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  • How I became a FitFluential Ambassador...

    Last summer, while we were on vacation, I came across a twitter message indicating a deadline was coming up for the FitFluential Ambassador program.  FitFluential is a nationwide group of people sharing their healthy lifestyle choices through social media.  These "FitFluential Ambassadors" would post motivational messages, exercise routines, goals, and healthy eating tips on Twitter.  Most of them have personal blogs where they expand on their fitness journeys.  I was hooked!

    At the time I was training for my first half marathon so it seemed like a great way to keep myself motivated and most importantly accountable.  Not sure that I would be what they were looking for I went ahead and applied.


    Little did I know, about six months later waiting in my inbox was an email welcoming me to the FitFluential Ambassador program!  I can not express how happy that email made me.  The idea of being a FitFluential Ambassador became a reality.  It meant that I now had a system in place to hold me accountable.  A system that would encourage me to continue to eat healthy and set new fitness goals.

    For the past few years, I've always been a "summer" runner.   While most runners were participating in races in January, February, March and April, those were the months I ran the least mileage because of our work schedule.  Now that I'm a FitFluential Ambassador I'm going to attempt to keep a regular exercise program during the months of January, February and March.  Even if it's only two runs a week, that will be my goal.  I'm hoping that if I stay active enough, I could run the Athleta Iron Girl half marathon in April.


    FitFluential has always been an encouraging forum.   Check out their FitFluential Enthusiasts program.  If you are passionate about fitness but don't have a blog, this is a great way to get involved.  You will also qualify for special discounts and giveaways that are only available to the FitFluential family.  Also, by following @FitFluential on twitter, you'll get great advice, tips and that extra encouragement you need whether you are starting a new fitness program or you are a pro.


    Have you ever heard of FitFluential?

    What are your fitness goals for 2013?



  • We now return to our regularly schedule programming...

    A lot has been going on this week.  I'll start at the Wildhorse Xterra 1/2 marathon on November 4th.  This summer I decided to run a 1/2 marathon before 2012 was over.  The decision to run a 1/2 marathon was something I've been debating over a couple of years.  As October was coming to an end, I felt ready.  The question then became will it be a road or a trail 1/2 marathon.  Thanks to other bloggers such as Heidi  and Steph who encouraged me to go for it, I signed up for my first ever 1/2 marathon.  It just happened to be an Xterra trail race.

    I also took the opportunity to bring our Parkesdale Market goodies for the runners.  We set up a table with our yummy, moist Strawberry Bread.  We offered our Amish Granola as a pre-race snack.  But the winner had to be our freshly squeezed 100% Florida orange juice as a post-race refreshment.  The runners went through all of our orange juice in minutes!  Note to self, bring more orange juice next time!

    This race was definitively a lot more intense that any other race I've done before, and it was totally worth it.  The race began at the Keith Waller Park on Sydney Dover in Sydney.  From there we ran through the woods to the Sydney Dover Park on 60.  That's where things got a bit tricky.  The trails became single track up and down steep hills where you basically had to walk.  I think the second time around it, I was more comfortable and picked up a bit of speed.  Unfortunately I forgot my garmin that morning so I was that runner who kept asking "how much farther?"


    As the saying goes, the race organizers definitively left the best for last.  In the last mile of the race, there was a hill with a rope for you to hang on while climbing.  Yes, we do have some hills here in Florida.  It was tough.  But I knew there were a lot of people counting on me to finish.  Getting to that finish line was gonna happen one way or another.  My mantra became "I may not be the fastest one here today, but I'm sure faster than those that didn't show up".

    As a person who runs on pavement 100% of the time, being in the woods was such a nice change of pace from all the sidewalk and pavement races I've done in the past.  So, if you are looking for a challenge, check them out!


    While my time for completing the 1/2 marathon was longer than I expected, I was pretty happy with being 4th in my "age group".  Meeting my family at the finish line was definitively an awesome experience.  They've all helped me accomplish my goal in one way or another and without them I could not have completed it.

  • Parkesdale Farm Market Joins Tampa Races

    As some of you may know, so far this year I’ve participated in a triathlon, a 10k and a 15k.  My fitness goals for this year included completing a triathlon and possibly running my first ½ Marathon.  After running the 15k, I felt very confident I could do a ½ Marathon.

    Originally, there were two events I was looking at for my first ½ Marathon: Blue Moon and Women’s St. Pete.  After reading Heidi’s post about the Xterra trail runs series, I remembered how much I enjoyed riding my mountain bike at Oleta State Park and Quiet Waters Park in South Florida.  While searching online, I found the Tampa Races website. As luck would have it, the  Xterra Wildhorse Race is scheduled for the same day as the Blue Moon 1/2 Marathon.  Aside from my love of mountain biking in trails, what makes this Event even better, is that it is literally in my backyard.  I’ve driven by Sydney Dover Park so many times and have yet to venture there.


    I contacted the race organizers about a sponsorship and even though it was so late they were willing to include us as a Sponsor.  We of course bribed them with our goodies, so how can you blame them!  Did I tell you we were bringing our Famous Strawberry Bread?  That may or may not have been the deciding factor. :)  The race organizers are very proud of their post race festivities which include a pancake breakfast, DJ, and giveaways.  To sweeten the deal, we promised to bring our Parkesdale Strawberry Syrup made with local Plant City strawberries!

    At this time, I have not decided which distance to run.  It will either be a 10M or the ½ Marathon.  I'm really leaning towards the 1/2 marathon.  Registration closes on November 1st, but there will be Race Day Registration available at the race on November 4th.  For more information on this event, please check out the organizer’s website.


    Have you ever participated in a trail run?

    What's your favorite distance to run?

    Have you tried our Strawberry Bread or Strawberry Syrup?

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