April 2018 Challenge: The Will To Work

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Summer is coming and this means warm days (just plain HOT days for some of us) and less clothing to hide what we’ve neglected to work on through the winter. It means less racing for us in the south and more racing for those in the north. It means bikini weather is on the way….and that can be a little nerve wracking!

For those of us in the south whose long distance racing is coming to an end for a while, it can mean we’re logging fewer miles. Some people even take the summer off. In my opinion, this is a mistake. Especially if you want to pick back up in the fall. You don’t have to push as hard as you do during racing season, but keeping a good mileage base will help you transition smoothly into the fall without having to start over again.

Instead of hanging up your running shoes for a few months, pull back on your mileage or choose times of day when the heat is less intense like early mornings or late in the afternoon when the humidity starts to burn off. Find your BRFs and make a plan that will keep you running through these warmer days. And remember that as the temperature starts to rise, your pace should slow down.

It takes several weeks to acclimate to warmer temperatures. Don’t get down on yourself if you can’t run as fast, or as long as you have been recently. Give yourself a break and know that as you get used to it being warmer, your body will adjust and it will get easier again. Be patient!

For those in the North who are still waiting for the snow to melt, you are probably itching to log more miles outside and your chance is coming! Now is the time to have your training plan ready and ramp up your miles to get ready for those summer racing where the weather is perfect!

No matter if it’s getting hot or still miserably cold, you must find the will to keep working. Are you willing to put in the time? Are you willing to work out in less than ideal conditions?

Do you have the WILL to work hard for the results you want?

I know this Crew has the will. And if you are part of our Strong to the Core family, you have a strength plan laid out for you. Get that running plan ready too and let’s work on that summer body and strong legs for race day!

If you’re not a member of Strong to the Core, what are you waiting for? Click here to find out more about our group and how to join! Below is how our April Challenge is laid out…just to give you an idea of how we get our strength in. Each day takes from 10-20 minutes and will help you build the strength you need to run faster and stay on the road longer injury free.

April layout:

  • Sunday – Plank & Wall Sit + Active Recovery & Yoga for Runners
  • Monday – Legs & Abs
  • Tuesday – Hips and Abs
  • Wednesday – Plank & Wall Sit + Mental Health Day (great day for speed work! 🙂 )
  • Thursday – Arms & Abs
  • Friday – Abs & Abs
  • Saturday – Warm up, Long Run, Wall Sit & Plank, Legs Up the Wall, 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Pigeon Pose

Have questions? Reach out to me and let’s chat! You can reach me here.


February 2018 Challenge: Tough Love

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With plenty of love going around in February, you don’t need someone to be nice and tell you it’s ok to skip your workout. You don’t need to be coddled and told it’s fine to wait till tomorrow.

This month, you won’t get that from me. If you’re hurt, make modifications. If you’re tired, go to bed earlier. If you don’t have time, figure out where you are wasting time and workout instead. You’re busy, I get it…but you make time for what’s important to you.

If it’s not important you won’t make time. If it is, you will. That’s all I have to say bout that.

Tough Love…you don’t get kudos for excuses.


Our shortest challenge month of the year. Can you make it 28 days without excuses?

Show yourself some tough love and choose to make time for what is important!

February Challenge Details:

  1. Challenge Calendar – 28 Days
  2. No Junk Food Challenge
  3. Burpee Challenge
  4. Push Up Challenge

Want to know more about how to join our Strong to the Core family and join us for Tough Love February?

Click here for info and let us help you find your strong!

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Ameris Bank – Last Big Race of 2017!

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Formerly known as the Jacksonville Bank Marathon, Ameris Bank is proud to carry on the tradition of the oldest marathon in Jacksonville! This is the 35th running of this 5K, Half Marathon and Marathon, and this course does not disappoint. With pancake flat terrain, and lots of shade, this course meanders down Beauclerc Road, travels around the infamous Forrest Circle loop and winds through Scott Mill and Mandarin Roads circling back to end inside the Bolles stadium on the track.


  • Boston Marathon Qualifier
  • Marathon course has a six hour limit
  • Half Marathon course has a 3.5 hour limit
  • Certified courses
  • Course record is 2:14:33
  • Large Medals to all Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5K Finishers
  • Prize Money
  • 1/2 zip long sleeve shirts provided to all half and full marathon entrants
  • Race results bib/Tag timing
  • Course features lots of shade and pancake flat
  • Finish inside Bolles Stadium on track
  • Digital clocks at all miles
  • Average temperature is 56 degrees
  • Start and finish location:
    The Bolles School
    7400 San Jose Blvd.
    Jacksonville, FL 32217

One of the last big races of the year, you’re guaranteed to see lots of friendly faces and TONS of fast runners vying for that coveted Boston Marathon qualifying time!

But don’t worry, you don’t have to be fast to have a blast at this race. With options for a 5K, Half or Full Marathon with generous time limits (3.5 hours for the half and 6 hours for the full) everyone is welcome to come out and run their own race, enjoy the scenery and end the year with a BANG!

I’ll be there with lots of my #CoreCrew squad and ALL my Moms on the Run ladies! Come out and run with us! I might even bring mimosas to celebrate after the race. 🙂

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Ameris Bank 2017

1st Place Sports and Tropical Smoothie Cafe have put together an awesome race for us to end the year so don’t miss it…start time is 7am on Saturday, December 16th!

Need to know more? Check out any of the sites below for race and course info, registration links, pricing and more. Stop by any Tropical Smoothie Cafe location or 1st Place Sports and let them know you appreciate all their hard work and dedication to this sport we love!

Ameris Bank Jacksonville Marathon:
Race Website

1st Place Sports:

Tropical Smoothie Cafe:

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December 2017 Challenge: Holiday Simplicity

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We are keeping it simple in December so we can enjoy all the holiday festivities, our family and friends, honor our faith, AND keep our fitness in check!

Just because there are other things going on, we don’t have to let our goals go to the back burner. Our December Challenge is simple, exercises that 15 minutes or less per day.

If you’re ready to jump in and get stronger with us, check out our info page and learn a little about me and Strong to the Core! Reach out to me with questions! We would love to have you join our Crew and make a little time for you over this holiday season! 🙂

Strong to the Core Info


Thanksgiving Day Classic Half Marathon & 5K – Free Race Entry Contest!

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It’s that time of year again….time for one of my favorite races!

The Thanksgiving Day Classic Half Marathon and 5K is THE PERFECT way to start this day. Get out and burn some calories before we eat ALL THE THINGS! 🙂

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I love to let you all know about fun local races, but I don’t usually have the chance to give away an entry to one…and one of my favorites too!

If you haven’t had a chance to sign up, or have been on the fence about spending the money for the race, you’re in luck be cause today is different.

Today I have a race entry to give away…YAY!!

Here’s the deal, this race is put on by 1st Place Sports and Tropical Smoothie Cafe, so in order to win this race entry, you’re going to have to show some love! There are six 1st Place Sports locations and eighteen Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations around Jacksonville and in St Augustine. Links to info for both locations are below.

1st Place Sports locations

Tropical Smoothie Cafe store locater

In order to get into the drawing for this race entry, you need to go to one of these locations, either 1st Place Sports OR Tropical Smoothie Cafe, take a selfie, and post it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the tags: #1stPlaceSports, #TropicalSmoothieCafe, #ThanksgivingDayClassic & #FreeRaceEntryPlease. You also need to tag me so I see it!

The contest will end Saturday, November 18th at 5pm so you must have your tagged post up by then. I will take all the entries and put them in a random name generator to pull the contest winner!

Easy peasy fun contest! No purchase necessary!

The Thanksgiving Day Classic 5K starts at 6:50am, the Half Marathon starts at 7am, and the 1 mile Turkey Trot starts at 7:05am on Thursday, November 23rd. Find all the race details and registration links on the 1st Place Sports race website or the Thanksgiving Day Class event Facebook page. 

While you’re at 1st Place Sports or Tropical Smoothie Cafe, check out the awesome running gear or yummy food and smoothies! Want to know more about 1st Place Sports or all the deliciousness available at Tropical Smoothie Cafe? You can find tons of good info on their websites and social media pages below! 🙂

1st Place Sports:

Tropical Smoothie Cafe:

You have 3 days, Thursday through Saturday at 5pm so find time to get to 1st Place Sports or Tropical Smoothie Cafe, take your selfie and post your pics with all the hashtags. Contest starts NOW!

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2017 TCS New York Marathon – Race of a Lifetime!

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This is where the happy tears started!

I have been waiting, praying, and dreaming about this race for a very long time. My mother ran the 1987 TCS New York Marathon as her first marathon on her 40th birthday so it has always been a bucket list race for me. I was registered to run it in 2016, but had to defer to 2017, therefore I had to wait another year.

It was worth the wait!

From the start, the race organization was amazing. The logistics for this race seem so daunting, but New York Road Runners handle everything like the the pros they are. From the expo, to the start line, to the finish line, to the after party at Marathon Monday in Central Park, everything goes off without a hitch.

I came into this race well trained. My summer my training went great, with the most miles I have ever ran going into a marathon, the fastest and most consistent speed work I have ever done, no niggling injuries, and a very positive mindset. I was so ready.

Getting to the start line was actually fun. I think most people dread the subway ride to the ferry, the ferry ride to the shuttle, and the shuttle ride to the start line, but I really enjoyed it. It gave me a chance to calm down, get focused, and go over my race plan.

The start line was so well organized. The staff was friendly, helpful and energetic. If you are where you need to be, there should be no problems at all.

The start line is exciting, with plenty of room to move around and do your pre-race warm up stretching. The crowd is energetic and in 2017, the weather was absolutely perfect!

I was in the blue wave, so I started on the bottom of the Verranzo-Narrows bridge, which I was grateful for. We walked up to the starting line and I didn’t even notice the initial race elevation. When the gun went off, it already felt like we were on a relatively flat surface. Going up the bridge was easy and effortless, with plenty of room to spread your wings and not feel too crowded.

Going into miles 2-3 was like going to a party. The crowds did not disappoint and stayed steady the entire race. Miles 3-10 in Brooklyn were absolutely amazing. Block party after block party! It started to drizzle early on, but it never poured and the rain was actually a nice way to stay cool. The water/aid stations got a little hectic and slippery with all the cups littering the ground, but the volunteers handled it well and I never had any issues.

Miles 15-16, up that dreaded Queensboro bridge, were tough! People around me were slowing down considerably, many were stopping to walk, but I powered up that bridge without stopping. As long as you keep a positive attitude and don’t get too annoyed with dodging and weaving, you are fine.

There were some challenges for this Florida girl with the 5 bridges looming ahead, but overall the elevation changes didn’t seem too bad. For me, the eventual pain came from the downhills. Coming into The Bronx “entertainment” borough was a fun way to settle into that last grueling 10K as the crowds were dancing and screaming like banshees! But this is where my quads started to revolt. The downhills had taken their toll and my legs were screaming. I was able to power through the small hills on 5th Avenue and roll into Central Park, “Quads on fire” is an understatement though. I would definitely train better on hills if I get the chance to do this race again.

If I had to pinpoint one complaint about the race, it would be the trek through 5th Avenue, but it was not related to the race organization. At this point on the course, it is easy for spectators to get around the barriers, and in some places there were no barriers, so spectators were crossing the road like the were on a Sunday stroll. To me, this is worst possible place to cross the course, since at this point we are all just trying to keep moving forward and walking in front of someone can throw them off and even cause an injury. I had several people walking right in front of me and I could have screamed at them if I wasn’t so focused on putting one foot in front of the other. Miraculously, I made it through without any collisions.

Central Park is a blur, as my quads threatened to lock up but I kept going. The screams were so deafening it was almost hard to hear my own thoughts, but I was able to channeled the crowd’s energy and just kept moving forward. Mile 24 was my slowest mile at 10:10 but I pulled it together and brought it back down under 10 for the last couple miles. This was the time when I was thinking of my HUGE support system. My boyfriend, Chad, who made all the early morning runs possible, my mother Ginny, who ran this race in 1987 and continues to be one of my biggest supporters, my #CoreCrew, who inspire me every day and who I knew were watching and cheering me on, and my son Silas, who knows that running is my “me” time and puts up with all my time on the road. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the team of people behind me and they were the ones who brought me through those last tough miles.

I kept looking for the mile markers at this point because I wanted to stop and walk but I  knew if I did, it would be so much harder to get going again. So I never took a break, never stopped to walk. I just kept telling myself to get to that next mile marker. Then when I got there, I told myself to get to the next one.

Seeing the 200M mile marker was like heaven and I knew I was almost home. That’s right about when the happy tears started. I crossed the finish line and the dam broke. I bawled like a baby who just wanted their momma.

My original goal for the New York Marathon when I signed up in 2016 was a 4:30 so I was placed in Wave 3, Green Coral C. My 2017 summer training was on point so I knew I  could do better. My new goal was a 4:10. I smashed it crossing the finish line in 4:05:22, a HUGE 30 minute marathon PR! One week later, I am still in shock and awe of my accomplishment on this tough course.

The near zombie like walk through the next mile+ after the finish line was HARD. During this walk, I was cursing the race organizers for putting us through this misery, but afterwards I was thankful, as it gave me a chance to keep moving and let my quads and hips settle down. Those RDs know what they are doing. 🙂

I chose the poncho option instead of checking a bag and although it took quite a while to get to the poncho area, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality. It was fleece lined and very warm. The volunteers even put it on us, which was a nice touch.

I hobbled to the subway, then stumbled/walked the short 2 blocks back to my hotel thinking I would be ready to crash, but instead I had SO MUCH ENERGY! It was hard to contain my excitement as I started to reach out to the many friends and family who tracked me. Everyone was so excited for me and I was over the moon!

This is a race of a lifetime. I said it would be a one and done because of the cost, but I think you will find me at the TCS New York Marathon again one day!


Baileys Mandarin 5K & 10K


The Mandarin 10K & 5K was my first EVER 10K in 2011 when I had no idea running would be such a huge part of my life! I struggled through this one but what a memory!

Mandarin is a beautiful area to run in, especially down Mandarin road. It’s tree shaded and the view is lovely! The race starts and finishes at the Bailey’s Gym on San Jose at Loretto Road (11740 San Jose Blvd.) and will follow a large loop around Mandarin. The course is flat and fast! Runs through a nice residential neighborhoods, and of course this race is USA Track and Field certified!

Finishers of both the 5K and 10K will receive custom medals and there is free food and drinks at the finish line!

That’s not all….great music will be playing and there will be drawings for prizes!

This is one of the few 10Ks we have in our area so if you’re ready…now is the time! Of course, the 5K is really fun too so whatever distance is your favorite, this is a perfect race to sign up for!

Bring out the family to watch the speed and agility of our fastest Jax runners, these people fly through the course so if you blink you will miss them!

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But don’t worry…there is plenty of time to sit back and enjoy the sunshine while they wait for their favorites to cross….YOU!

Don’t miss out on this fantastic fall race put on by 1st Place Sports and Tropical Smoothie Cafe! Stop by your local Tropical Smoothie Cafe on the way to the race and grab some fuel so you can go the distance. Then show up early and get in a good warm up because this race is FAST!


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If you’re ready to sign up or need more info there’s lots of places to look! Check out the links below, follow them on all your favorite social media site, and get signed up. Its almost time to go for a run! 🙂

1st Place Sports

Tropical Smoothie Cafe

What are you waiting for? This medal is pretty….let’s go for a run and earn some bling!

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