For our family Halloween usually kicks off the Holiday season. This time of year
is filled with parties, events and too many tempting opportunities to
resist the delicious food. Face this holiday season with a game plan. Use this
calendar to get fit not fat from Halloween to Thanksgiving. If you
need a little extra help, meal plans, workout ideas, or just a support contact I
am here to lend to help you stay on track.
In high school I was on the track team for a couple of months. All that running was just too much work. We had a two mile warm up and it about killed me every day. I was always trying to keep up with the front of the pack. I was a freshman and they were the superstar seniors. I never knew about pacing or starting out slow. I grew frustrated and quit. In college a roommate took me on one of her runs and it was all I could do to keep up. We run/walked about two miles. I played sports and worked out like crazy but never had a desire to run for an extended period of time. After graduating I ran two to three miles a few times a week. The point is just because I have run a hundred miler and dozens of shorter races doesn't mean I have always been this crazy runner girl. It wasn't until I set a goal and found a running partner/group that my running really improved. Having a plan is really the key to following through with any goal.
Over the last few years I have had the privilege of mentoring a dozen or so runners to their first 5k and beyond. If you are just starting out I suggest finding someone who you can go to for advice. My other tip is to find a good training plan. Your first race should never be for time. Finishing should be the goal. No matter how slow you go it will be a personal record. If you set a time goal then you risk being disappointed even though you have accomplished something you worked really hard for. A realistic time goal does however keep you from going out to fast which is a major rookie mistake.
First find a race if you are interested in improving or advancing your running ability. The race should be 12-20 weeks out. Farther away the longer the race is. If you have done a 5k move up to a 10k, or half marathon. You can also train to beat your old time. My favorite 5k training program is the iPhone app "get running". It is a couch to 5k program that talks to you as you go and it also plays your music. I have suggested it to dozens of people. I know of at least 13 who have used it for there first 5k. If you are training for a 1/2 marathon or full marathon I really like the book, The Non-runner's Marathon Trainer by David Whitsett. However, the most enjoyable way to train for a race is to find a running group. Your local running store will probably have a 5k, 1/2 and full marathon group. We are blessed that our Local Fleet Feet has an amazing group of runners. Everyone is positive and they work hard to motivate each other.
I love helping people reach their goals. It keeps me motivated. Feel free to contact me if you ever want a little running encouragement.
I am very blessed to be able to stay home with my children and I love almost every minute of it. It is all I ever wanted to do
with my life. However, I am a goal oriented person and not having a goal sends me into a depression. After the birth of my son I suffered from postpartum depression pretty bad and decided a big goal was exactly what I needed to dig myself out
of my whole. Running was my therapy. It helped me feel energized and important. My husband is the most supportive and amazing person in the world. He saw how happy running makes me and he encouraged me to pursue my running goals. Thus over the course of 18 months I went from bed rest and giving birth to running 100 miles in 22 hours and change. Now I am not saying everyone has to run 100 miles to feel a sense of accomplishment. Seeing two healthy kids every day is a blessing and watching them learn new things is pretty awesome too. I remember when post baby number two I ran 2 miles nonstop. That is still one of my proudest moments. We all start somewhere. Whatever your goal don't let anyone else belittle it. That feeling of
accomplishment is awesome. It is a natural adrenaline high that makes all of the hard work worth it.
Recently I have been torn between setting some pretty lofty running goals and the feeling that running is taking over my life. I am struggling with feeling like I have turned running into an idol. I am beginning to believe that perhaps in addition to raising my children and being a loving wife; motivating and encouraging others through my running may be my other purpose in life. It
brings me so much joy and I love to share that with others.
I have friends and family that thinks I am nuts and that is understandable. "Hi, my name is Amy and I have a disease." There I admitted it, are you happy grandpa? :) We all have our vices; cigarettes, chewing tobacco, alcohol, food, drugs, sex, gossiping about others, shopping, TV, tech gadgets, video games. My vice is running. I do a lot of it. I also sign up for things that others see as torture. I think ultra races are beyond fun. I find them relaxing, challenging, and motivating. You might wonder what I mean by relaxing. An ultra race is the only time I can sucker the grandparents into watching my children so I can get an extend break from the most amazing 24hr a day job as a stay at home mother and housewife. "How long can I take to run this race again?"
I also like to be challenged but I have a phobia for everything except driving fast and running long. I decided to go with the after of the two and just keep running long. That is unless someone wants to sponsor my NASCAR team. Raising kids is the most fabulous job on the planet. However, two phrases come to mind. "Cleaning a house is like brushing your teeth and
eating Oreos at the same time." and "I love those twelve seconds when all of the laundry is done." Don't get
me wrong I wouldn't change being with my children for anything in the world but I need a little more than
hugs and kisses to feel like I am making an impact on the world. I also need a challenge to stay
motivated. It is that crazy goal is what gets me out of my nice warm bed at 3 o'clock in the morning. You read that correctly, 3 AM. I can't stand to waste money on a gym membership when the outdoors is perfectly fine. I also cannot
justify keeping my kids in a stroller for that hours on end. So I wake up early and run. I get back before
the kids destroy the house and my husband leaves for work.
As I have said before I love doing these "crazy" things because in an instant our lives could change. The physical ability, time or monetary availability to accomplish such amazing goals could easily be snatched away from us. We are only given a limited time on this planet to motivate, inspire and encourage others. I feel like we are all given a gift and it is our duty to discover that gift and share it with others. It could be a career, a hobby, or a character trait. Don't waste your gift. I hope my gift inspire at least one other person to live life a little fuller.
Before I move on to my last thought I just want to say I feel unfairly lucky to have this opportunity. I have friends who work way harder than me at their jobs and I am thankful for these opportunities. I know I won't have this chance forever so I am trying to take advantage of it and appreciate it for as long as it lasts OR until my husband reads this and decides to send me back to work.
This leads me to my most recent adventure. I wish that I could find the words to explain Badwater 135. Being a crew member was an out of body experience. I am still trying to describe it. I am hoping that the runner I crewed for will write a race report and then I will never have to find those words. The race was everything I had dreamed it would be and more. It was harder, hotter, more energizing, more tiring, more trying, more motivating, more majestic, more gruesome, and more inspiring than I can ever explain. One day I hope to give this race my all. Let the hard work begin.
(Please excuse all grammatical errors. I only have a few more minutes of nap time :)
Crewing Maggie Beach in the keys 100 was nothing but fun. At least nothing but fun for me. I had a blast. I learned so much about being on the other side of the race. Serving as a crew member is just as tiring as being the runner. It can also feel just as satisfying. Supporting another runner as they achieve their goals was an amazing feeling. Although I must admit I was a little jealous as we entered Key West. I love that race so much I just can not wait to run it again. I learned a lot from Maggie's crew. They do some things different than I do in my ultras but most of it was the same style. I was also able to quiz Maggie about my ever growing desire to run Badwater. Maggie is a Badwater veteran and she was willing and happy to share many tips and pointers to my open ears. It was really neat to be able to share with someone else all of the joys and fond memories of past vacations along the Keys 100 route. Maggie's daughter and friends were also on the crew. Her daughter was amazing. She was the most patient and eager to help 12 year old I have ever met. I only hope that one day my children will be as passionate about my running as her daughter. I was a little nervous but I seemed to fit in just fine. I am an anal planner and watching someone else be the crew chief for a runner was very impressive. I have always worried that if I wasn't my own crew chief everything would go haywire. Bob was Maggie's crew cheif and he did an amazing job. I look forward to joining Maggie in a couple months in Badwater. We are both traveling out to Death Valley to crew friends. Bob Becker put on an amazing race. I can't wait to go back out there next year and run it myself.
I was pretty bummed about not running in this year's Keys100. Looking back on the notes that my crew made while I was running one note kept repeating itself: looks happy, has a smile on her face, etc. At the finish line my friends said I looked like hell but inside I felt nothing but joy. I will admit I do remember saying I would never do it again but just like childbirth we forget that pain. Looking back at the notes confirmed that it isn't just amnesia that was making me think it was fun.
I was excited when I was given the opportunity to crew and participate in this years race. I will be crewing Badwater and Brazil 135 finisher Maggie Beach during the Keys100. This is an amazing opportunity to learn and speak with someone who has accomplished a huge goal on my bucket list. I do promise not to pick her brain until after the run. 100% of the focus will be on helping Maggie finish strong and enjoying a positive race experience in the Keys. She will running this race in an effort to raise funds for Brazilian street dogs. Please take a moment to read Maggie's letter especially if you are a dog lover. If you are so inclined please consider making a contribution to this effort that Maggie is so passionate about. Thank you in advance.
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Every Tuesday I send out a motivational message or just check-in with several different people to help keep them motivated. It isn't anything fancy. A simple reminder to stay focused is sometimes all we need. I do it for free because in all honesty it helps keep me motivated. Swim-suit season or boating season for my family is a few weeks away and the attached document is designed to help kick start that tone up everyone desires. It is a combination of the Herbalife Eating plan and the Visalus week 1 plan. You don't have to use either of those shake products but a set calorie food like shakes and protein bars really assist when trying to manage calories. In addition to this eating plan 20-30 minutes of aerobic and weight lifting activity are suggested. Next week I will post a 6 day 20-30 minute workout to accompany the eating plan.
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What an amazing year!!! I have no idea how I am going to top it in 2013. I recently PR'd by almost 5 minutes in the Half Marathon with a 1:48:51 in Jacksonville. I finally broke 23 minutes in the 5k with a 22:36 at the Reindeer Run 5k.
I managed to PR in every marathon I ran except for Melbourne which was a practice tempo run. My marathon times were ING Miami Marathon- 4:15, Melbourne Marathon- 4:46, and A1A Ft. Lauderdale Marathon- 4:13:44. My final marathon was the Suwannee Marathon where I ran a PR of 3:55. Placing 1st in my age group and 3rd Overall.
That "tempo" run paid off. I ran a 62 miler, the Palm 100k, in 11:47:44. I placed 11th overall and I was the 2nd place female at that March race. I can't forget the most exciting run the Keys 100. I ran this 100 miler in 22:32:50. My husband and my running friends are what made these magical memories possible. I am so grateful and blessed for all of these amazing opportunities.
I only list these accomplishments as proof and motivation that anyone can accomplish anything. All you have to do is set a goal and follow a well designed plan. So what is it going to be your 1st 5k or a new PR in your favorite event? Whatever your goals I wish you the best of luck in 2013.
Give yourself the GIFT of a HEALTHY YOU!!!
I truly believe that one can lose weight on ANY sensible plan. The simplest and cheapest is counting calories. This seems to also be the most difficult for people to stick with. There are a dozen smart plans out there. These programs are successful because they have already counted the calories. Herbalife, Visalus, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig are all examples of programs many have used to lose weight. There are also hundreds of fad diets. (Any diet that encourages consuming less than 1200 calories is a set up for long term failure and eventual weight gain.) I will talk about those fad diets in a few days. Weight loss is about one thing. It is all about calories in versus calories out. This year give yourself the gift of a healthy and thus happy you!!!
Three times I have gained weight from stressful yet amazing events in my life. Three times I have successfully lost it with Herbalife products. That doesn't mean it will work for everyone. Herbalife is just the program that worked for me. After
the stress if getting married and moving, and then the birth of two kids I found myself needing to lose weight sensibly. The shakes and supplements provided me with a regimen that I could follow. If I found myself hungry I had a plan. This
prevented me from grabbing whatever unhealthy snack was nearby.
I liked them so much I decided to be a Herbalife Health Coach over 8 years ago. I have helped dozens of people lose
weight. Most through the Herbalife products but a few have needed other programs to be successful. One really has
to have reached the breaking point to be ready to commit to a lifestyle change. Once that breaking point is reached almost any program will help a person achieve there goals. It is only because they have finally committed to
changing their life for the better that they find success.
If you are ready to lose weight, and you have reached the breaking point, I would love to help you. My motivation is
helping others. By assisting I am reminding myself to practice what I preach. This motivation is only a phone
call, email or text message away. On Tuesdays I send out reminders to those I am helping. This is a weekly motivator to stay focused. Be part of the Tuesday “shout out” and give yourself the gift of a healthy you this Holiday season and for many years to come.
After the birth of my son.
A couple months later.
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The month between Thanksgiving and Christmas can be the most difficult time of year to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This advent challenge is designed to be a motivational tool to keep you sane and in control during the holiday season. By focusing on clean eating, daily exercise, drinking adequate water, and giving yourself a few minutes of peaceful reflection it will allow you to conquer the holiday season in one piece. This calendar will help you maintain mental sanity and keep off unwanted pounds that creep on from stress and mindless eating. Print the calendar today. You have until Saturday to create your challenging but achievable goal for the next 25 days.
Last year I enjoyed raising money for the University of Florida's Center for Movement Disorders while I trained for the Keys 100. While the calendar is free, for a $10 donation to the UF Center for Movement Disorders I will serve as your personal wellness coach for the entire month of December. Each Tuesday I will check in with you to review your progress, discuss difficulties and improve your plan for success. This allows me to keep myself accountable, motivate others and raise money for the center. To donate click the paypal link to donate and receive free coaching as a thank you.
Whether exercising alone or in a group injuries and accidents can happen at any time. It is very important to have some type of identification in your possession. I wear a Road Id. It lists my name, age, blood type, known allergies (NKA, in my case, No Known Allergies), and two emergency contacts. In the past I have also used a ID. This type of ID has a 800 number and a personal number which emergency personal can call to access information. Please take care of yourself and your family. Get an I.D. to have on yourself when you run, bike, swim and travel alone. Here are a few ways to make you own identification. Write information on a durable piece of paper or use a business card to stuff in your sock, shoe or pocket, Carry information in a shoe pocket, shoe wallet or wrist wallet, laminate a piece of paper and hole punch it to attach to your shoe, write information inside a baseball cap or tag on your clothes. If you choose to hide your id it is wise to let your fitness partners know where you keep that information.
The following sites offer personal identification. I have included a summary of each companies cheapest product. If you know of a deal, coupon, or discount please post the website, offer, and expiration date in the comments section to help keep this post up to date. www.runningidtags.com
:$9.95, Our lightweight, sturdy and colorful tags attach to clothing, bags, your running shoes, wrist, ankle, and also come with a free neck chain. Include six lines of information, including medical alerts, emergency numbers, allergies, or whatever you want to include! Custom designs are free. No shipping charges. Quantity discount. www.roadid.com
-$15.95 + shipping, stylish and comfortable silicone band that can be engraved with emergency contact information. Available in 6 colors. www.medids.com
-$17.90 + shipping, A comfortable, convenient, water resistant bracelet containing emergency identification, medical and family contact informationwww.yikesid.com
-$13.99 + shipping, Shoe ID for Running. Highly visible, secure, snug, the only no flap fit, and probably the lightest shoe identification available. This site also sells a metal id that clips onto a Livestrong type bracelet. www.shoewallet.com
-$9.99 + shipping, Lightweight wallets that securely fasten to a shoe. The Shoewallet™ carries cash, keys, ID (Free), credit cards, etc.
SPECIAL DEAL- www.goneforarun.com
–normally $30 , now on sale $15 +4.95 shipping, deal expires at I believe 1pm August 1st, 2012, Paracord id bracelet, go to link below for special offer.http://schwaggle.active.com/deal/13600/15-dollars-for-runners-id-bracelet/cleveland