Healthy Holiday Challenge: Elf4Health

I’m so excited that Lindsay and Elle decided to bring back Elf4Health for the second year. If you’ve been reading my blog since last year, you’ll remember me sharing some of my adventures participating in Elf4Health. It’s a fun, free program created to encourage continuing a healthy lifestyle (or starting) in the weeks leading up for the holidays. Different “challenges” include Meatless Monday, cleaning out the closet, trying a new workout, workout with a buddy, etc.

I totally encourage you to sign up. It’s a great community (I think there’s already 400+ elves signed up, men and women) to support a healthy lifestyle. You’ll be paired up with another elf twice during the challenge, and those pairings can lead to a great friendship–I still chat with my elves Annica and Lindsay.

Here’s the gist of the challenges:

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Sign-ups are going on now until this Friday, Nov. 22. There will be a second round of sign-ups, but I recommend getting in on the action early! (Check out Lindsay’s blog for the sign-ups.)

You can follow along with me as I chronicle my Elf4Health Challenge via the blog, Twitter (@MLArszman), and Instagram (MLA317).

I hope you’ll join us!!

Your turn: Out of the challenges above, what one would you be looking forward to the most? 

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Good Reads – Sharing Some Blogger Love 4.13.13

I started this last week and I love how it brings together a community of bloggers! I’m grateful to be part of HealthysELF and Sweat Pink Amabassadors, and everyday we have “Link Love” on our Facebook pages. It’s a great way to check out new bloggers and read a plethora of topics.

LinkLove

So here are a few posts that caught my eye this week:

13 Lessons in 13.1 Miles (Part 1) (Journey to a Healthy Life): Tami hit the nail right on the head when she said you’re able to do a lot of thinking while running those (long) 13.1 miles! I usually have quite a few thoughts swimming around in my head, but I’m not as good at putting them all together like she has here. One line from her post, which appeared on an image says it all: “Because every step of the way, I’ve become grateful for what my body can do.” Don’t forget to follow up with Part 2 and Part 3.

Injury Prevention for Runners (RunLadyLike): Jesica did an awesome week-long series of tips for runners to prevent injuries. (Where was this like a month ago? Ha!) In these posts she covered the basics like cross-training, wearing proper shoes, avoiding running through severe pain, and icing. She also touched base on getting regular sports massages to loosen tight muscles and reduce stress on joints (hmmmm…). These posts are definitely worth bookmarking and keeping for reference.

Blog Smarter Twitter Chat Recap (The Lean Green Bean): I meant to join in on Lindsay’s Twitter chat Wednesday night, but it was M’s birthday and he go the evening off so we celebrated instead. Thankfully Lindsay recapped the chat and provides some great tips for all bloggers like: Being willing to show your flaws, be wary of doing too many sponsored posts or giveaways, and engaging with your readers. Another bookmark-worthy post.

Have You Experienced the Post-Race Blues? (Mommy Run Fast): OMG Yes!! I wrote about the letdown I felt last year after finishing my first half marathon, and I’m currently undergoing the post-race blues after the RTB (doesn’t help to be in IR, either). Laura maps out how the cycle of our emotions training for, running, and recovering from races occurs with each of us, which hits the nail on the head. One of her tips to help with recovery is easy: Set new goals to work towards. Done!

Please check out these lovely ladies and their blogs! Then share with me some of your favorite blogs from this week. (I love link love–thanks to my HealhysELF friends and Sweat Pink sisters for hosting the Link Loves everyday!)

The Power of Speaking Up

Just a quick note to let y’all know, once again the power of social media has surprised me. Remember my post on Sunday about how my RunKeeper GPS app on my phone said that my 8 mile run was actually 20 miles? Well, after walking my dogs on Sunday and having what I knew was about a 1-mile walk turn into a 2-mile walk (that started across the 4-lane highway half a mile from my house), I was irritated and blasted that blog post a couple of times on Twitter, hoping to call out the makers of RunKeeper.

Well, lo and behold, yesterday I got a tweet from @RKSupport: “Good call out Megan. Accurate tracking is everything. Hoping the latest update cleans up errors, but let us know if it continues.”

Sweet! I noticed an update for my app on Monday, and a little part of me wondered if my post had anything to do with it, and apparently it at least helped spur it on!

Here’s the convo:

TwitterConvo

So, moral of the story is, if you want something fixed, stand up and let someone know about it!

(Now if only I can get LA Fitness to fix their equipment so my friends and I can run together in the mornings! Sheesh!)

Can You Imagine Running 50 Miles?

A quick post for today. I have to send you to my Twitter friend, Eric’s, blog as he prepares for the Leadville 100–that’s right, a 100 mile race!! Wow!

Over the weekend he ran 50 miles and then posted about what it was like to run those 50 miles. I still remember every feeling I had while running the half marathon earlier this month, let alone 26.2 or even 50 miles! It is inspiring to me that he pushed his body that far and he is still so positive about running and adding on the mileage. Go Eric, go!!

Read for yourself: So, What’s It Like to Run 50 Miles?

My Healthy Valentine: Why I Love Running

I follow a great group of runners on Twitter by following the hashtag #runchat. If you’re a runner and you’re on Twitter, I totally recommend putting that in your search bar. They have hour-long chat sessions every other Sunday and the next one is Feb. 26.

One #runchat challenge this week is to post the Top Ten Reasons Why You Love Running. I still consider myself a newbie when it comes to running, but I have grown to love it. So, here are my reasons for my love of running:

  1. It gives me time just to myself. I love running outside on a gorgeous day by myself because it’s just me and my music and I decide where I go, how far I go, and how hard I run.
  2. I know every step I take running I become healthier for it.
  3. It’s unexpected of me. I used to hate running…no seriously, even when I played volleyball in high school, I’d figure out a way to shorten my route on our three-mile conditioning runs in the summer. I even threw shot put and discus on the track team because the throwers didn’t run. Now, as an adult, I love to run.
  4. It’s always a challenge. I like challenges, and running has become the ultimate challenge for me because I have had a lot to overcome–asthma, injuries, etc.
  5. I feel victorious. To go along with #4, I love the feeling of accomplishment I get when I complete a run. When I run to the top of a long, tall hill, I actually applaud myself for making it up that hill and keep going. Little victories keep us going.
  6. The sense of excitement I feel preparing for a race. Now, so far I’ve only competed in 5Ks (my first half marathon is in April), but I love how I feel getting ready for a race and when you line up and wait for the shotgun to signal your start.
  7. It’s flexible. A running workout can last as long or as short as you want it, and you can just about do it anywhere. Some times I try to squeeze in a two mile run after work before I have to be elsewhere (agility classes, volleyball courts, etc.) and there’s nothing better than to push myself for two miles outside when I have a tight schedule–it’s relaxing to me!
  8. Gotta love the music. I love music, and this gives me a reason to put the earbuds in and just rock it out to my own collection without having to make others happy with what I’m listening to.
  9. The clothes. I’ve discovered a love of workout clothes thanks to running and the need to have lightweight, breathable, but fashionable clothing. Now if only I could find cute running shoes in my size and that fits my needs!
  10. I feel a little less guilty to have that handful of M&M’s in the office after a good four mile run before work. Though I’m still trying to figure out a balance eating plan that helps satisfy all the hunger pangs I tend have on my running days.

Do you love running? Or maybe there’s an activity you love. If so, please share your reasons for your love?

My Monday Motivation

This morning’s Twitter feed has mostly been abuzz about the Super Bowl (yay Giants!) and the commercials (yay for Coke bringing back my polar bears!). However, one tweet from Runner’s World (@runnersworld) struck a cord with me as I enter week #2 of my half marathon training:

 Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is usually more important than the outcome.

How true is that!? When you finally accomplish that one goal, the first thing you reflect on is how you got to that point (meaning “the journey”). When you look back on your journey you’ll probably remember the buckets of sweat, the river of tears, and the miles of pavement you’ve pounded to get you to that point. Right now it’s hard for me to imagine that in less than 11 weeks I’ll be running the farthest I’ve ever run, in the largest race I’ve ever entered, and I’ll be able to proudly say I have run a half-marathon. But that’ll be the part I’ll relish most. Until then, I need to remind myself that all the time spend on the treadmill, and all the cold mornings spent on the trails/asphalt are going to be well worth it come April 28, when I can share with you a photo of me wearing my finisher’s medal and a genuine, but exhausted smile on my face (or so I’m predicting).

Remind me of this post about a month later, when I’m complaining of sore knees or my hip not playing nicely with me, please.

Are you one Twitter? Be sure to follow me: @MLArszman and follow along with other runners by following the hashtag #runchat. They share some great information for runners of all levels!!