Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Jacksonville Beach, FL, get ready!

So. It's decided. My 4th event in the 50 States Half Marathon Challenge will be Florida. In February. What a lovely break from the winter of Minnesota that will be. :-)

I'll be running the Breast Cancer Half Marathon on February 12, 2012. There are multiple things about this that make me happy:
1) It supports breast cancer research through the Mayo Clinic, which is based here in MN but has a satellite branch in Jax Beach. I lost my good friend Karin Harrell to breast cancer a number of years ago, and I miss her all the time.
2) I can stay with family who lives within just a few blocks of the start line. Ok, I suppose they're not technically MY family, but close enough. My super awesome big sister, Mitzi, and her husband are making the 7 hour drive down from NC to see me and we're staying with his mother. Thanks in advance, Linda. You will be the first recipient of my soon to be famous Minnesota themed hostess gifts. :-)
3) I got a flight for less than $350, meaning it will be free for only 15,000 Visa points. Free flight AND free place to stay? Yes, please. Sorry, John Harman...Flights to Tampa were too expensive.
4) Average temp in Minneapolis in February is 29(F), while the average temp in Jax Beach around that time is 68(F). 'nuff said.

The only thing I am NOT happy about is how much it cost me to enter the race. I decided I wanted to do this race back on November 1st, but it turns out the registration fee bumped up to $95 (from $75) THE DAY BEFORE. Also, they snuck in a $10 online registration fee, bringing the total to $105. Sigh. I'll just have to plan further in advance next time.

But still. Florida...in February. With my sister. :-)

Footnote: Great holiday/birthday gift idea, considering I already have everything I need in this world -- If you feel inclined to contribute to future travel expenses that will be incurred as I work my way around this great country of ours, please scroll down to the bottom of my main blog page and click on the ChipIn link. Certainly not required, but definitely much appreciated.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Just say NO to holiday weight gain!

Let's face it. The holiday season is upon us once again, and it can be one of the toughest times of year to even MAINTAIN your weight, much less lose anything. It starts with Halloween candy, cruises right on through pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, cookie swaps at Christmas, and booze galore at New Year's....never mind Super Bowl parties.

This article gives some good advice on how to get through the feeding frenzy. It's mostly about awareness, stress management, and PLANNING. I don't remember where I heard this saying first, but it comes in handy a lot for me these days: "If you fail to plan, then you're planning to fail."

What about exercise? Surveys show that an alarmingly large majority of Americans don't do much for themselves in this department. Most say a lack of time is their main excuse, and that only gets worse during the holidays. Depending on which area of the country you live in, the weather may also increase the urge to stay inside and hibernate. HOGWASH, I SAY! There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad choice of clothing!

If you need something new, fun, and challenging to spark your interest in exercise this time of year, I have an answer for you. Behold...the 2011 Battle of the Bulge Challenge. That's a link to a Facebook event page that I created, based on the challenge originally dreamed up by a Park Ranger at Yosemite. The challenge starts TODAY, November 1st, and runs through midnight on New Year's Eve. You have to complete 50 miles of running and 1000 reps of each of these exercises: lunges, squats, pushups, and situps. Break it up however you want over that 61 day period, but GET MOVING.

The running part should be pretty easy for me, as I'm already working on getting ready for my next adventure in the 50 States Half Marathon Challenge. I've pretty much decided that it's going to be the Breast Cancer Half Marathon in Jacksonville Beach, FL on Feb 12, 2012, though I haven't booked anything yet. NOTE TO SELF - Keep a better eye on the calendar, because if I'd booked that race YESTERDAY, I would've saved $20 on the registration fee. Dammit. Now it's going to cost me $95. Sigh...Live and learn. The rest of the BoB Challenge is totally doable as well. If you break it down to a minimum daily requirement, it's only about 16.5 reps of each thing per day. Bump that up to 2 sets of 10 and you're there with time to spare.

So...If you're looking for some inspiration and support as you try something different to get through the holidays in a healthy way, click that link up there. If you're not on Facebook, drop a comment here and we'll figure out how to get you a copy of the challenge documents via email or something. Good luck!