The Run In The Park 5K Run/Walk + Race Entry Giveaway

It’s that time of the year again!  Race season!

With that said…lets kick this off with a little race entry giveaway!!!  One winner and a friend of their choice will get to run a pretty cool race for free!

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CDM Mind and Body will once again be hosting their awesome A Run In The Park 5K run/walk.  This year the race will take place at the beautiful Tower Grove Park on Saturday, May 27th 2017 at 8:00 AM 

You are not going to want to miss out on the fun that will be taking place this day.  Come on by and enjoy the following:

  • $500.00 – 1st place winner overall
  • Prizes for 2nd and 3rd place
  • The Tower Grove Farmer’s Market
  • Yoga by Kim Winn
  • Fredbird
  • Extreme obstacle course
  • Food
  • Music
  • Family fun.
  • PLUS!!!!
  • This year’s 5K will also feature their famous and BEST Swag Bag to date.  Some items featured in this year’s bag are: Humble brush, Premier organic (artisan) raw coconut butter, Pure Growth organic White Cheddar Popcorn, Grace’s Best Cookies (sunflower seed-bite size), Drink Iconic (protein drink), Wellness Choice organic teas, super food granola from The Bakery on Main, and Peeled Snacks are just a few of them.  **You must register online to get swag bag!!!

So go sign up…grab your family and friends and join us for a full day of fun!!!  Sign up here:  https://www.raceentry.com/race-reviews/cdm-mind-and-body-5k?rrid=1730112

**Please note: Online registration ends on Wednesday May 24th, at 5:00 PM

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1 special reader and a friend of their choice will get their race entry for FREE!!  Here is how you can win:  Go back to the Facebook post for this post and comment the following:  “I wanna snag a FREE entry to the coolest 5K around!”

Snag another entry if you share the post on Facebook (please comment on post that you shared)

Winner will be announced by close of business this Friday (May 19th).

Today…I’m going to choose happiness…

This fragile life we lead is just that….FRAGILE!  

We get one….this ONE life to make the most of….to accomplish all we are capable of…

….but are you wasting it?

I know I was!  

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These past 365ish days have been eye-opening to just how fragile life is…how quickly life as you know it can change….and I’m reminded daily of this very fact.  

These past 365ish days has shaken me and woke my ass up….opened my eyes so wide…I will forever need sunglasses 🙂

An accumulation of bad events happening in my life a year ago made me realize just how much I was wrapped up in my own depression/misery.  Hitting rock bottom will do that to you.  (Side note:  I’ve always dealt with, since I can remember, what I now know as depression/anxiety/ADD.)

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Up until my world was rocked….I was literally going through the motions of the day….seeing but not really seeing…there but not really there. To the outside world, you would never know…why?…because I’ve had many years of practice as a master actress of fake happiness.  In fact, I was so good…I didn’t even realize just how unhappy I was…I just took it as this is the way I’ve always been.  The reason I was unhappy??  I Have NO Clue!….that’s how depression works.  You feel the suffering but you’re not sure why and for what…if that makes sense.  But it doesn’t take away from the fact that I pushed people away and didn’t even realize it.  It doesn’t take away from the fact that I was wasting my life away by going thru the motions. 

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365ish days ago though…my world turned upside down and dropped me to my knees.  And it was there that I realized that most important thing that I could have EVER realized.

I needed someone to take control of my life and happiness…and the only person who could do that was ME!  After many, many weeks of soul-searching…I realized that my happiness was in my hands and my hands alone.  I had spent most of my life thinking the exact opposite.  That I needed others to make me happy…which it turns out…just doesn’t work out that great!  

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It was also around that time that I read something in a book I had recently started.  It said, “We need to learn to adapt to change but we also need to learn to tell when a situation is wrong for us and not force ourselves to fit.” – Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie.

It clicked…the final piece easily fell into place and I knew what I needed.  I needed to start living for myself…living the life I was meant for and not the one I thought everyone wanted me to live…Trust me when I say this isn’t easy for me because this totally goes against everything I believed as a chronic “people pleaser”…but I decided to stop being scared and do it anyway. 

I decided then and there that big changes were coming…I realized that everything I wanted was just right beyond my comfort zone where I had taken up residence…I realized that I needed to stop hiding and to embrace life for what it really is….A gift!  

A gift to use wisely…to not waste. I needed to stop worrying about everything and just enjoy frickin’ life! 

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So I did!  I took a leap at happiness….and started following my heart!  I quit a job that just wasn’t meant for ME…got “MY” dream job…started surrounding myself with happy thoughts and people…started being present to my loved ones and working diligently on those relationships…started trying the things I had convinced myself I was scared of…and just overall…started just CHOOSING happiness.  

It’s not always easy…but I’ve seen and felt the alternative. 

It’s not always easy…when my depression rears its ugly head and makes me doubt everything I know to be true. 

It’s not always easy…when my irrational thoughts are running wild and make no sense…

Its hard to rise up above it…but try anyway…It’s always worth the try!  

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~ Happiness can be elusive sometimes….search it out anyway! ~ -Jennifer Whitrock

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With all this said…I’m seriously here for ANYONE that ever needs to talk 🙂

(Feel free to email me at livelearnloverun@gmail.com….ANYTIME!!! 24/7)

We are all in this together…I’ve got your back!

So you say you “CAN’T” do it….

…..and I say “Bullshit!”

See…that is the beauty…you actually CAN!  You just have to do it…you just have to take that first step.  And guess what…that first step isn’t what you think it is…BUT it is THE most important so listen closely…

The first step is to tell yourself that you can do whatever you want!  And then BELIEVE IT!

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Whatever the goal is…you can do it!  But sitting there telling yourself that you can’t do it…or you shouldn’t do it…or you don’t have time for it…it won’t do anything but prove those crazy thoughts right!  Instead of focusing on what you think you can’t do…start focusing on what you CAN do!

And then GO DO IT!!

 Just start…it doesn’t have to be extreme…if your goal is to eat more healthy…start by changing one meal a day…if finishing a 5K race is your goal…start by walking to the end of the block…if happiness is your goal…start by choosing happiness.  Do this for 30 days….I promise…if you keep showing up for 30 full days…you will have made a huge change to yourself as a person.  30 days is all you need to change a habit.   Choose one….conquer it…and then choose another…and then conquer it…only YOU have the ability to change and be who you want to be…who you were meant to be before you listened to what you thought the world wanted you to be.

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What’s the worst that could happen??

Happiness and contentment and satisfaction are just beyond your comfort zone!

Push past it!

Let’s get our MO’Cowbell on!! **Giveaway**

** We have a Winner!!!  Gail Akeman  was our winner!  I will be contacting you shortly!! **

Gail is midwestlady01 on Twitter and you since she is a fellow blogger…go check out her page at Midwest Lady Thoughts

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Everyone know what time it is??!!!  (this is where I yell into my mini megaphone)

That’s right!!  It’s time to get your butts out there and sign up for MO’Cowbell!!!

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As you all know…this is my one and only true love…Well…true RACE love!!  MO’Cowbell holds a very special place in my heart as it was my very first ever Half-Marathon!  I’m also a MO’Bassador for this lovely race gem and I love spreading the word about how awesome it really is!  

Listen…I know what you are thinking…”It’s just a race Jenn!”…..Which I kindly respond with….”Get the heck out of here….It’s the most KICKASS race around!”

Wanna know why??  I will give you 10 reasons…in no specific order of importance because they are ALL important 🙂

  1. You get to run through some beautiful scenery (Fronteir Park, Historic Main Street, New Town, Katy Trail).  You can view all the course maps here.
  2. You get to experience a race that has the best hometown feel to it with tons of clanging cowbells and screaming fans (If you aren’t a runner, you can always come cheer us on along the way – Don’t forget your funny race signs!!)
  3. Our race is USATF Certified so you can use it as a Boston Qualifier for all you people who dream of sporting that blue and yellow!  #BostonStrong
  4. You can meet the coolest…most hip…most in shape race mascot that you will ever have the chance to meet!  Who wouldn’t want a selfie with a cow that has six-pack abs and goes by the name of Chuck?!  I’ll tell you who…Everyone would want one!!
  5. You could ring the HUGE 100-lb Finisher Bell….Come on!  You know you wanna!!
  6. You can say that you accomplished something amazing!!  (We seriously have a race for everyone!  5K, Half-Marathon Relay (2-person), Half-Marathon, and Full-Marathon)
  7. It’s literally one of the flattest races around!  Yes…there is one killer hill but you are amazing and I know you got this!!  That hill has nothing on you!!!!  Woot Woot!! 
  8. You would get to run with me…come find me and I will keep you laughing along the way with my witty remarks and my positive motivation!  But seriously…come find me…I would love to have a few running buddies along the way…memories in the making when you have friends to run with!
  9. We have one heck of a Fitness Ex’MO!!  We always have an awesome time at packet and race shirt pickup!  Plus…there are always a ton of fun vendors that you can check out!  Clothes…running products…massage/chiropractic care…nutrition…and soooooo much more!
  10. This race gives back to our community is so many ways!  One of those ways is by donating part of our proceeds each year to a local charity.  This year, the proceeds will benefit The Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Charles County.  This is one of the oldest youth serving organization in St. Charles and surrounding counties.  

So what do you think?  Are you intrigued?  Wanna know more?!  Comment below with any questions you might have or can’t find on the website and I would be more than happy to help answer those questions.

Ready to sign up??  Go here!!  

Prices go up at the end of August so get signed up soon!!  

Wanna score some awesome MO’Cowbell race swag?  

Use my MO’Bassador race code (code = JENWCB16)

Also…since this IS my FAVORITE race around…I’ve decided to do a little giveaway for a MO’Cowbell Swag Bag full of goodies!!! (Prize includes:  MO’Cowbell Cooler, MO’Cowbell Race bags, MO’Cowbell race shirts, Cowbell Uncorked Frisbees, MO’Cowbell bells, Sweatpink shoelaces, Skratch hydration mix, RX Bars, RoadID band and much more!!!)  

 

You can gain entries by doing the following:  

  1. Share this blog post on Facebook (comment below letting me know you did).
  2. Share this blog post on Twitter with the following verbiage “I need MO’Cowbell!” http://www.mocowbellrun.com #gotthefever #mocowbellrun #livelearnloverun #racechat”  (comment below letting me know you did)
  3. Comment below telling me you favorite race distance and why!

PLEASE NOTE:  Each comment gains you an entry!

I will pick a winner on September 9th at 11:00 pm (CST)

**Race Entry Giveaway!!**CDM Mind & Body 5K Run/Walk & Wellness Expo

First off…let me tell you a little bit about CDM Mind & Body!

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CDM Mind & Body is a platform for all things health…and you all KNOW how much I love my health and fitness!  They are your resource for health tips, motivation, information, how-to and much more…and I’ll be honest…who DOESN’T need all that stuff in their life?!  That’s right…we all do!!

And we can all thank Cynthia Ringo for making this all happen!  This St. Louis based group was formed in 2010 by Cynthia and was sponsored by Christ Deliverance Ministry.  After becoming a full-time caregiver for her husband (who had suffered a stroke and then developed vascular dementia as a result of that stroke), maintaining a healthy lifestyle became SUPER important to her because she knew if she didn’t care for herself…she wouldn’t be able to care for him.  So…with about 15 other women from their church, she started her journey to become her healthiest while inspiring others.

Guess what happened!

That small group of women (age span from 21 to 65 including two breast cancer survivors) lost over 600 pounds collectively and counting….WOW!!!!!!!

Since then…the original group of women along with others in the community decided to take back their lives and have grown this idea into a day-long health and fitness event sponsored by CDM (Christ Deliverance Ministry – a faith-based, non-profit organization dedicated to serving the St. Louis community).

This year, on May 28th,  come and enjoy the day at with this inspirational group!  There will be something for everyone!  The event takes place at Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School in Midtown St. Louis (701 North Spring Avenue, St. Louis, MO) and includes a 5K race (1st place can snag a $500 overall prize), a fitness challenge, a healthy living seminar and many lifestyle vendors.

This is going to be a day of fun that you DON’T want to miss!  Wanna find out more?  Go here and check out the answers to all those frequently asked questions.  Or better yet…just go sign up!  It’s only $35 for the 5K and the rest of the events that day are FREE!

Here is the best part!  CDM Mind & Body is wanting to offer one of you lucky readers and a guest of your choice a FREE entry for their 5K on May 28, 2016.  A winner will be picked by May 27th.  Enter below through Rafflecopter!

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Trifecta of talent!

Our neighbor (and one of my daughter’s best friend) is constantly impressing me with her talent and her zest for life and her passion for being a star one day!  And I know she will do it!  It’s not often that you meet a kid her age who already knows exactly what she wants and where she is headed!

Yesterday, her mom shared this video and be the end of the day, it has 1,100 views which made these girls ecstatic!  So I shared it also and now this morning…1,628!  Let’s make these girls day and share their awesome talent!  Who know’s…maybe we will see them on Ellen one day 😉

Practice grace with yourself…

As I sit here after working out and feeling very discouraged…I find myself doing the exact opposite of what I always preach…and that is not comparing my beginning to someone else’s middle.  It’s a hard thing when we know that we are capable of more but just aren’t back there yet.

Maybe something in life has made you have to step back and take a break or maybe you just got burnt out. For me, it was taking three months off to recover from a surgery.  I went from running half marathons to barely being able to run a ONE mile.

Whatever it is…we have to try and remember that this is only one little speck of our life…your stamina will come back…the squats won’t always hurt…you won’t always be winded…just keep pushing to do YOUR best and remember to practice a little grace with yourself…don’t be so hard on yourself and know that this is your best right NOW!

Local Spotlight: Cassandra Erin

There is absolutely…positively…nothing better than strolling down Historic Main Street in St. Charles, Missouri, walking into a shop and falling in total love with everything your eyes fall on…

And that is exactly what happened to me a few years ago when I stumbled upon a little gem of a store called Cassandra Erin.  Cassandra Erin specializes in handmade one-of-kind works of wearable art…you will find no piece alike…they are all different and special in their own way!  Her “From The Heart” line lets you take handwritten words or even drawings and transfer them to the jewelry…making a memory that will last a lifetime.  The quality of the pieces are also wonderful.  Most of the pieces you will find are made using high quality Argentium silver, although the artists use a wide range of different metals.  Overall though, the best part about the jewelry you will find here, is that it’s extremely versatile…it’s casual but can be dressy also depending on what outfit you pair it with.  This jewelry is literally the only jewelry that I wear other than my wedding ring!

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 Cassandra Porlier is the owner, designer, primary metalsmith…and overall mastermind behind Cassandra Erin and you can feel the love she has for her shop and her craft every time you step thru her shop door!  She spends her days crafting and designing right there in the shop.  You can browse the store and sneak a peek at the work in progress also in the open workspace.  I feel it’s a huge plus to be able to see the artist making the jewelry in person…It really brings the pieces to life.

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Wanna know what else makes this shop special?  Cassandra Erin is made possible by four generations of strong women who are family and making this business what it is.  Cassandra’s grandmother works in the shop keeping their books and also has paintings for sale there as well.  Cassandra’s mother, Teri Sallee, is her business partner, as well as she creates her own charity line of jewelry called “The Mustard Seed”.  Partial proceeds from the sales of this jewelry line goes towards Christian Orphanages in India which helps feed, give medical attention and build wells for the orphans in India.

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In addition, Cassandra’s daughter, Kate, has also started designing her own line of jewelry called KW that has literally become my favorite pieces to wear. Who wouldn’t love this??

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Family is obviously important to these gals and that is AWESOME to me!!

 It’s also not just me that loves this little shop…others all over the country have fallen in love too!  Numerous celebrities and professional athletes have also made these works of art their own.  I highly recommend that you get in on this also and come check them out and while you are there, you can check out some of the other local artists that they feature in their shop.  You can catch them at 112 South Main Street in Historic St. Charles.  Their general hours are Monday – Friday from 10am – 5 pm and on Saturdays by appointment.  They are closed on Sunday.

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So come on…go grab a coffee and your comfy shoes and come explore Historic Main Street in St. Charles and stop by Cassandra Erin while you are here!  You won’t regret it!!!

Would You Rather…. Running Style Edition

We are going to keep it light and fun today with an awesome survey!  I see these floating around the blogosphere every once in a while and love to read them!  One of my favorites is by Laura at Fit Running Mama.  She always has a great blog and if you want to check her out…I say definitely DO!  Go here to read about her running style!  Trust me…you will love it…plus she posts some awesome recipes!!!

Before you go though…check my survey out!  I promise…it’s not the MOST boring thing you will read…and if it is…well then I’m truly sorry 😉  Here goes nothing…

  1. Would you rather run in a thunderstorm or a snowstorm?

Thunderstorm all the way….I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again..i despise the cold!!

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2.  Would you rather breathe through your nose or breathe through your mouth?

Well since I’m allergic to everything that grows in this lovely State of Missouri…and I mean literally everything…I’ve been tested! 🙂  Wait…where was I…oh yeah…I haven’t been able to breathe thru my nose since those first few seconds after I escaped my mother’s womb so really the answer to this question is BOTH!!

3.  Would you rather do 100 squats or 100 crunches? [Now take a break and go do them 😉 ]

Am I a sadist if I say both?  There is just something about the burn you get from a good exercise and you will for sure be feeling the burn after a 100 reps of either of these bad boys!!

4.  Would you rather have a baked good for dessert or an extra serving of your favorite entrée?

Baked goods…hands done…final answer…ALL IN!!!  I’m one of those awesome people who needs a little something sweet to round it all out!

5.  Would you rather run on a treadmill for an hour or run around the same street block for an hour?

A few months ago I would have said the same street block because I’ve done that…I’m used to that…and it’s not so bad if you have a great playlist and a wondering mind (which I have both of)!  However, in the last few months, I have had to get on BFF level with the old “dreadmill” and have actually completed a 13.1 training run on it…let’s just say I got a few weird looks at the gym after I had been running for over an hour and a half 🙂  It’s really not nearly as bad as I used to think…especially if you have a great playlist and a wondering mind (see a theme here?)!

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6.  Would you rather have a headache during a run or a side stitch?

Jeez…neither choice is good but if I have to choose….I’d say a side stitch.  At least with that, you have a chance that it will go away.  A headache (at least for me) always feels worse with each pounding footstep…shoot…it’s making my head hurt just thinking about it!  Let’s just say that a headache makes for a LONG run and not in a good way…

7. Would you rather have a rest day on a work day or a day off?

For sure a work day.  I’m so mentally exhausted after work, that it’s always hard to go do that run when I get home.  I have to immediately change and head out or it just does not happen.  I’m NOT an early riser AT ALL (I blame this on years of bartending and working until 2AM) so evenings are where the magic has to happen.

8.  Would you rather be a race director or a race volunteer?

As a MO’Bassador, I’ve seen bits and pieces of the crazy world that our race directors for the MO’Cowbell Run live in!  With that said, my final answer is VOLUNTEER!!  I give mad props to Kerin & Kelly!  Those two women do a HELL of a GREAT JOB!

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9.  Would you rather spend your money on running gadgets (HRM, GPS watch, headphones, etc.) or running shoes?

Shoes, Shoes, and…wait…I really do love those gadgets also!!  What’s a girl to do with a choice like this?  A new pair of shoes are pretty awesome but because of my weird feet (flat-footed with a large toe box), I’m limited on what shoes I can get.  So you know all those awesome bright-colored shoes in neon yellow and hot pink and cheetah print…yeah…well I can not wear those..which totally isn’t fair.  I usually have one or two colors to pick from since I use the same brand and style of shoe each year.  Not that I don’t love my Brooks Adrenaline GTS15’s but I have to get them in Wides…and that my friend is what limits me.  So with all that said, I’m going to say gadgets because I love me some awesome new headphones or that bright new fancy running watch (Thanks! Nike+)…and don’t even get me started on all those fun Bondi Bands and HippieRunner Bands!!

10.  Would you rather run in a relay or do the run portion of a distance triathlon?

I’d do either to be honest.  I’m not a distance snob and am open to trying new types/distances of races…except those obstacle races that involve barbed-wire and fire…those scare the bejeezes out of me!

So there you have it in a nutshell!  Now it’s your turn!  Answer any of all of the questions in the comments!!!