Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Earn Walgreens Balance Rewards for making healthy choices #shop

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BalanceRewards #CollectiveBias
Beautiful Bayshore Blvd
Prior to living in Tampa, the furthest I had ever ran was a mile. I absolutely hated everything to do with running - sweating, panting, hurting, feeling self defeat. Then something I never thought was possible happened. I became a marathoner. Years prior to that day, my best friend started making healthy choices and began running. She ran her first 13.1, the 2012 runDisney Princess Half Marathon. I went to watch her and also signed up to run the 5K the day before. That day changed my life. Watching her complete 13.1 miles (what I then thought was absolutely insane) was so inspiring that I signed up for a 10 mile run a few months later. Then all craziness broke loose.
2012-2014 medals
2 years later, I have ran two full marathons, 8 half marathons, 1 10 mile race, 2 half marathon relays and countless 5K's. Living in Tampa helped me start running. We have one of the most beautiful running routes in the US, along Bayshore Blvd, the longest uninterrupted sidewalk in the world as seen above.
The proudest two moments I had in my short two years of running was completing my first half marathon, the 2013 NYC Marathon and completing the 2014 runDisney Dopey Challenge, running 48.6 miles during 4 days consecutive days (5K, 10K, 13.1, 26.2). Those are two special days which will always belong to me. If you were to ask me 2 years ago if I thought this was possible, I would have tried to get my fiance to give you a psych evaluation.
I am often asked how I got into running and tips for reaching goals. Running buddies are key - my fiance runs with me and we encourage each other to lace up on days we don't want to. I am not a fast runner and I often run without my garmin so I don't stress myself out. Stress while running is not good and your inner demons will cause you to fail. What I care about is staying healthy and injury free. I make goals which are reachable. Once that goal is met, I am onto the next. Sure I would love to have a PR every time I run - who wouldn't. Yet I know that isn't the case and I gave up caring about PRs (personal records) a long time ago. You cannot let the fact that other people are faster than you bring you down. Unless your name is Shalene Flanagan, there will always be someone out there who is faster than you.
I have a few items which are must haves during marathon training. Sports sunscreen, Aquaphor, Moleskin, 5-hour energy, Epson salt (Village Naturals Therapy aches & pain relief if you can find it), 500mg Tylenol and a sports massage stick are naming just a few. I can easily pick these up at my Tampa Walgreens and they are also frequently on sale.
More important than anything you can buy at a store is being able to keep yourself liable for training. There are multiple ways to do this. Fitness websites are a great way to track progress. For years, I have used Map My Run and My Fitness Pal. Then I learned Walgreens has a healthy choices activity tracker which is tied to your Balance Rewards membership. Now you can track your fitness activity and earn points, which turn into Balance Rewards! I am pretty close to my first $5 reward. Click here to link your Balance Rewards account up and start earning money for making healthy choices!

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