{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

{Friday Fab 5}

With the loss and tragedy in Oklahoma all of these photos seem trivial. Sometimes it is the small things that keep us moving forward. Thoughts and prayers to those in Oklahoma.


What will your next salad include?

What will your next salad include?

I have a new love for experimenting and creating new types of salad. I love fruit on my salad, which I know is often a very personal taste. The possibilities are endless! The above beauty was my dinner several nights this week. The dressing is great; it is all natural, gluten and allergen free, and free from high fructose corn syrup. When dining out I love Wendy’s Berry Almond Chicken Salad (now back for summer) and their Apple Pecan Chicken Salad (minus the nuts-ick). I also LOVE Panera’s Strawberry Poppyseed and Chicken Salad finally back for summer, too!


I can just smell them!

I can just smell them!

One of the best things about spring are the lilacs blooming. I’ve loved the smell since childhood and think they are beautiful, too. They were in full bloom when Ry and I went for a walk last Sunday past a park where we snapped these shots.

{#3-Cowboy Caviar/Pinto Bean Salsa}
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At a coworkers get together last Friday, she had this AMAZING Pinto Bean Salsa, so of course I got the recipe to share with you. I’m going to use fresh vegetables to go with my clean eating.

In a small saucepan combine the following:
1 cup of veggie oil (I would sub for a healthier oil)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cool.

In a large bowl combine the following:
15 oz of pinto beans (drained and rinsed if using canned)
15 oz of black eyed peas (drained and rinsed if using canned)
11 oz of white shoepeg corn
1 small jar of pimento, drained
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup of chopped white onion

Pour marinade over bean mixture. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight or 24 hours. Drain and serve with chips. Enjoy!

{#4-Outdoor Eating}
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I love eating out in the sunshine. Add a body of water and you have the perfect relaxing setting! Bonus points if you make a fresh salad or cowboy caviar and eat it outside. Heaven!

{#5-Streaking in Progress}

Yes, you heard me. Leave it to Runner’s World to make running even more fun and crazy. It is simple. Run 1 mile everyday starting on Memorial Day (Monday, May 27) until the Fourth of July (Thursday, July 4th-duh). Share your challenge with the world by posting this photo to your Facebook account. Make a public commitment like I did with my summer training plan. I’m going to modify my streaking since with my training plan I will NEED those rest days. On my rest days I’m going to commit to walk a mile to keep the streak going. So join me…and pardon my streaking!

Happy Weekend!