Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Backyard Shed Gym

Hubby and I live in a little old house on about a 1/2 acre of land. We have little house on a big lot. We are just two people and a dog. We have three bedrooms, one bath and about 1500 sq. ft. Hubby converted the garage into a drum studio/practice space/collectors showcase.

This was our starter home, but room by room, piece by piece, in over 10 years, we remodeled every inch of this old house. People often walk into our home and say that they never imagined that the inside of our house would look like it does based on the outside. Nestled inside this unassuming old house, we built our dream home.

Of course, sometimes we wonder if we are growing out of this house. It seems there is never enough space to store anything. Where do we keep the Christmas tree? The closets, built in the '50s, are so small. Winter clothes/summer clothes and skinny clothes/fat clothes don't all fit in the closets at the same time. It is on constant rotation. My husband's shoe collection (yes, collection is the right word) puts most women's shoe wardrobes to shame. We just have so much stuff. Every so often we start toying with idea of moving into a bigger house. But with every detail exactly as we designed it, we feel like we have put too much into this house, we just couldn't walk away. Why would we want to? For bigger closets or more places to store our junk? For a second shower and toilet to scrub? A bigger mortgage payment? No thanks.

When the subject of space (or lack-there-of) comes up we often just conclude it is time to declutter. We don't need a bigger house, we need less stuff.

You may remember my post about setting up our home gym. We had a lot of gym equipment laying around and we bought a few things to complete our home gym. What I didn't really mention is that we really don't have the room for home gym. As you can see in the pictures, we set up our equipment on the back deck for sort of a backyard bootcamp. It works fine, but I don't like not having mirrors to check form, and then the weather can be an issue, as well as the daylight. I wished we had space in our house to build our gym!

I really don't remember how we even came up with the idea, but we started looking at backyard sheds. You wouldn't believe how nice they make these sheds. After a ton of research, the one we landed on looks like a back house. It will be wired with electricity for lights, power outlets, and air conditioning. It really was an incredible price, much less than it would cost to do an addition on our house to add the extra space.

our future backyard "shed" gym
We are building a gym in our back yard! They will build it in about two weeks and from there we will have to get it wired up, lay the floors, etc. I hope to be up and running with our home gym in about a month.

I'll be purchasing a treadmill for our new gym. Do you have any suggestions for a quality treadmill?

Stay tuned for progress and the final pictures!


Keep Running,

Lea

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Day in the Life of Ollie (the Dog)

Hi, Friends! My name is Ollie. I am an English Pointer and I live in Fort Worth with my mom and dad. My mom asked me to write this blog post to tell you all about a day in my life. I like to write a guest post now and again, even though we all know I am the real reason you read this blog in the first place. Mom told me that some of her FitFluential friends were doing a link-up with blog posts about a day in their life. My mom's life is pretty boring (she leaves me for 9-10 hours a day!) so I suggested that we do a day in my life instead, since my life is so much more interesting. I was so happy that she agreed.


My day starts out the same each morning. Mom likes to sleep (a lot) so I usually have to wake her up each day. Sometimes she tries to push me away, but I know if I keep licking her face she will get up.

wake up, mom!
Once mom gets up she wakes dad and then we all eat breakfast together. I usually wait under the table to catch anything that drops while they eat. It's my job to keep food off the floor. I don't mean to brag but I am pretty good at it. When their breakfast is done and I am sure all the food is gone, I eat my breakfast from my dog bowl. I sure love it when dad drops the bacon! Don't tell mom but I think he sometimes drops it on purpose!

Once breakfast is over it is time for my daily walk! It is the best part of my whole day!! Sometimes mom leaves the house before my walk and is gone for a long long time. I don't know where she goes, but she always comes back though. Some days just dad and I walk, but I like it best when the whole family goes out together.




When we get back from our walk I get some time to play in the backyard. There are a lot of friends to play with back there! Besides the squirrels and bunnies, I have two girlfriends! You heard me. Two. 

This is Lila. She's pretty cute, right?


This is my other girlfriend, Remy. Since she lives next door, my dad lets me run across the front yard to visit her at her house. We love each other a lot.


When play time is over it is time to go back inside for a nap. Mom is always in my face with that darn camera! Sometimes a boy just wants to rest.


After nap time, I am usually hungry for a snack. My dad is pretty generous with the snacks.


Sometimes mom and I run together when she gets home, but she is pretty slow. I can smoke her.


Later in the day I like to hang out with dad in the man cave. Don't worry, we let mom hang out in there too.


...and at the end of a long fun day, I curl up on my bed and dream about chasing squirrels (I always catch them in my dreams).



I hope your day was as fun as mine! It's a dog's life around here. I hope you enjoyed a day in the life of Ollie!


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Keep Running,

Lea


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Monday, January 19, 2015

Shine Athletica Fierce Tank Giveaway Winner

I am excited to announce the winner of the Shine Athletica Fierce burn out tank. 



a Rafflecopter giveaway
Congratulations, Rachel! I'll send you an email you to get your size and shipping address. Thanks to everyone who entered to win. You can find this shirt and tons of other cute designs over on www.shineathletica.com

I announced last week that I was entering into a partnership with Shine Athletica. As part of our new partnership they will be producing "My running partner has four legs" tank tops. Aren't these cute? They are for sale now here and on the Shine Athletica Etsy page. You can also buy direct from me by filling out this order form plus I'll be doing a giveaway next month.

I am now also managing their social media accounts, so if you follow Shine Athletica on Twitter, and Instagram, I'll be sure you get a follow back. 





What do you think of my new shirts? Cute, right?

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Keep Running,

Lea

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Furry Friday Feature! Meet Lauren and #Teamtripawds

Happy furday Friday, friends! Welcome to the latest edition of Furry Friday FeatureOnce 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.

This month I am happy to introduce you to Lauren and her #teamtripawds!

Hi, Lauren. Tell us a little bit about your favorite running partners.
I have two favorite running partners, and they are both 3 legged! We call ourselves #teamtripawds. My boy is a 2 year old Border Collie name Porter. We rescued him in May, and the cause of his amputation (right front) is unknown, but it happened in April. He loves to run all the time, although the most we've gone together is 4 miles 'cause I don't want to stress his shoulder.


My girl is a 5 year old Chihuahua mix named Willow. We've had her almost 2 years. She was hit by a car 2 years ago which broke both right legs. 6 months and 4 surgeries after that her right hind still hadn't healed, and had to be amputated. She prefers to run with her dad, my husband, but will put up with running with Porter and I if we go slow. She prefers 1 - 1.5 miles.


Where is your favorite place to run with your pooch?
We live in Las Vegas so we don't have many trail options, which means we hit the streets. I'd love it if we could find some soft dirt trails...it'd be better on their joints! The desert trails are hard on Porter's front paw pad since he puts so much force through that one leg.

Have you ever raced with your dog? 
We ran a 5K at Christmas with both dogs, their first race! Porter really connected with a handicapped woman there which was awesome to be a part of.


Porter and I have plans to do the Bad Ass Dash in May! It's an obstacle course race and they have a K9 division. We are open to doing other races too! (from Lea: I love the idea of K9 division in an obstacle race! I wonder if Ollie would behave for long enough to do something like that? Probably not!)



Tell us about a running moment that made you proud.
I'm just proud of getting out there and running as often as possible. I ran competitively in college. I'm proud of running steeplechase and for setting my 5K PR on the track (I'm not a fan of running in circles, so this was a big deal for me) at 19:53. My first marathon (and only marathon) so far was a big accomplishment. (from Lea: congrats on that amazing 5K time!)

What important running (or life) lesson can we learn from our dogs?
They are what motivates me to get out the door. They have such excitement and desire to go! Plus they never complain or come up with excuses. Especially mine, having a "handicap," they don't let that slow them down one bit!



Any parting thoughts?
I love running with my dogs and spreading awareness of what "handicapped" dogs can do.

Thank you Lauren for sharing your story and those cute furry faces! You can follow Lauren, Porter and Willow on Instagram.

Have you missed any furry features? 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

Does your running partner have four legs

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Blogging For a Happier New Year: 5 Ways to a Better Race in 2015

Check me out on the ClassPass blog. I wrote an article for ClassPass as part of a series on their blog called Blogging For a Happier New Year. Every day in January they are featuring a new blogger from one of their 20 cities.


If you live in a ClassPass city (Dallas, Boston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Seattle, San Diego, Portland, or Austin) and are interested in joining ClassPass, you can skip the waiting list and join right away with this referral link (this is not an affiliate link, I don't receive anything if you click or join).



I'd love it if you would click over and check out my article. If you are feeling extra support-y (that's a word, right?) a comment on their blog would be super!

Thanks, friends. I hope you're having a great week!

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Keep Running,

Lea

Does your running partner have four legs

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Shine Athletica Fitness and Yoga Apparel #Giveaway

Hi, friends! I am super excited to announce a new ongoing partnership with Shine Athletica. I am always thrilled when I can align my blog with a fitness brand that so closely shares my values. I have so much respect for Heather over at Shine and we decided to pull our resources and work together on some fun new projects. We have a lot of cool things in the works, like a Shine Athletica brand ambassador program for bloggers and social media influencers, but first we wanted to kick off our new partnership with a giveaway!


"At Shine Athletica we aim to encourage, inspire, and enlighten women to enjoy and embrace fitness comfortably and confidently, while expressing themselves."

Shine Athletica Racerback Burnout "Fierce" Tank Top

It is so easy to enter to win. All you have to do is leave a blog comment and fill out the Rafflecopter form below to confirm your entry, plus there are plenty of ways to earn extra entries.

If you would like to buy fitness apparel from Shine Athletica can you check out all their cute women's fitness and yoga apparel at www.shineathletica.com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GIVEAWAY RULES:
Contest runs from 1/12/2015-1/20/2015
No purchase necessary.
Winner will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter.
Open to US residents 18 years of age or older.
Must have a shipping address in the US.
Winners will notified via email (if available from entry) 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.
Contestants must enter on the Rafflecopter form in order to win.
All winning entries will be verified. If a winning entry cannot be verified as completed, it will be disqualified and a new winner will be drawn.
Prize will ship directly from Shine Athletica.
Please allow 30 days for prize delivery.



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Keep Running,

Lea

Does your running partner have four legs

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

What's For Breakfast? Eggs in the Nest

My husband told me he had a surprise breakfast planned for Saturday morning. When I pushed him to tell me the surprise, he wouldn't budge. "You'll see" he taunted. When I saw the acorn squash on the counter, I was a little worried. Acorn squash for breakfast, really? It's not that I don't like acorn squash, it is just that I am a total stickler for routine. Every morning I eat dippy eggs (the technical term for what other people call sunny-side-up), one slice of Ezekiel toast, and a 1/2 of a grapefruit. This is what I eat, don't mess with my routine.


But he was set on a special breakfast this morning. He said he found the recipe online but he doesn't remember where (only a non-blogger, right?), so we have recreated it for you here. He called it Eggs in the Hole, but I thought there must be a better name so I took to my Facebook page with a picture to ask what these were called. One reader said that in her family they were called toad in a hole and another said eggs in the nest. Toad in a hole made me laugh, but let's go with eggs in the nest.

Slice the squash about 3/4" thick, but you will only use the middle slices, the ones with a complete hole in the middle. Remove the seeds.


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place acorn squash slices on the sheet.
Season with salt and pepper.
Bake acorn squash for 20 minutes at 375.


When they come out of the oven break an egg into each hole.
Place back in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the egg yolks are firm.
Tops with crushed walnuts and Sriracha (optional).


























Hubby served with avocado and a couple slices of bacon. Yum! These were so delicious and a healthier alternative to the traditional eggs in a hole made with white bread. Our acorn only made four slices and after devouring my two, I was left wanting more! 






































Now it's your turn! Let me know in the comments. 
Does your spouse ever make you breakfast? 
Have you ever heard these called toad in a hole? 
Do you have a breakfast routine? 
Will you try these? 


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Keep Running,

Lea

Does your running partner have four legs

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

National Walk Your Dog Month: 5 Reasons to Walk Your Dog Daily

You must know how much I love those weird made-up holidays. How can we forget about the memories we all made on National No Housework Day or the happy full tummies from National Grilled Cheese Day? It's during these precious national holidays that family bonds are built and memories are made...unless it is New Beer's Eve, you probably won't remember a thing about that one. I've even attempted (unsuccessfully) to start my own National Holiday, National Hug a Blogger Day!

Imagine my delight and surprise when I saw that January is Walk Your Dog Month! While Ollie didn't get onboard for National Penguin Day, he is super excited about this one. It's the perfect opportunity to tell you about all the benefits of walking with your dog. We walk with Ollie every single day. Whether we run or not, we always at least walk. Yes, Ollie makes a great running partner, but he also makes an outstanding walking partner.


5 Reasons to Walk Your Dog Daily (and not just during National Walk Your Dog Month)

1. Your dog needs exercise. Walking helps to keep your dog healthy and happy. Walking is an exercise that most people and dogs can do regardless of current fitness level. If you think your dog gets plenty of exercise running around in the back yard, it might not be enough. Just like you may own a treadmill, it doesn't mean you use it enough to get the fitness benefits.

2. Your dog wants to spend time with you. You are the most important person in the world to your dog. That feels great, doesn't it? A walk provides an awesome opportunity to spend quality time together. It can be a tremendous bonding experience and your dog will you love you (even more) for it.

3. It makes your dog so happy. I don't know how Ollie musters up the enthusiasm for every single run and every single walk, but for him, it never gets old. Seeing him so happy, makes me happy too.

4. Walking gives your dog a purpose. Ollie likes to get out and see his friends and protect us from potential enemies (those dang cats!). There are even some lessons you can learn from your dog!

5. Your dog provides a great reason to get outside and get moving. If for no other reason, walking your dog gives you a great reason to get moving yourself! A mile or two a day can do wonders for your own well-being!

What are you waiting for? It's a great resolution for both you and your dog. Take advantage of National Walk Your Dog Month. Get that leash and take your four-legged friend out for a walk to celebrate. Ollie and I will be waiting to receive all your National Walk Your Dog Month cards in the mail.



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Keep Running,

Lea

Does your running partner have four legs

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Intro Vlog: Meet Lea, 41 Seconds of Awkward

I realized today that the "Meet Lea" video that I had on my left side bar was really old. It was recorded almost two years ago when I changed my blog name from Running for Dummies to Running with Ollie. I can't believe how quickly time flies. Two years later a video explaining that I changed my blog name really didn't make any sense when I'm sure most people barely remember that old blog.

Since Sunday is my hair washing day (seriously. don't ask.) I thought today would be a good day to record a new video. I am terribly awkward in front of the camera. I am barely good at talking to people in real life, so the added stress of the "red light syndrome" doesn't help. In the past, I have recorded literally 50 videos before I could come up with 30 seconds that didn't completely embarrass me I didn't hate. Today I was feeling a little less patient, so this is only my second take. Hope you like it, it will be on my sidebar for at least two years! Sit back and enjoy 41 seconds of awkward...I mean awesome.




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Keep Running,

Lea


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Friday, January 2, 2015

How to Rock Your New Year Resolutions

Happy New Year, friends! It is January 2nd, so I assume you've had plenty of time to think about your New Year resolutions. I know I have. I have some big plans for 2015. Honestly, I spent most of 2014 treading water, not moving backwards, but not moving forward either. I have big dreams in my head, but I let things like stress and anxiety derail me. I let the internet and TV suck up my precious free time. Can anyone relate? There is no time like the present to turn it all around, and not just because it is a new year.

It is that time of year again, the time when we collectively decide to work out more, eat better, quit everything bad for us, and clean our houses in a daily rotation like they do on Pinterest. Then by February, we have all but forgotten these resolutions. Life gets busy and frankly it is just too damn hard to overhaul our whole lives all at once. It's exhausting. While I think that New Year's Day provides that new beginning that motivates many of us to make life changes, it also sets us up for failure. It only comes once a year after all, and we get into the mindset that we better do all the changing and bettering of ourselves today. It doesn't have to be that way. I think that if we follow a couple of rules, we can be so much more successful in our pursuits to better ourselves throughout the whole year. Not starting New year's Day. Not starting Monday. Starting today.


Don't make New Year's Resolutions. Make goals. Decide on one to three big things you want to achieve this year then work out the steps necessary to achieve them and get started. Want to lose 10 pounds? Write a meal plan and exercise schedule that will get you there (or find someone who can help you). Don't be too aggressive at first. Take baby steps. Someone who doesn't work out regularly will do well by just making a commitment to walk for 30 minutes to an hour every day, rather than setting up hour long gym sessions six days a week. You can build up to get there if that is what you want. Just don't plan to start there. You'll only burn yourself out.


Don't try to change your whole life at once. This month decide on one thing you want to really focus on. Start working on the steps necessary to achieve that goal. Next month after you are rocking the consistency necessary to achieve this goal, you can start working on a second goal. In other words, don't try to quit smoking, start exercising, go back to school, go on a diet, and read more books all at once. Take things one at time until the the steps necessary to achieve them have become routine, then start on a new goal. You can easily work towards multiple goals at one time, just don't try to start and achieve them all at the same time.


Dream big. Start small. Then connect the dots. I saw this quote from a guy called @TheYogiMatt on Instagram. Don't be too aggressive. Take baby steps. Sometimes our dreams are so big that they won't be achieved within the year. That is fabulous! The key is to break them down into smaller goals that are achievable over the short-term. Want to be a doctor, but you need to get your GED first? Nothing wrong with dreaming so big. Break your big dreams into smaller manageable goals. Sign up for your first class. Start looking for a mentor. Just start taking the necessary steps to get there.

My goals this year? Thanks for asking.

BIG GOAL: This year I want to finally get my personal training certification. After two rounds of NASM's eTeach I am finally ready to tackle this one. If I am being honest, I think I let fear keep me from taking the test. I told myself I needed more time to study before the test, but as more time passed, the further away I got from achieving my goal. I think If I would have just taken the test and risked (gasp!) failure, I may have surprised myself.

SMALL STEPS: What does that mean today? Commit to daily studying. Buy the test. Find an online study partner (Is it you?). Don't fear failure. Embrace it.

GOAL: I want more paid freelance writing.

SMALL STEPS: This means I need to write articles and submit them to publications. Write daily. Read more.

GOAL: I want to run faster.

SMALL STEPS: This means I need to do more strength training and more speed work. Write a plan and stick to it. Work on hill repeats once a week and strength 2-3 times a week.

But not all at once. I'll take on one thing at a time and build on my goals over time starting with the one that is most important to me (my training cert.).

How about you? What are your big resolutions goals for 2015?



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Keep Running,

Lea

Does your running partner have four legs

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photo credit: Andrew and Annemarie via photopin cc

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