Enter to Win: 2013 Rochester Color Vibe Registration

Today’s post is sponsored by The Color Vibe!

While this giveaway is for a registration to the Rochester Color Vibe, Color Vibe races happen ALL across the nation– in fact, their itinerary is growing rapidly (they’re hoping to be in two cities a weekend as they grow in popularity!)

I am SO excited to share this giveaway with you as it holds a place very near and dear in my heart.

Here’s the deal: The kind people at The Color Vibe have generously provided me with two free registrations to the 2013 Rochester Color Vibe (April 20th!). In order to enter-to-win, all you need to do is comment on this post at any point between tonight, March 15th and NEXT WEDNESDAY (March 20th) to be entered into a random drawing! Just tell me why you want to run in a 5k and why The Color Vibe sounds like fun to you.

Special: Get an EXTRA entry into the drawing by sending a tweet to #thecolorvibe and #5ksCoffeeBeans to the effect of “Hoping to win a registration to the Rochester 5k!” Then, comment on this post to let me know you did it and you’ll get an extra entry.

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What’s new at the 2013 Run?

After speaking with a Color Vibe team member, he filled me in on some exciting changes that were coming with the Rochester run this year! (I assure you, the run was a BLAST last year, but apparently, things are just getting bigger and better!!)

Think Dance Party. Everything from the music at the event to the number of runners will be huge this year! This year, the sound and music will be handled by a major production company– complete with a DJ and emcee for the entirety of the event.

The number of runners has blasted from about 1,500 to nearly seven thousand.

There will be more color. More sound. More people and way more fun.

Get your white t-shirts, get your white shorts, grab your friends and get ready to enter.

Remember, you have until WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20th to enter. I will announce the winners that night (there are two passes available and there will be TWO different winners!).

And now, for those who care, just a little bit about how I came to discover the Color Vibe in 2012.

At the end of my senior year, I fell into a bad, bad cycle.  I stopped going to the gym because I just didn’t have enough time anymore. The stress and perpetual presence of fast-food at the dining halls and unlimited access to Starbucks (in all of its pastry/high-calorie latté glory) took a toll on me. I hated the way that I was treating my body and I didn’t like the way I looked.

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As soon as I was re-settled back at home, I knew that it was time to make some serious changes. I had always been a healthy eater and I loved going to the gym, but a combination of over-scheduling, high-stress and unique circumstances just made gym time unrealistic and eating healthfully more trouble than I cared to grapple with.

Running in a “race” had always been on my radar as a “someday” goal. I thought about 10ks, half marathons, but decided to start simple with a 5k- the 3.1 distance. I knew that I had to find a fun one to motivate me. That’s when I stumbled across The Color Vibe. Immediately I registered. I talked two friends into doing it with me and the rest is history.

I used the “Couch to 5k” training program (I was NOT a runner at this point and needed simple “workouts” outlined for me). It was insanely helpful (there is a mobile app too!)

When it came time to Color Vibe, I was rearing and ready to go. I felt better than I had in many, many months and I was looking forward to the event.

As soon as we arrived at the site, the energy was electric. The parking lot was abuzz, people were donning their FULLY white outfits and some silly costumes. (I was that weird girl doing warmups in the parking lot to keep up the energy level…)

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The course was simple. The run was quick. When the race was over, the color party was so much fun.

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Friends were dousing friends in color powder, the music was blasting, and people were rolling around on the pavement to soak up every last ounce of color.

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The Color Vibe is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. The positivity and high energy of the event left me on that famous “runner’s high” for days. I cannot wait to do it all again, and I hope you’ll join me!

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You can read my full recap of the event here.

GOOD LUCK!

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How This Time is Different!

Welcome back!

I have alluded to the fact that in the past, I’ve tried various diets/ workout routines/ health kicks that just haven’t stuck. Usually about 30 days is my limit, but this time things are different! Lots of people have asked me what has made this time around so different and I have a few ideas.

1. Workout Buddy Accountability 

So as I’ve mentioned, I’m really not a fan of solo workout sessions. Even if we just *go* to the gym together and split up once we get there, I’d always rather be with a friend! This summer, for the third year in a row my friend Jordan and I teamed up to get in shape and I must say, it made such a difference! Previous years, we were away every other week and keeping a routine was difficult, but this year seemed to be different. It is endlessly helpful (and WAY more fun) to have someone to talk to and keep you company and struggle right along with you 😉 Also, Jordan and I always have fun trying out new workouts and killing ourselves with new routines in the name of fitness! (Now that she’s away, looks like I’ll have to hold MYSELF accountable. We’ll see how that goes!)

2. Impending doom Glory 

I signed up for this infamous 5k at the beginning of the summer! I knew that having a specific goal for a specific date that *didn’t* involve the scale would be an excellent motivator. Even though the distance is teeny tiny, crossing the finish line will definitely be a major accomplishment for the girl who couldn’t run to gym lengths in high school 😉

3. Helpful Apps & Online Tools 

There are two main pieces to this one…

  • myfitnesspal.com: I have tried this once before and it just didn’t click with me. (That could be because I was still in school at the time and it was next to impossible to a) take the time to document everything I ate and b) find entries for all of the random stuff that I ate.) ANYWAY, this time, I’ve got it. According to my counter, I’ve logged in for almost 70 days in a  row and it’s been wonderfully helpful! I am NOT a fan of counting calories by ANY means at all. In fact, I think it can actually be sort of destructive if you get too caught up in numbers (I have friends who won’t eat fruit because it cuts into their calorie limit!) I do however, think this app is extremely helpful for a few reasons. It keeps you accountable (even if you’re not 100% accurate all day every day, you can still estimate!) Secondly, it’s also really nice to know how many calories you “technically” have in a day depending on what your goals are (you can set the goals to losing a pound, a pound and a half or two pounds per week, maintaining current weight or gaining). It makes it very easy to turn what would otherwise be a “too late to care” day into a recoverable day!
  • The famous “Couch-to-5k” program (coolrunning.com): I’ve already talked about this, but it’s very handy. There’s an iPhone app. which is wonderful. It builds your mileage slowly and gives you a concrete goal to work towards.

4. Fun Workout Gear 

Alright, this one probably sounds dumb, but I can’t say enough good things about these shoes I finally splurged on! They’re so comfortable, they’re ridiculously colorful (clearly) and make my runs totally pain-free which has never happened before! In previous years, anytime I’ve started running, my legs, back, feet, everything would be killing me and I’m pretty sure it was largely related to my bad shoes. I can’t stress enough how important it is to get sized and have someone help you to pick the perfect pair of shoes for your stride! I got mine at a Fleet Feet store, but I’m sure there are plenty of other chains that do that as well! I love buying new workout clothes, I almost love it as much as I love buying Real Life Clothes and it really does make a difference for me. Having a cute workout outfit ready to hit the gym with is some sort of incentive for me to actually get my gears in motion! Hey, whatever works 😛

5. My Fitness Bucket List 

I already posted about this (check it out here!), but earlier this year, I made myself a “Fitness Bucket List.” Even though these things will take years to check off, it seems to be a good way to give myself goals that will keep me working towards something and working on getting fitter and stronger, instead of this yo-yoness (yes, that’s a real term. Except for not really.) that I seem to have been stuck in before!

6. Check-Ins 

So it might sound silly, but this time, I’ve told people my plan. I’ve told friends to keep me honest. Even this very blog! It all works to keep me honest and keep my on my a-game. Just knowing that people will be checking in on me, reading up on me and asking me what I’ve been up to in my workouts keeps me headed to the gym (almost) every day!

7. A Good Philosophy Can Make All of the Difference

There was a point at the end of my last semester where I had almost convinced myself that being happy and pleasantly plump might be just as much fun as being fit. That is actually a very scary thought because I think I probably could have convinced myself that it was true. I would never, ever, EVER want to make a conscious decision to NOT be healthy anymore, but after an extremely rough stretch of time in the spring and a crazy hectic schedule, it seemed appealing. Why bother counting calories when I could eat cookies instead? Anyway, NEEDLESS TO SAY, I turned that thought process around real fast and couldn’t possibly be happier. Sometimes, it seems like starting the first day of a workout routine is the hardest, but once you’ve been at it for a week or so, especially when you’re in the right mindset, it’s harder to turn back! Soon, I’ll post about this whole “new mindset” and “fit philosophy” idea, but that’ll be later!

Through future posts I’ll touch on all of this again, but that is all for now! Until tonight…

RESILIENCE! (And How the Highest Calorie Food in NYS Almost Wrecked Me…)

Good news friends! This morning, I sprung out of bed at 8, headed to the gym and did the FULL 30 minute Couch-to-5k run for today, came back home and made it through a killer ab routine (has anyone tried leg lifts with a weighted ball? I tried it today, but unfortunately the only medicine ball I have is EIGHT pounds. It nearly killed me.) Anyway, for those of you who read yesterday’s post, you’ll be happy to know things were much brighter THIS morning 😉

But that lead to a realization. Could it be the fact that I attempted this “long” run outside yesterday that was slowing me down so much!? I sure hope not, because that would be very sad and also would NOT bode well for the upcoming race (although I’m VERY glad I went for a very short race with no time chips. Very laid back.)

So realization part 2 involves a confession (ha. I see a theme cropping up here…). Two nights ago, I partook in the consumption of THE HIGHEST CALORIE FOOD IN NEW YORK STATE. That’s right kids, a garbage plate. And the worst part about it is that this is the SECOND time I’ve done that this summer! Granted, I only ate a FRACTION of it, and it had a grilled cheese, salad and french fries (really not a heck of a lot more than a typical fast-food dinner), but something about just feels…dirtier. (Perhaps the fact that it’s called a Garbage. Plate ???) Annnnyway, what IF the reason I had such a strugglefest of a morning yesterday was because the plate was busily clogging my arteries, confusing my brain and slowing down my limbs! Entirely possible.

They look happy enough for all of us!

All of this started one night when we tried to go to a trivia night downtown. We ended up getting there much too late (apparently all of the *real* nerds get there early to make sure they can get seats and answer cards. We still have some work to do…) anyway, when they discovered that I had never had a garbage plate, they were outraged and we immediately went to correct that. Both of these girls are leaving town very, very soon so it seemed fitting to revisit the scene before they left which is how I landed there THIS time. I must say, it was actually quite tasty, but I’d say twice a year is MORE than enough!

On a healthier note, I’ve gotten a few questions about chia seeds. a) yes, those *are* the things that you spread on your terra cotta Scooby Doo when you were a kid to make him grow hair b) yes, they are edible c) no they don’t have any flavor really! and d) the texture is actually a little bizarre. They’re about the size of sesame seeds and when they meet any sort of moisture (like yogurt, which is where I usually put them), they form almost a gel-like coating. I’m not really sure where I first heard about them, but it’s sort of a new super food/ health-kick thing that is cropping up in stores now! (Although they aren’t really new. According to the back of this package (I have the Spectrum Essentials brands), they’ve been used for health since prehistoric times…) Again, as I’ve said time and time again, I’m not a doctor, I’m not a nutritionist, I’m not a dietician, a personal trainer, an ANYTHING, really. Before you start adding any weird supplements to your diet, you should always talk to someone who knows a thing or two and adding weird supplements to your diet! (i.e.: a health professional!) Evidently they are a good source of Omega-3 (the stuff in healthy fish) and Fiber. Interesting, eh?

I will “see” you all again tonight!

PS: I love how the picture of the chia seeds in yogurt is 40 times bigger than the one of me and my friends…I’ll figure this picture-sizing thing out someday  😉

A Very Rocky Start to an Otherwise Lovely Day.

Well friends, it’s bound to happen. Sometimes even your BEST laid workout plans completely fail and you feel like a fool, give up and go back to bed   move on with your day and hope things run smoother tomorrow.

So this is how I *planned* for this morning to go: I would wake up at 8, head to the gym for an hour or so (just enough time for my Couch-to-5k run for the day and hopefully squeeze in some legs and arms). Then I figured I’d get ready for the day, head to Starbucks and work on my responses for an application for a little while before work which wasn’t until 1:30. Sounds fantastic, right?

Well here’s what actually happened. I woke up at 8 (got that part right). Got alllllll ready for the gym and went to head out the door. But wait. Where were my keys? NO WHERE to be found. Searched high and low, called my mother at work after convincing myself that they were in her car (which wouldn’t have helped me a stitch anyway because she works about half an hour away). Decided to just run around the block instead. (Planned run = 25 minutes long, Brittany’s run = 6.5 minutes long (at a staggering .0005 mph pace with flailing arms and bad posture)…legs hurt, arms hurt, soul hurt, life hurt. Came home ENTIRELY annoyed. Many minutes later, FINALLY located the AWOL keys, made it to the gym, jumped on the elliptical with an interval workout in hand. Couldn’t for the LIFE of me get the SPM (strides per minute) up to the suggested pace, felt like a failure. Finally made it back home and decided to call it a quits for the day.

On the bright side, the elliptical still assured me that I had burned about 350 calories which is promising. Also, it seems highly unlikely that TWO workout mornings in a row could *possibly* go that wrong (so things are looking up for tomorrow!)

On the other bright side, the breakfast I had when I returned was quite a treat. Vanilla greek yogurt with chia seeds and a crumbled peanut butter cookie on top. (Although, might I point out that on my way home from the gym this morning, I stopped at the grocery store to grab a couple of Chobani yogurt cups ONLY TO LEARN THAT the local Chobani supply is very, very short. Evidently the Chobani people decided to open a new, closer plant, but it didn’t open in time to supply the ENDLESS DEMAND fueled by Chobani’s sponsorship of the Olympics! Very sad. I KNEW CHOBANI BEFORE IT WAS A FAMOUS. I had to resort to Brand X, but even despite my complaining, it was very delicious 😉 )

So moral of today’s story my dear readers. Sometimes workouts suck. Sometimes MORNINGS suck! They don’t go the right way, everything feels wrong and you can’t find your keys. Give yourself a break and don’t let it muddy up your day. As it turned out, the weather was lovely and I had a perfectly nice day at work so all is well that ends well.

Until tomorrow…