Friday, May 31, 2013

KT Tape Review and Giveaway!

If you are anything like me then you have had some running related injuries.  Bad knees run in my family (I think my mom has had something like 7 surgeries on the one knee) so almost as soon as I started running my left knee started acting up... then my right.  I am noticing some relief as I continue to lose weight so hopefully this isn't a forever thing!

Then my left foot was acting crazy and I self-diagnosed as Plantar Fasciitis.  If you have read my past posts of whining about this it was driving me NUTS! It was way worse than the mild knee pain I was getting so I started searching what I needed to do to make the pain stop.  Enter KT Tape.
Common sight in my house.. Pretty Pink KT Tape

Everywhere I looked, I heard about KT tape.  I was pretty skeptical about how this tape could be of any help.  I held onto that skepticism clear up until I applied it.  As you are putting it on, it doesn't really seem to be doing anything at all. But let me tell you that as soon as I started walking around, and running, with the PF application on my foot I could tell a huge difference.  I didn't have the sharp pain in my arch that I had been dealing with and it felt very supported and I didn't even notice the tape was there! It was my wonder solution!  Now, if I start feeling any discomfort at all in my foot I am pulling out the tape!

The great thing about KT Tape is they have multiple videos showing you all different applications for many injuries and those videos show you how to tape yourself.  Also, they have forums where you can post your area of pain or issue and the wonderful people on there will recommend an app for you complete with picture showing how to apply it.
The crafter in me really loves the little container it comes in!

The tape is very sticky and I have had applications stay on easily for 3-4 days (this can be up to a week in areas other than the foot).  It stays on pretty well in water and you can swim in it! Important for summer but I am sure those tan lines would get interesting! =)

Another thing that I love about this tape is that it is precut into strips that easily tear off the roll.  No need for scissors (unless you use one of the apps that has you cut a strip in half.)

This is one of those things that are going on my "runner's essentials" list!

So, you are excited to try KT tape out as well aren't you? 2 lucky winners will get the chance to! Just enter in the rafflecopter below.  The drawing will run from now through May 9th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Open to US residents only. I was not compensated by KT Tape in any way and all opinions expressed are my own.

Five Things Friday.. a tad late

Haven't done one of these yet but I thought it would be fun!

1. We leave for vacation this week! 

I am REALLY excited to get out of town for awhile and have a lot of this going on.

Last year we went to Florida and hit the theme parks.  We spent 2 days at Disney, a day at Universal, and a day at Sea World.  It was a blast and the kids were on cloud 9, but there just wasn't enough beach time in mine, or The Husband's opinion.  We love the beach!  It is much different with kids- not a lot of relaxing and reading but a lot of fun! Also, I am so thankful that we have family willing to come stay at our house for a week to keep an eye on things and take care of the animals and plants.
Point one brings me to my next point.

2. I don't know if I am made to be a southern runner!

I would love my running path to look like this! {source}
The Husband and I have been tossing around the idea of moving south or west in the relatively near future.  We both hate winter and snow and really want out of this area we live in.  It is going downhill and fast!  BUT, the last few days I have been running in the morning around 8am and it feels like I am going to die because of the humidity we are having lately! It's ridiculous! I need to either get up earlier or just continue to suck it up! =) (complaining over!)

3. The kids are done with school for the year... kinda

I don't know if I have mentioned it yet but I homeschool my kids.  We just finished up for the year but we are going to continue to review all summer.  I don't want them to lose the gains they have made so we will continue reading and math through the summer.  Rex (who turned 5 in March) will be starting 1st grade in the fall and Curly (who will be 4 in July) will be starting kindergarten with a modified math program. Sister isn't loving the numbers!

4.  I need a running buddy.
This girl is about to get a rude awakening =)

I know I mentioned this in one of my earlier posts but this time I mean it in a different way.  I wish one of my dogs ran with me! I have 3 labs- 2 that are older (7&11) and one that is only 2.  I tried to run with her last year in my little stint of running and she acted like she had some hip issues the next day.  It made me feel bad so I haven't tried since.  She has been running all over our property and not acted as if her hips bother her and she is getting a little hefty so she needs the exercise.  I think I am going to try again soon.  She would make a nice little alarm system and I would feel more comfortable in some of the areas I want to run in but don't because I am alone.

5. Running schedule needs to start asap.

I have been running but not as consistently as I would like so I am trying to choose between a couple options.  I am either going to back up to week 6 of the Hal Higdon half program I used or go with one of his 10k programs because that is what I have coming up next.  It will keep me accountable which will in turn help me stay focused.  It helps The Husband, too, because he goes off my schedule and says it keeps him motivated when I am.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Notes on Weightloss and a Spartan Race Entry Winner!

This post is one that has been rolling around in my head for awhile.  This is something that I have struggled with for probably most of my life.  Right around the summer between my 8th grade year and high school I started gaining weight.  My mom had major knee surgery and I spent a lot of time on the couch with her that summer.  It was not good for my weight AT ALL.  I spent most of my high school years being overweight.  I was pretty miserable.  Then, at the beginning summer my junior year I found out that I was got into college a year early and I would be attending a local university in the fall rather than my high school.  I took that as my chance.  Mom and I both took the summer to work hard and lose the weight we had gained and we both did it!  I started college as a new person and felt so much better about myself.
Me in the back. Christmas 1998. Right before the summer where I started gaining.

Unfortunately, that was not the last I would see about that weight.  See, I was always losing my weight on crash diets that would help me lose fast but I would gain back just as fast with usually some more tacked on. I have been on a path of gaining and losing over and over since that summer before my senior year 11 years ago.  Just last year at this time I was closing in on my goal weight once again, The Husband left to work out of town, and in the 11 months he was gone I gained everything back I had lost plus 10lbs.

Junior Prom May 2002- about where I was all of high school weight-wise.  Also right before I started losing.

I am DETERMINED that this is the last time I am going to see this weight.  I have finally spoken with the right people and I am doing this the right way.  No more crash diets for me, I am now eating my BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and doing well.  I was very skeptical of eating the amount of calories my BMR suggested.  Back in the end of February/beginning of March of this year I was eating anywhere between 900-1100 calories and I was well into my half marathon training program.  My weight loss had stalled and I was feeling frustrated.  I spoke with some people who told me about BMR.  In case you don't know, it is the amount of calories your body burns on a daily basis just doing things it HAS to do like digestion and breathing.  Basically, it's what you would burn if you just laid in bed all day and existed.  These wonderful women figured my BMR for me and set me on the way of eating almost 1600 calories a day.  I was so worried I would gain eating that much.  I mean who eats more to lose weight?! I gave it 2 weeks.

October 2005- Healthy weight I had maintained since 2002

August 2009- About a week after my 2nd baby in 16 months was born
That was almost 3 months ago and I am still continually and consistently losing with this program in addition to exercise. I have had some setbacks and fluctuations here and there but when I am watchful I am getting a steady loss. I am glad that I am finally focusing on healthy eating and lifestyle changes rather than quick weight loss that comes right back. I am now less than a pound away from hitting the 20lb weight loss mark this time around.  20lbs I hope to never ever see again!  Only about 30 more to go.
May 2011- 15lbs from goal weight

November 2012-beginning of this round of weight loss

May 2013- Most current picture.

Sorry for all the pictures! I am trying to document this for myself as well and remind myself where I never want to be again!

And now for the WINNER of the Spartan Race Entry!! Congratulations...Teresa Daujotis Millstone! Go conquer the Spartan race! Please check your email!

Has anyone else struggled with weight loss?
What's the craziest fad diet you have heard of? 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Run For Your Lives Race Recap

When you sign up for a RFYL event, you know that you will be getting a good time.  Not only are there obstacles and Zombies but also an Apocalypse party to top off the effort of the run.  This was my first mud run and I have to say that I am glad I started here. The concept of the race is really fun.  You are doing this obstacle course run with flags around your waist (a la flag football) and if you make it to the end with at least 1 of your 3 flags left you are a survivor.  If you have no flags left… well I hope you like brains.  The race is a 5k and the entire course was straight up and straight down the entire time so there really wasn’t much actual running happening out of anyone. Those hills were pretty insane and I have to say, 2 days out and I am still Sore (yes with a capital "s").  I have a feeling that I am still going to be sore tomorrow as well.

We made it! Everything was marked well with these giant signs

The Husband and I were running the 11:30 wave and about a week before we got an email saying that we should get there 2 hours early for number pickup and parking.  I don't know if they were just being overly conservative or if they tend to have backup but I thought the organization was great.  From parking, to waiver signing, to number pickup it was probably a 15 minute process?  The only problem I had was that they had The Husband's number in the folder but mine was missing.  The volunteer wasn't sure what to do so she asked someone else, they gave me a new number, and I was on my way in maybe 2-3 minutes.  Very quick and painless!

One of the many people in costume wandering the party area

From there we headed over to the “party” area and where the starting flag was. They had plenty of restroom facilities and a couple places to grab a bite to eat and grab the one free beer you get by tearing the tag off your race bib. This area of the event was really fun.  They had 2 DJ’s that were hosting games like musical chairs and an Ohio trivia game and they were hilarious and high energy so that in turn had the entire crowd pumped up.  Walking around we were able to see the zombies being made up for the course, people walking around in costume and even a couple of caged zombies to have your picture taken with.

10 minutes from the start time the DJs announced our wave.  They didn’t monitor who was jumping into each wave so I realized we could have gone into any of the earlier waves while we stood there waiting for the last hour and a half.  The starting cage (I can’t think of anything better to call it- 2 long lengths of 15ft tall chain length fence) was separated into 3 sections: Appetizer, Entrée, and Dessert.  Clever.  They actually released each wave in waves as well.  Appetizers went first and were given a minute or so before the Entrées were released.  I liked this because it spread people out enough that you didn’t feel choked but you also had safety in numbers while going through the groups of zombies.  Each time we would come up on a horde of  them we would all actually wait until we had a pretty good crowd of 20 or more to run through to give ourselves more chances to get through with flags intact. Everyone was helping everyone and people with zero flags left would try to run interference and help those with flags left make it through.
Hill right out of the starting gate.  You can see it go up and turn to the left.  There were zombies waiting there =)

The obstacles weren’t overly tough.  Some examples were simple mazes with zombies hidden inside, monkey bars, a balance beam over a water hole, a slide into a pool of red water, and 2-3 different obstacles you needed to crawl army style under.  The most notable obstacle that gave me pause is the very last one which is chain link fence that they had set up parallel to the ground that you needed to crawl under.  It was a very tight fit, very muddy underneath, and I must also mention it was electric.  I got shocked once and it was a mild shock like you would get from an electric fence meant to keep horses in.  Not terrible but a little jolt to keep you moving.  I saw a few people start under and suddenly start backing out because the shock surprised them.  One obstacle was out of order essentially so that was a bummer.  It was a building that should have been dark with fog and pieces of charged electric fence hanging down but the fog wasn’t working.  Because of that you could just walk through and avoid the pieces of fence.   
The Husband- Before

Me- before

The real obstacle in all of this was the course itself and the zombies.  There were some killer hills to the point that you almost needed to grab trees to go up them and they would station 10-20 zombies to run through right at the top of these hills.  It was TOUGH but oh so fun!

Lots of waiting zombies for the last large obstacle

I only have couple of complaints for the after race portion.  You can only check something that will fit in a ziplock bag meaning nowhere to check your clothes for after the race so you have to walk all the way out to car and back to the venue to the changing tents and it was a pretty good walk.  This wouldn’t be a big deal if you were planning to stay and hang out but we were not so we actually just changed out by the cars in the back hatch of my SUV.  I think maybe they should incorporate a bigger bag check or put the changing tents out by the parking area. The other complaint is that the showers were not working when we came out of the course but by the time we had gotten our keys from the checked bags and started walking out we saw it was working again.
After =)

In all, the race was a great one and if they come back to Ohio next year we will probably be doing it again.