vrijdag 12 januari 2018

WDW Cigna Blogger Meetup Recap

This past weekend, I was down at Walt Disney World to cheer on friends and strangers running the various races over WDW Marathon weekend.  In previous years, I had run at least one race that weekend.  Last year, I took the year off and stayed home, and I was filled with so much jealousy at all the fun everyone was having that I insisted on attending this year.  Still didn’t run, which was a good thing, given my lingering hip issues, but I was so, so glad I decided to go.  If you’ve got friends who go and run and you want to go along and cheer them on, DO IT.  (Or if the idea of screaming at strangers on the side of the road and then going to eat a Mickey Bar sounds like fun, this is your chance.)

One fun thing I got to do while I was there was attend the Cigna Blogger Meetup.  I really love all of the information that Cigna puts out surrounding WDW Marathon Weekend.  They’re great about promoting healthy lifestyles, tips for running, and they highlight a number of “every day” runners who are participating in the races.

I particularly enjoy this infographic, because it’s not all “sunshine and light.”  Running a marathon is HARD, guys.

Click to enlarge

The afternoon started with a healthy lunch (including soup to keep all of us warm) and then we went into the games.  While the games were a lot of fun, behind each game were facts about health – knowing your numbers, knowing what a healthy diet looks like, and understanding how to improve your health by making simple changes.

I think in the world of social media, people often get discouraged by the “healthy” people they see online, people who seem to have perfect diets, perfect workout schedules, who never slip up.  I’m sure some of those people are real, but let’s be honest – for most of us, healthy living is a constant challenge.  It’s important to remember that no one’s perfect, and you definitely don’t have to be either.  Just do your best, make smart choices, and know the facts.

I’ve talked before about how important it is to know your numbers and truly understand your health.  So I was a huge fan of this concept.  Unfortunately, it also showed just how much I don’t know.  I’m solid on things like how much sodium I should have, how many alcoholic drinks I should (or shouldn’t) have, but when we get into various vitamins, I have no clue!  I definitely have a lot to learn.  We had one question about Vitamin B, and I couldn’t tell you what foods contain Vitamin B.  Or what Vitamin B does.  But I’m sure it’s important.

One important thing is to make sure that you know facts, not just tips from some random person on the internet.  Make sure that you’re sourcing your information from reputable sources.

The games were a lot of fun – we had to do things like “throw away the sugar” by tossing it into trash cans (oh sugar, how I will miss you).  Of course, you don’t have to throw away all the sugar, just consume it in moderation.  Let’s be honest, most of us consume way too much added sugar in our diets.

Another game involved playing jacks (I was very impressed with some of our team’s jacks skills).  The lesson here was about jumping jacks, or rather, staying active.  Staying active and eating healthy can help lower your cholesterol levels, something I am all too familiar with.  I’m good at the active part, but the healthy eating… well, I can always use help.

We had to make apple towers to… remind us to eat towers of apples?  No, this one was about healthy diet and balance.  Also, balancing apples is really hard.  My team won, of course, because we are geniuses and good at balancing things.

This was a good lesson though, because I know I struggle with balance.  It tends to be all or nothing with me.  I’m either having a healthy period where I eat well, workout, stretch, and generally do good things for myself, or I’m skipping workouts and eating wine and cheese for dinner.  This was a good reminder that I can be healthy but still have balance in my life.

The Cigna team was incredible, and we had so much fun learning and getting to meet Drs. Minnie and Mickey.  Who knew they had time to go to med school!

Thanks for a great event, Cigna!


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woensdag 3 januari 2018

2018 Goals

USA-Reiseblogger / Pixabay

It’s 2018.  I know, I can’t believe it myself.  But it’s time to set some goals for 2018.

Fitness wise, 2017 was a banner year.  I had a number of amazing races.  It wasn’t something I planned for, but because I focused so much on my training, I ended up with some amazing results.

Finish my 70.3

In 2018, I’ve registered for my second 70.3.  Clearly, finishing that race is going to be a huge goal for me.  I haven’t set any specific goal times for the race as of yet, but I would love to PR.  I definitely think it’s possible, but we’ll save those goals for later.  For now, it’s just about training.

Get Healthy

I’m starting the year with some hamstring issues (I think).  Basically, something is hurty in my left leg.  So goal number one is to get this figured out and fixed.  It’s going to mean more time not running, but getting myself healthy is the most important thing.  It may even mean missing some of my early season races, but again sometimes things happen.  I’m being smart, seeing professionals, not asking Dr. Google, and stepping back from activities that are painful.  (Don’t run through injuries.  It’s a bad idea.)


In 2018, I also need to clean up my diet.  I’ve gone back to calorie tracking, less for the calories and more to make sure I’m getting enough protein.  I love carbs.  I love carbs so much.  Carbs are life.  And I can keep eating carbs – but I need to be eating way more protein.  Again, I’m not setting a specific goal (eat this much protein, this many carbs) but rather just trying to be more mindful about what I’m doing.


This year, I need to fix my budget.  While I’m not spending myself into debt, my spending has definitely gotten out of control.  One goal I’m working on is spending less money eating out.  This will also help me clean up my diet.  I’m just spending way too much money getting lunches out once or twice a week.

Giving Back

I spent some time volunteering at races last year and I loved it, so I’m going to do it again this year, and I’m even trying to step it up.  As I was already on the injured list when it came time to register for the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler lottery, I just wasn’t feeling it so I decided that I would volunteer at the race instead of running (even though I fully expect to be healed by April).

Giving back is an area that I really want to focus on this year, because I have gotten so much out of the running and triathlon community, and I want to be able to share that with others.

So that’s where I am this year.  It’s a good start, and we’ll see how things go.  I have high hopes for 2018.

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