Dancing, Fitness, Running

Danceaton on Daybreak & a Comeback Race.

Holla holla it’s Friiiday! I hope everyone’s day is getting off to a great start. Mine sure did! I was up bright and early this morning with my dancing shoes on…Danceaton was live on Channel 8’s Daybreak show this morning! So much fun. They filmed us and did short cut-in segments during the news the entire hour. We had a blast dancing and taking tons of photos!
My mama joined in on the fun, she loves to dance too!
We will be back on June 25th for a special tribute to Michael Jackson, so come dance with us or tune in if you’re in the DFW area!
After the fun little dance segment I had to jet off to the 9 to 5…so much work to do, so little time!
This weekend I am looking forward to coaching my running group on Saturday, then Sunday morning I will be running the Wounded Warrior 10K with my Luke’s Locker teammates! I honestly have no goals for this race other than to just have fun with it. It will be the first race I’ve done in a couple of months since my hip flexor strain, so I am excited to be making a little running comeback!! After the race I will be hosting a little post party brunch for Team Luke’s Locker at my place. I have to put together a fun breakfast menu! I put together a yummy light french toast casserole last time, so I may be whipping some up again for this weekend.
I will leave you with one of my favorite songs to rock out to right now…I am loving the Ne-yo/Calvin Harris combo!
What’s your favorite song to dance to? Any brunch items I should add to the menu? 
Dancing, Marathon Training, Marathons, Running

The Perfect Morning & Tasty Eats.

My morning started just perfectly. I would not have wanted it any other way honestly. Bright and early run, great conversation with a running buddy, beautiful sunrise off in the horizon. My endorphins tank has been filled for the day. Thankyouverymuch.
The last couple of days have been busy both at work and at home. I have been so wiped out in the evenings but manage to get it together somehow and prepare some tasty healthy meals. One of my favorites this week was whole wheat spaghetti with kale sauteed in garlic and a little olive oil, topped with feta cheese.
I have found cooking to be quite therapeutic lately after a long day at work.
I also discovered a yummy smoothie they make at the Starbucks at my job! (yes we have a Sbux at my job…hate on me) The barista whipped me up a protein smoothie with mangoes, bananas, soy milk and whey protein powder. No syrups, no sugar! The bananas gave it just the right amount of sweetness. The perfect blend. Now all I need is the ocean side and an umbrella to put in my drink.
Oh how I would long to be here right now…
So anyway, back to my morning run. I ran with my neighbor Elyse who is tapering off for the upcoming San Diego Marathon in June! She is super speedy but was gracious enough to let me run with her this morning. We kept it real easy, finishing 4 miles in just under a 9 minute pace. And of course I logged it on Daily Mile…
I really enjoyed running this morning with a buddy. Since I ALWAYS run solo during the week before work it was a nice change of pace and made the miles whizz by quickly! The strain that was once in my hip has dissipated and I honestly felt stronger than I have felt in WEEKS! Taking some time off definitely does a body good. It just goes to show how important resting your body in between training seasons REALLY is.
My week of workouts has looked something like this:
Monday – Sharanda’s Danceaton class, 1 hour. Yoga On Demand 16 minutes
Tuesday – OFF
Wednesday – 4 mile easy run, Yoga On Demand 20 mins
Thursday – Teaching 15 minutes of abs ‘Crunch Time’, then an hour of Danceaton at 24 Hour Fitness – This will be my FIRST time teaching an abs session! I am so nervous!! Wish me luck 🙂
Friday – Easy recovery run
Saturday – Early Marathon training begins at Luke’s Locker. TIME TRIAL for the participants to put everyone in pace groups. 6 mile run
I am so excited that Early Marathon training is starting! I have never been more ready. I am looking forward to meeting some new running faces this season and getting reacquainted with some older ones. We have lots of people training for various races in the fall season, including New York, Chicago, Marine Corps (which I will be running) and San Antonio. Bring it on baby!
If you are in the Plano area and want to check us out, we have an orientation this evening at 7PM. Come join us!
Anyone training for a fall marathon? Do you practice yoga? What is your favorite kind of smoothie?

Tutus Make You Run Fast & Racing Tips.

Last night I pulled in from work at about 9:30 pm after working the telethon. I got a full night’s rest and woke up this morning for Danceaton class. I don’t talk about it a lot on the blog but I also sub dance classes at 24 Hour Fitness from time to time (yes, I’m a jack of all trades). So I decided to go to class this morning to check out all the new choreography. It was so much fun. I love dancing under the disco ball and lights.
a little glimpse of the dance floor...
After the cardio burn I went home for lunch and decided to experiment with some polenta I bought from the organic section at the grocery store. I came up with this concoction – Eggs with goat cheese, kale, and mushroom and onion polenta. I sprinkled some red pepper on top for a kick. Delicious and filling.
So this weekend I will be running The Cowtown Half Marathon with my friend Ann. I am super excited to run out in Ft. Worth!
I have never done this race before but I hear it’s a good one…I hear there’s a few rolling hills but nothing I can’t handle.
My plan is just to enjoy myself for this race – not really interested in a PR but may be gunning for one for my homegirl.
I just plan on wearing a tutu and running fast! Did you know that running in a tutu makes you faster?
The Cowtown Marathon has a marathon, half, 10k, 5k, and ultra marathon. So lots of distances to choose from!
There are a few things I like to do when preparing for a half marathon. These things in the past have made for a pleasurable racing experience.
-The tried and true – Do not try anything new on race day. I know you’ve heard it many times but it really is the case. Wear the same clothes you have been training in, keep your fuel / hydration the same. The days leading up to the race should be no different. Do not do anything crazy out of the ordinary the night before. I like to stick with bland foods that I know don’t mess with my tummy. Typically that consists of chicken and potatoes – nothing ethnic. A couple of nights before (say your race is Sunday, so that would be Friday) I eat a meal of primarily carbs. Pasta, pizza, chicken with rice (more like rice with chicken), whatever works for you. Don’t go overboard, eat normal portion sizes…but your Friday night meal should consist of primarily carbohydrates.
-Plan/Visualize – Make sure you work all the details of the race in your mind before the big day. Don’t leave anything up to chance. Study the route, figure out parking, what time you will need to be there (I like to be at the race about an hour before the actual start time – leave just enough time but not too much where you are just standing around). Set out your clothes, make sure your bib is pinned to your shirt. Race morning you want to wake up relaxed and ready to go, not frazzled and rushed.
-Pre Race Breakfast – Again this goes back to what has worked for you in the past. My typical pre race meal consists of carbs and protein. I like an english muffin or sandwich thin with a little bit of peanut butter on it. Nothing too heavy but you want a little something in your stomach. Make sure you do this about 2-3 hours out from the race. This is also the time to have your coffee if you are a java drinker. You want to drink it in advance so you can go to the bathroom right before the race starts (the worst feeling is having to use the bathroom during a race – empty yourself out before you get to the start line.)
-Hydration/Fueling during the race – It is important to drink fluids at the hydration stations that are provided. I used to carry water with me, some people do but for me it’s a hassle. I like to run without things weighing me down, so it’s much easier to stop and take sips. Take advantage of the water stations, they are there for a reason. Typically the VERY FIRST water station about a mile or so in is always crowded so I skip it. After the first one though, I stop at nearly every one. Take some energy gel (Gus or whatever your energy fuel of choice is) about every 45 minutes to an hour. Make sure you drink water with your Gu or energy chewies.
-Talk to yourself – It’s okay to do so. For me, it keeps me going…one foot in front of the other…no pain no gain! There are lots of mantras out there. Write them down on your arms & legs if you have to. When my friend Lori ran the Chicago Marathon she wrote on her legs as motivation. Whatever floats your boat. Running is mostly mental, and if your mental game is strong, chances are your performance will be too.
-Take in every moment – It is easy to get caught up in your pace, what everyone else around you is doing. Make sure you conserve energy in the beginning. Relax. Take in the scenery and the sights around you. High five spectators, smile at people cheering you on. Thank the police officers that are blocking traffic. These people are here for you! Enjoy it…don’t take it too serious. Running is fun, that is why you are doing it. One of my running mentors Patton once said something that has stuck with me for years throughout this running journey of mine, and it is this:
“Your ability to generate power – is directly related to your ability to relax.”
What are some of your favorite running mantras? Do you have any races coming up?
Fitness, Running

Nike Training Club – A Review.

Happy Thursday to you! I hope your week is going well…I am definitely ready for the weekend! This has been a long week but I can say that I have enjoyed switching up my workout routine! I got two quality strength sessions in and mixed in plenty of cardio. This morning was no different. I was up bright and early for a 5:45 am Nike Training Club class at 24 Hour Fitness. I thought I would give you a quick review for anyone that is looking for a challenge from the same ol’ same workout. Nike Training Club will shock your body, help you get lean and toned, and it is an excellent compliment to running!

The class is intense and meant for you to keep moving. The instructors will take you through various strength and cardio drills, such as mountain climbers, planks, burpees,  pushups, and plyometric movements. You will use free weights and a mat. There is active recovery in between each set so basically you keep moving the entire class. It is designed to bulid your endurance and strength, both of which are needed to perform like a true athlete.
I love that the instructors keep you moving through each drill and leave no time for rest breaks, keeping your heart rate up the entire time. Once we got started I was literally sweating in the first 5 minutes of the class. Now THAT’S what I call a workout!
I can definitely say that I was challenged today…and I am already looking forward to next week’s class! So happy that they are able to offer it so early in the morning.
If you are a member at 24 Hour Fitness I suggest you try NTC! It will challenge you and transform your body. I hear there is also an app on your smart phone so that you can do these workouts on your own. But I really love the benefits going to a class provides! It is really motivating having an instructor push you the entire way!
Tonight I plan on squeezing a run in with the Luke’s Locker crew. I am loving the Thursday Night Social Runs. Tonight Rock N Roll will be there to promote the upcoming Dallas Rock N Roll Half Marathon. Running with friends followed by a little fun on a work night, does it get any better than that?
Have you tried a Nike Training Club class? What other high intensity workouts do you enjoy?
Marathon Training, Running

Domination is the only option.

Ok, so I will have to apologize in advance because since I’m 6 days away from running yet another marathon. So it’s highly likely that the topic of running on the beach will be mentioned quite frequently this week!
Galveston beach...get ready for me!
This morning’s run was easy and relaxed. 5 miles at an 8:30 pace. I was feeling good and got some good stretching in afterwards before work. Breakfast was a potent cup of espresso roast, english muffin with PB, and the new passionfruit Chobani with some honey and chia seeds.
The weekend was a busy one for me, per the usual. Saturday was the Luke’s Locker 5k/10k benchmark race for the Beat Goes On spring training. This event is always lots of fun since every Luke’s Locker store in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area gets together to run and then have breakfast afterwards. It was held at the Ft. Worth Stockyards, which is a neat little area that has rodeo shows, shopping, and restaurants. The founder of Luke’s Locker, Don Lucas was there all decked out in his cowboy gear – in true Texas fashion.
Nike was the sponsor again this year, and they came out to showcase some of their newest running shoes and apparel.
I paced my running group for the 10K race. The group that I coach (green group – I like to call them the green machines) averages about a 9 to 9:30 pace…so we tried to stay within that range for the first half of the race. The trails out in Ft. Worth are beautiful, and we got to see the sun rise. It was a mild winter morning, just perfect for a run.
The back half of the race we did a negative split & picked it up a bit. Everyone looked strong and I think overall my group was pleased with their finish times. I was happy I got to share in that with them.
Hanging with green machines Heidi and Jeanette after the race
I logged in a few more miles on my own since this was my last training run. I picked it up a bit and ended up rounding out at about an 8:50 pace, including the miles I paced with my group. Not too shabby!
After the run and some yummy breakfast I went and had some mimosas with some of the other coaches. Always a good time with them.
awesome ladies - love those two.
The rest of the day I made sure to take it easy. Met up with some friends later but nothing too crazy. Was in bed by about 10 pm. Got some much needed sleep.
Sunday morning I did some cross training, went to Danceaton and got some booty shaking in since I’ll be teaching a class on Wednesday. It was nice to be back in class since I hadn’t gone in about a week or so.
That was my weekend in a nutshell! This week I will be focusing on keeping the mind and body strong. Marathon number 4…get ready for total domination.
In the words of my fellow running friend Patton Gleason
Domination is the only option.
Race Recaps, Running

New Year’s Double Recap.

Happy New Year! I hope you had a long, restful holiday weekend. Mine was full of running and celebrating another year of being alive! God is so good and has blessed me with an active lifestyle and good friends and family to share it with. I am thankful for that.
I hope everyone ate their black eyed peas over the weekend! I know I sure did. My mom made a big helping of black eyed peas and cabbage, supposedly it brings good luck? I don’t know for sure. I just do what I’m told and eat them.
This past weekend was the New Year’s Double – back to back half marathons! And guess what…I am happy to say that I survived! The event was spectacular, the volunteers were awesome, and the course was great. I had a bunch of crazy friends out there doing it with me so that made it even better. If you know me, you know that the tiaras and feather boa was in full effect.
pink feather boa – for photo ops only. no feathers flying in my face while running.
So, day 1 – the race started at 8:15 a.m. which was nice because it gave us lots of time to get out there and get a good parking spot. The race was held both days at the same location – Celebration park, which is in a newer nicer part of Allen (suburb of Dallas). I arrived with a couple of my girlfriends who were all doing the half marathon and we found some of our other running buddies and took snapshots.
say cheese! yes I wore a tiara both days. not sure how but they actually stayed on.
I got in the A corral and was ready to go. Garmin on my wrist, fired up and excited. The first half of the race I maintained under an 8 minute pace and was feeling awesome. There were plenty of water/gatorade stations and I utilized them all. Some friends of mine from the Frisco Running Club had a tent/water station too which was nice seeing them out there. The first loop circled around the park and into a neighborhood. When it looped back around I got to see all of my friends and high five everyone. It was really encouraging seeing others out there and kept me going. Around the half way point the course loops back to the start and starts all over again. Mentally this was a little challenging / dull for me but I had my ipod so that kept me distracted a majority of the time. Day 1 my strategy was to basically crush it and go all out which I did. Finished 1:45, nearly a minute and a half from my previous best time which was a PR. I won 3rd place in my age group and received a champagne glass trophy. Sweet!
After round 1 I met up with my friend Ann and my mom for a little celebration brunch at this fabulous restaurant called Bonnie Ruth’s in Allen. If you haven’t been here before and live in the area, you must go! The food is mostly French but delicious and rich. I had the omelet with fresh herbs and goat cheese and a cup of corn chowder soup. And of course a celebratory mimosa. For dessert Ann and I split the kahlua cake which was divine!
Cake? Yes please.
I went home following brunch and took a nice nap. For NYE the BF and I went over to a friend’s house and did the whole countdown and rang in the New Year right. Immediately after midnight I knew I needed to book it out of there so I did since I had yet another early race morning. It was fun though.
Tiaras – a necessary NYE prop.
The next morning, I was feeling somewhat fresh and ready to go. I met up with a girlfriend of mine and we were off on our way. Took some photos with some friends from the Frisco Running Club. One of my buddies, Hamlin ran back to back FULL marathons, day 1 with a weighted vest, day two barefoot. Yep, that’s crazy dedication right there.
Round 2 I knew would be a recovery run, and it was. It was nice knowing the course already so I knew what to expect. I got into the front of Corral B and lined up then the gun went off. I was a little sore from round 1 so I took it easy, maintaining an 8:30 min pace. The music on the ipod definitely helped me this time.
happy and high fivin’!
I finished 1:53, 6th place in my age group which was fine by me. My overall goal for both races was to finish each one in under 2 hours. I had no expectations other than that. It just so happens that I did PR which was so awesome! I loved the double medal they gave us at the end!
Reflecting back on it I am super happy that I did the New Year’s Double. It was an organized race that I would definitely do again. I also love the concept of ending and starting the year on a solid note. It was my first experience doing back to back halfs and I loved being able to challenge myself and push my limits.
This year I am looking forward to coaching another awesome half marathon program with Luke’s Locker and meeting some new faces. I love being able to encourage and inspire others to push their limits and go far beyond what they ever thought possible. It is just so rewarding to see people start out unsure about their abilities and see them grow into confident and successful runners. I only know because I was once that beginner who knew nothing about pacing, proper fueling and hydration. Having coaches that encouraged and motivated me helped me become the runner that I am today.
I am also looking forward to teaching more Danceaton classes this year at 24 Hour Fitness. I am subbing right now still and don’t have my own class but I enjoy the flexibility of being a sub. Tomorrow I will be teaching a class for a girlfriend of mine after work so that will be a good time as always. I see it as everything has its own timing and when the time is right I will have my own class but right now I am taking it all in stride.
I hope everyone has a great week and starts off this new year on a productive note!
Have a good one!