Friday, November 14, 2014

Ragnar DC Recap

I'm way behind on posting!! I'm going to start with a recap of Ragnar DC which took place September 12-13. I was on a team consisting of 9 women and 3 men making up "Team Peer Pressured".

Sidney dropped me off around 9pm Thursday night since we were meeting at 2am. I got about 3 hours of sleep before heading out to meet up with the rest of the team. We drove the 2-3 hours to the start of the race, where van 1 would check in and start their legs. Most teams don't do this, but I'm glad we were there together to send off our first runner at 6am.

We then left to go to our exchange point. The 6 runners in van 1 run their first leg, then they hand it off to us. Each runner runs a total of 3 legs, varying in distance from 3-13 miles. I was runner #8 which each of my legs being right around 7 miles long.

My first leg started mid-day Friday, around 12:30 or so. It's labeled as the second hardest leg of the entire course and titled, "What the Hill?" You basically spend the first 3-4 miles going straight up a hill and the remaining going down. I was also on the open road, sun shining, and no shade. The van did go ahead and stop to wait for me and cheer me on. That was great!

Leg 1:

Checking off my first box!

After finishing a leg, you have about 12 hours before running again. This means a lot of downtime but it goes very fast. I think I maybe slept a total of 2 hours the entire time. When we were able to stop I foam rolled, stretched, and walked around. I was afraid I'd be very sore because I had been having issues leading up to Ragnar, but thankfully I was in pretty good shape and felt great!

Leg 2 started around 1am. I started out in a semi well-lit neighborhood but after a few turns, I was on a narrow road without any light. I had a headlamp but it was very dark. I actually rolled my ankle early on but no damage was done and I was able to keep going. Thankfully I was on a road and not a trail.

Leg 2:

Leg 3 took place on the Capital Crescent trail and C&O Canal towpath. I was really looking forward to running here and figured this would be my easiest of the 3 runs. I started Saturday late morning sometime. I honestly don't remember now but it was around noon!

Leg 3:

As soon as I got onto the Capital Crescent Trail it started raining. I had forgotten my hat but it wasn't too bad. It did pour for a bit but the trail is nice and flat and it was mostly enjoyable. Then I turned to go on the C&O Canal towpath. Another race was taking place and that was fun to see. It was when I got off the path that the run turned ugly. There was a steep hill to get off the path and onto the road but I didn't let it get to me. Then there was a straight hill going up and you had to walk it. No one was even attempting to run up this thing. Then we got into a neighborhood but it was a bit hilly. I hadn't expected that on this leg.

On each leg when you have only 1 mile left there's a sign telling you, "1 Mile to go". That sign is the most wonderful sight. There are markers letting you know which way to turn or to keep going straight, but there aren't any mile markers. Only that sign when you've hit the last mile. All I wanted was to finally see that sign!

In the last mile of my last leg!

It was a great feeling to finish, but our team wasn't done yet! Once the last runner started her last leg, we hightailed it to the finish. There we met the rest of the team from van 1 and when our runner came by, we ran together across the finish. It was a great experience!

Sidney and Jack came to the finish to pick me up. They got there only about 30 minutes after we finished. I missed them so much and was so happy to see them!! We drove the hour home, ate ice cream in bed while watching a movie, and slept in the next day. It was glorious!!

In 2 1/2 days I didn't shower, only got 5 hours of sleep, went in more port-a-potties than I care to recount, changed clothes in the back of a van, ran about 21 miles, and did all of this with basically complete strangers.

I could go on and on with more details such as what we ate, the other vans we came across, injuries other runners on the team got, how we ended up at the wrong exchange and got lost trying to find the correct one, etc, etc. I would like to make a post about packing for a Ragnar and what worked for me and what I would do differently. Other than that, I don't want to bore you with every last detail. If there's something you'd like to know, please ask! I will say this- I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Friday, August 15, 2014

The biggest race of my life

If you're a runner and you haven't read "Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner" by Dean Karnazes, then stop what you're doing and get the book now. Yes, right now. It's very motivating. 

I bought the audio book last year and after listening, I knew I wanted to push my body to the limits. And I did, sorta. I went on a 14-mile run just for the heck of it. I wasn't training for anything, I just wanted to run more than I ever had. I didn't want my longest run to be the half marathon. 

I rediscovered the book and listened to it in July. I was once again inspired to do something bigger than I've ever done. I've been toying with the idea of ultramarathons. It's very fascinating, but I've never even run a marathon before. I started researching races in the area and found quite a few. There's a 50-miler right in my county in December. And a 100-miler in the spring. And a bunch of other races at varying distances. I know a 50-miler in 4 months would be pushing it. So I signed up to volunteer at an aid station so I can still be there to witness the awesomeness. 

And then I found a 50K happening in November. I played around with the idea of 31 miles in 3 months. There's another 50K in March of next year, but I'm hoping to be pregnant by then. ;)

I did what any sane person would do. I registered for the 50K that's in 3 months. 

Say what??!! That's right! It's scary and exciting all at the same time, and I can't wait! I know it'll be hard but I also know that 3 months will be enough time for me to mentally and physically prepare myself, as long as I use this time wisely. The fact that I'm already signed up and have announced it to anyone and everyone will be the motivation I need to stick to my training plan.   

I plan on running 15 miles by the end of this month and then I'm running Ragnar Relay. My 3 legs will add up to just over 20 miles. After I'm recovered from that, I'll do a straight 20-miler. I'd like to run 20 miles twice before the 50K. I'm not sure I'll go above that or not. I'd like to do 1 interval run, 1 easier, shorter run, and 1 long run each week. That combined with my cross training should get me where I need to me. 

Does anyone have any advice for me? I have a Camelbak I'll be trying out on my next long run. I also need to test out different foods. I can't survive off of protein bars and gels for 6-8 hours. All suggestions are welcome and appreciated! :)

My 50K training officially began today, with a great interval run on the treadmill this morning. I ran 5 miles in 38 minutes. 

Play time is over. Bring it on the hard work! :)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Who's ready for Piyo??

Let me be real honest. I do NOT like yoga. It's just not for me. So when I heard about the new program coming from Chalene Johnson, I wasn't all that thrilled. It's called PiYo and it's a combo of yoga and pilates. I like intensity and I like to sweat. I don't want to hold long, awkward poses.

But I bought the program and have committed to doing it. So what are my thoughts 4 days in? I seriously, and surprisingly, LOVE it!! It's low impact, which is great for my runner's knees. You don't hold long poses. Instead, you're constantly moving. And you're definitely sweating! The day after doing Define: Lower Body, my thighs were burning! And the day after doing Define: Upper Body, my triceps, shoulders, back, and chest were all burning.

I'm building strength without using any weights. I'm sweating and burning fat without jumping all over the place. Which is great! Especially since I have Insanity for that. ;) I'm also working on 2 areas I desperately need help with- flexibility and balance. I'm so glad I decided to give this program a try. It's not what I expected at all and it's definitely something I need.

The best part? Anyone can do it. There's a modifier as well as a guy doing an advanced version. I'm in between!

The current challenge group my coach and I started is in full swing and filled up quickly! So I'm starting another one on July 28th. If you want in just contact me and let me know! You can also go HERE to buy your challenge pack. This month it's on a super duper special and you get PiYo for just an additional $10 when you buy Shakeology! Such an awesome deal and only good until the end of July!

I'd love to have you in our next group. You'll get lots of support and motivation as well as accountability, which is so important and helpful. You'll also get a nutrition guide, help with calculating and tracking calories, recipes, meal planning and prepping, shopping lists, and honestly anything else you may need that we can help you with. We're here for you, every step of the way! Even when the program is over and the challenge group closes, I'll be here to support and help you. It's a lifelong journey and we have better success when we're not going through it alone!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Busy Moms Getting Fit!

I have a 4 1/2 year old son, I'm married, I cook healthy meals, I work 3 jobs, and I still make the time to workout every single day. There are a lot of reasons why we put everyone else ahead of ourselves. We can make excuses as to why we can't find the time to exercise and eat healthy foods. We can say we're too out of shape to get started. we're embarrassed and don't feel comfortable in the gym. We don't know where to even begin when it comes to eating clean.

I was naive about food and I used to eat a lot of junk. I was a runner and figured I could eat whatever I wanted because I would burn it off. I never even gave it much thought. I'm also an emotional eater and struggle with binge eating. I may not have been overweight, but I was very unhealthy.

When I could no longer wear my skinny jeans and my big jeans were getting tight, I knew I had to make a change. I started counting calories and adding in additional exercise to go with running. I still struggled.

It wasn't until this year when I discovered Beachbody and all they have to offer. I started drinking Shakeology every morning for breakfast (and still do), I joined online challenge groups for daily support and motivation, and starting doing the fitness programs. With T25, all I needed was 25 minutes a day and I could do it at home whenever it fit best into my schedule. I did it for 11 weeks straight and only missed 2 workouts.

I stopped the excuses. I made the time. I committed to getting healthier for myself and my family. And I feel amazing! I'm in the best shape of my life, I'm strong, confident, and have the energy to run around with my son.

With Shakeology, my cravings have almost vanished. It's seriously amazing! I've always had a huge sweet tooth but now I don't even crave that stuff. And when I do eat it I don't enjoy it like I used to. I can do without it and that is such a great feeling. A big emotional weight has been lifted.

And now I want to help you get healthy, feel strong, be confident, and have the energy to be the person your family needs you to be. Being a busy mom is no excuse for not making time for yourself. I'm now running my own challenge groups and I've currently got a client who has 5 kids and she's making the time! If she can do it, so can you.

Contact me today to join our next challenge group. It's exclusively for moms who want to get healthy and strong! I want to give everyone individual attention, help with meal planning, workouts, time management, even daily phone calls and text messages if that is something that will help you. So spots are limited to the first 10 people who sign up. I want to help everyone and I'll definitely do a similar group in the future. I believe it's so important that we make time for ourselves so we can be around to enjoy our grandkids! And a happy mom = a happy family!

Get healthy while setting a great example for your kids. Don't wait another day. You are worth it! If not for you, do it for your family.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

My Results with T25 and Shakeology

I've been a Beachbody coach for a little over 4 months now. It's been so much fun and I absolutely love it! 

On February 24, 2014, I got my first bag of Shakeology in the mail and on the 25th I started working out and drinking Shakeology every day. I started with Les Mills Combat and it's definitely fun, but I wanted something more. Then I found T25 and fell in love! 

Not every workout will be for every person. That's why it's important to have a coach who knows your goals and also knows the programs. Then you can work together on finding the right one for you. T25 is definitely my soul mate workout. 

I love Shaun T. 
I love that it's only 25 minutes.
I love the high intensity.
I love that I'm dripping sweat by the end of every workout.
I love that it's split up into "phases". 

Just when I had had enough, after doing the same workouts for 5 weeks, a new phase began with all new workouts. It was perfect! I've seen some great progress thanks to T25 and I'm happy to share that with all of you!

I'll come back next week to share exactly how much weight and inches I've lost after taking them again tomorrow. Next week I'm starting Insanity and PiYo and I couldn't be more excited!! I'm working on decreasing my midsection a bit more and toning all over. 

My progress has been slow and steady and I'm okay with that! I'm very happy with where I'm at today. I'm a lot stronger and tighter everywhere. I'm not soft anymore! :) 

I'll post a full review of T25 as well as my progress with Insanity and PiYo. So stay tuned! 

If you'd like more info on these programs, Shakeology, or becoming a coach please send me an e-mail at AdventuresinRunning(at) or comment on this post and leave your e-mail address. I look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Shakeology Giveaway!!

Who doesn't like the word free? Well today I've got an awesome giveaway! It's my very first one and I couldn't be more excited about it! 

So what will you get? A Shakeology sampler pack that contains one of each of the regular flavors- chocolate, vanilla, greenberry, and strawberry AND a Shakeology shaker cup! This is about a $30 value, not including shipping and it can be yours for free!

So what do you have to do? It's so simple! Just sign up for a free Beachbody account with me as your coach.  There is absolutely no obligation to do anything beyond that but with signing up, I'll be your free coach and here to help you with anything you need.

What does that look like? Well I currently have a few clients who I text for accountability, per their request. They need that extra push and I'm happy to give it to them. Everyone's needs are different and I will help you in whatever ways I can. For me, being a coach is not about whatever money I may make. It's about YOU. I genuinely care and want to help you lead a healthier life, however that may look for you. Some struggle with making healthy food choices. Others struggle with getting their workouts in every day. I can help you overcome these obstacles.

Maybe you're great in both those areas but want someone to share your goals with and support you during the ups and downs of getting there. I'd love to be that someone! Or maybe you just want a chance at winning some free stuff. That's okay too!

So if you want to be entered to win this fabulous giveaway, just click on the link HERE (or below) and sign up for a free account with me as your coach, Rene Hayford. You have until next Tuesday, July 8th at 11:59pm to enter.

Are you already signed up with me? I've got something special for you too! All you have to do is recruit a friend to sign up, let me know so I can verify, and you will be entered to win a 20 minute workout- Insanity: Fast and Furious along with a Shakeology shaker cup AND I might even put something extra into the cup!

Good luck to everyone!!

If you are signing up for the first time and we are not Facebook friends, please send me a friend request and message me letting me know you're signed up and I'll get you entered to win!

Sign up for a free account HERE.
Send me a Facebook friend request HERE.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How becoming a Beachbody coach has changed my life

I've always had a heart for helping people. Growing up, I dreamed of making the world a better place by helping those in need. I majored in Psychology and wanted to be a counselor to women and children who were victims of domestic abuse. I also wanted to be a substance abuse counselor. I dreamed of opening up my own shelter or home and offering free counseling. I wanted to have my own business. It wasn't about the money. I didn't expect to make a lot of money. I just wanted to help those people who so desperately need it. A year after I graduated college I got a job in accounting. 9 years later I’m still at that job. It’s far from what I pictured myself doing. I’m very grateful to have this job and the opportunities it’s given me. I love my boss and love the company. But I still want something more. Before I had my now 4 ½ year old son, I started taking classes to get my personal training certificate. I found a new passion and a new way I could help people. Then I got pregnant and as parents know, time flies by even more when you have kids. My dreams and passions were forgotten. Somehow he’s almost 5 and starting pre-K. It’s easy to get caught up in work, family, activities, and just life. And before you know it years have gone by.

The desire to become a personal trainer and nutritionist never went away. The desire to change people’s lives never went away. It was just set aside. Until February 2014 when I was introduced to Beachbody. I was invited to become a coach and join an amazing team. I immediately signed on and dove into it. The passion was sparked and the dreams resurfaced. This was a way I could change lives while staying at my current job, I didn’t have to spend time and money on classes, and I could do it from home. It took a little while to find my voice but I’m in it and I know many lives are being changed! I believe in this company and these products so much and I stand behind them 100%. I’m so grateful for this opportunity. I’m grateful for my team who is with me every step of the way, helping, teaching, and answering all of my questions. I’m so grateful for those who have trusted me to help them reach their goals. I hope to help hundreds and even thousands more people. For me, it’s not about the money. It never has been. I genuinely want to help people lead healthier, happier lives. I hope to one day get that personal trainer certification so I can help even more people. Being a coach is so rewarding. I would do this even if I never made a dollar. But you know what? There have been weeks I wasn’t sure how we would put gas in the car or pay for an oil change. And then a check comes from Beachbody and I know we’ll be okay for another week. It’s such a blessing knowing I can help people while also helping my family.

One little girl’s dreams of changing the world (which some people laughed at) are becoming reality. We have the ability to change lives. We have been given the ability to make a difference. If not us, then who? God uses His people to do His work. And He’s using us to change the world! It’s up to us to respond.

Do you have a passion for helping others? Would you like to learn more about the coaching opportunity? Do you want to see firsthand the amazing team you would be joining? On Wednesday July 2nd at 8pm EST, you are invited to a Coaching Opportunity Webinar. If you aren't able to join us at that time, I’ll send you a recording of the call. If you feel that you’re being called to do something bigger please don’t brush it aside. Now is the time! This can change your life in ways you can’t even imagine! Please send me an e-mail at or leave your e-mail in the comments and I'll send you the info!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Alexandria Running Festival Half Marathon

I have a lot of updates for you guys! But first, I wanted to share the results of my 7th half marathon. This past Sunday I ran a half marathon as part of the Alexandria Running Festival. It was a beautiful day and a great course. I was nervous going into the race because I didn't feel like I was prepared. The longest distance I had gone was 10 miles and I hadn't been getting in regular long runs.

By this time last year I had already logged 363 miles. Before Sunday I hadn't even hit 200 for the year. I've been working out regularly though, doing a program called Focus T25. I'm currently in week 6 and it has been phenomenal. I've lost 6 pounds and have a lot more energy. But I still felt like I hadn't logged enough miles to be ready for a 13 mile race.

My previous best half was 2:25 and I really wanted a sub-2:20. But I tried not to think about goals and just focused on going out, enjoying the race, and finishing in one piece. When I got to mile 10 and looked at the time, I was shocked! I had kept a nice, steady pace and felt strong. The next mile was a bit rough and I really started to feel it. The soreness and fatigue were setting in. The possibility of hitting my goal drove me forward and kept me going.

As I neared the finish line, knowing I had at least gotten a PR, and saw my 4 year old son standing in the road holding his hand out for a high-five, I about lost it. I was very overwhelmed and full of emotion! And I was physically beat.

Despite running less, I'm getting faster and stronger! How? By pushing play every day on my DVD player! It sounds crazy and I wouldn't believe it if I wasn't experiencing it myself. But by doing a fast, fun, and intense 25 minute workout every day, I've gotten faster, stronger, and I'm in the best shape of my life!

And now you're looking at a sub-2:20 half marathon finisher! Oh yeah! Official time= 2:18:33

I'm so thankful I was introduced to Beachbody and T25. It has seriously changed my life in ways I never would have imagined and now I'm excited to give back and help others on their own health and fitness journeys. If you're interested in learning more about Beachbody programs and our monthly challenge groups, please let me know. I'd love to help you reach your goals!