RWS Features #48

 

It’s race day! Today is the first of two races I will complete this weekend. Today is a half marathon and tomorrow is a full marathon, to complete Goofy’s challenge here in Disney World. Please say a prayer for me, and check out Twitter and instagram, (both @runningwithsass) I will be posting! While I am out running my booty off, you can sit comfortably at home and read about sweet Emily from Travel With Emily!

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1.) How/Why did you start blogging?

I like to travel and found myself sending out lots of emails to friends and family describing my various trips.  I started my blog as a concise way to share my travels.  Along the way it has grown from recording my travels to sharing my journey to find my inner athlete, albeit a slow one. 🙂

2.) Sum up your blog in a couple sentences:

My adventures and misadventures as I travel, train, race and take photos along the way.

3.)What do you wish to accomplish/achieve by blogging?

Blogging is a way for me to be creative, and a place for me to document my life.  An added benefit has been the connections I’ve made along the way.

4.) What is your biggest healthy living accomplishment?

I would say my biggest healthy living accomplishment so far was completing my first half marathon.  I discovered the joy of crossing the finish line and realization that you can do anything you put your mind to.  Since then I have gone on to cross the finish line many times.

5.) What is your blog URL and twitter handle

Blog: http://travelwithemily.wordpress.com

Twitter: @em425

Thanks for sharing Emily! Everyone be sure to go visit her blog and say hello!

QOTD: What is your favorite part about traveling?

Sticking With Your Fitness Resolutions

 

Hi everyone! First let me tell you how honored I am to write here on RWS. This blog was one of the things that motivated me to start running! Which reminds me, congratulations Heather on being selected one of Women’s Magazine’s top 12 Favorite Bloggers on the Run. Anyway…

What can be more traditional than making New Year Resolutions? Probably the fact that most people either break them or don’t follow through with them way before January comes to an end. Running was a 2012 resolution that I can say with some pride that I did accomplish so I thought it would be a good idea to share some pointers to help maintain your own fitness resolutions for 2013. Here are some things that helped me a lot:

1) Be specific: Saying you are going to lose weight for example is just too vague. Have a clear number of pounds to lose and a time frame to lose them in. Write those goals on paper and put them in a place you can see them frequently.

2) Be accountable: It is extremely common to make resolutions and not tell people about them. After all, if you don’t do them no harm done right? Well you harm yourself! Tell everyone and have them hold you to your word. Better yet, write a blog about it. That’s what I did. I don’t have official statistics but I’m sure many fitness bloggers will tell you they started blogging to keep themselves accountable. It works. Especially if you alert all your friends and loved ones on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

3) Go slow: Many people set themselves up for failure by trying go from the couch to a professional athlete overnight. You make a resolution to hit the gym and then try to make up for years on inactivity in one visit. The result is you end up in so much pain that you vow to never return. So much for your resolution. There is no shame in taking small steps. If your goal is to run, you could try walking first for example.

4) Make short and long term goals: In my case, my long term goal is to run the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon. Obviously I cannot expect to run that race without doing anything else (see tip #2) so I have set up smaller goals along the way. First, it was to run 2 miles, then run 4. Then it was to run an actual 5K race. By years end, I ran the Castaway Cay 5K. Now, my goal is to run a 10K by the end of February. Small, gradual increases that lead me to my ultimate goal.

5) Make your rewards part of your goals: You read everywhere that you should reward yourself when you accomplish your short and long term goals but why not make it more interesting? Make your fitness activities part of your other interests. In my case, I’m a total Disney freak! When I read they had a whole running and race program it sealed the deal for me. It’s called Run Disney by the way. You can check it out here. Once I found that, my goals became more enticing. Sure, I’m going to run a Marathon, but I’m also going to travel to one of my favorite places on Earth to run it. It also didn’t hurt that to run the Castaway Cay 5K I had to take a Disney cruise either. Goals, Rewards… it’s the same thing!

6) Get online!: Whatever activity interests you from bicycling to hiking, you will have no trouble finding others with your interests on the World Wide Web. There are many places like online forums filled with like minded people who are going through exactly the same thing as you are. Not only that, you are likely to also find more experienced people who would love to answer your questions and help you out. They are further along their journey and are paying it back. Who knows, maybe you will get to help out someone in the future.

I hope these tips will help you keep those elusive resolutions within reach and that you will achieve your goals on 2013.

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Thanks so much Frank! Be sure to stop by his blog and say hello!

QOTD: What is your best tip for keeping your fitness resolutions? What is a fitness resolution you have made for 2013?

Bod Pod Challenge

Good morning friends! Today is a good day, because I’M GOING TO DISNEY WORLD! That’s right, by lunch I will be in the happiest place on earth, and heading to the race expo. I will be tweeting and sharing photos on my social media platforms, so don’t worry! Today check out this post from Lauren, and share some love on her blog!

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Hi! I’m Lauren and I blog over at Faith & Deployments. I’m a mid 20-something military wife of 4 years, mom to two fur-puppies, a travel guru, wine-aholic, and more recently- runner.

I’m so happy to be blogging on Running with Sass. I’ve been a secret follower for about a year and I offered to talk about a Bod Pod challenge with all of you. In order for you to understand my need for a Bod Pod challenge, I’ll have to give you a basic background story.

I got married at a glorious size 4, 110 lb beauty, and three years later I was a size 10 145 hot mess. So I started running. And I ran, and ran for almost two years. We moved from Virginia to Texas at the early part of 2012 and I was at my wits end. I was still 145, I felt awful, no energy, lacked motivation, even, with all my running and I had lost all hope that I would ever fit into a single digit pant again.
Our base released an 8-week Team Bod Pod Weight Loss Challenge. When I signed up, I had no clue what it was and I was semi- worried because if I failed to submit my entries on week, my whole team would be disqualified; but I had some really encouraging women and decided it couldn’t hurt to try. Nothing else I had been doing in the health & fitness field was working for me.

Bod Pod is this little egg you sit in and it measures the percentage of your body fat versus muscle mass. Obviously we all want to be in the “lean fat” range, but I was surprised at how much body fat lies on your body compared to muscle mass. You sit in this egg and it does it’s little silent thing and then spits out a paper which tells you whether you are in one of 4 categories: too skinny, just right, fat, overweight in a nutshell. I ranked in the high fat range.

Our challenge started with an “assignment” each week to channel- eating issues, stress level, workout routine, and anything “extra” we felt like delving into. Each week we had to submit our chart of what we did/didn’t do each day in each of those four categories. We took a bod pod measurement at the beginning and end to see how well we did.

Eating was broken down into helping you move from eating processed/pre made foods into making meals from scratch, taking in a MINIMUM of 5 vegetables a day and 3 fruits, and to stop eating out almost all together. To help with my vegetable intake (I hate vegetables and practically gag them down) we were gifted a juicer and began juicing. This worked wonders. I could mask the nasty veggies with fruit and got my full servings if not more of fruits and vegetables per day. I started to notice an almost immediate change in my energy level by week two and by the end of week 8 I felt great.

An important part of the bod pod challenge was stress relief. We were encouraged to try 10 minutes of “calm down” time, away from electronics, to stretch and do some yoga. And to also practice calming our breath. It was most encouraged in the mornings, but I needed stress relief after work more. I was working at a summer camp with 60 kids all day. It was perfect timing for me since I worked all day, came home- relaxed, juiced, and then went off to run. It put me in the right state of mind to battle 100+ temperatures in the afternoon in Texas.

Workout was obviously a key to this challenge; you can’t just change your eating habits and hope to gain muscle mass. The requirements were 5- 30 minute or 3- 60 minute cardio and 3-5 strength & weight training. I don’t know much about weights, so I started doing Body Rock (link: http://www.bodyrock.tv/), it’s online and free, you don’t need any equipment and you can do it in your home. The bonus- it only takes 12 minutes and it’s a total body work out. My runs were easy since I was signed up for my first half marathon and found a run buddy to keep me accountable.

The extras involved checking out the local parks or recreation camp and doing “sports” or any “work out” classes at a gym. We often went out to the state park and ran/hiked through the hills and trails (yes, Texas isn’t flat like everyone thinks).

At the end of the challenge I lost 3.2% body weight, gained 1.7% muscle mass, and lost 9.5 lbs. I felt amazing. I had so much energy, I felt good about myself, my friends back home started noticing my weight loss and how healthy I looked via photos and video chats. You can read about it here and view my chart: http://flightlinefightline.blogspot.com/2012/10/bod-pod-results.html

Overall the program was amazing. Especially, if you don’t know where to begin with changing your lifestyle. Healthy eating and this type of exercising isn’t a diet- it’s most definitely a life style. If you have a gym near you that had a bod pod, I encourage you to try it and see where you’re at; even better if they have yearly challenges.

Check out these before and after shots!

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QOTD: Have you ever tried a challenge like this before? Were you happy with the results?

Weekly Recap: January Week 1

 

It’s here! It’s here! The week of Disney;s marathon weekend is finally here! Fun news to share, Bobby, with his quick as lightning email and refresh-hitting abilities was able to get into the special meet up taking place on Friday morning at Hollywood Studios. How exciting, I can’t wait to share it with him. I have felt bad going in the past without him but am stoked he gets to participate this time.

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Picture from the 2012 Princess half meet up

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So, let’s take a look at last weeks workouts and see how I did. I will tell you I have been battling severe hip and hamstring tightness and have been ordered by my chiropractor to stretch, stretch, and then stretch some more. I figure at this point I can only make matters worse by running, so no more running for me until the race!

Sunday: rest

Monday: 1.5 mile walk with my parents

Tuesday: Gym closed New Years

Wednesday: back and bi’s, 30 minutes stationary bike

Thursday: 10 mile treadmill run

Friday: 20 minutes stationary bike, chest and tri’s

Saturday: rest

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What I wore on our walk SO comfy, thanks runningskirts.com!

The ten on the treadmill weren’t as bad as I thought. Of course I cheated and watched Gilmore Girls which made the time go by a lot faster. I do wish I could have gotten in my 21 mile run, but I didn’t last time I ran a full and I survived. So, while not ideal, hopefully my body will cooperate! Can’t wait to see some friends and have some fun!

QOTD: When you feel an injury coming on do you listen to your body and rest?

RWS Features #47

 

Good morning all! Who is having a fabulous weekend? This time next week I will be running the Disney half marathon. SO excited/nervous/anxious/going crazy! I am going to start packing tomorrow so I don’t forget anything. I have never run two races on back to back days so making sure I have all my “gear” (times two!) is going to be crucial.

Today I want you to “meet” a friend of mine. I am sure many of you already read her blog, and if you don’t, you should! Here is Katelyn from Chef Katelyn! I got to hang out with Katelyn at the Healthy Living Summit in Boston this year.

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1. How/Why did you start blogging?

I’ve always felt that there was something “more” to life. Something creative and exciting. My sophomore year of high school, I discovered blogs and just started writing. I had no audience, no “category” that I fit in, no particular topics I wrote about. I just let the words happen. That one faded as more of a journal, and I started Chef Katelyn in July of 2010. The blog began as a food and exercise blog (mainly recipe- and shenanigan-focused), and eventually turned into a lifestyle blog, which is now becoming lifestyle and business-centric. I still talk about food, but I’m letting my more professional side seep out a bit more.

2. Sum up your blog in a couple sentences:

Sassy, slightly serious, and full of positivity. I believe that my blog should be a fulfilling place; real, inspiring, and educational at the same time.

3. What do you wish to accomplish/achieve by blogging?

I want to change lives. I hope that it already has. Every day, I write for me, but I also write for all of the people that are looking for a spark; looking for a starting point. Everyone is in a different place in their journey, whether it be health-wise, professionally, or in the love that they find (or don’t yet find) in the everyday. I want to help people be happier. Because all anyone really wants out of life is a little more happy.

4. What is your biggest healthy living accomplishment?

Well, I’m not sure if I would call this an accomplishment (maybe I’m just humble), but I’ve tried literally every diet on the planet, even a two-year stint as a vegan, and have finally settled on something that works for me. It’s called “ancestral eating”, and has helped me to beat a long-term depression I suffered from for over two years. That, in itself, is the most beautiful thing: Finding my happy again.

5. What is your blog URL and twitter handle

Blog URL: http://www.chefkatelyn.com/

Twitter Handle: @ChefKatelyn

Thanks Katelyn for sharing!

QOTD: Bloggers, did your blog start out as just a journal? Non bloggers, does eating right change your mood?

Favorite Posts of 2012

 

I am loving this short week business. Thursday already? I’ll take it! Does anyone still have outside Christmas decorations up? Guilty. I promise they are coming down today, it’s just been a little crazy around here. I thought it would be fun for me to share some of my favorite posts from 2012 with you, and break them into categories. For new RWS readers this will be a fun way to get to know me more, and for my old faithfuls (I love you!), hopefully still entertaining!

Most Read Post of 2012:

IT Band Stretches

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Most Commented on Post of 2012:

Under Armour Bra Giveaway with 315 comments

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Most Inspiring Post of 2012: To Be Great

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Favorite Race Recap Post of 2012:  Disney Princess Half Marathon

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Post with most Surprising Success in 2012: Castaway Cay 5k take two. This is a post I wrote recapping the 5k I ran in the Bahamas on Castaway Cay. I was definitely not expecting the success of this one, and it is still the third highest searched post on my blog and gets hits daily!

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Post I am most Proud of in 2012: How It All Began (my running story)

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Favorite “Tips” post of 2012: Now What? What to do after you run a 5k

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Favorite Recipe post of 2012: Enchilada Casserole with Ground Turkey

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I hope you enjoyed my little look back on some of my favorite posts of the year here on RWS, I can’t wait to share even more with you in 2013! Cheers!

QOTD: Do you have a favorite post on your blog? Share the link in the comments! If you don’t have a blog, do you have a favorite post from a blogger? Share!

2012 Year in Review

 

Happy New Year! 2013 seemed so far away, I can’t believe it’s January! I always say this but now I will spend months writing and scratching out 2012. It takes me forever to remember it’s a new year! So, what did everyone do last night to celebrate?

We ate pizza and watched LSU play in their bowl game, there were LOTS of fireworks going off and the dogs were none too happy about it. I put Sassy’s thundershirt on her because the poor baby was getting so nervous.

I wanted to do a little review of 2012, (like I did in 2011) to look back on the year and then look ahead to (hopefully) better things in 2013. 2012 definitely had some fun/high points, but there was also a lot of stress. DOn’t get me wrong, I had a blast many many days, but there was some yucky stuff too. Some of the things I have shared here on RWS and some I have not. There has been a lot of frustration and impatience, and trying not to focus on certain circumstances or the wrong timing of things. So, let’s take a look back and see what happened this year!

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In January, I was just getting back to running after a stress fracture in my foot, and  Bobby and I celebrated 5 years of marriage.

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February brought lots of running with the Rouge Orleans relay, and the Disney Princess half marathon with my mom. Bobby and I also went on a quick beach trip getaway.

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

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In March, I worked the Running Skirts booth at Rock n Roll New Orleans, and then ran the half marathon.

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April brought Triathlon volunteering and running the Pensacola half marathon.

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In May, Bobby and I went on a cruise and then met my parents in Disney to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary.

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June brought lots of hot weather and Bobby’s 29th birthday. I was doing a lot more yoga and less long distance running.

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July was my 27th birthday, and a beach trip so Bobby could get his continuing legal education credits at “summer school for lawyers.”

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August brought distance running back into my life, preparing for the Disneyland half marathon and getting my coast to coast medal. I also flew to Boston to speak at the Healthy Living Summit and had a blast! We also hunkered down for a little thing called Hurricane Isaac, which ended up re routing our trip out to California.

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In September we went to Disneyland for the first time, and ran the half marathon. I got my first coast to coast medal, and we can’t wait to go back!

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October was an interesting month, we got a great deal too good to pass up on a cruise, we off we went with my parents as well. Upon return, I got very sick from a sea sickness patch, but still ran a half marathon (very dizzy one!) the day after we got off the boat. I ended up at urgent care that afternoon! I also ran the Jazz half at the end of the month, still struggling with health and injury problems.

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November brought more health issues. I went to a cardiologist, had an echocardiogram, EKG, and wore a holter monitor. My dad had a conference in Orlando, so off we went again, and then ran the Wine and Dine half, while I struggled with some not so fun stomach issues. We saw a GI doctor upon return, had more tests run including an upper scope, blood work, and a gallbladder ultrasound, and I ended up on Prevacid.

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In December, I ran the Woman’s half in Baton Rouge, and the Prevacid finally started helping me. We celebrated Christmas with my family and finished up our training for Goofy’s challenge in January!

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Whew! quite a year. Not going to lie, 2012 left a lot to be desired for me. I tried really hard to not let my circumstances define me, but I did get quite anxious and frustrated by things sometimes. There were days when I thought I couldn’t take the craziness anymore, but of course I could, and did and am still pushing forward. There are a lot of times I just want to forget 2012, but then I remember it’s those not so fun experiences that teach me and grow my faith. Even when it’s tough, God is there with me through it all, and there are lessons to be learned in the things we don’t understand. Sometimes it’s just not time for things to happen how we want, and sometimes we may never know the reasons why this side of Heaven, but we ARE told to press on, and that God will give us the strength to endure if we believe in Him and ask Him to help us.

In 2012, I felt like I was living for the next day, when “things would be better” and was constantly waiting for the next thing to happen, and I don’t want to live like that! I want to live in the moment, and enjoy the present. If God chooses to change my circumstances, let it be. I am not in control and I do NOT know best! So 2013 is going to be “live in the moment” for me, whatever that means for that particular day. I want no regrets, and I don’t want to wish my life away. So who is with me? Let’s Live!

QOTD: Do you have a big goal for 2013? Do you find yourself living in the present waiting for things to happen?

January 2013 Goals

 

Happy New Year! We went to a party last night, and tonight will be watching LSU play in their bowl game. So excited! What a great way to ring in the new year. Will we stay up until midnight? Uh…probably not. I have been quite the early bird as of late, and don’t foresee a change in that unless someone slips me some serious caffeine!

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I could have used some caffeine when this photo was taken.

So, if you have been reading RWS since this time last year, you may remember that instead of making huge goals for all of 2012, that I would make small, more attainable monthly goals. When I make BIG yearly goals I tend to forget about them by oh…about the second week of January. But mini monthly goals I can handle, and are on my mind more often. I successfully had mini goals all throughout 2012, some I obtained and some I didn’t. I put pressure on myself to reach some more than others, but over all tried to keep it low stress because I, just like everyone else, already have enough stress to deal with.

With that being said, let’s check out my December goals and see how I did:

1.) Enjoy the Christmas season. (B-) I watched tons of Christmas movies and tried to soak it in as much as I could, but I was dealing with a LOT of different things during the Christmas season this year that kept my attention in other places. There is always next year?

2.) Figure out what’s wrong with my health. (A-) I think we are finally getting things cleared up! The Prevacid seems to really be helping my acid reflux, and I am also working on getting my stress under control which I KNOW is a contributing factor. The only health issue I am still dealing with is my left leg, and my chiropractor and myself both think its a combo of tight hip and hamstring issues and some Achilles straining going on. He has put KT tape on me, and is doing some ART on my legs to get me through Goofy.

3.) Be more thankful. (B+) Still having good days and bad days with this one. Trying to focus more on my blessings and not my circumstances. Still needs work.

4.) Successfully finish my Goofy training. (C+) I don’t know if I would say it was SUCCESSFUL training, but I am in full taper mode. Still just hoping to finish in an upright position and to have fun with it!

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I really liked how I did the mini goals this year instead of huge yearly goals. However, I did write a few things down and put them in my stocking for safe keeping like I do every year, just because it’s fun to look back and see what i was expecting from the year…so more like “things I would like to see happen” as opposed to resolutions. So, here we go with January 2013!

1.) Finish Goofy in an upright position. Ah. Pretty self explanatory. Less than two weeks!

2.) Vlog more. Oh yes. Pulling this one out again. really REALLY want to do better about this the whole year through, but we will focus on it one month at a time. My goal is twice this month.

3.) Stretch more. My chiropractor definitely noticed the lack of flexibility both Bobby and I have, so we have been told to try to stand up and stretch once an hour. So far….I need some work on this.

4.) Stay healthy. This time of year I tend to get sick, so I am focusing on getting sleep, washing my hands, and taking EmergenC so I can stay well through my travels and the cold month of January.

I think that’s a good start, I will check back in with this at the end of the month to see how I did!

QOTD: Do you have any mini goals for January?

Weekly Recap: December Week 4

 

Good morning and Happy Sunday! Anyone racing this weekend? Long runs on the schedule? I ran 3 on Friday and 6 on Saturday as a back to back Goofy training run. I will probably do the same thing this weekend and then the weekend after that the race will be here! It snuck up on me so quickly, but I do believe I will complete my goal of finishing in an upright position.

So, what was I up to this week? First of all, in case you missed it yesterday? I was completely thrilled and humbled to be named one of Women’s Magazine’s top 12 favorite bloggers on the run for 2012. There are some amazing ladies listed so be sure to check out their blogs!

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As far as workouts went, this is what I did Christmas week:

Sunday: 3 mile run

Monday: rest

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: 30 minutes bike, upper body weights

Friday: 3 miles treadmill, upper body weights

Saturday: 6 miles, upper body weights

So three rest days isn’t ideal, but hey, it was Christmas and I would much rather be spending time with my family! Plus, my chiropractor thinks something is up with my Achilles and wanted me to take it easy. He put some KT tape on it and I will continue to keep it taped through race day.

Yesterday, I was not prepared for the cold, windy and overcast weather, and froze on our run. Probably should have worn pants. Oops. It was about 40 when we started but man, that wind makes it so much worse. I think I dislike it more than the cold.

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I cannot believe we are so close to Goofy, I am starting to get really excited about running, being in my favorite place, and seeing some runner friends! Who will be joining me?

QOTD: Who will be in Disney in a couple weeks? What bowl games have you been watching?

RWS Features #46

 

Happy Weekend! I hope you all get to enjoy the long weekend and don’t have to work too much! I am sure I will be working some on Monday but hopefully not on Tuesday. Any exciting New Year’s plans? LSU is playing in the Chic Fil A bowl so I can’t wait for that!

A fun announcement, I was chosen as one of Women’s Running Magazine’s Bloggers on the run for 2012! There were 12 chosen, and I am SO beyond flattered, humbled, and honored. I didn’t even know they were making a list, and the e mail I received last night was such a pleasant surprise, I can’t stop smiling! You can check out the article for yourself (link goes live 6 am EST) on their website. (You may remember I was chosen as a blogger on the run back in May)

Today I want to tell you about my friend Danielle from LiveRunGrow.com. I got to hang out with her some during Wine and Dine weekend and she is super sweet, and an awesome yogi. Be sure to check out her blog, can’t wait to see her again in Disney in January!

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1.) How/Why did you start blogging?

I began blogging a little over a year ago shortly after I completed my first half marathon and was training for my first full to document my training and share my race experiences.  I also wanted to start working on some personal growth goals and figured a blog would be a great way to hold myself accountable!

 

2.) Sum up your blog in a couple sentences:

Up until now Live, Run, Grow has primarily been very running and training focused, but starting this January I’ll be going back to school full time (for 5 years!) for Physical Therapy and I’ll be sharing that experience on the blog as well.  Since I just completed my yoga teacher certification I also love to share yoga poses and tips for runners and athletes.

 

3.)What do you wish to accomplish/achieve by blogging?

My two main goals in blogging are to use it as a tool to help keep myself on track during my 5 year journey in going back to school and to document my training and races to be able to look back on.  If my experiences can help and encourage others along the way then even better!

4.)What is your biggest healthy living accomplishment?

I would have to say that my biggest health living accomplishment is completing my first half marathon (my first race ever!).  Before I began training for that race I probably couldn’t even run a mile, but it was something I decided to do in memory of a friend who lost her battle with Leukemia and keeping her in mind really helped carry me through my training.  At the time I thought the race would be a “one and done”, but this January the Goofy Challenge will be my 5th half and 2nd full marathon!

 

5.) What is your blog URL and twitter handle

You can find me at www.LiveRunGrow.com or follow me on Twitter at @dnardi710

QOTD: Did you go back to school once you were already out like Danielle is doing? Share!