Friday, September 19, 2014

One Month Away!

It is official.... I have exactly one month until my half marathon! Ahh!

I am nervous and excited and all of those feelings that you get whenever something big is coming up. I am nervous because I am afraid that I will have a crummy time, but I am excited because I am going to do it! I will complete the race and cross the finish line of my first half marathon!

The Rock and Roll race series is one of the best known half marathons/marathons out there. I have not completed any of their other races, but from the amount of info and emails that I get from them, they seem super organized and on top of things. They even sent out a preview of the course a while back, check it out:

They also have the full marathon route posted as well, if you are running that one.

We have been up to Denver a few times since we moved to Colorado in February and I really love the city, so I am excited to run through it and see some parts of town that I haven't been to yet. It also doesn't look like a terribly hard course, which makes me happy since its my first half. So, off for some more training so this race doesn't kick my butt!

Have you done any of the Rock and Roll series races? What did you think?

What are your recommendations of a must-do race?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Great Debate: Lululemon vs. Athleta

Last year I did a post about how I didn't see the point in spending money on running/workout clothes. I used to only really wear stuff that I got at Old Navy or Target, which I still wear, but I started the get to point. I realized that you get what you pay for. Those two stores have a nice price point, but the clothes aren't always as flattering and don't have the bells and whistles that more expensive brands have. Also, I have noticed that they don't always hold up as well. 

I first walked into Lululemon the day of our St. Patty's 5k since the shop is downtown and we were waiting for the parade to start. Of course I wanted to peek in and see what all the rave was about. Well, between the awesome gals that work in our Colorado Springs shop, the fact that their dogs were just walking around the store also greeting everyone that came in, and the nice products, I was sold. 

It is rare that I pay full price for anything, so of course I has happy to find out that they were having a sale on all products that were green/have even a little accent of green for St. Patty's Day. They also offer a 15% military discount in our local shop, so it was a good deal. I got a pair of the Run Inspire Crops, their best selling running capris along with a Swiftly Tech Racerback. I love both and since then my little collection has grown to 3 pairs of run inspire crops, 2 swiftly tech racerback tanks, 2 sports bras, 1 short sleeve swiftly top and 1 long sleeve swiftly top (all purchased on sale or were gifts, thanks to my awesome husband and momma). 

I have heard about Athleta and knew they were the main Lululemon competitor. From their quality of clothing, to their similar business model of offering free classes in their shops and allowing you to bring in your furry friends. However, we do not currently have an Athleta shop in the springs (though I hear one might be opening up here next year), so I never got a chance to check them out. Until this past Monday, when I got an email that they were offering free 2-day shipping. 

I thought I would check out what they had to offer, and found a pair of crops (Relay Capri) and a long sleeve top (Fast Track Top) and popped them in my virtual shopping bag. Sure enough, they arrived yesterday afternoon, so I was excited to try them out on my run this morning!

The verdict: split down the middle!

I think I might like the Athleta Relay Capri a little better, though I still love my Run Inspires. They did not ride down at all during my run, I feel that they have a little more compression, and they have nice reflective strips on the hips and back of the calves. Both have a good sized zipper pocket on the waist in the back and vents behind the knees. They are also less expensive, usually $69 (I got mine for $34), compared the Run Inspires that go for $86. 

Regarding the top, I like aspects of the Fast Track Top, but think I am still more of a fan of the Swiftly Long Sleeve. The Fast Track and Swiftly lines are both made from their own version of anti-stink fabric, which means even when you are super sweaty, you don't smell it. The Fast Track has grippers at the hem so it doesn't ride up, along with nice thumb holes. But, the Swiftly is softer, has longer sleeves (for us girls with long arms) and moves better (I felt like my range of motion was a little restricted in the Fast Track top).

Overall, I am a fan of both, now I just have to be on the hunt for a good sale at either, because finding a great sale is half the fun, right?!?!

What is your go to fitness brand? 

Do you care more about the price or what you are getting for that price? 

Monday, September 15, 2014

I'm Back!!!

I have been inactive on the blog for the past four months, but I am back! I was off enjoying life, enjoying living in Colorado, going on vacation (California and NC!) and just didn't find the blog a priority. I was also a little discouraged in the running department and didn't have much to write about.

I had signed up to complete a half marathon in July, and ended up not running it because I did not feel prepared. I was upset with myself for getting lazy and not training like I should, so that just made it worse. I know things don't always work out the way you plan them, but this was my own fault, so I was bummed. But I got over it, completed a few 10ks since I last wrote and now I am more pumped up because I am registered for the Rock and Roll Denver Half Marathon and I will complete it!

I have also been busy with work, trips and life. And the blog takes a back burner because I will not put the internet before real life. We went to California to Disneyland and San Francisco in July and had a blast!

I also flew back to North Carolina a few weeks ago and it was wonderful. It was the first time I had been back since our wedding two years ago and it was just as beautiful as ever. It was also so great to see my family and friends back there.

We have also been loving our new home in Colorado and getting to know the area and all the great things Colorado has to offer. We are very excited and are loving life out here.

That is all for now, but I promise I will write more and be back at being the greatest self I can be!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

I'm Only Half Crazy (x2)

The day has come, I gave in and registered for a half marathon last week! I am so excited/nervous because I have never run that long, but I know I can do it (even if I have to crawl to the finish). Last year I completed a quarter marathon, and this year I already have some 10ks on the list, but I wanted to up it even more, so I registered for the Half on the Fourth here in Colorado Springs! This will be my first half marathon and Andy's second.

We also knew that The Rock and Roll Marathon and Half was coming to Denver in October!

We wanted to participate but thought we had a 10-miler the day prior, so that wasn't going to work. We found out that Rock and Roll has a half marathon 2-person relay and through that would be manageable. Well, I did a little more checking and turns out, we do not have a 10-miler the day before. So, I signed up for the half and Andy signed up for the full! (maybe next year will be my first full, baby steps).

I am so excited for both of these races! The Half on the Fourth looks like a really nice course right through a park and seems to be pretty flat (unlike our race this coming Saturday, that one will be full of big hills). Then the Rock and Roll is right through Denver and has live music all throughout the course. If you have ever done a Rock and Roll race, I would love to know what you thought of it!

Now, on to training!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Virtual Races

I really need to be better about posting, sorry for the month hiatus. We have been busy with planning little summer trips, like going to Denver in two weeks to see the Mets play the Rockies! And my family coming to visit, which I am super excited for. And, a possible summer vacation to Disneyland and San Francisco!

But, what I wanted to chat about today is virtual races! Has anyone tried them yet? If so, I would love to know what you think.

A virtual race is a race (most sites have 5k, 10k, half and full marathon distances), where you sign up and run the distance of your choice. You get an awesome medal and race bib, and the money goes to charity. They aren't too expensive, most between $20-$35 per race.

There are tons of different sites that put on virtual races, and they are for all different causes and charities. You get your pick which is awesome! Plus, you can get your friends and family together and make a day out of it. Or in my case, since my friends and family live all over the place, it is something you can do and chat about it later!

I have found a few that I want to participate in and that give to charities that I want to support. Below are some of the good ones that I found.

Fit, Fab and Lean

Will Run for Bling and Charity

US Road Running

Jost Running

Have you done a virtual run? What do you think? If you want to do one, let me know, maybe we can sign up for the same race and its like we are running together!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Meatloaf Wednesday!

Today I want to share one of my favorite recipes with you! My mom bought me the Biggest Loser Family Cookbook a while back and it does have some great recipes. We used to watch Biggest Loser all the time and the recipes in the book are from the contestants on the show.

One of my favorite in the book is the Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf. I have made some changes to fit what we like and I also double what the recipe says that way there are leftovers for lunches.

Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf(my way):

1 1/2 cups Old-Fashioned Oats
1 cup fat free milk
5 tbsp buffalo wing sauce (or more to taste) - I use Frank's Red Hot
2 lbs ground turkey
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped sweet onion
4 large egg whites
1/2 tsp salt
5 oz crumbled reduced-fat blue cheese
Olive oil spray

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and spray two loaf pans with olive oil spray
2. Mix together the milk and oats, allow to sit for 3-5 minutes (until the oats start to get soft)
3. Add wing sauce to milk and oats mixture, stir together
4. Combine oats/milk/wing sauce mixture with ground turkey, celery, onion, egg whites and salt and mix
5. Add blue cheese and gently mix
6. Evenly distribute mixture between the two loaf pans (should be about 3/4 of the way full)
7. Bake in oven for 40-50 minutes
8. Remove and cut each loaf into 8 pieces and serve

Once the meatloaf is done, I usually cut two or three pieces per person. I then top with a little extra buffalo wing sauce or reduced-fat ranch (per the persons preference). Serve it with a side of sweet potatoes, salad or rice.

I used to make this every Wednesday, hence Meatloaf Wednesday!, but I hadn't made it in about two months. Last night I made it and it was delicious. I cannot wait to have some leftovers for lunch today!

Do you have any favorite weekly dishes? Hope you have a great day friends!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Pinterest Coming to Life and CNNiReport

I have been wanting a bib/medal hanger for a while now, and saw some that I really liked on Etsy, but didn't want to spend $50 on one as that would end up being $100 for two (one for me and one for Andy). I also found some on Pinterest that seemed easy enough, so I decided that we would make them!

Yesterday afternoon we hit up Michael's and got two wood plaques, two colors of acrylic paint, sponge brushes and a paint pen. They didn't have they type of hooks that I wanted (L shaped hook), so we went across the street to Lowe's and got some hooks there. The total cost to make two was about $40.

We got home and we were excited to start our Sunday project! We set up a folding table in the garage and covered it with a big trash bag to keep the table safe of paint. Then we set our wood plaques on two solo cups, that way you can easily paint the edges of the wood without having to pick it up. We did three coats of paint as the wood soaks up the paint. Then we drilled little holes and screwed in our hooks. After that I did some writing on the top and we were ready to hang them!

I am so happy with how they came out, through I do not have the best handwriting, they still look great! It was also a lot of fun to go through the bibs and medals that we have and remember all of those fun races, we cannot wait to add more this year!

Plus these are something that we made together instead of buying, and we saved $60!

And, as an added bonus, while we were at the gym yesterday morning, I got an Instagram notification from a producer at CNN. She was working on their CNNiReport and wanted to use one of my pictures of the tumbleweeds from last week. Well, it made CNN! Here is the link, and a little screen shot of their website (though she should have said March 18th instead of March 28th, since that hasn't happened yet, but still, pretty awesome!)

Hope you all have a wonderful Monday!