Thursday, April 30, 2015

New Favorite: The Fit Mouse Podcast

Happy Thursday! Hope it’s been a great week for everyone! This week has been a bit busy here, but it’s fun! My church is hosting a 5K in honor of veterans (around the 4th of July) and I’ve been asked to help plan the event. We met last night after service and I was at church until 10 p.m….eek! We got a lot done, so that’s all that matters! I can’t wait to see the pieces of this event come together – it’s going to be great!

Today, I’m sharing a few new favorite of mine with you! I love to come across new things…..and I enjoy sharing them with you in hopes you’ll like them, too!

My newest addiction favorite is in the form of podcast…the Fit Mouse Podcast, that is!  While in Winnsboro a few weeks ago, my friend Lisa told me about this podcast and I knew I had to check it out!  (Speaking of Lisa, she also has her own Podcast called The Disney Exchange…go check it out!)

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The Fit Mouse Podcast is run by Bekka and Marci and they discuss all things Disney, Running, Fitness, Healthy Living, etc.

Y’all. I LOVE THEM!!

The first time I listened to their podcast while running, I didn’t want to stop (running or listening)! I tweeted them as soon as I finished running and a few weeks later, they gave me a shout-out in one of their podcasts as a new listener! How cool is that?!

These ladies are entertaining and I love listening to something new while out on the road – it definitely helps pass the time!

My favorite episode so far is the Princess Half Marathon episode. I LOVED the end – it literally gave me chills!

A passage of John Bingham’s Marathoning for Mortals was read and oh my gosh guys…

“Right now as you’re standing at the starting line, millions of other people also want to walk or run a half-marathon or marathon. They dream about it at work, in the car, or while watching television. They know just how they want it to be. They think they know what the training will be like, what their bodies will look like, what the race will be like, and how it will feel to stand at the starting line. They even believe that they know how it will feel to cross the finish line.

But they’re just dreaming. You’re DOING. On race morning, when you are out there standing at the starting line with your number on, surrounded by others just like you, you will know what they only imagine. You will feel it, see it, smell it, and experience it. Unlike those who only dream, you’ve earned the right to be a part of the experience.

By getting to the starting line, you’ve already placed yourself in the top echelon of athletes. You may not be the top tier of that race, but as a long distance athlete, you are fitter, more trained, and better disciplined, than 99% of the population that has ever lived. Remind yourself of that when you start to obsess about your pace or finish time.

When you stand at the starting line, you join the club. When you stand at the starting line, you earn your membership. Millions dream of being where you are. You are no longer a dreamer. You are a doer.

If you’re standing at the starting line, you’ve not only accepted the challenge, but you’ve beaten back the demons. You’ve conquered your imagination and self-imposed limitations. You’ve gone farther, gotten stronger, and gotten tougher than you ever imagined.

The miracle truly isn’t that your are going to finish, but that you had the courage to start.

After all of that, they played Hercules “I Can Go The Distance”…I’m pretty sure that was one of my fastest training runs to date AND I had a giant smile on my face as soon as I was done! 

I HAVE to get this book. I just have to. I also have to run another marathon, but that’s another race for another day. :)

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This magnet is on my fridge and it makes me smile every time I see it! :)

The Fit Mouse Podcast can be accessed through a smart phone (using a podcast app). Currently, only the latest 10 episodes are listed in the app…but Bekka and Marci recently added all of their older episodes to their website for live-streaming! Now you can listen to it all! Check them out on Twitter and Facebook, too! :)

Do you ever listen to podcasts while running? If so, what’s your favorite?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Energize Your Day, Clear Your Brain–Tips from Jeff Galloway

I’m back again with a few tips from Jeff Galloway! Not interested in training for a huge race but want to find a way to clear your mind and reduce stress each day? You’ve come to the right place! I love today’s tips from Jeff as we all deal with some sort of stressors in our lives…sometimes, a simple aerobic activity helps a great deal when you’re under a lot of stress!

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It's natural to become focused on the big things in life, and worry about outside forces, building stress.  A few simple lifestyle adjustments can result in greater control over attitude and energy, while reducing stress and fatigue.  Yes, you can exert more control over your life, produce positive attitude hormones, and blend together body, mind and spirit by planning and taking action.

•        Walk or run, one day and a walk (or cross train) the next.  While the exertion will wake up the muscles, you're away from the phone, allowing the mind a little freedom.  Most who start with a blank mental state, finish their exercise session with the day planned, and a few new ways to deal with problems.  Others like to walk/run during lunch hour, while munching on an energy bar.  This can clear out morning stress and prepare mind-body for the challenges of the afternoon.  Many evening exercisers believe that the weight of the day's stress is erased or contained with the after-work workout.  Scheduling these outings gives you control over your existence.

•        Don't sit--walk! The addition of a few extra short walks, throughout the day, will energize the body and activate the mind.  Park farther away from work, the food store, the transit station, etc.  Many of my clients use a step counter for motivation and calorie counting.  It helps to find one that is consistent and reliable (usually @ $30).  Shoot for 10,000 steps a day.  You are rewarded for  getting out of your chair (or  the couch) more often.  These short walks burn fat, which adds up (up to 30 pounds a year!).  The best reward is the head clearing effect, which can power you through the mid morning or mid afternoon energy crises.  Even a 3-4 minute “recess” walk at work, can result in clearer thinking, more energy, and greater self-confidence.  

•        Eat more frequently.  Each time you eat, even a small snack, you'll boost your energy level. The longer you wait to eat, the more likely your metabolism will slump into drowsiness and laziness.  This also means that you're not burning many calories.  If you divide up your daily calorie budget into 6-9 snacks a day you'll burn more fat (up to 10 pounds a year).  Eat a snack every 2-3 hours, and you can feel better all day.  It helps to choose foods that have (percentage of calories vs total calories) about 20% protein, about 15% fat and the rest in complex carbohydrate.  This combination will leave you satisfied longer with fewer calories consumed.  To experience a fat loss, consumption can be managed through websites or journals.  For more information, see A WOMAN'S GUIDE TO FAT BURNING by Jeff and Barbara Galloway.

•       Help someone exercise. The psychological benefits are significant when you help someone improve the quality of their life.  Offer to walk (run, hike) with your spouse, parent, friend co-worker, child—or all of the above.  My books WALKING & GETTING STARTED have proven programs with motivation which can lead you  and your “coach-ee” through the training. 

Do you find that going for a run helps reduce your stress level? Are you a morning, mid-day, or evening exerciser? 

As an official Jeff Galloway blogger, I am provided with occasional tips to share with you guys! Hope you’ve enjoyed them!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Log Off, Shut Down, Go Run Virtual 10K

This past weekend, I completed the Log Off Shut Down Go Run Virtual 10K which was hosted by Gone For A Run.

As a Gone For A Run Ambassador, I was given an entry to this race free of charge. All opinions stated are my own.

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I love the theme behind this event - encouraging runners to get off their computers, cell phones, ipads…you get the picture…and GO RUN!

Saturday morning looked to be a rainy and nasty mess. My running buddy Heather and I decided to meet up with our running group at 6 a.m. and just run through until we were finished.

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The humidity was SO high it was hard to breathe. With the impending rain, the air was thick and we were left feeling sticky and gross. Ah, such is the life of a southern runner! :)

A little bit of rain might have cooled us off, but we weren’t that lucky….

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As soon as I sat down in my car – and I mean AS SOON AS – it began to rain.

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Talk about crazy timing, huh?

I love the medal for this event! They even themed the ribbon to the medal (I love it when races do that)!

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Virtual races are a great way to earn bling wherever you are! My favorite part about them is they don’t require an overnight stay out of town (although I do love to travel, there’s no hotel fees involved with virtual races)! :)

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A very hard earned medal, humidity-stricken frizzy hair and all!  (Be grateful I chopped off the top of my head in this picture. It was quite scary.)

Thanks so much, Gone For A Run! I appreciate the opportunity to participate in this event!

Until next time, happy running!

Have you ever participated in a virtual race? What do you think of them?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Beach Weekend

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you all have a great day that leads into a fabulous weekend!

Today, I’m sharing the final installment (part 3) of last weekend’s trip to Galveston, Texas for the Diva’s Half Marathon!

If you read yesterday’s recap of all our crazy pre-race mishaps, you might be thinking that we asked for all of the trouble we got into because we didn’t stay IN Galveston. Well, allow me to show you why we chose not to stay in Galveston itself…

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That’s right! We were blessed with the amazing opportunity to stay in a home that was right on the beach….free of charge!

I wanted to pinch myself all weekend because I couldn’t believe it was real!

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The home was located in Crystal Beach which is a gorgeous area! We loved spending the afternoon exploring the beach!

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The boys fished…

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….while the girls flew kites!

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Kayla even tested out her gymnastics skills! :)

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The sound of the waves lapping against the shore was so incredibly relaxing and reminded me of Castaway Cay! I wanted to bottle it up and take it home with me!

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Loved the view!

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Kayla’s Birthday fell on Saturday, so we helped her celebrate with festive (and super delicious) cupcakes!

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For dinner, I had yummy Hawaiian pizza! :)

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My feet thanked me after the race because I wore my Oofos all afternoon!

Diva's Half Marathon Weekend (14)The weekend definitely flew by too fast and before long, it was time to say goodbye. I so enjoyed my stay at the beach home….it was a wonderful experience!

Do you enjoy visiting the beach?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

2015 Diva’s Half Marathon–Galveston, Texas

Looking for a fun weekend getaway with the girls? How about a race that involves tutus, tiaras, boas, and all things hot pink? Well, look no further! The Diva’s Half Marathon Race Series is held all over the United States and this past weekend, I took part in their Galveston, Texas event!

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I ran this race with my sister-in-law and her friends Mary and Chelsea.

This events leading up to the race were full of mishaps – no one’s fault, it just made for yet another crazy adventure! We decided to call ourselves the “Unfortunate Runners” because it seems as if something crazy happens every time we participate in an event together! (Take this Christmas race for example…)

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Flat Karen, ready for a 5K!

The morning of the race is when the series of unfortunate events took place.

  • I woke up ridiculously late. We planned to leave the house an hour and a half before the start time of the race (because we still had to cross the ferry). Thankfully, we made it out only about 8 minutes late.
  • After arriving at the ferry docking site, we were told that the next ferry would be along in 20 minutes. TWENTY WHAT?! Okkk…
  • We were also directed to the TSA screening lane because apparently four ladies in hot pink tutu’s at 5:30 on a Saturday morning rings suspicion.
  • We finally loaded onto the ferry but instead of moving right away, we stayed put for another 10 minutes before finally moving. (Y’all, I was getting SO nervous…the race start time was fast approaching!)
  • As we neared the Galveston dock, we saw a cruise ship pulling into harbor. Guess who got stuck behind the cruise ship moving at a turtles pace? OUR FERRY.

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Hi Carnival Dream! I mean, I love cruising but would you mind moving out of the way, please?

  • As the ferry approached the dock, Mary attempted to start her vehicle……uhhhh……it wouldn’t turn back on. What. The. Heck?! The battery was dead. Great, just what we needed!
  • After allowing all of the other cars to move off the ferry, our vehicle was “pushed” by this little cart thing…
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  • I assumed that the ferry workers/docking area had a device that could jump our car but NO, that would have been too easy. Know what we had to do? Stand there like crazy women in pink tutu’s, hoping some generous soul would forgo the current ferry ride to give us a jump.
  • THANKFULLY, the last car in line turned around to help us – he was very sympathetic because he just dropped his wife and friend off at the start line. He understood our dilemma.

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  • By this point, it was 7 a.m. and the first wave of runners were currently enjoying the start of the race. The “Unfortunate Runners” were still a mile and a half away from the start line. Yes, our entire debacle took almost an hour and a half. Sheesh.
  • We finally made it downtown and couldn’t find anywhere to park.  After driving in several circles, we finally landed a parking garage, parked, then took off at a dead sprint for the start line.

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  • The start line was still up (thank goodness) for the 5K runners. Our race began at 7 a.m., the 5K began at 7:30 a.m. At this point, we were approaching 7:20 a.m. I guess we looked so frantic (ok maybe I was the only frantic looking one) that someone told us to jump the fence and just GO. So, that’s what we did – we jumped the fence at the start line in front of the 5K’er, we crossed under the inflatable start line, and we began our race. No time to stretch or fix any piece of stray clothing. Unfortunately, the timing mat at the start line was set up for the 5K by this point, so we have no “official” start time for this race.

After that, it was all smooth sailing from there (thank goodness)!

Prior to this race, I didn’t have any pre-conceived notions of a finish time. I knew Mary wanted to run with me and was attempting a 2:15 or better. This was Mary’s 2nd half marathon. I agreed to pace her and that became our plan!

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Woohooo we MADE it!

After my heart returned to a more normal and less sporadic beat, I was able to calm down and enjoy the scenery. This really was a gorgeous race route!

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We began the race in the old downtown area of Galveston, then ran out to the sea wall.

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Before long, Mary and I approached the walkers, followed by the run-walkers, and finally the group of mostly runners.

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I was SO glad I remembered my glasses. Y’all, that sun was BRIGHT.

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Race day was such a beautiful, clear, and cool day! I was happy to see a complete change in the weather from the day before!

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I attempted a picture by the Gulf….that hair, though!!

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I loved how the Diva’s Half had these inflatable signs located all throughout their course. I saw at least 4 of them!

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On target for a 2:15, feeling strong!

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My absolute favorite part of this race was around mile 6-8 where we ran through this neighborhood of homes by the sea. My photos don’t do this area justice – it was gorgeous!!

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I wanna live here. For real.

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We decided to take a 2 minute walk break around mile 9 because Mary’s knees were hurting her. The bottoms of my feet were starting to hurt but that’s nothing out of the ordinary for me. I was glad my knee decided to behave!

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At mile 11 is when the mental struggle became a reality and I was able to coax Mary through the next 2 miles. We were dead on for a 2:15. I told her that she had to decide what was more important to her, achieving her goal of 2:15 or walking at that very moment. She had come so far for 11 miles, I hated to see her miss her goal by even a minute.

I have to say, Mary was a trooper! She decided that her goal was indeed worth it and stuck it out for the remainder of the race!

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I snapped a quick picture at mile 12, then put the camera away for the remainder of the race.

As we neared the finish line, we were each handed a tiara and a boa! Mary didn’t think she had anything left in her to sprint at the end but before I could even blink, she took off! We were running a 7:20 at the finish!

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We crossed the finish line with a time of 2 hours, 14 minutes, and 25 seconds! I couldn’t have been more proud of Mary – she achieved her goal and pushed through when the race was it’s toughest.

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Bottles of water and glasses of champagne/ginger ale were available at the finish line.

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Another fun part of the Diva’s Half Marathon Series is the medal area!  “Fireman” are there to hand out medals and take pictures with the finishers which I found rather amusing!

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Since we had our choice, we chose the guy all the way to the right! :)

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We took a few pictures, then began the search for our friends. After finding them, we stood around at the finish line to cheer for Kayla and Chelsea when they crossed.

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Woohooo we did it! What a fun race (despite the ridiculous morning)!

I just mentioned out loud that I was shocked about the lack of food at the finish line when I saw a runner eating a banana. I asked where she got it from and she pointed me around the corner and down the road a bit. There WAS a finishers area after all!

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They were giving out packages of dried fruit, pretzels, a banana, and an oatmeal cookie!

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Kayla and I both wore our Sparkle Athletic crown “Schwings” for the race!

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I loved this race, the scenery along the race route, and the amount of water/Gatorade stations along the course. This was a really fun race filled with lots of fun and a ton of girl power! I would love to run this race again in the future and definitely think I need a do-over…hopefully with no mishaps next time! :)

Have you ever run a Diva’s series race?

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