New Lily

Fall, Cross Country Meets, and the Changing Seasons…These are a Few of My Favorite Things

#6 (Grace) at a cross country meet.

#6 (Grace) at a cross country meet.

Fall means cross country season in our house.  Many weekends I find myself at the start of a race…dashing with other parents through the woods to the one- mile marker and then off to the base of a hill….then to the edge of a small lake…. hoping to catch a glimpse of our daughters or sons as they race by.  I love cross country meets.  They’re exhilarating.  Watching younger runners dig deep and push themselves out on a cross country course motivates me to get in touch with my passion for running.

Autumn does that too.  Cooler temperatures make running easier.  It’s my favorite time to run. Especially this autumn.  I am not injured.  Not burned out. Not really anything but happy to get out and run.  I’m planning on running a race sometime in the next few months but haven’t signed up for anything yet.  I’m open to a half-marathon or even a trail run.  A few of my running buddies have already tackled a fall marathon. [Read more…]

I’m Ready for Fall Running…How about you?

My happy place in Maine, where late summer running is bliss...if it weren't for the darn hills.

My happy place in Maine, where late summer running is bliss…if it weren’t for the darn hills.

I’m up north at Lovejoy Pond (it’s really a lake) in Maine for the last two weeks of summer.  Fall has come a little early to this quaint part of the country.  Waking up to the singing loons and 50 degrees is a refreshing change from the heat and humidity of Charlotte in late summer.  With the exception of the extreme hills, this is my favorite place to run.

Running in Maine is a wonderful foretaste of what is to come in the fall to North Carolina.  I, for one, am excited!  The greenway near my house will be full of runners training for the many races in various parts of the country from October – December.  Cross country runners will be lining up at high school 5K races. Many of those summer treadmill runners will hit the pavement when the air gets colder and the trees start changing. Running is contagious in autumn.

Where will you be running this fall?

Remarkable Louis Zamperini: Athlete and Airman (R.I.P.)

Louie Zamperini

Louie Zamperini

Louie Zamperini

Louie Zamperini

Occasionally, whether in person or in a book, we are introduced to such a remarkable human being that we are changed by the very meeting.  This is what it is like to read about Louie Zamperini in Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand.  Hillenbrand also gave us the story of Sea Biscuit, the famous race horse, and we were similarly touched. Unbroken is a story that is at once unbelievable and yet incredible because it is true.  To become acquainted with Louis Zamperini is to love him.  His spirit, his zeal, and his amazing will to live challenge us to become better people for knowing him. Even if we have only read about him. [Read more…]

Easter Is a Wonderful Chance to Try a “New Program”



This is a day of joy.  It represents new life.  New beginnings.  Second chances.  As a Christian, this day is THE day.  It trumps all others.  We celebrate Christ’s incredible gift to each one of us. I sat in church this morning keenly aware of how, though undeserving, I am grateful for the opportunity to start anew.  Glad to toss the “old self”, I feel excitement at the prospect of a new one.  This is true for all of me, not just the spiritual part. As a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend.  In all aspects of my life I could use a second chance.  Can’t we all? [Read more…]

Exercise Should Relieve Stress, Not Create It

Whitney-on-ball-resizedI was talking to a friend the other day.  He had read one of my blog posts and was asking if I was training for a triathalon.  This launched us into a discussion about biking. I explained why I don’t like it.  It takes a lot of time.  The equipment is expensive.  After two crashes, it scares me.  “Basically,” I said, “I want my workouts to relieve stress…not create it.”

That short conversation got me thinking.  What does exercise do for me?  It’s a whole lot more than physical.  Yes, it keeps me fit, but after all my years of pounding the pavement, cranking out pushups, or tweeking my perfect strength routine, I have come to believe that the most substantial benefit of fitness is what it does for my peace of mind. [Read more…]

These Are a Few Of My Favorite Things…Three Fitness Picks for 2014

There are so many ways to do a push up....a great body weight exercise!

There are so many ways to do a push up….a great body weight exercise!

These are a few of my favorite things that I will be doing lots more of in 2014…

1.Body Weight exercises

What it is: Body weight exercises are strength training exercises that do not require equipment; your own weight provides the resistance for the movement. Movements such as the push-up, the pull-up, and the sit-up are some of the most common bodyweight exercises.

Why I like it:  Using my own body strength, this kind of workout engages the core, utilizes many different muscle groups, and can be done basically anywhere.  From push-ups and squats, to lunges and planks, there is really no end to the variations I can do.  Sometimes I do the workout on its own, and sometimes I will stick a few body weight exercises in at the end of a run.  Here’s my favorite quickie (source:crossfit): [Read more…]

Fall 5Ks are Great Family Fun!


My husband snapped this picture of us after the 5K last Saturday…there are seven of us (#5 is cut off – but is also smiling)…

Last weekend my family did the Big South 5K in Charlotte.  Well, not the whole family.  #1, #2, and #3 are not home, and my husband and #9 (Sam – who is 4) didn’t run but came to cheer the rest of us on.  I ran with #7 (C.C.) who is 8.  She was trying to break 27:50 which was her last 5K time.  We came in a little over that at 28.30 but I was impressed with her mighty effort! She never stopped to walk except to get water.  By the last 1/2  mile she was tired and I asked her if she wanted to walk a little. But then as she recognized her surroundings and knew it wasn’t too far to finish…she got a second wind! [Read more…]

What Do You Do When Your Running Partner is Injured?

Here I am with #9 (Sam). I know…I’m not running.

I am officially pitiful.  I can’t believe how fast I have become unmotivated!  My running partner, Susan (the one I run with the most), is injured.  She broke her toe when a mannequin at work fell on her foot.  OUCH.  That was a month ago.  Since then I have suffered from a serious lack of motivation (it wasn’t my toe, I know – guess I am a very empathetic friend). I used to meet Susan at 5:30 am about three times a week, but now I have basically almost stopped even setting my alarm for an early morning run.  Thank God for the other Susan in my life…my twin sister.  She and I run together at least once a week, usually around 6:15 am from her house.  I am grateful for her and for that run once a week!  But she is training to run the Savannah Half Marathon in November and is therefore in much better shape than me at the moment. With every week I notice how much slower I seem in comparison. [Read more…]

Fitting in a Workout Means Sometimes It Isn’t Pretty…

A parking lot run is still better than no run at all!

I ran it today for 5 miles. …the parking lot, that is. Sometimes you just do what you have to do.  I am in Greensboro, NC, for a swim meet for #6 (Grace), and her warm ups started at 7 am this morning. With four kids along, it was too difficult to fit an early morning workout in and get her there on time!.   Instead I dropped Grace off and #5 (Annie) watched #8 and #9 (C.C. and Sam) while I ran in the nearby paved paradise.


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It’s HOT! Nine Fitness Tips for Summer Exercise

When it gets too steamy outside...move your tough workouts inside!

When it gets too steamy outside…move your tough workouts inside!

It’s been a rainy summer in North Carolina.  I love cooler weather when it comes to fitness, but even I have been longing for hot, sunny days.  I realize, though, that I need to be careful what I hope for!  I was in New York City last week, where its hot, hot, hot.  My daughter has been interning on Capitol Hill this summer and last week it hit 100 degrees more than once.  She told me she went for a run and the heat and humidity were stifling.  Following are nine tips for keeping up with fitness during the dog days of summer. [Read more…]