Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Foot Question, Miserable Walkers, and a Porsche

Hey Gang! Sorry for the late post but remember last Friday when we talked about our blog and we said that we wanted to start taking "break" days? Well today was suppose to be one of those days, but I woke up this morning with a  pain and I wanted to remember to ask you guys about it.

Recently I have been having some pain in my foot/feet ( it happens to both at varying times). It's like a really bad cramp that starts in the arch of my foot. Sometimes it is so bad that I can feel it shooting throughout my whole body.

The funny thing is that it only happens when I am at rest. It is never painful when I am running or walking.  So far the only relief I have found is just standing up on the foot until the pain goes away.

As a Nutrition teacher, I know that potassium helps with muscle cramping. I do certainly eat my share of bananas and potatoes, so I know I am getting at least some potassium that way.

I know another runner ( I don't remember who) asked this question too about the foot cramping up. I just wondered if this happens to anyone else and what you have done about or what it comes from.

In other news, here are just a few things I wanted to share.

1. I did a 4 mile ( out and back) run on the trail this morning ( the rail trail, not the trail on the island).
 When I was getting out of my car there was an older mother and two young boys ( about 7 and 9 maybe) getting out of their car too to walk the trails. I found it odd that the mom was in Khakis, a nice blouse, and shoes that were clearly not made for walking. The boys had khaki shorts on and t-shirt and sneakers.  I took off  for my run before they started to walk, but I did end up passing them on the trail on my way back and boy did they all look miserable. Clearly this walk was not for fun!

As I continued to run I thought to myself " I wonder if this walk is a punishment for the boys". Did  the mom just decided to pull her car over and make them get out and walk?  When I got back to the parking lot, I did notice that their license plate said they were from New York so maybe they just needed to get out and stretch their legs? Whatever the reason, none of them looked like they were having a good time.

2. I saw a 4 door Porsche at the veterinarians office this morning. I know that Porsche makes an SUV, but I never knew they made 4 door sedans. Well, I guess I wouldn't really know that because its not like I am in the market to buy a Porsche ( of any kind).     


Have you ever experienced the foot cramping thing?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Stride Box Goodies!

 This week's Tuesday's on the Run is about speed work.

 Since speed work is something we both have to work on ( and we haven't been), I thought I would mention a few items that can help give us that extra push of speed during our long runs. Sometimes that extra speed comes from the fuel we use.
The same week my treadmill was delivered, I received my Stride Box too!


Some people may have heard of this, but those of you that have not. It is a monthly subscriptions to all things running. How cool is that? Each month you receive several samples to try out during your runs. With these samples comes a list with the description of each product. 
This month the products included: 
-Champion Naturals     -Bonk Breaker
-Honey Stinger.              -2Toms    -GU    
-Hydration bottle w/ samples

Champion Naturals- "Support performance, sustain energy, and promote recovery with this great tasting intra-workout booster."

Honey Stinger- I have never had one of these but my sister is a fan and I have heard that these are very tasty. The new flavor I got was Gingersnap.

GU - These I use all the time during my long runs. I am so sick of the flavors that I have been using. I'm excited to try this new flavor out- salted watermelon.  Although I would never put salt on my watermelon,  because I think fruit is supposed to be sweet, but the salt I'm sure will be help during the run. This is even the official flavor of the Rock 'n' Roll marathon.

Bonk Breaker- I have never heard of this nutritional bar. But the flavor sure sounds yummy -Blueberry Oat. Consume during long runs or training sessions. This may be a nice substitute for a GU during a run.

2Toms- " A chafing solution in a convenient to use towelette application. Greatly reduces the friction that causes blisters, chafing, and irritation. " Do you remember that 2Toms was one of the prizes for our Scavenger Hunt?

 I am fortunate that I don't have any problems with chafing during my runs. But this sounds like a great product to even take with you, if needed, during your long runs since its only a towelette, rather than the body glide that most of us use before our runs.

Hydration bottle- Although my cupboards are full of water bottles, I love the saying on this one "Good Runs Make Better Days". The samples that were in the bottle included: 

Nuun-lemon lime and tri berry(which I have never tried those flavors)

ZYM electrolyte tablet. I have never heard of this one. I am sure this is similar to Nuun but this has 100 mg of caffeine. Although the flavor I got was grape. I hate grape flavored things. It reminds me when I was younger and took Dimeatap when I was sick. Is it just me?

Cocogo- Another form of electrolytes.  This is in a packet rather than a tablet. Ingredients include coconut water a real fruit. Of course one of the flavors is grape. The other one is raspberry-passion.

Have you tried Stride Box? What other subscription boxes have you tried? -L

                                          We are linking up with April, Patty, and Erika.

Monday, July 28, 2014

How to Fight Those Cravings

It's no secret that I have a major sweet tooth. In fact, I think it is worse now than when I was a kid. In fact, I just made a chocolate Whoopie Pie Cake this weekend!

Okay, So I admit I only make cakes for a special occasion ( which honestly are few and far between).  As much as I would have loved to try everything in that picture above, I do control my urges because I know that I am not getting any healthy nutrients from cookies and cakes.  But boy are they SO tempting when I walk down those isles at the store.

So after my shopping trip last week ( where I did not buy any cookies or brownies), I was still craving the urge for something chocolaty, so what did I do? I went for a run.

When I came home, I was starving and was ready for dinner but then Scott came home shortly after me and decided that he wanted to go for a run too.  I wanted to go back out with him so while he got ready I decided to bust open the box of Vega Sport Bars that I was sent to review.  We try to keep things real and honest here on the blog, so I will disclose this: I was a little hesitant to try these bars only for one reason, they are plant based and the last plant based product I tried had a very "earthy" taste to it but never the less I agreed to test them out.

The flavor I was sent to taste was Chocolate Coconut Almond. It certainly sounded like something I would enjoy.  When I bit in to it I was pleasantly surprised. I thought maybe it would be a dry tasting bar, but it was just the opposite.  It was very moist and it literally tasted like a piece of chocolate cake. I'm actually craving one right now but I like to save them for when I run.

The bars I was sent were the Energy Sport bars that sustain energy. Like I mentioned above, they are plant based. They are also Gluten Free and non GMO.  The Chocolate Coconut Almond bar not only tasted great, but was the perfect snack for in between my two runs that day.   Something else I really liked about these bars is that I could pronounce every single ingredient on the label and I actually knew what it was. Maybe I could make these in my own kitchen? But I won't.

The bars are 230 calories each but they really sustained my energy through my second run of the day.  These Vega Sport bars also come in the Apple Cherry flavor as well. Actually Vega has a whole line of products for Preparing, Sustaining, and Recovering.

I don't like to eat energy bars just for snacks. I use them during my runs or as a treat afterwards ( for recovery).  Because these bars have such a great chocolaty flavor, it gives me more of an incentive to go run ( because I really want to eat one of these bars).  They definitely satisfy my craving for chocolate cakes and cookies. Who ever developed the flavor of this product is a genius! 

Vega Chocolate Coconut Almond bar, check it out. You wont be disappointed ( if you like chocolate of course). I'm curious to hear how the Apple Cherry ones taste.   ~M

*I received a complimentary box of Vega Sport bars at no cost to me for review purposes but all opinions are my own and you know that if I didn't like them I would say so!

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Blogging Process and What is Your Social Media Personality?

Good Morning Friends! Are you glad it is Friday? As always, we are linking up with the Friday 5 and the theme this week is "Goals".  I love that the bloggers that participate in the Friday link up are so varied and that everyone has a different take on the same topic.

We are going to talk about how we are able to maintain the goals of our blog while answering a few questions about our blogging process.

Earlier this week we were nominated by our friend Sara who blogs at Life Between the Miles ( isn't that a great title?) to answer some "behind the scene's" blogging questions about our blog and our writing process.

And here they are:

1) What are you working on?
We are currently working on trying to find a balance. We started off blogging only 3 days a week (M-W-F).  We have become so enthusiastic about our blog that more and more days have crept in. Some say that you should only blog when you have something worth while to say, of course every blogger thinks they have something worth while to say, right? So when the day comes that you think that we are just blogging about nonsense, please tell us (except for Thursday's. We like to have our  random "Thursday Thoughts" posts every once in a while)!   Some days we just need a break though so we are trying to throw those "break" days in every once in a while.
2) How does your work differ from others of it's type/genre?
As you know, there are two of us who work on this blog opposed to just one writer.  That sometimes makes it unique because our experiences are doubled. Between the both of us we are never lacking in content, that's for sure. We always feel like we have something to say. We always have someone to throw ideas off of. Each of us have our own opinions and our own unique voice.  By now, I think our readers can tell who writes which posts even if we forget to sign our initials at the end.
3) Why do you write what you do?
 Everything we write we try to keep in alignment with what our blog is about. Sometimes this can be a struggle because we are not JUST a running blog, We are not JUST a travel and Disney blog. We have never made overnight oats and we are not on a vegan or on a Paleo diet, so are we allowed to call ourselves "Healthy Living" bloggers?  The line is so blurred?  But what we do know is that we love activity of all kinds. And that's mainly what our blog is about, staying active. And the "Fairytales" part, well that just refers to our stories and everything we love, our dogs, our traveling, our running, and yes even Disney!
4) How does your process work?
 We both contribute content to our blog. We write about things as they happen or when we get an idea. We generally have a few posts waiting in our queue to go live. Some do, some never do. Some we actually forget about.  And then of course there are always those last minute ideas that we write the night before. If you're a blogger, you've had those right?

5)   We would love to hear about ALL of your blogging styles, especially if you share your blog with another blogger. We are suppose to nominate 3 other bloggers to answer these same questions in a post. We nominated  Amy from Mom's Magical Miles, April from Run the great Wide Somewhere, and Lauren from Lauren's Glass Slipper.  (this was so hard because there were like 15 more bloggers that we are interested in hearing about their writing process)

Lastly, if you are not a blogger, you can take this quiz : What is your Social Media Personality?
( if you are a blogger you can take the quiz too)
If you are a blogger can you briefly answer any of the above questions?  If your not a blogger, what was your Social Media Personality?
~M and L
                                                  Link up with Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Frozen Characters Visit Disney Cruise Lines!

Yes, you heard that right. The characters from the hit film Frozen are now going to be cruising on the Disney Cruise Lines this summer!

Princess Anna and Queen Elsa will be making appearances on  the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, and the Disney Fantasy!

Sadly they will only be on those cruises that are 7 nights or longer. But hey, who wouldn't want to go on a 7 night cruise, right?

Ann and Elsa will be available for meet and greets at certain times during the cruise. I wonder if they will have different cruise attire?

If you are not able to get to the Frozen event at Hollywood Studios, this would make a great alternative!

Who's planning a Disney Cruise?

My new place and a treadmill for it!

For those of you that don't know, I recently moved to the Philadelphia area. (Anyone live close?)  Such a big change from Virginia Beach. Although there are many things I will miss about living at the oceanfront, there are other things that I am excited about. In Virginia I lived in a small condo. Now in Philadelphia, I moved to a three bedroom house with a den. I knew this would be a perfect space for a gym. I already have an exercise bike, but I knew I wanted to get a treadmill for training for my upcoming marathons, especially since it will be much cooler here in the winter. Even now, it's been so hot to get runs completed outside if you're not up first thing in the morning.

                                        This is my new workout space all put together.

                                                   I've already started to hang some of my race medals!

I've done a little bit of research on some treadmills,  but when it came down to it, I knew I didn't need anything too fancy with bells and whistles. Just the basics, and one with an incline adjustment. (I had got one years ago, but had left it at my parent's house). I decided to get the Gold's Gym 420. The reviews that I read all said it was great for the price. That works for me! Anxiously awaiting my treadmill to come, I was like a little kid on Christmas morning:) It finally arrived right on schedule. Some of the reviews I read said that their delivery man even put it together for them. But unfortunately,  I had no such luck. The assembly wasn't too hard though, but you definitely need 2 people to put it together. Good thing I had some help. 

There are so many mixed feelings on treadmill training. Of course there is nothing like a great run outdoors, but that's not always an option.  For me, I'd rather use my treadmill and do my workout, then not do anything at all. Now there are no excuses for not getting my runs in! I have used it a few times since I got it and it does the job! I didn't think it was too loud while I was running. My only complaint ( which is just me being picky and I knew this when I bought it) is the display screen is small and it doesn't light up so it's not as easy to read while you're running. Which is not that big of a deal because I am watching my Sex and the City anyways and the time flies by.  ~L

How do u feel about treadmills?  Do you have one that you train on?  Do you live in the Philly area?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Beach to Bell and a Race Discount for You and a Partner too!

Besides Disney races, the Rock n Roll Series races are probably our favorite! We've participated in the Rock n Roll VA Beach for the last several years and although its very hot, we enjoy it!

We were debating if we wanted to do VA Beach again this year or if we wanted to try RnR Philly instead.   As we were in the process of debating this, RnR and Competitor announced the Beach to Bell Challenge.
Run VA Beach on Aug 31 and then run Philly on September 21 and you will receive the additional 3rd medal shown above.   Since I decided to finally register for VA Beach last week,  I'm actually considering doing this challenge. 
Since I will already be running 2 RnR races this year ( VA Beach and Vegas), I will already be earning the Rock Encore Medal. If I throw Philly into the mix then I will earn the Triple Crown!
New this year at VA Beach is the Mile on the Beach Fun Run which will result in an additional 2 medals. One for the mile run and then one for completing the both the half marathon and the mile ( the re-mix medal).
If you are interested in running either the VA Beach Half Marathon or RNR Philly, use our Discount Code: GAZETTE1  for $10 off (code expires 9/14)
Now, I have convinced my sister that she has to run VA Beach but unfortunately the half marathon does not fit into her training schedule.  She would love to run the second half of the half marathon relay ( she ran the first half last year), if she can find a partner.  DO YOU KNOW ANYONE THAT WOULD LIKE TO RUN THE RELAY WITH HER?  
(Psss, If you've always wanted to run RNR VA Beach, this may be your time. We heard a rumor that this may be the last year for this event)
Are you doing any RnR races this year? Will you be at either VA Beach or Philly?   ~L

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tips For Staying Fit While On Vacation

Today's Tuesdays on the Run theme is Staying Fit While on Vacation.

For some of us, that's never a problem ( especially if you are traveling for a race-cation), but we have a few people in our family that take the word "vacation" to mean that they just want to relax and be pampered. I on the other hand always want to be on the go!

Regardless of your vacation style, here are a few tips to help you maintain your fit and healthy lifestyle while away from home.

1.  If you have the option, walk to wear you need to be instead of driving or taking public transportation. Walking from place to place is one of my favorite things to do while on vacation. I feel like you really get to see more of the city ( or where ever you are at) when you are on foot. Plus it saves you the cab fare ( or bus or subway).

2. Once you get to your hotel/resort, take the stairs instead of the elevator. This holds true on a cruise ship as well. Skip the elevators and find the stairs.

3. Participate in at least once endurance activity or an activity to get your heart rate up.  Rent bikes, play volleyball, tennis or go for a jog.

4. Eat your biggest meals at earlier in the day. Most people have their largest meal in the evening, don't do this. Spring for the breakfast buffet and then decrease your food intake as the day goes on. I you are not a breakfast person, then have a big lunch. Having more calories earlier in the day allows you to burn more calories throughout the day.

5.  ( This kind of goes along with #4) Have desserts earlier in the day, not in the evening. Of course if we are trying to stay healthy, I would suggest skipping dessert all together, but hey, you're on vacation and you'll want to splurge.  if that's the case, order the dessert after your lunch, not dinner.

6. Make sure to stay hydrate. Drink lots of water. And since we trying to stay fit and healthy, limit alcoholic beverages.

7. Pack a few healthy snacks. packing nuts, granola bars, fruit bites and other healthy treats allows you to have a healthier alternative once a craving hits. This might prevent you from buying an order of fries from a boardwalk vendor or randomly thinking you need to grab a quick slice of pizza to hold you over till dinner.

Thank you to April, Patty, and Erika for hosting the Tuesday's on the Run!

Monday, July 21, 2014

When You Need to Clean Your Fitness Gear and a GIVEAWAY

Everyone knows that One Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can help you clean about ONE MILLION tough jobs around the house, but what about the stuff that you take outside of the house? For me, that's the stuff that really gets dirty.

Mr. Clean sent me a generous supply of Magic Erasers to test and see how well they cleaned my fitness gear.  Since I do a lot of trail running and running through the woods, I figured my shoes would be the most dirty piece of gear I have.  I went through my shoe pile to see which ones were the filthiest!   I found a pair of New Balance that I use to wear on the trails and then retired them to being my yard work and grass mowing shoes!

Sadly enough, I admit that the grass stains are not new. I can't tell you how long it has been since I cleaned these shoes (Its' okay though because I don't wear them in public), yet with one swipe of the Magic Eraser, they are looking pretty good, wouldn't ya say?  Maybe I will start wearing these shoes in public again!

The Magic Eraser also works well for cleaning these other fitness essentials.

*My Garmin- I often wear it while doing yard work or mowing grass ( so I know how far I've gone) and some how that gets grass stained too but the Magic Eraser easily cleans it up.

* My Yoga Mat- I often take my mat outside to do my stretches.

*Stretch bands, jump ropes, yoga blocks, massage sticks, and of course other sports equipment as well. Scott likes that the Magic Erasers keep his golf clubs looking shiny!

* The Magic Eraser isn't just good for getting the outsides of your shoes clean.  I have found that running on the treadmill can sometimes leave black marks on the soles of your shoes.  If you don't clean those black marks off, you can end up dragging them through your house on your shoes. I've left black streaks on my tile before because of this.  Those black streaks can easily be removed with a Magic Eraser of course, but I'd rather avoid it to begin with so I'll just wipe  the bottom of my shoes off with a Magic Eraser when I'm done on the treadmill!

* And for all the Triathletes and bikers out there, I'm sure you want your bike looking good. I saw this tweet the other day and thought it was cute.

After I was done cleaning my fitness gear, I used some of the Magic Erasers around the house. I have 2 dogs so I am always cleaning up my floors. To make matters worse, all my appliances and kitchen cabinetry are white.  Fingerprints? You bet.  I also discovered the Magic Erasers are perfect for cleaning my porch railing and siding.  Just an all around great product wouldn't you say?

Do you want to win your own Mr. Clean Magic Eraser gift Pack?

Tell us in the comments what you have at your house that REALLY needs a good cleaning?

This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Mr. Clean. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review and compensation, but all opinions are 100% mine.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Mr. Clean. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review and compensation, but all opinions are 100% mine.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Peek in Our Week: New stuff I've tried and a Giveaway WINNER!

This week didn't seem to be as humid as last week. Although it made for some perfect morning runs, I missed the fact that it was already scorching hot when I would get up at 6:15. It almost felt like there was a chill in the air this week. ( but of course ' m over sensitive to that).

Here are some highlights from the week!

I got every one of my "Goofy" training sessions in! -M

I finally got that massage. The massage Therapist was blind but she was EXCELLENT! She only charges $50 for a full hour. What a bargain! I will be sure to make another appointment to return before TOT weekend. -M

I received a cool RnR VA Beach T-shirt from a contest I won with Pam and Christine from We Run Disney! -M

We registered for the Glass Slipper Challenge -Both

I Finally got a long-ish run in outside! -L

I FINALLY saw the movie Frozen! -L

Here are some new things I've tried this week.

 These are yogurt covered granola balls from Rickland Orchards.  I just noticed right now as I am typing this that the bag says they are Strawberry. I honestly did not taste any Strawberry flavor, but they were good.  At first I was hesitant about spending $5 on them, but the bag was pretty big and they lasted a while.
I always buy Vanilla Almond milk.  I've never had the Coconut kind before.  Even though this is the Almond Coconut blend, I wasn't sure what to expect.  This taste much better than Coconut water, but not something that I would enjoy just in a glass. It was great on cereal and it was absolutely FABULOUS in the banana and blueberry smoothies I made. I may keep some of this on hand just for smoothie making. I'm thinking my next one might be banana, pineapple, and coconut milk!

And our Winner for the Runner's Gazette Subscription is:

We hope everyone had a great weekend!

What are you looking forward to this week?
Blogging tips