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Wheels In Motion. UPDATES!

31 May

As I wrote that title, all I could think of was this… Man, I love me some Journey.

On our new jobs…
Well, it is really happening. The wheels are finally in motion and we are REALLY doing this. My husband left for South Carolina this morning. He starts his new job on Monday, so today was the day our little family parted ways. I know it is only temporary and, considering how hard we have worked for these opportunities and how long we have waited for everything to fall into place, being apart for a couple of weeks is a small sacrifice to make to be making giant leaps toward our goals.

I am so insanely bad with goodbyes and I usually avoid them when I can. I am one of those people that will offer quick hugs and “see ya laters”…all while acting completely unfazed by the whole situation. But later, when I realize that I am on my own, the loneliness sinks in. The time apart will be hard on both of us. My husband will be getting settled in at his new job and missing us, and I will be managing wrapping up my current job, making big move arrangements, and taking care of Baby Key. Luckily, Elvis (the most awesome miniature Dachshund on the planet), Baby Key, and I will be staying with my mom so she can help me in the evenings.

(If you are a new(er) reader, suffice it to say that Baby Key is a high maintenance child…who does not sleep…and he almost NEEDS two adults to care for him. If you think I am being dramatic or whatnot, you just come hang at my house for a few days.)

Things for my new job are coming along well too! Remember that “Super Secret Race” I mentioned a few posts back? Well, I can spill the beans about it now! This fall, I will be in Atlanta working on the inaugural Black Girls RUN! and AARP /Drive to End Hunger! I am absolutely thrilled to be working on this event with the dynamic duo, Toni and Ashley, and the rest of their team. There is so much about this event that I can stand behind: great group with a valuable mission supporting a wonderful cause! Registration is officially open and we hope to see you there!

On a new home…
We got a house! Let me say that again…WE GOT A HOUSE! Though the whole ordeal was an emotional roller coaster, we finally came to an agreement with the seller and we officially have a contract on a new home. Here’s is basically how it went down…

We found the house online. Judging from the listing, it had everything we were looking for: space (bedrooms for our family + 1 spare, an office area for me, music space for my husband, etc.), great location, close proximity to the Swamp Rabbit Trail, and nice kitchen (I love to cook for my family!)…just to name a few. We scheduled a date to go see it…4 days after viewing the listing…which was the soonest my husband could arrange to get there and get a showing scheduled with an agent. Between the time we saw the listing and my husband was able to go and see it, an offer was made on the house. SUCK! Having already made the trip to South Carolina, my husband decided to go and see the house anyway. As you can imagine, after viewing it, he believed even more that this would be the perfect house for us.

We knew this house was at the high end of our price range, and, knowing the other offer on the table was probably still higher than our best offer, we sent in our offer anyway…along with this note.

We waited a day and finally heard back from the seller…they wanted to take the other offer. We were so disappointed. We had just lost the home we had really had our heart set on. Until…

We got a call the following day that the seller had reconsidered. They read our note again and had a change of heart! They said they really wanted US to have their house. We did a little back and forth negotiation and now we have a new home! We should know a closing date by the end of the day tomorrow and then we will make a firmer schedule for getting our stuff moved!

On the #RWRunStreak
The streak is alive! Today is Day 4 and I am still going strong! I know that 4 days is not really all that much to write home about, but with all that we have going on these days, I am pumped to anything I can commit to outside of work and moving.
Day 1 (05/28): 1 mile
*I worked all day and packed all evening. This was the best I could muster at 10PM.
Day 2 (05/29): 2 miles
*It was hot, hot, HOT. Still managed to push them out though!
Day 3 (05/30): 1 mile…walked
*I worked all day and then took my mom out to a celebratory birthday dinner last night. After food and a glass of wine, I was happy with a walk. Hey, I moved.
Day 4 (05/31): ~ 4 miles
*Mom is picking up Baby Key from day care today, so I plan on getting in a good run around her ‘hood. Woot!

The next few weeks will move every bit as quickly as the last few weeks. This transition will be…interesting!

Dear Beautiful Girl On The Run…

29 May

This morning, I saw this incredible letter posted on the facebook page of my local chapter of Girls on the Run. It really spoke to me about what it means to encourage other runners, but also, what it means to encourage our youth to run and be active. It also spoke to me about the joy of running and the way it makes us feel…despite our chubby legs and non-six pack abs. I couldn’t NOT share it with you, so I hope you get as much from reading it as I did. Happy running!

“The story behind this…A girl was volunteering at a marathon mile 13 water stop…a runner passing by asked her if she was a ‘Girl on the Run‘. When the girl replied yes – this is what she received.”

Mandy Mayer, you are awesome!

Groups Doing Good: ING Run for Something Better

29 Aug

“We’re Changing Lives Through Fitness”


Supporting organizations that make efforts to reduce childhood obesity is really important to me. We cannot deny this country’s skyrocketing rates of obesity. Sometimes reaching out to adults can be difficult. Adults can be stubborn, make excuses, or sometimes we just don’t want to change. I fully believe that reaching children is the key to changing the course of the future in regard to the rising rate of obesity. If we educate children and encourage them to develop healthy eating and fitness habits, it will only serve to benefit their generation and future generations.

I have to say this bluntly. It makes me cringe when I see overweight children with overweight parents. I am completely sympathetic to the fact that some children (like some adults) have legitimate health reasons for the extra weight, whether that is due to a medical condition, medication, etc. But we all know that this does not account for the majority of overweight children in our communities. It frustrates me when I see parents allow their children to get the extra large side of French fries instead of fruit or vegetables, or when children are allowed to spend HOURS inside playing video games instead of being outside, running around the neighborhood or riding their bikes. As adults, we have to lead by example! WE are responsible for this growing epidemic. We can help change this!

ING Run for Something Better, in partnership with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), helps children get excited about exercise and fosters their desire for fitness and running! Woot woot! The idea is to get children to practice healthy habits before obesity even begins. The desire of ING Run for Something Better is that one day childhood obesity will not threaten so many children in America.

ING Run for Something Better funds free school-based running fitness programs that challenge children to get active, set goals, and start a lifetime habit of physical activity.

Each running program is wrapped up with a “final mile run” 5k running event that all of the children participate in together. At these events, the children are awarded with medals, t-shirts, and celebrity appearances. In addition to this exciting event, the participating children are left with an incredible sense of pride and achievement, improved self esteem, and increased school performance. Leaving the program, the children are armed with the tools and education to make smart decisions about how to lead a healthier lifestyle as they grow and look to the future.

One of the best ways to get involved with ING Run for Something Better is to become a member or the Orange Laces Nation! The Orange Laces Nation is an official charity partner of the Rock N Roll series of half marathon and full marathon racing events. If you are already signed up for a Rock n Roll event or if you are considering signing up for one, please also consider signing up to support this amazing organization! The Orange Laces Nation and children of America need your help! Put those running shoes to work!

Have you ever been a member of the Orange Laces Nation? Have you ever run an event for charity? How do you feel about this program to fight childhood obesity?

Groups Doing Good: LA 49>1 and Claim Your Journey

3 Aug

Today, I’m going to keep it close to home and talk about what is going on in my own community. I am inspired daily by all of the positive energy in my city and I wanted to highlight a couple of the groups that are creating it and keeping it going.

There is certainly a “fitness revolution” of sorts happening in Louisiana and I could not be more thrilled! We need this revolution…desperately.

Did you know that Louisiana ranks 49th in health and fitness? This is embarrassing and we need to do something about it NOW. Thankfully, there are several groups stepping up to help combat these issues.

The first is the LA 49>1 Pledge. This pledge encourages people to stay on the “Highway to Healthy.” The program outlines the risks associated with continuing on our same path: obesity, increased health risks, inactive communities, increased childhood obesity, etc. It reminds us that, as a community, if we are strong enough to overcome and survive hurricanes, floods, and oil spills, we can also make paving the way to healthier families a priority. We just have to make the commitment and do it.

Today, I’m taking the pledge…

I also pledge that I will apply absurd amounts of peer pressure to my family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. to get them to jump on the bandwagon with me. :)

Another major force driving Louisianans to get moving is Claim Your Journey.

Claim Your Journey is a digital hub for runners all over our state to connect, find out about races, share stories, talk about gear, etc. Founder Brandon Williams says his passion for running and encouraging other in our state to do so is because he knows we need to make a change and “running is one of the easiest way to go about doing so.” He’s right, you know. All it takes to get on the road to making drastic changes in your life is to lace up your shoes and hit the pavement. Claim Your Journey has been instrumental in uniting runners and helping us keep each other motivated to achieve our goals (whether that’s mileage, pounds lost, races competed in, etc.). Last night, there was a wonderful segment on the local news about Claim Your Journey. Check it out here! (I would have embedded the video but I couldn’t find a link that would allow me to do so. If I can find it later, I will actually post the video!)

These two groups are just helping Louisiana get out of the 49th place funk and I am extremely grateful. As someone who values fitness and health, knowing that I live in the 49th unhealthiest state saddens…and embarrasses me.

But things are changing…and I am hopeful! Let’s keep it going, Louisiana!

If you are a fellow Louisianan, how do you feel about our 49th place status? What are you doing to help us move up in the rankings?

If you are not a fellow Louisianan, what is being done in your community/city/state to encourage physical activity and healthy lifestyles?

Groups Doing Good: Black Girls RUN!

12 Jul


When I started walking the Breast Cancer 3-Day several years ago, one of the first things I noticed at the event was that the population of participants was mostly comprised of Caucasian females. Race is not something I normally notice, but it was SO obvious that the African-American, Hispanic, Asian, etc. women were being severely underrepresented. Hello! These women get breast cancer too! When I started running, I noticed the same demographic breakdown at races and other events. While I thought it was strange, I never really looked into it further.

Well, curiosity finally got the best of me, and a few months ago (at the risk of sounding out of place or rude) I broke down and asked a female African-American friend of mine why you don’t see more African-American women (and men, for that matter) at our local races or running groups. The general answer I was given was that (in her opinion, among her group of friends), fitness was just not something that was emphasized and that personal health issues were just something you kept to yourself and didn’t talk about much.

I was so puzzled by this because…isn’t it good for ALL PEOPLE to exercise and be healthy, regardless of race or sex?

Wanting to find out more about what could be done to encourage women (of all races) to get more motivated to exercise (and selfishly, run :)) and be more concerned with personal health education, I scoured Google. One of the groups I came across was Black Girls RUN! Their mission statement is simple, but I simply love it!

“Black girls run? Of course we do. In 2009, Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks created Black Girls RUN! in an effort to tackle the growing obesity epidemic in the African-American community and provide encouragement and resources to both new and veteran runners. 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% 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.”

Toni and Ashley. Photo courtesy of BGR!

BGR! is definitely not all talk. In addition to a website that offers a wealth of information on gear, lifestyle issues, healthy recipes, and health issues, they also put all of this into action by encouraging readers to join them at weekly group runs. BGR! hosts group runs in most major cities! If you would like to see if there is one in your area, click here.

Some people might wonder why I, obviously NOT a black girl, would be so interested in such a group. I will tell you why…because seeing unhealthy/unfit people is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves and I 100% support any group who is encouraging others to get up, get moving, and get healthy! Being educated about health and fitness is good for ALL people, and if BGR! is what makes a particular woman feel comfortable and get involved, well then that is AWESOME!

While there is not a BGR! group run in Baton Rouge, I have noticed the population of Black Girls RUN!ning in my weekly running club growing! Woot! I am so encouraged by this! I hope they will read this, find out more about this group, and get some information about starting a weekly group run in this area.

Ladies, you know who I’m talking to…
**cough@NeicyRox@esinglet@k_dufau@ChloGotFlocough**

Just promise you’ll let this White Girl RUN! with you? Pretty please? (I need all the help I can get!) :)

Have you ever heard of Black Girls RUN!? What do you think of this group? What is one of your favorite organizations that you think is doing a great thing for our running community?

Groups Doing Good: Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure

22 Jun

Dude, I’m famous!!  Okay, so I’m not like “famous” famous, but I feel SO big time!  I made into a promotional video by Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure!


That’s me…in the wig…leaning out of the van at 57sec! Go ahead and pause it, I’ll wait. Awesome, yes? (And yes, I know I’m all hoarse, but I had been cheering for the walkers for three whole days!)


Susan G. Komen for the Cure is a cause that I am extremely passionate about and have been involved in for many years. In fact, I even credit their Race for the Cure events as one of the things that got me taking my running seriously.

In 2005, seeking a challenge and wanting to make more of in impact for this cause, I signed up to do the impossible walk 60 miles over 3 days in the Breast Cancer 3-Day (now called Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure). Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure raises money to fund innovative global breast cancer research and local community programs supporting education, screening, and treatment. Did you know that virtually every major advance in the fight against breast cancer in the last 38 years has been impacted by a Susan G. Komen for the Cure grant? Pretty amazing stuff.

While my family and friends eagerly supported me, I quickly realized that none of them were going to be by my side on the walk. I was going it alone…or so I thought. On my first 3-Day experience, I quickly made friends with fellow walkers, realizing that we were all there for a common goal…to find a cure for breast cancer. We all had personal stories to share and all had so much to gain from each other. Over the last several years, it has given me the change to laugh, cry, share hugs, make new friends, grieve for a grandmother I lost WAY too soon, and celebrate my aunt who is a SURVIVOR. (Woot!) Walking the 3-Day is an experience of a lifetime and I wouldn’t trade my memories from walking and crewing for anything in the world.

After my first 3-Day, I sort of kind of became addicted… :)

2005 Atlanta Walker

2006 Atlanta Walker

2007 Atlanta Walker

2008 Philadelphia Walker

2009 Arizona Walker

2010 Atlanta Crew

2010 Atlanta Crew - Told ya that was me in the wig! :)

Make no mistake, the 3-Day is not “just walking.” Even though it is not running, it still requires training…and lots of it. Walking is a much different motion for your body than running and I would equate training for the 3-Day to training for a marathon. Like a marathon, it takes time, a good training plan, determination, and commitment. Oh, and without the 3-Day, I would have never discovered BodyGlide. In five years of walking and one year of crewing, I have never gotten a blister…not ONCE. (For you walkers reading this, listen up…stock up and rub it EVERYWHERE your stock touches…you won’t be sorry.)

I had planned to walk again this year in Atlanta. However, it just so happens that this year’s Atlanta event falls right about the time I am supposed to be delivering a baby. :) Sooooo, that’s probably not going to happen. I am still trying to work out (logistically) a city I can crew in, because I don’t want a year to go by that I am not involved in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. The cause is too important and the risk of not finding a cure is too great.

Don’t worry, this mama on the move will definitely be back to walking in 2012. Who knows, I might even add a Susan G. Komen Marathon for the Cure to my line up!

If you are interested in finding out more about the 3-Day, I highly encourage you to visit www.the3day.org or e-mail me! I promise you that this is an experience that you will never forget.

Every step (whether walked or run) is one step closer to a cure! Join the fight! BELIEVE in a world without breast cancer. I know I do.

Groups Doing Good: Rocket Kidz Foundation

11 Jun


This morning I had the extreme pleasure of volunteering for the Rocket Kidz Rookies Triathlon! This triathlon was open to all kids ages 3-10.

The Rocket Kidz Foundation started in November 2006 to help raise money for kids’ programs in the Hurricane Katrina ravaged Mississippi Gulf Coast area, as well as the rest of Southeast Louisiana. The primary mission of the Rocket Kidz Foundation is to fight childhood obesity and encourage kids fitness through education, programs, facilities, and scholarship development. Many of their programs focus on multisport events, though any event that gets kids moving will be considered for support by the organization. In addition to setting a good example for our children, we all know that encouraging kids to stay active and eat healthy are the best ways to help reduce the instances of childhood obesity. I mean, really, who wants to live in a world like Wall-E?

Today’s big event was held at the ExxonMobil YMCA. I had never been to this YMCA and was built in the time while I had moved away. It is a REALLY nice facility and I am glad that area of the community has access to it. Brent and I arrived bright and early at 6:15AM. Before we knew it, our other #RunLAvolunteers showed up to keep us company! The more the merrier!

Beautiful morning!

Jeremy, Jamie, and Brent ready to volunteer!

Kids started arriving with their bikes and gear and starting getting it all set up in the transition area. Some of these bikes were TOO CUTE…we are talking handlebar streamers, baskets carrying little stuffed animals, flags, etc…the whole nine yards! And I loved the kids with fun helmets! Some were from the movie Cars, some had shark fins on top, and I think I even saw a few Toy Story helmets!

Transition!

Jeremy, Brent, and I were assigned to the bike route so around 7:45AM we went to our stations. The bike route for the older kids (ages 5-10) was a 1-mile out and back course so we basically had to just keep them going down the straightaway, turn them around, and get them to come back.

Here are a few of the best photos we got of the kids! I love it!

Cool recumbent bike!

Jeremy fixing a bike chain!

Too cute!

Overall, the morning was fantastic! The weather was a nice 90 degrees (hot, but a nice break from the ~104 degree temperatures we have been having) but clear. Even though I saw a couple kids fall off their bikes, a few chains got dropped, there were a few trips and falls, overall there were no massive meltdowns and all the kids seemed to have a really fun time! And who better to help the kids cool off than the one and only Ninja Snowballs! HELLO red cream soda snowball!

To see all of the photos that we have from today’s triathlon, click HERE!

The next events held by the Rocket Kidz Foundation will be the Rocket Chix Triathlon on Saturday, July 30th (this is the sprint triathlon that I am currently training for) and the Rocket Kidz Triathlon on Sunday, July 31st (for ages 6-14). And this coming January, the same great team behind Rocket Kidz will be presenting the inaugural Louisiana Marathon! It is going to be awesome!

I am eagerly looking forward to these fun events and hope that if you are in the Baton Rouge/South LA area that you would consider participating or volunteering. You won’t regret it!

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