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)

3112, 2019

No goals, but accomplishing so many peaks in 2019.

This morning, with the roads dark, icy and covered in snow, I closed-out my final miles of 2019 on the treadmill at the gym. My final seven miles of the year, brought me to a total of 130 for the month of December and an all-time high of 1,773.5 for the year. I far surpassed my completed mileage from previous years, even without having any personal goals or too many races scheduled for the year. This was also my first time reaching over 200 miles in a month. The great thing about 2019 was not having any personal goals. But accomplishing so many peaks regardless of that. I just allowed myself to push, make mistakes, learn, and push more. But be smart about it.

1712, 2019

75 experience gifts for everyone on your list

With three kids being born during the week of Christmas, things can get quite overwhelming in our household around this time of year.  Over time, we have started saying 'no' to unnecessary commitments, are participating in quiet holiday moments at home, enjoying family time with extended relatives and are experiencing holiday traditions that truly mean something to our family. We have also started given each child an experience gift for their birthday - usually some alone time with me. And also a few experience gifts under the tree with their other packages.  Also, as our parents have aged, they are also finding that they don't need more "stuff". There is nothing worse than buying "just for the sake of buying". Sometimes gift cards don't

1712, 2019

Destination Running in Pigeon Forge

After the thirteen hour drive down from Wisconsin to Tennessesse over Thansigiving, my body was craving a run. I didn't get out for a run every day, but did a couple of times during our first road trip to the Smoky Mountains. Our cabin was situated on pin-turn roads, mountainside, so I wasn't going to be doing any runs directly from our cabin. Nor, did I want to run right down the main drag in Pigeon Forge (how boring is that?!). So I asked locals that we knew what would be a nice and safe route for me to navigate on my own in the mornings. They gave me some great tips on running near the Island of Pigeon Forge, a unique shopping center

1712, 2019

Exploring Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies with our Toddler

After a busy day trip of sightseeing and hiking in the Smoky Mountains over Thanksgiving, the rain started just as the forecast predicted at sunset. We found a parking spot in downtown Gatlinburg and rushed to dinner at Mellow Mushroom, which was on our bucket list for this trip. The pizza was ah-mazing! After filling our bellies and recharging, we walked through the rain down the main drag to the Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies for an indoor adventure.  Located at a busy intersection in Gatlinburg, the large aquarium was surrounded by Christmas lights, walkways and a beautifully lit Christmas tree. It was magical. We were looking forward to wandering around inside and getting out of the rain. When we entered through the main

912, 2019

Our Midwestern Family Visits Dollywood

Our family spent Thanksgiving in the Smoky Mountains this year. Since this was our first time to the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area, we weren't sure how to spend our time. We wanted to diversify our days between running, hiking and outdoor adventures and visiting local attractions and making outings that we had not experienced before. We were only traveling with our toddler on this trip. I had heard great things about Dollywood. But we were curious if it could live up to our love of Disney. Hubby had worked at Walt Disney World and I have visited Disney about fifteen times over the years. We both loved Disney and weren't sure how Dollywood would compare to the amusement park in Orlando. But we

1710, 2019

2019 Rails to Trails Marathon Race Report

This season we were looking for something a little different for our fall event. We had done a lot of exploring, hiking and saw a lot of new nature trails, state parks, bike trails, waterfalls and nature centers this summer. So the Rails to Trails Marathon on the Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail seemed like a natural way to end our 2019 season. I had biked the Sparta segment of the trail with my kids last year, so I knew that the setting would be gorgeous, a nice escape - and there would be a 3/4 mile tunnel that we would navigate through - twice. The entire race was on a crushed gravel path. The event was cancelled last year, due to the intense rain we

1610, 2019

7 tips for staying motivated after your fall race

The post-race blues really are a thing. Similar to any other major event in our lives - planning a wedding, childbirth, reaching a huge goal in life - runners can become saddened after they cross that finish line that they've been chasing for weeks or months. This becomes increasingly challenging when the weather changes in the fall, daylight hours are lost and cooler weather makes getting your workouts in a little more difficult. Here are some of my top tips for staying motivated after your big, fall race. If you have other tips that I can pass along to my running clients, please send them to me. Sign up for another event. Perhaps the best way to stay motivated after running a race is

908, 2019

8 Ways to Save on School Supplies

Wow, I am still in denial that is already August. Summer's been fun. But, the school year is right around the corner. I can tell, because my inbox is being flooded by messages from various schools regarding class schedules, events, after school activities -- and school supplies. If you're like me, you have a love/hate relationship with back-to-school shopping. I love taking my kids on this annual adventure. Trust me, I do. But I can also experience a lot of anxiety in the middle of the store aisles, after I let three kiddos loose to check items off of their list. Just like grocery shopping, I like to price-compare, purchase generic and get the best deal for my buck. Here are some of my

1807, 2019

So, why should you strength train?

Being so passionate about running, all I use to do was run, run ... and (you guessed it!) ... run! I loved what running did for me both mentally and physically. I loved how I was forced to push the limits of my body, escape my day and feel accomplished. I didn't want to slow down. But my hamstrings were tight, my core was weak and my upper body had no definition. It wasn't until I became injured and was forced to slow myself down, that I slowly realized (pun intended!) how essential strength training and regular core exercise was to my running routine. As I learned the benefits of shoulder and bicep exercises to hold my arms appropriately in place, core training to

307, 2019

Tips for Running in the Heat

With the warmer summer months finally here, it can be easy to get discouraged by the heat and sun. Plan ahead and have all of your necessities on hand and available for your next run. Here are some of my top tips for staying motivated, comfortable and safe while running in the heat. • Modify your workout with run/walk intervals • Bring a water bottle filled with ice water to run with • Bring an extra bottle of ice water to drink while you are stretching after your workout • Wear light-colored clothing • Wear tank tops and shorts • Wear wicking/breathable clothing and avoid cotton • Wear your hair up • Wear a baseball cap or visor for shade • Wear sunscreen •

1106, 2019

A morning adventure to Schumacher Farm Park

The marathon mommy minivan has driven past Schumacher Farm Park in Waunakee numerous times, during our adventures over to the west side of Madison or to attend races in Waunakee. I had recently noticed county park signage, but wasn't sure if you could actually explore the property. Today, we decided to find out. That was part of today's adventure after all. We turned off of the highway and drove up the driveway to the property. We were welcomed by several freshly painted buildings and barns. We quickly got out and explored the grassy trails in the prairie. The fifteen minute hike was perfect for the two of us. You could easily take a stroller on the grassy trail if needed. But we walked together

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

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