Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!!  I just wanted to quickly check in with y’all, I know we’re all busy with family (and shopping for some) but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to give thanks publicly. I was able to go home and spend Thanksgiving with the fam for the first time in 4 years!! It was already set up to be an epic day to begin with. So thankful for my family and living close to them again.

I also was able to get in 3.2 miles in the morning for my own personal turkey trot and to kick off my RW run streak. (That’s at least one mile every day from Thanksgiving to New Years in case you hadn’t heard).

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So beautiful 🙂

Of course on the flip-side of that I of course then feasted on plenty of pie because of it haha….also rolls, lots and lots of carbs…..my Mother is veeeery talented 🙂

Mmmmmm

Mmmmmm

Anyway, I hope you’re Thanksgiving was just as wonderful as mine.  I’m gonna hit some shops tomorrow with my little sister, then Saturday it’s back to Lex with my Padre for the UT-UK football game! GO VOLS!

Alright I’m out! Did you run in a Turkey Trot this year? I wanna hear about it!

“Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

-Albert Einstein

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A Marvelous Return!

Hello friends! I’m back, I know it’s been like 2-ish weeks and my apologies for that. Work/school got crazy and I didn’t really feel I had anything of importance (or non-importance) to say. But here I am, so dry your tears and put a smile back on that face! 😀

To herald in my comeback I’m linking up with Katie for her Marvelous Mondays. To me marvelous is braving the 20 degree weather to hit the pavement this morning. I broke out the winter tights and gloves. I’m still in need of a good running hat/beanie…suggestions? I’m not a fan of the ear warmers alone.

fleece-lined tights...thank you Boston :)

fleece-lined tights…thank you Boston 🙂

Marvelous is seeing all the beautiful, colorful leaves on the trees….though granted most are on the ground now…I actually took this picture last week but ya know, better late then never.

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Marvelous is buying a small french fry from McDonald’s after seeing some poor schlep get his car towed for parking in a McDonald’s-only lot like I was lol. I was only meeting someone real quick and he went into a different restaurant so not “exactly” the same but still, I felt guilty…and slightly amused at this poor guys expense…sorry dude.

Marvelous is buying a new book!! I’ve read most of “The Penguin’s” books! He inspires so many people to get up and moving and I can only hope to one day inspire like he does. No need to be a beginner to enjoy this book either.

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Marvelous is driving to three different stores to find mini marshmallows b/c I (as well as apparently the rest of the city) had a craving. Actually finding the marshmallows was marvelous, but the three stores part wasn’t. And please don’t judge me that I spent the time and gas driving all over town just for a bag of marshmallows, totally worth it 🙂

Marvelous is this game!! One of my best friends loves wine and this little gem will be her Christmas present lol. I already know she’ll get a kick out of it. It’s basically monopoly but with wine instead of properties, awesome.

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Marvelous is being mistaken for a Kroger worker by several little ladies. Ok again, not that marvelous but it started when I finally found my marshmallows and a lady asked me where the giant chocolate bars are located. Of course I know the exact aisle number so it was only right to share this information with her. Upon turning around I discovered a LINE of ladies with questions for me lol. But I love helping people and old ladies so combining the two made this marvelous.

Marvelous is getting tickets to the TN and KY game! What better way to end a Thanksgiving break then with a nice football game with the Padre and lil sis 😀 Of course the game is at 7pm so it’ll be cold and dark….but FUN! GO VOLS!!

Blue or orange, what to wear.....Hmmm...

Blue or orange, what to wear…..Hmmm…

Finally marvelous is realizing I have an obsession with food in this post(and not particularly food to be proud of haha). Whew it felt good to get all that off my chest and be back in the blogging game though!

Have you taken your workouts strictly indoors already or still braving the cold?

“The price of discipline is always less than the pain of regret”

-Nido

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The Trail that Can’t be Concord

Got my first trail race under my belt! I ran in The Trail that Can’t be Concord 6.8 mile trail race in Knoxville, TN this weekend and boy was it a doozy.  (And by doozy  mean extremely fun and rewarding and I can’t wait to do another one!).

sick shirt right?

sick shirt right?

The morning had beautiful, perfect running weather, slightly overcast but still warm enough to wear short sleeves.  I also ran in gloves to keep my little fingers warm, plus my banging running scarf which I made myself, courtesy of Caroline from I Heart Running via Sami from Go Go Mountain Girl (both amazing women, you should go say hi)

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Reppin my Bourbon Chase team 🙂

Remember this was a prediction race so no phones, watches, or timing devices of any kind. I gave my predicted time of 68min thinking I’d off by a few seconds either way……Yea, I finished in 84min…..I also ended up running closer to 9miles b/c I took 2 wrong turns haha.  For the most part the race officials did a great job of marking the trail splits but obviously not well enough for me b/c I did one loop twice (not supposed to) and had to backtrack after a split b/c I saw 7 runners turn the other way and get ahead of me…..

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See all those squiggly lines? Can you understand why I took a wrong turn now? lol

All that aside, I had so much fun and it felt way more of an intimate and friendly race.  The trail was very narrow so any passing that needed to take place forced the front person to fully stop and let the faster person go ahead.  Of course this led to many conversations while you looked for a safe place to “pull-over” lol.  I ran alongside one lady mostly the whole way and as we hit a giant 1/2mile hill at the end we commiserated together.  I just love runners 🙂

So I made it out of the woods alive and my Mother and I stopped off for a celebratory hot chocolate afterwards at Dunk’s of course.  I know I have an obsession but I just can’t help it, it makes me feel like a real New Englander still.

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Then I spent the rest of the day bundled on the couch with my sister watching One Tree Hill re-runs.  Oh and a Qudoba chicken salad for dinner…great day 🙂

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Have you ever run in a trail race?  What was your experience, I wanna know!

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

-Neale Donald Walsch

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Pizza Friday

Happy Fitness Friday everyone! It’s so nice to be home for a few days this weekend….Hello Knoxville! 😀

As soon as I rolled in the door my sister accosted me and we were off to a high school production of Thoroughly Modern Mille…Umm Hil-A-Rious!! I love musical theater and am so glad my sister knows me so well lol.

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Random thought, If I could eat only one food for the rest of my life it’d be pizza.  I love any kind of pizza (except the really greasy kinds) though my favorite is Hawaiian.  I’m also partial to veggie, but will throw down with a pepperoni or sausage as well.  So my Mother makes a bomb homemade pizza but I’ve never tried my hand at it myself.

I did just that tonight and it turned out, well…… Yumm-O! 😀

Jealous right about now? ;)

Jealous right about now? 😉

What a great dinner to have the night before my race if I do say so myself lol. I’m kinda nervous for the 7mile trail loop I’ll be running. It’s the exact same length as the leg of Ragnar I didn’t finish.  Granted there were extenuating circumstances for that which aren’t in play this weekend (back-to-back 20mile relays anyone?) so it should be fine.

Remember it’s a prediction race so I think I’m going to officially give a time of 68min. Though I read on a friends blog that you should also set 2 other goals.  One that you’re ok with and then one that isn’t time related. So un-time related would be of course to finish the entire 6.8 and my second time goal is to at least finish under 70.

It rained today but stayed pretty steady in the 60s, here’s hoping the weather I’ll say goodnight and come back Monday with a full recap for y’all of course.

Anyone else have a race this weekend?

“Well done is better than well said”

-Benjamin Franklin

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Hump Day Happiness

I know, I know, it’s not Monday and therefore can’t post anything “Motivational.” Well to heck with that weird blogger theme!  Today is Wednesday and I’m having a great day and want to pass my joy on to y’all 😀

A friend sent this to me with the following caption….

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“Good morning! Just want you to know I’m really glad we’re friends….Hope you have an amazing wed!”

Adorbs right? (ignore the fact that I just said adorbs…)  Friends are amazing and this picture is even more amazing.

I hope everyone is having a Fantastic Hump Day!! And in the off chance you aren’t, maybe this picture can bring a little sunshine to your life 🙂

“Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling”

-Margaret B. Runbeck

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I’m Not Ready!

Happy Tuesday everyone! I’ve got some disturbing news for y’all today….This was the view out my window when I woke up this morning……

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Not even my little patio was spared …

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I’M NOT READY!!!

You’d think spending a winter in Massachusetts would prepare me for a small dusting of snow, but NOPE! My Southern roots will not be denied and the inner child in me wanted to immediately and promptly get right back into bed under my 3 comforters lol.

~Sigh~

That not being an option I got up and went to campus.  I taught my second class, though this one was more like a seminar, to faculty and staff today.  Today’s topic was Balancing Your Wellness Wheel, which is again a topic that I’m very passionate about(and is so simple) but many don’t understand.  I’m terrible at just standing and teaching so I almost always have an interactive/hands-on portion, which makes sense if you think of my background in fitness.  It was a big hit and everyone seemed to have a good time, but more importantly learned a lot! 😀

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My night class had been canceled so I had originally planned to go for a short run after my class but the snow foiled my plans. (I’m terrible at slipping when it’s snowy outside so I just avoid it altogether) Instead it was off to the gym for a little 1-1 time with the elliptical (ironically treadmills hurt my knee more then running outside).

THEN b/c I just got paid (not a good excuse) and b/c it just snowed (barely, so an even worse excuse) I went a little shopping crazy at Burlington….I bought 3 scarves and I won’t even tell you how many I already own haha. But on the not to irresponsible side, I also got 2 Christmas presents which puts me half way done now! I’m one of those shoppers that buys that “perfect” present in July and holds on to it so I’ve had a few stockpiled already lol.

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Did anyone else get snow today? And more importantly, how do you feel about snow and will you consider switching weather with me…

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started”

-Mark Twain

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15 Exercises to Counteract Sitting

Happy Veteran’s Day!  So thankful to all those who serve this country and a special shout-out to my late-grandfather who fought in WWII, what a special man 🙂

Like promised here is the information I taught in class last week.  15 Exercises to Counteract the Effects of Sitting. It’s long with no pictures so I apologize in advance for that. I did have pictures on the handout but thought I’d save some space here and take them out.  If an exercise doesn’t make sense either ask me or frankly Google it.  While I would LOVE to hear from you (so plz still ask away) it’s amazing what information you can find on Google these days, kinda scary actually. So without further ado…..

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Side Effects of sitting:

  • Obesity – This shouldn’t come as any surprise that sitting all day instead of moving burns less calories and leads to weight gain. Studies have shown that prolonged periods of sitting can, over time, slow your metabolism.
  • Herniated Disk – Sitting puts a lot of pressure on your hips and spine and can lead to injuries over an extended period of time. Prolonged pressure on your spine can lead to a disc to slide out of place and eventually burst, which is extremely painful and requires medication, physical therapy, and in extreme cases surgery.
  • Poor posture – More than likely you don’t have perfect posture all the time when sitting. This leads to weakened muscles and tight joints which can lead to further injury.  It can also leave you feeling tired and cause low back and neck pain.
  • Knee Pain – Sitting with knees at 90 degrees puts increased pressure on the knee cap.  This in turn can lead to pain and swelling and can cause further pain in during other activities. Also having underdeveloped leg muscles makes the knees work harder for stability causing pain.
  • Muscle Weakness – It makes sense that moving less uses less muscle which leads to muscle atrophy.  The Gluteal muscles (or buttocks) are one of the largest muscle groups in the body and but severely underworked when sitting.  These muscles are used in really any body movement and are essential to avoiding back and hip pain.
  • Slowed Metabolism – When sitting, your body starts to “shut-down” on a metabolic level in order to save energy and be more efficient.  In the bodies attempt to conserve energy that we don’t need, it actually starts packing on the pounds.
  • Neck Problems – While working at a computer, many people either extend their necks slightly, or keep it bent at an angle depending on if they’re working on a computer of paper.  Over long periods of time this can harm the muscles and joints and lead to pain when not at work.
  • Back Aches and Pains – One of the hardest hit places in the body from sitting for long periods of time is the back.  From the increased pressure and lack of movement, the back can become very sore after a few hours and over time develop into more serious issues
  • -Deep Vein Thrombosis- Most usually hear about the dangers of blood clots in your legs when flying, but just as important when sitting anywhere – either at home or work.
  • -Increased Risk Heart Disease- Scary thought. Studies have shown that those who work-out for an hour a day and still sit all day are at the same risk of heart disease as those who sit all day and don’t work-out.
  • -Risk of Diabetes- Same as increasing risk of heart disease; sitting for long periods of time can also increase your risk of developing Diabetes up to 7%.  Sitting causes your blood flow to slow down which can result in increased blood sugar and insulin resistance.
  • -Raised Cholesterol- Sitting causes enzyme activity to decrease as much as 90%. Enzymes are what grab fat out of your cells in order to use it for energy. When left in the body, this circulating fat causes healthy cholesterol levels to drop by 20% after just a few hours of sitting.
  • -Increased Risk of Depression- As we’ve discussed, sitting reduces blood flow which can lead to depression and less blood flow means less feel-good hormones running through your system.
  • -Shorter Life Span- New studies are starting to show that those who sit for 6 hours a day are at increased risk of early death of all health related causes.  For those who exercise as well, the risk is 35% higher for women and 18% for men.  Unfortunately those who don’t exercise have an increased risk of 94% and 48% respectively.  Yikes!

Example Exercises:

  1. Standing side stretch
  2. Standing shoulder blade squeeze
  3. Standing hamstring/calf stretch
  4. Standing quadriceps (front of leg) stretch
  5. One leg stand with hip hike
  6. Standing hip flexor stretch (lunge)
  7. Bird-dog and cat-camel
  8. Knee to chest stretch
  9. Basic spinal twist
  10. Piriformis stretch
  11. Bridge (single-leg)
  12. Straight leg lifts (double legs/alternating kicks)
  13. Side leg lifts with bands
  14. Plank
  15. Side plank

Whew, that was really long but super important information that quite a few people need to know.  I hope this helps someone out there. Again if you have any questions please ask, and if you suffer from any of the more serious side-effects please, please, please consult your Dr. before attempting any of these exercises. While I am a Certified Personal Trainer, each individual case is different and this isn’t to serve as a blanket statement for everyone, simply helpful guidelines.

Have a wonderful week of (hopefully) not much sitting 😀

Sig

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