Endure Strong Training Review

I had the opportunity to be a part of the Endure Strong Training group as being a Bib Rave Pro and decided to utilize the summer to get some speed under my legs for the Beach 2 Beacon 10k (find my race recap HERE!). I knew that I've always wanted to have a running coach (because sometimes I have no idea what I’m doing when I’m training for races!) and what better group to train with than one run by Jared Ward?!? Within the first week of being part of the team, I was blown away with how involved in the entire training and coaching process he was. We had several group training phone calls with Jared throughout the Summer and they covered topics like Nutrition, Recovery, and Injury Prevention (along with a way for you to submit questions to them!).


I had A LOT going on during my B2B training-moving to Maine from Colorado, beginning Nursing School, planning a wedding, commuting 2 hours a day to school and back (4 days a week), and lots of family visiting on the weekends. I knew that training would be a challenge, but that is one of the main foundations for the Endure Strong team- we are all busy, but we also want to help you achieve your goals (Jared is the perfect example of someone who is crazy busy, but still manages to crush his running goals)!

I had wanted to PR in the 10k (my previous PR was 55:00), but also knew that after training for my 50 miler getting speed back was going to be an issue. With the training program, you get 2 runs emailed to you each morning (one for that day and one for the upcoming day). I had one day a week as my rest day and averaged around 30-35 miles. I will honestly say that I did NOT follow the training plan to a “T” because I was still recovering from my 50 miler/had a million life stresses and wanted to take that as a priority, so I was not 100% sure that hitting a sub-50 minute 10k would even be in my wheel house.


I did, however, feel prepared and excited for race day thanks to the Endure Strong training plan and supportive atmosphere of the team! You can read more about how big a PR my Beach to Beacon race was here, but I know I wouldn’t have been able to quickly bounce-back post-50 unless I had the Endure Strong team behind me.

Cheers to new PRs and hoping that I get another awesome opportunity to be a part of the Endure Strong training team again really soon! You can check out some of my apparel and race discounts from being a Bib Rave Pro HERE


Ever train with a running team before? How were your experiences?!?

Favorite male and female pro runner?!

Ever really ‘raced’ a 10k? How’d it go?

Race Recap, Life Updates, and What's Next?

I’M BACK! Life has been absolutely crazy these past 5 weeks including 6 final exams, a 10k race, goal setting for the Fall, and researching a million different wedding venues.

You can find my Beach to Beacon 10k Race Recap HERE.


It’s also included a whole lot of ice cream because- SUMMER. Maine/New Hampshire friends -> Sherman’s Farm is a MUST for both ice cream and fresh veggies/ produce. Such a nice little New England luxury we have so close to home!


I’ve also been brainstorming a lot on what my next goals for running are. I love a good challenge, so I decided to take my next ‘big thing’ to train for to my social feeds and the result was…unexpected…scary….exhilarating to think about!


SO I’ve been researching 100 mile races and tentatively might have found one. Still deciding, but it’s also been pretty fun to break out my road bike and get in some cardio in a different aspect of training too.


I really like the idea of doing an ironman, but also really love the idea of trying to complete a 100 miler. I already have everything I need for the 100 and I could do the same 50 miler I did this year as a good training part for the 100. I’m still debating it, but thinking my ironman dreams may be going on the back burner for a little bit.

Speaking of going on a back burner - that also includes Netflix, casual reading (unless the 3 pages I make it through before bed), and cooking from scratch has all been put on the back burner as well. I’ve been all about studying, schoolwork, teaching skating, and trying to still move in to our house in my spare time! I’m down to 3 classes now (all online), so I’m not commuting at the moment (normally I was commuting 1 hr each way 4 times a week)- which definitely saves me a lot of time. My classes will end in 2 weeks and then I’ll have a week off before my Fall classes begin (three semesters LEFT!). It’s exciting to think that my hardest semester will be behind me once these end (this summer I’ve heard is the most challenging).


SPEAKING of goals- I think I’ll need a whole lot more of THESE from our local Country Market (they have the most amazing organic products for $2 or $3!!) to help me reach my next upcoming Fall races!


I signed up for my next two races yesterday, so it’s official! I did need to drop out of the Chicago Marathon because it just was not feasible considering my schooling schedule right now. I would want to spend a few days exploring the city post-race and purchase all of the race merchandise, which it wouldn’t have happened had I gone there this year. I know my time will come and it will be amazing. I’ve got the White Mountain Milers Half Marathon coming up next month (it’s our local half marathon, so I HAD to do it) and then I’ve got the Loco Marathon (!!!) at the end of October (it’s another relatively local race and perfect time of year). It feels so good to have some ‘concrete’ set goals for the Fall because it helps take my mind off of the schooling I have! It’s also nice to look forward to something other than classes/studying.

My HOPE is to get back on track with blogging (I think this should be more feasible considering my upcoming class schedule) in the near future. I love this space and hope to continue to improve and tailor it to my interests in the future.

On the wedding planning front- we’re BACK to finding a venue. We had originally found one, picked a date, and was getting ready to sign the contract when some red flags on the contract came up. There were a bunch of unexplained fees and items that were not discussed during the tour, so we decided to not go with it. SO unfortunately we’re back to trying to find something within our budget, researching a million different options, and trying to keep our spirits up that we will find the perfect spot soon. I have to admit that it felt REALLY GOOD when we did find something and had a date set, so I’m sure we’ll feel much more relieved when our time does come.

Anyways enough about me, what’s new with YOU?

-Favorite thing about Summer?

-Any nurses out there have any Pharmacology/ Pathophysiology tips?

-Favorite snack while marathon training?


Happy Monday! It was a crazy fun-filled weekend (with not much running!) I kicked off Friday with a 9.1 mile run & strength 


Came home to this view and many distractions while trying to study


Went out for a hike to Arethusa Falls Friday afternoon! 


Saturday morning coffee views 😍 


Went with my mom to Sebago Brewing Company to pick up her Triathlon Bib Saturday afternoon! Their Raspberry beer was 👌🏻 


Also they had amazing pizza. Definitely need to get the loaded mashed potato one next time!  


Sunday afternoon studying and listening to the rain on the tin roof! 


What It's Really Like Leaving Your Full Time, Salaried Job To Go Back To School

SO I’ve been ‘back to school’ for a little over a month now. I left my full-time, salaried job at the end of April and began classes full-time at the beginning of May. I also moved across the country from Colorado back to my home state, Maine into our family home (my great-grandfather built it)! Let me just start by saying that NONE of this has been ‘easy’ and I really will NOT sugar-coat it because honestly I feel like everyone that I’ve ever heard of that has made any of these decisions just glaze over all the crappy-parts to get to the happy-parts. If you’re looking for that then, maybe this isn’t the post for you because it’s about to get really honest. Before we get to all the tough-parts, here’s what I’m now seeing as my view most mornings when I study from home (this is nice, see!):


I didn’t decide to change careers overnight.

It’s been a LONG journey to get me to this point. I applied to Med School after receiving my undergraduate degree and have always been extremely passionate about working in the healthcare field. I’ve previously worked as an Orthodontic Assistant and went to school in (original hopes) of becoming a Physical Therapist. I won’t go into all of the details, but short story- none of it panned out. I also found a real passion for youth athletic programming and knew that a boost in my GPA would help my still dreams of going back to school to get my DPT or possibly DO degree, so I got my MBA in Sports & Recreation Management. I LOVED my schoolwork and learned so much. I’m 100% sure I’ll use it down the road in one way or another and it was also really beneficial when I was still running the Figure Skating program in Steamboat, CO.

SO, I guess long-story short, I started to dream of maybe going into Nursing was the perfect fit for me after I had a really really great experience with a Nurse Practitioner. She was AMAZING. After this encounter, I started thinking that I hadn’t had a BAD experience with any nurse and all of them were outdoorsy and had relatively flexible schedules and were obviously highly intelligent and had job security and I got along with any nurse that I met. I mulled this profession over for several years. I didn’t just want to apply to a program (especially now with all of those lovely student loans I have) if I wasn’t really sure this was for me. SO I finally decided to apply.


But, Why Move Very Far Away?

When I was looking to apply, honestly- Maine was really the only program that I even looked at (or even applied to!). Alex and I had been talking about ending up back in New England at some point (our entire family is in ME/VT/MA), so it just made sense (plus not having to pay rent was key if I was planning to go back to school). University of Southern Maine has an EXCELLENT nursing program, so I knew that if I got in I had to go. This was probably one of the easiest decisions throughout this journey.

How are you paying for all this?

Yes, I’m going to talk about money because honestly I don’t think most people DO. I always wonder how people go back to school after having all of these bills and remain unmarried and how do they afford it all?!? SO I’m kinda flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants with this one. I was able to save up some money to float me along for the Summer and as my classes wind down, I’ll be taking on a part-time job to pay for my bills and gas and food. I’m also currently teaching figure skating lessons, which helps. Honestly- this is one of the most stressful things surrounding going back to school. It’s so much easier when you’re younger (all around!), but I’m 29 and certainly no longer ‘one of the young ones’ in my class! I’m taking as little additional student loans as I can and hoping for a few scholarships that I’ve applied to. It’s helpful that this program is one year and then I’ll be able to apply to get my licensure. I wouldn’t go without saying that Alex and my mom have been super helpful with financial extras as well. I couldn’t continue to reach for my dreams without them!

Some things that I’ve found useful when cutting back on money:

  • Packing lunches each day

  • Limiting the ‘extras’ (Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts/ Purchasing less organic foods/ etc.)

  • Evaluated any extra bills I have (reduced car insurance/ limiting electric bills etc.)

  • Selling items that I no longer use (this was really easy since I had so many extra clothes still left in Maine that I no longer wanted/needed!)


So, Was It Scary?

Oh yeah, every step that I took to get to the first day of classes, first exam, first study-session, first round of books purchased was REALLY challenging and SCARY. If I let myself get easily deterred, then none of this would have happened. There were so many roadblocks, set-backs, wrong-turns, but I just keep moving along. Some days were frustrating, everything costs ten times more than what you anticipate, and I’ve had quite a few meltdowns along the way. Leaving a job (albeight one that I really didn’t love) that gave me security (although no health insurance) was HARD.

Leaving Steamboat was also really really hard. I had a lot of anxiety around the entire trip and continually questioned whether I was making the right decision. If it was meant to be, wouldn’t it feel easier? HOWEVER most things that are the most rewarding are really challenging and will test you (hello, take marathons or your first race as an example!). I didn’t get to say goodbye to a lot of people and left it a secret to most because Alex still hadn’t told most of his friends (and he had lived there twice as long as I had), so I kept it mainly to myself which also made it a lot harder when the day finally came to drive away. I also just really hate goodbyes, so yeah.

6 Weeks In

I’m 6 weeks in and can honestly say I am LOVING it. Everything I’m learning is giving me a sign that I have FINALLY found the career for me. I wake up in the morning really excited about what I’m going to learn today, how I can apply it to my future career as a nurse (and hopefully an NP one day!), and just general happiness - something that I had been missing for a really long time. School-wise it’s been great. I love studying and am absolutely a life-long learner, so even though there is still anxiety surrounding exams - it’s a new, fun kinda learning that I never had during my first undergraduate degree.


Relationship-wise it’s been hard. Alex and I are still figuring out our new dynamics - we’re in a new place, he’s working from home, I’m gone most days for 12+ hours, and money is obviously tighter than it has been. There’s been some bumps in the road and I wish I could say that we’ve been planning our Wedding or it’s already planned, but honestly that’s taken the back-burner and it just sucks (no sugar-coating here!). I’m remaining patient and optimistic and looking toward the future where it looks a lot brighter over there.


Any questions you have for me regarding this area?

Ever quit a secure-job for something unsecure? How’d it go? Any tips for me?

Anyone a nurse out there? Tell me more about your job!!