Leukemia and Lymphoma

I have been training for the Knoxville Triathlon for a few months now. In the midst of all that I am also doing the Daily Burn “videos” that Bob Harper puts out. They have a promotion going on right now where you can get about 60 days free before you have to sign up. I highly recommend them… The videos are tough but I love them! I have missed a few days because I let life get in the way, but when I do them like I am supposed to, I feel a whole lot better! I have more energy, I feel more fit, and I am overall a much happier person!  I really believe these Daily Burn workouts are helping me with my training. They are short and sweet but they get my heart rate up and I’m not a sweater…but I am during these!

Anyway, my goal right now is the Knoxville Triathlon in May. I am doing this for fun and also to raise money for those who need it most.

Check out my fundraising page please and read about my story. 🙂  Every little bit helps. Please help me get to my goal!


My Life Changed with Lyft

In May of 2013, I was in Indianapolis, preparing to run a half marathon. I didn’t want to forget anything, and the weather seemed colder than we had originally planned, so it was a little hectic that morning. We were running a little behind and didn’t particularly have time to figure out how three runners and a spectator would get to the start line without wasting more time parking the car.  The suggestion was made by Ashley that we take Lyft. Of course, three of the four of us didn’t know anything about Lyft.

“So you mean some person that we don’t know is going to pick us up here, take us to the start line and drop us off?”

“I don’t have any cash.”

“So it’s all done through our phones?”

We had lots of questions.

Ashley opened the app, requested the ride and before we even got down the stairs, she received a text notifying her that our driver was out front.

It was so quick and painless. We couldn’t believe how easy it was! From that point on, I was hooked. We took Lyft everywhere we went that weekend, even though we had two cars with us! I asked the next couple of drivers a few questions (while eating the candy they gave me), and decided to put in an application online. It wasn’t long before I was contacted, and I set up my mentor session with Puddin’. I couldn’t believe how friendly this guy was. He made it easy for me to meet him, in an easy and safe location and a time that worked for me.

He did a thorough check of my car and of me. He put in all the information about my license plate, etc. and then we did a driving test before he took photos of my car, my license and me.

Two weeks later, I received a text message letting me know that I was approved to drive. All I had to do was get in the approved Lyft area of Nashville and click the steering wheel icon that was now visible in my app, to turn on driver mode.

Because I live on the outskirts of Nashville I am not able to work every day but I try to at least drive every Saturday. It’s easy money but it’s also a great experience. I meet so many wonderful, interesting individuals; I always tell people the worst part about driving for Lyft is that I get into fascinating conversations with my passengers and then I drop them off to most likely never see them again!

If you have any questions about my start with Lyft, or becoming a driver yourself, please let me know. I am happy to help!

Team in Training

A few months ago I decided to sign up for an Olympic distance triathlon.  I’m training with my team through Team In Training in Nashville. Here’s a little background info about the triathlon, which will take place in Knoxville, TN in May.

By participating as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) TNT, I am raising funds to help find cures and ensure access to treatments for blood cancer patients.

This cause is near and dear to me for many reasons, but most importantly because of two of my family members. I’ll never forget the day in 1998; we were all gathered around the kitchen table at my grandma’s house and my cousin Beth was working on her homework. She asked “how do you spell Leukemia?” It was just a short time after that when she was diagnosed with the awful disease.

My grandma, who is not only very special to me, but has also touched the lives of so many of my family members and friends, has Lymphoma. She has undergone two exhausting chemotherapy treatments and despite the blood disease that affects her daily life, still sits at the top of the list of people with a positive attitude in my life.

Your donation will help fund treatments that save lives every day; like immnuotherapies that use a person’s own immune system to kill cancer. Every single donation helps save a life with breakthrough therapies such as these.

Please make a donation in support of my efforts with Team In Training (by following this link) and help get us all closer to a world without blood cancers.  It takes more than one person to make up a team and that’s why I’m asking you to donate to my TNT fundraising page! Thank you for stopping by!

Please also remember to stop by Ashley’s page as well, and check out the t-shirts (new link coming soon) she has designed (all proceeds will go to TNT). She and my dad got me started on this triathlon stuff so I have them to thank. 🙂



Paleo…..day 20

Water first thing in the morning! 8 ounces.

Breakfast: scrambled eggs and bacon made by chef grandpa

Snack: none

Lunch: turkey sandwich on sour dough with lettuce, tomato and muenster cheese

Snack: none

Dinner: same as lunch

***Again, I don’t always mention the water intake throughout the day, but water is so important!

This morning I woke up in Knoxville, Tennessee! Ashley and I got up early, left her grandparents’ house and went for a run at Jaycee Park in Clinton. The track is about a 0.9 mile loop that winds through some trees and has a fitness obstacle course set up along the path. Ashley told me ahead of time that the path was flat but that was indeed not true! We ran for 37 minutes because that was at the end of a loop and an easy place to stop despite what the training plan said: 40 minutes.


We headed back to her grandparents’ house. Today their family celebrated Christmas with her aunt, cousins and her brother. We hung out for a bit, had lunch with everyone and then opened gifts. We had a really nice day, overall!


That evening, Ashley, Chloe and I set out to find a Christmas gift for one of Ashley’s friends. We didn’t have any luck, but what we did find was a cool new hang out, a new hat, shirt and keychain. We had a great time and found a nice place called The Casual Pint to visit when we are in town!


With that being said, I have not been following the plan the way I should be. I have had a few things (including some bread and potatoes, neither of which are part of the plan) that I shouldn’t have had. I was doing really well with this until I went away on my work trip and lost motivation.

I am hoping to do my best to stick with it through the holidays, but really get serious about it when I get back from my trip to Chicago. It’s much easier for me to follow when the food is made ahead of time and no matter how the schedule changes, as long as I’m home or plan ahead, I have my meal laid out for me when I am ready for it. This is proof (not that I didn’t already know) that it is difficult to keep a healthy lifestyle when life gets in the way!

**Fun fact: water has become the second most popular drink for Americans. Fluid loss occurs continuously throughout the day. Dehydration occurs when someone’s water intake does not equal or outweigh their output. Remember, in warmer climates, in higher altitudes and in older adults, fluid loss occurs faster.

Paleo….day 19

Breakfast: scrambled eggs with avocado and bacon

Snack: banana

Lunch: gluten free chicken nuggets and cooked carrots

Snack: Alt Bar

Dinner: grilled chicken and carrots

I really need to work on this getting-up-early thing. I have good intentions…I even set my clothes out last night but it’s very difficult for me to get out of bed any earlier than I absolutely have to. Needless to say, I did not go swim this morning. I’ll never finish the triathlon this way! How do you motivate yourself to get out of bed in the morning? Comment, please!

Paleo….. Day 18

Breakfast: scrambled eggs with bacon and 1/2 avocado

Snack: Lara bar

Lunch: sliced turkey, green beans

Snack: Sliced turkey

Dinner: leftover grilled chicken and vegetables

Water! Lots of water today.

Today at work we had our Christmas luncheon. Food was catered by Chef Christopher, and it all smelled delicious. The only part I could have, though, was sliced turkey and green beans. I did sneak a few bites of the stuffing and I had a potato, but that was not part of the plan. I did skip the pie. 🙂

I didn’t plan a workout today. I figured I would get up tomorrow morning and go swim.

Paleo…..day 17

Breakfast: Lara bar and banana…. on the run

Snack: Lara bar (I think I eat too many of these)

Lunch: Salad with tuna on top

Snack: Apple slices

Dinner: An amazing strip steak with squash, zucchini and asparagus

I ended up eating my breakfast after I finished my exhausting swim. I wasn’t hungry ahead of time and didn’t want to eat just before swimming. I wasn’t sure how the workout would go so I decided to wait. I did drink some water ahead of time, though, because I always get thirsty when I swim. It’s easy to forget that when swimming, we still sweat and we still need water!

The swimming workout was great! I loved it, but it was very difficult! A friend of mine got me in the pool a couple of years ago and I fell back in love with swimming. I hadn’t pushed myself too much, though; all I did was swim laps. It had been years (about 15-20) since someone had told me what to do and given me drills to practice.

We were in a 25 m pool and we used two lanes; we had two people in each lane.

Here is what we did during our swim:
200 warm up
6 x 50 finger drag drill
400 free
4 x 25 hands down, swimming on our side to work on keeping our hips up. This was hard because I kept getting water up my nose!
2 x 25 with 1 hand forward (this should have been 4 but I had to leave early). I also missed the cool down since I had to leave to go to work.

David and Amy wore us out! I was hungry for the rest of the day! I was also very thirsty and made sure I drank a lot of water throughout the day. I knew I was dehydrated from the swimming, although I felt like I swallowed enough of it during the last two drills…