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!

Learning the Ropes of Windows Phone 8X

 

As I mentioned in a post recently, I was asked again to be an ambassador for Verizon Wireless, this time getting the Windows 8X phone by HTC, and an Otterbox.

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This phone was a bit overwhelming at first because it is different than anything I have had before in a phone. However, as a windows user, I quickly figured it out and wanted to share some of the great features with you!

-I love how lightweight and thin it is. It has a bigger screen than my iPhone (but not as big as my galaxy S3) and the buttons are flush against the phone and while it makes it very sleek, they can sometimes be slightly difficult to press, which isn’t a huge deal.

-The personalization is great, you can “pin” things to your screen, and make them bigger or smaller. You can also customize your home screen colors (love the pink obviously!) and what you want tos ee on your home screen.

-The colors are very vivid, and the camera is easy to access even from a locked phone, and it takes a very wide angled shot, so no more crowding people to fit them into your photo (one of my favorite features!)

-A couple of areas it is lacking, the social sharing is a bit more difficult straight from photos, and the marketplace is lacking in some of my favorite apps (but I hear they are working on this) so it’s definitely not a deal breaker, I have just had to get a bit more creative!

In future posts I will be talking more specifically about some of the features like the beats audio and the camera, kids corner, etc. But I just wanted to give a quick overview after using it for a couple of weeks!

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I realized I never shared photos of the outside of my house decorated for Christmas, so here ya go, my last Christmas-y post, I promise!

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QOTD: What is something you wish your phone had that it doesn’t?

*Disclosure: I was provided with a device and phone service from Verizon Wireless

RWS Features #45

 

Good morning! It’s officially Christmas weekend! That means lots of baking, family, and very little work. What does everyone have planned this weekend? Going out of town? Family coming in? I would love to hear!

Today I want to introduce you to Caroline from http://fightingforwellness.wordpress.com. She is a counselor who also runs. Be sure to stop by her blog and say hello!

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1.) Why did you start blogging?

I found fitblog back in October 2010 (I think!) while on twitter one day, and started discovering all sorts of healthy living bloggers. I read blogs for about 11 months before deciding to start documenting my own journey. While I’m into exercising and eating healthy, I’m also a counselor, so I have a passion for reaching out to people in that area as well.

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

My blog is an exciting mix of my personal fitness journey, dealing with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (I was diagnosed back in the fall of 2004), recipes I’ve enjoyed making, and mental health as well. I view health and wellness holistically, and try to address multiple aspects of wellness in my blog (not just physical health)!

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

Blogging has been a great way to document my life, and I often go back to read old posts! When I put something out on the internet, I’m more likely to follow along with my goals, so blogging is a way to motive and push me towards the things I want to accomplish. Blogging has also gotten me involved in a great online community that provides support and encouragement, and I learn a lot each week from them as well!

4.)What is your biggest healthy living accomplishment?

This is tough! I’ve run 2 half marathons, which I thought I could never do because of having POTS. This is a huge accomplishment because I had a lot to fight through. I think that was my most impressive accomplishment because I didn’t think it could happen. Maybe my “biggest accomplishment” would be just learning about all the factors involved in wellness and learning how to manage each of these areas in a balanced fashion.

5.) What is your blog URL and twitter handle

Blog: http://fightingforwellness.wordpress.com     Twitter: @kalolainastar

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Time to announce the WINNER of the Fitmixer boot camp giveaway!

Julie M, comment 54, you are the winner! Please e mail me at runningwithsass@gmail.com and I can get you your entry!

QOTD: What are you doing this weekend?

Stay Connected

 

I am a bit obsessed with being connected to social media, texts, phone calls, etc. This is a blessing and a curse I know, but it is also part of my two jobs. I was chosen to return as a Verizon Wireless ambassador, and I am so excited to share some new info, tips, and tricks about my brand new phone….the Windows phone 8X by HTC! I am a PC girl, so this phone is right up my alley and I found myself able to learn it very quickly.

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Why hello new phone. I love you and I don’t even know you.

Not only was I given a phone, but we also given this awesome OtterBox! I actually *cough* BOBBY *cough* a mishap with my Galaxy S3 from last time, and it got dropped and scrapped up because I had no case for it….so I was STOKED to get a case this time. So far I am loving it (it’s from the defender series) and don’t feel like I have to constantly worry about dropping my phone.

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I can’t wait to share more about the device itself with you, I will be using #VZWA on Twitter when tweeting about it, so be on the lookout. So far my favorite thing is the live tiles! Staying connected is so easy with everything right on my home screen.

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In other news, I started seeing a chiropractor again, and on top of already knowing I have neck and back problems, we talked about one hip being higher than the other which is probably throwing my bio mechanics off when I run, he is going to do some ART on me and also some stretches and exercises I can do to work on any muscular imbalances, etc. I am really hopeful about getting help for my body to improve my overall health and my running!

QOTD: Have you ever dropped your phone? Do you keep it in a case?

*Don’t forget to enter my Fitmixer boot camp/product giveaway!

*Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Ambassador program and have been provided
with a wireless device and three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the
product.

Healthy Living Blogs

 

If you don’t know about Healthy Living Blogs, you are missing out! it is a great website/blog created by healthy living bloggers for healthy living bloggers. They are trying to get 2013 members by 2013, and I need your help!

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Are you a member of HLB? If not you should be! Here are a few good reasons:

-Search for other healthy living bloggers by location, or A-Z

-Advertise your blog on their site

-See blog posts from other bloggers

-Get news and info from what’s happening “around the world” with other blogs

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You can get more membership info here. It only costs $10!  They do a great job of explaining why you should become a member, so I am just copying and pasting them info below:

There are several different benefits to being a member of HLB!

“We have a lot of awesome posts going up, every day of the week offering another theme or subject.  HLB Members are often given a sort of free advertising for their own blog by our posting links to their own sites and doing a sort of “guest posts” for the different series we publish each week.  You can see an explanation of the posts here: http://healthylivingblogs.com/2010/12/major-changes-at-hlb/

Also, there are some opportunities that are only available for HLB members. One example of this would be this awesome giveaway: http://healthylivingblogs.com/2010/12/the-very-best-giveaways-camp-blogaway-registration/

And of course, being listed on the blog as a member is beneficial, too!  Other bloggers in your area can connect with you for blogger meet ups, readers searching for advice from people who write about specific subjects, or companies seeking out bloggers for new opportunities can all use the HLB a to z page, location pages, twitter group and master member list to find you!”

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QOTD: Are you a member of HLB? have you ever submitted posts for them? Link ‘em up!

*Don’t forget to enter my Fitmixer boot camp entry/product giveaway!