The Badlands…snuggling with bison



If you have never been to the Badlands I HIGHLY suggest you go!  I saw more wildlife in my first hour in the Badlands than I did during my several days in Glacier.  Prairie Dogs, Long Horn Sheep and Bison.  Let me tell ya, the wildlife here is abundant and they let you know that this is their home, NOT yours.  The animals were not aggressive by any means, but they sure aren’t going to make any accommodations for us mere human folk.  They roam this land the way they were intended to, freely.

I invite you to enjoy 244,000 acres of untouched wilderness.

The Badlands hold a very special place for me.  I ventured here eleven years ago on a pilgrimage of sorts.  I was searching for a spirituality that I could connect with in an intimate way.  I was reading the book, Black Elk Speaks, by John G. Neihardt.  This book tells the true story of a medicine man, Black Elk, from the Oglala Lakota (Sioux).blackelk

This book moved me and opened up my eyes and heart.  It was because of this book that I trekked out to the Badlands in late July/ early August of 2005.   I was traveling there so I could be alone in a sacred place.  I wanted to be in stillness and quiet, in a land untouched by man’s messy hand.

Well… funny thing about that trip in 2005 and the one this past August 2016…BOTH times I ended up on the road the same week as Sturgis!  Hahaha!  For those of you that do not know what Sturgis is, it is a motorcycle rally held in Sturgis, SD.  It is one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the world.  In 2005 the official attendance was over 525,000! So I was NOT alone on the road.  Hahahaha!  The motorcyclists were the nicest people I met on that 2005 trip.  They were kind, giving and helpful to a solo female traveler.  They even helped me with flat tire and made sure I made it to the auto shop safely!

I almost didn’t make it to the Badlands this go around.  I was traveling though Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Montana and Wyoming and I was tiiiiired!  But I stopped at Wall Drug one last time for a doughnut and a 5¢ cup of coffee.  I was sitting there sipping on my brew talking to myself in my head,  “Duuuuude Lori the entrance is right there, you have a national park pass and seriously you LOVE the Badlands.”  So I hopped in my car and drove south down Route 240 to the Pinnacles Entrance.  I was in and in love, again!!!

I pulled into the Badlands and was excited to spend a night in a National Park where I didn’t have to worry about grizzly bears, black bears or mountain lions.  I even joked that the only creature I’d have to worry about was a rogue prairie dog!  Suuuure the park is packed with bison but bison aren’t too interested in humans, they’re vegans after all 🙂  We are kindred spirits 😀  Compassionate eaters…lol!  I am one with my bison my peeps.

I found two horse posts (sans horses) where I rigged up my hammock.

Under stars and swaying in the wind

After rigging my hammock so it would be about a half foot off the ground, I decided to roam around and take some pictures and chat up a few other solo travelers.  I met Cody from Niagra Falls, Canada and Rob from Alberta, Canada, both traveling solo.  Cody was suppose to be working Burning Man as a paramedic but the officials couldn’t get his credentials verified in time so he decided to take a great American road trip anyways!  Rob is a Canadian that is currently residing in Southern California and just traveling every chance he gets.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE meeting inspiring, fearless and kind people on my travels.  The energy from these meetings are infectious!  The three of us sat around swapping travel stories and drank a few beers.  I only had two beers because I was super tired and if I had anymore than that I wouldn’t have been able to stay up to watch the meteor shower 😀  After a couple of hours I decided to hit the hay.

As I crawled into my hammock and snuggled into my sleeping bag, I couldn’t help but feel so darn HAPPY and CONTENT!  I had a met two very cool dudes (too young for me :/), watched an amazing sunset, seen falling stars all across the sky and now I was being swayed to sleep in my hammock by a nice breeze.  The moon and stars were my ceiling and the coyotes were singing me a lullaby.  It. Was. Perfect.

A few hours later I awoke to the loudest snorting and chewing I have ever heard in my life!  I suddenly awoke and thought to myself, “They (bison) must be close!”  I ever so carefully  pulled down the left side of my hammock and stared into a GIANT WALL OF BROWN.  I could see the giant wall of brown because the moon was very bright that night.  As my eyes followed the wall down they met an eye and a big mouth chewing on the tough grasses that blanket the landscape.  This bison was SIX inches from my head!  The only thing separating us was a skinny horse post.  I was so excited and in awe but was also crapping myself at the same time!  I laid still as a statue and tried not to make any noises or sudden movements as bison are spooked by those things and that is when they attack.  My heart was POUNDING out of my chest so much that I feared it may break through and I’d die!  All I could think of was, okay…this is it.  If I die at least it will be somewhere I love and doing something I love.  I am totally okay with that.  Three bison passed within 6 inches of my head in a single file line all stopping to graze right by my head.  What felt like 30 minutes was probably only 10 minutes but still dudes it was sooooo cool and nerve wracking at the same time.  I waited for a while after I heard the last one go by.  Cody then yelled out to me that they were gone but I didn’t believe him.  I laid there for another minute or two until he yelled out, “Lori, I swear they are all really gone.  They have moved on.”  Phhhhewwww!

Uh….Pleasure to meet you.  😀


My snuggle buddies for the night…!

He said they were so close to my head that even he was scared from a distance.  He walked up to me and we were both like, “Did that just really happen?!”  He was up late doing some time lapse photography and was I glad he was.  We chatted for a few minutes and then I went to sleep in my car for the next few hours.  Hahaha! CRAZINESS!!!

The Bad Lands are bad @ss, so bad @ss that the storm clouds are the craziest I have ever seen!



Soft billowy clouds on the horizon of The Bad Lands


Epic trip dudes!

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Get in your car and GO!


“Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfello

Keep on keepin’ on…

Sometimes decisions are hard.  I have had to make a few of them in the past couple of weeks.

Quotes About Moving Forward 0004-6 (8)
Dudes….sometimes ya just gotta let it alllllll GO!  And I mean let it GO!  I have fantasies about taking a hammer to my iPhone.  Like one day I wake up and instead of checking my email I just take a hammer and smash the heck out of it.  I have fantasies of having nothing but a land line.  I daydream about having the day to myself and not being tied to a rectangular box that makes me “feel” complete…waiting with bated breath while you can actually SEE someone texting you back in real time….the little dots doing the wave…you wait with anticipation…”What will they say???????”   Screw all of it.  The job, the arrogant people in your circle, the men who want their cake and to eat it too.  I just want to go, breathe and take in my surroundings.

Breathe….take it all in… and let it all out.  What will be will be.  Make mistakes, erase bad karma, be positive, learn, grow and just be yourself.  Do not apologize for you are good as long as you learn and grow from your mistakes.  Treat others well.  Take deep breaths.  LOVE LIKE NO OTHER.  Wear your heart on your sleeve.  Live in the moment but in the back of your mind be aware of the ripples of your actions.  Be the best person for yourself and the others involved in your life.  Say what you feel as long as you are not disrespectful.  Do not be afraid…. DO NOT BE AFRAID.  Love and love and love and love until…well forever.



“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



Vegan Part 1…why and how? New blog name?!

Hey folks!

I changed the name of my blog…not sure how I feel about it yet but any feedback is welcome.  I really liked a happier human but people have started to call me by my Facebook handle Wild Flowers Lori and I think I kinda like it.    As I sit typing I am eating a veggie hummus bowl from my favorite coffee shoppe!  Yep you guessed it, Erie Island Coffee 😀

Okay dudes (ladies and gents)… so on April 25th I decided that I wanted to go vegan again.   Again meaning I was vegan for a while when I lived in San Francisco.  I had already been vegetarian for a bit and after not too much time and thought I decided that I wanted to go vegan.  IT WAS SO EASY TO DO IN SAN FRANCISCO!!!! Almost every place is vegan friendly and you can find great variety of veggies and fruits ALL year long!  Plus people out there are totally accepting of your dietary choices. I could take “ribs” to a BBQ and no one even blinked an eye or grilled me with tons of questions.  Number one question here in Ohio is, “Where do you get your protein?”  California is pretty progressive when it comes to healthy living and I miss that sometimes when I am grocery shopping back here in the mid west.  I heart CLE though!  😀  I will say this though, I can go to ANY restaurant and find something to eat on the menu.  Even a steak house.  I am not preacher nor an “Eeew I can’t eat there” kind of gal!  We all make lifestyle choices that suit us.

photo courtesy of

When I was vegan living in California I was in the best shape of my life, my climbing progressed as did my swimming.  Mental clarity was DA BOMB!  I was never in a fog nor did I have days where I felt like I was dragging butt.  Sure I had days where I was tired from working myself too hard but normal days were AWESOME!   So I kept with it…until I moved back to Ohio.  Then it was just soooo hard to maintain.  Dairy is the basis of every food family and friend get together.  Appetizers, main dishes,  desserts, breakfasts etc.  It wasn’t long before I was eating my way through all of it.  I felt overloaded and defeated and bloated.  So I gave in for years,  4.5 years to be exact.  I tried to go vegan about a year ago and it wasn’t the right time for me I guess.  I was taking on a lot of things and being vegan wasn’t at the forefront of life.

There are a few different types of veganism.  Here is where I am at.  I don’t eat meat, dairy or eggs. I used to eat the eggs from my friend Ginger’s pet chickens but I don’t anymore.  For a while she was known as my “egg dealer” as I would slip her some cash in her pocket at work all incognito! Hahaha :p  I don’t buy leather goods whenever possible.  (A lot of tennis shoes have leather accents.  So if you know of any vegan running shoes let me know!)  I did not throw out any of my leather goods I already had.  I paid the money and will get my use out of them.  I am not going to beat myself up if I have a cannoli once in a blue moon from Gallucci’s Italian Foods and Market on E. 66th and Euclid.  I have been going here with my family since I was in diapers and somethings are sacred…like fresh filled cannoli’s.  (I will thank and pay homage to the animals before I eat it.)  I am not a crazy hard core vegan.  I know I will have slips and cave in at some point.  I am doing what I feel is the best thing for MY body, mind, soul and welfare of the animals.

The reason for this post is because as I emerge as a vegan people are asking questions.  They hear me ordering no dairy at a restaurant and want to know why.  So in following posts I will be talking about animal welfare, nutrition and cooking.  I am not a nutritionist.  My views, thoughts and ideas are mine and mine alone.  You should consult your physician before making any major dietary changes.

I hope you all have had a great week so far!  Tomorrow night my best friend Sara and I are going to a Cinco de Mayo (yes I know it’s a day late) wine tasting and food testing at a local health food store.  I am so excited as all the food featured will be vegan!

Let me know your thoughts and opinions about the blog name change and veganism!


“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow




Great weekend even if I’m not able to do the 1/2!

Hello beautiful people!

I had a really great weekend!  The weather was amazing, the conversations were insightful and I was able to spend all day Saturday with my niece Sydney 😀  Friday I had an appointment with Dr. Sean Cupp, an orthopedic physician.  We went over my symptoms and he ended up putting an air cast on my lower leg to stabilize the muscles and bones.  I have 4 weeks with the cast and four weeks of physical therapy.  The air cast isn’t all that bad but I am not allowed to do any “land cardio”, not even yoga for the next four weeks.  A bit of a bummer but at least I’m not in a boot or on crutches!  Whooooo hooooo!  But it also means no 1/2 marathon in the Grand Tetons.  By the time I am fully up and running again there will not be enough time to train properly for it.  So I will focus my efforts on the Tow Path 1/2 marathon in September/October!  So for now it is all about upper body and core.  Not super excited but hey, I did it to myself and I knew better than to go full throttle into the 1/2 training and over exert myself.  LESSON LEARNED!!!  Again…


Friday night one of my best friends and I got together for a delicious dinner at El Carnicero in Lakewood.



Lakewood has some amazing restaurants and slowly I am trying each one!  The menu was pretty diverse and the really nice thing is that it is NOT your run of the mill Mexican joint.  The food is fresh, unique and will challenge your taste buds in good way.  I started off with a house margarita (happy hour at the bar 4-7) and it was really good.  The margarita could have use a bit more salt around the rim but the drink itself was very scrumptious!  My friend Sara had tequila, straight, rough week at work!)  We both ordered the Wild Boar Nachos (mine were vegetarian of course) and the goat cheese guacamole. The nachos were pretty good but the goat cheese guacamole was insanely delicious.  Very heavy though and it sat heavy in my stomach well into the following morning.  It was a delectable night out!  The best part was that my friend of 29 years and I had a chance to just sit and talk and talk and talk!   We don’t get together as often as we’d like so when we do we make sure it is for good food and tasty drinks.

Saturday morning I awoke to warm sunny skies and so of course I headed down to the beach with coffee in hand to snap a few pics and meditate out on the rocks that extend well into the lake.  😀

I am sooo tall!

Ice covered 2/3’s of the rocks but I was able to find a nice sunny spot and just soaked up the warm sun, beautiful views and the sounds of birds chirping away.  It was perfect…

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I soon received a text from my brother inviting me to join him and his youngest Sydney for breakfast.  I was like, “Um yeah!”  So we discovered a “new to us” diner in Bay Village called Bay Diner.  The staff was friendly and the food was pretty darn good too.  A definite return spot.  😛  I asked Sydney if she wanted to spend the day with me and she said yeah!  She is the smartest 9 year old I know!  I call her Little Miss Regional Manager!  We spent the day doing little home improvement projects around my apartment.  We must have went to Home Depot and Lowe’s a 1/2 dozen times.  She helped me replace outlet covers, change out ceiling fan pull cords and find the right size screws for the drawer pulls I bought a while ago!  She was a great help!  We also went to Books a Million and I bought her a National Geographic Weird But True book.


It contains 300 weird but true random facts about humans, animals, insects and the planet.  Annnnnd since I am a lover of all random facts like she is, we finished the entire book in about 2 hours!  Then we re-read it to see if we could remember the ones in the beginning!  So fun dudes!!!  All in all it was a fantastic day!

Today so far has been pretty good too.  I met my friend Bill for coffee and breakfast and then I am on my way to a benefit for a co-worker who is fighting stage 2-3 colon cancer.  We are hoping for a great turnout for the spaghetti dinner!  She is a fabulous nurse and co-worker!

I hope you all have a fabulous Sunday!  Enjoy the sun my friends!


“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow





Monday funday: Give away & random facts about me…lol




Happy Monday…why do people say that?  I guess any day where you wake up is a good day, eh?  Today I am working a later shift so I am sitting at the cafe with a warm cup of coffee and a fire blazing just across from me.  So it is a wonderful Monday morning for me 🙂

I thought I would try to ease the Monday blues for you all and do a Monday funday kind of deal.  Random facts and what would you do kind of questions and a trivia question!  Coffee give away!  Coffee from Erie Island Coffee!  A one pound bag of their delicious Perry’s Brew whole bean coffee!  Perry’s Brew is an Italian roast, smooth, low acidity, low caffeine and has a hint of a dark chocolate flavor.  I will randomly select a winner on Friday!

At least this list may make you laugh or distract you from a crazy Monday 🙂  Please feel free to share random facts and anwers to the “what would you do’s” in the comments section 😀  I’d love to learn about you guys too!

10 random facts about me.

  1. I LOVE watching planes take off and land but I am afraid of flying.
  2. I want to go skydiving really bad!  (it’s just getting up in the air that’s the problem)
  3. I can eat peas when they are mixed in with other foods but not by themselves.
  4. I am a hair twirler and so are my two sisters.  (Our mom was really concerned about this when we were younger!)
  5. I have 2 screws in my left knee.
  6. I can drink hot coffee on a 11o° day and I love it!
  7. I have roadtripped across country several times solo.
  8. I wanted to make hard boiled eggs one time but couldn’t because forgot I owned pots and pans.  That is how much I DO NOT cook!  Lol…but I am slowly learning
  9. My right ear squeaks when I itch it.  We all itch our ears from time to time right?!  Right?!
  10. Eyebrows are the first thing I notice on someone.

Phew.. That was kind of tough to do!

5 What would you do’s?

  1. Where would you go for a week if money or transportation were not an issue?
    • I would go to Africa.
  2. What would you do if you found a bag with a ton of money and no one saw you pick it up?
    • Turn it in, wait 30 days and hope no one claims it then TRAVEL!!!
  3. Who is the one person with whom you would have lunch with if you could?
    • Jane Goodall and Michael J. Fox   (I know I picked two but they are both my heros!
  4.  What would you do if you had only one super power?!
    • I would be able to fly so I could go anywhere any time I want to!
  5. What would your dream job be?
    • Photographer/writer for National Geographic.

Trivia question:

  1.   In which US State had Sweden for a time a Colony? 


Hope this provided a little happy distraction from your hectic Monday!  Have a beautiful day wherever you may be!


“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow




Recovery and repair (shins and cars)…

Good morning everyone!  It is a beautiful crisp morning here in Cleveland.

I am currently writing as I am sitting at Conrad’s Tire Express & Total Car Care in North Olmsted.  I bought new tires yesterday and I didn’t know that they do more than just tires!?  The staff here is really friendly and helpful and as someone who doesn’t like to spend my day off taking care of car issues, their friendliness and generosity made the experience a more pleasant one. 🙂  After my tires were put on I ask the gentleman who was checking me out if he had a quick minute to listen to the rattling sound underneath my car that has been occurring for the past several months.  He, Randy, took the time to do that at the last minute and I was very grateful he did.  Last June I hit a set of railroad tracks a little to hard.  I wasn’t speeding!  The tracks are old and not evened out so it was really rough going over them.  Since then I always hear an annoying rattling sound whenever I hit even the tiniest of bumps.  So now they are checking it out and I hope it is nothing serious!  (update: just received the estimate new stabilizer links: $182!)  Oy vey!

Now for the shin splint up date.  It is not going well.  😦  Also I will be posting weekly updates as it is hard to post everyday at this point!)

I am really trying not to become discouraged and I am trying to focus on other areas of training but I have to say I am getting a little bored.  While driving to get my car checked out this morning I passed a few runners and my heart sank a little.  Recovery has always been my biggest problem.  I am not patient in that regard but I am working on it!  I was standing in Marshall’s yesterday and all of a sudden I felt a very sharp pain traveling up my shin.  It hurt like heck!!!  I have been rolling out my calves with a foam roller, doing stretches, wrapping it while I am work and wearing compression socks too.

Dudes….I just have to chill and come to terms with the recovery process.  Soooo hard.

In other training news I have decided to keep a food diary for training purposes.  I am not one who counts calories and obsesses over food in a diet kind of way.  I am doing it because I want to see what affects my body how.  Yesterday I was measuring my floors for area rugs and while I had the measuring tape out I took my measurements…winter has crept up and added a few inches to my body!!!  What the heck?!  Reality check!  Time to start seriously looking at what food I am putting down my gullet.

While I was waiting for my tires yesterday I strolled down to Half-Price Books.  I am not really a cook but really want to start attempting to be.  I have made a few delicious dishes but ask anyone in my family and they will tell some funny, ridiculous stories of my ineptitude in the kitchen.  An ex-boyfriend of mine once bought me a really nice pan for Christmas instead of a massage that I has asked for!  Hahahaha 😛

So I was perusing the cookbook aisle looking for a simple, easy, SMALL cookbook.  I am a vegetarian and 1/2 A** vegan so my options were a bit limited.  I also gave up processed added sugar January 1 so that means no sugary sweets.  None.

(Side note: since giving up sugar my energy level throughout the day has stayed on an even keel and I feel really good.  After a month I no longer crave or really think about sweets!)

My co-worker, Gail, who is a fabulous baker is working on a sugarless cake for me 🙂  (I am not promoting nor endorsing any kind of diet, just simply what works for me.  Do what makes you feel your best!)  Anyways, a small jam packed little cookbook caught my eye.

Kathy Patalsky

Kathy Patalsky wrote a very easy to understand cookbook!  It is not a preachy kind of cookbook.  A lot of the recipes are just a few ingredients which is really nice for someone like me who gets very intimidated at the grocery store :/ I always end up buying the same few items every time.  Bananas, oats, kale, apples etc.  She shares tips and ideas for what to stock in your pantry and some health tips too!  I am soooo going to try one of the recipes tomorrow!  Also check out her other website Finding Vegan!

It is a journey, an educational and humbling journey my friends!  But I love it 🙂

So that is where I am at this week.  🙂  Plugging along like the rest of you!  I will be going to see a musician tonight with a few friends of mine so I am excited about that!  I love live music in small settings!

Hope all of you are going to have a fun relaxing weekend!


“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow






Days 2 & 3 of 1/2 marathon training… ugh!



Good evening everyone!  Today was crazy busy at work so I am happy to be relaxing at Erie Island Coffee with a hot cup of decaf and the conversations of others in the background.  Aaahhhh!

So I yesterday was day 2 and it was a rest day.  I moved apartments last night so that took ALL my time after work! I will have a really pretty view now and can see clear down to the park!  While I was a work yesterday I went to squat down to pick something up off the floor and I felt an awful sharp pain shoot through the anterior medial (front middle) side of my shin.  I continued to feel the quick sharp pain sporadically through out the day.  I knew exactly what it was….SHIN SPLINTS!!!!  I have been running for about a week or two already and when I get that runner’s high I just can’t quit.  Not good as the experts suggest increasing you mileage by NO MORE THAN 10%.  I don’t listen very well sometimes so now I am paying the price.   Also, I will be the first to admit that I need to purchase new running shoes.  I thought the ones I had could get me by a little longer but apparently not.  So tonight and the next 6 days will be dedicated to TONS of stretching, yoga and biking.  I want to keep up the cardio and really need to be stretching like a mad woman Every. Single. Day.

I have never had shin splints before so this really is a set back and I don’t want it to be a mental one that derails me in the beginning of my training.

There are all sorts of YouTube videos about yoga for running.  I am not a personal trainer (yet) so I will not be suggesting any particular one.  There are plenty though!  🙂

Runner’s World has a great article all about shin splints and how to prevent and treat them.

shininjury (

So I will keep you updated on the progress of the crappy shin splints and tips I will be sure to be asking the physical therapists at the hospital where I work!  So for now it will be R.I.C.E

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

Along with yoga, biking and a foam roller too!  Foam rollers are great to work the kinks out of you muscles and help break up the fascia (a thin sheath of fibrous tissue enclosing a muscle or other organ.)

Wish me luck!

Good night my friends and I will talk with you tomorrow!


“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


1/2 marathon day 1….not bad ;)


Hey Folks!  May we first talk about the amazing weather we had in Cleveland today?!?!?!  It hit a high of 58 degrees, did you hear me?!  58!  This day one year ago I was moving into my place battling 3′ snow drifts.  Today people were running in shorts and a t-shirt! 😀

Okay okay… let me get back on track.  lol…

So I have been training for about a week now but I am using this as day one since it is the first day I am sharing it with you all.  But let me back up to yesterday.

Usually I like to run first thing in the morning.  Yep that’s right I am a morning person!  Don’t hate me… I know a lot of people find that to be incredibly annoying :/  Anyways, yesterday was beautiful too so I decided to let it warm up a bit and go running mid morning.  BIG MISTAKE man, big mistake.  I ate a decent breakfast and still had not digested it enough by the time I went on my run so therefore my 3.2 miles were totally crappy and seriously I had to walk/run.  Lesson learned!

Today however was my cross training day 😀  Here is what I did a a favorite local park with an amazing panoramic view of Lake Erie!

  1. Stairs at my local park carrying 5lb hand weights in each hand.  I climbed them straight up and sideways on both sides.
  2. Bicep curls, triceps lifts and front and side arms raises with the weights while climbing the stairs.
  3. Tricep dips, 3 sets of 12
  4. Forearm planks 3 sets at 30 seconds each.  (my upper body is like spaghetti right now.)
  5. Using a blue therapy band and placed it under the balls of my toes and stood about hip width apart.  I then criss-crossed the band in front of me and side stepped 12 steps to the left and then 12 steps to the right.  I repeated this 3 times on each side.
  6. Keeping the band in place under my feet I then did arm raises and arms pulls.
  7. 3 sets of 12 squats.
  8. Calf raises 3 sets of 12.
  9. Leg raises sitting down
  10. Leg raises standing and extending my leg out behind me at a slight angle.

Side note:  I get really bored lifting weights so I combined cardio and weight lifting!  Whoop Whoop Go ME!


My mom and I went out to breakfast in Lakewood at Borderline Cafe.  So delicious!  We split a muffin, a fruit bowl and a veggie omelette with hash browns and rye toast.  Seems like a lot but again, we split everything and even then couldn’t finish it all.

Post cross-training I had a protein smoothie.  I use Garden of Life Raw Protein vegan organic protein powder with vanilla.


I added unsweetened Almond milk, kale (minus the stems), a banana and strawberries.  I put everything in the blender and poured it into my 16oz. shaker bottle.  It tasted soooo delicious!

Later today my family gathered for my brothers birthday celebration!  My big brother turned 42!  Sometimes I cannot believe how fast time flies.  It seems like yesterday that we were all walking to elementary school in our freshly ironed uniforms!

Circa 1984?

It is a bit of a grainy photo but you get the gist.  😀

So at the party I had chips and dip (not a lot but maybe too many.)  I also had a black bean burger with baked beans and coleslaw.  I didn’t do too bad!  On the first of January I gave up sweets and a lot of processed sugar.  I cannot tell you how good I feel!  My energy level at work is consistent and the sugars highs and lows have ceased to exist!  It has been 31 ones days I don’t really ever crave sugar!  So needless to say I didn’t have any birthday cake or ice cream tonight.  Lori 1, sugar devil 0!

That concludes my “first day” of keeping myself accountable!  Like I said please share any tips you may have for my nutrition and training!

Tomorrow is a rest day as I will be working all day then moving apartments (within my building.)

See ya tomorrow!


“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



1/2 Marathon training..suggestions welcome!

photo from




Good morning everyone!

So today starts something very new for me that is exciting and a little scary!  I am starting to train for a 1/2 marathon and in doing so I will be posting updates to hold myself accountable for my progress.  I not only want to be accountable to myself but to you all as well!

And please, if any of you have advice for training let me know in the comments sections!  Advice is WELCOME!!!

My running story:

I have been a runner ever since elementary school at Sacred Heart of Jesus.  My dad and another fellow dad of a student coached our cross country team.  From that moment I was completely hooked.  I ran from elementary school through my senior year of high school.  My dad would train me me by driving along side me as I was running.  He was instrumental in my running.  I broke a few records and was excelling but then things came to a halt the summer before my sophomore of high school.  I cheered my freshman year much to my dad’s dismay.  He said more than once that I would ruin my knee cheer-leading but I loved it so much that I just ignored his warnings.  I was trying out for the cheer-leading squad the summer before my sophomore year and completely blew out my left knee.  Total reconstruction with screws and all holding my knee together.  It was a total blow to my athleticism.  Coming back after that was not easy.  I was used to being fast and now I was slow.  A friend’s mom used to call me rabbit and the one day she called me turtle… 😦  Eventually I rallied my spirits and ran track and cross- country again however my confidence never truly returned.  I had a really great coach Ms. Nolan.  I remember one day as we were running out on the track her telling me to leave the pack.  She knew I had what it took to break out and set the pace.  So I did.  But my confidence would fade again and I would stick with the group.  That is pretty much how I rounded out my high school running career.  Sad I know!  I even had a college recruiter call me.  But stupid me was so honest that when they mentioned my fasted mile time I told them I hadn’t run that in a couple of years!  Sometimes, as my dad says, I volunteer too much information.

My love of running never faded and over the years I have ran on and off.

A few years ago I trained with my friend Anna for the Towpath 1/2 marathon in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  We trained hard up until the week of the race.  That same week I went to register only to be turned away as it was SOLD OUT!  All my hard work and dedication….gone.  So I went with Anna and her boyfriend at the time, to cheer her on and congratulate her at the finish line.  I was sooo bummed but also excited to cheer on my friend!

Now I want to train right and eat right so I can run the Grand Teton 1/2 marathon in Jackson, WY!  Currently I am battling a little bout of shin splints.  So I am learning HOW to train and learning to slow down instead of doing too much too soon.  My sister’s friend Megan suggested that I blog about my progress and everything that goes with it.  So thanks to Megan for being the catalyst in this!  Also Megan is quite the runner herself so I may ask her to do a guest blog post so she can talk about her training 😀

So thanks in advance for all the support and advice!


“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow