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Shape Diva Dash 2014 in Minnesota

So remember a month ago when I did the Shape Diva Dash Giveaway? And then two weeks ago when I was all nervous about running my very first obstacle course?

Well, I’m happy to say I conquered the Shape Diva Dash 2014 in Minnesota!

shape diva dash mn 2014 via

Alex won the giveaway, so her mom used my discount code (which you can still use! find it on the sidebar or the giveaway post!) and together we headed over to Stillwater, Minnesota’s fairgrounds.

shape diva dash stillwater fairgrounds 2014

We got there about 90 minutes early, which is how early we were told to get there, and the volunteers were still setting up. It was a bit weird how there were barely any ladies there yet, especially when I thought about my last fun run where we waited over an hour after the start time to run. [Read more...]

Would You Rather: Running Questions #2

would you rather..running questions

Part two of would you rather running questions! Bees or dogs? Solo or group? Grunting or talking? + more!

Shape Diva Dash Giveaway + Discount Code

shape diva dash discount code

The Shape Diva Dash is the only women’s obstacle racing course WITHOUT mud! Enter for a free entry or use my discount code to race!

Run or DYE St Paul

run or dye st paul 2014 before and after

I experienced my first Run or Dye fun run in St Paul this year. See what I thought here!

Challenges + Benefits of Outdoor Running + Run or Dye Coupon Code

outdoor run in Nebraska

It’s time to start running outdoors again in Minnesota! It’s all coming back to me!

Would You Rather: Running Questions

would you rather..running questions

Some fun running questions for those runners out there “Would You Rather” style!

Girls on the Run 5K in the Twin Cities

girls on the run 5k recap

A fun race with Girls on the Run Twin cities.

Girls on the Run 5K in the Twin Cities!

Full disclosure: I get to run this 5K for free in exchange for a post about the fun details. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to redeem myself. From what? Well, I signed up for a 10-mile race in support of Girls on the Run, but ended up sick and injured (and freaked out by big city crowds) on race day. I did succeed with my fundraising goals with the help of YOU lovely people, but I still feel like I let people down by not actually running the race. Fortunately there is a Girls on the Run 5K coming up…the one that the girls race! It takes place on Saturday, November 16th at 9am in the twin cities area and I want you to join me! This is the first time that Girls on the Run is opening up the race to the community and we can be a part of it! For those of you who aren’t aware, Girls on the Run is a fantastic organization who’s mission is to “inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.” Basically over the course of 20 lessons, the girls are taught valuable life skills while training for a fun 5K race! Here is more about the Girls on the Run Twin Cities program + curriculum: •       Girls on the Run Twin Cities is an independent 501c3 youth development program that was founded by Mary Uran and Kori Fitschen in 2011.  •       Girls on the Run Twin Cities is part of Girls on the Run International, founded by Molly Barker in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1996.   •       We envision a world where every girls knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.    •       The 20-lesson curricula empowers girls with a greater sense of self-awareness, a sense of achievement, a foundation in team building and a commitment to enhancing their communities, all in order to help them become strong, content, healthy, confident women.    •       Each session is led by trained female coaches that […]

Race Day Pressure

So you sign up for this race. It might be an easy/fun distance, but likely it is something you need to train for. It’s okay though, because you are so. excited!! You are going to kick this race’s butt!! So you map out this plan. The perfect plan. You visualize yourself running these graceful miles outdoors. The weather is undoubtedly perfect in this imaginary scene. You picture yourself waking up excited for every workout. Of course you will feel awesome all the time because you are exercising and fueling your body perfectly. This ideal training probably happens the first week. Maybe the second week. Sometime around the third or fourth week, though, something will come up. Life happens. You go a few nights with less than awesome sleep, so you don’t feel like getting up early to put some miles on your shiny new running shoes. The strength training session you scheduled in doesn’t seem as important as working on a project around the house. Some friends want to hang out, so you skip a cross-training session. Two Weddings and a Birthday Life just happens and your training turns from perfectly complying with your scheduled workouts, to a lackluster effort to catch up on your missed sessions, as though that were even possible. Even if you do your training perfectly, there is so much pressure put on race day. I mean you’ve told all of these people you were running this race.People encouraged you.People admired you.It felt good to be working towards something awesome. But what if something happens to prevent you from running the race?What if you get sick or injured or have a family wedding come up the night before (more on that later)? Someone who is excited about running a race might have the tendency to flip out when things go wrong (hi, I might have done this very thing very recently). This adds even more stress on a day that should be fun and amazing. So what can we do about all of this training and race day pressure? Learn from my mistakes to make training […]

Kind of Freaking Out: Half Training Week 6 + 7

So I signed up for these runs. A half marathon in Des Moines that is coming up in about a month, then a 10 mile run that is coming up in about TWO weeks!! Oh yeah and for the 10 mile run I decided I would raise $500 for Girls on the Run since I really wanted to get involved in the organization. So why am I freaking out? A variety of reasons: 1. My right leg has been hurting. I don’t even know how to describe it other than it starts somewhere around my outer right knee and then slowly radiates up and down my leg until I have to stop walking/running.2. I started a new job three weeks ago and pretty much every day I worked I came home with aching feet. It’s pretty tough to train when your dang feet hurt! Don’t be fooled by the “6.” That was adding miles to my work shoes for the past two weeks. 3. As a result of the aches and pains, I have not been meeting the weekly mileage I had hoped to the past couple of weeks. I am so nervous I won’t be able to run either race! 4. I have yet to meet my $500 goal for Girls on the Run and I’m running out of time! I did extend my giveaway to benefit Girls on the Run to the 30th of this month, so please check it out here!  All you have to do is donate a dollar to a wonderful organization and you could win a whole case of Chobani! I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound too bad to me! I think it’s just tough to ask people for money. Yes, it’s a great cause, but it’s still awkward to ask for donations (or is that just me?). I do get more excited the more I learn about Girls on the Run. I even had the opportunity to meet up with some of the gals for a short run around Lake Nokomis and I just love the heart behind what they […]

Another Marvelous Raffle to Benefit Girls on the Run!

girls on the run collage resized

Girls on the Run is a marvelous organization that helps girls develop healthy self-esteem while training for a 5K run. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Moves 8-26-13: Change it Up! + Post-Run Smoothie

monday moves fitness workouts

Whew it has been hot over here! I think summer has finally arrived in the twin cities! I’ve been so used to running whenever I feel like it during the day, that it was shocking when I went out and felt like I was going to die of heat stroke last Tuesday. That day kind of put a damper on my motivation for week 3 of half-marathon training. (Be my friend on DailyMile!) Catch up with my half-marathon training here: Week 1Week 2 (Also check out the Justin’s Nut Butter raffle going on now!)The raffle is to benefit Girls on the Run, an amazing organization focusing on teaching young girls about self-esteem and health as well as training them for a 5K! I appreciate any help! Plus the prize is pretty sweet.—–I did, however, get my cross-training in AND do some weight training at the apartment gym. Although it was rough outdoors, that apartment gym is kind of amazing temperature-wise. They have it set to a cool 68 degrees F PLUS I crank up the fans in the room. Saturday I ventured down to the gym and found I had it all to myself while I watched my beloved Big Bang Theory. It was seriously the best run I have had all month…one of those where you feel like you could run forever with a big ol’ smile on your face.Since I do count walking for my overall weekly miles, I did manage to come only half a mile short for the 12 mile goal mark even though I only ran twice last week. Not too shabby. Check out my full training plan here I was reminded last week that it is okay to:a. Walk, and b. Jump on the treadmill. While I fully believe that training outdoors is the best way to train for races (since the race will most likely be indoors), having an amazing run that gets me excited about physical fitness sure as heck beats a schweaty, technically better outdoor training run. Other things I’ve rediscovered to motivate my running include: a. Delightfully satisfying recovery smoothies […]

Justin’s Nut Butter Raffle + Half Marathon Training Update

A couple of weeks ago I did a whole long, heart-felt post enlisting help to support Girls on the Run, a wonderful organization who’s mission is:   “to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.” Well, I got a few thumbs-ups, but no gravy.  Since I have a fundraising goal to run that I need to meet by October to run the 10 mile race (and to not have to pay the rest myself), I realized I might have to add some incentive into the mix.  Besides gushing about the awesomeness of Girls on the Run boosting young ladies’ self esteem, teaching them healthy habits AND training them for a 5K race. P.S. I had a decent second week of half-marathon training, which is pretty much training for the 10-mile run for Girls on the Run since they are both in October.  I ran furthur, but I kept encountering obstacles…like a face-off with a Canadian Goose (I’ve heard they attack, so I had to tip-toe by…and after being dive-bombed by a was pretty terrifying!).  Then Saturday’s run I was attempting to go further than usual (the path by our apartment is only about 2.5 miles around) and ended up running on a busy country road with no sidewalks.  Yikes.  I got my miles in though! (Check out my half training schedule here.) (Check out week one’s training here.) Back to chocolate and nut butter.   Get excited. Since the giveaway of Justin’s Dark Chocolate and Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups went over so well (seriously, go check out the funny comments)…I decided to reach out to Justin’s for a donation.  And they brought it. Not only do you get TWO  sleeves of chocolatey goodness, they are also throwing in a JAR of your favorite flavor.  Mine would be Chocolate Hazelnut…yum!! Seriously.  Justin’s is an amazing company, I tell ya!  Learn more about Justin and his company at the official website, AND connect on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook! Okay this is a little different than a giveaway…because it’s for charity, […]

Monday Moves 8-12-13 Half Marathon Training Plan!! Week One

During my week off of blogging, I had a number of tasks on my to-do list. One of them was designing a training plan for the Des Moines half marathon coming up in October.  I started training VERY early for my first marathon this year (think January for a May race date), so early that I ran out of motivation the whole month before the race.  I decided to do things a bit differently this time (or was it procrastination?). This training plan was based on Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 Training plan.  That plan is 12 weeks, but I only had 11 weeks, so I did some modifications.I got all nerd-ville and created a google spreadsheet in case anyone wanted to check it out:2013 Des Moines Half Marathon Training Plan My first week went pretty well! I of course didn’t follow the plan exactly, but the most important things to me in the training plan that I will try to do each week are: Running my long run each week (the Saturday/Sunday run) Strength training at least once Cross-training at least once Foam rolling Attempting to complete the total mileage goals for the week whether walking or running (cross-training does not count) Monday and Tuesday workouts were walking with my mom, sister and their crazy dogs who came to visit me up in the twin cities. It was a tad crazy with the dogs since they attempt to maul every dog and even a sweet little gardener lady that they see, but somehow we accomplished a few miles over their trip. We also walked to Target and mom bought me a new workout outfit.  Bright pink, of course. Wednesday and Thursday I actually picked up my feet a bit and did some run-walking on our trail. I highly encourage anyone who is either new to running or hasn’t run in a few months to slowly increase running time by interspersing it with walking.  With this method, I typically walk to warm up then run until I feel tired, walk until my heart rate lowers then run some more.  Ideally your […]

Monday Moves 7-29-13 Another Race?? Help!

I wanted to reveal to you that I am crazy.  (You knew that?  Drat.)  I signed up for my third race in October.  I will attempting to run the following that month:Color Me Rad 5K in Des Moines Des Moines Half Marathon (no, I don’t live in DM but it is half-way between my new home and my hometown…plus I have a few friends there!) and today I signed up for the Medtronic Twin Cities 10 Mile race. I went to sign up for this a month ago and realized it was closed BUT there was an option to run for charity…hmmm… Then I saw that one of the charities I could run for was Girls On the Run!  I couldn’t e-mail the contact fast enough to tell her how overly-excited I was to have the opportunity to work with the organization! I gushed about how I had heard about Girls on the Run from Caitlin’s blog and had been wanting to get involved in the local chapter in Minnesota (yay for moving to a place where a chapter exists!). The mission statement: “to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.”  Sign me up! This makes me think of the Color Run since and Mollie’s sweet daughter went with us.  How awesome is it to teach young gals to be happy and healthy and to have fun at such a key time in their life? Doesn’t your heart just melt??  Since I don’t have a daughter yet to dress up all cute and tell her she is smart and awesome…I can participate in Girls on the Run!  After confusing the nice gal into thinking I wanted to run the marathon (and accidentally signing up for the full 26.2 mile race…yikes!), we have finally gotten me set up to do the 10 mile run.  Thank the lord I didn’t have to attempt the marathon…I mean my miles are barely high enough for beginning a half-marathon training plan. Daily Mile Since I’m representing a charity…guess what?  That means I need to raise money. […]

A Peanut-Butter-Chocolatey Giveaway!

Yesterday I tricked myself again.  I mean you’d think I would wise up to my own ways, but I haven’t. I went out for a walk that really turned into a good run-with-some-walking.  I tricked myself by saying “it’s just a walk” and “you only have to go a mile.” These things make me all the more happy when I actually go further and pick up my feet for a bit of running.  It gets me out the door and that’s what counts, right? It was gorgeous out.  70s, breezy, a little cloudy, but that made for some pretty pictures.  Because with lovely scenery like I get to experience nowadays you can bet I halt my run and bust out my camera phone. Guess what I ate right before my refreshing run-walk?  Something truly divine.Something I sat down and savored.Something that reminded me of sneaking semi-sweet chocolate chips when my mom was making her famous cookies.  That slightly bitter taste of chocolate melting in my mouth.…but with a bit of nut and saltiness added to that familiar flavor. I had an organic, gluten free (yes, I checked this time), GMO-free (no weird stuff added), dark chocolate Justin’s Peanut Butter cup. Oh yes.  If you’ve heard of Justin’s or you purchase his nut butter, you probably know what an upstandingly green company it is that puts out the best quality products. The fact that he decided to pair his amazing peanut butter with chocolate is nothing short of genius.  I definitely a fan of this combo and have even tried to recreate it myself, but never in this healthy of a manner. These wonderful cups come in dark chocolate and milk chocolate.  It was perfect that they sent both flavors so that Dave wouldn’t steal my dark chocolate cups and likewise Dave could keep the milk chocolate ones for himself.  I mean normally I would hide something delicious so that it won’t get taken….kidding!  (or am I??) Let’s Break it Down: Likes:Organic ingredients–high quality productGluten free for my poor gluten intolerant friendsNo GMOs or (no weird stuff, remember)100 calorie servingsDecadent dark […]

4 Things to Take on an Outdoor Run

I went for a run today…err a walk-run.  Those have been VERY common lately with my back. I honestly didn’t even plan on running at all.  One of those times that I definitely tricked myself into getting out the door.  “It’s just a walk, Amanda.” I was also only going to walk 2 miles.  Then I got lost. It was during this time of confusion and disorientation that I discovered that my nike+ app on my phone has a map that shows where you’ve walked. I could also get a general idea of the way to head back to our apartment. This episode made me VERY happy that I am always prepared in my outdoor runs.  You might call me a pessimist, but I call myself a realist.  Things can go wrong.  Today was the prime example. So I made a list of things you won’t find me without on an outdoor run.  (Then narrowed it down to four since I tend to be long-winded.) 1.  My phone.  Seriously, what did runners do before cellphones??  My phone is like my safety blanket.  I now have my nike+ app on it, pandora and a lovely thing called gps.  Oh, and it makes calls too! 2.  Water.  I know this seems like a basic part to a run or workout of any kind, but almost everyone I see on the trail goes without water.  It was a toasty 85 degrees F this afternoon (with a heat index of 90+), so I was super grateful to have the ability to sip on water.  You really never know how your body is going to react to the weather.  Better safe than sorry! I do have a belt to carry water bottles on, but guess what?  Carrying the water bottle is an arm workout–bonus!! 3.  Sunglasses.  (unless I’m running in the dark…which is rare) This is one of those things that I will turn around and walk all the way back to my apartment if I forget them.  Who wants to be squinting the whole time on your run?  These old beater sunglasses not only […]

Monday Moves 7-22-13: Getting My Act Together

I am still having slight back issues.  I have only successfully run about 2 miles in the past couple of months before wanting to puke. But for some reason I signed up for the Des Moines half marathon. It’s in October…that’s enough time to get my act together, right?  PLUS I get to run this race with my lovely friends Calee, Alex and Katie!  I’ve been working on getting my act together in more ways than one…. Miles and Rolling. I am focusing on just getting outside and walking.  Sometimes I just have to trick myself and say “you don’t even have to run if you don’t want to” to get my booty out the door.  I usually get pumped up after the first half mile or so and want to run.  Due to back issues though, I didn’t let myself run until Saturday.  And it was glorious. I’ve also been foam rolling on a more consistent basis.  It’s fun to do it in front of Dave so he can make fun of me and we can laugh together because it is truly an awkward thing. Blogging. I’m trying to focus on my blog and not compare myself to others.  Doing my own thing and not focusing on success (or failure) in the blogging world will ensure that I am actually happy writing and that those who stick around value me for me!   I’m also working on blogging when I want to about what I want to.  I keep waiting to share this delightful skillet cookie recipe with you on the perfect day of the week…but I just need to DO it!  [UPDATE: I finally posted the skillet cookie deliciocity!] Reading other blogs for inspiration and NOT to copy them is the best solution I can come up with.  I’ve gone through phases where I had to STOP reading other blogs all together, but at this point and with the amount of real life friends I have in the cities…I would miss reading them! Job hunting. After I wrote the confessions post last Wednesday, I got to serious searching.  That’s […]

Monday Moves #5: How to Run Through Colored Corn Powder aka a Color Run (Giveaway!)

Hello Friends! I’m happy to say I’ve been logging some pretty consistent miles on my Nike+ and DailyMile this past week!  I’m still having some back issues so I will be doing some stretching and strength moves for my back that the coming week.  I MUST be more consistent with my strength training because when I’m not, I seem to get injured more easily. I have been walking around the path near our apartment and I’m pleased to share that I haven’t been attacked by a bird!  Although I did have a nightmare about it the other night.  I even got weirded out a couple of times when I was running with Becky and we heard birds squawking. Got to run this with Becky! I know what that bird’s squawk sounds like and it haunts me.  Seriously I think I have been traumatized for life!  Yep, it’s that serious. Aside from overly dramatic bird rants, I have a colorful and MARVELOUS post to share with you!   As I talked about in Friday’s post, I ran The Color Run in Des Moines Saturday with Calee, Alex, Mollie and her daughter.We walked most of it, but it kinda really made me want to get back into running! There are a couple of things you need to know about these colored runs.  I wrote a short list of tips last year on my Color Run Rant post since I didn’t have the best experience (mostly because the people I was supposed to go with lined up without me), but I have a bit more to add. Things to Expect at a Colored Fun Run The first thing is that this is NOT a race.  It is NOT timed, so you really should not expect to PR or for anyone to move aside when you are trying to run.  That’s just the way it is.  You know it’s someone’s first time when they yell out in frustration “walkers to the right!!” They let the “runners” out in waves.  Sometimes this means a long wait, so make sure you plan ahead for timing purposes.  […]

SHN Favorites 7-12-13

Happy Friday, Friends! Are we all excited for the weekend?  Aside from those of you who actually WORK on the weekends??  I remember I used to not appreciate at ALL the whole TGIF attitude being a waitress/barista for the past few years…but now the weekends mean I can hang out with Dave!  Or friends!  I’m actually heading to Iowa tonight to crash with Alex (thanks girl for saving me from getting up at 4am Saturday to drive down!) before heading to the Des Moines Color Run in the morning with her, Calee and Mollie!   I am just hoping that my back will hold up as I am actually limping around a bit today.  In fact I’m putting off switching the laundry right now because I don’t want to move!  I can’t tell if I’m sick or just not feeling well from my run with Becky yesterday.  I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep the night before (woke up at 2am HANGRY…what?) and I might have messed up my stomach with eating some sports beans to wake up and motivate myself to get out the door.  Plus I haven’t run in weeks.  I walked around like a zombie the rest of the day. My guess is that I will be walking this colorful trail tomorrow, but I don’t really mind as long as the experience is better than last year’s color run! Now I leave you with some posts to read that I enjoyed myself the past couple of weeks.    (More SHN Favorites here!) Fun Posts: 10 Signs You’re Having Your Quarter Life Crisis at Buzzfeed Reasons Kids are Pretty Much Just Tiny Drunk Adults at Buzzfeed Original source Celebrities Before and After Photoshop at Think About It:The Power of One Single Magazine by Ellie at Fit for the Soul I think my abs would look like that if I stood the way she is standing.  And was airbrushed.  ha!  Stop the comparing! It’s All About Attitude by Becky at Olives and Wine What is Your Housework Worth by Annamaria at Apartment Therapy How Much is a Homemaker Worth […]

9 Fun Ways to Keep Moving This Summer

Hello Friends! I found this post that I did for Kelly over at Nosh and Nourish (formerly No Sugar Sweet Life) and I thought it fit in perfectly with yesterday’s post on NEAT fitness!  PS have you noticed any changes around the blog??  I want to thank you all for weighing in on my font change on my header!  That one little thing (and the fact that it’s my blogiversary month…the first giveaway is ending soon!), prompted me to change a couple other things! Okay back to the post!  I hope this can help motivate you (and me!) to get out there and move this summer! ——————– My name is Amanda and I blog over at Diary of a Semi-Health Nut.  I share my newfound love of running, my obsession with baking cookies, and my two cents on living a well-rounded, semi-healthy life. Kelly and I attended Blend Retreat (aka a life-changingly awesome blogging retreat) together this past May.  I’m super excited to be able to take over her blog for a day! Today’s topic: Fun Ways to Keep Moving This Summer Okay, I realize that summer is half-way over already, but you may or may not have gotten into a fitness rut after numerous vacations and/or over-indulgent summer get-togethers.  (it’s not half over now, but it was when I wrote this post!) It’s never too late to get moving! 1.  Sign up for a fun-run or charity run. This could give you some incentive to get training for the big day, even if it is only a 5K.  Not to mention, there are some really great causes out there! (Note from me today: I just signed up for the Color Run in Des Moines and I get to run with my friends Calee and Alex Saturday!  So excited!!) 2.  Take a hike! No, I’m not being rude. ;-)  Hiking is a fun and distracting way to get a workout in..especially if you are with friends! 3.  Join a fitness class or boot camp! Photo credit: Ashley Gyms often have summer boot camps you can sign up for or a variety […]

Monday Moves #3: Blogiversary Giveaway {#MIMM}

I hope you all had a lovely weekend! Mine was filled with hanging with the BF (sans his work phone…hooray!) watching him shoot at flying orange targets and being fried to a crisp in the process.  Seriously, those sunburns catch you by surprise!  At least they do me…one minute I’m shivering from the chill of the wind (holy cow was it windy Saturday!), then enjoying being warmed up by the sun, then noticing a bright pink line around my collar.  Dangit. Sunburn aside, it was a pretty marvelous weekend.  Actually with quite a few moves! I’m getting back into weights AND I even put my first full workout up on the blog last week (complete with pictures of me doing the moves…eek!).  I really need to remember to write down or record everything I do because I am a bit fuzzy on the details so this is a rough estimate: 10 Moves for a Strong Lower Back here Me + my youngest sister Rachel…goofing off a bit Here’s the plan for this week: I signed up for a two week trial pass for Anytime Fitness so I’m pretty excited to check it out.  Hopefully it helps me continue my fitness routine AND is easy on the wallet! As I shared on Friday’s post, it was my three year blogiversary (blog-aniversary) yesterday!  How crazy is that??  Not that I ever planned on blogging more than once…a month…in fact, check out my numbers my first two years of blogging. The number in parenthesis is the number of posts I wrote each month.  It looks like I posted once a month for four months, not at ALL for three months, then I jumped back into it with a whopping round of 6 posts in January. Somewhere along the way, my friend Ashley told me to just set a goal of posting once a week.  Doesn’t sound too hard does it?  I set a reminder on my phone and managed to keep at it at least that number since April 2011. This kind of makes me want to look back and think about why […]

Monday Moves: Accountability

Hello Friends! So it’s been about a month since my half-marathon.  With that half-marathon there was a training plan set up by Hal Higdon.  Although I barely stuck to my mileage, strength training or cross-training, it was nice to have a plan laid out before me so that I would have some idea of what workouts I had to fit in each week. I’ve decided that I need to get back into some sort of routine with or without a race ahead of me.  I have never been a stickler for hitting every single workout (see my half training log), but the thing is….you’re more likely to do your workout if you schedule it. Since I have a blog…I have a way to be accountable.  I am planning on putting up my training plan each week and then following up with the results.   Sound like a good idea?  I sure hope so! Here’s what I ended up doing last week: I would like to count all the moving and unpacking I did as workouts…but I view workouts or exercise as planned movement that is repetitive in nature (the definition of exercise).   Now unpacking and moving does count for physical activity or movement that you do during the day.  I have been bustin’ my booty to get things unpacked and to get all that friggin’ cardboard and trash out of here so that counts for something!! Wednesday I finally got around to an actual workout thanks to the Purely Twins!  What I like about their workouts is that they are very customizable with the number of rounds you can do PLUS they always point out modifications and encourage you to go at your own pace (we all know how much I advocate being safe while working out).  I suppose I also like them because the workouts can be done at home with nothing but yourself and a pair of weights if you want.  I started an Arms/Back/Chest playlist on YouTube and added their video…so check it out! It was so great to hang out with Becky and her fur baby on […]

13.1 Tips for Your First Half-Marathon

Hello Friends!    I’ve been really struggling with how to recap this run.  I felt a mixture of pride, surprise and gratefulness upon crossing the finishing line. I was astonished at how well I did for my first race and really don’t think I even deserve to have done as well as I did with the lack of training I completed.  It was super emotional and tough, but still fun and exciting at the same time.  It was also the third half marathon I signed up for, but only the first one I actually ran. So with all of these feelings running around inside me, I thought I’d lean on the bullet point post I used for my first 10K race. 1.  Get EVERYTHING together the night before.  Or even the night before the night before if you’re going to be attending a wedding that evening. I thought I had everything together but it turns out I was scrambling to get a couple of things together minutes before we had to leave. 2.  Plan what you are going to eat beforehand and don’t count on eating breakfast in the car…especially if your race is a mere 5 minutes away! Also don’t think you will have time to pin your bib number on in the car for the same reason.  Also also, the name on your bib is what people will be calling on the sidelines when they’re trying to encourage you, or they might not call it if you decide to self-promote and put SemHealthNut (because the “i” couldn’t fit) on the bib. (Let your ride know that they will be dropping you off and looking for parking…instead of walking in with you.  This was quite a shock for poor Dave.) 3.  It’s very helpful to go with someone who has been to the race, such as my awesome roommate Amber who had actually done this race 6 times before! Not only did I feel like I was walking around with a celebrity (seriously EVERYONE knows Amber!), but she kept telling me, “You can do more than you think.  You […]

{MIMM #17} Whirlwind

Hello Friends! Not only did I survive this crazy busy weekend…I survived running 13.1 miles in the chilly 40 degree weather.  Yes, it is May, but it felt more like a frigid February.  That’s the midwest for ya though!  For example,  last Sunday I ran 10 miles in 70 degree weather and got a little sunburned, but it snowed three days later on Wednesday.  The only thing predictable about Nebraska weather is its unpredictability. Anywho…Let’s review my crazy-marvelous whirlwind of a weekend for today’s MIMM or Marvelous in my Monday post. {Friday} Friday afternoon was MARVELOUS in that I had a massage scheduled at Massage Envy in my hometown (an hour away) to celebrate the end of an awful semester and to get some of the kinks out before my half marathon on Sunday.  The last time I had a massage was two years ago after I hurt my back…and that was a very painful one.  Needless to say, I felt like a million bucks after this one!! Dave came into town (hometown) Friday and although we had planned a quiet date night of Pepperjax and Netflix, his sister decided she wanted to celebrate her graduation that night.  So within two hours of receiving the call, we were sitting down to have some mongolian food.  I was a little annoyed because I hadn’t seen Dave in two weeks and just wanted to hang with him, but I did my best to be supportive of his sister…especially since she is going through a break-up. I had planned on going back home that evening so that I could pick up my race packet the following morning and then rush back to my hometown for a hair appointment, but of course plans changed again.  I stayed at my dad’s place Friday night and I ended up spending a good deal jumping through hoops so that my roomie could pick up my packet for me.  I mean you would think we were trying to commit a crime with the number of forms to be printed and signed! The thing about staying at my dad’s […]

Runners can Conquer

My thoughts and prayers are going out to everyone in Boston as well as runners everywhere! I haven’t quite processed this yet, but I know that as a runner it will be challenging to run the next race with the terrifying images and thoughts from the Boston Marathon yesterday. We can’t let the terror beat us though!  This I know for sure!  Runners are resilient and if they can conquer a marathon, they can surely conquer someone who thought they had the right to hurt others.  We are still the master of our thoughts and we can choose to think positively about this. If you know me at all, I had to look at the positives otherwise I could very well have spiraled into a depression over this.  My heart seriously hurts for those who are hurting, but since I can’t fix it all, I will pray and focus on the good. I am so inspired by others’ positive words that I would like to share some with you today. From Twitter: It was AWFUL what happened, and maybe we will never know WHY it happened.  But there is still good in the world.  There is still hope.  We can still choose to conquer our own races without fear. Unfortunately God does not control what humans do, we all have freewill.  I am praying to a God of mercy and love and justice that he will bring more good than bad out of this.  *~Amanda aka Semi-Health Nut~* I am finishing up the semester and need to focus more on school, so will have some guest posters on the blog the next couple of weeks.    If you’re interested in guest posting, check out my guest posting tab with all of the details and shoot me an e-mail or tweet!  I’d love to have you on the blog and would definitely re-pay the favor!

{Fitness Friday #6} Fueling for a Long Run

Hello Friends! I don’t think I need to tell you how proud I am that I accomplished this 9 mile run, by myself, on a treadmill.  Seriously, I still wonder if it actually happened! Why?I never got sore! Not the next day, not two days later…here we are Friday, a whole FIVE days later and I never experienced any kind of malady from running 9 miles on a treadmill. Why didn’t I get sore?  I have a few theories: I got plenty of rest the night before. I took it slow and steady, with my only goal to complete the 9 miles.  This is what a long run should be!  It shouldn’t be about how fast you run, but just covering those miles.  Speed work is for another day. I’ve been running at least once a week since January, slowly increasing my mileage so my body is used to the stress of running. The big one: I fueled before, during, and after. Fueling for exercise of any kind is tricky, but I think it’s especially hard to figure out how to do so for running long distances.   PS…check out my awesome giveaway for some delicious fuel for your body! Some runners get upset stomachs from certain foods, some need more water than others and some can run in the morning on empty stomachs (probably not for a long run or a 5+ mile run though). The key is to play around with it BEFORE race day. In case you didn’t know, I’m preparing to run my first ever half-marathon on May 5th.  I’ve been training since January (some weeks more seriously than others), but I’m excited that I’m now back to my longest running distance since last year!  Tomorrow is going to be a 10-miler and that will be a FIRST for me! What my fueling looked like on Sunday:Pre-run:I had a full breakfast of whole grains, protein, coffee and a little fruit.  There was also some sugar from the syrup. Carbohydrates are the main and BEST source of fuel for the body and when you eat complex carbohydrates like […]

{MIMM #13} What DID I do in KC?

Happy Monday, Friends! MIMM or Marvelous in my Monday is all about positivity on a day that many of us dread….Mondays.  I am so happy Katie started this link-up so we can get our weeks off on the right foot! Last week I got to hang out with Dave (the BF) over Spring Break in KC, where he was recently relocated.  Well, he is still living out of a hotel….his technical home still being in Nebraska. I was there to keep him company and was hoping to see some KC sites, but goodness he worked long hours!  Out the door by 6am to make his first conference call and back to the hotel about 12 hours later…totally exhausted. When we got back to Nebraska Saturday evening, we stopped at his parents to get my car.  His mom asked me, “So what did you do while Dave was working all day?”  I was a little stumped…what DID I do? I didn’t have much of an answer for her.  It’s so crazy how days can go by like the blink of an eye. It bothered me that I didn’t really know what I did over that break, so I got to thinking. Here is what I came up with: Slept 8-9 hours a night.  Although I was awoken around 5am each morning, I went right back to sleep after Dave left the room.  I mean come on, it’s Spring Break!  A time to relax and rejuvenate! Picked up after Dave.  Love him dearly, but I was joking that he was at the hotel long enough to make a mess and leave.  And when you’re spending all day in a small room, you don’t want it looking like a tornado came through. Ate a lot.  I am really not complaining about Dave because he works SO hard and I love to help him out…plus he paid for all of my food on the trip.  I did make a stop at Wal-Mart so I wasn’t eating the (holy buckets) $14 breakfast downstairs and so that I could have a few non-restaurant meals over the […]

{Fitness Friday #5} Running Confidence

Hello Friends! I am not an extremist with…anything really.  Especially with food and fitness.  Balance.  Balance.  Balance. When it comes to workouts, I try to schedule them in my phone, but I make sure to listen to my body. And hey, if I get too busy and skip a’s all good. (For the most depends on how many days I go without.) Well, since I try not to get down on myself for not getting a workout in…this can lead to weeks (as in one week here and there, not weeks at a time) that I don’t really make a specific effort to exercise.  And when you are training for a half-marathon, that’s not so great. I usually end up pushing my running until the end of the week, where I should be spreading out my runs so I can achieve better recovery. I also don’t run outside as often as I could.  I can blame the weather, but planning is also a key factor in getting outside during the daylight.  If it’s dark out, I hop on the treadmill. For example, in a last minute effort to prepare for the 10K race last Saturday, I ran outside on Thursday for a longer period of time than I’m used to.  And was sore for two days!  Including at the race. In case you didn’t know, or haven’t thought about it really, running outside, especially on hills and in the cold and wind, is VERY different than running on the treadmill.  I think it’s super important to get at least one run a week in outside…even if it’s not the most pleasant weather.  (Okay, don’t run out when there’s a lot of snow and ice…an injury isn’t going to help you train.) You can also see super crazy things outside…dinosaur on a bike what? After racing the 10K on Saturday, I’ve grown more confident in my abilities as an athlete.  Is athlete the right word? I’ve grown more confident in my running abilities at least.  I now know I can run 6 miles.  I know I can run that […]

{MIMM #12} Leprechaun Race Confessions

new friends at the leprechaun chase

I had a fun time running the Leprechaun race [leprechaun chase] in Nebraska in 2013! Here are some confessions!