The A-Z of Getting Fit With Your Kids

Healthy kids

Looking for fun news ways to get your kids up and moving each day? Exercise doesn’t have to be a drag. But I know how hard it can be to get kids out the door when all they really want is to continue their slug-fest on the sofa.

Some kids can’t wait for an excuse to get outside and run around. But others need a little more encouragement, and that’s cool too. The key is to make it fun and family-centered so that it doesn’t feel like a drag. Skip the forced march around the block and suggest a game of quidditch or tickle tag. Your kids will be bounding out the door in no time!

Need more ideas for fun ways to get fit with your kids. Check out this A-Z list from Giraffe early learning center:

Children

 

Race Review: Emerald Isle Marathon

Sunset, Emerald Isle North Carolina
Emerald Isle Marathon

This is the only race photo ever taken of me in which my feet actually look like they are moving. (Photo: Alan Williams)

Last weekend, I ran North Carolina’s innaugural Emerald Isle Marathon. I was nervous about running a first-time race because I know there is a steep learning curve when it comes to things like making sure there is enough water at the water stations and porta potties at the start line. But my worries were for naught, because it was pretty clear early on that the race directors and volunteers in Emerald Isle had this race dialed. In fact, the prep was better than I’ve seen for many older and bigger marathons. That, plus the course and location make the Emerald Isle Marathon a good addition to any marathoners bucket list.

Here’s a quick rundown of info about the race:

Course: The first 8 miles of the course wind you through neighborhoods on Emerald Isle’s west end. Prior to the race, I was concerned about getting lost on this stretch because there are a number of turns and I wasn’t sure how clearly they would be marked (also, as it was a relatively small field of 200 runners, I was pretty sure that I might be running on my own for good portions of this race.)

It was raining the day before the race and I was worried that they might have planned to use chalk to mark the roads which would have been washed away. I took a quick drive through the night before and my fears were put to rest. There were plenty of plastic signs marking the turns as well as arrows that had been spray painted on the roads. Better still, each of those turns were staffed by friendly volunteers who pointed to way to go as they cheered runners on. Perfect.

Around the 8-mile mark, the course loops back toward the start line and meets up with the half-marathoners who started 75 minutes later. After crossing EI’s only busy road – with police and volunteer assistance – the course next heads into another residential neighborhood before crossing back again – more police and volunteers – to run a long flat stretch along Ocean Drive. For me, this was the toughest part of the day. Miles 13-18 are long and flat and you can see the water station marking the turn-around point for what seems like hours. But it is also where I met up with my family and friends and got that extra boost that took me through the wall and on to the finish.

After mile 18, you head back to the finish line following the town’s biking/running path. This mainly follows EI’s busy road again but just before the finish it pops off and into a wooded area for the final mile stretch to home. It was windy as heck on race day and it hit right on the nose for this last stretch. But wind is just another thing you have to expect when you sign up for a beack race in the spring.

Overall, the course was lovely. One complaint I heard was that it was not as flat as many had expected. True, there are a few rollers but even that term is generous for the teeny-tiny inclines and declines on this course. Granted, it is not pancake flat like some other beach races – like the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach. But you certainly couldn’t call it hilly.

Support: The course was insanely well supported with volunteers. It really seemed like the entire town was out there at some point or another marking the course, handing out water, or cheering you on. The water stops and energy gel stations are not as plentiful as you might find at larger races, however they are clearly identified ahead of time. Be sure to check them out to decide whether or not to carry your own.

Emerald Isle Marathon

A PR and 2nd in my age group. A good day!

Swag: Nice tech shirt, your standard goody bag swag, and of course – the medal. Oh, and I also snagged this sweet beer glass for my 2nd place finish in my age group. A nice perk of running in a smaller race.

All in all, this was an A+ race. If you are considering running the Emerald Isle Marathon, I highly recommend it.

Which city is the cleanest in the world?

How clean is your city? Think it's one of the cleanest in the world? The research team at Hassle Blog put together this inforgraphic of the cleanest cities in every continent in the world. Way to go Chicago! It's a good bucket list of cities worth … [Continue reading]

Sweet news! Chocolate may help improve memory

Good news chocolate lovers! New research has found that a compound found in chocolate may help improve memory skills and reduce the memory loss that often accompanies old age. It's all about the flavanols. Researchers have found that these plant … [Continue reading]

Win a Garmin Forerunner 405 with Heart Rate Monitor and USB!

It's here! Last week, I mentioned that I recently won a Garmin Forerunner 405 running watch through my fundraising for Girls on the Run. And as much as I would LOVE to keep this watch for myself, I think this is the perfect opportunity to raise even … [Continue reading]

Need a bigger skirt? You may have upped your breast cancer risk

Have you found that your skirt size has creeped up over the years? Your risk for developing breast cancer might be increasing right along with your skirt size. Researchers at the Gynecological Cancer Research Center at University College London, … [Continue reading]

How to pick the perfect running shoe

by Amby Burfoot In the market for a new running shoe?  Your first stop should be to seek out the advice of an expert at your local running store.  They can watch you run, examine your current pair, and talk to your about your running goals - and … [Continue reading]

Race report: Potomac River Run Marathon

It has been less than 24 hours since I completed the Potomac River Run Marathon in Carderock, Maryland.  So while the pain is still fresh in my quads - and my ego- I figured I would sort out the thoughts in my head by hammering it all out on the … [Continue reading]

Solar water heating – what’s in it for you?

Solar heated water has been around for a long time – remember the sun-warmed swimming pool in your back yard; waiting for the sea to warm up in spring before taking that first dip; or the good old camp shower – a plastic bag full of water hung in the … [Continue reading]

You signed up for WHAT?

It seems as though I have some explaining to do. Over the past few weeks, my race schedule for 2014 took shape in a pretty big way.  And it seems that before the year is through, I will be making the leap from marathons and triathlons to an … [Continue reading]

1/2 Marathon Training: Week 1

My new training plan started on Monday. But I should probably say Tuesday since my first day was a rest day. It turns out Tuesdays and Thursdays are all two-mile runs, which works out well with Girls on the Run. Wednesdays are cross-training days, … [Continue reading]

11 going on 13.1

This summer, my eldest daughter - at the ripe old age of 11 - will attempt to complete her first half-marathon. She is not new to running.  She has run numerous 5K and 8K races and in 2012 ran her first 10K at 10 years old. She is also not the … [Continue reading]

Will you help me ‘Run Like a Girl?’

A few months ago, I embarked on a new journey as a coach for Girls on the Run. If you're not familiar with it, Girls on the Run is an organization that works with girls in grades 3-5 with the ultimate goal of running a 5K. But GOTR is truly … [Continue reading]

Don’t fall for ‘The Natural Effect’

What do you think of when you see the term, 'natural?'  Healthy?  Organic?  Made from wholesome ingredients? The Google definition for 'natural,' is "existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind."  So it's no wonder that … [Continue reading]

Music helps kids with cancer connect and cope

  It's hard enough being a teenager these days and trying to relate with family and peers.  Throw a cancer diagnosis into the mix and many teens report feeling overwhelmingly isolated, even within their main support group.  Could music … [Continue reading]