Race Week Workouts

 

Happy hump day! This week is flying by, and I am so confused as to what day it is since we were off on Monday. Pleasantly surprised it’s already Wednesday!

Yesterday we picked some blackberries…and took the day off from working out. You see, we have a half marathon on Sunday, and I am not quite sure exactly what the “rule” is on workouts the week of a race. I can only tell you what I have done in the past, but have no idea if I am right or wrong. Typically, this is what I do the week of a race that is on a Sunday.

Sunday: off (long run was the day before)

Monday: Run, speed or intervals 3-5 miles weights

Tuesday: weights, cross train

Wednesday: run, 3 miles easy, weights, yoga

Thursday: cross train

Friday: off

Saturday: off

Sunday: Race

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This is a loose estimation of my workouts of course, but I generally don’t do much. My running after Monday is slow or non existent, and I drop off the weights after Wednesday and take two full days off to rest before the big day. With it being race week, I got to thinking about what the correct way to do things would be.

This Running Times article suggests you should maintain the same pace you always run for workouts, just dial down the volume.

Active suggests a wide mix of things, but tells you to actually rest on rest days.

This website suggests not doing too much for risk of doing more harm than good.

competitor recommends tapering and keeping your workouts as “race specific” as possible.

This Runner’s World article calls for high intensity workouts just not as many or as long.

I couldn’t really find much on yoga or weight lifting the week of a race, so I just taper as I would my running for the most part.

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So, who is right? Is rest better or race pace high intensity, but shorter workouts better? To taper or not to taper? Does length of race matter? (5k vs. marathon?) What about running up until the day before the race? It’s one of those crazy “everyone has an opinion” issues, and I think part of it comes down to what personally works for you. This will be my 12th half marathon, so I have gained some experience in what personally works for me…but I wonder if I could perform better if I did something a bit different. Interesting food for thought.

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QOTD: What do you do as far as workouts the week of a big race?

Triathlon Volunteering

 

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend. Did anyone get tricked with any good April Fools jokes? Do share! I am always on the lookout because my sister usually gets me. Speaking of which, today is her birthday! Happy Birthday Christy!

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it is also the lovely Kelly Olexa’s birthday. be sure to go wish her a good one! Kelly You rock thanks for putting together the amazing company that is FitFluential!

So Saturday Bobby and I volunteered a the sprint triathlon in our neighborhood. Last year, we were spectators. This year, we were mighty volunteers!

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Bobby agreed to be a kayaker, and I agreed to be placed somewhere on the run course. Little did I know, that the dynamic running skirts duo of me and Gina would make for a crazy and hilarious day!

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We got to the course at 6:30 am, and Gina and I volunteered to work the water stop on the run course together. Since we had to go fill up cups, we sadly missed the swim start of the race. Burt here are some pictures I took before we headed to our station.

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Getting ready to start the swim

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We had enough time to watch Bobby hit the lake in his borrowed kayak. I told him good luck and to not let anyone drown.

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oh…and don’t hit anyone in the head with your kayak…

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We made it out to our water stop and started filling cups. We had plenty of time until the first runner came by, so we (Gina really) made sure our table was well stocked and efficient.

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Did I add we had to fill cups from a GIANT jug of very heavy water?

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I was quite proud of our water stop.

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We went and stood in the median so we could cheer for the bikers as they came by. Where we were stationed, we got to see them going and coming back in.

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We yelled, screamed, and cheered our little hearts out. We even got some thank you’s from the bikers (mostly women, which we found interesting).

About 20-30 minutes later, the first runner came through. Just like the bikers, the runners came down a dirt road behind our water stop, ran past us, then came back by us straight down the road, so we had to get them both ways. For the first few minutes, we were ok, since it was just people coming form one way. But, soon enough, things got CRAZY when people were coming from both directions. We tried to each get people from one particular direction, but then there was no one to fill cups. Luckily, about this time, Bobby called and asked where we were and he came to help. This was a MAJOR life saver. He filled cups while we handed out Powerade and water. There is no way we would have managed on our own had he not shown up when he did. Oh, and Gina somehow managed to take a Powerade bath. She had it all over her clothes and her face. Luckily, I came out pretty much unscathed.

We had a good system, and I enjoyed cheering for the runners as I gave them the liquids they needed. The ones towards the back were the most fun, they would walk and talk to us, crack jokes, it was great. We got some more thank yous, which was awesome, and the time flew by. Soon enough, it was time to clean up and head to the finish line.

We had a ton of paper cups to pick up from both directions, but I totally didn’t mind one bit. I have thrown many a paper cup on the ground and am so grateful for the volunteers that pick them up for me. It was my turn to help out and I gladly did it.

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We hopped on the golf cart and headed to the finish for some food and to watch the awards. We swung by the house and picked up the dogs so they could enjoy the sunshine and all the people wanting to pet them, of course.

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With  almost 300 participants, the race was a huge success, and I had a blast volunteering. It was nice to see “the other side” and it totally makes you more appreciative! We were out there for almost 6 hours. It really takes up a lot of your Saturday and is a big commitment so a THANK YOU to everyone who has ever volunteered for a race! Here are a few tips and words of advice I gleaned from my experience:

1.) Do what you are asked to do. Gina and I planned to watch the swim start before heading to our station. I knew we would have plenty of time to fill cups before the first runner came through. However, right before the start of the race, two of the people putting it on asked us to go ahead and go to the water stop. My inclination was to say “but we REALLY want to watch the swim start and we have plenty of time” (which we did, we stood around out there for 30 minutes before a runner came though) BUT, I didn’t. I smiled and said “ok” and we headed to our station. I had to remember I was not here for me, but to do whatever they needed me to do, no questions asked.

2.) Know what you are getting into. Bobby volunteered to kayak, and I am so glad I didn’t. While he was in the water waiting for the race to start, a snake started swimming right at his kayak!! he wacked it with his paddle a few times and chased it off the swim course before the race started. I think I would have died. seriously. (And you wonder why I don’t open water swim. ack!!!)

3. Be prepared to scream till your throat hurts. Gina and I did a lot of yelling. At the bikers, at the runners, we talked and yelled, cheered and jumped up and down. It was great fun but not for the anti social. Be prepared to scream your guts out.  Also, be cheerful and helpful. And smile.

4.) Know the course, and basic race information. The runners were running out one road and back down another, and the arrow was ttiinnyyy and a lot of people missed it, so we had to yell for them to keep running straight.  Had we not known the course we could have had people running the wrong way. That would have been a disaster. I had a guy ask me a question about the swim which I didn’t know the answer too, so I found out, then found the guy and told him.

5.) Wear sunscreen, and stay hydrated.  Luckily, we were stationed at a water stop, so the hydration wasn’t an issue. But it was very warm and sunny, so it is important to take care of yourself as you are out on the course. No one wants a volunteer passing out on race day!

Volunteering was a really good experience. This was my second race to volunteer at, but my first triathlon. I highly recommend volunteering, especially if you are a runner yourself. It really makes you appreciate the volunteers more after being one. I usually try to say thank you to the volunteers as much as I can remember (and when I am not dying in the middle of a race) but now I will try to do it much more often. It REALLY made a difference and made me feel good when I got a simple “thank you for volunteering” from a participant. It definitely gave me warm fuzzies and made me love this great community of athletes I am a part of even more.

QOTD: Do you thank the volunteers at races?

Don’t forget to enter my zero water giveaway at the bottom of this post.

Working Out When Sick

 

Well, it happened. After flying, driving, being on a cruise ship and out of town for a week, I have come down with a cold. I started feeling “yucky” Tuesday but forced myself to the gym anyway, where I felt awful and really didn’t want to be there. Usually when this happens, once I get going I am ok, but not this time. Then, this morning I woke up congested, with a pounding headache, and couldn’t taste anything. As hard as I try to stay germ free, they somehow found me and attacked.

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Ah, boat, I guess being cooped up on you helped spread the germ love.

I am slightly frustrated because as it is I  missed my long run last weekend being out of town…and I have a half marathon coming up. Not cool. I decided to take the day off from exercise, which led me to think about working out and being sick, and if it’s ok or not, how much, etc.

There are a lot of factors that come into play, for instance the fact that I am training for a half marathon. If I wasn’t training for anything, I would be content to work from the couch and not worry about my missed sweat sessions. But with 18 days until my race and only a 6 miler under my belt since RnR New Orleans, I really need to get my rear in gear.

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me and the lovely Karen at the RnR NOLA expo.

Here are a few simple rules I personally follow. Please remember, I am not a doctor, although that would be cool, right?

1.) If it’s in your chest, stay in bed. Going into a coughing fit every 24 seconds is not cool for you, or the people around you at the gym. If your cold is in your chest, it is better to rest to fight another day.

2.) If you have a fever, cool it. (no pun intended…well…maybe a little.) You don’t want to raise your internal body temp any higher than it already is, or you could get sicker.

3.) Do what you can. Pretty simple right? If you feel ok to go for a walk, but not a run, don’t try for a sprint workout. Even just a little bit of exercising might help you feel more accomplished and maybe even better, but don’t push yourself too hard.

4.) Listen to your body! It’s better to take a break so that you get well soon if you have something like the flu. Prolonging your symptoms and sidelining yourself longer is no fun.

5.) If it is in your head, and not your chest, but you just don’t feel like working out anyway…that’s ok!!! My cold is in my head, but guess what? I decided to just chill today and try again tomorrow. I don’t feel guilty about it, I know I need to rest and re-energize my body so I can be back to 100% as soon as possible.

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Tips for lessening your cold symptoms:

1.) drink Emergen-c

2.) Drink lots of water

3.) rest when you need to do so

4.) take your vitamins

5.) wash your hands to help keep family members well

I want to elaborate a bit on number 2. The kind folks at zero water provided me with a filtered water pitcher to try out, and I absolutely love it. We drink a lot of water at our house, but I hate how even the “filtered” water out of the refrigerator doesn’t really truly purify the water. A lot of toxins enter your body via the water we bathe in and the water we drink, so I was really excited to try out the filter and I love it. it’s easy to use and the water “tastes” great. be sure to check out their website and Facebook page if you are interested in purchasing a filter.

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QOTD: What are your rules for working out when sick?  Do you drink filtered water?

Tips for the Active Mom

 

Today’s post comes from Amanda from Happy Mother Runner. She has QUITE the busy schedule, but still manages to fit in time to be healthy and active. Here are her tips for moms to help you stay on track! Also be sure to check out her blog and say hello!

As a mom I try to stay healthy and happy for my child. But there are times when balancing everything (work, PhD program, Mommy, Wife, and Runner) can get tricky. After much trial and error I have discovered 6 tips that make staying healthy and active just a little easier.

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#1: Stop eating my child’s leftovers.
I hate throwing away food even if it’s only two bites. So now that my son is eating big people food, I found myself eating whatever he has left on his plate. Embarrassed about this action, I asked other mommies if they did the same thing. Surprisingly, I wasn’t alone. But eating my son’s leftovers three to four times a day can lead to some serious calorie intake and overeating (especially when I am eating with him). I have taught myself to throw away the few bites he has left, or wrapping it up and saving it for his next meal. No more guilty feelings for wasting food and no more eating half a bowl of Mac and Cheese when I am not hungry.

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#2: Don’t skip a run because of sleep deprivation.
For 3-4 months Michael stopped sleeping through the night. He was up 3 times, minimum. This, obviously, interrupted my REM cycle and caused me to feel tired and lethargic in the mornings. For the first few weeks I skipped my runs because I was too tired to even lace up my shoes. After a while, I noticed that my patience and sanity were slowly dwindling. I told my hubby that I needed to go for a quick run to hit the refresh button on my Mommy meter. When I was finished I felt refreshed, rejuvenated, and happy. Exercise increases oxygen intake to the brain, which helps you feel energized and awake. After realizing that I had been depriving myself of an energy boost, I stopped skipping runs because of sleep deprivation.

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#3: I reward myself for accomplishing my running goals.
For a while I was the ONLY runner in my family. Yes that includes my hubby, siblings, cousins, etc. And during that time nobody really understood what I was doing. Many times hubby would ask, “What do you mean PR?” or “How did you hit a wall?” To make sure that my accomplishments were celebrated, I would reward myself. For small accomplishments (breaking through a mileage barrier) I would splurge on my favorite Starbucks drink. For bigger accomplishments I would invest in a coveted running item (hitting my one year mark of running I splurged on a pair of running sunglasses). There is nothing wrong with rewarding yourself for your hard work; it helps you realize that you have achieved something pretty awesome.

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#4: Utilize my baby jogger
Sometimes it’s impossible to get out the door for a run. For example, my husband works at a job where he can get called in at any minute. Many times I have had to cancel my run because he’s walking out the door and I have no one to watch my son. What I have learned is that a baby jogger can be a runner’s best friend. Now when I don’t have the option for a solitary run, I throw my little man in the jogger and head out the door. I switch up my running schedule and do a 3 mile tempo and at the end I can throw in some hills. My son loves it. Not only does it make his Mommy happy because she got a run in, but it makes him happy because he’s going fast & getting some fresh air. Many times we find ourselves laughing uncontrollably. It allows us the opportunity to spend time together and bond doing the activity I love most.

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#5: Don’t feel guilty for running
Mother’s guilt is a very strong emotion. But one of the biggest rules I live by is that I can’t let it stop me from getting out the door. A crying child can pull at the heart strings, but a happy and healthy mommy can wipe those tears away for years to come. It is important to keep up with your workout to be a good role model with your child. If you are lucky, your child might just want to start running with you someday. If that day does come for me, it will make up for all those days I felt so guilty leaving the house for 40 minutes to get in a good run.

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#6: Sneak away from work
There are times when things don’t work out; you over sleep, you get caught in the mommy guilt, it’s too cold for a run with the baby, and the list can go on. That is why I keep a pair of running shoes, top, socks, and shorts in the bottom drawer of my work desk. If I really feel like I need a run I will sneak away during my lunch break. Even if it’s a one mile run, I always feel better afterwards. *If you don’t have access to a shower, keep some baby wipes in your drawer … your co-workers will thank you.

Being a running Mommy can be tough. But by setting guidelines for yourself, you can find the task of balancing everything a little easier.

Be inspired, stay motivated, & run strong,

Amanda
HappyMotherRunner.com

QOTD: Any tips for the active mom?

The Small Things

 

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Hola! My name is Adventures with Alexandra and I will be your guest blogger today. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!

Hey, everyone! When I’m not blogging over at Adventures with Alexandra, I am squeezing in time to eat right and workout between all of my other activities! This past week or so, I’ve been trying to come up with a list of small things one can do throughout the day to be healthier and fit. Here is what I’ve come up with so far:

1. Take the stairs!

Classic.

 

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Photo from here.

 

 

2. Park far away in parking lots and walk!

I recommend doing this one during the daytime only!

 

3. Wear ankle weights!

Our server the other night gave me this idea. She wears ankle weights as a workout during her shift – her doc actually recommended it!

 

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…so you can get awesome calves like this dude!

Photo from here.

 

4. Cut meals in half immediately upon receiving the food!

One reason restaurant meals have a lot more calories when compared to home cooked meals is because the portions are huge! By cutting your food in half and boxing it, you won’t see it and feel the need to eat it…unless you’re still hungry, of course! However, I think the “out of sight, out of mind” saying will likely kick in here.

 

5. If you don’t love eating leftovers, you can split meals with others instead.

 

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Photo from here.

 

 

6. Keep liquid calories in mind!

My mom stopped drinking sweet tea and lost 10 pounds! I gave up soda as well and try to drink as much water as possible. Don’t like the boring taste? Soak some fruit (oranges are our fav!) in water overnight…mmm, mmm good!

 

7. Pack your lunch and snacks!

Bonus points for packing them the night before! This will save you more time in the morning. I suggest throwing a water bottle, protein bar, bag of trail mix, or piece of fruit in your bag to avoid any stops by fast food restaurants and/or vending machines throughout the day.

 

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Photo from here.

 

 

8. Drink a glass of water before each meal!

I feel like everyone always mentions this tip, but it works! Sometimes when your body thinks it’s hungry, you are actually just thirsty. Try drinking a glass of water and/or chewing a piece of gum before chowing down on a big meal or snack.

 

9. Do hourly exercises!

I’ve been doing hourly exercises a lot recently and they are a great way to fit in a workout throughout the day. You’ll be surprised by what you can actually accomplish! I either do a certain pre-planned amount of reps or as many reps as I can in one minute every hour. I’ve done lunges down the hall at work, I’ve used weights from Target, I’ve done push-ups on a yoga mat I stash in the corner of my office, I’ve walked at lunch, etc!

 

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True story.

Photo from here.

 

 

10. Plan workouts and meals ahead of time…I’m talking a week in advance!

If you can plan your workouts around your weekly social calendar, you will feel less stressed about fitting them in each day. Same goes for meals – you will know when you need to make meals in advance and/or take them with you. This will keep you from any late night fast food stops after work. It’s also good to plan ahead so you know when you need to hold off on some extra calories. For example, if you know you are going to a birthday party Friday night where there will be alcohol and birthday cake, then maybe you should hold off on diving into the sleeve of Girl Scout cookies at lunch.

 

I know Heather always has a QOTD, so here is mine – what small things do you do daily to stay healthy and fit? Let me know in the comments below!

I’d like to thank Heather for letting me take over her blog for the day. I hope she’s having a blast – I’m super jealy of her cruise! I might need to give her a call, so she can book me a Disney cruise ASAP! Also, if you have time today, be sure to check out my blog, Facebook and Twitter! Thanks for reading!

Stay fit and fabulous,

Alexandra

Me Versus The Office Leftovers

 

Today we have a guest post written by the lovely Ashley from A Healthy, Happier Bear.  She has some great tips and snack ideas for you to help win out over the temptation to eat all the unhealthy things in your office break room. Be sure to stop by her blog and say hello, too. She just ran the Rock ‘N Roll DC half marathon!

Each day, I pass our office’s small kitchenette only to be taunted by plates of leftovers. I’m not sure when leftover bagels, cookies, or even pasta salad became attractive. I mean, really, when else would I normally be enticed to eat 8 hour old food?

For me, this was the number one cause of the dreaded 10 pounds I gained during wedding planning. In May 2009, I transitioned from a work-at-home role to an office-based role. Gone were the days of working in sweat pants, making homemade smoothies for breakfast, or taking a break during the day for a quick run or workout class. Instead, my life now included business casual attire, a new-to-me makeup routine, a short commute, hours at a desk, and leftovers.

It wasn’t until I saw my wedding pictures that I realized I had to get my daytime eating under control. I would start the day wonderfully with a healthy breakfast and end the day with a healthy dinner, but between the hours of 10 and 4, there was no telling what might tempt me: office chocolates, leftover bagels, catered meeting cookies, etc.

My plan of attack was very simple: always feel like I have something better in my desk drawer.

Now my bottom desk drawer is dedicated to healthy-but-tasty snacks and meal supplements that I can access at any time. At any one time, you can find an array of my favorites stashed away for a busy day when leaving for lunch isn’t an option, or when I’m having an afternoon sweet craving.

Over the past year, I’ve learned another rule that has made fighting the leftover temptation even easier; make sure that you actually stock things you’ll crave versus “healthy cardboard.”

Here are my favorite office snacks that you can find in my desk drawer today:

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Sweet Cravings

  • dried cherries individual packs
  • yogurt covered raisins 100 calorie pack
  • Sokenbicha Replenish Green Tea
  • apples and oranges that I restock each Monday
  • Chobani 0% or 2% yogurts (Okay, so these are in the office fridge, not my desk drawer.)
  • Diet Coke (I never said I was perfect.)

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Salty/Crunchy Cravings

  • Laughing Cow French onion cheeses (also in fridge) and Wasa crisps
  • Kashi Go Lean or granola (pre-portioned at home using snack size Ziplock bags)
  • Pre-portioned bags of honey pretzel twists
  • Individual portions of natural popcorn
  • Individual portion of mixed nuts from Trader Joes
  • Individual portion of Baked Lays

I’m sure you caught onto my common theme of individually portioned when you read through the list. I’ll be the first to admit that my ability to manage my portions is still a work in progress and therefore I’m more than willing to pay a few extra dollars for pre-portioned or portion servings out on my own at home before bringing it into the office. If I had a full size bag of pretzels, Baked Lays, or yogurt covered raisins you better believe they’d be gone in a hot second. This way, they last longer and are easy to grab and go when I need to bring a snack to my next meeting.

QOTD: What is your go to office snack?

Relay Packing List

 

Catching up from the weekend?

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Relax, You’re Here

RWS Features #9

So in case you missed it, Bobby and I headed out of town on Thursday afternoon for a weekend getaway, which ended up being so much fun and exactly what we needed. Sad to be back to reality though. I am headed to yoga this morning, then it’s back to work.

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In five days, I will embark on my first ultra-marathon relay.

My 6 man team will cover over 128 miles in a day. Our van is going to smell awful, but we are going to have FUN! This is the first relay for all of us, but we have done research, asked experienced rely runners a lot of questions, and I think we have  good grip on what it will be like. With that being said, I give you…my packing list! I hope this will help anyone preparing for a relay, and also, please let me know if there is something I am leaving out!

RELAY PACKING LIST:

-ziploc bags

-one running outfit per leg (5 legs)(skirt, top, sports bra, socks)

-visor

-deodorant

-running shoes

– body glide

-garmin

-sunglasses

-towels

-baby wipes

-toothbrush/paste

-first aid kit

-water bottle

-GU

-camera/charger

-cell phone/charger

-sunscreen

-toilet paper

-trash bags

-paper towels

-iPod/headphones

-brush/hair ties

-GO Sport ID

-cash

-drivers license

AS A TEAM we will also have things like:

-shoe polish and other van decorations

-protein bars

-fruit

-sandwiches

-fuel (powerade, Nuun, drink chia)

-water

-peanut butter

-pretzels

-string cheese

-cooler/ice

-utensils/ziploc bags/paper plates

-flashlights/vests/headlamps/butt lights

Ok guys, what am I forgetting?

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No, Bella…you can’t come.

QOTD: What are your thoughts on last nights half time show with Madonna?

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?

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?

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?