Archives for April 2012

Friday Favorites: Random Bits of Health News

 

In the past couple weeks I have been contacted by a few different companies letting me know about different products and events going on. Instead of mentioning them in their own posts, I thought I would combine them all as a Friday Favorite for you all to check out.

1.) Odwalla kid smoothies. I love when companies make healthy options specifically for kids lunchboxes, so I was thrilled when Odwalla let me know about this new product! These smoothies are a great source of vitamin C, and are natural, 100% juice. and gluten free.

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2.) Virtual marathon relay. Check out the website to join in a fun virtual marathon relay! It’s free to enter, and is a total of 52 miles. There are all kinds of prizes you and your team could win as well.  Don’t know someone who would want to join you? There is an option to find a team mate online as well.

3.)Fitness and Health Bloggers conference. You can still register for this awesome conference in Colorado this summer! I may or may not have something to share with you soon about this. Colorado seems like an awesome place for a fitness and health conference, and it is going to be held at a beautiful new facility with some great speakers!

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4.) Saucony Find Your Strong project. Strong can be found in every runner.  Personal.  Powerful.  Insanely motivating.  We find strong in others.  We find it in ourselves, and when we share it, we all get stronger. Check out the video to learn more. You could win some great prizes!

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You may recognize this beautiful lady in the photo above!

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Today I am busy doing some work before I go out of town with my mom and her sisters next week. Oh, I didn’t mention? I am going to Disney for a quick trip! So excited! Also, thanks for all you’re kind words on my name in Woman’s World magazine article! Yall are the best.

QOTD: What are YOU loving this Friday?

I’m in Woman’s World Magazine!

 

A few months ago, I was contacted by someone from Woman’s World Magazine. They were writing an article on the best sports bras, and they wanted my opinion on one bra for each cup size. I of course agreed and was thrilled at the opportunity. I anxiously awaited mid April, when the piece was supposed to come out. I finally was able to get my hands on a copy today!

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I flipped to the page and was excited to see my name (and blog!) on the page. Sadly, they only took my recommendation on one cup size (in case you were wondering I also recommended the Running Skirts Strappy top for A cup, which are fabulous…and the Champion C9 bra from target for B cup).

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I also had to chuckle because I told the sweet lady in my e mail that I ran everything from 5k’s to marathons, and they mention the 5k (which I don’t run many of compared to half marathons). Oh well! I am just thrilled and humbled to be included.

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Three years ago I never would have thought anything like this was possible, it’s funny how much things can change in such a short period of time. I love it! A huge thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of me (that means YOU, readers!) Love you all.

QOTD: What is something you are doing today you never would have thought you would be doing a couple of years ago?

Disney Fantasy Part 3

 

Thank you to everyone for their kind words on my race recap from yesterday. I am definitely ready for a break from distance running, I literally have been in training mode since last July, (except for when I had my stress fracture) so it will be nice to not have a big race on the schedule for awhile.

Today taking a break from running related talk to share a few more photos with you from the Disney Fantasy. If you missed part one and two, check them out first.

Today I just am going to share some random photos from around the ship, no particular theme today. Enjoy! First up is the sail away party. Since it was a special cruise, they had free champagne and glasses for everyone. it was a nice touch!

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Plenty of character opportunities. Minnie only had one person in line!

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The theater

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sunset

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Nightly turndown

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Buzz had maybe three people in line

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Food up on the pool deck

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Ok that’s enough for one post, more next week!

Remember, I can book your Disney cruise for your family, and it doesn’t cost you anything extra to use me! e-mail me at [email protected] for more info.

QOTD: Favorite cruise activity? We like the eating and going to different beaches.

Gulf Coast Half Marathon Pensacola 2012

Who watched Boston yesterday? I was glued to my computer, so glad to have the ability to watch live streaming! It was motivating and inspiring as usual and as far as the heat….I can feel their pain….

On Sunday, I ran my twelfth half marathon. I also ran one of my most difficult half marathons. I had several things going against me, and ran 11 minutes slower than my PR, which was at RnR New Orleans that I ran on expo legs and after running a half the weekend before. I knew I had a sub 2:10 in me, but it wasn’t meant to be for this race. Let’s backup first.

So Saturday after getting rear ended and going to packet pickup and dinner,

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we checked into our hotel room.

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I laid out all my gear for the next morning and we turned in early.

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My alarm went off at 5:00 am Sunday morning, and the first thing that always goes through my head on an early race morning popped up…which is “why am I doing this again? I just want to sleep!” Never the less, we got up anyway and got dressed for the race.

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do I look sleepy? It’s because I was!

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We drove about ten minutes to the start, and had plenty of time to go to the bathroom, go back to the car and stretch, etc. We also got to park RIGHT by the start which was nice.

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We did a short little job by the beach and I had to get a picture with the water in the background.

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um…doesn’t it look like that bird is about to attack my head?!?

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We heard the director on the loud speaker, so we made our way to the start. One downside to the race was they just have suggested corrals, so the closest we could get was about the 12:00 minute per mile “corral” area. Anyway, there were still a bunch of people behind us.

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The sun started rising over the buildings just as the gun went off. This would be the last bit of shade we would get for the entire race.

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The starting temperature was 74 degrees with 86% humidity. Folks from dry places, 74 is a LOT different in humidity!

I told Bobby good luck, and we were off. I felt really good starting off, and felt like I was running “slow” for me, but we really running about a 9:30, so that made me happy, and I started thinking maybe I had a chance to PR this race.

Mile 1: 9:24

Mile 2: 9:57

Mile 3: 10:10

After mile 3, my right hip started slightly hurting. This is the pain I had during LAST year’s RnR Mardi Gras half, but I have only had it on and off since. It wasn’t hurting badly yet, but I knew it was going to make for a long race. I started getting really thirty and we still had not seen any gatorade, only water.

Mile 4: 10:31

I was still holding on at a pace I could PR with (evened out), but I was slowing down, and knew I wasn’t going to get any faster. We finally had gatorade at the next water stop, but I think it was too little too late. I choked down a GU, my mouth was so dry it took forever to swallow, and continued on.

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Mile 5: 10:54

The pain started getting bad, and I noticed a change in my gait. Then my left hip started to hurt.

Mile 6: 11:04

The sun and no shade was starting to get to me, and I took my first walk break. We were passing people coming back in, and I kept looking for Bobby, and finally saw him. I gave him a high five (and a thumbs down haha) and kept on going.

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Mile 7: 10:41

I hit the turn around and was able to slightly pick up the pace with the sun now behind me, I didn’t feel as much like death.

Mile 8: 11:59

My hips were throbbing by this point, every step was excruciating and I was having to walk for one minute every 3-4 minutes. I started getting very discouraged and just wanted it to be over.

Mile 9: 11:10

I tried to run until I literally wanted to burst into tears, and then I would walk until I thought I could start to run again, it was sporadic and random, but it was the best I could do. I took my second GU at the next water stop, wishing I had brought a third.

Mile 10: 11:30

I knew I only had a 5k left, and I saw a light at the end of the tunnel. I knew I still had a ways to go, but it didn’t seem quite as daunting. The crowd was thinning out a lot, and I was passing and being passed by the same people as we were all struggling to run walk.

Mile 11: 12:06

My worst mile. My surge knowing I only had a 5k left didn’t last long. This was the point where I knew I couldn’t PR, so why kill myself? Finishing two minutes faster and then collapsing at the finish line and ending up in t he medic tent is not exactly something I wanted to do, so while I did push myself, it wasn’t at a “kill myself” speed.

Mile 12: 04

Just trying to make it to the end without having a heat stroke. Really wondering if I can stop taking my thyroid meds that make me very sensitive to heat, but know that is not a good solution. My watch beeps for mile 13, but it is nowhere in sight. Crap. It’s a long course. I just want to be done! at 13.1 according to my Garmin I was at 2:24:36 which would have been my “real” half time. But I wasn’t even to mile 13.

Mile 13: 12:00

The crowd got thick and I decided to kick it in. I kicked with all my might, knowing the sooner I finished the sooner I could stop running. I briefly saw Bobby on the sidelines and I turned the corner into the finishes shoot, passing three people as I went. I realized I had left too much in the tank, but I really didn’t care. I crossed right with some other guy, and was so happy to be done!

I crossed in 2:26:20, Garmin distance of 13.29, which is 11:00 minute miles.

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I found Bobby, who also had a very tough race. Between some foot pain and the heat, he ran a 2:13. (He can run a 1:56 if that tells you how the heat was affecting us!) We made it over to the post race party where they had red beans and rice and such, and ate, stretched, and told each other about our own races.

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We hobbled back to the car and then made it to the hotel.

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One last photo before a hot shower (we were covered in sand!)

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Ok so here are my pros and cons of this race:

PROS:

Gulf Coast series puts on a really nice race. There are three in the series, and this is my second one. It was very well organized, we had no problem finding the start or the packet pickup. Cute t-shirt, great finishers medal, great water stops, and awesome post race party. The course was beautiful and very scenic. I think under different circumstances I would have really enjoyed it. I will definitely be running the half in October in Mandeville again!

CONS:

It. was. hot. and humid. This race would be amazing in late February early March. Please oh please move it for next year?!? I know the weather is not in the control of the people putting on the race, but I don’t think I can handle another hot race that late again. Not having Gatorade until mile 4.5 (if there was some before that I never saw it) was really tough for me. I wanted it from mile one even through I drank almost a whole bottle the morning of the race at the hotel. Would have been nice to have a mat/5k split time as well. I had several people following my splits via e mail and they got nervous when they never got one then all of the sudden got one at mile 7 or so.

But really those are minor things (other than moving the date) and I was pleased overall with the actual race, just not my performance! It was very humbling and kind of disappointing, and a good reminder that as a runner, we all have good days and bad days, and we can’t PR every time we toe the line. I am done with distances until the fall, and am going to focus on my speed and shorter distances this summer. In the fall, I am coming back with a vengeance. Mark my words.

QOTD: Have you ever run a difficult race? Whether it be due to heat (or cold) or an injury? Or both like me?

Also, a very happy birthday to my dad today!

The One Where We Got Rear Ended

 

Bobby and I had quite the interesting weekend. I am way to tired to blog about the race today, but I will try to have my recap up by tomorrow. But first, we need to back up to Saturday where the “fun” began.

We decided to leave for Pensacola around 12:00 on Saturday. We had a few errands to run along the way, and then had to go to packet pickup and check in at our hotel. Bobby’s driving makes me so nervous, so I volunteered myself to make the two hour drive.

Things were going fine, and we got off the interstate on the other side of Mobile to run a couple of errands. I was yielding waiting to merge onto a highway, when all of the sudden, WHAM, we were hit from behind.  You have GOT to be kidding me! In a different state, trying to make it to packet pickup before they closed, MY POOR CAR! Not going to lie, when I got out and saw the damage, my first instinct was to FLIP OUT. My car is not even two years old, and I know even if you get it fixed it is never quite the same. (I was rear ended in high school and my poor car was never the same.) But Bobby was nice and calm and that helped me to not bite the poor girl’s head off.

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So now we have the lovely task of being one car down while we get it fixed. Oh the joys.

It was a college girl who hit me. She said she was up all night studying. Um…ok…you really shouldn’t be telling me that. If your insurance company found out you admitted to that they wouldn’t be happy. We called the cops, and he took FOREVER to get there, so I called Katie to tell her we may not make it to packet pickup.  Bobby being the calm person that he is handled everything. We got it all taken care of and were on our way again. We made it to packet pickup on time and I got to see this pretty face!

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We got our shirts and packets, then headed to our hotel to check in. We found a brick oven pizza place for dinner that was pretty good. After a stressful day, it was nice to just relax and unwind.

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We got some frozen yogurt, and then made it back to the hotel for some vegging out before bed. We managed to actually go to sleep early, we had to be up at 5:00 for our half marathon!

QOTD: Have you ever been the recipient of a rear-ending?

Race day, Half #12 and weekly recap

 

I am up bright and early this morning for half marathon number 12. I am running the Gulf Coast half marathon in Pensacola, FL. It is part of the gulf coast series (remember the one I ran in October for TNT?) Same group/series.

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Flashback to last October, Gulf Coast half Mandeville, LA

The race starts at 7:00, and as I have been mentioning all week, I am worried about the heat.

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So it will be between 70 and 75 when I am running, and I looked up the hourly humidity and it’s 85% at the start of the race. It’s going to be a hot one, folks! Also notice the UV index is a 10, “very high”. Sweet! I kid. It will be ok. I just don’t handle heat well (recently found out it’s a side effect of one of my thyroid meds.)

So if you are up at 7:00 central this morning, pray for me and Bobby please (and all the other runners!) I also have the honor of being one of the people who gets to judge the water stops. There is a cash prize up for grabs so I better be paying attention!

Number 12, here goes nothing!

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(Photo from last gulf coast half marathon I ran)

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This week of workouts I took really easy. I will just do a brief recap for you since I did so little.

Monday: ran 4 miles, lifted legs, abs, bi’s and back

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: ran 2 miles easy, lots of housework

Thursday: rest

Friday: rest and massage

Saturday: rest

I know there is a LOT of resting in there. I wanted to get another run in Thursday but I ended up traveling to my parents house and there just wasn’t any time. oh well, right?

QOTD: How do you fare in the heat while running?

RWS Features #20

 

Happy Saturday! I am on my way to Pensacola, FL for a half marathon! I usually don’t get nervous for halfs anymore (this is number twelve!) BUT with the low being 70 for the day and knowing it will be humid, I am a bit worried about how my body will fair tomorrow for the race. I found out one of the side effects of one of my thyroid meds is sensitivity to heat. Fabulous! Not much I can do now but run right?  I am not expecting a PR, I know the conditions aren’t right, but I would still like to feel like I did well despite the circumstances. We will see soon enough!

Today I want to introduce you to Mattie!

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Mattie blogs at Comfy and Confident and you can also find her on Twitter. Mattie is a FitFluential ambassador, and knows a lot about something I know NOTHING about…ski racing! Way cool.

  1. Why did you start blogging?

I started a blog for myself. I had no idea there was such a huge world of blogging out there. I started to blog after I finished my first marathon because I had so much fun doing it, and I wanted to do more, but the next time, I wanted to do it right. I ran a marathon, but I had gained weight while training and felt uncomfortable and unsatisfied. I wanted to start a blog as I tried to find a place where I could be comfortable and confident in me. For my next marathon, I wanted to eat well, train correctly and avoid injury. Little did I know, I would fall in love with the entire healthy living and fitness community. Now I blog to hold myself accountable but also to share my training schedule, encourage others to live well and most importantly I blog because I love it and it makes me happy.

2.What is your blog about?

Comfy and Confident is a blog about finding the balance between exercise, food and life. It  follows my life and my interests in living a balanced life of health, happiness, fitness, food, friends and family.

3. What do you wish to accomplish by blogging?

Through blogging, I want to find a balance between my diet and exercise routine. I want to be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle while still having a social life and enjoying spending time with my friends and family. I want my blog to be a resource for others as they try to find a balance in their life where they can be comfortable and confident in the person they are.

Thank you so much for sharing! Be sure to stop by her blog and say hello!

QOTD: What is something you have learned about healthy living you wish you knew when you started on your journey?

Louis is raising money for Team in Training, be sure to check out his page and see what he is up to!

Friday Favorites: Running Skirts Spring/Summer

 

Good morning and happy Friday the 13th! Spooky! I am blogging to you this morning from Louisiana. I came here yesterday to drop my pups off with my parents since we are going to Florida for the half marathon this weekend. I spent the day with my mom, I went and saw The Hunger Games with her, we ordered pizza, and me, mom and dad went and got snowballs for dessert. It was a great visit! Today I am driving back home, and catching up on some work before we got out of town.

If you are running the Disney marathon, I have a room block I am booking from, and will be offering a discounted rate, I can book starting TODAY! Some of you have already contacted me, so if you haven’t be sure to get your spot while you can! E mail me at [email protected]

Most of you know I work for Running Skirts (check out the “Running Skirts” tab above for more info.) The spring/summer line is now out, and it is super cute. If you have yet to try a Running Skirt, no better time like Spring!

I must say my favorite thing about the new line is the mesh limitless performance tank (shown below in mandarin) It has such a flattering fit and is so comfy. The skirt I am wearing isn’t new…but you may recognize it from the cover of Runner’s World!

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Also new for spring, are the regulation length golf skirts. They are super cute and the perfect length for hitting the golf course at your local country club.

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Also, did you know Running Skirts sells mini skirts for little girls? They are adorable! Matching moms and daughters make adorable photos.

I will be wearing a new outfit from the spring/summer line for my half marathon this weekend, so stay tuned for pics!

QOTD: Do you wear the same old running clothes or do you buy news stuff a lot?

Mud

 

Not gonna lie,  the idea of a mud race scares me. Don’t get me wrong, I think the idea in theory is awesome and a big money maker, but this girl is scared when it comes to mud and obstacles and things. I realize I have a weak upper body (working on it!) and I am totally ok with that.

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My husband on the other hand, is a different story. I don’t quite remember what got us on the topic, but he now has it in his mind he must complete one of those ultra crazy super hard races.

You see, Bobby isn’t crazy about the idea of running Goofy with me next year. He claims it doesn’t show as much strength to just be able to run….that to truly show your toughness you need to climb walls and jump over fire and things. I beg to differ, but ok.

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So, we have begun the task of researching the “tougher” of these types of races. He is being a typical male, and wants to do a hardcore feat of strength race. There are a few I have been researching, this is what we have so far:

Tough Mudder This event looks well…tough. 10-12 mile obstacle course, designed by British special forces (wow). It also raises money for the wounded warrior project (big plus in my book.)

Spartan Race This race has different “level’s” of races and toughness. Designed by seven ultra athletes and a Royal marine. They even have a “death race” you can graduate up to. The video for this one looks totally hardcore. People beating you with giant….things. I would cry.

Original mud run This looks like the tamest of the three, but the plus to this one is it is in driving distance for us. Their website didn’t have as much info about the actual course itself though.

Are we missing any that we should research? Another thing to consider is travel. There are not a lot of these things in the south, so we would have to somehow make a trip of it, which may not happen this year with all of our other travel plans. I have no desire to do this but…never say never, right? Smile

QOTD: Please share anything and everything about these type of races with me!

Race Week Workouts

 

Happy hump day! This week is flying by, and I am so confused as to what day it is since we were off on Monday. Pleasantly surprised it’s already Wednesday!

Yesterday we picked some blackberries…and took the day off from working out. You see, we have a half marathon on Sunday, and I am not quite sure exactly what the “rule” is on workouts the week of a race. I can only tell you what I have done in the past, but have no idea if I am right or wrong. Typically, this is what I do the week of a race that is on a Sunday.

Sunday: off (long run was the day before)

Monday: Run, speed or intervals 3-5 miles weights

Tuesday: weights, cross train

Wednesday: run, 3 miles easy, weights, yoga

Thursday: cross train

Friday: off

Saturday: off

Sunday: Race

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This is a loose estimation of my workouts of course, but I generally don’t do much. My running after Monday is slow or non existent, and I drop off the weights after Wednesday and take two full days off to rest before the big day. With it being race week, I got to thinking about what the correct way to do things would be.

This Running Times article suggests you should maintain the same pace you always run for workouts, just dial down the volume.

Active suggests a wide mix of things, but tells you to actually rest on rest days.

This website suggests not doing too much for risk of doing more harm than good.

competitor recommends tapering and keeping your workouts as “race specific” as possible.

This Runner’s World article calls for high intensity workouts just not as many or as long.

I couldn’t really find much on yoga or weight lifting the week of a race, so I just taper as I would my running for the most part.

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So, who is right? Is rest better or race pace high intensity, but shorter workouts better? To taper or not to taper? Does length of race matter? (5k vs. marathon?) What about running up until the day before the race? It’s one of those crazy “everyone has an opinion” issues, and I think part of it comes down to what personally works for you. This will be my 12th half marathon, so I have gained some experience in what personally works for me…but I wonder if I could perform better if I did something a bit different. Interesting food for thought.

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QOTD: What do you do as far as workouts the week of a big race?