Friday, May 26, 2017

A Little PSA on The Run-Walk-Run



I have a little bit of a rant right now...

Which by the way HI!!! I know it has been quite some time since I last posted. Life has been a bit crazy and super busy with work. Seriously I feel like all I do is work, sleep and eat haha.

Oh and fit in some work outs here and there, which this week I have been on point, despite Mother Nature came and I was on a mini vacation with James.

Okay so here is my rant...

The other night after work I decided to go for a run. I do not run in the gym, I always hit the pavement around our neighborhood. Seriously I know each direction and the miles they will give me. I love my neighborhood, so many things to look at and at times lots of people out doing the same thing as me. People will honk as I am running on by, smile and wave, it is extra motivation I need.

When I first started running I was nervous people would make fun of me, or see my jiggly thighs or if my shirt rised up a bit, how embarrassing. But then I got over that fear because I realized,  running was my escape and I LOVED it and I still do.

I have always followed Jeff Galloway, Run-Walk-Run. Meaning Run for a certain amount of minutes, then walk a min or .30 seconds and then Run again. It is the way I learned how to run and how to run long distance and my favorite way to run. Even if I do not have my GymBoss beeper on, I still use the run walk run. I used it with all my half marathons AND with my FULL marathon, the whole dang time.

When I ran my first race, I was so nervous people were going to get mad at me for walking. But then when I got in the crowd, I heard people using their beepers too, and running and walking and I felt amazing. I felt like I was apart of this super awesome job. In Nashville, dang everyone was walking the majority of the time. See even though we weren't running for that minute, DOES not mean we STOP. We are STILL Moving, so slowing it down a bit.

Here is where I get a bit mad. I was out running the other day and my run became a walk. A guy at a stop or turn signal rolled down his window and with a smile, motioned me to not stop and keep going, like I was being lazy for walking. He looked at me, like I was giving up, like I was stopping to give up!!! Which I was not. I was transitioning into my walk, he had seen me running and thought it was too hard for me, so I stopped and wasn't going to keep going.

I gave him a half smile and continued on, fuming inside, which in turn made my run a bit better. Thank you random stranger. But it got me thinking, why is it an issue for the walk?? Why when I start walking does it make people seem like it is not okay, that is the universal sign of all done??? When in actuality it is FAR from it. The walk break is a break, a quick way to regain composure a bit, a water break and it helps with injury. PLUS it allows me to love the run.

There are so many intervals and apps and articles on the benefits of run walk run, but why do we still give the assumption that when someone is walking while running they are giving up. Sure, the guy thought he was being motivating telling me to keep going, but I WAS keep going and I kept on going for 3 more miles.

I guess this is more of PSA than a rant, or heck a little bit of both. BUT when you see someone out running and walking and maybe even catching them doing both, how about congratulating them. Yell out good job! Yell out keep going or simply smile!! Honk, even though that scares me. Because that walk does not mean they are struggling or maybe if they are, they are STILL moving. The body is still in motion and they are NOT giving up, they are still putting one foot in front of the other!

And maybe when you are out running and walking and if you follow the Run-Walk-Run, someone will remind me to keep going too!!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Running Nashville: The Great, The Funny, & A little Ugly

It has taken me a week to just sit down and do a quick recap of Running Nashville. It has been a whirlwind of my life since getting back from Nashville and I have not really been able to relax all week.

First off want to say that Nashville is an amazing city. It is so awesome, I seriously want to go back and vacation there again for much longer and it would be a city I would consider moving too, if I ever had to move.

The city is filled with music after music, after music. Musicians start playing at 11:00 in the bars and go to the early morning. Each bar has at least 2-4 floors and on each floor there is another bar and live music on that one too. It is like getting 4-5 bars in one bar. Crazy I know but the coolest thing. And each level will have a different variety of country music playing, with a little rock and maybe some pop mixed in.

We instantly loved Nashville once we went downtown. The downtown life is not only filled with bars but museums and fun atmosphere to do so much. For Thursday and Friday we literally walked around Nashville all day.

We took in all the sights that downtown had to offer, such as The Bridgestone Arena, The Ryman Auditoriam, The Country Music Hall of Fame, The Johnny Cash Museum, we walked up and down Broadway and found different roads that lead to more and adventures. We seriously got some major steps in those days and we were tuckered out at the end of the night, which was great because it made for some great sleep.

I have to admit I was super nervous about all our walking because my leg and calves were feeling really tight and having to run the Half Marathon on that Saturday, I wasn't sure how I would feel. Then I just said the heck with it and had fun anyway...

Friday night I got ready by laying out my flat Angie and had James do some last minute foam rolling and stick action. My right calf was driving me absolutely crazy and was so tight...



I knew it was going to give me a bother, but I tried my best anyway.  I was going to show up and run the race anyway no matter what. I was not ready for this race physically. I have to admit I felt super fluffy, thanks to Mother Nature and it was throwing my whole mental game totally off. I didn't feel like the super confident person I am when it comes to races. And my leg was bothering me, making that even harder to concentrate. But I got up that morning with some super pep in my step, I had slept really good the night before and I was ready to take on the run.


Nashville was going to be my first real destination race. Okay, well my Marathon was my first real destination race, in PA. But I went to college and lived in that area, so it wasn't that much of a destination because I knew everywhere I was running. Nashville was a whole new world to me, cue Aladdin song!! But I was so excited, nervous and seriously could not wait to get running.

Okay so instead of breaking it down I am going to break it down into some highlights with The Great, The Funny & The Ugly...

The Great

1. I signed up to run this race with St. Jude to be a St. Jude Hero, meaning I raised money to run and I got an entry fee for free for doing that. Being a St. Jude Hero was so rewarding. It was actually really amazing. But even better there were so many people doing the same thing and knowing I was apart of that and raised a ton of money for a great cause, made this race probably my favorite. There were St. Jude stops all along the course and at the end, St. Jude people were there cheering you on the loudest.

2. The volunteers and spectators along the course were AMAZING!!! I mean the best I had ever been at. Every water station had people high living, spraying us down with water because it was very, very hot and unlike those high temps this time of year there. While I was used to hot weather in Florida, running a long race like that, later in the morning, made it really difficult. They also had salt packets along the way too.

3. The spectators were giving out candy, water, fruit and even popsicles. Yes popsicles.

This was at mile 10 and I thankfully was not passing it up. Usually on races I am so concerned with my pace or the miles and this time I just wanted to have some good old fun. So if a mom and her kids are giving those out I am going to run and eat it at the same time. And it tasted amazing and gave me the perfect amount of jolt. 

4. Pink Starburst and pretzels. Like I said these people know how to treat runners!! I had taken my GU with me and I had one or two, but when it is hot, dannnnngg it does not taste great. So I was happy with the sugar and the salt.

5. The views along the way were amazing. We started running right down Broadway which is the big area in Nashville, with all the cool bars and Country Music Hall of Fame, we ran Music Row and I saw where Bobby Bones broadcast from, we ran past recording studios that all Country Music stars record and signed with. We ran past colleges and ended at Nissan Stadium and walking back from the race we had the best view going over the Cumberland Bridge. The views were amazing on this run. Everything was so exciting and new.

6. The expo for this race was so much fun. Lots of stands, no lines and I got to get a coffee mug to come home with AND you could exchange the size of your race shirt. Mine was way to small because race shirts suck sometime and you could actually exchange it right there. YES! And it was sponsored by Brooks, my running shoe.

7. The music was great. Rock and Roll Marathon series have live music along the miles and there were some really fun, high energy performers. It was so great. I paused my headphones at every live music station.

8. There was food before which was great because I was staying in a hotel and they didn't serve breakfast that early. So a mini bagel and banana. Also my LYFT driver was phenomenal, got me there super early and was very encouraging. 

The Funny

1. The funny was the signs people made. There were so many good ones that I forgot to take pictures. but the best was the one That had a picture of Donald Trump and it said I thought it would have been easier. If you watched the news that week that make perfect sense.

2. At mile 5 there was a live band that was dressed up and singing and dancing and blowing. bubbles. They made it so much fun.

3. I was just having so much fun that I didn't even care that my GPS was totally off or I was running a 15.00 minute mile. I was more concerned with the 30,000 people around me. I was dancing in the street, looking at people dressed up and having a blast.

The Ugly...

1. Well the really really ugly was all the hills. I knew Nashville was going to be quite the hilly race BUT I was in for a really big surprise, like really big. The WHOLE race was elevation, seriously there might have been one area at was flat. Here is the thing, running in Florida is FLAT. Sure we have some bridges and some change in elevation but nothing like this. EVEN my marathon wasn't this hilly. It was just constant up and down.

2. Lots of people walking. Which wouldn't seem all that bad right, well it messed with my head a bit because when I saw other people walking then I felt I had too, even though maybe I didn't need too. The idea of running the hills got in my head and when they walked them so did I. Which slowed me down but I never once quit.

3. Chaffing. Seriously it was horrible because of the KT tape I had wrapped practically my whole body in and my legs and well it was hot. I know TMI but it is the real deal when you are running and I was hurttttiiiinnngg. Seriously couldn't wear jeans for days.

4. Headaches. I didn't have any caffeine except for my Spark in the beginning of the morning and later that night, I had the worst headache all night long. I was having withdrawals from caffeine.

But this race was truly my favorite race. James was at the finish line taping me as I was coming in and I was so happy to see him. It is so awesome having him on this journey with me and smiling and waving at me as I go by. He was so close to the finish that I was able to run right to him and high five him.

The end of the race was great. They gave you wet towels, water, Gatorade, pretzels, beer and cookies and a live band that was out of this world good. We opted for my beer, a picture opt and then I went and got a Big Old Burger and a nap.

I highly recommend running Nashville because it is a HUGE race, there are so many people and it makes for quite the experience. It gave me the confidence of running more destation races in the future.

We are even considering Savannah, GA next..until then....


#10 is in the books!!!








Friday, April 28, 2017

RunVaca

Good Friday Morning!!!

This Friday is extra, extra amazing because I am in Nashville, TN!!!



Which means I am on vacation and running this weekend at the Rock and Roll ST. Jude 1/2 Marathon!

James and I arrived yesterday morning at 8:00 am. Our flight was out of Tampa at 7:00 and got here at 8:00 and it was an 1.5 hour flight. Yup we time traveled :0)



I forgot that TN is in a Central Time Zone. It was so funny to see on our ticket that time change, it didn't dawn on me at first.

We were so excited to be here. James and I have not had time off together in a really long time, definitely not back to back time off and we haven't had vacation since October  when we went back home for the wedding. We NEED this time together, believe me. I know it is the trip to get us back to US.

Not realizing we couldn't check in early at our hotel, even though online it said you could, we decided to grab some breakfast, they let us leave our luggage and then we got a LYFT and went downtown in Nashville to check it all out.

We had no clue where we were going and we turned a corner and BAM, all of downtown Nashville right in front of us. It was amazing. There are so many bars, restaurants and Boot stores. The bars advertise live music every single night and as we were walking by, many were walking by with their guitars and ready to get there music on.



The city totally has that country music vibe right away. And it seriously is like you are transported to a whole other area in the world. We walked all over downtown, just finding different places and taking pictures. I was thrilled to have James out walking with me, as you know he is not very athletic, so to get him out and going was fantastic and boy did we get our walk on.

After walking around for over a hour we went to the Expo to pick up my bib and packet for the race. I raised 600.00 dollars for St. Jude and I am so unbelievably happy that I chose to do that for this race. It makes this race even more special.

I decided to be a St. Jude Hero because I believe in St. Jude and what they do for children who are fighting cancer and the families fighting right along with them. Plus I lost two very special people in my life to cancer, my BF's husband Tony and my Nanny. Cancer f-ing sucks and destroys so many lives and little babies and children have an even harder chance of fighting it, but St. Jude fights along with them and I wanted to help out anyway I could.



So with the help of 13 amazing people in my life who donated I am running this for them, the children, my family and friends and everyone fighting with cancer. Each person that donated I am running a mile for them.

Mile 1- My mom <3 font="">
Mile 2- Elizabeth Ruiz
Mile 3- Aunt Donna
Mile 4- Natasha Romano
Mile 5- Uncle Keith and Abby
Mile 6- Aunt Margaret
Mile 7- Sarah Lavoie
Mile 8- Susan 
Mile 9- Nanci
Mile 10- Lea Ann and Tony
Mile 11- Uncle John
Mile 12- Jen, Ben and Paige
Mile 13-13.1- Poppy

At each mile, I will think of these selfless people in my life that donated to get me to the starting and finish line.



We decided yesterday after pick up to just go back to the hotel and rest for awhile. We had been going  since 3:30 in the morning and we were exhausted. Like super exhausted, so we checked in and literally crashed in to the bed and we each took a nice lonnnngg nap and James NEVER naps so it was super nice.

We showered and then went back downtown to get dinner, listen to music and check out the scene. There was A LOT going on downtown, there were concerts, LOTS of people out and music playing everywhere. It was hard to choose where to go because there was so much great music playing. We went to somewhere that was still serving food and a little more chill. Two guys were playing some cover songs and they were amazing. Seriously everyone we have heard have been outstanding!!!





We ate, took in music and then went back home and crashed again.

Day 1 was a true success and today we are doing some of the touristy things ;0) and I am on my Quest still to meet someone, ANYONE from the Bobby Bones Show and find someone famous along the way also.

Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sustaining Energy In Your Day....

It has been a week....

Yup and it is only Tuesday AND we had a Holiday on Sunday..

Crazy right, how one day can make it seem like it has just been all over the place crazy.

When I am having a rough or bad day, a work out sometimes can be the last thing I want to do right?

You just want to curl on the couch and just veg out, your energy from the day is drained and you are feeling all kinds of crappy.

When I lack energy,  nothing, and I mean nothing seems fun to do or appealing. BUT I know I need to get out there and get a good work out in.

And I know it isn't the bad day that is making me not work out, but it is what I choose to eat earlier in the day that has just made me feel icky. Good food choices through out the day make for better work outs and allow you to handle stress much better.

So when you are having a bad day, do not go for chips, grease, fat, candy, cookies. Yes they seem sooooo good in the moment right. The sweet taste of a victory!! BUT it will not help you in the long run.

Grab for something healthier....

Cut up some veggies for that crunch rather than chips.

Grab and apple, strawberries or grapes for the sweet craving. Fruit has natural sugar, that will give you that boost that sugar does, but it won't back on the pounds, nor give you a serious crash.

Or even better for some carb options that don't include a loaf of bread. I know I have been there before, especially at Panera, gosh that smell. Grab a banana and cut in half and spread some Peanut Butter or Almond butter on top and you have some carbs, protein and GOOD fat. Even sprinkle some mini chocolate chips, its okay, you have to splurge sometime.

Grab some protein! Protein is a HUGE factor for me when my energy is feeling low. I usually keep some quick protein around me at all time to make sure I can sustain my energy through the day and night. For lunch I try to pack some chicken and tuna and cheese sticks are my jam.

DRINK LOTS OF WATER!!! Keep yourself hydrated, it is so very important. Some days when I am feeling dragged down, it is because I was not hydrated through out the day. I started with my coffee, which I will not give up and that was it. And realized I had not drank anything else. I grab some water and bam, color is back in my skin and I can feel my energy going back up.

Start your day with a multivitamin or a vitamin of choice.  Vitamins pack a lot of nutrients in one tiny pill or gummy, to help you sustain energy through out the day.

Try one of these Go Macro Bars to help keep your energy through out the day too. These Go Macro bars back some serious energy in a clean and healthy way. They are one of the only protein and energy bars on the market that are gluten, organic, vegan and soy free. So you don't feel that heavy after taste of a big bar, you have energy to take on the day that sustains through out your crazy day AND energy to take on a your work out.


I grabbed one of these before one of my long runs and man the energy I got from this bar was perfect. I was logging some serious miles that morning and I needed some to just keep me awake and going but before a long run, heavy foods to not sit well with my stomach, if you know what I mean... But this bar kept my energy good through out the whole run. I know stash these in my lunch bag, for my ride home commute, allowing me to feel good, awake and energized to take on some work outs when I get home.

Fueling your body with clean food makes for a better day and a better workout, which leads to a better life down the road.

What is your favorite food to help you sustain energy through out the day and workout??



Sunday, April 16, 2017

Doggie Days of Summer Treat




Recipe ALERT :0)!!!
So I have a part time job.

Well it isn't really much of a part time job, I don't get paid for it.

Except for in big wet, sloppy kisses and snuggles from this handsome guy...


This is Sherman and he is my part time job on my days off!!! I watch him during the day for one of our friends while he is at work. Sherman has become my favorite part of the week and he is an absolute treat and blast to hang out with. He seriously makes my heart full with love and joy, I couldn't even express before. He has been the stand in puppy until the day James and I get our own. 

Which seems forever away... 

But having Sherman around has opened up and entertained the idea to James more and more of us getting our own dog. It has only taken 8 years!!

One of my favorite thing to do with Sherman is going on walks and runs. He LOVES being outside and lucky for him, as do I. We go for long walks downtown and around our neighborhood, or even sometimes we find a special new place to check out. Our walks can go for a quick mile or up to 3 plus miles, depending on how many squirrels he wants to try to attack and catch and how hot it is.

Pets react different in the heat than humans, so keeping Sherman cool and hydrated is a big priority for me when we have our adventures. The minute we get back inside, it lays on the cool tile floor with his water. I wanted to give him a cool treat to enjoy after our walks for being such a good boy.

I went on to Pinterest and found a really quick and easy recipe with ingredients I had already and made these...


Excuse the coffee cup in the sink, I am still working on my great blogger photography skills. Just #keepingitreal.

Okay so these little treats are so easy

Dog Days of Summer

1 ripe banana
1/2 cup of Natural Peanut Butter
Some water to have more a consistency to it to pour into the ice trays

Mix together. Pour into ice trays and then add a like dog bone as the stick.

Pop in the freezer for 1-2 hours. 

They are a bit hard to get out of the ice trays at first, so I ran a knife down the sides and they popped right out.



Look how cute these are!!

And someone absolutely loved them...



These will be in my freezer all the time now.

And minus the dog bone, or you can if you want, these would make a nice little treat for humans too haha.

Enjoy!!




Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Current Favorite Country Songs

Happy Tuesday!!!



I know I am late in the day but man was today a crazy day. It was the Mondaiest of all Tuesdays.

Yup that is a thing...

But one thing that is getting me by is the fact we are going to Nashville in 18 days!!! I am so excited, seriously like so excited. And you know what I am most excited about, besides the half marathon I am running, is all the country music all the time.

I LOVE LOVE Country music. It is practically all I listen too anymore. So in honor of my trip to Nashville, I am doing my Top Ten Tuesday on my favorite Country songs currently!!

10. Jason Alden- Any Ol' Bar Stool



9. Kelsea Ballerini-  Yeah Boy



8. Billy Currington- Do I Make You Wanna


7. Brother's Osborne- It Ain't My Fault


6. Zac Brown Band- My Old Man




Makes My Heart just swell...

5. Something' I'm Good At- Brett Eldredge




Follow him on SnapChat he is hysterical

4. Body Like A Back road- Sam Hunt




3. Hurricane- Luke Combs




















2. RaeLynn- Love Triangle

Pulls on all the heart strings for me


1.  Better Man- Little Big Town


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Autism Speaks Walk Tampa

Did you know that April is World Autism Month?

Did you know you can wear blue in support of Autism for World Autism Month?

Did you know that there is a Tampa Bay Walk to support Autism Speaks??

If you are unfamiliar with Autism, Autism is described...

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences.




On April 22, The Autism Speaks Walk is being held in Tampa. 

This walk is a beautiful way to donate, raise awareness and support those with autism and families with autistic loved ones. Autism Speaks is a non-profit organization and to learn more about what they do check out their website here, Autism Speaks. 

Also if you have any questions about early Autism, how to screen your child or just some simple steps and answers to your journey of concern, Autism Speaks has all those answers and outreach for you.

You can walk as a team, or as an individual. This is a fundraiser walk, with a minimum raised amount of 20.00. You can sponsor the walk and volunteer also to the cause and the walk. Volunteers are needed for the Tampa Bay Area walk and you can check out how to register to be a volunteer here.

I highly recommend you check out the website to see all that you can do or just to provide yourself with some information on the walk and Autism. If you do not live in the Tampa Bay Area, there might be a walk happening close to you.

I am proud to be an ambassador this year for the Autism Speaks walk here in Tampa Bay and hope to see you along the way.