As we head into 2014, no doubt many of you are setting new health and fitness goals. I’m not necessarily a believer in traditional New Year’s resolutions, but rather strive to constantly set new objectives.
And that’s why we’re so excited to introduce you to our newest friend of Drink Chia, Yolonda Tyler. Yolonda embodies the Drink Chia life! She shakes it up as a mompreneuer, wife, and runner. Yolonda owns Central Florida’s popular indoor playground Amaya Papaya. If you have itty bitties, I definitely recommend checking it out. Wifi, coffee AND a safe place for kids five and younger to play? Yes, please!
We chatted with Yolonda (among the building blocks and train sets at Amaya Papaya) about her next big goal: Disney’s Princess Half Marathon in February. Not only will Yolonda receive awesome training tips from our Drink Chia co-founders, but watch for her updates right here on our blog!
Yolonda describes herself as a lifelong runner, but focused on sprints and short distances in high school and college. She often trains and runs short races with Black Girls Run Orlando.
“I’m not fast anymore,” she laughed. “So I just kind of transitioned into more of a distance runner.”
Yolonda stumbled upon her biggest training victory, joining the double digits club, accidentally.
“My goal was to run 9 miles. I decided to run from home to Amaya Papaya, and then to my mom’s house.”
Her calculations were a bit off, resulting in an 11.5 mile trek, rather than the nine miles originally planned.
“It was great. I felt good, and I mean, I had to keep going. There was nowhere to stop! But it taught me that I really can do the 13.1 in February.”
Fitting training into her busy schedule is tough. Yolonda starts her days with a 6 a.m. run, or walks her 8 year old daughter Amaya (yes, the inspiration for Amaya Papaya) to school so she can run home. The bulk of her day is spent running (no pun intended) her business.
“I do close for an hour each day to go pick up Amaya, because I’m a mom first. Then in the afternoon I do double duty, working on homework while maintaining the facility and working on customer care.”
Yolonda’s tells us her biggest training challenges are nutritional. She was recently diagnosed as pre-diabetic.
“I’m really working on taking in more fluids to prevent cramping in my feet. The Drink Chia has been great for that and also helps regulate my blood sugar.”
And her goal for the Princess Half?
“I really want to do it in less than 3 hours.”
What advice do you have for Yolonda’s first half marathon? We’d love to hear from you, and we’ll track her progress for you!