Saturday, April 22, 2017

Shin Splints, Stress Reaction, OR Overly Cautious - that IS the question?!!

Grandma's Marathon is important to me. 
Honestly, there are days that I'm consumed with thoughts of the finish line. 
Those of you who have been following me along my journey would be living under a rock if it wasn't blatantly obvious just how much it means to me. 

However, marathon training - like life, throws you curve balls.  
This week my emotions have been tested. 



Monday's workout was truly amazing; almost effortless.   I wanted to do some speed work because it had been a while since I'd tested my tempo pace for a consistent 3-4 miles.  However,  I decided to do hill repeats instead.  My thoughts were that if the hill repeats went well,  I could sprint home.

The morning was crisp and cool.  My breathing was perfect, my legs were fresh.  Even after five  - 3/4 mile repeats I was able to tempo home for more than a mile at 8:15 pace.  If runs could be rated A+ this was it.   Plus - say hello to the sunrise.  I cannot tell you how excited I am that it's light when I get home from my run!  




I was looking forward to Tuesday because I knew that I could run easy and relax.  Not right away, but about 2-3 miles into the run, I could feel my legs get tighter.  My shins were not painful and I had no problem running, but we all know our bodies and I just "knew" something was a bit off. After my run, I knew that I would be taking at LEAST one day off.  Turns out, I took Wednesday and Thursday to rest and recover. 

All day at work, in any spare time I had,  I did the jump test.   You know what I mean - jumping on the "injured" leg to see if it hurts.  Yeah - that was me.  All.damn.day.  Does it hurt?  Do I feel weak?  Is it a stress reaction?  Maybe it's just shin splints?  Is there any swelling?  Do I get pain in just one single area?  Am I crazy?  Sometimes, yes.  I am crazy.  Aren't we all? 

I won't bore you with all the answers to the questions.  But, what I will say is that my left anterior tibia is just not perfect.  No,  I don't have swelling or weakness.  I can take my stairs with no problem at all and I passed MY self-diagnosed jump test.  

When I iced on Tuesday night, the look on my husband's face was priceless.  "WHAT are you doing? Are you in pain?"  He was concerned and I was a tad concerned as well.  But I know that ice and rest are good so that's what I did.  

My leg was no longer bothering me at all on Friday morning,  so I ventured out for my long run.  I knew that I could quickly push the stop button and walk home if I needed.   I also didn't have any reservations about cutting down my plan of thirteen miles.  

Up to this point, I have gotten multiple long runs in.  Last week,  was my first 18 miler since last June and it went very well.  I finished 18 miles with an overall pace of 9:21/mile.  That translates to a  4:04 finish time if I would  hold on for 8 more miles. 

I was ecstatic.  That's 55 minutes faster than my first marathon attempt!  

After Friday's run, everything was great.    No pain during.   No pain after.   Did I know my leg was there?  Yes.   But,  I wasn't super concerned.  



I finished 9.5 miles and felt very good after.  Would you look at the light! YES!  6:30 am and it's bright.  Hallelujah!!

As I sit here today, 36 hours past my last run, I can feel my leg.   I for sure have another rest day ahead and Monday morning I will re-evaluate whether or not to go out for my run.  My first 20 mile run is next week.  I'd like to be rested and ready for it.   I built in three 20-mile runs in the last 8 weeks before the race.  Maybe, subconsciously because something like this may happen.  

I've resigned myself to "safe-mode."   But, it does feel a little bit like a bomb - will it explode?  






I will not push.  I have 8 weeks before Grandma's and Dammit  -  I.WILL.FINISH.  

But, really universe??  I've been being such a good girl.   I made a conscious effort to design a training plan that only utilized 4 days of running in hopes at doing a better job at preventing any injuries.  I never run more than 2 days in a row.  I'm cross training.  I'm training smart.   I'm sleeping well.  

Maybe a good loud scream outside will feel good?  

I've been here before.   But this time,  I refuse to get "officially" injured or let this nagging pain-in-my-ass get any worse.  I am prepared to run much less.  I have a good base.  I will overcome this.  

What would YOU do?!

On another note, I know that I'm late to the party and this is so last year,  but I am officially obsessed with Snapchat.  I have laughed so hard the last few days.  Yesterday,  I discovered the voice changer and OMG - I nearly peed myself.  

I actually don't ever send my chats.  I just save my photos so I can laugh at them from time to time.  Here are a few of my gems. 

Do YOU Snapchat? 




Of course,  I'm linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap.  The link is live on Sunday, so I'm a tad early.   Enjoy! 




Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport Review

Disclaimer:  I received Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport to enjoy and review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out Bibrave to review, find and write race reviews.



DON'T SWEAT IT!  PACK-IT!


Running stinks!  It really really stinks! 

Don't fret!  

I actually really love running.  I even sometimes dream about running.  Running clears my head.  It makes me stronger.  It makes me a better mother; a better wife; a better friend.  

However, among all of the wonderful things running gives me... it also gives me some pretty funky smells too!  I have been told to go "take a shower" once or twice!   I hate to admit it, but it's true that sometimes I smell like death after a run. 



I found this meme a while ago and I knew that I kept it for a reason.   It's funny, but true!  Sometimes,  my smell could rival a ripe skunk!  Are your nose hairs searing yet?  Can you put yourself right into that air stream of fresh skunk in the morning?  We've all been there.  

Now imagine yourself after a long race.  Reaping in the victory of that finish line.  The medal still freshly hung around your neck;  your banana in hand.   The sweet/salty mix of crusty salt on your face from your sweat.   Don't forget your wet, sweaty clothes.  They can be just gross!  P-U!  



At my race a few weekends ago, my clothes went directly into the Pack-It bag! 

After I run a longer distance,  I am wet with sweat from my head to my toes.  Sounds adorable guys, right?!  WRONG!  

Before I found my Eagle Creek Pack-It,  I'd toss my clothes in an airtight bag and hope to not gag when I got home to throw them in the wash.  Don't even get me started for a destination race.  What DO you do with your clothes that you can't wash in your suitcase?  

In the past,  I have taken the hotel bags that hang in the closet for dirty clothes.  You can't miss them, they are usually labeled LAUNDRY.   I've even brought ziplock bags with me on vacation for my stinky clothes.  However, the problem with these bags is that they are not breathable and my clothes stay wet.  How gross!  But, I no longer have that problem.    

Eagle Creek Pack-It to the rescue! 

Eagle Creek has "Gear That Gets Rocked and Keeps On Rolling."  I am loving this bag.  It even comes with a separate bag for my shoes!  The shoe bag zips closed and fits up to a Mens Size 13!  It's perfect for packing my shoes away from all of my other clothes!   My dirty, smelly shoes can be packed right next to my clean clothes and there is no smelly transfer! 

Here are some specifics on this great bag! 

  • Antimicrobial
  • Odor controlling
  • Water Repellant
  • Machine-Washable
  • Ultra-light
  • Packable
  • Compact
  • Breathable
  • Separator to put clean clothes on one side and dirty on the other



The bag comes in 4 great colors and is a reasonable $40.  But, if you use code 'SPORT15' you get 15% off any order!  Make sure you check out the entire Eagle Creek website because they know gear!  They have everything from luggage and duffel bags to backpacks and travel accessories!  I'm sure you'll find something you love.

Don't forget to tune into our #bibchat on Twitter this Tuesday, April 25th, 8PM CST.  You could win your very own Eagle Creek Pack-It sport!   







Tuesday, April 11, 2017

APRIL - Stitch Fix Review

It's time for another Stitch Fix Review! 

If you haven't jumped on the Stitch Fix train, I highly recommend that you do! 




But, first.... let's get the information out of the way:  

HERE'S HOW STITCH FIX WORKS: 

Simply click on this link which will take you directly to the Stitch Fix website.  Next, create an account and complete your FREE style profile.  This style profile lets you tell your stylist about your EXACT tastes.   One thing I like is that you can let her know just how much money you'd like to spend.  The average fix is about $50 per piece.  The more information you can give and the more specific you are with your preferences and likes/dislikes; the more successful your fix will be!  I recommend creating a Pinterest Style Board to get even more specific about your style preferences!

Once you've completed your style profile,  Stitch Fix will pair you with your own personal stylist that will select five items that will suit your individual needs!  JUST FOR YOU!  Then, the clothes selected will arrive at your door and you can try the items on in the comfort of your own home with the clothing and accessories that you already own.

It's really simple.  Keep the items you want.  Ship back anything you don’t like in the PRE-PAID shipping envelope.   There is a small $20 styling fee that you don't get back if you don't keep anything that you were shipped.  BUT, shipping and returns are FREE, and the $20 styling fee is deducted from the price of anything you decide to keep.  Do you LOVE everything in your fix?  If you do, you automatically save 25% on your entire order.

In my opinion, the $20 styling fee is worth it!  No trips to the mall to search in countless stores for a put-together outfit.  I'm hooked and can't WAIT for my next fix to ship!  YIPPEE!!


WHAT WAS IN MY FIX??

I was very excited to get this fix.  Of course, once my box shipped I cheated and looked at the clothes my stylist picked for me!  I had the same stylist as I did for my last fix, and I was very happy because I think Anna did a great job last time.  

For this box, I asked for fun and flirty spring and clothes for my upcoming Colorado trip in May.  I told her that I had a blue jean jacket already and that I love flats.  She scored big with my skinny jeans in the last fix and I was excited to see what she picked out! 

Unfortunately, and with a big tear, I kept nothing from this fix.  NOT because I didn't like the clothing that was sent, actually quite the contrary.   I just felt like the clothes were just too expensive at this point in time. 




These were the first two items I tried on.  The shirt was adorable!  I mean, very very cute.  Had it NOT been for the fit I would have kept this.   As you can see in this picture I was holding the fabric in on the side.  The size was great - the cut, not-so-much.  It appeared very boxy and square when I had it on.  I was not in love, so sadly I returned this.  STATUS: RETURNED

Q & A Tarria Pleating Detail Blouse - $54

Lila Ryan Dorianna Skinny Jean in Lavender - $98

Say what??  $98 colored jeans?   These were absolutely fantastic on my body.  I loved them from the moment they were out of the box.  They fit like a glove. I could dress them up or down.  I liked it best when I paired it with my black lace top and black wedge sandals.  I also paired it with a previous fix top that I received in January (shown below.)  Both worked well. 


My little guy had to get in the picture with me! :)  


I just couldn't get over the price tag - SO pricey and being that they were so "seasonal," I knew that I wouldn't get the wear that I wanted out of them.  Regrettably, my fiscally sensible head - and my practical husband talked me out of these.  They are in my heart always.  Lol  STATUS: RETURNED




Loveappella Caroleena Front Pocket Knit Top - $48

This shirt was incredibly comfortable.  Soft as can be, but the fit was just not right.  I didn't love it and it was a bit big, even in a size small.  It just couldn't be kept.  STATUS: RETURNED 

Nine West Marie Doted Laser Cut Ballet Flat - $78



I personally loved these shoes.  I felt like they would be versatile with many clothing items.   I asked for flats in this fix and Anna delivered. They were a very "on-trend" blush color and quite comfortable.  My husband hated them from the get-go and because of that, and the price, I just couldn't keep them. The only shoes I spend THAT kind of money on are my running shoes!   Runners can you relate??



Verse, Navy Flo Knit Dress - $48

This dress was sleeveless and a great material, but I wasn't in love.  Maybe it was the pattern?  I'm not sure.  It was much cuter with the jacket than without, and I don't have any accessories on with this, but I just was kinda "it's okay" on this one.  

The price on this dress was just right.   I think in a different pattern it may have been a love for me. Also, because the fabric was so light and thin, I felt like I would need to suck in my belly.     STATUS: RETURNED.

This fix didn't go as planned, but I'm okay with that.  Last fix I kept everything!!  I have already ordered another box, specifically asking for less expensive items.  We shall see!  I'm excited for it to arrive.  

If you are dying to give this a try.  Here's my referral link!  I think you'll love it!  

What do you think? Did I make the right choice? 







Sunday, April 9, 2017

Scheels Mankato Spring Half Marathon

I took it easy this week in anticipation for my first race of 2017! 
The Scheels Mankato Spring Half Marathon was my tenth half marathon! 

This week also wrapped up week 9 of Grandma's Marathon Training.

STATS: 

23.5 miles
Tempo
Short Course

The medal is really beautiful! 


MONDAY

I started out the week with a tempo run.  It went pretty well, considering I ran 16 miles two days before that.  I was happy with my overall 8:37 pace and started Monday off on the right foot.  

THURSDAY

On Thursday, I caught up with a good friend and ran some relaxed easy miles in preparation for my half marathon.   It was definitely nice to "let go" and run "just to run."  I was able to remove myself just a bit from the intensity of marathon training this week and it was really a treat!  

I was really looking forward to running my first half of the year,  and I had some pretty lofty time goals.  I have been running pretty solid paces for my tempos,  so I wanted to push for 1:49:59.  8:23/mile.  It would have been about a 4 1/2 minute PR.  

I know.   I know.  The time goal "may" have been a bit of a stretch,  but I had a great running partner by my side the entire time who kept me going and motivated! 

The temperature for the run was perfect!  It was upper 40's at the start.  Absolutely perfect running weather.  But, and this was a BIG BUT - 30 mph winds.  That, my friends...... was the kicker.  OH, Wait....  THE HILLS!  Yikes!  There weren't many, but they were difficult and the wind in your face doubled the intensity.  




Ummm, NO.  The course wasn't flat.   It was quite hilly actually.  Even the little "speed bumps" on the course proved to be difficult with 30 mph winds.  

What I will say is there were parts of the course that were absolutely beautiful.  About 3.5 miles were paved trail and secluded in the woods and truly awesome.  This was a time when I could regulate my breathing and concentrate on running a solid pace.  I did just that. 

I held a steady goal pace until about mile 9.  But,  at the 9 mile hill,  my body was ready to stop.   I sure wanted to walk the uphill in some parts, and I should have paid more attention to just how long this hill was,  but I know that it was 1/2 mile for sure!  

Positive self-talk took hold and my friend Hannah started talking about her previous marathons to keep me distracted.  

We crossed the finish line at 12.79 miles.  Say what???  The course was nearly 1/2 mile short!!  We, as well as several other runners,  noticed the mistake after mile 4.  The turnaround revealed mile 5  much to quickly, and sure enough, at the 5 mile marker - GPS read 4.5 miles. 

Consequently, the mile markers held exactly 1/2 mile off until mile 12.  We knew that we absolutely were going to be running a short course.  

I was disappointed the course was short,  but I was also relieved,  because after the relentless wind,  I really was ready to finish.   There was a whole lot of PR talk amongst all the runners at the finish line and also a whole lot of talk about a short course from others.  I hate to break the bubble for these runners, but their PR was imaginary.  Refer to sponge bob above.  LOL.  

Of course I still celebrated at the finish.   Per tradition, I nailed my celebratory jump!  




I posted on social media... does this still count as half marathon #10?  Even though I didn't run 13.1 miles?  The general consensus is YES.  

I did fall short of my goal by 5 minutes.  Here's my rational:  I was 0.4 miles from my watch reading 13.1 miles at the finish.  I'm adding 4 minutes to my time to have a realistic half marathon finish.  If my "adjusted" time goes to 1:54:43 I narrowly, by seconds,  beat my best half PR.    I will factor in the hilly route with crazy winds and my finish time is solid.  

Here are my stats: 



If I compare myself to others in the race,  I am very happy with my placement.  We ALL ran a short course.  Other than the finish time and the average pace,  every other stat is correct.  Yeah!!  

Will I run this course again?  Absolutely.  It was the inaugural run and there was bound to be a few kinks.  I can just about guarantee you that the course will NOT be short next time.  

Here are the PROS and CONS.


PROS 

  • Great SWAG
  • Flush Toilets inside Scheels as well as Porta-Potties
  • Easy parking
  • Friendly Volunteers
  • Scheels was open early
  • Parts of the course were truly beautiful and tranquil
  • Small running field
  • Chip-timed
  • Certified Course

CONS

  • Short Course - come on Final Stretch,  you're seasoned race planners! 
  • Pricey - I paid $72 after fees to run! 
  • Hilly
  • Crowd support is minimal
  • Parts of the course were farm country - no cover from the elements


I am competitive with myself,  and while I can't control Mother Nature,  this race is on my list to do again.  With two conditions;  correct distance and no wind.  Here's to hoping! 

I'm once again linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap!  Grab and snack and have a read! 





Sunday, April 2, 2017

Grandma's Marathon - Week 8

If there could be a perfect, 
carved-out-of-stone, 
textbook training week.....

This.  Was.  IT! 

Grandma's Marathon Training Week 8 was out of this world!!



STATS: 

34.5 miles
Speedy Gonzales
Long Run Bliss


MONDAY

The day started with sprints.  I actually love sprints!   Or shall I say,  I've grown to love sprints.  There is something about pushing my body out of my comfort zone that feels so good.  I finished with 7 miles at an overall pace of 8:30/mile.   I did 0.41 mile splits,  so I used the 600m. recommendation to measure my progress. 


One of these days, I'll be running in light again. :) 


My splits were consistent from 2:57-3:01 - which equates to 7:18-7:25/mile.   I completed 7 total and headed home.   These felt amazing!  I'm right on point for the run smart calculator.   I couldn't have been happier with how the day went. 

TUESDAY

This was the only crabby wrinkle in my week.   I needed, for my personal training, to run slow and easy for recovery.  But, the group I was running with had other plans.  That's absolutely fine, but it wasn't what I needed.  I completed 5.5 miles and crabbed my way to the shower that morning.  

I didn't want to run as fast as I did,  but I didn't want to be left in the dust in the dark either.  I may have to visit Milly on my easy run days so I can be in control the entire time.   We shall see.  

WEDNESDAY

Wednesday..... lovely Wednesday.  Oh -  how Tuesday evenings have become my favorite day of the week.   I know I don't have to get up in the morning. 

I did go to my weekly kick-boxing class at 6:45 pm.  I love it and so wish I could fit more classes in.  My arms were shaking. 

THURSDAY

This was the morning I started really believing in myself!   I had lofty goals for this run,  and they paid off!  My original goal was a tempo run at 8:20's for 3 - 4 miles.  My running partners wanted no part in that,  but said they'd lag behind and keep an eye on me. 

My first mile was a warm-up at 9:19 and then I took off.  

My splits weren't consistent, but that wasn't my goal.  I truly just wanted to be able to run at or faster than 8:20's for 3-4 miles.  Mile 3 was brutally hilly - I should have known.  I know the route like the back of my hand.  I told myself,  just get through mile three and then you can slow down for the last 2 miles home.   However, when I finished with mile 3, I knew that mile 4 would be mostly downhill.  I went for it.  By the time I got to mile 4,  I said to myself - "just ONE more mile home, YOU GOT THIS!"  I went for it and freaking DID IT! 



5 tempo miles with splits of 8:03, 8:11, 8:19, 8:15, 8:16.  I ran my fastest ever 10K in 52:00 and nearly cried at the end.  To be honest, I could have gone longer!  

It was amazing.   I'm hoping to channel my inner speedy gonzales on race day!  

FRIDAY

Rest day.  Yippee!!

SATURDAY

My parents winter in Florida, so we don't see them for about 4 months.  Since they had just gotten back to Wisconsin, this weekend I took my boys back to La Crosse to visit them.  That meant my long run was there.  Even though I know every road in town,  I was a bit perplexed about how I was going to get my long run in.  With some careful planning,  I found the perfect route. 

I tried very hard to run slow for this run so that I would be able to go the distance.   I paid close attention to my HR as well.  For nearly 90% of the run,  I was in zone 3 and zone 4.  I ended up splitting the zones nearly half and half!  I ended with an average HR of 149.  My max heart rate is 175.  I am extremely happy about that!  I even got a kudos from Garmin! 




I ran the beautiful blue bridges across the Mississippi River into Pettibone Beach Park and ran trails all along the river.  It was a blissful and mind-clearing morning.  The temperature was about 40 and there was absolutely NO wind.   

Of course,  I had to stop to take some pictures along the way too!  Here is a highlight! 



I ran 16 miles with an average of 9:20/mile.  


Week 8 proved to be the best week of training yet.  

I took a jump to celebrate the great long run!   I'm surprised my legs let me!  




This week,  I'm looking forward to my first race of the year on Saturday!  I'll be running half marathon #10!  I've set a pretty high goal for myself for the run.  I'll keep that secret for now.  Of course,  I've already scoped out the weather and it's mostly sunny and 49 degrees at the start!  PERFECT!  

Make sure to link up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap this week! 










Friday, March 31, 2017

Am I Good Enough? It's RUNFESSION time!

Welcome back for another addition of
Runfession Friday.  

What's in my brain this month?  Grab a snack and have a read. 

First off, it's hard to believe that it's the end of March.  Life really does go by us in a blink of an eye.  This is my favorite time of the month to blog because it's a time where I can let all my thoughts out on paper. 

Let's start, shall we?  

I RUNFESS,  I'm a little miffed at Punxsutawney Phil.  Yes, he did show us that we were in for 6 more weeks of winter.  So, it's no surprise that Minnesota is still cold.  But, the wind can go away anytime now!  I loathe wind,  and it seems that this year the wind is extra "ass-ey."   It's like Mother Nature is laughing at us.  30 mph winds just aren't enough - she's got to go and throw in 40-50 mph gusts just to see if we can stay upright while running.   And, maybe throw in a few roof shingles and down spouts while she's at it too!

I'm ready for cute spring outfits and pedicures!  Why oh WHY did that damn groundhog have to see his shadow?  If I have to do another long run in the wind and the cold I may just crack!




When I found this meme,  I about peed my pants.  Sorry for the vulgarity guys, but it really is funny.

I also must RUNFESS,  that I have a new addiction to Poshmark.  I love to find good deals.  A few weeks ago, while I was searching the internet for stores that sold my Brooks Glycerin shoes, I stumbled across this site.  Essentially, it's a huge online garage sale.  Ordinary people like me sell their clothes online.  I happened to search my shoes on the site and found two pair!  

I was able to get both pair of Glycerin 12's, NEW,  for $80 total!  These shoes usually retail for $150! It was an absolute steal!  They are perfect.





This bargain then led me to evaluate my own closet.  What did I have that was still in great condition that I wasn't wearing anymore?  I found a Ralph Lauren sweater, new with tags!  I had never worn it and knew that I never would.  Guess what?  It sold.  I made a great profit.  It was free for me to ship and now I'm hooked.  

No,  I am absolutely NOT compensated for plugging Poshmark.  It's worked out great for me - maybe it will for you too!  I just LOVE a good deal.  So, here's one for you!  If you sign up for Poshmark, use code UQEXZ and get $5 added to your account.  The account is FREE.  If you find something you like you can use that $5 to buy it! 

I also RUNFESS,  and this isn't all that new,  I often wonder.... am I good enough?




I'm nervous I won't hit my goal of running a 4 hour marathon.  3:59:59,  if I'm being technical!  

Not because I haven't put in the training,  but because it's really damn hard.  Last weeks long run of 15 miles put it a bit into perspective for me.  I had a nice pace throughout of 9:19/mile.  9:09 is my goal.  But, the daunting task of running just a bit faster for 11 more miles really freaks me out!   Can I do it?   Maybe I'm not ready for that task?

The truth is, the Grandma's Marathon course ate me up last year.   I walked the second 13.1 more than I ran.  It was 87 degrees by mile 20.  I was out 7 weeks in the middle of my training due to injury.  I was undertrained.   My mental game was weak.   I finished.  Barely.

I keep going back to what so many runners tell me.  Running your long runs slower will make you faster!  It's just so insanely hard to run slower.  I should be running 1-2 minutes slower than my marathon pace.  So, consequently, my long runs need to be 10:09-11:09 for pace.  Marcia says, you need to be able to run 9's all day!

She's in my brain constantly..... Hi Marcia!

But, seriously,  I do understand the concept,  but I've yet to do it.  I will try for my next long run.  My plan calls for 16-18 miles.  12 of which should be marathon pace, with the rest easy.   If you're also looking for advice on how to run slower to be faster,  check out Rachel's latest post!  It's great!

Thanks for reading!  I'm linking up with Marcia for her Runfession Friday!





Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Lean, Mean, Running Machine! My Review of Beach Body Performance Supplements

Disclaimer:  I received Beach Body Performance to enjoy and review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave to review, find and write race reviews.






Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard about the Beach Body Programs.  Beautiful men and women delivering you the best work-outs all in the comfort of your own home, right on your TV!  Beach Body is all the rave, and from what I hear it's been very successful for thousands of people!  

Beach Body also has a performance line.  It's NSF certified and is bursting with good-for-you ingredients!  

If you're like me, you're skeptical of all things supplements.   But, and this is a big BUT, I'm hear to tell you.....



My mind is BLOWN!   The Beach Body Performance Stack that I received was out of this world!  

In my shipment of Beach Body Performance, was Energize (pre-workout), Hydrate (during workout), Recover (Post-workout), and Recharge (nighttime).  I was immediately impressed with the product because I was given a complete guide to each product, a personalized note and...... this one is a big one - FULL-SIZE product!  In my opinion,  if you want someone to give you an honest review - give them enough product to do so.  Beach Body did NOT disappoint. 

Rather than listing all of the benefits and ingredient lists for each product individually, I will give you the direct link to these products so you can read if you'd like to learn more.  Besides, I want to give you my testimonial on the product and not just ingredients.  

One aspect of the website I found very helpful was that you could customize your supplements based on your goals.

My goal was to tone.


Once you put in your goal, it will customize the products specifically for you.  And, if you want to buy the whole system, you get a sizeable discount.  It's just fine if you only want a few items as well - they can be purchased separately.

On another note:  if you know a beach body coach, hit them up for the order, they'll thank you later.   

If you'd like to learn more details about the specifics of these supplements, please check out this direct link here.

I went into this product testing with a completely open mind, a serious diet coke addiction, and some willingness to work hard to gain some muscle tone!  I am happy to say,  due to the energize supplement I was able to completely kick my soda habit!  It's now been nearly one month without soda!  Just scoop, stir and GO!

I used the natural caffeine that is present in the Energize to give me the initial boost I needed to get started on my way to a soda-free lifestyle.   I was also impressed with the tasty citrus flavor!  Slowly, I used less and less each day.  I had no sugar crash or crazy caffeine withdrawal headache either!  My body thanks me!  Now, when I need the energize boost,  I can scoop and go.    Because my dependence on daily caffeine is gone,  I really feel the extra boost when I drink it!

Hydrate is designed to give us the extra electrolytes that we lose so rapidly during exercise.  But, I'd be lying if I didn't drink it during the day too!  It's a great flavor boost to ordinary water.




My absolute favorite supplement of this group was the chocolate Recover protein drink.  It is designed to give you the much needed proteins immediately after you exercise!  You drink it within 30 minutes of an intense workout to help facilitate muscle recovery and repair.  It is also proven to help reduce DOMS!

This drink tasted like chocolate milk on steroids.  It is so good.  It's not chalky and very easy to use - just add water and shake.  It's also easy to mix.   Plus, it delivers 20 grams of protein.   I incorporate it into my breakfast routine for a low-calorie, protein-packed punch to start my day!   This is a must try product!




The only downside of these supplements for me was the cost.  If you order the entire system as shown above, it sets you back about $199.  For cheap little old me, that's expensive.  But, you do get what you pay for and I have never had a better tasting protein supplement.   I have had these products for 30 days now and I have about half of the canisters left.

I have a friend who is a Beach Body Coach, and she has been raving about coaching for some time now.  I am tempted to become a coach just for the product discount.   I just don't think I can live without this supplement.  I just love it!

For me,  these products were an absolute success!   I have lost nearly 3 pounds,  completely gotten over my diet soda addiction and I've found a great morning protein routine I just love!

Do YOU use supplements?  What do you think about your system?  Have you ever tried Beach Body?

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Grandma's Marathon - Week 7

Week 7 of Grandma's Marathon Training is complete!

This week was uneventful with running and I like it like that!
 Next week will ramp up my mileage with a 16-18 mile long run on Saturday.  EEK!  
I have to admit, I'm a bit intimidated. 


STATS: 

21.3 miles
Milly
Duluth
Grandma's Course


Lake Superior  - Scenic Highway - Grandma's Marathon Course


This week,  I'm doing a little different weekly wrap.  Rather than listing out my days workouts,  I'll highlight the good points!  

Monday was fairly uneventful as I started out the week with 3/4 mile hill repeats.  I got in 4 repeats before heading to work and finished with 5.8 miles at 9:14/mile.  Tuesday, I got a nice easy 5.5 mile run in at a comfortable pace - 9:26/mile.  Nothing crazy - just good training. 

My kids started spring break on Friday, and we were headed to Duluth for a mini-vacation; compliments of my sister!  She's the greatest.  With the family outing planned, my long run happened Thursday on Milly.  Thankfully,  I only had 10 miles on plan this week,  so I put on Netflix and went to town.   I ended up with 10 miles at 9:06/mile.  I was just getting done when they invaded the mill, so I made them take a picture with me!  They are such goofballs!


  

After we took the picture,  they proceeded to let their monster truck cars roll off the belt of the treadmill into a bucket.   Of course this gave me anxiety for a number of reasons,  but mostly because I love my Milly and need her in good working order.  #runnerproblems

No kick-boxing this week.  I'm hoping to pick that up again this next week.   I am also mentally preparing for my first "really" long run of my training cycle this upcoming Saturday!  

Friday, we headed to Duluth.  The home of the famous Grandma's Marathon where I'll be completing my 2nd marathon in June.  Duluth is a great city with lots of things to do,  so we first headed to Two Harbors, the home of the starting line of the race! 

Because I plan like that,  I made my husband drive the course from finish to start.  Along they way, I reminisced about all the moments in last years race.  The photo at the top of this post was taken on Friday from my car on the route.  I'm not exactly sure which mile this was, I'm guessing between 14-16.   The weather Friday was perfect for running  - no wind, no sun and 40 degrees!  YES PLEASE!




This photo was snapped by my husband at mile 19.  Apparently,  I was still smiling - but that may have been a lie!  I knew that he was there!  HA! 

It's so nice to get away as a family.   The boys were in heaven on Lake Superior throwing rocks and searching all around!  We had lots of laughs and I'm grateful that my sister gifted us two nights in a hotel!  




I love when I can capture any pictures with my boys!  Usually, I have to bribe them because they just won't sit still long enough for me to snap a picture! 




I'm linking up with Holly and Tricia once again for the weekly wrap!  


Tell me!  How do you like to spend time with your family? What's your favorite getaway? 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Walking On Clouds - Review of OOFOS Original Sport Sandal

Disclaimer:  I received OOFOS Ooriginal Sandals to enjoy and review as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave to review, find and write race reviews.




Think back to your last finish line.  Your hot, sweaty, tired.  Your body is exhausted.  You want to sit down, stretch and relax - maybe with a beer in hand at your finish line.  

More often then not, the first thing we do as runners is remove our socks and our shoes after a long hard run.  Until now, my drop bag at races has always been stuffed with any old pair of sandals or flip flops with no regard to if they are actually good for my feet.  

At home, after a long run,  I immediately would pull off my shoes and walk barefoot.  However, I know now, that is not the best way to care for my very tired and sometimes over-worked feet. Our feet are what takes us the distance.  Everyday, we put one foot in front of the other to get us to our finish line. 

 It's about time we give our feet the love they deserve.  
They deserve to feel the Oo! 

 
I'm a sporty girl and these sandals have become a staple in my everyday life.  I wear them whenever I can - even to kick-boxing.  Just slip on comfort and GO!



Currently, in MN it's cold and clearly not sandal weather just yet.  But, that hasn't stopped me from wearing them around my house every chance I get, especially after long runs.   Rather than walking barefoot my feet now feel as though they are walking on clouds!  

Let's talk a little bit about the science of OOFOS! 




OOFOS Recovery Sandals are better than their competitors because:

  • Absorb MORE shock than traditional foams
  • Patented footbed cradles arches
  • Relives pressure on ankles, knees and lower back
  • Durable foam holds it's form indefinitely
  • So light that they float
  • Machine Washable

What I love most about my OOFOS sandals is the way they make my feet feel AFTER I take them off. My feet truly feel as though they have been walking on clouds.  They feel relaxed - even pampered!   I have a spring in my step.  I can conquer the world!

OOFOS are very comfortable and come in a variety of styles and colors.  If thongs aren't for you - don't fret!  They have slides and clogs as well! 




These sandals are true to size to my normal footwear.  I wear a 9 shoe and a 9.5 running shoe.  I ordered size 9 and they fit fantastic!  

I've currently completed 6 weeks of training for my next marathon so these sandals have really come in handy.  Oftentimes, when the kids are snug in their beds, I'll start an epsom salt soak.  I will sit back and relax and afterwards I'll slip on my OOFOS.   I'm learning how to better care for the feet that so desperately need the comfort and relaxation!  




You've probably noticed that these particular sandals have the breast cancer symbol on the side.  I chose these sandals because these are a part of the Project Pink line from OOFOS.  For every pair of shoes from this line sold,  $10 is donated to cancer research.  I really think that this is fantastic - and besides,  pink is FUN! 

OOFOS mission is to make yOO feel better, one step at a time.  When one of their own, Duncan Finigan, was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer, the OOFOS team knew that they had to help the cause!  The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute was the cause they were to support!  If you'd like to see more you can follow the link here.

I have really enjoyed these sandals and they have quickly become part of my daily shoe wardrobe. But let's be honest, my shoe collection is really just running shoes and flats.   These fit in very nicely! 

My only con was that after wearing them a while, but feet seemed to be a bit sweaty, and on our hard wood floors, I started to squeak a bit while walking.  I know that sounds ridiculous, but the noise got to be aggravating.  I will say that once the weather gets nicer,  I will be wearing them outside and alas - no wood floors. 

I would absolutely give these recovery shoes a try!  They will for sure be joining me at many finish lines to come! 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Grandma's Marathon Training - Week 6

This week I needed to modify the schedule just a bit.  
But, week 6 of Grandma's Marathon Training 
seemed to go off without a hitch.  


I seriously cannot believe that the race is only 3 months away!  In my world, three months will go at rocket speed!  Here are the STATS for the week! 

32 miles
Snowy Feet
Stomach Flu
Star Wars &
The WILD

MONDAY

We got several inches of snow overnight on Sunday, but the temperature was mild.  Typically, with fresh snow on the ground, I would have just had a date with Millie.  But, with the terrible training week I had last week, I felt it necessary to get my feet to the pavement.  Or, in this case, snow! 


The snow fell most of the night, so the plows had not been out yet.   Almost all of my run was on fresh snow.  Actually,  it was almost better running on the snow than on the plowed main street which was a bit slippery.  

My legs really enjoyed this nice easy pace because I was still recovering from the squats from hell from Thursday of last week!   5 miles at 10:39/mile.  

TUESDAY

Monday in the afternoon was gloriously sunny here, which was great because all of the roads were completely snow-free for my hill sprints!   We have a great 600 meter loop that has a small incline.   It's actually 611 meters and when you're training and using time guidelines - that's a BIG DEAL! Lol! 

Anyhoo, my goal for these runs is to have my splits between 2:51 and 3:07 for 600 meters.  I did five intervals with a short 0.2 mile shag.  I did just that.  My fastest interval was 3:01 and my slowest was 3:06.  I do think I could have pushed even harder, except that I literally couldn't feel my legs or my face.  


It was so damn cold it's hard to really explain it.  6 degree with wind chills at -6 below zero.  Come ON Minnesota!  I'm not asking for 80 degrees, but even 40 degrees will feel amazing!!  
I had 2 pair of compression pants on and my legs STILL felt like giant ice blocks.  I use a neck gator and pull it up occasionally over my face, but once it gets icy, it's pretty much useless.   I get very clostrauphoic with it over my nose anyway.  

I'm not going to lie,  I couldn't WAIT to take the post-run selfie!!!  I knew that I had ice crystals forming all over my face and hair.   I could feel them on my eyelashes when I blinked and the tiny hair on my face was becoming prickly.  

WEDNESDAY

Rest day!  WAHOO

THURSDAY

I had a 7 mile easy run on plan followed by kick-boxing before work.  Trust me, I had already emailed my coach to ask her for different exercises than jump squats.  HA!  

Unfortunately,  neither workout happened.  Hank, my 5 year old woke up at 12:30 am with the stomach bug and the next several hours were for helping him.  It's crazy the hyper-awareness that happens to parents when their baby is sick.  Poor little dude.  We were up most of the night, so I knew that my 4:45 alarm was getting turned off!  

I'm happy to say he's bouncing off the walls again and as it stands right now, no one else got sick!  I KNOW I shouldn't even say those words out loud because I'll probably put a huge hoax on the house and one of us will get sick.  But, for now, we are crossing fingers and all healthy! 

FRIDAY

I have the pleasure and privilege to have Hank at home with me on Fridays!  This has typically been my day off from running, but due to Thursday,  I jumped on the treadmill for 6 easy miles at 9:10/mile.   He was an angel while I was running, so I promised him an epic Star Wars battle afterwards!  

I lost an arm AND a leg in the process. Oh - and he used the force too!  I was toast before we ever started!  

I'm ready with my light-saber! 

SATURDAY

15 miles.  The longest run since Grandma's Marathon last June!  Can the wind in Minnesota PLEASE... pretty pretty please GO AWAY!



This run really felt pretty good.  It's amazing how our brain factors in to our running long distances.  The closer and closer I was getting to the finish, the slower I became.  My lungs felt great the entire run, but I could feel my legs starting to fatigue.  

Many days on my run, I pass through the park in my town.   There is a fantastic waterfall that runs from the creek.  Unfortunately, most of my runs are in the dark, so I can't ever capture it's beauty.  Even after all the mud and snow and leafless trees, this place is still serene.   It's protected by large rock walls and for just a moment,  I enjoyed the sound of the rushing water.  

We have so much beauty around us, we just have to take a moment to appreciate all that we have.

Saturday evening was spent with my husband on a date night to the Minnesota Wild game.  



It's so much fun to watch hockey live!  Even though they lost, we had a great night and came back to a quiet house - no children!  I slept 10 hours!  Absolutely amazing!  

All in all, the week was a tad crazy, but I got so much accomplished with my running.  Have a great week everyone!  Don't forget to link up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap!  There are a great bunch of bloggers!