Monday, March 25, 2013

Three Year Runniversary And A Giveaway!


I've been so busy with I <3 To Run's run a mile a day March challenge, Shaun T's Insanity birthday challenge AND working some, I completely forgot that this month marks three years since I began running. Unfortunately, I don't actually know the exact date I got out there on the high school track and attempted my first run. I know it was March and that I didn't get very far. I could make it about 1/8th of a mile before I had to stop, huffing and puffing in the cold. But I didn't give up.

And I haven't given up since I began on that cold, windy day in March of 2010. I can't believe how far I've come since that day, both literally and figuratively. I've run eight 5 ks, two 10 ks, one half marathon and just recently nearly 16 miles of the 199 miles of the Florida Keys Ragnar Relay. I always hoped that Charlie and I could incorporate travelling into our running plans, and we finally did! Now we're thinking about the places we'd love to visit AND run in. There's a race going on everywhere, so there are endless possibilities.

I've managed to increase my pace and distance. My first 5k on June 5th, 2010, I finished in 42:42. Last year, on June 9th, I PR'd a 5k in 26:35. I entered my first half marathon this past October, the Long Island Diva Half, and finished under my goal of 2:30 by the skin of my teeth, coming under with 8 seconds to spare! And just a few months ago, I ran three legs of a 12 person relay race, which totaled nearly 16 miles in less than 30 hours on no sleep. While I was running my first leg, I didn't think I wanted to finish THAT Ragnar, but after the entire experience, I realized that I would love to do another one, and continue to travel and experience more of the insanity that is Ragnar.

Three years is a long time for me to do just about anything, especially running. There's so many things I enjoy about it. I love that it's something that Charlie and I enjoy doing together. It's an activity that's good for us both physically and mentally and having a hobby in common helps strengthen our relationship. I can't wait to cross that finish line in May and see him attain some half marathon glory. Continuously striving for new running goals keeps running fresh and interesting. There's so many different race distances to strive for or improve on. I like seeing that I can push myself and rise to the challenge. I'll always want to hear my name for my age group, but sometimes that's not realistic, however, shaving seconds off my own time is something I can easily achieve. Also, I love the camaraderie among runners and the feeling of belonging to an elite group of individuals with a common goal of achieving their personal best.

Since it's my anniversary, I thought it was about time I held a giveaway to celebrate. I tried to think of things that have been instrumental in my weight loss and running journeys. Before I even thought about running, I exercised a lot at home. My DVDs have been the best investment I have ever made when it comes to fitness "equipment." Charlie can tell you that we have had a gym graveyard in the basement for the last 20 years.  Then, the Gazelle Glider, Ab Doer, Brenda Dygraf Body Glider or knock-off Total Gym would be given away or rise up to the garage graveyard, where they were eventually sold for PENNIES on the dollar at a yard sale. Equipment just got boring. When I was 75 pounds heavier, I could walk in place. I could step side to side and I could kick my legs. This is why I included Leslie Sansone's Walk Away The Pounds Ultimate Collection DVD. It has 4 separate walk workouts (1,2, 3 and 4 miles) and it includes a stretchy band for some toning exercises done during the 3 mile walk. I never had trouble getting through any of her workouts, but I could make them more challenging as I got more fit by adding her weighted gloves or hand weights and her weight belt. You could walk for as little as a "mile" or get one of her 5 mile DVDs and workout for an hour. I love that now you can get certified as a Walk leader, just like a Zumba instructor.

When I finally did get to running, my iPod was my savior. Stacking my running playlist with songs that can take me away from the sometimes agony and monotony of running miles on the treadmill or a 10 mile run along William Floyd Parkway was crucial. I can tell you that it runs the gamut of music genres. Right now my favorite chunk of songs include Pink, Finger Eleven, One Direction, Fun, The Wanted, *NSYNC and Bruno Mars. This is why I included the iTunes gift card. I know every time I listen to the radio I hear another song I want to download, so I'm sure many of you are in the same boat. $25 used to get you 25 songs. Unfortunately, that's not the case anymore!

Finally, I know that nutrition is important when trying to get the most out of your workouts and improving your health. I LOVE bars, probably because it makes me feel like I am eating a candy bar, but not. I know there are so many to choose from when shopping for protein/energy bars and I haven't really found one that I didn't like. I love Power Bars, Pure Protein bars, Luna Bars, Clif Bars... they all have delicious flavors and serve the same purpose for me. I wake up at 5:30 every morning and have a bar and a cup of coffee. I make sure the kids are ready for the day and out the door, then head to the gym. They're quick and easy and keep me going until I come home for my egg sandwich or oatmeal.  I chose the chocolate mint cookie crunch Balance Bars (6 count box) because they taste JUST like that minty, slender cookie that those uniformed girls hawk at the curb of your local grocery store. Devine.



I sure do wish I could say I got them free to review, but unfortunately, that's not the case. I picked up all of these items on my own. And of course, these opinions are my own. I have not been compensated in any way  for what I've written in this post.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

56 comments:

  1. Super inspirational. Love your 5K comparison times. I have just started running this year, but the goal is to run a half marathon in October.

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    1. You can do it! Plenty of time to train. A lot of people use the 90/10 run/walk plan. Do you know what plan you will use? I kind of modified Hal Higdon's novice plan.

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  2. My goal would be to increase my muscle mass and decrease the excess skin. LOL Between my diet of eating clean and my Personal Trainer, I have definitely seen my goals start to become a reality.

    Way to go on your running anniversary. A huge congrats to you! It is a huge accomplishment to go from only 1/8 of a mile to being able to run a Ragnar!

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    1. Your transformation has been amazing and you are definitely a motivation and inspiration to me!! Your dedication and determination is mind-blowing! I can totally see you training others and possibly competing one day!

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    2. Awe! Thanks so much! I hope that I can help others to change their lives like I have. Means a lot for you to say that I inspire you because YOU inspire me!!

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  3. My goal is to get a wee bit faster and finish half marathon lengths more comfortably which means being committed to doing more longer runs.

    Congrats on all your progress and achievements and happy runniversary! :)

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    1. You've accomplished SO much in your running and fitness journey! Sh*t! You're thinking about throwing your hat in the TRIATHLON ring!!! I salute you and Angela for that!

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  4. you are awesome and Im so proud of you. Im even happier to see you would do another Ragnar now because you are one cool van-mate!! Love you and miss you :)

    My goal is 140.6 miles of triathlon awesomeness in Sept. It has been a goal of mine for 2 years and this year I will achieve it. I cannot do it without the support of my family and my Rev3 Family!!

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    1. Just thinking about your entire story, from where you have been to where you are now, where you're going and who will be by your side gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes! I am SOOOO happy and proud of you, for what you have accomplished for yourself and for what you have inspired all of those around you to do!!! You are an amazing person, Jen! And I love you and miss you too!!

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  5. Congrats on the runniversary!! Definitely something to be proud of :)

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    1. Thanks Katie! What you have done with your love of running to inspire others is something to be proud of!!

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  6. Happy Runniversary! I suppose I have 2 goals that I am working on 1. to lose weight and 2. running a half marathon in April. I suppose goal number 2 is helping me with goal number 1!

    Congrats on how far you have come!

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    1. Yep! One will help the other and vice versa!!! congratulations on setting goals and working to achieve them!!

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  7. My goal this year is to run 1000 miles. I did just over 500 last year so I think I can do it....virtual races help me a lot in staying motivated to get the miles done!

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    1. I totally have faith that you'll achieve your goal! You're a running machine!

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  8. It probably doesn't sound like much , but I have been walking 3 1/2 miles when both kids are in school a few times a week. I would like to jog that trail a couple of times around in the future.

    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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    1. Do NOT sell yourself short! You're doing what you can when you can do it and that's AWESOME! If you want, jog 30 seconds. That's what I would do when I would push the double stroller around the neighborhood. I'm sure I looked like an ass, but I was doing it! Keep at it!

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  9. Happy runniversary!! My goal is to complete a half marathon this year, and stay healthy and uninjured doing so.

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    1. Thanks Colleen! With what you have accomplished in your weight loss journey, running a half marathon is NOTHING in comparison! You can do it!

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  10. my goal is to lose weight. I love Leslie's video's I had one that I was able to follow and did so well with but someone borrowed it and naturally I didn't get it back. It was the walk and jog dvd. I need to buy it again.

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    1. DVDs are awesome because you really have NO excuse not to do one! And the 1 mile walk can fit in your schedule ANYWHERE! I hope the person that "borrowed" the DVD is at least using it well and not letting it collect dust! LOL

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  11. I have been inactive for too many years. I'm turning 42 this April and signed up for my first 5K (DivaDash Boulder in May) This was a huge commitment for me but I knew I needed outside motivation.
    So my first goal is to be able to finish the 5k without completely humiliating myself. :-)

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    1. The Diva Dash looks like SO much fun! You'll probably be laughing so hard with everyone else that it'll fly by and you'll be hooked! I'm jealous!

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  12. You are a big running inspiration! Love reading your blog:)

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    1. Thank you! I hope I can pay it forward for all of those that inspire me!

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  13. I think you're awesome! Im not following your blog... I think.
    Anyway, Im so grateful to have met you b/c you keep me smiling!
    I keep playing with the idea of making running part of my routine but I just dont know if I can do it.
    Keep on keepin' on b/c you rock!

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    1. You definitely keep me motivated and challenged Sandy! What's next for April?;)

      And with all of the BB programs you've done, you're wondering if you can just put one foot in front of the other? *cuckoo* You have it in you, fo' sho'!

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  14. I posted and somehow it went to the march 11 date, lol! Leave it to me!
    You have inspired me so much! You are also just a wonderful person and I'm so blessed to have you as my sisterinlaw

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    1. I'm so glad you joined the challenge! It helps us stay accountable and we got to interact a whole lot more!! It's been so much fun.

      And right back at you, lady! :)

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  15. I'm striving for a half marathon!! Eeeep! You're such an inspiration!!

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    1. With the right training and preparation, anything is possible! You can do it!

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  16. I love reading your blog. I was so excited you were able to do the Florida Ragnar Relay! You really proved that anyone can do this because you've done it with such a positive attitude!

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    1. What a "pinch me" moment the entire RR process was! From reading and commenting on Katie's blog I became part of an incredible 12 person team that made a documentary? What the WHAT?!? LOL Crazy.

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  17. Hello! New reader to your blog. I read Katie and Carly and came over here once I saw a link to yours. :) I am so out of shape right now I need to get serious! :) I've never heard of Balance bars and I've wanted some of Leslie's walking DVDs for a while, but haven't gotten any yet.

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    1. Walk. It's easy and FREE! Now that the weather is improving (fingers crossed) get outside and walk around the block. There's something about combining exercise with being outside that has an even bigger benefit. Clears all the cobwebs in your head, I say. I love daily Mile to keep track of my mileage. It brings out the competitiveness in me and makes me want to go just a bit farther than the previous month. I also write my mileage on my calendar so I see it ALL the time. Just get to it. A few days in you'll start to realize the rewards and want more!

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  18. Linda, it's Jen H. (it's only letting me post under "anonymous" for some reason...) Anyway, you know how much of an inspiration you are to me! Reading about your goal of finishing your half-marathon in under 2:30 made me chuckle, because that is my goal for the half marathon I'm running at the end of April! My first half marathon, which I ran *last* April, I finished in 2:34. I think it's reasonable to challenge myself to shave 4 minutes off that time, although I'm getting nervous because the weather has been so bad that I've been doing the bulk of my training on the treadmill. But, that's the goal! I'll let you know if I reach it...

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    1. JEN! I KNOW you can do this! 4 minutes. 13.1 miles. So you have to pick up the pace about 18 seconds per mile, right? Less than 11.5 min. mile. Do you do the run/walk program or full run? Apparently, the 90/10 run/walk program really works. In my half, I went out too fast and waited too long to start walking and I slowed down A LOT at the end. I know you've put in the work, now it's all mental, and we know how hard it can be to shut that nagging voice up! Crank the tunes to drown her out and sing along, loud and proud, have fun and you'll get it done!!

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  19. I've had a rough few years due to some serious health problems but thankfully, I'm on the mend and getting stronger by the minute it feels. One thing I credit for helping me start to feel better is the pool. I've been using the pool to rehab my seriously atrophied body and it has invigorated me in ways I never expected.

    Congrats to all you have accomplished! You're truly an inspiration to those of us, ummm, not in our 30's anymore lol
    Bridgette

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    1. I'm sorry to hear you've had some hard times, but it sounds like your positive attitude is what got you through and it will be what helps you to continue to improve and come back even stronger than before!

      I still have a hard time figuring out where all those years between high school and now went!!

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  20. What a wonderful accomplishment and a great day all the way around. I started running a few years ago (I'm 57 and got a late start lol) but I'm enjoying the ride. I now find myself thinking of running events as possible places to travel for a vacation. I'm driving my husband nuts! I'm obsessed with thinking about the Disney Dopey runs.

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    1. I have only run 1 half and I want to do all the Disney events too!!!! If only money was no object!! Disney Dopey couldn't be a more appropriate name. Maybe Disney Delirious, since you sure do have to be crazy to take all that on, but it's the challenge, and the medals...

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  21. My current most important goal is buying a house. I am so ready to leave apartment life behind and have a little place of my own. Thankfully I have a very supportive mister who also shares my dream. We can do this... together! :)

    clogzilla(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Do you think buying a home will happen this year? It's definitely a buyer's market! Enjoy house shopping! Just make sure you pay close attention to the kitchen and bathrooms. They're where the big bucks come in when renovating. Our house has been a money pit, but I love it, because it's mine! Good luck!

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  22. Happy runningversary!!! Running is great! I loved following your Ragnar team and learning of all of your stories! I am so glad that the documentary is being made; people need to see it because all of you are proof that people are making changes and it can be done
    My goal is to do a half-Ironman someday. It won't be this year or next; I have to first do the shorter ones! I bought a used tri bike from a friend of a friend who is the same height as me and hope to learn to ride it this summer. As to what will play an important role in achieving this - so many people I know from the gym and from running groups who do triathlons and are more than happy to have me train with them!

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    1. I hope you're following Jen's blog www.milesmusclesmommyhood.blogspot.com! She's our triathlete teammate and a machine when it comes to her training and racing! Triathletes amaze me because I really don't think I could ever do ANY swim, no matter what the distance, ESPECIALLY in open water! Hello panic attack!

      Good luck in your training and sign up for that 1st one and go for it!

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  23. To be honest my goal is to just start!

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    1. So pick the day and do it! Figure out what you really want- lose weight, tone up, walk a 15 minute mile, run a 10 minute mile... whatever it is, break it up into manageable pieces and tackle your goal one step at a time. Unfortunately, we can be inspired by everyone around us, but we need to motivate ourselves to actually do it. Races are definitely what keep me motivated to continue. We pay good money for race registrations and we need to make it count! Stealing from Nike, JUST DO IT!

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  24. Happy runniversary, girl! I miss you, wish I could be there to go for a run and celebrate!

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    1. LEALAH!!! I miss you too! How's your running going? What are you working on now? We need to make another appointment to talk!!!

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  25. I have just started trying to get fit, found you from 'Runs for Cookies'.
    My goal is just to take better care of myself to feel a little younger every day (I'm 44!).
    Sounds awful but after working out with the Leslie Sansone youtube video for a few weeks, I can now get up the stadium steps without gasping. I will take small accomplishments!
    I am VERY large, but have lost 8 lbs in the last 2 weeks, and consider this a new lifestyle, not a diet.
    You are a wonderful example, and look younger all the time. GREAT job!

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    1. Every accomplishment is worth noting! Not being winded is HUGE! Looking at the changes you're making as a lifestyle and not diet is KEY to making permanent changes. KEEP GOING!!!

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  26. I've been focusing on being physically and mentally healthier. I'm trying to get my mind back to where it used to be, healthy eating, a good routine has helped me get back on track.

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    1. Physical activity definitely helps my mental state! My husband said, since taking care of myself and losing weight, he's noticed I'm just generally happier. Do something positive everyday, no matter how small, and BIG things will happen!

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  27. My goal is to run a marathon, and I'm going to next month. It's something I never thought I could do. 18 months ago, I was 50 pounds heavier and couldn't run for a minute without feeling like I was going to die.

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    1. A marathon!!!!!!! Good for you girl! I'm not there, yet. I'm not sure if it'll happen this year. Running can get expensive, yes?!?

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