Going Commando

A few weeks ago, I wrote about T.J.

His story continued to weigh on my heart especially as I am trying to re-define my own personal dreams and trudge through some of the work.

Then I saw an update on his support page detailing a visit to several specialists.

As I read through his reports and saw what was going well and what was expected, an idea dawned on me.

Why don’t I run for T.J?

I had been going back and forth whether or not to run another half marathon. I like the idea of the race, but not always the time it takes to put in working up to that mileage.

(Is that a metaphor for getting your dreams or what?)

I knew that I wasn’t going to get a PR. I have sort of accepted that fate, knowing that trying to push myself too much would ruin my knees. And to be perfectly honest, I am just not that committed to giving away so much of my personal time to running to knock off minutes to my PR. But the fact is that races do inspire me. Having a race to work for does get me out and logging miles that I would never have thought I could do. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and strength. There is something in the air on race day that makes you feel alive and a part of something bigger. And I do like running in small increments–between 3 and 6 are my sweet spots. It’s fun to get your legs moving for a few miles. And it is a great way to have some Grace time while getting her some exercise too.

But I was plagued with the idea that if I could not beat my time, would a race really be worth it? Competition with myself has been a lifelong battle..

And have you seen the hills in Clarksville, TN?

Running vs running up hill!

So yea, I was teetering more towards not doing another half marathon for a long while, if ever.

But reading how T.J. so bravely meets with these doctors telling him what is working/not working in his body stirred something in me. God was telling me something. He wanted me to use my ability for this. Live it up and stop making excuses.

So I signed up for the Go Commando Half Marathon here in Clarksville.

I wanted this race to be more than just a race. With the undertones of what we are willing to do for our community and it being a military focus, I knew this would be more than just a race. It had to be more than just 13.1 miles.

I have started a fundraising page to help raise funds to find a cure and new medical practices for T.J. and many like him. I figure that if 90 people donate at least $10, I can reach my goal of $900, which is a $100 for each of his birthdays. So if you are feeling up to it, you can sponsor me. Yep just like those fundraisers in elementary school. You can think of it as a dollar per mile per say! Click this link if you are able to help me reach this goal. It should show up to my personal fundraising page.  Any amount is appreciated, and I would be grateful for the support!

Donate to End Duchenne!

If you are not familiar with Duchenne, it is a fatal genetic disorder that causes muscles to weaken rapidly. It occurs mainly in young boys, and most live only until their early 20s.  I was not aware of this disorder until I heard of T.J.’s story, so I am sure there are many out there that have never heard of it. There are about 20,000 new cases each year. If you would like to learn more visit http://www.endduchenne.org/.

T.J. is my inspiration when I feel like I can’t do that last mile or when I am struggling to break away from the couch. I am going to do these 13.1 for him whether that I finish it walking or running. If he can pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals (I won’t judge him for not going to the Royals), I can run a few miles.


I “Go Commando” for him.

(If you didn’t watch that promo video, please know that I am not a creeper who is going to go naked. Clearly, I will be wearing Ranger panties.)


Since moving to Ft. Campbell, I have been on and off with my commitment to working out. I am suffering from NOtivation.

 I could line up the excuses:

  • Work from 8-4:30
  • Desire to hang out with hubster
  • Getting up at 5 am to exercise worked for 2 weeks and slowly went down hill. Not happening. My workouts just suffered, and I got cranky.
  • Need to clean up/set up house
  • Still recouping from moving and figuring out my life
  • No gym membership so I wasn’t feeling guilty about not using that access that I had paid for

I started feeling gross and sluggish. Is there such a thing as couch sores? If so, I was getting them. So last week I did a workout with Tom since he was cleared from con-leave after surgery. I thought I was going to throw up afterwards. Looking at my running history, this hill routine should have been easier than it was for me. I put on my running shoes again last night for my first official run since moving to KY. Let’s be honest, you could barely call it a run. No actually you can’t. Grace and I walked half of the 3 miles that I logged. I only ran when I saw a car coming because I was embarrassed/ashamed that I was walking along the barracks route. I kept making excuses for myself that it was hot, too much hill, and trying to keep Grace from running after a deer. Um that huffing and puffing means that you are out of shape dear and need to start small again. At least I got off the couch for once though right?

So I have made a new plan and have it displayed on our fridge. This way I can cross each day off once complete. The achiever in me likes to cross things off lists! Yes accomplishment!

Also to spark that motivation, I decided to do this link up today. It is a fitness survey thanks to Mallory here. I am hoping that it gets my head in the game and will get me jazzed again about being fit.

1. What did you eat for breakfast? greek yogurt and granola

2. How much water do you drink a day? 3-5 bottles of water

3. What is your current favorite workout? walking Grace. She has gotten really good on the leash, and she accompanies me on most of my runs.

We love having family walks exploring outside.

I mean seriously who wouldn’t want to hang out with this sweet gal?

 4. How many calories do you eat a day? I have no clue. I am not really keen on keeping track of this stuff. It stresses me out.

5. What are your favorite healthy snacks? fruit (apples, peaches and strawberries are my favs)

6. What do you usually eat for lunch? Since I pack my lunch every day, I rotate between a deli turkey sandwich or a salad to stave off any food boredom. For sides, I usually have  cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and a peach. Really it is a grab bag of whatever fruits and veggies we have in the fridge that week. Then, I typically have a funsize treat like a snickers bar or a Ferrer Roche.

7. What is your favorite body part to strength train? Arms. These workouts make me feel powerful, even though I have chicken arms, and in reality absolutely no strength.

8. What is your least favorite body part to strength train? Back. I inadvertently ignore it. It’s behind me…haha (not funny?)

9. What are your “bad” food cravings? Thin mints, french onion dip and chips, peach-o rings, pretty much anything chocolate that has nuts in it

10. Do you take vitamins or supplements? I take a women’s multi vitamin daily.

11. How often do you eat out? We eat out once a week for our date night.

12. Do you eat fast food? Occasionally, and it usually coincides with date night. Or it is that day before we grocery shop. I guess McDonald’s french fries can be added to a bad craving. Sometimes I just need that salty potato goodness.

13. Who is your biggest supporter? Tom. He keeps me in check and in touch with reality when I am having a down on myself kind of day. He is also really committed to his own fitness which helps boil over to me as we create a healthy family lifestyle.

14. Do you have a gym membership? Not right now. We are trying to cut back on some spending, and that was something that was cut from the budget. I am going to really try to do this workout from home thing for the next few months to see if I can just motivate myself and save some cash along the way. If anyone has some helpful hints here, I would love to hear them. Like I said, I printed out a workout schedule with goals and what not. I have also been scouring Pinterest for at-home workouts to spice things up. I just brought home some newly purchased resistance bands to get me excited about strength training again without having to worry about the bulkiness of weights and bars. It is also forcing me to be creative with my time, such as doing my strength training while watching TV with Tom. Double whammy.

15. How many hours of sleep do you get a night? 6-8 depending on the day

16. Do you have a “cheat” day? I don’t know if I would call it a cheat day, or if it is just a day to relax and indulge a bit. This usually will coincide with date night. This way I can focus on Tom and I’s relationship and strengthening that instead of feeling like I am ignoring a needed workout. And we all need a day to rejuvenate and rest our mind and body.

17. Do you drink alcohol? Occasionally. Wine and apple beer are my weaknesses.

18. Do you have a workout buddy? As of right now, no. I have considered joining a running club here in town, but we’ll see how that goes. I am a little intimidated by the idea of it to be honest. Maybe once I become more consistent with my running again. Tom occasionally is my buddy, but that’s only if I really need to be pushed, or don’t want to walk the next day. He doesn’t give me any slack, even when I remind him that I am not in the Army. Then he usually tells me that my body can do more than I think it can, and he’s right. Grrrr.

19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle? My first 5k I ran/yogged at a 15minute pace. I never dreamed that I would be able to run a half marathon let alone three of them. I always thought I didn’t have the strength mentally or physically to run that far. Crossing that finish line after my first half was one of the most exhilarating experiences. It showed me that I can do more than I thought possible if I just put enough oomph and will power into it. That feeling was addicting and is what keeps me lacing up the running shoes and hitting the pavement again and again. It’s given me a reason to push myself to be healthy and try new things. Exercising has also become an outlet to help me in some really stressful times with Tom being gone for various Army things.

Half Marathon #1 (St. Louis, 10/2011)

Half Marathon # 2 (Kansas City, 4/2012)

Half Marathon #3 (Orlando, 2/2013)

20. What was the last healthy thing you did? My run/walk last night and renewing my commitment to being fit

I think everyone can make little changes in their life to finding a healthier you. You just have to figure out what works best for you and not worry about what the next person is doing. It’s your body not mine. I have to tell myself this a lot to not get discouraged. And then Tom has to tell me that to not get discouraged, because I usually do not listen to my own pep talks. I have really tried focusing on just doing better than I did yesterday and jumping that next hurdle to a PR or fitness challenge. I am working on my exercise baggage and this honestly helped perk up a little competitiveness inside me to show myself what I can do.

And hey maybe half marathon #4 will show those results…

I have a recipe to share today for the crafty side.

I am not able to eat large portions otherwise I get sick from over-eating. So very rarely do I eat a dish that is bigger than the size of my hand. Sounds great right? Well in theory yes, except I get hungry every couple of hours and that can make me light-headed and very sick. So in order to ward off dizziness and nauseousness  from not eating and the bloated feeling and nauseousness from over eating, I am always prepared with snacks. I have a snack drawer at work, and I have snacks in my bag at all times. I am the snack lady.

But I want to make sure that these snacks are healthy and easy.

So I searched for a an easy recipe for a muffin, bar, cookie that I could have for a mid morning snack using bananas that Tom and I can’t seem to eat fast enough. (Tom and I both like bananas with a hint of green in them. So inevitably, they go bad before we can eat them all. I do love making banana bread with these left overs, but that can get time-consuming to do each week.)

I wasn’t able to find anything that I particularly liked or thought was easy. I wanted a recipe that had things that we would always have stocked in our panty. We do not always have almond milk, agave, and cashews. So I made up a recipe that can be flexible depending on what you have. It’s all about trial and error.

  • bananas
  • about a cup of oats-These are to thicken the batter up, so you can use more or less depending on how much pb and bananas you put in there.
  • several spoonfuls of peanut butter-I used chocolate peanut butter to test it out, I have a weakness for chocolate and the nutritional value was pretty similar when I looked at both labels if not better in some areas. So I imagine you could use regular peanut butter, or Nutella instead. I also just kept throwing in spoonfuls until it looked like everything was held together nicely. Really, there was no science to this recipe.
  • half a cup of dark chocolate chips-this step could be skipped or adjusted to nuts, raisins, or other mix-ins you so choose. Did I mention that I love chocolate though?

2013-07-10 15.59.44

Mix this all up and add whatever you feel necessary to make the consistency like a pasty dough. Like I said it is not really a science, you just want it to be thick enough that you can make balls out of them without it being all over your hands.

Once you have it all mixed, make a spoonful worth into a ball and put it onto a baking sheet. They don’t need to be neat by any means. Heat the oven to 350 and then bake for 15 minutes.

2013-07-08 16.39.31

I will admit the chocolate makes them seem like treats, but they are much healthier than other things I could be eating. Next time I will try the plain peanut butter to see how that goes over. They are a good source of protein and a perfect little pick-me up mid-morning or mid afternoon. Two or three of them have been perfect to hold me over to the next real meal.

They look like no bake cookies, and are very similar. They are a bit spongy, so if you are texture person, just be aware of this. I think it is a good thing myself.

I believe they are delicious and will be definitely something I make again! Tom isn’t the biggest fan, so they may not be everyone’s cup of tea. I wonder if he is just saying that though so I will turn back to making banana bread with the left over bananas. I do make a mean loaf of banana bread…

Thanks for joining me on my link-up today!

Mal Smiles

To be Glinn Again

We all have those people that we can be with that make it seem like you go back in time or you just start right where you left off even if it has been years since you have seen each other.

Fortunately, the timing could not have been more perfect for me to have that exact experience. Last weekend, was the Disney Princess Half Marathon in Orlando. I was able to run with two good friends from grad school who I have not seen in a long time. As soon as I got in the car from the airport, I became Glinn again. It was like my identity had rolled back to a simpler time when I was known by my last name, my maiden name. (I went byGlinn for years through sports and having a common first name. Bless being born as an 80’s baby.)

I felt at home, tending my roots per say. Not that I don’t feel at home in Iowa; I love my life here. But this trip was a needed distraction from my daily life as a Whitener. As a Whitener, there was a constant feeling that part of my life wasn’t complete and I was just waiting. Always waiting.

You see, my husband was scheduled to come back last week. Yes return from deployment, come back. So you can imagine that I needed a distraction from the fact that I had less than a week before being reunited with the hubs after 6 months. And then Iowa decided to have a freakout with snow, so needless to say I did not need to be holed up in my apartment counting the seconds or snowflakes coming down before I could see that plane come in.

To be known by my last name for most of my life made me have a little identity crises when I first got married. Who was this Whitener person? It has taken me nearly 2 years to not flinch when I say my name because for second I forgot who I was. The other day, I still responded with Glinn as my last name-whoops. I have made myself look like an idiot on more than one occasion because I can’t remember who I am, and I fumble over my name. It’s like you have amnesia every time you have to introduce yourself.

So it was really nice to fall back to Glinn for a weekend. Although, I did freak out my girlfriends when I had to use my Whitener name at registration.

Glinn had given me a foundation. I grew up Glinn, and I will never lose it. My Glinn clumsy gene doesn’t let me soon forget. But sometimes it is nice to bring the Glinn side to the forefront just a little more.

It was so nice to visit with old friends and be able to share the memory of doing a Disney race together. When I signed up for the race in August, I knew it would be fun to get away from the Iowa winter and be with my gal pals. But I had no idea that the timing would be perfect before Tom and I’s reunion.


Anyway, doing a half marathon at Disney, was one of the coolest things I have done. Anyone who is a runner should definitely consider a Disney race for the experience. Throughout the race they had staged Disney characters that you could stop and take pictures with-or just enjoy as you run through as we did. I only stopped at the castle-eek! It was also really energizing to run through the parks midway through the race. It made running 13.1 miles just a little easier-not much but a little. Running through the castle was certainly magical. I felt famous with all the cameras and people lined up to cheer you on. Total ego boost.


It was a great experience, and it was awesome to see all the costumes and creativity. It was just a fun and silly weekend all around. Like I said, perfect distraction. And who doesn’t love dressing up in tutus with close friends, and thousands of total strangers?


So here’s to being Glinn again, or still.

Moving on.

This craft was really easy to make. You need scrapbook paper, frames, velcro tape, and a dry erase marker.


I already had scrapbook paper that had the planner design, so that made that part easy.


You just put the paper in the frame. Then put a piece of velcro tape on the frame and the marker. I bought the markers that have little erasers at then end to make it as easy as possible, but you don’t need these.

Then, there you have a dry erase calendar.



Super easy but fun gifts!

The next couple posts will be about Tom’s return home! I just need to find some crafts to do for them.

Go the Distance

“But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be that man who walk a thousand miles to fall down at your door”

About a month ago, I was coming home from a run with Grace and we were jamming out to this song. Ok, I was jamming out to it and Gracie just pranced around me like we were playing a game. But the lyrics got me thinking about the feeling of love and wanting to be where your person is. I know goooey oooey. What can I say? I love Thomas.

There are 10,000 miles currently between Tom and I. 10,000 miles. Hmmmm. Bummer.

My brain started going into overdrive as I was stretching from my run. I then logged my miles on my Charity Miles app, then whammo.

Idea Lightbulb.

I am currently training for my third half marathon, which will probably be my last. I don’t want to destroy my knees even more than they already are. It also takes a lot of time to train for these races. I am however the type of person who needs a goal to be productive with my workouts and get my lazy behind off the couch. I need something to attain or strive for. So this idea fit perfectly while also cutting back on half marathons, which have been my goal for the past 2 years.

I have decided to log all my miles I do whether outside or on a machine since I do live in a place where cold temps and snow are frequent and prevents me from running outside. Now here is where the song comes into play. My goal is to do 1,000 miles during 2013–just to be that woman who would walk a thousand miles. Eventually, I would like to log all 10,000 miles that have separated us, but it was not realistic to do that in one year. I would have to do at least 27 miles a day…ugh no.

The second part to this resolution is that I would like to log at least 500 of the miles on Charity Miles. This is a great app for your phone that will log your workout. It will chart walks, runs, and biking. For each mile that you do they will donate 25 cents (run or walk) or 10 cents (bike) to the charity of your choice. They have a lot of different charities to pick from so I highly recommend it for anyone who has a smart phone. And it is free to you as the “athlete.” I wanted to find some way to give back to soldiers who give up so much for me, so every time I use it, I pick the Wounded Warrior Project. Granted, I know that it is only $125 if I meet 500 miles, but it’s still something. And again, I like having something to accomplish. And maybe once we move, I will have better luck with the weather in KY to up my mileage with my walks with Grace.

So I am appeasing knees (and my husband) by not training so hard, but I will still have a goal for my workouts. Plus it is a way for me to feel connected to Tom while we are still 10,000 miles apart. Since December 14, I have done 66.38 miles. I wish it was more, but with the holidays, weather, staff training, and being sick for the last week, I wasn’t able to run as much as I liked. But I will get there.

Every mile matters.

But for now the crafting matters!

This entry isn’t the biggest craft, but it was all about learning how to use my CricutMini, which is awesome!

These were my door decs and the new bulletin board I did for my staff.

I used the CricutMini to cut out all my letters and shapes. Minutes instead of hours…and no scissor hand cramps. Life changer.

I used Crayola paint chips and plain cardstock for the door decs. And the BB has all of our baby pictures with short tidbits of ourselves for residents to guess who is who.

DSCF4184 DSCF4187

If anyone ever wants to go for a walk, I would be happy to reinstate “life walks” as part of my life!

Or you can help me do this in the neighborhood…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib3Duz_6a9M