Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Protein Powder Review...

I was recently selected to review a new protein powder for Manitoba Harvest.

Who doesn't love free stuff? And to be able to talk about it, well even better.

I received a sample of the chocolate and vanilla Hemp Pro 70 protein powder.

Sadly, I was not blown away by the product.

I drink protein shakes after my workouts most days, it's easy to throw it all in the blender and take it along as I commute to work. My first complaint was that each of the sample packets were not a full serving, each one was a half serving with 7g of protein in the sample.

I mixed them up on rest days, and was not impressed with the consistency. The recipe says to mix in a shaker cup, but I blended mine with my hand mixer like I usually do. It didn't seem to dissolve completely and I had a cup full of gritty protein shake to drink for breakfast. I hate that. The chocolate sample was not near as chocolaty as I had wanted it to be, but that might have been the small sample size. Maybe I should have mixed it up with only half the amount of almond milk.

I am a vegetarian, and I was really excited about the prospect of a plant based protein powder. It was quite a bummer (yes, bummer) for me that it wasn't as fabulous as I wanted it to be.

If you'd like to try it out, you can get 20% off the chocolate and vanilla flavors by using discount code sweatpinkpro70.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Another Brookhaven 5K...

I have a love/hate relationship with the Brookhaven 5k. I ran my first race there back in 2009, and somehow have managed to not miss one since then. Even after my bike crash last year, I was back and laced up for a 26:40, and 6th place in my age group.

I picked up Rochelle and we met up with the group at about 7. Even during the warm-up it was hot, but I slogged through two easy miles.

We had one good photo op during the warm-up.

We made it back to the start, got in a few strides, and had time for some pre-race selfies. You should always carry your camera, and time management is important when you want starting line pics.
Kristy, me and Rochelle

Lauren, Kristy, Rochelle, me and Tiffany
It has been a few years since I actually felt ready to run Brookhaven. In years past I always managed to kill myself in the first mile, and I resolved to not to that this time. My plan was to settle into a comfortably hard pace for the first mile, hang on for the second, and hopefully kick it in on the last.

My watch clicked out a 7:47 on mile one, and I kinda felt like I was in trouble. If you unfamiliar with this race, it's sort of a big loop, but after the first mile you make a right hand turn and head straight into the sun before turning right again. Just when you think you are about done, you head back into the neighborhood and wind to the finish line.

My right hand turn into the sun about killed me. It was a perfectly clear day, and it was hot and humid. After all, this is Oklahoma. By the time I turned right again, my stomach started to not feel so well, I think the Advil I took when I got up was not agreeing with me. Mile two clicked off at 8:10, and I was ready to be done.

I had no kick for the last mile, I felt empty. Mile three was 8:15 and I was so glad to be almost done. I finished with at 25:23, and fourth place in my new age group. I was happy with how I did, and even happier to see all my super sweaty friends at the finish.

More pictures!

Rochelle and I.

Me, Kristy, Lauren and Ro
 I do love this race! I always see lots of friends, and it's put on by my favorite running store. I sure wish it was put on in weather that is more agreeable to running. There's always next year.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Foodie Pen Pals...

It has been a while since my last Foodie Pen Pal post, and I'm not sure why I decided to join in again, but I got on the list for August and was looking forward to seeing who I would get paired up with.

Basically I send someone a package and that person sends me a package, you can get more details here. It is fun to see what someone you've never met before picks out to send you.

I got paired up with Melissa over at A Pearl and Her Pilot, and after some missed communication we emailed and found out a little bit about each other and then it was off to shop.

My box came last week, and seriously, who doesn't love to get packages in the mail?

Looks like a box full of yumminess, if you ask me.
The fig bars are fabulous. I have very limited experience with figs, aside from the fig newtons I have eaten during marathon training in the past, and figs on the Skinny pizza at Cool Greens, this would be the first time I have ever had something fig-like in my house. I am having a hard time NOT eating them all at once.

The Sahale granola is pretty tasty too. Although, I must admit the cranberries make me think of raisins, which I kinda hate. Anyone else think raisins are just humiliated grapes? (Name that movie!)

I have not had a chance to crack into the honey, but this was a great pick for me as well.  I love peanut butter and banana sandwiches drizzled with honey. I might have to make that my pre long run breakfast this weekend. It is possible that I am the only person in the world that doesn't know the difference between raw honey and what I buy at the store, but I do love that my pen pal shopped local for me.

I will admit, I was a little skeptical about the green chile and white bean soup by The Spice Hunter. Mostly because I am a soup snob, but I love having soup in my lunch so I gave it a shot, and you know what? It was really good. Makes me want to throw some green chilies in my next pot of soup.

Anyone else loving Kind bars? I stumbled on the dark chocolate with sea salt recently and I have been buying it exclusively. I love the chocolate with the saltiness. This has been my pre long run breakfast as of late. Yum.

Finally, almond butter. It's funny that Josh and I were just having a conversation about almond butter at the grocery store the other day. What better way to try something out, that tens to be a little more pricey than peanut butter, than in individual size packets? (I love individual sized things.) I threw the plain one in my smoothie this morning and it was pretty tasty.

So there you have it, all the goodies that someone I have never met before decided I needed to have in my life. It was a good box, and I can't wait to see what happens next month!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Marathon Training...

It has been a month since my last super whiny marathon training post. So I thought I would check back in and see how it's going.

A few weeks ago, I am not going to lie, I had a "Holy crap, what was I thinking, I never want to run again" run. It was 14 miles, and my fabulous friend Sarah stuck with my slow self the entire time, and by slow I mean, how about we walk about three of these 14 miles? It was awful. It was so freaking hot outside and so humid that I could squeeze the sweat out of my socks and my shoes were soaked. It was not raining, that was a couple of shoes full of my sweaty, not so fabulous, self.

I even considered, and said, more than once, that I was doubting my decision to even be training for this race. Yes, I have said it a few times since then, but less this week than in previous weeks.

The Saturday after that horribleness, I ran 16 miles that turned out to be a tad less horrible. It has been so hot, and humid here. It is crazy. I feel bad when I need to take walk breaks when I am running with others, but I can't run without them. My last seven miles were all on my own, and with my headphones on I managed to have the best five mile run in a while. I ran and walked when I needed to. No pressure to keep up, or to not walk.

Last week was better, although the fact that it didn't feel as humid as it had been probably was a big factor in this. I ran some of it by myself, and then ran some with a friend that is training for a half ironman and said that she would be walking during the half portion of her race so it was okay to have some walk breaks with me.

When we got back I looked like I had jumped into a swimming pool. NO joke.
You should thank me for not including my super sweaty self in this picture, although it's kind of rude of me to block out half of Anne's face with my visor. The second after I snapped the picture Ro stuck her tongue out, so it's a pretty big group selfie fail.

Oh well.

So this run was much better for me mentally. It felt manageable, even if it was painfully slow. This weekend I am planning for 18, although I think we are running on Monday, which sounds awful. We are running the Brookhaven 5k on Saturday, oh if I didn't love our local running store so much I would not do it. I guess we will see if my track workouts are paying off, but I did skip the track party yesterday in order to get an hour more sleep, so that might not have helped much.

Running is an adventure, and it's supposed to be fun. It is getting to be more fun, but I sure can't wait until Fall.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Girls are 14...

I know, everyone says that time flies, right? Well, except if you are a five year old waiting for Christmas, but the older I get the faster time seems to speed up.

My little girls, will always be like this to me.

And yet somehow they have turned into this...

Post hair cut pic, headed down to Dallas. I swear I have a picture of me when I was a kid with the exact expression Carson has on her face in the kitty picture. Those kitties look like they are just loving the photo session.
We headed down to Dallas for a long weekend to celebrate, and we went to Six Flags on Saturday. First up, the carousel.



Camy and a very thrilled Carson

After this picture we melted the whole day.
 While Camy and Josh rode the Batman roller coaster, Carson and I sat in the shade.
We didn't last out in the heat the whole day, and instead of getting ice cream at the park, we opted to find some on the way back to the hotel. Oh boy, did we find some good ice cream. Carson and I used to be avid Cupcake Wars watchers, so we were familiar with Sprinkles Cupcakes, but we had no idea they had ice cream. Best. Ice. Cream. Ever.

Plus, they had a cupcake ATM right outside the store. Of course we had to try it, because it's a cupcake ATM. I went with the vanilla ice cream with the crumbled fudge brownie and I cannot tell you how good this was. As for the cupcake, it was good, but we all agreed that we have had better. I thought it needed a little more frosting, and it just didn't knock my socks off like this cup of ice cream.

We headed back to the Embassy Suites and jumped in the pool for a bit, and then headed down to the Managers Reception. When you travel, you should stay at the Embassy Suites, not only do they offer an amazing free breakfast with made to order omelets but they offer free adult beverages and snacks every night. I had a few too many of these, and we ordered a pizza and relaxed the rest of the evening. 

My wonderful mother-in-law got there Saturday night and we spent Sunday back to school shopping at one of the outlet malls. Outlet Mall + Tax Free Weekend = ALOT OF PEOPLE!
We ended Sunday night with dinner at The Melting Pot. Yum.

Me and my beautiful birthday girls.

A meal that starts with cheese and ends with chocolate is probably the best thing ever.
We headed back to the hotel and Josh decided he couldn't wait to get gas. While we were waiting at the gas station we rolled the back driver's window down, and it did not roll back up. Don't you just miss the old crank windows? Technology is not always good. Josh headed out to find supplies to make the X5 a little more classy and we thought we did a good job, until we got on the road Monday and the tarp just wasn't going to last.

So we made a short pit stop and took the classiness up another notch with our duct tape window. I would recommend that everyone keep a roll or two in your car, because in a pinch it makes a fabulous window. We drove almost 200 miles home at about 75mph and this held up like a champ. The noise was not bad, and Carson even had her new hoodie on the whole way home.

As much as we liked it, our first stop after picking up the pups, and taking everything out of the car was the repair shop. I am hoping to get my car back with a brand new motor in this window this afternoon.

We had a great weekend, lost of great memories, and now it's time to get ready for the girls to head back to school.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Why Am I Doing This...

A few months ago, when I was a few weeks out from the OKC Memorial Marathon, and a friend of mine suggested we all get into the lottery for the Chicago Marathon it sounded like a FABULOUS idea. Now I am just over 78 days away from my next 26.2 and I was wondering why I am doing this.

This will be marathon #4 for me, and I am super excited to go run in one of my favorite cities with some of my favorite people. Plus, it'll be FLAT, FLAT, FLAT! Our hotel is booked, plain reservations are made, and we even have a reservation to carb load on Saturday night.

But holy cow, do I feel like I have a long way to go! After recovering from over training for my last 26.2, I have been working for the last month on building up my miles again. I am back to running 6 miles during the week pretty regular and have been turning my Saturday runs into something that would resemble a long run.

I have 14 miles planned for tomorrow and I am trying to not feel super intimidated by the distance. I have a good plan, which won't involve many solo miles, and I will be running with as many friends as possible. I am hoping the miles will just fly by. What are the chances there is another polar vortex that swoops into Oklahoma in the next 12 hours or so and I wake up to temps in the 40s? Probably not very likely.

I always think, after a marathon, that maybe it's not the race for me. I much prefer a half marathon. I love a race for which it doesn't take much to be trained. Marathons are time consuming! But, I am still chasing that perfect race. The perfect course, the perfect weather, the perfect raining, and I think that is what is keeping me coming back.

Will Chicago be that race? Will I get my 4 hour marathon? Will I at least get a PR? Only time will tell, and I will continue to slog through these summer runs, knowing that cooler weather should be coming at some point, and the heat will make me that much stronger.

78 days to go...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I Feel Like I Am Doing Alot of Catching Up...

So, I originally started the blog as a way to keep a record, so that someday someone could look back on this and maybe think that I did some fun or cool things with my life. I think the only way that is actually going to happen is if I actually write on the blog.

The summer is almost 2/3 over and what have I done? A lot of nothing. Ha! Not really, but some days it feels like it.

I did turn 40. Yikes! Remember when your parents were 40? Well I remember thinking how OLD my parents were, and they were younger than me when I was 13. (In case you don't know, that's how old my girls are, at least for another three weeks or so.)

I am trying to embrace the fact that I have another decade under my belt. How about a look back at some of the highlights of my 30s?

  • I became a vegetarian
  • I participated in 3 3-Day Breast Cancer Walks
  • I ran three marathons
  • I ran ten half marathons
  • I did four sprint triathlons
  • I did one Olympic distance triathlon
  • I had 2 knee surgeries
  • I had Lasik eye surgery
  • I had my appendix removed
  • I fell two times while running
  • I crashed my bike once, and fell over on my bike once
  • I survived elementary and middle school with my girls
  • I survived the loss of Lucy, our first four legged baby
  • We gained two other four legged babies
  • We bought a new house
  • We tossed around the idea of having another baby (What were we thinking?)
  • My girls decided they no longer wanted to share a bedroom
  • We became debt free
  • I discovered that indie rock is my music of choice and saw Wilco four times in concert
  • I learned how to bake really good chocolate chip cookies
  • I learned how to bake and decorate pretty fabulous sugar cookies
  • I took a cake decorating class
  • I discovered that I love Chicago
  • We went on our first cruise
  • I had my first, and only, tequila shot (30th birthday)
  • Celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary
Well that I all I can think of right now. I don't think that is all I did in the last decade, I sure hope not. I do know that I am not the same person I was when I was 30 and I am proud of who I have become in the last ten years.

Here's to the new decade and all the adventures that are in store for it.