Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Laces and Leashes

Our little family grew from 2 to 5 about a month ago!!  Not only did Bray and I eagerly welcome Adam and his almost 11 year old yellow lab, Tate, into our house, but we became the proud parents of a new black lab puppy, Ovi!
Peek a Boo Ovi, I see you!

I like to tease Adam and tell him that I had been looking for a running partner dog, longer than I had been looking for a boyfriend, but it is entirely true!  The only person to get more excited for some fresh air and outdoor exercise than me would most definitely be a dog!  I had actually looked into volunteering at a local animal adoption center, offering to run with their dogs, until I could get one of my very own!
I got the guy and the puppy.   #winning 

Deemed as the “rowdy” puppy of the litter we knew he’d be the perfect addition to our family’s active lifestyle.  Since its still blazing hot outside now, we do our best to give him all the exercise he needs (aka wear him out!) by taking him on a 15 minute walk in the morning and evening.  We finish up every walk, by running a block or two towards home and this little munchkin is FAST!!  His vet said that as soon as he was ready and could keep up, we could continue to add time to his running jaunts.  We are thinking he will be ready for a 5k in about 6 months. 
We LOVE our nightly runs and walks together!

Speaking of 5k’s, I am beyond excited that two of my passions, dogs and running, are colliding with the Laces and Leashes Virtual 5k Run this September.  The coolest folks over at Run Eat Tweet are hosting this run and all proceeds are going to benefit the Arizona Humane Society! 

Laces and Leashes is a VIRTUAL 5k, which means there is no official location or route. Participants can join from around the globe as one in the effort to help thousands of homeless pets find a home. Why a VIRTUAL race? Since we don’t have any of the costs associated with putting on a traditional race, the entire registration fee goes to the Arizona Humane Society! You also get to pick when and where you’ll run your 5k, and how fast or slow you’ll go.
Here is the direct link to register for the Laces and Leashes 5kI just think this is such a great cause for all the animals out there that are still hoping for their forever family.  So many dogs love and need a ton of exercise, and as runners, we have the means to give dogs the physical activity that they crave and need daily. 
This is the event medal!  Love!!

You can run this Virtual Race at ANYTIME during the month of September. But why not join a group of like-minded friends if you can?! Come out to OHSO Brewery- Arcadia on September 12th for a 5k Run/Walk. Bring your dog along for the fun! (You MUST be registered for this virtual run in order to attend. Kids run free)

Afterwards, we'll be eating brunch on OHSO's dog-friendly patio, where 20% of sales will go back to Arizona Humane Society! All you have to do is tell them you're with us.  RSVP for the in-person fun on your EVENT PAGE.   There will be tons of giveaways, pups, and new running friends so join us for the #LacesAndLeashes5k group run to help homeless pets in need.

Adam ran with sweet, now 11 year old, Mr. Tate for about 7 years, and said that those were some of the best memories he has shared with his best buddy ever.  Simply nothing compares to running with a dog.  I can’t wait to bond with Ovi over daily runs together!!  Hope to see you all at the Laces and Leashes 5k or out on the streets of Phoenix, running with your best 4 legged friends, soon! 
After we run, we nap, of course!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

CLIF Organic Energy Food Review and Giveaway

I was super excited to try the new CLIF Organic Energy Food pouches through my awesome local AZ Run Group, RunEatTweetAZ.  Clif is my most trusted brand for fuel during my long runs.  I have a very sensitive stomach, but one of CLIF's other products, is my go-to for long run nutrition (their Shot Bloks) so I was stoked to see if their new product would be another fueling option for me.

According to thr brand, these new energy food packets were "Inspired by the home recipe's of our Team CLIF Bar athletes."  They created a "line of performance food made with real, organic ingredients...Each recipe is designed to deliver a combination of nutrients, giving you energy to perform your best."  These were designed to be eaten DURING runs as an alternative or addition to gels and chews.

The ouches themselves look like those squeeze fruit sauce pouches that have become common over the last year or so (my son LOVES them!)  The sizes of the CLIF foods range from 3.17-4.23 ounces. 

I first tried the Banana Mango Coconut flavor during a particularly hard session of mountainside hill repeats.  It hit the spot and went down so smoothly.  The all Organic ingredients were amazing:  Organic Banana Puree, Organic Mango Puree, Organic Coconut Cream, Organic Coconut (there were small coconut flakes in the puree!), Sea Salt, and Citric Acid.  Calories came in at 100, 2.5 grams of fat, 15grams of sugar, and 65 mg of sodium.  This was in a 3.17 ounce pouch.

I also enjoyed the other Banana Beet and Ginger flavor.  I tried this one chilled and took it with me for a long 10 mile run this last Sunday.  I found that these smaller 3.17 ounce sizes fit well into the side packet of my Orange Mud Handheld water bottle that comes with me on every single run I take.

CLIF made two other flavor, Margarita Pizza and Sweet Potato with Sea Salt.  I think these pouches would greatly benefit long distance ultra and trail runners because they contained more volume (4.32 ounces), calories ranging from 160-200, and sodium ranging from 540-600 mg). 

As I continue to train in the heat in hopes of a big PR for my Fall Race, I will rely on the CLIF Organic Energy Food to help me reach my goals and run strong!  RunEatTweetAZ has an awesome giveaway on their Facebook page right now so you can try all the flavors for yourself, head over today.  Which flavor are you most excited to try?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Go Macro Bar Review

Thanks to my awesome local Arizona run group RunEatTweetAZ, I was able to sample some GoMacro Bars recently. I was super excited!!
Could you tell how excited I was to try the GoMacro Bars?!

 I had seen these bars at my local Sprouts store, but had not tried them yet because I couldn't see what they looked like through the package. Is that weird?  Am I the only one that likes to know what their food will look like before purchasing/eating it?  Any, stay tuned, I'll show you what they look like so you too will have no excuse to try them too!

Two things I loved about these GoMacro Bars even before trying them:  their small size (they sent a box of the mini sized bars which were perfectly sized and about 100 calories each) and the very simple, real food ingredients, nothing fake, nothing weird.

Loved the mini sized bars!

I have been focusing lately on having me and my son eat whole clean foods. The kindergarten he is going to in the Fall is a strict, junk food free campus (LOVE this!) and I am starting to enforce the healthy habits now.

There were about 10 different flavored bars to try.  My son and boyfriends favorite was the Peanut Butter Chocoalte. I loved the Granola Coconut, cherries and Berries, and Banana and Almond Butter.
Alllll the flavors!! 

 Together though, we devoured out box of mini bars, either paired with a banana as a quick breakfast, slipped into my purse as the perfect min morning snack, or eagerly eaten in the afternoon as an optimal pre-workout snack. We are a huge on the go and snacking family and these smaller sizes were just perfect for us!

Oh, and the bars LOOKED as good as they tasted too!!  you could see all the real food ingredients like berries, seeds, nuts, and butters in the bars.  Nothing fake or weird, only good wholesome ingredients, LOVE.

See?  Awesome real ingredients!

I can't wait to get more!!  The super generous folks over at GoMarco have allowed RUNEATTWEETAZ to host a giveaway on their FB page and have also extended an amazing 40% off coupon code (BLOGGER) on the GoMarco website!!

 Good stuff, I recommend the mixed box of mini bars, you and your family can have fun sampling and choosing your favorites too!

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Night Run Race Recap

On May 9th we ran The Night Run in Tempe.  I was super excited to run this race, after being run in Old Town Scottsdale for 30 years, this was the first year that it was in Tempe, so I was excited to see how the race would "run" in its new location.  It did have a few slight growing pains (which I'll point out as our story unfolds) but none that would scare me off from running tis race every single year.  This is race is without a doubt one of my two favorite shorter distance races in Arizona.  (In case you were wondering, my other favorite is the Esprit de She in October).

We signed up to run the Kids Dash and the 8k distance (the other option was a 5k distance).  The race location was stunning, right along the Tempe Town Lake  We arrived about 2 hours early to insure we had plenty of time to pick up our packets, visit the vendors, use the port of potties at least twice, and really just take in the beautiful scenery. 

Bray and Adam goofing around while we waited to run.  Proof that the BOB can handle kids of all sizes!
 The Kids Dash started about 30 minutes before our race started.  We were unclear as to the exact starting location of the Kids Dash, and I think everyone else was too because we asked about 4 different volunteers and everyone either gave us the incorrect location or did not know the answer!  So we just decided to mill about and follow anyone else that looked like they had kiddos running the race as well!  The actual kids dash was great, they had each age go separately (aka "all 5 year olds, gooooo!") which worked out well.  The kids all ran about 100-200 yards  There was some confusion at the end if the kiddos actually got the finishers medals as advertised on the race website, but the organizers later cleared up the confusion and allowed the children to get their earned neck bling.
There's my little 1560.  He found a new friend at the start line.  Their conversation was probably like, "Your shirt has no sleeves?  My shirt has no sleeves too!"  haha

And they were off!  Love watching little kids run  There determination and spirit is always so impressive! 

After waiting in line (again) for the port of potties we made our way to the start line.  it was a mass cattle call start.  5k, 8k, walkers, runners, strollers, all start at the same time together.  We chose to run with the stroller, which going in I knew would be tough with the crowds, but we knew we were fast stroller runners, so we weaved our way to the front of the pack.  IT is much easier for runners to go around a stroller then for us to be nipping at the heels of slower runners at the back of the pack. 

By the time the race started it was dark and it was fun, we had lit up our stroller with tons of glow sticks and for the most part there was pretty adequate street lights on the course.  We got to run over two lighted bridges going over the lake twice, which was super pretty!
Running across one of the bridges.

The course route was laid out that everyone, the 5k and 8k runners, ran almost all of the first 5k together, with a split at the end for the 5k finishers, and then almost another full lap round the course for the 8k runners.  That second lap around is where things got a bit hairy.  There were quite a few walkers in this race, and when the faster 8k runners took their second loop through tighter course areas like the bridges, we were often halted dead in our tracks by the leisurely walkers.  I had Adam running with the stroller, so at this point in the race, we knew were making awesome time and really wanted to ensure our first place stroller finisher status (haha).  I positioned myself running in front of him, paving a clear path free of people the best I could by yelling at the top of my lungs "Stroller coming up behind!!"  Most people moved right out of the way, we always try to be as courteous as we can when barreling towards a pack of people!  Some other fellow runners said that they encountered people stopping abruptly in front of them during the race to take selfies (lol) thank goodness this did not happen to us!

We did end up being the first place stroller finishers (one day there will be an official award/medal for this!) with an awesome time of 40:49 (8:05 pace for 5 miles).  We lucked out with the cooler temperatures that night, it really made for nice running conditions.
All smiles crossing the finish line!
After the race we collected our medals from a table nearby.  There were no volunteers handing out medals and a lot of fellow runners missed the medal table and the race actually ran out of medals for finishers!  The weather that weekend was uncharacteristically nice and there was a bunch of last minute day of race sign ups which attributed to the medal shortage.  The race directors  took everyone's information that did not get a medal that evening and I was told they were ordering more.  They are great glow in the dark medals which is very unique!
Post race "glow"  Lol 

We went out to celebrate our run afterwards with some of our friends from RunEatTweetAZ at a nearby pub.  We were able to walk there from the race because of the convenient downtown Tempe location so that was really nice! 

All in all a great, fun, unique race, that had a huge growth this year and will no doubt come back stronger and bigger than ever next time!  See you next year, The Night Run, Owl be There!!

Monday, April 6, 2015

M80 Roller Review

Through my awesome local Arizona running group, RunEatTweetAZ, I was recently given a M80 Roller to review.  I was actually given it the day before running the Phoenix Marathon, perfect timing right?!  I was so incredibly sore the days following the race, but was up and running pain-free merely 4 days later, and honestly I think I owe it to the M80. 

This thing packs so much punch into its 15" surface.  It's way different from traditional foam rollers because it is a plastic PVC pipe covered in thick foam ridges.  The plastic pipe helps the foam dig deeper and really gave a deep tissue like massage to my weary muscles.

 It is also available in a smaller 6" size and a larger 30" size, but I love the 15" one the best.  It's large enough to target all my leg and back muscles, but the size is compact so it is easily portable.  Or, if you're like me, you'll just keep it in your living room all the time.  Out of site out of mind, I need to see this so I'll use the roller on the daily. 

On their website, the M80 claims to "cut recovery time in half" and I believe this with me 100%.  Following the Phoenix Marathon, it was so darn painful to walk down stairs and forget about getting up from a seated or squatted position, no way, no going to happen, and not even worth it!  to aid in my recovery, I did about 15-30 minutes of yoga daily, followed immediately by 15 minutes of stretching and rolling using the M80 roller.  I had so much pain in my Quads so I spent the most time rolling those out, along the front and sides and then would roll all the way down my legs.

This is the toughest roller I have ever used, but it is by far the most effective.  I was worried at first that because the center was a PVC pipe and that the pressure the roller put on my legs was so intense (in a good way!) that it would leave me all bruised up.  I didn't get a single bruise from using this and in fact, it really did feel like I was getting a pretty amazing deep tissue like massage.  Lets not kid ourselves here though, I was still rolling out my muscles, so it still hurt, no it didn't feel like a trip to a luxury spa!  However, through gritted teeth, I was able to massage out everything, knowing that I was aiding in my recovery process.

While training for my first marathon I was sidelined several times with intense IT and knee pain  I only wish I had known about the M80 roller while nursing these injuries, as I am sure it would have helped tremendously in either preventing them, or getting me back on my feet sooner.

So thank you and M80Roller for the awesome hook up!!  My non-sore legs thank you too!  IF you'd like to get your hands (And legs lol) on one of these sweet rollers for yourself, RunEatTweetAZ is giving away a roller everyday this week on their Facebook page!  Hope on over there an win one for yourself!!