Tag Archives: trainhard

**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 🙂

Rams Football….Lady Rams That Is!

**Disclosure: The St. Louis Rams invited me to preview the Lady Rams and provided me with a complimentary membership. All opinions are my own.**

Football doesn’t just have to be for the boys!  Women everywhere enjoy football as much as the man standing next to them and this year you can get your cake and eat it too!!!  Well…maybe not necessarily real cake!  But…maybe just maybe…something even better than cake! (Could it be so….?)

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Right now, you can join the Lady Rams, and with your annual membership to this rockin’ girls club, you get to experience the St. Louis Rams a little more up close and personal!

Check out all the perks of your annual membership:

Lady Rams Kickoff Event June 12, 2014 – Launch party (to be held at Ballpark Village and includes complimentary food and beverage) featuring the opportunity to meet Rams personnel and mingle with other Lady Rams members…yes please!

Girls Night Out September – Catch the latest fall fashion paired with your favorite Rams pieces at our Lady Rams Fashion Show, featuring food, drinks and guest appearance throughout the night…yes please!!

Ladies Night at Rams Training Camp  July – Get the first look at the 2014 St. Louis Rams at this up-close, private event…Yes Please!!!!!!! The Rams Training Camp might be one of the coolest places ever!!!  

You will also get a Ram’s women’s t-shirt, a monthly newsletter, and monthly drawings for awesome prizes (think autographed items, tickets, etc.).

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ALL for $35.00 

(Say What?!  Seriously…everyone go..sign up for that amazing deal!!)

(**PLUS!!!!...a portion of the proceeds go to local St. Louis charities…win-win!)

Still want more information?  Well you can get it here!!

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I for one, am signed up and ready to party Lady Rams style!  I am excited to be a part of what I know is going to be a blast!!!  I had a ton of fun at the Ladies Rams Training Camp last year where I got to workout on the field, run drills inside on their training fields and mingle over lunch with the others!

Remember this cute guy that I met last year?!

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It was a blast…you can read all about it here.

So…head on over here…read all about it…and proceed directly to the sign up area!!!

You don’t want to miss out on this!!!

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Other ways to connect with the St. Louis Rams…

Instagram: @StLouisRams
Twitter: @StLouisRams
Facebook: www.facebook.com/rams

Official Hashtag: #LadyRams

**Disclosure: The St. Louis Rams invited me to preview the Lady Rams and provided me with a complimentary membership. All opinions are my own.**

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!

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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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