EBR Rock Star: Christina Refford

It’s EBR Rock Star time! Today we’re chatting with Christina Refford, a Spring Fling runner (y’all… add your summer race to our Summer Sprint!) who completed her first half marathon in May (woo hoo!). Welcome, Christina!


You completed your first half marathon on May 5 – go you! Do you have any top tips for runners thinking about taking the plunge to try a half marathon?

I did finish the Navigant Half Marathon which runs part of the way along the Blackstone Valley bike path. Because it was in early May, I knew I’d want to train all winter which meant learning to love to run in the cold. Surprisingly, I DID love it—with the right gear and the right attitude, the cold weather feels so refreshing and it was awesome to run outdoors when almost everyone else was feeling housebound.

For me, that distance—13.1 miles—was HARD. It took a lot of out of me to run anything more than ten miles in training and during the race itself. In hindsight, I wish I had done some strength training to build up my legs more, and I wish I had sought out some hills too. Running on flat roads is great for confidence but I’ve learned my lesson: Hill training will be part of my life from now on.

For runners who have done a 10k, a half marathon is a very real and attainable goal. I ran/walked at a 4 minute: 1 minute ratio which felt right for me, and I finished with a smile on my face. No, I wasn’t a speed demon, but it was still such a feeling of accomplishment.

We here at EBR like food. What are your favorite pre and post race snacks/meals?

In the mornings, I must first start with a cup of coffee (coconut creamer and sugar too!) and a banana. Anything more than that and I feel like my stomach has a lead weight in it. If I’m running more than 4 miles, I bring a “GU” and water to slurp down. GU is truly disgusting and you should see the faces I make when I eat it, but it gives me the biggest kick in the pants and is pretty easy to get down. I’ve tried the chews and my jaw gets tired trying to eat them!

After running, I usually don’t have much of an appetite for a while. But, after a long run, I definitely down a big glass of chocolate milk which has all but eliminated the crushing fatigue I used to feel after an hour (or more!) of running.

Tell us about your essential running gear.

I’ve been wearing Brooks’ Adrenaline running shoes for years and years. I just buy the latest-and-greatest model whenever I get a new pair. I love how much room my toes have;  these are just the perfect shoes for my feet.

I really like Target’s C9 by Champion line of running clothes which don’t cost a fortune but fit really well. And I just started wearing a Brooks running baseball cap which keeps my head cool and keeps the sweat out of my eyes. I can’t do without my Nathan Running Belt for my longer runs, and I put NUUN tablets into my water bottles for a little extra boost.

In the winter, I run in my old Hot Chillys skiing tights which are awesomely warm but not too bulky or hot, and then I layer, layer, layer on top. And, for running on snow, I adore my YakTrax which come on and off so easily and really do keep me from slip sliding away.

And finally (wow, I am a high-maintenance runner!), I prefer to run with music, so my iPhone is another essential piece of equipment. Tucked into my SPIbelt, it’s easy to reach if I need to take a call or check my pace on RunKeeper.

We know you dig tech. Tell us what social tools have helped you keep accountable while training.

The entire reason I am still running more than a  year later is because of Jeff Galloway and his wonderful apps.  I used his run/walk method to safely build up mileage without injury, and I will say it is a great way to get established as a regular runner without a lot of aches and pains which would normally derail me a couple of months into a training program. My pace was always pretty good, even with the walk breaks. I am now working on “only running”, and I credit Jeff Galloway’s method for preparing my body for this more intense workout.

I also love logging my runs on Daily Mile where friends can come and cheer me on or offer suggestions. And I just started tracking my progress on Run Keeper which allows me to see my progress day-by-day and also motivates me during a run by telling me my split times.

Are you inspired by any running bloggers? If so, who?

I love the Another Mother Runner website started by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea who both wrote the Run Like A Mother and Train Like A Mother books. Their articles and podcasts are perfect for anyone who is trying to juggle fitness and family, and their sense of humor always makes me smile. Also the women on their forums and on the Facebook page (also known as BAMR’s–bad-ass mother runners) are so supportive, funny, dedicated, and helpful, they make me want to be the best runner I can be.

+ + + + +

Christina Refford is a homeschooling mama to three kids, Senior Associate Editor at Cool Mom Picks and Cool Mom Tech, and blogger at The Fairly Odd Mother. She lives south of Boston with her husband, kids, and lazy black lab who refuses to run with her. She hopes to do a triathlon in 2014, and maybe tackle another, flatter half marathon in the not-too-distant future.


  1. Thank you so much Christine!

    To add to my “tech”: My husband gifted me a Garmin yesterday as a part-anniversary, part-birthday gift! I’m so excited to try out my new gadget!

    Another thing I didn’t mention but should have: a couple of people in our town started a “running club” and it’s such a great addition to my weekly runs. I was totally intimidated b/c there are some FAST runners in it, but there are lots of people in it who run 10+ minute miles, and it’s really fun to finish a run to a group of cheering people each week. I would recommend that anyone who is feeling kind of lonely in their running journey to look for a training group like this and try it out. Unless it really is a “we’re all former track stars” kind of group, chances are they will welcome people off ALL paces, and it is really neat to run with other people.

  2. breeoxd /

    Nice article- thinking about joining my local running club too. Might have to now.

  3. Shannon /

    Now its time for the marathon. :)

  4. Tina /

    Great profile, Christina!!!! You inspired me to start running with those Jeff Galloway apps too! I love that I can say that I’ve run several 5K races and an THINKING about a 10K. Couldn’t have done any of it without your first suggestion/review of the apps!

  5. I have noticed you don’t monetize your blog, don’t waste your traffic,
    you can earn extra cash every month because you’ve got hi quality
    content. If you want to know how to make extra $$$, search for: Boorfe’s tips
    best adsense alternative

  6. Emma W. /

    Hey Great Blog!

    I’m wondering do you know a good workout I can buy online to help build a booty and lose my baby weight?
    I was thinking of the Tammy Hembrow workout but have found some bad reviews like this one https://bestbootyworkouts.com/tammy-hembrow-workout/
    I’ve been searching google for some good advice. I don’t want to waste money on a workout I won’t do.

    Kind regards

  7. thank Christina for sharing your very important information.
    it’s the great post for us. I really like the post.
    good blog site.

  8. I was always lazy to run and do exercises, i’ve always wanted to loose my belly fat since inception. this post was very helpful and I will always follow suit.
    I learnt about flatbelly exercises on https://www.flatbellyhacks.com/lose-belly-fat-workout-lose-belly-fat-exercise/ and the tips were very helpful. please help on more belly fat exercises

  9. Thank You very Much

  10. As a website owner, I believe the subject matter here is really great. I thank you for your efforts. You should keep it up forever! Best of luck.

  11. Торговый центр Мидтаун это торговый центр в бодруме в котором можно преобрести много чего: Кофе, одежду, еду итд обращайтесь на наш сайт bodrums.org

  12. Amzing post Thanks for Shearing. i Read your Blog every day.Please write more about this topics.it very helpfull for me.Please write more about this topics.

  13. Good Job ! nice …

  14. nice, it is an informative article.
    thanks for share.
    Buying House in Bangladesh

  15. After a long time, I read a very beautiful and very important article that I enjoyed reading. I have found that this article has many important points, I sincerely thank the admin of this website for sharing it.
    Textile lab testing machineries supplier in Bangladesh

  16. I was after a few lines of code where the server would automatically escape/filter
    POST data before inserting into database. It turns out that mysql_add_slashes() does the job
    but it causes more problems than anything and it is not advisable to use this function and
    it has been discontinued since PHP 6.0 – https://nex1music.ir/دانلود-فیلم-زندانی-ها/

  17. That is a great tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.

    Simple but very precise information… Appreciate your sharing this one.
    A must read post! – https://nex1music.ir/دانلود-سریال-دل/

  18. Spectrum TV App for Windows is the best choice for watching live tv shows. this app made by united states and other countries.
    The spectrum TV app is available for the Android device and iOS devices. nowadays this a most popular in worldwide.
    دانلود آهنگ جدید مهراد جم

  19. Wiktionary has grown beyond a standard dictionary and now includes a thesaurus, a rhyme guide, phrase books, language statistics
    and extensive appendices. We aim to include not only the definition of a word, but also enough information to really understand
    it. Thus etymologies, pronunciations, sample quotations, synonyms, antonyms and translations
    are included. – دانلود آهنگ جدید مهدی یغمایی

  20. Wiktionary has grown beyond a standard dictionary and now includes a thesaurus, a rhyme guide, phrase books,
    language statistics and extensive appendices. We aim to include not only the definition of a word, but also enough
    information to really understand it. Thus etymologies, pronunciations, sample quotations, synonyms, antonyms and translations are
    included. – دانلود آهنگ جدید ماکان بند

  21. Sanderytm /

    for Countess Louise of Savoy

  22. Minelabsrb /

    55 thousand Greek, 30 thousand Armenian

  23. Generationepp /

    then only a few have reached us

  24. Incipioxph /

    consists of the book itself

  25. Infraredfzk /

    manuscripts significantly

  26. Holographiccoq /

    bride, Julie d’Angenne.

  27. Zodiacvhk /

    Century to a kind of destruction:

  28. iAquaLinkvrf /

    Since the era of Charlemagne

  29. WILDKATmzu /

    European glory, and even after

  30. Nespressodyc /

    55 thousand Greek, 30 thousand Armenian

  31. EOTechnvv /

    handwritten books were made,

  32. Flexiblexiw /

    among them acquired “Moral

  33. CHIRPbek /

    Europe, and in Ancient Russia

  34. Amazonnnobr /

    consists of the book itself

  35. Leupoldmdg /

    from lat. manus – “hand” and scribo – “I write”) ]

  36. Telecastervdf /

    (palimpsests). In the XIII-XV centuries in

  37. Blenderker /

    consists of the book itself

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>