Magic City Running, Football Family, & Furry Friends

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I haven’t posted in a minute so this recap will be all over the place. Training is going well. I have my second to the last big training (long) run this weekend. Less than 40 days until the big day! So excited (and nervous)!

The Sunday before Thanksgiving, I helped volunteer at the Magic City Half Marathon with my running group. I ran it last year, but this was my first volunteer experience and I really enjoyed it! We were the first water stop for the runners, so it went by so fast! I was happy to cheer on so many friends, runners, and walkers participating in the race. It was raining on and off and I was hoping I wouldn’t get sick. I wanted to enjoy my Thanksgiving eats! A few sniffles, but nothing a Hot Toddy and some meds couldn’t fix.

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I was so excited to see my sweet friend, Kristin (aka BamaGirlRuns), pass by during the race! She is such a sweetheart and one of the reasons why I started to run Disney! She is the Queen of Race Selfies and she makes running so much fun! LOVE-HER!

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Photo credit: BamaGirlRuns

 

Training didn’t stop for the holidays. Thanksgiving Eve I had 8 miles to complete. I know, it was rough out there dealing with the wind and having a cold–but I got it done! Glory to God!

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Hello Gump Town! The Gump is another name for Montgomery, AL (not sure why). Maybe I’ll get on that. Downtown Montgomery is a beautiful place to run, so of course Thanksgiving morning I had to get it in. I’m planning to run the Montgomery Half Marathon in March. I can’t wait! They will also be bringing the inaugural full marathon to tour the city.

Here is my mini-tour of my Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning!

State Capital

Alabama State Capitol Building

The Riverfront

The Riverfront

 

Davis Theatre

Historic Theatre

 

Fountain

Fountain

 

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Right before Thanksgiving dinner! Just the girls + Cousin Love!

 

Okay, so Black Friday I opted NOT to hit the streets and get tangled up in that mess of a crowd. A few years ago, my sister and I were shopping from 2:00 a.m. until 5 p.m. and I vowed to never do that again. Online shopping or catching sales the days following is what I do. I did manage to get a few items that I wanted. I found a $9 waffle maker (still on sale from Black Friday) and a heated throw. My baby Sis-in-Love has one and I fell in love with it!

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Rivalry Week, Iron Bowl Saturday (Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Auburn Tigers) for us, I had to make everyone’s favorite–Slutty Brownies! You can find the holiday edition to this amazingly, delicious recipe here.

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Speaking of football…if you haven’t heard all over the news and on ESPN–The University of Alabama at Birmingham (my Alma Mater) football program got cut. I’m absolutely heartbroken by this news. It’s just not right. Please visit here and sign the petition to help SAVE our football team and the other athletics affected! Those students, coaches, and staff…DESERVE a chance! I still believe we can do it! This is bigger than football, bigger than athletics. It’s about being selfless and being a light for the world to see. Go Blazers! You can show support by helping us get the word out and by adding #FreeUAB #SaveUABFootball to your hashtags on social media.

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To end on a happier note, how sweet is this little, Love Muffin? Isn’t she the cutest!? This is Kashmir, my cousin’s baby girl. My HB and I have been discussing adopting a sweet face just like hers. She was getting all the love and we were getting all of the puppy kisses. As you can see my HB and Mom adored her!

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That about sums up the happs over the past few weeks! Did you catch any great Black Friday deals? Are you getting excited about Christmas? I sure am! 

Until next time…Happy Holidays!

 

Sweat With Your Sole 5K/15K Recap!

Marriott PeachtreeLast weekend my HB and I took a road trip over to the A (Atlanta) for the Black Girls RUN! Sweat With Your Sole 5K/15K! I won a contest for a free registration of my choice (5K or 15K). I registered for the 15K. For those who don’t know, 15K = 9.3 miles. Since the Women’s Running Series—Nashville and Walt Disney World Marathon was coming up, this would be a part of my training schedule.

 

welcome! We stayed downtown and our hotel was perfectly placed in the midst of restaurants, quick stores, etc. I’m so glad because parking was $20/per day (no in or out)—so we weren’t driving anywhere. It helped that the race start line was a few blocks away. After checking in and getting a few items from the expo, it was time to get some nourishment. The rain had stopped and the sun was out. Boy…was it HOT and humid! We walked a few blocks and found the Hard Rock Café. We were being greeted by chants of “Who Dat” from fans that were in town for the New Orleans Saints vs. the Atlanta Falcons game. WHO DAT! Yes, I’m a part of the Who Dat Nation. Not die hard, but I love the team and the city!

 

Race Day!

The race start time was 7 a.m. so BGR! Birmingham met in front of the hotel around 6:15-ish to walk over to Centennial Park where the race would start. We took our group photos, warmed up, and headed to the start line! By the way, Atlanta is a VERY hilly place to run (in my opinion and many others). I experienced it for myself back in 2013 when I ran the BGR! Inaugural 10K. You can read that recap here. This was the first year for the 15K, so I don’t think I really grasped what the course would feel like. It was so hilly, humid, and HOT! I see why most races are held during the cooler months. I started off strong with my long run pace, but before approaching mile 3, it was so hot and I couldn’t breathe. I was seriously thinking…I can just finish (not strong like I wanted to, but finish) the 5K. I kept pushing. It was a very hard course for me—so hard, I decided to walk the last 2 miles. I wasn’t worried about my pride, my ego…I just couldn’t do it and I wasn’t. I had given all I had at that moment. I was done. This was probably one of the HARDEST courses I’ve run to date.

I’m happy to say that I made it to the finish line! Had there not been any hills, I’m pretty sure it would have been a PB (Personal Best). I am happy that I stayed the course and did not give up. I know for the most part, running is mental. When you can keep pushing through the doubts, fears, humidity, leg cramps, the smell of BBQ, and everything else running through your head (there goes that mental thing again)…you’ve accomplished something.

  flat runnerI was excited to find a new Bondi Band to match my Sparkle Athletic shwings and shirt! My armband matched perfectly too! You can find them here.

 BTR1 BGR! Birmingham (Just a few of us)

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 swys3One more to go!

 wpid-img_20140907_151230.jpgI did that!!!

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BGR15K!!! Yes, I clean up pretty good. I EARNED this medal!!! And you know who else did too?!

 

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Instagram: heartbeat4many

This great woman (pictured above, R) completed the 15K with a smile on her face! If you could have seen the outpour of love and support as she crossed the finish line…it was beyond amazing! I cried like a baby because she showed me and everyone else witnessing that great moment that ANYTHING is possible! #TeamNoExcuses

 

And We’re Off…

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A little bit of “blurred lines”

It was a short stay, but it was fun while it lasted! Glad I had my HB with me to carry my bags while I was in recovery mode!

 swys1Time for some grub! We headed over to one of our favorite spots in Atlanta called, Gladys Knight and Ron Winans Chicken & Waffles! I’m pretty sure you’ve heard both of their names before. They are music legends! You can’t go to ATL and not stop there. We prepared to wait. I’m so glad I wore my compression socks!

 Gladys KnightsI had my usual…the “Midnight Train” + Mac!

 

GK Sweet Potato Cheesecake Dessert to go, please! Even though I felt like I earned it and wanted one all by myself…moderation = 1, Artney = 0. My HB and I decided to share a slice of Sweet Potato Cheesecake. One word…DIVINE!

 

Inspirational Moment!

If you didn’t know, Oprah Winfrey was in Atlanta for her The Life You Want Tour!  Then this happened…

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Instagram: officialblackgirlsrun

Co-founders Ashley Hicks and Toni Carey of Black Girls RUN! were honored at Oprah’s The Life You Want Tour! They were presented with the Toyota Standing O-vation Award by Amy Purdy (Paralympic bronze medalist snowboarder/Toyota brand ambassador)! What an honor!!! Congratulations Ashley and Toni on such a remarkable accomplishment! Being presented with an award by Mother O? It can’t get any better than that!

Thank you again, Black Girls RUN! for my registration and for creating such an awesome space for women to come together and celebrate each other! Also, congratulations to everyone who participated in SWYS14 Festival weekend and race! I love my BGR!

 

About Black Girls Run!

Many people have comments and/or questions about BGR’s name and how it came about…

The mission of Black Girls RUN! is to encourage African-American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 80 percent of African-American women are overweight. BGR! wants to create a movement to lower that percentage and subsequently lower the number of women with chronic diseases associated with an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle.

In March 2011, Black Girls RUN! launched more than 60 Black Girls RUN! running groups across the nation. The groups range from the most novice to the most experienced runner in hopes to educate African-American women about health and fitness and provide a support system to help them reach their goals. The movement has been extremely successful with thousands of women joining in and making a commitment to defy the odds and take charge of their own health.

Black Girls RUN! is open to women of ALL races and all levels (runners, joggers, sloggers, and walkers). This movement was created to change the statistics of African-American women by combating diseases, to get AA women active and moving, to provide education regarding fitness and health, and to show that black girls run! We would love for you to join us in helping put an end to the statistics.

You want to know more? Learn about Black Girls RUN! here AND join the movement!

 

 

 

Why Lisa Runs! | Fitspiration Friday

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 Why I Run

By:  Lisa Frost

It’s plain and simple. I was never a runner. If it involved running, sweating, breathing hard—I went the other direction. As life evolved, I realized that my family and I suffered from different diseases such as diabetes and congestive heart failure. One day I took a different perspective on life. I realized that my family is in heaven and it’s just myself and my daughter. I desire to live a long and healthy life for her. I will beat the odds against diabetes. I desire to be a fit, fabulous, and a healthy mom! I confess in Jesus name that my daughter will not lose her mother to diabetes!

My journey began with a trip to Urgent Care, which could have possibly ended in a hospital admission. The doctor explained how high blood sugar could lead to coma or even death. I knew this already because I had experienced a diabetic coma and almost lost my life. If that were the case, my daughter would now be in this world without any immediate family. I had to make a change for the sake of my daughter, Elisabeth. I had to make a change NOW!

I didn’t have any fancy runner gadgets or fancy running gear, but what I did have was the determination and desire to run for my health, my life, and my child. I put one foot in front of the other and BELIEVED! So, I started ‘Walk B4 U Run’ with a local running group (Black Girls RUN!). Running has helped me decrease my insulin dosage and lose a few pounds. Needless to say, I am proud of myself. This gave me the motivation to do more!

Now, I have a passion to run! I am motivated to keep running. Running has opened many doors that have been shut for several years of my life. Because of running I now enjoy Pilates, hiking, and aerobics…just to name a few—but most importantly a new, healthy lifestyle. These were all activities that I never had a passion for. I now celebrate the benefits of running to improve my health.

I completed my ‘Walk B4 U Run’ program with a feeling of accomplishment. I can’t even explain how I felt crossing the finish line! The best thing about running is the universe opened up and delivered an amazing group of women in my life. Women who are positive, motivating, encouraging, and living healthy lifestyles.

Now I buy running apparel, run magazines, and gadgets that are simply amazing. I used to say, ‘I don’t like to sweat. I don’t have time’—but I know I need running for my health and that makes me a better and healthier person. I have achieved so much and have received medals and certificates that I now display proudly to let the world know I AM A RUNNER!!!!

 

“I run for my lungs.

I run for my heart.

I run for sexy calves.

[I run to wear cute Bondi Bands]

I run for fresh air.

I run to organize my thoughts.

I run to race.

I run to get away…

I run in the morning.

I run at night.

I run for goals.

I run alone.

I run in company.

I run to move forward.

I run to be in the moment.

I run for the cute shoes

that hide my beat up feet.

I run to sweat.

I run trails, I run roads.

I run on good days

and I run through the rough ones.

I run to be the strongest healthiest version of me.”

 

Congratulations Lisa on being one of our Bondi Band Ambassador #WhyIRun Contest winners! Your story is so inspiring! Keep running and sharing with the world Why You Run!

To find out more about Bondi Band visit www.bondiband.com

 

 

 

 

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Family, Food, Football–A House Divided

*peeks in and looks around*

Whew! I had to wait a few days and recover from the holiday/Iron Bowl Weekend before I posted.

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photo via

On Thanksgiving morning, I was so excited about heading to Montgomery (aka The Gump) to spend time with my HB’s family. After the recent passing of one of his favorite Uncles, that was just what the doctor ordered. It’s the little things. We figured on the way out we’d grab some Chick-fil-a, but of course they were CLOSED! I always want Chick-Fil-a when they are closed, which is usually Sunday’s. Womp! I think that’s a mind game they play with us loyal customers. Anyhoo…we found some grub and kept it moving!

20131128_121826Road Trip!

mifamiliaI was so excited to see everyone! There’s nothing like family–and this is not all of us!

 

BGR! BIRMINGHAM MEETS BGR! MONTGOMERY….

Since I was in The Gump, I figured I should meet up with Black Girls RUN! (Montgomery Chapter) to “Preserve My Sexy”. You know ya girl had to work off all that dressin’ and pecan pie. This was my first run since the Magic City Half. It was a great, chilly morning for a post-Thanksgiving I-Already-Ate-The-Turkey Trot! I was given a mini-tour of downtown Montgomery thanks to my lovely Soror/BGR-MGM Ambassador, Cecily!

stcapaState Capitol

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mooRan past the MOOseum and look who I ran into?

(Alabama Cattlemen’s Association)

 

 thanksgivingIt was such a beautiful morning!

bgrmgmGreat run with the ladies of BGR!

neatpw1Game Ready! Decided to pull out my Phillip Lim for Target sweatie, found here.

THEN THERE’S FOOTBALL…

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You can’t have an Iron Bowl Party without good eats! There was SO MUCH food! Everything was delish! My HB seriously makes the best pasta ever. I’m working on him to see if I can share the recipe! :)

jezzybrowniesMy infamous Slutty Brownies, found here, made an appearance. Please excuse how they look…that’s how they got their name! *wink* I made TWO pans and they didn’t stand a chance.

unnamedA few of the cousins. They are always talking trash! They are Michigan fans. Go Blue!–I guess…

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Let me just say, if you are an Alabama fan in this family, you are totally outnumbered! I didn’t see that win coming, but…Congratulations to the Auburn Tigers…Roll Tide and Go Blazers!

I’m Only Half Crazy!

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I have been preparing for my second (really third) half marathon since the summer. Okay, let me explain.  I added the Magic City Half Marathon, part of the Ruben Studdard celebration weekend, to my schedule to give myself a challenge. And, who doesn’t love bling? My coach-runner-Kenyan friend (and yes, we joke about this), who is an incredible runner might I add, encouraged me to “up” my mileage and get out of my comfort zone. I’m also surrounded by my awesome, BGR “Sole Sisters” who are the best motivators ever! It’s nice to have people that support and believe in you and your potential. My training put me very close to where I needed to be to run a half, so just like that–I signed up! Besides, it’s right before Thanksgiving which is a great way to prepare for chicken/turkey & dressing (not stuffing), macaroni and cheese, sweet potato pie, and all the other yumtastic goodness!

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 Since my Run Disney Princess Half Marathon training is provided by Olympian a.k.a. “America’s Coach”, Jeff Galloway, I decided to implement his plan into my summer training. After few crazy on/off weeks, I was able to pick back up where I left off. His training plan is designed to keep runners healthy and injury free. It even includes cross training (if you wish and I encourage) and an easy walk on the Friday before your long run. For long runs, the Run-Walk-Run method works great for me because my body is not as tired and I recover much faster than I ever did before. I also love this plan because it makes the task ahead seem more achievable. You ignore that voice inside your head that tells you–you can’t, because your heart says otherwise. You feel like you can conquer the world! Okay…maybe that’s a stretch after a 13 miler. I just want a shower, some ice (scared of ice baths…I’m just not there yet), compression socks, iPad, couch, and my Snuggie! I do, however, LOVE that feeling of accomplishment once I’m done. I look forward to seeing my progression over the next few months.

Here’s a little bit about The Galloway Method.

JEFF GALLOWAY’S RUN-WALK-RUN METHOD

Short walk breaks, when taken early and regularly, will restore resiliency to the main running muscles and extend their capacity at the end of the run, plus ease fatigue, speed up recovery and more!

  • Restore resiliency to the main running muscles before they fatigue.
  • Extend the capacity of the running muscles at the end of the run because you are shifting the workload between the walking and the running muscles.
  • Virtually erase fatigue with each early walk break by keeping your pace and effort level conservative in the early stages.
  • Allow those with some types of previous injuries to train for marathons without further injury.
  • Allow runners to improve 10 to 40 minutes in their marathon compared with running continuously.
  • Speed up recovery from each long run.

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I love running because it truly challenges me for the better. I’m able to push beyond my limits, set new goals, bask in accomplishments that prepare me for the next level. The key is to remain CONSISTENT, no matter where you are on the journey. It’s your journey, your pace, your race.

30 Days of Thankfulness

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For the past few years I’ve seen the 30 Days of Thankfulness challenge shared on social media. This year I decided I was going to participate for the entire month of November, not just a few days here and there like I normally do.

How It Works: Each day in November post about something or someone you are thankful for. For example: Facebook–post a status, Twitter–post a tweet, and Instagram–post a textgram. You can use the #30daysofthankfulness hashtag on all three media sites so you can view what others have posted as well. And don’t worry if you’re not social media savvy or if you just don’t want to go that route–you can share with someone close to you or write it down.

I’ll start it off…

Day 1: I am thankful for new beginnings!

See…it’s that easy!

Day 2: I am thankful for the ability to walk and run.

Today I participated in my first Vulcan Run 10K! I was so excited about running it since I signed up, but on last week, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to participate. I had oral surgery this past Monday and I knew that me being out in the air would be a possible no-no. I almost gave up all hopes and dreams until next year until my doc gave me clearance, but told me to listen to my body. My HB asked, “Why don’t you just walk it?” I did a test run Thursday to see how I felt and I figured maybe I could do just that.

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Ready for the race!

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My Sole Sisters and I at the race! I even got a picture with Vulcan!

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I was so excited when I got home from the Vulcan Run and found my Black Girls RUN! Sweat With Your Sole Virtual 5K/10K medal in the mail! Every girl loves bling! I feel like a winner! ;-)

Now, let’s keep the ball of thankfulness growing! Here is why I chose Day 2 for my #30daysofthankfulness:

I had oral surgery Monday and thought I wouldn’t be able to run this morning. It has been hit or miss with pain/discomfort. I started the 30 Days of Thankfulness and reminded myself that running AND walking is something we often take for granted. I saw a man around his 70’s/80’s out there pushing through to finish that 6.2. I’m like wow…he’s out here doing it, I can do it too! I completed my 10K and hit a PR goal–even with discomfort. I wasn’t feeling my best, but I gave it all I had today and finished! For every milestone great or small there are so many others who wish they could do the same. So I’m gonna add my 6.2 miles to the books, take these meds, relax, and thank God that I had the opportunity to do it all over again! #Isaiah4031

It’s RunVember!

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I can’t believe November is here! You know what that means…the holiday season, peppermint bark, and 2014 is right around the corner! October was a rather interesting month for me. I wanted to up my mileage, but I had a few challenges so I didn’t get in as many miles as I anticipated. Busy schedules, long days, and doing what your body requires at that moment–it just happens. I had to get an unexpected surgery which limited my activity.  I’ve also been limited to mashies and ice cream, but I guess that’s not too bad. Well, when you eat a whole pint of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla for dinner, that can become too easy! But–I’m feeling much better!

What’s RunVember? Complete 30 miles in 30 days. The goal is to get people out there and get active. It takes 28 days to form a habit, so what better way than the RunVember Challenge! Run it or even walk it–just get those miles in. I can’t think of a better time than November!

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I signed up for my first Vulcan Run 10K which will be held this Saturday, November 2. Even though I might walk it, depending how my body feels, I’m really excited about it! I definitely don’t want to overdo it. The great thing is–whether I walk or run it, I’m still going to get out there and get those miles in…and there’s still time to register!

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I’m also excited about another big event towards the end of the month. It’s perfect timing as we get ready to partake in Turkey Day festivities and good eating! I’ll be running the Magic City Half Marathon part of the Ruben Studdard Celebration Weekend. I decided to add this race to my 2013 calendar as part of my preparation/training for my first Run Disney event, the Princess Half Marathon, in 2014! *insert scream here* I’ll tell you more about that later. This will be my second, half marathon and a lot of my running buds will be participating as well!

I’m looking forward to a great RunVember and an awesome month as we get closer to bringing 2013 to a close. I’m expecting GREAT things and I hope you are too!

Do you have any special plans, big races, or events coming up this month?

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