How to prepare for your first race

Preparing for your first race?

Perhaps it is an item to cross of your bucket list. Maybe it’s a way to stay in shape. It could be a way to stay active with your family.

No matter what your reason is for starting your running journey, it likely will include a race. Races are a great way to celebrate the training miles you have put in!

How to prepare for your first race?

When it comes to your first race, it can be a little overwhelming. No matter the distance, no matter the size of the event, no matter where the race is – here are some tips to make your first race experience a great one!

5 Tips to Prepare for your First Race

1. Do a little research.

When it comes to your first race, the nerves can definitely rise. Be prepared for what race day holds by researching your race! Check out the website, look for race recaps or even email the race director. This will help you prepare for how many runners you will encounter, the race course, water stations, parking, etc – meaning less nerves on race day.

2. Leave the time goals behind.

Sure, you may have an idea of what time you would like to finish your race in. Good news – since this is your first race, it is an automatic personal record! Leave your time goals behind and take in everything your first race experience includes. You will have plenty of other opportunities to work on that time goal!

3. Nothing new on race day.

During your training, you have used certain clothes, shoes, fuel, etc. Use these same items on race day! Don’t try a new pre-race dinner. Don’t drink coffee before the race if you haven’t before. And don’t wear a new outfit or shoes. Stick with what you KNOW works, and you won’t pay for it in the middle of the race!

4. Have a mantra.

Things happen during a race. Maybe the weather isn’t what you were expecting. Maybe there is a hill midway through the race that seems to last forever. Maybe your legs start to feel sore. Prepare by having a mantra ready. This quote, saying or song lyric is what can push you through and get you to the finish line!

5. Enjoy every mile.

You will never get a first race experience again, so take it all in! Read the signs. High five the spectators. Look at the scenery. Take in the excitement. Enjoy every single mile – you have worked hard for this moment!


With these tips, your first race is a memory you will cherish forever. No matter how you cross the finish line, it is a great accomplishment and should be celebrated – so be sure to celebrate well!


megan-headshotAbout the Author:

Megan Biller is a lady on the run in Michigan. Three years ago she began running, and since has run multiple 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon races, including the multi-day runDisney Dopey Challenge. She chronicles her running journey on her blog, Running Toward the Prize and is the author of Magical Miles: The Runner’s Guide to Walt Disney World

WARNING: Your health may be sabotaged because of this!

There’s something you do every single day that affects how you function in life.

That one, but hugely important, thing that really decides whether you succeed or fail with your health and wellness efforts.

The mind.

It’s a powerful thing. It can make you do amazing things.

It can also, however, break you down and make you believe that you are not good enough with your efforts. It can make you feel like a failure when you haven’t failed and it can make you move away from the innate feeling of self-acceptance to self-loathing.

It’s a powerful thing. Especially when it comes to health.

Whole Body Wellness

That’s why I wanted to talk to my dear friend and Whole Body Wellness expert, Lori Streator. Lori is the lady behind Sweatpants & Superfoods and she is super intelligent, passionate, and authentic in the way that she helps people get on the healthier path with life.

But I’ll let this interview speak for itself.

In this short interview, Lori tells us what Whole Body Wellness is all about and how the mind can affect the body when it comes to health and wellness. She has a very unique perspective on the matter and one that most other fitness and health coaches don’t.

Lori is actually a therapist AND a fitness & nutrition coach - which really allows her to help her clients from the inside AND out. It’s a truly amazing and unique combination that very few can provide.

Enjoy the video and let us know what you think.

Some tweetables:


“Your body can’t achieve what your mind doesn’t believe.” (CLICK TO TWEET)


“A lot of times, people subconsciously hold onto weight for a purpose.” (CLICK TO TWEET)



You can check out Lori on her website Sweatpants & Superfoods and on Facebook and Twitter.


Chicago’s BRAND NEW way to find the best hidden gems: Meet the Sosh app

My Chicago friends, this is for you!

Do you ever wonder what you should do over the weekend? You’re bored and want to make plans but have no idea what’s even going on. Even though the city is huge and there’s SO much to do, we always end up doing the same thing over and over again.

And I’m SO over being invited to the club all the time. Having worked in the nightlife industry, most of my Facebook friends are still in that scene and 95% of the Facebok event invites have to do with some nightclub event. Not my thing anymore. Meh.

I DO, however, want to do fun things… happy hour? Wine tasting? A fun fitness class? Or something else that’s new and unique and exciting? Sign me up.

Enter Sosh.

I recently had the pleasure of checking out this new app ‘Sosh’ that is brand new to our beautiful city. They are already popular in such large metro areas like NYC, San Francisco, and Seattle.


Actually, nearly one out of every 6 adults in San Francisco is a Sosh member, according to the press release I read. Say wha?! That’s awesome.

As you can imagine my expectations were pretty high after reading this. Like, seriously? I don’t know… Sounds kind of too good to be true.

Downloaded the app.

Blown away by the beautiful user interface and design. I’m a highly visual person, as a natural artist and photographer, so I was drooling over this. Also, the user experience itself was very smooth and easy to navigate. I loved it!

Sosh App in Chicago

More about the app? Well, Sosh uses technology to continually keep an eye on the city’s hottest trends, and most unique activites and events. Every activity is vetted by local tastemakers (like, REAL people) who are either on-staff experts or well-known locals. Sosh then recommends things to do that are personalized to each member’s interests, habits, and a host of other factors including the time of day, day of the week, and the WEATHER OUTSIDE (THANK YOU!!!).

What sets Sosh apart is that it doesn’t simply give its members a directory of local venues. Instead, it curates the city’s best events and activities, from a pasta-making class with a famous chef to cocktails at a new speakeasy, or the perfect itinerary for a first date.

Umm… hello new favorite app?!

It came at a perfect time too, the weather is getting nicer outside and I’m definitely going to be more interested in doing stuff. My mind has been SO busy with work and business, I need some time for myself.

Maybe a happy hour is in order… ;)

Wanna check it out?

Sosh is totally free to sign up!

▪   If you’re on the computer, CLICK HERE to sign up on the web.

▪   If you’re on your phone, CLICK HERE to download the app.


Questions for you:

  • Have you used the Sosh app before?
  • What is your favorite fun activity out on the town?

Let me know in the comments!

How I began the shift into body-acceptance

Today we are talking about body-acceptance! Body-Love Wellness Circles by Anne-Sophie Reinhardt is an immersion into the power of body-acceptance.The Circles will be focused around transforming the relationship you have or may not have with your body, food and yourself.This post is part of the Body-Love Blog Tour, which is spreading body-acceptance to the masses. To learn more and join us, click here.

Body-love and body-acceptance is not something that was normal to me through my young adulthood.

I remember as a child, I carried a little extra on my body after one trip to visit my aunt in Germany (chocolate there was too good apparently haha) and I came back a little pudgy. It stuck. I didn’t care though. Why should I? I lived in Poland. I had friends. I had my passions. Life was good. Who cares.

How I began the Shift into Body-Acceptance

I moved to America at 13 and I was still relatively okay with how I looked. However, moving from a small town in Poland to Chicago, one of the main cities in the US, was bound to come with a transition period. Not to mention, I was coming into adolescence and rebellion and I desperately wanted to fit in. You can imagine.

As years progressed, I started noticing more and more what was seen as attractive by the media and what wasn’t. Although I wasn’t totally unhappy with how I looked, I also really wanted to feel accepted by kids at this totally new school in a totally new city and country. I started going out to clubs at age 16 and I’m pretty sure that’s when I started to become hyper-aware of the fact that I am not sexy enough.

Granted, I was still a child. But now being surrounded by half-naked go-go dancers on club podiums and other 17-19 year old girls dressed provocatively, made me wish I could do that too. I wasn’t “fat” but I also was not skinny. Definitely not fit. I didn’t exercise and I ate whatever I wanted.

I became more and more concerned with the way I looked. Can you blame me? I was 16-17. Still relatively new to the city (at the time, I moved to a new town again for high school so I had to make new friends all over again, plus none of them spoke Polish this time! Ohh, the stress!). I just wanted to be liked. I wanted to be seen as fun and cool. I mean, who doesn’t?

I remember trying to diet and none of them were very successful until finally I discovered self-hypnosis and I dropped 15 lbs and was finally at my perfect weight. Not too skinny but also not average. It was better than average. I looked good – and people noticed. I gained more confidence… however at the same time, I still wasn’t entirely comfortable with myself.

Fast forward to college and I am yo-yo’ing like crazy. Hypnosis really made me think I was “naturally thin” (not the case) and I stopped caring what I eat and started indulging in the buffet of food from the dorm cafeteria. The 15 lbs came back on quickly. That’ when I started really trying to drop it again. Obsessively. The yo yo started with the same 10 lbs both ways. Each time, I would become more obsessed, more desperate, more depressed after each failure.

I entered a pretty dark period of my life my sophomore year of college which I’m not going to talk about and junior year was the end of the rope. I was feeling so discouraged… then I discovered the book “Inuitive Eating” and it all clicked for me. That was the moment, I gave up dieting forever.

I have, over the months, gone a little astray from IE. Well first, I lost the book somewhere. Second, I realized – really realized, that life is about much much more than dieting or even how you look.

So even though I began to eat whatever I wanted again, without feeling guilt or shame, I also began to notice that what we really have to pay attention to is OUR MIND and our BODY in an intuitive sense. This was the beginning of my journey into self-awareness and it has changed everything about me and my life.

Where am I now? I am at my highest weight. Do I care? Well, I would lie if I said I didn’t care. I do, and I wish that didn’t have t be case. But do I hate myself? Do I shame myself for eating a cupcake if I really wanted it? NO. Although I don’t really crave cupcakes much anyway.

And that’s the amazing thing – through Inuitive Eating I really discovered BODY ACCEPTANCE. I began to love myself for who I am. I started focusing on the amazing things my body does for me everyday. I began to appreciate the curves. I began to thank my body for carrying me through the days and getting rid of illnesses.


Most of all – I realized that I don’t need to be accepted for how I look. The most important thing is that I accept myself for how I AM, not just looks but also how I am inside! Which is something that has been missing from my life for many many years. I used to judge my self-worth on the number on the scale and the looseness of the clothes. But now? I know that I am more than my body. I am more than the number and the clothes.

Body + Mind + Spirit = that’s what body acceptance and self-love really means to me.

What does it mean to you?