Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts

Linking up with Jen for my weekly Thursday Thoughts.

* Basketball is getting fun, no?    I'm a fan for a couple of weeks and then it's over.  But for now it's the real deal.

*  I about peed myself when someone (who I am certain doesn't read this blog) offered me a glass of milk today.  To drink.   I was shocked into silence.  I didn't think anyone over the age of 7 drank glasses of milk.  Do they?  Blech.

*  I really want to go to the JCrew outlet, entire store is 50% off sale tomorrow.   Yet somehow I work on Fridays.   So sad.

* It's legit going be spring this weekend.  Hollah!   Weather man says 56 and a ball of sun on Saturday.  Yes, I know my SoCal friends would be in full parkas and boots in these temps.   However, I assure you,   I will see shorts and flip flops on someone at some point before Monday.

* The kiddos and I loaded up and went to get FroYo for dinner tonight.   It's spring break and if that's not a good excuse to eat FroYo for dinner, I don't know what is.  

*  My Tupperware microwave egg/ omelet maker  came tonight.   Pretty sure this is going to change my life.    In less than 12 hours.   Stay tuned.

*  Still plenty of time to get in on our 24 Day Challenge Par-Tay!   You know you are going to feel like crap after this weekend.  I know I am, as I'm going to hammer down the Cadbury dip.   The time is now, peeps.

Stay tuned for a What I need....Spring Running Edition post!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

So What Wednesday!

Linking up with Shannon for a little SWW!

So What Wednesday

Here we go, yo!

So what if I write things on my to do list after I've already done the task?   I like crossing it off.

So what if all I want to eat for Easter is this......???

In my book, there is no better candy than Cadbury mini eggs.    The end.

So what if I'm obsessed with the breakup of Ryan Seacrest and Julianne Hough? 

Seriously, what happened!?  And don't tell me Ryan was gay.  And I don't buy that they were "too busy" either.   

  So what if Candy Crush is really ruffling my feathers?  Why am I stuck on level 35 when all of you are whizzing past me and on level 53?  

  So what if I have finally accepted that it is going to be winter here forever?  It just is. 

What are you saying so what to?

Monday, March 25, 2013

24 DC Snow Day Special!

Morning Sunshines!   When I woke up on day 1 of Spring Break to see this....

I knew it was time for a little Spark in our lives.

Today only, I am running a 24 Day Challenge snow day special.     If you order your challenge by midnight tonight, I am throwing in a FREE box of Spark.  This is at least a weeks' supply, depending on how addicted you become! :)     We start our next group challenge on Monday April 8, which is TWO weeks from today.

No better time to start than after the gluttony of Spring Break and Easter weekend and BEFORE we enter bathing suit season.  The timing is perfect.

It's simple, really.   Order your challenge here.   If you missed what the challenge is about, you can read about it here.    I personally deliver or mail your Spark in plenty of time for you to have it by our April 8 start date.   I add you to our private FB group, you receive lots of support and input on snack ideas, recipes, etc.   You receive a detailed grocery list, daily instructions, and meal ideas.   We will all be in this together, which is the BEST way to do this.   The hubby and I always do it together, which is hugely beneficial.  There is nothing worse than eating grilled chicken and veggies, while your significant other is eating pizza.   It is so much easier to do this with someone.  Promise.

Now is the time, peeps.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.     TODAY is the day!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Sentiments

Weekly Mileage-  38 miles.  Lots of foam rolling and epsom salt baths happening here. 
Max's weekly milage- 26 miles!   Is he awesome or what?

Does anyone with a toddler ever feel like this?  I love this little mostly sweet monkey of mine, but dang!... She was cray cray today.    She is now the ultimate authority on everything and has more demands than J-Lo's concert rider.   Come on.  I can't be alone.

Who else thinks we need a Vitamix?  The hubs got more entertainment out of the 3 of us standing paralyzed, frozen in time watching the Vitamix smoothie demo at Cosco earlier today than he did the actual demo.    The girls and I couldn't get enough.     

JCrew, I love you but why oh why do your prices continue to rise?    I really wanted this little striped sweater.  I mean, how cute for Easter weekend and all of the upcoming goodness that Spring has to offer?  Price tag?  $238.    Yeah, no.

Speaking of Spring, still waiting on that snow storm.  The weather man says tonight is the night so giddy up!   And really, I'm ready for it so I secretly wouldn't mind one last she-bang. 

Still 2 weeks left to commit to our big 24 Day Challenge group!  We start on April 8!   

See you back here tomorrow!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Iphone Dump

Linking up with my long time friend Jen for some Iphone happenings from the past week.

1.  Easiest Pinterest project ever.  Thanks to Katie for showing me her ways on the Instagram.                         Literally a $5 acrylic picture frame, pretty card stock, glue to bottom of "tray" and wallah.  A $6 project that looks adorable.

2.  #RunnerDog and 2 year old after his 5.25 miler.

3.  The time we thought we were still 21.   St. Patty's Day was a blast but dang, I'm not 21 anymore!

4.  Do you guys know about these?  Sally Hansen Salon Effects in French Mani?  Less than $10 and love!

5.   6 year old and grandma.  So sweet.

6.  A salute to my Social Work girls.  We save the world every day and I felt like it was high time we get some love.

Friday Letters


Dear Max the #RunnerDog,   It really is like we are a match made in heaven.   I've wanted a #runnerdog my whole entire life and the fact that you have logged 23 miles by my side this week like it's NBD makes my heart happy.

Dear Weather Man,  Seriously?   3-6" on Sunday?  I'm know it's not your fault and I'm not mad atcha but c'mon.

Dear Shutterfly,   When you send me email reminders that I have a photobook in progress and it needs to be finished,  it really stresses me out.   Please stop that, mkay?   It's getting to the point that when I see your name in my inbox, I'm getting heart palpitations.

Dear cart coral at Kroger,  I hate when it's freezing and I think you are a decent parking spot and I get all excited to whip it in only to find that you are just a cart coral hidden behind a Yukon.

Dear Candy Crush,   Why are you so addicting?     Not only am I addicted but so is my 6 year old as well as everyone else in a 500 mile radius.    You are interfering with my tv watching and my writing in  and analyzing my planner.   You know, normal after the kids go to bed activities.     I'm all up in your grille and it's just not right.

Dear March Madness,  I do love that you make me think that I love basketball for a split second.    Then you're done and I'm back to thinking your season is too long and you're boring.

Dear Gretchen Rubin,   I love your daily quotes in my inbox.   Seriously, I feel like they were written just for me and they start my day off on a huge positive note.

Dear Casino,  I miss you, especially that beautiful red craps table of yours.    I know you  miss me too as evidenced by your non-stop flow of snail mail in attempts to seduce me back.

Stay tuned for Iphone dump!  Two posts in one day!?  What, what??

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Things I Love...Beauty and Grooming Edition

We all know I love me some products.    My close friends have heard about these shenanigans many 'o times but I figured I may as well share with the rest of the inner webs.

Do you guys know about this?

Fave mask ever...  The infamous Indian Healing Clay mask.    This has been deemed the "world's most powerful facial!" and has apparently been around for years.  I just discovered about a year ago and I must say that I agree.   I mix this with a tad of water and apple cider vinegar and spot treat over night.  Yes, the area will dry into a what is equivalent to cement.  However,  9 times out of 10, my giant zit has improved dramatically by morning.  

Next up we have Jergens 3 Days to Glow.

Love this.  This is a newer formula and does not give you that overly recognizable self-tanner smell that we all know.   It also gives some really good, natural color in 2-3 days.   I used this almost all of last summer and recently found it again at my local Target.    Sometimes it can be very hard to find which makes me love it all the more.   

I'm a self proclaimed lip gloss addict and this is one of my top 3 favorites.   Bare Minerals Tartlette.  

I realize this shade can look frightening if you are not into dark gloss.   Don't be scared.    This is such a great universal shade and I promise you it looks good on everyone.   Let's just say that I honestly applied it to all 12 women at my neighborhood Bunco one evening and it flattered EVERYONE.  No joke.

Chemical peels!   Yes, I do my own chemical peels at home.  Why pay $300 at a spa or the Derm when I can get the exact same percentage for a fraction of the price and do it at home?   Yes I know they are trained and all but I've been doing this for years and have figured out the exact point right before my face feels as if it's  going to burst into flames and immediately apply the neutralizer.   (If my mom is reading this, I'm totally getting scolded tomorrow.  She hates that I do this)    I love Makeup Artists Choice for their peels.  You can basically get any peel at any percentage.   It's good stuff.

Previously mentioned, but Epsom Salts.  I can't live without it and soak after every long run or anytime my body has taken a beating from exercise.   I swear that it even helps with bloating.    Go get yourself some.  Best $2 ever spent.    I always buy the Target Up and Up brand mainly because I'm there 12 times a week.  However, you can literally buy it anywhere.

I'm kind of embarrassed by how much I use the next product.   AND by the fact that it's made by Suave.   However, I have tried all of the high end dry shampoo's and was using Oscar Blandi forever until I discovered this.   Suave Dry Shampoo.     It is less than $3 and amazing.   The key is to really shake the bottle (like a polaroid picture) before you spray.  If not, you are going to see some white.    This definitely controls grease at the roots more than anything else I've tried.   Plus it gives serious volume, which I realize isn't even what this product is supposed to do.  An added bonus, for sure.

There we have it, friends.  My tried and true go- to's.

And a special yay for those of you who have decided to join us on the Advocare 24 Day Challenge!  If you missed yesterday's post, you can read about it here!

Monday, March 18, 2013

24 Day Challenge Countdown

And that about sums it up.  Sounds crazy but I'm actually glad it's Monday.  My poor body is yearning for veggies.    This weekend entailed way too many empty carbs, too much grease and booze and not enough sleep and water.    This morning I look like a haggard shriveled up apple.

I did get up at the crack of dawn to hit a hot power yoga class.   When the alarm clock went off and I heard the rain, I REALLY wanted to turn it off and crawl back in bed.   However, I was meeting friends and when I say I'm going to do something, I do it.  Truly, that's the only thing that got me there.    The good news is, I am already feeling better after a good sweat and some hydration.

Which brings me to my next point.  The 24 Day Challenge!

Our last group challenge which took place in January consisted of 97 challengers!     That's right.  97!  All in the same boat, with the same goal.    We had a private FB group where we talked about snack ideas, when to take what supplements, recipes, and talk each other off the ledge when one of us was at risk of downing a pint of Ben and Jerry's.  You know, just lots of good support.   My plan is for our next challenge to be bigger and better.

For those of you who have never joined in, you don't want to miss it.    We start on Monday April 8th.

What IS the challenge, you ask?    It is a 24 Day program that is designed to kick start your weight loss, increase ENERGY, and give your body a thorough cleansing from toxins which enables you to better absorb nutrients from your foods and supplements.     It is also excellent for helping to break a plateau if you still have weight to lose and are at a stand still.   If you do not have weight to lose, I assure you will gain energy, see clearer skin, and feel much lighter around the mid section.

I do the challenge every 90 days (as recommended) and have been doing so since I had baby #2 back in May 2010.   I've said it before and I'll say it again, I have never felt better!

This is what it all looks like

The Challenge is comprised of two parts-

The 10 Day Cleanse

This is obviously the first 10 days of the challenge.     This phase is all about cleansing your body of toxins, restoring the good bacteria in your gut, and preparing your body for optimal nutrition.   You will be eating clean, minimally processed foods.    You'll be given detailed instructions, a grocery list of approved foods, and lots of support and guidance.   You will avoid coffee, dairy, and alcohol during the 10 days.    As mentioned in the past, the Spark drink does contain a bit of caffeine so there are no headaches if you are concerned about giving up coffee.    This cleanse is very gentle, yet effective so you should experience NO bathroom emergencies.

Average weight loss during this phase is 5-12 pounds.

After your 10 day cleanse, the plan loosens up a bit as we move into the-

14 Day Max Phase

You will continue eating as clean as possible, while allowing some dairy, alcohol, and coffee in moderation.  You will likely be surprised at these foods and beverages not tasting nearly as good as they did prior to the cleanse.

You will continue with your Spark as well as choosing one of the three MNS packs.   MNS stands for Metabolic Nutrition System.   The packs contain all of your necessary vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and omegas but also contain additional ingredients to help with your specific health and wellness goals.

MNS E-   Geared towards keeping your energy up and revving your metabolism as you continue to    lose weight.
MNS 3-   Geared towards overall wellness, energy, and appetite control.
MNS C-   Geared towards maximum appetite control.

I typically have people start out with MNS 3 if they are brand new to the challenge as it is a good, yet  more subtle combination of E and C.

You will also substitute one meal per day with the Meal Replacement Shake.   Most people use this for breakfast.  The shakes are actually delish and contain the perfect ratios of carbs, protein and fats.  It's going to set your metabolism for the day, keep you feeling full and keep your blood sugar stable.  I drink one at some point almost every day of my life.

The shakes comes in:

Chocolate Mocha ( my fave)
Dark Chocolate (non dairy/ vegetarian formula)

Not included in the challenge is Catalyst which is probably my all time favorite product.  I've talked about it here.  LOVE, love, love Catalyst and it has been instrumental in helping to change the look of my body.

Other than that, everything comes in the bundle seen here.

If you have specific questions, don't hesitate to email me-

You have 3 weeks to prepare, you will have an abundance of  support, and will feel AMAZING when we are done.  PROMISE!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

Linking up with my girl Jen for some Thursday Thoughts.

You guys, I felt so sad for this Easter bunny photographer tonight.   She was so dang bored that she practically fell asleep on the Easter bunny himself.    Don't be alarmed, she stirred when I took the pic and I told her I had to capture this moment.    I'm pretty sure she thinks I'm a famous blogger as I told her it was for "the blog."   Mwhahaha!

My dang Birchbox finally came.  Not going to review each product but spoiler alert if you are a subscriber and don't want to see the box yet....


Not bad.  I tried the Benefit eyeshadow primer this a.m. and while it's no Urban Decay, I like it.
In last months Birchbox,  I got completely roped in to this fabulousness.

I had never even heard of this brand but the little tiny sample had me from day one.   I've tried a million Beauty Balm's and honestly hated them all.    My skin is dying to break out with the slightest window of opportunity and that's pretty much what the normal BB's do for me.  While I like the look of them, they are bad news for me.    My good friends know that a break out basically ends with me sticking a needle in my face to preform my infamous "incision and drainage" followed by applying copious amounts of that special Aztec Clay mask.   It's never pretty.     Anyway, I'm not even sure if this is considered a BB but it's awesome.  Good coverage, oil free, and a little spf.  I apply this with a tad of MAC mineral powder on top and I'm grease free for the day (which never happens).  I'm naturally a grease monkey.  Promise.

The wildebeest got his wig busted today and the groomer turned the Double Doodle into a Standard Poodle.  What?!  I want the fluffy Wildebeest back!  I'm "this close" to giving him Biotin to expedite hair growth.

For my Advocare users, if you haven't tried Slim, you need to.

I've been feeling like Fatty McButterpants this week due to my cravings and well, time of the month.  (no boys read this blog, do they?)  Anyway, this little shot totally takes away your urge to snack and a lot of your appetite for that matter.     Not something I would necessarily use daily but perfect for desperate times.    I remembered I had some tucked in the back of my Advo closet and pulled this out this morning.  Problem solved.

Speaking of Advo, tune in this weekend as we prepare for our giant 24 day challenge group which starts on April 8.  Deets to follow.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Current Running Playlist

When I do my long training runs, I do them all without music.  I usually talk to the peeps in my running group or just zone out when the going gets though.

During the week, I go through phases when I love the silence and run by myself with nothing.   However, there are also times when I want blaring music.     Here is my most recent playlist... random, but I love it. 

What You Waiting For?- Gwen Stefani 
C'Mon- Ke$ha (obsessed, duh)
Till I Collapse- Eminem (fave running song ever and on every playlist)
Hey Baby- Pitbull
No Diggity-  Blackstreet
Madness- Muse (another obsession)
Alive- POD
All These Things I've Done- The Killers
Catch My Breath- Kelly Clarkson
Change of Heart- Cyndi Lauper
Let Me Love You- Ne- Yo
Independence Day- Martina McBride
MmmBop- Hanson (you know you love it too)
All Over You- Live
Raise Your Glass- Pink
Tarzan Boy (I honestly don't even know who sings this song but I seriously heart it)
Mr. Brightside- The Killers
I'm a Slave 4U- Britney
Ghetto Supastar- Pras (if you don't have fun memories to this song, you need to drop what you are doing and go make some, STAT)
Figured You Out- Nickelback
Fergalicious- Fergie
Head to Toe- Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam ( yes, I'm old)
One Moment in Time- Whitney Houston (sometimes I pretend that I'm winning the Olympics and this song is playing in the background. :)  
One Thing- One Direction
Santeria- Sublime
Pound the Alarm- Nicki Minaj
Scream & Shout- will.i .am & Britney

I seriously LOVE lurking into other people's playlists so if you have one, please hook a sista up and link me to it!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Two Stories

One of my favorite gals,  "E" graciously watched the kiddos for us last weekend while the hubs and I were at that little benefit I mentioned.   Now she is not your typical sitter.  She's no teen, she plays endless rounds of Uno, she sneaks cookies, ice cream, and other shenanigans.  She's basically a kid with some sense and maturity.     Obvi, my kids love her.   So when you have a good sitter like this, you pay her well.  (so she'll come back)

Lo and behold, I open my mailbox today to find this...

What the what?!  She refunded me a 20 spot indicating that I overpaid her!    Clearly, I'll be getting her back  because she rocks and she's worth that extra 20 spot.    And to my local friends, no I won't be sharing her digits.

So this little (giant), possibly temporary, wildebeest of a dog of ours loves to run!  I took him out for an easy little 2-ish mile run this a.m.   Just a little test drive, ya know?  He trotted right next to me, proud as a peacock.  And when we ended up at home, he looked at me as if to say "that's all ya got?"   If we keep him,  I feel like he will definitely end up my early morning summer training partner.   And a pic of he and K because they are pretty cute together.  

Tune in tomorrow for my running playlist and possibly some So What Wednesday, provided I get my act together.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sunday Sentiments...on Monday...

*  Turns out the Monday after daylight savings time blows.   Especially if it's pouring rain.  And your kids hate you for making them wake up.  And you have to take both kids to the pediatrician.  And your toddler falls full body into the heart of the biggest mud puddle this side of the Mason Dixon just a few short steps from the office.    Lucky for me, I'm seeing many other Monday complaints on the FB.   Misery loves company.

*  But it's not all bad.   We picked up our sweet little (giant) dog, Max, yesterday.   He's super sweet and docile and so far so good.  We are giving it a week to see how he does with the family.   My only concern is his "largeness."   He's big!   And his head is big! :)  And at 10 months,  I'm really hoping he doesn't get bigger.  

* What is with people telling me that they can't leave a comment on my blog?  I have heard this from several of you.  What could the problem be?   Anyone?   It hurts my heart.

* My Birchbox has shipped!   This means I'll be stalking my own mailbox as well as the mailbox of my  neighbor.  It's kind of a race to see who gets theirs first.    I'm mature like that.

* Is anyone else watching Red Widow?  Oh mylanta!

* And a big congrats to Carolyn for winning my Advocare running bundle.  The loot will be en route this week!

* Stay tuned for a tiny little blog makeover.  Nothing major but definitely not as generic as this current hot mess that I've got going on.

That's all I've got, folks!  

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner...and an iPhone dump

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Entry #47, Carolyn J!   Message me your address- and we'll get it in the mail!   And thanks so much to all of you who entered!   There will be more from where that came from.      For those of you who mentioned that you are dying to try Spark, I'll be doing a Spark giveaway in a couple of weeks.  Whoever wins, get ready to be addicted.

Quite the busy week around here....   Just a little preview of what we've been up to via the old iPhone dump.

1.  Most interesting Tupperware party ever.   Here we have our Tupperware "lady" who goes by the name Dee W. Eye, presenting my very favorite-est fridge containers.   And ps-   If you have never tried the fridge containers, you're missing out.   Go see my friend Jen.   The truly preserve your fruits and veggies based on how you vent the container.   I've had them for a few weeks and am amazed at how much less I'm throwing away veggies from the "graveyard" that is known as my crisper drawer.  

2.   My little monkey traipsing around in my booties.  And doing it with ease, I might add.

3.  Heinzerling Foudation benefit and a mug of yours truly standing beside my silent auction Advocare 24 Day Challenge and running products.   

4.  Yep, more of these happening again.   Samoas, why do I love thee?

5. The hubster and I at the PINK concert.  For those of you who have never seen her preform,  'Twas amazing.   She sang her heart out, flipped and twisted all over stage and pretty much has a body made of steel.  I was in awe.

6.  Um yeah. So this is happening.      He's a Double Doodle, meaning he's part Labradoodle, part Goldendoodle.  A fairly new breed but hypo allergenic and apparently loves to run.  He's 10 months old and potty trained, crate trained, etc.    Huge appeal there.    So yeah, not rational at all.   However, nothing worth having is ever easy and we love him and are headed to pick him up today.   Stay tuned.

I'll be back later with some Sunday Sentiments!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

So What Wednesday!

Time for another link up with the lovely Shannon

                     *So what if you haven't entered my contest?   There's still time.  Do it now!

             *So what if I think that new wedge high top sneaker trend is legit fug?  What is going on here?

*So what if I still get excited for a snow day when it doesn't affect me in the least?  You would think I'm a first grade teacher in Minnesota.   There's still something magical and exciting about it.

*So what if I can't stop buying bib necklaces?   They make me happy.

*So what if I think my 6 year old "reading" to my 2 year old is the cutest.thing. ever?   2 year old intently listens and has no idea that 6 year old is winging half of it.  Melt.

*So what if my phone book is STILL on the porch?  I'm proving a point.  Ha!

So what if I'm going to a Tupperware party tomorrow night in which this is the host?  I kid you not.   Stay tuned for an update!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tuesday Troubles

Time to talk about all of my troubles for the week....

Why is this on my porch?   This is a phone book.  A tree killing phone book.  Like from 1980.  But it's not.  It's from 2013.  Do people still look things up in phone books?  I'm perplexed.  Can anyone weigh in?

My Girl Scout cookies have arrived.   And check them out..... They are wedged between my gluten free TJ's oats and my natural steel cut oats.   Now my healthy food is clearly no stranger to kid cereal but for some reason it looks extra violated next to these GSC's.   And who was the Einstein who placed them in this spot?

Tofu.  I always have big plans for you.  I have pins pinned on Pinterest for you.    I have purchased ingredients for said tofu containing pins.    However, I can never eat you before you expire.  Deep down I think you scare me.    I want to love you but I can't.   Exhibit A....  Two expired batches of Tofu.  Not the first time this has happened and deffy won't be the last. 

Weather.  This alleged snow storm better be either 4 feet of snow or not a drop of precipitation.  Go big or go home.    


 I know you are trying to win me back with your new peaches and yellows but if my memory serves me right, this is the same thing you did last March.   You waited until I was good and settled in to my annual seasonal affective disorder and sprung with the peaches.   And I bit.   Yes, I realize this peach is different.   But stop.  

Not a trouble but don't forget to enter my first bloggy contest!   

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Giveaway! My fave Advocare running products

Hello friends!
It's high time I do a giveaway on this little blog of mine.    Nothing seems more appropriate than a few of my favorite  Advocare running products.    Also known as the Runner's Bundle on my website.

These are my tried and true favorite  Advo running products.   And trust me, I've tried them all.  This little combination works wonders for me.

 First up we have Spark.  Duh.   Not only do I drink Spark first thing in the the a.m. but I drink it about 20-30 minutes before EVERY.SINGLE. WORKOUT.     The amino acids, B vitamins, and 120 mg of caffeine gives me just that...  Some "spark" to get through my run or whatever workout it may be.

Mandarin orange is amazeballs.

And next we have 02 Gold Advanced.  

I use this product before all of my runs that are longer than 4 miles.    This product is known for it's ability to help your body facilitate and use oxygen.   The nickname of this jim dandy is "3rd lung" and that can be pretty darn accurate at times.   So basically, since I've been taking this product, I run longer, harder, and much more comfortably.  I know it sounds too good to be true and I was very skeptical myself.   However, I have been using this product for almost two years and I truly can not be without my 02 Gold.   

And lastly we have Rehydrate Gel.  

This is not your typical gel.  The majority of the other gels are THICK and 100-120  calories.   This is a very thin, watery consistency and only 80 calories.   May not seem like a huge deal but if I'm busting my hump running, I don't want to waste 120 calories on gel.     I just don't.   But that's really not my favorite part.   This gel contains sequential carbs,  which means your body is going to utilize them in 3 different ways, at 3 different times.  You are going to get an immediate boost,  you are also going to get your typical hydration via electrolytes and carbs,  but you are going to get a recovery component as well.     This will carry you.   I took one of these at mile 9 of my 14 miler on Saturday and when I look at my splits, it's obvious when I took Rehydrate.    I've tried every gel on the planet and this is hands down my favorite.

Oh and I've thrown in one of my favorite shaker's for good measure.   I use this for my Spark as well as my morning shake.   Love these shakers.

So there you have it, folks.     A retail value of $89.35.   All you have to do is leave a comment to enter.   For additional entries, share on your FB page, etc.   Contest ends on Saturday!   It's all clear below.     Giddy up and good luck!

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Cold Weather Running

I've been meaning to do a post about cold weather running and figured there was no better time than today.  You see, I ran a VERY brisk, windy, snow flurry- filled 14 miler this a.m. and so everything is fresh in my mind and ready for posting.

If you want to be a cold weather runner but aren't sure if you have the guts or knowledge to go for it, allow me to share some of my key pointers.

1.   Be prepared with your essentials.   I keep all of my cold weather running key pieces in this little ditty that is kept in a kitchen cabinet and close to the door.   NOTHING will derail you quicker than not finding matching gloves, your ear warmers, your Garmin, whatever it is you need.  Just have it all in the same place and ready for the grabbing.  


2.  Buy the appropriate gear.  If you are trying to run in 17 degree temps while wearing a pair of running capris, you will be miserable.  And you'll never want to do it again.   Take the time and make the investment in a pair of cold weather running tights, a thin non-cotton, wicking base layer, and a cold weather running jacket or pullover.   Target's C9 brand actually has some decent quality cold weather gear.   Not to mention affordable.    In fact, my favorite running tights are from Target and I would bet they are at least 4 years old.    Another key pointer with your running tights....make sure they have a drawstring.  Nothing is going to irritate you more than trying to keep your pants up while running.  For real.  If you don't have a drawstring, they WILL slide down.  Trust.  I also love Dicks and of course Lulu for running gear.  

3.  Dress precisely for the temps you will be in.   Here is a nice little guideline from  Take the time to look at the weather and plan your outfit appropriately.

  • 30 degrees: 2 tops, 1 bottom. Long-sleeve base layer and a vest keep your core warm. Tights (or shorts, for polar bears).
  • 10 to 20 degrees: 2 tops, 2 bottoms. A jacket over your base layer, and wind pants over the tights.
  • 0 to 10 degrees:3 tops, 2 bottoms. Two tops (fleece for the cold-prone) and a jacket. Windbrief for the fellas.
  • Minus 10 to 0 degrees: 3 tops, 2 bottoms, extra pair of mittens, 1 scarf wrapped around mouth or a balaclava.
  • Minus 20 degrees:3 tops, 3 bottoms, 2 extra pairs of mittens, 1 balaclava, sunglasses. Or, says Arribas, “Stay inside.

  • 4.   Find a group of friends to hold you accountable.   You will be so much less likely to bail when the weather gets crappy if you have a group of friends who are waiting on you.  You will all be in the exact same boat together.    So buck up and go meet them!

    5.  Put your clothes in the dryer before you suit up.  I'm not afraid to admit that I've done this many 'o times.    When it's brutal outside and I'm running from home, I'll put my clothes in the dryer on high for 10 minutes, dress as fast as possible, and sprint out the door.     Ridiculous, I know.    Effective in getting me out the door?  Yes.

    6.  Be resourceful and stay committed.  This is especially hard for those of us with young kiddos.   Fortunately, I have a very supportive husband who doesn't mind me jetting off at the crack of dawn on Saturday mornings.   However, there are times when he is out of town and I will have to squeeze in my long runs at 5 a.m. during the week or on an off day from the rest of my posse.   You will hate the action of waking up,  the action of getting dressed, and the action of leaving your house.  However, there is nothing better than a boost of early morning endorphins to carry you through your day.   Plus, you'll be ecstatic that you are done for the day.   
    The  key is to plan your week and stick with your plan.  Don't let your partners' schedule derail any of this.   If you want to make it work, you can.   I have also gotten a babysitter so that I can run on occasion.  It is $$ well spent and let's face it, we are much better mommy's when we get some physical activity.  

    7.  Just giddy up and do it.   Yes, you are likely going to be miserable with a capital M for the first mile.  However, things will start to thaw and 2-3 miles in,  you will be toasty warm and very likely be in a good groove.     You may come to love it.  And let's face it,  nothing worth having ever comes easy and you will feel HARD CORE when you are done.  Promise.