So you want to run a race. Sure, there are probably a number of local runs in your home town, from a charity 5K fun run to full and half marathons. But if you’re going to put in the time to train to run a race, why not commit to running one to remember? There are dozens of races held in fun and unexpected location and with themes that will make the whole experience even more fun, and unforgettable.
Our friends at Shape magazine have compiled lists of the best spring racesand the best women’s races. Below is a sneak peak of our favorite 6. (Click the links to see the other 14!)
The Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend: Men are technically allowed at this Florida event, which has a Tinkerbell-themed sister run at the southern California park, but it’s clear that women rule the road for this one. You can run a 5K, 10K, or half marathon; costumes are, of course, encouraged. (February 2015)
We’ve all heard it, “The only way I lose weight is when I run.” Although it’s true that running is a very effective way to lose weight, there are some golden rules to follow for those using running as a weight loss tool. While these rules are directed primarily to first time runners or those returning to run after a year or longer hiatus from it, several of them still apply to all runners looking to shed a few by pounding the pavement.
1) Define your running goal, not just your weight loss goal. What this means is be more specific than saying you want to start running in order to lose ten pounds. Instead, clearly state how much running you want to be able to do (how many times a week, for how long, the type of workouts) and how long you expect it to take to get there. For example, “I am running 4 times a week for at least 3 miles each run by July 1, 2014.” Next, define how you will get there, such as “I build up my runs each week with a run/walk program.”
Last week Kelly Roberts ran a New York half marathon and quickly became known as the runner who took selfies with hot guys. Inspired by the silliness, a Georgia woman decided she would do the same thing, only, oopsie, she snuck into the marathon and then bragged about it. A collective, “oh no she di’unt” was heard throughout the running community.
Selfie shenanigans may be tolerated but “banditing” will not.
The Georgia Race Bandit snapped this pic at the beginning and titled it, “The ‘Waiting to Start the Race in a Corral You Snuck Into Because You Don’t Have a Bib Number’ Selfie.”
Beware the Bandits
In runner’s lingo, a “bandit” is someone who participates in a race without paying the entry fee. Some latitude will be given to those who jump in for a few minutes of jogging encouragement, but make no mistake, they’re still being watched. Spend too much time on the course and daggers will start shooting from the eyes of legit bib-wearing runners.
Frankly, I was surprised by the backlash. I figured people would write the Georgia Bandit off as a copycat trying to mimic a fun idea that had already been done. Since I’m a mediocre jogger, not a runner, I didn’t realize that within this fit band of brothers and sisters their lies a code. Thou shalt not bandit a race and bogart the swag. I’m paraphrasing, of course.
As a running coach, I work with a lot of runners up until they get pregnant and then post-pregnancy. What happens to the runner during pregnancy? One year ago I was able to learn on my own what it actually means to “run through your pregnancy.” It’s not as simple as one might think. I found that creating goals and constantly adjusting to my changing body allowed me to enjoy both working out and being pregnant at the same time.
When I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to continue running through my pregnancy and enjoy it. So, I wrote down my goals and established guidelines for the next nine months, which turned into the following:
Run at least three times a week as long as it continued to feel good
Limit runs to ninety minutes—if I need refueling, chances are the fetus does too
Any cramping means it’s time to walk
Throw pace out the window
Do one non-running cross training session per week with a prenatal body specialist
I recommend every woman who plans to run through her pregnancy do this. Your guidelines don’t have to be the same as mine, but make sure you go into your pregnancy running adventure with your eyes open and your mind wrapped around realistic and healthy goals and guidelines. Otherwise, you’re either going to be fighting the non-pregnant runner instinct in you every step of the way or you’re going to have to stop running sooner than you want. (more…)
Dani Holmes-Kirk has a smile that is infectious, and a personality that exudes so much happiness, it comes right through her emails. I’ve never met her in person, but I’d like to think we would get along famously, until she tried to make me run. Dani is a runner, a marathon-er and blogs about her adventures at, “Weight Off My Shoulders.”
It’s hard to believe that a few short years ago she led a sedentary lifestyle and battled an eating disorder. Today, Dani is 82 pounds lighter and she’s keeping it off thanks to smarter food choices and her rekindled love of running.
This is Dani’s true weight loss story –
When did your weight struggles begin? For as long as I can remember I was overweight. I can look back at a certain picture of me on the beach in my bathing suit when I was maybe 3 or 4 and thinking, wow, I even had a little belly then. I remember being made fun of in 7th grade and getting MOOed at by a passing car. The overweight mentality was burned into my brain for a long time.
At this point, it’s almost too easy to write an article about yet another Lululemon Athletica PR problem. What makes this time different is the yoga wear company may have learned a lesson from its mistake. What exactly did Lululemon do? It began banning customers who re-sold lululemon products—even if it was a single pair of run shorts.
Eric Lewis is one of the customers targeted by the company. He’s been purchasing running gear from Lululemon for years and owns about 35 pairs of their Pace Breakers shorts. When he decided to sell a pair of ill-fitting shorts on eBay, Lululemon called and informed him they would no longer ship him products.
“I just kind of felt victimized,” he told CTV News, in Canada. “I’m such a loyal fan I’ve supported their business for a long time and then for them to go after me for something like this just blew my mind. I was shocked.” He added Lululemon may lose him as a customer due to this situation.
This past week I organized a viewing party for the Olympics. On the menu that evening: Pizza. Regular pizza nights have become a tradition in my house over the last year, ever since acquiring a pizza stone that helps the crusts of our pies bake evenly and all the way through. Each gathering is a bit of a potluck—guests bring toppings for a pie, or a salad, beverage, or dessert.
We were all glued to the TV during Shaun White’s time on the half-pipe—and his ultimate defeat—but it was really the pizzas that stole the show that night. We had fresh pineapple and prosciutto, roasted cauliflower and caramelized onion, and even a bacon-apple-rosemary pie. I had a big slice of each one, which seemed like a good idea in the moment. (An hour later, I was still in the same place on the couch.)
The pizza was good, but it came at a cost of around 224 calories a slice, or 672 calories for 3 slices. Yikes! That was definitely more of a meal than I’d been hoping for.
Last fall, Kim Emert ran the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon and finished with a time of 4:35:39. It was her second marathon and she did it with a 23-minute personal record. For Kim, the event was another milestone in her weight loss journey and proof that all her hard work over the last few years is paying off. The 34-year-old wife and mother from Tennessee has lost 86 pounds, and she did it the way you might expect a runner to, by pacing herself and taking one step at a time.
“I was average and active as a child,” Kim explained. “My weight struggles began later in life. After marriage, kids and my first sit-down desk job. I made poor food choices, overate and made excuses about why I didn’t exercise.” Like many women, Kim lost a significant amount of weight after her first child, only to gain it all back during her second pregnancy, which put her back at square one. “This wasn’t my first time on the weight loss wagon,” she said. “It wasn’t until my son was 2 that I decided to do this for real and for good because my kids and family needed me. I wanted to be healthy and active for myself and them.”
Kim has been successful with her weight loss because she started with the right mindset. Instead of using starvation tactics or falling for the get-skinny-quick promises of some diet programs, she simply relied on, dedication and determination saying, “I cleaned up my diet and started hitting the gym. Once I got into a regular routine I took up running and signed up for my first 5k. I haven’t looked back!”
But there’s another type of inspiring exercise and wellness video out there that’s perhaps even more touching and life-altering: The kind that shares new perspectives, success stories, and hope. Here are some of our favorites, which cover everything from longevity to popping and locking.
Nilofer Merchant talks about how walking meetings can burn calories—and change your perspective:
At least one amazing duo rang in the new year by meeting and completing their 2013 resolution, and it was a lofty one! About this time last year we learned about a couple who planned to run a marathon each day and make their way around the continent of Australia. Long story short: The couple ran into 2014 by finishing their 366th consecutive marathon.
Here’s a bit of background on the undertaking in case you missed ourinitial post: Last January 1st, Alan Murray and Janette Murray-Wakelin left Melbourne on foot for their first marathon of 2013. The 60-year-old grandparents set out to break a record, raise money for charity, and simply draw awareness to healthy living.
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