P.F. Chang’s Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon, Half Marathon Arizona 2013

Medal, bib and tech tee

My shirt, bib and medal

Well, It’s been weeks since the Rock N Roll Half marathon; high time that I wrote my recap! In the future, I will try to do it sooner when the race is still fresh in my mind and the excitement is still lingering!

Click to see what I wrote about what I did to “prepare” for this event and where my mindset was leading up to it for a better understanding of my laid-back attitude.

At the Expo... Do you see my time? Wow! I am awesome!

At the Expo… Do you see my time? Wow! I am awesome!

Let’s start with the Expo. I have been to a lot of race expos and I have to say that Rock N Roll Arizona is definitely the biggest I have been to. There are so many vendors that gather at the Phoenix Convention Center and yet, it doesn’t feel as claustrophobic as some of the other big ones. Everything is spaced out nicely and there is room to breathe despite the large crowds that are attracted as this event is not only mandatory for all runners, but also open to the public. And there would be a lot of participants this year as Competitor Group added an addition 5.4 mile “mini marathon” run (huh?) and a 20 mile bike ride to the usual full and half marathon events.  I may check out the bike ride in the future.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have my phone with me so I wasn’t able to take any pictures.



I intended to visit the expo on the Friday so that I could put my feet up and relax the day before the race. Since a couple of my family members volunteer every year, I decided to join them as I would be there any way to get my packet and goodies. We volunteered at the shirt station, handing out the shirts for the marathoners and half marathoners. We had fun, though being on our feet for so long was not ideal😉

Before the doors opened to the masses I was able to go pick up my Bib before there was a line. It was such a simple process as we were told via email which corral we were assigned and everything was clearly marked and so simple to go to the table that corresponded with my corral. I waited until later to get my goodie bag and shirt.

After our shift, the family was tired and dragging them with me through the entire expo would have been torturous to them. I decided to return the next day after all and go through with my friend Mary who was also running. I was able to convince the family to stay long enough for me to sample a cocktail, earn a long sleeved tech shirt and a $10 gift card to P.F. Chang’s by listing “10 things I love about P.F. Chang’s. I had to wing it, but I got my loot! I also waited in line for a few to have my knee and back taped for free by KT Tape.

PF Chang's Tech Tee Front

PF Chang’s Tech Tee Front

PF Chang's tech tee Back - I love a bonus/free tech tee!

PF Chang’s tech tee Back – I love a bonus/free tech tee!

I am so happy I did those things on Friday because Saturday at the expo was a complete ZOO! The crowds were a lot crazier than the day before. Mary grabbed her packet & I grabbed my shirt and goodie bag and we did a little shopping. Mary wasn’t able to do the line for the gift card, etc as it was just too long! We went through every aisle! I was able to get my ‘over 21’ wristband so I wouldn’t have to bring ID on race morning, sample a few sports nutrition goodies. It was a good expo, but honestly, I think last year was bigger and better with a lot more samples!

The goodie bag - A string Backpack that is already getting a lot of use from me!

The goodie bag – A string Backpack that is already getting a lot of use from me!

My goodie bag contained the usual race and local merchant fare and the only sample it contained was one for DOWNY! really? You guys couldn’t throw a GU in my race bag, but you gave me Downy? I don’t use that stuff on my running clothes!
I saw a lot of familiar faces on both days and a few even went twice like I did. So, it was a great social event lol.

Race morning was a breeze! Mary and I took the Metro Lightrail to the starting line. The energy was great, lots of loud music & excitement. There were plenty of port o potties with runners already lining up for them. Lots of pre-race fruit and water. I begrudgingly took my hoodie off and handed it (in my bag) to the nice gear check folks. We then met up with a few other friends and socialized and jumped around/danced in our corral to stay warm. As the time drew near we all stood very quietly for the National Anthem; it gets me every time! Then we big each other farewell and waiting to go!
There wasn’t too much of a wait for us in the higher numbered corrals to get moving, it felt like maybe 15-20 minutes after the frontrunners. My friend Lola and I stuck together despite her being a half marathon veteran. She had been sick for months with a cough that wouldn’t quit so she had the same goal as I did; cross the finish line! We ended alternating jogging a mile/walking a mile at first. Since she has done this before I gave myself over to her completely and let her set the pace since she had no intention of running I knew I could keep up lol. After awhile, we just walked the rest! It was so pleasant. We talked the whole time and I learned so much about her. I have never ran with anyone before so I now get why those who run together have such a bond! She did tell me that even though she had never taken that long to complete a half, the time seemed to go faster since she had someone to talk to. YAY for me I am apparently good company!
I had my Camelbak with me so I chose not to take advantage of the on course refreshments. There was water, gatorade and GU, but I had my own water and GU so passed it all up. The volunteers on course were great with lots of enthusiasm! I am grateful they were there cheering us on!

Around mile 12 there was a table set up by the Phoenix Hash House Harriers. They were handing out a cup of beer to the adult runners. By this time I was hot, sweaty, smelly and thirsty and was ready for the finish line. They were angels! Never before in my life has slightly warm PBR tasted so damn good! Dare I say, it was a hell of a lot tastier than the refreshingly cold Michelob Ultra at the finish lol! After being perked up by this delicious nectar we saw the crowds at the end of the line and managed a little sprint home.

Mary, myself & Lola

Mary, myself & Lola

Mary was waiting a the finish line for us. It was so great to see her smiling face and get a great big hug! We got our medals and ventured further for bananas, granola bars, fruit cups, chocolate milk, etc. I’m not sure what else there was, but I did grab a coupon for a free dessert from P.F. Chang’s that said I beat the dragon (no I did not beat him) Mary went off to have her medal engraved on site with her name and finish time. I grabbed my bag from gear check and went off in search of a port o potty. I tried at least 6 foul potties and there was no toilet paper to be found! I remembered that I had a pack of tissues in my bag finally lol. Phew! All that water from the Camelbak was not waiting a minute longer!


We moseyed on over to the stage area where my Dad and hubby were waiting. I was so happy to see them and get more hugs and hear how proud they were. We apparently just missed the main act from hanging out in the finish area too long. I had never heard of the guy anyway… Andy Grammar? I know every other band that played in the past, but not this guy. Does anyone wish to enlighten me? None in my group had heard of him either.

This was a great experience for me. I would do it again, though I am considering looking into a smaller half for next spring. I also might consider the bike race in the future. We shall see.rocknrollhalfSince I didn’t do much running I finished feeling really great with minimal pain. I think the KT Tape helped my back a bit while out there. My feet were comfortable in the Nike Free 3.0 v4 ( I did wish they had more room in the tow box on this day) and the compression calf sleeves kept the cramps away.


That isn’t the sticker I mentioned btw

The race was very well organized and I have to give the race directors their props for handling such a huge crowd so well. I was told there were around 25,000 participants and of course even more spectators. I realize that is what we are paying for; the well run organization. The tech shirt has become my favorite, but I won’t get too much use out of it being that it is long sleeved and I live here in hot Phoenix. The goodie bag was seriously lacking in any type of swag whatsoever. There were stickers for 26.2 and 13.1 courtesy of Garmin and that is the only thing out of the bag that I kept.

Up Close of the medal

Up Close of the medal

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The Road to P.F. Chang’s Rock N Roll Half Marathon Arizona

Hey Folks!

Well, I wanted to say some things about my time leading up to the Rock N Roll Half Marathon here in Arizona.

As you all can imagine, this was supposed to be a big deal for me; my 1st ever half marathon. It took place on January 20th 2013 and I had signed up since June 2012 on National Running Day for a very sweet discount! $20 off the lowest price! As with my other races this season that I signed up well in advance for, I had the best of intentions.
My goal was to run (or in my world – Jog) the whole thing. Since hurting my back in August 2012 and not getting any consistent training done beforehand, when race week came up my goal was simply to finish. Even if that meant dragging myself across the finish line as the asphalt exfoliated my belly.

The 2013 course map. Half route is the Blue

The 2013 course map. Half route is the Blue

I knew I wasn’t up to running 13.1 miles with no training in the months leading up to the half marathon so I set out to see what it was like to stay on my feet for three hours. My longest run had been 8 miles at the beginning of 2012 so I was trying not to kid myself. Three weekends before race day I decided to go for a long walk. I told myself, you are going out there for 3 hours or ten miles; whichever comes first! That morning I slapped on my Nike Free 3.0 v4 and my Camelbak and grabbed some nutrition and headed out. I actually was able to jog the first 4 miles or so, interval walk/jog a few more miles, then just plain walked. At the end, as I headed home my right foot actually cramped up pretty badly and made a weird claw/fist inside my shoe. Yikes!I didn’t have my GPS app or the time with me since my phone decided to give up the ghost so I am not sure the exact time I took, but when I got home and plotted my route online I did a little over 11 miles that morning.

Not one to be discouraged by claw-like foot disfigurements, I did the same thing the following weekend. This time I wore some calf compression sleeves and I think they helped a lot! Following the same formula as the week before, I made it about 12.75 miles on this try. I felt good about being able to finish, but honestly a bit nervous about making it in the cut off times. I had hoped to do it one more time on the weekend before the race, but lousy, inconsiderate people with their lousy, inconsiderate germs got the better of me with a cold and I decided to nurse myself and not make matters worse.

Again, since my goal for race day was just to finish regardless of time, there was little to no pressure on me. I wasn’t even nervous on race morning. How is that for weird? starting line of my first half marathon and I felt no butterflies? I even slept soundly the night before without a worry in the world. I am going to attribute this phenomena in part to telling myself “I can do anything!” and another part of pure and beautiful denial! I guess you can’t worry about a race that you are not allowing yourself to think about lol.

I am going to do a cut-away so you can jump to actual expo and race day info and what the experience was like through my big brown eyes😉

At the Expo... Do you see my time? Wow! I am awesome!

At the Expo… Do you see my time? Wow! I am awesome!

All in all… I did finish my first half. I felt good about doing it and I am looking forward to doing it again; only right this time.

This was my freebie! I cannot and will not claim myself to be a half marathoner until I put in the training, do the work and cross the finish line all used up! Sure, I am proud of myself for doing something that most people have not and will not (thanks to my wonderful running buds who kept telling me this)
Speaking of which, I have already signed up for my next half marathon! You probably could have seen that one coming though right? It will be the Women’s Half Marathon in November 2013.
I might be becoming a medal whore as I think theirs is purrty and I want!


This is from 2012, looking forward to earning the 2013 version.

I am still healing, but I am hoping to start training again very soon!

My mud run is next weekend and I have a 10K the next. Wow! For a temporary non runner, I sure have been showing up at those starting lines!

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Iron Girl Fountain Hills 10 Mile & 5K December 2012

The Starting Line

The Starting Line

This was to be my very 1st organized race ever. I have completed a few free 5Ks here and there, but never a “real” race.

My Shirt, bib & medal

My Shirt, bib & medal

I signed up with the greatest of intentions. My first official event was going to be a 10 mile run at the Iron Girl Fountain Hills 10 Mile & 5K. The race took place in December and I signed up in the early summer time. That was when I was still running relatively injury free and consistently. My longest run by then had been 8 miles and I was feeling like a rock star despite the high temps that accompany summer in Phoenix. I figured that if I could keep up my running (read: trudging along in the heat) I would be just fine in the cooler month of December. I had no worries or lack of confidence in completing the 10 miler; especially since it fit so nicely into my then planned training for my first half marathon in January: The P.F. Chang’s Rock N Roll Marathon & Half Marathon.

Things didn’t turn out as planned though. In August, I hurt my back pretty severely. By the end of a 4 mile run on my birthday, I could barely walk. I knew I had to just lay back and rest; literally! Over the following months, without any consistency in my schedule, I knew I wouldn’t be able to complete the 10 miles. I knew I could cover that distance if I was able to walk it, but there was a 2.5 hour time limit on that course and I just knew I wasn’t up to snuff.
I decided to drop down to the 5k. I felt ok with that since I was still able to compete in my 1st race and would be actually able to cross the finish line. I just wanted that experience of the pre-race jitters, the lining up at the start, and of course, crossing my 1st finish line. I got all of that.

I picked this race because my two friends who did it the year before had nothing but the best to say about it. What’s not to love? Women’s only event, a wonderful sense of sisterhood, and a great expo! They raved about the expo! I was unable to pick-up my packet before the event so one of the girls offered to grab mine. She had no issues all she had to show was my bib number. This event was well-organized and I was able to exchange my Tee for the correct size without any trouble on race morning.

The Girls at the Starting Line. Myself, Mary & Jackie

The Girls at the Starting Line. Myself, Mary & Jackie

There was great energy and atmosphere on race morning; lots of excitement on my part of course. I was happy to see some familiar faces at the race, though they were disappointed that I wouldn’t be doing the 10 mile run. In usual runner form, my friends were trying to talk me into it. The fact is, my usual healthy pace would have led me to finish in the time cut-off, but definitely not possible injured. Hey, I always say that I am slower than a turtle in peanut butter. It’s true!
Before we lined up, I went in search of a restroom. The coffee shop nearby had the longest line to their bathroom and another friend who I spotted on her way out said she waited for 45 minutes. The race was starting in 15 and I couldn’t wait, so I ran off in search of somewhere else. I found one in an Italian restaurant and the line wasn’t too bad. I mention this only because I didn’t see port-o-potties; not that I care to use those if I don’t have to anyway.

I have done a few other races since Iron Girl and one thing I think will always be my favorite is the National Anthem being sung as we all stand there in silence waiting to take off. It tugs my heart, what can I say?!

Oh, and I finally get why Fountain Hill is called that… there’s a fountain… And a hell of a lot of hills! Geez! I have been there before, but it never really hit me until I was on foot. I did find my out of shape self asking “What the Heck are you doing? Are you crazy?” about halfway through.I should say that the best part of the course was maybe the last half a mile or more, it seemed like a pretty steady & slight downhill. Which I found very nice if I say so myself. I smiled the whole way in during that last part!

The 'Fountain' part of Fountain Hills

The ‘Fountain’ part of Fountain Hills

At the finish line, there were volunteers to snip the timing chips off our shoes, which was good since even though I knew the chips had to be turned in, it completely slipped my mind! I was given my medal, water and sports drink and a little further there was the post race meal box.

The Meal box

The Meal box

Contents on Meal box.

Contents on Meal box. Trail mix, Powerbar, pita chips, hummus (yum) roasted edamame

I headed to gear check to grab my bag and made my way back to the finish to wait for my friend Jackie who also dropped to the 5K due to injury. She was walking it, so I knew I had a little extra time. We then returned to the Italian restaurant to wait for the friends in the 10 mile; after all they drove us there lol. I have to say, it was literally the worst breakfast I have had in a restaurant in my life! Not only did I not get my correct order, but it was so COLD! Jackie said that her hot cocoa was also very cold. I at least had them take that back, but kept my food since I didn’t want a side of spit in it. I was famished by then, so down the hatch it went. I wish I knew the name of the place!

At the Expo

At the Expo

The Girls at the Expo

The Girls at the Expo

After breakfast and the rendezvous with our friend Mary, we walked through the expo. This was a let down. It rained a lot the previous day and I suppose that is why there weren’t many vendors out. BUT the thing that let me down the most was that there were no ‘Iron Girl’ gear that I could buy to commemorate my day. My friend Kim wears her Iron Girl tech hat all the time and I was so excited to finally be able to complete the event then buy some gear right after. There was none. There was gear with the sponsor Athleta logo on it, but no actual Iron Girl stuff. I was sorely disappointed.

All in all though, I liked this series and would do it again. Hopefully, I can come back and finish that 10 miler in the future. I am giving them the benefit of the doubt here and guess that the bad weather had something to do with the lack of Wow factor at the expo. Everyone kept going on and on about how great the expo was in the previous years.

Close-Up of Medal

Close-Up of Medal

Cheezing with Da Bling

Cheezing with Da Bling

Thanks for reading!

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DBacks Race Against Cancer 5K

535940_10152551275120005_961763073_nThis past Saturday I got out of bed nice and early and went down to Chase Field to run the DBacks Race Against Cancer Inaugural event.

The Starting Line

The Starting Line

From what I understand, they only put this race on the calendar just about 6 weeks before the actual event. I don’t know how these things normally work, but it sure doesn’t seem like a long enough time to get it all done and organized, but I have to say, this was a wonderful and well planned event!
One that I will definitely return for next year.

The swag

The swag: tech tee & sling backback

There was a 5K run and 1K family fun run. For $40 I received a race entry for the 5K, a very lovely black tech shirt, a sling/drawstring backpack, a finisher’s medal and 1 lower level ticket to see the Diamondbacks play the Rockies in April. Not too shabby if I say so myself. I don’t think I would pay that much for a 5K otherwise, but being a baseball fan, I simply couldn’t resist.

My friend Kim & I

My friend Kim & I

The girls at the starting line. Kristina, Mary & I

The girls at the starting line. Kristina, Mary & I

At the starting line

At the starting line

Ready to Goooo!

Ready to Goooo!

I would say a bit over 1,000 people ran the 5k that morning; so definitely a nice small race. We ran with a few of the players. One bonus for me was having retired Diamondback Luis Gonzalez cross the finish line about 16 seconds ahead of me. Though I have to admit, I was so focused on the finish line I didn’t see him until afterward when my friends waiting at the finish line pointed him out. They are so funny! As I neared the finish, I spotted my 2 faster girlfriends eagerly awaiting me. I could actually tell by the look on their faces that they were looking on expectantly so I tried to wave at them expecting them to scream my name and cheer me in. (Yes! Of course I have an ego!) They didn’t see me and there was no one chanting my name to let me know how wonderful I am.
So, I collected my medal and was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by another runner friend. I love who you bump into unexpectedly at these things! Then off I went to where my girls were standing (still very much looking for me to cross the finish) and snuck up behind them and asked “Has she crossed yet?” They both turned and started screaming in unison! LOL. They started talking at once asking where I was and when did I cross? When I told them I had just gotten there, that’s when they told me Gonzo himself had just crossed and I must have come in with him. So, apparently they were blinded by the pro athlete! HAHAHA. Star F*ckers! (I joke I joke)

With our Medals afterward

With our Medals afterward

In it for the Bling

In it for the Bling

Then, I went off to find my husband; who is not one for crowds and tends to stay back a bit from the chaos. Post-race nutrition included the usual fare: bananas, oranges, apples, grapes and water. Also, Kind was there handing out a choice of nutrition bar or granola.

Medal Close-up

Home plate medal Close-up

There was no time clock that I saw, but results were printed and posted immediately on a board. The crowd trying to find their times took a bit of patience, but it was nice not to have to wait until they were posted online.

Hey, I never said I was fast!

Hey, I never said I was fast!

DBacks Fan Fest

DBacks Fan Fest

This race took place on the same day as DBacks Fan Fest so all runners were allowed early access to Fan Fest 1 hour before the general public.

With the Hubby at Fan fest. They opened the roof and it was FREEZING & windy (for AZ)

With the Hubby at Fan fest. They opened the roof and it was FREEZING & windy (for AZ)

382330_10152551273715005_1679900958_nIt was a nice end to the race day festivities.
I wore my Randy Johnson baseball hat and so when I saw the Legend “Bobble Head” Randy Johnson I ran over and said to him “I’m wearing your hat, you have to take a picture with me!”

With Legend* Randy Johnson

With Legend* Randy Johnson

I also, got one with the Matt Williams Legend.

Legend* Matt Williams

Legend* Matt Williams

*See what I mean when I say “Legends”

I have discovered that one thing I seem to crave after a run is a Guinness Draught.

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Just an update and a peek at what’s coming next!

Finish line after my 1st half marathon! (im in the middle)

Finish line after my 1st half marathon! (im in the middle)

So I haven’t been on for a bit, but that doesn’t mean that nothing has been happening. Quite the opposite actually! I’ve been a busy girl🙂

I have so much to share. Let’s see…
I have a few race re-caps to post: Iron Girl, P.F. Chang’s Rock N Roll Half Marathon (omg! Did I just type that?) The Color Run 5K which I had some fabulous company (hubby’s 1st event ever!)
I’m working on them, keep your shorts on.
Also, in true Run Drink Live style I’ve been enjoying some great local breweries. You know one of the things I love in this life is craft beer! We have some really unique micro brews here in the Valley of the Sun.
I’ve also made a decision where my running is concerned. I want to run my next half in zero drop/barefoot shoes.
I’ve mentioned quite a few times that minimalist shoes are definitely the only way for me to go. After trying quite a few brands, (The folks in my local running store know me by name lol) I’ve been wearing only 2; the Nike Free 3.0v4 for long runs and my Merrell Dash for shorter distances. I completed my 1st half last month in the Nike shoes. They are definitely the most cushion that I’m willing to wear. Anything more than that I will toss!
I’m actually getting a new pair of the Dash since I’m a believer in having a dedicated pair of shoes just for running and the Dash have actually become my everyday shoe that I wear for every occasion that I’ll be on my feet all day. I’ve even started wearing them with skirts ha ha. I’m a bit worried since the manager told me they might be changing/updating them so we’ll see what happens next week.

I’m going to take this training very slowly. The half I have in mind will be in November so I have plenty of time to do this right. My 1st half marathon was a great experience, but I wasn’t trained and definitely not prepared. I did walk a great deal which was a decision I made since I hadn’t been running before hand due to being hurt for a few months.

This time, I’m doing it all the right way. Starting half marathon training from scratch. I haven’t trained consistently since August and I’m choosing to look at this as a blessing in disguise.
This will be my rebirth!
I will be the Phoenix rising from the ashes.
LOL how is that for a buildup?!?
Since I’ve never been a fast runner, (who are we kidding? I’m a shuffler) I’m going to treat myself as a brand new runner and start over. I was thinking that this is an opportunity for me to start the way I wish I did in the past; if only I knew then what I know now.
I am now a new runner, and I will start in barefoot shoes. Non of those padded monstrosities they call shoes. Iris over at Manic Runday, who I’ve mentioned a million times since I’m forever in her debt for turning me on to “less shoe”, recommended starting over with Couch25K and I think it’s a fabulous idea! This way, I can work on form, speed, etc and turn myself into a better & healthier athlete!

Sidebar: when are the sales clerks in the running stores going to realize that there are some of us who don’t benefit from the support? They have put me in stability shoes due to my weight saying that I need the extra support and all I got for it was pain and injuries!
I was at a different running store a few weeks ago and the salesperson was so insistent that the shoes I was wearing wasn’t meant for running, but for recovery! He said it wasn’t wise to run in minimalist shoes and they should be only worn after a long run to let me feet relax! Why can’t my feet relax WHILE I’m running?
I politely said “thank you, but they work really well for me!” I finished 13.1 miles in minimalist shoes without any side effects afterward. I think I’m good!
Ok, rant over… For now…

I’ve got a 5K in the morning at the Diamonbacks’ Chase Field followed by Fan Fest. This girl loves her baseball!

Now, if you'll excuse me. i have to go get ready for the DBacks Race Against Cancer tomorrow ;-)

Now, if you’ll excuse me. i have to go get ready for the DBacks Race Against Cancer tomorrow😉

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Instead Softcup Review

Hello there ladies!

Softcup-box-14-count-cup-IMG_2919 Retouch_0

This is a review for the Instead Softcup Menstrual Cup.  If you’re a woman who is interested in menstrual cups for yourself or a loved one then please read on. Guys, if you are interested in what some women use during their monthly cycle, then please read on. I would like to warn you that I will be discussing menstruation and more specifically, my own cycle, so if you are squeamish about these matters then please mosey on to more fun stuff…

I included Men in that paragraph above because I know some men may have questions, I am blessed with a partner who is very aware of what my body goes through and the products I use. I believe that if he wants to play with it, he should know how it works.😉

Now about me, I have been using a silicone menstrual cup for the past 7 years or so and I definitely won’t go back to what today’s society consider “traditional” products. My reasons are as follows:
1. I am very sensitive (read: borderline allergic) to most bleached, cotton, chemical laden products on the market today such as pads and tampons. I cannot wear more than 1 in a row or I suffer from irritation and well, let’s face it ladies, no one needs that!
2. Medically speaking, I am an extremely heavy bleeder. Don’t believe me? I soak through the combination of super plus tampon & pad in about 30 minutes on my heavy days. Not exactly convenient if you want to function in society!
The popular claim is that a woman releases 1 oz – 3 oz of fluid and tissue during her entire cycle. I can fill a 1 oz menstrual cup in a couple of hours on heavy days. I have been on hormonal BC pills to regulate and lighten my flow, but even those have never helped, and I refused to keep putting pills in my body that do nothing. Before using a cup, I had to set my alarm to wake me every hour while I slept so I wouldn’t have an ‘accident,’ after cups, I could wait an extra hour or two lol.

I run, bike, swim, hike and pretty much anything that gets me outdoors I will try. I am definitely in need of a product that can keep up with all that. So, now you know my reasons for seeking out alternative products. There are other benefits, but honestly, for me those listen in #s 1 and #2 were the most important factors.

Now, as a cup user I have to say that I may have been skeptical about liking the Instead Softcup since I have been using a couple of other brands of re-usable cups for years. I can honestly say that I have not set foot in the feminine hygiene aisle in a very long time. I had been happy with my choice thus far.
I decided to try the Instead Softcup before my cycle actually started so I would know what to expect when the time came.  I have to be honest, when I opened the individually wrapped package I was concerned about how large the rim of the cup appeared.  However, insertion was flawless on the very first try! The instructions were so easy to follow. Also, I was pleasantly surprised that I could not feel the cup at all.


Don’t let the size fool you! It’s soft, pliable and very comfortable.

Now on to my usage, remember those heavy days I mentioned? As much as my other product was a life saver and made things easier and more manageable, I still had issues on these days. At night for instance, if I shifted a certain way or the cup was too full I would have leakage issues which occurred when the air tight vacuum seal broke. (Yes, reusable cups seal themselves to prevent spills) This results in needing to wear a pad at night, which results in irritation. A vicious cycle!Hankd-holding-8mm-squeezed-softcup-IMG_2756
Here’s the great thing about Instead, no vacuum seal means no worries about spillage and leaks especially at night! This blew my mind to be honest. I have spent years thinking that I had it as good as it was going to get.  Then, Tina from For The Love of The Run gave me the opportunity to try out something that I wasn’t really interested in trying years ago when I first made the choice to use a cup. I am actually sorry that it has taken me this long. For the first time in my life, during the nights of my heavy flow days I didn’t have a single leak! This is incredible for someone like me. After a few months of use, I actually felt confident enough to sleep through the night and not worry about getting up.

On my early morning runs, I did have to be more careful with insertion as I had a few minor leaks due to incorrect placement, but I got the hang of it eventually. I am assuming that I bounce and jostle around a lot more while running. Swims and bike rides were flawless. I was very interested to find out that this product was developed by a female triathlete. That definitely gave me confidence in the reliability of the Softcup! I am looking forward to taking on a tri in the future.

I am very happy that I gave this product a try. It has made a huge difference to me and dare I say improved my nights quite a bit. While there are some design things I am not sure about, I am definitely a fan of Instead Softcup now.


  • Comfortable! Once inserted correctly, you don’t feel a thing!!
  • Can be worn up to 12 hours (for those with a lighter flow or Me on lighter days lol)
  • Can be worn during SEX! (My husband felt it a couple of times, I adjusted and it was just fine. I did make sure to start with an fresh, empty cup)
  • Eco friendlier than tampons and pads as you use less (there is a reusable one that can be used 1 entire cycle)
  • Can be worn for swimming, or in water without the risk of bacteria and other nasties traveling up a string into your body
  • No vacuum seal means no sudden spills for me
  • I have used it while running, swimming and cycling so far with NO ISSUES on comfort or leaks!
  • Affordable and available at a lot of local retailers.


  • Not completely reusable as the medical grade silicone cups
  • Fits further inside your body which may mean a little bit of mess
  • not a rigid material so doesn’t maintain it’s shape for full capacity

All in all I am very happy with Instead Softcups. I recommend any woman who is interested in an alternative to pads and tampons to give them a try. ReusableCup_Box_Clipped_0H3J4188_onWhite

I won’t go into the Hows of using this product as I have already written quite a bit and I would be a poor substitute for the expertise of the Softcup website. There have amazing tutorials and videos on their site as well as FAQs and more about the product! Be sure to check out the links.

I would like to say that for some people, there can be a steep learning curve. It took me a long while as a young teen before I was completely comfortable with tampons and using a cup is no different. Women should be comfortable with there bodies and needs so there should never be an ‘ick’ factor. Too many women have been taught that they should be ashamed of their bodies and hide the fact that they are menstruating. It’s part of our glory as women and you should find what works best for you. Don’t be squeamish about your bodies; take care of them and celebrate them. If you want to have success with this product, follow the instructions. Please read them before you proceed! This is not inserted like a tampon.

If you have any questions for me about my personal experience with Instead Softcups, or anything I have written here, please don’t hesitate to ask. You can leave a comment or email me through the ‘Contact’ page.
As I mentioned, I was given the opportunity to try the Softcup and was sent the product for free via the For The Love Of The Run Softcup Challenge, despite that fact the opinions are 100% mine and are in no way influenced by compensation.
If alternative feminine product are of interest to you then please visit the menstrual cup community on Livejournal

I will be giving away a box of Instead Softcup to someone who is interested in trying this product for the 1st time. Keep an eye on this space for the chance to try it for FREE!

Softcup-box-14-count-cup-IMG_2919 Retouch_0

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Happy Birthday to me!

Happy Birthday to me!

This is going to be a very borrrrring post as I haven’t much to show. It’s just going to be a quick recap.
My phone is not working and I rely on it for everything from photos to GPS tracking.

I did 6 miles total, although I intended to do them all on foot there was a last minute change of plan. When I was planning out my bonus challenges I realized how much easier it would be if I just did a 1 mile “loop”
The urban canal throughout our city that I run on is .5 mile increments in MOST of the neighborhoods. I decided to just stick to one section for my run portion. That was I was able to leave my FOOD in a spot to get back to it when needed.
I rode my mountain bike the 1 mile to the canal (didn’t count this portion) locked it up with my bag and took off.

Initially, my challenges were meant to include the diet baker’s dozen. I have 6 delightful mini cupcakes that I took the frosting off from (to prevent messiness) that I was going to eat. I did however, find a bag of marshmallows in the pantry. I don’t know why or how long they’ve been in there, but they are heart shaped so I’m assuming around Valentine’s day lol. They are a bit wrinkled. I’ll have to ask hubby when he gets home. I don’t eat marshmallows, but I did today. I just wish they were roasted 1st lol.
*fun fact* I once roasted marshmallows at home; I stuck them on the end of a chopstick and held them over a tea light candle.
It’s usually the only way I’ll eat them (think campfire)

Here are the challenges I took part in this month:

  • Chubby Bunny
      (wish I had a video of this even though I am grateful Iris only required 1 marshmallow at a time and not as many as our mouth can hold like with those crazies on youtube)
  • Bi-Curious
      – 3 miles running & 3 miles riding, the gridded nature of my city let me know every time I hit 1 mile and had to stop and munch.
  • Birthday party
      My Birthday is in August, but it was fun to get my favorite birthday cake (carrot) with my name on it in December lol. I took a square with me and ate it during my run to bike transition. No birthday hat, but instead “stars & steamers” headband (need to find a pic) and “present” rings on my fingers.
  • Baby on board
  • – boring here since I used the same teddy bear from last time with my hydration belt. By the way now I know why we wear camelbaks in the saddle! That belt dug into my fleshy parts lol while riding. Thankfully I’m speedy on 2 wheels.

I was going to do my favorite challenge of all; the RUI double fister! Alas, I drank what I had set aside for the challenge Last Night! Hey, it was a bottle of cabernet and I made angelhair pasta, spicy marinara & sourdough bread with garlic butter and parmesan melted all over it. That wine was MURDERED!
Plus, I didn’t want to take beer this morning lol. This is another reason the bike got added into the rotation for bi-curious.

I’m going to see if I can get the rest of the pics OUT of my PHONE Ugh! Lol.

I’m going to miss my 12athon friends.
I’m grateful for this crazy, fun game! There were so many days & bonus runs I wouldn’t have gone out if it weren’t for this. I’m sad it’s come to an end.

Somebody please hold me!
I have yummy cake to share. Soooo tasty!

I’m going to fix this post when I can. I do realize it’s more rambling and disconnected than usual lol. And I haven’t done my linking to the fabulous group!

This is an old pic from the 4th of July this year, but it’s the headband that I wore. Bouncy!!!

not quite birthday, but it's from 4th of July. America's birthday counts right? (old pic from 4th)

not quite birthday, but it’s from 4th of July. America’s birthday counts right? (old pic from 4th)

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Simple & Easy Pancake Recipe. Blueberries Optional ;-)

Who likes pancakes? I know I do!

A yummy plate of warm blueberry pancakes

A yummy plate of warm blueberry pancakes

As I whipped up a batch of pancakes for breakfast this morning, I was thinking about how much I love watching my family devour them. I thought I would share my recipe for anyone who wanted to try them out.

Before I continue, I want to say that when I am in the kitchen, I like to keep things simple. Nothing against those culinary artists who whip up masterpieces with a dizzying array of ingredients, but I am all about few ingredients and simple preps. This will be a uncomplicated recipe that can be customized to suit anyone’s needs. I usually get about ten 3-4 inch pancakes from this.

I used dried blueberries this morning.

I used dried blueberries this morning.

Basic Recipe:

  • 1 cup of flour*
  • 1 cup milk (dairy, almond, buttermilk etc. your choice)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp of baking powder (*if using self rising flour there’s no need for baking powder)
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (optional)

I also like to add a little extra something for that special oomph! Today, I used blueberries, but other favorites include cranberries, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips. Really, throw whatever you like in there lol. There are no Rules! I don’t add sugar to this batter because the added fruit or chips add a bit of sweet, as does the protein powder. Also, most things people top pancakes with are also sugar laden. If you feel the need to add sugar, I would suggest no more than 1 tablespoon. My sweet toothed family have never had complaints.

In a Medium/Large size mixing bowl, beat the egg (I use a fork for all purposes) then add the flour, baking powder, and protein powder. Pour in the milk on top of that and stir with a fork until everything is combined; batter should be mostly smooth. Depending on the brand of flour and/or protein powder I use, the batter may be just a bit too thick. If this is the case, just add a splash more of the milk to smooth it out enough to be poured.
Now stir in whatever extra ingredient you are adding, such as chocolate chips.
In a hot, lightly oiled/sprayed skillet or griddle, ladle/pour in batter to the desired size of pancake. I like them 3-4inches which are nice and small and easy to maneuver. Allow to cook until you see bubbles form on the surface and the edges solidify, carefully flip with a spatula and allow to cook for about a minute more.
Continue until all the batter is used.

Almost time to flip.

Waiting for the bubbles before I flip.

My family members all have their favorite toppings.
We use everything from traditional maple syrup, fruit preserves, yogurt, peanut butter. The sky is the limit really.

I purposefully don’t like to write rigid recipes because I think it makes non-cooks panic. It’s okay not to measure everything perfectly or to throw an extra “handful” of something in. Just follow your gut and experiment. If it’s not perfect the 1st time, do something different the next.

Also, in the theme of keeping things simple, I have a large measuring cup that I mix this batter in so when it’s time to cook, I just pour directly from the spout.

If you have questions or tweaks about the recipe or for clarification on anything I’ve written, just leave a comment or contact me.

Check out my Banana Cookie recipe if you’re looking for simple, easy and healthy!

Nom Nom.

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November 12athon. I can’t believe that it’s almost over!

Well, I know I haven’t been writing about anything running lately. Well, I haven’t been posting about anything at all, so I suppose it’s fitting that my November 12athon post is terribly late. I am expecting the teacher to put me in the corner to face the wall or maybe write on the blackboard 100 times: “I will turn in my homework on time.”
Nah, nothing so dramatic lol, but I am figuring better late than never!As I have written a few times in the past, my back has been pretty hurt and that has caused me to take several months off from physical activity. I am definitely not even close to 100 percent as yet, but I can pretend right?
I have been trying to ease back into this whole crazy running things slowly as possible. I started back with going out and running just a couple of miles at a time and the week before the 12th of November I got a whopping 4 mile run in! WOoohoooooO! High fives all around!
Still, I felt pretty good knowing that I could complete my 6 mile 12athon run using the Galloway method that I had been introduced to through our lovely race director Iris; run a few minutes, then walk 1 minute.
So that being said, can someone please tell me what got into my head when I woke up that morning thinking I was going out and doing 8 miles that day?!? If you really want to know I will tell you, but you are going to laugh and shake your head at me disapprovingly.

The night before, I had a dream. In that dream I ran an ULTRA! You know, the kind of ULTRA that is longer than The 26.2 miles in a marathon! Yeah, The night before, when I was tucked in all cozy and snug in my warm comfy bed, I dreamt that I not only ran 50k, but I was as fresh as a daisy the whole time and finished feeling like I could do it again. OMG Even I am laughing til I cry as I type this!!!

Let me give you a moment to compose yourself and get off the floor. I am so sorry I just made you fall out of your chair with amusement! Are you ok? Are you hurt? No? OK, good!

So to continue, I woke up thinking “WOW! What an awesome dream! I am going to run 10 miles today!” HA, ok yeah this is where I talked some sense into myself and decided to aim for 8 instead.
Truthfully, I almost hit that goal, I finished with 7.5 miles under my feet. If you’d like to count the walk home it would be 8 miles, but I would consider that cheating lol and I’ll have no part in it. So, am I happy with my run that day? Yes I am considering where I have been for the past few months. I have to say though, it was my LONGEST duration run ever, though not my furthest distance run ever. I am still very proud of myself for passing the original goal of 6 miles for the day.
Here are the bonus challenges I took part in on this day:

  • Baker’s Dozen: 7 lovely, delicious, soft chocolate chip cookies. 1 for the road and 6 onthe road!

    When it’s all over how will I justify unhealthy eating *sadface*

    • Galloway: Used a podcast and ran 3 minutes, walked 1 minute
    • Naturalist:  Dusted off the Nike Free 3.0 v4which has a 4mm drop.

      Yeah, I picked up a new pair.

      • Sunrise: I just made it with the Sunrise bonus as I may have headed out just minutes before the sunrise. Cut it close!

Next month is the last 12athon ever and I will admit how sad I am to see this end. I love how being a part of this crazy game has pushed me a bit further and encouraged me to get a workout in on days I would have not done so otherwise.

I have the 12athon is almost over blues so I am heading over to the Facebook page to check out all the other very awesome 12athoners!

I’m posting this because it makes me smile & sing lol

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New Belgium’s Tour de Fat Bicycle Tour

Have you heard of the New Belgium Tour de Fat as yet?

I have to admit that it’s one of my favorite days of the year!

I wonder why????

I look forward to it all year long, willing October to get here quicker.
If you don’t know about this cool event, here’s a blip from their website: “… Tour de Fat, it is a thrilling rite of passage that includes an unparalleled costumed bicycle parade, New Belgium beer, eccentric entertainment, local food, unusual bike contests and much more.”
Yup, that’s right; BEER, BIKES, COSTUMES! It’s a mish mash of vaudevillian-like carnival side shows, cool costumes, bike rodeo, art, and drinking.

Bike rodeo! Notice the bike with old shoes instead of tires?

Just a couple of the cool bikes that were seen

There’s even a bike parade that’s free to take part in. Imagine the fun of dressing up and having a cruise through the city streets with thousands of new friends.

Trouble making friends? Get close & personal in the world’s smallest night club!

Every year, in every city, they find someone willing to give up their car for a year and in return, New Belgium will present that person with a custom made commuter bike usually worth a few thousand bucks. As a bike commuter myself, I very wholly approve!
That person then takes part in a “funeral” procession for their dearly departed vehicle.

All in All, Tour de Fat is just a really fun time! Whether you’re into people watching or just want to be one of the crazies for the day; either way, your can’t go wrong. Even if you don’t ride a bike, I really suggest checking it out if it comes to your city!

Here I am in my most ridiculous PRO-BIKE glory!

Umm sooo Yeaaahhhhh… I like bikes….

In AZ this event is always in October and I have to admit, I already started wishing for October 2013 the very next day after Tour de Fat! There’s really nothing like it! Be sure to check out their website and Facebookpage for more info.

I am also wearing wings, but after a few too many New Belgium brews, I am afraid they broke!!!!

Did I mention I LOVE this FUN FUN FUN event???
See my pics on Facebook for 2011 and 2012

What’s your favorite New Belgium brew? I do love 1554, but enjoy quite a few of their other offerings. Yummy!

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