2020 Fleet Feet Liberty Mile – Virtual Race

This summer, I’ve added another virtual race to my “running to do list” – the Fleet Feet Liberty Mile!

Fleet Feet Liberty Mile

This event is another event put on by P3R (the engine behind Pittsburgh’s greatest races) and it is one that presents a good challenge to runners of all abilities. Here is what you need to know:

  • Distance: 1 mile
  • Race Type: Virtual road race
  • Medal: YES
  • Shirt: YES
  • Race by: August 7, 2020
  • Register here!

Why ONE Mile?

As a distance runner (having logged 14 miles as my furthest run to date – but that’s going to increase!), one mile seems so short and easy. The thing is, I see it as a great challenge…and it is going to time nicely with my “Magic Mile” for my next BIG race (more on that to come).

One mile is a great little distance to work up your speed. In this heat, one mile is perfect for a quick run that earns you a shirt AND a medal. And one mile is really doable by anyone, even your ‘lil Burghers!

I’m personally excited about this because historically the Fleet Feet Liberty Mile happened when I was away for a conference and I’d never had a chance to run down one of my FAVORITE miles in the city (Liberty Avenue) and earn a medal. Well, in 2020, that all changes. I might even just find an evening or early morning and log my mile on the sidewalks of the original course…we’ll see!

Registration is $15 + $5 if you’d like your shirt and medal mailed to you. Are you running this event in 2020 for the first time or as a vet?

Check out other 2020 P3R events here – some with promotional codes to save on registration!

The Best View

This morning we were afforded an unplanned day date that involved coffee, shopping small, and picking up pizza for lunch. This morning, that day date also included getting caught in the rain…just like we did on a Saturday eleven years ago.

We were young and although we hadn’t been dating long, we just knew we were meant to be together. Within six months of dating + two whirlwind moves to Pennsylvania, this single mama found herself marrying her knight in shining armor.

For nearly ten years, we loved so much. We laughed a lot. We welcomed three more babies, two houses, a few cars, a few brand new careers, and a timeshare into our lives.

It was like we were on a mountaintop.

…and then it was 2019.

2019 was the hardest year of our lives for many, many reasons. We were tested in so many ways – our faith, our marriage, my health.

It was very much Psalm 38 “in the pit” life. The mountain of things we had to climb through TOGETHER was steep and rough.

2019 was the hardest climb.

…and then it was 2020.

This morning while shopping a local boutique, I found a canvas that just spoke to me with such forcce. I knew it had to come home and find a place in our bedroom.

…because on this day, July 11, 2020, we celebrate eleven years of being married. And while I never want to climb that mountain again, I’m so glad we put God in the middle and climbed it together, Greg. Because it is so true.

The best views can only be seen after the hardest climb.

Happy 11th anniversary, Greg. I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always. xoxo

inspired home: Recharge!

Home is where the heart is -isn’t it? For the next four weeks, I’m going to be highlighting some of my favorite products from Thirty-One Gifts that are perfect for your home. This series will be “inspired home” and give you ideas to organize your spaces and refresh your style! Today’s products: The Glamour Case!

Relax and Recharge

Things are starting to open back up and I’m guessing you’re ready to head out for a little bit of time to relax and recharge. No matter where your travels might take you – near or far – I hope that you get the time to do JUST THAT soon.

Thirty-One believes that everyone needs time to relax and recharge. I’d love to help you reset your perspective and get ready for adventures ahead with cozy home styles and fresh on-the-go solutions.

How about a solution set that you can pair with our Glamour Case with for your next adventure?

source: Thirty-One Gifts

Glamour Case

Sometimes my work has me on the road and I can attest that (while it took some convincing) you can take everything you need from a health and beauty perspective in this case.

Source: Thirty-One Gifts

I LOVE that it holds my makeup brushes up off everything and then covers them with a little flap. Also in the top we have a clear PVC pocket for things like toothpaste, toothbrush, and floss. In the base, you can put your travel bath products and makeup. L O V E this for my travels!

So, where would your Glamour Case go with you?

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Like what you see here?

Request access to my VIP Facebook Group to hear all the Thirty-One news first. Love it? Consider placing an order with me (May 2020 orders will support On Our Sleeves and AFSP Western PA). If you’d like to start your OWN Thirty-One business, check out this post to learn more.

And check out my other Inspired Home posts for more ideas!

The Great Race 2020 (Virtual Run – Pittsburgh)

Over the next few months, I’ll be training for my next running event – the Richard S. Caliguiri City of Pittsburgh Great Race. While this is a new to me tradition, Pittsburghers have known and loved this event for 43 years.

This year, while this runwill be virtual, the tradition continues and all of yinz (collectively, Pittsburghers and runners across the world) can join in the fun. With several options, there is something for the whole family to enjoy One Great Weekend of running wherever you are!

the  great race

Richard S. Caliguiri City of Pittsburgh Great Race 2020: NEW TO ME!

Running is something I’ve been doing for nine years, but I don’t have too many 5K or 10K medals (and actually my only 10K was pretty memorable). I’ve been focused on endurance events and half marathons but want to start building up my speed at shorter distances to give me power for those longer runs.

The Great Race is definitely something that has been on my radar, but it seems like I’ve always had something happening the same weekend. As a P3Runner, I knew the dates early and made One Great Weekend a priority on our 2020 calendar. Doing something new as often as I can has been a goal this year and I was excited to check this event out.

In prior years, the 10K started near my Alma Mater, Chatham University. My mind tells me the course is mostly downhill, passing Schenley Park/CMU/University of Pittsburgh and the hospital where I had three of my babies – Magee – before going downhill to Downtown. That course sounded like a good trip down memory lane.

But then, like the 2020 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events, the 2020 Richard S. Caliguiri City of Pittsburgh Great Race and Dollar Bank Junior Great Race announced they are going VIRTUAL as part of the city’s efforts to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. While I don’t really like running solo, I’m at a point in the “stay home order” that I am okay with the next normal and am looking forward to running #MYGreatRace in my own way with a bonus.

Run it VIRTUALLY!

Registration for all of the VIRTUAL Great Race and Dollar Bank Junior Great Race is open. When you run these races virtually, you will get your shirt and medal in the mail. What do do next? Three easy steps!

STEP 1: Pick your event!

Options include:

Richard S. Caliguiri City of Pittsburgh Great Race

  • The Great Race 10K
  • The Great Race 5K

Dollar Bank Junior Great Race

  • One-Mile Family Fun Run
  • Tot Trot
  • Diaper Dash

STEP 2: GET REGISTERED!

GET REGISTERED: USE CODE GRBECKY15 to save 15% off the 10K or 5k. You’ll need to enter that code at checkout. If you’re not sure how to do that, check this quick video to show you how!

STEP 3: Complete Your Run

I’m going to leave this description from the team putting on the event:

You can complete your race whenever and wherever you wish, but we will officially host the Virtual 2020 Great Race and Virtual 2020 Dollar Bank Junior Great Race throughout the entire month of September! Beginning September 1, you will be able to submit your race time (although this is not required) via the Race Roster website anytime throughout September. Stay tuned to your email and our social channels!

Source: http://www.rungreatrace.com/

What is this about a BONUS?

Medals are something I L O V E so you probably won’t be surprised to find out that I’m SUPER excited about this bonus, the One GREAT Challenge, benefitting Amyloidosis Research. This was something that was not possible when the “in person” event was in place – the 5K and 10K run at the same time.

One GREAT Challenge details:

As an extra — and BRAND NEW  — challenge, we invite YOU to participate in both the 5K and 10K in the month of September! One GREAT Challenge participants will earn the Great Race tech shirt, the 10K medal, the 5K medal, the One GREAT Challenge medal, as well as a One GREAT Challenge t-shirt. That’s THREE medals and TWO shirts!

Plus, $5 from each One GREAT Challenge registration will be donated to support amyloidosis research. Each year, the Great Race donates $1 from every Great Race and Dollar Bank Junior Great Race registration to the Richard S. Caliguiri Amyloidosis Fund, a fund held by the Pittsburgh Foundation that is dedicated to supporting medical research, and One GREAT Challenge participants will contribute even more to this important cause.

Source: http://www.rungreatrace.com/

I will be running both races this fall and am excited about logging summer training miles to get me there. Will you join me? GET REGISTERED today! Use code GRBECKY15 to save 15% off The Great Race 10K or The Great Race 5K. See you on social with #MYGreatRace.

inspired home: Refresh!

Home is where the heart is -isn’t it? For the next four weeks, I’m going to be highlighting some of my favorite products from Thirty-One Gifts that are perfect for your home. This series will be “inspired home” and give you ideas to organize your spaces and refresh your style! Today’s products: The Fresh Market Thermal and Keep It Cool Thermal Backpack.

Let’s Get Some Fresh Air

Has it hit you that next Monday is Memorial Day? This is a day that traditionally is spent outdoors enjoying picnic or party food with family and friends. This might look a little different this year, but here is to new traditions!

Thirty-One believes a little refresh (and a little fresh air) is good for the soul. Embrace the outdoors with stylish solutions for family outings and backyard bashes.

Let’s take a look at two of those options today.

Fresh Market Thermal

Our family usually packs up our Fresh Market Thermal with a meal or two then we hit the road for Clear Creek with our friends. As a family of six, this holds plenty of food for our adventures and keeps things hot or cold – depending on what we need.

source: Thirty One Gifts

What’s so great about it? Holds two 9×13 casserole dishes or a crock pot or six gallons of milk! So good. And bonus, if this is on your list it unlocks a Customer Special (50% off any item)!

Keep It Cool Thermal Backpack

I’ll admit, I was on the fence about this backpack. It is stylish but has the thermal lining – I think that’s what made me unsure. But that lining is leak lock which means you can put ice cubes in it and not worry about it leaking. After watching the quick video below about it, I could imagine carrying it with date night picnic supplies and enjoying some much needed alone time with the hubby.

source: Thirty One Gifts

Like the Fresh Market Thermal, the Keep it Cool Thermal Backpack can keep things hot or cold.

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Like what you see here?

Request access to my VIP Facebook Group to hear all the Thirty-One news first. Love it? Consider placing an order with me (May 2020 orders will support On Our Sleeves and AFSP Western PA). If you’d like to start your OWN Thirty-One business, check out this post to learn more.

And check out my other Inspired Home posts for more ideas!

inspired home: Restyle!

Home is where the heart is -isn’t it? For the next four weeks, I’m going to be highlighting some of my favorite products from Thirty-One Gifts that are perfect for your home. This series will be “inspired home” and give you ideas to organize your spaces and refresh your style! Today’s product: The Market Crossbody.

Restyle with the Market Crossbody

As many of us are planning our first outings after stay-at-home orders were put in place, I bet there are some of you who are very excited to break out some of your favorite bags, shoes, and outfits! Or maybe others are like me and instead of looking for those old favorite pieces, I’m excited to show off a few of the new things I’ve bought while “quarantine shopping”!

Thirty-One believes in the magic of a style refresh. That’s why you’ll see our catalogs change a few times a year, bringing in new products in addition to the ones you love plus refreshed prints and patterns to keep up with trends.

This spring/summer, Thirty-One has introduced the Market Crossbody: an everyday bag you can take anywhere!

Market Crossbody

This bag has an easy, casual design and detachable, webbed crossbody strap. With a roomy, slouchy interior, it is ideal for hitting the shops or market. Add personalization on the natural canvas to make it mean more.

Do you change your style every so often or prefer to stick with tried and true styles? Is a refresh of your style on the horizon?

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Like what you see here?

Request access to my VIP Facebook Group to hear all the Thirty-One news first. Love it? Consider placing an order with me (May 2020 orders will support On Our Sleeves and AFSP Western PA). If you’d like to start your OWN Thirty-One business, check out this post to learn more.

And check out my other Inspired Home posts for more ideas!

Tips for Runners

Back when I started running (in 2011), I thought this sport was something that only required a pair of shoes and some motivation. In my years running as a “back of the pack” runner, I’ve shared a few tips for runners that runners of all levels might find useful.

Tips for Runners

What tips for runners would you add to this list?

inspired home: REJOICE!

Home is where the heart is -isn’t it? For the next four weeks, I’m going to be highlighting some of my favorite products from Thirty-One Gifts that are perfect for your home. This series will be “inspired home” and give you ideas to organize your spaces and refresh your style! Today’s product? The Close to Home Mini Table Gallery!

Rejoice!

There is always a reason to rejoice, isn’t there?

This Sunday, we’ll be celebrating the moms in our lives. Maybe you have a wedding or graduation to celebrate this year. Or maybe you’ve been spending your days of the stay at home order snapping photos of your kids or pets. Thirty-One has a sweet ‘lil gift idea for you that is joy-filled:

Close to Home Mini Table Gallery

Spoiler alert! One of my moms will be getting this adorable Close to Home Mini Table Gallery to display a photo of her grandkids and it not take up a bunch of space.

Personally, I have the larger version of this sweet ‘lil photo holder and I find myself taking photos thinking about ones I can print on the iron inserts and swap them into our gallery. Our gallery includes photos from trips to local parks and attractions, Hawaii, and our 2019 Kids Marathon photo.

What are you rejoicing about right now? Share it in the comments so I can celebrate you!

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Like what you see here? Request access to my VIP Facebook Group to hear all the Thirty-One news first. Love it? Consider placing an order with me (May 2020 orders will support On Our Sleeves and AFSP Western PA). If you’d like to start your OWN Thirty-One business, check out this post to learn more.

2020 Word of the Year: Strength (May 1st Update)

Did you set a Word of the Year in 2020? It feels like AGES AGO that I set the word STRENGTH as my 2020 Word of the Year. In this update, I’ll share with you a few ways the year has taken strength to get to this point. Check out my original post about my word of the year, strength, here. (This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

2020 Word of the Year – Quick Recap

Strength.

Friends, I’m literally shaking at my desk as I write this post. This year has taken so much mental strength for all of us. With the introduction of COVID-19, a virus that has ripped our world, we all find ourselves in the same storm and different boats, grasping for strength.

But even before this all began, what seems to be 509 weeks ago, I set myself some goals to be strong, regardless of what came my way. I was just finishing out the toughest year of my life and felt like 2020 HAD to be the year I’d rise up from ashes and see a victory.

Not all hope is lost, but things haven’t totally gone as planned, either.

2020 Strength Goals – May 1st Update

Here is what I hoped that having STRENGTH as a word of the year is going to look like for me:

  1. Be strong, happy + healthy.
  2. Stop comparing.
  3. Be comfortable financially.
  4. Get over my fears.
  5. Say NO more often.
  6. Love my body regardless of a number.
  7. Make my brain stronger.
  8. Be in the Word.

And now to break it down…

Be Strong, Happy + Healthy

It takes a lot to solo run a virtual half marathon, but I can say I at the least I accomplished that. I don’t know how healthy I feel, I’ve still been making some bad food choices. For most of January I was good and stayed Keto, did some Intermittent Fasting even.

When I make poor food choices, I’m not happy. Carbs and I don’t really get along – they please for a moment then I crash into a bad mood. The last few days I set out to drink all my water (and set a goal to make some extra cash to buy myself this waterbottle that glows when it is time to drink up) and move more. Do you ever find that even small adjustments to the “routine” make you feel so much better?

How about that HAPPY part though? Mentally, I’ve been through a lot adjacent to me this year. Trying to remove the personal from the bigger things I’ve been part of is tough, but I am hanging in there.

Stop Comparing

This has been a struggle. At first I started to be proactive about this by having a pop-up show me when I’d been on Facebook for 30 minutes. Today I deleted the app from my phone. It is just so easy to compare, especially when you have time to sit and stir.

But I’ve been reading “You Are the Girl For the Job” by Jess Connolly and she’s been dropping some truth bombs about tribes and squads. Things I needed to hear. A challenge, even:

Will we choose people who provide safety and worldly comfort OR will we find the people who help us see the kingdom of Heaven come to earth?

Jess Connolly, “You Are The Girl For the Job” study

Deep, right? And I’m listening.

Be Comfortable Financially

This one is tough for me to share, but God has not only taken care of our needs in this stressful time but He has blessed us, too. Greg and I both deliver groceries for Instacart when we’re not working our regular jobs. We’ve been able to knock two credit card debts out and get some home repairs done. We are thankful.

Get Over My Fears

I’m working on this. Some of the things that happened in 2019 still keep me up at night, but way less than they had been. Again, I am thankful.

Say NO More Often

Well, this was sort of forced with quarantine, but now that my evenings are “my own” for the most part, I do find some freedom in saying no.

Love my body regardless of a number

This is taking some work. See my update about being healthy. I feel uncomfortable with my weight. I sit a lot. But I’m teaching myself to see beauty. Like in this picture.

Make My Brain Stronger

I’ve still got so many books mocking me and an exam to schedule. Sigh. But earlier today I sent a friend a text with my pile of curriculum on my side table + I’m diving in and learning some new things at work. Next week I might even dive in and ask to try to write some code because my to do list is getting way too long.

Be in THE Word

Every morning I start with a devotion then turn on some worship music. The books I’m reading (above) are helping me get closer + I’m doing a few video studies while I am in the car. THE Word has definitely helped steer my thoughts to a much better place.

Just Keep Getting Stronger

Four months of the year are done. We’ve survived A LOT already. And I just know God has great plans for what is ahead.

To end this, I’d like to thank the people checking in on me and letting me check in on them. Yesterday I posted a little bit of a personal struggle on Facebook and of course got some backlash for sharing my personal truth, but that’s okay too. If there is something I can pray about on your behalf, please let me know. Or if you’re working on any of the things above and want to reach out for accountability, I’m here, too. xoxo

3 Exercises for Runners to Prevent Injuries from Occurring

Today on this “Training Tuesday” – in what would have been the final taper week before the 2020 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon – I decided to take a break and share a guest post with you. Fellow Pittsburgh blogger Dr. Alex Tauberg is a Chiropractor and shared this post, “3 Exercises for Runners to Prevent Injuries from Occurring” with me. Considering I just tweaked my ankle, I think it is great timing. Enjoy!

For the most part, running is an incredibly safe activity, especially when compared to most sports out there.

But, certain biomechanical irregularities such as weak glutes, inactive or tight muscles, and side-to-side imbalances can cause some injuries either directly or indirectly (by worsening our running technique and leading to overuse).

So, runners should take preventive measures and avoid getting injured.

Today, we’ll take a look at three excellent exercises that focus on three underrated areas – the core, glutes, and hips.

Three Exercises for Runners to Prevent Injuries

1. Planks

The classic plank is an excellent exercise for runners because it trains the core, glutes, lower back, and hips. What’s more, the plank works isometrically (meaning, the muscles involved are contracted but not moving), which helps promote core and hip stability while running.

To perform it properly:

  • Get on all fours with your arms bent, and elbow directly underneath your shoulders.
  • Extend your legs back and plant your toes firmly.
  • Contract your abs and glutes. Your body should be straight as an arrow.
  • Hold the position for as long as you can.

2. Reverse Lunges

The reverse lunge is another valuable exercise for runners because it simultaneously trains and develops our glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, and core.

And, unlike the classic squat, lunges work our legs unilaterally (one at a time), which promotes stability and balance, while also preventing side-to-side imbalances from occurring.

To perform it:

  • Stand tall with your feet at hip-width level, chest out, gaze directed forward, and hands on your hips.
  • Step back with your right leg and sink into a lunge until you form a 90-degree bend on your front knee.
  • As you perform the lunge, make sure that your core is engaged, and your back is neutral.
  • Step back to the starting position and then repeat for your left leg.
  • Keep alternating between the two.

3. Single-Leg Deadlifts

The deadlift, while often overlooked, is among the best exercises for runners, because the hip hinge does a great job of developing the entire posterior chain – our hamstrings, glutes, lower and upper back.

Also, doing it unilaterally (one leg at a time) will help fix any imbalances that might have occurred in your legs or hips. This will help you maintain proper running technique.

To perform these:

  • Stand tall with your chest up, feet at hip-width level, and arms to your sides.
  • Slowly raise your right leg back as you shift the weight on your left foot.
  • Hinge your hips to bend forward and simultaneously raise your right leg further back and up until your body almost forms the letter T.
  • Make sure to keep both legs straight throughout the movement, and don’t forget to keep your glutes and abs engaged. Your back should be entirely straight throughout each repetition.
  • Pause for a moment and return the right leg to starting position as you stand up.
  • Then, complete the remaining repetitions and repeat for your other leg.

Dr. Alex Tauberg is a Chiropractor Pittsburgh can trust to provide evidence based care. He primarily serves the Fox Chapel & Oakmont Areas. Dr. Tauberg uses an evidence based approach to get people out of pain and back to enjoying their active lifestyles. Dr. Tauberg has been certified by the University of Pittsburgh as a Primary Spine Practitioner, is a certified chiropractic sports practitioner, certified strength and conditioning specialist, and is an emergency medical responder.  He is also the team chiropractor for The Pittsburgh Vengeance.