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Inspiration: Yoga

18 Jan

I jumped back onto the Yoga train in December and am so glad that I did. I’ve done yoga since I was 12 with my mom but haven’t been practicing regularly in way too long. The wonderful ladies over at Tough Love Yoga started offering classes at Raw Bronzing Studio in my neighborhood so I decided to check it out.  Being able to walk to yoga (and a perfect spray tan) in less than 5 minutes gives me no excuses not to go. I started out taking lunch hour and night-time drop in classes and then signed up for their Bikini Boot Camp. They have several sessions, but mine meets Mondays and Wednesdays at 6 PM. Tonight’s class will be my 4th and let me tell you…Neda rocks it out and leaves me sweating and sore (in a good way!).  If you’re in Atlanta and are looking for a way to jump-start your yoga practice this is it.

I found this video yesterday on twitter and I’m pretty sure I watched with my chin on the floor. This woman’s story is incredible (she was a child pop star in Asia) and her strengthen (both emotionally and physically) gives me so much inspiration.

Check out her incredible video below (and her amazing body…damn girl!)

Maybe one day…:).


Disney 1/2 Marathon Weekend

12 Jan

Hey guys! Happy Thursday to you. Anyone else feel like 2012 is moving at light speed? It’s the 11th already…WTF, it was just New Years!

Sorry I didn’t post a Recipe Monday…I suck…no real excuses besides the fact that I haven’t made anything new and exciting that I loved enough to share. I have a Thai Chicken Noodle soup in the crock pot right now, but I’m not doing backflips over it so I’m not posting. I promise to post when I have something worthwhile for you (and something vegan for you, Lace!).

This past weekend Ben and I headed down to Orlando to meet up with my best friend and room-mate from college, Lacey, her boyfriend, Bobby and our friend from NC, Natalie. Natalie’s mom, Linda, and her friend Sam came along too and we all ran the Cigna Disney Half Marathon together on Saturday (except Ben who has a hurt knee and Natalie’s mom).

Lacey and Bobby picked Ben and I up from the airport on Friday and we headed over to check in to the hotel.

I love this one

We stayed at the Gaylord Palms…it’s MASSIVE. Evidence below.

After check in we checked out the Wide World of Sports to pick up our race packets and meet up with Natalie, Sam and Linda. We had a really freaking hard time parking, getting inside and finding Natalie so I sent her this frustration picture.


Side note…Ben, Natalie and I were all frustrated at work last week and sent these out to each other via text to express our feelings. We are weird…I like it.

Stress Face

We stopped for some pics before going back to the hotel and then out to dinner for some serious carb loading (bring on the pasta!). In the middle of all this I was feverishly trying to finish Mockingjay (Hunger Games 3). If you haven’t read books 1, 2 and 3 GO BUY THEM NOW! Or e-mail me and I’ll send them to you. SO FREAKING GOOD! Intense, violent and wonderful. YESSS!!! Can’t wait for the first movie.

Natalie and I

Linda, Sam, Natalie, Me, Lacey

Saturday morning I woke up at 3 AM (!!!) to be downstairs and in a cab by 3:45 AM. It was way too early, but I was excited to run with these pretty ladies.

Sam, Me, Natalie, Lacey

Me and Natalie

The race started and ended at Epcot with a quick stop (and when I say quick I mean it) at Magic Kingdom and Cinderella’s Castle.

Honestly, I did NOT train enough for this race. I’m still adjusting to Atlanta and working from home (how long do you think I can get away with that as an excuse? ;)), I was sick, we had the holidays with family in town…I could go on for days. And now a line from Old School is stuck in my head…

I knew I could finish with no problem because I had put in the distance runs, but just didn’t do enough speed work to accomplish my goal…running this B under 2 hours. With a little encouragement from Natalie I decided WHAT THE HELL, I’m going to try my hardest and run like a mofo. Sam and Lacey split from Natalie and I and off we went.

We started out slowish…around 10 minute mile pace and then got faster and faster. Let me remind you that I am not the hare, I am the tortouise and this body is built for distance, not speed. But something seriously came over me and I just told myself I was going to run like hell. I think having long legs Natalie running with me may have helped ;).

So…there we are…running through Disney (mostly the back alleyways and side roads) and both Natalie and I feel like champs. I just keep looking down at my fancy pants Garmin in amazement that I’m running so fast (we’re talking 8 minute miles at points for this slow poke) and I feel like I can totally do this thing. And then around mile 10 tragedy strikes…ok I’m being dramatic, but I got a really painful cramp in the ball of my left foot. I’ve NEVER had a cramp like this before and it felt like there was a bone sticking out of the ball of my foot. Obviously there wasn’t. Scary, but I really didn’t care because I.was.runniiiiing (think of this in Forest Gump’s voice).

Natalie kept looking back at me and the terrible faces I’m sure I was making to see if I wanted to stop. What I really wanted to do was finish under two hours so I kept on going. Around mile 11.5 I realized that unless we started running at warp speed we weren’t going to make it :(. Natalie finished in 2:02 and I finished in 2:03. SO EFFING CLOSE!

We were bummed, but it was still a PR for both of us and now we’ll just have to do it again together. 🙂

Ok, so here are my gripes about this race. 1. I paid $170 for this thing. I pay $70 to run the 1/2 in Atlanta. I was expecting some mahjah perks and schwag for $170. I did not get any mahjah perks or schwag. I didn’t even get park admission after the race. This annoys me. 2. I think of the entire 13.1 miles we only ran through parks for about 2 miles. The rest of the run was through Disney back roads. Boo. 3. The race started at 5:30 AM and it was dark outside. Parts of the course were incredibly dangerous because of the lack of lighting. There were times where I could barely see Natalie beside me because it was so dark out and they did not light the roads. This isn’t true for the whole course, just parts. Yes, I am an old woman. 4. IT WAS $170. Oh wait…I said that already.

All in all, so happy I did it. I got to see two of my best friends and enjoy a weekend in Orlando. Will I do another Disney race? Not unless they pay me to do it or their prices go down or they start offering some serious schwag.

After the race (and a little car accident…everyone is OK!) Lacey and Bobby hit the road and the rest of us went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Please respect the spell limits - this made me grin!

I have read all 7 books and seen all the movies. I.LOVE.HARRY.POTTER. The entrance takes you into Hogsmeade. So realistic.

Hogwarts Express & the Conductor!!!


After taking a few pictures we beelined it to the butter beer stand.

Too bad it's non-alcoholic

We checked out Ollivander’s – Makers of Fine Wands and saw a little interactive show inside.


Ollivander finding a wand for this lucky guy (so jealous)

We also went on the two HP rides.


On line - set in Herbology Class

There were super cute shops there that sold everything from Bertie Bott’s Every Falvour Beans to Chocolate Frogs to a Nimbus 2000.

After covering every inch of HP we headed over to Margaritaville to drink. We had a wonderful dinner with Natalie’s cousins and called it a night.

The next morning Natalie and Sam left and Ben and I headed for Magic Kingdom.

On line waiting for the Buzz Lightyear ride

For the record, Ben beat me...look at how serious he is!

We rode all three “mountain” rides. Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain. I got soaking wet on Splash…Ben did not. WTF.

Don’t be fooled. These are not “weeee I’m having fun” faces…these are “OMG I’m going to barf” faces. The teacups will do that to you.

After some delicious ice cream (does anyone make better ice cream than Disney? I think not.) we headed back to the hotel, packed up and flew home.

It was a wonderful weekend  and I’m counting down the days until I get to see my ladies again.

Sending a big GET WELL SOON to Natalie’s momma. She slipped and fell at the hotel and broke her wrist. Feel better Linda!

Fitness: Running

6 Dec

We love to eat WAY TOO MUCH and have to do something to counter our weekly cheese intake (P.S. I just got an Irish Whiskey Cheddar from the farmers market…how amazing does that sound!). Lucky for us, one of our favorite hobbies happens to be running. We can all three do it together (except Ben and Rocky are considerably faster than I), it’s easy and requires little athleticism and let’s be honest…I’m lacking on the later. We love the idea of being able to walk out our front door and just go. Running is good for the body and it’s also a fabulous stress reliever…something we can all use.

We’ve both run 5 & 10Ks and two half marathons and are signed up for the Disney Half Marathon on January 7th and will be signing up for the Publix Georgia Half Marathon on March 18th. The Publix race is always around my birthday…an awesome way to celebrate :).

Me and Rick (NC Neighbor) Pre-Race - Publix Half Marathon - 2011 (He ran his first Marathon in under 4 hours!)

Post-race stretching - Publix Half Marathon - 2011

Post-Rate - Publix Half Marathon - 2010

Back in early Spring I encouraged some co-workers to pick up running. They saw my success with my first and second half marathon and watched me go from an awkward jogger to a semi-serious runner and knew that if I did it, they could too. The program I used and recommended to them was  Couch to 5 K.  It’s a simple program that gradually eases you into the sport over 9 weeks with a series of 3 running/walking workouts per week.

Your First 3 Weeks

The best part about the program is it’s versatility. You can do the runs outside or on a treadmill, use your own music and a stopwatch to keep track of your timing or download one of many podcasts (there are also some available on iTunes) and pick the three days of the week that work best for you. Plus, it’s available in 29 different languages.There’s even a Pooch to 5K program for your furry baby!  The C25K website also offers forums to connect you with other novice runners, give info on gear and shoes and links to other great running sites and tells you where to look when you’re ready to start training for longer races. My favorite training plan website is from running legend Hal Higdon.

Post-race: Beat the Heat 5K with my co-workers - Winston Salem, NC - July 2011

I’m happy to report that the girls are still running and actually enjoy it (or so they tell me)!

Ben and I recently stopped by our local running store, Phidippides, to grab some new shoes since we’ll be doing lots of training in the coming months.

My Shoes: Asics Gel 1170

Ben's Shoes: Nike Lunarglide 3

Best of all, we got 15% off the entire bill by using a SparkQuest code that we got online.

Anyone else gearing up for races in the near future?

Fairy Dust

21 Jun

I totally realize this is a crazy title for a blog post, but y’all…Tracy Anderson calls sweat fairy dust! Is that fabulous or what? She’s the celebrity trainer behind Gwyneth Paltrow, Shakira, Courteney Cox, J-Lo and Kristin Davis. I’ll take any one of their bodies ANY DAY!

I’ve been doing her hour long Mat DVD for a little under a year and I absolutely love the results I get when I’m doing it regularly (5 times a week) and combine with cardio (running 4 times a week). Clearly this doesn’t happen every week! It’s a B to wake up at 5:45 AM to get my workout in and then have enough time to shower and make myself look like a normal human being, but it actually works so it’s totally worth the lost sleep (and I don’t say that about many things).

Anyway, she recently came out with a whole new program called Metamorphosis (CLICK HERE for the scoop). It took me a while to muster up the courage buy it for a few reasons. 1. It’s over $100 with shipping (ouch!), 2. It includes a toning component (Tracy calls this muscular structure) and cardio component, and I’m happy with running as my form of cardio (and so is Rocky) and 3. Knowing Tracy, this S was going to be HARD!

I’ve been doing the DVD’s for about two weeks now and I’m glad to report that I’m a happy camper so far. I am not following the diet plan (I love eating WAY too much), and I’m doing her dance cardio twice a week + my usual running. It’s definitely hard and I’m covered in fairy dust when I’m done (hope you’re not getting a mental picture!).

From Tracy’s Website: 
In the newly released Metamorphosis by Tracy, you will transform your body, defy your genetics, and create the body that you never thought possible.  Prepare to be challenged throughout this 90-day program that includes 9 discs of transforming muscular structure work, designed for your specific body types,  a cardio component, and a dynamic eating plan. Experience this total transformation through your own Metamorphosis!

Metamorphosis by Tracy Anderson

Anyone who looks like this has got to know WTF she’s doing, right?
Tracy Anderson = Dream Body

Try it out…get your fairy dust on…I promise if you stick with it you won’t be disappointed!

– BGD –

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