Category Archives: Blogging

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon New Orleans Recap Day 1: #RnRTWEETUP and Feed the Children


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Last weekend was absolutely amazing and I’ve been looking forward to sharing everything with y’all! Besides getting away for the weekend to run Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon on Sunday, the day before was equally exciting and fun!

On Saturday morning, we woke up super early and drove down to New Orleans so we could meet up with fellow bloggers for the #RnRTWEETUP at Cafe Du Monde. Thanks Dan (awesome PR guy) for braving the crowds and reserving tables for us!)

 

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Group selfie time!

 

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Partial shot of our team. (My husband was actually somewhere behind Dan’s head, lol.)

 

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More of our awesome group!

 

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We enjoyed chatting with Heather and her husband, Bobby, about kids, Disney World and running. (Be sure and check out her site: Through Heather’s Looking Glass.

 

We had so much fun getting to know everyone! There was lots of chatting, tweeting and of course, eating beignets and drinking coffee! While we were there, Angela from Race Addict  (and fellow Mississippi girl) stopped by to say hello. It was so nice getting to finally meet her in person!

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When everyone had had their fill of delicious beignets, we headed outside and took some group pictures of our team.

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10393657_781716968568608_4928724317734612796_nAfter our pictures, it was time to divide up and head over to the Feed the Children event. I didn’t really know what to expect but was really excited to go help out. When we got there, there were people already waiting in line outside. We headed inside and they sent us out back to a fenced in area where we received our volunteer shirts. We also had a quick little meeting and they explained what we needed to do.

 

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Saints punter, Thomas Morstead was there to help out too!

Saints punter, Thomas Morstead was there to help out too!

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Every single one of these boxes was given to families in need on Saturday. Amazing day!

 

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As families came in, they were able to get free hair cuts, lunch, frozen yogurt and boxes that had food, toiletry items, bags of fruit from Whole Foods and milk. There was also a medical team there so they could have health screenings done if they wanted to. 

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Helping out at the milk table.

 

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Goofing off before it started.

 

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I’m so thankful that we were able to help out with such a great cause! To see so many grateful, precious, smiling faces truly made me realize how important it is that we give back to those that are in need. I think that Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon giving back in this way is an awesome thing. And for those of you that joined Team Feed the Children, donated food, or sponsored a child – Thank YOU for making a difference in a child’s life!!

To find out how you can donate food, money or your time, you can go to http://www.feedthechildren.org/. You can also find them on their Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

More on the Expo and my 4th marathon in the next post!

 

 

 

Picture credits: Jason Mooney, Larisa Dixon, and Competitor Group

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Filed under Blogging, Marathon, Racing, Rock 'n' Blog Team, Running

Introducing Beamly!


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This isn’t running related but is something I think you might be interested in checking out!

Have you heard of Beamly? I hadn’t until recently but think it’s a really great concept! With a busy household, my husband and I don’t get to watch a ton of TV shows (unless it’s on one of the many children’s channels) but when we do, we like to find a really great series or two to watch. Sometimes, it’s just as much fun to sit and talk about what happened or what we think/wish would happen next on those shows!

With Beamly, you can do just that! It’s a social network for TV where you can go chat with fellow fans and get the latest news and updates on all of your favorite shows!

Two of our favorite shows are Game of Thrones and The Blacklist. (By the way, am I the only one that thinks Red, played by James Spader, could be also be played by John Lithgow??)

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For the next 4 weeks, I’m collaborating with Beamly and will be contributing in some of the rooms. I’ve already set up my profile and would love for you to follow me so we can discuss our favorite shows! (New ones or the old stand-bys like Seinfeld.) You can use it on your computer or download the free app for iPhone, iPad, or Android.

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What are some of your favorite shows to watch? Are there some that we’re missing out on and need to watch?

Hope to see you there!

 

Beamly is THE 24 X 7 social and content network for TV and TV fans. Join me today in TV conversations and get the latest juice and gossip about your favorite shows!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Zeebox. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Filed under Blogging, Reviews, Uncategorized

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon New Orleans Recap and it’s My 4th Runniversary!


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On Sunday, February 2, 2014, I completed my 3rd marathon. Here’s the recap below!

A few weeks before the marathon, RnR Nola held a photo contest for King and Queen of RnR New Orleans and I was fortunate enough to win Queen!

We traveled down to New Orleans on Saturday and met up with my husband’s sister who was also running the marathon on Sunday. By the time we arrived, found somewhere to park and walked over, it was later in the afternoon and the Expo was getting close to shutting down.

I finally remembered to have my picture taken with my bib!

I finally remembered to have my picture taken with my bib!

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We made it in time to get a goofy picture taken at the Expo!

After checking out all the great booths at the Expo, we headed out to go eat an early dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in New Orleans, Dragos.

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We always like to get our picture taken outside with the big RnR Nola sign.

We headed back to our hotel after dinner and started prepping our gear and our minds for the next day. I was actually more nervous about speaking on stage in front of everyone than I was about running the marathon. We were, however, getting a little concerned about the forecast of rain and high humidity – not exactly ideal conditions but it is what it is. 

I was up at 4am (4AM!!) – not my typical wake up time on race mornings but since I had to be on stage by 6:15, I knew I’d better get started early. For someone that usually doesn’t head out to a race so early, I was really surprised at the tons of people that were already migrating towards the staging area. As soon as we got to the starting line/stage, I nervously made my way onto the stage and stood aside as they made their various announcements. I did remember to take a few pics from the stage while I waited!

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My view from the stage.

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Getting a quick picture made with the King, Tim Hinds.

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Interview time!

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Jason took this picture while waiting for me to speak.

Everything on stage went well and went by pretty fast. Before I knew it, I was gathering up my belongings and Jason and I were headed over to the VIP tent.

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A quick picture (via Instagram) before heading over to the gear check.

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Getting ready to check my gear and go to one last potty break before the race. (That weird looking concoction is Chia Fresca in my right hand.)

We made our way over to our corrals and got ready to tackle 26.2 miles for a 3rd time.

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My view on the front lines of Corral 15.

I was really trying to think positive and focus but in the back of my mind, I knew how bad my Plantar Fasciitis was hurting. It had gotten better in the weeks before the marathon. In fact, I was convinced that I was on the upswing and was doing much better. I was running consecutive longer runs with no pain (and that was a huge deal).  But…the day before the marathon, my foot was in horrible pain. I tried to think positive. I tried to visualize myself running with no pain. I did everything I knew to do but it didn’t work.  My plan was to run 2:30 and walk for 1:00. Every step hurt whether I was running or walking and I knew I was in trouble after the first mile but I tried to keep a positive attitude. I really wanted to get a PR from the year before but I knew that the weather and my foot were working against me. I had a pace band on my wrist and was very excited to see that was I on pace for the first several miles of the race. As my foot began to hurt me more, I began to notice my pace slipping a little bit. First, it was only a minute, then 3 mins, then 5 and soon 10. After that, I knew my goal wasn’t a PR but a finish. I cried a lot during this marathon. Honestly, I think I cried more this time than during my 1st.  At about mile 18, I had the privilege of seeing my husband on the course. He was on mile 21 and was a sight for sore eyes!! I’m sure I ran a little faster when I had him in my sight. He reached out his hand and took mine and gave me a quick kiss. It definitely carried me through those difficult miles on the hilly bridges.

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I’ve never been more thrilled to see that I had a 10K left to run!

As I mentioned earlier, the weather was crazy that day! It was humid, rainy at times and super foggy out by the river. I’ve never run in thick fog like that and it was very cool! When we ran past Jackson Square, it was eery to see only silhouettes of the statue and cathedral.

This gives you an idea of how thick the fog was down by the river. We took this later on that afternoon after the race.

This gives you an idea of how thick the fog was down by the river. We took this later on that afternoon after the race.

Out of 3 marathons, this one was my slowest but I didn’t give up and I finished. My official time was 5:56:40. All things considered, I’ll take it.

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I was one happy girl crossing the finish line!

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After the race, looking for food and a place to sit down.

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As you can see, I found both! 🙂

Besides the weather and foot problems, RnR Nola lived up to our expectations, as always. You can count on a well-organized race, lots of great music, crowd support like crazy and of course, awesome medals!

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I probably don’t have to tell you that I wore my medal all day the next day too. 🙂

By the way, yesterday was my 4th Runniversary! (This post was supposed to have gone up then – along with a run of 4 miles but a stomach bug decided to ruin all the fun.) Last year, I posted a recap of my running story that you can read here, if I haven’t bored you to tears already. 🙂

I also have an awesome giveaway going on with some great pages that you definitely don’t want to miss out on!! Click the picture and make sure you get your name in there for a chance to win!!

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Good luck and Happy Running!

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Filed under Blogging, Giveaways, Racing, Running

Purina® Pro Plan®’s MapMyFitness Challenge and Jake’s Story


This post will be a little different than my others because it’s going to discuss a great way that you can get more active (running or walking) with your dogs.

I’ve been given the opportunity to share with you about the Purina® Pro Plan®’s MapMyFitness Challenge and introduce you to our dog Jake.

Purina® ProPlan® has teamed up with MapMyFitness for their Leash On Challenge. The challenge started September 30th and runs through November 13th. Log a walk or run together with your dog each day for 30 consecutive days for the chance to win a year’s supply of Purina® Pro Plan® Dog Food! Also, each time you log a run or walk with your dog, you can also win the daily prize: one of two Purina® Pro Plan® branded Camelbak® water bottles. For more information head to the Purina® Pro Plan® Fitness Group Page and take the 30 Day Leash On Challenge!

Now, I’d like to introduce you to our Great Dog Jake:

On June 19th, 2009, a new member of our family was unexpectedly added. My husband had been doing home health on Monday (the 15th) and noticed a little puppy on the side of a country road. He didn’t stop because the puppy ran and hid when he passed by and he thought that he was probably running back to his mother. On Friday when he drove by, the puppy was in the same spot but this time didn’t run away. He was too weak to move. Jason pulled over to check on him. He was sick and starving. Jason gave him his 2 cereal bars that he had with him and some of his bottled water. He then called me and told me what he had found and I let him know that I’d meet him nearby and get the puppy from him. He told me that he was in bad shape but I wasn’t expecting him to be as bad off as he was. He didn’t have a lot of hair, half of his tail was missing and the rest of it looked partially broken. He had sores on him and was literally skin and bones. I called our vet’s office and let them know I was on my way with him. He only weighed 7lbs and our vet estimated that he was about 8 weeks old. We picked him up the next day and he seemed to already be feeling better even though he still had a long recovery ahead of him. We took him every week for several weeks for shots to help him with the secondary infection from the horrible mange and for dips. At his 4th visit on Thursday, July 9th, he already weighed 15lbs! After several more treatments, he’s completely healthy and as happy as he can possibly be. Jake has come so very far since that day that my husband found him nearly dead by the road. It’s now been over four years and he’s one of the best dogs we’ve ever had. He loves running and staying active with our kids and other dogs.

I’m including some pictures of Jake as he progressed from a sickly puppy to a healthy, happy dog.

This is the day that he came home from his stay at the vet's office.

This is the day that he came home after his stay at the vet’s office. (My apologies about the condition of our porch floor! We were getting ready to have it repainted at the time.)

June 21, 2009 – Enjoying his new bed and toys.

July 11, 2009 – Finally starting to look like a healthy puppy!

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September 15, 2010

Winter 2010 – Enjoying a rare snowy day in South Mississippi.

May 28, 2013 – Waiting patiently on his turn to be petted.

We can’t imagine not having Jake as a part of our family.

Happy Running!

Purina® ProPlan® has partnered with MapMyFitness and created the Purina® ProPlan® Fitness Group Page to get pet owner’s more active with their dogs. Check out the Fitness Group page here and start getting active with your dog today!

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Trust Your Intuition Official Book Release


 

I am so excited to officially announce that I am a contributor in a newly published book: Trust Your Intuition 25 “Natural Medicine Confessions” from Influential Women Who Use Healing Remedies For Their Families! It will be released July 17, 2013. There are 24 other women besides me, who have also contributed, and we each share a story of why we chose to use natural alternatives for a health issue or challenge in our homes.

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 In this book, there are situations that these women have encountered and they have shared how they have used natural medicine to resolve the problem.

My chapter is about Chia Seeds and how I use these tiny, nutritional powerhouses to fuel my running. I also discuss how I lost weight through running and making healthy changes to my diet.

I am amazed at the powerful other stories in the book. I would like to introduce you to a few of the other contributors as we get ready to launch the book.

Entire Book Cover Trust Your Intuition-web

Author Spotlights

jenni

Jenni Wilson, Natural Medicine Mom, is a master herbalist, wife of an ER doctor and mother to 7 children. She teaches women (and a few brave dads) how to use natural tools, and especially essential oils, to care for their families and enjoy more confidence, control and effectiveness in their home health care. She is an author, speaker and blogger at Natural Medicine Mom.

katie

Tens of thousands of health-conscious women have learned from Katie’s expertise to embrace the Wellness Mama lifestyle. She has helped clients lose weight, increase athletic performance, improve fertility, and more. She shares many of her valuable tips for using natural tools for healing in the book.

rachel

 One of the amazing women contributing to my book is Rachel Parrish. Rachel is a mother to 2 children and a wife to a wellness doctor. Her passions are faith, family and health. She supports her husband in helping to change the way people look at their health and uses her blog, Day2Day Joys, as a tool to do that. In her chapter of the book you will be able to learn more about how to maximize your living.

corrinne

Corinne is a successful, fashion designing mom and an inspiration to so many people who are fed up with traditional medicine. Being a child of excessive exposure to antibiotics, her immune system suffered. She empowered herself by seeking help and guidance from natural remedies experts, educated herself on various techniques, and has been able to keep her family the healthiest they have ever been. From Corinne’s chapter she will tell you how she got back her immune system and shares her exclusive recipe for infection fighting. Her website is Persnickety Clothing.

Stay tuned for more details as the release date gets closer! Also, there will be free gifts available when the book is ordered on July 17th!

For more information, you can check out Jenni’s website: Natural Medicine Mom .

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Filed under Blogging, Books, Family, Nutrition

My 2nd Blogiversary and Allied Medal Hanger Giveaway!


It’s hard to believe that it’s already been 2 years since I first began this blog! There has been so many exciting things that have happened since that day that I opened up this page and began typing.

Here are a few things that have happened in my running life since I became a blogger 2 years ago:

  • I had the opportunity to meet and run with Born to Run author Chris McDougall, his running coach Eric Orton and Ultra runner Scott Jurek.
  • I ran my 1st (then 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th) half marathon.
  • I ran my 1st marathon last year and my 2nd last month.
  • I dealt with IT Band Syndrome and Plantar Fasciitis
  • I lost 76 pounds!
  • I broke my left arm while out on a training run at night and had to have surgery to have steel plate/screws placed in my arm.
  • I was featured in a video series by Fitbie/MSN called Everyday Champions
  • I was in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Women’s Running Magazine in their Women Who Move section.

These are only a few things that have happened to me along this journey in the last couple of years. There have been ups and downs but I am thankful for everything that I’ve gotten to experience. (Except for the broken arm….I could have definitely lived without that, lol!)

What I’m most grateful for is 1.) being a healthier wife and mother 2.) the connections I’ve made through this blog and Facebook page. The running/fitness community is amazing and I have made great friends (online and out running) that I would have never met otherwise. I’m also thankful for all of you that follow my blog! I am constantly inspired and motivated by you!! I absolutely love the stories and pictures you share over on my Facebook page and love how you interact with and encourage each other.

Enough with me and on to the exciting stuff! What’s the point in a celebration without a gift? Allied Medals was kind enough to send me my very own Slow is the New Fast medal hanger and now you can win one of your own! 

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Love it!

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You can choose one like mine, one without the girl or you can choose a completely different style!

Click the link below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!!!

As required by the FTC: I received this product for a review. I received no monetary compensation.  All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.

If you would like to sponsor a giveaway on my blog (or you know someone that does) please contact me by sending me an email to gcmjjm03@gmail.com.  I will always disclose whether or not the giveaway is sponsored by someone else or if it is one of my very own.

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Everything but running…..


Lately, it seems if I were a cartoon, I’d have ten arms – each doing something different. Of course, running hasn’t gotten in the way of all I’ve had to do because I’ve still been recovering from bronchitis. Btw, I think I’m finally ready to try and run again this week. I tried a little too early a couple of weeks ago and it was a big mistake. I still have a little cough now and then but I think (I hope) I’m well enough to start back.

We recently decided that we wanted to put our house up for sale and who knew what a major undertaking that would be? We have been cleaning out closets and giving tons of stuff away. Of course, by dragging everything out, an even bigger mess gets made. Add to the pressure of scheduling the realtors to come look at our house the night before we leave for vacation and you could say I’ve been pretty stressed out.

What really makes things hard for me is that our home is my fortress of solitude (even if we do have a houseful of kids, lol) and it’s really hard for me to open it up and let strangers examine every nook and cranny. I know it’s necessary but it certainly takes me out of my comfort zone! Maybe I’m just weird?  It’s also extremely hard to have our house on “display mode” with small children. I never knew how hard until I started trying to keep it that way, lol. The morning after we got home from vacation, the realtors called and said that they had someone that wanted to look at the house as soon as possible. Of course, we were still in pj’s, nothing unpacked, and things in disarray from coming back and basically unloading the van and nothing else.  Within 20 mins or so, they were here waiting on our front porch so they really got to see things as is. Yesterday, someone showed up after lunch wanting to “just poke their heads in” but ended up taking the grand tour. I guess I’ll get used to it but for now, I’m not liking this at all.

Ok, enough with that, lol! I just had to get it off of my chest. 🙂

Vacation was wonderful! We left last Saturday when it was flooding like crazy down there (Florida) and really wondered if our entire week would be filled with clouds and rain but things finally started clearing up by Tuesday and we were able to enjoy lots of sun and beach time.

This was our view of the sunset on Sunday afternoon after storms had passed.

I brought my running clothes, shoes and watch, just in case but besides being completely worn out by the end of each day, I probably needed an extra few days to get well. The way I looked at it, I was on the move nearly the entire trip. If we weren’t in the water playing with the kids, we were out walking and trying to keep up with them. Zoe, my 2 year old, could be a race walker if she wanted to be, lol!!

She was very proud of her dress and sunglasses. She kept us on the move!

I’d like to say that I ate great and didn’t eat anything unhealthy the entire time but hey, it was vacation and I’ve always said that I will never starve myself or not eat something once in a while that isn’t on the healthy list. I did try to stay on track with drinking water though. All in all, it was lots of fun getting to spend time with the kids. Jason and I even got to sneak away for an hour (or more some nights) after the little ones went to sleep and the big kids held down the fort.

Waiting for the fireworks show at the Emerald Grande on Thursday night.

Zach watching fireworks. It was raining but still beautiful.

My swimming buddy for most of the time at the beach.

This week I’m hoping we can get back on a regular schedule….at least until Thursday, which is our anniversary and we’ll be going away again! (Only overnight this time though.) 🙂

Have a great week!

I nearly forgot to remind you that I will be directing the Race for Grace 5k again this fall. Look for an announcement soon on the official date! This year, proceeds will be donated to the children’s home Grace International is opening in the Philippines.

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