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.
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