Joplin Memorial Half {2016}

It was the race I wasn’t supposed to run.
After last years JMR I swore off running it again in 2016. I said “I was done running long distances” I really should learn to keep my mouth shut. I am pretty sure I will never be done running long distances, I just can’t seem to quit.

So I signed up on New Years Eve and ended up training about half as much as I normally would to run a race. With about 10 days until the race and a sponsored entry Russ joined the fun too. Boy was I SO glad that I had already signed up to do the race this year and would now be running Russ’ first half with him. 

It started the same way it does every year. 



And 161 balloons released followed by 161 seconds of silence for the 161 lives lost on May 22nd, 2011. Every year I stand there and think of just how beautiful this moment is. This truly is a day to run & remember.

Think of this photo as a game of Where’s Waldo and see if you can find us :). 

Before I knew it, we were off! I think it went something like this. run, run, run, run RUN! The course for 2016 was a brand new and oh goodness was it the best JMR course so far. It was fantastic. It wasn’t “flat as a pancake” but it was the perfect course through Joplin and followed roads that I run on a usual basis. I felt pretty at home on the course. 

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Through the heart of down town.

Smiling for the cameras.

And we even held hands for a minute walking up this hill.
Sneaky Anna caught a photo and I am so glad she did.

The weather was perfect, the hydration stations were incredible, my feet were EXHAUSTED and Anna endured what we will forever call “The epic side cramp of 2016” but we did it, we finished.



Sharing all about the #JMR #halfmarathon in a #race #recap today. #RunRememberRebuild Click To Tweet

I couldn’t possibly be any happier with our results and this guy for running it with pretty much no training. I set out just wanting to finish the race and put up a pretty respectable time for me. Russ was a little disheartened to have lost to me by 5 seconds, but then he gloated that he ran his first half faster than I ran mine. 

So thankful to have had this experience with two of my favorite people EVER!

And to have yet another race in the books with this lady. They are getting almost to many to number now.

So that leaves me with the question I always am thinking about this time of the year.
What next?

For the very first times I’m not quite sure how to answer that.
But I am pretty sure I can say one thing…
It will likely involve running 

See you next year Joplin Memorial Run!

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Joplin Memorial Fun Run {2016}

One of my favorite Newman family traditions is to have the girls run the Joplin Memorial Run Fun Run. So, adding it to our spring bucket list almost felt like cheating. But I think we all add things to our lists we know we’ll do. The run is always the Friday evening before the big race and the girls look forward to it for months.

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They were beyond excited that race day was finally here and as always, they humored me by letting me take some pre-run photos. I just love seeing them all dolled up like mini-me’s. Some things will just never get old. 

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The plan this year was for Russ to run the race with Emily again and Marissa to take off by herself. Of course that leaves me to do what I love to do, take photos. But I can’t take credit for all of these shots. A few of them were taken by my father in law and some others by the official race photographers. Three people taking pictures definitely made it hard to pick the ones to share with you today.

We also saw our friends Jonathan and David there. We hadn’t seen them in what felt like ages so it was a pretty happy reunion. 

I never let the girls wear the race shirt to the race. My main reason for that can easily be seen in this photo. They are SO much easier to spot. 

Before the race I gave Marissa permission to go wherever she wanted in the line-up I was pretty shocked to see that she found her way pretty close to the start of the pack. She isn’t really a vocally competitive girl but I am seeing a bit of a competitive spirit spark up in her.

Emily on the other hand is pretty happy hanging towards the back of the pack with dad. She is just the happiest little runner I know (still). She treats fun runs like a parade, leaping and waving along the way. Not much has changed for her since last year. 

Out and back Marissa ran her mile in a hair over 8:30. Two minutes faster than last year. I could seriously watch this girl run ALL day long. She always looks so strong, graceful, and effortless out there.

A few minutes later along came our sweet EE, still smiling and waving.

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The JMR 2016 kids run was once again a great time

Sharing all about the #JMR #funrun in today's blog post. I just love my little #runner girls. Click To Tweet

You can check out our 2015 recap here and our 2014 recap here for a bit of a throwback.
I can’t even believe how much those girls have grown over the past two years.

Have you done a fun run with your kid(s) yet?!
I would highly recommend adding it to your summer bucket list!

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Fueling For Success, Crushing Fitness Goals

This shop has been compensated by CollectiveBias, Inc. on behalf of its advertiser, EAS Sports Nutrition. #easbrand #PowerinProtein #collectivebias

Around this time every year I start looking back. I look back on where I came from, where I have been, where I am today and where I want to go. I think about goals, plans to reach those goals and the tools that I need to succeed and that is exactly what I want to talk to you about today.

How to set and crush fitness goals. Free printable workout log with goals
I’ve said it before and I know I will say it again.
I haven’t always been a physically active person.

I spent most of my 20’s with the best of intentions and a misguided definition of what it really means to be “in shape”. One day, about three years ago, I decided that things needed to change. Since then there has been no looking back. I’ve had great success and times when it took everything I had to find any motivation but I haven’t given up and I have no plans to quit now.

But more than that fitness has become a passion of mine. I love talking to others and encouraging them to pursue their goals. I hope this post today leaves you encouraged. Wherever you are in life it’s never to late to make a positive change.

How to set and crush fitness goals!

#1 Start Small
You can’t expect to go from never working out to 7 days or a couch potato to running 20 miles a week instantly. Be okay with starting small and moving forward slowly. Everyone has to start somewhere. The most important part is starting.

#2 Find accountability
From a workout buddy to your mom, find someone who will regularly check in on you and keep you accountable. We always will perform better when we know we’ll be checked on.

#3 Fuel for success
This one is huge for me and the one that it took me the longest to grasp. Muscles need to be fed to grow and what do muscles like? Protein! For the first year and a half I was regularly working out I wasn’t giving my body the fuel it needed to perform and recover. 

On a recent trip to Wal-Mart I picked up some EAS® 100% Whey Protein Powder. I have been using protein powders for over a year now but had yet to find one that I love. until I tried this product. This is the first protein powder that I  have been able to use by itself without feeling like i needed to add fruits into my shake to mask the taste.

EAS® 100% Whey Protein Powder is now offering a new and improved formula offering 30 grams of protein, the ideal amount needed to recover after a workout helping you to build stronger, leaner muscle.

You can also earn $3.00 when you purchase EAS® 100% Whey Protein or $1 when you purchase EAS® AdvantEdge Carb Control with these Ibotta offers.

The ways you can add EAS® 100% Whey Protein Powder into your diet are almost unlimited from protein shakes, adding it to smoothies, making homemade protein bars, pancakes, you name it! I love the versatility and benefits this product gives me along with its great quality and flavor.

Talking about fueling for success and #fitness #goals today. #Ad #PowerInProtein #easbrand @Walmart Click To Tweet

#4 Make Goals
I am a HUGE believer in setting goals. Having a prize to set your eyes on can be just the motivation that you need to get out of bed in the morning.


To help you set and obtain goals I created a printable goal sheet with a way to track your progress at the bottom. Just print it out, fill in your goals, and display it somewhere where others can see it. Then you can write down your workouts through the month so you can track your progress, crossing off those goals as you crush them.


#5 Give yourself grace
Refuse to quit! If you have an off week, push on. Suffer an injury, heal and begin again. There are so many obstacles that will come across your path, know that now and be ready to overcome them without beating yourself up.

Need more workout motivation? 
Check out the New NBC Show S.T.R.O.N.G where EAS® products will be featured on the June 2nd episode. (9pm EST 8pm CST).

Tell me one workout goal you have for 2016?!
Make sure you check out EAS® products so you are fueled to perform, recover and crush your goals.

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Now it’s your turn to link up for this weeks Tuesday Talk!


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Missouri Race Series Joplin {Race Recap}

We all have THAT friend.

You know what I mean, right?

The one that pushes you to be a better version of yourself. The one who you can say your crazy ideas too and instead of telling you you’re crazy they actually listen. I can’t tell you how many conversations I have had with this lady that start out “We could…” only to end up becoming reality hours, days, weeks, or months later. 

For me that friend is Anna.
She’s my Thelma.

This weekend was another one of our crazy adventures. We were SUPPOSED to take it easy this week. We were SUPPOSED to just put in a 5 mile taper run. But when an opportunity presents itself and it is the other persons birthday, you just do it. One week before our half we ran what would officially be the hardest run in almost 3 years of running, the Missouri Race Series 10 Mile Joplin Race.

Mo Race Series
I have no words for how challenging that course was and the pictures I took will never do it any justice. So I’m hopeful that the elevation map gives you and idea of how the run went… for 10+ miles!

The hardest #race I've ever ran is on the #blog today. #racerecap #MissouriRaceSeries Click To Tweet

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And with no official on course photographer, we had to take our own photos.
Because if you don’t take a picture, it didn’t really happen. 

But they weren’t all so happy. 

Look a hill!

Oh and there’s another one. 

This was a smaller hill that led to a BIG hill and on the other side… you guessed it, a hill! And once we got to the end we had to turn around and do it all over again.

Hill after hill after hill. I assure you they looked MUCH more impressive in person.

But some how we did it!
It wasn’t a record setting time or pace and you can guarantee we walked up some of those hills, but we never thought we wouldn’t finish!

Her birthday wish come true, the finish line.

So that’s a wrap on our latest “great” idea. We also came to a mutual agreement mid race that we would NEVER run this course again… or will we?

Only 3 days to go until we run 13.1!
I should also mention we’ll have some company for our half. One week ago Russ impulsively decided to sign-up to do it with us since his employer is a headline sponsor and he could run it for free. So with pretty much zero training he is planning to do his best. Looks like we aren’t the (only) crazy ones after all!

Happy Hump Day!

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Monthly Goals, April 2016

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Another month of is gone and so is 1/4 of the year.

Thankfully it is the 1/4 that I couldn’t be happier to see gone. For me it seems like the year gets better and better as it goes along, each month bringing just a little more excitement than the one before. Today I’m going to take a look at how I am doing goal wise and make some new goals for the new month, which is nearly a week over already.
*Keep posting 4-5 days a week.
*Celebrate the blogs 2nd birthday.

*Work harder towards 500 Facebook follower. It feels impossible but I have less than 50 to go! So if you want to help a girl out you can find my page HERE

Done, done, and done! I hit 500 like with just a couple of days to spare. I am SO excited to have finally made that milestone. It feels like I have been working toward that one forever.


*Family Game Night
*Family Movie Night
*Take a walk or family bike ride.

Family time this month was a bit less intentional than I planned for but 2 out of 3 isn’t bad. Plus I still feel like we did quite a bit together, just not the things on my list.


*Work out 4 days a week.
*Stop eating so many cookies. I mean it this time. Really, I do.
Thanks to some training runs with Marissa I still managed to hit my work out goal even with some lazy mornings and a cold. I was shocked that I some how pulled it off. As for eating better I’m still not doing amazing but if you are grading on a curve I did much better than last month, so I call it a win.

*Finish the She Reads Truth Lent study.
*Start keeping a prayer journal with Marissa

Prayer journal was a bomb, but we are praying more frequently together. I also barely finished the study. I need to pick something else up soon though. Maybe I can get back to that book I borrowed from MIL forever ago and have yet to really dive into.


Home School-
*Stay on track, we are so close now!
*Begin working on our project fair projects.
*Start Purchasing curriculum for next year.

One month from today we will officially be done with school, that feels AMAZING to say. I also have been gathering curriculum for next year, I even picked some up for the year after that too #overachiever. As for our project fair projects, procrastination won out. After we wrap up our testing this week we will dive into those.


*File our taxes
*Trip to the shooting range
*Prep stuff for the consignment sale
*Start some more seedlings
*Girls night

Taxes were filed, the consignment sale stuff was BARELY prepped in time and I threw a few seedlings in a pot on the last day of the month just so I could cross it off. I went on two girl nights this month which wasn’t nearly enough and my trip to the shooting range got delayed until this past weekend which was technically April. Sickness and exhaustion really had a huge impact on my March social life. Hopefully April proves to be more exciting.


*Keep posting 4-5 days a week.
*Work on my Pinterest strategy and growing followers to 1,000.

*Family movie night.
*Family outing (walk, donut date, something).
*Go to a car show.

*Run a 5K.
*Get serious about half-marathon training.
*4-5 workouts a week.
*Improve my diet more this month.

*Pray more as a family.
*Start reading something.
*Attend Sunday School at church.

Home School-
*Survive academic testing week.
*Begin wrapping up subjects at the end of the month.
*Complete project fair assignments.

*3-4 Girl nights.
*Trip to the shooting range.
*Finish and participate in the consignment sale.
*Date night.
*Take the 37 Ford Russ built for a drive.

April should prove to be a pretty busy and exciting month with lots going on as we wrap up the 2015/2016 school year. That will also be this months #1 priority. It should be a lot of fun too!

What goals are you working toward this month?

Linking up with Morning Motivated Mom & Living In This Season for:

Sharing my April #goals and linking up for #WithGritAndGrace. Come take a look. Click To Tweet

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Amazing GRace 2016

Saturday was a big day in the Newman house, it was Marissa’s very firs 5K (3.1 mile) run. A SUPER early registration rate meant we signed up back in October and boy has she been waiting and waiting for the big day to arrive.

She has always been a natural when she puts on those running shoes. She has a gracefulness and endurance that is rare for someone her age. I had no doubts in my mind that she would do well. 

I woke up early and nervous with pre-race jitters which was so funny, you would’ve thought it was my first race. I was soon greeted by a girl with huge dimples who I ate breakfast with, got dressed with and sat and did some stretching with. It was such a sweet time of being together.

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We laced up our shoes and headed to the race. It was a cold morning with temperatures in the 30’s, we were so very thankful that at least the sunshine was warm. We met up with our good friends Anna and Jonathan (who was also running his first 5K) and took our obligatory pre-race pictures.

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Before long we were all lined up and ready to go. I told Marissa that I loved her and was proud of her and just wanted her to do her best. The gun went off and we started to run. 

We ran and they waited. We were abundantly blessed with an amazing group of cheerleaders that day. Both sets of grandparents, dad and sister all made appearances to cheer us on. Marissa was so surprised and excited to see so many happy faces.

Along the way we talked to each other and met some other runners. Everyone was so supportive of Marissa, cheering her on and encouraging her. Nobody could believe she was just 7. I think that was partially because she is huge and partially because she wasn’t running how you’d imagine a 7 year old to run.

Around mile 2.5 we were burning up so we tossed our jackets to “our crew” and headed for the finish line. 

I asked her how she wanted to finish and she said together. She held my hand and we ran for the finish line. The MC saw her coming and called and cheered her in. About that time she let go, took off and I hung back running just fast enough to keep my eyes on her and watched as my baby crossed that finish line.


Her finish time.

My heart could have exploded.
I was SO proud.

And I don’t think I am the only one who felt that way.

Such a memorable day for our family.

#Proudmama bragging on my girl and her first #5K today. She is #awesome! Click To Tweet

3 fingers for 3 miles. Isn’t her shirt just the best?! #TryToKeepUp

And two fingers for second place! Later that night right before bed time we found out that Marissa had placed second in the 13 & under division beating out some 10 & 12 year olds.

Running that race with her was everything I could’ve hoped for and I pray it is the first of many, many more!

Also a track scholarship in about 10 years isn’t completely out of the question either ;).
We see a gift in this girl and I can’t wait to see how and if it develops over the years.

Marissa, we are over the moon proud of you xoxo!

Now it’s your turn to link up for this weeks Tuesday Talk!

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