A week with No charge!

So going MIA was ok, I spent a lot of time with my family and enjoyed life!  In actuality my laptop quit charging and put a damper on things but I took advantage of this and the chaos of a full week off work!  I put my blogger side away and just lived!!!

I am going to let you see a small portion of my life in the last week with a photo post!

Every runner needs doughnut leggings!

I did resist and did not purchase these!
I received the coolest book ever from my SIL!
A book with pics from our time out there!!
Oatmeal with greek yogurt and pears!!
OMGracious!!!!  So good!!
Christmas!!!
The kids had so much fun!!!
My main man J! 
Very rare photo of him! 
Cleaning out the closet, finding old stuff!
A birthday card over 20 years old!!
Owning a new pair of super cute booties!
Love them!
Who’s ready for 2015???????

GreenForce Labs NO2 Pre-Workout Review!

Recently,I have been using GreenForce Labs NO2 Pre-Workout.  I am always looking for something that will give me that edge and help me perform better than before. 

So what is NO2?  It is a supplement that is taken before intense exercise or weight training.  I love the simplicity of a pill and being able to take it before working out without worrying of my stomach hurting.  This stayed in me well and I did not get that jittery feeling that I have with some other supplements containing high amounts of B-12. 

One full serving is 4 pills/one bottle supplies 30 days
GreenForce Labs has posted that NO2 should do the following:
  • INTENSIFY YOUR TRAINING: Packed with Arginine, Beet Root Extract, Citrulline Malate, Ornithine, and Vitamin B-3 and B-12, our unique formula will boost your strength in the gym and allow you to push through your workouts, lift more weight than you ever thought possible and improve endurance.
  • ALL IN ONE WORKOUT SOLUTION: We have combined an NO2 and Preworkout into one, no need to take multiple supplements before your workout.
  • INCREASE BLOOD FLOW: L-Arginine and Beet Root Extract in our formula will help increase blood flow and give you an incredible pump, making it an excellent choice for weight lifting, endurance, and even in areas such as male performance.
  • A Supplement You Can Trust – Our FDA-registered facility is NSF and GMP certified, and all of our products are manufactured in the USA
  • Manufacturer Guarantee – We offer a 100% no-hassle Manufacturer Guarantee for all our products. If you do not get the results that you were looking for, simply let us know and we will provide you with a full refund.
A little blurry!
A full serving is to be taken before working out and no more than one serving per day!!  The pills are rather large so anyone with an issue with big pills might not want to take this.  That doesn’t bother me so I had no troubles with this. 

Overall I like this product a lot but do not use it everyday!  My runs are not intense enough to use this every day but with days I am cross training or doing an intense Beachbody workout this will be very nice to use and have! 
This post is sponsored by GreenForce Labs via BrandBacker.


The Huff 50k Relay Recap!!!

This recap, just like any others I have written may be lengthy.  There is just so much information about a race and the experience of it, I can’t bear to leave it out! 

Friday evening D and I headed down to packet pick up.  It was at a restaurant along with a small pasta dinner.  They served spaghetti and garlic toast, salad and cake!  It was good and the other runners there, were as always, joyous and talkative!  D and I could tell when the staff had reached their boredom limits and people weren’t coming in as much.

They were having a ton of fun!!
When we left the dinner/packet pick up we headed to a quaint Bed and Breakfast in the town closest to the race.  They were very inviting and let us know everyone staying but one couple were all runners for the next day.  Whew!  I knew I wasn’t going to be waking anyone up!! 
Our room!
D wandered around collecting a couple of homemade chocolate chip cookies while talking to the owner and then we started winding down by reading books until we eventually went to sleep!
When we got up in the morning the owner was confused why we were staying at a B & B yet brought our own breakfast.  I let her know I only ate certain things before a race and since the one thing she didn’t have was bagels, I was glad I had brought my own!  D and I ate from our mini breakfast bar, I showered and we got ready to go. 
Just the basics!
We were meeting our third runner Kari at the park the race was taking place at and she was getting close.  We headed out!  We got to the park and D said just while I was driving back to park “it’s going to be hilly today” based off the hills we were cruising up and down back to the parking lots!  I stayed positive and let him know that we run hills, it is OK!
We met up with Kari, gave her all her stuff and race bib, then headed toward the start.  Race started at 8am and it was not already about 7:40!  We headed over by the main tent and I handed them my sweats. 
Main tent, food, heat and lots of people!
I had volunteered to run first!  I made sure I had all my stuff on, for this race I opted to take my FuelBelt Revenge R2O, due to having 2 bottles on it.  I could have one with Gatorade and one with water.  This also held my phone and GU nicely. 
I headed to the starting line and started talking with the runners around me.  We discussed what flags we were supposed to follow.  The course had both green and pink flags.  One set was for the folks running the 50k and the others were for the relays and single loop runners.  Nobody knew which…I was hoping someone one the course could help me and I started out blind!
First hill we went up on our way to the trails.
We started the race by heading down the road for a very very short distance before hitting the trails.  I settled in at a comfortable pace knowing it was going to get hard and I wanted to save myself for later.  It was a frigid 25 degrees out so the ground was crunchy and uneven.  I loved it!!
Miles 1-4:  We had to come to a fast walk as everyone bottlenecked onto a small wooden bridge heading across a water filled ditch.  A girl right in front of me fell and I mean hard!  Her feet slipped, her hands then slipped and she ate the bridge!  She was running with friends who immediately were on her making sure she was OK!  I knew then this was going to be an interesting run and we were only in the first mile!  My Garmin beeped I hit one mile, still feeling good.  Soon I came to a section where the pink flags went right and green went straight!  I came to a complete stop turned around and asked another runner “where do I go???????”  He assured me green was correct and I took off!  Right before mile 4 I saw people slowing down and when I looked ahead I realized why.  Everyone and I mean everyone was walking.  There was a huge hill…that being frosty and crunchy was not only slick, but root filled and dangerous.  So we walked in true trail runner fashion, up the hill.  This is also a favorite of mine with trail runs, there is no judgment on anyone that walks up a hill or anything.  Trail courses are expected to be hard and everyone even the fastest out there may have to walk a few steps here and there.
Miles 5-8:  We hit the first water station and I grabbed what I thought was juice, it ended up being flat orange soda…oh well, it hit the spot!  I grabbed my GU and started taking it down.  I struggled with it due to it being so cold.  I had to let it warm up a bit so I could get it down easier.  I was also thankful to know I was almost halfway done.  At this point I knew I need to run more trails.  I also turned my Garmin from watching my pace just to overall time and distance.  I didn’t want to pressure myself too much.  I plugged along and talked to a couple while running.  They were just doing the single loop but having lots of fun.  They stopped running for whatever reason so I kept going.  I was at mile 8 before I knew it. 
Miles 8-11:  The hills were getting worse.  The last few miles were by far the hilliest.  They were steep both up and down.  It was also getting a little warmer and all the foot traffic and started to loosen things up a bit so footing was becoming more questionable.  I made sure to be careful going down as I could tell it wouldn’t be too hard to fall and go face first down a hill.  I didn’t want my run to end like that.  When I hit mile 10 I started trying to turn it up a little considering the terrain.  I knew the race close to being over (for me anyway), so I pushed.  I came around a corner and saw D yelling!  I pushed through the finish and gave Kari five as she took off! 

2 hats, 2 cups, a shirt and finishers belt buckle!
I crossed the line and forgot to stop my Garmin for about a minute so my last split is off a little.  Here is my breakdown. 
1: 9:39
2: 10:01
3: 10:38
4: 10:30
5: 10:27
6: 10:57
7: 10:50
8: 10:23
9: 10:41
10: 11:25
11: 8:59
I really wish my Garmin  Connect would work so I could see the hills and what my total gain/loss was for the day. 
Finished!
As D and I waited for Kari I had some soup, coffee, crackers, and water.  We knew it would be awhile so I had time to rest and change.  I got out of all of my clothes into a fresh set of everything!  It felt amazing to be out of the sweaty clothes. 
D taking off his sweats, lol!  Vogue!
After awhile I got a message from Kari.  Something was wrong.  She had followed the pink flags and ended up adding an extra 2 miles onto her run!!  I knew then I had to do something, but what?  I didn’t know where she was in the woods so I just waited.  I got another message when she was 3-4 miles out and I told D, I am heading back out!  I went back out onto the trails looking for her.  I ran about a mile back into them when I found her and then ran that last mile with her.  I knew that mentally she was holding on but we have all been there right?  We have that race we do that just gives us something that kills us mentally and that’s where she was at.  I did all I could, stayed positive and ran her to the end!  Once across the line I made sure D knew to follow green and be careful! 
I help Kari get refueled as we waited for D to do our last leg.
I expected him to be around 1:30 so when it got close to that we left the main tent and waited.  It was so beautiful.  (I would have taken pictures but my phone had died at this point) snow had started falling ever so gently and the woods were so peaceful.  Then I saw him and started yelling!  D cruised by me toward the finish!
Almost done!
I don’t know what our total time was and I really don’t care.  I know that we all ran well, we had hurdles and made it through them.  We worked together to stay positive and cheered each other on as teammates do.  This was a first for all of us and yes before we left the park to head home we were already discussing The Huff 2015, I think I will just make sure to have some more trails under my belt before then!!
Have you ever done a trail race?
What would you have done in Kari’s situation?
Anyone coming to Indiana next year for this race?

Organized Chaos and My Love!

Last night was very uneventful!  I didn’t run or workout at all.  Since the Huff is Saturday I don’t want to risk being tired or sore.  I will run later today just to shake out my muscles before the big race tomorrow!  We are going to have so much fun!  D and I are heading down tonight and Kari will meet us there in the morning!  We will have to stop and get some bagels on the way there so we can have our usually prerace breakfast!  Plus, Kari and I decided D can anchor our relay so he gets to cross the finish line (he is stoked) so he will be waiting quite awhile for us to run the first 21.6 miles!  <–sounds like so much when put that way…glad I am only running 10.8!!

Now on to the odds and ends that don’t flow together very well but I just feel like posting these things so here you go!!

I love bruschetta and if you know me you know that!  It is one of my absolute favorite things in the whole wide world.  The mixture of tomato, shallot, basil, and other items with a nice little toasty piece of bread makes my taste buds so so so happy!!  If you can’t tell by the last couple sentences I made some last night, and it was perfect! 

Yummmmmmmmmm!
The hubs wanted food from a local place and so we ordered and when he got back he had this.
Yes a full, taped shut to-go box?!?!?!
It was supposed to be a taco salad I believe but really?  The thing weighed 5 lbs and the tomatoes were not quite ripe!  I don’t know what they were thinking but I am really thinking salad 101 is needed!  
So, I usually avoid the whole fashion conversation because well I am a mom and I don’t really have time to go shopping.  But, I found Stitch Fix.  I am telling you it is AWESOME!  They tailored a shipment to the specs that I gave them and they pretty much nailed it!  They send 5 items each month (or a schedule that you are ok with) and then you get to decided whether or not you keep them.  You don’t have to keep any if you don’t want to!!  So yes, you have a stylist, clothes sent directly to you and then you get to choose if you want them!!!  My world just got a whole lot easier!  So if you are a woman seriously try it!  You will NOT regret this decision.  No this is Not a sponsored post.  I am being very real here!!  And I forgot to take pics of me trying the stuff on so I will do that soon!
I didn’t forget however to take some selfies with my favorite little lady!  She makes me so happy it hurts! 
Kisses!!!
Her being silly!
And now laughing from being silly!
Have you ever ran a relay?
Any race plans for this weekend?
Do you have any local joints that need salad 101 also?

Gone Swimming plus ONLY One More Week!

Last night I headed to a friends to get some running and swimming in!  Kari and I met at her house and ran from there to the local pool which is only about a mile and a half.  Once we got to the pool I realized how long it had really been since I had swam.  Now I have swam in lakes and such but not to work out.  We mixed it up with some upper body and lower body along with a little bit of speed work!  Holy crap I am an upper body wimp!

It has been so long!
We spent about an hour total on our swim workout and I could feel my upper body working hard.  I can tell this is going to be a great asset to my running and overall fitness!!!!
Tired and getting ready to run!
When we were all finished we got changed and made sure to wear our hats as our hair was still wet for the 1.5 mile run back to her house!!
Covering that hair up!
We are officially a week away from Christmas!  Which is huge…kind of!  My husbands family is crazy about holidays which make things rough when you are trying to stay fit and they have event after event! 
We have a dinner on the 24th and the 25th with his family.  That means TONS of food!  Also, I always make cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning so my kids can get food in them without making too big of mess.  The presents take care of that!!!!
So I have made a plan of what I can do to make sure that I am not overindulging and staying on the healthier side of things while there! 
First Christmas Eve, I will make sure before we leave the house (usually around 5 or 6 in the evening) I drink Shakeology.  This will fill me up and help curb any cravings I may have when there.  It will help me take smaller portions so I don’t go into complete caloric meltdown!  We don’t have a huge meal here but the last two years in a row it was KFC and well that is not the healthiest of food….AT ALL.  I don’t want to put my body through that so I will not, greasy foods like this have a tendency to make my stomach hurt anyway.  I am also going to try to get in a good workout in the morning because we all know how time consuming holiday’s can be! 
Second Christmas Day, with kids it starts early!  Really early!  Luckily enough for me I get up at 2:30am during the week so early doesn’t bother me!!  <–yes this is true!  First things first is coffee and making my cinnamon rolls.  I usually just bake store bought.  This will be fine and I am ok with having something to make my tummy happy!!
We always go to the hubs grandparents house for the better part of the afternoon.  They have a huge dinner at around 1pm.  This means a few things, more Shakeo before we go, no gravy, or extremely greasy things, and 1 dessert.  Yes, just one!!  I did a good job at not having any at Thanksgiving dinner so this should be a problem.  I want to make sure that I am taking care of myself and being able to turn away from things I normally wouldn’t will not be easy but I will be possible!  I am not going to start my marathon training off eating like crap!!  Which my plan starts on the 21st!!!
Have you ever done a brick workout?
What is your plan for lower indulgence?
Do you have a tradition for Christmas morning?
    

New Challenges and snacks

Integrating cross training is going to be a challenge for me and I think I have found how I am going to do that for 2015! 

On January 5th, I am going to be joining a challenge group for Insanity Max:30!!!  To say I am excited about this is a complete understatement!!  Oh my goodness, this is going to kick my booty seriously!  The first time I did a Beachbody workout a few years ago I thought I was going to die.  But loved it!  I never knew my arms could sweat until that!  If you want to join in on the challenge let me know!  I will help you get the materials to get 2015 kicked off to a GREAT start!
Now, I am in much better shape now than I was then so it should be a little better.  But I will be gaining strength and boosting cardio which will help excel my running and push me further!
I am also going to be trying to get in at least one day at the pool!  I need the low impact day!  I used to be on a swim team…many, many moons ago.  I was good, not great but good.  I know I am going to get some soreness out of the first few times due to the muscles you forget you have in your body actually being used.  However, I still think this is going to do huge things for me!
Speaking of being back in the pool, some ladies and I are heading there tonight for awhile!  I will let you know how that goes!  We are only supposed to be doing an hour long workout but we will see if I can even make it that long!  I am excited about being back in the water!!
I have also been trying to have healthier snacks throughout the day…this what I made last night…..It was SO good!!  Rye bread, laughing cow cheese and a raspberry!!  My hubs even liked it and that is an amazing thing to accomplish!  Hopefully I can keep him eating good with me.
This post has been just a little random because I have so many thoughts and goals running through my head right now I can hardly stay focused!!  So I leave you with this because it made me laugh a whole lot!
Have you ever done a Beachbody workout?
Do you like to swim for cross training?
What is your favorite healthy snack?
   
    

Christmas lazy and randomness

From now until the 26th this is how I envision my life:

Christmas = Presents

Presents = Stress

Stress = More eating

More eating = More running

It wouldn’t be so bad but I am a procrastinator.  Which means I have purchased approximately 5 presents total.  Those 5 are also all for my daughter!  Oooops, sorry boys…mama’s girl is easy to buy for!  Oh, and we actually have some decorations up!!  Over a week early!  <–This is progress!

KK picked this out!
KK also received a letter from Santa via the USPS and he let her know how he was going to get her EVERYTHING on her list!  Really Santa?  Why you gotta do me like that!?!?!
The letter was very cute and not expected at all though so really it was pretty cool.  I am just glad I can get her what is on her list or this Christmas would have been a little rough for my little lady!
This is what it looks like when I don’t feel like editing a photo!
This week I am preparing to run The Huff 50k relay on Saturday!!!!  I am super stoked and ready to go!  Kari and I did a 6.25 mile trail run nice and easy on Sunday as a last longer run.  I am ready to run the 10.8 mile leg, I am just unsure of what the terrain is going to bring!!  Last night I wanted to put a little speed into my run but I just couldn’t get with it.  I ran 1 mile at 8:30 pace and then stopped to stretch out my calves.  I got in another .58 at 9:00 minute pace but my legs just weren’t ok with it!  I stopped running at that and just foamed rolled and used my stick.  That made my legs happy!
I also have a new favorite meal.  Eggs, broccoli with a little meat and cheese!  I don’t know how I lived without this!
Plus this has made its way to my list of wants!!
Are you ready for Christmas or do you procrastinate like me?
Have you found any cool running jewelry?
What is your go to breakfast on the weekend?
 
 

InstaNatural

I love my skin but sometimes as a runner it isn’t the easiest thing to manage!!  I want it to look vibrant and youthful but the sweat and constant washing take it’s toll. 

InstaNatural has been a huge help in keeping my skin looking good!  As of late I have been using a couple different products of theirs.  After I was and tone my face in the morning, I have been applying Age-Defying Retinol Serum

This stuff is amazing!!  It goes on smooth and I can put my make-up on in just a matter of seconds after application!  It has a dropper and for me I start with about 5 drops and use a couple more if I haven’t covered my whole face.  This does contain 2.5 retinol so if applying to wear during the day you will want to apply sunscreen as some skin can become sensitive.   
It smells great and has been giving my skin a better glow!  I have only been using it for a short time and can already tell the difference.
Like I said I have been using a couple of their products, the second one is Rosehip Oil.  Seriously this stuff is great too!  I have the most unhealthy nails and cuticles ever!  I am constantly picking at them and making them even worse.
I should just call it everything oil!
Rosehip Oil can be used for a multitude of things and nails are one of them!!  I have used it on my face as a moisturizer at night, my nails, and I am trying it on a couple of scars I have!
InstaNatural uses 100% pure Rosehip Oil that is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids.  These help it be an effective moisturizer all around.  This is perfect for this time of year, I know the colder weather really does keep my skin dryer than normal and harder to keep healthy.
Disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post via InstaNatural and Brandbacker.  As always all thoughts and opinions on these products are my own.      

Pocket Protein KIDZ!!!!!

Do you ever struggle staying full?  Do you kids ever beg for a snack before dinner?  I know mine do!!!

Pocket Protein and Pocket Protein Kidz is a great solution to help keep you fuller longer and get much needed nutrients into your system!! 

Yum!
I struggle in the mornings, I just can’t seem to find much on the go foods that keep me full in the morning at work!!  I always find myself wanting a snack long before lunchtime rolls around.  So when I had the opportunity to try Pocket Protein I jumped right on it!! 
Snack at work!!!
PP has only 60 calories per serving but 15 grams of Protein!!! Did I mention 0 fat!!  They have different formulas for men and women!  We are not all the same so it is great to be able to choose something that is formulated for women to give us what we need to perform our best and stay focused daily!!  Being a athlete and keeping healthy snacks with me at all times can be a challenge.  The packaging that PP comes in makes that a breeze!  I actually have a package of it in my purse right now!!
With Being able to carry this easily I will be able to use it as a post workout protein source.  I don’t know about you but sometimes I have a hard time finding something to refuel with quickly, especially if I did not work out at home!
She loved it!!
Pocket Protein Kidz is another version that they have just for kiddos ages 2-9!  This has a lower content of protein for their growing bodies at just 7 grams it is enough to keep their hunger at bay but not too much for their tummy’s to handle.  My kids tried this and love the taste and wanted lots more!!!
My favorite thing about this is it is not milky!  When I think protein shake or drink I always think of something creamy and this is NOT.  It is more of a juice and has NO, I mean NO bad protein aftertaste as some products do.  Pocket Protein really nailed this!
Also Pocket Protein KIDZ is having a sweepstakes. Everyone who contributes or pre-orders to our campaign is entered to win a $500 Visa Gift Card in time for Holiday shopping*. See official rules at http://pocketprotein.com/KIDZsweepsrules
Right now you can save 15% the already low price of $19.00by using the discount code HOOSIER at checkout!! 
Disclaimer:  I was given this product to try at no cost to me.  Thoughts and opinions on it are my own as always.

2015 Goals

The flu bug hit my house pretty hard and so I took two days away from the blog to attend to my motherly duties of letting sick little people run my every move….it was awesome!
So now that I am able to actually sit back and type I need to get this out of the way!  I have had lots of thinking time on my hands recently and this is where it has taken me!  GOAL TIME!
I have been seeing a lot of post lately talking about goals.  I have decided that this is something I need to do for 2015!  I want to create goals and push myself to meet those goals!  Setting goals can be hard.  You want them to be something you truly want/need but not so out of reach you get discouraged trying to do them.  My goal list contains little things like reading certain books, to larger get out of debt things or just better life practices.

1.  Read these books:

  • Born To Run
  • Eat & Run
  • Looking for Alaska
  • The Time Keeper
  • The Spectacular Now
  • The Light Between Oceans
  • The Lost Wife
  • Winter Bloom
  • Doc
  • The Color of Water
  • God’s Smuggler
  • The James Miracle 

2.  PR in these distances:

  • 5k
  • 10k
  • Half Marathon
  • Marathon 

3.  Eliminate all unnecessary debt

  • Credit Cards
  • Student Loans

4.  To run at least a race per month…I will update these as I register for each event!

  • January: Resolution Run 5k 1/1
  • February: TBD
  • March: Winter Blast Half Marathon 3/1
  • April: Kal-Haven Trail Run 4/11, RNR Nashville 4/25
  • May: Tough Mudder 5/10
  • June: TBD
  • July: TBD
  • August: TBD
  • September: TBD
  • October: TBD
  • November: TBD
  • December: TBD

5.  Cross Train every week….No Excuses!  I need to do my best to get stronger, this is a key element in being able to really start to perform at a higher level than I currently am.

6.  Go on a date with my husband at least one time per month…NO KIDS!  We do not do this enough, investing in each other when you have 3 kids, both work full time, and trying to do the normal stuff is hard and we need to get better at taking time out for each other!

7.  And lastly in lieu of the holiday season, I would like to have Christmas shopping done before…..12/1!!!  This will reduce the Santa stress which is a whole other post!!

Happy Monday!!!