Train Like an Athlete …

… because you are one. Duh!

Every time I lace up my sneakers and hit the sidewalk, trail or treadmill I’m a runner, training hard to excel at my next race. This wasn’t always my thought process though. Ah! My first post-high school race was back in 2009 and it was a dare + royal mess. I signed-up with some family members to run the Shamrock Shuffle 8k which was max 6 weeks away. I wasn’t exercising regularly, didn’t follow a training plan, and didn’t even go to the Expo to pick-up my race packet. On race day I was super nervous and to top it all off I didn’t have my race bib because it was locked in the trunk of a car. 😦 Whomp. Whomp. Whomp. Long story short… I pleaded with a gate official at one of the last corrals to let me in the race. I finished the race with out an official time but I didn’t care, because I finished. 🙂 I was sore for the next week and so ended my racing. LOL


Fast forward to 2014 when I got my fitness life in check. I ran the 2014 Shamrock Shuffle and was hooked. I signed up for the Chicago 10K and used the Nike Run App – Coach feature to train. My life has been forever changed. It hit all the things I needed to stick with and complete a training program successfully:

  • what days to run
  • how many miles to run each day
  • what type of run to do (tempo, speed, easy pace…)
  • cross training days
  • nice little green check marks – to show completion 🙂

Since the Nike app doesn’t have a 10k coach I used the beginner half marathon coach for my 10k training and modified slightly. I have learned a lot in the past year when it comes to my training and how I like to train. Below are a few of my must haves for what I deem a successful training program.

Training Plan:

So, hands down my favorite training programs are in the Nike Run App. The coach feature has 5k, 10k, half and marathon training plans all with beginner, intermediate, and advance training schedules. I have used others training plans in the past but I wasn’t able to stick with them. I like to being paperless and that I can have my training plan with me wherever I am. I also, like that the Nike app is interactive and sends me reminders for the next days run. It lets you know when you’ve reached each mile, gives you your splits at the end of each run and provides a nice weekly summary for each week of the training plan. And the motivation from Nike athletes at the end of a run is also a plus. My faves are Sonya Richardson-Ross & Apollo Ono. I feel big time!




weekly summary


I have a few 3, 4 & 5 mile routes around my neighborhood planned out so that I can do up and back for longer distances. I like to know where I’m running before I leave the house. I also study the race routes so I know where aid/water stations are and where certain miles are so that I know the best time to take my supplements.

Where I’m Going to Train:

I wasn’t a weather checker until I started running outside. 🙂 I like to have a few runs in the rain just in case it’s raining on race day. That way I’m prepared. Now that I joined a gym I have no excuse on the weeks that it rains all week. I just hit the treadmill and keep the training going. Rain won’t stop my show.

Cross Training:

I’m not going to lie. I really enjoy cross training and lifting. I love the way my body looks with less cardio and more weights. I’m just saying!!! 😛 But I love the feeling of crossing the finish line on a distance goal that I’ve been training for, for 8-12 weeks. Nonetheless, cross training is key to injury prevention. It’s also a great change of space from running and helps your body build muscle so you run stronger.


I just started adding race supplements to my training this training season for my half marathon. I like Cliff Gel and Nuun tablets for my water. Neither have caffeine, which means it’s a slow release of carbs, and works well with my body during runs. I’m not the biggest fan of protein powder but I do like the pre-made protein shakes for post-workouts now.


Last but not least – I must have my music during my runs. Music helps me keep my pace and pushes me to keep going on longer runs. I have a few different playlists but some of my playlist regulars are:

  • Lecrae – I Know
  • KB – Sideways
  • Mary Mary – Get Up
  • Pharrell – Happy
  • Tini Tempah – Pass Out
  • Swizz Beatz – International Party ft. Alicia Keys
  • Katy Perry – Roar

I hope my training tips are helpful. Happy Training! 




Gigabody WINNER!!!

Hey Fitflymamas!

Thanks so much for entering our first ever giveaway! The winner of A Month Free of Gigabody is Manda Overturf Shank. Please send us an email at so we can send you the link to sign up for your free month of Gigabody.

We are super excited to help you reach your fitness goals!

Congrats again Manda!


2015 Goals + A Giveaway!

Hey FitFlyMamas

I wanted to share a few of my 2015 goals with you. My good friend posted a 15 for 2015 on her FB page and it got me thinking I should do the same. I’m not big on resolutions because whenever I’ve made one in the past I either forget about it or just didn’t complete the task. I have however, done a good job of completing the goals I’ve made for myself. It could just be a thing I have with word choice. 🙂 So, this year I want to make a list of my fitness goals (and 1 personal) that I want to accomplish. It’s not near 15 but it’s 5 strong goals.

1) Finish a Half Marathon

2) Become a Fit4Mom Body Back Instructor

3) Get my CPR Certification

4) Run more Races

5) Spontaneous Family Fun 🙂

… And now for the giveaway! I’m super excited to help one of you achieve your fitness goals this year. I’ve teamed up with SweatPink to giveaway 1 Free Month of Gigabody. is the best place to find empowering online workout videos that help you rock a healthy lifestyle. With Gigabody, find all your favorite workouts and do them anywhere, anytime – cardio, sculpting, yoga, dance, kickboxing and so much more!

I’ve had a chance to watch and do some of the videos and they are fun and levels 3 and 4 will torch some calories.


If you like Zumba or dance cardio workouts then you’ll enjoy Sweating Sexy and Body Boom Club. I like kickboxing, so I enjoyed the Take 20! Cardio Kickboxing workouts and the 30 Minutes to Fitness TLC Workout 2, looks like a good one as well.


  • Great for beginner and intermediate levels
  • Different types of workouts from cardio to strength and yoga
  • Short on time – 10 – 60 minute workouts are available
  • 4 levels
  • Workout plans to help you stay on track


I don’t really have any major dislikes, other than, I thought the Body Boom video was a bit one-takish. Like they only had one take to do the video and any mistakes made they just rolled with it. 🙂

All-in-all I think Gigabody is a fun an easy way to add fitness into your busy schedule. You’re already on your laptop, just login and pick a workout and get moving. 🙂

Enter now:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

We’ll select the winner on Monday 1/12/15.

** I did receive 2 months free to view and try the videos but all opinions are my own.

Hot Chocolate 15k Recap

I did it. I finished the Hot Chocolate 15k in under 2 hours.


the banana was great – I didn’t eat any of the chocolate

I have to say I was mentally prepared to stand in the cold for 30-45 minutes from my corrals official start time as I did last year but this year it moved faster and I started 10 minutes after the 7:45am start time. Could it be because I was in corral N this year instead of corral Q? That might be the reason entirely. 🙂


it was a bit chilly outside

I had a great breakfast of PB, banana and 2 cliff shot blocks. I should have taken 3 as I about died at mile 8. I’ll get to that later. James and the boys dropped me off around 7am. I hit the port-a-potty and did some light stretching and before I knew it we were moving to the start line.

Mile by Mile

Mile 1 – 11:29 – went by SUPER DUPER FAST. Like seriously, I was booking it and trying to talk myself into moving slower but that didn’t happen

Mile 2 – 11:09 – was faster than mile 1. Clearly I was on adrenalin and the excitement of the race


nike+ i love this app

Mile 3 – 11:17 – finally I started to get into a grove and just run my race

Mile 4 – 11:35 – this is when I got extra happy because I clocked this mile just 1 minute slower than last year’s Hot Chocolate 5k. It felt great to know that my weight loss and training paid off 🙂

Mile 5 – 11:52 – by this point we had been running on S. Michigan for so long that I know longer knew where I was, so I was taking in the sites and trying not to zone out to my music. I made a BOMB playlist.

Mile 6 – 11:41 – another exciting moment. I clocked my 10k time 3 minutes faster than the Chicago 10k race I ran in August

Mile 7 – 11:49 – at this point, we had crossed over Lake Shore Drive and were headed to the Arie Crown Theater. Back into territory that I knew. I also, started to get tired and I popped a Cliff Shot Block. I should have taken 3 instead of 2 in the morning and I also should have popped the other 3 Shots around the half way point or mile 5. Lesson learned.

Mile 8 – 12:02 – I’m not even going to lie. I was over the race at this point. We were entering into Museum Campus area and I never thought we’d make it to Columbus Drive.

Mile 9 – 12:36 – Can anyone tell me why the last mile always feels like 3 miles?? Seriously. I felt like I was running forever. When I saw the finish line I booked it. Raised my arms & gave a big smile because the race was finally over.

BOOM. SMASHED ANOTHER GOAL and it feels so GOOD! I think I might stay at this distance for awhile. Yes, I could have gone longer if I had to but I was so glad I didn’t have too.


minutes after crossing the finishing line


headed to get my finishers mug

I’ll be putting together my race schedule for the 2015 race season soon. If you have any races you’ve loved let me know so I can check them out. I’m hoping to tackle an obstacle race with the hubs and possibly a half marathon. 🙂

~ Challenge yourself friends

FabFest 2014 Recap

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Lindsay Avner, Founder/CEO Bright Pink

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month!!!

Last month I had the awesome privilege to join the Fit4Mom FabFest 2014 team. As a team we raised over $10k for Bright Pink and to bring awareness to breast and ovarian cancer to young women. It was great to be apart of such a great fundraiser for a wonderful organization.

FabFest 2014 opened with an awe-inspiring speech from Founder/CEO, Lindsay Avner. Her family history of breast and ovarian cancer propelled her to be proactive in her decision-making around her health. In turn she wanted other women to be proactive and be aware so they can ask their doctors educated question. Her strength is admiring and moving and I was glad to be in her presence. Great & blessed woman!


Bright Pink is on a mission to save women’s lives from breast and ovarian cancer by empowering them to live proactively at a young age.

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Kathryn Budig – Aim True. Stay True.

Next we had a wonderful yoga session with Kathryn Budig, and in one word she is AWESOME.

Before we started yoga, Kathryn, wanted us to focus on a few intentions for our yoga practice.

Aim True. Stay True.

1) those you love

2) those you dislike – they are your teachers too

3) yourself – be strong in who you are and know you can do anything you put your mind too

This spoke to me. In everything we do there is/should be an intention behind it. Keep all intentions positive, even the negative thoughts that might creep in. Turn those into positives as well. Basically, I loved every minute of her session. She’s powerful, funny and light-hearted and made yoga more meaningful for me.

There were also sessions by the Daily Method and Shred 415. I stepped out and stumbled on a Surf Fit class. I was very excited to finally try the class since I had blogged about wanting to take one 2 years ago. It’s not at all easy but loads of fun! 🙂


Surf Fit session – photo credit FabFest 2014 photographer



Surf Fit session – photo credit FabFest 2014 photographer

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Please be sure to check out Bright Pink, knowledge is POWER!

If you haven’t donated and still would like to, please head over to my donation page. I’m accepting donations until October 7th, 2014.