Friday, January 31, 2014

Fitness Friday: Workouts and a WINNER



I'm linking up this Friday Five with Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC and the theme this week was five days of work outs (with pictures). Since I have been having some unfortunate leg issues, my workouts haven't been great! But in any case, here are 5 workouts I've done since last week.

1. I did get a strong 5 mile run in over the weekend. It was COLD!


2. I did LOTS of Foam Rolling!


I find it funny that every time I have the foam roller out. I always find Baylee taking control of it.

I snuck up on her the other day and found this!
 

3. Stretches from my Chiropractor to help with the IT Band.




4. I did go for a 3.1 mile run yesterday to see how my leg/knee would react. It wasn't good, but I got it done and wasn't in too much pain. I could still feel the tightness but it was more tolerable than it had been the last few days!

 Although I went to the Chiropractor for ART on Wednesday, he would not perform it because he said it would hurt me WAY too much at this point. He sent me home with some stretches ( to hopefully release some of the tightness). He set me up to come back today to see how much it has released and see what my next step is. I have learned SO much from this Dr. already that I will be sure to post what I have learned next week so it hopefully helps someone else.


5. And in case you are wondering about Lacey's workouts this week, well lets just say this picture says it all. Snow on the boardwalk in Virginia Beach!

Oh, and guess what? We have a winner for our cool Yoga products!  This makes me happy to announce because one lucky person will have a fabulous Yoga bag with gear, but it also makes me a bit sad because I know so many of you were hoping to win this great gear. But guess what, we have another giveaway coming up after PHM that is just as great ( Believe me)!

A HUGE Thank You to everyone who entered this giveaway!

 
Congrats Maryalicia!  Please contact us at fairytalesandfitness@gmail.com
 
How were your workouts this week?
What was your weather like?
Who's gearing up for a Super bowl party?
 
Have a Great Weekend Friends!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

What Marathonfoto has told us: Just in time for Disney Princess Races!

What's the deal with Marathonfoto?  We've talked and they've listened!



As you are running along a Run Disney course, you will see photographers in bright yellowish vest taking pictures. Try to smile as you go past ( or at least try not to look completely exhausted) because these will be your official race pictures.

Marathonfoto is the official race photographer for many larger races. I'm always getting e-mails to buy my official race pictures, and I never do because quite honestly they are a bit expensive and the real reason is there are usually no pictures of me. I don't mean there are no "good pictures" I mean I must not be photogenic or I must escape the photographers because they always seem to miss me! 
That was until last year at the Disney's Royal Family 5K. I actually had some pictures so I bought the official download ( and I got a $20 Shutterfly card for free). But here was the problem, I was running with my family, and I wanted pictures of them too, not just of myself.
 I thought, there has got to be a better way of purchasing race pictures that doesn't break the bank. (Especially when you are running with your family) Can you imagine the cost for a family running the 5K with 3 little kids? They would have to buy 3 photo packages! ( Last year they were around $50 for the complete download for ONE runner)

This was my thought: If someone purchases the complete download, they should be able to add  (lets say 5) additional pictures to their account. That means if you are running with your family, you could buy your own race pictures, and then add in a few from your spouse's account or your child's account ( if he/she is running the 5k with you).  Wouldn't that be nice? ( of course if all of you are in the same shot, than that picture will go into each person's account that is present).

Fortunately for me, I talked to the Marathonfoto people and I was able to add a picture of my dad crossing the finish line to my account.


So after talking with them about photos for the 2014 Princess weekend here is the deal!

1. If you are signed up for the PHM weekend of races, you will get an email (around Feb 7-10) with a coupon offer. You will have to buy the coupon for $65 but it will be worth $100. This $100 can go towards any Marathonfoto purchase for that event.

2. If you are running the Glass Slipper Challenge ( 10K and Half). You have the opportunity to purchase a picture download package.  I was told by a Marathonfoto rep that this would be the same as what they did for the Dopey Challenge and that the price would be $114 without video and $134 with video.  I did remind the rep that the Glass Slipper Challenge is only 2 event and not 4 (like the Dopey) and wondered if the price would be less. He said  that he would imagine it might be, but didn't know for sure. I'm thinking the rep was including pics from the entire race weekend (including the 5K but then again, that's only 3 races not 4). I will update you all when there is more clear information on this!

3. If you are not participating in all 3 events, you can buy your 5K, 10K, or half picture packages separately. The price that was quoted to me was "about $60".


4.  Your race pictures will be available 42-72 hours after each event. (But you'll want to check back in a couple of days because usually there are more pictures to be entered).

5. You can certainly purchase a single picture download ($24.95). But for the price, you might as well buy all of the entire download for $60!

6. You can also buy the actual photo which will be mailed to you (starting at $14.95 for 5x7 and $20.95 for 8x10).

* Reminder: These are not Disney photo pass photographers. Any pictures/picture downloads that you purchase in the park are completely separate.

HINTS: Unless you REALLY have to have those photos right away, I wouldn't be so eager to buy them right away. I usually get e-mails a few weeks/month later offering me discounts if I want to purchase my pictures ( especially when a holiday comes up).

If you do decided to buy the complete picture download, don't be afraid to ask them to add a picture (or two) of another family member who was also running with you. They will work with you on this!

That about sums it up. Of course the best bet is to always bring your own camera with you on the course!

Do you have any other questions about race photos? What's your best tip on getting good race photos?

If you'd like more information on Character photo stops during the Half Marathon, Check out Julie's Post on Character photos at Run Walk Fast Pass Repeat!


Did you remember to enter our Yoga Gear Giveaway?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My Disney Sidekicks and an Update!

This weeks Wednesday theme is Disney Sidekicks. I think I may have taken this a little out of contexts as most people probably think of Sidekicks as Characters that hang out with one another.

Well my Disney Sidekicks are my mom and sister. ( so I guess maybe we are characters that like to hang out with each other) I have spent more time with these two ladies at Disney than anyone else. My sister and I have done a ton of "just sisters" trips, we've done several "girl trips"  and I've even done just a me and mom "mother daughter trip".  
This picture makes me laugh! This was the first race my mom and I had ever run. You can tell we are newbies because look how high we put our race bib! However, this was NOT Lacey's first race! Shame on her for letting us all look like this!

This was one of my proud sister moments as I presented my sister with her first Marathon Medal during one of our many "sister trips".

This was a "Me and Mom" trip circa 2010!

If you are a regular reader of our blog than you know that I am gearing up for my next "girls only trip" with these ladies for the Princess Half Marathon weekend!

I think everything is pretty much in place. I've helped my mom put the finishing touches on her race outfit. I can't wait to show you all pictures of them!

*Update: If you have been following along, then you may know that I have been having terrible IT band pain. I made a PT appointment on Monday morning for Feb 3. I was in terrible pain on Monday night to the point were my whole body couldn't even function. I ended up sleeping with ice packs on my legs and that seemed to help. On Tuesday I made an appointment with a Sports Chiropractor who performs Active Release Therapy (ART). Thanks Kristy and Heather for both suggesting this method. Thanks to all of you who have offered suggestions and well wishes. They don't go unappreciated! I have my Chiropractor appointment today. Hopefully I have good news to report later this week!

Thank You to Deb at Focused on the Magic for hosting the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: What's The Deal With Star Fruit?

One of my favorite lessons while teaching Nutrition Class was the one on fruits. I would gather a handful of fruits that weren't all that common that my students probably had never tried before. Usually 3/4 of the class or more had never tried what I would bring to class.


Some of the fruit wasn't all that "uncommon" but ones they had never had the courage to try. The list would include fruits such as:
Persimmons
Mango ( many people have had "mango" flavored things but never have tried a real mango.
Papaya
Avocado
Grapples ( love these) An apple that taste like a grape!
Kiwano- The horned melon
Kiwi
Star Fruit
Pomegranate ( Never again, this makes a huge mess)

There were a few more and some semesters I would change it up depending on what was available, but the fruit that always got the best response was the Star Fruit. I know many adults that have never even had a Star Fruit so I thought I would share a tid bit here!


Do you see why they get the name Star Fruit?

When you see them in the grocery store you will see green ones and yellow ones. The yellow ones are the ripest and are ready to eat. They should have brown on the edges and that's okay.

You will slices these brown edges off before eating (  really no harm done if you don't cut it off).

And then just slice it

Star Fruit does have little seeds and you'll want to remove them

They are readily available in Winter

Great Source of Vitamin C

Great source of Fiber

About 30 calories per fruit

Star fruit have a pretty sweet taste. If I had to describe it to someone who has never had it before, I would say it kind of taste like Juicy Fruit gum.  What do you think?

Start fruit are in season right now and they have been on sale at my local grocery store for 50 cents a piece. I've been grabbing a few each time I visit!

Do you like Star Fruit?  Is there a fruit you've never tried?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Self Diagnosing: What do you think?

So after this weekend, I have come to the realization that my leg/knee pain is IT band Syndrome. Now this is just a self diagnosis of course, but I am 99.9% that is what it is. I have the centralized soreness on the side of my knees ( both of them) and the pain has extended to my hip as well.  At first I thought it was just soreness and nothing real serious because I had it in both legs/knees. What are the chances of being injured on both sides?  Well I guess I am.

I haven't put in a whole lot of miles yet this month ( currently only 47.36 miles) so I have been quite perplexed how this happened.  But after reading up on the causes of IT band pain, which include running on flat surfaces for an extended period of time ( like treadmills), and running down hills, I could clearly see now how this happened. 

I had been doing a lot of treadmill running and doing some outside hill work, ( but I am always careful to take it very easy when going down hills).

Along with my self diagnosis came trying to self treat! I have read about a ton of other runners who have suffered from IT band and it seems the consensus it to do a ton of foam rolling and exercises/stretches, so I started searching for them online.   My friend Monica has a few easy exercises that I've enjoyed doing over the past few days, but then she left me know that these exercises are for preventing IT band pain, not healing it.

 I will continue to do them though because I have to admit, my knees/legs did feel better when I was done.  Even if you are not having pain, you should check out her exercises.

So in an effort to find some exercises that will help heal the pain, I found this video as well.




Then my friend Heather from Mouse Fitness, sent me this wonderful information from Athletes Treating Athletes. Have you ever been on this sight? It is wonderful.  They tell you all about the symptoms and what each pain could be, offer solutions, step by step videos, and even show you properly how to apply KT tape to your injury. Thanks Heather!

I know people who have dealt with the IT band issue for weeks before they felt 100% back to normal. This really couldn't have come at a worse time for me, The Disney Princess weekend of races is only twenty some days away.  I know walking the 5K  (and possibly some of the 10K) is not a big deal, but my mom and I have trained really hard for the half and I don't want to slow her down much with all the walking I might have to do.   I didn't sign up for the Glass Slipper Challenge with the intention of "Walking"!   Last week my mom and I did a 10 mile walk on the rail trail  and  were still able to keep a 13 minute mile pace. So worse case scenario even if I have to walk some of it, I know we won't be in any danger of seeing the balloon ladies. That's not really my concern though. My concern is more about all the time, effort, and training my mom and I put into preparing for this race since last year. I know she is going to do her best and I wanted to be able to do mine too!

Since I already have learned so much about this pain and have been doing the recommended stretches and exercises, I was debating weather or not it was necessary that I visit a Dr, but in the end, I think it's probably a wise decision to make an appointment.   ~M

Have you ever had IT pain? (if so,what did you do?)
Have you ever been able to self treat a pain/injury without going to a Dr?


P.S If you had been following my Issue With Dick's Sporting Goods Online, I am happy to report that it has finally been resolved. After TWO MONTHS of going back and forth with them, I finally got the refund back on my credit card. Every week I would call and ask what was going on and they would always say that it was taken care of. I would wait a few days and check my statement and still see nothing, so I would call back and then they would tell me they were sending me a gift card instead, but then I would get a call back from Dick's  a few days later saying  I would be credited on my credit card not a gift card. This went back and forth for several weeks. I finally said "Would you guys make up your mind"!  Finally it was resolved, Thank Goodness!  ( And just to note, I didn't return anything. This was all caused by an incompetent sales associate that didn't know what she was doing, even though I tried to explain to her she was doing it wrong.) You need to just go and read my Dick's Sporting Goods post if you haven't already!

I hope you all have a great week!  Stay warm!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Runner Snacks Review


One of the great things about reading blogs is learning about different products that we didn't even know existed.  Sometimes just a mere mention of something is enough to intrigue us and we ended up finding something that becomes a favorite of ours!

We hope that by reading our blog that you find new products that you end up enjoying too!

This brings us to SNACKS! Who doesn't love a new snack. Here are a few new things that I've tried over the past several weeks and thought I would share.

So here are our Friday Five!


 1. The Carrot Cake Clif bar is simply yummy! This was my breakfast one day with a glass of Vanilla Almond Milk. I will definitely be picking up a few more of these next time I go to the store!

2.  I just discovered the Chocolate Peppermint Stick Lara bar right after Christmas. I love Peppermint flavored stuff during the holidays and probably would have had a lot more of them if I had found them earlier in December. I thought maybe they were seasonal bars, but I am still finding them in the stores. I guess if there is still snow on the ground in some places then it is still okay to eat peppermint stuff, right? Sorry there is no picture of the bar, but they are really a chewy chocolate bar. almost like a brownie!
 3. The Peanut Honey Pretzel Luna Bar: I found this to be a little dry. It has peanut butter chips in it but that didn't make it as creamy as I was hoping for. I think the pretzels contributed a bit to the dry taste as well. I'm gonna say I probably won't buy this Luna bar again.

 4. This White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Peak Bar was a total surprise to me. I had stopped by Aldi the other day to pick up something and I saw these bars at the check out line. Does the packaging look familiar?  I thought it resembled a Clif bar so I decided to give it a try. I guess it was the Aldi brand of Clif bar and it was only 79 cents.   I ate it for lunch that same day and it held me through dinner time without feeling hungry. After having an actual White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cliff bar the following day, I could tell that the Cliff bar brand was a little bit sweeter ( and I preferred it better).  But if I end up going to Aldi again, I wouldn't be opposed to picking up another one!

 5. This Planters Cherry Chocolate Peanut butter was also a new discovery. It had a hint of cherry flavoring and tiny pieces of chocolate in it without being overly sweet.  I thought it was rather good, but I admit I am a bit of a peanut butter snob and nothing will ever be as good as my Honey Roasted Peter Pan Creamy Peanut Butter. The Planters Cherry Chocolate is a nice treat, but I wont stop buying my Honey Roasted Peter Pan.


I know it's a "Friday Five" but I have 2 more for good measure!
6. I have already voiced my opinion on the Vanilla and Chocolate Honey Stinger Waffles. You can read that HERE. I recently found a Strawberry Waffle and thought I would try it.  Since the Vanilla and Chocolate waffles were colored accordingly, I fully expected my Strawberry waffle to be pink. It wasn't pink, but that had no bearing on the flavor. it was yummy! This is something that I will buy again. Actually I often crave the Honey Stingers after a run!

7. I bought this Cinnamon Coffee Cake Kashi Go Lean Bar because they were on sale at my local grocery store for $1 a bar. I had never had a Kashi Go lean bar so this was a first for me. I did take a bite out of this bar before I took the picture, but the actual size of the bar wasn't even half the size of the package. The bar was a little harder than I was expecting and the flavor was only okay. I can say for sure I won't buy this bar again.

So there ya have it.  Out of seven products, maybe one or two of these ( or all of them) are new to you. Maybe you will have found a favorite, or maybe you now know a products you won't waste your time or money on!

What do you think of any of these products? Are there any you would want to try?
                                                 ~M

I'm Linking this post up with Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC and her DC Group!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Green Dawg

I set out on my run the other day and decided to take my Baylee girl with me. So actually it was more like a Walk/Run/Walk.  This was the Walk/Run/Walk were my leg started to get sore and I could barely make it home.
I think she had to walk through every other mud puddle we passed.
 
 
This is what Baylee looked like when we were done!
She was desperately in need of a bath.
 
 
Thank Goodness Green Dawg sent me this dog Shampoo!
This is all natural shampoo  which is plant based and the scent is "Rainbow Cookie".  As soon as I opened it up  I smelled a pleasantly familiar scent. I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was until read the label.
 
"Scented with sweet almond and cherry oil to soften skin and coat. Low foaming and sudsing, 100% biodegradable and non toxic. Safe for all your furry friends. Can be used on Dogs, Cats, puppies, and kittens"
 
It smelled like Almond extract and reminded me of baking cookies!
 
So I admit, Baylee is one of the best bathers.  You know how some pets don't like water or have a difficult time getting in the bath? Well, we don't have that problem here!


She loves getting baths. She would stay in here all day if I let her! I guess they don't call Labradors water dogs for nothing!
 
Of course she has to wear her robe! This actually serves a purpose. This prevents her from shaking all over my furniture. I didn't have to worry about that though this night because after she laid down in the corner, I couldn't get her to move! She must have been one tired dog too! Oh, and she smelled so good too. I could help but keep sniffing her all night!
 
*I received this Rainbow Cookie shampoo from Green Dawg in exchange for this review!
If you would like to learn more about this wonderful product, please visit the Green Dawg site at www.mygreendawg.com
( and guess what, the owner Mike is a huge Disney fan!)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Parades, Publisher, and Photoshop



Even before I started blogging, I've been using a program called Microsoft Picture it Publishing for all my photo editing needs and to even add a little element of fun to the pictures such as these parade pictures.



 
And of course these pictures from our races!  Have you seen our Race Scrapbook?

This program fulfilled my need to be creative and allowed me to keep my pictures printed and neatly tucked into a 4x6 album. I wish I was patient enough to enjoy scrapbooking, but I just can't.
Here is  a sampling of what my finished book looks like.


I recently had to say goodbye to my Picture it Publishing program ( because I switched computers) and that program is I guess extinct now.  I have replaced it with Photoshop Elements 11, but am finding that it has a HUGE learning curve.  I feel that I could do much more and be more creative with the Picture it Publisher than I can with Photoshop, although I know this can't possibly be true. There has got to be a ton of stuff that I just don't know how to do yet, right?

So tell me, what photo editing program do you use?
 If you use Photoshop, what is your best tip?

I am linking this post up with Deb from Focused on the Magic. The theme today is Parade. Thanks Deb!

Focused on the Magic

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Travel Tuesday ~ Ft Lauderdale

I decided to do a "Travel Tuesday" today since I had a quick trip down South last week! Here's a brief recap and some pictures. Enjoy!
 
After spending a lot of time up North (where it was in the single digits with snow on the ground). I decided to get away to some place a little warmer (Unfortunately it wasn't Disney, where some of our friends were running the Marathon).
 
 
 
I went to the beach in Fort Lauderdale!  Here the sun was shining and the temperature was in the 80's. It was so relaxing laying out by the beach soaking up the sunshine for the afternoon.  
 
 
We even had a quick bite at the tiki hut for lunch. Later that night we went down town for some shopping and dinner.




 
Afterwards we found this fun dueling piano bar. You could practically request any song new or old and they knew it. It was good time! I even got a few good runs in the warm weather while I was down there.

 It was a fun little get away to beat the cold weather. I picked the perfect week to go away because by the time I arrived back home, it was so nice out that I could wear shorts and a t-shirt for my run. This was nice because I haven't done a long run since before the holidays. I hope the weather stays like this. Better weather makes it much more motivating to want to get up and run, but unfortunately I think it's suppose to cool back off again at the end of the week. Enjoy it while it lasts!
 
What motivates you to get out and run when the weather isn't quite as nice as you'd like?
                                                                ~L
 
 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Bits and pieces

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? I spent most of the weekend with sore legs. It actually started earlier last week. I was getting sore on a 5 mile run last Monday and then on Tuesday I could barely get in a 2 mile walk/run with my Labrador!
The pain is mostly on the sides and backs of my knees. I've been stretching and foam rolling like crazy but I still feel pain in places that I can't quite get with the foam roller. I tried using the tennis ball massage method but every time I put the ball in my hand Baylee thought I wanted to play and would try to get the ball!

After taking 2 rest days, I did a 10 mile walk/run with my mom. I felt like I needed this and it really helped me stretch my leg muscles out. I felt good during the run/walk but I was very sore afterwards.   I spent some quality time with this massager after this. This really does wonders for the calf muscles. Love it!

 
Also this weekend I received a package from Energy Bits. I have been hearing a lot about these bits lately and was excited when Energy Bits sent me a sample tin to try.
 
These must be some intense bits. Look at all the literature that comes with it.

 You can bet that I will be reading all of it before I try them. I'll want to know exactly what I am eating/ swallowing, especially when it is made from algae! That's right, the energy bits are made from algae (and they do not smell very good either) but I will give them a try and let you all know what I think.

I'm gonna try to take a few more rest days to see how my legs feel. I heard it's suppose to be colder a few days this week, so I don't mind not getting out there to run and I'm gonna try to stay off the treadmill too. I'm wondering if that may have caused my pain to begin with. Anyway, I think I'll just spend a few more days with the massager!

Have you ever had debilitating pain in your legs? What did you do?
What do you think about Energy Bits?

~M

P.S Don't forget to enter our fabulous Giveaway!

Friday, January 17, 2014

New Year New You: Yoga Giveaway



I'm working with Lotus Fitness again to bring you this next giveaway!  And guess what, I'm also a part of a Giveaway blog hop!
This means that there will be lots of other bloggers giving fun stuff away on their blogs as well. When you are done reading this one, you can click on over to another blog and check them out. The links will be posted at the end of this page!

You may have remembered me talking about the Recovery for Runner's Session that we did at the Runner's World Festival where we used the amazing Xfinity bands. Well the Xfinity bands were not the only piece of fitness gear we  tested out. We were also gifted these super cute Yoga bags. This yoga bag is so roomy inside and even has a place for your yoga mat on the outside.  I love the purple and silver color and it is perfect for holding all my fitness supplies inside, even my foam roller.

Lotus Yoga Tote -- Pretty and practical yoga and fitness tote.
 
Outer sleeve holds yoga mat in horizontal position
Sectioned interior keeps items organized
Full-length zippered top keeps belongings secure
Silky silver and dark silver paisley design with deep lavender accents.


I was also gifted a new yoga mat. This is a really cool mat because it is an alignment mat. This way you know exactly where to place your hands and feet. This helps with keeping your balance and focus!
Lotus Yoga Alignment Yoga Mat
Printed designs provide guidelines for foot, toe and hand placement
Printed designs offer several  “focal point”
images to help center, focus and balance each pose
Full size yoga mat: 24” x  68” x 3 mm
 
Non-toxic synthetic rubber free of chlorine,
latex and PVC
Classic sticky texture
Medallion design in teal and turquoise
Woven design in teal and grey


And of course inside this awesome bag was a yoga block. I didn't really understand the purpose of the yoga block until I started using it. I thought to myself "couldn't I just use something that I had laying around the house?"   I couldn't think what else I could use that would be soft AND sturdy and have the nifty finger grips on it. I have seen other yoga blocks out there but they do not have the hand grips on them. That is key!

Lotus Yoga Grip Block
Cut outs make block easier to grab and use during practice
Light but strong – supports up to 200 pounds
Provides stability to deepen poses and increase stretch
Easy to clean
Deep teal


All of these Lotus Fitness products can be found at Walmart stores and Walmart.com for less than $20 a piece!

Guess what? One lucky reader will be gifted all this amazing yoga stuff!  That's right, you will get the bag, yoga mat (color may vary), and yoga block.  What a great way to start off the new year!


Make sure you leave a comment below and then be sure to click on the rafflecopter and let me know that you commented so your entry counts. Once you click on the Rafflecopter you will be offered other ways to enter ( this will give you  more entries). You can enter all the ways or none of them. Which ever you are comfortable with.

P.S If you do not have a blog, you can still enter. Make sure you  enter your name in the comments so we know who you are in case you win. We would hate for our prize to go to "Anonymous".

What is one fitness activity that you want to incorporate into your routine this year?

Thank you to Lotus Fitness for providing me (and one lucky reader) with all this fabulous yoga gear! Also Thank you to Kristy at Runawaybridalplanner@blogspot.com for hosting this blog hop!
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