Hi everyone! Welcome to Day 5 of our cruise!

Catching up?

Well, we got back into Miami this morning at 8:00 AM! Cruise is over and it’s sad, but we’re hopping in the car and driving straight to Sarasota! I have not seen my family or been home since January 1st so I am REALLY excited about this! We have the weekend here and the number 1 thing I want to do, besides spending lots of time with my family, is go on the Legacy Trail for a nice long bike ride with Evan! If you go from one end to the other it’s 18 miles! I don’t know if we’ll go that far but regardless it should be fun!

For all of you working today…IT’S FRIDAY!!! What are your plans for the weekend?!

Have a great Friday!!

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Today’s guest post comes from Megan at Eat, Sleep, Run. Megan just started her own blog and I’m really excited that she decided to guest post here and share her story with us! Enjoy and leave her some love!

Running and Blogging!

Hey guys- I’m so excited I get to be a guest poster on Ryan’s blog. I should probably start off by introducing myself. My name’s Megan and I’m a 20 year old college student in Maryland. I grew up doing gymnastics-I actually did it for 12 years but gave it up after I graduated from high school. I’m on my school’s track team right now (a pole vaulter!) and I love distance running on the side. Check out this picture of me pole vaulting:

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I also LOVE food-I love trying new things, experimenting with new recipes, and fitting in healthy eating with college life. I figured for this guest post though I would talk about how I started running and my 2 half marathons.

dsc000551Growing up, I was always the kid who could eat whatever she wanted and still be thin. But when I stopped doing gymnastics after I graduated from high school, I started to gain weight. I gained 10 pounds by the end of my freshman year in college and had gone from 110 pounds to 120 (I’m 5’3″). I started running not to lose weight, but to relieve some of the stresses of college. I remember the first run I went on-I ran 1 mile and was exhausted. Eventually I got up to a long run of 4 or 5 miles once a week. When I decided to run my first half marathon though, it was really out of the blue. I was home for winter break in January and just decided to sign up. I decided to run my first half with Team in Training (TNT). In case you guys aren’t familiar with Team in Training, it’s an organization that gives you all the tools you need to train for/complete an endurance race [or triathlon/bike ride] and in return, you raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. So after four long rewarding months of training and fundraising, I was ready [or at least I hoped]. I had raised $2,600 and my longest run had been 11 miles. This is me the day before the race-it was super windy and rainy outside. Definitely didn’t help calm the nerves!

The actual day of the race was a lot better. It was 50 degrees in the morning and cloudy-perfect for running! I crossed the finish line in 1:57:18.

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The feeling was completely indescribable. Not only do you feel extremely accomplished crossing the finish line, but the support along the way is extraordinary. Running for Team in Training, you get a purple singlet to wear on race day. The night before, we all decorated our singlets with our names so people could cheer for us. There were HUGE support tables, people with cowbells and signs, and TNT tables along the way. It was such an amazing feeling to have so many people cheering you along. In total, our “team” raised over $100,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. AMAZING!

image_141I had such a great time actually that I decided to run another half marathon-and this time recruited one of my friends to run with me [or at least train with me]! We ran the Baltimore Half Marathon in October of 2008 and I PRed by 5 minutes! I ran 1:52:17, which is a pace of 8:34/mile.

It’s honestly such an amazing experience and hopefully I can train for my first FULL marathon later this year.  So my question for you guys is… Any tips/advice in training for a full marathon? Any good first time marathons out there? I would love to hear your stories!

Since that race in October, I’ve been doing a lot of running. I’m still pole vaulting with our school’s track team so that takes up a big chunk of time. I’m down to 116 pounds and my goal is to lose a few more. I’ve started eating a lot healthier [McDonald’s used to be a must after gymnastics practice]. I’ve become addicted to reading blogs like these… that I’m not too sure is healthy? But… after reading all of these amazing blogs online [and procrastinating on schoolwork], I’ve decided to start a blog of my own! Check it out: http://megan926.blogspot.com!

Anyways, thanks for reading this guest blog post and thanks to Ryan for letting me be a guest poster! I hope you guys enjoyed my story and I hope it maybe even motivated a few of you into running a half marathon! ☺

-Megan

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