Tag Archives: IR4

**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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

WIAW: What I Ate Wednesday!!

Okay…Okay…I’m jumping on the band wagon we in the blogging world call WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday)!  Everyone does it different…some post everything they have eaten in one day…some post the highlights of their food for the week…some just post an awesome recipe.  No way is wrong…they are all right!  I mean…come one…you can’t go wrong with food!!  Food is AWESOME!  You can also come join the WIAW Party over at Peas & Crayons…It’s always a blast!!

Well…since I’m a total food lover but a horrible picture taker…I’m going to just share an amazing recipe that a co-worker of mine shared.  I made it on Monday at 6:30pm and by Tuesday at 6:30 pm, the whole pot of this amazing concoction had mysteriously disappeared…oh who are we kidding…between my husband and I, we polished off the whole dang thing by ourselves!  It was de-lish!!!

One of my co-workers shared this recipe with me that she found on Pinterest.  This recipe is posted on TidyMom…check out her blog…she has TONS of yummy recipes just waiting to tantalize your taste buds!  But back to the amazing recipe at hand…check out this yumminess…I highly recommend you make a double batch of this baby because you WILL like love devour it!

Easy Smoked Sausage and White Bean Soup recipe at TidyMom.net

(picture borrowed from TidyMom’s blog…don’t worry…I tied the blog post to the picture 🙂  I told you I’m horrible at picture taking…and plus…the soup was gone before I could remember to photograph the momentous occasion!

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Another yummy that I’ve been crushing on are these delightful little nutritional/energy bars called Balance bare bars.  These bars are made with whole nuts, fruits and seeds with a handful of other nutritional ingredients…all of which I could read and understand what they were (that’s always a plus in my book).

There are three flavors to pick from…Mixed Berry Nut, Sea Salt Caramel Nut and Sweet & Spicy Nut.  Each bar is 160 calories and are non-GMO, gluten free, soy free, vegetarian and certified kosher dairy. The Mixed Berry Nut and Sweet & Spicy Nut bars are also dairy free and vegan friendly.

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Since I can’t do the whole dairy thing, I was provided with the Mixed Berry Nut and the Sweet & Spicy Nut bars to sample and review.  They were both seriously tasty!  The Mixed Berry Nut reminded me of a Candied Apple for some reason…I love Candied Apples so I didn’t question it too much 🙂  The Sweet & Spicy Nut was my all time favorite!  The sweet flavor mixing with the chipotle chili seriously make my mouth ridiculously happy!

The bars are not extremely big but they were surprisingly filling.  I find they are quite amazing for fueling up before a run…a mid afternoon snack at my desk at work…I snack in bed as I hide under the covers from my kids (I’m not saying I’ve done that last one…I’m just saying…these bars would even be great for that).

Wanna check them out yourself?  Follow Balance Bar® for tips and nutritional information on Facebook® (www.facebook.com/BalanceBar), Twitter®(www.twitter.com/BalanceBar) and Pinterest (www.Pinterest.com/BalanceBar).

So there you have it!

What’s your favorite soup recipe?  Share the link in the comments…I’m always looking for the next great soup!!

Have you tried the new Balance bare bars?  How did you like them?  Which one is your favorite?

**Product was provided to me by Balance Bars for review purposes only. All thoughts and praises were my own.

It’s getting MO’ Crazy up in here!

…and I mean way MO’ crazy than normal!!  I’m about to get SUPER busy promoting AND training for a race that is very near and dear to my heart!!  I love this race for many reason such as:

**It’s FLAT…or mostly flat…I mean..there is that ONE hill 🙂

(This is a USATF Certified Course and can be used as a qualifier for other races such as Boston, New York, etc.)

**It’s CLOSE…like roll out of bed at 7:00 for a 7:30 race start 🙂

**It’s got that home town race feel complete with scenery that is AMAZING!!!

**It is a race with a sense of humor 

(the idea for the name came from a SNL skit featuring Will Ferrell)

and the number 1 reason I love this race….

**It was where I participated in my FIRST ever half-marathon last year (2013)

Yes!!  I’m talking about the MO’Cowbell

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This year I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the illustrious ambassadors(my code to use at registration is JWMCB14) for the MO’Cowbell here in St. Charles, Missouri!  I am beyond proud and so ready to spread the word about this awesome race that no one in this world should miss out on.

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This year, the MO Cowbell will take place on Sunday, October 5th, 2014 at 7:30 a.m (5K begins at 8:00 a.m).  

Be there or be square!!  

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The best part about this race date is that we have a race for all skill levels:  Marathon, Half Marathon, Half Marathon Relay and 5K!  And of course, walkers are always welcome.  Another plus is that the start and finish will both be in Frontier Park in Historic St. Charles (here are some directions to get there).  This makes it easy for everyone to meet back up with their loved ones after the race to celebrate your accomplishments 🙂

 

After the race, you will get to go enjoy yourself at the Post-Race Party of refreshments including chocolate milk, bananas, chips, beer and more!  There will also be food trucks for spectators and live music by the Rough Ryders from 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

In addition to the race, there will also be a Health and Fitness ExMO’ on Friday (10/3) and Saturday (10/4) where you can pick up your race packet (there is NO race day packet pickup) and also check out some awesome vendors! (Do you want to be a vendor?…go here)  You do not want to miss this!  There will be lots of merchandise to buy as well as lots of freebies and a wealth of information.  I bought a really cool “Suck It Up” BondiBand at last years ExMO’ for super cheap (see below in picture).  There are already a bunch of vendors signed up for this year…check it out here!

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So of my goodies from the 2013 MO’Cowbell – my 1st ever Half-marathon!

And my AMAZING race bling!!!

And my AMAZING race bling!!!

This race is seriously a hidden gem!  The price of the race is nothing compared to what you get back from the race!  However, prices do go up again on September 1st so make sure you get over there and sign up soon!!  When you register, don’t forget to use my special ambassador code for your chance to win your very own MO’Cowbell blanket!!!!  

My code is JWMCB14

Your registration includes:

  • Race bib with Chronotrack timing chip
  • Long-sleeve tech-shirt
  • Race-themed cowbell
  • Top quality finisher’s medal when crossing the finish line
  • Cowbell car sticker
  • Runner’s bag
  • Virtual goody bag
  • Baggage check
  • Course entertainment
  • Medical stations & massage therapy
  • Water, sports drink & gels along the course
  • Post-race food, beer & chocolate milk
  • Entertainment in Runners’ Village 
  • spirited neighborhood crowds and volunteers cheering with cowbells

Needless to say, I had the best time at this race and highly recommend it to anyone and everyone!  Check out my finish line pics….right before and right after the finish line!!  

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So seriously…put on those shoes…go sign up & train and then come join me this year as I take on the Half-Marathon! My plan this year is to kick this race’s butt and scoop up a PR!

 I will be there running for Riley and Down Syndrome Awareness!!! #IR4

 

2 PR’s (Personal Records) in 2 Weeks!!

I started the month of March with two Half-marathons on the books…one week after another…for some, this may be no big feat but for me (a.k.a. the girl who hid inside from the cold nasty Missouri weather all winter but also refused to run on the treadmill) this  was HUGE!!  Up until the beginning of March, I had only ran a handful of 5K’s on the old dreadmill in the basement.  All that training I had planned for my two March races went to the wayside.  I stressed about it for a bit (okay…a few weeks but that’s normal for me) and then finally decided to just take it as it came.  I decided that I had no goal in mind for either race except to just finish.  I have only ran one other Half-marathon (you can read about it here and here) and I got hurt so I wasn’t looking to push myself too much.  I really did not want to injure myself right before all the great weather arrives.

I ran my second ever Half-Marathon on March 15th and I rocked it!  I ran in the Irish Upon a Star Virtual Half-Marathon hosted by the IR4 community.  They are an amazing group by the way!  If you want to learn more about our great little family, check out this post about my IR4 buddy Riley!  She is an amazing little sweetheart!  See for yourself 🙂

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For this run, I decided to join my running pal Stephanie for part of her scheduled 18-miler that she was running that same day.  Win-Win for both of us!! It was nice to have someone to keep each other company…although we both had to finish our runs separately since I wasn’t going as far.  It was a great route that was mostly flat.  Our run went pretty easy and before I knew it, I was setting a PR! I smashed this run with a 2:32:01 and I was ecstatic!!!!  Check out Riley & I’s medals!!

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I also happened upon ONE of the 250 cakes that are part of the STL250 celebration!  If you aren’t sure what that is exactly….?  Well here is the dirt on it!  2014 is a big year for St. Louis!  It’s the 250th birthday!!  Read about these amazing birthday cakes here!

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Fast forward another week and I found myself getting ready for my long-awaited and much-anticipated Relay & Run for 21 Half-marathon!  I have been looking forward to this race since I signed up!   I could not wait to run in honor of my IR4 buddy Riley!  My only goal on this race was to make her proud 🙂

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This race was a little different from any that I’ve run because it as a point to point race that took us from Downtown Clayton to Westport Plaza!  Wanna see what that actually looks like on a map?!  It looks like a huge distance to go…LOL.

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It took us through some amazing neighborhoods and we able to enjoy the views and scenery as well as the rolling hills which we loved to hate 🙂  Although we have had a few nice days here and there lately, the day of the race was windy and cold to say the least.  Thankfully, we were able to hang out in a little coffee shop at the starting line to keep warm.  We were also able to snap this “before” picture of us getting ready to rock this race.

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I ran the Relay & Run for 21 with two amazing women (both named Stephanie…plus read one Stephanie’s account of our race on her blog here) who told me before we left for the race that this day was all about me getting a PR.  I knew that the course was hilly…very hilly!!  I was not thinking that a PR was anywhere in my future that day!  However, they pushed me to the very end and I thank them tremendously because….I crushed that race with a 2:25:24 (elapsed time).  I can tell you how that felt…I truly felt at times that I wanted to give up…that I couldn’t do it…the hills were killer…I thought of Riley many times during this challenging race and I know that her bright smile got me up many of those hills that I encountered.

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After running these last two races (#2 & #3 Half-Marathon), I’ve come to the conclusion that, like most, I’m addicted to the Half-Marathon!!  I can’t wait for the next one which will hopefully be during my birthday weekend!!!!  Of course, that means I need to start training for that….NOW!!!  Yikes!  It will be here before ya know it!

So you want to get Colorific!!! **Giveaway**

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What better way to start your day than to get up…throw on some white clothes…and hit the streets running in The Color Run!!  I’m sure most of you have heard of this HIGH ENERGY, COLOR-FILLED race but if you haven’t…allow me to tell you a little bit about it!

First off, let me say that I have run this race twice now and loved, loved, loved every minute of both!  The energy from all the participants is like no other!  The Color Run was founded in January of 2012 as a way to promote healthiness and happiness by bringing the community together to participate in the “Happiest 5k on the Planet”.   And let me tell you…they have nailed it right on the head!  Now the single largest event series in the United States, The Color Run has exploded since their debut event.  They have more than tripled their growth, hosting more than 170 events in 30+ countries in 2013. WOW!!!!

This year I’m super excited about the 2014 Kaleidoscope Tour!  It will be nothing short of awesome I’m sure!  With new t-shirts, new wristbands, new headbands and even a new sling bag for everyone that registers!!!!  You can’t beat that!!!  Check these awesome goodies!!

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The coolest 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!  The race is un-timed which means you can just take your sweet time getting doused from head to toe in different colors.  In fact, there is really only two rules to this race:

  1. Wear white at the starting line
  2. Finish plastered in color!

Following this 5K, the fun will continue with an unforgettable Finish Festival. This larger than life party is equipped with music, dancing and massive color throws, which create millions of vivid color combinations. Seriously…this will be the best post-5k party on the planet!

Here are a few of my favorite pics from the two races that I was lucky enough to participate in!  I always have to take the obligatory picture in the post-race color throws!!!  Love the swirl of color surrounding us!

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Want to check it out and see if it’s coming to your city?  Go here to find the closest run and go sign up!!!

Want to save a little cash??  I mean…who doesn’t!  Using promo code COLOR5OFF will give you $5 off a registration to ANY city.  **Please note:  Code must be entered at time of registration, cannot be retro-applied.  Also..please type the code in, do not copy/paste.  Not valid on sold-out races.  Not valid with other discounts or promotions.

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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 🙂

So now for the giveaway part!!!  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’ve also got a FREE entry for one lucky reader of mine!  Woot Woot!!!  Who doesn’t like a free race entry?!

So here is how you can win!!!

Remember to comment, comment, comment!  There more comments…the more entries you earn!

1)  Comment here telling me which race you would sign up for.

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

3)  Follow @TheColorRun on Twitter and then comment here letting me know you did (this will gain you another entry into the pot)

4) Follow me on Twitter @LiveLearnLoveRun and then comment here letting me know you did (this will gain you another entry into the pot)

5)  Follow my blog on Facebook 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 February 28th, 2014 at midnight CST

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

Half Training and I Run 4 Riley (IR4)

I’ve been slowly getting back to running after the holidays…and the wicked “sickness” that I caught from my kiddos or hubby or some giving person.  All I know is that it knocked me down for 4 days and it’s taken me at least two weeks to completely feel like myself.  I spent ALOT of time sleeping and laying in bed…I didn’t get to run…but I did crochet the heck out of some stuff.  Finished like three projects…including an awesome bag that I will probably keep for myself 😉

In regards to running, I have all kinds of fun stuff to tell you…let’s start off with my nifty new watch for the nerd inside me.  I got the newest Nike+ Sportwatch in this awesome neon yellow color! I LOVE it!!!!!  Check it out!

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I love all the extra options that my old watch didn’t have such as GPS (powered by TomTom) and also the fact that it shows way more stats which is great!

My second bit of news is that I’ve recently started training…okay…I was actually supposed to start training on the 30th of December.  Because of said sickness mentioned above…it’s safe to say that it didn’t happen.  So two weeks late, I’m training and loving it.  Well, I’m not necessarily loving the aching hips and the exhaustion that comes with training but I’m loving the running.  Why am I training?  What am I training for?

I’m proud to say that I’ve signed up for the Relay and Run for 21 on March 23!  I’m super excited because this will be my first Half-Marathon that I’m running for my IR4 buddy Riley!  This race means something special to me because the race partially benefits the Down Syndrome Association of St. Louis and my Riley was blessed with Down Syndrome.

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I can’t wait to share this whole experience with her…I just know that I will get to see lots of these smiles along the way…I thank her for her always being an inspiration to me!!  YOU ROCK RILEY!!

My third bit of news is that I completed the I Run 4 my Buddy! Virtual Race and will be taking our medals to the engraver to add the finishing touches this week!  I am super excited to send her medal to her!  She is going to absolutely love it!!

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Stay tuned for an upcoming giveaway for The Color Run!!!!  Woot Woot!!!

 

Do you use a watch of some sort to track your runs? Which one?

What is YOUR inspiration to run (or your fitness of choice)?

 

 

(F-F-F-Frozen) Hot Chocolate Race

Wow!!!  Yesterday was frigid to say the least!!  All I really wanted to do when my alarm went off at 5:00 am was hit the dang thing off, roll over and curl up snug as a bug next to my hubby for some much-needed snuggle time…but instead I got up, dressed in three layers and headed downtown to run in the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K!

This is what I woke up to Saturday morning...Yikes!!!

This is what I woke up to Saturday morning…Yikes!!!

First let me tell you a little bit about the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K!  It has been coined as America’s Sweetest Race, was established in 2008 in Chicago, Illinois and has had over 200,000 participants since then!  Each race features a 15K (9.3 miles) and a 5K (3.1 miles) distance to choose from and all participants receive an amazing goodie bag that you pick up at the Expo along with your bib number!  This year I received an awesome bag and an even awesome-er (that’s a word right?!) jacket!!  Check this thing out!!  It’s awesome and proved very useful the day of the race!!

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Here are all my goodies from the Expo along with my at the Expo!  Loved the race swag 🙂

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After the race, there is usually a huge Post Race Party where runners can enjoy music, a family friendly kid-zone complete with bounce houses/games (they had to cancel the kid-zone due to the temperatures but they did have them at the Expo and my son had a blast) and an awesome Finisher’s Mug filled with hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and tasty treats to dip!!

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The Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) is the official charity partner for the Hot Chocolate 15/5k race. This program provides a “home-away-from-home” for families and children facing a serious medical crisis so they can stay close by their hospital at little or no cost.  Check out their page for my information on this great program!!

Now back to the actual race….due to the extreme weather (snow, ice, frigid temps) that came through our area on Friday & Saturday…many people were deciding to not go at all due to the extreme cold (it was about 15F at race start) and I easily could have done the same but there was just one problem…you see…I had won this entry from Ashley over at Downsizing Ashley so there was no way I was going to throw away an entry that someone else would have loved to have won!  I was excited to win at the time and I was going to follow through cold or not 🙂  Here is me before the race with my AmAzInG IR4 Riley signage.

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I did, however, switch from the 15K down to the 5K.  I did this for a few reasons, namely that I have just not been running as much lately due to some issues with my one leg (which is better now) and also some deaths in the family.  I just did not feel like I was prepared at all to run the 15K and really did not want to hurt myself.  I’m getting ready to start training for a Half-Marathon in March and really didn’t want to start out injured.  I battled myself with switching for a few days…even right up until the turn off for the 5K’ers to take as the 15K’ers went another route…Why?!  I really kept feeling like a fraud because here I was veering to the right with my 15K Bib showing for all the world to see…I was a little disappointed but  for just a second and then I pulled forward and finished that 5K STRONG!!!  I just have to remember that it’s always better to listen to your body and finish something strong rather than pushing your body too far and not finishing at all.

I also KILLED that Finisher’s Mug of Chocolate-y goodness!!!

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