Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Jolly VoxBox Review

Today I received my first ever VoxBox from Influenster!  Totally fun!  First off, that darn package was tough to open in all of my excitement!  :)  I couldn't wait to see what was inside!  Second, I was really surprised to see that I got full sized samples!  How awesome is that?!?!  What did I get?  Read on, my friends, read on.

*Puffs Ultra Soft and Strong To Go Tissue Pack - The insert card in my VoxBox had a different kind of Puffs listed than what I actually got.  I got Puffs Plus Lotion.  However, I'm totally ok with that since they tend to be my go-to tissues!  The to go size is perfect for my purse.  And the design on the package is totally cute!

*NYC New York Color HD Color Trio Eye Shadow - I got color trio 781, Long Beach Sands.  It's totally perfect because it includes three shades of brown.  I just recently started wearing more makeup more often and browns tend to be my go to colors.  And this is awesome because it's kind of like paint by number!  If you life the flap on the back, it walks you through the application, step by step, to show you what colors to use to highlight, to use all over, and to use in the crease.  It's, for a better lack of terms, idiot proof!

*Rimmel London Show Off Lip Lacquer - I received this product in Stargazer.  At first glance, I noticed how totally shimmery this is!  I'm usually more of a pink girl so the gold color totally scared me.    But I gave it a go and it wasn't too bad!  Not a color I'd normally wear but it might be fun for a night out since it's got a serious sparkle to it!  I love that it went on super smooth, even with dry winter lips!

*Skinny Cow Candy  Divine Filled Chocolates- Does VoxBox know me or what?  I've been on a major chocolate kick lately and these peanut butter creme filled chocolates were just what I needed!  The box came with 6 pouches in it, each with 3 pieces of chocolate.  Each pouch is 130 calories.  I had tried Skinny Cow ice cream before, but never the candy so I was anxious to try it.  Verdict?  Serious yum!  These perfect little pouches will satisfy your sweet tooth without breaking the calorie bank.

*Ducklings Mini Rolls - A mini roll of fun patterned Duck Tape?  What's NOT to love about this!?!  Miniature things are just darn cute and when it comes in a fun pattern?  Sold!  I got a fun paint splatter pattern and I'm SURE that I can find some fun use for this in my classroom!  Plus it's just too cute!

Have you ever tried any of these products before?  Love them?  Hate them?
Did you receive a Jolly VoxBox too?  What did you think?

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Snowman Stampede Light Up the Night 5k

About a month ago, I signed up for the Snowman Stampede Light Up the Night 5k.  It also happened to be the race that was the finale for our after school running club for the kids.  The younger kiddos did the 1 mile while the older kids trained for the 5k.  It was a race that went through the Christmas displays set up at a local county park.  I'd love to say that it was a great race through beautiful lights, but…What.  A.  Mess.  

First of all it was cold!  Like really really cold!  I mean, I guess I knew that was coming.  It was a night time race.  In December.  But I was not expecting it to feel as cold as it did.  We got there and the line for packet pick up was long and growing.  It took us well over a half hour to get the front of the line.  It was close after 4:00 when we got our packets and the one mile was supposed to start at 4:30 with the 5k starting at 5:30.  My plan was to run the mile with the little ones to get warmed up and then be ready to run the 5k.  Well, the packet line was out to the street and there were still cars on the road that was part of the course.  Luckily my friend's husband had a nice warm truck to sit in while we waited.  

Close to 5, we saw a LOT of people moving toward the start line so we figured we'd go see what was going on.  They decided to start the mile and the 5k at the same time…at 5:15.  They cut off packet pick up and some people had to race without bibs, which meant racing without an official time.  People were VERY unhappy and I can't say that I blame them!

The start of the race was a mess, with families with strollers and little kids mixed in with the 5k racers.  So with numb toes, I started dodging and weaving around families who were casually looking at the lights.  The race was more or less an out and back and the roads were DARK!  If you weren't careful, you could easily go off the edge of the sidewalk (saw that happen once) or run in to a runner who was on their way back.  Not to mention that they let people leave the parking lot before the race was over, resulting in cars driving on the race route.  In the dark.  Hello!  Dangerous!

At this point, I was cold and just wanted to be done.  So I ran what felt like a pretty fast page.  The first mile was 9:22 thanks to all of the weaving in and out at the start and the first half mile.  But after that I picked it up pretty good.  

Mile 1 - 9:22
Mile 2 - 8:58
Mile 3 - 8:24
Official race time - 29:30  (I find it hard to believe that it took me 3 minutes to run the last 0.1 although my watch and several others said the final distance was 3.3)
My 5k time on my watch - 27:41 
5th overall in my age group
81st out of 437

So I was not impressed with my official time, but I was impressed with my results.  And I like to think that my watch was a LOT more accurate than the actual timing.  Oh well.  It's a race I won't be signing up for again.  It was poorly organized for a race that has been run in the same place several years in a row.  Oh well!  

And the lights? Not spectacular. At least I got a cute shirt?!?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sunday Currently

Thought I'd link up with a Sunday Currently since I'm sitting here at home, lounging on the couch during this snow/ice storm!  I stumbled across this one today and it sounded fun!  Go check it out!


R E A D I N G Allegiant from the Divergent Trilogy.  And The Fall of the Governor, one of the Walking Dead books.  I started Allegiant  a while ago, but didn't want to take that big hardcover on the plane with me so I downloaded the other on my Kindle.  Need to finish both of them!
W R I T I N G this blog post?!?  Other than that nothing today.  Being lazy and NOT writing lesson plans!
L I S T E N I N G to Christmas music lately! :)  It makes me happy!
T H I N K I N G that I'm glad I got out of the house and took a snowy, two mile walk today.
S M E L L I N G all of the Christmas candles I had burning yesterday.  Still smells good in here!
W I S H I N G for a snow day tomorrow!
H O P I N G  see above!
W E A R I N G leggings and a comfy sweatshirt.
L O V I  N G the Ghirardelli peppermint bark with dark chocolate squares I splurged on today!
W A N T I N G the next 12 days to fly by!
N E E D I N G to get our Christmas cards in the mail.
F E E L I N G great about my 5k last night.
C L I C K I N G to keep checking on the snow/ice situation.  And my school email in hopes of some early news.

What are YOU currently doing?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Upcoming Races

Hey ya'll!  I've finally started to get back into the swing of working out and have even thrown a bit of running back in there!  I started helping out with the Running Club at the elementary school I work at.  The PE teacher is in charge of the whole thing and it's a great workout!  So far, I've only been able to help out with the kindergarten through grade 2  club and his workouts are intense!  The first time we ran for 12 minutes outside (I ran just over a mile…could have done more but also had to motivate and push the little ones on) and then a Tabata style workout that involved squats, burpees, jumping jacks and more.  The last time we did the whole hour that way….burpees, plank, box jumps, push ups, sprints.  It was hard!  I got an amazing workout!  Apparently the grades 3-6 club is even more intense!  I'm starting to help out at this one this week.

I also went for a 2 mile run last week.  It felt good to get back out there even if it did kind of kick my butt.  I ran with Ben and he runs faster than I do so I was pushing myself.  Plus it was the first time in a long time that I ran a route that involved hills.  It was an eye opener that's for sure!  I need to get training!

I've signed up for 3 more races and I have my eye on a few others.  I signed up for a Snowman Stampede 5k with the girls I ran the last half with.  It'll be fun to run a shorter race!  It also happens to be the race that the Running Club is doing.  So I'll probably end up also running the mile with one of the little cuties and maybe the 5k with an older runner who needs a buddy.  I also signed up for the Rock N Roll America half in DC with the girls in March.  In June, I'll head home to MA for the Runner's World Heartbreak Half in Boston!  I'm REALLY looking forward to this one!  A friend from high school is going to run it with me and a coworker is also going to join me on the trip up north!  We'll probably also sign up for the Ocean City Half in April.  I'm looking for two shorter races to do with my sister when I'm home at Christmas and Thanksgiving.  We have our eye on one for the Saturday after Thanksgiving and one called the Hangover Classic!  

Have you signed up for any races lately?  Which ones do you have your eye on?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November Fitness Survey

I'm linking up with She Cooks, She Crafts, She Runs for the November Fitness Survey!

1. How do you stay on track during busy times? 

I struggle with this and will take any piece of advice you have to offer! I guess the best thing for me this school year has been T25. It's a short, intense workout and I can squeeze it in my busy day. Even if it's 9:30 at night.  

2.  What have you done to make your favorite holiday recipes healthy? 

Nothing really. Just try to keep everything balanced. The holidays mean spending time with family I don't see all that often so I'm not going to stress about eating healthy. Everything in moderation right?

3.  Will you run a Turkey Trot this year? 

I want to! But I don't think it's going to happen. I fly to my parents' house on Thanksgiving morning.

4.  Hot Chocolate or Apple Cider? Because Coffee is a given!

Ooo! I love both! Hot apple cider especially! This is really hard! I guess in the fall I tend to go towards cider and then hot chocolate in the winter.

5.  What is your best race times?

I'm not even sure what my best 5k time is it's been so long since I've done one! By my best half is 2:26.

6.  What is your favorite race you’ve ever done?

My first half. It was hard but it was so worth it! I'm not sure anything will top that until I PR.

7. Have you ever run a race in a costume? (Post a picture if you have it)

I ran in a tutu for the Diva Half Marathon!

8. If you run in cold weather, what’s the one piece of gear you can’t live without?

Ear band! My ears get cold and it's alllll over! And my comfy running tights!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Recap

Whew!  It's been a while since I've updated!  I've been super busy with school and spending time with some of my favorite people.  :)  This fall has been pretty busy so far!  Between wine festivals, Oktoberfests, pumpkin carving, and more, I haven't had a lot of time to even run!  But I did just complete my THIRD half marathon!  Holy cow!  A year ago I couldn't have imagined myself running one, never mind three!  And I'm signed up for another next June!
But back to the Myrtle Beach Mini....  I signed up shortly after finishing the Diva Half back in September with Stephanie (who I ran the Diva with) and Lindsay (who I ran the VA Wine Country with).  It was my third and Stephanie and Lindsay's second.  What is it with finishing a race that makes you immediately want to sign up for another one?  Anyways, we got there around 4am Saturday morning after driving through the night.  We split up into two cars since the guys came along.  They really are the best race supporters out there!  We ran into a little snag with the condo we were supposed to stay in and ended up at a less than lovely Holiday Inn.  I was tired.  And cranky.  And hangry (anyone else use that term?).  We went to bed and I slept very little thanks to an obnoxious air conditioning unit.

We woke up the next day and the crankiness carried over.  We headed to the race expo, which was definitely lacking.  I was pretty disappointed with the selection and ended up leaving without buying anything.  If you know me, you know that this is surprising!  But I totally loved my bib number:  1818!  And the tech shirts and backpacks we got were pretty cute too!  Still in an absolutely horrid mood, we headed down to the beach.  I wasn't overly impressed with the boardwalk area and of course it started to rain.  We did however find where the finish line was and we found an amazing daiquiri bar that (shhhh) let us take our delicious slushies out onto the boardwalk with us!  We also made a stop at the Landshark Bar.

Finish line on the board walk!

13.1 miles of paradise!  Stephanie, me, Lindsay

Ready for race day!

Our biggest fans!  Mine's wearing the Coors Light shirt! :)

Wall of adult slushies!

We then headed to a really fun area off the beach called Broadway at the Beach.  They had so many fun shops and restaurants!  We ended up at Señor Frogs for a few drinks and some food.  We called it a pretty early night though since we were all completely exhausted from the drive the night before.

The crazy carp that you could feed!  So creepy!

Delicious, but strong, drink from Señor Frogs.

Upside down house.

The alarm went off at 5:00 the next morning and thankfully I  had gotten a great night's sleep.  It was nice to only have a 15 minute drive to the start since the other two half marathons I've done have been at least an hour drive.  I ate my mini bagel with almond butter on the drive there, popped a few sports beans, and was ready to go!  And then we pulled into the mall parking lot where the start was and it started to rain.  It started out as drizzle, then a fairly good shower, and then a downpour.  Enter disappointment.  We got out the umbrellas and headed to the start.  Thankfully it stopped raining right before the start of the race!  And the race started on time!  Again, a first for the races I've done!  It was fantastic!  No waiting around for almost two hours to get started!  Both girls I ran with are both faster than me.  So I started out a bit faster than I had really wanted since I did NO training leading up to the race (one 2 mile run and one almost 5 mile run...that's it!)  But because the course was flat, I felt really good through about mile 8 or so.  Then my legs started feeling pretty heavy.  But Gatorade at the water stops and my sports beans helped tremendously.  Mile 10?   The other girls seriously picked up their pace.  I picked mine up, but not as much as they did.  So we all finished at different times, me being the last of the three.  The supporters at the end of the course were fantastic.  I saw the guys and they told me to keep pushing so I seriously picked it up at the end.  My goal?  Just pass the person in front of me.  And the person in front of that.  And then I could see the clock.  And the cool thing about having your name on your bib?  People using your name when they tell you to keep pushing it and that you're almost there.  Official time?  2:26:57.  This included a bathroom stop for one of the other girls.  My Garmin time?  2:22.  Both times just 30 seconds short of a PR.  Still pretty bummed about that and if I had known, I would have really pushed it at the end.  Or not stopped for the bathroom break with the other two.  Oh well....   The race really pushed the 5 miles of beach front running.  Truth?  You could see the beach in between building for 4.5 of those miles.  Then the rest was on the boardwalk.  So a little disappointed about the lack of beach views, but it was pretty!

1818!  Loved this number!

Post race, right by the beach!

Awesome medal that has a magnet on the back and a beer opener.  Love that I get to add this to my collection! :)

Me, Lindsay, and Stephanie enjoying post-race refreshments.

Ben has the rest of the pictures on his phone.  Working on getting those from him.  :)

After showering and packing up, we got back on the road.  We made a pit stop in Wilmington, NC.  Totally gorgeous!  And amazing food!  I want to find a race to run there!  :)

I'm not registered for any more races until June, but I know I'll sign up for more!  The one in June is the Runner's World Magazine Heartbreak Half in Boston! :)  Super excited for this one!!!!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Diva Half Marathon Recap

Well I did it!  Half marathon number 2 in the books!  It was definitely quite the experience.

After getting up bright and early so we'd get there in plenty of time, the traffic was unreal.  Whoever thought it was a good idea to herd 4,500 runners into a winery on a one lane road is insane.  Traffic conditions in Northern VA are bad enough on a regular day, but this was insane.  Luckily we knew a sorta back way in so we managed to avoid a good chunk of the traffic.  Due to traffic, the race start was delayed...not once, not twice, but MULTIPLE times!  Not to mention that the road in was part of the course so they had to wait until it was cleared to be able to shut it down completely.  We started NINETY minutes late!  A lot of people were upset, but it was a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.  If they didn't hold the race, people who missed the start would have been upset.  But people who were on time were upset because they were standing around waiting in the cold for way longer than expected.  Annoying?  Yes.  But I expected it since it was the inaugural race.  Whatever.

Oh, and I lost my headphones before the start of the race.  And no one turned them in.  So annoying.  So I had to run with my iPhone in hand with the volume turned up.  

The course?  Holy guacamole, as my first graders say!  The description was rolling hills, 2 areas of uphill running, country roads.  LIES!  Again, holy guacamole the hills!  They were no joke!  Eight major hills in the first 6 miles!  My Garmin has an elevation gain of 1,102 feet...sorry...that's not rolling hills.  It was SO hard!  We actually did quite a bit of walking because of the hills.  We knew we had to have something left to finish with.  

I guess the traffic situation getting out was pretty bad.  We happened to know a back way around the main roads so we avoided a lot of it.  Slower speed limit, but no one else on the road is fabulous in my book!

Despite all of this, my friend Stephanie and I had a good time.  She finished her first half, I finished my second.  Our official race time was 2:38 (my Garmin paused at the porta-a-potty along the way).  Not a PR by any means, but not horrible!  My legs were KILLING me Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday.  They're better today but I'm still giving it a few more days before I start up again.  Funny how you always miss running when you know you shouldn't be doing it.  haha  But in the meantime, here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure!

One of my favorite sights on the course!

Before starting...So cold!  Me on the right.

One of MANY hills!

I finished!!!

Post Race

Loved the medals!

Before the race started, at the starting line.

Next up:  possibly the Myrtle Beach half...a fast, flat course...just what the doctor ordered! :)