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Kourage Running: The Kourage of a Kenyan

22 Mar

Last fall, I heard about this company called Kourage Athletics and I was so impressed by their mission and work that I wanted to share them with you!

Kourage Athletics is a non-profit company that creates running apparel that is designed, manufactured, and managed in Kenya by Kenyans. Kourage garments are exported and sold in the developed countries with revenues reinvested into the Kenyan economy.

“Production for the Kourage gear is source to a Kenyan owned and operated factory. Small moves like this help decrease the level of poverty in Kenya via job creation. Through these well-paying jobs, workers and their families are able to afford private school for their children, adequate medical care, and nutritious meals which leads to an increased quality of life. Furthermore, workers are provided with valuable training that improve their lifetime earning potential. The result is that Kenyans are able to pursue exactly what Americans, or people of any nation want — a job that allows them to improve their own lives, as well as those of their families.” – Kourage Athletics

We all know that Kenya is known for some of the most incredible runners in the world, but Kourage hopes to also spread light on a greater story…that of those who are persevering despite hardships or being frightened.

So how can you help them in their mission?

You can buy a cool Kourage running shirt. Don’t worry, shipping to the US is FREE!

This one is my favorite!

You can dust off your bicycle and go on the Kourage Ride.

Seattle to Los Angeles
1,400 miles
July 7 – 28, 2012
Be a hero. Cycle for Kenya.

…or you can do this one…MY FAVORITE

You can travel to Kenya and go on the Kourage Safari!

A 10-day running safari in Kenya?? Yes, please! The itinerary boasts fun activities like trail running excursion, training with local Kenya running groups, and lectures from the coaches of some of the Kenyan runner elites! Talk about the experience of a lifetime!

To help spread the word about Kourage, I’m giving away one of their awesome running shirts! You can get one entry for each task you complete below. Be sure and leave me a comment letting me know what you did! The giveaway ends 5PM CST on Monday, March 26, 2012. The winner will be selected by random.org.

  1. Follow @kouragerunning on Twitter.
  2. Like the Kourage Athletics facebook page.
  3. Tweet about the giveaway! “I entered to win a @kouragerunning shirt from @katieRUNSthis! http://bit.ly/GOcTRi #running #giveaway”
  4. Follow me on Twitter @katieRUNSthis!
  5. Leave a comment about how Kenyan runners inspire you!

And as I have said before…it would be cool if you decided to subscribe to katieRUNSthis, but you don’t have to. But, if you do, I’ll add you to my list of super awesome people that I like…which, I might add, is a pretty prestigious list to be on.

Official #RnRNOLA Social Media Mash-Up!

29 Feb


This is so exciting! Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon runners from all over the country can get together, chat, and get excited about the big race on Sunday! We hope you will join us!

Though and RSVP is not required, you are welcome to do so here.

Will you be coming down to the Big Easy for the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon? If so, where are you traveling from? Will this be your first time in New Orleans?

Holiday Ketchup

26 Dec

WARNING: This is a long one…but I swear I tried to keep it as brief as possible!

Okay, so I am not really writing about holiday ketchup, but more like holiday catch-up. Although holiday ketchup sounds like a pretty interesting tomato-y holiday tradition, there will be not discussion of condiments here. :) Since I have so much ground to cover with this blog, I am just going to give you a quick series of updates to keep from going all over the map. Are you ready? Let’s go!

BABY KEY
If you have been following me on Twitter (And if you have not, what are you waiting for!? It is a party, y’all!), you have probably seen that I have been posting a lot about how hard of a time we have been having with Baby Key. My child cries ALL THE TIME. For a few weeks, I thought it was just regular newborn crying. However, when the crying became incessant…and the sleeplessness set in…I knew something was wrong. Newborns just could not cry THIS much. It just was not normal. This past Monday, I had finally had enough. After two full days of crying and no sleep, I had reached my limit. In tears, I called the pediatrician and begged her to work us in. After she examined him, she finally diagnosed him with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). While I am not thrilled that he has this condition, I am happy to know what is causing his fits so that we can work to make him feel better and happier.

At the suggestion of the doctor, we have changed his formula from Enfamil Infant Premium in the light blue container to Enfamil Gentlease in the purple container. While I breast feed during the day (actually I pump and then bottle feed the breast milk), we do supplement nighttime feedings with formula. The plan is to also feed him smaller amounts, more frequently. This feels like taking a step back but if it makes his temperament milder, I will absolutely do it. Also, he has been given a prescription of 10mg of Nexium daily. The pediatrician says every child is different, so he could grow out of it in two weeks…or several months. Sigh. However, in just the few days since he changed his routine, the situation seems to be improving. I am hoping that he will soon get to the point where we can put him down and not have him start screaming. We are doing our best to be optimistic!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!


BIRTHDAY FUN
Well, my friends, I am *officially* another year older…and maybe another year wiser? Ha! I wish! Last Monday, I turned the big 2-9. Once upon a time, I thought 30 was old, but, surprisingly, I do not have a lot of anxiety about approaching my thirties. Besides, 30’s are the new 20’s, right?

I did not really spend my birthday doing anything spectacular. In fact, it was anything but stellar. I try really hard to remain positive and upbeat, but I am going to have to be honest…my birthday sucked. Monday morning started out with a meeting with a lactation nurse who diagnosed me with candida/mastitis in my breasts (SO painful) and the afternoon was filled with a doctor appointment for Baby Key where he was diagnosed with GERD (see above). I spent the whole day in tears.

I had planned to drop my kiddo off with my mom for the afternoon and Super Husband and I were going to catch a movie and go for a bike ride. None of that happened because of the doctor appointments. After my kiddo’s appointment, I was so drained from the day’s events that we just went to my mom’s house…where I promptly proceeded to replace the my bummy feelings from the day with Swedish Fish, strawberry cake with vanilla frosting, and vanilla fro-yo with Magic Shell. A sugar hangover commenced promptly on Tuesday morning.

1.9 lb of AWESOMENESS


VACATION PLANS
Super Husband and I are really looking forward to having some help while we are in South Carolina. His parents and sisters are itching to spend some time with Baby Key and this Mama Bear welcomes the break! I *need* it. While on holiday vacation, I am hoping to be able to run everyday. I realize that some people might think that my getting excited about running while on vacation is completely ridiculous, but forget them. They have not been cooped up in a house for 6 weeks!

My legs are begging to be moved!
My lungs are craving fresh air!
The pavement beckons the steady rhythm of my feet!

On Christmas Eve morning, I joined up with some old friends and my sister-in-law for a group run. It was so great so see my old running friends! It was really cold and I had a little bit of trouble (let’s just say that super cold temps + breast health issues = big time difficulty) but I did the best I could. I cut the route short because I was feeling awful, but hey, I was out there.

While in town, I also want to visit the local running and triathlon stores. There is a MUCH larger selection here than in Baton Rouge and I have got birthday money to spend! What should I get? Any suggestions?

I also want pick up a copy of a new running magazine, called Pace. My running buddy, Denise Bryson, just started it and I cannot wait to see the first issue. If you are in the Upstate South Carolina area, look for it! Oh and be sure to follow the mag on Twitter…@pacerunningmag!
RUNNING/RACING
My post-partum running has been going pretty well. I started out with a walk and when that went well with little soreness, I stepped up to running. Here is a little recap:
1. 1.50 miles – outside walk – neighborhood – Thursday 12/08/2011
2. 2.22 miles – inside run/walk – treadmill – Saturday 12/10/2011
3. 1.20 miles – inside run – treadmill – Friday 12/16/2011
4. 4.30 miles – outside run – LSU lakes – Sunday 12/18/2011
5. 2.25 miles – outside run/walk – downtown Greenville – Saturday 12/24/2011

On run #3, I felt light-headed and started getting tunnel vision. I definitely attribute that to poor nutrition. Whatever the reason, I felt it best to stop.

On run #4, I felt AMAZING! And guess what!? My guts did not fall out like I thought they would! Ha! It was also my first run with my new training buddies (more on that in a moment).

Run #5 was awful. I have been having some really big complications with breast feeding my son which have led to some breast health issues for me. In the last week, the cold weather and the friction from a sports bra have made exercising really uncomfortable. However, I think I have everything under control, so now I just have to wait for soreness to go away. Blech.

I know 5 runs in 2 weeks is not all that impressive, but it has been so hard to get away or do ANYTHING when Baby Key is having his fits. During his “witching hour,” Super Husband and I literally have to take turns with him in 15-20 minute intervals. It is exhausting. However, now that that issue seems to be getting resolved, I am hoping to be able to commit to 3-4 runs per week (one speed run, one tempo run, one long run, and maybe one fun run).

I am going to have to find some way to get my running in because I have races coming up and I need to start getting back into tip-top shape! That’s right…I am back, suckas! While I am not at all in the shape or at the speed I was pre-baby, I do feel ready to start entering races!

In early February, I will be joining 5 others in the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay. We will be taking turns running legs with the total distance covered being 126.2 miles. The route is from Baton Rouge to New Orleans along the old Mississippi River roads (the roads used before the interstate between the two cities were built) and the overall elevation is negative. New Orleans sits farther below sea level than Baton Rouge, so here is a big WOO HOOfor running 126.2 miles downhill! I do not know the members of my team that well but I am sure that training together will give us the perfect chance to get acquainted. Yay for making new friends! I met the team captain, Amanda, while I was training for the Rocketchix Triathlon earlier this summer. I am really looking forward to this experience!

Team name needed! Any suggestions??

In March, I will be running the 2012 Rock N Roll New Orleans. I am currently signed up for the half marathon, but depending on how I feel after the Rouge-Orleans, I *may* consider running the full marathon. MAYBE. I caught a GREAT deal on the registration fee earlier this year. It was only $35! I ran the full marathon this year and loved the course. Can I do it again this year? Will I be ready?

In 2012, in the interest of saving money, I will probably do a lot fewer 5k and 10k races and focus on events that really challenge me…half and full marathons, adventure/mud runs, and maybe a sprint triathlon or two.

OTHER RACES
There are a number of other awesome events coming up that, while I am not running them, I am involved with in one way or another. I will definitely be present at these races, so if you are going to be there or if you are running them, please let me know so that I can say hello or cheer you on!

January 15: Louisiana Marathon (Baton Rouge, LA)
January 22: Gulf Coast Half Marathon (Gulf Shores, AL)
March 22: RRCA Certification/Training (Atlanta, GA)
April 15: Gulf Coast Half Marathon (Pensacola, FL)

On a side note, if you are looking for an awesome race in which to qualify for the Boston Marathon (BQ, baby! BQ!), please consider running the Louisiana Marathon! The course is incredible and it takes you through some of the most historic areas of our city. Plus, it is an inaugural year and it is always fun to run an event in its first year! Oh, and have you seen the race bling? HELLO!

GEAR REVIEWS AND GIVEAWAYS
In the last month or so, I have gotten my hands on some fantastic fall/winter running gear to test out. Some of this stuff is so unique and the technology is really innovative. I have already started wear-testing some of the gear and will continue to do so over the next couple of months. Lots of gear/product reviews are coming soon, so be on the look out! I will help you spend some of that holiday cash that I know will be burning holes in your pockets! Plus, there will be some fun giveaways so you will not want to miss that!

So, with all that, I’m off for a run! I hope the holiday season has been as good to you as it has been to me! This pretty much catches you all up from the last couple of weeks! I promise not to wait so long before posting again!! :)

How have you been doing? What have you been doing to keep yourself sane during the holidays?

GIVEAWAY! Power Pillowcase

15 Oct

Sweet (running) dreams are made of this!

How amazingly awesome is this pillowcase!?

Who could not be inspired to get up in the morning and run with a message like that staring you in the face?

If you are looking for a unique running gift for a friend (or yourself!), the dailyologie Power Pillowcase is a perfect choice! I love mine and I have gotten lots of complements on it!

dailyologie has been generous enough to allow me to give one away to one of you lucky running peeps!

Ready to try and snag it? Yes? Woot! Here is how you can enter to win. You get one entry for each one that you do! Just remember to leave me a separate comment for every one you do! The giveaway will run until Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 5:00PM CST and the winner will be announced on Thursday, October 20, 2011. The winner will be selected via random.org.

• Leave me a comment about a crazy running dream you have had!
• Follow dailyologie on Twitter…@dailyologie
• Send a Tweet about this giveaway linking to this post. You can use this link –>  http://bit.ly/rtQele
• Head over to the dailyologie store on etsy and click the facebook “like” link
• Follow katieRUNSthis on Twitter…@katieRUNSthis

And as I have said before…it would be cool if you decided to subscribe to katieRUNSthis, but you don’t have to. But, if you do, I’ll add you to my list of super awesome people that I like…which, I might add, is a pretty prestigious list to be on.

What are you waiting for? Get started on your entries!

Gear Review: Running Skirts RunLove Compression Socks and GIVEAWAY

26 Aug

This week I bring you the RunLove Compression Socks from Runningskirts.com! While my love for compression wear is no secret, this is my first foray into compression socks. I have several pairs of compression calf sleeves and have recently also tried out compression ankle sleeves, but I was really excited about the compression socks. In the heat of the summer, I have been dealing with a fair amount of ankle and foot swelling during and shortly after my runs and I was hoping that full compression socks would be just the ticket to help keep it at bay!

I was right! They work exactly as hoped!

My calves are NOT as thin as the model on the website's calves.


At first they felt a little snug and I was worried that they might actually make my feet fall asleep. Since I have worn calf sleeves before I was used to the tightness around my calf but the tightness around my foot took me a minute to get used to. I suppose I am just so used to regular running socks, but the thin, lighter material felt really snug around my foot, especially in my arch. I will say that since they were thinner, I had to lace my shoes tighter to keep them from slipping up and down on my heel, but that was not an inconvenience at all.

I wore them on a couple of different runs…one outdoor easy run and one indoor speed workout on the treadmill. In neither environment did I find the socks to make my legs too hot, itchy, or anything like that. Quite contrarily, I found that I felt zippier on my feet and my legs had a bit more spring to them.

If you aren’t familiar with the benefits of compression therapy, let me give you a quick run-down… (no pun intended!)
*    Compression socks specifically aid in the circulation of blood in the legs and feet.
*    Increased circulation brings much-needed nutrients and oxygenated blood into the legs and feet.
*    Thus, many runners feel their legs experience invigoration in their lower legs, allowing them to push harder and farther.
*    Compression therapy can also reduce the amount of damage suffered to the legs during runs and can help regenerate damaged tissues during the post-run recovery phase.

Beyond all the physical benefits, the Running Skirts RunLove Compression Socks are just down-right adorable! C’mon, tell me they aren’t cute!? I love the heart on the side because I can be fashionable, yet practical at the same time! In fact, several women at my run group the other night asked me where I got them! :)



Have I convinced you of their awesomeness yet? Yes? Alright!! Well, now it is time for you to try and win a pair of your own! Here are the details…each one of the following gets one entry. Leave me a comment below for each one that you do. The giveaway will run until Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 5:00PM CST with the winner being announced on Friday, September 2, 2011. (The winner will be selected via Random.org.)


*    Follow Running Skirts on Twitter…@Running_Skirts!
*    Like Running Skirts on Facebook!
*    Follow me on Twitter…@katieRUNSthis!
*    Send out a Tweet about the giveaway! (Be sure to include @katieRUNSthis, @Running_Skirts, and a short link to this blog…http://bit.ly/qTYxQ3)
*    Hop over to my friend Katye’s blog, Long Legs On The Loose…show her some blog love because she rocks the RunLove Compression Socks too!

And as I have said before…it would be cool if you decided to subscribe to katieRUNSthis, but you don’t have to. But, if you do, I’ll add you to my list of super awesome people that I like…which, I might add, is a pretty prestigious list to be on.

What are you waiting for? Get started on your entries! GO GO GO!

Gear Review and GIVEAWAY: GO Sport ID Band!

29 Jul

A few weeks ago I heard about a special promotion that GO Sport ID was having to get the word out about their new product! Always wanting to be hip to the new latest thing, I quickly signed on and requested my new ID wristband.

The timing for this product was absolutely perfect! I had been wanting a sport ID bracelet for a long time, but never really got around to ordering one. After becoming pregnant, I realize that it is so important to take my and my child’s safety more seriously. On my rides or runs, I often find myself considerable distances from my home or car and it is good to know that IF anything were to ever happen to me (and, of course, I hope it doesn’t) that someone would be able to identify me and contact the emergency numbers on my band quickly.

There are several sport ID bands on the market, but I really feel like the GO Sport ID band is the ideal product for me and fits my needs perfectly.

GO Sport ID Bands


Here is what I like about it…

THE BAND. My particular GO Sport ID band is made of silicone, similar to the awareness bracelets that are so popular. I love that it doesn’t hold sweat and that if it gets anything on it, I can wash it off with a little soap and water. Easy, clean, and sanitary!

THE ID PLATE. The titanium ID plate, measuring at 1.5” x 1” has plenty of room to put all of your emergency information. On the front, it is customized with three lines of text…one for your name and two lines for your personal motto. One of the goals of the GO Sport ID band is to help you “push the finish line” by showing a message that helps you prepare physically and mentally for success. For my band, I chose the quote, “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” I wanted to remind myself that, most times, pain is a state of mind that we are all able to push through, if we choose to. The back of the plate, the side against the wrist, has four lines of customizable text. I chose to put my husband’s name, his phone number, my mother’s name, and her phone number.

Easy to read and holds a lot of text.


THE WEIGHT. The silicone of the band and the lightness of the titanium make this band super light. Altogether, it only weighs 13g (0.5oz)!


THE COLORED BANDS. Unlike other sport ID bands, this one has interchangeable colored bands (purple, pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and black)! I love this feature as I like to change the colors to match outfits or show support for certain events. For example, you could color coordinate with your favorite sports team or show support for a particular charity (like using the yellow for a LiveStrong event or the pink for a Race for the Cure). I realize that the changeable bands aren’t completely necessary for the inherent safety of the band, but it is a nice added bonus. Plus, for someone who gets frustrated easily with things like changing watchbands, changing out the band on the GO Sport ID band is REALLY simple and takes only seconds.

Bands are EASY to switch out!


Changed to red to match my swimsuit for Saturday!


THE SAFETY FACTOR. I like knowing that should something happen to me, a good Samaritan or First Responder could quickly access my name and emergency contact information. As I mentioned before, knowing that me and my baby could get help quickly and efficiently if needed gives me peace of mind.

GO Sport ID officially launches their product line next month, but they want to give YOU the opportunity win one! C’mon, you know you want one!

Here are the ways you can enter. Feel free to do as many or as few as you wish! You get one entry per task. Leave me a separate comment for each one that you do! The contest officially closes at 5:00PM CST on Thursday, August 4th, with the winner being announced the following morning!

  • Follow @GOSportID on Twitter
  • “Like” the GO Sport ID facebook page
  • Leave a message on the GO Sport ID facebook page telling them why you would like to win! (Be sure and mention that you got there from katieRUNSthis.com!)
  • Leave me a comment below with what your personal motto is!
  • Follow @katieRUNSthis on Twitter
  • Tweet about the contest! (Be sure to mention @katieRUNSthis and @GOSportID and this link –> http://wp.me/p1uIlA-j6)
  • Mention the giveaway on your blog. (Don’t forget to leave me the link to your blog so I can come by and check it out!)

And it would be cool if you decided to subscribe to katieRUNSthis, but you don’t have to. But, if you do, I’ll add you to my list of super awesome people that I like…which, I might add, is a pretty prestigious list to be on.

What are you waiting for? Get started on your entries! GO GO GO!

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