2014 Team Tough Chik! Meet Lynette, Cheryl and Dereka!

25 Mar


Name: Lynette

Location: Shady Point, OK

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: sewing, crocheting, wrangling four kids

2014 Race Plans: Planning on a marathon in April and hopefully an ultra (50k) in September or October.

What makes you a Tough Chik? I’m wife to a soldier and mom to 4 kids. We’ve managed through 2 deployments (pushing a jogging stroller with 100lbs of kids is pretty tough!) and moves across the country all without losing my sanity =)

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? My Garmin

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13


Name: Cheryl G.

Location: Salisbury, NC

Sport of Choice: I’ve always been athletic. I ran high school track and played field hockey. Then ran on a scholarship at Syracuse. Then life and “stuff” got in the way – I gained some weight and finally just decided it was time to make a change! So…I started walking and then running. While I ran track way back when – I always just ran short sprints and hurdles…never distance…so this was new. I’ve only been running since June 2013 – but LOVE it and plan to push myself more in 2014!

Hobbies: I’m a crafter. I do glass etching (have a little business – Enlightened Engravings) and love holiday crafts. I’m also a reading nut!

2014 Race Plans: I am running my first official 10K in February 2014 at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. EEEKKKK! In 2014 I plan to run many more 5K’s because I just think it’s a fun distance. I love to push myself and try to PR at each one! I want to run a 25min 5K (small steps!) and place in my age group – as that always seems to elude me!


What makes you a Tough Chik? I am a Melanoma Survivor (wear your sunscreen!!) and working to get myself back into shape. I want to be fit and lean again and will not stop until I get there!

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? My iPhone

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Strive for progress, not perfection.


Name: Dereka E.

Location: Buffalo, NY

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: fitness, Disney vacation planning

2014 Race Plans: Walt Disney World Marathon, Tinker Bell Half Marathon, Buffalo Marathon, Upstate NY Tough Mudder

What make you a Tough Chik: I don’t quit.

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? iPhone

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Courage means being scared to death but saddling up anyway-John Wayne

Fun Fact: My mom was pregnant with me when Elvis died, she was pregnant with my half sister when Kurt Cobain died and I was pregnant with my daughter when Michael Jackson died. I won’t have another child for my fear of losing Madonna 🙂

3 Things Thursday

20 Mar

I am normally not a 3 things Thursday kind of gal, but today I felt like posting a quick note and this seemed to be a good way to do it.


1. Ragnar So Cal – Team Tough Chik is gearing up for Ragnar So Cal which is a 12 person relay from Huntington Beach to San Diego.  We will cover 194 miles on foot over the course of 2 days (really 1 and a half).  We have a great group of women racing, some from down the street and some from far away.  Over the next few weeks you will be hearing much more about Ragnar So Cal.


2. Swim Week – I am training for Ironman 70.3 Boise right now, and this is swim week.  Which means most of my workouts are in the pool.  At this point I feel like I sweat chlorine!  Today is a rest day and I am SO ready!


3. Hot Chocolate 15K – On Sunday I am returning to PetCo Park in San Diego to race the Hot Chocolate 15K.  I rarely race the same race year after year, so I am excited to see if my running has improved over the past year.

2014 Team Tough Chik – Meet Lori, Tina and Zenaida

18 Mar


Name: Lori N.

Location: San Marcos, CA

Sport of Choice: Running and just about any other form of athletic torture for fitness.

Hobbies: Labs and More Rescue (transport, fostering and weekend adoptions), bike rides, hiking, reading, movies and spending time with my family and friends.

2014 Race Plans: After the mileage I’ve put in running 2013 miles to raise $2013 for my lab rescue group in 2013, I thought I’ve taken a break. But my passion for running has already got the first half of 2014 somewhat scheduled. I’d like to upgrade my triple crown medals, but haven’t decided yet. So far some half marathons and 1 full are on the schedule.

What makes you a Tough Chik? I have always worked out and fell in love with running about 5 years ago. Being a Tough Chik to me is challenging myself to push harder or just accomplish the race set before me no matter how “tough”. I will always listen to my body and every race will be different, but I will always “tough” it out to do the best I can.

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? iPhone – it’s my music, and my saving grace when I’m stuck and need a ride or food/drink or help for that matter.

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? 1 Cor. 9:24-27
Run in such a way to get the prize…

Hebrews 12:1-3
Run the race marked before you with perseverance… Do not grow weary and lose heart.

Fun Fact:  I’m obsessed with athletic wear, especially shoes! I’m kind of Imelda Marcos with my running shoes.




Name: Tina G.

Location: Calgary, Alberta CANADA

Sport of Choice: Running! (Mostly I prefer 10km or half marathon distance)

Hobbies: Cooking, Hiking, Reading, Writing, Soaking in the Bathtub, and, well, Running!

2014 Race Plans

Hypothermic Half marathon – Calgary, AB – Feb 16, 2014
Run for L’Arche Half Marathon – Calgary, AB – March 22, 2014
Calgary Police Half Marathon – Calgary, AB – April 27, 2014
BMO Vancouver – Half Marathon – Vancouver, BC – May 4, 2014
Rocky Mountain Soap Company Womens Run 10km – Canmore, AB – May 24, 2014
Rocky Mountain Soap Company Womens Run 10km – Canmore, AB – May 25, 2014
Calgary Marathon – 42.2km – Calgary, AB – June 1, 2014
North Face Rundle’s Revenge – 25km – Canmore, AB –
Stampede Road Race Half Marathon – Calgary, AB – July 6, 2014
Melissa’s Road Race 22km – Banff , AB – Sept 24, 2014
Vancouver Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon – Vancouver, BC – October 26, 2014

What makes you a Tough Chik?  I just might be 2 scoops of crazy. I run. 4-5 times a week. It didn’t used to be that way. I used to be in very good shape. Then, I spent a lot of time on my butt.

Then 40 came and I got off my butt.  At first it was walking, then running. But I kept moving.  Went from 5km to 10km to a half marathon.  After accomplishing something that I thought I could never do I realized I was tougher than I thought. So I signed up for a marathon! I have never been so excited and terrified at the same time on race day! And then … SO proud of myself.

Since 2011 I have run 21 half marathons. Not fast, but I run. I love how it feels. Getting tough with myself has helped me find my fun, fit, fabulous self. If you don’t love it, don’t do it. Do it, be it, live it, LOVE it. My mantra really is that 40 is a FABULOUS time to try something new. I am slightly terrified at the thought of training for another marathon! But I know I can. In rediscovering running, I have found passion, strength, self-esteem and confidence. And have met some amazing friends.  I have dug deep and discovered I can do things I never ever thought possible. Heck after trying trail running, half marathons and few marathons, and relay races  … maybe trying a duathlon is in my future! I am excited to see where my Tough will take me.

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? My watch

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? “The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.” – E.E. Cummings

And often when I am running, I have been known to shout out words like “Go!” or  “Breathe!”

Fun Fact: I was baptised with water from the Jordan River!
I have sung for the Queen, The Prime  Minister of Australia and 2 Prime Ministers of Canada!





Name: Zenaida A.

Location: Chicago

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: Running

2014 Race Plans: Complete one ultra marathon, all RunDisney half marathons) and at least 14 half marathons.

What make you a Tough Chik: I am a teacher with 25 kids in my class.  I am their mentor and inspire them to do their best every single day.  I also run because I know that one day I won’t be able to.

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? iPod

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? “Rule #1 of life. Do what makes YOU happy.” – Unknown

Pool Problems…AGAIN!

17 Mar

Nothing like some inconsiderate boobs in the gym pool to bring me back to blogging.  Yes, I have been slacking…BIG TIME and I honestly have no excuse.  I wish I could say that I have dedicated my free time to helping out at a soup kitchen or walking dogs at a shelter, but no, I am not spending my free time helping man (or dog) kind.  And it isn’t even that I don’t have anything to say.  I have written several posts in my head on long runs or ride, trust me…they were AMAZING and very insightful.  If only I can get an assistant to follow me on my runs and rides to dictate posts to!  Wouldn’t that be awesome?

I digress…

As you have read (or can see by my links below), I have little patience poor pool etiquette.








I am not talking about lane etiquette or actions that only an experience swimmer would know, I am talking about good ole consideration of others and awareness of those around you.  Last week we got to the pool and there were 2 teenagers play fighting each other in a lane.  This is the pool at my gym, that is completely roped off for lanes.  So they are taking a lane to put each other head locks.  So I have to share a lane (which is not a huge deal, but still) so you can play WWF water-style?  WTF?

Then last night I was swimming in a lane alone and there was an empty lane next to me.  A guy jumped into that lane and kind of started to swim.  Then his wife/girl-friend joined him in the lane to play and round of grab-a$$.  Of course, another swimmer shows up and shares a lane with me.  Again, not a big deal, but I have to share a lane so you can piggy-back each other and flirt.  Really?

Is it just me, or does this happen everywhere?  Do people at your gym treat the pool like a hotel pool? Shouldn’t a gym pool be considered a place to work out and not socialize?

2014 Team Tough Chik! Meet Jodi, Jenifer and Angie!

11 Mar


Name: Jodi G.

Location: Rockford, IL

Sport of Choice: Triathlon

Hobbies: Photography and cheering on the Cleveland Indians

2014 Race Plans: 6/8/14 – Esprit de She sprint tri Naperville, IL
7/14 – Rock, Roll ‘N’ Run sprint tri Janseville, WI
8/16/14 – Dirty Girl Mud Run WI
9/6/14 – Rev3 Cedar Point sprint tri
10/26/14 – Marine Corps Marathon!!  My first!!

What makes you a Tough Chik?  Being out there and staying active.  Age is just a number!

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? My phone

Fun Fact:  I deal with criminals all week as a Probation supervisor and spend my weekends volunteering with some awesome kids who were blessed with an extra chromosome.



Name: Jenifer O.

Location: West Covina, Ca

Sport of Choice: Running… But actually I call it “wogging” which is in between walking and jogging.

Hobbies: I love crafts. Knitting is my favorite; I am a big time volunteer and my kid’s school. I love “glamping” which is glamorous camping. I am not going to a port o potty in the middle of the night.:)

2014 Race Plans: As most of the girls know I completed my 1st sprint tri 2013 on a cruiser and it was not easy. I want to conquer that course again on a real bike. I plan on toning down the half marathon and maybe focus more on some fun runs with the kids. I would also like to hit some trails.

What makes you a Tough Chik? I think I am tough in a lot more ways than I considered last year. I am a more confident person. I really feel with the right mindset I can conquer anything. At 37 years young I never thought this would be where I am at. I am a much happier, confident person because of this team.

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Nike sportswatch

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? My last half my friend told at the last mile to “push my brave”. It was a rough mile and I think I cried to the finish line.

Fun Fact: I really am silly fun living gal. I “wog” so I can drink beer and eat ice cream. I love tennis shoes. I still feel like I am 16.



Name: Angie Z.

Location: Lincoln, NE

Sport of Choice: Triathlon

Hobbies: Photography, show jumping (jumping horses over fences)

2014 Race Plans: Lincoln Half Marathon (May 2014), Omaha Women’s Triathlon-Sprint (June 2014), Omaha Triathlon-Olympic (July 2014), Hy-Vee Triathlon-Olympic (August 2014)

What make you a Tough Chik: When I make up my mind I am going to accomplish something, I do it.  I have set some lofty goals in my life and have completed many of them.  I continue to set high goals for myself as I try to reach for the stars!

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Garmin 910XT

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fun Fact:  I usually read a couple of thousand pages worth of books each year!


6 Mar



2014 Team Tough Chik! Meet Cynthia, Heather and Sheila

4 Mar


Name: Cynthia T.

Location: Lincoln, RI

Sport of Choice: Walking – mainly half marathons.

2014 Race Plans: I Plan to finish 60 half marathons in 2014 to celebrate turning 60 yrs. old.

What makes you a Tough Chik? I am a Tough Chik because at 56 yrs old I completed my first half marathon with RI Team In Training and in the last 3 years have completed 46 half marathons, 4 full marathons, one sprint tri, and many 5ks.  I will never win a race as I am a walker but I still finish every race I enter and love encouraging those along the way.

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? My race belt.

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Everything happens for a reason.

Fun Fact:  I try to ‘dress up’ for my half marathons.  Makes the distance much more fun.




Name: Heather B.

Location: Onawa Iowa

Sport of Choice: Running, newly found.

Hobbies: Love to go for walks with friends, watch my daughter in Volleyball, Dance, Gym, track, and Basketball. Love seeing her grow and learn what her body will let her do. I love challenges to better myself. I love to read when I get a chance.
Now my newly found love in running has been so helpful to me in many ways like the support you get from people you don’t even know, support from friends and family and the smile on my daughters face when I completed my first half and she said I knew you could do it!

2014 Race Plans: I am going to do a FULL MARATHON. I am not sure where yet, but will do one for sure. I also love the mud runs, which we will have some around here, and I will do another half to see if I can get a better time.

What makes you a Tough Chik? I think just being a woman will make anyone a Tough Chik. I have a lot of determination to make myself healthy and fit. Like most women we have so much on our plate so to do something like running, walking or exercising to get out and get our ducks in a row makes us healthy but most of all for me is the satisfaction I get.

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? My running shoes

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? The best way to prepare for life is to begin to live!
One day at a time.

Fun Fact: Dry sense of humor.





Name: Sheila K.

Location: Steinbach MB

Sport of Choice: Currently I am running. I have done a half marathon, a 10 mile and a 5K race this past year. I will be starting swimming and cycling in the New Year.

Hobbies: reading

2014 Race Plans: 2014 will be a 5K resolution run, a half Marathon, a full marathon, as well as Try a Tri… in late august.

Other than that, we will see how the year progresses

What make you a Tough Chik: The fact that I am 100 lbs overweight, and am training for events.  I have Hypothyroidism, which makes weight loss extremely difficult.  I therefore run with extra weight on my body.  I am trying to break the cycle of obesity/diabetes/health issues in my family

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? GPS – mileage/speed

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Get ‘er’ Done.

Fun Fact:  I am 45 overweight and in the best cardiovascular shape of my life (when I was slim, I could not physically do the things I do now!)

2014 Team Tough Chik! Welcome Julie, Wendy and Colette

25 Feb


Name: Julie F.

Location: Mt. Morris, IL

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: Running, family, reading

2014 Race Plans: I would like to do another half marathon next year.  Now that my daughter will be graduating from high school, she can run more 5k’s with me.

What makes you a Tough Chik? 5 years ago when I turned 40 I started on a weight loss journey.  I lost 60 lbs over 2 years.  It is an every day battle to keep that off.

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? phone

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Find a way.

Fun Fact:  I have naturally curly hair.




Name: Wendy R.

Location: phoenix

Sport of Choice: Running, Swimming, Triathlon

Hobbies: reading, hiking, biking, orange Theory, yoga

2014 Race Plans: Women’s Half marathon, Fiesta Half marathon, Pat’s Run, multiple masters swim meets, various 5K and 10K events

What makes you a Tough Chik? At the age of 40, after knee surgery, I lost 80 pounds and now, at 48, the weight has stayed off and I am as active as ever. I keep working to improve my fitness and my race results and as a high school PE teacher, pass along the importance of fitness to my students.

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Nike GPS watch

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Never Give Up-Winston Churchill





Name: Colette A.

Location: Delaware

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: Horses
In line skating

2014 Race Plans: Hot chocolate 15k
Diva run
Shamrock 1/2
Chesapeake bridge
Foam feast
Philly marathon
Danskin tri
Philly marathon

What make you a Tough Chik: All of us have a tough Chik inside of us just waiting to come out. This will be my second year is a TTC and I’m so excited to see where my toughness leads me.
There are always those thoughts … I wanna do this, I wanna so that… Then we worry… Will I be able to?  Can I really do that??  With the support of all our sister toughies, the answer is … Oh, Hell yeah!!! Just step aside and watch!!!   This past year, I have conquered obstacles I’ve only dreamed about. :-).

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? My iPhone

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? ” I like to look in the rear view mirror and which life try to catch up with me ”

Fun Fact:  I love to do handstands in the pool 🙂


2014 Team Tough Chik – Meet Amy, Xanthe & Valerie!

18 Feb


Name: Amy S. – 1st year member!

Location: Fullerton, ca

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: Racing, traveling, shopping, reading, spending time with friends and family.

2014 Race Plans: Oc half, Huntington Beach half, LB half, Nike in Dc (fingers crossed)

What makes you a Tough Chik? I’m dedicated! Through injury I keep
Coming back!! I am always trying new runs to push myself and keep motivated!

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Nike plus

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Run your own race!

Fun Fact:  3 years ago I started running and my goal was to complete a 5k. This weekend I am running my 8th half marathon, rock n roll in Vegas!


Name: Xanthe – 2nd year member

Location: Campo, CA

Sport of Choice: Triathlons

Hobbies: Geocaching, animals, reading, softball, triathlons, hiking

2014 Race Plans: Jan:
5-Kendall Webb Triathlon
18-Stagecoach Century
19-Carlsbad Marathon
2-Surf City Marathon
8-Tour De Palm Springs
9-Palm Springs Half
16-Run 10/20
22-Race the Base (maybe)
23-San Diego Women’s Half Marathon
1-Desert Tri (Sprint)
2-Desert Tri (Oly)
9-San Diego Half Marathon
16-Superseal Oly Triathlon
23-Zion Half Marathon
13-HITS Napa 140.6 Triathlon
20-Mustang Half Marathon (maybe)
27-La Jolla Half Marathon
4-OC Half Marathon
18-HITS Colorado 70.3 (maybe)

What makes you a Tough Chik? I have been last and didn’t quit.

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.  -Eleanor Roosevelt

Fun Fact: 20+ military Veteran, retired.



Name: Valerie D. – 1st year member

Location: Arlington, VA

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: Running

2014 Race Plans: Dopey Challenge January 9-12, 2014
GW Parkway Classic 10 mile – April 14, 2014.

What make you a Tough Chik: I may not be fast, but I hang in there until I get the distance covered.

2014 Team Tough Chik! Meet Betsy, Nikkol and Debbie!

11 Feb


Name: Betsy S.

Location: NJ

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: Running, Reading, Golf, Scrapbooking

2014 Race Plans: I have quite a few 1/2 marathons lined up already, and I’m seriously considering my first FULL marathon…NYC!.

What makes you a Tough Chik? I’m a single mom of 2 little boys.  I don’t want them to feel like they are missing out on anything.  They are my first priority, and most of my time is spent on the soccer (or baseball or basketball field).  It’s hard to squeeze in me time for running…but I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? ipod

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? “Success isn’t how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started.”

Name: Nikkol M.

Location: Scottsdale, AZ

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: running, biking, swimming, rowing and hiking

2014 Race Plans: Arizona Rock n Roll Marathon
Xterra Trail Series
As many Triathlons as I have time for
Tour de Scottsdale
El Tour de Tuscon
Soma half iron distance triathon

What makes you a Tough Chik? I didn’t start running until I was about 29 and have since completed 5 full marathons, countless half-marathons, several bike races, two half iron distance triathlons and several olympic and sprint distance triathlons.  I was diagnosed with Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) when I was 11 years old.  I’ve had 7 knee surgeries for it and spend many years on medication.  I was told I would most likely be in a wheel chair by the time I was 30.  Consequently, that was the year I ran my first full marathon.  I am very thankful to have defied the odds and that I am still running and enjoying all life has to offer for as long as I am able.  I am now a personal trainer and I specialize in the elderly population because I know that together we can really improve their quality of life and someday, I’m going to be one of them.

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Armband for my phone

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? I run because I can.

Fun Fact: I was running the San Diego marathon and when I got to the place where they were handing out popsicles, they were all out because the half-marathon had already been through that area.  I actually started to cry.  Every race after that, one of my girl friends meets me at the finish line with a Popsicle.



Name: Debbie H.

Location: Chicago, IL

Sport of Choice: RUNNING

Hobbies: food, healthy foods, cooking, exercise, spending time with my family, playing board games with my children

2014 Race Plans: In 2013, I ran 15 races, which was the most I’ve ever done in a year.
I’m hoping to surpass that number with a new PR in 1 or more races.

What make you a Tough Chik: I don’t quit!  I try to encourage others.  I’m encouraged by others.  I lead by example!

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? A good sport bra & Nuun

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Run through head trash!

Fun Fact: My children love animals & we have a ball python, 2 Russian Tortoises, golden doodle, guinea pig and that’s it for NOW!