Who’s up for a Marathon?

The 2nd Asheville Marathon is about 21 weeks away on March 16, 2013.  It is run on the grounds of the beautiful and behemoth (8,000 acre!) Biltmore Estate and is a Boston Marathon Qualifier race (for 2015). Here is a link to the qualifying times.  The course is a mix of paved and dirt trails so it’s easy on the joints along with being fairly flat to rolling.  This is a great 1st marathon and in an amazing location during a great time of year!

I was invited to be an Asheville Marathon Ambassador which means I’m advertising the race, signing people up (use my name :), getting a local Birmingham training group together with the help of some experienced marathoner friends (thanks Donna & maybe Dan!), blogging about race nutrition/injury prevention, and hopefully running the thing in 5 months.  Your first question is probably, “WHY would you want to torture yourself like that?”  If you know me well or even if you don’t, you know that I like to push myself and experience new things.  You also probably know that I have struggled to stay injury-free since I started running/biking/swimming again 2.5 years ago.  So although I’m not healed I am a woman on a mission to learn to cope with almost constant pain and maintain an active lifestyle, while hopefully inspiring others to do the same.

My hope is to inspire others to set goals, find support, and achieve those goals.  You’ll never know if you can until you TRY.  So who’s up for a marathon?!

power of the mind

We will begin training this Monday, October 21, 2013, with an informational meeting/email on Sunday or Monday.  There will be 2-3 different pace groups, one of which will be doing run/walk for the LSD – long slow distance runs on the weekend.  We will give out training schedules and try to meet/run as a group 1-2x/wk (at least for the LSD weekend run).  I’m setting up a Facebook page so we can share our strengths and struggles along the way as well as to maintain some accountability.

My pacing group will be using Jeff Galloway’s Marathon Training Plan which is a gradual build of mileage with short week day runs for those of us who are either first-time marathoners and/or injury prone. I am so fortunate as to be BOTH.

As another incentive to participate, we will invite runners to raise money for a cause.  Those participating from Baptist Church of the Covenent will choose a ministry to fundraise for such as the Capital Campaign, Youth Program, SouthTown Leadership,etc.  One way to do this is ask someone to sponsor 1 to 26.2 miles of your race OR commit an amount to each mile you train leading up to race.  We will keep a log of each person’s miles so that you and your sponsors can see how far you’ve come and how far you’ll go during the next 5 months!

Contact me if you’re interested in joining the group.  When you register for the race, please mention my name so our group gets credit.  Let’s bring a big ‘Bama group to the Mountains!


Race with a Purpose: World Bicycle Relief

Since I returned from Africa and even before then, I have been searching for a non-profit with a mission that I could support.  All the days, hours and dollars put into triathlon training feels futile and selfish unless it’s coupled with a greater mission besides me.  To even consider an IM or IM 70.3 requires an personal tendency towards selfishness, sacrifice, insanity, and inner searching.  At least that’s my truth and that of many of the athletes about whom I’ve read.

power of the mindMaybe it reminds me of being an adolescent athlete OR how I fantasized about racing the Kona IM every October while watching it on tv OR that I want to see how far my mind & body will take me OR that I want to free myself of failures and faults by filling every mile with prayers for reconciliation, healing and redemption.  Maybe it’s all of this and none of this.

Or maybe I do it because I have the ability and the opportunity and encouragement to do it….and I want to return that favor with a gift.  The gift of a bicycle through their “work for a ride” type program (i.e. Trees-for-Bikes or Mobility = Education).  Not a hand-out but a hand-up.  Kids and adults must give back and earn their bike which ensure that they create a self-sustaining community and life.

Trees for Bikes

Help me build opportunities by building bikes with World Bicycle Relief via the Ironman Foundation.

Remember: 1 bike = $134

Sponsor 1 bike and tell a friend to sponsor the next one.  If cycling or triathlon has changed your life, help it change it someone else’s too.

Let’s build a fleet of bikes so everyone can get to school, work and home, through safe, reliable transportation.  Check out their programs supporting education, health care, social enterprise, micro-finance, environment, field mechanic trainings, and disaster relief.

Training for an Ironman…sorta

IM yoga tattoo
Well, actually a 70.3 or Half-Ironman, but “half” sounds so second rate. Some half-marathoners are pushing for a rename to “Pikermi” which is name of the city in Greece that is in the middle of the original route Pheidippides took from Marathon to Athens (which was less than 26.2 miles by the way), but what would you rename a Half-Ironman?

Anyways, I digress. I have been lusting over Ironman triathlons since I was a kid, watching the Kona World Championships every October around my birthday (or December when it viewed). I researched the IronKids races that were highlighted on some kid’s bread packaging to no avail because my mother was already overwhelmed with hauling us from softball to tennis to gymnastics to golf to …. the list goes on. Plus I didn’t think I had a great place to ride my cheap bike (although I lived in the woods and had miles of trails!) and my swimming was average (goggles and a swim cap might have helped). Still I dreamed of the guts and glory, ever the athlete seeking bigger challenges.

Fast forward twenty years to a physically broken 28 yr old under chiropractic care three times a week still yearning to regain her younger years and athletic feats. So as my 29th birthday and the 29th Ironman World Championships in Kona approached, my doctor encouraged more swimming and okayed my desire to start cycling with my partner. Easy cycling, no aero, no hills, short distance. You can guess how that went down – 2 weeks later and a 25 mile race later 🙂 Been hooked since! But that wasn’t what re-invigorated the Ironman itch. One day while swimming endless laps of front crawl, breast and backstroke, I realized how I raced everyone swimming in adjacent lanes. I missed competing and challenging myself and was feeling renewed and hopeful with my steady improvements under Dr. H’s care. By the time of the October Ironman, the memories of IronKids and Ironman Kona were flooding back every time I got on my bike or went for a swim. Maybe I could do this, but could I ever run again with my history of ruptured lumbar discs, shin splints, tendonitis, etc.? Would 2012 would be the year? Not only of my 30th birthday but of my athletic reawakening?

LR BB Swim

January 11th was the first run of many to come….and April 28th was the Beach Blast Triathlon in Mexico City Beach, FL, my 1st! Despite my initial swim panic after a mass start in a new wetsuit with an ocean swim, I was able to finish in 1:48:28 placing 5th in my age division. I got to see my partner at various points during the race which bolster my spirits and made my finish sweet…even though I knew no one and no one knew me when I crossed the finish. That has changed since joining Vulcan Triathletes as their new secretary and the Birmingham Track Club. The camaraderie along with the plethora of experienced athletes, doctors, physical therapists, massage therapists, yoga teachers, etc. has made my journey and decision to Tri- harder and farther and much more pleasant and safe undertaking. One month before my 30th birthday, I finished my first half-marathon, the Talladega 21000, in under 2:15, with a good friend who has used running to lose almost 100 lbs and heal all his health problems. This stuff transforms your life – mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally!

So it is in that vein that I am committing to the lengthy but doable training for a 70.3 race this year. Definitely Augusta 70.3 because many Vulcan Triathletes and Birmingham locals race it. Plus the swim is downstream in a wetsuit – I can float to the transition if I get panicked! I will race the Beach Blast Triathlon (Olympic distance – 1st tri- at this distance) in late April again as a tune-up/season opener. If it goes well then an earlier 70.3 may be on the horizon.

Note: I do not race just for me though. I race for those who have risen from their own fiery transformations via addiction/abuse/injury/etc., for the orphaned kids I worked with in South Africa, for the SouthTown community in Birmingham, for the church on the corner where “All Are Welcomed,” for my deceased father who never saw my healing and my adulthood, for my unborn niece/nephew, and for my dear grandmother who taught me how to cook and how to love everyone.

…and I race for you in hopes that you might be inspired to reach for the goals and dreams you felt would always JUST BE DREAMS. Time to create some realities.


Time to Tri- with Me!

triathlete belly tattoo

Beginner’s Yoga Starts February 6th

Tomorrow, Wednesday, February 6th from 12n-1p, is the first class of a beginner’s hatha yoga and meditation series.  Class will be held at Birmingham Yoga in the Lakeview/Avondale area of Birmingham.

No experience with yoga or meditation required. Only willingness and an open mind.

We will go through basic movements and awareness practices that will not only promote physical flexibility and strength but mental sharpness and relaxation as well.

Signup online via Birmingham Yoga or just drop-in when you can.




…to Awakened Living Therapeutics

…teaching you how to cook, eat, exercise, and experience life to the fullest…

FROM how you cook AND what you eat…

TO how to you move AND what you think

OFFERINGS: personalized consultations, cooking classes, private yoga & stress reduction sessions, & FREE motivation

Contact Lyndsey for more information.

NEW Yoga Classes starting Feb. 2014!

Here’s your chance to register for the yoga class that fits your needs.

Starting February 2014, Chair Yoga and Gentle/Moderate Mat Yoga (1hr) will be offered via Birmingham Yoga‘s studio.

Schedules is TBD depending on interest.  Options are Monday – Thurs from 11a & 2p.

Wednesday @ 1p will probably be the Gentle/Moderate Class but it depends on who speaks up.

Drop-ins and 6-wk Series will be available.   ALL ARE WELCOME and can find a place in one of these two classes.

Call/email/respond with the day/time/class you’re interested in attending along with questions.

Fat in Alabama: Avoiding “Chemical Calories” via Gardening

In early September 2012, a study was published by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Alabama was found to be the 6th fattest state (which is 2 places down from a recent federal study that ranked Alabama 4th).  Mississippi topped the chart at #1.  Colorado was the “thinnest” state.  Please remember though that numbers are NOT the ultimate measurement of health.  Although BMI (body mass index) is not the most accurate measurement of weight or obesity, it gives a general idea is one’s height and weight proportions are out of the normal range.  Skin fold calipers are more accurate in attaining body fat percentage which is how obesity is determined (over 25% body fat for men & over 30% for women).  Once you know where you are or even if don’t, finding support and assistance is the next most important thing.  Use of extension & local offices are the hope for the future, especially for people in rural areas who are less likely to travel to big cities and their “weight-loss” programs or be able to afford them.  Local programs run by local people provide familiarity of culture, ease of participation, and less of a financial and time burden.

So here is a FACT.  No longer can you blame your genes because your jeans don’t fit.  While some of us are “big-boned,” really tall or vertically challenged, this does not account for the rapid explosion of obesity in America.  You can be all of these things which are affected by genes but they DO NOT mean that “fat is familial” (i.e. inherited).

From Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high-blood pressure, cancer, arthritis, chronic fatigue, auto-immune disorders, liver and digestive system illnesses, and even mental disorders, obesity is a preventable condition that is linked to these and other serious and expensive-to-treat chronic diseases and other medical conditions. BUT GOOD NEWS!  You can prevent this epidemic from effecting your home, family, and even community through knowledge and action.

There are countless legitimate books and research studies that have been peer-reviewed and published discussing that it’s what we put IN our bodies and ON our bodies that is causing a health epidemic.  In other words it’s not just what you eat and how much you eat, but what goes in to those things, including on our hair and skin.  The impact of fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals, and petroleum products are now documented to cause damage to the natural “weight-control” system of our brain and body, particularly our liver and digestive system which are our detoxification centers.  Over the past 30 years or so, advances in technology have allowed us to become the greatest producers of goods and technology BUT we didn’t realize the cost that couldn’t and wouldn’t be known until decades later.  When studies compare the sudden shift in obesity rates with the implementation of pesticides, fertilizers, and other man-made chemicals, the results are shockingly noticeable.  While cause and effect always have additional variables which shouldn’t be ignored, the major correlation is evident.

So be honest:


For an easy to understand and well-researched explanation by a doctor, read The Body Restoration Plan which discusses these “chemical calories” and their detrimental affect to our health via the obesity epidemic.

In a recent online article highlighting obesity in rural areas, the Journal of Rural Health found higher rates of obesity in rural settings by about 13% percent.  Whether the cause of this is income or education or culture is unknown, but a range of factors are probably the answer.  Oddly enough, people in some rural areas actually have the best chance of living healthier, happier lives because of their blue collar, more physical jobs.  Not only do rural people potentially work more physical jobs, they often work on or in association with farms.  Farms=Food & the quality, freshness and cleanness of our food impacts our health  and therefore our weight.  So when you own the farm or grown your own food, you have greater control over these factors.  Small gardens are easy to grow.  You just have to know what, when & how.

I offer a Crash Course in Gardening program and a quick guide handout so that you can have your Fall garden started in no time.  I can even create this garden for you with foods you’ll love that is price and time-effective.  Once it’s established, upkeep is quick, easy and great light to heavy exercise, depending on what you want.

Reply with a comment or email and I’ll contact you ASAP about getting started.

Starbucks vs. McDonalds – Different but Equal?

Starbucks & McDonalds Reveal the Nutrition Numbers

In the above linked clip, the Today Show provided some helpful and scary details behind quick coffee & fast food giants, Starbucks’ & McDonalds’ decision to reveal their nutritional values.  From calories & fat to sodium & sugar, consumers can now see the numbers inside the items that are contributing to today’s epidemic of obesity or to the future’s shift towards health, wholeness, and food awareness.

As a policy and practice, I never encourage fast food, pre-made, pre-package food choices, BUT I realize that most people live hectic, over-scheduled, imbalanced lives where nothing is ever enough.  The mantras are “I need more: sleep, money, food, clothes, work, hours in the day, etc.”  So, we make the best choices we can by collecting the MOST INFORMATION possible.  Unfortunately most fast food chains are filled with the “never ever eat” ingredients like MSG (also called ‘natural flavors’), hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and ingredients that don’t sound like food.  As a result, if you don’t see ingredients then it’s a gamble to trust just the numbers listed.  Choose carefully & know that just because it’s low fat, low calorie, or low sugar does NOT mean it’s healthy, nutritious, or beneficial to your health.

Starbucks owner Howard Schultz, author of Onward: How Starbucks Fought for its Life Without Losing its Soul, has made major changes to keep Starbucks in line with it’s core values.   By encouraging and supporting sustainable and Fair Trade coffee production, local American roasting plans, community involvement especially with youth, and healthier, fresher whole food options, Starbucks’ efforts are impressive and worth acknowledgment.  They have chosen to invest in their communities and in the people within the community by offering choices that are free of hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup to name a few because they know that healthy community means a healthy business.  Study your stores and discover their transparency…or lack there of.

Remember: if they have nothing to hide then they will reveal the information willingly.

So DRINK your calories or EAT your calories, and not just calories but nutrients!  So much “food” is actually empty calories, meaning although there is fat, calorie, sugar, protein, etc., the quality of those items is null and void.  You would be better fasting that consuming that so-called “food,” because the price of eating it creates the same negative result in the long run as putting bad, cheap gas into a new car.  The only person being tricked is YOU!!  Don’t let the food industry trick you anymore.  Keep it simple, fresh, and recognizable, otherwise in a few years, you won’t recognize your self.


Support Girls On The Run Birmingham via Soulmates

Starting September 10th, 2012, the 2nd season of Girls on the Run in Birmingham will begin for girls in grades 3-5. I will be coaching/mentoring a team of 15 motivated & excited girls for 10 weeks.  During those 10 weeks we will teach the girls to celebrate their bodies, honor their voices, recognize their gift, & activate their personal power.  The final celebration is running in the Magic City 5k in November & we need your support.

Along with coaching a team, I hope to raise awareness & support for GOTR via the Soulmates Program where I will raise money through participation in the half-marathons & triathlons/duathlons in which I participate. You can be a Soulmates participant as well by clicking here.  Or simply support me.

My GOAL is to raise $131 per half-marathon (13.1 miles) & $262 per marathon (26.2 miles).  I have 3 half- this fall (September, October, & November) & 1 full (December).  SPONSOR per mile or race at any rate ($0.25/mile – $1/mile).

Visit my blog to see when my next race is, how my training is going, resources for your own health, or to schedule a session to improve your own health & wellness.

The donation site is secure, fast and easy to use.  You will be able to choose an amount to donate and receive email confirmation of your donation. Thanks in advance for your help.

Wellness Counseling: Moving from Ideal to Real

When it comes to any form of activity at any age, we are always at risk for injury.  Of course, depending on age, weight, former and present activity level, overall health, & diet, not to mention uneven or wet terrain & weather, some of us are greater time-bombs than others.  Take heart though!  Literally.  It is possible to rewire that bomb and turn it into a wonderfully, effective time-keeping & tracking device that can guide you towards health vs. hyper-tension, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or hyper-extension.

Here’s the how my business helps you build a personalize wellness plan:

  • ASSESSMENT (who? what/where?): nutritional, physical, mental, emotional, financial, social, medical, etc.

Before creating a personalized wellness plan, data is collected during an interview where the more information provided means the more specific and effective the plan.

  • GOALS (why?):

Now that we know who you are and where you are on the health continuum, let’s specify the why you seek a wellness plan.  We identify your short- & long-term goals within each category previously assessed.  Then we highlight areas of strength & struggle so that goals stay attainable and you stay motivated and encouraged.

  • ACTION PLAN (how?):

Combining the assessment with the goals, we collectively outline the how of your journey towards ideal health and wellness.  In the action plan, we also educate and learn how to combine what you already know that works with additional strategies.  Mixing up the old with the new sustains motivation and increases success.  By knowing what works & what doesn’t along with your strengths & your struggles, we create a friendly path towards wholeness and happiness for a lifetime.


Once your wellness plan is created and approved by you, the moment of truth begins.  We will periodically check-in via phone or face-to-face sessions to keep you motivated & accountable to yourself.


As days & weeks go by, we will adjust your plan as needed to fit any changes or excessive and unhelpful challenges that are hindering your progress.   Ebbs and flows will happen and offer an opportunity to learn how to handle stagnation or setback, but too much of either can lead to discouragement and the disintegration of your journey.


Hopefully within a few weeks, you will begin to see and feel the benefits of your hard work and dedication to your SELF.  This is the time when we celebrate the small and BIG milestones.  You learn ways to celebrate that don’t sabotage your continued journey but instead support the next steps on your journey.


To begin or deepen your journey towards a happy, healthy life, contact me to setup an appointment.

No one is turned  away because of financial concerns, health limitations, or time constraints.  If you want support then you will find it here.  All you have to do is ask.