Thursday, May 30, 2013

Comfort Zone Crushers: Weekly Challenge



Through my association with Fitfluental, I am incredibly excited to be part of a sponsored campaign in Under Armour's What's Beautiful competition. I was provided Under Armour gear to participate in the competition. All opinions are my own and I am under no obligation to give them a positive review. If I hated it, I'd tell you.

As part as my participation in the Under Armour What's Beautiful Competition, I created a team called Comfort Zone Crushers. The team is all about stepping outside your comfort zone to reach your goals, both mentally and physically. Honestly, the mental comfort zone is much harder for me.

Shortly after creating my team, my blogger friend Bethany from Project Whitespace asked me if I would record a short vlog about why I love to run and to include an action shot of me running to be a part of a larger video that she was editing. I was pumped up on the Comfort Zone Crushers, so I said yes to something that I normally would have shied away from.  Have you seen my blog intro video on my left side bar? Vlogs are not my strong point. I can express myself in writing much better than I can in video.  I wasn't sure I could do a great job, but I agreed because I didn't want my What's Beautiful commitment to be all talk. I needed to take action. I needed to be a Comfort Zone Crusher.

So I recorded a vlog that I felt like was so bad, that I almost didn't send it. After what seemed like a million takes, I was frustrated and done (almost in tears). I considered not even sending it, but I felt bad because I made a commitment to her and I didn't want to let her down.  I decided to send my terrible video with an apology for its poor content and told her that I would not be offended in anyway if she decided not to use any of it.

To my shock and surprise, I received a lovely email from Bethany the next day saying that she loved it and she could absolutely use it as part of her larger video. Maybe this just proves that we are harder on ourselves and judge ourselves more critically than other people do. Here's my video. I hope Bethany can work some editing magic.



And then here is the one of me and Ollie running. I am looking forward to seeing Bethany's edited video of athletes talking about their favorite exercises. I think it is going to be great, and I will share it with you when it goes live.



This taught me a little lesson and I decided to go one step further with Comfort Zone Crushers.

If you haven't checked it out yet, head over to Under Armour's What's Beautiful site.  They have challenges to complete online to keep you motivated as you work towards your personal goals. I scrolled through the challenges and completed all the ones that were easy for me. But do Comfort Zone Crushers ONLY do the things that are easy? No, no they don't.  So I decided to take one challenge each week and complete it, no matter how far outside my comfort zone it is, and scrolling through the challenges, there are some that are way out there!

The Challenges that I have already completed:

FROM THE MOUNTAINTOP
You've declared your goal. Now let everyone know. Upload a video of you stating your goal and telling us how you plan to reach it. 

I shared my goal video with you in my original What's Beautiful Post. You can check it out here.

WRITTEN VALIDATION 
Sign up for a competitive event and post your registration as a sign of your commitment.

I signed up for a full marathon training with a running group.

PERSONAL RECORD  
Post a photo or video of a record you are proud of. Could be something measurable or a personal victory. Anything that represents a time you really owned it.

This was an easy one for me because once I placed first in my age group in a very small 10K. I was happy to share my accomplishment.

FORWARD PROGRESS  
Mile-by-mile, rep after rep, minute-by-minute, show your progress to the community and yourself. Keep track of all of your extra miles and above and beyonds here. 

I just record my daily miles here and some photos.

So now it is time to pick a challenge that is a little scary and go for it.  I plan to complete as many challenges as I can.

My first weekly challenge?

QUEEN BURPEE Who is the Under Armour Queen of Burpees? Who can do the most in the least amount of time? And who can dethrone her? 

This week I may not be able to do the most but I will do them every day and document my progress. Check back for an update next week and an announcement of my next weekly challenge!

Do you want to do these challenges with me? You can sign up on Under Armour's What's Beautiful site and create your own profile and complete your own challenges to keep you motivated.

Who will be a Comfort Zone Crusher with me?

I have a busy weekend ahead. I am excited because my summer marathon training group starts on Saturday at 6:20am (only two miles to begin) and I am running the Dallas Pretty Muddy mud run at 9:30am the same day! 










Wednesday, May 29, 2013

And the Winner of the Dallas Pretty Muddy Free Entry is...

Congrats to Jen O. I will send you an email to verify your winning entry and further instructions to redeem your free entry into the Dallas Pretty Muddy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to everyone who entered. If you are not a winner, it is not too late to register. Dallas Pretty Muddy.

I hope to see you there!

Not in Dallas?  See if Pretty Muddy is coming to your town! Event Listing

Keep Running,

Lea

Ways to (legally) stalk me:

"LIKE" the Running with Ollie Blog page on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter @GeaLenders
Let's track each others workouts on Dailymile
See what I am up to on Pinterest
Add me to your circles on Google +
Follow me on Instagram @runningwithollie
Follow me on What's Beautiful?


 

Monday, May 27, 2013

What's Beautiful? I Almost Missed the Point

 Through my association with Fitfluental, I am incredibly excited to be part of a sponsored campaign in Under Armour's What's Beautiful competition. I was provided Under Armour gear to participate in the competition. All opinions are my own and I am under no obligation to give them a positive review. If I hated it, I'd tell you.

I am a couple of weeks into the What's Beautiful competition and I almost missed the whole point. I got it all wrong. As part of the competition you declare epic goals, complete challenges, all while supporting and receiving support from an awesome online community of like-minded motivated women. You even have the chance to win awesome Under Armour gear while you work towards your goals. Sounds great, right? You can check out my personal profile here and I'd love it if you would join my team, Comfort Zone Crushers. It would be awesome if you jumped on-board and created your own profile and declared your own goal.

Me and my Under Armour box
Under Armour sent me some clothes and shoes to wear for my participation in the campaign.  I got these really cool shoes, an awesome bright-colored mesh tank (perfect for those early morning hot Texas runs), and a braided head band. I put on my new tank and looked in the mirror and thought, "I can't wear this. I look too fat."

But guess what? I'm not fat. I am not as thin as I was last summer. I am not at my (self-imposed) ideal weight, but calling myself bad names isn't what this contest is all about. In fact, it is the opposite of what it is about.


I had this idea that I was supposed to look like an Under Armour model or something.  The whole point of the What's Beautiful campaign is to redefine the female athlete. Redefine. Beautiful. Beautiful is not about six-pack abs. It means that you and I are beautiful the way we are today, because we are athletes working towards our goals. I almost missed the point.

I am beautiful because I love
I am beautiful because I give
I am beautiful because I have dreams
I am beautiful because I have goals
I am beautiful because I am a wife
I am beautiful because I am a sister
I am beautiful because I am a daughter
I am beautiful because I am a friend
I am beautiful because I am learning 
I am beautiful because I try to forgive
I am beautiful because I am stubborn sometimes
I am beautiful because I write
I am beautiful because I sing terribly
I am beautiful because I am learning
I am beautiful because I try
I am beautiful because I don't take things to heart
I am beautiful because I do
I am beautiful because I am thankful
I am beautiful because sometimes I forget and complain anyway
I am beautiful because I care
I am beautiful because I run
I am beautiful because I work hard
I am beautiful because I relax
I am beautiful because I make mistakes
I am beautiful because I try to admit them
I am beautiful because I'm not perfect
I am beautiful because I love my dog (hi Ollie!)
I am beautiful because I talk too fast
I am beautiful because I think too much
I am beautiful because I am clumsy
I am beautiful because sometimes I am wrong
I am beautiful because I am excited
I am beautiful because I love music
I am beautiful because I love chocolate
I am beautiful because I am happy
I am beautiful because I take too many pictures
I am beautiful because I cry
I am beautiful because I pray
I am beautiful because I am focused
I am beautiful because I stumble
I am beautiful because I am sensitive
I am beautiful because I am



I think it is important to talk about these things, so that when we have negative self image thoughts, we can identify them, crush them, and move on. I am beautiful just the way I am today. Working towards your goals is beautiful. Loving yourself is the most beautiful of all.

Like this post? please consider sharing.


Keep Running,

Lea

Ways to (legally) stalk me:
"LIKE" the Running with Ollie Blog page on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter @GeaLenders
Let's track each others workouts on Dailymile
See what I am up to on Pinterest
Add me to your circles on Google +
Follow me on Instagram @runningwithollie
Follow me on What's Beautiful?

 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Pardon My Streaking! Runner's World Summer Run Streak 2013


Pin this image if you are doing this too!

It is Run Streak time again! A run streak is when you commit to running at least one mile every single day over a period of time. Runner's World is hosting a Summer Run Streak challenge from Memorial Day until Independence Day. It is a great way to begin a good habit. After you get in the routine of lacing up those shoes every single day, it becomes second nature. Sometimes the hardest part is getting out the door. The run streak is a great motivator to just get out there.

Of course some days I will run more than one mile and to avoid any pitfalls (like injury, over training or burnout) I will allow myself to walk the one mile if it is a rest and recovery day.  The idea is to put in at least one mile every single day, starting on Memorial Day (Monday, 5/27) and ending on Independence Day (Thursday, 7/4). That's 39 consecutive days of running.

The fun part is that you can #hashtag (is this a verb now?) #RWRunstreak on Twitter and Instagram to declare your acomplishment each day for support and motivation from the other runners who are participating. Knowing that I have to report in my daily mile(s) helps me stay on track.


You can read more about the Runner's World Summer run streak here. 

There are no rules. Are you not a runner but would like to become more active? How about participating the streak by walking one mile each day? Anyone can join in on the fun. Your only commitment is a mile a day!

It starts Monday! Who is doing this with me? Are you in? Tell me in the comments.

Like this post? please consider sharing.

Keep Running,

Lea

Ways to (legally) stalk me:
"LIKE" the Running with Ollie Blog page on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter @GeaLenders
Let's track each others workouts on Dailymile
See what I am up to on Pinterest
Add me to your circles on Google +
Follow me on Instagram @runningwithollie
Follow me on What's Beautiful?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

GIVEAWAY: FREE PRETTY MUDDY MUD RUN REGISTRATION (DALLAS EVENT JUNE 1ST)



I am getting so excited about the upcoming Pretty Muddy Run in Dallas on June 1st! I am ready to get Muddy!

Did you know? When you get muddy with Pretty Muddy, you are not just getting muddy for yourself, you are helping others! Pretty Muddy is partnering with Susan G. Komen Dallas County and donating $5 to the local charity for the the first 2,000 race participants.

Pretty Muddy is giving away 250 free entries for cancer survivors.



I am more excited to tell you that Pretty Muddy has generously offered me a registration code for a FREE ENTRY for the Dallas event for me to giveaway to one of my lucky readers!

All you have to do is leave blog comment and fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter, plus there are plenty of bonus ways to enter.  One lucky local Dallas resident will win a free registration!




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest Rules:
No purchase necessary.
Contest runs from 5/23/13-5/29/13
1 winner will be randomly selected
Winner will notified via email (if available), Facebook post and blog post, and will have 24 business hours to claim prize.
If original winner does not claim prize within 24 business hours an alternate winner will be selected.
Contestants must live in Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex or be willing to travel here (at your expense) for the race. The free code is only good for the Dallas race.
Contestants must enter on Rafflecopter to win.
The Dallas event is on June 1st at the Skyline Ranch, 1801 East Wheatland Road  Dallas, TX 75241.

Do you live in Dallas? Do you know anyone in Dallas? Will you help me spread the word of this contest?

You can click on this link to learn more about the Dallas event on June 1st and check out their site to see if there is a Pretty Muddy event near you! Pretty Muddy.

Do you want another chance to enter and win? Another local blogger is holding the same giveaway. Head over to her site and enter there too! Double your chances of winning! (Please tell her that I sent you.)
http://aphaliciousbliss.blogspot.com/2013/05/flash-giveaway-free-pretty-muddy-dallas.html

Good Luck!

Like this post? please consider sharing.

Keep Running,

Lea

Ways to (legally) stalk me:
"LIKE" the Running with Ollie Blog page on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter @GeaLenders
Let's track each others workouts on Dailymile
See what I am up to on Pinterest
Add me to your circles on Google +
Follow me on Instagram @runningwithollie
Follow me on What's Beautiful?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

From Sweat to Street, Blurring the Lines: A YMX Review

 Disclosure: I was provided a YMX tank and tee free of charge for the purpose of a blog review. All opinions are my own, and I am not obligated to give them a positive review. If I hated it, I'd tell you.

People have been wearing art for centuries. Lines are blurred between fashion and art, art and fashion. Tattoos are an art form that you wear.

My husband has a full tattoo arm sleeve (among others). When people ask me if I have any tattoos (I don't), I usually reply that Hubby has enough for the both of us. A few years ago, our toddler neighbor was caught coloring all over her little arms in permanent magic marker. To the dismay of her mother, when asked what on earth she was doing, she innocently replied that she was just coloring her arms like my husband does. If he had art on his arms, why couldn't she?

Hubby's colorful arm art

I love YMX who takes the art of tattoo and translates that art for those of us who are too chicken who aren't willing to commit to such permanency. The result is gorgeous authentic artful designs.

Art and Fashion are not the only lines being blurred here. YMX also blurs the lines between athletic wear and street wear. Do you know what moisture-wicking means? It is a technology built into the yarn that pulls the moisture (i.e. sweat) away from your body to the outer layer to help keep you dry and comfortable.  It means that after I run a few miles, I could run some errands without changing my clothes (Oh be quiet, you do it too). These pieces are great for layering and make a perfect transition from sweat to street, (OK, you can shower between, if you insist). I could easily wear these tops for working out or to wear to work.


The Racerback Tank: 

Style: 20177
I love to work out in tanks. This one is light weight and breathable. It has the technology to keep you cool and keep you dry. I love the bright colorful design. I transitioned to street wear by changing out my shorts for black pants and adding a jean jacket. 




The Tee:

Style: 20232
Now, I usually don't like to run with shirts with sleeves, they are usually too constricting. But this one was so stretchy and light weight, I barely felt a difference. The raglan sleeve style allows for easy movement. I went from sweat to street by changing my work out shorts for jeans and adding a short sleeve sweater. Can you tell this is one of my favorite colors? I already had a clutch to match!


The fabric on the tank and tee both have a silk-like hand feel. The cloth is made from polyester and spandex, so it is comfortable and stretchy. It conformed perfectly to my body, but wasn't too tight or restricting.

Outdoor work out fun in YMX

I love the design and the versatility of the YMX gear. I love that they function as work out clothes and trendy sports wear.  This is definitely a high-end product in regards to quality, performance, and price.

If you would like to check out some more of the awesome tattoo-inspired designs on YMX, you can check out their website here.

Do you wear work out clothes that transition to sports wear? Do you mix art, fashion, and sport?

Like this post? please consider sharing.

Keep Running,

Lea

Ways to (legally) stalk me:
"LIKE" the Running with Ollie Blog page on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter @GeaLenders
Let's track each others workouts on Dailymile
See what I am up to on Pinterest
Add me to your circles on Google +
Follow me on Instagram @runningwithollie
Follow me on What's Beautiful?

Friday, May 17, 2013

In Defense of Jeffries

This is weird. I rarely write about anything controversial. I think it is my middle-child status. You know, as a middle child you instinctively try to make everyone happy. You strive to be the balance in the family between the Type A big sister and needy little brother. Middle children are peacemakers. Generally speaking, we are aren't boat rockers or instigators, we go with the flow.

I called this blog "In Defense of Jeffries" but before you rip me a new one, hear me out.

Let me begin by saying that I pretty much have always disliked Abercrombie & Fitch. I have never liked what they stood for even before what they stood for was spelled out for me so clearly. It is not my style. I realize I am pretty far outside their demographic (by about 20 years now). I never liked the image they portrayed, it is an image that I personally never wanted to be associated with. I am indifferent to a lot of clothing brands, it is rare that one would rub me the wrong way like A&F always has, even when I was younger and more closely associated with their target market.

With that being said, I think all the controversy about Mike Jeffries is being blown way out of proportion.

I read a lot of blogs by (mostly) women fighting back about his discrimination of overweight people. I read these articles and agreed with every word they said. What a jerk! How could he say those things? How does he get away with this? You go girl! It reinforced what I thought about the brand anyway. Yay! Hate!

Then, I did something crazy. Instead of relying on Facebook memes (and there are some funny ones!) and blog posts for my information, I read the actual article about Mike Jeffries that is causing the controversy. Despite what some these blog posts insinuate, he never said that he or his company hated fat people. There is a lot of misguided information that is being perpetuated based on assumptions made by people who only read the media headlines, skimmed the surface of the information available, and relied on other people's opinions in order to form their own.

“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids.  Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either."

At worst, I think Jeffries is so far removed from reality that his knowledge of what "popular kids" are like is based solely on television shows like 90210 (Can I reference the 1990 version or does that date me too much?). I can guarantee that cool, attractive, popular kids with great attitudes come in all shapes and sizes. Anyone who thinks that only model-beautiful kids are popular spends too much time watching teen dramas on TV.  Personality usually breeds popularity.

So in this article at least, the one that is drumming up all this controversy, he never said he or his company hated anyone. It was the media who created sensational headlines like "Abercrombie & Fitch CEO explains Why He Hates Fat Chicks." When you click on the article, he said no such thing. It was a headline designed to get you to read the article, and when you read the article, you kind of forget he never really said that. In fact the controversial quote in that article was actually by Robin Lewis, author of The New Rules of Retail.  The words 'Fat Chicks' were never used in any quote, just the media headline.

Abercrombie & Fitch has a target market. All retailers do. I read that they don't make women's pant sizes over size 10 and tops over size large. It is really not that unusual. Have you ever heard of the store 5-7-9? (Wait, am I dating myself again?) They only sold sizes 5-7-9 (I think 0-3 too, but that would have made for a silly store name). Were they discriminating against people who wore size 11 and up? Were angry bloggers writing open letters to their CEO? No. Lane Bryant only sells large sizes. No one is upset about that. But would people be upset if their CEO said in print that skinny was ugly and they didn't want to market to that crowd? They probably would.

I do not think that it is their business practice that is making people angry. It is the fact that he admitted it with such arrogance, and then the media got a hold of it and twisted the story for their advantage.

A lot of companies target certain niche demographics and there is nothing wrong with that. It is business. It is called marketing. A lot of companies market their brand as aspirational and try to create an exclusionary brand (usually the exclusion is to the people who can't afford it). This is nothing new or unusual.

Is Jeffries a jerk? Yeah, based on the article I read, I'd say so. Is he a jerk because he doesn't sell larger sizes in his stores? I am going to say no. Maybe he should not have said it so arrogantly, as to cause so much stir. But then again, he probably did it on purpose to cause a stir. Any press is good press, right? Is all this a publicity stunt to garner interest in the retailer? Maybe. After all, even I am talking about it and I can't stand this brand.

Besides, Jeffries made me laugh once, don't we all remember the time he offered to pay "the Situation" from Jersey Shore to STOP wearing his clothes? And that guy has defined abs. HA!

If you disagree with me, be easy on me in the comments.  Remember, I am a middle child, I am sensitive. :)

Like this post? please consider sharing.

Keep Running,

Lea

Ways to (legally) stalk me:
"LIKE" the Running with Ollie Blog page on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter @GeaLenders
Let's track each others workouts on Dailymile
See what I am up to on Pinterest
Add me to your circles on Google +
Follow me on Instagram @runningwithollie
Follow me on What's Beautiful?







Thursday, May 16, 2013

Book Report: Exercise Your Mind


While most of my friends are raving about 50 Shades of Grey and reading novels about teenage vampires, I tend to lean towards non-fiction books. I like to read books that will inspire me, educate me, and help me grow as a person. Of course, there is nothing wrong with losing yourself in a juicy novel, it can be a great escape, but reading a fiction book sometimes feels like a waste of time to me. I am not sure why I feel this way, as I certainly waste plenty of other time watching mindless TV, surfing the net, reading fashion magazines, and watching movies. Maybe it is because books are such a time investment, I want to make sure I get out of them what I put into them.

Here is a quick peak into some of the things I have been reading and liking lately.

The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun

 


What would make someone like me pick up a book called "The Happiness Project"? I don't necessarily need a self-help book on how to be happy. I am already pretty happy. What was intriguing to me was that the author, Gretchen Rubin, said the same thing, that she was a generally happy person. She did a year long experiment to see if small changes in behavior and thoughts could make a significant improvement in happiness. I had four major takeaways: 1. Things that make you happy don't always make you happy while you are doing them. 2. Progress is a major source of happiness 3. Looking at life from a place of appreciation increases happiness. 4. Just because something makes other people happy, doesn't mean it will make you happy. I don't think this book will change me, but if nothing else, it was an interesting read.

Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking



I wrote a whole blog post about this book because I loved it so much. The book is so interesting to me because it is about me. The stories in this book are of real people, case studies, research, interviews, and even experiences from the author herself that prove to validate what I knew all along, that there is nothing wrong with the way I am. I think this book is great for reassuring introverts that we do not have a personality disorder, that our way is just different, and it has its distinct advantages over the gregarious extrovert. However, I think this book would be the most beneficial for extrovert spouses, parents, and bosses to better understand the needs of the introverts in their lives. You can read my full review of Quiet here.

The Long Run



I reread this book anytime I ever start to take running or any physical activity for granted. Running is a gift that can be taken away in a blink of an eye. Matt Long was a hero, a New York City Fire Fighter during 9/11. He was a triathlete, a marathoner, and had qualified for Boston. While riding his bike, he was run over by a city bus that was making an illegal turn. This book is about Matt Long's physical and emotional recovery and comeback to running after his doctors told him he would probably never run again. He set out to prove them wrong. Spoiler alert: He did.

The Art of Non-Conformity

 


This book serves as a reminder that you don't have to live the life that everyone else expects of you. You have the right to make the choices to live the life that you want. While incredibly inspiring to read about Chris Guillebeau's non-traditional lifestyle and world travels, it also was a bit depressing at times, realizing that some lifestyles are just not feasible for everyone. Some of us feel trapped by the (so-called) security of a cubicle job. Chis would probably tell me that it is my own self-imposed limitations that are holding me back. Maybe you don't plan to quit your job to travel the world, or start your own business, but in this book Chris shows you how and why it can be done.


Someone recommended this book to me and I picked it up at the airport to read on a flight. I arrived at my destination a mascara-faced mess. This is a very spiritual book. While some may argue that this book is pure fiction, the author claims it all really happened. The events of the book are so incredibly surreal and fantastical that I can only logically conclude the story was the author's dream. I cried all the way through this book, not because it was sad (it was at times), but because it touched my soul. I cried for no other reason than recognition of the truth.


These kinds of books provide me an informal education into the stories of history, in this case World War II, that I could never get from history books. It is same kind of history that you get by listening to the stories told by your Grandpa. Reading about Louis Zamperini's journey from crashed Army Air Force Bomber to survival by life raft for months in the ocean, only to be "rescued" by the Japanese to become a POW, I wondered if I would have the same will to live as Mr. Zamperini when the circumstances were so extreme and dire. I often thought that no way would I have the strength. I love these triumphant real-life inspirational stories that read like fiction. They remind me of the strength and will of the human spirit.


I had to throw this one in there. While grammar is not exactly a fascinating topic, it is a necessary one for a lot of people. I know I can use all the help I can get. Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl, is best known for her podcast, but she also wrote a grammar book that is actually readable. I read it from cover to cover in a couple of days to refresh my memory on all those things I learned back in school, and it turns out, some of those grammar "rules" I thought I knew, were wrong anyway! Go figure. This book is not just for writers or bloggers, if you write e-mails for your job, this book could be very helpful for you too.

Ollie approves!

Have you read any of these books? What are you reading these days? Do you have any recommendations for me?

Like this post? please consider sharing.

Keep Running,

Lea

Ways to (legally) stalk me:
"LIKE" the Running with Ollie Blog page on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter @GeaLenders
Let's track each others workouts on Dailymile
See what I am up to on Pinterest
Add me to your circles on Google +
Follow me on Instagram @runningwithollie
Follow me on What's Beautiful?


photo credit:
susivinh via photopin cc





Friday, May 10, 2013

Calling Muddy Mommy/Daughter teams: Discount Code for Pretty Muddy!

 Disclosure: Pretty Muddy provided me with a free registration in exchange for blog posts about the event. I am not required to give them a positive review. All opinions are my own. If I hated it, I'd tell you.


What did you get your mom for Mother's Day? Nothing? Well, shame on you. It is not too late. How about a roll in the mud?

Pretty Muddy is offering a discount code for Mother/Daughter teams for the 2013 Pretty Muddy Race Series. Just enter coupon code: MUDDYMOMMA between now and May 12th (Mother's Day) to receive the discount.

From the site:

"Starting this Friday, 5/10 through Sunday 5/12, we will be offering a $15 OFF discount when you register you and your Mom for a Pretty Muddy race. Use the code: MUDDYMOMMA. This is the perfect way to treat your Mom, and the perfect last minute Mother’s Day gift!

Also, we are running a contest on Facebook right now where we are giving away 2 free entries into each one of our 8 events for 1 mother-daughter duo. You can check out the contest here: https://www.facebook.com/PrettyMuddy. All we ask is that you share with us how your Mom has inspired your fitness goals. Pretty simple!"



Like this post? please consider sharing.


Keep Running,

Lea

Ways to (legally) stalk me:

"LIKE" the Running with Ollie Blog page on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter @GeaLenders
Let's track each others workouts on Dailymile
See what I am up to on Pinterest
Add me to your circles on Google +
Follow me on Instagram @runningwithollie
Follow me on What's Beautiful?


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Comfort Zone Crushers: How I Almost Let Fear Win

Through my association with Fitfluental, I am incredibly excited to be part of a sponsored campaign in Under Armour's What's Beautiful competition. I was provided Under Armour gear to participate in the competition. All opinions are my own and I am under no obligation to give them a positive review. If I hated it, I'd tell you.
I have a small confession to make.

I wrote a post on Wednesday about my involvement in Under Armour's What's Beautiful competition through Fitfluential. My confession is that when I originally opened the email from Fitfluential about what would be expected of me as a sponsored blogger, my heart sank and my head started to spin. I was initially overcome with dread. Is this what I signed up for when I applied? I didn't recall that my participation with this campaign would involve me entering a public contest, declaring an epic goal, recruiting teams, and possibly recording a video? What? I can't do this!

My initial thought was to back out. It was a thought driven by fear. What if I look stupid? What if no one joins my teams? (How the heck am I going to get people to join my team?) What if I look fat in my pictures? I am terrible at making videos. What if I fail? This isn't me. Nope, not gonna do it.

But ultimately, it came down to the fact that I really value my association with Fitfluential. It is a great community of like-minded bloggers, it provides tremendous opportunities, knowledge, support, and friendships. I knew if I backed out, it would reflect poorly on me and could possibly hinder my future relationship. That is something I am not willing to risk. I made a commitment to Fitfluential and I became determined to follow through.

 

Suck it up buttercup...I'm doing this!


But you know what happened? I started out by visiting the What's Beautiful site and creating a profile. Then I declared a pretty awesome goal that I wouldn't have made if it wasn't for the competition. I even recorded a Vlog declaring my goal, and while still a bit awkward, I realized that I was already getting a little better in front of the camera (i.e. it did not take me three days of retakes to film 3 minutes of unedited video). I was starting to feel really good about this.

That night as I was completing challenges on the site, interacting with other athletes, and joining some teams, I realized...wait a minute...this is really fun! I was loving this competition! What's Beautiful is like a social media site for motivated people all working towards their goals together. I was incredibly inspired as I read through the other athlete's profiles. I had become more motivated than I had been in months! I had new inspiration, a new awesome (scary) goal, and the pure excitement to fuel my first blog post about it.

This is one of the best things I have done in a long long time...and I nearly let fear keep me from it, because I was uncomfortable with the idea at first.

That is when I decided to name my team Comfort Zone Crushers, because it turns out that this What's Beautiful campaign is an absolute perfect fit for me, my blog, my goals, and maybe for you too, my friends and readers. I just had to take a tiny step outside of my comfort zone in order to see it.

At the Rock 'n Roll San Antonio Half Marathon 2012


What's Beautiful? It is beautiful to break through your own self-imposed limitations, one at time. Will you join my team on What's Beautiful and become a Comfort Zone Crusher too? Let's do this together.





photo credit: Property#1 via photopin cc





Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What's Beautiful?

 
Through my association with Fitfluental, I am incredibly excited to be part of a sponsored campaign in Under Armour's What's Beautiful program. What's Beautiful is described as a competition to redefine the female athlete, for me personally, it gives me a tremendous opportunity to redefine my personal goals.

Thea idea is that you sign up on Under Armour's What's Beautiful site and set an epic goal for yourself and maybe some small ones too. You declare your goal publicly, invite friends (or blog friends, hint hint) to declare their own goals, and then for the next several weeks, document your progress while we all work our asses off towards achieving our goals together, as a community! I set up a team called the Comfort Zone Smashers, because for me, success is all about pushing outside of my comfort zone (physically, mentally, and in and out of the fitness world). Won't you join me?

The best part is that while you are working towards your goals, you may get rewarded for your effort and dedication. Every week Under Armour is giving away swag bags to the top performers, the women who are really crushing it, and after eight weeks they will choose 10 finalists to advance to the next round. In the end, three winners will be flown to Costa Rica to attend a four day yoga and surf retreat. How's that for motivation?

My BIG goal? To stop talking about it and finally run a full marathon. I signed up for a training group to run the Dallas Marathon in December 2013. Here we go!  Here is my goal as declared on What's Beautiful.

"I will be a comfort zone crusher! I will train for my first full marathon. I will focus on strength training to get strong, not skinny! I will focus on maintaining balance with exercise and food. I WILL."

Click here to view my profile page. I'd love it if you would support my efforts by following me on this site and joining my team. It is like a social media site, but for the fit minded, like you and me.


What's Beautiful to me? It is beautiful to name a goal and work towards achieving it. It is beautiful to grow as a person and enjoy every moment of the process. It is beautiful to live in the here and now, while still striving for better things. It's beautiful to love yourself exactly how you are today, while working towards the future.

The beautiful thing (pun intended) is that the competition is open to all adult women, no matter what your goals! Do you have a goal you would like to declare? I encourage you to set up your own profile and once you name your own goal, please feel free to join my team on the site, Comfort Zone Crushers, so we can motivate and encourage each other along the way!

Check out my video where I declare my goals for What's Beautiful. (And watch me freak out a bit at 2:20.) Just so you are aware, vlogs are way outside my comfort zone. Crushed it! (except I don't know why I look so frightened those last two seconds.)











Saturday, May 4, 2013

Fart What? Oh! Fartlek!



Have you ever picked up a copy of Runners World magazine and wondered what the heck all that running jargon means? It usually reads something like this..run half marathon pace for 800 meters, or 10K pace for 400 meter repeats, or 5K pace for 400 meters divide by four and subtract 10 seconds. Huh? If your head is spinning because you can't calculate math in your head, (or particularly well with a calculator either, like me,) or you don't have a track nearby, then Fartlek might be the interval training plan for you.

Fart Whats? Oh, there we go again with the running jargon. Fartlek is a word hardly ever never breathed outside the running community, how do you work that into a casual conversation at the water cooler?

"Fartlek, which means "speed play" in Swedish, is a training method that blends continuous training with interval training" is the definition from Wikipedia, the website where I acquire all my street smarts.

Ollie, my dog, said it best.

"I run faster when I chase a squirrel and slow down when I want to sniff a tree. I think you running humans call that Fartlek, I call it life." - Ollie



It is my favorite form of interval running training, because the treadmill, while effective at controlling pace and time, can be mind-numbingly boring. Fartlek gives you the freedom to run according to how you feel, out on the street, with no GPS watch, timers, or pedometers (although a heart-rate monitor is very helpful to determine your effort.) The key to success with Fartlek is that you have to be willing to push yourself outside of your running pace comfort zone for short periods of time.

An example of a Fartlek workout I do may look something like this:

Warm up for 5-10 minutes by running at an easy comfortable pace.
I choose a landmark ahead and sprint at a faster-than-comfortable-I-can't-hold-a-conversation pace until I reach, say the next stop sign, or that white van parked on the corner, or the top of a steep hill.
Once I reach my destination, my heart is pumping and I am out of breath, I'll walk or slow jog until my breathing is mostly recovered.
Then I'll pick up the pace a bit and gradually run faster until I hit my I'm-working-for-it pace and sprint towards the next landmark I chose ahead.
Repeat for a few miles with sprints and recovery.
Cool down by jogging slow or walking at the end.

The great thing about Fartlek is that some days I can run shorter distances and push myself harder on the run intervals, and other days I run longer distances but go a bit slower and further during the speed intervals. By combining both styles, I build both speed and endurance. As I get stronger, my speed intervals will get faster and my recovery intervals will get shorter. Then as a side effect to all this hard work, my overall comfortable running pace will improve, I will naturally run faster without really trying!

Do you Fartlek? Do you talk about it in public? What is your favorite interval workout? 

I am not a running coach or expert. I am simply sharing my experiences with Fartlek workouts. Please do your own research and/or talk to your Dr. or fitness professional before trying a new program.

Like this post? please consider sharing.


Keep Running,

Lea

Ways to (legally) stalk me:

"LIKE" the Running with Ollie Blog page on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter @GeaLenders
Let's track each others workouts on Dailymile
See what I am up to on Pinterest
Add me to your circles on Google +
Follow me on Instagram @runningwithollie



photo credit: CollegeDegrees360 via photopin cc






Friday, May 3, 2013

Pin it Party!


Do you pin?

I often wonder how I ever found recipes, new hairstyle ideas, had parties, applied my make up, discovered a new workout, or planned my own wedding before Pinterest was invented. Now Pinterest is my go-to place for most everything. I am wholly and completely slightly addicted.

As usual, I am late to the party. Yesterday Lean Green Bean Blog hosted a Pin it Party for bloggers! If you are a blogger, the idea is to do a round up post of five images from your blog that you would like to share on Pinterest, then check out the links and pin the images from the other bloggers at the party. You can check out all the details and rules of Lean Green Bean Blog Pin it Party here.

If you are a reader, you can play too! Did you know that pinning images from your favorite blogs is a great and easy way to support them? Please check out the Pin Party to feed your Pinterest addiction and discover a ton of great new fitness blogs.

First things first. You can follow me on Pinterest here and I will follow you back, so we can share our great pins!

This is my contribution to the Pin it Party. These are my five pinable images that I thought you would like and the links back to the original posts.








Thursday, May 2, 2013

Throwback Thursday: The Things I Learned at CrossFit On-Ramp

Welcome to the latest edition of Throwback Thursday. This is a monthly post where I share an archive post from my blog (Running for Dummies, my old blog name) that you likely missed the first time around, back when no one but my mom and husband were reading my blog.  I decided to move Throwback Thursday to a once-monthly post, rather than weekly, because frankly my blog is less than two years old, and when I was doing it weekly, I was quickly catching up to current posts.

I also share an old painstakingly cute or embarrassing throwback picture of myself, so you can either coo or laugh at me. This is me and my Daddy on his dirt bike, circa 1980.



This month's post was my recap about my first experiences at CrossFit called, "The Things I Learned at CrossFit On-ramp" 



I am no longer doing Crossfit, due to financial and social reasons, (it is expensive and I am more of a solo workout type of person) but I feel like I learned a lot in my short time at the box.

"I learned four little lessons that are just the beginnings of the things I will learn in CrossFit.  These are not just CrossFit lessons, but life lessons; Suck it up, don't compare yourself to others, check your ego at the door, and be honest with yourself.  I believe if you follow these four little rules, you will have already mastered half the battle, the battle of the mind, and then you will be free to work on conquering the body!"

Please click over to the original post to read more about


Like this? please consider sharing.


Keep Running,

Lea

Ways to (legally) stalk me:

"LIKE" the Running with Ollie Blog page on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter @GeaLenders
Let's track each others workouts on Dailymile
See what I am up to on Pinterest
Add me to your circles on Google +
Follow me on Instagram @runningwithollie


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