Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tips For First Time Marathon Runners

Alright so it has been almost two weeks since I ran my first full marathon and to say I am still sitting on cloud 9 is an understatement. I am constantly thinking about it still. It was such an amazing experience and weekend and day for me, I seriously do not think I will ever forget it. And when I look on Instagram, I get all of these warm and fuzzy feelings about it again, because so many people I follow and are friends with are gearing up to run their very own full marathon also soon. Such as the NYC Marathon on November 2 and my dear friend, Nanci, running her full on November 30th. I am so excited for all my friends and cant wait to see how their experience was, hoping it is just as fantastic as mine.

I figured, since I am now a Marathoner, I can give some tips that helped me have a wonderful weekend and even better Marathon experience. Now, again, I am not an expert, these are my opinions, based on what I experienced. They might not work for everyone, just some tips and tricks to have a great 26.2.

1. Clear your mind. Go into the weekend or the few days before hand, just plain excited. There is no reason to be nervous, you did all the hard work for months now, training, practicing, putting in the miles. This is the time to just focus on your self and how much fun you want to have.

2. Have fun at the expo. My expo was small, very small. But we had a blast. We took pictures, shopped at the little tents and I bought all the 26.2 items I wanted to get. Take advantage of any deals they might be having. If for instance there is a change in climate, this is the time to maybe pick up something to help you in the marathon. Such as a long sleeved shirt or gloves. I picked up a hat, but opted to use it a later time, since I didn't train with it. This is also a great time to get any of your fueling options, such as GU or Shot Blocks, in case you forgot them or packed to light. REMEMBER, do not buy anything you haven't trained with. 26.2 is a lot of miles to try and use something new you are unsure of.

3. Carb load all day and HYDRATE. I made sure I had bottles of water every where I went. I didn't care if we had to pull over a million times. I also made sure I was eating every couple of hours and had a big breakfast, lunch and made sure my dinner was what I always ate before my long runs. For me that was bread, salad and spaghetti with sauce. I didn't try anything new or different and it worked out perfect. I started carb loading a couple of days before because since I was traveling, I was out of my element a bit, but adjust to your surroundings. Don't give in to temptation if you are not used to it. Carb loading doesn't mean go crazy with food, you don't want to make your self uncomfortable, you want FUEL your body.

4. Do Not consume alcohol for days before. Unless you are used to that and your stomach can handle it. Believe me, I wanted a pumpkin beer or a glass of wine with dinner so much, I was around family and friends and celebration was so needed, but I knew it would dehydrate me, so I opted out. That's what the after party is for anyway :0)

5. REST!!!! This one was hard for me, because my mind and body were going a million miles a minute, but even if I wasn't sleeping, at least I was laying down and that is all that mattered to me. I just let my body unwind. Take a bath, read a book, have a cup of tea or watch a movie in bed. I did all of those things, and I can say it really made me feel great. Especially the night before, I turned off my phone and all social media for the hour before bed, I just took a nice bath, with Epsom salt and unwounded, didn't turn on the tv and just laid in bed, it was heavenly.

6. Lay out your "flat" self the night before. So in the morning, all you have to do is do what you normally do. If staying at a hotel, ask the front desk what time is breakfast, that way you can get your fuel and have it ready to go. Ours was at 6, but because I had to leave before then, they gave us to go bags and let me sneak in for a bagel and peanut butter. I should have grabbed something else too, because 2 hours later at the start I started to feel a bit hunger.

7. That lead to this, make sure you pack enough fuel!!! I dropped two of my items, and had to text my BFF to bring me some more. Our marathon wasn't giving out GU or anything, it was just what cheering squads had. Thank god for the lady with the Swedish Fish, that sugar rush was perfect. I wasn't prepared for losing my fuel, but I quickly found a solution.

8. If you have family and friends coming, see if they can see you not only at the finish line, but along the route. It REALLY helps to see someone you know, especially around that 20 mile marker. I started to hit the wall at that point and seeing my BFF at that moment, with water and fuel, I can't even explain. If you don't have spectators, ask family or friends to text you messages of encouragement and support, so maybe during that "wall" you can see the support and help you carry along.

9. Take in the surroundings. Enjoy the views and the cheers and spectators and those around you. Talk to people running in your pace group or section, even saying hello or hey you got this, it goes along way. I made sure, if I saw someone struggling to just say congrats, because you know what even if they didn't finish, they had the courage to be out there at that point. And I know it made a couple of peoples day. Take pictures. I took pictures of mile markers, the beautiful day, funny signs I saw or shirts people were wearing. I wanted to remember every single moment!! Take it all in, have fun with it. Also text a family member or friends to see what side of the finish line they are on, that way when you can close you know where to focus.

10. And my last advice, run that last .2 for you. Dedicate each couple of miles if you want to people who are important to you or moments in your life. I did that and broke it up into 4's. But really that last 1.2 mile, well that was all for me. I was going to savor in that last mile, like no other. Run that mile with your heart, forgot the pain in your legs or all over. Run from within and run with a purpose, run for the fact that you made it through and you are stronger than you ever thought possibles. Remember how awesome you are. If you are a crier like me, let it all out, you earned those tears and those miles. Smile big, jump, throw your hands up, however you want, get over that finish line STRONG!!!


I learned a lot about myself from the marathon experience. I learned I really loved running and no matter the pain, I was so happy to be doing this. I never wanted the feeling to end, I really was getting upset that the whole thing was ending. I hope these tips help, ease your mind, enjoy your taper and enjoy it all.

Someone said, the 26.2 is your victory lap, go out and get it!!!

WIN Review & A Giveaway

This post is sponsored through WIN detergent and SweatPink. I was given 2 bottles of WIN Detergent for testing purposes. My opinions are 100% my own.

Having a healthy lifestyle can be smelly. Training for a marathon and running a marathon, lead to clothes that just darn right stink and are caked with sweat. And when traveling for a marathon and leaving your stinky, VERY Stinky clothes in your suitcase, amongst other clothes, leaves so stinking too. That's where WIN Detergent came in and saved my smelly clothes.

My clothes were so bad, that it made all the other clothes in my suitcase just reek. I wasn't sure how I was going to get the smell out of them. WIN Detergent has made that possible. My boyfriend golfs and he can work up quite a sweat, and it worried me how I was going to get our clothes smelling good again. Because even in the regular laundry, that sweat smell really never comes out, especially when it is caked on.

After unloading all my clothes into the washer, I used the first load with the green bottle. The green bottle is Fragrance and Dye Free, since I was mixing multiple colors and pieces. The Blue bottle is the same formula, just better bottle, and doesn't have the dye or fragrance free. I didn't really see a difference between the two bottles, but we are not sensitive to detergent. But if you are sensitive to detergent's, then the green bottle is for you. The detergent is HE friendly and only a small cap full is needed for your load.

After my clothes were clean, they came out looking amazing and smelling great!! Just a clean, fresh scent.  I mean even the clothes that were thrown in the laundry along with my athletic clothes were perfect. Because lets be honest, if you had seen my laundry pile, I have NO time for sorting. 

This detergent is safe for all those problems. It eliminates all the odors from my clothing and doesn't mix it with the other clothes. I know can throw everything into one and get on with my life.

I have never really thought much about my running clothes and how they smell. But man, after cleaning them with WIN, it is a big difference. I know longer can smell that lingering stench that gets stuck in that Wiking material, you know that underlining smell of the fabric. I always noticed it in my Boyfriends golf clothes, you know that smell. NOT ANYMORE!!!

You can buy WIN online through Amazon here WIN

Plus as a reader you can get $1.00 with the code WINGIVE1

If you work out hard, Sweat Hard, make sure your clothes Stay Fresh, so they can last as long as you can.

Here is a chance for you to win 2 Bottles of WIN!!

Good luck and Smell Great
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Another Date Night and First Run

Last night after work, I opted to surprise James at Happy Hour. We haven't had a night of happy hour or me enjoying dinner with a beer or wine in FOREVER!! I always said no because of the training. Last night after work, I had a bit of a craving for a ice cold beer. So I gave in and met him for dinner and drinks.

I had a blueberry ale with fresh blueberries in it. Amazing by the way! And grilled chicken breasts for dinner and maybe 1 too many pieces of bread. We had a great night and our good friend, Larry joined us too for the fun.

After dinner and probably because I hadn't had alcohol in forever, I was pretty exhausted and went to bed around 10:00! Super early for me! I figured since I was going to bed so early, I would be up today at 6! 

Yeah, I ended up sleeping in until 9:00! 11 hours of sleep! Granted I felt great today from all the sleep and finally felt well rested. So I set out to do 2 miles. 

My first post marathon run!! It felt good, I wasn't sore but getting my breathing back was different and it is still so hot here. At my 1 mile turn around, I headed back and then all of a sudden, I had stomach cramps and started dry heaving. I mean really bad! It was kind of scary.

I walked the rest home, still dry heaving and trying to calm down. I got home rushed to the bathroom and chugged a lot of water. I think I was dehydrated. 

I hadn't had anything to drink in over 12 hours really was not a good idea and didn't sit well. So my first run back was not great at all. I'll be back to it tomorrow and more water!!

I'm gonna attempt another 2 tomorrow. Just getting back to running and working out is gonna be tough but I'll do it, no plans just loving it.

The endorphins did feel really good though and sent energy right through me! I loved being back out there for sure.

Now a closing shift and my day off tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Awesome Sunday, Date Night and Soup

Well I can say I am feeling pretty good this week so far. After my amazing day off on Sunday, I mean it was amazing. I went and got a massage, which was a gift from my Mom and my Aunt for completing the marathon. And when I tell you it was fantastic, isn't even a lie. But I will post about that later, because it is worth a post all its own. After feeling so relaxed and my muscles nice and warm, I went and got a pedicure, which oh man did I need one. I seriously don't know the last time I got one, it has been that long. Then I spent the after relaxing, laying on the couch with a book, Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult, which is one of her older books, but it is really good.

I have also been sleeping great lately. I mean so good, that is getting harder to get up. I have been so tired in the morning and I think the reason is because last week was so busy, I mean I had no down time last week after the marathon, I was a busy bee. So I think it is all catching up with me, which I expected a whole lot. I knew it was going to sometime and it has. But I am working my way through it.

Monday, I was thinking about running, but I had to be to work early and since I hadn't been there in quite sometime, I needed to be there bright and early. James and I decided since we both work retail that our date nights happen during the week, rather than on the weekend. So, last night we had the best date night, it was perfect for a Monday blues, or Monday craziness. I didn't even feel guilty about running, this is the idea of sometime off, just enjoying the little moments in life.

We went to Panera Bread for dinner and I had their Autumn Squash soup and the Turkey and Cranberry Flatbread sandwich. Which that whole combination was amazing!!! That soup is to die for. Seriously, if you love Fall items, this is the soup for you. It was creamy, a bit sweet and oh so delicious. I paired it with the Whole Grain Sprout roll they suggested and the flatbread sandwich was pretty good. I felt like it was missing something though, it had turkey, spinach, cranberry and light mayo. Which it was tasty but the flatbread seemed a bit much, I might try it on a whole wheat bread next time. 

Seriously get the soup..

I am already thinking when I can get it again.

After our dinner we went to the movies. HELLO, a MOVIE NIGHT, for us is a big deal, we couldn't even remember the last movie we saw together was. That's sad. I love going to the movies and James not so much. We went to see Gone Girl, which was amazing also! I mean just like the book. The characters in the book and the actors portrayed them perfectly. The images I seen in my head were exactly what played out on the big screen. 

Ben Affleck was a perfect Nick Dunne and Rosemund Pike was a great Amy! I mean she did awesome. I loved the movie from start to end, James wasn't all too impressed with the ending, which if you read or saw the movie, you know the drill. But I was in love with it, well done!

We enjoyed some awesome movie popcorn, no butter and had a great date night. It felt so nice to get away from our norm. I believe you should do this at least once a week, something different, we are really working on this and it is helping our relationship a lot.

So today, I have committed it is back to running. I WILL run after work today, the weather is better and I can run after work and not die of heat anymore.

Hope everyone has had a great start to their week also!!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Getting Back to "Normal"

So I had this crazy thought, that once I was done with the marathon, my life, energy, etc would all go back to normal. Like, I would bounce right back....

Yeah, that does not happen. This whole week I have been dragging for sure. Not that I have had much rest anyway this week. Right after the marathon and days after, we were on the go, still on vacation. I have had one full day of rest, which was Thursday, which by the way was fantastic! I mean I laid around all day long, napped, and laid around and caught up completely on my DVR. It was glorious.

And then Friday, bam right back to work. Friday was a travel day at another store and it ended up being a 10 hour day. And then Saturday, finally back in my home store, with another 10 hour day. My body felt it yesterday. I am not sure if it was because of the flats I had on or just my tired legs, but they were killing me. I mean sharp pains up and down my left calf. It hurt so bad, I was hobbling around my store and had tears in my eyes. As many of you know, I work retail and we work a lot of single coverage, which means, I am the only one in the store and we NEVER sit down. Once the girl came in at 5:00, I sat down just to regain some strength in my legs.

I think I need to wear my sneakers for a bit, to get my feet back to normal. It was crazy, at that moment, I could tell, my legs needed more rest. They just weren't back to normal. I wish I could be one of those people, who can run a marathon and then the next day run more and just keep going. There have been days this week, I have struggled with walking and the idea of running, I just knew I would never make it. But I am not stopping. I told myself, I would give myself a full 7 days off of running and exercising, to build me back up and just get my mind straight again and it has been working.

Today, was the first Sunday in probably 6 months I have not had to be woken up by an alarm to run or a special engagement. Every Sunday for the last 6 months, I have either ran, worked or had a day after a wedding event or something going on. This is my first Sunday, completely off from anything and everything. It feels pretty damn amazing. I mean I love my Sunday runs, I really do, but I love to sleep in on Sunday's too and just stay in my PJ's and lounge around.

But the beauty of Sunday's from now on, is the weather is changing here in Florida, so I can sleep in and not feel so bad going for a run later on because it is much cooler, which oh man I love. I will still do my early morning runs on Sunday's but now to have the option is glorious. I have been thinking and I am liking the schedule of a run 4 days a week and then a gym day one. Or a run 3 days a week and gym two days. Its a schedule I can work around, it fits my schedule with my life and work. Plus it keeps me on a routine, which from the marathon training I have grown to love.

Also this weekend I have noticed besides the whole getting my body back to normal, trying to get my hunger back on track too. I have been doing pretty well with my points, I mean I have tapped into my weeklies a bit, but I have done quite well in my eyes. My problem is when I come home from work, I am starving and well I love to snack. And even though I am eating like pretzel thins or not full fat chips, I measure them out, I always want more. Before it didn't really care because I was running it off, now I know I have to watch myself much more.

So back to baking and my Hungry Girl books to keep me on track. So be prepared to see much more recipes coming this way :0)

Now off to get a massage and a pedicure!!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Now What??!!

So now that the marathon is what???

It is weird but this is the longest I have gone with out running in probably over a year and all I have taken off what 4 days. I feel okay, I think probably because I am on a runner's high still from the marathon. I still feel like I am flying from all that I accomplished and did. But one nagging thought is now what?? What do I do now?

For months and months, I have dedicated every single moment to training. I had a routine and I had schedule. I never questioned what the day was going to bring or how it was going to play out. My life was nothing but running. And now, I don't have a goal or dream to strive for.

I guess that seems a little harsh, of course, I have goals and dreams to strive for, but nothing big like the marathon. I mean that training and big day was so far out of my comfort zone, where do you go when you reach the top???

I need to refocus on my weight loss for sure. I need to tone up what I have lost and get back to where I was before marathon training. To say marathon training made me loose weight is a complete lie. I gained during this process, 90% muscle but I did gain 7 pounds over the course of the 6 months, but if I am being honest, I probably have gained almost 11 this past year. Yes, a lot of it is muscle, I mean I have been running and running all year. I did the 2 day, 3 race day in February, then Iron Girl and then right into Marathon Training. Lots of intense running, which brought on intense hunger.

Did I always make the best choices or say I can eat this because I am running like crazy this week??!! Umm, I sure did, but now I have to retrain my body and mind to go back to how it was before, when I didn't eat all my activity points or weeklies. Or I didn't snack as much. To say it will be easy, again is a lie, but I am giving it my all. I am continuing with Weight Watchers for the rest of the year, then I think I might try counting calories or Macros, which I hear is quite successful. I am contiuning on with WW for the rest of the year because it is easy and I want to finish through. I have busy few months coming up with work and the holiday season and I know WW works very well for me during that time of year.

But I will need something new, something fresh. It is good to switch it up. So right now I am sticking with my 26 points a day, until January and will cut my ties with Weight Watchers after that. Not leaving the program completely, just taking a little break. I just don't want to live my life counting points all the time, you know. It was nice this week to take a little break, but I am not fully there yet, I have many flaws.

And as for running, well my focus right now is just to enjoy it. The weather is becoming amazing here in Florida and that is where I fall in love with running all over again. I want to love it all over again. No more training times and if I want to only run 3 days a week, or run just for two miles one day, then I will. I also will utilize my gym more in our apartment, focus more on stretching and yoga also. I do have the Turkey Trot in November and I want to focus on really hitting that sub 30 minute 5k. Starting back at the  beginning, where all my love of running began.

I do have that sad feeling of now what? But I know I will continue to run. I plan on a nice 3 miles on Sunday, but if I want to run for a long distance just because well then I will, no pressure. I know I love running, I love long distance running and sure I hit my long distance goal, now I am just running to keep me loving the long road.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Back to Florida...

So our vacation is over. We just got back to Florida today and now we are back to our lives and work. I am lucky enough to have tomorrow off, so thankful for that because I plan on using that day to catch up on my DVR, drink lots of coffee and tea, catch up on some blogging stuff and most importantly relax. Ever since the marathon we have been still on the go and my body kind of hates me for it!!

Monday, we went up to our College again so we could check out the book store and grab some Keystone gear. James spoiled me this whole trip and that day was no exception. We went a little crazy in the book store and I love him for it. Then we decided to spend the afternoon at the casino. Wasn't exactly something I wanted to do, I would have much rather been relaxing in the hotel or getting a pedi but it was feeling good being out, with no real plans and moving around.

I was soooo sore on Monday. I mean my Quads were on fire!!!!!! It hurt to sit down, it hurt to get up, it hurt to walk and stairs and curbs were even worse. It was just painful, but not enough to keep me down, I just kept moving. I won about 50.00 bucks at the casino and then I had to call it quits. My body was not resting and it was angry and I started to feel sick, I needed to lay down and even though it was 7:00 at night, I laid down and passed out for a good two hours. Once I got up, I was hungry and continued to lay in bed.

Yesterday, we left Scranton and head down to Philly for the day. We had our hotel booked already and wanted to get some sight seeing in. Sad to say, we only did a little bit, we did get to eat a Cheese stake which I was thrilled about and it was delicious. But James wasn't feeling great, I was still sore, so walking was a task, so mad that we weren't doing the whole tourist thing, we went back to the hotel and relaxed, I again fell asleep. We were bummed that we didn't go out and do more, but we had such a busy week and well running a marathon knocks you out and when your body screams stop, I have to listen to it.

Today, we left early and now we are back in Florida. James and I had an amazing trip together, it was way better than I ever thought it was going to be and besides not really getting to do a whole lot in Philly, I wouldn't change a thing.

So there is where I am at, I have a lot more to discuss about the marathon and all my feelings after, I'll get to that soon, right now, the couch and American Horror Story are calling my name!!