Thursday, September 18, 2014

High Five Friday

I've been doing the High Five Friday a few weeks now and I seem to always want to start these posts with something like...

"What a week.  I'm so glad it's Friday."

What I'm realizing is that this new job is pushing me to a new level of crazy and while it's a good stress, it's still stress.  So by the time Friday rolls around, I crave a slightly slower schedule even if it is just for a couple days.  This weekend is probably not going to be that much slower but I'll get there but first a look at the week in Instagram pictures.

1.This was another travel week for me.  Three days away from my babies.  I'm remembering what life on the road is like.  Long nights, and shorter workouts.  I found myself on the hotel treadmill after 9:00 pm twice this week on the road.  It wasn't fun, it wasn't pretty but it WAS and that was good enough this week. 

2. Thursday night was my first full night home all week and E's school had a free night at the Magic House so I took the kids.  It's so fun to watch him meet up with his little buddies.  Part of me still sees him as a baby but it's nights like this that I realize that he's growing up and I'm happy to see him making friends.  His teacher gave me an awesome compliment that I don't really think I can take credit for but regardless....she said...

"E is so empathetic.  He always knows when someone is upset and he wants to fix it."

My reply: "Toddlers are pretty easy to read but I'm definitely happy to hear he cares."

Teacher: "He knows when I'm upset.  He is so in tune to feelings."

Me: ...speechless.   I love this kid.

3. At the Magic House with two toddlers, by myself, S got to go to the baseball game.  MiniE had as much fun as E did which was awesome for both of them but that made for a long night of running and chasing for me but that's just fine.  I'll take it.

4. Lots of late night running this week.  Another night of just getting it in.  It wasn't a fancy run but I did it and that's what mattered this week. 

5. This silly Halloween costume has been making the rounds lately.  It's an 18 month costume I had bought for E a couple years ago.  At the time he refused to wear it but recently they have both discovered it and wear it on occasion.  If you peruse my IG feed, you'll spot it. 

What's that?  We aren't connected on IG?  Well then we should be.  Connect here: IG Link

What's Up This Weekend?
1. A HUNT FOR A 5K PR -  I talked about it in yesterday's post but I'm going back to the 5K that started it all 10 years ago!!  My first race.  I'm going to try to beat my 5K PR.  Wish me luck and check out the playlist I put together for the race.

2. Toddler Soccer - OR as I like to call it...Cute Chaos.

3. Football - I TOTALLY forgot to tell you.  The fam was invited by the St. Louis Rams to be part of their inaugural RAMSFAM!  We are a sports family and I love my local teams and the Rams are right there.  S and I get to go to the game on Sunday, meet the amazing other families and cheer on the Rams to a win!  Follow me or follow hashtag #RAMSFAM to go to the game with me.  :)

4. Friends Wedding

5. Long run - I need a good long run this weekend.  The weather is suppose to be gorgeous and I'm craving that sense of exhausted accomplishment that comes from a long run.  

I'm sorry I haven't browsed the blog world this week.  I've had to prioritize and blog reading got pushed to the bottom but I want to get to it this weekend so do this for me...

1. Tell me what we should high five about (something you were proud of this week)
2. Leave a link to a post you wrote this week.

Don't forget to sign up for the double giveaway, Fresh Wave and a Title Nine exclusive Timbuk2 Essential Day Pack.  There's only two days left! Register today!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Beat Your Impossible

You know what keeps me coming back to running?  That feeling.  You know the one.  The one feel after running further or faster than you ever have before, you beat your impossible.  It's a high I just want to keep experiencing.

This weekend I'm racing in the 5K that started it all 10 years ago!  Wow, I can't believe I've been running for 10 years. I'll never forget that feeling standing at the starting line by myself on a crisp fall morning thinking that I was about to do the impossible.  I was so excited to finish the race that I didn't even write down my time.  I have no record of it anywhere.

Anyway, I'm going after a new 5K PR again at this race.  I think it would be awesome to do it here.  I'm going to need to hit an 8:23 pace or better which feels very doable but you just never now.  My last PR was hit in July in Chicago.  Read about it here.

So I'm preparing.  I have been running my intervals and trying some of the awesome stride drills that Miss Zippy wrote about.

 I'm also one that responds to music.  It can help me keep my tempo up and just push through.  I'm glad this 5K allows earbuds.  I also put together a 5K PR playlist.  It's 28 minutes long with a couple really high tempo songs.  I know that if I can finish my run before I finish this playlist, I'll have a really good shot at a new 5K PR, beating my impossible.

I would love to try Jabra's newest earbuds on my quest for a new 5K PR, Sport  Pulse.  They are the first-ever earbuds with a built in heart rate more strap!  There are no other devices out there that combine these two great features.  I'm dying to get my hands on them.

Tell me about a moment you "Beat Your Impossible"

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fresh Wave and Title Nine Review and Giveaway

I don't "get" to do laundry multiple times a week.  That means that at any given time there is a mound of sweaty smelly clothes lurking gym bags and laundry baskets all over my house.  Add to that, the smell of our furbaby, and crazy toddlers and you have a recipe for a ripe smelling house.

When Fresh Wave saw all the sweaty pictures on my instagram, they decided I should try their natural odor eliminator.  Funny that about the same time, Title Nine offered to send me a new gym bag, one that I should try harder to keep clean, thanks to the help of Fresh Wave.

Fresh Wave | Title Nine Timbuk2 bag
 First, Fresh Wave.  I've heard about this product on the radio and had investigated it a little bit prior to talking to them.  Who doesn't want a free of odors and a safe, nontoxic way?!  Hand raised!  Their line of products is impressive.  They have a product for every room in your house (or your gym bag).  Perfect for my sweaty gym clothes.
I have strategically placed my products all over the house.  We had our family over on Sunday and they all mentioned that it smelled good in the house.  I explained Fresh Wave and think I got them a few new customers.  Fresh Wave is available online or at Bed Bath and Beyond, Ace Hardware, The Container Store, Buy Buy Baby and select Whole Foods.  Go check it out.

If that product wasn't enough to make my day (and possibly yours), Title Nine thought maybe I needed a new gym bag from their fall collection and I, of course, accepted.  The bag they sent me is the Essentials Daypack, made exclusively for Title Nine from Timbuk2.  It's a super handy bag to have at they gym but I'm also traveling with it and finding it extremely handy for the road.

So here's the exciting, dare I say, MARVELOUS thing for you on this Monday.  I get to giveaway some Fresh Wave products and this bag.  Well, it's not this bag.  That one is mine but Title Nine sent me a second exactly like it just for you!

So let's start this week off right!  Let's give some things away!  You know the drill...use the rafflecopter below for your chance to win this set worth over $100!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Handful Bra Review

WARNING...We're talking boobies today!

My mom told me but I didn't listen.  There was no way she could be right.  Literally NO WAY but then I had E and breastfed him for 9 months.  I enjoyed 9 months of a larger than average chest, for me that's a strong B.  Then I stopped and I expected things to go back to normal but that was not the case.  In fact, I didn't think it was possible but it happened, my chest shrunk.

You would think it wouldn't bother me; after all, I've gone through life with nicknames like "skeeter" (aka mosquito bites).  I'm not about to go drop thousands of dollars to fix the problem so when I can find something that enhances I'm all about it.

That's where the Handful Bra comes in.  It's been my little secret weapon.  The newest version of the bra has some pretty awesome improvements.
When the awesome people over at Handful offered to send me one, I couldn't refuse.  I got the gettin' lucky green one and I can't even begin to tell you how nice it is.
 The adjustable straps are allow for change and the flat seams make this bra comfy.
The removable inserts make these pads so versatile.  I use them in lots of my bras.  Would I recommend this bra?


It flatters not flattens!  It's a win in my book!

Shop Handful:
Engage with Handful: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Thursday, September 11, 2014

High Five Friday

Yeah!  Friday is here.  It's been a crazy week and I'm pretty happy that the weekend is here.  Ever  have one of those weeks where, despite your best effort, nothing goes right?  Yeah, that was this week for me.  So the weekend is about regrouping and starting fresh but before we ride off into the sunset of the weekend, here are a few highlights from the week.  
Instagram Favorites
Connect with me on Instagram

1. BABY PIGTAILS - Last week MiniE sported the top spout.  This week we tried for pigtails.  She actually let me put them in but the quickly fell out for all her craziness. 

2. New Bra - I was so excited to receive the newest version of my FAVORITE sports bra, the handful bra.  Here's a sneak peak.  I'll have a review with full view of the new features of the MADE IN THE USA bra this week.  Check them out now or wait for my review. 

3. Cupcakes - Sunday I was home with puny kids.  It was a rest day for me so we were all going a little stir crazy so why not make some S'more cupcakes for my baby sister's birthday.  I wish I could say they came out as well as they look but I didn't get the graham cracker crust quite right. 

4. Bike MS - Saturday was a huge achievement for me. I rode my first 50+ bike ride, 75 miles to be exact.  It was physically and mentally challenging and I'm extremely grateful to have ridden with this group of seasoned riders.  You can read all about the experience and the five lessons I learned.

5. Fresh wave and Title Nine Delivery - Two brands with something to offer all of us.  Fresh Wave is an amazing natural odor eliminator perfect for every smelly situation in your house and if you're like me, there are plenty of opportunities for stinky.  I'm in the midst of testing it out.  I can't wait to tell you all about it.  I also got not one but two exclusive Title Nine Timbuk2 gymbags.  One is for me to review.  It's a perfect fit since my gym bag usually carries my smelly gym clothes.  We will see how Fresh Wave and this bag are natural best friends.  Oh yeah, the other one is for you. One heck of a giveaway coming your way next week!

What's on tap for the weekend?
1. Running
2. Obligatory CostCo run where I will spend $100+ on all the things I hate to spend money on...detergent, toilet paper and all the other fun stuff we buy in bulk.
3. Tiny Tot Soccer
4. Family Celebrations
5. Following the New Balance Reach the Beach relay on twitter and instagram.  I'm so excited for everyone running.  It's going to be an amazing experience.

What's on tap for your weekend?  Do you buy in bulk?  What have you found is good to buy at Cosco?

Monday, September 8, 2014

5 Lessons Learned on my Ride

I am still riding (pun intended) a high from this weekend's bike ride.  I learned so much about cycling and myself.  It's amazing what a few hours on a bike can do for you.  So I'm presenting my top 5 lessons learned

5 Important Lessons
1. There's no such thing as a comfortable bike seat - So I'm sort of joking, A year ago I bought a new bike seat, the reviews touted it as "comfortable", " a smooth ride". Maybe you have to get use to it like you do with your shoes but the one body part that topped the soreness list was my glutes.  OUCH!

2. I talked about it in my recap but I couldn't have done it if it weren't for the support of the people I was riding with.  They were an amazing support team that pushed me when I needed pushing and let me slow up when I needed it.  I went faster than I ever thought I could sustain.

3. I still have a half ironman on my bucket list.  The biggest obstacles standing in my way before this weekend were access to a pool and my fear of the 50 mile bike ride.  I just couldn't wrap my head around the idea of biking that much.  After this weekend, 50 doesn't seem so bad!  Now I just need a pool!

4. At least around here, there's this unspoken difference, rivalry, whatever you want to call it between cyclists, runners and triathletes.  Especially on the trail I run on.  I have to say, I bought into it a little bit but after this weekend, I realized bikers are people too and can be super supportive.  ;)

5. After I crossed the finishline, I swore I would never do that kind of distance again and I definitely wouldn't be jumping on my bike anytime soon but I have to say, now that I see it hanging up on it's hooks looking all lonely, I kinda want to pull it down again.  I need to get back on track with my half marathon training but I definitely will reach for it next time I need to crosstrain.

So there you have it.  One fear faced and no longer impacting the way I train!

Have you faced a fear only to find out it wasn't so bad afterall? 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Bike MS Recap

Saturday was an amazing and tough day for so many reasons.  Saturday was the Gateway Bike MS in Columbia, Missouri and my company was the title sponsor so I needed to be there.  The event was advertised as a ride, not a race which really helped keep the mood light.  Riders could pick from 4 distances..20, 40, 75 or 100. 

The event started with a ribbon cutting and as the title sponsor, we got to take off first.  Our team was made up of mostly coworkers from across our huge company who hadn't really had much of a chance to get to know each other let alone ride with each other so I had fully expected to have to ride the entire way by myself.

Once our group took off, I was excited and started talking to whoever would listen.  Turns out that was most of my team.  I had intended to take my place squarely in the midst of the 40 mile crew but at the point where the routes deviated, I was in the middle of a pack and we were cruising along.  I COMPLETELY MISSED MY TURN!! I panicked for a minute, told my team what I had just done and the vowed to keep me going as far as I wanted to go.  This group of guys that I didn't really know well right then became so much more than coworkers to me. 

This event was amazing for so many reasons.  Think Hood to Coast on wheels.  Every 10-15 miles there was a rest stop with a party atmosphere and all the goodies you could consume.
10 Mile Pit Stop
The first 10 miles were a pretty tough we had the wind in our face and it was a brisk 59 degrees.  I started in with the self doubt but tried desperately to fight it back.
20 Mile Pit Stop
20 miles in, my posse was still sticking with me and I was feeling pretty good, cold but good, for someone whose longest ride to date was 30 miles.  We were keeping an 18 mph pace which I was stunned about and a little nervous that I was going to get dropped sooner than later.  We stopped at the pit stop long enough to fill our bottles and grab a little energy and we were off.

Mile 45
By mile 45 the sun had come up and we were rolling.  This course took us through Amish country.  That means, instead of dodging cars, we were literally dodging horse and buggies and piles of poop.
Mentally, I was in uncharted territory but I tried hard not to let it get to me.  I had to be as confident in myself as my team was confident in me. 

We stopped for lunch around mile 55, took a little longer break with turkey sandwiches and good conversation.  I'm amazed at what you can learn about someone when you're riding a bike.  I was feeling pretty sore and tight and realized that it was in my best interest to go 75.  The rest of the group had planned on 100.  After some attempted peer pressure, we got on and took off.  Pretty soon, the cutoff came and I knew it was the right decision.  I split from my team shouting words of encouragement and found myself alone.  My pace dropped naturally to around 16 and while it felt good, I was disappointed and realized again just how important the group can be in an individual sport.

This is my "I'm in pain but I'm gonna do it" face
I stopped at mile 65 to ask the medic for some sunscreen and found another teammate who was riding alone so we decided to finish it out together.  The last segment was all rolling hills and while the ups were tough, the downs were fun.  I have NEVER seen 33 mph on my bike before.  

At the end of the day I was tired but so proud of what I was able to accomplish not only on my ride but for the fight against MS.  It probably wasn't the best idea to do this week's long run the day before but it worked out!

I learned so much about biking and about myself this weekend.  I can't wait to share but for now I just want to soak up this feeling of accomplishment before I get back into the crazy week.

How was your weekend?  What made you smile today?