Women’s Running Nashville Half Marathon Recap!

Hello Nashville!

I couldn’t wait to get to Nashville for the Women’s Running Series (WRS) Half Marathon! It was my fifth half marathon, excluding (2) virtual half marathons. My HB also wanted his first half marathon to have a sweet medal so he decided on the Women’s Running Half Marathon. *insert proud wife expression*  We found out about the WRS at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Expo last February. You can read my race recap here. My HB saw the medal and said…”I WANT that medal!” When I heard that the medal was going to be even sweeter than the year before…I was sold! You’ll see why in a minute.

 

On to the Expo!

I spy something shiny and big!

WRMerch

If you are a runner/walker (especially distance) or into athletics…you MUST look for The Stick people. You can find them at most race Expos but just in case you haven’t seen them, you can visit them online here. The Stick has changed my life! It goes into abyss of every muscle and will make it hurt so good. Works that soreness right on out. It’s easy to carry with you and can tuck nicely into your suitcase. They have different sizes available too. Trust me you’ll want one!

TheStick

 

Of course Bondi Band was there!

BondiB

 

FLOWERS! Fellow Flowers is a movement that was created by two amazing women to uplift, encourage, and connect us (women) through our passions…and to show the world, “We run simply because we get to.” Find out more about the amazing movement here.

FF2

I had the opportunity to meet, Tori, one of the core gems behind Fellow Flowers! She was super sweet!

ToriArtt

  Swag

 

This was my first race as a Half Fanatic! I also wore my first “Flower”. What it stands for is perfect as I prepare for my race in January. I BELIEVE and know that I CAN!

Flat-Artie-

 

“Believe. To look within, to overcome. Loving myself enough. I have the will, the determination and the courage to defy the odds…and inspire. My challenges have made me a fighter – a survivor. They will not define me or confine me. I will run my own race. Different, beautiful and all my own. I believe in me and my potential. And I’m going to succeed because I’m brave enough to think I can.” fellowflowerbw

 

Race Day!

My socks were getting all the love. They are by Bondi Band and you can find them here!

Before

It was my first time meeting Half Fanatics from around the globe! They are absolutely amazing and they provide great support and energy while you’re on the course! So happy to be a part of this group! #HF 6579

Half Fanatics WRSNash!

 

 Mama, I made it!!!

Mile 13 yay!

 

Can you tell where I’m headed?

SK2

 

Mimosas at the finish line waiting for us! How awesome is that?!

Mimosasatthefinish

 

The lawn relaxing

 Live Band

Had to make a pit stop at the Smoothie King Truck—compliments of Women’s Running!  And look at that smile…someone is happy to rock their FIRST half marathon medal/bling! I’m so proud!!! :) SK

 

Another half marathon in the books! I am absolutely in LOVE with this medal! The charm keepsake is adorable! This photo doesn’t do it ANY justice. It’s huge!WRNFinisherMedal

This is one of the best races and post-race party experiences I’ve ever had. Women’s Running Nashville was so much fun and the support and camaraderie was amazing! Even though the hills were alive…it was such a beautiful course. I can’t wait to return again next year! I have fallen in love with this city!

 

 A little fun on Broadway and Nashville Eats!

I found this placed called Fresh To Order (fine. fresh.food.) and loved it! For my pre-race meal, I ordered the Chopped Wedge and the manager was kind to give me a complimentary Raspberry Mojito Lemonade while I waited. Ah-mazingly refreshing! The Wedge was enough for 3-4 people to share…so yummy! No, I didn’t eat it all. I had it along with half of my Jet’s Pizza, Grilled Chicken “Boat”.

F2O

 

The day after the race we wanted to try out some of Nashville’s delicious barbeque! We weren’t sure of where to go so we asked a few people and went to the Yelp app to check out some reviews. Jack’s Bar-B-Que kept coming up so we decided to try it out! Broadway was clearly where all of the happenings were. There was a motorcade with hundreds and hundreds of bikers riding through Broadway along with a benefit concert by Dierks Bentley!

NashRiders

Jacksons

 

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 I’m sorry, but you don’t go to a good BBQ place and order green beans! Just sayin’. The food was great!

jacksons2

 jacksons1

 

If you go to Nashville with running shoes, you MUST leave with new cowboy boots!

Boots

Until next time, Nashville!

 

 

 

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Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Medals Revealed!

Look at those sweet medals! I promise within the next three years, I WILL be going after three of the medals at the same time. That would be the 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon (yes, all in one weekend, 22.4 miles). I haven’t wrapped my mind around Goofy Challenge (39.3 miles) or Dopey  Challenge (48.6 miles)…HECK-to-the-NO! Not saying I won’t ever either. I must admit the bling is quite enticing! Maybe once I’ve completed my first full marathon I’ll think about it. Until then…I’ll just drool over them and vicariously live through my friends who will be participating in Dopey Challenge 2015! As for the medals, even the kids have the Cutest-Bling-Ever! The Mickey ears are just too precious! I am not going to lie, everyone loves Mickey but I absolutely adore the Donald Duck Half Marathon Medal! I can’t wait to add it along with the other runDisney medals to my medal rack!

 

 

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)

  swys14

 swys

 swys3One more to go!

 wpid-img_20140907_151230.jpgI did that!!!

 Bgrbham1

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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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swysinspiration

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…

swys2a

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…

TLYWTour

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

Lisa-winner

 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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