Thursday, June 26, 2014

Vega Sport Energy Bar Review

About a month ago, Vega gave the members of Sweat Pink the opportunity to review their products in the Fuel Your Better campaign.  I was lucky enough to get selected as a blogger to review the Vega Sport Energy Bars in the Chocolate Coconut Almond flavor.

The bars are plant-based, gluten free and non-GMO, all three very inmportant things to my VERY picky stomach and digestive track. The bars that I were provided with are to be used during activity for sustained performance.  I had the opportunity to use them on 8 long runs in the monht of May.  I typically have upset stomach when I add things to my runs so I am very careful about what I consume.  
First:  I LOVED the flavor.  I am a chocolate and almond fan and the coconut was not overwhelming so I had no troubles getting them down.
Second: I had NO GI distress while I was running.  I chose to start off with half a bar for the first two runs and then switched to a whole once I was safe.  
Third: They worked. They gave me a little kick for the last three miles and I made it through. There was not much time between injestion and reaction so I was happy.
Here's the kicker though..... The bars are 230 calories and 14grams of fat.  Unless I KNOW I will burn way above that number, I have a hard time taking in that many calories.  While I love the product, it's only to be used when I have to calories to burn.  
That being said I do really like these bars and they have helped fuel my runs.  They are providing me with the sustained energy I did to finish my runs!!

Don’t let a lack of fuel stand between you and the finish line. Crush your personal best by giving your muscles the fast-acting, long-lasting whole food energy they need to endure. Moist and delicious, plant-based Vega Sport Energy Bar is easy to eat mid-workout to help you go the distance. Each function-focused bar features:

  • 27 g carbs from whole food ingredients
  • High and low glycemic carbohydrates for immediate and sustained energy
  • 1 g Omega-3
Formulated by Brendan Brazier, professional Ironman triathlete and bestselling author on performance nutrition, Vega Sport Energy Bar is part of the three-stage Vega Sport Nutrition System.Non-GMO, gluten-free, and made without artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners, enjoy Vega Sport Energy Bars in Chocolate Coconut Almond and Apple Cherry flavors.
If you want to get your own  Vega Sport Energy Bars click on over to their site and get some. You will not be disappointed. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Marine Corp Half and Pure LYFT review

Well another race weekend has passed and I'm neither happy nor sad about my performance. As some of you know I've been battling a nasty cough (bronchitis) for the past week and have been having coughing fits on a daily and frequent basis. I tried chewing gum, drinking water and taking OTC.... nothing was working. Saturday proved to be ONE OF THOSE DAYS. Two ball practices, ball pictures, ball game and packet pick-up. The expo was nice, small and not many free goodies or race codes but very organized and I was in and out within an hour (light shopping). Race day, 4:30 always comes early as I NEVER sleep well the night before a race. I was up at 1, 2, and then finally at 4:27. Parking was ample but a tad far for my liking, port-a-potties a plenty, and not overly crowded. Opening ceremonies were great with a fly over and all. The race itself. I checked out the elevation and I think there were some discrepancies because I don't remember ANY down hill. If we weren't running a quick flat burst, we were running rolling hills or STRAIGHT up Hospital Hill (placed kindly at mile 11.5). People fear this hill, many walked up it but I refused. My pace dropped to 9:30 but I just kept going!!! After THAT hill there was another. Pace stayed in the upper 8's and then I turned it on for the last mile. I was aiming for the 1:40s but saw that that was going to be out of reach. I literally had to stop at EVERY water station this race to get my cough and breathing under control. So long story short, 1:50:58....... 59 DAMN seconds!!!!! I tell myself it was a good race, a PR, a finish but it will eat at the back of my mind until the next half.
Next is Pure LYFT. I was lucky enough to be one of the ladies selected to review this INTERESTING product. The packaging is different as well as the directions. It took me a second to actually figure it out but I managed!
Well, I tasted a slight citrus flavor but that was it. Tasted like water to me. I drank it early in the AM and felt energized that morning. I have used both of the samples they provided and have felt the same way both times so I scientifically can't say that it did anything but I felt like I had more energy. Overall, good pick-me-up with minimal to no taste that I could use in any beverage. I chose to use water (not a juice drinker) so I'm not sure how it would taste in something else. 

Here's some product info:
LYFT® Energy Stir Sticks are an innovative “clean caffeine”™ energy product infused with all natural caffeine and vitamins that provide a sophisticated energy experience.
  • Zero Calories
  • Clean Taste
  • Can be used with a variety of different beverages from water to freshly pressed juices to coconut water and cocktails
  • Vibrant Alertness
  • No artificial flavors, sweeteners or preservatives
  • Caffeine equivalent to one tall coffee

Sunday, May 11, 2014

MASH up Review and Giveaway!!!

Recently I was given the opportunity to review a MASH UP Conditioning Tempo DVD through my Girls Gone Sporty Ambassadorship.  I am always on the look out for new DVD's to do on my "rest" days and this one is a keeper.  I'm also trying to get ready for the beach and this is helping me get there.  I love being able to choose 1-3 different workouts everyday that get my metabolism revved.  
The program stands for: M- Mind/Body, AS- Agility and Strength, H- High Intensity Interval all in one.  The DVD includes 7 different tempo workouts and can be combined with each one with 5 minutes Mind Body exercises, 5 minutes Agility and Strength exercises and 5 minutes HIIT.  Each tempo segment is 15 minutes and can be combined with any other one to customize your workout to be from 15 to 60 minutes depending on your needs.  There are also three levels within each tempo segment to allow for all levels of fitness to participate.

Now what I think: I've done a 6 of the tempo workouts, I prefer to do 30 minutes of training on my rest/non running days to keep me sane, cross train and give my arms and core a little push on those days. I love the timer, the visual always helps, especially when I am doing exercises that I am not too fond of due to their difficulty to me.  The instructor is great, she explain all moves, all levels and why we are doing what we are doing.  The DVD is easy to navigate and easy to shift between the different segments.

I would definitely recommend this one. I love the options, the exercises and the way I sweat after 30 minutes of work.  Thanks for the opportunity GGS and MASH Up. 

Now for the fun stuff, the ladies over at MASH UP have given me a DVD to giveaway to one of my lucky readers Follow the rafflecopter!!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

May Goals and a giveaway

Story of my life..... MIA from blogging once again.  I've taken on a few more responsibilities over the past few weeks and life has gotten in the way again.
Here are my April Goals:
1. Run 100+ miles..check
2. Cut out sugar--- will begin decreasing and limiting sugar...not even close!!
3. Blog at least once a week ....nope
4. Plank 4 x week.... nope
5. Roll 3 x week.... nope

As you can see it was a STELLAR month!!  The only thing I did manage to keep up with was running, feeding my children, coach my daughters softball team, chair a 5K run for my daughters school, become secretary of the PTA, too many birthday parties to count, Easter, and work tons on the weekend hours.  Sometimes these months just happen! So let's try this again:

May Goals:
1. Run 100+ miles
2. Actively participate in T25 group
3. Plank 3 x week
4. Roll 3 x week
5. Blog once a week

Now onto the fun stuff!!!!

Crazy compression offered me a pair of socks to review and giveaway!!  I picked the OTC purple future dots as I am definitely on a purple kick.  

Here's some product and company info.

Here's what I think:
I wear compression socks for all runs over 10 miles and for recovery.  I have always been a firm believer in compression wear as I have worked in rehabilitation long enough to see the benefits that my patients get from them.  They offer good compression, do not wear out (I've worn them the last three long runs) and are not easily snagged. I will be buying more from them in the future as the designs that are offered are AWESOME!!!
Now for the even better stuff.... I'm giving one of you lovely readers a pair.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 31, 2014

March update, April goals

Well I'm not running the Charlottesville Half Marathon this weekend.  I coach my daughter's softball team and darn if they didn't put opening day at 9:00am, an hour away from the finish line. In the past, the start time has been 6:30 but they bumped it to 7:00 and I'm not that fast!!!  I'm totally bummed as this is the race I had to defer on last season due to my IT band issues. I was in the middle of PT and thought it was NOT a good idea to run that race with any issues.  

The good news, I signed up for the Marine Corp Historic Half Marathon in Fredericksburg, VA in May. I've run this course (Blue and Gray Half) in the past and am looking forward to the inspiration that I will get from running with so many service men and women.  The first half of the course is down hill and the second is uphill so I have a feeling I will have a negative split but as long as I'm under 1:57, I'm going to count it as a win.  
So for the month of April..... no races.  I have one in May and possibly two in June and then nothing again until September.  I start my marathon training in July and am hoping to clean up my diet and get my nutrition and hydration in check so I can cut some time (hopefully 26 minutes).  This will be my second marathon and I made SO many mistakes in the first that I hope to fix those in the second.  

March goals:
1. Run 100 miles------ check
2. Drink more water----- check (I gave up soda for Lent, no choice as I can't stand fruit juice)
3. Roll at least 3 x week ----- nope
4. Plank 4 x week----- 75% met

April goals:
1. Run 100+ miles
2. Cut out sugar--- will begin decreasing and limiting sugar
3. Blog at least once a week
4. Plank 4 x week
5. Roll 3 x week

What are everyone else's goals?  I was going to put in another goal for increasing my cross training but I've been doing that on a weekly basis with my daughter that I feel like it's too easy to meet. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

MJ8K and post race blues!

Another race complete, another post race "what if" session.  I ran the Martha Jefferson 8K in Charlottesville, VA this past Saturday.  Like all races, I ran it, enjoyed it, processed it and then tore it apart the next day based on how much pain I was in. I do apologize for the lack of pictures, I'm not a selfie kind of girl, don't think I ever will be!!

The course this year in essence was reversed from last years.  Starting at the downtown mall, a 5.08 mile loop (I think the course was a little short) with tons of ups and downs.  We ran through a few neighborhoods and then again back to the downtown mall.  I enjoyed the ups but get nauseous and nervous on the steep downhills.  Nausea, I'm not sure where that is coming from but I've been experiencing it a lot more with down hill running.  The nervousness on the down hill running goes back to my IT band injury. I REALLY don't want that to come back!

The race was not chip timed but gun timed, which DID affect my time. My running friend and I started mid pack and ran into quite a bottleneck.  My GPS would not pick up so I relied on hers and the callers (called splits at the mile markers) for my times. We were 30 seconds off the start so I adjusted my finish time to reflect my REAL time.  I ran a 37:44.  My best (I've only run 1 other 8K) and finished 5th in my age group.   I complained early this week that MY age group was by far the fastest on the course, the winner of my age group was 32:08.  

I shouldn't be disappointed, running in the 7's has been a goal of mine but the ubber competitive person inside of me is thinking that I need to be in the low 7's to place in the running world that I live and compete in. Most 5K's in my area are won by runners in the 18's.  I don't see 6's in my future but I do see the low 7's.  I'll get there, I just need to learn how to and start doing speed workouts. I've always put them on my training schedule but shy away from them in fear that I will get injured or that they will be too hard.  If I had the extra cash sitting around, I'd hire a coach but that's not going to happen.

Sorry for going on and on.  Ending thought, if you are in the Cville area, the MJ8K is a GREAT raec. Well organized and fun to run. Not too big and typical Cville running (lots of hills). 

Monday, March 10, 2014

MIA... stomach flu and pink eye YEAH!!!!

I know I disappeared again!! The stomach flu, pink eye and an ear infection hit my house right around the arrival of the latest snow storm. I've had nothing but sick and grumpy children in the house, thankfully, they went back to school today and everyone is healthy. Silver lining, my house is disinfected and clean, for today.  
Well the weather changed for the better for the past four days allowing for a little outdoor, super comfortable running.  I'm racing this weekend, Martha Jefferson 8K in Charlottesville, VA and am a little nervous as the course is totally different this year and I always worry I'm going to injure myself and sideline my half in a few weeks.  
Training for the half is going well.  Keeping HMP for 12 miles last week proved to be tough but I did it.  I bought a hydration vest to decrease my time spent at water station but have yet to use it.  I'm a slacker and HATE to try new things and I believe I still won't hit that goal of 1:49:59.  
I'm going to stay positive and shoot for a goal time between 40-41 minutes this weekend.  My running partner and I are running this one this weekend and we tend to keep each other in the low 8's and upper 7's for our 4+ runs.  
Good luck to everyone racing this weekend.  I know it's early in the week but I never know what this week will bring.  I start coaching my daughter's softball team tomorrow, WISH ME LUCK!!  10, 4-6 year olds, a little challenging!