Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Cutest Virtual Race Participants on the Web!

You may have heard the buzz around the web. May 5th is National Run with Your Dog Day. You heard it here first, folks. This is a legit holiday (that I totally made up with Six Legs are Better than Two) that is worthy of some serious celebration. Your dog will thank you!

Elizabeth from Six Legs are Better than Two and I teamed up to bring you a virtual "run with your dog" 5k and amazing giveaway! All of the giveaway prizes are generously donated from small businesses who love dogs and offer dog related products! A full description of all the prizes and sponsors will come on the kick-off post on May 5th! Here is a sneak peak...

We are accepting pre-registrations for the event now. If you pre-register you get an extra opportunity to win a "my running partner has four legs" tank top. A special giveaway will be held on May 5th (before the big event giveaway) for everyone who pre-registered.

Then join our Facebook event and share a picture of your favorite four-legged running partner and meet the other dog loving runners!

Here are some of the cutest virtual racers on the web. What are you waiting for?

Alice and Rex 
Brianna and Rebel

Michelle and Ripken
Liz and Charlie
Trevor and Piper
Andrew and Lily
Natalie and Cody
Melissa and Ranger

Sheila and Sara
Brooke & Oakley
Lindsay and Bella
Kayla Bear and Belle
Julie and Grace
Lynn and Murphy
Monse and Chispita
Sara and Captain
Melinda and Ossa
Mariam and Cooper
Patti and Bacci
Maria and Elijah
Monica, Walt and Magnus
Alyssa and Oakley
me (Lea) and Ollie
Nicole and Deacon

Now doesn't this look like good company? These furry faces are counting on you! 

Our Sponsors! 
I encourage you to visit our sponsor pages and like their shops! Your support of sponsors helps make these types of events and giveaways possible!


Have fun and good luck! Lea (and Ollie) and Elizabeth (and Henri)

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Keep Running,


Does your running partner have four legs

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

National Run with Your Dog Day Virtual 5K Pre-Registration Now Open!

I love those made up holidays. You know what I am talking about. One day you log into Facebook or Instagram and discover it is National Grilled Cheese Day or National Beer Day. Two weeks ago it was National Sibling Day. I figured if other people could make up holidays then so could I! National hug a blogger day may not have caught on, but I had a brilliant idea with fellow running dog blogger Six Legs are Better Than Two, and National Run with your Dog Day was born. You heard it here first, folks.  

May 5th is National Run with Your Dog Day! 
(because we said so)

We even have a fancy poster for our totally legit holiday.

I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate this glorious holiday than to host a virtual 5K where people (read:YOU) can run with their dogs, share pictures...and win prizes, of course. 

Run with your dog and win prizes! Did I mention it is free to run and enter the giveaway? What could be better? The purpose of our virtual race is to promote this new amazing holiday (that we will totally get credit for inventing for infinity), share pics of our awesome running dogs and engage with the people who run with their dogs.

Our prize sponsors are all small businesses that offer dog related prizes. We lined up some really cool things for you and your pup! We are still gathering prizes and working with sponsors so this is going to get even better as the event gets closer! Our virtual race will run from May 5th-12th and we will hold the random drawing for the prize winners after the 12th.

So what do you need to know? First of all, you may be asking yourself...

What the heck is a virtual race?
A virtual race is a race that is hosted online and the participants can run it where ever they live. You can run it on the street in your own neighborhood, on a treadmill, a local track or even at an organized local race. The idea is that you run a 5K (3.1 miles) on your own terms, then share your experience, pictures and connect with the others that are running the same virtual race on social media using hashtag 


I want to run this but I don't have a dog!

Get one. OK. I know that is not possible for everyone, but seriously, get a dog. They are the best ever. Plan B: Borrow a dog from a family member, neighbor or friend. I'm sure you know someone in your life who has a dog that wouldn't mind going for a run! Plan C: Volunteer to run a dog from your local shelter! Just imagine how happy you would make that pup. Plan D: Be a cheater and run with your "virtual" dog (but we still need pictures!). 

Are you in?

Great! We can't wait to run this race with you! We are offering pre-registration and an extra chance to win a fabulous "My Running Partner Has Four Legs" Tank. On May 5th we will randomly draw one winner from everyone who pre-registered for our event. This will be a separate giveaway before the main virtual race giveaway (only open to people who pre-registered). There is no cost, no obligation (if you change your mind or if something comes up, no worries) and no reason not to pre-register today! What are you waiting for?

PRE-REGISTER HERE (pre-registration is now closed but you still run and enter our giveaway here!)

Join our Facebook event here!

The virtual run starts 5/5 and will run (pun intended) through 5/12. If you want to participate, but are like me, and realize there is a very good chance you will forget all about it by 5/5, please register so that we can keep you in the loop!

Pre-Register and you will be automatically entered to win!
Our Sponsors! 
I encourage you to visit our sponsor pages and like their shops! Your support of sponsors helps make these types of events and giveaways possible!


Have fun and good luck! Lea (and Ollie) and Elizabeth (and Henri)

Stay tuned for more details! Who is excited?

Keep Running,


Does your running partner have four legs

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Furry Friday Feature: BlogFest Edition

Welcome to a very special edition of Furry Friday Feature, when once a month I introduce you to a four-legged runner and their favorite human! I usually have a list of standard questions that are asked and answered, but this month is extra special. Why, you ask? Because I am going to BlogFest!

I did something totally weird and out of character for me. When I signed up to attend BlogFest in Los Angeles this year they gave us an option to sign up with a BlogFest buddy. They offered to pair first-timers (me!) with bloggers who have attended BlogFest in the past. Like any good introvert, I usually like being left alone, but I thought maybe a nice blogger buddy would help break the ice all around. Then, the most amazing thing happened. They paired me with someone I already knew (Hallelujah!). Well, someone I know in the online world, at least. We were even already personal Facebook friends. It is Christiana from Spilling Coffee N' Dropping Things. <-- best blog name ever.

Since Christiana is a dog lover and runner too, I decided to let her take over my Furry Feature this month, so that you can meet my BlogFest buddy and learn more about Christiana and her awesome blog. I am thrilled to introduce you to Christiana and Lefty!

Who are you? Tell us in a brief paragraph who you are / what city you live in / what you blog about?

Hello Lea!! I am Christiana of Spilling Coffee N' Dropping Things! I first heard about you and your blog when I started tracking the Virtual 4.0 b'day Run you did, and it was awesome! What a great giveaway and a FUN run!!! I am a wife, new mommy to my fur baby Yorkie "Lefty", secretary to a busy Physical Therapy office, and I piano teach some on the weekends. I love fitness blogging because I'm a Fitness Enthusiast, but I don't find enough time to blog as much as I'd like to! I love living in L.A. and blog about "what I think about while running" or practicing Yoga, and reviewing gyms, products, and gear.

What was the last health/fitness milestone you crushed?

I lost 40lbs in '07, I ran a 10k in Congo in '08, and got into bootcamps and started running again. I did my first Mud Run and my first Virtual run with YOU both last year! I also just completed the Shaw Academy Personal Nutrition Certification course. Lately, I'm a new fan of Yoga because I got serious about the Prana/FitApproach TAKE THE LEAP challenge and WON AND I really got into it!! Yoga has really helped me relax, has helped me slow down and meditate more, and helped with my mindset and contentment as we start a family.

What was your favorite part about BlogFest last year?

The friends I met and the wonderful tips I got and all the notes I took as I learned so much. I networked too and had fun at the expo too.

Who is the most inspirational person in your life and why?

My mama. Mother of 8, she has always loved nutrition, walking, yoga, and is so sweet and calm:) My older sis too - mother of 4, home business in nutrition, loves Zumba and she no longer has to fight CFS because of her nutritional supplements she takes and sells.
What advice do you have for anyone coming to BlogFest this year?

Carpool or stay near the center (I don't like paying for expensive parking lol). Nah that's ok, it was worth it! Take notes, bring business cards, and soak it all in.

What makes you blog? And why fitness?

My granny wrote over 30 books. My mama has just published a book. My younger sister writes for an ad agency. We all love reading, writing, journaling, and some of us blog. I love it because it's therapeutic, and people always told me I should write or blog. I love helping others and motivating women who are like me. I survived depression and can help with weight loss or those looking to fight anxiety etc. Health, Nutrition and wellness are the things that took me out of my depression, off the couch and into the gym, and I am forever grateful. I hope to one day be certified to teach group exercise and/or spin and Les Milles classes. Thanks Lea!! Can't wait to meet you in person!!

Thanks to Christiana and Lefty! You can follow Christiana over on her blog Spilling Coffee N' Dropping Things and on Instagram.

Are you going to BlogFest? Will I see you there?

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,


Does your running partner have four legs

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

How I Rediscovered My Love of the Half Marathon

I thought it was quite possible that I broke up with the half marathon for good.

You see, I was in love with the half marathon. We were together for nearly 10 races. In the beginning it was new and fun. I was earning a new personal record (PR) with almost every race. I was growing in the relationship. I learned how to push myself in ways I never thought possible. I became a better person because of it.

In the beginning I was committed to training, but over time my commitment faded. As the years passed, I lost the joy in training for long distances. I lost patience for it. The things that were once new and exciting became annoying and tedious.

PR after PR just wasn't sustainable for me. I started putting too much pressure on myself to perform better than before. When I reached a point that I couldn't sustain the high expectations I put on the relationship I ended up feeling frustrated. I peaked at my last half marathon PR race and the relationship went down hill from there.

I never stopped running, I just stopped loving running for hours at a time. I needed a break from the half marathon and I took one. I wasn't sure if I would ever run a half marathon again.

I made a classic relationship mistake. I forgot to have fun.

A year and a half after my half marathon break up, I decided to run the Dallas half marathon on a whim. Since I knew that after such a long break a PR wasn't even on the table, I decided to run it slowly and just try to have fun. Imagine that? Having fun at a half marathon was something that I hadn't done in a long time. I finished the Dallas half marathon with my slowest time ever but my love of the half marathon was rekindled.

Dallas rock 'n' roll half

After I successfully finished the Dallas half marathon (successful = didn't die), I felt ready to give this half marathon relationship another shot. When the opportunity arose to apply to be part of the Rock 'n' Blog team for the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series, I knew this was my chance to fall deeply in love with the half marathon all over again. This opportunity was a trifecta of my passions: Running, rock 'n' roll and blogging. When I was accepted on the Rock 'n' Blog team, I felt that same excitement as I did in the beginning of the relationship. I ran the Dallas Rock 'n' Roll half marathon as my first race in my new role and I learned a few things about having fun during a race. This is how I rediscovered my love of the half marathon.

How I Rediscovered My Love of the Half Marathon

1. Find a Fun Race
What's could be more fun than combining running with rock 'n' roll? I loved the bands providing live entertainment along the course. Everything changed once I decided to make fun my number one priority for this race.
A little nervous before the race started!
2. Everything is Better with Friends
When you run a half marathon with a friend it seems less like 13.1 miles and more like a two hour happy hour. When you chat through the miles, they fly by so quickly you may even forget you are running a half marathon (until your legs remind you). Running with my friend Heather from Shine Athletica helped me get out of my own head. Instead of asking myself how many miles I've run and how many left to go over and over again in my head, I was able to just enjoy the company of a good friend.

I wonder what I was saying...

This one cracks me up. Gotta love those candid race photos!

3. Unplug and Hug
I left my headphones at home. I wore my GPS watch, but the changed the settings so my pace did not show on the screen. This wasn't about running my fastest race, so there was no need to obsess about my current pace. Not knowing or caring went a long way for me in enjoying the race. Oh and hugs make everything better.

4. Stop and Smell the Roses (or Porta Potties)
Maybe I shouldn't compare roses and porta potties, but there was a time in my half marathon relationship that I wouldn't even stop for water because I didn't want to lose those precious minutes. On the Dallas rock 'n' roll course we stopped and stood in line to use the porta potties around mile five, because there is nothing fun about running with a full bladder. It may not help with a faster finishing time, but it certainly made the race more enjoyable.

5. Enjoy the Course
The think the best part of running a half marathon is that you get a foot tour of the city. It's great when I run in new cities, but it was also really fun to take a running tour of my own city. We ran through all of Dallas' best neighborhoods. I think the highlight for me was running across Margaret Hunt Hill bridge around the 10K mark. It was a place I had never been on foot before, the scenery was fantastic and made for a great photo opportunity!

running across the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge

Showing off our race bling!
I had so much fun at the Dallas Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon and now I am looking forward to my next race! Once I learned to relax and just enjoy the experience, I was reminded why I loved to run half marathons in the first place.

Like any good relationship, I had to learn to change and grow with it. It's not you half marathon, it's me. The half marathon never changed, I did. When I got burned out pushing for new PRs I just had to find a new way to appreciate an old love. I see us being together for many years to come.

Big News: I just signed up for the Rock 'n' Roll Vegas half marathon in November! I am so excited! Anyone else running it?

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Keep Running,


Does your running partner have four legs

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Story of the #ShredShed (our home gym)

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook (and you should), you probably already know we have built a home gym (aka the #shredshed). What began as just a small idea turned into this massive project. It turned out so great, it was really worth all the time, effort and money expended towards the project.

It started out innocently enough. We were thinking about converting one of the bedrooms in our house into a home gym. We use one bedroom to sleep in (of course), one as an office and the third bedroom as a guest room. As we talked it through we decided that we really weren't willing to give up a room in our already small house. Besides, it just wouldn't seem right to ask our house guests to sleep on a treadmill. Since we have a small house on a very large lot it made the most sense to build the gym outside our house. The idea of the #ShredShed was born, I even wrote a post about our idea for a backyard shed gym.

The shred shed is quite literally a shed in our backyard. We shopped around and found the very best deal at Lelands for a 12x22 shed. I loved that it looked more like a little house than a shed. They call it a "painted cabinette" but shred painted cabinette doesn't have the same ring as shred shed.
This is the ad from Lelands. I wish it came with all that landscaping. 
After so much time, money, and setbacks (it snowed the week we were supposed to have it wired) the end result was much better than we could have even imagined, (and cost almost double of what we budgeted) of course.

the building begins...

Ollie thinks we are building him his own giant dog house.
The shed is built! Now to tackle the inside!
Hubby added the steps and skirt
Inside before...looks like a shed!
Dry wall is up and the idea of the name #Shredshed was born
Let's do burpees! What? Not yet?

Snow in Texas caused some delays!
Floors are going in...
Ollie pretty much approves of the new floors.
The accent wall
The finished product! Everyone works out to TED Talks, right? 
#badyogi but pretty door
mirrors and dreadmill
First mirror selfie
Hubby's punching bag. 

I promise to put it to better use than this. HA! Hey Ollie! This is the Shred Shed not the Nap Shack. 

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Keep Running,


Does your running partner have four legs

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