Monday, December 29, 2014

My 10 Most Popular Blog Posts of 2014

The last week of December is the perfect week for lazy busy bloggers. I can drum up lots of new blog content solely based on 2014 year-in review-posts! I have some great blog posts ideas for 2015, but first let's round out the year with another recap post. In case you missed it, I shared the 20 most delightful Ollie pics of 2014. I mean, who wouldn't love that? Then in an attempt to be clever, I wrote a 2014 year-in-review post in rhymes. Silly bad poetry is always a hit! Now that those posts are out of the way, I'd like to share with you my 10 Most Popular Blog Posts of 2014. Click on the link in the title of the blog post to check it out. Happy New Year, friends!!

10. The Neon Dash: A Glowing recommendation?
If you read my recap poem, you know I ran the Neon Dash to celebrate the last day in my 30s. Check out my recap to see if I gave it a glowing recommendation.



9. What is a Virtual Race? A Guide to Virtual Racing
I hosted a virtual race for my 40th birthday, so I put together this handy little guide to virtual racing that answers all the questions you were (not really) afraid to ask.



8.  The Truth about Restaurant Iced-Tea
I learned something that surprised me about some restaurant unsweetened iced-tea.


7. Planet Fitness: Deal or Deal?
This place gets a bad rap on the internet. Is it really as bad as everyone says or is it worth $10 a month?




6. How to Transition from Run/Walk Intervals to Running
Nothing wrong with a run/walk routine, but if you want to learn to run continuously, these are the things that worked for me.

5. 5 Steps to Overcoming Negative Thoughts while Running
It happens to the best of us. How I beat down that negative voice in my head.



4. Runner's Math: It May Not be Logical but it Works for Me!
A humorous (I think so) look at those silly things we runners say. Yeah, I think I'm funny.



3. Unspoken Rules of Blogging Etiquette
How are you supposed to know them if they are unspoken? This post was a part of my Social Media Sunday series (more to come in 2015!) and gained popularity because it was shared by SITS Girls!



2. 50 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Work Out
Because we all need a little help in the motivation department from time to time.



1. 25 Tips to Wake up Early to Work Out
I need all the help I can get.


How was your year? Are you ready to crush 2015? I am!

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Keep Running,

Lea

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Year-in-Review Poem for 2014

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you probably know I have a penchant for writing silly poems. Two years ago I wrote a new year's resolution poem (that I am quite proud of) and last year a funny little New Year's Eve blogger shout out poem. This year, when I was putting together my year-in-review post I didn't seem to have as much to share as usual, so I decided to write my 2014 review post in rhymes.

I've been writing a year-in-review blog post since 2008, long before this blog was called Running with Ollie (and even before Running for Dummies). Back then the year-in-review posts were the only blog posts I wrote all year. These are the posts that got me started with blogging. Who would have ever thought this blog would have grown like it has? These days a few more people are reading than back in 2008 (when it was just my mom) and I am happy to share my year with you. Thanks for being here!

2014 was a milestone year,
I turned 40 years old with nary a tear.
Older and wiser with great things ahead,
Let's look back, oh my, how time has sped.

With concerts, races and travel abound,
There were great moments, experiences and love all around.
In June there was a road trip to see Jack White,
Shreveport at the rail was an amazing night.


Before I turned 40 I had a birthday bash,
Last night of my 30s we ran the Neon Dash.
We ran at night under black lights,
I won't accept 40 without a fight!


For my birthday I hosted a virtual run,
And my readers were asked to join in the fun.
Four miles they ran to celebrate with me,
and to say Happy Birthday virtually.


Speaking of age, shhhh.. It was a surprise,
Grandma turned 100, but feels young I'd surmise.
So don't you dare tell her that she's getting old,
I get the feeling that she hasn't been told.


To celebrate our vows we headed out west,
To La Jolla, the place our love was professed.
Nine years of marriage have flown by so fast,
So happy to have found this love that lasts.


In November I ran the turkey trot,
I run it each year more often than not.
Not fast, not pretty, but at my own pace,
Preemptive burn before I stuffed my face.



Last of all I earned a high five,
I ran the Dallas half marathon and didn't die.
I can't wait for the races that the new year will bring,
All the fun, the friendships and of course, the bling!


racing bling.
Then Santa left this under the tree,
I swear it seems like he really knows me.
A GPS watch and a Nike running shirt
It feels like I hit the runner's pay dirt!


Big Happy New Year to all my friends
I hope as the year comes to an end,
You'll look forward to two thousand fifteen
with the biggest dreams you've ever seen!

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Keep Running,

Lea

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Picture This: The 20 Most Delightful Ollie the Dog Pictures of 2014

I am not above pimping Ollie out for monthly page views and nothing drives page views quite like a top 20 list of adorable pooch pictures. I decided my year-in-review post would be a year of Ollie. Here is the best of Ollie's year in pictures: The 20 most delightful Ollie pictures of 2014. I hope you had a year that was half as great as his.

#20. Selfie fail.
#19. Yes, I am cute.
#18. I high-five for treats. Only for treats, though. Don't push it. 
#17. My favorite toy/treat. You can eat it too! I swear! 
#16. A dog's life.
#15. Did you say a right or a left at the light?
#14. Fine, you drive. I like the wind in my ears.
#13. Please take me for a run, mama. Please! I'll love you forever!
#12. The dirtiest I got all year.
#11. I sure do like this butt pillow mama got for me. 
#10. Don't do things that make me mad (like take my picture) or I'll give you the stink eye. 
#9. Ha Ha Ha. Just kidding. I love you. Can we go for a run now?
#8. Ollie-Wan Kenobi 
#7. Worn out after a run.
#6. What you talkin' about mama?
#5. I like to play! 
#4. Play hard. Rest hard.
#3. What?
#2. Selfie

#1. Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas to you and your family (including your four-legged family members) from Running with Ollie blog! What is your favorite Ollie picture of 2014?

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Lea

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

New Year's Race-olutions and the 2015 Rock 'n' Blog Team

I am not a big fan of New Year's resolutions. I am all for making positive changes in life and if you decide make changes in the new year, then that is great! It is just important to remember that positive changes can be made any day throughout the year. There is no need to wait for a new year to roll around. Too often New Year's resolutions are used as rationalization for last-hoorah-style excessiveness in December. i.e. I'll eat this whole jar of Nutella today, but I'll get back on track on January 1st. I speak from experience. I usually try to start any New Year's resolutions in December each year. I figure it gives me an extra push of motivation to stay focused on my goals through the holidays and I get a month head start on the rest of the world.

I have some personal goals for 2015, but today I want to focus on my New Year RACE-OLUTIONS!

The Dallas Half Marathon:

I ran the Dallas half marathon in December. It was so fun, the weather was just about perfect (for those of us running the half, it started raining on my full-marathon friends). It was a great way to wrap up 2014 and kick off the 2015 racing season.

The people at CogniTea approached me on Twitter and asked me if I would be interested in trying their product. At first, I declined. The tea looked great, I just didn't see how it would fit into this blog. I don't usually write about tea. I told them so and they offered to send the tea anyway. Sure, why not?

What I didn't expect is that a sticker that arrived with the CongiTea would become my Dallas half marathon mantra and possibly my mantra for all of 2015. I Can. I Will. 

It was a great mantra for when my brain tried to sneak in a "I Can't." Of course I can. I will.
I Can. I Will. I Did!

2015 Rock 'n' Blog Team:

I am so happy to announce that I am officially on the Rock 'n' Roll marathon's Rock 'n' Blog team for 2015! What does that mean, exactly? It means I'll be running three rock 'n' roll races in 2015, blogging about them, supporting other rock 'n' bloggers in their race pursuits, and sharing it all on social media on behalf of the Rock 'n' Roll marathon series. It really is the perfect partnership for me. Running, blogging and rock 'n' roll are my three favorite things. Now to decide on my three races. Dallas is a given. I ran San Antonio in 2012 so I will probably do that one again, but the third race? I've been wanting to run the Las Vegas rock 'n' roll for a few years now, it would be amazing to run the strip at night.

Special shout out and thank you to Abby from Back at Square Zero (fellow team member) who tweeted when the applications were open, which prompted me to apply. I'm so glad that I did! You can check out my Rock 'n' Blog profile here!



I'm looking for forward to a great 2015 racing season!

Now it's your turn!
Do you have any 2015 Race-olutions?
Have you ever ran a Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series race?
Do you have any suggestions for me for my third rock 'n' roll marathon series race?
Do you have a favorite race mantra?

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Lea

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

ClassPass Giveaway Winner Announced!

Hi, friends. I am thrilled to announce the winner of the one month membership giveaway to ClassPass. Thanks to everyone who entered to win. ClassPass just launched in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and I am working with them to help spread the word. You can learn more about ClassPass here.
ClassPass operates in Dallas, Boston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Seattle, San Diego, Portland, and Austin! With a ClassPass membership you get access to multiple fitness boutique studios in your area. If you like Yoga, Barre, Pilates, weight training, boot camps and more, then ClassPass is a great option to take a variety of classes for one monthly price. Check out the ClassPass FAQ for more information.

Congratulations to Nicole R! I'll send you an email with the details.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I'd especially love it if you would stay tuned because I will be a guest writer on the ClassPass blog in the new year!

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Keep Running,

Lea

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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Living the Sweaty Life with ClassPass DFW #GIVEAWAY

If you are looking for a unique gift idea for the fitness enthusiast in your life, then look no further. I am excited that ClassPass has launched in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

ClassPass is such an awesome concept. For a flat monthly fee you can visit local boutique fitness studios without having individual memberships to each (think Yoga, Barre, Pilates, boot camps and more). One price gives you access to all the classes! You can take unlimited classes each month, but only can visit each individual studio up to three times a month.

A ClassPass under the tree would make a perfect gift for the fitness enthusiast in your life (or yourself!).

I live near Fort Worth, TX and there are several local studios that I have been wanting to try, like Bikram Yoga off of 7th street and Pure Barre in Fort Worth. Now with my ClassPass I can give these studios a try, plus many more. I was quite impressed that there were so many options so shortly after the ClassPass launch in DFW. They say they are adding new studios to the line up all the time. There is something for everyone. Here is the DFW studio map.

DFW ClassPass studios

ClassPass also operates in Boston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Seattle, San Diego, Portland, and Austin! Check out the ClassPass FAQ for more information.

What are you waiting for...


The best part is that I have a giveaway for a one month membership to ClassPass (a $99 value!) plus a ClassPass tank top (size med), water bottle, and tote bag. I'd love it if you would enter to win and please share this post with any friends you know in ClassPass cities!

*In order to win the complimentary month you must be a new client to ClassPass, you must not have used ClassPass in the past.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


GIVEAWAY RULES:   
Contest runs until end of day December 14th
No purchase necessary.
1 winner will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter.
Rafflecopter entries of winner will be verified. 
Open to US residents 18 years of age or older.
Must live in (or near) a ClassPass city. 
Winner will notified via email and blog post 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.


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Keep Running,

Lea

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Furry Friday Featuring Carter & Ellie (Run Bear Run!)

Happy furday Friday, friends! Welcome to the latest edition of Furry Friday Feature. Once a month on a Friday, I feature a furry four-legged runner and their human, because it's a sure crowd-pleaser. Everyone loves to meet these dogs who run.

Now let's get straight to business! I am pleased to introduce you to Carter and Ellie from Run Bear Run. Carter has a great blog that is the perfect mix of running and humor.

Ellie showing her gratitude after her first ever run!

Hi, Carter. Tell us a little bit about your favorite running partner.
Her name is Ellie - she's a rescued black Labrador with a little bit of something else mixed it. She's six months old, so her running adventures have only just begun!

She's a bundle of energy and always enthusiastic, but the best thing about her is that unlike so many dogs of her age, when we go out to run, she knows she's on a ʺmissionʺ. No chasing squirrels. No stopping to smell a bush. We're out to run, and she knows it!

Where is your favorite place to run with your pooch?
My favorite place to run with Ellie is Trinity Trails in Fort Worth. It's a stunningly beautiful trail.

We typically start at the University Drive bridge and head north to Trinity Park, where we detour through the park itself. It's always beautiful, there are tons of other friendly people and four-legged friends.

Ellie's favorite spot is the duck pond, although she's a real trooper - she just observes them as we run past, instead of chasing after them.
Running makes Ellie happy!

Have you ever raced with your dog? 
I haven't raced with Ellie yet (she's a bit too young), but as soon as she's old enough I'd love to try a 5k with her. She's fantastic about staying on pace with me.

Tell us about a running moment that made you proud.
My proudest moment so far is completing the Dallas Tough Mudder this past October. That ~10 mile course was the farthest I've ever run by far, and I did the entire thing (obstacles and all) without stopping or walking. That's actually what kickstarted my latest adventure: training for the Cowtown Half Marathon, with the view towards running a Full Marathon soon after and, eventually, completing an Ironman triathlon.

Ellie with her mama (Carter's wife and fellow runner!)

What important running (or life) lesson can we learn from our dogs?
Ellie has actually taught me two very important lessons about running:

First, you've almost always got a little bit more to give. She lets me know when she's had enough and would like to stop, but no matter what she almost always seems to have a little bit ʺleft in the tankʺ for us to finish up our run. She doesn't quit on her partner.

Second, and probably more important, when you NEED to stop, you need to stop. She is completely unashamed about plopping down in the shade right in the middle of a run if she's just plain out of gas. And guess what? It doesn't ruin her day. She's still happy. That's taught me to enjoy the process more, as opposed to having an ʺall or nothingʺ attitude.

You can follow Carter and Ellie on Run Bear Run or on Twitter https://twitter.com/runbearrunblog.

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.)


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Keep Running,

Lea

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