Saturday, October 25, 2014

An Open Invitation to Join "My Running Partner Has Four Legs" Link Party on 10/31/14

Due to the overwhelming success of my Furry Friday Feature, where each month I share the story of a runner and their favorite four-legged running partner, I've realized that there is this whole community of us out there that have this passion for running with our dogs! The submissions continue to roll in and I really enjoying sharing your running dogs on this blog.

Since I can only share so many stories on Furry Feature, I've decided to host a link-up party where I invite you to share the story of your furry running friend on your own blog and then come back and link up here on 10/31!


Link Parties are a great way to gain exposure for your blog and meet new bloggers with similar interests! 

Here is how the "My Running Parter has Four Legs" Link Party works:

1. On 10/31 I will post a link up at the bottom of my regular Furry Friday Feature post. If your running partner also wears a Halloween costume, this could be a fun Halloween post! But with that being said, Ollie would never let me put a costume on him!

2. Write a post called "My Running Partner has Four Legs Link Party" on your own blog about your favorite four legged running partner. Don't have a blog? It's OK. Link up using an Instagram post about your furry friend instead!

3. Come back here on 10/31 and link up your post at the bottom of my Furry Feature post. You can link up anytime between 10/31 and 11/7.

4. If you leave a link, take a few minutes and click through to at least three other links to learn more about other dog loving runners. 

5. Please don't leave unrelated links. Link up posts related to running and your dog. You can interpret this topic in anyway that fits for your blog, but completely unrelated links will be deleted.

6. I'd be grateful if you would link back to www.runningwithollie.com in your post, so your readers know where to find the link party!

So what do you say? Are you in? I hope you'll start working on your post. I can't wait to read and share all your stories on 10/31.

Have you missed any furry faces? You can get caught up on past Furry Features here.

Are you a runner who would like to be featured on this blog with your favorite furry four-legged running partner? Just fill out this form to be considered for a future furry Friday feature. 

Does your running partner have four legs


Like this post? Know anyone who would want to link up? Please consider sharing.

Keep Running,

Lea

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Furry Friday Feature! Meet Laura and Ollie!

Happy Furday Friday, Friends! Welcome to the latest edition of Furry Friday Feature.  This month I am excited to introduce you to Laura and Ollie from EndureRunConquer. How cool is that?! It's another Ollie!



Hi, Laura. Tell us a little bit about your favorite running partner.
Oliver ("Ollie") is a 9 year old Jack Russell mix that I adopted my sophomore year of college. He has been my best buddy through my undergraduate in Madison, Wisconsin; law school in South Bend, Indiana; and now being a grown up in Chicago, Illinois. Sadly, he is a bit out of shape right now so I put him on a "walk-to-run" program.


Meet Laura and her Ollie!

Where is your favorite place to run with your pooch?
When he was a puppy, his very favorite place to run was the lakeshore path in Madison, Wisconsin. Madison is a wonderfully active city and the trails there are just amazing. Now in the city, he mostly settles for loops around the neighborhood.


Have you ever raced with your dog? 
Unfortunately, no. He's just a little guy, but he's fast. More of a sprinter than a distance runner :)

Tell us about a running moment that made you proud.
My proudest running moment was finally qualifying for the Boston Marathon in 2013. It was a long journey to get there. I had missed the cut off by 23 seconds the year before and suffered severe heat exhaustion on my second attempt the following spring. Finally being able to accomplish what I knew my body was capable of doing was such a gratifying moment.

What important running (or life) lesson can we learn from our dogs?
My favorite thing about running (or walk/running) with Ollie is his perseverance. By the end of our runs, you can tell that he is getting tired. He looks up at me as if to ask "how much further are we going to go?" When we approach the final blocks, he always recognizes where we are and just starts sprinting. He always gives 100% and somehow innately knows to push through and finish strong. This is something that as humans we try to train ourselves to do - for him it's completely natural.

Ollie and Laura

Do you want to tell us anything else about you or running with your dog?
Another important thing he has taught me is to not always be so caught up in the run as a run, but to use it to enjoy everything around me. He loves being outside and is curious about many things we come across. He has taught me that sometimes it's okay to stop and explore.

Thank you so much to Laura and Ollie for sharing their story! You can follow Laura and Ollie on her blog or on Twitter.

You can't help but love a cool running dog named Ollie. Am I right?

Have you missed any furry faces? You can get caught up on past Furry Features here.

Are you a runner who would like to be featured with your favorite furry four-legged running partner?  Just fill out this form to be considered for a future furry Friday feature. (Bonus points if you can say that five times fast.)

Does your running partner have four legs? If so, then check this out



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Keep Running,

Lea

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My dog probably gets more email than your dog

It's a typical day in email land. Ollie gets emails almost on a daily basis.



I think this should be my new standard response to all the "Dear Ollie" emails that I receive.

Dear requester,

Ollie will be unable to fulfill your request to become an ambassador, review your product, post your info-graphic, or share your Kickstarter campaign. He is generally uninterested in learning about blog topics that you think his readers will enjoy and doesn't have the power (or desire) to accept a guest post or advertising on the blog. You see, Ollie is a dog. 

He's pretty smart, but he's not that smart. The day I teach him to type and respond to these emails is the day I retire and go on a permanent vacation. My blogging services will no longer be needed. I've heard of dog with a blog, but this is not it.

Sincerely,
Lea
Running with Ollie Blog

I would never actually send an email like that, but last week I came close. Maybe after 100s of Dear Ollie emails, I finally snapped. 

I don't usually rant on this blog. Honestly, I am not a ranting kind of person (I usually keep things bottled up inside until they explode, like a normal person) but I have something to say.

https://www.facebook.com/TheMindUnleashed

I received a Twitter direct message that said something to this effect (I already deleted it):

"Dear Ollie - We'd love your support in sharing our Kickstarter campaign on your blog for our awesome new amazing fitness product. Thanks so much."

I must have been in a bad mood that day, because under normal circumstances, I would have simply deleted and blocked. But something just rubbed me the wrong way. 

I responded:

"I mean this in the nicest way possible (I didn't really mean it nicely, just trying to soften my out-of-character snarky response). Before you ask someone to do you a favor that benefits you 100% and benefits them 0%, you should make sure you get their name right first. :)" 

You like the :)? Because that makes it nicer, right? 

I should not have been at all surprised that the requester responded with his own snarky response. 

(again deleted, so paraphrasing)

"You have to admit your Twitter name is misleading and I disagree with your second statement, Most bloggers are interested in great new fitness content. I don't think this relationship is going to work out. Thanks anyway."

Way to reject me after I reject you. 

Yeah, I had more to say, but I didn't feel like getting into a social media argument, so I did what I should have done in the first place. Delete. Block. Don't you worry, mister. I'll be blogging about this. 

Yeah, he's not wrong. My Twitter name is misleading. Running with Ollie. If you only read my Twitter name and don't bother to click through to my blog or even read my Twitter profile, then I can see how it would be confusing. But the thing is that you are asking me to support you, but you can't even support me enough in return to learn my name. 

Twitter profile: I'm Lea, health & fitness blogger, fashion enthusiast, runner, writer, #sweatpink & #fitfluential ambassador & Pgh Steelers fan in DFW. Ollie is my dog.



If he had taken the time to actually click through to my blog before he asked me use my influence and reach to promote his product he would have found that my ABOUT ME page is called ABOUT LEA, I have a video on my side bar called MEET LEA and I sign every single blog post that I write with my name.

So if he would have read my Twitter profile first or clicked through to my blog, it would not have been difficult to figure out my name.

But then again, I get it. He doesn't care about me, and that's really OK, I don't care about him either! He doesn't even know me. He doesn't "love my blog." He was simply looking at my social media numbers and blindly sending requests to me and 100s or 1000s like me in hopes that a few will respond positively. The request had nothing to do with me at all.

But the one-sided request is annoying enough, calling me the wrong name is like rubbing my nose in it. (Ollie only gets his nose rubbed in it when he is bad.)

It reminds me of a story from my dad. He goes by his middle name. He told me once that he loved when he would get calls from people addressing him by his first name, because he would instantly know that the person on the other end of the line didn't really know him. It was an easy way to weed out the sales calls. He knew without fail that anyone that addressed him by his first name did not know him, that they were reading a name off of a paper. Period. And that is how I feel about "Dear Ollie" emails.

Thanks for helping me weed out the PR pitches from people who have no idea what I am all about.

And every once in a while I get a 'Dear Hollie" email. Hollie must be Ollie's long lost sister.

Does your dog ever get emails? Thanks for letting me get out a rare rant. Writing about things keeps me sane.

If you really want to send Ollie an email, I'd be happy to read it to him, I can't promise he will respond.

Like this post? Please consider sharing. 

Does your running partner have four legs? Then check this out!



Keep Running,

Lea

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Friday, October 17, 2014

My Running Partner Has Four Legs Tank Giveaway

I am so excited. The Running with Ollie Blog Store is now open! The "My Running Partner has Four Legs" tank is finally available for sale now!

You can purchase a tank in either pink or royal blue for just $15.99, sizes available S-XL. Inventory is limited to just five tanks per color per size and selling down fast.

My Running Partner has Four Legs Tank Top


I decided to do a giveaway to help get the word out about my new tanks!  It is SO EASY to enter to win a "My Running Partner has Four Legs" tank. At the end of the month I will be giving away a tank open to all current subscribers of this blog.

Here is how it works. You subscribe to the blog. On October 31st  I will draw a winner from all current subscribers. The winner will be announced to blog subscribers only.

If you are already subscribed, then you do not need to do anything! You are already entered to win.

If all goes well, I may continue the contest and draw a 2nd winner at the end of November.

Of course, you can always purchase a tank for just $15.99 in the store. :)

Fill out this form to enter to win.

Follow Running with Ollie Blog by Email

* indicates required

GIVEAWAY RULES:   
Contest runs until end of day October 31, 2014
No purchase necessary.
1 winner will be randomly from all blog subscribers
Open to US residents 18 years of age or older.
Must have a shipping address in the US. 
Winner will notified via email and will have 48 business hours to claim prize.
If original winner does not claim prize within 48 business hours an alternate winner will be selected.

Thanks for your support, friends!

Like this tank? Please consider sharing. 


Keep Running,

Lea

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Friday, October 10, 2014

The Transformational Power of Running: Mizuno Wave Rider 18 Review

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno. All opinions are my own. 

T.G.I.F. Thank God it's Fall. I don't know about you, but for the past few months I've drudged through the hot Texas summer runs and counted down the days until the most wonderful time of the year, Fall Running Season!! It's finally here! Just as the trees shed their leaves, autumn feels like the perfect opportunity to shed our bad habits, our negative thinking, and just succumb to the pull of the pavement. 
Fall in Love with Running with Mizuno Wave Rider 18

The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 Neutral Running Shoe Review:


Now that the temperature finally dropped a bit, I've started getting serious with my training for the Dallas half marathon in December. The opportunity to work on the Mizuno campaign for FItFluential couldn't have come at a better time. There is nothing more motivating than a new pair of running shoes.

I've been a fan of Mizuno for a long time. Over the years, I've found that choosing a running shoe is more of an art than a science. You just have to find the brand and shoe that works for your unique running style. After some trial and error trail I've learned that Mizuno is my brand. I loved the Wave Rider 17 last year and was excited to try to the newest model, the Wave Rider 18.


The day my Wave Rider 18 running shoes arrived, the weather was perfectly autumn-like and the streets were beckoning. I laced up my shoes, strapped on my GPS watch, and plugged in my headphones. It was a long day and I was ready to take it out on the pavement. Let's take these puppies for a ride! I had been running in these other shoes that felt heavy, so I immediately noticed (or should I say, didn't notice) the lightweight of the Mizuno's. They were smooth and comfortable and I barely thought about them on my run. At just 7.8 oz they are very light and flexible. 

I'm a neutral runner who prefers just a little bit of support in my running shoes. If I have too little support it feels like the pavement is pounding back, and too much I feel like I am running with two bricks tied to my feet. Mizuno has found the perfect balance of light and responsive, with just the right amount of support. Mizuno Wave Rider 18 is a great choice for a neutral runner like me.

You can learn more about the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 at www.mizunorunning.com.

Mizuno Wave Rider 18: Black/ Silver/ Florida Keys

There is something in the air. It's autumn, the season of change. The weather changes, the leaves change and it has me thinking about the transformational power of running. 

Mizuno celebrates the Japanese concept of "Hado" which includes harnessing the transformational power of every run.

Transformation comes in many forms. Of course, there is physical transformation that can occur from running, but I am talking about more of an inner renewal. 

There is a daily transformation that occurs when I lace up my favorite running shoes and hit the pavement. I run to untangle those messy thoughts from the day. I run-out a bad mood, or a bad day. I run-off negatively and self-doubt. I can return from a 30 minute run feeling like a brand new person. My problems don't go away when I run, they just become a little less persistent after a sweaty street-therapy session. 

Running shoes can certainly change your day, but can they change your life? Well, first you have to run in them. Then little things happen, barely noticeable at first, and overtime you just may realize you have become a new person. 


You Become a Fighter


No one ever said running was easy, and if they did, they were lying. Running is hard (and if it gets too easy, you're probably not pushing yourself hard enough). Running rewards you when you don't give up, when you push through laziness, feeling tired, and uncomfortable. You learn pretty quickly that you get back from running exactly what you put in. You learn to fight through the miles.

Mizuno Wave Rider 18

You Become a Cheerleader


Running is an individual sport, but it harnesses a spirit of community. You cheer for other runners. You high-five strangers at races. You encourage the new runner at the track. You give a nod to the runner at the stop sign. Why? Because as runners, we understand each other. We've all been beginners. We've all had bad training runs and probably great races. We intimately know runner's high and injured lows. Runners we don't know aren't strangers, they are running friends we haven't met yet. Coming from a self-proclaimed introvert, this is a huge transformation!

You Become a Hill Seeker


You learned to love hills. You love conquering them and especially the victory run down the other side. You're up for a challenge! You never thought you'd say that not only do you run hills, but you seek them out. You're ready for the next challenge.

Mizuno Wave Rider 18

You Learn to Set Goals (and achieve them!)


When you started running, your goal was probably to make it to the end of the street without dying. When you lived through it, you eventually decided to run a 5K, then a 10K, and then probably a half marathon and beyond. You learned that if you set goals, and then put in the work, then almost anything is possible. You realize power within.

Mizuno Wave Rider 18

You Learn to Fail


If you've run for almost any amount of time, you've probably come face to face with a running setback. Maybe it was an injury that left you sidelined, maybe it was a DNF at a race, or a long run cut short, but we all know what it feels like to fall just short of a goal. You learned to pick yourself back up, dust yourself off, and get back out there. You learned that failure in running is usually just a temporary setback, one that will make your eventual success that much sweeter. 
The transformational power of running
There's no magic moment when your inner runner emerges. You put in your time on the pavement and then one day you wake up and realize a transformation has occurred. Somehow, between the tough runs, the early mornings, the long runs, and the hills (the hills!) you became a fighter, a pusher, a go-getter. You are now the person that won't give up, that won't accept any less than the best, in running and in life. You've been transformed. Thank you running.

You can learn more about the transformational power of running at www.mizunorunning.com.

How has running transformed you? Do you love Mizuno like I do? Will you try the Mizuno Wave Rider 18?


Like this post? Please consider sharing.

Keep Running,

Lea

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Virtual Run and Scavenger Hunt Winners Announced!

Before I announce the winners of the Running with Ollie virtual four mile fun run, scavenger hunt and giveaway, I just want to take a moment to thank everyone who celebrated my 40th birthday with me by running the BIG 4-0 virtual race.

I have to tell you that when I host these sort of things there is always that little voice in the back of my head that whispers...what if no one signs up? How stupid will I look? I am glad I pushed that little voice down, because the response was overwhelming! So many of you dedicated your four miles to me and this blog over the last couple of weeks and I am so thankful.

I am also grateful for our amazing sponsors because they provided the prize incentives to get out there and put in the miles. Whether you won a prize or not, I hope you enjoyed our little run and scavenger hunt, I certainly enjoyed looking at all your pictures on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

Please join me in thanking our prize sponsors. When you visit or follow a sponsor that naturally interests you, it helps keep these sort of events possible!

Thank you!


I wanted to share some of the scavenger hunt pictures tagged with #olliesrunhunt on Instagram. I apologize in advance if your pictures were not featured below, the app only allows 60 images in the feed, so these are the 60 most current submissions. There were so many great entries, I wish I could have shared them all! You can search #olliesrunhunt on Instagram or Twitter to see all the scavenger hunt pictures.



So without further ado, check out the winners below! Congratulations everyone! I'll be sending direct emails to all the winners within 24 hours with instructions to claim your prizes.

Really guys, thanks so much. My small heart grew three sizes this year. Thanks for celebrating my 40th with me.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Keep Running,

Lea

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Shine with Shine Athletica

There is something about wearing workout clothes that is transformational for me. I just feel good in my running clothes and shoes. Even when I don't feel great in regular clothes, even when I have a few pounds to lose, there is something about my workout clothes that make me feel great. I feel comfortable and not just because of elastic waistbands and Lycra blends. I feel like workout clothes are my true skin.



They make me feel strong and confident simply because I know when I wear those clothes I am doing something to be a better person. I look in the mirror and despite my imperfections, I generally like what I see. I feel more beautiful in running clothes with no makeup than I do in lipstick in high heels. Wearing workout clothes is like returning to the real me.

Can you relate? If so, I am excited to tell you about my new friend Heather from Shine Athletica.

Disclosure: I was provided a Shine Athletica outfit at no charge for the purpose of a product review and giveaway. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own, and I am not obligated to give them a positive review. If I hated them, I'd tell you






When I first met Heather I was just so inspired by what she was doing with her company. Heather contacted me a few months ago because she is a local Fort Worth gal and has started this new fitness apparel line. She asked me to meet for coffee so we could discuss working together. The timing was perfect because at the time I was working on rounding up sponsors for my four mile virtual run, scavenger hunt, and giveaway and I felt like her apparel was a great match for this blog.

But coffee? With a stranger? I pushed down the introvert in me and met her at this cute place on Magnolia in Fort Worth. I was so glad that I did. I loved hearing her story (and now I have a new friend). She's the kind of person that you want to be around just to soak up all her creative and positive energy. She is living her dreams. She makes clothes that understand everything I said just above about finding confidence in workout clothes. Her clothes are made to inspire from the inside out.

Shine Athletica embodies everything I love about health, fitness, and fashion. Great fit, comfortable, super cute, with motivating messages. She let me choose a few pieces from her site to review for you and also offered prizes in the virtual run giveaway.



The Yoga Pants!

Naturally, I chose the "runner" yoga pants, although truth be told, I wouldn't actually run in these pants because they are a cotton blend. However, they are great for other activities and workouts. The first day I wore these, I slipped them on to run errands. The first person I ran into that day said, "You look really skinny today." Enter new favorite Yoga pants ever! They are comfortable and have this amazing fit with a high waist, slim fit throughout the thigh, with a boot cut leg opening. There are a lot of motivating sayings to choose from. I think I am going to buy another pair because it would be kind of awkward to wear the same pants every single day.

Just some of the designs. Check out the site for more.

The Sheer Rib Racer Back Tank!

I love this tank. It is so comfortable and soft. It's form fitting and flattering without being tight. I actually should have sized down one size, but the looser fit works for me too. I chose the pusher tank because I think it is such a cute design, but just like the Yoga pants there are tons of cute designs to choose from. I personally love the pusher and the fierce.




I get requests to do reviews on my blog all the time, but I turn down way more than I accept. I only agree to review things that I know I can stand behind. I try to review apparel and products that I think you will love too. I love workout apparel designed to inspire and build confidence. I love that Heather is pursuing her dreams. I love supporting local business. This relationship is a win-win for me.

Now if you act fast (I mean fast) you could enter to win the Yoga pants and a tank because Shine Athletica is a sponsor in the Running with Ollie virtual four mile fun run, scavenger hunt, & giveaway. However, the run and giveaway ends today (10/5) at midnight. You have a small window of opportunity to enter to win.

If you are reading this past 10/5, I highly encourage you to visit www.shineathletica.com or the Shine Athletica shop on Etsy. If you stop by her Facebook page, I'd love it if you would tell her I sent you.

Like this post? Please consider sharing.

Keep Running,

Lea

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