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!


siddathornton

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 weather.com 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! :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

MIA

So I realize I've been MIA for the last 2 weeks or so!  The reason?

source:  http://www.jestais.com/en/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Back2School11x17-Page-006.jpg



Yep...it's that time of year again!  Last week was spent setting up my room and making it look all warm and cozy for my little first graders.  This week is full of meetings and last minute room prep before meeting the kiddos on Thursday afternoon.  I'm actually far enough ahead in getting my room ready that I've been working on lesson plans and making copies for next week.  I've never been this far ahead!  But I'm really excited for the start of a new school year!

There's something about fresh decorations, sharpened pencils, and newly laminated name tags that I just love!  Lame?  Perhaps.  But I'm ok with it.

Running has been going pretty horribly.  By horribly I mean, I just haven't been.  I did run once last week.  2 miles.  But it was a fast two miles.  And a fast two miles is just as hard for me as a slow 6 miles.  I also did pretty well with keeping up with T25.  This week so far?  No bueno.  Last night I stayed at school until almost 7 and was exhausted.  Today, 6 and then had to go grocery shopping.  C'est la vie!  Sometimes something has to give and until I get back into the swing of things, I guess that'll have to be it.

Sad to see summer end but ready for the adventure of a new school year.  This just might be the make it or break it year for me and teaching....

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fitness Survey!

I'm linking up with She Cooks, She Crafts, She Runs for a fitness survey!




*What is your favorite healthy and filling breakfast?
Lately I've been a fan of toasted cinnamon bread with almond butter and some ricotta cheese with strawberries and a sprinkle of cinnamon!

*What keeps you motivated?
There are a few things that keep me motivated.  My motivation to keep running is signing up for races.  If I paid to run, then darn it I'm going to run the whole thing!  For Focus T25, I'm part of a challenge group.  It's way easier to be held accountable.  And my boyfriend is pretty fantastic about pushing me to get that 25 minute workout in when I'm not in the mood.  And for eating right, I'm part of another challenge group for the month of August for clean eating.  It gave me the push to start eating a lot healthier and to start checking the labels on food that I buy at the store.  So I guess a lot of things motivate me!

*What's your favorite way to change up your routine?
Running a new route is always a good one.  Or switching up a playlist.  Starting T25 also changed up my routine by giving me an actual weekly routine!

*What's your go to "get back on track"tip?
Think about the amount of time you spend procrastinating a workout.  You'd probably be at least half way done if you had started when you started procrastinating!  Also, for me, signing up for a race forces me to get back on track.

*What's your favorite distance to race?
Probably a half marathon.  I love 5ks and 8ks, but I feel like I've accomplished SO much more when I've run that far!  Plus you almost always get a fancy shmancy medal!  :)

*Name one thing on your fitness bucket list.
Oh man, I have so many races on my race bucket list!  (Which reminds me I need to update that tab!)  But definitely one of the Disney half marathons and the Boston Athletic Association Half Marathon!

*Best reason for living a healthy lifestyle.
There are SO many, but I'm going to go with investing in myself.  I love how I feel after I workout and it's so fun to accomplish the goals I set for myself!

*Favorite workout at the gym or at home (crunches, pushup, etc.).
At home - T25 and running.  At the gym - Zumba and Body Pump.

*Show us your shoes!  Take a picture of your fitness shoe pile. 
So I didn't get a chance to do this, BUT for running, I have 2 pairs of Reebok Real Feel sneakers that I LOVE and for T25 I use an older pair of Real Feels that have a bit more support.


This morning I ran 6 miles and it felt really good!  The half is officially in one month and even though I've kind of failed with keeping up with the training, I think I'll be ok.  And I'm half way done with the Alpha phase of T25!  (Well, after I do today's workout.)  Crazy!  And I'm still loving it!  

What's on your fitness bucket list?  And what's your reason for living a healthy lifestyle?  

Monday, August 5, 2013

Fitness Update!

I survived week 1 of T25!  I swear there should be t-shirts made that say that!  Thursday was Ab Intervals.  The cardio that I dreaded on the other days, became the breaks from doing intense ab work.  Friday was supposed to be a double day, Lower Body Focus and Cardio.  I did the Lower Body Focus and holy cow...squats and lunges and leg work, oh my!  It was pretty intense!  I had good intentions to do the Cardio to get my back to back in, but ended up doing yard work instead.  I feel like that totally counts!  Especially since we did yard work allllll weekend!  But I did get the Stretch workout in on Sunday!  It was a yoga/pilates kind of workout, which I really enjoy.  And it felt GOOD after all of those fast paced, intense workouts!

Another challenge I've accepted is a 30 day clean eating challenge.  One of my friends is a personal trainer and is doing the challenge on Facebook.  She's done other challenges this summer, but I didn't take part in any of them.  This, however, fit perfectly into my new BeachBody plan to get in killer shape!  Basically for every clean meal you eat, you get 30 points.  For every snack that's clean, 10 points.  You lose 5 points for every ingredient that's not clean.  I'm loving it!  It's making me try new recipes, look at labels on food, and eat healthier!  I looked up a bunch of recipes this morning and was surprised at how amazing they all sounded!  We're going to give a few of them a try this week!

Saturday we headed to a farmer's market in the area.  Why it took us so long to get to one, I'm not really sure!  But it was love at first sight!  So many amazingly fresh veggies and fruits waiting to be bought!  We ended up with corn on the cob, sweet candy onions, poblano peppers, tomatillos (never used these before but we want to try salsa!), white peaches, and two jars of fresh, homemade pickles.  We'll be going back for sure!

And finally!  I made it out for a run this morning!  It was perfect!  It was about 70 degrees when I headed out, low humidity, and plenty of shade on my route.  There was also a perfectly placed sprinkler  at about mile 3 or so that I thoroughly enjoyed!  I did 4.5 miles in 42:54 and it felt amazing!  I also got my best 5k time in there too - 29:09.  It was an awesome run and felt so good!  I'm hoping to make that the shorter run of my week.  Hoping to get a longer run in on Abs day since it's way less intense than the other days.

It feels so good to be back on track!

Do you have any favorite clean eating meals?  I'd love to hear about them!  

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Three Things Thursday

Since I haven't been up to a whole lot lately, I figured I'd do a random Three Things Thursday post! :)

1.  I finished day 4 of T25 today!  I'm loving it!  Monday was cardio, Tuesday was Speed 1.0, Wednesday was Total Body Circuit, and today was Ab Intervals.  You'd think Ab Intervals would mean a bit of a break right?  Wrong!  Twenty five minutes of intense abs!  There were cardio breaks (I know right?!?  A cardio "break"?) but you were supposed to engage your core the whole time so even those breaks ended up working your abs!  Whew!  Tomorrow is a double day of Lower Body and Cardio.  I'm scared.



2.  We've applied to adopt a dog!  Scary step into the adult responsibility world!  But I'm going to be on my own for a good 6 weeks this fall and I don't do "on my own" very well.  So I figured I need a friend  to keep me company!  All of my friends are having babies or are getting married...well, all I want is a dog.  I'd say less responsibility than both of those things, yes!?!?  :)  


3.  I've been trying to eat healthier and healthy foods are actually starting to taste *gasp* good!  My new favorite way to drink water?  With strawberries, lemon, and mint in it!  Let it sit in the fridge over night and YUM!  Oh my gosh is it good!  And a pretty pink color too!  Way better than those artificially flavored waters out there!  It tastes like a watered down pink lemonade, but fresh.  So yummy!  
before it got all pretty and pink 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Day 1 Down

So after a fabulous weekend of watching two of my best friends tie the knot*, today was time to start a new routine.  Because my T25 Challenge pack came in the mail while I was gone this weekend!  Woo!





Really excited and ready to give it a go!



Twenty-five minutes later.  Really sweaty.  And gross.

I did the first workout on the calendar, the cardio workout.  Holy.  Cow.  It was intense!  I'm not sure I could have done much more than 25 minutes of that!  It was awesome though!  It went by fast and it definitely kicked my butt!  I haven't tried my vanilla Shakeology yet, but will let you know how that goes!

*Total wedding side note:  Besides getting to be a bridesmaid in the wedding, my favorite part might have been during the "Toast and Roast" portion.  Anyone who wanted to say something about the bride and groom could.  My guy (who admitted he was getting choked up during the ceremony) thanked the couple for introducing him to me.  It was so sweet and caught me so off guard!  And he got all choked up (again) and couldn't finish saying the rest of what he had planned.  :)  Adorable!  And then we got a picture with the bride and groom.  It was one of my favorite moments of the night!  :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Motivation!

So I finally got a good ol' healthy dose of motivation to get my lazy self off the couch and pick back up on training for the half!  What got me going?

Sweat - Yep!  After sweating it out at the gym on Monday, I forgot how much I loved the feeling of being absolutely, disgustingly sweaty at the end of a good workout!  It felt so good on Monday that I just had to get more of it!  haha

Weather - For the first time in a month, it's not horribly hot and humid out!  It was a perfect 75 degrees with a touch of humidity this morning....at 10am!!!  Fabulous for an end of July run!

52 - The number of days until I have to conquer 13.1 miles!  Gah!  Yep!  That was a serious kick in the @$$!

T25 - I decided that I needed something more than running and that the gym just wasn't doing it for me like it used to.  Not a fan of the schedule and such.  So I broke down and bought the new P90x style DVD set called Focus T25.  It's a 25 minute work out that basically kicks your butt.  A trip to the gym?  15 minutes to get there, getting to a class 15 minutes early to get a spot, 1 hour class, 15 minutes home. Yep...we're talking an hour and 45 minutes.  This?  Less than a half hour!  Totally doable right?!?!  Well, I'm about to find out!  Hopefully it'll be here next week so I can give it a try!  I also got a month's supply of Shakeology.  Figured I'd give it a go.  I hate eating breakfast so this might be a good alternative once school starts back up!

So I did a far from fantastic 3.1 miles today, but it felt GOOD after not running in almost a month!  Was it my fastest 5k?  Well, actually, according to my Garmin it was!  haha  At least the fastest I've done since I've had it!  So that was good!  Still far from where I want to be, but it's a work in progress.

And then, last but not least, AFTER my run today, these two lovelies appeared in my mailbox!


Woohoo!  I got a year's subscription for $5 through a Living Social deal!  And they're totally perfect!  One is a half marathon special issue with everything you need to know to run a half (ummm how perfect!) and the other is about the Boston Marathon (if you didn't know, I'm originally from MA so this totally tugs at my heartstrings).

So yes...I'm back on the running band wagon!  :)  Catch me if you can!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Adventures!

So I realize that I've been seriously slacking on this whole blogging thing!  BUT in my defense, I've been crazy busy since my last post!  Here's a quick recap:

4th of July - We spent Wednesday and Thursday night of the Fourth.  We spent the days with his family, hanging out, watching fireworks.  Eating crazy amounts of food!  It was definitely a good time!

We came home for a few days, packed, and then off to the next adventure.

Mexico - We spent 7 glorious days in Playa del Carmen, Mexico!  It was 7 days of paradise!  We had views of the Gulf of Mexico, ate amazing food, drank delicious drinks, and relaxed!  We also went on an amazing excursion to see some of the cenotes that the area is famous for.  Cenotes are basically holes in the ground that lead to underground caves, most filled with water.  We repelled down into one of these caves and the water was SO clear and SO cold!  But it was beautiful!  We also zip lined and snorkeled through these gorgeous caves!  It was SO much fun!  Here's a little glimpse at the fun!

Repelling down through the cenote!

Zip lining above the jungle


Inside the underground caves

Relaxing

View from our room.



You'd think our adventures were done after this!  Nope!  There's more!

B&B - We had purchased a 2 night stay at a bed and breakfast in southern VA last fall.  Well every time we went to use it, they were booked.  So they happened to have 2 night available right after we got back from Mexico.  So we got back on a Monday, did laundry on Tuesday, and left Wednesday and drove 4 hours to get down there.  It was actually a lot of fun!  There was a lot to do down there!  We visited the town that Mayberry from the Andy Griffith show was based off of, his hometown.  It was actually really neat!  And we visited a winery and ate more amazing food.  It was a blast!

So after all of this fun, it's finally time to start cracking down on training since I've been failing miserably with it!  Today I went to the gym and took a Zumba class.  I'm pretty picky about my Zumba classes since I used to be an instructor (still licensed, just not teaching right now).  But this class was the first Zumba class at my gym that I've enjoyed since last summer!  It was fantastic!  I think I'll have to start heading back.  I left dripping in sweat and it felt SO good!  :)  I also walked a half mile before class started to kill the time.  Hoping this can get my butt back on track!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fitness Survey

So the half marathon training once again got pushed off for the last week for something that held an even more special place in my heart...my little sister's wedding!  It was an absolute blast!  And she was beautiful of course!  We got all prettified together, ate ridiculous amounts of food (umm..hello lobster caught fresh that morning!), and indulged in some drinks.  And running got pushed to the side...again.

Today I had every intention of getting back on the wagon...until I woke up to a downpour and now disgusting humidity.  I can't win!  And with vacation for the next week (helllooooo Mexicoooo!) it'll probably get pushed back AGAIN!  Argh!  So much for being ready for the Diva Half in September!  I need to get my butt in gear!


But in other news, I found this fun Fitness Linkup!  I was exploring some running blogs and came across She Cooks, She Crafts, She Runs and a fun link up that she's got going on today!

1.  What did you eat for breakfast? 
Graham crackers with peanut butter and an iced coffee.  Healthy?  Perhaps not.  Yummy?  Absolutely! :)

2.  How much water do you drink in a day?
I'm not really sure but I KNOW it's not enough!  I'm always being told to drink more water. I go through phases where I'll drink a ton and then barely any.  I need to get better about this.

3.  What is your current favorite workout?
Besides running, Body Pump.  I haven't been in a while but I love it!  And hate it!  All at the same time!

4.  How many calories do you eat a day?
No idea!  I've never been into calorie counting.

5.  What are your favorite healthy snacks?
I so don't do well with healthy.  Does popcorn count as a healthy snack?

6.  What do you usually eat for lunch?
When I was working, a frozen lunch most days...a la Lean Cuisine or something of the likes.  But being on summer vacation has changed that one.  One never knows what I'm going to have for lunch!  Leftovers, a mish mash of what I can find in the cabinet, a sandwich....nothing consistent!

7.  What is your favorite body part to strength train?
I'm going to go with legs.  I think they're the strongest body part I have right now.  Plus I know it'll help me with my running.

8.  What is your least favorite body part to strength train?
Arms...they're my least favorite during Body Pump!  I'm such a weakling when it comes to arms!

9.  What are your "bad" food cravings?
Pasta, bread, ice cream....mostly delicious carbs!

10.  Do you take vitamins or supplements?
Nope...I think if you eat right, you should be getting everything you need without taking anything extra.

11.  How often do you eat out?
We try not to eat out too often.  For lunch?  Almost never.  Dinner?  1-2 times a week and it's mostly on the weekends.

12.  How often do you eat fast food?
Does Chipotle count as fast food?  :)  If we're talking McDonalds or Burger King or any of those?  Very rarely and I usually feel disgusting after.  But if we're talking Chipotle or places like that, occasionally.

13.  Who is your biggest supporter?
Definitely the boyfriend! :)  He's pretty fantastic!  He's usually very supportive of anything I do!

14.  Do you have a gym membership?
I do but I've been debating canceling it.  Except for Body Pump, I rarely go.  Looking at alternatives and I'm thinking P90X might be it.

15.  How many hours of sleep do you get each night?
During the summer, like 10!  During the school year, it varied from 7 - 9.  I'm a big fan of sleep!

16.  Do you have a "cheat" day?
Nope...I don't worry too much about it.

17.  Do you drink alcohol?
Sure.  I'll have a few glasses of wine a week usually and occasionally drinks at home on the weekend.  I'm more of a social drinker.

18.  Do you have a workout buddy?
I used to have 2 at the gym!  But not right now.  :(  One moved and switched gyms, the other is on vacation for most of the summer.  And I'm not a huge fan of running with other people.  I like to be able to do my own thing.  It's my "me" time.

19.  What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?
I feel better about myself.  I never really lead an entirely unhealthy lifestyle.  But since starting up running and when I was consistently going to the gym, I felt much better about myself and the way I look.

20.  What was the last healthy thing you did?
Hmm...I kinda fell off the bandwagon this last week with all of the wedding festivities!  So I guess it was the last time I ran which feels forever ago!

21.  What are your favorite shoes to work out in?
For running, I love my Reeboks.  I think they're the Freestyles or something like that.  But they're terrible for classes like Zumba!  I end up going back to my older Reeboks...the ones with the little chunky blocks on the sole.  I'm so bad with knowing what kind of sneakers I use!  haha

22.  Photo of your favorite running outfit.
I love the outfit I wore for my first half!  The tank is super light weight and came from Old Navy.  The shorts are Adidas (love the little zipper pocket in the back) and my Boston Bondi Band!  The whole ensemble is light weight and comfy!

That's me on the left!





Sunday, June 23, 2013

Running Essentials

Is there anything better than snuggling up on the couch on a rainy Sunday morning with an iced coffee in your favorite cup, a quiet house, and your list of blogs to read open on your laptop?  :)  Didn't think so!

I've been struggling to get motivated to run.  I only went twice this week: 3.5 on Wednesday and 5 on Friday.  Plus Body Pump on Tuesday.  I think I'm still in relax/winding down mode from the school year (I teach first grade).  Hopefully I'll be back up and at it next week since there are only 12 weeks until my next half!  Woohoo!

So I was thinking about some of the essentials I use when I run.  Before training for the half I just ran, my essentials basically would have been an iPod and a pair of sneakers.  But once I started logging those miles, I realized I needed more!
*note - I wasn't asked to review or sponsor any of these products.  They're just ones that I use on a regular basis.*

For my birthday, I got a Garmin Forerunner 10.  I don't know how I ran without it before!  I have it in pink but it comes in other colors too.  It's so incredibly helpful when it comes to learning to pace myself on longer runs and to push myself on shorter runs.  Plus the website that you upload all of your runs to is so similar to Map My Run, but you don't have to waste your phone battery running the GPS since it's all in the watch!  :)  The watch shows my pace, my distance, calories burned, total time and more!  The site shows my route, the weather during my run, elevation, splits, and SO much more!  I absolutely adore it!

Source: http://fleetfeetsports.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/dsc_3587.jpg




Which leads me to music!  I CANNOT run without it!  Some people enjoy running to nothing, listening to their own breathing, but me?  I just can't do it.  I get bored.  I HAVE to have my music!  I have a playlist on my phone with some good running songs, but coming up with a 2 and a half hour playlist is hard!  And can get expensive!  I rely on Pandora for my music.  They have workout play lists and they're not half bad!

For my longer runs, I realized I needed something to keep my going and keep that "I feel like I'm running through quicksand" feeling away.  Solution?   Jelly Belly Sports Beans!  I just can't do the gels...they gross me out.  Don't get me wrong, the Sports Beans don't taste fabulous, but they do the trick!  And the ones with caffeine give that extra boost on those longer runs!

source: http://www.sportsandfamily.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/jelly-belly-sport-beans.jpg



Socks.  Oh boy did I learn quickly how the right pair of socks makes a world of difference!  I was getting blisters all over the tops of my toes from wearing cotton socks on my longer runs.  Big mistake! I switched to a seamless, moisture-wicking sock and it made a world of difference!  I only have one pair since they were so expensive ($12/pair!), but rumor has it that Target sells ones that are similar and they're way cheaper!  :)  They're definitely on my next Target trip list!

Last, but not least, Bondi Band head bands!  (http://www.bondiband.com)  My hair is really fine and it was always falling in my face and getting in my eyes, even with a ponytail or other kinds of head bands.  I discovered these gems the day before the half at the expo that was going on during packet pick up.  Life changing!  Not only did it actually stay in place all 13.1 miles, but it kept my hair back and was sweat-wicking so it kept the sweat out of my face too!  Amazing!  I highly recommend!  I got two while I was there...both in support of the Boston One Fund.  They have a ton of fun designs and colors.  I'm officially hooked and wear one every time I run now!


So those were my "A-Ha!" essentials that I discovered while training and now can't live without!  Of course, there's sneakers, headphones, iPhone arm band, etc. but those were things I always used and didn't really change up too much when I started training.

Do you have any running/workout essentials that you can't live without?


Friday, June 21, 2013

FYI

So if you haven't heard, Google Reader is going away as of July 1!  *sad face*  BUT you can still follow my blog over at Bloglovin!  Just click the button and follow away! *happy face*



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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Great Deal

Just a heads up!  Living Social is offering a one year subscription to Runner's World for $5 or a one year subscription to Running Times for $7!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Running Bucket List

While most people have a bucket list of things that they want to accomplish in life, I've decided to make myself a Running Bucket List of races I want to run someday!  

1.  Nike Women's Half here in DC - Who wouldn't love crossing the finish line and being greeted by a hot firefighter handing you a Tiffany's necklace?!?!  Plus this one wouldn't involve traveling too far!  Next year, I want in!

2.  Disney Princess Half - It's Disney!  What's not to love?  

3.  Boston Marathon - This one is a TOTAL long shot obviously!  But being from there, I'd kill to be able to run it after the events of this year!  

4.  The Color Run - I've been wanting to do a color run for over a year now.  The timing just hasn't worked out.  

I'm sure more will get added on as I learn about other races!  :)

What races are on your bucket list?

Monday, June 10, 2013

I Miss Running?

Wow!  Never thought I'd say those words!

I decided after the half to take a week off to let my body recover.  My knees and quads were pretty sore the day after, but by Tuesday I was feeling pretty good again!  This week I'm starting up my running again (except lucky me this afternoon and tonight call for severe weather so it gets pushed back one more day).  And I never thought I'd say this, but I've actually missed running!  I can't wait to get back out there and start adding on those miles again!

And not only that, but I've signed up for my second half!  I just couldn't resist!  So my next big race will be in September.  I'm running the Diva Half Marathon!   I'm so excited for this one!  Who doesn't love getting spoiled with tiaras, boas, roses, glasses of champagne, and a super huge, sparkly medal!?!? :)  The coolest part is that it's the very first Diva race to be held in the Washington, DC area!  I signed up with a co-worker who also ran the VA Wine Country Half and my boyfriend's cousin, who needed motivation to get back in shape.  It should be a fun time!

Since I was able to finish the VA Wine Country Half in 2:26, I'm hoping for a 2:20 finish.  Hopefully the middle of September will mean cooler race temps.  It was ridiculously hot!  The course should be pretty similar.  It starts and ends at a different winery than the other one, but it's in the same general area.  At least this time I'll know how hilly it is!  The site actually says that the course only has 2 areas of uphill climbs, but I'm still going in prepared! :)

In the meantime, instead of running, I'll sit and watch these crazy storms run through!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

VA Wine Country Half Marathon

So this past Saturday I ran my first half!  It was scary, fun, amazing, and so many other emotions all mixed in to one!  I ran it with my friend Lindsay and we had two goals:  finish in under two and a half hours and to run the whole thing, no walking.

Leading up to the race, I was pretty nervous.  I had tried for one final push of hitting 10 miles before race day that Monday.  And failed miserably.  I managed 9.5 but did a LOT of walking.  It was so hot and humid out that I just couldn't make it the whole way without walking.  I had also been trying to get a lot of hills into my workouts since I heard the course was hilly, but also heard that it was gentle rolling hills so not to worry too much.  Not to mention the weather forecast...HOT!

Race morning rolled around and I was up and at 'em by 4:30.  Ugh!  Lindsay and her fiance met us at the house at 5:15 and we were on our way.  And it was already pretty warm.  We tried to get our energy up during the 45 minute car ride by trying some Jelly Belly Extreme Beans (we'd both been using the regular ones during training but these had caffeine) and good God did they taste horrible!  We were gagging them down!  SO gross!

We got to the starting line about 6:45 and made our way to where our finishing time group was corralled (we may have been some of the few people who actually went where we were supposed to) and tried to get excited.  But nerves were setting in.  The guys wished us luck and headed to the start line in hopes of getting some good pictures.  At this point, the start of the race was delayed due to traffic and I wanted to cry.  What in the world had I been thinking signing up for this?!?!  Around 7:15, we were finally off and running!  The temperature at the start already had to be up to at least 70 - 75 degrees!
Starting Line

Ready to Run

The course was beautiful!  We ran through the countryside and passed cute little farms, vineyards, adorable stone churches.  But rolling hills?!?!?  LIES!  The hills were no joke!  And a good 6 miles of the course was run on gravel roads!  It was pretty tough!  Lindsay and I managed to stick together and kept a pretty consistent pace.  At the half way point there was a wine tasting so after some water I grabbed a Dixie cup of white wine and went on my way!  How could I resist?!?

We were just about to mile 7 when we came to the first spectator viewing spot and as we came around the corner we spotted this:

We were dying laughing!  The best parts?  Runners were actually stopping to take their picture and they got tanned around the body paint.  Here we are when we first spotted them:



I felt really good until about mile 11.  I started struggling!  I had half a pack of those nasty sports beans with me, and let me tell you, they were just about the best thing I had ever eaten!  They gave me the boost I needed to finish!   By then it was already in the 80s and SUPER hot!  All of the sudden I could see the silo of the winery where the finish line was!  I had never been so happy!  I checked my GPS watch and realized there was still another half a mile to go.  Doesn't sound like much but when you've already done 12.6, it's torture!  So close but so far!  As we got closer, the earlier finishers were cooling down and cheering us on.  There were crowds of people on both sides of the course so I took my headphones off and just enjoyed that last little push.  We had enough left in us to really push it at the end and beat our goal time!

Our official race time:  2h, 26m!  And the only times we walked was through the water stops, so that totally doesn't count!  It was an absolute blast!  And look at this medal!




We made it through the recovery tent, grabbed bottles of water, and headed to the shade to cool down before heading to the post-race wine festival.  Unfortunately, it was too hot to stay too long but we did enjoy ourselves while we were there.  We ended our morning with a little grape stomping!



And now I think I'm addicted!  I'm signing up for another half for September!  :)