The 12th

The 12th of the month is when my brother died. The 12th of the month was when my phone rang at 7 am and immediately I knew something was wrong. It was my dad on the other end and it was bad.

That was in April and now it is almost September. It has been almost 5 months. What I want to do (because I don’t want this post to be about the details, sadness and feelings) is remember my brother Tony and challenge myself on or around the 12th of the month by running/walking 12 miles in memory of my brother or in symbolism-whatever you want to call that.

I feel like I will always feel this feeling on the 12th of every single month. I hope it fades and gets easier but for now I want to do this one thing that will push me and give me something to focus on that will make me stronger in mind, body and spirit.

I really appreciate my body and I want to do as much as I can to take care of it and all I really want for others is just that. I want people, my family, friends, strangers….to just take care of themselves and their bodies. To use their bodies for good so that their bodies can treat them good back.

This is my goal at least for the next 3 months on the 12th:

September/October/November 2015

To honor and remember my brother by focusing on my body and pushing it further than usual. I will run/walk 12 miles on the 12th. There will be no medals and probably no one cheering me on but I will prevail mentally and prove to myself once again that I am strong.

I went for a run this morning-5 miles and have done a few 2 to 3 miles a couple of times a week for the past month. I feel confident that I can do it but it will be challenging.

Some of my thoughts while I ran today were:

We must honor our bodies

We must do the hard things

We must not waste the life we are given

We must tell our loved ones we love them and not judge them because before you know it they can be gone.

live a little more pain run

My younger brother Alex is dedicating all of his lifts to our brother and I am running on the 12th of the month for our brother. Neither of these things will bring him back but it will keep pushing us further individually mentally & physically.

I hope this inspires you to maybe honor and respect your bodies a little bit more, to push yourself a little bit more, to live a little bit more.




Fast Track Workout and Nutrition Advice

track workout

I wanted to share with you my workout from yesterday! It was short but awesome!

First, I ate some delicious overnight oats that I made with:

1 c oats, 1 c almond milk, 1tsp flaxseed meal, tsp chia seeds, half banana (added in the morning) cinnamon, nutmeg and a few drops of honey (also added in the morning.)  I ate 3/4 of this and saved the rest for after the workout along with a protein shake.

overnight oats

I dropped off my son at Kindergarten at 9:15 and by 9:27 I was on the track running. I ran the first mile in 8 minutes and 40 seconds-which is fast for me! I can’t keep that pace for more than 1 to 2 miles (yet). I walked 1 lap and then ran 2 at the same pace, walked 1 and then ran 2 more at the same pace. It took me 25 minutes total, a total of 2.5 miles and I  felt like I had accomplished something! I was home by 10 am. Not to bad if you ask me!!

I drank my protein shake in the car right after and when I got home I ate the rest of my oats.

I want you to think of your workout as 3 total parts. Each workout whatever it is should have a beginning a middle and an end.

Begin with a proper pre-workout meal/snack

Workout-doesn’t have to be for hours. It can be quick as long as you are working hard-that’s the key!

End with stretching and a proper post workout meal

Also, proper rest is crucial! I have noticed that 3 to 4 workouts per week are perfect for me. I do a running, yoga & strength training combo. I work hard during those workouts and my body needs the other days to truly rest/recover and rebuild! So does yours.

I found this infographic that may help explain 🙂 xo, A

greatist pre and after

My Half Marathon Recap

marathon recap


This too shall pass…..truth——->>>>> Marathons are hard, half marathons are hard, 10 k, 5 k, 1 mile….all hard!! We all start at the beginning. It is all uphill from where we start. The beauty is in the training and then in that day of the real challenge. I did better than I thought I would that day time wise but I still struggled. It was still HARD. The challenge is overwhelming at times and yes there were times I wanted to stop but when you get that rush at the end to just go and do your best there is nothing like it!!

I finished this year’s half in 2:16 and last year in 2:32 (I think, I can’t even remember the exact time but that sounds right) I definitely did better!! I ran the first 6 miles with my friend and on the West End bridge she sprinted ahead and I was faced with the rest of the course all alone. I started to freak but held it together and finished strong! I walked through and drank through the drink stations. I grabbed a powerbar at mile 11, I believe, and took a few bites which I think helped. I was definitely starting to feel lonely out there even though there were other runners I still got pretty crazy when left alone with my own thoughts. The last mile and a half I truly gave it all I had and fought like heck to finish as fast as I could!!! It was awesome!

At the race expo 2 days before I got a Reiki healing which was awesome b/c my neck hurt but not after AND I found out I have awesome energy! The woman let me pick a rock out of her basket. I picked the rock that said “Hope” of course because that is my girl that I run for!! I ran with that rock in my belt pack for extra inspiration and it truly helped!  I also got to write her name on the big board at the expo. The expo was fun and I am glad I went! I even got to see some of my old GNC friends there!

I knew when the race was over Tim and Max would be waiting for me at home and I was so excited to see them. They got me flowers, bath salts and made me cards! Big hugs and proudness all around. I took a break from running more than a track lap or two at a time until this morning I did run four miles and walk one. I needed a break but like I said before I don’t totally want to stop running. I want to be an active runner and plan on doing around 5 at least once a week and a 2 miler once a week also. I want to run, do yoga and lift so that is what I will do!

I want you guys to know that running is possible. It can happen if you just start somewhere. It does get easier to go further and longer but you must enjoy the challenge. You must know that it, the pain, struggle and panic will pass and you will be SO proud once you complete and reach goals or do races. Yay, delayed gratification is the best!! Ha!

Until the next race, TBD-if my bladder can handle it….!! Oh ya, forgot to mention my bladder has no control while pounding on the streets of the burg! And for that I apologize.

xo, A



You’re doing a great job! Keep it up! Half Marathon training update



Well, I am 3 weeks away from the half marathon and yesterday something wonderful happened that actually brought me to tears while running! I want to share it with you! My running partner and I started out with a 10 mile mission outside at 7 am. The first 4 miles went great! Then because she is a little faster than me she sprinted ahead for the 5th mile which is mostly up hill-actually to be fair it is the hardest part of this particular course! She finished about 1/4 mile ahead of me or about  2 min in front. At first I was thinking, “ummmm what is she doing? why is she leaving me?” But then I realized it was fine and this is about me and her individually and not “us”. SO I conquered that hill and ran back to our cars to shed a layer of clothing, take 2 bites of a banana and some water then we started up again for our second 5 miles.

We started out strong and all was well until about 1/2 mile into it and she went ahead of me again…so there I was ALL ALONE. Again I was like, “what is she doing? why is she leaving me”??? We continued to run-rather I continued to chase her never really trying to catch her but I could see her up ahead and knew she was still with me but also felt VERY ALONE. My knees were starting to throb but that was the only thing that was off. Thankfully, my breathing was good, my time was good, my music was good and I was ok even if I was alone.

Around mile 8 I was starting to really struggle and felt like I was moving so slow! I could still see her up ahead and just kept going. I was not going to let myself quit! As I started up another small hill a runner came by beside me and said very quietly, “you’re doing a great job, keep it up”. I said, “thank you” and sprinted ahead with some tears and a smile. I was already almost in tears from being alone and struggling and when he said that it was the best thing that could have happened to me in that moment! I needed to hear that, badly!

So to that stranger, THANK YOU! You saved my run!! To all of you out there doing and trying and giving it your all….YOU’RE DOING A GREAT JOB, KEEP IT UP!! Isn’t that so nice to hear?!

I  finished our run in an hour and 42 minutes which is a great time for me!! So, alone or not I did it and spent most of that time counting on the fact that I will most likely be running the half alone and thinking I can do it! That is not what I planned as last year I ran with my 2 cousins and we stuck together the entire time which I liked.

My training since the last update has gone well except I had a few more shorter runs than I would have liked but that is what my body could handle at the time. For the next 3 weeks I am going to shoot for three more 6/7 mile runs, one more 10 mile run and three more 3/4 hilly miles runs.

I am still running for my girl Hope, who turned 21 last week! I plan on ordering a tank that says I Run 4 Hope to wear the day of the race! I want her there with me as my inspiration!!

Keep pursuing your goals guys-they feel good once accomplished! Real good!

xo- A

Half Marathon Training/Runnning Info

i love to run sort of

I wanted to share with you all how my half marathon training is going. I started running/training again 2/10/14 and I am training for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon on 5/4/14. I have just over 30 miles in at this point and I am at a point where my short runs are 2 to 3 miles and my long run coming up this weekend is going to be 7 miles.

Here is the breakdown comparing this year to last year (my 1st half)… it is still HARD! I still struggle sometimes but I am getting better and learning to love it more and more!

Since running the last one in May of 2013 I have greatly improved in these areas:

More strength training-2 to 3 times a week-true muscle-building strength training and a huge focus on my core and legs!

I eat more food/calories in general-you must eat to keep up with what you are putting out or trying to achieve!

I eat more real food-I don’t eat bars and non-food “food”-no quick on the go bars or easy fast packaged foods

I stretch more-several times a week if not daily

I foam roll more-after every run and once a week after “leg” day for sure

I joined a group through Facebook called I Run for Michael  and got matched with a 20 year sweet girl named Hope from NY who cannot walk or talk but is the happiest girl in the world according to her mom! I dedicate all of my workouts and miles to her!! She is a huge inspiration!!

warm day for Hope month 1 for Hope

who do you run for

These are difference makers! I am proof from this year to last.

I have no knee pain after running because my core, hamstrings, glutes and quads are all equally strong and supportive!

I have more energy and can do attitude because I am actually strong and fueled to go run! I used to dread it because I didn’t realize it then,  but I was weak!!

I recover much more quickly-I remember last year crying and not being able to walk up steps after running-boo!


A good plan? What has worked for me?

Strength train 2 to 3 times a week

Run 2 to 3  times per week-One short, one hill or speed run and one long run

Yoga or stretch 2 times per week

Now, every week doesn’t go 100% according to plan but it goes something like this and is working out well! I am able to balance life, running, working, being a mom, girlfriend and a totally awesome and happy/healthy version of myself!

What I already want to change FOR NEXT YEAR-last year I stopped running after the marathon was over…big mistake! I will keep running after this one is over for sure year round making things that much easier for 2015.

***3 tips while running to help get you through (I have used them and they work!) —>given to me from a running friend:

1. Focus on the tips of your elbows-as those are the only parts on your body that literally cannot hurt

2. When you run focus on getting your heels up instead of how far forward your stride is

3. Count to 50 every time your right foot hits the ground and then switch to count to 50 every time your left foot hits. The right side of your brain is the side that says “yay! you can do it, this is awesome” and your left side, well it is saying, “why are we running?, stopppppp runnnnninnnnggg, this sucks sooo bad!”  so by focusing on the counting you don’t give your left side a chance to infiltrate and sabotage!!

May 4th-here I come!!!

I hope this info helped you and inspired you to know that you can run too!