Monday, July 14, 2014

Running for Maggie Virtual 5k

Running for Maggie (R4M) Fundraising efforts are coming together. I am still working with Booster to get my logo ready for the t-shirts! I have 2 sponsors in line right now and am looking for 2-3 more who would be interested in donating something for a giveaway to those who participate in the run. I will be reaching out this week! 

The Foundation was started in March to honor my sister's memory. Maggie died in March of 2012 in a tragic car accident. 

"A group of people who loved Maggie have pooled their talent and effort into creating the Maggie Bertram Foundation for t...he Fine Arts. Maggie was an artist, dancer and musician who was killed March 4, 2012 in a tragic car accident. Only 16 years old, she had a brilliant smile, engaging personality and a warm, warm heart. She embraced the arts and excelled at them. In her honor we are beginning fun(d)raising efforts that will support fine arts education at the K-12 level. Our first focus will be Holy Family Parish School, where Maggie attended grade school and participated in dance recitals, played clarinet in the Holy Family Grade School band and won awards in the annual Declamations contest. Our dreams are that our efforts won't have to stop there....and you can help by participating in our events, donating to our Foundation and praying for our success."
 - Written by my mom, Stacie

I invite everyone to like the R4M Facebook Page

Remember if you are interested in participating in the virtual 5k, please email me at so I can get you on the list! I will have a new race bib this year as well! 

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Running for Maggie

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Running for Maggie Virtual 5k is back!

Hey everyone! Guess what is coming back? The Running for Maggie Virtual 5k race! I know some of my newer followers are wondering who Maggie is. Maggie was a caring, loving, vibrant and wonderful girl who was taken from us too soon. She died in a tragic car accident in March of 2012. Maggie was my sister. She will always hold a special place in my heart and will always be our angel. 

I know I told you all I would have all the information today, but I am still working on my T-Shirt Campaign, so here is the information I have so far.....

1. T-Shirts will be available to purchase for $15-$18 + $5 shipping. 
2. This year the the virtual race will likely be held on Wednesday, August 20th. 
3. I am looking for sponsors. Possibly doing a giveaway. I have 2 sponsors right now. 
4. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. You do not have to run. You can walk. You do not have to purchase a T-shirt to participate. You do not have to donate to participate, however it is greatly appreciated! ;) 
5. My goal is $1000. I am pretty sure I can hit that this year. 
6. Orders will need to be in by August 1st. 
7. Shipping will take up to two weeks after that. Roughly August 15th. 
8. You will pay directly through the website and they will send a check to the foundation. 

Here is a link to some more information that I have right now. Running for Maggie updated! I will get a new button working for those of you who would like to put it on their blogs!! 

As soon as I get more information, I will let you know! 

Last year I did the first annual Running for Maggie virtual 5k. Below is information about LAST YEAR'S 5K!!


Thank you so much to EVERYONE who participated in the Running for Maggie Virtual 5k and to EVERYONE who promoted it on their blogs, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter...etc! You all hold a special place in my heart! We had a great turnout! I posted pictures to the Running for Maggie Facebook Page here 
Simply Sami

Today I am hosing the Running for Maggie Virtual 5k link up! Did you run last week? Ok! If you blog, grab the code from above, go to the HTML tab in your post, past the code and click back on the COMPOSE tab and the button will show up. Then link up for your chance to win a FREE BLOG DESIGN from Hubby Jack! To enter, you MUST participate in the link up and enter below! 

If you are not a blogger, I will put the names of everyone who posted their pictures on IG/Facebook/Twitter with #runningformaggie in to win a FREE Running for Maggie T-Shirt! YAY!! 

Last week on Wednesday, Lauri, Kari, Keri and Candi and I got together and did our 5k run! It was a nice easy run! We made tank tops that said Running for Maggie on them, too! 
The speedsters - AKA - Lauri, Kari and Keri went off ahead of Candi and I and we enjoyed some good conversation! I haven't seen Candi in a while, so it was nice to catch up! We ran on the bike path at the YMCA along the river. It was pretty humid for 5 am! I didn't know Keri for very long and the little lady has moved to North Caroline for her job! I wish her all the best!!! 

On Sunday, as I was looking through all the pictures, I kept thinking to myself "How awesome is it that all these people are participating and many of them don't even know me or Maggie." 



I cried for a little while yesterday. A good cry. A happy cry. Nathan was playing with his rescue hero's when he noticed I was crying. He came over to me, gave me a hug and asked me what was wrong. I told him I was crying because of all the people that were running/walking to help honor Maggie and showed him some of the pictures. He told me he wanted to "run" too. So we got all his buddies and him into the stroller and went. He talked the whole time. Nonstop. He talked about the flowers, the houses, the clouds in the sky, and anything else he could think of. I am not sure if we walked 3 miles or not, my Garmin was dead and I just went off what I could remember. We talked about Maggie and he told me he loved me and that I was his best friend. He is such a great kid. When we got home and he got out of the stroller, he said, "Mom, Maggie is in heaven and we love you Maggie!" I said, "Yes Nathan, we do."

I seriously can not thank you all enough for participating. From the bottom of my heart......Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Hugs and Kisses to you all!!! xoxoxoxo

You can see all the photo's here. If I missed yours, please post them to the Running for Maggie page or email them to me at!! 
Have a great Wednesday!! 

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Running for Maggie

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The time I ran 8 miles....

Here is a #TBT for you! This is from August of last year before my half marathon, running 8 miles....something I never thought I would ever do!

-----------FROM AUGUST 2013---------

On Sunday, I had 7 miles planned for half marathon training. My friend Natalie said she would meet me! I text her earlier in the day and said what time is better 4 or 5 and she said 4 because she had invited another girl! Awesome! 

When I got there, there were 6 of us running all together!! Natalie always recruits people! I was expecting 3 of us and got 6! Woo!! We ran 2 x 3  on the bike path. 4 miles down and 4 miles back = 8 miles not 7! My first 8 miles! My first couple miles, me legs were killing me, but then started to get better. 

We decided that we would take a 2 minute walk break at the beginning of every mile. The first mile and the last mile, I ran all of it! After walking and when we started walking again, we would switch running partners. I got to run with everyone and they let me set the pace! We averaged 13:30 a mile. Not too shabby for me! There was great conversation with everyone! They were all so supportive and I am so thankful I met them all! 

At mile 3, there is a huge hill/bridge we got to go up! yay! PS I didn't take this picture - Photo Credit Here!
It  is more steep than it looks! Seriously! Then, on the other side of the street, there is another hill! Even worse than this one! I couldn't find a picture of it, though! Dawn said that when she runs hills she thinks to herself "but and thighs, but and thighs!" SO that is what I did! I learned the importance of swinging your arms to get you moving up those hills, also! Make sure you are swinging them!

At mile 4, we took our goo! I took a Honey Stinger one that was strawberry. Never had goo? Make sure you take water with it! Your mouth will thank you! 

We stopped and took pictures at the half way mark, too! Thank you to Natalie for these pictures!
Beth, Rachel, me, Dawn and Phil 
Beth, Rachel, me, Dawn and Natalie
They were all huge motivators! When I felt like stopping, they would pick me up! I decided that I hate running with my hand water bottle thing and Dawn helped me out and carried it part way for me! She even let me have some of her Gatorade when mine ran out! 

During mile 5 or 6 I could feel that the goo was working. However, it was a LIAR! After that, I felt lethargic and even more tired than before! The last few miles were hard. NOT GONNA LIE! I wanted to stop and did stop to take a few steps, but Dawn was right there with me and kept me going! 

Somehow, Natalie got to talking about Thanksgiving and turkey and Dawn and I started talking about our favorite Thanksgiving food items; sweet potato pie, mashed taters, pumpkin pie, turkey, oh yum! That kept me going, too! 

Natalie then told me, we were going to push it at the end. I thought, HA YEAH RIGHT! But, guess what? I did! When we got to the stone guys, I started running a little faster! Photo credit here!
The Rock Men.
It is a little more than an 1/8 of a mile. I kept thinking, keep going, keep going, keep going! You aren't stopping now! Almost there!! Almost there!! 

I DID IT! I RAN 8 MILES! I mean, actually RAN 8 miles with 2 minute walk breaks every mile! OMG!!! It was an amazing experience and again, am so thankful to everyone who ran with me! 

As we were stretching afterwards, I kept thinking, "I can't believe I did that. I just ran 8 miles!" Then the tears started to flow! Never in a million years did I think that I would RUN 8 miles. If last November, Natalie told me that this summer, I would ran 8 miles, I would have laughed at her. I have come a long way from my heavy breathing, run for 30 seconds/walk for 2 minutes days! This was more than I expected and was so incredibly proud and surprised by myself.
I think somewhere in the back of my mind, when I first started this journey, I figured I would stop and give up like I have before.

But, I haven't and I won't! 

I am too far into this, too invested, too excited, too everything to quit now! Running has made me more confident, positive, happy and I have met so many amazing people!

Happy Thursday! 

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My Chipotle Bowl!

Happy Hump Day! Today I am sharing a post from April of last year. This is one of my favorite recipes! My hubby and I love it!

-------------FROM APRIL 2013-------------
I posted that I was making this on Facebook and immediately everyone wanted the recipe! It is so delish! This is the third time I have made it and my husband LOVES it. Eventually I will make a recipe's tab, I just haven't gotten around to it yet! 

Now you can do the salsa chicken a couple different ways - with frozen chicken breasts, with non-frozen chicken breasts or with rotisserie chicken. I have heard of some people doing it in a skillet, but I think the crock pot is the way to go, because it will sit and simmer all day and get all the taste! 

Salsa Chicken - 
3-4 Chicken Breasts 
   (Or do what I did and use a rotisserie chicken and cut off all the skin, shred it and throw it in the crock was a regular rotisserie lemon herb or anything like that)
1 can of diced (I like petite) tomatoes with No Salt Added (NSA)
1 cup of salsa - I used medium - not too hot, but gives it enough flavor. 
If you like yours spicy, throw in a can of jalapeno's or use a hot salsa. 

Throw it all in the crock pot and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Now if you have a newer crock will probably be closer to the 7 hour mark for low and 3 hour mark for high. 

Cilantro Lime Rice - 
2 cups of your favorite Rice - I use the Boil-In-Bag - saves me time and easy to do!! I used 2 bags for Brian and myself. You can use brown rice if you want (it's healthier...) but I just love this rice! I always make extra for leftovers. 
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (more or less depending on how much you like cilantro!)
2 limes (for juice)
About a half hour or so left on your salsa chicken, cook your rice according to box directions. Add your cilantro and juice of your limes and stir! FINITO!

Corn Salsa-
This is my favorite!!! I use this more than just with this recipe. I also put it on my salads. I just love it!

1 can of corn (NSA) or bag of corn - if it isn't cooked or is frozen cook it beforehand and let cool. 
2 medium to large sized jalapeno's finely chopped (I remove the seeds so it isn't too spicy)
1/2 red onion finely chopped (about a 1/3 cup)
2 limes (used for the juice)
1/2 teaspoon pepper (more or less depending on your taste)
Combine everything in a bowl and mix it all up! I squeezed 1 lime for juice before I mixed it up and then after mixing, the other one. If your lime is hard to squeeze - pop it in the microwave for about 15 seconds. 

You will also need sour cream and mozzarella cheese. Use low-fat or lite to make it healthier. 

In a bowl, layer your rice first, salsa chicken, cheese, corn salsa and sour cream! 

So freaking delicious and tastes just like a Chipotle bowl! Or at least it does to me and the hubs. Nathan didn't really eat it, but he ate some rice. The kid loves rice. 

Yes I made it with sour cream and cheese - I am not limiting myself everything....the last time I did that, I binged all the time. This time, I am making small changes first and see where it goes from there.

This is what works for me........

Have a great day!!! 
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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My first 10k!

Happy Tuesday! So I have decided that I am going to publish some old blog posts. Most of them can't be viewed anymore because my old domain name is gone. :( But, I still have them saved in blogger! This post is from May 2013 about my first 10k.

----------FROM MAY 2013----------
Hey ya'll!! Welcome to Monday!!! Yesterday I had my first ever 10k and let me tell you, it was something else. I felt sooooooooooooooo many emotions during the 1:27:27 run!!

On Saturday, I was trying to decide what I was going to wear. Everything I tried on, I felt fat in. BLAH! I went to T.J. Maxx to see if I could find anything...I found a hand held water bottle to use in the race, but no shirt. It was going to be HOT, so I wanted a tank. I tried to make a DIY tank, and yeah, that didn't work out. Urg. Finally I decided on my Maggie Bertram Foundation shirt. I ate pretty well Saturday, stayed away from fresh fruit and anything with tons of fiber. And of course, I drank TONS of water!!!! No soda. I did enjoy a spark as well!
I went to bed around 8:30 with my alarm set for 4:30 am. I read that you should eat like 2-3 hours before race time (race time was at 7:15) and hydrate up until about a half hour before the race. I woke up about 4:28 and then waited for my alarm to go off. I ate wheat toast with all natural PB and a banana, drank some coffee and a bottle of water. I watched an episode of Friends, got dressed and went to the bathroom a few times before heading out. I also had a spark on the way!
I drove down to the race by myself, I told Brian to stay with Nathan and just meet me at the finish line. I only knew one other person running, Candi, and she was running the marathon!! So, I walked around, wondering what the hell I was supposed to do for 45 minutes before the race started. I found a nice looking young woman and asked her if there was something I needed to do, like check in or something, and she smiled and said, "No honey, you already have your bib and shoe tag! You are ready! Good luck!" She was the only person who spoke to me before the race!

I was pretty intimidated by everyone. They were all talking to one another, running around warming up, stretching....I had done all of this in the privacy of my own home. LOL. I didn't want people seeing me bend over to stretch. Most people had on t-shirts, tanks, capris or shorts, but, there were a few that were running in their sports bra's and shorts. DAMN! I hope I can one day feel comfortable enough to do that.

Ugh...I hate porta potty's. It was smelly and hot, but I had to pee. Thankfully, there were no lines, because I waited until the marathon and half marathon had started. I had fifteen minutes...I went potty, stretched (no I didn't bend over in front of anyone!) and walked around a little. I tried to find my sunglasses that morning but they were nowhere to be found, but, Nathan's yellow shades were in the backseat and at the last minute, I decided to wear them! I don't think they looked that bad! lol
A voice come over the loud speaker...."5 minutes until the start of the 10k." I walked up to the starting line with the rest of the crowd and turned on my 10k playlist on my phone (I will put it up, below). I stood behind a couple girls who looked to be around my body type...I thought, I should stay next to them and don't take off too fast.
Before everyone got to the start line

I don't remember if there was a gun or if they just said "go", I was too busy listening to my music and trying to pump myself up!

Me talking to myself....
"Alright, Sam...remember why you are doing this. Wait, why am I doing this? To prove to yourself that you CAN do this. That's right...I can do this. Remember you don't have to run it all, you just have to finish. You can run more than you think, you can, you CAN, YOU CAN! Ok, did they just say go? Oh, ok, everyone is moving. Wait - start your Garmin! Don't forget! Start it! we go!"

THE FIRST TWO MILES WERE COMPLETE HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No joke.

My legs were on FIRE and hurt like you wouldn't believe! My shins from my leg to my knee....I thought they were going to snap....down the outside of my leg....OMG! I don't wish that pain on anyone....I walked A LOT those first two miles and had to stop to stretch a few times.

I contemplated calling Brian and having him come pick me legs hurt that bad! I felt sorry for myself and wanted to give up.

BUT, then I remembered all my blogging/IG buddies and how much support I got from everyone and remember someone talking about a second wind.....I think it was Mel....

SO I KEPT GOING! I kept thinking....keep going CAN do will stop hurting. Push through it....push through the pain! 

And eventually it stopped the time I got to mile 3....the pain didn't actually just got better. I stopped thinking about it and started thinking, holy crap! I am halfway done!! I CAN DO THIS! I CAN FINISH! KEEP RUNNING!!!!!!!!!!!

By 3.5 miles people, we were running on the bike path and the faster people and some of the half marathoners were starting to come back around and running back towards the finish line. Some just kept looking forward, some smiled at me, gave me a thumbs up and some actually said "Your doing great! Keep going!" 

By this time, I had caught back up with the ladies I started behind and I thought to myself...I am going to beat them. One in particular....a girl in a yellow shirt, not because I thought I could beat her and was just that conceded, but because I was competitive. I needed something to focus on so I could keep going. 

Every time she stopped to walk, I did and every time she ran so did I. For a little while there, I would pass her and then she would pass me. She never looked up at me, in fact, I think she kept her head down the whole time, except when we ran past the water station....she looked up to grab a water. 

Around mile 5, or wherever the last water station was, I took off. Left her in my dust! ha! I mean, as much dust as I had....

I ran faster.

I walked, I ran, I walked a little more, ran a little more. Fergie's Fergalicious came one and I thought, I am Fergalicious damnitt! I probably had a little hip to my hop as I was jamming out to that song!! 

People were cheering, "Go 1674! Less than a mile! You can do it!" I held my arms up in celebration, acknowledging the people cheering for me!  

At this point, I was walking...all I had to do was turn the corner and run to the finish line. I wish I could have gotten a picture of was glorious! I WAS SO CLOSE! 

When I turned the corner, I started running. Getting closer, I could hear people yelling and clapping. I didn't care if they were or weren't yelling and clapping for me, I told myself they were. With all the cheers, my adrenaline and determination, I ran faster, then FASTER AND AS FAST AS MY TIRED LEGS COULD CARRY ME AND I CROSSED THE FINISH LINE!! 

At first, I couldn't believe it. I didn't believe that I had just finished my first 10k. But, I DID! And the girl in the yellow shirt.....she was about 40 seconds behind me!!! I beat her! YES!

I didn't see Brian or Nathan and I wasn't really looking for them. Sorry honey. 

I just kept walking...I wanted my finishers medal! They ran out of the 10k medals! I will get mine in the mail! I asked someone if I could take a picture of theirs. Here it is! 
By this time, I had found Brian and Nathan and Nathan ran up to me and gave me a huge hug!! Brian told me how proud he was of me and good job! Thanks hon! 

We went to breakfast and I had a large chocolate milk, large water and pancakes and bacon! I EARNED THAT DAMN BACON! And I don't eat bacon all that often anyway!

Even today, I am still amazed with myself that I ACTUALLY completed the whole race and didn't give up! But you know what? I am not the girl that gives up anymore! I am not the girl who says she is going to do something and then doesn't do it! I am the girl who says she is going to do something and does it! That's right!!!! 

It doesn't have to be fitness related...want to go back to school? Want to learn a new language? DO IT! YOU CAN DO IT! Believe in yourself and you can do anything!

Here is my 10k playlist - not in any particular order...I don't even remember if these all played! 

Sabotage - Beastie Boys
Banana's - Gwen Stefani
Poker Face - Lady Gaga
California Girls - Katy Perry
Lost Yourself - Eminem
Go Girl - Pitbul
Gangnam Style - Psy
Sorry for Party Rocking - LMFAO
SHOTS - LMFAO and Little John
I'm Sexy and I Know It - LMFAO
When I Grow Up - Pussycat Dolls
Creepin' - Eric Church
Keep On - Eric Church
She's Country - Jason Aldean
The Bad In Me - Jake Owen
Baby Got Back - Sir Mix-A-Lot
Diva - Beyonce
It's Tricky - Run DMC
This is 4 My People - Missy Elliot - College throwback!
Feralicious - Fergie

And I leave you with my awesome professional race photo's!

Have a great Tuesday!
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Monday, June 16, 2014

My best race ever!

As some of you may know, I was supposed to run the half marathon on Saturday at the Biggest Loser Race in Rockford. 

However, life got in the way and I had no babysitter. First of all, I want to apologize to my sponsor, Annie's Locker, for not being more prepared and having someone else in line that could watch Nate. I'm so sorry and hope this won't impact our relationship in any way. 

However, I think changing races (going from the half to the 5k) was the best thing I could have done for my running path right now.

Last summer when I started running, my main goal was to run at least a 5k without stopping. That didn't happen till this past weekend. When I found out on Friday that I didn't' have a babysitter for Saturday morning, I was crushed. I was really looking to running the half! Yes I had trained for it, not as hard as my other two half marathons, but I was ready. 

When I found out that I was able to switch from the half to the the 5k, I told myself that I was just going to go out there and have fun. No pressure and no running for a PR. 

For me, running is all mental. I know I can physically do it, it is my head that likes to trick me into thinking otherwise. 
Picture from

It has been so long since I have run a mile without stopping. Normally during a race, I find someone I want to "run with" and try and stay with them and try to beat them. I have done this for every race except my first half marathon. Why? I'm not sure. It was just something I did. 

Friday night I went to bed early and got a good nights sleep. I was up before my alarm! I had my usual: coffee, bottle of water and a banana. I don't like to eat too much before I race, especially if it is a shorter race. I like to run with my handheld water bottle and filled it with a GU Tablet, ice and water. Got my arm band, phone, headphones, and Garmin all ready and headed out. 

After I parked, I walked around, found a spot to watch the start of the half marathon. I tried not to think about how disappointed I was that I wasn't running it and focused on the 5k. 

I found a spot to stretch and got ready for the 5k. I listened to my music and found a spot in the corral. I started looking around for that person I was going to follow. One lady next to me asked, "Is this a good spot for someone who is going to run/walk?" I told her that is what I am going to do and we chit chatted for a little while longer. 

Finally it was time to start. I could hear Dan & Jackie Evans countdown till start time. Off we went. It was slow at first because there were a lot of walkers in front of me that I had to pass. I felt really good that first half mile or so. I told myself, I was going to at least run the first mile. 

Then I heard a lady behind me.....
"Look at everyone passing me...." 
Another lady said, "Just run your race. You have no one else to beat but yourself."

She was right. Totally right. 

From then on, I ran for me. Only me. 

I lost that person I was going to follow and focused on having a good time, saying thank you to every police officer and volunteer I saw and encouraging others to keep going.

Mile 1 - 12:44 - Didn't have too much trouble. Felt good. 
Mile 2 - 13:29 - There was 1 big hill....I made it up, then had to walk a little at the top. 
Mile 3 - 12:35 - The last mile felt like a breeze. I kept encouraging others to keep going and thanking everyone. I saw some little kids with their dad holding a sign that said, "I'm proud of you perfect stranger!" I almost cried! It was so adorable! 

I could finally hear the announcer. I was getting close. I wanted to finish and get my medal. At about 1/4 mile left, I could hear people cheering and see people clapping. 

"Your almost there!"
"Keep going!"
"Your doing great!"

 Now, I was sprinting. I SPRINTED! I never do that! I ran so hard, that I forgot to get my medal and had to go back and get it! LOL!


It was the best feeling after a race I have ever had. EVER. This was my best race ever! I may not have had a PR, but I had something better.............the runners high!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (40:17 was my official time)

I stopped to work on my breathing (2 breaths in and 3 breaths out)
I stopped competing with others and competed with myself.
I slowed down and focused on my stride, pumping my arms and keeping my head up.
During the race, I didn't feel out of breath (until the hill). It felt fun.

Why do I think this was my best race ever?
Well, I was starting to doubt myself as a runner. That crazy little voice in my head was helping me doubt myself. But after this race, after how easy it felt, after running the whole thing........I feel like my motivation is back. I feel like my passion about running has returned....and I haven't felt that in a long time!

I feel like I could run forever. I feel that by getting my breathing in step (2 breaths in and 3 breaths out), I can do whatever I want. My goal of running a marathon can definitely for sure become a reality. I woke up on Sunday morning with no plans to run, decided to go out for a mile run and ended up running 3 more miles! And I ran all 3 miles!! WHAT? WHO AM I?

I am a runner. That is who I am.

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