Monday, January 16, 2017

Red Shoe Run....I'm Lovin' It! #RSR17


Trading in my running shoes for my RED SHOES.
     When I decided to run the Red Shoe Run in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama last year, I had no idea that I would be forming a life long partnership with Ronald McDonald House of Alabama and the Red Shoe Run!! I knew that the race helped a good cause but boy oh boy was I in for a sweet surprise!

     I was asked to help promote the race amongst my running friends and spread the word...I was super excited to be a part of it. Then I was asked to speak on one of our local morning television shows to help promote the race there as well! Talk about a little bit giddy! I was sooooooo giddy! I wanted to do a good job and I wanted to help bring in as many runners to the race as I could.  I wore red and white striped socks and prayed that I wouldn't stumble with my words. 
    
Time for the news!

Talk of Alabama.
     While the promotional part of the race is great for me, what I really enjoyed the most was learning exactly what I was running for. I went to the Ronald McDonald House. I wanted to see the facility and learn as much about the house as I could.
Ronald McDonald House of Alabama.

From the Ronald McDonald House of Alabama Website:

What We Do
Families from throughout Alabama, across the United States and from around the world come to Children’s of Alabama and UAB Hospital seeking life-saving treatment for their critically ill children. Often times, they come to Birmingham exhausted, scared and financially drained as they struggle to pay for overwhelming medical bills. 
Our Ronald McDonald House cares for 41 guest families every night, providing them with a home away from home while their children receive medical treatment. In addition to providing a comfortable bedroom, we surround our families with love and support from our volunteers, staff and other guest families who share the same hopes and fears. We also provide home-cooked meals, activities, indoor and outdoor play areas, laundry facilities, computers, WiFi, and much more so that our guest families can concentrate on what is most important — family.
In addition, we provide a comfortable, relaxing place to rest and regroup while only steps away from a sick child’s bedside at our Ronald McDonald Family Room at DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa. We also have a Happy Wheels Cart that delivers the comfort and care provided by the Ronald McDonald House to children and families while they’re at Children’s of Alabama.

Birmingham’s Only Affordable Temporary Housing Facility for Sick Children and Their Families
Twenty-four (24) hours a day, 365 days each year, the doors of the House open to welcome families of sick or injured children.
On any night when you open the door of the House, you will find 41 families and approximately 100 individual guests resting in cozy family bedrooms. We provide a stocked kitchen for guests to prepare their own meals, laundry, recreational and internet facilities, and welcoming dinners prepared by House volunteers.
Birmingham’s Ronald McDonald House asks for a $5 to $10 per night donation for services that cost more than $95 per night to provide. No family is ever turned away for their inability to make the minimal donation. Last year, the House provided over 700 guest stays; an estimated 38,000 stays since the House opened in 1979.

     The above two paragraphs explain what the Ronald McDonald House does and how they operate. However, the next picture really summed it all up for me. As I walked in, the hallways were lined up with bicycles that had been donated for kids. There were little pop-top collection boxes everywhere. I knew then that people from all over the community pitched in to make this Ronald McDonald House work AND I knew that they money that we were raising and collecting actually went towards everything that I thought that it was.

     Just the fact that families can stay here while their kids are in the hospital and take some of the financial burdens off, that's huge.
Bicycles in the hallway at Ronald McDonald House of Alabama.
Pop-top collection boxes.

So many pop-tops collected for Ronald McDonald House.
     I had so much fun touring the house and getting to know some of the people who worked there and chat with some of the families who were staying there. There are so many stories and I took home the heart of the Ronald McDonald House with me. <3
Picked up my team's race packets!
     Now it's time to actually run the race!! We had a starting temperature of 28 degrees! BRRRRRR!! It snowed on us while we were running! We hardly ever get snow in Alabama so this was a big deal to us.

Lakeshore Trail.
     The race took place in Homewood, Al. There is a one mile fun run, a 5k and 10 Mile option. I chose to run the 10 mile option. Even though we were just freezing while we ran, when we finished the race, the post-race party was indoors with lots of HOT McDonald's Coffee!! Major Score!!

     My friends and I had so much fun posing for pictures with Ronald McDonald, drinking hot coffee and watching the post race awards.


Kristin and Ronald. :)
     "Taking place in beautiful downtown Homewood, Red Shoe Run provides a great opportunity for team building and fundraising among groups, companies and organizations of all kinds. All money raised stays at the Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham to keep families close at a time when it’s needed most. Special awards are handed out to the top individual fundraiser, the top fundraising team, the most spirited team and the largest team. Team perks include a complimentary team sign, VIP seating and a Team Roll Call during our awards ceremony inside Rosewood Hall.
This year’s event will take place on Saturday, January 21, 2017 beginning at 7:00 am. To register and begin fundraising, visit www.redshoerun-bham.org."
Running with my friends....always fun!

Love my finisher's medal!

Yes. I'm a McNuggett.

Mid-Run Selfie.

Red Shoe Run Bling....I'm Lovin' It!


     Overall, I would say the Red Shoe Run was a huge success for the kids and I cannot wait to run it again this Saturday! Join my team (#TeamBamagirlruns) and use code BGR17 to save yourself some bucks!

      For more information about the Red Shoe Run and Ronald McDonald House of Alabama, please visit rmcha.org

Happy Running and I hope to see you and your red shoes this Saturday!! If you are not local to Birmingham Al., and still want to make a donation, please do so! The Virtual run option is greatly appreciated. :)
Red Shoe Love!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Embrace the Pink! #Mammothon

Pink!!!
     This month, I will be teaming up with B-Metro Magazine, Brookwood Hospital and Belk to help raise awareness for Breast Cancer and the importance of Mammograms. I will be attending "Mammothon" on October 25th and will be live posting through all kinds of fun events as they are happening!



     Here are some of the fun events that we have planned....


- Belk will be fitting women for bras at the Mammothon from 6AM - 10PM. For every woman who participates in a complimentary bra fitting, Belk will donate $2.00 to Susan G. Komen. No purchase necessary.

- A cooking class presented by Girl Friday, Complimentary Breast Cancer Awareness Manicure, Exercise Demonstration, Massages, and Jewelry Expo!

- No referral is needed for a mammogram screen. Baseline mammograms are recommended at the age of 35 and annual mammogram screens annually at the age of 40.

- 3-D Mammograms will be offered! This technology helps doctors find breast cancer earlier. All patients may upgrade to a 3-D mammogram for an additionall $50.

- PARKING WILL BE FREE FOR ALL GUESTS!
- Woman can call 205-802-6900 to book a mammogram appointments

-Location:
Brookwood Diagnotics Center
2006 Brookwood Medical Center Drive
Womens Medical Plaza
1st Floor Room 112
Birmingham, Al. 35209

Be sure to follow Brookwood Medical Center on Facebook (Brookwood Medical Center), Twitter (@BrookwoodMed) and Instagram (@brookwoodmedicalcenter) for the latest updates on Mammothon!

Hope to see you all at Mammothon!
Happy Running and Happy Breast Cancer Awareness Month!


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

BIG NEWS!! Bamagirlruns takes over @nycmarathon Instagram account!


     BIG NEWS on my blog today!! I'm taking over the @NYCMarathon Instagram account all day Wednesday October 19th!!. I'm so excited that I can barely stand it!


     I will be working alllllll day long so this will be the perfect day to show a day in the life of Bamagirlruns. Tomorrow, I will be teaching 6 different types of fitness classes and I took the evening off work to get a run in. Wednesdays are my longest days in the gym and I absolutely love them!

     I'm keeping this post short and sweet because I want to bottle up all of my excitement and let it all out tomorrow. I hope you all follow along as I go to work tomorrow. I love my job and the TCS Marathon training and I can't wait to share it with you all!!

Be sure to follow both Bamagirlruns and Nycmarathon on Instagram for my latest updates.

Happy Running and See you on the Insta REAL SOON!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

I'm a 2016 TCS New York City Marathon Social Media Ambassador!!

I'm a 2016 TCS New York City
Social Media Ambassador!!!
I have the BIGGEST Announcement EVER!!! I have been selected by the New York Road Runners (NYRR) to be a 2016 TCS New York City Marathon Social Media Ambassador!!

My mouth nearly hit the floor when I opened up the email and saw this invitation. Really?? Me?? Surely, I was reading this email wrong. Surely.

Nope.

It was for me!! I had no words. I was so humbled. I think I must have read it 10 times. At least.

I was in shock.

Immediately, my mind started racing. What in the world did this even mean?? Omg. I'm so nervous. Me?? Represent the TCS New York City Marathon??? I was dyyyyyyyying to hear all of the details. For now, I had to sit tight and let it all process. They would send details later. I was about ready to jump out of my skin with anticipation!!!

For a couple of weeks, I didn't tell a soul. I wanted to make sure that it was really going to happen!

Then..... I got the details. Oh. My. Gosh.

I am one of 10 or less Ambassadors. This is HUGE.

This is the first year that the TCS New York City Marathon will have a Social Media Ambassador Program. I am beyond grateful for this experience.

The marathon would like to feature me. They would like to follow my training. They want to know my story. They want to know why I run. They want to know why I'm running the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon.

Are you kidding me?? They want to know about a girl from Alabama?!?

Mind BLOWN. I'm one of 55,000+ people running this marathon. I can't even wrap my brain around this!!!

I'm going to document the rest of my training. I will get to meet the pro-athletes in the race. I will get to take over the TCS New York City Marathon Snapchat account for a day in October!! That will be total fun....a day in the life of BamagirlRUNS!! But most importantly, I cannot wait to share all of this with YOU!!!!

I tried for six years to get into this race. I'm not going to lie..there were years that I was MAD when I received the "we're sorry but...." email. However, now I know exactly why I didn't get in all of those years in the past.

THIS. IS. MY. YEAR.

So as I'm typing all of this out and I'm ready to share my news with the world....I've just gotten home from the gym. I've been there off and on today since 10am. It's now 9:51pm. I'm physically spent.  I click on to Timehop and BAM. There they are. There are all of the pictures from exactly one year ago that I broke my ankle. UGH.
This photo was taken minutes before
I fell on the trails and broke my ankle.
I was so happy here.
UGH.

As much as I hate looking at those pictures, I absolutely LOVE them.
No Caption needed.

If you know me at all, you KNOW that I have spent the last year of my life trying to become a strong person both mentally and physically. As much as I hated every minute of having a broken ankle and not being able to run or work, I needed that to happen to me. The recovery process was a learning experience that helped me realize the real reason why I run.

I am passionate about what I do.

I run. I workout. I help others reach their fitness goals. I motivate. I encourage. And I take time to listen.

I did not do all of those things before I broke my ankle. I have always been a social and friendly runner but I really did not know what it meant to be a real "runner". Breaking my ankle taught me so many things about life, friendships, and how to be a team player.

I changed the way I ran. I changed the way that I workout. I changed everything about my job.

Before, I worked because I needed to make money. Now, I teach group fitness classes and I personal train because I care about my clients. I care about my classes. Period the end, I care. I make more money now because I'm not being greedy with it. I'm teaching classes around the clock and I love every single minute of it.

I never dreamed one year ago that I would be making this announcement exactly one year later. I have been placed in my life exactly where I'm supposed to be.

I will be posting so many updates as I continue on with my training. This is going to be the experience of a lifetime for me and I CANNOT WAIT to share it with the world!!!

Thank you NYRR and TCS New York City Marathon for providing me with this awesome opportunity. I'm already in love with this race and I haven't made it to the start line yet!!! Big Apple, I'm coming for ya.....#BamagirlrunsNYC!!!!!!

#TCSNYCMarathon

Click here to read my full story on how I broke my ankle. Again, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for following along my journey to TCS New York City Marathon and I hope to see you all soon in the Big Apple!!

For more information on NYRR and TCS New York City Marathon, please visit www.nyrr.com and www.tcsnycmarathon.org.




















Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Why I'm Pushing it to the MAX. #DontJustShowUp #TCSNYCMarathon


Six Mile Run...No makeup. I can't even go there. Who cares?!
     What's been happening in my world?? I have fallen off of the update-my-blog-regularly-train. And for good reason.

     I have been up to my eyeballs in work. I decided a few months ago after I was back to working out 100% that I would make it my goal to become certified in as many different things to teach as I could. I wanted to expand my fitness horizons and see where my possibilities could take me. I kept an open mind and told myself that I would not turn down any opportunities that were offered to me. And WOW. Just WOW.

     I couldn't have set myself up for anything better.

My weeks go like this now....
Every other Monday morning, I teach low impact cardio to Senior Citizens.
Monday afternoons, I personal train clients and have taken on two group training Women on Weights classes.

Tuesdays, I teach YCross in the mornings and teach a Synergy 360 class at my local gym.  I teach Bootcamp in my Backyard to moms and friends in the evenings.

Wednesdays, I am teaching a Silver Sneaker (Chair aerobics) class to Senior Citizens, more personal training and Women on Weights.

Thursdays, I work in the gym (front desk, or doing whatever I am asked to do), teach my Synergy class and Backyard Bootcamp.

Fridays, I'm off work and I go workout and take classes if I'm not subbing somewhere.

That's my week in a nutshell....the parts that I left out were the parts where I fill in the time subbing, I work at four different YMCA branches, running errands for my fam and washing millions and millions of loads of laundry. My kids are all playing sports, I change clothes a half a dozen times a day and my hubs is refereeing too.

The other part that I left out is that I also run my long runs on Saturday, teach a YCross class on Sunday and try to run anytime during the week that I can fit it in.

I have two cool meetings this week to take on "new projects" for me. One has been in the works for a while which I'm pretty excited about. I can't officially say that I'm doing it just yet but pretty sure that it will happen. Think NFL! It's going to be right up my alley!

The other meeting I have was totally random and the opportunity was offered to me last week. This will be something completely different for me but I'm excited about it too. Think Strength and Conditioning for a competitive team! Sounds like a challenging thing for me to dive right into!!

After Labor Day, I'm adding a Strength Class to teach on Wednesdays and also another BOOTCAMP class three days a week in the afternoons at a Pre-School for Moms and Preschool teachers! I'm excited about these two new additions also! 

With all of the craziness of my schedule, I'm adding a few hours each week during the day to work a "Health Coach" shift at the Y. I really really like doing this too. I love the motivational end of my job. I like to encourage and I like to help members/clients see that they have all of the potential in the world to meet their health goals. This is what I like to do.

With all of this being said....my job is just the greatest. My job is exhausting. My job doesn't pay what a full time salary would pay. But I love my job. I love the flexibility and I love working 24/7. I have created my job and I wouldn't have it any other way.

For fun, I have taken on the new/old hobby of roller skating....talk about a good quad workout!! And it's so fun that I didn't even realize that I burned almost 900 calories last Saturday night!!
#BamagirlrunsTheRink
     There are just some days when I just have to look at the calendar to remember where I'm supposed to be, what I'm teaching and all of that kind of stuff. I'm not perfect and I rely HEAVILY on caffeine. I eat all day long and I love that I cross train like a maniac and am somehow managing to train like a beast for New York City Marathon. I have so many personal goals for this race. They don't necessarily all involve race day. I'm learning what it means to truly be a runner, a friend and an encourager. I am hoping that I walk the walk and will push myself TO THE MAX everyday. Not just race day. I don't want to be that person that just shows up. I want to be READY.

And I'm getting there. ;)

Happy Running, Happy Working and Happy Cross Training!

Drink all the coffee.


Friday, August 5, 2016

Bring it!


Happy Friday!!!

This morning, I woke up at 4:42 am for absolutely no reason at all. I am not a morning person. I typically sleep like a rock. A heavy heavy sleepy rock.

I have been off work all week and I cannot believe I my body did not want to take advantage of some major sleep!

There are only three reasons why I would wake up early...work, get my kiddos to school early or I'm headed out to run.

None of those reasons were on my plate today. No joke. I don't even like breakfast much less wake up early just for the heck of it.

However, today, I woke up ready to conquer the world. And ready to conquer it in the BEST MOOD.

I probably should have gone out for a run since I was awake. But nope. I wanted to wake up, drink my coffee and sit on the back porch. I WANTED to watch the sunrise. I wanted to be one of those people who posted the sunrise on Instagram. There was no sunshine out yet.

I waited. I waited. And I waited......

Finally, the sunshine popped up. I watched it. It was so bright.  And I knew for whatever reason, I was about to have a GREAT day!!! It's almost like, I'm just waiting for "it". And I don't even know what "it" is.

I knew the sunshine was coming but I didn't know when and once it got here, it was absolutely GORGEOUS.

I have a little bit of sunshine bottled up inside of me that I'm dying to share with the world and I'm praying that today is the day I can share it!!! I've been busting at the seams to tell someone that truly gets it!! If you know me at all, you will understand.

Unlike, the sunrise this morning, my news was totally unexpected but just like the sunrise, it was the best news and opportunity for me that I could have ever thought imaginable. I am thankful. I am overwhelmed. And I am going to have the greatest day today. Just thinking about my bottled up sunshine puts me on cloud nine and I cannot wait to help spread that kind of happiness with the rest of the world!

Hope everyone has a great Friday filled with your own kind of bottled up sunshine and I'll update as soon as I can. :))))

Happy Running and Happy Sunshine! 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

My New York City Marathon & Dopey Challenge Training Plan



     I can't believe that I'm actually typing out my New York City Marathon and Dopey Challenge Training Plan!! eeeeekkk!! This is really happening. And I'm still just in shock that I'm registered for New York City Marathon!!!! And Dopey Challenge, this will be my fourth time. I can't get enough of the 48.6 miles....clearly ice lost my Dopey mind! Lol. 

     I posted a very similar post in 2014 when I was training for Dopey Challenge and Chicago Marathon at the same time. I've tweaked that schedule to fit my current running schedule. I have a few races scheduled and plan on adding more.

     I also gave myself a few extra weeks to train. Because Kids. Family obligations. Holidays. Life in general. And I'll be real honest..somedays I just don't feel like training. I know that's probably not the best thing to include in a training schedule post but it's the truth. Training for a marathon is exhausting. I can't be effective if I'm exhausted. If I'm exhausted, I need to take a break. So I included time to take a break. I refuse to beat myself up if I miss a run here or there.

      I"m excited to finally be able to say "I'm officially in training for New York City Marathon"!! Seriously, it's just the coolest thing EVER to me. I'm ready to train.
   
     I have each week listed and have minutes and miles on the calendar. Depending on my day, time limits and mood, I will either run 3 or 4 miles or 45 minutes.  My job keeps me in the gym all day and there are days when I work out for 6-7 hours. While that sounds like running should be easy, somedays it's just hard to get a run in.

     So here is my training schedule. I'm starting out with a Half Marathon. BAM!! Normally, I would not do that but this is the inaugural year for this race and it's getting HOT here in Bama...we don't have a whole lot of summer race options so I'm going to use this race as a way to log 13.1 hot miles and earn some bling in the process. ;)

     I don't have the days listed in which I will need to run. As long as I get the miles in, it does not make a difference to me what days I run. I'm not that structured. Some days I wish I were. Most days, I'm glad I'm not that structured.

     Another thing that I did in my schedule was after week 23, I started doubling up the mileage to prepare for back to back running days... i.e. half marathon on Saturday and full marathon the next day. Make sense??

     So this is my schedule for now. I'm sure I will add things and change things as they come up. No stress! If you are reading this and are training for New York City Marathon AND Dopey Challenge, hopefully, you might be able to use this training schedule also!

06/06--Week 1
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
06/11--Tallulah Half 13.1 Miles

06/13--Week 2
45 minutes
45 minutes
4 miles
7 miles 

06/20--Week 3
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
5 miles 

06/27---Week 4
45 minutes
45 minutes
5 miles
9 miles

                                               
07/04--Week 5
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
10 miles

07/11--Week 6
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
7 miles

07/18--Week 7
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
12 miles

07/25--Week 8
45 minutes
45 minutes
4 miles
5.5 miles
07/30--Retro Run 5K 3.1 Miles

08/01--Week 9
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
13 miles

08/11---Week 10
45 minutes
45 minutes
5 miles
10 miles

08/15--Week 11
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
15 miles

08/22--Week 12
45 minutes
45 minutes
5 miles
16 miles

08/29--Week 13
45 minutes
45 minutes
6 miles
12 miles

09/05---Week 14
45 minutes
45 minutes
4 miles
18 miles

09/12--Week 15
45 minutes
45 minutes
7 miles
14 miles

09/19--Week 16
45 minutes
45 minutes
8 miles
20 miles
09/24--St. Jude Walk/Run 5k 3.1 miles

09/26--Week 17
45 minutes
45 minutes
8 miles
12 miles

10/03---Week 18
45 minutes
45 minutes
5.5 miles
8 miles

10/10---Week 19
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
9 miles

10/17--Week 20
45 minutes
45 minutes
7 miles
15 miles

10/24--Week 21
45 minutes
45 minutes
8 miles
5 miles

10/31--Week 22
45 minutes
45 minutes
11/06--NYC Marathon!! 26.2 Miles

11/07--Week 23
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 Miles

11/14--Week 24
45 minutes
45 minutes
6 miles
11/20--Magic City Half 13.1 Miles

11/21--Week 25
45 minutes
45 minutes
7 Miles
14 miles

11/28--Week 26
45 minutes
45 minutes
10 miles
20 miles

12/05--Week 27
45 minutes
45 minutes
6 miles
12 miles

11/12--Week 28
45 minutes
45 minutes
7 miles
14 miles

12/19--Week 29
45 minutes
45 minutes
5 miles
10 miles

12/26--Week 30
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
6 miles

01/2--Week 31
45 minutes
01/4-01/8--Dopey Challenge 48.6 miles!

Happy Running and hope to see you either in the Big Apple or in Sunny Florida!