Wednesday, February 27, 2013

901 to the 501: Little Rock marathon and half-marathon

If big bling gets your attention, then you'll understand part of the draw to participate in the Little Rock marathon. This weekend the 901 girls will be traveling to Little Rock for the marathon and half-marathon. 

It's always exciting to go to a new place or to do a race you've never done before. The unknowns of a new race can keep the most experienced runner on her toes, while excitement and good company can get you from the start line to the finish line. And if all else fails, for this race at least, if you think I was exaggerating about the size of the 5.5 lb marathon finishers medal, it's advertised as being "appropriately large" and  "huge", while the half-marathon medal is also referenced as "appropriately large" and "big". Finishing is a must. 
2013 Marathon Medal
2012 medal for size

For me, Jennifer, finishing is the goal. I unfortunately learn lessons very, very slowly. As I poorly trained for my last marathon, I promised myself I would never be so short-sighted again. Those days that went by when I would say, "I just don't feel like running," "the weather is so gross today," or "I'll just watch what I eat," those are the most important running days. It is a sign of poor discipline in myself when I expect to achieve a big goal in the future without slowly planning for it in the present. Unless we're dealing with the lottery, big goals don't come easy. And as always, consistency is key.

I, along with Janell, Debi, and Dawn, am signed up for the half-marathon in Little Rock. And again, I have a goal that I want to achieve. And again, I trained poorly for it. Lesson learned, by the way. The disappointment in myself this time is a lesson in itself. But I still have my fingers crossed for a finishing time miracle. (You know, with all the runs I substituted healthy eating for.)

The Little Rock race has all the signs of being a great event. It is seemingly very well organized and has rave reviews as being so.I personally enjoy a good crowd of participants in a race, and Little Rock is expected to be a midsized marathon with about 7,000 people registered.

After doing a bit of a Google search, I found such an exciting review that boasted of the course's "excellent uses of elevation". That's great if you're thanking the landscape for being the way it is, but no thank you. The race website officially states that "When asked if there are hills in Little Rock, we love to affectionately say 'What Hills?' It depends on your perspective. There are some bumps in the road, but life is full of bumps in the road." 
What really gets me pumped is the warning of "gigantic hills at mile 24 and 25" that make you want to "die," and grumbling reviews referencing "the hill from 14-15" as being "a monster," with a "difficult" decline right after. 

I can't wait. 
I can't believe I pay to do this.

So with Janell, Debi, Dawn, and myself doing the half, that leaves the ever-impressive Stacey and Dana going the full 26.2.
This will be the first race where each of us gets to work at the expo with a new product we're learning about. Keep an eye out for the girls in pink if you'll be there! And be sure to say "hi" if you see us.

Before we leave the 901, each of us will go through a similar process of laying out our running clothes, packing snacks, and the seemingly inevitable nightmare of being late to the starting line and having to run in your pajamas. While the drive there will include more bathroom breaks than you can count, as we are a traveling hydration station, the drive back on Sunday will most likely include its fair share of stretching breaks and twitter updates. So stay tuned, and we'll be sure to share our pictures of the massive medals we all hope to wear home.

And in case you were wondering, the best review of the Little Rock marathon goes to one reviewer who said that this race had "an incredible porta-potty situation" which sounds incredibly exciting to experience, even if it's a bad experience.

What Does Winning Look Like?

By: Dana

Don't you think it's quite confusing that they call races... Races? I mean, that makes it sound like a competition doesn't it? Truth of the matter, it really is. Yes, there will be a winner at every race but for the majority of runners out there, it's not about crossing the line first. So the question is: Who are you competing against? For me... It's always myself! (And there may or may not be a girl or two I've got my eye on)

I have two sons, one of which is super competitive. He comes by it honestly! Never fails, every time I head out the door to a "race" whether it be a 5k or a marathon, he says "I hope you win mommy!" I am competitive by nature so I completely get why he says that! But what does winning look like? To him it's finishing first because he hears the word race. Winning looks different to everyone that considers themselves a runner.

No matter what "race" I sign up for, I always have a goal in mind: To do better than I did the race before or to PR (personal record). I am constantly competing against myself. However, I am learning that every race has a different goal! A dear friend of mine told me that once, and I thought "what?" But it's absolutely so true!

It's not always about a personal record and doing better than the "race" before. Winning and doing well in a "race" does not mean you always have to set a record. Crossing the finish line is a WIN in itself.

During my last marathon, I went into it injured.  Like many runners, I over trained . However, I was determined no matter what I was going to finish. Like Debi has said before she didn't want to admit she was and I didn't either. Even at that race I wanted to PR! What was I thinking? Not until the morning of the race did I look at Stacey and say "Just get me across the finish line, that's all that matters today." Once I freed myself up mentally that I didn't have to push and kill myself. It really was an amazing "race"! Yes I won, I crossed the finish line with a running partner that didn't leave my side, friends that encouraged me along the way, confirmation that I could do anything I put my mind to, great memories... oh and a medal too!

With each "race" you go into, stop and think, what is my goal here? 

Do I want to PR? 
Do I want to cross the finish line with my running friends? Nothing like it!
Am I out here to take in the scenery and enjoy every step? I highly recommend it! 
Is it all about the hardware? Of course!

Will I be able to come home and answer the question "mommy did you win?" Absolutely! 
I won because I did it no matter what my time was! Will I be able to answer the question "did you get first" with a yes? Probably not! Maybe a time or two I've gotten to say a top ten finish, but the bottom line is crossing the finish line makes you the winner!

What are some of your goals that you set when you go out to "race?"

This is a picture of my competitive one before his first 5K! (Just had to show you because he's so darn cute!)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Are you a 'real' runner? Let's talk music

By: Stacey

Several years ago my husband told me he had read an article that said real runners don't listen to music. Therefore, after 20 years of running, I began to wonder "Am I a real runner?" I love to listen to music when I run. Unfortunately, I have been doing it so long, mentally, I think I can't run without it. It is definitely on the top of my Most Valuable Gear list! Janell, Dana, Debi, and Jennifer prefer to run without music while Dawn and I run with music. I decided to look into it a bit and find out if you can be a runner and listen to music too ... after all aren't we a society of multi-taskers? (I can chew gum when I run too!) Here is what I found out:

Surprisingly, several articles I read said that it's ok to run with music. Studies have found that music enhances endurance and can even change your mind-set by relieving tension and increasing positive moods. There, of course, are strong arguments against it and most professional athletes do not use music when competing. By listening to music one can not hear the sounds that running produces - breathing and the sound their foot makes when it hits the pavement (two key cues to your current level of effort). Runners that escape into their own "bubble" with their music tend to remove themselves from their surroundings, in turn can end up in an unsafe situation - they may not hear a car, an impending storm, an angry dog, or another runner. Of course, the biggest pet-peeves of non-music runners - music listeners cannot hear other runners and officials in a race environment. 

Below are top reasons to run with music or not:

Reasons to run without music:
  • Live a relatively noisy life and enjoy the quiet time
  • Use the quiet time to gather their thoughts
  • Driven by the sounds of their feet pounding the pavement and their heart beating in their chest
  • Appreciate the sound of your body working hard
  • Ultimately, they find music distracting 

Reason I like to run with music:
  • Although I too have a noisy life - I like background noise (I like music in my office and a TV on at home - ALL the time!)
  • I still consider it quiet time and a time to gather my thoughts - I have even listened to a Bible study lesson or sermon podcast while running
  • I like the time to listen to music I enjoy (I have a 13 and 16 year old - I do not control the radio)
  • I can still hear my feet hit the pavement and myself breath to an extent (if I concentrate on them too much I start to hyper-ventilate)
  • Some songs bring up great memories while others make me want to run faster and then there are others that just keep my momentum going
  • Honesty, I like to get lost in my bubble

In conclusion, I have found that whether or not you listen to music you are a REAL runner! So, if you are a (real) runner who prefers music, please be safe when you use headphones - buy earphones/earbuds that allow you to hear your surroundings (check out these clip on speakers - I have not use these but came across them when researching for this blog -, keep your music low or use in just one ear, and don't get so lost in your bubble that you can't hear the traffic, other runners, bike riders, or anything else that might get in your way.

I wanted to include for you just a few of my favorite songs on my playlist -
  • Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield (always on my playlist)
  • Faster and Louder by Peter Furler (anything by him or the Newsboys)
  • Hold Me by Jamie Grace
  • Bellas Song at Finals from Pitch Perfect (several fun songs on the soundtrack)
  • We Found Love by Rihanna
  • Heartbreak Warfare (good momentum song)
  • Home by Philllip Phillips
  • Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall by Coldplay
  • Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi (So many good songs from the 80s)
  • Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepson
  • Firework by Katy Perry (really anything by Katy Perry)
  • God is Enough by Lecrea
  • Used to Do It Too by Lecrae
  • This Life by MercyMe
(One side note, I have started going headphone free and just listening to music through my iPhone speakers. It's kinda the best of both worlds - I can hear my feet hit the pavement, myself breath, my favorite songs, and everything going on around me!)

I need some new songs for this weekend's marathon ... tell me, what's on your playlist?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Make it Monday: Spinach, Popeye could get even your kids to eat!

It's another manic Monday, what will you make for dinner? Burgers? Chicken? Spaghetti? Pork? Well now you have that figured out, what vegi do you go with? The kids will only eat green beans, peas, or corn. How about a new way to cook spinach?
This dish is a favorite with my family and is super easy!

We call it Italian Spinach, but really it goes with any meal or can be a meal in itself!

I package of chopped frozen spinach (12oz.)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of minced garlic or one fresh glove garlic
2 eggs
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese or
Mozzarella finely shredded
Salt/Pepper to taste

** I am feeding a family of 6 with three teenage boys, so you can cut recipe in half if feeding less.**

Heat olive oil and garlic in skillet.
Add spinach cook until warm.
Add eggs until fully cooked
Sprinkle with cheese
Serve and enjoy with main dish

Add cooked chicken and seasoned tomatoes with whole wheat penne noodles for a meal all it's own.

It's that easy and so yummy! Popeye would be so proud to see the kids eat their spinach!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fashion Friday: Skirts Are Not For Sissys and the Road ID giveaway winner

Sorry guys, this post is for women only! We are about to talk about how to look super cute when you are out there pounding the pavement!  Women's running gear has come a long way. Not sure about you but I am super happy about that! We make ourselves look presentable when we go to work, out on the town (ok I don't do that anymore), dinner, movies, kids to the park, why not when you are out there rocking your run?  

All of the girls of the 901 appreciate fashionable work out gear and I, Dana, especially love running skirts!  It's all about feeling good about yourself when you are out there and if I'm going to run 26 point freaking two then I've got to feel as good as I can!

Wearing a running skirt can make you look and feel super cute, fashionable, and oh so girly... but do not let this skirt fool you! Skirts are not for sissys! 
They are for the strong women owning their run!  

Here are a few of our favorites:  

 This skirt is from Lululemon Athletica. It  was made for those long strides.  One of the best features of this skirt is the built in shorts that stay put when you run or are picking up the pace because they have a sticky elastic hem... and look at those ruffles! This skirt also has pockets galore to hold all your needs from keys to race snacks.  Visit their store in Regalia in Memphis or straight from their website.


This cutie comes from Running Skirts.  It has these super fun capris under the skirt that has a no chafe feature. That is key, plus you get to wear a skirt even on those cooler days or just those days you want to cover those legs.  It also has the built in pocket, but the best thing about this skirt is it has a 100% satisfaction guarantee if you are not "Skirt Satisfied!" How cool is that? Check them out at

I am very partial to this skirt, simply because I have run all 3 of my marathons in this bad boy! They have built in compression shorts with a sweat wicking fabric that keeps you dry and comfortable.  This skirt also has a back zip pocket for small items.  This skirt can be found at most athletic stores that sell Nike like Sports Authority  Dicks, Fleet Feet and Breakaway.  You can always shop Nike online at

Again these were just a few favorites, but there is a whole world of running skirts out there. Find one that fits your personalty and style.  Have fun with your running attire and happy shopping! Oh and one more thing... even Super Woman wore a skirt... find your strong!

And now, the winner of this week's Road ID giveaway: Jesse Cohen who answered what his dream race would be with:
"The Antarctic Ice Marathon ( Hands down, no questions."

Congratulations, Jesse! 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

RoadID Product Review and GIVEAWAY!

We are so excited that Road ID has partnered with Girls Run the 901 to bring you today's giveaway. Make sure to read all the way through to find out how to win one of these great products that all the 901 girls are sure to have on! 

It's a dangerous world out there, but RoadID wants to make things a little safer for those of us who share the road with texting drivers, go for trail runs at night, or experience less than ideal conditions, ever.

I, Jennifer, just recently had my first RoadID purchasing experience, and for someone who doesn't like to shop, I loved the whole process. After looking over the different styles of products, from wrist, shoe, necklace, and bracelet style IDs, I chose the wrist ID slim. From there, I was guided through several questions regarding the style and type of bracelet I wanted, having the option of different colored bands, sizes, and versions of the bracelet. The most helpful part of the process was also tied to the most important for me. When it came down to deciding which possibly life-saving information I would wear on my wrist, my anxiety was quickly assuaged by the helpful suggestions for each row of information. Important information and abbreviations are listed for you as you choose your text. Knowing that emergency personnel or the random stranger probably wouldn't interpret the same abbreviations I'd invent to convey my own medical information, I was relieved to know that "NKA" is an accepted abbreviation for "No Known Allergies". That just meant that my version of "NoKwnAllrgie" would not need to come with a decoder. There is a great link available as you customize your ID with recognized medical abbreviations and other ways to list information that I found very helpful.

As the purchasing process comes to a close, the buyer is notified that a portion of the cost of the product will be donated to the charity of your choice. How cool is that? A company that cares. And on top of that, immediately after my receipt was emailed to me, I received an email with a coupon code for $1 off any product that can be used up to 20 times. So if you, along with the 901Girls, would like to be considered "a highly intelligent individual" according to RoadID, then use this coupon code for your next purchase - ThanksJennifer22253680.

It's a comforting feeling to know that if something were to happen to me, my RoadID bracelet would provide the necessary information to the right people, so that I would get the help I needed.
All 6 of us own a Road ID bracelet and wear it regularly, not just when running. It is a great tool to have if ever there was the need for emergency information.
Ok, now for the giveaway. Comment below to be entered by answering this question:
What is your dream race to complete? It could be anything from a 1 mile fun run to an Ultra Marathon. You choose!
We look forward to hearing your answers and will announce the winner on this week's Fashion Friday post!

Am I ever going to be able to run?

Dawn here and sometimes I wonder: When will I get to run in today? First thing in the morning? Maybe this afternoon? Ok, may be after the kids go to bed? HELP!!!! Sometimes the hardest thing about running is WHEN?

Well it doesn't really matter when, it is really what is best for you. I have done morning, mid day, and late night runs, it all just depends on the day. The stage of life plays a big part. Stacey is getting her runs in at night, Dana gets her kids off to school before she hits the pavement, Janell likes the early morning, right now Jennifer is running around dinner time, and Debi and I will run into each other on the streets of Collierville in the evenings.

Maybe it depends on the weather? I also look at the weather forecast to plan my runs. If it's going to rain tomorrow I'll try to get a little longer run today. If its cold in the morning, I'll wait till later on in the day when it warms up. If its hot weather an early morning run is nice. I love seeing the sun come up and it is a great time to get a little quiet time in too! After the sun goes down is a option as well; late night summer runs are my husband and I's favorite time to run its cooler, quiet and we have the streets to ourselves. We have had some of our best conversations on those runs!

Each day may be different. You may get a couple of morning runs in and then the rest of the week it may be night runs. It doesn't matter when. it's what ever works for you and the stage of life you are in.

That's what's so great about running: you can do it whenever and wherever...just RUN!!

One more thing: Make sure to check back tomorrow for an awesome giveaway we are doing! We are very excited about giving away this sweet product! 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Make It Monday - Disclaimer Included

This is my disclaimer:

My Make It Monday incorporates all the Paleo goodness of no processed food, no added sugars, and no things that you never knew were "bad" for you in the first place. And oddly enough, no sacrifice is made on flavor. I was not a fan of the word Paleo, much less the idea of it, for quite a while. I've found some really good recipes though, so I no longer boycott it; however, I'm not waving the Paleo flag at the front of the bandwagon either.

Also, I have made all of these recipes. As a poor, 23 year old who still drinks beer for breakfast when there's no other option, I list these recipes with the full faith and trust that anyone can make these dishes.

Down to business.

Side - mashed cauliflower (as opposed to mashed potatoes)

1 head of cauliflower or a 16oz bag of frozen florets
about 1 tsp garlic
1 1/2 tbs coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
salt and pepper
chopped chives, if you like

Cook the cauliflower, steam it or according to the directions on the package
Place it in a food processor 
Microwave in a bowl the garlic, coconut oil, coconut milk, salt and pepper for about 1 min.
Add the mixture into the food processor and chop chop for about 10 seconds

Side - cumin carrots

1lb of carrots
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin 
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 fresh lemon

Peel and slice carrots lengthwise
Add spices together, and melt in the microwave spice and coconut oil, mixing with a fork
Pour the seasoning over the carrots in a bowl and toss together
Spread the carrots on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes at 400
Squeeze the lemon over the carrots before serving

Now, if you are a man, or if you know a man, a man would be very unhappy with just these options for dinner. I have learned from my fiancé that men love meat. I may be cheap enough to skip the meat to pay for my next race fee, but men need meat.

Meat - Pork Tenderloin
(we have left the paleo zone)

Buy pork tenderloin (as opposed to stealing it or growing it)
Season well all over with Cavenders
Heat a skillet on med-high heat with some olive oil, and sear the outside in order to brown the skin and seal in flavor
Don't play with the tenderloin in the pan. When it separates from the pan easily, turn it over, but don't rub it around like it's half dead
Once all sides have been browned, place the tenderloin in the oven at 350 for 40+ minutes. You really can't cook pork too long. Just be sure it's done.

Bon appetit!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Fashion Friday - MVP

In team sports there is a MVP (Most Valuable Player), but with running, it's all you. So for today's Fashion Friday post, we wanted to share with you our Most Valued Piece of Gear MVPG.  These are items that we will not run without.

For Dana, the foam roller is her IT Band's best friend. (She may or may not wear her make-up while she's taking care of those muscles.)
For Dawn, it's her Bandi Belt. This nifty item holds all her favorite accessories including gum, Chapstick, chomps, and her phone.
Jennifer prefers not to run with "accessories"  so for her its her Nike dri-fit sports bra.
Now for Stacey, it's her phone because it has her running app (Nike +) and her music. In her words, "Psychologically I can't run without music and seriously, why run if you will have no official record of it!"
Janell's favorite item is this water bottle, mostly because it holds so many necessities in addition to her phone. There's a hidden pocket in the back and it holds two GUs too. 
And lastly, Debi can't run without anti-chafing cream (sorry, had to go there), and since this brand comes with samples that are small enough to carry on a run, this is her favorite.
So there you have it, our MVPG. 

What is your all time Most Valuable Piece of Gear?  We'd love to hear about it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

For the LOVE of Running...

For the LOVE of running, why did someone not tell me...
(Dana and Jennifer's Top 10 things we wish someone had told us before we started running.)

10. Don't ever count on looking good in race pictures. You got your medal. That's all the proof you need. (Although some of us try!)

9. Bodily functions happen. Whether it's snot rockets, spits, or bathroom break in the woods, your comfort level of what you do in public can quickly change.

8. Sometimes, your long run is all you will do that day...unless you're Superwoman.

7. Listen to your body. It can tell you all kinds of things.

6. Shoes matter!

5. You can chafe anywhere. Anywhere. Vaseline it. Glide it.

4. Shin splints. I promise you're legs aren't falling off. Progress slowly.

3. Toenails, who needs them? Say goodbye to the prospects of being a foot model.

2. Eat your major carb-load marathon meal TWO nights before the big race. No one likes to wake up and run with that in their belly.

1. Your mind  will give up before your legs do, dont let it! Running is just as much mental as it physical!

 And whether you're excited about Valentine's Day or you can't wait to come out of hiding when it's over, we hope this will make you smile:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dirty Girls Mud Run

So who wants to get dirty??? We do!!!

The Dirty Girl Mud Run has partnered with Girls Run the 901 to offer you a 20% discount! Amazing, right?!

So what is Dirty Girl?

Dirty Girl is a 5K Mud Run for women of all ages and athletic abilities on March 16th at Shelby Farms Park. Don't worry, it's not a "race" in the traditional sense. It is an untimed obstacle course designed to push you slightly out of your comfort zone, but only as far as you are comfortable going. So grab your girlfriends and form a team, or participate on your own.

There are 2 things we can guarantee: you will get DIRTY, and you will have FUN!!  

Dirty Girls mission is to inspire women to step outside of their comfort zone and to raise money and awareness for the 
National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF).

So what comes with that DISCOUNTED entry fee??

Dirty Girl tee-shirt, a Dirty Girl silhouette charm and other cool stuff like music, entertainment, and the benefit of knowing that you are helping the National Breast Cancer Foundation in the fight against cancer. 

So come on out and join us and get DIRTY!! If we can snatch a picture of Dana all muddied up after the race we will be sure to post it!

Here is the link to sign up: Go Dirty Girl
Use code DGMEMBLOG20 to receive the 20% discount.

**We apologize for those not living in Memphis as this discount only applies to this race location.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Starting Slow

Hi There, this is Debi! ...and I'm just going to put it out there...I'm injured. I have tried to hide from that statement, because it means I have to change my training plan, decide if I will complete my next race, and the worst of it, I had to stop running (sniffle) for a while.

It isn't until the moment when I can't run that I realize how much I have come to love it. Running is tough and kicks my tail on a daily basis, but seeing the gains in speed and mileage after time is rewarding. Not to mention how much fun I have racing with my friends.

So how does a beginning runner stay injury free?

Start Slow

In too many instances when a person starts running, they get hurt, and then fail to ever pick it back up again. We want to help prevent that from happening. No matter if you are "in-shape" or not, running requires the use of different muscles than other forms of exercise. Many new runners experience shin splints, pulled calf muscles, cramping quads, or sore hips from going out too fast or from doing too much too soon. Take it slow and ease into your new activity.

As a beginner runner, the number of miles you cover is not important, instead focus on the number of minutes. As you get stronger, the amount of time you are able to run will increase. 

The same goes for any change in your exercise plan. No one should expect themselves to be able to jump into a cross training class or similar venue thinking they can lift 50lbs or do 100 push-ups the first day or after a long break. You need to ease into it, steadily increasing over time. I learned this one the hard way, and now I've been sidelined due to a strained muscle for the past 6 weeks.

If you do get injured, try your best to continue with a fitness routine. If you are able to, try a SPIN class instead of running, or yoga. Once a fitness routine is broken, it's hard to get that groove back unless you make it a priority to do so. Depending on the nature of the injury, try to focus on other areas to work on like resistance training and weights.

Are you injured? What do you do to maintain fitness?

For me, I'm spinning my evenings and weekends away hoping to still make that next race; knowing that if my body isn't ready, instead, I will be cheering on my gal pals as they cross the finish line.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Make it Monday: Southwest Chicken Soup

Happy Monday!! This is Dawn, I hope everyone had a great weekend and if you were anything like me you ate your way through it! Now it's time to get back on the wagon. I'm going to share a recipe with you that is low cal and a favorite of my family. I hope it will become one of y'all's!

Southwest Chicken Soup:

1 package taco seasoning mix
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch (Salad dressing/seasoning mix)
1 can corn (15.5oz)
1 can mexican style diced tomatoes(12 oz)
1 can great northern beans (15.5 oz)
1 can black beans (15.5 oz)
3 chicken breast

(I double my recipe to feed my family of 6.)

Cook chicken in oil ( I use 2 tsp.olive oil,)
Shred or chop.
Add 1/2 of each season packages to chicken, stir and cover.

In a separate pot place tomatoes, corn (drained), beans (drained), the remaining seasoning packages and 3 cups of water
Add seasoned chicken. Simmer. Salt/pepper to taste.

If you want top with fat free sour cream and shredded taco seasoned cheese.

I put my soup together in my crockpot so it is ready when we get home from school or our after school activities.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Fashion Friday: Where to get what to wear!

 Ok, so you have decided to run. You have downloaded the app, made a playlist, joined a running group, dragged your BFF into this with you, have a 5K in site - now the big question (and possibly most important) “What in the world am I going to wear?” 

Hello, my name is Stacey and I am addicted to running clothes (and other gear). If I could wear my Asics, Nike shorts, and a race tee every day, I would be the happiest person ever! So, on this Fashion Friday I want to share with you about a few cool places to get some great gear 
right here in the 901.

I will start with the stores in town that are all about running!!  These are the places that are owned by runners, staffed by runners, and are there for runners.

Breakaway Running

2 Locations: 1997 Union Avenue, Memphis | 901.722.8797
1223 S. Germantown Road, Germantown | 901.754.8254 | Both stores open 7-days a week

Locally Owned (Memphis Exclusive)

Breakaway is a one stop shop for everything running – high-quality performance shoes (Asics, Brooks, Mizuno, Nike, etc.), apparel (Northface, Brooks, Moving Comfort, etc.), nutrition items, and accessories for the beginning walker to the experienced runner. My personal fav are their cute running shirts pertaining to the 901 (the inspiration behind our blog name)! Their employees ARE runners! That’s what makes them so good at providing any running enthusiast with expert advice.

Other perks:
      Breakaway performs the free foot and video gait analysis and strives to fit you in just the right shoe. Their store policy is “if the shoe does not work for you, come back and we will take care of you with an exchange or even a special order.”

They offer FREE group runs on Mondays (downtown), Tuesdays (UofM track house), Wednesdays (Wolf River Trail), Wednesdays (Beginners Runs @ Wolf River Location) | Thursdays (Midtown), and a St. Jude Half/Full marathon training program

Connect with Breakaway -  Facebook| Twitter 

Fleet Feet

4530 Poplar Avenue #102, Memphis | 901.761.0078 | open 7-days a week

Locally Owned Franchise

Fleet Feet offers just about anything a runner (or walker) could possibly want and some things they never knew they needed!  They offer a wide variety of shoes (a ton of sizes and widths), apparel from all the big names (Asics, Nike, Brooks), sports bras, head gear, compression products, foam rollers, heart rate monitors, insoles, Gu, Nuun, Clif Blox/Shots, socks, Strollers (Baby Joggers, BOB, etc.), watches, distance systems, and books about running! They have a stash of cute marathon and half marathon tees too! These gear hounds have it all, know about it all, and have tested it all!

Other perks:
Fleet Feet will put you on a treadmill (if you are comfortable with that) in the store and watch you run – then help you pick out the best shoe for the way you run! ( I love their slogan – “If the shoe fits, it probably came from Fleet Feet”) It only takes about 20 minutes and no appointment is necessary. (Read all about it on their website or check it out in the store)

They also offer FREE running groups on Monday nights (Recovery Run, 3-7 miles) and Thursday nights (Speed Workout) and training programs for several of Memphis’ 5Ks and Half Marathons.

Connect with Fleet Feet: Facebook  Follow them: Twitter

6126 Poplar Avenue, Memphis | 901.537.1802 | Open 7-days A Week
Lululemon carries fashionable, quality apparel for yoga and running. Although it does not carry all things running … it carries many things cute things to run in! Check out their new location in the Regalia. (On any given day, you might run into Dana there!)
You can find them on Facebook

Let me close by saying there are several other stores in town where you can find some great deals on running gear but I chose to highlight those targeted for runners because they have the best knowledge of all things running (especially shoes). But once you find your favorites and you know what fits you the best, then snag up some cute stuff around town at other great places like Target, Old Navy, Kinnucan’s, Outdoors Inc., Sports Authority, Dicks, Nike Outlet (Elvis Presley Blvd/Raines Road), etc. Several stores have mailing lists which will send you coupons and updates on sale items!

Just saw this … Sports Authority has a coupon through 2/9/13 for 20% off your entire order – print it online at!!

Oh, one last plug for the running store … it’s a great place to find out about upcoming races in the 901 (and other places slightly outside the 901)!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Running is like Brussel Sprouts

I started running for all the wrong reasons. I’m not proud of it, because it reveals some of the many flaws in my character. I do not, however, regret running. Not once can I recall a workout I regret doing.

I used to run before class in high school. Technically that’s when I started running. I would either run several miles in my neighborhood or be waiting outside the  local YMCA to fight the grandmas and grandpas for a treadmill. I ran then because I thought I was fat, or something ridiculous. Again, I was in high school.
Me in high school, not being fat.
A few years later, I vividly remember where I was and whom I was with, when someone in my life said to me, “You have big legs. Naturally, like, they’re just always going to be big.” Well, challenge accepted. Unfortunately, I had fallen for all the Victoria’s Secret commercials and thought that to be attractive was to be skinny, and “naturally big legs” did not have the same ring to it as skinny. I have since learned healthy and skinny don’t have the same ring either, but I’m much older and wiser now that I am 23 and a half.

So, I decided that runners have good legs, and I, in all my stubbornness and pride, will train for a half marathon and get “good legs,” too. Running wasn’t natural for me (unlike the natural bigness of my legs). I could enjoy it at times, but when your motivation is only coming from spite and a longing for approval, there’s not much satisfaction in waiting for a compliment that never comes. But I did it. I trained and ran my first half marathon at the St. Jude race in 2009. I do remember feeling proud of myself, but I learned many very important lessons as I trained.  For one, I was introduced to the incredibly knowledgeable and supportive Memphis running community. I also learned about how what you eat affects your ability to run well. I learned about health in real, applicable ways. I also realized I am the one in control of my body. I have the power to change it, shape it, tone it, or loose it, depending on how I see myself.

After that first race, of which I am very grateful to have experienced, running had become a habit. I can’t say I magically matured into the self-confident, independent, strong, determined woman I am still becoming, but I knew I had to keep going outside to log some miles. I had to keep running, because it made me feel good. There is satisfaction in knowing you are taking care of your body, and that’s ok. You don’t’ always have to run because it’s totally your most favorite thing ever.  Running to me is often like brussel sprouts. No one eats those because they want to, but the benefit always outweighs the sacrifice. Always. (Except, I’m learning from my fiancĂ© not to say always, so 99.9% of the time).