Blog

By Toni Carey (@toni_carey/@blackgirlsrun)

*SPONSORED POST*

If you read the blog regularly or you follow me on social media, you know that for the past year and a half, I’ve really cleaned up the way I eat! As I continued to uncover food intolerances that were making it impossible to function like a normal person, I started to take better inventory of everything I put on and in my body. From switching to natural deodorants and making my own body butters, to opting to homeopathic remedies to treat the occasional cough or cold. And while, there’s still other things that I haven’t quite tackled yet, I’m committed to reading labels and make sure that I’m making the best choices for my body and health from the inside out.

When I heard about Metamucil Free, I was excited to see more and more companies take steps to offer products and solutions for people like me….people who read the labels and who want products free of artificial ingredients or additives.

Metamucil Free is free of artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors or gluten. It works naturally with your body by forming a gel that bulks, retains water, and softens the stool, making your poop experience gentler and easier.*

Also……

  • There are no artificial ingredients and additives
  • It contains only two ingredients: 100% natural psyllium and real sugar
  • It is free from milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat or soybeans (most major allergens and/or causes of intolerances)
  • Provides 100% natural psyllium fiber

Metamucil Free also helps curb your cravings between meals and promotes digestive health* (perfect for the times when it’s hard for me to “go”). Since it’s flavor free, it can be added into freshly pressed juices, smoothies or water. It’s also an easy way to get your daily fiber intake.

I can’t wait to share more “free” products with you as we all become a little more conscious about making good choices on the inside and out.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

I'm a sponsored Meta Influencer, but all opinions are my own. Meta partnered with bloggers, such as me, to get the word out about its great product benefits. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. Meta believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Meta’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

 

Hey ladies Hey!

Sweat With Your Sole 5k l 10k Race x Conference is the 5th annual race and conference weekend hosted by Black Girls RUN! This annual event has quickly grown into a highly anticipated healthy living event. Our combination of conference and race delivers the perfect balance of a mental and physical journey, and it's a completely memorable experience!

We would love for each of to join us for this years conference. 

May 31 is the last day to get early bird registration for this year’s Sweat with your Sole Conference x Race. That means you only have 14 more days to take advantage of the reduced pricing options.

Just like last year, we have a host of health, wellness, and fitness professionals who are committed to opening your mind and challenging your body.

Also, ladies don’t forget the payment plan is still available. Remember, the payment plan allows you to break up your registration into 5 equal monthly installments. You pay $50 down today, and we divide the balance over 5 months and invoice you for equal payments every month.  

Visit: www.sweatwithyoursole.com to learn more and REGISTER!

WOMEN – AN ESSENTIAL AND BOLD FORCE OF NATURE

By: LaTamera Woodley

REI reinforces empowerment and inclusion with their Force of Nature Campaign. One word best describes this movement, empowerment. Recognizing women have power to be free and explore their adventurous side. This campaign applauds the fact that women are a force of nature to be admired and celebrated. It promotes freedom of choice and encourages women to get outside and play.

Women are powerful beings. We have always had to fight for that power, to gain it, maintain it, and are constantly walking a fine line between being feminine and negatively typecast for having that power.  Now is the time to break free from the stereotypes and enjoy all that life has to offer. Explore that cave you have been wondering about, hike that mountain you have posted on your vision board. Go out and play in the mud! It is a great way to destress and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

Beginning Saturday, May 6th, REI will kick off their campaign with over 1,000 events nationwide designed specifically for women.  Great events such as intro to backpacking, hiking, trail running, bike maintenance, and camping.  

With this campaign and the many intro classes offered, I am looking forward to taking my first adult camping trip complete with tent, sleeping bag, and cooking dinner over an open fire.  Anxious to hear water flow downstream as I fall asleep under the stars. Smiling at the thought of hot coffee percolating over the fire pit and taking that first sip from my blue and white speckled mug.

I’m looking forward to going on fishing trips, boating, swimming, and learning to canoe down an open river. Sitting idle in the middle of the lake letting the breeze sweep over my face and through my naturally curly hair. Looking forward to the sun shining down with early morning kisses just to wake you for another day of hiking, rock climbing, or yoga on the mountain top.

Anticipating opportunities to meeting new and adventurous ladies in their late to early 40s and beyond who know what it means to be fearful yet continue to press towards the things they fear the most, enjoying life, making memories, and absorbing all mother nature has to offer in the great and beautiful outdoors.  

REI has me excited about the new Force of Nature power movement! Women ROCK! Our time has come. The adventure scene is long overdue for a revamp in status quo, myths, and norms.  It’s time for a new chapter and new face on the outdoorsman –woman -person!  

 

About LaTamera Woodley
LaTamera has been an active member of Black Girls Run for over 5 years. She currently serves as co-ambassador in Nashville, TN.  She completed her first half marathon within 6 months of joining BGR! Began trail running in August 2016 and ran her first full marathon November 2016.  

REI Launches "Force Of Nature" Putting Women Front and Center 

Attend a Force of Nature Event In Your City on May 6

This year REI commissioned a national study and the results showed that more than 85% of all women surveyed believe the outdoors positively affects mental health, physical health, happiness and overall well-being, and 70% reported that being outdoors is liberating.

 

However:

• 63% of women said they could not think of an outdoor female role model
• 6 in 10 women say that men’s interests in outdoor activities are taken more seriously than women’s

 

From gear to experiences and from nonprofit partnerships to powerful women-first storytelling, Force of Nature aims to ensure that women are just as inspired and equipped as men to embrace life outside.

Force of Nature features four components: a comprehensive effort to change the male-dominated imagery of people in the outdoors; a $1 million commitment in 2017 to support nonprofits that create opportunities for women in the outdoors; a stepped-up effort to develop and offer high-quality technical gear and apparel for women; and the launch of over 1,000 events designed for women, beginning May 6.

Since late March, REI opened registration to hundreds of REI Outdoor School classes and experiences across the country designed for women.
On May 6, the co-op will offer a full day of Force of Nature experiences and programs hosted by its Outdoor School’s expert instructors and community partners. These events will continue throughout the summer, with more than 1,000 events, many of them happening weekly on “Force Wednesdays” in select markets. 

As REI is our Official National Outdoor Retailer, on May 6, we're asking all BGR! members to attend a Force of Nature event in your city! 

Also, be sure to check out their special-edition bandana and gear. They're donating 72% of the proceeds to nonprofits helping women and girls get outside.

Why the oddly specific number? Because in a recent national survey, 72% of women said that when they're outdoors they feel liberated and free.

See you on May 6! 

What I'm Wearing Now
prAna: Organic Cotton & Hemp

By Toni Carey
(@toni_carey/@officialblackgirlsrun)

Photos by: @krisdcarey

*SPONSORED POST*

(Wearing: prAna Liana Sweater & prAna Annexi Pant)

If I'm not in running clothes, you can usually find me lounging around in yoga wear as I'll soon be adding "yoga instructor" to my long list of titles. As I make small changes in my lifestyle, little by little, I try my hardest to purchase products and brands that are environmentally sustainable to minimize my ecological footprint. Not only that, I've made it a priority for our family to become "minimalist," and I've managed to pare down my wardrobe quite a bit. 

While I still love clothes (and buying them), now I look for pieces that can play double duty purchasing brands that use organic materials and items that go from play to work. 

 

prAna is one of those brands. prAna offers sustainable, recycled, fair trade certified and hemp items. Not only that, but prAna prioritizes to give back to communities around the world.

 

 

prAna designs clothes that look good (obvi), but are versatile enough for any lifestyle and any adventure. There's no need to worry about packing an extra set of clothing for yoga if I need to head to a meeting or go grocery shopping afterwards. All of its designers create and test all of prAna's clothing based on their own love for outdoor activities. 

 

(Wearing: prAna Liana Sweater & prAna Annexi Pant) 

I love, love, love the Liana sweater and Annexi pant. Both are great for days I want to be a little more "put together," but still comfortable. The sweater will be in heavy rotation as a post yoga coverup! And I'm planning to wear the pants a little bit more dressed up with pumps and an off-the-shoulder top for evenings frolicking around D.C. 

(Wearing: prAna Liana Sweater & prAna Annexi Pant)

But maybe even more importantly, while prAna makes clothes to accommodate any adventure, the items are first and foremost mindfully made in order to support fair trade and sustainable practices. prAna actually has only one core belief and that is to give back more than they take from the world.

More than ever, we need to continue to find ways to spread positivity in our country. One way to do that is to make sure every purchase you make and every gift you give has a positive impact on our planet.  

That's why pRana is giving you a super special discount! Now through May 19, save 15% off your purchase at prAna.com. Simply use discount code MHMS17TC during checkout

I'm a sponsored prAna Influencer, but all opinions are my own. prAna partnered with bloggers, such as me, to get the word out about its great products. As part of this program, I received apparel featured to review. prAna's policies align with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

What happens when love ends and madness begins? We’ve all been there, right? One of the best ways to deal the end of a relationship and the stress that comes with it is getting out for a run. That’s exactly what we’re doing as we lace up our shoes and run to the theaters for Warner Bros. Pictures upcoming movie release, “Unforgettable.” 
In the film, Tessa Connover (Katherine Heigl) is barely coping with the end of her marriage when her ex-husband, David (Geoff Stults), becomes happily engaged to Julia Banks (Rosario Dawson). Trying to settle into her new role as a wife and a stepmother, Julia believes she has finally met the man of her dreams but Tessa’s jealousy soon takes a turn and she will stop at nothing to turn Julia’s dream into her ultimate nightmare. 
This thriller will keep you on your toes with it’s plot twists. Grab your girlfriend and make a afternoon out of running to your closest theater and checking out “Unforgettable” when it opens Friday, April 21

 Monday Inspiration: Dent the Universe

By Toni Carey
(@toni_carey/@blackgirlsrun)

I am not a morning person. Never have been. Trust me, I've tried, but my attempts to take advantage of the pre-dawn hours (whether to run or get in some quiet time), have usually resulted in me being a chronic snooze button pusher. I tried.....and I more often than not, failed.

This morning I was scrolling through Instagram and I came across a post by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson." 

Seems crazy but the only "quiet time" I have to get my work done before I go workout and then go to work is between 3-5am daily. Like most of us, once I start my day and walk out my door, life becomes extremely busy and loud. 3-5am quiet work time is one of my anchors. You may have to step out of your comfort zone to find your anchor like this, but it becomes a powerful tool once you do. Plus, it also helps us make focused smart decisions and helps us block out the noise we all deal with on a daily basis. It's crazy, but remember the crazy ones often dent the universe;). Let our denting commence. #FindYourAnchor⚓️ (luv coming downstairs at this hour and our Frenchie, Hobbs looks at me like "what in theeeee f*ck is wrong with you)

A post shared by therock (@therock) on

 

First of all, I'm totally feeling his Frenchie's, Hobbs, reaction. 3 a.m.??? What, the what??

But after letting his words of wisdom sink in, there's a few things I walked away with:

You may have to step out of your comfort zone to find your anchor
Running has always been my anchor and it most certainly took me out of my comfort zone in the beginning. Wait, what am I saying?? It CONTINUES to take me out of my comfort zone. 

But, it was the thing that helped me sort through break-ups, disappointments, losing jobs and general life changes. I could ALWAYS go back to running to give me the peace and space to reflect, re-group and catch a second wind to jump back on the proverbial horse.  What is your anchor?? What can you ALWAYS come back to?

You Need to Create Space to Block Out the Noise
These days there is SO MUCH NOISE. From social media, to the news, heck, even our circle of family and friends creates noise. It's hard to be in tune with that little voice inside you (your intuition) or to think clearly when there's literally so much chaos going on around you. Unfortunately, we can't just pack up our stuff and head to the mountains to leave it all behind, but we can give ourselves the space to find quiet, whether that be during a run or with meditation. As the rock says, " [space[ helps us make focused smart decisions and helps us block out the noise we all deal with on a daily basis.

 

Dent the Universe
Ya'll know I'm rebel so I was all over this "dent the universe" quote. I was like "YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

"Without getting too deep, the only way to improve this world is by going against the grain. I mean, this is so true and relevant for SO many things! But, specifically, when it comes to health and wellness in the black community, it takes all of our collective actions......many, many dents in the universe..... for us to see generational change in our communities' health AND the way we think and approach health and wellness. By you just reading this blog post, starting and/or continuing your running journey....YOU ARE DENTING THE UNIVERSE. You are literally telling the universe, "Hey! I see you. I hear you. But, I'm deciding that I want a different outcome for my future and for future generations!" How powerful is that!! 

There's a reason why The Rock is so successful. He's busy denting the universe! And guess what. I want to be successful too. Instead of continuing to tell myself I'm not a morning person, I'm going to continue to live outside of my comfort zone and find ways to dent the universe too! It may look/sound crazy and even if I fail.....multiple times, it's worth the effort. Each attempt just makes the dent bigger and bigger. 

Running Around the Caribbean with Black Girls RUN!

By Toni Carey (@toni_carey/@blackgirlsrun)

It's only February and we just came back to work from a huge reset. Our annual BGR! Cruise with Run For Fun Cruise Tours.

Now, you may think there's no way that a running cruise could possibly be relaxing or the ideal way of resetting, but we beg to differ. In fact, I think it's the perfect blend of keeping up my fitness, while scoring some ultimate "me time".

But, before I dive into why this particular trip was so awesome for me personally, let me share a little bit of background for those of you who have been sleeping on the BGR! Cruise.

Ashley and I love to travel. In fact, besides running, it's one of the things we do best. Particularly, if that said travel has anything to do with warm weather and sunshine.  A few years ago, we began to wonder if there was any way to merge the two things we loved most....travel and running....and give our members an opportunity to run in some of the most beautiful and exotic places in the world. It wasn't long before we found Run For Fun Cruise Tours (or rather they found us), and they made our running dreams come true.

Last year we went on our first BGR! Cruise with Run For Fun Cruise Tours and we had an amazing time. It was very clear to us that this was something we wanted to continue to do. Fast forward to our most recent BGR! Cruise aboard the Norwegian Getaway, and we're already looking forward to 2018.  

It's hard to say what the best part of cruising with BGR! and the Run For Fun Cruise Tours is. I'm not just saying that because, I'm the co-founder of BGR!, but truly this trip is something special. 

Here's a few things that stand out:

Run For Fun Cruise Tours Treats You Like Family

PROS: Like, literally that's their tagline. "Let Our Family Take Care of Your Family". I remember when the owner of the company said that to me and I definitely gave him a eye roll over the phone. I remember hanging up thinking, "This sounds like such a gimmick. I'm not sure what we're getting ourselves into." 

But let me tell you, it's true. From booking the trip to the last day on the ship, there's a personal touch that is so nostalgic that it DOES seem a little hokey, but the RFFC team is SO genuine and sincere.

When you book the trip, Craig & Kim (Craig's wife), literally adopt you as family. I never had any questions or any worries about the trip. And every day that I saw the duo on the ship, they checked in and made sure everything was okay. Even as I'm writing this, it's hard to explain and I'm really not giving it justice. Just think of when you were younger and your parents did all the work of planning an amazing trip and each day left you sleeping with a happy grin on your face....this is what it feels like.

CONS: For the most part booking a cruise is way different than booking a resort, hotel and/or flights. The good news is that Kim takes care of it all for you. The bad news? You actually have to pick up the phone to talk to her. For someone like me that's used to making things happen with a click of a button (and who also hates to plan travel), it can be kind of annoying to have to pick up the phone and discuss cabin and pricing options. Not the worst thing, but it does feel a little....different.  

 

 You Can Run As Much or As Little As You Like

PROS: If you decide to run each day or once during the week, it's totally up to you. There's no group think pressure to complete each run, which really takes the pressure out of things. Also, YOU CAN WALK!!!! Runs range from a few miles to a 5K, so we're not talking about anything too intense. Just want to relax on the beach all day or explore the port? You're free to do that as well! 

CONS: Time is of the essence. Because the group needs to be some of the first passengers off of the boat to take advantage of the entire day, call times can be pretty early (according to typical vacation standards), and there can be a lot of hurry up and waiting. (Keep in mind there are literally thousands of people trying to get off of the boat at the same time, so patience is absolutely necessary). Most days we met at 7 a.m. for a daily briefing with time to grab breakfast and slather on sunscreen before we actually got off the boat. 

 

 You Will Experience Runs Like None Other

PROS: From running through the streets of Jamaica to trail running through the jungles of Honduras, one thing is guaranteed, you'll never experience any type of running event like this anywhere else. I'll put money on that.

One of my favorite runs from this year's cruise was a 3 mile trail/adventure run in Roaton, Honduras through the jungle. There were obstacles along the way (mud pits, climbing wall, tires, etc.) with two difficulty level options. One, the extreme (which I did) was a 1/2 mile trail that you had to ascend using ropes. The other, not so extreme route was a very, very tall hill. 

Challenging? Most certainly. Rewarding? Absolutely. 

 

 

CONS: Although Craig and his team prep you as much as possible for what lay ahead before you sail, you still never know what you're in for. However, each run is totally accessible to all fitness levels. Keep in mind these are FUN RUNS. There's no official timing or race cut off times. On the extreme route I chose in Honduras, a BGR! member and I stayed together until we made it to the summit of the hill (which had a beautiful vista of the island). She is 61 years old. So....you can totally do it.

Also, remember when I mentioned the whole "hurry up and wait" to get off the ship. That paired with transportation, might mean you are running in some pretty hot temps. However, hydration is never a problem and water was always available/accessible.

It's Family & Non-Runner Friendly

PROS: For hubster and I, it's one of our big trips of the year, but for next year we've invited our parents and Ashley is considering bringing her daughter Olivia next year.

If you're worried about riding solo, consider bringing your friends, family and/or sidepiece along. If they want to run, awesome! If not, Craig and his team provide helpful information to ensure they have a great time too! We're even hoping they offer a friends and family package next year to make it even easier for the non-runners to tag along on the running adventure (obviously without the running).

CONS:  No cons here. This trip is great for all ages and fitness abilities. 

There is SO much more that I could talk about, that I think I will write part 2 later this week. 

Ashley & I have already booked our trips for next year and would love to have you join us! 

2018 BGR! Cruise x Run For Fun Cruise Tours

Departure Date/Location:
Saturday, February 24, 2018
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Return Date/Location:
Saturday, March 3, 2018
San Juan, Puerto Rico

PORTS
St. Maarten
St. Kitts
St. Lucia
Antigua
Barbados
via Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas 
If you would like to reserve your cabin early, you can call Kim Newton toll free at the office 1-866-431-0130 on Tuesdays and Thursdays or from the home office at 1-905-387-3665...She can also be reached at knewton@runforfuncruise.com
You can also send in a request through the Pricing Info tab and they'll get back to you ASAP! (http://www.runforfuncruise.com/pricing-info.html)

YOU MUST TALK TO A REPRESENTATIVE TO GET SPECIFIC PRICING INFORMATION.

It's only $250 to reserve your room. Deposits are fully refundable through October.
Please note that the run package must be purchased separately.
Listen Now:

Who knows pushing boundaries better than Black Girls RUN! co-founders Toni Carey & Ashley Hicks-Rocha? They transformed the running industry and the state of black women’s health, now they’re sharing what they’ve learned to help all women take back their health and their lives in a candid (and comical) bi-weekly podcast called Pick Up the Pace. This engaging, relatable (and sometimes unpredictable) podcast will help women from all walks transform their lives from the inside out featuring weekly guests that will have everyone picking up the pace….or maybe even slowing it down.

The two chat about Toni's latest blog post, Be Authentically You, and the quote , "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."

 Resources mentioned in the podcast:

You can find Black Girls Run online at:

website: www.blackgirlsrun.com
instagram: www.instagram.com/officialblackgirlsrun
twitter: www.twitter.com/blackgirlsrun

You can find the hosts online at: 

Toni Carey
instagram: www.instagram.com/toni_carey
twitter: www.twitter.com/toni_carey

Ashley Hicks-Rocha
instagram: www.instagram.com/amhicks01
twitter: www.twitter.com/amhicks01

If you have questions or would like to suggest a show topic or guest, email us at info@blackgirlsrun.com.  

MONDAY INSPIRATION: 
BE IN CONTROL OF YOUR FUTURE

By Toni Carey
(@toni_carey/@blackgirlsrun)

By now, you know that we are huge fans of being intentional. We believe there's real power in our thoughts and words. But, we like to up the ante even more and write goals, desires, etc. down. Ashley is notorious for writing her goals down daily! EVERY DAY.

Sure, we can let greatness happen by chance, but let's face it. That's typically not the case. Some people are born with gifts or circumstances that do indeed make accomplishing certain goals easier than others, but for normal people like Ashley and me, it takes more than that. 

What I love about writing down your dreams and goals is that it lets the universe know that you are serious. Not writing it down only makes it a wish. How is it ever supposed to become tangible and achievable if it just stays a whisper in your soul? It's the equivalent of saying, "I think, I'm kinda serious about this goal." Now who could really take that seriously??

Even if you have no idea how to make it happen, or the odds seem a little bit against you, I would challenge you to write them down. Put it out there! 

One of my favorite quotes in Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist is, “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” 

And let me tell you, it's true.

As our first national Walk Before You Run training kicks off this week, I'm challenging each of the participants to write down their goals and continue to visit them throughout the training. And I want to challenge you to do the same.

If it's running a 5K.....write it down.

If it's losing weight......write it down.

If it's running a marathon.....write it down.

WRITE. IT DOWN.

 

 

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