Friday, January 23, 2015

Running With My Funk. #ME


Rarely do I ever post too much about my personal life here on my blog but lately, I've just been in a mental funk. When I get that way, I usually turn to running. I love that about myself though. I turn.

I hate conflict. I hate drama. And I hate people that act dumb. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm a total goof by nature. That's not what I'm talking about here. 

I am struggling with a lot of personal issues. I'm struggling with just being "me". 

I like "me". I think I'm a pretty cool chick. 

I wear ALOT of hats in my house. We are a family of six plus two dogs and I do it all. Blah blah blah....every Mom does it all. That's not a news flash. And I'm not complaining. 

But "Me" is tired. Not the Mom "me". Not the wife "me". I'm talking about the Kristin "Me". Mentally worn out. 

I just realized that most people online don't even know me by my real name. Who IS that girl? 

I love to race, I love to seek out new adventures, I love to just dream. But what I love and what everyone else need from me are two different things. 

Over the last few weeks, I've been shut down and I really hate that. Mentally, I just can't go there. 

I love my job. I love my life and my fam. But I do not love being shut down. 

I do not wanna be in a mental funk so I'm releasing that. I'm not running from this. I'm running WITH my funk. I don't know all of the answers nor do I care to right now. 

I am going to stay on top of my game though. I won't give in to negativity. And I will keep dreaming big. 

I love most of the hats that I wear in life but I've got room on the hat rack for a couple more that mean something to me.  

I know that everyone goes through ups and downs in life and I'm totally prepared for the ride. Until I figure out how to get a grip on my hat rack situation, I'll keep pushing forward. 

So today I put on my favorite purple pants and took it to the gym. I needed to vent. I needed some "me" time. I got my "me" time and I got a clear headed workout. I've got a fire lit and I'm not backing down anytime soon.  I still like "me". Issues and all. I'm gonna keep that feisty "me" girl around for a while! 

That Kristin is a tough cookie and I like her. :) 

Happy Running and Happy "Me". :) 



Monday, January 19, 2015

January Abs and My Own Personal Challenges.

January 19. 2015. 

Over the last few weeks, I've really made an honest effort to work on my abs...I posted back in Novemeber that I was going to post pics and hold myself accountable. Yiiiiikes. So here ya go! These are the mid-January abs. Do you even know how much posting these pics takes me out of my comfort zone?!?! A friend inspired me to post my progress pics so I took that advice and am going with it. 

However, I can see a little definition going on so I'm super happy that I've decided to really stay committed to this. 

I love love love my Insanity and Crossfit classes and have been invited to go try out Iron Tribe and Pure Barre over the next couple of months so I'm going to be hitting it hard. I'm pumped! 


The side view is the scariest. And seriously. I really should clean up my bathroom. 

What's coming up next?!? 
I've got Glass Slipper Challenge, Tuscaloosa Half, CCC10k and a few others over the next few months but my main focus is Country Music Marathon in Nashville. That race kicked my butt mentally last year and I want redemption this year. 

I'm coming for ya Nashville, Giddy Up. The hills in my hood are about to be put to the test. 

So I'm continuing to lay off of as many carbs as possible, eating tons of green veggies, drinking lots of protein shakes and am really tuning in to my sleep habits (thanks to FoodForSleep) ....and I feel GREAT! 2015 has been really good to me so far and I'm ready for every moment that the rest of the year has to offer. I live for a good challenge and right now I'm happy with challenging myself. :) 

Happy Running and See you in the gym. :) 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Belk #FitFest Review!

     “I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.“
Welcome to my Belk #FitFest Review!
Men's UnderArmour on display. 


     Last weekend through Everywhere Society, I was invited to attend Belk's  Fitfest at the Riverchase Galleria in Birmingham, Alabama. This was a really cool Fitness event located in the middle of the Women's Dept in Belk. Vendors were on hand to answer questions about fitness and healthy lifestyles. And boy oh boy did I have questions!

     Over the last few months, I 've been taking a ton of classes at my gym so I had tons of questions about Fitness. I was also able to sample some healthy snacks and smoothies, get a free hand massage, and even learned about Piyo, Bootcamp and Crossfit Classes!
Thank you for all of the healthy and yummy snacks!

Keihl's on hand with free hand massages.
Cuisinart Smoothie Demos. 

     When I first arrived, the guys from Irontribe Fitness were there to greet me. I've seen these guys in action before so needless to say, I was a little worried when they challenged me to a one-minute workout. But I thought....one minute?? Sure. Why not??

     Well let me just tell you that their idea of a one minute workout and my idea of a one-minute workout are two different things. I got on the rowing machine and did as many rowing exercises as I could in 30 seconds and then did as many squats as I could in 30 secs. I won't give my final score but I think I did pretty good. Well...let's just say, I broke a complete sweat in one minute in the middle of the mall. Not bad for a 42 year old Mama!
I really need to work on my speed rowing skills. 


A little bit about Irontribe:
Located in more than 60 locations, Irontribe Fitness is headquartered in Birmingham, Al. and this business has exploded onto the Fitness Scene!!  Here are 3 fun facts about Irontribe Fitness.


Fun — It’s more than a workout. You get fit in a group, with new exercises to challenge you, and new friends to cheer you on. You can call it a community. We call it the Tribe. Our member athletes don’t have to be here — they want to be here!
Fast — Our program is designed for busy people. That’s why you’ll find some of the most successful people in town here. Get in, get fit, and get done in about 45 minutes.
Fitness — Iron Tribe combines body movements, personal coaching, and healthy nutrition, in a safe, supportive program. For male and female athletes, ages 6-73 (so far). Our members lose weight, gain strength, sleep better, enjoy more energy, and experience a total life change.

So....I loved the one-minute challenge so much that I decided to go for a 2-minute Challenge! This is where the rubber met the road. I did rapid kettlebell swings, more rowing exercises and even more squats! Talk about a sore booty the next day. Yikes!!
KettleBell Swings with the Irontribe Crew!
     I met the ever so sweet Christa Richardson AKA the most awesome Piyo Instructor EVER!! She teaches in at Convivial Health in Northport Alabama so if you are looking for a Piyo Instructor there, she is the BEST!
Getting a lesson in Piyo from Christa Richardson!

     Next up the guys from Xtreme Fitness Birmingham were on hand to give me a few lessons in hardcore working out! I tried out a series of exercises....Burpees, Ball Slams and Shaking the heavy ropes. I would NEVER in a million years thought that would be a hard workout but WOW was I wrong!! Those ropes kicked my butt!
Burpees and Ball Slapms!


A little bit about Xtreme Fitness Birmingham:


Xtreme Fitness, LLC  is committed to providing safe and effective exercise programs that will enable yo to  see real results in the shortest amount of time possible. Our goal is to motivate, educate, and inspire people to reach optimal levels of performance and balance in life. Our expert and passionate team of trainers are driven to transform lives by empowering people to reach their full potential. Our comprehensive approach includes personal training, athletic conditioning, life success coaching, on-going support, motivation and accountability.

We provide clients complete body transformation specializing in

Weight loss
Gaining Strength
Toning
Improving their zest for living
Improving Energy
 Overall health
Increase metabolism
 Accountability
Motivation
Program Design
Flexibility
Sports Performance
Xtreme Results!!!



Oh my gosh! The ropes are tough!! What a great workout!
     What a great way to spend the day! I really enjoyed attending Belk Fitfest and will definitely check in to some of the gyms and try to take home some of the ideas and things that I learned. I like attending events like these that I can learn things on hand meet new people. 

Having a great time and learning so much at Belk's #FitFest.
     Thank you again Belk and Everywhere Society for the invitation! I can't wait to return next year!

Happy Running and see you at Belk FitFest!


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Years Eve...Blah Blah Blah


(Last Selfie of the year) 


I'm in a Blah mood...sort of. 

Sitting here watching football (like I do most nights), no problem with that....

I'm flipping back and forth through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter looking at everyone's pics, promises, resolutions for the New Year. I love looking at all of this kind of stuff but I don't know why. 

I would love to be a big dreamer and think that I'm going to start something tomorrow and stick with it. But I'm not.  I don't go on crazy diets, I already exercise and I don't like making promises that I can't keep. 

Tomorrow, I'm going to run with my fellas (which I love) and then I'll be home watching my Bama boys (which I also love). Shocker. I'm going BuckWild in 2015.

Coulda shoulda woulda.

What I do know is that I've had a pretty fantastic year and I really haven't even set my mind to too much...I made my mind up a couple of months ago on some things that I want to accomplish in 2015, and really I don't care if it's in 2015, I just want to get it done. And I will. 

I've got a couple of things that will put me waaaaaay out of my comfort zone but I don't care, I'm diving in. Let's just say....well let's just say, I won't give the details on those. 

I stay busy everyday (probably too busy) and don't want to have to pinpoint one particular day to make me feel like I've got to pack it all in or else I'm not accomplishing things. Oh baby do I accomplish things! 

So my mood is not really all that Blah but I don't feel like blowing party horns either. Okay, just kidding. I've got a trip around the corner next week and I'm packing my party horns! 

I'm keeping my eyes on the prize...Bring on 2015. :) 

Happy Running and Happy New Year! 

Monday, December 29, 2014

I'm a Blogger for #FitFest! #NewYearsResolutions


"I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own."


     With New Year Resolution Frenzies on the horizon and everyone wanting to get a grip on their fitness goals, I couldn't be happier to be invited to attend Belk's Healthy Living #FitFest on Saturday January 3rd in Birmingham at the Riverchase Galleria location! I've got lots of fitness goals for 2015 and I'm ready to get started!

What is Belk's Healthy Living Fit Fest?
     One of the South's Premier Retail Stores will be holding a a series of fitness events throughout several states on January 3rd. These events will include:

* Free mini fitness classes: whether it’s a 15 minute fitness boot camp in the parking lot, a 10 minute yoga stretching class by the fitness apparel, or a 5 minute dance session designed to get you moving, there’s some kind of class lead by a local fitness expert for you!

* Health conscious food sampling: samples will be offered – think granola, fruit, smoothies, juice, and protein bars! Select locations will even have a Cuisinart demo not to be missed.

* Cosmetics sampling: try popular skin and body care products.

* Shoe fittings: how to pick the right shoe for your workout style? Our associates have you covered. Get fitted with the right advice!

* Rock star brands supporters of this event? Under Armour and KIND bars.

* Store promotions – January 1-7 (Thursday through Wednesday) you can:

Earn double points with your Belk Rewards or Premier Rewards Card
Earn triple points with your Belk Elite Rewards Card

Where Can I find a #FitFest close to me??

* Charlotte, NC (Southpark)*

* Raleigh, NC (Crabtree)*

* Greensboro, NC (Shops at Friendly Center)*

* Winston Salem, NC (Hanes Mall)

* Hickory, NC (Valley Hills Mall)

* Wilmington, NC

* Charlottesville, VA (Charlottesville Fashion Square Mall)

* Dallas, TX (Galleria Dallas)*

* Huntsville, AL (Brudgestreet)

* Huntsville, AL (Parkway Place)

* Birmingham, AL (Riverchase)

* Tuscaloosa, AL (University Mall)

* Jackson, MS (Ridgeland)

* Jackson, MS (Flowood)

* Greenville, SC

* Columbia, SC (Columbiana)

* Savannah, GA

* Atlanta, GA*

* Mt. Pleasant, SC

* Florence, SC

* Statesboro, GA

All cities with an asterisk (*) will have Cuisinart demos!

Please join me on Saturday Jan. 3rd for #FitFest at a Belk's location closest to you! I will be live tweeting/instagramming using the hashtag #FitFest on these Social Media Channels! @belk (Twitter), @mybelk (Instagram), or @belk (Facebook).

Happy Running and See you at #FitFest!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Two Thumbs Up for Louva Arm Sleeves

Welcome to my Louva Arm Sleeves Review!
     Last weekend, this crazy Alabama weather got cold enough where I could try out my new pair of Louva arm sleeves. I was super excited about trying these out because of two things: THUMB HOLES and well..thumb holes! I am usually cold all of the time and love any kind of jacket/shirt with thumb holes so this was a no brainer for me. 

     What I struggled with, was....Am I going to be TOO hot when I run wearing these? Even though I'm usually pretty cold natured, when it comes to running..now THAT'S a different story! I am that person throwing off layers onto the side of the road!! There are only a few times per year that I actually wear long sleeves when I run. The thought of arm sleeves vs. a heavy long sleeved shirt are a great option for me. 

     Right now, these sleeves are only available and come in One Size Fits Most. 
Easy decision. One size fits most and
white is the only color option available right now. 

A little bit about Louva Gear via LouvaGear.com:
The Problem:
It's a chilly morning, and you've got an early run planned or a race to get to.  You can't decide if you should wear long or short sleeves.  You don't want to be too hot.  You don't want to cover your race bib.  You don't want to run with a shirt or jacket tied around your waist.

Our Solution:
SLEEVES!  Sleeves are an affordable solution to your running wardrobe dilemma.  They will keep you warm while you wait at the starting line or when you first head out the door, and during that first mile or two until your body gets warmed up.  You are going to love the extended hand length and thumbhole for added warmth!  If your hands get warm, you can easily fold that part back.  When you're warmed up, you can conveniently pull them off and tuck them in your waistband, or in a race toss them without the guilt of throwing out an expensive piece of gear.

The Fun Part:

You can write on them!  Write your favorite quote, your splits, who you're dedicating your run to, or have your family write some words of encouragement.  In a race, write your name on them so the spectators know who they're cheering for.  This is a fun option to help keep you motivated.

Santa approves of my new Louva Arm Sleeves. 


The Results are in:
I ran the Jingle Bell Run 5K in Birmingham, Al. and tried to get in the theme of things.  There were lots of people dressed like reindeer, elves, Santa etc...I'm not really a costume wearer so this was the best that I could do!

I probably would have never picked the color white for an arm sleeve so I liked the fact that I was stepping out of my comfort zone just a bit. I would probably also NEVER buy anything with too big of a logo on it. However, I really didn't mind this one. Truth be known, I kind felt a little bit on the "tough girl" side sporting this logo on my bicep. ;) Who am I kidding? #WhatBicep

At the start of my race last weekend, the temps were in the low 40's. I ran the entire 5k and really didn't ever want to take off my sleeves. I never got too hot in them. They are so stretchy that I didn't have a problem being comfortable after the race in them either. 

I give these arm sleeves two thumbs up!
     I give these Louva Arm Sleeves two thumbs up for sure. They are made from 98% Nylon and 2% Spandex. SO comfy!! And The best part?? They are only 12 Bucks! Yes, you heard me right. TWELVE BUCKS!!

     That price is incredible to me. I think that I have just found my new favorite gift to give to my runner friends.
Black Logo on the top of the sleeve. 
Giveaway!
Compliments of Louva Gear, one of my readers will receive a pair of these awesome arm sleeves. All you need to do is leave a comment here and tell me why you need these little beauties! Winner will be chosen at random and giveaway will end on December 31st. (Just in time to get your New Year's groove on!)

Thank you in advance for entering and good luck!

For more information on these fantastic arm sleeves please visit LouvaGear.com.

Disclaimer:  I was provided a pair of Louva Arm Sleeves for my honest review. I loved them and cannot wait for this company to make additional colors besides white! I give these sleeves an extra dose of Bamagirlruns love! :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Oh What Fun It Is To FINISH!! #JingleBellRun

 
Oh what fun it is to FINISH!!!
  This was the scene 7 years ago as I crossed the finish time for the first time!! LIKE EVER CROSSED A FINISH LINE. I look back on this picture and I have so many different emotions about it.

1. I wore the LONG SLEEVE Cotton Event Shirt. I was so proud of it. I would NEVER wear a cotton tshirt when I run now!! My pants were some kind of weird cotton-type material. I didn't own any dri-fit or running clothes. Seriously, I had a runner bib too?!? I had no idea that I had to pin it on my shirt. This was all so new. I'll never forget it...I was #309.

2.  My shoes were 2 1/2 sizes SMALLER than what I wear now. Oh how I learned the importance of the right fit over the years. I hated the thought of having to wear bigger shoes. I suck it up now and it phases me zero. I'm a tall girl with big feet, therefore I wear big shoes but I do not get shin splints, ankle/knee problems....The injury-free trade off is fabulous and the right shoes are everything.

3. December 1st, 2007 was my 35th Birthday. I was making a statement to the world. I had been a stay at home mommy to my babies for years and I desperately needed some "Kristin Time". Boy oh boy did this day ever change my life!! Now I look forward to birthdays just so that I can move up in my age bracket. How crazy is that?? I WANT to be 50 so bad that I can hardly stand it!! I wanna bring home the bling, baby!

4. My first official finish time was 35:57. I was proud. I was devastated. I ran. I walked. I could not understand how people were finishing with any times any lower than mine. 35:57 was all I had in me. I almost threw up. I ate like a horse after the race was over. My legs and thighs hurt for days after this race. I loved every minute and knew that I would not give up until I finished a race in under 30 minutes. I had a new goal. I wanted to be able to run an entire 5k without stopping. I reached that goal the following April. It took me four months of hard training but I did it.

5.  I SCRAPBOOKED  this monumental event AND bought the race photo!!! Who has time to scrapbook anymore?!?! And who really buys their race pics after every race?? I wish I had a million dollars because I would so go back to every race I ever ran and buy my pics. I would buy all of my running friends pictures too....I think one million bucks would cover it. ;) Our race pictures are out there in cyber race photo land just waiting for me. :)

Railroad Park Birmingham, Al.
New home of the Jingle Bell Run 
      Fast forward 7 years later and I'm still running the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis 5K benefitting the Arthritis Foundation. This is an excellent cause to run for...I have several friends whose kids suffer from this awful disease so I like to support this race!
At the Start Line with the twins.
The Start Line.
     In Birmingham, this race has previously been located in the Southside area. This year, it moved locations to the new Railroad Park downtown.  I love this location....the course was super flat and fast. I ran the fastest 5K that I've ran in a long time. 

     My official time was 25:15!! I was SOOOOOO excited about that!!  I officially shaved off 10 minutes from my first 5K time. I could not have been happier. I've been working on speed at the gym so it's nice to see my work paying off. Now if I could just start seeing those abs...still working on that. grrrr.

25:15 is still not fast enough to place in my age group for this race...1st place ran in 19minutes.
There's no way I'll ever be that fast!!
My Aunt placed in her age group though...Boo for me but yay for her.
Not too shabby for a 60year old! (She's my moms' twin) #GoodGenes
The Course:

     We started out at Railroad Park (which is adjacent to the new Regions Park Baseball Stadium), ran a few blocks and then headed over towards Boutwell Auditorium, passing the legendary 16th Street Baptist Church, newly renovated Lyric Theatre and the beautiftul  Alabama Theatre. After that we were running  towards UAB.
Lyric Theatre
   On the streets of Birmingham,  I tried and tried to get a clear pic of this guy in front of me. He had HO HO HO on his hiney and I thought that deserved a spot in my blog. ;)

#SeenOnMyRun
Post Race:
     After running around the UAB area, we headed back towards downtown and finished at Railroad Park.  Domino's Pizza, Otis Spunkmeyer muffins, bananas, Pure Protein Bars (Strawberry and Chocolate Peanut Butter), Dasani Water, and Powerade were all waiting for us at the Finish Line Festivities. Impressive Spread!

     There were lots of costumes at this race, tents set up for some of the kids with Arthiritis who had formed teams and Santa even had his own race for the kids....a Santa Chase!
Post race festivities at Railroad Park.
I snapped this pic towards the end...there were many more people immediately following the race!
I thought these guys were pretty cute!
They covered all of the Christmas Characters. ;)
Matchy Matchy with the big dude.

No race would be complete without at least one Selfie.
Speaking of scrapbooking, I ran into one of my favorite running friends Gretchen McElveen!
Check out her blog....She's pretty famous in that world. :)
     I'm kind of sad to tell the 2014 running year goodbye. I've had a REALLY GREAT running year but by telling 2014 goodbye, that can only mean one thing.....HELLO 2015!! I've already got some fabulous races on my calendar for next year and I will definitely be running the Jingle Bell Run again next December! I'll be there will bells on! :)
This was the official cotton event tshirt this year. 
For more information on this race in your area and the Arthritis Foundation, please visit Arthritis.org.