Tag Archives: healthyliving

**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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AMRAP Nutrition Bar Giveaway!!!

This post is sponsored by Fit Approach on behalf of AMRAPBar. All opinions are my own.

Hello!!  Amazing review to commence in 3…..2….1…..

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I was sent these amazing bars from AMRAP which stands for As Many Rounds As Possible!  First let’s get the details out of the way and then I will fill you in on my opinion!

First off…let’s check out their mission statement!  Just reading it makes me want to go out and FOR SURE take on the world and make positive changes along the way!

As Many Rounds As Possible (AMRAP) defines our philosophy. Through determination, intensity, and focus, we aim to inspire and empower our community to reach their full health and fitness potential. Join us and together we will change the world. 

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Ingredients are always an important factor for me when it comes to nutritional bars.  We all know that there are some out that are wolves in sheep clothing just gearing up to fill our bodies with ingredients that are anything but nutritional.  Not this company!!!

AMRAP creates food that is 100% Paleo, gluten-free, GMO-free, dairy-free, and unprocessed. Raw whole foods, like almond chunks, are a top priority in our bars because we know from experience it is clean fuel that feeds our bodies’ daily activity the best. Their bars have an optimal research-based combination of good proteins and carbs for well-rounded athletes. They are recommended for a meal supplement or replacement, and especially a pre or post-workout snack.

I received three different flavors from AMRAPCashew & VanillaFig & CacaoAlmond Honey.

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Let’s just say that I was stoked about ALL the flavors because they all sounded AMAZING!!  I tried the Cashew & Vanilla first.  After one of my training runs, I ate it to refuel and it totally hit the spot!  Filled me up without making my stomach feel super full and heavy!  And the taste?!  Can you say DELIGHTFUL!!  It wasn’t too sweet and had a little bit of a salty taste from the cashews.  I even let my kiddos try a tiny bite of it and they loved it also.Cashew Vanilla

Next up, I gobbled up the Fig & Cacao prior to my workout one day.  I had weights and core that day and used this to prep me for the energy I was about to burn!   The flavor of this one was just as amazing.  It was a bit rich so I ate half before my workout and the other half after.Fig Cacao

I’ve not tried the Almond Honey flavor yet but I’m sure it’s just as amazing!  But hey…don’t take my word for it…go check it out yourself!  You can find tons of information on their site at:  www.amrapusa.com

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AMRAP is also making it possible for THREE (YES…I said THREE!!  WOOT WOOT) of my readers to win an 8-pack of AMRAP bars in a flavor of your choice.  Go to this Rafflecopter link for your chance to win!!!  —-> a Rafflecopter giveaway

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And the winners are…….

Theresa Varga Kavouras

Nicole Millheim

Linda Ruamthong

Congrats to all and thanks to all that entered!!!  Winners have been contacted by email 🙂

Healthy Twist on Halloween + Giveaway!

Oh Halloween treats…oh how you tempt me with your yummy goodness and your sticky sweetness!!  Why?!  Why do you do it??!!

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Does the thought of this holiday make you feel the same way?  Halloween has been and probably always will be, a huge battle I fight against each year.  I LOVE CANDY AND SWEETS!!….and I’m not afraid to admit it! 🙂

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I’m also not afraid to admit that I rummage through the kiddos candy piles after they fall asleep on Halloween night…Hey…don’t judge 🙂

However, this fun holiday doesn’t always have to be unhealthy.  There are so many options out there for making healthier choices on the Halloween treats that you make.

Yummy goodness + healthy choices = A happy girl!

A few months ago, I did a review for Kretschmer Wheat Germ!  This little nutrient-rich powerhouse has truly become a staple in my household and I use it almost daily in my smoothies as well as a breading for chicken, fish, etc.  I love this product!!!!!

So without further ado, I’m very excited to share these new recipes with you that will make some yummy Halloween treats that won’t make you feel completely guilty 🙂  **Recipes courtesy of Kretschmer Wheat Germ

Caramel Apples with Wheat Germ

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  • Use the handy caramel apple kit found in the produce department, near the (you guessed it) apples. It is microwavable and heats up to just the right consistency (apple sticks are included).
  • Then mix about 1/4 cup wheat germ (Kretschmer Original or Honey Crunch) with about 1/2 cup finely crumbled chocolate-toffee pieces for six apples.
  • As soon as you’ve swirled the apples coat them immediately with the wheat germ-chocolate toffee bar mixture. Let the apples cool for about an hour.
  • While still a definite indulgence, these sprinkled caramel apples taste incredible and the crumbly topping provides a welcome layer of goodness.

Dark Chocolate Truffles with Wheat Germ 

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  • 8 ounces good quality bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons Kretschmer Original Toasted Wheat Germ (or Kretschmer Honey Crunch Wheat Germ)
  • Line baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
  • Place chopped chocolate in medium bowl.
  • Heat cream to gentle boil in small heavy-duty saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate. Stir until mixture is smooth and chocolate is melted. Refrigerate 25 to 30 minutes or until mixture is thick enough to form into balls.
  • Using very small ice cream scoop or melon baller, drop rounds of chocolate onto cookie sheet. Shape or roll into balls; coat with wheat germ. (Note: If chocolate becomes too soft to shape, return it to refrigerator until it is cold enough to manage.)
  • Store in airtight container in refrigerator. Remove at least 15 minutes before serving to bring to room temperature.

Do those sound amazing or what?!  I see some yummy cooking AND eating in my near future!

Kretschmer would like one of you lucky readers to receive a full size jar of Kretschmer Wheat Germ.  Enter the giveaway by leaving a comment telling me which recipe you would make with your prize.  Listed below are other optional additional entries.  *****Please leave a separate comment for any optional entry.

This giveaway will be open until Friday, October 25th, 2013 at 10:00 pm (CST).  The giveaway winner will be selected at random and announced on Saturday, October 26th.  You will have 48 hours to contact me or another winner will be selected. Open to US residents only.

Dreams and Promises….Part 2

….So…..I survived!  I didn’t finish like I wanted to finish but I finished nevertheless!!!
AND THAT IS WHAT MATTERS!!!
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I started out this race feeling great!!  I had decided to stick with a friend of mine who was participating in the Half-Marathon Relay.  There was her first timed race, as well as the longest run she has done so far.  Needless to say, she was a little nervous.
We started off and the miles just seemed to slip away and before you know it, we were at mile 5.  At this point, I pulled a little ahead and met up with our other friend who was taking the second half of the relay.  I had planned on sticking with her during her part also.  Little did I know….my body had other plans for me.
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I was still feeling pretty good and until about mile 8 and then I felt it….my knee started to hurt a little and was doing this popping thing.  I stopped and tried stretching out and kept doing that for at least a mile before my knee just went completely.  At this point, I could not run at all.  I could not even bend it without it feeling severe pain.  I continued on though because I was bound and determined to finish this race.  And by continue on…I mean…I walked two miles up a hill (the ONLY hill pretty much on this race) with one leg that would not bend at all.  The weather also decided to turn chilly and the wind came out in full force and then the sun said good-bye to us and hid behind a sky full of clouds.  I’m sure I made a silly sight to watch with my gimpy walk and shivering body 🙂
At mile 12, my knee had rested enough that I could do a slow hobble run which I was able to keep up until I crossed that beautiful finish line.  I was greeted by my two pals who had done the relay and there were congratulations and hugs to go around.  I grabbed my awesome medal (see below), a bottled water and I headed straight for the medical tent where I had an amazing angel of a girl stretch my hips out and my legs.  She also handed me the equivalent of gold to a runner…a baggie of ice!!!  JACKPOT!!
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After getting special love and care at the medical tent, I made my way over to the sea of goodies to eat and stocked up on some cinnamon bread, a banana and some amazing Lays plain potato chips (are they not the BEST after a run?!).  We milled around for just a short time and then it was just so chilly and windy that we decided to head home.  I also passed a guy who seemed to be suffering the same fate as I…okay…maybe a little worse since he was curled up in fetal position on the sidewalk.  Since I was heading home, I passed on my bag of gold (a.k.a. bag of ice) to this poor chap who was GREATLY appreciative!  I was glad to help 🙂
Here I am in all my glory!!  I’m super proud of myself for following through with the training and finishing this race!  I can now proudly say that I’m part of the half-marathon club.
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Of course, I can also safely say that I have also caught the bug…I’m already itching to sign up for the next one (which will be the Go! St. Louis Half-Marathon in April 2014)!
For now though, I’m staying off the knee as much as possible and have become best friend with my ice packs.
Here is my final time….like I said…I was hoping for better but I will take what I got!
Proud either way!
Finished:  3:18:37

Special Spaces: A charity that touches your heart!

It’s August already?! Say what?!

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I cannot believe how fast the months are flying by! I’m not ready for school to start…I’m not ready for summer to end….I’m just ready for time to slow down a little…ya know?  However, it is Friday and that makes me happy….as does this picture…Enjoy!

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First off, let me start off by saying that yesterday was me and the hubby’s 4TH Wedding Anniversary! We have some bad times and just as many good times! I love him more today than yesterday and can’t wait to spend many more years driving him crazy adoring him…oh who am I kidding…driving him crazy with a little adoration thrown in 🙂  We spent our evening hanging out over dinner at Lewis & Clark’s in St. Charles, MO.  Man, I love that place!  Sooo yummy! They did not disappoint this time either…I had the Mahi Mahi, baked potato (w/salsa) and a dinner salad (sorry…no pictures )…okay!…I also had a very fudge-y, chocolate-y, heavenly brownie that I got to bring home and scarf down later.  It didn’t last long after I arrived home 😉

My amazing hubby and I - August 1, 2009

My amazing hubby and I – August 1, 2009

Now on to the major reason for this blog today. I want to tell you guys about something amazing!!!

Last Saturday, I did something that I’ve never done before! I went to…and ran in…a race…ALL BY MYSELF!!!  For me, that is huge! I’m a very shy (dare I say…anxiety-filled) person who constantly worries what others are thinking about me. (Constant thoughts running through my head… “Are they looking at me?” “Oh crap…is there something on me?” “Why are they staring at me?…oh…never mind…they are looking for the bathrooms” “They are probably wondering why I’m alone!” “Oh no…they are talking about me…they must think I’m weird”) It is truly a stressful way to be but it’s who I am and I can only try to push past my insecurities.

Any way…the thought of going by myself and not knowing anyone there was a bit freighting and stressful to say the least.

BUT…..

I DID IT!!!! And I’m extremely glad that I did!!

And I’m glad for a few reasons. One…because conquering one’s fears is one of the best feelings there is. And Two…because if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have gotten to be a part of something amazing!

I ran in the 1st Annual Running for Rooms 5K that benefits Special Spaces. Special Spaces is a non-profit organization that has one simple mission and that is to “create dream bedrooms for children with life-threatening illnesses. A place that only the child can dream or imagine while addressing their medical needs”.

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Special Spaces was founded in July 2004 and as of today has created over 90 dream bedrooms. The St. Louis chapter was started in 2011 and they have been able to complete 10 rooms (check one of them out here) and they currently have 9 children on their waiting list.  One room usually costs around $2,500 to complete so any help that they receive is greatly appreciated!  Every little bit helps!!!  Do you wanna help?

There are many ways that you can help out:
Volunteer: Special Spaces is always looking for volunteers to help with room renovations & fundraising in the St. Louis and surrounding communities.
Donate: Your generosity allows them to create beautiful dream bedrooms for children with life-threatening illnesses at no cost to the families.
Sponsorship: They welcome individual, group, and corporate sponsorships to provide finances, materials and services to renovate these special bedrooms.
Smile: Every Special Spaces Project has the same reaction, lots of great SMILES from our children, their families and our volunteers.

I encourage everyone to just go to their website and see what they are all about! I know for sure that my family and I will be volunteering our time very soon! I definitely want to get involved in the race planning for next year!  And I would love to be a part of one (or more) of their room builds….Seeing the smiles on these kiddos faces would be the coolest thing ever!

The race this year and most likely in the future was held at Quail Ridge Park in Wentzville, MO. The weather was amazing for once and there was a slight breeze…you can’t beat that!! With 114 participants overall between the 5K and the 1-mile walk, this race ended up with a great group of people. The support and camaraderie that was in the air was refreshing and a feeling like no other!

Me & Lacy Gambill (race director & co-director at Special Spaces.

Me & Lacy Gambill (race director & co-director at Special Spaces.

The course was a bit more hilly than I’m used to training on but the views were beautiful and the course was great! And something else that was cool….finishing the 5K in 28:04!!! That was way better than I was thinking my time would be and was very happy with how I felt during and after!

Question(s) of the day:

Do you have a charity that you believe in? What is it?

How do you feel about racing alone? Yay or Nay?

What is one thing you are doing this weekend?

The Color Run Winner!!!!

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Sorry for the delay in posting the winner!  My lovely assistant (a.k.a. my daughter) was off having a sleepover and ended up staying longer than planned!

Look how cute she is!!!  And yes...that is a very large and empty animal cracker container..YUMMY!)

Look how cute she is!!! And yes…that is a very large and empty animal cracker container..YUMMY!)

So without further ado…..the lucky winner of The Color Run – St. Louis free entry fee is……

I want to say thanks again for everyone that entered and also a huge thanks to The Color Run for providing the free entrie.  Also…please remember that you can still use the discount code (see below) for any city that is not sold out!  So go…go now and sign up for some COLORIFIC Fun!!!!
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Foodie Pen Pal: July Reveal!!

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It’s Foodie Pen Pals June Reveal Day over at The Lean Green Bean!!

But before I get to my reveal…let’s do a little recap on what Foodie Pen Pal is.

First….it’s always a super FUN time!!!!! Second….here are the details! You receive a pen pal match on the 5th of each month, then you email your match to see what they love/hate (yours will do the same) and then mail out a box filled to the brim with foodie treats to your pen pal. You just have to do it by the 15th! On the last day of the month, everyone reveals what goodies they received. You get a different match each month so you are always getting an opportunity to meet new people, find new blogs and try foods that you may just not have available in your area.

So this month, I received my package from Erin!  I truly do not know how I get so lucky every month, but I always seem to get a box full of stuff I like…EVERY MONTH!!!  Have not been disappointed yet!  This month, this is what my Foodie Pen Pal box looked like….

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Included was:

Saffron Road Crunchy Chickpeas – I love chickpeas!!  I make these for myself a lot but these were a lot easier and not so messy.  The flavor of these were seriously tasty and I found myself eating these by the handful.  I also threw some on a few of my salads lately also!

Hatch Green Chili Almonds – OMG!!!  So…almonds are probably one of my favorite nuts and have never tried this brand or flavor before!  Let’s just say….that they are all gone!!!  They just disappeared one evening while I was watching a movie with the hubby. 🙂

Whole Foods Veggie Chips – Veggie chips are just one of those things that just make me happy!  The have the crunch that I crave from chips but are healthy unlike most of the chips out there on the market.  I have never tried the ones from Whole Foods but will for sure be picking some of those up next time I go.  The okra and the shiitake mushrooms were my favorite!

Homemade Marshmallows – She made toasted coconut and also vanilla!  They were both amazing but I would have to say that the toasted coconut was my favorite!  They only lasted two days before I scarfed them down 🙂  Must get recipe!!!!!!  My kiddos would love these so I see myself whipping up a batch of these in the near future!

So that’s it!  Another Foodie Pen Pal score!!  I truly love this program and recommend that you all just go check it out!  I bet you sign up!!!

Weekend Recap: STL Rams, Training, & a Bridal Shower

Another weekend come and gone!  Man, this summer is flying by!  My kiddos even start school in about three weeks (my last one is starting kindergarten…sniff sniff…they are growing up toooo fast).

My first week of Half-Marathon training went off great and without a hitch.  My goal for the week consisted of the following:

Monday – 2 miles (ended up doing 2.23 miles)
TuesdayCross-Train I ended up running a bazillion errands and didn’t get to work out 😦
Wednesday – 2 miles (ended up doing 2.17 miles)
Thursday – 3 miles
FridayCross-Train (again with the dropping the ball on the cross-training)
Saturday3 miles (moved my long run to Sunday because of my last-minute plans to hang out with the St. Louis Rams 🙂  See story below)
SundayRest Day 4.05 miles
Total Miles = 10 miles 11.47 total!!!!!

On Saturday, in lieu of my long run, I went instead to the inaugural St. Louis Rams Ladies Football Camp.  I was lucky enough to be asked to go by my fellow friend/blogger Lindsay of ItzLinz.  Definitely go and check out her post of our fun-filled day!!

We were able to tour Rams Park where the Rams practice, got to check out their locker room plus their weight room (WOW!!! Jealous of them!!).

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Representing #SweatPink in the St. Louis Rams weight room!

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I was totally drooling over these treadmills in their weight room! They were amazing!!

After the opening ceremonies, we spent some time warming-up and stretching on their outside practice field and meeting their adorable mascot Rampage!  Look how cute we are together!

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After the warm-up, we all headed indoors, broke up into groups and got a chance to see just what being a professional football entails.  Once inside, we participated in sessions led by some of the amazing players,  Title Boxing Club and Elite Football Academy.  There was some running, some jumping, some fancy footwork and some football throwing/catching!  It was a blast!  I will say though that I was mighty sore the next day and I completely blame Title Boxing Club for that with the workout we were tortured with given.  I just might have to go check them out because if I hurt this bad, then it must be good for me 😉

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Me and St. Louis Rams Safety Matt Daniels

Afterwards, we enjoyed lunch that was provided by Subway, which I gladly scarfed down!  I was starving after all that!  We also all left there with an awesome St. Louis Rams’ shirt, hat and a bag full of goodies and info!  I must say that I had the best time!!  I also must thank Lindsay again for inviting me to this event.  I had a BLAST!!!

Afterwards, I went straight home, showered the sweat away and then laid on my bed for a good hour and a half.  I had to rest up, because my sister-in-law’s bridal shower was that evening.  Went, had great food, played silly games (even won one of them…Jackpot!) and got to visit with some of my hubby’s awesome family and their friends.  The bride-to-be was as beautiful as ever and full of smiles!

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My sister-in-law and I at her bridal shower! Congrats!!

Sunday was spent running my long run!

Photo-Op before my long run :)

Photo-Op before my long run 🙂

Stretching!!  Can't forget that!!

Stretching!! Can’t forget that!!

The plan was to get in 4 miles which I did and felt great the whole time.  My legs did feel super tired afterwards to I headed over to Fleet Feet – St. Charles as soon as they opened and picked me up my very first pair of compression sleeves!  They are hot pink and awesome!  Put them on as soon as I got home and loved how they made my legs feel!  Will definitely be purchasing some more of these along with some compression socks!  I also had a Personal Rewards certificate (you earn 1 point for every dollar spent)  so I got $15.00 off my total bill which is super awesome!!!

Also don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a free entry in The Color Run – St. Louis.  Go here to find out details and to enter!!!!  There is also a coupon code for $5.00 off that is good for any of the locations for The Color Run

Question(s) of the day:

What football team do you root for?

What is your favorite game to play at a bridal shower?

What is your take on compression sleeves/socks?  Love or hate them?

Holy Heat & The Color Run *Giveaway*!!

Holy heat!!!!

This is how humid it felt this morning!

This is how humid it felt this morning!

It has been super hot and humid here in the Midwest which is the usual for this time of year!  It’s making it very difficult to get out and run….so much that I’ve moved my runs to the morning before work to avoid some of the blazing heat from the sun.  This has been a bit difficult for me because I usually can’t seem to get up out of bed before 6:45.  I’ve started setting my alarm for 4:45 and then finally roll out of bed at 5:15….let’s just say that getting up early is a work in progress 😉  This morning, I got up and got my 3 miles in and was super glad that I won’t have to try to accomplish that later today when its 125 degrees out (okay…I’m exhaggerating…it’s been in the low 100’s…high 90’s but it’s felt like 125 degrees).  It’s that dang humidity!

So now on to The Color Run, also known as the Happiest 5k on the planet.  This race is really a crazy and unique paint race that celebrates healthiness, happiness, individuality, and giving back to the community.  The best part is that there are only two rules!!! 1)  Wear white at the starting line and 2) finish plastered in color! 

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The great thing about this race is that it really isn’t about how fast you can run or if you can beat that PR from last month.  It is more about having a blast with your friends and all the other colorific peeps out there!  The race is un-timed which means you can just take your sweet time getting doused from head to toe in different colors.  At the end, once you are anything but white, you can continue your fun at the finish line during the “Color Festival”.  Here you will find yourself being covered in more colored powder and dancing and just having an all-around blast!

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Check out these pics of me and my pals from our very first time participating in The Color Run!  We had an absolute blast!!  Check out those smiles!!!

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Want to check it out and see if it’s coming to your city?  Go here to find your closest run and go sign up!!!  You can even get $5.00 off with the code COLOR5OFF .  And if you sign up with a Team of 4 or more, the price is lowered another $5.00!!!

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**Please note:  Promo code is valid in ANY city that is not sold out. However, almost all of their races sell out, so you need to sign up now.

Still not sure what this race is about?  Want to see?  Check out this video for a glimpse into the best time of your life 🙂

I was approached by The Color Run to do a review and shout out for them in exchange for a complimentary entry for their race.  I’m already signed up for the Fall race (this will be my second Color Run and I’m super excited to participate again) so that means that one of my lucky readers will get a chance to win this free entry for the St. Louis, MO race on September 15, 2013.  for themselves!!  Woot Woot!!!  Who doesn’t like a free race entry?!

So here is how you can win!!!

1)  Comment here telling me why you would like to win this free entry.

2)  Tweet the following ( I want to get colorific at @TheColorRun!!!  Giveaway on @LiveLearnLoveRun blog: http://wp.me/p3mIIz-8h @livelearnloveru #stl ) and then comment here letting me know you did (this will gain you another entry into the pot)

All names will be put into a pot (or whatever I have handy) and I will let my kiddos pick the name out (they just love being little helpers!).

Contest ends July 27 at midnight CST

**PLEASE NOTE!!!!!  The free entry is for the St. Louis, MO date only but please use the discount code for any race that is not sold out 🙂

Disclaimer: I received this complimentary ticket from the kind folks at The Color Run.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.