Run Find Your Happy Pace

finding my happy pace in running and life

Running for a Cause

This weekend I will be running Nike Women’s Half in DC with Team in Training.  I am super excited, and I think that is why taper week has been making me a little crazy.


This will be my first race with TNT and my 3rd half marathon this year.  Admittedly I was getting a little worn out with the long training schedule.  Due to my husbands deployments I have not been able to fully participate in the group TNT training runs much.  But my coach…Coach Bob, has been wonderful and always kept us in the loop.  He is a great coach and very enthusiastic! I am so glad he will be traveling to DC with us!  Thanks Bob!

Last weekend we had our local TNT sendoff party.  I am really glad I was able to attend!  My friend Cara from Running In Sanity and I have raised money, trained thru deployments, sick kids and all that fun stuff for the last many months.  it seemed like this weekend would never come.  I want to thank the coaches that spoke at the sendoff because they gave me a renewed spirit for running with TNT in DC.

“We are running for something more than ourselves, something bigger.”

That’s just what I needed to be reminded of!


Our local co-ordinator, Josh, who is also an almost 5 year survivor spoke to us about his journey.  Josh is a soft-spoken great guy, very sweet, very humble.  He spoke about how 4 years ago he could not walk from the chair to the bathroom without his wife’s help.  Last weekend Josh completed his first 50 mile….yes 50 MILE trail run!  Amazing!

Running In Sanity, Josh and Me

Cara (Running In Sanity) Josh our co-ordinatior and me

So I am really excited about the race and sporting my purple Team In Training Shirt.  It’s soooo not about time, or PR’s or me…. it’s about completing the journey for someone elses benefit and that makes this race very, very special.

A HUGE Thanks to all of you who have supported Myself, Running in Sanity and TNT through our series of Cupcake Virtuals.  

I am brining good thoughts of you all along with me on Sunday!  Give yourselves a pat on the back too, without you I would not be in DC on Sunday.  I did my last official training run today wearing my Team In Training shirt.  Now to pack…..



My Latest Adventure …. HIIT

OK as some of you may know I was doing the Chalean Extreme Program.  Well I am not anymore.  Now first and foremost let me say I LOVED Chalean.  But I stopped for a few reasons

  1. I need heavier weights
  2. Didn’t feel like I was improving with the current weights I have

The program is great, a little different than what I expected, but really fantastic.  And I will be revisiting it at a future date.  I did most of Phase 1 which was the Burn Phase of the program.

In the meantime I decided to join the world of HIIT.  OK, lets back up a little.  What is HIIT?


Per Wikipedia HIIT is: High-intensity interval training (HIIT), also called High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise (HIIE) or sprint interval training, is an enhanced form of interval training, an exercise strategy alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. HIIT is a form of cardiovascular exercise. Usual HIIT sessions may vary from 4–20 minutes. These short, intense workouts provide improved athletic capacity and condition, improved glucose metabolism, and improved fat burning

Or as I like to call it my butt kicking for the day.  I never realized how sweaty, nasty and tired I could get in 18 minutes (or less) on the program I am doing.  No joke, it’s HARD!  But you know what I LOVE it!!  I am on my second full week and seriously I already see a difference, no kidding, especially in my mid section.  I’m over 40 so if your like me this is easily your problem area too.  You see I was starting to get what some consider “skinny fat” it can happen to distance runners.   OK what the heck is skinny fat?  Well let’s turn to the Urban dictionary for their definition….

skinny fat
A physique, while not overweight (and possibly underweight), lacks any visible lean, striated tissue.
While I was doing Jillian Micheals last year along with my half marathon training I was NOT skinny fat but I was very, very lean.  I am hoping to get back to that or better with HIIT.
So what HIIT am I doing?
I had been toying with the idea of doing HIIT for a while thru videos from  Recently Kyla Gagnon ( An Inside Out Fitness’s Personal Trainer and Sport Nutrition Specialist), the body behind BodyRipped, came out with a series of Home Videos called Totality A2X.  This is a paid version of her workouts.  I like them a lot.  No fancy camera angels, no fancy set.  In fact its just Kyla doing the exercises with you on a home video.  This program is full body, using your own body weight for training.  Burpees, squats, push-ups, dips etc.
After doing research about HIIT on my own thru research on various websites I was sold on trying it out.
The premise is (in layman’s terms) is work hard (ok really freakin’ hard) during Interval (short bursts) training resulting in a better post workout fat burn and oxidation, improved strength etc.  If you want to know more detailed info you should google HIIT like I did.  There is a ton of info out there.
Please note I DO NOT WORK FOR NOR AM I OFFICIALLY AFFILIATED WITH BODYRIPPED.NET.  Opinions expressed here are solely my own and are my personal experience.
So I am planning on continuing with this program.  I have Nike DC Half Marathon this weekend.  So for the remainder of this week I will have to scale back the HIIT.  HIIT the day or two before long distance running….not a good combo, I learned that last week.  But I will pick back up with it next week.  Keep an eye out for updates!

Oh where has Inspiration for your Perspiration Gone?

Hello Everyone!

Just a quick note for those who usually follow my Sunday Inspiration for your Perspiration.  I have moved it to a new blog right here on WordPress:

Why you might ask?  Well my hope is to expand the reach of Inspiration for your Perspiration for the glory of God.  In order to do that I have asked a few people to join me.  The bloggers that will be joining me have all have made the desciion to step out of their usual fitness comfort zone and put their faith out there for all to see.  By doing this we are hoping it will help encourage eachother and others on their journey with Christ by spreading a little inspiration.

Ephesians 4:16

From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love,as each part does its work.

Ecclesiastes 4:9

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor
Please join us there by following us at Inspiration for you Perspiration The Blog right here on WordPress at

This weeks post by Cerissa B. Fit.   Although we are new and still finding our path our hope is that each week, possibly multiple times weekly in the future, that we will bring you a motivating and honest look at our lives and journeys as Christians.  I would love it if you would join us!  Glory to God for He is good!

Thanks for taking a minute to read this post I hope you will join us.  Have a wonderful week!

~ Darlena

No Comments »

Runfyhp 1000+ Likes Winners!!! And our #PrayforBoston Collages

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the support, friendship and positive energy that you have all contributed to Run Find your Happy Pace.  I hope you all consider this YOUR page…..I just kinda like to post things around here 😉  I appreciate you all putting up with my terrible spelling and common typos, lol. (especially on Facebook where I typo A LOT)

Its been a lot of fun getting to know many of you by name!  Each week I look forward to hearing about everyones races for the weekly SHOUT OUT LIST.  So many of your run races almost weekly its exciting!  My favorite posts are when people let me know it’s their first 5k or half or any distance.  Any first race is such a great accomplishment and I love to cheer you on.  Thanks for being such a great bunch of runners and more importantly people!  Once again a big thanks to Fit Approach, Runner Decals and Running Happy for sharing prizes.  As you know I love to celebrate with cupcakes.  I wish I could give you all a cupcake but since that isn’t possible (sigh) please accept this virtual one instead…

cupcake 2 colors-jpg

On last thing before we get to the winners:   I hope you enjoyed the #PrayforBoston collages as much as I did.  I have included the complete set of all three below.  It’s so nice to see the support within the running community for everyone effected.  It’s awesome that so many of us banding together and making the commitment to keep on running!
Just more proof that a runner’s heart is strong and we are ALL runners no matter the pace, race or place!


533822_568199123214257_1144198417_n 920316_568613369839499_1778065975_o

On to the winners~~~Here are the winners of my 1000+ Likes contest (one winner per prize)

PLEASE EMAIL ME @ with your address!!

Running Happy Band Winners

  • Kira Browder
  • Aimee Price
  • Beth Melton
  • Nicole Zelenak
  • Kristin Smith

Fit Approach Sweat Pink Laces and Runner Decal Cupcake Decal

  • Alicia Curley
  • Karen Orozco
  • Pattie Kepshire
  • Gigi Becker
  • Marisa Davis
  • Jessica Powell
  • Walisa Dickson
  • Carrie Dalek
  • Susan Stelly
  • Carol Evans
  • Kathy Booher
  • Rina
  • Lindsay Barnes
  • Maggie Boxey
  • Rebecca Randolph
  • Kasey

Run Find your Happy Pace 1000+ FB Likes Giveaway!

When I started this blog and Facebook page I never thought about having more followers than my family and a few friends.  So you can imagine my surprise as my Facebook page grew to 200 likes, then 400 etc.  But 1,000+?  That’s just crazy.

I appreciate all the support and friends I have made along the way.  I am grateful to Alyse and Jamie at Fit Approach and Laura at Girls Gone Sporty for allowing me to be ambassadors with them.  I am POSITIVE I could not have done it without the support of both those communities.  I am thankful to all the companies that have allowed me to work with them in the past.

I am especially grateful to Susan at Runner Decals who was the very first one that approached me for a giveaway.  She believed in me when I had a very, very small following and now I am glad to call her friend.  This giveaway wouldn’t be complete without including Runner Decals so thank you Susan once again!  Also thanks to my partner in Happiness Cara at Running Happy for putting up with my crazy ideas on a regular basis.

As you guys know I am not super fast, I have never placed in a race and probably never will…. I’m just me and that’s exactly who God meant me to be.

I DO however believe that:

  • everyone can be their own personal best
  • that the 1st place finisher is just as important as the last one and everyone in between
  • that miles are miles and we all cover the same distance, just at our own “Happy Pace”
  • finding my happy pace in running and life is really what is important

My hope is:

  • this page and blog provide positive support and information to each other
  • that every accomplishment you make (in running and life) be celebrated
  • when I leave this world that I have made a positive difference
  • that there are cupcakes in heaven 😉


So thanks so much for joining me as I find that happy pace in running and life.  I wish I could give you all a prize, but I hope this will do.  Thanks to Runner Decals, Fit Approach and my partner Cara at Running Happy for donating prizes to my giveaway.  See the Rafflecopter link at the top right of my blog to enter and let these great companies know I sent you.

Good Luck!


Weeks 1 and 2 with Chalean Extreme and What in the World is Kefir Anyway?

I started a new program a few weeks ago.  Because for me hubby’s deployments usually mean something new to entertain myself with.  Last year it was Jillian Michaels 90 day body revolution.  This time is Chalean Extreme.


So right now I am in the “Burn” phase.  There are 4 phases Burn, Push, Lean and then Lean for Life.  Each phase lasts 4 weeks (except for the last one I suppose), today I started week 3.  Two things I have learned so far

  1. I need some heavier weights.  I am looking into adjustable dial weights.  Expensive but may save both space and money in the future.  If I get the right set that both the hubby and I can use.
  2. Phase 1 “Burn” may be a little too easy for someone who is used to working out regularly, however I think heavier weights would solve this issue.


I am also into half marathon training so I am not following the schedule to a tee.  The schedule is 3 days of strength and 2 days of cardio (total of 5)  I am doing 3 days of strength, 1 day of Chalean cardio and 3-4 days of running weekly.  So I am doing one less of her cardio DVD’s but more cardio overall.  Hope that makes sense.

So Far

I really like it.  Chalean is pleasant and informative.  I like that she reviews form through out the entire workout, and provides a good warm up and cool down stretch routines.  The ab routine is KILLER!  I thought my ab strength was pretty good…hmmm maybe not, lol.  I have seen about 1 pound in weight change, but I am seeing other changes such as in my clothes.

Eating Plan

I have NOT been incorporating her eating plan, but I have been looking at my eating habits as of late.  I kind of fell off the wagon there for a while and have been enjoying too many carbs and sweets.  Time to reel that in a bit.  I am planning on mixing her plan and some other low carb plans.

I am excited to start the push phase in a few weeks.  I have also put the weight set on my birthday wish list.

What’s new on the menu?

I have also introduced Kefir  into my diet.  So what the heck is Kefir?  Good question.  It’s a fermented milk product. it’s similar to drinkable yogurt but far more probiotic. Most yogurt contains only two to three strains of “live and active” cultures, the one I use has 12.

I have been using Plain Unsweetened Lowfat Kefir.  Click for more info.  I don’t work for this company nor did they ask me to review their product.  I’m just giving you some extra info.

Probiotics?  Yes probiotics…basically it’s the good stuff in yogurt and Kefir.  For more info click here for an overview on probiotics from Web MD.

So for now I have switched out my usual Unsweetened Almond Milk for Kefir in my post workout smoothie for added protein and probiotics.

My Favorite Post Workout Smoothie

  • 8 oz Kefir
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax
  • 1 scoop Protein Powder  (I use Raw Protein – Vanilla Flavor)
  • a few ice cubes

******* Question for you:  Have you ever tried Kefir?******


Sunday’s Inspiration for your Perspiration 4/7/2012 & Some Exciting News!


It’s been a long challenging past few weeks for myself and my family.  Health issues, another deployment and unexpected things have popped up.  So the above is perfect, just perfect.  Faith is the key to my ever-changing crazy life.

I have been pretty consistent in reading my “Jesus Calling” ( by Sarah Young ) daily devotional. And I continue to trudge along trying to finish “The Purpose Driven Life” (by Rick Warren), and yes its taking me forever.  However I have to say that I am enjoying them both  immensely.  In fact I am not even sure I want to get to the end.  I already have plans to re-read them both!

So with each “challenge” that has come along I have found myself turning to God more and more.  Much more than I ever have in the past.  Now don’t get me wrong I’m not here to “toot my own horn” no-no.  This isn’t a “look at me, look how good I am” no not at all.  That would be self-serving and not about God at all.  I just want to share that for me, my getting into the habit of  “getting into the Word” is really making some positive changes in my attitude and my life.  Instead of freaking out about things I am trying to remember to hand them over to God.  And even when I do freak I find myself reflecting later on how I could have handled things better by saying a quick prayer or talking to God on the spot!

What is the true sense of worry other than it’s senselessness.  Does that make sense, lol.

Everything is in God’s plan and His hands anyway so metaphorically “handing it over to God”  is really just doing the thing he made us to do.  Converse with Him, be secure and protected under his wings.

Psalm 91:4

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
I need to remember that even in the unpleasant, unexpected and unwelcome things that come my way Jesus said…
John 14:6

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
So I am hoping to be more consistent on keeping my eyes on Him.  Remembering to take time for him and to pray about ALL things good and bad so that I keep constant contact with the one you loves me more than anyone else.  For a long time I didn’t ask for God’s help.  I felt compared to others problems (disease, homelessness, hunger) mine were not even worth the breath of my words never mind the ear of God.  But a few years ago the wonderful Bible Study group I belonged to put it to me this way.  God is your Father.  Who would want you to turn to Him for everything, both good and bad, more than Him?
Have a wonderful week everyone.

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”


I have some really exciting news!  I would like to invite you guys to my new blogging for God fellowship.  “Inspiration for your Perspiration…The Blog”  I am inviting other christian fitness bloggers to join me in sharing their journey with God.  Right now we are few but mighty 😉  If your interested please check us out here and follow us.  Inspiration for your Perspiration


Conscious Box Winner!!

Thanks so much for all the entries for the 3-month subscription to Conscious Box!  I was so glad to see how many of you were excited about the give away.  I was also really impressed at the great comments about how you reuse, reduce and recycle to keep our world green 🙂  Keep up the great work!

Don’t forget even if you didn’t win you can use the following code for 25% off !

Use Code LOVELIFE (at checkout) FOR 25% OFF

Thanks Conscious Box!

I visited the Virginia Zoo with my kids the other day and took a few really cool pics of some recycling projects (a recycled garden) and some signs posted at the gift shop about recycling.  Check them out…..
























And without further ado, the winner of the 3 month Conscious Box Subscriptions is….

#35 Meghan Leonard Stauts Follow @Runfyhp on Twitter

Congrats Meghan…please email me at to claim your prize 🙂

1 Comment »

The Sparkle of all Virtual Cupcake Races!! Now Open

It’s here!  I have teamed up once again with Running In Sanity for the best Cupcake Virtual Yet!

The race will be super special for two great reasons.  1) both Cara and I are celebrating our birthdays in May and 2) Custom Diecast Cupcake Medals…wohoo!  So what better way to celebrate than with…

“Sparkle Cupcake Race” 2013

This will also be a choose your own distance race.  5k, 10k and you asked for it a Half Marathon options!

The virtual race will be held anytime around May 24th.

Registration MUST close April 22 so sign up quick!  

(This is due to the custom diecast medal design.  We will do our absolute best to get your medal to you by May 24th, if you are within the USA)

The medal will be based on this picture, we are hoping to add the  year  in addition to the sparkles 🙂  We love sparkles.

We will update the medal design as soon as we can.


Non-Slip Happy Bands will be in this cupcake design:

cupcake ribbon

Prices are as follows: Registration closes April 22!!

Diecast Race medal and cupcake Happy Band $26

Diecast Medal only $20

Happy Band only $8

Click Here for Registration – top right of the linked page


New to or thinking about running? Here are some basic tips…

I wrote this a while back for a fellow blogger and her website.  Realized I never shared it on my own so here it is.  Enjoy!

So you’ve been thinking of starting to run.  Maybe you’ve cheered for that friend or loved one from the sidelines.  Or maybe you’ve seen that 70+ year old runner out there getting it done and thought “hey I can do that“.  Well it’s time to take those first steps and we are here to help you.

First and foremost make sure you are healthy enough to run.  Please check with your doctor and get a complete physical before you begin any running or any exercise program.  I am not a doctor nor can I give any health advice.

Check out some of the basic tips to help you get running comfortably and hopefully injury free:

  • Go to a local running store and get fitted for the right shoes for YOU!

This one piece of advice is HUGE.  Yes your friend may have the cutest shoes in town, but if they aren’t the right ones for you..well, than pretty shoes are not going to do much for you if you’re sitting on the sidelines due to injury.  Most local running stores have very knowledgable staff that can fit you for the correct shoe for YOU.  Yes there really is a difference between all those cute shoes and colors.  You’ll want to find the best fit for you right from the start.  Now I could get into things like gait and pronation, but lets just leave that to the pros at the running store shall we?  Granted this may cost you a little more initially but believe me it’s worth it!!  Find the right shoes for you NOW and LATER you can look for them cheaper when it comes time to replace them.

  • Start off  LOW and S L O W.  

Let’s start with low.  By this I mean start of with LOW mileage (or even yardage)  Hey everybody has to start off somewhere.  Never be embarrassed to start off a little at a time.  You will be doing yourself a favor by 1) not frustrating yourself (which may make you want to quit after one day and 2) not hurting yourself.   Running can be a thing of beauty but your not going to run a 5k overnight.  You need to go at your pace.  Speaking of pace start of S L O W.  You will want to “Run Find your Happy Pace”.  Finding your pace will help you stick with running.  If that’s a 13+ min mile so be it!  Seriously your still lapping everyone on the couch.  😉  Speed will come and eventually in time you can add speed work into your routine if you wish.

Think baby steps.  Look into things like Couch to 5k programs (yup there’s an app for that C25K) or the Galloway Method which are great for beginners.  The Galloway Method incorporates run/walk intervals and yes there’s an app for that too 🙂

  • Remember it’s you against you

You need to get your head in the game.  YOUR game.  Not your buddies or that cute guy/girl you see running around the neighborhood or on the treadmill next to you.  Each time you lace up your shoes and head out you’ve already taken a big step.  Running is about improving yourself for yourself.  I’m not going to lie there are going to be days that are hard but with each step you take your headed toward a better, fitter you!

  • Get a good Sports Bra.  OK this one is for the ladies

Just slightly, and I mean ever so slightly, is this less important than the right shoe.  I don’t want to get too personal here  so just trust me on this one the $10 walmart jog bra just isn’t going to make it for anyone over say an A cup.  My favorites are Moving Comfort.  Not sure what you need?  Use the bra fitting room at Moving Comfort for great advice.

  • Running Socks

Do not go the all cotton sock route.  Save the piggies!  Wear socks made specifically for running.  Your feet will thank you with less blisters and less sogginess 🙂  The more often you run, and the farther you go, the more important this becomes.  I personally love  Balega socks.

  • Cross/Strength Training to Prevent Injury

As great as running is you should really cross train.  And by cross train I mean anything from spinning to yoga and everything in between.  Cross training will help prevent injury by training all your muscles not just your running ones.

  • Stretch, stretch, stretch…and then stretch some more

The jury is still out about when the best time to stretch is.  But the most agreed upon theme is never stretch cold muscles.  Warm up 5 or more minutes before stretching.  Then be sure to stretch after your run, do a good full body stretch.


Like life running should be fun, and I am a BIG fan of fun.  I believe in bright colors, fun socks and crazy running outfits.  But do what makes you feel good!  Weather that’s a fun outfit or some motivating music.

  • Need some extra motivation or a running partner?

Find a friend to start running with (preferably someone at your level).  Or join a running group in your town like Moms Run This Town most have runners of all fitness levels and many meet up for weekly runs.  Running with others is a great way to  help you stay accountable while starting off you running journey.

Good luck, get out there, have fun and “Run Find your Happy Pace”