I remember when I was playing softball when I was younger, we loved to yell chants or cheers while our teammates were at-bat. A lot of them were ridiculous. Okay, probably all of them were. But we had fun and I still remember a few of them after all these years and occasionally one will get stuck in my head. The one that has stayed with me all this time as I've trained for races is, "You've gotta want it, to win it, and we want it bad! You gotta be good, to win it, and we are the best!" Not that I've ever won a race or will ever, but you get the idea behind the motivation. That chant would pop into my mind from time to time when running was hard and it would remind me that I need to keep going because I had goals I wanted to accomplish. 

Well frankly, right now, that doesn't apply to me. At all. 

I don't want it.

I don't want to train for a full marathon. 
I don't want to run in the cold, rain, snow, ice, wind, heat, etc.
I don't want to give up 3 nights a week to running after work.
I don't want to get up early on Saturday mornings to go log miles with my group.
I don't want to give up my lunch breaks so I can cross train. 

To put it the most simply, I just don't want it.

Why?

I'm sure it's a combination of a lot of things. I've been in this training funk since November and it's getting old.  

I do know that after my full at Route 66 it left me completely deflated. I crossed trained 2-4 times a week, I ran 4 days a week. I worked on my diet and nutrition trying to find the right combination and did all of this from July to December when I ran my last full marathon in Honolulu. 

I'm burned out and deflated. I'm deflated because I put in a lot of work for Route 66, my goal race, and it didn't even come close to my plan A or B goals. 

I'm deflated because I run marathons and gain weight. I gain it quickly and a lot of it. I know it's possible but it doesn't make sense. I've said it before but my Doctor recommended a low carb diet to control my weight. Well low carb and 20 mile runs don't mix. Just sayin...

I know, I know. You're thinking,  you win some and you lose some. I get that. But I worked hard and for a long time and crashed and burned and it just took it all out of me.

I struggle.

I struggle with my weight. I struggle with the medications I'm on to control my PCOS symptoms. I struggle with motivation. I struggle with my nutrition. I struggle with Plantar Fasciitis. 

(I know I'm not the only one that struggles but this is a venting post that is long overdue and I'm hoping that it helps me get it out so I can move forward.) #BloggingAsTherapy

When I started a new medication to treat my PCOS in September, it caused a lot of side effects that were detrimental to my running. It made me even more sensitive to the heat (great), it caused a sharp, stop-you-in-your-tracks, pain in my rib cage, it made me pour buckets of sweat even on cold days, and it messed with my cardio/ability to breath while running. Then, as if all that wasn't bad enough, about 30-45 minutes after a long run, I would get extremely nauseated. I knew that after a long run I couldn't go to breakfast with my group or stand around for chit chat. I needed to be home because I would be so sick, I'd curl up on the floor unable to move until it passed. Luckily, one of my Doctors said I should stop taking it. Frankly, he was a little surprised I was on this particular medicine even though I told my other doctor I am running and training for marathons. My primary doctor is also a seasoned marathon runner so I trust him and decided to stop taking it this month and we'll see what PCOS symptoms pop up and I'll figure out how to deal with those.

The third and final blow is that shortly after my long runs my plantar fasciitis has been flaring up pretty bad and made it hard to walk without a limp. I've been working on it, but it takes time.

So in summary, it hurt while running, it was hard to run due to impaired cardio ability, then I'd get extremely sick after a run, and last and certainly least, I could barely walk the next day and a half because of foot pain. No wonder I lost my desire to run. I know running is not always easy, but come on! Sometimes you actually need to enjoy it to want to continue on the bad days. Or in my case, bad months. 

To say that I've been "phoning it in" the first 8 weeks of my training cycle would be an understatement. I had to drop back a pace group in my running club, which is fine, that is why there is more than one. I haven't ran 4 times a week yet. I haven't logged nearly enough miles in the runs that I have completed, and today was only the third time I went to the gym to cross-train in 2015.

Long story short, I need to get my motivation back. My next marathon is about 8 weeks away. I know going into this race that my one and only goal will be to finish it and collect my medal before the cut-off time. This is why I've mentioned that I'm going to retire from the full marathon for a while and stick to half marathons and working on my 5k time. 

Okay, venting over. The end.

It's Your Turn to Vent! What has been bothering you lately?

 
 
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Hi Running Buddies!

How was your weekend? I hope you got your miles in if you are training for a Spring race!
I'm right in the middle of my 16 week training cycle for my next marathon. After this race, I think I'll retire from the full marathon for a while and stick with half marathons and working on my 5k time. But that is a totally different blog for another day. Today, I'm going to tell you all about a new product I got to try, MESTRENGTH.

Disclaimer: I received a box of MESTRENGTH thanks to Bibrave's BibRavePro ambassadorship. You can learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro & check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews. As always, all opinions, typos, and silly pictures are my own.

What is it?

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MESTRENGTH is a performance hydration mix that includes electrolytes for hydration and creatine for muscle recovery. I know what you are thinking. Creatine? The stuff teenage boys buy in bulk to get bigger/stronger for whatever sport they are into? Yup, creatine. It hast just enough in it to aid in muscle recovery, not make you bulk up. 
You can use this as a pre-workout as well. I've been using it post-long-run and the biggest thing I've noticed is that I don't get a headache like I normally do if I am just drinking water. 
Important info to note:
  • Zero Sugar
  • Zero Carbs
  • Zero Calories

I don't know if I have fellow insulin resistant, PCOS, or maybe even diabetic runners that read this blog, but I always get excited to try a new product when I find out it is not packed with sugar. So for that, this product gets an extra Ginger brownie point* from me.
Plus! I'm pretty sure drinking your recovery drink out of an adult sippy cup gives you +5 cool points on the internets!
It is pretty handy that they come in individual serving packets and you just mix it in a water bottle and go. 
*Ginger Brownie Points cannot be traded in for gingers or brownies. Sorry.

How does it taste?

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MESTRENGTH has 5 different flavors to chose from. Grape, Strawberry-Kiwi, Orange, Lemon-Lime, and Fruit Punch. My favorite is Lemon-Lime.
It reminds me of lemonade I used to make as a kid. A little tangy and not too sweet. 
I will say that some of the flavors are an acquired taste/a little tart (grape). I have a MAJOR sweet tooth so I tend to prefer my drinks to be on the sweeter side. So take that into consideration when I say these aren't on the sweet side. If you are a person who can't drink other sports drinks because they are to surgary or too sweet during a run, I highly recommend you give this a try. Or if you are trying to eat/train "clean" this might be a good alternative to other sports drinks out there. My tummy handled it perfectly fine as well. No issues there. 
Also, I do all my long runs on Saturday and then sometime on Sunday it hits me that I can't drink enough water. When I drink this mix after my long run on Saturdays, I don't have that crazy parched feeling on Sunday. 

You can shop on Amazon.com and use code: BIBRVE25 and save 25% off until 2/28/2015.

The price for a box of 10 is $14.99 +shipping. That works out to be about the same price as some sports drinks or less. 

What do the other BibRavePros think about it?

Question! How do you recover from a long run?

 
 
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This is an official announcement! Things have changed at the RunGingerRun House! After 7 years of discussing it, the Hubbo and I finally adopted a cat!

Everyone, please help me welcome Gypsy to our home!

Gypsy is also known as Kitty, Gypsy Kitty, or if you are talking to my Dad, Soft Kitty. (Based off of Sheldon's favorite lullaby from Big Bang Theory)

Gypsy is a ragdoll cat who was born in Canada, moved to Oklahoma City, was a show cat, and now resides in Tulsa as our pet. She hates other cats, likes to listen to Ed Sheeran, doesn't really care for Ke$ha songs, and would rather eat the dog's food than her own.

I'm truly not exaggerating when I say that we have talked about adopting a cat for at least 7 years.  The debate wasn't if we both wanted a cat or not. We both did, in fact, want to adopt a cat. We just couldn't commit and couldn't decide where to put the litter box. 

Our supreme decision making skills and commitment skills remind me of how we decided to buy our house. Did we do tons of market research? Did we enlist the help of several Real Estate agents? Did we scour the internet for the perfect home? Nope! We flipped a coin and decided to buy the house we were already renting. #TrueStory

She's not much of a runner. Yet. But we can work on that. That is, unless it's 4:00 am on Sunday morning and she is working on her speed work while tearing through our house! 

Yes, cat. 4:00 am is a perfect time to act like a maniac! Please be as loud as possible because we sure would hate to sleep past 5:00 am on a Sunday! Hashtag Sarcasm. 

In all honesty, the Hubbo and I couldn't be happier. She's fitting right in with us and is slowly warming up to our Chihuahua, Zoey. I'm sure they will be furry BFFs in no time.

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She loves race medals!

Question! Does it take you a long time to make decisions?

 
 
PictureAirport Selfie!
If that title doesn't grab your attention or clue you in to all of all the drama we faced on our flights to and from Hawaii, I don't know what will. It was all so crazy I still can't believe it was real life!
In Part 1 of my Hawaii vacation recap I told you all about some of the adventures we went on while we were on the island. In Part 2, I'm going to tell you about the adventures of getting there and getting home. Enjoy!

Flying out of Tulsa is always an ordeal. There are very few direct flights to anywhere you really want to go, so we almost always have to fly to Dallas/Houston to get to the next place. So on our way out to Hawaii this is what our trip looked like:
Tulsa -->Denver --->LAX --->Honolulu

On our way back this is what it looked like:
Honolulu --->LAX--->Houston--->Tulsa

That is a lot of plane changes and a lot of opportunities for things to go wrong. And guess what? They did.
The first flight out, Tulsa to Denver was fine, except we got the CHEAPEST SEATS EVER and we were literally sitting across from the lavatory. Gross.

Denver to LAX was a bit of a problem. Our flight was delayed taking off due to our plane needing an oil change or something like that, then we sat on the runway a long time because we couldn't taxi in due to other planes. Keep in mind that between each flight we only have a 45-50 minute layover scheduled so any delay is a little stressful. The Hubbo and I were at the back of the plane again waiting to get off the plane with 11 minutes left until our plane to Hawaii was scheduled to TAKE OFF! When we finally got off the plane we had 6 minutes to switch terminals and get to our gate. The Hubbo and I grabbed our carry on bags and SPRINTED through LAX. Nothing like a little speed work a couple days before your marathon! Our friends were meeting us in Hawaii and the hotel room was under our name. I just knew we were going to miss our flight and they would be staying a night in Hawaii without us. We ran up on our gate with 1 minute before take off was scheduled! Whew!!! Turns out, we didn't need that speed-work after all. Our plane was delayed. I'm pretty sure I almost died as my heart was racing so hard from all the adrenaline and stress. It took me a solid 30 minutes to calm down. 

When we got to our seats, I just looked at the Hubbo's ticket and knew that I was in the seat next to him so I didn't pay much attention to mine. Turns out, we weren't scheduled to sit next to each other. Lame! The guy that came to claim his seat kindly offered to let me stay next to my husband but I was so flustered and so thankful just to be on the flight that I didn't care where I sat as long as I was on that plane! So I gathered my stuff and headed back 5 rows to my seat. Big mistake!

When I got to my seat a few rows back, I found myself in the middle seat. A creepy guy on my right and an even creepier guy on my left. Great. Again, I was just so glad I didn't miss this flight it was worth sitting in creeperville for 5+ hours. 

Turns out, I had a drunk  blanket hoarder on my left. He smelled like he was sweating out an entire mini bar he consumed the night before. When I sat down he offered me my blanket that he was holding. I was soo hot and sweaty from my sprint through LAX I really didn't want it, but I didn't want to talk to him either so I just said "Sure, I'll take it." He immediately retracted the offer and said he'd hold onto it. Awesome. Now we are playing keep away with a blanket and a drunk guy. After an hour he offered again. Again, I said "Sure, I'll take it" and he almost didn't give it to me! Geez. 

Then! The joker to my right decides to make himself real comfortable and unbuckle and unzip his pants!!!!! Totally awkward! If we had spoken the same language I would have told him that he wasn't at home and he needed to put his pants back on, but my Portuguese is a little non-existent.
Luckily for me, Mr. Drunk Blanket Hoarder guy passed out and Mr. Unzipped Pants didn't bother me much the rest of the flight. I swear I can't make this stuff up folks!

Flying Home - The Plane Delay I was a Part of.

A lot of the flights out of Hawaii leave in the late afternoon or early evening. So depending on where you are going, you might be flying overnight. That was the case for us. We flew to LAX to grab a red-eye to Houston. Well, that didn't go as planned either.
Our flight out of LA was very delayed. We were originally going to depart at 10:45pm and didn't end up departing until around 1:30. Part of this delay can be blamed on yours truly! Again, not kidding and I can't make this up!

The Drunk Guy
The Hubbo and I found ourselves at the back of the plane again in a row with 3 seats. Almost everyone had boarded and the 3rd seat in our row was still empty. Then he walked in. Drunk guy. I saw him waiting at our gate and immediately knew he was bad news. Turns out, he was sitting in the window seat next to me. Perfect. As if this guy wasn't drunk enough he brought his friends, the Jack Daniel's triplets, along and was ready to party all the way to Houston. Even Better. He started giving the flight crew a hard time and didn't seem to understand the concept of putting his carry-on bag away so the Hubbo graciously offered to switch me seats so I wouldn't have to sit next to another drunk guy. That is when one of the flight crew tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I was ok with him being in our isle. My original reply was "I hope he will just pass out and everything will be fine." Shortly after I said that is when he unpacked his 3 miniature bottles of Jack Daniel's and started to party. One of the flight attendants tapped me on the shoulder again just to double check that we were ok so I notified her that he was in full on party mode. That's when it got real. The flight attendant told the Captain of the plane. And that is how I caused a delay. The flight crew had decided they had had enough of him and were kicking him off the plane! We had to wait 15-20 minutes for an official to come and escort Mr. Drunk Guy off the plane. I assume he was taken to an airport drunk tank of some kind. I guess I'll never know if he ever made it to Houston... 

Pearl Harbor

PicturePhoto Cred: scholastic.com
While we were in Honolulu we also visited Pearl Harbor. It was the one and only thing that all four of us had decided we were definitely going to do before we left Oklahoma. Everything else we planned after we got to Honolulu because that's how we roll. Except the marathon. The marathon was pretty much the trigger for going to Hawaii in the first place. 

Now back to Pearl Harbor. We booked our tour to PH through a travel booth in our hotel. It included our tickets to visit PH, a scenic tour of Honolulu on the way out to the harbor where we learned where President Obama lived, worked as a teen, and went to school, as well as a ride to and from our hotel. We booked the shorter trip (~4 hours) instead of the longer all day trip. 

I knew PH wasn't going to a party or anything exciting like that but, I wasn't prepared for the extreme somber tone and emotions that everyone would be feeling by visiting the memorial. Once it was our turn for our tour, we were ushered into a movie theater to watch a 20 minute video on the history and events of that day. I really don't know why, but everything I learned in my History classes about PH and the USS Arizona it didn't really click that it was a tomb with over 1,000 soldier still inside. We were all really glad that we visited Pearl Harbor to get a better understanding of the events that took place on the "Date that will live in infamy." 

Honolulu Marathon Video

Now, to end this on a more upbeat tone I want to share my last video we made from Hawaii. 
I made during the Honolulu Marathon for AddadayGo.com for their GearUp series. Enjoy! 

P.S. Please no judging my extremely poor running posture! I had no idea it was that bad until this video! 

Question! Have you ever caused a plane to be delayed?

 
 
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Hi Running Buddies!

It's been almost two months since we went to Hawaii to run the Honolulu Marathon! You can read the race recap here. I can't believe that we've been back this long and I haven't blogged to tell you all about my trip. Better late than never, right? To fill you in on the long pause, I was waiting until my video projects were done so I could include them in this post and they are ready to go! The Hubbo and I and a couple of our friends, Blaze and Dave, went to Honolulu in December. It was ahhhh-mazing! We had so much fun that we didn't want to come back to Oklahoma. Before we even left we were already planning our next trip back. Until then, I'll just have to enjoy the memories we made while we were there.

Hiking Diamond Head Volcano

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The Hubbo and I ran the marathon on Sunday and then for some reason thought it would be a good idea to hike a volcano the next day with our friends. Usually I can barely walk the day after a marathon but we did a run/walk method for the race so recovery was actually a lot better than usual. 
We took a cab to Diamond Head and once we got the entry fee situation under control we were off! We had done a little investigating on Google before we went, so luckily we knew what to wear and about how long it should take. My friend, Dave, who went with us on the trip was super excited to power-hike up the volcano while timing us. We, on the other hand, were too busy taking pictures and enjoying the view, so Dave made it to the top before the rest of us. The Hubbo had the nice camera and decided to play a game of "Find Dave" by taking creepy far-off pictures of him like a paparazzi-style! See below.

If you are going to Honolulu you definitely need to do this. The views from the top were amazing! We spent more time taking pictures of all the wonderful views than actually hiking. The hike isn't too strenuous but it is not stroller friendly as there are a few sets of stairs and some pretty narrow passages. 

Check out the video below that I made for the AddadayGo website for their GearUp series! 

Pro Tip: If you are going to Honolulu and want to Hike Diamond head take cash! The fee into the park is very cheap ($1/person) but they DO NOT take cards. Also - do not wear flip flops. Tennis shoes are definitely needed for this ~30 minute hike. 

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Sarah, Dom, Dave, Blaze

Helicopter Tour of Oahu

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The four of us decided to splurge a little and take an hour long doors-off helicopter tour of the entire island. IT WAS WORTH IT! We got to see the entire island and experience the different micro-climates of Hawaii all in one hour. We flew over the famous North Shore and saw the giant waves crashing, flew over Pearl Harbor and got a bird's eye view of the still submerged USS Arizona and we even got to see the area where they filmed parts of Jurassic Park! 

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Diamond Head from the air.
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North Shore!

Beach Day

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We actually spent a lot of time on Waikiki beach in front of our hotel but we made a day of it one day and traveled to the other side of the island because we heard there was one of the World's Top 10 Beaches about an hour away. We couldn't pass that up! So we packed a beach bag and Howie, my dinosaur, and took the bus to the other side of the island and spent the day at Kailua Beach. It was so beautiful and peaceful. It wasn't super crowded or anything, but being as it was December, it wasn't terribly warm. It wasn't super cold either and it was the only day that I actually got in the water, but I wish it would have been a little warmer. 

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Kailua Beach
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Kailua Beach
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Howie The Dinosaur!
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Diamond Head from Waikiki Beach
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Love him!
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Paradise...

Question! Where did you go on your most favorite vacation?

 
 
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Hi Running Buddies! 

How is your running going? Are you getting your miles in? If you are like me, you do most of your training runs after work and since it is winter that means it's dark. Lame! Today I want to talk to you about running safely at night with the help of Nite Ize. 



Disclaimer: I received a box of Nite Ize products thanks to Bibrave's BibRavePro ambassadorship. You can learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro & check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews. As always, all opinions, typos, and silly pictures are my own.

Safety Tips for Running at Night

PictureDon't mind me, just lit up like a Christmas tree...
First let's go over some safety tips for running at night.
  1. Don't run alone. Call me, I'll run with you!
  2. Run in a public place with other crazy people exercising in the dark.
  3. Don't wear all black! (The Hubbo is bad about this!) 
  4. Be seen! Wear light-up accessories so you look like a freaking Christmas tree ::Insert Christmas Tree Emoji Here::
  5. Tell somewhere when you are leaving and when they can expect you to be back
  6. Don't assume the car will stop for you.
  7. Keep your cell phone with you in case you need to call someone. 
  8. Know your route and have a backup route in case something interferes.
  9. Obviously - Don't talk to strangers! Stranger danger should still be alive and well even in your adult life. 
  10. Wear a headlamp to avoid holes and other ankle injuring obstacles. 

How Nite Ize Can Help You Stay Safe

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Nite Ize (Night Eyes) has a ton of helpful products on their website that aren't all related to running in the dark. They have everything from mobile device accessories to LED accessories to hardware. Click here to see more of their products. But today we are going to be focusing on being seen by cars, cyclists, and other runners to help us train safely at night.

First let's talk about the  Shoe Lit shoe lights. I got a pink one and a green one. They have other colors as well such as red and blue. These are super easy clip to your shoe through your laces. I've had mine on my shoes for 2 weeks and I never take them off. I don't even notice them when I'm not running at night. You can order them online for $4.49 and make all your running buddies jealous, right Angie? :)  


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If you were a child of the 90's like myself you will totally be super excited about this one. It's a light up slap bracelet! The SlapLit retails for $11.99 and is full of safety, fun, and nostalgia! 
(Photo bombing Chihuahua not included.)

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SlapLit in the dark.
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Every runner needs a good headlamp. When I first put this one and walked outside to the road in front of my house I had to be super careful because this is so bright it was shining across the street onto my neighbors house! I didn't want them to think someone was trying to peek in their windows even though I was on my side of the street! Ain't nobody got time to get arrested for being a peeping Tom-Runner! 
The STS Inova Headlamp comes in blue, orange, and charcoal and retails for $34.99. 
The cool thing about this headlamp is that you swipe across the top to turn it on. If you swipe one way it is a white light that is super bright. If you swipe the other way it is a red light! It's called Swipe-to-Shine technology and it's pretty amazing. It's also waterproof. 

The Visibility Test

I decided to enlist the help of the Hubbo and his camera for this test. I'm wearing my typical winter running outfit. Blue jacket, running tights, and shoes. All have a small amount of reflective accessories that came on them. Below I took two sets of pictures. Series 1 is with my normal outfit on and wearing all my Nite Ize accessories at different distances away from the camera. Series 2 is me just wearing my normal running outfit alone at different distances away from the camera. 

Which one looks less likely to get hit by a car?
Series 1
With Nite Ize on.
Series 2
With out Nite Ize on.

Questions! Do you wear all black when you run at night? What tips can you share to help runners stay safe at night?

 
 
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Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season with your family and friends! Things have been busy at the RunGingerRun house but I'm slowly getting caught up. I know I still need to post more about my recent vacation in Hawaii, but I'm working on something I've never done before. Videos! I want those videos to be a part of that post so it will be just a little longer. But for now, I want to tell you about my new best friend. His name is Justin's and he is delicious! Don't worry! The Hubbo is totally fine with my new BFF and even let me take him on our recent trip to Hawaii.

Disclaimer: I received a sample of Justin's thanks to Bibrave's BibRavePro ambassadorship. You can learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro & check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews. As always, all opinions, typos, and silly pictures are my own.

What is Justin's?

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Justin's is an all natural nut butter company located in Boulder, Colorado. If the rumor I heard was true, Justin's company had runners and cyclists in mind when creating their products! Hence the small and portable packaging as well as jars. According to the website, Justin's started out as an out-of-the-kitchen type business and his roommates kept stealing his butters. So he put his name on his jar and Boom! his company had a name! 
The nut butters are made of all natural, high quality, and organic products.  

Why do I love it?

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I first discovered Justin's at my local grocery store, Sprouts. I was standing in line waiting to check out and it just so happened that we were in the middle of one of our juice fasts. I, of course, was absolutely starving and was fantasizing about cheating on my 10 day diet. I saw Justin's single serving packets (1.15oz) of Chocolate Almond Nut Butter and I grabbed it.  During our shorter juice fasts we allowed ourselves to eat a couple healthy snacks a day. One of the approved items was eggs and the other was raw almonds. When I saw this I thought to myself, "Eh, close enough and it sounds AMAZING!" and it was! It was love at first taste! I remember eating the entire packet before I even left the parking lot! Since then I've purchased Justin's several times. When I found out I'd be getting samples to try out and review through BibRave, I was even more excited! My shipment came in and I received 3 different flavors. Classical Almond Butter, Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, and Maple Almond Butter. 

Chocolate Hazelnut Butter is my favorite! I'd live in a jar of that stuff if I could! Last week I had a left over baguette from my lunch so I put the chocolate hazelnut spread all over it and it was the perfect 3:00 PM snack! A little sweet for my sweet tooth and some protein to keep me full until dinner. 

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you may have noticed I took some of it with me to Hawaii.  
If you have followed my blog for a long time you may also know that I have Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome with Insulin resistance. (PCOS) and I have a hard time regulating my blood sugar on some days. I was afraid that with being on vacation and all the activities we wanted to do that my blood sugar issues could be real annoying. So I packed a handful of these guys, since they are so portable, just in case I got caught off guard.  Luckily that never happened but I did have fun taking pictures with my packets during most of our activities. Which is where all the pics came from for this blog post. The best part about these is they are protein packed and not all carbs, which is good for me and other active runners/cyclists.

Short recap of why I love Justin's:
  • It comes in portable 1.15oz pouches
  • It tastes amazing!
  • It's all natural
  • It's loaded with protein
  • It tastes amazing! 
  • There are a hundred recipes for fun ways to eat this product

Justin's on Social Media

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If you have Facebook, Twitter, or an Instagram account you have to follow Justin's! They have the best pictures of all kinds of delicious, clever, and sometimes witty ways to enjoy their products. On their website they even have the recipes so you can try these ideas at home. 
Justin's Instagram
Justin's Facebook
Justin's Twitter 
You can buy Justin's online if you'd like or you can also find it in some grocery stores. I did a quick online search and found that it is available at my local Target, Walmart, Sprouts, and Whole Foods. 

Which flavor should I pack in my lunch this week? Classic Almond, Chocolate Hazelnut, or Maple?

 
 
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I don't even know where to begin with this race report. It's so hard to believe that the Honolulu Marathon has come and gone and it's already been over a week since race day! Sorry to keep you all waiting so long. After the race we spent the week in Honolulu being tourists and relaxing with our friends. More on that in another post. If you have read my blog for a while, you all know that I always start with the medal, so here we go! 

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Honolulu Marathon thanks to Bibrave's BibRavePro ambassadorship. You can learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro & check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews. As always, all opinions, typos, and silly pictures are my own.

The Medal

PictureHonolulu Marathon Medal 2014
The picture on the left is the front of the Honolulu Marathon Medal and the picture on the right is the back. I think this is the first medal that I have that is two-sided! 
When we crossed the finish line we were handed a shell necklace right away. Then we walked further into the finisher area and picked up our cotton finisher t-shirt and medal. It was a pretty smooth process. 
The medal is about the size of my palm so it's not the biggest medal I have, but not the smallest one either. I love how it perfectly represents Hawaii and even though the sponsor (JAL = Japanese Airlines) is on the medal, it's not the main focus of the medal. I hate when races do that! 

The Start/Finish Line

PicturePhoto Cred: Honolulu Marathon Facebook Page
The start of the Honolulu Marathon is like no other start I've been a part of! The race starts at 5:00 AM so it is still dark for a couple of hours at the beginning of the race and instead of using a starting pistol THEY USE FIREWORKS to kick off the race!!! How awesome is that?! 

The starting corrals are different in the fact that they do not assign corrals. You just line up using the honor system and the signs they have posted showing about where you should stand if you plan on finishing in the 4 hour range, the 5 hour range, and so on. We lined up towards the back of the 5 hour range. 

The finish area was in Kapiolani Park. There were vendors selling more race gear, food tents, the finisher shirt tent, the medal tent, and even a GIANT Jumbo Tron which was on a time delay so you could watch yourself finish the race! 

We saw so many people running in costume during the race. We saw a bride  and groom, Japanese Anime characters, Hula girls, and even a man and woman who did the Tango the whole race!! (Yes she had a red dress on and walked backwards!)

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This was taken after the first water stop at mile 2.5ish!

The Course/Weather

PicturePhoto Cred: Honolulu Marathon Facebook Page
I couldn't have asked for a better course and weather for this race! We were slightly nervous going into this race because of the heat but it turned out just fine. The course was mostly flat with the slight hill around mile 8 or 9. I wouldn't really call it a big hill. Just a gradual incline as you are running near Diamond Head. You hit it on the way back as well, but we almost didn't notice it at all. This is definitely a flat course with plenty of scenery to keep you occupied! We even saw a rainbow on the course! Seeing that rainbow during the marathon made my whole day! Well, that and the Malasada! 

The weather was definitely in our favor for this race. I know you all already know, I'm not a hot weather runner. But who could pass up the chance to run a race in Hawaii with NO time limit?! Not this Ginger. As we walked out of our hotel we immediately noticed the light rain. I remember thinking to myself that I never even considered checking the weather because, you know, it's Hawaii! So I was pleasantly surprised to have the light rain. It rained off and on for about 75-80% of the race. Thank Goodness! Around mile 19-20 the sun came out and that's when I started to really slow down.  It would  have been a super long day if the sun was out the entire time! 
I can't remember what mile we were at but we did have some strong winds but they didn't last long. 

The Swag

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Every runner in the finish area was welcomed with the smell of warm and fresh Malasadas! They were really good and it was all I could think about for the last few miles. It is sort of like a  funnel cake ball covered in sugar. 

All finishers got a cotton t-shirt, a medal, a malasada, a shell necklace, and our bib.

I kinda wish the bibs were a little more fancy being as they are pretty plain, but with over 31,000 runners and the fact that they  even let people sign up for the race at the expo, I understand why they  would want to keep them simple to keep costs down. 

The Expo

PictureFredrik and I at the Honolulu Marathon Expo!
We landed in Honolulu on Friday afternoon before the race. Hawaii is 4 hours behind Oklahoma so when we landed at 3:00, it really felt like 7:00 PM and we had been traveling since 4:00 AM. Long day! So we waited to hit up the expo until Saturday. When we got there it was like we stepped into a different world! It was so crazy and awesome to see that everything was in English and Japanese! This race has a very strong presence from Japan so it makes a lot of sense to have all the signs in both languages. I've never ran a race that has been so diverse and it was really cool to experience that in Hawaii.

During the expo I had a goal of meeting a couple people. One of them was Fredrik who works with the marathon marketing team and does social media. I asked a few volunteers if they knew who he was or where I could find him and no one seemed to really know. Finally I just sent him a message through Twitter and 10 minutes later we were chilling in the expo! 
It was great to finally put a face with a name being as we had been tweeting back and forth for several months leading up to the race! I was totally expecting him to look like a Native Hawaiian but turns out he's not. He's a tall, thin, white guy with an Aussie (I think) accent! 

The expo was definitely big enough for all the runners and vendors and really easy to navigate. It was also easy to get to from our hotel so that was nice. 

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My other goal was to meet Sam with FlipBelt. I just recently got my very own belt and fell in love with it immediately! You can read my review here. 
She's a totally cool chick who is super relaxed and fun to talk to. I wish we could have stayed and talked more about running and everything but her booth was very busy selling out of belts so I let her get back to business! If you ever see her at an Expo be sure to stop by and say hi! 

My Experience

PictureTypical Corral Selfie!
Due to the warmer weather in Hawaii and being as we ran a marathon just 3 weeks prior to this race, we planned to take this one easy. We planned to use an interval method so I could avoid getting too hot and because we knew there was no time limit to worry about. We ended up running the first 3 miles non-stop and then picked up our intervals of running 3 minutes and a brisk walk for 1 minute. I also decided that since we were taking it easy, I would give live tweeting during the race a try! It was a ton of fun and I got a lot of encouragement from all my Twitter buddies! If you ever run a race for fun, you should try it once just to do it. I had so much fun going through all my tweets/notifications after the race! 

We ended up finishing in 6:24:00.

I really think we could have finished in under 6 hours even with our run/walk method but we had a few stops on the course and I'm pretty sure they  were 10+ minutes due to long lines at the bathrooms. 

This is a huge race! It had over 31,000 runners and even though there are 26 miles to spread out, you never really spread out. You have to be on your game the whole time to  make sure you don't bump into people. You've been warned! 

The first few miles of the race are in the dark and have you running around downtown Honolulu. We saw a lot of businesses decorated with large Christmas light displays which made the race feel fun and festive! 

The course takes you along the shore line not too far from Diamond Head and there are a few opportunities to see the ocean. It was so beautiful! What was even more beautiful, was seeing all the green mountains off in the distance with the low rain clouds hanging around. It gave the race a cool ambiance and backdrop that made everything feel all majestic and stuff! Don't even get me started on the fact that we saw a rainbow during the race. I almost died!! 

Around mile 19 or so I hit the wall. Our walk breaks got a little longer and our running was a little shorter. I was still having fun and the volunteers were still cheering loud and proud. So overall I was doing ok! I've just come to the conclusion that marathons are just hard! I have one more full marathon planned in 2015 and then I think I'll retire and stick with half marathons. We'll see!If full marathons aren't your thing, and you want to run a race in Hawaii, the same race organizers hold the Hapalua Half in April. 

I seriously can't recommend this race enough! If you are looking for a special race for a milestone or an anniversary you MUST. DO. THIS. RACE!
The course, the scenery, the fireworks, the rainbow, the ocean, the list goes on and on! 

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How you think I feel during a marathon...
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How I really feel during a marathon...

Question! Where is your next race or vacation or race-cation?

 
 
PicturePhoto Cred: Honolulu Marathon
You guys! It's finally here! The Honolulu Marathon is just a few days away! I can't believe that we signed up for this race in April and now race week is upon us! To say that I'm excited is a huge understatement! 

To add to the excitement, as part of a new project I'm taking on as part of my BibRave Ambassadorship, I got a fancy new GoPro camera in the mail today! I'll be able to share more on that later but I'm super excited it got here just in time to go to Hawaii with  me! 

My Race Plan

PicturePhoto Cred: Honolulu Marathon
Let's be real clear right off the bat people. This race will be warm.  I've said it 100 times already, I am not a hot weather runner. I've been stalking my weather app on my phone and watching the temps in Honolulu for a while now. It. Will. Be. Hot. 

The race starts at 5:00am and we'll be running almost 2 hours before the sun comes up so that is on our side. The course description, according to the website, says "The terrain is level except for short uphill grades around Diamond Head."  So that sounds promising to me.

The Hubbo and I have the plan to run the whole race together. We haven't done that in a while so that will be nice. We also realize that we ran a marathon 3 weeks ago so we plan to take this one at a much more relaxed pace. In fact, being as the Honolulu Marathon has no time limit and race walkers are very welcome, we plan to do a run/walk/run strategy for the whole race. We haven't figured out the exact intervals yet, but we just want to sit back and enjoy the race and the beautiful scenery! So this will definitely NOT be a PR race for us, but we plan to have a good time! 

Packing For A Race and Vacation 3,819 Miles Away

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According to Google the distance from Tulsa, OK to Honolulu, HI is 3,819 miles. That is a very long way to go if you forget something! Here's my plan. I will pack all my my race day needs in my carry on. If something happens and my bags get lost, at least I won't to have to buy all new running gear at the Expo. So anything and everything I need for the race will be carried on. The rest of my belongings will be packed in my regular suitcase. 
I may toss a few other important things in  my carry on bag like my swimming stuff and flip flops. That's pretty much all I need the rest of the week, right?

Confession: I'm an over-packer y'all!
It's true! Every. Single. Time. 

If you don't believe me, look at this picture. This is my living room the day before my first out-of-town race.  From the looks of this picture it appears that I would have been gone several days or at least traveled a great distance. Do you want to know where I went for my first out of town race? To Oklahoma City. A measly little 1.5 hours away from Tulsa and for only 1 night! 

The struggle is real y'all! 

You can't see it very well, but in that blue bag on the left side of the picture is my toaster and a loaf of bread. Yes. A freaking toaster!!!! 
Don't worry, since we are flying I won't be packing my toaster this time. But no promises that I won't pack far more outfits than I can possibly wear while we are there! I mean c'mon. You never really know what you are going to do until you are there and you may need 2 outfits a day, right? Ladies back me up on this!

Fun Facts About The Honolulu Marathon

Picture2013 Finisher Medal Photo Cred: Honolulu Marathon
  • The race starts at 5:00 am
  • The race is kicked of by a Fireworks display!
  • It is the 3rd largest race in the US
  • Over 30,000 runners participate each year
  • There is no registration cut-off
  • There is no time limit
  • This race is only a full marathon or 10K race day walk
  • The Elite 1st place winner gets $40,000!
  • The men's course record is 2:11:12 set in 2004 by a Kenyan
  • The women's course record is 2:27:19 set in 2006 by a Russian


Question! What is your favorite Racation destination you've been to or want to go to?

 
 
PicturePhoto from Addaday.com
You all may remember that about a week and a half ago I ran a marathon. If we want to be technical and slightly obnoxious about it, technically I ran the world's shortest ultra marathon coming in at 26.5 miles! 
Let's be real. 
Runners, especially myself, love to talk about running. Sometimes we talk about it to an obnoxious level. AmIRight? No? It's just me? Okay, moving on... If you read my race recap you know it was a very tough day for me. Not only did I miss my PR and goal by one hour, but I had horrible cramps in my quads and feet. Not fun. Luckily for me, I had recently acquired a new recovery tool. I had an Addaday Ultra Roller Plus Series C roller waiting for me at home. It was perfect timing and just what I needed to start my recovery process. After all, I have another marathon in just a couple weeks. Hello Honolulu Marathon

Disclaimer: I received an Addaday roller thanks to Bibrave's BibRavePro ambassadorship. You can learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro & check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews. As always, all opinions, typos, and silly pictures are my own.

Disclaimer #2: I'm a Ginger, not a Doctor. If you are having any injury issues, please go see a professional. 

Why I Chose Addaday Series C

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When I was contacted by BibRave and they let me know that I had the opprotunity to try out an Addaday product of my choice, I was pretty excited. I'm an average runner with normal aches and pains after a long run, but I've also been battling issues with my feet for a while now. Hello Plantar Fasciitis! It's definitely better than before, but I have to stay on top of it or it tries to come back. 

So when I was looking over all the options I noticed a few things about the Series C first.

1. It was smaller than some of the others. I like the idea of being able to pack this in my luggage being as we plan on running a race in all 50 states.
2. It had 1 little red gear. When I read more about that specific gear, it was listed as a way to work on your Achilles area which is where my feet problems stem from. Boom! Sold!!
3. I've actually tested out the Type C before at my local running store and I knew it was good to work on my IT Band. 
4. I didn't realize it at the time I picked it, but when I got home from my last marathon I was in so much pain, I couldn't even walk, and I definitely didn't have the strength use my regular foam roller. This was a good way to start the recovery process because I could control how much pressure I put on my quads without having to hold myself up off the floor. 
5. For the guys: I can't attest to this personally, but my fellow BibRavePro, Jeremy, says the Addaday Rollers don't snag the hair on your legs. 
6. The Type C has a medium firmness to it which allows for a deep tissue massage. I didn't want something too soft or too hard. So this was the best option for me. 

How I Used My Addaday Roller After My Marathon

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When I got home from my marathon my quads hurt, my feet hurt, my calf muscles were tight and everything just hurt. After I showered, I was able to sit on the edge of my couch and start using the roller on my calf muscles and quads. I started wit my quads first and got them to relax a little. Then I was able to move down to my calf muscles and then eventually my Achilles.

Once I got all of those areas loosened up, I was able to move to the floor and work on my feet. I used the regular gears and the small red gear on different areas of my feet to get the blood flow moving. Then I propped my feet up on the coach while I was laying on the floor for about 5 minutes to help some of the blood drain out of my feet. The next day, my feet, calves, and quads, were all totally fine. After all of my previous marathons, I normally would still be having trouble walking the following day. Not this time. My back was sore but I didn't roll out my back. Lesson learned! 

In the picture above, I'm rolling out my feet. I just put the roller on the floor and roll my feet back and forth. It really helps to loosen it up after a long day or a long run. 

Get Your Own Addaday

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You can see a full list of their products by clicking here. They have seven different types of rollers as well as a wealth of information on how to use them on their website. 

You can also find their products in your local running stores like, Fleet Feet and Red Coyote Running just to name a couple. You can click here to find a store near you. 

The Addaday Type C is listed on their website for $40. The rest of their products retail from $19 to $45. 

They might also be the perfect stocking stuffer for your favorite runner! 


Check out what my a few of my fellow BibRavePros have to say about the rollers they picked!

Jeremy - Ultra Plus Series Pro
Angie - Universal Roller Type D
Melissa - Ultra Roller Plus Series C

Question! What is your post-race recovery ritual?