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. […]