Wednesday, December 3, 2014

These are a few of my favorite things...

Since it is Christmas shopping season, I though I would share with you some things that I have come to love and things that I am secretly wishing for this year:

I am loving this 'Forward is a Pace' tee from Fellow Flowers:

This plush tech hoodie from Athleta looks so cute:

I honestly love my RunningLuv, not only because it was created by a very dear friend but I find it so useful on cold runs and hot ones.
On my shorter runs I carry this Nathan Quick Draw water bottle, I have really come to love it. And the pocket fits my phone even with a case on it. Memphis friends, I got mine at Breakaway Running.
On the run I am pretty particular about what I fuel with. I have found two things that work best for me, Nuun (I love Watermelon and Tri-Berry) and Honey Stingers (Fruit Smoothie is my favorite). I was so excited to see Nuun at Ragnar TN, I had to get this water bottle too! 
Since it is getting colder, I am seriously loving this Nike Pro Hyperwarm sweatshirt:

Do you have any running items on your Christmas list? What are they?


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

An awesome GIVEAWAY that also benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Hi Friends!!

I am running the St. Jude Marathon this year as a Hero. This means that I have committed to raising money for St. Jude. 

Why I raise money for St. Jude:
  • Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
  • Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since it opened in 1962.
  • Because the majority of St. Jude funding comes from individual contributors, St. Jude has the freedom to focus on what matters most – saving kids regardless of their financial situation.
  • I was inspired to run by a patient at St. Jude and while she was once thought to be incurable, she is now living cancer free!!!! Go Lucy Go!

So, I thought I would not only do a special giveaway of some of my favorite brands, but I wanted to actually do some good as well. Here are the goodies:

I am giving away this headband from Sweaty Bands (seriously, how cute is this)! 
And....I am giving away a $30 gift card to use at Sparkle Athletic so you can choose your favorite color! 
So I bet you are wondering how this giveaway will work! Well, for a $5 donation to my Hero page, you get an entry to the giveaway. Not only will you get a chance to win both of these items, you are doing something extraordinary for a charitable hospital that does so much for childhood cancer!! Win, Win!!

Here is the link to the my St. Jude Heroes Page: 

Extra entries go to those who also comment on my Facebook post about the Giveaway. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends next Tuesday, 11/11/14 at 7pm 

Thank you so much! 


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A little about me

1. I absolutely hated running growing up. Now I can't imagine life without it!

2. My family is spread out all over the country so to me, my friends are like family.

3. When I am not at work I am in running clothes, always! 

4. It drives me bonkers to end a run on anything other than .00 or .50

5. I love to run in the rain, it makes me feel like a kid again.

6. My hair is really curly, so every day is a bad hair day!

7. I sweat a lot, so that also means I also chafe...a lot.

8. Last year I encountered quite a few setbacks due to injury and a cancelled race, so this year my motto has been "Do Epic Sh!t" (I don't normally cuss, but there is no substitute for that statement)

9. I have to use the restroom at least 4 times before every race start. Seriously!!

10. Running with friends is the equivalent of a Girl's Night Out for me.

11. I started running because I was inspired by a patient at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, that is why I am so passionate about running the St. Jude Marathon. #GoLucyGo

12.  I believe that friends are a blessing and that they should be cherished!

13. When I hear a song I love in the car, I dance and sing to it no matter who sees me.

14. I get so excited when someone tells me about overcoming their farthest distance or achieving a special goal, I want to give them the biggest hug!

15. This is my favorite race picture ever!! 

Do you have any funny running quirks? Tell me something about you!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

And then there was one...some changes to Girls Run the 901

Friends, I'd like to give you an update on what has been going on with our group.

Life has gotten busy, and some commitments have required more time than it had previously. While each of the girls still have a passion for running and fitness, they do not have the time to commit to Girls Run the 901.

Each of these girls are amazing, and while I am saddened to see them leave, I completely respect their decision. We are all friends, and will still run together and hang out when we can.

It has been decided by the group that I will continue to move forward with Girls Run the 901 on my own. We created this group to celebrate friendships, empower and encourage other runners, while also living life to the fullest (with a little shopping too!). This will absolutely remain the same. I have grown to love interacting with all of you and getting to know you!

I plan to blog more and share my runs, recipes, races, and adventures while still showcasing another amazing women who inspire me.

Moving forward I hope that you will continue to interact with me, because I am definitely here to cheer you on!

More to come soon...


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Girls Update

Hi All! We have not posted much lately on the blog and wanted to give you a brief update on where each of us are at and what life looks like for us.

Girls Run the 901 as a whole continues to be just as passionate about running and physical fitness than when we started the blog a year and a half ago. Each of us are in different seasons of life with running, work, school, our families, and our kids. Each of us has
Stars and Stripes 5k 2014
(missing Jennifer!)
continued to make running and being active a priority in our lives. We still enjoy running races, training, and encouraging new running friends. As you can imagine, it is very difficult to get 6 women all together in one place so the time we are all able to be together is very rare. 

Debi changed jobs earlier this year and had found it challenging to manage a new work schedule and family needs. Now that the dust has settled she is back to training for the St. Jude Marathon and will also be running her dream race in October, Ragnar Tennessee.

For Dana life looks a little bit different for her now in several areas. Undergoing spinal fusion surgery was a game changer in what physical activities her body can handle. She is currently weight training 6 days a week and is only running 3 days per week and looking forward to training for the St. Jude Half marathon. She's also working part time now in real estate which has thrown in it's own set of challenges with time management! But nowadays her motto is no excuses, just have to get it done, no matter what is thrown your way.

Dawn's life has been busy with three teenagers, one starting college and her starting a new job! Her running is not where I would like it, it might be three miles, like tonight or a little long on the weekends! She's just come to the realization this is where I am right now, some is better than none and this time will only last for a little while longer! So it'll be "just a little run" for now!

Janell continues to run, race, and be active as much as she can. After moving earlier this year and her oldest (7) changing to a new school this year, she is still figuring out a good routine (which she loves) and getting it all in! 

For Jennifer, running is fun again! After not running for 5 months, she's easing back onto the crazy train. It doesn't hurt that this Memphis summer came in the mild version instead of hot, but as of now, she's running for fun, and fun looks like getting up in the morning to greet the sun with some miles

Stacey is recovering from a strained calf muscle and spending most of July in a boot. She is juggling work and now two kids in high school to her mileage and pace back to where it was pre-injury. She is looking forward to the St Jude Half and any other race that happens to come her way.
So while our postings have slowed, we just want you to know we are still here. We all have plans to race our favorite race, the St Jude Marathon, and hope to see you there and at upcoming races!

If there is anything that you would like us to write about? Favorite fashion finds, recipes, or questions in general? You are important to us and we want to continue to support you.

We look forward to hearing from you and connecting with you soon! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

10 Reasons why you should run the Breakaway Bardog 5K

The fifth annual Breakaway Bardog 5k on August 17th 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. Chip race timing will be done 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 2014 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. MRTC members receive $1 off up to 8/16 and must provide membership number. We do welcome wheelchairs (early start), as well as strollers and pets (please see website for full instructions or contact race director at for your questions and concerns… and praises!  
What: 5th Annual Breakaway Bardog 5k benefiting St. Jude
When: August 17, 9 a.m. 
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

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Apera Bag Review

By: Janell

We wanted to share with you a cool new product we love. A few weeks ago, I was sent the sweetest gym bag I have used to date. I have used many-a-gym bag for various reasons since I was very young, but this one tops them all.

One of the things I had trouble with my old bag is when I swim, where to put the wet clothes so they don't get all smelly. Apera bags are designed to be healthier with a built-in antimicrobial product protection to inhibit the growth of bacterial odors, separation of your wet, sweaty gear from your dry stuff, and venting air to keep your bag dry and suppress odor.

I have been using the Performance Duffel Bag in pink. So cute and so functional! Some of the things I love are the long shoulder straps as well as the shorter hand straps. I also love the multiple exterior pockets to put headbands, ponytail holders, etc as well as the interior separator to keep my gear organized. I used it to separate my daughter's ballet gear and my run gear when we had class on the same days. They truly are great bags with very much intentionality in the design.

Take a look at their website for some great sales right now that I know you will love! They are offering 40% OFF the entire Blue line of bags.  Any style of bag, including the Performance Duffel, will be 40% OFF.  Also, all of their Duffel Packs, any color, are 40% OFF too.  What a steal!

Also, Apera is holding a giveaway each month. They will be giving away a free Apera bag to one winner. All anyone needs to do is sign up for their email newsletter by providing your email address at the bottom of their website. Then, at the conclusion of each month, they'll randomly draw a name from those subscribers in their email newsletter database to select the winner.  The bag for May is the Duffel Pack.  Every month they will change the style.  

Check it out and good luck!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Start 2 Finish M-Town series and Breakaway Giveaway

Spring is coming and we want to be sure your race schedule is full and you have the gear to go along with it.

We couldn't be more excited to bring you this amazing giveaway from two of our favorite companies in the Memphis Running Community: Start 2 Finish Events and Breakaway Running

The winners, yes, there are two winners, will each get a entry to the M-Town Race series (that's 4 races, people) AND a $50 giftcard to Breakaway Running so you are all geared up for the races. How awesome is that?

Last year the GRT901 participated in the M-Town race series and the races were truly some of the highlights of our summer!

The series begins with Zoom through the Zoo on May 22, then Harbor Town 5k on June 6, Gibson Guitar 5k on June 14th, and ends with a bang at the Stars and Stripes 5k on July 3rd!  We were just talking to some friends about how these races have by far the best race after parties, shirts, routes, and the best thing-the Memphis running community out in full force.

So, register today for the giveaway by clicking below. You earn extra entries by posting a picture of you in a breakaway shirt and tagging Start 2 Finish, Breakaway Running, and Girls Run the 901 in it!

Follow this link to enter

We can't wait to see your pictures and race with you in the M-Town series! Be sure to use the hashtag #runMTown when posting any race pictures or for bonus entries for the giveaway! 

Monday, March 24, 2014

#HeatItUp Instagram Challenge

Spring is here and we couldn't be more excited! The weather is heating up and Spring is all about fun, fitness, family and friends. To celebrate we are joining with some amazing ladies for a fun Instagram Challenge starting April 1st.

The Challenge is "I'll show you mine, if you show me yours?" Each day of April we will post a picture on Instagram showing how we are celebrating Spring by following the daily themes listed on this picture:

So day #1 will be Sweat, Day #2 will be Eat, etc. The best part will be all of you following along and posting as well. We want to see you! Join us on this challenge and post with the hashtag #HeatItUp, and tag us too so we'll be sure to see you!

Follow us and each of these awesome ladies as well:

Abby @backatquare0
Dani @irisheyes1982
Cecilia @mommiesrun
Sarah @momonempty
Mindy @roadrunnergirl
Holly @running_baking
 Girls Run the 901 @girlsrunthe901

We really hope you will join us for this fun challenge! It's a great way for all of us to get to know each other a little better and have fun too! Please feel free to share this with all of your IG friends and family so they can join in on the fun too!

So April 1st let's all  #HeatItUp!
 Leave your IG name in the comments so we can follow you.

Friday, March 7, 2014

You are enough!

By Debi: 

This past week my daughter came home crying because her closest friend told her that she didn't want to be friends anymore. To make matters worse she said she wouldn't give her the reason why until the next day. My daughter was so sad and hurt. As she was crying she said " I'll do whatever she wants. I'll change, I just want her to be my friend." At first I was consoling my daughter, but these words, they are just wrong! As a Mom, it is my responsibility to teach my daughter that she is a precious gift, just as she is! 

At no time in our lives should we ever feel the need to change ourselves in order to make someone happy or to get them to like us! You are enough, just the way you are, and allowing people to make you feel less than is something we want to encourage you to come against.

Have you ever watched the movie, "The Help"? I love the part of the movie where everyday the main character, Aibileen, told the children that she took care of  "You is smart. You is kind. You is important." Maybe this is what we need to remind ourselves and our children so that they realize this affirmation of self worth.

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

We live in a society that encourages us to have the latest style to wear, the whitest teeth, and the perfect body. They try to tell us that we need to try the latest false promotion of quick weightloss hoaxes like body wraps or pills which both produce temporary results. We don't need any of these things to be worthy of friendship and love. 

Anyone that tells you that you need to change who you are to make them happy, is not worth it. You are special-believe that and own it today!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Fashion Friday: #endwinternow

Who else agrees that it is past time for winter to be over? This polar vortex is killing us! Since all of us are looking forward to spring, we thought we would show you some new spring running gear we have our eyes on. 

The fun thing about spring temperatures is you can still wear your favorite thumbhole shirts and pair them with a cute pair of shorts. We like this outfit from Gap!

These shorts from the GapFit line are super fun as well!

Target is really upping their game in the activewear department and this light-weight pullover would be perfect with shorts or crop pants.

Cropped running pants are a great option with a light jacket or tee when the temperature starts rising. These space dyed spring pants will certainly put you in the mood for a warmer run!

These may not be a bright spring color, but you have to admit these are awesome!

We had no clue America Eagle carried a performance line, but we have fallen in love with the items and their prices! You have to check them out!

On days when you are at the gym strength training, tanks are the way to go!

We are also very excited about Breakaway's new tees they just released. Here is just one of the several they have in.

Again, we just can't wait to pull off those layers and feel the sun on our skin. Warmer days just can't get here fast enough! 

What are you looking forward to wearing when the temperatures cooperate?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Mental Toughness


"Don't let an injury leave you wallowing.  Get through it and let it prove just how tough you are." 

These are the words I have held on to for the last four months.

This past Saturday I realized it had been exactly 16 weeks since my surgery. In talking to a friend she asked if 4 months ago did I think I'd be where I am.  To answer her question: no not at first.

When I was sitting in the doctors office after I received the news that my back was in two pieces, I had a slipped disc, a cyst sitting on a nerve, that I would have to have a lumbar fusion with hardware in my back,  (yes that means I will make medal detectors go off in the airport!) and it would take up to 6 months for a full  recovery I just zoned out and stopped listening. I thought this is it. I'm not strong enough for this and all I could do was cry. I have two kids, lead a very active lifestyle and I just thought:  What is happening to me? Why is this happening to me? Would I ever run again? 

The questions, worries, fears and doubts immediately set in and that wasn't me.

I thrive on challenges and this apparently was my next one.

I went into what ended up being a 6 hour surgery scared to death but trying to keep my sanity with laughter. It really is the best medicine! Hence the silly pre-op selfie I sent to Stacey just minutes before I was taken back!

The surgery went great and I came home 2 days later. Thankfully, I had an army of friends and family around to take care of me physically. I was getting around better than the doctor expected. He said walk to my mailbox I went around the block. 

 I've always wanted to do a 5k in my Uggs! Finally I was able to, at a turtles pace nonetheless!

Mentally, on the other hand, I was slowly sinking. For the first 10 weeks most of my days were spent at home and off of my feet. I could only be on my feet for 15 minutes at a time. Let me tell you, this can start really messing with your mind. The walls were closing in. It was hard, really hard, to hear my kids playing in the other room and all I could do was lay in my bed.

Here's my "are you serious? All I can do is lay here face" not a duck face!
Thankfully, I was able to recognize that I wasn't feeling like myself and I used the time alone to really think about who I am.  It wasn't someone who just sits back and takes whatever life throws at you. I'm a fighter and like I said. I thrive on challenges and it was time I take this one on.  I am truly convinced that mentally surviving an injury is just as critical as physical recovery. It was all about my outlook and perspective.

Thank GOODNESS for social media and the Internet. It helped pass a lot of time! I was able to read lots of articles and blogs about recovery and was able to keep up with all of you.

One of my favorites was from an article in Competitor. These are the main points I took from it:
1. Vent Frustration- dont deny your emotions. And believe me I didn't. I would whine and complain to whoever would listen!  I knew it was ok for me to be mad and upset but it was up to me to decide how long. If I let it would have consumed me, but I realized it would  take me longer to come back stronger if I did.
2. Get Active in Other Areas- I really couldn't get "active" but I took the time to read, watch movies (which I never do) scrap book and do several craft projects around the house. My husband or a friend would set the materials out for me and I would just work away. Recently, I have been able to walk on the treadmill and that alone has helped tremendously.  Get involved in a hobby you've always wanted but don't have the time for, or focus your energy on an alternative exercise to keep up your cardiovascular endurance. ”Down time from running while injured is an opportunity to address other weaknesses that, once improved, will ultimately make you a better runner.”
3. Short Term Goals- I had to realize I had to take it one day at a time instead of thinking 6 months. My PRs became something totally different! I celebrated shaving my own legs, putting on my own shoes and even making it through Target without getting out of breath! Some days were and are harder than others but thinking about day to day instead of the big picture is HUGE in mental recovery.
4. Looking Long Term- I have and still have to think long term instead of right now. Coming back slowly is key into not getting re-injured. Take this time to come up with a plan to come back smarter and stronger to doing what you love. I keep thinking I will be able to pick right back up to where I was. However taking the time to slowly see what my body is capable of is my immediate goal.
5. Come Back Stronger-When you get injured you can decide if you are going to come back stronger or let the injury defeat you. Injury is part of the running game it's just up to you to decide how you will handle it.

For me I can't say I handled it at first as well as I thought I would, my official diagnosis has been life changing for me and now I have to make changes in order to get back to that runner I was. Truth is, I am not sure I will ever be an endurance runner again. My doctor says I probably won't, but I'm a  defying all odds kinda person so I'm ready to take on that challenge too.

"Take the miles away from a runner and the mental anguish is just as painful as the injury that forced him to the sideline." This is an absolute true story! And this is my story and I decide how it ends right?

This Friday I go back for my final post operation check up where my doctor and I will discuss whether or not I can start running again just yet,  I think I will wear my running shoes to the appointment just in case!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The toughest race of my life

By Debi:

This past weekend my running buddy, Cecilia and I, along with some other good friends traveled to  run the New Orleans Rock'n'Roll Marathon. Excitement was in the air!

Not only did we travel with friends from Memphis, we also got to meet up with some blogger friends as well, it was so incredible to meet all of these amazing ladies!
From top to bottom: Abby, me, Cecilia, Sarah, Holly and Mindy

Race morning we headed out, nervous but very excited!! Since we vamped up training in December, I have been battling serious IT band pain, and it had been getting worse as we got closer to race day. Cecilia and I talked about how she needed to bring music just in case I needed to stop or turn in at the 1/2. Right before the start we entered our corral, to join up with Abby and the other girls we met at dinner.
The first four miles were amazing! Abby ran with us and we were able to see the other girls while on course. Even though it was humid and borderline misty/rainy, our pace was great, better than expected. Then Cecilia asked to walk, she wasn't feeling good. We kept moving forward until we saw a medical tent at mile 5. They gave her salt packets and gatorade, she was suffering from dehydration due to the heat and humidity. Even though she still wasn't feeling good, she was determined to keep moving forward. It is not my place to tell all that Cecilia went through and what she was feeling, but I can tell you that she moved forward with determination and will! In our training we talked through bad runs, and made the decision that we would stay together no matter, that's why we wore the Fellow Flowers orange flowers in our hair, it represents "fiercely united." I was prepared mentally to say goodbye to her if the pain in my leg flared up, but I was not prepared to say goodbye if she wasn't okay.
At mile 11, Cecilia decided it would be best to turn in for the 1/2 marathon, but she wanted me to continue since I was still feeling good. I was so torn, we've been together since day 1, how could I leave her? But I also knew that it would make her feel worse if I would have cut my race short for her. We had friends that were coincidentally just a few feet behind us at the time, who promised to stay with her, so we hugged each other tight, and separated. I can tell you now, looking back on the race, this is what broke me!

Abby and I continued on together until about mile 19, she had hurt her ankle a few weeks ago and it was really starting to bother her. She pushed me to keep going without her, she's run three marathons on her own, so she didn't need any support. So there I went for the rest of the race.

I do have to note that one of our friends that drove with us came not to race, but to show her support. Mile after mile she was there cheering, holding signs, taking pictures, offering hugs and water (and snickers). Thank you Daniela, your support meant the world to so many of us!

As those miles came and went I thought I was a bad friend for continuing on! But at some point we all have to run our own race. When you sign up for a race, you never know what will happen. Some days everything may go right, but others will test you mentally, physically and emotionally. This was definitely one of the tough ones. I had to remind myself there will always be more races, so instead of thinking of how sad I was that this race didn't go as planned, I concentrated on how strong I was and that I was not going to let this race get the best of me! I knew there was no record being made today, but I still wanted to give it my all. There were so many other people wearing their St. Jude singlets, and every one of them reminded me of why we were out there in the first place, for the kids of St. Jude!

While I am proud that I did it, I have not celebrated this finish.There was so much build up before this race, that the change of outcome still has me in shock. So what's next? I'm not sure yet, but looking forward to it!

Have you ever had a race not go as planned? What did you do?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Winter Blahs

By: Janell 

There are 33 more days until Daylight Savings Time begins and clearly I am counting them down.

I have it. The winter blahs.

I have shared before that I am not a huge fan of the winter months. I am not one of the autumn/winter girls who loves her uggs and sweaters. I live for spring, summer, flip flops, and lighter clothing. You won't hear me complain (hopefully) on hot Memphis days that last until October.

At this point I am ready for spring days, being outside of the gym, and more outside running and playing. I was ready in November. We had a teaser spring day in the 901 over the weekend that left me wanting more. Our family went to the Shelby Farms Dog Park and so enjoyed it. I am over it being dark when I leave work. I  feel like my days are cut short and I don't have enough time to get out and play!

But, here is the good news (for me at least): Spring is coming. I can taste it. As I sit here on this 30 degree day, rain pouring, I am anticipating warmer weather. Spring racing season is my favoriate. There are so many great races in the 901 and beyond during the spring time. Today, I am choosing to stay positive about this weather knowing that spring is close. Ask me again tomorrow. 

Help me out, what are some things that you do to beat to winter blues or do you enjoy running this time of year? Something that has helped me is a run group that we just started.  If you haven't joined our Breakaway Girls Run the 901 please do and join us for a run-all paces welcome!

What are some things are you looking forward to when warmer weather arrives? What spring races are you looking forward to?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

For the love of Running

People run for a variety of reasons and for some those reasons can change daily. We thought we would share with you why each of us love running in a way to help you get to know each of us better and to explore what made you fall in love with running. We have found that sharing stories both motivates us and others by finding we can all relate.

Dana: Some days I run to loose myself, some days I run to find myself. Running is a way for me to feel like I'm in control. I can control how far and how fast. I have running to thank for finding my identity again. Runners are determined, powerful, strong, and when they set their mind to something... they see it to the finish line. All the things I am and strive to be on the road and off. The feeling I get when finishing a run is a high that is somewhat hard to describe, I am able to leave the days stress and emotional junk all out on the pavement all the while pushing my body further than I ever thought and accomplishing more than I ever thought I could. Being a part of the running community and the bonds and friendships made all because of the same shared passion is priceless! 

Dawn: The reason I love to run has changed. I began running to get in shape and all in all for my general health. I began slowly with the couch to 5k, and when I say slowly I mean slowly. I would do days and weeks over and over again. Then as I got more confident with my running and some nudging from my sister I wanted to go further. I trained for a hald marathon then a full marathon. Now, my love has changed again. It's not about my health and it's not about the next goal it's about ME! I don't mean that in a selfish way I mean it as if I get my run in my spirits are higher, my energy levels are higher and physically feel better. All of this helps me be a better wife, mother, friend or whatever hat I need to wear. I can be there for the people who need me the most! You have to take care of "Me" to be able to take care of "We"!

Debi: Running has taught me to push myself beyond my comfort zone and to stop letting things that intimidate me control my actions. It has helped me learn to believe in myself, and realize that all things are possible if you put your mind to it and do the work. I didn't realize ow much love running until I got injured which allowed me to see how much it meant to me. I started running because I was inspired to do something so much bigger than me. I continued because that's also where I found my self, my strength, and my perseverance! I love to run after I get off work at night, it helps take away the stress from the day, but my favorite runs are with friends. There is nothing better than going out for a long run with a friend and talking and laughing the miles away.

Janell: Why I love to run has evolved for me over the years. In the very beginning it was a means to an end. I needed to get back in shape and I enjoy the discipline of training programs so it worked. It then became something I loved and felt passionate about making my schedule work to fit it in. The relationships kindled and grown from my favorite running buddies to showing me I could accomplish distances I simply never thought possible. Running is empowering and humbling and let's face it; we can all use a little more of both of those things in our lives.

Jennifer: Running is a 5-step process of love for me. It humbles me when I run through the woods at sunrise and glimpse the world and it's beauty. I love that it pushes me to know that each mile offers more satisfaction and achievement than the last. I love that it's empowering, as I tackle challenges in one area of life, discipline and strength show up in other areas too. I love the high after a run that not only feels good in the moment but attributes to my overall health. And the last stage of my love of running, is the community and camaraderie of it all, that even if you're running by yourself, you're never running alone.

Stacey: Why do I love to run? It's simple really: I love to eat! :) Pizza, pasta, steak, cakes, cookies and donuts. Haven't met many foods I don't like. I really started running almost 25 years ago after I put on my freshman 15. I was walking but then I realized I could cover more miles in less time if I just ran instead. Now, I do it because I love it. Like the others, I love to run because it makes me feel better both physically and mentally. I love a quiet run alone as well as a run with a friend or with my sister. I love an early morning run at sunrise or an evening run after dark. I love a warm summer run and even a crisp, cold run in the winter. I love a familiar route as well as discovering new territory. It's that simple, I love to run!

One of the many reasons that running continues to unite our group and so many others it that no matter what your story is, how fast you are, where you come from or how athletic you are, you can run and we love that. Running doesn't discriminate. Join us!