Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A note about twins....

It will be 3 years ago in May that we found out we were expecting twins.  I went through surprise, fear, nervousness, terror, elation, stress, pride and just about every other emotion during the early months with the girls.  But these days I pretty much forget that I have twins and that they are anything extra special, to me they are just my daughters. But as I was leaving the gym today a lady stopped me as I was herding the chickadees out the door to comment on how lucky I was to have twins and such beautiful children.  She's right and it I'm ashamed that I've taken it for granted.  Twins, actually any child, is truly a gift and a miracle.

Product Review : EnergyBits

Let me first start this review by telling everyone how AWESOME the folks are at Energy Bits.  Their customer service is top notch and their hearts are HUGE.  If you make a purchase now through their website and use the code BOSTONSTRONG at checkout you'll get a 10% discount AND $26.20 goes to the One Fund campaign to support the victims of the tragedy in Boston.

Okay onto the review:  EnergyBits are these tiny little tablets of concentrated protein that have only 30 calories per serving.  They are made of spirulina algae and if you've ever read "Eat and Run" by Scott Jurek then I know you are already familiar with spirulina.  For those of you who don't know about this weird sounding food that's understandable too.  It is a nutrient dense food that has one of the highest concentrations of protein, chlorophyll, beta carotene, antioxidants and vitamins.  It's a naturally grown, organic food unlike many other lab created supplements. It is also used worldwide and is a staple for many serious athletes.  So if this super food is so great why aren't we all eating it by the buckets?  
To be honest I don't know.  It does have some very earthy qualities about it (namely the taste and smell).  It also has a limited shelf life and before being introduced to EnergyBits I was only familiar with it as a powder to be used as an additive.  This is where EnergyBits has really changed the availability of spirulina.

The "Bits" are shaped like tablets and a serving size is 30 bits/tablets.  They still should be kept in the fridge once you've opened the pack but they are stable and totable in their travel tin for 3-4 days which means you can easily throw them in your gym bag or lunch box and use them when you're ready.  This is MUCH easier to me than whipping up a shake or meal with the powdered stuff since my day is rarely close to a kitchen or a blender!  

Okay so now that I've raved on about the nutritional awesomeness of these little guys let me share my actual experience: 
I was anticipating some cute little crunchy sweet bits when my package arrived and was very surprised when I opened my travel tin to reveal a bunch of dark green tablets.  Not to mention the very earthy smell that wafted up at me when I opened the tin!  The instructions state to swallow (or chew) 30 tablets 15-30 minutes before a workout.  I was very intimidated by the idea of taking 30 of these little guys especially by swallowing them.  Since the instructions say that it's ok to chew them I thought I'd try 1 this way and with any luck I'd be able 
to pop the additional 29  in my mouth and chew them up like candy!  WRONG!!!  Follow the instructions girls and boys, swallow these little buggers.  DO NOT CHEW THEM!  They taste awful.  I generally have a high tolerance for "earthy" foods and figured this would be fine for me.  Nope.  Not only did they taste bad while chewing them the taste lingered and I was stuck with this dark green/brown sludge in my teeth.  I finally grabbed a piece of gum to get the taste and ick out of my mouth.  So at this point I was a little discouraged.  I decided that 29 more bits were going to be too many for me and I went ahead and swallowed 9 more.  Then I ran.  I put in a good 7 miles and had a great time doing so.  I didn't think much of it at the time but when I got back to the car I realized that I felt strong and alert and just maybe the algae had something to do with it.  Fast-forward a few more days and I decided to give the Bits a legit try.  I swallowed 30 tablets in 3 gulps about 20 minutes before a 90 minute cardio/run session.  Again, after the workout I felt energized and healthy.  So my final test for the Bits was a 5k race.  I took 30 tablets about 20 minutes before race time and although the day was humid and sticky and gross I still took 1st place for my age group and snagged a 23.45 race time which ranks right up there as one of my fastest.  I have to say that I think the EnergyBits just might have helped power me through.

Wonder if Bits of Health has any race gear that says "Powered by Algae" because I'd sure rock it and love the attention!

Go grab your bag of EnergyBits today at www.energybits.com and be sure to use the code BOSTON STRONG to score the 10% discount. Your body will thank you for this purchase.

All thoughts and statements in this review are my own and of my own personal opinion.  Bits of Health supplied me with a sample of their EnergyBits product for this review.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Leander Lions 5k Recap

Well I did what I wanted to do.  I ran my first race post surgery and am happy with my time.  I finished 1st for my age group with a 23.39  (7.38mm pace).  The race was humid and sweaty but quick and a good time. I volunteered to help with pre-race packet pickups which meant I was at the stadium bright and early. I really want to start volunteering at more races just because I know how much work it takes to put a race  on.  In the end I think they would've been fine without my help but it still felt good to be involved.  I hope to help out with  couple more races this year.

I can't believe I don't have any pictures, well I can believe it.  My camera stopped working last week and I am a part of the 30% of Americans who DO NOT HAVE A SMART PHONE so I couldn't even get a picture that way!  Technically my granny phone has a camera on it but it is no good for any pictures at a distance.
Anyone have any recommendations for a good quick camera or is it possible to live off the pictures on an iPhone (I've been really debating about taking the plunge so maybe this is time),

Yoga Monday: Boat Pose for Kids

Boat Pose:

I thought we'd show some great poses for our youngest yogi's!
This one is great for strengthening the core, something even kiddos need to work on.

To help your little one get into this pose have them start sitting on the floor with their knees bent.  Have them raise their arms out and then slowly have them lean backwards as they lift up their feet and straighten their legs while maintaining balance.  Try singing "row, row, row, your boat" while holding the pose.  FUN!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Favorites : Clothes from NoVae & Tea Collection

Like most women and mothers of young girls, I LIKE CLOTHES!  My wardrobe has gone through several overhauls through the years and these days I'm trying to add a few nicer casual pieces to add to my fairly relaxed wardrobe of t-shirts, shorts and jeans!  I feel like it's time to get out of the frumpy mommy phase. My kids are now old enough to allow me a regular nights sleep, they are no longer nursing or throwing baby slop in my direction and I can now count on a daily shower!  This means I am no longer allowed to wear stained, stretched, stinky, crumpled, ill-fitting clothes....at least in my opinion.  I'm certainly not running around in Jimmy Choos and Chanel but I'd like to at least want to look at myself in the mirror rather than run fast every time I see one! 

With that, I'd like to share some of my new favorite shopping hangouts (ok, I'm still a full time Mom with 3 very young daughters that I don't dare take clothes shopping which means my shopping hangouts are online!)

NoVae Clothing-Abosultely charming and modern clothing at very reasonable prices and designed to look good on lots of shapes and sizes.
modest clothing

Tea  - Gorgeous, soft and pretty clothes for Mom and children.  I love the entire collection and am saving all my pennies for a few good pieces.  If you use this link now you can get $25 off your next order of $150 or more PLUS free shipping!

Lets go shopping and get some new duds for the summer.  Don't you have a date night coming up soon that you need something fun for?  I thought so!

These thoughts are of my own opinion and I did not receive any compensation for this post or from these companies.  I am an an affiliate of NoVae clothing and Tea Collection.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Need playlist ideas ASAP!

I just ran a nice 6 miles this morning but was bored to death with my music!
I am racing a 5k this weekend and am hopeful of a fast 3.2 miles (looking for a 7:45/m or better).
To get my gears turning quickly I need some quick, motivating music.

Please share your favorite running songs with me by friday afternoon so I can put together a wicked playlist for the race.  I'll let you know if your song makes my list and if your input help me get to the finish line quicker.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What's up?

Life has been kind of out of sorts lately.  Obviously the tragedies of last week made us all stop for a moment and pay attention.  My heart crumbles for those in West and in Boston.  I feel so fortunate and a little selfish to have my loving family all safe and sound.....I'm just so grateful.
On the family front, my parents were here visiting from Utah and they just left.  It's great having them around, they are a HUGE help with the kids and I just love spending time with them.  However, they do put a kink in our day to day routine.  I don't really mind a little interruption, and it's certainly worth it to get time with Nonna and G'ampa but it's also a little exhausting.
We toted the whole lot of us off to the minor league baseball game on Sunday and had a wonderful time.  My Mom and I took Adelyn (my oldest) to afternoon tea one day and had a scrumptious time. My husband and I had a date night to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary...yummy. We did loads of yard work and spring cleaning...yucky. We still did our regular gymnastics and swimming classes but generally my workout schedule took a back seat.  I was able to get in a couple runs and felt ok about the week athletically but a little lack luster.
On the running front, I will be volunteering and running this weekend at the Leander Lions 5k.  Since it's at the high school by my house and is apart of the school district that my girls will be joining I'm excited about helping out.  I'm also stoked to do some racing.  The competition is flowing through my veins again, and after some nicely paced runs this week I'm feeling pretty good.  I know a 5k is nothing to be tooting my horn about but it's still a race and there will still be a winner and a loser!

I'm hoping to get back on track this week and to a more normal schedule again.  I have a couple fun reviews and a give away coming up so stay tuned.

What's new with you?

P.S.- I'm searching for input on segments about washing athletic clothing and about children's running/sports gear, if you have some input please contact me.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Yoga Monday:Eagle Pose

Phew....I have no idea what day of the week it is anymore.  My parents have been visiting and my schedule has gotten all outta whack.  But here it is, last minute or not. Yoga Monday.

Eagle Pose (Garudasana):

This pose feels great.  It stretches your upper back, delts and shoulders and it strengthens the quads.
For more information on the pose and steps on how to practice successfully visit here.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Friday Favorites(on Wednesday): Reebok Throwbacks

Ok, it's no secret that I LOVE BROOKS RUNNING and for my running needs I choose them over anybody BUT just recently I learned that Reebok has added some pretty cool items to their product line.
My favorite (which I'm currently saving my extra pennies for) are the Design Your Own series.  You can pretty much customize your shoe however you want.....really cool!  You can even choose those crazy 1980's high top aerobics shoes(you know you had a pair and wore them with leg warmers and crimped hair!)

They are also reintroducing the Shaq Attaq and it is supposed to be HUGE.  I must admit that I don't know much about this shoe but I can remember dating and avid basketball lover in my high school days and that he drooled over these shoes when they were first introduced.

Here's what Reebok has to say about the new Shaq's:

You remember Shaq, right? One of the NBA's biggest (literally) living legends! He paired back up with Reebok to release his 1992 Shaq Attaq Shoes on Friday, April 19th at 8:00AM! These shoes are expected to sell out within 2 hours, so head over to Reebok and get a pair of the great Shaq Attaq Shoes! 

Other Details:
--The legendary Shaq Attaq features Pump technology on the tongue. 
--A first of its kind lightweight technology, Graphlite is a plastic, incredibly strong fiber which allowed Reebok to strip away heavy rubber to create a sleeker, lighter silhouette. 
--Graphlite technology keeps the shoe light, while still providing incredible stability. 
--From a design perspective, the Shaq Attaq reflects the brightness of Orlando blue, the silhouette takes color phenomenally and was the perfect bold look for a player like Shaq.

If you want a pair of these new kicks(and who doesn't?) you'd better head over here quick.

Supporting Boston

I just wanted to pass along several of the AWESOME and inspiring programs that have come together in the past 2 days to help support the victims in Boston.

First, easiest and something we  can all do.  Commit to running 26.2 miles (over a day, week, month...) for recognition to all of those who may never be able to run again, or who were unable to finish their race on 4/15. Sign up at this Facebook page.

Our heart aches whenever we think of the tragedy.Another Mother Runner (a GREAT blog with some darling gear) has designed a shirt for $20 with all proceeds going to One Fund Boston.....I just purchased mine.

I love this one!  Donate your gently used running shoes or socks at Soleful Suitcase

If your here in the Austin area, Rogue Dual Athletes are hosting a blood drive on April 20th.

There are several other WONDERFUL campaigns going on now to help support Boston and it's so great to see the good in humanity in the face of such evil.

If you are hosting an event to help the victims please let me know and I'll spread the word.

Be a little kinder today than you need to be.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Words are not enough.

I want to take a moment to recognize the awful tragedy in Boston yesterday but know that my words will never be enough to express the sorrow, anger, betrayal, disgust and confusion of the day.  What a tragedy.  I cannot even get my mind around what has happened and what this will mean for our future. What I do know is that the running community and humanity as whole is strong and that we will bounce back with fervor and pride.  I am still searching for a way to honor the victims but know that I will do my best to fight back in the face of this terror.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Congratulations all Boston Runners

I'm crazy busy today and have family staying with me so I don't have time to do my normal Monday thing but I wanted to recognize everyone who made their way up & down Heartbreak hill.  I hope someday to make it to Boston!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Favorites: Pro Compression

Last fall when I really began running extended distances and experiencing fatigue I started to pay attention to compression socks and sleeves.  I did tons of research and learned that theoritacally the compression on the shins and calves would help to encourage blood flow and hopefully speed recovery.  Since I was dealing with some shin splints at the time I decided that maybe compression was the way to go.  The downside was that the cost for compression socks and sleeves was a little too steep ($20-$60) for my budget and since I wasn't sure if they would even help I really had a hard time making the purchase. I finally stumbled upon some no name compression sleeves at Overstock.com that cost me about $10 (after sales and coupons) and I gave them a try (you can see me wearing them in the picture to the right at the Jingle Bell half marathon).  To my surprise the compression really seemed to help.
This spring I decided I really needed some compression socks, not just sleeves.  For 2 reasons really.  First of all, the sleeves I had were super thick and I knew they would be no good in the summer here in Texas.  Secondly, I was finding that my ankles were swelling a bit after long runs and I thought having compression all the way to my toes might help.  So along came my shopping spree (you'll remember from this post about my shopping for withdrawal therapy).  Where I purchased a new pair of Pro Compression socks.  I have been wearing them on my longish runs lately and LOVE them.  They are thin and cool and provide a good amount of squeeze from below my knee to the toes.  I haven't been running enough here lately to really tell you if they are preventing injury or not, but my previous experience with compression tells me they will.  If you run regularly I would totally suggest you get your self a pair.  Pro Compression is reasonably prices (compared to the competition) and they often times have sales.  Plus they have some way awesome colors.

Please note that this review is entirely of my own opinion and that I did NOT receive compensation for this post.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Are you Spartan Tough?

So you've heard me whine about racing and getting back in the groove.  Well it came to my attention today that the Spartan Sprint Texas is running not too far from me in May and I'm thinking about giving it a shot.  This is one of the roughest, toughest obstacle races around and would be a blast.  Even though this is the easy level I still think it would be a pretty legit challenge.  If you want to join me in Texas or show off your toughness at any of the other Spartan Races around the world click this link here to save $10 your registration fee.

Have you proven you raced Sparta before or do you plan to in 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Losing weight and running

So if you've been running for an extended period of time you probably already know that losing weight isn't as easy as it seems like it should be.  I mean, your expending all this time and energy running dozens a miles a week and yet the scale doesn't budge.  Totally unfair!  Of course when you first start out running the weights seems to fall off (still faster for some than others) but then it stops!
So why is this?  Well, your body adjusts to running(as in any form of physical activity) and it no longer takes as much effort (aka: calories) to complete the same amount of activity.  This means you have to run further and harder to use the same amount of calories that you did just a few weeks ago.  Along with this comes the hunger (aka: RUNGER).  Running still takes a bunch of calories and effort and if you are going to sustain this effort for an extended period of time, say an hour or more, you'll need to replenish those expended calories so you can keep on going.  This makes it a little more challenging to operate on the daily calorie deficit that is required to lose the weight.

So what can you do?
I am not a nutritionist or a doctor or any sort of professional who you should be taking advice from but in my opinion the best tool to help with weight loss is a food journal.  I like MyPlate because it has an extensive list of nutritional information and it also allows you to enter your own caloric information for any meals that you may come across that aren't in the database.  You can also track your activity levels giving you an idea of how many calories you've burned (but remember that this figure might be a little aggressive since your body is a little efficient than the average runner).  This is not the only website or app out there that you can use and even a notebook and a pen will suffice.  The point is to keep track of what goes in.  You'll quickly start to see some patterns and identify some areas where you might be able to shave off a couple calories painlessly.....I swapped out my half and half for 1% milk in my coffee and my routine now has a fewer calories.
The food journal won't make you lose weight on it's own but it's a start.  The next step is to cut out the high calorie low nutritional foods that you regularly see in your diet and replace with foods that are more valuable.  This isn't easy or all that fun.  Cheese, bread, grains even nuts have a ton of calories and it's easy to quickly overload on these foods...plus they are super yummy!  The good news is that fruits and vegi's are low in calories and very filling so if you find you are over doing it throughout the day it's pretty easy to correct the day by having a big salad for dinner and maybe a small piece of chicken or tuna.

It can be very frustrating to see whip thin runners all around you and not be one of them.  If seems that the sport in general should create lean muscle machines but that isn't true for the bulk of us. No matter what our weight or frame though we MUST pay close attention to what we put into our bodies because it will have a direct impact on what we can accomplish in our running shoes.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Will I ever race again?

I am feeling very disappointed these days.  I haven't toe'd up to a starting line since the Rogue 30k on Jan 27th!  I planned on running a little 5k a few weeks ago but my husband chose to entertain some friends at the NCAA championships here in Austin so I was in charge of swimming lessons and child care for the weekend which meant no racing for me.  I also intended to run the Austin 10/20 this coming weekend but I still haven't registered yet and am not sure I will.  I keep telling myself the reason I'm not doing it is because the entry fee is so high now(I'm open to sponsorships, btw!), but honestly I think I'm afraid that my fitness level isn't there.  I ran 21 miles last week and felt fine, so I know that I can finish 10 miles but damn the pessimism that keeps creeping in. Maybe I just need to bite the bullet and do it!

Are you running the 10/20?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Yoga Monday:Lord of the Dance Pose

Lord of the Dance Pose (Natarajasana):
This pose is awesome for strength in the core and legs.  It's also wonderful for improving balance and flexibility. Plus I think it looks super cool!
If you'd like more info about this pose visit here for a great tutorial.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday Favorite: Nuun

Strawberry Lemonade
It seems like every athlete is aware of and uses Nuun for hydration.  The small, quarter sized tablet that you drop into your water to instantly turn it into an electrolyte rich, caloric-lly poor hydrator.  I love the idea behind this.  I can carry a tube of the tablets everywhere with me and when I'm feeling a little dehydrated all I need is some water to plump back up.  However, here's my problem with Nuun: the taste!  I have yet to run across a flavor that I like.  I am currently drinking the strawberry

lemonade and it just tastes medicinal to me; like dissolved aspirin.  I hear the new watermelon flavor is good, so maybe I'll give that a try next.   Do you Nuun and what's your flavor?

This review is entirely of my own thought and opinion. No compensation was received for this post

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Where it all began.

I was browsing through my iPhoto collection today and ran across this picture:

That's me running with a stroller (in the orange tank top) about 4 years ago.  It was my very first 5k.  I pushed my oldest daughter Adelyn through the entire race and was so proud at the finish line.  This first taste of running competition got me hooked.  1 year later I ran the same race (without the stroller) and took 1st place overall for the women.  
Here's to my bugaboo who has changed my life in so many wonderful ways

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Mommy Makeover. Week 7. My Verdict.

So it's been 7 weeks since I went under the knife and I thought I'd share my thoughts and experience. Surprisingly, this recovery has been a lot like recovering from child birth in that I know the first few days were really rough and at one point I wondered "what have I done?" but after a few weeks those memories have faded.  With that said, I've realized that I should've done a better job of chronicling my recovery but here is my recollection at this point.  (If you don't care to read about my recovery scroll on through and read my overall thoughts and verdict, plus a couple tasteful picts).

A quick recap: I underwent a mini tummy tuck to have the loose skin around my old csection scar removed and some minor ab muscle stitched (no lipo) and I opted for  275cc saline implants.

Days 1-3: I don’t remember much from these days other than being loaded with narcotic’s and sleeping all the time. The mini tummy tuck took away a lot of skin and added a couple stitches in my ab muscles rendering them absolutely useless.  You don’t realize how much you use those muscles until they are gone.  I had to roll in and out of bed on my side and with a nasty case of post-nasal drip I was fighting for a way to blow my nose “gently”.  I also had to wear a drain at the incision point on my abdomen that was annoying but on day 3 I was able to have it removed so it was pretty minor.  At this point, my boobs were in my throat and super hard (I was a little nervous but knew they wouldn’t stay like this).
Days 3-7: The memories get a little better here.  I was still on a few drugs and felt fatigued all the time. But by the end of the week I was able to manage the pain with just ibuprofen and I could generally participate with my family.  I still couldn’t lift anything and could had little usage of my abs.  My stomach was still super swollen, and I looked 6 months pregnant…..definitely disappointing.  My boobs were softening a bit and dropping but with the abdominal brace on 24/7 it was hard to see much in the way of a profile.
Days 7-14: This is the point when I was on my own.  My husband went back to work and I was in charge of running the house and 3 kids again!  I could feel it the first few days but by the end of the week I had some energy and was getting around.  Still had to wear an abdominal brace and soft bra 24/7 and my stomach was swollen, although diminishing.  I had a log of pain in my left breast where I think I pulled a muscle during the early days when I was trying to use my upper body in place of my ab muscles.
Weeks 2-4: General healing, pretty boring.  Still really achy and unable to lift much of anything.  Stomach is still swollen but gets better everyday.  The scars look much more presentable.  At the end of week 4 I am able to start wearing a regular bra and get a better idea of what my breasts will look like. They actually feel really good at the start of week 3 and at this point had I not have had the abdominal work done I probably would’ve started back in on my exercise routine (totally inadvisable though).
Weeks 4-7: Really back to normal. Stomach is nearly flattened out by week 4 and deflated completely by week 6.  My boobs dropped nicely into place and have a good amount of movement. I still have some discomfort when I strain too much either above my head (the boobs) or in my abs (tummy tuck) but I can otherwise function like normal.  I have some areas in my breasts that kind of “pop” but I think it’s just part of the implant and is very minor. The scars under my breasts are hardly noticeable at all.  The scar on my stomach is sizable and still red and irritated.  It extends from hip-bone to hip bone (as expected) but in a few more weeks I know it will lighten and be less noticeable. 

My Verdict: I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.  My body has not been completely transformed or anything dramatic but I feel 100% better. I was fortunate to not really need this surgery, no stretch marks, size 0 waist and a push up bra all work just fine.  But now my breasts are full again and the flap of skin around my c-section scar is no longer there.  The healing was rough going and a nuisance for the first month but in retrospect it was minor and totally worth the effort.  For anyone looking to have this done, go for it.  For me, I think my choice of a small implant size is what helped to make the recovery so easy.  There are complications that can be had, but it seems to me larger you go the more trouble they are.  On the other hand, if you’re going to do it why not go for it with gusto!
My Stats-
Dress Size: Before 0/2. After 00/0.
Bra Size: Before a deflated 32A+. After a nice round 32d/dd(depending on the bra).
Bonus: In light of my new figure I've been working on dropping a few lbs and over the past 3 weeks I've lost 4lbs!  Bring on the swimsuits!

Here's a peek at the scar from the mini tummy tuck
This makes me look a little bustier than I am & my skin looks splotchy around my midsection & it's not 
Here's a profile pict, sorry it's so blurry

Monday, April 1, 2013

Yoga Monday : Frog Pose

Frog Pose (Bhekasana):
from yogajounral.com

Happy April Fool's Day.  I'm not much for playing pranks so I won't be doing anything to tricky today, but here's a fun and foolish pose. If you'd like to give it a try find the instructions here.  Ribbit, ribbit!