Run Find Your Happy Pace

finding my happy pace in running and life

Have you tried “Skipping” Hills?

***Please note I am not a doctor, trainer, physical therapist etc, etc…..I am simply blogging about an interesting article I read or purposes of discussion.  Should you decide to try you do so at your own risk.

(ok end of my cya)

Skipping hills?

Hahaha…not so fast!  Skipping as in that cute (and fun) move you loved to do as a kid, not skipping as in SLACKER skipping out on hills all together  😉

I read an interesting article on Competitor.com about it

Want to Run Faster? Skip to the Hills by Neil Cook (click to read the full article)

Here is the basics of it (please refer to the article for complete info)

  • skip up a hill (one considered to be steep) once or twice a week
  • time should consist of 4-8 minutes  (I did 2 rounds of 4 minutes)
  • do NOT focus on knee lift or speed!
  • it’s not about speed as much as form*

*and don’t try to move forward fast. Focus on getting your feet off the ground and over the rope, and not just that, but also try to get your heels up to your butt. Move up the hill at a slow pace, explode off the ground and snap your heels up to your butt. Keep your knees low.  *(taken direct from the article)

Desired result is stronger legs, leading to faster leg turnover =  faster times

Gotta tell you I tried it today and sweated my booty off!  Definitely felt it in the legs for sure.

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Does it work?  According to the article it can help, the author gives two examples of “test” groups that both showed improved times.

What do you think?  Would you give skipping a try?

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Have you ever tried Coconut Water?

*** PLEASE NOTE:  The opinions expressed in this post are my own.  I was NOT monetarily compensated by Zola Acai.  I was given their products (and a really cute pair of sunglasses) for review purposes only.

Coconut water.  You’ve probably heard of it, but have you ever tried it?  Do you know the benefits of drinking it?  Check this out.  Did you know coconut water is:

  • a great all natural way to hydrate?
  • low in sodium
  • has potassium  (which is great for me because I have a banana allergy)
  • has a naturally sweet / nutty flavor

After a recent 80+ degree trail run I remember I had Zola stashed in my fridge (I had been hiding it from the kiddos) so I thought what a perfect time to try it.  I tried the Zola 100% Natural Coconut Water in a can.  (there are two servings per can:  55 cal / serving)  Now I have to say I was a little wary because I have tried other flavored coconut brand waters before that I didn’t really like.  However I found Zola quite pleasing.  I drank half the can and saved the rest for later.

I enjoyed the flavor and the fact that it has potassium, Being allergic to bananas myself I’m always a little worried about not getting enough in my diet.  I think I will try adding it to my smoothie since I can’t throw in a banana like a lot of runners do.  Maybe I should also bring some to my next race since I always have to pass by the free banana table.  Good idea 🙂

Cute Sunglasses and Zola Acai!                         Cheesy Model pic 😉

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Would you like  to learn more about Zola and their full line of products including organic acai juice?

Click here for their website Zola or visit them on facebook at Zola Acai

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Moving Forward in Reverse…Part 2 Healthy Eating “Switches”

As promised in my last blog “Are you Moving forward in Reverse” Part 1 (if you missed it click here) check out this great list of some simple and easy “switches” for eating healthier.

Thanks to my Sweat Pink Ladies from  Live Travel Eat and RunPugMamaStaceFitful FocusRunning With the Girls, and Run Pretty for these great suggestions!  

Visit their pages and let them know I sent ya!

Look for more even more great ideas coming soon!

switches

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Are you Moving Forward…in Reverse? Part 1

Moving forward in reverse?  What in the world?!  Let me explain.  I’m talking about working your butt off and not seeing results.  Talk about frustrating!!!!  Why is it happening?  Most than likely three words…your, eating, habits.  (and mine too!)

Although I have been active most of my life, in the past 4+ years I have really made daily exercise a priority.  I plan my runs, my workouts, my training.  I figure out when is the best time “get er done” as to not interfere too much with family time.  I sometimes run in the heat or the cold of the day because that is just when it fits in.  Some days I get up a little earlier to do HIIT, and when all else fails I just make sure everyone knows it’s “Mom’s time” and they need to keep themselves occupied for a while…or join in.

However one thing I have failed to take seriously enough has been my eating habits.  I hate the word “diet”  and in this case I don’t mean diet as in counting calories, etc.  I’m talking about eating healthy.  Being part of both Fit Approach as a Sweat Pink Ambassador and Girls Gone Sporty as an Ambassador has really opened up my eyes to the importance of eating well.  It’s not like I never thought about it, it’s just that I never made any serious effort.

One of the biggest advantages of eating well….results.  You can run, sweat, lift, HITT etc but it’s true what they say:

  • Healthy bodies are made in the kitchen
  • killer abs … 30% gym 70% diet
  • and my favorite…”You can’t outrun a bad diet.”  

True, true and true.  In other words:

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You’ll still move forward to a point. but if you are results driven, as in inches and pounds,  you HAVE to include a healthy diet.

So when I started my HIIT program about 2 months ago, I also started to take a much more serious look at my eating habits.  I had been kind of here, nor there on my diet.  I mean I didn’t eat bad all the time, but I also didn’t go out of my way to eat “healthy” every meal.  I am making a lot more effort now, but it’s NOT always easy.  (cause you know I loves me some cupcakes and apparently Smore’s because I downed a few of those this weekend)

I find it WAY easier to plan to exercise than to plan to eat well.  It’s definitely still a work in progress, but I am seeing results in how my body looks.  My next step is to try meal prepping for the week, but for now this is what I am doing:

  • I try to include lean protein and veggies at EVERY meal.
  • I drink water all day and when I am out I choose unsweet tea or water (lucky for me I am not a soda fan so no biggie here)
  • I include healthy fats sometimes refered to as MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acid) found in things like nuts and seeds, oils, olives, and dark chocolate.  Avocado is also a great one, but I am allergic 🙁  so sad as its an allergy I developed just last year, bummer
  • I limit my sweets…but I do eat dark chocolate IN MODERATION
  • for snacks I switched to things like greek yogurt, fruit and homemade trail mix
  • I eat a meal or snack every 4 hours max, but usually more like every 3, throughout the day

I also love these two ideas about what kind of food you should choose…”If it didn’t grow out of the ground or have a mother (sorry to my strict vegetarian friends and husband)…don’t eat it”  and “If you can’t pronounce the ingredients than why on earth would you want to put it in your body?

Am I 100% perfect with my eating habits….um NO?!  But I have made a much more concerted effort to be more careful about what, how much and when I eat.  Cause girl I am NOT going to turn a cupcake down all the time 😉  I’m sticking to the 80 – 20 rule of eating well 80% of the time.

But in the meantime I have found a few things I love:

I make my own trail mix.  I find store bought usually has extra stuff that I don’t like

Runfyhp Trail Mix – split into portion controlled sizes of 1/4 cup so I can take it on the go 🙂

  • all natural whole almonds (unsalted)
  • sunflower seed kernels (unsalted)
  • dark chocolate chips
  • and sometimes craisins (limited amount, but I like the little extra sweet)

Runfyhp Easy Post Workout Smoothie

smoothies help me get some extra protein each day 

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  • 8 oz almond milk
  • frozen strawberries (about a cup)
  • scoop of protein powder ( I love Raw Protein from Garden of Life)
  • 1 tablespoon all natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt  (I like Chobani)
  • 1/2 tablespoon flax seed powder
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of organic spinach

Coming soon…some healthy and easy “switches” to add to your diet

thanks to my Sweat Pink Ambassador friends!

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Happy Monday!!! Have a Sweaty Week

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1 Comment »

The Latest Virtual Cupcake Race! Firework Cupcake for July

Because you can never have too many Virtual Cupcakes right?  It’s another awesome virtual race benefiting Team in Training (TNT) .

July Firework Cupcake

5k, 10k and Half Marathon 

Custom Diecast Cupcake medal, Patriotic Red, White and Blue.

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(medal will be based on this artwork and will be cupcake shaped)

Also there is a great Band from Running Happy in a red, white and blue chevron pattern, super cute!

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Click on this link to go to Running In Sanity’s Page for registration.

USA participants

$20 Race and Custom Medal

$25 Race, Custom Medal and Band From Running Happy

International Racers

$26 Race and Custom Medal

$31 Race, Custom Medal and band by Running Happy

Thanks once again for supporting Team in Training!

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Pink for a Cause. Lets help fund Breast Cancer Research Together.

CLOSED – THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!!!

 

Hello Everyone I am excited to bring you my latest adventure…..

I am raising money for Breast Cancer Research in honor of several family members and friends.  Recently Breast Cancer has hit my family, once again, particularly close to home.  I decided that instead of sitting on the sideline (because what good does that do?)  I would  commit to raise money so that maybe someday Breast Cancer will no longer be such a scary thing.  I would love for all our daughters and future generations to not have to worry about things like this.

Therefore I am so honored and overwhelmed by the wonderful support I have received from my friends in the  running community in regards to my fundraising efforts.  I also want to remind all the women out there to do their monthly exam, it takes a few minutes but it could just save your life.  Recently I posted on my Facebook page about going to get my mammogram.  In case you missed it here it is 🙂  Get ready for a little TMI:

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What I had didn’t  post a few days later was I was called back for another visit.  Scary since my family has very recently been touched by Breast Cancer once again.

Visit number 2...lucky for me everything was A OK!

Visit number 2…lucky for me everything was A OK!

I am happy to say everything was fine, but I will be much more diligent about self exams in the future.  For ladies my age I urge you to go get your mammogram if you haven’t already this year.  

And for those younger ladies here, please make sure to do your monthly self-exam!   Guys remind your wives, girlfriends, sisters etc to get theirs too!

OK that would be my PSA for the day 😉

So on with the fundraising!!!  There are sooooo  many cool prizes to be won!  I will be offering chances thru Papal in order to raise money.  I am proud to announce the following sponsors for this event.

One chance –  $3

Three (3) Chances for $5

Five (5)  Chances for $10

Please click on the appropriate Picture Button below which will bring you to Paypal.

Thanks so much for your support!

I will run this thru the end of May.  Winners will be announced in the beginning of June.

*****   Please feel free to share this post!  The more who participate, the more money we can raise!!   *****

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The following is a list of all the items you could win!!  

Please visit these great pages and say thanks from me ~Runfyhp!

IGlow running – click to visit her shop for awesome themed runnng outfits!

  • One (1) complete (tank and skirt) pink IGlow Running outfit

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Love Michelle.net  – click to visit her online store for more beautiful jewlery!

  • One (1)  lovely Rhinestone Breast Cancer Awareness bracelet via LoveMichelle. net

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Thirty One – Independent Consultant Cara Morrison – click to visit her Thirty One Page

  • One (1) pink and white 31 Thermal Tote from – 31 Consultant Cara Morrison

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  • Three (3) Thirty One Key Fobs

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My Happy Pace Gear – click to visit their on-line store for great running tees and more!

  • One (1) T-shirt in the winners choice of size

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DPI Tees – click for more movitvational tee’s at their on-line store!

  • One (1) Pink Be Stong T-shirt in the winners choice of size

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Barking Mad About Running – click to visit this great blog.  Kim has also raised tons of money for Cancer Research!

  • One (1) Hand Crochet Yoga Mat Holder (winners choice of color)

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Knot Hole Crochet – click to visit her page for more great handmade items

  • Two (2 – one scarf per winner) Handmade Scarfs

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Shubeez – click to visit their on-line store for other great shubeez!

  • Bee Pink Shubeez  – 4 winners of 1 Shubeez each

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Runner Decals – visit Runner Decals to check out tons of cool decals for running, walking and more!

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Running Happy – click to visit Running Happy for all your headband and cupcake themed decals!

  • Three (3 – one band per winner) Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Non-Slip Running Happy Bands

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Fit Approach – click to be linked to the sweat pink store!

  • Sweat Pink Laces – 8 pairs (1 pair per winner)
  • pink laces
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Nike Women’s Half DC with TNT

Well after months of fundraising and training I finally completed my 9th half marathon and my first with Team in Training, The inaugural Nike Women’s Half in DC.

First things first if you ever get a chance to do a race with Team in Training I would HIGHLY recommend you do it!  Now I understand fundraising is not for everyone, I get that.  But for me, I found it very fulfilling to run an event for a cause rather than to simply run for myself.  Its been something I have been thinking of doing for a while and I am glad the right opportunity came about for me.

I almost didn’t get to DC

In my case the planning for the trip became almost as big of a challenge as the fund-raising!  My husband was supposed to be home for the race.  However, an unexpected deployment changed that.  After a mad scramble and a bunch of dead ends in regards to child care for my 3 kids, my wonderful neighbors and church friends stepped up to make my weekend possible.  Without their help I would not have been able to complete my journey to DC.  So a HUGE THANK YOU to my friends!

Off to DC

Cara (Running in Sanity) and I left Saturday morning for the drive into DC.  We were joined by two lovely ladies (and TNT alumni) Donna and Cindy for the trip up to DC.  From home its about a 3 1/2 to 4 hour drive.  We decided to head to the expo first thing rather than check into the hotel.  Our TNT inspiration dinner was at 4 pm so we wanted enough time for lunch, packet pick up, hotel check in and a little refreshing before the dinner.

We got our packets, grabbed a quick-lunch.  And headed to the expo.

Cara, me Cindy and Donna

Cara, me Cindy and Donna

The Expo

I have heard different takes on the Nike expo, or expotique as they called it, from “Loved it” to “Hated it”  I would say in MY opinion it was disappointing, actually I think I used the word “lame:.  It was just not the kind of expo I am used to. It was:

  1. Very small, it was literally held in a large tent
  2. I personally like a lot of different booths / and new running related items to check out
  3. It was strictly Nike based (understandable) with a few other vendors like Nuun (the course hydration) Paul Mitchel and bare minerals.  Admittedly I am not much of a high maintenance girly girl, so that may be part of my issue too)

Apparently there were some other things going on Friday night but we missed those.  However packet pick up for us was a breeze and I would say we were in and out within 10 minutes.  We did have a special check in for TNT runners and that saved a bunch of time.  I have heard there were very, very long waits at other times.  (up to 2 hours)

The location of the expo was great!  Downtown Georgetown is very pretty and we enjoyed walking around checking things out.  The perfect weather didn’t hurt either.  We visited the Nike store and Baked and Wired, our first cupcake stop 😉 where we purchased our post race cupcakes for Sunday.  YUM!  Thanks to another Sweat Pink Ambassador we were directed to Baked and Wired, and she was right, these were the best cupcakes!

Nike also had a huge board that listed all the runners by name.  Much like Disney Did for Princess.  Can you find me?

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nike wall

The Inspiration Dinner

The Inspiration Dinner was great, there were tons of TNT participants, 2000+.  So many in fact that there were actually 2 different dinners and 2 different locations.  It would have been great if we could have all been in the same location, but size wise that just couldn’t happen.  The guest speakers were Joan Benoit (she is super tiny! And a great speaker) and a survivor whose name I apologize I do not remember.  She was however a brilliant speaker, very smart, well spoken with an inspiring story.  She emphasized that without the support for TNT she would not be here.  During her cancer relapse she had received a new drug that LLS had helped fund.  Five years earlier that drug did not exist, without it they do not feel she would be here today.

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Our Race Day Outfits

Our Race Day Outfits

The Race

The weather was P E R F E C T!!  I mean you could not have asked for a more brilliant day, seriously.  I have been lucky weather wise with most of my races but this one was number 1 on the list.  Nike did take a moment of silence for Boston which I also thought was great.  Cara and I wore blue and yellow bands from Running Happy in honor of Boston.

I loved the course, nice because it wasn’t totally flat like it can be in Virginia Beach.  The great support from Team in Training cannot be beat.  My ONLY complaint …..Nike did NOT do a wave start.  We were separated into corrals but when 7 AM came we were all off…at the same time.  Miles 1 & 2 were sometimes a people jam.  I was forced onto the sides (grass and curbs) to pass people and even forced to walk a few times.  I am fairly sure this cost me my PR, which I missed by 20 seconds….ughh, seriously, ughh.  Other than that I think Nike did a wonderful job.

Mission Mile

Mission Mile

My Race

I have to say this was physically one of the best races I have had.  I felt great, never really breathless or tried until mile 12 when I realized if I really pushed I might PR again.  I was running great, my pace was above my average and things just were spot on.  I believe I could have beat my PR by minutes if all had gone well in the first few miles.  However I am very glad to say I definitely found MY HAPPY PACE in DC.  I was so in the “zone” that I forgot to look around, I tend to do that, I had to remind myself to take in the monuments around me.  I did take a pic of one of the t-shirts Nike had, it lists all the places we passed on our race.

And yes I did get a Tiffany Necklace, but honestly I forgot about that until I saw people getting their little blue boxes.  Each Finisher also received a really nice Nike DC Finisher Tee in Tiffany Blue and yellow.

Running Happy

Post Race

After the race Cara and I walked back to the hotel showered, fueled up and decided to walk back to Georgetown.  Walking after a half is actually a good thing!  We hit the Lululemon, Athleta and Nike stores.

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We enjoyed a nice late lunch at Serendipity with a HUGE Frozen Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate,  I ate a bit…ok I pigged out, because we all know CALORIES DON’T COUNT AFTER A HALF OR FULL MARATHON 🙂    Hey you can’t eat like that everyday or every training run but after the race it’s on!   Besides according to Runtastic I burned over 1200 calories 🙂 just at the race.

CUPCAKE TOUR

We decided to do a cupcake tour of Georgetown, because well we run for cupcakes for goodness sake!  We had our fabulous cupcakes from Baked & Wired (mine was “Pretty Bitchin'” Peanut Butter) they were FANTASTIC, by far the best cupcake I have ever had, and I have had a few 😉  We also hit up Sprinkles Cupcakes and purchased a few there.  We visited DC Cupcakes but the line was out the door and down the street.  We never did make it in 🙁  ……. next time they will be mine.

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"Pretty Bitchin'" and "Chocolate DOOM "cupcakes from baked and wired.  Oh and our little blue Tiffany boxes

“Pretty Bitchin'” and “Chocolate DOOM “cupcakes from baked and wired. Oh and our little blue Tiffany boxes

So all in all I give Nike DC an A+ .  Fabulous location, fabulous weather and a wonderful meaningful race with TNT!  Go Team!  

I have a feeling I will be doing another race with TNT very soon.

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