Thursday, February 11, 2016

Here's the scoop....




Okay, so cupcakes may not be the best thing to talk about on a fitness blog but anyone who has been reading a while will know that I have quite the sweet tooth and cupcakes are definitely my down fall!  I have been doing real well on cutting back on the sour patch kids, so I deserve a cupcake, right?
      
1. Scott and I are fans of the show Shark Tank ( yea, that's how we usually spend our Friday nights and I am totally okay with that), and I have been intrigued with the company Wicked Good Cupcakes ever since I saw them on there.   I've been wanting to try them but really needed a good excuse to spend $10 on a cupcake in a jar!  Scott and I decided that we would buy some as our Valentines day gift to each other. I'm a simple gal, I don't need flowers and chocolate, just cupcakes!


2. We ordered the Valentines day 4-pack for $39.95 (and we got free shipping).  This allowed us to choose any four flavors including the new Valentines flavors. The 4-pack gets shipped just like this and those cupcake people don't fool around, they even pack spoons in the box so you can dig in right away! (Since we ordered ours, I've seen they are now offering a 2-pack for $19.95 +$5 shipping)

3. Choosing the flavors we wanted was probably the hardest part. I chose two and Scott chose two.  I chose the Cookies N Cream and the Cupid's Vanilla Confetti which was one of the Valentines flavors. Scott chose Chocolate Lab (because really anything that has Lab in the title is going right in our shopping cart), and The Wicked Good which was a chocolate peanut butter combo. Oh, Wicked Good cupcakes also donates to organizations that help animals. Perhaps that's why they came up with the name Chocolate Lab.

valentines day cupcakes

4. Each of the cupcake jars has two cupcakes inside. It is essentially a cupcake layered on top of another cupcake.  This is where it gets tricky because I would really give some thought to eating another cupcakes after just having ate one. But because they are in a jar, I didn't think twice digging in and only leaving a little bit left in the jar. As the icing aficionado that I am, I will say that the middle layer of icing is not as plentiful as the icing on the top. That's okay though because the cupcake is plenty sweet as it is.  The cake is very moist.  I of course had to take a sample bite out of each jar! 

oreo cookie cupcakes
5. When we were done "sampling", we put the lids back on the jar to store them for the next day. Because they came in a jar Scott thought we should put them in the fridge. I did for about 30 minutes until I thought "Nah, we shouldn't be putting them in the fridge, they're gonna get hard".   Sure enough when I pulled them out, they were starting to get hard.  I put them in the cupboard over night and they bounced back and became just as moist as they were the day before. Of course I had to have another "sampling" for breakfast. Note: Do not listen to husband, do not put them in the fridge!

So, what's the verdict on these cupcakes in a jar? WELL.....I don't know if maybe I had my expectations set so high or what, but honestly I thought they were just as good as the cupcakes we use to get at our local cupcake shop (before they closed down).  If I bought 2 cupcakes at my local grocery store and stuffed them in a mason jar, they'd be just as good too. I can not say they were the best cupcakes ever, but I will say they were good and it is a unique treat. I would not hesitate to try other flavors or purchase them as a gift for someone else.  Perhaps I'm just an equal opportunity cupcake lover, any will do!   -M




We are linking up with the gals from the Friday 5




Wednesday, February 10, 2016

How to extend the battery life in your Running Watch



We've mentioned on the blog several times how much we like our Garmin GPS Running watches.  In fact, the love for Garmins had trickled down to our mom, dad, and Scott too.
Our parents also have the Forerunner 10 and Scott has the Garmin Fenix with all the bells and whistles (because he is of course convinced that he will be lost in the woods by himself somewhere....lol)

I had already told the story about how Scott offered to upgrade my Garmin for me during my first marathon training cycle and I told him "Nah, don't bother. I'm only doing one marathon anyway".   Of course, I ran a second marathon and still didn't think it was necessary to upgrade even though my battery died at 4 hours and I still wasn't done running .

I expressed on the blog last week my concern of the short battery life of the Garmin Forerunner 10 and Kristy from Runaway Bridal Planner offered some great advice. She told us this trick that could extend the battery life from around 4 hours to almost 10 hours.

Here is what she said

"So after you start it. If you turn it back to the regular clock screen, (instead of leaving it on the screen that shows you your splits/laps/mile time (that screen drains your battery).)
You can flip it back every now and then if you need a quick look at where you are at. But if you leave it mostly on the main clock screen it saves the battery especially if you are planning to use it for more than 4 hours.
I've had mine for years, it took me a few years to discover that trick. But even now, years past the battery will still last about 10 hours as long as I don't leave it on the screen that is draining the battery. Try it sometime, it works like a charm for me that way:)

I am so glad Kristy shared this tip with us and I will definitely be trying it out. The Garmin Forerunner 10 does everything that I need it to do and I really felt guilty upgrading it just because of the battery life. Now perhaps I won't have too.

Do you have any running watch tips?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Cheating in February

I declared February my "Rest Month".  I can have an entire month dedicate to rest right?  The reasoning behind this was that I was just down right exhausted during marathon training and going to the gym right after work 2 or 3 days a week was pretty time consuming (but I did it because I did not want to risk another injury). In the end all that gym time paid off and I finished the marathon sans injury.  I am glad that I went. 

Now I wanted to come home from work, plop my tush on the couch and read a book or cuddle with Baylee, ANYTHING but be active!  Has that really happened yet? Not really, although I did come home one day, watched Judge Judy, and called it an early night.  

The weather has been really great here for February and seeing as the Groundhog did not see his shadow, it appears we will be getting an early spring.  Gotta take advantage of this nice weather, right?

Well, that's just what I did. I think my February "Rest Month" will be just a "No Gym" month. I'm really liking getting home and spending that extra time with Baylee (and even getting a few things done around the house).  The other day we took a trek to our favorite trail on the island.

But guess what?  The trail was all full of mud.  I guess that's what should be expected when there was just snow on it a week ago and now it is nearing 60 degrees!  I was wearing my newest Mizunos and noticed mud all over them. I then noticed Baylee's yellow coat was quickly turning brown on her underside. At first a little panic set in.  We weren't going to go back to the car so we just went with it and had fun!  I have to admit it was quite adorable watching Baylee slide in the mud in some spots. She'd act all tough and spastic  as she ran through the trees sniffing at things and then all of a sudden she'd lose her footing and slip in the mud.


This is the same island  that my dad and I run on and ride bike on. I don't know if you can tell from this picture but the end of the island comes to a point. When my dad is with me, we make a point (no pun intended) to always take the trail all the way to the point of the island (which would be to run or ride around that tree at the end there). My dad always says "Don't cheat the GPS".   In this case, I told Baylee we were DEFINITELY cheating the GPS today.  It was just so muddy and slippery that one tug of the leash and I could see us slipping down the ledge right into the river. I did not want that to happen so yea, we cheated the GPS and cut the trail short ( about 10 feet).  Sorry Dad!

In all we did two muddy miles and that's about all I could really handle with Baylee that day. I think she had a little bit of cabin fever and was excited to get out! 


Of course I had to give Baylee a bath as soon as we got home and had to throw my marathon jacket right in the wash. It had some mud splatters on it and I didn't want to risk any staining. I already ruined one marathon jacket last year. I'd like to keep this one clean for a while!  Oh, and my new Mizunos, I was so worried about cleaning Baylee and my jacket that I actually forgot about those. They are still in the garage. I guess I'll clean them later!

Do you ever "cheat" the GPS? Would you have in this instance?  -M



                                              We will be linking up with the gals from TOTR

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Brightlife GO


Have you ever heard of Brightlife GO?  I hadn't. But because I am the author of a fashion column I am introduced to many companies and designers than I wouldn't have heard about otherwise.

One of the companies I've recently reviewed was Brightlife GO, which specializes in compression gear.   But WAIIT, they don't stop at just socks and sleeves.




1. BrightLife realizes that athletes also have everyday lives outside of training and racing. For this reason, they sell recovery products that you can wear at any time, not just those moments after the competition.


2.When I first visited the BrightLife website I was overwhelmed with all the options in recovery and compression gear. Sure there is your normal athletic looking socks and sleeves but BrightLife also sells compression gear that is suitable to wear to work, school, while traveling, or running errands all while  experiencing leg fatigue. Selections include argyles, polk a dots, fun stipes, houndstooth, and many more.  No one will ever know they are compression recovery socks. These recovery socks even come in a variety of fabrics, including wool which helps to regulate body temperature in both hot and cold temperatures.


3. Do you need to dress your outfit up a bit more yet still need a little compression? No worries. In addition to socks, BrightLife offers compression thigh highs and compression pantyhose. I had a chance to try the pantyhose and I will say they are very durable and really make your legs look toned. Because they are made with compression material they are bit more difficult to slide on and off than regular pantyhose but that is to be expected. Even regular compression socks are difficult to put on and take off. The feature I liked most about the compression pantyhose from BrightLife is that they are not as high waisted as other pantyhose. Have you ever had that rolling bulge from your pantyhose around your waist line? You won’t have that with these pantyhose. 



4. In addition to calf sleeves, socks, thigh highs, and pantyhose, BrightLife also offers compression leggings. I have not tried the compression leggings yet but plan to in the future. BrightLife has some specialized collections too. They have a maternity line of compression products called the “Preggers” collection, and they also have a collection for “petites” and “plus size”.

5. All of their compression products come in a variety of colors so you can choose to stay “neutral” or jazz it up a bit with some color and fun patterns.  When you order products from BrightLife you can choose which compression level you are seeking. Levels range from light, mild, and moderate gage compression.

BrightLife does not just sell compression recovery gear for women, men will find a plethora of items to suit their recovery needs too.  To check them out and find some stylish compression gear to fit your own needs go to www.BrightLifeGo.com.

Do you wear compression gear to work?



                                        We are linking up with the gals from the Friday 5.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Tips for the Big Races....I'm looking at You Disney

 My sister and I have been both runners and spectators at large races and this is how some of these ideas came about.


I am of course aiming these ideas at Disney because this is where we first thought of the ideas, but I'm thinking that they could work at any large race, perhaps Rock n Roll Las Vegas, NYC Marathon, or any race that supports a large crowd.

So what are these ideas we speak of?

This first one I've been thinking of for several years now. As I sat near the finish line and waited for my sister to complete the Disney World Marathon in 2013, I was being entertained by the run Disney announcers and all the uplifting music that was being played. Disney certainly does make the finish line a party type atmosphere.  A few years and several Disney races later, I asked my sister, wouldn't it be cool if there was a local radio station feed in which we could hear the going ons of the finish line while we are running on the course?

I would love to turn my ipod to the appropriate station and hear the same music that is being played at the finish line, hear the jubilation in the announcer's voice as the first runner crosses the finish line, and even hear them call the names of my friends that finish before me.

Everyone talks about wanting to "take in the whole race atmosphere" and I think this would be the perfect way to do that. I know a lot of people have their own playlist to get them in their "groove", and I probably wouldn't listen to this feed during a marathon, but for a half marathon I think it could be fun.

The second idea was thought of during this past marathon weekend.  Because I wasn't running the half marathon with my sister, I was invited to wait for her in the VIP tent.

While I was there, I noticed the TV screens and was desperately hoping that they would show a live feed of the start line. They didn't.



 It wasn't until halfway through the race that they even started to show the live feed from the finish line.  We bounced back and forth between watching the runners inside on the tv screen and going outside and watching them in person. We were waiting for our friend so having the screens inside was helpful.  We did the same thing the next day after the marathon.  As we were sitting inside watching the marathon runners come in on the tv screen I said "Disney really should have this broadcasted over one of the TV channels back in our resort rooms."  Isn't that a great idea? Imagine finishing the race and then being able to go back to your hotel room and comfortably watch your friends finish while you are showered and resting comfortably in your bed?

Of course I wanted to actually be there and congratulate my friend in person for finishing, but my point is, it would be nice to watch the rest of the race if for some reason you didn't feel like staying.  I bet some of the non running Disney guest might be intrigued and watch it too as they are preparing for a day at the parks.  Who knows, it might inspire some other Disney lovers to become Disney runners. Besides, there are SO many visitors that have no idea that a race weekend in going on. This would be some of the best advertising for run Disney.  How come they haven't thought of this?

Okay, I don't know how possible these ideas actually are. In fact, I would bet there are reasons why Disney is not already doing these things because if they could, why aren't they?

Do you think these are pretty good ideas for big races, particularly Disney?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Rock the Canyon

We haven't actually planned out all our races for 2016 and truthfully, I think we're gonna play it by ear. Our goal has been to cut back on the larger races and to do some more races closer to home. Perhaps you could say we are getting a little lazy?

Nah, we're not getting all that lazy, we just don't want running and training to consume our lives. There is so much more out there ya know!

BUT we did come across this race that sounds really cool. It's called the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon Marathon and Half Marathon.
 
I actually saw this race a few years ago but thought it might be too difficult. Now after having run two full marathons, I think maybe I could handle this half.
 
Here are the details.
 
- Half Marathon on Saturday
- Full Marathon on Sunday
-Organized Pasta Dinner for Runners on Friday night
 
Both races are chip timed and the marathon is a Boston Qualifier.
If you do both, It's called Rock the Canyon and of course you get an additional medal.
 
 
The course is through the beautiful Pennsylvania Grand Canyon in Wellsboro, PA.  To be honest, I've never even been to the PA Grand Canyon but I hear it's really great.
 
For being a trail race in the canyon, the elevation isn't half bad.
 
 
 
I think I can handle this!
 
 
 
Of course there are some downsides to this race.
 
It is in July!  It is so hot here in July.
It starts pretty early though. I guess this is good that runners can get a few miles in before the sun comes up but this would still require me to drive into Wellsboro the evening before and get a hotel room. They do have host hotels though so finding a place shouldn't be that bad.
 
 
Before I make a decision on this race, I'm going to take a day this spring and check out the canyon and the trail. Normally I don't check out the race route ahead of time but I think this one might warrant a good look around. If nothing else, I'm sure I'll have a beautiful hike through the canyon.
 
Until then, I've been searching blogs trying to find race reviews on this race. I only read one so far, but if you know of anyone who ran it and did a race recap, please let me know. I'd love to check it out.
I found a picture of a medal from the half marathon in 2014 and a pretty in depth race review from Becca at the blog Diary of a Slow Runner.  You should check it out!
 
Do you know someone who has run this race? Do YOU want to run this race?
 
 
 
                                        We'll be linking this post up with the gals from TOTR.
 
 

Friday, January 29, 2016

You don't want to become THAT Blogger



 We've always said that the best part of blogging is all the AMAZING people we have met.  This still rings true! In fact, we look forward to meeting bloggers at race weekends and always have great conversation. There is definitely a mutual respect. We're all runners, we're bloggers, and that's a bond we have.

During our earlier days of  running and blogging some of these conversations with other bloggers went quite differently. I probably would have been offended at some of these comments if I would have known better!

So if you want to actually keep your running/blogging friends you might want to stay away from making these comments.

Don't be THAT blogger who says...........

1. I NEVER read anyone's blog: One of the  HUGE bloggers I once met at an event admitted in a room full of other bloggers and runners that she never reads other blogs.  When I finally learned the extent of what blogging was all about I realized it was a give and take and sharing of ideas among bloggers.  We were shocked that she would say this out loud. After further research it appears said blogger never responds back to any of her social media messages either.  I often wonder how she became so huge when she neglected to interact with readers and followers?

2. It's on the blog: Another time I was engaged in conversation with one particular blogger (or at least I was trying to ). I asked her a question about a race she ran. Her reply was "Oh, it's on my blog".   Later on I asked her about a recipe she was talking about. Again she said "Oh, it's on my blog".  I heard her give that reply to several other people throughout the day. Gee, I wonder how she communicates with her real friends.   Her Friend: So, what did you do this weekend?  Her; It's on my blog.  I suppose that is one way to ensure page views!

3. Wow, that IS slow: During a talk of a 5K race (mind you it was one of my first) I was asked what my goal time was. I said that I was kind of slow so I was hoping to come in at 30 minutes. This blogger replied  "WOW, that IS slow".   I was not offended because I know that I am not fast but I could not believe she said that out loud.  And for the record, I ended up coming in at 29 minutes! ( I later went on to PR the 5K distance at 27 and some change). I wonder if she would still consider that slow?

4. With a blog name like that you are obviously not real runners:  Since we've created our blog we've had some comments about our blog name. Some were negative but that's okay. We were told that with a name like Fairytales and Fitness, we were not "Real" Runners.  I guess this blogger thinks we are just hobby joggers who lolly gag at races.  Or maybe we were just meant to only do Disney races?  Who knows.

5. Just plain old negativity: Comments #1-4 were comments that were made during actual conversations. We (like I am sure many other bloggers have)  have had our share of negative comments left on the blog.  I admit that since we have a pretty core group of bloggers commenting over the last year or so the negativity has gone away. The negative comments usually came from those who were not a regular reader. I understand that if we are putting stuff out there, it is free game for anyone to voice there opinion but we still think there ought to be some respect involved. Don't you?

We feel comfortable writing this post because these comments  happened a long time ago and these bloggers (who should rename nameless) would never read our blog anyway. In fact, I'm pretty sure they don't even know we exist. So please rest assure, we are NOT referring to you.


We are linking up with the gals from the Friday 5




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