Tuesday, March 13, 2018

I Ran 100 Days Straight on the Run Streak and This is What I Learned

I woke up in an uncomfortable bed and in the unfamiliar surroundings forgot where I was that morning. I was in Houston staying overnight in a hotel in preparation for a one-day blog conference. I made the five-hour drive (should have been four) from Dallas the night before. I drove into town and the hotel was in a neighborhood that didn't give me warm fuzzy feelings about safety. As I passed liquor stores and strip clubs, I pulled into the hotel parking lot, quickly parked my car and checked into my (thankfully, clean) room.

I inquired about the gym at the front desk because I knew the next morning was a milestone. That morning in Houston would be my 100th day straight on the run streak. The front desk clerk informed me that the gym may not operational because they had a problem with the only treadmill. She thinks a screw fell off and the gym was closed for repairs. "It may be open by the morning" she offered.

This made me a little nervous. I knew for my 100th day on the run streak I would have to get it done early in the morning because I had a full-day blog conference ahead of me and then a four to five-hour drive back to Fort Worth. Since the neighborhood wasn't run-friendly, I prayed to the treadmill Gods to fix my treadmill before the morning. I had put in 99 days of running, I couldn't miss this one.

The run streak is a commitment to run at least one mile a day. On rest days you at least run one slow mile. I have participated in these with Runner's World several times over the years. They have both a summer run streak and a winter run streak which last approximately 40 days each.

This Thanksgiving Hubby and I decided to do the winter run streak with Runner's World, which meant we were committing to run at least one mile a day between Thanksgiving and New Year's day. The Fort Worth Turkey Trot was the first day of our streak.

day one at the Fort Worth Turkey Trot

Once the 40 days were up and the official run streak ended, Hubby wanted to keep going. Maybe we were on a New Year's Resolution high, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Let's keep running at least one mile a day throughout the new year. So we kept running. Every day. Most days on the streets. Sometimes on the treadmill. Sometimes at the track. At night. In the dark. When it was cold. In the drizzling rain. When we were tired. When we didn't feel like it. Together. Separately. On Vacation. Some fast miles. A lot of slow miles. All running. Never missed a day.

We joined the 2018 Running Streak Challenge group on Facebook where we post our runs every day to keep us motivated and accountable. There are 43 members of the group who post their runs and encourage us. The moderators even keep a spreadsheet to keep track of all the miles.

But there I was in Houston dreading a broken treadmill with a loose screw. Maybe I was the one with the loose screw since I was freaking out about missing this run.

I woke up that morning on the 100th day of the streak, swiped my room card into the gym door handle and everything look operational...except the TV and the random clock on the wall. The treadmill was clunky and unstable. My treadmill at home in the Shred Shed is much nicer. I didn't care. I stared at the TV fuzz, tried not to look at the clock on the treadmill and pounded out a mile for my 100th day on the run streak. Less than ten minutes later I was done. I ran 100 days in a row. What did I learn?

my 100th day on the run streak


I am a running coach and one thing I always tell my clients is to make sure that they are scheduling proper rest and recovery days. It's as important as the workouts. Our body adapts (gets stronger and faster) during the rest period after the workout, not during the workout itself. Rest is essential for maximum performance and to reach your full potential. So was I telling my clients to do one thing and then doing something else myself?

No. I promised myself that if I ever felt an oncoming injury or unusual pains, I would end the streak. If I needed a full rest day I would take it. No streak is worth risking an extended injury.

During the streak, rest days meant slow one mile days. That means I would jog out a mile at a very easy-for-me pace. A jog that doesn't overly stress my body could still be a rest day. It is a form of active recovery. If I felt I needed a week of one mile days in a row to feel fully recovered, then so be it. I allowed my body to recover. As long as I listened to my body and took as many one mile days as needed, I did fine.


One way to get consistent as hell about running is to promise to run one mile a day. It's not that big of a time commitment so there aren't a lot of valid reasons to skip. Most people can find 9-10 minutes a day, even on busy days. The first few weeks were a struggle getting out there every single day, but after about a month it became part of our day, like making coffee, eating dinner or walking Ollie. We did it every single day.

There were many days I didn't feel like running at all. These days I might have normally skipped, but since I had to run at least a mile, I got out there anyway. Sometimes one mile turned into three miles. Sometimes not.

The best part was even if I had a busy week and didn't run at all except for one mile each day, I still ran seven miles in a week. It's not much, but it's a heck of a lot better than nothing. Consistency builds habits. Running became a habit.


My 5K time improved by more than a minute per mile. The first run I posted below was on December 1st, shortly after the streak began and the last run posted below was 104 days into the streak. I'm still not the fastest runner around, but I think this is a marked improvement in 100 days.

I also improved my one-mile time and earned a half marathon PR. I will point out that in addition to running, I was very consistent with strength training, which plays an important role in running success. There were other factors involved but the run streak definitely helped. Consistency is king.

Today marks 111 days on the streak. As long as my body doesn't tell me it's time to stop, I'll be continuing on.

Have you ever ran a streak?

Stay tuned and I'll tell you more about that blog conference I attended in Houston.

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Keep Running,


Does your running partner have four legs

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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Tuesday Tails Furry Feature: Running with Nanu

Welcome to the latest edition of Tuesday Tails Furry Feature, my most popular post of the month! Every month I introduce you to the cutest furry-faced, four-legged runners on the internet. This month I have a very special feature. I am thrilled to introduce you to Lyn and Nanu. Lyn is an inspiring woman promoting one of the most positive messages in the industry. She helps people go from Couch to Active. Can you relate?

We are going off our regular format because Lyn agreed to do a guest post today, an honest letter to her puppy. I love it so much because even if you can't run with your dog, like we usually talk about on Furry Feature, it doesn't mean you can't be active. Do the best you can with what you have. It's always good enough. Thanks Lyn for this inspiring message. 

An honest letter to my puppy.

Well hello there my dear little Nanu.

Since we don’t speak the same language, you’ll never know the purpose of your name. But for now, I’m going to write you this letter and pretend you understand every word.

You’ll also never know that I’m guest blogging about you on Lea’s Running with Ollie blog site. You’ll be among many years of dog blogs where there are countless stories of the joys of running and racing as a dog.

You and I however are going to have a much different journey together. I need to tell you little Nanu, I can’t run like the big dogs. Most day’s we will be walking. You don’t know what asthma is but I suppose that’s just going to have to be ok. You always keep life simple. I can respect that.

You’ll never be one of the big dogs.

You’ll never be able to run big miles.

But you are perfect for me.

When you’re old enough, we’ll start taking “real” walks. We will see lots beautiful people running like gazelles with their big trim dogs. I have to share a secret with you Nanu. I am not proud of this, but I am jealous of their ability to burn tons of calories because their body will perform for them. They will smile and nod as they pass us because you’re just so darn cute. Like you, the running gazelles have no idea what I’ve struggled with, or how I would love to be one of them. But then I don’t know their stories either. 

You are simply happy to walk and wag.

I want to be more like you.

We all have stories little Nanu and already, I’m nervous about how your story is developing.

You woke up one morning with one eye red and glued shut by gunk. The vet says you have an uncommon eye issue and he’s not sure of prognosis. Only time will tell if you will go blind young. Man you already have me chasing my tail giving you eye drops five times a day. Still, there you were a wiggly little two pounder making all of us smile with your cat-sized cone of shame.

You are so much simpler than me. You take naps while I am devouring the latest health research on conquering asthma. You chase balls while I am on a quest to optimize the crap out of my life in order to be a little faster, stronger, and better than I was yesterday. I watch you eat the same food every day while I flip between gluten free, vegetarian, green smoothies, Keto, Whole30, Paleo, and then make a full circle back to gluten free.

There you are chasing your tail.

Here I am, chasing mine.

We won’t ever run a big race, and we definitely won’t ever win any sort of medal. But that’s ok. We are grateful for the health we have today and we’re both going to make the most of what we have. I’ll be there for you, and you’ve already been there for me.

About your name. You were named in honor of a man who could make a room instantly erupt into laughter. A man who helped so many forget their own pain despite the fact that he carried his own story.

That’s what you do for me little guy.

It’s possible my dear Nanu, that you are the winner in the race of life?


Your mama Lyn

Seriously, I just wiped a tear. THANK YOU LYN for your inspiring story. Please follow Lyn and Nanu on Coach to Active


Do you want to be featured on this blog with your dog? Fill out this form to be considered. For now, this is a monthly post (12 times a year) but with enough new interest, I am considering expanding it to once a week (52 times a year) so there is plenty of opportunity to get in your feature submission. I'd love to hear from you!
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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

My Surprise PR at the Cowtown Half Marathon

On the Thursday before the Cowtown half marathon my ankle started feeling weird. I didn't recall anything specific that would have caused this pain, so I just wrapped it up and hoped for the best.

I've been officially training for Cowtown since the beginning of the year. I was on a short cycle of just eight weeks, so I didn't have a lot of time to ramp up the miles and work on speed. I had a solid running base under my belt, but I didn't have high expectations for my finishing time.

At the Cowtown expo in Fort Worth.

Last week I wrote a post about my training road to Cowtown. This is the first year I ran the big race in my own city of Fort Worth and I now I wonder what took me so long. This was the most well-organized race I've ever run. Free parking was ample (even when you showed up at the last minute, like I did). The location was convenient and accessible. The race SWAG was fun and abundant. Seriously, who gets two shirts, a jacket, a head wrap and a medal? The corrals were well-thought out and organized. Even the weather was perfect on Sunday (sorry to the 5K and 10K runners on Saturday who got soaked in the pouring rain).

Even with a sore foot, I felt ready for the race. More ready than usual. I was actually scared that I was feeling too confident as if somehow that would jinx the whole thing. Stupid runners superstition.

I found a cute running skirt hiding in my drawer that still had the tags on it. It was supposed to be a little chilly in the morning, but I knew once I started running it would be perfect. I wore a tank with a lightweight jacket and took my traditional "Flat Lea" like any good runner on Instagram does.

I set the alarm for 5:30 am to prepare for a 7am race start. I woke up with a new soreness on the outside of my foot. What the heck is going on? It didn't hurt inside my cushioned running shoes, but I was a little worried about it.

I ate my long run and race day tradition of toaster waffles with berries, syrup and a banana. I hit the road while it was still dark to head south to Fort Worth.

I won't bore you with my mile by mile commentary, but I broke the ultimate racing rule and did something brand new on race day. (Do as I say not as I do: Never wear, eat or try anything new on race day.) I set my TomTom Spark GPS watch to alert me if I was running faster than a nine minute mile pace or slower than a 9:30 pace. I thought this was a safe pace as to not kill myself but still be in range to get a PR. I didn't have time to do any runs with this new setting so I was annoyed to realize it changed the main screen settings so I couldn't see at a glance how much time has passed or my average pace. It only showed me current pace and whether I was on target or not. (There may be settings I was unaware of to fix this, but I didn't realize until I started running, so it was too late.)

The only times my watch told me speed up was during the first mile when it was crowded and during mile nine on the killer 1/3 mile hill across the bridge back into downtown Fort Worth. The rest of the race it was telling me to slow down, which I happily obliged.

I couldn't believe how quickly the miles were whipping by. I felt great the entire race. My music was pumping in my ears and my legs were grooving along. After mile six, it seemed like I was steadily moving between 9 and 9:10 (but I couldn't be sure). I started to get the idea that I could maybe set a new personal record for this race, but I didn't want to get my hopes up.

My last half marathon PR was at the Dallas Rock 'n' Roll in 2012: 1:59:23. Six years ago! I want to prove to myself that, at over 40, my running glory days were not behind me. Would this be the race? I didn't think so going in.

During the race I never knew my average pace or the amount of time that passed. I don't know if this mentally helped me or hurt me. I just decided to keep moving forward at this comfortable-ish pace, not pushing any faster...until I hit mile twelve. I decided to push it on the last mile just in case I was close to a PR. That 1.1 mile was the only time I suffered the whole race. I found it funny when I looked at my splits after the race. That final mile wasn't faster than my previous few miles. It just goes to show, it's all in our heads.

post race celebration! 

#runcowtown half marathon medal
When I looked at my final stats on my GPS watch after crossing the finish line, It said 1:59:00 couldn't believe I hit a new PR! I was on cloud nine! I would like to thank strength training, the run streak and early morning race day waffles.

official time.

After the race I ran into some social media friends!

When I got home, hubby got me PR flowers. Cue internet "awwww"

Did I just achieve a half marathon PR on a bad ankle? I've been icing, elevating and compressing since the race. Hopefully I'll be back to normal again soon after a few recovery and rest days. Now I feel the like the sky's the limit if I have a longer training cycle that includes some speed work. My glory days are still here. Except...

As I was walking back to my car after the race, I reached back to smooth my skirt and it was tucked into the shorts in the back. Was it like that since my porta-potty stop at 6:45am? If so, I deeply apologize to all the runners behind me.

My official race photo. I paid $30 for this sucker, so I thought I would share!

Keep Running,


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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

On the Road to Cowtown...

I love to run half marathons. It's my favorite race distance because it always feels like a worthwhile challenge but it doesn't take too much time to fit in the training. I know a lot of people train to run full marathons and beyond, but to me, thirteen miles will always feel like a major acomplishment! If I can carve out an extra hour to two on a weekend on top of my normal running schedule, I know I can successfully train for a half marathon.

I love destination races, I've run races in San Diego, San Antonio, Las Vegas and Pittsburgh. We are running the Disney Star Wars Dark Side half marathon in Florida this April. People always ask me why I am not running my local race in Fort Worth. That would be much too convenient and inexpensive, I joke.

I am the queen of signing up for half marathons and then not properly training for them (which makes for a miserable race day experience). I know, I know. I am a running coach. I know better. But as I always say, it is not what we know, it is what we do. Knowledge means nothing without action. I was determined to properly train for this one. Pinky swear.

I decided to sign up for the Cowtown half marathon last December because I felt ready to tackle the training for another half marathon and finally run the big race in my own city. I was dealing with a shoulder issue for most of 2017 that prohibited me from running long distances, but as my shoulder improved I was itching to start long run training again. I haven't ran a half marathon since 2016! It was time to put an end to that. The Cowtown half marathon is on February 25th.


I started training in December after I signed up and did a couple of longer runs, but fell off the long run wagon when the weather went south. I know, excuses. I didn't get serious about my long runs until January. That still gave me about eight weeks to train and with the solid running base I already had, I knew it would be enough time.

I also have been strength training with Optimal Force Fitness on Mondays and Fridays and doing my own runner-specific strength training in the ShredShed. Strength training for runners is so important for performance and for injury prevention.


My motto for my training long runs is Beastie Boy inspired, "Slow and Low that is the Tempo." I literally repeat it in my head like an mantra. It helps me slow my pace while I build endurance. I know I have a tendency to go out too fast (especially if I am feeling great) then puttering out at the end.

Hubby is not running this race with me, but he usually comes along for the first half of my long training runs. He is a great pacer, he reminds me to slow it down. I told him I need his voice on a recorder for the first half of Cowtown on repeat: "slow down, slow down, slow down." After the first half, I can go as fast as I want.

Honestly, If I had more time I would train a little more for speed, but eight weeks is not enough time to train for both speed and endurance. For injury prevention you should never increase intensity and volume in the same week, which means you have to choose week by week if you are going to train to run faster or farther. With the limited time, I had to choose to train for distance so I would have the endurance to finish at all.

My half marathon PR was back in 2012 and it was just under two hours. I want to prove to myself that my running glory days are not behind me and I am still capable of running a sub two hour half marathon, but it's not going to happen this time. In order to run a half in less than two hours you need to maintain a 9:10 pace over 13 miles and my long training runs have been around 9:30. I can probably expect to pick up a several seconds a mile with race day excitement, but it's just not realistic to expect that race day pace will be 20 seconds faster than training pace. We'll see.

Just a lesson to myself to not cut the training cycle short like I did by not following through with training in December.


Hubby and I started the run streak on Thanksgiving Day 2017 with Runner's World. The idea is to run at least one mile a day every single day. Some days you run more than one, then on rest days you just run one mile. When January rolled around and the official run streak ended, hubby wanted to keep going. I was a little worried it would be too much for my (old lady) body, but I've been doing great. At the time of this post we've been streaking for 89 days! I think it has enhanced my half marathon training, rather than inhibit it. I run most of the rest day one milers slow as to give my body the recovery it needs. If I am feeling tired, I run several one mile days in a row. The key to a successful run streak is to listen to your body.


Fueling for a half marathon is as important in training as it is on race day. If you feed your body high quality carbohydrates, proteins and fats you will see the best performances. I try to live by the 80/20 rule. It's just an estimate, but the idea is to eat healthy nourishing foods 80% of the time and allow 20% of your calorie intake for treats and indulgences. This helps me stay in balance (something I struggle with, the all-or-nothing). 

Every Sunday we have waffles as our weekly treat. No, they are not high protein, low carb, flourless healthy waffles, they are the good ol' toaster waffles with berries and syrup. I noticed when I would eat my indulgent toaster waffles the morning before a long run that I would run really well. It's probably the boost in carbohydrates or maybe it's just mental, but after a few weeks of waffles = good run, I decided that the race day strategy will be to get up early and eat waffles before I go. I am already excited (about the waffles).


Race day is Sunday February 25th. I finished up my last long training run of 12 miles this past Sunday and I feel confident. I plan on a modified taper week of just one mile a day until race day to keep the run streak alive. I'll do my regular strength training workout on Monday, hip and core exercises throughout the week and will walk Ollie for a couple of miles every day. Then on Friday before the race I will skip my usual leg workout and just focus on arms. I should have really fresh and recovered legs by Sunday.

Of course Ollie doesn't like any of this nonsense because the training runs are too long for his aging bones and he can't even enjoy race day!

Stay tuned, I have some exciting things coming soon. I have an amazing guest post that you're just going to love with an adorable furry face and in the first week of March I am going to Houston for a one day Blog Elevated conference. I'll be hanging out with @runoutthebox so go follow her over on Instagram.

Wish me luck and cool weather!

Keep Running,


Does your running partner have four legs

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Welcome to the latest edition of Tuesday Tails Furry Feature when I introduce you to the furriest, cutest four-legged runners on the web (and their human). It's always my most popular post of the month and I look forward to introducing you to this month's feature Heather, Belle and Willow.

Hi, Heather. Tell us a little bit about your favorite running partners. 

Belle is a 5 years old Miniature Pinscher beagle mix. Willow is a 9 months old German Short hair Retriever.

Where is your favorite place to run with your pooch? 

We love to run on the back roads.

Have you ever raced with your dog?

Not yet, but we are excited to be training for a 10k in April.

Tell us about a running moment that made you proud.

I am proud of Belle for running 12 miles with me. This is impressive because she only weighs 20 lbs and has sticks for legs.

What running (or life) lesson can we learn from our dogs? 

Running with my dogs is the best thing I ever did! They are more balanced energy-wise and they motivate me more than I ever thought they could. I’m not just that crazy runner girl, ow I’m the crazy runner girl with two dogs!

Do you want to tell us anything else about you or running with your dog?

Everyone should exercise with their dog on a regular basis. It builds a bond and helps to lessen behavior problems.

Do you want to be featured on this blog with your dog? Fill out this form to be considered. For now, this is a monthly post (12 times a year) but with enough new interest, I am considering expanding it to once a week (52 times a year) so there is plenty of opportunity to get in your feature submission. We'd love to hear from you!

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Keep Running,


Does your running partner have four legs

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Vanilla is the New Chocolate: 5 Crave-Worthy Vanilla Protein Shake Recipes

This post is sponsored by Premier Protein. All opinions are my own. If I hated it, I would tell you. 

Somewhere along the line, vanilla got a bad rap. "It's so vanilla" describes something that is plain, boring or lackluster. I am here to take vanilla back. I boldly declare that vanilla is the new chocolate! I will prove it with these five crave-worthy, delicious smoothies that happen to be nutritious. When you combine fruits, veggies and protein you have a delicious on-the-go meal that's actually good for you.

Why Protein? As a nutrition habits coach I help my all my clients focus on adding more protein into their diets, not just my athletes and the weightlifters. Everyday people who want to live more healthily can benefit from a protein boost, because most people aren't meeting their daily requirements.

5 crave-worthy vanilla protein shake recipes

Protein helps repair and build muscle which is helpful if you work out, but if you are trying to lose weight then consuming enough protein can help you preserve the muscle you already have. When you lose weight, you want to make sure you are losing mostly fat and not muscle. Muscle tissue on the body helps you burn more calories as you go about your day scrolling Pinterest, reading a book or enduring that marathon, even the Netflix kind! Maintain and/or build your muscle tissue for a higher metabolism.

Protein helps you feel full for longer after you eat so you can stay satisfied between meals. Protein has a higher thermic effect than carbs or fats which means you use more calories just to process protein. The thermic effect of food is the energy it takes your body to digest, absorb and store the foods you eat. Most people will benefit from protein-centric meals and snacks.

I am excited to work with Premier Protein again. I love their affordable, easily accessible protein powders with no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. Their 100% whey protein powder is new and improved with 30 grams of protein per scoop, 180 calories and only 3 grams of sugar. You can pick it up at Sam's Club.

5 crave-worthy vanilla protein shake recipes


You know how you're supposed to eat 6-8 servings of fruits and veggies a day? Yeah, it's tough. I know. Adding a handful of spinach to your smoothie helps you meet your daily veggie requirements and you can't even taste it (really!). Try this delicious high-protein spin on the classic green smoothie.

1 banana
1/3 cup plain Greek Yogurt
1 handful of spinach
1/2 cup to 1 cup of milk, almond milk or water
1 scoop of Premier Protein Vanilla Milkshake protein powder


What comes to mind when you think of cocoa and mint? Little girls with green sashes and cookies! Not to take anything away from that adorable, irresistible cookie sales force, but give this recipe a try when you have a hankering for a thin mint. 

1 banana
1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract
1/2 to 1 cup of milk, almond milk or water
1 scoop of Premier Protein Vanilla Milkshake protein powder


When you can't leave it all behind for a tropical island, at least you can always close your eyes and sip on pineapple and coconut to pretend. Bring your own drink umbrella for maximum effect.

handful of spinach
handful of frozen pineapple
pinch of coconut
pinch of sliced almonds
1/2 to 1 cup of milk, almond milk or water
1 scoop of Premier Protein Vanilla Milkshake protein powder


Maybe nothing is quite like Grandma's homemade apple pie, but when Grandma's not around to tell you that you're getting too skinny, blend up this delicious high-protein treat and save the extra pie calories for a special occasion.

1 sliced apple
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 to 1 cup of milk, almond milk or water
1 scoop of Premier Protein Vanilla Milkshake protein powder


Remember back in the days before cell phones and high speed internet when we spent our days climbing trees with the neighborhood kids until the street lights came on? Back then our big decision of the day was either an orange creamsicle or a Turbo Rocket popsicle. I always went for the creamsicle so this one feels a little sentimental. 

1 medium orange
1/3 cup of plain Greek yogurt
1/2 to 1 cup of milk, almond milk or water
1 scoop of Premier Protein Vanilla Milkshake protein powder

Pick up your own Premier Protein Vanilla Milkshake flavored protein powder at Sam's Club for 30 grams of protein per serving. Blend up a few of these recipes and join me on my quest to declare that vanilla is the new chocolate!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Premier Protein. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Does your running partner have four legs

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

5 Lessons Learned Going Part-Time at Corporate to Pursue my Passions

A month ago I made the decision to go part-time at my corporate marketing job in order to make more room to pursue my fitness business, blog and freelance writing goals. I was (am) a little terrified about cutting my regular paycheck in half but somewhere deep inside it felt like the right thing to do. I was in a rut. A four year rut. I have been feeling creatively stifled and it was about time I did something about it. Something. Anything. Shake things up, baby.

This was a relatively safe move because we worked hard to pay off debt and we keep our expenses low. I know that even if I don't make one extra dollar on my side hustles that I would still be able to pay my bills without stress. That part was important to me because this whole process taught me that I am risk averse. Yes, I wanted to pursue my passions more seriously, no I didn't want to go broke or introduce money stress into my life to do it. This choice seemed the perfect balance of risk.

Some people thought I was crazy. Why would I leave money on the table from my corporate job? My answer was that I make enough money, I wanted more freedom and I was willing to pay for it. I could keep spending my precious energy or I could downgrade my lifestyle, which honestly doesn't mean much more than cutting down on my Lorna Jane and Amazon prime habit. It seemed like a reasonable trade off.

It's only been a month and I am stretching and growing already. I am already learning some lessons and am discovering some interesting things about myself.


The honest truth is that I didn't quit half my job because I had clients lined up around the block and I needed more time to serve them. I quit half my job to make space on my calendar and more importantly, in my head. You know what happened? I picked up a new personal training client and new nutrition coaching client that first month. I made room for it. I didn't have the mental capacity for another client while working full time, writing two blogs, being a wife, working out and keeping my house spotless at all times (just kidding about that last one).

I like the idea of giving up the good to make room for the great. A well paying corporate job is good, no doubt about that. If I really want to make room for the things I want out of life, I have to be willing to give up good and comfortable to pursue the great.


Four weeks in and I am loving the freedom, however, there is a lot of uncertainty on those non-corporate days when I am free to pursue whatever I want. There is pressure to make sure I am spending my time wisely, because if I sit on the computer and stare at Facebook all day, then I'm not doing anything to move myself forward and quite literally losing money. It's one thing to not make money despite your best efforts, it's a whole 'nother thing to waste the chance to try.

I started working at a local running store on Mondays. It gives me the great opportunity to meet local runners in my community while helping them in a real way. It also may open up contact and networking opportunities with running industry manufacturers. I spend my time doing something that I truly enjoy, while still having the freedom to blog or work on my own business on those days between customers.

While working at a running shoe store is not a difficult job, it is full of uncertainty. People come in or call with questions that I don't know the answers to all the time. People have an expectation that the person working at the store is a running shoe expert, and while I learn more and more everyday, I just simply do not know the history and technical details of every running shoe ever made (like the owner of this store does).

It's a lesson in not letting negative thoughts or ideas take over. I am not perfect, but I'm good enough. The uncertainty of my fitness business, the future of my blogs and freelance writing is the scary unknown. I just have to learn to get real cozy comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.

I strive to learn and improve every day, but when something new brings up those "not good enough" feelings of uncertainty I have to remind myself that learning or doing anything new and making newbie mistakes only stretches me to become a better person. The more uncomfortable I feel, the more opportunity there is for me to grow.


When you cut your regular paycheck in half it's really easy to start to calculate what you don't have, what you can't afford or what you have to give up. It's true that in the beginning while I get things off the ground I won't have as much disposable income as I've grown accustomed. At first, I worried that I might not be able to afford my annual BlogFest and personal trainer conference trip or to sign up for as many races. I made a conscious decision to put those thoughts out of my head. I didn't go part-time so I could give up the experiences that light my soul on fire, that would be counter intuitive. I want to get more out of life and going to conferences, races and concerts is a big part of living my life to the fullest. 

Sure, it is responsible to cut out unnecessary spending and live a more conservative lifestyle given my reduced income, but I'll strive to cut the things that aren't providing value to my life. I don't need more stuff (not even more leggings-gasp-even though I think I do.) I always need more connections, more experiences and more travel. I won't let a scarcity mindset get between me and the abundant full life of my dreams. 


I am at my corporate job three days a week now and I quickly learned that stress is relative. When my identity became more than my marketing job, the stress of that job instantly became less important. I am not saying the job itself is less important to me. I am so grateful my company allows me this privilege to work part-time. I realize it is a gift. I will always strive to do the best job possible, but suddenly and instantly I lost the stress surrounding the things I could not control. It's a strange feeling for a worry-wart like me.

I work hard to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible, but when things go wrong that are out of my control I am now able to work to correct the problem to the best of my ability without any of the stress attached to it. "It is what it is" has become my new motto. My head space doesn't have the room anymore to worry or stress about work-related issues outside of my control mainly because it became apparently clear that it is pointless.

Now if this lesson can carry over to the rest of the things I stress about in my life that are out of my control, that would be great.


Hubby worried that only going to the marketing office three days a week would make it worse for me, like returning back to work from a long weekend, every weekend. You know how you feel when you've been off work for a vacation and you dread the return to reality?

So far I have had the opposite experience. I have four long full days every single week to pursue my passions, stretch my knowledge, try new things, learn new things, meet new people and take new risks. Frankly, it can be mentally exhausting. In returning to the office I have found great comfort in the chaos of familiarity.

I've been working with my company for nearly a decade. It's not a hard job, but it is a fast-paced, often demanding, detailed-oriented job. After a long weekend of stretching and growing, I slip back comfortably into the chaos I know. It helps a lot with the self-doubt that tries to creep in when I do all these new things.

I could imagine that if someone quit their full-time job to pursue their personal goals that the feelings of uncertainty could quickly become overwhelming. I get a three-day-a-week reminder that I am a smart, capable human-being who can do challenging things well. It's quite a privilege to have the opportunity to earn a paycheck by serving my company while also have to time to pursue my own dreams.

I want to thank you for reading. It is hard work to maintain two blogs consistently and I've often wondered if it was maybe time to give up Running with Ollie to focus solely on Lea Genders Fitness strength & running blog.

This blog has been my baby since 2009 and even though Ollie doesn't run much anymore, I realized I am not ready to let it go because I will always need a personal blog as a creative outlet. Lea Genders Fitness strength & running blog has more article-based blog posts to help people with their running, strength training and nutrition. This blog is my heart and my personal outlet.

The ideas in this post have been swirling around in my head for a couple of weeks now and while I thank you for reading, I write it for me. It helps me process how I am feeling. It's a big part of how I untangle the thoughts wrapped in knots in my head. I want to document my journey here. I'm afraid if I don't write it down, in a year from now when all of this feels easy, I'll forget all about the lessons I learned to get there.

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Keep Running,


Does your running partner have four legs

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