$100 Training Giveaway for 100 Followers!

First and foremost – this post is for YOU followers! 
When I started this blog, I didn’t honestly expect to find so much love, support, friendship and knowledge in an online community. My bog is what it is today in part because of YOU! So, as promised, a $100 Giveaway for 100 (plus!) followers!
As you may or may not know, strength training is crucial to the success of endurance athletes, including runners. At first, I was not sold on the idea myself – I was already busting my butt to run, how could I possibly add on more work?! – but now, I understand that hitting the gym to lift some weights a few days a week is one of the most beneficial things I can do as a runner. Yes, ladies, even we need to ‘pump the iron’ regularly!
The benefits of strength training for runners are astounding – in fact, I was fortunate enough to attend an MIT seminar on it just last night!
Me and the Lucky 13’s after the seminar!
Strength training can improve body composition by helping you maintain or increase your lean body mass and can decrease your percentage of body fat, helping you look leaner and burn additional calories. Benefits of strength training for runners:
  • You’ll Be Leaner: Muscle burns more calories than fat. Fat burns almost nothing at rest, whereas muscle uses oxygen so if you increase lean muscle mass, you’ll increase the body’s ability to use oxygen and burn more calories. Your body typically uses about 4.5 to seven calories per pound of muscle every day.
  • You’ll Be More Efficient: Strength training can help you run faster, longer, and more efficiently. A study published last year in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed that runners who add three days of resistance training exercises to their weekly program increase their leg strength and enhance their endurance. Runners with better endurance can run longer—and burn more calories. You’ll also be able to recover faster from long runs because strength training makes your body more efficient at converting metabolic waste into energy.
  • You’ll Be Less Injury-Prone: If you increase your strength, you’ll also increase your joint stability, reducing your risk of repetitive stress injuries. Incorporating moves such as squats, single-leg hops, and ab work into a workout can not only prevent lower-body injuries, but improve performance as well. Leg exercises are particularly important when it comes to reducing injury: These exercises strengthen muscles around the knees and hips two areas that often cause problems for runners.
I also know that there seem to be a thousand things stacked against us when we are looking for a strength training program. 
  • It’s too expensive to hire a personal trainer or join a gym. 
  • There aren’t enough hours in the day to train with an intensive running (and sometimes swimming and biking too!) schedule. 
  • The gym closes too early and doesn’t open early enough. It can be daunting to try to figure out your own strength training workout. 
  • We ladies don’t want to get ‘big’. 
  • It’s too intimidating to lift weights around others. 
And the list goes on and on. For me, it boiled down to expense and time. It was too much and there was not enough!
As an expression of my gratitude to those of you that have joined me on this journey as followers, I would like to help you get started on a strength training program that works for you. It’s personalized, you can do it anywhere, and best of all (since I’m giving it away) – it’s FREE! So, what are you waiting for?! You’ve really got nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain. Here are the details:
My friend and trainer (not-to-mention the nicest person you will ever meet), Rebecca Black, has graciously agreed to partner with me to offer one lucky follower a chance to win ONE FREE MONTH (that’s a $100 value!) of Strong Body by Rebecca Cyber Training!
What You Get:

The Strong Body By Rebecca Monthly Cyber Training Program consists of the following:

Rebecca Black
  • Initial Food Guide and Grocery list
  • Portion Sizes for each meal – this leaves flexibility for people to pick your own meals from the food in the guide instead of being tied to meals you won’t like
  • Resources on Healthy Eating
  • Monthly List of Rebecca’s Favorite things (newsletter)
  • Assistance with picking meals at restaurants
  • Initial Assessment Questionnaire – including weight, measurements, goals, and pictures
  • Month of workouts
  • Interval training and cardiovascular training ideas
  • Specialty ab and butt workouts
  • Functional workouts to do in parks, pools and even airports!
  • Weekly check-in with Rebecca via email on Sundays – includes questionnaire, updated measurements, weight and pictures
  • One 15-minute Skype session with Rebecca at the beginning or end of each month (your choice)
  • Encouragement and Support via email, Facebook and Twitter
What You Do:
Mandatory (One Entry each – that’s 2 entries!):
  • You must be a follower of this blog, of course! Let me know in a comment that you already are or become one (it’s not too late to get in on the fun)!
  • Tell me in a comment why you wish to make Strong Body Cyber Training a part of your endurance, weight-loss or fitness program. 

Extra Credit (That’s 10 additional entries!):
  • Follow me (@wordstorunby) and Rebecca (@StrongBodybyR) on Twitter and tell me in a comment that you are. (2 entries)
  • Tweet about this giveaway! Tell me in a comment that you did and include @wordstorunby and @StrongBodybyR in your tweet. (2 entries)
  • Blog about it in a post or on your sidebar and tell me in a comment that you did. (2 entries)
  • Sign up for the Strong Body Newsletter HERE and leave me a comment telling me that you did. (4 entries)

Please note, the contest runs from July 15th through July 22. I will announce a winner on Saturday, July 23 and get you linked with Rebecca right away to begin your free month of cyber training in August!

Still want more? Check out these blogs for inspiration, motivation and thoughts from ladies that are currently working Rebecca’s program. Way to go, girls!

That’s it, folks! Good luck to each and everyone of YOU – I can’t wait to pick a winner! 

Until the next mile marker,

Strong Body by Rebecca Runs: Make Yourself Spotlight!

Are any of you Nike fans out there? I personally love my Nike running gear – especially my fitted capris – I always feel like a super-fast runner when I am wearing them! As you may or may not know, Nike Women designs their products to “help women tackle whatever challenge they put their mind to.” They also provide fitness tips and workouts to help women reach their athletic and fitness goals.

Recently, Rebecca Black of Strong Body by Rebecca was selected for their Make Yourself Spotlight campaign as part of a global initiative to inspire and and motivate women to become the best version of themselves that they possibly can. 

Rebecca is making herself UNSTOPPABLE.

I’m so excited for her! Check out her interview with Nike Women below:

Personal trainer Rebecca Black has been helping women become physically fit for several years, but she’s quick to remind her clients that in order to have a strong body, you must have a strong mind. “I want women to know that they are unstoppable when they put their minds to something,” she says. “So many of my clients will say ‘I can’t do that,’ but after a little coaxing, they try it and find out they can do so much more than they anticipated!”

Rebecca says the lack of information on women’s health was an obstacle for her when she was first starting out on her fitness goals. However, something she’d learned from the hardships of growing up with a single mom is that life’s challenges are opportunities to develop perspective, and to create positive experiences. That’s why she wasn’t afraid to compete in her first fitness competition last year, despite not being in peak condition. “I didn’t go into it thinking I would win, I went into it thinking, ‘I am competing with the best women around and in order to be the best, you have to learn from and compete with the best!’” She recalls. “It was such an amazing learning experience, and it only made my hunger for competing stronger!”

One of Rebecca’s tips for staying motivated is to never repeat the same workout twice. “I’m not into cookie cutter workouts,” she says. One of her favorite things to do is find new exercises to incorporate into her sessions, and she challenges herself with heavy lifting, track workouts, and by tackling large flights of stairs.

“My grandfather always told me, ‘You’ll never know what you can do unless you try.’ [My goal is to be] an unstoppable force in the community providing motivation, inspiration and awareness to women everywhere.”

And what message does Rebecca want to pass on to my Strong Body readers most of all? “We can do anything we set our minds to! Dream big, set huge goals. Then create the steps needed to get to them, one at a time.

What are you making yourself?

Strong Body by Rebecca Runs: Calling all bloggers wanting to lose weight for free!!

Please welcome my friend and trainer, Rebecca Black of Strong Body by Rebecca. Check out this amazing offer she has for you, fellow bloggers!

Welcome to my newest plan to dominate the world… LOL

Just Kidding.

Anyway, I am really looking to promote my Strong Body Cyber Training program because it really works and I want to get the word out about this amazing program. I truly believe the reason it works is because of the accountability factor.

So, how do you apply…?

First – email me with the following information –

1. Your name and blog
2. Your weight loss story (everyone has one)
3. Your weight loss goals
4. Why you are a good fit for this program
5. I need your monthly stats and # of followers
6. Why I should pick you

I’m leaving this competition open for the next 7 days (deadline is 6/15/11) and will pick someone based on the information provided from these 6 questions the weekend of June 18. Obviously, there will be some blogging about my program and before/after pictures etc in exchange for the services.

Serious inquiries only please!!!

Email me – Strongbodybyrebecca@gmail.com for your chance to win FREE Strong Body Cyber Training!!

Hopefully I will hear from many of your soon! I can’t wait to read your stories.


Strong Body by Rebecca Runs: The Cap City Quarter Recap

 Please give a warm welcome to my best friend, trainer and new running buddy Rebecca. This past Saturday, she finished her first competitive race – The Capital City Quarter Marathon! Rebecca and I ran the first 3 miles or so together on Saturday and I can honestly say, watching the excitement and joy she experienced as a first-rime runner was such an inspiration to me. She helped to remind me of why I started running in the first place – to have fun and feel better about myself! Read on to hear what Rebecca has to say about the road to becoming a runner!

Quarter Marathon 5-7-11 Official Time 1:17

Well, I finished! I finished the Cap City Quarter Marathon without a hiccup or problem the whole way. This was my first race EVER and only the SECOND time I’ve run any further than a mile or two on a treadmill.

You see I’ve never seen myself as a runner. I’ve tried running in the past and never really fell in love with it so I avoided it like the plague. I always thought I was too slow to be a runner. I never believed in my body to think I could be an awesome runner if I tried.

Are you the kind of person that always tries things but never sticks to them? I’m the queen of doing this and most of the things I quit, I’m usually not very good at. When I first started trying to lose weight, I thought I would start by running. The most I ever got was about 5 houses down and I usually went around a corner so no one would see me stop so soon after starting. It was really embarrassing for me. Then one day I made it 10 houses. Another I made it a half mile. I remember coming home one day and telling Aaron I ran an entire mile around our neighborhood. I was ecstatic!

But I could never really get into it. We bought bikes last year and I really enjoyed going for a bike ride. It seemed easier to me and I liked riding fast unlike my slow running pace, if you could even call what I did running!

Then Sara fell in love with running and joined MIT. She talked about it all the time. Sometimes I wished I joined with her but I really didn’t like running that much to spend my Saturday mornings doing it along with hours required to train on my own. Oh, by the way, I’m not a morning person either. The thought of getting up at 7am on a Saturday was dreadful enough let alone to go run too.

One by one Sara recruited runners to come and join her group. She started coaching her group and the joy in her voice when speaking of them and cheering them on was amazing. Maybe I really was missing out on something.

Now I know why Sara loves running.

LOVE my first medal!

It started out with me waking up at 6:30 on a Saturday morning to get ready to head downtown. Why can’t these things be at 2pm? I was very excited to see there was no rain and the temperature was tolerable for me. I’m sort of a non-fan about being cold and wet. I ate my dry whole wheat waffle and we headed on downtown. Luckily we found a great parking spot and was able to meet Sara right out front of Nationwide arena near the finish line.

So, this is where we finish I say…. Sara replied, “yup.” Cool.

How many freaking people could be crammed into a short street? The lines for the porta potty’s were ridiculous! I started to feel a little claustrophobic! Good or Bad Idea but I refused to drink a lot before the race so I wouldn’t have to rely on a portable toilet to do the deed that morning!

We lined up in our Corral and I could FEEL the LOVE from everyone in that place!!! Sara is a running super star. Everywhere we went someone knew her. There were 25 people wearing in memory of Darlene back bibs.

In memory of Darlene Back Bibs!

 Okay, so apparently they let about a thousand people at a time go so it was a 10 minute wait before our pace group hit the streets. I started out with Sara because I wanted to support her and be there for her because I knew it was a difficult race for her without her mom. I think she laughed at me when I said, “wait, we haven’t even gone a mile yet!” The first few miles were rough. But then suddenly something hit me.

Some crazy runner’s voice inside of me was pushing me and making my legs go one after another. I felt like I was making Sara run too fast and I didn’t want to mess up her pace. She told me to go ahead and I did. I passed people like crazy and it felt amazing! Then I merged with the 1/2 marathoners around mile 4 and at that point they started passing me! Until mile 6, I felt like the wind was under my feet. I picked up the pace and hauled ass down Nationwide Boulevard to the finish line!

Legs shaking, heart racing … I saw a familiar face! Gail!!! She finished the 5k in 25 minutes and was waiting for her husband to finish the 1/2 marathon. Brian finished the marathon in just a few minutes more than it took me to complete the Quarter! My watch said 1:15 but the official time was 1:17. Gail and I forgot to take a picture in all the chaos of the end of the race.

I waited for Aaron to walk down and he never came. I called him and he said he didn’t even see me cross the finish line!! Are you serious…. I could have killed him for not paying attention!!

Anyway, we walked around the finish line party. Got some amazing stuff from Victoria’s Secret Sexy Sport VSX booth, some food and I begged my knee to stop swelling.

We finally found Sara!!! She gave me a huge hug and we found some champagne to toast and celebrate with a smile.


And we went to watch Mollie cross the finish line for her 1/2 marathon!

Finish Line

So after all of this story telling…. What did I learn from running this??

1) Don’t ever not train for any type of race! I think had a trained a little bit, my knee would not have reacted the way it did right after the race.

2) Make sure you drink at the re-fueling stations! They seem much farther apart while you are running than they actually are on the map.

3) Make sure your shoes fit properly before actually starting the race. Ooops.

4) Run with a buddy! It really makes the time go by faster. Know your pace though because you don’t want to throw other people off and burn them out before they are ready.

5) Running is an individual sport with team spirit. You should have seen ALL of the fans with posters, supportive stuff and giving High 5′s while we were running. It was amazing and kept me going for sure.

6) Let your body keep your pace. I didn’t have to speed up or slow down at all. It just ran at its on pace on its own time schedule and it ended up working out just fine.

7) Muscular Strength is uber important when it comes to running. I’d like to thank my Quads for pushing me through this race. They weren’t even sore today!

8) It really doesn’t matter how fast you are because unless you run a 5 minute mile, you aren’t going to actually win the race.

9) Running is fashionable. I’d like to think that I still was able to look cute during the race. I think the VSX by Victoria’s Secret gear made me run faster because I felt better about myself!!

10) I enjoy running. I am now a runner. So, Weird.

Thanks, RB for the great advice and inspiring story!

Until the next mile marker, 

Countdown to Pittsburgh: What to Wear in Only 12 Days!

Look what came in the mail today! (I am apologizing in advance for horrible photos – my digital camera broke [gasp!] and I had to use my [gasp!] cell phone.)
I’m confirmed.
Indeed, this must mean I am running Pittsburgh.
I’m not going to lie. I am thinking I am terrified of Pittsburgh. I feel ready, but not exactly prepared. Does that make sense? I know I am running the marathon no matter what. I just feel like so much has happened this training season that I am not as prepared – physically – as I want to be. I’ve taken time off, missed out on a couple of long runs, and abbreviated my weekly runs from time to time. I know, I know, do as I say – not as I do, right? Is it too much to hope that adrenaline just kicks in and I can make it with minimal pain and no injury? I completed a 20 mile run. I’m feeling pretty confident about that. If I have to walk some, I have to walk some. My goal is to finish. I am completely satisfied with that as long as I cross the finish line.
I mean, I was terrified of my first half – even skipped the last long run (oops) and went on to run 4 more half marathons. Then, why all of this anxiety? Fear of the unknown? Fear of failure? How about just fear? I need to take my own advice
Over the weekend, my mother-in-law was more than kind enough to take me shopping and to dinner. Operation: Find New Clothes for Pittsburgh and You’re Not on a “Diet” This Week! So, we went to Target and Johnny Rocket’s. Burgers and fries plus a chocolate-fudge brownie for desert. I inhaled it – I haven’t been eating much the past week.
Clothing-wise, I couldn’t be more ready for the race, thanks to aforementioned mother-in-law. 
These are all coordinating/matching blues and turquoise. Turquoise was my mother’s favorite color so I am wearing it for her. These are all made by Champion, which I have run in before and enjoyed. I have not tried their Duo Dry fabrics, though, and am excited to do so!  Supposedly, Duo Dry wicks and speeds evaporation to help you stay cool and dry. I was impressed by all the variety and styles that were available in complimentary colors.
First piece that caught my eye – Duo Dry Stretch Jacket with collar. LOVE this!
Duo Dry Lite Performance Tee with UV Protection; Gold Toe cushioned socks (my favorite! and two color choices); Duo Dry Stretch Fitted Capri (with a matching blue stripe!)
Duo Dry Power Workout Tee (Lightweight Polyester for comfort and performance); Duo Dry Stretch racer back tank (in case it is warmer)
So, what do you think? Plus, my shoes, sports bra, Garmin, Grace Band and Fuelbelt. Any suggestions?

12 Days and counting…During the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 15th, I will be thinking of:
Mile 14: Downhill Slide Now!
As I enter the second half of the race, I will have more done than I have to go! The first half of the race is the hardest part! It’s all downhill from here.
Mile 15: Bubba
Bubba (Slovak for Grandma) is who we called my grandmother on my mother’s side. She passed away over 6 years ago and I still miss her everyday. She was the most kind, loving, caring and generous person I have ever known. My mom was so much like her. She helped make my childhood the best it could have been with her love, encouragement and enthusiasm. She always believed in me no matter what goal I was working towards. This mile is in memory of her. From her, I developed my compassion for animals, nature, the outdoors, and helping others. I have fond memories of spending long summers at her house working in the yard, playing in the sprinkler, rescuing stray dogs and shopping.
Mile 16: Wendy
Read: My Hero. Wendy and I started training for Pittsburgh together. She got me through my first 16 mile run with a smile on her face. I will always remember her words running up the hill at mile 15.5, “You’re so close, you’re almost there. You are wonder woman she said. You can do this.” Wendy moved out West (read: lucky) and I miss her everyday – especially as Pittsburgh gets closer since she won’t be running it. I know it won’t be the same without her here, but I know our paths are not meant to be forever divided. And I know, especially in running, we will always have each others support and encouragement. After all, last time I checked, you don’t ever really lose a hero. Mile 16 is for your, Wendy. I know you’ll be there running with me in Spirit.  
Mile 17: Rebecca
Always believes in me no matter what. Rebecca is one of my best friends and has been there for me during the tough times when others have given up on me, especially when it comes to running, fitness and health. She listens to me, values my opinions and reminds me everyday not to give up on my dreams. Not to mention, she’s gorgeous and inspires me to want to look my best too. I really admire Rebecca for the positive outlook she has on life – it impacts me everyday. Rebecca’s training is founded on the principle that a strong mind leads to a strong body.  And through her positive coaching and encouragement, I have begun to change my mind. Rebecca will be cheering me on Pittsburgh!  
Need I say more? I completed my first 18 mile run alone and while I was bummed at the time and not sure if I would make it, I did. Looking back, I think I am a stronger person for having completed a long run solo. I am so glad I did! I can do it.  
Mile 19: Just one foot …
This thought kept coming into my head as I was running 18 miles. It really is just one foot in front of the other. As long as I keep moving, I will keep getting closer and closer to the finish line! If I can take one step, I can always take just one more step.
Mile 20: Get Off on the Pain
I must admit, part of what I have enjoyed about marathon training is pushing my body and mind to extreme limits and beyond. There is a part of me that enjoys the pain and enjoys overcoming it. It is the ultimate high – the runner’s high. More is never enough! In the words of country musician Gary Allan, “Cause I love the long shot, and the left out lost causes; Hanging out in the back of the pack with the dark horses. I ride the wrong road just as fast as I can, God knows there’s no one else to blame. Sometimes I think I get off on the pain.” I also love running to this song!  
Until the next mile marker,