Monthly Archives: July 2013

Why I joined a running group!

So a few months ago, I joined a running group. I have been a “runner” for many years. When I was in high school I was somewhat forced to run to stay in shape for the sports I played. In college it became a way to relieve stress. At one of my lowest emotional places it became an obsession which turned into an addiction. I am glad to say that it is now a healthy form of exercise I use a few times a week in order to stay in shape and to challenge myself. I have never been a super fast runner, or one who has ever won a race, and I honestly still don’t feel like a ‘real’ runner sometimes, but I am working on that. For a long time I have felt that if I was part of a group it might help me with my training, my motivation and to have others to encourage me along the journey. I have had some fears in the past, some of them may seem irrational to others, but to me they were real.
I happened across a wonderful group of women in a Moms Run This Town (MRTT) group on facebook. I was a bit nervous as I clicked the ‘join’ button. Within a few minutes I was officially added and welcomed! AHH I could hardly believe it. Over the next few hours I was introduced to the group and decided to join a few of the group workouts! A few days later I did my first workout and I knew this decision was a great one, and LONG overdue for myself. Since the first workout I have done several more, and I am so thankful for the amazing women I have been able to meet with. I have also done a virtual race with some of the women and will be doing my first real race with the group tomorrow!!

For many years I have held a perception that any groups or classes I could join would make me feel even worse about myself. I was intimidated by the classes and I had a fear that I would walk in and be the only person who has weight issues, or not as in shape as every one else, or I would make a fool of myself. I did a few classes back when I worked at a fitness center back in Chicago, but that was about 6 years ago. I have almost always worked out alone, or sometimes with one other person. I have been at my current gym for a little over 2 years, and back in December I finally took the plunge and walked into a Zumba class one night. I was SO nervous I felt like I was going to puke. I have to say that is was great decision that helped me get the nerve to do more classes and eventually to join the running group.

I have met amazing people in the running group as well as the classes. After doing Zumba I made some friends and one the girls in the class and I decided to try out the Body Pump class. I am SO hooked! I have met even more wonderful people and have made friends! It has been a fun journey and a blessing to my life in so many ways.

I am really glad I did not let my fear keep me back any longer. Are there any fears that you have overcome on your health and fitness journey? Fill me in! 🙂

~Chocolate Runner Girl~

Foodie Pen Pal June reveal!

Hi friends!

June was a BUSY month.  With several weddings and other out of town events, I feel I have been living out of my suitcase.  In the past 3 weeks I have been in Georgian, South Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois and Iowa!  Whew! When I have been at home it has been pretty busy with work, trying to stay on track with my clean eating and fitness schedule and spending time with my husband and a few friends.
I am a few days behind on the June Foodie Pen Pals reveal day.  I was without internet on my most recent trip.  I apologize for the delay.

My June FPP was Dana!  I sent her my random food restrictions and when I opened my package it was amazing!!!
She included a sweet note about how she worked on several different recipes to make some gluten/soy free items for me, and she did an excellent job!!


These brownies didn’t last very long! Both my husband and I really enjoyed them! They were thick and fudge like and perfect!!


These chocolate chip cookies were also divine!  She mentioned the chocolate chips had some soy in them, which is pretty typical.  They were soft and chewy with wonderful flavor 🙂

I have never had a Refresher before, so it was nice to get a chance to try one.  This flavor reminds me of Tazo Passion tea which I love and usually drink all summer long!


Dana’s young daughter also added a snack to my package.  I thought it was so sweet!  I have not tried them yet, but I am planning to bring them to work one of these days to use for a snack and to let the twins I nanny for try them!
Thank you Dana for your thoughtful package!  It is so clear that you put a lot of time and effort into it and I really appreciate it!!!

(If you want to see what I sent my FPP Melissa, you can click here!)

If Foodie Pen Pals sounds like something you would like to do, here is some of the basic info:

-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
– Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & UK residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!

***If you’re in the UK, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at to get involved!

If you want to be a part of this amazing program for July, sign up HERE!

Thanks all!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!  Back to a more normal blogging routine soon!

~Chocolate Runner Girl~