Run Find Your Happy Pace

finding my happy pace in running and life

Motivational Monday September 30 2013

Happy Motivational Monday.  Each day I try to make some quiet time with the Lord.  I came across this wonderful devotional passage in Jesus Calling by Sara Young.  I though it was so easily relatable to not only life but running.

I pray that I never forget how hard that first run, first mile or first race was for me so that I can be a continued encouragement to others.  Maybe that’s why there are days we still have “tough” runs, to remind us of where we started and to keep us humble!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  Have a great week!

mm9301

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Pretty Muddy Richmond, VA

This past Saturday I got to participate in Pretty Muddy Women’s Mud Run in Richmond, VA.  This was my very first mud run and I was so excited.  Special thanks to Fit Approach (#sweatpink) and Pretty Muddy Women’s Mud Run for the opportunity!

I was also lucky to have my Sweat Pink sister and good friend Cara from Running In Sanity join me, because getting muddy with a friend is how to do it…or so my kids tell me. 🙂  Cara and I headed out to Chesterfield, just outside Richmond, (about and hour and a half ride from Virginia Beach) at 6:45 AM.  Not too early for a race, no Disney 2 am wake up call here ;).  The weather was already nice, not too hot or cold and temps in the low 60’s.   Our wave was expected to leave at 10 AM.

After arriving at Pocahontas State Park we headed to check in.  I was glad we were able to race day check in so we didn’t need to head up to Richmond 2 days in a row.   There was a hay ride (picture tractor/hay bails) from the parking lot out to the check in area.  We were happy to meet up with Anna, another of our Sweat Pink Sisters from Virginia just before boarding.  Cara and I had the pleasure of meeting Anna at Nike DC as she had also participated in Team in Training Virginia.  Check in was fast, we picked up our pins and numbers and headed off to gear check.  The first waves had started earlier that morning and we got to view some of the happy, muddy girls finishing up the course.  Now I was really excited.  Mud, real mud!  I mean how often does a Mom get to get muddy on purpose!  We hit gear check and the port-o-potties and got a pre-race pic together thanks to Anna before she checked her bag.  I had left my phone in the car because I had no way to keep it clean and mud free 😉

Cara, Anna and Myself pre-mud

Cara, Anna and Myself pre-mud

The start/finish area consisted of a DJ, a photographer, Pretty Muddy merchandise tent and a few food vendors with items for sale.  We headed to the start line while the DJ pumped up the corrals with music and a short impromptu pre-run stretch.  Countdown on let the fun begin!

The terrain heading into the first obstacle was grassy and very uneven, we were all very careful.  In my mind I was concerned the entire course might be this way, thankfully it wasn’t.  The first “obstacle” was a fun bubble type tunnel, it was a tad windy so I think some of the bubbles were getting carried away, but still fun.  The second one was all about slipping /sliding muddy fun…yeah!  We climbed up the backside of a giant slide and down the wet side directly into a mud pit!!!  I was able to keep the mud from the knees down, however Anna lost her shoe in the mud pit and I had to help pull her out, hehe.  Note to self and everyone else…lock laces not the best choice for Anna, however my double tied #sweatpink laces held up like a charm 🙂

The rest of the course terrain was mostly well beaten dirt trails and grass which was much more of what I am used to not to mention much safer.  I love trail running and this did not disappoint Pocahontas State Park was just beautiful.  I remarked to my buddies that God had done good because the weather and the views were so pretty.  There were a total of 10 obstacles for this 5k.  Some muddy, some not.  We climbed nets and walls, through tunnels, carried wood and got to crawl through mud a few more times.  The runner landscape consisted of beginners, birthday girls, experienced runners to tutus and good spirited fun.  All the runners at this race were respectful and encouraging.  Good, clean…well muddy girl fun!

My only wish was that there had been photographers at each obstacles.  Most people did not carry phones/cameras because of the nature of the mud.  I would love to have had the opportunity to look for and purchase pictures from all the obstacles, especially this being my first mud run.   According to one of the volunteers we asked there were photographers but they were roaming between different parts of the course.

Post race you were given your Pretty Muddy 5k medal, a Propel and a protein bar.  We also stopped for a post run muddy picture, you must have one of those!  The DJ was still pumping the music as waves continued to leave.  There was also a live band in the finisher area.  Just past the finish area was a rinse station with hoses set up to clean off and de-mudify.  Next to it was a large privacy tent for changing into some clean and dry clothing for our long ride home.

All in all I would say Pretty Muddy is a fun, muddy experience for women.  I had a great time with my Sweat Pink sisters.  I loved the number of groups we saw running together along with women who braved the course alone for various personal reasons.   There were bucket listers, birthday girls and more!   Everyone seemed to have a good time and the volunteers where encouraging and informative.  The course was well-marked.  Pretty Muddy also has family waves that were set to take off later in the morning.  Female participants were welcome and encouraged to run the course again with their families.

The medal we got was a nice bonus and a great memento.  Personally I didn’t find the course as challenging as I would have wanted, however with that being said I think it was the most fun I have ever had getting muddy 🙂  If your thinking of a first or a fun all female mud run Pretty Muddy Women’s Mud Run would be a great one for you!  I would do it again with girlfriends if given the opportunity.

Pretty Muddy Bling

Pretty Muddy Bling

So what’s next?  Tough Mudder maybe 🙂  Ha,ha…I think I have fallen in love with mud.

pretty muddy

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The Running Body Beast

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For the summer of 2013 I decided to try something a little bit different.  Since I had no half marathons planned until late summer/ fall, I changed my main focus from running to gaining some muscle.  In late May or so I ran into a Facebook group of women who were doing Body Beast.  I have to give the The Facebook women’s group a BIG shout out!  They were a HUGE source of information and positive motivation for me.  I  was also able to find other runners on there.  Lots and lots of different body types and everything from seasoned Beastettes to first timers like me.  

Body Beast is like no program I have ever done before.  It’s more or less 90% weights and 10% cardio.  Your trainer for Body Beast is Sagi Kalev.  I enjoyed his style and motivation. He knows his stuff and it shows.

The program is set up in three blocks and includes a nutrition plan and a set of formulas to figure out your caloric breakdown.

NOTE:  I did NOT take any of the supplements but I continued to use my usual protein powder.

  • Build Phase ( 3 weeks) this is where you build your foundation training and includes days where you work more than one area at a time.  Example Back / Bis.  And you get to eat…a lot. 🙂
  • Bulk Block Phase 5 weeks (yes that sounds a tad scary, at least it did to me) this is phase where you mainly work one area at a time.  Arms, shoulders etc.  But this is also where you put on the most muscle gain.  Is it hard…well it ain’t easy sister,  but I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would actually.  And you still get to eat…a lot 🙂
  • Beast Phase 4 weeks, you drop your calories and re assess how your macros are split.  This phase is used to shed body fat and see your gains, not just feel them.  Even though your drop your calories you are still eating quite a bit.  (at least I thought)  However for the first week I admit I was a bit hungry because I got used to the amount of calories, especially carbs,  needed to bulk.
  • Throughout the program cardio is limited for good reason but this can be mentally hard to accept, especially if you’re a cardio junkie.

Cardio.

Well I have to admit I did not follow the program to a “T” as far as cardio…or lack there of.  I understand the science behind it (you need extra calories to build muscle and cardio is going to cost you calories, etc)  I made the decision   to tone down the running BUT there was no way I was going to stop running all together.   I didn’t feel like starting from square one when fall race season came back around.  With that said there is a Body Beast Cardio DVD, and it kicked my butt every time.  It’s in no way a pansy cardio workout.

Like I stated, as a runner I did not want to start from square zero come late summer and into the fall running season.  I still ran an average of 3 times a week but only about 10 miles max per week.  (with the exception of two 10k races over the summer which up’d my mileage for those weeks)  I realize this had some effects on my gains, but I still had gains that I am very happy with.  I think my Beast Phase (shred phase) got a little off track because I had to start adding back in running miles and extra carbs (remember Beast Phase you care suppose to cut carbs) for Rock n Roll relay training so I didn’t shred as much as I could have.  It was a timing issue.

I also added in additional ab workouts. (FYI:  there is a Beast Abs video) Besides my arms my middle was my biggest area of concern and since I had already been concentrating on them I continued to do those additional workouts.

What did I learn?

  • I learned a lot about muscle-building nutrition, macros and different body types.
  • I found out my body type (click here if you want to see what yours is) is between an Ectomorph (builds muscle slowly, and that is frustrating) and a Mesomorph (need to exercise to stay fit),
  • I now know what Macros, IIFYM and Myfitnesspal are.
  • I discovered some of my favorite forms of protein are turkey chili, plain greek yogurt, cottage cheese and Quest Bars!
  • And finally that you have to eat to gain muscle…I really liked that part.  Eat more, look better?  OK I’m in!

I did not take measurements when I started I wish I did.  If I could do it over from day 1 I would.  I know I gained muscle and strength.  I was able to up my weights through out the program, that’s a good thing.  I bought a new set of weights for the next round (yes I am planning on a modified round 2) as I was limited to my max weights on hand this round.  Who would have thought?

Summary:

  • Did I enjoy Body Beast  YES, yes I did very much!
  • Did I see visible muscle gains   Yes, yes I did 🙂
  • Was it hard?  It’s as hard as you make it.  Your not going to want to bother if you only going to push 5 lbs around.  Just like any program if you’re not willing to put in the effort and the committment why bother?  You need to be disciplined with workouts and your eating habits.
  • Did you get manly?   Umm, no.  I got tight with some added visible muscle, my stomach and my arms are the most toned they’ve been since having 3 kiddos.  The only way your going to bulk up (like hulk style) is if you are using illegal stuff.  Women look good with muscle…..period.
  • Would you do it again?  Yes, I already started a modified round 2 ( I am training for a half marathon and a duathlon)  I like how I look and how much stronger I have gotten and I plan to keep it 🙂

SHHH:  There are rumors (pretty good ones) floating around that there may be a female version of Body Beast coming out.  No details on when.

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Motivational Monday in HD?

I took the plunge and recorded a “vlog” eeek!!

Figured it was worth a shot, so cut me some slack, not sure I will ever do another one so enjoy.  🙂

You will have to visit my Facebook page to view it, until I get this whole WP video link worked out.

click here.

Questions and comments appreciated…..have a great week!

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Motivational Monday Sept 16 2013

I have experienced both sides of this quite a bit lately.  But I am still doing my best to get out there because it IS worth it.

For my body, my soul and my sanity ~ Just Run

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Let’s talk Hydration

** Please note this is my personal review of Oral IV.  I was provided with free samples but was not monetarily compensated nor required to provide a positive review in any way by Oral IV.  The following opinions expressed are 100% my own.  You should decide for yourself what is right for you.

So your going to run or workout and get a really, really good sweat on. Great feeling right?  But maybe you’ll end up a little drained or tired too.  I know for me, especially when running long or in the extreme heat, one of the first things I think about is hydration.  I also tend to have a sensitive stomach.  My normal hydration of choice is good old H2O.  However I was recently sent a 4 pack sample of a product called Oral I.V. (rapid hydration ultra concentrate)  The product comes in break open tubes and are available in packs of 4.

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Oral I.V. is a orderless tasteless concentrate that you add to water.  It’s as simple as breaking open the tube and mixing it with 16 oz of water.  Per the company it is ideal to use it before and during lengthy / strenuous exercise.  Another great feature is they contain no sugar, sugar substitutes and no stimulants.  So no overly sweet taste or fizz.  Those are all big positives for me because of my sensitive stomach.  Can I say that it “worked”?  I think so.   I can tell you  I felt good after my long run and didn’t have any side effects such as stomach upset which I have gotten with other sweetened products.

I will be trying the additional vials I received over the next coming long runs to see how it goes.

Want to learn more or try some for yourself?    Check out Oral I.V.

Visit my Facebook page for discount code for 10% off

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9/11 Never Forget

I did NOT create this photo.  I take no credit but I wanted to share I hope they don’t mind.

Say a prayer, hug your loved ones a bit tighter, remember those lost and those who fought to save them all.

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Motivational Monday – The Struggle

This is a perfect Motivational Monday for me.  I have had a few less than stellar runs the past week or so.  In fact I have used the word “craptastic” more than once lately.  It’s so true what they say about it not being easy, but it’s worth it.

Thanks to all of you who sent kind words via Facebook on Saturday.   It wasn’t a pretty run but I got it done.

Sometimes we all need to know we are not alone.  To take a step back to look at the bigger picture.  I am lucky that I am able to run, that God has given me the opportunity and the ability to do so, and people to help support me along the way.  Here’s looking forward to more great runs in the future!

Have a great Monday and an awesome week!

MMsept

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Rock n Roll Relay Recap

Last Weekend I participated in my 3rd Rock n Roll in Virginia Beach.  VB Rock n Roll was also the first half marathon I ever ran back in 2011.

After last years extreme heat I promised myself I would not run it again, it was just brutal.  I don’t remember much from after that race.  I do remember bumping into people (literally) on the way to get my checked gear.  I remember having no idea what the heck I did with all the power bars someone handed me after the race.  By the way I found them two days later in my Sparkle Skirts Pocket?!  I do remember my skirt was literally dripping with sweat onto my feet while I was waiting for some friends to finish and thinking “did I just have an accident?”  Seriously it was crazy hot and humid and the “feels like” temp was 102!  You get the picture.

I digress, so this year I opted for the relay.  My good friend Allie jumped in as my partner.  All the fun of RnR with only half the sweat 😉  Team Happy Pace finished in 36th place in the all women’s group, not too shabby.  My part of the relay left much to be desired however.  Again the weather this year is was hot and humid.  I ran too much on the treadmill over the summer and I paid the price during the race.  I didn’t finish as fast as hoped but I got it done.  I have to admit I was a bit envious of those I saw finishing the half.  I am sending big props out to my friends that did do the half, especially Cara from Running In Sanity.  She finished it despite some obstacles.  I am proud to call her friend and super half marathoner 🙂  I was also proud of Cara’s sister Sarah for doing her first race ever!   Do I regret not doing the half?  Yes and no.  I think this was the right decision for me this year, but my heart yearned for 13.1.

Here are some pics from last weekend.    Upper left some of the girls from MRTT Virginia Beach/Chesapeake, Upper right me and Allie “Team Happy Pace” Lower right Sarah at her first race ever!

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Motivational Monday – September 3, 2013

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I had to remind myself of this over the weekend.  I didn’t “kill” my relay race like I had wanted to.  I was disappointed in myself and my performance.  So tonight I stepped back and looked at how far I have come in running and life.  Nothing is perfect, nothing stays the same.  You have good days and bad, great runs and not so great runs.  I took a moment to celebrate my improvements and now its time to look forward!  I hope you do the same 🙂

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