Category Archives: To Do

Refresh and Renew + Exciting News

Sorry for my absence, unlike many of my other blogger friends the Christmas holiday is a time when I take a break from my computer and relax.  I hope you missed me.

And although, we are only seven days into 2013, I already feel behind as I have not posted my New Year’s Resolutions for 2013.  I think its important to keep myself accountable.   So, I am going to do it.  Better late than never right?


Wikipedia defines it this way: A New Year’s resolution is a commitment that a person makes to one or more personal goals, projects, or the reforming of a habit.  The most important part of this is the word commitment.  We really need to commit to making a change if we are going to form it into a habit.   Truth be told I only achieved 29% of my resolutions from 2012.  So, I know I will have to really try to get closer to achieving them all in 2013. But, instead of resolutions I like to call them goals.  They are in no particular order and not all of them involve fitness.

My 2013 Goals:

  1. Lose Weight – This is so I can get healthy and run faster.  I will be documenting this extensively on the blog this year.
  2. Pay Down Some Debt and Save Money– This is so I can save for the future – who knows what each day will bring.
  3. Attend Church More – To get closer to God and be more humble and more thankful.
  4. Log 600 Miles!! – I only got to 324 last year so it is going to take a lot of effort to nearly double that number.
  5. Achieve a new 5K PR – Currently it stands at 41:31, which is pretty crappy for my age group.
  6. Run a 10K or 15K – I am considering Gasparilla but we shall see how this month goes.
  7. Read one book a week. My new Kindle should aid in this one.
  8. Graduate from FSU!  (May 2013 here I come!)
  9. Volunteer for 16 hours.  I hope to do this by becoming involved in the Women’s Council at my church.  I think it is the right thing to do to give back to the community.  I also want to volunteer for one race to help pass out water or medals or anything.  Races can never happen without volunteers!
  10. Visit the Rays in a new stadium!  Maybe Miami or Atlanta or LA!



On Christmas day, I am excited to tell you that Rob proposed to me!  We are getting married!  He hung the ring in the tree and wrote a cute poem and everything.   It was very sweet.   This makes all my goals for 2013 all the more important.  I must succeed so I can wear the most perfect dress for me!

fitkist bride

Lastly, any of my Tampa / St. Pete readers please register for the Glow Run!  It is this Saturday night and I am really looking forward to it!  Save $10 off of registration by using the code: STPETE2013!


Fikist Signature_final



Filed under To Do

Self Defense For Runners and FIT1001: Intro to F.I.T. Monday

HND Self-Defense For Runners

One of the benefits of being a member of a running club like Run Tampa, is that you get invitations to cool events that no one else knows about.  (And, you get a secret decoder ring, but since it is a secret I can’t talk about it.)   One of the great offers we received was a Self-Defense For Runners class sponsored by one of our fellow male runners (Thanks Tori!).  We met in downtown Tampa at Curtis Hixon Park on Sunday.  The class was run by Caroline Portugal and several of her helpers, including another fitness expert and an ex-police officer.  Follow up research for this post reveals Caroline to be a fitness model, fashion designer and martial arts champ.  She exudes confidence and she teaches you in a way that is easy to understand.   She is powerful.  Basically, if I am fitkist, she is fitsmacked.

Pictures Courtesy of Caroline/HND

I learned a lot of information that is helpful to female runners during this level one self-defense program.  Runners are always on the streets getting those miles in after dark and before the sun comes up.  I am almost always running after dark, except for Saturdays.  It’s a passion and we shouldn’t let anyone take that right away.

First, we reviewed these tips about running safety in general:

  • Drive Your Run At The Time You Run – They recommend driving your route at the time of day you plan to run. The reason is the neighborhood/route is a lot different at 3PM than at 4AM.
  • Map Your Run – You should also map the run so you know where the nearest public location is just in case of an emergency.
  • Wear One Earbud – Bummer… Ke$ha does not sound as good with only one in but you have to be able to hear to stay alert. Dogs, cars, kidnappers are all out there so the stereo sound will have to wait for the gym.
  • Bring Your Phone – Yes, its one more thing to carry but not only does it serve as a lifeline to police and rescue you can also map your route using a GPS signal so anyone can find you using your last GPS location.
  • Tell Someone – Always tell someone where you are running, what time and what time you will be back. That way they can be alert if you show up late.
  • Don’t Talk To Strangers – Remember this one from when you were a kid?  It still holds up, if anyone asks you where you are going or where the nearest Starbucks is, assertively tell them you are meeting someone and you don’t have time to talk.  Walk/run away and head for that public place you mapped out earlier.

The class covered basic self-defense techniques you won’t be able to learn from a blog but check out the photos so you get an idea of what went on. The major moves covered were palm strikes, hammerfists, elbows, knees to the groin.  Fun!

The main takeaway from the physical portion was HOT! which helps you escape from an attacker who grabs you from behind.  Simply put, stomp on their foot with your heel, headbutt them, and hammerfist to the groin.  (HOT! = Heel, Ouch, Testicles).  If you have not done so, I recommend all women and teenage girls to take this class (or one in your local community).  Caroline makes a good point that you never know who may attack – it does not have to be a stranger – domestic violence happens to everyday people too.  HND was very professional and make you feel very comfortable – although I was embarrassed to do some of the moves.  Partly because Rob was watching and partly because I am still shy around the Run Tampa girls.  Plus, there were all sorts of gawking people in the park.   Yelling “HAAAA” in the open was a little nerve-racking for me.  There was an exercise where you practice your moves and this guy (Hi Mike!) chases you and grabs you and screams in your ear to get in his van.  I was actually scared but it was awesome because they want you to know what to expect if it happens.  If you are interested in the HND class visit their website or call them at 813-786-1089.  They can do group or private lessons as well.

I can now check self-defence level one off the “To Do” list thanks to Tori and Caroline!

Sorry for the picture quality – Rob was taking them from his phone.

F.I.T. Monday

First, I know what you are thinking but Melissa, it’s Tuesday… well another fun fact about me, I’m always late, sorry.  But, F.I.T. Monday is when I will be checking in with the world to recap my fitness and weight loss goals each week.  I encourage you to leave comments on your successes too or ask questions if you have any but I don’t know anything about Physics or animals fyi.

  • F = Fairness – I am going to be fair to myself.  Setting realistic goals is really hard for me because I am always trying to do too much (i.e. run half marathon)
  • I = Integrity – I am not going to lie to myself or you.  I am not going to have a blog that needs Zoloft or anything but we all know life is not a rose garden all the time.  If I do bad, I’ll tell you.  If I gain, I will tell you. If I miss a run, I’ll just whisper it so my coaches don’t scold me.
  • T = Teamwork – I am using the blog as a sounding board but I also consider you as part of the team.  The whole reason I started…I need to be accountable.  I will try to improve each week but I look forward to other bloggers, followers, commentors and coaches leaving their suggestions.

Since this is the first official week, this format may change.  Also, you may be wondering why there is an N/A by the weight.  My ultimate goal for now is to get that 24.9 BMI number.  In order to do that I have a lot of weight to go… think 9 bowling balls worth.  I am not going to post my weight on here.  Let’s be real people,  I am honest but not stupid.  But, I promise to be honest about the scale movement.

Weekly F.I.T. Monday Recap

CLASSES: 2 (3 Hours)

MILES: 10.43




 Any Questions? Comments? Suggestions?  Bring it.

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Filed under Diet and Nutrition, To Do