No running failure is final + Sunday in our neck of the woods.

Other than the competition over which kid got to to snuggle with Andrew and then the tic-tac-toe mishap… Church went really well yesterday.

Sundays are my rest day from exercise so it always feels nice to sleep a bit longer and move slower in the morning.  An added bonus, Sundays off always makes me that much more excited to run Monday morning.

Our afternoon involved a lot of rain so we stuck at home the entire day besides church.

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The rain started to turn to snow and they were pretty excited about it.

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We of course had our Sunday tradition of homemade sweet potato fries.

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And then Andrew made sticky finger salad and it was SO good.  He bought the breaded chicken breasts from Costco and then once they were cooked he cut them up and rolled the chicken in this sauce:

6 Tbsp Franks Original Hot Sauce

1.5 cups brown sugar

1/4 cup water

Combine, boil for a couple of minutes, let sit and it will thicken.

It tasted like treat chicken… I’m guessing that was because of the brown sugar;)  He put it on top of lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes and peppers.

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That evening we got to baking Christmas cookies together.  Because of the blended family business over here we are trying to be really organized with doing the traditions we want to on the days that we are all together.

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The decorating part is by far their favorite.

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Send me your address and I’ll just go ahead and send you this one:

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A little bit of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer watching, even Beretta enjoyed the flick.


Once the kids fell asleep (with her whole city set up around her… I don’t know how they fall asleep like this),

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We watched Elf.  But this picture is from Saturday night when we made Guacamole to eat on the rug while watching a movie.

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PS I love when Facebook fills me in on some good memories.  One of my favorite pictures of Brooke ever.

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I’ve been doing more solo miles lately (outside or on the treadmill) and so I’ve been listening to a lot of talks while I run and one of them said this and I couldn’t help but relate the quote to running.

“No failure ever need be final”

Isn’t it amazing how with running (and everything really) that we get to just keep trying again and again.  That a bad race or a bad workout doesn’t define us.  That there is always a chance to keep trying again to get better.  That we have the chance for another year of races, goals and starting lines?

Last December when I ran the Tucson Marathon, I finished feeling really discouraged and that discouragement lasted for a few months.  I had trained my heart out for that marathon.  After many marathons over the years of missing my goals due to injuries, heartache, stomach problems, crazy weather, mental weakness, sickness etc… it felt like I hit another failure in terms of running last December.  The thing that I needed to remind myself was that none of those races were final.  Those races (whether I didn’t hit my goal for the race or I never even made it to the starting line of the race) that I considered failures were not the end.  And while my marathon time in St. George was not a PR this year it felt like a success in the way I felt during the race mentally and physically.

It might take 30 marathon failures before I get to my time goals, it might be 15… who knows.  But none of our race failures ever need to be final.  There are always more chances, more lessons to be learned, growth and more changing to do.  I am just grateful that we get to keep trying and who knows what this next year has in store for our family (we aren’t really sure when we want to have another kiddo) but I love the fact that I get to keep trying and growing in terms of the marathon.

The past is to be learned from, not lived in—>  One of my favorite life mottos:)

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.” -President Theodore Roosevelt.

Just change the last sentence above to something like this—>  ‘The credit belongs to the man/woman who is actually on the track/race course/mountain trails/treadmill.”

Run Happy this week!!!!


What is your running goal for the rest of 2016 (big or little… share them)!

What has been your hardest race?  Best race?

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Best thing you ate this weekend?

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My goal for the rest of 2016 is just to stay consistent with training for my race at the end of January. It’s not much of a goal, but some days it feels like a struggle just to get out for a few easy miles. Since buying a new house doing renovations has taken up pretty much all the extra time I used to rest and relax, so I feel like I am running the marathon of LIFE right now! Even though I’m sort of complaining here, I am super grateful too :)


Highlight of the weekend was having good conversation with my boyfriend. We both get an a+ for good communication skills. Lol. Something we both need to work at.
No real running goals for the remainder of the year. But next year I want to run with a group of friends at least once a month. And run more 10ks.


“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.” -President Theodore Roosevelt.
WOW, that might be one of my favorite quotes of all time. As this pregnancy comes to an end (ONE WEEK LEFT) I’m starting to think past the recovery and onto my marathon goal for the spring. I know it’s an ambitious goal, but I feel like my mindset has changed so much and my love of running has grown that it’s possible. I don’t want to think of failing, but, I feel like in order to succeed, I need to remember that that’s not my one chance. My goal up until the marathon is to enter as many races as I can so I can get used to the success and failure. Thank you so much for the inspiration!! And please, send me that cookie. ;-)


I love that quote about the past–so true. Also, I love your dress in that first pic! Is it from Roolee (which I have fallen in love with, thank you)?

My running goal for 2016 is to give everything I have in my upcoming half marathon (in less than two weeks). I would love to PR, though I’m not sure I’m in shape for that right now. But I do want to leave everything on the course and know I held nothing back.

I moved over the weekend, so I definitely need some of those cookies y’all made to refuel me! :)


I love that. It’s one of things I always try to remind myself to be thankful for: the opportunity to try once more. It’s a miracle that everyday with get a new chance to make things better, to grow. That applies to everything in life: in school, work, as a wife, a sister, a daughter or a friend. And as a runner too. Thank you so much for that.
On a completely different subject, have you watched Gilmore Girls the revival? I know you loved the show (and so did i). What did you think?


I really enjoyed just getting our Christmas Tree up and some down time with my husband! I’m due 12/5 with our first baby so just soaking in these quiet pre-Christmas moments!


I made a cauliflower and goat cheese casserole this weekend. The recipe had popped up on my Facebook newsfeed several times. It was from the NY Times and was really good! Have a great week!


Hi! Sorry to intrude. Could you possibly share that recipe? It sounds so good . I’m always looking for ways to make cauliflower taste good.


“It might take 30 marathon failures before I get to my time goals, it might be 15… who knows?”

I like to think of them as stepping stones, not failures. Because really, running is about consistency. Actually now that I think about it, most things in life are about consistency :)


I think the best thing I ate this weekend was sushi!


I am oh so challenged in the cooking department :) but how do you manage to cut the sweet potatoes into fries?! I tried that this weekend and those suckers are rock hard! Or maybe I’m just that weak ;)


You are not weak ha! They are HARD to cut. I used to do them myself and it was a struggle and I would just have to use my really sharp knives. Now Andrew does it for me;) The other day some readers recommended baking the sweet potato whole for a little bit so that they get softer and then cutting them and tossing with olive oil before continuing to bake them. I hope that helps and that you are having an amazing Monday!!!


It looks like a nice relaxing Sunday. Those cookies look great and now I’m craving them at 9:20 am LOL. My major goal is to stay healthy and injury free. I know I’m close to PRing but I need the perfect day. Perfect and then some.

Hardest races mentally are both marathons. I’ve run dome pretty hilly halves that I’m proud I conquered too.


My running goal for the rest of 2016 is to do the Runners World streak. I’ve run at least a mile every day since Thanksgiving so far, so now I just need to keep it up for the rest of the year!
Best thing I ate this weekend: Leftover apple pie.


My running goal for the rest of 2016 is to finish a 10K race. My only goal is to finish it.


I ran a 5K yesterday and I wasn’t feeling the running love at all. I want to work on feeling the joy of running again so I’m not signing up for any races. I’m just going to run and not pressure myself for a while. I need to feel like it’s something I get to do and not something I have to do.

Highlight of my weekend was Saturday. spin class, breakfast with the hubby and a day out with him and the dog. It was pretty much the perfect day.

Best thing I ate? We tried a new bakery: pear crumb cake.


I don’t have a lot of running goals left for 2016! I crushed everything I had been planning, so my next plan is not to have one. I’m toying with running my first marathon next year, but I’m not quite ready to start training yet.

best thing I ate: any and all desserts. I left no pie unfinished and I have little to no shame about htat.


Oh I love that Steph! Way to go on crushing your goals this year and enjoy the time without a plan! HAHA I am right there with you on the pie thing…


No running goals for the rest of the year other than to recovery from my marathon and get ready to jump back into marathon training in January.

Best thing I ate this weekend was pecan pie! It’s my favorite!


My biggest running goal is just to keep running through the end of the year and then I’ll figure out where I want to go in 2017. I


I love that quote! And it is perfect timing. I am planning to run CIM in 6 days (eep!), and I was really hoping for a BQ. An injury and strep throat are making that BQ look less likely, but I will definitely be back!

And Elf is the best =)


AHHHH SIX DAYS!!! I am so beyond excited for you! Please let me know how it goes Kristi! I’m hoping that you have a great race and that your injury and strep throat are completely gone on race day! Time to celebrate all of your hard work!


Love that quote and so funny, I talked about a big whoopsie I made in my race this weekend on my blog too!You have such a good attitude, a whole lot of speed and talent, and a support crew-you are gonna get those goals! Thanks for always being an inspiration (even when you fail, because you inspire everyone around you to get back up as they watch you do it too :) )


First, a question. I am a cold weather running wimp and have been procrastinating buying a jacket for winter runs (I live in PA). Brooks is having a 30% off sale today!!!!! I can’t for the life of me find any of your posts where you recommend cold weather stuff. Which jacket should I buy?? :)

Also, running goal for 2016: run my 2nd full marathon in April!

Hardest race: Hmm. Probably this past summer Chicago Rock and Roll Half when I wiped out around mile 10 and finished bleeding from the knee in a thunderstorm. Fun times. :)

Highlight of my weekend: Finding a paycheck I forgot I never deposited from a side job, and then spending it. Wooo

Best thing I ate this weekend: Does a drink count? 16 year old Lagavulin Scotch — definitely a splurge for me!


HEY JESS!! I am working on a post right now about winter running! How cold does it get where you live because that will make a difference on what jacket to recommend. Write me back as soon as you get a chance!

YAY for finding your paycheck:) I love it! Stoked for your goal in 2016!


Thanks for the reply! PA gets pretty darn cold sometimes in the winter, but personally if it’s too far under freezing (like 25 degrees or less) I usually chicken out and use the treadmill. Sometimes when it’s really cold my lungs are like NOPE. :) So I guess I’m looking for something in the “cold enough it could snow/sleet” but “not so cold that my lungs will die” range. Hope that makes sense!!


Oh I am totally the same way… the teens and below and I am for sure on the treadmill! I get it! So for a jacket for 25 degrees plus I would stick to the drift shell (which I have and love!!!) and choose the base layers on the day. On a really cold day I like to put something like the drift 1/2 zip under the shell along with a long sleeve top and that keeps me crazy warm on cold days. On days that are a little bit warmer then I stick to a long sleeve under the shell. Does that make sense? I hope it helps… good luck finding something awesome!!


I only have about 25 miles to go to hit 1000 miles for the year, so that’s definitely a goal, although it shouldn’t be too hard to achieve. I’m planning a half marathon in March, so I have to keep up running, but I’m also planning a half Ironman next summer, so the winter is all about base building in all three sports. I’m excited! My hardest race was definitely Chicago Marathon this year, my first. I think I could do a lot better in the marathon, but that’s on the back burner for the moment. :)


Okay, that is absolutely amazing Denise! WAY TO GO! I’m super excited about your year next year too! Congrats on your first marathon this year too!


I ran my 2nd ever marathon this year and missed my BQ by 13 minutes. My pacer actually missed her time by 9 minutes! Needless to say, it was a crazy day. Therefore, even though I had not planned on it, I am signed up for another marathon on 1/15 so my goal for the rest of this year is to train hard, add in strength training, and yoga/stretching/massage for injury prevention.

I would definitely say this last marathon was by far my hardest. It started over an hour late and finished in temps pushing 80 degrees. Also, there were about 3 miles worth of uphill at about mile 13. I also lost my first toe nail ever from the one short, steep downhill. My best race was a 1/2 last year. Everything just felt good/right. Good night sleep, no bathroom breaks, perfect weather. Everything lined up just right.

Highlight of my weekend was probably getting all of our decorations up :)

Best thing I ate this weekend was my mother in law’s turkey (leftovers) dumplings. Oh my. So good!


My running goal is to get on one last trail run this season (its getting cold!!) best thing I ate this weekend was fried brussel sprouts salad


After admiring them for months now, I really need to know: where did you get your dining table chairs/bench???


Hey Nikki!!! We got them at RC Willey! I haven’t been able to find the same table online but I could send you a picture of the table for you to take in or call them about? We love it!


Thanks ok, thanks though. We don’t have that storefront in Michigan, so I will just keep using them as my inspiration!


Best part of the weekend was seeing family – my sister and her family, all my dad’s siblings and their spouses, plus my mom’s sister and her husband. Living far away is tough so we really made up for it this weekend!

I didn’t have time to comment yesterday, but I have a few peppermint recipes you might enjoy: here ( and here (


Okay your recipes look amazing and I think I need that sweet potato crunch right now!! And I will be trying the Peppermint Crunch too! THANK YOU! So glad you had such a great time with your family this weekend! xoxo Enjoy your week!


I plan to continue training and still debating on which races to sign up for in the New Year. My favorite race was by far my last one. The weather was perfect, the scenery gorgeous, friends tonrun with and best of all was seeing my family at the finish line. I didn’t PR even though I have run this race before but it wasn’t about that this time…it was about helping a friend fall in love with running and running across the finish line together at her pace.
My favorite food this weekend had to be my moms cornbread stuffing. Yum!


Goal is to get a 5k PR! I had one 2 years ago and after last week’s turkey trot where I PR’d I am going to set that bar higher for Saturday night. :)

Best thing I ate this weekend? Tooting my own horn here, but my pumpkin cheesecake I made for Thanksgiving! So rich and creamy and delicious. :)


I want to get a 5k PR too! Way to go on your turkey trot this year!!


I technically started to “seriously” run this year, so my goal for the rest of the year is to not skip any more of my training runs (unless am sick) and continue building my foundation for 2017. My first half is in in January! I like the quotes you shared. Sometimes I feel like a complete failure when I run, especially on those runs where nothing seems to go as planned, but those tough moments don’t have to define my entire ability as a runner. Just because I have a run where I struggle and need to take a break, doesn’t mean I am not a real runner. What makes a person a real runner anyway?


Exactly Libbie. You are so right… we ALL struggle so I think the struggles actually make us REAL runners! No matter what pace, ability, time running etc.. we all struggle. You are doing AWESOME and I am so excited for your first 1/2 marathon in January! You’ve got this! Let me know how you are doing along the way!


I haven’t commented forevvvver!! I’m going on week 5 with two stress fractures in my foot… I am a terrible patient.. and thought it was feeling okay and did 4 miles on saturday and now I’m paying for it… I hate being injured! I miss running!!!


CANDICE!!!! I sure miss you!!! Oh my goodness I didn’t know you had two stress fractures in your foot… that is AWFUL!!! Oh I hope you are back to running like normal asap! I am so sorry that the four miles hurt:( xoxoxo


My goal for this year is to finish my first race (10K) in 4 yearsblue to adopting two highness kids and two major foot surgeries. I want to finish happy and healthy and be encouraged to keep going.
I have learned many things on this tough journey.It’s not my speed that defines me but the effort I put into all aspects of my life and finding the balance that makes me a complete person.


My goal for the rest of 2016 is to stay healthy and have fun on my last two 5K’s. My huge decision for 2017 is to decide whether or not to come out of marathon retirement and apply for either the NYC or Chicago lottery. I suddenly have the urge to run the marathon majors and have only run Boston out of the six majors…


After a 1/2 a couple of weeks ago where I was in the best shape of my life and things didn’t come together for a PR for various reasons, I really enjoyed reading this today–about feeling lucky to have the chances to keep chasing that PR, and if it takes 1 more or 15 more races to do that, we can’t discount what we’re doing out there!!!! (That’s so easy, way too easy, to do!). Thanks for that reminder.


Long time reader/runner here. This is a weird, creepy question coming from a complete stranger, but can you tell me where you got that beautiful flowered shirt or dress you’re wearing in the pre-church pic? It’s lovely!
Thanks, and happy running!
Laura from Canada.


I don’t have any races on the agenda for the rest of the year, but my goal is to just stay injury free and not overdo it :).

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