Mad to Live…Er, Run!

We have two choices in life – constantly strive to be better than we were the day before OR be content with life as it is and just let it pass us by.


I’m working towards the first. Always striving to be a better version of myself, better person than I was the day before, better friend, sister, daughter, and employee, better physically, mentally, and emotionally. Just all around better – every single day.

10250317_10100155671245579_1046502504945080573_nIf you follow me on Instagram or if you happen to be my family, you were graced with this picture Monday evening. I apologize but it captures the moment perfectly. It probably also helps the case of why I’m not married, but that’s neither here nor there.


If you follow me on Instagram, that picture may have made more sense if you first saw this one…



A few weeks ago, I entered the lottery for the Chicago Marathon. Not sure whether I would get picked, not sure if I would register if I did, quite honestly, just not sure of anything, but I had this little pin poking me in the side that was telling me to enter. So I did.


I waited with extreme anticipation for Monday, knowing they would be informing people if they were selected for the lottery. By 4pm, I surprisingly forgot all about it. Work was busy and therefore a very good distraction. But when I gave myself a much needed break and checked Instagram, I saw a few posts from people all excited about being picked for the lottery. I figured by that point, that meant I didn’t get it.


I was feeling pretty bummed and texted Becky to let her know. Girl was going to train for this thing on her own. I kept hitting refresh on my email. Nothing. I checked one of the lottery emails they’d be sending preparing us for today and saw emails would be going out in waves until 8pm. There was still time, but quite honestly, I was losing hope.


It was in that exact moment (I’m NOT even kidding!) when an email came in congratulating me on being picked for the 2014 Chicago Marathon. Holy crap! I started tearing up. I sent Becky a retracted text…she had herself a training buddy! I texted a few other friends and I sat in shock for a brief moment.


I forced myself to put it out of my mind, to get a little more work done, and then allow myself to think about what my decision was going to be. But truth be told, just as everyone congratulated me on putting my name in the lottery, I was getting cheers for being picked, they knew my decision was made, even if I felt like I was still deciding. But even though I didn’t know it, I wasn’t still deciding. I’ve been bit by the running bug pretty hard and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.


So let the countdown to October 12th begin…

Abs in April – Week 2

I’m still planking! Two weeks in and I haven’t given up! ;)

abs in april

Honestly, I’m pretty proud of myself. There was only one day that I skipped my planks which was strictly because we did SO many planks and ab work in hot yoga, I just wasn’t sure I had it in me to do one more plank. Listening to my body…

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 6.33.02 PMHave you been doing your planks? Are you feeling a difference?


I feel like there’s still a lot of room for improvement for me but I’m proud of how I’ve done so far. This week I’m thinking I’ll return back to straight-arm planks and see if I can hold it longer than the first week. I’m all about constantly striving to be a better version of myself – especially when it comes to my fitness.


Sometimes I can’t believe the athlete that I’ve become. I’m in no way the same person that I was 15, 10 or even 5 years ago. I consider this a good thing!


My journey is only beginning. A plank today. A plank tomorrow. And the world at my finger tips. Maybe that’s a bit drastic, but sometimes I like it that way. ;)


How are your planks coming along?

Lights Out

Did you all have a good weekend?

 Mine ended up being busy – with work but also fun with friends. No complaints.


I’m excited for today’s Music Monday. I think you guys will really enjoy it. But more so, it’s not even out yet. Don’t get too excited, this isn’t really inside industry knowledge… ;)


The new Ingrid Michaelson album, Lights Out, comes out TOMORROW but for the last week has been available to stream on iTunes. Honestly, it’s pretty good, especially if you’re a fan of the poppier styles.


But seriously, check it out – whether streaming on iTunes today or getting the release tomorrow when it’s out. You’ll enjoy it.


How was your weekend? What did you do?

What are you listening to today?

BRTR Training Week 6

Don’t you just love birthdays? I can’t even thank you all enough – for the FB messages, tweets, comments, IG love, friends who texted, emailed, etc – there’s no doubt that yesterday I felt the love!

10003364_10100152976006859_1062823163466971092_nYesterday I promised that you’re core workouts would be here today and I always keep my promises!


First up is another flashback workout – the Burpee Ab Shred…I haven’t done this workout in FOR-EV-ER but you better believe it’s on the agenda for this weekend. Maybe even today. Gulp.

Screen-Shot-2012-12-10-at-12.27.32-PMSecond is from the Tone It Up ladies. I’ve done this Love Your Abs routine a few times and it’s always left me feeling burn.

Love-your-abs-printable-jpg-3Don’t forget to keep planking – everyday!!


Friday 4/4



Saturday 4/5

1.3 mile walk


Sunday 4/6

75 mins hot yoga

3.5 mile run


Monday 4/7

GPP – straight eights & abs


Tuesday 4/8

1.3 mile walk 

20 mins YogaDownload


Wednesday 4/9

4 mile run

1.3 mile walk


Thursday 4/10

4 mile run (total)

GPP – Kettlebell Pyramids & abs


And come Sunday, I’ll officially be half way through training for my 3rd half marathon…holy cow!


And come Monday, I find out if I made the lottery for the Chicago Marathon and have only a few days to officially decide what I want to do…I have no words.


How were your workouts this week?

Any big plans for your weekend?

Another Year Older, Another Year Wiser

You could call me another year older. Another year wiser. Another year closer to thirty. All would be true.

Well, the wiser statement could be up for debate. ;) but otherwise all true. 

Because today I woke up 27.


Weee – happy birthday to meeee!!!


I’m not one of those people who is dreading each year as it passes. That’s not to say I don’t have my moments of freaking out about being closer to 30, but let’s be honest, each year of my life keeps getting better so why regret another new year?


That’s also not to say they don’t still come with their challenges (because they do!) but with each year, I learn more about myself, I become a better/stronger version of myself than the year before, and I’m more comfortable in my own skin.

If you’re looking at those positives, what’s not to look forward to? 

So grab a cupcake and let’s celebrate!


(P.S. If you came by for the core workouts, they’ll come tomorrow.Today, I just want to enjoy my day! :) )

Mad to Live

The thing about losing someone, whether a friend, relative, or acquaintance, is that it gets you thinking. Besides the obvious thoughts of sadness and remembering some of your best memories with that person, they get you thinking about your OWN life.


Jimmy had a tattoo that read “mad to live” – a quote from author Jack Kerouac. This was Jimmy’s mantra, what led him through each day of his life.


After his passing and as I read stories from friends, family and people he met briefly during his travels, you could clearly see he was driven each day by this simple quote – “mad to live.”


So we get thinking…

-Am I living my life to it’s greatest potential?

-Am I positively impacting those that I meet along my journey?

-Am I enjoying what I’m doing with my life?

-Is there more to this life that I still need to tap into?

-Have I seen enough of the world? (This is a big fat NO!)

-What can I do/change/add/take away to ensure I’m living my best life?


It’s unfortunate that it takes something so tragic, something so heart wrenching, something so drastic to make us take that step back, reflect and then move forward from this point to live out our best lives.


So Jimmy, there’s no snooze button today, just living to my greatest potential. While this still doesn’t seem real and you’re so missed, thank you for the reminder that there’s more to this life.


Today and everyday forward, I’m going to strive for my best possible life, to enjoy every moment – both the big and small, to let go of fear that holds me back – from loving, living and dreaming, and to make sure I’m sharing MYSELF with the world.


How are you ‘mad to live’?

ABs in April – Planks Week 1

abs in april

Has everyone been doing their plank-a-day for Abs in April?


10155540_10100150890131969_3601320180185973288_nPlease notice the face. It’s not my best, but it sure is amusing. ;)


Anyway, I have stayed consistent with my planks everyday and despite feeling like I could skip them on Sunday after we did a LOT of ab work and planks in hot yoga, I decided I was going to get them in anyway. And I did.


All planks this week have been with my arms straight (vs. on my elbows) as I do find it interesting to compare how I do between the two…maybe I’ll do elbow planks this week and switch back and forth week to week?…options, we’ll see!

Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 3.35.52 PMHonestly, I’m already feeling better about my core! It’s been feeling sore (in a good way), strong and I find myself more aware of keeping a tight core when carrying myself around, but especially while running. All good things! :)


How were your planks this week?

Are you already noticing a difference?

Music Monday: Wiretree

I first heard these guys a few weeks ago while listening to Pandora. I found myself really enjoying the song that was playing but I didn’t recognize who it was. When I saw the band was called Wiretree, I made sure to write it down and look them up more later.


To my surprise, this band from Austin, TX has released a few records…and quite honestly, from what I’ve heard so far, none disappoint.

In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed my Sunday afternoon listening to Wiretree while catching up on my to-do list a bit. And taking a few moments to stop and go “WHAT IS THIS?!” …in the best way possible, of course!

Now before I leave you to go find you new music obsession…We need to take a quick minute to wish one of my favorite blends a VERY Happy Birthday!

bday amanda

What are you listening to this week?

BRTR Training Week 5

Who’s happy it’s FRIDAY?!


I must be honest, it’s been one heck of a week. From losing a friend, to a lot going on at work, and some crazy insomnia, I’m ready for the weekend. Monday got things off on the wrong foot and I’ve had a hard time getting myself back on track, for good reason though.

1977329_10100148194284469_1983381621_nThe good news is, I’ve had a great week of workouts. It really proves that fitness is a great form of stress relief, and for me, next writing, it’s my therapy. So let’s take a look at it, shall we?

Blinded by the light, anyone? ;)

Blinded by the light, anyone? ;)

Friday 3/28

3.5 mile run

Squats & Abs


Saturday 3/29

Active rest – 2 mile walk 


Sunday 3/30

5 mile run

1.25 mile walk


Monday 3/31

Strength – GPP STAB press

1.25 mile walk


Tuesday 4/1

4 mile run

26 KB swings 


Wednesday 4/2

GPP – row/KB – run/KB


Thursday 4/3

4 mile run

GPP – 4 rounds each & abs

1185500_10100106885722159_1297857261_nIt was a butt-kicking, ab-burning, run-filled week…checking another one off on my quest for half marathon #3!


How were your workouts this week?

What plans do you have for the weekend?

Abs in April – Core Workouts Week 1

How’s Abs in April going for everyone?

abs in aprilFunny thing happened…FitFluential started a plank a day challenge for April as well. I swear I didn’t know anything about it…but ironic, isn’t it?


Anyway, as promised, today is about sharing two core workouts you can do to supplement some of the PlankADay. The first is a new one I created just the other week. I did it after a run and it helped round out my workout.

quick core

Complete each group as a superset for 3 rounds with little to no rest after. Once finishing the first superset 3 times, move onto the second. Your abs should feel the burn!


For the second, I want to bring back one of my favorite ab workouts – Medicine Ball Abs.

Screen-Shot-2012-11-24-at-4.06.49-PMThis is still a go-to workout that I love to pull out of the archives, I hope you enjoy it too!


Now, get those cores-a-burnin!

What are some of your favorite core workouts?