Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Victoria's Secret Sports Bra Review

"This is a sponsored blog post. Influenster provided me with complimentary Victoria's Secret products to test and review as part of a contest."

I love everything and anything that deals with healthy living and fitness. When I was given the complimentary items from Victoria's Secret to test and review as part of Influenster and for this contest, I was beyond thrilled. I received a pair of their new line of VSSport wear. Which by the way, I have been eyeing up like crazy, every time I would go into the store. I was also given a new Sports Bra to test and review too. The first bra I was given, didn't quite fit me well, so I was instructed to go into the store and exchange one that would.

The manager was actually the one to help me and she was WONDERFUL. She was happy and eager to get me to try one on and feel better about my selection. She opened up a drawer to let me choose which ever color or style I wanted. The style I originally was given, wasn't at their location yet, so I opted for another style. Secretly I was very happy because I really wanted to try the one with the zipper in the front.

Okay, so I am going to post a picture and it is very much out of my comfort zone to do so because I am still VERY self conscious about my body. I am human and can find flaws in everything I wear, it is a problem I have. I have lost a significant amount of weight too and my body has extra skin. I am a work in progress. Oh and I do not wear a bikini when I am at the pool or beach, so my stomach is blinding white! Sorry, not sorry lol.

But when I was given these products to review I knew I was going to post a picture of me in the bra no matter what. And the reason, because working out makes me feel good about myself and my new, sexy, zipper in the front, totally out of my comfort zone Sports bar, made me feel even more sexier.

I thought the bra fit very well. It was comfortable and worked in all the right places. I loved the back because it didn't move or chaff at all. The zipper in the front made it easy to come off after my work out! I hate when I have a sports bra and it is soaking wet and it becomes another workout just to get it off. With the Incredible bra from VS, you don't have to worry about that. My cup size was a tad bit big, but I have that problem a lot, I have tiny boobs, due to my weight loss.

The fit was perfect though. What is even nicer, the bra gave me a lift and a little bit of sass and spunk, which I normally don't have when I am working out. I felt beautiful and strong and fierce in this bra, that I actually would have worked out in just the shorts and the bra. The straps were adjustable and thick. No more digging into my shoulders and leaving marks. While I think the bra is a bit expensive for me, I know that this is a bra that holds up for a very long time. I loved this bra for the gym.

I also received for review Victoria's Secrets capris. 

My phone deleted the picture, darn iOs update, but here is a link to what they looked like... http://instagram.com/p/s0thsYht34/?modal=true

I loved this capris. They were a bit long for me, since I am only 5 foot but they were so comfy. I rolled them up a bit for when I was running. They fit perfectly and gave my butt a little form. The high waist was amazing and tucked in my not so pretty parts. The color down the side was bright and fun. What I loved the most is I could transition from workout to day out and running errands all in my one outfit.

My whole experience with the VSSport line was Incredible. I am in love with their whole new Sports Line and head into your local Victoria's Secret or online to check out their sexy, fun new line of gear.

My Favorite Items that Got Me Through Training

Okay panic and excitement and a little bit of everything in between is starting to set in!!

11 Days until I am standing at that starting line!

I feel like I have so much to do before then and not sure when to get it all in. For example, packing! Packing is stressing me out a bit, only because I am not sure what to wear. I am looking at the weather all the time, keep in mind. I will be dropping 20 degrees in temperature before the race. I don't have a lot of those clothing. So I think what I am going to do is literally pack my whole suitcase and I think, I will be hitting up the Thrift store this week to get another suit case to go along with me. We are flying Southwest, so James and I each get two a piece. One of mine alone will be just for running stuff. Which brings me to my next stress, what the heck am I going to wear the day of. Oh Jesus, I have had 5 months to think about this and I am waiting the week of.

Anywho, enough about my stressing. I thought I would do a post about my favorite items that got me through my marathon training. These items, I have used religiously throughout out my whole 5 months of training and will be using doing the marathon itself, not all but some.

I have always been a Headband girl, but with the heat and sweat this summer, even my headbands wouldn't work, despite what brand they were, but my hats and visors did. My Run Happy visor was a god send. It kept my head from overheating and was cool enough even when the sun beat down on it. I will be wearing a hat when I run the full marathon.

Even though I haven't been the best when it comes to Foam Rolling and The stick, I have been using them with tapering and after all my long runs, or when my legs just hurt. They work amazing and hurt like hell, but a good hurt. The Stick is a travel size one, that bad boy will be packed on the plane.

Okay, my hydration vest saved my life. Sure it gave me some serious chaffing and half the time killed my back after because of the weight of the water, but that thing was the only option for me while training in this heat. Having water with me all the time was the only way I could make it through, I needed it badly. I didn't want to spend a whole lot of money on one because I really didn't have a lot of money to spend on one, so I found this one at Walmart for only 20.00! It worked just as great as an expensive one, it got the job done. It had pockets to hold my gels and chews and keys. It fit me well, I got used to it and it became my best friend. It made training a breeze. I was able to refill it along the way, I could mix NUUN and other enhancements with it too. I got much more out of it then I thought I would. I am still up in the air if I am going to bring it with me for the marathon. It did weigh me down a bit running, and sense there is water along the way, I will be fine. But it will be a decision I will make at the end. The waist belt was also a God send, because I could keep my phone in there, not have my cords get all tied up. It held a long of my GU and Gels too. I was able to access my phone easily and not have to take it off my arm. This will be running with me at the marathon, so I can access my phone to capture it all.

These water bottles I used for my smaller mileage runs. The Nathan one I used for anything 6 miles-9 miles and the little one for my 3-5 miles. They both held keys and gels if needed. The hand held one was great for small runs and the pink one was a waist wearer kind. I needed water a lot, but these helped me get through the smaller ones without the backpack.

Yurbuds are amazing. I have smaller ears and these fit perfectly. These are my second set, because after my last 20 miles, I ruined my others with sweat and pulling them out wrong. My Garmin goes with me for every run, unless I forget to charge it or it loses signal, we had some rough patches, but all in all it was great. My Gym Boss is my Second BFF, I wore it for about 85% of my runs, either small or long. I set it to go off for my 2:1's. I never had a problem the whole time with it. Even wearing my headphones I could hear the beep and it vibrated too for me. Fit perfectly on my bra strap. All three will be with me for the marathon.

My Brooks Ghost 7 shoes. These are my second pair, they will carry me across the finish line. I LOVE THESE shoes. It's crazy but I have an emotional attachment to them. The miles we have traveled together and the accomplishment we will face, *tear.

Hello Friend. I used this after A LOT of my long runs, especially anything after 17. Pains and aches set in, still do, but this helped a whole lot, especially with cross training and when I was working long days.

Run Guard or Body Glide are magic makers. I used that and lathered myself up for every long run. I put that stuff everywhere, and I AM EVERYWHERE, not wanting to get to graphic, you can imagine. I forgot to post Diaper Rash cream, yup, I went there, that was for after the run. It works and relieves in all places. The Thermacare heat wraps worked awesome for the days after or the days before. Especially when I had pain in my calf muscles. I also used ThermaCare ice therapy, which I will be bringing with me and picking up more tonight.

Now everyone runs, trains and does things differently, these are what worked best for me. Other items that helped were my Boyfriends golf balls, for my heel and plantars pain in the arch of my foot, resistant bands to stretch out my calves, my ice packs and coolers for after my runs. I would wrap a towel in my ice pack, to keep it nice and cool so I could wipe myself down with it after the run.

And this is what training was all about, finding the items that helped me remain, focused, determined and happy!

I will post what fueling items, I really loved during my training sometime this week too.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Chocolate Caramel Pumpkin Brownies

I haven't posted something other than running, in a long time. Even when I do, running sneaks it's way in. What can I say, its my life.

But today, I have an awesome recipe for you all!

Chocolate Caramel Pumpkin Brownies
inspired by Hungry Girl

I have been wanting to bake or cook or do something on a day off for a long time now. But my energy and lack of motivation has been super low when it comes to that. Today though, I have been feeling pretty great. My 2.5 hour nap probably has a lot to do with that too. I love naps. Last night, I pulled out my Hungry Girl Just Desserts book and found her Caramel White Chocolate Brownie recipe. Well I didn't have white chocolate chips, BUT I did have Pumpkin Spice ones. WIN!!!


Okay, so here it goes.

You need:

1 Box of Devils Food Cake Mix
15 oz can of PURE pumpkin 
5 tablespoons of Pumpkin Spice Chips
1/4 cup of Sugar Free or Low Fat Caramel Syrup ( I use Walden Farms because it is no sugar, no fat, no calories)

Pre heat oven to 400 and spray a 9 by 13 pan with non stick spray.

Mix in a large bowl, the pumpkin and cake mix. It will be hard to mix, DO NOT add water.

Once smooth, fold in 2 tablespoons of the chips.

Transfer to the baking dish and bake for 18-20 minutes. Check with a toothpick.

Let cool for about 1 1/2 hours and then chop up 3 tablespoons of the remaining chips. Drizzle the caramel syrup and sprinkle the chips on top!

Easy peasy and so delicious!

You can create this will all kinds of chocolate chips too! 

Eat and Enjoy!

Serving size is 1/16 and 4pp per brownie, around 140 calories

Week 2 of Tapering Begins

Sunday Runday was today.

I set my alarm for 4:00 this morning and surprisingly got up with no hurt, pain or argument in my head. Probably because I knew I was meeting Nanci and Corinna for the mileage. These early mornings are really hard to tackle these mornings. I can not wait for the weather to break so I can sleep in a bit and it still be cool enough to just run whenever before breakfast. Plus shorter mileage is a bit appealing too.

We headed out around 5:30 to start our run. They were doing 13 miles and I only had to do 7. So I ran with them until 3.5 and then turned around and waited for them to finish at the end. I love running the Clearwater bridges, even though it kills me at times. I do love the challenge of those 4 bridges, even if I am cursing it the whole time. And the humidity was so crappy again this morning.

While I waited for the ladies, Caitlyn came down and waited with me and we caught up on life and got to know each other a bit more. Caitlyn just like Nanci are one of my biggest inspirations and anytime I can pick their brains and get to know them better, I am all game. These ladies are so motivating and inspiring, I am grateful to have met them and become friends with them. Surround yourself with people who push and drive you, it makes you a better person. Once everyone got back we went to Starbucks for some much needed coffee and breakfast. I was starving this morning, even though I had some toast and PB before. I didn't bring any fuel, GU or energy chews with me, my fail. I could have used it for sure.

I hung around and enjoyed my coffee and conversation and then had to head back home to go grocery shopping with James. We are stocked for our week and half home. The rest of my day will be napping, of course, reading and football.

Week Two of Tapering has begun. 15 miles on deck this week and hard to believe I just got through half of it just today.

13 days!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Gave In To The Treadmill

14 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Holy Macaroni and Cheese Balls!!!! 14 days, two weeks until the big day. This time in two week, I will hopefully be falling asleep and getting lots of rest for the big day. To say I am a nervous or excited is an understatement, really right now I am just trying to make it through the days now.

This morning I woke up feeling icky. I had a sinus headache and cramps. So bad, so I figured after work, I was going to run. I had to get 4 miles. I was just praying I would get out at a decent time. We were busy at work today, so busy, I didn't eat anything until 2:30. Seriously! The joys of retail. I gobbled my protein bar down so quickly. I was starving.

I got out on time but of course it was down pouring, thundering and lighting. Yeah not happening for me. Which meant, I had to get my mileage in on the dreadmill. I HATE the treadmill and running. I don't mind walking on it but something about running it, throws me completely off. I hate staring at myself, our T.V. in our gym is on the other side, and we have no Wifi. But I knew I had to get my mileage, despite as how much I didn't want to do it.

To be quite honest, it wasn't that bad. I watched some music videos to pass the time and played around with the speed I had wanted to improve. I was sweating like crazy too. It felt good, but there is such a different pounding, running on that thing then outside. I will always choose outside, but hey what can you do. I figure out of the 5 months of my training, 1 day of running on the treadmill, isn't that bad in odds.

I ended my first tapering week with 18 miles. I probably should have had another 3 or 4 miles mixed in there this week, but what can I do. I did rest a bunch because I wasn't feeling great, which helps because I am starting to feel much better now. And it's crazy, I did 10 miles yesterday and didn't feel a thing. Remember when I would be in such pain. Not so much now.

Tomorrow starts week 2, which is less mileage too and the same set up 3 run days and 4 rest days. I will be on my feet a lot this week because we are moving a store, which will keep my legs nice and moving.

Tomorrow I am also running with Nanci and Corina, which I am excited about. They are doing  13.1 and I only have to do 6. So I am going to hang out and wait and for them to finish and cheer them on :0). And then of course refuel with some coffee. Then another Sunday Funday with James of football and naps!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Catch Up on my Crazy Week

Happy Friday Everyone and the Beginning of the Weekend.

What a crazy, crazy week this has been for me. I have put in some really long hours with work this week and I can feel it. Wednesday before I had to head to Orlando for my meeting, I got my 4 mile run in. My legs felt pretty good, but it was still so hot here, I am really over it. 5 months of this training and I have one good day of running, which was when I was home in NY. The rest have been hot, humid, hazy, rainy, you know typical Florida weather. But what can I do, you know.

The 4 miles were good though, considering I hadn't ran since Saturday and I was worried, they were too rested. I know sounds crazy. But they felt okay. I had packed with me my running shoes and stuff to run in Orlando before our meeting began on Thursday. But the night before we were up really late, setting up the room and just unwinding a bit, that I didn't get to bed until 1:30, which is unheard of in my life these months. So needless to say, I slept in the bed, which was so comfortable and had it all to myself. I enjoyed the extra rest for sure.

Our meeting was on Thursday, which was amazing!!! I tried to make some really good choices the night before when we went out to dinner. We went to an Italian place and I had one piece of Caprese salad, one piece of Bruschetta, NO EXTRA BREAD, talk about being hard, I got eggplant parm which came with spaghetti, but I only ate a little and said no to Dessert, which looked amazing.

Big win for me! Then at our meeting we had some snacks and I nibbled a bunch here and there. So one really, really good day. I have been kind of carb crazy lately. Snacks, nuts, trail mixes, almonds, all these things have been in my radar. I know my time of the month is coming like ASAP, so that usually is what brings it on. I have been tracking, but it still has been all over the place. Tracking most but not all. I know that is bad, but this week has thrown me completely off.

This coming week is crazy too because Tuesday-Thursday we are opening a new store. Which means lots of lifting, standing and putting together a brand new store. Long days and nights. But its my job. I'm gonna try to bring my lunch every day, I really do not want to buy anything, except coffee. I will pack my protein bars and not snack on other items. I would love to drop a bit more weight by the time of the marathon too. I can see my body still really changing. Places shifting all over and such, its very exciting.

Speaking of that 15 days!!!!! I can not believe it. It is coming even faster now. I am glad I am distracted a bit these coming weeks because then I don't obsess over it, when I am not.

Today, I got in my last double digit training run. I did 10 miles, I have put it off and put it off since Sunday. I have just been in funk all week, my throat has been weird, energy levels unstable, which is resulting in my snacking and such and just blah. But the running helped this morning and the 10 made my legs hurt a bit, but I got home and just relaxed on the couch, seriously didn't move for hours and then took a 3.5 hour nap. My body and mind needed that so much.


I am feeling much better now, but I will be resting every chance I get, because I know it will make a difference in the long run. Haha, no pun intended!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My Day Got Better

Okay well today I turned my day around! Was feeling all kinds of in a funk with waking up today and how my head and body felt! Thought it over and with lots of awesome advice from friends, rest was much needed! And switching around long runs and such, doesn't make me less of a runner. Geez this is only day 2 of tapering and I'm crazy haha. 

I have decided to move the ten miles until Friday when I'm off of work all day. No rushing and it gives me a couple of days of sleeping in, which I so want. So tomorrow I'll do 6, Thursday, 4, Friday 10 and then a light XT on Saturday. I feel more at ease with that. See what happens when I work on A Sunday all hell breaks loose in my life. 

To make me feel better, James suggested I'm come to his work and visit him and he'll take me to lunch and Froyo and Target. He treats me amazing. I think he is used to my crazy and obsessively asking him how I look.

We went to the Hungry Greek for lunch..

I got the Hungry Greek pita with a side Greek salad, 13pp and freaking amazing. I forget how much I love Greek food. It was fresh and healthy. Hit the spot.

Then I went to Target on the hunt for Pumpk things and other fall finds I have seen on Instagram and Facebook

I did pretty well! I found the Chobani and the rest was all new things. I seriously love fall and all it brings. I also love all things Christmas too! Beware! The trail mix is a bad idea for me but I couldn't resist! I have only had the gum so far and loved it! I thought it tasted great!

Then went back to say goodbye to James and we went to Yogurt Mountain. I was hoping for pumpkin frozen yogurt, but they didn't have it, so i had a little bit of caramel corn and sour apple. So good and when I mean a little, just 2 oz. woohoo! I forgot to take a picture, just imagine how delicious! 

But I did snap one of this handsome devil! He makes my life complete. It has been a long couple of months of training and devotion and he has supported me through it all. I can't explain how deep my love goes!

So I finally got my rest day of a day off and anything, even though my mind went crazy, it has felt really good! 


Just One Of Those Days...

I woke up today, just not feeling it. Sure, I wake up tired a lot, I mean it has been an ongoing occurrance for the last couple of months, but today I woke up just not me. I had set my alarm for 5:00 to run 10 miles, I kept waking up every two hours last night, then every 20 minutes, really weird. My mind and body were wired. I got up as if I was going to get ready to run, and I stood up and I just knew I had no energy whats so ever. I mean drained, just not there.

I just fell right back into bed. I knew my 10 miles were not going to happen today and quite possibly nothing happening today. It has been my one day off where I just felt drained and over worked. My throat hurt, my legs were tired, my body ached, I had a headache and I just didn't feel like moving. The idea of doing anything, just kind of made my tired. I do know I am getting my TOM next week and this may have a lot to do with it. But it was strange to me this morning.

I got back into bed and just relaxed, fell back to sleep and it was so nice. But just laying in bed, curled up was all I really wanted. Then I felt guilty, like I should just power through, just do it and move on. Unfortunately this is not the time to do that, this is tapering. Listening to my body when it wants rest, I have worked it over time these past 5 months and it is starting to really talk to me. I do not want to be beat for the marathon, I want to be refreshed, energized and ready to go. It is rare for me to have 3 days in a row of rest, VERY RARE, cant even tell you the last time, have to say back in March before everything. I am just in a funk today and I'm sure it is because I haven't ran since Saturday. Isn't that weird, I am in a funk from running and a funk since I haven't ran.

So today, I have to go to work for 2 hours. Then meeting James for some lunch and Target shopping and a little bit of Froyo. Just a little, I have been craving like WOAH lately. Tomorrow I will do the 10 miles because I don't to have work until 11:30. Hoping to get a nap in and just rest up. I have wanted rest and now that I have it, it is crazy the feelings it brings out. Might get on the bike today and just work some things out.

Have a happy Tuesday.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Tapering Has Begun

Hey Ya'll!!!

Not sure when I turned country but go with it haha. My life right now is all about the taper!!

I am 19 days away from the marathon!! 19 days! In these 19 days my mileage weekly is going down and my runs in general. I'm concentrating on getting my mind and body in complete order. Drinking lots of water and keeping my hunger under control and fueling to keep my body strong. Even though right now I'm carb crazy.. Almonds and pretzel thins are making my life complete today in fact. Anyway I'm trying to keep my nerves in check too and not go crazy with thoughts thinking I'm doing to little or not enough. For example today is a rest day and yesterday I didn't run or work out at all but I spent 14.5 hours at work resetting my whole store. On my legs and feet for 14.5 hours, no rest that day. I felt it a lot too this morning. But I know the rest is what really matters for me. 

This is the next phase in my journey!!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Five: Five Favorite Fall Shows Returning

Today I am linking up with NanciCynthiaMar and Courtney for the Friday Five! This weeks topic is Friday Favorites, which you can choose 5 whatever you want. Nanci had mentioned this to me on Wednesday and it is a hard one, she has an awesome one, they all do so check them all out.

I am going to do my Five Shows I am excited about coming back this fall.

Okay, I am a t.v. show junkie, I love DVRing shows, watching them, I have a show I watch practically every day. Hey, I love me some downtime, when I can kick back and just relax. Considering my tapering is coming up next week, this is perfect timing. I need something to distract me from my thoughts of slowing down. Even though I want to slow down, it scares me just a bit. So I can unwind with some of my favorite shows.

1. Big Bang Theory

I just fell into this show last year some. I caught myself up on TBS and other channels that ran re-runs and religiously watched the whole season last year and I am pretty much obsessed. I never thought I would like this type of show but it is HYSTERICAL!! I can not wait until it comes back on Monday, which they moved from Thursdays, which is even more exciting because I have way too many things going on Thursdays now too!

2. Grey's Anatomy

I have been a Grey's fan since the beginning and I have watched every single one. Some seasons have been really bad, but finally last season had it's old Grey's way. Now with Dr. Yang leaving and a few others pictured above, it should be much more interesting. I am excited to see how the story unfolds with Webber and his daughter, which is now Mer's sister, another half sister. Gosh, don't you just love some drama.

3. Modern Family

This show just makes me smile! And it is the one show James and I love watching together. We laugh, we cry, it is a great show. There is a reason why they have one 5 years in a row for Best Comedy!

4. How To Get Away With Murder

I don't know a whole lot about this show. It is new this Fall, starting on Thursday on ABC at 10:00pm. But I love Viola Davis, hello THE HELP, amazing movie which is fantastic in. And the guy all the way to the Left, yup, Bennett from Orange is the New Black and the blonde, recognize her, she was on Gilmore Girls. I know it revolves around a Law School and Law Firm, plus the creator of Greys. So you know there will be drama!


I can not begin to explain how excited I am about this coming back October 8! I wish it was much sooner, but you know it is going to be amazing. This installment is around the last Freak Show, which was in Jupiter Florida. The cast of characters are fantastic which a lot of returning actors from Coven. There hasn't been much detail into the plot but if we know anything about AHS, it is going to make us squirm and fear. Cant NOT WAIT!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Different Form of XT

Yesterday was an awesome day off!!! It rained for a lot of the day, which never happens here in Florida, usually it is for an hour or so. But all day was glorious.

I got some blogging done. I finished the rest of my book I was reading; Silent Run by Barbara Freethy. Good book, not great, a little drawn out, but it kept me entertained for sure. I made my favorite cookies, Hungry Girl Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Softies. Click on the link for details. I posted this recipe on September 10 last year and made them a week apart this year, how strange is that. I guess I crave around the same time of year.

Then after a nice day of just doing a little bit of nothing, I went to do my XT with Nanci. We were going to a PiYo class in Palm Harbor, taught up our friend Caitlyn. I met Caitlyn back in May when I won her giveaway for the Color Me Rad race. She and Nanci are great friends and two people I love to have in my life. I tend to gravitate towards those who inspire, motivate and are just as determine as I am. And these two ladies are just that. When Nanci told me Caitlyn was teaching the class on Wednesday nights at 6:30, I couldn't resist, especially since I was off of work.

It is a little bit of a drive for me, but I met Nanci at her house and then we drove over together, which was super nice of her. The class was awesome. I have never really done Yoga or Pilates, so I wasn't sure what to expect and considering I had just done the 20 miles on Sunday, not sure what my legs were in for. Caitlyn was an awesome instructor, she played great music and kept us going non stop. She was motivating and made modifications for those who would need it. I felt awkward at first. One thing about me, I get a bit shy in a fitness class, that's probably why I don't go to them. I tend to feel like I am being judged, but I knew I had to get out of my comfort zone and just go with it.

And I did. It helped having friends there. The moves were challenging at some parts, but man could I feel the burn, in my legs, arms and stomach. I love that burn feeling, means I am doing something right. The class was about 55 minutes and you would have never known. I really enjoyed the class and will be going back when I can on Wednesday nights.

This morning getting up I was a bit sore. My butt and quads and upper body a bit. These next couple of weeks with training and work will be a bit different. Where I normally do my long run on Sunday, then Tuesday, Thursday, Friday I usually run and XT day on Wednesday or Friday and rest on Monday and Saturday, it is all kind of changing. We have lots of different things coming up with work so I have to adjust to make sure I am taking care of my body and getting in the rest days at the right time and XT when I can and not missing any running.

Like today, I normally run before I have to close at work and rest on Saturday because I have a long run on Sunday, but today I took a rest day from all activity and will run on Saturday because on Sunday I am working all day long, 12 plus hours, so my long run wont be until Tuesday, when I am off again. Confused yet??

 I didn't want to have a rest day back to back on Saturday and Sunday. Which this morning, it came at a perfect time frame because I was really enjoying sleeping in. So tomorrow and Saturday I will get 5 and 3 miles in.

It's funny because before the training, I would just not run and then probably miss tons of days after, now I am so trained, if I don't do the run when I say, I feel guilty.

Hope you have a great Thursday!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Side Effects Include, Obsessing over Marathon Training

I am completely obsessed with marathon training! I mean everything and anything about it. Literally it is all I talk about. I have realized this a lot in the last couple of days. Anything I do or say in a single day will revolve around the fact that I am training for a marathon. I am sure it sounds crazy but I think because it is coming down to the wire, it is all that is on my mind.

As it should be.

I have been spending time, looking at other peoples times and paces through Instagram, reading blogs about others Journey to 26.2. When drive by a MARATHON gas station, I light up with just the name. If I see others running or speaking about running, I have to chime in.

My staff is probably sick and tired about all I talk about the training and the upcoming marathon. They have seen me so tired and moving around the store like a snail, complaining how my body aches or leaving to go to Starbucks just to get an extra coffee to keep me going. I bet they will be thrilled to have me done with it.

I talk to other stores, saying, "Hey did you know I am training for a marathon."

My work BFF, I talk to her all day long about it, luckily she and my boss are big running fans, so it is second nature. My poor boyfriend, our whole lives for the last 5 months have been about marathon training. He has spent many nights on the couch, so I can get a good solid nights of sleep. He snores and I hate it. He has sacrificed so many nights of us going out for a date night because the next day I have to run. But you know what it will be worth it. I asked him how I have trained during this training process and he said, well your waist got smaller and you run  a WHOLE LOT, it is all you do!!!"

And it really is, my life for the past 5 months, has been nothing but running or how to improve my running or what is going to make me run better.

Today, I went to WW and weighed in. I gain .6. Okay it probably had to do with the hot dog and beer from the Rays game we went to last night and I am okay with that. Because I ran 20 miles this past Sunday!! I mean come on, nothing can take that away. I didn't stay for the meeting because the leader that runs it on Wednesdays isn't really my style we just don't click. I had on my Color Me Rad shirt and shorts and she said your either coming from working out or going to.

I said, no I just like to wear this on my day off. Where in truth I am going to work out later. The next thing out of my mouth was I am training for a marathon. She never asked or anything, I kind of blurted it out. She then looked me up and down and smiled and said, oh what kind of marathon, how many miles??

It took everything in me to not laugh. Really??? I wanted to scream a FULL, 26.2 MILES LADY!!

You know you're a runner when it really bothers you that regular people don't  know the distance of a marathon. They assume  all races are

This was me this morning. She was like wow must be a lot of work, I said yeah and my hunger is crazy, she said oh really, why is that?? YOUR A WW LEADER, that should make sense, I said because I am running like 25-40 miles a week and then extra. She just smiled.

It was the weirdest encounter I have ever had. She clearly had no clue. And my obsession with training continued.

But because of my obsession with Marathon training. I have met some amazing people in real life and through social media. I have changed my body in a way I don't think I could have any other form. I have learned I am a lot stronger and tougher than I thought I was. I have learned I love to sleep AND sleep means a big deal. I don't mind getting up at 4 and running for 5 plus hours. That sometime sneakers are the only shoes that will do. That being lazy after a run, is really okay and not feel guilty about it. That any mileage of run is a big deal and never forget that. Sometimes a mile feels just as tough as 20 and that is just the way it is.

But more importantly that training works. Having a plan and sticking to it, really does make a huge difference and it will change your life, even if you drive away others by talking about it all the time..haha


Monday, September 15, 2014

26 Days Until 26.2

26 Days Until The Steamtown Marathon!!

I was talking to a friend this morning and she asked, " How are the legs, are they used to 20 miles now.?"

I laughed because you might just think that...

But yeah they are not.

I woke up this morning sore and so tired. I mean I was yawning for a good hour after I woke up and shuffling around our apartment like a zombie. I wanted anything and everything to go right back to bed. But I had to work at 8:30, I knew it would be silly to try to change my schedule and just suffer through it. Plus, work is a little bit crazy for the next 4 weeks, that I just cant afford to be out of the business more than my two days off this week and what I schedule myself coming up.

So I grabbed my coffee and made it to work. It was tough because I never sit at my job, I stand eating, so my legs were a bit sore. But it felt good to keep them moving. I usually don't do a shake out run on this day, I take the day to rest and recover and with work today, I had to go grocery shopping after, clean our apartment, and do laundry, fitting in some time to run or walk or bike, just wasn't having it. I still managed to stay moving all day, so I count that as an active rest day for sure.

Besides my legs being sore, my body was too. My back and sides and stomach. Not sure from out I was running or carrying that water pack on my back the whole time, but just sore. I am still debating if I will carry the water pack. I have trained every long run with it and it has helped me. I fear if I don't bring it, I will psych myself out and keep second guessing if I needed it or not. I can get crazy like that. Plus if I decide to toss it, well it was only 20.00 dollars. Plus, I am hanging that bad boy up to dry after the marathon. I have many scrapes and bruises and lots of chaffing from that evil, saved my laugh so much thing.

Despite being sore, I can tell this run, my body is getting used to it. I felt pretty good all day once I got going, my energy stayed up a bit, I think a lot of it is in my head. But I am in that stage where all I can think about is what life will be like after the marathon. What it would be like to just come home from work and not be exhausted, be excited to run a little bit with no plan in place or just lay on the couch and not feel guilty about running. What it would be like again to sleep past 4:00 on a Sunday?!! Or not schedule a long run in my week and just play it by ear?!

Or what it will be like to get on the bike and not do the rolling hills and just go for it?

Who am I kidding though?? I have been training for almost 5 months now. My life is changed. I love the routine, I love having to look forward to rest days and I love having my days mapped out. I am sure after my two week rest of running, I will come up with a new plan, but it fears me a bit with what I will be like after the marathon. I can say I will not run 20 mile training runs after the marathon for a lonnnnnnnggg time, if ever again!!

But hey, let me get to the marathon first!!

And god am I so excited for that. James and I booked our flights, I have the PTO request taken, our hotel is booked and our car we are renting. We are flying into Philly on October 9 and driving to Scranton where our hotel will be. We are staying in Scranton from the 9th-13th and then the 14th we are staying a day in Philly and I want to be very tourist that day. And earn the right to eat a full Philly cheesestake haha. We have plans to visit with lots of friends, our old college and my old jobs too. I am excited for the cooler weather and just being away on vacation with James for a while. We have gone on trips together, never flew together and never this long of a trip. It will be our first official big trip together since I moved here 5 years ago. Kind of sad isn't it.

I am pumped to go to the expo before the race, of course finish the race and be with my friends and family. My mom and Aunt, Uncle and Poppy will be coming down the night before, which I am hoping will settle my pre-race nerves. Having family here will mean everything to me. The only person who has ever been at a race of mine is James, this is all new to them. It gives me chills just thinking about it and well as you can assume, super emotional.

But like I said, let me just get through these next 26 days with no injury, whatever ounce of energy I have left in me and forever grateful I decided to change my life by taking on this journey!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

My LAST 20 Mile Training Run...4 Weeks to Go...Running with friends Saved Me

Can I just say that I can not believe today was a my last real long training run. I say real long because it was 20 and next week is 10, 10 is still long but 20, oh man that number has quite a hold on me.

Yesterday I worked all day and planned to go grocery shopping right after. Well I had no time after work and really wish I did because we have no fruit or veggies in the apartment, it is killing me but I was way to tired to fight it. My legs felt really heavy yesterday at work and my feet were sore. I know it was because I was on my feet all day long and didn't sit down at work, but god they hurt.

I already went into these miles this morning a little uneasy. I set my alarm for 4:00 and felt okay getting up. I for sure was tired and my legs were hurting me a bit, especially my calves, but I was excited to get downtown to see Nanci. She was meeting me to run 14 miles this morning. It makes such a huge difference when you have someone running along with you. We had a blast this morning. At one point we looked at our watches and it was 9 miles and you would not have realized.

We got a gorgeous sunrise and it really makes it all worth it. The early wake up, the pain and the miles, I wont have moments like this a lot, so I cherish them when I can. We had a breeze off the water this morning for a lot of the miles, felt great and made me excited for the cooler weather we can be seeing very soon. I long for those days when I can just sleep in a little bit more, like till 6, so I can beat the heat.

We had a strong 14 miles, my Garmin lost signal at mile 10.56, of course, I have no clue what is going on with that darn thing, but this is the second time it has done that when I planned 20 miles. This was Nanci's longest run to date. She did awesome. I didn't do my splits with her for the whole 14 miles, it was tough for me because I am used to my beeps, but she motivates and inspires me and I felt great running a full mile and then a bit of walk. It was a great accomplishment. I was so proud of her, she did awesome with her 14!!

After leaving Nanci, I headed back to finish and hit my 20. I meet up with my friend Jacke, who told me she was heading downtown to run 2 miles this morning, hoping to see her. At my second mile, I found her and was surprised she was still out running. She hadn't ran in 3 months and was doing great. I was hitting a bit mental block, not sure what was going on, I was just tired and hurting and wanted to be done. I asked Jacke to run a bit more with me, to keep me company. And she did!!

We did 1:1's. She was doing those to ease back into running and I could use the break a bit to regain some strength. I did that for about 2 miles with her and then I went ahead at mile 4 and finished my last 2 with 2:1's. I felt better from the slow down with Jacke a bit. I finished the last 2 very strong, even though my Garmin just died again, just shut right off. I need to figure that darn thing out because I want that when I run the marathon, I will charge that thing every hour.

Jacke finished a little bit after me and I was so proud of her. She went out for 2 and finished with 6. And stayed to help me out. So nice. I am blessed to have such amazing running friends and great friends in my life. These ladies made this last 20 mile training run, much sweeter because to be honest, I might have given up. My heart wasn't there with it this morning, my mind was playing last of mind games, but I got it done, I fought through it and I am glad it is over.

It is bittersweet because I wont run these training miles again until the marathon. Crazy to see, I have done this 3 times. A 20-23-20. Wow. Again this is the girl who couldn't even run a mile. Now I will have done this 3 times with no regrets or no giving up. I am so determined to finish this marathon and get it done and with a smile on my face.

Now tapering begins a bit. 4 weeks left to go. I am starting to get everything in check, my mind, body, running and diet. Getting everything strong and determined. I will go into this marathon giving it everything I have and have done everything I could. I gave it my all, no doubt. I have learned so much about myself with this training, more than I ever thought imaginable.

Now the rest of my day has been spent in the bed, the couch and watching Football with James. We ordered pizza, and yes I enjoyed two pieces and some garlic bites. I earned this little treat for the day for sure. And it tasted delicious!!

20 miles done and now ready to take on this week and I will be doing lots of stretching, foam rolling and rest.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Reflecting after the marathon & Friday Fun

Okay so I think I am going to start each blog with a countdown left to go.


I mean we are in the time frame now. It is so crazy and almost sickening.

What the heck am I going to do after the marathon??!! How will my life be the same again??

Seriously I have been thinking about that A LOT lately. Especially with the challenge keeping myself busy, fit and reminding myself of eating habits. What will it be like to not be hungry all the time again?!?

That will be a blog all its on. But for now, I am going to enjoy the next 29 days left of training. I have loved the training, even on the days where I cant walk or stand, kind of like today. My legs are hurting.

Anyway today was a XT day. I was happy about that because I know my legs needed a little less pounding but need the movement. I got 6 miles in on the bike and did some weights. Okay, back to the after the marathon, I think I will focus a lot more on weights and toning up. Running has given me a shape and helped build a lot of muscle, muscle I never knew I had, but the flab and extra weight needs a lot of toning.

After the bike, I had some time before work to just unwind a lot. It felt great to get some stuff before work. I even signed up for the Tampa Bay Turkey Trot..

I love this race! It is a 5k on Thanksgiving, there are 1,000's of runners, it is usually chilly in the morning, the area is a neighborhood, I usually run with my bests from work. It is just a great way to kick off the holiday season. Plus, by running in the morning, I don't mind enjoying a little piece of pie :0)

I also ordered from Groupon, compression socks at half off, I have been dying to get them and finally gave in with free shipping. And then I hit up Bath and Body Works to get some really good pumpkin fun. I had a great coupon, so I couldn't resist.

This is my favorite 1pp coffee combo. One cup of the Starbucks Iced Coffee concentrate, some pumps of the Sugar Free syrup and one cup of Vanilla Unsweet Almond Milk with tons of ice and 2 splenda packets. Seriously way better than anything I could buy. The Starbucks bottle serving is 8, 8 ounce servings and made to personalize how ever you like. I need to get the Torani in Sugar Free Pumpkin Spice, asap.

I love this Starbucks at home, the whole bottle is 5.00, for 8 drinks, that is an amazing deal, one drink is usually 3.00 alone. Go out and find this if you can!!

If you have tried the Starbucks to personalize, what is your favorite combo thus far??!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Running With Bricks, A Big Loss & Excited About Sunday Funday

It is Thursday but yet I feel like it is Saturday. Days off the beginning of the week really mess me all up. This whole week has thrown me for a quite a curve ball, but I am slowly getting back to things, before another week that will throw me off.

I had to open for work today, so I opted to sleep in. I tell ya, on days I work, I hate getting up early to work out and work, but I also hate coming home after work to work out, it is a lose lose for me. But I slept in and then went to Weight Watchers to weigh in.

To my very happy surprise, I lost 3.6 pounds. The week prior I weighed in and had gained 6.8, that was the week of my TOM and my 23 miles. My hormones and everything were crazy and considering the rest of the week, I attended a wedding, had ice cream for a lunch and was home in my hometown and flew, 3.6 was a nice loss. I hope this means I am doing something right. My hunger has been off the charts again lately and I am really trying to pull high protein items. So far so good.

But before typing, I did eat probably an embarassing amount of cracker chips with hummus. SOOOOO GOOD!! I just couldn't stop. But we are having dinner soon, so it will even out and I am so enjoying a glass of SkinnyGirl tonight. It is raining, James wants to play his video games in the bedroom, so I am curling up with a glass and my Nook. I need a night like this.

I ran after work and it hurt. I am not sure if it was the weather, or me, but my legs would not move at all. I was having to walk a little more, I don't know I was just off. But I made the 4 miles, completed the running week with 19, including 12 non-stop hill work and tomorrow I will do some work on the bike. I love the long run weeks and then the short run weeks, that has really been great for me.

I have to say I am super excited for Sunday. I am running 20 miles, I know crazy to say I am excited about that, but Nanci and her crew are coming to St. Pete to run 14 miles of it together. This will be Nanci's longest run ever, I am so excited to be apart of this big milestone with her and to have company for a big majority of my long run.

After my run, James is off on Sunday and we are watching football all day. I am fine with being lazy on the couch and just vegging out. I have a lot of work coming up in the next few weeks, so a day like this, I am all about. Plus I have vowed to him, to be more responsive when it comes to football this year, he loves it a lot and huge Redskins fan, so I am trying to not give him so much hassel about spending all of a Sunday watching it.

So I just want to get through 2 more days and then my Sunday Funday!!!

Hope everyone has something exciting they are looking forward too this weekend.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

5 weeks left of my journey to 26.2

Oh my god that title!!

It excites me and frightens me all at the same time!! So much stress and busy stuff going on in those 5 weeks too. I'm trying everything in my power to not have it interfer with my training at all.

BUT holy crap 5 weeks!!

Remember when it was day 1! Seems forever ago and it really it was and is. 5 more weeks to go! Insane!

It literally is the final countdown.

Today was a bad and stressful day and despite it all I got my run in

I needed this run even if I didn't want to do it and I'm so glad I did. Plus it proves even with my crazy life I will get this accomplished because me complaining and whining and laying on the couch with ice cream, which I would love to do, won't get me to that finish line. Picking myself up, shaking it out and putting on my running shoes will.

Okay now that reality sets in, I'm making dinner and resting!! 

Happy Hump Day

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Wedding, Beautiful Weather, & A "Coming Home" Run

I am back from my long weekend away to my hometown!!! It was a beautiful, fun filled, exciting, exhausting weekend. But so well worth it.

On Friday after my run in the morning. I caught my flight and a nice, relaxing one. I met my Poppy at the airport and we had some dinner together and then met up with my BFF, LeaAnn and started her sisters wedding weekend. We were staying in a hotel all weekend, and it was so nice. I loved being back home this weekend, the weather was so nice and a great change of pace.

I laughed the whole weekend and was filled with love. The wedding was on Saturday. I did have a rest day that day, due to being so busy getting everything ready for the wedding. The day was so hot and humid, I was not excited about that because I was hoping for cool weather, but regardless the wedding was absolutely perfect. Cassidy, the bride looked amazing. The reception was a ton of fun, I enjoyed some glasses of wine and seeing people I haven't seen in years!!

I am obsessed with this picture. This is my BFF LeaAnn. We have been Best Friends for 20 plus years. We have had some amazing times and have had our downs too, but no matter the distance or time, she is the one person who knows me like no other. She will always be my best friend and this picture surely shows this. It was so nice to spend the whole weekend with her for once since I was being home. And I will see her again when I run my marathon.

So we had a great time at the wedding. On Sunday, the day after, we all went to breakfast and because I knew I had one too many glasses of wine, water and egg whites and getting back on track was so well needed, well back on track as best as I could. After the wedding party and others breakfast, I met up with my mom. I was happy to spend a few hours with her. The weather was amazing. I mean like absolutely amazing, no humidity and cool. I haven't had that type of weather in FOREVER!!!

I was stoked and wanted to spend all afternoon outside, regardless if I was tired all not.

The views were taking my breath away. You never know how much you love where you came from, until you leave and come back. I took all this amazing views and scenes for granted. I loved seeing the mountains and the big blue sky and trees. It was eye opening from me and truly love where I come from.

My mom and drove around to some of my favorite spots growing up, just taking it all in. We also stopped for a quick treat..

YUM!!! I think the views, being with my mom and just being home on a Sunday like this, made this even sweeter.

I felt like I was flying high on Sunday. I had all this energy. I don't know what it was. I was just wanting to run and experience this beautiful day. So despite the night I had, or how tired I might have been, when I got back to my Poppy's house, I went for my 12 mile run.

Crazy, I never have done anything like that after a busy long night, but I was awakened and ready to go. I was nervous, if I really was going to get it done. I hadn't had a mileage set up or where I was going to go, so I just went with it. I knew I wanted to go to certain areas, but really all I wanted to do was just run my town.

I had gorgeous views, tough, TOUGH hills. Up and down, killing my Quads and my legs. I mean killing me them. They felt like J-E-L-L-O. And I understood when they see downhill isn't always the best. Which now I know at the marathon, it will be quite different, but this run, really enlightened and helped with this.

This run was so sureal to me because I was going back home to somewhere, where running was never something I was about. I hated running the track, I would avoid, but I took that track like a champ. I ran this town, feeling so strong, and even better so confident.

This run was tough, but life changing. It made me come full circle in my life. I really have changed for the better and this run proved it. Going back to my High School, brought back so many memories, it was awesome to experience.

This was probably one of my favorite runs in my training and I am so happy I did, even though I am beat today from it, still haha.

I was beat after this run and so happy when I came through the front door, my Poppy had beef stew waiting for me. I ate that bad boy all up. My hunger was a bit crazy after that run, but I made good choices. My Poppy said he loved to see me eating and eating right. He also took a moment to tell me how proud of me he is and how determined I am and getting it done and accomplishing this.

It melted my heart...

This weekend away was amazing. I flew back late last night, so this morning, I felt like a truck hit me. My legs were quite sore and my mind is all over the place. I have a lot going on this week with work and needed this morning as another rest day to get myself back on track. I will make this day up on Friday with another run. I am a little bit mad at my body for not bouncing back, but with everything going, I totally understand.

Thanks for reading this long post, hope everyone had an amazing weekend like I did.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Running Just To Run

Oh thank goodness it is Friday.

In 6 hours, I will be on a plane and heading home to NY for the whole weekend. I hear the weather is pretty hot up there too now, which I am not excited about, I would love some cool weather right about now. But I do get to see my Poppy the minute I get off the plane, which makes it all so very much worth it.

So today I knew I wanted to get a run in of some sorts. Technically it could have been the one day I was able to sleep in, since no work and really nothing else going on. But I got up at 5 and went downtown to just run. I didn't want to follow a plan or anything, I didn't really have a mileage in mind, I just wanted to kind of run.

I had done 23 miles on Sunday and I wanted to do another long run mileage, to just see how my body would feel and if I could do it. I set out and ran 8 miles. 8 is my magic number and really my favorite running mileage. I ran today to just clear my head and just release a bit. Today, would have been my Dad's 55th birthday today. This day is hard for me because last year, I spread his ashes on this day, to finally release him. Plus, we loved Birthdays and I would call him every year on his birthday and tell him how much I loved him.

So today, I just wanted to run to kind of start my day right, being downtown close to my dad and paying him respects. I didn't have to say anything, I just ran and then sat down by where I spread his ashes and just sat there and thought about him. I tried to remember his voice and laugh. I just took in the views and blew him a kiss and off I went.

The 8 miles felt good. I am having some tightness in my left calve, which I think is tied to my plantars issue, but it wasn't to too bad. I am heating it up for a bit now and then some ice. Today, started on a good note, just how I like it to be, running just for the love of running.

I might not post a whole lot this weekend, since I will be pretty busy. But have a great weekend, hope you are able to spend it with the ones you love.