Run Project Week Five “GRAVEL” Featured Posts

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Running on gravel is a nightmare for most runners. It can be as bad as hitting ice when you’re in mid stride, sending you sliding all over the place. This week I asked you all to find “gravel” and for some buried in snow it was difficult – making you think outside the box, which is exactly why I created these challenges. Every challenge shouldn’t be taken literally, sometimes you have to let your creativity get the better of you. Let’s see what some of SWEET Workout’s followers found in their travels…

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Sarah from Lethbridge Alberta Canada “This photo is the true winter runners battle. The mix of gravel, snow, and ice can be a runners worst nightmare! Everyone needs to run with caution and be mindful of their steps to avoid injury. Even after the snow and ice melt, the gravel and debris will remain and we must always be aware of the dangers beneath our feet, no matter how small, to prevent ourselves from falling.”

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Karlee from Phoenix, AZ “We live in the foothills and are surrounded by the mountains. To some it just looks brown and boring but to me it’s absolutely stunning! I feel at such peace being tucked into our little community and there really is a lot of beautiful colors throughout the year!! I’m having such fun each week coming up with pictures and inspiration for RunProject52!”

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“susantez” from Ankara, Turkey “This picture was taken after a success team workout. Do not let gravel’s to stop you, get strong and run faster!”

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Amanda from Auckland, New Zealand “My choice for this week’s collage pic was a run along a path close to where my daughter has her dance classes, got to fit in these runs around family and work! You won’t find this path on Google Maps – well the beginning of it is, then you just run along behind people’s properties and join up to another walkway that goes down to a beach.  It’s a beautiful place, I’m generally the only one there, but it’s GRAVEL (and muddy after the rain!). Quite hilly with steps and steep places and uneven ground so you take your chances with twisted ankles! So my inspiration for this picture is that I would like to share with you one of my favorite places to run and perfect after a long day at work!”

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Sunday from North Haven, CT “The inspiration for my GRAVEL pic – It was my first run after a couple months off. I wanted to show that it may not always be the perfect running conditions but you have to just get out there and put one foot in front of the other and go!  Even if it is for just 1.5 miles. I was happy I did!”

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Yazmin Flores from Mexico City “What inspired my picture on the gravel was the contrast of colors and nice sound that occurs when running in it.”

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Thank you to everyone who posted their pictures, and remember to use #runproject52 – that way I can find your posts and offer you a chance to be featured on the blog! Week Six falls right over Valentine’s Day, so find your running inspired Valentine photos and tag them. Your Valentine can be anything from what you got for Valentine’s Day, to that special someone who runs with you. Maybe it’s your must have most loved running accessory, or your favorite place to run… Get creative and show me your running related Valentine!

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Run Project Week Four “HYDRATE” Featured Posts

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Week Four with Run Project 52 brought us HYDRATE, and a challenge for everyone to drink more water. Proper hydration is crucial for proper training.

Wikipedia refers to dehydration as “Dehydration occurs when water loss exceeds water intake, usually due to exercise or disease. Most people can tolerate a three to four percent decrease in body water without difficulty. A five to eight percent decrease can cause fatigue and dizziness. Over ten percent can cause physical and mental deterioration, accompanied by severe thirst. A decrease more than fifteen to twenty-five percent of the body water is invariably fatal. Mild dehydration is characterised by thirst and general discomfort and usually resolves with oral hydration.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dehydration)

Runners (especially during higher temperatures) run a greater risk of dehydration due to excessive sweat, and loss of salt. Yes, I said salt. Hyponatremia refers to a low sodium concentration in the blood. Exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH) is common in marathon runners and participants of other endurance events.

So, how do avoid it? What tricks can you use to stay hydrated? Here is what some of my SWEET followers had to say…

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Megan R. from Aurora, NY “I drink at least 48 ounces of water a day. Each time I use the bathroom at work, I refill my water bottle. I talk a lot, and my building is dry, so I don’t need any reminders to sip my water all day!”

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Dani from Newark, CA “On average I drink about 50+ oz a day. Not super great, but that’s not including other liquids I do drink in the day (I don’t drink caffeine). My trick is in the pic! My big pink mug is 32oz and I know I need to drink at least two of those a day. Naturally some days are better than others, but it helps me keep track. Or sometimes I pour it into a tumbler with a straw. just like my kids, straws help me drink more.”

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Jane from Colorado Springs, CO “On average I consume 64 ounces of water daily. I prefer to use water bottles that have a straw, both of my bubba cups are great and do not require continuous refills as they are 32 oz. I feel I am able to drink more when using any type of bottle that has a straw.”

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Katie from New Freedom, PA “On average I drink about 70 oz of water per day. This can be in the form of emergenC, organic decaf green tea and iced water. Once I understood that dehydration lead to headaches, I try to carry water with me all the time! Having an in the door water feature on my new refrigerator has helped my entire family hydrate better!”
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Sarah from Lethbridge Alberta Canada “On average I drink between half a gallon to a gallon of water per day depending on the amount of activity I do throughout the day. To keep hydrated, I always have cold water easily accessible. I usually have a water bottle or glass of water within reach at all times. My fridge has a jug of water in front of all juices and other beverages so it’s more effort to get something else. I’m lazy so this works wonders – I’d rather not have to shift everything around just for a sugary drink. I’ve also got an empty milk jug (gallon) that I fill with water that my family knows is just mine. When I’m snackish and standing in front of the cupboards or fridge trying to decide on something, I stop drop & chug. It does double duty: keeps me hydrated, and usually, if I’m not actually hungry and just wanting to snack because I’m bored, it subsides my cravings”
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Amanda from Auckland, New Zealand “Have no idea how much water I drink a day! I try and drink before I am thirsty..and at best my water intake is haphazard! In NZ the ‘powers that be’ recommend drinking 6 – 8 cups but say this can be anything – and I would drink that in tea and coffee! Also depends on the weather and what I am doing – it’s been really hot and humid here and so I am drinking more – plus a glass or two after my run.  I don’t really drink juice or soda, not to my taste.  No tricks to help me remember, but on days that I am at home rather than work I’ll leave a glass on the bench and whenever I am in the kitchen I will have a drink. It’s harder at work to remember, so will often only drink on a break.”

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JaDee from Canton, Ohio “I honestly don’t know how many ounces of water I drink in a day, I just know I try to drink at least 2 large glasses. I would guess 48oz or so. Some tricks I use to make sure I’m drinking as much as I can? Well first I keep a pitcher of water in the fridge all the time…cold water just tastes better. I also have a glass when I think I’m hungry, a lot of times your body will confuse thirst for hunger. Finally, sometimes I will add a splash of 100% fruit juice just to add a little flavor. My favorites are cranberry and pomegranate.”

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Yazmin Flores Maza from México City“I drink 2 liters of water in average every day. I keep with me my bottle of water every moment.”

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Lynsey from Raleigh, NC “The least amount of water I take in a day is 96oz. The 32oz Fat Tuesday mug is the best for getting in all my water. I find it easier to mindlessly drink anything if it has a straw. I try to have two of those before lunch and two before I leave work but sometimes I only get three in before I leave. But that’s what the little guy is for! I fill a smaller water bottle up before leaving work and drink it on my way home/to the gym. Then during my workouts I will have another little guy and fill ‘er up before leaving the gym. I try to drink at least two more little guys by the end of the night. Weekends are a little tougher but I have plenty of water bottles and Tervis tumblers and keep one with me pretty much at all times to remind myself to get the H2O in. Also, for those days when you just need flavor, I use crystal light or a five hour energy. They both have multiple flavors to choose from but I prefer the berry flavored five hour and the lemonade (regular and raspberry) flavors of Crystal Light.

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How do you stay hydrated? We would love to know! Please leave a comment for others to read and find new ways to HYDRATE!

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SWEET Turns TEAL to Raise Awareness for Cervical Cancer

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Did you know that January was Cervical Cancer Awareness Month? Many don’t because it lacks a very powerful social media presence. Here are some interesting facts…

  • HPV (human papillomavirus) is a sexually transmitted virus that is the most common reason for cervical cancer.
  • The average age for a female to become sexually active is between 17-18 years old.
  • The current health guideline recommends a PAP Test at the age of 21.
  • It is recommended that a PAP Test be done every 3 years.
  • According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 12,000 women in the US alone will be diagnosed with cervical cancer this year and about 4,000 of these women will die.
  •  At the beginning of #SWEETturnsTEAL project there were less than 4,000 posts using hashtag #cervicalcancerawareness on Instagram. That’s less than 1 post for every life lost.

To date there are 4,361 posts on Instagram with the hashtag #cervicalcancerawareness, and there are over 1,000,000 for #breastcancerawareness. While saving the “ta-ta’s” is extremely important, “saving the hoo-ha’s” should be just as note worthy. As a Cervical Cancer Survivor myself, it’s very frustrating to feel like you’re surround by sea of pink when your world is teal. Every Cervical Cancer Awareness product I have bought has been through the internet, I have yet to find anything in the stores.

To help raise awareness this month, SWEET Workout challenged its followers to wear TEAL to support Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and tag their posts with hashtag #SWEETturnsTEAL. The response was overwhelming! I would like to personally thank everyone who participated. Please enjoy the photos and stories of those who took part…

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Aimee from Ohio “My middle sister Kristy was diagnosed with Essential Thrombocytosis at the age of 23: followed by myelofibrosis, which is a rare form of leukemia that typically affects older adults, when she was 26 years old. Because the average age of diagnosis with myelofibrosis is over 50 years old, very little was known about how it would impact a younger woman of child bearing age. There have only been a handful of documented pregnancies in women with myelofibrosis, and a majority of those pregnancies did not result in a live birth. Since she was engaged at the time of her diagnosis, she knew she wanted to have children someday. The management of her cancer had proved challenging as her platelet count was astronomical and it was a constant battle with her insurance to cover the medications necessary to keep her platelet levels low. Since high platelet counts are known to cause blood clots it was important that they get her platelet levels under control before she conceived. Kristy got married in August 2010 and continued to receive treatment for myelofibrosis. In early 2014 Kristy and her husband Jason announced that they were expecting their first child. She had a very high risk pregnancy, because a blood clot could have endangered her life or the baby’s life at any time. She had bloodwork done frequently to monitor her platelet levels and had to to take interferon injections to keep the cancer under control. Our family’s faith was tested as we prayed for a miracle. Our prayers were answered as she delivered a healthy, full term daughter in September 2014. Korrie is almost 5 months old now, and is a perfectly healthy little girl. Kristy is also doing well as the cancer seems to be under control for the time being. We continue to pray for a miracle for Kristy to be fully healed, which realizing that we also need to do our part in supporting research and raising awareness. Kristy is one of the strongest women I have ever met, and I hope that her story can encourage and inspire others who may be facing difficult circumstances.”

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Eli currently stationed in Fort Irwin, CA “I’ve thankfully never had an immediate family member suffer from cancer, but I understand it’s a problem. I fully support anybody who is trying to educate the world and inform those around them of quick and easy identifiers or symptoms that can either save lives or educate them. I was able to read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and strongly believe that it doesn’t take a doctor to save a life. Education is knowledge and power, so what type of person would I be if I wouldn’t pass along the message? Pass it on…#cervicalcancerawareness thank you! You’re really making a difference!”

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Denise from New York City “I chose to take part in  Sweet Turns TEAL to raise Cervical Cancer Awareness because I believe that women at any age need to be aware of how to keep their bodies healthy and understand the changes our bodies go through so we can know how to take care of ourselves, and love ourselves. I also wanted to show support to anyone who has or has had Cervical Cancer, because it is a life changing experience, I want them (and anyone who is with them) to know that I love them, I support them, and I am proud of the strength they show and showed even during times of tears!”

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April from New Hampshire “By participating in SWEET turns TEAL it gave me another reason to get up and get my workout in. Thankfully, I have not dealt with cancer on a personal level, but I know how terrible the effects of cancer are and like do my part to help fight.”

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Jess from New Hampshire “Participating in the SWEET Turns TEAL Project is my way to help spread the word about Cervical Cancer Awareness. Many people know the dangers and effects of breast cancer, prostate cancer, skin or lung cancer (three of which my family has been tested for) but what they don’t know is how many women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer this year alone. About 13,000 cases of invasive cervical cancer will be treated, that’s something I think people need to understand. Spreading the word through social media is an important step we need to continue making.”

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Deanna from Clemson, SC and Cary, NC  “I chose to participate in this project to help raise awareness for Cervical Cancer. I’ve never been diagnosed with cancer and hope that I never do, but it effects so many women and if a few shares on Instagram can help spread the word, or remind someone to make an appointment for a Pap test, then I’ve helped to make a difference.”

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Kelly from Connecticut “ I joined hashtag #SWEETturnsTEAL because I am always happy to help support and bring awareness to women’s health issues!!!”

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Sarah from Lethbridge Alberta Canada “I took part in this mainly to support you! Wearing teal, and posting a photo is nothing compared to the strength it takes to battle cancer, and is the least I can do to show support and spread awareness.”

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JaDee from Canton, Ohio “I have been very fortunate that no one in my immediate family (at least that I know of) has ever had to deal with a cancer diagnosis. I would love for there to come a day when everyone can say that. The reason I decided to join the SWEET turn TEAL challenge is because until that day comes, we need to spread awareness where and when we can. To be completely honest, I didn’t realize that January is cervical cancer awareness month until the challenge was issued…and that really kind of bothers me. Everyone knows about breast cancer with pink ribbons and events nationwide, and men’s cancer issues get the spotlight every November with the Movember event…why don’t other cancers get the same attention? They are all should. Every cancer diagnosis is a life changing event and NONE should be overlooked! The more we spread awareness the closer we come to a day where more and more cancers are detected early and are put in remission, and hopefully we move closer to a day where no one will have to face that diagnosis!”

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Darlena from Virginia “I don’t have any immediate family members that have been affected by Cervical Cancer, but I am always willing to support and bring attention to a worthy cause. Especially women’s health issues. Both my mother and one of my sisters are Breast Cancer Survivors.  Hiding the fact that these diseases exist doesn’t help anyone. The more people know, the more we get the word out the more people can be helped.”

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Rosemary from Cupertino, CA “I choose part in this project bc both of my parents recently had passed away from cancer within 3 weeks apart. My dad fought prostate cancer and lost his battle afterwards. While he was fighting for  his life, suddenly my mom developed an illness that we were trying to figure out why her breathing was being so short.  When we found out what it was, her lungs (especially the pleura) were full of cancer and by then it had spread through her body. I had lost family time, vacations and races, money, work time, but most importantly both of them at the same time. While the funeral was happening to one, I never expected I had to prepare, in so many ways, for the next one. I had seen over and over the effects and side effects of cancer and chemo while spending time with them. People say it is a battle, and it definitely is! A battle to fight for life and for the side effects that it brings.”

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Moving forward support Cervical Cancer by taking the Teal Challenge and wearing teal on Tuesday. If you would like to help support the Hampton Roads, VA NCCC Chapter, please make donations here: http://www.nccc-online.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=170

Below you will find a list of resources too if you or someone you know needs help dealing with Cervical Cancer or other female related issues.

http://www.nccc-online.org – National Cervical Cancer Coalition

http://www.nccc-online.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=170 (NCCC Hampton Roads, VA Chapter Information)

http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/ofhs/prevention/cpc// – Breast and Cervical Cancer Project (Virginia Department of Health)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/National-Cervical-Cancer-Coalition-Hampton-Roads-VA/366288086862734 – NCCC Hampton Roads, VA Facebook Page

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