Wednesday, November 26, 2014


‘Tis the season for holiday diet challenges! Want to fill your plate with one green bean and carrot per day? How about drink only tea (with peppermint because ‘Ho! Ho! Ho!’)? Who needs breakfast, lunch, and dinner when you can skip all 3 and munch on seaweed chips? Oh come on, guys! I can’t think of a better way to spend one of the happiest times of the year other than starving yourself and making multiple trips to the bathroom thanks to your tea intake!

I don’t know about you, but if I go more than 3 hours without eating, I turn into a wicked version of the Grinch. So yeah, holiday food challenges aren’t for me and realistically, they aren’t for anyone. When I came across Elf 4 Health, I was immediately drawn in because it was more than eating healthier during the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Elf 4 Health is a 4-week health challenge with a twist. The challenges fall into 4 categories: Food, Fitness, For You and For Others. What’s one fun twist? You are assigned an elf to support and encourage you! As an elf (which you also become one yourself), you are expected to motivate your assigned buddy to reach their goals and finish their challenges. You are asked to do this through e-mail and social media outlets, as well as reach out to others doing the challenge and spread your “Elf-abilities” to them, too! Each week the creators of this wonderful idea, Lindsey of The Lean Green Bean and Elle of According to Elle, will be awarding prizes provided by sponsors for this years challenge! 

If you think this is something you would like to participate in, deadline for ROUND 2 of signups is Friday, December 5th. Follow this link to do so! If you wish to follow my Elf adventures:

Instagram: @carriestav
Facebook: Carrie Stavenger

Twitter: @p_s_wywh

P.S. If you are participating in this challenge, is this your first year doing so? If not, what is one thing you took away from the last time you did it? Comment below!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

10 Tips for Runners

1. Dress comfortable or be miserable. The other day I wore a tight tank top to the gym. I hate wearing tight things and so why I thought that day would be different is beyond me. I couldn't go more than 3 seconds without looking in the mirror; pulling and tugging at the material to make it stop suctioning to the areas of my body that make me insecure. I spent so much time thinking about what I was wearing that it took away from the workout itself. Wear things that make you feel unstoppable, comfortable, and confident!

2. H2O is the way to go. Think of water as your best friend. You wouldn't go longer than 60 minutes without paying attention - texting - to them, would you? Even if you're not thirsty or don't think you need water, you do! Your body is exerting sweat (losing fluid) so you must replenish with water to keep you from staying dehydrated. According to LiveStrong:

"Aim for 17 to 20 ounces a couple of hours before your workout and then 8 ounces 20 to 30 minutes before you start. When in motion, plan for 7 to 10 ounces for every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise and then cool down with 8 ounces within at least 30 minutes after a workout. Investing in a water bottle with measurement markings can help you ensure that you're drinking enough."

3. Set (realistic) goals for yourself. There is a time and place to pretend you're Superwoman, but when it comes to your fitness, leave your cape at home. Disappointment and failure lead to resentment!

4. Since when did walking get such a bad rap? I use to think that walking during a run was an excuse to give up and take the easy route, but that mindset changed when I was halfway through my marathon training. I began to walk every so often to a) stretch b) catch my breath c) drink water or d) take a mental break. I noticed that my time didn't slow down at all because when I started running again, I felt replenished and kept a steady and at times even faster pace. It also broke up the run into smaller increments, making it mentally easier to push through - "In 2 more miles, I can walk for 1 minute." 

5. "It's really important for players to participate in other sports - whether it's indoor lacrosse or soccer to baseball." - Wayne Gretzky. We've all heard that you're suppose to "listen to your body", but personally, my stubbornness usually speaks louder to my ears. It's a challenge but so important to both cross train AND take rest days. Maybe your body doesn't need it, but your mind does. Find an activity that you enjoy doing (other than running) and add it to your weekly workouts. Need ideas? Here are 16 Cross-Training Activities for Runners!

6. Time/Distance. If you're getting burnt out and starting to dread longer distance runs, switch it up and focus on time. For example, instead of saying "I have to run 6 miles today", set out and run for 60 minutes. This puts the pressure off of mileage and let's you set your own pace and mindset.

7. Sir Mix-Up-Your-Routes-A-Lot. While I love routine, I also love switching it up every now and then to stay somewhat sane. Whether it be searching the internet for new trails in your neighborhood or hopping on the treadmill for an interval workout, being flexible and open to new ways and places to run is quite refreshing and exciting (especially if you live in an area with scenic views!). Pinterest has plenty of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) plans but I've created one for you, too!

I had fun putting together (and testing) this workout, so if you try it and enjoy it, let me know! Maybe I'll start creating more?!

8. Schedule that Double Cheeseburger and Fries for after your run. If you want to stay away from bushes/gas stations/or porta potties, think smart about what you're eating prior to a run. A balanced and nutritious diet can determine the type of run you have. Think about greasy food moving around in your stomach while you pound the pavement. If your nose is scrunched up and the thought of it makes your stomach hurt, then there's your confirmation to plan out your "cheat days" around your runs.

9. "Fast Five" and keep them close by. Write down five reasons why you run and post them in a place you often pass by. This could be on your bedroom door, your bathroom mirror, in your planner, or even on the dash of your car. Seeing these multiple times a day will help keep you motivated and on track to meet your goals!

10. Pump and eat iron. Without going into much detail, marathon training did a number of things on my body, causing doctor appointments after doctor appointments with still no answer to a current problem I currently have. It is VERY common for runners to have an iron deficiency but is something that we must stay on top of. Low iron causes fatigue and other serious health problems so if you are experiencing a change in your body, see a doctor immediately so you don't do any further damage to yourself. Also, don't forget to pump that iron! It is essential to pay attention to and build up your muscle so they are able to properly support your bones while running.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

PRO Compression Giveaway Winner

Revised 11/18/14: Congratulations to the new winner, TONI! Please e-mail me by 9pm tonight. 

Revised 11/17/14: Jill, you have until 9pm tonight to email me or else I will be announcing a new winner.

Congratulations to JILL, the winner of the PRO Compression socks! 

Jill - please email me ( as soon as possible. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

PRO Compression Socks Review (+ GIVEAWAY!)

When I was presented with the opportunity to try PRO Compression socks, I jumped right on it! I have seen a growing number of them on runners not only at races but also around neighborhoods and parks, as well as read rave blog reviews about them, too!

The second I put these on, my initial thought was that they were tight but felt GOOD. They weren't heavy or air-constricting (our feet need to breathe!), and how could I not get a little extra "cheerful" when I looked down and saw neon green staring back at me?! 

Here are some additional facts and info according to the PRO Compression website:

1. True compression improves blood flow resulting in less fatigue and faster recovery.
2. Support critical areas, muscles and tendons, and help reduce inflammation, swelling and soreness.
3.  Non-slip design, even hours after on your feet.
4. Made in 'MERICA!

While they're a little pricey, PRO Compression was kind of enough to let me host a giveaway as well as give my readers 40% off any sock or sleeve item from their website using the code BLG14.

To enter for a chance to win a pair of these snazzy socks:

1. Leave a comment below (with your name) telling me what your favorite workout or exercise is these days! *Mandatory*

2. Like PRO Compression on Facebook -

3. Follow PRO Compression on Twitter -

4. Follow P.S. Wish You Were Here on Twitter -

5. Follow me on Instagram - @carriestav

Winner will be chosen at random on Friday, November 14th, and will be announced via blog post so make sure to check back and see if you are the lucky one!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Do You Have A Runner's Body?

When people ask why or how I run, they usually follow it up with one of these: 

"I wasn't born a runner."

"My legs weren't meant to do anything other than walk."

"I can't run."

"It's not in my genes."

Thanks to my friends at RunHaven, you can read through their article to see if you have a "runner's body". Get ready - you may be shocked to see what kind of body you do have!