Charity Miles



Greetings friends!  I have missed you!

I have always been an overachiever, so I am starting my new year’s health goal early.  I have been super sick with a cold and I just know that I have not felt on top of my game.  I wasn’t running, eating well, or really anything good for my body.  Running just lost its fun.  Many things have happened in 2013 and I have decided I have never been as excited to start a new year as I am this year.  So I am starting it now.

I went for a run with some friends last night.  A good running buddy of mine started a Thursday Running Group.  It is informal, casual, and full of people I don’t know that well.  Perfect!  It gets dark so early that it is nice to have more folks to run with for safety.  I remembered to start my Charity Miles App and we did about 3 miles.  In that run I raised .75¢ for Special Olympics!  75% of that .75¢ stays right here in Montana!  (May awesome math skills says that is about .5625¢).

There are a number of charities to pick from.

Investors have provided 1 million dollars to fund the app during the next twelve months.  Up to 1 million dollars will be provided to charity partners from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014 as they are earned through miles ran/walked/cycled.  In the first year, $400,000 of a then available 1 million was awarded to enrolled charities.

Runners are the most charitable people I have ever met.  All of my miles from now until the end of July will be going to Special Olympics, and I encourage you to look at the list of charities because I know that you can find at least one that you have a connection to on that list.

Gene Gurkoff, Charity Miles Founder said:

“By working together, we can all become sponsored athletes…just like the pros, but for charity.  And there are a lot more of us than there are pro athletes.  So, just imagine how we can change the world.”

What a cool thought!  So lace up my friends and lets start being the change that we want to see in the world!  We are all agents of change so lets get to work.  Go runners/walks/cyclists!

Keep Striding…

Little Sister Sole (Back from the running dead)



Marathon Weekend 2013


Missoula Marathon will always be known as Marathon Weekend to me no matter how many other marathons and half marathons I do.

Another year of the Missoula Marathon is in the books!  Wow.  What a year of challenges and obstacles to overcome.   I have learned many lessons through running and have also learned that I have many more lessons to learn.  It is empowering and humbling.

A major lesson I learned this Missoula Marathon race weekend, is the importance of the race event itself.  People who train for races, no matter the distance, put so much work and energy into their training.    Many think that I am simply talking about the hours and physical miles logged on training runs, but it goes even beyond that.  Life has a way of throwing turns into you route to race that you have no way to plan for.  Life is full of stressors, but race day comes no matter what.  It is critical to enjoy the event.

This year I personally had challenges to face up to race morning but through it all, I enjoyed the race and even walked away with another PR.  I never saw that coming.  I had thought I had become a fatality to personal doubt.  But my running buddy Mama H Sole pulled me out from my excuses.  She said those magical words “Yes you can!” And even though she was referring to a time that I didn’t achieve, I did beat my last half marathon by 2 minutes and that was in December (2:21:43).  We both said after “if only we had trained harder”…Well watch out 2:15 half marathon…I am coming for you in 2014!  Life may not be simpler by then, but I am committed to my goal and I can’t wait to execute.

To all of those who worked so hard this year, I am so proud of you.  I had a few friends who ran their first half marathon ever and they never thought they would.  I had a friend who ran her first full marathon ever for her Mom who passed away at the young age of 45 because this year she is 45 (her race number was 45- Yay for amazing race directors who get it!).  I also had many friends who broke their own records.  RC’s teenage son walked 13.1 miles with her after months of training.  Beans walk the half with a bun in the oven!  I even ran with my niece and nephews who ran in their longest race ever at 1, 4 and 5 years old (1.2 miles and the 1 year old “strolled”).  What a success!

What is next adventure for the Sole Sisters?  Well, BigSisterSole has a goal to do a Tri-Athlon so we are shooting for one in October.  Time to Swim-Bike-Run for the next few months.

Keep Striding,


Some Photos from the running activities:

RC and I with our 5K medals!

RC and I with our 5K bling!

Lola, Stevie and I after we finished their race on marathon weekend

Lola, Stevie and I after we finished their race on marathon weekend

All the Kiddos warming up before their big race!

All the Kiddos warming up before their big race!


Family Bling!

5K Bling!

5K Bling!

BigSisterSole, Mama H Sole and me at the start!

BigSisterSole, Mama H Sole and me at the start!

The awesome sign the RC made for us!  My first course sign EVER!

The awesome sign the RC made for us! My first course sign EVER!

Beans with her awesome sign RC made for her!

Beans with her awesome sign RC made for her!

BigSisterSole with Stevie and Lola after her half.

BigSisterSole with Stevie and Lola after her half.

Half Marathon Bling

Half Marathon Bling

Can I have a ride back to my car…on the fire truck?


It is official…I am 99% sure I will survive the half marathon.  I just completed the 12 mile training run.   For many people today they ran farther then they have ever run before.  That makes for a wonderful feeling of nervousness and excitement in the air.

My run was fantastic!  I think I can say with confidence that a factor in that is that I have come to terms with my altered goal for this year’s Missoula Half.    I had lots of random thoughts going through my head during the 2 hours and 12 minutes out on my run.  I tried to remember some of them to share with you.

  • “How did this rock get in my sock?”
  • “I bet if I ran like a zombie, I wouldn’t get those white triangles from the sun where my elbows bend”
  • “Why won’t my legs move?”
  • “Wow!  I am fast!”
  • “OMG I am slow”
  • “Whoa!  I am super-fast”
  • “Jeez!  That dude has past me 3 different times!”  (It was the route…I didn’t pass him once)
  • “Anders said this was a flat route…maybe I should define the word flat in my blog for him.”
  • “Yes!  I am at 3 miles! “
  • “Thank you water station volunteers!”
  • “Oh…I am so excited for those oranges and cocoanut things Carol brings us.  She is awesome.”
  • “Look!  It is Squatch’s fire station…maybe they will give me a ride back to my car on the fire truck.”
  • “Hey…there is that guy again.  At least he has fun encouraging words as he leaves me in his dust.”
  • “I am so taking an ice bath when I get home.”
  • “Why do I have LeAnn Rimes “Light the Fire Within” on my running playlist?”
  • “Is it further or farther when you are referencing distance?  I bet Beans would know.” (It is farther…I Googled it.)
  • “This sucks”
  • “This is awesome!”
  • “Hey this will be my 5th half marathon.  That is pretty cool.”
  • “Look horses!  They look like they are cheering us on.  I wish I had a carrot.  Do horses even eat carrots?  Wow…I am a city girl.”
  • “Thank goodness I survived.

That is about 1.5 minutes of the thoughts from over 2 hours of running.  As you can assume…there is a lot going on up there (in my head). All in all it was a good run and I did refer back to my blog “A Goat Among Horses” for my first ice bath in a long time.  It was actually on the verge of enjoyable.

Starting to look forward to actual run part of the half marathon and feel like I may be getting my mojo back.  Coming to peace with what my desired end result of the “big show” has really helped.  I hope those of you who ran today enjoyed it as much as I did.  Super proud of everyone and this year of hard work and training!

Keep Striding.


Ander's definition of flat. :)

Ander’s definition of flat. 🙂

There is a Squatch that works in there!
There is a Squatch that works in there!

The Cheer Squad

The Cheer Squad

Did we miss blogging on National Running Day!?! Dang it!


How do you start a blog after so many months of being away?  I have no idea.  We have 24 days before the Missoula Half.  BigSisterSole is coming to Missoula with her clan to run in it.  Of course Mama H Sole is coming back for our third year of the event together as well.

Back in January when I signed up, my goal was to get a Person Record (PR) this year.  I wanted to shoot for 2:15.  Since then, I have many obstacles show themselves.  From nursing an injury to the death of my first hero in life, my Dad, it has taken the motivation of knowing my sister and dear friend were coming to keep my head up.  I would not say I am proud of my preparation for this run.  Will I survive?  I am sure I will.  Will I achieve my original goal of a PR?  I am sure I will not.  But goals can change.  My goals now are to finish, do the best that I can, and enjoy the run as much as possible.  Every part of it: the views, the crowds, my friends, my family, and each water station along the route.

Even though I may have lost my running mojo these past few months, my running buddies have really played a critical role in my healing and recovery.  Those who I have had the opportunity to run with and those who I get to run with in the weeks to come, Thank you!   As my running mojo returns I look to getting back to the blogging and the sharing of humor and life lessons from running.  Even though this blog has less humor then most, the life lesson from this time is priceless.  Running buddies are some of the best buddies a gal can have!

Keep Striding!



Stevie's Race

Kid Sole’s first bib number ever.

As I watch the footage of the bombing in Boston, I can’t help but think about all of the work that the runners put in just to arrive at this event.  All the miles. All the Vitamin I. All the ice baths.  The miles.  All the schedule juggling, shoes, and race registrations.  The GU.  And, man, all the miles.    Forget the miles – think about all of the calories that went in to fueling all of those miles. And really, think about the mental fortitude that brought all of those runners in the Boston Marathon.  The strength.  The will. 

That strength is exactly what will return runners and spectators alike to the Boston Marathon in 2014.  Who knows what those responsible for this attack were trying to accomplish, but I’ll tell you what they accomplished in me.  I’m going to register for another race. 

My thoughts and prayers are for healing for those directly affected by the explosions.   To quote Little Sister Sole…

Peace Out.

February Challenge


February’s Challenge!

Some of you have asked about it so I want to post what I am challenging myself with during the month of February.  I have had this thing lately, where I have been “liking” a lot of motivational people and sites on Facebook.  There are quite a few but for this blog, I will only tell you about one.  Get Your Ass In the Gym (Sorry Mom…but I didn’t name it) is the name of this site.  I would encourage you to check it out.  This gentleman has a pretty down to earth story.  Anyway, he had started a challenge in January for push-ups.  If you follow this blog you know that helped me out of my funk.

In February he is issuing a Plank Challenge.  Since it is his idea and he describes it much better than I could here is his description of his challenge:

“I am creating these challenges for two specific reasons.

Many people at ALL levels of fitness check into this page. I truly believe it is because I have experience both the highest of the highs as a nationally ranked bodybuilder as well as the lowest of the lows as a fat overweight has been slob who stumbled in front of a camera at a Halloween theme park. My current GOALS are based on my level of fitness; I want to see how fast I can drive the car …so I think I have experienced a bit of everything.

These challenges MUST be doable by ALL. The PRIMARY GOAL of the pushup challenge is to complete 100 pushups in succession….but that is the HIGHEST level. There were many in the challenge that had a hard time doing 10 GOOD pushups….so I wanted to have the flexibility to allow ALL participants to choose the type of pushups (from the knees or standard) and the ability to SUCCEED!! Everyone who is in the challenge should be given the opportunity to have the feeling of accomplishment. THAT is the primary GOAL.

The second most important reason is accountability. I know many of us are already doing full workouts; these are meant to be the little ‘EXTRA” we are all looking for to push us past a sticking point…to push us a little harder….So when I am calling you out at 6:00 pm central; its with love…I want you to succeed; you deserve it….”
~Get your ass in the Gym~

He makes the competitive person inside of me come out.  I am 2 days away of completing the push-up challenge and that 1175 push-ups in the Month of January!  WHOA!    This guy is a great motivator!  He gets a little heavy on the muscle “body builder” pictures from time to time for some people’s taste but I will be honest, they are  just fine with me.  🙂 He really encourages people to work from where they are at and that is pretty cool.  He also talks a lot SMART goals and those of you who work with me or know me well, know that I am a HUGE fan of SMART goals!  So he speaks my language for sure.

Here is the calendar for February and if you choose to join and are on FB head on over to his site and “like” him and start reporting you progress.  It is pretty fun and a great supplement to what you are all ready doing.

This month is going to be rough one!  But looks fun!

This month is going to be rough one! But looks fun!

Keep Striding!


My Psychic Garmin


My Psychic Garmin

So yesterday’s serious blog that was written in my “Camp Counselor Tone” (very similar to “Mom tone” for you parents out there…but sine I don’t have any kids I am not licensed to say that), I have to lighten things up a little.

After the Rock and Roll Half in Vegas, I came home and unpacked to find that my Garmin plug had broken off the charger and my Garmin was dead (Insert sad face here). So I went on Amazon and found a Garmin adapter for about $15.00. I was okay with it because it is A LOT cheaper than buying another Garmin, right? So I waited for my Garmin plugin to arrive and when it did I was super excited to plug my Garmin in and get it all charged up.

Keep in mind, I am still injured and not able to run but I could still share my PR with all my Garmin Connect buddies! And it starts to charge…and then it just stops! STOPS! Goes blank! Nothing happens people! I wait a few days, press a few buttons, do a few Google searches, ask a few running buddies and still nothing. Crap. Well, I can’t run anyway so what is the point. (Insert another sad face)

A few days later, I plug it in again and it beeps! Sweet! Progress! I call BigSisterSole because I am so excited then at 20% it just stops. OMG! You have got to be kidding me. This results in more button pushing, connection cleaning, Google Searches and the result…nothing. Here is the picture to prove it:

No LeAnn...Running is not good right now.  I will not let you track your running...

No LeAnn…Running is not good right now. I will not let you track your running…

So I just give up. BigSisterSole offers to send me hers and that is the sweet big sister I was blessed to get. Always being the optimist, I plug my friend the Garmin in when I convert our guest room to my new “Squat Workout” room. I walk away and just happen to glance down at it tonight and BAM! We have power, 100% charge, and it is ready to rock and roll!

Run...LeAnn...Run! (But not too far yet)

Run…LeAnn…Run! (But not too far yet)

It is like my Garmin knew I couldn’t run so it went on strike. Now, if I am careful and slow about it my Garmin will let me run again. And pull my data from Vegas! So here you go people! My info from Vegas. I know you were all just dying for this right?

Vegas 2

But you can really see where my injury happened, right around mile 6.5. Dang you Pawn Stars! I just had to take a picture.

Well just some humor to lighten the mood. If anyone has any names they would like to offer so I can stop calling my Garmin just “Garmin” feel free to express your creativity here.

Keep Striding!

Little Sister Sole