Friday, March 29, 2013

Fashion Friday: Support the Girls

Running a close second to a shoe fitting, the right Sports Bra is a very important part to a girl's work out  attire and we couldn't be a legit running blog without talking about them! For a sports bra to do it's job, it has to fit well, not be too tight, and have maximum support for you to be comfortable in your workout. Purchasing the right sports bra can be quite an investment, but your girls will thank you! Depending on your support needs and if you are doing light or high impact activities there are a number of choices to make when it comes to choice the sports bra for you. Here are some of our favorites:

Vero by Moving Comfort

We love its feminine v-neck, comfortable adjustability and contoured cups. It has padded straps for comfort and offers great support. This is a great bra for high impact activities. 

Nike Pro Bra

The compression fit offers exceptional support while nylon stabilizers in the straps reduce stretch for extra support and less bounce during quick, multidirectional movements. Dri-FIT jersey fabric helps you stay dry and comfortable by wicking sweat away from skin to the fabric's surface, where it quickly evaporates.

Juno by Moving Comfort
Gravity-defying, super-supportive technical features combine innovation and moderate contouring in a powerhouse racer-back bra. Advanced, functional features in a flattering style. For Full - medium cup sizes, this is great for high impact sports like running, soceer, etc.   *Tip: Try fastening the hooks before putting it on and unhook before taking it off—or undo the shoulder straps before pulling it on.

Nike Adapt Indy Sports Bra
 If you are looking for support for light-impact activities and want a comfortable feel, the Nike Adapt Indy Women's Sports Bra is the perfect addition to your gym bag. Sports like yoga and pilates don't require the extreme bounce support that some sports bras provide. 

Under Armour Seamless Essentials
The Under Armour® Women's Seamless Essential Bra is super soft and comfortable. The inner layer gives you the support you need, while the compression outer layer creates a tight secure fit. Other features include adjustable straps for added comfort and customization, and a new racer back design for maximum mobility. 

So there you have it, some of our favorite ways to support the girls. Make sure you have a variety of choices and rotate them so you can get your full year's use out of your bras and more life out of your girls!

Do you have any certain sports bras your prefer? What is your favorite brand?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Run Faster, Longer and Stronger

By: Dana

Yesterday Janell wrote about staying motivated and overcoming tough seasons in your fitness journey. A lot of times runners have no choice because of injury and overtraining but to turn to other forms of exercise . Much to their surprise they find it was the most beneficial thing they've ever done no matter if they were forced there or not!

The are several benefits to cross-training that will prolong your running career. Let me stop here, as a FORMER personal trainer but current certified group fitness instructor I have the knowledge to encourage and suggest but am no doctor! So please consult your physician when starting any new fitness routine. Ok glad we got that out of the way! Like I was saying there are several benefits to cross-training:

#1 Injury Prevention-the never ending epidemic among pavement pounders everywhere is overuse and overtraining. Your ankles, knees and lower back can take a beating from the repetitive impact. Mixing in other endurance cross training exercises can help you ease into the sport if your a newbie or if your a veteran, stay in the sport longer.

#2 Rehabilitation- like I said earlier, once you are injured some runners are forced into cross training to keep up their current fitness level, not only that but it can also help to correct the injury.

#3 Better Runner Fitness-not all runners get caught up in speed and how fast they can get to the finish line, however all runners will admit to paying attention to their pace. Almost every runner can run faster by cross-training appropriately.

According to Runners's World, "There are three main ways in which supplemental training outside the discipline of running can enhance one's running ability. Specifically, it can:
Enhance a runner's efficiency. Increase a runner's power. Increase the amount of time a runner is able to spend training without accumulating fatigue or getting injured."

# 4 Rejuvenate your Passion- no matter how much you love running, monotony can set in. If you are having an off day and feel like going for a swim because its a beautiful day! Swim! You'll end up being in a better place mentally than a runner with a bad attitude or doing nothing at all!

Taking a day off from running to incorporate a different exercise will help you look more forward to your first love and help you appreciate your sport more than ever. What's that saying you don't know what you've got until its gone? (Sorry squirrel moment!)

So now you know cross training can make you a better runner... What to do?
Three that I have personally found to be very beneficial to runners are cycling, yoga and incorporating strength training into your schedule.

Cycling can be a great active recovery after your long runs, helps you build strength in complimentary leg muscles, leg turnover will increase big time, and your ankles, hips, and knees with thank you!

Yoga offers a full body workout that can greatly increase your overall strength and stamina. Yoga helps loosen and lengthen all the muscles of the body to reverse the muscle tightness caused by running, and to make your body more flexible and stable.

Strength training can help you run faster and more efficiently. Runners with better endurance can run longer. Increasing your strength will help burn more calories and help prevent injury. It doesn't have to take much extra time. Strengthening your leg muscles with squats, lunges, side planks, or step-ups using your own body weight alone can be done at home and doesn't require a gym membership. I may or may not have done wall sits while Facebook stalking!

I encourage and challenge you to incorporate strength training and cross training into your running schedule. You will run faster, longer and stronger and your body will thank you.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Staying Motivated

By: Janell

Let’s be honest, some days are harder to stay motivated than others. I think all of us 901 girls would attest to having days where we have to talk ourselves into getting up and making the choice to get our workout in, make good food choices, etc., and we all can be honest in admitting we have had ‘off’ days. For most of us, our schedules can be so crazy that we have to make it a priority in our daily life to get our work out in. So, when we lack motivation, it makes getting that time in the gym or on the road even harder.

For me, I am in a season of my fitness where I have to find other ways than running to get in my work out. When I first admitted to my leg being injured (I had been in denial about it for a bit), I felt disappointed, frustrated, and angry that I wasn’t able to just run. I had a pity party (or two), but ultimately had to decide to pick myself up knowing that I am still capable of being active. I just have to be a little more creative. I have actually enjoyed changing it up a bit.

One of the ways I think most us stay motivated is by goal setting. This could be very small goals from making a healthy food choice while out to dinner to larger ones like a PR (personal record) or losing 10 pounds. Signing up for races and events or enrolling in a certain class are other ways to set goals. I am always more motivated when I have spent the money to do something! Whatever it is, set a reasonable goal, make a chart, and have someone hold you accountable. However you do it, set yourself up to succeed!

Here are a few tips to help you stay motivated:

1.       Set a goal or prioritize a few goals you have in mind. If your ultimate goal is to run a marathon, start with a 5k and slowly progress to a 10k, half marathon, etc. Give yourself time.
2.       Create new challenges. If you are running, run with a group, a new friend, a new route. Keep it new and fresh so it doesn’t get boring.
3.       Set attainable goals. These are the baby steps to #1. Maybe it is to cut out desserts for a certain time, or to run a little farther than you did last time.
4.       Find your support base. Enlist the help of your family or a friend to support and encourage you and to hold you accountable.
5.       Acknowledge your accomplishments. Reward yourself with a new sweet piece of workout gear you have been wanting or maybe a girl’s night out. Whatever it is, take time to acknowledge the work you have done and be proud of yourself.

So tell me, what are some things you do to stay motivated? How have you overcome a ‘tough season’ in your fitness journey?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Make It Monday: Greek Salad

Do you like to eat out? My family sure does, but that takes it's toll on the budget not to mention the higher caloric count in many prepared dishes. As a result, I try to replicate some of our favorite dishes from local restaurants into a lower calorie and cheaper version that we can eat more often.

For those in the Memphis area, have you had the Greek Salad at Memphis Pizza Cafe?? It is so yummy!

Well, here is my own version of this tasty salad that I pack for lunch frequently. It is simple to make and can be made as a lunch for 1, or dinner for the whole family.

Here's what you will need:
Spinach or Spring Mix
Cherry tomatoes
Feta cheese (any flavor)
Turkey Pepperoni
Peperoncinis (Deli Sliced)
Hendrickson's Sweet Vinegar & Olive Oil dressing*

Note: the dressing is Gluten free

Optional Ingredients:

There you have it, a simple and easy recipe to a tasty salad.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 

Do you have any restaurant inspired recipes that you can share?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fashion Friday: Sweat in This

By: Dana

So as you guys know, on Fridays we like to talk fashion! About a week ago when we were discussing our blog posts for the week, it was warm, beautiful and sunny. The thought was, its getting warmer, lets talk about spring running clothes! Well, if you live in the 901, it's freezing and as I write this there's a chance of winter weather! What??? But knowing Memphis weather, it could be 70 degrees next week! Who really knows with spring weather so I feel sure we will be busting out tanks again soon enough!

As the warmer temps approach we will soon trade in our jackets and long sleeves for tanks and shorts. The most important thing to keep in mind when dressing for warmer weather is that your body temperature rises 20 degrees (not how cute can I look which is a close second!) So while you may start chilly, within a few minutes your body warms up. A perfect running outfit for a spring day is a tank and capris or running pants or my fav: tank, shorts and funky socks!

The girls of the 901 are sweat junkies and we all have our favorite tanks we will be sweating in this spring. 

One of our favorites is the Run Swifty Tank from Lululemon. This tank was designed with an anti-stink and moisture-wicking technology that pulls sweat away from your body. Yes, there is a huge possibility you may stink after a run so thank you Lulu!

Nike also makes a super comfortable and made to move tank called the Racer Tank. It combines the sweat- wicking fabric and mesh to give you that breathability feel which keeps you dry and comfy. The racerback feature gives you that full range of motion when you are giving it all ya got!

Ok so who doesn't love Target? Have you been in the athletic section lately? They are really stepping it up! I found this really fun tank called the Women's Fit and Flare C9 by Champion. Adorable! But it's not just cute, it has that breathable fabric that's key when you're getting your sweat on AND it has a built in bra. Hats off to those of you that can get away with just a built in bra. Ending that convo now!

So I have to include a tank from RufflesWithLove. I am absolutely in love with these tanks! Her description is "Strongly Feminine Workout Shirts Made to Inspire." These lightweight tanks are perfect for when your body heat rises. There are over 100 tanks to chose from with sayings like "Rise Shine and Run" and the 901 girls saying "I Don't Sweat I Sparkle." I'm really teasing... we a girl!
But my personal favorite:

Another tank us girls are excited about is from an up and coming company Brick Betty. Their new line is "feminine yet functional for the female athlete". This Crossback Sports Tank is lightweight, colorful and we love how it combines fashion with function.

At the end of the day, if you have to run 3, 5, 10, or 15 miles, you want your body to be comfortable, dry, and lets face it, you want to feel good about yourself in what you are wearing.

So tell us, what is your go to top for all things sweat?

What will you be sweating in this spring?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday, featuring Start 2 Finish Event Management

Try to imagine the race world without online registration, without timing chips, without road cones, no start line, no finish line, no shirt, no medal, and no posted results.

What you are left with is not a race. It's more like a group of really excited people with no sense of direction or time, possibly running very far in one direction, with more than a handful being shirtless, all   confused at what just happened and how they have nothing to show for it.

As someone who enjoys organization and schedules, that sounds more like a nightmare than anything. But thanks to Start 2 Finish, that nightmare is no reality.

Start 2 Finish is the Mid-South's top race management company. Have you ever heard of a little thing called the Memphis in May Triathlon? Or maybe the Gibson or Stars and Stripes 5Ks? These races have become Mid-South famous, and that kind of renown is nothing to scoff at. 

But what makes those races great and down-right enjoyable has a lot to do with the behind the scenes work that many runners never see. And that's a big part of what Start 2 Finish does when they call themselves a "health-oriented event management company." 

There is much more to Start 2 Finish than just the seen and unseen details that are woven together to produce a successful race. The motivation behind the company is a heart for Memphis and a heart for health. For some, the fact that the Mid-South is consistently one of the unhealthiest parts of the nation is a bragging right, but for Start 2 Finish it's a reason to be. S2F is "dedicated to breaking this dangerous downward spiral" or losing the battle to such killers as obesity and heart disease "by offering health-oriented events throughout the year. " What a life-giving mission and motivation for all of us to learn from!

The 901 girls have already chosen several S2F races to put on our race calendar, but there are many more and quite a variety of events to choose from on the S2f Event Calendar with times, dates, and descriptions listed for each event. As part of the partnership between S2F and GirlsRunthe901, we will proudly be taking part in the 2013 M-Town Race Series, which are "four of the most popular night time running events of the Memphis summer." We also plan to be involved in various ways during the MIM Triathlon weekend.

Check out the race calendar for yourselves and support the home-grown running community that S2F has helped establish. We'd love to run with you, too! Ask us about races you are considering or are unsure about, and be sure to let us know when you're running. We want to support you any way we can.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Guy Runs the 901

Sunday morning we all (minus Jennifer) met at the Germantown Athletic Center to run the Germantown Half Marathon. We had a new member to our sweet man Mark!!

As I had shared with y'all in one of my earlier blogs, I began my journey of running with my husband. We both started with the Couch to 5K and moved to Bridge to 10k and he would always say he was good with that distance and had no desire to run any further. He supported and encouraged me in my training for my first half marathon little over a year ago and then shortly after, my training for my first full marathon (Chicago 2012). He would run with me on parts of my long runs, bring me water and chomps if I called but the whole time he would say I was CRAZY and would NEVER run a half marathon (or further)!!

Shortly after I got home from Chicago he said he was thinking of training to run a half marathon, and of course I said, "Your crazy!", but really I was excited to begin this journey with him!

We began training for the St.Jude 2012 race but we ran into a snag come race day. Mark is a Firefighter/EMT for the city of Memphis and needed to have someone cover part of his shift. Well, that didn't work and I ended up with the flu, so no race that day.

Germantown Half Marathon was our next try. Mark was off work and we prayed I would not get sick. So, after the first of the year we began to train again with the help Hal Higdon's half marathon training app for our phones; that led us to this past Sunday. We took off with the other girls and thousands of other runners. We had a great race, received some encouraging text from our 3 kids, felt good and finish in little over 2 hours !

I am so blessed I have such an awesome guy to be on this journey with and so proud of him!

Who knows maybe we will be training for a full? We are just CRAZY like that!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Low Down on the Dirty Girl

If you want hilarious pictures to show your friends and family that you're not afraid to be covered in who-knows-what, then the Dirty Girl Mud Run is the race for you.
The 901 girls had a great time at the Dirty Girl 5k at Shelby Farms Park over the weekend. We had a chilly 9AM start Saturday morning, wearing only our Wonder Woman costumes, but we had the privilege of running with a great wave of ladies of all levels of race experience and costume design.
After- our tutus fared the worst
The race was fun, no doubt. There was a mixture of 13 obstacles, some muddy, some mulchy, and some wet and some dry. There were mud pits and water tanks, of course, but there were also walls to climb and ropes to traverse.

It was a well organized, well staffed race, with plenty of volunteers. The majority of volunteers and staff we encountered on the race we full of energy and contagious excitement that just made the race that much more fun.

At times along the course things did get slightly dull. There were several loops and turns that really gave the feeling of being on a hamster wheel. By no means is Shelby Farms lacking in room to run, and I am no race manager myself, but as a participant, some of the segments between obstacles were a bit of a yawn.

We definitely lucked out having a supportive husband of a 901 Girl there with kids and a camera. We were slightly disappointed as we did the obstacles that there weren't race photographers around until the end. Talk about priceless photo opportunities of army crawling through a mulch pit or monkey climbing over a rope course. Those are not things I do without proof. I do not go down water slides into mud pits  on a regular basis, so when I do, I'd like a picture.

We loved the race. We had a lot of fun, and running it together only made it that much more enjoyable. Call it team building, if you will.

One little surprise those of us who ran will get to enjoy are the race shirts. I must say, way to go Dirty Girl, on making a shirt that we will actually wear. And for those who partook, the beer was a nice end to a rather tiring 5k.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Make it Monday - Recipes Simplified

Most "two ingredient" recipes mean a box of this and a can of can, which when you think about it, those aren't exactly ingredients.

These recipes, however, truly are simple. Here are three recipes with five ingredients or less. These recipes are a great way to teach cooking to kids and to know exactly what you are eating.

You can start the day off with a smoothie, requiring only five ingredients and many possible variations to please your palate.

This chocolate smoothie is not as naughty as it sounds. You'll need:
1 1/2 cups of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 ripe banana
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1/2 - 1 cup of crushed iced
1 tbsp of cocoa powder

Mix and blend!
Of course, variations can included different flavored protein powder or even a few chocolate covered almonds. Not a bad start to the day if you ask me.

Brace yourselves, because you are not ready for this next recipe. I (Jennifer) made it three times just last week after I came across it. I also used it to teach a handful of my elementary and middle school neighbors about cooking, and, what was for them, new ingredients.

2 ingredient pizza dough
1 cup of greek yogurt + 1 cup of self-rising flour. the end.

Really, it's that easy. For those of you who love crunchy crust, this is not the recipe for you. I have tried cooking it a few different ways, but the crust is soft and like a cloud from heaven any way you cook it. It also does not rise much at all, so keep in mind that however thick you press/roll it out, that's going to be your crust. And please, do yourself a favor and do NOT buy the greek yogurt with 30g of sugar. The brands with less than 10g sugar and fat ( Fage or Greek Gods) taste just fine.

To end the day on an even better note than chocolate smoothies and pizza, leaves only one thing- cookies. Again, two ingredients, plus some that I didn't count.

2 bananas + 1 cup of quick oats. finito.
But I added some chocolate chips, cinnamon, and Craisins, because I have a disease that requires me to put chocolate into anything.
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Obviously bananas are magical, because they can be made into cookies, smoothies, chips, bread, and probably building materials and clothing, too. Don't underestimate the power of a banana. (Unless you are allergic to bananas, then overestimate their power and save a life. But even then, bananas have the ability to kill, maybe).

Enjoy these simple recipes and don't be afraid to experiment with your own versions.

recipes found at and Memphis Health + Fitness Magazine Feb. 2013 issue

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Post Race Blues

By: Stacey
“It’s time … after 125 days and 565 miles of training it’s time for the final 26.2! Thanks for all the early morning runs, mid-day runs, late afternoon and one late night run! One last long run …” That was my Facebook post to Dana before our first marathon together. I was so excited, a bit nervous – but we were ready. It was a great run on a beautiful day.  We crossed the finish line and reached our goal. So why after the run was I so sad? Why after the next marathon was I so sad? And the next? And so on.
It’s been eleven days since the Little Rock Marathon and I have post-race blues again. Why? I had a great run, we laughed, we talked, we were relaxed and just had fun. I got the big bling. Why the let down? I asked the girls if they felt that way and most of them did not relate to my post-race sadness … I even got a strange look or two.  So, I googled it and found I am not crazy and other runners have it too!
It is a feeling that is common after any big goal is reached and then passed. It is not based on race performance – good or bad. It is normal after so much time and energy has been put into achieving a goal or reaching a dream. When training for any major event whether it’s a marathon, half-marathon, or your first 5k, you have spent months focusing on that on that one goal.  Most decisions you have made over the past 18-weeks have been focused around training – what to eat, when to sleep, how far to run, should I cross train, etc. Now it’s over. The goal is reached. What do you do now?
Some suggest taking some time to enjoy the areas of your life you had given up for training. Eat some thing you gave up, sleep through what would have been a long run, spend time with friends and family, take a trip, try a different workout, etc. As for me … I am looking for my next race.

What about you, do you get post-race blues? What do you look forward to after a race?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Memphis Health and Fitness Magazine

Girls Run the 901 are extremely humbled and grateful to be a small part of a great resource in the Memphis area. Memphis Health and Fitness magazine is an amazing magazine produced in Memphis that features health, fitness and nutrition articles for mid-southerners looking for a healthy lifestyle. It is available, free, at most local grocery stores, gyms and coffee shops. They have a complete list of upcoming events in every issue. Our desire is to encourage people to get moving, no matter what the avenue is, and Memphis Health and Fitness is the perfect resource to get ideas for that. Thank you, Memphis Health and Fitness for letting us be a small part of what you are doing in the Memphis area!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Vacations and Running, Do they mix?

Do you run when you go on vacation? What about a business trip?

If I am on a training plan (like for a 1/2 or full marathon) I find a way to get my runs in while not in town. It make take a shuffle to your schedule, like utilizing that Hotel treadmill, but it can be done.

Recently I was on a family vacation at Disney World, and my next race was only 2 weeks away so running clothes were packed with the hopes to fit in a run or hopefully 2 while I was there.

Well...without realizing it, the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon was happening while we were there, I just about died when I found out. According to a poll from a recent post, this is on 90% of people's bucket list! How could I be there at the same time and not race?!?  (Not to mention missing the expo, oohh how I love an expo!!!!)

Well, my husband is just amazing and knows how much I have come to love running over the past 18 months, and...well... he surprised me with an entry!!! I could write for days on how amazing he is, and how supportive he has been!! There will be more posts to follow on how all of our hubs (and hubs-to-be) are amazing.

So let's be truthful, a Disney Run is unique, in that in most cases it is all about dressing up and having fun with your girlfriends versus achieving that personal record time. But even if you are running by yourself, you can surely have fun.

Pictures are a must! (Well, not really, but a Disney race is all about the experience.) This is where you have to decide to leave your time aspirations behind and just allow yourself to have fun with it. Along the course there are Disney characters available for pictures every 1/2 mile, and the wait for these pictures can be 20 minutes or longer depending on the character.

Honestly, I had a hard time mentally stopping to take pictures, so I took pictures of other people taking pictures. But after a while, I realized that some of those pictures are memories that will last a lifetime, so I lined up and...
But I am sure you don't want to see pictures just of me, so here are some of the good, the bad and the funny that I saw along those 13.1 miles:

Cinderella, Prince and a cute Rapunzel

Check out those boots!!

Men wear tutus too!!
and princess costumes, they were so much fun to run with!!
So tell me, would you stop to take pictures? 
Do you run when you take a vacation?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Make it Monday: Turkey Sausage Zucchini Boats

This is one of my favorite family meals. I love recipes that are easy, have just a few ingredients, my family will eat, and are healthy! For us, this one has all of those. Enjoy! 

Turkey Sausage Zucchini Boats

3 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise
1 1/4 c marinara sauce
(1 tsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp minced garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper)
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 c diced red bell pepper
14 oz smoked turkey sausage, finely diced
1/2 c part skim mozzarella

Scoop out zucchini guts (yeah, that's right!), leave 1/4 " thin shell. Chop 'guts'; set aside. Add zucchini shells to pot of boiling water; cook 1 min. Remove and drain. In a large baking dish, spread 1/4 c marinara sauce in the bottom. Place zucchini in dish cut side up. Brown sausage; set aside. Saute garlic, onion & bell pepper in oil 2-3 min. Add chopped zucchini 'guts', salt, pepper; cook 2-3 min. Stir in sausage. Divide filing evenly into each zucchini. Top w remaining sauce & mozzarella. 
Cover with foil; bake 35 min @ 400.

Serve and enjoy!

*recipe from eMeals plans.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Fashion Friday: Fabulous Find & HB Tune Giveaway

For this Fashion Friday, we want to share one of our absolute favorite pieces of gear...the HB Tune Phone/iPod holder.

We first discovered this awesome gear at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon Expo. Dawn, Dana and Stacey each bought one of these holders and now won't go on a run without it. HB Tune is a uniquely designed handband that allows you to securely hold your iPod, iPhone or Smartphone firmly in your hand while you run.  It allows you to have full control of the touchscreen to text, change music playlists and keep up with your running apps.

While some people prefer to run free, aka no phone, these girls do not. Our significant others prefer we run with the added safety of having our phones so this product helps us carry our phones in a comfortable manner. The holder comes in different sizes to accommodate different models of phones and cases.  

We contacted the company a few weeks ago to tell them how much we loved their product, and after talking with them we found an opportunity to partner together at the Little Rock Marathon Expo. Since we were running the race and they had a booth at the expo, they asked us to help out in their booth selling the product that we love. Talk about a win, win situation.  We hope to work many more expos for this awesome company!!
If you want to order your own, head over to HB Tune and select from the 3 different sizes offered, and you will soon understand our love for this product.

Well guess what, we have 2 of the iPhone size cases to give away, that's right!! We are so excited about this.  To win one of these handy dandy holders answer the following question:

What has been your best find at an expo, running store, etc?

This contest ends midnight on 3/14 so enter soon and tell all your friends. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Marathon Memories

Throughout this journey we call running, all of us have learned so much about ourselves and each other. With every race eyes are opened to new and exiting things from how to sleep in one room with 6 girls and one bathroom to how we cope with race nerves, to who snores or who has quirky eating habits. But more importantly we are learning about character, what shapes us, how to be better runners, and most importantly,how to encourage and support each other!

All of us will take something different away from this race. We wanted to share our thoughts and marathon memories with you:

"This race felt really good. I had a great time, literally and figuratively. I ran ahead with Debi, telling her I made no promises to stay ahead with her. I have learned that I simply have to run with someone, so I figured why not see how it feels for a bit to keep a good pace. I remember mile 3, 6, 8, and 10 going by with me saying, "I'm scared to say this, but this feels so good. I'm really enjoying this." When Debi and I parted at mile 10, it was all on me. I knew in my head I could run hard 3 more miles. Finishing feeling good about my own effort was an encouraging moment for me. I was actually proud of myself, and it made all the difference for my own attitude as a runner. That feeling of accomplishment and being proud of how I had "performed" was something I hadn't experienced before, and I hope to never forget it. In the end, I lucked out in having a good running day, because I understand training well for a race, and come race day, just not feeling it."

"I have been rebounding from an injury while training to do the full, and up until race day I still debated in my mind if I should be safe, back down, and run the half, or push it and go for the full and risk re-injuring myself. I decided after the 1st mile that I was going to do the half, but this race I was going for a PR (set a personal record). I have never gone into a race with that mindset. I usually run with whomever and enjoy the ride. This race was about seeing what I was capable of doing. When Jennifer ran ahead with me, I was beyond thrilled!! We had a great race and when we parted at mile 10, I was overjoyed knowing that we were both on our way to a PR. The last 3 miles were a struggle as my muscles were cramping pretty bad, but pushed through and enjoyed some antics with fellow racers. As I crossed that finish line, all I could think was that I had to find Jennifer, once I saw her face I knew it, we both accomplished our goal!!"

"I loved the entire theme of the race and how everything tied together with it! For me, I so enjoyed getting to take it all in, take pictures and enjoy the run with Dawn. Great fun and great memories. It's really the first run we have done that since the blog launched so that made it special for me too."

" I guess I would have to say that I'm glad I ran the half even though I really wanted to run another full. I listened to my body and didn't over do it. I enjoyed every step of the way, ran when I wanted and walked when I needed too. Enjoyed myself and felt good when done. Enjoyed my weekend with my girls! Bottom line... I listened to my body and so glad I did!"

"Weeks before this race we decided that this run would be all about having fun, staying relaxed, injury free and the bling! But, the night before and the morning of I was a nervous wreck and full of self doubt. I had to put my big girls on, give myself a pep talk and remember all the encouraging words I've been so blessed by. Once the race started and we got going I became more relaxed than I've ever been. I remembered why I was out there: to have fun! I danced, hula hooped, stole a bike, got arrested, met some new friends and ran 26.2 miles. It was the most fun and I felt great the entire time!"

"Like Dana said, we had decided weeks ago that this one was just for fun and all about the bling! And that's exactly what it was! Of course, I still had my pre-race jitters but once we got going its the most relaxed race we have ever run. We didn't think about time - we talked most of the 26 miles, we stopped to capture moments, paid more attention to the people and places we passed by, took our picture with the governor and even one with a stranger in front of the capitol (not sure why - he just asked if he could!). We made new friends - Anna and Charles (also from the 901), the pacers we kept seeing along the way, laughed at the wall on mile 23, we ate oranges and pretzels, and cheered for silent spectators along the way. It really was the most fun Dana and I have had for 26.2 miles. And we have a really big medal to prove it."

Thank you for being a part of this journey with us!

We would love to hear about your some of your favorite race memories!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Little Rock Marathon 2013 race review

The 901 Girls headed to Little Rock this past weekend to run The Little Rock Marathon! We worked the expo (we will tell you more about that Friday) and had a blast together preparing to race! We had an interesting night of sleep the night before (deflated air mattress and all) and combined with the frigid temps we were all moving slow Sunday morning. But of course, once the race got started we were pumped and ready to RUN!! The crowd was great, the sun was shining, and nothing but miles of pavement ahead!

Debi and Jennifer headed off to conquer a new PR and Dana and Stacey were off towards the full to get the BIG medal.  Janell and Dawn got in a good pace from the beginning and hung out there and enjoyed the run.  

The first 1/2 was mostly Downtown little Rock and the sights were beautiful and the bands were great! 

Very tempting!

One of the many live bands!

Crossing the bridge-beautiful views!

We even passed the Arkansas Governor's Mansion and got a picture with Governor Mike Beebe!

Here was the split, where the half marathoners headed home and the marathoners pushed through half way!

As we were rounding towards the finish line we received our lip gloss so we would be looking our best as we crossed the finish line...and we did! 

We found Debi and Jennifer and celebrated our finish with hugs and some post race food! All that was left was to wait for the marathon girls!!

The second half of the marathon was no joke! The race description spoke the truth. There were a number of large hills at miles 14, 15, and 24-right when you are ready to call it a day!

The course was full of spectators, the band from Little Rock Central, hula hoopers (Dana may or may not have stopped to do that) and belly dancers to keep us entertained! The folks were so sweet in Little Rock they even had signs out to cheer us on!

At mile 21 there sat "The Wall!"
We said "Wall? What wall?" This was the only wall we were hitting that day. We signed the wall from GRT901 that will be displayed at the expo next year.

Well at mile 23 we decided it may be more fun to swipe a bike to finish this thing out!

They, however, did not think I was funny!

As you can see we were having a blast while taking on 26 point freaking two! We were having so much fun on the last stretch we somehow missed the lipstick station to get prettied up!

Nevertheless we took it on in and crossed the finish line!

The Little Rock Marathon was a great experience for all of us! Lots of goals were accomplished, memories made, tons of laughs, personal records and of course, the BLING! 

We highly recommend it!!