Running the ING Miami Half Marathon

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Half marathon #5 complete

ING complete

It was not my best time, but I had an interesting time. I among many things, I spent the weekend in Miami with a few of my closest running friends.

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This race was one of the 2013 official Black Girls RUN! races. It’s great to hang out with running friends.

Bart Yasso and me

I got to meet Bart Yasso at the ING Miami Marathon expo. During the expo he shared some really good tips and even gave me a new takeaways when running long distances. It is so simple to think that about breaking up the race into smaller segments. So, for me I typically break it up into three mile increments until mile nine. I get a one mile reprieve and at mile 10, there’s just a 5K to go.

The course is super flat and beautiful. The temps went up pretty quickly after the race gun going off at 6:15 a.m. But I’m not complaining. Who wouldn’t love to come to South Florida in January when most of the country is freezing?

One thing I learned about the course is that a flat course may not be the course for everyone. I may not like hill work or running rolling hills, but I know they are important.

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Last but not least is the cool bling. It’s my first race medal that spins.

Do you have any tips you took away after your last race?

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Wild About Zum Bar

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Indigo Wild boxI received one of the best gifts for Christmas – a box of Zum products by Indigo Wild. I have only tried the Zum Bar soap so far, but I am hooked.

Zum Bar soap is de-lish.

The bars themselves, with Ruffles-like ridges on one sides, and swirls of colors, are combined with an amazing unique assortment of scents. The scents are so good that I couldn’t wait to open the box they came packaged in.

I have learned over the years that just because it smells good, it doesn’t mean that it is good for you. And over the course of those years, I realized that there are a few brands that I can not use. It’s not that I have super sensitive skin, but a few do make me itch. So, I traditionally stick with a couple of basic non-perfumey brand soaps. I’m sure to feel clean and not want to scratch my skin off.

I am not sure which ones came in the box I received. Regardless, I love them.

The key to an Indigo Wild Zum Bar is goat’s milk. They explain why it works so well on their FAQ page:

Goat’s milk is naturally ultra-moisturizing. Goat’s milk soap contains capric, caprylic, and capronic acids and natural occurring triglycerides. Otherwise known as good fats. The result is a pH level that is good for healthy human hair and skin, while commercial soap can dry out the skin to the point at which it feels taut and itchy. The oil glands are forced to counteract, overproducing oils in an attempt to rebalance the pH of the skin. The result can be oily skin, clogged pores, blackheads and yuck – pimples.

Along with goat’s milk, Indigo Wild bar soaps contain other simplistic ingredients: saponified 100% food grade olive, coconut, palm and castor oils, with herbs, pure essential oils and mineral pigments. Further details on their colorings are also described on their FAQ page: “We use ultramarines and iron oxides for our colorants. We never use FD&C colorings in any of our products.”

Here’s my favorite part ladies; this product is GOOD for you, really really good! No parabens, chemicals, detergents, or petroleum by-products.

I am looking forward to trying the other things in the box. I may be trying the Zum Rub and Sore Soak after running the ING Half Marathon this weekend.

Have any of you tried Zum? Or have opinions on the Indigo Wild brand? I’d love to hear your feedback too.

Happy Birthday Dr. King

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IMAG0133I had the chance to visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. last year. It is a place to just sit and take it all in after you read the quotes surrounding him.

I am reminded about that visit today, on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 84th birthday.

I personally had my first overwhelming eye-opening of what Dr. King had done in the way it impacted my life as a freshman at Bloomsburg University. And since those days, I do my best to remember that he is integral to what I have today and how the road was paved for other African Americans.

While watching “King: Man of Peace in a Time of War” via Redbox Instant today, I am reminded again of the path that it has taken to get to 2013.

During an interview in 1967, King said, “I am not doing it for myself or my children or for the negro, but for America. I think if this problem isn’t solved the soul of our nation will be lost. The only way to redeem the soul of America is to remove, eradicate racism in order to make change.”

Change has definitely come. Change has come thanks to the relentless work of Dr. King and hundreds of leaders, known and unknown.

Happy Birthday, Dr. King.

Accept ME in South Carolina

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I have learned about a lot of things about health care working for the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA).

The latest surrounds the issue of expanding Medicaid in the state, which is being met by severe resistance.

SCHA and other advocates are working to have legislators accept Medicaid Expansion in South Carolina. There are a number of benefits for the state including additional revenue into the state budget, additional jobs and decreasing the number of South Carolinians without health insurance.

Every South Carolinian with an income pays federal taxes to the federal government to support our nation’s health, infrastructure, military and other core programs. By refusing Medicaid expansion, we’re telling the federal government to keep those dollars and not inviting them home to SC to reduce our uninsured population.  We’re paying into a program, and not receiving the greatest benefit of the program.

Whether you agree or not, at least watch. Then do your own research before making your decision.