VIRTUAL RACE - "Run For The Polls!" - By Furever Home Running

HOWDY TO THE HEIFERHOOD!

Y'all know I love a good race! A virtual race even moreso - because I can run it on my own time, date, place, and still collect my favorite thing of all time - BLINNNNNNG!

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RUN TO THE POLLS is an incredible virtual race that I'm asking you for your support on.  Sign up! Run the race your day, your way! Your time, etc.  WHY?

This race celebrates the privilege we have of voting! A little blurb from FureverHome:

Voting is critically important to any country and we want to get more people involved in the United States. Through this nonpartisan effort, we want to:

– Raise awareness about voting importance and voter rights in the United States

– Encourage voter registration and early voting

– Highlight key issues individuals should explore to be an informed voter

Registration is currently open through mid September. Race packets will be sent the week of October 8. The race will take place the three weeks leading up to election day – October 16 - November 6.  Race packets will include a custom race bib, the awesome finisher’s medal you see below, and some cool stuff from our sponsors! You will be able to customize your bib and add additional merchandise to your packet, to include a custom: Race t-shirt, Hoo Rag, Hoodie, etc.

Before you ask - what distance?? Any distance you like - mainly 5k, 10k, or if you're feelin' really fly, do a half! Do whatever distance works for YOU! What matters is you're up, you're active, you're helping a few good non profits, and you're making a difference in the lives of others!
 
Check out the  bling you'll receive:

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The race costs $24.95 plus shipping and tax.

$5.00 from your registration will go to help support two nonprofit animal rescue organizations and $2.00 will go to help support the League of Women Voters.

Registration is currently open and will run through mid-September. Packets will be sent to everyone on October 8th – just in time for your race! There is also a Facebook community page set up to share your stories and pictures from your race.

We thank you for participating and look forward to seeing you "Run to the Polls!"

Let's show some HEIFERHOOD support and see if we can get this race sold out! Proceeds from your fee go to two nonprofit organizations - and you get the honor or running to the polls!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

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For anyone wanting more information about Furever Home Running, click HERE and have a look around. They are amazingly fantastic people doing good things for the world. I'm proud to call Scott and Mead friends, and proud to help them out with filling up registration!

THIS heifer loves Furever Home because of their core beliefs:

(1) they believe every animal deserves a safe, loving home, is provided healthcare, and has adequate food, and (2) they believe every person can participate in running sports regardless of perceived ability. They believe everyone's health is vitally important in increasing physical fitness and can be accomplished by increasing self-efficacy and access to running sports.

SHE FIT - The Ultimate Sports Bra?

Hey heifers! What is it about me and sports bras?! I recently reviewed the ENELL SPORT bra and have been happily running along in my new fancy bra.  

Then a twitter friend messaged me and said, "Yeah, but have you tried SHEFIT....?" To which I said, "wait whaaaa?" I'd never heard of it. Maybe you haven't either.  I figured, what the heck, I'm willing to give it a try.  Let's face it. When you've got 34DDDs... you need to know ALL of your options, right? 

All options are good.  I can't saunter into WalMart and grab a 32A sports bra from the rack and go home happy.  I wish I could, y'all. Life would be so much easier and I think I'd have a million more dollars in the bank, given how expensive a GOOD sports bra is when you've got major melons.  Humungous Hooters.   Tremendous Tatas.  Don't make me go on. I had to google slang words for boobs.  It's not pretty.

I digress.  I do that a lot.

Imagine my excitement when SheFit messaged me and told me they'd be happy to send me a sports bra to try and review.  I was skeptical, as I usually am on these things.  I mean, I have this Enell bra. It's working for me. It's not super cute (definitely not a DATE NIGHT bra wink wink) but it gets the job done. It is one SERIOUS over the shoulder boulder holder. 

But if you have read my blog for a while y'all know I like CUTE things.

I want to be cute.

I want to be a styling heifer, running down the road feelin' fly about my funbags.  Feeling like if Ryan Gosling ran up to me and said "hey girl, show me your Bopsy Twins... I'd whip them out faster than my visa card at Christmastime.

Thus, I was pretty stoked when my Shefit bra arrived in the mail.  First impression up on opening - OH EM GEE, it's orange and pink.  Two of my favorite colors! Girdle-be-gone, this is a really CUTE bra.  I can rock this out for SHIZ!

Let's talk about ease of putting it on. It's great to look cute, but we well-endowed heifers KNOW that when we buy a new sports bra, it's going to burn some serious calories just GETTING INTO IT.  Can I get an amen?

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Here's the thing on this bra.  It's VELCRO. The back closure is velcro, as are the shoulder straps.  This intrigues me because if you have heavy hooters, you KNOW that velcro makes you nervous.  Will it hold? Will it wash well?  How long before it disintegrates and I have to replace it.  This is all legit fear when you've got ginormo jugs.

Let's have a look at the bra, shall we? 

screen shots from their website

screen shots from their website

why don't my arms look that muscular?

why don't my arms look that muscular?

The hardest thing for me was putting the bra on.  This one is TRICKY.  Here's why.  I have carpal tunnel in my wrists.  My fingers just don't DO what they're supposed to, nor do my wrists cooperate.  The front zipper closure is a pain in the rear end (don't make me google 99 names for Uranus, ok?) Behind the zipper are clasps, as seen below.

Here's a view of it.

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It's tricky because you're supposed to loosen the straps and then kind of tuck your tatas in and have at it.  Zip it up.  Well, easier said than done.  I couldn't make my hands/fingers work hard enough to zip it up.  I had to work REALLY hard to get the clasps shut first, then zip it.  The zipper then separated from the bottom, causing me to scream the F word really loud.  In fact so loud that it woke up my dogs.

They're lazy though.  They like to sleep past 4am. Whatever.  I had to put it on over my head (cue the circus music) because that was the ONLY way I could do it.  So I did.  I adjusted the velcro shoulder straps and went on my merry way.

Shoulder straps - all velcro

Shoulder straps - all velcro

Here's a look at the back strap, too. All velcro.

I can't lie. I'm skeptical of the velcro and its ability to last. I realize no bra should have a birthday.... but I am REALLY hoping this is quality velcro. I sweat a lot. This bad boy is gonna go thru many washings.

I can't lie. I'm skeptical of the velcro and its ability to last. I realize no bra should have a birthday.... but I am REALLY hoping this is quality velcro. I sweat a lot. This bad boy is gonna go thru many washings.

Once I had it securely fastened, like an airplane seatbelt... I wiped the sweat from my brow and got on with my day.  I met my friends at the park, whereupon I immediately pulled up my shirt to show them my new bra.  Hey.  We're chicks. That's what we do.  To my amazement, my friend Andrea lifts up her shirt and says HEY LOOK I HAVE ONE TOO!  Cue the laughter.  Bunch of girls, running at o'dark thirty at the park, all shining flashlights on their headlights.  Come on now.  Find the humor in this with me, please.

The BIGGEST plus of this bra is that the cups are padded. Ain't nobody got time for nipple parades. Nobody wants to see that, not me, not you (and if you do, eew, you need to go play on another website, not here).  Padded cups are where it's at.  

The cute-factor on this is pretty high-up also. It's HARD to find a great bra that supports the sisters, while still being cute.  This bra delivers.  I had my trusty running friends help me adjust the strap in the back so that it felt comfortably snug, and off we jogged, into the sunrise.

Final thoughts on this bra? Love it.  It's HARD to situate it if you're alone getting dressed without help (I have a shoulder injury which prevents me from adjusting the back strap once it's on) but if you can manage that - your colossal milk monsters (don't blame me, I learned that one from the internet) will stay locked and loaded, right where they belong.

Here's how it fits on a real woman, not a bra model.  The top zipper flap here is not pulled over the zipper just so that you could see how it looks.  The cup size could be a TINY bit bigger and I felt like maybe I was bulging out of it just a little - but beyond that - I will definitely wear this bra again for running and I would definitely recommend that you give it a try. Your cha-cha's will stay where they belong - no bouncing, no movement at all, and you'll never give them a second thought while you run off into your own sunrise or sunset.

The bra comes in several colors, which I also liked.  For all the information, check out their website at SHEFIT.COM and tell 'em I sent ya.

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I believe the gray strips on front are reflective too.

I believe the gray strips on front are reflective too.

Me and Shefit. It's a match made in heifer-heaven.  I hope to get lots of bounce-free miles out of this bra.  If anyone wants to know what's on my holiday wish list --- this is for sure up at the top!

What I'd Say To My Newbie-Runner-Self

Four Years Later: What I’d Say to my Newbie-Runner-Self

Five years ago, I was morbidly obese, sedentary and ignoring the health crisis sitting in my lap. Maybe I ignored it because it was my lap, but either way, I washed away whatever feelings I had with Mountain Dew and made excuses for another round of chips and salsa, all the while telling myself I wasn’t that fat or I didn’t need exercise to be a fit person or I was just another Monday away from cleaning it all up.

Heifers, you know my story.

I started eating better and then joined Jenny Craig, which gave me the consistency, structure and accountability I needed at that time to keep me going with healthier choices.

And yanno, they liked me a little so they put me in their commercials!

And yanno, they liked me a little so they put me in their commercials!

A year later, I laced up a pair of sneakers (they weren’t even legit running shoes) and went for a run.

You can imagine how that went over. It wasn’t a glorious triumph of grace and dignity. It wasn’t smooth soles rolling over the pavement, one gliding step at a time. I didn’t lift my chin to the sun, close my eyes and feel empowered.

Ummmm, NO.

Ummmm, NO.

Heifers, I struggled.  I’m pretty sure my kids could have walked beside me and still beat my pace that day. My feet thudded against the pavement, one resounding blow at a time. I hung my head, my cheeks flaming red and aware that anyone watching me could see what was going on: a former fat girl was trying to get in shape and didn’t know what the hell she was doing….blessherheart.  

I won’t lie to you and say I found some spiritual self who didn’t care about any of these struggles, who wasn’t embarrassed by my own body or who didn’t feel defeated that day. I wish I could. The fact is, I got home from that run and felt pathetic. Who did I think I was? Did I really think I could just go outside, with a pair of shoes, and run?

People train for this. People start this when they were teenagers not when they were middle-aged mothers of four. People had bodies built for this, and mine clearly wasn’t one of them. Mine was built for bonbons on the couch.  

The next day, though, like Britney Spears, I did it again. I got up, put on my shoes and went outside. It wasn’t easier. I wasn’t any better. That first run didn’t set off some special fireworks inside of me that magically turned me into an athlete after 40 years of surfing nothing but the couch or the web. Nope. I was still at square one but I was at least on Day 2, and that was further than I’d gotten before.

After a while, I worked my way up to running longer than the length of a few houses. It took some time. It wasn’t easy. Then it was a whole row of houses. Then it was a few streets. Then I got new shoes, and my feet and knees thanked me. Then I felt confident enough to buy running pants.  A few weeks later, I actually wore those running pants. In public.

Along the road (literally), I learned a few things, and with four years of running behind me, I have some perspective on the whole process. I think back sometimes to that first run, the day I became a runner, the moment I chose to move my body instead of plop it down in front of the computer or back on the sofa. I think about the woman I was then, and there is a lot I’d say to her. Forty-eight months later, I’d like to run up alongside the woman I was that day and give her some advice.

What would I say?  I'm glad you asked.

I’d start with this: every step is an achievement.  Every. Single. Step. You may not feel like a badass runner out here today, with your old tennis shoes, ratty sweatpants and stretched out tank top. You may feel, every time you have to slow down or walk, like a failure, but I am here to tell you: you are killing it! The hardest part of life, of any achievement, adventure, struggle or goal, is showing up. The hardest part is right before you start. And look at you…you started!

Every time you take a step, whether it’s a slow step or a fast step or a walking step or a jogging step, you’re achieving something greater than you did a yesterday or an hour ago or even a minute ago. Every single step matters, and you should celebrate them, even if they add up to a tiny amount, even if you only have to use one hand. Tomorrow will be two hands and then fingers and toes and then you’ll stop counting at all. But every step matters, so string them all together, add them up and celebrate this moment, one step at a time.

I’d also point out that nobody is judging you, and if they are, they’re assholes. But mostly, people are just driving past you and thinking: man…I should have enough energy to get my butt out there and workout, too! Or, I wish I could run. Or, look at her…she’s out there doing it. Or, and here is the #NoBull truth, people aren’t thinking about you at all.

I’m not trying to be mean, but most people driving by are thinking about their appointment or boyfriend or kids or vacation or a million other things people think about as they cruise through the neighborherd.  It’s not that they don’t care that you’re out there gutting it out in a Phoenix summer. It’s that they care a little more about their own stuff, as they should.

So don’t worry about what people are thinking when they see you huffing down the street or stopping mid-way down a block. Most likely, they’re either admiring your effort or, probably, not even thinking about you at all.  Either way, it has nothing to do with you because you’re not running to impress anyone and their opinion isn’t what drives you.

You don’t set goals for anyone but yourself. So put on your headphones, press play on your favorite song and get in the zone. Nobody is judging you, and even if they do, it doesn’t affect your run.  

I’d also tell new-runner-me that it gets easier AND better. In fact, after about six months, it gets fun. After your chest stops burning and you learn how to breathe, it’s not such an effort. Once you learn proper form, your knees don’t take such a beating. Once you get the right shoes, your ankles and shins don’t ache. Once you lose another twenty pounds, the whole process is easier and suddenly you’re out looking for new, cool outfits to wear to a race and signing up for a 10k.

You never imagine you can jog a few blocks, but over time, you will. Then, a few blocks will be your warm up. You’ll hit a point when it’s hard work but it’s not miserable hard work. You’ll hit your stride. The key here is to know when you’ve hit your stride and not try to compare it to someone else, whether that’s your running partner, the twenty-year-old  kid who just lapped you (again) or a fitness model in a magazine. You’ll learn, with time and a lot of miles under your belt, what your own personal zone is, and when you get there, you will feel it.  It gets easier. It gets better. And it’s totally worth it.

I’d also say that every time you log a run, you show yourself and the people around you love. Not a love of being thin or a love of being perfect. It’s not a love for the sport of running or triathlons. What you do when you take care of yourself and work hard to develop a better you is show the people around you that you love yourself.

You aren’t sitting on the sidelines waiting for someone else to validate you into taking action. Every time you do something hard, that’s a struggle, that challenges you, you change. It doesn’t even matter if you succeed by someone else’s terms or definition: just the fact that you’re out there doing it means you’ve already succeeded. There is no measure of success greater than loving yourself and taking care of you. You set the tone and example for your kids. You let people know, every time you workout, how you feel about yourself and expect to be treated. You don’t even have to say a thing; the message is loud and clear.

Finally, I’d tell the newbie in me: you’re brave. You. Are. Brave. Losing weight and changing your life isn’t easy. Our society seems to swing between airbrushed models on one hand and 40-year-old housewives who can polish off an entire pizza on the other. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that healthy is somewhere in the middle. It’s easy to hide behind the idea that before you can get outside and run in front of God and the world, you have to be a particular weight or have achieved a certain fitness level. It’s easy to talk yourself out of even trying, and it’s even easier to come home from that first run and vow to never do it again, the shame of your sweating, panting body overshadowing your desire to be fit. The coward in you whispers all sorts of negativity about the size of your thighs or boobs or stomach.

But every day, every run, every stride is you being brave. It’s you turning down the volume on everyone who ever expected less, even you – especially you. Don’t discount what you’re doing as some everyday exercise that millions of other people do. Appreciate how much courage it takes to get out there, extra weight and years of body shame behind you, and hold your head high and get it done. You. Are. Brave.    

In the end, the mechanics of running can be taught; the details don’t matter nearly as much as the motivation behind them and the heart it takes to not just start a running program but to stick with it.  

I want to tell every single new runner out there, especially the ones who have tried in the past and failed and are ready to try again: YOU CAN DO THIS!! What you’re doing is truly amazing. What you’re committing to is the best thing in the world: your own health and happiness.  The pacing will come. You’ll get the right shoes. You’ll find your race crew and celebrate victory laps. But most importantly, you will challenge yourself and change yourself. Running is just your vehicle to get there.

So send us your running pics, tell us your stories and join The Herd of runners who may not fit into XXS LuLuLemon pants but who are out there doing it anyway!