Thursday, January 31, 2013

We're all in this Together

Hi everyone! This is Stacey, they claim I am the most experienced runner in the bunch but I don’t believe that.  I have been doing this the longest but these girls have so much more wisdom than me … I simply run! I don’t know all things technical and don’t eat as healthy as I should, but these girls are teaching me new things all the time. I started running in college when my aerobic instructor didn't want to teach she made us run (she was a marathoner and I thought she was nuts!). Part of our final exam was a one mile run around the track – I passed the exam and cried – I’m not sure it was because I couldn't breathe or because I accomplished a goal!

I cannot tell you exactly when it became my passion, it just kind of happened over time. One thing I can say that has shaped it is my family. When I started running I worked full-time, went to school full-time, and dated Jason (my future husband) full-time. I didn't have much time for exercise. I enjoyed walking, biking, and was addicted to bench aerobics. Walking slowly became replaced with running – I could cover more distance in less time. As the years passed, I was now full-time wife to Jason and full-time mom to two young children. Finding time to make to the gym was harder than ever – scheduled classes were no longer convenient and the kids were over the nursery. I needed to do something I could control when I did it and how long I could do it for (something where drive time wasn't a factor). Running was my answer!
When the kids were younger (too young to be left alone) I would wake up early to get my run in before Jason left for work. How far I went depended on how early I was willing to get up. (I will say, the older I get the harder the early morning run is!) Long runs were saved for the week-ends when Jason was home. He has always respected it as my time. My time for solitude. My time to listen to my music. My time to think about what I wanted to think about. My time to talk to God. He never asked me to take the kids with me but only asked me to take my phone just in case he needed me. Let me say – I have run with some pretty big cell phones!

Now that the kids are older, they can stay alone so early morning runs aren't as vital. However, my runs are now scheduled around work, car line, games, practices, and other family activities. Schedule oriented gym classes are still not an option, so exercise requires creativity. Sometimes it is during the hour and a half I wait for soccer practice or after I have dropped off Meghan at school. There are still those days where life is just so busy the only way to get a run in is in the early morning hours before the day gets going. My advice to you … Plan your day ahead so you don’t miss your window to run!

Being a runner really involves the support of the whole family … we really are all in this together!

My support group …
Jason, Me, Meghan, and Parker
after the St. Jude Marathon 2011

Who’s in it with you?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

From the Couch to the Streets!!

Hi Y'all! This is Dawn, the old lady of the bunch! I am 46,  I have been married to a wonderful, Godly man, Mark for 20 years this coming May. We have 3 teenage children the oldest being the loveliest (yes, he is sitting here as I blog), I work with special needs children at our  elementary school and YES! I started running less then 2 years ago. So if I can do it anyone can!!

Where do I start? Let me go back to 2010. I was not feeling great, not my self. I was tired, no energy, head aches, gaining weight and generally not my happy self. So I went to the doctor, or I should say doctors. My primary doctor, a neurologist, a cardiologist,  my OBGYN and even our Vet (JK), no one could find anything more then a small cyst on my thyroid, so depression was the diagnosis...SORRY not me!! So I decided to make a change and get off my butt and do something about it. So in the spring of 2011 I talked Mark into try running with me. Now mind you, neither one of us had ever run. I told him that it has to help and that we would feel better because the only time Stacey, my favorite sister (only sister) is ever in a bad mood was when she didn't get a run in that day, which I never
could understand until I started running and now I AM the crabby one when I don't get to run!

Stacey, she is the professional runner, told me about Hal Higdon's Couch to 5k,
an 8 week program which I found as an app for my phone. No matter what level of training you are at Hal has an App for that!! It was great!  Hal guided us every step of the way. He would tell us when to walk. When to run. And gave us inspirational little quotes/sayings to keep us going. It would even play my music.  It was hard, and every day that it would tell us to run farther we were like "NO WAY!" "WE CANT RUN THAT LONG AT ONE TIME!" "NO WAY IN HAL ARE WE GOING TO RUN THAT FAR!" but we pushed on. With Mark being a Firefighter and not home every night we vowed  not go ahead in the program so we would do days over and then move on when we could run together. So it took us a little longer then 8 weeks to be ready to run the 5k,  if you are just starting, don't get discourage if you have to do days/weeks over again, it doesn't matter, what matters is that you will complete it and run your first 5k!  Running together was just as important to us as completing the program. Whether an early morning run or a late night one, it was a great time we shared together, and we made that time our to reconnect as a couple.

 I recommend having a running partner who encourages you, motivates you, and it just makes it more fun. But if you don't have some one to run with the "Girls run the 901" would love to encourage you and cheer you on! All of us had to get off the couch too...

Our first 5k.
The Chick Fil A 5k
in Memphis September 2011
Stacey, her daughter Meghan, Mark, our daughter Maddie Grace
and Me, the Old One.

And this was just the beginning....

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Are you selfish?

By: Janell
I am truly excited to be a part of something that is a group effort. We desire to raise awareness about all things running, fitness, and loving life. I have learned so much about myself through this experience. I believe we all have, which sparked the desire to share-we couldn't possibly keep it for ourselves! 
I do believe that running and getting fit starts with how you feel about yourself. More times than not, it starts from a place of unhappiness about where we are and a desire to be somewhere better. Maybe it is a goal weight, a goal distance or maybe it is just being able to play with our kids without feeling winded. Whatever it is, it starts with you; believing in your goal and believing YOU are capable of reaching it. 
For me, running is my sanity. It is my ‘me time’ I take during the day to think, pray, relax and regroup. It hasn't always been that way. I have loved sports and athletics my whole life for the competition, but it became a true passion when I found, after I had my firstborn, that I was a better wife, mommy and worker when I made the time to workout. Then, after having my second child and needing the loose 60 pounds! I found that it is not selfish to take the time (or make the time) to invest in myself, but rather, benefited myself and those around me.  My goal is always to fit it in when it least affects my family which can be tricky. You will usually find me up at 4:45 am to get my run in knowing my day was going to be busy or going on my lunch break or after my kids go to bed. I believe the saying that you make time for what is important to you. I know we as moms and women spend so much time giving and caring for others and so little time putting back into our bodies all that we give.

It goes beyond running. We want to encourage you to take care of yourself by eating well, taking a quiet moment for yourself, not over stressing and living every moment intentionally. We are all in the learning process on these things.
Running enables us to run away from depression, unhealthy relationships, lies about who we are, frustration, anger and into confidence, strength, contentment, happiness and peace.
For me, I will never be the fastest runner or win first place but I am completely ok with that. I am truly grateful to be out there racing, training, chatting with a running partner, and I love every minute of it. My goal is progress. I stand grateful to God for the ability to run as well as the many relationships that have come from it. I encourage you to find your ‘happy place’ and allow yourself to not feel guilty about the time you take just for you to refocus and regroup from the pulls of life.

So, what is it for you? Where do you find your sanity?

How can you take the time to ‘deposit’ to even out your ‘withdrawals’?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Make It Monday: Lime-Cilantro Pork Wraps

Well, Hi there, this is Debi.

I am always looking for healthy recipes to feed my family.  A friend suggested that I look into some Paleo recipes. So I looked around and finally decided on a cookbook called "The Complete Idiots Guide to Eating Paleo." Now let me clarify, that I am not following the "Paleo Diet," I am just using some of their recipes because they use fresh, natural food like meat, vegetables and fruit.

So the book describes this dish as 'Fresh and Spicy!' (and it is!!)
This recipe makes a great, quick weeknight meal.

1 lb Pork Tenderloin, trimmed and cut to 1/4 inch strips
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 red onion, diced
1 small jalapeno pepper, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 medium tomato, diced
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons cilantro
1 head iceberg lettuce

1. Season pork strips with sea salt and pepper.
2. Heat a large non-stick skillet over med-high heat. When hot, add coconut oil to pan.
3. Sauté pork until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Remove pork from pan and place in a bowl.

4. Add red onion and jalapeno pepper to hot pan, and saute until tender.

5. Add chicken broth and tomato, and reduce heat to low. Simmer 2 minutes more, scraping pan sides and bottom to loosen any browned bits.

6. Return pork and juices to the pan. Stir in lime juice and simmer until pork is fully cooked.

7. Top with fresh cilantro and wrap in lettuce leaves to serve.

Hope you love it just as much as my family does!!

Do you have any healthy recipes that you'd like to share?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Stanky Creek 8k

It was a great day for a race with the Memphis Runners Track Club Winter Off Road Series! This is the 3rd race in the series and it was awesome. We sported some great socks and had a lot of fun being out there together.
Our first week has truly been more than any of us expected and for that we are so very thankful for your support and encouragement. Our desire is truly to motivate, inspire, encourage and have some (well, A LOT of fun) fun along the way!

Stay tuned this week from some great recipes, ideas on how to get started, helpful hints along the way and even a giveaway! Have a great week.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fashion Friday!

It's Friday! Yahoo!

 Every Friday we are hoping bring you Fashion Friday where each of us talks about one of our favorite pieces of workout gear to give you some ideas on fashionable finds to make you feel great while working out!

Stacey's favorite shorts are the Nike Tempo Track Shorts. She loves them because they are light and roomy (she recommends buying a size up) as well as found in great colors for all seasons! One other perk for her is that her teenage daughter is a fan as well and she gets many options because of that! These are a great staple to have in your workout choices!

Jennifer loves her Brooks Infiniti Headband. She wears is on those cold runs to keep her ears warm and keep the sweat out of her face. She likes it because it is not as heavy as fleece but still keeps her ears from getting too chilly.

Dana loves her Bondi Bands. They are a great addition to any workout outfit because they are just so darn cute. They have a lots of cute sayings as well as do a great job at keeping the hair and sweat out of your face!

Debi recently sported the Nike Women's Unexpected Run shirt. It's a sleeveless fitted top with a removable shrug with thumb holes. It's perfect for those days when you are not sure if a long sleeve shirt will be too warm and it's too chilly outside to start out with a tank. Very clever.

Dawn's favorite shirt is the C9 by Champion Women's Tech Tee. It's soft, comfortable and loose fitting and a great price! Let's face it, we love us some Target!

One of Janell's favorite winter pieces is her Tough Girl Skirt by Skirt Sports. She loves the skirt and the pants all in one piece. It comes in a lot of different patterns and is very well made. (plus they have great sales!)  It is a great way to have some layers and still sport the skirt!

We hope that gives you some ideas of things to wear and add to your workout wardrobe.

Have a great weekend!

Do you have any items you like to workout in?
Have you ever been able to walk into Target without purchasing something?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Perfect Meet and Greet

Everyone has their own reasons for why they run, and that’s because there are a lot of reasons to do it. I (Jennifer) am a native Memphian, and over the past two and a half years, I have fallen in love with my city.
My fiancé, Brandon, loves Memphis too.

When I was introduced to the running community of Memphis, I not only began to broaden and build my sense of community here, but I also got to learn a lot of the ins and outs (literally) of what seemed like an entirely new place. Finding back roads, exploring park trails, sharing the Greenline, appreciating bike lanes, noticing street art, and knowing the best gas station for a rest stop are not the things typically included in the Memphis handbook that all residents are required to read and recite. But now, thanks to running the 901, I can have a pretty animated conversation with anyone about anything from sidewalks to snot-rockets, which is not something I thought I’d ever be able to brag about.

Running has helped me be a better Memphian. It provides me with yet another way to build a relationship, especially with people new to the area. Not only are people who are new to the area interested in where things are, but also if they’re up for a run, I can show them! Make a run through Cooper-Young to Overton Park, show off the best places to grab a local Ghost River. Take a turn on Union Ave. and race past Breakaway. Keep going and you’re bound to pass one of Memphis’ best-kept Italian secrets, Little Italy. And that’s just the beginning!

Just within the last month or so, I met a fairly new 901girl who came from North Carolina to finish her pharmacy residency here. We both were awkwardly running sans partner at a Thursday night Breakaway run, but we were keeping a similar pace and struck up conversation. What else is one to do on a night group run? One run together has led to another, and another, and through this process, we’ve shared new routes and new PRs. I didn’t realize how much running with her mattered until just this week when I finished the last 7 mile leg of her 19 mile run to be a bit of encouragement. When we finished, she genuinely said, “I couldn’t have done it without you.” I understand that feeling well. My running partner Janell has heard that from me countless times. But to have my turn being someone’s tour guide gives me even more motivation to know and support where I live, to be proud of it and to share it.

If someone is willing to run with you, you already have that in common. That’s one less awkward moment you’ll have on the road or trails. Give it shot. You can always run away if it’s not working out.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Make It Monday: My Famous Energy Balls

Rowdy, racey one here, better known as Dana! Yes I'm the one that won't run a race without make-up... I won't deny it.. It's true... Also wont deny that I have the best runner friends ever! So excited for this journey! My running adventure did start with my partner in crime, Stacey though. I told her 3 years ago I wanted to start running (I lived out in the country, too far from a gym, no one to watch the kids... Seemed like a good excuse at the time) but I thought hey, I can run out here! I told her that I wanted to do a half marathon, go big or go home right?... and she said "I will be with you every step of the way!" And guess what! She has!

Of all the distance races I've done, I have only done two races without her, the Memphis in May triathlon relay team and The Bourbon Chase... Ok that's a blog post of its own! Loved it!!
So here I am 3 marathons, 5 halves, lost count of 5 and 10ks, MIM tri, the Bourbon Chase and 5 of the best runner friends ever to talk about everything RUNNING!

Don't know about you but running makes me hungry... I'm also one of the foodies of the group... Not the kind of foodie you'd think... I dont get excited about most foods and I'm very picky! I don't eat red meat or pork, love fish and fowl! I do try to eat as clean and healthy as I can, try to eat organic as much as possible but I'm a stay at home mom on a budget! And let's be real... Race fees are expensive... Organic? Race fee? Organic? Race fee? I think you know what would win!!! My problem is I love to snack!!! I'm always looking for yummy go to and grab healthy snacks! These girls are always anxious to see what I'm going to bring to share next... My latest has been my famous "Energy Balls"
They are so super yummy and so easy to make... A perfect combination!
So here's the recipe...
1 c oatmeal
1/2 c natural peanut butter
1/3 c honey
1/2 c coconut (not a fan so I didn't use)
1/2 c flaxseed
1/2 c mini chocolate chips (to keep it healthy I used vegan)
1 tbs vanilla
**** great thing about this recipe is you can add anything you like, nuts, granola, bran, protein powder, raisins, etc.
Mix first 3 ingredients, then add your mix -ins. Refrigerate for one hour and roll into balls! So easy!

Hope you enjoy! Let me know what you think and what you used in yours!

Would also love any of your favorite snack ideas too!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hello World!

Welcome to Girls Run the 901, we are so excited that you have come to visit!! So let's first explain who WE are...we are 6 girls that love to run, race, and generally have fun within the 901 area code (that's Memphis, by the way) and beyond. Some have ran for some time, and some have just recently started. So let me introduce you to the Girls...

Dawn...This awesome chick just started running 18 months ago and ran her 1st marathon in October (so proud of her!!!). She is Mom to 3 teenagers, wife, and works with special needs children. Loves the Lord (as we all do!!). 

Well you can't mention Dawn, without also talking about her sister Stacey (love her!!).   

Stacey...This girl is just amazing, she ran 3 marathons in 2012!! She is a Mom to two teenagers, wife and works at our Church. She can plan a road trip in a blink of an eye complete with goodies, and paint!!

If you are lucky enough to find a running partner that you can train and race with at the same pace, and to stay with you when finishing is questionable, you have been given an amazing gift because they are hard to find. Stacey and Dana are a dynamic duo, that conquer any distance. 

Dana...Now this is the rowdy one of the group. She refuses to run a race before putting make-up on, but she can run countless miles and still look picture worthy at the end!! But when it comes down to it, it's all about her boys!!

Another amazing duo are Jennifer and Janell. They did a Triathlon this past Summer!!

Jennifer...So much can be said about this passionate and adventurous girl. She just graduated from U of Memphis (whohoo!!) AND recently got engaged (OMG!!). How many students would run a marathon on Sunday and take an eight-hour bus ride back to school for class on Monday? This girl!! She also raises money to help International Justice Mission.

Janell...Supportive is the best way to describe this girl!! Whether it is at home, work, or running she is encouraging others and motivating them to be their very best. When she's not working, running, or at a Memphis Tigers game, she is enjoying family time with her husband and two kiddos. 

And then there is me. When I am racing, this is where you will find me.

Debi...I am a wife, mom to 1, and a career gal. I started running less than 2 years ago and with the companionship of these wonderful women, have grown to love running!!

Thank you for visiting our blog, and please click back soon as we post our experiences with life, running, family, and hopefully a recipe or two!

So, what are you running goals for 2013? 

What would you like us to write about?