Monday Motivation: Week 5 Recap


Five weeks down and seven to go… Not feeling a big ol’ intro this week, so let’s just get to the recap. Cool? Cool.

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: 3.28 miles
  • Thursday: 2.12 miles
  • Friday: 3.59 miles
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: 6 miles

A couple of quick thoughts:

  • I rested too much this week.
  • Six miles made my knees hurt, so I can’t wait to do 13.1!
  • No Jacks again this week, but I suspect he’ll make his big return in Week 6.

The good news? Week 6 is a lighter week. It’s the halfway marker for training and the “long run” is a 5K race, which is a welcomed break.

Cheers to the week, you guys.


P.S. It was warm enough this last week to wear shorts to run outside! It was exciting. Here’s photo evidence:


Back When We Were Kids

I am powered by music.

I live for ‘New Music Fridays.’ I’m constantly looking for new artists and revisiting the ones I love. Music has always been a part of my life to the point that very specific songs mark certain chapters in my life. The second I hear them, I go back.

I know that’s not unique. Plenty of people tie memories to music. It’s a powerful thing, that music. But throughout my life, I’ve bookmarked moments in my life with songs and albums. There are even songs I can’t listen to anymore because they take my back to moments I don’t care to relive. Some of those are really great songs too.

Andrew McMahon returned to Omaha last night, this time with his band ‘Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness.’ He played one Something Corporate song – ‘I Woke Up in a Car’ – and it took my back. I remember being a freshman in high school listening to that song on my discman (and eventually my very first iPod).

Anyway, as I was listening, I remembered that I have this playlist on Spotify where I store all of these songs that have some meaning to me. It’s simply titled, ‘Songs I Love.’ It’s private, but I revisit it from time-to-time when I need a good ol’ trip down memory lane. I don’t plan on making that playlist public any time soon, but I thought I’d share a few of the songs here and the memories that correlate with them.

Shall we?

  • The Adventure – Angels & Airwaves: I listened to this song a lot my freshman and sophomore years of college. If you saw me walking to my class, I guarantee I had headphones in and I can promise you this song was playing.
  • Me and the Moon – Something Corporate: I used this song as my AIM away message (yeah… YEAH) as a freshman in college every time I went to bed. “It’s me and the moon she said.” Every. Single. Night.
  • Mexico – Jump Little Children: I became familiar with this band after a friend of mine tipped me off to them. She was a year older, on the dance team at KU and basically my idol. This song ultimately became the song of every college visit I made, because it’s all I played on my way.
  • Brat Pack – The Rocket Summer: This. Freaking. Song. I remember specifically listening to it in my friend’s Jeep on I-80 on the way to something for show choir. We belted it out at the top of our lungs. She now lives in California and I may not have seen her in quite some time but when I hear this song, I think of her and how fun that moment in time was.
  • The Remedy (I Won’t Worry) – Jason Mraz: I can’t hear this song and not think of the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of high school. I was in driver’s ed at Westside and this song was always on the radio when we were in the car.
  • Bitter Sweet Symphony – The Verve: Another driver’s ed song. I got hooked on this one somehow (maybe Cruel Intentions?) and then listened to it non-stop for months (and now years).
  • Everywhere – Michelle Branch: The cool thing to do in 8th grade was go to the high school football games and hang out. Despite the fact that the high schoolers did not want us there, we showed up in our army pants and flip flops. When I got ready? This song had heavy rotation on the boombox on the floor of my bathroom.
  • Forever – Chris Brown: I am not a fan of Chris Brown now, but he was a big deal when ‘Forever’ came out. This song will forever remind me of my junior year of college and driving to the Fremont Walmart for macaroni and cheese. Don’t ask.
  • Brighter Than Sunshine – Aqualung: My MySpace song. Let that sink in.

There’s more in that playlist, but that’s probably enough memories for today. Well, one more actually:


That’s me and Andrew McMahon just over 10 years ago, February 2007. Hard to believe I’ve now been a fan of his for over 15 years, but much of his music has defined very important moments in my life.

The power of music.


(And a la Allison Pane, I titled this blog after a song: Kids – OneRepublic. Something tells me this is going to be one of those songs that ends up in my playlist. I just have a hunch.)

Go What You Oughta Go

Anyone that knows me knows that I rarely wear heels. It’s just not my thing. Yet, I wore heels during recruitment week as an incoming freshman at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. In hindsight, that was a really bad idea. I could barely walk home at the end of each day.

I remember wanting the houses I visited to like me. I don’t know why I thought being an extra few inches taller would help that, but I was willing to try anything (even at the expense of having to walk home barefoot as a result). You see, I care quite a bit what other people think of me. I try not to, because I know that’s no way to live, but I often can’t help it.

Going through recruitment really tested that for me. I was constantly looking for reassurance that this place I was in liked me. Did I belong? Could I find friends and a home here? I didn’t know. I wasn’t even sure that a sorority was the right place for me.

And then Delta Gamma happened. From the moment I walked out the front door on the last day of recruitment, I knew that’s where I wanted to invest my time. It was home.

It’s been 11 years since that day and I’m just as grateful today as I was then for the friendship, love and opportunities. And, at the sake of sounding too corny, it’s been one of the best decisions of my life.

To Delta Gamma, for the cramped living quarters that I piled high with anchors and the color pink.



To Delta Gamma, for the friendships you brought me.



To Delta Gamma, for hope, for strength, for life.



Happy Founders Day, Delta Gamma. ITB.

Monday Motivation: Week 4 Recap

You know what’s difficult to keep up with? This whole blog thing. I want to be better about it. I really do, but I just haven’t found my groove with it yet. I’m trying to map out a weekly plan for it that will hopefully help, but we’ll see.

Before I talk about the week, here’s how the miles mapped out:

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: 3 miles
  • Wednesday: 2.1 miles
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: 3.03 miles
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: 5.05 miles

First week without Jacks as he’s recovered from an infection on one of his paws. It was weird without him, but I managed. The weather was also rough toward the end of last week. I have a gym membership and could have easily moved inside for a treadmill run, but I was determined to suck it up and run outside. Brilliant idea, really.

Friday was 24 degrees when I ran. Sunday was 33 degrees. Sunday was especially weird as I ran through flurries, sun and wind. Everything but the kitchen sink!

The end of this week looks better, so I just have to get to Thursday. Until then, my cold weather gear is getting a workout. Sigh.

Anyway, I’m going to try to be better about blogging this week. I realized over the last week that while I write for a living and tweet until my heart’s content, I don’t really have a voice yet. Working on it.

Until then, I have a big week ahead with work, life and runs. Stay tuned.


P.S. I’m 1/3 of the way through training! Hooray!

Nevertheless, She Persisted: International Women’s Day

In honor of International Women’s Day, I wanted to share a few of my favorite quotes about (and by!) strong women:

“Success is better than failure, but it doesn’t teach you as much.” – Jane Campion

“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.” – Malala Yousafzai

“Take criticism seriously, but not personally. If there is truth or merit in the criticism, try to learn from it. Otherwise, let it roll right off you.” – Hillary Clinton

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.” – Maya Angelou

“I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody’s passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn’t mind learning.” – Amy Poehler

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” – Coco Chanel

“It’s not your job to like me, it’s mine.” – Byron Katie

“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls: ‘You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you will threaten the man.’ Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices, always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now, marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support, but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same?” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand

And for even more great quotes, here’s a list from HuffPo (the illustrations are particularly lovely)

Motivation Monday: Week Three Recap (Also, Ugh)

I have to be honest: This last week of running was pretty tough. Only Sunday’s run felt good, and even that ended with a bit of a sore note. Needless to say, I’m ready for a new week. But before I can start a new week of training, let’s recap the last week, shall we?

First, here’s how my week went in miles:

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: 3.23 miles
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: 2.27 miles
  • Friday: 3.1 miles
  • Saturday: 1.61 miles (mostly walking)
  • Sunday: 5.1 miles

OK, so now for the story behind those miles:

Tuesday was rough. I wore a pair of running leggings that must have stretched out at some point because they kept pulling down with every step. That made things a little uncomfortable for 3.23 miles. Jacks wasn’t feeling it either (the run, not my legging issue) and was pretty much over it about halfway through. We basically crawled home.

The rest of the week was pretty similar. I clearly hit a plateau, which is tough but I kept fighting through. It was worth it though because Sunday was a great run. Jacks and I killed our mile times, and we both could have run even further if need be. Felt really good about that, until…

Woke up this morning and Jacks wouldn’t get out of bed. Not uncommon. He’s a bit lazy in the mornings. I got him up but he was being really hesitant to jump out of bed. After he finally did, I realized… He’s limping and limping bad. After a frantic call to the vet (“Did he tear his ACL?! Is something broken?!”), I discovered a bump on his front right paw pad. Ugh.

Vet asked to see him so off to the vet we went. He likely stepped on something on one of our runs and it got infected. He’s now on pain meds, antibiotics and getting epsom salt baths for his paw (I know, I know). Oh, and his activity has to be limited.

That means I’m solo on runs this week. Bummer, but Jacks will be healthy soon enough and he’ll be back at it with me. Until then, I’m hoping for a better week on the running trail than the last but as I’ve been told many times: It’s not how fast I’m moving, it’s just that I’m moving.

So, I’ll keep on moving.



Motivation Monday: Week Two Recap

I have an hour and a half to get this published before it’s no longer Monday. Talk about leaving it until the last minute. Whoops?

Before I get into last week’s running recap, I do have to say thank you for all the love and support in response to yesterday’s blog. Y’all are great. Mean it to the moon and back.

Also, Boys Town is going to state! So exciting (and the reason for this week’s header photo). As the Boys Town cheer coach, it’s been a wild ride and it’ll be fun to share this experience with the kids.

And without further adieu, here’s how my second week of training went:

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: 2.2 mile run
  • Wednesday: 2.75 mile run
  • Thursday: 2 mile run
  • Friday: Shoveled snow! (That counts as cardio, right?)
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: 3.32 mile run

I’m about a half mile under on each run’s goal, so I’ll need to step that up this week a bit. The distance also increases this week, so I’m going to do my best to get more into the 3.5-5 mile markers.

And Jacks has continued to be along for every run. Seriously, he’s a very good dog.

Two weeks in though, I’m feeling so much better. I have more energy, I’m not as sore and I’m enjoying the runs themselves more and more. Excited to see where week three takes me.

On to the next.


One Year Later

Today marks one year since the accident that changed my life. It happened on February 26, 2016, a Friday then. I remember sitting on the side of the road, burned and broken. I had no idea at that time of what lied ahead.

I could spend this blog post rehashing what happened. Telling you about the days spent in the hospital and the weeks spent at home. That’s not what I want to remember, though. Instead, I want to take a little time saying ‘thank you:’

To my neighbors, thank you. You quite literally saved our lives. You deserve all of the awards in the world and this moment will forever be one of my most cherished memories.


To the first responders, thank you. You comforted me, convinced me that the two IVs you had to put in my hands weren’t that big of a deal and joked that my burned head “wasn’t the worst you’d ever seen.” I’m still not over you having to cut off my favorite jeans, because I’m telling you… I could have gotten the blood stains out! I swear! (But you are probably right. They were probably ruined.)

To my doctors and nurses at UNMC, thank you. You quite literally healed me physically and mentally. I will never forget the nurses that showed me how to live life with burns, cracked jokes about ‘Frozen’ at 4 a.m. to make me smile and snuck their personal shampoos and conditioners into the shower so I didn’t have to use the stuff that didn’t smell all that good.

To Dr. Reilly and the entire burn unit staff, thank you. You are practically family now and I’m happy to have you all as my healers. I don’t like the circumstances in which I got to know you all, but knowing you has been life changing. You love me (even if it’s tough love) and for that I am thankful.

To my mom, thank you. You rushed into that emergency room with a sense of purpose and never stopped doing anything you could to make it better. I’m not sure how I’d feel as a parent walking in on what you did, but you handled it (and have continued to handle it) better than anyone could have expected.

To Kyle, thank you. You never let me believe I was anything but beautiful, even when my head was wrapped up like a mummy. I will never forgive you for trying to change the channel from Gilmore Girls, but you were amazing otherwise.

To my family, thank you. For showing up. For bringing BB-8 (shout out to you, Dad). For supporting me.

To Kyle’s family, thank you. For breaking into the house because we never thought to give anyone a spare key. I (and Jacks) cannot thank you enough.

To my friends, thank you. Some of you drove hours to be there. Some of you drove five minutes. All of you were incredible, no matter the distance. I will never forget the night we watched the Oscars in my hospital room, as if nothing had ever happened. I will also never forget you all showing up, day after day, once I was home with food, hugs and smiles. I don’t know how I got so lucky to have you all.

To my Internet family, thank you. Yes, I have an Internet family. That includes my Twitter followers (and a special shout out to the former @kchuskerz especially) and my Tumblr family. You went above and beyond by reaching out, donating to my GoFundMe, sending me sunscreen (and hats!) and more. I received so much support that I’m still not sure how to properly thank you all. I truly wish I could meet you all personally and give you a hug (or 10).12790881_10206643567150731_3603887105373843490_n

To my Nebraska family, thank you. The hat and signed football that arrived from the football staff on the first day of spring practice was so kind. The box of gear (with hoods!) and a toy for Jacks from the basketball staff was too. You reminded me once and for all that there is no place like Nebraska.

To Boys Town and Hail Varsity (and especially Aaron, Jen and John), thank you. You understood when I desperately wanted to get back to work but also reminded me to take the time to heal. You showed me again why I’m so lucky to be a part of what you both do.

To Lisa, thank you. I will never know what you thought when you got my message that I had “lost some of my hair,” but you never faltered. You put me back together.

To Omaha Ballroom (Elizabeth and Angel), thank you. You got me back on my feet when I needed it most. Dancing with the Omaha Stars will forever hold a special place in my heart.


To Delta Gamma, thank you. When I pledged DG ten years ago, I never knew what you meant by ‘for life.’ I get it now. ITB.12417729_10206822104694058_8871610387740192908_n

To Jacks, thank you. You’re a very good dog.

To you all, thank you. You sent notes. You had your classrooms create cards. You brought us groceries and casseroles and pizza. You reached out to a person that some of you didn’t even know. You lifted me up when I was at my lowest and never let me get too far down. I am where I am today because of you.

And to anyone I forgot, thank you. I hate leaving anyone out, but please know anyone forgotten was not intentional.

I’m incredibly lucky. I know there are many who haven’t received the same support that I have and I try to remind myself daily of my privilege in all of this. I didn’t (and still don’t!) deserve all you did for me, but I hope in time I can pay that forward in your honor.

One year later. How far we’ve come. All because of you.


Friday Five: Favorite Songs to Run To

I still have yet to find my voice around here beyond themed posts, but that’s OK. I’m brainstorming. I have things I’ll eventually share. Until then, here’s another week of my ‘Friday Five.’ This week I’m focusing on the five songs I enjoy running to (right now, at least).

Here we go (in no particular order):

  1. The Veldt – deadmau5 (feat. Chris James) – The 8-minute edit is perfect for a long run.
  2. Kicking Down Doors – Santigold
  3.  How Low Can You Shake It Off – Ludacris/Taylor Swift mashup
  4. Brooklyn, You’re Killing Me – Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
  5. Run the World (Girls) – Beyonce

I’m actually in the process as we speak of updating my running playlist. As I was on a 3-mile run the other day, I noticed myself skipping way too many songs. Guess it’s time for an update. Those listed above will make the cut to stay, but definitely time to refresh the playlist.

With that said, if you have any song suggestions, send ’em my way. Email, tweet, whatever.

Running the world,



Motivation Monday: Recapping my first week of training

I’m going to be honest: My first week of half-marathon training was rough. The good news is that I’ve got a stellar training partner (which is why he got the header photo, because he’s great!) and we’re keeping at it. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t been difficult to stay motivated though.

When I ran my first half-marathon in 2014 (the amazing Lincoln Half-Marathon!), I was already pretty active. It took awhile to adjust to running long distances, as I’d never been much of a runner to begin with, but I got there and enjoyed every step along the way.

This time is going to be a little different. I wasn’t completely lazy before I started training, but I really hadn’t worked out since about this time last year. In fact, my TimeHop reminded me this morning that exactly one year ago today I was scaling the First National Tower. Sort of amazing to think about.

But here’s what I will say about the last week: Yes, it was hard but I kept moving. That’s what matters. Over the next 11 weeks, I’m just going to keep moving one step at a time.

Anyway, here’s how my week went down:

  • Monday: 2 mile run (Flipped my rest day from Monday to Tuesday due to Nebraska basketball)
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Rest (Couldn’t find motivation, so I flipped my rest day from Friday to Wednesday)
  • Thursday: 2.15 mile run
  • Friday: 1.5 mile walk (I switched my 30 min cross day from Saturday to Friday, opting to walk)
  • Saturday: 2.5 mile run
  • Sunday: 3 mile run

I put in almost 10 miles running over the week, with another 1.5 miles of walking. Not too bad. This week’s training schedule is identical to last week, but I’ll probably move the rest days around again.

All in all, I’m happy with my first week and am looking forward to week No. 2.

On to the next!


P.S. If you have any recommendations for pre- and post-workout supplements and protein to take, shoot me a message. I’m sort of at a loss.

Friday Five: Things I’m loving right now

I’m still trying to sort through this whole blog thing but I’m trying. I’ve found that themes help, but I’d eventually like to get to a point where I just write. Soon enough.

In the meantime, I’ve decided that each Friday I’m going to do a top five list of some sort. It could be my favorite five songs right at that moment, my top five books to read, etc. You get it.

So without further adieu, here are the five things I am currently loving right now:

  1. My friend Alli’s blog on why she left the journalism business: Look, Alli  is a smart, smart human. I have always valued and appreciated our friendship because she challenges me, celebrates me and makes me a better person. Everything she said are things I have also felt and are very real. I’m proud to have her as a friend and am even prouder that she so openly shares her thoughts on her blog (which is what I eventually hope to accomplish here too).
  2. Hello Ruby (Omaha’s first mobile boutique): Jill, the amazing woman behind this adventure, is great. I had the chance to meet her and she is awesome. If you love to shop (and shop locally), you’re going to what to keep an eye on her. You can follow her on Twitter here, Instagram here and Facebook here.
  3. The weather: Can you complain about 60 and 70 degree weather in February? Well, I’m sure you could but you shouldn’t. It’s been the perfect first week weather-wise to start half-marathon training.
  4. Shiner’s Cold-Brew Coffee Ale: I’m a big fan of Shiner and this special edition brew did not disappoint. To make it ever better, the fine folks at Shiner sent me one of their limited edition mugs. Big, big fan here.
  5. The new Girl Scout S’mores: They are so good. So good, in fact, that I basically attacked a table of Girl Scouts at a Lowe’s to get a package of them. It’s fine. We’re all fine. (Also, a shout out to the Girl Scouts of Nebraska for the cool llama shirt and cookies. Y’all are wonderful.)

BONUS: Last but not least, a big shout out to Mike’l and Sausha for having me on The Bottom Line today. I always enjoy when I get to stop by and I appreciate TBL for letting me be an extension of the family.

So, there you have it. My first ‘Friday Five’ in the books. Cheers to that! Now to figure out what to write about that’s not theme-related…


Motivation Monday: Let the training begin

Today marks the first day of half-marathon training for the Lincoln Half-Marathon on May 7. I’m following the same training plan I’ve always used, which is the Novice 1 program from Hal Higdon. I am nothing but a creature of habit.

I decided to use “Motivation Monday” as a way to motivate myself and hold myself accountable on this journey. I plan to share my previous week’s runs, talk about what went well and not so well and everything in between. I just hope by doing this it documents my journey from square one to getting back to 13.1 miles.

You see, a little over a year ago, a half-marathon would have been no big deal. I had run four of them, plus a variety of smaller races. In fact, a year ago this past weekend I scaled the First National Tower in Omaha for Trek Up the Tower. I had plans for 2016 beyond that, too. The Lincoln Half-Marathon, another half-marathon in the fall, Boys Town’s Memorial Day Run and more. It was all planned.

And then the accident happened. I wish I could explain what that did to me, but the recovery from the burns, the internal injuries and my own mental health were a lot to overcome (and I still am overcoming them some days). I was given the OK to start running late in the summer, and I did here and there, but then football season came along and I figured I’d get back to it eventually.

Today is eventually.

I was supposed to run three miles. I ran two. They weren’t fast miles, but Jacks and I trudged along. By the end, my lungs were on fire but my legs and my brain were thanking me for what I had just done. For someone who never liked to run all that much, I somehow became a runner over the years. I guess I didn’t realize how much I had missed it.

I know this won’t be easy. I haven’t been on a regular run schedule in over a year and a lot has happened in that time. But I plan to dedicate every step I take in this journey to all those miles I personally lost in 2016 and to every single person no longer here to keep going on their own journeys because of drunk drivers. That will keep me motivated.

And it will make crossing the finish line on May 7 incredibly special.