


What are your favorites about December?! Any exciting races this weekend?

Blessed and Beautiful Running.