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Registering for a race can seem like a big commitment, especially when you don’t feel like a seasoned runner. It's easy to forget that every race doesn’t have to be competitive. Think of some races as practice or just a fun run. I've learned that even though you may not have a PR (Personal Record) at every race, the important thing is to feel good about your performance and know that you got out there and did it! In over 14 years of running races, I've learned some important skills which have helped me start races with confidence and finish with a sense of accomplishment. I am often asked for my favorite tips, so I've put together a few of my best for you!

Have Your Playlist Ready

If you listen to music when running, be sure to have your playlist set and loaded before race morning. You already have things to do and it’s something that can easily be done in the days leading up to the race. Whatever device you’re using (phone, iPod, etc.) be sure it’s charged and on a do not disturb mode so you aren’t distracted or interrupted. It’s also important to not be flipping through songs or searching on the device while running. Just hit play and GO!

Don’t Try Out New Gear on Race Day (Do it Before)

If you’re in the market for some new gear, make sure to get it a few weeks before the race and test it out before. This is especially true for socks and shoes. If your feet start bothering you mid-race, it can really mess with your mind to get over the pain in each step. Wear shoes for a few runs at minimum before racing in them!

Fuel Before the Race

This one seems obvious but is so easy to overlook. In the days before your race, be extra aware of how much water you’re drinking because your body will hold onto some of that hydration and especially the day before, drink up! You’ll want to be sure to drink water the morning of, but don’t overdo it and feel the need for a bathroom break mid-run.

Your dinner the night before should be light to medium but carb heavy. It’s not the best idea to have just a salad because you’ll need those carbohydrates for energy! Choose the healthy carbs that are right for you and eat enough to feel full but not overstuffed. Also, steer away from acidic foods the night before and morning of because they can cause acid reflux to flare up.

Breakfast should be consumed at least an hour before the run to give time to digest, and something with healthy carbs and a small dose of protein will usually do the trick. I like either peanut butter toast or some banana and peanut butter! Maybe a bowl of granola is more your thing. It’s good to test out pre-race meals before you go on runs to see how you feel and what seems to sit well with you.

Get Some Rest

It's obvious that you should rest up the night before a race. Even if you aren't able to go to sleep early, just relaxing in bed or on the couch is helpful. I know as moms, our sleep schedule is all over the place so don't stress about anything you can't control. Have a goal to be in bed with enough time to get 8 hours of sleep if possible.

Don’t Look Around

Keep your eyes forward as you’re running and focus on what you’re doing. Constantly looking behind you or to your side can use up a lot of energy and also cause you to temporarily lose your footing. It’s good to focus on a runner ahead of you and have a goal to pace with or pass them, and then move onto the next, but don’t look back! If you aren’t shooting for a personal best time, then just focusing on the road ahead of you will help you keep your pace and finish strong.

Water Stations

Although you'll be thirsty by the time you hit a water station, resist the urge to gulp as you are certain to get a belly full of air. Instead, swish the water in your mouth and then swallow.

Have Fun

You are the only person that can get YOU up in the morning, lace up those running shoes and walk to the start line. Whether you feel nervous or excited, the number one thing to remember is that it’s all supposed to be fun! The pain you may feel during the race is temporary, it’s going to pass and when you’re done, you’ll be already thinking about the next one!

It’s fun to have fitness goals with numbers and times so you can really track your progress. So follow these tips and come up with your own tips that work for you to help shave off a few seconds or even minutes on your next race. See you at the starting line!

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When you have a baby, you’re forced to get to know not one, but three new people - your baby, yourself and your vagina. You’re holding a new stranger, your inner labia has fallen apart, and you feel like your old self died. Well, at least that’s how those of us with Postpartum Depression feel.

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Remember the days of Sunday Brunches and Bottomless Mimosas? Lunches where you ate sitting down and not over the sink? Dinners after 6pm and high heels and having time to chew your food? I don’t remember it either. But I am certain that when it happened it was a good time and that just because I have an adorable maniac toddler doesn’t mean I shouldn’t get to have those days again. Being a parent doesn’t have to mean adjusting your entire life to serve your children, it can also mean incorporating them into fun outings while YOU are being served by someone who is NOT you.

Here are the top 10 LA food and drink spots I believe to be the best at providing play for both our kids and for us.

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There are many misconceptions about what women should and shouldn’t be doing during their pregnancy and they have steered soon-to-be mamas in the wrong direction for basically, ever. Some of these myths include the green light to overindulge in calories because you’re “eating for two,” that listening to classical music will guarantee an Einstein baby and the worst of them all, the idea that exercise is bad for pregnancy.

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I went to my first Stroller Strides class on September 27, 2017. Jemma, my 6 month-old baby’s, nap time was right when the class started. I was terrified she was going to cry the whole time and all the moms would hate me and that I would be late and everyone would know each other and I would be the super weird intimidated “new mom” with leaky boobs and disheveled hair. All that stress just to love it so much that I signed up on the spot, eventually became an instructor and have come to class nearly every single day for … math is hard but my 6 month old is now 20 months old, so… for a long time.

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It probably comes as no surprise to learn that women experience greater levels of stress in comparison to men during the holidays. The hustle and bustle of this time of year usually results in women acting as event planners, organizers, gift hunters, bakers, and entertainers (to name a few), on top of already hectic work and family responsibilities.

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The average American generates 4.4 pounds of waste every day, and only about 1.5 of those pounds are even recycled or composted (EPA, 2016). The good news is, little adjustments can add up to big impacts.

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Candy. Who doesn’t love it? But maybe there's a way to avoid eating it ALL this Halloween season…

We asked your favorite instructors and here’s what they said:

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Back to school is around the corner and while you are making plans, don’t forget to take time for yourself and remember the goals you set at the beginning of the year. We’ve all heard the phrase “summer bodies are made in the winter”, but healthy bodies and mindsets can start at any time as long are you are ready to commit.

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Fourteen months ago I became a brand spanking new stay-at-home mom to my daughter Jemma. I’d love to be able to say that becoming a first time mom was an all around blissful experience but that wouldn’t be the entire truth. Being home those first few months with my newborn baby were disorienting, isolating, and terribly lonely. I didn’t feel like myself, I didn’t look like myself and there were days upon days where I didn’t speak to anyone other than my baby who couldn’t talk or to my dog who doesn’t speak English.

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It’s not just for runners anymore.

Ahhhh, the elusive runner’s high… We’ve all heard about it, but with only a small portion of self-proclaimed “runners” in the world, it may seem out of reach to most. So, is the runner’s high only for an exclusive club of very fit people? The answer is NO. The truth is, all it takes is a little push and some heart-pumping exercise. Chances are, you’ve already experienced it yourself!

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Unstoppable. This year I decided to do something new, and instead of writing out a list of resolutions, I chose a word. Unstoppable. If you asked me 22 months ago if unstoppable would ever be a word I would describe myself with, it would be a no.

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I don’t know about you ladies, but my husband and I have always liked to make the most of our days off. When we were both working and had different schedules, it was rare we had a day off together so we would try to fit as much into one day as we could. Now that I stay home, we both look forward to my husband’s days off for different reasons. He looks forward to a break from work and a chance to be with his son. I look forward to a break from MY work and the chance to relinquish some of the control of our son.

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The year I turned 30 was the same year I became pregnant with my first child. Before I turned 30 I would read those silly articles that said “30 Things You Realize by the Time You Turn 30” wondering if there was any truth to them. However, when I turned 30, I realized they were true! You know who your true friends are, you know what clothing items work best for you, etc. but overall you know yourself well enough to trust your instincts.

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There is a lot of buzz right now around Intuitive Eating. As someone who is normally skeptical of dieting and weight loss trends (looking at you Paleo, Keto, & Whole 30), this nutritional philosophy got my attention.