Archives for December 2013

2013 Runner Christmas Gift Guide

The most wonderful time of year is upon us! For some, it is also a stressful time of year, because you don’t know what to buy for your loved ones or what to ask for yourself.

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If you are a runner or have to buy for a runner, I have a little gift guide that may help you out! These gifts range from stocking stuffer ideas to that “big gift” so there is something for everyone. Check it out below, along with a GIVEAWAY for one of the items on my gift list! Happy shopping!

1.) Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones:

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I received these headphones to review from Staples. I have never been one to spend a lot of money on headphones, but yall, these are worth it! You can wear them while cross training, weight lifting, and of course traveling to and from races. I am weird about things being tight on my head, but these babies are super comfortable, adjustable, and cute! They have some really cute colors to choose from and I of course picked purple. Powered by a pair of AAA batteries, the noise cancellation feature in a pair of stylish Beats Studio headphones amplifies the music as it blocks out noise, giving you consistently powerful and intense sound. It’s awesome.

2.) Dexas duel chamber hydration bottle:

 

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Dexas sent me one of each of the below water bottles to try. I was very impressed, and what a genius idea! One side for water, one side for Gatorade, or one side for water and one for protein powder, pre workout, etc. These babies are easy to clean, easy to grip, and don’t spill. The one with the straws is great for when I am lifting weights, on the elliptical, or just at home trying to get more liquids in for the day. There is a nifty handle for carting around, and they come in super fun colors. The other one with the caps is great for mixing, shaking, etc. (add some ice and it acts as a shaker ball for protein powder!) Each chamber stays sealed off individually, I love it! (Check them out on Facebook, too!)

My favorite way to use the two chambers would be out running because I alternate between water and Gatorade but who wants to carry two bottles around? This is a great solution! For post race or post run I would love to have chocolate milk in one side and protein powder to mix into the other. SO many options!

3.) Under Armour cold gear infrared:

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Ok, so it doesn’t get freezing cold here, but we have had some really chilly mornings in the 30’s the past couple weeks, and I was so glad I had my Under Armour Cold Gear Infrared. It keeps you warm with no extra weight or bulk. The pattern inside the clothing helps absorb and retain your own body heat. How cool is that? Not to mention, I’m a sucker for thumb holes. There are tons of styles, colors, and price points to choose from. I want them all!

4.) Runner Calendars

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Runners are obsessed with calendars and dates, so we can plan our races of course! I was given two products to try out from http://www.andrewsmcmeel.com/ The day by day calendar is really cute and a fun gift to put on your desk at work. It’s a fun, daily calendar featuring humorous quotes, the best signs seen on a marathon route, and tips throughout the year.

The running log is very useful. It allows you to log, track, and write about your runs and even has some little stories here and there throughout the book. This best-selling calendar provides a year’s worth of tips to keep you motivated throughout the year. I will definitely be utilizing both of these in 2014! I think it’s so important to keep track of your runs so if you get injured or hit a plateau you can look back and see what you were doing.

 

5.) Advocare Rehydrate Gel:

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This is Advocare’s version of fuel or a GU for running. They are only 80 calories, and encourage optimal performance through electrolyte balance. They also allow for immediate sustained energy and help facilitate hydration. Great stocking stuffers!

6.) Sport Hooks:

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It’s no secret I love my bling, and what a better way to display it than to hang it up on the wall? Sport Hooks has some amazing designs (check out the new painted ones, adorbs!) and prices to fit every budget. They have special Rock n roll designs as well as Boston and Disney displays!

7.) Gone for a Run bibfolio:

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I wrote a post about this product awhile back, and think it would make a great gift for any runner. Who doesn’t want a place to store all of their memories and bibs to look back on? Mine is sitting in the living room on the coffee table and is a great conversation piece. I love it!

TWO of the above companies have agreed to do giveaways so you can win one of these items for Christmas!

Dexas is giving FOUR THLG readers a hydration bottle of their choice, and two people will win running calendars! one will win the training log and one will win the daily calendar. So that’s six chances to win! See the TWO rafflecoptor widgets below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

runDisney Race Comparisons

I have been asked by several people which runDisney race is my favorite. This is SUCH a hard question to answer because I love them all for different reasons.

runDisney race comparison

In this post, I will attempt to break down things I love and don’t love so much about each race in an attempt to help you figure out which race you want to sign up for! The races I will be comparing are:

Marathon weekend

Princess weekend

Disneyland weekend

Tower of Terror weekend

Wine and Dine weekend

*I have not participated in Tinkerbell or the Expedition Everest 5k, so those will be left out. I am running Tink in January and will give my thoughts at that time.

Marathon Weekend:

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I have participated in marathon weekend 3 times. In 2010 I ran the half, in 2011 I ran the full, and in 2013 I ran Goofy’s challenge. runDisney races hold a special place in my heart since they were my first half and full marathon, and marathon weekend in particular was my first runDisney race.

Pros: Big crowds equal lots of friends, runners and excitement! Several distance options are available for every level (5k, 10k, half, full, goofy and dopey). This weekend seems to be talked about and advertised most/made a big deal. The weather is usually mild in January, although there have been some very warm and very cold runs. It’s also a great time of year to visit Disney. Other than the weekend itself, there are lower crowds, and good weather for park-going. Also, it’s in value season so you can get a cheaper price for rooms on property. It’s also something to look forward to after Christmas, and for southerners, it’s nice to train for a race in October/November/December in cooler weather.  Of course there is great bling.

Cons: It is such a big race, the weekend itself is very crowded at the parks and the expo. Some people would rather run the smaller races with less corrals and hoopla. Also, Northerners may not want to run long runs in November/December in the freezing cold to prepare for this one.

Princess Weekend:

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I have participated in Princess weekend twice. In 2012 I ran the 5k and the half, and in 2013 I did the same.

Pros: For us women folk, this is a super fun race to do with your mom, daughter, or a group of girlfriends. Bling and tiaras everywhere, and lots of people dressing up as princesses! There is a “girls just wanna have fun” excitement about this race that just makes me smile. The medal is always adorable, and this race seems to be a less pressure sort of race, and I am not even sure how else to explain it. This time of year usually has great weather as well for running and park hopping. Lots of good ‘ole girly-girl fun with this race, a great weekend for first timers.

Cons: This race is during peak season pricing, so hotels are more expensive. If you are a guy, you may want to sit this one out unless you like all the attention. Smile Depending on where you live, training in the cold may not be so fun.

Disneyland Weekend:

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I have done this one twice as well. In 2012 I did the half, and in 2013 I participated in the Dumbo Double Dare challenge.

Pros: I think my favorite thing about this race is the proximity to the starting line. If you stay on property, you can walk to the race which is a huge plus and allows you to sleep in a few extra minutes in the morning. For southerners that bathe in humidity nine months out of the year, the less humid temps are a welcome change. This race also takes place over Labor day weekend, so you may not have to use as much vacation time. This weekend also has a 5k, 10k, and half…so again, options for people wanting to run all distances.

Cons: For someone from the other side of the country like me, it is expensive to pay for the race, hotel, park tickets, and flights to California. It can also be very warm out and makes the race and park going not quite as enjoyable. For southerners, it’s not fun at all to train for this August race in June and July outside in the heat.

Tower of Terror Weekend:

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I participated in Tower weekend this year, 2013

Pros: This race takes place at night so it’s not as hot as if it were to take place these same dates during the day. It has a 5k and a ten miler, so is a good option for those who have done a 10k but are not quite ready to jump to a half marathon. This race has the coolest medal, it’s definitely a favorite (glow in the dark with moving elevator…way cool). Since it is a night race, no waking up at 2:45 in the morning to catch a bus to the start. If you stay at a Boardwalk area hotel, you can walk to the start and back to your room from the finish. This is a smaller weekend so the race itself and the expo are not as crowded There is a finish line party in Hollywood Studios right after the race, too so you can party until 4:00 am!

Cons: If you don’t like staying up late, the 10:00 pm start time may be too much for you. It is a warmer time of year, so going to the parks during the day will be quite hot most of the time. If you are looking to run a half marathon and not a 10 miler, this race is obviously not for you. This race also does not run through the Magic Kingdom, but does run though the sports complex and Hollywood Studios.

Wine and Dine weekend:

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I have participated three times. In 2011 I ran the 5k and the half, in 2012 and 2013 I ran just the half.

Pros: If you like food and wine, this is the race for you. Not only can you enjoy the Food and Wine Festival while you are in town, but there is a special after party at EPCOT for all the runners after the race where you can partake in foods from around the world. This race starts at the Wide World of Sports Complex, so no super long walk to the corrals like the morning races. It also has a 10:00 start, so again, no waking up really early to go run. The course is really fun and goes through three parks for the half marathon.  I also love running through the Osborne spectacle of lights, it’s amazing. There is also a Christmas themed 5k held at Animal Kingdom. The time of year is a little on the warm side but since the race is at night it’s not so bad. Christmas decorations start going up at the parks around this time, and you may also be able to catch resort decorations and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Cons: What is a pro is also a con for some…starting a race at 10:00 pm is tough stuff! This race does not run through the Magic Kingdom which is always a favorite of mine, but very few cons for this race.

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As you can see, there are not many “cons” to each race, and they mainly have to do with factors like weather and hotel pricing. All of the runDisney races are amazing and you are sure to have a blast!

So, what is my favorite? This is HARD yall! Ok, let’s do this. Favorite night race: Wine and Dine. Favorite day race: Princess. That’s as close to a single favorite as I can give you, they are all so awesome.

Things to keep in mind: Many of the races sell out the day registration opens. Follow @runDisney on Twitter and check out the rundisney.com website so you can stay up to date on information like registration and capacities.

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if you need help with anything runDisney related or just need help planning your vacation in general, I would love to assist you! Email me at [email protected] anytime.

QOTD: What is your favorite runDisney race, or which would you like to run?

December Goals 2013

Ah the month we all panic because we haven’t reached our New Year’s resolutions. Always makes me giggle. More on that NEXT month, but for this month I have a few small goals I would like to accomplish.

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Bella and I last Thanksgiving

1.) Read 4 magazines. This sounds so silly but y’all, I have a HUGE pile of unread magazines in my bedroom, and it’s starting to get on my nerves. Must. read.

2.) Slow down and enjoy the season. Christmas is my favorite time of year, and I think a lot of us struggle with moving through it so quickly and not slowing down to enjoy it or remember the true reason we celebrate. I don’t want that to be me!

3.) Don’t go crazy with the bad food. I just finished the Advocare 24 day challenge, and despite going to Disney for a week AND celebrating Thanksgiving, I managed to lose a couple pounds and a few inches. I also have way more energy and feel better! I can’t wait to try the challenge again next year when I don’t have holiday or trip distractions. I know it’s hard during the holidays to just give in and eat anything and everything, but I am going to try to be mindful of what I eat.

4.) Send out Christmas cards by the 17th. I love sending out cards, but I can tell I will be behind this year because I haven’t even ordered them yet! I need to get moving today.

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Last year’s card

Also wanted to mention, I am hosting a CYBER MONDAY sale today with Advocare products! These products do not normally go on sale, but I am personally discounting them. ALL product is 15% off, and the challenge bundle is 20% off! If you would like to place an order, email me at [email protected], do NOT order from my site. However you can visit www.advowithHeather.com to see what products you want!

cyber monday

QOTD: What are your December goals?

Weekly Workout Recap November 2013: Week 4

Morning folks! Who is still in a turkey coma? Not gonna lie, I ate my little heart out the past few days and it was so worth it. My workouts were non existent as in I worked out twice:

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Monday: 3 mile run and weights

Wednesday: stationary bike and weights

Yes yes quite sad. The holidays are tough and I fell off the horse, but getting back up today! Never give up!

I hope everyone has a good week. I have December goals coming up as well as a gift guide and some other fun posts!

QOTD: what do you do after a bad week of workouts?