Being fit, plus size and fearless!

Treadmill or Dreadmill?


It happens every now and again….its snowing, it’s pouring, it’s too hot, too cold, too early, too late.  Whatever the excuse may be, it’s the ones I used to find to make me not run.  I purchased a treadmill about a year and a half ago, so that I no longer had those excuses to skip a run.  I’ll admit, sometimes I even skip the ones on the treadmill. But I’ve certainly found a way to make the dreadmill time a bit more enjoyable.

During winter, I like to pass my time there watching episodes of the biggest loser.  I find it really hard to not want to keep going when someone else with much larger challenges than I is running at a 6.0 on a steep incline.    I let Jillian, Bob and Dolvett yell at me to get moving and stay motivated.  And it really does help.  Then spring comes.  It’s nice outside and all I want to do is hit the pavement.  Until (insert excuse here).  So here I sit on many a summer evening, heading down to the basement to log my treadmill time.  This summer, I decided to test out watching some YouTube videos.

One of the running groups I’m a part of on Facebook posted a link the one of Lee Hoedl’s videos.  I watched it one night while I was lying in bed.  This video single-handedly made me want to run Goofy.  (Warning – do not watch this if you are not ready to be pushed into the Goofiness of 39.3 miles in one weekend).  His video of the Disney marathon keeps me going and has become one in regular rotation.  I like to keep visualizing how strong I feel at that very moment on the treadmill and that I will feel just that strong at each mile during this video.

After a few rounds with Lee’s Marathon video.  I realized I needed to focus on the next race I was training for…..Disneyland.  I’ve since put into rotation these two videos, one from Adam Rucker and one from Derek Ralston.  These are getting me pumped and ready for Disneyland at least once a week, now that we are so close.

I have found that what I once dreaded as a chore on the treadmill has now become something I look forward too, as much as I look forward to my long runs (yes, I’m that freak too.)  I no longer feel upset that I can’t hit the pavement as I’m just as excited to spend the time watching these videos and training my psyche for the challenge.   I’ve even tried some of my favorite non-Disney races, and re-lived Nashville a few times and Philly.  I’m going to try some other races, I’d like to register for, so I can check out the course before I start to plan next years agenda.

What do you do to pass your treadmill time?  Videos, music, movies?  Share your links and tips to keep everyone moving and grooving any way we can.



Will I finish?

No fancy photos today, as I just wanted to focus on the words.  

One of my favorite mantras that I remember when I run is “whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right!”  Just a simple little reminder that lots of running is mind over matter.  

Today on facebook in a little world where some of us Run Disney lovers trade stories, training tips, and general daydreams of being at the the magical world, we had a post from someone who didn’t know if she would be able to complete the training and get her to the finish.  A fellow run disney loving stranger, named Larry, responded with these words that were so profound I asked him if I could share them.    I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve re-read this today.  Truly AMAZING words! (I think i’m going to write them on my arm for Dumbo):


For those of you ‘wondering’ how you will do…I KNOW!!!

Maybe you’ll finish. Maybe you’ll get swept. Maybe you’ll win. Maybe you’ll finish last. Maybe you’ll win your age group. Maybe you’ll run the whole way. Maybe you’ll walk. Maybe you’ll stop to rest. Maybe you’ll sit. Maybe you’ll tie your shoe. Maybe you’ll hug your kids. Maybe you’ll ‘run’ into an old friend. Maybe you’ll make new friends. Maybe you’ll see a part of the parks as never before. Maybe you’ll find something out about walking, running, others, yourself or life that you never knew. Maybe you’ll impress your friends, family, strangers, or the gal in the mirror. Maybe you’ll laugh. Maybe you’ll cry. Maybe you’ll do both. Maybe you’ll get a picture with Merida and feel ‘Brave’. Maybe you’ll discover a new flavor of Powerade you like. Maybe everyone will notice you and you’ll be in Runner’s World magazine. Maybe nobody will notice. Except you. No one knows what will happen for anyone on race day. Unless you stay home. Then I know exactly what will happen and that list, my dear, is very short – nothing. Now get out there and train your best, think happy thoughts, enjoy that you can do whatever you can do and make darn sure you do at least one thing – START. Because the only way to see what amazing things you can cause in a race is to start. 

The Power of the Group Run

Hello runner friends!  Hope everyone is keeping hydrated and staying on track with this summer training.  This weekend was brutal here in PA for running.  Humidity was in the 80-90% range in the mornings and temps were up in the high 70s-80s as well.  Gross – to say the least.

This weekend was a weekend I was so happy to be a part of a group.  I first joined a running group 3 years ago, when I decided to train for my first half marathon.  I was terrified about how slow I was and that I would get to the group with everyone being faster than I am.  I joined the NYC Galloway group after speaking with the leader and she assured me there were people in my pace group.  When I got there, I found out it was true.  People at my speed!  I couldn’t believe it.

That summer I met some great people.  We were slow and happy.  We shared stories, they shared with me their racing wisdom and cheered me to the finish of my first half marathon.  I was hooked on the group!

When I moved to Philly it was a must for me to have the same group.  So here I am for the 3rd summer as a part of this group.  We’ve grown a lot since 2 years ago.  We have a group for any level of racer, super fasties that can do 8 min/miles all the way up to turtles like me at 16 min/mile.

This past weekend I had to run back to back training again for Dumbo.  I had a migraine on Saturday and missed the official group run.  But put a post on Facebook to see if anyone would be around for Sunday.  5 of us met up at 6am bright and early to take on the hills of Valley Forge Park.  They are all a little faster than I am.  But I kept with them for about 4 miles or so. I had to drop back after that.  We met up at the car at around 5.5, had some snacks, a rest and one of them brought amazing frozen cooled towels for us to cool our temps down.  And then off we went to complete our 9.5 miles.  While I couldn’t keep with them the whole time, they were always looking around to see where I was checking on my progress.  It was nice to know someone was looking out for me.  Running with them was even better.  I was able to chat with some of those in a faster pace group than I, that I normally wouldn’t run with on a Saturday morning run.  I know that I would have done the mileage anyway, but having them there made the world of a difference.

I encourage everyone to seek out a running “group”.  There are all different kinds – those you meet in person like I did this weekend.  Or even those online.  I belong to several of those and they are just as supportive as if they were running beside me.  There really is strength in numbers and power in a group.   Thanks to those ladies who met me out on that wee Sunday morning and to everyone in all the groups I am a part of!!!!


Magic Mile



Now I’m sure by this title alone, there are some of you thinking this is about all of Disney’s magical miles that they so kindly allow me to run while they take all of my money.  Well, sadly, it’s not.  It’s about another kind of magic mile.

A magic mile is part of Jeff Galloway’s training.  The idea behind it – you warm up with a nice and easy mile or two.  Then you run not all out, but lets say 80% of all out for one timed mile.  That mile can predict your race pace for 5K, 10K, Half and full marathons.  More can be found here:  Jeff Galloway Magic Mile

The first year that I trained for a half marathon using Galloway, I never ran a magic mile.  My pace group leader at that time felt that we might injure ourselves trying to run faster than we should be.  (those of us who are speed challenged.)  The second year of training I ran 1 magic mile – it was a perfect spring day in May, no humidity, sun shining, cooler temps.  I don’t remember the exact time but it was somewhere around 13:00 for that mile.

This year I decided to get back on with magic mile training.  After 8 half marathons, scheduled for numbers 9,10 & 11 this year, I have a good enough understanding of my race pace.  However, the suggestions aren’t just to do it once a year or every two, but to continue to use it as a guide in training of how much you are progressing.  With the Goofy challenge on the horizon for January, I can use all the mental reassuring that I can get.

The first week of June I did my first magic mile of the season.  15:08!  I was just back to training, 20lbs heavier than my normal racing weight, and my foot fell asleep while running it.  Yesterdays training called for 4 miles, one of which was the magic mile.  I ran the magic mile again – hot, humid, super sunny day, but 3 additional weeks of training under my belt, and 8 lbs lighter – 14:01!!!!!   A whole minute off my time!  

I love the mental reward that the training is working.  Now I’m not stopping here.  I certainly would like to get back to my 13 that I had two years ago.  And I REALLY, REALLY, would like to get down to a 12-12:30 range magic mile, as that would be the ideal range for timing for the marathon.  But I’ll take it.  Sometimes its just the boost the psyche needs!!

What have been your magic mile stories – success or not?

Runners High

runners high


This weekend was the first of the back to back runs in the Galloway Dumbo Double Dare training plan.  Yesterday it called for a one mile walk and today for an 8 mile run.  I met up with my training group here in Philly (The galloway group, of course) and walked the one mile with a walker in the group.  She’s recovering from knee surgery and taking it easy so it was perfect for us both to have someone to just do the short one mile with.

I’ve done 8 miles before.  A lot actually.  I remember my first 8 miler – through Manhattan when I lived there.  Central park, up through Harlem and down the east river.  I was about a mile from the end of it when someone realized i had never gone that far before.  Lots of congratulations, good for you, and I remember someone saying, someday you’ll be like I “only” have to do 8 miles.  She was right and that’s how I usually feel about an 8 miler.  Today was different.

I decided to train in Valley Forge as I “like” the hills.  You know, its more like love/hate, but I know that they are good for my training and then when I run a nice flat race, i’m fast (for me) and I can just glide.  I have done this inner loop there many times before, it’s 5 miles.  One of the other runners in my group gave me directions to the outer loop which is 7 miles.  I figured one loop and then I’d out and back to get the other mile done.  Well, this outer loop was the beast of all beasts.  There were parts of this course that were like trails straight up hill.  I had to walk those as I was afraid I’d twist an ankle or fall (I’m clumsy).  Then there was a choice two ways and I wasn’t sure which one to take.  Another fearless woman was running towards me from this one path so I took that one.  Boy was I wrong.  I felt like I was on this path FOREVER.  When I finally realized I had little cell phone battery left and I was in the middle of the woods with no idea where I was going.  If I fell, I would have totally died out there ( not that I’m dramatic or anything.)

Finally, I came to my senses and turned around.  When back to where I made the wrong turn and headed back to the other path.  About another 1 mile uphill.  Ugh!  It was approx 85 and the humidity was insane.  I just kept plugging along mostly walking but trying to throw a couple of seconds of running in there.  The left side of my brain was in full speed logic mode – hitch a ride back to the start, catch the trolley back to your car.  Sit down here and just wait until someone offers to take you to your car.  But I kept plugging along.  Finally I was at a point where I knew I was almost back to the car.  And I realized I was keeping a good pace even with walking so much.

All in all, I did 8.5 miles, never had to loop out and back after my detour.  I sat in my car and thought I NEVER want to do that again.  And yet, I can’t wait to do it again!  All at the very same time.  That crazy runners high… gets me every time.

Anyone else ever get lost on their run?

Where have I been?


So I’ve been a little MIA recently. Ok not a little…..a lot. So where have I been? Well starting to write this blog and focusing on my passion for running got me to thinking. I’ve been a retail industry veteran for over 15 years. I love what I do but I want it to be more than just a 9-5 job. I want to engage and interact with consumers while giving them and me what they want. So I decided to launch some clothing designs focused on runners in sizes S-4XL……introducing my  shop fit + fearless

As a plus sized gal myself, I often think that the bigger brands are focused on driving sales as quickly as possible. And sometimes through that process us plus size ladies get left out. I’m not letting that happen. I want to have ideas and products that are useful, fun, and inspiring women to take control of your fitness journey….be fearless.  It doesn’t matter what size you are!  No one should feel excluded.

When I started to put this together it was a bit overwhelming. So many aspects to the business that I not familiar with. I’m a numbers girl… marketing, social media and designing we’re all new to me. It has been a blast learning these processes. It reminds me of running my first half marathon…each new thing I learn is one mile closer to get to the finish.

While my mind and my life are running 10,000 miles per minute right now(I wish my pace were this fast), I’m using my training for Dumbo double dare to keep me sane and think things through. Chatting with other runners about likes and dislikes, just trying to figure out long term how to make things better. I also decided to incorporate my love of runDisney events. This, to me, is a win-win, win scenario….running, retail and Disney….oh boy!

Dumbo White Mock Up          Cheshire Cat White Mock Up

So I’ll be posting here more often now, I promise  – I know you were so concerned about my whereabouts :). There will be lots to say heading into the full training season.

Back to back Dumbo runs start this weekend. once that is over its straight into Goofy training….my first full!!!!!! I can’t believe I clicked register. So hang with me and send me feedback. Would love to hear ideas of items that everyone wishes they could have on the run.

Please check out the site as it is now. Very small focused selection but more generic designs to come as well as new categories. And if you’d like the quickest updates, like my Facebook page or follow me on twitter.

Be fit! Be Fearless!


Apps that are running while I’m running……

i don't run because


I’ve been terrible about writing on the blog.  I haven’t been able to run these last two weeks due to an injury and it just made me all kinds of not in the writing mood.  I don’t even have an interesting story about my injury.  I stubbed my pinky toe on a wall in my house.  So lame!

Well today was the first day back out running again.  And the first thing I did was get all my apps on to help me walk out the door.  There are so many these days I feel like I’m only missing one to actually make my feet move.  Thought it could be interesting to share the ones I seem to be using regularly.

I’ve mentioned before my love of  It’s a great place to find motivational upbeat music mixes.  They have an app you can download or you can listen at their website.  I’ve found some really awesome music here, so now I don’t have to spend hours perfecting the right playlist to get me motivated.

Once the music is pumping its on to tracking the run.  I downloaded iRunner and have used this app recently so I don’t have to wear my garmin on my short runs..  It tracks time, distance, pace, so I have a log of my runs.  It also has ways to link to heart rate monitors, works for spinning, biking, walking and hiking, although I have not used any of those options.    Only downfall so far  is that I don’t know how to stop the workouts, so I always wind up force quitting the app.

Musics on, tracking where I’m going.  Now let’s get the intervals going.  I follow the Galloway method of running, which is interval training.  I use RunMate for my intervals.  You can set this up to store all the intervals you may choose and it will tell you when to run and when to walk, all while listening to your own music.  I like being able to easily store the intervals already set up, as sometimes on the long runs I adjust, running more time or less time and adjusting the walk breaks.  This app makes those changes super easy!

Lastly, is the app I only heard  about in the last month and really, its become an instant favorite of mine, Charity Miles.  This app is free to download.  You simply launch it, select one of the many charities and the corporate sponsors of the app will donate 10 cents per mile for bikers, 25 cents per mile for runners and walkers, for each mile achieved to the charity of your choice.  It does say up on their page that it’s up to $1 million that they have been granted.  But if everyone starts to do this and make it worthwhile, then it could catch on for companies to keep this going.  I love that you can choose a different charity each time you run, or stick with the same one.  Tonight I ran for Boston, Lifeway Kefir is supporting The One Fund Boston:



To sum it up – I had a great first run back since my injury.  I did love the feeling of living as stated above, and loved that I helped others along the way.


What other apps out there does everyone use??


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