Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I thank God for you!

On this Thanksgiving-Eve I think it's appropriate to dedicate today's post to all the people I  thank God for daily! There have been many post on Facebook over the past month of friends sharing their "30 days of Thankfulness". I didn't participate in that this year so here's my 30 days all crammed into one blog, haha! 

Before you read further, these will be not in any certain order so don't judge me! 

I am thankful for son, better known as RJ or Riley James to most! RJ and I have been through some bad and even more good times together. He is turning into a kind-hearted, God fearing, loving little man. There are days when he reminds me that he is still only 10 then there are days when I wonder who the little man standing in front of me is. Riley is like looking in mirror with his comments and smile somedays. Really, I should be honest and say his attitude is 100% his Mother! I am grateful for all that Riley has taught me about life in general. 

I am thankful for my husband! Scott has been an answer to many prayers and not just mine. We have only been married a year and a half, shocking to many who do not know that I am sure! We have a lot of fun together. We love sports, we love to travel more importantly we love God. Having a faith centered home makes for a happy home! He loves me through all my struggles with my desire to be a runner. He is my biggest cheerleader and I am his! Tomorrow we will run the Turkey Trot together, a tradition we started last year, and I can't wait! 

I am thankful for my parents, whom have always been there! They accepted Scott into the family as one of us and we love to spend many fall weekends with them celebrating all those Seminole victories! They have been through hell and back with me (and Riley) without ever passing judgement, well most of the time. They always have our back, I would not suggest messing with us or GiGi will get you! Right Mom?! LOL 

I am thankful for my brother and sister in law! There may be a 12 year difference between Phillip and I but you would never know it. He doesn't act his age and never has, that's why everyone loves him. My brother just loves life and believes it's too short not just have fun! We don't see each other often but when we do we always have a blast! I know that if we need something we can call either of them and they will be there even if it's just to listen to me vent on the phone. No one can tell a story like Jennifer! There are days when I just want her to tell the latest happenings just hear her sweet voice and that giggle of hers. 

I am thankful for my Tallahassee family! Things certainly could have turned out different but through God's grace we remained very close. Aunt Kim and Megan are very special to us. We all miss another special part of our family, Uncle RicRic. We are having the pleasure of watching RJ turn into him little by little. RJ has his passion of church, sports and his passion for singing. RJ also shares his demand for punctuality, too!  Not only do we get to spend football weekends with them, we have continued family traditions that we started when RJ was first born. Now, we get to celebrate Megan graduating FSU in spring of 2014 and marrying a special young man, Brandon, in spring of 2015. We're about to have a ton of fun with these three!!!

I am thankful for my extended family - the whole crew in "Toney-ville" and my new family on the Woods side! I know we don't see each other enough but each of them are special. The "Toney-ville" crew remind me often of my roots! Those roots include a man that is special in our home. Uncle Bud has a special place in my heart and I am so very grateful for all he taught me. I do miss seeing him and hearing that belly laugh of his! My Woods family includes a mother in law who loves me like as one of her own plus nieces and nephews that are all awesome. I am enjoying getting to know them a little better and can't wait to welcome a new little one before too long! 

I am thankful for my best girls - Megan, Christina, Crystal and Allison - There are not enough words to explain my love for them! Each of them are amazing in their own right and I appreciate all that they do at the drop of a hat for my little family of three! They each stood by my side on May 5th, 2012; however, they were beside me long before that day! We have enjoyed many laughs, tears and the occasional frustrations together. Have no fear, don't mess with any of us or you might catch the wrath of the others. 

I am thankful for the Badass Army, from the CEO to the VP to the Executive VP of Group Fitness to all the members! This group of people has taught me to believe in myself and believe in the good of people around me. Shannon has taught me to appreciate my strengths and weaknesses as they come. She has taught me to live my life in a healthier manner and has shown me how to do so in a way that I think (hope) inspires others around us. It's not about the number on the scale or the number on the tag inside my clothes, it's about how I feel. Chris has taught me (or tried to teach me) to embrace the run, even the bad ones! Allison and I started this fitness journey together and I love watching it grow circle! We have conquered many goals and will continue to do so for many years to come!  The members have taught me to laugh at myself, even when completing an exercise move that I am certain would make us tons of money on some reality show! The best workout is one where we laugh together, right Army?! 

I am thankful for Moms Run This Town - MRTT! Being a part of this group has been a blessing. I have met some of the most incredible women through our group activities and new bible study. I have been blessed to cheer them on and have them at the finish line at many races. We celebrate together and encourage each other to go a little further - both on the course we may be running and in life. 

These are only a few, I could write forever but who has time for that! I am very thankful for so many blessings in my life, old and new! If you are reading this and think you don't have anything to be thankful for, think again! We ALL things to be thankful for in our lives. I saw this other day and it really hit home … 

This year we get to celebrate a year of thankfulness at the finish line of the local Turkey Trot with many of our friends, we are so excited - well we were til it turned cold in Florida! 

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! 


Monday, November 25, 2013

WRS Half Marathon ~ St Petersburg, FL

It's cold but my heart is very warm today! Yesterday I completed my 8th Half Marathon of the year at the Women's Running Series in St. Petersburg, FL. I registered for the race back in the spring after I made the commitment to run participate in the 13 in 2013 challenge. It turned out to be a great weekend! 

We left on Friday afternoon late and made a overnight pit stop in Gainesville, FL. We enjoyed a lovely meal and a little sightseeing through the University of Florida campus. I was the lone Seminole traveling with three Gators so they wanted to educate me a little bit! Saturday before we departed Allison and Shannon ran the Raider Run 5K, a fundraiser to support to Santa Fe High School. It was fun to cheer on my speedy friends as they brought home the winning prize - a Starbucks gift basket!

 Way to get it girls! 

The remainder of Saturday included a quick drive to St. Pete where we checked into the beautiful Vinoy Resort and attended packet pickup for the race. The Expotique, as they call it, was as successful as always. WRS always provides the best shopping experience at their expo's. After dropping off the goodies in the room we were off to explore St. Pete. We enjoyed a lovely afternoon and evening in the downtown area. 

All checked in! 

My travel buddies! 

Sunday brought about race day at 4:45am. Rachel joined us at The Vinoy for a "short" walk to the start / finish line where we met up with the other members our local MRTT chapter for a few quick pictures! Once we said our well wishes we were off to our corrals, unlike other races you could pretty much go in whatever corral you chose to. Loved this option, less pressure! 
Tallahassee MRTT

Rachel and I ready to run! 

I set a goal of running this last half marathon of the year in 2:15. I stayed with my friend Rachel the first 4 miles or so then we got separated at a water stop. I was a bit worried because she is pregnant so I just prayed she made it to the finish without any problems. Along the 13.1 miles I was able to high five and cheer on the girls from Tallahassee. It was such a welcome sight to see their smiling faces along the way! All was going well until mile 8 when my leg cramped and I couldn't keep my strong pace any longer. I quickly switched over my radio to blessings radio and continued to pray that I would just make it to finish line. I watched the time tick away. I knew I wouldn't make the 2:15 goal; however, I focused on having a strong finish and staying under 2:30. I was able to run the final 2 miles only to cross the finish line in tears. To be honest, I am not sure if the tears were from the pain of the leg cramps or the sadness of missing my goal. 

At the finish line I was greeted by the girls, including Rachel! She had somehow passed without me seeing her and made her goal of 2:14, a huge finish! This race represented many first's and a few last's for our group. None of those are more important than sharing the accomplishments of friends by showing them the love of friendship and celebrating together! 

The last 2013 road trip for the Badass Babes full trio! 

Most beautiful finish line photo! 

We continued the celebration at brunch after the race. There's nothing better than sharing a time of celebration with friends of like faith. All the discussion centered around our thankfulness of being able to run and our pride in each other. That what makes our group so special! We are happy together and we are mad together! There is never a time where I wonder if they get it - they totally get it - all of it! Sadly Rachel and I had to head back to Tallahassee after brunch for work obligations. 

Many have asked what's next?! Thursday will be the annual Turkey Trot, which I am excited to run with my husband and many local friends. This past weekend was the last road trip for the complete Trio of Badass Babes. It was also to serve as the last half marathon of the year for this BABabe; however, all I can say is 2013 is not over yet! I may have a little plan (mostly, hope) up my sleeve and a 2:15 finish in a half marathon might just happen after all - wink wink! 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hot Chocolate Winner!!

It's a dreary Monday here in Tallahassee!! 

Where is pretty fall weather?! 

On to more a exciting topic …

Last week I hosted a giveaway for a free entry to the 
Hot Chocolate 15K in Atlanta, GA on January 26, 2014. 

The winner is …

They say the proof is in the picture!
(Please note: Personal Info has been removed from the photo.

Congratulations Crystal K. 

The Badasses Babes are excited to have you join us for this fabulous trip!
We will all look so fabulous in our sweet hoodie 
at the chocolate post run party, hehe! 

Thanks to all who entered the giveaway!  
Don't forget you have plenty of time register at 

Remember to enter "LIVINGLOVINGMUG" for 
an extra treat in your goodie bag! 


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Family, Friends, Tons of Fun

Florida State Homecoming comes around once a year, the same time every year. Myself and many friends around campus look forward to welcoming back alumni, friends as well as family for the big event every year. This year was no different!

Friday the fun began with the annual Homecoming Parade. The weather turned drizzly and a little on the dreary side. I was concerned there would not be a big crowd for the parade but we were pleasantly surprised by the great turnout. I had the pleasure of participating in the parade this year, it was a blast! The route took us through the downtown streets of Tallahassee up to our lovely campus. Later that evening RJ and I attended the dedication of the Marching Chiefs new complex. It was nice to visit with several alumni and it was fun to see RJ playing football on the Chiefs field. He certainly felt right at home, there wasn't a shy bone in that little body! After the dedication we met up with Scott and a few out of town friends at the Block Party downtown. It was a great evening!

Megan and I with the Men's Basketball Team 
at the Homecoming Parade

 RJ at Chiefs practice on Friday evening 

Sunset over Chiefs Field

RJ with the Drum Majors

Saturday brought us game day complete with tailgating, Marching Chiefs Skull Session and a good ol' butt whopping inside Doak Campbell Stadium. Game day is always a fun time. I was a little busier than normal but managed to make it by all the usual tailgates to visit with some of my favorite people. My cousin attended the Marching Chiefs Skull Session with me. What a treat to be on the field with the band doing what they do best! It was also great to take part in surprising a student with a scholarship, she was so excited! It was a great reminder of why I love my job, the students are so awesome. As RJ, Scott and I entered Doak Campbell this weekend I had a moment of sadness. This was our last time in the stadium together for the year. We will miss the last home game next weekend while I know many don't understand it, football games are something we enjoy as a family. This has been a special season, too! RJ has been so into the game this year, it's been a different level of fun! It helps that our team is 10-0 after last night's awesome win! Can I hear a little "Go Noles"?

Megan and I at Marching Chiefs Skull Session

Love these two! 

Last night in Doak for 2013 to watch football at least :-) 

Today we decided to take it easy and clean up around the house. Before we knew it, the garage was cleaned up and we were dragging Christmas boxes out of the attic. Yes, Christmas boxes! We set up the Christmas tree a little bit early. RJ will be with his Dad for Thanksgiving and I will not put it up without him. I'm fortunate that he still wants to help decorate the tree and help "fluff" the branches so I took advantage of it because after all one day this will not matter to him. While decorating the tree this morning I couldn't help but think of a local family who lost their 10yr old son to leukemia this past week. They were able to celebrate Christmas early with him and my heart aches for their family. I enjoyed spending a quiet morning with my guys celebrating the coming of Christmas! 

The tree is up!

A few presents already wrapped! 

This weekend was just about perfect! We have learned to adjust to our arrangement with RJ and have learned to take advantage of the time he is with us rather than worry about when he is not here. I am blessed with an amazing little man! These next few days will be a little tough as I try to enjoy my last few days with him at home before Thanksgiving. I am thankful that God chose me to be his Mom. RJ and I have been through quite in 10 short years but I think it's only made us closer! God has blessed us during all those years, too! God is Good! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Will you run for chocolate?

November is a great time for reflection and being thankful for all that life has to offer. I have been fortunate to spend much of 2013 traveling the South East to multiple Half Marathons and/or 10K's from St. Petersburg Beach, FL to Nashville, TN with many stops in between. I'm thankful for all the experiences these trips have provided throughout the year! 

Our team has become known as the Badass Babes and we are already planning for 2014. There are some race series we vowed never to run again and there are others that we can't wait to repeat! Most of all we are excited to run with a couple of new race series this coming year. We will kickoff the 2014 season in Atlanta, GA with the Hot Chocolate 15K

If you have been following the blog lately then you are aware that I am an Ambassador for the Hot Chocolate 15K Atlanta event! This has been an exciting opportunity! 

I have been fortunate to work with some amazing folks from RAM Racing. In fact last weekend I ran into Josiah at the Rock n Roll Savannah Expo. The booth was very busy when we stopped by to check it out! Who doesn't love free chocolate!! 

Josiah and I at the expo! 
I need to get my hands on one of those shirts! 

Another fun part of this experience has been the "sweet" swag that I received from the company. This is only a sneak peak at what will be available at the event itself. 

I Will Run for CHOCOLATE! 

I rocked out 5 miles in 32 degree weather 
in my HC15K shirt this morning! 

If you haven't checked out the Atlanta Event then what are you waiting for?? Here's the link  with all the details for the weekend : Make sure you check out the Goodie Bag

Now, that you've read over the website and fallen in love with that awesome hoodie, have you decided to join us in Atlanta?! If you said yes, then I have a great surprise for you! It's giveaway time - WOOHOO! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be announced next week; however, if you decide to register prior to the announcement please use the code LIVINGLOVINGMUG for an extra sweet treat in your goodie bag! 

I look forward to sipping on Hot Chocolate with each of you at the post race celebration in January 2014! 


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

RnR Savannah - A Rockin' Weekend!

This past weekend Scott joined me for my 8th half marathon of the year. It was great to finally have a little getaway with him and several friends from the Badass Fitness army in Savannah. This race also marked my "encore" with the Rock N Roll Series, that means I completed 2 of their races in one year. I look forward to receiving my Rock Encore Medal in a few weeks. 

Friday was the typical pre-race day! Once we arrived in Savannah, Scott and I found a local seafood spot and enjoyed a lovely lunch. After the badass team arrived in town we headed for the Expo. This would be my only complaint about the weekend. The transportation to the expo took longer than expected and the expo itself was an organized disaster. I'm certain we missed a few booths due to the poor design of the setup. One highlight of the expo was meeting Josiah from the Hot Chocolate 15K series. I have been working closely with him preparing information for the blog as an Ambassador for the event in Atlanta. It was nice to finally put a face with the name! 

Josiah and I at the Hot Chocolate Tent

Badass Fitness all checked in! 

That evening consisted of a exploring River Street and grabbing a lovely meal at the River House Seafood restaurant. All our pre-race rituals reminded the same, except we were missing a key member of the BadassBabes. After a quick check in with AC, we were off to get some rest! 

4:45am Saturday came very early! I was so excited that I barely got any sleep and we woke up to chilly temperatures! Thank goodness for a throw-away sweatshirt, ha! We weren't too sure about the race day transportation after the prior days experience; however, the trolley dropped us off right at the start line. YAY - redemption to an infinite degree! We met up with lots of Tallahassee friends at the start line.  

Here's a few pre-race snapshots: 

The Hall's and I at the start! 

The Badass Army 

Jen, Jamie and I  - do we look cold?! LOL

The Hubs and I before he headed off for breakfast! 

I was also fortunate enough to run this race with my oldest friend! Dawn and I attended elementary school together, we were college roommates for a few years and now we are in our 30's still loving life. Our boys are about the same age and made fast friends a few years ago! It was great to see her and her running buddies while in Savannah. Most people would've never thought we'd be running 13 miles - EVER! 

Dawn and I trying to stay warm! 

In true RnR style the race started on time to the roar of a fun crowd! I ran this entire race with my girl, Jen. She and I registered for the race back in March then a few weeks later she suffered a stress fracture during a race in which we were both pushing for a sub-30 5K. She was sidelined for 8 weeks but never gave up on training for the RnR Savannah race. Jen's always been a strong girl and Saturday she showed everyone just how she strong she is! I promised her I would run this with her, not just in spirit but side by side. There were a few times that we got separated at water stops, those were scary moments! LOL! Jen made a goal of finishing her first half marathon around the 2:30 mark and we had an official finish time of 2:20:42! I reminded her at the 12 mile marker that our race wasn't about us, it was about running for those who can't! 

We were both teary eyed when we crossed that finish line! Not only was I excited for Jen but I knew my husband was amongst the crowd at the finish line. Scott has rarely seen me finish a half marathon as most of our trips are girl weekends. Knowing that he was there made this race even that more special! The course was so much fun. The crowds in the neighborhoods kept us going for all those miles with their cheers and bell ringing! All in all the Rock n Roll Savannah was an awesome experience! 

Jen and I after collecting our medals at the finish line! 

Scott and I in Forsyth Park

Saturday evening our crew did a little more exploring of the historic district. We had a blast celebrating a great race. Overall we did not have any PR's in our group but who cares! Sometimes you just have to let go and have fun! We did enjoy celebrating a few first half marathoners!

I'd say the army cleans up quite nicely! 

Scott and I spent a little time just the two of us Sunday prior to departing from Savannah. We drove out to the Bonaventure Cemetery. This cemetery became famous after the book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" was written and even more so after the movie was produced. It was nice to stroll around and learn more about the area. If you haven't been there during your travels to Savannah, you should check it out. 

Enjoying a cup of coffee with Mr. Aiken instead of a martini! 
(If you've read the book then you get it, ha. )

Gracie is a famous gravesite in the area. 

This is the most beautiful thing I have seen. 
This is supposed to depict Jesus welcoming you 
into the archway of heaven. 

I was asked on Sunday at breakfast which of the 8 half marathons was my favorite so far this year. Prior to this race I would have said the Women's Running Series - Nashville without blinking an eye; however, I must say this past weekend was close to perfect. We will call it a tie! 

Now, it's time to continue training and preparing for one more half marathon this month. The Badass Babes will head to St. Pete on Nov 23rd for the last Women's Running Series event. We're excited to welcome a new member to the team and help her celebrate her first half marathon! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Final Countdown…

As I mentioned yesterday I am heading up to Savannah, GA for the Rock N Roll Savannah Half Marathon this weekend. It seems like every time I turn around there's another person from Tallahassee mentioning they are going, too. It will make for an awesome time downtown Savannah I am certain!! 

I am a little nervous about this half marathon due to the lack of running lately. The issues from the last half marathon seemed to be getting better then I came down with a terrible energy zapping cold. I was "side-lined" for a little over a week from running. 
Luckily, I was able to push myself through a few bootcamps so that helped! Today, I had a goal of running a 10K as my last run before the half on Saturday. I turned around a tad early and finished 5.88 miles in 55:35. That's an average 9:28 pace, it felt great! I am reminded once again that when the body needs rest, you should allow for it. 

I have one more workout planned for the week, a "core only" version of Tabata Bootcamp in the morning. (core only - right, CEO? hehehe) Then it's time for a massage and packing! 

The packing is fun part! HA! I am very excited to find out today that my one of childhood best friends is in the same corral as me this weekend! Corral 14 doesn't know what has hit them with Dawn and I running together. 

I'm also excited that for the first time my hubby will be at the finish line of a half marathon to meet me! Often the road trips are only the Badass Babes and other girlfriends, this will be great for him to be there enjoying the excitement with me.  

Have you ever run the RnR Savannah? If so, I'd love to hear about your experience at this race? 
For now I will leave you with this little gem:

Monday, November 4, 2013


Whew, life has been crazy lately! Fall weather is upon us so is the annual fall cold season. I have been hit pretty hard this year and it has effected my training, eek. Due to being sick I haven't been able to run, double eek!  Tomorrow I will attempt to run 6 miles with our MRTT group then pray that I can pull off a decent pace on Saturday at the Rock n Roll Savannah, triple eek! 

My poor hubby has fallen ill this week, too. His favorite football team was beaten by my favorite team this past Saturday then he woke up very sick on Sunday. Please send good vibes that we kick this sickness before we head out to enjoy a long awaited getaway! 

I saw this picture on Facebook earlier today. The national Run for God group is participating in 30 days of giving thanks. This one really hit home for me today: 

This morning I was able to watch two friends take the next steps in achieving their life goals! It just so happens these two friends and their steps are connected. Shannon of Badass Fitness is moving into a new space in a few weeks. As she is preparing for the growth of her Badass Army, she is adding new instructors. One of those new instructors is one of my best friends Allison of Soul2Sole. Allison and I have been on this fitness journey together for about 2 years. Neither of us would have guessed that the journey would lead to being an instructor. She took part in a recent certification and today taught her first Tabata Bootcamp! It was a blessing to be able to attend her class and I am definitely feeling the after effects of her awesome teaching. Holy Soreness! As she says "We kicked Monday in the face!" 

 Proud of my girl! 

After the class, Shannon headed over to the new studio to meet the painters. The studio needs a little construction and this is just the next step toward the grand opening. Hearing her excitement over meeting the painters and getting things started was such a blessing this morning.

 Our CEO in the space before construction!

The best part of all this excitement is these two ladies are giving the glory of their accomplishment to God. They are the perfect example of the above verse - 1 Corinthians 10:31. They are both taking a path towards helping others not only physically but mentally as well. We all know the saying "good people bring out the good in you", my two friends are doing this daily! 

I have spent the better part of the day asking myself if I am bringing out the good in people? I can only hope that I am! I have a few end of the year goals that I am hoping to accomplish before December 31st. The verse says "whatever you do..", I will do it all for the glory of God. I am thankful for everything that is happening in the lives of my family and many of our close friends. We are closing out 2013 with a bang, even more so than we ever expected! God is Good!
Be on the lookout for more blog updates. I will let you know how that last training run and taper week goes before we head out on Thursday. Of course, I will share a review on the RnR Savannah!