Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dream with Me for a Moment

By: Stacey

Someone once asked me "What would your dream marathon be like?" I have thought about it, brainstormed about it, and even dreamed about it. After running a number of race both in the 901 and beyond it's fun to dream about what I would want if I were to create a race. 

Here are some of the things I would want in my dream marathon ...

1. Being a night owl and a Christmas fan, I would love to run in a night marathon at Christmas time. A couple of years ago we made our own night race on 11-11-11 at 11:11 p.m. for my sister's birthday and it was so much fun at night.  It's a different feel, I can't explain but just quiet and laid back.

2. I would want all 26.2 miles to be lined with Christmas lights and spectators to b very Merry! Yes, ALL 26.2 miles! I'd want the route to be lit up on GoogleMaps and heard for miles!

3. Since we have set the stage for a Christmas race, I'd love for it to be in NYC. Central
Park outlined in lights combined with the lights of Broadway, Time Square, and the store windows down 5th Avenue.

4. I want snow flakes falling (it's a dream so it could still be the perfect run temp of about 50 degrees and snow!)! I've run in the rain and the heat but never in real soft snowflakes (snow in the 901 does not count ... it's either slushy or little ice pellets).

5. Did I mention my dream course would be 26.2 miles of FLAT course? No inclines...anywhere.

6. I'd have Christmas music at every mile because it is truly the Most Wonderful Time of Year!

7. Of course, my dream marathon would have the best medal ever!! I think it should be 26.2 inches in diameter and have a Christmas tree on it.

8. To go with the medal there would be awesome race gear! Everyone would get a race t-shirt with an awesome design. You know what? Let's go with an all girl race just so we can have a cute t-shirt and not worry about being gender neutral!!

9. Everyone would finish and there would be a cool NIKE pullover with the word FINISHER on it and thumbholes, of course! And we wouldn't run out!

10. In my dream race there would be NO WALL.

11. I almost forgot, at every water station there would be candy, candy corn, candy canes, and syrup!


The list could go on and on. Maybe someday the Girls Run the 901 will get the opportunity to create a dream marathon! 

We want to know, what would you want in your dream marathon?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Make it Monday-This ain't your momma's fried Okra!

When you grow up in the South, you grow up on some good Southern food: cornbread, black eyed peas, turnip greens, and okra, just to name a few. Well, growing up in the North there is none of that "ugly" food, as I would have referred to it. It has taken many years and lots if persuading by my husband and his family to try these foods, and they are still trying! The only thing they have managed to get me to enjoy is my mother in law's fried okra, which has become my favorite.  With this in mind, I wanted to find a healthier alternative to a summer Southern favorite, so when I came across this recipe on cookinglight.com, I had to try it! It isn't the same as my mother-in-law's, but it was good. And I like the fact that it was on the lighter/healthier side!  Let me know what y'all think.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal 
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, decided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of ground red pepper (for a little kick)
1/2 cup fat-free buttermilk 
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 pound fresh okra, trimmed, cut in 3/4 inch slices
Cooking spray 

Preheat oven to 450
Combine: cornmeal, 1/2 teaspoon of salt , pepper and red pepper in shallow bow; set to side
Combine: buttermilk and egg in a large bowl, stir with a whisk.
Add okra, toss and coat. Let stand 3 minutes.
Dredge okra in the cornmeal mixture.
Place okra on a jelly-roll pan (any shallow backing pan) coated in cooking spray.
Lightly coat okra with cooking spray.
Bake at 450 for 40 min, stirring once.
Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
Serving size: 8 (1/2 cups)

Enjoy!



Friday, July 26, 2013

Fashion Friday: RunninGluv

'It's a towel. It's a tissue. It solves the issue!' How cute is that?

We are teaming up the brilliant minds behind the RunninGluv to bring you their first ever product review.  RunninGluv is a versatile sweat towel and tissue in one that is a attached to a fingerless gluv to 'catch what runs'. It is created to be a simple, fun and functional accessory to your workout attire. The name is inspired by the love of running as well as the gluv. She is also a local designer and manufacturer and we love to 'shop local'.

Here is what we have to say about this super practical product:



I have been running the past year with a wash rag on my summer runs, to keep the perspiration out of my eyes, so the first chance to try this super stylish terry cloth rag, I was all over it! It was great, and with the hand/wrist strap, it kept my hand free! Looking forward to many more runs with my runningGluv!- Dawn

I love the super cute design that I got, the hot pink with zebra stripes. It is very convenient and will come in handy for runny noses during the winter as well!-Janell

It's my new must have for hot weather runs. I can't believe how much it cools me off to wipe the sweat from my face. -Stacey

The band material is quite comfortable, and the cloth is something that I would use anyway. It's a great way to run with a towel without having to hold on to something or worry about it slipping out of the waistline of your shorts. - Jennifer 

It's like arm candy for runners! It was perfect for a morning run in the rain, a hot run for wiping sweat and took the place of a sweat towel in spin class. I didn't have to use the gyms towels. Awesome! -Dana

Being able to wipe my face while out for a run is so refreshing. I love that it does not require me to physically "hold it" since I am already carrying water, etc. -Debi


Now that we have had the opportunity to try out this fantastic product, we want to share it with you! This amazing company is offering one of our reader's a runninGluv of their choice. Enter below for your chance to win. The contest is open until midnight CST on Sunday 7/28, and announced on Monday 7/29. Good luck and happy running!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Places to Run in the 901


Recently, we partnered with Choose 901 to bring you some ideas of great places to run in the Memphis
area.

Girls Run the 901 couldn't be more supportive of one of Choose 901's missions: to share Memphis with others and to show them that this is an amazing city in which to invest and enjoy their life. Memphis is an unexpected gem when it comes to places and spaces for outdoor activities. I have been running in Memphis for years and am still finding new treasures of trails and neighborhoods to run through that showcase the city’s beauty and history as well as it’s future.

As far as beauty goes, the “biggies” such as Shelby Farms Park and Overton Park are like a faithful friend when it comes to paths or trails for any type of runner. Shelby Farms itself is the beginning of the ever-growing 6.5 mile paved path known as the Greenline, which begins at the park and currently goes to Tillman. This path is a great option for families, bikers, and runners alike. Shelby Farms also has miles of and cross country courses  and unpaved running trails, known as the Greenway, that extend all the way into Germantown. Overton Park as well is home to paved and unpaved trails that weave through the Midtown area. Although this park is smaller in size than Shelby Farms, the winding trails of Overton Park make it just as easy to run directly into a calmer, fresher outdoor experience that city running just can’t offer.

As Memphis’ bike lanes have expanded so have safer options for running the streets of the city. One of the best ways to tour this city is on foot, and the bike lanes of the burgeoning Overton Park, Madison Avenue, and Cooper Young area provide a really friendly, Memphis feel. There are also endless amounts of rest-stops and post-run refueling locations in this area, Boscos, Chiwawa, Young Ave Deli, and Memphis Pizza CafĂ©, just to name a few.

And then of course, there’s Downtown Memphis. If endless sidewalks are your dream, then look no further than Riverside Drive. Sunrise and sunset are exceptional times to take a run along the riverwalk or bluffwalk that showcase Memphis’s natural beauty alongside the Mighty Mississippi. Personally, one of my newest finds is the parallel trail and walkway that outline Harbor Town. I run here when I want to feel like I’m fancy or on vacation at the beach.

Some of our Collierville girls love the Collierville Greenbelt as well. With over 18 miles of connectors and trails winding through Wolf River and beautiful Collierville neighborhoods, these tree lined paths provide great shade for summer runs!

If you’re not yet ready to brave a new route on your own, Breakaway Running has weekly runs downtown, trail runs along the Wolf River, and street runs through Midtown.

So get out there, enjoy Memphis choose one of these amazing trails and enjoy!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mighty Mite Adventure

By: Debi

This past weekend Janell, Debi and two exceptional women (Katie and Amanda) traveled to Forrest City, Arkansas to compete in the 30th Annual Mighty Mite Triathlon. Adventure is the perfect way to describe this trip. It was a trip full of fun and laughter!

The Mighty Mite Triathlon constitutes 1/3 mile swim, 13 mile bike, and 3 mile run. Since it was a point to point race (both of the transitions and racing legs were at different locations) it required a little extra planning so we decided to book a hotel and give ourselves some extra sleep time before the race.



First stop of the day was packet pick up, transition 2 drop off and body marking.This was just one of many funny events of the day.

Mess up, scribble and circle it?
Next, we went to the swim location and set up the bike transition and get ready to race. Again, this was a day of patience and planning as Amanda got a flat, but luckily it was repaired quickly by some very kind racers.

Janell and I (Debi) then proceeded to walk down to the water to get acclimated and see the course. And this is where I lost it! Seeing the actual swim course, and realizing the distance was overwhelming. Tears flowed out of control, and fear rolled in. How can I do this? I've never swam that far! What do I do when I loose my breathe? Many dear friends tried to calm me down and encourage me, and for each of you I am so very thankful. Thoughts raced through my head and most were to quit right then; why try for something you know you cannot complete?

I didn't know what to do next, so I just lined up with everyone still unsure if I would start. And then it came time to jump in and I did it not knowing what would happen. I realized I was in trouble before crossing the first buoy, and swam to a nearby lifeboat. I thought I was done, disqualified! They were so supportive and said I could hold on to catch my breathe as long as needed and continue...I had hope!! So I continued on and struggled, I stopped at another lifeboat, and realized some swimmers were doing the same. This was ok! A special friend then called out some words of encouragement as she passed and that did it for me, I was finishing. It was tough, but whenever it got hard, I just rolled on my back, slowed down my heart rate and kicked.



The rest of the race was great, the bike portion had rolling hills and beautiful scenery. As for the run, so many people were out to cheer racers on, and they had their sprinklers and hoses on ready to spray us down with water if needed. With the run taking place in the heat of the day it was so refreshing. The finish line was a tease where it looks like it is right in front of you, but oh no, you have to run 4 more blocks till you get to cross that bad boy and enjoy some fluids and fresh Arkansas peaches.



New to the race this year, were finisher medals for all participants to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the race. It was a nice surprise and think they turned out great.


As always, Start 2 Finish did an amazing job planning the race as well as on course support. All of their staff are always eager to help and not afraid of the hard work it takes to put on a race of this magnitude.

Something that was really special about this day, was that each of the 4 of us came out there with a different goal that we had met by the end of the day. As for any race, it takes a lot to mentally prepare yourself to plan for, remain in the moment and then to complete. Our good friend Amanda completed her first race post baby (7 weeks out I might add) while my goal was simply to complete it which I proudly did! Janell and Katie had a great race experience as well! It was a great day for everyone and as always so much more fun when you are all reaching your goals with some great friends.

Finally, we want to commend everyone that raced, way to go! We saw and experienced a level of camaraderie of epic proportion. Everyone was so supportive. Even as the final racer was coming in, everyone cheered them on as they crossed the finish line.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Make it Monday: Grilled Banana French Toast

Breakfast is absolutely one of my families favorite meals. We don't just eat breakfast for breakfast either! Having breakfast for dinner is a perfect way to change up that dinner routine, especially when you feel like you cook the same things over and over! (We call it "brinner" at  my house) Here is one of my favorite breakfast for dinner meals.

Ingredients: 
4 slices of Ezekiel bread 
2 eggs and 2 egg whites 
1/4 cup of skim milk
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract 
2 medium bananas halved and sliced lengthwise 
1 tsp of flax seed
cinnamon to taste

Directions;
Whisk eggs, egg whites, cinnamon, skim milk and vanilla

Submerge bread slices into egg mixture and place on grill or pan.
Cook 3-5 minutes on each side or until desired crispness is reached.

Place sliced bananas on grill and cook for 1-2 minutes per side. 

Top French toast with bananas slices and sprinkle with flax seed. If you would like  additional toppings try honey, melted almond butter, natural peanut butter, or Walden Farms calorie free syrup. 


What are some of your favorite  "brinner" meals?


Friday, July 19, 2013

Fashion Friday: Fellow Flowers new Tees & Tanks

This Fashion Friday we want to share with you some ridiculously cute new items that Fellow Flowers has out for summer. You have got to check these out!


The Orange BABE Tank 
(just love the color of this one!)

The Awesome Mommy Running Tank
(the name says it all!)

The Marching On Tee 
(it is all about putting one foot in front of the other)

Girls Blossom Tee
(how sweet!)


3.1 "I Got This" Tee
For those of you doing the Women's Walk/Run Memphis, this tee is for you!!



26.2 "I Got This" Tee

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Top 10 Reasons to Register for Breakaway Bardog 5k

The fourth annual Breakaway Bardog 5k on August 18th is not only a great opportunity to walk or run a race through historic Downtown Memphis and a chance to enjoy the best race after party, but it is also a fantastic way to give back to an organization so close to our homes and hearts, the St. Jude Research Hospital of Memphis.

Here are the top 10 reasons to register for the Breakaway Bardog 5k as voted by you all.

10. Super Fast Course

The Breakaway Bardog 5k course is notorious for runners setting Personal Records (PRs). The race starts in downtown Memphis in front of Bardog Tavern and takes you through some of Memphis' most recognized places, such as Beale Street, the South Main Historic District, and the Mighty Mississippi herself. New this year is chip race timing by the Memphis Runners Track Club.

9.  Meatball Eating Contest 

Photo Credit: Paul Ryburn
As part of Bardog's Anniversary party, Aldo hosts the annual meatball eating contest, more formally know as the "I Busted Grandma's Balls" meatball eating contest. Contestants are given a t-shirt to get down and dirty. There are great prizes to be awarded and for those spectating, you are guaranteed to have some good entertainment! 


8.  Raffle

We have tons of great goodies lined up for our 2013 Raffle. Let us remind you that all proceeds from the race and after party benefit St. Jude. We have tons of great sponsors who have donated awesome giveaways like a free pair of running shoes from Breakaway Running via our sponsor Brooks Running, gift cards from other great restaurants in downtown Memphis, tons of swag from the Memphis Grizzlies, Autozone Park, Fat Tire Bike, New Balance, St. Jude, and the list is continuously growing. 



7.  Awesome Light-Weight Shirt

Let's face it! It's hot in Memphis and the least amount of clothes, as appropriate, the better. When you register for the Breakaway-Bardog 5k you also get an awesome lightweight t-shirt. We also have a new color for the shirts this year, which we'll announce soon! Hint - the color will go great with the awards (see below). 


6.  Live Music - Great Bands
It's not a party without great music! We have several artists lined up for the Breakaway Bardog 5k after party and Bardog Anniversary celebration. As we get closer to the big day we'll announce the full list! So stay tuned! :) 

5. Dunk Tank

It's all fun and games until someone goes down. Then it's even more fun! We have a long list of targets already committed to going in the tank so you better start practicing your aim now! 

4. Free Beer

Run. Pant. Drink. One of the great things about this race, and there are many, is that a bar is one of the cool folks putting it on! That means lots of beer sponsors and refreshment options to quench your post race thirsts! This year it's getting even better too! More beer lines AND for the runners who want to keep celebrating after 11:30, you can pay a minimum $20 donation to keep the beer coming! 

*Wristbands will be given to all participants of age to drink. You must present your identification in order to drink beer. 



3. Unique Awards

We have gotten many compliments and praises on the dog tag awards. They are unique and you can carry around your pride wherever you go! This year we are upgrading the dog tags to bottle opener dog tags! As soon as the awards became available the committee was on it! You have one month to train to get one of these. They are awarded to the top three finishers in each age group for both male and female, as well as overall male and female and overall wheelchair.


2. Mouthwatering Food

The Breakaway Bardog 5k has an array of food options after the race. Not just oranges and bananas and sugar cookies – real food and Bardog Tavern food at that. From sliders and barbecue sandwiches with the fixings, to vegetable kabobs, veggie sliders, fruit, and more... you won't be disappointed. And you already heard about the meatball-eating contest (# 9).   

1. Benefiting St. Jude

It's for the kids. Everything from running the race to the meatball eating contest, raffle, dunk tank, and donations, it ALL goes to St. Jude. It costs over $1.8 million dollars to operate St. Jude in a given day. All money and proceeds from the race and after party will go towards helping the doctors, researches, patients and families. Last year we donated $25,000 to this wonderful cause and it is our goal to reach that again this year and more! Run for a cause and have a blast too! 



Convinced? Because you should be. Registration for all of the great things listed above is only $30. To register you, your friends, family and coworkers, click on the shiny register button below or just click here! We appreciate all the support, donations and word of mouth marketing we can get. 




















Additional Information

Who: Open to all participants for $30 before race day and $35 on race day. We do welcome wheelchairs (early start), as well as strollers and pets (please see website for full instructions or contact race direct at jessgrammer@gmail.com for your questions and concerns… and praises J 
What: 4th Annual Breakaway Bardog 5k benefiting St. Jude
When: August 18, 9-11:30 a.m. Anniversary party starts at 12-5pm.
Where: Bardog Tavern, 73 Monroe Avenue
Why: We just gave you the reasons and we’re sure you can come up with your own!

Learn more at www.breakaway-bardog5k.com

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

One Woman's Story: Women Run Walk Memphis


By: Dana

Last night as we began our second training run for Women Run Walk Memphis, I looked around at the women in our group wondering why are these women here? As a coach of this amazing group, the most important job I have is to motivate the runners and keep them moving towards the finish. We aren't into the fundamentals or the effort sessions yet, right now we are running together and getting to know our runners.


I have already met some incredible ladies, but tonight as we set out for our run, I found myself next to a runner I had not meet before. Her story truly inspired me.


We started talking causally, but quickly she started sharing her "why" for being there. She and her husband have set out on a weight loss journey, and together they have lost over 100 pounds! Her husband is now a marathon runner and although she has completed a marathon, she doesn't consider herself a runner. Her words were, "Yes, I finished, but I walked a lot. I rested a lot, but I still didn't feel like a runner." She said then she was only out there to support her husband, but now she wants it for herself. Three and a half miles later we were coming to the end, and she looked at me and said, "I can do this, can't I?" Before I could respond she thanked me for the encouragement and for sticking with her. Honestly, I did not say much to her last night. I reminded her that running isn't about your pace or the distance, it's that you are putting one foot in front of the other no matter how hard it is. Just being there and listening is all she needed from me at the moment.

This is just one of many stories I hope to be able to share with you. Setting out on this adventure with these ladies, my hope was to encourage and help them meet their goals. I was quickly reminded that I too would be encouraged by these brave women setting out to do what they consider the impossible.

Their stories, their reasons, there's a whole world of stories of "why I run".  I'm so honored to be able to share in their journey with them.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Make it Monday: Spinach Turkey Penne Pasta

Are you looking for a healthier spin to your pasta craving? Do you want to add spinach into your recipe and not sure how? This pasta dish is only 370 calories per serving.



Ingredients
  • 1 package whole grain penne pasta
  • 1 lb turkey Italian sausage, (peeled from outer covering)
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon pesto
  • 2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 oz feta cheese, crumbled 
  • 1/4 cup mozerella cheese

Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage, onion, and garlic for 10 minutes, until brown.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the tomatoes (with juice) and cook for 20 minutes. 
  4. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, and pour into a 2-quart baking dish. Remove from the heat. Add pesto.
  5. Transfer the sausage and tomato mixture to the baking dish. Stir in the spinach and feta cheese. Top with the mozzarella.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the cheese starts to bubble.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fashion Friday with Laura from Walking in Memphis in High Heels

Running Wish List



Hi, I'm Laura from Walking in Memphis in High Heels.  I was so excited when Girls Run the 901 reached out to me to share some of my favorite summer running fashions.  I started blogging 7 months ago to share my love of fashion and fitness.  Though I mainly blog about fashion, I also blog a little about my day to day life including some fitness such as running and cycling.  I have been running since I ran track back in middle school, but then when I got older, I just stopped.  It wasn't until about 7 years ago that I picked it up again to run a 5K with my husband in Harbor Town.  In school running was required to remain on the  track team, or it was punishment in cheerleading and other sports.  Now, running is nothing like that to me.  It is my escape and my personal me time.  It's how I unwind.  I mainly only run outdoors because I love to watch the scenery, listen to my music and feel the pavement beneath my shoes.  I don't have to explain this to you because I know every one of you know exactly what I'm talking about.  Sometimes it's hard to force myself to get out there and run, but once I do, I'm so happy I did.    


Today I wanted to share with you some of my favorite running fashions.  Some of these items I already have, and some are still on my wishlist.  

I have about 5 of these sports bras, and they are the only ones I have ever worn that actually hold me in place and work for me without having to double up on sports bras (yes, some people do that.)  And what is better than a sports bra in a bright neon yellow?! 


 This Shopping is My Cardio tee has been on my list for a while now.  It would be perfect to throw on for yoga, running, lounging or even pair it with a skirt and wedges for a night out.  It can easily be dressed up or down!  A neon pink tank top, enough said.  = )  


I know I must be one of the only people who don't own any Lululemon.  I have been wanting to try some of their pieces for a while, but haven't talked myself into spending the money yet.  I just recently bought a running skirt to see what all the hype was about, and I am completely sold on them now.  I can assure you I was very set in my ways and happy with my running shorts, but if you haven't tried the running skirts yet, definitely give them a try as they are really comfortable (and cute!) 


You definitely won't blend in with the pavement in these floral shorts.  They are another item that can be worn to run or workout in, and then you can pair it with a cute tee and some sandals for night. 


 I have about 10 pairs of Nike Tempo shorts, but what I don't have is any with my initals monogrammed on them.  Little did I know this was something I needed.  I'm from the south, monogram everything.  = )  


 New Balance Minimus shoes are some of my favorites, and I love this new design.  They always make such fun, vibrant colors, and they are incredibly lightweight!  


I have a couple pairs of these bike shorts, but none with polka dots.  The brighter, the better.  These shorts are great for running, cycling, pilates, basically any kind of working out.  


And last but certainly not least, now that I have a shorter summer haircut, I'm thinking I need a cute hat to wear while running to keep my hair out of the way and the sun off my face.  Once again, you can't go wrong with a monogram.  = )


Thank you so much for reading, and I would love for you to stop by Walking in Memphis in High Heels and say hello if you get a chance.  You can also find more pictures of my fitness and fashion finds on Instagram.  

Do you have any of these items on my list?  Would you wear them?  Which are your favorite?