Unbroken is on Sale on Kindle!

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Last week I posted some Kindle deals on fitness books. Today, one of my favorite “running” books of all time is on sale, so I felt I needed to post about it!

Technically, this isn’t a running book, but it is an amazing story about an Olympic runner. If you have not read Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, you are missing out.

It is on sale on Kindle for $3.99, so I wanted to let you all know! It’s normally $11.99! Hillenbrand is an amazing writer, and I highly recommend this book.

Here’s the descripton from Amazon: In boyhood, Louis Zamperini was an incorrigible delinquent. As a teenager, he channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when World War II began, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to a doomed flight on a May afternoon in 1943. When his Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean, against all odds, Zamperini survived, adrift on a foundering life raft. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

Great Deals on Health and Fitness Books


Happy Sunday! Looking for a new nutrition, fitness or running book?

I want to try a new weekly post inspired by the blog, The Modern Mrs. Darcy. She does a great list of fiction and non-fiction Amazon deals every day. Highly recommend signing up for her daily deals email!

I’m going to attempt a version of this for people who love reading health and fitness books like me. Right now, it’ll just be a weekly blog post, but someday I’ll figure out how to do an email. The following post includes affiliate links.

Never Binge Again

Never Binge Again(tm): Reprogram Yourself to Think Like a Permanently Thin Person(tm). Stop Overeating and Binge Eating and Stick to the Food Plan of Your Choice!

By Glenn Livingston, PhD, Kindle Edition: Free

“Disillusioned by what traditional psychology had to offer the overweight and/or food obsessed male, Dr. Livingston spent several decades researching the nature of binging and overeating via work with his own patients AND a self-funded research program with more than 40,000 participants. Most importantly, however, is Dr. Livingston’s own personal journey out of obesity and “food prison” to a normal, healthy weight and a much more lighthearted relationship with food.”

My thoughts: I have not read this, but will be downloading it for help with my tortilla chip problem.

Amazon reviews: 4.5 stars/397 reviews

Racing Dawn

Racing Dawn: How A Crazy Mom With 5 Kids Ran 12 Marathons In 12 Months

By Dawn Lauti, Kindle Edition: $1.99

From Amazon: “A revealing, funny, honest, and inspiring memoir from a self-described ‘ordinary person’ who tackled 12 marathons in 12 months with a devoted husband and 5 kids in tow.”

My thoughts: I remember reading her blog! If you love reading about running, this might be worth checking out.

Amazon reviews: 4.5 stars/65 reviews

Performance Nutrition for Runners

Runner’s World Performance Nutrition for Runners: How to Fuel Your Body for Stronger Workouts, Faster Recovery, and Your Best Race Times Ever

By Matt Fitzgerald, Kindle Edition: $1.99

From Amazon: “Runners have different nutrition and recovery needs than other endurance athletes. Yet until now, they’ve had no nutritional resource specifically addressing their concerns. This comprehensive guide distills the newest thinking in the science of exercise nutrition into practical, hands-on tips that will help runners stay healthy, recover faster, enjoy better workouts, and race successfully.”

My thoughts: While this book is a little older, there are recent reviews that say it was helpful for them. I’m a fan of Matt Fitzgerald, and think he does thorough research and he presents information in a way that is easy to digest (pun intended!).

Amazon reviews: 4.5 stars/40 reviews

Run!: 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss

Run!: 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss

By Dean Karnazes, Kindle Edition: $1.99

From Amazon: “In his follow-up to the best-selling Ultra-Marathon Man, world-renowned ultra marathoner Dean Karnazes chronicles his unbelievable exploits and explorations in gripping detail; Karnazes runs for days on end without rest, across some of the most exotic and inhospitable places on earth, including the Australian Outback, Antarctica, and the back alleys of New Jersey.”

My thoughts: I have mixed feelings about this book, but if you love ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes, it is worth $1.99!

Amazon reviews: 4 stars/116 reviews

Friday Recap and Results: Forgiveness

Well, this week went fast. The first week of my fourth round of Metabolic Prime is done and DONE. We are expecting a big rain and wind storm here in the Pacific Northwest, so I’m going to make this recap and results post quick.


My nutrition choices this week were off-point. More of an oval shape. I have a serious tortilla chip problem that I will probably have to seek help for.

My workouts got done. Earlier in the week was tough, though, because my sleep was so bad, but it got better. Today, I had a great workout. I switched to 20-pound dumbbells for a majority of the lifts, too, so that’s a win.

I did not walk as much as I wanted to this week. I often got only 5,000-7,000 steps. The goal is 10,000 or more.

Friday recap

I’m keeping up with my bullet journaling! I just got a new one–a real one–and am busy setting it up. It has helped me stay on task most days. The one thing I’ve been ignoring, however, is my daily goals chart. Which reminds me…

I just finished reading Ann Patchett’s book The Getaway Car (<-affiliate link, thank you), which is about her experience becoming a novelist. In it, she talks about forgiving herself during the writing process, but I believe it applies to many things in our lives, including our fitness journeys:

“Forgiveness. The ability to forgive oneself. Stop here for a few breaths and think about this, because it is the key to making art and very possibly the key to finding any semblance of happiness in life.”

I forgive myself for those days when I ate so many chips I made myself sick. I forgive myself for not getting all my walks in. Life is too short to dwell on what happened last week. Tomorrow is a new day. Onward and upward. (Hope I take my own advice.)


Somehow, despite my poor choices, my weight stayed the same as last week at 151.6 and I lost a half inch on my hips and waist. So, I don’t know. I think my body is super comfy at 151.6 right now. I don’t mind. What I’d like is for some inches to come off my belly and hips and thighs. The answer, I know, is nutrition. I can’t eat half a bag of chips if I want better results.

Here’s my pic after my first week of my fourth round of Metabolic Prime:

Metabolic Prime Results Round 4
Metabolic Prime: Round 4, Phase 1, Week 1


So, next week, I plan to focus on nutrition. The good news is that I’m starting a new part-time job and so there’ll be less opportunity to seek out the chips. (Of course, I could just not buy the chips.) However, there’ll be more opportunities to stress eat.

Forgiveness. Forgiveness. Forgiveness.

New Metabolic Prime Before Pictures and Some Helpful Fat-Loss Books

Hey guys! Happy Monday!

So, I re-started Metabolic Prime again today! I think this is my fourth time, yet I forgot how hard the Phase 1 burnout is (the optional 5-minute workout at the end). Definitely got me!

Here is my new “before” pic that I took this afternoon:

Metabolic Prime before
My hair was so dirty, I needed a hat.

This was my Prime before pic I took in March for their 12-week challenge:

Metabolic Prime Challenge Week 1 | Mom vs. Marathon
My Before Photos

So thankful I took photos. I can see the difference, for sure. I don’t notice it as much in the mirror. Highly recommend taking pics!

If you signed up for Metabolic Prime and are doing it, let me know if you want to join our little closed Facebook group and I’ll add you. 🙂

If you didn’t sign up, but are curious about Metabolic Effect programs, there are a couple of books that I recommend.

Note: The following paragraphs include affiliate links.
I would never recommend something unless I believe in it. 

Their book Lose Weight Here is the closest to what Metabolic Prime is. Click here to read a review last year.

The New Metabolic Effect Diet was their first book. Some of the nutiriton advice has changed slightly, but it’s not that different, and I just loved the way they explained everything in this book. I wrote a long post (that went viral) about how my body responds to ME workouts vs running in this post here.

Either one of these books will get you started or help you get over a plateau in your fat loss journey. And, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me. I’ve read them both multiple times!

Why I’m Starting a Bullet Journal

Starting a bullet journal | Mom vs. Marathon

Things are getting hectic around here. I thought summer was tough with being laid off and all, but this fall is picking up speed and it’s going to completely roll over me if I don’t get some sort of organization system going.

I’m the kind of person who makes to-do lists, then promptly loses them by stashing them in a pocket or in my purse, which we all know is where coupons and receipts and lists go to die.

Recently, I heard about something called a bullet journal. I did a little research and decided to give it a try because I a) like to write in my journal, but never remember to, b) am constantly losing my lists, and c) have a ton of stuff I want to do, but can never remember to do it.

A bullet journal helps solve all those problems…and it’s not on my phone, which is the No. 1 way I get distracted. I turn on my phone to check the weather, and the next thing I know I’ve commented on all of my friend’s 67 vacation pictures on Facebook.

Bullet journal describes the system as an “analog system for a digital age.” Basically, the bullet journal is a journal, to-do list and calendar all in one spot.

I started a Pinterest folder of bullet journal ideas, if you’re interested in learning more. Or, go to bulletjournal.com for a video (or don’t because the video made things more confusing). The best explanation was here. Keep on reading for the basics of bullet journaling.

A Warning about Bullet Journals

If you search bullet journal on Pinterest, you will see people who must have a lot of time because they have decorated their journals with drawings or stickers or tons of colors or hand-lettered the titles on their pages. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO THIS. That is not what Ryder Carroll intended when he created the bullet journal system; that is just the warped Pinterest world we live in.

I am not doing anything crazy like that. I got a couple of colored pens, but I don’t have time for that other stuff. I just need to get organized and don’t want to spend a ton of time making mine pretty.

Starting a Bullet Journal
The cheap notebook I bought for learning how to bullet journal.
  • Note: There are affiliate links in the following paragraph. Purchasing items through the links means I will get a small percentage of the sale therefore letting me justify blogging to my husband and family members. Thank you.

I am starting using a cheap little notebook from the grocery store, but a lot of people like the Leuchtturm1917 journal. It has dots, so making lines and grids is easier, the pages are already numbered, and the pages are thicker so there is less ghosting (when the pen shows through from the other page). Speaking of pens…my favorite is the Sharpie Pen with a medium tip. It doesn’t bleed and barely shows through the paper even in my cheap notebook.

The Basics of a Bullet Journal

Symbols/Key: A simple dot is a task, a circle is an event, a less than symbol is task scheduled, a greater than symbol is a task migrated, a dash is for notes (facts, ideas, thoughts and observations), an asterisk can be used for priorities, an exclamation point for inspiration and an eye (or a dot with a circle around it for me) can go next to things you want to explore. Here’s my key right at the front of my bullet journal:

Starting a Bullet Journal - key

I have not used anything except the dot, circle or dash yet. I am still figuring out how to use the task scheduled symbol. I get that task migrated means that I moved a task from one day to another day, therefore, I need to evaluate it and make sure it’s actually something that needs to be done (and I think it helps you prioritize).

Index: This is how you keep track of where things are. Number each page, and then when you write something on that page, make sure you come back and put what that topic was in the index.

Starting a Bullet Journal - Index

Future Log: Start your journal with a future log (aka a yearly calendar). Write down everything you know for the future (ie birthdays, holidays, weddings, sports, etc.).

Monthly Calendar: Open two facing pages. The left side will have the days of the month down the side of the page, and on the right page, write known tasks and events for this month. You can also put them over on the left, too. Mine got crowded real fast. You’ll need to go back and check this page and then schedule the tasks on a daily entry (keep reading below).

Starting a Bullet Journal - monthly calendar

Daily Entries: Write the date at the top of the page, then jot down the tasks and events for that day. Go back to your monthly calendar spread and see if there’s anything you need to schedule for the day. It is suggested you just do the daily entries the night before the actual day. That way, you’re ready to go the next morning.

Starting a Bullet Journal - daily entries

You can also write down things that happened that day (aka journal entries). Yesterday, I jotted down some notes about things that happened, or things that are making me feel stressed.

Other stuff: Some people make other daily habits charts, practice drawing, write inspirational quotes, goal charts, etc. I added a daily habits chart, which is why I’m actually writing a blog post right now! I want to write every day.

Starting a Bullet Journal - daily habits

My favorite page, I think, is going to be that daily habits chart. Every day, I want to get in all my 10,000 steps, a workout (which, you know, is only about 20-30 minutes), reading, blogging, working on my children’s book ideas, drinking 64 ounces of water (at least), getting 1 load of laundry done, spending 10 minutes picking up clutter and, finally, getting 10-15 minutes of rest and relaxation. EVERY DAY. It seems like a lot, so we’ll see how it goes.

I also made a page for jotting down blog post ideas and other freelance writing ideas (don’t forget to index these pages, so you can find them later!).

I just started my bullet journal yesterday, so watch for updates on it as I learn more. Do you have a bullet journal? I’d love to hear your tips or even see your pages. Share them on my Facebook page!

How to Get Spartan Fit

How to Get Spartan Fit
My son, 8, learning the army crawl.

I have a mild obsession with the Spartan Race. I’ve never done one. I want to. But I’m also a chicken. Plus, I like to train for races and I never knew how to train for a Spartan Race.

When Joe De Sena wrote his first book, Spartan Up, I got to read a copy of it. I liked it enough. It was more about how he came up with the race and about the Spartan lifestyle. It was a little hard core for me at the time. I was hoping for some training ideas.

Guess what? Joe De Sena’s second book, Spartan Fit!, is exactly what I was looking for.

I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy to read for free, but as always, I will be totally honest in this book review.

The new book, Spartan Fit! which you can pre-order and get free shipping with this link, will be released on August 30.

The book starts off again sharing De Sena’s Spartan lifestyle and how others live the Spartan lifestyle. The book also includes a history lesson on what Spartans were really like. It’s all interesting, but JUST GET ME TO THAT TRAINING INFO. (He does give permission to skip ahead right at the beginning, though. It’s like he can read my mind!)

The training section is just what I wanted: a plan of attack. Spartan Fit! gives you a 30-day training plan that is pretty intense from the get-go. That being said, you control your level of intensity. You can easily decrease (or increase) the intensity based on your fitness level. In fact, me and my son did the first day of training together this week.

Day 1 of the plan called for certain exercises to be done at certain distances, but I cut the distance back a little since I was going to be training with an 8-year-old.

WE HAD A BLAST doing the workout. We did army crawls and bear crawls and sprinting and skipping and pushups right out in public at the local park. We got grassy and muddy, too.

How to Get Spartan Fit
Army crawl!

The nice thing about the book is that there is a section that explains how to do the exercises…you know, if you’ve never army crawled before. (It does take a little practice.)

Today, we’re supposed to carry buckets of dirt around the yard. Totally looking forward to it!

There is a more advanced training plan for more experienced Spartans, as well, that looks super hard core. Some Spartan Elites, such as Amelia Boone, talk about their experiences and Spartan lifestyles in the book, too, which is fun. Finally, the book has some real-food recipes in the back.

The real meat of this book, though, is the 30-day training plan for your average peeps like me. If you’re interested in training for a Spartan Race or if you’re looking to add some non-traditional strength training to your running routine, I would definitely recommend Spartan Fit!

How to Get Spartan Fit
Me and my son after our first Spartan workout from the Spartan Fit book being released August 30.

PS: Don’t forget to catch a new episode of Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge on NBC tonight!

My Fantasy


I have this fantasy.

Don’t worry, it’s not something you would read in a nudie magazine or anything. No, it’s not even publishable actually. Not because it’s too racy. Simply because it’s too stupid.

My fantasy takes place via email.

I’m sitting at a shabby chic desk with my laptop open. Oh, by the way, I’m wearing a stylish blazer and a pair of ripped jeans. Think Liz Lemon, the star of many a fantasy.


I’m writing something hilarious and laughing at my spectacular sense of humor. Think Jim Carrey’s fantasy sequence in Dumb and Dumber.


Why are my fantasies so unsophisticated?

Anyway, as I’m writing an email comes in. It’s a big publisher and they want to give me a book contract! They read my blog! There’s an advance and everything!

And then I wake up and check my email: five new coupons at Gymboree and some creeper I don’t know who wants to be my friend on Goodreads.


If a fantasy is something that you want to actually happen, then that must mean I want to write a book? Why am I waiting around for some fake person to give me permission to write it? I don’t need to publisher. Not in the age of Amazon.

It occurs to me that writing and running are a lot alike.

I also have an ultramarathon fantasy where I actually run one…and win. (Can’t you just let me have this?)

The thing is, and sorry to break this to you, but you can’t just magically have a book appear on your computer or cross the finish line of an ultra.





On second thought, maybe I’ll just watch some 30 Rock.


PS: I just started reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I hope I learn many card tricks!

Other books to check out: