Are you hustling?

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We all get the same 24 hours in a day and yet it always seems there isn’t enough time to do it all.  I hear it all the time: “I don’t have time to do _______”. I get it, it’s hard to fit it all in but let me share my secret with you; I get up and hustle before everyone is awake. Do I love early mornings, not really.  Some days I hate that my alarm goes off at 4AM but is it worth it to get closer to my dream, YES!!

I read this amazing book by Jon Acuff called Start and he talked about being selfish at 5AM.  It’s okay to be selfish with your time, you just have to choose the right time to be selfish.  He says, “The point is you can carve out time in your day and claim it, if you’re willing to hustle”  He goes on to say, “If your dream isn’t worth thirty minutes, you’ve either got the wrong dream or you’re just pretending you have one.  If the minimum you’re willing to pay in order to be awesome is less than thirty minutes, you’d better go back to average.  Nobody gets up early on the road to average”

Maybe you need to be selfish at a different time of the day, it could be late at night or during nap time. The point is that we all have a little time to carve out if we’re willing to hustle. Dreams are worth pursuing and if you’re not taking time to work towards them, how will they every come true?

Whats your dream and are you actively working towards it?  I challenge you to be selfish with your time and find 30 minutes to really go for it!

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Life as a mother runner

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My plan today was to run 4-6 glorious miles alone in the rain. Running is my soul food and I needed the release that it brings today.  I couldn’t wait to go to my favorite trail,  have some peace and just feed my soul.  However, my three year old, Austin, asked to go with me and today and I set my wants aside to spend time with him. Did I get to run as far or as fast as I wanted, no. But I did get to enjoy time alone with my favorite 3 year old, enjoy nature with him, talk as he rode next to me and take a few selfies. I wouldn’t trade these 2 miles for the 6 I had hoped for.  The moment we had was priceless.

As a runner, it’s easy to get wrapped up in my mileage and training.  I can get so focused on my pace/mileage and goals that I sometimes lose the joy that comes with running.  Today I was reminded that running doesn’t have to be far or fast to be awesome.  I need to have these low key runs in my schedule.

I think that’s the best part about being a mother runner, I get to enjoy the best of both worlds.  As a runner I know I can push myself and train hard.  But as a mother I know the importance of slowing down and enjoying the moment.  It’s about balance and finding what works for each day. I love wearing both of these hats and pulling the strengths from both of them to enrich my life, as well as those around me.

Praising Him in the hallway of life

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I like to live a secure, stable, planned out life. I like routine and control. I like to follow a path that I’ve researched, planned out and know what my outcome will be before I’ve taken one step.  I don’t like surprises and I don’t like unknown twists and turns.

We are currently living a life that is completely opposite of what I’m used to. Moving to Washington has turned our normal life upside down. We’ve been living in transition as my husband retires from the Air Force and I’m struggling with it daily. We don’t know what our future holds at all.  Each day I wake up struggling to figure out how I can cope with all of the chaos.

My faith is being tested daily and I’m constantly praying for God to open doors for our family. We need so many things to fall together as we wait in the hallway.  It’s a moment by moment test of my faith and and most days I fall apart at least once (sometimes more).  

I feel like I’m going to collapse under the pressure at times but when those moments of overwhelming anxiety hit me I try to remember to be thankful for what we have.  I don’t know what our future holds but I’m certain of who holds it.  As I sit here waiting, I’m praising Him for all that I have.  I have healthy and happy kids, who have made it through this transition better than I have. I have supportive friends and family who have encouraged me when I’ve needed it most. I know in my heart everything is going to come together in His time. I know that we are where we are supposed to be and that everything that I’m worried about will fall into place.  

You might be a mother runner if…

If you’re a mother runner, you might be able to understand some of these.

1. You’ve pushed a stroller in a race and still managed to pass people.  It’s empowering and gratifying at the same time.  I’ve mentioned before how hard it is to push a running stroller but passing people while I push it makes me feel like a complete badass.

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I once ran a 5k with all three kids and the route was poorly marked and ended up being 4.8 miles.  My oldest ran the first 3 miles and got tired so he hopped into my BoB and I pushed 3 kids through gravel for the rest of the race.  It was so very hard and I cursed the race organizers under my breath the entire time but I realized I’m a lot stronger than I thought.

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2. Your kids are your biggest fans.  This has to be the best part about being a mother runner. I have 3 amazing cheerleaders and who encourage me when I’m running with them and cheer me on at races too.  When I saw them while running my marathon I cried my eyes out.  I was so emotional and seeing their smiling faces made me realize I couldn’t give up.  I wanted to be the amazing person they saw me as.

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3. Your kids love racing just as much as you do.   They all love to run with me but running and getting a medal is HUGE for them.  We’ve run several races together as a family and I think it’s more fun to race with them than to race alone.

IMG_4348Can you see that pure joy?
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4. You’ve dressed up as a runner for Halloween. It’s a good excuse to where your medal again and the bright clothes make being seen at night a lot easier.

 

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5. Your kids take better running photos than you.  Doesn’t she just look like a natural?

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6. Your kids regularly help you roll out your sore muscles after hard runs.  I battled an injury last year and my son was my go to helper when I was trying to get back into training and my muscles were tight and sore.

IMG_55117. You know that getting in your runs makes you a better mother and wife.  Whether you get in your runs pushing your kids in a stroller, on a treadmill while they play at your feet or alone on the road; each run is a blessing.  Running helps me stay sane, cope with the chaos of my life and helps me be an example to my kids.

On the rare time I get to run alone this is usually me as I head out the door!

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5 Day Clean Eating Challenge

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What is the 5 Day Clean Eating Challenge?

The 5 Day Clean Eating Challenge is small glimpse into clean eating.   I’ll provide the participants with a grocery list, recipes each day and accountability as they go through the program.  You’ll be in a private Facebook group where I’ll post daily and keep everyone motivated as they follow the plan.

How can it help me? 

The challenge can help people see what healthy eating looks like.  It can provide a kickstart to weight loss and get people back on track.   Most people lose 2-6lbs during the 5 days if they follow the program and don’t stray from the menu but results vary and I can’t guarantee anything.

When does it start?

The clean eating starts on Monday 9/22 but I’ll get the group going a day before to provide the grocery list and answer questions.

How can I join?

There are only two requirements to join the group, one we have to be friends on Facebook, you can find me here: https://www.facebook.com/ashley.j.mcclanahan  The second one is that you have to fill out the form below to see if you’re a good fit for the challenge.  Since I am providing this challenge for free I want to work with willing candidates that are dedicated to success.  I want to make sure I’m not waisting my time or yours.

Fill this out to join:

Overcoming Obstacles

 

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Whether you’re training for a race, starting a new fitness program or trying to lose some weight; obstacles are going to come up along your path.  You could be facing an injury, have a few bad days with eating or let your excuses catch up with you. It’s what you do when you face the obstacle that really shows you how bad you want to reach your goal. If you’re a person that has given up because of an obstacle, I’d like to give you some tips to keep pushing, despite the odds that are stacked against you.

1. Realize that obstacles happen to EVERYONE!  There is no perfect road to success.  We all face obstacles along the way because life is real and brutal.  Your journey doesn’t end with your first roadblock.  Remember the road to success isn’t straight and easy, it’s filled with twists and turns and many ups and downs.


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2.  If the plan you’re following doesn’t work, don’t give up.  Just change the plan and keep your eyes focused on your goal.  There are many different ways to get to your goal and adjusting the route doesn’t mean you’ve failed.  Sometimes the plan changes with stuff that’s completely out of your control but try your best to adapt and keep going.  Steps in the right direction, no matter how small will lead you where you need to be.

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3. You need to remember that a few bad days doesn’t ruin your journey.  The only thing that ruins your journey is giving up at the first sign of trouble.  You don’t need a perfection, just progress.  Extend yourself some grace for the bad days and start over again.  Forgive yourself for getting off track and let it go.  If you’re always beating yourself up it’s going to be really hard to have success.

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4. Obstacles are put in our way and how we handle them proves what we’re made of.  When you  get to your goal and you had to fight through many obstacles, success is just that much sweeter.  Trust me on that and keep pushing forward despite all the odds that are stacked against you.

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Favorite Things: Running

Running is my soulmate workout.  Nothing makes me feel more amazing than a good run.  It eases my soul, it’s good for my body and it makes me feel like a badass.

I’m guilty of being a running gadget junkie.  Running shouldn’t take more than just your legs and a pair of shoes but getting awesome gadgets and gear is something I have always enjoyed.  There is a lot of running stuff out on the market, here are my favorites.

1. Garmin Forerunner 205

If I had to pick just one thing to run with besides shoes it would be my Garmin Forerunner 205.  I have had this watch over 4 years and I absolutely love it.  It’s big, bulky and looks like it should be used to communicate with Dick Tracey.   I know that there are smaller and fancier models on the market but I’m still in love with this one.  It’s been with me through so many races and it holds a special place in my heart.  Its died on me a couple times but I’ve always been able to bring it back to life.  I don’t know what I’ll do when we have to part ways.

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2. BoB Dualie

My BoB is another old friend of mine that is near and dear to my heart.  I scoured Craigslists for months before I found someone selling it for $300.  At one point I would have thought spending that much on a running stroller was insane but I knew it would be a valuable asset to my training.  I’ve logged countless miles pushing this stroller.  I wish it had an odometer so I could bask in my own awesomeness.  Because running is hard but running pushing a double stroller is a whole new level of hard and it makes me feel like a badass.  There have been many runs that I’ve cursed this stroller as I’ve pushed it.  Yet running with it has made me a better runner.  Pushing a stroller on 90% of your runs actually makes you a better runner when you’re running solo.  Its like always doing speed work and hills but really you’re just pushing 80+ pounds of kid and stroller.  If it wasn’t for this stroller I wouldn’t be the runner that I am today and I wouldn’t have been able to run as many miles as I have either.  While this cost me $300 it’s worth it’s weight in gold.

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3. Dr. Teals Epsom Salts

I discovered these amazing epsom salts while training for my marathon.  A dear friend brought them over to my house after a long, hard run and I was forever grateful.  I love soaking in a hot bath with these aromatic salts in the water.  Do they work wonders to ease muscle soreness…I’m not sure but they do make me feel better so I call that a win!

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4. Brooks Running Shoes

When I started running I was wearing an old pair of Nikes that I’d had for 5 years.  After running on them for a few months I decided it was time to invest in a good pair of shoes.  I went to the local running store and tried on several different shoes but my feet fell in love with the Brooks Adrenaline.  I’ve gone through many pairs of shoes and have been fitted again and again but I always go back to Brooks.  Brooks shoes just fit me the best and provide me with the best support and comfort.  I’m currently wearing the Brooks Ravenna.

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5. Chocolate Shakeology

Everyone recommends drinking chocolate milk after a long run.  Milk always upsets my stomach, especially after a long run.  I started drinking a chocolate Shakeology after my long runs.  It’s like chocolate milk on steroids.  It’s got protein and many other super foods that help me feel recovered.   More info on Shakeology here: https://runningthroughchaos.com/2014/08/22/so-what-is-shakeology/

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6. Spibelt

I bought this Spibelt at a race expo a few years ago and I love it.  It fits my phone perfectly and is great to wear when I’m just running by myself and don’t need to wear a hydration belt.  It doesn’t ride up or bother me in any way.

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7. Nathan 2 bottle Hydration Belt

I used to run with a 4 bottle hydration belt but I hated it. It was heavy and never seemed to feel right on my hips.  I ordered this one from Running Warehouse a few years ago because it had an adjustable waistband. I didn’t want to carry 4 bottles anymore. I’d prefer to carry less water and refill my bottles as needed on long runs.  I usually have to make potty stops on long runs so I just fill up my water if needed.  This belt even has a big enough pocket to fit my phone and I usually add some tissue too because I haven’t mastered the snot rocket!

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8. Nuun

I have a very sensitive stomach when I run.  I can’t handle gatorade or any other electrolyte liquids.  I struggled through a lot of stomach cramps before I found Nuun.  I usually only use a half of tablet in my water while on long runs but I love the light flavors and the fact that it doesn’t make my stomach cramp up.  This is the only product I can use while running. I haven’t found a gel/chew that doesn’t hurt my stomach but at least with Nuun I’m getting the fluids I need on my long runs.

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9. PiYo

I’m a runner that hates to stretch.  My lack of stretching has caused me a few injuries too, most recently Piriformis Syndrome that took several months to recover from.  Stretching is usually something I skip but I’m try my hardest to stop that bad habit.  I discovered PiYo, a pilates/yoga workout,  a few months ago it’s really helped with my flexibility and forces me to stretch my muscles.  I try to add it into my schedule a few times a week and it’s really helping me.

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10. Knee Brace by Mueller

I have a knee that bothers me occasionally.  Especially if I start to ramp up my training.  Over the years I’ve worked on my form and have had improvement but it hasn’t gone away completely.  If I start to train a lot it will bother me occasionally and I’ll wear this brace and it helps support my knee.  It’s not a perfect solution for my runners knee but it helps me out a lot too!

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What are you favorite running things?  I’m always looking to try new things and I’d love to hear what’s working well for you too!

21 Day Fix: Results

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Wow!! I can’t believe that the 21 days are over and that I made it through without any trouble. I have to say that week 3 was the easiest for me.  I had found my groove and was determined to finish strong. The third week is also an optional double workout day to enhance results.

Here’s how my week went:

Day 15: We had a 5k in Seattle and I used that race as my workout for the day.  We walked around the city and went sightseeing all day.  We even went out to eat and I made a smart choice at Red Robin. No cheating from me, even when the temptation was there.  I thought it would be hard to watch my kid eat fries and food that I would love to eat too but it wasn’t.  I was very focused on my results and knew that a small bite of something wasn’t worth it for my long term goals.

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Day 16: I decided to commit to the double workouts for the rest of the week on this day.  I did the Total Body Cardio workout that I missed out on Monday as well as the Upper Fix workout.  Upper Fix is one of my favorites because I love to work my arms.  I kept my eating on track and ate all of my containers.  My favorite container was my Shakeology. I had been drinking the strawberry but treated myself to the chocolate and it tasted so good.

Day 17: This is the workout that I hate the most, Lower Fix.  This is the 3rd time I had done it and it was actually not as bad as the week before.  Legs were feeling so much stronger and I could tell a noticeable difference in their shape.  I also added Cardio Fix too. You might think doing two workouts would be hard but since they’re only 30 minutes long I’d do one in the morning and one mid-day and call it good.

Day 18: Today’s workout was Pilates Fix and it’s an active recovery day.  It feels so nice to challenge my body in a different way and not get my heart pumping quite as much.  I also did Upper Fix again as my second workout.  Today was also the start of football season.  Normally I would have some crappy food and lots of beer.  I didn’t have the crappy food but my husband did open me one beer and I did drink it.  I did swap out one of my yellow containers (carbs) to make me feel less guilty.

Day 19: Getting so close to the finish and I was feeling strong.  My mind was determined but my body was starting to fight off a cold.  I pushed through my two workouts Total Body Cardio and Cardio Fix but I’m not going to lie, I was tired and feeling sluggish.

Day 20: I was still fighting off my cold and struggling with my mind.  I didn’t really want to do any of the workouts but knew that my finish as close and you don’t get close to the finish and quit, you keep going.  I pushed myself through Dirty 30 and Pilates Fix.  My eating was right on track.

Day 21: I woke up and couldn’t believe that I was on day 21.  It went by so fast and it seemed like I had just started.  I did my workouts back to back to get them out of the way so I could relax the rest of the day.  I did Lower Fix and Upper Fix together.  It was a great, sweaty workout.

Results:

Now to get to the good stuff, my results.  I’m really proud of myself for sticking to the meal plan 100% and for staying strong, even when temptation was strong.  I knew that I could do anything for 21 days and I’m beyond excited about my results.

21 Day Fix Results

After 21 days I’m down 10 inches and 9.5 lbs.  I can tell a huge difference in my legs, stomach and upper body.  My clothes are fitting me better and I feel so much better about my body.  I don’t like to be a slave to a scale and usually don’t weigh myself often but it was nice to see the scale change so much.  I’m 33 years old and I’ve had 3 children and I look and feel better than I did in high school.  I don’t know if my mid section will ever be completely toned again but I can see my abs forming and I’m proud of where I am today.

What’s next:

I’m going to continue using the 21 Day Fix meal guide but I will allow myself to have a few treats now and then.  I don’t want to lose anymore weight but I do want to continue to build muscle and tone my body.  The containers are a great way for me to portion my food and make sure I’m eating enough of the right stuff.  I used to be a carb-aholic but I’ve slowly realized that I don’t need to eat carbs all day.  Also I’ve learned that I don’t have to eat the food on my kids plates that they didn’t finish, I don’t have to indulge in snacks when they do.  I can stay committed to my health and not just mindlessly snack.  As far as workouts, I’m going to continue doing the 21 Day fix workouts but I’ll also be adding in more running as well as some of the other programs I have at home like, TurboFire, Les Mills Pump and PiYo.

What’s next for you?

Check out this video to see if this program might be a great fit for you.

Are you ready? If you’d like to try I have groups starting often, in fact my next one starts on 9/15.  I’d love to provide you accountability and support as you head down your journey to health!

21 Day Fix: Week 2

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I’m happy to say that I made it through week 2 of the 21 Day Fix and it was actually easier than week 1.  I feel like I found my groove with my workouts and my eating.  The cravings I felt in week 1 for food I shouldn’t be eating really went down.  I felt like this week was a HUGE turning point for me.  I started to feel really good about my body and I felt really good about the food that I was putting in it.  My relationship with food is slowly changing.  I was turning to snacks, like crackers and junk a lot, especially at night.  It wasn’t that I was ever hungry at night but snacking after the kids went to bed had become my habit.  This program is helping me really portion my food and make smart choices.  I don’t need to just snack for the sake of snacking, my eating has a purpose now.

Here’s a recap of my week:

Day 8: Mondays are one of my favorite days of the week.  I love a fresh start and a new week ahead to make smart choices.  It’s usually because on the weekend I indulge too much and use the next week as my “good eating/exercising” week to make up for what I did over the weekend.  However, with this program I didn’t need a Monday restart.  I had made it through the first weekend great and was feeling awesome.  The workout I did was Total Body Cardio Fix and it’s a great one.  It uses weights and lots of different exercises to get my heart rate up.

Day 9: I really love to work my upper body and Upper Body Fix does not disappoint.  One of the things I’ve really focused on is my water intake.  I’ve been carrying water with me everywhere and trying to get in at least 80oz a day.

Day 10: This is the workout I hate the most out of all the 21 Day Fix workouts.  It’s Lower Body Fix and last week it made me sore for days.  I was absolutely dreading doing it this week but surprisingly I didn’t get as sore this time.  My legs felt strong during the workout and I can noticeably tell they’re getting more defined.

Day 11: My eating was going really well because I had found the right balance of what containers to eat at what times throughout the day.  This workout was Pilates Fix and this is a nice active recovery day.  It’s not an easy workout by any means but it feels different because you’re doing your workout on the floor with pilates.  I really enjoyed the break today.

Day 12: I skipped the 21 Day Fix workout and choose to run on my favorite challenging trail for 3 miles instead.  This is supposed to be a cardio day for the 21 Day Fix so running was a great substitute.  My soul needed the release from a great run.  This was also Friday, the day I usually start to let my food intake slip but not this Friday.

Day 13: This workout was a doozy!! It’s Dirty 30 and it’s HARD!  I got it done early in the morning so I wouldn’t be thinking about it all day.  If I wait until later in the day to do my workouts, I sometimes try to talk myself out of it!

Day 14: This is another active recovery day with Yoga Fix, I actually skipped this workout and did PiYo (a Pilates/Yoga workout) because I like it better.  I also got in my 10 minutes of ab workouts and my abs were on fire!  10 minutes and 440 crunches of different variations…ouch!

I also weighed myself and took measurements on this day too!

21 Day Fix Week 2

Measurements:

Day 1:                         Day14:

Chest: 33.5                 33

R. Arm: 11                  10.5

L. Arm: 11                  10.5

Waist: 29                   28

R. Thigh: 21              20

L. Thigh: 21              20

Hips: 37                    35

Overall in the last 14 days I’ve lost 7 lbs and 6.5 inches.

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I ate a lot of the same food from last week, this week.  But two of my favorite new recipes were plain greek yogurt (red container) with berries (purple container).  This meal was my treat at the end of the day and something I now look forward too each night.  I always make sure to plan my day to have those two containers last.  I also made a yummy egg scramble (red container)  with sautéed spinach and tomatoes (green container) and added feta cheese to it (blue container)

The first week was hard for me not to be eating a lot of carbs because they’re my favorite but this week my favorite container became the protein container (red).  I’m supposed to eat 4 of them a day and that was challenging for me last week but this week they were the easiest for me to eat. I almost wished I had one extra a couple of the days too!

I have an amazing group of women doing the 21 Day Fix with me in a challenge group. They’re showing up everyday, doing the workouts, keeping their food in check and most importantly they’re supporting each other. I’m so proud of all that they have done in their first week and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes them.

I have to share this from one of my participants, I asked them all what was inspiring them to do this challenge and I absolutely loved her answer,

“This might be selfish of me to say. But the person who inspires me is myself. I have always heard and still do hear it, that you got to want to do it for yourself . I’m doing this for myself. I’m going to win this weight battle this time. I do have to say the person that inspired me to start this program was Ashley, if I did not message her a few weeks back, and hear the words would you give it try. I probably still would of been sitting here trying to figure out what I was going to try to loose weight.”

This challenger has done a complete lifestyle change. Since she has started she has given up soda, started drinking water, changed her diet completely and has done all the workouts. What’s more amazing is she hasn’t let her excuses get in her way and I’m blown away by her commitment to herself. Plus she lost 6 lbs in her first week. It’s not all about the weight either, it’s seeing her have determination to change her life that has inspired me. She’s going places and I’m truly blessed to be a part of the journey.

I’m starting my next 21 Day Fix Challenge group on 9/15 and if you’d like to have me coach you through this life changing 21 days, please fill out the form below!

Seahawks 5k Recap

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I’ve been a runner since 2009 and have run races in Arizona, Texas and California.  I recently moved back to my home state of Washington and I’m so excited to take part in all the running events in the local area.  For my very first race we ran the Seahawks Kickoff Run 5k.  This is a HUGE deal to me because I absolutely love to run and I am a HUGE Seahawks fan.  What could be better than combining the two into a great day?

I actually registered for this race months ago while we were still living in Arizona.  It cost me a small fortune to register my family of 5 but I knew then that it was going to be an experience of a lifetime.

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There is nothing more awesome than the starting line of the race.  This race was filled with even more energy because of the amazing Seahawks fans.  The 12th man is alive and loud when they’re together!  We stood in the race line and danced, chanted SEA – HAWKS!!  It was a great time!  Dallas loves the crowd and he was anxious to get on the road and race!  He’s got one mission on race day and that’s to run, as fast as he can!  He’s got a true runners heart!

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Yes, that’s me taking a selfie when I run.  That’s one of my favorite things to do during races too!  My awesome hubby not only supported me in this race but he also pushed our younger two in our BoB Dualie.  He’s not a huge football fan but being from Texas his loyalties are usually with the Cowboys.  But I think the 12th man and the Seahawks are slowly wearing off on him!  He’s now said, he’d cheer for the Seahawks anytime as long as they’re not playing the Cowboys.  That’s a win in my book!

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Dallas absolutely BLEW me away during this race!  He hasn’t been doing any running this summer and he went out and tackled this race like a BEAST!  He always takes off like an animal at the start.  I always wear my Garmin so I can pace him and reign him back a little bit.  He absolutely hates when I yell out to him, “SLOW DOWN DALLAS!” but I know he can’t keep a fast pace for the entire race.  I think he could for a mile but for 3.1 miles he needs to pace a little better. When we ran into the stadium, through the tunnel and on to the field it was magical.  He was so excited to be near the finish line and also in the stadium.  He took off and finished strong.  His official race time was 32:18, his age group was 7-12 and he finished 23rd out of 87.  I think those are amazing results because he was younger than most of his competition and he still KILLED IT!

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After we finished the 5k it was time for the two littles to run their race.  My daughter, Phoebe, has already ran a 5k before but they had a strict age limit in this race so she ran the kids run with her little brother.  She wasn’t too happy about it while we raced but once she crossed the start line she was ready to go for her race too.

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IMG_7924I’ve run a decent amount of races of all sorts of distances.  I think my favorite races are the ones that we do as a family.  It’s not about me and my pace but it’s about helping my kids realize that running is fun and rewarding.  Seeing them cross the finish line fills my heart with pride and seeing them feel proud of themselves is amazing.  They were their medals with pride because they’ve earned them.  If you haven’t been running races with your kids I encourage you to sign up for something and get your kids doing it too.