2015 DIVAS Run Race Recap

Happy New Year’s Eve, DIVAS!

How has your running year been? Mine started off hitting it heavy, tapered off then picked back up again. Currently I’m in training for the Hot Chocolate 15K in January. This will be my third time racing this one and I am excited!

Overall, I’ve had a great year although it’s been challenging to get runs in the past couple of weeks with all the rain we’ve had. I’ve had to take my workouts indoors many days.

As I look back over this past year, I’m really amazed at my accomplishments.

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January 2015 – Hot Chocolate 15K, Atlanta, GA.

This was my second year to run this race and once again, it fell during training for a longer event. The weather was perfectly cold and sunny and the course ran by my house which was fun. Obviously, I love this race since I am doing it again in 2016. Why do I love this race? I really like the course and the chocolate! ūüôā

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March 2015 – Asheville Marathon, Asheville, NC.

My first full marathon! I LOVED IT! All the training was worth it. I had a great race, had fun stopping along the way and taking lots of pics and really enjoyed running the beautiful countryside on the Biltmore Estate. Check out my previous blog post to read more coverage on this event. I’m sad I cannot do this race again in 2016, but I plan to come back in 2017!

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August 2015 – Run for God Pinky 5K, Chattanooga, TN.

I am so excited I found a 5K in the South that is flat! What a fun race! This 5K kicked off my half marathon training plan. We made a day of it and stayed overnight since the race was on a Friday night. I would definitely do this race again! The swag was awesome! While this was not my 5K PR, it was pretty darn close which was awesome since I hadn’t really been running regularly since the marathon months earlier.

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October 2015 – Run for God Fall Virtual 5K, Anywhere, USA.

I have never done a virtual 5K before so this was a new experience for me, but I really liked it! All I had to do was 3.1 miles and I incorporated the race into my longer training run for the half marathon. I have to say, the swag was amazing here, too! I definitely recommend trying one. You get rewarded for running your own race where you’re comfortable and at your convenience!

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November 2015 – Gildan Esprit de She 5K, Atlanta, GA.

This was my third year and second year as an ambassador. What a fun and easy race with a sweet girls’ night party afterwards! I’m debating returning as an ambassador for next year since my schedule will be so hectic, but I love this race, too! While this is typically my fastest 5K, I had to hold back since I was in taper for a half marathon two days later.

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November 2015 – Savannah Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon, Savannah, GA.

Two days after the Esprit de She, I participated in this half. I had coached for the half and full of this event back in 2012 so I was excited to return as an actual racer. I was sadly disappointed to run start to finish. While the shirt, medal and after party were great, it was unseasonably humid and I had trained in cold weather. My body was not acclimated to the heat so no PR for me in this event. I also discovered I got sunburned after I cleaned up. Also, sadly, two runners passed away (one during the event and one later on) and the race staff cut the race short due to the unseasonably warm day and so much heat illness overtaking runners. I can’t say I’ll return to Savannah for this race, but I will definitely return as a tourist.

How has your running and racing year been? Any PRs? Any great reviews you’d love to share?

Have a great New Year’s – race you to 2016!

Sherry ūüôā

3 Weeks and Counting ‘Til the Atlanta GILDAN Esprit de She!

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That’s right, DIVAS! We’re just a few short weeks away from the most fabulous Girls’ Night Out Race Event of the year! There’s still time to register for this fabulous event and save $5 by using code EDS037! Atlanta ladies¬†will also be eligible for the following:

  • $5 cash from me!
  • 1 1-hour Personal Training Session¬†OR
  • 1 5K Personalized Training Plan

Just send me an email once you’ve registered at¬†http://www.espritdeshe.com/events/run/and let me know which offer you’d like to redeem! It’s that simple!

Join me November 5th as we¬†kick up our running heels and celebrate “The Spirit of Her!”

Gildan Esprit de She Giveaway #2!

Hello, DIVAS!

The countdown continues! Are you ready for more Gildan giveaway goodies? Starting September 9th, I will be raffling off this super cute pink Gildan-branded notebook! What a great way to journal or keep a record your next training plan!

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All you need to do is reply to this post with what you would use the notebook for and you’re entered! You do not need to be an Atlanta resident to win, but you do need to reside in the U.S.!

On October 1st, I will announce the randomly selected winner!

Don’t forget that now ALL Gildan Esprit de She races are eligible for $5 off registration with my code EDS037! That’s right! Sign up for ANY¬†Esprit de She event the remainder of 2015 and score $5 off! Atlanta gals get an added bonus of choosing between $5 cash back, a 1-hour personal training session with me, OR a personalized 5K training plan!

Good Luck and Run Like A DIVA!

HAPPY FRIDAY!!! EXCITING NEWS ABOUT THE ESPRIT DE SHE!!!

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We talked and they listened!

For the rest of 2015, register for any Esprit de She event around the country and receive a $5 discount using my code EDS037!!

That’s right – ANY event will get you $5 back!

And not only that, but for the Atlanta ladies, my offer still stands to offer one of the following:

  • $5 cash!
  • 1 hour personal training with me!
  • 1 5K training plan, personalized to you!

Don’t forget to join in the Gildan Giveaways! There’s still time to score a Gildan tee and a bottle of red wine! Read HERE for details!

So, join me in this awesome ladies’ night out with fitness and fun! Register today and save some $$$!!! Cheers!

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Countdown to the GILDAN Esprit de She Atlanta 5K/10K!

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We’re just 3 months away from the GILDAN Esprit de She Atlanta 5K and 10K and the giveaways are just getting started!

As an Ambassador for the 2nd year in a row and a Founding Finisher, I can promise you this is a great event and fun way to spend a Thursday ladies’ night out with your girls!

From now until the race, I will be giving away various swag (and then some) each month as the countdown continues!

For August 5 – September 4, I will be giving away this GILDAN red cotton tee (available in size small only)¬†PLUS a bottle of red wine! So if you spill some on your shirt, it blends in! ūüôā

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Disclaimer: Bottle in picture may vary from the actual winning bottle.

Here’s how to WIN!

That’s it! Just a few clicks and you’re entered to WIN! Winners will be selected randomly and must reside in the Atlanta area. The winner will be announced on September 4th!

BONUS! Meet the above criteria AND attend the next WINOT Run Club and you will automatically be entered to win an additional bottle of red wine! How easy is that?!

Remember to register if you haven’t already for the GILDAN Esprit de She Atlanta 5K or 10K by using my code EDS037. You’ll get to choose from cash back (holla!), personal training or a personal coaching plan! Read HERE¬†for details!

Don’t run away – the next fun giveaway will be announced September 9th! ūüôā

Good Luck and Run Like a DIVA!

ūüôā

Fitness Reality Check: Cardio or Strength First?

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This debate on whether to do cardio or strength training first has come up a lot recently and even clients have asked me what they should do first.

As if reading their minds, ACE recently put out an article which addressed this very issue. While giving scientific studies on the issue and a handy little chart, I couldn’t help but come away with my own answer to this question after reading this article.

Who cares?!

In a society where we have shown time and again that most people lead a sedentary lifestyle thanks to technology and the workplace, where if you sit like a good little employee you are commended for appearances of productivity.¬†If¬†you walk around for any reason, you’re not getting your job done.

In a society where P.E. has been ripped from the school programs in favor of forcing kids and adolescents to sit more and not exercise out their bottled up energy which I believe not only is contributing to the obesity in kids but also frustrating teachers who are dealing with the effects this has on their students.

As a personal trainer who works with a variety of clients at a variety of levels, I’m just happy to hear my clients tell me they exercised on their own during the week and not just for our session together. In 99% of my clients’ ¬†workouts, I infuse cardio with strength training. Where’s that combination in the chart? Honestly, my job at the end of the day is to get people to MOVE.

For the sake of trying to prove the point that exercise is important, I feel the fitness professional community has become a little too complicated and reached a little too far with all these scientific studies. Sure, a fitness professional like myself may want to have this information at my disposal so that I can better design my clients’ programs and provide¬†evidence-based and informed answers¬†to clients. But at the end of the day, when I have clients asking me because they’re afraid they’re not doing their workout in the right order, I have to say it plainly.

It just doesn’t matter.

Understanding that most exercise, especially running, is psychological, a large part of my job is being a psychologist at times. I have to help my clients navigate through tough times when working out is at the end of the to-do list, either because of work schedules, family time, and heavy marathon training schedules. I have to get to the bottom mental line at figuring out how I can help them stay motivated and motivate themselves. Some days I feel like a therapist, priest, bartender and trainer/coach!

I work with real people out there not Olympic athletes. And while I do feel that this information may be¬†valid and valuable, it throws out common sense. Haven’t we confused enough people already? First, eggs were bad for you. Now, they are the perfect food and contain all the nutrients we need. Before, nuts symbolized fat and if you ate one you may as well expect to gain a lot of weight. Now, they are a great snack and source of good fats so long as you don’t have too many. Practicing moderation in consumption is not science. It is common sense.

So, let’s get to the bottom line. I don’t care what my clients do in what order so long as they are doing something to move their bodies and get their heart rate up and keep it up for at least 30 minutes, even if it’s 10 minutes at a time. Got 10? Run around the block a few times or get a mile in. Not all my clients have a solid hour in a day to exercise, and neither do I some days.

Sometimes, workouts are broken up into segments and as long as we’re getting 30 minutes to an hour in each day, there are health benefits. What we should be doing is encouraging movement with¬†a combination of strength, cardio and flexibility.

I certainly don’t want to discourage people by thinking if they are trying to lose weight but they do cardio first that they won’t lose a pound so then they give up or don’t even try. I can assure you that all my clients who began initially working with me and needed to lose weight lost weight because they started to move their bodies and burn calories, regardless of the order of workout.

I also don’t want to break the bad news to my running clients training for their next marathon that they’re going to bomb in their race if they’re not running before they do weights.

So, let’s be real. Whether you run first and do weights later or vice versa, do what you can when you can as long as you are doing something.

Let’s encourage people to just get started, shall we?

Run Like an Olympian!

“I had as many doubts as anyone else. Standing on the starting line, we’re all cowards.”
-Alberto Salazar, three-time winner of the NYC marathon

I recently had the privilege of meeting Hazel Clark, 3-time Olympic Runner. I was attending the Women’s Leadership Forum presented by the Atlanta Business Chronicle¬†and The Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University. As¬†we gathered to eat lunch after attending some wonderful breakout sessions on women in business, the hostess¬†introduced Hazel¬†and she rose to speak to us about her transition from career runner to career motivator and Health and Wellness Ambassador. The more she spoke about her experience, the more I nodded my head until I almost nodded it right off my body. See, she conveyed what all running coaches know and what I try to drill into my clients’ heads also.

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Have a short-term memory. Hazel shared how she almost let a failure set her back and take from her an enormous Olympic win. Failing is part of life. But wallowing in that failure is going to rob life from you. You can’t let failure have the last word. Forget about it and move on. Keep running towards that goal. If you trip and fall along the way, get up and keep going.

Have a champion mindset. A champion mindset sees the goal and keeps moving towards it. Using that short-term memory, staying positive and continuing to work at achieving the goal rather than giving up entirely. Turn that negative outcome into something positive and learn from any mistakes along the way. Those mistakes or failures are part of learning success. Whether you come in first or last, running will teach you many of life’s greatest lessons in dealing with setbacks and staying the course.

Leave it all on the track. Simply put, do your best – every time. We all know when we’re not giving it our all. Always give it all. Just when you think you don’t have anything left, there’s still a little bit left to give or a little farther you can run. Sure, some days we’re just tired, distracted, or not feeling well. But always give everything you can. I¬†never regret a workout. Apart from illness, I always regret not doing one. While I never condone running through an injury or running when resting is necessary, sticking to a training plan is key to running success.

Take the first step. My specialty is working with women who are beginning runners¬†or who want to take it to the next level. I want women to not be afraid to try because they’re too intimidated by those who are always winning races. I want these ladies to know that running is very personal and every person who gets up and tries and finishes is a winner! A huge part of life is finishing the drill. Some only want to win awards, but most just want to enjoy it¬†and run injury-free and enjoy the journey (and scenery) that comes with¬†running.¬†Running smart is the best running!

It’s comforting to know that even Olympic runners experience the exact same struggles that those of us who will never go to the Olympics experience. No matter the pace, no matter the race, we’ve all found this common ground.

For more info on how to get started with running or improve, email me at sher@divasrun.com!