Category Archives: Running

Run for NYC

Run a virtual race for the victims of Hurricane Sandy….whether it’s a marathon, half marathon or 5K, sign up today to run and raise money for the recovery efforts during the week. 100% of the money raised goes to the Red Cross relief fund.

 

http://www.run4nyc.com/

My First Half Marathon

This morning I ran the Haunted Half Marathon on the lovely Cumberland Plateau located in Eastern Tennessee.  It was a beautiful day for a run!  The air was crisp and cool and the leaves were covered in the shades of autumn.  I was very pleased with my pace and run time as well.

And the best part of the entire race was that I got to cross the finish line with my boys!  I couldn’t wait to get to the end to see their smiling faces.

Today I ran on a team that benefitted Rising Above Ministries, an organization that supports families with special needs children.  I dedicated each mile to a child with a special needs today and it was the greatest motivation to keep me running strong when the hills got high.  What an awesome experience!

My First Trail Race

Today I ran my first ever trail race–8.2 steep, muddy miles through the forest.  The temps rose into the 80′s but luckily there was a nice breeze and enough cloud cover to keep things comfortable. All I can say is that those hills kicked my rear end!  This run was all about celebrating the beauty of our local state parks.  I enjoyed every moment of my time on the trail today, even those darn hills.  I really wished I could have taken some pictures of the gorgeous scenery, but you know, I was running and stuff.

Everyone thought it was hysterical that I was crossing the finish line with a huge smile on my face, but I was just happy to finally reach the end and not be dead last!

Don’t ask what this pose was about, I think I was a bit delirious and ready for a drink of water.  Even photo shop couldn’t make me look good after this run ;)

It wasn’t my best time, but at least I got out there and did it, right?  That’s got to count for something.  Now let’s hope I can shake these jello legs by tomorrow.  Right now I’m on the couch while the kids are running around  like crazy wondering why mama’s actually resting.    I think the laundry can wait until tomorrow, too.

Hope you all are enjoying your Saturday as well!

 

 

Gear Review and Giveaway: Stonewear Designs (apparel for active women)

Giveaway Closed.  Congratulations to commenter number 3 for winning the headband! 

I’m not a world-renowned athlete and I’ve never led an exhilarating expedition to worlds unknown.  My ab muscles are strong but are by no means toned enough to resemble a six-pack.  I’m training for a half-marathon–words that I never imagined would fall from my lips. I don’t look like a supermodel and my curves sometimes annoy me.  But I’m proud of my body and all that it has allowed me to accomplish.

I believe fiercely that adventure and outdoor exploration are for all.  I strive to stay active, push my limits, try new things and inspire others to do the same. Staying active and fit are high on my priority list. I use all of my resources to not only help my son with special needs thrive outdoors, but to show others that adventure and the natural world are within everyone’s grasp. I believe in the power of nature to sooth the soul and nourish the body and mind.  I believe that everyone can benefit from being active outdoors.  And I don’t think that you must have the perfect body to do so.

That’s why I was so delighted to become a member of the Stonewear Designs Grassroots Team.  Stonewear clothing is designed to fit every type of body.  They empower women of all shapes and sizes to be active while stylishly supported.  So today, I thought I would share with you about some of my favorite Stonewear outfits that I was provided to test and use in my daily activities.  And I’ll be honest….I pretty much live in my Stonewear clothing now. It makes me feel beautiful, strong and comfortable all day long.  Their clothing is of very high quality (so it will last without showing wear) and is specifically designed to be tough enough to keep up with an active lifestyle.  

Lyra Top + Rockin’ Capri:

The Lyra Top is made of a very breathable, moisture-wicking fabric that keeps you cool and dry while hiking, running, kayaking, climbing or just wrangling kids.  This is my go to top for all of my activities.  Not only does it keep me cool and dry down here in the hot and humid southeast, but the support is phenomenal.  The Lyra Top has a built-in bra that keeps the girls nicely in place.  I sometimes pair this top with Stonewear’s cross back sports bra to give myself the maximum amount of support possible because I really like to keep everything in place :)  But the top alone provides great support.  The fit is extremely flattering as well.  The fabric skims the body and flatters without being clingy  (which is great if you are like me and your midsection is a little soft and round!)  If you are an active woman who is a bit heavy on top, then the Lyra Top is definitely for you.

The Rockin’ Capris (also referred to by me as the most awesome pair of capris to ever grace my legs) are the best thing that has ever happened to me from a clothing standpoint.  These flattering, moisture-wicking capris feel great, look great and hold up to creek crossings, muddy hikes, kayaking trips and hot trail runs. They also have a side zip pocket that is large enough to store a smart phone or keys. I practically live in these capris (as well as the pant version.)  Wash after wash these babies still look like new.  The Rockin’ Capris are the most rugged and beautifully constructed capris/pants I’ve ever owned.  They are certainly worth every penny.  I cannot stress enough how awesome these are!!  I will never hike in anything else again….seriously….they are that good.

Keep a lookout for an upcoming review of my other faves–the Olympia Top, Rockin’ Pants, Double Cross Back Top and Meridian Capris….

Want to see what other real women have to say about Stonewear Designs?  Check out this fabulous post that shows women of all shapes and sizes sharing their favorite pieces of clothing!

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Now, who wants to win a little something from Stonewear Designs? Enter to win a headband, here’s how:

1. Visit the Stonewear Designs website and take a look around, then come back and leave a comment below telling me what piece of clothing you think would be great to try and why.

2. For an extra, additional entry, you can like Stonewear Designs on Facebook.  Then come back here and leave a separate comment telling me you did so.

3. For one more extra entry, you can like Hike.Blog.Love on Facebook (or tell me you already are a fan) and come back here and leave another comment.

That’s it!  Good luck, ladies (and men who would like to win some swag for their lady.)  The giveaway closes on Friday October 5th. The winner will recieve a headband in a random color.

Some of the Stonewear clothing shown in this post was provided to me free of charge as a member of the Grassroots Team.  Some clothing was purchased with my own money because I love the clothing so darn much.  All opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Run Hard, Do Good (earn money for charity through the app Charity Miles)

For the past few weeks, my RunKeeper log has looked like this.  I’m showing this to you 1) to prove that you don’t have to be the fastest and best runner in the world to train for a half-marathon, 2) that I’m really working hard to train for my half-marathon and 3) most importantly, I want to share a new app with you all called Charity Miles.

So why am I running?  You can go to the top of my blog and see that I’ve added a new page called Run, Mama, Run! that highlights the whys and whats of my running career (ha, I use that term loosely, folks!)

(Right now I’m training to run a half-Marathon that will benefit a minsitry for families of special needs families called Rising Above Ministries.  I will also be helping a special needs participant cross the finish line.  Part of my responsibility for participating in this half-marathon is so that I can help raise funds for Rising Above, and you can find the donation link here if you’d like to contribute. Just tell them Lauren sent ya.)

But even if you’re not running in a race like me, you can still raise funds for charity just by walking, running or biking!  Meet the new app called Charity Miles.  Here is the basic description of the app:

“…an iPhone/Android app that empowers you to earn corporate sponsorships for charity by walking, running or biking.

Just choose a charity and press start.  As you walk, run or bike, the app tracks your distance and you earn money for your charity.  Bikers earn 10¢ per mile; walkers and runners earn 25¢ per mile, all up to our initial $1,000,000 sponsorship pool.

And this is just the beginning.  As you walk, run or bike with Charity Miles, you also help us attract more sponsors to increase our sponsorship pool for everyone.

So please join the movement.  And please invite your friends.  Because changing the world is a team sport!”

I just downloaded the app and can’t wait to get started. It’s free, so what are you waiting for?  Run (walk or bike) hard and do good.  It’s that easy!

Best Buddies 5K

On Saturday I ran my heart and soul out for the belief that friendship is for all.

I ran and when I grew tired, I thought about Big Brother and about how hard he must work each day.  I thought about how he never gives up and always fights, no matter how hard it is. I thought about how easy a race must be in comparison to living without friendship and in comparison to living with Autism.

I ran and thought to myself what a blessing it is to have two strong legs and two healthy lungs.  I thought about how blessed I am that I can show my gratefulness each day by using my gift to help others.

I ran and watched over 1000 smiling faces running for those who couldn’t and for those who are their best buddies.

I ran for team Big Brother and all those like him.

I ran and ran hard with a smile on my face, choking back tears as I saw countless runners sporting pictures of their best buddies.

The sun was strong and the hills were high, but I finished in 35 minutes keeping a steady pace throughout.  I was proud.  But more importantly, I couldn’t wait to go home and hold one of my best buddies after the race:

It was a good day.

Run Like No One’s Watching

Once upon a time I used to look at people who ran and think that they must enjoy misery.  I truly couldn’t understand why anyone would want to run.  I personally hated to run.  Hike 13 miles up a mountain?  No problem.  Paddle for 8 hours straight?  You betcha. But run one mile….no way.

In all fairness, I always felt like I was doing something wrong when I ran.  Did I look ridiculous? Was I wearing the right shoes?  How fast and how far was I supposed to run?  Fast forward about 10 years and here I am, not only completing every 5K I can find**, but now training for a half-marathon.

Yes, you read that right. I’m training to participate in a very special half-marathon that will take place in October.  I’m no where near ready, but I’m training hard and making progress with each run.  And who cares what I look like when I run or what shoes I wear (although I did find some awesome ones, for sure).  I guess that’s what happens when you age….you start doing things for you, not for the approval of others.

Now that I’m older and a smidge wiser, I find that I really do enjoy running.  Not only is it a great challenge for me, but I truly love trail running in the woods near my house.  It’s such a great time to connect with nature, and such a release as well.

photo from Rising Above Ministries

So I decided to push myself hard and train for a half marathon–but not just any half marathon.  I will be participating and partnering with a special needs ministry.  I will cross the finish line with a special needs participant, and I cannot wait!!  Not only do I get to run for myself and see how far I can push myself, but I get to help someone else in the process.  If you live in the Tennessee area, I encourage you to check it out.  They are in need of more runners and special needs participants.  It’s an awesome reason to run!

http://www.risingaboveministries.info/haunted-half

 

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**Now that my ankle is healing nicely, I am planning on participating in the Best Buddies 5K on Saturday.  A big thank you to all who have donated.  There is still time to donate to this wonderful cause, please check out this post to learn more!!

Friendship for All: Why I’m Running for Best Buddies

In his own words, let Big Brother tell you what he would like to do with his friends…

Remember this post? Running for a Special Cause {Best Buddies 5K}  I’m raising funds for this wonderful organization, in honor of Big Brother!

“Best Buddies is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

I’m running because I believe that friendship is for all. Please consider donating for this great cause.  You can find my very own secure donation page here. If every reader donated just $1, I would be able to reach my goal!  I encourage you to check out this great organization further by visiting their website. If you can’t donate, please share this post!

Thank you all!

 

 

 

Running for a Special Cause {Best Buddies 5K and Fundraiser}

You may have recalled that I recently ran my first 5K (well, the first one in many, many years) that benefitted Soles4Soles, an amazing foundation that provides shoes for those around the globe who don’t even own a single pair.  Now I’m at it again, but this time it’s for a cause that is super near and dear to my heart.

On August 25th, I will be racing in honor of my sweet Big Brother.  The organization that is sponsoring the 5K is called Best Buddies:

“Best Buddies is a non-profit organization that establishes a global volunteer movement that enhances the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by matching them into one-to-one friendships with their non-disabled peers.  There are 7.5 million Americans with intellectual disabilities, and 200 million worldwide, and they are the most neglected and undervalued population in the world.  As such, children with intellectual disabilities often grow up experiencing a life of rejection and isolation.”

They do much more in helping individuals with disabilities, like opportunities for job placement and leadership roles. This is an organization that I believe will serve Big Brother as he grows older. I am so happy to support such a great cause!

But I need your help.  I am raising funds to support this great organization.  Please consider donating or sharing this post.  You can find my secure donation page here. Thank you for you help and support!!

Columbia Mini Muddy Buddy Run: Trying Stuff

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[My Little Man is on the left and Big Brother is on the right]

The motto of Columbia Sportswear goes something like this:

“…trying is the fuel of progress. It’s the spirit that pushes people up mountains, down rivers, and across continents… So try. Try often. Try differently. Try harder. Then try again. Greatness will follow. Columbia. Trying stuff since 1938.”

Weeks ago I had signed Little Man up to run the Columbia Mini Muddy Buddy Run with me. We were both stoked about it and were counting down the days until the sloppy, muddy event. I knew this was right up his alley and that he would totally rock it.

On the morning of the run, we decided to sign Big Brother up for the event as well. After the great horse adventure of 2012, we figured why not? Columbia’s motto is trying stuff. Why did we have to exclude our 5 year old special needs son from trying stuff, too? Isn’t trying stuff for everyone? It seems that Big Brother is always full of surprises, so try we did. I knew the mud would be difficult for him sensory-wise, but I also knew that he could do it if he really wanted to.

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Big Brother became nervous as we approached the mud pit. I grabbed his hand, looked him in the eyes and said, “baby, you got this, let’s do it together!”

As Big Brother and I crossed the finish line, hand in hand, tears stung my eyes and my heart swelled with pride. He did it. We did it. We tried harder than any other child at the race that day and greatness did follow! We may have come in dead last, but by golly we gave it everything we had and finished with smiles on our faces. I’ve never been more proud of my kids, for the one who pushed his way to the head of the crowd and the one who never gave up even though the entire world would have understood if he had.

Thanks Columbia for encouraging everyone to try stuff.

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Little Man didn’t want any help as he pushed himself to the head of the race!

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Big Brother was trying to process everything that had just happened!

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just as expected, Little Man rocked it and loved every single moment of the mud