20 Week Beginner Half Marathon Training Program

As you know Gaby and I are training for a half marathon. We put together a training schedule that starts today. Hop on the train with us. The schedule starts off very easy, only one mile! Again the half marathon is May 17th- here is the link to sign up:


20 Week Training Schedule

Start the journey with us today!  And remember a 12 min mile is just as far as a 6 min mile…..

From Cancer to Half-Marathon

Today, my crazy business partner talked me into signing up for a half-marathon on May 17th.  No big deal for the founder of a fitness retreat, right?  Wrong.  Don’t get me wrong…I love to work out. Like absurdly, clinically-borderline-insanely love it.  But running….Gross.  I mean, just the thought of it sends me into near convulsions.  We’re in the midst of a winter planning session for Peak Wellness (and stay tuned, we’ve got really good things to come!) when she threw the idea out.  I looked at her blankly for a full minute like she had pumpkins growing out of her head or something, then I thought, why the hell not?  I mean, I just beat cancer for the second time in three years what’s a little 13 mile run?  At Peak, we preach about accountability and making a commitment to yourself, and that’s what this post is all about for me.   Anyone who knows me or has trained with me probably knows I don’t have much of a problem in the motivation or self-commitment arena, BUT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT RUNNING NOW.  So I figure, if I put this out there in cyberdom, then I can’t back out…but I’m going need all the help and accountability I can get!

What am I afraid of you ask?  Well, we all have fears when we start anything new, right? While exercising has been an obsession for me for a long time, I know I can get through the even the hardest HIIT workout, spin class, hike – the stuff I am familiar with, even with the weight I have gained from the last round of steroids (50 lbs in 6 months is no joke). I know that the variability and short recovery periods help me survive my 60-minute daily workout.  But running 13 miles on a road that never ends, just one foot after the next, for a long, long time, just me, my thoughts and my tunes. WOAH.  So scary.  But here’s the deal….I entered remission (early stage ovarian cancer) for the second time just over a month ago, and yesterday received word that my follow-up pet scan was clean — thats good stuff right there.  That means a lot of things for me….I can start to lose all this crappy weight that I had to gain again, I can take care of myself now the way I LOVE to take care of my clients, hell, maybe I can even have another baby! We’ll see about the last one though…Oakley is kind of crazy enough.

So, starting today, I’m going to put one foot after the other.  Whether its on a stupid treadmill or outside in the fresh air, I’m just going to do it.  And I’d love for you join me! Its ok if you’re scared too, Lauren’s promised to help us through it and I trust her to equip me (and you!) with the right program to get me across the finish line.  Sign up to follow my journey and to receive more info on Peak’s new half-marathon training program!  Whoop!

A few of our favorites smoothies!

Eye Opener

  • Mango (vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin C, potassium)
  • Pineapple (vitamin C, blood pressure and asthma reducer)
  • Strawberry (antioxidant, boost short term memory, ease inflammation)
  • Coconut Water (electrolytes, potassium)
  • Carrots (vitamin C)- juice or just throw them right in the blender
  • Almond milk-unsweetened (a little extra protein)

Super Fruit Brain Booster

  • Blueberries (antioxidant. memory booster)
  • Raspberries  (antioxidant, vitamin C, cancer reducer)
  • Strawberries  (antioxidant, boost short term memory, ease inflammation)
  • Large handful Spinach or Kale (Vitamin C, good phytonutrients, potassium and calcium)
  • ¼ cup Greek Yogurt (good protein)
  • ½ Banana- the more ripe the more antioxidants (potassium)
  • 1 tbs. honey if you would like a little more sweetness
  • Water, coconut water or almond milk

Summer Refresher and Hydrator Smoothie

  • Cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • Cantaloupe, in chunks
  • Watermeloen, in chunks
  • Large handful of mint, chopped
  • 8 oz. water or coconut water (or filtered water)

Protein Rich Chocolate Smoothie:

  • Banana
  • Raw Honey
  • Unsweetened Almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp. Peanut butter
  • 1 scoop of Chocolate Shakeology or other chocolate protein powder

Boosters/add in’s: add to any smoothie for an extra boost- probiotic powder, chia, hemp, flax oil, fish oil, protein powder, shredded coconut, coconut oil


A Day in the Life Series..Day Two of PWR Her

This morning I woke with a greater sense of anticipation than the day before, I now had a better idea of what this day would bring and I couldn’t wait to get started. Embracing the unknown and opening my heart and mind to new adventures was going to be the best way to make the most of my second day of PWRHer, and I knew that conquering the unexpected was going to start with putting on my best pair of tennis shoes. Noticing the sun peeking through, I put away my umbrella and headed off to the VAC and for an exciting day of solving my wellness mysteries!


Terra Bistro greeted me with a familiar smile and I headed to the our private room for a gourmet breakfast and lecture. I was introduced to Dr. Benjamin Stone, the creator of Sigma Human Performance. Peak Wellness Retreat has partnered with Dr. Stone to give retreat guests access to his in-depth metabolically based fitness assessment and nutrition program. Dr. Stone’s conversation topic revolved around his alternative method to optimize physical exertion with efficient nutrient usage based on your personal metabolic profile. He discussed the good fats and reminded us that these fats, in moderation, should be a staple to our diet.

Breakfast was followed by a rigorous outdoor bootcamp led by Peak fitness and health coach Kelly Helminski. The weather was conducive for burning calories under the rays of sunlight. She hosted an informative hour featuring the Tabata method as a way to amp up your heart rate for a quick, yet intense workout. This can be done at home, with no real equipment is needed. Another amazing take-home message that Peak Wellness created for the women of PWRHer.

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After the bootcamp, we had a relaxing journey on Gondola One to reach Mid-Vail, where we enjoyed yet another gourmet meal. The 10th Restaurant on Vail Mountain was today’s lunch destination, where we started with a watermelon gazpacho and a choice of tuna, chicken or veggie entree. The seared tuna with a crisp lentil salad was exactly what my rumbling tummy was asking for. Our guide for the afternoon adventure Luis Benitez joined us for lunch and shared a little insight about our topic for today’s hike “Writing Our Own Story.” Luis is an amazing mountaineer with an incredible background that includes guiding the first blind man to summit Mt. Everest. As we prepared to embark on our last physically challenging activity of the retreat, Luis encouraged us to express our expectations, fears and excitements that surrounded the hike and pending Ropes Course.

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After lunch, we made a lateral climb via Fireweed and Ridgeline Loop towards Adventure Ridge. The breezy weather conditions made us aware that as outdoor adventurers, we need to be prepared for anything. As Louis Beneitz experienced, he reminded us that “Nothing can affect your reality, unless you allow it too.” This statement coincided with calling to attention our fears and regards and how we are in control of our own reality. Benetiz encouraged us to pick a buddy for the remainder of our hike and to become familiar with each’s fears regarding the upcoming challenge.


Our summit for the day was Adventure Ridge where we geared up for the Ropes course. I, along with all the other ladies participating in the PWRher Wellness Weekend, have never participated in anything of the sorts so our minds and expectations were racing. The trusting employees of Adventure Ridge suited us up for success to take on this challenge. We participated in an quick and informative training session, learning how to navigate the course in the safest manner. We grabbed our buddy and chose the tier of our choice, beginner through advanced. The idea was to assist our buddies providing words of encouragement and helpful hints throughout the challenging course. With precision, balance and teamwork, I hurdled through this challenge, once again feeling like a new woman.

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We had a relaxing descent and walk back to the VAC where healthy happy hour commenced. Peak Wellness Retreat in partnership with Terra Bistro, created cocktails with a purpose, alcoholic drinks featuring health-focused ingredients. The coconut refresher, made with vodka, coconut water, and citrus encouraged me to hydrate as a dehydrate. Here, we discussed the weekends rigorous activities, and prepared for the relaxing remainder of the evening.

The Spa at the Vail Athletic Club hosted us featuring different pampering stations. A dry scrub, facial, head massage and back massage were all offered to try and healthy snacks provided by Peak Wellness, with a detailed explanation of their physical remedies.

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We concluded the day with a lovely three course dinner at Terra Bistro. Exhausted but still awakened by the days events, I went home to soak in the tremendous information and fun that Peak Welllness provided for me. The retreat wasn’t over yet. I went to bed, excited to meet the extraordinary Kelly Liken, and wondered what would be on the menu for tomorrow…

A day at PWRher Women and Wellness Weekend

August 23rd: Day One PWRher Women in Wellness Weekend

Beep, beep, beep. That’s the sound of my increasingly annoying alarm clock. I quickly came to realize that it was the morning of day one of Peak Wellness Retreat’s Women’s Weekend and had a strange feeling of butterflies in my stomach, like a child on the first day of school. What was the day going to bring me? Who am I going to meet? I picked out my best workout ensemble and headed to the Vail Athletic Club.

Women’s Weekend and registration had commenced and it was my turn for an InBody 320 scan. This brief, but informative session showcased my body from the inside, out. I was able to identify strengths and weakness including my body composition and water intake levels. This body scan helped me recognize the potential benefits this weekend could facilitate while focusing me on personal long and short-term goals.

After meeting and greeting the fellow wellness women, Lauren Arnold, Co-Founder of Peak Wellness Retreat discussed the implementation of quick workouts. Setting short and longterm goals was brought up again and I was psyched to begin my wellness journey with Peak.

Next up was a morning hike and empowerment session with Ellen Miller. I am new to the Vail Valley so her name was unfamiliar to me. Over the next few hours, I learned about the way she challenged herself and conquered her fears and goals, becoming the first women ever to complete the Everest Trilogy. Talk about eye-opening…During her discussion, I could sense the energy of the room had changed from needing a second cup of coffee to amped motivation. The other ladies and I were ready to kick it into high gear and begin our morning hike on Vail Mountain.

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Ellen Miller’s style of coaching has an unbelievable impact! Her physical strength and mental toughness carries through her words to transmit a belief in yourself. My confidence level skyrocketed throughout the foot journey on Vail Mountain. This was
another great introduction to my wellness weekend!

We approached the day’s summit when we arrived to a beautiful stream-side gourmet picnic. We chowed on some simple and delicious healthy options including a killer chipotle chicken salad that was my personal favorite, proving that eating right can taste delicious too!

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We had some time to briefly relax and enjoy the US Pro Cycling bike races before heading onto the “FitAdventure” of choice. We had the option to hike and fly fish with Minturn Anglers, hosted by top female fishing guides in Vail, or to go white water rafting with Lakota guides, who created a  bootcamp to challenge participants. The adrenaline rush of navigating through the wild beast, known as the Colorado river, was best for me.

The weather was predictable for August afternoons in Colorado, rainy and chilly. Lakota guides got us geared up and we were dressed in wetsuits ready for our pre-rafting bootcamp.


This challenge got our blood flowing and made me more in tune to float class three rapids. This neoprene-outfitted bootcamp assisted in the cohesion between the women participating. We channeled our inner Pocohantas, grabbed a paddle, PFD, and a smile and set afloat…

After conquering the route once, we asked to do it again! I stepped out of the water like a new woman!

We concluded the day by meeting up with the other half of the PWR Her women and discussed the afternoon events with laughter and small plates provided by Terra Bistro. What a day! I knew I was going to sleep well…