Why you need a journalMENU

journal cover

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, however I did receive a free journalMENU running journal with customizable cover for my review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

It probably doesn’t surprise you that I enjoy writing and journaling. In fact, this blog was started as a journal to keep track of my running and racing progress as I trained for my first half marathon. I learned early on there was great benefit in tracking my training, miles, pace, shoes, what I ate and drank and how my runs went. I know there are countless online and digital apps to keep track of running progress, but I prefer a paper one, even if in addition to a digital method. For the same reason I enjoy reading paper books, there is just something comforting and appealing about feeling the pages between my fingers and the pen in my hand. I am a journaler at heart and I have found a wonderful running journal. If you’re a runner, athlete, triathlete or writer, you need a journalMENU.

My favorite feature? A totally customizable cover! I customized my running journal with a picture that my husband took at Bryce Canyon and a quote I found online, “Upturned, toward the sun, eyes closed. That color and warmth I see and feel is the soul on fire. If only it remained when when again my eyes opened.” Pretty close to how you feel running, right?

I love that it is spiral-bound because I can fold the cover back when I write on the pages, which offer plenty of room for me to write, another important feature to me. On the tracking pages, I can keep record of things like type of run, pace, reps or weighs lifted, other types of workouts, weather, total miles for the year and my favorite blank space – NOTES, where I can write what I want.

tracking page

What the journalMENU has to offer is much more than a place to record workouts, though. It also offers a Race Planner, menu planner, recipes (including Paleo plans), Crossfit workouts, pages for race reviews and tons of information about nutrition, goal setting, eating plans, personal records, pace charts and so much more! If you were starting training – or maybe want to get back into training – this is the journal for you.

Pages collage

I worked with Erica at journalMENU to create this journal and it couldn’t have been easier. I just sent her the photograph and the quote and she sent me back a proof within a day or two. My journal was on my doorstep within the week. You can also choose one of the fun and unique existing designs if you don’t have your own you want to use. These journals retail staring around $15, which is completely reasonable considering that you might spend on a journal from the store.

Would you like to win your own journal? journalMENU has graciously offered a journal to one of my readers. Giveaway runs through 07/02/15 and winner will be notified here and via email. Enter here and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t want to wait or are you looking for a gift? You can save 15 percent on a journal with your very own customizable cover by enter coupon code WORDSTORUN at journalMENU.com, or visit this page for more details.

Journaling is important to any fitness – of life – journey because it keeps you on track, holds you accountable and gives you a place to discover and document your hopes, dreams, fear, setback and triumphs. I truly believe journaling has the potential to enrich any life and writing – with pen and paper – is therapy for the soul. Give jounralMENU a try and start journaling your life today!

Until the next mile marker,

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More on Me

It’s been awhile since I have posted, I know. Life gets in the way, posting becomes infrequent and finding a time to write becomes more and more difficult and farther down on the list of things To Do. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say and it’s not that nothing has been going on.  In fact, it’s times like this I wish I was better organized and had my content planned out better, but I also believe there is something to be said for writing from the heart and that is what this is. Here’s more on me – writing, remembering and [not really] running.

…On Writing

You won’t know it just by looking, but Words to Run By got a makeover thanks to Ryan and his team over at WP Site Care (check them out, they are rolling out some new features right now). If you are new to blogging or have no idea how to start using (or no idea how to use) WordPress, Ryan can help you. Words to Run By is now hosted at SiteGround, and I have high hopes that this is a beneficial and hopefully long-lasting transition to a permanent home for this site’s needs. Previously, I was hosted with Dreamhost since I made the move to self-hosted WordPress (best move ever by the way!) about two years ago; and while Dreamhost was great for a beginning blog and offered phenomenal pricing, I was really feeling like they could no longer meet the demands of my websites without a steadily rising cost. I also noticed the customer service started to diminish over the last several months (as my problems seemed to increase). Dreamhost was a great place for me to start, but I needed to move on as my site has continued to grow. Lesson learned? Do your hosting research ahead of time. While Ryan and the team at WP Site Care moved my website and ensured a solid hosting foundation over at SiteGround with no hassle to me, it does cost money to have your website(s) moved and it was not without a whole lot of worrying (okay, I might have panicked a time or two, sorry, Ryan) for me.

With SiteGround, I hope to deliver more up-time, faster page loading times and a friendlier user experience all-around. Behind the scenes I am looking forward to 24/7 live technical support if I need it, increased site speed and especially enhanced site security. I am to get back to the business of blogging without having to worry about my hosting provider anymore.

…On Remembering

April 21 marked the third year since my mother passed away. On one hand, I can’t believe it has only been that long since I saw her, talked to her, hugged her or ran with her. On the other hand, it seems like an entire lifetime since I saw her, talked to her, hugged her or ran with her.

Losing my mom does not get any easier. It just gets different. The pain I feel today is not the same pain as I felt the day it happened, the weeks or months since that day or even the anniversary of her passing last year. There have been so many times I have wanted to talk to her, to ask her something or tell her something. I’ve missed her advice, her shoulder to cry on and her undeniable support of me and my endeavors. While I don’t pick up the phone to call her anymore and her face is no longer in my phone, I think of her in different ways or at different times. When I am shopping and see something she would like or when the sun is shining and I know she would be out enjoying the weather, the first in our family to wear shorts in the spring.  I think of her when I eat strawberries because she loved them, when I write a new post because she was the first to read it and when I cry because she never told me not to.

My heart will never be the same and I’ve come to realize, maybe it isn’t supposed to be. I just hope I can convey the love she had for me through the love I have to share with others and in that way, a piece of her love will always live on.

…On [Not really] Running

I can’t remember the last time I ran. The need that I used to feel to run, just isn’t there since the blood clot nearly two years ago. That brings great concern for me as the writer of a blog called Words to Run By. I love blogging, I love writing, and I used to love running just as much, but it’s been hard for me to feel that love again. Running is tied to things that make me very sad – losing my mother, nearly losing my own life and having my self-confidence shattered to the core as it has never been in the past. It is harder and harder for me to remember the positive memories and things that running has brought to me life. It is strange to me the things I associate with running and the things that I don’t. Right now the negative associations far outweigh the positive and that is something that I hope will only take time to work through.

On a more positive note, I can see through it. I can see myself getting past the pain I feel when it comes to lacing up my shoes, but I don’t know how to do that just yet. For starters, I am getting out and walking with my dogs and my husband at least twice a week. Compared to training, this feels like nothing, but I can’t discount that. I’ve fought too hard to even get to where I am today. The truth is? I am walking when I can. I am trying to be smarter about what I eat. I am conscious of the changes I need to make to ensure a healthy lifestyle (if the weight comes off, then it does; but it is no longer my sole motivator for diet and exercise). Sometimes I think the universe had a grand design to encourage me to take a break from running and maybe this is all part of that break. Only time will tell. I know there is a future for me in running again and I am hoping in time I will see it. Until that time, I’m hanging on and don’t have any plans to pack up and move out of blogland.

Tell me about you. What have you been up to for the last few weeks? Have you written a fantastic post I need to read? Have you celebrated a life event or the memory of one? Have you run a race or are you preparing for a race? Do you get in a blogging rut or run out of time to post? Tell me in the comments!

Until the next mile marker,

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Why You Need Blog School by Blog Genie

Blog School14 cover

Are you new to blogging or thinking of creating a blog, but don’t know where to start? Do you have a great idea, but aren’t sure how to go about putting it out there for others to see? The internet, especially the blogging realm, is a vast place filled with volumes of information that can be overwhelming to sift through just to find simple information and how-to’s. Why not start off on the right foot?

Or, have you been blogging for awhile now, but you need a change? Are you ready to improve your site either by growing traffic, improve your design, mastering social media, creating a profit stream or work with influential brands? Finding information to help you take your blog from big to bigger can be a challenge, especially when you know you’re on the verge of something better, but you just can’t seem to connect all the pieces to make it happen. Why wait a second longer to reach your blogging and maybe even entrepreneurial goals?

If either of these sounds like you, what I am about to share with you will change your life (I’m not kidding, either, because blogging as we know, can really do that).

Blog School by Blog Genie changed has not only changed the way I blog for the better by giving me invaluable tools, resources and ideas to help me succeed; it has also changed my life outside of blogging by helping me become more organized (and, yes, I thought I was organized before), more focused (that’s really harder to narrow down than you think) and more driven (now with a concrete plan in place) to reach my goals than I ever was before.


What is Blog School?

An online course created by Blog Genie, Blog School is designed to give you a roadmap to help you turn your passion and love of connecting with others into a successful blog [More about Blog School here].

What is Blog Genie?

Blog Genie is run by Rita Barry and she has been working with female healthy living bloggers and fitness professionals since 2009 to help them design and rock their online presence by turning their passions into something more [More about Rita here]. She designed both Words to Run By and Blood Clot Recovery Network and – as my real-life blogging role model – has helped me realize my blogging dreams. If you aren’t connected yet, head on over and subscribe to get in on some free blogging resources, materials, regular tips and blogging insight that you didn’t even know you couldn’t live without.

What do you get?

As a part of Blog School you will receive six core learning modules comprised of a lesson, homework (be prepared to work!) and additional resources. The modules include Foundations, Blog Design, Content, Growth and Traffic, Social Media Marketing (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) and Media, Money and Income Streams.


Plus you will get Membership to Blog School’s Private Facebook Group, Blogging Productivity Five Minute WordPress Set  and WordPress How To Videos. Access to the courses are for life you can log-in login 24/7 as well as take them with you since they are digital.

So, why do you need Blog School by Blog Genie?

Last year, I was the grateful recipient of the Blog School by Blog Genie Scholarship and I was ecstatic to be taking the course. I have a big plans for the future and Blog School has first, helped me discover the direction I need to be going and second, given me the tools to get there! There are so many helpful things I learned about productivity, design, traffic, building/finding a target audience, writing worthwhile content and keeping the blogging momentum going. Blog School is a lot of work (I’m not quite done yet!), but if you really take your time and focus on the modules as they are released and do the assignments, you will get a lot out of this course. It’s helped me in blogging and helped me to organize my online presence (and life) to move in the direction of starting my own coaching business.

Where can you find more information?

You can find more information about Blog School here.

The one thing you need to do now

Enroll in the free, 3 part training series Blog School’s Traffic Road Map now. It runs from March 24 – 28, 2014 (delivered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of that week right to your inbox) and will give you an idea of how awesome Blog School will be. You can enroll in this 3 part series without obligation to join Blog School so there is nothing to lose! Also by signing up you’ll be the first to know when Blog School is open for enrollment.


Dates to remember
  • Sign up today to be a part of the 3 part training course!
  • Blog School opens for enrollment March 31 and closes April 6, 2014 (sign up here to stay informed about the release)
  • The six core learning modules of the Blog School curriculum will be released monthly starting April 7, 2014
You also need to know

I am an affiliate for Blog School, yes, but I am only telling you about this course because I believe in it and it’s power to make a positive impact in your blogging world. It is a significant amount of money to spend ($345 for the basic course and $595 for the intensive course, which comes with with 6 months individual coaching) and I more than anyone understands that not everyone can spend such a large sum of money. I do, however, believe this course and the knowledge gained is worth every cent of that cost and knowing what I do now, I would not hesitate to spend that money on Blog School. Consider it an investment in your future, seriously.

I hope you consider enrolling in Blog School this Spring. Whether you’re just starting out or an old pro, it will be the best blogging decision you have made in a long time.

Until the next mile marker,

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Pure Excitement

So far, 2013 is shaping up to be [dare I say it?] good okay.

SO… I am pretty excited to share a couple of really amazing things!

I am a published [dare I say it?] fitness writer. In print! I haven’t been this excited in a long time.

Current Cover

Current Cover

My article, “Top 10 Tips to Make the Most of Your Workout” was published in the January/February 2013 addition of our local fitness magazine, 11Athletics.

article with cover and watermark

The magazine believes life is about energy, movement, desire and your ability to find what moves you and that improving each of these through functional fitness will lead to a GOOD life. 11athletics’ goal is to introduce and educate functional fitness to all populations and to promote athletic fitness for sports and everyday life. Movement is based on a series of different muscles working together to perform a desired goal and we sometimes take our ability to move for granted. It is our belief that improving your own body’s ability to move through functional fitness will improve your energy, your desire and your life for the better. I like 11Athletics because anybody can relate to it. It provides information, inspiring stories, workouts and advice to everyone – athletes and “non” athletes alike. Everyone can benefit from this magazine. Plus, it provides all the great fitness information that national magazines offer, but it is only $23.95 for an annual subscription. That’s a lot of information for not a lot of money.

Thank you to 11Athletics for including my issue in the magazine! You can find 11Athletics on Facebook and Twitter and let them know I sent you their way.

article pg 1

article pg 2  article by line

AND – tonight I found out that I was nominated by Leap Fitness as a Top Health Blogger 2013!

My nomination.

I am truly honored to be included with such an amazing list of bloggers – many of whom I have long admired myself. Congratulations to all of my fellow nominees and FitFluential Ambassadors who made the list.

Please take a moment to nominate my blog for this fantastic award through the link below (the blogs are in alphabetical order):

Thank you to the entire Leap Fitness team for this nomination. I am so excited! You can connect with Leap Fitness on Facebook and Twitter too and spread the word about the Health Blogger awards.

And finally, thank you, to all of my readers, followers, friends and family who have supported my blog (some from it’s very beginning) and helped me get to where I am today. I am looking forward to the future!

Until the next mile marker,

All In A Day’s Blog: What’s Your Opinion?

The work of a Blogger is never done, right? Most of us could spend all day and night (and maybe we even have) blogging. Between brainstorming and posting; reading and commenting (which I am really behind on); and marketing and facebooking and tweeting and instagraming – there is always something that needs to be done.

Today, I met up with Rebecca of Pretty Little Celiac at Barnes and Noble and we definitely got a lot accomplished. For the two of us, we had a lot of blogging stuff

I mean, I was pretty serious (clearly)-

Either that or my computer just wasn’t working…

Rebecca was working had too-

I found it very refreshing to get out of the house and work somewhere else. Do you ever do that? Do you work better at home or somewhere else?

As I said, I did get a lot accomplished today, including design a new business card, which is where your opinions come in. Since I decided to really work on my Freelancing career, here is what I came up with-

Option 1 – minted


My Thoughts: I like the simplicity of this design, and I really like my name scripted. It is unique and appeals to the “traditional” business card design. And, it kind of matches my blog signature too!

Option 2- tinyprints



My Thoughts: I love that this card is bold and it makes an impact. I like the “non-traditional” size too, but am not sure if others would.

The problem is, I’m torn! I like both designs. They are similar in cost too, so I am not really worried about that. I’m also not ordering them right now so I have some time to think about it. I still have some old cards I am trying to use.

What do you think? Option 1 (minted) or Option 2 (tinyprints)? Please tell me your opinion in the comments.

Until the next mile marker,