Doctor’s Orders

I know I’ve already written that my Ortho Surgeon(yes I have one of those, but don’t be jealous, I wish I didn’t) told me no more running for a few days, but the amazing part is that I’ve followed through!  It’s not that I’m a terrible listener,though I do have a rather lame memory, it’s just so hard to Not run!  I guess non-runner’s won’t get it, but if you are a runner (and if you’re reading this I’m assuming you probably are to some degree) then you do right!?!?  I’m not crazy?

Most of last week I was visiting my Bro in GA and didn’t have normal exercise sessions anyway, so it wasn’t too hard to play frisbee or something instead of run.  But until next Friday I’m chilling at home(beautiful east TN), where some of my absolute favorite running paths are (sigh).  So far Sunday down, only 4 more days to go…..

What a good looking companion right?

What a good looking companion right?

Good thing I have my lovely pooch at home to take on walks!  She’s almost 11 years old and has arthritis in her back legs so running is out of the question for her.  She trots along just fine at a walking pace but anything more is a no-no.  She even takes the exact same Glucosamine pills I do! Twinners!  Dogs really are best friends lol!  Without her I’d be way too tempted to break into a jog, so thank you Shmiles! (her name is actually Riley but my way is more fun 🙂

Cooling off inside under the fan

Cooling off inside under the fan

Have you ever been limited by an injury?  Granted mine is chronic and quickly developing into arthritis itself (see told you not to be jealous) but it’s not easy giving up something that you love.  This summer will be a great time to find some new activities to love though….I’m  thinking spinning…or boxing…ideas?

Also don’t forget today is the last day to enter my Run Now wristband giveaway!  It ends tonight at midnight and I’ll be announcing the 4 winners Monday!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

-Theodore Roosevelt

Georgia on my Mind

I’m in Georgia y’all!! Home, sweet home…well kinda.  I haven’t been very good about writing this week but I’ve got a good reason I promise!  I got to spend a few days with my Older Bro and his fiance in Augusta and we had so much fun!  Before I get into my mini vaca though, I finally had my knee appointment with my Ortho Surgeon…dun, Dun DUN!

I got a cortisone steroid shot(not as painful as I thought it would be) and and am under a strict “no-running” policy for the next little bit to give my knee a break.  But I’ll be darned if I’m sidelined completely!  Sounds like it’ll be a great week to focus on strength training and flexibility(2 things I usually let slide sometimes oops).

So here’s my past week in a few snapshots…it went a little like this….

It’s a full house with ppl and kitty’s(a 1-1 ratio seriously, call my brother the crazy cat man lol j/k) this week, but can you really feel crowded when surrounded by faces like these?…..I don’t think so…..

Pretty Kitty :)

my TK baby

When I have free time, I attempt to learn new hairstyles.  Seeing as how my usual “do” is a ponytail or in a headband, I definitely need the help looking cute lol.

I play with my hair in my free time

Finally mastered the topknot sock bun!

Oh man, the boys were obsessed with this video game for like 2 straight days!!!  Thankfully my bestie was around this week so I wasn’t stuck inside with them!

What Tues. looked like.....all day ugh :(

What Tues. looked like…..all day ugh 😦

My girl and I did a little retail therapy, my entire day was made when I found this bad boy.  I really don’t know how anyone could possibly drink a full cup from this, but I’m kinda excited to try 🙂

Think it's big enough?

Think it’s big enough?

So yea…I had a blast being able to finally spend some time with my bestest Bro!  I don’t get to see him often so we always do it up big when we do(minus the day of video games, gag me! lol)  We also played a little ultimate frisbee, grabbed lunch at my favorite spot, and caught up on our lives.  Great week and I’m sorry to leave tomorrow, but TN is calling and it’s time to get ready for the big move to KY!

Adventures of Manda and Mr Howie

So this past week, sans running my mileage took a hit and I didn’t quite make it to my goal of 60miles this month 😦 So sad.  BUT I did get 52 so I’ll call it a pretty good month of miles!

Also don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a Run Now wristband, only one more day so hurry over there!!


“Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

-Joshua J. Marine

“So What” Wednesday

Today I’m linking up with Shannon over at Life After I “Dew” for her So What Wednesday’s.  I’ve been doing a lot of traveling this week so my regular posts just aren’t getting typed in a timely fashion right now lol.  Oh well family first right!

So What Wednesday

So this week I’m saying “So What” to:

-If I eat an extra slice of my brother’s birthday cake (it comes but once a year)

-If I choose extra cuddle time instead of getting to bed at a decent hour.

-If I stay in my pajamas for an entire day this week (just one day can’t hurt)

-If I get slightly annoyed that all the boys wanna do is play video games all day (it’s really not all that unreasonable of a request is it?)

-If I don’t go to that high school meet-up in town (aren’t we beyond that yet?)

-If I take the extra scenic route on my drive home (Sometimes a girl just needs some solitude and an open road).

Life is all about the little choices, but what fun is it if you can’t enjoy yourself?  The important thing is not to let a lazy day become a lazy weekend, week, month, etc.  Accountability people, ya gotta remain accountable for your actions.  If I want that extra slice of cake, I can go an extra mile or two that day, it’s all about the checks and balances of your day-to-day life. (At least that’s what I tell myself so I can have some cake 🙂

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a Run Now wristband to support One Fund Boston, only a few days left to win!  What are You saying “So What” to this week?


“Success each day should be judged by the seeds sown, not the harvest reaped.”

-John C. Maxwell

My Very First Giveaway: Run Now wristband

Moving Day is upon me! It’s time to move on from New England back South-ward to start a new chapter in my life. Grad School!!!  It’ll be a new set of challenges and experiences but I couldn’t be more excited!

The view from the passenger seat for 13hrs!

The view from the passenger seat for 13hrs!

So in honor of moving away from the great city of Boston, I want to share as much Boston love as I can before I go! Drumroll Please………. It’s my very first giveaway YAY!  I got these awesome Run Now bracelets to support One Fund Boston (they’ve raised something like 54 million bucks WHAT!)  The past year of living here has been wonderful.  Every time I go into Boston I find another reason to love it. I’m not a city girl, but I really do think Boston is the greatest city in the world!  Don’t you agree? That being said  I’ve got 4 Run Now bracelets to give to you! IMG_0410 Wouldn’t you love to run with one of these bad boys on your wrist? IMG_0412 I know I love mine! It’s also a great boost of motivation to keep pushing, run for those who can’t anymore, run for  reason.  All proceeds from theses bracelets went to One Fund Boston, which I’m sure by now everyone’s heard of it, but in case you haven’t.  One Fund Boston was the organization set up in the wake of the tragic marathon bombing on April 15th to help the victims and families.  Theres been an absolute outpouring of support from allover the country and like I said before they’ve raised somewhere around 54 million bucks!

So here’s you chance to have your very own Run Now bracelet.  Bare with me since it’s my first giveaway, but I’ve already got the bracelets(and a little surprise) packed in their envelops and ready to be mailed to you! All I need are some winners!

To enter: click over to a Rafflecopter giveaway

1. You MUST leave a comment below.  Tell me what this bracelet would mean to you to where it.  (Bonus points if you’ve already donated to One Fund Boston!)

2. Follow my blog!  Blonder Side of Life. (optional so no pressure 🙂

3. Follow BlonderSide on twitter! (also optional, bonus points for tweeting about the giveaway!)

This giveaway will run through the weekend and end Sunday night.  I’ll announce the 4 winners on Monday!!  Good luck!


“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible!”

-Audrey Hepburn

Summer Bucket List

Remember my affinity for Lists?  Well here’s another one for ya… Summer Bucket List!!  Now I’ve got a completely separate Bucket List for my life but this one is specific to this summer.  I’m headed off to KY for grad school in the next couple of weeks and life is so exciting right now.  It’s the feeling that anything is possible and the whole world is open for me.  I haven’t felt that in awhile so it’s nice to welcome it back 🙂

1: Finally make it to the Cape

-I can actually cross this one off already!  The other day a friend and I drove up to the Cape and got in a good 3 miles right along the water.  I’m sure y’all have heard of the Falmouth road race yea?  Well it’s super popular and difficult race that has a lottery entry system.  I didn’t put my name in this year but after driving most of the course and running part of it, this race definitely made by Racing wish-list.  I mean who wouldn’t wanna race by scenes like this?


2: Find/join a running club in Lexington! (p.s. anyone know a good one/are in one drop me a line!)

-I’ve always wanted to join a run club, but always used the “I don’t have enough time” excuse.  Lame, I know, so no more of that!  Once I get all moved to KY I want to finally take the plunge and hopefully make some wonderful and fun run buddies!

3: Find a kickboxing studio.  I’ve done informal boxing training with my clients and in my own training but I’ve never taken a full class.  It’s something that I really enjoy besides running, and it doesn’t hurt that it’ll help if, God forbid I’m ever in a bad situation and need to defend myself.  Plus it just plain makes me feel like a badass!

4: Get to the lake and the mountains!  Tom morning I’ll be moving back South to KY for grad school, but that doesn’t mean my summer ends early so I’ve still got some fun things planned for my new home.  The best way to explore and get to know a new place is to get out and explore it I say!

Adventures of Manda and Mr Howie

I can’t believe June is almost over!  Goodness, where did the time go?  This last week was a great one for miles, I’ve finished 40/30!  So I’ve passed my 30 in 30 challenge but if you remember I gave myself a personal goal of 60, so 20 more to go this next week.  It’s a tall order but I think I’m up for it!


“The longer you wait for the future the shorter it will be”


Georgia Games 5k Throwback

Time for another throwback!  This one I haven’t actually blogged about anywhere so it’s brand new to the all corners of the inter-web!  So for the past two summers I’ve worked as a Personal Trainer at a weight loss camp for kids and both summers I’ve done a Run Club with the kids(strictly volunteer based).


I got a great turn-out both summers and signed a few of the willing kids up for a couple of races throughout the summer.  I obviously love running and so I wanted to introduce the kids to racing and the competition/accomplishment that comes with it.  The first 2 races last summer I ran with a camper to help pace and push them but the last race, the 2012 Georgia Games,I ran on my own against a fellow co-worker.  What a great race it was too!  Since it was right in ATL there were a lot of participants(not the biggest race I’ve been in but pretty big).


It was a tough course, lots of hills but after a summer of running around playing camp games my cardio was in the best shape it’s ever been so I felt good throughout the course.  There was a group of guys I was running with almost the whole way and at the end we all high-fived each other lol! Gotta love the racing community right!


So my co-worker finished first in his age group and 3rd male overall, what a beast!  I also won my age group and took 4th female overall! Eeek!!! That’s by far the best I’ve ever done…EVER!  Yea I was stoked!  It was probably the biggest high I’ve gotten froma  race, of course it definitely helped that I had an audience of about 30 campers that were all cheering for me 🙂


We’re #1

P.S. how about a few crossed fingers out there for my Boston Bruins, who are gonna need a little extra lovin to win game 4 of the Stanley Cup Series this weekend!!! Whoo!!


“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”

-Neale Donald Walsch

Sunday in the City

One of my last goals before I leave Mass was to go into Boston one last time.  Mission accomplished as of yesterday!  There’s something about Boston that just makes me feel at home, it’s got this pull over me and I never turn down an opportunity to go.  I’ve never been a city girl but Boston to me is hands down the greatest city in the Nation(possibly the World but I’ve never traveled outside the US besides Canada so I’m not prepared to make such a grandiose statement yet)


It was such a beautiful and perfect day for such an outing too!  Since I couldn’t be with my Padre and family to celebrate Father’s Day, Boston was the next best thing.  We walked down by the harbor then headed south into the city to Copley Plaza and Boylston street.  Now for those of you who don’t know, Boylston street is where the finish line of the Boston Marathon is……


Ever since that fateful day, I’ve wanted to be able to go and pay my respects.  Today I got that chance.  There’s still so much emotion in the entire city but especially this street/area.  They still had quite a few of the mementos and tokens left, set up in a memorial section.  But also almost every building had a Boston Strong or the blue and gold ribbon in the windows.


Boston certainly does have its pride, and after living so close to it this past year, and really falling in love with the people and places, I’ve come to have a certain pride about it as well.  I’ve always been a sports fan(mostly college, go Vols!) but hockey is quickly growing on me.  I’ve become quite the Bruins fan so I loved that statues all had Bruins jerseys on!  Seriously the coolest thing to see.


Finally, after about 5hrs of walking and however many miles, we ended the day with some Wicked Good Cupcakes.  Admittedly not the best cupcake I’ve ever had, but that didn’t stop me from eating the whole thing lol.  Work hard, play hard right?


So now on to my goals for this week!

Operation Skinny Jeans

1.Get out and moving at least an hour every day!  I currently am on a ban from running(Ortho appt next monday) so I need to make sure I don’t slack and still get my booty in gear out walking!

2. Pack, pack, pack!  I leave Saturday morning bright and early for the long trek South and I have yet to pack a single item, Yikes!

3. I’m currently studying for my NASM weight loss specialist certification(I’m already a CPT) and I’d like to get through chapter 8 by Sat.  I’ve been stuck on ch. 4 over the weekend.

So there ya have it, a perfect Sunday followed by my goals (fingers crossed I get them all done) for the week.  I’m so excited to start this new chapter in my life but I can’t let things fall through the cracks before it even starts!


“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something.  But I can’t accept not trying.”

-Michael Jordan

Exploring We Will Go

Happy Father’s Day to all you Dad’s out there!  I’ve got the very BEST Padre a girl could ever ask for!  Love ya Pops!

One of our many trips together

One of our many trips together, we’re hardly ever serious lol

Wanna know the best part of having a break from work?(besides sleeping in past 5am of course)…..having the time to do/explore all the things/places I’ve wanted to since I moved to New England but never had the time!  Of course since most normal people DO have a job, I do most of this exploration of mine on my own.  But if there’s one thing I’ve learned since moving to a completely new area of the U.S. on my own, not knowing a soul, it’s to be more independent and not afraid to do things on my own!

Anyway, this weekend I went on a 5mile run on bike trail in Rhode Island I’ve been dying to check out since like last November when a client told me about it.  Goodness, I coudl go back every day it was soooo pretty!  And it seriously goes for miles all over the state, right by the water in most places!  I really wanted to make it to the state line, but it was 9 miles from where I parked so not in my physical ability just yet(summer goal?)

Such a pretty bikeway

Such a pretty bikeway

I then stopped off at a bagel and coffee shop I’ve hard tons about called Bagels and Cream.  Wonderful recommendation, minus the Dragon Lady who maned the cash register.  I almost left she was so mean to me!  But the bagels were delightful, crisp on the outside, soft on the inside!  I’m not a coffee person but they had like 20+ different flavor combos to choose from!

Flowers are blooming!

Flowers are blooming!

I then ate back all the calories I’d burned from my run in the form of ice cream (my weakness)  I’ve mentioned all the ice cream stands in this area and my personal goal of trying each and every one of them this summer.  Well I can knock another off my list!  I do’t know how smart that was to do right after a run but I did it anyway 🙂

Chocolate Walnut, yum :)

Chocolate Walnut, yum 🙂

I’m up to 20/30 miles for June so far!  This week was a really rainy one so I only got out 3 times as opposed to my goal of 6 but I’ll take it.  I’ve got one more week off in Mass before I move to KY so I’ve still got time to do my exploring and get in 10 more miles!(why not shoot for 60miles this month?)

Adventures of Manda and Mr HowieKels=)

“Don’t be afraid of your fears.  They’re not there to scare you, but to let you know something is worth it.”

-JoyBell C.

Run for Your Lunch 5.5k Throwback

Time for another Thursday (yea I’m posting on  Friday, Thursday just got away from me)Throwbackrace recap!  There are still quite a few races I’ve run before starting this blog so I’m trying to slowly add them all on here.  This one was called Run for Your Lunch 5.5k that benefited the local soup kitchen in my area.  Enjoy!

Well the day dawned nice and bright! The sun was out the birds were singing…..well ok no birds yet but the sun was out.  It was one of those days that when you look outside you think it’s going to be nice and warm but then go outside and get hit in the face with 20 degree weather 😦

Anyway, I woke up and had a nice Pumpkin Muffin for breakfast.  Caught up on the Revenge series and watched the clock tick closer and closer to race time!  P.S. my nerves also got bigger and bigger, I have yet to master the ability to not be nervous for races lol.

Look, it’s from the About Me page!

I havtea tell you, for the part of the country I’m in, the running conditions for January were perfect.  53 degrees and sunny!  Of course it was also very….very windy so therefore still freezing for me but still, beggars can’t be choosers 🙂

The lunch I ran for…it’s clam chowder!

So I had a goal to finish in under 30min and I literally crossed the wire at 30min exactly lol.  Goal met!  There was also this dude in front of my for the whole 3.5miles and I made an “in-race” goal to beat him….which I did! Boom goal two: check!  I didn’t end up medaling in my age group (I placed 4th) but I did my absolute best today so there’s really not more I could ask for 🙂

My knee felt like it wanted to explode for most of the race which is pretty unusual, after mile one the pain usually goes away so I’ll keep an eye on it.  All in all it was a wonderful day and I’m so excited to have gotten back out there and started off the first race of the year on a good note!  Countdown 3 weeks till the next one! (side note: the Feb race I’m referring to was canceled due to winter weather conditions)


“The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for”

-Allan K Chalmers

Summer Kick-off Virtual 5k

Oh wow, my summer kick-off 5k did not go as planned at all… at all….lol  My last day of work before I move was last Friday so as an entire “kick-back and enjoy your summer” weekend I planned on running my 5k put on by Kristine at Heart Shaped Sweat!  I imagined sunshine-y days, nice cool breezes, birds chirping as I ran along my favorite path…….Yea Mother Nature had other plans for me…..I got this all weekend instead…..Rain, rain, and more rain mixed with fierce wind lol

Took this on the porch so it didn't get drenched by the rain

Took this on the porch so it didn’t get drenched by the rain

Not exactly ideal racing weather….But I put on my big girl panties and went out into the rain and ran a pretty decent time considering. (Sorry for the lack of pictures but I didn’t want to get my pretty little iphone wet.)  So I’m happy with the results, despite the rain it did kick off my summer racing season.  So thank you Kristine for coming up with this idea, I love being able to connect with others over something I love so much!  Let’s do another soon 🙂

Nike shoes with Under Armour laces (I'm a rebel)

Nike shoes with Under Armour laces (I’m a rebel)

On another happy note, I finally got my new running shoes!!  I never thought I was that picky but it took me like 2 weeks to finally settle on a pair that I loved.  The Nike Free 2.  I’ve still got my eye on a pair of Brooks for longer distances but these’ll do for my shorter runs.  I’ve got some time before I build back up my mileage, summer is always when I get to my highest mileage.  There’s nothing I love more then a nice hot day spent running outside.  Well maybe ice cream, so it’s a good thing for me the two seasons correlate so well 😀


P.S. I’m totally typing this while I catch up on the Bachelorette 🙂  (Don’t judge)


“You can have results or you can have your excuses.  You cannot have both.”