Call for Participants: Posh Focus Group!

samples

As many of you know, I’ve recently started up a business as a Perfectly Posh Independent Consultant.

I got into it for me. I love the products, I enjoy bath and body products and I love finding new ways to connect with others! I’ve also discovered a real connection between a few of the products and the running/fitness community that I’m also a part of.

In the next few months, I’ll be at several expos and trade shows, many targeting female athletes…as such…I need a little help! I’m looking to put together a focus group of women willing to try products and provide honest reviews on my Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/luxwithlaura/ ). If they blog and are willing to share on their sites, that’s AMAZING, but, only if they love the products!

Up for the challenge? Want a few free samples that could boost your workout regimen? Please message me, comment or reach out to me somehow! (You can see a sneak peak of the products here.) Can’t wait to hear your opinions! ❤

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10 Steps for Lacing Up the Running Shoes After Babies

Here goes. I’ve shared that I’m getting back into the groove. 3.5 months post twins I’m ready to get moving again. I’ve committed and I’ve followed through. But, boy. It’s a process that I wasn’t bargaining for! Let me share a few things I’ve learned if you’re ready to get back out on the pavement!

running shoes

(note: these are my running shoes. I’ve missed them. But right now we sure have a love-hate relationship! 🙂 )

Maybe you’ve been lucky enough to stay in shape through pregnancy. In this case, you’ll likely bounce back much faster. But, if you’re like me…you might need a little extra time, a little extra push and a little extra love.

Ready to go? Check out these tips to get started!

1. Do it For the Right Reasons

Before any fitness endeavor…it’s important to ask why. Why are you trying to get moving again? Where’s your heart? Is it because you feel like you have to? Is it because you feel outside pressure? Is it because you’re not happy somewhere on the inside? If your answer is yes to these questions, you’re not ready to get started. Figure out your heart an where you stand BEFORE you start a love-hate relationship with a new running routine!

2. Be Patient

Remember…fitness is a journey. You’ve spent 9 months CREATING LIFE. 9 months coming down from your fitness peak. This means that getting back into it isn’t going to happen overnight.

Like anything in life…you can’t do something and work up to a certain level in something, walk away for 9 months (plus recovery time), then jump right back into where you were. Patience fellow mamas, Patience!

3. Love the Past…Don’t Live in it!

You know what? I’m proud of my PRs. My husband and I keep our medals on the wall. We love the memories we’ve made traveling to races, we love celebrating each others’ accomplishments. We have pride in what we’ve been able to do, pride in the times that our hard work paid off.

But right now? Life is taking over! We have four beautiful little ones to love on. We’ve moved across the country from our families so we have little help. John’s fully emerged in his job and church activities. I am running my own business and just started another. The kids have activities….this is LIFE and it’s amazing.

Do we still have past goals to look back on? Yes. Is it hard to look at current times and to realize that I may never get back to my peak? Yes. But, that’s what a peak is…a huge accomplishment to be proud of forever, but to come down from at some point!

Does this mean that I’ve given up on myself or my goals? Absolutely not. But, it means that I needed to shift my perspective, to be proud of where I am now and to be patient with myself! Remember the past…live in the now…focus on the future!

4. Set a New Goal

Speaking of the future, it’s an exciting prospect…right? Why not jump in by setting a new…REASONABLE…goal?

Want to do a race with friends or pushing the stroller? Want to train for a mud run? A triathalon? Make finishing your goals and completing your training plan. Start thinking of goals that pertain less to times and placing, and more on fun.

5. Start Small…and I Mean SMALL

The minute I got the okay from my doctors to start a new workout routine (which consisted of walking. Very slow walking), I couldn’t wait to jump in. “2 miles,” I thought… “2 miles.” I look back at myself and laugh at that day.

You see, 2 miles in the past was a warmup…a joke. Of course I could walk 2 miles. Boy, I was wrong. After .3 miles I was done. DONE. I was down on myself. It was bad.

But then, I got the okay to “jog.” Great! I set my treadmill to 6.5 miles per hour…you know, my previous casual pace. HAH! I didn’t make it .1 miles. Seriously…not even a tenth of a mile. I was stressed an depressed about the situation.

My big issue? I forgot that fitness is a process. I forgot to start small. I forgot to celebrate small victories. I set myself up for failure.

I had to step back. Talk myself down and start over. You know where I am today? I’m running 10-12 minute miles. Coming from a competitive running past, this was hard at first. But..you guys…I got to 5 miles last week. 5. I started small and I started building. I. Couldn’t. Be. Prouder. Seriously. New goals, new perspective, new pride. The key? Starting small.

6. Put a Lid on the Guilt

I hear this…A LOT. “I want to workout, but my babies are only small for so long. I don’t want to miss it.” I get it. I’m right there in the mire with guilt with you. I promise.

But, I have also learned to step back. Do my babies need me? Absolutely! And that’s a huge gift!

At the same time, I’m the best mom I can be when I’m happy with myself and when I’m at a reasonable level of health. This starts with putting a focus on fitness. This doesn’t mean spending 3 hours every day at the gym. When I can walk for 30 minutes, or get a quick Tabata session in, sometimes that’s gotta be enough.

Sometimes letting yourself rest IS best…but do it because it’s the right thing, not because you’re too guilty to step back for an hour or so.

7. Push Yourself (within reason)

I’ve talked a lot about being easy on yourself. You’ve accomplished a lot in the past year! But, that doesn’t mean you have a permanent excuse to slack (balance people…balance!).

If you want to grow in your level of fitness, you’ve got to push it. You’ve got to grow. This means that you have to push yourself!

If you find yourself making an excuse after every workout, or a lack of progress, evaluate whether you’re pushing yourself hard enough. If not, try to step it up (again…within reason and SLOWLY).

8. Set a Schedule

We’re always busy. Always. As a mom, especially a new mom, there’s always someone that needs you…and that’s okay. But, it’s also a great way to miss a workout…then to miss 3 workouts…then to go a month without putting in a single mile. See how it builds?

Combat this natural tendency by setting a schedule. Let your husband or whoever helps you at home know that during this time, you’ll be out running or doing a workout. Over time, it will become a routine that comes naturally.

9. Find a Buddy

Just like any other time, if you’ve set a fitness goal, it’s easiest to accomplish it with some support.

Look for another new mom or running newbie and partner up. It’s a lot harder to push snooze when you know someone else is counting on you!

Talk about your goals and push each other to achieve them!

10. Don’t Give Up

Like anything in life, you’ll have set backs. You’ll have days when you wonder if this is what you really want.

Take it easy on yourself. Love yourself. Push through. The only true disservice you can do in this process is to quit…or to never get started in the first place.

What are ya waiting for? Get out there. Put on your running shoes…and go!

Hitting the Pavement…Rebuilding

Today was the day. As many of you know, the past year has been a time of learning a whole lot, reassessing, setting new goals and finding a new way to do things. Today I hit the pavement…outside!

Let’s rewind. I got into running to get back into shape…you can read my whole story here, but, the bottom line is that in the beginning, the motivation was solid. I needed a way to find myself again, running gave it to me.

Soon, it became more than it should have. Instead of being proud of milestones, I set out to set new ones at every corner and to keep besting myself over and over again. I wasn’t in it just for the joy of running and enjoying activity, I was in it to win…all the time. Anyone who knows anything about athletes knows that that motivation leads to nothing good, and instead straight to a brick wall. I found mine last March. Then, forced to the sidelines, I had to step back.

Over the past few months, I’ve found myself on a new journey. As many of you know, I set out to get back into activity again and to find a way to love it. I signed up to run/jog/walk for Team Toby Mac and the New Hope Academy for the Nashville Half Marathon in April. With the okay from the doctors, lots of promises to listen to my body and a new mindset, I started back at it. But, I still wasn’t sure what that would look like or if I could really stay true to myself. However, with multiple checks in place, I got started.

For just over the past month, I’ve been hitting the treadmill. Walking, then jogging. No specific thoughts about times, splits or programs, just learning to find my rhythm again. Today, I had the opportunity to take it outside! The feeling I had today was something I’ve missed for a long time, and something that I started to forget when working out became all about schedules and goal times.

Outside

The sun was shining and there were new trails around our new house that needed to be explored. It wasn’t bitterly cold. Everything seemed to be a go. The best part though? I just wanted to get out there. I didn’t have a schedule to stick to. I didn’t have a goal time in mind. I didn’t even plan how far I’d go…I put on my shoes and went out.

After a little over 2 miles, I felt tired. Instead of pushing through…I walked. Sounds obvious right? To a previously compulsive runner, it’s not that obvious and it was a joy just to be able to do it…to slow down and to take in the sights all around me. Guys…I even got to smell the pine trees. It doesn’t get better than that. Toward the end, I picked it up and jogged back to the house. Coming in, I didn’t feel like I’d out done myself and I didn’t feel as though I’d gone too far. I just felt satisfied to have spent some time outside, alone with nature and with my thoughts. That’s a gift that I’d honestly forgotten about.

Sometimes life is about rebuilding toward something new and about finding what really matters and living for that. About living in the moment. About appreciating every step. I’m there…where are you?

 

Just a reminder to all of my readers! I’m currently in the process of trying to raise money for New Hope Academy for Team Toby Mac and the Nashville Half Marathon…if you feel compelled to contribute, please visit my fundraising page!

Running for Redemption: Trying Something New

For those of you who have been following for some time – or who know me personally – you know that this past year has been a little different than I planned. You also know that I went from an active, competitive runner, to someone who was wrecked by my past 2 distance attempts, leading to a scratched full marathon and a serious decrease (okay, halt) in all things running.

It’s been rough. However, over the past few months, I’ve had lots of time to think about WHY it’s been so rough. At first, I thought maybe it was the competition side of it. Anyone who knows John and I knows that we are competitive. It’s not a secret, and sometimes it’s a lot of fun. But, sometimes, it can be a serious negative.

This is what running became to me. Regardless of my health and other life issues that needed to come first, I put running first instead. I loved races and I loved being able to be competitive in those races. However, this was seriously detrimental…physically AND mentally! Some things just aren’t worth it.

You’re probably wondering why I’m following this series of statements with a race announcement. But, bear with me for a second. During the past few months, as I’ve thought about things and prioritized, I’ve been able to step back a bit. I came to realize that what I miss most about running isn’t running. It’s the feeling of inclusion…of belonging to something bigger than myself. For someone who stood on the sidelines for a long time, I have watched communities of runners band together to do great things. That’s what I enjoyed being a part of…that’s what I miss these days!

I then began to realize that being part of that community can be completely separate from being competitive. Being a part of that community means showing up, putting the right things first and looking for causes that matter…things that are bigger than just me. That’s why, as a part of this race, I will be participating for FUN…that means some serious walking, and training to do so. The finish time is irrelevant…with medical clearance to do so leisurely, I will be following doctor’s orders while finding a way to give back.

One of my goals for a long time has been to fundraise for a cause. About 2 years ago, I learned about Team Toby Mac and the Nashville Half Marathon. Toby Mac is one of our family’s favorite musicians. We’ve attended concerts and love the message of HOPE and LOVE that his music spreads. However, there’s more to Toby Mac than his music. During the St. Jude Children’s Hospital’s Nashville Half Marathon, team Toby Mac members raise money (not only for St. Jude, which I have made a contribution to), but also to New Hope Academy. The mission of New Hope Academy and Team Toby Mac is as follows:

Run for Hope is on a mission to turn racial division, class segregation, and spiritual poverty into community, possibility, and hope.  The runners and walkers of Run for Hope will compete in this year’s Country Music Marathon (Full Marathon, Half Marathon, or 5K) on April 25, 2015.  We are comprised of fans of our Artist Partners, like TobyMac, members of numerous area churches, as well as individuals from the community.

With every dollar raised, the course of a child’s future is changed forever through the work of New Hope Academy – The school that sparked a cultural movement. Dramatic cultural transformation may start small – with children and a school – but that is only the beginning.  New Hope Academy is a school on a mission to set people free.

New Hope Academy is a remarkable and inspiring place, one that provides an academically rigorous and Gospel-centered education to children who come from varying economic conditions.  New Hope Academy offers an excellent education to children from low-income families, creating a ripple effect of hope and opportunity far beyond its walls.

I think this message rings ESPECIALLY true right now, with the country especially focused on race and class issues. I’ve been looking for a way to do more, and I think this is my opportunity to do so.

This morning, I signed up to be a part of the team. While my fundraising page is still being set up, in the next few months, I’d like to ask you to consider donating to this amazing cause. I’ll post the link as I have it. But, I’d ask you to start considering this worthy cause now!

Thanks for your support. I am excited to try something new, to stop the competitive mindset and to join this amazing team.

I have received my fundraising page! Please visit: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/LauraPyne/runforhope2015teamtobymac or click here if you’re interested in donating! Thank you!

When “Health” becomes More Important than “Fitness”

I’ve been there, sometimes I’m still there…so I’m assuming you’ve been there too.

We set goals. Whether they’re based on frustration with how things are, things we’d like to accomplish, what everyone else is doing or has going for them or something we’ve seen somewhere else, we set goals. Goals are important…they propel us through life and toward great things. When we accomplish those goals, we are left with this mile-high feeling that’s pretty hard to match. That phrase “walking on cloud 9,” actually makes sense sometimes!

This is especially true in the fitness world. From TV shows that promote losing hundreds of pounds in 12 weeks to models and others in the entertainment world that have amazing bodies and have accomplished great things, we are surrounded by a culture that tells us anything is possible.

Only, sometimes it’s not. And when that situation crops up, we’re left unsure of how to deal with it and how to move forward! Maybe you’ve been there too…for me, that is right now.

This isn’t always the easiest thing to share; we want others to see us succeed, especially when we have set ourselves up to be models for others. Sharing “downs” can be complicated, messy and emotional – all things we try to avoid.

But, I’ll do my best.

Here’s the thing. A lot of you have been following me for awhile now. You’ve seen my journey and that it was filled with a lot of highs. I set a lot of lofty goals and slowly worked as hard as I could to accomplish them. They weren’t easy, and sometimes I was putting everything I had forward…but I did my best to do everything I said I would do. It was a commitment I made to myself and to everyone else!

Many of you read my blog post the day I decided to register for the Wineglass Marathon, happening this Sunday in Corning, New York. I remember writing it and being so excited as some of my friends made the commitment with me. The day I signed up, I was filled with anticipation; the thought that I wouldn’t cross the finish…or even the starting line…never really occurred to me. I was on my own, full-throttle high.

When I signed up, fitness was my focus; it has been ever since this journey began. That hasn’t changed. However, what has changed is that I have come to realize that fitness and health can’t always be grouped into a nice, neat little category; sometimes one becomes a little more important than the other.

You all read my “change of plans” post where I announced that I would no longer be running the marathon. It wasn’t easy to pen the words, but it was easy in comparison to actually facing the realization that a serious goal I set won’t be happening.

As the week of the marathon set in, I thought of where I’d be if I had been training, about starting my taper and about getting really excited about going to New York! Instead, I’m just excited to make it through this week, to get some answers and to figure out how to get back on track! It’s funny how things change sometimes! But, the important thing to note is that sometimes things have to change. Sometimes we have to be strong enough to step back and reevaluate our goals, our passions and – most importantly – our motivations.

What’s motivating you today? Are you pushing for unrealistic goals for unhealthy motivations? Or, are you focused on putting your health and your future first? I know, it’s not easy, but, health must always come first; decisions should be made with that as the top priority. Where do you stand today?

For me, I’m looking forward to getting things figured out and pushing forward. I’m excited to watch my friends cross the finish line on Sunday, knowing they’ve trained hard for a goal that many people think is unreachable! I know they’re going to rock it 🙂

Thanks for following along with me on this crazy journey. Sometimes the downs are just as important as the ups, and I’m hoping that seeing that things don’t just “happen” for everyone else will encourage you today. Think about the goals you’ve set and about what’s driving those goals…where do you want to be once you meet them? What small steps can you take today to get yourself to that place, where health AND fitness work together for great things?

Sunset

Running in Summer: Surviving the Heat

Days are getting longer, the world is a lot greener and the temperatures are starting to rise: summer is just around the corner. I’ve heard a lot in my own community – new and old runners alike talking about how the heat is starting to affect their training schedules.

Instead of looking at the heat as a hindrance, it’s time to start looking for ways to push through and thrive. Check out a few of these tips and keep going!

1. Be Smart

Yes, summer is hot and these tips are meant to help you run in the heat. But, certain times of day are hotter than others. Look at rearranging your schedule for more early morning or evening runs – 5-10 degrees can make a huge difference!

2. Go Off-Roading

Sidewalks and streets are great. But, in the summer, they tend to radiate heat. If it’s a grueling day and the sun is shining, finding some shade can bring some big time relief. Look for a trail with some shade and mix up your training routine.

trees

3. Fuel Appropriately

The more you sweat, the more hydration you need. Note – this is not saying that hydration doesn’t matter when it’s cold out. But, when you’re exerting extra energy because of the heat, you need to hydrate appropriately. My choice? Cocogo. I’m an ambassador for this amazing product for a reason. This powdered coconut water sports drink provides electrolytes from natural sources that increase hydration and energy while decreasing fatigue, cramps and other negative effects associated with dehydration. If you haven’t tried it yet, contact me. I’d be more than happy to send you a sample! Interested in buying? Visit www.Cocogo.com and use discount code: TAKETWOBLOG for 40% off!

Cocogo Cocogo Grid

4. Lather Up

Sure, as a kid it was fun to spend hours outside soaking up the rays. As an adult runner? Sunburn is a serious side effect that should be avoided at all costs. Find a sunscreen that’s designed for sports, sprays on and lasts through sweat. I use Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Spray, but you find what works for you.

SPF

5. Know Your Body

Heat stroke can come on quickly, especially when running. Know the signs. If you start to cramp – you need to hydrate. If you start to feel dizzy, lightheaded or unusually winded, it’s time to call it. Know your body, know what’s normal, and be willing to call a workout when you need to.

6. Use Water

Water isn’t just for drinking. On especially hot days, consider using a wet towel around your neck or wetting your running tank and tossing it in the freezer for a few minutes before heading out. Cold at first, yes. However, the cooling properties it’ll provide during your workout are well worth the initial discomfort.

7. Adjust Your Workout

Think about the weather report when planning for a week – this doesn’t mean that it can happen all the time. But, when there’s a heatwave, look for ways to bring it inside, to shorten time outside and to lengthen your time spent cross training indoors. Crazy speed workouts and 10+ mile runs shouldn’t be happening in 105 degree weather unless your body is accustomed to it.

Options for indoor workouts:

  • Try out a new machine – rower, stair climber, elliptical, arch trainer and more.
  • Lift. It’s good to add strength to your routine anyway (this should be happening regularly 🙂 ) If it’s not, summer is a great time to start.
  • Circuits! Look for high intensity activities – pick 3-5 (rowing, crunches, planks, burpees, box jumps, etc), and do each for 30 seconds to one minute. Rest. Repeat (set a goal number). Check out my Instagram account for workout ideas – look up Under Armour’s #Sweataday program for daily activities to add to your back pocket…that’s where mine come from!

8. Get in the Water

Swimming is one of the best ways to mix up a summer workout routine. Just as effective (maybe even more so?) running in the water. The water adds a resistance that you can’t find on the street and the water gives your body a break from the heat. Check out details on pool running here.

9. Find a Buddy

Running with a partner is not only a great way to stay motivated, it’s also an effective way to stay safe during the heat. Watch out for each other, watch for negative signs – confusion, a lack of sweat, etc., and encourage each other to drink while running. Staying safe could depend on choosing to run with a partner.

10. Keep Someone On Alert

When you have to go at it solo, bring your phone and consider wearing a RoadID. Let someone know when you’re heading out, where you’re running and how long you’ll be.

road id

 

Running in the summer doesn’t have to be a downer or something seen as an impossible task. It can be enjoyable. It’s all about preparation. Follow the steps above and get out there!

Running for Rachel 2014 Race Recap

What a day for a 5k. On Sunday, April 27, close to 1000 runners gathered at Harrisburg’s City Island for the 3rd annual Running for Rachel 5k. With sunny skies and a temperature near 50 degrees, it couldn’t have been better condition-wise!

With a personal connection to the race having grown up with Rachel – read more about her story here – I was so excited to get this race going. It was also my first 5k in awhile! Having just come back from a knee injury, my speed work left a lot to be desired. But boy, for this race, I was stoked.

Here I am bright and early that morning, dressed and ready to go – sporting my Cocogo Ambassador patch, a tank and compression pants, I was set. Game on.

R4R 1

We arrived to the island around 7:30 (race start was slated for 9:00 am). Picking up my bib was simple and The weather was perfect for running around and warming up before the crowds got too intense. The portapotties were plentiful (if you’re new to racing, you’ll soon understand why this matters) and spirits were high. While the music played, we all anxiously awaited the start.

Around 8:50, I made my way to the starting line. Because this is a race with a large number of walkers, I wanted to be near the front…I had a PR in mind :). The race started and we set off across the river. As far as good times go, this course is perfect – flat, out and back, well-marked, everything a good 5K course should be. The wind wasn’t working in the favor of runners, but it wasn’t terrible either.

My favorite part of this course is the out and back feature. On the way back, I passed by many runners still setting off and encouragement was wonderful. Spectators were also lining the course, adding a little more excitement!

I crossed the finish feeling strong, but, having taken my first mile at 6:48, I’d gone out too fast. Still, It wasn’t terrible. I set a new PR: 22:23 and took 5th female overall, 2nd in my age group (congrats to the women up ahead…this was a FAST race!).

Proud at the finish:

R4R 3

Little man showing off “his” medal:

R4R 2

Put simply, this was a great race for a great cause. If you’re local and looking for an event to start training for, whether it’s your first 5k or your 100th, don’t miss out on this one. Learn more at the site: http://www.runningforrachel.myevent.com/. Looking forward to seeing you all out there next year!