Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I am thankful for my running partner!

By: Dana 

These days I have much to be thankful for and so many people to thank, but since this blog is about "all things running!", I better stick to that. 

First, I am going to echo what Dawn said in yesterday's post. I am so thankful for my 901 girls and their support and encouragement through my surgery and now my recovery. I've got a long road ahead of me, but I know they will be with me every step of the way. Also, I am so thankful for the running community. The encouragement and well wishes I have gotten has been truly overwhelming. New friendships I've formed, stronger friendships been made, strangers praying for me. Thankful, yes I am! Because of all of you, I don't feel so out of the running loop these days. 

However, there is one 901 girl in particular, that is responsible for the marathon bug that I caught! She has literally been with me every step of the way. When I started running, I told Stacey I wanted to run a half marathon, she said "ok, lets do it." We ran the St. Jude Marathon that December and that was only the beginning for me. I was hooked and as soon as we crossed the finish line, I said what's next! Ok, maybe not as soon as I crossed the finish line, I was a newbie and dying, but soon after that.

St Jude 2010 (my first half)
Since then we have run 6 halfs, 4 marathons and hundreds and hundreds of training miles together. Only one distance race have I not crossed the finish line with her. I was going after a PR and with her encouragement, I pushed myself to get there. I got my PR, yes, but it was not worth finishing without her. She doesn't believe me, it really is true. We've held hands crossing every finish line except that one, and all because of my competitiveness. She has proven to me she would never leave me behind, and I didn't do the same for her.

Last year at the St. Jude marathon, I just didn't have it. I had just done the Bourbon Chase, Chicago full and my body was just tired. At mile 21, I begged her to go on without me. I cried, I cussed, I really wanted her to go on. But, she wouldn't, at one point she sat down on the curb. Once we hit that point, we just cut up and laughed the rest of the time. We may or may not have tried a shot of beer to see if that would fuel me, whatever it took, she wasn't leaving me. We finally made it to the finish line and I have her to thank. I could not have gotten there without her!

Even now she walks with me and reminds me that I will be back at it soon and we will then start planning my next race. During her long runs now I text her to keep going and to "move your booty!" I only wish I could be there for her the way she has for me. My sweet running partner has even joked about pushing me in a stroller at St.Jude. Crazy thing is, if it wasn't against the rules, I know she would! 

So yes, I have one of our very own to thank for giving me the marathon bug and for seeing me through it mile after mile. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I am thankful for my Girls!

By: Dawn

Three years ago when I started running I was inspired by my health and the need to take better care of myself! My sister, Stacey, our Marathon Momma, always tried to get me to run but never thought I could. Finally,  I got off my booty and hit the streets with my man and the rest is history! 

A year ago Stacey said she and some girls, whom I knew were going to run the Chicago Marathon and ask if I wanted to join them, I said, "No way! I can't run a marathon!" I was hearing how much fun they were going to have, and me being the girl all about fun couldn't stand it, so I caved and decided to do it! The race was full!! God shut the door but secretly I was glad! I'll just go along for the ride, the fellowship and I'll have fun cheering them on, then the phone call came! My cousin, Kristy had gotten into the Kona Ironman the week after the race and was not going to be able to run, so we were able to transfer her bib. That was where Girls Run the 901 came from, a great weekend with my girls! 

So, I am thankful for my Girls of the 901! These ladies may not be the inspiration to the start of my running hobby...they are my inspiration to keep running! Thank you to my favorite running girls!

Friday, November 22, 2013

I am thankful, a story of inspiration

by Debi

Just like Janell, I was inspired by a child. I have mentioned before that 2 years ago I read a Facebook post from a friend asking to pray for a little girl named Lucy, and below the post was a link to a blog. I had no idea who Lucy was or why I should pray for her. So I clicked the link and started reading, and I just cried.

Lucy was a five year old little girl that had just been diagnosed with brain and spinal cancer. Her Mom wrote a blog that detailed everything that they were going through, the awful truths of the suffering of a parent of a child diagnosed with such a devastating disease. Maybe it was the way that this Mom shared what her daughter was going through or the fact that Lucy was the same age as my daughter and they look so similar, but it just broke my heart. Lucy's mom, Kate, asked one day if people would sign up to run the St. Jude Marathon, in order to help the hospital raise money to continue cancer research.

I never knew until that time that patients treated at St. Jude are not responsible for paying for their care, the hospital pays for everything so that the families never have to worry about financial issues while dealing with their child's illness. How amazing is that!!! The St. Jude Marathon is the largest fundraiser for the hospital.

Here is this Mom going through the unimaginable and she's asking for this one little thing. So with much trepidation (I had never run before), I signed up. Months later I finished that 1/2 marathon, but I realized during that race that you could sign up to be on a team and there was a team for Lucy. I felt like I missed something.

When it came time to sign up the following year, I took a leap of faith again and signed up for the full marathon distance, and as a Hero on Lucy's Team. (Signing up as a hero means you commit to raising money for the hospital.)

That Summer, Lucy took a turn for the worst, and went into a coma, with no expectation to ever wake up.  Amazingly, Lucy did wake up, and she recovered!!..And she continues to improve. Lucy is a fighter and continues to defy the odds against her with the help of St. Jude and everyone praying for her. The night before we raced, an update was sent out that she had clear scans, no cancer! Can you believe that?

Running the race as a hero is incredible, the race becomes so much more than you ever thought it could be, it's rewarding without the expectation of getting that in return, if that makes sense.

I was so inspired by the courage and strength of this little girl and used that inspiration to overcome one of  my biggest fears (running) to raise money for St. Jude. Lucy's story and her parents testament to God is amazing!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I am thankful for...Callie Marie

Callie Marie
By: Janell

I am blessed to have a great job where I work with one of the most incredible teams around. Not only do I have the privilege of working on a great team, we also are great friends. Not long after I ran my first 5k, there was talk of training for a half marathon amongst our coworkers. I honestly questioned myself, doubting if I could ever run a full 13.1 miles. I remember distinctly the conversation, where my friend and coworker said hey we are going to train for and run the St Jude half marathon and we are going to run it for Callie. Straight away, with no questions asked, my response was, 'I'm in'.

Whitney and BJ with their son, Caleb (2)
 after completing
her first half marathon in 2012
My sweet friend, Whitney (and the only other female in our office) and I and were pregnant at the same time and due with our babies (my second and her first-both girls) just 2 months apart.  It was a sweet time to be pregnant together and dreaming of bows, dresses, and our sweet little girls playing and growing up together. 

Callie Marie Clay was born Nov 27, 2009 at 9.5 oz 23 inches long. We knew that upon her arrival into this world that she would have to have immediate surgery to correct a bowel loop. She survived her 5 hour surgery but shortly after developed complications in her breathing. She lived for 15 hours before passing from her fathers arms into those of her Heavenly Father. It gives me chills to even write it, we were completely devastated.

The days and months after Callie's birth, were admittedly dark times for me as well as others. As we wrestled with feelings of anger, sadness and mourned for Callie, I remember what is was that helped us move forward. Her parents, Whitney and BJ, endured this devastating circumstance with such strength and bravery. They were an example of grace and faith that challenged us all. They remained confident that God is in control and were such a testimony to each of us wrestling with it. Do they have hard days even still? Absolutely!  But, I am so thankful for their attitudes, the courage they had, and how they remain confident that Callie's short life was not in vain.

Callie's St Jude Marathon team 2010
In 2010, a group of us from Central Church ran in the various events of the St Jude Marathon weekend for Callie. For a lot of of us it our first half marathon and the beginning of the marathon madness. We continue to run for her. Whitney completed her first half marathon in 2012 in her honor!

Her legacy continues. She would have been four next week.  We never want to forget Callie and what she meant for so many of us. We will continue to run in her honor, to celebrate her life, her beauty and how she changed us. We are thankful for you, Callie Marie.

Callie's St Jude Marathon team 2012

Monday, November 18, 2013

Girls Run the 901 Christmas Shirts!

We are so excited about the super fun Girls Run the 901 Christmas shirts this year. Made my My Town Tees, these lime green long sleeve Comfort Colors tees and very comfortable and soft.

We made these shirts originally for our Jingle Bell Run team shirt, but they are available to anyone!

Price: 1 for $25 or 2 for $40
(plus tax and shipping if needed)

What a fun gift for your running partner or to encourage someone to join you in running their first 5k! 

To order: comment below or on our Facebook page your size(s), an email address to send you a paypal invoice, and if you need it shipped or will pick it up.

Pick up will be Wednesday, December 11th at a location TBD, at the race, or we can ship them to you if need it.

Feel free to ask any questions or send your order to:

We will take orders through Monday, November 25th at midnight so order quick!

Join us in spreading Christmas cheer!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fashion Friday: Braving the Cold

If it's cold in Memphis, it's safe to say it's cold most everywhere in the US. It seems that the Bluff City is usually one of the last places to get permanently cold. Whether you feel like the lower temps are a deterrent to your run or mother nature's best gift to runners, not actually being cold during your run is a common goal of most cold-weather runners. And as they say, necessity is the mother of invention.

Earlier this week, our friends over at Breakaway Running posted a few incredible tips on their Facebook page about cold weather running. Here is the post if you missed it.  Check it out now!

Here a few more creative ways to help you get out the door AND stay warm while you're gone:

- Sleep in your running clothes. This trick aims to avoid taking off warm clothes and putting on cold ones. If your house is cold, there's nothing worse than changing clothes in what feels like a freezer.
-Put your clothes in the dryer. There are many reasons you may not wan to sleep in your running clothes, but you still don't have to put them on cold. Throw your glacial garments in the dryer to warm up!
- Sleep with your clothes under your pillow. Along the same lines as the previous ideas, why not put on your warmed clothes while you're still IN the bed. It's just one step closer to getting ready without getting up.
-Run with Hot Hands. Whether you're wearing gloves or not, you can hold these small reminders of warmth in your hands or make good use of any and all pockets.
- Cover yourself. Ears, head, face, hands, feet, core. If it gets cold, cover it. There are no rules. No one will judge you for running in a scarf and smartwool socks. They'll just be impressed that you're running.
-Layer with undressing in mind. Be thoughtful in your layering. You may get out there and find you're warmer than you want to be. Dress to undress.
- Remember to hydrate and fuel. When  it’s cold out, it’s easy to overlook your fluid and fuel needs. There is no need to forgo hydration to be “fast” to get it done and back inside. 

Also, here are a few pieces of cold gear we like that will help you brave the run:

Nike Elite Storm Tech-Fit
(touch screen compatible)

C9 Champion Headband
(with a ponytail hole)

Base Layers:

Under Armour Cold Gear Compression Leggings

Nike Women's Pro Hyperwarm Crewneck Long Sleeve Tee


Lululemon Star Runner Pullover

Nike Women's Thermal Running Pants

Top Layer:

Brooks Women's Adapt Vest

 What are some of your favorite pieces to run in when it gets cold? What tricks do you use to keep going when it's cold?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I am THANKFUL for...

By: Stacey

Many of you have seen on Facebook and other social media sites people posting daily things they are thankful for during the month of November. So that got us thinking: we are at the tail end of marathon training for St. Jude let's write blogs about how we are thankful for that person who or what got us started in the madness of marathon running!

For me that person is Paige Kimberlin. Back in 2001 at a Sunday School party,  Paige and our friend Rachel were talking about wanting to run a marathon. I was thinking they are crazy there is no way I could run 26 miles! I loved to run but six was considered a long one. I had two small kids, when was I going to train? Train,  that was a foreign word - I never trained for anything. I just ran for the fun of it. What happened to a half marathon? Honestly, at the time, I never knew that was an option. Running that far had never entered my mind - EVER! Before I knew it they had picked the Country Music Marathon in Nashville in April 2002 and we began a training program - Hal Higdon, and I was training for a marathon! (Rachel found out she was pregnant, so it was just Paige and I. Wait, this wasn't even my idea!)

The arrow is pointing to Paige and I am next to her (#7300)

Training was tough at first, I used to always take the winters off. Why in the world would I run in the cold weather that was just crazy and so not fun?! But I survived, actually ran the Germantown Half for the first time because it fell right in line with our training schedule. I remember it being fun but didn't really think of it as a big deal because it was just the long run for that week! (I was such a rookie.)

April came and it was time for the big race! It was an amazing experience. My, how styles have changed...something I am also thankful for! I had never seen so many people, everyone had garbage bags on (what was that all about?), there were so many hills, people were pee-ing behind cars, what was the vaseline for (and where were they putting it), donuts at mile 23... it was crazy!? And I loved it!!! I was hooked. 

So twelve years later, I am still running races and now to me there is no difference between training and running for fun (training is fun). I am thankful for Paige and each person since then who has said to me "Hey, will you run a marathon with me?" I have to say I am thankful for my cheerleader too... my sister! She was at my first marathon and everyone after that, always cheering me on! (That was before she jumped on this crazy train with me!) 

Who are you thankful for? Who did you run your first marathon (half or full) with?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The chafe made me do it!

Have you ever headed out for a run in a great mood, so excited to be hitting the trails, and shortly after realize that due to a poor choice in clothing, your run is ruined due to skin irritation?

Have you ever chafed? The burn of your skin due to friction. 

Normally I would never share with you my issues with chafing, but feel the need to in an effort to prevent you from experiencing the pain and irritation that comes from chafing.

As runners, we are all different, so "if you chafe" can be as common as "where you chafe." If you tend to sweat a lot, whether due to amount of time working out or if its in your genes tends to be in correlation with how much you chafe. Yes there are items such as Body Glide that can minimize the irritation, but for some (like me) you need something stronger, or some places require different products.

My skin irritation changes location just like the changing of the season. Warmer weather leads to skin irritation under my arms since I always wear tanks, and on top of my shoulders if I carry a camel-back. Cooler weather leads to irritation on my neck from my shirts. It may surprise you that you can chafe during times of cooler temps but layers can hold sweat and make the chafe worse. Also more clothes could mean chaffing in areas you usually don't. And year round I experience irritation and scarring along by bra line from either my sports bra or my heart rate monitor.

Some days I can figure out how to cover these sensitive spots and have a painless run, but more often than not, when I get into the shower after a long run I learn quickly the areas I missed and experience pain that no one should bear.

So how do you outsmart the chafe? Here are some things that I have found:

For the bra line and HR Monitor area: Nexcare Waterproof dressing (basically a bandaid)

For under side of the arm, BodyGlide works for short runs. This does wear off, that is why it is only good for a few miles.

But for any run longer than 5 miles, I need something more. I went to our local running store Breakaway Running and asked them for help, They recommended Skin Sake. I am so thankful, it has worked the best. I use it on my neck, arms, thighs and anywhere else that's needed. Best part, is their sample pack, I can stash one in my pocket to reapply mid-run if needed.
Memphis Runners, Skin Sake will have a booth at the St. Jude Marathon Expo. Bonus!!

(*Note, we were not asked to give this review, this is honestly what I have found to work the best.)

We all want running to be pain free, hopefully these items can help you avoid any discomfort from the chafe!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Make It Monday - this covers ALL the vegetables

This unnamed beauty of a recipe is about the healthiest thing to come out of my kitchen. As I put the top on the crockpot, I stood in amazement that so much nutrition could be in one place. I will warn you that this is a meat-less dish, but it is protein packed!

This vegetable soup requires no prep, and more than likely, you already have most of the ingredients in the freezer. In case you do have to go to the store, you have to hit up 2 aisles: frozen food and beans.

Here's what you need:

3 cups of frozen corn
2 cups of "milk" (soy, hemp, almond, actual milk; you can milk anything these days)
4 cups of frozen, choped kale ( I could only find "folded" kale, and it worked just the same; these hippies.)
2 cups of frozen broccoli
2 cups of frozen oriental vegetables
2 cups of carrot juice
3 cups or 2 15oz cans of beans - any kind. (I recommend always rinsing or washing your beans off before using them. This gets rid of some extra sodium, as well as lessening the not-so-pleasant effect beans can have on a person)
Season to taste with salt/pepper, cavendars, etc. (This step is important, or you will just pour hot sauce on it in the end.)


Place in crockpot. Be sure crockpot is turned on. Cook on high for 3 hours.

Disclaimer: I have gotten in enough trouble already from my poor, starving husband for serving meat-less meals. There's wiggle room with every recipe, especially this one. If you're married to an insatiable carnivore too, or you are one yourself, throw in some chicken breast or shrimp along with everything else.

So easy, and so good. Enjoy a hot meal after a cool run!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fashion Friday: Its all about the thumb holes!

The leaves are turning, the cool temps are here, all I have to say is THUMBHOLES! Who doesn't love a shirt with thumbholes? Whoever invented these are pure genius. Love them.
In today's world we are always trying to multitask, I think our  clothes should do the same. Shirts with thumb holes, you don't have to give up fashion for function. You can go from your run straight to lunch with your BFF!
We've been on the search for some new ones and we just have to share with you what we have found.

This one is from Old Navy and only $25.99!
                   Old Navy 

This is one is so simple yet so cute!
GapFit Motion Long sleeve tee 

The name of this makes me giggle. It's called a Heater Hog, guess it will keep you warm!,default,pd.html?start=5&q=heater%20hog

One of our guilty pleasures... Lululemon!
Run Swifty Long Sleeve by Lululemon 

This one does not have thumbholes but it's become my go to when I want to cover up my turtle shell (better known as my back brace) and it's too awesome not to share. Plus it's from Target, and when you find something like this for a good price, it really isn't nice not to share! It is currently on sale for $24!!

C9 Yoga wrap from Target

Did we miss any? What are your favorites?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Running through Daylight Savings time

By: Janell

Daylight Savings time can affect us runners in a lot of different ways. Some love it, giving us earlier daylight in the morning and some have a hard time adjusting to the shorter days. For me, I have a hard time adjusting (and liking) the 'fall back' daylight savings time. As if I don't feel like there are enough hours in the day already, for some reason the earlier darkness always leaves me feeling like I have fewer hours to be productive and the days feeling shorter. I love having time to be outside and 'play' after dinner and before bed time but I am trying to make the best of being inside when we get home. Last night, our family even broke out a work out video and all started together...even though i was alone at the end it was great to see the kids having fun and us doing it together.

For some of us, our days don't look much different. For those of us that run at night it just means gearing up with reflective gear for an outside run or heading to the gym for a run the treadmill. For those of us who run the morning, it just means we have some light a little earlier.

For running at night, fall daylight savings can make a run logistically difficult. So, I try to look for the positive. The darkness and great partner can make a night run feel more adventurous and fun. I remember particular run Debi and I took last year at night on the Wolf River trails in the evening that just felt so enjoyable. There is something about running through the quiet of the night, hearing your footsteps on the ground, that can make it relaxing and enjoyable (really!).

Like we talked about a few weeks ago with helpful hints from Barry at Breakaway Running, we want to take whatever safety measures we can when running. In addition to those tips, we want to always be wearing reflective clothing at night as well as a headlamp or Knucklelights if needed. I use the Petzl Tikka Plus and love it.

What are you feelings are daylight savings time? Does it change anything for you or does your routine remain the same?

We love to hear your ideas and tips on how to 'Run through Daylight Savings'.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Christmas is coming! Join us and get a discount for the Jingle Bell Run!

Girls Run the 901 are so excited to partner with the Jingle Bell Run this year. Of course, we always get excited about a themed race AND Christmas so being a part of a Christmas themed race is something we get very excited about it. This is a great way to enjoy the season and have fun after all your hard work training for the St Jude marathon.

Join us this year for The Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis on Saturday, December 14th at 8 am at Audubon Park. This race raises money for a great cause, the arthritis foundation. Arthritis effects so many people both young (which we have recently learned and old). At the kick off reception  we learned of a young teenage girl in Collierville who plays competitive soccer but receives a very extreme treatment every week just so she can have movement in her joints. We believe in this cause and know it will be an awesome race!  There will be pictures with Santa, Jingle bells for your shoes, and even your dogs are included. There will be a doggie obstacle course and goodie bags because 'Dogs get arthritis too'!

To make this run even more exciting, we are offering a discount on registration when you sign up on the Girls Run the 901 team! Use the code 901GIRLS to get $3 off your registration and be sure to join our team GIRLSRUNthe901! We will be sure to come decked in great Christmas gear.

More details:

  • The event will be staged at Audubon Park, corner of Southern and Perkins Ext.
  • The weather forecast is showing cloudy with a 30% chance of rain, but nothing like we saw this past weekend. We will run and walk, rain or shine, so bundle up!
  • Packet pick-up will be held this Friday, Dec. 13th from 2 - 6 p.m. at Fleet Feet in the Laurelwood Shopping Center, 4530 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN 38117. 
  • If you're unable to make it on Friday, you may pick-up your packet starting at 7 a.m. on Saturday.
  • The 5k chip-timed run will begin promptly at 8 a.m. We're proud to have Memphis-based Start2Finish timing this event for you!
  • Medals will be awarded to the top three finishers in each of the standard age groups; as well as Top Overall Male and Female.
  • The 1-mile Fun Walk will begin shortly after the runners have cleared the start line.
  • All registered participants will receive the official Jingle Bell Run/Walk long-sleeved t-shirt and jingle bells for your shoelaces.
  • Holiday costumes are encouraged! We will have an award for the Best Costume!
  • Bring your dog, because Dogs Get Arthritis, Too. Dog Sponsor Memphis Veterinary Specialists will be on site with doggie goodie bags and will judge the doggie costume contest! Trophies will be awarded in three doggie categories: Most Jingle Spirit, Most Original and Funniest Dog Costume.

One more exciting thing about joining us in the race. Here is a sneak peek (not the final) of the super cute Girls Run the 901 Christmas tshirts from My Town Tees that will be available to order!  Anyone can purchase these, you will just have first choice.

So, join us and be sure register soon. We can't wait to celebrate the season with you!