Monday, June 30, 2014

GT 5K 2014

Hello, Monday!  Another great weekend has come and gone, this one was filled with lots of fun memories!

Saturday morning, I ran the GT 5K (sponsored by my local church) which supported the Wounded Warrior project.

GT 5K (4)

Last week, I ran this course to help map out the distance – that was SO much fun!

GT 5K

Unfortunately, crazy storms dumped a ton of rain on our area the day before the race and area roads were flooded. One of the roads for our route was completely under water on Friday afternoon. Thankfully, the rains held off and most of the water drained away by race time Saturday morning. 

The humidity was crazy thick on Saturday morning, too – yuck.

GT 5K

I arrived early and found a few friends to chat with. I felt very patriotic! :0) (Don’t be surprised if you see that skirt again next weekend for the July 4th Four Miler!)

GT 5K (3)

The turnout for this year’s race was much smaller than last year - the rains didn’t help much, I’m sure. 

GT 5K (5)

We found Melissa and took another picture – we’ve all been friends for a long time! I’ve known Melissa since she was in 6th grade and Mackenzie since she was in 5th – I also had the privilege of teaching both of these ladies on Wednesday nights! We had lots of fun times!! :0)

GT 5K (2)

My parents also came out to walk the 5K! (I bribed them with breakfast after the race…hah!)

GT 5K (6)

I didn’t take any pictures during the race because I wanted to stay focused. I knew I wouldn’t PR in this race (the humidity was too thick), but I wanted to run my best. I stopped once for about 10 seconds at the halfway point for water and kept going. Signs like the one above kept me encouraged throughout this race, especially while closing in on the last .5 miles…

Usually, I count the people ahead of me they pass at the turnaround point, but I didn’t do that on Saturday (I have no idea why…I think my brain was on overload and I’m pretty sure it thought I was crazy).

GT 5K (8)

As I approached the finish line, I pushed hard (even though I wanted to puke) and passed the guy in front of me. Had I counted those in front of me, I would have noticed that I was the 2nd female in line…yeah that’s right, second female! What?!

(By the way…apparently I didn’t do as good of a job as I originally thought with mapping out this race…whoops!)

GT 5K (7)

Sure enough, my name was called as the 2nd place female! I couldn’t believe it! Something funny – #27 is my number, always has been – for softball and anything else that requires a number. My username, even…it also happens to be the day of the month I was born. When I was handed the certificate with the #27 on it, I knew it was meant to be! :0)

GT 5K (9)

It took a long time to cool off after this race. I was drenched and felt disgusting. Thankfully, my Running Skirts tank dried fast!

GT 5K (11)

I found one of my best friends after the race and we made plans to hang out that afternoon. Dinner and a movie? Don’t have to ask me twice!

GT 5K (12)

I had a great time running the GT 5K despite the crazy weather! The pastor behind the race did an awesome job and made everything come together so well – she made it look easy to plan a race (which I know it’s not)!

GT 5K (13)

After we cooled off, my parents and I had breakfast at a local diner and it was just the ticket!

I spent the rest of the day reading a new (to me) series…more on that later…then spent the evening with friends – we saw Jersey Boys and had dinner at O’Charleys.

Now it’s on to a 4 day work week and a holiday weekend! So much fun!

Has a race outcome ever caught you by surprise?

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Today is the last day to enter the Pure Via Giveaway! Contest closes at midnight…don’t miss out on this fun Summer Fit Kit!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Fitness Friday–6/27

It’s almost July! This year seems to be going by so fast…we’re halfway to Christmas, too! Eek!

FitnessFriday

Saturday – 8 mile run with friends
Sunday – Rest Day
Monday –  4 mile run 
Tuesday – 5K run – planning for Saturday’s 5K 
Wednesday – Rest Day 
Thursday – Bridge run/Boot camp
Friday – Rest day – 5K tomorrow!!

Here’s a glimpse of my week:

Fitness Friday Fitness Friday  (2)

From Monday’s run – I surprised myself despite the humidity! It felt great to run strong.  I’m pretty sure the bridge workouts have something to do with that! Yay! It’s nice to see progress!

Fitness Friday  (3)Fitness Friday  (4)

Tuesday, I ran Saturday’s 5K course for planning purposes and surprised myself once again! You can read all about my “pace car” here! Hah!

Fitness Friday  (5)

Last night, I took my all new Mizuno Wave Kazan’s out for a bridge run and boot camp. The recent rains have created a ton of mud around here, so boot camp was rather messy. I was filthy by the time I left, but I definitely got a kick-butt workout! My shoes are dirty now, too…but isn’t that what trail shoes are meant for? :0) 

Last Sunday, I attempted to make Paleo banana pancakes and they were a DISASTER. I’m just not meant for the pancake world, I’ve never had luck with them…like ever.  In the end, it was rather funny – I really should have taken a picture of my disaster.  Give me a waffle machine and I can make a mean waffle. What’s so difficult about pancakes?!

This weekend, I’m running a 5K and having breakfast with my parents after (yes, I talked them into it…I might have bribed my mom with breakfast…whoops). One of my best friends and I are also planning to hang out, so lots of fun will be in store! 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!! What’s your plans? Anyone racing/running? Doing anything exciting?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

5K Planning

What a week it’s been so far and it’s only Wednesday! Thank goodness the weekend is around the corner!

Here’s a synopsis of my plans for yesterday:

  • Work (during the day…until 3:30 p.m.)
  • Run/mark Saturday’s 5K course
  • Take a shower at church (no time to go home)
  • 5:30 p.m. work meeting downtown
  • 7:15 p.m. dinner with husband and parents

I wasn’t sure if my well-laid plans were going to work out. Shortly after lunch time, the sky began turning gray. As the afternoon rolled by, the clouds began turning more and more ominous. The rain began pouring down and I text the race director to tell her I might not make it, depending on the rain.

The weather forecast told me that Wednesday afternoon looked even worse. Not good.

As I left work, I noticed a slight break in the rain and realized (according to the weather.com satellite) that I had about an hour window before the next band of rain hit.

I decided to go for it and met up with the race director. Guess what? It didn’t rain the entire time I was running! Yay!

Our reasoning for laying this course out on foot came about after last year’s race – that 5K ended at 3.25 miles and we wanted it to be exact this year.

5K Planning

One portion of the course had no sidewalk, so she followed me in her car. It was a 4 lane road and seriously y’all, I felt like an Olympian or something. It was rather amusing. Cars would pass and slow down to see who was running in front of the white vehicle. Nobody important, just me!

One things for sure, having a car follow me made me run faster! My first mile was a 7:45…I wondered where in the world that came from and knew I would pay for it at the end.

5K Planning (2)

I was right – by the last mile, my legs were dying and my pace slowed down significantly. My last mile was around an 8:50…I’ll have to watch that for Saturday morning!

With this weather/humidity/summer, I’m curious to see how Saturday’s race turns out!

After the run, I showered (yes, at church!) and made it in time for my work meeting downtown!

5K Planning (3)

From stinky and gross…

5K Planning (4)

…to smelling nice and feeling better…in less than an hour! It’s a record! :0)

Oh yes, and I also made it to dinner with my family on time, too! I walked in the restaurant not long after they sat down.

Whew what a day! I’m so glad today is Wednesday – I’m looking forward to the weekend and relaxing!

Have you ever helped plan a race, been a race director, or volunteered at a race? Share your experience!

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Be sure to check out my Pure Via giveaway going on right now! It will end Monday, so be sure and sign up today!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bucket List Races

As a runner, I’ve tossed around the idea of various destination marathons in my mind. I love travelling for racing purposes, so I decided to compile a list of races I’d like to run somewhere along the way! A little racecation never hurt anyone! :0)

Marathon Bucket List

Without further adieu, here’s my marathon bucket list!

Honolulu Marathon
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Honolulu Marathon

For my senior trip, we visited Hawaii and Honolulu was one of our destination cities. I would love to run a marathon there!

Kona
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Kona Marathon

I’ve never visited the Big Island (but would love to)! What better way to see the island than to run through it?

Alaska run cruise
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Great Alaskan Running Cruise

Amazing, right?! Who wouldn’t jump at this opportunity? It’s a 7 night cruise with a race at each port of call and a run or two on the ship. By the end of the week, participants will have run the distance of either a half or a full marathon (runners choice). To top it off, this run cruise is hosted by John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield! It’s definitely added to my list!  I’ve seen these advertised for the Caribbean, too…just something to think about!

PEI_Marathon_logo_Final
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Prince Edward Island Marathon

It’s been a dream of mine for a very long time to visit Prince Edward Island. To be honest, it’s one of the places I absolutely must visit before I die. Anne (from Anne of Green Gables) and I have been friends (not literally) for a long time and it’s been a dream of mine to visit and tour this island! Add a marathon in the mix? Let’s go…like now.

Rock n Roll Nashville Start Line
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Rock 'n' Roll Country Music Marathon - Nashville

A marathon in the capitol of country music? Yes, please! The proceeds also benefit St. Jude’s – what could be more convincing than that?!

Rock N Roll USA Marathon Washington DC
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Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Marathon – Washington DC

While we’re on the subject of Rock ‘n’ Roll races, here’s another one I’d love to complete – the USA Marathon in Washington DC. I’ve never visited our State Capitol and would love to do so one day!

Nike Women's Half Marathon DC 
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Nike Women’s Half Marathon – Washington DC

Another race I’d love to run in DC is the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. Who doesn’t love a little bling after a race – and this one’s from Tiffany & Co!

Tiffany Bling Nike Women's DC
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Tinkerbell Half Marathon Logo
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Tinkerbell Half Marathon - California

Last but not least is runDisney’s Tinkerbell Half Marathon in California. This is a race that I haven’t yet run but would love to. I really enjoyed the Disneyland Half as part of Dumbo’s Double Dare last year – another Cali race would be fantastic! Would I wear fairy wings? You bet! The pink Coast-to-Coast medal is super alluring as well.

I also would love to add a marathon in Europe somewhere, but haven’t researched them enough to know which one I want to run! Disneyland Paris, perhaps? Hmmm…only time will tell! :0)

There you have it…my bucket list of races! I look forward to running these in the future – a girl’s gotta dream, yes?

Have you run any of the races mentioned here? What’s one “must do” race on your bucket list?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Happy Iced Tea Month (and a Giveaway)!

Did you know that June is National Iced Tea Month? Growing up in the south, I drank iced tea on a daily basis – naturally, when I discovered there was a month to celebrate this delicious beverage, I was ecstatic!

Recently, Fit Fluential offered an opportunity to review a Stevia based product called “Pure Via”. (There’s also a giveaway at the end, so keep reading!) I drink Truvia in coffee on a daily basis, so I was interested to try this alternative!

PV logo color copy

Not only did I receive a package of Pure Via to try, I also received a box full of goodies!


Along with Pure Via Stevia packets, I also received Pure Via liquid sweetener in plain/vanilla flavoring, a pedometer, SPF lip balm, a cute cup, and a container of Lipton instant iced tea mix!

Pure Via 2

Did you know that Lipton makes instant iced tea?? Where has this been all my life? I can’t believe I didn’t know such a thing existed! (I’ll be honest - after trying the powdered tea mix, I still prefer the old fashioned way…but the mix is nice if you are looking for a quick tea fix!)

Pure Via 3

It just so happened that I was making a cup of coffee as the mail arrived, so I decided to try a package of Pure Via out right then and there! (I loved it, by the way…didn’t even notice a difference from the other sweetener I’ve used!)

What sets Pure Via apart from others on the market? Here’s a few facts about Pure Via:

  • Pure Via is great tasting and sweetened using all natural stevia.
  • Pure Via is a good alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. (Each packet sweetens like 2 teaspoons of sugar)
  • Pure Via packets’ ingredients are non-GMO (not the product of bioengineering). This is not the same for the liquid sweetener, fyi.
  • You can use Pure Via like sugar, to add natural sweetness to your hot or cold beverages, sprinkle on your favorite fruits and use in recipes.
  • Pure Via is suitable for people with diabetes.

Pure Via 4


After testing the iced tea with Pure Via packets (which was delicious by the way), I became a little adventurous and decided to make a fruity tea recipe of my own…in honor of National Iced Tea Month, of course!

Pure Via 5

Here’s a recipe for a delicious, Strawberry Vanilla Iced Tea

Ingredients
  • 3 1/2 tbsp Lipton Instant Iced Tea Mix
  • 8 cups of water
  • 5 strawberries (if frozen, thaw prior to use)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice is you prefer a slight tartness to your tea (may substitute for water)
  • Pure Via Vanilla liquid sweetener (may substitute with a packet of Pure Via if you desire to do so)
  • Ice
Directions
 
Create a pitcher of iced tea (**or your individual serving size) using water/powdered mix as directed on the container.

In a bullet/blender, bring the strawberries to a pulse. Add tbsp of lemon juice or water to blender and blend again. Strain seeds if desired.

Pour desired amount of tea into a glass with ice (I used a 16 oz glass). Add vanilla or plain sweetener as desired. Add strawberry mixture to glass. Stir and enjoy!

**If you’d like to make the above recipe for 1 person alone, the back of the Lipton can instructs you on serving sizes and ingredients…

Here’s the fun part! Pure Via is giving you the chance to try their product as well! One lucky reader will win a Summer Fit Kit, similar to the one pictured above!

Enter through Rafflecopter below. Giveaway will be opened x 1 week and winners will be announced next Tuesday! Best of luck to you! :0)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer: I was given the opportunity to review this product for free, at no cost to myself – no further compensation was involved. All opinions stated are my own.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Fitness Friday–6/20

This has been a full week so far and I’m so thankful it’s Friday!

Apart from work, a good portion of my afternoons were spent at Hobby Lobby and at home working on things for an upcoming baby shower. I can’t wait to show you everything I’m creating for the shower! The Silhouette Cameo is amazing, y’all!

We also had our Relay for Life Wrap-up party last night at a local restaurant which was a lot of fun! It’s great to see teams come together to celebrate the payoff from all our hard work over the past year.  Along with Relay, we’re also working on nailing down final logistics for our Gleaux Run coming up in August – can’t wait!

Jason and I finally saw Maleficent a few weekends ago and loved it! I was surprised by several of the plot twists and turns, but it sure kept me guessing!

Here’s a look at my workouts for the week:

FitnessFriday

SaturdayHouston Day
Sunday – Rest Day
Monday –  3 miles with Jason
Tuesday – 30 minutes of throwing the softball with Jason
Wednesday – Squats/Lunges/Crunches routine
Thursday – Meeting after work -  unable to run
Friday – 4 mile run

Saturday, I’m meeting up with a friend for an early morning run around town. Our running group is participating in an out of town trail race this weekend, so there’s no group meeting. I’m thinking maybe 8 miles…we will see how hot and humid it is in the morning before I commit to that!

Lately, I’ve stuck to running late in the afternoons (right as the sun is going down) because the temps are more bearable at that time. It really makes a difference! 

I have two new songs on my running playlist that I just can’t stop listening to!

  • Best Day of my Life – American Authors
  • The Story of my Life – One Direction (WAY cheesy, I know!)

What’s your favorite song on your running playlist? Have you seen Maleficent yet? Plan to? What were your thoughts?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

runDisney & Friends

rundisney
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Over the years, I’ve participated in many runDisney events…which means I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of you in person! No matter which race we are running (even non-runDisney related ones), it’s our love for Disney that brings us together. I’m sure we all (well, bloggers anyway) have people like this in our lives and I want to introduce you to a few of mine!

Jenn 1

This is Jenn. The morning this photo was taken was from the 2011 Half Marathon - we were both running the Full Marathon that year, but went out to cheer for friends who were running the Half. We’ve run into each other several times since – my husband even made it into one of her race photos from Goofy’s Challenge without even realizing it! Small World, huh? :0) (Don’t even ask about the hat – it was freezing that morning and I woke up with minutes to spare – aka I woke up and was out the door in less than 5 minutes. Mirror, Karen…always check the mirror first.)

Heather (2)

Heather and I have been friends for a while now – but again, it was our love for Disney that brought us together. Since that time, we’ve had countless adventures in races, at the parks, and throughout our home state of Louisiana.

Megan

Megan and I met during the Princess Half Marathon Weekend of 2012 (and have bumped into each other several times since). Can’t wait to see this girl again!!

Lisa

This is Lisa – we planned to meet up prior to the Disneyland Half Marathon Expo and in turn, we endured that craziness together (I think we deserve a medal for that one)!

Pam & Christine

Pam & Christine are always constant sources of encouragement and support! Love these two!!

Jen

Jen and I officially finally met at the Disneyland Half Marathon Expo and have been Wine & Dine planning ever since! Can’t wait for November!!

Mindy

This is Mindy – we met for the first time at a Rock n Roll New Orleans race a few years ago and have run into each other a few times since!

Nicole

Last but not least…my newest marathon buddy, Nicole. We had a wonderful time running Rock n Roll New Orleans together and I can’t wait to see her again! :0)

This list is not complete by any means. I’ve enjoyed meeting and spending time with each and every one of these ladies (along with many others who have stopped to say hi) and I look forward to meeting even more friends in the future!

As a disclaimer, I have to add…internet safety is nothing to play around with so always use caution when planning a meeting with someone. Isn’t it silly I have to say that? Creeps are everywhere, y’all. Be careful.

Now that you know I won’t catfish you, will I see you at Wine & Dine? :P Seriously, I would love to meet you! If you see me, stop and say hi, I love making new friends! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Houston Weekend

Every once in a while, I like to get away and spend time with Jason. We did just that this past Friday night!

Our trip began at the Westin Houston Downtown, a hotel which used to be named “Inn at the Ballpark”.

Westin Houston Downtown (4)

We spent many a weekend at Inn at the Ballpark and were unsure of how we would like the transition to the Westin.

Westin Houston Downtown (6)

Surprise surprise, we loved it!!

Westin Houston Downtown (2)

The overall feel of the hotel remained the same – we loved our room, the bed was super comfortable, and the staff was still as friendly and helpful as before. The main change made in the hotel was with the colors and the baseball theming which no longer exists (whomp whomp).

Westin Houston Downtown (3)

Imagine my surprise the following morning at breakfast when I realized the “Ballpark Café” was left untouched! The colors and wall décor were the same as before…I couldn’t have been more excited!

Westin Houston Downtown (5)

We only stayed one night at the Westin, but really enjoyed it and will definitely be back in the future!

Westin Houston Downtown

After checkout, we stopped at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Houston Museum of Natural Science (2)

Prior to our visit, we purchased a Groupon for two tickets for the price of one…score!

Houston Museum of Natural Science (3)

I hadn’t visited the museum since a high school field trip way back when, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Houston Museum of Natural Science (4)

Overall, we enjoyed the exhibits but don’t know if we would visit again any time soon.

Houston Museum of Natural Science (5)

There were a few “hands on” exhibits to see…

Houston Museum of Natural Science

…or should I say “noses on”? Oh Jason…

After spending a few hours at the museum, we made our final stop for the weekend at Minute Maid Park for an Astros game!

Houston Astros Minute Maid Park (2)

It’s been a while since our last Astros game – we try to make a few games each season and this was our first for 2014.

Houston Astros Minute Maid Park (3)

I do love baseball and I love everything about this sport, but I’m a little disappointed with the Astros organization at the moment.

A few seasons ago, the decision was made to combine all of the Houston sports teams to one network, CSN Houston.

Unfortunately, most of the networks around our area do NOT carry CSN Houston and probably never will (even areas as close as an hour away from Houston). This means that a huge percentage of the Astros area fan base are unable to watch regular season Astros games on TV. How in the world can you be a fan of a team if you can’t watch them play? How can you even get to like or know a “favorite player” if you are unable to see any of the games? Sadly, I’ve seen a huge drop in attendance over the past two seasons – the Astros no longer hold that “personal touch” for me. I know the names of maybe two names of players on the field. TWO. Yes, that’s partly because they did a roster overhaul a few seasons ago….but it’s mostly because this long time faithful fan can no longer watch a game from home.

I live a couple of hours from Houston, but the Astros are my closest professional team. You know who I CAN watch on TV? The Rangers and the Braves. Think I can hop over to a Rangers game any time I want? Think again…that’s a 6+ hour drive for me…and Atlanta is way out of the question.

So, that leaves me here – with a blog and a rant. Maybe if enough Houston sports fans get together, we can make a change. Oddly enough, a friend of mine sent this link over to me this morning and it was perfect for everything I’m trying to say here!

OK off my soapbox… :)

Houston Astros Minute Maid Park (6)

I will say this, I had a great time at the game and the Astros won!

Houston Astros Minute Maid Park (4)

Towards the end of the game, I was watching the scoreboard and saw this….

Houston Astros Minute Maid Park (5)

…a picture I posted to instragram earlier in the game!

Luckily, I had my camera in my lap and was able to snap a quick photo before it disappeared! Nifty, huh?

The only other time I’ve been on the scoreboard was with my mom in the old Astrodome sometime around 1996 or so. (See what I mean? LONGTIME FAN.)

After the game, we were given the opportunity to hear a concert by Mercy Me for Faith & Family Night.

Houston Astros Minute Maid Park (8)

These guys were great and everyone really enjoyed them!

Houston Astros Minute Maid Park (9)

On our way out, I stopped for a photo with my old pal Mickey!

Houston Astros Minute Maid Park

Where’s your favorite place to travel for a short weekend getaway? Are you a sports fan? Who’s your favorite professional team? Have you ever made it on the big screen at a game?

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