On The Waterfront: Running with Black Girls Run at Essence Music Festival

I am very proud to say that while I was in New Orleans, I had the privilege to run a quick 3K with Black Girls Run and one of my childhood Sheroes, Jackie Joyner-Kersey. If you don’t know about Black Girls Run (BGR), it is an awesome community of black women (and sometimes girls) that get together and simply run.  There are chapters all over the country and help motivate anyone and everyone from

NOLA BGR

those who may have never run before to those that have “retired” from running after that grueling half marathon, getting ready for the full marathon. I am happy to say that I recommended that my sister try BGR a few months back and she has lost over 40 pounds from running with BGR , working out, and eating right. (So proud of you Nikki!) Check it out. Its awesome! Really!  For more information, go to http://www.blackgirlsrun.com.

But now on to the 3K. First off, it was exciting being there with several other women who got up on a Saturday morning after (possibly) partying on Bourbon Street or attending an awesome concert the night before. After signing in and getting my bib, I saw many women, some were warming up while others hugged girlfriends who made it out for the run.  Everyone cheered as the founders, Toni and Ashley greeted everyone, thanked the sponsors and then..introduced Ms. Jackie Joyner-Kersey. Greeted with loud cheers, Ms. Joyner-Kersey congratulated everyone who came out,  offered words of encouragement and we were off!

The run. It was only 3K. But it was a run on the Riverwalk in New Orleans. Louisiana. In July. So, it was like running through pea soup. The path was relatively flat, with a bit of a curve, so no concerns there but any and environmental acclimation needs were completely forgotten when you saw smiles, determination and enjoyment on these  women’s faces. Even though everyone was cloaked in sweat and NOLA mist we all cheered everyone on and simply enjoyed and remained in the present moment. Jackie Joyner-Kersey and other track stars joined us- it was so thrilling to be out there!

I finished in decent time, picked up an little swag (a Coca-Cola towel), some water and a Kind Bar. ALL so very much needed. After doing some post-run stretches (downward dog with pedaling my feet, a few hip opening yoga poses, etc.) I walked toward Canal Street (I think it was Canal) to catch a ride to my hotel, I saw a lady, a little older than me, same curly hair, similar build as me, dressed for a run. She was bobbing her head to her music as she prepped for her run (as I do with near reckless abandon at times), I smiled, caught her eye, raised my hand, and gave her a high five.

Thanksgiving Insipred Workout Moves

Thanksgiving is next week and I love this holiday! What’s not to love about family, food and being grateful for all of the abundance in our lives. As we all know, this is the start of the season of overeating and due to the weather, a decreased desire to get moving. So to help you stay active and celebrate, I came up with this Thanksgiving inspired workout. You know we couldn’t just let you eat all that turkey and stuffing and not give you a chance to work it out in the sprint of the season! The best part is that they are all bodyweight exercises so even grandma can get in on the action. Try it!

Push Away From the Table Push Ups 15 reps – Yep, a traditional push up folks! Plank position, hands shoulder width apart, feet at hip width and engage those abs. Bend elbows until the chest reaches the floor and push up. You can also modify this with your knees on the floor.

Turkey Trot Lunges 15 reps-Walking Lunges.  Stand with your hands on your hips and feet hip-width apart. Step the right leg forward and slowly lower your body until the left knee is close to or touching the floor and bent at least 90 degrees. Then lift the left leg and continue in a walking pattern. You can also do stationery lunges by instead of walking the lunge by standing in one spot and switch legs. To maintain balance, engage your core throughout the exercise and when returning to starting position, push off of your heel.

Count Your Blessings Bicycles 15 reps- Start on your back with your hand behind your head and your legs lifted  and bent at the knees. Engage your abs,lift up, crunch and rotate. Rotate the left side of your body toward the right, keeping your right knee bent and extend the left leg. Rotate to the other side-your legs should move as if you are riding a bicycle. The goal of the rotation is to engage the obliques, so don’t get hung up on touching your elbow to your knee, just make sure you get a good rotation.

Black Friday High Knees 2 minutes– Get ready for those doorbusters on Black Friday with some stationary high knees.  Run in place with your knees lifted high for 2 minutes.

Repeat these moves two more times for Thanksgiving themed calorie burn!

Overstuffed Last Year? 5 Ways to Avoid Overeating on Thanksgiving.

1.  Eat Breakfast

Eating a good breakfast is always the best way to start your day, but starving yourself before a huge meal with all of your favorites will only lead to regrets and a harder workout!

2. Load Up on Veggies

If there is a veggie tray..indulge!  Starting out with some raw vegetables is good for you and will keep you from getting to much of that delicious, decadent, warm baked macaroni and cheese when you move into the main course.  You can also make vegetables a main part of your meal (and no, the marshmallow’d, brown sugared, buttery..wait..what? Oh, yeah, sweet potatoes..yeah, if they have ton of additives they are more of a desert rather than a true vegetable dish).

3. Eat Slowly

Eating too quickly lessens the chances of you actually tasting the food. Slow down, enjoy, it will give you time to digest your food properly, talk with family members you haven’t seen in a while and keep you from eating too much.

4.Drink Water

Try it! You’ll like it!

5. Wear Tighter Eatin’ Pants

Unless you have little shame and don’t mind unbuckling in front of everyone, wearing more fitted clothing can give you more of a feel and awareness that you are full.

Happy Thanksgiving!