Listen Now:

Who knows pushing boundaries better than Black Girls RUN! co-founders Toni Carey & Ashley Hicks-Rocha? They transformed the running industry and the state of black women’s health, now they’re sharing what they’ve learned to help all women take back their health and their lives in a candid (and comical) bi-weekly podcast called Pick Up the Pace. This engaging, relatable (and sometimes unpredictable) podcast will help women from all walks transform their lives from the inside out featuring weekly guests that will have everyone picking up the pace….or maybe even slowing it down.

The two chat about Toni's latest blog post, Be Authentically You, and the quote , "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."

 Resources mentioned in the podcast:

You can find Black Girls Run online at:


You can find the hosts online at: 

Toni Carey

Ashley Hicks-Rocha

If you have questions or would like to suggest a show topic or guest, email us at  


By Toni Carey

By now, you know that we are huge fans of being intentional. We believe there's real power in our thoughts and words. But, we like to up the ante even more and write goals, desires, etc. down. Ashley is notorious for writing her goals down daily! EVERY DAY.

Sure, we can let greatness happen by chance, but let's face it. That's typically not the case. Some people are born with gifts or circumstances that do indeed make accomplishing certain goals easier than others, but for normal people like Ashley and me, it takes more than that. 

What I love about writing down your dreams and goals is that it lets the universe know that you are serious. Not writing it down only makes it a wish. How is it ever supposed to become tangible and achievable if it just stays a whisper in your soul? It's the equivalent of saying, "I think, I'm kinda serious about this goal." Now who could really take that seriously??

Even if you have no idea how to make it happen, or the odds seem a little bit against you, I would challenge you to write them down. Put it out there! 

One of my favorite quotes in Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist is, “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” 

And let me tell you, it's true.

As our first national Walk Before You Run training kicks off this week, I'm challenging each of the participants to write down their goals and continue to visit them throughout the training. And I want to challenge you to do the same.

If it's running a 5K.....write it down.

If it's losing weight......write it down.

If it's running a marathon.....write it down.





By Toni Carey

I wish someone had told me at the age of 33, I'd re-discovering myself. Perhaps this is something that happens with every turn of the decade after the age of 10, but being yourself is hard. Discovering who you really are is even harder.

You may be thinking, what does this have to do with running. How does being myself or being authentic relate to running a 5K or a marathon?

It, my friend, has everything to do with it. 

The further I travel down the road to self-discovery I keep coming back to these key questions:

  • Does [xyz] make me happy?
  • Does [xyz] encourage self-development and personal growth?
  • Does [xyz] in alignment with where I see myself in the future.

[xyz] can be anything, especially when it comes to running.

I see it time and time again, especially with my own running journey. Oftentimes, the races and the miles aren't necessarily for my health or well being, it's to prove something. Whether it's proving something to myself ("if I can run this distance then it means I'm worthy" or to others "if I run this distance, people will think I'm more valuable"), we often set goals based on other people's expectations, whether it be your friends and family or the world.

Recently I've been grappling with how I show up in the world. As a black woman, it's tough and I found for many years, I was just playing out the role that people (and the world) would expect me to play. I'd shrink in the background, or conveniently change my opinion or disapproval of a subject because it was easier that way. 

But one day, I woke up and began asking why.....OF EVERYTHING! One of the most important why's I asked was, "Why do I run?" Before we began Black Girls RUN!, running was a source of therapy and solitude. It was a place I could retreat while honoring my body. But with the increase of popularity in BGR! it quickly became my duty....a chore. I was putting in miles and miles because frankly it's what people expected of me. 

It's no surprise that I lost my love of running, and subsequently lost my why.

With social media and the globalization of the word, it's become harder than ever to be yourself. It's challenging to scroll through Instagram and not compare yourself to your friends or random strangers who appear to have it all together.

But if there's one thing that you should know, it is that the world needs needs your authentic self. And while it may be tempting to compare your running journey to others, realize that this is YOUR journey. You can go as fast (or slow) as you long as it's what YOU want.

So, whether it is running or something else, I encourage you to come back to these three questions:

  • Does it make me happy?
  • Does it encourage self-development and personal growth?
  • Does is align with where I see myself in the future.

It's the consistent compass that will keep you on the path to being yourself. 


I am a BGR - a black girl who runs, who ran who walks and who struggled with infertility.  After years of practicing on our own to conceive ;-) and years of frustration- my husband and I started seeing a fertility doctor.  We went through 5 years of fertility treatment (6 rounds of IVF, hundreds of negative fertility tests, more needles than I can or care to remember) and more tears than I am able to count. 

At that point- our doctor sat us down with the news we feared: things weren't working and we needed to change course.  We were young and healthy but weren't getting pregnant.  We were also broke- and were relying on relatives and equity lines to pay for our treatment.  I left the clinic that day heartbroken and called my momma to share my sorrows.  She asked if she- a 54 year old post menopausal woman -could carry a baby for me.  I thanked her politely- declined her offer and went on feeling heartbroken.  She and my dad then spoke with their doctors who said it was risky but possible. 

They circled back and shared with the hubby (aka my handsome incredible supportive Morehouse Man and husband Jason) and I -that it was in fact possible for my mom to carry our babies.  After a lot of prayer and conversation we moved forward and on December 28, 2004- she delivered my triplets!  Jason and I were so grateful at the selfless love and generosity that my mom and daddy showed us that we started a charity to raise money to give one infertility family $10,000 to pursue parenthood. That initial goal has grown multifold and I now run the Tinina Q Cade Foundation (named after my mommy) and have funded 70 families with up to $10,000 each for fertility treatment or adoption. 

Our annual Race for the Family- hosted by Shady Grove Fertility- is an important event that raises much of the money we give for our grants. I am really excited about partnering with the BGR! organization this year and am hopeful that I will see many of you ladies out on the race course. 

Until then- see you out there on the streets and pathways beating that pavement! 






Listen Now:

Who knows pushing boundaries better than Black Girls RUN! co-founders Toni Carey & Ashley Hicks-Rocha? They transformed the running industry and the state of black women’s health, now they’re sharing what they’ve learned to help all women take back their health and their lives in a candid (and comical) bi-weekly podcast called Pick Up the Pace. This engaging, relatable (and sometimes unpredictable) podcast will help women from all walks transform their lives from the inside out featuring weekly guests that will have everyone picking up the pace….or maybe even slowing it down.

The two chat with Shionta Pumphrey, yoga instructor and founder of Shades of Health

Shionta Pumphrey, founder of Shades of Health, is a Hematology-Oncology nurse and certified yoga teacher from Southern Maryland with a desire to inspire. She received her Bachelors of Science degree from Hampton University in 2008 and started her career at the world renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. Attempting to find balance with work and her personal life, Shionta made a transition to Orlando, FL where she was introduced to yoga. It was here she found a love and deep connection with Vinyasa Yoga sequences. Her daily practice kept her grounded mentally, physically and spiritually. 

 Resources mentioned in the podcast:

You can find Shionta Pumphrey and Shades of Health online at:


You can find Black Girls Run online at:


You can find the hosts online at: 

Toni Carey

Ashley Hicks-Rocha

If you have questions or would like to suggest a show topic or guest, email us at  



By Toni Carey (@toni_carey/@officialblackgirlsrun)
In our attempts to reach our goals, and generally be great human beings (because, I believe that's what we're all here to do/be), we are often distracted by our (perceived) circumstances and outside influences. This could be macro (the government, the social class we were born into, etc.) or micro (not having a college degree, not having enough financial resources, etc.). 
But, I think there's a lot of truth that lies in Ralph Waldo Emerson's quote. 
"Nothing external, to you has any power over you."
How much personal power do we give away (literally and figuratively) to our circumstances or people?  Instead, why not use that power to discover solutions or be the change you want to see in yourself and/or others.
Last night the cast of Hidden Figures accepted their award for Cast in a Motion Picture during the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards. 
Taraji P. Henson hits the nail on the head. 


Carry this quote with you throughout the week. If there is anything that presents itself as a stumbling block or challenge, ask yourself, "am I allowing this to have power over me?"




BGR! Co-Founder Toni Carey gives an overview of how she's resetting in 2017 and the tools helping her do it!
Product Features:
Contact Toni Carey on Twitter or Instagram

 What’s Your Snacking Personality?

By Toni Carey (@toni_carey/@blackgirlsrun)


My husband and I were in the grocery store last week meandering through the produce section when he stopped near a massive display of apples.

"I need to pick up some night, night apples."

"Huh??," I said. “What??”

He said, “I need some apples. My night, night apples.”

He went on to explain, that each night before he goes to bed, he has an apple, to you know, hit the spot before dozing off into dreamland.

Clearly, it was something that I hadn’t noticed (not sure how), but it made me think about my own snacking habits.

For me, before bed I usually want something a little sweet to eat, so I’ll grab a handful of dates or coconut date rolls if I’m feeling froggy. During the day, I try my hardest not to snack and if I do, it’s either on an apples or carrots and celery (which I’ve been obsessed with lately.). But here’s the caveat. This is all if I’m having a good week.

But, if it’s a terribly stressful week, I’m PMS’ing, or just not being intentional about my eating, I’m inclined to grab sesame seed crackers and nut cheese, tortilla chips, or gluten and dairy free chocolate chip cookies. OMG. THEY ARE MY JAM.

And it’s not to say that snacking is bad. There are many nutrition philosophies that actually encourage snacking throughout the day to prevent blood sugar dips, which is the primary cause of hangriness. And trust, besides world peace, my goal in life is to prevent the savageness and destruction caused by the world being hangry.

So, if snacking isn’t bad, then why do the bells and alarms in my head go off in a flurry of panic at the thought of snacking might actually being okay.

As mentioned previously, 9 times out of 10, snacking goes wrong. Most times I’m NOT reaching for carrot or celery sticks. Most times, I’m not all like, “Hey, I’m so stressed right now, let me eat an apple,” or “I’m binge watching Drunk History, why not veg out with some seeds and nuts.”

While I SO want to be that person, stress-induced snacking more often than not makes me want to grab the closest, unhealthiest indulgence. Just ask my husband. There’s been several times when he’s settling in to watch a little television with a hankering for some sweet & salty popcorn, only to find that I have devoured the entire bag. And let me just say, that is NOT the way to a blissful marriage.

So, how are we possibly supposed to navigate whether to snack or not to snack? And what does “proper” snacking actually look like?

Glad you asked!

Meta Appetite Control partnered with registered dietitian nutritionist Jessica Fishman Levinson MS, RDN, CDN, to create six Snack ID profiles and to provide healthy snacking tips, customized for each profile.

To bring these Snack IDs to life, Meta Appetite Control partnered with POPSUGAR to turn these Snack ID profiles and tips into an interactive, online quiz.

And let me just say, the quiz nailed my snacking personality. I mean, SPOT ON.

I am the “Mindless Muncher”. After smashing any given bag of anything (healthy or not), I often realize, “Shoot, I wasn’t really hungry. I’m thirsty.” or “OMG. I literally just ate an entire bag of chips. Whooops!”

Their recommendation? Basically, mindfulness, which Ashley and I discuss in our latest podcast. But, if I find that just can’t kick the cravings, adding Meta Appetite Control to my juice or smoothie is a great alternative to help me feel less hungry between meals.* If you’re interested in trying  Meta Appetite Control yourself, we’re sharing a few coupons to save you some money. Just click here.

I always say that knowing is half the battle and if you’re like me, once I’m aware of something, the more inclined I am to make the changes I need to accomplish my goals.

So, if you’re wondering what type of snacker you are, and how you can manage your snacking tendencies, take the Pop Sugar Snack ID quiz to help you continue to reset with us in 2017. Don’t forget to let us know what type of snacker you are by using #BGRReset and #MetaSnackID.

*This statements has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

I'm a sponsored Meta Influencer, but all opinions are my own. Meta partnered with bloggers, such as me, to get the word out about its great product benefits. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. Meta believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Meta’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.


There is wisdom in asking for help.

I came across this quote yesterday and wanted to share it. It says, 

Asking for help has never been one of my strongest attributes. Frankly, in some instances, I'd rather risk failure than to ask someone to give me a hand. Obviously, my ego is in control here, but feelings and thoughts around inadequacy tend to rear its ugly head making it even more difficult to raise my hand for help. Also, who really wants to admit they don't know EVERYTHING.

This has been particularly true around my long distance training. When I wanted to get faster or lose those pesky 10 pounds, instead of seeking the help of experts, I'd try to figure it out on my own, using what I thought I knew, but never really making any progress. It left me even more frustrated with myself and ironically enough, the feelings of inadequacy were still very present.

Eventually, I became tired of failing and reached out to people who had more training and expertise than me to help me reach my goals and that would hold me accountable and motivate me to reach the finish line. The truth is, they were excited that I asked for help and didn't judge me for not having all the answers.

Sometimes resetting is asking for help.

I'll often hear women say they want to join Black Girls RUN!, but they need to lose weight before they join their local group or that they need to "get their lives together" before they commit to running.

Let's be honest. You're afraid. Afraid that you might have to confront feelings of inadequacy. Afraid that you might be judged. Afraid to ask for help. 

But, let me assure you that there is nothing to be afraid of. We're just waiting for you to ask for help.

Ashley and I started Black Girls RUN! because we sincerely wanted to help. We wanted to help women reclaim their lives by living a healthy and active lifestyle. We wanted to help women understand their value and self-worth. We wanted to help women, just like you be GREAT!

Yes, sometimes you have to stand alone, but with Black Girls RUN!, there's no need! Turns out there are thousands of other women, just like us, that want to see the state of our community's health improve!  

It's never a bad idea to ask for help when you need it!

So, what will it take for you to raise your hand for help? How can you reset and harness the courage and bravery that I know exists inside of you to take that first step to achieving your goals and intentions for 2017? And most importantly, how can the BGR! Nation and I help? Post below with your comments, questions and requests for help! 

Monday Inspiration: Are You Brave Enough to Ask For Help?

By Toni Carey (@toni_carey/@officialblackgirlsrun)

Most people automatically shut down running (specifically with Black Girls RUN!) because they are intimidated and have no idea how to start.

In fact, most ladies say, "Oh, let me lose a few pounds THEN I'll come join your group." 😑😒 Listen, you do not have to be a certain way to start running, you can totally do it now, as you are. AND the best part about that is that you don't have to do it alone. We have 70 running groups across the country and thousands of ladies ready to help you reach your goals. Now, are you brave enough to ask for help? #bgrreset #blackgirlsrun

So, if you're ready, what's next?


First, please create a profile on our website by going to the link below:

Once you are registered, it will suggest a group nearest you and you'll be able to see their calendar of run or connect with them via Facebook. It's as easy as that. 

You can also check out this article to learn more: 10 Things You Need to Know If You're New to BGR!

If you have additional questions, email us at

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