Running Dirty. Eating Clean. Loving Life.

Archive for July, 2012

Meet BAMF Krista

The Incredible Training (Shrinking) Krista

Meet Krista, one BAMF from Columbus, Ohio.  I “met” Krista in a running moms group we both belong to on Facebook.  As soon as she first introduced herself to the Running Mom Mafia (RMM), I admired her for her strength, determination, and amazing attitude. She has this infectious attitude that you can’t help but want to cheer her on.  Her story is more than just running.  It’s about finding the inner strength to battle head on to reach a goal, no matter how big or little it may be.  You can follow Krista’s journey at or on Twitter @kristasjb03.  Congrats Krista on being this week’s BAMF!!


What makes you a BAMF?  My refusal to give up on myself, and my dreams of being fit and healthy.  I’m still not there, but I won’t quit until I’m dead.

What was your greatest BAMF moment?  Showing up to the Princess Half Marathon despite a small fracture in my foot, plantar fasciitis and a bone spur in my ankle so big that even the doctor cringed.  I showed up.  I didn’t finish, but even in my defeat and getting swept at mile 2, I encouraged the lady behind me tho was sobbing and claiming failure. 

We’ve all had times where we haven’t felt so bad ass.  What was yours?  I haven’t been doing this long enough to really have one.  Only thing I can think of is the moment the bus pulled across the road at the Disney Princess Half Marathon and I just started bawling!

What words of wisdom would you like to share with an aspiring BAMF? It doesn’t matter what others say or do, YOU have to decide to be a BAMF and to hell with anyone who disagrees.  Fake it till you make it.

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires or motivates you? The miracle is not that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the courage to start.  -John Bingham

What’s on your running playlist? A little bit of everything from Broadway and Disney tunes, to Buckcherry and even Soulja Boy

What races are on your bucket list? San Francisco Nike Women’s Half and NYC marathon

What are you currently training for? Life….and the Princess Half Marathon

Is there anything else the world should know about the Incredible Krista?  I am still very new to this running thing and journey to fitness and health.  If there is one thing that tends to surprise me, it is the number of fit and healthy people who choose to be supportive and helpful, and not judge me for my current weight.  I love that the fitness community is so welcoming.

Krista with the RMM at the Myrtle Beach Diva Half Marathon


If you’d like to be the next BAMF of the week, answer these questions and send a couple of pics that you highlight your BAMFedness to

Home Sweet Home

Whew.  Made it back in one piece from my great Wisconsin Beer Cheese Running Tour.  I started off the week in Racine, WI visiting my sister.  I made great use of being only a few blocks from Lake Michigan and the Lake Michigan Pathway.  Got some great runs in along the lake and got the feet a little wet for a fun stride workout in the sand.  After a short trip back home to, you guessed it, run, it was back to the badger state this weekend for the Dances with Dirt Half Marathon in Baraboo.  It was an amazing race with lots of great runners, race organizers, and volunteers.  I hope to get caught up with race reports soon.  I also have a great beach workout that I’ll be working on this week and some great summer time recipes I can’t wait to share.  Happy running!!


Sunset over the Ice Age Trail near Baraboo, WI


TGIF!!! 7.13.12

Rave Runs – Lake Michigan Pathway – Racine, WI

Just follow the signs

I’m on the road this week.  First stop – Racine, WI.  So it may not be a vacation hot spot, but it is home to one of my favorite running routes, the Lake Michigan Pathway.  This 9.8 mile mostly paved pathway runs along the shore of Lake Michigan, starting north of Racine at 3-Mile Road and Douglas Avenue and heads south to Chicory Road.  If that isn’t enough mileage for you, it connects to Racine County’s MRK trail on the north end, Racine County’s North Shore Trail on the south end, and to the Root River Pathway at the Main Street bridge.

Map of today’s run

Today I ran from the northern edge of the zoo to the lookout on the southern bank of the Root River.  This 6 mile run follows the Lake Michigan shoreline and Root River, and passes some of my favorite sites in, including North and Zoo beaches which together span over a mile of continuous sandy beach which is great for a little beach running or barefoot strides in the water.

Overlooking Zoo and North Beaches at the beginning point of my run

Heading south from the corner of Augusta Street and Michigan Boulevard, hop on the trail heading along the eastern edge of the zoo down to Zoo Beach.  If you’re looking to get your feet a little sandy, this is a great place to run across the beach to the water where you can follow the shore to North Beach and catch the pathway again at Barker Street.  There is a blue tarp path leading from the trail to the life guard stand on Zoo Beach if you’re worried about getting sand in your shoes.  If you’re not really up for running in the sand, the path continues along the eastern edge of the zoo to North Beach.  There are some hills along the route, since you’re following Michigan Blvd. and Hoffert Drive for parts of the run.  From North Beach, the trail continues south past the Racine Yacht Club.  If you’re looking for a nice spot to take a breather, there’s a spur that heads east at the Yacht club that takes you to the end of a peninsula on the northern shore of the entrance to the Root River.  While the pathway along the lake is nice, it does take you through some sketchy alleyways on Reichert Court.  While this is safe during the day, if running in the early morning or late evening, I would suggest getting off the path at Barker Street and taking that up the hill to Main Street, where you can catch the path again at the draw bridge.

Running along the breaker at Point Reef Marina

At Main Street, the pathway takes you south across the draw bridge over the Root River.  Once you cross the river, the path takes a hard left and follows the south shore of the river.  From there, the pathway follows the river to the Marina.  If you need to stop and stretch or just want to enjoy the view, there are several benches along this stretch to stop at for a quick break.  While it’s secluded from the main roads, the pathway is bordered by upscale condos, hotels, and restaurants. The Marina also uses the pathway to get to its docks, so most of this stretch is monitored and somewhat secured by their security systems.  At 4th Street, I left the Lake Michigan pathway and followed Christopher Columbus Drive to the walkway above the breakers.  The Lake Michigan Pathway continues south past the Civic Center where it then follows Pershing Park Drive along the coast to 11th Street.  While you do get some great views of the lake, the marina loop offers a lot more in the way of  seeing the sights of Racine.  As you follow the walkway along the breakwater, you can catch a sidewalk at the end of the parking lot to an overlook on the southern bank of the entrance to the river.  Down a set of stairs, the sidewalk continues along the marina before joining back up with the Lake Michigan Pathway at the marina’s southwest corner.  Continue back the way you came or you can always keep along Main Street to Augusta and get a glimpse of some of the animals at the zoo.

After an amazing 6 mile run, I took the shoes off and did a little stride work barefoot along the beach.  This time of year, the water is comfortable (someone told me 70-75 F) and felt great on my tired feet.  I did a little cross training in the form of skipping some of the stones that had washed up on the shore.  Even though the day was warm, most of the beach crowd was congregating on North Beach, leaving the stretch of sand just north of zoo beach nice and quite for a peaceful end to my workout.  If you’re ever in Racine or nearby Milwaukee, this run is definitely worth checking out.

Going barefoot for some post run strides on the beach

Great stretch of sand that just yelled “Take off your shoes and Run Me!!!”

25 Best Trail Running Destinations

There’s still time to plan that summer vacation if you haven’t done so already.  Some of the best trips I have been on have involved checking out local running trails.  Here’s an article from  Ice Age in Wisconsin and Moab are definitely on my running bucket list.

Ice Age Trail – Wisconsin 

Kiss Me, I’m a Runner!

Happy International Kissing Day!  Who wants to celebrate with me?

Free to Run 4 Mile – July 4th, 2012

My sister and I after the race

First off – I’m the (new?) RRCA 4 mile women’s open division champion in the state of Minnesota.  BOOYA!!!!  I’m a little sad that I have to wait for my new race hardware to come in the mail.

It’s become sort of a tradition with my sister to find races when she is in town visiting.  I have a hard time resisting peer pressure when it comes to races, so it’s usually not that hard to talk me into running just about anything.  This year, we picked the Free to Run 4 Mile race at Lake Phalen.

And we’re off

I should have probably learned my lesson by now that July 4th races are usually a really bad idea.  It’s usually hot and humid and I spend most of the race cursing myself for being stupid enough to be talked into yet another one.  This year was no different.  According to the weather app on my phone, the heat index was already in the mid-90s at 6:30 am.  Not exactly ideal race weather.  And 3 days before racing a trail 25k.  Brilliant move!!  Ok, so it’s just a fun  4 mile run.  A little warm up for Saturday’s race.  No need to kill myself.  Just go out, get a few kind of quick miles under my belt and go home and have some beers.  Except anyone that has met me knows that whole mentality lasted all of about 5 seconds before switching into my usual race mindset of “Kick some serious ass!”

A little over a mile in. That smile is from seeing sub 7:00 when I hit the mile mark.

This was my first short (aka sprint) race of the year.  The last time I had run anything under a half marathon was Thanksgiving.  It became pretty clear early on in the race that I had forgotten everything I had learned about pacing and not dying during a shorter distance race.  I lined up just behind the really fast looking guys.  Turns out they were really fast and trying to keep up with them for most of the first mile was really stupid.  But I did manage to pull a sub-7:00 first mile out of thin air somehow.  It may not be world record pace, but I was pretty damn proud of myself.

The next 3 miles were pure hell.  It was hot.  There wasn’t much shade.  I wanted to puke.  The handheld water bottle I was running with was being emptied fast.  I knew I was in 2nd place, nowhere near being able to catch up with the woman in first (more on her later).  I had no idea where the 3rd place woman was and wasn’t about to let someone pass me right before the finish.  There was a little hill right at the finish. I could see the clock was right at 30 minutes.  I booked it up the hill to finish is 30:41.  I was quickly corralled by the race officials and told not to go anywhere because they needed a photo (yay?!?!?) of the top 3 women.  Wet t-shirt contest anyone?

Booking it to the finish line

The medals hadn’t arrived in time, so no bling yet, but I did have a chance to visit with the woman who smoked by me right before the first mile marker.  She looked vaguely familiar, so we started chatting and I was trying desperately to figure out where I had seen her before.  Turns out that she had gone to the high school I work at and is a member of the athletics hall of fame.  I have walked by her photo at least a thousand times over the last 7 years.  Mystery solved.  We ended up having a great chat about the people we knew (I work with her old track coach).  It’s funny how small a world it is, especially in the running community.  She introduced me to the family.  Her son inherited her speediness.  After talking with her for a while and having my photo taken with her and the girl who finished 3rd, I cheered on the other runners while waiting for my sister to finish.  Made friends with several of the volunteers (thanks to all the race volunteers for the great work that you do!!).  Bought some new racing shoes.  Made a mad dash to the bathroom right as my sister was finishing 😦

Top 3 women finishers –

Next up is the Afton 25k Trail race this Saturday.  It should be a little cooler and much shadier.  I’m excited to get back onto the trails for the next few races.  Look out for that race recap sometime this weekend or early next week.