Wednesday, December 18, 2013

#Runnerslove Meet-Up

Have you heard the news!?!?

I am currently in the planning stages for a meet-up event during Disney's Princess 1/2 Marathon Weekend with my very favorite RBFF (Running Best Friend Forever) @Warsawmermaid (AKA:!!!

Meg and I met through Twitter and through following each other's blogs. Right away we had so much in common and this girl had so much positive energy it was contagious!! We both are running the Glass Slipper Challenge during PHM weekend in Disney World, and have been so excited about meeting each other in person, that we thought it appropriate to share our love with all of our social media followers, hence #Runnerslove was created!!

#Runnerslove is a casual runners meet-up and everyone is invited to attend our event being held on Friday, February 21st at the Poly Poolside Bar.

By attending #Runnerslove, you will not only meet a whole group of amazing runners, you will also be able to win prizes!! Meg and I have been collecting AMAZING prizes from OUTSTANDING running companies! We already have over 30 companies participating in #runnerlove!! Here are just a few!

Island Boost
BeeCause Charms
Sweaty Bands
A Princess Prerogative Disney Inspired Bows
PRO Compression
Skratch Labs
Nuun Hydration
The Runner's Guide to WDW
Sparkle Athletic
Women's Running Magazine
One More Mile Running Apparel
Bulu Box
Knuckle Lights
Sonic Endurance
Rock City Skirts
PocketFuel Naturals
Mudlove Pottery
Bondi Band
HB Tune
Moving Comfort
Greeper Laces USA

Please RSVP here and look for updates to our meet-up! We are looking forward to meeting you!!

Please look forward to many product reviews coming up!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

November Recap and December Goals

I really cannot believe how fast November went!! It just flew by for me!

I set a "No-Stop-November" goal and I am very proud to say that I reached that goal!! I powered through November and ended the month with a 100.52 miles under my belt and a new level of running confidence!

Ice Crystals Formed on my Ear!!
I started the month, really dreading the winter, and winter running. It takes me quite a bit of time to "warm" up to the cold weather here in Minnesota, so I started the month mainly running on the treadmill, which I hate!! Daylight's savings really put a bind in my outdoor running too. It is WAY too dark to run in the mornings before work (and let's face it, getting up at 4:30am is not my favorite!) and by the time I get home it is dark again!! Grrr.

After a week of 32 miles on the treadmill, I got brave and ventured outside for some cold weather running. I put in 9.25 miles in 10 degree weather with 30mph winds and a windchill of -4!! After that run, I was feeling pretty bad-ass and knew I could handle the cold!

Now it was the dark I had to contend with!!! My favorite running trail, heads through a wooded area, and is pitch black!! I found out the hard way, that running through the woods in the dark is not good for my nerves!!! I just about had a heart attack when a deer jumped out in front of me on the trail!! Yikes!!

Nighttime Running

I bought a headlamp and have enjoyed running through the cold darkness ever since!! It is so peaceful! Last night I put in 3.5 miles of dark running, and wished that I had time for more!!

November was a great month for me and for running! I ran 100 miles in one month for the first time ever!! I cannot even tell you how proud of myself I am!! And how inspired I am by my body and what it can accomplish!

Leaving November behind feel bittersweet, it was really such a great month! But, here comes December and all the holiday fun that comes with it! December can be a stressful month, and it is hard to find the time to train, so I am challenging myself to again run 100 miles in December, AND to complete the Runner's World Holiday Streak! Which means running at least one mile each day between Thanksgiving and New Years's Day!!

Got some miles on a wooded trail!

So far I have been streaking, and really enjoying it! I have racked up a whopping 3.5 miles for December already (oh, wait, it is only December 2nd!!).

I am excited to finish off the year strong!! Hoping to reach 700+ miles run for the year! :) So much better than the 50 I ran last year!! :)

What is December looking like for you?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Training and Working

Since September, I have been trying to balance my training and going back to teaching. This summer it was so easy to get my runs in, to stick to my training plan and to put my training first. I was having a great time and feeling very successful with my weekly training plan. Getting my weekly miles in were easy, I was able to jump out of bed at 4am on the weekend to get my long runs in, I felt like I had a lot of energy!

Then September hit!! It hit hard this year!! For those of you who don't know, I teach German at the high school level. I teach German levels 1-4, travel between 2 schools and teach an extra hour longer each day than most other teachers in my district! On top of that, I run our school's Link Crew program working with 65 junior and senior leaders, and 300 freshmen!! I am a busy girl!!

This year, I also hosted 20 German exchange students and 2 German exchange teachers at our school and in our homes for 3 weeks! Yes, I am that crazy!! :)

So, needless to say, September was a hard month to get my training in. In fact, I only ran 55 miles in the month of September and only 55 in October!! That is half of what I had been running each month all summer.

I felt really defeated. I was depressed about the lack of energy I had, and how easy it was for me to just pass up a training run.

I was still getting my long runs in, I did miss one 13 mile run due to a bad cut on the bottom of my foot/toe. I probably should have gotten stitches, it was that deep, but I didn't and it caused me to give up running for a full week!

Then I got sick, twice!!! Ugh!

It has been a rough couple of months. I ran two really good races in October, which did bring some of my confidence back (even with less training, I felt strong!), but I need to get more consistent with my training, and stick to the plan.

I need to stop making excuses!!


As November started, I decided that while many of the men in my life as participating in No Shave November, I am going to participate in my very own "No stop November". I am going to bump up my training this month and not make any excuses, I am not going to stop training.

My next race isn't until January 1st and I plan to make it a great race!! Then I have the Tinkerbell 10k and 1/2 a couple weeks later and then the Glass Slipper Challenge a few weeks later. Ahhh! Can't wait!

In true spirit of "No Stop November" I run 33 miles last week, including a very cold and windy 9 miler on Saturday!

I feel like that is a great start to this month's challenge!! :)

How do you balance your work and training?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Race Recap: Team Ortho Monster Dash 10 Miler

When I signed up to be part of the Team Ortho Race Series last December, I already knew that I would be running a 1/2 marathon just 6 days before the last race of the series: The Monster Dash. Because of this, I signed up for the 10 miler instead of the 1/2 marathon, thinking that I probably couldn't handle two 1/2's in less than a week!

I was surprisingly wrong!! I felt great after the Mankato 1/2 marathon, and was pumped to switch my bib from the 10 mile to the 1/2.

Then I got sick. Boo!

So, I decided to just stick with the 10 miler (which I later regretted for many reasons!).

Due to not feeling well, I decided against a costume, even though about 90% of all of the runners were going to be dressed up, I just wasn't feeling it. I think I was pretty much in denial that I was even running this race!

I stayed at my sister's house on Friday night, and we got up SUPER early to make it to the start of the race. At the time, I was pretty ticked off that Anne thought we needed to leave over 2 hours early, but after hearing about the traffic jams, lines for parking and the amount of people who missed the race, I was happy that Anne planned ahead and the extra hour and a half spent rocking out in the parking ramp wasn't bad!! lol!

The race started by the Minnesota State Capital building in St. Paul, more precisely put, it started about a 1/2 a mile away at the St. Paul Cathedral. We had about a 1/2 a mile walk from the parking ramp to the starting line. It was all up hill and my calfs were killing me just walking!! Grrrr!

We passed through the racer's "village" and admired all of the cleaver costume ideas! It was so much fun seeing all of the runners dressed up, it made me feel bad that I hadn't put more effort into a costume. :(

It was FREEZING!!!! There was a strong wind blowing and I was pretty uncomfortable waiting for the starting gun. Anne and I huddled together, to try and stay warm, and we waited, and waited and waited!!!!

An announcement was made stating that the race would start in 7 to 8 minutes, looking at my Garmin, I noticed that the race was supposed to have started 5 minutes ago!!! I was getting angry. And Anne was getting really nervous! -- It was her very first 1/2!!

One more race delay announcement, and we FINALLY started the race!! I think we started about 20 minutes late, but I didn't bother looking, I was just happy to finally get moving!

Anne, of course took off at her speedy pace, and I settled into a 10min/mile pace. The first 3 miles were rolling hills, heading down the beautiful Summit Ave. in St. Paul. I love driving down this street, the homes are HUGE and all from the 1920's. It is so beautiful. It was a real treat running, because the trees were at peak color!!

While the sights were great, my legs were acting up, cramping calves had me stop and stretch multiple times. I was actually pretty miserable, and if it had been a training run, I probably would have just walked home. But I pushed through. One bathroom stop (which is becoming a norm that I am NOT happy about!) made me loose about 10 minutes (the line was HUGE!!)

I got frustrated multiple times during this run, mainly because the water stops were poorly manned, and at one point I had to even wait in line for someone to pour water into my cup!! But overall the race went well, especially with 17, 000 runners!! The course was crowded the entire way, but that added to the fun of the race, and most runners were great about race etiquette, which isn't always the case with Team Ortho races!

Around mile 4 I started feeling stretched out and happy again, the sun was out and even though it was still chilly, I was having a good time! The course of this run was just gorgeous, as it turned to follow the Mississippi river valley. My nose was running like crazy, and my throat was burning, but I was still having fun!

By mile 7, I was wishing that I would have just sucked it up and switched to the 1/2. I was feeling great, and having a blast!

I finished the 10 miler in just under 2 hours. I felt pretty good about that, but was really upset with myself that I had not pushed to do the 1/2!

At the 10 mile point, the 1/2 marathoners break off and head towards the race finish line. The 10 milers then get on a bus and are shuttled to the end. This was awful for a few reasons:

1. I had to wait over 40 minutes to get on a bus (I could have finished the last 3 miles in that time!!!) Plus, who likes to stand in line after running? And it was FREEZING!!

2. The bus followed the 1/2 course, and I was kicking myself the entire time thinking I should just be running!

3. My sister finished her 1/2 in 2:16 and had to wait for me to arrive, she was not a happy camper! Cold and tired!

Series completed!! All 5 races!! :)
But I didn't have it as bad as the 1/2 marathoners, they ran out of food and were not given more than cups of water at the finish. Boo! There wasn't even a banana in sight, my sister says. And she finished before a great majority of the runners!! It was freezing and windy and there were no space blankets. It was kind of a mess!

When I finally reached my sister, we promptly headed to the warmth of the car, and headed home. There is an After Party, but we were both just too cold to even think about it.

Over all I give this race a B-. Would I run it again? Yes, I would! But I will be running the 1/2 next year!!!!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

FlipBelt Review and Giveaway!

I have an awesome product to share with you all today!! I know you are all going to love it just as much as I do!!

It is the FlipBelt! Have you heard of it?

I had not heard of this product before seeing it at the TC Marathon Expo. At the expo I got very excited about the possibilities of this product, and FlipBelt was nice enough to send me a belt to review for you all, as well as one to give away, AND a code for 10% off your FlipBelt order (use the code krstyruns)

I was so excited to receive this product! I have a need to carry stuff with me when I run, but I hate feeling like I am carrying stuff with me. Do you know the feeling?

I have tried many different types of packs, and have not found one that I like. They bounce, they chafe, they just don't fit what I want to carry!! Grrrrr! I just haven't had much luck carrying my "stuff"!

On a long run, I like to carry my iPhone (which I use for music), some fuel, my keys, and chapstick. That is a lot, as far as I am concerned. Because I hate the feeling of most fanny pack type gear (not to mention the look!!) I have been buying the new Lululemon running tights with the side-leg pockets. I have been stuffing my fuel, and chapstick in the side pockets, and then my phone in the back pocket, and I have been leaving my key on the wheel of my car (real safe, I know!!). This works, but is not ideal, as the back pocket for my phone is a very tight fit, and can get uncomfortable!

Enter the FlipBelt!!! This thing has made me a much happier runner!!

The FlipBelt is a tube of fabric that fits right over the waistband of any shorts or tights you may wear. It has 4 openings (two in the front and two in the back) in which you can stow your stuff. The FlipBelt is super stretchy and everything I wanted to bring with me fit perfectly in the belt! I even had extra room! They FlipBelt allows you to "flip" the belt inside out to secure your items against your body.

My main issue with most of the belts that I have tried, is that they move, they bounce and they feel bulky during the entire run! Not the case with the FlipBelt! It didn't move!!! It didn't bounce!!! I forgot I had it on and I did not have to adjust it even once!!

This, my friends, is heaven!!!

The belt did not feel like it was weighing me down, and it did not have that fanny pack look that I cannot stand!! It just looks like the waistband of your pants/shorts.

The FlipBelt is super comfy! It is made out of super soft material that does not have anything that could chafe or cause irritation. The material is washable, which is great for salty-sweaters like me!! I love that I can wash the belt after a really sweaty run!

The FlipBelt comes in lots of fun colors -- both neutral and bold to fit anyone's style! I chose the bright "Neon Punch" color, which as most of you know, goes against my normal purple color choice! I just wanted something different, but I am so happy with the product that I am going to buy a purple one too!!!

Don't forget to use the coupon code "krstyruns" for 10% your Flipbelt purchase! You can purchase your very own Flipbelt here!

Or you can enter my giveaway to win one!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mankato 1/2 Marathon Race Re-Cap

 It has been a week since I ran my "come-back" 1/2 marathon. The Mankato 1/2 marathon was not only the first 1/2 marathon I had ever run, but it was also that marathon that inspired me to start running again! 

I ran the Mankato 1/2 for the first time in 2011. This was only my 3rd race ever, and my very first 1/2. I was training for the Disney Princess 1/2 marathon, and figured that I better have a 1/2 under my belt before heading to Florida.

My first time running this race was very emotional, and I made a lot of beginner mistakes. By mile 6 I was wishing the race was over and by mile 9 I was hating everything about my life and running! I lost 3 toenails during this race, and while I was very excited to finish, I was also defeated, as I knew I needed to put more into training!

Just 3 months later I was suffering from a hip injury that caused me to stop running all together. I really never thought I would run again, the pain was so intense and affected every aspect of my daily life.

I watched the 2012 race, feeling sad that I wasn't able to run it. Watching the race was a life-changer for me. I wanted to be out there, I wanted to be training again, I wanted to run. That very day, I drove to Minneapolis to buy a new pair of running shoes, and that afternoon, I ran my first mile. I was bound and determined to run the 1/2 in 2013!!

Fast forward to October 19th, 2013 --

Marathon weekend was upon us!! I was overly excited! Training had been going great and I had trained harder and longer than I ever had before. I had run many races in the past year, and I was feeling confident!!

Heading to packet pick-up and the expo was so exciting! My sister came down from Minneapolis to run the 10k, so we went to the expo together. while the expo itself was a major let down (no real vendors, very sparse!), we were both just so happy to be running, and the excitement was thick in the air!

After picking up our packets, we decided to drive the 10k course, so my sister could visualize it. It is a FAST course!! Mostly downhill!!

The course brought us right into the heart of downtown Mankato, where the finish line was being set up. I got chills, and goosebumps and my eyes got teary. I was accomplishing a goal that I never thought would be!!

We both laid low the rest of the day. In the evening, I got the opportunity to meet up with a couple of my Twitter Followers and #RunChat friends! It was so cool to meet these people, and talk racing! Such a fun evening.

Race morning came quickly and my sister and I had a lot to do. We first dropped a car off at the finish line, since Anne would be finishing much before I would, she would need a way to find me on the course.

After getting our pre-race prep done, we headed to the starting line. What I LOVE about this race is that you can park right at the starting line.... FOR FREE!!!

It was very cold out (38 degrees?) and rainy. Not fun weather for running long distances. We waited in the car until about 10 minutes before the start of the 10k and then I walked Anne over to her starting corral. This would be Anne's 3rd race ever, and she was bursting with excitement, as she wanted to run her 10k in under an hour. Katherine Switzer welcomed the runners, and talked about her experience as the 1st woman to run the Boston Marathon. A local girl sang the National Anthem and the runners were off (on time!!). I took a few starting line pics of Anne and headed back to my car to wait. The 1/2 marathon and marathon runners did not start for another half an hour.

About 5 minutes before gun time, I walked the 20 feet to the starting line up and got into the 10 minute per mile corral. Everyone was huddling together against the wind, which had picked up since the start of the 10k and the rain, which was falling a bit harder.

I tried not to think about the weather. It was getting me down.

It wasn't a long wait until the gun went off and as I passed over the starting mat, I got teary eyed again. This was really happening!!

The first 3 miles, run on a rolling- hill highway flew by! I was really in the "zone" feeling great and running with a big smile on my face!!

Around mile 5, I stopped to use the bathroom, which took about 10 minutes due to the long lines!!!! It was probably stupid to stop, but....

Right at mile 5, the course heads downhill and becomes my normal daily training course! It is so much fun to race where I usually train. I felt so happy and so strong!

From mile 6 to mile 7.5 runners encounter lots of rolling hills and great valley views! It was still rainy and cold, but my heart was so warm from the excitement of knowing the course, and knowing where to push it and where to back off.

My sister caught up with my at around mile 7.5. She had a bottle of water for me, which was lucky because I accidentally grabbed a cup of Gatorade at the last water stop instead of water (and I DO NOT drink Gatorade, as it causes major stomach issues!)

Anne had PRed!! She was glowing!! 56 minutes!!! I was so excited for her!!

She was also very happy for me! She told me I was looking strong, and reminded me of how much I was hating life at this very point in the race in 2011!!

From that point up to mile 9 is all run on my daily training course. I cannot tell you how confident that made me feel. I have run those miles so many times. The course takes runners on a paved trail through the woods for about 1.75 miles and then into a residential area.

The on-course support was awesome! So many spectators came out to cheer on the runners. Mankato also uses various groups to act as cheer squads, and they all have different themes and cheer very loudly! At one point the entire woods surrounding the trail was decorated with halloween stuff. It was very fun!!

At around mile 9.5 runners head into a city park. This is pretty much the dreaded area for most runners who have run this course before. I completely fell apart during this part of the course in 2011, and was dreading it this year as well.

Runners dread it because it is pretty remote, there is not much support in this area. Also, there are 3 hills in the course of 2.5 miles. Then there is the smell!!! Runners run through the petting zoo, and past a nursing home kitchen, there is also a soybean manufacturing plant in this area that stinks!!Ugh!!

I told myself to keep it together, I reminded myself that I was so close to the end, not to give up. But my hip started to get the better of me. It was KILLING me, and I was trying to ignore it. I stopped a few times to stretch. The smells of this area were getting to me, and I was freezing cold. I walked a lot. More than I wanted to.

Rounding the last corner, I turned onto Mankato's main street which would be the final mile of the race. As much as I wanted to run, my hip just wasn't letting me, and I continued to walk. I ran the last 3/4 of the mile and finished the race smiling!

It was a great race, I was very proud of myself and how I ran the race. I did not finish in the time I would have liked, but without the 10 minute bathroom break, I would have finished with a PR. Oh, well! I did what I came to do. I finished!!!

After the race, I was able to stretch my hip out, and it wasn't a problem. THANK GOODNESS!!!

I will definitely run this race again in the future. It is so well supported and it is such a fantastic course!!! I am so proud of my comeback to 1/2 marathons!!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Race that Never Happened

Have you ever run a free race?

Well, I haven't either! But let me tell about the one I signed up for...

The Twin Cities area Lululemons posted a link on their Facebook, and handed information out in their stores about a a race they were going to host, and it was going to be FREE!! Now, we all know that Lululemon never gives anything away for free, so my sister and I were pretty excited about the idea!

Right away the only info that was given, was a link to register, that the race was 13k and it would be in St. Paul. They only had 1000 spots for runners so my sister and I signed up as soon as we heard about it! It fit perfectly into our training plans, and it was FREE! So, why not, right?

Let me tell you WHY NOT!!

First, when scouting races to run, make sure that the company hosting the race has a clear idea of what the race is going to look like. My sister attended a special "informational" event hosted at the Lululemon store. She had many questions about the race itself, such as: what is the course, would there be water stops, and/or porta-potties along the course, would the race be timed? None of her questions could be answered by the Lululemon staff. They were however, very helpful in helping her pick out the perfect outfit for the occasion!!

Second, when registering for a race, make sure that that the critical information is given to you! Packet pick-up is a great time for race directors to hand out maps, and give information to the racers. The Lululemon packet pick-up was simply ridiculous! My sister just walked in the store, got her bib (and mine!) without being asked for an ID, asked a few questions (that again, no one could answer) and was pointed in the direction of the clothing!!

The main question you need to have answered when running a race is: where is the starting line!

No address was ever given, and this was probably the most frustrating part of this "race that never happened"! We seriously drove around St. Paul for an hour and a half looking for the starting line!! It was a beautiful fall morning, and we did get a nice tour of our state capitol, including the Capitol Building, the St. Paul Cathedral, the beautiful homes on Summit Ave, and just about ever college campus in the St. Paul area! I also was subjected to my sister's road rage, as she became frustrated with my map reading skills and tried to give me whiplash!!! I can tell you that it was an really "fun" time!!

About 30 minutes before the start of the "race", we finally found the starting line, only to be further discouraged by the fact that the only parking available in a 3-mile radius was "permit parking only"!

Translation: BIG FINES!!

There was simply no where to park! And we did not think that paying a fine, or having the car towed would be a great way to end this race!! Let alone, having to walk "X" amount of extra miles to the actual starting line!

We drove around the neighborhood for about 10 more minutes, trying to find a parking spot, and watching the all the Lululemon clade ladies (in full make-up!!) head to the starting line!

Not once did we see a porta-potty or a water stop! We were beyond frustrated, and didn't have a great feel for this "race" as we made one more loop to find a parking spot!

Coming up empty-handed, we decided to just give up and head home! Race Fail!

Our blood pressure was the only thing that got a workout today!

I guess you get what you pay for!! From here on out, I'm never going to complain about race fees!! :)

Have you ever had a RACE FAIL??

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Women Rock 10k Race Recap

The past couple of weeks have gotten away from me! With school starting this week, and teacher workshop last week, I have felt very out of touch with my social media friends, and with my training!!

Summer came to Minnesota a little late! Last week we suffered with temps in the upper 90's and humidity levels in the upper 70's! It was brutal, and what made it even harder to bear, was the start of teacher workshop week, which meant I would be working at a school building that had no air conditioning! It was my own personal hell!! I was so exhausted from fighting the heat, that I did not run even once!!

Not running was really strange, after coming off of a 30 mile week, just the week before! As much as I wanted to get out there and actually run, the heat and the humidity was just too much for me! I wasn't worried too much because on Saturday I ran the Team Ortho Women Rock 10k, and I was okay with doing some tapering, but the heat scared me, and I could not drink enough water to keep hydrated!

I ended the week feeling really nervous about the race, it was going to be hot and humid, and I was beyond sick of the heat!!

I didn't have to work on Friday, and so Ryan and I took the day to head up to Minneapolis to do some shopping, and go to packet pick up!

The venue where packet pick up was held, was not air conditioned and it was terrible!! I was dripping with sweat from the minute I stepped inside the expo! Yuck!

We quickly picked up my packet, and took a spin around the expo. I probably would have stayed longer, had it not been so hot, but I just couldn't take it, and we left after picking up my bib, timing chip and post-party wristband, without buying anything. :(

We spent the rest of the afternoon just cruising around MSP, and ended with a simple dinner at Outback Steakhouse (not my choice).

It was an early morning wake-up call that had us spend the night at our favorite MSP hotel: the Westin. My sister, who was running her very first race, picked us up before 6am, and we were off to St. Paul for the race!

Parking was a breeze, thanks to our early departure, and we arrived at the racer's village about an hour before gun time.

That was good, because it was CROWDED!!! And we had to figure out how to get Ryan his spectator pass for the post-race party. My sister had purchased it online, with her registration, and had not received the pass when she picked up her packet. We talked to about 5 volunteers, and walked back and forth between different areas of the racer's village before getting a 1/2 assed answer: Pick it up when you enter the party.

I have run a lot of Team Ortho Races, and this was by far the least organized race! It felt to me, like they needed a couple of more hours to get things set up before the runners arrived. Nothing seemed to be ready! When we got to the start line, they were still building the finish line, there was no music or announcer (which they usually have at Team Ortho Races!). It was really weird.

My sister and I jumped into the 9 minute/mile corral and waited for the start. It was a sea of pinks and purples! Women of all shapes and sizes were getting ready to run, what was going to be a very sweaty race! The humidity was already in the 70's and the temp was climbing ... it was only 7am!!

About 3 minutes before the start of the race, the announcer arrived (he was sick?!), and we were all told to move toward the starting line. Anne and I ended up about 10 people from the actual starting line! Closest to the front I have ever been! Most of the women had lined up in the 12-15 minute mile pacing areas, so we were out front!

The gun went off and so did my sister!! She looked back at me and yelled, "Have a great race!!" and she was off!! Um.....?!?!

The first mile proved that this was going to be a hilly race!! We headed uphill pretty much for the entire first mile!! At about .75 miles, my stomach acted up!! Grrr! Luckily there were some potties at mile 1 and I made a pitstop (10 minutes!?!?!). I had been suffering from stomach issues all week, all of those terrible stomach problems that I suffered from two years ago had come back, full force!! Still this week, I am suffering, and barely eating, because I cant keep anything down. So, I knew it may happen during the race, I was just really hoping it wouldn't!! At very least, it was a fresh potty and I was the first person to use it!!

So, there went 10 minutes of my race --- no PR for me!!

Mile 2 was again hills, up and down and up again!! I was getting frustrated, because, I knew I would have to see these hills again after the turn around!!

Close to mile 3, I saw Anne on the other side of the road, she had made it to the turn around and was headed back! My side of the road was climbing another grueling hill (seriously!!! It was a long one!!), and my sister went CRAZY!!!! She started shouting at me, "Make that hill your bitch!! You got this!! Kill that hill!!" People around me were laughing, and looking around at who she was shouting at..... I just put my head down and kept going!!

The heat was really getting to me, I was upset about my stomach and the loss of 10 minutes, I needed water, and was hoping that at the turn around there would be a water stop. No luck!! (I need to think about carrying my own water!).

It wasn't until mile 4 that I got some water, and some power-ade (something I NEVER drink because it makes my stomach crawl!!), and finally felt like I could finish the race.

The hills hit again, and mile 5 was a crazy uphill climb!! I was fading fast! It was so freaking hot and humid!!

I took a few walk breaks, calmed myself down, and reminded myself that I had run way further than this just a week before and it was great! At this point the 5k course joined the 10k course and it got crowded! Something that it really had not been since the start of the race! This was actually the first (BIG) race that everyone was very considerate on the course and walkers actually stayed to the right!! It was very pleasant!!

I powered to the end, where Ryan and my sister were waiting for me. My sister thought I was injured, because of the pained look on my face! Luckily for me she did not take a picture!! They both were covered in sweat and ready to move from the finish line!

I was so happy to be done! I wasn't however happy with my time : 1 hour 19 minutes!!! Not terrible considering how hot it was, how many hills there were and how sick I felt, but I would have been much happier with 1 hour 9 minutes.....or less?!?

My sister actually finished in 1 hour 6 minutes. So, had it not been for the potty stop, I could have been close to her!!

The finish line was a complete mess!! It was over crowded! First they had runners pick up their necklaces from the shirtless firemen, then get some water. It took me about 8 minutes to get to the water! I thought I was going to die!! Then they had food bags, and Kind Bars, and the lines were awful!!

I finally made it to a clearing and got out of the finish corral, I was dripping wet, and overheated!

We made our way to the after party, to drink some bubbly, and pick up my series medal. It was total madness!! No one had any idea what was going on, where we were supposed to enter, or where to pick up Ryan's spectator pass. After standing in a couple more lines (which are not fun after a run!!), we got in, picked up my medal, got our champagne flutes of ginger ale (the line for champagne was too long!!) we turned around and left!!

On our way out, we noticed that they were selling medals to the non-series finishers, and my sister, who is anti-medal ("I don't need a medal to know I finished!!") went crazy!! She needed a medal!!!! I just laughed and we stood in yet another line to get her medal!

She was so proud!! :)

I think I have created a monster!! -- she wants to run ALL the races now!!!

Overall this was my least favorite Team Ortho Race, as it just seemed unorganized from beginning to start. The heat, humidity and hills did not help me to enjoy this race.

Team Ortho said this race would have cheer squads, fun signage, and music on the course, none of this did I see. It was a disappointment. Not that I need these things for a race, but when promised, why not deliver?!?

I did, as always, love the women only race format, I think it is so great to have a course w/o men, it completely changes the feel of the race!

Next up for me, the Twin K 13k sponsored by Lululemon!!

What is your next race??

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon Race Recap Blog Hop

Welcome to the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon Race Recap Blog Hop, where we have the grand opportunity to meet and connect with new bloggers and read all about their experience with the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon! 

This is a great opportunity to meet some new friends, exchange Princess 1/2 experiences and share our knowledge with 1st time princesses! I know before running my first PHM, I was looking all over for race recaps, and information from experienced runners! Let's put it all in one place and share the fun! Enjoy!

Here's what you need to do:

1. Please Follow your host's blog 
I am your host,  Kristy @ KristyRunsKato and I am the first linky. 
I would LOVE for you to follow my blog, I will follow you back!

Please leave a comment and introduce yourself!

2. Link it!
Link up your blog . Share your race recap! 
(Please remember to add the link to your recap post and NOT just your blog address!)
 Please, please, please, share the love and include a link back to this blog hop.

3. Spread it!
This is a blog hop after all, so hop around! Visit other blogs and say Hi!
I promise to get to all of your blogs, and comment! I would love to see you do the same!

4. Tweet it!

Please help me to promote this blog hop by sharing it to others. 
So tweet it to show everyone where they can learn about PHM Weekend!

6. The most important rule of them all, HAVE FUN BLOG HOPPING!
Our last blog hop was such a success and so much fun! Hop around and post on each other's blogs!

Feel free to use this button on your blog to direct people here!!



Sunday, August 4, 2013

Energy Bits Review and Giveaway!

Early this summer, I first heard about Energy Bits from many other bloggers and Energy Bits' amazing social media presence. They do a great job of participating with all kinds of athletes on Twitter, and as the word spread, I was intrigued, and a little anxious. As many of you know, I suffer from some extreme stomach issues. They have been getting better, but still flare up when I eat the wrong things! (If you don't know what I am talking about, I was on a white diet for over 10 months!!) I did not really want to shell out the money for something that could cause me lots of distress! Lucky for me, one of their reps, Jonathan, agreed to send me a sample to try!
I tried the bits for the first time during a short training run. I didn't want to get to far away from home and have issues!! 
Well, not only did I not experience any of the issues common with gels,  I felt amazing the entire time! I had a really great run! 3.5 miles went by like nothing! I even felt great the rest of the day!

Yesterday, was my long run day and I decided to take Energy Bits out on another test run! I had 8 miles scheduled, the longest I have run in quite a long time, and I was NERVOUS about it! Even with all my evening-before-the-run preparations, I did not sleep well, only getting about 3 1/2 hours of sleep (due to many different issues!). I woke up very cranky and wondering if I should postpone my run. I'd had planned on heading out of the door at 6am, so I was up at 5am to fuel and get ready. I was so tired that I decided to just eat a bowl of cereal and go back to bed for an hour. I woke up at 6:30am and took my Energy Bits (30 bits) and water, and headed out the door. 

I was pretty sluggish my first mile, which is pretty normal for me, but this was really bad, I thought about turning around and just going back to bed. I kept running and in about 20 minutes I had quite of boost of energy. My body was feeling great and the miles, while not fast, were flying by. 

Mentally I was beating myself up for not running faster, for not getting enough sleep, for choosing such a hilly route, for not getting an earlier start, for the weather, for everything, but physically I was feeling AMAZING!! My physical energy was through the roof! Even though my mind never caught up, my body felt so energized and I ended up running 8.41 miles! It was great!

But what was even better, was the way I felt after my run! I wasn't dead-tired, I had more energy!! I felt awesome, and I can only equate it to the Energy Bits! Everything else was going wrong, and with the supreme lack of sleep, I am amazed at how I felt both during and after my run!! These little bits are truly one of a kind!
I’ve tried other energy supplements before, with mixed results! I have of course had many stomach issues but I’ve also never felt like I had a boost in my energy levels. Others who have reviewed Energy Bits have talked about the sustained energy they feel, opposed to just a short energy boost that many other products give.  This is due to the make up of the Energy Bit, they are 100% organicallly grown spirulina algae and loaded with 40 nutrients, Energy Bits algae tabs have the highest concentration of protein in the world (64%) and just one calorie per tab.  Worth a try, right?!

OMG! They are GREEN!
30 Energy Bits = 1 serving
YES! They are green!! and they taste like it!  The recommended "dose" of bits is 30-50, which seems crazy but they are only about the size of a small aspirin.  Energy Bits says you can chew, or swallow the bits.  Just by smelling the container, I knew I would want to swallow them, they are very strong. Much stronger than a green monster, or other green smoothie, but along the same lines. Others, who are brave enough to chew them, have claimed they get green teeth from chewing! I decided to swallow my bits, and it did not take very long, I was able to swallow them about 5 at a time.  
With my first use of Energy Bits, I was unsure if I should eat food with the bit or if I should just be powered-by-bits. I went with just the bits in my stomach, as it was going to be a short run, and I really wanted to test if my stomach will handle the little bits! 
After emailing Jonathan, I discovered that just eating the bits is perfect, and that is exactly what he does, and he is good for 6-7 miles! He suggested eating something with the bits, if you need more calories, for a longer run. Since the bits only have 1 calorie a piece, 30 bits are only providing 30 calories for your run! This seems crazy to me, but those 30 calories really do their job!! 

How do they Work?

Energy Bits are made from 100% spirulina algae.  Haven't heard of this superfood yet? I took this from Energy Bit's website, as I think they do a better job explaining their product than I could!!
     ENERGYbits® algae tabs are your answer for raw energy and health. All naturally too. With just one calorie     per tab, ENERGYbits® will stop your cravings, slay your hunger and give you a steady stream of energy all day or night. They may even make you want to leap over tall buildings in a single bound, but we think that’s best left to the guys in the red capes and blue tights.  Remarkably, our ENERGYbits® have just one ingredient, spirulina algae which is a super hero in the world of super foods. Spirulina’s nutritional pedigree is so impressive that The World Bank, NASA and Olympic athletes have all declared spirulina to be the most nutritious food in the entire world. Why? Well for starters, it effortlessly and naturally boosts your energy like an energy drink, energy bar or coffee  but without the downside of chemicals, caffeine, calories or sugar and gram per gram, there is no denser source of nutrition than spirulina algae. Research done by NASA showed that that 1 kg of spirulina had the nutritional  equivalent of 1000 kg of fruits and vegetables.  That's a  lot of groceries! But if an endorsement by NASA isn’t enough to convince you of the health benefits you’ll get from our ENERGYbits® and spirulina, consider that many International Health Organizations including the United Nations have hailed spirulina as one of the “Greatest Superfoods on Earth.” Don’t worry if you haven’t heard about this super food yet. You will. It may be virtually unknown in America but for the last 50 years, millions worldwide have taken it to improve their energy. Now it’s your turn. 

Disclosure & Giveaway

I don’t work for Energy Bits, but I was provided with a free sample. The opinions I have written are my own and I do not benefit from giving Energy Bits a positive review. I just wanted to share my experience with these, I was curious about them and I know you were probably too!  
I completely encourage you to try Energy Bits out!  And to do so, Energy Bits is giving me a sample to give to you! So, go ahead and sign up to win some Energy Bits!