A NUUN GIVEAWAY!!!

Can I get a “HECK YA!” ?? I mean seriously. Nuun is to your workout, like peanut butter is to chocolate. Like, cheese is to pizza. Like, wine is to a Monday Tuesday Friday night. Like, yoga pants are to life. Like, candy corn is to Halloween. Like, crunchy leaves are to fall. Do I need to keep going? Cuz I totally could. ;)

I’m not a fan of Gatorade – too many junk ingredients in it – so when I found Nuun, my workouts and runs were saved. :) They have a ton of different flavors, they are reasonably priced, and well, they just taste good. :) I can put a Nuun tab in a little ziploc bag and take it with me on a run so that if the water isn’t cutting it, I can throw a tab in my water and get a boost. I love them for a spinning class too because you KNOW you are doing super high cardio in those classes and can always use a boost!

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Also, they not only have the electrolyte tabs for workouts, but they have an “All Day” tab that just adds flavor to your water. My Hus LOVES those ones. He adds them to plain soda water too. My mom uses the caffeinated tabs because she isn’t a coffee drinker, and she LOVES them for an energy boost in the morning or afternoon. So ya, there are options. :)

Anyhow, I have been the lucky recipient of many a tube of Nuun – thankyouverymuch – and now the gift is about to keep on giving, because they are generously sending a lucky winner a couple tubes to try! Holla!

So head over to the link to get all your entries in, because I know your dying to try it! And I’m pretty sure you will be hooked when it saves your life. :) And if it doesn’t save your life, well, it would make a GREAT stocking stuffer! ;) Yup, I totally just went there. Never hurts to think ahead!

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Go here to enter:  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pizza review, and some other things that aren’t as important as pizza.

Sunday. After church, we made our way to Carsonie’s for lunch. It’s a family owned Italian restaurant in Westerville. We had heard they had really good stromboli’s, and since well, I kinda sorta love all things related to pizza, Sunday was the day to finally try it.  We didn’t end up getting a stromboli because The Hus didn’t feel like pizza…what?!?! So I just got my little own pizza. It was called “Frank’s Favorite Pizza” and it was thin crust, brushed with olive oil and garlic, and topped with tomato, spinach, feta, mozzarella, and provolone. 

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You guys. This pizza. I would run another marathon THIS WEEKEND for more of this pizza. For realz. I give it:

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Moving on the food list. Butternut squash. Can you believe that butternut squash is another squash that I have NEVER tried? But since one was given to us, I just had to try it…know what I’m sayin’?!

 

You guys. Butternut squash. Is my new fave squash this week. Wow. I might have eaten the whole thing by myself. All I did was chop it up, put it in a bowl and shake it up with olive oil, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese, lay on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake. I baked it at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, flipped them over and baked for another 15 minutes. Quick, easy, and oh so yum.

Since I prepped our salads for the week on Sunday, the last 2 nights have been bliss. Each time I think about having to go to the kitchen to chop up veggies for an hour, I get a little giddy inside when I remember the fridge is FILLED with our weekly salads already. :) I need to continue this trend because I think it’s changed my life this week. No lie.

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These are my salads…I use the 7 cup Pyrex bowls for mine, and the 4 cup bowls for The Hus. #foodisyourmedicine

Flat irons. I hadn’t spent time with my flat iron for a LONG time. Until Sunday. Ya know, when I HAD to get out of workout clothes…

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This look just proved to me that my hair IS in fact growing.

Monday’s strength class. Yesterday. Granted, my purse is heavy to begin with because I need to have everything with me in case I need…ya know…a screwdriver or something…OR…in case someone ELSE needs….a pen – no, nevermind because I don’t share my pens – in case someone else needs…a piece of candy, or 500…or a bobbi pin (even though I don’t even USE bobbi pins…)…but carrying that piece of luggage today, HURT. Like, when I heaved it over my shoulder, I think I might have grunted because of the pain it caused. I think he might have forgotten that we had a lower body because it was so much upper body that I was pretty much a bowl of jello right after the warm up. Why couldn’t he have done that workout the Thursday before my marathon?!?!? Ya know, when I BRIBED HIM WITH CANDY FOR A MARATHON FRIENDLY WORKOUT!!!!

Anyhow, you can just imagine the great exercises that came from that workout. But you don’t have to imagine it because I’m here to share a couple with you. And I’m pretty sure these are the 2 single moves that left my abs so sore that it hurts to breath. But thank God I have enough willpower to breath through the pain…I guess you just get used to breathing through the pain in an “Alexander class“. I must be a pro by now.

So. Here they are. Hopefully I didn’t scare you too bad to never try them, because they really ARE good moves. You just have to love pain too. :)

So in the first one, you don’t have to lift the top hand off the ball, but lifting the top hand off the ball would be the next level to add a little something something to the move. Don’t even tell me you don’t feel this in your abs!

In the second video, you want to make sure you are lifting your knee straight up past your hips, and turn your waist so that the ball is hitting your opposite side and your opposite elbow is hitting the opposite knee. Again, don’t even tell me you don’t feel it in your abs!

So that’s that. Hopefully the first paragraph about pizza didn’t distract you from getting you to the moves that you will have to do in order to actually eat the said pizza. :)

Peace out all you health and fitness friends!

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Is your hair curly or straight? And do you fix it the opposite way?? mine is naturally curly, and I typically curl it with a big curling iron, but sometimes it’s nice to mix it up with straight ;)

Random confessions.

~ Thursday night. I ate a doughnut for dinner. Seriously. And it was so good and I felt NO guilt.

~ I didn’t workout all week. The only “activity” I did between Monday and Thursday, was about 30 minutes of yoga on Tuesday, and a 2 mile walk with The Hus on Thursday. But I don’t even count those as a workout. I ended up running 6 miles on Friday and it was glorious. I was gonna take the entire week completely off, but it was just too dang nice out to NOT enjoy it by running. :)

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~The Hus sent me this picture on Friday.

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Said they had a bake sale at his work and he bought them because “it was going to a good cause”.  And he saved me half. Aww. Trophy Hus right there! I wouldn’t have saved him any. BUT! I would have only bought 1 thing and then ate it all. That’s the difference between him and  I – he thinks about his spouse when it comes to food. ;) However! I used self-control and ate NONE of them! :)

~ The Nike Skylon Ace sunglasses I bought last weekend before my marathon? They are fabulous. They. Don’t. Move. They seriously stay put. I grew up on Oakley’s, so I really wanted another pair of Oakley’s because I knew they were good and they stay put, but the only ones Dick’s had, just didn’t fit right. The arms on them were so thick that they made me ears fold over?! What the…?! The Nike’s fit perfect! I highly recommend them if you are looking for some good running sunglasses! AND! You can get other lens colors to change them out.

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~ Went to Strike class this morning! I’ve missed Strike class. My upper body was tired though after about 20 minutes. The best part? As we were doing burpees at the end of class, he yelled out different candies as motivation to keep going. He knows how to motivate. He knows. ;)

~ I’m ready for another marathon. I’m not kidding. What is wrong with me?! I’m trying to find one that is in the early part of 2015, that is somewhat close to us for a long, “vacation-race weekend”. ;) Myrtle Beach has one in February I see…!

Tell me something random about your week!

What’s your favorite Halloween candy?

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Post-marathon emotions.

Ohmygosh. I’m SO glad I took yesterday and today off of work. Not that I couldn’t have gone to work, but it was just so nice to finally! be able to fully relax. Although, I almost feel like I’m not really relaxing…My mind is still going a mile a minute, and I’m already thinking about the next race. I’m replaying the race in my mind and so thankful that the whole experience was a memorable one. And I’m also replaying everything I did leading up to the race, and trying to make plans for the next one so that I don’t crash and burn so early – or at all!

Even though I kept telling myself to just finish…injury free…and enjoy every hard-earned minute of this marathon…there was still that goal of finishing in under 5 hours that was in back of my head. I know I could have done it had I fueled better. Before the race. But at the same time I’m still so relieved I never had the mental wall that I anticipated.

In the last 2 days, I’ve read 2 marathon recaps from Megan over at Miles over Matter, and I’ve cried through them both. She just ran her first 2 marathons this year – Lifetime Marathon in Miami, FL, and the Chicago Marathon last weekend – and I have yet to read truer words regarding running a marathon.

You go through emotions during those training runs, but there is a difference in the emotions when your IN the race. When your IN it, you can think back over the last few months of training and everything you went through, fought through, pushed through, to make yourself ready for race day. Then race day is here and you get to see what your made of.

Did your training pay off? Did you taper enough? Did you do enough long runs? Did you fuel properly? (No.) Did you get enough sleep? Did you take rest days? Did you do some cross-training? Did you get your mind right? All of these things affect race day. There is so much mental prep that goes into running, that I sometimes don’t know which it takes more of – physical strength or mental strength. But if you start running and training and don’t have the mental strength, you will. Running sends you through every emotion you can imagine. Every thought you can imagine. And you have to fight your mind to push through the negative thoughts, the thoughts that tell you to quit and that you can’t do this. You have to push through – run through – those thoughts to get to the thoughts that tell you that you CAN do this.

It changes you because it shows you how strong you are mentally – not just physically. The physical strength will come with time. But even when you have great physical strength, you are still fighting mentally. Your always fighting mentally. I LOVE that about running. It makes you able to handle SO many other tough situations in life. It gives you clarity. It brings break-through’s. You can smile because you are overcoming the battles in your head. You can smile because you are in pain and yet, you are still moving forward. You can smile because…

You are half-way there and in this race, you KNOW when it will end.

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It’s life-changing. The training and work you put into a marathon starts about 4 months prior. And even though you are typically only running 1 long run a week, you – or maybe it was just me – spend the whole week prior to that long run, thinking and planning for that run. So those 4 months, 16 weeks of marathon training, consume your brain. A.K.A. your life. It’s weird to think about this coming weekend and not have “a running plan”…I don’t really know what to do with myself. This morning I woke up and The Hus asked me what my plans were for the day and I replied, “spinning tonight”. He laughed. I might have been able to do some spinning, but at the same time I figured it wouldn’t hurt me to R-E-L-A-X for a few. Even though I feel like I’m not really relaxed mentally, I’ve enjoyed the downtime.

And I definitely needed that massage last night! She really worked out a lot of the tension in my quads and calves. It was a good pain. I noticed I could walk better afterwards! haha

Today I did some yoga. I realized something today about yoga. I NEED it. But I hate it. I hate it because it is SO hard for me. There. I said it. Yoga is hard. And it hurts. It hurts so bad. But it feels so good afterwards.

Some of the poses I did today:

 

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I just held each pose for as long as I could. It was no more than 30 seconds though. And I could tell my left side was so much tighter than my right.

And that’s that. Back to work tomorrow. Hopefully back to the gym on Thursday for strength class. And then I will figure out which race is next! :)

And this is for my nephew, V, because he told me that he reads my blog. Haha. At school. And at whoever’s computer he can get on. Just to look at the pictures. He’ll be 8 this year. And I see that he just commented on one of my posts….

 

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Columbus Nationwide Marathon Recap!

Well. I finished! Injury free! THAT deserves some pizza and wine right there! ;)

I don’t even know where to begin here because my mind is replaying everything from yesterday – and even leading up to it. I was just really more excited about the whole thing, than I was anxious or worried. Because it was time to see my training, hard work, blood, sweat, & tears, pay off. And you guys, the expo is a dangerous place. I’m just sayin’. I could have done a lot of damage, so it’s probably a good thing that The Hus went with me. Otherwise, I would have never felt the glares. But I did score a spibelt and a long sleeve marathon shirt. I love the long sleeve race shirts.

(I had grabbed a band for the 4:45 finish pace group mile times, but I never did see the pace guy.)

First of all, I actually got some sleep the night before, so that alone was a huge race improvement! Usually, i’m practically up all night, tossing and turning, worrying about missing my alarm(s), playing the race out in my head, etc…For some reason, I was actually pretty calm, cool, and collected all week – including the day OF! I guess I just tried to focus on the fact that I trained for this. I was ready. I could do it. My body and mind had been prepped. I knew I could do it. Keeping your mind positive really will get you through the toughest of times I tell ya! :) And because of that, I really never hit the dreaded “wall” – mentally, that is. Or physically for that matter.

But I did hit the “energy wall”. Like, really early. Mile 10. I could just feel my sugar and blood pressure dropping and I started getting that weak, shaky feeling I get before I pass out. I didn’t like it. At least not that early! I just don’t even know what that was about. My 20 mile training run went better than that as far as fueling, so I guess I will still be doing the trial and error thing as far as what works and what doesn’t. I ate my banana around mile 11. Didn’t help. Drank some Nuun. Helped for about 1-2 miles. I don’t even remember when, but I ate some Honey Stingers, kept taking sips of Nuun, and my sugar, blood pressure, whatever, was not improving. Miles 11-19 were REALLY rough, to say the least. Not mentally or physically, but since I was trying to NOT pass out, I had to do a lot of walking…a lot more than I wanted to. And waaaaay earlier than I wanted to. I wanted to at least make it to mile 15 before fueling and walking. Through those miles, I kept thinking about the oranges at mile 19. One of my bible study girls did this race last year (and will hopefully be able to do it with me next year?! ;) ), and said that the oranges at mile 19 had never tasted so good. So I kept looking forward for them. For 9 miles. haha. And as soon as I saw the table at 19, I booked it to the first volunteer with oranges! And I just stood there enjoying every bite.

Let me tell you. Those oranges. They saved my LIFE. They kicked in so fast. Those last miles that I was so worried about? Weren’t anything to be worried about. I did still have to take walk breaks. Mostly because once I start taking walk breaks, that’s when my feet – the ole planter fasciitis – kicks in, so since I had been taking walk breaks for 9 miles already, and my feet were already sore/tender/bruised/dead/falling off, I did still take some walk breaks for the last miles – but not as many. Since my blood pressure/sugar was back up, I was able to push through the pain. Big difference. And my goodness! The pain that ensues your calves around mile 22! Ugh! But again, the aches and pains were much easier to run through than the low BP/sugar! It was just great to never really hit a mental wall!

And those first 13 miles went really fast! When I saw my fam at mile 13, I couldn’t believe I was half done already. And my half marathon time was right on par with my typical half times – 2:15.

I was hoping the fam would be able to catch the shuttle to the ‘shoe (mile 16), but it was too crowded and they would have only had 30 minutes to get there. I tried to video it a little, but it was kinda bouncy for some reason…

Some signs that made me  laugh:

“New Years Resolution – Cheer at a marathon – checkmark box

“You stay classy Columbus. With a picture of Ron Burgundy.”

“Because 26.3 would just be crazy.”

“Short cut here →” And then a man was standing next to that sign, holding another sign that said, “Ask me about my bike rentals”

Oh, my Garmin died at mile 25. Ya. Not cool Garmin. Not cool. Guess it’s only a 5 hour battery and I get punished because it took me 16 extra minutes to finish a marathon.

I really wanted an under 5 hour finish, but I’m still proud of 5:16. Just gives me a new goal for the next one. ;) You can totally tell from my splits where I struggled. But I learned from it!

Things I loved about this race:

~The expo. It’s a runners dream.

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~The start. Exhibit A & B. Self-explanatory:

Just watching those again is making me tear up. Good Lord.

~Columbus support for races is incredible. There were people cheering, bands, etc…the WHOLE time. You have no idea how much that helps!

~All the volunteers. They were great. And to give up their Sunday to pass out water, Gatorade, Gu, oranges…bless them!

~No blisters!

~The medals of course!

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~And Kris at No Limits RunningFinish Line Engravers!

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And just some pics from the day:

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Wounded Soldier…ran with army gear on.

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I see my fam!!! Mile 13!

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Fireman finishing the full in his gear.

Emma, a Nationwide Childrens hospital patient, crossing the finish line with her marathoner dad, Stephen.

(They had Nationwide Children’s Hospital patients at every mile. They sat out there in a tent, with an orange foam hand so WE could all high-five THEM. To say there were no tears involved in seeing those kids would be a lie.)

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The Hus thought this was ME, in black, finishing….

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Nope…THIS is his wife finishing.

And. The End. It’s relax. Hobble around as best as I can. And get a massage today at 5:00. I almost fell over this morning because I practically jumped out of bed, started walking, and then felt the pain and realized I just ran a marathon and my calves & feet aren’t working. Oofos sandals and walking backwards down the steps to save the day! :)

Hope YOU had a great weekend! What did you do?

What is one of your best marathons? Worst marathons?

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