Review: Running with the Kenyans

Last week, while running errands, Nick and I stopped by the library to pick up a few books. While I was there, I checked out the nonfiction running section and stumbled upon this book while looking for training guides.
Running with the Kenyans: Passion, Adventure, and the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth

The story itself kept me entertained [and I am not normally a fan of nonfiction – give me fiction murder mysteries any day] and looking forward to the next runs with the Kenyans. Taking your wife and kids into the unknown world of Kenya was a brave decision, but one that the author [Adharanand Finn or just Finn as he’s better known as] would never regret.

As I was reading through his story, I kept thinking about his goal to find the one secret that made Kenyans so fast and beating world-wide records on a whim at the largest races [New York, Chicago, all the way up the ranks to the Olympic games]. It’s unbelievable when you read their stories. In the end, the reader and Finn realize that the Kenyans do not have just one secret, rather its the combination of many ideas. It’s barefoot running as children to and from school, while running errands, while completing their chores. It’s the diet of little meat and ugali. It’s the lifestyle, truly a “Run, Eat, Rest, Run, Sleep” day. It’s the altitude. It’s the trail running rather than concrete.

Running with Kenyans: The start of the local district cross country championships

Here in the west, running is a form of exercise, an activity we enjoy doing. In Kenya, running is a way of life. It’s all you do. You don’t take time to work a 50-60 hour workweek and ‘run for fun’ when you have a chance. At the end of the book, Finn runs the Safaricom Marathon, a 26.2 mile race in the Lewa Wildlife Conversancy at 5,500 feet <- as if you needed anymore challenges [I tried to run at Beech one time. Yes, that’s right, just ONE time]. Along the course, you never know what animals you will find. But the lions have been scared away by helicopters, so there’s little chance you will be eaten out there.

After finishing the book, I realized I have two goals in my fall training: run faster and run farther. Who wouldn’t also feel that way? I want to surpass my current half marathon time – the one I ran with little training and short runs and train past 13.1 in preparation for a full in the spring. I know I have the skills/techniques/training methods now to beat my current half marathon time, but I have no clue if I will actually meet my time goal. I know my legs can carry me farther and farther and I’m excited to see how well I can handle a full 26.2 mile race in April. And with that said, it’s time to get moving for the day!

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Best Body Boot Camp: A Final Review

I wanted to put together this post to remind myself that I have come such a long way in 8 short weeks; it’s shocking! And to share my experiences as a first time participant in Tina’s Best Body Boot Camp.

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BBBC has shown me that in 8 short weeks, I can not only change my body, but change my mindset. I set out with the goal that I was going to make it to the end, I would keep going even when the going gets tough, make this a habit not a whim, and use everything I learned to develop new workouts, new training plans, and a new lifestyle.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have dabbled in workouts, running and cardio for the last year, but this time it was going to be different. I was going to explore the world of strength training. This was completely foreign to me, but Tina provided excellent videos that I could follow along with [there were many days I had the video up and would watch the demo, complete that specific move, then watch the next move, and repeat].

I loved the community feel of BBBC, as well. Within our private Facebook group, members feel free to share their successes and failures with everyone and support is there. My biggest let-down [for myself] was not being active in the group more – this will change in the next round!

Personal Gains

Overall, I am much happier person these days since I have a way to eliminate all of my stress and worries. I lift weights and run them away! In turn, I have tons more energy. These days, I spend more time being active, but I love my runs and walks with my pup so we develop a quality bond that can never be broken.

Funny Pets Ecard: The best part of owning a dog is getting to leave places to go walk it.

Sizzle is my favorite workout buddy, she keeps me going when it gets tough and she loves every single moment of it. Maybe next time I can get a video of her ‘prance’ – head held high and tail up in the air, she is absolutely adorable. That’s not the only time she’s too cute…
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Fitness Gains

Not only have I become a happier person, but I am seeing improvements in all areas of my fitness. My runs have become faster and I feel strong at the end rather than dying at the end like I was last December and even just 9 weeks ago. 

My goals have now changed as well. Case in Point: the other day I was working on my current half marathon training plan and I ended up sidetracked – I was thinking about my first scheduled 5 miler last November. I had the goal to reach 5 miles in 60 minutes, now my goal is 5 miles in 50 minutes and I have succeeded! I’m hoping that getting back to my now-normal weekly 5 milers will help my longer runs as well.

Two weeks ago, I made the decision to take a BodyPump class at my gym. Best decision ever! Loved the class, format, music, and getting it all in before 7am = successful day!

Not going to lie, this class is intense, BUT I never would have had the courage to step foot into it before BBBC. And now, I am so happy I found it! It’s a great addition to my weekly routine, plus I can change things up a bit in my training schedules.

The one final piece of BBBC that I needed to complete was the original Fitness Test for 1 final comparison. So, here’s my results and progress:
Final Fitness Test 

If I have been able to spark your interest, today is your lucky day! Tina is offering the entire 8 week program for only $30 [that’s a savings of $10 off the regular price] and let me tell you, it’s worth way more than $30 or $40. Check out this link for your chance to make a difference in your own life. You know I’ll be joining up for Fall BBBC!