Props Wednesday- Meet Mel

Meet Mel.

I am telling you all to meet Mel, but I have a feeling most of you already have.  She has a readership, that I must admit, I am jealous of…everyone reads her blog.  If you haven’t met Mel yet, I highly suggest you check her out.  She found me a few months ago and I am so glad she did!

Here’s the other thing about Mel…I am pretty sure she is super-human.  Either that, or she never sleeps.  In addition to her blog, Mel is a wife, mother, an event planner and super fast amazing runner!  Just how amazing of a runner?  7-minute mile pace amazing, first place at her most half marathon kind of amazing.  Ah-Maz-Ing. Got it?

Not only is Mel a great runner but she has one of the best running blogs out there.  She is super supportive and the most genuinely encouraging blogger that I have come across.  And you know what…Mel acknowledges ALL her readers.  It is so obvious that Mel really cares about her readersShe always welcomes new readers to her blog and makes an effort to visit all of their blogs.  She does frequent give-a-ways and product reviews and every Friday she gives out High-Fives to her readers for various different reasons.  I have been a recipient of these high-fives in the past and really appreciate them. 

Not only is her blog informational and inspirational but it is colorful and full of pictures.  Reading Mel’s blog makes me happy.  She radiates such a positive energy and really focuses on the up-side of life.  Mel is refreshing and real and I urge you to stop by her blog and say hello.  

Mel- here is a special quote just for you, since I know you love them!!


Props Wednesday- Meet Erin

Yeah, I know, it’s Thursday. But I write the blog so I can break the rules. I know, rebel behavior.

Meet Erin.

This is officially my first food blog props.  I am very picky about the foody blogs I read, because in my opinion, pictures of food can be, well…boring.  There I said it. I don’t particularly like looking at pictures of food. But I do love Erin’s blog. A lot. Food pictures and all.

Why do I lover Erin and her blog?  It is like no other food blog I have ever come across.  For one, it isn’t solely a food blog.  Erin also writes about being economically friendly, eating ethically, books she has read and all the places she has traveled.  Oh and her three loves: Hilary (a super cute dog), the Steelers (her favorite team ever) and uh, right…her husband.

Erin is an ecologist (how awesome of a job is that!) so when she writes about the environment and ethical eating, she knows what she is talking about.  I have learned so much from reading Erin’s blog that I have applied to my own life.  I won’t lie, I still eat things from time to time that would probably make Erin scream, but for the most part I have really changed how I look at what I am eating.  It is a different piece to the nutrition puzzle, that before I came across her blog, I really didn’t know existed.   I had for a long time been shopping (as much as I can) organic and staying away from fast food (it has been years and years) but I never gave much thought from the food sources I was supporting.  This year, I made an extra effort to visit local farmers markets that are directly benefited by my purchases.  I believe that I have been greatly and positively influenced by reading what Erin has to say.  In addition to her own knowledge, Erin frequently reviews books, articles and products that are super helpful.

When it comes to living life to the fullest, Erin gets it.  Seriously…she holds a full-time job (with an hour commute), she writes a kick ass blog and manages to have a pretty amazing social life.  And she is well-traveled too- I am super jealous of all the amazing places she has been such as France, Australia, Switzerland, Costa Rica and China to name a few. 

All around I just think of Erin as a really inspiring person who has a lot to offer the world.  And who knows she may have something to offer you- so go check her out!

And here is a pic just for you Erin:



Props Wednesday- Meet Carolyn

Meet Carolyn.

She is a 26.2 princess 🙂 and I love her blog! 

This is the perfect week to give Carolyn props, because she just QUALIFIED FOR BOSTON at the Chicago Marathon! 

Go Carolyn, go carolyn, go!  A BQ is pretty much the most awesome thing ever and I am so happy for her. 

Carolyn has been running marathons since 2005.  Her 10th marathon, in Austin, is coming up in early 2010.  Then it is off to Boston!  She really deserves it too!  Not only has she been working her butt off to get to Boston, but doing while under a decent amount of life stress.  She is proof that running is cheaper than therapy (one of my favorite shirts) and that you can still achieve huge goals even when life seems against you.  It really is an inspiration.

Ok readers…you know the deal…go check out Carolyn and give her a shout out for the BQ!

Props Wednesday- Meet Aron

Meet Aron.

I have been a reader of Aron’s blog since before I started my own blog.  I was drawn to her blog for a few reasons:  she is a kick-ass runner, she writes honestly and openly and her doggies Kylie and Emma are tooooo cute.  But then very best thing about Aron is how down to earth she is; Aron’s blog has a very high readership and it would be easy for her to get a big head and become clique-like about who she will or will not read/comment.  But that is so far from the truth- Aron takes the time to respond to all her readers, whether it is the form of a post or in a comment.  I appreciate that and think it is a large part of why she has such a great following.

I have learned so much from reading Aron’s blog- she is brutally honest when it comes to her training, racing and reflections after a race.  I admire this in a blogger because it takes guts to really put how you feel out in the open.  Aron does not hold back; she embraces the good days and also the bad.  She revels in a great race and accepts the not-so-great.  She is positive and encouraging.  Like I stated before, Aron is real.

Aron has been chronicling her journey for a little over two and half years when she was training for her first marathon.  Since then, she has run 5 full marathons and a host of other distance races.  Aron has hopes of, at her next marathon, getting the conveted BQ and whether she does it next month or next year, I know Aron will one day be running Boston.

Many of you already have “met” Aron and a few of you have been lucky enough to meet her in person too!  For those of you who aren’t familar with her blog, check her out!

Props Wednesday- Meet Rebekah

Meet Rebekah!!  For the love of blogging, I hope I spelled your name right!

Rebekah has done distances from 5k to marathon and of course she kicks butt!

What makes Rebekah’s blog, Fair Weather Runner, one of my favorites is that she keeps me laughing.  And she does a “Best Part of My Day” post that I just love for its positivity.  They are simple things like running in the snow, taking a vacation or having a good run.  If things are crappy or she is having  a bad time, she doesn’t hide it…but it is not her primary focus either.  Her focus is on being herself and it shows in every post.  Rebekah is funny, positive and not afraid to poke fun at herself.

Oh, and Rebekah is a philanthropist- earlier this summer she started Shoes4Africa…which transpired into Shoes4theWorld.  She collected shoes all throughout the summer to send around the world to those who could use them.  If you are interested in donating email her for sure.  The more shoes the better!!!

Rebekah was recently sidelined from running recently due to foot problems.  She is on crutches and out for Chicago, but instead of pouting (ok, maybe a little [warranted] pouting) she is still going and she is volunteering.  So if you are doing Chicago look out for her at the mile 16.5 aid station.  And keep your fingers crossed that she can pull a speedy recovery (and a double finger cross that it isn’t a stress fracture!) and can still run in her upcoming half-marathon at the end of November.

Look readers, show Rebekah some love.  She is a runner and she is on crutches.  She is doing a lot of good for the world and deserves the good karma of strong feet and legs.  So go visit her blog, send her some love and if you have them sitting around send her some shoes too!

Props Wednesday- Meet Diane

Meet Diane.

Diane was one of my first commenters and one of the first blogs I read on a regular basis.  Right off the bat I loved her blog, mostly because Diane is what Finishing is Winning is all about! 

Diane doesn’t run 7-minute miles or come in at the front of the triathlon racing pack.  But she finishes and if you asked her a few years ago if that would be possible she would have laughed, right Diane??? 

You see, Diane a few years ago is not the Diane of today. 

Her blog is titled Fat Girl to Fit Girl and rightfully so!  She calls her transformation her “mid-life fitness journey” since it began just before she turned 50.  Since May of 2008 Diane has lost over 60 lbs and went from coming home and eating to coming home and running!  She made a lifestyle change and not too long ago she competed in her first Triathlon.  Recently, she completed her second race and guess what- she took 2nd place in her division!  She is proof that anyone can have success in the sport of triathlon if they put their minds to it and work hard to reach their goals!

Not all days are easy- old habit die hard- but her blog is an honest assesment of both her successes and not-so-much successes.  Her blog is very much like a journal, a way to keep track of the ups and downs.  Diane writes with a brutal honesty that you can tell resonates with her readers.  She is an inspiration to many, and a fine example of what can be done when you put your mind to something. 

Keep up the great work Diane!!  As for you readers, go check out her blog and cheer her on!!

Props Wednesday- Meet Jill

Meet Jill.

Clearly, I think she is awesome because we share the same name.  Meaning of the name Jill: Awesome.

Oh, and according to one group of boys, she also “has that boom boom pow”.

In addition to having the name Jill, being awesome, and having that “boom boom pow”, she is a runner.  A fast runner.  And her blog is one of the first I read when I started lurking the blog world.  I read her blog for a good month before I started my own and she was one of my early inspirations.  Her commitment to running and to life is contagious.

Jill lives in Nevada and faces (and runs in) temperatures I could not even imagine dealing with.  NJ is hot but Nevada is ridiculous.  And once, while running, she saw a sign for a missing tiger (or lion was it??) from a local magic show- really who does that happen to?? Yeah, best run story ever!

Jill’s blog is personal as she is honest and open about both her successes and not-so-much successes.  She has crossed the finish line at half-marathons and marathons and she has DNF’d- all of her experiences, good or bad, are what she reflects through blogging.  Jill is really good at teaching through experience- I get a lot of my training tips from her blog and especially love her reviews.  I appreciate that she puts it out there in a real way; if she likes a product, she says so and likewise if she doesn’t.

Need another reason why she is awesome?  Jill won the New Balance Running on Hope contest–> she won the grand prize; a trip for 2 to Washington DC, entry into the Global Race for Hope Race, and (seriously, how cool is this???) participation in a documentary about the 20-year partnership between New Balance and Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, shoes, and apparel from the Lace up for the Cure collection.  She wrote about this amazing experience and since I could never put it into words the way she did, I recommend you read about it here.

Okay bloggies you know the deal…go over to JILLWILLRUN, check out her blog and show her some love.

Props Wednesday- Meet RunnerDude

Meet RunnerDude.

RunnerDude is more than a “dude”; he is one of my major sources for all things running.  And I use much of the information for life as well.  This is a blog that I HIGHLY recommend to all athletes, but especially runners, whether you are a beginner or more advanced.

RunnerDude is no joke.  Here are a few of his credentials:

  • Running Mentor for
  • Contributing writer for
  • A board member for GOFAR, a non-profit organization that encourages teens running their first 5k.
  • He is an RRCA certified run coach and is currently in the process of earning his personal training and nutrition consultant certifications.

So yeah, RunnerDude knows what he is talking about.

In addition to what is listed above, he has 20 years of running (all over the US) behind him, so not only does he inform his readers but he also interjects personal experiences into his posts.  Furthermore, he gets his readers involved; he often runs give-a-ways (which are SUPER easy to enter and win) wherein a reader sends in a personal story that he later posts.  It is a great way to meet other runners/bloggers.

RunnerDude’s posts cover everything from types of runs, to nutrition, to hydration, to reviews.  Not only that, but he acknowledges his readers and answers questions in comments.  This is huge- all to often bloggers get to “big” for themselves and forget what it is really about.  RunnerDude has created a community through his blog and his dedication to spreading real and honest information is evident in every post.

If you haven’t already become a RunnerDude follower, what are you waiting for?  Go. Now. Read.

Props Wednesday- Meet Jamoosh

Meet Jamoosh!

When I first come across a blog there are a few factors that determine if I am going to become a reader of said blog.  With Jamoosh, it was clear…I would be a frequent reader of his blog. 

Initially, I was hooked by the opening statement of each post; usually a lyric.  I liked that he set up his post this way, which was different from any other blog I had read to date.  Furthermore, his blog is interesting.  It is peppered with life tidbits and humor.  Sure he writes about running and fitness and his 4987239 yearly push-ups goal but there is more to his blog that just stats and figures (or I wouldn’t be a frequent reader).   

While Jamoosh’s blog is centered around running, he also writes frequently about his other love.  No, not his wife…beer.  He loves his running and he loves his beer.  And he has found a way to make the relationship between them both work.  And when he isn’t writing about running or beer, he focus’s on the important things in life like farting and bacon and Jaclyn (the wife). 

All of this makes Jamoosh’s blog sound like a man’s man blog, but honestly, he has a deep female following.  Of course with that said, you must know this:  If you become a reader of Jamoosh’s blog there is no guaranteethat he will become a reader of yours- the man has criteria!!!  He is not a fan of the female tangent and would prefer to read about women who write about running (duh) but also women that fart, who are dorks (and okay with their dorkiness) and who drink and write about beer.  If you like bacon…bonus. 

Given this criteria, I must admit, I am unsure how Jamoosh and I became blogger friends: I do not drink beer, I don’t like bacon and while I am a proud girl farter (I just admitted that to the world, yes), I don’t think I ever talked about it on my blog.  It is only my guess that my dorkiness and charm won him over 🙂  Whatever the reason, his is a favorite of mine to read and I highly recommend to stop on over and check him and his blog out. 

Oh, and Jamoosh likes photos, so here are a few I picked specifically for him!

mooshAfter the DE 1/2 Marathon- My free beer of which I did take a sip!!

sorkI was a huge fan.  I had all the gear and was proud of it!  And if this does’t scream my dorkiness, I don’t know what else will!

fartThere is a 99.9% chance I am farting in this picture.


Props Wednesday #2- Meet Ulyana

Meet Ulyana.

Ulyana is a great writer; funny, expressive and honest.  She is also an amazing runner: she has many small distance runs under her belt and a few longer distances as well.  And, she is known to run under a 7 minute mile!!! UNDER!  Just last weekend she took first place female in a 5k.  So yeah, girl can run.  And this year she completed her first Sprint Triathlon- YEAH for triathletes 🙂

I can’t remember how I first came across Ulyana’s blog, I just remember loving the name of it: Shaped By Running.  And after going back and reading past posts, I became aware of just how much she has overcome and how pivotal a role running has played in her life.  And while she has been through some major crap and been struck by tragedy you won’t find her feeling sorry for herself one bit.  Instead, Ulyana has perfected the art of looking at the bright side.

In December of 2008, Ulyana ran in the Dallas Marathon with her friend Erin.  Ulyana has said Erin was “just a running friend” but we all know how important our training buddies become to us.  Erin was the perfect run buddy for Ulyana…they ran roughly the same pace, had the same goals and were running in the same race.  They ran most of the Dallas Marathon together, they were on pace to qualify for Boston and then tragically, at mile 23, Erin collapsed and died.  Ulyana, having finished the race with the assumption that Erin BQ’d, found out later the horrible news.

Putting on her sneakers to run again was not easy; running took her friend away.  Running stood for something new…something painful.  But as Ulyana does best, she turned this into something that could be positive.  She put on her shoes and began running again.  In January 2010 Ulyana is running in the Houston Marathon- a race Erin had planned to run but was sold out.  Instead Erin ran Dallas with Ulyana.  Now Ulyana is running Houston for Erin and she “thinks she will BQ”.  I however, KNOW she is going to kick some butt and get to Boston!  And I am sure Erin will be with her all 26.2 miles.

Ulyana inspires me to have confidence, be more positive and keep running no matter what obstacles stand in my way.  I admire her strength and her resilency…and her ability to run under a 7-minute mile!!!  And she cracks me up too!

Go check out her blog- follow her journey to Houston and get some laughs along the way 🙂