Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lock Laces Review and my first EVER giveaway!!!!

I am a night and predawn runner.  I run when my kids sleep, that means it's either 4:30 in the morning or 9:00 in the evening when my real runs get going. I go out with my phone, pepper spray, water, Gu, headlamp and I-pod and out the door I go.  I run in circle around my neighborhood (2.2 mile loop) so for the most part I feel safe but between the odd cars that cruise around all hours of the night and the bears/skunks, I feel the need to carry something with me for protection.  Recently I was approached by a wonderful company, Lock Laces to review their laces.  I thought first off, heck yeah, product and review opportunity.  Then I thought, I NEVER have to worry about my shoes untying in the dark, one less thing to worry about.  Here's what my lovely and very boring Brooks look like with my new laces.  Minus the college degree you must have to just lace up running shoes, they were super easy to put on.  

 I have worn them for about three weeks now, 12 short runs and 3 long runs.  They are great!! I have narrow feet so I have to really yank on my laces to get them tight enough so my foot doesn't move too much and they get tight enough. I actually had to loosen them in the beginning. My fears were they would loosen as I ran, didn't happen. They would wear down and loose elasticity, not yet. The only downfall to wearing these laces is, my SPA pink laces are gone.  I need to get them in pink next time for my pop of color!!!! Here is some product info:

Lock Laces™, the original patented elastic shoelace and fastening system, were invented by Eric Jackson, President and CEO of Street Smart LLC, in 1997. Lock Laces™ are worn by athletes and triathletes worldwide. Lock Laces™ are available nationwide and in many countries through our trusted international distributors.
Lock Laces
Made for competition, LOCK LACES™ is the only patented performance lacing system engineered to meet the demands of endurance athletes like runners, triathletes, marathoners, and walkers. Unlike other products, wearing LOCK LACES™ sustains compression across the foot increasing the amount of oxygen available to the muscles which helps endurance athletes manage fatigue
LOCK LACES™ are a universal cut to fit design.
The LOCK is fast and easy to adjust and guarantees laces will never come undone. The unique cord tip clip protects lace ends.

 Has anyone tried Lock Laces before?  Like them, love them, not so much???  Let me know your experiences with the laces.  Now onto the fun stuff.  GIVEAWAY time.  I have one pair of RED laces that for one lucky winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 27, 2013

Weekend wrap up and unplugging the TV!!

This weekend was a little strange. I only had to work one of the two days so it made it really feel like a holiday weekend for the entire family.
Saturday I got up at 5AM to do my long run. Managed to eke out 7.5 miles in the freezing cold, no joke.  I laid out my running clothes the night before but after checking the temps and seeing that it was 38 degrees with a wind chill of 34, I figured I better at least throw on some sleeves.  Off I went.  Legs still weren't feeling good and energy levels were still down so I took a Gu at mile 4 and felt a little better.  Pace is still off which doesn't bode well for the upcoming race on the 1st of June but I am only blowing my nose 10 times a day rather than 100 so I am making improvements.  Final pace was at 9:20 which is about 20 seconds off.  My husband is a week in front of me with the cold and he is finally symptom free so I'm thinking by race day I will be too.
Saturday evening we invited the neighbors over for a cookout and S'mores around the fire pit and had a great time.  Other than the guests not leaving till after midnight, it was a success.  I had to work on Sunday, which ended up being, a COMPLETE waste of time trekking into the facility for 3 patients but hey, it's their choice what they give me so I just go along for the ride. When I got home, we all took a very long walk around the neighborhood, stopping to talk to most of the neighbors that were outside doing yard work.  Out to dinner was the next stop topped off with some Sweet Frog for the kids and home for bed.  This is NOT the norm for us.  We are the stay-at-home, eat in and for the most part healthy family so what a treat for the kiddos this weekend.
Our kids decided to get upset in the car on the way home when we told them there would be no TV tonight. They typically get to watch at least one cartoon before bed but we decided this summer we are taking the TV away.  After dinner they can either go back outside and play or game inside but the TV will not be getting turned on.  I know initially this is going to be tough for everyone but, I am looking forward to more quality evenings spent with the family and no more Transformers or Dora!!!
Anyone trying to unplug for the summer?  Is it working??

Friday, May 24, 2013

Getting better......

This has been a LONG week.  I caught a horrible cold over the weekend and was not able to run at all. I gave myself two days off to try and kick it but that did not do the trick.

Monday-  Short 3 mile run. I was chewing gum the entire time but was still coughing and hacking.  My legs felt DEAD and my chest even worse.  I was planning on running a little further but decided 3 was my limit and I looked at my watch and knew I needed to stop.  I was running a 9:20 pace. I haven't run that pace in over a year so I knew something was not right!!

Tuesday- I took Tuesday off from running but still had a ton of other things with the kids to get through so it really wasn't a rest day.  Sports class, gymnastics, swim lessons and a bunch of errands left me DONE for the day.

Wednesday- Hey sure.....let's wake up at 5am and get a run in.  Alarm went off, 3 times, and I finally rolled out of bed.  Planned to do a 5, ended up at a 3 with a 9:00 pace.  Once again DEAD legs and chest that was killing me not to mention, it was hot and humid already.  Glad I got my run in but not happy with the results.

Thursday- Decided to run in the evening.  It was around 80 when I started at 7PM and humid.  I finally got 4 good miles in.  Pace was still a little slow at 8:30 but getting down to where it should be and my legs felt better, not GREAT but better!!!

Today (Friday) is going to be another rest day.  Planning on hitting the road early tomorrow AM for at least a 7, maybe more if I feel better.  I have some new gels and chews that I might try tomorrow from this months Kona Kase and I will be Nuuning (my new addiction) it up today as I can NOT watch Hannibal without a glass of wine!!  My husband and I LOVE that show, it's just a little disturbing!
Well happy three day weekend to some of you.  I will be working this weekend and the hubby never gets the little holidays off so no biggie for us.  I do want to say THANK YOU to all that have served our country!   I owe my freedom to them and appreciate them for keeping my family safe!!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bestowed Review and discount code

I absolutely have fallen in love with the monthly box services that are out there!!  I was recently contacted through my Sweat Pink Ambassador Program to review one of the newest boxes called Bestowed.
This wonderful beauty showed up at my doorstep and I immediately brought it in and tore it open to check out the contents before my hubby got home.  He always likes to roll his eyes to all the new, exciting and healthy things I have going on in my life but I have found, he loves these goodies as much as I do and we end up fighting over the products. So here's what I got:
So many goodies, where to start. I am a cookbook nut so I immediately went for the "Good Eating Salads" by Parragon Books.  I have already prepared "Honey and Chicken Pasta Salad"  and it was delicious   The book contains over 140 step-by-step recipes with tons of pictures (a must in a good cookbook).
My husband was the first one to grab hold of the cereal and have it for breakfast. I am lactose intolerant and didn't have any almond milk so I didn't get to try it.  He loved it. Said it was tasty and took some more for lunch to put over his yogurt.  The TeeChia Super Seeds Cereal is an energy-packed, high perfomrance cereal made from super seeds that gives lasting energy and promoted regularity.  Check them out at TeeChia Super Seeds.
 CHIPS!!! My favorite snack in the entire world.  I crave chips more than chocolate or sweets so I grabbed hold of these and hid them from everyone in the house.  I LOVED them.  Not spicy, sweet and crunchy  everything I look for in a good chip.  Simply Sprouted Sweet Chili Tortilla Chips are a healthy, gluten-free, non-GMO Project verified, feel good snack. The chips contain Omega 3's, antioxidants, other nutrients and are low in sodium and saturated fats.
 My 4 year-old daughter grabbed this one.  I have no troubles letting my kids try healthy snacks. Most times,  they prefer the healthy ones over the super-processed sugar packed snacks. We are going to order a few more of these when school restarts to take along.  The uber bar is a unique sweet and salty snack made with while fruits and nuts. It too is part of the non-GMO Project and every bar is gluten free. I was hesitant about the texture of the bar for my daughter but she had no trouble devouring it!!  Side note--- we were shopping at Target and found them on sale and she made me get a few boxes.  No problem with that.
 I have not tried this product but am planning on taking it to work with me this weekend.  I spend my weekends as an Occupational Therapist and am on my feet all day.  I try to keep water with me as much as I can so hopefully after an early long run on Saturday AM I can try to rehydrate while treating my patients.  Navitas Coconut Water Powders is the best of coconut in an organic powder form making it much more convenient for those of us who are always on the go.  Each 35 calorie serving provides 5 key electrolytes that support rapid hydration.
 This is another one that didn't make it through the first day.  I tried this one the afternoon the box came to my door.  VERY good, just like the peanut butter cup the product sheet listed but better.  Dark Chocolate Sun Cups are made with sunflower butter, are nut free and vegetarian, Kosher, gluten free and non-GMO certified.  Another great fact about these, only 190 calories!

I am making shrimp scampi with these tonight.  I love olive oil (EVOO as Rachel Ray likes to say) but it get expensive especially when that is our preferred cooking oil.  California Olive Ranch Everyday EVOO takes the same care of their olives that winemakers take of their grapes. It is certified extra virgin from the California Olive Council and packaged in a protective green bottle that keep s the grown olives fresh longer. Can't wait for dinner tonight to try these out!!

Long story short, these boxes have helped myself and my family find new and healthy products that we enjoy.  We are removing much of the processed foods from our lives which makes snacking difficult for the kids. While carrot sticks and apple slices are wonderful option, sometimes my family just wants a bar to grab and go. Here's a little info on the company and some links to their Facebook page and home page plus a discount code.  Anyone else trying out these box services?  Any new products that you have discovered and love?

Get Bestowed

Discover healthy foods you'll love! Join Bestowed and get 5+ amazing nutrition and lifestyle products delivered to your door every month - each one hand picked by celebrity nutritionist and author Heather Bauer
Check them out online at Bestowed or on Facebook at Bestowed

Want your own Bestowed Box? Here’s $5 off your first box:
Use discount code 5OFFBSTOWED01

Monday, May 20, 2013

Running with the crud!!!!

Well, everything finally caught up with me and I officially got the crud on Friday morning.  Waking up with the sore throat feeling because you can't breathe and drainage and headache and stuffy nose and probably a fever.  Last week was busy with sports class, gymnastics  swim lessons, end of year parties, graduation and the hubby working very late hours turning me into a single parent some evenings plus three little ones and one big one with the crud too.  I tend to be the mommy that is hyper vigilant about washing hands and keeping it away from me but my husband still has not mastered the art of coughing into his elbow or washing his hands a gazillion times so I was done for.
Friday evening I managed to eke out a quick 3 miles through the neighborhood but had a hard time breathing, one because the humidity was so high and two because my nose was so stuffy!!! I worked all day Saturday and decided I better give myself the day off and planned to pick back up on Sunday but after a full day of work, a five-year old birthday party and grocery shopping I decided against it once again!! That being said, I  feel very sluggish and lazy. No matter what, severe thunderstorms in the forecast for this evening, I will be running.  I am one of THOSE crazy runners that goes into withdraws with more than 2 days rest.

That being said, we have two weeks till the 4 The Wounded 5K in Charlottesville.  This is one of the few races that I run with my hubby and he has decided this year he's going to beat me.  I've decided this year, I really don't care.  I PR'd this race last year and am happy with those results so I think I may just enjoy this race.  That all being said now, when race day gets here and my hubby starts talking trash, I may have to step up and beat him.
Does anyone compete with their spouse when running together?  Anyone go into withdraws when they can't run for more than two day?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hot run and giveaway!!!

Today was the first of many, long runs at 5am in quite a bit of humidity and was that evident.  My daughter is graduating from preschool tonight so I figured I better get this in (confession: didn't want to miss the Office season finale or Hannibal).  Started out with the dead legs feeling, miles 1-2 were tough and I considered heading right back to bed but stopped and got some water and a few Gu Gel Chews (Strawberry with caffeine) and picked it up a little.   By mile 3 the legs were feeling better but I was sweating REAL bad.  I noticed my times were up there and tried to kick it in a little but was met with HUMIDITY!! Don’t get me wrong, I love the heat but not when I’m running.  I would prefer 40 degrees any day over 70 with 80% humidity at 5am.  Miles 4-7 were good, times were a little slower than normal but my body is not use to the heat.  I’m sure it will get better as time goes on and I get a few more warm runs under my belt.
I worked on my half program last night and it kind-of scares me. I adapted Brad Hudson’s half program and one of my old ones and I think I may be biting off more than I can chew.  I had planned to take a week off after my last 5K in June but this plan does not allow for that so I still haven’t decided which one to do.  I would love to PR the half in August but have an equally important half in November that I was striving to PR too.  We’ll see. I guess I could start the lofty program and back off if I need to. 
            Now onto some fun and exciting new!!!
"Your old shoes may not last another long run, but they would go the distance in changing someone else's life for the better!"

I posted earlier on this week about the Foam Fest and lack of shoe collection post race and low and behold……. dropped into my lap.  I have run a few other races where shoe collection was completed at the end of the race instead of just dumping them in the trash and is the perfect way to prevent just that. 

Here’s a little on the company that will be launching June 1st.
             “Kindrunner is the only place on the web where runners can trade in their old running shoes for new shoes.  Runners receive ‘Kindness Cash Rewards’ for every shoe they send to us. In turn, we give those old shoes to our shoe donation partners, including Soles 4 Souls and the More Foundation, to benefit people in need. What we are looking to do is to take shoes that would normally go into landfills or in someone’s closet and re-purpose them, give them to someone who would greatly value them. 

Pre-launch giveaways are going on right now!!!!  Follow them at:

Giveaways….. you know you love them, for every 500 likes on Facebook, kindrunner will give you and your running partner a pair of shoes!!! Check them out, show them some love.  Looking forward to more things to come with Kindrunner!!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Foam Fest Review

What an awesome weekend.  It's the first full weekend that my husband and I were both off for and what a great time we had.  Let me start by saying, I am not a fan of obstacle races, I only do them because my husband loves them and I love doing ANYTHING with my honey!
I was a little scared of this race as my quad has still been acting up from last weeks 10K. I ran on Thursday evening and it did not feel good and I thought for sure I was sitting out the race.  I rolled like a mad woman Thursday evening and Friday and took it easy Friday getting ready for the BIG race.  Saturday morning rolled around and I felt good.  We traveled for an hour to get there and I think I massaged my leg the entire trip, I have a bruise on my quad to show for it. When we got there I came face-to-face with my greatest fear.
I have a fear of heights.  All I saw was a wet, slippery climb to the top of this slide and then straight down into a pond of muddy, foamy water.  It's close to the finish so we got to check it out prior to the start.  
The course was nice, started out running on a trail and then immediately hit a mud pond. No worries, a racer before me told me to stick to the sides as there were big holes in the middle.  I won't go through every obstacle but there were the normals: mud pits, climbing walls, cargo net climbs but here's where it gets fun.  There were two slip and slides covered in foam, a bounce house covered in foam, and the wonderful slide. I felt my quad start to tighten, I stretched and it was good.  I ran the entire course and even did the slide.  My husband climbed up beside me and went down with me.  The actual slide part was great!!! All in all, for an obstacle race it was great.  Some of the foam obstacles were not functioning which slowed the course down and as we were leaving another obstacle was deflating.  I'm super glad we got there early and got to do all of them and before the rain came in.  
I told my husband, that was it for me.  I have a fear of getting injured on these types of courses and don't want to put my other races in jeopardy  I have one more race the first weekend in June, 4 the wounded 5K, in Charlottesville which is an uphill course that always proves to be tough.  After that, a week or two off and then training for a possible half in August.  

Mother's Day was great, relaxing and doing some much needed housework to get this place ready for the summer.  I got a beautiful bracelet from my husband and children and got to sleep in after an evening out filled with shopping, dinner and drinks.  Great weekend spent with all my favorite people!!!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sweaty Survey

I am taking this from Breathe Deeply and Smile (  Thought a good Sweaty Survey would be a good mid-week blog.

Sweaty Survey

A few weeks ago I saw this survey from Kim at My Healthy Nest  and thought it would be super fun to fill out!
Her super sweaty questions were: 

1. Which are you more responsive to during a workout: positive encouragement or peer pressure?
Unfortunately I think peer pressure is what tends to be more motivating to me.  If someone is running fast, I tend to want to keep up with them.
2. What’s something on your fitness bucket list? 
I recently ran a full marathon and ever since then I have been dreaming about running Boston.  Right now, it's not in the cards and truthfully, it never may be!
3. Would you rather be in a group fitness class that’s overwhelmingly crowded or awkwardly empty?  
I would love the empty class.  Getting more attention, making sure form and moves were correct would be wonderful.  I am not a fan of crowds!
4. Rank these activities in order of your preference/interest (favorite to least favorite): running, Zumba, yoga, Cross Fit, swimming, hiking, biking, pilates, kickboxing, sports that involve balls, spinning, weight lifting.
Running, pilates, hiking, swimming, sports involving balls, weight lifting, spinning, kickboxing, Cross Fit, Zumba, biking
5. Would you rather work out next to someone with major B.O. or someone who grunts constantly?
If I have too, I guess the grunting as I would just turn my music up!!
6. What’s your standard workout wear? (T-shirt/tank top, shorts/capris?)
T-shirt and shorts, so boring!! 
7. Favorite post-workout snack?
Water and pretzels, very random.  I typically don't eat after working out!
8. Which are your strongest muscles? Most neglected?
My strongest muscles are my quads, my weakest are my glutes. I unfortunately found this out the hard way and suffered and IT band issue after my marathon.
9. Would you rather be trained by Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper? (Or a favorite celeb trainer of your choice!)
Hands down, Bob Harper. I have had dreams about doing yoga with him and have a few of his DVDs.
10. What’s one thing you’ve learned about fitness or your body in the last year?
I've learned that running can be taken away in an instant and that I should appreciate my body and it's capabilities and NEVER take the ability to just go run a 3 for granted!!  Injuries ground us!

So what do you think?  I love doing these surveys to see where I am and answer questions that I wouldn't normally answer.  
I've been working on the blog this week.  I am figuring out how to add things and remove things so I am getting there. I recently won a giveaway from  for a Tarafit DVD program of 10 minute workouts.  Looking forward to receiving this as I think I may take a week off of running after my last 5K in June.  I really love running but I think my body would like a break from the running and my mind would like to try something new. I only have a week as I am starting a new Half program that I designed myself. I am also starting speed workouts at UVA with a running group there. I was thinking of sharing it with my current group if I can get them down. I am ordering a few books too!! I have the running bug bad still, guess that's a good thing, better than other addictions.   
Well let me know how I'm doing, I would love any feedback or comments!!
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Monday, May 6, 2013

First 10K EVER!!

This weekend was a busy one.  I had to work on Saturday and we have a ton of work to do to get this house Spring/Summer ready.  I also had my first ever 10K on Sunday morning.  I have done ever other distance but for some reason, this one has gotten away from me.  I ran with a couple of ladies from my running group, my fast running partner from my last race (ASK 5K) and one of the ladies husbands.  It was a total different experience this week, thankfully.
We started out at an 8:00/mile pace which we were doing good with and then fluctuated between 8:10-8:20 the rest of the race.  She doesn't wear a watch so I was in charge of the pacing which doesn't bother me.  I watch the pace and she keeps me going. She is a little faster than me but that's the beauty, I keep up with her and it betters my time.  She is like me, constantly competing with herself and trying to do BETTER every race she runs.  I normally am not a finish line sprinter, I tell her every race, I'm a distance runner, I don't sprint.  Well this race, I sprinted the last 100 and it felt great!!! I raced a woamn that came up next to me during those last 200 and beat her which felt awesome.  I know, I'm a little competitive but it's what's taken me from a 10:00/mile to an 8:00/mile.
I have now been contemplating attending a speed workout at the UVA track.  The workouts are FREE and there are some great runners there that I could learn a lot from. I have two hang-ups, one- it's at 530AM and      two- I have a race this weekend and then another in two weeks so I just need to get past them and then really start training for the fall season. I have decided after my June 1, Wounded Warrior 5K, that I am taking a racing break until late summer, fall. I need to work on my speed, distance and strengthen my core and glutes. I have signed up for one half this fall and have another one in the back of my head for the end of August so I really need to make sure my knee is ready for the distance and I am mentally ready to get under 1:50 for the half.  I finished my last half at 1:57 so 7 minutes if lofty but totally doable with the right training.  I had thought about hiring a coach to get my time down but am now being approached by my friends for plans and training help for fulls and halfs.  That is the ultimate compliment and I am considering getting my coaching certificate in the future.  Not sure I am going to jump into the ring with all the other SUPER coaches out there but some local stuff and my own training would be wonderful.
On a sad note, I had to say good bye to a wonderful woman this Sunday. I played competitive fast pitch softball throughout my high school career and traveled across the US with a great group of girls. Some of my fondest memories are on the softball field with these ladies and it is bittersweet that I only get to see them at funerals now. We always plan to get together for a happy event at the funerals but they never seem to happen and then another death occurs.  Life is way too short, I am trying to appreciate ever minute I have with my family and friends as I know it could be taken away in an instant.  
On a happy note, happy Monday.  Beginning of another training week. I have the Foam Fest 5K this weekend to look forward to with my husband and then Mother's Day!!! Happy running!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May goals

May has arrived, very quickly this year has gotten away from me.  I had such plans going into 2013 after finishing my first marathon which were quickly destroyed by IT band syndrome.  I signed up for several races and low and behold, I ended up in P.T. rather than PR'ing races which I believed I could.
Enough pity party.... May goals:

1. Run at least 75 miles this month.
2. Complete glute exercises at least 4 times a week.
3. Complete the ab program my girl Nicole at Cole Squared Fitness developed for me
4. Unplug in the evening when my kids are still awake and limit my time to an hour when my hubby is home.

I think I can stick by these and will be checking in more frequently to hold myself accountable for my decisions that I am making.
I have two races so far for this month.  The Carytown 10k this weekend and then the Foam Fest the following weekend with my husband.  We run a few races a year together and this is one of them. I am not a fan of obstacle races but he loves them so I will support him.  I am definitely fearful of hurting my knee and not being able to complete any of my races I have paid for.  I am considering a half in August which puts me back in training the second week of June which I was planning on taking easy and cross training during but HERE WE GO AGAIN!!!
Running is my drug...... I try to stop and end up signing up for another race.  At least this habit burns calories!!