Monday, October 28, 2013

Fitness Headband Review

I am so excited to write this post. I've been looking forward to it because I am a huge fan of fitness headbands and wear one every single time I workout! I've tried MANY different kinds and I can't wait to my experiences with you so you can make more informed decisions when shopping for your own headbands. 

I'm just going to jump right in. Goody headbands. You know the elastic ones you can get from Walmart, Target, Walgreens etc. I used these for several years before I started experiencing with other brands and learning what was out there. These aren't TERRIBLE, but they definitely fall on the bottom on my list. You can get a pack of several bands in multiple colors for fairly cheap so they are good on a budget or for someone who just kind of dabbles in exercise from time to time and doesn't want to commit to spending more on a hairband. I find that the diameter of these bands tend to vary, I purchased some that seemed too loose to actually hold my hair back, and others were so tight they were uncomfortable enough to give me a headache. It's a gamble, but again very affordable and a good starting place. 

Me and my sister- I'm rocking the Sweatyband

The next band I tried was a Sweatyband. I purchased a personalized one from a local running group and upon the first use I immediately preferred it to the Goody headbands. For awhile every time I ran I was in this same headband. The Sweatybands hold very well. They have a velvet interior, like all the rest of the bands I will review, and did not squeeze my head. Their website offers a good variety of patterns, colors, sayings etc so there is something for everyone. They even have sport specific bands (i.e. soccer, baseball). They are not specifically adjustable but have an elastic strap on the back to fit the average head. The only cons for me is that there are so many options on their webpage that it's somewhat of a daunting task to search through all the different styles and decide where you want to spend your $. The price seems pretty average, about $15 a band. They do offer a 6 pack option where you essentially buy in bulk and save $1 per band. Also, they are pretty thick (1") which is a little wider than I personally like, but they do hold the hair back really well, so it's just a matter of personal preference and may not be an issue for you at all. Overall I do recommend these because they work.

Post-Run with a BondiBand
I seemed to hear about BondiBands all over the place so I decided to purchase one.  Once I got to their website I saw they had a deal, buy 5 for $35 so of course I decided to take advantage of it and get the most for my money. These bands are affordable at $8/band on average. They have lots of different colors, sayings and even some Ragnar specific hands which are pretty darn cool, we all know I'm a huge fan of Ragnar! With that said these bands are pretty darn wide. So wide in fact that I only actually wear them in the winter when my ears need a layer to keep them warm. I know people who tuck the fabric behind their ears and wear them year-round but I just feel like there are better options out there so I probably won't be purchasing any more of these, 5 is enough to have in my collection. They are made of a comfortable lycra fabric though, sweat wicking and like I said good for in the winter, and they do allow you to be sassy....I have one that says "Tough Mother" ;). 

My 2 yr old rocking a BaniBand
I purchased my first 2 BaniBands at the See Jane Run Kids Race this Summer. These have an adjustable strap on the back on them, and a velvet interior so I thought they were perfect race accessories for my girls. They adjust down perfectly to fit even my 2 year old, and of course can fit me :) I haven't used these much simply because of the adjustable feature (laziness) and I found another brand I can just pull on, but I have no complaints about these bands. The few times I have used them they stayed snug and didn't adjust mid-activity (like bra straps slip!). They have patterned bands, glitter bands and then the sequined bands which are the ones I own. These are averaged priced at $15 and looking at their website I just noticed they have come out with a new braided style I'm actually excited to check out (you hear me BaniBand?!). They also offer three options for widths, skinny, medium and wide. So this brand gets a thumbs up from me. 

My friend Tabatha and I in our $6 bands

My Hood to Coast team got together and purchased some of these bulk. They are a decent band for the price. They also have a velvet lining. I've found that the wider band seems to stay on my head better and require less adjusting than the "Double Diva" band I purchased from them. All of their bands are $6-$8 and they have a line of glitter and sequined headbands that look practically identical to the BaniBands. I have not however seen them in person. These bands are also adjustable and I have not had any problems with them slipping during wear. They have some cute novelty bands like "Mustache" and sparkly rhinestone bands. I'm kind of interested in trying out their 360 degree stretch bands and for sure a reasonable price $8 you can't really lose if it lives up to the other bands I've tried from this company. Not my overall favorite, but a good option on a budget. 

Drum Roll Please....

My Sparkly Soul far!
My favorite. I'm starting to build a sparkly soul collection! Ok, cons first because then I will start raving about these. Sparkly Soul has less options than all the brands I've reviewed so far with the excpetion of Goody. Sparkly Soul only has sparkly or satin bands. There are no bands with sayings, patterns etc. It's just sparkles, sparkles, sparkles. With that being said they do have a good selection of colors and I'm hoping they continue to come out with more (I'd love to see coral and sunny yellow!).  Only other con is the price, these are the most expensive coming in at $17 for the 5/8'' band, which is my preferred width, and $15 for the 3/8" skinnies. I love that these are easy to slip on and off with no adjusting required. They fit me great and also kind of fit my 4 year old daughter. They are a little big and do require adjusting from time to time on her smaller head, but they don't immediately slip off and she has worn them in kids races several times. These bands are so comfortable I wear them while working out, cleaning the house, and I just bought a plain black satin that looks nice enough to wear to work and still look professional. I also really appreciate how fast sparkly soul ships out their orders. I always get an order confirmation right away and if I order a week day they always ship out the next morning. I ordered Columbus Day (Monday) and got the headbands in the mail from NY on Friday for the flat rate of $3.99. They also seem durable. I got my first sparkly soul in June and wore it constantly for a few weeks until I ordered another headband and have continued to wear it on and off since and it hasn't stretched out or lost any sparkle. These are easy to wash by hand, just hang to dry as I do with all my bands.

My oldest daughter and I in SparklySoul!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Just had to explain to my husband....

Just had to explain to my husband that reading my blog feed and salivating over others running experiences is serious shit! I have been catching up on my blog roll from bloggers I love to stalk follow and this computer keeps freezing, SO FRUSTRATING!

Now that that's off my chest I kind of want to fill everyone in on what I have, and have not, been up to lately. My mileage for the month of September increased slightly from the previous two months, but so far October I've been back in the slumps. As of this afternoon I've logged 14 miles this month. Picture me twirling my finger, rolling my eyes and yelling "Whoopie!" Half of it has been laziness mixed with a hectic schedule...the other half is this calf issue I've been fighting...

I went to a chiropractor specializing in sports rehabilitation yesterday. I felt like a big 'ol complainer filling out the forms. I listed EVERYTHING that bothers me even if it wasn't relating to my main concern. I'm glad I did because the Dr. spent over an hour stretching, cracking, pushing and pulling me back into sorts. I was right when I guessed that my posterior tibial tendon was flaring up again. Apparently it's tight on both sides but the right is the only one that bothers me when running and going up stairs/hills. It starts off as a dull ache and then by the end of a run my whole calf is burning and just feels tired. REALLY tired. After she addressed that with some active release method she pulled my leg back into place? I guess my hip, knee and ankle weren't aligned properly...I'm breaking down and all outta whack...good to know :( After the lower body stuff she worked on my right arm. For as long as I can remember typing for a long period of time, playing net sports, carrying heavy objects causes pain in my right forearm. I call it muscle pain but she told me that there are 4 places in the arm where nerves can be pinched...I was the lucky owner of all 4 of those places pinching! She started getting into those muscles and wowza it hurt. I didn't know if I was going to make it through the whole exercise but I was excited to see how it felt when she was done. It felt a little better but of course it will take a few treatments to be "normal". I don't think I know what that feels like for my right arm. It's ALWAYS been this way for as long as I can remember. 

Picture from today- I need a new jacket so badly. All my pics are in this one! LOL
I ditched my friends this morning on our long run due to heavy legs and a fear of getting out there and feeling miserable and slow. I know just logging the miles is all that counts but I hate that I'm slower (and fatter) than this spring/summer and as my friends get faster it's getting harder and harder for me to catch up. Every run seems to be at 90% max effort and I just can't maintain that for 8 milers right now. Anyway I ran 2 miles today, it was kind of hilly so my calf hurt. Pace wise I stayed at a 9:40 avg so it wasn't bad but just felt hard to maintain it. Hard to imagine that not even a year ago I ran a whole half marathon at a 9:35 pace. Whew. Got to get back to that. 

P.S. I volunteered at the Poulsbo Marathon last Sunday and got to hand out medals at the finish line. So much fun. Go volunteer at a local race, if you run races you NEED to give back! ;)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

An Overdue HTC Finale!!!

Oh my gosh it's been a whole month since HTC ended. It DESERVES a good final re-cap and my mind is already starting to get fuzzy. When I think of HTC I think first and foremost of my second leg (which I've already re-capped) and then the finish line party. But I have to at least touch on the in between happenings. My final leg was the shortest of all three (it's a good way to end a relay by the way!), and again I was running under the hot sun. You would think that I'd be energized by the thought of this being the final leg but I wasn't, I was exhausted. It's also bittersweet; so while it's a breath of fresh air to pass off to the next runner it's sad to know that the experience is wrapping up.

Before Dorothy took off for the FINAL leg of HTC 2013
HTC threw a finish line party like I had never seen before. Rock N Roll probably comes in as a second, but it's had to compete with the beauty of a party on the beach of Seaside, Oregon. If I ever run HTC again I will make sure to change out of my running shoes before crossing the finish line- they got sooo much sand in them and I was jealous of the team mates in sandals.

I'm all the way on the left- Crossing the finish line together.

Proud HTC finisher

HTC was an amazing experience. One any runner should have on their bucket list. I don't know if I will ever have the opportunity to run it again, the stars seemed to just align this year, and I am so glad that they did :)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Tri Turtle Voluteering

Note: I'm having difficulites editing my blog so text may be a little messed up...I'll fix it once blogger cooperates!! I still owe at HTC wrap up! I know this…I’ve fallen behind on blogging. Life has been crazy busy (as always) and I’ve been EXHAUSTED lately! I don’t know if it has to do with the changing weather or what but I just can’t seem to get enough sleep. Ok this is just a quick update on the last week. The most exciting thing I did was volunteer for Tri Turtle, a local triathlon. I think I’m going to dive in next year and become a triathlete so volunteering at this even was the best way I could think of to get a firsthand account of what a triathlon looks like. I worked along the bike course where a residential street met the main road. My main job was to keep vehicles from running over the cyclist as they whizzed by. I did a damn good job- didn’t lose a single one! HAHA. There were about 300 athletes at this event so it’s nice and small but there is a vast level of experience in the race. I saw people of all shapes, sizes, and age fly be me. Some were on Mt. Bikes, some on basic road bikes, and some on bicycles that had to cost thousands of dollars! The woman who runs this event actual holds a program called “Tribabes” and each summer she trains somewhere around 100 women to complete the event. I kind of wish I had witnessed the swim portion since that is what I am most nervous about but with enough training I already know anything is possible! Went on 2? Short runs this week. Suppose to run 11 miles with some friends tonight. We’ll see how that turns out. I haven’t run more than 6 miles at one time in MONTHS so I’m a little nervous. Ooooo…and I signed up for Eugene Marathon 2014! Use code EMSUMMER14 for $10 off through 9/15! I plan to cut 11+ minutes off of last years’ time 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

HTC recap, Part 2!!

Dorothy, our final runner for the first series of legs finished well after dark. One surprise I had was that the staff didn't stress reflective gear for anyone but the runners during night time hours. For Ragnar anytime you are out of your van during night time hours you are required to wear your reflective vest and I found myself keep falling back into that habit. Not a bad thing, the safer the
Team Photo (I'm in the reflective vest!)
better, but I just thought it was a difference worth noting. Anyway on to the more interesting stuff ;) We had a 2 hour drive from where we finished to the next location. We finished near some of amusement park in Portland and spent some time catching up with van, getting our free muscle milk samples and swapping our war stories from the previous legs. LaRee and Tabatha were syncing their phones because several of the HTC legs did not have cell phone service so van 1's app didn't record any of your times. It's really only a big deal for the last two runners just so the opposite van has an idea of when to prepare for their next legs. We left the exchange nearly an hour after arriving and I was tired and ready to attempt to catch some zzzs' so we headed to the next major exchange...or so we thought.

The "CELEBRITY" is in the middle (googled image hehe)
We got to an exchange around midnight and had to be up at around 2:30 to start preparing for our second round of legs. I decided it would be smartest to make a sandwich right away, use the bathroom, change into some clean clothes and then use the remaining time to sleep so I didn't have to worry about taking care of those things in a mad frenzy right before take-off. So after eating Dorothy and I got in line for the port-a-potties and who did we see?!!! The Heart and Soul lady from the HTC
video who DIED on the course in 2008!! Yes, she DIED on the course. She collapsed on her third leg and stopped breathing. We told her she is an inspiration and I told her that I didn't like her Dr.! In the movie her Dr. tells her that she can not run the first leg (she does so anyway) and it made her look so sad- like he broke her heart! I say let her go out doing what she loves. In the movie she said she wanted to run a marathon in every state so I inquired on her progress; she has 3 states left. Dorothy said it felt like we met a celebrity! I wish I had a picture with her but we were in line for the port-a-potty at 1 in the morning, it seemed like a weird time to try and rush back to the van. If she was as exhausted as I was she probably just wanted to be left alone. She was actually very sweet though and it was a privilege to meet her.

Back at the van Troy made himself comfortable between our van and the one parked next to us. This wasn't an outdoor sleeping location so we could have got a strike for it but I didn't want to be the one constantly throwing the rule book at people.I had already been the one to break the news that we needed to wear two LED blinking lights during our night time runs. So I grabbed my pillow and kind of curled up sideways against the window. Dorothy and Edie were in back, Doug had the drivers seat and Tabatha was in the passengers seat so I had a little room to spread out...a little. I started to doze off and then saw lights shining towards us. Turns out the van "next door" had moved and a new van was pulling in. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack. I thought I was going to watch Troy get run over. I started sitting up and readying to jump out when they shut off the engine and had stopped short of where he lie on the ground in a black sleeping back! I breathed a sigh of relief and started slipping back into a light sleep. Suddenly the same situation repeated itself and I saw a new van pulling in next to us. I sat up and woke up Doug. "Doug, Doug, you have to tell Troy to move. He's going to get run over!" I kept watching vans pull in and it was only a matter of time until some tired driver didn't see him and our race would be cut short by a trip to the ER. Troy moved behind the vehicle and I was able to catch a good solid 20 minutes!

I don't remember if we all woke up because of our alarm of if van 1 called us but shortly after just falling asleep the whole van was awake and trying to find van 1. We told them we were in front of the port-a-potties, apparently they were too but we weren't finding each other. I wasn't on the phone but as I understand it they saw a circus tent, we saw a barn and then realization hit...we were at the wrong exchange! Apparently we went 2 exchanges past where we were suppose to be so it was a mad rush to get back to the other exchange as we knew LaRee was only a mere minutes away from finishing. Unfortunately for us the road back to the previous exchange was tiny, with no shoulder so we almost literally road killed some runners, whoops. I think only one person actually flipped us off though. We tried to turn towards the exchange and the volunteers told it was an out only. Troy asked if it'd be faster if he were to just run to the exchange and they said yes so he got bonus mileage. LaRee had been waiting 25 minutes for us to get there. Now that the race is done we talk about how fast we really were when you take away all the little whoopsies- we did pretty darn good time wise!

This second leg was the one I was most nervous for because I was going to be running up a freaking mountain.  I took off around 4 am I believe. It was still pitch black and for 75% of this run I had no one around me. There were a couple times I would look around and see something reflect in the bushes and wonder if it was an animal only to find out that it was a power box with reflective tape or something innocent like that. Another interesting observation I made while vans were pulling over to wait for their runners was that only during a relay can you see a chester the molestor van on the side of the road at 4 am and feel comforted instead of completely scared out of your mind! Right off the bat I felt pretty tired. I wished I had music to keep me moving but since HTC doesn't allow

headphones I was out of luck since I didn't invest in speakers. Thinking about it now though it might have been a little spooky to have that sense taken away. It was already so hard to see since it was pitch black and if I looked up to where my light was shining I only saw bugs- or dust, I'm not quite sure which. There were no driveways off that road either. It was several miles of a paved road up and freaking mountain with no other runners, houses, buildings, anything. I knew I had two downhills so I was just trudging along until I hit those. The first came a little quicker than expected and lasted longer than it looked on paper. I loved it. When I hit the second hill those the paved road turned to gravel and it suddenly because much harder. I walked quite a bit and other runners started catching up to me and passing me. I did have 2 road kills myself but they were earlier in the leg. On that soft gravel I wasn't passing anyone. Once I hit the final downhill I got a second wind and let my legs open up. I was doing around a 9 minute mile, the only thing has sort of saved my overall pace. I wanted to go faster but I was still on gravel and had to be careful with my foot placement. As I came into the exchange I saw Tabatha waiting for me. One of the first things she said was, "that looked rough. I'm glad you're still smiling!" My van mates shared her sentiment. They said as they were driving they kept thinking "poor Marissa."

I had an average pace of 11:38 for that second leg and I was ecstatic. I don't think I've ever been so excited to be so slow in my life! LOL. It was a tough leg and when I started I told myself anything under a 13 minute mile would be a success. I knew I would finish but I didn't want to totally quit on myself and walk more than I needed to. I feel that my pace reflects that I gave it a good effort. I'm so glad I ran that leg in the dark though. I could only focus on the next step and I think sometimes that is what we need to conquer the thing we fear.

Leg 3 and the Finish Line Recap will come tomorrow. Good night everyone!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Better late than never....HTC recap, Part 1!!

What an amazing experience! I feel completely honored and lucky to have been invited to run HTC this year with an amazing group of my running buddies. For those who aren't familiar with HTC it is considered the mother of all relays- it was the original long distance relay race (created back in the 80's) and is what inspired Ragnar and other similar events. This isn't a series though, it's one mega event. I browsed the list of teams attending beforehand and teams were coming from Amsterdam, Prauge, Italy, China etc. It's a well known event in the running community. You actually have to get picked from a lottery type system to even get into the race, twice as many people apply as they can support. 1,050 teams of 12 run each year =  12,600 runners. Sure some road races accommodate 25,000+ runners at one time but this is on an open course! No roads are closed down, and waves start early in the morning (3 am?) and go all the way until 6 pm!

HTC tattoos!
Friday morning, the 23rd, my group didn't have to meet until 9 am to leave for Sandy, Oregon- the point of the first major exchange between vans. Van 1 went down to Oregon the night before to stay the nights and prep for the start at Mt. Hood. I have to say I am SUPER jealous that I didn't get to see Mt. Hood. It looks freaking beautiful in every picture I've seen so if I ever get to do HTC again I want to be in van 1 only to get that experience. Melanie, one of our van 1 runners told me she literally got to run through some clouds! How many people get to say that?! My guess is not many. So on the way to Tabatha's house my GPS started freaking out and I had to call for directions. I was hoping that wasn't an omen of things to come. I'm glad my phone worked when it did because the night before my family all went to the county fair and clumsy me dropped the cell phone into the toilet. Ugh. The water actually didn't seem to affect it, however over a week later we've realized that the impact messed up the power button so we have to try to keep the phone from shutting off because it's a trial and error process to turn it back on. I started to learn this while at HTC- the whole second half of the race my phone was off and I couldn't get it back on so I had to borrow a phone to touch base with home.

The trip down to Oregon was pretty uneventful. I knew Tabatha from running a few times together and being FB buddies, I had run with Dorothy once or twice but didn't know her that well, and other than that all my van mates were new to me. Doug, Edie and I had brief exchanges at the team meetings, but I met Troy for the first time as we left for the race. We stopped at a Subway for lunch and us girls applied our glitter tattoos.
My Van before our first legs

On the way to our first major exchange we contacted van 1 and decided to try and meet up to get the sticker decorations for our van and our t-shirts. We drove down to exchange 5 thinking that van 1 would be coming along shortly but I guess there was a communication error and they were already past the point where we were waiting for them so after about 15 minute we decided to just drive down to exchange 6 where the hand off would occur. This miscommunication would be the first of a few, or at least the first of a few times we would have our location incorrect. We found the Safeway where Troy would be taking off from and had some time to hang out and wait for LaRee (runner #6) to come in. I was very impressed that the lines at the Safeway bathrooms weren't longer, so I hit those up a few times since Troy was handing off to me and I didn't want to have to pee while running- it hurts to hold it in and pound the pavement! We saw the Dead Jocks in a Box while waiting at the exchange. I wanted a picture with them but they were waiting for their runner and it didn't feel like an appropriate time to ask so instead I kept trying to convince Doug to take a picture of them standing there, but he didn't. Boooo. In their own words they are "irrelevant HTC royalty." Some of them have run it every year since inception!
LaRee arrived and Troy took off. We headed back to our van to apply our stickers and get our t-shirts. I was a little nervous that we weren't going to leave on time because Troy was pretty fast and only had a little over a 4 mile leg if memory serves me correctly. We did make it on time though. I had enough time to tie my shoes, use the port-a-potty, re-tie my shoes, watch about 20 runners exchange and then I saw Troy approaching and wouldn't you know a van pulled up to the stop sign right in front of me blocking my path to cross the street to the chute. It created this awkward side by side exchange on the run (no pun intended):
My first leg (leg 8) was a little more difficult than expected. It wasn't necessarily hard but the elevation graph showed pretty much a 4.73 mile downhill run and in reality I got rolling hills. The sun was out and it was warm so the last 2 miles I was quite parched. It was about 1.5 miles out from the exchange and I saw a group of bikers up ahead spectating with beers in hand. There were at least 10 of them, maybe more. In my sights ahead of me was another runner, a girl I had slowly been gaining on since I first spotted her about half a mile into the leg. The bikers yelled out to us as we came closer, "this is a no passing zone!" I couldn't help myself, I kicked the gear up a few notches and passed the girl right in front of all the bikers and they erupted in cheers. I know I had a HUGE grin on my face but inside honestly felt a little bad that I had pretty much rubbed her face in the dirt. The bikers encouraged her on telling her she might pass me later. Trying to be a good sport I yelled back to her, "you probably will!" I kept going and didn't see her again. About half a mile later a van rolled up to me. "You like Avril Lavigne?" they asked. "Today I do," was all I could think to reply. They turned up whatever song was on their radio and paced me for 10-15 seconds then drove off. Though slightly awkward to have people you don't know driving alongside you while you run it is also extremely funny and a good memory.
The finish of this leg was downhill THANK GOODNESS. The guy in the picture above me tried to roadkill me down this hill. I heard him coming up from behind me but I wasn't letting it happen. In all fairness yes I had the lead but he was much faster so I really had to step on the gas to keep him from adding another tally mark on his teams van!
Proof I didn't get roadkilled before passing off to Doug :)
More HTC re-cap to come....

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Seattle Electric Run

I feel so behind!! Last Friday I had the Electric Run and this Friday I have HTC and I haven't had a chance to blog about any of it! This is my Electric Run Re-Cap, I will try to blather about my anticipation of HTC tomorrow.

I'm on the left, Krissy on the right
I registered for the Electric Run months ago with the idea that it could be a "birthday party" for me because I knew it would be a fun 5K that pretty much anyone could do with minimal to no training. However, only one friend and my husband signed up to come. Yes, all my other friends SUCK. Ok, not really, some of them had other plans, some are probably intimated by running with a marathoner (haha ego inflated much?!), and some thought the $45 price tag was a little too spendy. I think because I planned it so far in advance it gave people time to consider it, think they had time to make a decision, and then forget about it. I learned it's always best to pressure people last minute so they have no time to make other plans or change their mind :)

I shopped for my "costume" last minute. Soooo last minute in fact that I was about 20 minutes late picking Krissy up. We had a little over an hour commute but were worried about traffic and finding parking so there really is nothing like adding a little last minute anxiety. Thankfully none of it proved to be an issue. We got to packet pick up with 15 minutes to spare. It was odd because you literally walked up to a table, they asked you your tshirt size and violia you get a bag with a bib, ridiculously small tshirt and some glowsticks. No id checks, no official wave time...anyone could have just walked in really. We hit the port-a-potties, downed a free rockstar and got in line for the start. This was probably the slowest start I've ever been in BUT it was party so who really cared? I actually think the start line was the best part of the whole deal. All the excitement of what was to come paired with lots of glowsticks, neon and EDM = a really fun 45+ minute wait.

It was odd to hear essentially my marathon playlist shared for the whole world to hear. 95% of my running playlist is EDM. I love country music, I love rock, I like pop, but EDM just makes this girl go CRAZY! It's what makes me legs move :) My first EDM experience was a Daft Punk show in 2007 I believe, it was FANTASTIC. Fantastic actually sounds like a pretty lame word to try and describe it but no words could adequately describe it. I also took James to his first show, Benny Benassi's Winter White Party- A-MAZING! Most recently (ok last summer) we saw Kaskade for my birthday, again, the experience goes beyond words. Hours of dancing, getting sweaty, fist bumping, laughing and just living in the moment. Alright, well how did I get off on this little tangent? Back to running....

We watched the night turn from dusk to full out darkness before we got to the front of the pack. We finally took off and I quickly realized several things:

A. I couldn't see shit
B. My cool glasses weren't going to stay on once I started to get sweaty
C. I forgot to bobby pin my wig on!

I'm not going to detail every exhibit (umbrellas, snow machine, black lights), but I will tell you that the ground reached up and tried to trip me once- I survived. And, it was a very slow moving race- I think there maybe more walkers than runners. It was fun to just enjoy the experience though. We stopped and took pictures often. Krissy and I didn't even bring our Garmins!
Overall a very fun race. I'll look forward to it next year, and maybe a few more friends will come along for the ride ;)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Jamie Eason is my girl crush!

Ok so here is the thing DO NOT google images of Jamie Eason because some of them are practically playboy shots, and others aren't that flattering. BUT I have been learning about her live fit program and watching her recipe videos and let me tell you this girl is soooo cute. She also seems so friendly that I wish she lived down the street and was my best buddy. I can just see us going to the gym, her spotting me on a weight bench, and then we go get spinach protein shakes and lay in the sun. I promise I'm not stalker status though, just really inspired by her right now. She is ripped, but not disgustingly so.

Unlike this chick. I can respect her dedication but don't find veins popping out attractive in the least.
Anyway the reason I decided to post about my obsession with Jamie Eason is because I've tried two of her protein bar recipes lately and loved them both. Tonight I even got my husband to eat the carrot cake one (he hates veggies!). It was seriously a big win! Both the recipes were about 100 calories per serving, low in sugar, high in protein and full of fiber. I didn't have oat flour so I ground up some oatmeal like she suggests in her video and it turned out great. I'll probably continue to do that vs. buying oat flour because it was easy and probably costs less to just buy a huge jar of quick cooking oats. Plus it's a staple food in our house so I always have oatmeal on hand! I also loved that she uses baby food in her recipes = no grating up carrots, score! After I let the bars cool off I topped with lite whipped topping and unsweetened coconut the just ate it like a dessert. Jamie does suggest cutting these in 16 pieces and I messed up and did 9 :/ However 1 serving = 2 bars so it "pretty much" equals out to just eating one bigger bar. check out Jamie Eason's live fit people!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Another year closer to the big 3-0

Yesterday was my birthday, 27th to be exact. It's funny because I know I'm still young but it is trippy to be getting closer to 30. I'm not scared of that number, truth be told I kind of already feel like I'm there, but still it's weird to think about- time sure flies. I wanted to get out of the house and do some fun things the whole family would enjoy. I decided on the zoo:

On the way home I spotted the Seattle Great Wheel and have wanted to do that for the past year so we made a quick pit stop and climbed aboard for beautiful views of the city.


We had brought food to picnic at the zoo with but since all the parking lots were full and we have to find parking on city side streets our plan changed and we didn't really eat anything other than almonds so by 5pm we were starving. Spaghetti Factory fell onto our list of activities :)

I had a fantastic day! Oh and I forgot to mention but I did start it off with a short (2 mile) run. I haven't done much running lately. Hood to Coast is less than 2 weeks away and while I know I will be fine I still have butterflies. I need to log a few more miles this week to feel better about myself, lol.

More to come when there is more time to write. Ciao!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

And in other news...

So much has happened the past few weeks, other than Ragnar, I need to catch up. If you're interested please keep reading :)

I have a nephew! Baby Cash was born 7/17/13 around 12:15 pm, 8 lbs 3 oz (small for our family). He's is sooo cute and seems like a really good baby. I left for Ragnar the next day so he arrived just in time. We held a welcoming party for him Sunday and I was extremely happy with how the cake turned out.

My sister and Cash
I have to give special shout out to my good friend Rosanna (yes, the Ragnar Rosanna) for helping me make invitations and decoration for the welcoming party. She is an amazing Stampin Up distributor so if anyone has any SU needs I would recommend you search her out! She is fabulously crafty. I do plan on eventually hosting a scrapbooking party for my running friends. I thought it'd be neat to bring some race pics, bibs, stories etc and capture them all in a really cute way. Right now I have a race binder where I store all the course maps, bibs, finishers certificates etc but I'd like to have them in a book to display someday. Visit Rosanna's page here!
How stinkin' cute are these invitations?!!

I realized I completely forgot to blog about Macayla's latest race. I signed her up for the See Jane Kids run months ago thinking it was a Saturday race and it turned out to be Sunday the 14th of July. Well my husband works Sundays so we decided to still take her but we would have to rush back home right after the race vs. hanging out in Seattle like I originally wanted to do. The race was at Gas Works Park in Seattle- BEAUTIFUL park. I had never been there before while parking was a b*tch, the park itself was very spacious even with a half marathon going on. I had decided not to do the HM so that Macayla could have all the focus on her. I wanted it to be her special day :) So we caught and early ferry and got to the park by 8:30 am, two hours before the start of the kids race.

We picked a spot on the grass and hung out watching half marathoners finish while we waited for the kids dash check in to open. When check in finally opened it was a little crazy- they gave us Macayla's bib but didn't have any pins (I later raided another tent for them), and they didn't have any sz small shirts so she got a medium which might fit in 3 years? We took some pictures at the start line for the kids race and found out that the race was only 1/2 a mile, not the full mile advertised. Bummer, but I didn't feel like it was that big of deal I guess.

Before the race we had decided that James would be running with Macayla since I ran with her at the Armed Forces Day 1 miler in May. I have to admit I was a little jealous but it was fair. All the kids lined up, there were maybe 50 and then their parents and before we knew it they were off!

Macayla did great. She was all smiles the whole run and extremely excited to get a medal! Despite the craziness of the check in the race was very worth it- for $15 she got to run her own kids dash, received a bib, tshirt AND medal. The course was at a beautiful location and next year I will for sure plan to make a whole Seattle fun day out of the deal.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Ragnar Relay NWP '13. Recap #3

Whew, finally a few minutes to sit down. The girls are coloring, dinner is in the oven cooking, James is getting ready for work so I'm jotting down my final thoughts on Ragnar I while I have a rare minute.
The memory of the excitement and fun I had at Ragnar will never fade but details already are. Ooops. I have a clear memory of hanging out at the final major exchange waiting for Van 1 runner Krissy to pass off to Tim. We had a good couple of hours to kill so most of us showered. Thank you Coupeville HS!! Everyone was really courteous took quick (hot) showers and kept moving along so the lines were pretty short and quick moving. After we got changed into our running outfits for our final legs Rosanna went off to find a spot to nap, Mike and Tim rested in the cab, and James and I crawled in the back of the truck and got comfortable amongst the piles of sleeping bags and blankets. I have no idea what Tyler did to be honest. I didn't really get to sleep but it was nice to just lay down and shut my eyes for awhile. After awhile I climbed out and made a turkey sandwich and attempted to organize the bed of the truck- a futile effort. I think I took about 5 bathroom trips since there were real bathrooms to utilitze. I also hit up the Brooks tent and got myself a free pair of sunglasses. I have to say they have been a life saver these past few days while I've been super sick. The lenses are super dark. Van 1 messaged us that Krissy wasn't too far out so we gathered for the final transition. It was bittersweet.
Tim's last leg was BEAUTIFUL. He got to run along the water for a big chunk of his route if not all of it. Don't get me wrong though, better him than I, it was 8+ miles and I planned for the distance of my legs to DECLINE. LOL.
I don't remember much of what Tyler's final leg looked like, but I do remember that he had a few more hills....poor Ty.
Mike's final leg was a ton of fun because his family was staying on Whidbey Island that weekend so they came out to cheer. He had about 15 cheerleaders and was all smiles. Oh, yeah in true Mike fashion..."Penis."
James took off with a huge smile on his face too. His final leg was the longest of his three - not the way I would choose to do it but he didn't let it stop him. Such a proud wifey :) We did see snow white at his exchange- she offered us an apple but I mentioned to my van-mates it might be poisoned.
My turn! Of my three legs this last one (leg 35) was my least favorite. It was only 3.8 miles so I was looking forward to a shorter distance and thinking that I was going to be able to fly through it. Didn't exactly happen the way I imagined it. So from the beginning; James finished his leg on wheels. He heard a runner coming up behind him and was NOT going to be road kill in the last 50 feet so he powered it out and finished first. It was an awesome finish everyone was cheering. Rosanna got an awesome pic of them afterward.
Since James had such an amazing finish and beat the Where's Waldo runner I wanted a strong start. I took off at a comfortable but not easy pace because I knew there was a pretty big hill coming up- we had to drive down it in order to get to the exchange. I felt the Where's Waldo runner on my heels to start but then as we started up the hill she slowly fell behind and I got a road kill as I passed another runner. I'd say the first 3/4 miles were uphill and then it kind of leveled off for a 1/4 of a mile before turning into rolling hills? This is all an estimate since I didn't have my Garmin. I have no idea what my pace was up the hill but I tried to push it without over-exerting myself. I guess stripes had held back a little more than I did because she overtook me at that point and charged ahead. The sun was beating down on me and as far as I could see we were just running on a highway with no shade in sight. I dumped so much water on my head- I was glad I had the handheld. I got a second road kill but stripes was still ahead of me and she stayed that way until the end. I started getting really tired and walking on and off. I was mad at myself and kept thinking that I was going to end up with a 11-12 minute pace :/ After a long straight stretch I saw a volunteer and she told me I was only 1/4 mile away. Whhhhaaat? I hadn't seen a mile to go marker!! I was psyching myself out because I thought I still had over a mile to go but yet I was almost done. I picked up the pace a little and saw Rosanna waiting for the final handoff. I know I came in smiling but I think I screamed, "Take it!" as I handed her the slap bracelet.
The girls' bringing it home! Turns out my pace was still under a 10 average. How that happened I'm not sure, it didn't feel that way but I'll take another 9:50! I worked for that pace baby! Rosanna had a pretty hard final leg. She had a long brutal hill but was still smiling...or at least had enough energy left to fake it for the camera :)
The remaining 5 of us drove ahead to the finish line, parked and met Van 1 where the runners come in so we could all finish together. It wasn't too long before Rosanna came barreling in and we fell behind her to finish. She apparently was all amped up because she came in at like a bullet and we had to yell at her to slow down so we could cross as a team. Crazy lady!
There it is. Team NOM NOM NOM. Official finish 33:50:16.
Can't wait to do it again next year! :)