Tag Archives: tips

Adventures of a River Rat

Today was the best run I have had in a LONG time.  Maybe even the best run ever.  It wasn’t my fastest run, or the farthest, but it was by far the most fun!

Meg has become my running muse.  Not only has she become a running machine, but she also knows so many awesome routes to run! 

Today we ran the course from the James River 10K Scramble. 

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As you can tell from the description below, this is not your typical 10K:

“The start is on Brown’s Island. Go under the Manchester Bridge and head east on the canal walk to 14th Street. Go right and across the river on 14th Street over the Mayo Island Bridge. Make a right on the Floodwall walkway and continue up the floodwall (where the best views are of downtown and the river) and under the Manchester Bridge. Here you will have to climb a series of very steep steps on the side of the old Manchester Bridge.  The runners will go up the stairs and across the bridge over the railroad tracks to the back-side of the new SunTrust Building and go under the Lee Bridge along Riverside Drive and go up to the 22nd Street pedestrian bridge and back to the river. Continue west along the gravel road to the James River Visitors Center.  Return on a series of trails back to the "dryway". Cross the "dryway" by rock hopping across the dry river bed to Belle Isle. Go up a steep trail and along the top of Belle Isle heading east and back down a major hill and then back across the footbridge to Tredegar Street and back east to finish on Brown’s Island.” (Source)

Here is a picture of the VERY STEEP STEPS :)  I had no idea how steep they were as I was climbing up!!!

(Source)

This is how the rock hopping should have looked, but the river was so high that we couldn’t find a way across.

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We eventually found a foot bridge, and climbed a small mountain of rocks to the top :)  My buns got a great workout from all of the climbing today 🙂

Once across the river we were on Belle Isle.  The scenery was absolutely breathtaking. 

We visited a few historical markers along the way, and of course, I had to stop to read the signs.  I am my father’s daughter 😉

These rapids are appropriately named Hollywood Rapids.  Can you see Hollywood Cemetery on top of the river bank???   

We then sprinted across the suspension bridge back to our car, and drank loads of cold H2O.

Our total time out running today was 1 hour, 20 minutes.  We spent 53:05 of those minutes actually running, and the rest of the time was spent climbing steps, ramps, and rock mountains, reading historical makers, contemplating the best way across the river, and redirecting ourselves after being slightly lost at certain points.  It was a wonderful adventure! 🙂

I can truly say that I have finally reignited my relationship with running.  I think it’s important to point out that I didn’t do this on my own.  It took asking a friend for help.

Here are some important lessons I have learned this week:

1) Ask a friend for help in reaching your goals.

Whether it’s asking a friend to go on a long run with you, or asking their opinion of group classes at the gym, good friends will provide you with the support you need.  Working out with a buddy means that you have to stick to the agreed upon schedule, and can’t keep putting it off.  It also means you will have more fun!!!

2) Research alternatives for familiar routines.

For me, running had become a monotonous chore due to the fact that there are very few routes near my house that are conducive to  longer runs.  Looking up race routes provided me with new (and adventurous!) running paths that took away boredom and added excitement. 

Keeping it fresh means you won’t get bored.  Try a new running route, a new class at the gym, or buy a new workout DVD.  Constantly switch up your routine to avoid monotony.   

3)  Celebrate your successes!!!!  

There is a certain high that comes with accomplishment.  After running almost nine miles on Monday, I was feeling rather proud of myself!  I couldn’t wait to get back out on the road!!!

4) Have fun!!!

You do not have to set records every time you strap on your running shoes.  Exercise should be enjoyable!  Do you enjoy tennis or riding bikes?  How about swimming laps at the pool?  There is no law that says in order to call it a workout you have to spend 45 minutes on a treadmill people watching.  The important thing is that you move.  Do what you enjoy!  You will be more likely to stick with it!  :) 

I can’t help but feel great about my workouts this week.  I’ve run about 17 miles total, and have worked out every single day since Saturday.  The endorphins are running strong!  I feel great!

I think I’ll go for a short 3 mile run tomorrow and do some ab work  ;)  Now I’m off to finish my Chelsea Handler book that has me CRACKING UP!!!

How do you keep your workout routines fresh and exciting???

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Blogging-101

Sometime back in October or November, I stumbled into the world of health, fitness, and food blogging.  Instantly I was hooked.  I no longer had to wait each month for a new Shape Magazine to come in the mail (although I still do!  you know about the mail lady and me!).  This information was available to me at my finger tips daily. 

I found a few blogs that became favorites, and I kept going back for more.  I found personal trainers and certified nutritionists who were willing to share this information with  me each and every day.  This world, that is still new to me, has enriched my life in so many ways. 

I’ve learned so much about nutrition, eating clean, and about being a vegetarian.  I’ve learned new recipes and have tried new workouts.  I’ve read reviews for workout DVDs, almond butter, books, and more.

Most importantly blogging has enriched my life by providing me the opportunity to share and to be creative.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am still learning about the blogging world and how it works, but I thought I’d put together a few tips for people who are even newer to this world than me.

#1 Blog Roll

As I mentioned earlier, I found a few favorite blogs that I read every day.  In the beginning there were only two that I read regularly: The Fitnessista and Oh She Glows.  However, occasionally these girls would comment about other blogs that they read.  I also noticed that many of the girls seemed to “know” each other.  I had found a community of like-minded girls striving for common goals.   

I then started visiting these other blogs and clicking on their blog rolls.  A blog roll is a list of blogs that the blogger recommends or follows.  Each day I tried to visit a new blog by clicking on one of the links in someone’s blog roll.  Quickly, I learned that there are hundreds of sites dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle!  You can not imagine how much I have learned! 

A new blog that I just found, and can not get enough of, is Peas and Thank You!  This is written by a woman who has changed her lifestyle to lead a better example for her two adorable daughters.  At this time in my life, when the possibility of children is on the horizon (a few years, mom!), it is wonderful to find such an amazing role model for myself!  Oh, and did I mention that every time I read her posts I laugh my tush off! 

So, if you enjoy reading my very mediocre blog, please visit some of the links listed in my blog roll!  You will find many talented women sharing a wealth of information! 

#2 Subscriptions

If you find blogs that you enjoy reading, you can subscribe to receive updates as they are made.  You can do this two ways (that I know of!).  You can subscribe to receive email updates each time a blogger makes a post.  Most blogs have a subscribe button in the sidebar.   

Another way to receive updates is through an RSS feed.  When you subscribe to an RRS feed, it is added to a Common Feed List. Updated information from the feed is automatically downloaded to your computer and can be viewed in Internet Explorer and other programs.  On Happy Heart, Happy Mind I have links for both the posts and comments feeds available in the sidebar. I will say, however, the RSS feeds are not quite as pretty.   😉

Another way to keep up with your favorite blogs, is to create a Health Blog Folder under your favorites.

 

#3 Comments

There is nothing more exciting for me than to open my blog and to see that I have comments!  To me this means that there are people out there reading what I have written and they want to talk about it! 

When I first starting reading blogs I never left comments.  I’m not exactly sure why.  Part of me was afraid that someone might think that what I had to say was stupid.  Another part of me was afraid that my inbox would soon fill with SPAM and other nonsense.  However, after starting a blog, I realized that this is not the case.  By leaving a comment you are in no way committing to receive any kind of email or SPAM.  It is simply a comment.

One of the reasons I began this blog was to start a conversation about both mental and physical health.  Please feel free to leave comments any time!  I would love to hear your thoughts, comments, or suggestions!  Is there anything you would like for me to write about more often?  Less often? 

#4 Contests!

This is something I have just discovered!  Many bloggers sponsor giveaways of their favorite products.  I’ve seen givewaways for Lululemon, nut butter, tea, soups, socks, sports bags, recipe books, the works!  I’ve yet to actually win one, but that doesn’t stop me from trying!  Keep checking your favorite blogs for new giveaways…  Right now there is a tea giveaway at Confessions of a Health Nut.

Who knows?  Maybe there’ll be a giveaway on Happy Heart, Happy Mind one day!

So, there you have!  4 tidbits of info about blogs you may, or may not, have known. 

I’m off to make a salad that is seriously out of this world.  Here’s a sneak peak of the mushrooms and the meat (for Larry, of course!) that have been marinating since last night!  Check back later for the recipe!

  

Do you have a favorite blog?  If so, what makes you want to continue visiting a blog on a regular basis?  Is it the style of writing?  The information shared?  The Photography?

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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