Friday, November 29, 2013

Fitness (Black) Friday

Hi friends! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We enjoyed our day and are gearing up this morning for a little Black Friday shopping. We don’t have many plans – our main focus is the Disney snow globes at JC Penney.  After that, we will browse around the mall, and who knows what from there!

This Fitness Friday is a bit different from the rest. Check out my workouts this week, followed by a few awesome Black Friday deals on runner friendly apparel!

Currently training for: Woman’s Half Marathon - December 8, Louisiana
Rock N Roll New Orleans Marathon – February 2, 2013, Louisiana


Saturday – 12 mile run with the running group
Sunday – Decorated 2 Christmas trees and had awful foot pain by the end of it all…even had to wear my old “broken foot” boot. It’s all better now! :0) I’m thinking my old injury flared up with all of the weather changes and my walking around on it so much.
Monday – Squats/Lunges Routine and 30 Day Core Challenge
Tuesday – Squats/Lunges Routine and 30 Day Core Challenge
Wednesday – Squats/Lunges Routine and 30 Day Core Challenge
Thursday – 8 Mile Turkey Trot 
Friday – Black Friday shopping!

Speaking of Black Friday, here’s a few awesome sales going on right now!

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Zensah is offering 50% off their Compression Socks – for a total of $24.99 per pair! This is a sweet deal as these socks retail at $49.99! Don’t miss out on this one. love my Zensah Compression socks!  Click the photo above to be taken to Zensah’s website to get in on this deal.

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Under Armour also has several good deals happening right now – including 25% off the UA Battle Hoodie! Click on the photo above to browse around their site.

Whatever your plans for the day, I hope you have a great day! If you’re out shopping, stay safe!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. 
~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Turkey Trot

I appreciate each and every one of you so very much! I’m thankful for the friends I’ve made this year and those to come! Family means the world to me and I’m spending time with them today – I hope you are surrounded by those who mean the most to you as well.

I pray that your Thanksgiving is full of blessings and wonderful memories that will last a lifetime!

Love you all! Have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Black Friday Crime Prevention Tips

By now, I’m sure you’ve figured out that I’m a big Black Friday shopper. The tradition began back in high school (1999/2000) and has continued on to ever since. I’m not one to fight for deals or wait hours and hours to be the first in line at the door – my strategy is a bit different. I like to look through the sales papers on Thanksgiving Day, find items on my gift list, then create a game plan. I don’t typically go for the big ticket hot items that stores receive 10 each of – cause I’m not about to get in a knock down fight over a 40 inch LED TV.

Black Friday Shopping 3

I also like to bring friends along with me. Not only is it more fun to shop with friends, there’s definitely safety in numbers.

Earlier this week, the security department at my work released a few crime prevention tips for the holiday shopping season and I added a few of my own as well. I want to share these tips with you because it’s so important to protect yourself while battling the crowds. It’s ok to have fun, just be a bit cautious while you’re at it.

Crime Prevention Tips While Shopping

  • Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
  • Shop with a friend; there is safety in numbers.
  • Don’t buy more than you can safely carry. Plan ahead by taking a friend or ask a store employee to help you carry your purchases to your vehicle.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Pay for purchases with check, credit or debit card.
  • Carry your purse close to your body. Carry it under your arm and not swinging to the back of your body.
  • Do not carry a wallet in a back pocket. It should be in the front pocket of your pants to avoid pickpocketing.
  • Thieves or robbers often look for “high value” shopping bags with your purchases. When possible, slip bags/purchases in a plain nondescript bag.
  • Watch purchases when eating at mall food courts; bags can be easily switched or taken.
  • Have your car keys in hand before leaving a store.
  • If you do return to your vehicle to unload packages, place them in the trunk. Do not leave anything visible.
  • If you are with children, pick a meeting spot in case you get separated.
  • If you must use the ATM, use it before Black Friday.

Black Friday Shopping

Crime Prevention Tips in Parking Lots

  • If possible, avoid shopping during hours of evening or early morning darkness.
  • Park in a high visibility area with good lighting and ample pedestrian traffic.
  • Stay in your car with the doors locked until the store opens.
  • Avoid parking next to vehicles with dark tinted windows, vans and large SUV’s.
  • Try to walk with others, not alone.
  • Walk briskly, confidently and directly through the parking lot. Be cautious of people handing out fliers or asking questions in the parking area.
  • Watch for people who may be following you. If you sense someone is following you or you feel un­comfortable, return immediately to the store.
  • You may want to consider having a whistle in your possession.
  • Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by a cell phone call or text while walking to and from your vehicle.

Do you have any tips to share?

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Don’t forget about the Spartan Racing giveaway happening right now! Ends TONIGHT at midnight!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Holiday Favorites

How are you spending your Thanksgiving Holidays? For some, it’s about traditions, enjoying time with family and friends, eating lots of turkey and pumpkin pie, and being truly grateful for the blessings we’ve all been given.

For me, it’s all of the above! This year, we celebrating Thanksgiving with my Aunt and Uncle in Dallas. It is our first Thanksgiving without my grandfather and I know it’s going to be a tough one. We are having a ham (his favorite), and I’m still going to argue with him about who gets to eat more of it. I miss him so much…each and every day. I think about him often and I’m still waiting on that “it will get better” stage….cause I haven’t gotten there yet.

A few of my favorite things I’m looking forward to this Thanksgiving include:

TurkeyTrot

  • Running the largest Thanksgiving race in the country. That’s right – over 30,000 are registered for the Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot . This could be a good thing…or it could be a very bad thing. From several reports I’ve read online, the first 2.5 miles are cray cray. I’ve chosen to run the 8 miler over the 5K .Kayla and my brother are running the race, too – they are going with the 5K option. The last time I ran a race in Dallas was for the 2011 Rock N Roll Dallas Half , so this will be a treat!
  • Spending time with family. I’ve seen my Dallas family more times that I can count this year but I’m still super excited to see them again!
  • Food! Sweet Potato casserole and Pecan Pie are my holiday favorites.
  • Playing games with my family. We love playing board games and I have a fun fun ones up my sleeve! :0)
  • Black Friday shopping – Dallas, hello! I’m from a small town and I cannot wait to take in the big city life…and on Black Friday! Ok, I’m kidding…sort of. We aren’t going into Dallas on Black Friday – we are going to spend a bit of time shopping around the outskirts of Dallas. I still have several fun memories from the last time we spent Thanksgiving/Black Friday in Dallas – it was 2004 and my dad brought me to JC Penney at 5 a.m. to wait in line for a Disney snow globe. He was the only man out there, but he waited in the cold with me all the same. Isn’t he sweet? We are returning to the same mall this year, only JC Penney opens on Thanksgiving Day and they are going to begin handing out snow globes at 4 a.m. We don’t have an actual game plan yet, but that will come soon.

Black Friday

Can we top last year’s adventures? I guess we will soon find out!

How are you spending your Thanksgiving? What are your holiday favorites? Any travelling involved? Are you running a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day/the weekend?

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Don’t forget about the Spartan Racing giveaway happening right now! Ends Wednesday, November 27th!

Monday, November 25, 2013

12 Miles and a Little Christmas

In preparation for the Woman’s Half Marathon on December 10th, I ran 12 miles with Heather on Saturday morning. It’s been a while since I’ve run 12 miles, but it wasn’t bad at all…I actually enjoyed it!

Southern Winter Weather 

I was grateful for the cooler weather, even though the temps did drop while we were running…and there was a light, nasty mist in the air.

Southern Winter Weather 2

If you’re from the north, you’re probably looking at these weather temps and shaking your head at me. For the south, this is cold…and it only got colder as the weekend went on!

Best Running Friend

An enjoyable run as always…the miles flew by as we chatted!

12 Mile Time

Here’s where I made an uh-oh. I never ever stop my watch on GoRun Saturdays when we stop for water, stop to chat with another runner, stop midway for GU, and I almost always forget to stop it at the end when we are finished with our run. (In this case, it stayed running for a good 8-10 minutes.)

I do know that the first mile was a 9:35 and we kept a pretty consistent pace the entire time….so if I had to guess, I’d say between a 9:35 and a 9:50 is a good overall average pace for us.

It’s been a habit for years…if I stopped my watch, I always always always forgot to restart it – so I quit stopping it. Oh well.

Panera Coffee

There is one thing I didn’t forget to do…..I did not forget to stop for Panera after my run! :0) I even brought breakfast home for Jason and he was exceptionally grateful.

Jasons Birthday

For lunch, we ate at a local Mexican restaurant with my parents in celebration of Jason’s upcoming birthday (on Thanksgiving Day).

Sad Star

We also put up our tree. Sad star.

Goof Challenge Ornament

My favorite ornaments are the ones that were made in the Days of Christmas Store (Downtown Disney) during Marathon Weekend over the past few years.  Of course these ornaments were the first to go on the tree!

runDisney Marathon Weekend Ornaments

2010 Half Marathon, 2011 Full Marathon, 2013 Goofy Challenge

I’m proud of each and every one of these accomplishments. Disney was my first Half and my first Full and I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything in the world!

After all of the Christmas excitement at my house (2 days worth), I went to my parent’s house last night to help them decorate! (I’m a bit obsessed with this season if you couldn’t tell.)

Mall Santa Memories

It was fun re-living old memories with my parents and remembering where certain ornaments came from. These mall Santa photos crack me up. I was not impressed with Mall Santa on the bottom right. I didn’t want to take the picture because I was too old for all of that business (even though I was  wearing a Santa shirt…go figure), but I agreed because my brother wanted to take the picture. Aren’t I a sweet sister? Yes, I’d say so.

We had a great weekend and really enjoyed the extra special moments that made it a memorable one.

How was your weekend? Anyone run a race or a long run? Share the details!

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Don’t forget about the Spartan Racing giveaway happening right now! Ends Wednesday, November 27th!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fitness Friday–11/22

Happy Hunger Games…and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Kidding! Well, sort of!

Yesterday was the movie release of Catching Fire and I am so excited! My co-workers and I are going to see it after we finish with work for the day. I’m also going to have my first Chick-Fil-A Peppermint Shake of the season before the movie. Cannot wait!

Currently training for: Woman’s Half Marathon - December 8, Louisiana
Rock N Roll New Orleans Marathon – February 2, 2013, Louisiana

Saturday – 10 mile training run
Sunday – Rest Day
Monday – 3 mile solo run (with negative splits); Squats/Lunges Routine
Tuesday – Squats/Lunges Routine and 30 Day Core Challenge
Wednesday – 4 mile run – Madalynn made it to 2.5 miles! Squats/Lunges Routine
Thursday – Squats/Lunges Routine and 30 Day Core Challenge; also spent 45 minutes climbing up and down the attic ladder (taking down Christmas d├ęcor).
Friday – Squats/Lunges Routine and 30 Day Core Challenge

Tomorrow, I’m hoping for a 12 mile training run for the Woman’s Half. It’s coming up so quick and I cannot wait!

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Monday, I challenged myself to run three miles with a negative split each mile. All miles had to be under a 9 minute pace.

1st Mile – 8:48
2nd Mile – 8:36
3rd Mile – 8:25

It gives me satisfaction to know I am pushing myself, I just don’t want to over-do it because I’m so over that injured wagon. Whomp whomp.

maddie

My watched died mid run with Madalynn on Wednesday, so I don’t have any pictures….but I can tell you that this girl was WORN out after her run! She made it to 2.5 miles and did great. She loves to run, but always lets me know when she’s finished and needs to stop. (Definitely a good thing – we don’t push it distance wise!) On Wednesday, when our 2 mile loop was complete, she wanted to keep running…so we did!

Another exciting thing going on over at my house is Christmas decorating! I began taking the boxes out of the attic last night and I set up all of the non-tree items.

christmas

This was hard work, I tell ya! My husband was at work and I wasn’t patient enough to wait on him so I got them all out of the attic myself. The only thing I needed his help with was the Christmas tree.

I decided that 45 minutes of climbing up and down the attic ladder with heavy boxes and nasty, hot, humid weather outside equaled a 2 mile run (at least). :0)

mugtree

My newest collection, a mug tree! I love it!

froyo

Last but not least, peppermint is everywhere! Yogurt Mountain recently released their Christmas flavors and “Candy Cane” is on the list…along with peppermint topping! I mixed my Candy Cane froyo with “White Christmas” (white chocolate) and it was the perfect combination!

Have a fantastic weekend! Any fellow Catching Fire fans? Who’s putting up their tree this weekend? Anyone running a race?

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Don’t forget about the Spartan Racing giveaway happening right now! Ends Wednesday, November 27th!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Spartan Racing Giveaway Take 2

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This past summer, I hosted a Spartan Racing giveaway for an entry to any of their races in the United States. Spartan races sound intense, tough, and oh so thrilling!! I still haven’t had a chance to run one of their races, but I hope to soon.

What is Spartan Racing all about?

Spartan Race is on a mission to get you active, healthy, excited about change, and return to our ancient roots where running through woods, getting dirty, and facing adversity was part of everyday life. Our events are all about challenging today’s perception of normal.

Our events challenge the familiar, today’s perception of normal living and getting you out of your comfort zone! At
Spartan Race, we do this everyday and it shapes everything we do.
Having experienced many different racing events, we wanted to make adventure racing more accessible to everyone, but do not be fooled by the word ‘accessible’, as our events have a challenge for everyone’s needs.
Spartan Race now introduces a level for everyone beginning with the entry level Spartan Sprint, intermediate level Super Spartan, the advanced Spartan Beast, and the ‘99.9% need not apply’ extreme level Death Race.

Whatever your level,
Spartan Race will test your strength, stamina, and sense of humor.
This December, Spartan Racing’s World Championships is going to be broadcast on NBC Sports. (Way cool, right?!) In honor of this exciting event, Spartan Racing has asked me to host another giveaway!




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You can catch Spartan Racing’s World Championship broadcast on NBC Sports, December 7th from 4-5 p.m.


Check out the Facebook Events Page for more information.

map

Interested in registering for one of their races? Here’s a map breakdown of each race location.

Now for the giveaway!

What you’ll win: One entry to any open heat in any 2013-2104 Spartan Race in the continental US
Enter via Rafflecopter below. This giveaway will be open today through next Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving). Good luck! :0)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Epcot Resorts Running Trails

With the ever rising popularity of runDisney and Disney Running events, we all know that Disney is a fabulous place to run a Marathon or Half.

Disney World races are a lot of fun and make for great “racecation” trips, but what happens when you visit the parks on a non-race weekend?

Disney Running 19

If you’re staying on property and interested in going for a run, you’re in luck! Disney’s running trails were recently revamped and are being sponsored by New Balance. Along with outdoor signs at most resorts, pocket maps of the jogging trail paths are also available at the front desk of each resort. (Yes, I’m the huge nerd who will whip out a pocket map during a run to make sure I’m following the proper trail…)

During our quick weekend trip back in October, I knew I needed to go for a run of some sort, but didn’t know where to go. Thankfully, my friend Melissa had the perfect place in mind.

Melissa has the amazing opportunity to run through the EPCOT area resorts on a regular basis. (This made it easier on me – she knew the water stop locations and the distance between each!)

Disney Running 22

Thanks to AllEars.com for use of this map.

See the four different trails above? We did a combination of all of them, plus a little more…

Disney Running 2

Our journey began at the Fantasia Gardens parking lot where we crossed through the Swan and into the Boardwalk area.

Disney Running 3

It was a beautiful (yet warm) day, but we made great time and really enjoyed our run!

Disney Running 4

After passing through Boardwalk, we took a turn towards Hollywood Studios.

Disney Running 5

This path was incredibly familiar to me and felt odd without other runners/spectators along the way…but I loved it!!

Disney Running 6

At the entrance of Hollywood Studios, we stopped for water, then continued back to the Boardwalk.

Disney Running 7Disney Running 8

So far, Melissa and I have run the 2010 Wine & Dine and the 2012 WDW Full Marathon together. We are both looking forward to 2014 Princess as well!

Disney Running 9

The path back to the Boardwalk led us past the Swan/Dolphin resorts.

Disney Running 10

After leaving Boardwalk, we made our way to EPCOT’s International Gateway area.

Disney Running 11

We stopped for water, then continued our run towards the Beach Club/Yacht Club resorts.

Disney Running 13

Again, the path near these resorts was very familiar and I loved it! Since I’m not registered for Marathon Weekend this year, it was nice having a chance to run around these areas during our trip.

Disney Running 14

After leaving the Yacht/Beach Club area, we looped back around to Hollywood Studios.

Disney Running 15

Thankfully, Melissa knew where she was going! :0) I am familiar with the area, but would have likely gotten myself turned around.

Disney Running 16

We stopped for water again at Hollywood Studios, then completed our run through the Boardwalk, back to the Swan, and onto our vehicle at Fantasia Gardens.

Disney Running 20Disney Running 17

We also might have stopped mid-run for a little shopping at the Boardwalk. I couldn’t help it – there was a Christmas display in the window…and it was only October!

In total, our run finished out a little over 6 miles (closer to 6.5, maybe? I can’t remember for sure).

Even though I wasn’t spending time in the parks, I was elated to have the chance to run around and through this area. I’ve run at various other resorts in the past (Wilderness Lodge, Port Orleans Riverside, Polynesian, etc), and I feel as if this route is by far the best. If you are staying at any of the EPCOT area resorts (Boardwalk, Yacht/Beach Club, Swan/Dolphin), and are interested in going for a run, skip the treadmill….it’s much more exciting outside! :0)

What’s your favorite Disney running trail? Have you had a chance to test any of them out?

Monday, November 18, 2013

B.R.F.

B.R.F. – Best Running Friend

This past weekend, I headed out for a long run with one of my BRF’s, Heather. We had cool weather all week but Saturday’s weather was (of course) warm, humid, and there was a light fog in the air.

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Since my last “long run” was several weeks ago, I decided not to push my luck and instead of 12 miles, we ran 10. Thankfully, I did not experience any knee pain or twinges and we completed the entire 10 miles! Yay!

I enjoyed catching up with Heather and we chatted every step of the way. I love running with people I connect with – sure helps the time pass!

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(I forgot to pause/stop my watch at the 6 mile GU break and after we finished running…whoops!)

They say that running is a way to relieve stress – I agree, but I also think that running with a good friend is not only a stress reliever, it’s also incredibly therapeutic.

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God sure knew what he was doing when he placed these two in my life! I’m very grateful for my BRF’s and the friendship we’ve developed.

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Four (almost five) years ago, I made the decision to step out of my comfort zone and join a running group (all by myself – I knew no one)!  I’m so glad I made that decision – not only did I join a running group, I had help and encouragement to train for and complete lots of half marathons, four full marathons, and I gained friendships along the way.  I can’t imagine where I would be today without my running group and the awesome friends I’ve made because of it.

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Do you have a B.R.F.? Who are they? Give them a shout-out or say something you love about them…awww… :0)

Hooray for BRF’s!

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