Getting Fit

We've been talking about setting goals for ourselves on HerKentucky and I know that most everyone has made a resolution to be healthy and get fit. I know I did! While we are up in the gym working on our fitness, our transformations may take a little longer than two weeks so I wanted to share some style slimming secrets to get us through this transition.

1. Fit - Every southern girl knows that fit is the most important rule in looking slim and trim. When dressing, your goal is to create fluid lines that suggest a slender appearance...muffin tops are not included in this. So it's obvious that we had too much holiday fun or one too many bourbon balls, so what? It is easily fixed by purchasing a pair of pants the next size up to banish our muffin tops. Focus on the fit of your pants, not the size, and you will look slimmer in minutes!

2. Accentuate your thinnest point - Beautiful women come in all shapes and sizes and with that, we all have different areas that we should highlight. If you have awesome legs, wear that short skirt! If you have an hourglass figure, wear a dress that accentuates your tiny waist. By highlighting your thinnest points, you are drawing the attention away from your trouble areas and thus creating the illusion of a slimmer you.

3. Wear the correct undergarments - This one is a must. The correct underpinnings will make a world of difference!

4. Accessorize - The art of accessorizing has been my best friend for a long time. Adding a little sparkle to your wrist, rocking a statement necklace or donning some killer heels are all ways to draw the attention away from unwanted areas. And if you think about it, your wrist is really your thinnest point! Everyone go buy a bracelet!

5. Belt it - Baggy tops and dresses do not aid in making you look slim and trim, in fact, they do exactly the opposite. Don't hide that waist under an ill fitting blouse, let it shine and you'll look slim in no time! If you do not have a natural waist, you can create the illusion of an hour glass figure by cinching your waist with a belt. I have been in love with these monogrammed belts from C. Wonder, they have southern girl written all over them!

Happy New Year to everyone and good luck on your goals for 2014!!

The Year of the Goal

I have decided that 2014 is The Year of The Goal.

Several of my blogger friends -- including HerKentucky's own Sarah and Lydia -- participate in the One Little Word project by Ali Edwards. It's pretty self-explanatory: you choose a word to serve as your guide for the year -- a word that embodies the things you hope to accomplish, or how you want your life to look in the upcoming year. (You can read about Sarah's word here and Lydia's word here.)

As I think of the year ahead, I am filled with so many ideas that I don't know where to start. I recently moved to a new home  in a city that, while familiar, has changed enough since I left to seem new and exciting. My beau and I have greeted some wonderful new opportunities, both personally and professionally. To be honest, I'm so bombarded with ideas for "what's next" that I'm a little overwhelmed. I can't do it all. 

Jessie Spano, y'all.
Maybe I can't do it all, but I can do most of it with some careful planning and even more carefully set goals.  That's why 2014 will be, at least for me, the Year of the Goal. Resolutions are easy to make. Dreams are easy to conceive. But goals? Goals are something that you plan to accomplish. Goals require action and accountability. Goals mean that you're going to get something done.

So, as 2014 came around, I asked myself "What do you want to accomplish this year?" I took those ideas and turned them into something concrete, with plenty of room to reassess, revise, and reestablish goals. I'm looking for long-term happiness and success, not crossing something off a to-do list just because I said I would.

I started January with three ideas. I want to publish my writing in more outlets, I want to exercise more frequently, and I want to start knitting again. I turned each idea into a goal: "I will publish in forums x, y, and z by the end of the year"; "I will complete another half-marathon this spring"; and "I will knit a scarf in January." See how my aspirations were turned to declarations? Goals are something you will accomplish. 

Knitting was an easy skill to re-learn. Today is January 8th, and I'm nearly finished with a dark grey wool scarf for my beau. That one was almost too easy. 

Country Music 1/2 Marathon, 2008

As for the 1/2 Marathon, I don't know if it's the right goal. Of course, I'd need to start a training program right about now to get myself up to 13 miles in the spring. But, I've been fighting a back injury for several months, and I worry that this isn't the most attainable goal. Getting fit might be a better goal for my long-term health and fitness. I'm consulting with a doctor and logging my mileage. I'm not giving up just yet, though. There are exactly 100 days until the Derby Mini. A lot can be accomplished by then.

Promising Prose.
And then there's writing. I've devoted a lot of time to brainstorming ways to make various articles and essays better fit their intended audience. I've studied the submission guidelines for the publications in which I want to be published. But, I don't know any surgeons or lawyers or any other professionals who got to be great just by brainstorming and studying. They succeeded by practicing their trade. So, in 2014, I will reach my publication goals by writing more. It's easy to call oneself a writer. But, as Holly Golightly famously asked her neighbor Paul, "Do you write every day? Did you write today?" I hope to write something every day in 2014, even if it's just a character sketch or a well-planned Facebook status. I nearly allowed this goal to be derailed because our new computer, ordered just before last year's end, was delayed in shipping. If you think about it, though, the list of great works that were not composed using OS Maverick is infinitely longer than its cutting-edge counterpart. Writing simply takes an idea and a means for recording. A goal shouldn't be abandoned due to a mere technicality.

Limping to the finish line. I didn't run it all, but I did finish the thing!!

I figure I'll add goals as I mark others as complete. But, I want to embrace this year as the year I get things done.

2014 is The Year of the Goal.  (Click to Tweet.) What are your goals for 2014?

New Year, New You?

I received a free class coupon for Pure Barre a couple of months ago.  If you haven't heard of Pure Barre, let me enlighten you a bit.  Pure Barre is a bar method class utilizing the ballet bar to perform small isometric movements.  I have heard from several people that this workout has changed their body appearance for the better, giving them lean toned muscles versus bulky muscles you may get with weight training.  

I have been hoarding my free class coupon since October.  I am considering going in the next couple of weeks, but I hate to appear as one of those over-zealous new year's resolutions gym rats.  You all know the type- the ones you've never seen before and they suddenly appear after New Year's looking like a hot mess.  

Lucky for you, if you live in Kentucky you can give Pure Barre a try!  Pure Barre opened locations in both Lexington and Louisville.  

Pure Barre Louisville -- Westport Village
1321 Herr Lane #180
Louisville, KY
(502) 749-2222

 Pure Barre Louisville -- Summit
4284 Summit Plaza Drive
Louisville, KY
(502) 425-8300
Lexington Pure Barre
867 East High Street #150
Lexington, KY(859) 335-2391
Have you all heard of Pure Barre or know anyone who's tried it?  

West Sixth Brewing - An Unlikely Spot to Get Your Fitness On

It's not often that one associates beer with fitness and healthy living, right? In Lexington, you'd be wrong!

West Sixth Brewing Company, the craft brewery that opened earlier this year in Lexington's old Rainbo Bread facility, is the place to be on Tuesday nights. Each Tuesday, the brewery on the corner of Jefferson Street and West Sixth Street hosts a running club for anyone and everyone who would like to come out. Simply show up at 6 PM, register, and then start running with the group at 6:30! 

All runners are welcome - slow, fast, training for a marathon or just looking for a fun run around downtown Lexington. Folks typically run either a 1.5 mile route or a 3 mile route from the brewery, through parts of the downtown business district, through Gratz Park and through the downtown residential district back to the brewery.

Once back from your run, you can enjoy a complimentary soft pretzel. I'm not sure which bakery they are from, but they're pretty much the tastiest things ever! Most folks also stash some cash in their running gear to buy a pint or two to enjoy on the open-air patio. 

There is always a presence of women from the LexRunLadies group and other running groups throughout the area. There are always some stroller runners and even some kids come out to run with their parents. 

Everyone is welcoming and friendly. After your fifth run with the club, you get a t-shirt! The best thing? All of this is totally free (well, not the pints of beer!).

See you next week?

*For more information, check out the run club's Facebook page!

HerKentucky Story: Krissie Bentley of LexRunLadies

Today, we're kicking off a new feature called HerKentucky Story.  We've asked friends, writers, and fellow bloggers to tell their stories about Kentucky life.  Today's story comes from Krissie Bentley, coordinator of LexRunLadies, a group of Lexington-based women runners.  

You can keep up with Krissie on Twitter (@krissieb) or on her blog, My Radical Commitment.  If you'd like to learn more about LexRunLadies, you can visit their website, Twitter (@lexrunladies), or their Facebook Group. , You can also email them here.

You know those people you see in your neighborhood? Those people who lace up their shoes, pack on their water packs, and run with blatant disregard for precipitation, temperature, or condition of sidewalks?

Yeah. I am one of those people.

I admit that I started running to lose weight, but that’s not why I still run. I keep running because of what running has given me. Not only do I pay more attention to my body and the changing of the seasons, I pay more attention to where I live, work, and play.
Sunrise in Midway
I have learned so much about Lexington and surrounding areas because I spend so much time on foot. When I run downtown, I find shops and restaurants that I return to when I’m clean and dry. I smell food and coffee as I run by restaurants that I return to at the end of my run. I like to explore areas on foot that I’m not familiar with and areas I know well. I pay more attention when I’m moving a little more slowly. Things look different when I’m not behind the wheel of a car.

Lexington also has an impressive trail system, including the Legacy Trail and the Brighton Rail Trail. Many of the roads in the Lexington area are lightly traveled and also fun to run. The area around Keeneland is one of my favorite places to run, not only because of the challenge of the course but also because I never know who I’ll come in contact with.
I ran across these guys in the area surrounding Keeneland.
Being a part of the running community has introduced me to new places to run outside of Lexington as well. Midway is a beautiful place to run. I have met up with friends to run their familiar routes in Louisville. I love to run the trails at Shaker Village in Harrodsburg. Because I am on the lookout for new places to run, I am frequently finding new places to explore.
From the top of a hill on a Shaker Village Trail

The running community in the Lexington area is thriving. I coordinate LexRunLadies and we are often out and about. I have met so many friends through this running group. I am frequently amazed at how strong and quick I can connect with someone while we’re out for a run. It seems like so many personal barriers just come down when we are running. The support, encouragement, and challenges I have felt from this community have changed the way I view myself and my strengths.

LexRunLadies at the Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon, March 2012
We welcome and encourage anyone – ladies and dudes, as we call them – from the absolute beginner to the multiple marathoner. We meet at various locations in and around Lexington. You’ll find encouragement, feedback and answers to all sorts of questions, even the embarrassing ones. If you have ever thought about wanting to run and are interested in support, please reach out to us.

Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon

Eight months ago, I would have laughed in your face if you said that I would ever run more than a half mile at one time.

On Saturday, I’ll be toeing the line to run 13.1 miles – well, attempt to run it all! I’m sure there will be some walking. (I’ll also be starting somewhere in the back of the pack, but I’m fine with that!)

I started the Couch to 5K program in August of 2011 at 90 pounds over my healthy weight. I learned how to run using an app on my smartphone and buoyed up by the encouragement of my Twitter friends. I ran my first 5K at the end of October. A month later, I was signing up for the Run the Bluegrass half marathon. Needless to say, I was hooked.

Run the Bluegrass bills itself as “one of the prettiest half marathons in America.” I can verify the truth of that claim.
Another view from today's run.
Starting near the main entrance of Keeneland, the race course flows out the back gate – near all the horse barns – and through the rolling bluegrass hills of Central Kentucky. Horse farms feature prominently along the course. There is even one pasture full of miniature horses who will run up to the fence and cheer you along. The final mile of the course runs alongside the famed white fences of Calumet Farm. The most beautiful thoroughbreds you’ll ever see will race you down the length of that fence. Undoubtedly, they will win!

The course is challenging. There are LOTS of hills! One portion of the course runs on Old Frankfort Pike past the Headley-Whitney museum. It’s one of my favorite backcountry drives in the world – both for the beauty and the roller-coaster feel of those hills. I’m not so sure my feet will feel the same joy on Saturday!
jesus H. I'm about to run up this hill.
The race, hosted by Lexenomics, has a decidedly Bluegrass and thoroughbred feel. Mrs. Penny Chenery, the owner of the legendary Secretariat, is this year’s honorary starter. The race expo offers the option for participants to buy a bottle of Maker’s Mark and have their caricature drawn on the label. Kentucky companies like Swim Bike Run of Kentucky, WellFed Meals, Ale8One, Flav-O-Rich and more are all well represented. The organizers are as local as you can get and have worked hard to follow through on their mission of “invest[ing] energies & resources into the capabilities Lexington already has.”

With over 2000 racers in only its second year, the event is growing by leaps and bounds. You’ve got plenty of time to train for next year! If I survive Saturday, I’ll see you in 2013!