Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What an Inspiration! Girls on the Run Participants “Graduate” at 5K Race

Readers of my blog will know that I’m a big fan of Girls on the Run (GOTR). This terrific organization hosts running programs for girls 8 to 13 to encourage healthy lifestyles and foster self-esteem. Programs are offered at local schools, YMCAs and Girls Inc. sites. At the end of the program, girls “graduate” by running the New Balance GOTR 5K race.

On Sunday, GOTR Atlanta hosted its annual fall 5K for these young runners. As a volunteer, I felt lucky to join the celebration as the girls completed their first race. And I had the best job – tracking runners’ race times as they crossed the finish line. The girls’ energy and joy was amazing to witness. They broke out in cheers and chants, creating an incredible atmosphere. One GOTR coach shared her experience at the group’s blog, Why We Run. For me, the best part was to see the expression of pride and accomplish on the girls’ faces as they crossed the finish line. As an added bonus, I got to deliver a $1,500 sponsorship check from The UPS Foundation to GOTR Atlanta.

If you’d like to support GOTR, consider joining its fundraising program SoleMates. You can participate in any event to raise money for GOTR programs.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I’m on a Mission for a Stronger Immune System

A nasty respiratory virus has been making its way around Atlanta and I fell victim to it last month. Chest-aching cough and blocked sinuses delivered nearly four weeks of misery. Ever since I became a mom, I’ve had a tough time fighting off colds and viruses. Getting sick becomes a real challenge when you’re training for a race. Losing a week or two of running can derail a meticulously planned training schedule.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to research information on boosting my immune system. My search will include conversations with co-workers, friends and medical practitioners, web surfing news and health sites, and flipping through recent issues of Runner’s World. I expect to get lots of input on diet, but I’m wondering what else I’ll learn. Does sleep make a big difference? Will over-the-counter vitamins and supplements offer a meaningful boost? I’ll provide updates on my search at this blog. I’d love to hear your opinions and advice.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Product Review: thriv running apparel

I was recently offered an opportunity to review a running shirt from thriv, a new brand entering the athletic apparel market. Let me start first with a disclaimer: I received two shirts for free to review (one for me and one for my husband). I’m under no obligation to publish my review, and the opinions that I share are based on my and my husband’s experiences. O.K -- so now for my review.

To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised by the shirt. It feels lighter and softer than the typical running shirt that’s designed to wick sweat. And it’s quite comfortable. I wore the shirt twice during afternoon runs when the weather was in the low 70s. Typically, I get warm pretty quickly so I don’t like to keep a shirt on for long. I was a bit amazed that I felt pretty comfortable wearing this shirt throughout each of my 50-minute runs. It did a good job of wicking away sweat. My husband also liked the shirt and his feedback was similar to mine. Washing instructions are the same for other sports apparel I own (cold water wash/tumble dry low). The brand promotes its use of bamboo and organic cotton as key materials. I appreciate the use of a sustainable plant like bamboo (regarded as the fastest growing woody plant on the earth). It would be really cool if thriv could eventually offer a garment recycling program like Patagonia’s Common Threads. You can purchase thriv apparel at Sports Authority online and at select Sports Authority stores. My husband and I tested the short-sleeve shirts that sell for $24.99. The brand also includes long-sleeve shirts, shorts, pants and racer-back tops.