Category Archives: Running

Rise.Run.Retreat. – It’s all about community


It seems like that word gets thrown around a lot these days. This past weekend was truly all about the power of running and more specifically the running blog community for the very first Rise.Run.Retreat.

On Friday evening, I walked into a beach house in Wells, Maine where I would be spending the weekend. I had only meet three of the nine other people “in real life” before. What I soon realized is that “in real life” and real life are the exact same thing when it came to getting to know each other. After introductions, it was like we had been friends for eons, gathering together for our annual girls weekend away at the beach. The wine was flowing, our plates were full of yummy food and the sound of laughter and deep conversations filled the air.

Even though we are all bloggers, this was more than a blogging retreat. It was more about spending time with a community of friends that has been built on the love of running.

Rise.Run_.Retreat.-Attendees-1024x1024Allie – Vita Train 4 Life, Me, Sarah – Run Far Girl, Laura – Mommy Run Fast, Jenn – Running with the Girls, Christine – Love Life Surf, Tina – Fuel Your Future, Carrie – Eight Crazy Soles, Jes – Runladylike, Sandra – Organic Runner Mom.

You need to follow these ladies if you don’t already!

And thanks Jes for the graphic! :)

My heart is full. My cheeks are sore. It was a weekend that can’t even be put into words.

So where do I begin? I think the best way is through pictures.

Sunrise run or walk on the beach. Maine, you sure are pretty!

Sunrise Run | Rise.Run.Retreat |

Tina lead us through her dynamic warm up (I’m definitely adding parts of it to my routine!) beforehand.

Dynamic warm up

Yoga with the amazing Christine.  I wished I lived in New York just to attend her classes. Maybe she can do an audio class for me so I can replay it over and over again?

Savasana Rise Run Retreat |

Warrior | happyfitmama.comIt was a little too chilly for yoga outside but we couldn’t pass up this photo opp!

Breakfast from awesome New England based companies – Stonyfield yogurt of any flavor you could wish for – Oh My Yog! is my fave btw, Lucy’s Granola and Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs (so fresh!).

Breakfast Rise Run Retreat |

And then we ate some more later at Elevation Burger in Portland and then later that night with the most delicious pizza from Cornerstone in Ogunquit.

Cornerstone Rise. Run. Retreat |

We had a special guest speaker, Jeanine from Runner’s Alley. Runner’s Alley is THE place to get fitted for running shoes in New Hampshire. The staff knows their stuff. She turned her passion of running into a successful business.

Runner's Alley talk Rise Run Retreat | happyfitmama.comEpic  moose #photobomb too.

Miles were run and dominated. Every lady ran a negative split race during the Maine Half Marathon on Sunday. There were PR’s. There was a first place age group win. There were tons of smiles. And Carrie ran her first ever half marathon. Woohoo! I was bummed I wasn’t able to run the race but at least I got to be a part of the Sherpa team to support the girls. Because we all know it takes a village to be a successful runner!

IMG_0634Post half marathon rise. run.retreat |

I can’t thank Jes and Sarah enough for putting together this amazing retreat. I went into it knowing that it would be special, but I had no idea it would be so life changing.

Momentum Jewelery | hapypfitmama.comPutting our awesomeness together with our new Momentum Jewelry wraps.

Also, thanks so much to the sponsors. Lots of old favorites and some new!

Rise Run Retreat sponsors | happyfitmama.comBe sure to follow Rise.Run.Retreat. on Twitter and Instagram to find out more details of the next retreat in the upcoming months!

friendship and running quote

7 Reasons to Get Excited for Fall Running

Embracing the Taper Fall|

Happy Fall y’all.

Yes, I just said y’all. When we lived in Virginia, it become second nature for me to say that. I even started calling every woman Miss. Like Miss Kitty. Or Miss Lady. Yes, I had a patient who went by the first name of Lady.  What can I say, I adapt very well to my surroundings.

Back to Fall. It’s officially here! Time to really break out all things pumpkin and apple. Before today, it was only a soft opening for the real deal. Time to bring out the boots, jeans and sweaters. It’s also time to be excited about Fall running. After slogging through the summer, you earned it!

I have my fingers and toes crossed that I will be able to enjoy some gorgeous Fall running. I’ve had three Ionta treatments so far and have noticed a difference. YES!! Even my PT was shocked that it’s working so well. After missing out on all of summer running, I’m hopeful that I can at least get in some time during the second best time of the year to run.

Why I’m excited for Fall running

Million Dollar Views – Here in New Hampshire, the leaves are slowing started to turn colors. It’s amazing to watch the progressive change from green, to vibrant orange, yellow and reds. So many tree lined streets look like a picture from a magazine. It’s eye candy for sure.

Fall trail |

Awaken your senses – Fall has it’s own distinct smell, taste and feel. The crispness in the air. The smell of the leaves. The taste of all things pumpkin. The sound of the wind through the trees or rustling leaves across a sidewalk. It definitely makes me feel more alive. Combining that with running makes it even better.

Bug Free Trails – Summer running on trails, while cooler than running on the street, can be quite buggy. There’s nothing fun about being chased by a swarm of mosquitoes or black flies. Once the temps start to get cooler, the bugs bug off and it’s back to a peaceful way to connect with nature.

trail run |

Cooler Temps – I love the heat but running in it, along with humidity, can make even the most conditioned runner feel like they need gills just to survive. You no longer have to plan for your run to be done by 5 a.m. to beat the heat. Tem­per­a­tures are cool enough to keep you com­fort­able, but not so cold that you’re deal­ing with browsicles.

Long sleeves  – I’ll wear shorts if it’s above 40 degrees, I like my legs cool. But give me long sleeves and I’m a happy girl. My upper body prefers a little warmth. Long sleeves just make me feel good and comfy.

All the races – Fall is the busiest time for races. In my area, I know there is a race (or five) scheduled every single weekend through November. And after slogging all summer long, you’ll definitely be stronger and faster. Why not test it out by signing up for something or try a new distance?

fall running |

Me Time – Running is good for this any time of the year, but with the holidays quickly approaching (say what?!?!?!), it’s about to get cray-cray up in here. If a run clears your head, do it.

What do you love about fall running?

So You Want to Be a Runner

So You Want to Be a Runner? It's hard work but follow these 8 tips and you'll be running before you know it. |

I’d love to be a runner but I hate running.

I’d love to be a runner, but I don’t have time.

I’d love to be a runner, but it’s boring.

I’d love to be a runner, but I don’t like to sweat.

I’d love to be a runner, but it’s too hard.

If you are a runner, you’ve probably heard this line a million times from others who want to run.

So you want to be a runner.

The truth is, running is hard work. There’s no doubt about it. But just like anything, the more you do it, your body gets accustomed to the impact, the straining and the hard work. It does become easier BUT still hard all at the same time. It doesn’t make sense but trust me, you’ll understand once you get to that point. It becomes a different kind of hard.

I’d love to say that every single run I’ve ever done was pure bliss. Hardly. I’ve had some serious suck-tastic runs where I wanted to throw away my running shoes and say “I’m never running again. EVER!”

But I haven’t. And I won’t because I love it. Even the suck-tastic runs are good. You have to enjoy running to do it regularly and you have to run regularly to be fit enough to enjoy running. So the key is sticking with it.

Make it enjoyable.Go for a run in a place that makes you happy. Love the water? Run by it. Love the trails? Get dirty! Love to watch trashy TV? Catch up on it while you are on the treadmill. Find something that makes running more enjoyable to you.

Hawaii Run |

Go at your own pace

You may not be able to run continuously when you first get started. That’s ok! Try a run/walk combo for either time like 5 minutes running, 1 minute walking. Repeat it for a period of time that feels comfortable to you. As you build your endurance, extend your run time and reduce your walk time. Eventually you will be running without breaks.


One of the hardest thing to get down when you first start running is how to breathe. Your lungs will burn. You may get side stitches because you are taking too much air in. If you do get a side stitch, take a walk break or slow your pace. Make sure you are taking deep, controlled breaths rather than shallow, fast breaths.

trail running |

Find your motivation

Want to lose weight? Want to run a 10K? Want to break 4 hours in a marathon? Working on stress relief? Find what motivates you to push through.

Cross train

A well rounded runner does more than run. Find an activity that can give your running muscles a break a few days a week AND one that strengthens and balances those precious muscles to keep you running. Cycling, swimming, gym machines such as the elliptical, yoga, and of course, strength and balance training.


Dress the part starting at your feet up

Start with shoes and work your way up. For me, shoes are the key to having an enjoyable run. If your shoes aren’t working for you, then you’ll be uncomfortable, in pain or worse yet, injured. Once you’ve got that covered, then you can get the good tech gear that will wick away sweat and keep you (hopefully) chafe free.

Running shoes |

Never trust a run based on the first mile (or two or three)

The first 10 minutes of any run are going to feel tough. You’ll likely feel stiff, achy, tired and ticked off. Some days it feels like everything is loose in my skull and it’s bouncing around. That’s completely normal and part of transitioning from being sedentary to being in motion. If you keep pushing your body forward — even if you’re walking — your weariness will soon evolve into “Ok, I can do this”. I promise. Just commit to 10 minutes of movement.  You can do anything for 10 minutes. But more often than not, your muscles will feel warmed up, your heart rate will be elevated and you’ll start to feel energized, even excited to run.

Snowy trail run |

You don’t have to run a half marathon, marathon or even race

Not all runners, race. My dad has always been a runner but has never done one single race. It’s not his thing. And if it’s not your thing, don’t do it because you think you’ll get kicked out of the Runner’s Club. If you run, you are a runner. Plain and simple.

 If you are a runner, what are your tips for sticking with it?