Friday, October 19, 2018

What I thought of this month's Fab Fit Fun Box

I recently received my first Fab Fit Fun Box. I have been seeing so many advertisements on Instagram that I finally bit the bullet and signed up for one. I also got $10 off my first purchase which made my first box $39.00 which I thought was still a little pricey but I wanted to find out what all the hype was about.

They claim to have full size products that in total, retail between $285-$375 depending on what type of products you receive in your box. Once I signed up for a subscription

 I had to fill out a few questions of what type of products I like including: makeup, fitness products, home decor, etc. I had seen a few previews of other people's boxes and knew there were certain things everyone would get in their box such as a beauty blender. I got my last one at TJ Max for $2.99. Apparently these are $20. I doubt this is going to work any differently than mine but we will see.

There was also a space to write any notes. I mentioned that I was a big coffee drinker and saw there was a coffee press in one of the boxes that would be nice to have.

 But instead I received a tea kettle.  I have actually wanted to get a loose tea kettle, but it was something I would not have normally bought myself. I'm sure I'll be put to good use but I was hoping the coffee one.

They did a great job on the fitness side. I got a pair of bluetooth wireless earbuds. Though I have been loving my Aftershokz I am so afraid to pack them when I travel because of the way the are shaped. These ones will be easier to pack.   

I got a new make up brush set which I am way overdue. Again, nothing I would buy myself because I already have them, but now that I got new ones I have a reason to finally toss my old ones.  

A few more items I received where some body wash, Eye cream, and some lotion from Alchemist. I also got a Luna bar, and a dish towel and not pictured were some face masks and the beauty blender.

After I signed up for the box I did get a few emails to do some add on products but I thought I would just wait to see what I got instead. There is also an option to become a select member you can specifically pick products that come in your box. Yes that would be nice, but I think that half the fun is not knowing!

The next box is the winter box. The winter box will be $49.99. Not sure if it will be worth spending the money for that box or not since I will no longer have a discount code. I guess I will see how much use I get out of these products and then decide.

Have you ever tried Fab Fit Fun? What did you think? -L

Monday, October 15, 2018

I ran the Tussey Mountain 50 Miler Race!

 I don't even know where to begin for this. This may be a long one so grab a cup of coffee and get comfy.  

The morning started out way early with a 3am wake up call. I live about an hour from where the race was taking place. I plugged in the wrong address and didn't realize it until On-Star said I was at my destination. Luckily we left in plenty of time and it was only 6 more miles away. 

Even with the small detour we arrived with plenty of time to spare.  We picked up our race bibs and waited anxiously for the start of the race. I have done this race several times in the past as a relay but never the whole 50 miles myself. As we lined up at the start, the race director told us this year the course was going to be run backwards from years past. Interesting I thought, but none the less hills or elevation was going to effect it. It'll just be at different points of the race.

When we first started, I couldn't believe the temperature.  It was pretty warm and quite humid out. In years past it was always cold and damp so already I thought this was a plus.  I'd rather it be hot than cold( I'm sure other runners think the complete opposite). During the beginning of the race it started to rain. It was a warm rain so it wasn't too bad, plus the trees we were running under kept us from getting completely soaked but I was still happy that I decided on wearing my hat. 

We were about 8 miles into the race by this time and I haven't ate anything since my 4 am breakfast so I decided to eat a Luna bar I packed. Luckily by this time the rain had stopped.

              We grabbed a quick picture at the 2nd transition and continued on our way.

By about mile 14 or so my friend began to walk. I asked if he was ok and wanted me to walk with him. He insisted that I continued on if I was feeling good and so I did. At first I did feel bad for leaving my friend because we had planned to stay together but I know he would want me to have a good race and would not want to feel like he was holding me back. I was hoping to meet up with him again at the next transition but unfortunately I did not see him. I thought this is going to be a long race if I end up running it myself. I saw two men up ahead that we were running with earlier and was hoping to catch up with them. I finally did and the miles just flew by. I think I ran with them almost to the marathon distance then the one man fell behind. I asked if we should wait on him and he said they already decided before the race that they were going to run their own race and knew eventually they would split up. 

I was feeling pretty good so I was trying to keep up with him so I wouldn't have to run by myself. I continued to tell him if he was feeling good to go ahead. He said No you are keeping a good pace for me. If I'd be running by myself I would be going too hard and burn myself out too soon. I started taking a few walk breaks. Every mile there was a sign so if I saw a sign up ahead I'd say I'm going to walk to the sign and then start running again. The mile signs were in blue. The transition signs were in pink. When we saw one of those we knew that it was only another half of mile more to go until  we could take a few minutes of a break to eat and drink something.  

The transitions had Heed( which is similar to Nuun I believe but less flavorful). I'm surprised they didn't have Gatorade as an option. Guess I should have looked that up. Most aid stations had chips, pretzels, m&ms, and cookies. Some had peanut butter and jelly and raw potatoes(which I thought was a little odd).

Mile 30 could not come soon enough. This was wear my dry bag was and I was looking forward to changing out of my short sleeve to a tank top and changing my socks. 

Despite having two huge blisters on my big toe, after changing and eating a few gummie bears I felt like a new woman. That only lasted for a few more miles then I was on the struggle bus for awhile when my walk breaks became more and  the next transition zone couldn't come soon enough.

By mile 35 we were still running together but could tell that each of us was feeling it more when our conversations became less and walking became more. It was getting harder to start up running again after I stopped to walk. I began to run up a hill while passing a man that was walking and he said You got to be kidding me! I told him Don't worry I plan to walk once I get to the top. This may sound crazy but it was easier for me to run up the hills then to walk them. The downhill was what was a real killer on the quads. 

We ended up meeting at the next transition and since he was running by himself he asked if he could run with us. Of course. I was thinking in my head Yes someone new I can chat with. This was a breath of fresh air. I was hurting though by this point but our conversation kept me going. We walked a little more than I planned on but we were so into our conversation that I think we both lost track of how long our walk breaks started to be. We were coming up on mile 43 at this time and I finally looked at my watch and saw our time. I told him if we picked it up a little we may be able to finish in the next hour, and so we did.

The three of us stayed together until the last 5k then my buddy from earlier trailed off and it was just my new buddy and I. He said to me We are really moving. I said to him I am just over it and want to be done! The last two miles I think we did less than 9 minute pace. 

The finish line could not come soon enough. When we crossed we congratulated each other and he thanked me for pushing him. He said there were times I wanted to walk but you said you were going to run so I couldn't have a girl beat me!

After the race I enjoyed a complimentary massage and refueled with some pizza. We hung around to listen to the awards ceremony. When they called for the overall winners they only had 1st and 2nd place. I was curious why there wasn't a third place winner. When I asked the race director why that was he explained to me that you had to be part of the USATF club in order to be in the running for any awards. Of course I was not part of the club. He said if I was then I would have made third place. Go figure!

The next day I looked up the results page and it said that I ended up placing 4th female overall and 3rd in my age group. And I was the 12th finisher overall which was very fitting since my race bib was number 12. Guess it was meant to be.

I finished with a time of 9 hours 31 minutes and some change. I wish it could have been 9:30. But I can not be disappointed with that time considering I have never ran a 50 Miler before and I didn't think I was even going to come close to that when I first set out. Just to finish would have been an accomplishment it itself. 

So the question is would I ever do another one?  Right now I have no desire to anytime soon, but never say never. I will say 50 miles is good for me and I do not have any desire to do 100 miles nor a 100k. I will honesty say I am not any more sore than I feel after a marathon. Keeping my pace much slower then my marathon pace helped. Overall it was a great experience and I'm happy that I did it.  -L

                                             We are linking up with the gals from TOTR!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Weekly Wrap...October 14

I've had a pretty busy week leading up to my 50 Miler race. You may have seen that I was in several cities this past week and I definitely made the most of it with my crew.

The first day we had a long overnight in Jacksonville.  We decided to do some shopping. Later I went for a short run.

The following day we were in Milwaukee.  The crew wanted to go downtown to see a China lights festival but we did not have a long overnight and a 3am wake up call comes too fast so I opted for a short run instead.  Hopefully I'll get back there to see it before the festival ends. Has anyone ever gone to that? Is it worth seeing?

Even though we had a very early airport report time we only had one flight to Denver and got in at 630am. My other friend was there and we decided to head to Boulder since neither of us have ever been. We walked from our hotel to the train station then rode a bus up to Colorado University. 

We found a trail and did some hiking.  It is quite a workout! It started to thunder but we continued up the mountain (I know probably not the smartest but we came all this way). A little while later it started to rain and we continued to hike further up the mountain when we noticed it began to hail. We then decided we better cut our hike short and go back downtown and do some shopping. 

We were freezing by the time we got down the mountain and needed to warm up in a coffee shop. As soon as we found one of course it cleared up and the sun came back out.  Go figure! We did a little more shopping and found some great deals at a local consignment shop. 

It was a full day. Planes, trains, and automobiles we did that day and I was exhausted! Not to mention being up since 3am. I could not wait to get back to the hotel and crash.  And that is exactly what I did! 

The following day we had a long day of work then I drove home to get ready for my big race weekend! Can't wait to share my experience I had running my first 50 miler! Stay tuned! -L

We are linking up our week with Wendy and Holly!

Friday, October 12, 2018

I Found After Shockz!

I know I'm probably behind the boat on this one but I finally purchased the After Shockz wireless headphones. It took me awhile to get on this band wagon. But after testing them out for the last few weeks my only regret is not purchasing them sooner. Thanks to Julie @runninginaskirt for the great discount code for the bundle. 

I have been hearing such great things about these headphones so I needed to see for myself what all the hype was about. The bundle included a towel, waistbelt, and a water bottle along with your choice of the size of headphones. At first I didn't know there were two different sizes to chose from until I received a confirmation email. After noticing that I chose the wrong size for my tiny ears I called the customer service number and it was an easy switch. So kudos to the After Shockz customer service!

I'm not going to go too much into detail with these because I feel like most people have them already and if you don't, what are you waiting for? For the longest time I could not figure out why someone would want to wear headphones outside of their ears. How the heck are you going to hear your music?  I also thought how are they going to stay put if they are not in your ears like the usual ear buds? I'm not going to lie I like the ear buds that blast in my ears so I can zone out and not hear anything else including the cars that go by.

Well it wasn't until I tested them out to really appreciate them. First off, they fit like a glove. No more adjusting buds in my ears or cords down my shirt. They stay in place great! The sound quality is awesome for headphones that do not go into your ears. Now I can hear oncoming  traffic without forgoing my music and be a safer runner on the road.  

I am looking forward to wearing them during my next race. I will actually be able to hear the spectators cheering me on rather than just my music blasting in my ears! -L

Friday, October 5, 2018

My Thoughts on the Big 50

I can’t believe that this weekend is already my big race weekend. I should be saying that I have been training for months for this and it just snuck up on me, but literally it did.  I only signed up for this race a month ago. However, I do keep up with a pretty decent base mileage and try to get at least a double digit run in once a week, but this would be a true endurance challenge.  As this weekend approaches, some thoughts came to mind: 

  1. 1. Am I ready for this? I have only been really training for this race for a month and my longest run in this training cycle was only 21 miles. If this was a marathon that would be fine, but for a 50 miler, I feel like I should have went a little further.  

  1. 2. Running on tired legs- The day I did my 21 miles I was hoping to wake up and do another run on tired legs to get a feel for that. But instead, I was pretty tired and worn out from that run that I took two days off. 

  1. 3. My training wasn’t up to the mileage I’d hoped for, but I did great with cross training-teaching and/or doing Body Pump and Spin class least 1-2 times a week. 

  1. 4. My Crazy schedule- I was pretty worried when I got my schedule for October and I didn’t have the weekend of the race off. Usually swapping and/or dropping trips are not an issue, but for some reason for this month it was.  

  1. 5. I finally was able to get the weekend off….Yay! But in order to do so I had to pick up two trips. I will be working up until 11 pm on Friday night. I have Saturday (the day before the race) off and Sunday (day of the race) but then I have to work a red eye Monday night….yuck! I hope I can walk. Luckily it is a red eye so there will not be much walking around on my part since passengers will be sleeping, the challenge will be for me to not fall asleep! 

So there are some of my concerns for my upcoming race.  But hey, I keep trying to think of the positives, I at least have off and I am going to make the best of it!

Have you ever signed up for a big event but plans got rearranged leading up to it? -L

Monday, October 1, 2018

Lewisburg Lights 5K

On Friday night I ran the Lewisburg Lights 5K. This was a "new to me" race. I hadn't run a night race since Rock n Roll Las Vegas a few years back so I was quite excited.

Since I had already placed in my age group at my last 5K earlier this month, I felt no pressure what so ever to really be speedy. 

My dad is still not running due to his shoulder surgery but he agreed to come to the race with me and hang out. The race started at a nice park in town near lots of restaurants and shopping, so he would have things to do while I ran. 

Packet pick up was at the gazebo in the park. For a local race, there was a very large turn out

I was looking for something bright to wear and was almost going to wear my bright orange tank. I'm glad I decided on the pink one instead because there was a group of girls all wearing orange tanks.
I didn't have anything that glowed so I wore my RunLites gloves!

Not sure why my eyes look so weird.

There were no corrals so we all just stood behind the start line.  I was already standing there for several minutes when a lady I will affectionately call "Amazon Lady"  walked in front of me with her friend and was literally in my space. Did she not see I was standing there? I mean her waist was almost at my eye level. She was practically standing on top of me. If you've ever seen the tv show "The Middle", yea, I felt like Sue Heck, invisible!  I refused to move because I wanted her to realize how close she was. Let's face it, I don't require a lot of space, but this was ridicules.  She never ended up acknowledging me or moving.

Before we started, the announcer told us that the race was chip timed, but awards would be based on gun time, which I though was rather odd. They encouraged those who thought they might win an age group to move to the front. I ended up staying in the back where I was.

They announced the overall winners would earn a gift certificate to a local tavern (where the after party was being held), and I believe age group winners would be given potted Mums. No medals. Well, that certainly didn't entice me...haha

We got these great long sleeved shirts!

The race started at 7pm.   We headed down Market Street which is the main drag with restaurants and shops. Even with the slight incline of the road, I felt like I was doing well. I later saw that my pace was in the 8's. Not bad.   As we turned down a residential street it got bottle necked and I ended up getting behind one of the girls in the orange tank tops that was running with her group.  She was running but it was almost like she was doing a shuffle and I felt like if I stayed behind her, I was going to either trip or run into her. I had a hard time getting around her but finally I did.

We only ran down Market street once and then the rest of the course was around the college campus and in front of the cemetery. I had previously heard that we ran through the cemetery (and all the hills) so I was relieved when we only ran in front of it and not through it. When we finished that lap, we did it one more time. I didn't realize we would be running two laps of  (almost) the same course

After the first mile I slowed down and it felt as if everyone was passing me. How did these people have so much energy???

This was a Very Fast race ( meaning that the runners were all really fast). Even though I felt slow, turns out that I only finished one second slower than my last 5K where I placed.  I looked at the official race results the next morning and I saw that even a 28 minute finish was a 25th place in my age group. This really proves that races are all relative to who shows up that day ( or night).   In all, I'm no worse for wear and glad that I ran it.

My dad and I decided not to go to the after party because the Tavern is not that big and there were SO many runners going. I gave my beverage ticket to another runner and then my dad and I sat on the curb and cheered for the rest of the runner.  There was this one girl that was coming in  towards the finish and as she turned the corner, she started walking towards the curb. We hollered for her to keep running to the finish line but she said "It's embarrassing"!  What???  She did not want to cross the finish line because the clock was already at 37 (or 38) minutes.  I was about to get up and tell her I would run in with her but before I did, she got back on the course and finished the race! -M

Have you ever heard of a chipped timed race using the gun time for awards?
Have you ever encountered a lady like "Amazon Lady" in the corrals?

                                               We are linking up with the gals from TOTR.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Tips for your first Triathlon

My sister and I both did our first triathlons this summer.   Like I mentioned before, I didn't see this as something I ever wanted to do, but I was dedicated to training for it.  I like to run, but I am not really a "triathlete" type pf person. For that reason, I thought I would be the perfect person to write some triathlon tips for the "average" person, you know the one who never thought they would do a triathlon but ended up signing up anyway.  Maybe YOU!

So let's start at the beginning. What you will need (without spending a lot of $)

My suggestions on equipment.

I already had running shoes and a bike but I needed to get some swimming equipment.

I have my own swimming pool but never had a swimming cap. First instinct is to order one off  Amazon. These are fairly inexpensive. You can pick one up for less than $10. However, I went to my local swim shop (which I assumed would be more expensive) to buy one.  They print swim caps for local swim teams and they sell the extras for real cheap so I was able to pick one up there for less than $2.  Swim caps can be sort of uncomfortable and not always required.

Goggles can be tricky, especially when they are packaged and you can not see through them before you buy them. I would suggest buying clear ones.  Being a first time triathlete I wasn't quite comfortable in the water and I wanted to be able to see as clearly as possible. I had tried other goggles that had lenses that were tinted blue and ones that were tinted gold and I just did not like them. They fogged up too quickly and made me discombobulated. If you wear glasses, you can also get prescription goggles at the swim shop.

If it is your first triathlon your goal is to probably just get through it and not to set any records.  My suggestion is to ride a bike you are comfortable with.  I did not have a tri bike or even a racing bike. I used my Diamondback bike that I bought a Dick's Sporting goods a few years back and ya know what? It was perfect for me because I was comfortable. Yes, I could have borrowed a racing bike, but I was comfortable with the one I had. Don't worry, not everyone that is racing will have a racing bike. You won't be the only one.

You will be required to have a bike helmet. I already had a helmet but it was time for me to buy a new one anyway. My local bike shop sells them from $75 on up, but other than this race most of my bike riding is on the rail trail so a bike helmet from Target was fine for me. I got one that has the adjustable wheel in the back to make it more tight or loose.

Clothing- You do NOT need to have a tri suit.  Most women swim in fitted tanks and bike shorts. Whatever you swim in you should be prepared to bike and run in too.  My suggestion is to wear your race day outfit for all of your training.  I wore the same outfit each time I swam, biked, and ran because I wanted to see how the clothes felt during each activity, especially since they would be wet. I didn't want to wear something that would be too heavy when it got wet or would start to chafe as I rode the bike. You'll be doing laundry more often but it will be worth it.

One of the things most first time triathletes worry about the most is the swimming portion. I know I did.  But I would encourage you to find out more about the swimming situation. I later found out that the deepest portion of the pool I would be swimming in on race day was only a little over 5 feet. This put me a little more at ease. The pool I practiced in was 9 feet at the deep end and I did not like that.

Also, find out which strokes are allowed. My plan was to swim freestyle up a lap and the backstroke down a lap, and then alternate each lap between freestyle and backstroke.  Right before the race started it was announced that the backstroke was NOT allowed! I quickly had to switch up my plan.  I did find out that aqua jogging or walking was allowed, so I knew I could use that as a back up when I got tired.

If you are already a runner, you might not worry about "practicing" the running parts. You may think I got this. That's fine, but you NEED to practice running immediately after biking.  You need to get use to this feeling.

When you run after biking, you will feel it in your hips. Make sure you are consistent with your foam rolling.  Your hips are probably not use to the immediate change in activity.

And lastly, you should practice ALL THREE activities.  Although I practiced each of these activities separately, and at different parts of the day, I did have at least 3 "trial" runs  where I swam, bike, and ran the entire distance of the tri.  Yes, I was exhausted afterwards but simulating what race day would be like really gave me confidence. Plus, I got  a sense of what my time should be for each portion of the race. That gave me something to work towards on race day.

Because I'm not a talented athlete, I really stuck to my training. But then again, If you are good at all these activities you can just "wing it" like my sister did and you won't be any worse for wear!

Hope these tips help anyone who is thinking of doing their first Tri. If you'e done a Tri, what would you add? -M