I ran a half marathon that I didn’t train for

So you know how last week I announced my awesome Chipotle sponsorship for an upcoming half marathon?  Well, I may have failed to mention that the race was this past weekend.  Hence the title of this post: I ran a half marathon that I didn’t train for.  But you know what?  I survived, and not only that…  I KILLED IT!

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We killed it.  One of my best friends Barbie and I, that is.  The race started at 7:00 am, and we were downtown St. Louis by 6:15.  Talk about an early morning.  We made sure to do our pre-race stretching jumping.  We were excited to be running the same race we ran almost ten years ago.

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The Go! St. Louis changed its course to make it less hilly, which was very much appreciated by the runners.  This year, we ran through East St. Louis for part of the race… not very pretty.  It kind of left us scratching our heads (and running faster) as to why they would have taken us through a really crummy part of town.  Regardless, we powered through.

My goal was just to cross the finish line alive.  Since my longest run was six miles, and I had run a total of six times prior to the race, I knew I couldn’t set my expectations too high.  However, I really wanted to complete the race without walking.  A lofty expectation, I know.

The race began and I felt good.  We had great conversation, and before I knew it, we passed mile marker one.  Then, two.  Then, three, four, five, and six.  I was trying not to psych myself out since six was the longest that I had run prior to this race, but aside from my knees feeling sore, I was feeling awesome! I couldn’t believe it, and was excited to continue.  This feeling stayed with me… until we crossed the finish line!

gostl garmin race

Official time: 2:12:39!  That’s about an average of ten-minute miles!  To say I’m proud of myself is an understatement.  It’s amazing what the body can do when you put your mind to it!

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Go! St. Louis Finisher

The weather was perfect.  The race began at 50 degrees and finished at 60.  It was overcast, so we didn’t have to worry about the bright sun.  There was a slight drizzle just for a few minutes mid-race, but all in all, I’d say it was perfect racing conditions!

Linking up with Katie and Erin!

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I wouldn’t have even raced if it weren’t for this girl.  I thought, “No way!” could I run a half marathon with as little as I’ve run recently.  Barbie believed in me, pushed me to sign up, and stayed with my every step of the way!

Post-race, I headed to Chipotle’s VIP tent.  There was a delicious spread of food, Chipotle swag, chiropractors to stretch you, and this lady:

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Katie is a fellow FitFluential Ambassador, and we had a great time catching up.

All in all, it was a fabulous race.  Huge shout out to Chipotle!  They were the best sponsor to one of my favorite races.  I’ve got the gold to prove it!

gostl medal

Not that I would suggest running a half marathon without properly training, but I am super impressed with my body.  I feel like running has finally clicked for me again, and I’ve been bit by the racing bug!  Now to decide which race is next…

Did you race this weekend?  Do you have any upcoming races?

A Big Racing Announcement

Timing is everything.  Figuratively and literally.  In running and in life.  The time must be right.  Well, let me tell you something.  The time is right.  The time is right now!

The time has come.  It’s time for me to run a race.

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A half marathon, to be exact.  Go big or go home, right?

Back in February, my best friend Barbie called me up shortly after I announced my fitness goal for 2015.  She said, “Let’s sign up for the Go! St. Louis half marathon!”  Say what?!?  I hadn’t even run once in three years at this point.  She’s always full of crazy ideas.  In 2006 when we were both away at our perspective colleges and I was feeling homesick, she suggested we both sign up for the Go! half marathon.  Barbie has always been a runner competing in cross country and track throughout high school.  Me?  Not so much.  Running was what I did during sports, not as a sport.  But, since I trusted my best friend and figured I had nothing to lose, I said, “Why not?” and signed up.

I knew nothing about running back then.  The longest I trained was six miles, and that was long for me.  I remember calling Barbie after almost every run and telling her how many miles I completed. She was proud regardless if it was one or five.  She stayed with me that whole race (including the many walking breaks I requested/needed), and even convinced me to sign up again the following year.  We made it a tradition to run that race every year, and it’s happened more times than not.

Fast forward to this year.  First time running in over three years.  I’ve been (mostly) loving it, and have run a total of six times.  And, you bet, they’re all documented!

training

Well, just the other week a company I love reached out for a partnership for the Go! St. Louis Fitness Weekend.  When I explained that I was already registered for the half marathon, they offered a sponsorship.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is sponsoring my comeback half marathon!  To say I’m excited is an understatement.  I was ecstatic before, and now I can hardly contain myself!  Why Chipotle?  Well, Chipotle has an appreciation for living an active lifestyle, just as they have an appreciation for fueling up with food made from great ingredients.  So, it makes sense, and it’s perfect timing!

chipotle

Follow Chipotle on Twitter & Instagram!

Everyone loves Chipotle.  I have never met anyone who doesn’t like it.  In fact, my little brother Justin is so obsessed with Chipotle and eats it so often that he e-mailed them requesting they create a breakfast menu featuring eggs, so he can not only eat Chipotle for lunch and dinner, but breakfast, too.  The love is real.

Back to running.

What’s my goal for this half marathon?  Since my training has been so sporadic (running once a week while training for a distance race is less than ideal), my goal is simply to cross the finish line.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say I want to get close to the two-hour mark, but when I achieved that in the past, I had put in long hours of hard work and many, many miles.  My very first half marathon was two hours forty-something minutes, so I’d definitely like to beat that… by a lot.

Truly, my goal is to cross the finish line.  I’m sure I’ll have to take walking breaks, but that would be amazing if I didn’t or if they were minimal.  Mostly, I’d like to enjoy racing again; it’s something I’ve missed and craved for so long.

In just a few days, it’ll be time to wake up before the sun, tie my shoes, drive downtown, find my spot among thousands of other runners, feed off their energy, dig in deep, and go!  All with this girl by my side…

You better believe we’ll be stuffing our faces refueling with Chipotle right after.

It’s a crazy idea, but I’m up for the challenge, and excited to race!

What races are you signed up for this spring?

Thursday’s Thoughts

Hey there!  For today’s Thursday’s Thoughts post, itz going to be a whole lot of randomness of cool stuff I want to share with you.  (Ugh, not a fan of saying “cool stuff.” Just yesterday I told my fourth graders that when we write, we don’t use “stuff” or “things;” we’re more specific. Sorry. My brain power is limited after this busy week!)

And I’ll probably use lots of hashtags. #again

Let’s start with the best thing (oy, I did it again) ever – WILLIAM!

tummytime

He’s basically already reading. 😉 My mom sends me a million pictures when she watches him when I’m at work.  She’s teaching him everything, I’m certain. #smartestbabyever

Alright, you knew I was going to share about William, now here’s the randomness.  But really, itz cool stuff things information I think you healthy living folks (readers and bloggers alike!) should know about!

Runner’s World is partnering with belVita and hosting an awesome contest: My Morning Run Photo Contest.  Check out the details:

morning run

Amazing prizes!  A GoPro?! Yes, please! My brother has one and loves it. He takes the coolest pictures and videos with it. I’ll use my walking as entries since I’m not running right now. (Still bummed about that. Go run for me, please.) More information about the contest HERE. #MorningWin

As a FitFluential Ambassador, I was able to try Win High Performance Sports Detergent.  Everyone’s gotta wash their clothes, right? Hey, just bein’ real here!  Summertime means more sweat, so stinkier clothes.  (For Jonny, not me.  Obviously I smell like roses all.the.time. haha)

win detergent

Sweat Hard Smell Great <– love their motto

I do like this stuff though, for real.  Jonny is a sweater.  He works out hard, especially in the summer.  He takes walks in the 100 degree weather, a million percent humidity and comes back drenched.  Literally, I could ring out his clothes. (But I try not to touch them.)  This Win stuff gets the stink out.  I prefer the Win Green since itz fragrance and dye free; that’s the one I’d purchase with my own money when my current bottle runs out. Some “green” detergents don’t really leave your clothes smelling clean, I’ve found. Win does.  Win is #winning. (I’m cracking myself up today. #lackofsleep)

Alright, now back to running.  Fellow FitFluential Ambassador Shannyn, from Frugal Beautiful, is hosting a Virtual Pug Run 5k/10k and 1 Miler.  100% of the proceeds go to the cause (no profit) and if they get 375 runners, her husband-to-be will run his first marathon, the Chicago Marathon in a pug wrestling singlet! LOL! #mustsee

virtual pugrun

Check out her post to see a picture of the pug singlet – HILARIOUS! (And her post has way more information about the race!)  Sign up for the race HERE.  Rumor has it, there are unicorn pug diecast medals… #youshouldprobablydoit

And we’ll end this Thursday’s Thoughts post with the happiest baby ever.

william happy

Yes, he’s happy ALL.THE.TIME. #truestory

What are you thinking on this lovely Thursday?

Phoenix Hot Chocolate Race & Weekend

Well happy Monday and how’s the weather where you are, friends?  Like I mentioned Friday, St. Louis got our first snow over the weekend, but Jonny and I were in sunny and warm Arizona where you’d think it’d be nice and toasty.  Not so much the case surprisingly, but the weekend was marvelous nonetheless. Linking up to Healthy Diva’s Marvelous in my Monday today.  

Because I had so many referrals to the Hot Chocolate race (THANK YOU!), I was able to travel to a destination in addition St. Louis to do the race.  Since my brother and Jonny’s brother both live in Arizona, it was a no-brainer to choose the Phoenix race.  The Hot Chocolate team kindly put us up at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch which was absolutely beautiful.

hyatt arizona

It was truly a wonderful hotel – the kindest staff, clean rooms, and gorgeous views as you see in the picture above that Jonny snapped during one of his morning walks.  We didn’t get to enjoy any of their many outdoor amenities, but that’s alright.  Alright, I’ve got so much marvelous to share from the weekend, let’s get started!

Justin recently bought a house, and this was the first time we got to see it.  Itz awesome though we didn’t expect anything less.  The coolest part is definitely the orange trees and lemon tree he has in his backyard!  I picked a whole basket and ate several oranges and drank fresh lemon water all weekend.

arizona lemon orange trees

Totally jealous.  When we arrived in town on Thursday evening, Becca and Robbie picked us up from the airport and Jonny and I grabbed dinner from My Big Fat Greek which is always a favorite when we visit.  During the day on Friday, everyone was at work, so we hung around and took some walks in the chilly weather.  Friday evening is when we met up with Justin, and the five of us went to Tommy V’s for dinner.  It had a nice ambiance, and we all enjoyed the food (especially the Kobe meatballs we got as appetizers!).

robbie becca

Robbie and Becca are getting married February 2015!

On Saturday, Justin and I picked up our Hot Chocolate race packets which included the performance fleece hoodies.  The hoodies were really nice and it was cool that the expo had an area for you to try on the hoodie and exchange the size if necessary.  And we obviously enjoyed a mini cup of hot chocolate at the expo!  Later, the five of us went to Blue 32 Sports Grill to watch the Mizzou football game (which sadly did not end in our favor), but it was a fun sports bar.  There were a million tv’s and the grub was tasty.

The boys were drinking and were pretty tired four hours later when the game ended, so we laid low Saturday night and ordered takeout from Tottie’s Asian Fusion.  We laughed since itz not typical pre-race fuel, but we weren’t too concerned.  Sunday morning came which meant – RACE DAY!  Justin and I bundled up.

justin hot chocolate race

Since I’m still not running, I would be walking the race which meant I had on extra extra layers.  The race was well organized and we never felt like we were extremely crowded.  Justin is not a runner; instead, he’s a CrossFit buff which is why his bulging muscles show through so nicely in his Under Armour compression shirt. 😉

hot chocolate run

And maybe I pretended to run as I began to cross the finish line… Justin never runs more than a mile at a time since he does CrossFit, and without any training for the race, he still finished in 22:24 (7:13/mile) which meant he came in seventh in his age group, 43rd overall, and 30th out of 709 men – quite impressive!

Not being able to run during the race was hard, if I’m being honest.  While I knew I was doing what was best for my body and Baby Itz, it made me itch to run even more than before.  I crossed in 47:16 – gah!  (that’s 15:13/mile)  My time to run will come again and I often keep that in mind.  Since I wasn’t competing for time (obviously lol), I did stop and take a few pictures throughout the course.  Running (walking) in Arizona sure is different from St. Louis!

arizona view

The official hashtag for the race was #willrunforchocolate which meant plenty of hot chocolate and chocolate goodies post-race.  Instead of receiving a medal, you got a mug filled with hot chocolate, warm chocolate fondue, and dippables.  This made us both happy and was a delicious breakfast post-race treat.  I even commented that there should be spoons in there; Justin went savage and used his fingers.

hot chocolate mug

Everyone’s happy when chocolate is involved!  The mugs did include a wet wipe for your hands which was super convenient.  Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel so I could shower, pack our belongings, and checkout.  We went to Butters Pancakes & Cafe for brunch which totally hit the spot.  We all cleaned our plates to say the least.

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Robbie & Jonny both still love their college gear!  Proud alums!

We had a couple of hours to kill before heading to the airport.  The boys watched Sunday football (no surprise there!), while I wrote this blog post for today.  Everyone was happy.  I did manage to break Jonny away from the tv for a moment for a picture.  We both love the giant cactus that is in Justin’s front yard, so it was the perfect photo opp!

jonny me arizona

And that’s a wrap, folks!  Long post filled with my favorite pictures from the weekend.  Going back to work today will be a bit tough as it always is after a vacation, but itz fun to look back on such wonderful weekends – especially when they’re filled with family, fitness, and food (particularly chocolate!).

What was marvelous about YOUR weekend?

Hot Chocolate Race GIVEAWAY {closed}

Hi friends and happy Monday to each one of you!  I’ve already posted twice about the Hot Chocolate race series, so you probably understand my excitement.  I mean, HELLO, you get an awesome fleece when you register and tons of chocolate goodies.  I mean, seriously tons!  What more could you possibly want?

EDIT: 2014 Code: ItzLinzHat

hot chocolate race coupon code

Don’t forget to use ItzLinzMug when you register!

Well, today I get to giveaway one entry for the Hot Chocolate race!  The St. Louis race is fast approaching on December 15th, but this giveaway is for an entry anywhere in the country.  And there are fourteen locations, so travel somewhere fun, or choose your city: Atlanta, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Nashville, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and St. Louis.  Did I mention the performance fleece you get when registering has thumb holes?

goodie bag hot chocolate

Perfect for the cold winter months and black goes with everything!  Plus, there are tons of other goodies available in the Hot Chocolate shop like pajama pants, long sleeve shirts, short sleeve shirts, ear warmers, hats, lunch bags, and more.

I’m linking up with Healthy Diva’s Marvelous in my Monday since any and everything relating to chocolate is clearly marvelous!  And a free entry?  Oh yes!

Be sure to LIKE Hot Chocolate on Facebook!

You have the choice of running a 5k or a 15k for the Hot Chocolate race, both great distances. Since I’m not longer running, I’ll be walking the 5k. (Walkers must keep a brisk 15-minute per mile pace.)  I’m pretty sure I’ll run walk quickly for chocolate.  Hehe.

finishers mug hot chocolate

Upon crossing the finish line, you’ll receive a finisher’s mug like the one pictured above.  It includes hot chocolate (duh), plus dippable goodies for chocolate fondue – YUM!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this blog post with which Hot Chocolate race you would choose and if you’d do the 5k or the 15k (mandatory for entry).  Other additional, optional entries include the following:

  • On Twitter, follow Itz Linz and Hot Chocolate and tweet the following, “I want to run for chocolate in the @HotChocolate15k race with @ItzLinz! http://wp.me/p2WMfo-21H #willrunforchocolate #hotchocolate “
  • Follow Itz Linz and Hot Chocolate 15k on Instagram.

Be sure to leave a separate comment for each additional entry (three total entries possible).  This giveaway will be open until Thursday, November 14th, 2013 at 8:00 pm CST.  The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Friday, November 15th. Giveaway is now closed.

Congrats to #87 Nichole B.! Please email me, so we can get your registration all set up!

*Disclaimer: As a Hot Chocolate Ambassador, I was given a free entry to the race.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Saint Louis Girls on the Run

Today I’ve got a great guest post by my best friend Diana.  Last year, I ran the St. Louis Girls on the Run 5k with Diana and her group of students, and it was a phenomenal event.  To see that many young girls excited about running was inspiring.  However, GOTR is so much more than just a race.  I’ll let Diana tell you all about it!

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Picture taken last year at the GOTR race.  Clearly, a jumping picture was in order!

First off, I would like to thank Lindsay for allowing me to be a guest on her blog.

I started coaching Girls on the Run last season in the Spring of 2013.  It turned out to be a huge success.  GOTR is a non-profit program for girls in 3rd-5th grade and Girls on Track is for girls 6th-8th grade.  Their mission is to “inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.”

GOTR is a ten-week program and the lessons are divided into three sections.  The first three weeks focus on self-care, self-awareness and knowing self.  This part of the program teaches the girls to be physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy, as well as celebrating what makes them unique. The second section focuses on connectedness, which teaches the girls how to work as a team, how to make good decisions, how to stand up for one’s self, and the importance of being positive.  The third section focuses on empowerment.  This teaches the girls how to celebrate their strengths, to understand their role in helping the community, to create and implement a community service project, and how to analyze cultural and social messages from the media.

Big thanks to Secret for being a national sponsor for GOTR!

GOTR St. Louis

At our school, we focus on three things during Girls on the Run.  If we notice one of our girls had a bad day at school, we ask them to take out the negative cord and plug-in the positive Girls on the Run cord.  In addition to plugging into the positive cord, if we notice one of them not trying her hardest or making a poor choice, we ask her, “Are you choosing to be a Girl on the Run?”  It’s amazing to see the change in behavior after asking that one simple question.  The last thing we focus on is always moving forward.  If the girls need to take a break from running, we don’t mind as long as they are moving forward.

The reason why it is so important that the girls move forward is because they are training for the GOTR 5k.  This year, the St. Louis 5k is on Saturday, November 16, 2013.  There is a theme each season.  Last year’s theme was “Out of this World” and each team was given a blow up alien as a mascot.  The theme for this year’s race is to “Run Wild,” and the mascot we were given was an elephant.  We can’t wait to see what our girls’ outfits will look like at the race.

GOTR

Diana & Linz at the Spring 2013 St. Louis GOTR 5k.

GOTR has come up with a friendly competition amongst the teams.  The team with the most community members who sign up get to be the first to start the race and get to do an energy cheer with the race directors before the race starts.  The GOTR 5k race starts at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 16, 2013 in downtown St. Louis at Soldier’s Memorial.  If you are an adult, you can register now through November 8th; the price is only $25.  The price goes up to $30 from November 9-15, and it costs $35 on November 16th.  If you are registering a child, it costs $15 through November 8th, November 9-15th costs $20, and on November 16th, it costs $25.  Towards the end of the registration, please type in our school: Russell Elementary to give us credit.  Thanks so much for your support!

REGISTER HERE.

Have you ever participated in a GOTR race?

*This information was taken from the GOTR St. Louis website.

Hot Chocolate 15k or 5k Race COUPON CODE

EDIT: 2014 Code: ItzLinzHat

Hi friends!  Today I want to remind you of an awesome race that’s making itz appearance nationwide.  Itz the Hot Chocolate 15k or 5k Race and itz been named America’s Sweetest Race!  I’ve blogged about it before, but today I want to highlight some of the factors that sets this race apart from others.  First and foremost, when you register use the coupon code ItzLinzMug!

hot chocolate race coupon code

Chocolate made me do it.

Usually at races you receive a race t-shirt.  How many t-shirts do you own?  Like seriously.  Instead of getting a t-shirt with your Hot Chocolate race, you receive a runner’s performance fleece and an awesome one at that!  Check it out:

goodie bag hot chocolate

IT HAS THUMB HOLES, PEOPLE!!!!  And personally, I love that itz black because that means it will match any and all outfits (clearly very important!).

The St. Louis race is fast approaching on December 15th and word on the street is itz filling up fast!  Not in St. Louis?  Not to worry!  The other cities include: Atlanta, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Nashville, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and St. Louis.  Click HERE to see the complete schedule and details!  You can use the coupon code ItzLinzMug everywhere!

So if the sweatshirts weren’t cool enough, take a look at what you’re handed upon crossing the finish line (and get ready to drool):

finishers mug hot chocolate

Itz a finisher’s mug complete with hot chocolate, fondue, and dippables!  If that isn’t motivation to get your booty across the finish line, I don’t know what is!

Now, while all these goodies are great, I don’t want to gloss over the fact that the Hot Chocolate race series partners with the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). The RMHC 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.

Will YOU run for chocolate?

*I am an official Hot Chocolate Blogger and will receive my registration on race day.

Hot Chocolate 15k or 5k Race PROMO CODE

EDIT: 2014 – 2015 Code = ItzLinzHat

Will you run for chocolate? The Hot Chocolate 15/5k is America’s sweetest race!  Details below, but first, when you register, be sure to use the promo code ItzLinzMug to receive a free travel mug with registration!

Hot-Chocolate-Race-STL

The chocolate really begins to flow at the Post Race Party where runners enjoy music, a family friendly kid-zone (complete with bounce houses and games) and a finisher’s mugs filled with hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and tasty dippable treats!

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) is the official charity partner of the Hot Chocolate 15/5k series. The RMHC 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.

split jump

The Hot Chocolate series is currently is in fourteen different cities including: Atlanta, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Nashville, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and St. Louis.  Click HERE to see when the race will be in your city!  (You can use promo code ItzLinzMug no matter the place!)

Even though I’m not running right now, the St. Louis race takes place on December 15th, so I hope I’ll be running by then.  If not, I’m sure I’ll be able to walk fast enough to receive my post-race chocolate – heh heh!

Of course, I want to see as many of my St. Louis friends out there, but I also want to encourage as many of you to sign up, as well.  Itz for a great cause (the Ronald McDonald House Charities are AWESOME!), you get to run, you get some sweet swag (ha!), and you get tons of chocolate at the end.  What could be better?

Will YOU run for chocolate?

*I am an official Hot Chocolate Blogger and will receive my registration on race day.

What I Miss

Itz been a long week, friends.  And [I think] because of that, I’ve been thinking about what I miss in life right now.  For whatever reason, I’ve had some things on my mind lately, and today I’ll share ’em.  Read on if you will.  🙂

What I miss… My great-grandparents, Grandma Rose and Grandpa Joe.

Rose & Joe

I was lucky to have them in my life for so many years growing up and I have a million wonderful memories of them, but sometimes I still can’t help missing them now.  I know they’re my angels above and forever in our hearts.

What I miss… Running!

Garmin Collage

Oh, I miss running so much, and I think part of it is that I feel like I “can’t” run right now.  I know itz best for me, but I had to stop after I ran my fastest races and truly felt like a runner.  Someday I’ll be back with you, running!  And along those lines…

What I miss… Races!

RW Half

Gosh, I’ve always loved racing!  Whether itz a short distance or a half marathon, I love the friendly competition, I love trying to beat my previous time, and I love the atmosphere of races.  I also love training for races and following a training schedule.

What I miss… Summer days at the pool.

Itz Linz swim

Oh summer, where are you?  I want it to be hot.  I want the pool to be cold warm.  I want to be swimming with my friends and family at the pool!

What I miss… Ice cream!

oberweis birthday cake

Wait, wait, wait.  I had that last night.  Real, full-fat ice cream in the birthday cake flavor.  Oh baby, it was delicious!

What I miss… Bikram yoga!

bikram

Itz been far too long. I need to make this happen.  Soon.

What I miss… Our wedding!

wedding

Our wedding was seriously the best time ever and I’m not just saying that because it was our wedding.  Well maybe I am, but I know a lot of people would agree with me!  At least we have both my brothers’ weddings to look forward to now!

And let’s end on a really happy note… Itz my nephew Jackson’s 5th birthday today!!!

jackson

Totally my nephew… rockin’ handstands when he was just three! Ok, this was really a showing of his “dance moves!”  Details, details.

Don’t forget to check and see if you were the Balance Bar giveaway winner!

What do you miss today?

How To Be A Faster Runner

Today I’ve got a great guest post lined up for you from an awesome FitFluential Ambassador.  Taylor has five simple steps to help improve your running speed.  While I’m totally missing running right now, I’ll live vicariously through Taylor, her races, her passion for running, and speed.  PS: Don’t forget to enter the Conscious Box giveaway!

Hi! My name is Taylor and I blog over at Lifting Revolution, where I talk all things fitness, nutrition and well, my life. Itz a huge honor to be here with you today!

taylor4

While lifting weights is my passion, I have recently found a new drive for running. I have always been a competitive person, but in the past when it came to my running, I was only competitive with myself. I didn’t care necessarily where I placed among the other women, as long as I accomplished my personal goals.

Well, that worked for a while. Until I learned that I actually could run, and with the help of my beloved strength training, I could run somewhat fast.

In just 4 months, I was able to knock off 3 minutes from my 5K time. I went from running around a 26 minute 5K (which is where I was for about 5 years) to running a 23.03. And just a month later, though not an official race time, I lowered that down to a sub 22.

How did that happen? Well, that’s what Linz has asked me to share with you!

How To Be A Faster Runner

taylor1

Train Fast

Itz easy to get wrapped up in miles. Mileage often becomes the standard for how we define a workout… “Oh, I ran 5 miles today,” or “Oh, I just ran an easy 7 miler.” Sound familiar? Well, that’s important for sure, but it’s not going to help you run any faster.

To run fast, you have to train fast. Set 1-2 days aside for speed work. Don’t focus so much on distance as you do intensity. My favorite right now is to run as fast as I can for 3 minutes, then lower the speed (still a run) for 2 minutes and repeat for a half an hour. Sounds crazy? Expect to be a sweaty mess at the end. So far my personal record is 4.3 miles.

Some people also prefer to set distances… Such as a 200 full-out run, followed up with a walk or jog and repeat x amount of times.

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Cross Train

You don’t become a strong runner from just running. Don’t be afraid to get off the roads/treadmill and hit the weights, yoga room, or just any other type of fitness that sparks some interest. By doing so, you’ll develop a stronger core and upper body, both of which are important for helping you move faster.

What happens when you pump your arms faster when running? Your legs naturally move faster, too. Have you ever worked out with sprints and then woke up the next day with a sore core? It’s because they are all interdependent on one another. A strong, fast runner is strong all around.

Rest Up

Speed training is intense. Sure, you might only run 3 miles, but those 3 miles are heart pounding and muscle burning. That means they require more of a recovery time than a 5 mile easy run. That’s why I mentioned only doing 1-2 days of full-out sprint work each week. And never back to back days. Talk about burn out.

Food Matters

I can’t talk about performance and fitness without brining up food. Food is the fuel that gets your body moving in the first place, and it directly influences your ability to perform. If you eat crap, then expect to run like crap. Even if you don’t realize it… but I promise, if you clean up your diet, you’ll see results with your times.

Case and point: since becoming a vegan, I have PR’d every race I have run. Now I am not suggesting you become a vegan, but I am suggesting you look at your current diet and see if there is anything that needs to be changed. Your running isn’t the only thing that will see positive results from this.

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Sign Up & Race!

Sometimes we need an extra push to really put the effort into our sport. If you want to runner faster than ever, then sign up for a race and train. Having a set date on the calendar gives you a deadline and will remind you to put forth the energy needed to see you hit your goals.

In terms of goals, set one! Set a time that you want to beat and go after it. Every race I ever do, I always have a goal in mind. Whether I say it out loud or not… now that’s a different story.

These tips are what have helped me, and I hope that they can help you, as well.  Next on the list is the infamous Cooper River Bridge Run here in Charleston. It happens to be on my birthday this year and I intend to beat my husband’s PR!

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What are your training secrets?  What motivates you to run faster? Have you set goals for races this year?