{Liebster Award-Part 1}

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I was nominated for a Liebster Blog Award which is super exciting. Thank you to JanaBananaRD for nominating me.

If you haven’t heard of this award, it’s an award for bloggers given by bloggers. When you are nominated for the award, you answer a set of questions asked by the blogger who nominated you and then nominate 11 other bloggers, and give those bloggers a set of questions to answer.

Below are the Q and A.

1. Why did you start blogging?
At first I started blogging to share my journey of training and running 50 marathons in 50 states. After catching up with the states I’d run, I found I really liked writing and sharing information about the sport I love with others. Writing has become a great creative outlet for me and place to not annoy my family and friends (most non-runners) with too many running conversations. I’ve also been reminded of how great and supportive the running community is. Running is like a secret club where everybody gets in by simply running some miles. It’s the best.

2. What is your favorite way to stay fit?

Based on the previous question it is probably obvious that running is my favorite. I’ve always loved the freedom, problem solving, stress relieving, and energizing properties of the sport. I do love to watch any sports Wisconsin, and love to do outdoor sports, too. Hiking and biking are other favorites of mine. I’m also falling in love with yoga and how it makes me feel better as a runner.

3. Where do you live?
I live in the great state of Wisconsin. The state of cheese, beer, and extreme winter running conditions. I live where it can be 60 one day and snowing the next. I live where summer humidity can be just as brutal as winter windchills. I live where nature’s beauty is always steps away and the biggest freeway is only two lanes wide. I live where people are kind, passionate about their Wisco teams, and we have amazing seasons to run, hike, and bike through.

4. Who is your biggest inspiration?

Hmmm… This is a challenge for me. I get inspired by people everyday-my students, husband, other bloggers, quotes on pinterest…I guess I’m easily inspired. Perhaps the most inspiring people throughout a consistent period of my life was/is Suzy Favor Hamilton. As a young runner growing up in Wisconsin, Suzy Favor was the running hero. She won the state championship four years in a row and ran in multiple summer Olympic games. Despite her recent activities I still consider her an inspiration. We all have imperfections and challenges that we work to overcome. When I met her for the first time with the cross country kids I coached, she was nothing but sweet, patient, and kind. Today I consider Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan both inspirations, too.

5. What is your favorite food?
Do coffee and Diet Mountain Dew count? If not, then pizza. There are so many ways to change it up, make it healthier, or vary the flavor.

6. What’s the farthest that you’ve run (for fun or a race)?
26.2 miles plus some small negligible amount that is totally not negligible when you are in that position. That is until June 2014 when I attempt my first 50k.

7. What’s your favorite recipe to share?

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Cowboy Caviar. I simply love the stuff. It is delicious, healthy, and brings back fond memories of summer grilling, no snow, and warmer temperatures. Plus, I haven’t met someone who doesn’t love it.  I usually follow the above recipe and use half the sugar.

8. Who’s your favorite team to cheer for (any sport)?

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Any Wisco teams. Right now…the Badgers. Final Four, Baby!

9. What’s the best group fitness class you’ve tried out?
Where I live fitness classes are very limited, but I’ve loved both the spinning and yoga classes I’ve taken. Both are great forms of cross training and make me feel stronger and healthier as a runner.

10. What’s your favorite thing about blogging?
Having a written record of the challenges and successes of the my journey and “meeting” other who love the sport as much as I do-that is not something I find often in my group of in person friends. Being able to gain ideas and insights as well as share them is invaluable. In a way we are all our own coach, so we help coach each other.

11. Are you going to pass on the torch and nominate 11 other bloggers?
Yes, but give me a few days. I’ve been really busy and like to make careful decisions. I will nominate 11 other bloggers in the next few days.

Thanks again to JanabananaRD for the nomination!


1. Thank the blogger who has nominated you
2. Answer the questions given to you
3. Nominate 11 other blogs with less than 500 followers
4. Post 11 questions for your nominees to answer
5. Tag your nominees & post a comment on their blog to let them know that you have nominated them.

Sneaks & Stilettos

{End of Summer Thoughts}

Back to school. Back to school to prove to dad I’m not a fool. Well, sort of. Today ,Yesterday Two days ago was the first day of school and the return of the crazy life. Before things get too busy, as you can see in the prior crossed out words things have already started to get busy, I wanted to take a few moments to savor my many great summer moments and memories while also reflecting on my 2013 goals.

This summer I had the chance to run some great miles in great places before and even after hurting myself. In June I was ramping up my mileage in what I was planning to be a new PR attempt in September. I was putting in some great mileage weeks and even ran a few two a days. I met goal #2 on my 2013 list by running my fifth half marathon this year; this is the most I’ve completed in a year. In October I will look to add on to this goal at the Honky Tonk Half in Wisconsin Dells. June also brought the chance to run in several locations in Houston, TX while visiting my sister.
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The month of July began on the road with chances to run in more beautiful places (with more great people) like…
Mustang State Park-Padre Island,


Ocean Drive Corpus Christi,





St. Louis, Missouri!



I got to visit some great places (and people) in Texas such as…




I, well really we, but you know whatever Ms. K. wants is what Ms. K gets, so I got to visit New Orleans…





And Memphis.





Then came the injury of the summer during what would have been my sixth half marathon this year, the Dances With Dirt Half Marathon. Little did I know it wouldn’t be a simple two or three weeks off. I’m still dealing with swelling after each longer run and when standing on my feet all day. The injury though was responsible for me doing something I hadn’t done in far too long-biking!



August snuck in faster than I care to admit, but brought more chances to travel and run in fun places such as NYC! My long run walk route is detailed in the photos below.
Midtown Manhattan to…


To Union Square Park,

to Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment, to…

Greenwich Village to…

the Hudson River Trail to …
to 20130904-184734.jpg
Battery Park to…
the Statue of Liberty to…
Financial District to…
the Brooklyn Bridge to…


Brooklyn to…
the Manhattan Bridge to…


Manhattan to…
Chinatown to…

the Subway to…

eat this yummy cupcake for a famished runner!

Then of course there was the miles of walking to take in the sites like…
Grand Central Station,


Times Square,

Central Park,


FAO Schwartz,



And so much more!

I have a lot to be thankful for. Despite the ankle, this summer was awesome! When life gets stressful this school year I need to come back to this post to remind myself that life won’t always be like that. There will be a chance to catch my breath, run in great locations, and visit amazing cities again.

Until then I’m gearing up as best as I can for my marathon NEXT (insert major freak out sound) weekend. I’m so unprepared all I can do is laugh and hope I don’t fall down the canyon to an untimely death. Or maybe at that point it will be a welcomed break from the pain this race is going to ravage on me.

What summer memories will you cherish in the years to come?

{First Bike Rides}

Wednesday after my physical therapy appointment I busted out my bike for a long bike ride. After biking 10 miles Sunday and Tuesday and feeling like the rides were pretty easy, I felt ready to push it a bit further.

During my first ride it felt so strange to be riding while also familiar. It brought back memories of having to ride my bicycle 4 miles to band practice with my clarinet case on my handlebars uphill both ways…in the sweltering heat! Oh, the torture my parents put me through aka character building!

Living in Wisconsin we have such beauty all around us! I have checked out parts of many trails, but with a bike you can travel so many miles faster.

For my longer ride I hopped on the Great River Bike Trail. I had planned to ride from Midway to Perrot State Park, however the rain changed my plans. I ended up biking from Onalaska to Trempealeau and back (32 miles round trip).

The trails were awesome-well groomed, well marked, and scenic. They are all old railroad trail beds running through marsh, prairie, and along lakes and rivers.

If you have never biked, check out these trails. They have short routes for shorter rides. If you are already into biking, then definitely get out there.

You can ride as long or short as you want because the Great River Bike Trail connects to the La Crosse River Trail which connects to the Sparta-Elroy Bike Trail and that connects to the 400 State Bike Trail. That is over a hundred miles of trails through towns, scenic paths, bridges, and train tunnels. Check out http://www.bike4trails.com for maps and distances.

I can’t wait to get out there next week to see more!





Happy Biking!

{Friday Fab 5}

I cannot believe July has come and past!
{#1-Garlic Lemon Herb Chicken}

With the cooler temperatures this week I used the oven to make this AMAZING chicken. It was so simple, juicy, and delish! If you don’t want to turn the oven on, then you’ll have to save this for fall. It would be worth the wait! On Ryan’s official rating scale (5-I would eat it once a week to 1- I’d eat it if I had to) he gave it a 5!

{#2-Slow Cooker Chipotle Black Bean Dip}

Another good recipe I’d normally reserve for fall, however this was just was too easy and went with the taco chicken we grilled. Add as much cheese and green onion as your taste buds like. I also added green chilies for more spice. For the link to the recipe click here.

{#3-No treadmills… Well maybe}

The day after I posted this photo to Instagram I was running on a treadmill. Wait, did you catch that? I was RUNNING! Thursday at physical therapy I got to slow jog 3 minutes and run easy pace for 3 minutes. That is six minutes of running. Tomorrow is the three week mark on my ankle sprain. This is all positive. I was told no biking or running today and take it easy this weekend (while doing my ankle exercises 3X daily of course.) I will be able to try a mile or two on Tuesday before going to therapy! So exciting!


Sunday I rode my bike for the first time in 10 years. I have to say I really liked it. Heck, after weeks without running…I loved it! 52 miles of biking this week later and I’m planning my next long bike ride for Monday!

{#5-New York City}

This picture is in our family room and has been for the past three plus years. Why would I share this, well…I will be going there next week. So excited! I’m hoping to have a picture or two of a run in Central Park if all goes well with therapy!

Anybody racing this weekend?
Happy Weekend!