Category Archives: Uncategorized

Running/Fitness Essentials: Hydration

Summer has not yet begun, but hydration is important any time of the year. Besides, if you live in the kind of climate I do, it’s going to be summer from now until October! No matter what the weather is like, if you’re like me, you sweat a lot when you run. I see and hear questions all the time about what to use for hydration, so I thought I would share what works for me. What I use might be overkill, but I like it!

During my run, I start with Smart Water, then add a Nuun Active tablet. Smart Water is purified water with added electrolytes. I’m sure you can use any kind of water, but I figure I can use all of the electrolytes I can get and I like how it tastes. Nuun comes in four varieties: Active, Energy, Plus for Nuun, and All Day. I use Nuun Active for my hydration. According to their website (nuun.com), “packed with electrolytes, light flavor, clean ingredients, nuun active hydration is the perfect sports drink.” I sweat a lot when I run and I feel like adding the Nuun to my hydration strategy has made a big difference.

Post run, I like to drink Vita Coco coconut water. According to their website (http://vitacoco.com), “Coconut water is the clear, fat-free liquid inside young, green coconuts. It’s naturally rich in minerals, vitamins, and electrolytes. ..” You can get it in many different brands, but this one is my favorite. They make coconut water in original, pineapple (my favorite), peach & mango, lemonade, orange, lemon tea, and chocolate. It makes a big difference in how I feel after a run.

This is the hydration plan that works for me, but everyone is different. You have to play with different products and find out what works the best for you. If you’re still trying to find the sweet spot with your hydration, I hope this has been helpful for you. Stay tuned and I will be sharing my other run/fitness essentials! What do you use for hydration during/after a run or workout? I’d love to hear about it in the comments, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Please let me know if there are any essentials you’d like to know about, or if you have any other questions about running and/or fitness. I am by no means an expert, but I love sharing what works for me.

A quick update on Beginner Shred: I just started level 2. It gets a lot easier, within just a few days’ time. I progressed more quickly than I expected to, and I’m already starting to notice muscle definition in my arms. I did have to skip a day unexpectedly for back pain (not related to this workout), but other than that, it went really well. Other than my injury-related rest day, I have been doing it 5-6 days per week, first thing in the morning. It really gets my day off to a good start. Onward and upward! I will check back in when I am finished with level 2. What workouts are you doing? How do you hydrate when you work out or run? I’d love to hear about it on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or in the comments!

Note: All products mentioned here were purchased by me and all opinions and reviews are my own.

Budget-Friendly Planner Option!

It seems like a lot of people are on a planner kick right now. Pretty planners, colored pens, and stickers are really popular. Maybe I’m just late to the bandwagon, but I’ve only recently noticed it! I’ve always been terrible about writing things down, but it has really been helping me organize my thoughts lately. There are a lot of really beautiful (REALLY EXPENSIVE) planner options out there. Those books are really nice, but I was looking for a more budget-friendly planner option.

I was browsing at Family Christian Store recently, and a table full of bright colors caught my attention. I am attracted to sparkly things and bright colors, much like a 6-year-old girl. What can I say? But I digress…this table was full of items in a new line by Sadie Robertson. You may know her from Duck Dynasty or Dancing with the Stars. She has created a line of planners, cards, prints, and other stationary items. They feature Bible verses and inspirational quotes, and beautiful artwork.

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The 18-month planner turned out to be exactly what I was looking for, but much less expensive than some others I had seen (Plus…I had a coupon! Bonus!). It is spiral-bound, with a laminated cover and a tab for each month. The tab features an inspirational quote or verse. There is a year-at-a-glance calendar, month-at-a-glance, and a weekly calendar with more writing space. In the back, there are some note pages, a couple of sheets of stickers, and a pocket.

Monthly inspiration
Monthly inspiration
Month at a glance
Month at a glance
Week at a glance
Week at a glance
One of three pages of stickers
One of three pages of stickers
Pocket
Pocket

I am by no means a planner expert, but this is just what I need and it makes me smile. I love it so much that I wanted to share it with all of you. I’m kind of new to this whole planning thing, but it is actually fun! Maybe it is that 6-year-old girl that still lives inside me. Pretty pens and stickers and sparkly things, oh my!
Note: This is not a sponsored post and the product reviewed here was purchased with my own money.

Storing running gear…the tip that will change your life!

So…as you can see from my lack of updates, there hasn’t been much to report. My allergies have been kicking my butt this year, to the point where strenuous exercise is hard. I am getting back on track (again) this week and it feels so good! Who knew sweating would feel so amazing? It’s funny how things change. Starting over again is hard, but I can’t do anything about what has happened in the past. I can only go from here. Onward and upward!

Moving on to the real reason for this post! This tip has changed my life. I am not even kidding about that! I have always heard that it is best to lay out all of your running gear the night before, so that there is no hesitation and no excuse keeping you from getting out the door. I have found this to be true, but never really liked leaving it all spread out. It takes up a lot of room and I was always afraid I’d miss a piece. I saw this amazing tip on Facebook about storing running gear and I honestly don’t know what I ever did without it. I wish I could credit the person, but it was in a giant running group, and I don’t remember her name. If it was you, please let me know!
Ready?

It’s a shoe organizer. Hang it on the back of your door, and it will hold your watch, your headphones, your iPod and even your clothes! It is incredible. So simple, yet so useful!

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Bam. You’re welcome. Do you have any amazing running/fitness tips you’d like to share? I would love to hear them. Make sure you add them in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter! Have a great week everyone! Get out there and get moving!

What’s on my running playlist? 9-2-13

Hello, everyone! I’m sorry I have missed a few weeks of posting my music! I am less than one week away from my first 10K. I am a little nervous, but I’m ready! I have already gone further than the 10K distance on training runs, so I know I am prepared. Let’s get to the music!

The next five songs from my running playlist are:

Toxic
Britney Spears

Down
Miranda Lambert

Poor Unfortunate Souls (from The Little Mermaid)
Pat Carroll

Cowboy Casanova
Carrie Underwood

Face 2 Face
Mandisa

See you next time! What is on your running/workout playlist?

A Disney & Fitness Nerd’s Dream at the D23 Expo!

Some of you may know know that I am a certified (or is it certifiable?) Disney nerd. So of course this year, I attended the D23 Expo. The Expo is basically like Comi-Con for Disney. Anything and everything Disney-related can be found there. Since this isn’t really a Disney blog, I won’t give you the full rundown, but I will tell you about the fitness-related portion. I had the amazing opportunity to meet Ali Vincent, the first female winner of Biggest Loser. She was signing autographs and I was able to meet her, get a photo, and have a conversation with her. We talked about what it’s like to lose a large amount of weight and how your life changes. She gave me a “Live Well” token, and what she calls a “grab bracelet.” She puts it on the hand she would grab snacks with to serve as a reminder of her goals. Ali asks herself “Will this snack get me where I want to go, or keep me from getting where I want to go?” It was a really inspiring talk, and I feel so blessed to have met her! It was just like talking to a friend.

Ali Vincent and me!
Ali Vincent and me!
My "Live Well" token from Ali!
My “Live Well” token from Ali!
My "grab bracelet" from Ali.  I wear it every day!
My “grab bracelet” from Ali. I wear it every day!

The next day, Ali gave a brief talk about health, fitness, and runDisney. She talked about how accessible it is. Anyone who has a dream that they can do a runDisney event can do it, one minute at a time, Ali pointed out, explaining the Jeff Galloway run/walk method. This training technique makes it possible for so many more people to be runners. I know it has made it possible for me. Listening to Ali talk about runDisney, and watching a brief video about it, got me even more excited to complete my first Disney Princess Half Marathon and Glass Slipper Challenge next year.

After her talk, Ali demonstrated a short workout with exercises everyone can do while waiting in line. It was so much fun to get up and move with her, combining two of my favorite things…Disney and fitness. I hope there were people watching that were inspired to change their lives and get moving! That’s how it starts…one step at a time. Take a chance today, and choose to change your life. The hardest step is the first one, but if I can do it, anyone can!

Believe it!  Be it!
Believe it! Be it!

For more information about runDisney, visit http://www.rundisney.com

For more information about the Jeff Galloway method, visit http://jeffgalloway.com

For more information on Ali Vincent, and her show Live Big with Ali Vincent, visit http://alivincent.com/

Long overdue update…Give Kids the World!

My fundraiser for Give Kids the World ended a couple of months ago, and I deeply apologize for not updating it until now. Thanks to so many generous family, friends, and readers, $410 was raised for Give Kids the World. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your support.

Here is a link to the donation page for more information on Give Kids the World: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/Kendra_G/weightlosschallengegktw

You can also find more information on their website at http://www.gktw.org/

Again, I am beyond grateful and humbled by all of the support and kind words. I hope to do another fundraiser of some kind in the future!

What’s on my running playlist? 7-29-13

Hello, everyone! Another long run yesterday! This week, it was 5.31 miles at 12.6 minutes per mile. I got an Addaday roller and used it for the first time! It seemed to really help loosen up my legs. I will be writing a blog post with photos and first impressions of it very soon. Now, on with my running playlist!

This weeks songs are:

What Faith Can Do
Kutless
(This one is a little slow for running, but just “happened” to end up on my playlist. It was exactly what I needed to hear this week. Sometimes God speaks in funny ways, but He is always right on time.)

Best Days of Your Life
Kellie Pickler

Doin’ Dirt
Maroon 5

Have a Nice Day
Bon Jovi

Sweet Thing
Keith Urban

Getting Ready
Miranda Lambert

That’s the list for this week! What are some of your favorite songs to listen to while you run, walk or work out?

What’s on my running playlist? 7-1-13

Today was my long run! I still have days that I struggle (or sometimes even moments of struggle wrapped up in the good days), but I am getting better all the time. Today I ran 4.69 miles, with a 12.1 min/mile pace. I am up to a 3 min run/1 min walk ratio. This is still a challenge for me at times, so I think I will stick with it for awhile (maybe a LONG while) before increasing it. I feel good about where I am right now with my running, so I am not going to push myself so hard that I get injured.

Now on to my running playlist for the week! Here are the next five songs on my list.

Shadow
Britney Spears

Sick of You
Selena Gomez

Valerie
Cast of Glee

The Day We Fell Apart
Kelly Clarkson

Misery
Maroon 5

I hope you are finding some ideas for your own workout playlist here! Please feel free to let me know any suggestions you might have. I am always looking for new running music!

What’s on my running playlist? 6-25-13

Today was my long run day (5.97 miles, 12.1 min/mile). 10K training is progressing a lot more quickly than I expected. I am feeling confident (most of the time) that I will be prepared for my first 10K in a few months!

Now it’s time to share the next five songs from my running playlist!

Gunpowder & Lead
Miranda Lambert

Walk Like an Egyptian
The Bangles

Loud
Big & Rich
(This one is a favorite!)

Redneck Woman
Gretchen Wilson

Synthesizers
Butch Walker

What’s on your workout playlist? I’m always looking for new songs! Leave me a message in the comments, on Facebook, or Twitter!

Interview on HalfSizeMe.com!

A couple of months ago, I had the privilege of being interviewed by Heather for her website, HalfSizeMe.com.  For those of you who know my story, you can imagine what a huge step this was for me.  I can’t begin to tell you how honored I was to be asked and how excited I am to share it with you!  Please enjoy and feel free to give me your comments if you’d like!  While you’re there, check out Heather’s site.  I think you’ll find her to be as inspiring and relatable as I do.

http://www.halfsizeme.com/052-half-size-me/

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