Run Find Your Happy Pace

finding my happy pace in running and life

Motivational Monday Sept 15 2014 – Attitude

It’s so important to realize small steps are so much more than “small”.  Everyday you choose to do something to improve your life, health or faith its a step in the right direction.  And when we fail we need to learn from it, failure is just another chance to grow.  It’s all about attitude and attitude starts with you!


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Pretty Muddy! Rewind. Good Luck to the VA runners

Last year I participated in Pretty Muddy in Richmond VA.  Here is my post race write up.  Good Luck to those of you running it this year!  Have fun and get PRETTY MUDDY! 

This past Saturday I got to participate in Pretty Muddy Women’s Mud Run in Richmond, VA.  This was my very first mud run and I was so excited.  Special thanks Pretty Muddy Women’s Mud Run for the opportunity!

I was also lucky to have my Sweat Pink sister and good friend Cara from Running In Sanity join me, because getting muddy with a friend is how to do it…or so my kids tell me. :)  Cara and I headed out to Chesterfield, just outside Richmond, (about and hour and a half ride from Virginia Beach) at 6:45 AM.  Not too early for a race, no Disney 2 am wake up call here ;).  The weather was already nice, not too hot or cold and temps in the low 60′s.   Our wave was expected to leave at 10 AM.

After arriving at Pocahontas State Park we headed to check in.  I was glad we were able to race day check in so we didn’t need to head up to Richmond 2 days in a row.   There was a hay ride (picture tractor/hay bails) from the parking lot out to the check in area.  We were happy to meet up with Anna, another of our Sweat Pink Sisters from Virginia just before boarding.  Cara and I had the pleasure of meeting Anna at Nike DC as she had also participated in Team in Training Virginia.  Check in was fast, we picked up our pins and numbers and headed off to gear check.  The first waves had started earlier that morning and we got to view some of the happy, muddy girls finishing up the course.  Now I was really excited.  Mud, real mud!  I mean how often does a Mom get to get muddy on purpose!  We hit gear check and the port-o-potties and got a pre-race pic together thanks to Anna before she checked her bag.  I had left my phone in the car because I had no way to keep it clean and mud free ;)

Cara, Anna and Myself pre-mud
Cara, Anna and Myself pre-mud

The start/finish area consisted of a DJ, a photographer, Pretty Muddy merchandise tent and a few food vendors with items for sale.  We headed to the start line while the DJ pumped up the corrals with music and a short impromptu pre-run stretch.  Countdown on let the fun begin!

The terrain heading into the first obstacle was grassy and very uneven, we were all very careful.  In my mind I was concerned the entire course might be this way, thankfully it wasn’t.  The first “obstacle” was a fun bubble type tunnel, it was a tad windy so I think some of the bubbles were getting carried away, but still fun.  The second one was all about slipping /sliding muddy fun…yeah!  We climbed up the backside of a giant slide and down the wet side directly into a mud pit!!!  I was able to keep the mud from the knees down, however Anna lost her shoe in the mud pit and I had to help pull her out, hehe.  Note to self and everyone else…lock laces not the best choice for Anna, however my double tied #sweatpink laces held up like a charm :)

The rest of the course terrain was mostly well beaten dirt trails and grass which was much more of what I am used to not to mention much safer.  I love trail running and this did not disappoint Pocahontas State Park was just beautiful.  I remarked to my buddies that God had done good because the weather and the views were so pretty.  There were a total of 10 obstacles for this 5k.  Some muddy, some not.  We climbed nets and walls, through tunnels, carried wood and got to crawl through mud a few more times.  The runner landscape consisted of beginners, birthday girls, experienced runners to tutus and good spirited fun.  All the runners at this race were respectful and encouraging.  Good, clean…well muddy girl fun!

My only wish was that there had been photographers at each obstacles.  Most people did not carry phones/cameras because of the nature of the mud.  I would love to have had the opportunity to look for and purchase pictures from all the obstacles, especially this being my first mud run.   According to one of the volunteers we asked there were photographers but they were roaming between different parts of the course.

Post race you were given your Pretty Muddy 5k medal, a Propel and a protein bar.  We also stopped for a post run muddy picture, you must have one of those!  The DJ was still pumping the music as waves continued to leave.  There was also a live band in the finisher area.  Just past the finish area was a rinse station with hoses set up to clean off and de-mudify.  Next to it was a large privacy tent for changing into some clean and dry clothing for our long ride home.

All in all I would say Pretty Muddy is a fun, muddy experience for women.  I had a great time with my Sweat Pink sisters.  I loved the number of groups we saw running together along with women who braved the course alone for various personal reasons.   There were bucket listers, birthday girls and more!   Everyone seemed to have a good time and the volunteers where encouraging and informative.  The course was well-marked.  Pretty Muddy also has family waves that were set to take off later in the morning.  Female participants were welcome and encouraged to run the course again with their families.

The medal we got was a nice bonus and a great memento.  Personally I didn’t find the course as challenging as I would have wanted, however with that being said I think it was the most fun I have ever had getting muddy :)  If your thinking of a first or a fun all female mud run Pretty Muddy Women’s Mud Run would be a great one for you!  I would do it again with girlfriends if given the opportunity.

Pretty Muddy Bling
Pretty Muddy Bling

So what’s next?  Tough Mudder maybe :)  Ha,ha…I think I have fallen in love with mud.

pretty muddy

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Motivational Monday Sept 8 2014



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Motivational Monday – September 1, 2014

Sometimes even the best laid plans don’t go as planned.  Trust in God, adjust your sails and keep moving forward.


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Motivational Monday August 25, 2014

The most important thing is making Him your number one priority daily.  In the end it’s all about his glory.

MM 825

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Alzheimer’s Sucks – I’m doing my part. Walk, Run and Kick Butt



Alzheimer’s SUCKS!  Let’s do something to help!

My challenge:

I have made the commitment to participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in my town.  (click to find one in your town) However I decided that wasn’t a big enough challenge for myself.  I wanted to do more!

Therefore I have officially committed to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on October 12 in


run a Half Marathon on October 5th in hopes to inspire others to step up by supporting me.

Why am I participating?

It’s personal.  My mother was diagnosed with early onset dementia a little more than 4 years ago.  In her mid sixties.  This past year her decline has been drastic, devastating and heartbreaking for us all.  This disease has taken so much of my beautiful Mother.  But one thing it can never take away is the love we all have for her and the inspiration she has always been to me.  Every small glimpse of recognition, every smile, every hug and kiss is a blessing to our entire family.  Do I understand why this is happening?  No, but I am a firm believer in God’s Plan for all of us.  Someday he will explain even the meaning of this trial and disease to us all.

Proverbs 3:5-6 [Full Chapter]

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Jeremiah 29:11 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Until then:

Would you consider supporting me in any way (big or small)?

I would be more than honored to run for your loved one(s) too just let me know!  

Here is the link to my official fundraising page

through the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Not able to commit financially?  Please consider praying for all those effected by Alzheimer’s including families and caregivers.  God Bless!

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The Return of Motivational Monday – Aug 18, 2014


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Coast to Coast Part 1 – A Most Awesome Running Adventure!

As some of you may or may not know my family was blessed with being able to take a month-long vacation (aka: most awesome adventure) in an RV across the US to the west coast and back.  Lol, and no we are not crazy and yes everyone made it back alive ;)  Thanks to a lot of planning (Mostly on my hubby’s part because he rocks) we made the trek from Virginia all the way to Cali and back.  I had never been further west than Nashville, TN so this was a huge adventure for me.  This is “Part 1″ of my adventures  and covers our stops from Virginia out to the California coast.

Prior to our departure I had promised myself and my Irun4 buddy Logan (what you don’t know what Irun4 is?  click here…its fantastic!) that I would attempt to run, walk or hike at least 1 mile in every state in which we spent the night.  I mean when was I ever going to get a chance to do that again?  I thought it would be a great motivator to keep me running on vacation and an excellent way to keep in contact with Logan over the month-long trip.  OK, ok  I also wanted to be able to eat whatever I wanted (read “cupcakes”) and really enjoy myself without totally tipping the scale when we returned.   Win/win :)

BTW: I have tons (and tons) of non-running related pictures of the beautiful places we were blessed to see across America and if you have about 3 hours I would love to share them with you.  Or you can check out more pics on my Instagram account at:

Runfindyourhappypace or search #runfyhp summer

Let me start with one of the biggest highlights of my trip.  A day I will always remember.

 Check out this handsome young man!!!

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Meet LOGAN!  My Irun4 buddy.  Thanks to my wonderful husband and Logan’s awesome Mom. My family and I were able to swing by Logan’s part of the country and meet face to face, hug to hug and heart to heart.  He is 1000 times sweeter in person than online.  Logan has brought joy back to my running and I was honored to meet he, his Mom, and little bro in person even if only for a short while.  He showered me with hugs and presents!

Thanks Logan!!!!!

And we're off!

And we’re off!

So back to the running part of my adventure.

First Stop  Knoxville, TN

2 miles was all I had time for this day but hey I was already ahead of my 1 mile per stop goal!

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Little Rock, AK

Our next overnight stop was Little Rock, AK.  The hubby and I got up early the next morning and got in 4 sweaty miles.  About 3 miles in we found a local Christian High School and were able to run on their beautiful track around the football field.  We also passed a pretty field of wildflowers so I borrowed one :)

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Amarillo, TX

Next stop…Texas.  One of only two nights of rain the entire trip!  Actually it was hail, and lightning and a tad scary but lucky for us it passed quickly and we never got the full brunt of it.  We did however find out the back window of the RV (right by my head leaked…ughh)  The next morning the weather was great and the hubby and I ran 3.25 miles together.

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KOA Grand Canyon/ Williams, AZ

I got in a short run of a mile and then walked miles and miles at the Grand Canyon!  Breathtaking.

One of the views from the campground just outside the Grand Canyon

One of the views from the campground just outside the Grand Canyon

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The Grand Canyon just off the trail

Bryce Canyon, UT (my favorite!!)

Ok I didn’t get an actual run in here but I hiked…a lot.  I also went on and ATV tour and my very first horseback ride! For me Utah was a hidden gem of the trip.  I loved every bit of it!  Before we left Virginia I had asked my husband why were were stopping in Utah?  Duh…now I would go back in a heartbeat!

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Family ATV tour

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The view of Bryce Canyon from my horse “Sarge”

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One of the many stops in Bryce Canyon, UT

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Mossey Cave Trail. A very beautiful hike to a waterfall!

San Diego, CA (KOA San Diego)

We made it to California!  First stop was San Diego.  I was able to get a few miles in and man was the weather nice!  I also got to put my toes in the Pacific!  Coast to Coast, Ocean to Ocean baby!

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A very beautiful day in San Diego!


Toes in the Pacific!

Toes in the Pacific!

Anaheim, CA (Anaheim RV Park and Disneyland)

Did someone say Disney?!?  Why yes I did.  My pick of the trip…Disney!  We were able to camp at an RV park that was close enough to WALK to Disneyland!  How cool was that?  So between the 15-20 walk to the park and all the walking at Disneyland and California Adventure I would say 1000 miles easy ;)  and who doesn’t love Disney!

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Family Shot from Disneyland. We had looked for an Olaf all day!


Mariposa, CA  (Yosemite West, KOA)

I was able to get in a one mile hilly run/walk here.  This girl is used to flat!  Well there wasn’t much flat going on at this KOA, but I got up early and got it done.  We also did a good amount of hiking at Yosemite that day too.

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Manchester, CA  (Manchester Beach / Mendocino Coast KOA) 

The adventures getting to this KOA were enough to fill a whole other blog post.  Let’s just say don’t trust your GPS at all times.  But man was it worth it!  Our favorite KOA and wonderful running and hiking adventures.  I got in an early morning run with the bonus of deer, jackrabbits and a bunny.  Later in the day we hiked a trail to the coast.  The weather was chilly but a nice reprieve from the heat of AZ, UT and Southern Cali.  And the view from the beach (accessible only by the 20 minute hike each way) was simply stunning.

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A nice cool run with my animal friends

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This hike was just so peaceful and beautiful.

Thanks for joining me on part 1 of my Coast to Coast Adventure.  Pretty cool huh!  Believe me I know how blessed I was to do this.  We prayed everyday and thanked God for our adventure!

Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon!






Weekend SHOUT OUT 7/13

Weekend SHOUT OUT!

Run, have fun and find YOUR happy pace!



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Weekend SHOUT OUT 7/4


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