• About Allison

    I am a 26-year-old married Michigan gal living in Sarasota, Florida. This blog is a chronicle of my journey toward a healthier lifestyle! I started running in January 2009 and began to change my eating habits in May 2009. Now, I am dedicated to training smart and eating right. Join me as I seek to balance running and eating healthy, local foods with my crazy work life and hilarious home life.

    Contact me: allisonisactive@gmail.com

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Running

I always thought of myself as not a runner.  As a kid, I participated in gymnastics, soccer, and swimming and was a cheerleader through high school and college.  Even though these activities required me to run, I hated it, huffed and puffed my way through, and was usually one of the last team members to finish my sprints or timed mile.  I was NOT a runner.

Hillsdale cheer - Football -Oct. 2003 (2)

There I am – a cheerleader, NOT a runner.

After college, I started teaching and joined a gym to stay in shape.  I was used to having two collegiate cheerleading coaching kicking my butt every day, so I continued to work out pretty hard by lifting weights, biking, and hitting the elliptical.  Since no coaches were requiring me to run and standing by the track with a stopwatch in their hands, I wouldn’t be caught dead running.

I was always in awe of runners.  Wouldn’t it be great to have that kind of dedication?  Wouldn’t it be satisfying to head out and pound the pavement, a free and solitary hobby that includes skinniness as an added benefit?  No, I said.  Not me.  I am NOT a runner.

In January 2009, the Husband and I day tripped to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  It just happened to be marathon weekend, and there were all kinds of people – male and female, young and old – walking around wearing Disney Marathon shirts.  I had known about Disney running events from reading Disney message boards online, but for some reason on that day, something clicked.  I hadn’t been going to the gym due to my work schedule, and running would fit right in.  I should try it…

That night I went for a walk and ended up jogging about a half mile of it.  I felt fabulous!  I went right home, did some hard thinking, and signed up for a 5k at Disney in March, about seven weeks away: Disney’s Royal Family 5k.  I started running four days a week, beginning with just a quarter of a mile and working my way up to one mile in about two weeks.  I had added enough distance by March to finish my first race – Disney’s Royal Family 5k on March 7, 2009.

2009-03 (Mar) 019b

In January, I had thought that once I did my 5k, I would stop at that and go back to walking and working out at the gym.  But I had been bitten by the running bug! I started buying more running gear and reading books and magazines about getting serious with my training.  I also decided to start training for Disney’s Race for the Taste 10k in October 2009!  (Can you tell I am a Disney World fanatic?)

Running gives me a sense of self I never had before.  I find that I am calm, cool, and collected in my personal and professional life as a result of running.  Running has taught me so much about life and myself.  I love that it makes me feel better about myself and give me time to just breathe.  The Husband, by the way, loves that running makes me happy, gets me out of the house, and gives me buns and thighs of steel!

race1

As a high school and college cheerleader, I was constantly plagued by patellofemoral pain syndrom.  Luckly, buying good shoes and training smart has kept my knee pain at bay on my running journey.  After my back-to-back half marathons in March, 2010, I experienced some of the old pain in my left knee, but after about two weeks of rest, ice, walking, and stretching, I was feeling good!  I do have moderate shin splint pain, but I take care of them by icing, stretching, and taking adequate rest days.  My motto is to train smarter, not harder!  Even if I have a day I feel like running but am scheduled to rest, I rest – I do not want injuries getting in the way of my goals!

My races to date: (Races since I began blogging include race reports if you follow the links!)

Disney’s Royal Family 5k:  March 7, 2009

Winter Park Watermelon Run 5k:  July 4, 2009


Grand Haven Coast Guard 5k:  July 25, 2009

My friend Michelle ran the Grand Haven Coast Guard 5k with me in July 2009.  This was an awesome race because it was in Michigan, my parents were there, it was the first race I ran with a friend, and we wore matching outfits!

Disney’s Race for the Taste 10k:  October 11, 2009

Holland New Year’s Eve Run 5k:  December 31, 2009

This was an untimed fun run that I ran in a pretty serious snowfall.  Mike, his parents, and my parents were there to cheer me on before heading off to New Year’s Eve festivities!

Disney’s Princess Half Marathon, March 7, 2010 (Race Reports: Part 1 and Part 2)

A serious bright spot in my running journey was completing the Disney Princess Half Marathon in March 2010 with my friends Whitney and Sue, whom I met in a half marathon training group.  A Disney half marathon had been my goal since I began running!

Sarasota Half Marathon, March 14, 2010

This race was just one week after my first half marathon and I set a PR!  Of course, I had to have a pictures with both medals to celebrate my accomplishment!

Aflac Iron Girl Clearwater 15k, April 10, 2010

    My first race with Karen, a friend from my years in Central Florida!

    My running goals:

    • Complete the Disney Princess Half Marathon in March 2010 DONE!
    • Complete a marathon in 2011
    • Complete a triathlon within the next few years
    • Stay healthy!
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