Why Run?

It’s hard to really give one reason why I run. Sure, I could give you some amazing essay about the feeling of breaking the tape or how I love to compete, but that’s not me. But I’m also not being chased by zombies, so there is that. I’m just an average girl running for what we all (not so secretly) run for. So, let’s do it David Letterman-style!

The top ten reason I run…

img_1646This is such a common reason, but it’s one of mine. I was doing Weight Watchers and the scale was moving downwards at the most glacial pace… My leader made a statement that has stuck with me forever – the scale isn’t isn’t going to really move until you do. I decided right then that I was going to have to start walking. Walking turned to walking with little bursts of running a few seconds and then to signing up for the gateway drug – the 5K! Running helped me drop 75 pounds in about 24 months and it continues to allow me to stay fit.

img_1648I would say the whole “Taco Tuesday” thing, but living in Texas, every day is taco day. If it can be mashed up and thrown into a tortilla, it’s post-run fuel. My favorites include a solid migas taco from Taco Joint, and regular old crispy shell, beef tacos from Manny’s and El Fenix. I’m a creature of habit and a girl of simple tastes. I crave them mid-race too. In fact, there “might” have been an incident at the Dallas Rock n Roll one year in which I “might” have called ahead to a Mexican restaurant that was on the course to have them bring a taco to me as I passed. “Maybe.”

img_1654I’m fairly back of the pack, so I’m not talking the actual age group awards, but more power to ya if you’re a speedy. Just please don’t be in the 45-49 age group, I don’t need anymore people pushing me further down in the standings these days – haha! No, I’m talking about the finishers medals and the swag you get by plunking down the $75 to run a race. The cooler they are, the more I’m begging my running tribe to come party with me for a few miles. My favorite medals have been my marathon medals from the BCS Marathon because it was made with beautiful stained glass, and a medal from a local 5 and 10 mile race that was 80’s music themed – the medal was made to look like a cassette tape! Is there anything better than #MedalMonday posts?

img_1653Cake, enough said. Who doesn’t run for baked goodness? I mean, this is the Cupcake Mile, for goodness sake! Again with Dallas Rock n Roll race stories, and how this little blog got it’s name… I was running the half marathon and started getting a little delirious around mile 11. It was super cold that morning and I tend not to drink enough when it’s like that, so maybe it was dehydration that did it??? But, I saw mile 11 and thought, “11 miles. Only two more. Two more miles is a piece of cake. Ooh! Cake! I could go for a cupcake about now. Seriously. A lemon cupcake! Maybe a few blueberries on top to make it healthy. Yeah. Cupcakes.” It was only after I realized that everyone around me was trying to give me distance did I realize that was all actually said OUT LOUD. So, my son jokingly referred to mile 11 as my cupcake mile for years.

img_1652My coworkers actually know that running at lunchtime is the best kind of therapy. No matter how nuts it gets, a half hour on the trail by my office cures it all. I’ve solved big problems out on those lunchtime runs because it gives me the opportunity to step away, clear my head, hear nothing but rhythm of my feet hitting the pavement, and take it all in. And just for the record, I don’t care if I’m not fresh as a daisy in the afternoon at the office. My hair pulled back in a low ponytail, a fresh application of deodorant and a quick wipe with a wet washcloth in the bathroom while I change back into my work clothes has never resulted in any complaints – unlike my coworkers who attempt to microwave fish in the break room. 😉



I’ve recently found a new love for trail running (ok, hiking… I’m slow enough that I’m hiking…) and there is something beautiful about the scenery when you get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city.





There seems to be an overarching theme to why I run – FOOD! My husband is a chef and has opened his own pie shop in town and there has been a lot of “testing” of pies before they are put on the menu. It’s been a big dream for years, and we are finally chasing it. But, if I want to fit into my clothes, I need to keep running!


img_1656Two Words – Running Skirts Yep, I said it. I’m vain. I found these running skirts from Skirt Sports after a girl mentioned them in an online thread I was participating in. I was a super new runner (aka, I was walking with little spurts of 10 seconds of running) at the time and definitely overweight. I was trying so hard to lose the weight, but my thighs rubbed together and I really wanted to blend in to the background to never be seen. But man, those skirts online were so cute! I took a big leap and bought one because the owner of the company SWORE I wouldn’t chafe. I liked the idea of a hidden pocket under the skirt that I could stash my (always needed!) inhaler for my asthma. Despite the bright colors and big prints not allowing me to blend into the background, when I put that skirt on, I felt pretty for the first time in a really long time. I felt feminine. I felt like I was a real runner. Now I’m kind of known for my skirts. And since Skirt Sports keeps coming out with new prints, I kind of need to justify the purchases and get out for a run!

img_1647I struggled with the idea of “doing it for me” for a couple of years. I had more than thirteen years of putting my son (and daughter) first in the family. I spent every day being a mom before I was Erin. That’s what women are supposed to do, right? But really all it was reinforcing for my children was that mothers are supposed to sacrifice themselves. What I discovered when I began running was that I am actually a better mother because I take time out of my day for me. Yes, I’m gone for an hour. But when I am with her, I am present. I am not frazzled or yelling. My daughter sees a healthy mom that has the energy to keep up with her. She sees her mom modeling good food habits for her – that food is fuel and it’s far better to be strong. She is learning how to set goals and work towards them.

img_1649Happy Hour! Seriously, I run with the most amazing group of friends and when we get together, it’s easy to run easy conversation pace because we are all yammering about our day, our kids, our jobs, dating, marriage, all of it. Instead of cocktails in cute little glasses with umbrellas, we are sipping electrolytes through a plastic bottle, but it’s kind of the same thing, right? I mean, my group is like the Sex in the City of running. Our little group has women in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and beyond, and running is that common bond that keeps us glued together.



#NEVERDO: Kickboxing

After many years of being “just a runner” and continuously training for marathon after marathon, I woke up and realized that all of this movement in the forward direction caused me to become pretty one dimensional. And only in one direction. Slowly.

img_1164.jpgSo I decided to make a change in 2018 and find out what else sparks joy in my heart and try all sorts of new activities. The first order of business was getting with my mini-me and asking her what all she wanted to try. We pulled out the computer and pulled up Groupon. Yep, that’s where this all starts. There are so many random activities that you can get Groupons for to try something out. We made our list and will be trying to tackle this list over the year.

That’s how this insanity began.

img_1165.jpgThe alarm went off at 4:45 and I briefly considered rolling back over. Had I seen the current temperature outside, I would have probably done just that. But Linda was waiting. Linda NEVER skips. Linda is NEVER late. I both hate and love that about her.

I thank the heavens a little that I was smart enough to pack my bag last night and laid out my clothes so I could throw it on and go. Run into the kitchen to warm up my Meat and Sweet Potato mini pie that we made Sunday and fed Miles the cat. The alarm is going off literally every ten minutes to remind me to get the heck out of the house on time. The bracing 28 degree air about bowled me over, but I ran to the car instead of back to bed.

Kickboxing. What the hell was I thinking???

img_1163The lights are bright and the gals at the front desk are way to chipper for 5:30am. But Linda and I run into Susan, a running friend! This social media thing is kind of funny. You never know who you might bring along on this crazy train when you just post that you’re doing it. She is here for her first class!

The class begin with close to 20 minutes of boot-camp style hell. I mean, burpees and squats and mountain climbers and jumping things that 40-something year old women who have had kids really shouldn’t be doing. You know why… 😉 It’s finally over, just as you are thinking that one more burpee might actually send you to your grave.

img_1159Time for the gloves. I mean, that’s why you’re there, right? We start off with a small combination of some sort, I recall that it had a cross and an upper cut. Simple enough, even when my brain is still back in dreamland (aka, my nice warm bed). Each of the combinations are done in one or two minute intervals, as many as possible until you hear the sound to stop. Then the combinations start including a bunch of roundhouses and jabs and kicks. My inability to do Zumba is evident – I just really struggle with trying to quickly remember four or five moves and not look like a lunatic just flailing about. I look over and Linda seems to be getting it. I’m just dying. But I look at the screen and we’ve been at it for like 47 minutes, which means this hell, I mean this class, is almost over.

img_1161We spend the next ten minutes doing fast partner drills. Linda and I are just dorks and watching the others to try to mimic them. Good thing we have a sense of humor. And that it’s nearly over because I am pretty much a sopping wet, sweaty disaster. A little stretching to end the class and it’s time to rush home to see my sweet girl before school. Sean asks how the class was (I mumble something about pretty sure I died a few times) and then asks if I’m going to take a shower. I’m pretty sure it’s like being offered a breath mint. If someone offers, always take it – it could be a hint.

Never in a million years did I think I would ever find myself in a kickboxing studio. But everyone at the studio is so welcoming. Almost like a cult. I should be worried. 😉 Linda and I paid for a 5-class special package, so we will be there to finish out the classes, but I’m not sure this is a long-term thing for me. It’s a fun workout, super high-intensity, and I burned about 500 calories in the hour workout, according to my heart rate monitor. It’s pretty expensive – I think it’s $180 or so per month and you have to sign up for six months. That’s a whole lot of race fees and I just don’t see myself going to enough classes every month to make it financially make sense. Besides, this is a year of trying lots of new things, so I need to keep my schedule open…


Confessions of a self-proclaimed Kitchen Disaster: Making Bagels!

So you already know that I run for cupcakes. And cake. Pie, too. Heck, if it’s a baked good that begins with flour, butter and sugar, I’m not turning it down.

Unfortunately, I am also a long-time Weight Watchers attendee. Almost 100% due to the above-mentioned addiction to baked goods. It’s been a big struggle for the last several years because they really penalize you for eating carbs. It’s less than ideal if you are an endurance runner, and I’ve usually just rolled my eyes and eaten the bread anyway. But I’ve also put back on a touch more than ten of the 70 pounds I lost. And with me running shorter distances, I have to figure out how to make it all work.

Grasping at straws, I went back to skinnytaste.com to see what weird concoction she was whipping together for dinner. Then I saw it. Easy Bagels. What the heck, let’s see what the recipe looked like. Well, it was promising – only five ingredients. I usually lose interest after three or four ingredients, which is how my kitchen disasters begin. There are only a few steps, too, which is even better, because I quit reading after a bit.

Have I told you all that I am married to a chef?

Seriously, I don’t cook and don’t have to cook. I’ve always said that if I’m in charge of dinner, it’s coming from a waitress or a window.

OK, back to the recipe. I love the sesame bagels from Einstein’s, but they are 8 points, or 290 calories. This promises 3 points, or 150 calories, and a higher protein bang! Bigger bonus: they are fast and my daughter can help in the kitchen…

img_1043Easy Bagels!

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  1. img_1044In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt and whisk it about for a moment. Add the yogurt and mix until combined. (I wish I had used my KitchenAid Mixer with a dough hook).
  2. Dust the work surface (and your hands!) with flour and knead the dough until it looks like dough and isn’t sticky.
  3. img_1045Divide the dough into four balls. Roll into thick ropes (about 3/4″ thick) and then join them into the shape of a bagel. Place them onto a Silpat (or you could use parchment paper, but be sure to spray it or these babies will stick!) with plenty of room to expand a bit.
  4. Top with the egg wash and sprinkle your favorite bagel topping. I used sesame seeds.
  5. Bake at 375ºF on the top rack for 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Oh my goodness – I baked!

Ok, seriously, these things were easy enough that even I couldn’t screw them up and my daughter and I made them all while husband put away groceries! Yep, it really was a img_1050“less than 10 minutes of work” kind of recipe. And when they came out of the oven, they smelled and looked delicious!


Final verdict? I had one toasted with a little bit of butter and I am in heaven. It’s a little tangy because of the yogurt, but I was really stunned at how stinking good these things are! Hallelujah – carbs are on the plan again!

*Recipe is from skinnytaste.com
All images and text for this post are mine

Medal Monday: Cane Field Classic 2017

OK, it’s not exactly Monday, but it’s close enough, right? So, let’s jump right in.

I had a planned trip this past weekend to sherpa for my son at Ironman 70.3 New Orleans, so when I saw that the Cane Field Classic was the day before his race, I kind of jumped on the registration. You see, last year my friends, Susan, Erika and Kim, did this race and had such a great time, they insisted that I put this on my list for consideration in the future.

I believe it was kismet that the races were on the same weekend.

So what is the Cane Field Classic? It’s actually three races. The first is called the Sugar Mile and it’s a one mile race on a dirt path. The second race is a four mile race on trail, a little more technical and really pretty through tall sugar cane stalks. A little more technical, but nothing bad. The third, and final, race is called the Rows of Hell and is two miles through very tight, shoulder-high sugar canes. The sugar cane stalks are sharp and the dirt between the rows are rutted out and only wide enough to put one foot directly in front of the other, otherwise, your ankles are rolling in the whole time. When you complete all three races, you earn a machete!img_6906-1

Packet pickup was pretty standard. A bib and a shirt. The shirt was a super soft cotton that came in a variety of colors. I chose the blue shirt and Sean chose a red one. The car dealership gave out reusable water bottles and made sure there was plenty of water for all of the runners each time we went through the start/finish line.

img_6834Because they are three back-to-back races, I was worried about maintaining a pace that would allow me to finish in time to start the next race. I was assured it wouldn’t be a problem. Come to find out, the group didn’t start the next race until the last finisher came in from the previous race! It was such a great experience to see all of the runners, including the fasties, cheering on every single finisher. This was truly more of party than a competitive race, which was evidenced by the fact that the kegs were tapped before the first race began. LOL We received a dog tag at the finish line of the last race, and then turned in our wristband for the customized machete.

img_6830The post-race party was a blast! They had jambalaya being made while we ran, so there was delicious food to be washed down by the beer. The weather was actually really good Saturday morning and didn’t rain, as had been predicted a few days earlier. I understood why they recommend a pair of long pants for the last race. My legs were torn up a little bit and stung like crazy. Note to self: seriously, wear pants. On the plus side, I did put on a pair of knee-high compression socks that morning. Despite the fact that I thought I looked a little dorky, they were a godsend out there because the tall grass squick me out. 

Verdict: I had a great time! The Rows of Hell was truly the hardest 15 minute miles I have ever run, but it’s hard not to laugh and sing the whole way with the rest of the runners. I would totally do this race again if I find myself in Baton Rouge on race weekend. I met some great people out there and decided that I *might* need to buy a pair of trail shoes soon. Uh oh! I hear some dirt calling!img_6844




Favorites Friday: Running Skirts!


Man, this poor little blog is a little dusty.


Since the height of fall marathon season has kicked in here in Texas, I thought I’d start off my renewed commitment to the written word with (cue the music…) “a few of my favorite things.”

I will begin this particular post with the disclaimer that I am an Ambassador for Skirt Sports. I don’t get paid and I don’t get any sort of commission, but I get a little discount on the items I can’t live without as well as a discount for all of you in exchange for spreading the skirt love in my little world. Now that we have that out of the way…

When I first started on my journey to lose weight, oh sometime about six or seven years ago now, I began to walk. Walking turned to runs. It was pretty awesome. But I was genetically gifted with, dun dun dun…. CHUB RUB. Come on ladies, most of you don’t have that thigh gap, and YOU NOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. First it begins with the thighs that kind of catch when you’re mid-run. But then the sweat starts to give it a little lubrication, and you think you’re out of the woods. But no. About a mile later, you’ve got a little heat that has built up and (sorry men, it’s not THAT kind of heat). Before you know it, there is a little stinging involved.

imageMy options included giving up the idea of wearing shorts and just resigning myself to those running capris. But I’ve got to tell you, it’s darn hot here in Texas and humid to boot. If I could run nekkid and get away with it, I would! So I began my quest for something better. A random post all those years ago on a weight loss message board was ultimately what introduced me to the running skirt, specifically, Skirt Sports. I was promised that those skirts would change my life.

I was all about changing my life at that point, so I took a look. Back then, the selection was just a couple of styles, so it was easy for me to grab a gym girl ultra skirt and be done with it. The company promised that the little compression shorts would hold all of me in there (yeah, that was a concern at the time) and were long enough to cover all the way down to that little piece of meat on the thigh that was causing all my angst. Verdict? Well, there is a reason I ONLY run in Skirt Sports running skirts.

But enough time in the old way-back machine… let’s talk about the here and now.


My friends are as diverse as their favorite skirts!

The skirts have come a long way and there are so so many to choose from, it’s almost dizzying. So, the big question is… what features are important to you? Coverage of the leg? Length of the shorts underneath? Adjustability of the waistband with a drawcord? Pockets to fit your iPhone or run nutrition?

When my friends ask me which skirt to buy for their first, I almost always tell them “gym girl ultra” because it’s a tried and true classic. But I scoured through the website this morning and put together this little handy-dandy table of all the features of the various skirts being currently sold in the hopes that it helps all of you decide which skirt is your soulmate…


Oh, and as I talked about earlier, my friends get a discount on their Skirt Sports order! This code (FWS20) is good only once per customer and expires 9/30/2017 and can be used at www.skirtsports.com. We get new codes every quarter, so you can place an order every quarter with discount codes!

So, do you have a favorite style? I’ve been challenged to break out of the old comfort zone (I mean, really, I have more than 30 gym girl ultra skirts alone!) and try a different style I didn’t think I would like. I’ve bought a Happy Girl, a Jette, a Peek-A-Boo and a Mod Quad. Which one should I try next?


Limiting Language: Or How I Learned to Fly…

“I am ONLY running a half marathon this week.”

“I am JUST a beginner.”

“It’s JUST a LITTLE sprint triathlon.”

“I would love to join, BUT I probably couldn’t keep up with you guys.”

“I don’t have one of those fancy bikes.”

“Thanks, but I have so much more to lose.”

“Have I reminded you lately that I’m not fast?”


I have heard it a million times from my husband, gently correcting me and telling me how proud he is of me; that I am “doing fantastic.” I hear it from my guy friends that I always worry only run with me to humor me; “you’re doing great.” But something about being called out by a coach you really respect hit me like a lightning bolt. He did it so perfectly, so respectfully, but in a way that told me that he was serious and not just humoring my lack of self-confidence.

“Let’s remove that limiting language. You’re going with the flow, so just enjoy the journey and see where it takes you.”

“Limiting language.” Wow, I hadn’t heard it that way before. It’s always been “don’t be so hard on yourself.” Which, let’s be real, is code for “stop it, you’re fine, insert gratuitous comment and eye roll here.”

I’m a slow learner and it’s take a few weeks for this to sink in, but I see it everywhere now. I have observed it in almost every interaction I have had. I am constantly limiting myself by subconsciously telling myself that I’m not enough. I see it in all of my friends, too. We are always putting ourselves down in that stealthy way and we shouldn’t be. We like to think that we are telling ourselves that we are enough, but then that little demon that sits on the left shoulder whispers in our ear the complete opposite. It whispers those stupid words: ONLY, JUST, BUT.

When we limit our language, we limit what we are capable of.

Enough! I am making the commitment to stop my limiting language NOW. I am proud of what I can accomplish. I am not in competition with anyone, not even myself. I am not who I was yesterday, three months ago, or three years ago. I am choosing to live in the present and find the joy and satisfaction in doing exactly what my body, and my mind, allows today. It doesn’t mean I don’t have goals. On the contrary! But by releasing myself from the chains of “not enough,” I will build a far better foundation with which to reach those goals because I will have the confidence that I CAN.


So my challenge to all of my girlfriends – remove your limiting language and let your truths shine on their own merit. Own it all and be joyous in what your body can accomplish today, because seriously, we are all doing truly epic stuff.

“I am running 13.1 miles this week!”

“I am so excited to learn something new!”

“I am training to swim, bike and run – all in the same race!”

“Thanks for the run, guys!”

“I am squeezing every ounce of awesomeness out of this bike!”

“Thanks for the compliment, I’m working hard!”

“Hey Coach, watch me fly…”



The best Medal Monday ever… or why you should #runlocal

I’m kind of a fan of bling. Really though, what running princess isn’t? But this weekend’s race tops them all.


Running clubs across the country are in place to benefit so many local groups and they do great work. My local club‘s main beneficiary is the Tal Morrison Scholarship Fund. They award six scholarships (three boys and three girls) to area high school seniors that participated in their school running program.


How I race when I’m not racing…

You don’t have the be the fastest on the team and you don’t have to commit to running in college, but you do have to be a great student. Tal, the founder of the club back in 1969, passed away last year and he has said that his greatest legacy was this scholarship fund.


Every April at our club race, I have gotten a little choked up by how awesome it is to give checks to these students. We can accomplish some pretty great things with our club and I’m proud to be a part of it all. But this year was special. My son was awarded one of these scholarships.

imageThree thousand dollars is half of his housing paid for. Three thousand is a huge chunk of the out of state tuition bill. I have seen that award become the reason a child went to school in the first place. These kids are fantastic. One of the girls will be attending MIT in the fall. One of the boys will go to Texas A&M and study math. Another girl plans to attend Duke. My son will be at LSU studying political science.

I know it’s fun to participate in the big national races, but for a moment, think about how much good you can do by running in one of your local club’s races. These small clubs all over the country do great things. They are changing lives one mile at a time. Real lives with real hopes and real dreams. I would say that the award received at this club race is better than any age group trophy or finishers medallion that could be won. It is an investment in the future. Alex and Daniel, well deserved boys. I’m proud of you both.