5 Things Friday

5. This blog post. I stumbled across Gina’s blog a few years ago through the Lululemon ambassador site. I was drawn to her style of writing and what her blog was all about. Her goal is to run a marathon in all 50 states. She’s not a daily blogger; she posts mainly just about each marathon she’s recently ran and what’s going on in her life at the time. In her latest post, she talks about her battle with Lyme disease and running. It hit home to me because my mom suffered with Lyme long before anyone even knew what was wrong with her. Gina’s such an inspiration to all runners out there! 

4. Trader Joe’s Sunflower butter. This stuff is addicting. Smooth. Sweet but not full of sugar. I eat it with apples, toast, or by the spoonful. It doesn’t last very long in our house. 

3. Using your child as a weight. Madelyn still likes to be picked up from time to time so I try to make it fun for her and turn it into an arm workout for myself.


Mama gets a good ab workout in table top and Madelyn thinks we’re playing airplane.  A win win for everyone. 

2. Homemade pasta sauce with homegrown tomatoes and garlic. This working mama is all about fast, easy, healthy and delicious meals. Last night, I was feeling like spaghetti and meat sauce for dinner. Easy enough right? But I couldn’t justify buying jarred pasta sauce and spaghetti noodles when I had a TON of zucchini and tomatoes to use from my garden. So I whipped up this quick batch of pasta sauce and spiraled some zucchini.

vitamix sauce


Sauce includes: 8 medium roma tomatoes, 1/2 onion chopped, 1 small green bell pepper, 4 garlic cloves peeled,  4 TBSP tomato paste, 1 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp coconut sugar, 1/2 lemon squeezed for juice, 1/2 tsp of salt.  Put in the vitamix in the order that is listed, mix for 1 minute up to 10 and then high. I browned some grass-fed ground beef with Penzey’s Chicago steak seasoning, added the sauce and simmered for about a 1/2 hour.  It was the best & easiest homemade pasta sauce I’ve ever made. I’m thinking of having a canning party one of these days. 

pastasaucewithzoodles1. Amazing friends who know how to keep you motivated. This is Kristine. Kristine is my long time college friend and Garmin Connection.IMG_2170

We met in college over a shared love for PRSSA and Chicago. Both from the Milwaukee area, we ended up in Chicago after graduation. She still lives there, and I’m slightly jealous. I’ve been talking to her about ordering a Vivofit since I lost my fitbit a few months back. I just didn’t know if I could justify purchasing another activity tracker. I finally bit the bullet on Wednesday and by Thursday I received my package in the mail. Talk about fast delivery :-) Imagine my surprise when I opened my box, expecting just to see my Vivofit and a package of bands:



I was wondering why it so much heavier than expected! Besides my vivofit and bands, in the box I found a new snazzy Garmin tee, a heart rate monitor, water, packs of fluid performance, scratch hydration mix (I tried this at PRO a few weeks ago and I really liked it!) ProBar energy chews, Power bar energy chews, Honey stinger energy chews (my fave!), and a lululemon gift card. On three of the flaps there were messages. One message was a personal one from Kristine reminding me that we have 8 weeks left to go, that we can do this and to never give up. The other two flaps were quotes: “When you feel like quitting, think about why you started” and “Dead last is greater than did not finish which trumps did not start.” I love it! 

Thank you so much Kristine for giving me the motivation that I so desperately needed to power through these next 8 (almost 7 weeks!) You are truly a blessing and I can’t wait to celebrate our victories in Chicago. #chimarathon2014

What was the highlight of your week? It was a fairly good week over here, but my special delivery was definitely my highlight! 

Look Who’s Two!

On Sunday we celebrated Madelyn’s 2nd Birthday.  I can’t believe how quickly these past two years have gone by.  It makes me kind of sad that she is no longer the small, squishy, cuddly baby we brought home from the hospital. 
IMG_1049Although I miss the days of just rocking with her pressed up against my chest, it brings me joy to watch her grow, learn and explore the world around her.
IMG_2553We kept the second birthday pretty small and casual-just family. Madelyn’s the only everything (grandchild, niece, great niece) so everyone definitely went above and beyond with gifts this year. Amongst the favorites the cozy coupe from Grandma & Grandpa C and the swingset from Grandma G. She cried yesterday when I told her we had to go inside to eat dinner.  
Larry grilled up some burgers & beer soaked brats and I bought some side salads from Costco along with a cake and cupcakes from Whole Foods. It was the easiest clean up from a party I’ve ever had. The weather was also so nice that everyone pretty much hungout in the backyard.
IMG_2657What’s new with Madelyn?
-Crayons & coloring. Not always on paper but not yet on walls. I have a distressed table in our living room and she’s taken it upon herself to add to the “distressed” look.
-Singing. ABCs, songs from Frozen, Happy Birthday & Old McDonald are some of her top favorites
-Along with singing comes dancing. Girl can bust a move.
-Elmo & Dora. She will maybe sit for a few minutes of it, but she’d rather play than watch TV and I’m more than ok with that.
-Ice Cream.
-Grabbing stuff and saying “mine!”  :-/
-Giving hugs. Oh the hugs. When I’m changing her clothes, she’ll grab my shirt and pull me in for a nice big hug. Melt my heart.
-Raw vegetables
-Holding hands in parking lots
-Riding in the cart at the store. She’d much rather be walking around
-Sitting nice on the couch. She seems to think couch=trampoline.
Every day she is learning or doing something new. She’s a reminder that sometimes I need to just slow down and take it all in before I miss something. Happy two years of life liltte peanut, we love you very much!

Week 10 CM Training Recap

Happy Wednesday! We’re half-way through the week and HALFWAY THROUGH MARATHON TRAINING!!!!!!!!! I’m excited and scared all at the same time.  October 12th can’t get here fast enough.  So far, my training has been going okay.  I’m trying my hardest to get my longer runs done with a local running group.  On days when I have Saturday plans and can’t make the build up runs, I do my long runs on Fridays after work, which can be very challenging.  But I’m powering through, foam rolling through the pain all with a smile on my face :-) Here’s a little Recap of Week 10 Chicago marathon training:
Monday-Madelyn had surgery. She had her adenoids removed. Runny nose gone. I took off of work for two days which really wasn’t needed because my child is the most resilient little girl I’ve ever met. mannie
Headed to the gym(!!) where I did a little rowing action, weights, core work and finished up with a little workout on the spin bike.
Tuesday-Ran 4.15 miles @9:11 pace
Wednesday-Run 7 miles @9:31 pace. The weather was hot & sticky. But I stumbled across a new hiding place-somewhere I can go to think about things or just “be”. It was beautiful and so peaceful. I’m thinking of taking up trail running after the marathon is over.
mysanctuaryThursday-Run 4 miles @9:14 pace. Legs were tired and heavy. I struggled to keep up with my co-worker, Jen. She pushed me hard the last 1/2 mile.
Friday-Rest Day/Stretch. Didn’t stretch nearly enough. Instead, ate pizza, drank wine, and found comfort in my mother’s word’s of wisdom :-)
Saturday-My goal was 14-16. I Ran 12 @ 9:46 pace. It was tough. All I wanted to do was sleep (I ran on 4 hours of sleep), but I forced myself to get out there knowing it would make me feel a little better. I never regret a run no matter how good or bad it is. It was sunny, hot, and I forgot my GU. I’m lucky I made it 12 miles. Later that day my child locked me out of the house…icing on the cake.
Sunday-Rest day. We celebrated Madelyn’s birthday. I cannot believe that she’s two. It seems like it was only yesterday that she was making her debut into this crazy world.

Are you training for anything? If so, how’s your training going? Any other Chicago Marathoners out there?

Fitting it all In…Or not.

Happy Wednesday! I just completed a 7 mile run and I’ve convinced myself that if I wait to do my training runs during the hottest part of the day, it can only help me come race day, right?! Here’s to hoping.  

After my run, I stopped and did some stretching near a local park bench and heard something I’ve never heard before (or paid attention to?) :A waterfall! I walked over to check it out and imagine my surprise when I saw this:



I’ve lived here pretty much my whole life and I had no idea this existed. After my marathon is over, I think I’m going to explore the world of trail running. I didn’t realize Milwaukee had such awesome trails.  

I’ve been thinking a lot about life, fitting it all in and being the mom that can do it all. It’s no secret that I enjoy being busy. If I’m not training for one thing, I’m studying for something else. I used to think that I functioned better with busy chaos in my life, but that was pre-Madelyn. I didn’t really have to put anything before myself, I could just do whatever, whenever.   

I realized about a month ago, that I was in over my head and that I cannot, in fact, do it all. Enter re-evaluating priorities.

Number 1 priority?


These two loves of my life. When I signed up for the marathon, the first thing my husband said to me was, “Make sure you’re not taking on too much.” My response?  “Don’t worry babe, I got this!” And I did, but at the cost of other things.

Barre instructor training, although very fun, was very time consuming. I initially thought that I’d give up my Monday mornings and that would be it. But once I started teaching, I realized that I had to put in a lot of time outside the studio to really do a great job. I didn’t think I’d have any problems since I’d started taking barre classes years ago, but it’s so much different being on the other end as opposed to being a client. It was taking the fun out of barre for me and I promised myself that when it stopped being fun, it wasn’t worth it to me. I also missed having my Mondays off and spending time with my little tot. She’s going to be two this week and to say that time has flown by would be an understatement. I want to cherish these early years as best as I can before I’m no longer “cool”.



Oh, and then there’s my actual job.

MariaCampbellAs much as I love having hobbies, I need to realize that not only am I a wife and mom, but I also work 10 hour days. Which turns out to be 12 hours with commute time/getting the little one to daycare. So that extra Monday off is completely necessary.  

That’s about where we are right now. I know that I can do anything I put my mind to, I just can’t have it all at once. So I’m taking a big, deep breath of fresh air, focusing on one thing at a time, and cherishing every moment I have with those that matter most. Because that, after all, is what life’s really all about.  


Running With Purpose


I just began week 10 of marathon training…so maybe now’s a good time to mention the marathon?! 

In May, I decided to bite the bullet and train for the Chicago Marathon.  I knew that I wanted to do it again (I had to beat my time after all!) I just wasn’t sure about how soon I would attempt to take on 26.2 miles.  I knew that there was no better time like the present.  If I waited any longer, other things might get in the way of me training for another fall marathon, so thinking about life and plans and stuff, I knew it was either this year or it would probably have to wait a few more years.

So I’m doing it!  And once again, I will be fundraising money for Salute, Inc-an organization that helps out military members, veterans and their families.  Last year, some of the proceeds went to a woman who lived right here in Milwaukee!  It’s an awesome organization and I’m proud to be part of it all.  


Which brings me to my topic: Running with Purpose.  I’ve never ran a full marathon without having a fundraising commitment.  Last year, I missed the deadline for Chicago and my only way in was through a charity.  This year, I did actually “win the lottery” but by the time I had decided to do it, it was too late.  So enter charity again.  I had a lot of fun last year raising money for Salute, Inc.  My goal last year was $750 and I surpassed that amount tremendously.  This year, my goal is $1500 and i’m half way there.  This year, I’ve organized breakfasts and bake sales at work and it’s helped out a lot.  

I’m not going to lie…the one thing missing this year during my training is motivation.  Last year, I didn’t know what to expect and I was so excited to be working towards the goal of finishing a marathon.  This year, I’m like eh.  I just kind of want the race to be here already.  Obviously, I know that in order to do better this time around I have to train smarter and I’ve been pretty good in getting my long runs completed over the weekend.  It just seemed easier for some reason last year.  The one thing getting me out there, pounding the pavement, is the amount of support I’ve had from my family and friends.  My husband has been pretty amazing on Saturday mornings…he gets home from working weird hours, stays up with our bundle of energy while I go run for hours and hours.  (My mom’s really good at helping out too!) There have been challenging training runs where I’ve doubted myself and my ability to stick this out, but the awesome training runs, the support from family and friends and knowing that I’m helping another person in need keeps me going.    


What keeps you motivated when you’ve hit a rut during training for an event? Last year, I watched Spirit of the Marathon & that got me super pumped up to run!!

Sunday Night Photo Dump

Happy Sunday!  I hope everyone had a terrific weekend.  It never seems long enough.  Here are some photos from this week…

#Bookclub.   Someone at work recommended this and it’s a great book!  I highly recommend it to all women and moms. 


#Hurtssogood.  Foam rolling is back in my life.  My legs are thanking me.   


Thai Food fortune cookie.  Time will tell how true this is. fortune

#Ontherun. My view from this weekend’s 11 miler training run. lighthouse

Home grown.  Zucchini bread and pickles are in my future. 


We spent the weekend at MKE Brew Fest, Brady Street Fest and helping my sister move.  It was a great weekend, but as always, it went by so quickly!!  I’m looking forward to the week, The Bacon Run and celebrating my cousin’s last single night out next weekend :-)  

Motivating Others


A few months ago, I came across this article on Runner’s World website.  It was a debate about whether or not you should offer encouragement to other runners on a race course.

Each runner on the course has a personal goal, but we all have one goal in common: to cross that finish line.  I always felt like offering someone words of encouraging and motivating people was the thing to do, until it came back to slap me in the face.

I was at the tail end of the Chicago Marathon.  I knew this part of the course well because I had lived near it for two years.  We were approaching the corner of Roosevelt and Michigan and I knew the finish line was up over a hill and to the left.  The adrenaline had started to kick in as I got closer and closer.  I remember passing by a few runners and saying, “We did it, we’re almost done!” Not so much to keep them motivated, but to keep my own spirits up.  One girl (who was walking) was not so receptive.  She started yelling at me, saying that she was very familiar with the course and that she knows where the finish line was.  That shut me up quickly and I just kept running.  Since then, I have kept my motivating words to myself.

Last weekend, I was doing a marathon build up run with the Badgerland Striders.  We were approaching the end of our 10 miler and had a slow climb up the hill near UW-Milwaukee.  My goal was just to keep running as long as I could.  I got about 1/2 way up the hill before my legs (I thought) couldn’t do it anymore.  I had started to walk, got a few steps into it before I had a fellow strider say something to me, “We’re almost done, you have a 1/2 mile left you can finish this strong.”  She was right.  I had already run 9.5 miles what’s another half mile?  Instead of yelling at the runner, I said thank you and finished out the rest of my training run in a near sprint.  It was the words that I needed to hear to give myself that extra push.

So when it comes to running, or life in general, where do you stand on the motivation issue?  Would you rather people just keep to themselves or do you enjoy having a complete stranger come up and motivate you to finish strong?