Reader Survey Responses!

A couple of weeks ago, Hello, Flecks! put a survey out to all the readers & fans of this blog asking for feedback and concerns with your own health and wellness journeys. (There’s always time to go fill it out at the link here, we love to get your input!)

Firstly, Thank You All so much for the feedback! You are helping us make a better site, one that can help you achieve success and feel great!

Here’s what we heard on a couple particular questions:

 What’s the vision of your perfect health?

Many of you said that just eating regular and healthy, unprocessed foods is part of the vision of your perfect health. Staying away from processed foods and bringing your connection back to mother nature’s gifts is a huge step in itself.

We couldn’t agree more, and we want to help.

It’s important to understand that this may not happen overnight, but it does happen with small steps.

Kristin and I have been on our own health journeys for a long time now. It started many years ago with simply adding frozen veggies to the grocery cart along with the frozen pizza. We started spending more time in the health foods section, even if we didn’t get anything. We scoped out the produce section rather than passing it right by, like I used to.

We didn’t always know what worked for us, but we began with a small task we could accomplish, like finishing a bag of veggies in a week.

As with exercise, you can not jump right into buying all Organic produce & no snacks and expect to succeed. You will burn out. Big audacious goals often take a while to build up to.

in particular for the last several months. If you check out our Instagram you’ll see we’ve been cooking up our meals for the week on #MealPrepSunday.

Sunday is now a day that reminds us of the great and healthy week we’ll be having, which puts us in the right frame of mind for the week.

We realize that healthy living includes things that don’t always come naturally for most people.

These are foundation items that can take a while to set in place.

One small successful step is way better than a failed leap.

The biggest hurdles to your success in health?

We heard this one loud and clear: Time and Motivation

That is something I think everyone struggles with. I’m always pressed for time and I, too, find it hard to get out there and get the workouts in.

While I don’t have a magic wand that can give you more time, I will say that consistency is what has helped me in the past.

To begin, figure out where you have no more than 15 minutes in your day, every day. By starting off with an easily repeatable task, this will build into a habit in about 3 weeks.

Kristin has been doing this with running 5 minutes a day. Yes, five minutes. Some may say that five minutes is not enough time to run, I say that is 5 minutes more than if she didn’t set aside that time each evening. She’s now going beyond the five minutes and is almost up to a whole mile of straight running. I couldn’t be more proud of her.

If you have children, include them in this activity, Please! I was not introduced to exercise beyond playing outside as a child, and I wish I had been.  This is a great opportunity for parents to teach children about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle because children mimic their parents.

If you are demonstrating that healthy food and exercise is important, just imagine how that’s going to set them up for success in a world that is increasingly making processed foods the norm.

As for the motivation, know that it has to come from within. I can’t get you out there to work out or get you to drop the unhealthy habits, but I can try.

Begin to surround yourself with success stories. Check out how others have succeeded in ways that you’d like to, and use their success as a catalyst for your own success.

Just like it does for Kristin and I, motivation must come from within. You can’t do it for your spouse, or your kids, or your friends. You must change for you.

Something tells me that there is some reason for you to want to be healthier. Figure out what that thing is, and focus on it.


I hope you enjoyed the survey as much as we did with the responses. This was great knowledge for us, and so I’m very excited to be doing this again soon!


Are you an Educated Runner?

I know with this week’s earlier post, you’ve been wondering what this Change could be. Well, it’s more of an improvement, and it will definitely be a learning experience.

I’ve been training for my fastest PR leading up to the Cincinnati Too Half Marathon on October 19th, and up to this point, I’ve been working on my own training schedule.

In my never-ending quest for securing a PR of 1:30 for this race, I came across a group of coaches from Educated Running, and they’ve got a great deal that really excited me.

They are currently running a coaching promotion called the USA Project 50/50, check it out:


Though I have complete confidence in my ability to make a plan I can follow, I know that I do not have years and years of vast ninja knowledge that these coaches do.

I do not have the USA Track and Field Level 1 certifications that all of these coaches do, nor have I ever helped two high school cross country teams finish top in their Regional Meets like Coach Hammond.

I am looking forward to sharing my future training with you all leading up to the big race day October 19th!

I’ve been a runner for about 6 years now, and I still consider myself a student of running. There are so many things that I learn everyday about what running really is and what it can do for you.

I signed up for training because over the years, I’ve bootstrapped this whole operation with $30 shoes, $7 training watches and Jillian Michaels DVD’s. I have never had the chance to get expert knowledge into how to train for a specific running goal. This is going to help me in my preparation, and it will give me a chance to try new things with my training, many of which I’ve never dug deep into before.

I met with my coach, Coach Miranda via Google Hangouts, and it was a great introduction & kickoff to the training schedule. He said something that has already really resonated with me.

He said I need to trust him by taking a leap of faith.

I don’t think there’s a better statement than that. To pivot from my own training plan into something completely different is scary. I’m afraid that I’ll be abandoning my own plan and feel like a failure. I’m afraid that this plan will be too different from my own.

After much soul-searching, I realized that this is exactly the kind of leap of faith I need in order to grow in anything. Not just running, but in life.

The key to change is letting go of the fear – Pittacus Lore

Letting go of fear applies to so many good things. I’ve taken leaps of faith before where I had no idea what I was doing, and they’ve turned out to be some of the best moments of my life.

Follow me along this new and exciting path. I will also be blogging with them on their page, which you can check out here

This new coaching plan will lead me right into the Cincy Half Marathon Too, and I’m excited to see how this coaching can re-shape my whole training plan!

Educated Running is an online coaching service with a personal touch dedicated to making you a smarter runner. They believe that there is more to training than just following a plan. Their customized training plans enable you to trust in your training come race day.
You can find more Educated Running on their Facebook page, helpful facts about food on Instagram, and join the conversation on Twitter.


Half Marathon Training Week 3 – Did Jillian Michaels just call me a “Lady”?


The training groove has set in. I’ve hit a stride where the training is getting easier to fit into the week, and I look forward to preparing for each different session, as opposed to just hopping on the treadmill.

There were some feelings of failure in last week’s training, but Week 3 proved to be very solid.

Let’s break it down for you into useful chunks:

Week 3 Marathon Training Schedule


I got a chance to try out the Yoga for Runners DVD, and it was pretty good! It was full of poses that I don’t think I’ve found in my searches on Youtube, and the program is made by a runner, for runners, which I find comforting and helpful.

I found a great write-up by Jessica from A Little More Each Day. Check out her review, it’s very thorough and informative!

The DVD is broken out into sections, making it easier to digest when pressed for time, like on a Monday night.


I cut back 5 min on the pace run, and that made me feel awesome because I actually made it through the pace run with no breaks! It was also a 9.0 mph pace, which is faster that the minimum.


I used a tougher Jillian Michaels’ video this week, No More Trouble Zones which was almost twice as long as the other workout sessions. I forgot how brutal it can get towards the end, when you just want to stop.

There’s also something about being called a lady by a buff Jillian that makes me feel like I should keep on going strong through the whole workout.


Yasso 800s are still kicking my ass. I still haven’t finished a full round of even 1. I am going to get these tackled one way or another because they are the best thing around for guaranteeing a finish time.

Next week, maybe, when I have the strength gains of doing Wednesday’s strength training session.


Saturday was a great long run, I did not stop the whole way, I used it as a slower run, and I felt great afterward.

I’ve also made a modification to the whole rest of the schedule to have long runs on Saturdays. This seems to work better because I feel a lull that comes in throughout the day, and as the runs get longer, I think Saturdays will be better to find the time for them than Sundays.


Sunday was supposed to act as a recovery run, but Saturday went so well that it became a speed run. I used the treadmill to climb up to 10 degrees incline, and I went through the whole 50 min yoga session afterward.


As you can see, the week of training had a solid mix of a slow run, a fast run, strength and recovery. The balance in the week of working out, the dedication of not missing a run, and the discipline of keeping the diet reigned in is starting to shape a great beginning to a training plan.

Sure, it’s tough carving out time to do all of this almost every day. When I think about skipping a run, I envision the race that’s just weeks away.

I envision being unsure of the preparation and work that’s been put in leading up to that day. I can already see myself there now. Skipping a run won’t be doing me any favors, and so I continue.

Are you doing any training for an upcoming race? I’d love to hear how its going!

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