Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I've Moved

Hey ya'll,
Please check out my new website at www.backatsquarezero.com
I upgraded and got rid of the .blogspot
I'm basically starting over so I'd love for you all to support and follow me to my new site.
Once there be sure to subscribe so you can stay up to date:)

Thank you so much for your support,

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Guest Post - Jen - Motherhood & Running

Hey all - I'm out of town for the weekend and wanted to bring you a great post.  Jen is kicking some running butt, seriously I dream of being that fast, and doing it all while raising a family.  My question - How do you balance it all?
*I am a 30 something mom to a toddler, wife to a triathlete, grad student and competitive runner. I work as faculty in a small private college and as a running coach allowing me some flexibility. Check out my blog at http://runnershoe.blogspot.com

Is it possible to be a mother and stay active at the same time? I get asked this frequently and the answer is “of course” but it takes a little work and compromise at times. When I was pregnant with my daughter I often heard the three words “Just you wait” followed by some inevitable change that I was going to make strictly as the result of becoming a parent. These changes often involved some aspect of running or being healthy. I was probably told daily that I would never run as well again, but as stubborn as I am I aimed to prove these people wrong and was quickly back and running PRs and reaching new goals. I find it odd that no one ever says to a pregnant woman “you will never watch TV again” but they are quick to say you will not work out again.
I won’t say there haven’t been changes or that it is always easy, but with work it isn’t tough. I recently saw a sign that said “you would never skip an important meeting with your boss so why skip a workout”.
If you don’t think you have time then figure it out: Okay maybe not so simple, but look at a typical day and write down you obligations. Figure out where you can fit in things; maybe this means walking to the store for groceries instead of driving or hitting the treadmill while you watch your favorite show.
·    Plan ahead: write down your time at the gym, running, biking, etc. in your planner for the coming day, week or month and stick with it. Along with this plan and make meals ahead, I often spend Sunday afternoon naps making a few freezer meals for the week ahead allowing me extra time during the week to go to the gym, play outside with my daughter or just relax on those busy workout days.
·    Get up early: I often sacrifice extra sleep to be up for 4:30 am run, bike or most recently my new 5:30am boot camp. It is a tough routine to get into but you set the clothes out at night, crawl out of bed and go without thinking. I am often halfway through a workout before I am fully awake. This way I am done in time to either spend the day with my daughter or get to work.
·    Enlist help: Whether you are a mom who needs a babysitter or someone needing an extra kick to get moving on a workout, ask someone to help. Join a gym with childcare, this is good for everyone, kids can play while mom has some me time. My husband and I often split workouts while pushing the BOB or days for long runs.
·   Allow yourself this time: As a mom, wife and grad student with a job I deserve me time and for me this is when I work out. I have time to think and de-stress. This short time away from my family (or bringing them along) to go run makes me a better person in all aspects.
·   Know yourself: your strengths and weaknesses and work with it.  I prefer the morning to work out and am much more apt to skip a workout if I save it for after work. 
    Find the things you like: hate running, find a fun spin class.
·   Make a date: Grab a friend, join a group, hire a trainer. Even on the tough days if someone else is counting on you it is more likely to happen.
·   Take advantage of naptime: This has been huge for me on days I am home. The first year of my daughter’s life I spent a lot of time running on the treadmill during naps. I sacrificed a clean house some days to run, but I didn’t care!
·   Accept that it will never be perfectly planned: Even with the best intentions there are days when meetings run late, kids are sick, weather is bad, etc. Roll with these inconveniences and throw in a workout DVD at home, walk at lunch or skip a workout (the world will not end) just don’t let this be the norm!
·   Set goals that are concrete to motivate: Run a 5K, do a triathlon, buy something for sticking to the plans.

Yes, it takes work and good time management but anything is possible. If I can make it work anyone can. In the past couple years since becoming a mom I think my body has gotten stronger and healthier through better workouts, eating healthier through planning and working to be a good role model. - http://runnershoe.blogspot.com

Friday, July 27, 2012

FitFluential Friday, Nuun, & Pro Compression Thoughts

1st - I'm all over the place.  Check out some fabulous FitFluential peeps, me included (FitFluential, working on the fabulous) on the blog today.  You'll see this cool picture of me being goofy on my Asheville, NC hiking trip and stopping to workout play on the rocks instead of using them to cross the stream.   
Also, check out Running Escapades to read the story of my fitness Aha moment along with many other wonderful stories.  
Finally, stop by MommyRunFast to see tons of great interval workout and find links to more, like my favorite one, at the bottom.  
2nd - Nuun is rocking my world.  I'll admit I kind of messed it up the first time by putting one tablet in this 32oz water bottle.  Whoops read directions - 1 tablet = 16 oz.  So the next time I did it right and the flavor was great, strawberry lemonade.  I have never been a big fan of recovery beverages so I always drink plain old water post long run.  I hate putting all that extra stuff in my body after I just worked it so hard, but I was intrigued by Nuun, liked the ingredient list, and loved the calorie count - only 8 per tablet.  I am so glad I tried it because I feel like I can happily drink it post long run, rehydrate better, and not feel guilty about putting junk in my body.  I already went back to the store and bought the one other flavor they have Tri-berry.  (Plus I am thinking about ordering the Kona Cola online.)
3rd - As I have been injured I haven't gotten to do any of my longer runs, but I have tried out my Pro Compression socks because I could not wait.  I wore them after my short run and was surprised at how lightweight and comfy they were.  I must admit I was worried about them being too tight because I have never owned compression socks before and I have kind of big legs compared to lots of girls, but they fit just right.  I can totally see myself slipping these on post long run to lazy around my house or even go out and run errands.  Love the bright pink.  May need the baby blue or a purple soon.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Your Opinion Needed - Participation Welcome

Check it out - A little request/challenge/question in honor of my 3 month blogiversary.
I know.  Can you believe it has already been 3 months?  Doesn't feel like very long and somedays I have to remind myself to calm down a bit as I am still brand new and figuring all this out.  (I know some of you are thinking dear heavens it seems like she's been around forever, nope, just feels that way because I never stop talking.)  
Recently I was lucky enough to have a Google+ hangout (think Skype) with the fabulous, sweet, and super helpful Bex from Bex Life.  We talked about blogging and I being the newbie asked a million questions about...well... EVERYTHING!  Luckily she was wonderful about it because most people probably would have hung up on confused newbie blogger me.  While answering countless questions she also suggested lots of ideas.  One idea I found very cool was an idea for a blog she had gotten at a conference, done herself, and then suggested I could do.
The idea - Pop this question to your readers:
What do you all think my blog is about?
Then I can see if I am putting the right vibes, info, etc. out there.  
Like if you answer a whiny girl complaining about her injury - I know to dial it down a bit with the poor pitiful me junk (trying to - stupid hamstring).  
Or if you say someone who is addicted to sweets - I know to up the fitness part to make it match the food part.
Or if you say a lady who is way too obsessed with her nephew - I think get over it, cutest baby ever!
So basically it's like doctor's visit time and this is my 3 month blog checkup.  Am I on the right track?  I need your diagnosis.  
What do you all think my blog is about?
Please comment and let me know.  Thanks:)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Liebster Award

Liebster Award
Alana from Merry Alana emailed me last week to let me know she choose me for a Liebster Award!  I felt very honored, first that she read my little blog, then that she thought enough of it to want to know more about me. This is a fabulous way to get to know more about the people behind the blogs you enjoy reading and also to discover more great bloggers. 

So what in the heck is this:
The Liebster award is given to upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  (I'll be honest, I didn't look at how many followers any of these blogs have, but I think of them all as fabulous up and coming bloggers - next step world domination- so if they have over 200 whoops.)  The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.

Rules for receiving this award:
1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Then answer the questions the tagger sent for them, plus create 11 questions for the people they've tagged to answer.
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
4. Notify the people you have tagged.
5. No tag backs.

11 things about myself 
1. I am 5'10 and wear a size 11 shoe.
These are really normal sized people.  I'm just that tall (and in flip-flops).
2. According to my hairdresser I am the only person who goes in with blonde hair and asks to have it dyed darker.
3. I am a ridiculous klutz which makes many forms of exercise terrifyingly hilarious, but I try because I like to see improvement.  (I've flown off multiple boxes trying to do box jumps.)
4. I finished my MEd in Languages (ESOL) last year, but am currently back in school again taking a few Spanish classes to help me better communicate with my students.
5. The only show I must watch on TV is True Blood.  The cliff hanger endings to each episode keep bringing me back.  Plus Alcide is super hunky. 
6. I am convinced you are never too old for Disney movies.
7. Blue is my favorite color, but purple is making a run for it.
Both pairs of my current run shoes = Purple!
8. I am pretty sure I have the coolest family ever and actually love spending time with them.  Plus I am crazy aunt level obsessed with my new nephew.
Any excuse for a Jackson picture.
9. I was excited to turn 30 and actually rounded up starting 6 months early (no clue why).
10.  I would love to travel more:  visit new countries, have big adventures, run races in amazing places, but I am too budget conscious and know I cannot afford it.
11. There are certain things from my childhood I can never get sick of, namely: The Princess Bride (as you wish…), Dirty Dancing, and New Kids on The Block.
Alana's Questions to Me: (you'll all answer my questions below instead)
1. What is your favourite summer activity?  In Charleston summer is sweltering, but I love having extra time off work to do things I normally wouldn't.  Walk/run the bridge, take barre classes, piddle around the Whole Foods salad bar and eat lunch there, etc. 
2. What is your guilty pleasure? Sweets and gossip magazines like US Weekly.
3. Do you have a favourite book? I love books. I have so many favorites.  I love kids books like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, but I also love historical fiction because I feel like they teach me something - check out Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.
4. What is your favourite topic to blog about? My overall favorite blogs are those that really get people thinking about running in ways they haven't before.  My two favorite so far have been one on 5Things Newbie/Nonrunners Need to Know and my National Running Day Post on What Running Has Taught Me
5. Coffee or tea? Coffee if it is in mocha light frap from Starbucks otherwise iced tea.
6. What decade do you identify with the most? Present day, past decade?  I'm really happy with where I am in my life right now.  There is so much I have learned over the years, but so much more I am sure I will learn still.  I am just enjoying living in the moment.  Check out my letter to my 20 year old self to see how I've grown.   
7. Where do you feel most at home? Falling asleep on my parents couch while watching a movie with them after Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
8. What do you do when you're having a bad day? Run, call a friend, blog.
Helps, Trust me.

9. Have you met blogging friends in real life? I am brand new to this, tomorrow is only my 3 month blogiversary, so I haven't really traveled to any bloggy conferences yet and there are not many health & fitness bloggers in SC.  My adorable sister-in-law juststarted blogging so that is one blogger I know in real life:)
10. What is your favourite subject to blog about? Health & fitness
11. What's your favourite way to relax? Reading in bed.

My Questions for You All:
1. Why did you start blogging?
2. What has been your favorite part of the experience so far?
3. If you could gain one thing from blogging what would you hope it brings to you?
4. What are you most looking forward to right now?
5. What do you do when you are stressed?
6. What is one food you could not live without?
7. If you could only watch one TV show a week what would it be?
8. Where is your dream vacation?
9. What is one goal you are currently working towards?
10. Do you have any children or fur babies?
11. Favorite ice cream or fro-yo flavor?

My 11 People Victims:
11.The Chocolate Mile

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kicking Negative Nancy's Butt

So last night I went for a run, but instead joined a pity party.  Basically I took about 3 running steps on the treadmill and knew my hamstring wasn't having it.  It was way past that sore pain all the way to that oh my heavens you idiot if you keep running you're going to hurt yourself worse pain.  Since I couldn't run I then had my own personal whine like a brat session on Twitter to all the fabulous people who commiserate with, listen to, and support me.
I whined about:

  • How I'd been injured and had to take 3 full months off, had been running again for 2 months and was starting to feel a bit better about myself, and then pulled my hamstring in a rugby game 3 weeks ago. (Crummy luck!)  
  • The fact that all this puts me way behind the weekly mileage I am normally at - where I had hoped to start my marathon training.
  • My slower than usual running - what used to be 9 or 10 min miles (depending on distance) are now pushing 11 minutes and I am sure the injury has something to do with that.
  • Missing out of the first few weeks of marathon training and feeling behind.
  • Holding back T, my training partner, who is faster than me when I am healthy and dominating me right now, but patiently waiting while I run very slowly.
  • Most of all I whined about how I feel like this is some crazy double edged sword - If I don't run then my distances and times don't improve and I won't be ready for the Marine Corp Marathon, but if I do run when my hamstring is hurting it may never get a chance to heal or even end up worse than it is now.

    Cooper River Bridge (Bridges = Hills in Charleston)
So I stewed, felt depressed, and whined all last night and I realized it did me no good.  Feeling sorry for myself doesn't make me run faster or farther, it doesn't help me along in my training, and it sure as heck doesn't make my hamstring feel better.
Forget it - I had to stop with the negativity.  No point in dragging myself down.
I woke up early this morning and left my crappy butt attitude in bed.  

I headed to the Copper River Bridge for a little 6 mile route I planned out, but you know what - it just wasn't happening.  However, instead of being a crab about it I very slowly jogged 2 miles and then sat down and stared at the beautiful scenery for a while. I reminded myself - (I'm all about that positive self talk.  Don't worry it is an inner monologue, not out loud, you know because I don't want people to think I am crazy.) I ran 2 miles this morning and while that wasn't my goal it is more than a lot of people can say.  Plus even though it was hard for me to stop I made a really smart decision to take care of my body.   

Then I went to a barre class I had scheduled.  It was a great decision because it was super low impact with some fabulous stretching.  I am horrible about stretching so this is really beneficial for me.  (I pretty much completed all of my first marathon training without stretching, owning a foam roller, or compression socks, or using any type of fuel, food, or hydration on any long runs.  I know.  Crazy right?  However, that is a story for another blog.)   I felt really good after leaving the class especially because I stay after and stretched my hamstring out for a few extra minutes.  I think I am going to use this pain as a reason/proof that I need to stretch and make it my new goal to stretch and foam roll every night before bed.  
Tonight my mom and I headed out to dinner at this amazing Italian restaurant called Al Di La.  If you are ever in Charleston it is a winner for sure.  For her birthday I bought her two Groupons for dinner for 2 so we could have mother/daughter nights which I enjoy because I consider her one of my best friends. (Mom- when you read this don't let it go to your head!)  Our Groupon started off with an appetizer so we split the cheese plate.  It was so good I totally forgot to take a picture - Whoops!  Cheese distracts me.  
I let myself have a glass of Chianti.  I usually don't drink because I am not a huge fan of liquid calories, I'd rather eat them all in delicious food form.  However, an Italian red sounded amazing.
 Mom's pasta which she enjoyed.....
but my gnocchi was 100 times better (she may disagree).  I LOVE gnocchi!  Instead of stuffing the whole plate in my mouth at warp speed to enjoy these fluffy little balls of heaven I was good and took half of it home.  Hello lunch tomorrow.
Now if you all know anything about me by now, from this crazy blog, you know I love running and I have a killer sweet tooth!  While I am trying to reign my sugar cravings in and eat healthier so I can get in better shape (I think this while help my running) I believe you must enjoy life with the occasional splurge.  This tiramisu was outstanding.  So deliciously decadent that when my mom only had a couple bites I ate more than my fair share, I refused to let any go to waste.  It was so good I would have licked the plate (had the restaurant not been full and people nearby to notice).  

Monday, July 23, 2012

Marathon Training Update Vlog

I'm the little guest post queen today:)  Please go check them out:
A post on conquering my running weakness  (hills & speed -Yikes)
& one on controlling a sweet tooth (which is my constant healthy eating battle)   

Marathon Training Update
(Notice how awesome I look, no makeup nasty sweaty workout hair - Keeping it real for you all.
Rough start, but I'm doing it.  Not clicking as well as I hoped it would.  
Coming back from so much time off is tricky.

Do you have a race coming up?  If so what are you training for and how is it going?
What do you do to stay motivated when it isn't going as well as you had hoped/planned?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Asheville Trip & Vega Contest Results

This weekend T & I drove the 4 hours to Asheville for a day trip.
We ran a 9 mile training run to sight see and then took a 2 hour hike through the Pisgah Forrest.
We also checked out downtown Asheville for a bit and had a yummy late lunch (and some local ice cream) before heading back.
I took my Vega hiking with me to snap a photo for their Get Energized contest.
It starts August 1st and I may be asking you all to help vote.
(I never win anything and it would be cool to try.)
Now it is time for one of you to win though.... 

Congrats Andrea your twitter follow was #16.  I'll be contacting you.
Email backatsquarezero@gmail.com your shipping address
and phone number (for tracking).
Expect a Very Big box of smoothies very soon.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Easily Amused

Don't forget to sign up and win over 60 servings worth of Energizing Smoothies from Vega.

Happy Friday you all...
Just some fun to take you into the weekend.  

A friend sent this to me because she knows how graceful awkward I am.
This could not be truer!

Now, in case you didn't get enough of my Call Me, Maybe (worst singing ever)-
Two Call Me, Maybe videos worth watching:
The top a shout out to our men & women in uniform (thank you for all you do)
The bottom an AMAZING Cookie Monster version. Who doesn't love cookies?
What song is constantly stuck in your head right now?
Would you call me, maybe?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Want Change? Then Change!

Recently I have been hit by a realization - If I want to change the way I perform I have to change the way I workout.  Duh!  Watch me vlog about this realization and what I am doing about it.  

My newest workout Mantra:
If you follow me on Instagram (find me at) @BackatSquare0 you saw this last night after it suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks.
Seriously guys, I am busting it.
This is after doing sprint sets on the treadmill for 30 min.
Then following it up with burpees, squats, lunges, push ups, and kettlebells swings.
Things I didn't even know could hurt... HURT!

I decided to also take this inspiration and apply it to something I'd been thinking about for a while - The Plank a Day Challenge.

I have no core strength (or upper body strength FYI) and thought maybe that is why I have been having back problems.  
This seemed like a great way to push myself to work on my core, something I don't normally do.  I started on Monday and here are days 1-4.  I think at first I was not trying hard enough hence why the numbers were so low.  It is getting harder now so I think the times they will be creeping up very little from here on out.
My goal - 3 min plank by January 1st.  

One of the things that is motivating me most right now is the Twitter #PlankADay group we formed.  We  motivated, encourage, and occasionally tease, and challenge each other.  I am pushing myself even further knowing they are holding my accountable.  Thanks @MomonEmpty @robertwbriggs @mindybobe @runwithkate @FauxRunner @SolanaLeigh and all the others who are encouraging me.

Want to join in the conversation?  
You can encouraging me to plank, share you time with me, gain support through this crazy Twitter group, or just hassle me about how your planks dominate mine.
Find me on Twitter 

Let me know - Are you interested in the #plankaday challenge?
Also, a friend of mine brought up a great question - What do you consider fitness?  
I just revealed I can run a marathon, but not do a single push up! (embarrassing, working on it)  Am I fit?  
I'd love to know - How do you define fitness?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Vega Energizing Smoothie Review & Giveaway

When Vega contacted me about trying their Energizing Smoothie I was pretty excited.  While I have been working on this fitness/healthy living things for a bit now I haven't tried any type of powders, shakes, smoothies, etc. yet...

So I checked out Vega online and found this on their website:
Energize your day with a convenient, on-the-go nutrient boost. Energizing Smoothie gives you the all-natural, plant-based goodness you expect from Vega—complete with protein, fiber and Omega-3—but unlike traditional smoothies, you only need water to shake and go. In four mouth-watering flavors: mixed tropical fruits, chocolate, vanilla almond and berries (plus an unflavored natural), Energizing Smoothie is so delicious it will make you forget how healthy it is.
One serving of Vega Energizing Smoothie features
  • Two servings of veggies
  • 10 g of complete, plant-based protein
  • 5 g of fiber
  • 1 g of Omega-3
I have to admit I was pretty excited about the chance to try something I'd never had before and also the two complete servings of veggies seemed super awesome since I am a hardcore fruit addict, but probably only eat one serving of veggies a day.

Super excited when my 5 trial samples showed up,
but then the next day I was surprised with an entire box full.
5 huge multi serving bags.  Thanks Vega!
Natural is just that, natural.  Not a really a flavor.  I found I liked it... 
the tropical
and the berry best when mixed with fresh berries, and greek yogurt
The Vanilla Almond and 
the Choc-A-Lot were my favorites.
I liked them best when they were mixed with coconut milk.
Very good.
In truth though, I did not like them as much when they were just mixed with water, maybe that is because I am a newbie to powders and smoothies, but I liked them mixed this way instead. 
Also, as you all know I am always counting calories, but I didn't feel guilty about these because the Choc-A-Lot had the most at 105 and many were only in the 90s.
*Disclaimer - This is not a sponsored post.  While Vega did give me free smoothies to review all opinions expressed are my own.

Would you like to win a big box of Vega Energizing Smoothies to try?
You get all 5 large bags so you can try each flavor!  That is 60 smoothies worth!
Here is the exciting part, once again you have multiple opportunities to win:

*Select one entry method, or complete all 5 for five times the chance of winning!

1. Tell me what you would mix your Vega Energizing Smoothie mix with or which flavor you think will be your favorite. (leave a comment)

2. Follow BackatSquareZero, button on the right hand side, so you can stay up to date on all my giveaways. 
(leave a comment telling me when you've done this or if you're already a follower)

3. Follow me on Twitter @BackatSquare0 to stay up to date on all my latest news. 
(leave a comment telling me when you've done this or if you're already a follower)

4.Follow Vega on Twitter @VegaTeam 
(leave a comment telling me when you've done this or if you're already a follower)

5. Tweet the following: 
I want to #GetEnergized with @VegaTeam Smoothies and @BackAtSquare0 http://backatsquarezero.blogspot.com
(leave a comment telling me you tweeted it out)

The winner will be announced Sunday night at 5:00 Eastern time.
Be sure you leave a separate comment for each method of entry.
A random number generator will be used & each comment counts as one entry.
Good luck:)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mizuno Enigma Review - Mezamashii

As you all know I was ridiculously excited to be chosen as a part of the Mizuno Running Mezamashii Project and feel very blessed that they allowed me to share the Mizuno brilliant run love run with a BackAtSquareZero reader/fellow runner.  
I have been running in my Mizuno Wave Creations for a bit over 6 months now (when I saw the light and switched to Mizuno) so I thought this would be the perfect time to try out one of Mizuno's many other shoe models.  I called and talked to their experts and explained I wanted to use my free shoe pick (thank you Mizuno!) to try something new, but that I loved the comfort and cushion the Wave Creations provided me one my long runs so I didn't want to get to far away from that.  His suggestion - the wave Enigma - Hello beautiful, come to momma!
He explained to me that just like my go to Creations the Wave Enigma were a great shoe for distance, that they had a similar heel to toe drop compared to what I was used to, and that the main difference would be the sole, actually the heel in particular.  
On the top are my brand new Wave Enigmas, the bottom are my most recent pair of Wave Creations. (Yes, I am going through a purple phase.)  That sales dude knew his stuff.  The only difference I can see and feel is in the heel of the shoe.  The new Enigmas have one fairly connected heel piece (top) where as on my Creations the shoe and sole section are almost separated.  After trying them both out I've gotta say Mizuno did it again, these are both amazing shoes that I feel completely comfortable running marathon style distances in and recommending to you all.  The Enigma (top) seemed to have more cushioning because of it's styling while the Creation (bottom) felt like it absorbed more of the shock from my (sometimes awkward) stride.  I personally am having a really hard time deciding, because I love them both.  However, I think I might go with the Enigma again next time because I am all about soft, cushiony running shoes that protect my feet.
Thanks Mizuno so glad for the opportunity to try something new.  Can't wait for many more brilliant runs.Side note: I had so much fun comparing shoes that I am almost tempted to buy the Mizuno Wave Riders my marathon training partner runs in just to see how they compare.  However, it is so hard when I love the Creation and Enigma so much.   

What shoes do you currently run in?
Have you ever tried Mizuno? 
If not would you be willing to consider them next time you buy shoes?  (You should!)

*Disclaimer - All thoughts expressed in this post are my own.  While I did receive a free pair of shoes from Mizuno that did not affect my review which is my own opinion.    

Monday, July 16, 2012

Don't Stop Believing

First, go check out my guest post on how to enjoy living healthy while saving money (hello, teacher budget here) it gives good ideas (yes, I am prejudiced to its awesomeness because I wrote it) on healthy and money saving alternatives for common everyday activities.  Thanks to Athena at Fitness & Feta for letting me run it.

Another fun fact about me because between learning about how I am easily excited by the little things in life and sing like a maniac (horribly) you just didn't have enough Abby info.
... I am the biggest glass half full type of girl.  This is never more evident than when I am injured.  When I am hurt and can't workout I do get a bit disappointed, but more than that I get so excited thinking about how amazing things will be when I am back to full strength.  Pretty much every crazy fitness bucket list idea I have - like wanting to hike the entire Grand Canyon (in one day) starts on a day when I was not able to run, but could only imagine what it would be like to be back in top shape (well my top shape).  Well this week was no different - I was sidelined with crazy back pain for three days (much better due to rest, pain relievers, a massage, and lots of stretching) and am still having some nagging hamstring issues so what better time than to sign up for another race?!?
I decided I will be healthy, will be running, and do not have enough races on my calendar. While there are tons I dream of doing - New Orleans Rock'n Roll Full, Disney Princess Half, Indy Mini Marathon - travel is not currently in the budget.  So I decided to return to my roots.  My first ever race, did I mention my crazy self ran a half before I ever ran anything else, no 5 or 10Ks to start off here (crazy), and my favorite distance - The Kiawah Island Half.  It is only about a 40 minute drive from me which means no travel or lodging expenses, I haven't run the course in years, and it will be great to see what it feels like when I am not miserable the whole time.  I hated that race and wanted to stop the whole time, now I love running half marathons and regularly run 12-14 miles myself on weekends just for fun.  Fulls, well those on the other hand, I have to push and challenge myself to do.  I am excited, but also feeling brave because I realize that I have never signed up to run a race on my own.  Every single 5K, 10K, half, or full I have done with someone and currently it is just me.  Again, won't be any problem at the race as I love this distance, but waiting at the start might get boring.  Oh well, here is to another race, don't stop believing (hold on to that feeling) you can do it.
What is your next race?  I'd love to know.
Heck- Want to do your first half, but scared?  If you can get to Kiawah I'll run with you (unless you're really fast, then I'll cheer from behind).