I Love Running, But I Hate Math: Rule #2 Keep Running Fun

Rules for Running

1. Decide what the goal is. Once you know why, who, and what you are running for you can relax and enjoy it!!!

2. The most important rule, HAVE FUN! If it isn’t fun…STOP doing it or switch it up!


I have never been good at math and I certainly don’t want to do it while I’m running. Counting seconds, measuring splits, subtracting time from the week before and calculations can easily become part of your weekly running routine. All this number talk is making my head spin! No wonder people are afraid to step into this sport! All my life I thought it was as simple as lacing up my sneakers and getting my body to move.


  I train hard for 2-3 races per year. Pushing myself to my fitness limits is something I truly enjoy doing, but it isn’t for everyone. I often wonder, “What am I physically capable of?” When I break through my own personal limits, there is nothing better. During those training cycles, there is usually a plan stuck to the front of my refrigerator and my calendar is consumed with meet ups, workouts, and nutrition information.

This summer, I have not been training…but I am still running. I have been leaving the watch at home and I worry less with my time. I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about hitting that 800M right at pace. Running is always fun for me and it is the one thing I have done the longest in my life.  When I am not focused on an intense training schedule, I run with more leisure. Long conversations about love, life, and careers through the trails and down the boardwalk with friends is something I truly treasure.

It keeps my love for running growing and I can appreciate the few times each year I buckle down and take care of business.

“I’d settle for a slow down” ~Dierks Bentley

Over 20+ years of running and the goal has rarely been about the time on the clock for me, but more about doing something I truly enjoy. It’s the memories of running with my dad and now memories shared with friends. I still get tickled when I finish near the top of the pack and take home an age group award metal, but this is just a by product of doing something that I love. More than the metals, I am amazed and fascinated with myself and marveled by what my body is actually capable of.

A trail run for 13 miles~A run through the sand and mud pits~An ocean swim sandwiched between two speedy runs at the beach


Seriously!!!  I can comfortably travel double digits without the use of a motorized vehicle and enjoy it?!?! Who cares how long that took, that’s a goal right there.

Lately I have taken on a couple new fitness clients. Both very different in thier fitness journey, but both wanting to move more using their own two legs. One is attempting his first half marathon after being off the fitness wagon.

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Zack Miller, King of Hatch becomes King of the Norfolk streets as he trains for his first 1/2 marathon ! #StartZack

Another is looking to build more cardio strength, gain a little more quickness, and run a 5k comfortably.


Krista White of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios demonstrates what it is like to be #reallytrulyfit

To them I say BRAVO! They don’t need a coach. They learned to run when they were babies. What they need is someone to encourage them, someone to hold them accountable, and someone to push them to limits they may have never considered possible. The focus here and for many should be on moving and their choice to push themselves all while keeping rule #2 at the forefront. Take the pressure of time off the table and make a new goal to get out and get moving regularly. Get out and have fun!

***Be sure to share this post with a running buddy and remind them about rule #2***

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Atlantic Paddle Source: SUP Fitness

photo 5Looking for a fun group fitness activity that incorporates summer in Virginia Beach? Check out Atlantic Paddle Source and their SUP Fitness Classes. This is a great way to try SUPing, stand up paddle boarding, for the first time. Nestled in off of Laskin Road, you can paddle in the water with ease, with no fear of the waves knocking you down. For those that want a little more intensity or if you feel more comfortable on the board, this is also a great way to dial up the workout and complete some body weight exercises while a top a board in the water. This workout can be completed at whatever level or speed you feel comfortable, all within arms reach of the dock. Thursday nights at 6pm, weather permitting,  these small group classes are taught by the paddle and fitness experts of Atlantic Paddle Source. Don’t worry, you do not have to own your own board. The classes are affordable for $35 per session or if you want to tote your own board along, it’s only $25. My recommendation is to grab some girlfriends and venture down to the oceanfront for a night of fitness on the water.  Reservations are needed.

Follow Atlantic Paddle Source and Babes Only on Boards on Facebook for the latest class schedule and weather updates.

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Playlists and Pressed Juices

The month of July was filled with activity. From a trail half marathon to my first open water swim, the training this month left me hungry and tired. Last week I hit a wall and hit the bed. I gave myself a break on EVERYTHING. I turned my weekday alarm off and my wake up time of 6:00 am turned into 7:00 and sometimes even as late as 8:00 am.  My workout schedule consisted of 3 easy days. My diet was filled with what ever my body craved. I enjoyed pasta, wine, and lots of sweet potato fries #nomnomnom

I am a firm believer in listening to your body. If your body needs rest, take it. If you need food, eat it. If you need to be lazy and take a break, then do it. Often after a few days on sabbatical like this, you come back stronger and more eager than before.  Saturday morning I sent a personal prayer into the ocean following my run and on Sunday morning after a week filled with mind and body healing, I woke up ready to go.

With another busy month ahead, I spent the day getting organized. I took some time to map out my next few weeks of workouts on a schedule in hopes of keeping me on track through August.

All the laundry (workout clothes), food shopping, and cooking was complete for the week. Back to my Jim White Fitness Nutrition Plan, it was time to get back to being #reallytrulyfit.

A few items from my shopping list…

  • Greek Yogurt (protein packed)
  • 1 pre cooked roasted chicken (add to salads or to grains for an easy meal)
  • 1 can of black beans (protein)
  • 1 can of cannelloni beans (protein)
  • feta cheese
  • 1 bag of apples (1/2 for juicer)
  • berries
  • greens
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 bags of baby carrots (1 bag for juicer)
  • lentils (more protein)
  • 1 bag of onions
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk (protein)
  • Basil From A Friend’s Garden

As I got settled into my kitchen for a little food prep work, I had my summer playlist cranking. These songs have been on repeat in the car, in the house, and even once last week on the boardwalk during a run. Music is a great motivator when goal setting and getting yourself amped to take on the week.

Fit Petite Summer Playlist

Problem ~ Ariana Grande

Song About a Girl ~ Eric Paslay

Tattoo ~ Hunter Hayes

2 On ~ Tinashe

Fireball ~ Pitbull

Here Today ~ Aloe Blacc

Dust ~ Eli Young Band

When I Met You in the Summer ~ Arch RT

Rather Be ~ Clean Bandit

Don’t ~ Ed Sheeran

Bartender ~ Lady Antebellum

Maps ~ Maroon 5

Somethin’ Bad ~ Miranda Lambert & Carrie Underwood

Also…I borrowed a friend’s juicer. I love cold pressed juices as an addition to my hearty diet.  Sometimes it can be pricey, but it is a great way to get nutrients on the run.  The great thing about the juicer is that you can literally use whatever you have in the fridge and toss it in. No formal recipes, just experimenting with enough for two days worth.

 ***Juices are best consumed within the first 2 days of juicing***





***New Recipe***

         Tomato Basil Lentils ~ 4 servings 

2 cups of cooked lentil

1 cup of diced heirloom tomatos

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

salt & pepper to tast

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 bunch of chopped fresh basil


Be sure to share this post with your fitness peeps on Facebook! 

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To Run A Good Race, You Need The Right Shoes: Here’s Where To Get Them


There is a lot of buzz these days about Buy Fresh, Buy Local.  I am 100% for buying local from our farmers and growers. I also think it is important for us as consumers to support our local specialty shops as well.

When I was 13, I started running competitively for my high school track team in Chesapeake.  This is also when I learned about a local running store in my area. Our coach directed us to go visit Mike Robinson at Running Etc. for training shoes and racing spikes. Mike, owner of Running Etc, has been serving the runners of all ages in our community for over 27 years. Mike and his staff are known for expertly fitting runners from all over with the perfect shoe. Running Etc has two locations in South Hampton Roads, one in Norfolk and one in Virginia Beach.

Last week I knew it was time for me to get new training shoes. Mine were on their last leg after the Crawlin Crab 1/2 Marathon in Hampton earlier this month. Every 3-6 months, depending on my mileage, I make a visit to the team at Running Etc for new shoes.   Friday I paid a visit to the Virginia Beach location. This was also the perfect opportunity for me to sit down with Mike and talk more about the store and the importance of  buying local.  Mike and I took a seat in the meeting room to chat before I began my custom running analysis and fitting process. We began our conversation by talking about the 2 store locations and his amazing staff. By the end of our chat, we had covered topics like local races, the importance of having a great race director, love (Mike met his wife years ago when he fit her for shoes) and the trends of shoes over the years. As we chatted, customers popped their head in from time to time saying hello. One thing was inherently clear throughout our time together. Mike has a love for the sport of running. This passion transcends over to his staff , who have been hand selected,  as well.

The staff at Running Etc has superior knowledge and experience with running and it is very important to Mike that his patrons are not intimidated when walking or running in the door. Runners of all shapes, sizes, and speeds are welcomed. Mike wants to help individuals no matter where they are on their running journey. To him, it is important for a runner to have the right shoe, no matter if they are training for their 17th marathon or their first 5k. As a patron of Running Etc. for over 20 years, I know the attention you receive when selecting a pair of training shoes. I witnessed this stellar service and attention to detail again Friday evening during my visit. The store was booming! Full of runners from all walks of life. A new mom, a business man, a husband and wife, and many others were all enjoying a fitting session. Each client was met with a warm greeting. All runners were asked a series of questions to help in their pursuit for finding the right shoe.

“What are your goals? Have you had any injuries?”

Soon after a short interview of running history,  the boxes of shoes would come out. The customer would try them on and do a demo run down the track in the middle of the store.  The staff member would carefully analyze their steps and industry buzz words would linger in the air: pronate, supinate, neutral, stability. In some cases, the video camera and the treadmill were brought into play for further screening. This analysis would continue until the runner and the staff member were both completely satisfied with the shoe. The fit, style, and even price were all kept in mind when outfitting each runner.  Patrons were leaving the store that rainy evening with smiles on their faces and bags in hand.

The time and dedication that was given to each runner was as if they were the next Steve Prefontaine.  This attention to detail does not happen at your big box stores. It is rare to even find a sales person in those stores and when you do, they may not have the knowledge and expertise that is so important in this process. More than likely, that will have you leaving the store with the wrong shoe. Then you may become frustrated with running and possibly quit.


Mike Robinson, Owner of Running Etc
Jess Horton, The Fit Petite

Running Etc. is a staple in our running community that serves Hampton Roads on a daily basis. Mike and his staff can be found helping runners at local expos as well. If you are serious about having the best shoe for you, take a drive and visit the team at Running Etc. at one their locations in Norfolk or  Virginia Beach. Take the time to find the right shoe, get your questions answered and keep the money in your local economy.


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How To Prepare For Your First Half Marathon

When I meet with a new running client, there is one thing I always tell them about their newly accepted challenge of 13.1 miles.

“If you have a little voice inside telling you that you can, then you will”

Our inner voice is a driver that motivates us to take on more challenges. With the appropriate training and the desire to succeed, 13.1 miles is possible.


Why do you want to train?

Do you enjoy running?

What is your goal for the race?

How much time can you devote to training?

You may have asked yourself many of these questions and now you are feeling overwhelmed or even unsure of what to expect. Here are some tips to ease you into your half marathon training.

GET REAL: Be realistic with your goals and your training. When setting your goal for the training towards your big day, be sure to be realistic in your training schedule and about how many days a week you can consistently devote to running. Consider joining a local training group or running at a weekly meet-up. Weekly appointments help with accountability and it gives you the opportunity to chat with others in the same boat. Running may be an individual sport, but the energy you can pull from other runners in training can be crucial to your success. Consider getting a coach. (TFP Coaching)  Many training plans are more affordable than a monthly gym membership. With a coach, you will have access to an expert who has been in the trenches. This can be beneficial especially if you are attempting your first double digit race.

FOLLOW THE PLAN: Have faith in your training plan and have faith in yourself. Most half marathon training cycles are 12-16 weeks. If you have sought coaching, regular communication will be important in keeping the plan rolling. If you are tired, say so and equally if you have a great run, mention that as well.

BALANCED FITNESS: Be sure to cross train during your half marathon training. A strong core, back, and arms will be important for your overall health and for your running. (Core Exercises)

EAT APPROPRIATELY: You will be hungry all the time and might even gain weight. Yes that’s right. Even with all the running, the number on the scale may go up. Your body may begin to loose inches but increase in lean muscle mass. With your new found running appetite, be sure to fuel your body with healthy meals. Like a car, your body will perform based on the type of fuel it receives. With all the running, you will want to be operating at an optimal level.

KNOW THE COURSE: Familiarize yourself with the race course. If you live near the course, build in some long runs there. By doing this, you will feel more comfortable on race day. During Shamrock Half Marathon Training, our group practiced running the final mile of the race several times before the big day. The possible anxiety you may feel at the finish line will be met with confidence instead.

Area Half Marathon Course Maps

Rock N Roll Half

Crawlin Crab Half

Richmond Half Marathon

Harbor Lights 

REST: Obey the rest day. As you begin training, many runners notice an increased energy level and are tempted to run more than needed. Be sure to have sufficient rest time in your weekly training schedule for your muscles to recover. Long distance running can become a mental game and your mind will also need a break. Massages, yoga, and splurge meals can work wonders on days like this.

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If you found this article helpful, be sure to SHARE it with other runners in training.

For coaching services contact thefitpetite@gmail.com

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