Shake It Off, Tone It Up + Stairmill Workout!

I don’t know about you, but I’m so ready for spring! I have been in complete struggle mode the past few weeks. Winter really had me in a slump. Lots of rain, a few snow days…I really needed some vitamin D. Then I realized, I have suffered from SAD. Did you know that SAD existed? It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which simply means: you turn into Crabby Patty or you feel sad, anxious, tired, excessively eat with potential weight gain, and have trouble concentrating just to name a few. For me…I’m just ready for spring!

After my marathon, I had the Post-Marathon Blues. I remember my sister saying, “Artney, enjoy this moment! Your race will go by so fast and then it will be over.” Everything she said was true. About a week after my marathon the blues kicked in. You go through vigorous mental and physical training all while building a bond with yourself and your training. You put in days, nights, months of training then the big day comes, your excitement level is on fleek (yes, I actually detest this word, but it worked), then it’s over—just like that. I was sad, a little depressed, and this winter SADness didn’t help. I really enjoyed my sabbatical and not working out, but I can’t believe I’m saying this…I miss working out and I miss the endorphins! Euphoria, where are you? I had to figure out how to get out of this comfortable slump of laziness. It had to start with the renewing of my mind. So, I whipped my bum back into shape mentally and got on the physical train. One foot in front of the other and one day at a time. No More Excuses! 

Shaking Post-marathon blues, Stair Master, Fitness Exercises

Have you ever had that one activity or machine in the gym that you just wanted to run from? Well, mine is the Stairmaster/Stairmill aka the HELL-master! This is one of the hardest machines on earth and 5 minutes is all it takes to have me calling on Jesus. I get bored doing the same thing, so when I found this Stairmill Workout on Pinterest I got excited! But…it’s hard y’all!!! I have to stop mid-way to catch my breath because my heart rate is always off the charts—but it works! I’m not trying to go in too fast, so I’m going to stick with one cycle for the first few weeks then add another, etc. Next time you’re at the gym, try this awesome workout from ToneItUp!


 Stairmaster, Stairmill, Fitness Exercises


What’s the one workout or machine that you have a love/hate relationship with, but gets the job done?



More Training and Motivation Tips from Jeff Galloway

A few weeks ago, I came off of my post-marathon sabbatical to run one of my favorite races, the Mercedes Half Marathon. It was also my 7th half marathon to date! I love this race because it was my first half and it’s also held in my hometown, Birmingham, AL. I was able to PR and Jeff Galloway’s Run Walk Run (intervals) helped me achieve it. I mentioned in my earlier post how excited I am to be part of the Jeff Galloway Blogger program sharing training and motivation tips from Jeff. Run Walk Run is a method that is tried-and-true and has helped countless runners meet their goals!

Here are more Training and Motivation Tips to help you stay motivated during your training. 

Run Injury Free: Jeff Galloway Training and Motivation Tips | My Pretty Brown Blog

I use Run Walk Run on all of my long runs. It’s up to each person to decide how fast or slow they would like their long runs to be. I like to pace my runs 1 to 2 minutes slower than race pace. Just remember “slow and steady wins the race”. This is my mantra and I stick to it. I paced myself too fast one time and that’s all it took. When I use Run Walk Run, I recover quicker, have less fatigue, and I’m motivated to get back out there.

We all want to run and stay injury free. You can find Jeff Galloway’s Book Run Walk Run here and Running Injuries here.


Run Injury Free: Jeff Galloway Training and Motivation Tips (Part 2) | My Pretty Brown Blog Runners from Austin, Duluth, Denver, Metro Dc, NW Indiana, and Montgomery County, MD – We are coming to you! There is a Galloway Training Program starting near you in the month of March! Check the calendar for more information.

All Roads Lead To Rome!
Deadline extended until March 8th. 
(Time & Space is now limited – 2 slots left)
Sign up at or


Offer Expires: 3/8/15


If you missed my first JG Training and Motivation Tips, you can find them here. Have you dealt with any running-related injuries? What methods did you use to recover and get back to running?




Bondi Band Valentine’s Day Giveaway!

MpbbVday giveaway

I’m sooooo excited to announce that I’m hosting my FIRST ever giveaway! Everyone knows how much I love Bondi Band and since February is American Heart Month and the month of LOVE, a giveaway is the perfect way to share my love for Bondi Band, health, and fitness!

About Bondi Band:

Bondi Band is the creator of fun, fashionable, no slip-no drip, athletic headbands which expanded to a full line of super fun athletic accessories. You will find products such as headbands, arm wear, compression products just to name a few. What makes each product so amazing is the that you can add your own personality. Bondi Band’s fashionable, functional, high quality products were created to fit every lifestyle: women, men, children, babies, and even buddies (for Dog Lovers)!

Here are a few reasons why I love Bondi Band headbands:

  • They are fashionable!
  • The first reason was enough to make me want a headband.
  • The headbands help you tame your wild mane and fly-aways.
  • Bondi Bands keep sweat out of your face while working out.
  • You can add your own personality and spunk!
  • They cover my ears (much needed in cooler temps).
  • Material is light and they stretch wonderfully.
  • You can’t have enough of them!



One of my favorite Bondi Bands worn during the Mercedes-Benz Half Marathon.


Just a few of what’s in my Bondi Band headband arsenal! And yes, they are all my favorite!


You can be one of two winners of a Bondi Band, fashionable headband of your choice. The contest will end on February 12th at midnight (central time zone) and the winners will be chosen at random. Happy Valentine’s Day and good luck!!!


   a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giveaway ends February 12th at 11:59 PM CST. Open to US residents. Prizes cannot be shipped to PO Boxes. The winners will be randomly selected via rafflecopter and notified. The winners will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. All opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. No other entities were in any way associated with this giveaway. I do not share or sell personal information and will only use information for the purpose of contacting the winner.


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Cigna Blogger Cook-Off! Let The Fun Continue… (Part II)

cookoff with cigna

During the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend, I was invited to the Cigna Blogger (Challenge) Cook-off! Cigna is a global health service company that is dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being, and sense of security. The event was held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. It was exciting to formally meet bloggers that I met or discovered through social media along with many new faces!


Team Turkey Stir Fry1


Pascale Jean, Cigna Health Promotion Manager and nutritionist, kicked off the event! She ran Dopey by the way! After the introduction, we were split into teams. I felt like I was on an episode of Iron Chef! The challenge was for each team to create a meal fit for marathon training. We were given a protein along with an abundance of ingredients to help bring our masterpiece to life! Each team had their own Disney Chef to oversee them. Thank you, Rebecca!  We had all of the kitchen accessories and appliances we needed…so “let’s get it started” *in my MC Hammer voice*!




Dicing like a BOSS!




Kristin, Carrie, and I are ready for a taste test!



I really need to say this…everything was AH-MAZING! Sampling everyone’s creation made it even more fun! From Team Turkey Stir Fry’s (you guessed it) exquisite turkey stir fry to one of the best vegan meals I’ve ever tasted! Let’s not even talk about the shrimp-n-grits. I think everyone is still raving over those grits! And the dessert! Oh…my…goodness—Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding! Divineeee!


We had the pleasure of dining with two amazing people: Sarah from Sparkly Runner and her beau, Matthew! They were such a joy to be around. We chatted about everything during our meal: the fact that my husband was self-proclaimed support staff for the event, running, and so many other things. You would have thought we were old friends picking up without missing a beat. We already know they will be our Forever Friends!


After we enjoyed our yumtastic meals, Chef Mickey arrived for a private Meet-and-Greet with all of the bloggers in attendance!



cigna_PME7865This event was truly one of the highlights of my weekend! I am grateful for the experience that Cigna provided us and the opportunity to work with one of the leanest *pun intended* and meanest (I mean this in a good way) team: (Elbow Glitter, Katrina Elle, Run Knit Travel, Run All The Races, including Rebecca Bastian), and Maker Mother Marathon Runner). So many great moments: marathon training meal ideas, fun times with Chef Mickey, meeting fellow bloggers who encourage a healthy lifestyle, and being hosted by an organization who thrives on giving back to others! Thank you Cigna for the opportunity to share in this amazing event and being a company that makes a huge imprint on this world!




The Cigna Team!


Stay tuned for Part III of my Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Recap! In the meantime, you can check out Part I here!


Cigna_logo4Cigna Corporation is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation. The products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. 

 “Cigna and runDisney share a commitment to inspire healthy living and active lifestyles across all ages and fitness levels,” said Lisa Bacus, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer at Cigna. “runDisney’s stature as one of the most respected race series in the nation gives Cigna and our customers and employees the opportunity to showcase our passion for community service. At the same time, we’ve been able to share inspiring personal stories of the customers, military veterans and so many others who have been part of our runDisney teams.”


The majority of the photos in this post were provided courtesy of Cigna!





Now That We’re Acquainted…Hello 2015!

Happy New Year guys and gals!

So I thought I would at least get a good week in before I posted about my goals for the new year. I think my struggle with writing 2014 2015 is enough. We also, know that improving our diet and exercise habits are standard goals for life. It is, however, a great feeling to knock off one of your top goals for the new year within the first few weeks!



Here are my randomly awesome goals for 2015:

2015 Goals

Complete my first FULL marathon (26.2 miles): Well, guess who’s having the most Magical start to 2015? I AM! I completed the Walt Disney World Marathon on January 11, 2015! What an amazing way to bring in the new year. I’m still on Cloud 9…you have no idea. I’m seriously still soaking it all in, as you can witness here. My runDisney WDW Marathon Weekend recap is coming soon!

Blog More Frequently: So I must admit, I didn’t blog as much as I would have liked in 2014, especially the last quarter of the year. I committed to marathon training and on most days, by the time I made it home, my eyes needed kickstands just to stay open. I can now shift my focus back to my blog.

Learn Spanish: I took French in high school and I don’t remember much at all…just that my teachers name was Mrs. Broglie, my French name was Arianne, and oui means yes. I do love watching French films (with subtitles); however, Spanish is where “it’s at”! Spanish is not a foreign language anymore and I feel with me living in the U.S., I need to familiarize myself with it. After returning from my visit with my Sissy in “Ellll-A” (aka Los Angeles) this past summer, I decided I was going to purchase a subscription to Rosetta Stone. Now that my schedule has freed up a bit, it’s time for me to pick it back up and practice being a good “estudiante”. The structure will eventually get there. Wish me luck!

Complete Six Half Marathons: It’s no secret that I love half marathons. It’s my favorite distance to run. I’m so excited to not have any pressing commitments, so I can have fun, run ALL the races, earn all the bling, and just enjoy running! I’m really excited that I will be running for a great cause this year, which I will share about later.

Learn How To Sew: So I’ve had this sewing machine up in my closet for over a year now. It’s time to dust that baby off and start creating some masterpieces! My name doesn’t have “Art” in it for nothin’.

newgoalsStrength Train + TRX: I’m no stranger to strength training, weights, etc. I started taking Body Pump (BP) classes back in 2011 and I enjoyed them. Then, I took some time off and decided to take on Shaun T’s 63 days of what? INSANITY! Thennn…I was introduced to TRX last year and I’m really excited to add it to my workout regimen. TRX is a total-body workout that uses gravity and your own body weight to give you an insane workout. It’s helps create a stronger core, helps build muscle, and overall increases fitness level.

Latin (Infusion) Dancing: I love Zumba! I seriously have the best Zumba instructor on the planet. Heyyy Marta! Her class is always packed with 60+ people and it is truly a dance party. I stopped Zumba while training for my marathon and I’m so happy to be back. I come from a dance/cheer background so Latin dancing gets me excited! I’m hoping to find somewhere I can take true lessons and learn the technical side of dances like the Merengue, Bachata, or the Samba! Who knows…you may find me on So You Think You Can Dance! Okay…maybe not.

I think goals are more attainable than resolutions. You don’t have to beat yourself up if you have a setback. Just keep pushing until you reach them! Happy New Year and make it an awesome 2015!

Do you have any goals for the new year?



The Core of My Live Well 360 Bag! {Review}

LW20asign1abcdeI’m a fitness gadget-gear junkie. I love any and everything fitness related and more than likely I have it in my fitness arsenal: jump ropes, weights, resistance bands, running shoes, hair pins, hair ties (yes, they are very necessary)—you name it. I have a fitness bag, but it does not keep my belongings organized. I kept looking for a fitness bag to cater to my needs and I didn’t have any luck. That was until Live Well 360. Thank you Live Well 360 for providing me your CORE bag for review. This bag could not have arrived at a more perfect time!



What I love about my Core Bag:

For starters–It truly is…”The Fitness Bag Reinvented”.  It’s so stylish, comfortable, and functional! I also love the beautiful, eggplant color. I’m back and forth from the gym and/or the pavement and being organized is a must. The Core bag has nine pockets, a vented shoe compartment, and a soft seatbelt shoulder strap for easy carrying.

Let’s get to the core of this bag!

Can we discuss this amazing shoe compartment? I knew it was a winner when it could store my Hokas! I love how my shoes are taking up space in the compartment and there is still room for other items.



This bag seriously holds everything! This is what I packed for my workout(s) this week: gloves, iTouch, Bondi Band, RoadID, jump rope, sports drink, resistance bands, tights, extra shirt and jacket, hair ties, heart rate monitor, shoes—and everything had its own, special place.










After a run or gym session, my clothes are usually soaked. I love that the Core bag has a vented compartment specifically for my sweaty gear and running shoes. There was still room after adding gym clothes to the compartment.



Look how perfectly it fits into a gym locker!




My Core bag will be the perfect travel companion for my upcoming marathon weekend. It’s sleek, TSA compliant, and the signature liner will keep me inspired while I’m on the go!



It looks like Mickey and Minnie are ready for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend!



Thank you again, Live Well 360 for providing me this amazing bag! With the holidays are right around the corner, a Live Well 360 bag will make the perfect holiday gift for the fitness enthusiast in your life! You may even want to reward yourself for all of the hard work you’ve done over this past year—you deserve it!

Check out Live Well 360’s current selection of bags (Tote, Core, Accel, Luxx)—and visit here to receive 15% off of your Live Well 360 purchase. UPDATE: (Discount may no longer be available).

Follow the Swirl!



Disclaimer: I received a free product to review. I provided an honest review of this product without compensation. All opinions are my own.




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