Friday, August 31, 2012

Claim Your Journey Featured Blog Posts!

Recently, I wrote two blog posts for Claim  Your Journey and both were chosen as the feature of the week!

Minimizing Sun Exposure

This week’s featured blog post comes to us from Karen in Lake Charles. Karen is not only a runner, but an oncology nurse, and shares with us some great tips on protecting yourself from the sun, as well as some risk factors for developing skin cancer. Many runners have either been personally affected by skin cancer, or have a friend or loved one who has had skin cancer, as it accounts for nearly half of all cancers in the U.S.

In her blog post, Karen adds a fact about a well-known runner’s experience with skin cancer that you may not have known about:

2004 Olympic Bronze Medalist Deena Kastor was diagnosed three times with Malignant Melanoma. Taken from her interview with Runners World, Kastor says, “I chalk it up to some weak years around high school, when I was running and wasn’t such a stickler about putting on sunscreen and protecting myself. I’m paying the price right now.”

Sun protection tips and more from Karen here.

and

Brilliance

Although a very hot summer, some of us still have to get our long runs in. The heat certainly does make training for your next race quite difficult, but sometimes you catch a break. This week, CYJ Blogger Karen tells us how one long run in the morning came to be a brilliant run.

My friend Heather and I were around mile 4 of our 12 mile run and for just a small moment, everything felt right. The surroundings for Saturday’s run were amazing – a nice peaceful lake with a gorgeous view of the sunrise, my pace was perfect, my breathing was under control – the world faded away and I was in the zone.

More from Karen here.

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Besides blogging, Claim Your Journey has lots of great things on their site! Look around and see what you find!! :0)

Have a brilliant weekend and remember, always use sunscreen!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

30th Birthday Weekend

As I sit and reflect over all the events that took place around my 30th birthday, I am floored. My friends and family went ABOVE and BEYOND to make this a special birthday for me. I have some amazing people in my life for sure!

Saturday morning, I met with my running peeps for a 14 mile run.

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I was greeted by Kelli who put this glow necklace on me as well as a button that said “Kiss Me! It’s my Birthday!” Hah!

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We did get rained on, but after the rain was another gorgeous rainbow!

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Birthday kisses!

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I could not believe everything that my friends did for me! I love you guys!!! :0)

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Sunday night, two of my long time friends met with me for dinner at Olive Garden! :0)

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I love these girls!

Monday morning, I woke up a 30 year old!

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My husband worked nights the night before so he brought home breakfast from Cracker Barrel! Yummy Blueberry pancakes!

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I arrived at work to another surprise! My crazy co-workers posted baby pictures of me in several spots throughout the department! I was so shocked that I forgot to clock in! Hah!  They also bought lunch for me from O’Charleys! They are awesome!

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After work, I was told that I needed to run a mile for every year of my age. I had to stop at 3 miles. 30 seemed a bit much! Ah well!

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My parents took me out to eat at a Lebanese place for dinner! The food was awesome! I will definitely be back….

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After dinner, we opened presents and had cake.

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I received a Mary Poppins Precious Moments figurine from my parents…..

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….and the Hunger Games Trilogy Hardback set from my husband! He also let me pick out a waterproof, shockproof, etc camera for races! I get to test it out for the first time in October so we’ll see how it lives up! :0)

What a whirlwind of a weekend! I am so blessed and I have the best friends/family ever!! :0) Turning 30 isn’t so bad after all! (But I wasn’t worried…it’s just another number and you are only as young as you feel! If that’s the case, I must be 23 years old….) :D

Monday, August 27, 2012

Disney Cruise!

Life seems like a crazy jumble this morning. Today, I turn 30 years old. Today, uncertainty is running through the Gulf Coast regarding Tropical Storm Isaac. Today, I have several friends (including myself) who are trying to figure out what to do regarding upcoming vacations. I don’t like uncertainty. Ugh.

So instead, I’m going to keep my mind off of it and I’m going to think of a wonderful thought….any merry little thought? Yeah…I’ve been listening to Disney music! Hah!

My happy thought for the day? Our upcoming Disney Cruise!! I feel as if I’ve been counting down to this cruise for EVER! We are travelling with my husband’s parents to New York where we’ll board the Disney Magic for Canada!

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I have a countdown on my phone that I look at every day! I’ve never been to New York so I’m excited and scared all at the same time! I cannot wait!! :0)

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I love this ship and can’t wait to be on board!

Anyone ever heard of Fish Extenders? Well, I spent hours a few weeks ago creating my Fish Extender gifts for our cruise!

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I don’t think I realized the HUGE undertaking I was putting myself through! The Cajun Cookin’ paper bag cookbooks were very time consuming but I had a lot of fun with them! :0)

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I decided that since we are going to Canada and I’m Cajun which are descendant of the Acadians (got that?) I’d bring everyone a little piece of home!

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Mini serving size of Tony Chachere and Tabasco sauce!

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Each room’s bag includes: a Mardi Gras Fleur de Lis necklace, a Fleur de Lis cookie cutter, a Cajun Cookin cookbook made out of brown paper bags, mini travel size Tobassco/Tony’s seasoning, and something I found at Target that is not remotely Cajun – Duncan Hines icing flavor powder!  :0)

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Ready to go!

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I also shopped and shopped and shopped for MONTHS for my cruise semi-formal night dress. I couldn’t find ANYTHING I liked and I tried on what felt like a million dresses! I finally decided on this one! Yay!

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…..and just because I thought this was funny!! Have you seen the McKayla is not impressed Tumblr account? Go check it out if not! Hah!

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Winners of the Sweat Pink Shoelaces are Christine from We Run Disney and Lisa from Run Fast Mama! Incidentally, both are Run Disney fans! Yay!

Send your mailing address to: kren2700@gmail.com and I’ll get the shoelaces out to you this week! :0)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Birthday Weekend Celebration! (Part One)

Even though it’s not quite my birthday yet, I’ve had an awesome weekend celebrating with friends and family! It’s times like this that make me realize just how blessed I am! :0)

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I chose O’Charleys for dinner Friday night!

My brother happened to be in to town and we all went to eat. It felt strange that it was just me, my brother, my mom, and my dad. Don’t get me wrong…we love Jason and Kayla, but it was nice being just us four again for the first time in a LONG time. The waiter even tried to give Brian “our” ticket! He put his head in his hands and said, “She’s my sister, man!” Hah! Ah well! We still had fun!

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I had a Greek Pita with sweet potato fries! Yum!

After dinner, we went to my parents house to cut my cake!  I LOVE this cake – it’s been my birthday cake for the past three years….chocolate cake with peanut butter icing. It’s to die for!!

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The cake was even better because it had Mickey on the front!! I didn’t want to cut it! ;)

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Ah well…bye bye Mickey! See you REAL soon!! :0)

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My brother brought me back home and as we drove up in the driveway, we saw balloons everywhere!! Hah! What a FUN surprise! (The balloons even matched my cake – red and black!) My friends are the best….they really made me feel so special all weekend!!

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They were on the mailbox, too!  :0)

I have more to share but don’t want to overload one post with a million birthday pictures. Besides, I have more celebrating to do! It’s the last day of my twenties! I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts!! :0)

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Don’t forget about my Sweat Pink Giveaway!
Contest ends TOMORROW - 
Monday, August 27th! Click the link above to find out how to enter!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Beach Workout

I.S.T.B.

I Survived The Beach – workout that is!

Whew! What an interesting experience! On the average Fall Marathon training schedule, my coach sets aside Tuesday nights as “Hill Workouts”. I’ve attended hills in the past and I know what a huge difference they’ve made in my Half Marathon performance time. I know a lot of people say that hill workouts aren’t necessary, but I believe in them!

For instance, my first “real” Half Marathon time rang in around 2 hours and 28 minutes. At that time, I didn’t think I could ever run any faster…really. I felt as if I gave that race my all. (That race was in February.)

December of the same year, (after training all Fall on hills once per week), I ran a Half Marathon time of 2 hours and 12 minutes.

The following December (again after training all Fall on hills once per week – and ramping up my mileage to train for a Full Marathon), I ran my current Half Marathon PR time of 2 hours and 1 minute.

I’m not saying that running hills alone helped me reach my goal times – I’m just saying that it definitely contributed. So for all of the “hill haters”, I am a believer!! :0)

Ok onto my real reason for this blog. I live in Southwest Louisiana. Our elevation is completely flat. If you want to find a hill, you have to run a parking garage or a bridge. For a group of 20-ish people, that’s not the safest idea (neither is running a parking garage or a bridge by yourself but you know what I mean)….

At one time (ie: my entire life up until a few months ago), my town HAD an outdoor man-made hill that was used for concert purposes. Unfortunately, that hill no longer exists.

Like a good running coach, ours found another solution.

The Beach.

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Yep, the good old lovely beach.

I’ve run this workout the past two weeks and let me tell you, this workout is like hills on STEROIDS.

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Our coach sets cones out along the beach and as a group, we run four timed runs in and out of the cones – with breaks in between. I almost died. Seriously.

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Never in my life have I worked SO hard for just 2 measly miles! I’m not going to lie, this run was tough and it hurt…but I felt amazing after it was all said and done!

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After the run was over, we ran a cool-down….on the sand, of course!

This running in sand business is not to be played around with, especially when the sand is not packed down.

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Apparently the beach does have a slight elevation. Great. A hill workout combined with sand. My idea of fun!

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My peeps after the run!

So there you have it. I’ve completed this workout twice and I’m still alive! This was a TOUGH workout and I’m crossing my fingers that my “new hill” a.k.a. The Beach will help me towards reaching this year’s goal! :0) Can’t say I didn’t try at least!

Have you ever tried running in sand? What did you think?

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Don’t forget about my Sweat Pink Giveaway!
Contest ends Monday, August 27th!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sweat Pink Giveaway

Incase you haven’t heard (or seen via twitter), I’m a Sweat Pink Ambassador!

Check out my Sweat Pink Ambassador Bio!!

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I am in love with all of the cute sweat pink gear!

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The pink shirt is my favorite by far! I’ve worn it multiple times and I’ve only had it about 2 weeks! :0)

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Guess what?

Sweat Pink has given you a chance to be a part of the excitement, also!

TWO pairs of shoelaces are up for grabs (there will be two winners)! Who wants them?

Here is what you have to do to enter!

Mandatory: Leave a comment telling me how you would put a pair of sweat pink shoelaces to good use!

Extra Entries (leave a comment for each):
#1 - Follow me on Twitter.
#2 - Follow FitApproach on Twitter.
#3 - Tweet about the giveaway: “@kren2700 is giving away #SweatPink shoelaces thanks to @FitApproach - justmeandmyrunningshoes.com/2012/08/sweat-pink-giveaway.html”

This giveaway will end next Monday, August 27th (which just so happens to be my 30th birthday!) Winners will be announced on Tuesday, August 28th. Fun fun!! Good luck! :0)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Another Hot One

Saturday morning was another hot and muggy one!

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Even though the sunrise was amazing, we were soaked and slightly miserable. We weren’t the only ones – I think everyone in our running group was affected in one way or another by the weather!

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Somehow we pushed through and completed 12 miles!  I’m beyond ready for cooler weather. The entire month of August has been miserable for running!

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After our run, we had breakfast (mine was gross…not going there again!) then we consumed cupcakes! Thanks again for the yummy treats, Heather! :0)

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I also wore my compression tights most of the day. Something strange about Saturday’s run – my legs felt “off” all day. I never felt soreness in my legs, they just felt strange. By Sunday, all was back to normal! :0)

How was your weekend?

Giveaway coming up tomorrow!
Stay tuned!

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