Morning Mile

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the ladies at my local Lululemon store for a very fun opportunity. A local school asked if they knew a runner that would want to participate in a new program, aiming to get kids active. Since I am the store’s running ambassador, they quickly contacted me to gauge my interest. Of course, I jumped at the chance!

This past Monday, I was up bright and early to participate in the first Morning Mile at a local elementary school!

What is Morning Mile? Directly from their website, “Morning Mile is a before-school walking/running program that gives children the chance to start their day in an active way while enjoying fun, music and friends. It’s supported by a wonderful system of rewards, which keeps students highly motivated and frequently congratulated. It’s a proven project geared towards fighting childhood obesity and increasing the physical activity levels of school children nationwide.”

The entire school gathered on the field behind the school, students and teachers alike, to kick off the program. There were many volunteers involved, along with many people taking part – the Superintendent, Principal, and Vice Principal all made  the first lap around the cones for the kick-off. I was even introduced, along with Stephen Jones (a former Olympian!!), along with Ed and  Scott – 2 of the program sponsors from PeerFit. We all lined up with the kids and ran the laps with them.

The sponsors, principal, vice principal, and superintendent

The students were all so excited to get to run around before having to go inside for the day. They were laughing, smiling, and running away all of their morning energy. Every morning, any child (and parent) that wants to participate can come to school a few minutes early and do a few laps around the field. 16 laps = 1 mile. For each lap, the kids collect a coffee stirrer-sticks. At the end of each Morning Mile, they count how many sticks they have, and record it on a piece of paper. Once they have reach a total of 5 miles, they get a prize!

I think this is such a great way to get kids active. Not only are they starting their day off by moving (which I’m sure helps the energy levels in the classroom) but they are being reinforced that exercise is a great way to start the day – and that little exercise gains lead to some pretty big wins! Think of how far 5 miles is to a 1st grader! That’s a long way!

I hope that more elementary schools in the Tampa Bay area (and the country for that matter!) adopt this program. It sets such an amazing example for today’s youth and really was a lot of fun too! I can’t wait to go back for another Morning Mile!

Have you ever heard of Morning Mile? What about other programs like this?  Any teacher’s out there? Bring this up to your school principal, and get a Morning Mile program started where you live too!

 

 

Weather Checking Fanatic

I have a confession to make.

I am a compulsive weather checker the week leading up to marathons. I can’t help it. As soon as the 10 day forecast is up for the day of the race, I am all over it. Luckily for this upcoming weekend (unlike Nashville), the weather is looking pretty promising…

High’s in the 50′s is definitely my perfect racing weather! The pre-race will be a bit chilly, but will be completely worth it to run in some incredibly ideal temps! I know this is by no means  a guaranteed forecast, but I am going to hold on to it! Send me some well weather wishes!! So since I have been running in such hot temps all summer, picking out what to wear for next weekend is going to be a bit tricky. I default to shorts pretty much no matter what – I don’t think that I have ever raced in running crops! These are the shorts I plan to run in on race day:

They are the speed shorts from Lululemon. They are super comfy, and have a great storage pocket in the back. I can pair them with my compression socks, and have a little bit of extra warmth. However, depending on how cold it really is going to be, I may go ahead and wear the Run Inspire crops (don’t worry, I have run in them before, just not a marathon or anything). At this point, I am definitely undecided. I have a feeling it will be game time decision!

As for the shirt, I will definitely be wearing a tank with some arm sleeves. I picked up a pair when I ran the NYC marathon, and I am excited to be able to put them to use! I have always ended up taking off my long sleeve shirt whenever I have worn one in the past, and I just don’t feel like having to deal with having a shirt tied around my waist again.

As for the pre-race, I am going to have to make a thrift store run this week to grab some throw away clothes for sure! For those of you that have not run in a cold race before, wearing old clothes to the start of the race, that you have no attachment to, is a great idea. You can throw them to the side once the race starts, and be ready to go! The best part – most races donate all discarded clothing to charity, so it’s really a win-win for everyone! Unfortunately, living in such a warm state, I do not exactly have an influx of old, cold weather clothes. I have a few staple items, but that’s about it. To the thrift store I will go! Hopefully I’ll find some awesome sweats – the stuff I have the possibility of finding is usually pretty priceless! I’ll be sure to report back. ;)

I only have 10 miles on the dock for this entire week leading up to the race. I see some sleeping in and relaxation in my future. I am sooo excited!

Do you constantly check the weather leading up to a big race? What about what you wear – crops or shorts if it’s cold out?

*** All of the clothes photos are from the Lululemon website***

Keeping Promises

Yesterday, my sister sent me over an email to start off my day like usual. We always chat first thing, and then go on about our day. Thursday’s email was different. It was entitled, “Keeping Promises” and she provided me this link.

This is a 99% fitness focused blog, but every once in a while, I feel compelled to share something else. This isn’t directly fitness related, but I feel it definitely can point back to health and wellness, and any part of your life for that matter. The article that I mentioned above touches on something simple: Do something because you said you would. Pretty simple, right?

Alex, who is the starter of this movement, lost his dad to lung cancer earlier this month. He wants to have his father’s legacy live on by spreading the biggest thing that his father thrived at – doing something because he said he would. If you request it on his site, Because I Said I Would, Alex will send you 10 cards with that simple phrase. The goal is for you to write down something that you need to do, give it to the recipient you want to hold you accountable, and you will not receive it back until you complete what you said you would do.

(Source)

I believe this to be a very simple, yet very powerful notion. Kind of like an Operation Beautiful note. How many times has someone made an empty promise to you, or even you yourself having made an empty promise to someone else? I hear so many people say things that they just do not follow through on (don’t worry, I’m included in that too) – a good example, New Year’s Resolutions! What better way than to have someone keep you accountable for something you may really want to get done? Maybe you want to run a mile every day for a month, finally sign up for that spring marathon, or finish a home improvement project that has been hanging over your head for weeks. Maybe it is something as simple as taking 15 minutes for yourself to reflect each day. Now is your time to do it! Go requests some cards, and do what you say you are going to do!

I already requested my cards, and I know what I will be putting on some of them already! Calling friends more often to chat and getting my home improvement projects done (yep, I was talking about myself up there) are just a few things that I want to be held accountable for.

Who else wants to get involved? Is there anything that you can think of that you would put on a card?

NASM – I’m Going For It!

This year has been pretty crazy for me so far. I have completed countless road races (including my 6th marathon!), was selected as a Lululemon running ambassador, crossed the finish line of my very first triathlon, and am just now entering into fall race season. Over the summer, other than marathon training, I have had something up my sleeve. My friends and family know about it, but I just wasn’t quite ready to share it on the blog. In November, I’ll be taking my test to become a NASM certified personal trainer!

I’ve been studying little by little since July, and finally signed up for my testing date last night. I am so excited about this, as I have been thinking about becoming a certified personal trainer for so long! This means it is crunch time! For the next month, I am going to be studying like crazy and getting very familiar with all of the tricky parts of my study book, which for me are some of the scientific terms.

What do I plan to do with it? I’m not 100% sure yet. I am not going to be leaving my current job at BlueGlass – no way! I love the company that I work for, and would never want to jeopardize that. I plan to be working here for many years to come. What I do know is that I plan to put more circuit and strength training workouts up on the blog to share with everyone. I love posting the ones that I have up so far, and can not wait until I have a little bit more klout behind what I am sharing with all of you. I also hope that readers start to ask me more questions about workouts and ways to get fit. Oh yeah, and I can change my disclaimer to say that I am a certified professional – once that time comes that is ;)

I chose NASM because of the forward way of thinking that it provides, along with the more scientific based approach. When I was researching on which program to go with, I really liked how NASM was known as a very challenging program. I am always up for something to give me a run for my money, and this test is no different. There is a lot of information to take in, and I have to make a conscious effort to cut out the time in my schedule to get the studying in.

I hope some of you are excited for this new phase on the blog. It will still be the same ole me on here, but now I’ll have a little bit more knowledge to back up my workouts! I’m pretty excited!

P.S. I have a guest post up today over on Ashley’s blog, Healthy Happier Bear, for her Marathons and Moderations series. Find our how to run a marathon without much motivation. Go check it out!

Is anyone else studying for NASM right now? Do you already have your certification? Have any good tips for me? ;)

Don’t Disrespect The Taper

After completing my last really long run last weekend, I was definitely not concerned with the run I had on my schedule over the weekend. I covered 22 miles only 7 days prior, so the 12 miles I had on tap would be a cinch, right?

Oh, so very wrong. Not sure why, but it completely left my mind how bad my body feels during the taper. I was so excited to not have to spend hours running on Saturday, that I completely disrespected the distance. I was up and on my feet at Howl O Scream on Friday night (check out Meghann’s post on our awesome time there!), and had a terrible pre-run dinner as well. I expected the run to be pretty simple, but it was the hardest run I had in weeks!

My legs were still tired from last week, and I was hurting. If I had not already run 6 marathons before, I would have been seriously nervous. Why do our bodies feel so terrible during the marathon taper? It almost feels like the past couple of hard training months didn’t happen. It is super important to focus on what you have already done, and focus on the goals of the taper:

  • Decrease the fatigue you have accumulated over the past few months as you built your mileage
  • Increase glycogen stores, which actually helps to increase your muscle power in the process
  • Strengthen your immune system so you don’t get sick for race day
  • Catch up on some much-needed sleep!

The marathon taper is a fine art really. I found this simple guide, and it definitely puts everything in to perspective. Obviously, you need to reduce your mileage, take care of yourself, and resist the urge to put in extra miles and exercise.

(Source)

That is all much easier said than done, but I am doing just that! I am spending more time relaxing these next two weeks, and sleeping in has never felt so good! With less than 2 weeks to go, I am in the home stretch – the 10 day weather forecast is almost in view, and I am crossing my fingers for good race day weather!

Do you find that your taper long runs are difficult? Ever caught yourself disrespecting an otherwise easy long run the couple of weeks before your marathon?