Run Coaching

by Melissa on October 11, 2015

Last spring I took the RRCA Run Coach certification course.  It was a weekend long intensive.  Between the running fundamentals I learned that weekend and the tools I have from being a registered dietitian and group fitness instructor, I knew that I would love working with individuals towards reaching their running goals.

Therefore, I’m excited to announce that I’m currently taking on Run Coaching Clients!

run coach

I believe run coaching is a necessary tool for many individuals with a race goal, whether it’s:

  • - Running your first 5K
  • - Getting started with running
  • - Qualifying for the Boston Marathon
  • - Hitting your goal time

After running more than 15 half marathons and struggling to hit my goal time, I finally enlisted the help of a running coach duo.  They were, what I believe to be, the key to my success.  I hit my goal time with 2 minutes to spare in my half marathon this past spring.  So yes, even the coach needs a coach! 



If you’re interested in working with me, send me a message via the contact link under the About Me section.  You will receive editable calendars, unlimited email messaging, and 1 to 2 Skype sessions per month.  Since I am also a registered dietitian, I do offer basic nutrition advice during training and 50% off my nutrition coaching packages for anything that goes beyond!

Still need some evidence that run coaching is for you?  Runner’s World wrote a fantastic piece a few months ago.  Check it out here :)

Have you worked with a running coach?

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My Favorite Books of 2015

by Melissa on October 8, 2015

One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2015 was to read 1 book per month.  Guess what number I’m on? 


Ok, so I’m a little behind.  But, I’m not upset.  I’m reading a lot more this year than I was last and I think that’s the whole point of resolutions – improvement.  Maybe next year I’ll get to 1 book per month ;)


I have read some fantastic books lately and I wanted to share them with you!   If you want to follow me on GoodReads, click here.  We can recommend books to each other – that’s how I prefer to figure out my next one, recommendations!

1. Unbroken:  This was a tough book for me to read.  Great story and wonderfully written characters, but what Louis went through truly broke my heart.  Having grandparents that fought in the war, it was eye opening to some of the tragedies that went on during that time.  Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely a story of human triumph and the resilience of the human spirit!

2. Wild:  This was more of a late 2014 read, but who cares!?  I loved it!  I want to read it again.  It was inspiring, jaw dropping, and touching all at the same time.  It was a little tough for me to get started but after about 50 pages, I couldn’t put it down!

3. Picture Perfect:  I love Jodi Piccoult and this one did not let me down. 

4.  Delicious:  It was almost a guilty read, except that it had great historical references plus a mystery embedded into it.  If you love food and you love books, you’ll love this one!

5. The Husband’s Secret:  AMAZING!  I read this in just about a week.  This is a book that could keep you up to 2am.  The interweaving of lives was unbelievable.  I picked up another one of Liane’s books “What Alice Forgot” because I just loved her style of writing.

Next Up?

- Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

- What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

What’s on your bookshelf?

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Running in the Dark

by Melissa on October 6, 2015

Here in the DC area, we’ve been dealing with a lot of weather change.  This past weekend brought Hurricane Joaquin.  Then the temperatures dropped to the 40s (it was just in the 80s I swear!), and now it’s dawning on me that it’s pitch black out until almost 7am :(

When you prefer to run outside, you have to be willing to adapt, and also have a few essentials that allow you deal with certain elements (read: this is permission for new running gear!).

While I could go on and on about my favorite wet or cold weather running gear, I think it makes more sense to discuss running when it’s dark outside.  Why?  Because it’s really more about safety.  I grew up running on back roads with no side walk and no street lamps.  The mornings I enjoyed the most were those that were clear with a full moon – so bright!

Now I live in an area where most roads have sidewalks and great street lamps, but I still have patches of my run that are dark.  Here are a few essentials you’ll want to have to stay safe while running in the dark:

1. Headlamp:  It’s goofy and you’ll look like a coal miner.  Safety isn’t always about fashion.  I actually hold mine in my hand and turn it on like a flashlight for those patches that get dark.  You can always strap it around your chest.  Either way, aim it toward the ground so you can see where your footing.

Recommended: (mine is black diamond brand) Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp

2. Reflective Gear: You can just buy a vest or there’s reflective tape you can put on a jacket you already own.  Also, there’s a lot of clothing on the market now with built in reflective fabric.  I recommend having something on both the front and back of you. 

Recommended: Amphipod Reflective Vest

3. ID:  Honestly, you should have some form of ID on you anytime you go running.  I like the runner ids that go on the shoe because you’re probably not leaving without your shoes! 

Recommended: RoadID

4. A friend:  Why?  If you’re running by yourself, you should always let someone else know that you’re leaving, what route you plan on running, and how long you plan to be gone.  It will give you peace of mind and also your loved ones.  And you can always use an app!  There are a ton out there.  RoadID has one and Glympse allows you to let someone know where you are.

What are your safety tips for dark runs?

IMG_20151006_063835 when all else fails, grab a post-run coffee!

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Grilled Caesar Salad

by Melissa on September 22, 2015

Fall is here.


Half of you probably have your hands in the air saying “Amen”, while the other half are dodging everyone else and their pumpkin spice lattes.

I love Fall, but I also love Spring, and Summer too.  So Fall presents this weird “I love you, but I also know that you bring something gross behind you.”  Yeah, weird relationship. 

No matter what camp you’re in, there’s still a lot of beautiful weather left to enjoy and grilling outdoors doesn’t have to end.  I’m pretty sure we’ll be using our grill all year so long as we can shovel a path to it ;)


This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite restaurant spots in Bethesda, and when I go there I get one thing: their grilled Caesar salad.  It may sound odd to grill lettuce, but romaine stands up perfectly to the high heat.  Try this today as a side dish to your favorite Italian meal or make it an entree with chicken or salmon on top.

Grilled Caesar Salad

  • 3 heads of romaine
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 2 TBSP parmesan cheese
  • 1 TBSP Caesar dressing
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive oil to brush romaine

Bring the grill to medium heat.  Brush heads of romaine lightly with oil.  Place head of lettuce onto grill.  Turn 3 times, grilling each side for 3 minutes.

Remove from grill.  Cut romaine from end to end using a large knife.  Place into salad bowl.  Toss with diced hard boiled eggs, parmesan cheese, dressing, and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve as a side dish or with chicken or salmon on top.


What is your favorite thing to grill?

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Stair Workout

September 9, 2015

So you know I love to run…right? But when I’m at the gym, the treadmill looks like a torture device.  I’d much rather see scenery passing me by than stare at a TV screen.  So when I’m there, I will either choose the elliptical or stairclimber (not a fan of the elliptical either – try […]

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End of Summer Harvest Pasta

September 7, 2015

I can’t believe it’s officially the end of the summer!  While I probably enjoy fall and spring like weather a little more, ending the summer always feels like we’re welcoming winter – which I like for about 2.5 days (aka the holidays…). The good part is that we still have more time for great weather […]

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Running for What?

September 1, 2015

I ran my first race in the fall of 2008.  I had my number pinned to my back.  Lots of lessons learned, miles run, and over 20 races – it’s late 2015 and I have no race on the horizon. Not one. Typically, I am one that needs the carrot, and sometimes, the stick, to […]

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July 21, 2015

Just as much as the next person, I love instagram.  There’s something kind of soothing about scrolling through pretty pictures at the end of your day.  But there’s also something sad when the next thing you know, it’s 9pm and you’ve barely said anything to your significant other.  Tech can be addicting.  Computers, smartphones, tablets, […]

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Weekend Wrap Up + Around the Web

July 20, 2015

Whoa weekend.  Have you ever had a weekend that you’re not quite sure what happened to it, let alone what you really did?  I had one of those.  Let’s just say smoke detectors and late nights on a ladder do not make the ideal weekend. But, I try to be the eternal optimist and see […]

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Summer Things

July 1, 2015

Where did June go? Seriously… We’ve been so busy around here enjoying our summer, traveling, and wedding planning. Early in May, we had our engagement photos taken by the lovely Kelci of Kelci Alane Photography.  It was such a special experience and if you’re not sure if you want engagement photos, I highly recommend them!  […]

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