The 8 Best Tips for Beginner Runners

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure on the bottom right sidebar for more details.

Running is a great way to stay in shape or even lose weight if you wish, but a lot of people just don’t know where to start. I have been distance running for eight years, and while not the fastest person ever, I do have some words of wisdom to share for beginners. Check out my 8 very best tips below.

 

1.) Start slow: one of the reasons people think running is such a daunting task is they feel the pressure to run a marathon–like tomorrow. First of all, that would be crazy, and second of all, you may never run a marathon and that’s totally fine! Starting out slow will give your body a chance to adjust and help you avoid burnout. I don’t suggest running every day to start (or ever really!) Try once or twice a week and see how you feel. The last thing you want is to get injured, so a gradual go is best!

2.) Go for distance first, then speed: I am a huge fan of the Jeff Galloway run walk run program, as well as the Couch to 5k program. Both will get you going but in a safe way. So many people think they aren’t truly a “runner” if you aren’t running the whole time, and that is simply just not true. Starting out with a run walk is not only safer for your body, but will enable you to go further distances and build up your confidence.

 

3.) Get some gear: When I first started running, I ran in cotton t-shirts and socks, which was not a pretty site in the hot and humid south. I chafed, got blisters, and was generally a miserable person to be around until I discovered the magic of running gear that fit well and helped wick sweat away from my body. Game changer! If you are comfy (and think you look awesome, too) you are more likely to stick with it! Here are a couple of my current favorites: Mizuno shorts , Mizuno top, Mizuno socks.

 

4.) Plan for before and after: Keep in mind that as a runner, there is more to it than just the run itself (say what?) you need to plan for your before and after, meaning what are you fueling your body with before you run, during, and after. I always eat before I run, but I give my body time to digest. I personally prefer these protein bars or a banana and peanut butter (depending on the distance I’m running I may eat more). If I’m running over five miles I always carry hydration, and typically fuel like a GU as well (these are my favorite!) Also you will need to warm up properly before you run, cool down after your run, and stretch and foam roll.

5.) Hydrate: I already mentioned hydrating before a run, but also make sure you are drinking enough before and after your run. Especially if you live in a hot or dry climate, if you are dehydrated you won’t be able to run as far or as fast. I personally get headaches when I”m dehydrated, which isn’t fun when running. If you need to carry water on a run, consider a hydration belt or handheld water bottle.

6.) Find an accountability partner/group: Fun fact: I actually started this blog when I wanted to train for my first half marathon. I wanted an accountability journal of sorts, and knew if I started blogging and people saw it, then I would HAVE to follow through. (Psssst. If you want to start a blog too, I have a free email course that can get you started!) Anyway, look around locally for a running group to join, or ask a friend to hold you accountable at work.

 

7.) get fitted for proper shoes: When I first started running, I wanted to wear whatever shoes I thought looked the prettiest on the shelf in the store. I knew nothing about my gait, what size I should get or the specific needs of my feet. I am much wiser now and know there are certain brands that just don’t work well for me. Currently I am loving Mizuno, and more specifically the new wave rider 21. They have a premium sock liner, a re-designed mesh upper, and a softer heel counter than previous versions. I hate tight fitting middles and toe boxes, and I feel like I have plenty of room in these shoes. They are breathable and great for the neutral runner. (If you don’t know if you are a neutral runner or not, I highly recommend going to a local running shoe store and getting a gait analysis). These are my new favorites, not to mention they come in several cute colors!

8.) Don’t quit! It’s tempting to give up when you are tired, sore, and not seeing progress as quickly as you would like. This is where a lot of people will give up and say they hated running or that it was too hard. What’s sad is if they would have held on just a bit longer they probably would have been happy with their results. We live in such an instant society everyone wants things to happen RIGHT NOW but becoming a runner takes time. I can attest to the fact that it may not always be fun, it is however, totally worth it, so don’t give up just because you are one of the beginner runners!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mizuno. The opinions and text are all mine.

Clearwater Uncorked 2017 Review

Disclosure: I attended the festival free of charge, however all opinions are my own.

The Clearwater Beach Uncorked festival takes place right on the beach next to Clearwater’s famous Pier 60. It’s a fabulous time to enjoy amazing food, drinks, and weather (December in central Florida is the best!) I had the opportunity to attend the festival for the first time, and it did not disappoint. 

Bobby and I checked in and were given media passes as well as some goodies before meeting up for a special presentation. The weather was PERFECT and I couldn’t wait to see all the fun things this day would bring.

The way the festival works is there are general admission passes and VIP passes for purchase. VIP’s get access to the tasting village at noon, while everyone else waits until 1:00. VIP’s also had access to an outdoor lounge by the pool at the Wyndham across the street. The lounge was open from 1:00-5:00, and the tasting village was open until 4:00. Media got to sneak in early before the madness and take some photos and here all about chocolates and desserts.

We toasted to the festival with the most adorable bottles of champagne.

And were treated to the most delicious chocolates I have ever tasted from Norman Love. (My favorite was the almond and chocolate one, I’m trying to figure out how to get my hands on more as we speak!)

We also heard from Norman himself.

Cake pops were also had by all (red velvet was delicious!)

After the dessert indulgence, it was time for us to work backwards and start tasting all the food and beverages in the tent.

There were so many options we really didn’t know where to start! Everyone was so friendly and answered all of our questions.

When I saw someone handing these bad boys out, I was so pumped. What a perfect invention! It was hard to eat and hold your drink at the same time, so, problem solved!

After awhile we decided to head over to the outdoor VIP lounge at the Wyndham across the street.

Patron popsicles? Yes please! I may have had more than one…

Again, so many options, and generous portions and as many seconds (or thirds) as you wanted!

Again, the weather was so perfect and the location was on point, and we couldn’t have asked for a better day with great food and great (and some new!) friends.

My only wish would be that it was open longer! I didn’t get a chance to visit all the booths because there were just too many and we only had four hours. I vote for opening an hour early next year. That would be my only criticism. 🙂

If you have the chance to go to Clearwater Uncorked next year, I would highly recommend it, totally worth the money. I have gone to a lot of events in the short year I have been in Tampa, but this one is near, if not at the top of the list!

To see more photos from the event search hashtags #UncorkedWeekend and #CLBU17. Fair warning, it will make you hungry!

Residence Inn Clearwater Beach

Over the weekend, Bobby and I were in Clearwater for a local beach festival, and were invited to stay at the new Residence Inn Clearwater Beach. If you follow me on social media, you may remember we attended the ribbon cutting for this gorgeous property last month. I was so excited to get to stay here after seeing the spacious rooms and pool at the ribbon cutting!

Our studio king room did not disappoint. It was HUGE and had a full kitchen plus living room and sleeping area with a very modern but cozy vibe. Plenty of room for a family to spread out.

The kitchen had a stove, microwave, dishwasher, and refrigerator. There were even bar stools at the counter if you wanted to sit and enjoy a meal.

There was plenty of space going into the bedroom area, and the television swiveled so you could view it from the living room or bed. (Not going to lie, we may have eaten dinner in bed while watching football!)

My favorite has got to be the modern bathroom. It has a huge shower and ample space for storing your things. There is even a little hallway going into the bathroom with drawers and a counter to put your things (or your suitcase) on, as well as a closet. it was nice and bright and we had plenty of towels, which is always a bonus.

The best part about this property is the proximity to the beach. We were a block away from the sugar white sands, and we could even see it from our room! No need to use your car, it’s so walkable here to everything from shops to restaurants to of course, the famous Pier 60.

Residence inn clearwater

Something special that this hotel offers is a gorgeous rooftop infinity pool overlooking the bay. What a set up!

I could stay here all day.Residence inn

There is also a free breakfast, a fitness room, conference rooms, and valet parking. Everyone we encountered was so friendly, and we had a great stay. I hope to come back and visit this hotel soon, so I can enjoy it and all that Clearwater Beach has to offer.

Disclosure: I received a free night stay for my review, however all opinions are my own.

Carnival Cloud 9 Spa Stateroom Tour

Disclosure: I sailed on this cruise as a guest of Carnival, however all opinions are my own.

Recently my husband and I had the opportunity to sail on the beautiful Carnival Vista for six nights as we visited Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Our trip was amazing and exciting, and we were even more pumped to find out we were staying in a Cloud 9 Spa stateroom. Immediately I did some research to see what this would entail.

Cloud 9 spa

First of all, the overall color scheme of the room is different than the other staterooms. It may be cliche, but it was very “spa like” with calming greens and blues. The room was so bright but also cozy, it was hard to leave some days!

Another perk of these rooms are some upgraded amenities such as spa toiletries, and the use of bathrobes and slippers in our room. The toiletries were replenished as much as we needed during the cruise which was a nice touch.





The proximity too the spa itself was definitely a bonus, as we were literally just steps away from the relaxing hallway leading to the treatment rooms, thermal suite, fitness room, and more. We were also very close to the adults only Serenity deck which is where we hung out often. It was nice not having to go far!

Guests staying in these staterooms are also given a special spa discount. When you purchase three treatments, you will get a discount on each, 20%, 30%, and 40% respectively. Not to mention, we had access to the thermal suite which included the amazing heated tile lounger, whirlpool, saunas, and more. We also got our own body scrub and sponge to use there!

We wouldn’t hesitate to book one of these special Carnival Cloud 9 spa rooms again, we were definitely spoiled! Be sure to check out my video tour of our stateroom below. (Room 14217).





Thanksgiving 2017

This year, I hosted Thanksgiving at my house. It was just us and my parents, but we ended up with enough food to feed a small army, and ate leftovers all weekend. It was nice and relaxing, and I’m glad I got to spend time with my family.

Thursday morning I started cooking and getting ready, and soon my parents arrived with the turkey, an it was time for the parade.

It was also time for mimosas!

Bella is one smart cookie. She knows when the turkey is being cut, every year!

After we ate, everyone but me napped (what’s new) and we watched football.

The next day Emma Kate and I went shopping with my parents while Bobby was at work.

Is it just me or does she look way too grown in that picture?!? Anyway, Saturday we went to the playground, and found a turtle (we are VERY exciting people).

That night we met one of EK’s friends from school at our local outdoor mall for the dancing lights and a kids sing along show.

She has a BLAST and we were all worn out after. On Sunday, Emma Kate and I went for a stroller run to the playground while Bobby was at work, and then we met up with my parents at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, but more on that in another post. Anyone recognize that office from a certain movie about a dolphin?

We had a great holiday, and I hope you did, too! Now, on to my favorite…Christmas!

 

runDisney Wine and Dine 10K Recap 2017

At the beginning of November, I had the opportunity to run the runDisney Two Course Challenge, made up of the Wine and Dine 10K and half marathon. I registered last minute and was under trained, so I just had fun with it, and fun was definitely had!

I didn’t take many photos during the race since it was dark when I started and dark when I finished, but I did take some video, which is at the end of this post. I will give a brief recap though.

I woke up at 3:00 and met my friend Amanda to go to the bus at 3:45 (last bus is at 4:00 and we were at the back of the resort). We were on a bus within five minutes, and got to the start with TONS of time to kill. (Side note: notice how straight and thin my hair looks here? Remember this for later).

This is one thing I dislike, that you are forced to arrive so early if you use Disney transportation. It was a few minutes after 4:00 when we arrived and the race didn’t start until 5:30. We hung out at the start and just chatted, went to the bathroom, etc. and then said our goodbyes and headed into our respective corals. I got as close to the front as I could and sat down. This is where I stayed for about 40 minutes waiting for the race. I didn’t want to play on my phone too much as I didn’t want the battery to die, so it was honestly pretty boring, heh. Finally they started moving the corals up, and then the race started. I was in coral B, so thankfully didn’t have to wait too long.




I started running and immediately remembered something about runDisney races, you get zero time to warm up since you are sitting in a corral for so long, then you take off on cold muscles. By the time I realized it was happening, my leg that has been bugging me tightened up like crazy and I knew I was in for a long weekend. It wasn’t bad, but I could “feel” it if that makes sense. My quad tightened then it worked its way down to my knee by mile three and was hurting a little.

Honestly, the first 3 miles were really boring until we got into Hollywood Studios. I only saw I think one character in the park, and the line was super long so I passed. We then headed across the way to the Boardwalk It was so humid the decking was slippery so I had to be careful.

I saw the line for tourist Genie, and it was long but not SUPER long, so I hopped in line because, why not? I don’t know if I have ever taken a picture with him. (Notice how wavy my hair is now!)

It was nice to take a little breather in the super thick humidity, and then I moved on to EPCOT.

I saw these guys in Canada (do you think they wold be upset if they knew I never saw their movie?)

I then knew I was in the homestretch. It was so weird running here in the dark, it’s usually daylight by time I get to this point, and think I have only run in the dark here the year I did Dopey.

I made it that final familiar stretch I have run so many times, and crossed the finish line somewhere around 1:04. Not bad for all my stopping!

I was smiling when I finished, which is all I cared about. I was so thankful to have the opportunity to run so last minute, and in my favorite place. It’s often during races I am reminded how truly blessed I am.

Now on to the half marathon recap! But first, in case you missed it, here’s my expo recap, and don’t forget to check out my video below:

Versatile Workout Clothes + a Discount

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of PrAna . The opinions and text are all mine

I work from home, so I don’t feel the need to own a ton of “going out” or “cute” outfits because I am typically in my gym clothes. I have always said I wish more companies would make clothes that go seamlessly form the gym to lunch, or the gym to a night out with friends. PrAna does just that, and I’m in love! How easy would it be to take off my running shoes and slip on some tall boots? Perfect!

PrAna offers sustainable, fair-trade, recyclable and hemp items. I also love how they have a focus on giving back to make our planet a better place. Their items make me feel like I’m doing a little something to help make the world a better place. Their clothing is mindfully made to support fair trade and sustainable practices. Their core belief is to give back more than we take from the world. (Love this!)

I also love that the PrAna designers test all the clothing themselves, because they all have a love for the outdoors, too! I hope you will check out the below video to see why organic cotton matters. I have learned so much just by going to their website!

 

Why Organic Cotton Matters | prAna

“Breath, life, vitality of the spirit.” These qualities infuse not only our name, but also our aspirations, the things we make and how we make them. Welcome to mindfully designed, built to last products – born from the experience.

Not to mention, the clothes are super comfortable and flattering. I have worn my leggings several times and have gotten tons of compliments. The sweater is nice and light, which is perfect for Florida weather, or for layering if you live in a colder environment. The pieces are very versatile and I can make so many outfits with them.

Want to try for yourself? Use code FFHMF17 for 15% off through 11/22/2017. I can’t wait to see what you choose!

QOTD: Do you purchase clothing as mindful as the clothing from PrAna? 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of PrAna . The opinions and text are all mine.

Common Social Media Manager Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

When I first started in the social media world, I made a lot of mistakes. I came on the scene as social media was first blossoming, so I had to learn and grow along with it, and so much has changed since I first started out! I honestly look back in shame at some of my social posts, because they are SO BAD and not the way you attract customers, make money, or deal with clients.

This is one of the reasons I created my courseI don’t want you to waste your time making the same mistakes I did. It took me YEARS of trial and error to make any real money in social media, and I want you to avoid that long waiting period and jump right into making money.

So, here are 3 of the most common mistakes people make on social media, and how my course will make sure this doesn’t happen to you:

  1. Telling the client “I will post whatever you want/tell me to post” when working on a proposal or deal. WRONG. If the client knew what they wanted posted, they wouldn’t need you! They are wanting you to help guide them and post what you think would be valuable in the marketplace because you are the expert. Create a plan for them, give them a proposal, and make it work for their business. My course will show you EXACTLY how to do this with package pricing, proposal outlines, and how to approach potential clients the right way and convince them they need you.
  2. Not charging enough: Some people are so afraid of offending anyone that they don’t charge enough to make it worth their time. Then they are stuck in a contract where when it’s all said and done, they are making $5 an hour. Listen, I have given my pricing to a lot of people, and I have had WAY more people turn me down and say it’s too much for them than I have people agree and then start working with me. It’s just part of the business. Now, in the beginning to get that first client you may have to work for less than you want, but once you have that one client on your resume and get some experience under your belt, it’s probably time to up your prices. In my course, I show you exactly what I charge for each platform and why, how to figure out your pricing, and I also discuss how to get that first client so you can start making money quickly.


  3. Not paying attention to their analytics: A lot of people will make the same mistakes month after month on social media because they aren’t paying attention to their analytics. There is so much to learn by looking at your numbers that can help show you what to change. For instance, if your Instagram insights tell you that the least amount of people are liking your posts at 5:00 in the morning, then stop posting at 5:00 in the morning! If you aren’t paying attention to your followers, demographics, age, and reading habits of your followers, you are doing a disservice to yourself and your client. In my course, I show you how to look at the analytics and use them as a tool to help you know when and what to post, and who to target for ads. No more guessing! I go into detail about my favorite tools for tracking, automation, and just making my life all around easier when it comes to social media.

Don’t be like me and make these mistakes. Learn how to be a social media manager the right way, and all in 21 days or less with my e-course HERE.

Halloween 2017 Recap

Happy November! Just like pretty much every other month this year, October flew. Now it’s on to baking and turkeys and Christmas carols and Hallmark movies. Ok, so maybe I have already started watching Hallmark movies. I just can’t help it guys. They suck me in to this sappy vortex of holiday cheer. Anyway, before I get completely sucked into the holiday madness, I wanted to recap our Halloween. Now that we live in Tampa, there is TONS to do for Halloween, so we ended up doing 4 events plus the main event Halloween night. Let’s take a look:

Friday, Emma Kate’s preschool had a parade and trunk or treat. Through a communications mix up (grumble grumble) I didn’t know about it until the day before. Thankfully I found out because the first think Emma Kate did was look for me when her class walked out to do the parade. I also would have felt horrible if she was the only one not in a costume. Thankfully the #MomFail was avoided, and she paraded her little heart out and got her first taste of 2017 Halloween candy goodness.

When we got home from school, she was conveniently able to stay in her costume because we had our neighborhood trunk or treat to attend. Emma Kate perfected her manners with “trick or treats” and “thank you’s” but was getting confused with the candy part. Some people put it in her basket, some tell her to pick what she wants, so she ended up just grabbing candy herself every time. Oops.

She also got her face painted for the very first time. It was short lived because we went home ten minutes later, took a bath and went to bed, but I’m still so glad we did it because she was SO excited and sat so still while the lady worked. Too cute for words.

Saturday my parents went with us to a nearby fall festival. They had a trunk or treat, and also businesses had booths set up and also had candy. There was also a carnival but we conveniently skipped that part. I have heard way too many news stories lately of rides breaking down and people falling from them or dying. Anything that can be put up or taken down in a matter of hours is not considered safe in this mama’s book. It ended up raining but we stayed anyway. Emma Kate was super cute and brave going form table to table and getting candy.

Sunday afternoon we headed to the local outlet mall for another fall festival. Same thing, the businesses had tables selling things and also buckets of candy. Like we really needed more, right? They also had “Disney characters” (I use this term very loosely) wandering about and singing (the incorrect) words to songs from their movies. It was a gorgeous weekend so a perfect one to be out and about though.

Then Tuesday night, the main event. The second I walked into her classroom to pick her up from school she came running over saying “I want to go trick or treating!” I had to convince her to eat dinner and wait until the sun went down, but we were finally dressed and ready to take on the neighborhood. Funny story about this costume…I always assumed she would be Elsa, or Cinderella, or Moana for Halloween since we already have those costumes. Last Thursday she got in the car after school and declared she wanted to be a pumpkin…Say WHAT?!? She was so sweet and serious, so I hurried home, got on Amazon, and praise Jesus for prime. It arrived Monday, and she was a sweet little pumpkin for Halloween.

Of course, the first door we go to a teenage boy opens it and jumps out wearing a scary wolf head thing…terrified EK and she didn’t want to ring doorbells alone anymore. Thanks kid. She got the hang of which houses to go to (“mommy they don’t have lights on so we go to the next one”) and wanted to keep going to more and more houses. I’m glad we brought the stroller because she ended up in it some and poor thing got so tired she could barely stand up and fell down several times.

After dumping out her haul and looking at her candy, it was time for bed. She passed out immediately and then wanted candy for breakfast. I was sure to hide most of it while she was at school. Thankfully shes young enough that she won’t know!

Bobby and I ended the evening with a tradition, watching Hocus Pocus.

I call Halloween 2017 a huge success, and can’t wait to see what kind of fun we can find next year.

QOTD: What did you/your kids dress up as for Halloween? 

Social Media Manager Myths Busted

I hear crazy things about my job aaalll the time. Have you heard things like this before:

“Social media managers don’t make any money. It’s not even a real job.”

Or

“You will be tethered to your phone 24/7 if you get a job like that. It doesn’t sound very relaxing to always be on call.”

These are just two of the common myths I hear people talk about when discussing the job of a social media manager. Let me tell you a little something right here, right now, these are both NOT TRUE! Let’s break it down, plus I add in a 3rd myth:

1.) There is no money to be made in social media: I am living and breathing proof that there is money to be made in social media, and a lot of it! Some of the older generation tends to have a hard time seeing jobs from home as “real” jobs, but that is not something you are probably going to change, so don’t even worry about those opinions. When you are making more money than them and working way less hours, it won’t matter anyway, will it? While it is true some businesses have not yet gone over to the remote work side of things, even for their social media managers, there are PLENTY of businesses that have, and they are just waiting on you to make them a proposal and help them grow their online presence. In my course, I will teach you exactly how to pitch local businesses, and where to find nationwide jobs online. We will talk about proposal letters, what to include in a contract, and how to network with others to get that all important first client. I tell you exactly what I charge and why, and help you come up with your own pricing structure.

2.)You will be tied to your phone 24/7: Definitely not true, but totally up to you! While you do need to be available to your clients for problems and issues in a timely manner, no one expects you to be chained to your phone or computer 24/7. As long as you set expectations ahead of time when creating your contract, you can choose when your “office hours” will be, and how long is an appropriate amount of time to answer a client back. I discuss all of this in my course, and even give you a “day in the life” example of what a day looks like for me.

3.)You have to be an expert in Social Media to do this job: FALSE! While you DO need to have a basic understanding of social media/have experience using your own profiles, it’s not a requirement to have years and years of high level experience to do this job well. My e-course gives you lots of tips and tricks as well as social media best practices examples to make sure you are at the top of your game and can impress a client. Then it’s just making sure you learn a little bit every week so that you are constantly staying ahead of the ever changing curve.


Don’t let these myths stop you from doing something you want to do. You CAN work from home, you CAN work part time but make more than a part time salary, and you CAN make your own hours. I teach you all about it inside my e-course, Social Side Hustle. The pre sale is currently going on until November 3th when the course will officially launch. Check it out now!