Monthly Archives: August 2014

6 Races To Check Out This Year

Races are a great way to have fun while exercising, and are also a good way to meet like-minded people.  More difficult courses are an exciting challenge, and will leave you feeling accomplished.  Here are 6 races you should think about trying.


Photo by Elvert Barnes

Local 5K Run

If you’ve never participated in a race before, Heather from Relentless Forward Commotion recommends registering for a local 5K.  She points out that racing is more than just running – a smaller race allows you space to figure things out like registration and pacing yourself.  She also says that local races are a great place to meet other local runners, who can help give you tips.  To find a race, contact your local running club or search using


Photo by Agathe

Oyster the Race

In Oyster, a team of 3-6 people travel throughout the race city running and cycling, while completing a number of different tasks.  These tasks are different for each race, but may include something like clue solving, climbing, and paddling.  This fun race is a great way to explore the city with friends and work together as a team while still getting a great workout – the full course covers 20-30 miles.

102nd Intelligence Wing members compete in Spartan Race

Photo by The National Guard

Spartan World Championships

Spartan Races are inspired by Spartan warriors and consist of running and obstacles like crawling under barbed wired, spear throwing, log jumping, and rope climbing.  Heather says these races are both mentally and physically challenging, adding “they truly test your strength and endurance…and crawling through the mud never gets old!”


Photo by Angry Julie Monday

Neon Dash

The Neon Dash is a 5K run/walk that takes place at night.  During the 3.1 miles, you encounter several “splash stations”, where volunteers will cover you in neon water that glows under the black lights.  Afterwards, there’s a dance party area with hanging black lights so you can really see that neon water glowing.

Ragner Relay Series

Heather says the Ragner Relay Series look like a lot of fun.  In this race, you’re on a team of 12 people, separated into two vans.  Each person takes turns running 3 different legs consisting of 3-8 miles each, while the rest of the team cheers them on from the van.  By the time the race is over, the team has commutatively run about 200 miles. This is a great race to run as a team, as your friends work together towards a common goal.


Photo by Curtis and Renee

Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon Series

The Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon Series has been hugely popular since it started in 1998.  With half-marathon or full-marathon options, there’s music every mile to help get you through the race.  Afterwards, there is an outdoor concert featuring live bands so you can celebrate completing the race.

6 Healthy Recipes for a Labor Day BBQ

Celebrate the last long weekend of the summer but keep your waistline in mind with top BBQ options.  Try one of these tasty and healthy recipes before grilling season is over.


Chickpea Artichoke Crostini

This Chickpea Artichoke Crostini from Side of Sneakers would make an excellent appetizer. The chickpeas are full of protein and fiber to help tide your guests over until dinner, while the artichokes, basil, and sun-dried tomato bring great Mediterranean flavors.


Lemon Lime Asian Shrimp Kabobs

Shrimp serves as a source of vitamin B12 and Omega 3 Fatty Acids, both of which are ideal for brain and heart health.  Despite their small size, shrimp are also a perfectly healthy source of protein.  The Lemon Lime Asian Shrimp Kabobs from Fit Foodie Finds are full of flavor and are fit for an appetizer or as part of an entrée.


Grilled Pineapple Burgers with Spicy Avocado Cream

These Grilled Pineapple Burgers with Spicy Avocado Cream from PaleOMG are an epic burger option, especially for those following the paleo diet. Even if you aren’t going paleo, they are still a low-carb burger solution.  The grilled pineapple and avocado add sweet and creamy flavor and texture to the grass fed beef burger.


Reduced Fat Creamy Coleslaw

Coleslaw is a great BBQ staple; however, the mayonnaise-based dressing can be high in fat and calories.  Cue this Reduced Fat Creamy Coleslaw from Rachel Cooks, which combines Greek yogurt, light mayonnaise, and seasonings for a lower in fat but just as tasty dressing.


Greek Turkey Burger with Creamy Tzatziki Sauce

These Greek Turkey Burgers with Creamy Tzatziki Sauce from The Lemon Bowl are another tasty and healthy burger option.  Because turkey is a lean protein, it makes a great low-fat burger.  By topping the burger with tzatziki sauce, you’re adding low calorie flavor to your burger.


Strawberry Lemonade with Mint

What’s a BBQ without lemonade?  This Strawberry Lemonade with Mint from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen is made with organic strawberries. fresh mint, and lemons, and is sweetened with honey.  Lexi says adding vodka to the lemonade makes a great cocktail if you’re ready for a splurge.




How to Prepare for Your First Race

Running a race is motivating as it gives you something to train for, and a deadline.  Also, races are a great team environment that are both supportive and inspiring.  Danica from Chic Runner shares her tips about preparing for your first race.

Color Run Ann Arbor

Photo by memories_by_mike

Enjoy It

Danica reminds us to slow down and enjoy the training process and the actual race.  She says it’s so important to really cherish each milestone that you pass and to focus on all the accomplishments you’re achieving instead of being concerned about finishing in a certain time at the race. Focus on how far you’ve come since you started training, and enjoy the process of running in a race.



It addition to running, it’s important to focus on cross training.  This will help you to develop the muscle your body needs to perform at its best when running, and can also help to prevent injury.  Danica says she  enjoys lifting weights, riding the bike and going to the gym just to stay in shape and make sure she’s not only running to give her body a break.

Reward Yourself

Training for and completing a race is a big accomplishment, and it’s important to reward yourself along the way.  Danica says she loves going to a treat after a long run, and that this reward gives her something to think about during her run.

Don’t Overdo It

Make sure that you’re taking at least one rest day per week, and don’t push yourself too far.  Danica points out that missing one training run won’t ruin you and derail your training.  If you’re feel overly tired or run-down, it’s often better to take a day off and run the next day, when you’ll be able to give it your all.

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Photo by Bob Jagendorf

Let Yourself Be Inspired

Danica says the best thing about running a race is being inspired by the other runners,  saying “no matter what time they finish in, they signed up and are running right beside me which is awesome and great to see”.  Let yourself be inspired by runners of all different abilities to take with you when you begin preparing for your next race!