Tag Archives | Running

Run Like Hell

Run Like Hell | kaileenelise.com

“Movement is the best form of medication. Anytime you move, it makes your brain sharper. It makes your mind sharper.”
(Conon McGregor)

There was a time when I took up running and I was always astonished by how much ground I could cover with my own two feet. Of course, many people have discovered this before me. Humanity has run, walked, and meandered all over… for all of time.

Yet, I was often surprised by how I could start in one place, go go go, and return to where I began. Running taught me to rely on myself, to trust my body, to listen to my intuition. Running was a mirror that revealed parts of me I never knew were there. Running became a time to let my thoughts tumble around in my mind. Sometimes the worst ones would shake out onto the pavement, leaving behind a therapeutic trail of sweat and bad ideas.

There were mornings when I hated running. My angry feet pounded the ground in a clear display of their disapproval. My lungs burned, my head ached, my feet bled. Each quarter mile was a struggle. But I had other experiences that made the hard runs worthwhile. Those magical mornings made me love running. My muscles were spring loaded and my lungs were balloons that lifted my whole body a few inches above the ground. I felt like I could go forever. On and on and on, my thoughts like tiny sparkling pebbles jingling beautifully in my mind.

I stopped running two years ago, a few months into my pregnancy. I dreamt of being one of those women who runs a half marathon at eight months pregnant, but that dream was better left on my pillow. As my belly grew, the physical discomforts of running outweighed the mental benefits. So I trusted my body, listened to my intuition, and started walking instead. I walked and walked and walked, my thoughts clattering around as I navigated our neighborhood. Walking became such an integral part of my pregnancy that on an especially hot summer afternoon, I walked 2 miles and gave birth exactly 12 hours later.

I dreamt of being one of those mamas who loads her baby into the jogging stroller and trains for her next big race. But I still have no desire to run, so I’m leaving that dream on my pillow for now. My baby and I walk and walk and walk through our neighborhood while my thoughts rattle around. Some of the worst ones still shake out like they did during my runs years ago. But I’ve noticed the best ideas bubble up to the surface more easily, maybe because I’m moving much slower these days.

These ideas of mine, the worst and best, the bad and good, the ugly and beautiful, need a new place to go. Instead of hitting the pavement, I am sitting down at my computer, but I am still running like hell. As I let my thoughts spill onto paper, I am reminded that writing is also a good mirror. It can feel scary and hard and leave marks and bruises, but the words can also pour out magically and effortlessly and answer questions I didn’t even know to ask.

Maybe I will look back someday and say, there was this time when I took up writing. Because I am astonished by how much ground I can cover with my thoughts and words. Of course, maybe people have known this truth before me. Humanity has written, rambled, and shared stories all over… for all of time.


Running + 10K Playlist

Running + 10K Playlist | kaileenelise.com - image via Death to the Stock Photo

Running is a road to self-awareness and reliance — you can push yourself to extremes
and learn the harsh reality of your physical and mental limitations
or coast quietly down a solitary path watching the earth spin beneath your feet.
(Doris Brown Heritage)

Hello, lovelies! I hope you are having a beautiful Saturday morning. My Mister and I are up early and driving out to Gruene, TX to run in a 10K. It’s his first race ever… and my first since having back surgery in 2012!

I started running again in earnest this February. Wearing a heart rate monitor on runs and my Fitbit every day has helped with my motivation. When I created my Thirty Before Thirty list, I knew I wanted to do some sort of race. I had a half-marathon in mind, but with everything on my plate that wasn’t realistic. A 10K is nothing to sneeze at, but it is less than half of a half-marathon… so doable from a training standpoint.

My favorite runs this summer were through Central Park in New York City and up the “Rocky Steps” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia. I’m packing my running gear for our trip to Europe next week, so maybe I’ll collect a few memories while we’re there!

Today I’m hoping to go out there and have fun. I made the following playlist to keep me entertained and inspired. It eases into things with slower tempo songs, then picks up with a mix of dance and hip hop. I think it’d be a good playlist for cleaning house too! It has plenty of “explicit” songs, so maybe don’t play this one around kids or elderly neighbors… because this lady needs a few hard-core tunes for motivation!!

Click here to listen to my 10K Playlist on Spotify:

Passion Pit – Moth’s Wings
The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition
Florence + The Machine – Swimming
Tove Lo – Stay High – Habits Remix
Ella Henderson – Ghost
Beyoncé – End Of Time
Kanye West – To The World
Becky G – Shower
Flo Rida – Good Feeling
Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass
Calvin Harris – I Need Your Love
Jessie J – Bang Bang
Pitbull – Fireball
OneRepublic – Love Runs Out
David Guetta – Bad (feat. Vassy) – Radio Edit
John Newman – Love Me Again
Icona Pop – I Love It
Robyn – Dancing On My Own
Lil Wayne – A Milli
Memphis Bleek – Like That

Image via Death to the Stock Photo

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Working It Out + Playlist

image :: Speeding past us.

Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal:
my strength lies solely in my tenacity.
(Louis Pasteur)

image :: Dappled Shade Savasana

The smallest goal achieved stands taller than the grandest intention.
Do whatever your heart leads you to do — but do it.
(Dan Zadra)

Working out regularly takes energy and stick-to-it-ness. It also takes some patience and understanding. Pursing any goal requires dedication, belief and grace. It’s impossible for every step we take to be toward our dreams. We sometimes take the long way. Detours offer scenery, new opportunities and the occasional dead end. I find that when I create systems and failsafes, there is less room for error. I might take a side road, but I have the tools to get back on track.

I’ve put a lot of focus on healthy choices and working out these past few weeks. Transitioning from the Whole Living Action Plan to regular everyday life has been a challenge. After cutting alcohol, caffeine, processed foods and added sugar out of my diet for a month, anything more than nothing feels like too much. Valentine’s Days, birthday celebrations and eating out have been forks in my road to wellness.

Three things help me get back on track: finding new sources of inspiration, getting to the root of what motivates me, and having compassion for myself. It’s a process, with a series of decisions that move me closer to and further from my goals each day. Intellectually, I know I won’t (and can’t expect myself to) make the best choices 100% of the time. Emotionally, it is hard not to beat myself for indulging in spoonfuls of icing, a huge serving of chips and salsa, or an extra glass of wine.

Overall, I am enjoying this experience. Like a challenging yoga class, I am working towards my edge. If I push myself too hard, there’s a chance I will falter. But it’s worth it. So incredibly worth it.

I’m working it out on all fronts these days — from meal planning and budgeting, to hitting the gym and deepening friendships. This is a motivating, action-inspiring playlist. It starts out with chill, yet upbeat tunes and moves into fast paced songs to get me going on my long runs. I’m trying something new for this playlist by sharing it on Grooveshark in addition to listing the songs.

Listen to my Working It Out playlist now, or follow the links to iTunes below.

image :: Working It Out Playlist

Tell Me (Clock Opera Remix) / Au Revoir Simone
Moth’s Wings / Passion Pit
Walking On a Dream / Empire of the Sun
Otis / Kanye West & JAY Z feat. Otis Redding
Good Feeling / Flo Rida
We Found Love / Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris
Marchin On / Timbaland feat. OneRepublic
Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) / Kelly Clarkson
Whip My Hair / Willow
Scream / Michael Jackson
Part of Me / Katy Perry
Down On Me / Jeremih & 50 Cent
Turn Me On / David Guetta & Nicki Minaj
Where Have You Been / Rihanna
Hit the Floor / Twista & Pitbull
6 Foot 7 Foot / Lil Wayne feat. Cory Gunz
Power / Kanye West
Coming Home / Diddy – Dirty Money & Skylar Grey

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Image Credit:
Speeding past us. + Dappled Shade Savasana via lululemon athletica


A Weekend Recap

{ Image :: Untitled }

Energy and persistence conquer all things.
(Benjamin Franklin)

Hello lovelies! How was your weekend?

Mine was quite wonderful. On Saturday, my friend and I drove 2 hours to our nearest Ikea. I picked up a few goodies including some picture frames and Christmas ornaments. I also had my eye on this NYC print, but I couldn’t think of where it could go in our apartment.

We stopped at a great outlet mall on the way home, where I found the cutest Kate Spade sunglasses (at a huge discount)! Saturday night my Mister and I stayed in, enjoyed some veggie chili, and relaxed on the couch. I painted my nails — Holly by Zoya on my toes and Milky Way by Essie on my fingers.

I’ve been trying to get myself in the habit of waking up early, so on Sunday I set my alarm for 5:00 am. It was a quiet and peaceful morning spent sipping tea and reading. Something I don’t do too often, but oh what a treat!

Yesterday I also ran a 5K with some friends. I figured it would be nice to run through some local neighborhoods, especially since the leaves are so beautiful this time of year. I haven’t trained seriously in months, so the race turned into a bit of a reality check. I have some work to do before signing up for my next half marathon!

Last night I sat down with my Filofax and November goals for a quick check-in. Can you believe that this month is nearly 1/2 over?! As I mentioned in my Intentions for November post, it’s been awhile since I really focused on achieving the goals I set for myself. While I’m not on track for everything, I have made some nice progress:

  • Blog 5 times a week :: Week 1 – success! Week 2, just 2 posts. Week 3, working on getting back in gear.
  • Try 2 new recipes :: Done and done. I’ve already tried 3 new recipes already this month.
  • Workout 5 times each week ::  Not quite, but I’m working on this too. I’m on a 2 day streak with yesterday’s 5K and an easy 2 mi run this morning.
  • Run 2 races :: 5K complete. Now it’s time to get some good training in before the 8K on Thanksgiving.
  • Finish reading A Place of Yes and Loving Frank :: I finished Loving Frank yesterday, so I’m half way there!
  • Finish Christmas cards :: Still on the hunt for these. I really want to work on these over Thanksgiving weekend, so hopefully I’ll make a decision soon.
  • Plan gifts for family & friends :: Making significant progress! I ordered some great gifts from DAVIDsTEA and Sephora last night.

I’m hoping to follow up this great weekend with a lovely week. What about you, my friends? Did you have a nice weekend? What are you looking forward to this week?

Image Credit: Untitled via Always Bë Cool


Intentions for November

 Image :: [101]  there is a river made of light
Begin somewhere. You cannot build a reputation on what you intend to do.
(Liz Smith)

Hello friends. Thank you the sweet welcome yesterday. It feels good to be back!

Do you set goals for each new month?

It’s something I like to do — and it seems to be very popular across the blogosphere. However, my personal goals have been nothing more than good intentions recently.

My aim for November is to truly dedicate myself to the goals I’ve set. They are a bit ambitious, but I know I can achieve them with some extra focus and enthusiasm.

  • Blog 5 times a week
  • Try 2 new recipes
  • Workout 5 times each week
  • Run 2 races: 5K next weekend & 8K on Thanksgiving
  • Finish reading A Place of Yes and Loving Frank
  • Finish Christmas cards
  • Plan gifts for family & friends

And you? I would love to know more about your goals for November, and if you have any tips for goal-setting success!

Image Credit: [101] there is a river made of light. via Stephen Brace

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Half Marathon Playlist

Running Shoes

If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now.
Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it.
(Priscilla Welch)

For the last three months, I have been in search of fun pump-up songs. Through my half marathon training, I collected upbeat pop tunes and dirty hip hop jams. The night before my big run I sat down for one last time, perfecting the order and making sure I didn’t have any songs I would want to skip.

My training and resolve to achieve my goal kept me going, but listening to this playlist kept a smile on my face. In fact, one of my friends who came out to cheer said he saw me rocking out at one point during the race. I am sure that was a sight!

If you are a runner who likes having a rockin’ work out playlist, or if you want to shake your booty & whip your hair back ‘n forth, I’m sure you will love this mix as much as I do!

Half Marathon Playlist

I Need a Doctor (feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey) / Dr. Dre
Show Me What You Got / Jay-Z
Hello Good Morning / Diddy – Dirty Money & T.I
Breathe, Stretch, Shake / Mase
The Show Goes On / Lupe Fiasco
Young Forever (feat. Mr. Hudson) / Jay-Z
Amazing (feat. Young Jeezy) / Kanye West
Oh Timbaland / Timbaland
Hello (Single Edit) / Martin Solveig & Dragonette
E.T. (feat. Kanye West) / Katy Perry
Right Round / Flo Rida
OMG (feat. will.i.am) / Usher
Gettin’ Over You (feat. Fergie & LMFAO) / David Guetta & Chris Willis
Won’t Back Down (feat. P!nk) / Eminem
6 Foot 7 Foot (feat. Cory Gunz) / Lil Wayne
Toxic / Britney Spears
Missing You / The Black Eyed Peas
Like a G6 / Far East Movement, The Cataracs & Dev
Check It Out / will.i.am & Nicki Minaj
Power / Kanye West
Outta Your Mind / Lil Jon & LMFAO
Raining Men / Rihanna & Nicki Minaj
Black and Yellow / Wiz Khalifa
Move Shake Drop Remix / DJ Laz, Flo Rida & Casely
I’m Back (Bonus Track) / T.I.
Rock That Body / The Black Eyed Peas
Whip My Hair / Willow
Hit the Floor (Featuring Pitbull) / Twista
Shake Your Pom Pom / Missy Elliott
The New Workout Plan / Kanye West
SOS (Rescue Me) / Rihanna
Hit the Lights (feat. Lil Wayne) / Jay Sean
Jesus Walks / Kanye West
Cinderella Man / Eminem
Imma Be / Black Eyed Peas
Monster / Kanye West, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj & Bon Iver
Till the World Ends / Britney Spears
Blow / Ke$ha
Live Your Life (feat. Rihanna) / T.I.
Stronger / Kanye West

*All links lead to iTunes

Image Credit: Day 240 by Perfecto Insecto


Mission Accomplished

kaileenelise half marathon

The big secret in life is that there is no big secret.
Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.
(Oprah Winfrey)

It’s been eight days since I ran my first half marathon. After three months and over 140 miles of training, I completed 13.1 miles in under 2.5 hours. All those numbers mean something, but the sense of accomplishment that overwhelmed me at the finish line is something I will hold onto for much longer.

The day before the race, my Mister and I drove out to the beach and went straight to the expo. Once I got all checked in, we dropped our bags off at the hotel and headed to a bar for a little NCAA basketball (must keep my Mister happy).

Our room had a mini kitchen, so we picked up groceries for the night instead of going out. A few of my coworkers had reservations, but I was feeling anxious and tired. The decision to cook “at home” proved to be a smart move. Preparing dinner calmed me.

I kept telling myself that I was ready, over and over again. I knew I was ready.

Before going to bed, I laid out everything I would need in the morning. The race started at 6:38 am, my alarm rang at 4:30. I woke up feeling like I had taken a nap.

We took a shuttle to the start and stood around in the dark for awhile. I instinctively began shaking out my arms and legs like I did before every race when I swam. It was a familiar feeling, but one I hadn’t felt for years. I started to get excited and before I knew it, I was on my way — running longer than I ever had, achieving a goal I set months before.

The course was fun and interesting. You can watch a video of it here if you’re curious. The weather was brisk, but the sun was out. We ran across two bridges and through a gated community with beautiful homes. There were people cheering the whole way through and my Mister caught up with me three times, giving me extra bursts of energy.

I held a much quicker pace than I was planning — thanks to adrenaline, endorphins and excitement. Having a rockin’ playlist also kept me motivated. As I reached mile 12, I felt strong and excited to finish. I picked up my pace and nearly burst with delight when I came around the last turn. The announcer pronounced my name correctly (a small victory) as I finished 13.1 miles in the same time it took me to run 12 two weeks prior.

This whole experience has taught me a lesson I know I’ve learned before — setting, working towards and accomplishing goals feels remarkably good. There might not be anything more satisfying.


Image via my Mister


Count to Ten

hang and hide

Rest is not idleness,
and to lie sometimes on the grass
under trees on a summer’s day,
listening to the murmur of the water,
or watching the clouds float across the sky,
is by no means a waste of time.
(J. Lubbock)

Hello my sweet friends!

I’m thinking of you and missing our time together. Tonight I spent a few moments browsing blogs and pinning inspirations. It felt great to do a little catch up.

My first 1/2 marathon is just 5 days & 7 hours away. Oh, and my 26th birthday is a mere 15 days around the corner!

I underestimated the time and energy running required. Now that training is nearly complete, I’m starting to evaluate my intentions for carrying this momentum forward.

One thing is for sure. I’m in need of some re-prioritization. I feel the pull back to blogging. I hope to return to daily posts and frequent community interaction soon.

In the meantime, bear with me and count to ten.
I promise to come out of my hiding soon!


Image via WeHeartIt


Creative Weekend To-Do List

news from your bed

Creativity represents a miraculous coming together
of the uninhibited energy of the child with its apparent opposite and enemy,
the sense of order imposed on the disciplined adult intelligence.
(Norman Podhoretz)

It’s overcast and rainy in Raleigh, but the weekend ahead promises sunshine and creative times. After a week full of meetings and important agenda items, I am looking forward to leaving work at the office and spending time with my other priorities.

I truly appreciate the love and support some of you shared in response to my Life in Progress post. It means so much to know that you’re here with me on this journey.

Before diving into my Creative Weekend To-Do List, I wanted to let you know about tomorrow’s very exciting post!

Earlier this week, I interviewed the delightful Mary Anne Radmacher. I’ll be sharing her responses and giving two lucky readers a chance to win her latest book, Live with Intention. The book is really inspiring and I am  honored to share it with you.

My plans for this weekend include 1/2 marathon training and plenty of creative to-do’s! I hope the following list inspires you to create an extraordinarily joyful weekend of your own. If you’d like, please share your plans in the comments below!

enjoy a dinner out with friends
discover a new favorite tea
explore Lululemon for new workout clothes
run like the wind, for ten miles straight
rest and recover with a spa party for one
build new playlists for relaxing & running
cultivate a sense of personal style
sleep in on Sunday morning
brighten a best friend’s day
sip a raspberry latte and read this


Image Credit: News From Your Bed via WeHeartIt


Seven Years

soak up sunshine

Life is not easy for any of us,
but what of that?
We must have perseverance.
(Marie Curie)

She writes in a pretty red notebook with red painted nails. Sipping mint tea next to her Mister, lovingly tinkering with her MacBook Air. Her cheeks grow red in the warm sunshine.

A few days ago she ran 10 miles, nearly. There was a point when she stopped to walk. A few points, actually. Towards the very end when her body was tired. I don’t know what she was thinking about, but it seemed like she was trying to be fair. Trying to be kind. Trying to be sweet to her body.

That body has given her so much, a point she rarely acknowledges. That body taught her so many lessons. It helped get her a swimming scholarship to a Division I school. It took her around the nation. It introduced her to teachers, mentors, coaches and friends. It was there for her.

Sure, dedication and drive played a part. In fact, they were key ingredients and they are used to the limelight. They get all the credit. But, even when drive and dedication falter, her body is still with her. Her breath still expands her lungs. Her veins pump warmth throughout her body. Her heart beats, giving her courage.

She turned her back on that glorious body seven years ago. When she hung up her cap and googles, she unplugged the deepest connection she had ever felt. From time to time since, she has practiced yoga. Connected in waves, in pieces. Moments on the mat, in the silence and stillness of savasana.

After seven years she is patiently reconnecting. Recognizing her body’s knowledge. Its importance. Its love and unwavering faith in her. She is living in gratitude. Keeping focused on the greater meaning and the minuscule details. She is honoring her body, being patient with it. Giving it another seven years to catch up.


Image Credit: Soak Up Sunshine via WeHeartIt


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