{flash giveaway} SoulCycle class pass

For 24 hours, enter to win a free class pass to SoulCycle DC ($30 value).  Must be able to use the class pass at the DC location.

Comment below to win: what’s your favorite workout & why?Entrance

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winner will be announced tomorrow 7/22/2014 at 5pm EST and notified via email.

 

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SoulCycle in the Nation’s Capitol

SoulCycle, the country’s premier indoor cycling studio will open its first studio in Washington D.C. this August.  As a fitness enthusiast, I couldn’t be more excited!  SoulCycle is all the rage in NYC – and I can’t wait to experience the same workout in my hometown.

At over 3,000 square feet, SoulCycle D.C. features a 55-bike studio and a SOUL retail boutique, selling SoulCycle’s original clothing collection. Additional rider amenities include showers, bathrooms and a locker area. SoulCycle D.C. is located at 2301 M Street NW (Georgetown).  If you work in the city, there’s no excuse not to try a class – the amenities are perfect for those on-the-go.

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The SoulCycle Experience:

SoulCycle is a motivating, joyful, full-body indoor cycling dance party on a bike. SoulCycle was founded on the belief that fitness could be inspiring: with a motivational workout, a beautiful environment and outstanding customer service, each 45-minute class is a transformative experience.

Co-founded by Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice, SoulCycle opened its first location in New York City in 2006. By combining a unique mental component of inspirational coaching, with great music, and a full-body workout on a bike, SoulCycle immediately reinvented indoor-studio cycling and simultaneously innovated boutique cardio fitness in the marketplace.

Today, over 8,000 riders take SoulCycle classes everyday to release stress, burn fat, tone muscle, and change their bodies and lives.  At SoulCycle riders burn calories, and tone their upper bodies using hand weights and core-engaging choreography. The SoulCycle brand experience is high energy, results-oriented, and community based. The exercise program focuses on rhythm and the “energy of the pack,” which creates a strong bond between riders. Familiar faces in SoulCycle studios include Oprah, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Olivia Wilde, David Beckham, and Bradley Cooper (hashtag, celebrity citing)

For more information on SoulCycle, visit https://www.soul-cycle.com/ or on Twitter @soulcycle

 

Do you have SOUL?  Have you ever taken a SOUL class?  Share your experience!

i run. do you?

I grew up running.  It’s what I know better than anything else.  Running is always there.  That’s why I love running so much.

Running is a lot of things to me.

My mom was a runner, and I wanted to be just like my mom.

Running led me to my husband, BJ.  We met at a local fun run – and he even proposed on a run!

Running has taken me through New Zealand (Queenstown, Blenheim, Fox Glacier, Auckland, Waiheke Island), Panama, Paris, Frankfurt, Brazil, Brussels, Argentina…New York City, Boston, San Francisco, LA, Chicago, Sun Valley, Boise, Washington DC…over the Golden Gate Bridge, through vineyards, up and over Heartbreak Hill, around the National Mall, starting at Mt. Hood and finishing on the Coast of Seaside…

Running paid for (most of) college.

Running introduced me to some of my best friends.

Running carried me through my first pregnancy – and I even ran a race at 7 months!

Running has humbled me.  Many times.

Running has me pushing a running stroller with LJ – and embracing my new role as mother runner.

Running started as a 50m sprint and has (slowly) increased over the years: 100m, 200m, 400m (+ hurdles), 5k, 10k, 10 mile, Half Marathon, Marathon.

Running pays my bills.  Literally.  I get paid to run.

Running lets me indulge in margaritas. wine. ice cream. chocolate.  I could go on…

Running gave me the opportunity to meet some running greats: Bill Rodgers,Desi Davilla, Christy Wellington, Scott Jurek, Nick Symmonds, Josh Cox.

Running keeps me healthy and happy.

I love running.  Happy National Running Day. 

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Do you run?  Tell me what you love about running?

 

For more running and margaritas, follow me:
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six months postpartum {mother’s day edition}

betsey darley photography - Google Chrome 592014 115155 AM.bmpEveryone says it, but its true.  It goes by so fast.

I can’t believe LJ is six months old.  Half a year.  Now I know why people keep having kids!

LJ has changed my life.  I mean, life was good before, but now it’s even better.  Who knew?!  He’s funny and has the best personality.  Every day it’s something new, a new discovery, it’s like I’m seeing the world from a new set of eyes.  I love it.

LJ loves laughing. sweet potatoes. yoga with mommy. long walks. books. playing “under the sea”. being a sous chef. putting his feet in the grass. airplane trips. grabbing his toes and sticking them in his mouth.

As for me, I’m feeling good.  I had a healthy – and pretty easy – pregnancy.  With breastfeeding, lots of walking, and the occasional run, I’m a little less than pre-pregnancy weight.  Things are still a little more squishy than I remember, but I know I’ll get there.  All in due time.  I feel like I’m learning something new – about life and myself – everyday.

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Here’s what I’ve learned in the last six months:

  • I had no idea could function on such little sleep.  Don’t get me wrong, most days I feel like a zombie.  But at least I’m a functioning one.
  • If you can, breastfeeding is the way to go.  I love the time I get to spend with LJ.  It’s special to me.  Our time to bond.
  • Listen to your body.  I thought I was going to start running the second I was cleared by the doctor.  Instead, I waited another 8 weeks before I attempted to run.  It worked for me.  I know what works for me might not work for you but honor your body.  It’s been through a lot!
  • My life is completely and totally different now – and I love it.  And not just because I’m not going to happy hour anymore.
  • Write things down, take pictures, write your baby a love note.  You think you’ll never forget anything.  But you do.  Not because you don’t want to remember but because there’s so much that happens in one year, month, week, day that you can’t possibly remember everything.
  • Being a mom is the most wonderful, miraculous blessing in the entire world.

And as I approach (and celebrate) my first Mother’s Day, I couldn’t be more thankful for all of the beautiful blessings in my life.  Happy Mother’s Day, moms.  It’s amazing to feel what my mom felt for so many years!

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What did you learn after having a baby?

 

For more motherhood and margaritas, follow me:
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*We love Betsey Darley Photography.  If you live in DC Metro, check out her work.

must-have margarita

Today is cinco de mayo and (I hope) you know what that means.  It’s margaritas for me.

If you want a delicious – but healthy version – you must try my {must have margarita}

must-have margarita
1 shot Tequila (I prefer Patron)
Juice from 2 limes
Juice from ruby red grapefruit (half)
Club soda
Lime wedge
Salt
Chili power

Mix tequila, lime juice, grapefruit juice, and club soda together and shake. Rub glass rim with lime wedge; mix salt/chili powder together and dip glass in salt mixture. Pour margarita over ice, squeeze lime wedge into margarita.

Pair it with guacamole and pico de gallo and you have the perfect cinco de mayo celebration!

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Enjoy!

For more recipes and margaritas, follow me:
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vino & vinyasa at blue nectar yoga

Calling all Moms (especially if you live in DC or Northern Virginia):

Need a Moms Night Out?!  Join me tomorrow night, April 29, for Vino & Vinyasa at Blue Nectar Yoga in Falls Church City.  Instructor and co-owner, Jane Bahneman will lead us through an all levels yoga class (vinyasa flow) followed by Vino and shopping in the BNY Bluetique!  Enjoy 15% off all ZUM products and PaddyWax products, 10% of Jade products, and 4Love Clothing will debut  handmade one-of-a-kind Love Wraps.

Don’t be shy – even if you have never done yoga before you, I encourage you to join in on the fun!  I’m looking to meet like-minded mamas, and who doesn’t love wine and working out?!  This event is open to any and all area moms (or expectant moms).

{the deets}
What: Moms Night Out Vino and Vinyasa!
When: Tuesday, April 29 at Blue Nectar Yoga Studio
Time: 7:30-9:30pm (flow six five from 7:30-8:30; wine and shopping from 8:30 – 9:30)
Cost: $10.00 pre-register (requested) & $15.00 walk-ins (if space allows)

Visit Blue Nectar Yoga online for more info

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For more miles, motherhood, and margaritas, follow me:
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For more yoga and events (wine may be involved), follow BNY:
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Blog: www.bluenectaryoga.wordpress.com 

 

 

 

 

For Two Fitness Anniversary Giveaway

I love For Two Fitness!  It’s pretty much all I wore during my pregnancy.  I mean, how clever is “Running for Two” or “Yoga for Two”?!  I loved wearing my “Running for Two” tank while running at 9 months pregnant.  I was the subject of many “You go Girl” or “Get it Mama” – it always put a little pep in my (very slow) running step!

Running a 5k at 7 months pregnant!

Running a 5k at 7 months pregnant!

For Two Fitness is celebrating an anniversary and they are celebrating US – the community, customers, and friends.  And as a way to say “Thank You”, FTF is hosting a HUGE giveaway! The Grand Prize is valued over $600, and two lucky ladies will also receive runner-up gift bundles. FTF has everything, from apparel to accessories to nutrition and body care – all facets of your healthy mom lifestyle are in this prize pack!

For Two Fitness Giveaway

There will be three winners: one grand prize winner will win everything you see listed here, and two other lucky ladies will win generous prizes from us and many of the sponsoring brand partners. Here are some details about the amazing products that have been generously donated for you to win and enjoy:

Grand Prize Giveaway items:

2 Sarah Haley Fit DVDs Expecting More and Sweat Unlimited — prenatal and postpartum workout DVDs for fit mamas and mamas-to-be.
Kind Bars — 25 bar gift box of healthy snacks to fuel your day, with healthy ingredients you can see and pronounce.
Maclaren Beginnings care products — generous gift bundle of oils, lotions, shampoos, and nursery/powder room products for both mama and baby.
GNC – a three month supply of prenatal vitamins.
Happy Family Brands — baby and toddler foods for your little ones.
For Two Fitness racerback tank and pair of pants or capris
Baby K’tan — stylish carrier to aid in hands-free baby-wearing.
Zensah — 2 sets of must-have compression leg sleeves. Relieve leg fatigue, increase circulation, reduce varicose veins, and get fresh legs.

Visit http://fortwofitness.com/blog/2014/04/for-two-fitness-anniversary-giveaway/ for your chance to win big!

Apera Bags review & giveaway

I’m a fitness-runner-yogi-traveling mother on the go.  And that means I need a bag to carry it all: a pair of capris, running shoes, yoga mat, water bottle, diapers, wipes, wubanub, you name it.  A bag that carries e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. isn’t so easy to find.  I love my Marc Jacobs diaper bag, but a Marc Jacobs diaper bag isn’t always for the yoga studio-gym-airplane-trunk of my car days.  So, after months of searching and eyeing the Yoga Tote from Apera, I was thrilled when they sent me a tote to test out and review.

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yogaThe Yoga Tote is perfect for my yoga studio-long walk-business meeting-traveling to San Francisco-diaper bag days.  Seriously, I love it. I knew I’d love it for yoga, after all it’s appropriately named the Yoga Tote –but I didn’t realize how much I’d love it for everything else.  For life.   LJ and I go to Mommy & Me yoga at least once/week.  This bag is great for stashing all of my yoga essentials, plus everything I need for the little guy.  However, I was pleasantly surprised with its versatility.  A few weeks ago I had a business meeting that ended with a run; I needed my laptop and notebook, plus all of my winter running gear.  And just last week, I used the Yoga tote for our cross-country trip to San Francisco; it worked as my purse and LJ’s diaper bag.  While the Yoga tote is great for, well, yoga, it’s also really great for other things, too.  Like, travel, life, gym, yoga, laptop bag, work tote, diaper bag, and more. Here’s what else I love.  Apera bags are design to be healthier – with built-in antimicrobial product protection to inhibit the growth of bacterial odors, separation of your wet, sweaty gear from your dry stuff, and venting air to keep your bag dry and suppress odor.  (I wonder if it works for diapers, too?!)

  • Antimicrobial Product Protection
  • Vented Compartments
  • Wipeable Linings
  • Washable Insert

At $120 the Yoga Tote may seem a little pricey – but it’s totally worth the price.  It’s versatile.  You can use the bag for anything (reference above if you need more information or convincing).  And it’s really stylish and cute (plus I’m a sucker for the fuchsia).

Do you want one?!

I have some good news for you… I’m hosting a {giveaway}.

One lucky reader will have a chance to win the Sprint Pack and includes a code worth 25% off any other Apera bag.  The Sprint pack is light, active, and inspired.

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Monthly Apera Giveaway: Apera gives away one free bag/month.  All you need to do is sign up for the email newsletter by providing your email address at the bottom of the website. At the conclusion of each month, Apera randomly draws one name from the subscribers in the email newsletter database and selects a winner.

Sale: Apera is offering 40% OFF the entire Blue line of bags.  Any style of Blue bag will be 40% OFF, including the Yoga Tote.  Also, all of theDuffel Packs, any color, are 40% OFF too.  For more information and to order yours, visit: www.aperabags.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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disclaimer: I was given the Yoga Tote free of charge.  Opinions are my own.

part lll: transamerica & rock n roll san francisco {final thoughts}

I can’t believe it’s been one week since Rock n Roll San Francisco.  We’re still talking about how much fun we had; I really can’t imagine better circumstances for my racing debut.

Partnering with Transamerica and Rock n Roll has been a wonderful experience and I can’t wait for more to come.  I look forward to Philadelphia and Los Angeles (and potentially Chicago) and hope to raise a lot of money for a lot of great causes.  Thank you, Transamerica and Competitor Group for selecting me as your Tomorrow Chaser.  I feel really blessed to be a part of the team.

A HUGE thank you to my always supportive and encouraging husband, BJ.  If it weren’t for him I wouldn’t be able to pursue as many {running} dreams as I’ve been able to. I feel so blessed and thankful for his support.  He really does believe in everything I do!  And I hope LJ likes running, because there’s a lot of running in his future.

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My return to running/racing was better than I could’ve ever expected.  I thank God for keeping me injury free (I didn’t have much time to properly train), for beautiful running weather, safe travels, a supportive husband and baby, wonderful sponsors, and the ability to raise money for St. Jude.

Here’s to many more miles…

Cheers!

 

For more miles, motherhood, and margaritas, follow me:
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part ll: transamerica & rock n roll san francisco {race report}

After a night of not-so-great sleep (between race nerves and feeding a baby), I woke up feeling excited and ready to run!  I didn’t know what to expect – my longest run was a 9 miler – but I knew I was going to have fun and I knew I was going to raise money for a great cause.  Nothing else mattered.

I’ll start by saying, I didn’t pay for VIP (it was part of the race package) but if you can, VIP is the way to go.  The accommodations are really nice and it’s a cozy pre-race environment.   The Transamerica crew was dropped off at the VIP Start Line/Tent and we walked inside to stay warm, get some food/drinks, check bags, and use actual restrooms.  I never want to run another non-VIP race again (ha!).  I did a lot of stretching and it felt good to move my body.  I was ready to run.

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About 35 minutes before the race started I had to take care of some mom duties (pumping) and everyone was really accommodating. Staff got me a bag of ice to save the milk and other moms joined around to share their stories.  Pumping/feeding in public doesn’t bother me, but I understand that it bothers some; even though I hardly knew anyone, it was nice to have a support system.  It was nice to know that it’s okay to be a breastfeeding-mother-runner.  Thank you!

Since I was the very.last.runner. to start the race, I had extra time once the race started at 6:30am.  I met with Transamerica and CGI PR teams, posed for a couple pre-race photos, and chatted with other runners.   The weather was perfect and there was a buzz in the air.  I love race morning!

I connected with Steve (videographer) in Corral 15 and we walked together to the start line.  Once everyone started the race, the race announcer said “Here goes Transamerica Tomorrow Chaser, Melody Jones.  For every runner she passes, $1 is donated to St. Jude.  How many runners will she pass?” – and I was off.

The course started on the West Coast, along the ocean, on Lincoln & Great Highway (could that be any more perfect?!).  The course ran through Presidio (hello, gorgeous homes), over the Golden Gate Bridge (talk about once-in-a-lifetime), along the Marina district, through Nob Hill, and finished Downtown at Civic Center Plaza.  The course itself was beautiful with breathtaking, one-of-a-kind, views.  I don’t know when I’ll ever have a chance to run over the Golden Gate Bridge again – and even though it was really, really crowded, I was thankful for such an amazing opportunity!  San Francisco is a beautiful city.

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I met another runner – Dominick – early on.  He was going to pace a friend but she didn’t show up, so we started talking and running and the miles ticked by.  Kind of.  People weren’t joking when they warned me about the hills – 0.5 miles into the race there was a big, steep one, and they lasted for the duration of the run.  We hit the Golden Gate Bridge around Mile 4.  It was crowded and a little dangerous.  Not because it wasn’t blocked off but because runners were running in the opposite lane to pass people and there just wasn’t enough room for everyone.  I was able to snap a picture (I don’t normally run with my phone but had it for communication/video purposes) but it was hard to enjoy.  I know it’s easier said than done, but we needed more lanes.  We came off the bridge right around Mile 8.  Miles 8, 9, 10 were pretty flat and went along the Marina District.  There were boats and gorgeous homes; there was a lot to take in.  Around Mile 11, things started to slow down and hurt but I knew I was on the home stretch and kept repeating “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength”.  I passed a few Transamerica runners around Mile 12 and they gave me an extra boost of energy (plus, I knew that they were hoping I wouldn’t pass them so it was fun to “catch” them so close to the finish).  At the same time Dominick said, “Let’s see what you’re made of” and it was a sprint to the finish.  I wanted to pass as many people as I could, so I ran as fast as I could.  I ran the last mile in 5:41!

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I crossed the finish line in 1:52:48.  My first race since having a baby (5 months ago) and I felt much better than I expected.  It wasn’t my fastest time but it was one of the most fun races I’ve ever run.  I knew that every runner I passed was another $1 for St. Jude, and as a new mother, I was even more motivated to raise as much as I could. 

When I crossed the finish line I had NO idea how much I had raised/people I had passed.  I thought I’d have a better idea but it was hard to gauge.  As I took post-race pictures/interviews, the numbers were being tallied….

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St. Jude, Transamerica, and myself went on stage to present the check and say a few words.  Before presenting the check, Transamerica’s Direct President, Ed Walker, got the crowd really pumped up.  “How many of you think she passed 2,000 runners? 3,000? 3,500? 4,000? 4,500? 5,000? 5,500? 6,000? 6,500? 7,000? 7,500?”  The crowd was cheering!  “Our Transamerica Tomorrow Chaser, Melody Jones, passed 7,569 people on today’s course.”  cue: more cheers

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8,603 runners started and finished Rock n Roll San Francisco.  I passed 7,569 runners, raising $7569 for St. Jude!  I was so excited!  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could pass/raise that much money!  My check was the second largest check they’ve ever written and the largest for this race.

Rock n Roll San Francisco was a race that I’ll never forget.  I had a chance to meet some favorite runner/bloggers, including Pavement RunnerSheenaBean and Daddy’s Running.  It was my return to running postpartum, my racing debut, and a chance to raise money for a great cause.  I’m so proud to be a part of the Transamerica team, creating better tomorrows for people.

I’ll see you in Philadelphia

 

For more miles, motherhood, and margaritas, follow me:
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