A Really Unofficial Do Life 5K Meet Up: NYC

Since Ben and Pa aren’t coming to NYC, I think we should be able to run like rock stars, enjoy the company of each other, run, walk, and eat.

Date:  TBD (June 2012)

Time:  10:00am

Location:  Columbus Circle Fountain

Cost:  Free to meet up.  Pay your own food. *note: there will be no Do Life Merchandise.  If you would like to buy Do Life Merchandise, go here.

More info to come soon.  Let me know what you guys think.

Let’s do something epic, shall we?


Once upon a time, I stumbled across a youtube video that led me to a blog that led me to a new Tumblr community that led me towards this desire to be better.

So that’s why I’ve tried to do - be better.

Trying to get rid of credit card debt, move back to the place my heart most belongs, get fit, lose weight, be brave and overcome.

All inspired by one video. Which lead to a blog. Which lead to this.

Last summer I wanted SO SO badly to be a part of the first Do Life tour across the country. I had plans to try it in DC - but a new job (this current job - the one I love so much right now) kept me from requesting off the time to go mid-week to DC.

Luckily for me, there was another tour this summer.
And Pittsburgh was on that map.

So I started running again. And it’s been slow & steady. But I’ve worked at it and I am still working at it and I want to keep working at it. This 5K would be the perfect 5K to begin with, I thought, because it’s founded on the idea that anyone can walk or run or skip or hop a 5K. There would be no pressure. No scary start times or judgy people around.

Just a few kids from the area, meeting a guy who has a blog, and running because they want to try and be better than they were the day before.

Now I’d be lying if I said it was TOTALLY normal and awesome and not weird at all. Because, even for me - it was a little weird at times. There weren’t that many people there (Ben said it was the smallest group to date) and I knew a lot of the ones that did come (cause I dragged them there - haha) but it was still - a really cool thing to do.

I ran with Ben for awhile, as well as this gal here, but I mostly stayed with Morgan & Zach. I was alone for a little bit too, but never too far behind my friends. I needed a couple walk breaks here and there, but seeing Morgan & Zach chugging along ahead of me really gave me the motivation I needed to push it and have an ending time of 36 minutes.

Not only was 36 minutes the goal Zach had in mind - it was the IMPOSSIBLE goal I didn’t think we’d pull off at ALL. So I was shocked to see that was our time!

The run itself though, was beautiful. It was along the Allegheny River, with the skyline almost always in sight. It was absolutely perfect weather - and everything about the experience just felt good in that sense.

I had no pain whatsoever in my hip or my shins. No IT band issues. Just a little breathing struggle (as always) when I tried to talk too much while running.

After the 5K, we all went to the Jerome Bettis Grille, which was delicious. I got to finally meet and talk with Cassie a little bit (before I had the almost-mental breakdown over the Gage news right before dinner.) I sat next to my friends and close to Ben and Pa. We laughed a little, we chatted, we enjoyed the food.

It’s hard for me to look back on the experience and get a clear picture of everything post-run though, because everything that happened was obviously greatly altered by my worry for Gage. I actually felt really embarrassed (and bad for Ben!) because he happened to be walking into the restaurant right after parking the car when I got off the phone with my parents, in tears over Gage. Luckily, he was really great and offered a hug - and some words of encouragement - before we went back to join everyone else.

Morgan and Zach even asked me if I wanted to leave - Morgan knew what a big deal the Gage thing was for me. Instead, I insisted we stay. 

Maybe that seems like a weird decision, given how much I love Gage and how horribly upset I was when I heard the news.

But you know, I stayed at the post-5K dinner because there was nothing I could do for Gage at that moment and time. Leaving would do nothing but put me in a car where I’d have a complete and utter meltdown. A meltdown, a reality, I wasn’t ready to face yet. Also, I stayed to help maintain that inspiration I have found through Ben’s blog and this community - and maybe I stayed to help myself find a little bit more encouragement.

Luckily, I’m glad I stayed. Because Gage is okay. He is going to be okay.

And so am I.

It was nice to come full circle last  night, despite my breaking heart. It was nice to see the reality that if you want to change your life, you can. Even though it’s going to be an uphill, downhill, uphill again battle. There really isn’t a finish line. I will ALWAYS want that extra cookie, or that slightly too large portion size. So there will always be a little bit of a battle - I’ll just need to make sure I keep it fun.

If I’ve learned anything from Ben’s blog and this community… It’s that it’s nice to know I don’t have to be perfect. And it’s nice to know I can always try.

Last night I tried. Really, really hard.
And I got my 36 minute, first 5K.

Long Run Saturday, 1/2 Marathon Training

So today called for a 95 minute run, which should equate to about 6 miles for me (I did my 10K around 97 minutes, hence my estimation of 6 miles).  I ended up at 105 minutes for 6 miles.  It wasn’t my best time, but I’m not going to make excuses, instead I’m going to break down how my run went:

5:30 – alarm went off, and went off, and went off some more until my dad asked if my alarm needed to be shut off

6:00 – got dressed for my run

6:10 – set my Garmin and was out the door on my happy way

about .25 miles in – umm, my ipod battery died.  Really?  I contemplated turning around and switching it for some sort of mp3 device because I have to run with my music.  I stopped.  And remembered something that the wise old Ben told me last week (and YES I can quote Ben because I’ve officially met him).  "I don’t know why I don’t run with music, I just stopped one day.“  And I thought maybe that day will be today for me.  Rolled up my headphones against my ipod and ran. 

1 mile in – forgot to put blister band aids on AND duct tape.  Definitely will regret that later.

approx. 1.5 miles in – HILLS.  Well, man made bridge crossing, aka hills. (Part of today’s training schedule so–WIN!) 

approx. 2 miles inForgot to grab a snack bar for the run, oops? 

approx. 3 miles in – My foot is not going to like the wet grass I’m about to run on (they stopped the sidewalk about 10 feet before another sidewalk began…who in the world does that?!)

4 miles in OMG THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE RUNNING ON THE TRAIL.  Oh wait, they are just two ladies taking a nice stroll to the grocery store.  *sigh* 

5 miles in BIKERS BIKERS BIKERS!  Got to say hi to 6 different sets of bikers on the trail, one even stopped to see if I need some sort of energy bar, which I declined.

approx. 5.5 milesMy house is up ahead!  Oh wait, I still have another ½ mile to run. Boo.

6 miles done – 7:55 A.M. strolled into the house  "Want to go out to the flea market?”  Sure, just give me 30 minutes to eat and shower.

My. Feet. Hurt. Blisters. Bad. Need. Nap. Badly.

^~^The most random and unplanned post ever–I even considered pulling a Pa and writing out my post while heading out shopping with my parents but was just too tired to write.  And here I lay half a day later, the only accomplishment I have besides a 6 mile run, 75% protein intake for the day accomplished, calorie count under enough for massive pizza eating, is the fact that I still have 2 different homework assignments to get done tonight before meeting up with my group tomorrow for more homework.  Umm, isn’t this supposed to be a holiday weekend?

Alright, next post I promise I’ll detail my run without music because it definitely is post-worthy.

The Photo that Launched a Blog

I posted this photo on Facebook after being pleasantly surprised by what I saw in the mirror one morning. I don’t really curve inward anywhere yet, but I definitely see where there is much less “outward” bulging on the sides and the front.

(Goodbye muffin top, I will not miss you)

Anyway. The response I got was overwhelming.  I couldn’t believe the outpouring of support and encouragement I got.  What was even more surprising was the number of “You’re inspirational” comments.  I thought, I’m just me.  But these, combined with the urgings of my good friend over at This Diet Diary, inspired me to start fitbling.  I figured, maybe I can do something helpful and encouraging for other people. 

Maybe being vulnerable and open and honest with the interwebs is the key to my success.  It’s been really fun to see people from my past (middle school, high school) “liking” photos and posts on Tumblr.  It also warms my heart and keeps me accountable.

I started following Ben and his Pa and I thought, wow, I wish I could be that inspirational to others.  I don’t aspire to being an internet sensation or celebrity or have a story good enough to touch that many lives (and I’m not really a good writer) but anyway. What a community to be a part of. Thanks for the welcome and thanks for the support. I hope I can return it tenfold. 


I decided to join tumblr today. I already have a diet and exercise blog ( so I’ve shamelessly stolen the name and used it again. I am not techy enough to figure out how to import that blog here, so I shall keep both going as I have followers there already!

So why did I decide to join tumblr today? A few reasons - the first of which being Ben. I had seen his video and been very impressed, and then encouraged to read his blog by my friend Lou. He completely inspired me. Today he came to London with his fantastic fiance, brother, father and their lovely other halves too. I got to meet the guy who’s video and blog inspired me to get back on track with dieting and exercising.

While in London, I also met a group of amazing people who have tumblr blogs, and enjoy running. I felt inspired all over again. I loved their enthusiasm, and the fact they’ve translated online relationships into real-life meetups and friendships. I wanted it ;-)

So here I am! Try to be kind, I’m still working tumblr out…

Some photos from today!

Today = AWESOME!

Anyway - I am trying to lose a fair amount of weight. I have already lost 17lb this year, but want to lose another 80lb or so. The only time in my life I have been ‘slim’ was when I was 21 and lost weight with WW just before my last year of Uni. I’m now 6 stone heavier than that…I need to get back there, preferably before I’m 30! So to help measure my inch-loss, I purchased a rather snazzy UK tour Do Life T-shirt today - in size medium - and I want it to fit comfortably by this summer ideally. Here it is now…

Excuse the crazy eyes! Anyway, as you can see, it’s rather well-fitted! I want to see some space in that baby in a few months time!

Thanks for reading (if you’ve got this far) - I’m excited about tumblr! Feel free to look at my old blog too if you want to see my start/stop/start journey and struggle so far!!!