Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring is in the Air

I can't believe how quickly this year is going by. Today is officially the first day of Spring! This Spring I am going to focus on two of my favorite things: Running and Yoga.

I have been practicing yoga for a few years now, but I haven't really made it apart of my life here in Colorado. This week I finally picked a class and went. I am so happy to finally get out my yoga mat and head back to yoga class.

It is finally starting to be warm enough outside to grab my running shoes and go for a run. I love everything about running outside. It was the first time that I was able to go outside for run. I had the best workout, in 1 hour I was able to do 30 minutes of weightlifting, run 3 miles at a less then 10 min per mile pace, and I burned over 600 calories.

In celebration of Spring, I have teamed up with a few other bloggers to bring you a chance to win a $50 gift card to one my my favorite running and yoga apparel stores, Lululemon.  You can find almost anything that you need to be comfortable while getting your workout on. 

What are your favorite Spring fitness activities? 
What is your favorite fitness brand?

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 17, 2014

Working Out Alone

I have a confession: I am the WORST at woking out alone. I have always been and will most likely struggle with it for along time. When I googled "benefits of working out alone" nothing came up. There were a ton of articles of benefits of working out with a friend, but nothing about working out alone.  This unfortunately is my reality right now. Because of my strange work hours and lack of friends, I have to workout alone. So in order to stay positive I came up with reasons why it is better to workout alone! 

Benefits of working out alone:
  • You can work out when it is connivence for you - Sometimes it is tough to put together a time and place that works for you and your friend. Which can limit the amount of time you get in at the gym. If you work out alone, you can go whenever you have free time! Just put on your shoes and get out there. 
  • You can go at your own pace - Sometimes your friend might be holding you back by having a bad day and you might be holding your friend back if you are just not feeling it. So why not just do it alone? You can give it your all with out feeling bad for the person working out next to you. 
  • You can do the workout that you want - Maybe you don't want to workout your shoulders problem. You can change it up last minute and swap out your shoulder day for that leg day that you've been wanting. You don't want to do Zumba today? No problem. Go for a run. 
  • You can focus on your workout - Let's face it, sometimes you don't want to hear about your best friends dogs health issues. When you take away the distraction you can really focus on when is important. Your Goals!

I will always choose a workout partner if one is available. But right now I just have to stay positive and do it alone. Who knows, maybe I will meet my new fitness bestie at the gym. 

Do you workout alone or with a friend?
Do you have any benefits of working out alone?

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Investing is something that I know I should be doing, but have not been the best at. I was fortunate enough to start investing early with a 401K that was from my first real job. But, my knowledge of investments has been little to none. It is hard to know where to put your money and if you should be investing at all. Financial advisors can be expensive and sometimes not really worth it, depending on how much money you have to invest. The stock market can be a scary place with a lot of terms to know and learn.  But, I would love to learn how to make money with my money! 

I have recently found a blog that focus on tips for investing. It is called Invest Live Me and is packed with investment articles. It's a newer blog, but it is filled with useful information that is easy to follow and has very practical tips. 

One of the things that I have always had interest in is investing (no pun intended) and how to do it. I now have a place to go to learn about investing. I know this isn't everyones cup of tea, but I think it is important information to at least have an idea about. 

Head on over to Invest Like Me and check it out. You can also follow them on Twitter @BlogILM and on BlogLovin. 

Do you invest?
Is investing something that you have an interest in?

***Don't forget to enter to win the $200 gift card to H & M ***

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

H & M Giveaway

One of my favorite places to shop is H & M. Everything is so reasonable priced and very on point as far as fashion goes. I am excited to team up with the blogs below to bring to you an amazing $200 H & M gift card!

What would you get if you won?

courtesy of:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 10, 2014

I Ran a Marathon!!!

It has been almost 2 months since I ran my first marathon. I chose to run the Walt Disney World Marathon as my first marathon, because RunDisney has a special place in my heart. My first 1/2 marathon was a RunDisney event so it was only fitting to have my first marathon be at my favorite place. 

I would like to start the recap with telling you that I did not train nearly as much as I should have. Although this was one of my worst races I have ran, I did learn that I truly can do anything I put my mind to. 

The Expo
We started our RunDisney weekend like any other at the fitness expo. The fitness expo is an expo that every runner must go to in order to get your bib. It didn't feel like I was about to run a marathon until I got to that expo. Then it all became very real. We got our bibs and realized that we were in the last corral, this was the first of many wake up calls. I figured that a marathon wouldn't be too bad, we had to maintain a 16min per mile pace (no problem, right?). But being in the last corral meant that we HAD to maintain a 16 min per mile pace. I started to freak out. We took our photo with our bibs and left the expo and went to the park. 

The Night Before
You really could tell it was race weekend and that people were serious about running. Everything was pretty empty but Joe and I decided that we would take advantage of the short lines and enjoy the park. We stayed out late and made poor food choices. Once we got to our hotel room, we picked out our outfits and headed to bed. We had to be out at the bus stop at 4:00am.

Race Day
4:00am came early, we headed out the door and made it to the race with plenty of time to do a whole lot of nothing. Being in the last corral meant that we had to do a lot of waiting around. Even being there with all of the runners I was still in a tiny bit of disbelief that I was about to run a marathon. We got some food, posed for pictures, and went to the bathroom. 

The time had come to get to our corral. We got in our corral and waited. The excitement began to build as each corral started. With every set of fireworks I felt my heart race. About 1 hour and 30 minutes had pasted and we were finally at the start of the race. My anticipation had built up and I was ready for this race to be done. 

We got to the start and the gun and fireworks went off. I started to run. Mile 1-13.1 were all a blur. I just kept running. It was my slowest 1/2 marathon time, but I didn't stop running. I had it in my  mind that I needed to keep going and that the bus that picked people up was right behind me (if you don't maintain that 16 min per mile pace you will get picked up by a bus). I never saw that bus behind me but I knew it was there. That motivated me to keep on running.

The first 13.1 miles took us from Epcot to the Magic Kingdom, through the Magic Kingdom and to Animal Kingdom. The one thing that I do remember was finally getting to Magic Kingdom, it felt like it  took forever, I was beyond excited to get to Main Street and see that castle. Joe and I did stop for a photo opt at the castle and a few other places.

Once I made it to Animal Kingdom and realized that I had ran a 1/2 marathon I was beyond proud of myself. It was a huge relief, but I really wanted to stop. Joe was there right by my side encouraging me to keep going. So, I kept going. At about mile 15 I experienced something that I have never experienced as a runner, chaffing. My inner thighs burned as I kept going. But the thought of not finishing kept me running. The chaffing allowed me to find the best thing that has ever been made for a runner. BioFreeze. At first I put the BioFreeze on my chaffing thinking that is what it was for, mistake. It burned worse. But then I realized that it was for your sore and achy body. I began to stop at every medical station to run BioFreeze all over my legs and shoulders. I did find a solution to my chaffing. 

At mile 16-17 there was a point where you can see the runners that were at mile 20-21. I wanted nothing more then to be where they were. I thought that one I got to mile 20 I would be home free. Miles 16-20 went through the Wide World of Sports, who knew that there were 4 miles to run. I stopped for a bathroom break and wasted a ton of time. But it was worth it not to have to go in a port-o-potty. Once I got to mile 20 I realized that I still had 6.2 more miles to run and the feeling of being home free was gone. at that point I also saw the bus driving on the other side of the road. That helped me pick up my pace a tiny bit. 

The toughest part of the race were the last few miles. I didn't think I was going to make it, but Joe was there to cheer me on and remind me that I could do it. I felt my pace go up and down and 6.2 grueling miles later I found myself at the end of the race. I made it.  I was finished.

I really didn't know what to think. I didn't cry and I wasn't overly joyed. We collected our medals and headed back to the hotel. It wasn't until I was on the bus headed back to our room that I was proud of what I had done. I ran a marathon. 

Have you ever ran a marathon?
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Monday, March 3, 2014

Tips on Becoming a Runner

It's Monday again and a new week means a new opportunity to get fit. The other day I saw a post on Hannah's Instagram that got us talking about running. Running is one of my favorite ways to exercise, but it hasn't always been. I know a lot of people who say that running isn't for them or that they can never be a runner. But everyone can be a runner. It may seem like a daunting experience, but once you get going, you won't want to stop. 

Here are a few tips on how to get into running that have really worked for me. 
  • Just get out there - By just getting your shoes on and out the door you are one step closer to becoming a runner
  • Running is mental - You  need to start your run with the right attitude, just tell yourself that you can do it. Once a little bit of doubt gets into your head it's all over. I ran a marathon with little training and made it because I continued to tell myself that I can finish. It wasn't my best run, but I did it. 
  • Find a program that works for you - There are so many running programs out there that work around every skill level. A few that I like are Couch to 5K for beginners, Marathon training plans from runners world, and  a plan to lose weight from Women's Running Magazine. I have used a whole training program and I have also just used some as guides to make my running more interesting. Whatever you chose to do, just make sure that the plan will work for your skill level, the amount of time you want to commit, and your lifestyle. 
  • Run with a friend - I have found that running with a friend really works for me. I love having someone there to run with not only for the social aspect but for the competitive aspect swell (don't tell my running partners). I like having someone to keep up with or someone to keep motivated. 
  • Pick good routes - I feel strongly that your route can make or break your run. For example, I have a really tough up hill 3 mile run by my house. If I am not in the mood I will tend to walk the difficult parts and I hate running. I also tend to better on there and back routes because it forces me to run back home. I also prefer to run outside over a treadmill. 
  • Get to your target - When I am running I always try to find a target that is in sight and get to that target. For example, if I am looking down the road and I see a mailbox in the distance, I will tell myself that I have to get to that mailbox. Once I get to the mailbox I find something else further away and try to run to that. This method really works for me because I break my run up into smaller distances. It also helps with my time, I tend to try to run to my target faster.  
  • Reward yourself - I find that I do so much better when I have something to look forward to. If I am training for a race, then I will reward myself with something little after following my schedule for a week. 
  • Just keep running - Just keep it up, it will get easier. If you are tired take a break with a short walk, then get back to it. 

Do you have any tips or words of advise for beginner runners?
Why do you love to run?

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