National Dog Day

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Today’s post goes out to my fur baby.

Gatsby is the…best co-pilot, most loyal soul, best snuggler, biggest bed hog, worst beggar, fastest runner, most handsome little man in my life. I can’t believe this little hair ball has been in my life for 4 years. Thank you Gatsby for being by my side each and every day. Your love doesn’t go unnoticed and I hope you know how much I love you every day.

On the National Dog Day website, they encourage dog owners/lovers to do one or some of the following: (I’ll be completing No. 8 with lots of puppy play this afternoon!!)

1. Adopt a dog from your local shelter or pure breed rescue organization. Volunteer at your local shelter and offer to walk a dog or play with a dog, clean cages or anything else they need help with.

 2. Have a safety check of your home to make sure it's safe for your dog and others.

 3. Donate blankets, food and toys to animal welfare organizations.

 4. Organize a peaceful demonstration in front of your community pet store that sells puppies.

 5. Write your Congressman and ask that he/she support the ban of Puppy Mills and Gas Chambers in your state.

 6. Order an adorable dog shaped flower arrangement from 1-800-Flowers.com and enjoy a 10% discount by using code DOG when placing your order!

 7. Have a National Dog Day party and invite all your friends and their dogs!

 8. Spend the day taking photos of your dog and then enter our photo contest!

 9. Buy an official National Dog Day Tee here and sport it proudly!

 10. Assist an ill or elderly neighbor by walking their dog.

 11. Have a portrait painted of your dog to suspend the fleeting magic of dogdom.

 12. Buy your dog a fun new dog toy....or two...or five.

 13. Give your dog some fun exercise by taking him or her to a doggy play resort.

 15. Brush your dog to eliminate excess fur.

 16. Give your dog a massage or holistic spa treatment.

 17. Teach your dog a new trick.

 18. Buy your dog a fashionable collar and leash.

 19. Hire a professional pet photographer for a fun photo shoot.

 20. Take your dog to the beach.

Motivation Monday VIII

Monday, August 25, 2014

For a while now I’ve been in desperate need for new running sneakers. I’ve had my current pair since April and have logged several hundred miles in them so far. I can tell the cushion is starting to fade and my feet feel it.

Running is a pretty expensive hobby with race entry fees, gear and sneakers. Over the last few months I’ve been searching the internet for the sneakers I currently have – the Nike Zoom Vomero+ 8 in orange - but I’ve been putting it off because I don’t really have the funds for it right now. Nike of course has new Vomero’s out, but I was searching for other styles that have a lower price tag.


This weekend my mom and I headed up to the outlets in Limerick and they have a Nike Store there. So in I went, looking to find the new Vomero shoe, bending over and paying the $130 price tag (with HOPES that maybeee because it is the outlet the price would be a little lower.) Luckily to my surprise I found my current shoe in a different color (pink and black ohh la la!!) with an AWESOME price of $62!!! Paying $130 for them back in April, I was ecstatic to pay HALF the cost this time around. I’m glad I didn’t go with a different style shoe because I really love this fit which made me think, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Old on left, new on right

I of course will be wearing my orange Vomero’s for a little longer as I transition into my new shoes, but I’m a little sad to fully retire them within the next month or so. I’ve had some great memories in these kicks – setting two new PRs (my half and Broad Street), but I know with this new pair it’s going to be creating new memories – like running 7 races for LIAM!!! (And hopefully setting new PRs!!!)


Motivation Monday VII

Monday, August 18, 2014

Motivation Monday this week is coming to you from Wildwood, NJ. (I didn't forget!!) My family is on vacation for the week but I was only able to sneak away for a few days due to work and vacation time. Regardless of how long I'm here, I always appreciate the little things it offers each time I travel here. 

I love the beaches. I love the boardwalk. I love the memories it always brings me. And today I captured a new memory. For the first time in the 27 years I've been coming here, I saw my first Wildwood sunrise. I knew I had an 11 mile training run this weekend and purposely saved it for one of the days I would be here. Hitting the pavement around 5:45am, I just made it. Seeing the sun creep up over the sea horizon -- so large like it was literally in arms length. 

I've never felt the serenity like I did on my run today... The view was absolutely breathtaking and it made the run so much more enjoyable. I ran on the boardwalk, along the sea wall all the way to the bridge that enters into Stone Harbor and then back. 

I'm so glad I saved my run. Enjoy the little things in life friends because it may make your day. Xox




Did you say Virtual Races?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I’m pretty excited to announce that tonight began my fall race season!! (Sound the trumpets!!) What started out as just two races this fall (The Philadelphia Rock n Roll Half Marathon and the Philadelphia Marathon) has quickly turned into 8. Ooohhhh boy, Im pumped and a little crazy.

My races are a mixture of road races and virtual races. I know you're thinking "what is a virtual race?!?" Well let me explain. In my IRun4 group and all over the internet, organizations host Virtual Races in which you sign up, pay the registration fee(usually very cheap) and you're then shipped your medal in the mail. These virtual races are all done on 'Honor System' that you went out yourself and ran/walked a 5k, 10k, half marathon or full marathon depending on what you sign up for. Virtual races are one of my favorite aspects about the IRun4 group because with every registration you get TWO medals...one for you and one for your buddy. At road races you need to email race directors telling them about IRun4 and your buddy in hopes they will give you a second medal (because I'll be honest, I want to keep mine to remember the accomplishment). But with these virtual races it isnt a worry. We do the runs and capture the final product with a post to our buddies. So. much. fun. and very rewarding. I can't wait to run my first one next month!!!

Tonight I ran with my Special Olympics athletes in the Legs for Lindsey 5k at Evansburg State Park. The course was amazing and so pretty to run in the woods along the Skippack Creek.

What's Next? Liam and I have a race every month now through November.
September: Nick Jones Memorial Race Half Marathon (virtual race) and the Philadelphia Rock n Roll Half Marathon
October: Runners World Festival Hat Trick where I will run the 5k, 10k and half marathon all in one weekend (3 medals, 3 separate races, holy cow! so pumped) and the I Scream, You Scream Half Marathon (virtual race)
November: PHILADELPHIA MARATHON!!!

Is anyone else running these races? How about virtual races? Have you ever ran one before?

Motivation Monday VI

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hello, Monday! You are here again! I don’t know about the rest of you but I am ready to get this week underway. I’m keeping today’s short and sweet but I think this image is pretty self-explanatory.  Punch today in the face. And punch Tuesday and Wednesday and EVERY DAY! Own every day friends.

Last Week Recap
I'm going to be honest -- I owned last week. I got in all of my training runs, played two soccer games (almost before tweaking my knee in our second game) and I had a great time at my first Special Olympics practice. SO was really great and the athletes are so much fun!

This Week's Goals
With another busy week ahead and working 10 days straight, I need to focus. Sleep when I can, work out when I can get it in my schedule and don't make excuses. I have my first 5k race for Liam on Wednesday which I'm super excited for, Ill be there with the SO group!

Have a great week friends! Does anyone else have any goals or great plans?

Everyone - Meet Liam!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

So many of you have been asking me about Liam and I thought it was only fair for him to have an “About Me” blog post. So everyone, please meet Liam from Kerry, Ireland! (Told by his wonderful mother, Pam!)


Liam is 3 years old and he is the youngest of 4 boys (Shane 15, Conor 10 and Ryan 4)
Liam starts mainstream preschool this September and he is very excited about it.
Liam's favourite colour is blue and he loves Batman, Superman and anything superhero ! He has little figures that he plays with non-stop everyday !!!
Liam uses a walker to get around and he is amazing in it! He plays football, hide and seek and skateboarding in the kitchen with his brothers!
Liam loves baths and splashing :-)
Liam was born with a rare genetic metabolic disorder called Glutaric Aciduria Type 1. This means Liam can't break down parts of protein and it builds up as an acid and attacks the brain. Liam is always at risk from this and at times of illness that risk increases. In our house illness is always very stressful. Liam has an NG tube that we can put down at home for nutrition. But Liam always eats mashed foods throughout the day and does not use a feeding tube thankfully.
Liam has Cerebral Palsy Level 4, Dystonia, Hypotonia, Hypertonia and Epilepsy. Liam is cognitively very bright and has no issues. All of Liam's issues are to do with motor skills therefore he can't talk either.
Saying all that, nothing stops Liam from being the most amazing inspirational tough little cookie I ever met. He pushes himself and works hard every single day. He smiles and laughs all the time.
He loves cuddles, stories and teddy bear picnics.
He is amazing at letting us know what he wants without talking and using sign language.
He is a bright, beautiful, bubbly, happy, little man and we always look forward to what the future holds because we know it will be amazing <3

Want to keep in touch with Liam’s story and his progress? Click here to follow his Facebook page!

Motivation Monday Vol. V

Monday, August 4, 2014

“This is the beginning of anything you want.”

This quote really reflects to anything in life. When we start something - whether it is a new project, a race or a class - the outcome is what you make of it. You can go all out or you can only do what is necessary. We all have a clean slate every day in life and we’re the ones making the choice of what the final piece will look like.

As you all know, last Friday was the beginning of a journey I will now share with the cutest little man named Liam. This journey is the beginning of anything WE want and I know we are going to make it the best experience possible. Pam and Liam – I hope you’re ready for the ride! 

Last Week Recap
I had a lot of FIRSTS this week. I went to a rodeo for the first time. I went trap shooting for the first time. And I was matched with a running buddy for the first time. I haven’t had a real good first time experience in a long while so it was super exciting to have three! (Actually I had lots of first last weekend too – paddle boarding, Segwaying and CrossFit. I’ve been loaded, wowzer!)

This Week’s Goals
I have a pretty busy week so keeping on track with marathon training is going to be key in addition to staying energized! I have two soccer games, my first Special Olympics cross country practice and 17 miles to log. Here we go!

Cheers to another week friends!

It's Me, Amanda!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Hi Liam!!

Being that we are just meeting each other, I thought I'd write a fun blog post telling you a little bit about myself. [and to anyone else who is meeting me for the first time!] I'm going to share a little, but I also rallied up a few of my friends and had them write something about  me that they thought you should know. I hope you enjoy this! Xo

This is Gatsby!
About Me From Me!
• I’m the youngest, I have a sister who is 6 years older then me. Her name is Missy.
• I’m an aunt! I have two nephews (Jack 8 and Max 4) and a niece (Quincy 2). They have me so excited to me a mommy some day!
• I’ve been a jock my entire life, playing endless sports but I focused in on soccer - playing at some of the highest levels and attending a D1 school - Loyola College in Maryland. Oh I should add, I was a goalkeeper. I still play soccer today, it’s so much fun!
• One point during my career I was a journalist where I got to write lots and LOTS of cool stories. (You can see some of them here – click here). I now currently work in Marketing and PR at a country club. I love to write hence why I have this blog, I hope you're ready to be all over it :)
• I have a dog named Gatsby, he’s a 6lb. yorkiepoo and the most loyal soul in my life.
• I love taking pictures!
• My favorite foods are ice cream and French fries. Yummy!
• I am silly 99% of the time always trying to make people smile.
• My biggest pet peeve – awful drivers :)


About Me From My Friends
Pic is (I've been calling her Pic since 1999, so she'll always be Pic to me, even when she gets married) one of the kindest, most beautiful, and funniest people I know. I can always count on her to make me laugh and even banter back and forth with the occasional movie quote. She is a huge inspiration to everyone she comes in contact with and I can't think of a better person to be paired with for the I Run 4 program!!
Amanda is a fun-loving, adventure-seeking, beautiful woman who is dedicated to her passions, motivated to make change and an amazingly talented friend! She cares so much about others and about making a difference, I'm inspired by her every day!
We've been buds since pee wee soccer and early in elementary school I knew her (and Jess Waldron) were the most athletic girls by leaps and bounds.  She has an "Italian" personality, meaning she's high energy, loves to laugh, and always talks with her hands. I wish I was as talented/creative as she is with her blog and coming up with topics I write about that are interesting, yet the articles are quick enough to read at lunch. She is the most determined person I know.
Pic is a person who has been in my life for close to 10 years now. She is funny, smart, STUBBORN :), enthusiast and of course, strong! Although she might not know this, she pushes those around her to be better and challenge themselves every day. Her loyalty to those close to her is indescribable and I can only imagine how amazing of a run buddy she will be. She's my teammate, MOH, WOH, but most of all she's my best friend :)! Whoever matches with her is lucky to have her, and I know she will feel extremely lucky and blessed to be matched with you!
Although she may pretend it doesn't make her smile, her friends affectionately call her 'Mandee'
• Amanda never shy's away from a challenge - from running a marathon to eating 12 scoops of ice cream to moving to a tiny beach town where she didn't know anyone. I've never known her to say run away from something that's intimidating, only toward it.
• You are so dedicated to everything and everyone in your life, so genuine and so, SO much fun to be around!
• You are fun, dependable with a great sense of humor, and truly an inspiration.
• Amanda is a hardworking and selfless person. She inspires me with her goal setting and determination to keep running. She is very kind and always there to listen.
• Amanda is one of the most compassionate and generous people I know. I have witnessed simple little things that she has reached out to help people with, and I admire her greatly for that. We need more people in the world like her. She is a great friend, she always makes me laugh, and I love that she's never afraid to be silly! "Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves", ~James Matthew Barrie
• Athletic, witty and a heart of gold, that's what Amanda is made of :)
• With a heart of gold, and a seriously contagious laugh, one of the most loyal people you will ever come across.
• Amanda is an amazing, encouraging and positive force! You are *extremely* lucky to have her as your buddy! Her motivation will keep you going and pumped to achieve your goals!
• Amanda is an amazingly athletic woman with a wonderful sense of humor; she always knows how to make you smile and laugh.


Well, there ya go! That's me in a nutshell and I can not WAIT to learn more about YOU!! I'm so excited to learn all about each other. So now it's you're turn! What are your favorite foods? Movies? Toys? Super heros? Tell me everything :-D


P.S. thank you to all of my friends who wrote a little something for me. I'm the luckiest girl on the planet to have your by my side! Xox


"Run with purpose in every step"

Saturday, August 2, 2014

“So I run with purpose in every step.” - 1 Corinthians 9:24

We run to be fit. To be fit means you’re healthy. Being healthy means we live longer. Many of us run because we feel like we have to. But did you ever think to yourself that there are other reasons out there to be running? Not just to make ourselves a healthier YOU but to run for another purpose that has nothing to do with you at all.

Last night I was blessed because from now on, I Run 4 Liam.

On April 10th I signed up for a group called “I Run 4.” It’s a group of runners/walkers/workout enthusiasts from around the world who dedicate workouts/runs/fitness activities for a partnered buddy. All of the buddies are children/adults with special needs or disabilities of some kind. The purpose of this group is to learn, educate, support and love each other. Appreciate the fact that you CAN run because for some, they will never be able to experience it.

The runners and buddies interact with each other via Facebook (through their parents) and build further relationships on a daily basis via text messaging, email, FaceTime, etc. Buddies and partners are matched from all over the world so your runner could be from California or even England!  (here is the FB page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/irunformichael/)

Back in April I started out on the waiting at number 2,578 and today my wait is over. I’ve been dreaming about this day, some nights thinking I was matched with a handsome little boy and other nights dreaming about being paired with a sweet little angel girl. Patience is a virtue and I now understand why. Because this wait has been worth it.

Like the thousands of others in this group, I can’t wait to run for Liam.  I knew in this world of running there was a bigger purpose for me to hit the pavement (not just self-torture) and this group has helped me discover that. I Run 4 is one of the most supportive groups I have ever been a part of and I can’t wait to start my journey with Liam. Here we go Liam!!

Do you want your own buddy? It's so simple to sign up -- go here and follow all of the steps http://www.whoirun4.com/match-me/. It'll be the best thing you ever wait for, I promise!

CLICK HERE TO LEARN ALL ABOUT LIAM!!!

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