Just Registered: BCS Marathon!

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to The BCS Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I just registered for a race! You all know the feeling… don’t think, just do it! This marathon isn’t until December, but I like registering for races ahead of time so that I 1. get the lowest price 2. secure my spot! and 3. forget about what I’ve done until it comes time to train! 😉

I’m really excited for this one, because it’s close enough to home that I won’t need to fly, but still far enough away that I will stay in a hotel overnight.

I’m all registered for the Half Marathon. It was a tough decision between the full or half, so I ultimately went with what I thought I’d have more fun doing. I love the challenge of the full marathon, but I’m not quite sure I’m over the pain of the last one yet. 🙂

So! A little bit about the race:

  • It’s on December 10, 2017 (yay, cool weather!)
  • It’s located in College Station, Texas – home of the Aggies (also known as “Aggieland.” I’ve never been, so I’m excited to explore.
  • It’s a half and full marathon (I’m doing the half).
  • It has a few rolling hills, but otherwise flat course and the course is USAT&F Certified.
  • The swag sounds awesome – a tech tee, finisher’s medal AND a finisher’s jacket! AND a surprise “bonus” item that I am really curious to see!
  • There’s an epic after party with food and beer!

So! I am really excited for this race and can’t wait to have a little weekend run-cation!

Do you plan your events way ahead of time? Do you register last minute?

 

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Review: Senita Athletics

Disclaimer: I was provided the mentioned outfit by Senita Athletics in exchange for my honest review.

First off, what is Senita Athletics?

From their website, Senita Athletics is:

“…where you can finally purchase premium active wear at an affordable price.

Currently, all of our products are under $50. We are able to keep our prices low by working directly with manufacturers and keeping overhead low. We have cut out the middleman, allowing us to avoid retail markup so we can provide you with better products at amazing prices. 
So, whether you are a marathoner, skilled yogi, or running from place to place, let Senita travel with you along the way.”

I love that they are able to keep their products affordable and not jack up the prices for no apparent reason. You don’t feel like you’re breaking the bank just to pay for a logo.

So, how about the quality?

When I received the Sarah Sports Bra and Ellie Tights, I was impressed right off the bat. Upon opening the package, they feel like quality material. By quality material, I mean they are up there with brands that charge out the wazoo for a pair of leggings. Both the bra and leggings are a thick, yet giving material.

My favorite part about both the bra and leggings is that they both have POCKETS! Yes! Even the sports bra! As a runner always trying to stash things anywhere I can, especially on race day, I NEED more pockets in my life. None of my leggings or sports bras have pockets, so this is by far my favorite part. Not only are the items affordable, they’re unique and practical.

As for the design, the pockets are generous – a little snug for an iPhone 6S Plus, but hey it’s not the pocket’s fault that phones are now the size or Pop Tarts. The pattern of the bra is really cute, as well as the color of the leggings. Again – unique.

I will say the only downfall I’ve found thus far is that items sell out QUICK. I kept adding something to my cart, would return and it would be out of stock. I am really glad I got my hands on the two items that I wanted (because of the pockets) – but just as a head’s up… if you’re eyeing it, snag it while you can!

So, how did they hold up while running?

The Sarah Sports bra was great – I am a 30C and the size Small was perfect. I didn’t even notice it there while running, which is perfect. It’s easy to pull over your head/get on and off, which is a huge thing for me. It does have generous padding, which I actually like for extra coverage, but it is removable if you so desire. The material is a polyester/spandex and it is sweat-wicking.

The Ellie Tights are just gorgeous leggings. They are top notch quality. They are 7/8th tights (hit a little above the ankle) and are high-rise (sit at or a little above belly button). I love the dark blue color – it’s very vivid in person. The side pockets are just amazing. They do fit my phone (iPhone 6S Plus) or would be great for gels or other little items. They are NOT sheer, thick, slightly compression-y material, yet breathable. I am 5’11” 140lb and the size Small fits lovely. They are capris for me, rather than 7/8th tights, but I am SO used to that.

So, overall I would definitely recommend this affordable, high quality brand and plan to purchase a few more items myself – particularly the Sarah Sports bra in more colors and the Rio Shorts (shorts with side pockets). I am happy to have found quality at the right price! Thank you to Senita Athletics for the opportunity to test these products!

Have you tried items from Senita Athletics? What are your favorite pieces?

Whole30: Failure

TWO days.

In just TWO days I will have completed THE Whole30.

But.

I failed.

It took some time and courage for me to write this. In fact, I could (and wanted to) leave this part out, pretend it never happened, and just say “I did it!” in two days (I’m on day 28). But, I think that mentioning my failure in Whole30 is important and I always keep it real with you guys. So. Here goes.

Every single day for the past almost-month, I have been 100% careful, strict, and purposeful about every little thing that I eat. Don’t get me wrong, I have eaten a LOT of food (maybe even more than previously), but I have been careful about the quality of it. SO careful. I read the Whole30 books and believe whole-heartedly in everything they have to say. I believe in real food. I ate all my meals at home (which I normally do anyway), meal-prepped, altered plans, ordered food carefully at restaurants, etc. The works.

Then the day I failed came. My family went to Babe’s Chicken. I should’ve known better. Their menu consists of: friend chicken. I went because it was an important occasion, I was honestly mentally EXHAUSTED from all the Whole30-ing… I didn’t want to have to change everyone’s plans but I also really wanted to participate in the outing. And whether I admitted it to myself at the time or not, I KNEW that I was going to give in before it even happened. I thought – I’ll just go and do my best.

Well, my best isn’t good enough. My mindset going into it was an equation for failure. I was in a mental place where I was just drained from the strict diet. Which is odd because until this day, I truly found Whole30 quite easy. I love real food, I’ve been loving cooking, meal prepping, and eating delicious, whole foods! But I kept thinking thoughts like, why am I doing this? what would one meal matter? can’t I just be a normal person for a day?

So, I dug in. There was no “being good” at a place with fried chicken, biscuits (with honey and butter!), mashed potatoes, and cream corn. My option was eat, or don’t eat. And I am only human.

I thought about just “pretending it never happened.” I wasn’t going to tell anyone or write about it on my blog and just brush it off. But I can’t and I won’t. We are all human. I am here to share my story and experiences. I’m not writing a novel or just writing what you want to hear.

So, I am finishing out the Whole30 as intended until my day 30. I feel like a failure, but then again I don’t.

I have learned SO much about myself and food during this process. My moment of failure taught me something. That I am not perfect. BUT. ALL of my moments of success – each and every meal otherwise – taught me that I have the power. The power to eat, do, feel, anything that I want. Anything.

I also learned practical things – I learned how different foods effect us. I learned many great recipes that I will use for the rest of my life. I learned that I LOVE sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and crock pots! I wouldn’t have known this if it weren’t for Whole30. Doing and (almost) completing Whole30 has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. And as much as I envisioned this last Whole30 blog post being a celebratory, happy, glamorous, perfect post about how I did everything correct and to the “T…” I hope that you learn something from my failure. It’s important to do our best, yet accept the fact that we can’t be 100% perfect all. the. time. (and keep our sanity!)

Though this will be my last blog update, Whole30 is NOT over! I will complete the 30 days – and beyond. I plan on adopting a Whole30-inspired diet – basically Paleo with the inclusion of legumes, oats/grains, and occasional treats. I think that putting certain foods 100% completely off-limits, unless allergic, can backfire or just be unnecessary. It’s all about balance and moderation.

In conclusion, I do NOT consider my Whole30 experience a failure. Overall, this has been a HUGE eye-opener and successful journey that is ultimately going to change my life from here on out! I am SO proud of myself. This one “slip up” does not define me, yet proves to myself that I am human! I wanted to highlight my “failure” because it just proves that life GOES ON, and we cannot take ourselves too seriously!

Have you tried Whole30? Did you ever slip up?


Review: adidas UltraBOOST X

Disclaimer: I received a pair of adidas UltraBOOST X as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

What are the adidas UltraBOOST X?

From their website:

Amp up your run with the adidas® Women’s Ultra Boost X running shoe. Designed with unique energy-returning boost™ technology, this technical running shoe features 20% more boost cushioning material than ever before. STRETCH WEB® technology allows for flexibility and unleashes the boost™ responsiveness upon impact. Reinvent yourself and your run with the ultra-new, ultra-light, adidas® Ultra Boost X.

TECHNOLOGY:

  • Energy-returning boost™ technology in the midsole to provide lightweight cushioning

FEATURES:

  • Engineered mesh in upper for maximum breathability
  • Synthetic midfoot overlay for durability
  • Molded heel counter for added stability
  • Bootie construction wraps the foot and provides support
  • Rubber outsole has a grippy texture for better traction

They are a neautral shoe and have a 10mm hell-toe drop. This shoe is also a female-only model of the UltraBOOST.

Upon receiving the shoes, I opened the box and was just taken away with the beauty! These shoes are easy on the eye, that’s for sure. This is definitely not a factor when deciding on a pair of running shoes (function trumps form in this situation) BUT when they look good, it’s always a huge bonus!

The material is soft – durable but sock-like, with the exception of the sturdy “cage” around the arch. They are really lightweight too and have an interesting appearance because of the “un-attached” arch.

Upon first try-on, they felt a bit odd. They were easy to slip on (I have narrow feet), and just didn’t feel like “shoes.” I then laced them up and knew immediately that I’d like them. They just felt completely natural. I had plenty of room in the toe-box, yet they fit securely on my foot. The “un-attached” arch just allowed for natural foot movement. The soles feel like the perfect mixture of cushion and response. They’re the kind of shoes I just didn’t even notice on my feet!

So, the important part – how did they feel while running? Again, very natural (yay!). On my very first run in them, I just felt like I could’ve run forever in them. Of course, I like to get used to new running shoes gradually, so I did an easy 3 miles to start, but with no issues whatsoever. My feet felt “free” in them. My first impression was that they were lightweight, responsive, extremely breathable, and just plain natural feeling! No rubbing anywhere, no weird lumps or arch issues – just simple shoes with an amazing natural feel.

I’ve logged 30-40 miles in them so far, and understand this may not be enough for you to consider me credible, so I will post any updates to the bottoms of this blog. So far, though, I’ve had absolutely no problems – the shoes fit wonderfully, feel natural and responsive, and seem to be very durable. I hope to get 300-500 miles out of them and at this point plan to use them mainly for short runs/tempo runs due to their light weight.

These will be PERFECT for Texas summers, or anywhere where you can use any help you can get staying cool. I imagine they wouldn’t be ideal for rainy runs, keeping in mind the sock-like upper. Though I suppose the up-side would be that they’d dry out quickly! These shoes seem like they’re designed for road running (vs trail) and work for me, someone with an average arch, neutral runner, long narrow foot.

For reference, other shoes I’ve enjoyed and run in: Brooks PureFlow 2, Saucony Kinvara 7, Asics Nimbus 18 & 19, New Balance Zante v2, Nike Pegasus 33, Nike Zoom Vomero 11 & 12. I would compare this or say it’s “most similar to” a specific shoe, but I truly believe it’s a breed of it’s own. I’m very glad that I was able to give them a chance – it’s usually very difficult for me to find running shoes that fit and feel natural, so I am extremely pleased with the adidas UltraBOOST X!

Where to buy adidas UltraBOOST X: https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/adidas-womens-ultra-boost-x-running-shoes-17adiwltrbstxblkbrnn/

Have you tried any of the adidas UltraBOOST running shoes?

Hot Chocolate 15K Dallas 2018!

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to The Hot Chocolate 15K Dallas as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

It’s official! The Hot Cholcolate 15K has become a tradition!

I’m all registered and ready to go and, even though it’s not until February (in a year that doesn’t even sound real…), I’m so excited! As you can see above, I am running for BibRave, which has me even more excited. I am so proud and honored to represent the BibRave community. I will be sporting my neon orange, therefore feeling pretty bad A on race day.

Race day is still a ways away but I can tell you that it was a blast this year, was extremely organized, swag is the best, and… CHOCOLATE. Need I say more?

As for SWAG… the Hot Chocolate races always do really awesome hoodies, and this year’s looks amazing – here’s a sneak peek!

5-3-2017 8-23-15 AM

Yeah, talk about swag!

Plus, the best part, you get a scoop of chocolate and things to dip in the chocolate (banana, pretzels, marshmallows) once you cross the finish! Fun fact: they will give out 4,000 pounds of chocolate on race day! Yup!

5-3-2017 8-25-49 AM

So who’s joining me?!

Have you run a Hot Chocolate race before? Which city?

What’s your favorite post-run treat?

Whole30: Week Two

I’m already over half way through Whole30!

To be honest, I’m a little (ok, VERY) surprised at the things I’ve read about Whole30 – it seems that the consensus is that it’s “the hardest thing ever” or even “miserable.” It makes me wonder how bad the majority of our diets are to begin with. Not that I am an exception – it’s been difficult at times – but I don’t think that the change has been anywhere close to the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Eating delicious, real, whole foods has been anything but miserable. In fact, it’s been an amazing, eye-opening, delicious experience so far.

Yes, there have been times I REALLY want to go out and buy a box of Girl Scout Cookies (Samoas!) and devour the entire box immediately. I dream about carrot cake. But, I’m cranky for a bit, eat some fruit, and the craving passes. I now crave things like chicken and sweet potatoes. I love carrots. Whole30 had caused me to appreciate the flavors of natural foods. Carrots are sweet! Who knew!

So, week 2 went well, with the hardest days being later in the week around day 14. At this point the newness and excitement for a healthy change is wearing off and I just wanted my bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. And chocolate ice cream. And red velvet cake. But, I have not caved in. I will admit I am probably eating more fruit than the Whole30 plan would suggest, but I keep thinking that it’s better than caving in to cravings and hoping I get better about that. I do run, so I can use the sugar and carbs.

I think the transition has been very smooth for me since I already eat all my meals at home. I have no excuse, really. I imagine this would be very difficult for someone who is used to eating out every day for lunch, or doing a lot of social eating/drinking. I have only gone out to eat one time (For a co-worker’s birthday) – and I did some research about the restaurant beforehand and figured out what I could eat. It was surprisingly easy and, though I was nervous about being “that person” ordering the picky food, the server and my co-workers were very understanding and it wasn’t a big deal at all!

Overall, real food has made me feel great – not extremely different than before – but I feel great about my choices, and it just feels good to eat with a purpose. I’m ready to take on the second half of my Whole30 journey!

Now for the good part, food pics! Here are some of the things that I’ve made lately, many of them being go-to snacks or meals!

 

Breakfast, round one!

Snack time! Yay, protein!

Lunch!

Savory breakfast!

Go-to sweet snack!