August 26, 2013

Many things Monday

1. After last Sunday’s run, I was so optimistic about running. I thought I had things figured out. I thought wrong. Back to struggling in the heat. Sigh. Is it fall yet?

The run wasn't pretty, but the view was.

2. I tried out a new handheld water bottle during the run (that I found on the cheap at Marshall's for $7), and it was actually pretty great. Unfortunately, I filled it with a sports drink I don’t usually use, and my stomach revolted after the run. I’m not blaming the bottle, though.

But, I have found a fun new way to hydrate after a run: coconut water. Why? It supports natural hydration and contains essential electrolytes.

(Disclaimer: I received these products via Fit Approach as a Sweat Pink Ambassador. I was provided these products at no cost for review purposes only. All opinions are my own.) 

And, my favorite brand by a long shot: Zola. I especially love the version with pulp. Getting little pieces of coconut in each drink is bunches of fun. I’m a coconut nut (well, you could probably just take off the “coconut” part), so I like anything coconut. But, I understand some people’s assessment that it tastes similar to feet. I can see where that comes from, but I totally did not get that with this brand. Yum. I also tried their Acai juice, which I did not love as much, but it had tough competition with the coconut water. I've never tried Acai juice, so I don’t have anything to compare it to. It was a thicker juice, and it's probably not something I'd drink again (especially if coconut water is around).

All the products and a sweet pair of shades
My favorite

4. I’m debating between a 5K, a 10K and 
volunteering for a race on Sept. 19. Since I’m disappointed in my running at this point, I tempted to not race. But, part of me thinks I need to race to push myself. I don’t know. Something’s happening that day, but I’m just not sure what.

5. So, lots has/is happening this week: the VMAs (yes, this is something worth mentioning), Bruno Mars concert (EEEEEEK!) and a trip to Kansas for the first football game of the season (K-S-U Wildcats).

6. Why are the VMAs worth mentioning? *NSYNC, duh. I can’t explain to you the level of excitement I had leading up to this. Well, I could, but it would be embarrassing. A reunion has been a dream of mine for some time. For a few minutes last night, it happened. And, it was glorious. 

7. And, Bruno Mars’ performance was incredible as usual. I just adore this guy. I really, truly do.

8. I went from loving Katy Perry when she first came out ("I Kissed a Girl"), then not liking her ("Firework") and now loving her again. I love "Roar," and the fact that she performed in a boxing ring just sealed the deal for me. You rock again, Katy Perry. 

9. Other than those three performances, the VMAs were extremely not glorious. Yikes. Miley Cyrus scared me and made me feel dirty. Like, I can’t look at her anymore. It’s weird.

10. I remember buying Bruno Mars tickets in February. I had no idea how I could wait until the end of August for the concert. Well, I made it. The concert is Wednesday. And, I’m glad I did. Because one of the girls I’m going with has a hookup for a limo. We are riding in style to see my favorite little guy. 

11. I’ll probably still be on my Bruno high when I hop on a plane for Kansas State’s home opener. The game is on a Friday night. Not terribly excited about that since I arrive on Friday morning in Kansas City; as long as the flight is on time, it will be OK. But, my brother won’t be there because of work. I can’t remember the last Kansas State game I went to without him. Maybe I haven’t?

One of these people will be missing

12. I looked for a race in Kansas because my sister-in-law and her sister have been running, and I thought it would be fun for us all to do a 5K together. Unfortunately, I didn't find one. So running will happen, but without a race. And, I’m OK with that at this point.

What are you looking forward to this week? Do you drink coconut water? Did you watch the VMAs? Are you an *NSYNC fan? What are your weekend plans (yes, I'm already looking toward the weekend)?

August 22, 2013

Preparation makes summer running better ... duh, right?

I may have mentioned a time or two that I kind of despise summer running.

Each run is a struggle, I get disappointed in my times, I have to walk, and I sweat a ridiculous amount. 

And, it's just not me. This is from an Active article: "You will be slower, feel awful despite running slower, and your recovery will be hampered. This is impossible to avoid and has nothing to do with a lack of fitness. It's simply a physiological reality."

But, this past Sunday, I was determined to have a good run.

So, I drank bunches of water on Saturday to get hydrated. I filled a fuel belt with Nuun to stay hydrated during the run. I started early to get a few miles in before the sun came up. I brought a gel with me.

The beach just before sunrise

And, you know what? It was actually a really good run. There was some walking, but it was mainly wandering looking for a non-existent cooler.

I ran 6 miles and felt better than I have on most of my 4-mile runs this summer.

The 2 miles before the sun came up definitely helped, but I think of it had to do with something I haven’t done much of at all this summer: being prepared.

Since I haven’t been training for anything specifically this summer, my mileage has dropped, and I definitely haven’t been taking it as seriously. When I hear, “we’ll run 4 miles,” I think, “no problem.” That’s nothing, right? Well, nothing when you’re used to running double digits anyway. Do I plan and prep as much as I normally would? Nope. Do I worry about drinking water on Saturday? Nope. Do I bring Nuun with me? Nope.

Well, darn. I wish I would have figured this out earlier so summer running wouldn’t have been quite so miserable.

But, with half marathon training beginning and it still feeling like the surface of the sun, I’m sure this will still come in handy.

Do you prepare as much for shorter distances? How is your summer running going?

August 7, 2013

Hump Day randomness

It's time for some mid-week ramblings.
  • I’m always looking for new, fun and functional (i.e., soaks up massive amounts of sweat) headbands. When I came across Spandits!, I immediately loved their funky patterns. I kept debating which pattern I wanted to order. While I was deciding (I’m not the best decision maker), I participated in a “name the new pattern” contest. And, my name for the pattern, White Noise, won! Because of my fabulous naming abilities, Spandits! sent me a headband in the pattern. And, I’m in love. I love the fun pattern. I love its sweat-soaking abilities. And, now my decision is made. I’m ordering multiple patterns.

    Disclosure: I received a free headband from Spandits! because I helped named the pattern in a contest. That’s it. I’m just writing about it because I really like it. These opinions are entirely my own. 
White Noise winner
  • Two of my favorite things are wine and baseball. So, when I heard the Rays are having a girls’ night out at the Trop with a wine tumbler, wine and baseball (duh), I thought they created the event just for me. They didn’t. But, I can pretend. Girls’ night out is Aug. 15 at 7:10 p.m. The Rays are taking on the Seattle Mariners. Use code GIRL3 here to get a $25 lower reserved ticket that includes a Rays wine tumbler and one glass of wine.

  • The Bruno Mars concert is in three weeks! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! So much for keeping my cool. But, I’m super-duper excited. Love that little guy.
  • Klout is a tool for measuring your online social influence. I look at it occasionally, and I’m not entirely sure what it tells me, but I did find this quite humorous (although I’m sure my parents are crying).
Charlie Sheen is my number one influence.
  • I saw a movie in the theater for the first time in months recently and saw "Wolverine." I never expect to like the X-Men movies, but I always do. I also recently saw "Pitch Perfect," which I adored and didn't expect to, and the Katy Perry movie, "Part of Me," which I didn't expect to like and loved. Thanks for not meeting my expectations, movies!
Do you wear headbands? Have you ever named one? Do you like wine? Baseball? Have you seen any of those movies? What did you think?

August 1, 2013

Some reasons why August is grand

OK, remember that I told you I had some Amazon gift cards, and I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of some beautiful new Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13s in my size? Well, I got impatient. And, I did something I really wasn't planning on; it just happened.


Yes, I bought (gasp!) another brand! And, yes, I was mostly influenced by the color! But, I did do some research and found that this model of Asics is comparable to Brooks Adrenaline. And, Asics come highly recommended from Running Buddy Lori. That's enough for me!

She's smiling because of her shoes.

I decided after last night's 4-mile treadmill run that it is time for new shoes. I can always feel it in my ankles. I have a pair of Brooks Adrenaline waiting for me, and the Asics arrive on Monday. I'm thinking I might switch between the two new pairs?

The shoes are extremely exciting, but there are other reasons I'm super pumped that it's August! Not something you usually here someone in Florida say ... But, it means it's half marathon training month! All the fun begins in the hot, miserable, sweaty, humid days of August. I currently have six half marathons on the schedule, beginning in October, and I keep wanting to add more.

I just found out about this half marathon in Lexington, Kentucky, thanks to this girl. My friend Erin lives in Lexington, and I love the area (and her), so ... hmm. Something to ponder.

And, I really want to do this half again. I have fond memories because of a beautiful half PR there. And, a beautiful trip to New Orleans after!

August also means it's core month. What's core month, you ask? Well, it's a month of core work in the form of a challenge, the August Core Focus Challenge, hosted by Kat at Sneakers and Fingerpaints. She rocks, and I know this challenge will rock! You can join in via ChallengeLoop to receive daily exercises, as well as a chance to win prizes. A strong core makes a strong runner!

Have you switched brands of running shoes? Do you like the switch? Do you use one pair of running shoes exclusively or change up your shoes depending on the day?