Join the #7daystretch #liveinprana Challenge

I feel like I say it every year, “This is the year of change!” but I think that this year takes the cake.  If you’re following me on social media, you might have an idea of what I’m talking about…

We welcomed a sweet baby girl into our lives in October.  I took a LOA from teaching and got certified to teach FIT4MOM’s Body Back program.  We packed up our lives and said goodbye to the state that I’ve called home for my entire 25 years of life.  We welcomed a rambunctious puppy into our family last week.  And today the moving truck delivered all of our furniture to our new house!

I was hoping to jump back into blogging with an entirely new layout, but things are taking a little longer than expected.  The content will remain pretty much the same, but I was itching for a new look.  Something cleaner and fresher.

Starting today I’m joining prAna and Sweat Pink for a super fun #7daystretch #liveinprana challenge, ending on Sunday, August 30th.  We’d love for y’all to join in on the fun by answering the daily prompts or if you’d rather just follow along, check out the FitApproach website or search for #liveinprana, #7daystretch, and/or #SweatPink on social media.

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We’ll be talking about how we {the community} embrace a prAna lifestyle {#liveinprana} and are challenging ourselves to stretch a little deeper, push a little further, and live a little more mindfully for seven whole days {#7daystretch}.  And we’ll be stretching more than just our bodies, think mind and soul, so you don’t have to be a pretzel to join!  Trust me, if you’ve ever taken a yoga class with me, you’d know I’m not naturally balanced and bendy.

I’d love for you and you and you, yes YOU!, to join me for this fun challenge.  Complete the fun mad-lib below and let’s get this PARTY started!  My answers are in pink.

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We’re nearing the end of August and even though the summer is coming to an end, I’m super excited about the fall because I love to watch the leaves change colors.  In fact, my very favorite thing about fall is hearing the leaves rustling under my feet when I run AND trying to include as much pumpkin into my diet as possible.  I can imagine myself wearing the Peppa Jacket {click to view} while I run at 5AM because I know that the falls and winters in our new state are going to be colder than I’m used to.

If I had one goal for the fall, it would be to stay injury free because I’m training to run the Marine Corps Marathon in October!  To achieve it, I know I will need to eat healthfully, run regularly, embrace rest days, stay motivated, and keep my eyes on the finish line.  And of course I want to look great doing it so I added the Peppa Jacket to my wish-list.

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We’d love for you to join us for the #liveinprana #7daystretch!  To follow me through the daily challenges, you can find me on Instagram @lifesabowl and Twitter @lifesabowl.

Here are the daily prompts to get you started…

Monday, August 24: It’s Monday, make sure you get up and stretch ‘dem legs!  Show us your favorite quad and/or hamstring stretch(es)! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

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Bonus: We want to see you JUMP it out.  Give us your BEST #jumpjoymonday! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Tuesday, August 25: Backbends.  Any backbend.  All backbends. #benditlikebackbend. Show us how you get bendy! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: It’s #transformationtuesday y’all, whether you’re bendier than you used to be, more adventurous, or even faster, we want to see! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Wednesday, August 26: It’s our mid-week stretch it out, show us what’s getting you through your hump day. #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: It’s #workoutitwednesday.  Show us how you worked it today! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Thursday, August 27: Show us a #tbt to a time when you stretched outside of your comfort zone. #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: Show us your favorite stretchy pants (shorts work too). #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Friday, August 28: Happy #freefriday y’all!  We want to see what makes you feel the most FREE. #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: Show us how you are celebrating #forearmfriday!  Forearm planks, dolphin pose, forearm stands, or maybe just forearms on the table? #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Saturday, August 29: Saturday side stretch!  Show us your fave side stretch(es)! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: #sunsalutesaturday.  Show us how you are saluting the sun today! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Sunday, August 30: What are your favorite ways to restore your mind, body, and soul? #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: Show us your favorite zen space.  Where do you find peace & tranquility? #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna #sundayzenday

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Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by prAna through my affiliation with FitApproach.  All opinions are my own.

Question:  What are you most excited about for fall?

— Allison

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National Running Day Survey 2015

Did y’all celebrate National Running Day yesterday?  Little Miss and I did a hilly 3 mile loop in the morning with our local MRTT group and after tutoring I went for a 2.5 mile lake loop with a few neighborhood friends.  Two runs, double the fun!

In honor of the special day, I’m linking up a bunch of other bloggers to complete a fun running survey.  Head over to Kristen’s blog {Jonesin’ for a Run} to read other people’s answers!

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Why do you run?  I run because I can. I know there’s a chance that one day I won’t be able to, so until then I’ll keep running.  It’s my favorite stress reliever, tests both my mental and physical strength, keeps me healthy, pushes me to set crazy goals, has introduced me to awesome people, allows me to explore my beautiful surroundings, and gives me the opportunity to be a positive role model for my daughter.

How do you plan to celebrate National Running Day?  Running, of course!  A stroller run in the morning and a non-stroller run in the evening.

How many miles have you run so far this year?  323.81 miles.  This is the first year that I’ve kept track of my mileage and it’s been great motivation.  I logged 100 miles just in the month of May!  That’s a first!

What big events do you have on the race calendar so far this year?  I ran a few 5Ks and 10Ks in the late winter/early spring, a Mother’s Day 4 Miler, and Boston’s Run to Remember Half Marathon over the Memorial Day weekend.  My next big race is the Marine Corps Marathon in October – it will be my first marathon!  I’ll likely add a few more races between now and October to keep me on track with my training plan.

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Before you leave for a run you must have:  my phone, SPIbelt, Headsweats Visor {if it’s sunny}, a full belly, and an empty bladder.  There are few things that are worse than getting stuck outside and having nowhere to go.

Do you have one favorite app to track your runs?  Nike Running. I’ve downloaded a handful of different apps, but always go back to Nike.

Who is your favorite running partner?  I used to be a solo runner until recently.  It was the one time of day when I could check out and let my mind wander, I loved it.  But nowadays I prefer to run with my local MRTT group or neighborhood ladies.  The time passes quicker when you’re engaged in fun conversations with friends!

What races have you run so far this year?  All of my 2015 races are listed on my “Races” page.

If you had to give someone one piece of advice about running what would it be?  Don’t give up.  Some runs make you feel like you’re on top of the world, while others make you want to never run again.

Describe your relationship with running in one word:  Complicated.

Do you call them running shoes or sneakers?  I call them running shoes or just sneakers, not running sneakers.

What’s your favorite race distance?  The half marathon.

— Allison

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Strawberry Picking & 100 Miles in May

Hey y’all!  How was your weekend?  I was planning to go to Stroller Strides this morning, but Little Miss went down for her morning nap earlier than usual, so I took advantage of the time to clean up around the house and write a recap of our weekend.  It was a busy, but fun one!

Saturday morning we were up at 5AM.  For the past month Little Miss has been waking up at least once throughout the night and starting her day at 5AM.  I miss the days when she slept from 7PM until 7AM.  I tried to get her back down to sleep, but had no luck so we went downstairs and she pinned while I made us breakfast.

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We had plans with friends to pick strawberries at 9AM {to beat the heat and humidity}, so after breakfast we all freshened up and were on our way.

When we got to Great Country Farms it was slightly overcast and misting, but we all agreed that it was better than the sun beating down on us.  Once we paid the admission fee to enter the farm we hopped onto a tractor and rode out to the strawberry fields.

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Ryan and I started a tradition of picking apples every fall a few years ago, as well as other various fruits and veggies throughout the year, but neither of us had picked strawberries before.  There were rows upon rows of strawberries – it was hard not to taste a few along the way.  There were also lots of spiders {I made the dumb mistake of wearing flip flops}, but despite the creepy crawlies, we had a great time!

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Once our palate was full of strawberries, we hitched a ride on the tractor and rode back to the main farm house.  We ended up picking 6.5 pounds of strawberries!

Before leaving we walked around the farm to see the animals.  We visited just a few weeks ago, but Little Miss was much more interested in the animals this trip.

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On the way home we stopped at a local park for lunch.  Considering how hot it was, I was surprised by how many people were there.  I wish we took advantage of the local parks more often – grills, picnic tables, trails, fields to play games…  It’s the perfect spot for a summer BBQ with friends.  Plus, it’s free!

While chatting during lunch I remembered that the Herndon Festival was taking place so we dropped off the strawberries at home and went to check out the festivities.  There were tons of vendors and a handful of amusement park rides and games.  It was packed!  Despite all of the noise, Little Miss stayed asleep.

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After running Boston’s Run to Remember Half Marathon last weekend {coupled with a wicked sinus infection}, I took the week off from running and focused on cross-training, strength, and stretching.  By Saturday I was itching for a run, but after being on my feet for most of the day, I kept it short.  Two speedy, sweaty, treadmill miles.

For dinner we had taco hamburgers and started House of Cards.  The last series I watched from beginning to end was Friday Night Lights.  We’re a few episodes in and it’s okay, I’m not hooked yet.

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Sunday was Runday Funday.  Little Miss and I were up again at 5AM, but I didn’t mind because I had a long run on the agenda and needed time for breakfast to digest.  Two slices of whole wheat bread + peanut butter + banana slices…  It’s the perfect balance of carbs, fats, and proteins.  Yesterday I also added a few sliced strawberries – it was delicious!

At 7AM I met a girlfriend and we were off.  It was crazy humid so 5.5 miles felt like 10.

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When I got home, Ryan was putting Little Miss down for her morning nap so I quickly showered and was out the door to run a few errands.  As much as I enjoy having my little helper and husband accompany me to the store, it was nice to go by myself.  It’s been a while since I’ve gone to the store and didn’t feel like I had to rush in and out.  On the way I stopped at Starbucks for an iced coffee, but by the time I made it to my car all of the ice had melted.

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I apparently wasn’t very observant after my run because when I checked the Nike Running app in Trader Joe’s I saw that I was just shy of running 100 miles in May {2.2 miles to be exact}.  I started kicking myself for not running those 2 extra miles.

As soon as I got home I unloaded the groceries, changed back into running clothes, and braved the humidity once again.  It felt like we were running through a swamp, but we did it.  We ran just over 100 miles in May!  Thank goodness for equally crazy running friends.

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After lunch we went over to my momma’s house because my brother is home from school for a few days.  It was so fun watching him play with Little Miss.  Last week she started reaching into her toy bin and pulling out all of her toys…  She’s growing so quickly!

I planned to make spaghetti with meat sauce for dinner, but the afternoon got away from us, so we kept it simple with Trader Joe’s chicken sausage and Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina {frozen gnocchi with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese} and an episode of House of Cards.

Question:  Have you picked strawberries?  What’s your favorite fruit or veggie to pick?  Strawberries were fun, but I think apple picking is my favorite.

Question:  You know you’re a crazy runner when __________ {fill in the blank}.  You know you’re a crazy runner when you go back out for a second run in the heat and humidity because you want to hit 100 miles.

— Allison

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