Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 8.20.10 PMA main push to start this blog was to log my training, so it is very obvious I LOVE TO RUN.  It sounds so cliché, really who loves to run.  Well I am shouting out loud “I LOVE TO RUN”.   I live in a small town of 4500 people, so I run up and down every street year round(weather permitting-I live in Minnesota).  So people see me run, and I get asked “How far do you run, how do you do it, why do you do it”.  I simply answer it is something I can do for myself and I feel good when I am done.

I was not “born” a runner, I hated running in school, complained with all of them.  Especially when it came to run the timed mile for physical fitness.  I only ran when I had to, when someone forced me.  As a competitor I ran it and I ran as hard as I could because I had a goal of making the presidential physical fitness.  Do they even have anymore?
 Then in my mid twenties, I was still physically active but was not burning the same calories as I once did in my teens.  So I started to run at the gym on a treadmill.  I was not the fastest nor could I last a long time.  Starting out I did a lot of intervals, 2 minutes run 2 minutes walk and I just gradually built my stamina to run for longer periods of time.  I began to running outside which was different, it felt more difficult.  I did not have the belt under me pushing me, but I began to push myself.  Running outside I would mentally challenge myself to run one more block, run to that stop sign or that house.
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I was 27 when I entered my first 5k, it was for our local summer festival, so not a big race.  I remember feeling extremely nervous.  I felt I trained well for it but this was my first “race”.  Garmin set, headphones on I took off with all the other runners.  I was truly in aha of everyone participating in this event.  I know something clicked after this first run, I wasn’t hooked but I was enjoying running.  I ran a few smaller 5k and some 10k but was ready to challenge myself when I turned thirty and had my second child.  I wanted something bigger, more difficulty.  I was ready for my first half marathon.  I asked my husband if he would be interested, and him being a non-runner but a competitive athlete he agreed.  So two months after having my second child I began training for my first half marathon.  And not just any half marathon but Gary Bjorklund/Grandmas Half marathon in Duluth MN.  This is a well know race so I set my standard high and I was ready.  We trained together and really pushed each other.  Race day came and we were both extremely nervous, like go to the bathroom nervous.  The national anthem was playing as we were standing in line for the bathrooms, but we made it to the race line in time.  We were amongst 6,000 plus runners.  I ran this ½ marathon in 2 hour and 5 minutes.  I was happy I finished but disappointed in my time and that my husband beat me.  This did not ruin my spirit of the day I was happy I finished and was among an unbelievable atmosphere of runners.
As we sat down to watch the marathoner come into the finish, I was overwhelmed with emotions.  The memory still gives me goose bumps.  Seeing the lead car turn the corner with anticipation knowing the lead marathoner was making their way.  Like the WAVE you see the crown begin to stand, clap and cheer.  Here they come…and boy were they booking it.  What a speed 25 plus miles later they are coming into the finish at such a strong speed yet they look so eloquent and poised.  It was at this moment my thinking about running changed.  I no longer looked at it as exercise or a chore but as a sport.  A sport I am now proud to be a part of.  After my first ½ marathon experience, I knew I was not done running.
Since June 2008, I have finished 2 marathons,  5 half marathons, one Warrior Dash, several 10k’s and continue to participate in our local 5k.  1/2 marathon PR is 1:48:33 and 10K of 45:09. I  To add to this I  finished my 5 season as boys and girls assistant cross-country coach.   I continue to LOVE running and all that it gives me, now I get to share this with young athletes.




What I need for a long run

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photo credits to NYC Running Mamma

But sometimes you need more than your thoughts on a long run.  A long run for me is anything over 10 miles.  10 Miles is about when I need more such as water, gummies and maybe even music.  I would often test my limits on how far I could go before I “rewarded myself” and continue on the run.  With the exception of water, typically I can last 1 hour without having to have a water break.  Over the years of training for fulls and 1/2 marathons I have found what works for me and what gets me though the long runs

My long run needs:

  1. flipbelt-although mine is not the actual Flipbelt brand these things are AWESOME, say goodbye to arm phone holders. These flipbelts are very comfortable:)
  2. waterbottle-yes this is NECESSARY.  These are similar to what I have –4 bottle belt and 1 bottle.  I do not use them for every run or even every long run or during a race BUT I love the two that I have.  Sometimes when I do not want to wear it I schedule my runs around town to where I can have water stops, at the golf course club house, park bathrooms, gas stations or anywhere just so I can keep going.  Not all runs can take place in my small town’s radius so I have to go out on the contry road, this is when I NEED to wear it.
  3. music-pandora off my Iphone:)
  4. jolly ranchers-who would have thought I would look forward to jolly ranchers on my longer runs.  The longer lasting sugar burst is a little secret I found worked for me as I was training for this last marathon.
  5. gum- any peppermint kind will do (although I am a constant gum chewer, every run I have gum, even short ones)
  6. gatorade chews– These are my go-to chews.  I have tried a running gel once and it did not settle well in my stomach.  But these sugared energy chews are excellent.  I typically save them for 17+ miles or actual race day.  They are reasonable priced and can be found in my small local grocery store:)

long run needs

Happy Running:)





Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes


I am quite positive we can all think of the co-worker that is so amazing and special,that work would not be the same without them.  Mine is our special education secretary.  She is amazing, hardworking, dedicated, great listener and makes me laugh everyday.  Since she is so very special to me she deserves something special.  Her favorite combination is cherry and chocolate. Actually her favorite candy bar is a TWIN BING bar.  To see her smile over these equally beautiful and yummy cupcakes was worth all the steps.


The basic chocolate cupcake is tweaked a little with an added tart cherry juice.  It is not an overwhelming cherry flavor, very subtle.  The chocolate cupcake is topped twice: once with a chocolate gnache and then frosted with a cherry butter cream.  I did add red food coloring to get a more vibrant pink.  The result is a gorgeous cupcake:)


cherry chocolate cupcakes


recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

Happy Baking


Marathon Must Haves

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Running is a minimal sport, meaning all you need is a good pair of running shoes and workout clothes.  It isn’t until you get into racing and longer distance that my NEED for running equipment grew.  Here are my MARATHON MUST HAVES.

  1. Headband, this was used off and on during the run to cover my ears.  I wanted to protect my ears from the chilly morning and wind as I was still recovering from the sinus infection.
  2. LOVE my OAKLEY FLAK Sunglasses.
  3. Nike running long-sleeved, I have had this 3/4 zip long-sleeved shirt for several years, it is one of my favorites to run in.
  4. Mizuno running socks, I did not know how important a good pair of running socks were until I actually about a good pair.
  5. Fila sports bra, a good one is  MUST have
  6. Nike Capri, the morning was chilly but not warm enough for me to wear shorts.  Theses are my only running capris, so they see a lot of the wash machine.
  7. Asics Gel-Kayano 21 running shoe.  There are many great brand out there, but Asics is my brand.
  8. Nike TOMTOM gps watch.  Another MUST have especially for the 18 week training schedule.
  9. Nike Dry-Fit T-shirt, because dry fit feels so good:)


These 9 items are what I used during my marathon and during my training.  Besides my shoes, the two I items I love and appreciate more than others is my gps watch and my sunglasses.  A gps watch to log your miles and help keep your pace is a must when you are training.  The Nike TOMTOM is easy to use, connects gps quickly and I love the big screen.   The sunglasses are something my husband gave me as a gift because I kept using his Oakley FLAK sunglasses.  The FLAK is a weightless pair of sunglasses, absolutely LOVE them.


Happy Running:)


Globe Project


One of the more fulfilling committees I serve on is apart of our union but it is organizing the Teacher of the Year, from gathering nomination, to suprising them, to planning their party.  This year a close family friend has been chosen so I wanted to make something extra special for him because he is an extra special teacher and an incredible person.  He is a social studies teacher so my brain starting thinking constitution, pictures, maps, …GLOBE.  I immediately went to our janitor to ask him if we had globes sitting in storage that were not being used.  “Of course there are”, he said and lead me right too them.  EXCELLENT, but now what to do with them.  I knew writing something but what.




So I came across this post on PINTEREST.  With a perfect saying for an amazing individual.  Although the blog provided a beautiful saying, I needed to come up with an alternative way to get the quote onto the globe, I do not own a Silhouette.  I knew I must handwrite it.


My steps to the globe projects.

1.   I first typed out the quote in a font I could duplicate plus in a large enough size I could visualize on the globe. I then began to write it on the globe with a washable maker. I wrote, erased, wrote and erased several time until I felt it was perfect.

2.  In planning how to get the writing in white, I thought acrylic paint will work, well it didn’t.  So I headed to my local ACE hardware store to see what they had.  I can across this paint enamel pen and I thought what the heck give it a try.  Well it turned out to be exactly what I needed.  The paint pen works similar to the chalkboard pens, you have to shake the liquid to the soft pen tip.  This enamel pen also dries quick, so if I screwed up I needed to correct it almost immediately.

3.   After the paint was completely dry, about 1 hour.  I covered the globe with Saran wrap and secured all holes or potential holes with packaging tape.  I then took it outside to give it a couple of coats of the bronze spray paint. I spray painted the silver base and axis holding the globe.


The end result is something I am proud of.  The bronze color makes the globe pop and my handwriting is pretty good.  I hope he enjoys it as much as I had creating it.  CONGRATULATIONS TEACHER OF THE YEAR 2015.



Happy creating!



Classic Buttermilk Waffles


A Christmas gift to my husband several years ago was a Belgian waffle iron, well lets be honest it was more for me to use and him to reap the benefits.  Actually my family benefits too because of my love for being in the kitchen.  All my meals are with them in mind, adjusting to our taste buds but challenging them out of their box.  Keeping meals simple but special.


I purchased a rotating waffle maker  from our local SHOPKO on a black friday.  It super easy to use and a snap to clean up. Double bonus if you ask me.  Since breakfast is his and everybody’s favorite meal any time of day and I like to make breakfast, it was the perfect gift. Homemade waffles from scratch take minutes to prepare, nothing compared to the boxed mix.  Just look how fluffy they are.  Pair waffles with eggs and bacon, or sausage and you have created a wonderful meal anytime of day.  This recipes is classic but very flavorful and buttery. ENJOY!


waffles recipe

recipe from Brown Eyed Baker


Running after the Marathon

run heart.


I have enjoyed just RUNNING the past two week.  Not running for pace, time or distance.  Being able to go outside for a run without my NIKE TOM TOM is freeing.  Being able to run with the cross country team and not have to stress about getting the distance in or the pace in is freeing.  JUST RUNNING IS FREEING:)

Running for the week of October 26-November 1

  • Monday- 4 mile recovery run with team
  • Tuesday-Rest,
  • Wednesday- about 3.5 miles with team
  • Thursday- Cross Country Section meet
  • Friday- 4 miles with team
  • Saurday- Rest
  • Sunday- 42 minute run, about 5 miles

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Thursday was our section cross country meet, were our teams best 7 runners compete for top individaul and team honors to qualify for the state cross country meet.  Our seaason is extending one more week as we have two young talented runners headed to state.  Go EAGLES!!