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Welcome to Peanut Butter Runner! I launched this healthy living blog in April 2010 when I outgrew discussing fitness and nutrition on my food blog, Bakin’ and Eggs. I wanted to keep Bakin’ and Eggs focused on food and recipes but felt inspired to share with others how I eat, workout and enjoy life while maintaining a healthy balance.
I live in Charlotte, North Carolina where I am the general manager of Metro Fitness Club. I am also a NASM certified personal trainer, 200-hour registered yoga teacher and group exercise instructor. In September 2011 I left a six-year career in marketing/advertising (read the story) to pursue fitness full-time.
Being active and fit has always been important to me. I cheered competitively through high school and my first year of college (Don’t even get me started on the “Is cheerleading a sport?” debate!). I grew accustomed to having practice and physical conditioning almost every day. After I gave up cheerleading, I started running regularly as a way to stay in shape through the rest of college.
I moved to Charleston after college and I joined a local running group to train for my first half-marathon. I wouldn’t have made it to the finish line of the 2006 Myrtle Beach Half Marathon if it weren’t for my awesome running group!
One of my biggest running goals was to finish a marathon. I completed the 2009 Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham in 4:45. Training for a marathon was one of the most humbling experiences I’ve been through with my body. I discovered that there were limits on how far I could push myself.
I struggle with injury during high-mileage training so it was 18 months before I ran another marathon. During this time I questioned my status as a runner and spent a lot of time in the yoga studio. Luckily, I was able to find a training program that worked for me and allowed me to make it to the starting line of another marathon. I completed the 2010 Marine Corps Marathon in 4:19:08.
I joined the YMCA after college. I had never been a member of a gym before and the Y totally changed my outlook – a warm and welcoming place, full of familiar faces. I began participating in group exercise classes like spinning and BodyPump. I quickly fell in love with BodyPump and couldn’t believe the transformation it made to my body. The Y hosted a BodyPump instructor training and I decided just to go for it! I became a certified instructor in January 2009 and have loved teaching ever since! I currently teach BodyPump and at the Y in Charlotte. Check out my teaching schedule.
For many years, I avoided yoga despite knowing the benefits it could have on my running. I would occasionally attend classes but never followed through. When I moved to Charlotte a couple of years ago, a perfect storm of injury and opportunity led me to my yoga practice. I was training for my second marathon and dealing with yet another injury. I was stunned when my doctor delivered the news that I would continue to struggle with injury if I didn’t improve flexibility and work on the imbalances in my body.
I gave yoga another chance and discovered that the Charlotte yoga scene was unlike anything I had ever experienced. I quickly fell in love with the power vinyasa style of yoga and as the months passed I found myself wanting to be on my mat as much as I wanted to be out on the road. In January 2011 I enrolled in yoga teacher training to obtain my 200-hour registered yoga teacher certification. I completed teacher training in April 2011 and teach yoga at the studio where I fell in love with yoga. Read more about my teacher training experience and check out my instructor bio on the Y2 Yoga website. Check out my teaching schedule page for updates on when and where I’m teaching yoga.
Visit my food blog, Bakin’ and Eggs, to see what’s going on in my kitchen. I love to cook and bake! My food outlook is all about balance. No dieting or calorie counting – ever! I try to minimize the amount of processed food and meat that I eat and maximize the amount of healthy food like whole grains, beans, healthy dairy, fruits and vegetables. I just try to make smart choices and eat what makes me feel good. I must admit though that I have a huge sweet tooth (thanks Mom!) and do not deny myself dessert most nights!
And I must address the significance of the blog title. I’m a peanut butter addict! I think I went a solid year eating a peanut butter and jelly or peanut butter and banana sandwich every day. Peanut butter toast is also the only thing I’ll eat before a long run. I’ve branched out a bit and I’m mixing up my lunches a little more and trying other nut butters like almond butter but peanut butter will always hold a special place in my heart!
I think it’s obvious that my hobbies are blogging, cooking, baking and working out but I do have other interests. I love trying new restaurants, traveling, reading, wine tasting, camping and hiking (anything outdoors!), live music and Georgia football.