We’re gonna paint the world PINK!

I have two super amazing announcements to make:


  1. Thanks to your help, my fundraising efforts for 26.2 with DONNA have surpassed the $2,000 mark!
  2. 20 countries are now represented in the “Around the World” challenge that I issued!

Between these two items, it’s hard to contain the excitement surrounding this amazing event…coming up in just TWO weeks!

Please consider a donation to this incredible cause – and if it’s just not in the budget, I ask that you please share this post! It is my honor and privilege to represent this incredible organization and with your help, we can help FINISH breast cancer for good.

If you didn’t already know this, all net proceeds from 26.2 with DONNA are applied toward the drive to FINISH breast cancer! 70 percent goes to the Mayo Clinic for bench top breast cancer research, and the remaining 30 percent go to the Donna Foundation, an incredible organization that assists women with everything from paying bills, rent or mortgage, to obtaining agreements with vendors to supply chemotherapy drugs, medical services, prescriptions (and even wigs) at a discounted rate.

pinkbrainstaSo, what does this mean for YOU, as a friend, donor, and supporter? Well, it locks in the fact that you are DIRECTLY taking part in ending BREAST CANCER (and really, on the road to conquering all cancers!!) for GOOD.

But wait, there’s more!

Yup, more funds = more opportunities for me to act a FOOL in public.

Last year, I issued the challenge – if I could secure a donation from someone in ALL 50 STATES, I’d dye my hair pink for the race. Well, you not only took me up on it, but encouraged my fellow ambassadors to take the pink plunge this year, too! So, what could I possibly do next?

Last week, I said I’d run the runDONNA 5K (the day before the marathon) with a HOT PINK BRA over my race outfit if I could reach $2K by that day, but WOW, now that we’re at $2,001, we need to UP THE ANTE!

So tell me, what crazy challenge should I throw out next? Leave your ideas, thoughts…and the crazier they are, the more likely I will consider them 😉

Thank you so much for your support, love and encouragement!


Some ideas that have poured in already:

  1. Something crazy at 26 countries represented
  2. Pink Wig and Pink Boa with the Pink Bra at the 5K!
  3. Biggest donation from a “country” represented – you have to carry that flag during the 5K!

Also, I have had some questions about what countries have already been claimed in the challenge! Here they are:

  1. Australia
  2. The Bahamas
  3. Canada
  4. China
  5. Costa Rica
  6. Cuba
  7. Ecuador
  8. Estonia
  9. France
  10. Germany
  11. Greece
  12. Ireland
  13. Italy
  14. Japan
  15. Mexico
  16. The Netherlands
  17. New Zealand
  18. Poland
  19. Turkey
  20. The United Kingdom

Making Lemonade Outta…*

*title inspired by my friend Justin at Always Running Forward 🙂

Anywho, another blog post so soon? Crazy, right? But this one is a doozy, so I thought I’d get the thoughts out while they’re still fresh in my mind.

Life happens when you're busy making plans.
Life happens when you’re busy making plans.

So, here’s the deal: Due to personal reasons, I am not running Space Coast Marathon this year. Yeah, that marathon that’s happening in less than two weeks – and no, I am not injured (thank goodness!) but it’s a definite no-go, which means forfeiture of becoming a “5-yearIntergalactic Finisher,” but hey. Life happens.

Positive spin? I had to also cancel my room at Radisson at the Port (where the expo is being held this year) so hopefully someone can get in that had been trying?

With that being said, I am trying to navigate what’s next. I am signed up for the half at Best Damn Race (BDR) Cape Coral on December 14. There is also a full being run that day, so I am *thinking* about upgrading, though it’s still just an idea in my mind. I wanted to get that distance down before WDW Marathon Weekend…and since I was already planning on going… but then again, with a half, I now have a few weeks to add in a few speedwork runs to push for a half PR.

Oh, decisions…

So anyway, that’s that, and life goes on. Lemonade.

What would you do at BDR? Any other suggestions?


What’s Next?

This past weekend’s Chicago Marathon marked the first event in what I anticipate to be a pretty exciting Fall/Winter Racing Season. After this week’s rest (still sick, ughhhh), the schedule kicks into gear later this month, with the following:

  • October 25 – Boo Run – 5K – Lakewood Ranch, FL (graduation race for our No Boundaries program)
  • October 26 – Bill’s Beer Run – 5M – Casey Key, FL (graduation race for our No Boundaries program)
  • November 8 – Jingle Jungle 5K & Wine and Dine Half Marathon – Lake Buena Vista, FL
  • November 30 – Space Coast Marathon – 26.2 –  Cocoa, FL
  • December 14 – Best Damn Race – 13.1 – Cape Coral, FL

Moving into 2015…

  • January 10-11 – Goofy Challenge – 13.1 + 26.2 – Lake Buena Vista, FL
  • January (sometime) – Celebration Virtual Marathon – 26.2
  • January 18 – Clearwater Distance Classic – 50K – Clearwater, FL
  • February 15 – 26.2 with DONNA – ?? – Jacksonville, FL

Wait…what….what’s going on with DONNA? Well, the original plan was 110. Then, there were whispers of it going away…I had to think about what to do next…and so, I thought I’d do what I did this year – 5K on Saturday, and 26.2 on Sunday…but then, I see it is back, officially…but, I may or may not have another possible race going down the next weekend (more on that as soon as I have more concrete details) so at this point, I find myself laughing at the fact that I may be running “only” 29.3 miles…oh, life. 😉

So, as I attempt to expend energy in ways other than running the next few days, my mind is all mixed up with grand plans, ideas, costumes for Disney races, and some rough plans about training schedules and goals for the next few months. It’s a crazy feeling…and a privilege…to continue to do what I love, and share the experience with so many.

What’s next for you?



About a week ago, I was invited, via Facebook, to attend a BEER MILE event at a local bar, Mr. Beery’s. As a bar with a drinking bar with a running problem (they host a weekly HUMP DAY 5K, which I’ve attended once) I was admittedly intrigued at the idea – but pretty intimidated at the actual idea of participating. So, I clicked “maybe” on the event page, and left it there for a few days.

At the end of this week, I was telling hubs about the event, and much to my surprise, he was interested in attending! Then, yesterday morning, at our local free 5K event out of New Balance, I chatted about it my friend Melissa, and they convinced me that I should not only attend…but participate in the costume contest (she had won the contest at the last Beer Mile).

Challenge accepted.


The idea for this costume stuck me as I was driving home yesterday, post-run. See, my original idea was to go as the Miller Lite High Life girl (you know, the one on the moon?) but after I found out that the beer being used in the event would be Bud, I wanted to steer clear of brands. Well, at least “real” ones – and, of course, I had to come up with a costume idea that I could construct from items around the house.

I had dressed as a super hero before, so I racked my brain to think of a similar type of costume that had a tie-in with beer – and that’s when it hit me – DUFFMAN! Yes! The colors were things I could work in easily (if not for a few tweaks) and it’d be instantly recognizable.

Creating the costume was half the fun! I cut apart an old race shirt, ripped the sleeves off, and attached a red napkin to the shoulders as a cape with safety pins. For the bottoms, I layered two Sparkle Athletic skirts (the blue lower, and the red hiked up and worn higher), and attached three can coozies to a SPIBELT to make the beer belt. I topped off the outfi).t with as red cap – and created “Duff” accessorized logos for the headwear, shirt and belt with cardboard, sharpie and an old white tech tee (for the larger shirt decoration) and voila! DIY + no cost = BEER MILE READY!

Costume on, we headed to Mr. Beery’s a little after 6 PM, for the 7 PM start – so we registered right away ($20 per person, included entry, a tee shirt, and a ticket for a post-race beer) and there I ran into Melissa and Rob!10500303_10101421442534833_3824183049465233981_n They were stoked about my costume choice, and Melissa gave me some tips about a successful beer run.

As the crowd grew, I began to face the realization that I would very likely win the costume contest – not only because I was getting plenty of cheers from fellow participants and bar-goers, but well…I was the only one in costume! Thankfully, I am used to being a little “out there” so it was amusing 🙂 I quickly received the moniker, “DUFF!” or “Duff girl!” which was just fine with me.

Around this time, we began to check the weather (it had been super hot all day) and much to our surprise – we noticed it was POURING. Now, this was an interesting development as the start time closed in – would it slow down, and create a more humid environment? Would it stop, and cool the area down? Or, would we be chugging and running in a downpour? We just had to wait and see.

Soon enough, it was TIME. The drizzle had slowed, and it was clammy, but a little cooler, at least. Outside, the rules were explained – since it was outside of the bar, it wouldn’t be held around a track, like many beer miles are traditionally held, but down the street to the stop sign and back (apx .25)…and of course, a whole can of Budweiser had to be consumed before each lap – and poured over our head, to ensure it was empty!

Well, now or never, right?!



First quarter...good.
First quarter…good!














Hubs rockin his first quarter.
Hubs rockin his first quarter.
















The second beer was harder to drink. FUN FACT – this was my first EVER time drinking Budweiser so I had no idea what to expect. If you somehow have never tried Bud like me…I wouldn’t recommend it.

Left high and dry for a high five from hubs 😉















By this point, I was starting to question why we were here. Hah! There was major gurgling going on in my stomach, and I was pretty sure I was going to lose it at any minute…

Check out this cool GIF.
Check out this cool GIF.















At this point, no one had puked yet…but, with the carrot of it being a prize, I figured, what did we have to lose? I ran my last two laps a little faster (I think?) since it was clearly my forte (over my sloooowww drinking) and though I felt close a few times, I didn’t puke!

Hubs wasn’t so lucky, though.

Yes, my hubs, a Murphy by birth…took the “1st to Barf” prize. We were so proud 😉 It was right around the time I finished the mile – with 1.21 miles showing on my Garmin, with a 15:21 completion time, so averaged out at 12:55!

An extra lap.















In my semi-intoxicated state, I hadn’t realized that hubs was a beer behind me, so even after yakking, he had one more run to go! So, I thought I’d jump in and run that last stretch with him…a victory lap?








There were many laughs to be had…and quite frankly, by the end of the mile, the idea of another celebration beer was frankly kinda gross – but after some water, I thought a better quality beer would be in order, so we got one to share – Bolder Chocolate Shake Porter it was!

After a bit, hubs went down the street to order us a few bites to eat while we waited for the awards ceremony.

the back of the tee.
the back of the tee (I guess hubs can’t wear it) 😉



There were gift certificates for winners in each category – first male, first female (that girl was SMOKIN!), best costume and first to puke – so, for an event with only four prizes, the Murphy clan swept half! Haha!! So, with two $25 gift cards, the experience officially became one we wouldn’t soon forget, but one that definitely saw us come out ahead – and would bring us back to the bar, soon!

All race photos from Mr. Beery’s

Have you ever ran a BEER MILE? Would you?




RECAP: The 2014 Running and Fitness Event for Women

I’m still wrapping my head around the fact that this time, last week, we were on a plane traveling back to Florida after three action-packed days in Chicago.


I was fortunate enough to be one of the representatives of the company(ies) that I work for to learn, engage and share with a wide variety of influential women, incredible brands, and fellow athletic and fitness professionals from all over the country.

As somewhat of a “first” event, I was not sure what to expect, but after experiencing it firsthand, I can definitely say that it was something I hope to is offered again, and that I am invited to 🙂

It’s taken me a few days to whittle down my thoughts, but I think I’ve finally organized everything into somewhat of an orderly fashion…so here goes!

The Event

The entire “Event,” held over three days at the beautiful Chicago Navy Pier Convention Hall, was comprised of three basic components – the trade show, a speaker series, and a few organized social events (for details, here’s the event guide). I’ll get back to this in a minute!

Attendees of the event generally fit into three categories: Exhibitors, Retailers and Guests. All the exhibitors were responsible for maintaining their booths in the trade show, which was open two of the three days of the event – and were also welcome to join the speaker series and social events as time allowed. Retailers (like us) were invited to attend as many speaker sessions and social events as our schedules allowed, as well as create and cultivate dialogues with the many vendors on the show floor. Finally, guests (such as the speakers) were out and about, happy to answer questions and speak with attendees.

The Trade Show


Other than race expos, I had never really experienced a trade show floor before, so this was pretty exciting for me. There were a wide variety of vendors – from major players like Champion, Brooks, and Skechers, to new and up and coming brands like Momentum Jewelry and one of my perennial favorites – social media superstars, Sparkly Soul headbands.

It took us about two days to sweep the entire floor, chatting, exchanging business cards, and attending mini-sessions within the trade show. Since my colleagues and I are not the apparel or accessory buyers, we were not there to ink deals, but more to check out the possibilities. We brought back a lot of information for our buyers and store owners, though, and as the social media, communication and marketing folks we are, did our best to share what we were seeing, hearing and experiencing via twitter and instagram.

The Speaker Series

With our travel time, we unfortunately missed the first two speaker sessions of the event, but the ones that we were able to attend were insightful and engaging.

Two of my favorite speakers were Kelly McDonald, of McDonald Marketing (not affiliated with the fast food chain) and ironically enough, Jan Fields, former President of McDonald’s (yes, the fast food chain). I took extensive notes on the key points that both presented (and even livetweeted) and though each had a very different message to present, both resonated with me equally.

With Kelly McDonald’s “Mommy Marketing,” we learned the importance of  “speaking to” the true “IT” girls of modern buying power – MOMMIES! Her discussion centered around the mindsets of moms, which could be wrapped up into four key values, including:

  1. Nurturing Relationships
  2. Sharing (Connecting with Other Moms)
  3. Doing it Better and Simpler
  4. Raising Happy & Healthy Families

I loved the fact that Kelly’s presentation utilized relevant and recognizable examples – such as a tie-in to the Disney Parks Mom’s Panel, as she explained the importance of moms being connected!

Jan Fields’ closing address, “Leadership Lessons on the Run,” was of a much different tone, yet it was one that I can’t stop thinking about. As a female leader, she stressed the importance of making your message clear, taking care of yourself, and pushing to reach goals. Fields recalled many specific scenarios from both her professional and personal life that illustrated the importance of confidence and strong will – important skills on and off the track, for sure!

The Social Events


This is where the event organizers really outdid themselves!

As a group, we attended four social events – what can we say, we love talking and meeting new people!

On the first day, there was a Welcome Reception at the Navy Pier’s Lakeview Terrace. Originally planned to be held on the rooftop, it was moved indoors after the threat of stormy weather – but the indoor locale did not dampen our spirits! At this fun mixed, we were given great event-emblazoned pullovers (thanks to Leslie Jordan!) and sipped on Reebok signature cocktails.

On the morning of Day 2, we woke up with the sun and attended the Lakefront Fun Run (presented by Runner’s World) and were treated to hydation by Nuun. We even got to test out the Mino, BIC BANDS, and the SPIbelt – and if we so desired, Altra shoes!

SUPKrisy.jpgThat night, Handful Bra and SOLE sponsored a great Stand Up Paddleboard Event on Lake Michigan which was also a blast and a half!

Finally, on the last morning of the event, we rode the elevator up to the top floor of the W for a special workout, presented by Vibram called POUND Fitness! I had never done anything like that before, so it was kind of fun to try a different workout, and bond with my coworkers 🙂

All in all…

The event, in my eyes, was definitely a success. We were able to learn more about how to attract consumers to our retail offerings, gained a broader knowledge of what other products are on the market, and most important, made great connections with a lot of fantastic people.

My only constructive feedback to offer would be that of logistical support suggestions. Although the convention center was just a mile walk from the host hotel, the W Lakeshore (which was awesome, BTW), it could prove to be a bit long for some participants – and even though there were advertised pedicabs, we never saw signage so we did not partake. Also, on the paddleboard day, we were wandering around aimlessly for a while before being corralled into the demonstration, and then ended up walking back to the hotel afterward since we didn’t know where to go to catch the bus back. Nothing major!

While we were in Chicago, we talked to so many different people – it was interesting to hear their perspectives on the event as well, as many of them had much more extensive experience – for example, some saw this event was very small scale, while others were overwhelmed at the numbers and crowds!

As my colleagues and I continue to sort our notes and thoughts on the myriad of promotional material and information we brought back, I can’t help but smile as I think about all the fun we had in just a few days – and honestly, the organizers could not have picked a better place to hold this event!! As my first visit to Chicago, it made me even more excited to return in October for the marathon 🙂

Did you attend the Running and Fitness Event for Women? If not, s it something that you’d like to experience? Any questions? 




Unlikely Sources of Inspiration

Sometimes, inspiration comes in the most unlikely of places. Yesterday, I was at the mall, on the ever-elusive quest to find age-appropriate / budget-friendly / climate-compatible wardrobe pieces, I found myself (again) in the fitness apparel section.

Now, to say I need another racerback tank is essentially saying I need a hole in my head, but admittedly, they’re definitely a staple in my casual (and work) wardrobe – either paired with shorts for a run, or tucked under a cardigan with a nice pair of khaki shorts or skirt to head in to the office – but I digress…you see, I was (once again) wandering the aisles of JC Penney and their Xersion line, and I came across a bright orange tank that had two words emblazoned across the front:


The bright foil print was eye-catching, but much more than the contrast color, was the message that immediately resonated within me.

Screen Shot 2014-06-29 at 12.59.49 PM



On the surface, it sounds so basic – fearless – or the “lack of fear.” But, is it really that simple?


But, when we look at the word in another way – broken up, we have two words: FEAR and LESS. Fear less. As in, we can break things into more manageable goals, and work toward them. Will it be easy? No. But will it be worth it? Yes. Love more. Fear less.

Of course, my size was sold out, but physically having the item was beyond the point then – it was decided – my newest mantra – words I’d be repeating to myself, on hard training runs, when making sacrifices in my schedule the next few months, and of course, on race day – were set.

Do you have running or life mantras?


Still Streaking Strong: #RWrunstreak Week 4 check-in!


Only one more “line” to go!

Now, I synced my fitbit with the application, so the miles are a bit off (actual run miles since May 26 just hit 130 today) but with 12 days left, the miles are definitely piling up! I have had a lot of fun with the challenge – especially coming up with different pictures to capture each run on instagram!

On top of the streak, today marks 2/18 weeks of Chicago Marathon training, and I’m glad to report that it’s on track! I’ve missed one run so far (yesterday’s easy 6) but managed one mile before midnight, and switched today’s 8 with a 10 (it’s never wise to try and “catch up” on miles, but my plan allows up to 10 miles for easy runs) so it rounded out this week with 40 fabulous miles.

With this training cycle, I am working to incorporate more functional cross-training to keep my body strong to rock the mileage – I’d say that was the only thing that I would have changed about my Space Coast training last year – it was ALL running – and while I did improve as a runner, I felt like I was neglecting the rest of my fitness routine a little. I am working to maintain the most balance as possible, and I just may have found a great way to bridge this “need” in my workout regimen – more on that later! 🙂

Now, I’m off to get some stuff done around the house! Goal today: spend as little time on the computer as possible 😉

How do you balance your training with life and your other fitness/hobby/recreational loves?


A Chicago Preview (AKA “Is This Really My Life?”)

It was just over a year ago that I was counting down the days, hours and minutes until hubs and I would be packing up our things and making the trek down from Virginia to start our new chapter of life – and now, as we approach the first anniversary of our time back in Florida, I keep pinching myself, with this overwhelming feeling of “is this really my life?”


There’s just so much to be thankful for – from the mild winter, to visits from family, from the luxury of “popping over” to the magical world of Disney and the joy of year-round outdoor running to meeting the furball we can’t imagine living without – it’s been a wild and crazy adventure being back here in the Sunshine State.

On top of all of this, I’ve checked quite a few items off of my bucket list since returning here – finishing my Master’s program, running my first 50K, dying my hair pink after raising more than $2,000 for breast cancer research, and yes, rocking in to the 3rd decade of my life in style.

And while we’re celebrating – let’s celebrate something else – my one-month anniversary of working at my new job! I’ve been keeping busy, making new connections and learning a lot!

So, when I found out this past weekend that I’d be taking a work trip (my first real work trip! I am geeking out!!) to The Running and Fitness Event for Women with two of my colleagues “at the office” in less than two weeks – I definitely had to stop and breathe for a minute. Traveling to a running event? For work?? Even with my flight confirmation and registration confirmation, I can hardly believe it.

A year ago, I couldn’t wait to leave my job. Today, I can’t wait to get to work.

Now, I have challenges. I have goals. I have a genuine interest in the work that I am doing, and it makes all the difference.

In 11 days, I’ll be boarding a plane to share and discover more about the exciting segment of women’s running – and did I mention it was in Chicago? Yes, Chicago! And there is a LAKEFRONT FUN RUN. Is that right up my alley or what? It’ll be lining up with my week 4 of training, and it’ll definitely be a great boost to these early stages of marathon training – I can hardly wait!!

Now, here’s the kicker – I have NEVER been to Chicago! Yes, it’s true – other than O’Hare, of course. So, tell me – although this trip is pretty packed in, what are some must-do’s? If I am not able to get it in this time, there’s always October 🙂


#alltherunning: a Reflection, on National Running Day 2014

So, this is kind of overdue; and when I say “this” – I really mean “these” – two posts that have been popping around my brain for the last few days, but I hadn’t had the time and/or focus to sit down and write it out, so here it is a post-merge of these two topics:

  • Countdown to Chicago Marathon Training
  • Check in on #RWrunstreak

So..running. Lots of running. Running to prepare for more running, and ya know what? It’s awesome. Over the years, I have tended to avoid the run streak challenges because rest days are pretty much amazing, but I thought it’d be a good mental challenge as I ramp up for a major mileage increase June 9, when Chicago training officially kicks off. I’ve been loosely following a plan for half marathon, and on the “rest” days, I’ve supplemented with ~1 mile runs. Additionally, I’ve been mixing up the runs in pace, type and environment – solo runs, group runs, fun runs – and it’s definitely kept it fresh.

I’ve been updating my instagram with #rwrunstreak updates, but for the most part, I truly do think it’s helped me so far. With the heat and humidity pelting down, it’s been a good reminder of the importance of treating some workouts easy – and also, when to push past that mental block and just let it ride!

At the Hump Day 5K - special National Running Day celebration!
At the Hump Day 5K – special National Running Day celebration!

One good example of working on the mental side of running came up just today. With my new gig, I’ve had the pleasure of not only writing, talking about, and sharing running and other fitness events in the community, but I’ve got to jump on in and have a little fun with them myself! Tonight, as part of a National Running Day Celebration, we teamed up with the ever-popular Mr. Beery’s Hump Day 5K event to spread the world about our stores, do some giveaways, and of course, run! I have been meaning to do this (on my own) forever, so this was just the push I needed to get down there and run.

Of course, at 6 PM, in June – it’s HOT – and the area where the run is held, the heat is primarily coming UP from the ground, like a baking heat. Now, a 5K, in my opinion, is a great race distance – a challenge for beginners to complete, a challenge for novices to improve upon, and a fantastic arena for professional runners to really rock it out and inspire!

Now, I knew that today was not going to be a PR run – but I didn’t want to run it “easy” either – something kinda in between sounded good. I made it a goal to keep the lead runners in my sight, and not stop – and let me tell you, it was NOT easy to do it, and I DID want to stop a few times (my feet felt hot, sweat was literally blinding me, and there’d be no official results, anyhow) but I reminded myself about the significance of the day – here we were, all running because WE CAN. All out to enjoy the company of fellow runners – all inspired and motivated for a multitude of reasons – and so I willed my legs to continue that repetitive gait, held my head up high, and flew in to an accomplished finish – and, of course, an ice cold beer to celebrate.

Running, in itself is SIMPLE: shoes, the road, and a little bit of time – but I’ll never fool myself into thinking it’s easy! Each step is a mindful one – from the one out the door, to the one crossing the finish line…let’s make all of those steps WORTH IT!


2014 Chicago Marathon Training Countdown: 3 Weeks

June 9, 2014 will mark the beginning of my second full cycle of Hansons Marathon Method as I train for both a PR and fourth official attempt at qualifying for the Boston Marathon at the Chicago Marathon. I am a big proponent of this training method (see my recap/thoughts here) and I will be pushing my training up a notch and moving up to the Advanced Plan this go around, with training paces synching with a “DREAM BIG” goal of sub-3:30.


At this point, three weeks out from another intense 18-weeks of training, I am admittedly feeling a crush of emotions – anxiety, excitement, hopefulness, cautiousness…but one thing that I am BANNING from my heart, soul, mind and spirit is FEAR.

You see, the Chicago Marathon will be my 10th marathon, and in the many miles I’ve trained, raced, hemmed and hawed over, I honestly believe that the biggest enemy standing in the way of my success has been myself. I’ve been so fortunate to have immense support from so many – family, friends, members of the running community – all who’ve lent their ears, their words, their hugs, and their cheers – and I’ve been blessed with thousands of healthy and strong miles. I’ve come so far, and I know that it’s time for me to push even further.

I once read a quote that credited Oprah Winfrey in stating that “running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it,” and I am a big believer in that. As a “Adult Onset Runner,” I could not agree more. I’ve poured my heart into this sport that I love, but I’d be lying to myself if I even thought for a second that I’ve surrendered my love, completely and unconditionally in a race. I’m talking “no-holds-barred,” “all-out” racing here. I’ve gotten close to this in the 5K distance, but in the 26.2 – the distance I respect the most – I know that I’ve stopped short.

As part of my cross-training preparation for this training cycle, I’ve been working out in my hot, humid garage with Jillian Michaels DVDs – and there’s one quote that she repeats that has not left my mind the last few weeks: “All I am asking is for all that you’ve got.” So simple, but so true.

Get ready, Chicago.

What’s the next big goal you’re training or working toward?