Mom Fitness Fail

I shared with you all a while back about some big changes coming to the Lego house. It’s not been easy. During the week I am a single, stay-at-home, homeschool mom of four boys. There is no time for going to the gym and no energy to eat healthy. The last two months have been nothing more than survival. I don’t handle change well – especially change I didn’t ask for! – and this has been a massive change.

My sleep patterns are different, I don’t have my gym membership anymore, there’s no one to watch the kids so I can get up early and run, and I’m no longer cooking for grown-ups. My diet is absolute crap. Without the motivation to cook for my hubs, the kids and I eat junk – mostly because it’s easy. My mental energy is being used just acting as the sole caretaker of four little people, so I don’t have the brain power to meal plan like I used to. I have workout equipment that I’m not using because any spare moment I have is spent trying to rest or clean or lesson plan or shower.

Life changes.

Priorities change.

I don’t get to be an athlete right now. (I say “right now” because I do love being an athlete, but this stage of my life doesn’t allow it)

This isn’t the end, but it’s a point where I have to decide what fit and healthy looks like when things get hard. I have been amazingly spoiled with financial means, time, and help from others. I’ve been able to afford good food, I’ve had time to spend working out, and I’ve had people to help me with my kiddos so I can focus on my hobby. I see now how very lucky I’ve been.

What do you do when you don’t have childcare? How do you work out when you’re absolutely exhausted from being “on” 24 hours a day and never getting a full night’s sleep? How do you eat healthy on a budget, with with minimal time and effort?

I don’t know, but I’m going to figure it out.

While I’m frustrated by my current situation, I am prayerfully taking it as a learning opportunity. So far, being the runner girl has been easy…what happens when it gets hard? Who am I when life gets significantly more difficult than it’s ever been?

I hope that I can be a help to you, as someone who now doesn’t have it as easy as I did. I hope I can be someone who can figure all this out and hold your hand along the way…not someone who you look to and say “well, she’s had it all handed to her.”

So, with my wine, PopTarts, Doritos, turkey sandwiches on white bread, and more wine…my goal is to not only make myself healthier and happier, but to help you see that we are all in this together.

Go-To Chocolate Cupcakes (for my mama’s birthday)

A girl’s gotta eat.

And a girl that loves to bake just HAS to fix some yummy cupcakes for her mama’s birthday. It’s the rule of the South.

I found a recipe on the Food Network site that looked pretty good, so I decided to try it out. Paula Deen is my usual go-to gal for baked goods, but a certain three-year-old tossed a bunch of sour cream in my cart at the grocery store and this recipe calls for sour cream, so…

Anywho, here’s a link to the original recipe:

Here it is with my tweaks (the original recipe was a little unclear and it led me to do a second batch…I figure I’ll help you eliminate a step)

Go To Chocolate Cupcakes (for my mama’s birthday)


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup baker’s cocoa
  • 1/3 cup freshly brewed coffee (I used Starbucks Veranda Blonde, pour-over. Because I’m fancy)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350.

Go ahead and grab three bowls. You’re gonna need them. I used my Kitchenaid metal mixing bowl, my large Pampered Chef mixing/measuring bowl, and my medium Pampered Chef mixing/measuring bowl. In your largest bowl, add your flour, sugar, powder, soda, and salt. Whisk and set aside. In your medium bowl (make sure it’s microwave safe), add butter, cocoa, and coffee. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for one minute. In your smallest bowl, while the microwave is running, add vanilla, eggs, and sour cream. Whisk until well combined. When the microwave dings, uncover your dish and whisk the chocolate mixture until combined, and add to your flour mixture. Whisk. It’ll be thick and funky, but do your best and trust me. Add the sour cream mixture with your whisk and stir until just combined and smooth.

I’m not a fan of cupcake liners. My kids end up eating them, they make a big mess, and your cupcake sticks to them anyway. Take your muffin tin and a couple of tablespoons of butter. Don’t be shy. Grab that butter and use your fingers to smear it around the inside of each cup. Make sure each is well-coated. Fill each cup about 2/3 full and bake for 16-18 minutes on the middle rack, or until toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Let cupcakes cool for 10 minutes in the pan. DO NOT try to get them out early. You’ll regret it. Take a butter knife and carefully slide it around the edge of each cupcake and they should pop right out. Continue to cool on a wire rack until they’re at room temperature.


Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4oz butter (room temperature)
  • 4oz cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Mix on high speed until good and fluffy (if you have a Kitchenaid mixer, start on low until the sugar isn’t going to powder all over your face, then slowly increase up to level 8 and let her go!)\

It’s possible that the kids and I ate a dozen of these today, sans frosting.

Big Changes

So very much has happened over the last several months that I haven’t been able to share. Yet here we are on the eve of a huge change for my family that effects not only my fitness (and diet, fo sure!!!), but every part of our lives.

(Before I overshare and tell y’all a bunch of stuff that my mother would panic over, just know that my house has a security system, a huge dog, and I am well-trained in the use of my many firearms. Try something and die. No joke.)

When my youngest of four was a mere 8 weeks old, my husband was laid off. Don’t get me started on the corporate blow-hards that made the decision to lay off the father of four children whose wife homeschools and has yet to use her college degree to make an actual paycheck. Don’t. Even.

He was given a severance package, which was an incredible blessing, but as he looked for work close to our home we came up empty over and over again. Interviews went nowhere. Resumes went unanswered. Our determination to stay local or to work remotely waned. With just over a week left of his severance package (um…health insurance!!), my hubs started working with a recruiter. He got an interview and an immediate offer…for a job just under 3 hours away.

We are on the eve of my husband spending Monday-Friday in a hotel, with me at home with our four children. He will be home on weekends until our house sells. Sweet. Mercy.

Part of me is 100% fine. Military wives do this for years. Single moms do it forever. But it’s a huge change for a gal that’s used to being able to get up every morning and hit the gym with her friends before coming home to face the day.

This week is survival.

We adjust. We learn. We figure out what is going to work and what isn’t. We clean and stage and get our house ready to go on the market. I snuggle my babies and help them learn. We hold each other and face big change together.

I hope to eat moderately healthy and not drink too much wine. I hope to run when my mother-in-law can watch the boys. Maybe I’ll do some push ups and squats.

Y’all, sometimes life happens and being fit has to move to a back burner. This week I just don’t have the mental space to deal with a training plan. Fitness is in my blood now, though, so I know that it will never be unimportant. This week, though? We live.


Bright Spots in Rough Days


We’ve had a rough few days around the Lunges and Lego house. Illness of a couple of different sorts, an overwhelmed, under-rested mama, and a tight budget has made for some trying times.

Today has boasted snotty noses, crying, one temper tantrum, a serious lack of naps, pee on the couch, poop on the wall, the discovery of Lego Boy deceit, mess that increased throughout the day despite repeated attempts to clean, not nearly enough caffeine (as evidenced by Lego Mom falling asleep sitting up), beds that still don’t have sheets on them at 5:08pm, ungodly amounts of spitup, and the overwhelming desire to just find a non-sticky spot in which to lay down until sometime next week.


I got to work out this morning.

I had food to eat (moderately healthy food).

There was laughter at the fact that our history book repeatedly referenced “booty” as we read about pirates.

That time I fell asleep sitting up? I got to hold the baby for nearly two hours.

The oldest Lego boy built a Minecraft world for Lego Boy 3 (who is 3 years old and doesn’t really “get” Minecraft). Theme? Paw Patrol.

The deceitful Lego Boy got to hear his mama apologize, too, and we went before The Throne together to ask forgiveness.

When I go to bed tonight, I will remember that His mercies begin anew every morning and, despite the fact that we have to go get flu shots (eek!) tomorrow, I will be filled with the love of a God who knows my every struggle.

There are bright spots in every day, and the brightest was definitely a performance of the Thriller dance by two of my amazing boys. I’ve already shared this on my Facebook page and the overwhelming response made me see that a little laughter is great for everyone! So, y’all enjoy a Lego Boy Original…


Prier Pour Paris

As we at the Lunges and Legos house sit around in relative peace and comfort on this Saturday morning, I am reminded to be thankful that we have the luxury of focusing on health and fitness. While we remember those who were killed, and pray with those who wake up this morning without loved ones, I will be thankful to prepare healthy meals, to recover from a 5-day workout week, and to enjoy my little Lego boys.

Rather than feeling guilty for the relative ease of my day, I will embrace the mundane and relish taking care of my body, remembering that we are the temple of the Living God. Treat yourself and those around you with care today, and pray for Paris.


Workout Tips for the Sleep-Deprived

There are oh-so-many tricks I use to get me out of bed in the morning to workout NO MATTER WHAT. One of them usually works. Usually.

Today I slept in, which led to this text exchange with my workout buddy:

Me: “I want to bottle this feeling. This feeling of being sad and behind all day. So that I will remember it the next time I think it’s a good idea to sleep in and not go to the gym first thing in the morning.”

Workout Buddy (WB): “Deal. I’ll guilt you into it.”

Me: “Please do.”

Tomorrow morning, there will be no hiding from the onslaught of text messages from WB who will blow up my phone nonstop until I get up and get in my car to go move my booty. Because that’s what friends do. Partly because she doesn’t want to get whiny text messages from me all day if I do sleep in.

I get it. Not everyone is a morning person, and not everyone can or even wants to work out first thing in the morning. But, listen, mamas: what other time do you have every day to yourself? For me, my days are chaotic from the time my kids get out of bed until way after they go to bed at night. There was a time I could squeeze in a workout during naps or after the kids went to bed, but with two older kids who no longer nap and two younger kids who are total spazzoids about going to bed at night, those precious hours before they wake up in the morning are it. There’s a reason Proverbs 31 talks about how she “rises while it is yet night…” It’s the only time that poor woman had to herself!

So. Tip #1: just do it. Set your alarm, get up, and DO IT. I read recently that you don’t need motivation to do something. It’s not a requirement. I rarely feel “motivated” to change a diaper or take a shower, but I do it anyway. It’s the same with working out. Forget motivation. Just. Do. It. I promise, you’ll never ever regret it.

Tip #2: get fit with friends. For years I’ve said that the main source of my fitness success is the fact that I have friends who keep me moving. It’s a lot harder to bail on your workout if you’re going to meet someone who will make you feel like a chubby sack of goo if you bail. If you don’t have friends who work out, join a gym. That’s where a lot of us crazy people hang out. If you’re in East Tennessee, you can work out with me. I’d love to bring you in to my little world (as long as you’re not a psycho-killer. If you are, I want you to know that I have my concealed carry permit and my husband is skilled in Krav Maga. You don’t stand a chance.) If all of your friends are completely exercise-averse, just meet up for a walk once a week. Then make it twice a week. Just walk around the neighborhood while you chat instead of sitting at a restaurant or on the couch. One fit friend strengthens the bunch. Be that friend.

My biggest struggle right now is that my youngest – now almost 5 months old – still isn’t sleeping through the night. I’m nursing, so I feed him around 7:30pm, 11pm, and 5am. He was still wanting to get up and nurse around 3am, and my refusal to let him eat at that unGodly hour results in loud, baby anger. I’m typically in bed by 8:30 or 9pm, but those frequent wake-ups take their toll.

There are a few things I do to battle the constant exhaustion. Caffeine is one of my very best friends. I know, it’s probably not THE healthiest solution, but with three older kids “sleep when the baby sleeps” isn’t an option. I’m a huge fan of Advocare Spark, and down a double Spark as soon as I roll out of bed in the morning. I seriously leave the canister and my shaker bottle on the bathroom counter, so I only have to stagger about 20ft for my wake-up drink. That gets me the energy to get dressed and get out the door. Then the endorphins take over. I know it sounds nuts, but its true that exercise gives you energy. All the caffeine in the world doesn’t get me going like a good 30-minute workout. There are some upper-limits to that, by the way, but that’s another post for another day.

Tip #3: Caffeine in moderation. Like anything else, too much is a bad thing, but a little pick-me-up to get you moving certainly beats staying in bed and not working out at all. So use what the Good Lord gave us! We can talk about coffee, too. Spark is definitely my workout drink, but I love good coffee and would be happy to share my faves!

Tip #4: A healthy diet. Don’t worry about counting calories. You have enough to worry about! I do keep track of my food intake because I’m a little obsessive AND I need to make sure I’m eating enough to maintain my milk supply, but for most of you, that’s just not necessary. Here’s my rule: if God made it and man hasn’t messed it up, eat it. I can’t even begin to tell you the difference in my energy level when I eat a muffin for breakfast vs. when I eat a bacon egg and cheese burrito. I’ll be sure to share some of my easy, go-to breakfast recipes in the coming days because it really is the most important meal of the day! Keep fresh fruits and veggies around, along with nuts and hard-boiled eggs and you’ll be well on your way to keeping your energy level fairly even throughout the day.

(and just to prove I practice what I preach…)

11-10 blog post

Tip #5: rest when you can. I always always ALWAYS rest on Sunday. I sleep late, eat a leisurely breakfast, make sure I have lunch in the crock pot for after church, and at least spend the afternoon laying around, even if I don’t get to nap. I don’t work out, I don’t do housework, I don’t do any labor-intensive cooking…I rest. If there are other days during the week when I’m feeling run-down, I’ll make an effort to teach school from the couch, or talk the boys into a movie and/or snuggle so I can catch a few extra zzz’s, but I try my best to maintain my workout routine. One missed day turns into two and then, well, you saw the text exchange at the beginning of this post…it’s just not worth it!

And finally, tip #6: don’t try to do it all. I may get up at 5am to work out and do lots of other things that may seem super impressive, but there are A LOT of things that I don’t do. I’m a homebody, so I don’t go out and about very often. I don’t wear makeup or fix my hair or, let’s be honest, change out of my workout clothes. I say “no” to evening invitations and I only enjoy a glass of wine (or three) on Saturday night when I know I don’t have to get up early. You can’t do it all. There aren’t enough hours in the day or energy in your tank, so choose what’s important and do THAT. For me, being fit and healthy is a priority, so things that interfere with that are going to get the boot. Right now my focus is working out, eating well, teaching my boys, and taking care of my home and family. If it seems like my life is well-lived, it’s because I’m only doing what needs to be done during this season. Figure out what your priorities are for now – because those priorities are going to change with your seasons of life – and make those things happen. Do them, and do them well.

Sleep-deprived or not. 😉


Health and Fitness Recap

I mentioned in my last post that I’d gained 37 pounds when pregnant this time and had lost 18 pounds so far. I want to be completely open and transparent about my journey so you know exactly what I do, what my challenges are, and how things have changed after each of my four children. So let’s go back to the beginning.

I was NEVER an athlete. I would diet because that’s what girls do, and I would go through phases when I would do some sort of exercise because I thought I should, but I was never anything even close to healthy and active. I was naturally thin and, apart from a few years here and there when I weighed more than my “normal,” I stayed around 130 pounds. For a 5’5″ woman, I was fine as far as those BMI charts go, but I certainly wasn’t fit or strong nutritionally.

I got pregnant with my oldest when I was 25. I was in my last semester of college and weighed 133 pounds. Thanks to tv and movies, I thought that I could eat for two full-grown adults and did. No joke – one ice cream cone for me, one ice cream cone for the baby. On the day I went into labor in January of 2007, I weighed a whopping 195 pounds. I honestly believed that the weight would just fall off, as everyone said “oh, breastfeeding will make that weight come right off!” Lies.

By March of 2007 I still weighed in at 175 pounds, was wearing a size 12, and miserable. I hadn’t a clue how to lose weight as I’d never done it before, and turned to a good friend (who’d just had her second baby) for advice. With her help, I learned about nutrition and being active and lost 50 pounds without counting a single calorie. I focused on eating lean protein, whole grains, fruits and veggies, and low-fat dairy and moving more days than not. By the end of 2007, I weighed 125 pounds…and was pregnant again!

I learned a valuable lesson the first time around and managed to only gain 28 pounds with baby number 2. I walked and ran and did some sort of strength training throughout the pregnancy and made sure my diet was reasonable (i.e., no double doses of ice cream cones). Even through vicious first-trimester nausea and insane carb cravings, I kept myself in check and remembered well how hard it is on your body to gain so much weight in such a short amount of time. Lego Boy 2 arrived in August of 2008 and I regained my shape fairly quickly. I started working out again around October of that year – walking/running on the treadmill and using a dvd to work out with a kettlebell. By January I was doing more running than walking, and that same healthy friend talked me in to signing up for my first 5k.

In March of 2009, my two friends and I ran a 5k together. Our goal was to finish without walking and we did. It was the first time I’d ever really competed in any sort of athletic event and it was wonderful. Empowering. Exhilarating. I wanted more.

My friends and I continued to run together over the next couple of years, tackling countless 5k’s, 10k’s, and half-marathons. It was our time to hang out and chit chat and take a break from the day-to-day journey of being moms. Running was something we did for ourselves – often the only thing – and we cherished the time together and how great the physical challenge made us feel. I have no doubt that I wouldn’t be the athlete I am today without those women. I look back on those runs with a fondness I can’t describe.

By late 2010, health and fitness was as big a part of who I was as being a mom or a Christian. I pushed my boys in the jogging stroller when I ran, went on bike rides with my other mom friends and pulled the boys in a trailer; we ate healthy together and we were active together. I was a fit mom. 🙂

I found out I was pregnant again in late October of 2010. I lost that baby in January of 2011 at 12 weeks along. I was devastated. My attitude at that point was “Fine. If my body won’t grow a baby, it’s going to run FAST.” I made it my goal not to be “just” a runner, but to win. I wanted to run fast and win races. That competitive drive got me out the door and focused on something other than the emotional pain. My training became more serious – more than hanging out with my mommy friends, running became something bigger. I cherish that time, as well, because I learned that I am a lot tougher than I ever thought.

I became pregnant again in August of 2011 and I was in the best shape of my life. I completed a half marathon when I was 14 weeks and continued to run until the day before I went into labor in April 2012. When Lego Boy 3 was born, I was in a super duper rush to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and fitness level. I’d gained 32 pounds and slowed down significantly with my running. I made a huge mistake and started dieting and exercising way to hard, way too soon. My milk supply plummeted and I had to supplement him with formula, which was tough for me to accept. Again, I felt like my body had failed.

Despite our nursing troubles, I maintained my fitness routine and continued making healthy living a priority. I ran my first marathon in January of 2014 and quite honestly, that burned me out on running for a while! I signed up for an Insanity program at the gym and decided to focus on getting strong all over. During that time I went from 123 pounds and 17% body fat to 122 pounds and 13% body fat. Then, guess what?

I got pregnant again! This time around was incredibly different. I was 34 years old with three boys already, homeschooling the older two, maintaining my home and fitness…y’all, I was tired. I got up early and worked out, homeschooled my older boys in the morning, and napped with the toddler in the afternoon. My eating habits were far from the organic, whole foods of pregnancies past, but life has a way of changing things.

Lego Boy 4 was born in June of 2015…and that’s where my next chapter will begin. Getting back into shape this time has been drastically different than times before, but I am determined that the lessons I’ve learned in the past will make for a fitter future – for me and all the Lego Boys!

What A Difference A Year Makes

I just glanced through that last post from nearly a year ago, and WOW! So, that test result I was waiting on? It was positive. Oliver Boys

Meet the four Lego boys. Two days after I last posted, I found out I was pregnant with Lego Boy #4. While I should have kept up with my health and fitness journey while I was preggo….sweet fancy Moses, I was SO TIRED. Long story short, I continued to work out, ate as healthy as I could manage, gained 37 pounds, and had a healthy baby boy.

I learned some valuable lessons with Lego Boy #3, when I started dieting and exercising too soon and lost my milk supply. I was still able to nurse him, but had to supplement with formula for the first year and it was a struggle. I’ve been a lot more careful since the birth of #4. I took two weeks completely off from working out, did two weeks of just walking, two weeks of walking with a little jogging, 2 weeks of walking/jogging and a day or two of strength training, and since then have been getting up and doing whatever feels doable. Some weeks are great and I workout 5 or 6 days. Some weeks are sleep deprived and miserable and I only workout twice.

I’ve lost a grand total of 18 pounds, so I’m almost halfway to my pre-preggo weight after four months. I have no doubt that I’ll be back and better than ever, but it isn’t an actual race. 😉

Stay strong, mamas.

Monday and Tuesday Workout and Meal Plan

It’s a two-for-one! Without further ado….

4:35am – wake up; Watermelon Spark and Arginine Extreme; Catalyst; O2 Gold
5:15am – (awful, miserable, slow) 3+ miles (3.25, maybe? I was still worn out from the Haunted Half Marathon, so it was a recovery run!)
5:45am – Muscle Fuel
6am – Power Pump (this was a much better workout than the run – my body didn’t hate me for lifting)
7am – Chocolate Meal Replacement Shake
9am – 2 scrambled eggs; 2 slices bacon; banana
11am – Spark
11:30am – 2 slices whole wheat crust cheese pizza; 1 slice whole wheat crust cheese bread
2pm – Spark
3pm – 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts and craisins; 1 granny smith apple
6pm – Chicken Noodle Soup, 1/3 cup steamed corn; Chobani Greek Strawberry Yogurt with NatureBox Honey Sunflower Kernels; Omega Plex

1932 calories; 45% carb, 28% protein, 27% fat

5:20am – wake up; Watermelon Spark and Arginine Extreme; Catalyst; O2 Gold
6am – Cycle
7:30am – whole wheat banana pancakes; grape jelly; banana; 2 slices bacon
11am – Spark
11:30am – chicken noodle soup (see recipe link above); peanuts and craisins; 1/2 cup chopped pineapple (ok…I don’t know if it was actually 1/2 cup, but “whatever the kids didn’t eat” is a little vague)
2:30pm – Chocolate Meal Replacement Shake
5:15pm – (it was FREE and I burned 640 calories in cycle this morning…don’t judge) Chick Fil A 8-ct nuggets and medium waffle fries – with honey mustard (duh!)

A word to the wise – my diet is probably 85% super healthy. It’s not that I don’t like junk food – I really REALLY do – but I know that my body doesn’t feel or perform at it’s best when I fuel it with junk. Case in point – those nuggets and fries were delicious, but I spent the rest of the night in and out of the bathroom.

1878 calories; 53% carb, 19% protein, 28% fat (THIS, by the way, is why the “fast food diet” is so bad. Not only is it high in calories, but you’re loading up on carbs and fat. Both macro-nutrients have their place, but only when they are of the healthy sort and balanced with protein. An occasional treat? Sure, but don’t base your diet on it.)

You may (or may not) have noticed that I’ve not been taking the MNS this week. I haven’t decided if I want to continue with the MNS or switch over to just the Core Plex and Omega Plex. I will always take some sort of multi-vitamin. As you can see, even with careful planning and effort on my part, I don’t eat nearly enough fruits and veggies…a good multi helps fill in the gaps. Let’s just say that I’m waiting on a test result to help me decide whether to go with MNS or just Core Plex. 😉

<3 Jama

Haunted Half Marathon 2014

I’d been running for less than a year when my best friend, Joy, said “there’s going to be a half-marathon in Kingsport. We should totally do it.”

I laughed.

She was serious.

She talked me into it and we started training together. We had no earthly idea what we were doing, but I printed off a plan from the Runner’s World Smart Coach website and we followed it. We ran in the rain, from my house and hers. We left our husbands with the kids and food for the grill and we’d run and talk and laugh. Those miles hold some of my fondest memories.

In October of 2009, Kingsport had it’s first Haunted Half and Joy and I crossed the finish line together.

Haunted Half 2009

In 2010, Joy was in Law School and not training as much, so I ran the entire half marathon and she ran a leg of the relay. This was going to be our new tradition!

Haunted Half 2010

In the Fall of 2011, after running together all summer, Joy was working towards her first full marathon. I was pregnant with my third and happily jogging along, still planning on doing the half with her. Then Joy was diagnosed with brain cancer. On the day of the Haunted Half that year, Joy had been in a coma for three weeks. I visited her in ICU just before I headed to the starting line. I rocked my “Run for J Lowe” t shirt and a baby bump and I finished that half for her!

Haunted Half 2011

Joy passed away in August of 2012. The Haunted Half that year was bittersweet. Six months after the birth of baby #3 and just over two months since losing my best friend, those were some hard-fought miles. With friends by my side, another one was in the books.

Haunted Half 2012

2013 was an amazing running year for me. I stepped up my training and started bringing home trophies. I had my sights on a full marathon in December and planned to use the Haunted Half that year as the tempo portion of an 18-miler. I destroyed that race. I crossed the finish in 1:49:38, collapsed and cried, knowing that Joy was there with me.

Haunted Half 2013

I’ve run the Haunted Half since it’s first year, and I will run it every year for as long as I’m able. This year I am in great shape overall, but not the best running shape. It was a tough year, but for the first time since 2009, I ran the entire race with a friend. In all the years prior, I’ve started with my buddies and we’ve drifted along the course…those of us feeling good will pick up the pace, while those not having the best race will hang back. Rachel and I both felt pretty awful from early on. We weren’t even to the halfway point when we decided to stick it out together. Even though my performance was disappointing, I will never regret those miles, because they were miles I spent with a friend…just like I did that very first year.

Haunted Half 2014

Now, just so we don’t get too sappy (Joy would’ve HATED that), I’d like to point out Jenn in the pic. She started with us, but she’s a sucker and suffered alone. Ten minutes ahead of us. To be fair, I don’t think Jenn would have been able to handle our whining, so it’s probably good she dropped us. Punk.

For the record, any weekend that you run a half marathon or longer, you get to eat whatever you want. It’s a rule. I hopped back on the healthy food train on Monday and will be posting my food and workout plan shortly.

<3 Jama