WRS #WRSTP Race Recap

Besides always being an amazing weekend away with friends, and meeting wonderful people while there, Women’s Running Series St Pete Half Marathon is always my favorite race. Yes, this could be because it was my first (and theirs too) 5 years ago. Either way, I just love the town, love the race, love the views, and the weather is I always so great.

Just a few pictures from my Saturday morning shakeout run.

Just a few pictures from my Saturday morning shakeout run.

Speaking of the views… On Saturday, I set out early in the morning for a quick, easy run. The kind of run that just loosen ups the muscles a bit.  I was excited to catch the most amazing sun rise while out there.  I am a firm believer in stopping to take in the scenery.  When something that beautiful happens, just stop and enjoy it. So I did.  And I captured a few pictures along the way.  For those looking for a great race in the late fall with absolutely beautiful weather, consider the Women’s Running Series Half Marathon in St Petersburg, FL.

Back to talking about the race…

Two months ago, I had high hopes for this race. I had been training hard and just knew I would set my personal best at this race.  Unfortunately, life (as it usually does) had other plans for me.  Between a nagging shoulder injury (just made an appointment to see an orthopedic doctor) and tendonitis in my mid foot I was just not in optimal shape for setting any records.

Start Line of WRS #WRSTP

Start Line of WRS #WRSTP

No matter if I had to walk the race, I was going to participate and finish the 5th annual Women’s Running Series Half Marathon in St Pete. Like I said, this is my favorite race.  After a short period of thinking I could still run my best, I finally (after talking with a dear friend) let go of all the pressure to run hard and decided to just enjoy the run.  This year was about being part of the 5th year and enjoying the race, nothing more than that.

After waking up at 5am to prep for the race, I headed to the start line.  I met up with several, but unfortunately not all, of my friends also running this race. We stretched together in the corrals and waited together to start the race.  As they let our corral begin, I took off to do my own thing. I really wanted to take in the scenery and just run my race in my own time, on my own pace.  I knew I would once again see them at the finish line.

Julia, Dani, Vikkie, Me, Katie, and Annette

Julia, Dani, Vikkie, Me, Katie, and Annette

The first 5k was actually pretty good.  I kept on pace just under 11 min miles. That was pretty much my plan for the race. I wasn’t trying to over do it, just wanted to do what I do without the pressure of a finish time in my head.

Between Mile 3 and 6 I saw the best sign… “One day I wont be able to do this.  Today is NOT that day.

The other sign I loved was “Embrace every mile, Celebrate every moment.

The next 5k was just like the first. Although I did slow down the pace a bit. Not for any reason other than trying preserve some energy and I really just love running through Snell Island. The scenery on the waterfront is a great sight; very relaxing actually.

It wasn’t until about mile 8-9 that I started to really feel the pain in my shoulder. That pain started to move down my arm causing me a bit of pain and numbness in my left arm. The motion of running was making it worse. So I switched up my intervals and walked a little more than I ran.  Like I said, my goal was to finish, not hurt myself.

After a few miles this way, I was over it and just wanted to get to the finish line.  I wanted ice for my shoulder and possibly even a massage to relieve the pain.  I started to make little goals for myself: Run to the next stop light; Great song on the tunes, run through it; Oh look, the Rays Stadium. I can run to the end of the parking lot; I see a water stop ahead, run to the water stop; Run until I see the 13 mile marker… Those little goals got me back on track a little and kept me from getting too in my head about a finish time.

Finishers Medal and our Race Shirt

Finishers Medal and our Race Shirt

Before I knew it, I was nearing the finishing chute. I saw one of our Team in Training coaches on the sidelines at the finish.  He yelled to me to keep moving, the finish line was ahead. I was hurting but he was right. The finish line: the most amazing sight to see when you are hurting… I thought to myself “what would Courtney do?”  And I decided that no mater how many miles I might have walked, I was not walking or even jogging across the finish line. So I sprinted!

No records were set in St Pete this weekend – well, one was… I was able to set my course record by 13 seconds.  Thanks to the sprint at the end! 😉

Right from the finish line to the medical tent for ice while I waited for a massage.  A quick massage to relieve the pain and then I was ready to celebrate with friends.  By that time, they were all across the finish line. (Well, speedy Jacey was ahead of us all.)  I was able to get a finish photo with Vikki before the rest of the group showed up.  Then we all got in one photo at the finish.

The memories we make on trips like this really do last forever.  Looking forward to next year – Yes, I already signed up at the expo to return again in 2014.


Time to Build a Healthier Me

A healthy life isn’t just about exercise, I have that part down. My struggle, as with many others, is better eating habits.
20131123-141106.jpgI had already made a decision about a week ago to start changing my life, specifically my eating habits in an effort to become healthier: I want to be the best version of ME I can be. Having already made this decision, I was looking for the right way to begin. I figured it would either come to me as I had been praying over this change; or, I would have to start really researching best options after my WRS Half Marathon. (The race is this weekend, actually tomorrow; and, you never start something new on or close to race day.)
Enter Dawna Stone… I remembered Dawna from 5 years ago at this very event. She is the founder of this race series and Woman’s Running Magazine (both are now owned by Competitor). Dawna was here promoting her new book “Healthy You!”: I mean really… What timing.
After gushing over the race series that I just love, I explained to Dawna my struggles. Last year I embarked on this journey, lost 35lbs, then stressed took over and I gained about 20 of that back. I need a better way to change my life style to take off the weight, create a healthier me, and keep it that way. Dawna offered the solution that worked for her years ago. All of this Healthy You! Program is offered on her 221 pg book by the same title.
Timing is everything.
After a lengthy conversation with Dawna, I am hopeful this will be the solution for me. I already know how to eat healthier… That is how I lost the weight to begin with. I need to focus on more than just eating this time. I need to get through the emotional and mental barriers that keep dragging me down.
Two ways I am going to do this… 1. I am going to talk more with Dawna as I embark on this program. And, 2. I am going to blog about this process to keep me accountable.
Everything starts on Monday. I will begin with current photos (Yes, I have done this all before), current weight, and acknowledging my barriers to success. Then week by week, I will share my experience, favorite recipes, weight lost as well as inches, and mainly, my emotional and mental breakthroughs.
I hope you will follow along.

Let Me Count The Ways…

If you follow my blog, you know I have been using a new fuel source during workouts and races. EnergyBits are all 100% natural and organic, not to mention completely packed with vitamins and antioxidants.  I am often asked “Do they really help?”  And my answer is always YES, Yes they do.

Not only did I run my last two half marathons with bits as my mid race refuel, they were my ONLY source of fuel before, during and even for hours after the race. If you read my post on Philly RnR, you know this was not intentional. I was feeling a little uneasy in the morning and was unable to really eat anything. I did not panic since I had been using the EnergyBits as my fuel source for months prior. I was confident they would be enough to get me through.  What I was not expecting was how great I felt for not eating pre race.

In any case, I thought I would share all the ways EnergyBits have helped me out over the last several months.

  • Prior to taking EnergyBits I was on anti-anxiety medications. I have a tendency to overly stress about things to the point of full on anxiety attacks.  I had been on meds for this consistently since the summer of 2008.  Shortly before beginning my daily regimen of EnergyBits, I opted (with consultation of a physician) to reduce my medication in an effort to completely wean off the meds all together.  I am happy to say, after 5 months of consistent use of EnergyBits I am off medication for anxiety and I have never felt better.  Anyone considering this as an all natural solution to depression or anxiety, please consult your physician first. This is not something you should arbitrarily decide to do.  For me, it was the best decision I could have made.


    Vitamins, Antioxidants, Protein… What more can you ask for?

  • I have all the natural energy day in and day out that I need to get through the workday and still workout/run. The multiple B vitamins in EnergyBits are more than you can get from any other single source. B vitamins are more than just a great source of energy, they are necessary in our diets for many reasons.  To name a few… increases in energy, nervous and digestive system health, mental wellness, PMS relief, hair/skin/nails health, increases in concentration/memory, and some vascular disorders.
  • Weight management has been easier with EnergyBits.  Not only do the B vitamins in the bits help with naturally increasing the metabolism, but since the bits are actually food (yes, algae is food) they are a great snack when looking for something to satisfy without adding too many calories to your daily intake.
  • I have replaced a multi-vitamin with my EnergyBits and RecoveryBits. Algae (both spirulina and chlorella) are PACKED with vitamins and antioxidants. There is really no need for any other supplement. And, the best thing, the bits are food! I know I repeat that, but it is important to know these are not “supplements” in the typical sense. Yes, you will supplement your diet with the bits, but they are not synthesized supplements you get in the drug store.
  • How EnergyBit measure up to other popular fuel sources.

    How EnergyBits measure up to other popular fuel sources.

    EnergyBits are 64% protein so they are the perfect way to supplement any diet to ensure you get the protein your body needs.  Since I am starting to reduce meats in my diet, these bits are going to make sure I have enough protein in my diet so I don’t need to supplement with manufactured shakes or supplements.

  • RecoveryBits have actually helped me out with migraines. I have long looked for a way to get through a migraine without crawling into bed until is subsides.  I actually had a migraine just the other night. Instead of looking for the ibuprofen, which really does not do much anyhow, I went right to my RecoveryBits for relief. Within an hour, the migraine was mostly gone: enough so I could continue my work day.

These are the specific ways EnergyBits have help me.  There are so many more benefits of algae that are well documented. Just Google search spirulina and chlorella algae and read about it yourself. If you have specific questions, please feel free to contact me about how the bits of health can help you.

By now you have to be asking yourself “How do I get these EnergyBits?” If you look to the right side of by blog (toward the top) you will see the big blue EnergyBits Ambassador button.  Under the button you will see my discount code, ANDI, which qualifies you for 30% off your order.  Just click on the button and you will be taken directly to the EnergyBits.com website where you can place an order.  If you are looking to try a few samples, please let me know and we can work that out as well.

NOTE: I was not paid by EnergyBits for this review. The opinions offered are my own. The benefits above are actual benefits I have experienced while taking EnergyBits regularly.

Let the Girl’s Weekend Begin

The last 4 years of WRS Half in St Pete.

The last 4 years of WRS Half in St Pete.

Well, I am off to St Pete, FL for the Women’s Running Series St Pete Half Marathon this weekend.  As you know, if you follow my blog, this is the 5th year I will be running this race: the race that started it all for me.

I am packed – can’t forget the EnergyBits & RecoveryBits – for a fun weekend and a fabulous race. This will be my third race powered by bits.  I figure if it’s not broken, don’t fix it! The Bits have kept me focused and fueled throughout my last two races (Philly RNR and Nike Women’s), so why change it?

For this race, I had been planning a PR (personal record), been training for a PR that is; however, I am nursing two small issues that might keep me from a PR. I have tendonitis in my left foot and my shoulder (old war injury from swimming) has been acting up this week.  I wonder if these ‘injuries’ are in my head – something to psych me out of running my best to finish this race with a PR.  Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely soreness, not really pain at this point, in both places. I was just wondering if I am already copping out of pushing myself to a better race.

In any case, I am certainly planning to do all I can to finish this race without further injury.  I will be listening to my body and allowing myself to slow down or walk if need be.  The goal is a finish without injury at this point. I have put the PR target on hold until February at the Fort Lauderdale A1A (another race I do every year).

Here is to a great weekend with friends, a safe race, and no injuries!

It’s My 5th Run-iversary

Yes, I made up that word, but who really cares??

Anyhow, this weekend marks my 5th run-iversary. In 2009 I found an outlet for my stress: I started running!  I actually did not do this just for stress, I started running because I needed to make a difference. When my niece was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia, I joined Team in Training thinking I would raise some money, walk a half marathon, and be done with it.  LOL, that was not really the case!

When I started with Team in Training I could barely run a block let alone a half (or even full) marathon.  However, in light of what my niece was going through I figured I could try.  I mean, Courtney did not have an option on chemo so I decided I did not have an option with the race.  I would sign up, I would commit, and I would complete a half marathon in her honor.

Well, that lasted a few weeks. Once I started running and getting better every week, I was hooked. Someone convinced me to join the Marathon Maniacs that season and all of a sudden I was signed up and committed to run two half marathons and a full marathon all in two months time.  I really should have been committed to a hospital in a cozy white jacket with silver buckles – maybe even a padded room!!

That first season started with the 2009 Inaugural Women’s Running Magazine Half Marathon in St Pete, FL. After 13.1 miles I was hooked!  (Notice I did not say during the 13.1 miles, it was definitely after the race.)  I felt so accomplished when I finished my first half marathon (ever) in 2:38 – not too bad for never running more than a 5k in my life.

The rest of that season went OK – not great. I injured my knee in St Pete and continued to run making it worse. By mile nine of the second half (Palm Beaches) I was done. I left the race, DNF.  I rehabbed over the next month and ended up walking the Disney Full Marathon.  There was no quit in Courtney, there was no quit in me!

Since that first season, I have finished 20 half marathons, 1 full marathon, 2 triathlons, and a century bike ride (many more 5k and 10k races as well).  Not all with TNT but several of those events were with the Team.  Many of these races I have done on my own, just because.  I have found by keeping races on my schedule I stay committed to training.

Anyhow, I  decided to write this blog today because this weekend, marking my 5th Run-inversary, I am running the race that really started it all for me: Women’s Running Series Half Marathon in St Pete.  I am probably as excited as WRS is about this 5th anniversary – the race that started it all for them as well as for me.  The race I have attributed my addiction to.

Over the years the race has changed slightly, but for the most part it is very much the same.  It is always well supported and just an awesome fun time.  So many memories surround this weekend and I enjoy reliving them with my friends who run with me.  Three of us started this together and run this race every year to celebrate all we have accomplished over the years.

Here is a review of the last four years…

2009 – With Team in Training – the start of my addiction to running and racing.

WRS2009 1

Pre Race – Last Minute Instructions from Coach

WRS2009 2

With Annette resting our legs pre race

WRS2009 3

Waiting in the corral – a bit nervous to start my first race. Courtney’s picture on my back to keep me motivated!

WRS2009 4

13.1 Miles – DONE!! Just a tad happy!! =)

2010 – Running with friends is always fun.

WRS2010 2

With Annette and Katie, the three of us run this race every year.

WRS2010 1

After completing the race, while waiting for Katie and Annette to finish.

2011 – The start of Team CURE

WRS2011 2


WRS2011 1

After finishing 13.1, waiting for the rest of our Team to finish.

WRS2011 3

Leanne, Katie and I, just part of Team Cure.

2012 Another year with Team CURE.



WRS2012 2

Pre-race with part of Team CURE. Val, Katie, Chris (her friends) and myself.

WRS2012 3

Finish photo. 2012


It is time for a new raffle, and this one is all about BELIEVING (in yourself, and others)!

As you may know from past posts, Inspired Endurance is my favorite athletic inspired jewelry vendor. I own many of their products and wear them proudly daily.  Bracelets (my Pandora-style race bracelet), necklaces, charms, rings… I keep adding to my stock with every race – and I race a lot!

I reached out to the Owner, Marie, for a few items for a raffle to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  As always, she agreed.  Maria at Inspired Endurance has donated three great items to be raffled off for LLS.  And here how it will work…

  • All three items will be in the same raffle; buying tickets will qualify you for all three items.
  • Tickets are reasonable considering the product values:
    • 2 Tickets for $5;
    • 5 Tickets for $10; or
    • BEST VALUE 15 Tickets for $20.
  • All ticket purchases are donations to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through my fundraising page at: http://pages.teamintraining.org/pb/nikewhlf14/triing2findacure
  • Winner will be drawn at a fundraiser I am hosting in Fort Lauderdale on (my birthday) December 14th, 2013
  • Tickets are available up until December 14th, 2013 at 5pm; Drawing will be at 9pm that evening
  • Do not need to be present to win.
  • Items will be shipped (where necessary) on Monday, December 16th, 2013 (just in time for the Holidays)


Here is what you have a chance to win:

FIRST PRIZE: Sterling Silver BELIEVE Plate Necklace, Value $75

SS, Believe Plate Necklace: 1st Prize (Value $75)

SS, Believe Plate Necklace: 1st Prize (Value $75)

SECOND PRIZE: Sterling Silver Dream, Believe, Achieve Charm on a Leather Necklace, Value $50

2nd Prize: SS Dream, Believe, Achieve Charm and Necklace (Value $50)

2nd Prize: SS Dream, Believe, Achieve Charm and Necklace (Value $50)

THIRD PRIZE: Sterling Silver Believe Bead for any Pandora or Pandora-Style bracelet, Value $35

3rd Prize: SS Believe Bead for Pandora-style Bracelets (Value $35)

3rd Prize: SS Believe Bead for Pandora-style Bracelets (Value $35)

Running with Purpose, #RnRPhilly

Friday night, while hanging out with my niece, she told me a story…. A story that I used to help push me through the #RnRPhilly half marathon on Sunday.
On Friday Courtney received her new brace, and she was testing it out with a few long walks down halls and in the hospital rec room. (Click here for more on Courtney.) She told me that it was hard, harder than anything she has tried so far.  Within a few feet she was sweating, she said “dripping with sweat”.
As she continued to walk she fought back the urge to quit. There is no quitting she told herself.  Then she explained to me something that made me push through my own pain on Sunday’s run… She told me she used me as inspiration to keep walking, to make it across the room.  Courtney told me she thought of how hard I push to run a marathon for her and said ‘Aunt Andi would not give up, neither will I!’
To have my hero tell me I inspired her to keep going, I was in such awe.  I will tell you, Sunday when I ran the race in Philly, I thought of that story when my legs and hips were hurting.  I thought how strong Courtney was to push through the pain, so I did the same thing.  I did not set a personal record running, but I did have a mental breakthrough…
You see, running distance is as much mental as it is physical.  I find myself negotiating at mile 9 ‘I can slow down and still cross the finish in a good time.’  ‘I can walk more and still finish the race.’  All these thoughts and so many more go rushing through my head…. I look at my watch, calculate a rough finish time if I stay consistent, then start the negotiations to slow down or walk more.  I always seem to fall apart at 9-10miles. Not this time…
imageLike I said, I did not set a personal best time. I finished in 2:32:56, 4 minutes off my best time.  Considering my legs were sore and I really did not eat before I started (that is an entirely different story), I was ok with that time. What I was more impressed with was my ability to keep running through the normal wall and stay consistent with my run.  I did slow down a bit more from mile 12 to 13, but I kept running. I knew there was a smiling little girl waiting for me at the finish line; and, I had to get there.
And when I did, I gave her my medal!  She is the reason I do this, so it seemed appropriate!

Quick Shout Out to my HERO!

Courtney, My Niece (15)

Courtney, My Niece

Just a quick update and shout out to my HERO, my niece Courtney.  She is heading up to Philly in a few days to stay at Shriners Hospital (in-patient) for some extra quality attention to the neuropathy she has been battling since January 2010.  In case you have missed it in a past post, the neuropathy she is dealing with (from the hips down) was a side-effect of a chemo drug (vincristine) she took during her therapy for acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL).

Courtney has been focused on wanting to walk again.  She wants to stand and walk on her own.  She is UNSTOPABLE so I know… I KNOW… she will succeed.

This quick shout out is to send her blessings and ask for your prayers while she is at Shriners in PA. If you have a moment to say a prayer it would be appreciated.

If you follow my blog you know Courtney is the reason I started my endurance events.  Before she was diagnosed I never thought it would be possible for me to run a 5k let alone a half or full marathon (or Oly Tri, or Century Ride).  With her battling ALL, the only thing I could think to do to help was Join Team In Training and support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as they continue to fund research for a cure.  My endurance events are merely symbolic of the endurance she has had to put forth to get through this battle.

I am PROUD of Courtney for all she has been through and still she says I CAN!  She is a fighter, strong and beautiful (in so many ways).  Go get ’em Court!!  Love ya Kiddo!!! (I am ready for you to join me at a race!!)

Powered by what?? #PoweredByBits!

2013-07-04 11.54.37[1]

One EnergyBits serving: 30 tablets

If you follow my blog (or just know me in general), you already know I am training for several events coming up in the second half of this year: 5 half marathons actually. Training in the heat and humidity in South Florida is quite tasking. So much so, I have been looking for something to give me an edge in a healthy way. I believe I have found the answer in these little green bits: EnergyBits.

I contacted the company for sample starters (which I paid for) to ensure I could actually stomach the product before making the investment in a full order. It was not long before I dove in and bought into the value the product added to my workouts, or just to my day in general.

Here is how it all started… A few TNT peeps I have met from outside of my chapter (Palm Beach) were tweeting/chatting about being #poweredbybits. I researched the company to find they have 4 brands: EnergyBits, RecoveryBits, SkinnyBits, and VitalityBits. I scanned the website and read all I could from their plethora of information. I found the product to be quite intriguing and decided “Why not try it?” The first question I needed to answer is WHICH BRAND?

EnergyBits and SkinnyBits are both 100% spirulina algae. This blue green algae is said to increase mental and physical energy while limiting hunger and fatigue. Since spirulina is a simple food, dense with nutrients, the benefits are more than any other single food (or even supplement) you could add to your diet. After an email exchange with a rep from the company, I decided to take the EnergyBits. Essentially, EnergyBits and SkinnyBits are the same so it really would not have mattered which one I chose to go with: EnergyBits it is!

I shared with a few people (via Facebook) I was trying this product and a few questions immediately came up: Is this in place of GU or mid run refuel? What does it taste like? How do you take it? Do you/Can you add it to food?

2013-07-03 18.04.44[1]Yes, these can be taken instead of traditional mid-workout fuel supplements. There are reasons why one would chose to do so. With no caffeine, ZERO artificial ingredients, and 64% protein, EnergyBits are a healthier alternative to your traditional mid-workout fuel sources like GU or Sport Beans. (And only 30 calories per serving!)

EnergyBits.com says it perfectly – it tastes GREEN. And it is GREEN. I have been taking the tablets straight, swallowing whole verses chewing. Not just because of the taste, but I don’t like green teeth!! 😉 When I opened my first full order pouch, I could see the residue from the purity of the product on the inside of the pouch. Nothing but algae in there!! I can just imagine how my teeth would look after chewing these little bits. Taking them like a pill is simple and easy. As for adding them to food, sure. EnergyBits can be added to salads as another topping. The high level of protein contained makes them a great addition.

Now for the real stuff… how did I feel while working out after taking the EnergyBits? In a word, great! Yesterday I took to the road for a 4 mile run after a long day at work. Even with my asthma that has been acting up this summer, the heat and humidity of South Florida did not seem to bother me as much as it has been. Granted, I didn’t all of a sudden become Speedy Gonzales burning up the trail; but, I was able to stay strong and consistent throughout the workout. I just felt less drained in the midst of the workout.


Nutritional Information on EnergyBits

I have a longer run planned for Saturday (7 miles) so I will report back after that workout on mid-run refuel with the bits (along with my pre/post workout serving). Usually I would take a GU or Sport Beans with me for more than 5 miles. I like the idea of taking something a little more healthy while working out. As an added benefit, EnergyBits contain the amino acids/electrolytes one needs for these longer or more intense workouts.

I will tell you, I did look for alternatives to EnergyBits online. I found similar products. I asked my rep at EnergyBits, Jonathan Levitt, why I should (or why you should) choose EnergyBits over the other supplements found at places like Vitacost or GNC. Jonathan responded “You get what you pay for.” Further explaining, “you can find cheaper spirulina, but you risk contamination (due to quality issues with the water in Japan and standards in Chinese production) and the need to take even more.” (There was even an independent comparison he shared with me found HERE.) Jonathan closed out his comments with “Algae is ALL we do. We are specialists. You always get the best from a specialist. We think people’s health is worth it.

Given my interest and excitement related to this product already, I was asked to join the Brand Ambassador program. As such, I have (or will have) a discount code to share with you if you are interested in experiencing the difference these little bits can make to your workout. If you are interested in trying the product, let me know and I will assist you in getting a sample to try. When available, I will also post my discount code for you to use when you purchase.

Oh, and one last note… Since adding EnergyBits to my daily routine, as well as to my workouts, I have lost 4.7lbs this last week. =) I changed NOTHING else in my routine. It is really that simple!

She Amazes Me More Every Day

Courtney, My Niece

Courtney, My Niece

Who?  My niece, Courtney.  As you know if you follow my blog, she is the reason I started running in 2009.  August 2009 Courtney was diagnosed with ALL (acute lymphocytic leukemia).  She immediately put on her gloves and decided to kick butt and take names!  Now Courtney is cancer free and setting out to help others.  ‘How?’ you ask??

Have you ever heard of St Baldrick’s?  While some organizations spread their research dollar between adult and children’s cancers, every grant funded by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation is for childhood cancer research.  The St. Baldrick’s Foundation takes great care with every donor dollar, keeping the staff small, the expenses low and directing every possible dollar to childhood cancer research.

Here is Courtney’s mission statement:

StBaldricksLogo8/7/09 I was diagnosed with Pre B ALL, as of 12/22/11 I am very happy to say that I am CANCER FREE!! I would like to shave my head while raising funds for St Baldrick’s Foundation so they can continue with research in the hopes for finding a cure for this horrible disease. This time it’s MY CHOICE to be bald and for a very worthy cause, to help kids presently fighting cancer and future kids that will be fighting cancer until there is a cure. I am asking you to please donate to Team IKLA (I Kicked Leukemia’s A@@) Sincerely, Courtney Wolfe

I know I have very generous supporters and readers… If you feel the need, please visit Courtney’s fundraising website and donate today!  She is one courageous young lady willing to shave her head to help others.  How many young ladies in high school do you know that would SHAVE THEIR HEADS for a cause? The least we can do is support her efforts!

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Winners Announced: Inspired Endurance Raffle

This will be quick…

Three winners of the Inspired Endurance Jewelry Raffle are below: (Prizes will be mailed out this week)

1st Prize: Bill & Carrie Bochnak – The Believe Plate necklace

2nd Prize: Sandra Matthews – Dream, Believe, Achieve pendant

3rd Prize: Barbara Weber – Believe charm


Happy Birthday, to ME!

HappyBirthdayToMeSo tomorrow is my birthday… Not like I have a lot planned, in fact I have only one thing planned: Day 1 of my training for the Fort Lauderdale A1A Half Marathon in February (and the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in DC).  The A1A Half is only 9 weeks away and I am just now starting my training.  I am not overly concerned with the fact that I have only 9 weeks to train – I mean, it is not like I have to start from scratch.

Yes, I have been taking the last couple of weeks off of actual training, but I have still been running. When I say TIME OFF, I really mean I only run 2-3 miles 3 (or 4) times a week instead of 3-6 miles 5 times a week with an additional day dedicated to a long run.  That said, A1A is my PR race, so I am challenging myself to target a new PR for that race.  Which means boosting my normal training with a little more speed work.  I hope to keep my self a little more accountable this year.

In any case, how am I spending my birthday?  First off, early in the morning, I will set out for a five mile run.  Later in the day I will be selecting the winners of the Jewelry Raffle from Inspired Endurance.  (BTW, You can still buy your raffle tickets up til 7pm tomorrow, Dec 14th)  After that, I have absolutely NOTHING planned.

I am one exciting gal…



Bringing Back Memories…

Don’t ask me why, but I did a quick name search on Google and I found this article from back in the beginning of my Team in Training days.  It was published the day I completed the Disney Full Marathon in 2010.  This article reminds me of why I joined this program with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; and why I keep going.  This is truly how it all began…

The article (linked in the title below) begins about half way down the page. I copied the text here for ease.

Runner Going the Distance for Niece Battling Leukemia

Andi Mucklow would do anything for her niece, and she has the frequent-flier miles on her sneakers to prove it.

The Boca Raton woman is an active member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training program as a way to honor and support her niece, Courtney Wolfe, in her battle against leukemia.

Mucklow has thrown herself into the effort as she continues with her plans to run three half-marathons and one full marathon over a five-month span that began in November and continues through March.

Wolfe’s illness first became evident with episodes of knee pain in August. After a bone marrow biopsy, Wolfe, 12, was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. She is undergoing treatments and many hospital stays due to her poor immune system.

Mucklow initially signed up to be a “Marathon Manic” for Team In Training’s winter season and complete all three events that were offered.

She has already participated in The Women’s Running Magazine Half Marathon on Nov. 22, The Palm Beaches Marathon Festival Half Marathon on Dec. 6, and is scheduled to run in the Disney Full Marathon today.

Once Mucklow heard about the spring season and Disney’s Princess Half Marathon on March 7, she decided to sign up, especially when she found out her niece would be the team’s Honored Hero.

As an Honored Hero, Courtney helps bring inspiration to team members and reminds them why finding a cure is so important. She was planning to travel to Orlando to watch her aunt complete the Disney event.

Mucklow has raised more than $5,000. For more information about the Team In Training program, call 888-478-8550 or visit www.teamintraining.org/pb.