Running Day 2016

Hi friends! Today is a big day in the running world. It’s Global running day! What a fun thing to do, celebrate a sport that so many people have come to love and enjoy over the years. I am so thankful for what running has taught me, and the opportunities it has provided for myself and my family. I have gotten to travel, work, and run through the past six years and I am so grateful.

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I thought it would be fun to take a walk down memory lane and see what I have done thanks to running over the past six years. You can check out how I was bit by the running bug here.

Bobby and I ran our first half marathon in January of 2010 at Walt Disney World during the year of the sleet and ice. It’s a wonder I ever ran another race again!

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At that point I still wasn’t convinced I wanted to run a full marathon, so I ran more halfs and shorter distance races in 2010, but ultimately signed up for the full for 2011.33044bcb

We had an amazing time running, but weren’t ready to sign up for another full just yet. That race was hard, but we continued to run all year, and my blog began to pick up some steam. In February of 2012, I was invited to attend my first race as media, and had a blast working with runDisney for the first of many times.

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I ran the Princess 5k and half, and then had more opportunities to work with brands that year. We started traveling to more races, and even ran at the beach in Florida.

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I also began working with RunningSkirts.com that year as a sales rep, which afforded me the opportunity to work race expos and then run the race. I traveled to Florida, Rhode Island, and Missouri among other places to work and run.

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Unfortunately I also struggled with a couple of injuries that sidelined me along the way, but I always came back to running. In the spring of 2012, Bobby and I did something pretty goofy….we signed up to run Goofy! We ran the half marathon on Saturday and the full on Sunday, which also happened to be the 20th anniversary year of the marathon, and still my favorite race medal.

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I had conquered the toughest challenge runDisney had, and thought I was done with full marathons. I started doing a little bit of weight training, and in the fall of 2013 was asked to be a blog ambassador for Under Armour, and even got to visit their gorgeous facility in Baltimore.

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I also had the opportunity to travel to Disneyland a few times, and even take my mom there at the beginning of 2014.

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Speaking of 2014, runDisney decided to throw a curve ball and create the Dopey challenge: 5k, 10k, half and full on back to back days. Of COURSE we had to sign up for the inaugural year. I know they never say never, but I don’t plan on doing that one again.

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I was also photographed and interviewed for the front of the sports page of the Orlando Sentinel newspaper for my Dopey costumes, so that was pretty cool.

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Ok, so NOW I’m done with full marathons! I was so tired during Dopey then flew to CA that week to run Tink with my mom. I chalked it up to all the running and flying, until I went home, and took a pregnancy test.

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I announced babyM in March, but it was hard to keep a secret when my whole family when to Disney to run the Glass Slipper Challenge in February. They knew, but no one else did, and I was SO sick. I was terrified someone would find out!

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Unfortunately I had bad round ligament pain and couldn’t run for almost the entire second half of my pregnancy, so obviously there was no racing or traveling, but I kept up with my blog and got to virtually meet a ton of awesome people, and I started working with my favorite shoe brand, ASICS.

Shortly after Emma Kate was born (like a couple months after) ASICS asked me if I wanted to come run the LA marathon with them in MARCH. So, another marathon, and I would be 5 months postpartum. SURE! It ended up being one of the hardest but BEST experiences of my life for so, so many reasons. I had an amazing and special time in LA and am so thankful for the opportunity.

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I ran many more races in between all of this, but there are too many to list! Having a baby definitely forced me to cut back on my travel that first year which is totally fine, but I’m hoping to get to venture out further again to new places very soon.

So far in 2016 I ran the WDW half, the Castaway Cay 5k, Rock n Roll New Orleans, the Glass Slipper Challenge, the Crescent City Classic 10k, and another local 5k. I was also asked to be an ASICS ambassador, and a RunningSkirts ambassador, two of my favorite brands!

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I even placed 2nd in my age group only running 1 day a week thanks to boot camp at my gym and all my new friends there.

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Whew! The past 6 years have been so much fun and full of running. Never did I think my life would revolve so much around this, but I am happy that it does. I run for my health, my sanity, the people I meet, the experiences I have, and because it just makes me a better person. I can’t wait to see what the next 6 years hold.

You will now be rewarded for making it to the end of that long post! Today, ASICS will be giving away 1 pair of shoes for every 100 uses of the hashtag “#WeRunJune1” on Twitter. Be sure share to tell them what you run for with the hashtag for a chance to win!

Happy World Running Day!

QOTD: What is something you wouldn’t have done/experienced if not for running or working out?

5 Things Friday XIII

Happy Friday! This week has thrown me for a loop. All day yesterday I thought it was Wednesday. Thankfully, I was wrong on that one. This week we have had a lot of rain/severe weather, high winds, and crazy humidity. I’m ready for some sunshine. I need to start remembering to reapply sunscreen because my freckles are coming out like woah. Anyway, here’s what is going on in my brain this Friday (scary thought, I know).

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1.) Instagram Craziness: Ever since Instagram announced they were going to put “more important to you” posts first, everyone started losing their minds. For some reason it got around that this was to happen this past week, so my feed was filled with people begging followers to turn on their notifications to make sure they saw all their posts. For those that don’t know, all this does is send you a push notification every. single. time,. that person posts. Aint nobody got time for that! Just don’t post those things. Seriously. This article was spot on/hilarious.

2.) Racin’ For the Seed: Tomorrow I will be running my first 5k since December! It’s also a duathlon that Bobby participated in last year that benefits our local Christian community center for adults with developmental disabilities. The center is called the Mustard Seed, hence “Racin’ for the Seed”. We had a great time last year, and this time Bobby is sitting out so I can race. I hope Frank the camel is back!

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3.) Did I do that? Wednesday was a weird day for me. I actually walked around for several hours wearing two different shoes. You may have spotted my post on social media that evening, I cannot believe I did that. I have always laughed at other people doing it, but never thought it would be me. Mom brain is real, folks.

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4.) Crock Pot fun: In an effort to make my life easier and not have to cook every night, I started using my crock pot again (or slow cooker as some of you may call it). This way I can make twice as much food with little prep. Wednesday night I threw in four chicken breasts, some taco seasoning mix, a cup of salsa and a can of beans. Cooked on low for four hours, shred chicken, and walah, we have food for two days. Happy wife, happy life.

5.) Pigtail baby: What is it about pigtails that make little girls look so darn mischievous? My little bug looks adorable in them but I think she gets into more trouble on days when I put her hair like that. It is quite the wrestling match to do her hair though. I try to do it in the morning when I am changing her diaper otherwise she will not be still for me. Any tips?

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QOTD: Are you racing this weekend? Tips for doing crazy hyper girl toddler hair? Best crock pot recipe?

5 Things Friday XI

Happy Friday yall!

1.) The Crescent City Classic is next weekend in New Orleans! I can’t wait to run this race again, I think this is my fifth time! It’s always the Saturday before Easter, and so much fun. If you will be within driving distance of NOLA Easter weekend I can’t highly recommend this race enough. You can sign up here.

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2.) Have you heard of the ASICS Beat the Sun Challenge, that takes place on the longest day of the year? You can sign up for a chance to run the race, or sign up for the virtual race where you can challenge yourself to reach a goal. Also, be sure to check out this page where you will find training plans, a series of videos covering anything from trail running into to meal prep, as well as tips from three ASICS elite coaches.

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3.) I am loving this month’s Fabletics picks. As much as I love the fun prints on my carpi pants, I wanted to tone it down a little, and so the print just along the side is a great option! The tank is made of a thicker material, but I love the fit and the colors.

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4.) I just started small group Bible study with my lifegroup from church, and we are doing a book called Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul. So far I really like it and recommend it!

5.) Emma Kate loves the water, which is a drastic change from last summer. I have a baby pool and little splash pad for her, but I think I want to get her a water table. Any one in particular that’s good? I was looking at this one: Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Play Table. Opinions?

 

QOTD: Are you running a race the next two weekends? Did/do your kids like playing with water tables?

Run True Love

Hey guys! Happy late Valentine’s Day! Honestly, Bobby and I never go out on Valentine’s Day, and he knows I would kill him if he bought overpriced flowers, so we just normally exchange cards and call it a day.

However, when ASICS reached out to me about giving a surprise to our support system or “run true love”, I was super excited and decided to make it a scavenger hunt live on Periscope.

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It was fun and I am glad I did it, and Bobby is happy he has some new shoes. He has never run in the Nimbus before, so I will have to get him to write a review post after he has run in them awhile. If you want to see how fellow ASICS ambassadors surprised their friends or family, follow #runtruelove.

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We ate pizza for dinner, and then it was time for the main event. THE WALKING DEAD! Yall, if you aren’t watching this show then you are missing out on the amazingness that is Daryl Dixon and the rest of the gang.

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Love it. The episode did not disappoint (wow it was intense!) and I can’t wait to see the direction they take the rest of the season. Also, Carrie Underwood was the special guest on the Talking Dead, and I am a HUGE fan of hers, so that was a fun bonus.

So, that’s our incredibly exciting Valentine’s Day, which was fine by me. I hope your day was a good one, too! (and congrats to all the LA marathon finishers. You can check out my recap from last year here.)

QOTD: Do you watch The Walking Dead? What did you do for Valentine’s Day?

ASICS fuzeX Photo Contest

When you think about your running shoes, it’s interesting to think about all the places they have been, and the things they have seen. If my shoes could talk, they would rave about running through Cinderella Castle, on the peaceful trails near my house, and up and down the Hollywood hills for the LA marathon. Running shoes can literally take us anywhere, so that is why ASICS came up with the all new fuzeX shoe.

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This shoe is being touted as a “shoe for any distance,” and will retail for $110. This shoe is for underpronators to neutral runners, and is more lightweight than most of my other shoes with seamless construction and an adaptive fit. It contains fuzeGEL™, a fusion of GEL® property and foam for the ultimate rearfoot shock absorption that transfers to the forefoot during takeoff.

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It is comfortable, the colors are adorable, and not the least bit heavy feeling or clunky. The shoe is just now launching, and a great contest will also coincide, beginning in February.

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So I have already mentioned where my shoes have been, but what about asking yourself where do you WANT your shoes to take you? Check out this awesome photo contest.

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1. Navigate. Go to ASICSamerica.com/fuzeX-contestdetails to find a participating retailer near you
2. Try fuzeX™ shoes. Head to a retail location and try on a pair of fuzeX™ shoes.
3. Share. Tell us where fuzeX™ shoes will take you:
a. In the try-on area at the store, find the floor mat featuring the fuzeX™ shoes arrows.
b. Place your foot wearing the ASICS fuzeX™ shoes onto the floor mat
c. Upload your photo or “shoefie” to Instagram or Twitter and complete the caption “fuzeX™ shoes will take me____” paired with the ‪#‎FuzeXplore ‬hashtag.
4. Win: Be entered to win a pair fuzeX™ & a grand prize trip!

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Pretty fun huh? I hope everyone participates and tries on the new fuzeX! If you can’t wait until February 1st to get started, share your excitement on Twitter or Instagram now. Take a pic of you getting fit in your favorite running spot and share where fuzeX™ shoes will take you using the hashtag #fuzeXplore for a chance to win the latest shoe!

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QOTD: If you could go anywhere, where would you have your running shoes take you?

The winner of the Disney park map leggings giveaway is Erica B! Erica, please email me at [email protected] to claim your prize. Don’t forget you can use coupon code LOOKINGGLASS through the end of February for 10% off orders of $25 or more.

2015 in Review

Whew! 2015 was quite a big year for our little family. It definitely looked different than most of 2014 since we have little Emma Kate now, but there was still plenty of adventure and fun!

In January I ran my first post baby half marathon, my favorite hometown race: Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans. It wasn’t pretty, but it gave me confidence that I could run long distances again, even right at four months post baby!

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February brought a Walt Disney World vacation, and running the Princess half marathon with my partner in crime, Jen. We had a blast with our costumes, and it was great to be back in my favorite place after a year absence.

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March was also a milestone month. I hopped a plane to California to run the LA marathon with ASICS. It was an AMAZING once in a lifetime experience that was filled with fun, sweat, tears, and jaw dropping introductions. I felt so so blessed walking around all weekend. The race was very hot and so, so hard, but I felt extremely accomplished after and learned I can do hard things.

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April brought Emma Kate’s first Easter, and our annual Easter race: The Crescent City Classic 10k. It was a rainy gloomy, cold day, but I love running in New Orleans and seeing blogger friends, so it made it worthwhile!

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May brought me back to Walt Disney World for the final Expedition Everest Challenge. I am so glad I got to participate in this race once before it went away!

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May was also special because it was my first Mother’s Day, and we dedicated baby Emma Kate at church.

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June was pretty low key, except for when Bobby threw me a surprise 30th birthday party.

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July brought Bobby’s annual conference in Destin Florida, and my parents tagged along to keep me company while Bobby was at his sessions.

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In August, Bobby and I made a purchase, a BIG purchase. We bought the local Orange Leaf frozen yogurt shop! This involved a lot of stress and a trip to Oklahoma for training, but things are going smoothly now.

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In September, Emma Kate turned ONE! We had a fun Minnie Mouse themed party at our house.

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In October, my mom decided she wanted to go to Walt Disney World for her 60th birthday, so that’s exactly what we did! I surprised her by booking club level at the Polynesian for a few days, and also with a cake and a fireworks cruise. We had a blast!

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I also had the privilege of speaking at the Refresh Summit in Nashville at the end of October. I was sick the whole time but am still so glad I got to go share with the lovely women who attended. I was also asked to be an ASICS ambassador in October, such a great opportunity!

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November brought cooler weather, tubes in EK’s ears, and Thanksgiving. My parents and sister came into town, and we also got to see some of Bobby’s family. Poor Emma Kate was sick that weekend, and ended up getting a mild case of hand foot and mouth.

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December of course brought the busyness of Christmas, and it went by in the blink of an eye. We went to my parents house for a few days, and it was great to just have a low key holiday.

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There are a lot of other things that happened in 2015, but this post is getting really long, so I will stop with what I have. There were a lot of uncertainties in 2015, and I can happily say a lot of them have resolved, but we still have some things up in the air I really can’t share right now. It’s so much fun to look back on the year and see the accumulation of all of the things that went on. It makes me smile. I hope you do as well when you look back on your 2015!

As always, thanks for hanging around and sticking with me here at THLG. I appreciate you all. Cheers to 2016!

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QOTD: What was your favorite thing you did in 2015?

Master It with MetaRun

When I think about Mastering things in life, one of the things that immediately jumps into my head are athletic related goals. I have been an athlete since the third grade (well, if you call 3rd grade basketball a sport,) and I thrive on competition and physical fitness.

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If I was being honest though, there are other  areas of my life that I would love to master as well, one being the way I see myself. Being a competitive person, I have always been VERY hard on myself when it comes to well…everything. If I made a 98 on a test in school, it was “gosh darn it why didn’t I make a 100?” If I had 10 kills in a volleyball game, I wanted 11. If I ran a race, I wanted to PR every time (well, I still do that.) While this is a great, goal driven attitude to have, it can also be destructive.

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Ever since having Emma Kate in September of 2014, I have been really, really hard on myself concerning my physical appearance. This once bikini wearing girl bought a tankini and a wrap to wear for the summer at the pool. I ran non stop but still wasn’t thrilled with my body. Still about two pounds from my pre-baby weight, I have beat myself up over why it is taking me so long, when other seem to bounce back in lightning speed.

What seemed to me was that I really needed to master my attitude and evaluate the process. This for me started in the summer, and while I am getting a lot better, I still have some work to do. I realized a few things 1.) I can’t eat like I did while I was pregnant, 2.) JUST running isn’t going to get me in the shape I want to be in, and 3.) My body did an amazing thing, and even if I never look the way I “used to” ever again, I have done something even greater, and that is having a child

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I love my body for what it has done for me and continues to do for me, and taking bootcamp classes + running has done wonders for making me feel good about myself. However, it’s so easy to sit back in my yoga pants and sweatshirts and say I am proud of how far I have come, hiding the flaws and trouble spots.

So, today I have decided to force myself out of my comfort zone (which seems to have been the 2015 theme around here,) and take some pictures in my awesome new MetaRun ASICS shoes, baring the body part that I give the most grief to.

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Thankfully, the shoes are so adorable and awesome (and just so happen to be New Orleans Saints colors), I know you are all just staring at them, RIGHT? I know I have things to work on both physically and mentally, but I also know that with the right attitude and some hard work, I can master anything. Having cute shoes helps, too. (Also, WOW do I need some sun!)

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So can I tell you a little about the shoes that prompted me to write this oh so honest blog post? I promise they are super cool.

Over the last 3 years, ASICS’ Institute of Sport Science (the ISS) has been researching, prototyping and designing a shoe that they think will master long distance running, with no restrictions. They were told to create the best thing they could and they did.

These shoes adapt and contour to your individual running style. MetaRun was built using the latest ASICS exclusive technologies providing you with the best and first ever running shoe with a responsive ride. The first thing I noticed was that they are really lightweight, but at the same time very cushioned, which are two things that tend to not go together in the running shoe world. I basically forgot that they were on my feet!

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The following is from their website:

Constructed using groundbreaking midsole foam developed in the ASICS ISS. FlyteFoam isn’t a little bit lighter, it’s remarkably 55%* lighter than the industry standard. FlyteFoam isn’t just super lightweight, it’s organic fibres bounce the MetaRun back into its original shape in the space of each stride to provide perfect cushioning from the start of your run to the finish.

A carbon fibre reinforced, two-piece AdaptTruss gives MetaRun both incredible stability and amazing flexibility. This helps to reduce the impact of medial forces on the foot, so the MetaRun will flex safely but become rigid if the foot rolls in too much, meaning reliable stability no matter the distance.

A new one-layer engineered mesh minimises rubbing between the foot and the upper to create a super snug, glove-like fitting experience. A unique combination of closed and open weave patterns optimises flexibility and breathability.”

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Pretty sweet huh? I can say for myself after testing these guys out yesterday that they are pretty amazing. The Gel Quantum 360 is my favorite ASICS shoe, but these bad boys are giving them a run for their money. They are currently available for limited release through December 31. Christmas gift anyone?

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Shoes can truly take you anywhere, and I can’t wait to see where my MetaRun’s take me next year. Hopefully to not only master some great runs + races in 2016, but also to a place of being more at peace with myself and my body, and all of the amazing things it does for me every day.

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QOTD: What is something you want to Master in 2016? It can be running related or not!

Strength to Run

On November 2, I started working out four days a week participating in a boot camp class at my gym. It was WAY out of my comfort zone, but I knew I needed a change. Bobby had done a week long trial of the boot camp and assured me I would do great, so I hesitantly signed up and started the class. Everyone was super friendly and I ended up LOVING it. I was admittedly in a running rut, and this was just the change I was looking for.

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Was I still running? Yes! But just twice a week instead of 3-4 times, and I have been keeping very low mileage. Now that I am a month into the boot camp, I can honestly say I feel so much stronger. Before, I was so injury prone when I ran because I have weak glutes and hips. The strength work has made me stronger all over, and I love how I feel at the end of a class (I average burning around 625 calories!)

Anyway, one thing I wasn’t expecting was for it to help my running so much, since I was only running 2-3 miles twice a week. Imagine my surprise when I went for a run the other day and ran FASTER with LESS EFFORT than before I started the class when I was running 3-4 times a week and averaging 15-20 miles a week. Call me a believer! I know I still need to work on upping my mileage, but I am impressed with myself so far. Never did I think I would be running up and down a field pushing a sled, doing dozens of burpees in a row, or squatting with weights on the bar and saying it’s not heavy enough.

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I have done “strength work” on my own for years, but I never really pushed myself like this class pushes me. I just work so much better in a class environment with a coach yelling at me to go faster. Everyone is different, but this is definitely my jam. I just want to encourage anyone who is afraid of trying something like this as a supplement to your running, to just DO IT! I know with the new year coming up a lot of new classes and programs will be offered, an dI hope you will jump outside of your comfort zone like I did, you may find something that you LOVE!

QOTD: Have you ever done a boot camp class? Have you done a workout outside of your comfort zone?

Five Things Friday VII

TGIF! It’s been a long week around here, I had to pull some shifts at the yogurt shop + my other jobs + taking care of little bit, so I’m worn slap out. Anyone have fun weekend plans? I shall live vicariously through you from the comfort of my couch.

1.) Bootcamp is kicking my butt. I went 5 days last week and 4 days this week, and I have muscles that hurt that I didn’t even know I had. I have learned that 1.) My triceps are SUPER weak and 2.) I really hate burpees.

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2.) ASICS launched a NEW shoe yesterday. 4 features to love about #MetaRun. 5 new ASICS technologies and 4 patents give you 4 features to love: superior fit, cushioning, stability and ultralight weight. Check out the website here!

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3.) Don’t judge, but I think we will put up our Christmas tree this weekend. I want it up for Thanksgiving when my parents come in town, and the weekend prior to Thanksgiving is looking kind of hectic, so it may be this weekend. Get excited.

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Look how tiny the wee one was!!!

4.) Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection week is next week. This is something near and dear to my heart and I have been doing it since the third grade. I plan to do a periscope showing what to pack and how to pack it for those interested. It may be today if I have time, I will tweet about it ahead of time.

5.) Today is the LAST DAY to register for the Holiday Shred hosted by my good friend Bobbi. If you need accountability to get you to and through the holidays without gaining weight then join in the fun! I will be participating!

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6.) sshh I snuck in a 6th thing. Good luck to everyone running the runDisney Avengers races this weekend! Check out this post I wrote last year for Fitfluential for tips! Did you know 28,000 people are signed up for the races? So fun! Good luck everyone!

QOTD: When do you put your tree up?

Five Things Friday VI

1.) I’M GOING TO DISNEY WORLD! We begin our drive today and will arrive at the house of the mouse tomorrow morning for my mom’s one wish for her 60th birthday. Can’t wait for this fun girls trip with mom and her friend!

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2.) We had a retake of some of Emma Kate’s one year old pictures on Wednesday. When we took them at the beginning of October, she had an ear infection we didn’t know about and she was NOT a happy camper and wouldn’t smile, so we were able to try again and hopefully they come out cute.  I can’t wait to see them!

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3.) I just started a ladies Bible study on Thursday nights, and am really enjoying it so far. This one is called Seamless, and it’s about how all the books of the Bible fit together as one, so it’s very interesting! You can find the book here.

4.) I got these chips from the brand ips in a runner box, and was a bit skeptical but they taste SO GOOD, and have protein in them to boot. Try them out! I had never heard of the brand before but I love me some white cheddar and was pleasantly surprised.

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5.) In case you missed my blog post yesterday, when you purchase specialty marked accelerate hope items from ASCIS in the month of October, ASICS is giving back money to help women get breast cancer screenings. A great cause, way to go ASICS!

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QOTD: What do you have going on this weekend? What kind of chips are your favorite?