2012’s Best Moments.

As the year winds down and I spend the night with some dear family and friends, I wanted to share some of the most important and significant moments of 2012.

February:

One of my favorite desserts was the Samoa Bar I baked for our Superbowl party

I actually packaged them up and gave them all away to whoever came, if the pan was left out I would’ve eaten them all.

B was Baptized.

B, Nick & I and B’s Godparents.

March:

I ran my first Post Partum 5k (I ran the same course as my last race of 2012 recap to come later)

April:

I became a FitFluential Ambassador and celebrated with my blend, Cait!

May:

I signed up to run my first half-marathon with Team In Training.

We also threw a surprise party for my mom’s 60th birthday.

June

I had one of my first terrible training runs. It was an experience I needed, and one I hadn’t really had since I never really trained for an event.

I threw a bachelorette party for my sister-in-law. So much fun, let’s do it again

Oh, and she got married ;)


One of the most beautiful brides I have ever seen.

July:

B turned one. I still can’t comprehend this one.

August:

I ran my PDR and had a DNS.

I also attended the Healthy Living Summit and won the Wild Harvest Breakfast Showdown.

September:

I attended the wedding of one of my very best friends.

I ran my very FIRST half-marathon.

October:

I ran the NWM’s Half Marathon with Team in Training.


My name on the wall.


Mid-run


Post-Race with my dear sister.

November:

We left our first home.

And had a awesome trip to the ER

But at least I got to spend some awesome time with my blend, Cait.

December:

We moved into our new house!

I was also nominated and won some Playlist Thursday Awards.

What and amazing year it has been! What are some of your favorite moments of 2012?

Christmas Traditions

I know everyone is saying this but I honestly can’t believe it’s almost Christmas. With all the house purchase craziness that we were dealing with, then dealing with vendors and builders and issue inside the house, it is all the sudden Christmas Eve. (Thank goodness I took a few shopping trips here and there otherwise I’d be screwed in terms of Christmas presents)

We didn’t get a tree this year, and we have a few decorations, and because we couldn’t get anything prior to mid-December we had no stocking holders for our mantle, so they went back on the China cabinet like last year.


recycled photo, I also had no time to take pictures of our new set-up!

Now that B is getting older, I am trying to start to realize what I hope our yearly traditions will be. I will admit it is hard with all the traveling we do to have great at home traditions, so I am trying to be creative.

In the past with my family we have always opened up one gift on Christmas eve and we usually get new pajama’s and a Christmas ornament, that is one of my favorite memories. Also, my sister Caty & I would always make breakfast together, well she made most of it. I think it’s wonderful to take that extra time to have breakfast together and not a hurried meal of toast & coffee.

For presents, we always would give one gift to everyone in the room, one for each of my sisters and parent(s) and we would all open at the same time. As we got older and more children became part of the process it was hard as a child to find enough presents under the tree for the adults, but I know realize they didn’t care. As a mom, I can only hope that my children find joy in what they unwrap and realize that each gift was thoughtfully picked for them.

Santa – this is a big one. I put it out as a question to a group of mom friends. How do you handle Santa? The idea of Santa was ruined for me at a very young age, by someone very bitter. However, my parents still labeled the majority of my gifts from Santa, and even my paternal grandmother used to tell us that Santa left gifts for us at her house. I thought it was sweet. Nick’s parents however told their kids that Santa left the stockings.

I am more inclined to follow in the footsteps of my in-laws. I want my children to know that I picked out dome gifts that I knew they would love. Someone also mentioned that the big, expensive or toy of the year gifts come from Santa. I like that idea as well! Santa can afford the expensive stuff right?

I’d love to start doing the pj & ornament tradition and Christmas morning breakfast, but with all our traveling they might be hard. For now, I am blessed to be spending all this time with wonderful people and I am enjoying the traditions as they come.

What are your traditions? How do you handle Santa?

Elf 4 Health: Round Two

Check out round one if you haven’t yet!

I will be honest, this wasn’t my best round. It was hard keeping up with all the challenges (especially without internet) and that made it hard to check in with all the other elves.

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This round I was paired up with the awesome Lindsay from Authentic Losing. We have a lot in common, and we are on similiar weight loss journeys, it is also awesome that she is local. We haven’t had a chance to get together, but hopefully once the holiday crazies are over we can!

WEEK THREE

MONDAY: Track your water intake.

Today was move day, so I made sure to drink plenty of water. I had at least 4 or 5 of these babies.

TUESDAY: Clean out your fridge & pantry. Get rid of unhealthy and old items.

Considering we moved into a new house and used everything from our old house, my agenda was more to stock the fridge and pantry with healthy and fresh food, so sort-of win.

WEDNESDAY: Eat 3 servings of veggies by 2 pm.

FAIL. This day was a nightmare, we had a rough night with B, I only had coffee until lunch time and I had grand plans of an omelette and a salad, but I had so much to do so a pb & j was lunch. I had plenty of veggies with dinner though.

THURSDAY: Buy coffee for the person behind you in line.

I didn’t go buy coffee today, so instead I let the guy in a rush in front of me in line at the post office, so sort-of a win.

FRIDAY: Workout with a buddy.

This was exchanged with the weekend challenge. I donated to a few of the Salvation Army stations outside the stores I went to today.

WEEKEND: Donate to a holiday charity in your area.


Pre-Race!

Exchanged with Friday’s challenge. I ran my final race of 2012 with my bestie, Casey, her brother and a bunch of TNT alumni!

WEEK FOUR

MONDAY: Complete a circuit workout.

I completed one that I pinned, but totally forgot to take a picture.

TUESDAY: Treat yourself to something you’ve been craving.

I treated myself to some ice cream, but it was before bed and during family time, which means no phone time. I am doing awesome at the photo part, huh?

WEDNESDAY: Bake Cookies.

WIN! Our oven was fixed Tuesday, so I made dark chocolate & mint chip cookies.


Process


Result

THURSDAY: Make a casserole for dinner.

Fail again. I had a West Coast friend visiting. We usually see each other once or twice a year, and we like to get Chinese food and play the Wii. Well we could only do the former, so that’s what we did. I enjoyed our time together.

FRIDAY: Pay it forward.

Sort of similar to one from last week. I paid for the person behind me’s coffee, no picture, stealth mode.

WEEKEND: Have a healthy snack before a holiday party.

Nick and I ate dinner before attending a holiday party so we wouldn’t snack too much. Success!

How did your round two go?

Hung for the Holidays

Since we just moved into the new house, and we still have a fair amount of boxes (unpacking with a toddler is pretty difficult) left, the last thing on our mind is Christmas decorations. Luckily, B is young enough that he won’t notice the lack of tree or decorations.

Of course when you make plans, they almost always fall through, right? The original move in date for the house was for late November, knowing that I had signed up for a great blogger exchange that Carlyn had put together, called Hung for the Holidays, basically we were paired with two others. One person would send us an ornament and we would send an ornament to someone else. I love new ornaments (90% of ours were lost when our condo garage flooded and they were not stored properly) so I was pretty excited to get involved in this.

Turns out one of my twitter & blog friends, Betsy, was going to be sending me an ornament.

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Um, does she know me or what. It is the perfect ornament for me, even if for now it is displayed on the mantle instead of a tree. This blog originally started as a baking blog, with a focus in cupcakes, it was so nice to get a reminder of my “roots”. I am so proud of where I started and how far I have come. Plus it is the perfect segway to tell you, with a new kitchen and better natural lighting, there is going to be more baking coming your way in 2013. As for the ornament, I am telling you now it will be stored properly for next year and the years to come.

For our other decorations, we also have a few rope lights on our front porch and a decorated wreath, Nick’s mom told us we couldn’t be without a few decorations, and I agree.

Check out what I sent to Lindsay, she was so sweet she even sent me a card as a thank you afterwards. Now I feel ilk a jerk since I only tweeted Betsy!

What’s your favorite or most meaningful ornament?

Playlist Thursday: Songs I forgot

I am linking up with Pavement Runner today. Before or after you read this post make sure you head over to his nominations post, you can vote for Best Something Old, Best Something Current, Best Something to Consider, Best Most Appearances and Favorite Playlist Thursday Participant. I would love you to vote for your favorites, even if they aren’t mine ;)!

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Today’s theme is: Up to us! I am going to post some songs that I forgot about, songs that I wish I had included

SOMETHING OLD

Artist: Gorillaz
Title: Feel Good Inc.
Side Note: This song reminds of high school. When I went to London I remember hearing this song everywhere, and about 2 or 3 months later it made it big in the states.
Quotable: Don’t stop, get it, get it. We are your captains in it. Steady. Watch me navigate. Ahahahahahhaa.

SOMETHING CURRENT

Artist: Taylor Swift
Title: I Knew You Were Trouble
Side Note: I have a love/hate relationship with Taylor Swift. I can’t stand her boys treat me like garbage whiny songs, but this song has a great beat and I love singing and running with it. But at the end of the day I am team John Mayer…so there’s that.
Quotable: I knew you were trouble when you walked in. So shame on me now. Flew me to places i’d never been. So you put me down oh. I knew you were trouble when you walked in. So shame on me now. Flew me to places i’d never been. Now i’m lying on the cold hard ground. Oh, oh, trouble, trouble, trouble. Oh, oh, trouble, trouble, trouble

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER

Artist: Luke Bryan
Title: Rain is a Good Thing
Side Note: This one goes out to my girl Cait, she loves Luke Bryan as much as I do, plus she loves whiskey, so we can pretend he is singing to her.
Quotable: Rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey.Whiskey makes my baby feel a little frisky. Back roads are boggin’ up, my buddies pile up in my truck. We hunt our honeys down, we take ‘em into town. Start washin’ all our worries down the drain. Rain is a good thing

Guest Post: Favorite Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Dessert from StudioEats

My last guest post for this stretch is from Jamie at StudioEats, she blogs great recipes, and she offered to put together some of her favorite recipes! As always, show some love and maybe leave some of your favorite healthy recipes and follow her on twitter.

Hi everyone! My name is Jamie and I blog over at StudioEats. I am a Health Coach living in New York City and I blog about healthy and easy recipes, thoughts on living a balanced lifestyle, and how to have a lot of fun along the way. I am a huge believer that being healthy can be fun and easy. After gaining 25 pounds in college and subsequently losing it, I have gained a lot of strategies about losing weight and maintaining it in a really easy, stress-free, way.

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When Kelly asked for guest blogs, I thought it would be a great opportunity to put together something I’ve been meaning to for a while. People always ask me what my favorite recipes on my blog are, and I always stumble on the answer. So, here I have put together my favorite breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert recipe that I have made so far on the blog. The best of the best, if you will!

Breakfast:

Toast with Yogurt and Grilled Peaches

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This is very typical of something I like to make. It’s SUPER simple, yet also special for a weekday breakfast. Simply take toast, add some greek yogurt, and grill up some peaches or another type of your favorite fruit. Drizzle a little honey on top and you have yourself a decadent breakfast in minutes. Coffee on the side, of course!

Lunch:

A Not Boring Veggie Sandwich

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Again, this is all about taking something really simply but making it a little more interesting. I’m not a vegetarian by any means, but I do like a good amount of meatless meals. This is taking a veggie sandwich and sprucing it up a bit by adding pumpkin, some oregano, a hefty dose of hummus, and making it on Cinnamon Raisin bread. SO much flavor!

Dinner:

Eggplant, Fig and Ricotta Pizza

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I love me some pizza. I actually make pizza quite frequently. Pizza was one of the first things I made this year and put on the blog, and I guess I’ve never stopped loving it. It’s SO fun to make, and the possibilities are endless. I usually just buy some Whole Wheat pizza dough from the grocery store, roll it out, and add whatever toppings are on my mind. This pizza recipe was probably my favorite. Again, meatless, but you can add sausage or chicken or even steak to this. Yum!
Dessert:

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Don’t forget about dessert! I try to usually have some healthy dessert on hand, because I have a strong sweet tooth and I refuse to tame it. These healthy cookies are the best I’ve made. No sugar, butter, or oil. But chocolate is still included, obviously. Can’t skimp on that!

I hope you like these recipes and check out many more on my blog. Cheers to health made easy, baby!

What looks good to you? My favorite is the toast with yogurt and grilled peaches, yum!

Guest Post: Running while Traveling

Today’s guest post is from Amalia, her blog is a mish mash of things, much like this one, and I love that she talks about traveling on a budget, so when we talked about her guest posting all I could think about was her traveling experiences and how she ran during them. She is going to share her experience with you all and like always please show her some love.

My name is Amalia, I blog at Live Travel Eat and Run, I make faces a lot, and I have a confession to make.

I’ve become a traveling runner.

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I say this because I never ended to be a runner, but I always intended on being a traveler. Who knew the two would go together so well?

My love for traveling started when my parents put me on a plane at the age of two, and I don’t think there has been a year that has passed where I haven’t had the excitement and privilege of going somewhere awesome and new. I currently live in one of my favourite cities I ever visited. Vancouver,
British Columbia

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My relationship with running was one of pain and anger and hatred for about 23 years, until this past March. A friend had dared me to run the Ottawa 5 km with her, and I never back down from a challenge. The second someone says “I dare you to,” is the second I’m hooked. So it makes sense to me that that is how I started my running journey.

So in May, I packed up my bags for a weekend and drove six hours to Ottawa. I ran my first 5 km with one of my very best friends and after that, it was like I couldn’t stop running. The same day, I signed up to run my first half marathon in Disney world in January. I figured, “Hey I have 6 months to save some money to go and to start running longer distances” (35 days now!). For some reason, pairing running with traveling has made my life that much more exciting. And now I love running, go figure. My Dad makes fun of me because he could NEVER get me to run when I was a kid in team sports. I’d rather compete with myself!

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Ottawa was probably the best decision of my life. Running by the Canadian Parliament (I used to want to be a politician, so the amount I know about that building would astound anyone), with one of my best friends, in a great city? It was incredible. The best part was I was able to crash with my best friend and her boyfriend, and therefore my costs were limited to the swag I bought at the expo and the 12 hours of driving time.

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I say it was the best decision of my life because I realized something about myself that day. I could do more than I ever thought possible, and I would prove it to myself again and again in the next six months as I trained, beat my time at another 5 km, and (cross your fingers general population of the world) successfully completed the Disney Half Marathon in January.

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But of course, I’m impulsive. And I love to sign myself up for things and generally don’t consider the cost. Run-cations can be expensive! Especially when you don’t have runner buddies to split the bill. Manfriend (my better half) is not a runner, and so to get him to come along there has to be some sort of video game convention going on at the same time.

So far I’ve only traveled by car to get to a race. I’m traveling by plane in January. But I don’t think there is any limit. I have big dreams of running the big 5 marathons. I want to run New York, Boston, Chicago, London and Athens.

I’m thankful for my Mom, who supports my crazy decisions and is generally willing to hop on a plane to come somewhere exciting, even if it means she foots most of the bill.

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So in order for me (and you) to learn better about traveling and running I’ve started this series on my blog called the Traveling Runner! If you’ve traveled anywhere for a race, no matter how big or small, I want to hear from you. You can find the form over at my website. And remember, dream big. Because life is just one day, one moment, at a time.

See you in 2013 Ottawa!

Make sure you follow Amalia on twitter to learn more!

Have you ever traveled to run? What is your favorite destination race?

Guest Post: Strength Training for a Runner

Today’s Guest Posters are twins Kymberly Williams-Evans and Alexandra Williams. I had the great opportunity to meet Alexandra during our Fitfluential dinner when I was in San Francisco for the Nike Women’s Marathon. Their guest post today is strength training for the marathoner. However, whether you are running a marathon, a 5k, or a few miles for fun, I can’t stress how important it is to strength train. Read their post for ideas and tips on how to incorporate strength into your training, and of course leave these lovely ladies some love.

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Twins and fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams-Evans, MA have been tagged as the witty Dear Abby and Ann Landers of the exercise advice world. WIth nearly 60 years’ combined fitness professional experience on land, sea, and airwaves they offer accurate, accessible, and entertaining advice with a twist. Alexandra is an editor and writer for IDEA: The Association for Health and Fitness Professionals; Kymberly is former faculty for the Dept of Exercise and Sports Studies at UCSB. You can catch them in person, on the radio, at events and on their website funanfit.org

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When strength training for a marathon (and you should), have you considered either kettlebell or medicine ball workouts? Kettlebells offer both cardio AND strength benefits, while the medicine balls address strength. We suggest trying out the medicine ball first unless you have access to a certified kettlebell instructor to teach you. Kettlebells are deceptively difficult to do right. You have to hold and swing them properly to avoid getting hurt. Our post “Kettlebell Workouts: Yes or No” will give you something to think about.

For either of the two types of equipment, you want to start light: 5 – 7 pounds for the kettlebells, and 8 – 12 pounds for the medicine ball.

Before you try and figure out how to use either of these all by yourself, we actually suggest you attend a group fitness strength training classes instead. Most runners eschew group fitness because they love the time alone and the outdoors, but whether you use free weights, resistance bands or resistance tubing, barbells, body weight, actual kettlebells or medicine balls, you will have a lower chance of injury in a class taught by a fitness pro. You’ll increase your fundamental strength, which will allow you to progress further with your marathon training. And you will get guidance, a range of options, and feedback within a class, all of which minimize injury risk. Tackle kettlebells only with a qualified, well-trained leader (trainer or group instructor) as risk with the kettlebells is higher than with other resistance equipment. You can then take what you learn in the strength training class out onto the floor and apply it to your solo resistance training program.

And of course, after that you can take your show on the road! Or more like the hills and dales of your next marathon, where your powerful legs and core will have you leaping tall buildings…or something!

What is your favorite way to strength train?

Guest Post: Taking a Look Back!

Today’s guest blogger is Nicole, we actually don’t live too terribly far from one another and we both ran with Team In Training for the Nike Women’s Marathon in October this year. Even though we were unable to meet I have been continuing to talk to Nicole and follow her blog. She is going to share with everyone her first year in the blogging world and where her journey has taken her.

Last Tuesday was my Birthday. Well, actually, it was my blogs 1st birthday.

This time last year, I published this post. Take a look at it. It’s not my best work but it is real.

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My very first race!

I wrote that because I was excited about this journey that I was on and I didn’t want to forget anything. I am notorious for being forgetful. I have traveled all over the world but can’t tell you every place I have been. Sad, right?

So, I sat down and started writing about how I felt about running and being a wife and mother. I wasn’t sure if anyone would read and at that time, I didn’t really care. Just wanted to have a journal that keep me motivated and accountable.

Before starting my blog, I didn’t even know what a blog was. I just googled the word “running” and tons of stuff came up. Things about shoes, races, GPS’s, and blogs. I clicked on the first blog, read through it and then looked for more.

I was motivated by these runners who had put it all out there and I felt the call to start Running While Mommy to motivate others as well.

I have come a long way since then. At that time, my longest distance was 4 miles. Since then I have run two half marathons and ten smaller races, plus one more this coming Sunday for a total of 13 races.

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Run Strong, Think Big Virtual 5k. Thank you to those who participated!

I have also raised $3900 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and ran in honor of Haley which was one of the greatest experiences of my short running career.

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After my first half marathon with my biggest supporters.

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Mile 10 at the Nike Women’s Marathon

Wow! Honestly, I thought that once I finished the Newport Bridge race the first time that I would be done. Now, I plan to run it every year.

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Newport Bridge Run, 2011

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Newport Bridge, 2012

I have also lost 19 pounds since I started running. This I did not expect, but it is awesome. With the weight loss and the training, I have also hit 10 and change miles. I was a pretty consistent 12 minute mile pace runner and am now trying to PR at my last race of the year. My best 5k time to date is, 34:50. I think I can do it Sunday, although, I will be dressed as an elf and I just hope the costume doesn’t get in the way of that. LOL

And, by the way, I am not downing those who run at a 12 minute mile pace. I think any pace is great as long as you are moving and doing what you love to do. And, the longer I run, it seems the slower I go, so I know I will still see those numbers in my splits again.

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After a great run with the TNT group.

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The Blessing, my first 10 miler.

One of the other surprises this year, is how awesome the blogging/running community is. I have met friends virtually and in person who I absolutely love! And I wish I could meet all of you. You all have a special place in my heart. They are not the only people who have inspired me, so you can check out my blog roll and see all the amazing blogs that I follow.

I also have to give a huge shout out to my Tough Chiks and Sweat Pink Ambassadors. These ladies have been there for me through the good and the bad and I love every single one of them! I wasn’t sure how I would like being a part of an online community, but this works. It is motivating, I get great advice and have made a few friends. Who knew!?

So how does one celebrate their blogs birthday? Well, with a run of course! Just a quick one, two miles.

I had some struggles with my run today. My GPS was not working and after the first mile, my Pandora stopped also. Plus, it was drizzling. The drizzle is usually not a problem but I was without my favorite running hat which would have kept the drops off my glasses. Not being able to see, was the turning point for me.

But despite all that, I had a great time reflecting about this last year and how far I have come. I also thought about so many of you and how far you have come. The motivation, the advice and the pics we share with each other is why I am looking forward to another year of Running While Mommy.

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Happy Birthday Run

I hope you will continue to read and run and share your experiences with me. I love hearing from you and cheering you on.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and kind words.

Happy Birthday Running While Mommy! Here is to many more!

Run Strong, Think Big!

Playlist Thursday: Best Songs of the Year 2012

I am linking up with Pavement Runner today. I LOVE his music posts, mostly because I am always looking for new running songs to add to my playlist, but because of the format of his posts. I know I have been MIA…again on Playlist Thursday for awhile but I am going to try to make sure I keep linking up, it is one of my favorite link ups!

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Today’s theme is: Best Songs of the Year. 2012 edition. For old, use someone or something that made comeback!

SOMETHING OLD

Artist: Maroon 5
Title: One More Night
Side Note: I loved Songs About Jane, and each album that Maroon 5 has released has had one or two really great songs. So far I am really liking this album. So while that might not be comeback, I am hoping Maroon 5 has more Songs About Jane type albums in them.
Quotable: So I cross my heart, and I hope to die, that i’ll only stay with you one more night. And I know i’ve said it a million times. But i’ll only stay with you one more night.

SOMETHING CURRENT

Artist: The Lumineers
Title: Ho Hey
Side Note: Ummm, another slow one from me. I need to stop saying I don’t listen to slow songs while I run, it’s obviously not the case.
Quotable: So show me family (Hey). All the blood that I would bleed. (Ho) I don’t know where I belong (Hey). I don’t know where I went wrong. (Ho) But I can write a song (Hey).

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER

Artist: Muse
Title: Survival
Side Note: This is one of my more private anthems, there are a few songs that I hold close to me, this is one of them. I love this song it really gets in my head.
Quotable: And I’ll light the fuse. And I’ll never lose. And I choose to survive. Whatever it takes. You won’t pull ahead. I’ll keep up the pace. And I’ll reveal my strength. To the whole human race.