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I love going back to my hometown to visit my family. It’s always like I never left, and and hanging out with my parents is always a treat. I came to get the dogs groomed and bring them for a visit to grandma and grandpa’s house (my parents, of course).

I dropped my babies off at Petsmart and met my mom for some shopping. We also hit up the brand new Steak N Shake in town. I will admit, I have never been to one of these bad boys, and wow was it good!

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I haven’t had a milkshake…or a cheeseburger for that matter…in months! So I happily dug in to this heath bar shake and my mom and I split a burger and fries. It was just one of those days where calories just didn’t matter. Everyone needs to splurge sometimes!

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We were pleasantly surprised and will have to be back when we are wanting to splurge!

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It was raining while we were eating, but finally let up so we could go for a run. But first, we had to pick up the babies from Petsmart.

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Look how precious these bows are!

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Look how fun, mom and daughter running skirt duo.

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We ended up running five miles, which went by quickly with good conversation. I can’t wait until we run the Disney Princess Half together! Today I am headed back to Mississippi but it was great to see my family for a short visit.

QOTD: Do you run with anyone in your family or are you on your own?

Follow Me!

 

So, did February sneak up on anybody else? We are officially in the month of love…and my least favorite month of the year. February is usually gloomy and cold, and I am always itching for March. This year though, February is a FUN month because I am running Disney’s Princess half marathon! (blogger meet up plans here.)

I wanted to be sure you were aware of some of the changes here on RWS. In case you haven’t stopped by recently or are new to my blog (hello!)  I added some drop down menus (still a work in progress) and also a page to shop! I will be adding more to it, but you have to start somewhere, right? I have had the account for several months but haven’t had the time to actually put any product up.

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In the fun land of blogging and health/fitness, there are a LOT of awesome people. I have written a post about getting involved, and I really really encourage you to read it if you have not. I am always looking for new people to follow on Twitter, new blogs to read, and trying to make new friends and connections. With that being said, I wanted to share with you some great companies I think YOU should be following on Twitter and/or Facebook:

Running Skirts: @Running_skirts: I work for Running Skirts so I may be a bit partial, but they make a great product and have excellent customer service. The new spring line is coming out SOON! If your local running store doesn’t carry the line, ask them if they will!

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Drink Chia: @DrinkChia I first met the fabulous people behind Drink Chia at the Healthy Living Summit. I am all about start up businesses and supporting growing small businesses. These are great people with a great product. You can very soon order Drink Chia from Amazon!

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110% Play Harder: @110PlayHarder Super sweet people with great Twitter interaction. Not to mention great products!

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Nuun: @ministryofnuun The nuun team is made up of great giving and caring people. Great interaction, and of course love all the flavors!

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GNC: @GNCLiveWell We all know about GNC. The Live Well Now slogan is amazing, and they have been hosting some awesome Twitter chats! (#Livewellnow)

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Go Sport ID: @GoSportID Very interactive on Twitter, and they of course make a great, life saving product! These folks are also very generous. Another family start up business I love to support.

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FitFluential: @FitFluential is another company I am affiliated with and it isn’t even a year old, but already doing amazing things! Kelly and the rest of the team are amazing and great to work with. AMAZING Twitter interaction, and all about health and fitness.

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Newton Running: @NewtonLab  I blogged last week about how I was loving my new Newtons. I have had a couple of questions about the shoes since I bought them and they happily and quickly replied to me on Twitter. They are always sharing great new information and videos with their followers as well!

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There are PLENTY of other great companies to follow, these are just a few I am loving right now. As a blogger, I look for companies who actually interact with people on Twitter of Facebook. Not ones that just have an account to spit out information. I love well done customer service, and it goes a long way with me when someone is willing to answer my questions.

QOTD: What is a brand/company that I should be following on Twitter?

Weekly recap and Giveaway Winner

 

Good morning! Yesterday was absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Not a cloud in the sky, low 70’s. It was perfect. Well, perfect for walking, laying out, etc. NOT perfect for running. it was a bit too warm on our six miles and I got a little overheated. After we ran, we lifted weights at the YMCA then did some yard work. (Cutting back bushes, cutting grass, raking leaves.) We also took the dogs for a walk and sat outside in the sun with them. Quite the productive morning!

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Time for my weekly workout recap! I think I did rather well this week. It was the first week back where I felt “normal” since my injury. My runs are still way slow, but I am getting the miles in.

Sunday: Ran 9 miles at the beach with Kristyn.

Monday: One hour yoga class, weights (chest, tri’s, legs)

Tuesday: ran 2 miles (sprints), later that day did upper body weights, ran 2.5 more miles

Wednesday: 25 minutes elliptical, upper body weights and legs/abs

Thursday: ran 1.5 miles, lifted upper body weights and abs, 20 minutes stationary bike

Friday: upper body weights and abs

Saturday: ran 6 miles, upper body weights (chest, tri’s)

SUMMARY:

Miles run: 21

yoga: 1 hour long class

weights: 6 days

cross training: x’s 2 (elliptical and bike)

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A big thank you to everyone who entered my Ultra Immune giveaway! It sounds like a lot of you need to go buy this product anyway! Lots of busy schedules and germy children. I have been taking it myself during this hot/cold weather swing and so far so good. The winner is:

Elle from Eat Run Sail!

Please e mail me at [email protected] with your mailing address and I will make sure you get your prize!

Also a big thank you to Ultra Immune!

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QOTD: What is the “perfect” running temperature to you?

Friday Favorites: Newtons

 

Since I was cursed with a stress fracture in my foot back in November, I have been doing a lot of research of running shoes. I knew I had poor form due to scoliosis and rotated hips, and that I was a heel striker. I am also fairly confident that these variables had something to do with my stress fracture (on top of running three half marathons in 22 days.).

I knew a good bit about Newtons since Running Skirts sells them, but I did some more digging and decided these were exactly what I needed to slowly train myself to run properly. Under doctors orders, I was to gradually add back my mileage, so the timing was perfect since you are supposed to gradually add mileage in the Newtons because of the low heel drop.

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Huh? Ok, let me back up. Regular running shoes have a cushioned heel. When you run, your calf cannot fully extend in them. they push you forward then you arch your back (typically) to compensate. Newtons have a much much lower drop so it is more comparable to barefoot running, but with the sole of a regular shoe. They also have lugs on the forefoot that stick out further than the rest of the shoe that practically force you to run more on your forefoot.

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Because my calves can now fully extend, I have been experiencing some (normal) soreness but it has gotten better. I have run 4.5 miles as my longest run in my Newtons and will up the mileage each week until I feel comfortable racing in them. So far, I really like them and while I have to concentrate to run properly, I can already tell a difference in my form. I don’t feel as if I have to put as much effort into each stride to get the same result (pace).

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You can purchase Newton’s through the Running Skirts store. They have racing, stability, and trail shoes in a variety of colors and styles. Be sure to get on Running Skirts mailing list so you can be alerted when new arrivals come in and when sales are going on!

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QOTD: If you could design your own running shoe, what colors would it be?

*Enter my Ultra Immune giveaway!

Passionate

 

You can tell when you are reading an article or blog written by a person passionate about their subject matter. The joy and excitement overflow onto the page, and is woven into each sentence or idea. Having a desire to share, motivate, and inspire is evident in their work, making each new story exciting to read.  It’s not just about writing, but about the fire that burns within the author, desiring to get their point across to help inform and share with others. Running With Sass is my baby, and I deeply enjoy sharing stories, tips, and motivation with my readers everyday. To be able to do so on an even larger scale would be a dream come true.

True, I am just an average girl, but that is part of my draw. I attract a lot of readers that are new runners, bloggers, and those just starting out on their fitness journey. I have received countless e-mails from readers thanking me for being real and honest, and for showing them that anyone can be fit and healthy.  They enjoy my message of not having to be the fastest, the strongest, or the best…but just striving to be the greatest version of themselves.

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Growing up, I played multiple sports, and even moved on to coaching after college. I have coached basketball at the middle school level, and volleyball at the high school varsity (6A) level. I am very knowledgeable of both sports, and fitness in general. Running is my most recent passion of three years, and I recently have added weight lifting and yoga to my always growing fitness practices.

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My job allows me to travel to several races throughout the year, so I believe having a fresh perspective on the health and fitness of different cities would be a great benefit to readers. Not only have I learned a lot working at health and fitness expos, but also in partnering with several companies to review and share their products.

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Other passions of mine include putting a stop to childhood obesity, and furthering cancer research. I shared my thoughts and experience in a vlog last month on the matter of childhood obesity. As a former teacher, it broke my heart to see so many children struggle with their weight and be bullied by other students.

Don’t forget about my 6 second “fail” that went along with the above vlog. Oops! At least I can laugh at myself, right? (I’m saying “fail” at the end of the video).

I also love social media, and spend a lot of time each day interacting on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, as well as several forums, message boards and other blogs. I have a large twitter following, and a fan page for my blog on Facebook as well as a personal Facebook page. Participating in Twitter chats and social media conversations is something I really enjoy. Meeting new people, reaching out and making friends is an encouragement and inspiration.

My mother is a stage three non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor. She is an amazing woman with a lot of fight, and a great inspiration to many. I have learned so much watching her, and as a family we have all taken steps towards a more healthy lifestyle to help prevent certain types of cancer. My husband and I ran a half marathon this fall with Team in Training benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. It was a great experience and I was thrilled to be a part of raising money for cancer research and treatment.

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In closing, I think the name of my blog says it all. Yes I run, and yes I try to live an active, healthy life…but I do it all with a touch of sass. Who says healthy living and fitness have to be boring and bland? Spicing up your fitness and health as well as your life in general, can help you to be a success story. I have faced obstacles, criticism, injuries, mental defeats, and trials. Through it all, my husband and I are dedicated to a healthy and fit lifestyle, against all odds.

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Below is a video I put together last summer documenting my healthy living journey. I hope you enjoy following along.

QOTD: What are you passionate about?

Ultra Immune Giveaway

 

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the folks at Ultra Immune about doing a review and giveaway of there product. I was intrigued as I have been seeing ads for it all over the place. Plus, with the weather here going from hot to cold, I usually get pretty sick this time of year. Very willing to try an herbal supplement to boost my immune system, I was on board! Not to mention…a RWS reader will win a two month supply for themselves! ($72 value!)

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First, what is Ultra Immune?

Ultra Immune is an herbal supplement designed to support the natural function of your immune system…..

“Ultra Immune combines the best in Eastern and Western philosophies, crosses centuries of practical use and focuses exclusively on well-researched and regarded herbal and botanical extracts.

In addition to combining ten select ingredients, we also work hard to ensure that the original sources and suppliers of those ingredients follow best practices (including sustainability) and deliver the highest quality possible.”

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The basics:

  • Strengthen Immune System.
  • Safe for Continuous Use.
  • 100% All Natural. Vegan.
  • 10 Compelling Ingredients.
  • Gluten & Preservative Free
  • Minty flavor

My personal review:

In the mornings before I eat anything, I put a dropper full under my tongue. The flavor is fine, and it’s easy to take. We will see how I do over an extended period, but so far, no sickness and I feel great! A lot of supplements are not safe to take for extended periods of time, but I like that this one is. As an athlete, a strong immune system is very important to me, especially this time of year. I think a product such as this is great for anyone busy and on the go, and I am happy with the results so far.

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GIVEAWAY:

You can win a 2 month supply which is worth $72!!! Winner will be chosen at random on Saturday, January 28th at 8:00 PM and announced the following day. There are three ways to enter. Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

1.) Check out their Facebook page and tell me you did so

2.) Tell me why YOU need a healthy immune system (busy mom? athlete? race coming up? wedding?)

3.) Tweet about the giveaway (must include link to this post in your tweet and @runningwithsass)

9 Foggy Miles

 

Good morning! Catching up from the weekend? Here’s what you missed:

Saturday in Pictures and Workout Recap

RWS Features #8

Tour of The YMCA Vlog

Remember yesterday when I posted about my workouts for the week, I mentioned I didn’t get to long run Saturday because of our service project? Well, just my luck, my friend and Rouge Orleans teammate Kristyn texted me yesterday morning asking if I wanted to long run with her that afternoon. YES!

After church, we ate lunch, took a quick nap, then I drove down to the beach to meet Kristyn….and the fog.

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I promise the water is there…somewhere…..

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It was a little creepy and so so humid!

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I waited for Kristyn in the parking lot.

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We decided to head out in one direction from the bathrooms then turn around, grab some fuel/water then head in the other direction.  Within a half mile of running, I was soaking wet form the humidity, it was like swimming! My hair was soaked, my eyebrows, it was insane.

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I started out in my Altra’s but an so glad I also brought my other shoes because I got a bad blister at mile two and had to walk/hobble back to the car. We headed out again in the other direction and ended up running nine miles! I took it really slow…I was nervous in jumping my mileage from 5-9 in a week, but I think taking it slow and taking walk breaks made it much more bearable for me, and gave me a little confidence I can do the distance again.

Also, congrats are in order…this was Kristyn’s FIRST TIME to ever run nine miles. WOO HOO!

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Sorry it’s blurry Kristyn…not sure what my problem was there! The miles went by so much faster having a friend to run with, I hope we get to do it again soon!

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So, I took it really slow amping up my mileage for three weeks, and now am at nine, which boosts my confidence for our relay that is coming up in just a few short weeks!

QOTD: Would you rather run alone or with a friend and why?

Tour of the YMCA Vlog

 

Hello friends! I am back to my vlogging today, and this time it’s not just me staring into the camera. Well…the first part is but that’s ok. Below you will find three videos. The first is the introduction to what I am doing. The second is a video explaining our running trails and village green area. The third is a tour of the actual YMCA in my neighborhood.

I am sure you are aware that my state, Mississippi, is the most obese in the nation. However, there are plenty of active and healthy things to do here if you look hard enough. I am going to start showcasing these things, and thought my neighborhood Y would be a good place to start.

(check out the site before the building was built)

Intro to what I am planning to do and why:

Village green and running trails:

YMCA tour: I decided to go in right when they opened as not to disturb gym goers. The only people working out were the other employees, and I got their permission.

Thanks for watching!

QOTD: If you had to do a vlog to share a healthy location in your city, what would you vlog about?

Making Friends

 

When you were a kid, you made friends at school or in your neighborhood by sharing a swing on the playground, or biding bikes down your street. Now that we are adults, we still need to interact and make friends. I don’t know about you, but I don’t swing all that much anymore, but one thing remains the same…sometimes you have to put yourselves out there to make friends.

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I have gotten a couple of e-mails from new-ish bloggers asking me how they can make more friends online. Some people feel like they aren’t in the “club” and want to know how to get “in.” First of all, as far as I know there isn’t a club, so good news! The reason why it seems some people are always talking to others more often, its because they are putting themselves out there. Everyone wants to be talked to, or else they wouldn’t be on social media sites, so take the first step and start talking! Where? I’m glad you asked!

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I realize a lot of this is old news to a some of you, but think back to what you knew about social media when you first started blogging…you probably didn’t know a whole lot. So let’s get some newer folks involved so they can continue on their journey to health!

Twitter: This is the biggie. This is where you will make the most connections and “talk” the most. (At least I do!) When I first got my twitter handle (@runningwithsass) I didn’t really understand how it worked. I had to do a lot of googling and just get out there and start tweeting. It was a little confusing at first as a Facebook only user, but I quickly caught on and now love it!

Pinterest: This is something I recently joined, and just like Twitter, I wasn’t sure how it “worked” but with a little research I figured it out and now it is the biggest time suck for me! You can “pin” photos, motivational quotes, blog content, etc. on a number of boards that you create and friend people so they can “follow” your boards. Find my pinterest profile here.

Stumble Upon: This is a good way to get exposure for your blog. You can friend people and see the sites that they “stumble” (like) and see who shares common interests with you, etc. It’s also a good way for you to find other sites and blogs that will help you make friends and learn more on your fitness and health journey. My profile here.

Facebook: This is definitely not a must, but I personally enjoy having a Facebook fan page for my blog. Fans can “like” my page and I post content on there like my workouts, blog posts, fitness questions, etc. It’s a great way to interact with other bloggers and my readers and get feedback. My running with sass fan page here.

LinkedIn: This is more of a professional connections site, but still a great way to meet and connect with people in your industry, location, etc. You can find connections and friend people on here as well. My profile here.

Daily mile: Daily mile is a place to keep track of your workouts, and it’s more than just running! You can track cross training, weight lifting, and a variety of other things. People on Daily Mile are great accountability partners, and it’s also a great way to track your workouts. There is even a phone app so you can add workouts on the go! My daily mile profile.

Healthy Living Blogs and FitFluential are two other GREAT places to meet people!

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Bottom line, if you wait around for people to talk to you, it may not happen. If it does happen, it will probably happen slowly. If you really want to make friends and be involved in social media, do just that GET INVOLVED! Join in twitter chats like #runchat or #fitblog. Retweet other people when you like what they say. Just like a lot of things in life, you will get out of it what you put into it. Blogging and social media are a lot of FUN. Blogger meet ups are great, and new friends are amazing. Dive in and see how encouraging and open healthy living bloggers can be!

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QOTD: What is a site I didn’t list that you use? What is your favorite way to make new friends online?

Things NOT to do as a Newbie Runner

 

I started my distance running journey three years ago, and to say I have learned a lot my be the understatement of the decade. As I have mentioned before, I sometimes take for granted all of the knowledge I have gained about the sport, and forget that I , too, once was a newbie and all of this info didn’t just transfer into my brain overnight by osmosis.

With that being said, I would like to save you from some embarrassment by giving you some tips on things NOT to do as a new runner. Please keep in mind these tips are my own personal opinion, so if you don’t agree, that’s ok (or maybe you just need to re-evaluate things haha).

Don’t stop moving at the water stops: No lie, this is the best. story. ever. Probably because it involves making fun of my husband, but yall I laugh to this day thinking about it. We ran our very very very first race spring of 2009. It was an 8k out and back. I am of course a long way back from Bobby, but I can see him up ahead. I watch as he gets to the water station at the turn around, gets a cup, stops dead in his tracks,  hand on hip, drinks the cup of water, throws the cup in the trash can, and then starts running again! I wanted to die I was laughing so hard. Later, when I approached him about this, he said “I was wondering why I was the only one stopping to drink water…I had no idea you were supposed to drink on the go and then throw the cup on the ground!” I die.

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however, it is ok to stop during a full marathon to slather biofreeze on you knee.

Don’t wear new clothes for the first time on race day: I know it’s tempting to buy a new outfit at the expo and show it off during the race, but please refrain. You could be chafed in places you didn’t know chaffed, end up running in a shirt that’s ill fitting, or shorts that ride up, or shoes that give you blisters. Save the new outfit for the next race after you have trained in it.

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Don’t eat new food the night before or morning of: Especially if you have a sensitive stomach. You don’t want to be barfing on the side of the road, or stuck in a port-o-potty at mile 1 because some unfamiliar food didn’t sit right with you. Practice eating what you want to eat on race morning when you are doing training runs.

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I like to eat pizza the night before a race

Don’t start out to fast: I admittedly still struggle with this one. I just get so darn excited at the beginning of a race, and I feel so good, I can’t help myself! I know it’s tempting to take off and stay with the lead pack, but don’t. It’s much better to finish strong then to start off too fast and have to crawl across the finish line, trust me.

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dying at the finish line

Don’t dress to warmly for cold weather: Once you start running, your body will warm up, and you may wish you hasn’t worn those gloves and that heavy sweatshirt you now have to tie around your waist. Yes it sucks getting out the door in the cold, but it will be better once you get started, and may make you run faster!

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Don’t run in place at a stoplight Ever see those people at crosswalks jogging in place waiting for the light to change, well, hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s really not necessary. As long as the light isn’t some crazy length of time, you will be perfectly fine to just stand still while you wait for the light to change.

Don’t schedule too far of an out and back: Nothing will make you look more lame than setting out on an out and back run that is too far for you, and you lose all your steam before you get back home…and then you are stuck two miles from home and feeling like death. If you aren’t sure you can cover the distance, do two shorter out and back loops so if something does happen you won’t be as far from home.

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Don’t forget to plan a family meet up area: Let’s face it, some races are HUGE, and it can be tough to reunite with family and friends at the finish line, especially if you are about to pass out from your race. Have a pre determined meet up spot so you can easily reconnect and celebrate afterwards.

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and my biggest tip for newbies (which irks me the most)

Don’t wear the race shirt to run the race: Personal opinion, but I think it’s bad luck to wear a race shirt during the actual race, unless your luggage got lost, or your baby threw up on your other shirt, or something of that nature. The shirt is stating that you completed said race, so how can you wear it when you HAVEN’T finished it yet? I’m really not sure why but this one bugs me!

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My Centrum ProNutrients winner is KIM from Living Domestically! please e mail me with your shipping address and which ProNutrient product you would like.  congrats!

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Yesterday I ran 5 miles, did weights and 25 minutes elliptical. I’m coming back baby!

QOTD: What tip would you tell a newbie runner, something for them NOT to do?