Sunday, October 20, 2013

FINALLY back at it.

I have been intending to get back on some sort of running schedule (and blogging again) forever.  I am determined to stick it through this time because I really enjoy this format and interacting with my fellow runners.

I debated for awhile how I wanted to go about training for a marathon.  My original plan was to follow Hal Higdon's Novice supreme which has put a 12 week program ending with a 6 mile long run at the front of his 18 week novice training program.  The main reason I had chosen this plan was to give myself a longer amount of time before mileage above 6ish miles per run started.  I had switched to a lower carb diet but was planning to incorporate more carbs into my diet closer to long runs.  Well, I ended up having some issues with the lower carbs so I decided to begin reintroducing some carbs into my diet.  Following that, my runs started getting stronger, and my mind began to change.

I decided that I had to have some sort of schedule or something to work toward.  I have said it before on here but I have a TERRIBLE time sticking with regular runs when I don't have something to follow. After speaking with The Husband and we decided to follow a 12 week half program (the same one I followed when training) and I will transition from that over into the marathon program.  I just need to decide if I am going to skip that last week that the program calls to run the half so that I am not too sore to start the first week of the marathon program.

I just finished week 2 of the half marathon program today.  I am going to go ahead and do recaps again like I did last time to keep myself accountable to you all as well.

10-14 to 10-20

Stretch & Strengthen

Circuit training (planks, burpees, push ups, etc)
3 mile run

3.2 miles
2 mile run or Cross

2.01 mi
3 mile run



3.01 mi
4 mile run

30 min cross

3 mi walk

4 mi run

Monday: I did a circuit that I made up for this evening. 50 jumping jacks then 3 rounds each of 10 pushups, situps, burpees, tricep dips, oblique twists, and 20 second planks.

Tuesday: I ran with a girl I met at a local 5k a few weeks ago.  It was the first time she had run in awhile and she did awesome! It was a lot of fun but talking for the entire run will take it out of you for sure!

Wednesday: I decided to get out before The Husband had to leave for work and get 2 miles in.  I was so glad that I did! It was a nice start to the day.

Thursday: Took a rest day because Rex had a soccer game that threw our plans off.

Friday: Did Thursday's 3 miles down in my little town and was CRAZY surprised when I held sub 9 minute miles without even realizing it.  I have never managed that for multiple miles and normally it's the first mile and I started too fast causing me to peter out by mile 3.  I see signs of getting stronger!

Saturday: It poured a cold rain all day and I just could not bring myself to go out in it or get on the treadmill so I decided to double up on Sunday.

Sunday: For the last few weeks I have been meeting with my weight loss buddy on Sunday mornings to power walk.  It is a nice time to get out and chat sans kids (she is also my homeschool buddy).  We normally do 5 miles but we both had plans today so we only did 3. I knew this ahead of time so I took my running gear with me with intentions of heading straight back out.  When we got back to our cars, I stripped down a layer and took off again and had another awesome sub 9 average run!! I don't know where this is coming from but I LOVE it!

Time to start week 3.  The mileage bumps up a tad this week, but not much.  I have a couple race recaps to add later this week as well as a couple possible giveaways to do.  I'm going to leave you with my most recent progress pic.  This is the first one where I can actually see some progress =)

Left: My first 5k  March 23, 2013               Right:10k Sept 21, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Biggest Loser 10k Race Recap

Hopefully I can remember everything since I am writing this about a billion years afterward but here is the recap of the Biggest Loser 10k!

The race took place in Charleston, West Virginia which is about an hour and a half from my house.  It didn't start until 9am (I think- memory loss. LOL) so technically we could have driven down that morning but we went ahead and stayed in Charleston that night.  My mom took Rex for the weekend, my dad had Curly, and my husband's cousin stayed at the house to take care of the pups so the night before we got down there around 5:30 or 6 and headed to the Civic center to pick up our packets.

When we got there Michael Dorsey from season 14 was there speaking.  I got a picture but it disappeared from my phone =(

The packet pickup went on for 5-6 hours that day so when we got there, there were maybe 50 people there and all of them were listening to Michael speak so we had no line to pick up our packet.  It was very quick and we got our numbers, a drawstring backpack, and some coupons and information about the festival that was going on, and our shirts.

We then went to the hotel, checked in, and went to get some dinner.  I mentioned in the giveaway post that I had changed my diet and went low carb about 8 days before the race.  I had done one 5 mile run and a couple short runs between starting the diet and the race and they went TERRIBLY.  My energy levels were awful and I would just hit a wall around 2 miles.  I couldn't believe how much it effected my running so I knew that this race was not going to be what I wanted it to be.

We got up the morning of the race and since we hadn't brought anything with us for breakfast, we ran through a drive through and got breakfast sandwiches.  I ate the meat, egg, and cheese from mine while we were heading toward the race.  It was very easy to find parking in a parking garage (it was free! woohoo!) and then we made our way to the race start.  The starting line was near a lakefront park with an outdoor pavilion and an actual building with real restrooms! That is always exciting.

We hung around for about 45 minutes and then lined up.  The line up was VERY chaotic.  The 5k and 10k took off together and they had pacers but they were all in random spots.  I stood with the 10:00min/mile pacer and literally 2 people in front of me was the 8:30 10k pacer.  Then on top of that, they were doing a wave start but didn't really announce it all that well, so about 5 minutes before start time they raised a rope in front of us but there were hundreds of people behind us that didn't really know about it.  It kind of unnerved me because I was afraid they would start without announcing it and we would be trampled.  Thankfully just about a minute before start they finally let everyone know about the ropes.

The race starts and our wave goes out and the pacer I was staying with was going a lot faster than I thought she would.  I think the first mile was around a 9:33 which is obviously pretty far off from what I was expecting.  I managed to run the first half but after that I hit a MAJOR wall! I was out of energy and couldn't run very far at all before I needed to walk.  I started grabbing Gatorade at the water stops and hoping to finish in a halfway decent time.  I was so very frustrated because 2 weeks before I had flown through my 5 mile run and thought I had a pretty good chance at having a good time and then I went low carb.  I know this is a good decision on my part for now but I am definitely planning to add back in fruits and sweet potatoes before I up my mileage again.

My time ended up being 1:10:44.  I was so mad at myself and frustrated but I am looking forward to running another for redemption in the near future. The husband however, had a great race at 1:02:43.  His best time yet and a 5 minute PR!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Protein Bakery Review and Giveaway!

This has to be, by far, the most delicious giveaway I have done on this blog.  If you haven't already be introduced, let me introduce you to the pure deliciousness of The Protein Bakery!
First off I want to let you know about a promotion The Protein Bakery is doing right now called "Show Us Your Muscle."   Anyone who orders a product and sends them a photo of you holding the product and making a muscle gets entered to win a free baker's gift set and t-shirt!  Pictures should be sent to  .  If you win you will get their biggest gift set, the tshirt, and your photo featured on their website.  Even better, you are eligible to enter this contest using the goodies you win from me! 

The box I got.  You will notice the mini black and white blondie is gone.  It didn't last 5 minutes!

The Protein Bakery has lots of goodies like brownies, blondies, and various cookies!  In the box I got, it came with 1 mini Black and White Blondie, 1 mini Peanut Butter brownie, 2 packs of Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies, Chocolate Chocolate White Chip Cookies, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, and a large Black and White Blondie and a Walnut Brownie.  So far we have sampled everything but the Walnut Brownie and I am saving that for my cheat day this weekend!  So far everything has been soooo good but I have to say that the Black and White Blondies were by far my favorite and I was very glad there were 2 in the box! =)
Yummy, delicious Black and white blondie- the large version

I had to share with The Husband so we each tried each one.  One night after dinner, when it was a cheat night, this is what he found.

He was glad to try 2 kinds that night =)

Why should you want to try these goodies? Well, there are a bunch of reasons but the ones that jumped out at me the most are from the info I got from the Protein Bakery:

 Higher In Muscle-Building Protein
Whey protein is more easily absorbed by the body.
Preferred by most nutritionists and healthy living experts.
Some of our baked goods have more protein than an egg or a glass of milk.


Higher in dietary fiber to satisfy your hunger
Some of our treats have as much fiber as a bowl of oatmeal.
No wheat flour used and very low in gluten
Many people have an intolerance for white flour and gluten.
And for everyone else, it's just a healthier bite.

Those are very high points for me and these are seriously good! Not what you would expect of some of the products out there that are low gluten/gluten free.
Even the minis aren't that small!

The winner of this giveaway will be getting a taste of Protein Bakery (an assortment of 2 brownies/blondies, 2 cookie 2-packs and 2 mini's) $45.00 value with shipping!

Enter below through the rafflecopter.  Sorry but we can only ship within the mainland of the US and not to PO Boxes or APO addresses.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this giveaway.  I was provided product for review and all opinions are my won.** 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Giveaways Galore!

So, since I have gotten behind on posts, I also have a couple giveaways that are due.  I JUST realized yesterday that I never did a race recap on the Biggest Loser 10k I ran on June 29th so I plan to do that tomorrow.  I had held onto these giveaways until that point because that was the day I was intending to try both products and time just got away from me.  Anyway, for the Biggest Loser race I decided to try out my Spun Compression socks as well as Energybits!


Coming into this race I had been having terrible runs with a capital "T."  About 8 days before this I had switched over to a low carb diet and the one long run of 5 miles I had completed left me drained and out of whack very quickly.  I am assuming my body was still adjusting? I am not sure but they were bad.  I had high hopes that the Energybits would get me through this race.

It is recommended by the ENERGYbits people that you use 30 bits prior to activity so about 15 minutes before the race start I took 30 bits.  To begin with these smell  Since they are 100% algae that is completely expected.  While there is an option to chew these in reviews I had read before, I knew to just swallow them whole.  They are the size of maybe an Advil, so it was fun to swallow 30 of those, but it was doable.  During the race I did feel more energy that I had felt on my last run.  I made it farther than I expected based on my previous performance in the week so that was good as well.  The great thing about these is that they are all- natural and they are a FOOD and not a supplement.

From the ENERGYbits website:
Made from 100% organicallly grown spirulina algae and loaded with 40 nutrients, ENERGYbits® algae tabs have the highest concentration of protein in the world (64%) all for just one calorie per tab. Endorsed by the United Nations as the most nutritious food on earth, spirulina algae has been a favorite of Olympic gold medalists for decades and is a super food in every sense of the word, delivering instant and enduring energy to your brain and body.

I think that I will give these another go soon as my general level of energy has continued to come up over the time since the race.  I would like to try these again when I am having normal runs and not terrible ones like the week I did manage to try them.  Want to try them, too? Enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post!

Those entering in the giveaway will win one sample pack of ENERGYbits!

Spun Compression

It was very humid and the temperature was rising quite a bit the morning of the race so I decided to wear short socks during the race and save these socks for the long ride home after the race.  Like I mentioned above, I had a terrible run and my calves were kind of achy.  I jumped in the shower when we got back to the hotel and put my Spun Compression socks on right away.  I am always worried because I seem to have large calves so I tend to wonder if they are going to be too tight.  These actually felt great on my legs.  I didn't have any issues with them being too tight and they put just the right amount of pressure on my calves.  I kept them on for the whole ride home and then a couple more hours after we made it home.  I was definitely glad to have them!

One great point about these compression socks?  They are much cheaper than many others you will find out there.  Regular price they run 34.99. Why?

From the Spun Apparel website:

Spun Performance Apparel was born out of necessity.  When our founders began searching for compression apparel to aid them in their performance and to speed up their recovery, they shared a common sentiment, "Why's this stuff so expensive?"  So, they set out to try to find the answer.  There were a few factors that led to most legitimate compression apparel being so expensive:

  • It's sold through retail locations, so there is an extra level of markup, sometimes as high as 200%;
  • Many compression apparel companies pay athletes to wear their gear;
  • It's worth it.

While we share their sentiment on the final point, we wholeheartedly disagree with the first two. 

Why drive to a specialty running or cycling store to try something on for a minute or two in a cramped dressing room when you can order online and try it on in the comfort of your own home.  If it doesn't fit, we'll pay for you to ship it back to us.

I plan on also getting these in green soon!

Enter the Rafflecopter below to try to win these awesome products!! There will be 2 winners for this giveaway.  Giveaway runs from August 21-31, 2013.  Winner will be announced in a blogpost on Sept 1! a Rafflecopter giveaway