Sunday, December 7, 2014

My Oatmeal Review, Giveaway, and Discount Code

So the awesome folks at hooked me up with a HUGE bag of custom oatmeal beacuse I am a CRO for the coolest running group around, RunEatTweetAZ.

What a neat concept this company has come up with  They allow you to completely customize your oatmeal.  They boast over 22 billion combinations of healthy oatmeal!  On their website, you can choose from 6 different types of oatmeal, mix in one of about 30 different flavors, and add in nuts, seeds, dried fruit, or protein powder.

I had my son help me pick out my healthy oatmeal combination since he loves oatmeal too.  We chose to flavor our quick rolled instant oats like cake batter, and added in dried peaches and apricots, and whey protein powder, and brown cane sugar crystals.

Ok seriously this is the best bowl  of oatmeal I have ever had!!  Tastes so good, like dessert.  In fact, I have been having it often as a mid afternoon snack too, and because of the (genius) addition of the protein powder, it completely helps give me enough energy and keeps me going until dinner time.

I also think it's super cute that they allow you to customize the name on your oatmeal bag.  I chose to name mine Go make oatmeal Fast Mommy, get it?!

I'm already contemplating what flavor combo I want to order next.  I have been eying the Old Fashioned Glazed Donut and maybe Eggnog, what do you think?  What combination would you create?  The awesome folks over at gave us a discount code, RETAZ15 for 15% off your bag of oatmeal.  Also, head over to the RunEatTweetAZ Facebook Page for a chance to win a customizable bag of your own!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Esprit de She 10K Race Recap and Cocogo Review

On October 2 I ran the Esprit de She 10k race.  This race was an awesome evening run (it started at 7pm) at the super pretty Mesa Riverview Park, which is adjacent to the Cubs Spring Train facility.  I had never been to this park before but it looked amazing and now that the weather is nicer, I cant wait to go back to play!
The park playground

This was a really pretty fishing lake we got to run around twice during the race.
The Esprit de She race was a super fun girl power race (I LOVE girlie races!)  They had race packet pick up a few days agead of time at one of my favorite local running stores Athleta where I ran into my fellow RunEat Tweet'er Kristin and we of course left the store purchasing super cute matching running skirts!  What can I say, she's got great taste in running clothes?!

We also got our swag bags with our super cute race tanks!!  I love mine and so wish that other races would give out tanks instead of technical t's!  Another fun swag item, was that all participants get a 12 month subscription to Self magazine!  This race for sure gets an A+ in my book for awesome freebies.
Ok, so now on to the race.  The Esprit de She was a 5k and 10k course with the 10k'ers just doing 2 laps.  Some runs may not like this setup, but I actually appreciated knowing exactly what to expect for the last half of the race.  The race allowed strollers, so I took ran with Brayden in the Bob.  It was a perfect way to practice for our first half together next week!

After some music to pump us up and the national anthem, they had us 10k runners tart 5-10 minutes ahead of those running the 5k.  Since I had the stroller I was supposed to start at the back of the pack, but I was lucky enough to sneak up front to start, because honestly, I think it is more annoying for all the people that I am running behind to constantly here me yell out "Stroller coming up behind, thank you!"

 So after barreling down weaving around some runners I settled into what felt like a comfortable pace for me about 3/4 mile in.  I looked down at my pace and gasped 8:03, way too fast for me.  I am someone who runs at 9:30 pace and calls that fast!  My internal dialogue was something like "Amy, you are going way too fast, you need to slow down or will boink at the end"  "But wait, this feels ok, Im not tired, I'm not struggling, I feel gooood!"  "Ok then, here's the plan, Amy.  Just keep running at this pace until you need to slow down."  And keep running I did, all the way to a big fat almost 15 MINUTE PR from the last stroller night 10k run I did back in mid May.  So crazy, right?
Immediately after the race.  I was sweating up a storm, but so happy!  I almost cried happy tears at the end!

So what attributed to my crazy huge PR?  Well for one thing, the course was SHORT!!  Almost a half mile short.  I had several friends running the race too and all of them tracked the race at about 5.8 miles too.  Still, this was by far the FASTEST time I had ever one a race or ran this distance in so it is still a HUGE personal victory for me!
The official race results on the left and my own timed distance results on the right.
I also loved the crowd and fellow runners support!!!  I was lucky enough to be running this race with a couple of my RunEatTweet AZ'ers, Corine and Kristin and seeing them several times on the course was super motivating for me!!  
Me, Kristin, and Corine
Also, the crowd and fellow runners support was amazing!  I played my music out loud from my phone so didn't have earphones in and I must have heard "You are so awesome!" screamed at me at least 100 times that night!!  Even a group of 10 year old boys on skateboards yelled that to me, which made my night, haha!

The after party for Esprit de She was super fun!!  They had a beauty bar where they were doing complimentary hair braiding and mini manicures, they had a station where we could plant flowers in cute little pots to take home, and they had tons of free wine sampling with custom engraved Esprit de She stemless glasses.  Such a fun night!!

Since I had little Brayden with me, I sadly did not get to partake in any of the complimentary wine tasting, but I was super excited that I brought along one of my Cocogo packets to have post race!

I don't know if it was the real fruit hydration, or the coconut water that is used to make cocogo, but this drink really hit the spot after my hard run!!  It was not too sweet at all and didn't irritate my stomach like a lot of other electrolyte drinks do!  I appreciated the portability, how it was easy to just stash one of these single serve mix-in packets in my jog stroller.  I also loved the fact that they were only 37 calories!  I don't want to be drinking in tons of calories post run, when I'd much rather EAT those calories, lol #runnerproblems :)  The other thing I appreciated about these is that each packet contains 500% of my daily allowances of Vitamin B12 and I have been hearing a lot about lately how that particular vitamin is great for boosting your mood and energy levels!  Huge score!!

This last Sunday I met up with my RunEatTweetAZ run group for a big group run and I brought my Cocogo with me again.  I ran 10 miles at 8:58 pace which is a HUGE PR for me (again!  my legs have been so fast lately!!)  
Again, thanks so much to Corine for pacing me during the run!!
Usually after I do a long hard effort run I get a MASSIVE headache for the rest of the day.  I think its because I'm usually dehydrated.  So I chugged some of the cocogo after this hard effort run, and no joke, I did not get a headache later on, not even slightly!  Loved that so much!

I will continue to drink the cocogo, especially after hard runs, I love how it doesn't upset my stomach, how it gives me a good energy burst, and helps hydrate me post run so that I don't develop a dehydration headache.

Interested in trying cocogo for yourself?  You can use discount code RUNEATTWEETAZ to save 10%!  Score!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

NuttZo Review and Giveaway

The awesome folks at NuttZo recently sent me a Peanut Butter Jackpot!!!
I'm sure runners everywhere I drooling now!
As a busy mom of a preschooler, I am always on the go and as a runner, I am always hungry!  This is why I loved the NuttZo To-Go Packets, especially the 70% Peruvian Dark Chocolate one, because, CHOCOLATE.  This one tastes amazing and only has 1 gram of sugar! Last week we had a lunch birthday party at McDonald's to go to immediately after preschool and there was no way I was putting that garbage in my belly!  NuttZo To-Go to the rescue!!  I tossed a couple of packets into my purse and was able to curb my appetite for a couple more hours.
#peanutbutterselfie  We were stopped at a red light, don't worry!
Since I workout in the morning I need something that is filling, nutrient dense, and easy.  My newest favorite breakfast is Organic NuttZo Seven Nut & Seed Butter and Trader Joe's Pumpkin Butter spread on a piece of Dave's Killer Bread toasted with a side of fruit!  Seriously so good!!  I had it every morning last week  :)

The PERFECT post workout breakfast!
I love the Seven Seed Butter because it contains flax and chia seeds mixed in in addition to the other nuts.  These two nutrition powerhouses are things I know I should eat, but don't know exactly how to incorporate them into my meals, know what I mean?  Like any good runner, I have large bags of both chia and flax in my pantry, barely used, because I either forget to add them to a recipe or don't know how!  This NuttZo Seven Nut & Seed Butter takes all the guess work out for you, which, for someone like me who is not all that confident in her culinary skills, appreciates very much!!

Want to try some Nuttzo for yourself?  The awesome folks at Nuttzo are giving away a big old jar of my favorite NuttZo Seven Nut and Seed Butter and 24 To-Go Packets to one lucky winner!!  To enter, head on over to the Run Eat Tweet AZ Facebook Page and give the post a LIKE and tell us what you'd like to spread your Nuttzo on!!

*This giveaway is not associated with Facebook in any way.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Where Has Go Fast Mommy Been Going Lately?

Last night I went to Fleet Feet Sports in Scottsdale with some of my #RunEatTweetAZ friends!!

Wow, what an amazing running store.  I loved how open and bright it was and the staff was incredibly knowledgeable and enthusiastic about running.  I love all the weekly group runs they have listed on their website and plan on attending a Thursday evening run soon!  I left with an awesome new outfit and of course we had to take some fun pics to capture the nights festivities!

 We had a bunch of rain last week and I cant get enough of how beautiful our desert looks with a touch of green added in!!

 I have been hiking and running the trails as much as I can to take full advantage of this pretty desert I'm lucky enough to call home!

PSA:  Trader Joe's has all of their pumpkin flavored goodies out now!  Let the stockpiling begin :)

We had the cutest cashier and not only was he patient with letting Brayden unload his little shopping cart, but he also let him scan a few of the items as well!  It's the little things :)  I just love Trader Joe's!!

I was lucky enough to get a behind the scenes tour of the newest emergency medical center in the North Valley, the John C Lincoln Sonoran Health Center (#JCLsonoran)  Man was I impressed!!  Located off the I!7 and Dove Valley Road, the entire facility was designed with the patient experience in mind and looks like a luxury spa and NOT an emergency medical center.

They are open 24/7 and are a fully equipped emergency care facility and even have a breast health center on site with weekly support group meetings for breast cancer survivors.  What struck me was all the personal thoughtful touches and their dedication of a "door to discharge" for patients in 2 hours.  It's pretty comforting knowing this facility is in my neighborhood, nearby, if I should ever need to make a visit!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Leave No Doubt

Arizona State Football is in full swing!!!  Love college football and supporting my alma mater.  This year the team introduced a new hashtag #LeaveNoDoubt.  Wow.  I freaking love this motto on so many levels.  Leave No Doubt. Three little words full of so many possibilities.

From many recent conversations with my friends that are going through all walks of life, I think we all are striving every day to #LeaveNoDoubt.  At the end of the day we want to leave no doubts in our minds that we were the best mother, spouse, friend, daughter, sister, employee, the very best version of ourselves that we can offer. 

Every day I really try to give everything I do my all so that when my head hits the pillow each night I can have no doubts that I did all I could with those 24 hours I had been given   I push myself during my workout.  I engage with my son all day.  I try to be the best friend I can.  Keep a clean house.  Give exceptional service to my customers. The list really does go on and on, doesn't it?!

How does one continue on this path of perceptual perfection without crashing?!  For me, I have been trying harder to prioritize, live in the moment, and really count my blessings, remembering that all that is guaranteed is today, so we should make the most of the time we are given instead of trying to worry about what lies ahead.

At the end of the day, we are all human, all filled with a ton of #Doubts, but lets all hold ourselves accountable to try to #LeaveNoDoubt that we aren't perfect, and weren't designed to be perfect.  We need to focus more and #DoYourYou and be #ProudofYou for all we do!!  I'm going to continue to work on this self appreciation over the next month and would love for all of you to join me!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Doing P90X3 While Training for a Half Marathon

Since I had a longer than normal gap in between completing my 4th half marathon (San Diego Rock n Roll ) at the beginning of June and my next (the Lake Powell Half) in mid October I wanted to train a little differently this time, specifically focusing on my strength training (which has been very lax since starting running).  I loved how running made me feel, but well, I was feeling a little flabby from it.  Maybe it was the holidays, maybe it was the ice cream "rewards" I had been giving myself every Sunday after a long run, I'm not sure, but over the past year I had put on about 8 pounds, which on a 5'3" shortie like me is a lot.  I wanted to use this 5.5 month gap in races to get my figure back.

Since I love the convenience factor of working out at home, and I already owned the P90X3 discs I decided to go that route.  I am a big P90X and Tony Horton fan and have completed several rounds and saw great results with P90X in the past.  I even got to meet the man Tony Horton himself about 5 years ago when he did a local event here in Phoenix.  So cool!
Throwing up the X with Tony Horton!

I'll admit, what first drew me into the X3 program as the workout length.  They are only 30 minutes long!  And the 30 minutes even includes the warm up and cool downs too even.  It's a non stop workout once you hit play and I love that efficiency.

The set comes with 16 30 minute workouts and you can choose the program you follow, which guides you through the order in which you'll complete the workouts. I chose the Classic routine, because it had a nice mix or cardio and strength routines that I thought would compliment running nicely.  Each routine wants you to complete 6-7 workout videos a week.
P90X3, 16 30 minute workouts

On a typical week, I will run 3-4 mornings.  On the mornings I can't run, I get up and do 2 P90X3 workouts back to back.  These workouts are challenging, yes, but are not too tough that you can't do two of them in a row.  Depending on the week, some evenings I will do a X3 routine on a day I have ran in the morning.  I listen to my body, and adjust my routine to how I am feeling, while still trying to get in the workouts I committed to.  I always take one day off, or some weeks, I will just do the Dynamix X3 workout which is a great fluid stretching and strengthening routine instead of taking a scheduled rest day.

I think what I loved most about these routines that I really felt like they really were meant for amature athletes like myself.  I just completed week 9 so I have 4 more weeks to go and I can can tell you that every week since I have started I have felt like I have gotten progressively stronger, faster, leaner, and more balanced. I am much leaner and tighter.  I have increased my endurance and speed with running too.  I now run a lot with the jogging stroller and I can push it for 10 mile long runs which I never dreamed possible before! I also lost all 8 pounds that I had gained over the last year!
Running is my true passion, and I am so grateful that P90X3 made me stronger

I tried T25 and couldn't make it more than a week.  It was way too much pounding on my joints and jumping, and frankly I was scared to death that I would injure my knees so I had to stop, it just want worth it.  I can tell you X3 is totally different.  There is still a ton of strength work, but done in a more non traditional way that makes it more interesting.  There are a lot of balance and strength work that is focused on priming the body to compete athletically.  There is also a lot of focus on strengthening each side of the body separately which I think has made my hips, knees, and joints super strong.  I have been pushing my body with this routine of 25 or so workout videos and approximately 100 running miles a month and have not gotten injured once, and I fully believe X3 has made me more flexible and fit.

In short, would I recommend incorporating P90X3 into your half marathon training?  Heck yes!!  Although I am already seeing physical and mental strength and athletic gains, I can't wait to fully put this training regime to the test on October 18, when I run my 5th half marathon, and my first while pushing the jogging stroller.  Stay tuned!

I am not a Beach Body coach, but a few of my real life blogger friends are!  If you have any questions or want more info on P90X3 or any Beach Body programs, please reach out to them on their blogs: Zucchini Runner, Soto Designs, and Cook and Run with Kristin.

Do you follow any type of cross training routine while training for your races?  What do you do and how do you like it?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

5 Things I Loved About August

It's almost September... I know, say what?!?! Want to know what I have been loving this month, read on my friends.

1. As of this morning, Summer is officially over around here.  That's right, I send my little off to Pre K for 2.5 glorious hours 3 times a week.  Can I get an Amen?!  Or at least a Mimosa?  Kidding.  Really Pre K is great, I love the structure and the socialization it brings him.
My little man.  Love his smile.

2.  California Rolls with Mango from Pei Wei.  yes, I gave in to the commercials and oh boy am I glad I did!!  Pei Wei's new sushi is amazing.  Their cali rolls have mango in them and come with a tangy spicy citrus dipping sauce.  So freaking good really, since I finished it I have not stopped thinking about the next time I will eat there!  It was one of those kind of meals.
The California rolls in all their glory.  

3.  Arizona State Football season!!  I love supporting my alma mater, this is my second year with season tickets.  College Football to me, just ushers in all the goodness that is Fall.  Before we know it we will have cooler temperatures, layered clothing, and all things pumpkin flavored  Bring it on Fall!!
Me and my good luck butt pillow.  It works, I promise :)

4.  Rain!!  It's officially monsoon season here in Arizona and mother nature has been treating us this month with some pretty amazing rain storms.  The rain produces some much needed moisture here but also some pretty sweet opportunities to run in stormy conditions.  There's nothing quite like going out for a run and trying to beat the rain (I am horrible at this and often get caught up in the rain, but really that's where the fun begins!)
We were lucky enough to get a run in (run in, get it??) with a rainbow in between last weeks rainstorms.

5.  Gah!  Look at this lucky girl that got proposed to at the finish line of the Lululemon Seawheeze Half Marathon.  What an amazing way to get engaged!  Gentlemen, take note, I would personally LOVE to be proposed to this way.  Can you even imagine the runner's high and elation you'd feel after this moment?!
Photo Credit:  Lululmeon Instagram Page

Thursday, August 21, 2014

How I Run With a Jogging Stroller

 Since I often get asked how I can run so much with a jogging stroller I thought I'd do a post about it.  When I started running almost 2 years ago I started off running with a stroller, from day one.  While I don't run exclusively with the stroller, I do a majority of my runs with one.  I am lucky to have more of a mellow laid back child, and he, for the most part, tolerates enjoys strolling along with me.
Oh how I love this kid and our runs!

A few tips I can offer to make jogging with a stroller more enjoyable for both of you:

1.  Invest in a good jogging stroller.  A good stroller is just as important as good running shoes in my opinion!  I started jogging with my regular stroller.  About 4 months into jogging regularly, I did my first 10k and became hooked and knew this was something I wanted to stick with so it was then that I bought a good jogging stroller.
Love my BOB stroller!

 I am a HUGE fan of my BOB Revolution  because it is super easy to maneuver and really comfy for my son.  I got mine used and it has been going strong for 1.5 years now.  Great places to look for used BOBs are Craigslist, EBAY, or local Facebook Swap Sites.

2.  Timing is everything.  If we are going to go for a morning run, I like to hit the road by 6:30.  I still have to wake up my son, but it's not too early that I feel like a bad mama for waking him up, but it's still early enough that he's still sleepy and not alert enough to suggest eating, playing, or watching TV at home.  Sometimes I luck out and he falls back asleep during morning runs, but nowadays that's pretty rare for us! 
Sometimes the lull of a stroller ride is just too much for the little tike to handle!

Also, this probably goes without saying, but make sure that EVERYONE goes to the bathroom ahead of time.  We have had a few close calls for sure but always made it home in time (phew!). 

This was one of those close call situations  Nothing quite motivates you to pick up the pace like having your 4 year old tell you he has to use the bathroom, and you being over a mile away from the nearest facilities!

3.  Plan ahead and pack more than you think you'll need.  I always pack water for both of us.  For him I pack a few (non-messy) snacks, Kleenex (we had a bloody nose once a mile away from home and I never made that mistake again!), a few small toys, a blanket if its cold or early morning, and his favorite stuffed animal.  All that stays up in front with him.  I always play my music out loud and usually we talk and sing along to the songs together.  Only one our last long run together, 10 miles, our longest stroller run to date, I brought his Ipad and stuck it in the stroller basket underneath.  I didn't tell him I brought it, and only whipped it out when at mile 8 he asked when we would be home.  I think electronic devises like the Ipad are great to have in your arsenal in order to avoid a possible melt down.

All in all, my favorite part about jogging with the stroller is the extra bonding time I get!  It is such a motivator while running to look down and see his little smiling face staring back up at me.  There's something magical that happens when we go racing around out neighborhood together, sun in our faces, wind in our hair, music playing in the background, we are just so happy.  Our runs inspire a lot of questions I get to answer about nature, the animals we see, plants we pass by, and just life in general.  I think I am setting a good example for him too.  He has his very own pair of running shoes, and has participated in a few kids dashes himself (and is amassing quite the medal collection himself).
One of my most recent races, ran with a stroller.  It was a hot and humid 4 miler on the 4th of July.

 We like running together so much, that I decided to run both of my half marathons this race season with the jogging stroller!  It will be a new challenge for me, but one that I am super excited for.  So if you are spectating the Lake Powell Half in October or the Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon in December, make sure to cheer extra loud for us, as we stroll on by!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

5 Things I Loved in July

Well July just flew by right?!  We only have one more month of scorching hot temps here in Phoenix until we get a little relief.  Despite the heat, I really do love slower pace of Summer, where everyday, fun is on the menu.  Without further adieu, I being you, 5 things I Loved about July:

1.  Living room sleepovers with my favorite 4 year old on the planet.  We layer a ton of blankets on the floor, pop popcorn, rent a Disney movie, and sleep there all night.  I wake up stiff and sleep deprived, but it is a million times worth it!

2.  My new Brooks Visor!  I was never a visor wearing girl, but this for me was a total game changer for hot Summer running.

3.  P90X3.  I have been really focusing on cross training this half marathon cycle and am loving the results!  This set is really good and I LOVE how each workout is only 30 minutes.  I think its really improved my strength overall a ton.  I am currently on week 5.  This month I did 32 P90X3 workout routines in addition to my running.

4.  40 calorie Fudgesicles are low-cal chocolate frozen bliss.  We are huge fans of dessert in our house :)
5.  Running (Duh)!! I actually took an entire week off running this month but still managed to log 90 miles!  My next half is not until mid October, The Lake Powell Half, so I have awhile to log the miles.  I'd love to get a PR on this course so my goal is to do one speed work session a week next month.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Run Eat Tweet AZ Meetup

This weekend I went on my first meet up with my new running group RunEatTweetAZ!!  They are such a fun group of people!  Most of us "met" on IG and through the blogging world.  Meeting this way allows for us to really get to know each other ahead of time, completely diminishing any nervous, awkward, or forced conversations.  It's hard to believe that this was the first time that I had talked to most of these people face to face!

We met at Camelback Mountain to hike the Echo Canyon Trail.  To say we were hiking was maybe the understatement of the century.  We were straight up scaling rocks, holding on to support rails, or large boulders, for the majority of the time!  What a rush it was!!


According to my Strava, we gained just over 1900 feet in elevation!  The hike was about 2.8 miles round trip.

 I was on a "hiker's high" for the majority of the day, elated from the amazing views, new friendships, and great workout.  Even though I didn't feel sore that day, let me tell you, its been two days now and I am still sore in my shoulders and butt!  I cant wait to add this hike to my cross training regime once the weather cools down a bit.

I am also super excited about my next meet up with Run Eat Tweet AZ!  Next month we are going to run miles with meaning, doing a virtual 5K for a one of our members, Traci's daughter's friend, a local 21 year old named Courtney who was recently diagnosed with a rare form of Liver Cancer.  If you are local we would love to have you join us on August 10!  If you can't make it, that's the best part about a virtual run, you can complete it in your own time and place.  The most import thing is showing our support for Courtney and her family.  You can find out more information and register here.