Win-It Wednesday OOriginal Sport Sandals

Happy Win-It Wednesday, fellow FIT BFFs! This is one of my favorite things I do on the blog…give away products I love to my loyal readers! In honor of my upcoming participation in the Marine Corps Marathon, here’s a great opportunity for you to enter to win a pair of OOriginal Sport Sandals (just like mine) by OOFOS. If you missed my review I posted earlier today, you can check it out here.

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True North Brand Companies provided me with a complimentary pair to test-drive and review. They have also generously agreed to partner with FIT BFFs to award THREE lucky (randomly drawn) readers with a pair as well…these retail for $59.95/pair.


And more great news, OOFOS makes OOriginal Sport Sandals for both men and women, so EVERYONE should enter!!!


To read more about this amazing product or to order your own because you can’t wait to see if you won, check them out here.

To enter, simply leave a comment below between now and midnight on Tuesday, October 25th/central time stating your shoe size (whole sizes only), and the color you prefer.

Giveaway open to US residents only. Winners will be drawn and announced here on Win-It Wednesday, October 26th right before I fly out to Washington DC…Good luck!


OOFOS Continues to Wow Me!

Friends, as I work toward accomplishing my half marathon each month this year, I continue to reach for my OOFOS footwear immediately after each race! With tired, achy feet and legs post run, getting out of my running shoes and slipping on this recovery footwear feels like a million bucks!

In the past, my generous friends at OOFOS have provided me several pairs of their amazing footwear for test drives, reviews and giveaways. They’ve been partners in the many, many miles I’ve put down this year and I couldn’t be more grateful. The OOlala Sandals took me through my Honolulu Marathon training and beyond.

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The OOahh Sport Slides have taken me around the country as I trained and completed many half marathons. Sliding into them always provided the perfect relief!


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While continuing to train during the brutal winter months of Minnesota, the OOcloogs kept me in supported comfort.


Last week, I received a pair of OOriginal Sport Sandals in the mail…and just in time! I’ve been dealing with some recent injuries but with the expert help of my physical therapist and the consent of my sports med doc, I continued work toward my goal.


Last weekend I was able to complete the Mankato Half Marathon with my friend Jacque.


I predicted I’d be in rough shape at the finish line, so the thought of sliding into these flip flops carried me those painful last few miles. I knew these were waiting for me at bag check! And the minute I put them on…instant relief! I don’t know how OOFOS does it, but they’ve engineered their footwear to reduce stress on sore feet, back, and my biggest challenge…knees. The OOriginal Sandals immediately took the edge off and have helped me quickly recover!


And that’s very good news because I’m heading to Washington DC next week for the Marine Corps Marathon, and I already know what will be waiting for me at the finish!

Friends, are you on your feet for hours on end? Are you looking for the ultimate support for tired feet, knees and back? Check out the great footwear OOFOS has available here…you’ll be so glad you did!

No Flu for Me!

Happy Wednesday, Friends! Have you done it yet this week…taken time for yourself, done something important just for you? How many times have you read this here? I can’t say enough about taking time out to be kind to yourself.

Maybe it’s a 15 minute walk on your break, or bringing that water bottle along to make sure you’re keeping hydrated. Perhaps, treating yourself to that book you’ve been wanting to read or the movie you’ve wanted to see. Maybe it’s digging through your recipes to revive those healthful favorites you’ve really enjoyed in the past. Whatever you choose, do something kind to remind yourself you matter. You’re important too!

Here’s a little something I did to do just that…


With the help of Kelsey, a wonderful nursing student from Winona State University, I’ve increased my chances of staying healthy throughout flu season. A vaccine may not be your idea of fun, but I’m looking at it as a proactive investment in my well-being! You may want to consider doing this too. A moment of discomfort far outweighs a week of misery.

Doing a little something for ourselves, like getting a flu shot, fellow FIT BFFs…just one more way to put our Best Foot Forward!


Me Day and Beyond

Happy weekend, Friends! Last month, I declared a Me-Day. If you missed it, here’s how that went.

At the time, I purposely planned another Me-Day to make certain it was earmarked.


I have no idea where that month went, but was thrilled to see that next Me-Day quickly approaching. I knew where I wanted to spend that day, but wasn’t sure with my current injury challenges if I could spend it in the manner I had hoped.


I’ve been struggling with a mad meniscus and later an angry patella. My physical therapist has diligently worked to get me back up and running. As luck would have it, she gave me the green light to test drive that knee with a run…I’ve been anxiously waiting a few weeks for that good news, so with my latest kinesio tape job, Me-Day was a GO!

I admit, I was leery of going alone; my plan was to head out of town for that run. What if my knee didn’t cooperate and I was rendered immobile again? So I altered my We-Day; inviting Eric to join me made this our We-Day! After all, it would be selfish to keep this amazing weather and beautiful scenery to myself! He was great support and encouragement…just knowing he was a quick text away was huge assurance!


Lake City is one of my favorite towns here in Minnesota. Its Lakeshore Drive was exactly where I wanted to spend this Me-Day and I’m glad I had permission to make use of it! I apprehensively began my run, hoping for the best. The sights, sounds and positive vibes of the marina allowed me to dive right into my inner chi.


Although my knee was hesitant, it felt amazing to be moving again. And with warm and sunny autumn weather, I knew this day was meant to be!


A few laps along beautiful Lake Pepin and my 6.5 miler came to a victorious conclusion. The knee held up well and I couldn’t have been happier with that run. I was grateful to have those endorphins back on board!


Eric got a walk and some reading in along the mighty Mississippi during my run. I’d venture to say he filled his soul too! I can’t think of a better way to spend a Monday!


Next came a leisurely lunch to refuel and enjoy the view before we called We-Day a great success.

I was able to run another successful 8 miles on Wednesday, despite the miserable conditions…43 degrees and rain.


That freezing-cold weather didn’t stand a chance, I was still glowing on the inside, recalling the warm, wonderful We-Day. I’ve continued taking great care of myself this week. I’ve even devoted time to my personal hell…the dreaded foam roller.


And everything has paid off. I’ve finished up with physical therapy and have been cleared by my sports med doc to go forward with the Mankato Half this weekend and the upcoming Marine Corps Marathon.

Fellow FIT BFFs, taking time out of the daily grind is priceless. If you haven’t begun reserving a day every month for yourself, I highly recommend it. It’s a strategy that can enhance your attitude the rest of the month. We all know how quickly the calendar fills, so it’s important to reserve this time well in advance.  I didn’t let much time pass before I scheduled the next one, and you shouldn’t either! Me-Day is just one more way to put our Best Foot Forward!


BELIEVE in Jumping out of Comfort Zones!

Hello, fellow FIT BFFs! I’ve been at it again, living life to the fullest! Although I’ve been slowed by injury, I’m still full of gratitude for the awesomeness that continues to surround me.  My torn meniscus has caused me to take a marathon training detour.


Perhaps this was my body’s way of insisting on some much needed rest. I’ve spent the past few weeks icing, biking, icing, swimming, icing, resting and at multiple Active PT appointments getting cozy with a laser!


I’ve been intrigued by all I’ve learned during this detour, grateful for knowledgeable care and healing. I had a trip scheduled for San Diego last weekend that I wasn’t sure about. It was an opportunity to put in another 20 mile training run before the Marine Corps Marathon. I knew there was no running happening for me, yet I went anyway for some soulful rehab. It gave me a chance to catch up with these two…


You see, a year ago I reached out to a perfect stranger at the time, Rhonda. I offered to run her first marathon with her in Honolulu. It was my first too. I jumped clear out of my comfort zone in doing so. But what was the worst thing that could happen? She could’ve said no. But she didn’t…this amazing woman said YES! I met her friend Matt in Hawaii too, and what resulted from meeting these two continues to blow my mind!

Last Friday, those two took off for a run while I savored a slow, gimpy stroll along the edge of Mission Bay. Now how could anyone feel bad about walking here?!?


Those slow couple of miles were huge in restoration! That walk also helped me remain calm about another fantastic opportunity that was about to occur.

Last month I happened upon a documentary on Netflix that hit me straight in the feels. You can read more about it here. I felt as if I could have easily been one of the twelve in the film, From Fat to Finish Line, as my story was similar. I couldn’t stop thinking about that movie and those kindred spirits who bared their emotions to the world. One in particular, John, really caught my attention. Upon watching it again, following my injury, I knew it was more than coincidence that he lives in San Diego. As I packed for my weekend, my heart wouldn’t leave me along. So there I went again, leaping clear out of my comfort zone in contacting him to meet up.

Again, what’s the worst that could happen here? Of course he could say no. But he didnt! And I found myself in last year’s familiar territory as I met up with another extraordinary person I admired for sharing their story! Quick, someone, pinch me!

Although John was running the Long Beach Marathon the following morning, he generously agreed to meet and walk. At 5 am!


Two miles went way too fast as we shared bits and pieces of our stories with one another. At that moment, I felt as though my injury happened so I could share this amazing moment. EVERYTHING happens for a reason, right?!? John, a million thanks for just saying YES!

Our brief meeting sent my heart soaring for the rest of the day and beyond. But of course the remainder of the morning contributed to that too. Because the rest of my 8 mile walk looked like this!

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While Matt and Jackie finished their 20 miler, I couldn’t be more thankful they still hope to run the Marine Corps Marathon with me in a few short weeks.


That’s why I intend to behave my butt off in regard to healing; I will do everything I can to get to that starting line!


So for now it’s more ice ice, baby while I listen to my new favorite song We Believe! Speaking of which…it’s hard to believe this wonderful life is mine!

Refrigerator Cherry Almond Oatmeal

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Fellow FIT BFFs, back in February, a friend made this bowl of deliciousness during a race weekend getaway in Jacksonville. It was such a wonderful treat, I’ve thought about it again and again.

Well, I should be careful what I wish for…last weekend I messaged her for the recipe and although she doesn’t have one, she described her process and possible modifications. That Oatmeal Angel went on to hand deliver the ingredients to me as a heartfelt care package so I could make it right away. Julie, your kindness humbled me; many, many thanks!

Here’s the recipe for a breakfast I’ve looked forward to every morning this week…


Refrigerator Cherry Almond Oatmeal


1 cup steel cut oats

1 1/2 cups almond milk

1 1/2 cups fat free half and half

3 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup raw almonds, slivered

1/4 cup tart dried cherries


1. Mix steel cut oats, almond milk, sugar and half and half in sauce pan. Cook according to oats package instructions, mixing often until thickened.

2. Remove from heat. Mix in almonds and cherries.

3. Place in glass pan or bowl. Refrigerate. Optional: you could also spoon mixture into six smaller containers for a simple grab-and-go breakfast

4. Cut into 6 equal servings. Serve warm or cold.

This recipe yields 6 servings at 224 calories each.

Please Help If You Can!

It’s here, Friends…October! I’ve been pretty emotional as this month approached. I have literally run myself silly in preparation for it. In four short weeks, I plan to be at the starting line of the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC. Up until my unfortunate injury last week, I’ve been training diligently, day after day, in anticipation.


Upon registering for the race, I made a commitment to raise funds for a very worthy cause. As a friend or family of several active duty soldiers, I understand the importance of family close by during a medical crisis.

For more than 25 years, the Fisher House program has provided a “home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. These homes offer free, temporary lodging to military and Veterans’ families, allowing them to be close to their loved one during a medical crisis and focus on what’s important—the healing process.

I will be at that starting line on October 30th with every intention of completing the 26.2 miles before me. Until then, I will do everything I can to be race-ready. No matter what happens for me that day, I know it will be a profound, life changing experience.


Regardless of whether I finish just the first step or the last, I’ve made the commitment to raise funds for this worthy program and I ask that you contribute if you are able.

Making a donation is simple and you will immediately receive an email tax receipt for your contribution…I know, I just got mine. All you have to do is click this link to contribute!

Many, many thanks, Friends!

Oatmeal Pancakes with Applesauce

Happy weekend, Friends! Thought you might enjoy this healthy recipe I acquired from a cooking class I recently attended with my Bolder Options mentee. It was a great class and the pancakes turned out fantastic. Because of the content variation, these pancakes are heavier, more dense than the standard recipe. I appreciate they contain oatmeal and whole wheat flour…helps us feel fuller, longer. I also like the substitution of applesauce for syrup. The true test came at home, as my husband and son both liked them. Though they used syrup instead of applesauce, I was happy I could eat the same meal with a simple, lower-calorie modification. Give this recipe a try!


Oatmeal Pancakes with Applesauce


3/4 cup quick or old fashioned oats

1 1/2 cups fat-free milk

3/4 cup enriched all purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, beaten

1 tablespoon oil, plus more for cooking

3 cups unsweetened applesauce




1. Combine the oats with milk in a large bowl, let stand 5 minutes.

2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl, add to oat/milk mixture.

3. Beat eggs and oil together, add to mixture.

4. Stir just until all ingredients are combined; mixture will be lumpy.

5. Spread small amount of oil onto griddle or pan; heat to medium temperature.

6. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle or pan for each pancake.

7. Turn pancakes when tops have bubbled and edges look cooked.

8. Serve sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 cup applesauce.


This recipe yields 12 pancakes. One serving equals 1 pancake and 1/4 cup applesauce for a total of 140 calories.


This Journey’s Far From Over!

Hi, Friends! I wish I could say my angry knee from last weekend was caused by a crazy-tight IT band like I thought.


But, clearly, I’m not a medical professional. The good news is I didn’t rely on my own incorrect diagnosis and tough it out…I sought the help of the fine folks at ActivePT to help turn things around. Though it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, it turns out a mad little meniscus is the cuprit and I’ve begun therapy that could quite possibly get me back into marathon mode. My therapist and I are optimistic!

It would be easy to backslide, to just throw in the towel after many miles of training have come to a screeching halt. Doubt about timely healing would not be helpful right now. So rather than allowing the thought of defeat to enter my mind, I’m choosing to behave my butt off!

I’ve been encouraged to continue moving in simple, gentle ways to avoid further angering the beast. That was something I was glad to hear. See, I already know what life is like grounded. My family has experienced the wrath of endorphin-starved me, and it wasn’t pretty. So although I find my options less than thrilling, I will do anything I can to keep moving forward, like taking a spin on the recumbent…


And gliding through lap after slowpoke lap…


Even some time rowing to nowere. Well, not nowhere…rowing toward recovery.


Friends, it’s inevitable, we will all find ourselves in places of challenge from time to time; how we respond makes all the difference. I mean why in the world would I quit now?


Some You Win, Some You Don’t

Hello Friends, in continuing my half marathon each month this year goal, today’s adventure brought all new excitement to my journey! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, each race tells a unique and valuable story for a runner. This half proved to be both!

It all began this morning in my cherished hometown of Rochester, MN. I’ve run a bunch of races all over the place this year, and I’ll admit it was comforting to know this one was right here. I was well rested having not traveled hundreds of miles to get here. My nutrition was on point because I wasn’t relying on restaurants. I recently turned a corner with my running and was feeling more confident than ever. I was really excited at the prospect of a possible PR.

I was bursting with hometown pride as I checked out the starting line. The Med City Fall Half started right there on the airport runway. How cool is that?!?


I love that the first few moments of this race would be run between rows of some pretty fantastic, privately owned planes.


I’ve flown into and out of the Rochester International Airport many times, but never before on foot! What a fun race element this was, allowing runners to feel as if we were lifting off at the start! The weather was overcast and in the mid-sixties. As the race began, the sky began to spit, and I was in my happy place! The first few miles felt incredible, strong! By mile 5, a PR was looking very possible. The miles were ticking away through the beautiful contryside just outside of town.

By mile 6 my knee was reminding me it had been less than eager earlier this week, and by mile 7 it shut down my running. Entirely. As I limped through the beginning of mile 8, I had a tough time coaxing the next steps. If you know me well or have been reading my blog for a while, you know I’m not a quitter. I often joke that I will cross that finish line if I have to crawl!

I’d slowed to a stop. I could no longer put one foot in front of the other, couldn’t even bear weight on my left leg. I was totally immobile. I was also completely alone until I soon heard a quiet hum. I realized the race sweeper had pulled up a short distance behind me. I was the last runner…a reality I’d never before experienced. The driver was so kind; he gave me a respectful distance. When he realized I was no longer capable of moving, he asked if I required assistance.

My body and mind have always been a cooperative team, but not in this moment…another all-new situation. It was surreal knowing I was done; there was no longer any choice. I mean, what are ya gonna do?!? It was impressive how quickly the sweeper summoned a medic, and I was immediately whisked away by these great volunteers…talk about service with a smile!


I’ve had the luxury of crossing each finish line of past races on foot, so this fast forward was new to me too. They efficiently orchestrated my speedy delivery around and through the remainder of the course, straight over the finish. A kind and clearly empathetic volunteer placed a medal on me as a few spectators cheered in support. The thought that crossed my mind in that moment was they should’ve cut off a chunk of the medal because I only earned two-thirds.

A strong responder hoisted me off the cart and hauled me into the first aid tent…clearly he spends time at the gym haha! I found myself quickly and expertly examined by a sports therapy angel.


Thankfully, my suspicion was confirmed. My IT band was in massive revolt. To those of you who need some translation…I dodged some very big bullets! I have lots of ice, foam rolling, rest and a trip to Active PT in my near future.

So, Friends, the bad news here is that I was not able to run beyond the race today to accomplish my 18 mile long run for today’s marathon training. The good news? I crossed the finish line in record time. Sort of lol! Always a bright side!


At the end of the day, some you win, some you don’t…Que Sera.