Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Run for Mercy 5K … how you can be apart of the story, too!

Whew, where has the week gone?! Heck, where has the month of March gone?! I have been on the go lately and time seems to be slipping further away. For some reason mother nature can't figure out that March is supposed to be warm in Florida! So far it's been a cooler month than I feel is normal and I am over it! HA! 

March has been full of fun with the family as we celebrated Riley's 11th birthday. It's been full of success in the fitness world. Certification is complete, classes are filling up and it's full speed ahead around the halls of Badass Fitness! The family has enjoyed some unexpected time together recently and my heart is full of happiness! 

Not only is Shannon adding more classes to the schedule at Badass Fitness (more to come on that) but she and I are co-directing an upcoming 5K for Mercy Ministries. We had the pleasure of participating in the Run for Mercy 5K last year. It was a great event and we looked for ways to become more involved. 

What is Mercy Ministries? Mercy is a free of charge program that serves young women facing life-controlling issues (i.e., eating disorders, self-harm, drug addiction, pregnancy, depression). Mercy has helped thousands of young women restore their life all while sharing the unconditional love of Christ with them. You can read more about Mercy and their mission to help these women on their website :

You may be wondering why I sought a way to become involved with this particular event. Yes, I could continue to just run this local 5K every year; however, after I met Nancy Alcorn last year I knew I needed to do more for her organization. Nancy is amazing lady, the ultimate encourager! What she may not know is while I listened to her speak about the homes they have built and the lives they touched she touched mine as well. I will not go into great detail but while listening to her share stories, I felt like in one instance she was talking about an older version of me. A much younger version that didn't much care what people thought of me. A much younger version that did some things I would never think of doing now and deeply regret. I knew that day I needed to help her because I was blessed to have avoided the deep horror that many of these women experience. I had a family that supported me and friends that stood by me all those years ago. I had friends who drug me back to church and many of the women Nancy was speaking of didn't have that! 

So fast forward a year later and here I am co-directing this event that is exactly one month away - April 26th! Shannon, myself and a few other ladies have been busy planning a race route, getting permits and trying to secure sponsors for this amazing event. 

Here is where you come into the story! We can all play a part in helping these women and changing their stories. You can be a blessing in these ladies lives forever! 

If you have a business and can help with sponsoring the 5K, please contact me. All the money goes directly to Mercy Ministries to help build a home right here in Florida, in our own backyard actually! 

If you are a runner, please register for the 5K by clicking on this link : We look forward to seeing you all out in Southwood next month!! 

Please join us in prayer as we head into the final stages of the event. Help us keep our focus on the reason for the event and get bogged down with the potential stress of planning. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My thoughts on this 1st day of SPRING!

This is quote is appropriate for today…

Today is March 20th. 
More importantly is marks the 1st day of Spring!! 

I live in Florida so we are blessed with beautiful weather but nothing is more gorgeous than North Florida during springtime. Crystal clear blue skies and everything in sight is blooming! It truly is my favorite time of year. 

Spring is great because it gives us a chance to celebrate a Risen Savior. Easter is arriving a little late this year but I am still focused on the reason for the season and I am happy to shout my Redeemer Lives! 

Spring shows us a new season of growth through all those beautiful plants and trees blooming around us. It provides us a chance to get outside and enjoy all of God's beautiful creations from beach days to floating in the pool. Wait, I mentioned I live in Florida why am I so excited about this weather? It does get cold here and I am done with the cold! Give me my bathing suit, warm temps and cold water then I will be a happy girl! 

Spring this year brings a new beginning for me as I taught my first Tabata Bootcamp class today. It has been a time of growth for me. I am excited to share my experience plus help our friends reach new goals over the next 8weeks! 

Spring also means it's time to celebrate Riley's birthday. He will turn 11 next Tuesday! Oh boy 11 I know will bring new challenges. I have no doubt we have many highs and a few lows as we close out his elementary school chapter and begin his middle school chapter. I can't wait to celebrate him next week! 

Spring brings on the racing season in our area. There's a local race every weekend through the month of May. You can have you pick of 5 K's and 10K's over the next few weeks. I won't participate in all of those but I'm excited to run several of them!  I'm extremely excited to be putting the finishing touches on our Run for Mercy 5K on April 26th. (N. Florida friends, click here to sign up if you haven't already :…)

So on this beautiful first of spring I say bring on the Spring Round of Tabata Bootcamp, the sun, the sand, the bathing suits, the Lilly patterns, the white clothes below the waist and most of all the celebration of Easter and our Savior!! 

Happy Spring My Friends! 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

We did it!!

Last Friday evening the Badass Babes took off on another racing road trip!  After a super crazy week for all of us, it was all we could do to get on highway the Friday evening! We arrived in Jacksonville a little later than planned but that didn't stop us from kicking off the trip with a yummy meal at River City Brewing Company. Who cares that the service wasn't all that great, we still managed to make people stare at us with all our loud laughter!!

Friday evening ended with a little surprise trick pulled on me. I am usually the one surprising people but this time I was the one being spoiled! Stephanie, Tammie and Ashley gave me a new medal holder for all my race bling and a workout journal for recoding all my Tabata workouts for my upcoming classes. Yep, I cried..see below! These little gifts mean the world to me, thanks girls! 

I love this! 

Trying to hide my tears! 

Since the race didn't start til 8:30am and we were staying across the river from the start line we didn't have to get up extremely early. We woke up refreshed and ready to run the Gate River Run 15K. I don't know if was the excitement of only running 9 miles or knowing that at the end of the day I would get to relax after accomplishing a bucket list item but I was very calm that morning. This is not my usual pre-race behavior but I was ready to run! 
We made our way to Everbank Field, snapped a few photos then it was time to get in our corrals. 

The Badass Babes at the Start Line!! 

The Grey Corral Babes
 (or the cargo cars as Crystal called us, ha!)

The race started a tiny bit due to a terrible accident on the interstate. We heard the sound of a cannon and knew it was time to go. Us and 17,000 other runners weaved our way through downtown Jacksonville and over the Main Street Bridge. That bridge has grates on it so we had to watch our footing and by that I mean I held my pace buddy's, Becky, hand and didn't look down. Seriously, you could see the water below us - NO THANK YOU! From there we ran through the San Marco area out by the water through various other beautiful neighborhoods. At mile 7.5 we ran up the ramp to the Hart Bridge aka The Green Monster. This is where things could've gone bad. After a walk break, I repeated Hebrews 12:1 in my head while Karah and Becky yelled some encouraging words at me and off we went! Up the bridge we ran (we walked a little, too) then I looked over to my left and wow what a view! We made our way down the bridge to the finish line! We each commented at the top of the Green Monster on how blessed we were with a beautiful day to run. I wish we had gotten a picture of the view but we were just focused on getting to the finish. 


Becky, Karah and I crossed the finish line at 1:36 - give or take a second. Running those 9 miles without these two women would have been rough. We had so much fun! The time on the clock was not a PR for me but it was an accomplishment in other ways. I conquered my fear of running over a bridge of that size. I took on a new appreciation for my ability to be able to run. I had one of the most enjoyable races to date! When I say this was fun, I mean it! The supporters in Jacksonville know how to be the best cheerleaders, course encouragers. I decided I would be back to run this race before I ever received my medal in the finish line area! Congrats to the organizers of the GRR for an awesome race! 

Becky and I EARNED that medal! 

Check out this awesome medal! 

At the post race party I was able to celebrate all my friends and their PR's. I was able to celebrate Shannon's pain free top 10% finish. I teared up a little listening to my girl Crystal talk about how awesome her race was and celebrate her PR. It was a beautiful day not just because the sun was shining brightly but because everyone was smiling and happy! That means more to me than the time on any race clock, that's a special kind of PR! 

So proud of Crystal! 

Celebrating our conquering that bridge! 
Take that Green Monster, see ya in 2015 for another shot at you. 

The remainder of Saturday was spent enjoying the glorious day. We grabbed a quick bite then spent the afternoon shopping. That could be a blog post all in itself. We had so much fun. Later that night we had an official celebration at Fionn MacCool's while enjoying a great Irish meal in honor of St. Patty's Day. Again, we shared our laughter with everyone around us! They loved us! 

St. John's, Starbucks, Sunshine - Happy Babes 

Badass Babes 

We all hated to see Sunday arrive with the exception that it meant really sleeping in and getting to eat at our favorite diner in Jacksonville. Yes, that's right this crazy group of girls enjoyed lots of carbs at the Metro Diner! Their Cinnamon Pecan French Toast is worth calorie on the plate. Just thinking about makes me ready to return, haha. 

I love this photo! 

While the rest of the crew headed home to Tallahassee or Gainesville, Crystal and I spent the day in St. Augustine. We did a little birthday shopping for RJ then went to St. George Street to enjoy a little dinner.  The two of us always get into a little trouble together but it was so great to hang out for the day in one of our favorite spots! We even checked out a few of the hotels in hopes of  planning a joint family vacation this summer. 

Blue Bell Ice Cream - YUMMY! 

Beautiful day by the bay

I did it, now I want to do it again! I didn't push myself as hard I could have for this race because I wasn't sure I could get over that bridge. Funny, how it was the smaller of the two bridges that bothered me the most. I had been an emotional wreck on the bridge at the Donna and I was fearful that I would give up this time. I am blessed with an amazing group of encouragers who didn't let me quit or really even let me think about being on that bridge! I knew at the end I would be able to call my hubby and hear his excitement that I had done it. I knew I would be able to text my best running buddy and tell her I did it! What I didn't expect was a text from my son as I crossed the finish line asking how my race had gone. I was so excited to let him know the day had gone great and I was done! As I said before I was able to celebrate the ability to run and add a check next to a race on my bucket list. We have all agreed that the GRR needs to become an annual getaway! We never know what to expect at races that are new to us, this one is high on the list of the best. All the information we received leading up to the race was helpful. Race day was organized and thoughtfully planned. We will be back for GRR 2015 and beyond! 

This was the last racing road trip that we have planned until July. It feels good to know we have some time train and get ready for our favorite local races. Plus who knows, we may find another one to run before July. I mean July is a few months off! LOL! 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Off to another race…

It looks like 2014 is moving full speed ahead to be the year of checking things off the bucket list! Back in January I made a list of goals and when looking back at that post it seems as though I am on track to accomplish those goals plus a few extra ones, too. 

This weekend will be another bucket list weekend! I have always been interested in participating in the Gate River Run 15K and Saturday I will be running that very race! I mean really, I run the Peachtree Road Race every year and it's dubbed the largest 10K in the USA so why wouldn't I run the Gate River Run which is dubbed the largest 15K in the world?! 

I decided in December that I wanted to run the Gate in 2014 but waited until January to actually register for it. If you have followed this blog then you realize I have a small fear of bridges, not driving over them walking/running over them. Registering for this race brought on anxiety as soon as I hit the confirm button. I quickly fired off an email to Scott and the BadassBabes to alert them of the purchase. They were all a little shocked but assured me this was going to happen and I could do it! In the past few weeks we have convinced quite a few other girls to join us as well. 

Why did I have anxiety when I clicked on the confirmation button? Look at the course map… 

Do you see what I see? Two bridges over water - EEK! Yep, I will be running over both of those bridges. I'm familiar with the Main Street Bridge as it is near our preferred hotel and we have walked over it before. The Hart Bridge also known as the Green Monster is worrisome. 

The Green Monster 

It's a little over a mile long, maybe longer I don't really want to know and it's tall! It happens to be at the end of the race so that's a plus. While I have anxiety I also have a sense of excitement. It may be the largest 15K in the USA but it won't stop our crew from making our mark on that course! I have no doubt that we have a great race recap after this one!!

We're off to Jacksonville later today and appreciate prayers for safe travels and happy running feet! 

Bring on the miles with smiles, giggles and bridges! 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tabata Certification - Accomplished!

Last week I shared with our experience with jumping out of our current boxes and how awesome this time has been for me and RJ. Well, Sunday it was my turn! I attended my first fitness certification and it was amazing!! 

Master Trainer (and friend) Shannon and I left Tallahassee before sunrise on Sunday to drive over to Dothan, AL for the day long certification. We keep a similar schedule during the week so getting up early wasn't that hard for us! LOL! I'm fortunate to have participated in 3 rounds of Tabata Bootcamp with her as my trainer so the actual movements were all very familiar to me. We managed to get in 3 full Tabata workouts and 1 set of partner drills throughout the day. WHEW, these legs were tired that evening, ha! 

The most interesting part of the training for me was learning how to establish a class plan and learning the history of Tabata Bootcamp.  Thank goodness for a science experiment that showed the world what High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) could do for your body.  I enjoyed hearing Shannon share stories of her time at the Master Trainer Summit where she spent a few days working with Mindy Mylrea and other Master Trainers around the country to make the program even stronger. I can't wait to meet Mindy myself as she is an inspiration to many of us. Her positive energy is infectious! I have participated in several bootcamp like programs and I can say there's nothing like this one. If you put in 8 weeks of good work and you see amazing results! 

At the end of the long day, I received an official certificate and hug from my trainer - I am an instructor! Being a student then taking the instructor training has been an interesting experience. I'm glad that I was able to really learn the movements and have an idea of what the entire program feels like as a student before taking on the instructor training. I feel like I will be able to assist in the classes with more confidence and definitely more knowledge, after all I have the best Master Trainer in the business as my leader! For now I will work on putting together a few class plans and hopefully you will see me teaching Tabata Bootcamp in the spring! 

The certificate and backpack makes it official! 

Enjoyed meeting Kelly and hanging out for the day! 

Shannon and I after an awesome day of Tabata! 

Again, as I did last week I challenge you to try something new. Whether you try a new fitness class or take on a new project just look within yourself and your surroundings, see if there is an area that could use an extra push. Once you figure it out, go for it! 

Up next: I will share my plan to conquer the "Green Monster" - The Hart Bridge as a part of the Gate River Run 15K with The BadassBabes! 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Scurry Recap

This past weekend provided much needed family time!! 

Saturday morning Scott, RJ and I met with up several of the Mom's Run This Town girls for one of our favorite local races, The Shamrock Scurry. The Scurry is an annual 5K event benefiting Killearn Methodist Church. Their event is extremely well organized and we look forward to participating each year. This year RJ ran the 1 mile fun run so he wouldn't burn out before his last basketball game later that day. Scott and I ran the 5K together. We each had a goal, Scott pushed me to try and get under the 27 minute mark. I encouraged him to beat his Scurry time from last year. 

Me and the Fella - Pre Scurry

MRTT of Tallahassee - Pre Scurry

The Scurry is hilly and tough! RJ had a great time during the fun run as did Scott and I during the 5K! It was so awesome to have RJ at the finish line waiting for us. He even snapped a finish line for me, so sweet! I finished with an official time of 26:19, Scott finished with an official time of 28:01…we all three had a new PR regardless of the big hill(s). The MRTT group had several PR's this year as well. Once everyone had finished we enjoyed a yummy pancake breakfast together. It was so fun to recap the race and enjoy a few more laughs together before everyone rushed off to other activities. 

Finish Line Photo by RJ - aw! 

celebrating with RJ! 

So proud of my hubby! 

I have to share a funny story that came up during breakfast! My little friend Kara told her mom " I saw Ms. Mitzi and just followed her the whole time." I loved hearing that I was her bunny that morning and had helped her reach her own PR without even knowing it. Later in the day when the race photos were posted I realized she had actually beaten me to the finish line! I was her bunny until the last .1 miles, she wanted that PR and she pushed for it! This made my day, I can't think of a sweeter soul to have "beaten by". LOL! 

Kara, Christine from MRTT then Me in the green! 

Love these two sweet babies! 

Shortly after all the Scurry excitement we headed to RJ's last basketball game. It was a close tough game that went into overtime! The parents were on the edge of our seats the entire game. Sadly, our team lost in the overtime. The kids played so well and so hard. It was a fun game, regardless of the score! He received the defensive star at the end of the game for not ever giving up on the court! RJ is already asking when he can play basketball again so we are currently researching camps and private lessons to get him ready for next year. For now we are focusing on the start of his baseball season, there's never a dull moment! 
Last Basketball Game

Speaking of baseball, the remainder of Saturday was spent on the first base line of Dick Howser stadium cheering on the FSU Seminole baseball team. The Seminoles lost in a not close game with Maryland; however,  it was a gorgeous day. I loved spending the afternoon relaxing with my two guys! 

The weekends when we cruise along from one activity to the next are always tough but fun at the same time!! I just love having the weekends with the two of them as I said before it is never a dull moment in our lives. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Out of the box

Every have those days where you want to get out of your current box you and try something new?? Well, my son and I have both experienced this lately and what an amazing journey it has been for us all! 

Back in the fall Riley begged me to let him play basketball this year. I was a little apprehensive of the idea since he had never played organized basketball. He dabbled with soccer at a young age and told me he hated it. Even when considering other sports opportunity he always wanted to play baseball. At one point he played Fall Ball, Spring Ball and Travel Ball….yep year round baseball. When he wasn't playing baseball he was watching it on TV. So when this idea of him trying a new sport came up I was unsure of his commitment; however, we have a rule in our house once you are signed up for something you complete it - like it or not! 

In December Riley started playing basketball with Upward Bound, a christian based organization through First Baptist Church of Tallahassee. We decided that Upward was the best place for him as they focus on truly learning the sport of basketball through an encouraging and non-competitive aspect. Scott and I have been thrilled with this organization and I am sad we didn't discover them sooner! Riley has thrived throughout the past few months. Each practice ends with a devotion and bible study time. Most of the games have a small devotion during half time. Who could not love that?!?! Truthfully, the older teams are a little more competitive than we thought they would be but man can these kids play some basketball. 

Scott and I with Riley after his first game! 

Riley has blossomed into a great player himself. There are days when we leave the court and think "where did he learn to move so quickly!". We have watched Riley make shots that happen so fast if you blink you would have missed it. This season has been a real joy to experience. We are heading into our last weekend of Upward Basketball and to be honest I think I am really going to miss it! I am so proud of Riley for pushing me (and his Dad) to let him out of the box we had him in and try something new! It's always funny to me when he puts his foot down; I am quiet certain I know where he learned that from! Every single time he proves to me he can do anything he sets his mind on accomplishing. 

Such a close WIN! 

While we have been enjoying the weekends watching Riley play ball, I have been working towards a new out of the box adventure of my own. I am working toward the crossover from group fitness participant to group fitness instructor. Yep, you read that right, I-N-S-T-R-U-C-T-O-R! I have been studying the American Council of Exercise group fitness manual. That could be going a little smoother but I will be okay, there's still plenty of time to work on that! In the meantime, I am attending my first fitness certification this weekend. 

Most of you know, I have been attending Tabata Bootcamp at Badass Fitness since May 2013. I remember Shannon being so excited to bring this program to Tallahassee and being so nervous at the time when I signed for the first 8 week course. That first course taught me and the others that the program works. You put in the effort for 8 weeks and you see results! Tabata Bootcamp is not just a diet or a quick easy "fix" it is a lifestyle change. For me, the confidence that I gained since becoming a student of the program out measures inches that I lost. The scale this round has maintained a consistent number; however, I am stronger. I must mention that maintaining the number on the scale was my goal for this round of Tabata. I have tried to set different goals for all 3 rounds that I have completed and each time I have been successful. 
Top : May 2013 - 1st day assessment for 1st Round of Tabata
Bottom : January 2014 - 1st day assessment for 3rd Round of Tabata

Top: January 2014 - 1st day assessment
Bottom : March 2014 - 6 week assessment

Here I am almost a year after experiencing my first Tabata Bootcamp preparing for my own certification to become an instructor. EEK, typing that actually makes me want to throw up a little bit!  Thanks to an email from our Master Trainer, Shannon, I know exactly what to expect for Sunday's class. It will be a long day but in the end it will be worth it! 

If you are having thoughts of getting out of the box and trying something new I encourage you do it! I never in a million years dreamed this would be happening. I am so excited to see where it may lead in the future. For now, I will prepare myself for Sunday! 

Check back next week for an update on certification weekend!! 

Saturday, March 1, 2014


Each year Thomasville Road Baptist Church host's their 10/5K - 1 mile run event. This is always a fun well organized event! I have only been running for a few years. Back in 2011 I ran the 1 mile run with Riley, Scott, Cheryl and The Carter's. We finished one mile in 11:40. 
Fast forward to March of 2013, I was coming off a month of rest after some struggles with my IT Band and a little apprehensive to run that day. Scott and I ran the 5K last year. I completed the 5K with a time of 33:18. I was delighted last year after such a successful race! Hit the fast forward button again and today I completed the TRBC 10K. 

Here's the recap of the day...

I was a little nervous this morning as I had not put on those running shoes since last weekend's half marathon. I did have a great week of cross training and felt really good so there was no "real" reason for those nerves! I also woke up wishing for a little bit warmer weather, in hind sight, the weather today was perfect for running. It was 40 degrees at the start line, I will be wishing for that temperature come August! 

I was minus my usually race partners. My husband and Riley decided to rest at home today. Allison and Shannon who are both resting their knees and rehabbing from a case of runner's knee. Crystal spent some bonding time with her daughter at Badass Fitness instead of running.  While I was missing my family and the Badass Babes, I did meet up with a large gathering of our local MRTT group. We had a blast hanging out in the recreation center prior to the race.  These ladies are always so much fun to be around, they had me laughing all morning! 

We started promptly at 8:30am and made our way through a few beautiful neighborhoods in our area. I am ashamed to say that I saw neighborhoods today that I had never seen before. It was a gorgeous route; however, it was hilly! If you are local and you've ever run up the entrance at Armistead then you totally understand, ha! I enjoyed running into our MRTT group along the course. It's always fun to cheer for each other during the race!! 

Before I knew it I was back on Thomasville Road and heading to the church. I knew I was close to finishing with a personal best so I kept myself focused by repeating my two favorite verses, Hebrews 12:1 and Philippians 4:13. I finished with a PR of 55:49!

Finish Line 
picture courtesy of 
Gulf Winds Track Club

Fun comparison of 2011, 2013 and 2014! 

As with all my races lately I have tried to "run for someone", today I ran for the Badass Babes. Allison and I started on this journey together back in 2011. We had no idea what we were doing, we just knew we needed to find a way to deal with the stress in our lives. Clearly, the stress was from different areas for each of us but nonetheless it was stress. We felt running was the way to do that. We had no real training and have learned along the way. Luckily, we started working out at Badass Fitness with Shannon. She shared her knowledge of running with us and taught us the importance of cross training. Shannon trained us, more importantly she quickly became a close friend. We have now been known as the Badass Babes for a little over a year. I am proud to be a part of such a beautiful team that believes in encouragement, empowerment and accomplishing all things through Christ. They are two of the strongest people I know, I know they want to run. They love to run and right now they can't! Both of them have suffered a case of runner's knee and are taking the correct steps to proper heal their knees. So today before I ran, I played our theme song Mandesa's Overcomer and sent them a little video. While I ran I prayed for each of them, different prayers of success and peace in coming days, weeks, months! I prayed that God would heal them and bring me back my rabbits! Today I dedicated my miles to my girls! 

The Badass Babes 

Today was also awesome because so many of our MRTT group had a PR, either in the 5K or 10K! It was amazing to see everyone have such a blessed day. This might just become my favorite race, hehe! 

MRTT Tallahassee 

Now, it's time to look ahead to the rest of the month. March goals will include the MRTT 1-min wall sit a day challenge, the continuation of our 100 pushups in 2014 and my 100 squats a day challenge. I'm also going to attempt 100 miles in March. 

What challenges do you have for the month of March?! I would love to encourage you along the way so let me know your goal.