Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Race Recap: Tri For A Cure Relay

We lost my mother to lung cancer nearly 8 years ago.  My mom was my person.  The one I could be 100% real with.  The one I came home to in college when I had pneumonia.  The one I called first when we found out we were pregnant with Tucker.  Losing her was like losing a huge part of me.  

a car parked near where we parked.....loved the writing!

When I first heard of Tri for a Cure, I initially thought it was a fundraiser for breast cancer because just about everything is in pink.  But that is not the case.  Not that breast cancer isn't high up on my list of cancers to ban, it has and still is affecting some people very special to me.  What I'm saying is that I really wanted to find a race that fundraisers for all cancers - and I found it with Tri for a Cure. 


I have been wanting to do a tri.  I've been saying this for the past couple of years.  It always makes it on my bucket list and always gets crossed off. 

The only problem --- I don't swim.  However, experiencing my first Tri for a Cure, put my mind at ease.  

One of my mothers favorite lighthouses made this even more special...I felt like she was with me the entire time
Last Sunday, the first wave of swimmers was the wave of survivors.  All shapes, all sizes, all athletic abilities, all ages.  These women.  These survivors are my idols.  They battled far more than I have and they are doing it.   Some have done the tri for years.  Some were taking it on for the first year.  I'm still in awe.  

The second wave of swimmers were survivors who were doing the relay portion.  Again.  Complete awe.  

The following waves were the remaining athletes.  All women who braved the ocean and swam that 1/3 mile.  All women who are champions.  

hard to see....but in front of the crowd were all of the survivors lined up.... tears, lots of tears.
As I've said, I don't swim.   Well, I know how.  But not for long distances.  But that's beside the fact.  
This year was my first year participating in Tri for a Cure.  I participated as the runner in a relay with my friend, Stacy (our biker) and her friend Jeanna (our swimmer).  

I've never been to a triathlon before and didn't really understand how they worked, so all of the rules were a bit overwhelming to me.  I stopped countless volunteers reiterating the rules and asking for clarification.  They really must think I'm a challenged individual.  There's a lot of a tri!  And I was only doing the running part.  The easy part in my opinion.  But the handing off was portions were a little confusing.  Where to stand, waiting until the bike was fully racked before taking the timing chip off the biker.... you know, details like that.  I really like to understand what needs to be done and do things correctly.  I don't like to do things half-assed.  

white for lung, purple for pancreatic, and the pink (in the Spandits too) for breast
Jeanna was a champ and took on the water like a pro.  I didn't see her swimming; however, because I was following the rules and waiting at the exchange spot like I was told.  The only problem, I had only met Jeanna that morning and all of those swimmers coming out of the water, with their wetsuits one and swim caps looked the same.  I was so nervous I wasn't going to know who she was and completely miss her!  But, no worries.  I didn't!  When she came out of the water and got to the transition area, I took the timing chip off her ankle and put it on mine - then took off up the hill to get the timing chip to Stacy, who was waiting at the biking transition spot.  

As soon as I got there, Stacy was waving her arms for me (thank goodness because there were a ton of people!!! and she was now wearing a different shirt!   I put the timing chip on her ankle and she was off for her 15 mile biking portion.  

Then, right on schedule, Stacy came in, racked her bike and we put the timing bracelet on my ankle and I was off.  The easy part.  Running.  3 miles.   

I wish I could say the course was gorgeous.  Only the last mile of it had great views.  But that's okay. The main focus wasn't on the views.  I was running on super dead legs.  No rest time for me with a progressive 16 miler two days before and hosting Tucker's birthday party the day before.  But it's all good.  I told Stacy and Jeanna I should be back in about 24 minutes, not really knowing what my legs were going to do for me.   

But look --- I was right on time!   

The best part of the entire run was cheering on other ladies who were obviously doing the full tri and other ladies who were out there.  They amaze me.  There were also a lot of tears.  Lots of happy thoughts of my mom, lots of sad ones.   Then I saw one of my students cheering along the sidelines....and a previous co-worker...and then my team.  And we ran in together.  That part was amazing!  

The other two ladies have done tri relays before, but this was my first one and it was rather cool.  If I do do a full tri, this one will be it.   I did this tri for my mom, my friend Vicky, and my friend Janie.  Both Vicky and Janie are fighting cancer now and they are amazing women!  Love you all.  

Monday, July 28, 2014

Move It Monday #StrengthBuilding

Last spring, at Sugarloaf Marathon, I noticed that all of the women who were cruising through the marathon were incredibly buff.  Yeah, I was checking them out.   It's hard to not notice.

One of my goals in this marathon training cycle was to build up my upper body strength.  I admit, I don't have the upper body strength I thought I did.  

When the opportunity arose to try out the Work Horse, I had to try it out.  I've never been able to do a pull up.  Ever.  I've thought about getting a pull up bar to install in a doorway, but Ward adamantly said no.  And rightfully so.  I wouldn't want to install a pull up bar in any of our custom (he's a cabinet maker) doorways.    

The Work Horse was created by Dr. Len Lopez with over 17 years experience as a Chiropractic Sports Physician, Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Strength and Conditioning Coach, and Applied Kinesiologist.  He has trained world champion runners, sprinters, elite triathletes,  and marathoners.  
I also need to note, that his wife was a huge motivator in the development of the Work Horse as she was not going to let him install one of those doorway pull up bars in their house!  

Read Dr. Lopez's post "Why do you need strength training?"   

Putting together the Work Horse took less than 5 minutes.   

For workout ideas, check out Dr. Lopez's videos.   

I love that the Work Horse is made for pushups and pull-ups!  

My favorite workout has been the 5 minute workout consisting of 10 pull-ups, 10 pushups and repeating for 5 minutes.  Trying to see how many I can do in 5 minutes.  I've gotten up to 70 total so far.  Hoping to reach 100 soon!!!  

Another reason why I love Dr. Len is that he and his family love fitness as well!  Read his latest post about doing a 5k with his family.  I love to see families getting fit and staying fit together!  

What do you do for strength?  I am loving this addition to my workouts!  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Trail Running: Bond Brook Race #2 Recap

Let's talk about heat training!  This summer has been full of it.  It's taken me a while to get used to it, but I think I'm getting it and starting to push myself a little harder when it gets more and more humid!  

Earlier in the day - I was at our summer track meet.  So hot!  But this time I was much much better at keeping hydrated!  

Last Thursday was race #2 for the Bond Brook Race series.  It was quite hot and humid.  I passed quite a few on the trail with them commenting on how much more humid it was this week and I agreed, full heartedly.  

just a little mile warm up

I asked Tucker to take some pics of me with his phone.....the sweet kiddo was in the woods and snapped this one and then a few at the finish.  Such a great photographer!  

Actually, this is a photo from the first race - but I wore the same exact outfit (minus the headband - which I really should have brought!!!).    I just want you to see the steep mountain we had to climb at the end.   Of course I was wearing my Spandits

I saw Ward, as he was making his way along the trail after he had finished, just before the mountain and he thought it was helpful to yell at me and say "run that hill".  What the heck did he think I was doing out here the entire time?  Skipping?  Ugh. Men!  

Check out those shoes I'm wearing???  If you can't tell - they are the Topo Athletic shoes!  They rocked on the trails.  Really amazing through the mud, the slippery rocks, grass.  I have found my trail shoe!  

Anyway, I took that hill on.  Again.  And this time, I shaved more time off.  Maybe, sometime this summer, I'll get a sub 30.  

It just won't be the next race because I'll be sitting that one out.  It's 2 days prior to Beach to Beacon and I want some fresh legs.  Perhaps I'll be able to keep up with Meb.  Ha ha.  I know, no way!  

 My official time - 31:18 and 8th woman this time!
 (last time 31:58 and 9th woman - making progress.)  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fit Friday with Tasc Performance

I've been thinking about this summer and our weather and I cannot complain.  We've had some gorgeous days.  Some quite humid.  Some scorchers.  But rain here and there to water the garden and cool things down.  Overall it's been pretty good!  While training for a marathon, I have to run when I can run.  Sometimes it's not the best time to run, but I do it.  Just hoping that on October 5, it will be nice and cool and that all of this hard work will pay off.

When it comes to choosing what to wear when I run in this heat, just about everything gets a gross funk after some of the sweat sessions.  I came across an opportunity to try out a new brand of clothing that does not stink, curiosity got the best of me and I had to try it out.  Have you ever heard of Tasc Performance?  

I tried out the Streak Racer and Endurance Sport Bra and they've become my go to marathon training top combo.  

They feel fantastic.  

They don't ride up. Ever. 

They look great together and match my Spandits.  

I love the pink/green combo.  

They do not stink.  Ever.  Believe me, I've tried.  

I've gone out for a super gross sweaty run, come back and worked in the garden for a few hours.  Giving the shirt and bra plenty of time to let a stink set in and nothing.  I've even just left them soaked in my sweat overnight in the laundry basket and when I grabbed them the next morning to wash - no stink!  Crazy! 

And this isn't just after a couple of  times of wearing them.  Try a month.  In the summer.  Lots of sweat.  Lots of mileage.  I've put this racer tank and bra through a ton of sweat sessions and nothing.  I'm sold.  

But I don't get it?  Everything gets a stink.  But why not my Tasc top and bra?  Because it's made from Bamboo!  Read about the process here!  

Tasc has shared a special code with me that I can share with you for 25% off any purchase at Tasc.  Just use the code RWTG. 

While you are there, check out their new prints and products!   

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Track Tuesday (+Giveaway)

Happy Track Tuesday!  This morning I laced up my Skecher Go Run 3's, dropped Tucker off at Wilderness Survival Camp and brought Izzy to the track with me.  This is a setback week but still had a little speed work mixed in there.  Hot?  Oh yes.   But with my favorite Stable 26 socks and Go Run 3's, my feet were happy.

Before and during my run, I made sure to hydrate with the Lemon Lime-Ade CLIF Shot.  I was already a fan of Shot Bloks, so I was pretty confident I was going to like the Lemon Lime-Ade electrolyte drink mix.  And I was right.  Delicious.  Light, refreshing.  It definitely helped me pull through during a hot workout!  

The mix itself is made from 90% organic ingredients and is packed with sodium and other electrolytes to aid in absorption and retention.   This packet did the trick.    

When I came home from my workout, I needed to refuel.  So I chose to try a CLIF Shot Protein Recovery Drink - Chocolate flavored mixed with almond milk.  

I thought this flavor was rich and satisfying.  It didn't have that chalky taste some other powders have.  It really had a chocolate milk flavor to it, which I love.  

Have you had the chance to try out the CLIF Shot Electrolyte mix or the CLIF Shot Protein Recovery mix?  Now is your chance!!!

Enter below for your chance to win!  Giveaway begins today and ends on 8/1. 

Disclosure:  I received a CLIF Shot drink mix sampler pack for the purpose of a review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Favorites

Hello everyone and Happy Friday!  

On tap for today is a 16 mile progressive run.  I'll be going out later on today, waiting for cooler weather and for Ward to get home from work!!!  I have a crazy busy weekend which is why I'm pushing the 16 miler up to today.  Wish me luck!  I don't really do well with long mileage later on in the day.  

To get me ready for tonight, I'll be using some of my favorites.  

That's a no brainer!  No chaffage.  Bright, fun patterns.  Lightweight and smooth material so when I'm dripping wet from the crazy humidity, my shorts won't be dripping wet as well.  

Stable 26 has become a staple in my running sock collection.  I've had very good luck wearing them and plan on wearing them for quite some time.   They are thin enough so my feet do not overheat, stretchy so my toes do not feel cramped, and have the padding on the heels so my shoes do not slip.  Even in shoes that typically didn't slip before, my feet feel like they are one with my shoes when I run.  No more annoying readjusting of the shoes.  Perfect fit every time.  

I have to make sure my feet are happy in the shoes I choose.  I would prefer to wear the Skechers Ultra tonight.  But they have been retired.  They told me last week no more runs.    I am thinking I'll head out in my Go Run 3's tonight.  They are light and cushy as well.  

Most of the time I hydrate quite well.  I usually drink a gallon of water a day.  I definitely hydrate during my runs as well and I love bringing my CamelBak with me, especially with longer mileage.   

During the day today, I'll continue to drink my water.  All day.  And will be careful about not taking in too much caffeine.  Too much caffeine and long runs do not mix for me!  But Pure LYFT is going to be my afternoon pick me up because I mix it with water and it's quite gentle on my stomach.    

Pure LYFT is an energy stick that has zero calories and is a natural, clean caffeine and has the same amount of caffeine as one tall cup of coffee.  I like that there are no artificial sweeteners, it is sweetened with stevia.  

Today I have a giveaway for you for a 6 pack of Pure LYFT!  To enter, do so through the rafflecopter below.  And no worries, if you do not win... you can get free shipping with this code - RunningShipFree!  I love free shipping!  

disclaimer:  I was reviewed Pure LYFT in May and was asked to do a giveaway this month.   Because I enjoyed Pure LYFT so much, I thought my readers would enjoy their own!  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I was just nominated by Diana at Hiit Mom as a Very Inspiring Blogger!  Thank you, Diana!  Have you been to Diana's blog?  I love the layout and she is so sweet!  

Here are the rules for how The Very Inspiring Blogger works:  
- Link the person you nominated you (done!) 
- Share 7 facts about yourself

1.  I am a worrier.  I worry about things I cannot control.  I hate this about myself.  For instance, with the new experience of coaching track - I am constantly worried about what the other coaches think of me and my inexperience.  Am I messing up too much?  So much to learn!    

2.  I am taking the plunge and teaching full on regular education High School Math this year.  No longer will I be a Special Educator.  While I'm super excited by this career move, I am a little nervous, as I've never taught an honors level class before!  Again, I am very excited by this new role. 

3.  I've been talking about getting that 26.2 tattoo, but haven't done it yet.  I cannot seem to make up my mind where it's going and when to get it done.  Someone just schedule it for me.  

4.  I now want a nose ring.  I've never been interested in this before, but have been obsessing about it all summer.  Again.  I probably won't do it because I'm chicken and I'm sure I cannot take my kids with me.  

5.   Tonight I went out to dinner with the husband for our 13th wedding anniversary.  I cannot believe we've been married for 13 years!  Wow, we are so old.  

6.   Our son, Tucker, was due on our 2nd wedding anniversary, but came a bit late.  8 days to be exact, via c-section because induction didn't work and I wasn't going home without a baby.  He'll be 11 next Tuesday!  

7.  And my baby, Izzy, is staring kindergarten in the fall.  Oh many time flies by so fast!  

Now I get to nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their blogs to let them know you've nominated them and provide them a link to your post.  

Here it goes!  

I don't expect my nominated bloggers to participate.  I just find you to be inspiring!   But if you do participate - tag me!  I'd love to read about your 7 facts!  

Happy Thursday everyone!  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Every Move Counts

Looking for a little motivation to get moving?  Love apps?  Motivating others? Earning rewards?  
Then you should really check out EveryMove.  As a FitApproach Ambassador, I was able to review the EveryMove app recently.  

EveryMove connects with other apps and devices, for example:  

or you can manually add your information.  You get the choice.  I have the following apps linked to mine:  

For each activity you log, you earn points. 

This is just a sampling of the activities you can choose from.  There are many more!  Then the points start stacking up:  

Points?  Points toward some pretty cool rewards.  Some companies listed in the rewards section even sponsors charity donations on your behalf.  I like that!   I just wish I'd earn something really for free.  I guess I need to get to a higher level?  

I am really liking the ease of EveryMove.  It's not some fitness app that consumes your day.  It automatically takes your activities you've completed and turns them into points.  EveryMove even has a leaderboard, to show where you stand against your "friends" - just a little friendly competition.   

You can download EveryMove for FREE! on iTunes or Google Play. If you download it, tell me what you think about it?    

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Techy Tuesday: TICKR Run Review

I might be obsessed with my iPhone.  I really love it.  I'm an Apple girl and the phone just ties it all together.   When I run, I have my phone with me.  For safety.  For selfies and other photo ops.  And for GPS.  And now, I get to use it as a heart rate monitor and stride monitor.

My mileage is creeping up there again with marathon training and I want to make sure I'm running efficiently.  

When the TICKR Run first showed up, I had an iPhone 4.  Sadly, my phone was not new enough to work with the TICKR.  I was able to download the app on Ward's iPad mini and use it while cycling.  

But I really wanted to try it out for running.   There was no way I was going to go for a run with the iPad, so I sadly put the TICKR aside until I recently upgraded to the 5c.  Now I get to use the smoothness and stride features!!!

Using the TICKR Run with your phone is incredibly easy.  Just download the app, connect your sensor (the heart rate monitor), and then record a workout.  The app is quite easy to maneuver around as well.  You can set the laps to miles or do you own intervals.  It's quite easy to just press the lap button the bottom of the screen.  

Wahoo TICKR Run Pro's:  
- great for running outside and on treadmill
- great for cycling inside and outside 
- links up to your favorite apps 
- records your history of runs 
- can set the auto lap or hit the lap button while running (if you choose to use this feature)
- provides you with average cadence, max cadence, ground contact
- provides you with max heart rate and heart rate while you are running
- provides you with your average pace and distance (to the hundredths - which I love!) 
- provides you with your at the moment pace while you are running 
- you can choose your countdown time for the app (max of 15 seconds) 

- a drain on your battery... 8 miles = 22% battery usage on my iPhone 
(but really, all GPS apps drain your phone!) 

One more thing I like about the Wahoo TICKR Run.  Just before my run this morning, one of my running pals posted about a new app - called the Outsider.  Not knowing much about it, I had to check it out.  The Weather Channel and Wahoo Fitness partnered up to create an app that calculates the best time to head out for a run (taking into account factors like temperature, heat index, pollen count, air quality, wind direction, etc.)  It gives you a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best time to run) as well as weather for a 10-day forecast.  Plus this app is FREE!  Currently it's only available through iPhone, which is okay with me.  And it pairs up with the Wahoo Fitness app.  So cool!  

How awesome is that?  

How do you track your mileage?  Do you both with heart rate? Cadence?  

disclaimer:  I was offered the TICKR Run by Wahoo for the purpose of a review and was not compensated.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.