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! 




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

15k Training: Week 2

I crushed Weeimage (2)k 2 and it feels great! It doesn’t hurt that Nike+ hypes me up with cool graphics and reminds me that I did indeed CRUSH week 2. AHAHA! I know it’s early in training and I still have 10 weeks to go but I plan on celebrating as I go because small victories work best for me. Each week of training I complete is a success. It means that I SMACKED my excuses in the face every day I woke up early to do a run or cross-train.

I had to travel for work last week and made sure I got in my 5 miles Tuesday morning before my road trip to MSU with co-workers. I packed my workout clothes and hit the hotel gym Wednesday morning for my cross-training session and I was so glad I did because I needed every ounce of energy to work BTS in our store. Nonetheless week 2 was great.

I’m an avid follower of Hal Higdon’s Marathon FB page and he posted this little nugget yesterday that was an Ah-Moment for me:

TIP OF THE DAY: In any long distance race, except at the elite level, you do not beat others, as you might in a mile or a 100-meter dash. Instead, you achieve a personal victory. If others finish in front or behind you, it is only that their personal victories are more or less than yours. A person finishing behind you with less talent, or of a different age or sex, or various other limiting factors, may have achieved a far greater victory. And if the person’s main goal in running the race was to raise money for charity, the amount of money collected may be a more important barometer of success than finishing time.

BOOM that gave me more motivation to always RUN MY RACE!

image (9)

Hotel Gym, East Lansing, MI cross-training day

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Week 2/12 Complete

Fit Fly Mamas: 15k Training

So, you completed your first 10k training.
Now what?

Well, I’m going to train for a 15k, duh! 🙂

I had planned to post my weekly training for the Chicago 10k on the blog but instead posted all my training to IG. 🙂 I trained with the Nike+ Running App. I did the beginner 10k training and started 2 weeks early to account for some traveling I knew we’d be doing this summer. I’m so glad I stuck to a training program because I ran an awesome first 10k. TOOT TOOT 🙂13.1

So, since training paid off. I’ve decided to use the 13.1 training for the Hot Chocolate 15k that I’ll be running November 9th. I ran the Hot Chocolate 5k race last year. It’s a nice race and this year there is a finishers medal for the 15k. I really do think I run for the BLING these days. 🙂

This time around I’ll be more diligent and compile my training weekly in a post on Sundays, as well as post my runs/workouts on IG.  Training starts Monday, and I couldn’t have planned that better as I’m finding myself at lost for what to do or how long to run. I’m a stickler for schedules when it comes to my workouts. It just works for me.

It’s a 12 week plan with the last day of training being RACE DAY! 🙂 The first 3 weeks follow the same schedule as the 10k training:

Monday: Run

Tuesday: Run

Wednesday: Cross Train

Thursday: Rest/Stretch

Friday: Run

Saturday: Run

Sunday: Rest/Walk

Then it kicks up a notch and I have 5 run days, 1 cross training day, and a rest day. Most of my longs runs are on Saturdays which is perfect for me. There are a few Tuesday long runs which I might have to split between the other run days to complete that weeks mileage. Other than that it’s a really doable program for me. I’m finding that training can be time-consuming but it doesn’t have to be. Hence why, my current race goal is only a half marathon. 🙂

I can’t wait to start sharing my training!

Nike Plus 2013 Year In Review

To my surprise I received a Year in Review for all of my Nike+ activity in 2013. I have to say it was less than stellar. 😦


my Nike+ 2013 activity

The positive is that I can change that this year. Especially knowing that I will get a Year in Review for 2014 and I don’t want it to look the same as 2013.

Nike+ 2014 Goals

Run/Walk 3x/month

I’ll be doing more videos in the winter months since I live in Chiberia 🙂 But come the Spring/Summer/Fall I’ll be walking to the park more days of the week with the boys since the park is a mile from our house.

Run 3 races in 2014

I’m already registered for the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k. I plan to run the Hot Chocolate 5k again this year and I want to do a Color Run and the Run Like a Mother Race on Mother’s Day this year. So I think I will definitely crush this goal.

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