Archives for August 2013

Pros & Cons of Running a Destination Race

Today Nicole from Live Laugh Eat Run is going to be talking about the pros and cons of running a destination race, while I am this morning actually RUNNING a destination race! The 10k portion of the Dumbo Double Dare is this morning! eekkkk!

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Here we go!

Pros

You get to travel! I love traveling, so this is definitely the number one reason for me to do destination races. New places, new things to see, it’s all so exciting.

If you’re going to a LARGE destination race, i.e., RunDisney or Rock ‘n’ Roll races, you usually get a pretty awesome shirt and medal at the end of the race. And I am all about the bling.

Buzz factor. There is SO much energy at a large destination race that you can’t help but feel overcome with excitement to GO! I love running with thousands of people all intending to reach the same goal, to cross that finish line.

Cons

You forgot to pack your visor, your arm band, your shoes, etc. Or, you packed your visor, arm band and shoes in your checked luggage and the airline lost your bag! ALWAYS pack your most important running items in your carry on. Better safe than sorry.

Not knowing your way around town easily and getting lost on your way to picking up your race packet/getting to the start line. When we were in Barcelona, we did the Cursa dels Nassos 10k. We had NO idea where to go to pick up our packets and basically ended up across town (I am directionally challenged). We eventually got them and were able to find our way to the start the next day, but it was a little stressful.

Large races sometimes have SO MANY PEOPLE. As I said before they have great energy, but sometimes you can get a little overwhelmed with the amount of people you are surrounded by.

All that said, I do highly recommend, if you’re a runner, to try a destination race. If it’s in the middle of a city you’re not familiar with, it’s a great way to see the sights! There are so many that I want to do, like Marine Corps Half Marathon, Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon and the San Diego Rock ‘N’ Roll Half. One of these days I’ll get there!

Until then, keep on keeping on.

QOTD: Is there anything I am leaving off this list?

Weight Loss After Baby

Today’s guest post is from Lesley. Be sure to stop by her blog and say hello! I am having a great time in Disneyland. Be sure to follow me on Instagram and twitter @HeathersLG for up to date photos!

In 2007, I gave birth to my precious son, Connor. Having been “skinny” before my pregnancy, I assumed I’d quickly lose the weight I gained with him pretty quickly. However, I battled post-partum depression after having him, and I wound up gaining additional weight. I’ve always dreamed of running the Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World, and last October I decided I was ready to train for it and lose the weight.

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I had had enough and decided to change my lifestyle, and get my body back. Since then, I’ve lost nearly 60 pounds and the tips I’ll share below are some of the tricks that helped me get healthy, active and lose weight the right way.

Follow Bloggers

When I’ve been discouraged or unmotivated, I’ve turned to other bloggers to help me get my head back in the game. I’ve enjoyed learning new exercises, healthy recipes, and meeting new people who are trying to reach goals similar to my own.

Make a Menu and Contract

My husband and I make a weekly menu. We aim to try out one new recipe a week and we attempt to eat at home 6 out of 7 days. We have found great tasting, healthy recipes from Pinterest and Cooking Light Magazine. I also make a monthly contract to myself. For example, my contract to myself usually involved abstaining from sweets, eating a salad at least “x” number of times a week, working out “x” number of times a week, etc. I will set goals for that particular month, type them out and post it on my refrigerator. I will check off each day on a calendar that I upheld my contract. Having a spouse or significant other to help hold you accountable when it comes to staying active and eating healthy is a big plus.

Exercise and Portion Control

Portion control is key in my weight loss. I also watch my calorie, fat, and sugar intake. I use the My Fitness Pal app, that way I don’t have to keep up with all of those numbers! I’ve also tried out new foods that I wasn’t a fan of (salads, veggies, etc.). It took a while to get use to these foods but now I actually like them. As far as exercise, I joined a running group, and I’ve tried several classes at my local YMCA. Try sprinkling in at least one class weekly into your regular workout routine to boost your activity, and keep your exercise plan fresh. The running group and classes have not only helped me get in shape but I have formed quality relationships with people who have also provided great advice.

Make Goals

I love making lists of big and small goals, and I get a rush when I’m able to cross something off. I keep a running “Life List” on my refrigerator that includes small things like running a certain 5K to big things like having a second child and buying a new car. Goals give me something to work for, and the feeling I get when I achieve a goal is amazing.

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I hope these tips and tricks help you achieve your fitness goals.

QOTD: What helps you lose weight or stay motivated?

It’s Dumbo Double Dare Time!

It’s today! It’s today! Bobby and I leave for Disneyland today to run the runDisney Dumbo Double Dare!! I cannot believe it’s been a YEAR since we were there, time sure does fly.

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I am however so glad this year there is no hurricane changing our travel plans. Talk about a stressful day! This year, we have a non stop flight woo hoo!

Ok, so a few reminders about the race weekend for those following along:

-I will be posting updates via my social media platforms: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook.

-You can track runners thanks to runDisney! Just head over to runner tracking to look up athletes.

-Need tips for the race weekend? Check out this post I wrote a couple weeks ago.

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-Not sure where to eat while in Disneyland? I wrote a post about that, too!

-Panicked because you aren’t packed yet and you leave TODAY? I have a packing vlog for you!

-I will be attending the pre race meet up on Friday morning at 6:00 PST. I will be live tweeting and instagraming during the event, be sure to follow #DisneylandHalfMeetUp so you don’t miss the fun!

Allison Sweeney of Biggest Loser and soap opera fame is running the half marathon, so if you are there, be on the lookout! I’m sure she will be at the expo, too!

-If you happen to see me at the expo or in the parks or at the race, PLEASE PLEASE say hello to me! I have had people tell me in an  email they saw me but were too scared to come say hello. Makes me so sad! I love, love, love meeting readers and fellow runners. Come talk to me!

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You can check out my recap from last year’s race to get you pumped!!

**I will be at a social media meetup open to the public on Saturday hosted by 3 of my friends. Anyone can attend! Come say hi! Here is the info: http://pavementrunner.com/dumbotweetup/

QOTD: Have you ever been to Disneyland? Are you running the race?

Life Interupted

Hello friends! Today I wanted to share a little more about the Bible study I am participating in, “What Happens When Women Say yes to God.”.

We are in week four of the study, and I am having a great time with my first ever online Bible study. What a cool concept and thanks to technology, it is all possible. Amazing!

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Anyway, today I want to talk a little about interruptions. In the book, Lysa talks about how at one point in her life things seemed to all be going wrong, but how this “interruption” ended up being a blessing for her and her family later on. This story actually really hit home for me because it dealt with exactly the same thing I went through!

In the book, Lysa talks about her husband being an avid runner who blew out his knee and had to have major surgery. Not understanding why God allowed this to happen, they later realized not only was God protecting her husband from a potentially dangerous situation, but they also learned a lot during that time that led to so many great blessings in their lives they may have missed had this not happened.

Well my friends, if you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know nearly two years ago I suffered from a stress fracture in my foot right in the middle of racing season. I was devastated, and was in a walking boot for many weeks and didn’t run for 9 or ten weeks. At the time, I thought my world was crashing down, but looking back I learned a lot during that time:

1.) I am stronger than I think. When I was going through that trial, I thought there was no way I would get through it, but step by step and day by day, I did!

2.) New activities: Since I couldn’t run, I was forced to do new things, mainly take up weight lifting. I now love lifting and do it 3-4 times a week to complement my running. I believe this has made me a better athlete in the long run.

3.) Encouraging others: Since my injury, I have had the opportunity to encourage others going through the same thing I went though.

4.) Wait…somewhat patiently:  My close friends and family will all nod their heads in unison with this one: I am NOT very patient. When I realize I want something or to do something, I do everything I can to make it happen, NOW! I have had to learn that some things take time, and that God’s timing is best. I STILL struggle with this to this day, but being able to look back and see how things turned out ok in the end has helped me to trust more.

All this out of a stress fracture? Yes! I’m sure there is more, too. Maybe even things I am not aware of yet. My point is, try to look at every “interruption” as a learning experience, a growth opportunity, and a chance to react correctly to the trials we face. Remember, you are stronger than you think!

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QOTD: What is a life interruption that turned out for your good? How so?

Under Armour Visit Part 4: My Yoga Attempt

Hey guys! Be sure to catch up on parts one, two, and three of my trip before reading today’s post!

We left off with our amazing dinner out in Baltimore before heading to bed. We woke up bright and early for another jam packed day of fun, starting with some rooftop yoga.

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Now, if you know anything about me, you know just how inflexible I am. it amazes people that I can’t touch my toes. Thanks to scoliosis, I can’t bend certain ways, and much to the disappointment of my chiropractor, my hips are all out of whack and super tight. This makes yoga very difficult for Heather. Heather was a little scared going into yoga with all of these awesome ladies who do yoga regularly. Oh boy.

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First, let me back up. When we got out to the pool area, we saw this gorgeous view.

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There was a pool attendant who told us to go up the outdoor flight of stairs for yoga, and we saw more breath taking views.

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There were yoga mats and towels (which are awesome by the way) laying out for us.

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We met the lovely Camille who would be teaching our class that day. She was so cute and sweet and wasn’t too hard on me for being a total noob. Smile

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Ah, yes Camille, it IS funny that I am that inflexible.

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It was a great class in the most gorgeous location, and I was sore for DAYS after! The class was really hard for me, but I stuck it out, and am #BetterThanYesterday because of it. Super proud of myself!

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We were in a time crunch, so we hurried down to breakfast at the restaurant in the Four Seasons. It was heavenly. I had an omelet, bacon, and some fruit. So delicious. However, we had to eat fast because we were running behind for our spa appointments! That’s right, we were all getting massages!

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I had the most amazing massage, and since I was already sore from our insane workout the day before, it felt wonderful and was such an amazing treat! I wish we had more time to explore the spa area, but we had to shower and pack up our things and get back to UA Headquarters. Maybe next time!

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We headed back to Headquarters where lunch was waiting.

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We had the privilege of meeting with some other teams and departments, and it was so much fun when they asked for our input on products and ideas. I love how willing they were to listen to us and ask for our advice. Before I knew it, it was 3:00 and time for my car to take me back to the airport, and I had to say goodbye to these lovely ladies.

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Oh how I wish I would have gotten to spend more time with this one, the amazingly hard worked who made all of this possible for us FitFluential gals. Jami is such a pleasure to be around, and is so sweet and accommodating. She wanted everything to be so perfect for us, and it was just that! UA is so lucky to have her!

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Look out for a post coming late next week about my thoughts and takeaways from this experience. I still have so much to share!

QOTD: Do you ever try a class you don’t do often and step out of your comfort zone? Are you as inflexible as I am?

Again, huge thanks to Matt Ryb for the awesome pictures from our yoga sesh, they are beautiful, even if I look super awkward in them!

Under Armour Visit Part 3: Let’s Go Shopping!

If you missed part one and part two, be sure to read them first then come back for this installment!

We were already checked in at the four seasons, so we left our stuff with bell services and walked over to the UA Brand House. I had NO idea what this was, so Jami told us about this amazing one of a kind store. It is right on the harbor, and sells a ton of amazing Under Armour gear. You can find UA gear at outlets, and other sporting goods stores…but they don’t have stand alones, but the brand house…ah…it’s amazing.

When we arrived, the employees were waiting for us and did a little cheer for us, it was so kind of them, I loved them right away.

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Not sure what I was saying here, but it was obviously pretty funny. Smile with tongue out

We were then handed gift cards and told to go shopping! Um…..don’t have to tell this girl twice! Under Armour had already been So generous I was not expecting this at all. I will admit, I was slightly overwhelmed because there was SO much to look at in this store.

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The super sweet employees had already pulled some items for each of us in our size based on what they thought we would like after reading about all of us. How COOL is that, they went above and beyond, so, so sweet.

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After we knew what they had already pulled for us, we did a little browsing around with the help of the employees.

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Bought those shorts too. I look slightly overwhelmed here…

Did I mention the dressing rooms? AMAZING. Looks like I am in a gym right? Nope! dressing room. Of COURSE I want to see what I will look like in my new gear at the gym…makes perfect sense. Why didn’t I think of this?

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Ended up buying these stretch woven capris. Love.

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Loooovveee this outfit. It’s my favorite.

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I had to “fake run” in it to test it out….please tell me you do this, too?

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Reversed colors? yes please! (I ended up getting a white top instead of black)

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Got this outfit too. LOVE these capris and the top can be adjusted at the waistband.

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GIRL POWER! #IWILL

We had loads of fun, but eventually we did have to check out and go get ready for dinner. Apparently I stand like this all the time.

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Before we left, we took a group photos with the awesome staff, and then us gals took some shots.

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Tasha, me, Kasey, Electra

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We headed back to the hotel and brought our bags up to our rooms. Tasha and I shared a room, and were greeted with super cute UA/Baltimore baskets on our beds. So thoughtful!

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We had an amazing room which I will tell you more about in another post.

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We quickly got ready for dinner and walked to a Greek restaurant down the block where we were greeted with a  lovely table open to the outside. This southern girl  is NOT used to being able to eat outside in August and not die of a heat stroke or be swarmed by bugs in the process of said heat stroke.

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We shared some appetizers, and I ordered grilled chicken that was delicious.

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We laughed, we talked, we had a great time, and didn’t get back to the hotel until about 11:00!

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We headed straight to bed, another big day was to be had, with yoga in the morning. Trust me, you WON’T won’t to miss those photos from this non-yogi.

QOTD: Have you ever stayed a the Four Seasons? What would you buy at the UA Brand House?

Photo credit to the talented Matt Ryb! He followed us around the Brand House and got some great shots!

 

Under Armour Visit Part 2: Great Things are Coming

If you missed the first post about my visit to Under Armour headquarters, be sure to check it out and then come back here and read this one.

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So I left off right before we were about to get our butts kicked in an awesome but tough workout wearing the new Armour 39 monitoring system. We did a circuit workout that went on and on with moves to tone the entire body. Although it was a nice cool day, I sure was pushing hard and feeling the burn.

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We finished off our workout with an Under Armour cheer (Will you protect this house?!?)

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#IWILL!!! Electra, me, Kasey, and Tasha

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Water never tasted so good.

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Post workout happiness!

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We took a look at our ipod touches to see what our stats were with Armour 39. I was quite pleased that I had a willpower of 8.58, I was working hard so it was nice to see the “proof” of that. We chatted a bit more about the intensity, heart rate, and other details of the system now that we had seen first hand how it works. It’s so awesome guys, I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

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Something that I learned from this workout is that I have NOT been pushing the intensity like I should, except when I run. When I am running I have no problem pushing hard, but on cross training days, I tend to treat them like easy days, and I shouldn’t. This workout proved that to me, so I will be working  lot harder now.

We headed back inside for a quick shower before lunch and meeting with a few of the amazing teams that work at Under Armour.

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I can’t share everything I learned with you, but trust me when I say some awesome things are on the horizon for Under Armour! I was so excited to meet some of the creative minds behind he brand, it got me so pumped!

Later that afternoon we headed to our hotel.

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We were spending the night at the FOUR SEASONS!

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More on that later, I will leave you in suspense until tomorrow. Smile

QOTD: Do you feel like you could up the intensity of your workouts?

*Photo credits to the awesome Matt Ryb who followed us around during our workout!

Weekly Workout Recap: August Week 3 2013

Good morning! What a crazy week.

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I ended it yesterday with a nice long afternoon nap. My body definitely needed it! While the bottom of my foot isn’t completely healed, it is doing MUCH better than last week. I think race tapering has helped as well as ice and ibuprofen.

If you have been reading along you know this week was a big week for me visiting Baltimore and the Under Armour headquarters. I did two tough workouts while I was there as well as my workouts at home. Take a look:

Sunday: rest

Monday: 3 mile run, legs and abs

Tuesday: circuit workout with Under Armour trainer

Wednesday: Yoga at the four seasons on the roof (amazing!)

Thursday: rest

Friday: one hour stationary bike, triceps

Saturday: 5 mile run

Let me just say, I am STILL sore from my workouts at UA. They kicked my butt and reminded me of muscles I need to work out more often.

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Loving my new UA skirt and mesh top. So breathable!

Today is ONE WEEK from the Disneyland half marathon/finish of Dumbo Double Dare, so I will be taking it super easy. I may run 3 on Monday then 1 or 2 on Wednesday, but that’s it for running. I will probably lift on Monday and Tuesday, but Wednesday will be my last workout (besides walking around the parks) I am so excited, can’t wait to go!

QOTD: What do your workouts look like the week of a race or event?

*The winner of the Gone for a RUN giveaway is  Mary Liz Nogueras. Please e mail heatherslookingglass@gmail.com to claim your prize!

 

Under Armour Visit Part 1: Welcome to Baltimore

What a whirlwind of a week it has been! But, it has been an AMAZING one! I did something this week I have never done. I flew somewhere and then back the very next day. That “somewhere” wasn’t just anywhere, it was Under Armour headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland. I was a part of the What’s Beautiful competition through Fitfluential, and was chosen to go up for a visit. To say I was excited would be the understatement of the century.

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My day started off VERY early. I had a 6:00 flight because I wanted to maximize my time in Baltimore. This meant a 3:40 wake up call, and a 45 minute drive to the New Orleans airport, and a long walk from the parking garage with no coffee.

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My “why am I up so dadgum early” face.

I had a smooth and uneventful flight, and met my driver at baggage claim. I felt like a total dork, but I was super excited to have someone waiting for me with one of those little signs with my name on it. It’s the little things folks. My kind driver promptly took my bag and I thought I could certainly get used to this!

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As we stepped outside I immediately noticed the awesome weather. Low humidity and breezy. I could DEFINITELY get used to this! We took a quick drive to headquarters where I was dropped off at the front desk and immediately saw this on the giant TV above the reception area.

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I squealed and said “HEY THAT’S ME! Before snapping a photo. Poor girl at the front desk must have thought I was a loon. I then finally got to meet the fabulous Jami. I love this girl. She is so passionate about Under Armour and marrying real women/bloggers with fitness and health. Her enthusiasm is contagious! We walked through a gorgeous building with huge photos of athletes on the walls. I may have secretly wished one day it would be me up there!

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Electra had already arrived, so the first of many photos happened.

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We chatted and waited for the other girls Kasey and Tasha before heading over to the gym for a workout.

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We walked into the gym and each had an open locker with an outfit for our workout and an outfit to put on after our shower, plus some fun other things like a bag, water bottle, etc (AMAZING bag by the way, you all need one!) I instantly felt like a famous athlete with my own locker. Of course, we took pictures.

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We quickly changed and headed out to the lobby to learn all about Armour 39. Let me tell you folks, this thing is a beast, and so awesome. It is a performance monitoring system for athletes that does SO much and I can’t wait to tell you more about it very soon, but for now just know it’s pretty epic.

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Making sure I had the strap adjusted correctly before I put it on under my shirt.

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After getting all set up, it was time for our assessment to get the most accuracy out of Armour 39, so we did a quick treadmill run after meeting our trainer, Chris. After our assessment, we headed out to a gorgeous turf/field right on the water for our circuit training.

I am going to stop here for the day because I have SO many more photos to share and amazing experiences, and don’t want to make this post too long. Stay tuned! Here is a sneak peek of our workout. (Photos taken by the awesome Matt Ryb!)

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After I do my posts about the actual experience, I will be sure to recap what I learned and what this whole experience meant to me. I can’t wait to share!

QOTD: Do you own any UA gear? What is your favorite?

A Special Connection

Confession: I am a nerd. I love to learn, I love gadgets, and love to see really really “cool” things happening around me. I of course consider technology a REALLY, really cool thing. It moves super fast, there is SO much to learn, and my favorite thing about it: it helps us to connect people to each other.

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I use my smartphone to connect via text, email, video chat, and photos all day long!

True story: Some of my very best friends in the world I met online. Oh yes. Back in 2006 I was on a message board planning my honeymoon, and I ended up meeting some awesome people. Some of them I ended up staying in touch with, meeting with several times in real life, and now our families go on vacation together. How awesome it that? All because of the awesomeness of technology.

Unfortunately I don’t get to see my friends as often as I would like, but thanks to technology and amazing tools like smart phones, laptops, and video cameras, I am able to do more and we can talk to and “see” each other all the time. I live a good 15-20 minutes from “town” and am in a more isolated neighborhood. It has been hard for me to make as many local friends as I would like because of this, but I have no shortage of friends all over the world due to being connected via technology. Whenever I want to “chat” with someone I can hop on Twitter and see what’s going on around the world with my online buds, get on facetime or skype with a family member, or simply shoot an email to catch up with an old childhood friend. The opportunities are ENDLESS!

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Constantly here. On the laptop.

Technology also helps connect me to my readers. I use my webcam on my laptop a lot so that I can post vlogs. It’s so funny when people say that after hearing my voice, they feel more connected to me and like I am a real person or a friend. It’s also nice to have an on the go video camera/camera so that I can capture things and upload them later for my friends, family, or blog community to see. I can’t wait to see what else is in store in the years to come, and I hope I can keep up, I love having these special connections.

QOTD: How has technology improved your life/made you feel connected to other people?