Monday, November 25, 2013

LARA Bar Reviews and Giveaway #Runwithlara

The the nice people at LÄRABAR asked if I would be willing to try some samples of LÄRABAR. It took me all of two seconds for me to respond with a HECK YES!  My only prior experience with these bars were the the small samples that I got at race expos.  I was excited to see what other flavors they had to offer.  I was floored when this package came to my door.  I was not expecting the mother load of samples.




These bars were very appealing to me because they are all gluten free!  I also liked the fact that there was not a paragraph of ingredients that I could not pronounce.  Simple.  I dig that.  You can learn more about these HERE.

Since I can't eat off of these myself (Yes I could...who am I kidding?!?!), I employed a few of my real life running buddies to help me with this review.

KELLY-Recently completed her first 10K and has committed to running her first Marathon!
Personal Fav:
uber Cherry Cobbler
Her thoughts:
Very tasty and filling.  Perfect for a quick breakfast.

STACIA-Is not a fan of running but is now doing it regularly and is trying to get me to do the Polar Dash.  
Her thoughts:
Favorite:  Apple Pie
Good but a bit too high in sugar and fat for her liking.

BFF-Runs for fun and may have been bullied into her first marathon by yours truly.
Favorite:  Blueberry Muffin-
Her thoughts:
LOVE LOVE LOVES them.  Has become her go to snack for the afternoon.


UNCLE LARRY-(Not my uncle and not a dude...long story) Just ran her first marathon and kicked ass at several other running events:
Favorite:  Peanut Butter Cookie
Her thoughts:
It was sweet, very 'moist' and surprisingly tasted similar to the flavor of a pb cookie, however, the texture, was that of pureed dates.

Chubby Hubby-He doesn't run but is one hell of a course supporter.
His thoughts:
Pumpkin Pie.   It is alright.  (Aka good.  His is a man of few words)

My Brother-He doesn't run and has a raging nut allergy. I thought it was funny to try to feed him a bar made out of nuts and he was not amused.  He is still miffed about the time I accidentally fed him a pistachio which resulted in a trip to the ER.....on Christmas.

Me-Yeah, I run but it has been awhile (Stay tuned for that post).
My Favorite is the Peanut Butter Cookie.  
My Thoughts:
It truly was filling and had a good taste.  Unfortunately...I because of my food allergies and the itchy throat I got (probably from the nuts) I only tried two kinds.

Your turn!  I am giving away a variety of these bars.  Hit me up in the comments if you would to be entered to win.  You can find them on Facebook too!

Thank you LÄRABAR for providing me with the product to do this review!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

November Goals

Happy November!  How is it November already?  More importantly, how have I been blogging for 6 years???  Wow time flies when you flood the internet with boring details of your life!!

First things first I need to do a happy dance because I have an announcement.  For the first time EVER (okay perhaps a bit of an overstatement) I didn't gain 10lbs in October.  I stayed away from all Halloween candy. All of it.  Are you admiring my will power?

Well don't.

I cheated, kind of.  I had some sort of a stomach bug which left me with no appetite. None.  I must have been really sick to not touch one Reese's Peanut Butter Cup or Snickers.  Not one.  Usually I cannot stop once I start.

Or perhaps it was the sight of my children that made me sick:


Whatever works, right? I am chalking this up to a huge win and a great start to the Holidays!



The first of the month always renews my motivation.  Since I haven't done much since the marathon I am laying out my November goals:
  • A run a day.  I would like to round out November with running everyday...even if it is just a mile. I of course am using the word running loosely....jog, walk crawl will also count in my book.
  • Go to yoga 4 times.  This should be a doable goal but it is hard to find time in the schedule.  I miss it and my state of mind needs it.
  • No chips.  I seem to have developed an insane addition to these things and it is not helping the scale.  So I am vowing to be one month chip free.
  • End November lighter than I started.
Those are my few simple goals for the next 30 days.  What are yours?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

More Marathons

When I crossed the finish line of TCM two weeks ago, I said out loud:

"THIS IS MY LAST MARATHON!"

I am not kidding when I say 10 minutes later, I was talking about how I plan on getting an earth shattering PR at Grandmas Marathon.  Keep in mind that I was not even out of the finish line area when I said "Next year when I do Twin Cities...."

So I guess I am not retiring and I am committing myself to two 26.2 mile journeys next year.  

Why?
  • Keeps me out of trouble and something to obsess about
  • I want to try to finish in the mid-pack and think I need more than once chance to accomplish it.
  • All the cool kids are doing it...you know who are you!
  • Chubby Hubby didn't file for divorce when I pitched the idea
  • I have a coupon!!  Seriously....how can I NOT do it when I am saving money?!?!?!
    subtle sharing of expo promotion!
I should have a lot to blog about in 2014! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Socks that Rock!

I had the opportunity to review the Experia Crew-Powered by THORLO Pads.   These are new to market as of October 1, 2013.  I was excited to try these because I am a huge fan of Thorlos products and their socks have been with me for over a decade and many many miles.


Interesting Fact:
There are pads of fat in your feet.  I guess I never thought about foot fat before, so this is news to me.  This foot fat degenerates as we age (I wish belly fat was the same way).  Once this fat is gone, it is gone for good.  Thorlos make a variety of padded socks for all sorts of different activities and they have been clinically tested to provide aching feet some protection.  You can read more about it HERE.


My Review

The Look:
No complaints from me as far as how they look.  I like the style and it makes it easy to identify in the sea of socks that my family of 5 produces.

The Feel:
It was love at first fit.  They were padded at the toes and the heels, yet thin and cool on the rest of the foot.  The sock fit at the perfect spot on my calf and the tube of the sock (is this the correct term?) was perfect weight.  It was not heavy enough to be too hot, but thick enough for cold weather.

The Performance:
It was pointed out to me that Experia offers the LEAST amount of foot protection from the line of Thorlos socks and is designed for people that are currently NOT feeling foot pain.  Well you could have fooled me!  I am still have intermittent foot pain that comes and goes when I run.  Since I have just finish a marathon, it has been a little more frequent.  The silly person that I am, I still run on it since there seems to be "nothing wrong" as per the doctor.  These socks provided some great cushion in the right spots.  I tested these socks on three different runs....foot pain was not piercing (which is a huge improvement).
The runs that I wore them on were wet cold days.  My ankles were warm and my feet stayed dry.  What gives these socks my second thumbs up an a spot on my official favorite things list is that the socks did not fall down or scrunch up around the ankles.  They stayed put!  I normally would not buy crew socks because they don't stay up.  I may have a new winter favorite!

The Investment:
These socks are not cheap.  But I am a firm believer in you get what you pay for.  These quality socks run from 14.99-20.99.  Expensive yes....however....I am going to note that I still have my very first pair of Thorlos from 2001 and I still use them.  In my opinion they are a runner's must have and worth every penny!

For more information and to purchase, please visit:

https://www.thorlo.com

Thank you Thorlos for the opportunity to test and review the Experia Crew.
Disclaimer:  I was provided one pair of Experia Crew socks free of charge, however, the test and review are my own.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Twin Cites Marthon-I am a Happy Girl!

I had a lot reasons to be fearful of this 26.2 quest:
  • My tight Achillies tendon.  Still is giving me a little trouble and I am trying to be cautious and not make a problem worse by ignoring it.  That and I have know 2 people that have snapped theirs this year and it is not a fun injury to recover.
  • My foot.  Still hurting even though there the doctor was not able to find anything wrong.
  • New shoes.  BRAND new shoes to run 26.2 miles.  The running store I went to looked at my training shoes and told me that my foot issue might be caused by these shoes.  So, I bought new ones.  Not smart.
  • The calendar took over when the kids' went back to school and Chubby Hubby went back to work.  The result was that and my training was put on the back burner.  Weekly runs were few are far between and my long runs were a joke.  I had two good ones....August 11th and September 20.  The rest I either cut short, walked, or skipped all together.
  • The weather was supposed to be cruddy.  I can't think of anything more fun than not being prepared for a marathon and being out in the cold, rainy weather for 5+ hours.
  • Kelli was not able to run it this year and had to make the hard decision not to come up for the race.  It kind of through me off because I didn't do any of my normal pre-marathon traditions.

Marathon day came anyway.  Though I had the fears and was sad that my marathon buddy was not going to be joining this year, I was EXCITED!  I was excited because I knew several people running including my friend that WAS a marathon virgin and my humbly speedy friend that hadn't done one since 2001. 
Is that an inhaler in your bra or are you just happy to see me?
Nervous, excited, fearful...I had a plan.  I was going to get to the finish no matter what and I didn't care about my time.  I was going to take a tour of the Twin Cities and take in the fall color while enjoying every minute of it!  My plan was to do 3 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking.  Dawn and I were going to run together and planned on having a very long fun conversation.

I am not sure what happened but I was on FIRE (for me).  Dawn and I ran together the first 11 miles and for most of it we were well in front of the 5 hour pacer.  That is UNHEARD with my running.  I felt awesome though when we were running I felt that I was too winded to have that fun, giggly conversation that my friend and I planned on having. 

At the water stop at mile 11, Dawn and I parted ways.  I let the speed demon go and I plugged into my headphones and just enjoyed the ride....er run.  I don't remember much.  Lots of course support, some really funny signs like this one (my personal favorite):
Mile 23 I saw Sarge and if I could have cried, I would have.  Not because I was in pain (though I was kind of was).  It was because I knew I was going to beat my time and that there was not a school bus chasing my ass.  Sarge ran with me until mile 26.  I should mention how bad ass she is, she ran along side me carrying a purse and wore jeans, fleece jacket, and clogs!  I personally would have died!
 
The last .2 were awesome....I saw my family and all the kids were screaming for me.  I crossed the finish and started bawling.  I hit a personal record!  5:24:36.  It was almost 20 minutes faster than my June marathon and 7 minutes faster than my 2006 record.  I couldn't have been more happy!
The smile says it all....time for a diet.
  
Done!  Note to self:  Do not take photos with photogenic marathoners!! 
No longer a virgin!  Celebrating an awesome finish to her first race.

Other items to note:
  • I beat the juggler!!  If you remember correctly, I got beat every other year by the dude that juggles while he runs.  It always made me mad and I always wanted to make him drop his balls, though running whilst juggling is impressive.
  • My kids told me that Chewbacca beat me.  Yes, there was a Chewbacca on the course and yes he crossed the finish line before me.


  • BUT....I kicked his ASS.....by 11 whole seconds.  
  • FYI, my shoes were awesome.
  • Did I mention I had a personal record?  Woo Hoo!!  For the record...I do mention that all the time in normal conversations.  I am THAT person.
After I crossed I told myself that this would be the last one.  Well, that thought lasted all of 10 minutes because I have committed myself to more adventures in 2014!  I am sure I have more to say but my lunchtime goes by too quick.

(please excuse the bad grammar and typos)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

19 Things Thursday


  1. It feels like forever since I have blogged and shared my monotonous details of my life with the internet.  I am even kind of horrified that my last post was 8/29/13.
  2. Pardon the ADD in this post...I have a lot of stuff to cover and no time.
  3. I have been nervous breakdown worth busy.  I get kind of sick to my stomach looking at both my home and work calendars.
  4. The children are back in school. I now have a 5th, 4th, and a Kindergartener.  When I started this blog, I was on maternity leave from work and my 5th grader was in preschool.  Time Flies.
  5. CHUBBY HUBBY GOT A JOB!  This is after 10 months of an agonizing, depressing lay off.  He has found his dream job!
  6. I have been busy because my of my children.  All three of them are in football this season (yes, my dainty girl is playing).  God forbid hockey start after the leaves fall....that has also started.  Somehow, homework is getting done, the kids are getting to their events, and we are sleeping and eating.  Now if I could clone myself to do laundry and plan real meals (I have been frequenting Little Caesars and I have passed a Lunchable over for dinner....I am not proud).  I would be Mother of the Year!
  7. I have been running but not as much as I would like.  As usual, I am behind in my training but I feel ready.....or as ready as will be allowed.
  8. I just bought myself new running kicks for TCM.  Yeah. Yeah.  I know the rule.  Never buy anything new before a big race.  I stuck with the same brand but when the store checked out my shoes, the wear patterns showed that I am a supinator and that my current shoes may not be the a good fit at all for me.  I am taking them out for a test spin to make sure they are good.  It could be the reason for my foot pain.
  9. My new kicks are an obnoxious hot pink.  They look fast, they feel fast, and I am so happy that I was able to get a "funky" shoe this time rather than the white bricks I usually get.  I am confident that they won't fail me!
  10. TCM is 10 days away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  WOW!
  11. I am now addicted to Cinnamon Fire Jolly Ranchers.  They are a must on long runs.
  12. I am planning on a 3 min run/1 min walk for the marathon.  Why?  Because I feel better and my times were faster.
  13. Speaking of faster....I ran my first sub 10 minute mile and my first sub 30 three miles. I haven't been able to repeat it yet, but I am close.
  14. I am very sad that my friend Kelli was forced to bail the marathon this time around.  I guess I have to wait to see her in June for Grandmas.
  15. Weight loss....I am down about 25...up a little from my lowest this summer but I am wearing some of my favorite pregnancy pants these days.  Yes....I kept pants from seven years ago because I kept telling people that I JUST had a baby.
  16. I am not going to be able to brag about the weight loss much longer if I keep eating french fries and Reese Peanut Butter Pumpkins.   Ugh.  They are like crack!
  17. I read this article about Whole Foods and damn near died of laughter.  Right on the nuts!!
  18. I did the Warrior Dash again and I won't do it again.  I am over the mud run theme.  Anyone else?
  19. My lunch hour is over and so is this speedy blog post.  

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Guest Post-Find Your Mama Grove



Today I am hosting a virtual blog tour for Megan Flatt of Find Your Mama Grove .  She discusses a topic that hits close to home for me, the "I am always crazy busy but never get anything accomplished" syndrome.  I know I am not alone when I say I feel frustrated that all I do is chauffeur kids, work, and (try) to maintain some sort of order in my house...not to mention that my to do list never seems to get done (or even half way done for that matter).  I am honored that she is here to share some of her insight and promote her free course "The Well Crafted To Do List".  Since I life has taken me away from blogging for a bit, I will sit back, take some good notes, and let Ms. Flatt take the wheel on this post.

Thank you to  Emily Hedges of Hedges Virtual Book Tours for introducing me to Megan Flatt and arranging this stop on the tour.

Finding My Mama Groove (And You Can Find Yours Too!)

By Megan Flatt

I sat in my driveway and sobbed.

I wasn't unhappy.  I had two of the most awesome little people I had ever met in the back seat and I am lucky to spend so much time with them.  I have a wonderful supportive husband, a great community of friends and a loving family.

But I wasn't fulfilled.

I wasn’t totally sure why I was crying, but four months into my second daughter's life I knew something was missing.

Between potty training and park dates, a part time job and all my household responsibilities and I was so busy, but I didn’t feel like I was accomplishing anything.

I was drinking too much coffee and eating too much take-out, all in an effort to eek more time out of my day.

I was in a rut.

I realized I wanted my kids to be my greatest accomplishment, but not my only accomplishment. 

I knew I could give them the world, without giving up mine.

I need to find my groove, my Mama Groove.

Your Mama Groove is not about wanting anything different from our job as a mom, it’s about wanting more. 

I put myself on a mission to Find My Mama Groove and although it is an ongoing process, I have come so far since sobbing in my driveway. Now, I want to help you Find Your Mama Groove too.

The Cinderella Factor
Moms are hardwired to take care of everyone else.  We put everyone else’s needs above our own. I call this the Cinderella Factor.  Remember, Cinderella’s Wicked Stepmother never said she couldn’t go to the ball, she just told her she had to finish an exorbitantly long list of chores first, so when she couldn’t get everything done, it was Cinderella’s own fault.
So we tell ourselves we can take a bubble bath or call a girlfriend or start our dream business, but after our “chores” are done.
The problem is, our “must dos” are never done.  There is always more laundry, another school project to complete or another trip to the grocery store.
We have to make a conscious and continued effort to make room for our “want-to-dos” despite the list of must dos.
If Mama is taking care of herself, her family will reap the benefits, over and over again.
So, where do you start?

Find What Excites You
Spend some time brainstorming things that you would do if you “had more time.”  We all have things at the back of our minds we’d love to try or love to try again if only we had more time.  Your “thing” doesn’t have to be profound, or make sense or change the world.  It just has to be something that makes you smile to think about and makes you feel more fulfilled.

You can be an AWESOME mom while still pursuing the things that excite you.

Ask for Support
A friend of mine went back to a dance class she had not attended since the birth of her son 5 years ago.  She told her husband she was going and asked him to not let her get out of it.  She told me she sobbed the entire drive home with joy from her hour-long class and wondered why she had taken so long to get back there.

Don’t Be Afraid To Change Your Plan
Another mom had been an accomplished artist before kids, but hadn’t picked up her paints in over a year.  After trying to squeeze in a messy painting session during naptime, she realized painting was going to be challenging while her child was so young.  However, instead of throwing in the towel on her dreams, she picked up a sketchbook and started drawing every day until it makes sense to get back to painting.

Just Do Something
While helping her kids with homework one evening, a busy mom flipped over a discarded math worksheet and started outlining an idea for a children’s book she had been percolating in her head for years.  Getting the rough framework out on paper was enough inspiration for her to sign up for a weekly writing class and pursue a dream of writing children’s books.

Say “No” to Mommy Guilt
Don't fall for the Mommy Guilt trap that you don't have enough time or you'll do it when the kids are older.  Your kids need a happy, fulfilled mother now. 

There is a Chinese proverb that says, “You can’t give from an empty vessel.” 

Take some time to fill your own vessel and you’ll find yourself more fulfilled, less “busy” and in your own Mama Groove.


One final piece to Finding Your Mama Groove included keeping a Well Crafted To-Do List.  Need ideas on how well crafted lists can make your life run more smoothly?

Join Megan, for a FREE week-long workshop (Sept 2-6th) to learn the Art of the Well Crafted To-Do List.   Make sure your to-do lists are meaningful, efficient and actionable. 

You’ll receive daily prompts, and list making worksheets via email. And conclude the week with a live implementation webinar to put it all together in real time. 

By the end of this free course, you’ll have a well-crafted to-do list, to help you stream line your must-dos and make room for your want-to-dos.

You can register for free here: http://www.findyourmamagroove.com

Megan Flatt is a Mama Strategist and a wellness expert. She helps busy moms rediscover what fulfills them, and then find the time and energy to pursue that passion…without the guilt! She believes as moms, we can give our kids the world, without giving up our own.  She loves vanilla lattes, her iPhone, and books meant for 13-year-old girls. Megan lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her two amazing kids and her awesome husband. You can learn more about her at www.meganflatt.com or join the conversation on Facebook (facebook.com/meganflattpage).

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Summer Recap

It sure has been a very long time since I have paid my little blog a bit of attention.  I have not been ignoring it on purpose.  A busy crazy summer along with lacking a real computer makes it difficult to produce a good blog post.  I have a hard time typing on my iPad.  I am totally going to be the old crotchety lady that refuses to move grow with technology.  I like having a real keyboard and can't seem to function without one.  hmmmmfp.

I will start my lengthy recap with my story about getting bit by a dog last night.  Yes, I got chomped on by a dog!  I was running through my 'hood and minding my own business when this "dog" (using the term loosely because it was the size of a football) starting running towards me growling.  I of course didn't take it seriously because, well the dog looked like a football.  Then the little prick got out of his collar and started biting my ankles.  Now I know why they call them "ankle biters"....because they really do.  I went to get him off of me and he clamped down on my finger.  Son of a.....

I yelped and the owner came running.  He started yelling at the dog and I think he apologized.  I just kept running because I was ROCKING my run.  Three blocks later, I noticed my hand was throbbing and bleeding.  That little bastard drew blood.  I was pissed and I wanted to punt that little shit.  I never went back and pushed on.  When I finished my run, I had a new 3 mile personal best....30:35.  Yay.  It may have been under 30 minutes if it wasn't for Kujo.  I didn't report it but I probably should have.  This dog's home is on my regular running route and if he ever comes after me again....I will make sure he eats enough chocolate to kill him.   Sorry dog lovers...I don't get mad, I get even.

Oh yeah....when I tell this story to my friends in real life....the damn dog will be a REALLY big dog.



This summer has been flying by!  Here is a brief run down of how we have been spending the summer:

Birthday mania!  I now have an 11, 9, and 6 year old.  Today is Diva's Birthday.  Birthday mania consisted of all of my kids having birthdays within two weeks of each other.  Then we had a family party and small separate kid parties for each.  I am broke and tired.

Sports.  We finished baseball at the end of July only to have hockey and football start a week later.  It is fun but it makes for a really grueling schedule.  All three of them are playing football and hockey (even Diva).

Vacation.  The middle kiddo and I went to Arizona to hang out with Kelli and her family for a few days.  I only took him because Kelli has a son his age.  He thinks it is because he is my favorite and holds it over his siblings.  For the record, the sibs were not jealous because they had other "special" things just for them.  Then, we (the whole family) hit up Wisconsin for a family reunion.

Marathon training.  I am running better but not enough.  I have had to adjust my goals of making a killer PR to just doing better than I did at Grandmas.  I am okay with it....I just don't have the time to devote to training like I should be.

Diet Bet.  I just finished my second diet bet and it was an epic failure.  Well, not complete failure....I lost 1lb in 4 weeks.  I was bummed not to win but I am down 30lbs since March.  I am very happy about that.  I am thinking of starting a new game 9/3 if anyone is interested.  I didn't gain any weight during BD mania.  That is a huge success in itself!


This is my quick check post.  I will be back to blogging soon!







Monday, July 1, 2013

Diet Bet

A friend of mine started a game on dietbet.com and I decided to take a chance and play.  This is a site where you can get motivated to lose weight and win money.  The game starts with a small wager, our was $20.00.  You then have 30 days to lose 4% of your body weight.  If you get to your goal you win, if you don't you lose your money.  The winners then split the pot of those that did not meet their goal.  The more players, the bigger the pot of money.  Simple.

Our game had 70 players and ended up with $1400.00 in the pot.  I am happy to report that I am a winner!  I won $28.72!  I lost a total of 8.8lbs in the last month.  I didn't think that it was anything significant until I saw the photos. 

The game required to take a full length photo and a close up of the scale upon the start and finish of the game. They give you an individual code word that needs to be photographed and included with your upload. The photos are then audited by Diet Bet staff and once they are approved, you are good to go! The photos are not made public but I can't help but think that my scary photos have made someone's wall of shame.

Please excuse the Nick Nolte like mug shots.  I have a secret.....I wake up looking like a train wreck!


May 29th

June 30th



I see the resemblance!
I think I am going to keep the momentum going and either start my own game or join another one.  If I start my own game, is there anyone out that that would like to jump in?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Grandma's Marathon Recap

I am not sure how to begin my race recap.  If I were to describe Grandma's 2013 in a few words, it would go something like this:
Cold
Foggy
Wet
Miserable
Painful
Fun
Ridiculously FUN
I won't make your eyes bleed by writing paragraph style so I will give you the bulleted version (read:  when I started writing my muscles were too sore to even type!!)
  • I spent a few days in Duluth before the race.  We hung out with my friend Kelli and her family.  The kids jumped into Lake Superior and participated in the Whipper Snapper Races.  It was a fantastic time!
    
    Diva heading for the finish
    
  • The night before the race, my parents made an awesome dinner for us to carbo load.  It was a ton of fun!  The weather didn't cooperate so we moved everything inside my parent's garage. 
  • I was getting the royal treatment below.  Shoulder massage and some calf taping.  What is that you ask?  A mannequin head on the table?  Oh that is just "Steve", he is part of our family and he is celebrating the marathon with us.  In fact, he is going to do the marathon next year!
  • Race day was cold, rainy, and foggy.  Crappy weather but decent for running.  If it was hot and humid I was going to look for a drop out bus.  Mother Nature cut us a little slack despite giving us near winter temps in the 40's.  The tail wind was also a nice benefit.
  • I was pretty much the last person out of the biffy and lined up near the end of the pack.  Kelli moved up to her pace group and we didn't see her until the end of the race (She did awesome by the way....4:31!).
  • Kelli and I harassed Bobbi so much this training cycle because she REFUSED to sign up for this race.  So we did it for her.....she didn't have a choice....she was running.  Little did I know that I would be signing up a Drill Sargent which proved to be a necessity for me!
  • Bobbi and I ran the whole way together and no we did NOT plan to dress exactly alike.  The photo below is not blurry....this was thick fog!
  • The first half of the marathon went really good and then it went sharply down hill after mile 13.  My allergies and asthma started acting up and I was having a really tough time breathing.  Even the inhaler didn't help that much.  It started killing my mental game.
  • As the race wore on....I cried, swore at Bobbi (she said she couldn't be offended and I was going to die trying!!!), and hobbled in pain.  My foot was aching and my calves were cramping up.
  • At mile 17, the 5:30 pace group passed us.  That was a little more mental anguish for me as I thought we were far ahead of them and I was still in the running for a PR.  Not so.
  • Bobbi was compassionate but never once let me off the hook.  I ran when I didn't think I could run and she reigned us in when we needed to slow down.
  • At mile 23 I saw my high school friend Carrie and she ran with us for a  couple of minutes.  It was great to see her!!
  • Mile 24....I high fived some drunk 20 year old and HE PICKED ME UP.  Not in a "how you doin'" kind of way....He grabbed me and lifted me off the ground and shook me around.  I was a little shocked but died laughing.  It was a little painful though.
  • Mile 25 I think I cried again wishing for this hell to be over.
  • Finished!  5:43:07.  Not a PR but 12 minutes faster than last year.
  • 
    Yes....I really did look like death.
    
  • We were greeted by my family.  My brother gave me my medal and my husband wrapped me in a blanket.  The had finish line access because they were volunteering at the t-shirt booth.


  • I was dead after the race.

I maybe a little dramatic.

I will post more about the race and the weekend but this is the bare bones recap.  I hope that Bobbi is still willing to talk to me!!  It was not an easy race, but it was amazing and fun.  Hooray for marathon #6! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Final Count Down....Race Week

OH MY GOD IT IS RACE WEEK!

The countdown is on and pre-race events are happening.

Marathon pedicure is complete.....I chose the blue and yellow this year as a small way to pay tribute to Boston.
For those of you that may be new to my blog, it is a tradition that we get marathon themed pedicures before our races.  Here is Kelli's Grandma's 2013 submission.  "Fast Feet" is what it says.  Impressive, yes, but I think mine still win.  Not that I am competitive or anything.



Kelli, one of my running girls, has flown into Minnesota.  We spent the day together at the Mall of America with our wild tribe of kids.

I am out of here after work tomorrow.  I head North and won't be back until I am limping around.  We have 3 days of Duluth fun prior to the race.  My goal is to do an easy, short run or two and relax as much as possible.  I am not sure if I am more nevous or excited.  No matter what it will be fun running with my girls, Kelli and Bobbi!

I am trying to keep it together and not have a nervous break down before Saturday!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Last Day of School


I think liquor store gift cards are the perfect way to say thank you to your child's favorite teacher.  This is just another way of how I keep it classy.....and the fact that these poor teachers need a stiff cocktail after having my boys in their classes!

End of the year teacher gifts are a newish concept for me....It was never done when I was growing up. It is now the norm.  Do you do teacher gifts for the end of the year?  If so, what kinds of stuff do you do for them?  Discuss.

Monday, June 3, 2013

My Longest Long Run

Well I did it.  I completed the 20 miler.  Though this far from my first marathon, this is the first time I have ever hit 20 miles in a training plan.  Truthfully I wasn't going to do 20 but thought I would see if I could eek it out....and I guess I surprised myself.  It went pretty well despite my sore sore muscles and angry Achilles tendons.  (Sore muscles were from volunteering at Olympic Day at the kids' school....I was on the Tug of War station and I forgot that I am not 18 any more.  Those kindergartners are STRONG!  The angry Achilles was after I had the Graston Technique done.  Ouch)

I mapped out a route that would take me to the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes.  I would run the 3 main lakes and then run home. 

These are my thoughts in real time during my run:

Miles 1-5
This is great.  Nice and easy....probably because of all the stop lights.  I love running in the city.   I also love these Another Mother Runner Pod Casts  Note to Self:  These are a great alternative to music.

Miles 6-10
Oh I forgot how much I love the lakes.  I am so lucky to live so close to the Chain of Lakes.  It is such a beautiful area.  I am still feeling great but there are a lot of people here walking these paths.

Miles 11-15
Now I remember why I hate running here at the lakes.....too many people to dodge.  If I trip over one more dog I am going to scream!  Get the #$@^ out of my way!!!  No more pod casts to entertain me and I can't get this iPod to shuffle! I love this song but I don't want to listen to it over and over.

Miles 16
If I have to stop at one my stop light my legs will not start up again. Oh I really hate running in the middle of the city.  Nice route I picked.

Mile 17
Kill me.  Kill me.  Kill me. Oh shit....according to my Garmin I am going to be a mile short on this run. #$#@@%!!!!!!!


Mile 18
I hate this crap.  This is ridiculous.  Why am I doing this again?

Mile 19
Left. right. left. right.

Mile 20
I feel like I could pick up the pace a bit.  Whoa, where did this second wind come from?  Oh look, I see my house!!

Mile Point 1
Just a few......more.......steps.....and.................DONE!

Dang that was awesome!  It is now taper time!! 

Somehow I made it to my couch and didn't move for the rest of the night.  Chubby Hubby and I watched the latest Sci Fi block buster  MegaPython versus Gatoroid.  The best part about it was it starred Debbie Gibson and Tiffany!!!  Please note that I am not into Sci Fi at all....these titles are a like a train wreck and you just have to watch!

Shaklee Winner!


Again....I am late to the party.  Today I am finally announcing the winner of the Shaklee Performance Energy Drink...


***Drum Roll****





TARYN!



Congratulations to Taryn and an HUGE Thank You to Carrie for hosting this awesome Shaklee giveaway!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Get Out of My Head!

I have had to revisit my Big Fat Midlife Crisis marathon goals:

Goal #1:  Run Grandma's Marathon and Twin Cities Marathon before I turn 40 in December

Goal#2:  Have fun and finish Grandma's without a time goal.

Goal#3:  Have one hell of a PR at Twin Cities.

I felt the need to restate these goals because I had a couple of weeks of bad running.  It was a bunch of different things that contributed to the craptasticness of my running (doing a Superman style fall on a busy street, getting pelted in the face with pine cone, and having to make a call of shame pick me up call for help) but the icing on cake was freaking out about a time goal.  It all started when I met this woman who mentioned that she was running Grandma's and she talked about how slow she was....a 4:30 finisher.  My heart sank....she calls that slow?  For some reason she got into my head.

I am working on resetting my thinking.  I am not sure why her commenting on her personal time affected me.  It wasn't like she was boasting.  We simply were having a nice conversation and my guess insecurities we poked.  I am just going to keep repeating:

Goal#2: Have fun and finish Grandma's without a time goal.


(Plus, I am confident that she won't have fun marathon toes and awesome friends to run with her)
Sunday was the one of the greatest days ever!  Kelli (my marathon life partner) and I have a blogging friend that was planning on being spectator at Grandma's Marathon.  We voiced our concerns to her that being a spectator was not acceptable and that she NEEDED to run with us.  She ignored us and kept turning us down despite our constant badgering.  We took matters into our own hands and ambushed her.  We signed her for Grandma's.....which is 4 weeks away.  We then let her find out about it on Facebook.  Yeah, we are kind of evil that way.  She took it in stride and was a really good sport about it!
By the way...I really need to brag for a second.  I finished my first semester of school with a 4.0!!!!  My final project was to build a website using html, style sheets, and javascript.  I put more hours into this project than I care to admit but it paid off and I nailed it.  FOUR POINT OH!  Student Carly from 1992 would not know student Carly 2013.  I can't wait to take more classes.

I thought that life would calm down after school ended and after hockey season was done.  Nope.  At the last possible second my children decided they NEEDED to play baseball (ugh).  I didn't argue because they have a never ended supply of energy that needs to be expended.  So yeah....baseball.  Four nights a week are now devoted to the most boring game on the planet.  Being the mother of the year, I often cut their games short to go for a run (well.....I have 2 marathons to train for!!!).


Diva's Debut as Catcher

If you are interested in winning some Shaklee, stop by and leave a comment on my review.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Shaklee Review and Giveaway

When giveaway ends, another begins......

I am very flattered that my friend Carrie reads my blog. She is a friend from high school and we reconnected over facebook. It turns out she only lives a few miles from me (and she blogs, too)! She reached out to me after reading about some of my crazy health issues. She mentioned had some "all natural" Shaklee products that were a must try. I hmmmmed and haaaaaed because when I see the words "Independent Distributor" I usually spin on my heels and run the opposite direction because I don't want the high pressure sales. This was not the case with Carrie. She urged me to try them and promised I would love them. So we met up one night, our daughters started wrestling in a Panera and became life long friends, and......
...I did just that, I tried them.

I first tried the Energy Chews. I was kind of excited to try something new because while I like Gu, it is not easy on my stomach. My other energy methods I have used in the past weren't so great....Red Bull and 5 Hour Energy shots. I decided to try these on all of my runs over the course of a week and these are my thoughts: 
  • Liked the taste. It was mild citrus flavor.
  • Mellow energy. It sounds like an oxymoron but was a nice burst of energy that lasted but didn't give me the jitters.
  • Easy on the stomach. I get "Gu gut" pretty easy and if you know what I am talking about it is not fun. I had no issues with these.
  • Easy packaging with little waste.
  • Natural ingredients (no artificial *anything* in them).
  • I just felt good. I can't articulate it further than that. It could have been a runners high, it could have been the weather, it could have been in my mind. But I do know that when a popped a couple of these my runs were better than when I didn't have them.

Carrie also told me that over 100 Olympians have used Shaklee products, and 60+ have been gold medals. Apparently their products are on the Anti-Doping list. She also said she has stories of runners who have had their best times ever after switching to Shaklee products. If that is the case I am going to eat an entire bag before Grandmas!!!
The only down side is that they cannot be purchased in a store and they are not cheap. When you break down the cost, it is only a few cents more than Gu.

I also tried the Joint Health Complex. She gave me a sample of 5 days worth to try. I took it, but rolled my eyes because my joints are "fine". Somehow I forgot that my knees, ankles, and hips can get angry from time to time (more often than not these days). I didn't want to waste the sample so I took it. She emailed me a few days later and asked how I liked it. I wanted to say she was full of it but I couldn't. I told her that it was perhaps my imagination, but I have not had any issues with my joints letting me know that I have abused them. She didn't say it but I know she was thinking it...."I told ya so". (I guess we WERE on High School dance line together, so our knees are probably in similar shape, as we were doing a lot of knee drops back in the day).
 
Shaklee has a whole line of products devote to active lifestyles. They also have a "Pure Hydration Drink" called Performance. Apparently it's clinically proven to hydrate better than water and it has more electrolytes and provides more energy than the leading hydration drink. Oh yeah, and it has nothing artificial in it. Hmmm. I might need to try this next! 

One lucky winner will win a canister of Performance! Wanna win it? Hit me up in the comments as well as give her facebook page a thumbs up! Additional information and a catalog of products can be found at soup.myshaklee.com~~ you can gain further information from her on the "Contact Me" section of that page. Hit Carrie up-she's great about trying something for the first time at member's price, before joining, and she helps out in the shipping department, too!
I will choose the one lucky winner at random next week. 

Thank you Carrie for the samples and for introducing me to a great product that I truly did not want to like but ended up loving!