Tag Archives: run

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

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

logo200-1

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

Advertisements

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…..

AMRAP Nutrition Logo-Grey

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. 

AMRAP Handstand

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.

AMRAP Nutrition Icon

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

Almond Honey

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

—————————-

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 🙂

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 🙂

1453077_10201674558284433_77663190_o (2)

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!!

PhotoGrid_1396233827768

 

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!

PhotoGrid_1396233848233 (1)

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 🙂

IMAG1805

 

 

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.

IMG_20140322_073116

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.

IMG_20140323_010438

 

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.

IMG_20140323_010846IMAG1806

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**

unnamed (1)

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!!

unnamed (2)

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!

color run120130915_10385620130915_104253-1

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.

unnamed (1)

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.

I Run 4….Riley! Who will you run for ?!

I have been blessed with the opportunity to be a part of something big…something amazing…something inspirational…something I want and need to tell you all about!!  Recently I came across a website dedicated to matching runners up with Special Needs children who then in turn run for that child.  It is called I Run 4 (IR4)This group “allows runners to find a whole new sense of purpose in their running while sharing who they are running for and bringing awareness to diseases and disabilities of all types“.  I was amazed at the stories I saw and knew in my heart that I wanted to be a part of this also!  I signed up and after about 6-7 weeks, I was matched with the most amazing little girl named Riley.  She is an inspiration to me like no other!  Meet Riley….

971413_466293253468064_1648404694_n

1403006_10201586329278763_825936242_o

I asked Riley’s mom if she would want to guest post here on my blog also to tell her side of it all and she was more than happy to put something together to share with you.  Here is her story…

For those of you who follow this blog, you know that Jennifer is a runner, something I am definitely not..LOL. Quite frankly I’ve always thought that people who run for fun were just plain crazy. Until my recent commitment to Herbalife and Fit Camps, you’d only find me running if something was after me. HAHA! That being said. I couldn’t be more thankful and blessed by those crazy people who run for fun… and here’s why!

I was introduced to a group called I Run 4 Michael by a friend of mine who had recently signed up as a runner. She encouraged me to sign my daughter Riley up for the program, hoping they would be matched. So I went to the website (http://whoirun4.com) and signed her up. . Some of you may not be familiar with IR4, so here’s a little background… A man named Tim, who loves to run became friends with Michael, who has Down Syndrome as well as bilateral hip dysplasia. Michael was unable to run and told Tim “You can run for me anytime”. This planted a seed that started this wonderful organization. Runners are matched with children with special needs, and they run for them.

Not long after signing up, we were notified of our match…Jennifer.  We have connected through Facebook and Riley gets so excited to see new messages and photos from Jennifer.  We also send messages and pics from Riley to help keep Jennifer inspired to run the extra mile. The I Run 4 group on Facebook is big, it is so awesome to see all of the people running in honor of those who can’t.

I have shared our IR4 story with many of my friends who have in turn signed up their children. This year at our annual Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome Awareness, Riley carried a sign that said “I walk for Jennifer because she runs for me” and had the Buddy Walk and IR4 logos on it. It was really special, Riley was so proud of her sign!

Riley is 8 years old and has Down Syndrome, she is smart, funny, and super sassy, and she loves making new friends. I think that is the best part of the I Run 4 organization, the friendships! If you are a runner, I’d like to encourage you to join this wonderful group. You never know the impact you could have on a child. It makes my Riley so happy to know that Jennifer is thinking of her and running for her. I would like to take this opportunity to tell Jennifer “Thank You” for allowing me to guest blog on her site, and for running for Riley. You honor and inspire her, and that means the world to me! We are so excited to get to know you better!  Keep running! ~Alena

Soooooo…how awesome is all that?!  I just love the feeling I get from being a part of this special family and being a part of something so huge and inspirational!  I encourage all of you to go to the I Run 4 website and just check it out.  Maybe you will be inclined to sign up and share your love of running with someone who may not be able to experience it the same way you can…and maybe you wont…but I do promise that you will at least be touched by these stories and these families.

I also encourage all of you that read this to pass it on to your friends.  The waiting list of runners who are eager to be matched with a special needs child has grown large…over 1000 and growing!  If you know a child who would love to become an inspiration to one of our runners…please go and sign them up!  You won’t regret it….I promise that!

I leave you with this amazing video that was put together recently to help spread the word about I Run 4 and to show others what we are all about 🙂

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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!!!
960005_10201529891880637_857861279_n
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.
a4aa5a70cc2068db_injury
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!!
1186113_10201537945281967_2126678187_n
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.
1383914_10201535042129390_799960745_n
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?!

images

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!

531775_10151820441190844_141766595_n

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”.

IMG_20130730_073049

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?