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Welcome to the Official Site of The Y in Central Maryland Turkey Trot Charity 5K! We are excited to have you join us for this Thanksgiving morning tradition.

Adults, children and families from across the region come together to not only run (or walk, jog, stroll), but to raise funds so that children living in poverty in Central Maryland have access to Y programs that will forever shape their lives.

Thank you for being part of something good on Thanksgiving Morning!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Start your Turkey Trot Training!

You may be thinking – “Start running now? November is so far away”, but we think if you start now you will not only enjoy all the benefits of exercise now, but your training can be slow and steady, and not crammed in toward the end! This slow and steady rate will help prevent over training, injury, and burnout.

First, set your Turkey Trot goal. Are you going to run, walk or jog? Are you focused on completing 5k or training for something longer? Write down what you want to achieve. Writing helps you remember what exactly it is you want to do.

Second step is to look at a calendar and work backward. Turkey Trot is Thanksgiving morning, so you want to be able to complete at least 3.2 miles (5 kilometers) two weeks before Thanksgiving.

Then, decide how many times per week are you going to actively work on your goal? Maybe you can train more often during the summer, so schedule more workouts during that time, knowing you will have to cut back during the fall.

Now that you have time dedicated to your training you have to figure out how exactly to train. Are you only going to walk/run/jog or are you going to cross train? Inside or outside? We will be posting ideas in the coming weeks, and there are plenty of ideas out there, so you will find a plan that suits you!

The Y has a 5K training program, which we will detail in a few weeks, but if you want to try to go it alone here are some of our Y family’s favorite 5k training programs:

  • Runkeeper - you can use GPS, enter manual information, or sync with your Garmin device. (Elizabeth Kennedy)
  • Nike Training. Great workouts designed for women at different levels. The advanced level will challenge anyone! I do them in the gym or home when I need to mix it up a bit. (Erin Guiffre)
  • Map my run/ Map my ride. Records route, mileage, pace and even calories burned. (Shylice Nelson)
  • Mapmyfitness.com has everything you need (Jennifer LeBrun)
  • Zombies Run / Zombies 5K - a story line mixed in with your playlist, a little bit of a video game and zombie chases to get you moving faster. (Lex G-b)
  • Map my run and Couch to 5k - both great for beginners like me. (Mia BW)
  • Map my run and couch to 5k. (Faye Sudbrink Liberatore)
  • Map my run... because of its accurate GPS features and how it integrates with offer logging apps. makes the ability to track progress a lot easier (Tam Tee Dozier Dunn)
  • Map my run- ease of use! (Tiffany Bageant)
Thank you for everyone who contributed to this post! Great example of "community".

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Turkey Sightings: August

Spot Trotter around Central Maryland at these locations. Keep in mind, you never know where he might be found flapping his wings, so always keep an eye out.

Do not forget about our contest! Be sure to share your turkey encounters. Post your pics on Facebook, tweet us @YofCentralMD #yturkeytrot, and share your pics on instagram, #yturkeytrot!

Druid Hill Farmers Market: Wednesday, August 14 from 4:30-5:30pm

Druid Hill Farmers Market: Wednesday, August 21 from 4:30-5:30pm

Orioles Game (at Community Booth outside Gate D): Friday, August 23 at 7:00-7:30pm

MD State Fair: Saturday, August 24 from 11:30am - 12pm

MD State Fair: Sunday, August 25 from 11:30am - 12pm

Druid Hill Farmers Market: Wednesday, August 28 from 4:30 - 5:30pm

Inner Harbor: Friday, August 30 from 11am - 12pm

MD State Fair: Friday, August 30 from 1pm - 1:30pm

Inner Harbor: Saturday, August 31 from 11am - 12pm

MD State Fair: Saturday, August 31 from 1pm - 1:30pm

Inner Harbor: Sunday, September 1 from 11am - 12pm

MD State Fair: Sunday, September 1 from 1pm - 1:30pm

Friday, July 26, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

There’s a New Bird in Town!

We all know how symbolic the Raven and Oriole are to Baltimore, well now there is . . . the Y bird, TROTTER!

Trotter has joined our team to energize and excite Y friends and family across Central Maryland about the Y’s Turkey Trot Charity 5K! Trotter will be making appearances in your community and across the region, so be sure to check him out! He will also be making surprise drop-ins at Y Centers, preschools, camps, and other Y sites and events, so keep an eye out, you never know when Trotter will be spotted lifting weights, joining a Zumba class, or ruffling some feathers at a family fun night!

Not only are we excited for you to meet Trotter, we are excited to announce a contest! You could win a six month, FREE family membership to the Y! That means your family would be able to enjoy any of our eleven Family Center Y locations, which includes access to our pools, group fitness classes and more!

Turkey Trot Charity 5K Turkey Sighting Contest

Spot Trotter and share your sighting on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, or Instagram, with the #yturkeytrot, for a chance to win a six month, FREE family membership to the Y of Central Maryland!

Enter on: Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

Don't forget #yturkeytrot

Follow us here on the blog, on Facebook and Twitter to find out where Trotter will appear next! You never know when he will drop by somewhere unannounced, so stay on your toes!

Contest starts Thursday, July 25, 2013 and ends Wednesday, November 27, 2013. Winner will be chosen randomly. Current Y Members are not eligible to win, but are encouraged to participate. The winner will be announced on all social media platforms and contacted through private message Tuesday, December 3rd!

We cannot wait to see all the great pics you post!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Beat the Heat: Summer Workout Tips

Summertime either makes you want to run out the door and soak up the sunshine or hide inside with the air conditioning on. If you are going to go out in the heat to burn some calories you need to protect yourself. The last thing you want is to hurt yourself during the fun summer months!
  1. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
    - If you are thirsty, you are dehydrated, so do not let yourself get to that point.
    - Naturally flavored water is a delicious way to enjoy water, with a little more oomph! Add some of your favorite fruit to a pitcher of water and try to drink the entire pitcher every day.
    - Sick of nothing but water? Try unsweetened ice tea!
  2. Dodge the sun!
    - Avoid high-sun times, 10am to 2pm
    - Try to enjoy outdoor activities early, before the heat of the day kicks in
    - Look for places to workout with shade – shaded trails, under trees, park pavilions, or inside
  3. Feel the Burn!
    - Actually, we want your muscles to burn, but not your skin, so cover up!
    - Sunscreens have come such a long way! Gone are the days of it sweating into your eyes during a run. Slather on sunscreen at least 15 minutes before heading out.
    - Cover up with light, sweat wicking materials. Baseball caps are great for shading your face, while also absorbing sweat.
  4. Try something new!
    - When it just gets too hot to handle, why not move your workout
    indoors? Whether you search your tv guide for workouts on demand, make up your own routine, or join your local Family Center Y, you are sure to find something to keep you moving.
    - Move your workout to the pool! If you have children, they will be so excited to see you in the water splashing around. Run in the place, tread water, swim laps, or just play with your kids. Throwing a child up in the air is sure to give your arms a great workout.
    - Unleash your inner child – out for a sweaty run? If you spot a sprinkler, take a lap through it to cool down.
Enjoy the summer heat safely.
Share with us, in the comment section, how you stay cool while breaking a sweat!

Top Picture from: http://www.more4kids.info/347/toddlers-and-water/
Bottom Picture from: http://lookatmyhappyrainbow.blogspot.com/2011/05/sprinkler.html

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Why We Are Running

For almost 20 years family and friends from across the country have come together to partake in a powerful Thanksgiving event – Y of Central Turkey Trot. Some come to run and set new personal records while others come to stroll in the crisp autumn air. This is a family event; children are encouraged to take part in the 5K and man’s best friend is welcome as well!

The proceeds from this event support the Y of Central Maryland, which is a charitable organization dedicated to developing the full potential of every individual through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. A lot of people only know us for our Family Center Ys, but we are so much more! We focus on youth development in Central Maryland through high-quality preschool programs, Head Start programs, before-and-after school enrichment programs, mentoring, sport clinics and more. We are focused on providing children in the area, no matter what their financial or family situation, caring, enriching, and safe experiences.

This year we are placing more focus on the “why” of this event. The need in Maryland continues to grow as more and more families are impacted by the widening income gap. Many families are struggling and we need your help in making sure children at or below the federal poverty level in Central Maryland get to enjoy experiences we can all appreciate: children learning and having fun with other children in preschool, being cared for before and after school with great activities, and attending summer camp, all while being surrounded by caring adults who will help Y children grow into productive members or society.

We greatly appreciate your support and hope you are able to realize the impact you and the Y have on the community. You will smile even brighter knowing that choosing to join us Thanksgiving morning and choosing to fundraise made even more smiles brighter.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Recipe: Easy Energy-Bites

Today everything is fast paced and we are always looking for something to eat that is easy to take along, easy to make, yummy and nutritionally appropriate for the entire family. We are loving this recipe for easy energy bites. And when we say "easy" we mean ingredients you can find at your local supermarket, no baking, and one bowl!

These are great to take as on-the-go snacks or mash in your favorite type of milk (cow, almond, soy, etc.) and enjoy like a cereal. Most of the ingredients can be swapped to match the season of your cravings.

Mix the following ingredients in a large bowl, refrigerate for at least 15 minutes (to make the mix easier to work with), and roll into small bite size pieces. These bites can be kept in the refrigerator or on the counter. It really is a quick recipe that the entire family can enjoy making and eating.

  • 2 cups dry oatmeal (we recommend old-fashioned oats)
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 2/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup toasted coconut flakes (optional)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds (optional) 
Consider swapping chocolate chips for white chocolate chips and coconut flakes for dried cranberries. You can also skip the coconut flakes and chocolate chips, and add in cinnamon and raisins. Experiment with it!

Picture from: gimmesomeoven.com and recipe adapted from: gimmesomeoven.com

Thursday, July 18, 2013

It's Coming!

It's coming! What is "it"? We cannot tell you quite yet, you will have to wait for our big reveal, but we can tell you “it” is exciting, motivating and will make you smile. The "it" also includes a social media picture contest! If you cannot wait for the announcement to hit the airwaves, join us Thursday, July 25th at 4 pm at the Harry & Jeanette Family Center Y in Baltimore City for the news!

If you cannot join us there, keep an eye out for a blog post with all the details after the event.

Want some more clues? Well “it” does not fear the dawn, the distance, the wind, the hills, or the rain . . .
Here’s a sneak peek!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Get Going! Setting Frustration-Free Goals

Six months ago you most likely set some New Year resolutions. Have you kept them? If not, now is a great time to renew them! Or maybe you were too excited when you made your resolutions and need revamp them a bit, to make them fit the “reality” of your life. Too often we create goals that are too intense, and then when we have one “bad” day we give up.

There is a difference between making goals challenging and making them unattainable. With that said, we need to be challenged in order to make positive change in our lives, so don't be scared to aim high and take it one step at a time!

Let’s set a long-term goal and then break it up into smaller, short-terms goals. As you achieve the short-term goals, you will gain momentum and before you know it you will have met your long-term goal!

Long term goal (example): Live a healthy life and be a role model of health to my friends and family. “Healthy” to me means eating more fruits and vegetables, eating fewer sweets, working out four days a week, sleeping more and making sure to take time to relax.

That is a HUGE goal that takes into account a lot of different things – diet, exercise, rest, and time! You may be able to wake up one day and charge completely at these changes or you may need to work on one thing at a time, so that you do not become overwhelmed. So, take your goal and set mini-goals:

Week one goal: Swap one processed sugary food a day for a fruit.Week two goal: Continue with week one’s goal and exercise with a friend twice a week (exercise does not have to be at a gym, it can be a walk with your dog).
Week three goal: Continue with the other weeks’ goals and go to bed “on-time” at least twice.

Week by week add onto or advance your goal. Making these changes slowly will allow you and others impacted by your changes to adjust. Be sure to share with your friends and family your goals, so that they can support you.

Share with us your long term goal or even your goal for this week in the comment section below.

Good luck and stick with us for more healthy living tips!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Turkey Trot Charity 5K Kick Off!

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving and Turkey Trot are only five months away! Right now in Central Maryland it is hot and humid; days are full of sunscreen lotion, lemonade and time at the pool. But, before we know it, thousands of people across the region will be huddled together on Thanksgiving morning with family and friends to run in support of children in Central Maryland.

Registration opens today, so register online and start training and fundraising

Be sure to follow us here on the Turkey Trot blog for exciting details about the event, training tips from our experts, easy fundraising ideas, posts from nutritionists, healthy recipes and more! We will be back Wednesday with ideas on creating a frustration free fitness plan!

Gobble gobble,
Team Y Turkey Trot