2015 Couch to 5K

The flowers are blooming, the grass is turning greener and the butterflies are fluttering…..specifically, the Purple Butterflies!! Our 2017 Beginner Couch to 5K class will begin on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 6:30pm. We will meet at the Toby Creek Greenway in the University area near O’Charley’s. We are so excited to welcome back all existing members and to expand our circle of sisterhood with new runners that will be joining us. Please remember the following as we start our new season:
 Visit the LiveWell center at Northlake Mall and have your free health screenings! Start tracking your success now.
 Please be prompt. Great information is shared prior to the runs and we need your undivided attention.
 Bring your Greenway essentials: water bottle, supportive bra, shoes, and dri-fit shirt
 Bring your smile, positive attitude and your best effort. Get ready to be transformed!!
We will run every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30pm and optional runs will occur every Saturday at 8:00am.

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Butterfly Spotlight

BerryRosalyn W. Berry better known as Roz

Short Bio: Born in Stamford Conn. on November 10, 1962 have lived in Charlotte, NC since 1973 .  I work at UBS Financial Services  and September 21st will be seven years.  I have a 10 year old son named Dexter L. Berry Jr. aka DJ who will be attending Winding Springs Elementary going to the 5th grade. I have been dating Charles R. Burris Jr. now for 4 years and he is very proud and supportive of me and my running. I attend Friendship Missionary Baptist Church and work as a Jr. Worship Teacher for the grades 3rd thru 5th and I am very active in VBS and I am a Greeter on 2nd Sunday.

How did you find out about PBRC?    Through Geri Jackson who has STALKED me since March 2012 to join the PBRC.  I was told to attend the orientation in January 2013 to check out the PB’s, and the rest is history.

 Why did you start running?   Besides from being STALKED I realized it was a life changing experience for me.

How has running changed your life? Besides being with a fantastic group of Women and getting the support it makes me feel like I have really accomplished something that I thought I could not do.

What would you say to anyone who may think they cannot run or are nervous about joining Purple Butterflies? Well I would tell the about the awesome Fellowship that you receive by being in this group, and after about that first month or two claim your RUNNER status.


  1. What is your favorite food?  Baby Back Ribs
  2. What is your favorite book/magazine? To many to name
  3. I feel relaxed when? Walking or reading
  4. I run because? ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­I am a RUNNER
  5. Now  that I run I feel?  PROUD
  6. My favorite Quote is ? Make It Happen (this is from an old administrative manger of mine).
  7. Any other Random fact you would like to share is, I am proud to be a Purple Butterfly.

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Tracy’s Journey

 tracey 1By: Tracy Cohens

If I had a dollar for each time I started my weight loss journey, I’d have enough money to pay for a year of Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and the South Beach Diet combined. Why did it take so many attempts and then why did it finally stick? In the past, I began each attempt with gusto. I cleared the pantry of all sweets, jacked up my exercise routine and drank copious amounts of water. That all sounds good, right? All would be well until I stepped on the scale and saw that I lost several pounds. And that’s where everything went wrong.

In March, I was talking to Loree Hickman and Nikki Hickman and they were telling me about The Purple Butterflies Running group and immediately I said that I am NOT a runner and there is no possible way that I can run. My journey began on March 19, 2013 when I began running.

Did I finally decide that I deserve to feel good all the time? Did my heart break a little more every time I avoided having pictures taken with my children? Was I more determined than ever to enjoy a long and healthy life with my husband, children and grandchildren? Something shifted, and I am grateful for that. I can tell you this time was different.

I must admit that when I first started it was really hard and I was ashamed that I couldn’t run very far. But, that soon went away when I started receiving all of the positive encouragement from the other ladies, (Especially from my coach Moe Drayton), she had to endure a lot of me from rolling my eyes and  fussing, You want me to run where?? To the WATERPOT) Really!!!. But she didn’t give up on me.  I am beyond words for the love and support given to me by all of the ladies from the Purple Butterflies and my family.

For those of you who are starting on a similar journey, I am cheering you on. The first few weeks are not a walk in the park, but I promise you that it will get easier. Do it for your health, do it for your energy levels. Do it for yourself.

tracey 2

The results:
I ran my first 5k on April 28, 2013 and so far, I have shed 13 pounds, my Cholesterol, BMI, BP, Body Fat and Glucose have been lowered. My energy is boundless.  I am stronger than I have ever been and I am looking forward to kicking some butt in the 10K in August.

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Choosing and Caring for your Running Gear

running gear

Now that you are a runner you will find that it is important to make choices that will help your runs go as smooth as possible. Choosing the right gear can make all the difference. The following are a few tips for purchasing running gear:

  •   A properly fitted running shoe is very important for your running success.. Any specialty running store should be able to fit a shoe for you. PBRC recommends Run For Your Life.
  •  Socks made of a wicking material are important as well. Cotton holds moisture, wicking materials pulls moisture away from the skin and can help to prevent blisters.
  •  Shorts and shirts are defiantly personal preference. Some prefer Loose, comfortable, and breathable shorts others prefer tights. Whatever your preference choose a wicking material. Wicking materials pull moisture away from the skin.
  • Sports Bras are an important part of your running gear as well, Moving Comfort has a great site with tips on how to choose and care for a running bra for each individual.

handle with care

Now that we have discussed how to choose the right running gear. Let’s discuss how to care for your running gear.

Running Clothes

 Use a technical wear or Sports Detergent. Wicking fabrics are great for running because they pull moisture away from your skin, bacteria (which causes the smell) can gets trapped in the fibers of your clothing and can be hard to get out. Use a special detergent formulated for technical wear, to remove embedded sweat odor. Those types of detergents will also help your wicking clothing to last longer.

Only wash in cold water. Wash your running clothes in cold water only. Hot or warm water can set in nasty smells.

 Don’t put your running clothes in the dryer. After washing your running clothes made of wicking materials hang them to dry. Placing these items in the dryer will break down the wicking fibers in the clothing and you will not get full wear out of them. Placing your clothes in the dryer can also cause nasty smells to set into the fiber of the clothing.

Skip the fabric softener.Fabric Softener will clog up the moisture absorbing pores in your wicking clothing, therefore eliminating the clothing’s ability to pull moisture from your skin.


Running Shoes

Do not place your shoes in the washer or the dryer!! Dirty running shoes are a sign of miles accomplished and hard work, but if you must clean them up hand wash them using a toothbrush or cloth. If you immerse the whole shoe in water take out the insert to dry separately and stuff the shoe with newspaper to absorb the water.

Placing your shoes in the washer or dryer will break down the soles more quickly, making the shoes wear our faster, meaning you may not be able to put as many miles on them as you planned.

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By Guest Blogger: Taylor Calamese

I’ve often wondered what differentiates those individuals who are “go-getters” from the individuals who are “just getting by”. Why are some people crazy enough to believe they can really make a difference in the world and some people are content with just making it to work on time? What separates the successful from the unsuccessful?

I’ve considered the fact that maybe those who “make it” in life are composed of a different type of DNA. Maybe everybody doesn’t get the successful gene; however, research has shown that there is no type of gene in the body called the “success” gene. So then I thought, well maybe these ambitious individuals go to some elite school that is located in a remote corner of the world, where they learn all the secrets to success in life. But after searching every search engine for this school, I was able to find nothing that could lead me to believe this theory. Then after much thought, research and some consideration of my own successes thus far, I’ve come to realize that the only thing that differentiates one person from the next is their motivation.

Motivation is that invisible force that pushes us past our fears, doubts, and self-imposed limitations to lead us to accomplish our goals and dreams.  We all have dreams and that’s nice, but I have never been content to just sit around and wish for things-and neither should you. At some point, you have to become uncomfortable with being comfortable and find something worth chasing in this world. What is going to drive you to be more than you are today?

Everyday is a new opportunity to change your life.  It is another chance you have on this earth to do what you didn’t do yesterday. Find what motivates you and let that be the momentum to spark change in your life and the lives of others. My motivation came from being in a very unhealthy relationship. I became broken down to the point where only God was able to piece me back together again. From my most broken state, he was able to piece me back together in a way where I was strong enough to go forward with his purpose for my life. The little broken girl of yesterday is what motivates me to work hard and touch others lives because I know what she had to go through to become the young lady of today.

Behind every victory have been some struggles. Nothing is easy but if you find a dream that is worth fighting, everything will come together to help you achieve it. Lucky for us, there is no special gene or elite school that excludes us from becoming successful. Figure out what motivates you and commit yourself to honoring your dreams and ambitions- you owe it to yourself.

Taylor Calamese Biography

 Taylor Calamese is a Charlotte native and an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer. In addition to currently pursuing her Masters at East Carolina University, Taylor is a fitness columnist for “Her Magazine”.  Taylor is the founder of Image Devotions, which is a company dedicated to empowering females through fitness, health and style. Services include personal training, group fitness, style tutorials and confidence workshops. For more information, visit www.imagedevotions.com or email [email protected]

Taylor C

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Intestinal Fortitude

Today I discovered a term/phrase, intestinal fortitude. I have often used the two words separately, but never together in a sentence, and I like it. The dictionary defines it as courage and endurance to go on, and not surprisingly, used the example of a marathon runner as a person with intestinal fortitude.

As I begin to think more about this term, not only does it define a runner, but it’s a perfect description of women and all that we do on a daily basis. Our careers, taking care of our families, friends, spouses and our community…we make it happen. We all, at some point, have had to reach down deep and just get it done. It’s evident in our daily routines, when we are recovering from a bad day or a loss or a setback and when supporting others. It’s that “thing” up until now, that I didn’t have a word for, but just emerged as needed.

For those of you that made the decision this week to join the Purple Butterfly Running Club, and add that to your list of commitments, thank you for taking that step. You will not regret having the fortitude to put your health first and to join a sisterhood of women that are on the same journey. Every Step, Every Mile, that you take to lead a healthier lifestyle is another great example of your will and determination.

For all of the new Butterflies, nothing is more rewarding than having the courage to start…you have joined a sisterhood of runners, of women, that will help you endure, that will celebrate your intestinal fortitude! Your journey has just begun!

See you at the greenway and happy running!!

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2017 Couch to 5k Beginning on March 21


The flowers are blooming, the grass is turning greener and the butterflies are fluttering…..specifically, the Purple Butterflies!! Our 2017 Beginner Couch to 5k class will begin on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 6:30pm. We are so excited to welcome back all existing members and to expand our circle of sisterhood with new runners that will be joining us. Please remember the following as we start our new season:
 Visit the LiveWell center at Northlake Mall and have your free health screenings! Start tracking your success now.
 Please be prompt. Great information is shared prior to the runs and we need your undivided attention.
 Bring your greenway essentials: water bottle, supportive bra, shoes, and dri-fit shirt
 Bring your smile, positive attitude and your best effort. Get ready to be transformed!!

We will run every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30pm and optional runs will occur every Saturday at 8:00am.

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Maria’s Butterfly Story


Maria 1

By: Maria Venegas

It all started over a year ago when Loree walked over to my desk and saw a pink TRI shirt hidden in the bottom of my desk drawer.  It had been there for over two years and I had wanted to complete a triathlon for at least twenty years. Completing a triathlon was my dream as a teenager, but I thought it was an impossible dream.  Watching other people swim, bike and run was very exciting; but I could never imagine myself being out there.  I had never ran in my life and I could barely ride my mountain bike, but I could swim. Then Loree said the magic words, “You can achieve anything you want to do, just join me and start running with the club and give it a try.”

 I thought about it more than twice, before I decided to go to the greenway… but I said, “Well, if I don’t like it, I just will not go back, but… I LOVED it.  I was very welcomed by all the ladies and I felt the good energy and encouragement, I mean I could really feel the love.   The other detail that took me greatly by surprise was the circle of prayer; it was so powerful and I truly felt His presence.

 Maria 2

Since then, I have never stopped running.   On my journey, I have met wonderful women that touched my life in one way or another.   I have learned that it is not only about running; it’s also and most importantly about being able to build personal confidence, believing in yourself and believing that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to with effort and dedication. 

 In May, I completed the first of eight official races, and in June, my dream became true.  I was able to complete my first triathlon.   I have no words to describe the feeling of crossing the finish line.   It was very exciting.  I not only accomplished something very important, but at the finish line, I saw the faces of the woman that have supported me all the way and have helped me to get there….the Purple Butterflies.

 I will continue running because I am a runner, because I feel peace while I am running, because I believe in myself, and because I love the sisterhood I feel with the PURPLE BUTTERFLIES.

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A Look Back at 2012

This time last year, we were preparing for a new beginner class and a new slate of activities for 2012.  The results of that planning exceeded our expectations.  In reflection,   March 13th was the first day at the greenway where we kicked off the Couch to 5k program.   The parking lot initially filled with existing members, then a few new runners began arriving and before we could count, over sixty women were gathered at the greenway!!


After 12 weeks of coaching, whistle blowing and unselfish support and encouragement, we ran our first 5k, the King Tiger!!

067 - Copy

That followed with consistent dedication, more members, races, educational classes and clinics and those “feel good” runs on the greenway.   Now “bridge and back” is considered a short run, the average member weight loss is 20 pounds, and medical statistics reflect decreased blood pressure, lower cholesterol and medications that are no longer needed.   There is also the fact that over thirty, yes thirty , PBRC members  successfully ran a half-marathon on Kiawah Island last week!!



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A Caterpillar’s Journey to Becoming a Butterfly and Beyond

Shana Spicer’s Butterfly Story

“I can’t run.”  That’s how I started my butterfly journey!  But the friend that I prayed for and that God delivered right on time, let’s just call her “Coach”, had already prepared the Butterfly leader for my arrival and my go to line.  I was unaware of their sideline conversation and fell right into place with my one-liner.  When I arrived, my mind said ‘no way’, my body said ‘please’ and my emotions were safely tucked away so that I wouldn’t feel inadequate among all of these runners.  I rolled off of the couch and started my fit, lifestyle change journey in October 2010 as I retreated with four women “strangers” from my church in a NC mountain cabin.  This kickoff retreat was predestined to move me emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically, and it did just that.

Shana and “Coach”

Now on the greenway for the first time with my coach’s run club, I was entering a foreign land surrounded by runner angels that supported me and my “I can’t run” mentality without hesitation.  Before I knew it, I was doing a walk/run interval on the greenway the very first day with the butterfly leader shouting “Walk…Run…Walk…Run” and blowing her whistle.  Not only was I running, I was now part of a run club that lives out its motto, Every Step, Every Mile Together.  My coach was right, I could do it!  I became a believer and began to change my own mind that I was indeed a runner.  Developing personal mantras to combat any contrary thoughts, I began to remind myself…”It doesn’t have to be perfect, nor does it have to be fast…it just has to be done!”, “Start…do your best…and FINISH strong!”, “I can do ALL things through Christ and that includes this.”  The list goes on and on, resonating the same positive mental strokes needed to keep striking the pavement knowing that I RUN because every time my feet strike the pavement, my courage trumps my fear.

Shana’s First 8K

After joining the Butterflies in May 2011, I ran my first race, an 8K, in October 2011 with the finish line cheers of my new run family and the remote cheers of my coach.  Feeling like I struck gold, I kept pressing to become a stronger, better, more fit and well-balanced me.  That feeling continues even today, more than two years after getting off of the couch.  My relentless and super-supportive coach continues to stretch me as I peel back my unhealthy layers and give new and evolving breath to my fit lifestyle.  To date, I have completed not only my first 8K but also a Run Like a Diva 5K, Yiasou Greek 5K, Ramblin’ Rose Triathlon and a Runway 5K.  YES, you heard correctly…I AM A TRIATHLETE!  Wow!  I’m building more confidence with each leg of my new, fit life and it is wonderful to re-engage my athletic side and make it a permanent fixture in my life going forward.

Rambling Rose TRI – Bike

God answers prayer so be ready to receive it when you ask for it!  Not only did I leave that retreat with a closer walk with God, four new lifetime friends and a fresh life perspective; those roots branched out into a new Butterfly family, a commitment to invest in myself by promoting healthier eating and physical activity, the opportunity to encourage others to move and much, much more.  This blessing was not just to turn this caterpillar into a butterfly but to bless and encourage others to do the same and pay it forward.  I praise God for my given angels…I love my coach, my butterflies and my new fit self!  Flutter, flutter!

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