RDM Blog2018-10-19T20:39:27+00:00

Welcome to the RDM Blog

Thanks for taking a break from your run and being here!

I enjoy writing about my own personal running journey, bragging about my clients, sharing tips, writing race reports and sharing product reviews for active families. I have worked with close to 300 different brands and events to review and share their products and services.

Earlier blog posts, race reports and product reviews are available on my old blog (2009-2018)

606, 2019

Exploring Ottawa Lake and Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail

Last weekend we visited the Ottawa Lake Recreational Area in Dousman - in the Kettle Moraine Southern Unit.  Dad was looking for somewhere new to swim in open water and we were looking to explore. The park seemed pretty quiet, but the parking lot soon got pretty busy with kayakers and fisherman. We played around at the beach while he swam. Then we did a short two mile run along the beach and through the campground.  The beach was nice and smaller, with some friendly geese in the water and cranes playing with us at the park. There were two decent playgrounds nearby and dozens of picnic tables. The campgrounds were nice and a good mixture of spots along the waterfront and in the

2005, 2019

5 Runs + Coffee stops in the Madison area

I love combining my runs, hikes and workouts with another fun outing -- often a visit to a local coffee shop. Here are some of my favorite coffee shops to run from and refuel with a vanilla latte after I've burned all those calories (and possibly a sweet treat -- sshhhh!). Deerfield - Leave from the public park on Main Street (across from the bike shop) and head in either direction on the Glacial Drumlin Trail. The trail is crushed gravel and totally flat. When you're done, walk just down the street to Deerfield Coffee House for a bagel or a muffin with your post-run cup of coffee. There is variety of seating, board games and an adorable play area for the little ones.

2005, 2019

Our favorite bug spray: REPEL Lemon Eucalyptus

People often ask me what bug spray works best for my long runs, working-out outdoors and what I use on all three of my kids. We were introduced to REPEL lemon eucalyptus insect repellent a few years ago while camping and it has been the best thing for us. It doesn't smell terrible and is deet-free -- and it actually works! I have also gotten several clients hooked on it. There is always a bottle in the marathon mommy minivan and our hiking bag! You can add yours to your next Target run or online order.     [ This article contains affiliate links and I do receive a small commission for items purchased. Opinions, advice, reviews and suggestions are all of my honest

2005, 2019

Snag Baby Diva’s “Hiking Shoes”.

See these cute pink, ruffled sweat pants here??!!  Baby Diva has named these her "hiking pants". Every time I announce that we are going on an adventure, she digs into the bottom drawer of her dresser to grab these pink hiking pants. They are already getting quite worn and stained -- I just love it!  Hopefully the weather is turning around soon, and we are going to have to find some "hiking shorts" for her.  One can hope! We were on the look out for a pair of "hiking shoes" that will motivate her even more to head out the door for our family hikes on the Wisconsin State Park trails. I was going to invest in a pricier pair, until I found this

1905, 2019

No more “mom suit”!!

Tired of wearing a "mom suit" to the pool? Make a change this summer!   I use to run around in my running clothes at the swimming pool or would wear suits with a skirt. Three years ago after having Baby Diva, I invested in several versions of this swimsuit from Target and they are still my favorite -- and have held-up well wash-after-wash!! I own each in a size medium and typically wear a small, but size-up in swim suits. I have never felt more comfortable in a swim suit and have received countless compliments on each one that I own.   And this Lacey One-Piece Swimsuit now also comes in fun patterns and tankini options! Currently on sale for only $29.00-$35.00, too!

1905, 2019

Free Family Adventures Within an Hour of Madison

If you are filled with the need to explore and get the kids out of the house, but your bank account isn't padded, these are some of our favorite FREE ways to explore in the Madison-area. These fun destinations are within an hour drive Madison - but able to offer hours of free family-friendly entertainment. Of course, donations are accepted at many of these locations. I'm surprised at how many of my friends and clients didn't know about these locations when I've shared our adventures. Ready for some fun?! So, pack a picnic lunch and bring your stroller or a wagon (and maybe your library card) and you'll be ready for a full day of FREE family adventures. MacKenzie Environmental Center. This education center

1705, 2019

Living on Less and Finding Much More

Our family has spent the past several years de-cluttering our life and our home. I use to spend time and money shopping for things that I didn't need -- and honestly couldn't afford. I use to purchase "stuff" to make myself better. But, honestly it didn't. I felt remorse and just filled my house and my basement with more stuff.  Now, the only time I find myself shopping is shopping with a purpose. Food, an essential household item or even a gift. I don't even purchase gifts all that often anymore -- as I'd rather gift experiences -- more than "I thought of you" gifts that will probably just sit in a closet or drawer somewhere. How many candles or body lotion does someone

1705, 2019

Tips for Hiking with Toddlers

The past few years, I've really been trying help my kids see that there is a whole big world out there. I was not exposed to the beauty of our local state parks or exploring trails, caves and natural structures as a child. As an adult I've found such joy in these adventures. And I am further enjoying exploring and sharing these experiences with my three children -- including my toddler. Hiking with a toddler may sound daunting, but it can be so much fun seeing new things together for the very first time or sharing your favorite locations with these big, curious eyes.  Here are some of my top tips for hiking with your young, toddler. Plan ahead; but be flexible. Make sure

305, 2019

Just the Cheese Snacks Product Review

Our family had the opportunity to try out Just The Cheese snacks this spring. We were sent several different flavors and products.  The kids and the adults all enjoyed them. However, my toddler didn't like the texture. (We can never all get 100% on board with something around here!) I personally preferred the bars more than the bite-sized snacks. They were more filling. All of the flavors I tried were delicious - especially Grilled Cheese and Wisconsin Cheddar. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I was thinking that they would have a consistency similar to rice cakes. But they were definitely heavier and more dense. I love "crunch", so these were a perfect alternative to me from our traditional Goldfish, crackers and pretzels.

205, 2019

Ten Celebratory Miles

This week marks a full decade of Running Diva Mom's journey. Ten years. Thousands of miles. And hundreds of blog posts. This morning, in between sessions, I was able to log ten celebratory miles outdoors. Okay, I miscalculated my route -- and finished eleven miles before arriving back at the studio. But, whatever. I left my studio and headed out for ten very misty and equally cleansing miles around Sun Prairie. I ran through town and passed both of my previous locations, mixed in some Campfire Hill repeats, and finished with some speed work in between stoplights and morning traffic. It was just what I needed. Over the past ten years, so much has changed in my life, my business and this blog. What

2503, 2019

Fierce and Feminine.

I use to think that being strong and lifting weights meant being bulky and making a lot of noise in the gym. I was hesitant to give it a try. Like super intimidated. I was so focused on my running that I didn't think I had time for anything else. I kind of figured that everything else was a waste of time and wasn't going to give me the same "calorie burn" or after-effect that my long, hard runs did. All I knew how to do was move one foot in front of the other. Until I got injured. After more than a decade of running consistently, I was sidelined. I was forced to slow down. I was forced to do something else. I

1503, 2019

Celsius Fitness Drinks Review

Well, these were tasty!  I recently had the opportunity to give Celsius fitness drinks a try. I have tasted many, many brands of sports drinks, fitness drinks and sparkling water over the years. I really enjoyed sparkling grapefruit, peach mango and kiwi guava. I think that watermelon and grape would taste pretty good, too. With eight original flavors, they have several other flavors available online or at your local grocery store. I spotted them at my local Hyvee recently. They are available in non-carbonated flavors and sparkling flavors -- I really enjoyed the sparkling flavors myself. Peach mango was probably my least favorite -- just because both peach and mango aren't typically my go to flavors. Celsius claims to boost your metabolism and burn

1003, 2019

Forty Non-Food Rewards

It's so easy to reward ourselves with food, snacks ... a splurge. You killed that workout ... so why not go blow 1,500 calories at a fast food joint? Only later that you feel stuffed, lazy and totally uncomfortable in your skin. I'm all for eating healthy 80% of the time and the rest of the time treating yourself to the good stuff. Life should be experienced in moderation. But we shouldn't be rewarding ourselves with food. If you are setting short-term and long-term goals for yourself, you should also be rewarding yourself for your accomplishments. These rewards can be related to your health and wellness goals or a total (non-food) splurge that you wouldn't typically allow yourself to enjoy (a massage, a name

1003, 2019

Fifty FREE Things to do Other than Snack

As a wife, busy mom of three, and small business owner, I understand the struggle of getting that down time for yourself. Between running kids back and forth between activities, watching my youngest, juggling clients, and spending time with my husband, it’s rare to find time with myself - unless I make it happen. And a lot of times when we find ourselves with nothing to do we resort to food. Do you ever find that when you are busy that you may forget to eat. And that when we are bored in front of the TV, we immediately crave something to snack on? I use to resort to retail therapy and shopping at Target or the mall. It seems that most activities cost

903, 2019

My top 10 Gym Bag Essentials

One of the reasons I am able to get to the gym every morning is simply because I am prepared. Being motivated is only one half of the equation. Being prepared is the other part of making me successful. This involves getting to bed early, getting my clothes laid out the evening before and having a gym bag packed. Always have a gym bag packed. Here is my list of top ten gym bag essentials that you should always have ready-to-go. If you are up and have everything packed -- you have no excuses. No matter what time of day you plan on stopping by the gym. Shoes. I always keep my gym shoes in my gym bag. This way I never show up

903, 2019

2019 Mesa-PHX Marathon Race Report

A month ago my husband and I enjoyed our first kid-free vacation in years and celebrated with a victory lap at the Mesa-PHX Marathon. Getting out of Wisconsin in February sounded like a fantastic idea - why not?! Other than a long run during the first part of winter, all of my training was done on the treadmill at the gym. I was a little worried about the heat in Arizona ... but that wasn't going to be a problem. After flying into the airport in Phoenix, we stayed with friends in Scottsdale for several days leading up to the race. The location was great - as we were able to do lots of sight-seeing leading up to the event. We drove four hours

803, 2019

15 Race Day Preparation Tips for the First Timer

Arriving at the start line of your first 5K or race can feel a little intimidating - I've been there. Here are some of my top tips that I share with my running groups, to help them prepare and set their minds at ease. From packet pick-up to the finish line, here are my top fifteen tips to prepare for your first race. 1. Research the race day timeline and course online. Also see if the website offers information regarding traffic and parking. 2. Drive the course prior to the race, if possible. Even better, run/walk the course! 3. Make sure that you research “packet pick-up” on the event website. Sometimes packet pick-up is the day before the race and even at a separate

401, 2019

2018 Reflection on Running

2018 was an interesting year from me. It was my year of working smarter; not harder. I had just come off of my first, significant injury from running. I took off the winter from coaching clients in person to pursue my personal training certification. I gained so much knowledge for my clients and myself in the process. I fell in love with strength, core and cross training after I saw significant changes in my body and my running. I lost my studio in a gas explosion in my hometown, two days after I completed my space for personal training clients. After my injury, I scaled-back on private running sessions, to protect my body from becoming injured again. I successfully lead dozens of outdoor running groups

1412, 2018

Fusion Belts Running Belt Review & Discount Code

Fusion Belts will make a great holiday stocking stuffer for any runner or outdoor enthusiast in your life. Santa treated me early this year and I chose the Run Run design in a size medium, which fits womens pant sizes 8-10. They also offer a very similar yoga style in their online shop. Use RunningDiva15 for 15% off of your holiday order. And yes, there is still time to receive your Fusion Belt before the holidays. The Fusion Belt has a moisture-proof front pocket which is perfect for carrying all of your running essentials - keys, energy gels, identification, cash, phone or ipod. This is a great option if your phone doesn't fit into your waist belt of handheld water bottle. The belt is 88% polyester

712, 2018

PB Fit Peanut Butter Powder Review

Tired of your same old protein shake? I recently finally tried PB Fit and put a couple tablespoons into my post-workout shakes over the past several weeks. It was delicious -- every.single.time. I tried adding it to my protein powder and tried mixing it alone, with unsweetened almond milk. It made for a delicious post-run or strength training treat and kept me full until lunch. It felt great to add a little extra protein into my morning after a hard workout like I had. I always struggle with getting my protein in during the day, so I'm excited to have these as an easy and delicious option. PB Fit tasted great both with and without the protein powder. I had come by PB Fit

1611, 2018

New Year’s Eve Printable for Families

Our family loves holiday traditions. They don't have to be big or epic. For us, it is a lot of little things - like sleeping under the Christmas tree on the night that we decorate, saving all of our change for the year in a mason jar and taking the family out for a steak dinner for the New Year. And this worksheet tops our list. This is one of our favorite traditions as a family.  We just love sitting around the table on New Year's Eve with sparkling grape juice and reflecting on our year. We've already mentioned how awesome 2018 was and how we are going to have a difficult time listing just one favorite memory this year.  We now have about

1611, 2018

Knuckle Lights Advanced Review

About a decade ago, I invested in my first set of Knuckle Lights. Wow, have they come along way?! With limited daylight right now, being visible is super important. Almost any outdoor run that I do right now is in the dark. I need traffic to see me and I need to light my way on the road and sidewalks. Knuckle Lights are a very important component to my winter runs. Knuckle Lights are so much easier than the standard mini flashlights that I use with my running groups.  These are super comfortable, lightweight and brighter than ever (280 Lumens and ultra bright) and no bounce. I have a pair of rechargeable Knuckle Lights Advanced. Instead of worrying about dead batteries, these simply need to

1910, 2018

Your Perfect Day

Have you ever stopped … ((pause)) … to think about what your PERFECT DAY would look like? I asked a client this recently. Then she, in turn, asked me the same. Our answers were different, but our ideal days contained a lot of the same elements – family, alone time and passion. It almost seems like a dream to think about our ideal twenty-four hours. The impossible. But, it doesn’t have to be. Many of the components of my day are entirely attainable within the next … twenty-four hours. What are things that make you want to wake up in the morning? Who are the people that you feel giddy around? What tasks make you feel fulfilled? My day consisted of: Rising before 5:00

1210, 2018

2018 Lakefront Marathon Race Report

This was my fourth time running the Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee. I had also spectated the race twice. So, I have become really familiar with how well-organized this event is and how great the course is. The race shuttles drop you of in Grafton (north of Milwaukee) and participants run south towards downtown Milwaukee. This would be my fifteenth marathon. I still can't quite wrap my head around that.  Fifteen! After a morning of coaching and kid activities, we dropped off our littlest and headed towards Milwaukee. I always coach the morning before a race, so instead of running 6-10 miles ... the new me decided to walk during class. We always stop in Pewaukee at Thunder Bay Grill for a salad bar lunch

2005, 2018

My Weightloss Story

A Relationship with the Scale My Weighloss Story & Journey to Running Diva Mom I've been wanting to write an article on my struggle with body image, my weightloss story, and my relationship with the scale for some time now.  At every speaking engagement I have or running group that I start, I touch on my struggles.  I feel that it's important to share your story.  Not only successes.  But, most importantly your struggles.  It's your struggles that make you who you were, who you are and who you are still striving to be.  Every.  Single.  Day.  Once you reach goals, half of the battle is sticking at it.  Keeping the weight off.  Keeping up with your training.  Pushing yourself further.  It's too easy