Going Makeup Free: Fresh Face 40 Days

Alright, it is the beginning of Lent and every year since I was probably in middle school I have taken it upon myself to give up something I enjoyed. I have given up everything from shopping, coffee bars, and even alcohol. In my adult years I usually part ways with sweet treats for the 40 day time period. The idea of Lent is to give up something you enjoy and would find equally hard to give up. Then, you spend the money you would have spent on your habit on a more worthy cause, or the time you would spend is now spent getting closer to God.

Lent begins today, Ash Wednesday  February 10 and goes until Thursday March. I began pondering my 40 day deprivation decision at work on Tuesday and a co-worker jokingly suggested makeup. I looked at her a little like…..what?!?!?!?!?!

And then I couldn’t get it out of my head. I came home cleaned out my make up drawer, reorganized my medicine cabinet, and begin reading about others who attempted this same challenge. 

From the half a dozen articles I read, no one regretted the challenge or regretted the results and time they gained in their life. Jennifer Aniston is quoted as saying makeup is a pain in the Huffington Post.  There is even a “no makeup diet” called the 5:2 gaining popularity. The idea is to go 2 days w/o makeup and 5 days with it during the week.


That is it! I have decided to go a little extreme this year and get completely out of my comfort zone. I am going make up free! Now don’t misunderstand, I love my makeup collection. There are some great items in there from Beautycounter, Tarte, and some drugstore brands like my beloved Maybelline mascara. 


 Ugh as I am typing this I struggle. I don’t actually wear a lot of makeup. But I do enjoy spending the 5 minutes or so every morning  giving my skin a little color and pizazz. It does make me feel more confident, which is exactly why I need to get comfortable with giving it up.

I took a moment to run my idea past Fit Petite follower,  friend, Master Esthetician, and owner of Bodyworks by Jeannie, Jeannie Ives. Of course she was totally supportive. 

“Going without makeup gives your skin a detox from any chemicals and irritants in the product. It will help with overall skin health reducing redness, rashes, and acne due to skin being exacerbated by wearing makeup” ~Jeannie Ives

Because this is my challenge, I get to make my own rules. I will keep my basic blackish/brown mascara and my assortment of lipgloss and chapsticks handy. Nail polish is allowed. I am nervous to see how self conscious I feel by going makeup free. I am excited to see if miraculously my skin begins to glow and look better than ever. I look forward to spending those 5 minutes every morning to work on my insides verses my outsides.  I plan to swap those 5 minutes towards stretching out my morning devotional, meditation, and/or prayer time.

My prediction is that a few things will happen by going make up free.

1. No one will notice or care

2. My skin will thank me

3. I will develop more inner peace and feel more free spirited

4. I will have more time for things that should matter

I will document this on my Instagram @thefitpetite over the next 40 days…which includes my 36th birthday and I reserve the right to apply some product if I feel so moved. Like any new habit such as eating right~exercising~moderating alcohol…this is not going to go perfectly. It is just going to go. I will do my best with this and trust in the process like everything else I do. 

Long live the #FreshFace #MakeUpFree


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A True Sign of Sportsmanship: Virginia Distance Series 100k Relay



Last night’s press conference with Cam Newton has the internet world spiraling. The topic of Sportsmanship is front and center on the table….more HERE

A few weeks ago I sat in my coaches office reviewing my Shamrock Half Marathon plan. “Expect that you will run well” one of them said. Expect it… In other words…believe it! Have confidence, become your biggest fan and think positively.  I recited that mantra repeatedly yesterday as I looped around Bow Creek Golf Course. In a confident and yet carefree way, I expected to run well. And that I did along with my 3 teammates.


SUNDAY 12 amazing runner peeps in my world took the day to spend with each other and to also tackle the task of shredding up 100k miles together. We made up 3 teams of the 7 in the 100k relay challenge!

All 12 individuals are friends and all are equally fierce competitors. Two co-ed teams of “elites” and the third, us,  an all girls club of runners that I had the honor of heading up.

When putting this team together, I thought about 2 things. 

1. Who do I enjoy spending hours at a time with?

2. Who has a crazy legit appreciation for the sport of running as I do?

After I thought about these two questions for a sec, the team members became immediately clear. All legit runners in their own right and all with their own gift to round out the #NoPainNoChampagne team!


Kim-Fellow J&A Team Member, Current J&A Pacer, Current J&A Ambassador, fun person to spend the day with , She brought the knowledge as someone who has a massive amount or running experience!

Kristy- Fellow J&A Team Member, Fellow J&A Ambassador Alumni, Current J&A Pacer, Blogger, She brings the sunshine every time!

Karen – Fellow Blogger, Business Owner, Loves Racing, She brought the fancy!

For weeks, we’ve all been in training for Shamrock which made this lonnnggggg run day time perfectly in the plan. For weeks the 12 of us planned more for the party provisions than we did the run itself. From the tents, to the signs, the shirts, the runner snacks, and even a little strategy we had it all figured out. With a little help from my coaches, we decided I would run this in segments of 4.7 miles at a time. Each loop around the golf course was 2.35 miles. I knew it would be a huge confidence booster for me if I could hold 3×4.7 at my half marathon goal pace. The third set would be tough, but completing it would give me that extra swagger for the Shamrock Half next month. With 3×4.7 this would leave 1 loop of 2.3 as a finisher.

The day started with a 5:45am meet time and a 6:30 start time. Before the sun came up I was already impressed and inspired by what was forming. We would share the load of the miles, but we also shared the load of “holding the rope” or supporting the team. We set up camp together, all 12 of us. A fun little tent city complete with propane heaters, blankets, and hand delivered Starbucks Coffee and Duck Donuts (courtesy of Jenny, Rick, Christian). The day grew colder and the miles rolled on. Many friends and family members choose to come out and share the day with us. You will never know how much that warmed our spirits to have you there. And when the other two “elite” teams finished they stayed to cheer on us gals. They came through for us in the clutch. Right when we needed them most.

SURE we were fast. SURE we set some PR’s. SURE we had the fanciest of signs,the cutest t-shirts, the most delicious snacks, and by far we had the best fans… But more importantly and more impressive in my mind is the team work and sportsmanship shown from my friends through the day. Not just to our own tribe, but to others. Each runner in our twelve rallied and cheered on the others. Sportsmanship was displayed on the course as friends and other runners alike sailed past, we cheered for each other. A simple “Nice Job” or “Looking Good” goes along way through 100k.  Sportsmanship was displayed off the course as well as we shared rollers, blankets, and strategy. And when we were on rest a “How Ya Feeling?” or “You Are Rocking It” was exchanged from friends. These few simple words were signs of sportsmanship. A sign of respect. A sign of class. Legit…legitimizing the love we all have for this sport and for each other.

With cold temps, winds, and a little rain it turned out to be one of the most fun races I’ve ever done. While the time on clock made me proud, it was our actions through the day that filled my heart and fueled my feet.

That is what teamwork, friendship, and SPORTSMANSHIP is all about.

Special congratulations to Stephanie Manny would fueled the entire 100k solo and finished in style. You are our hero!

A thank you to the my team mates from No Pain, No Champagne for being amazing teammates and indulging me in yet another one of my crazy ideas. This is a memory I will cherish and I am thrilled I was able to form this memory with all of you.

Thank you to John Price for organizing a fun day of loops for us all. Also to the running etc crew Mark, Drew, Shannon, and Jennifer for cheers and chants as you braved the damp cold all day. You were all appreciated!


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FAITH: Not Using This F Word Could Be Dangerous To Your Health



The f word: are your thoughts creating internal conflict or setting you up for success and happiness?

I’ve been pulling my inspiration these days from ministers, spiritual leaders, and people of faith in my own personal life. I have been really in tune with their messages. It’s probably because I’ve been feeling pretty close to God lately.  I’ve been making time to talk to him daily. I’ve been making an effort to show my gratitude for things he is doing in my life, even though I may not understand, and even though I can see he surely isn’t finished with me yet. This practice is a great faith strengthening exercise for me. It re-affirms that he is in control and is leading me. I believe this is why I am feeling good. Running good. And all around doing good. My faith assures me. 

The same struggle with faith proves to be necessary and important when related to fitness and especially in long distance running. In a meeting with my coaches a couple weeks ago it was mentioned that I should expect to run well at an upcoming race. Not with ego, but more of thinking positively. That right there is faith. You achieve what you believe. If you don’t have faith in your journey, faith in your leader, faith in your training, and most importantly faith in yourself…how can you expect to complete your mission? Anything over 10 miles by foot is a long way to go without it. That’s why it is such a miracle to witness the marathon. Those individuals believe they can and will finish that 26.2 mile run. 



My faith for a run could have easily been tested this past Saturday. Snow. Sleet. 40+ mph wind gusts. Tired legs. But….I had the right gear and the right sidekicks to get me through. After a frigid, frosty, and fabulous 10 mile run with two great girls filled with great convo and fueled by our faith to finish, we ran strong. As always after the run, our team gathered for breakfast and I found myself comfortably curled up in the booth near the fire. Somehow the gals at my table and I got into a conversation about that f word again…faith. It became clear to me that people who are constantly struggling or who are habitually unhappy aren’t people with any faith at all.  Yet, the people who seem to be the most fulfilled, purposeful, and gracious seem to have an abundance of it. They smile a lot and positivity pours out of them.  I choose to spend lots of time with these people. 

Just before halfway into a 10 miler with a flooded out park. We've got this!

10 miles total. This was the turn around in First Landing due to a flooded out road. We smiled the entire way and faith fueled us to finish!


Without a faith in a higher power or faith even in themselves, this can be dangerous. Your spiritual well being is in jeopardy. Are your thoughts causing internal conflict or setting you up for success and happiness? 


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A Love Letter To My Body


The season of love is upon us. It comes complete with an array of sweet treats such as the favorite conversation hearts all the way to chocolate covered EVERYTHING. I wonder if this holiday comes as a trick from the devil just when we are 4 weeks into our New Year’s Resolutions. This holiday of “love” could leave you feeling completely lost, in tears, and with your face buried down into a carton of Ben and Jerry’s. Don’t!!! This season I challenge you to shift and start the season of love off right by loving the most important person of all…yourself. Stop grabbing your skin, tugging on your flesh and thinking it isn’t enough.

I believe it is alright and even necessary to strive for a healthier and stronger body and soul. This strive towards strength and greatness is part of why I am in this industry. This struggle between greatness and a healthy balance between salads and cupcakes is why I charged full speed ahead into this industry. Spend more time doing things that make you feel good rather than looking good. Achieve one thing everyday. A run. A yoga class. A smoothie. A prayer.  Be mindful of crossing over into the danger zone where one can become critical of one’s self. I decided I would write a letter to my body in the hopes that you may relate to challenges I face and encourage all of us, myself included, to consciously shift the relationship with our body to a positive one.

Dear Body,

We have been through it all together. From the smallest girl in elementary school to high school track. I have learned to embrace my “small in stature spirit” over the years. You have never let me down and the more I have vowed to love you, you have shown your love for me right back.  

These little chunk nugget legs that were my arch nemesis in my twenties, have turned into one of my favorite body parts. The solid thigh muscle that never gets quite tone enough has become a propeller towards chasing the clock. You have carried me through many half marathons and too many races to count. For that I thank you.  

Hello Face. I could easily focus on the scar on my cheek from the dog attack when I was three that is still visible. The lines across my forehead and in between my eyebrows can be reminders of age, tears cried from a failed relationship, and an over tired self. But more importantly those lines came as souvenirs of laughs and memories shared with girlfriends, the joy I felt over the birth of a friend’s baby.  Even those sun spots serve as a tattooed memory of summers spent on the Rivah with my family. For all those memories, I am grateful. 

The tummy. I spend a lot of time working on keeping you flat. You have birthed hard belly laughs and filled me with a fire to accomplish my dreams. Without you I would never be here. The hunger for live, for fitness, for love lives here. For you, I show gratitude. 

I vow to respect you. Care for you. Celebrate you and at times even flaunt you! You deserve it. 

Yours Truly and Gratefully,


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A Shift Is Coming: Shift From Worry to Wonderful


Shifting the focus. Shifting fonts on the blog. Shifting to a new room to write. Shifting my sights from sleeping in today toward the future and what is possible! Saturday evening was spent with the runner fam hitting our hometown hangout of Murphy’s for a night out. This is our weekly watering hole for long run meet ups and we felt it an appropriate place to gather for an impromptu night filled with Irish music to bring us that much closer to all things Shamrock. This was a shift from my normal Saturday night in for Netflix and Chill.


Wolfpack Selfie


Sunday called for a sleep in and pj day. I opted for Sunday Service at home with Joel Osteen. His message focused heavily on the word shift. I was intrigued with his words and immediately this blog started forming. “A shift is coming,” he said. A shift from above. Kinda like, no pain…no gain. You know, hard times make us tougher and those tough times don’t last. Be patient and be deliberate with your shift. You can help create the result you desire. I have had several conversations with people lately about tough times they are facing. Tough financial hardships, tough relationships with family/friends/co-workers, tough fitness goals in front of them, and even tough in terms of their relationship with themselves. One theme reigned through these talks. Shift focus. They each committed to turn from focusing on the worry to the wonderful. In running,  this can be tough at times. Our runner fam often refers to the story of the wolf. Coach Ryan reminds us of this often before we run. 


Which one should you feed? We know that the one you feed will be the one who succeeds. Yesterday during my long run as I passed over the 7 mile mark of a 9 miler, it wasn’t a coincidence the chalk art from our friend Josh “Chalk Art Wonder” read “The Body Achieves What The Mind Believes.” Shift. This is the point it could easily begin to hurt…but instead we shift to focusing on the finish and soar ahead. 


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