NEW Blog address

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The Clean Machine…is me.

Good Morning my friends! It is time for another Friday Confessions post (#6). I hope your week is going well!

I confess that I am so appreciated of all the welcoming and supportive comments on yesterday’s post. You guys are awesome. So glad, I joined the blogging community : )

I confess that “Clean one thing a night” is still going strong! Last night, I managed to go through my closet and pack some clothes and bags that I haven’t worn in the past year. Granted, I was pregnant for part of it so they didn’t stand a chance to be worn over maternity clothes, but still…they needed to be donated.

Very much needed de-cluttering.

Very much-needed de-cluttering.

I confess that I am keeping this post short because my mom came to visit me and my son! She came in late last night and her visit is very much-needed. Dove chocolates have been a great source of comfort, but I ran out and nothing replaces the comfort of my mom when life is sad right now.


I confess that I need to commit to a training plan for my upcoming races. I have been really relaxed in my training as I am going through a difficult time, but seriously? Enough is enough. I know that running is good for my soul and sanity. It’s time to Just Do It (courtesy of Nike).

running changed my life

Your turn:

What are your favorite training plans for an upcoming race? Do you follow one?

What is one thing that helps you feel better when you feel sad?

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I got in with the Marines!

Good morning guys! How many of you are enjoying the warmer weather? Yesterday, I was able to get a nice easy run done OUTDOORS (Yes, you read that correctly, no treadmill was used). I hope winter is making its way out…I am needing the warmer weather in my life.

Enough talk about the weather. After all, this isn’t a weather blog (not too sure what kind of blog this is, really).

Let’s get moving on to Amanda’s Thursday Link Up! For those not familiar with this weekly link up, it a post of random thoughts, musings and pictures.Something I enjoy participating in…a chance for me to rant and have my random thoughts be a bit “organized” in a way.


As mentioned yesterday, I’ve joined Julie’s Clean All The Things Week. Each night this week, I vow  plan to sort through one room, closet, drawer, cabinet, etc. to clean and organize my life  house. (Yes, I am overly excited about this decision. I love the feeling of a well-organized life house…it allows my OCD tendencies to be used in a productive manner).

This is last night’s Cleaning Madness  project: Tackling my desk…old papers and notebooks.

photo 2

Speaking of my OCD tendencies, I love my Garmin because it provides me with numbers. Numbers that I can analyze, turn around, upside down and do it all again. I love seeing trends in my training and sometimes even being surprised by runs that do not fit my typical pace/mile pattern (Which usually means I had an awesome fast run…which I’m really missing lately).

Yesterday at noon, I was glued to my computer feverishly waiting for my big chance to register for the Marine Corps 17.75K race on April 12, 2014. For those of you not familiar with this race, it is a BIG deal. How so??? Registration for this race sold out in 9 minutes! By completing this race, I am guaranteed a bib to race the ultimate Marine Corps Marathon on October 26, 2014. So yeah…I know have two amazing races to add to my race calendar! Looks like my new shoes are in definite need for some mileage now.


Good thing I recently won Katie’s giveaway for these! Lots of carb loading happens in this house!


Your turn:

What is your favorite way to carbo load?

Do you have any races coming up?

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An Upper and A Downer?

Good Morning! My alarm went off way to soon this morning. Anyone else feeling the same?

Eventually, I rolled out of bed and poured myself some coffee and am sitting here talking to you. Not too shabby of a morning start. I love you guys! Love the comments and emails and keep them coming please : )

I know that I have mentioned it before, but I love the early mornings when the rest of the house is still sleeping and I have time for ME. I have always been a bit of a loner introvert and really value my time to reflect and write…uninterrupted. Even if it means getting less sleep…and drinking more coffee.

Running does the same for me as writing. Both provide me with a sense of peace but at the same time they ignite excitement within. Interesting how they both opposite effects can happen at once. One is a downer and the other an upper (a lot like the popular red bull and vodka drink mix)…

Because writing is beneficial for me, I’ve created another new weekly series, Write it Out Wednesdays. If you have been reading, you may be starting to see a theme, I like to be organized and I like participating in weekly series posts to stay organized. Write it Out Wednesdays will be a weekly series based on discovering my creativity. You may be thinking, “How can you be creative when so rigid and organized with your weekly series format?”

Good question! Write out it Wednesdays is a free writing opportunity…no editing, no specific topic, just a blank page  screen that will allow my thoughts to flow on anything and everything. This will be unedited for you to get a glimpse into my chaotic  creative mind. Hope you enjoy it…

Over the past few days, I’ve been looking for the bright side of things…a challenge when it is snowy and cold outside and a bit rainy internally. But I love challenges and this one is needed.

DREAMING BIG with the changes in my life.

Finding the “What is bright and right in my world” daily.

I call this challenge, “what-is-bright-and-right-in- my world”. When I say bright, I mean something that can be recognized as a little rightness in my day. And when I say little, I mean little.

I’ve been discovering “little-bright-right things” that practically go unnoticed most days but now are being noticed and celebrated.

And it has been working for me right now…so I’m going with it…

Here are some recent “what-is-bright-and-right-in- my world” finds:

  • I took a deep breath when I thought I would explode after being on hold with the doctor’s office for over 15 minutes!!!!…Okay, breathe…breathe…breathe
  • I committed and completed my first “Clean one thing a night” task when the couch was calling my name…I’m loving the result.

linen closet

  • I sacrificed  shared a bite of my favorite cookie and for once did not yell, “Not too big of a bite, now!”.


Your turn:

What is one “what-is-bright-and-right-in- my world” find?

Do you enjoy freestyle writing (writing with no direction or edits)?

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Training Talk Tuesday: Motivation

Good Morning! Happy Tuesday! I hope you enjoyed your long weekend (for those of you whom had yesterday off). I had to work yesterday but did manage to get a nice new pair of shoes AND a bunch of clearance prized Valentine’s Day Chocolates (don’t judge, my soul is needing comfort…besides, I love the sweet messages Dove provides in each heart).


This morning,  I am continuing with my  weekly series called ‘Training Talk Tuesdays’. For those of you who are new readers, each Tuesday, the running coach in me comes out and I write about training for a race of various distances. Hope you join in the fun each week and be sure to email me with any specific questions you may have that you want me to cover in this series. Contact me.

(Disclaimer: Although, I am a RRCA Certified Running Coach, the information, I post may not be right for you. Please speak with a medical professional before making any changes to your current routine).

Motivation:  Personally, I was lacking in this department but have recently made a switch and rediscovered my inner spark.But this still will be a great way for me to remind myself of ways to continue with having my new founded motivation, as well as helping others whom may be lacking it themselves.


Hmmm…Good Question!

This winter has been a  big adjustment for me (first time living in snow…ever!) and first winter having a baby to care for. I share this because I understand now why winter months (especially ones that include ice and snow) can be so challenging. However, recently, my motivation is picking up and here are things I have been doing to get me moving  running.

1) I remind myself that my runs are about Training, NOT Exercising.The difference between the two are that when I focus on Training, I’m reminded of how my running isn’t about “losing weight, getting in bikini shape, etc” it’s about challenging myself in ways that I never thought I could perform. Crossing each training session off my calendar and getting a feeling of satisfaction, rather than a focus on “calories burned or how many more pounds to lose”. When Training, my runs have purpose and are lifestyle focused.

running changed my life

2) I take time to look back on my goals set for the year, reassess where I am at with moving towards my goals (this takes me being really honest with myself) and writing out a plan of what actions I must take, each day, to continue moving towards my goals. The key to this is flexibility being a part of the plan. My struggle this winter has been practicing flexibility in my training, rather than getting caught up in a perfection mindset (more on this in #3). Being flexible and creative when weather or life throws a curve ball in our training plan can help us. Rather than being discouraged and “throwing in the towel” on our training  completely, because it hasn’t been going as planned.

Goals for 2014

3) When snow days happen or sleep deprived nights occur, my planned runs may not happen. it is then, I need to remind myself that Training is ultimately, a lifestyle and “life happens”. When I can’t do my scheduled training, I can feel down and discouraged. I am then guilty of “throwing in the towel” at times, and thinking, “Guess, this race will stink…no point in continuing”.(Yes, my Negative Nancy attitude comes out and wants me to believe if I can’t do all my training as planned, I mind as well do none. Crazy thinking, right??!!)

My goal is to continue practicing flexibility and focusing on making progress towards my goals, not Negative Nancy’s “all or nothing thinking” that strives for perfection…which doesn’t exist!

progress not perfection

Your turn:

What is one running goal you have for 2014?

Is there a topic you want me to cover for Training Talk Tuesdays?

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New running shoes wins over a trip to the hair salon.

Good morning! Somehow I slept in until 3:30 am today, instead of 3:16 am…things are looking hopeful for future later wake up times…maybe.

Today is another Monday which only means, it is Maniac Monday (MIMM)! Do you have today off for President’s Day? Or are you working? I will be working most of the day but hope to get some time to try on some new running shoes!

You know you are a runner, when you check your banking statement and see that you have some spending money, the money is used for a pair of new Brooks, rather than a much-needed haircut at the salon.

Maniac status? Yes, because I’ll be racing the clock on my lunch break to head over to Pacers and then back to work (tying up loose ends at this place).

racing the clock

You know when you have that restless feeling but don’t know how to turn it off? Well, I’ve realized the answer isn’t to ignore or try to get rid of the restlessness. Instead I’m choosing to use it, to fulfill my passions. After yesterday’s post on why Normal isn’t working for me, I’ve been fiercely  passionately praying, preparing and putting into action…to making BIG things happen.

Running towards my Dreams!

Running towards my Dreams!

Maniac Status? Yes, figuring I’ve never had a clear idea of what I wanted to do with my life. I’ve always dreamed big and had a non stop imagination. I have many interests that have left me wanting to be and do everything! There were times I dreamed of becoming an astronaut to being a full-time paid restaurant reviewer (no more cooking required by me). Remember when I put in my resignation at work? This was a big step for me because I have never taken the risk of ending something before having secured something new. Action of a true Maniac…


Do you have that one book that you go back to and can reread over and over again? Well, this is that book for me. I had no other choice but to buy a new copy (love the smell of the pages of a book). My previous copy is 90% highlighted and missing pages. With my new addition of runners that I am now coaching (YAY! Excited to see my new runners reach their race goals!), I’ve decided a new copy was needed.

All time favorite book!

All time favorite book!

Your turn:

What’s the last risk you’ve taken?

What’s one of your favorite books?

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NORMAL isn’t working for me!

Happy Sunday my friends! Grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea and take a seat.


Because this morning I want to share with you a new to Mark My Miles weekly series, Sunday School. Consider this series to be that conversation we’d have together over coffee and muffins (or maybe even donuts).

***This series will not be preachy and will not be focused on any one religious or spiritual belief. God will be used here (because that is my belief). However, please BE YOU and replace my source of love and faith (God) with what it is that you believe in***

Each week, I will share with you some of my adventures I am having with God. I’ll share with you how I am now working on pursuing my life with passion and purpose, and wherever it is that he leads me.

This blog has been created to gather courage as I endure a hardship of mine (one day I will share more on this).

I’ve been thinking about keeping this part of my life off the blog, but I think know I want to be real with you guys and share how my life is being created as it is meant to be and how I am following my BIG DREAMS.

My dreams may seem too big or too small to you. But I know that they have been created to fit the size of my heart, not yours. That is why your dreams are your dreams and mine are mine, how exciting, right? We can share ours dreams with one another. I really want you to share what dreams are with me, so PLEASE do : )


Okay, let’s quickly back up to, “Why” I most recently began to DREAM BIG?

This is simple…because normal isn’t working for me. I have a desire in my heart that won’t go hasn’t gone away.This pesky persistent desire is my God Created Curiosity, the  curiosity that keeps me dreaming things that others think I am weird for considering.

But I am ready to be judged by those who don’t “get it”, insulted by those who “disagree”, criticized by those who are prompted to look within themselves by my actions, and blamed by those, who don’t want to feel responsible.


You may be asking, “Why follow your God Created Curiosity now”?

Good question! Although, I had always believed in God, I have to acknowledge that I didn’t really ever fall into the “religious person” category, and I know for me…that  this isn’t how He intends me to be. I also know, that when I do life His way rather than mine… Chaos is replaced with the God Created Curiosity that energizes me and fills me with hope rather than fear. I choose now because life has taken some radical turns, some causing heartache others creating hope.

One  of my favorite Bible verses:

“The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid” (Ps:118:6)

I share this with you because I am no longer in hiding from a life a great energy and passion. A life where dreams really do come true (a real life Disney World, you can call it. A life filled with color and endless possibilities).

And  my first step to begin living out my God Created Curiosity, is doing something about it…like sharing it with YOU.

Have a blessed day my friends!

**Post was originally posted on my non-profit site, Be Me***

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Soggy Saturday!

Good Morning my friends! I hope you has a lovely Friday evening and spent it doing something that you enjoy. Remember my ploy to meeting new friends? It worked…or maybe it was just the sugar + caffeine coma effect. Whatever it was, I am glad I went.

I have to admit, I’m not so sure where the week went. I was surprised when I realized today is Saturday…a soggy Saturday, really.

The city shut down snow day, left us with lots of slosh and ice. Which only means, my chances for getting an outdoor run this morning are slim. BUT I will get some miles in today somehow because they are very much-needed.

This past week, my runs have been non-existent (which is why I haven’t mentioned them). Ooopsss…that’s not true, I did get in a quick 3 miles yesterday at the gym…not impressive at all.

Between my child being sick, the snow days closing the gym, I have not had access to get my sanity miles ran. Have you guys ever feel like no matter how much you try training for something, life isn’t making it easy or even do-able? I think in the past, it was easier to not have these curveballs stop me. However, as a new mother, there is a vulnerable little man depending on me, and I can no longer make my training my number one priority. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom…just getting through the adjustment stage and trying to juggle my different roles.

Today, I hope you guys are doing what you love to do. I am catching up on some blog redesign (look for a new look that will symbolize what Mark My Miles is all about), meal planning (yes, you read that correctly…attempting for nutrition purposes and staying on budget), laundry and of course some good play time with the little man : )

Well, I hope to get these things done, it may be hard now that my Runner’s World subscription came in the mail. Look what I spotted??!!

I really want to sign up for this!

I really want to sign up for this!

Your turn:

How do you typically spend your Saturdays?

What is one race you really want to put on your wish list?

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A corny question, flight delays and missing the long run.

Good Morning my friends! It is time for another Friday Confessions post…#5…and its Valentine’s Day! I hope you do something you love, with someone you love. Whatever that may be for you.

Today, my son and I are going to have a special Valentine’s Day play date with other mothers. Excited to have a new play date group. I’m making these Heart shaped cookies and seasonal flavored coffee to share! What better way to bribe others to be your friend then bringing sugar and caffeine with you?

I confess that I am not a fan of snow days. I am a person of routine. I like to look at my planner and know what to expect each week. Stability and consistency are my two friends. Throw a snow day in the middle of my week?! And I am left, a bit disturbed…trying to learn to enjoy these random “off” days…


I confess that I’ve been in the process of creating a blog design that will send you the message of what Mark My Miles is all about! My intentions for creating this space is to continue

Reminding ourselves that we can heal, that we can unleash our strong.

Remembering in the midst of our darkest days, we can continue to DREAM BIG.

Empathizing that when we dream, we must be brave enough to claim what we want.

I confess that I am overly obsessed with exploring future races to add to my race schedule (even though adding more are no longer an option due to a limited budget right now). But I have to share this race with you, the Peace-Love-Run. How cool is that medal??? (Yes, I know I was born in the wrong century, love this era) Seriously guys, PLEASE go run this race if you can for me!!!!


I confess that I miss the pain and discomfort of a long run. Disturbing? Maybe for you to hear…but just confessing the truth here, folks.

I confess that I have been needing some delivered meals sent to my door help in the cooking department. My meals have been quick and easy (expected for a new mom) but lately they’re  not even being put on a plate and are scarfed down while standing up. It’s gotten really bad…like snack plate after snack plate… bad.

(Note to self: Must meal plan for the week, if I am wanting a week of real eats to actually happen).

I blame my lack of meal preparation on my lack of training. It seems that when I am training, I make more of an effort to put together solid meals throughout the week, to avoid the post run hunger to come out. When I do this, those around me are saved from a miserable growling woman and I get a full belly…a Win-Win.


I confess that I was supposed to be in sunny Florida by now for a trip to visit my family. But the city shutdown snow day has delayed my traveling plans. Now, I have to decide if the loss of a day will make the trip worth it. Guess I’ll let you know when I check back in…as of now I have no idea (so much for my love of consistency and stability, huh?).


I confess that I have enjoyed interacting with all my readers so far and hope we continue doing so : ) Now, go ahead and have an amazing Valentine’s Day and Friday!vday

Your turn:

Are you ready for winter to be over?

Do you experience being hangry after a run?

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I’ve been alive for 30 something years and FINALLY tried yoga.

Good morning guys! I am writing as DC has pretty much gone into a state of emergency at the idea of a few inches of snow.Yes, I’m guessing it will be a restless, cabin-fever, kind of day  snow day today for sure…my home office will be put to use.

But moving on to join Amanda’s Thursday Link Up! For those not familiar with this weekly link up, it a post of random thoughts, musings and pictures.Something I enjoy participating in…a chance for me to rant and have my random thoughts be a bit “organized” in a way.


So let’s get to it!

1) I was supposed to be running the Boston Marathon this year. And that would have been great…for many reasons…but a little boy decided to be born right in the midst of my training. I And I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Since Boston is something I can’t do right now. I’m planning to put in some miles to make me happy and hopefully get me across the finish line of some upcoming half marathons. I have to remind myself that my ultimate goal is to be a HEALTHY mother runner for life.

Dear Boston Marathon,

Even though I will not be at your starting line this year. I will get there; mark my miles!


Jenn B.

2) I love the fact that I pushed myself out of my “safe zone” and did something yesterday that scared me. After writing up yesterday’s post, I was motivated to try a public yoga class. Yes, my friends, a public one. You see, I am nowhere near being a yogi. The extent of my yoga experiences are stretching and foam rolling after a run…yeah, that’s not really considered yoga…Anywho, I did it (or attempted to do it). Not completely sure what I thought of it. Was it a good teacher? A good class? Not sure, I have no other yoga experience to compare it to. I’ll keep you posted on my downward dog progress (if there is any).

foam rollers

3) In the above mentioned yoga class, I found myself comparing myself to the others in the class…all of them so flexible and talented for a Yoga 1 class. I realized there was no way that I was going to be able to do the poses correctly if my mind was busy falling into the comparison trap. Besides, I knew that I had to stop thinking about my wobbling knees and start being present or else I was going to fall on my face…for the third time that hour.

Instead, I started breathing with intention (as originally instructed to do since the start of the class). Inhale. Exhale. I realized something in class last night,I spend a lot of time judging myself (back to a previous post). Again, I am working on acceptance and trusting that life is teaching me things through my current attempts at change.

all is well

4) Tomorrow is the Big Valentine’s Day. It will be my first one with a child. Looks like I will be staying in and ordering take out and watching the NEW season of House of Cards. Sounds like a lovely evening to me. Life has been pretty busy lately, and an evening in is just what I am needing.

5) I have some BIG ideas brewing in my heart and mind, so stay tuned for DREAMING BIG announcements!

DREAMING BIG with the changes in my life.

DREAMING BIG with the changes in my life.

Your turn:

What is a race that you are going to get to?

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day tomorrow?

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