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2016: The Year of You

December 23, 2015

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The New Year is almost here and you can hardly walk into a grocery check-out line without the “New Year, New You” magazine headlines slapping you in the face. We get the message, and most of us don’t need to make a drastic change. When you’re a runner, you know it’s the small changes that count.

So for 2016, instead of trying to reinvent ourselves, we’d prefer to take it one decision at a time to work toward a goal. I know some of us are wondering ‘how we can become better runners?’. Well, we have a few ideas that we are hoping to try as well.

  • Believe in transformation. Last year, if you participated in a 5K run, step it up a notch in 2016 and try a 10K race. Not only will this force you out of your comfort zone, but maybe (if you keep on that training schedule), you’ll be ready to tackle a 15K like the Hot Chocolate race in Atlanta this January…woosah! Or a half marathon… or a marathon… there are so many BGR! members who started with their very first run and just kept at it, so don’t doubt yourself for a second. Take Bea's story for inspiration. One day she got all dolled up for a party, brought a poppin' purple dress, yet when she looked in the mirror she didn't like what she saw staring back. So Bea decided to do something about it! This could be YOU next year. 
  • When your body has something to say - listen and take action (before it MAKES you). This is really key to any runner’s success. When you’re training for a race, the goal is to reduce the risk of injury and stress while boosting your enjoyment of running. This is also why we strongly encourage ladies to WALKB4URUN...shout out to everyone who ran their first race last year! Point is, you don’t want to train so much that you break your body down.

Consider our recipe for relaxation before or after a big race.

    • Step one: Dry brush. With an all-natural bristle brush, brush your skin starting at your feet and move in long sweeping motions toward your heart.
    • Step two: Once you’ve brushed your entire body, hop in the tub for a long soak. Rejuvenate your skin while soothing tight muscles and sore feet with Village Naturals Therapy Aches + Pains Tension Relief .
    • Step three: After getting out of the tub, pat skin dry and apply Village Naturals Therapy Aches + Pains Muscle Relief Hand & Body Lotion. The best part is, Village Therapy is a BGR! sponsor… so love them extra when you need some relief. ;)
  • Go through your pantry, and say goodbye forever. The holidays will be over before you know it, and there will be no more excuses. Sugar is addictive. The more you eat, the more you want. So go cold turkey on sodas. Quit sweets forever, and move on to just one daily dark chocolate square. Bad eating habits have consequences, and if you’re a runner, you absolutely will feel the difference when you eat healthier. Consider creating a meal plan that includes healthy post-race foods like kale, avocado, nuts or quinoa. Also, there are tons of “runner-friendly” smoothie recipes online that you could experiment with. After messing around with a few ingredients, we actually created a protein smoothie that tastes just like yellow cake...yum!

These are just a few ideas to get you motivated and excited for this New Year! By making just a few intentional changes, you can find the you you’ve been searching for! She’s not new… she’s been there all along!

 

 

What better way to start 2016 than by getting off the pavement and running somewhere new! January 16th, we're partnering with REI to bring you the REI EXPLORER 5K/10K

This virtual run, we're doing something a little different- we are encouraging you guys to go outside your comfort zone and run someplace new - maybe even a national park! There are 407 national parks in the country, and we hope you use them to explore and be inspired (find the park closest to you here)! 2016 is also the 100 year anniversary of the National Park Service! So, we'll be donating a portion of your registration fee to the National Park Foundation. 

Register for the BGR! REI Explorer Run here!!

Christmas day is EIGHT days away! This holiday season has been crazy! So if you're like us and scrambling for a few last minute gift ideas, we've got you covered. These are our top five gift recommendations for runners!

1. Fitbit

You learn a lot about yourself when you have a Fitbit. They track calories, weight, water intake and exercise. It even tracks sleep patterns so you can try and figure out why you have a rough night's sleep! We love how the Fitbit adds a little glam to our running routine. And if you love fitness bling, check out the BGR! necklace (discounted today... the last day to order before the holiday!)

2. FlipBelt

Have you ever showed up to the starting line and realized you have your car keys in your hand and no stowaway pockets?? There's nothing more annoying than running with a key in your sports bra (it's cool, we've all done it!). Well, the FlipBelt solves the "what am I going to do with my keys and credit cards" problem! The FlipBelt has four pockets and a key hook to safely and comfortably store a key, phone and other essentials.

Looking for something a little bigger to hold dirty sneakers after a long race? The BGR! drawstring bag is the perfect post race/gym accessory! 

3. Moji Foot Massager

There's nothing like a relaxing foot massage after a long run! And if bae won't step in, the Moji foot massager will! This small, portable massager remains stable on the ground and allows you to really relieve and pain or tension. 

4. Safety Light

Daylight savings time ended about a month ago... which brought darker hours earlier on in the day. That's less time to run after work, which doesn't make it any easier to stick to a training sched. BUT if you take the right safety precautions, you can continue to run outside even if it is dark. Stay safe when running in the dark with this cute pink safety light!!

5. Gift Cards

Not sure what to give or ask for?? Gift cards are always a safe bet! 

For more great gift ideas, head over to REI.com and http://blackgirlsrun.com/collections/all!* 

*Psst... it's the LAST day to order from the BGR! store and receive your items before Christmas. Get your girl a stocking stuffer she'll love and use all year. 

If you're like us here at BGR! you definitely have that group of loyal running friends who get you through the struggles that only runners know about! You know, the friends who understand that running is not just a hobby...it’s a lifestyle! The friends who will literally wake up at the crack of dawn (in the freezing cold) to meet you at your favorite running spot. The friends who motivate you when you’re THIS close to giving up after a bad race day. Yeah, that friend. Whoever that is for you—hopefully this holiday season you’re planning to show them how much you appreciate them rocking with you! We’ve compiled a few unique, simple gift ideas for your BRFs (Best Running Friends). Enjoy!


The Weekend Runner

For the friends who enjoy that delightful Saturday morning run and like to soak their aches away in the tub after, give them a few bath bombs to experiment with. Bath bombs are hard-packed balls filled with essential oils, butters and scents that bursts when dropped into water. You can purchase them at any retailer, but at BGR! we’re DIY queens and prefer the homemade version (hey, it’s the thought that counts right?). Then, you can customize the bombs based on the colors, scents and shapes that your friends like. If you're really into it, order some takeout and invite your friends over for a weekend make-and-take party!

Here's one of our winter-themed recipes; it makes 2.5 eight ounce bath bombs. Gather your ingredients.


8 oz. of baking soda
4 oz. of citric acid
4 oz. of corn starch
4 oz. of Village Naturals Therapy Aches + Pains Tension Relief Foaming Bath Soak with Epsom Salt
¾ tsp. of water
2 tsp. of Village Naturals Therapy Aches + Pains Tension Relief Foaming Bath Oil
2.5 tsp. of peppermint oil
A few drops of food coloring
Round, plastic, snap together dome molds
Whisk
Bowl and cup for mixing

  
After you’ve gathered all of the materials needed, combine the dry ingredients into a big bowl and stir. Then, combine all of the wet ingredients into a cup and stir. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix them all together. The mixture will begin to clump together. That’s when you begin to pack your mixture into the molds. Press them together and let it dry. Then, boom! It’s done. Also, don’t forget to download the $1 off coupon for the Village Nayurals Therapy ingredients.

The Morning Runner
Many of the runners we know love to fuel their a.m. routine with a healthy smoothie (I mean, who isn’t into smoothie-making!). For your friend on the go, consider gifting them a BGR! U Tumbler. It’s a reusable two-tiered plastic cup that holds up to 16-oz of their favorite beverage, and comes with a screw-on lid and removable straw. You can even print out one of our favorite smoothie recipes and insert it into the cup for inspiration.


The Night Owl Runner
The winter months are here and as annoying as it is, the sky darkens close to 5pm in some areas. Protect your night owl friend by making sure they have everything possible to be seen in the darkness of winter running. Reflective gear is in, so think LED arm/leg bands and bracelets paired with our BGR! thermal running gloves to keep their hands toasty.

 

Hopefully, this gave you some fresh ideas to consider! Now, you'll only be stuck on what to buy your non-running friends!


What's In My Bag? Keeping Zen Through the Holidays

*Sponsored Post Disclosure Notice: These products were provided as a courtesy of RoC Skincare. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

By Toni Carey

@toni_carey

Every year, I manage to avoid the panic of the holidays, but this year seems crazier than most. Between work stress, every day stress and trying to maintain my fitness routine, the inevitable wind down to December 31 and ramp up to January 1 is coming quicker than I can keep up with. But, this year, I'm doing a little prepping and arming myself with a few things that I be carrying in my emergency decompress kit. 

 

Lavender Oil

I love, love, love, the smell of lavender. I have an aromatherapy diffuser that's constantly pumping out lavender, I use lavender detergent...you name it, it's lavender.  Not only does it smell amazing, it's no secret that is has super special relaxation properties. Add a bit to your temples when you're feelingoverwhelmed to bring you back down to zero. 

  

RoC Daily Resurfacing Disks

 Looks like I'll be adding just one more step to my a.m. routine. Winter tends to bring me super dull skin. RoC Daily Resurfacing Disks are a great way to brighten your skin! These self-foaming, dual-textured disks are infused with skin conditioners and are clinically shown to improve the appearance of skin in as little as one week, yet they’re gentle enough for everyday use.

 

Zero 7 "The Garden"

 This is one of my favorite albums of all time and I always have it cue'ed up during times of high stress (ie. traveling, working, etc.). 

 

 

 

  

Breathe2Relax App

 When all else fails, take time to breathe and relax. Women tend to be shallow breathers which doesn't help with anxiety or stress relief."Breathing exercises have been documented to decrease the body’s ‘fight-or-flight’ (stress) response, and help with mood stabilization, anger control, and anxiety management." This app takes you through a sequence of diaphragmatic breathing exercises to reduce your stress level. 



#RoCRetinolResolution

November 20, 2015

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*Sponsored Post Disclosure Notice: These products were provided as a courtesy of RoC Skincare. All thoughts and opinions are my own. *

RoC® is inviting all women to get a head start on 2016 by making a #RoCRetinolResolution now to look and feel her most beautiful this holiday season. Grab a confidant or accountability partner and make a resolution together.

What’s my #RoCRetinolResolution ? I, Ashley Hicks – Rocha, resolve to put my best face forward with RoC Retinol for this holiday season, and beyond.

How do I plan to do this? I’m committed to continuing to drink at least half my body weigh in water because staying hydrated is so important. According to Dr. Debra Jaliman, Board Certified New York Dermatologist, “Holiday parties may result in a few late nights, so it’s important to stay hydrated and use an eye cream to combat dark circles. I recommend RoC® RETINOL CORREXION® Eye Cream, which works immediately to smooth skin’s surface. Start now and with continued use you’ll notice a visible reduction in not only those dark circles, but also wrinkles around the eyes, crow’s feet and puffiness!”

I’m also committed to getting an average of seven hours a sleep a night. During the holiday season, my weekends get very busy, so there may be nights that I don’t much sleep and nights where I get more than enough.

Lastly, I’m committed to taking extra care of my skin, by staying on top of my skincare routine.

Dr. Jaliman suggests “You may apply more makeup than normal during the holiday season, so it’s extra important to cleanse your face at night with a gentle cleanser. Useful tip, use lukewarm water instead of hot water to avoid drying out your skin.”

 I have dry skin, so I never go a day without my RoC® MULTI CORREXION® 5 In 1 Daily Moisturizer With Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30.

I urge you to join the resolution! Simply head to www.rocretinolresolution.com where RoC® is also hosting a sweepstakes from now until November 30.

 

The holidays are upon us and tis’ the season to be jolly, or for some of us, to go nuts! All of the shopping, cooking, and cleaning keeps us crazy busy. Not to mention, as women, we rarely focus on ourselves during the rest of the year... and the holidays only make it more intense. So, here at BGR! we're loving really cool brands that help you relax. For example, REI announced it’s closing on Black Friday. What!?!? It's shocking, but you know what… it's genius (and I'm sure the employees appreciate a day off to unwind).

If you participated in BGR! U's 21 Days of Clean Eating, you received a few self-care ideas, like dry skin brushing. These can work wonders - but only if you commit to spending the time on yourself. Village Naturals Therapy is another great way to treat yourself, and we partnered up with them to share some pretty epic pairings…. the right setting, your fave wine, and an
aromatic blend from Therapy that’s exaaaactly what you need. Think therapeutic bath soaks,
body washes and lotions. This particular brand is great for soothing your body after a LONG
day, and the various fragrances allows you to create whatever ambiance you’d like.

Recovering After A Race: I'm sure you know how your feet can seriously suffer after a big race, especially if the race is during the rainy/cold season. You ladies who ran Rock N Roll DC last year... I know you're hearing this! Race days like that can be pretty rough - all the more reason to relax your body. Grab your footbath, add warm water and top off with the Aches + Pains Muscle Relief Mineral Bath Soak from Therapy. This soak smells like a winter heaven (infused with Eucalyptus, Spearmint and Menthol) and your feet will thank you later.

Date Yourself Night: If you’re like us, I'm sure you'll be spending a few evenings running from store to store to find the perfect gift for your peeps. Well, after you're done with all of that giving, run a hot bath and lather up with Therapy Aches +Pains Tension Relief Body Wash. This particular wash has oils and extracts including juniper, orange and menthol... a unique mixture and scent. We’re thinking this would go great with a malbec.

Work Day Relief: This is self-explanatory! We all have hectic work days when you attend like
five meetings and your inbox has fifty-leven new e-mails. Point is, after an exhausting day at the office, you want to unwind. Really, get yourself a glass of Five Hands Chardonnay, and volun-tell your significant other that he or she will be a masseuse for the night. Try out the Therapy Aches + Pain Nighttime Relief Hand & Body Lotion... You'll sleep like a baby...just make sure you don't oversleep for work the next day.

Just a few suggestions, and if you decide to try it out, there is a $1 off coupon that you can
download (because you know during the holiday season every dollar counts.)

This year, instead of luring customers into their stores by lowering prices, announcing discounts and offering prizes on Black Friday, REI announced they are choosing to #OptOutside. That's right, REI employees will not be stuck behind cash registers the day after Thanksgiving, they will be outside- running, hiking, biking- enjoying the outdoors. And the brand is encouraging customers to do the same.  

We could not be more on board with REI's decision. This Black Friday, our wallets are taking a rest day and we will be outside enjoying nature and enjoying life. 

Share how you will #OptOutside on Black Friday here. Find the coolest places to run in your area here!

Three Things I Did To Jump Start My Skincare Regimen

By Toni Carey
@toni_carey
*Sponsored Post Disclosure Notice: These products were provided as a courtesy of RoC Skincare.
All thoughts and opinions are my own. *

The women in my family have amazing and ageless skin and I'm fortunate enough to have a few of those "great skin" genes. However, it doesn't mean that I don't ever have issues with breakouts and dryness and it certainly doesn't mean that my face isn't showing its age. Call is paranoia or an actual valid concern, this fall I made a commitment to myself to do better!

Okay, I already know what you're thinking. What does skin care have to do with running? A ton!

1.) When I run, I sweat and usually that sweat and dirt ends up sitting on my face for way too long. Which, by the way, usually means I end up with a pimples!

2.) Your skin is constantly exposed to the elements (think air conditioning, heat, sun, pollution, etc.) and what happens when you never give your skin a opportunity to heal, or you don't protect it? Pre-mature aging! Boo! 

3.) And last but not least, what's a hot body with terrible skin?  Do I have any makeup junkies?? (*raises hands*) Having flawless makeup starts with having great skin!  

On most days I would give my face a splash of cold water and go on about my day. It wasn't until I had a conversation with our public relations director about her skincare regimen, that I realized, at the age of 31, I was doing a pretty crappy job of taking care of my skin...even if it appeared to be clean and clear. 

So, besides scoring a good facial cleanser, toner and moisturizer, there were three other things I added to my "must step up my game and be an adult" list. 

Eye Cream

In case you haven't noticed, the skin around your eyes is substantially thinner than the rest of your face. From puffiness to discoloration, there's a variety of issues that can crop up if you don't pay special attention to this area. I tend to have puffiness under my eyes and if you're like me try RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream. It reduces puffiness and dark circles in four weeks and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and crow's feet in just 12 weeks.

 

Night Cream 

As I mentioned, the older I get the more " beauty maintenance" I try to incorporate into my life. That means, adding a night routine to my beauty regimen, which currently consists of re-hydrating my hair and cleaning and hydrating my face. And, your nighttime ritual might be more important than what you do in the a.m. Why? While you're sleeping, your body is repairing itself, regenerating cells and a lot of other sciencey stuff. So, it only makes sense to add a night cream to your skincare arsenal. Again, these days my skin is super dry, so something like RoC Multi Correxion 5 in 1 Restoring Night Cream would be perfect!

 

Daily Moisturizer WITH Sunscreen Protection

Now, I'm not a stranger to a daily moisturizer, however, I wasn't using a moisturizer with sunscreen protection. And since I spend quite a bit of time outdoors, I absolutely needed to invest in new moisturizer.  RoC Multi Correxion 5 in 1 Daily Moisturizer is a great option because it improves the look of discloration, sagging, dryness, dull tones and wrinkles and includes SPF 30 broad spectrum sunscreen. 

Since I've added an eye cream, night cream and daily moisturizer to my daily list of things-to-do, I definitely have brighter, more hydrated skin to keep me going well into the winter! 

Divas Half Marathon & 5K Series

Added to 2016 Black Girls RUN! Race Meet-Up Calendar

The new year will be here before you know it and we've already got our eyes on our race schedule! Black Girls RUN! is super excited to announce that the Divas Half Marathon & 5K in North Myrtle Beach and Peachtree City are back on the calendar for 2016. 

“We are excited our Divas® Half Marathon & 5K in North Myrtle Beach and in Peachtree City are part of the Black Girls Run national race meet-up calendar for 2016! Why run another race when you can RUN LIKE A DIVA! Tutus, boas, tiaras, bubbly and shirtless hunks! Black Girls RUN, don’t miss out!,” said Kristi Ward, director of marketing for the Divas Half Marathon & 5K race series.

As a national race meet-up, Black Girls RUN! members are encouraged to register and participate in both events for an opportunity to meet and run with other BGR! members across the country. Special registration discount codes will be given to BGR! All Access members.

"The Divas race series is one of our long-standing race partners and I'm so excited to have them on our 2016 calendar," said Toni Carey, co-founder of Black Girls RUN

For more information about both events and to view the Black Girls RUN! National meet-up calendar, go to www.blackgirlsrun.com/pages/events.

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