Tag Archives: Black Girls Run

Return to Boot Camp

31 Jan

bootcamp picFor the past few months, I’ve been doing a lot of walking and jumping on my trampoline. However, I was longing to return to a boot camp class. Before my son was born, I was a very committed boot camper. I loved the challenge and even continued boot camp through a good portion of my pregnancy. Though it was very hard in the beginning, I felt stronger than ever at that time. Boot camp also made my running stronger. In fact, I had my best 5k time when I was a boot camper and 4 months pregnant. So, I tried to return to boot camp, but many times the schedules didn’t work, the locations were not close enough to my home or they were just too expensive.

Well, a few weeks ago, I saw a LivingSocial coupon for Power Trip Fitness.  You could get three months of unlimited boot camp for $75. This was a great deal since many boot camps are often hundreds of dollars.  Also, they had a lot of classes on the schedule and the location was only about 10 minutes away.  So, I went for it and started a couple of weeks ago.

The first day, I was so scared.  I pictured myself passing out during my first workout like you often see­­­­ contestants of the Biggest Loser show do during the infamous first workout. I had to quickly change that picture and remind myself that I did it before and I can do it again.  And, guess what? I survived.  Yes, it wasn’t easy getting reacquainted with kettle bells, squats, lunges, push-ups, planks etcetera, but I felt great afterwards.  Well, the day after, I did feel some aches and pains in muscles that I did not know existed, but I know it’s good pain that will make me stronger and healthier. No pain. No gain. Right?

So, if you have been considering a boot camp, yoga or even a pole dancing class (like the one that Mary took here), take advantage of some of the discounts found through sites like Groupon and LivingSocial.  It can be a great opportunity to try something new and have fun.  Go for it!

Midweek Motivation

28 Nov

A friend of mine posted this video on facebook a few days ago. I thought that it was pretty darn inspiring. Against all odds, he did what doctors said he couldn’t do.  We may never experience anything quite like this, but we all have our own mountains to climb.

I hope that you enjoy it.


Please remember to share the inspiration with everyone around you.

Running Like a Mother

20 Aug

We all know that being a mom is one of the most challenging jobs on earth (whether we have a partner or not).  As parents, we each wear many hats.  We’re the cook, the doctor, the chauffeur, the therapist and more.  We do whatever it takes to make sure the kids are taken care of.  But, what about us? I really believe that I have to take care of myself in order to give my son the best of me.  I need to be healthy, strong and full of energy.  So, I choose running.  At times, it can be a challenge to get up, get dressed and go for a run.  Now, let’s add a baby to the equation and it can become a whole new experience.

Getting started with a cranky baby

A while back I bought a jogging stroller.  I knew that I wouldn’t always have someone to watch the little guy while I ran.   So, I had to be prepared.   For a while, I drooled over the BOB:  the Cadillac of strollers.  You know, the way some of you might drool over that new Marc Jacobs handbag.  I thought, maybe, I could find one cheaper on Craigslist, eBay or at a consignment store.  No such luck. They were still out of my price range.  It seemed like everyone I saw around Lake Merritt had one.  I started to get annoyed when I saw people just walking with their BOB.  I thought, “They’re not even using it the right way.”

The geese cheered us on

Luckily, I got over my BOB envy.  I did some research to find something basic to meet my needs.  I think that when you’re looking for a jogging stroller, you just have to figure out what you really need.  You can start to figure this out by looking at the type of terrain you run on, how long you run and how often you run. From there, you can decide whether or not you really need that cup holder or mp3 hookup.  I usually only run about 3 miles, three times a week.  I only run more if I’m training for an event.  So, I decided that the $99 Target stroller would work just fine for me.  I hope.

Water stop

The time for me to run with my son finally came last week. After a few months of dealing with an injury and other life issues, I had to get back in the game. So, I did sort of a run/walk the first day with my 2-year-old in tow. One of the first things that I noticed was that it felt a little weird not to have my full arm motion. At times, I could push the stroller with one arm but it still wasn’t quite the same. I decided that I’ll just have to get used to it.

Final stretch

So, being a mom has changed my life and my run. It’s so easy to come up with all kinds of excuses not to run these days. However, I just feel so much better when I decide to run past those excuses. One day, I would love to be like the mom that I saw running with her baby in the rain. The rain could have easily been an excuse for her not to get that run in, but she ran anyway. As moms, we may not always be in the best situation and we could get a little wet in the process, but we can do it.

It’s important to stretch

Post run chase:)

So, I’ll keep you posted on how this stroller running goes. Please feel free to share any tips you have on running with the little ones. So far, my little one loves it. He says, “Go faster Mommy!”

Midweek Motivation

15 Aug

You’ve made it this far.  Let’s not give up now.  Here’s a little motivation to get you through the rest of the week.

You’ve already made it past the beginning of the week.  The rest of the week will be easy.

There are no limits.

You are a champion.

Say YES!

So, let’s keep it moving through the rest of the week and share the motivation!

See Jane Run 5K 2012

4 Jun

We had a great run/walk at the See Jane Run 5K in Alameda this past Sunday. This year the race benefited the Breast Cancer Fund.  The race began at Crown Memorial Beach at 8:45 am, and since Curtissa had an injured hip and Mary was recovering from a skin rash, we decided to walk most of the 5K today.

It was a great sisterly event today. Curtissa’s sister, niece, and niece’s bff, and Mary’s sister were at the event.

The Start: Curtissa, Mary, and Lisa

Curtissa taking off

Mary and Curtissa getting their run on

 Curtissa and her son, Zafir

Look! The margarita girls!

Mary and her sister, Sharon @ 5K turnaround

Curtissa @ 5K turnaround

Interesting green energy drink….

Look! Ladies in Tutus!

Curtissa’s niece racing through the finish!

Curtissa big finish!

Curtissa and Larissa with finisher’s medals

Sharon and Mary @ the finish line

Mary and Curtissa finished!

It was tons of fun with lots of vendors and free stuff. We highly recommend the See Jane Run Race series, and please come out to our next race on July 29th at the Wipro SF half-marathon or check back for a recap!

Take care and keep running!

Mary and Curtissa

Bay to Breakers 2012

23 May

So, I lost my virginity on the streets of San Francisco on Sunday.

It was my “first time” participating in Bay to Breakers. Initially, I was a little bummed, because bursitis in my hip prevented me from running.  However, I soon realized that walking is really the better way to experience Bay to Breakers.

I was also a little bummed, because Mary couldn’t walk with me. In addition, no one in my bay area Black Girls Run group was planning to walk.  So, I sent a message to a member of the Sacramento Black Girls Run group. It turned out that they had a few women who planned to walk.  So, I ended up meeting them in San Francisco.  I spent most of my day with Vena since she was in the same corral as me.  She was awesome.  We had a great time getting to know each other and checking out all of the sights and sounds of the race.

The women of Black Girls Run-Sacramento with me on the far right (They made their own tutus)

With my walking buddy, Vena

Before the race, we stood in a corral with hundreds of other people. Tortillas were flying all over the place. Yes.  I was smacked in the face by a few.  It didn’t take long for me to become an expert tortilla tosser myself.

Around the same time, we started to spot random naked people.  I decided not to include those pic-lol!

Near the start line

Once we started walking, it was like one big giant block party.  There was music coming from everywhere.  New Orleans has Mardi Gras.  San Francisco has Bay to Breakers.  I even got some beads.  No! I didn’t do anything to earn them, but I’m sure that some people did.

I also happened to see one of my former co-workers and her partner be chased by a bull.  Or, was she chasing the bull?

At around 2 miles we saw the hill.  Yikes!  I was a little nervous, but it really was not bad at all.  We rocked it! Very slowly.

Along the way, we saw rainbows with clouds made from white balloons, cone heads, bananas, swamp people, ladybugs, tetris, the golden gate bridge and more. Unfortunately, my camera is broken and my sorry phone died half way through the race.  I did capture a few pics though.

Wind Things

Pink Haired Beauties

Little Napoleon Dynamite Characters

Mario Brothers

The Bride

In the end, I had a PR (pace record).  Okay, it was for my slowest pace ever!!!  But, sometimes, you just have to have fun and forget about how fast you’re going.

I must say that this is the first race that I didn’t run or walk.  I pretty much sashayed down the course, but it was fun.

I came.  I saw.  I FINISHED!

My bling

At the finish line with the girls

2012 Oakland Running Festival!

26 Mar

We were reppin’ Oaktown in the 5k race on Sunday, March 25.

The races started and finished at Snow Park!

According to the forecast, it was supposed to be a rainy running day, but somehow the spirit and energy in Oakland defied nature’s plan and the sun even made an appearance.

It was great to see over 7,000 runners and supporters come out to this fun and positive community event, shining light on all the good things and dynamic neighborhoods in Oakland. There were 1400 runners in the 5K, 4000 runners in the half-marathon, and 1900 runners in the full marathon.

Mayor Jean Quan and the Oakland Raiderettes were at the Start/Finish Line cheering for the runners.

5K is about to begin….

The 5K route

Us cheesin’ before the race begins

Curtissa was happy to run into her former co-worker Meredith.  Meredith is an avid runner who also happens to be a TriSports Champion.

After the race, we got free massages and mimosas!

 After our 9:00 am drink and running buzz, we decided to cheer on the half and full marathon runners. We saw some of our old co-workers finishing up their races, women from the Black Girls Run group, runners in costumes like the birds and the bees, a panda, and Endorphin Dude. There were also sweet moments watching couples holding hands as they crossed the finish line.

After an hour and half of cheering it was time to check out the Food trucks.  Mmm…chicken tikka masala burrito….

And look who was in front of us in the food truck line!? So, we had to get our picture taken with our mayor, Jean Quan.

It was a great event for Oakland. We believe it really brought people together to support and represent the healthy, supportive, and collaborative community that we have in this town. We are proud to call Oakland our home.  Also, we must say that the organizers of this event did an excellent job.  So, we highly recommend  that you check out next year’s Running Festival.  We’ll be there.

Also, don’t forget to follow us and check out our next race on May 20, Bay to Breakers in San Francisco!

Happy Running!

~Mary and Curtissa

Meet Mama Lisa

17 Mar

Recently, I attended a running Q & A clinic at the home of Lisa Felder.  She’s known to many as “Mama Lisa.” Everyone in my running group, Black Girls Run- San Francisco Bay Area, was invited.  I have to admit that I had no idea who this woman was when I received the invitation. However, judging by all the positive comments from the group, I needed to be there. Well, I’m very grateful that I had the opportunity to meet Mama Lisa and hear what she had to say about running.

Mama Lisa’s ceiling of  hanging finisher medals

Mama Lisa is an extraordinary woman.  She is a veteran runner who has not only finished over a 110 marathons, she has finished over 40 ultramarathons as well.  She is also a Team-In-Training coach in the East Bay who has trained many novice runners over the years.

Mama Lisa explaining some ways to help relieve foot pain.

One of the first things that Mama Lisa shared was that she had never seen so many black women get together to run. So, she was very impressed by the group and she wanted to open up her home and share her knowledge.  She shared all kinds of advice about how to train, how to fuel up, how to hydrate, and how to care for ourselves during endurance runs.

She also shared that she was 260 pounds when she first started running. She was just walking around a soccer field one day and someone asked her if she would be interested in learning to run. So, she decided to try it.  I really connected with her when I found that out.

When someone told me that I could run a few years ago, I decided to try it too. Her advice to new runners and those interested in running was, “Have confidence in everything you do. Just try it, because taking chances builds confidence.”  It’s so true.  There was a time in my life when I thought that running was impossible for me. It wasn’t until I took a chance and tried it that my confidence began to grow.

Mama Lisa’s is very inspiring.  Listening to her definitely made me think of John Bingham’s quote, “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”  Oh, and did I mention that this woman is in her 60’s and still running strong?  I want to be like her when I grow up.

A gift from Mama Lisa (A gold pin with a woman in a running pose)

Here are some of Mama Lisa’s tips:

  • Eat five small meals a day, rather than three larger meals.  Eat healthy snacks, like fruit and almonds.
  • Keep a first aid kit in your car.
  • Keep a plastic container in your car filled with things that you might need.  Some suggestions are a change of clothes, hat, sunscreen, electrolytes, snacks, rock tape, water…
  • Only wear your running shoes for running.  Don’t wear them to exercise classes or to run errands.
  • If you find that you have foot pain, like plantar fasciitis, you may use rock tape to help relieve the pain.  There are many videos on You Tube that help you learn how to use the tape.
  • Weigh yourself before and after long training runs to see how much water your body may be losing during the run.  If you lose a lot of weight, you may not be drinking enough water.  If you gain weight, you may be drinking too much water.  If you’re the same weight, you’re probably right on track. Also, a lot of salt on your face after a run may indicate that you’re not drinking enough water.
  • Plan when you will drink water, drink sports drinks and take gels. Taking a gel at the same time as a sports drink or without any liquid may not be tolerated well by the body.
  • Wear an I.D. bracelet just in case there is an emergency.
  • Listen to your body and stay focused during your run.
  • Run at your own pace.

For more information about the Black Girls Run movement or to find your local group, please CLICK HERE.


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