Register, I said. It’ll be fun, I said.

Register for three races in a row I said. It’ll be fun I said.

Now, as I’m exactly two weeks out from the first of the three races, this doesn’t appear to have been the most fabulous of my decisions.

I did this last year, but instead, only had two races scheduled back-to-back. Though I somehow miraculously pulled both off well, I apparently didn’t learn from the happy trigger finger I have when pressing “REGISTER” so quickly.

The main difference was last year, I didn’t really train, had been focusing more on weight lifting and decided to just go out and wing it. <<< Not advised. But it somehow worked and I was a happy ‘lil runner after both the Tar Heel 10 Miler and the Pittsburgh Half Marathon.

tarheel ten miler april 2013 cherie runs this_

pittsburgh half marathon may 2013_

These are the races:

♦ Rock ‘n Roll Raleigh Half Marathon, April 13
♦ Tar Heel 10 Miler, April 26
♦ Pittsburgh Half Marathon, May 4

I had no full intention on registering for the RnR. But, I was given a complimentary entry to my local Fleet Feet’s half marathon training program and my fellow runners were using that race as the goal for which to train. They were running it and for once I thought, “Oh joy! I’ll actually have people I know running the race with me! Sure, I’ll register, too!” So register I did.

The Tar Heel 10 Miler was so full of awesome last year, I knew I wanted to run it again. And I believe I look quite fashionable in Carolina Blue, but whatever. But at one point, I did think that if I had to skip a race, it’d be this one. Then, I became a mentor for my YMCA’s running group, and they are training for this race, soooooo again, I knew the show must go on. Dagnabbit.

The Pittsburgh Half Marathon–miss it? NON-NEGOTIABLE. One, it’s in Pittsburgh. Two, I’m Pittsburgh-crazy. Three, the crowd support is like no other. Dare I miss the chance to combine my two loves of running and Pittsburgh while donning black and yellow in my hometown? Hahahahaha. Please. Don’t make me choke on my Iron City and Primanti Bros. sandwich while laughing at that one.

I can’t help that these three were all scheduled so closely together. But I could make sure I gave myself adequate training, cross trained the heck out of my body, and ate right. All three I was doing like a champ. And then, about a month ago, I was doing some hill repeats and *POP* my right calf felt some kind of way. I don’t know what I did–No, I didn’t go to the doctor; I’m still paying for my stress fracture doctor bills from spring of 2011!!!–so I iced it, compressed it, rested it. It felt better. It continues to feel better until I get about 15 seconds into a light jog and then, *BAM* it happens all over again.

If I have to walk these races, so be it. THERE IS NO SHAME IN WALKING.

No time for Walken

I can’t stand this race poster!!! Yeah, it’s a fun play on words and all, but if you need to walk, WALK. There is no time for an injury!!

Soooooo…I’m praying to the gods of good running that I make it to the finish line of all three. Yinz know I don’t much care about PRs anyway. And may I have the good sense next year to not be in this same predicament.

But you know I will… ;-)

 

 

More Time. More Connecting. Verizon Gives You More Everything!

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Verizon Wireless.

I’m not the most tech savvy gal. I still don’t know how to program a VCR and thank goodness there’s not much need for such thing. But I have a few simple pieces of technology and though I don’t know how they work necessarily, I know how to work them. Does that make sense? Good.

Since I know how to work them, work them I most certainly do–and often. Between my Galaxy Note 3 Smart Phone (that I WON on Twitter! Woo hoo!), and my new Jawbone UP and Sol Republic headphones (both compliments of FitFluential–thank you!) I am steady using one of these devices at all times of the day and night.

I love being connected to everything and everyone. Between random calls and text messages from my family, friends, boss and coworkers and all of the social media tweets, alerts, updates, messages, statuses, likes, favorites, comments, etc. all day–my phone isn’t quiet or unused for even the tiniest period of time. Haa, you won’t likely find me going “off the grid” for very long. But with all of this “connecting,” comes increased usage. A LOT of increased usage.

I found myself having MORE of everything else except more money and more phone data to keep up! A change was going to be in order for me to continue connecting to my liking. As I was on Verizon’s site investigating my options, I found the answer.

MORE EVERYTHING!

More Everything

Like an answer to my technological (and financial) prayers, I took a look at this new More Everything plan and realized that I would be getting MORE for less if I made the switch. I increased my data package and now I’m paying less than I did before because I always, like clockwork, went over every month. That’s not happening now! I can scroll, search, respond, text, call to my heart’s delight. And my wallet’s–the wallet is happier.

Sol Republic Ear Phones

Now I’m not at all worried that I’m spending too much time while I’m plugged in, be-bopping along listening to my Sol Republic ear phones. I use these for every work out. Whether running, lifting, or just listening to music while trying to avoid small talk (sorry not sorry–ear phones in = conversation ceased) these baby’s stay in and don’t fall out!

They have FreeFlex technology, offer a universal fit (check out all the different size buds in the pic!), and stay in your ears. They also feature:

♥ Single button microphone and music control
♥ Are sweat and water resistant
♥ Have a powerful i5 sound engine
♥ Are lightweight and keep a low profile
♥ Come with a carrying case

They are definitely the clearest earphones I’ve ever had! After I take them off (or sometimes leave them in case I’m still not ready for conversation) it’s usually time to plug in my Jawbone UP to check out my movement stats!

Jawbone Up Package

Jawbone Up on Wrist

I’d been seeing these on the wrists of fellow gym-goers and passerbys but didn’t really know what it was. When I received mine, I took a look at the little instruction book pictured and right away thought, “This goes with my phone…I’m going to look into a different phone plan…I’m going to need more.” (again, thank goodness More Everything came into my life!

Jawbone Up Screenshot Activity

Jawbone Up Screenshot Sleep

Jawbone Up Tips

I plug it in to my phone first thing in the morning, last thing at night and several times during the day and receive several reports such as movement, sleep, tips and can keep a food journal in it, too. The Jawbone UP definitely helps to keep you accountable and thinking about what you’re eating, how much sleep you’re getting and how much activity–or lack of it! Though I’m not plugged in for very long, it’s good to know I have the necessary data available and don’t have to worry about hurrying off of it.

These days all of your extra little bits of technology are somehow tied into your phone. While it once drove me crazy thinking, “On. Off. Hurry up. Use the phone. Get off the phone. Plug in. Unplug. Search really fast. Make sure you’re signed off. Repeat,” I no longer feel so uptight about it. I can leisurely listen to my music, track my stats, and talk to all of you lovely people throughout the day with worrying now. Verizon gave me More Everything for sure, and a lot LESS STRESS!!! :-)

Verizon More Everything Plan

Hydrate with a PowerICE Bar! Review and Giveaway!

And the WINNER is:
Congratulations to Dawn! You’re the lucky winner, ma’am! DM or email me your contact info and I’ll get you hooked up with your two boxes of PowerICE Bars!!!

Thanks to everyone who entered!!!!
powericewinner
*************************
Spring is just about here which means the hot weather will be fast approaching. Now, maybe you already have hot weather, or maybe you’re in some frigid part of the country and you’re rolling your eyes about the heat because you can only see a Polar Vortex outside your window.

Here in Chapel Thrill Hill, NC, it was 73° today and that’s about 23° hotter than the hottest I like it when I run.

hot weather running

Give me a cold day any time!

But since I can’t do anything about the on-its-way heat, now I can at least do something to stay cool and refreshed. Thankfully for runners within eyesight of me, it has nothing to do with less clothing. ;-)

power ice bars

May I introduce to you PowerICE Bars! I already had an ice pop/slushie/cold, icy treat addiction and these have now added to it. Seriously, the other day at work I saw a little girl holding an unopened Popsicle in her hands and I wanted to grab it and make a run for it. But she looked faster than I am, so…

I took a look at my newly received box of goodies and checked out the info:

PowerICE is an innovative, great-tasting, frozen, and hydrating ice bar designed to enhance the performance of athletes by cooling the core body temperature while replenishing electrolytes. You can take PowerICE before, during or after a workout and feel the difference.

♦ Frozen Electrolytes
♦ Caffeine Free
♦ Only 30 Calories per Ice Bar
♦ No High Fructose Corn Syrup
♦ Gluten Free & Kosher
♦ 100% Daily Value of Vitamin C
♦ 8 grams natural sugar

How happy I was that I didn’t snag the little girl’s Popsicle. These were much better!

I decided to give one of these pops a try after my long run the other day. I would have tested it out before the run, but even though it looked like these ingredients would be right up my alley, I wanted to make sure nothing wonky would happen to my stomach while I was out there.

power ice bars lime kicker

As soon as I got back into my apartment, I tore open a Lime Kicker. Mmmmph. It was lime-a-licious! So cold, so icy–it was delicious! There was no weird aftertaste and it was a delicate lime flavor–not too weak, not too *POW* make your mouth pucker–just right. I dug it. And at 30 calories, I was ready to have another. I didn’t, but I sure was ready. I let the electrolytes do their thing and I cooled down.

I kept forgetting to pack another with me to have after my workouts at the gym. That was my only concern with them. I’d have to have them at home because I don’t have anything insulated enough to keep them in frozen form while I’m gymming it.

But I can keep a couple at the office!

power ice bars orange_

I could say that I walk around a lot in my profession, which is true, and that I would need one after some of my walks, also true. But in this case I just wanted to eat an ice pop. And I did need to try the Orange Blast for review purposes, of course ;-) Just like the Lime Kicker PowerICE Bar, this one was equally yummy. I just usually have a hinkering for lime over orange so that would probably be my go-to flavor.

I’m going to have to keep some of these on hand. If the summer is as hot as the winter has been cold, I’m going to need a lot of cooling down!

How about you? Would you like to try a box each of these ice pops? If you said yes, you’re in luck! I have one box of Lime Kicker PowerICE Bars and a box of Orange Blast up for grabs in a giveaway!

HERE’S HOW TO ENTER:

♦ Comment below and tell me which flavor you’d be most excited to try. (One entry per person allowed.)

*******************************************

This giveaway is open to United States residents Sunday, March 16 through Wednesday, March 19, at 11:59 PM Eastern Time!!! The winner will be announced sometime Thursday, March 20. I will use random.org to select a winner and will contact him/her. The winner’s information will be forwarded to PowerICE and they will ship him/her the two boxes of bars! I’ll just need your complete name and address if selected as the winner.

Good luck to you!

*I was sent two boxes of PowerICE Bars in exchange for a product review and hosting this giveaway for all of you! All opinions are truthful and my own.

St. Patrick’s Day Gifts for Runners

Gifts for runners for St. Patrick’s Day? What? You didn’t know that was a thing?

Okay, maybe it’s not a thing. But if we can have “Great Valentine’s Day Gifts for Runners!” or “Christmas Gifts for Runners!” posts floating out there, I surely can add St. Patrick’s Day to the mix.

St Patricks Day Cherie Runs This

It’s one of my favorite holidays. I’m not Irish, but I love all things Irish (and masquerading as Irish). Especially the accent. Hellooooo, hotness. And I rather enjoy partaking in the consumption of Bailey’s Irish Crème in my coffee (just a half tablespoon!), potatoes and beer. I’m also quite partial to the color green, leprechauns and the Irish band The Corrs. Okay, okay–all these things do not make an Irish aficionado out of me, clearrrrrly. But I’m fun and this post is fun so just humor me and I won’t make any bad jokes about how I’m Black Irish. ;-) Sorry.

St. Patrick's Day Gifts for Runners

You only have two weeks from today, so here are my picks for St. Patrick’s Day Gifts for Runners to get you started:

Polar Heart Rate Monitor St. Patrick's Day green

1. Polar Heart Rate Monitor

Look at this gorgeously vibrant green FT4 Polar HRM! I am a huge fan of my red, pink and white Polars already, but unless I find this one at the end of the rainbow, I won’t be greedy and buy another. But it would definitely be on my list if I were in the market again!!

Pro Compression Shamrock St. Patrick's Day socks

2. Pro Compression Marathon Shamrock Compression Socks

I am a big believer in the benefits I get from my compression socks. The huggin’ and a-squeezin’ makes my calves feel amazing after my runs. If I know I’m going for a long run, I make sure to wear them during as well. These are sure to spruce up your St. Patrick’s Day race attire and keep your legs feeling oh-so-good.

P.S. My blogger buddy Pavement Runner has a code of “PR40″ that you can use on your order to save 40% off! Just type it in when you order and save some green!

Running Skirts Compression Socks St. Patrick's Day green

3. Running Skirts RunLove Clover Compression Socks

I happen to own these ones and loooove them. If you want more color and don’t mind a heart instead of a shamrock design (and want something a little more girly) here ya go!

The Yuengling Shamrock Marathon, Virginia Beach, VA

4. The Yuengling Shamrock Marathon

By now you may have registered for a St. Patrick’s Day themed race, but if not, how about this one?! I’ve heard so many great things about it and it looks like irresistible Irish fun. It’s on March 16 and in Virginia Beach, VA. If it’s local for you, awesome. If not, racecations make great gifts! As of today, there are still spots open!

Arrow Be Free Knicker Athleta St. Patricks Day green

5. Athleta’s Arrow Be Free Knicker in Catalina Green

I like bright capris. The brighter the better. Add fun patterns and designs and I’m all in. These green crops from Athleta rock and would be the perfect pair for a St. Patrick’s Day race or just running around trying to catch a leprechaun.

Sparkly Soul Headband in Gold

6. Sparkly Soul Headbands

First of all, they don’t slip. So if you know someone who’s always saying, “Uhhh, no headbands work. They always move around and slip off my head!”, get them one of these. Again, they don’t slip! My top picks for St. Patrick’s Day are green, gold and white, but there are tons of colors from which to choose!

Energy Bits Coupon Code

7. EnergyBits

If you know someone who is doing his or her darndest to get in quick, on-the-go protein naturally without downing powdered shakes before and after a workout, or is just looking for more energy period, EnergyBits are where it’s at!! And they’re green. There’s so much more to love about them, but that’s good enough reason for this post!

Rogue Irish Beer St Patrick Day

8. Rogue Irish Style Lager

It’s beer. I need not say any more than that. Cheers.

Irish I Was Kenyan Shirt for Runners St. Patricks Day

9. Café Press Irish I Was Kenyan T-shirt

Okay, so it’s not sweat-wicking, being 100% cotton and all, but it’s just too darn awesome not to be worn if you’re a runner and love St. Patrick’s Day. I saw it on my blogger buddy Pittsburgh Runner‘s Twitter page long ago and have wanted it ever since. She looks awesomely Irish-Runnerish in it, and you can too!

10. ♣ You tell me! There are so many fantastic items I could have listed, but these were just my top picks. What would be on YOUR list? ♣

The Snowpocalypse as Cross-Training. Dig It.

First, my Valentine’s Day was not as solemn as I thought it’d be.

valentines outfit

I put on big girl panties my sparkly heart-themed shirt, red lipstick, took a deep breath and went to work to proceed with my day.

put on your red lipstick and pull yourself together

I skipped the drink, unless you count coffee, and tried to focus on the other types of love I have in my life. Like the awesome love y’all have given me by sticking my side and following along the hills and valleys along the road of this journey.  That counts. :-)

home-made-dark-chocolate-covered-strawberries

There was no Ryan Gosling for dessert or anything, but I had a crazy awesome snow shoveling workout/cross training extravaganza for three hours at work (thanks maintenance staff for showing up to work and doing it–not), ate a nice meal while chilling on my couch, chatted with lovely Tweeps and called it a night. It was decent enough and I have to believe in my heart next year will be even better.

snow in chapel hill

Speaking of the lovely snow, North Carolina had a crazy storm this past week–like, crazy, Storm-of-the-Century, catastrophic, shut down the entire state kind of storm.

raleigh snow meme

Seriously, this was EPIC. There have been memes galore made with this picture–obviously. It’s the most meme-tastastic shot ever.

snow cherie runs this

Now, as a Pittsburgh girl at heart, I was like, BRING IT. But my follower NC’ers could not handle it so well. Sad. I think it was only somewhere between 6-10 inches, but again, North Cackalacky is not prepared for such stuff! Down here, the “threat” of snow will shut it all down. At first I was happy just looking at it and doodling on my porch railing. But when I looked outside again and saw it majorly coming down, I knew I had to get out in it for a workout!

snow dressed to go play

I donned some snow-gear–nooooo–actually, I don’t have snow gear. I put on a jacket, scarf, hat, gloves, Lululemons, knee highs and Uggs. It was going to have to do.

snow run spelled out

At first I made a snow angel. She didn’t turn out so well. Hence no picture of that mess. I felt like writing something, so of course I spelled out RUN with my tracks.

snowman little

I made a little snowman. He’s umm, different. I apparently didn’t excel in Snowman Making 101.

snow pool

I took a power walk around the apartment property twice. One, I wanted to see if I could run. That was a negative. I thought I’d snap my ankle if I moved too fast. Two, I figured as a member of management, I should make sure the complex looked okay all around. The pool is a big area of mischief and since I didn’t see any footprints around it from any young whippersnappers, I then wandered back to the backyard as the coast was clear.

snow ball

Then, the real workout began. I saw people across the street making a snowman and they looked like they were having a Dicken’s of a time trying to roll the big base of the snowman. AHA!! Since that looked like such work and there would be tons of squatting and pushing involved, I decided I needed to do it, too. Not to build another snowman, FAIL, but to do an imitation of tire flipping!!

snow ball and me

I rolled, squatted, pushed, rolled, squatted pushed for a good 30 minutes. I WAS BEAT. Ohhhh-weeee it felt like I had done a major workout. Actually, I HAD done a major workout. I was sweating like a pig and wished I had my Polar on so I could have tracked the burn. Darn it!! But judging from my soreness, breathlessness (my video of it is on my Instagram,) and strange looks from passer-bys, I knew I was going H.A.M. on that huge snowball!!

I know fellow NC’ers will be all, “shut yo’ mouth,” but I hope it snows again soon so I can do it all over again!!!

snow storm in nc aint nobody got time fo that

Uhh, minus the meme-worthiness level, of course. No one needs all that.

And that snow shoveling of the entire 144 unit apartment complex grounds? I estimated the calorie burn to be around 2,000 for those 3 hours. AT LEAST. I have muscles that I don’t even think have been activated in my 4+ years of exercising that are chewing me out right now. Heck yeah, the Snowpocalyse is the new cross-training. :-) Now…if I could just move back up to Pittsburgh where the snow makes an appearance more than two days of the year….Sigh.

6 Things for a Single Runner’s Perfect Valentine’s Day

Oh boy. Here it comes whether I want it or not…Valentine’s Day!

Joy.

I’ve seen a lot of random posts this week on Twitter, FB and Pinterest with suggestions as to what to get your girlfriend for Valentine’s Day. Being that this will be my first time in 10 years celebrating this holiday on my own, I needed my own list. A list for me as a single gal; a single runner lover. Goodness knows no one will be shopping for any chocolates, jewelry or roses for me. {Which is actually good because I don’t need any more chocolate, don’t wear a lot of jewelry and I prefer tulips.} So I thought about it. What would I get myself as my own Valentine? What would make this the perfect Valentine’s Day for me?

6 Things for a Single Runner's Perfect Valentine's Day

And so came about my list: 6 Things for a Single Runner’s Perfect Valentine’s Day. {Now mind you–this is my perfect, haha. I can’t speak for yours! So I guess it’s not “a” but “this”. Whatev. You get it.}

1. ♥ To get hot & sweaty.

Polar Heart Rate Monitors

First, I’d put on my red, white or pink (holiday appropriate colors!) Polar Heart Rate Monitor and get my sweat on! A good run {or weight lifting session} always leaves me feeling amazing. I feel stronger, healthier, my endorphins are kicking, and I’ve burned calories. That’s the good stuff right there.

2. ♥ A massage.

Trigger Point The Grid Pink Foam Roller

My muscles would be calling out for some tender loving care. But I’m not shelling out $80 for a massage via a masseuse when I can torture massage myself for free! Time to make it hurt so good and roll out the kinks with my Trigger Point Grid Foam Roller. I have this pink one and it kneads me. That’s nice that something does. Haa.

3. ♥ Hugging & squeezing.

Running Skirts Compression Socks Pink

After an intense massage, why stop there? It is Valentine’s Day afterall. For a little extra something-something, I’d like to be hugged and squeezed in all the right places. Chances are–that’s my legs y’all. I’d quickly don these Running Skirts Compression Socks and begin to feel the love.

4. ♥ A heart-healthy dinner.

Sizzlefish Fish

It’s not Valentine’s Day without a swanky dinner. My swank will have to be a meal for one, which in this case Sizzlefish would be perfect! Individually portioned pieces of very heart-healthy, good-for-me-fish. Mmmph! Yeah, I’d have to do the cooking, but I trust the cook and she’s pretty awesome.

5. ♥ CARBS.

Rogue Valentines Day Beers

Uhh, so yeah–by carbs, I straight up mean beer. I love beer. Runners need carbs. I’m a runner. I need beer. If it has a Valentine’s Day theme like this Rogue Beer does, that’s even more fine and dandy with me. Cheers.

6. ♥ Dessert.

Ryan Gosling waiting at the finish line

Oh, my bad. That’s not dessert. That’s Ryan Gosling*.

Yup. I already said I didn’t want any dang chocolate. My ”dessert” would be my new runner boyfriend man candy. Which, umm, leads to getting hot & sweaty, part 2. This sesh will not involve the heart rate monitor though. ;-)

So….any fellow single runners out there? What would you get yourself on this lovely Valentine’s Day?

*Oh, and if you’re single and you look like Ryan Gosling, FYI: I’m a runner and have great stamina. Call me.

Group running: I’m a fan now.

The past two Saturdays, I ran with other human beings and I actually enjoyed it.

This was a special moment, as y’all know how I most enjoy my running solo because it’s my “me” time. I get lost in my thoughts, rock out to my tunes, and don’t have to worry about slowing anybody down. I do my own thing with me, myself, and I.

Well, as I vowed to do at the beginning of this year, I have decided to be more “sociable” in many aspects of my life. I usually have my walls up where meeting new people is concerned, but that way of being is not going to help me meet any new friends or potential new suitors. So along with being more friendly, making eye contact and smiling at the gym and not scowling at random men who attempt to strike up a conversation with me in my daily activities, I also made good on joining a running group.

Not overjoyed to be up early, but I'm managing.

Not overjoyed to be up early, but I’m managing.

morning running lake

I’m getting to see parts of Durham and Chapel Hill on foot, that’d I’d otherwise miss while driving in my car.

This yellow Nike hoodie was in my closet for two years, tags still on it.

I like to bundle up with cute hats when I run.

I like to bundle up with cute hats when I run.

I’m getting to don outfits that I’ve had in my closet for a while that aren’t necessarily suitable for the treadmill/indoors.

HUGE potluck breakfast after yesterday’s run. Man, I could’ve gone buck wild!!!

But I went with a lot of fruit. Okay, and two donut holes & an Oreo. Haa.

I’m able to bypass not-so-good for me foods and make better choices. After I do all that running, I just want to fuel up with some clean eats!

prerun post run

I feel confident again and am all smiles post-run. Tired and sweaty, but still smiling.

polar heart rate monitor

And boy does it feel good to have such a burn…peace out, calories!

prerun fleet feet

Fellow runners hanging out in Fleet Feet before we went running!

It’s also nice to be around people that have common interests. I’m either at work all day–and no one gives a doggone about my running there–or I’m at the gym lifting weights–and it’s not really a chit-chatty kind of a time.

I’m trying to make some peace in my life again between running AND weights, by the way. I want them to live harmoniously together in my ‘lil fitness world. I just need to plan it all out better. Last year, I took a big break from running so much so that I could focus on weights. I loved, loved, loved the weight-lifting, but running was still in my heart somewhere. With better scheduling, they can both serve a place in my healthy life. And have me looking pretty awesome, haha..

So yes, I am now a fan of running with people. I still enjoy my solo time, but so far, a lot of good has come out of it. I know I said I’d never be a fan of such a thing, but I’m coming around. Again, life has taught me to never say what you’ll never do. ;-)

What’s in the box? What’s in the box?

I’m not one to pass up free food. Scratch that–I’m not one to pass up healthy free food. So, when the opportunity presented itself to review another Bestowed Box, umm, duh, of course I agreed! bestowed-box

I last had one of these box of goodies sent to me almost a year ago now. (Feel free to check out that review if you missed it back then.) I love that these snacks included are hand-picked by celebrity nutritionist Heather Bauer and are researched and trusted brands that don’t give me a darn built of guilt or funny feelings.

bestowed box open

You get 5+ nutrition/lifestyle products in your box. Every month is different, so I knew this box would be different from the last one I received. I was excited to see what was inside! (Yes, I said to myself, “What’s in the box? What’s in the boxxxx?” – I watched Se7en too many times, I know.) bestowed box

My box was jam-packed with goodies!!! This time around, I opened up my Bestowed Box and discovered:

♦ Salba Smart Chia Boost @SalbaSmart
♦ Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix @SkratchLabs
♦ An Oatworks Smoothie @oatworks
♦ Beanfield’s Bean and Rice Chips @BeanfieldsSnack
♦ Cooggies Oatmeal Raisin & Double Chocolate Cookies @cooggies
♦ Dark Chocolate Peanut Balance Bar @balancebar
♦ EBOOST Natural Energy Booster @EBOOST
♦ Rainbow Light Counter Attack @rainbowlightNS
♦ Nasoya Tofu (Coupon for One Free Item) @nasoya
♦ Reed’s Culture Club Kombucha (Coupon for One Free Item) @reedskombucha
♦ Stonyfield Organic Greek Yogurt (Coupon for One Free Item) @stonyfield
bestowed box bean chips

There was so much in my box that I’m still going through everything! The first item I grabbed and tore open was the bag of Bean and Rice Chips. I love crunchy. They were so amazing and passed the test of my coworkers too. I was actually nice and shared! :-) “I didn’t know you could make chips out of beans, but these things are good,”

commented one of my coworkers. So delicious! cooggies

I pummeled through the Coogies next. I also love chewy cookies. Haa. And these are made with vegetables?! No one could tell–yes, I shared with my coworkers again. If they couldn’t tell that veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, spinach and peas were in these cookies, no one will! Loved them. Also proceeded to eat them so fast that no pics were taken. Oops. Bad blogger.

Like I said, I’m still going through the rest of the goodies: salba chia boost balance bar eboost oatworks smoothie skratch labs rainbow light counter attack

And I still need to head to the grocery store to pick up my free tofu, kombucha and yogurt! nasoya kombucha yogurt coupons

But so far so good–none of the items in my Bestowed boxes have let me down yet!

If YOU would like to get your hands on a box at a discount, feel free to use the code: HELLOYUM77 to receive your first box for $10 (that’s $9 savings!). The boxes are shipped directly to your door with FREE shipping. You can have them sent to you every month and get fun goodies to try out! So much more fun than the usual bills and junk mail you get delivered to you every month, right? ;-)

This code is good until February 15, 2014, so get ordering and find out what’s in your box!!

*I was provided a complimentary Bestowed Box for review. All opinions are truthful and my own!

What does a personal trainer look like?

If I could find the picture, I’d take a screenshot of it. Somewhere under one of my pictures on Instagram, a sad, sad little being chose to passively make fun of me by saying,

“You’re a personal trainer? LOL.”

I won’t lie–of course that was one of those comments that makes you forget about all the other gazillion positive words you received but instead harp on that one naysayer for just a moment.

Is she saying I’m fat?
Is she doubting my knowledge?
Is she saying that I don’t look like a trainer should?
Is she meaning to be funny ha-ha or just plain old mean?
Is she using this as another “Precious“-like comment toward me?

I can’t answer any of these questions because I’m not her. I don’t know her intentions; I don’t know what she meant by it. But I do know that when people make comments like that from the {cowardly} comfort of sitting behind their computer or phone screen, it moreso says something about them than it does about me.

I can answer her though. Yes, I am a personal trainer. I am National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and have been since October 2011. And while I don’t look like a rippling, muscular black Barbie, I have been using my NASM-CPT to motivate, inspire, coach, and mentor many, many, many people through my blog, Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Not that this chick would care, but I could provide her with countless emails, messages and texts I’ve received to back that up. So while she’s busy judging me, I’m busy helping others and that’s what matters most to me. :-)

Now, speaking of helping…I can also look through countless emails, messages, and texts and find the question, “When are you going to actually train somebody in person, Cherie?” Y’all have been asking that for a looooong time and you know it, haha. I can also finally answer you–I already do!

As of this January, I’m a personal trainer at my local YMCA!!!

ymca shirt

I know some of you already know this, but I realized I never wrote about it on my blog!

Yes, a few times, more than I’d like to admit, self-doubt overtook me. “I don’t look like a personal trainer. I’m not thin enough. I’m not muscular enough. You can’t wash clothes on my abs. A quarter may not bounce off my butt. I’m also not overly sales-oriented, pushy and focused on collecting commissions instead of focused on my client’s fitness and health and happiness. Nope. I don’t look like a trainer.”

After several trips to other gyms, I realized that those two sets of things were holding me back. What I “thought” I was supposed to look like and my personal convictions of not wanting to “sell” packages but instead motivate, teach and inspire fitness & nutrition journeys.

And then the wonderful YMCA entered my life.

When I got separated a few months ago, mounds of bills came into my sole possession. While I was just trying to stay sane and make ends meet, I came to the realization that I was no longer going to be able to afford my gym membership. I could run to my heart’s delight around my new neighborhood, but weightlifting was going to take some more creative thought. I tried a lot of body resistance exercises but my heart wasn’t in it. I needed to feel the iron in my hands again. When I heard that the YMCA offers reduced membership prices to those who are in financial need, I quickly applied.

I received notice by mail that my application was approved! But once I saw how much the discounted membership was, I knew I still couldn’t even afford that. I was totally bummed, feeling pathetic about my circumstances, and figured I’d have to skip the weights for a while. My fitness was important; but so was paying my bills. I’d have to get a part-time job just to be able to breathe financially anyhow, but I was going to put my beloved fitness on the back burner so I could get a second job. Oh well, I’d get back to being a gym rat eventually; priorities were priorities. And then I took my venting to Twitter.

Not angry venting, but just pure “meh” because I was really hoping the Y would work. The Y saw my tweet and contacted me to try to work something out. “Something” turned into pure awesomeness after a couple of meetings. Not only did I get a membership, I got a job! The Fitness Director heard about my weight loss journey and was interested in meeting me. He especially liked that I had a certification as a NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist in addition to the CPT. So yeah, that totally worked out, I’ll say!!

My favorite part of the Y is that there is no “gymtimidation.” It took a while for me to get comfortable at my old gym. There was A LOT of judging going on, a lot of stares, a lot of feeling of not being in shape enough to work out there, haha, if that makes any sense. Not at the YMCA. Everyone is super friendly, welcoming, and all are accepted–all ages, colors, backgrounds, abilities, etc. I can put more focus on my workouts now instead of worrying that don’t look worthy of being there. And there is more than one bathroom stall, an actual locker room, an indoor track, tons of free weights, machines (even though I don’t really use them), cardio equipment, a pool, a hot tub and a sauna. My old gym had none of that! I indeed see why it’s fun to stay at the YMCA!

I’m very thankful for the opportunity to start my “in the flesh” training! It’s not salesy-salesy, pushy-pushy like I work at a car dealership and I also get to make it into my own way of training that I like. I can do out of the box things like take my client grocery shopping to talk about nutrition, run together with local run clubs, or work out on the gym floor. I don’t even make commission so that’s no where near leading my desire to help my clients. I can actually just help them with honest intentions and their well-being at the forefront of my mind! Finally, the type of personal training I was looking for in my life! It was well worth the wait.

So what does a personal trainer look like?

ME.

I don’t have to shake my protein.

I sat down with myself and had a heart to heart. Okay, I probably didn’t sit down–I was most likely walking around my apartment talking to myself–but either way, I knew I was going to have to put the tumultuous latter half of 2013 behind me in order to move forward.

One area of my life that needed a serious redo was my food. After six months of paying less than stellar attention to my nutrition in order to devote that attention towards dealing with my separation, moving, life on my own, starting over, questioning my entire being and staying sane, I was all kinds of discombobulated. Haha, so yes, nutrition took a backseat. Heck, nutrition wasn’t even the same car.

cleaneating groceries

So during this new year heart to heart, I made a commitment to myself to get back to the old Cherie who meal preps, plans meals & snacks ahead and chooses quality over convenience. Also, I simply need to eat more real food.

For someone who loves to eat clean, one sneaky, not-so-clean “food” was a big part of my daily intake:  The protein shake.
protein tub_

The fine powder was my drug. I had to have it errrrryday. I made sure to carry shakers of it with me wherever I went, set aside parts of my paycheck to make sure a steady supply of it was arriving to my doorstep, baggies of it came with me on any vacations or road trips, I had it first thing in the morning, during the afternoon, after my workout, and then right before bed, only to repeat it all again the next day. Total addiction.

I rarely ate anything that had a label on it anyhow, but if I did, I sure could pronounce the few ingredients it had. But on the tub of protein powder? Ugh. Even this English major had a difficult time sounding it all out. So I overlooked it. “I’m a gym goer! I need my protein!”

protein powder

But also during this heart to heart, I decided to quit the protein powder cold turkey. I didn’t need to detox myself out of it or wean myself off of it. I just stopped. Here was an ingenious thought I had: What if I just ate real food to get my protein? Picture a light bulb exploding over my head! Duh.

Back to my sources of protein coming from food–Greek yogurt, lean meats and seafood, beans, eggs, nuts, quinoa and more plants! I missed these foods. My body really missed them. With proper meal planning and preparation, these foods are convenient and “fast food.” The only thing I was wondering about was how to chow down on my salmon at the gym right after my sets were complete, haha.

Hmmmm, what about those ENERGYbits®?

energy-bits_

Oh yes, I remember trying them out a little over a year ago for a review. I liked them. They were easy. There was no shaking, mixing, or preparation involved. And best of all? THEY WERE REAL FOOD. I went back and read my review to give it some more thought. The only thing I was missing was enough of them to give them a real shot. I promptly ordered another bag, replaced a serving of them in place of the protein powder, and felt my clean groove coming back. Amazing! And not a single shaker was dirtied in the process.

skinny-bits-tin

So a month later, having sufficiently tested them out to make sure I could stand by my belief in them, I’m thrilled to be #poweredbybits. So thrilled, I’m even an ENERGYbits® Ambassador now!!! They are made with ONE ingredient–100% Spirulina algae. These BITS are 100% natural, 100% green, have only one calorie per tab and contain no sugar, no caffeine, no chemicals, no gluten and no soy. And protein? Oh heck yes. Spirulina provides the highest concentration of protein in the world–these BITS are 64% protein, thank you. Peace out, protein powder.

Energy Bits Coupon Code

Should you want to make the switch to clean, green protein, you can use my coupon code: CHERIERUNSTHIS and save 25% off your order at energybits.com!

There are four different BITS, by the way:
ENERGYbits® 100% spirulina
SKINNYbits® 100% spirulina
RECOVERYbits® 100% chlorella
VITALITYbits® 50% spirulina, 50% chlorella

recovery bits free gift

AND, if you’ve been thinking of trying RECOVERYbits now is the time! From now until February 21, 2014, when you order a bag of chlorella RECOVERYbits it will include a complimentary GIFT WITH PURCHASE! Your gift comes in an attractive black organza bag that contains a full tin of RECOVERYbits, a single sample serving of RECOVERYbits, a cool pair of ENERGYbits sunglasses, an ENERGYbits pen and some fun stickers. This $35 retail value is yours absolutely FREE with the purchase of at least one bag of RECOVERYbits. It’s a fun and healthy Valentines Day gift we think everyone will love, even more than chocolates. (Okay, if not more than chocolates, at least as much as…haa!)

share your love with energy bits

BIT by BIT, I’m cleaning up my life, fitness and food. :-) Not chugging down a shake before and after my workouts in lieu of swallowing my BITS doesn’t make me any less of a gym rat. I do happen to think it makes me smarter and cleaner, though!  #ItsOKtoSwallow  <— Okay, so maybe that was a ‘lil dirty, but…. ;-)

And now, if I do look back to last year, it will only be to see how far I’ve come.