Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tips for New Runners

Hi ya'll! Lauren here. Today I wanted to offer some tips for those who are new to running and looking to get into it. I first started running (for fun and not just for a high school sport) around my junior year of college. I am the type of person that likes to have a goal, and I knew that if I signed up for a half marathon, I would have to stay motivated to train! Since then I have run 4 halfs and hope to do many more. I have come to truly enjoy running. If you would have told my high school self that I would actually compete in races, I would have told you that you were bananas. But I love it! Anyone out there can run races as long as they train right.
Me & Hubs after our first half,
Run the Rockies. Rainy! June 2010
Crossroads Half with my father-in-law,
the morning after I got engaged! September 2010
Me & Kenz after
the Horsetooth Half- April 2011

Erin, Kenz & myself before
the Rock N Roll Half-October 2011
Here are some of my tips for newbies:

Seriously, its all about the shoes. I trained for my first race with some random worn out pair of old Nikes I had. And I wondered why I was getting shin splints?! After getting advice from my father-in-law (a former marathoner), I went to a running specialty store and got fitted for the Asics Nimbus. They solved my running pains and I will never buy a different brand. But everyone's feet and stride are different, so go to a nearby running store and get fitted.

I also try to save these shoes only for running and use a different pair if I'm doing a different type of exercise, that way the shoes form to the way my feet move when I run. I also get new shoes everytime I start training for a new race. The shoes may not look worn out, but the soles and suport are definitely shot after months of training.
Like running on clouds

I think a big mistake that new runners is make is to try to go too far too quickly. It is easy to get discouraged if you try to run 4 miles right off the bat and feel like you are going to die and can't walk the next day. Who wants to do that again? Celebrate the fact that on your first day you were able to run half a mile without stopping!
Yeah 2 miles!
Then slowly add distance to your runs. It will help your body get acclamated and keep your mind engaged. What goes along with this is...

  • REST
Rest is so important and absolutely vital for our bodies! I would not recommend running on back-to-back days when starting out. Give your muscles and joints a chance to recover and replenish before you pound the pavement again. When I get into the long distance runs during my training (usually done on Saturdays) I don't run the day before or the day after. That way I know I am rested and will have the energy without getting burned out, and allow myself to recover afterwards.

Maybe not quite like this...

Add caption
You may have heard of the Jeff Galloway method of training. This was another recommendation given to me by my father-in-law, and boy am I glad he told me about it! It is pretty simple: break up the run into shorter segments with walk breaks. It has fully changed my training methods, and is another good way to ease into running. I started out with a run 7 minutes/walk 1 minute method, gradually adding an additional minute of running until I was doing around 20 minute run/1 minute walks. I have also run races this way. While I admit it feels weird at first taking a walk break 10 minutes into a race, it feels amazing passing burned out runners in the last mile! I have also run races without the method, but because I trained this way I felt much more confident and prepared. If nothing more, it at least helps you overcome the mental blocks of running knowing you get a walk break in 7 minutes rather than trying to wrap your head around running for 30 minutes straight! Here is a link for more information: http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/walk_breaks.html
When training for a half-marathon, I try to give myself at least 10 weeks to train. This way I know I will have enough time to slowly increase my runs without overdoing it and running the risk of injury. If you are a new runner, I would give yourself even more time to train. Here is a link to the training plan I use for a half marathon: http://www.marathonrookie.com/half-marathon-training.html

  • Most Importantly, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
I myself am guilty of not doing this well. If your muscles are sore or your body is exhausted, give yourself a break. Skipping a run one day is NOT going to ruin your training plan. Its better to skip what would have been a terrible workout and rest than to risk injury. Or try a lighter form of cardio, such as walking, or the recumbent bike. Stay healthy and do what is best for YOU!
Live Healthy

1 Tim. 4:8 "For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


My name is Gabrielle... I graduated from Colorado State University just about a month ago! I love the fashion industry and hope to find my own niche in it in the very near future. I am a Cali girl at heart, that's where I'm originally from, but for now am living at home in CO; loving the Lord, loving my 5 year relationship with a sexy sweet soccer player, and loving my family.

Describe your Perfect cup of coffee:
Drip Coffee... Need I say more? For those of you whose taste buds haven't had the pleasure of sipping drip coffee let me tell you about it. First off, you must have patience when brewing this kind of coffee cause it can be time consuming but well worth the wait. You grind the beans{bold roast a must}, dump them into a funnel, pour boiling water into the funnel and wait for the magic to happen... Although the key to this perfect cup of coffee is the half-N-half.. ultra pasteurized and sweet creamer are not allowed in my mug.. only a select two kinds of half-N-half make the cut.. I would tell you all the other details but then you would really consider me a coffee snob! So, there it is..my perfect cup' a joe.

Currently Loving...
Friends seasons on DVD, I can watch the same ones over and over and still laugh like it's the first time, all things fur, Pinterest, a.k.a. my daily drug, Joyce Meyer's daily devotional "The Confident Woman," lipstick, and Brown Cow maple yogurt with Udi's granola!

Favorite way to Sweat:
I've got my blue suede shoes and I'm not afraid to use them :) I love getting a good sweat on by dancing! I run to get a good work out cause I know it's good for me, but I do not love it. I do LoVe dancing though... I used to take ballroom/salsa/swing dancing and discovered a passion! I am by no means a pro but it makes me so happy and I dream of being a dancer on Dancing with the Stars!

Celebrity Style Icon:
MK&A~ These girls scream fashionistas! Ever since they received buzz for their style they have pushed boundaries and answered to no one. They create style all their own and don't linger on every new trend that arises. They master boho like no one else and have recently embraced their fashion mogul status and become glam goddesses.

Dream Destination Spot:
Ok, so I've never been a decisive person and when it comes to this question especially, I can not choose just one; so here are my top three: Italy, Spain, and Greece!

3 Diet Staples: 
1. Peanut Butter: I can eat this all on its own, with fruit, on toast, with dessert.. truly it is the perfect food
2. Ice Cream: LOVE. lOvE.. LoVe! Slurp!
3. Salad: love how fresh they are and how many different toppings you can play around with, I have at least one a day


Hi! I'm Lauren. I am a recent graduate of Colorado State University, currently living in Denver with my husband, Nick. Yes, as of July I am the old married gal of the group :) I am working in the environmental industry, with hopes of branching out into the fitness world eventually! My hubby is a Strength and Conditioning Coach, so that alone motivates me to stay on top of my game. Here is a little about me:

Describe your perfect cup of coffee:
Seeing as how I did not really start drinking coffee until college, I consider myself pretty low maintenance when it come to a cup of joe. Just give me my Keuring and some creamer, and I'm set! But a latte from Starbucks is always welcomed as well.

Currently loving:
Insanity workouts, the Bachelor, Burt's Bees chapstick, The Purpose Driven Life, circuit workouts, Justin's vanilla almond butter, Pinterest (Hi, my name is Lauren, and I am an addict), all things Lululemon, the Hunger Games Trilogy (even got the Hubs hooked!).

Favorite way to sweat:
Most any way is good for me! I love running, but also like to swtich up my cardio. I get bored easily. I recently finished Insanity (ouch!), and have started to transition into more free weight/HIIT workouts. Luckily I have a husband who can put together a workout plan for me in no time flat. I'm spoiled.

Celeb Style Icon:
This is a toughy. I guess if I had to pick it would be Jessica Alba. I think she is absolutely gorgeous and perfectly classy. She always look so chic, even through her pregnancies! My kind of girl.

Dream Destination Spot:
Ah! Tough questions, so many gorgeous places on this earth to choose from. Italy is definitely on my bucket list! I want to do nothing but sight see and stuff my face with as much pizza, pasta, and gelato as possible. Yes.

3 Diet Staples:
-Sweet potatoes. I'm pretty sure I eat at least one a week. All I do is slice em up, drizzle with olive oil, and bake! Mmmm sweet potato fries. You feel like you are cheating by eating fries, but they are sooo good for you!
-Bananas. They are so versatile! The hubs and I each have one a day. Whether in a smoothie, with peanut butter, or by itself, I love this yellow fruit!
-Greek Yogurt. Another food consumed regularly. I like to use greek yogurt in smoothies, just plain with berries, or on tacos in place of sour cream! Great, now I'm hungry.
Me and the Hubs


My name is Mekenzie.  I’m from Kansas City and currently finishing my last semester at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado although I am eager to make it back to my home away from home (Kansas) in May.

Describe your perfect cup of coffee:
Gabrielle turned me into a coffee snob. She not only made me the addict that I am today, but she has a particular way of preparing the perfect cup that I just can’t get away from. I love the drip! Its time consuming, yet makes a powerful cup of BOLDNESS. It’s so bold in fact that you might get the shakes if you’ve never had it before. She also taught me that sweet coffee is disgusting so I’m a half and half girl all the way. Ultra-pasturized of course. And I have to drink from a great mug. She has a few more discrepancies as to how to prepare hers, but thats about as much detail as I can go into about my own perfect cup.

Currently Loving:
I am currently loving ESSIE nail color, healthy treats, training for my half marathon, Bachelor nights with girlfriends, braids, reading "bittersweet", and watches.

Favorite way to sweat:
I love to run. Its great cardio and it tones EVERY STINKIN part of your body. I love competing as well and am currently training for my third half marathon. Maybe a full one day. YIKES!

Celebrity Style Icon: Heidi Klum
I adore Heidi Klum. She’s my style crush. She picks designers that push the boundaries, she’s experimental and edgy, and masters girly chic. Even bumming around with kids in tow, she is always effortlessly thrown together. She follows trends and makes her own. I think she’s great.

Dream destination spot:
Greece. Enough said.

 3 diet staples:
1. Peanut Butter. I go through a jar a week EASILY. When school gets stressful, give me three days with a jar and it will be gone. Justin’s Almond butter is a fav, but I also really love the fresh DIY peanut butter at Whole Foods and the Bees Knees.
2. Yogurt. I go through yogurt almost as fast as I go through peanut butter. Favorite brands: Noosa and Greek Goddess. Paired with fruit and granola. I am in HEAVEN.
3. Granola. I really love Bear Naked brand and the Banana nut is to die for. Try it with Noosa or Greek Goddess yogurt.


Hello :) my name is Erin. I’m a Colorado native originally from a small town in the southern part of the state but moved to Fort Collins, CO to attend Colorado State University. I graduated May of 2011 with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies. Now, I’m working as a social worker at a shelter for women who have been victims of domestic violence and also serving at a mexican restaurant which helps pay the bills. I’m excited to see what the next chapter holds and am looking for a new adventure to embark on soon! Who knows where life will take me!

Describe your perfect cup of coffee:
I have been a coffee-aholic for many years now and it took me awhile to nail down my perfect cup. But over time I have discovered that french press is second to none when preparing that flawless morning pick- me- up. It gives a rich, deep cup of joe in the optimal proportions. I love putting some half and half in it to make it creamy and recently cinnamon has made it in the cup, which satisfies my sweet tooth. Whenever I’m treating myself to a fancy Starbucks drink I always stick with a skinny version of a latte because I truly cannot taste a difference and it saves loads of cals! Because of my new cinnamon obsession, my fav is the skinny cinnamon dolce latte. Delish!

Currently loving:
I’m currently loving fun cozy socks, scarves, Nike running tights, Tim Tebow (and not just because he lead the Broncos to the play-offs, but because of his character and love for the Lord!) fitness classes -especially kick boxing, healthy-home made soups, my 15 year old girls volleyball team I coach, my precious niece and nephew (with one more on the way!) and cooking!

Favorite way to sweat:
Gosh, there are so many it’s hard to pick just one- I LOVE to workout! I have always enjoyed organized sports, like volleyball and basketball but since I do not compete anymore I have taken up a passion for running. I’m looking to run my next half-marathon in the late spring!

Celeb style icon
If I could go into one celebrity’s closet and take her entire wardrobe and wear it everyday for the rest of my life- it would be Blake Lively! I think she is adorable and a trend-setter in the fashion world. Her hyper-girly style is something I covet! The gowns she sports on the red-carpet are to die for! In all reality, though, my true fashion is most like Reese Witherspoon. She is usually wearing casual clothes like scarves, skinny jeans and boots, which are staples in my closet.

Dream Destination Spot:
I need to go to Italy! The culture, history, fashion, beaches and food are something I fantasize about constantly. I cannot wait to experience this country someday.

3 diet staples
-Almonds: My favorite snack of all time!
-Hummus: Its my substitute for mayo on a sandwich and I love dipping veggies or whole wheat crackers into it’s deliciousness!
-Yogurt: I usually have a couple varieties on hand. I always have a big tub of non-fat Mountain High Vanilla which is perfect to pair it with fruit and granola. I also keep single servings of Greek yogurt on hand for on-the-go meals or snacks!
My pumpkin of a nephew, Brogan!
My sweet little niece, Lucy!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Meet the Core Four

We call ourselves the “Core Four.” We have been four inseparable friends in college and beyond. We have walked through many seasons together and look forward to the chapters and journeys ahead. We take trips together, cook, shop, plan events, paint nails, run races, and simply do life together as much as we possibly can.

Erin, Lauren, Gabrielle, Mekenzie
Even though we are dispersed from city to city and soon to be state to state, we hope to continue to grow and be intentional with each other because we recognize the value of rare friendship.  While we are all very different, we are very much the same. Our interests often overlap and we share passion for creativity, success, the Lord, people, life, family, beauty, fashion, and fitness. Blogging will be one way we can share our lives with you, our family and friends as well as share life with each other.

We will each post a little bit about ourselves so you can get to know us!