Sunday, October 22, 2017

Oofos to the rescue!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Oofos recovery sandals to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a Bibrave Pro, and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!

When I found out we had the opportunity to opt in to review the OOFOS as part of their Project Pink campaign I jumped at it!   First of all, I was excited to be a part of supporting breast cancer research, and OOFOS are almost all I wear other than my running shoes!

We were given the choice of reviewing a pair from their Project Pink line  This line is a collection of sandals that with every purchase OOFOS will donate $10 to the Dana Farber Breast Cancer Foundation for breast cancer research.  My Mom and Grandmother are both breast cancer survivors so this cause is very important to me and to my family. 

I first tried OOFOS in 2015.  I was suffering from severe heel pain from Plantar Fasciitis.  I had travelled to California to Disneyland to run the Dumbo Double Dare.  My feet were killing me!  I saw OOFOS at the expo and tried them on.  I was hooked immediately!  I bought my first pair that day and I now own 6 pairs! As a nurse I wore the clogs to work and I wear the flip flops everywhere else!

Some of the technology that makes OOFOS so amazing is that they absorb 37% more shock with every step.  The arch support is awesome!  They also provide support to your ankles, knees, hips and lower back.  They are waterproof and machine washable too!  I will say that my PF is now gone and my OOFOS played a huge role in that!

I recently suffered a stress fracture during marathon training and my OOFOS have been a life saver during this time also.  I traveled to Chicago for the marathon.  Sadly, I wasn't able to run but was able to watch my daughter complete her first marathon.  I wore my OOFOS the whole time I was there.  We walked so many miles!  I had minimal foot pain from the fracture.  My OOFOS provided awesome support!  They were just what I needed to feel great and have a great time!

If you haven't tried oofas I can't encourage you enough!  They are heaven on your feet!  I couldn't live without them! Feel the OO!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Amazing Grass is pretty amazing!

This picture below was my last really long run before Chicago Marathon.  I had been training for this race since the end of January.  Putting in so many miles of speed work, easy runs, tempo runs, hill sprints, track workouts, and long runs every weekend. 

I thought I was doing everything right!  I would do strength training about twice a week, core work a few times a week, stretching and rolling.  As the miles increased I began to notice how fatigued I was getting.  I thought it was just due to the fact that I was running almost 200 miles a month. I began to slack on strength training.  I always kept the hard days hard and the easy days easy, but I began to feel so tired that I would just skip my strength training.  I also didn't realize that I was slacking on nutrition.  Once I started tracking my food I realized that on some days I was barely getting in 1200 calories and when you're burning around 1000 per run or more where does that leave your body?  You're unable to rebuild and recover.  Your body begins to pull nutrients from other places like your bones and those areas begin to weaken. 
I suffered a stress fracture during that last run on September 17th.  I'm sure that bone was already under stress and weakening.  I had a stress reaction on my shin back in June on the same leg.  I'm not so sure that it wasn't fractured also.  It took around 6 weeks before I was able to run comfortably on it again.  I didn't get to run Chicago and I'm currently working on strengthen other areas to prevent this from happening again!  First and foremost my nutrition!

I say all this to say that during these last couple of months I have began to pay close attention to my nutrition.  I was asked to review Amazing Grass effervescent and they've made a huge difference.  I'm really bad at getting in the amount of vegetables I need.  I'm a work in progress!  These effervescent are an easy and delicious way to get in your daily dose of greens. They are made with an organic blend of alkalizing greens including wheat grass, barley grass, and alfalfa.  Plus blend of over 30 antioxidant-rich superfoods.  They also support a healthy immune system.  Since I've began adding these to my diet I've noticed an extreme increase in energy as well.  I was given the lemon-lime flavor and also the berry flavor.  The berry is my absolute favorite!  I just slip it into my water and there I have my Greens on the go! I could not have asked for a better time to for these to land in my mailbox!!  Please use this link to find out more and order your own!

Is this not the cutest travel bottle also!  Sporting my favorite city!! Get your travel bottle here!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Luvo Meals Review

Disclaimer: I received Luvo Meals to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

When you think of frozen meals what is the first thing that pops into your head?  For me it's processed foods that lack flavor.  When I got the chance to try luvo meals I was blown away.  I had seen other peoples photos on social media but had yet to actually get to the store to get some.  As soon as I had the coupons in hand I headed to the grocery store to get some to try!

My grocery store had an awesome variety.  I picked a few that looked great to me!  I was nearing peak week for the Chicago Marathon and I knew my nutrition had been lacking.  It was a great week to try these.  I needed to prepare for my last long run.  The week before I had failed on nutrition and bonked on my long run.  This training cycle has been difficult for me regarding fueling.  Consuming enough quality calories has been a struggle and I've paid dearly for my lack of food!  You can see some of my choices below!  One of my favorites is the Cauliflower Mac N Cheese!

Here are a few of my favorite things about Luvo Meals:
- The ease of having a meal prepared in 6-7 minutes.
-The ingredients are all real foods!
- Luvo uses antibiotic free meat and chicken
- They give back to the community through partnerships with local nonprofit organizations.

I really encourage you to try them!  I'm so glad I did and they are now a staple in my kitchen!  They are packed with protein and are going to be an important part of my marathon training in the future! 
My lean cuisine days are over!

Where can you find Luvo? Check out the store locator on their website. I was able to find them at Kroger.

Monday, July 17, 2017

When training goes wrong

After running the Chevron Houston marathon this year in January I began working with a run coach.  I knew I wanted to take my running to a different level, but I was clueless on how to get there.  I had never really done speed work.  I had attempted speed work in the past but never knew what paces to run or anything.  I was just winging it and doing whatever I wanted or what my friends were doing.  For the first few months things seemed to being going great.  I got a new PR in the half marathon and 5K.  I was getting faster!  

At the end of April I noticed every run began to feel hard...even the easy pace runs.  My heart rate would be too high. I would stop and walk or take a break.  I had a hard time completing a workout without taking a break.  I dismissed it as being female troubles.  I would take iron 2 weeks before my cycle because I thought that was the reason for my lack of energy, because it really can effect your runs.  I then began to notice some pain in my right shin.  I'm right handed so my right leg is my dominant leg, which is the leg that most people get shin splints.  I've had shin splints before so I just continued on. The pain just kept getting worse.  I went to the Dr. and had x-rays.  He said it was just a really bad shin splint.  He gave me some medication, exercises, and said to take a few rest days.  So I did....

The following week I went back to training.  The leg was feeling somewhat better.  I would hurt during the warmup, but then the pain would subside and I could finish my run.  I set out one day for just an easy 30 min recovery run and could barely run.  I wanted to cry it hurt so bad.  I had also began to notice swelling on the inside of my leg between the calf muscle and the tibia.  I honestly thought it was a stress fracture.  I was hurting that bad.  I went back into the Dr. and it had progressed to a stress reaction.  He said the bone didn't appear to be fractured but was beginning to break down.  I either had to stop running or I was going to end up with a fractured leg.  So that began my 3 week break from running, and life in a boot.  I cross trained 5-6 days during those off weeks by doing either spin or elliptical. 

I am now back to running.  Easing back in and starting to build again for the Chicago Marathon.  I'm hoping things continue good without any pain.  I'm currently putting a lot of miles in on the treadmill.  This is to reduce the stress while things are still healing. 

Here's why things went wrong.  I went from running 90-100 miles a month to running 140-160.  Increasing the mileage would've been ok had I done it correctly.  I usually have two hard workouts a week and the rest are easy miles and recovery.  When I do speed work my coach tells me what paces to run.  Instead of running my sprints at that pace I would just go all out and give it everything I had, sprinting as fast as I could.  Bad idea.  I pushed the pace on every workout.  On easy days when I was supposed to keep my heart rate in zone 1 and 2, I would just run.  Most of the time too fast and not letting my body recover.  I wasn't eating enough and fueling properly either.  After doing this for a few months my body broke.  The fatigue, the increased heart rate, the exhaustion... was all a sign to slow down.  I didn't listen, so naturally the muscles and bones couldn't keep it up and I ended up with an injury.

This was a very humbling experience to say the least.  Running is so important to me.  It's part of who I am.   This time I'm going back into training with a new mindset.  Do I want to do great? Yes.  Am I going to work hard? Yes.  Am I going to listen to my body? Heck yes!  I've been back at it for two weeks now.  The swelling is getting better.  I haven't had much pain.  Most runs I have no pain.  I'm taking my easy days and recovery days serious.  I'm eating to fuel my body.  I'm not pushing the pace.  I'm doing my best to nail the workouts, but if I miss a split, I'm not beating myself up over it.  I'm not being so hard on myself!  My best advice is trust your training, trust your coach.  Don't go rogue!!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Mizuno Wave Sky

*This is a sponsored post on behalf of Mizuno and Fitfluential,but all opinions are my own!

Finding the perfect pair of running shoe's has always been a struggle for me.  Since becoming a runner 4 years ago I've struggled with Plantar Fasciitis, hip pain, knee pain, and shin splints.  I honestly thought that having pain was just a part of being a runner.  Little did I know that finding the perfect pair of shoe's for your feet would make all the difference.

What I've learned over the last four years of running is that I'm a neutral runner.  I also have to have a shoe that has support, responsiveness, and cushion...lots of cushion!  Until Mizuno sent me the wave sky I had never ran in a pair of Mizuno.  Boy was I missing out!  The Mizuno wave sky has everything I was looking for in a trainer.  The heel and forefront has a good amount of cushion, the toe box is very roomy also.  Having a toe box that is roomy is very important to me.  I don't like getting blisters from my toes being tight!  The mesh in the front of the shoe also gives it that perfect breathable touch! 

I chose a short recovery run as my first run in the shoes.  Normally a trainer would take some time to break them in, but these had a very smooth transition.  No stiffness at all.  They were so comfortable!  These shoes would be perfect for running any distance. 

I'm definitely no shoe expert, but these are just the things that really stand out and matter to me when I'm choosing a shoe.  Also, the fact that they come in my favorite color is just another added bonus!  If you haven't tried Mizuno shoes!  Don't wait!  The Mizuno Wave Sky is an awesome running shoe and I highly recommend it!  To learn more about Mizuno Wave Sky click here! 

Friday, May 26, 2017

New York City Marathon: So The Adventure Begins

I was accepted into the New York City Marathon for 2015, but ended up deferring my entry to 2016.  The reason was because I was running the Dopey Challenge in 2016 and I just couldn't imagine running that many miles back to back, not to mention the costs of both of those trips back to back.  So this past November my daughter Bre, my niece Meghan and I flew to New York City!  To say I was a little nervous was an understatement.  I had never really traveled without my husband and the thought of taking on a place like New York City was terrifying! We had only been to New York City once and that was for Colt's cancer treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering.  Bre was 6 at the time so she was so excited to see the city again! 

After we got there and got checked into our hotel we had lunch with some friends and then headed to the expo.  We stayed at a hotel on 57th St. near Central Park.  We loved it and we loved the location!  Our trip to the expo was our first experience on the Subway!  I can't even describe the excitement these small town Texas girls had when we first walked underground to the subway.  Blown away!

After our subway adventure, it was on to the expo!  The expo was of course one of the biggest I've ever seen...other than Disney.  We picked up my bib and made a few purchases.  I was just excited beyond belief.  Who would of thought I would ever be here, in New York City, picking up a bib to run through one of the most amazing cities in the world!

And a sweet teddy bear for Luci

We then headed back to the subway.  This time we accidently went the wrong direction and had to hop off and back on before we ended up on the other side New York City!  Now that we had the subway figured out, it was back to the hotel to get cleaned up.  We were ready to hit up Times Square for the evening!  Stayed tuned to hear about our first evening in Times Square!  It definitely deserves a post of it's own!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I'm Home Again

Wow! A lot has changed since I've blogged!  First of all, I am now a stay at home Mom again.  I'm loving every second and looking forward to summer when the kids and I can get out and have some fun.  This was a tough decision for me to make because I actually loved my job and the people that I worked with and for.  I know that I made the right decision though!  For our family things were just a little chaotic.  We are a large family and involved in a lot of things!  This year was Luci's first year of school and I was finding it hard to get away and attend her school activities.  Those are things that I just wasn't going to continue missing.  She's only little once and I can sacrifice material things for this time with her.  Joey's job also requires travel and a lot of time away so me being home allows things to be a little less chaotic.  His support is also allowing me to pursue my dreams and I can't thank him enough.

Being home has allowed me to eat lunch with Luci every Friday, attend every party, school event, and every field trip!  I wouldn't trade these moments for anything.  It also allows me to get workouts done during the day so they have my attention in the evenings.  I usually go to the gym 2-3 days a week for classes and cross training and I run 6 days a week with Friday being my rest day. 

It's been such an exciting year!  Since November...I've ran the New York City marathon, the Chevron Houston Marathon, the Glass Slipper Challenge at Disney World, and several local races.  Now that I have time off, I plan to get some race recaps up soon.  I started working with run coach in January and have since gotten a personal best in my half marathon, 15k, and 5k.  I'm currently training for the Chicago Marathon where my goal is to break 4 hours. 

Lunch is calling my name, but stay tuned for blog posts in the days to come!  Also, a few pictures below of what life is like.  Total Bliss!  So Blessed!


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