It’s been too quiet around here lately

And I have missed writing about various things.

The truth is, I have been dealing with more injury and though not running related, I have not been able to earn my sweat via exercise for a few months now.

I suffer from sciatica from time to time and seriously hurt my back to the point where I was unable to even walk for a bit.
I am feeling much better, but I am still feeling those tell-tale “twinges” and “pulls” that is a definite warning sign not to push my luck. A definite notch in the Plus column however, is my plantar fasciitis is almost gone. It’s such an afterthought now!

I have so much to tell you guys!
I feel like popping the cork on a good full bodied red wine, gathering you close and saying “sit sit, I have stories.”

I want to share an update on my Nike Free 3.0 v4 review. Now that there are about 200 miles on this shoe, I want to let you know my latest thoughts and photos of how it has weathered my abuse.

I want to share my preliminary thoughts on my new Merrells. Yeah, I have gone a little crazy with this brand and in the course of a couple of months have already purchased 3 different pairs/models!
I am still working on fully transitioning into “barefoot” but I was definitely feeling good about where I was in the process at the time. Starting over won’t be a problem, I just really want to get back out there.

Merrell Dash Merrell Mix Master 2 Women'sMerrell Barefoot Pace Glove

Also, I have had sooo much anxiety about upcoming races! I have never competed in a single race as yet even though I have been running for almost 2 years now.  I finally decided to see what the hubbub was all about and signed up for my very 1st race; well two races actually. The Iron Girl 10 Mile in Fountain Hills Arizona and the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘N Roll Arizona Half Marathon in January. Now, while I know I still have time to train, I am wary because I don’t know how soon I will be able to resume my training.
You see, the longest run I have ever completed was 8 miles back in the beginning of the year. All summer long I have struggled to complete the occasional 6 mile long run. I am actually more nervous about the Iron Girl 10 mile only because there’s a time limit; one that I believed wouldn’t have been a problem before, but now wondering about it in case I have to walk any of it.
This girl needs to get back to running!
Not all is bad news though!
October is one of my favorite months of the year. It starts cooling down a slight bit. Here in AZ that means it hovers around 100 degrees and that is a relief! We don’t have a “change” in the seasons in the valley like up north. I do get lucky sometimes to head to higher country to see the leaves change. I do love that!

Locally though, I have a lot of fun at two of my favorite festivals. Tempe Oktoberfest is a blast and I am usually there all 3 days since I do sometimes help pour beer or help with their Frank Kush Footrace as well. Great German Beer, lots of music & bands, and a whole lot of fun! My other favorite is New Belgium’s Tour De Fat. If there are any cycle/bike enthusiasts reading this, if the Tour de Fat is ever in your area I urge you to check it out. It’s a carnival of fun! Check out my pics from last year. The beer is also delicious and I am fond of their 1554 and their IPA.
I hope to have many pictures to share of the festivities!

Also coming soon:
My review of Instead Softcup; a little something for the ladies.
My thoughts on the Merrell Dash & Merrell Mix Master 2
My updated thoughts on the Nike Free 3.0 v4

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Nike Free 3.0 v4 Review.

As I mentioned before, I hate wearing shoes!

In the past I have dealt with a whole lot of pain when it came to my running shoes; plantar fasciitis being one of the worse and I had to deal with that for about 9 months.

I am going to be honest here and admit that I have never been a fan of Nike shoes in the past. They really never fit my foot quite right so I have always avoided them.

I tried the Nike Frees 3.0 v4 because of two things that I noticed when I looked at them in my local running store:

  • They are incredibly light! 5.5 ounce each. I honestly have never had a pair of athletic shoes weigh so little.
  • They are so flexible! I can literally roll them up.

    They flex with my feet!

I think those 2 factors were so important to me because I need my feet to be able to move. I loved that when I wiggled or lifted my toes while wearing these that the shoe moved with my feet.
For the first time I didn’t feel as though my shoes were forcing my feet to lay a certain way that felt very unnatural.

One of the things that I was hesitant about was that the tongue is attached. The top of the shoe is one seamless piece that is supposed to fit like a sock. After my first run in these and every run since I have really come to appreciate this feature. In the past, I have had issues with lacing my left foot too tightly which resulted in pain and bruising on my instep or lacing my right foot too loosely which resulted in blisters on that foot. This is just due to the way my feet are shaped and I have had many instances where I have had to stop to adjust my lacing in the middle of a run. I have never had to address this issue with the Nike Free. They really do fit like a sock and while I do tie the laces, it is more of an aesthetic thing since I don’t think I even need the laces on this shoe. I do think that is is a good idea for someone who may need to adjust the fit to make the shoe a bit more snug on their foot.

The flexibility of the shoe mostly comes from the sole. I am not sure of the technical terms, but the grooves (almost like slices that run both the length and width) allow this shoe to flex like you’re almost wearing nothing at all!

Photo from the Nike website to show the grooves

Despite the fact that this is such a light and flexible shoe with just a 4mm heel to toe drop, thus making it a minimalist ride, there is definitely no lack of cushion. I went into these straight from wearing very supportive and highly cushioned shoes and I needed absolutely no transition period. While I do have to say that if someone else were trying this out, please take your time and listen to your body. If you feel you may need to work up to running long in the Nike Free then do so. I believe that since I do not wear shoes on a regular basis my feet may be somewhat more inclined to less support than most people.

I have since put about 150 miles on my Nike Free 3.0 v4 and while that isn’t a lot of mileage, these still feel like they did the first day. As a heavy runner, I could always feel my “traditional” running shoes losing some of it’s support and breaking down around this mileage.

Don’t let the dirt fool you, these feel as great as they did on day 1!

Even though they don’t show any indication of wearing out, I am actually going to buy a second pair as I have my first 1/2 marathon coming up and these shoes are so comfortable that I can’t imagine going a long (for me) distance and anything else at this point in time. It can never hurt to have a spare pair of comfy shoes laying around.

I should note that I run on different surfaces such as asphalt, concrete, dirt and gravel. They feel great on every surface, however, when I am in gravel I notice that little pebbles do get caught in the sole. It honestly hasn’t affected the feel of the run, I still feel all the flexibility and cushion just the same. When I get home though I do have to open up the grooves and let the pebbles fall out. It is not a big deal for me personally as it does not hinder my run.

All in all, I really love the Nike Free 3.0 v4. I would definitely buy these again. I would love to see Nike make these with a 0mm drop.

I have not been compensated in anyway for this review. I am simply someone who has been dealing with pain while running and wanted to try something new so I bought these.

If you have any questions about my experience running in this shoe or if there is something I can clarify, don’t hesitate to ask.

Happy Running!

UPDATE!

I have put about 200 miles on these shoes and wanted to show the wear and tear a bit. I am hard on my shoes as I am a heavy runner and I DO NOT bother with cleaning or washing them since I spend a fair portion on my runs in the dirt and don’t see the point of having pretty, sparkly shoes. So, forgive the grimy shoes in the pics if you must. I am still a huge fan of the Nike Free 3.0 v4 and went ahead and got another pair. So I am posting some comparison pics for you to see. That being said, I am disappointed that the fabric portion of the upper only lasted me 200 miles. Is it a lot to ask that an upper last me longer than that? I am accustomed to the mid sole breaking down on me, but not the upper.

Can you see the hole within the yellow circle? There’s an identical hole on the other shoe.

The bed/sole of my shoe is still holding up in terms of comfort. Since that’s obviously the important part, I am still a fan.

There is obvious wear on the sole, but nothing that I have reason to complain about. I am happy with how the lower portion of this shoe has held up!

P.S. I wiped the old ones with a wet cloth and they became so impressively clean, my husband asked if they were the new ones.

Just some side by side comparisons

Again, I would buy this shoe again; already thinking about my 3rd pair. Unfortunately, my local running store only seems to have this color in my size! I get such a steal on my shoes there that I won’t bother to go elsewhere for another color.

I also bought a pair of Nike Free 5.0 for my Dad and he really loves them!

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My foray into Minimalist Shoes.

I am going to be honest with you. I hate wearing shoes!

It’s true, I will avoid them every chance I get. I live in sandals and flip flops and when necessary, will wear heels for a meeting or a night out. That’s it! If I am indoors, I am barefoot.
I once attended a wedding wearing flip flops. Yes, I am ashamed to admit it and it wasn’t planned, but I looked fabulous in my red dress, black cardigan and black flip flops! It couldn’t have been that bad since the bride asked me to be in her wedding photos even after I explained that she had never met me before lol.
Life is just too short for ill-fitting shoes. The only time I may suffer willingly would be with some gorgeous, sexy heels, but even that’s pushing it.

I am a heavy runner (read that: chunky chick who happens to run) When I head to the specialized running store it seems I silently scream “PUT ME IN SOMETHING UBER SUPPORTIVE!” As a result I have been wearing stability shoes to run in from the very start and all I have ended up with is a whole lot of pain! We’re talking quite a nice little smorgasbord of pain too; ranging from back, hips, knees, ankle and the biggie: Plantar Fasciitis. Yay me! Wow, don’t I sound really old complaining about my maladies? The truth is that I have never felt comfortable in my running shoes. My feet would begin to cramp as I walked out to the street before I even started running.

I was convinced that since my feet weren’t used to the support the rest of the time, maybe I shouldn’t have so much of it while running. However, every time I tried to discuss this with my local running store staff they kept insisting I needed the support. I was told that I could go into minimalist shoes, but I would need insoles. Stop me if I am wrong, but doesn’t that defeat the purpose?
I was confused and didn’t know what to do. Then, I had the good fortune of cyber meeting Iris Sutcliffe of Stet That Run. Her husband, Barefoot Josh and herself are barefoot/minimalist running enthusiasts. Through Iris’ guidance she shared some great links and recommended a few brands for me to try. I am forever grateful to her. She made me realize that I wasn’t crazy in having this fight with my shoes and she gave me the confidence I needed to walk into my shoe store and let them know that I was not going to take their well intentioned advice on shoes any longer!

I knew it! It’s a conspiracy. Somebody PLEASE STOP THEM!

Unfortunately, all the brands I intended to try were out of stock in my size (This, I believe was a conspiracy. I mean really? every barefoot brand in a size 9.5)

I did leave with a pair of minimalist shoes that day and it has definitely convinced me that I am on the right track. The pain, while not entirely gone, has greatly diminished; especially the plantar fasciitis issue.I wake up in the morning and can actually WALK! That was an issue for me before. I barely feel the pain of this now, it’s more slight discomfort.

I am definitely going to begin my transition to barefoot shoes! Actually, I did my first 2 miles in a 0mm drop shoe this week! I will be taking it very slow though.

I will chronicle this transition the best I can starting with a review of the shoes…

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The Day Started with a Scorpion…

If that critter didn’t wake me up I don’t know what would have!

It looked like this… ONLY SCARIER.. cuz it was RIGHT THERE! Ugh!

Yes, I do live in the desert and there are many many scorpions out here. You just don’t always expect one in a sombrero to greet you while you’re rummaging around in the dark looking for your knee strap. Okay, I haven’t gotten into the tequila as yet (I am eyeing it though) and he wasn’t really wearing a sombrero, but I am trying to turn my memory into something more pleasant since I haven’t taken off my running shoes as yet and I have been home for 4 hours already. I hate wearing shoes! If they weren’t already on my feet when I had the critter encounter I may not have even put those on. I have a fear of anything creepy crawly, which is bad for a girl who loves the outdoors. I can deal with them outside, that’s where they are supposed to live, not inside with me! Where’s the tequila?

Today is the 12th of July, which means it’s time for Stet that Run’s Virtual 12athon again!

It was incredibly humid outside since we had one of our famous monsoon storms last night and while the temperature is never affected, the moisture in the air is definitely at it’s worse. Over 100 degrees and humid as heck!

So hot & sweaty I tried to hang myself with my camelbak tube

I ran 6 miles and despite the humidity, my first 5 miles were really great. I don’t understand why I struggled so much on that last mile. I am starting to believe if I have that amazing “can run for 100 miles” feeling in the beginning of a run, it means I will bonk. Is that just me?

I planned on doing 2 challenges this morning, but lucked(?) into an extra one on a whim.

  • Naturalist:I ran in my what I now consider my Trusty Nike Free 3.0 v4 which has a 4mm drop and counts as minimalist shoes. I have to write a review on these since I can’t get over how cushy and flexible these are without all that yucky support! I’ve put a little over 100 miles on them so please excuse their cruddiness. I play in dirt folks.

    I will not wash my shoes, I like them to collect the dust of my miles!

  • RUI – The Single-Fister: Does that sound dirty to anyone else but me? Okay please ignore my perviness and let’s get on with it. I am actually not at home so I am making the best with what I have. I ran with my camelbak today and the only other bottle I had was my 12oz steel bottle in which I promptly leapt at the chance to pour alcohol into. I went with vodka, cranberry juice and a bit of grenadine for some extra carbs lol. I’ve run with it before so I knew it wouldn’t be a burden to hold. I had such a great run the last time I did this challenge I was sure it was the secret to my success. Today, I think it worked well, until I ran out. Perhaps double the alcohol will work better. Double fister next time!

    Finally, a reason to day drink! I used to hide in my shame before…

  • Sisyphus: I left for my run from a friend’s house since she’s out of town and I went to look after her dogs and cat so I was not too familiar with the layout of her neighborhood. At the end of her block there was a school and a park. (Zoom in to see the track) Gorgeous! I noticed that there was a track there and for the life of me I couldn’t remember if that was one of the available challenges this month. This was decision time: Explore a gorgeous new neighborhood filled with wildlife and stables etc or rack up some 12athon points? Tough one! Especially since I wasn’t sure it would even count. I went for it. It was nice not having to hold the water bottle and it wasn’t as boring as I expected it to be (rephrase: the 1st 4 miles weren’t as boring the last 2 were yucky) Since the park was right there I enjoyed watching scampering wildlife. I stopped a few times trying to get pictures, but by the time I got the camelbak off my back and the phone out of that each time, well, nature doesn’t wait to smile and say cheese.

My critter count: I saw 8 or 9 jackrabbits, a squirrel, a nest of lovebirds, (my favorite) a woodpecker, a mama roadrunner and her babies running behind her, and a coyote crossed my path. I will be running in this neighborhood again tomorrow if only to really explore the area.

If you look very closely you can see some of the lovebirds

A few short notes:

I will be forever indebted to Iris from Stet that Run for recommending my switch to minimalist shoes. My Plantar Fasciitis has almost disappeared since making this small change. I have just bought my first pair of Merrell Dash Glove and will begin my transition to “barefoot” shoes.

My new babies

I have discovered the perfect addition to my steel cut oats for breakfast this morning; dark chocolate covered acai berries! Holy Moly that’s good! (I also should add that there’s natural peanut butter, raisins & fig pieces in there as well; sugar overload! I think you can say I ate candy for breakfast.)

The chocolate gets all ooey gooey and melty. Ohhhhhhh… YUMMY!

I will be only semi professional today as I am working from home and I definitely plan on continuing the day drinking. And yes, at this time in the post I have already gotten into the tequila!

Actually, I am now heading to the pool with my red solo cup and a copy of 50 shades of grey… work be damned!

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Who else hates to shave? Emjoi Divine Epilator product review.

I am a pretty hairy gal. I am willing to bet that I am not the only one out there.

When I was offered a chance to review the Emjoi Divine Cordless Epilator by For The Love of The Run, I jumped at the opportunity.  You see, I hate to shave; whether we are talking legs, arm pits, or my ahem nether regions… let’s be PC and call it my ‘bikini area’ though I don’t wear bikinis and I may or may not I prefer a more Brazilian look. I’ll never tell.

Image

If you’re wondering what an epilator is/does, it’s an electrical device used to remove hair by mechanically grasping multiple hairs simultaneously and pulling them out. Think tweezer amplified.

I live in the hot, arid desert of Arizona and I have a strict ‘No Pants’ policy for about 10 months out of the year. This means I spend my life in dresses, skirts, and running shorts. I believe in ‘natural air conditioning’ and like the wind (read: hot air) on my skin. This also means it will be a societal faux par to run around like Sasquatch all the time. Though, if I didn’t think I would be shunned or that it would add to my body heat I might be tempted to try it. So in order to avoid the villagers from chasing me through the street with pitchforks and torches, I keep a nice supply of razors in stock and use them regularly.

However, this process is a royal pain in my butt! Not only am I lazy and hate shaving everyday, I am also as blind as they come. I actually have worn my glasses in the tub/shower so that I can see the number I am doing on my legs as I wield that sharp little blade. I do occasionally remove my glasses when they get all steamed up and that is more like playing Russian Roulette with my veins.I am a daredevil! I live for danger and adventure, but I would prefer to do so outside of my tub rather than in it.

I have tried all those depilatory creams that claim to be for sensitive skin I just always end up with the applied area completely burned/scabbed over. I learned after the first time to try that ‘test area” that they are so fond of talking about. No luck with those. I have used those nifty little electric shavers created just for women. Ha! What a joke those have been! I would have returned them all if I thought it was appropriate to return something that may have some of my leg hair still stuck in it. Wet/Dry use my foot! They have never removed most of my hair. So, when Tina from For The Love of the Run gave me the opportunity to try the Emjoi product free of charge, I was like “YES! YES! YES! PLEASE!”

I have to say from the beginning, my experience with this company and product has been impressive! I received the product very speedily from UPS on the day they told me to expect it. It was in a very cute little package and when I opened it up. I was surprised to see everything in the box. This was more than just a mere epilator! Here’s what is in the package:

  • The Base/Handle. Great shape and comfortable to hold. This is the main part and it has 2 speeds for all your hair removing needs
  • The Epilator Head/Attachment: 36 tweezer discs remove more hair in less time with less pain
  • The Shaver Head/Attachment. Yes, a separate shaver for when you don’t wish to epilate. (I have never used that word in a sentence before… epilate…)
  • Exfoliation Head/Attachment. Who doesn’t like smooth skin?
  • 6 exfoliation cartridges; 3 for face, 3 for body
  • A cleaning brush
  • A very spiffy drawstring storage bag

Great little “extras” that I didn’t expect.

The reason I am so excited about this product is because with the epilator, I don’t have to shave on a regular basis. *See previous spiel about hating to shave. When I first opened the box it was pretty late at night and I was ready for bed so I just removed the device and plugged it in to charge. Now, don’t get me wrong, you can use it attached to the cord, but I prefer to use a cordless product in case of a power surge I don’t wish to be electrocuted. (Arizona is known for it’s electrical storms during monsoon season which starts today FYI and I can be a little prissy when it comes to shock therapy)

I tried the Emjoi Divine the following night. I’ll admit, I was a little nervous about pain since I know if I tweeze certain areas that are not accustomed to hair being ripped out I can be a bit of a baby (*see previous prissy comment) Truthfully, the sensation was not bad at all. Definitely not painful like I expected it to be. I felt a little “pulling” of the hairs on my leg. It is definitely something I can live with and not painful for me at all. I liked that it also seemed to be smarter than I when it came to knowing when I missed an area. When I thought I was done with an area, I would pass it absent-mindedly along again and it would pick up little hairs that I couldn’t see. I love that! Ladies, how many times have we shaved only to realize we missed a spot later that day? Just me? okay.
Well, I loved using this product that first night. It was so easy! And, my leg was so smooth. Hubby gave the smooth leg a huge thumbs up. Husband approved! Though I couldn’t get him to let me try it out on his own body. Chicken!
If you notice that I keep saying “leg” not legs it’s because initially, I intended to only use it on one leg, then shave the other the next morning so that I can compare the rate of hair growth. Well, the very next morning I knew I had to shave that one leg in the shower and I grabbed this little gem and used it on the other leg. Ha Ha! What does that tell you? I love it so much that I won’t be shaving my legs again. As far as how long the effects last; well, I used it on my legs two weeks ago. I am still walking around with hairless legs. WOOHOO! Victory! Mission accomplished! I am loving it!

Now, I have tried it on other areas. I especially want it to also be an end all to shaving my armpits. Truthfully, my underarm skin is very sensitive. I have to use certain types of deodorants and moisturizers, etc to keep that area happy. I was a bit more skeptical about using it here. My fears were a bit founded as when I tried it on my underarms it was definitely a little painful. I actually only did a small area and had to take a break. BUT, here’s the thing. I will be trying again and even if I have to only do small area at a time, I will use it for this purpose as well. The reason is this: The area that it was used on is not irritated. Every single time I shave my underarms I have some level of irritation. I used it 2 nights ago and the little spot is still smooth and I am having no issues. So, I will continue to weed whack that area as well. I figure that just as the discomfort diminished with tweezing my brows all those years ago, so too will this! I am sold!
Not saying much more… apply the previous statement to my ummm… what did we agree to call it? my bikini area? Yeah, let’s go with that.

Perhaps it will even go after that caterpillar that lives above my lip. I kid. I kid. I have no mustache! or do I? Why? What have you heard?

I also tried the shaving attachment. It worked well on my other underarm area, so for those who are not willing to go through the discomfort of the epilator, it is a very viable option! I am taking preference to being hair free for weeks at a time. I do like having the option though!

All in all, I really like this product. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in trying something like this.

For me it was all positive, even the discomfort in my sensitive areas. It is packaged great and I think it would make a great gift. Just make sure that you have the intimate type of relationship that could withstand a non verbal cue that your loved one is a hairy beast!

If you have any questions about my experience with the Emjoi Divine Epilator please don’t hesitate to ask. If there is something I may have neglected to mention just let me know.

Thanks for reading and definitely head over to the Emjoi website to see their other products. I did receive this product for free, but there was no other compensation for this review. This is all my honest to goodness opinion!

And please head over to For The Love of The Run. Tina has a great, fun running blog and she does a ton of awesome giveaways. Thanks for the chance to try something like this Tina!

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Deviled Eggs, Teddy on Board, and Morning Drinking all while Running… Wise Mix?

WoooooHoooo Ya’ll!

It’s June 12th and you all know what that means by now! It’s time for the Stet that Run Virtual 12athon! And you know that I am always present and accounted for when it comes to this whole crazy game!

Today marks the end of Quarter 2 and since I was the leader of the JV team last quarter I am ineligible for the win this time around. Not only that folks, but I am not even in the running this quarter. I have been slacking on my bonus points and so I have slid down to the lowly 3rd place. Not cool! I will definitely have to pay more attention to the wackiness in the future. It seems that I have also missed 2 bonus runs. I have to keep an eye on those too.

Today was awesome!
I may need a nap and it is barely 1:15pm as I write this.

Let’s get to the run shall we?

I did my requisite 6 miles this morning. My second time attempting that distance this month and today went to much better! I suspect it had something to do with all the unholy carbs I consumed yesterday. My Dad made one of his specialties (macaroni pie; a Trinidadian/Caribbean classic by the way) and I just had to go help myself to some. Yummy! And I am not a fan of pasta, but when you have a slice of home calling you, you answer!
Today felt so much better than the Beelzebub’s Bonus Run last week in that I didn’t feel like dying. Actually, I was so happy to be out there today that I was singing along with the tunes in my one good earbud and smiling the whole time. I even chatted up a mama duck and her 6 wee ones. I don’t think she understood what I was saying, but she got the gist I am sure. So, it was a happy 6 miles, not my speediest yet, but so much improved over the last 6 miler.

On to the challenges!

  • Diabolic Dozen: I initially shied away from this challenge after reading that other 12athoners didn’t want to see another egg for awhile. I didn’t want to consume too many and end up with ‘egg burps’ all day. UGH! Then, I realized that I am a JVer. YAY! that meant I didn’t have to eat 1 dozen, but only 1/2 dozen deviled eggs. 3 eggs? Why yes please! I eat 2 a day after my run anyway! I boiled these the night before and woke up early to put them together. This is why they are not pretty; heck I spooned the mixture back into the whites as I couldn’t be bothered to pull out the kitchen tools. I also should mention that I live in the desert so I put them in a ziplock baggie (I sort of tried to put them back together to reduce the mess; it didn’t work) then I put a small ice pack, then another ziplock. I am not taking chances lol! BUT, this was a bit messy!

    They were very messy, but yummy just the same. Next time, I will make them earlier so the yolk can be firmer from the fridge.

  • Mommy-to-Be: I searched my home last night for the better part of an hour looking for my niece’s toy bag (Numerous baby toys from 4 years ago when she visited as a baby) I knew there was a little baby doll in there! Then, my husband told me that I had taken it to Goodwill about 8 months ago (she had outgrown all those things anyway) I still don’t remember doing that, but definitely sounds like my M.O. No baby doll to be found, but I did check with 12athon race director/overlord to see if I could use a teddy bear instead. I got the thumbs up, so I tucked it into the front of my hydration belt. He was quite happy there and didn’t bounce as much as I thought he would. I have to mention though that I did get a few very confused looks while out this morning. A little bit like when I wore 6 extra articles of dirty clothing, etc but a couple of people almost gave themselves whiplash doing a double take. I just smiled brightly like there was nothing hanging from my front and said a huge “Good Morning to ya!” I couldn’t help but chuckle each time.

    Baby On Board!
    I did have to explain 12athon to my neighbor before he would snap the photo. He may think I am crazy!

  • RUI (Running Under the Influence)—The Double-Fister: Now, I am all for cocktails and I always thought of myself as a “Happy hour may be too far away let’s drink now” kinda girl, but I was very hesitant about drinking this early in the morning especially while engaging in physical activity. So please, no one tell the old ball & chain he may start calling me a lush… even more than he already does… I used blue gatorade and 1oz of cheap vodka that I had left over from making jello shots for a friend’s birthday in each water bottle. Normally, I don’t drink gatorade, but thought ‘hey, you’re having vodka on a day that will get up to 107 degrees, get some electrolytes in ya!’ Now that I am writing this, I realize that I was supposed to use hand-held bottles so I am hoping the hydration belt counts. I also added a bottle of plain water that I could re-fill because I am not a complete idiot. Right?!?

    It was a fun run!
    What’s the opposite of Kryptonite? Please, don’t tell me that this is my anti-kryptonite!

    Today I was reminded how much I dislike Gatorade!

P.S. I need one of these bras for my next RUI run… Oh who am I kidding? I need one of of these just to walk around town in… Did I mention I like to drink? Take a look at my blog name lol…

I did have a great morning out there! It was so much fun planning my bonus challenges and actually executing them. I am expecting someone who saw me today to stop me tomorrow and ask what the deal was with the teddy bear. Today reminded me of my 1st 12athon run back in January when I did a few different challenges on the same day too. Fun! Fun! Fun! I loved it! I have to remember this feeling again for next time in case I want to just do a vanilla run again lol.
Oh, and if anyone is wondering, my tummy held up like a champ this morning!

After my run this morning, I headed to the gym and did a quick upper body strength training workout. I might as well have phoned it in since my brain was focused on one thing; the pool. Afterward, I headed home and changed into my swimsuit and hit the cool water for a few laps. What an enjoyable morning! Now, back to the real world and have to get some work done.

yes, and humble too…

Happy Running Ya’ll
(I don’t know why I keep saying ‘ya’ll today… but I am embracing it ya’ll!)

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National Running Day with a Devilish Twist, and who left their panties in a bush?

Well, It is National Running Day!

Apparently on the 1st Wednesday of June, runners all over the nation “declare their passion for running.” I couldn’t help but notice that all my local running store are having sales and group runs today. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend any of them. You have no idea how that little voice in my head kept trying to talk me into going. I was strong and said ‘no can do!’

I chose to celebrate the joyous occasion by taking part in the Stet That Run Beelzebub’s Bonus Run which entailed running exactly 6.66 miles today in honor on the date 6.6.12

I have to admit, I have been running more often but less miles recently. I haven’t gone 6 miles since two months ago or so. I was determined to give it a try. I started out my day with a yummy healthy banana cookie (shameless self plug)I decided to go as slow as possible and just enjoy being out and logging the miles. The 1st half of the run was bliss, I couldn’t stop smiling! The last couple of miles were a bit tougher, but I definitely pulled it off. It was definitely my slowest 6 miles to date, but I am not complaining. This was a celebration! Plus, I may or may not have stopped to snap a few pretty pictures… I may have even chased a butterfly for a brief moment; you’ll never know!

You can’t prove I stopped to snap photos!
I do get distracted by pretty/shiny things

A few days ago, I came across a pair of panties thrown on a bush. I mean, it was just hanging there on display for everyone to have a gander. This just goes to show the classy individuals that live in my neighborhood of course. Even stranger and more disturbing, today they had been adjusted to hang better? more upright? in a much better displayed? position. Don’t ask me why I had to take a picture of the bush panties because I don’t know why I do most of the things I do; and well… there were panties on the bush… The burning question for me is this… WHO ADJUSTS BUSH PANTIES? I mean who is touching this thing to better display it to the public? I am considering setting up surveillance in the area, but that may be going too far.

Bush-Panty Gate. Who is moving these things? Should I call the CDC?

All in all, it was a good run! It was warm out, but then again I do live in the desert. I am considering hiring a towel boy to follow me around so I have something to sop up all the sweat before it runs into my eyes and the salt blinds me permanently.

My physical activity has been going so great! I am enjoying myself! Just this week I got a few extra fun activities in other than my runs.

  • Monday: 4 mile run, 30 minutes upper body strength training, swam a few laps
  • Tuesday: 2 mile run, 4 miles on the mountain bike (I decided 4 miles on the road bike was no workout at all)
  • Wednesday: 6.66 mile run (too tired for anything afterward)

Tomorrow I’ll be at the RRS Adventure Run in the afternoon so I am thinking a bike ride and swim in the morning.

Oh.. heh heh and here’s a little teaser for those still paying attention…

I signed up for my 1st race ever today. I have never ran a race before… It’s a half marathon. Yup! I shall fill you guys in later.

 

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May 12athon – Rocked that Bi-Curious challenge!

Heh Heh Heh. I am bad. I thought it was a catchy title. What can I say?

Well, it’s May 12th and that means time to get out there and get some miles in for the Stet That Run’s 12athon Virtual Run Challenge. I am happy to say that not only did I get my 6 miles as required for the JV team, but I also got my limit of Bonus Challenges in today as well. Vanilla miles of the past months be damned.

For my bonus points I chose the following challenges:

  • Naturalist: Thanks to our wonderful 12athon race director Iris, and her invaluable advice, I am heading towards minimalist shoes. Unfortunately, my LRS did not have any of the shoes I actually wanted to try in my size (9.5) I tried for 3 different models of Merrells and 2 models of New Balance with 0mm drop. Actually, every barefoot type shoe I asked for was not in stock. *cue scream* thank you giant running shoe chain store! I went home with a pair of Nike frees 3.0 which has a 4mm drop. Not what I wanted, but already a HUGE improvement over the big heavy shoes I have been in before. Much less pain for my plantar fasciitis already! When I am not running, I am almost barefoot in my regular life. I can’t wait until I try something even lower in about a month or so. They are light and I love that I can move my feet in them, and they can do this… But there is still a whole lot of padding/cushion and I don’t want that so much. But they count for the challenge so YAY!

    Nike Free 3.0 v4

    I can actually move my feet and wiggle my toes for a change!

  • Bi-Curious: I spent the better part of last night fixing a bike for a friend and while I was out there decided to put some air into the tires on my bikes and wipe all the dirt and grime off.  I was inspired to go for a short ride today so I figured why not get points while I am at it 🙂 I ran 3 miles this morning, then hopped on a bike that is clearly not fitted to me (It’s still my favorite little Frankenstein) and rode 3 miles. I have to admit, I felt like I was cheating at this whole crazy game, but I had fun. This picture just reminded me that I left my water bottle in the holder out there…

    Too big, not built for a woman, total Frankenstein, but my fave bike in the current arsenal.

  • Baker’s Dozen: I did learn my lesson after last time about leaving my stomach’s affairs in the hands of someone else; especially when that someone is addicted to donuts! I baked my own healthy cookies, which is a staple in my home. I ate one before I left, 3 on my run and it was awkward to stop and eat a cookie every mile on my ride through the neighborhood haha.
    Here’s the recipefor you health conscious people. It can be made with a minimum of 2 ingredients! Yes, you read right. I think you endurance athletes may like it. I have been making them for years!  This batch has 4 ingredients: bananas, oats, fig pieces and peanuts.

    Healthy Banana cookies

    They may not look pretty, but they are tasty and good for you!

I had such fun getting my sweat on this morning. I am however green with envy over the 12athoners who were able to get together and run in real life. When will you all be taking a trip to beautiful and sunny Arizona? hmmmmm? *hint hint wink wink nudge nudge shove shove poke poke prod prod*

Oh and I will be relaxing while pouring a frosty mug of this today

Because I like to replenish my lost fluids!

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Healthy Banana Cookies – It cannot be any simpler than this!

I have been making these cookies for years and my family loves them.  I like that they are healthy and simple and have minimal ingredients!  I wanted to share since it is so easy to make and virtually impossible to get wrong! There is no measuring of ingredients involved.

Eat Me!

They do not taste like a regular cookie, but more of a fruit/nut bar. I love to grab a banana in the morning before going for a run, but these are a great alternative for when I am all out especially since they keep in the fridge or freezer.

They may not be pretty, but they will be as tasty as you make them and healthy! This batch in the photos are made with only 4 ingredients: bananas, oats, fig pieces and peanuts.

These cookies start with a base of just 2 ingredients: Bananas & Rolled Oats. Theoretically, you can just use that, but it would be so very boring!

Recipe:

  • Ripe Bananas (I usually use about 5 or 6 big ones and get about 24 – 30 cookies)
  • Rolled Oats. Make sure they are rolled old fashioned kind, I don’t think quick oats/instant oatmeal will give the right texture.
  • Any assortment of fruit you desire. FRESH OR DRIED Fruit, it doesn’t matter. I have used everything from fresh apples, pears, strawberries, peaches, etc chopped into pieces to any dried fruit you can imagine like blueberries, cranberries, goji berries, etc. Use any combination as it’s fun to experiment with flavors.
  • Nuts any kind or combination like peanuts, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, etc. (be careful of allergies if sharing) they nuts are optional.

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray a cookie sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the peeled bananas with a fork or whisk.
  3. Stir in oats until the mixture is thick enough to scoop onto a cookie sheet. More oats makes a drier, firmer cookie, less oats makes a moist cookie. It depends on personal preference.
  4. Stir in any combination of fruit dried or fresh or combination of both. This is what makes the cookie tasty in my opinion, they more fruit the better! Otherwise you end up with bananas and cooked oatmeal.
  5. Stir in nuts if you are using them.

These cookies do not expand or rise so whatever shape you make them they will stay that way. I have made them into bars by forming them into a rectangle or you can scoop into a cookie cutter then lift out the cookie cutter to leave the mixture in that shape.

6.   Bake for about 20-25 minutes then allow to cool before eating/serving.

C is for cookie it’s good enough for me… C is for cookie it’s good enough to eat… Cookie Cookie Cookie starts with C. (I often do sing the cookie monster song; true story)

Store these in the refrigerator since there aren’t any preservatives. I also like to make a lot and freeze them so I always have a snack when I am on the go.
They are like snowflakes, no two batches have ever been the same!

Let me know if anything needs to be clarified, you guys know I can ramble on and on and not make sense!

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Heavy breathing isn’t just for the perverted! RUN

I saw that on a shirt once and it really applied to me this morning!  I ran a mere two miles huffing and puffing the whole way… and LOVED every single moment of it.  My maniacal smile in between gasping for air should have been proof to anyone who saw me.

It’s been too long since I enjoyed/been on a run.  Between foot issues then getting sick the very same day I bring home sparkly new running shoes. Ha! Fate had other plans for me.  I even toyed with the idea of wearing my new nike frees 3.0 to bed.
But out on the road today, during all that heavy breathing without a partner, I fell in love all over again.  It may have only been two miles, but those two miles were all mine and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

The truth is, I have been feeling a bit better for a few days, but I have found it so difficult to get out the door in the morning.  Every night I swore to myself that tomorrow would be the day, and every morning I would find the flimsiest of excuses not to go. It had been so long that I couldn’t bring myself to even pull on those new shoes.

Something had to give. Over the past few months not only has my fitness gone all to crap, but I found myself shoving disgusting things in my mouth. All the junk food that your brain can think of it probably went down my throat. It wasn’t like tasty food that I love, but things I don’t even like. I was in this spiral and just kept getting lower and lower. I felt like shit; both mentally and physically. I am not going to candy coat it. Because I already ate all the candy.  My stomach looks like I’m expecting triplets. The kicker is this: I knew all it would take for me to shake off these cobwebs and pull myself from this funk would be just one good workout session.  So why has it been so hard?

Today, I operated on auto-pilot without giving my brain time to think. The second my I opened my eyes this morning I swung my feet off the bed and started getting ready to head out the door.  The new shoes I mentioned are my first foray into using “less” shoe with a 4mm drop so I promised myself “No more than 2 miles.” After all, it had been awhile since I had been out there and didn’t want to set myself up for disappointment. 2 miles I can do in my sleep.
But, I have to tell you, those two miles felt so incredible that I wanted more! I almost pushed it, but decided to take it easy instead. After my run, I hit the fitness center and knocked out what felt like the quickest 30 minutes on the elliptical followed by some light strength training. I had to stop myself from doing more only because I was starving!

I have to tell you, I feel great right now! Endorphins flowing and I can’t stop smiling. I have even been dancing around like a goofball. I even did this song…
Yes, I did. I am so sorry!
How annoyed are you? Still here?
My husband hasn’t seen that girl in a while lol.  Even he is smiling. You see, exercise benefits everyone!

Ok. I need a goal to stay on track because one workout doesn’t a ‘Comeback’ make!  I have decided to sign up for a half marathon!
I will let you know which when I choose.

I will be rewarding my return to grace with a cold brew today, an Albion Amber Ale from the Marin Brewing Co. I haven’t tried that one before, let’s hope it’s worthy of a celebration! I wish I had some Belgium black from Four Peaks though yum!

 

Happy Running!
Happy Sweating!
Happy cold Frosty One!

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