Sunday, June 29, 2014

I Guess I'm Only Half Crazy Now...13.1 Done That!

Flat Emily for my half, I love bibs with my name on it!
Saturday the 14th I finally ran my first half marathon, the Rock N Sole Half in Milwaukee. My friend Kelly from work decided to participate in the half with me, it would be her first also. I got up at 4:15am that morning and headed over the Kelly's house, we would car pool from there in her car up to Milwaukee. The drive up was pretty smooth until we got about 1 mile from the parking area, where traffic was dead stop. Of course I had to use the bathroom really bad! Kelly pulled some fast maneuvers and got us out of traffic and to a close parking lot. We were able to go in the Italian Center to use the bathroom, thank goodness for a real bathroom!
After that we decided to make our way to the start area, the race started promptly at 7am. They had photo people everywhere, which was really fun. My goal was to finish in less than 3:15:00, I was so nervous I would be picked up my the slow bus. I just did not want to slip to 3:30:00.
Love the building for lease sign in the background!
I am hoping we get a coupon for the photos soon as I really want to buy them. We took one more trip to the facilities, where Kelly had a quick panic moment where we thought her ear bud went missing. I found it and saved the day!
 Finding the corrals was easy, I was in M and Kelly in L. Thankfully my corral was not the last! I met some nice ladies at the start who warned me about mile 9 and assured  GU and was really to go! It only took us 5 minutes to get from our corral to the start once the gun went off. I had some phone issues but then everything seemed to fall into place.
Once we started going I found myself getting a little chocked up, I guess I was just emotional from the race! We headed out on the course and I felt good. There were lots of bands playing on the course and tons of people. It was nice because the 10k people and the half people were together for the first 5 miles or so. I just took my time, running the first 2 miles. I enjoyed the sites and the experience.
Mile 3 is when we started the long, steep climb up the Hoan bridge. I just stuck to the strict run/walk combo I programed into my phone and made my way up. Once I made it up it was a nice quick steady decent where I ran the whole way down. It way great experiencing the bridge, but I was so glad it was done! Once we were over, the 10kers split and headed towards the end. The half continued up to the north. I finally had to stop and use a porto potty, thankfully with the 10k crew gone that really thinned out the crowd. I was in and out in 15 seconds I think. I took a GU and went on my way.
After that I kept heading up the road when I finally got to the last huge hill which was mile 8. I had to walk up it. I started getting some bad toe pain in my right foot about mile 7. My toes felt broke but I continued on. After making it over mile 8.5 some people yelled "It's all downhill!". I was like yeah right, but they were actually right. Miles 9-11 were pretty much downhill and other than the toe pain, were pretty enjoyable. Mile 10 I looked at my watch and saw I was about 2 hours in and I thought to myself  hey I am going to be under 3 hours for sure! The sites of Lake Michigan were just beautiful! The weather was gorgeous with temps starting in the high 50s and climbed to about the high 60s with a great breeze. Around mile 11 I filled up one of my water bottles from an aid station and only took water to pour on my head after that.
Mile 12 was all along a path along the water and beach. There were lots of people and musicians. It was a little deceiving and hard to see the finish but there were signs telling you how much distance was left. I rounded a corner to the SummerFest fair ground and through the finish. I had done it and I felt great, minus the toe pain! I finished in 2:44:49, I was so happy!
I'm a half marathoner!

 I found Kelly almost immediately after the race and we had a few more pictures taken.

Close up of medals, we got the one on the right

 I called Justin and found him and L. They were both very proud of my accomplishment. We walked around some to keep the legs moving and then sat down a bit.
Kelly finish only a few minutes before me

Awesome new medal!
Once we finally changed and headed on our way, I put on my new Pro Compression socks. We went to Denny's for lunch and then to Walmart for grocery shopping. I totally forgot I left my car at Kelly's so we had to go get it at 5pm. I found her mowing the lawn, crazy lady! I went home and took a Epson salt bath and relaxed. I hurt some but not as bad as I thought. Oh and so much for the finishers tees, all they had was xl and 2xl left.
All in all I loved the half distance and would love to do it again. I loved this course and hope to run this one again in 2016. Well in fact I am running another half this year. I signed up for my second half in late September. I am looking to train harder and shave minutes off my time.

Weekend Wrap Up- Race Expos and Outlet Malls

This weekend was quite eventful as it was my first ever Half Marathon, but that deserves its own post of course.
Friday my friend Kelly and I took L with us up to Milwaukee to pick up our race packets. It was a girls day! The packet pickup was at the Italian Center in Milwaukee and was well organized. This was the biggest race expo I had been to. We got our packets in seconds and walked around. I got a 13.1 race magnet and sunglasses and Kelly got a sweatshirt and sunglasses. L made me a running sign. I was going to buy the finishers shirt but we thought it would jinx us from finishing.
Once we were done we headed down to Panera and had lunch. I tried the steak power salad and it was excellent! L had the Turkey sandwich and liked it a lot. Once we were done we went to the outlet mall for a bit. The only thing I got was two new Coach purses:

I am currently using the shell purse and are loving it for summer! L was getting a bit stir crazy at the outlet mall so we did not stay long!
Saturday was the race, I'll blog about that in the next post. Sunday I was recovering. I took L to the pool for a bit, the water helped my legs feel so much better! Other than that we relaxed and recovered from the weekend.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

My Expierence with ENERGYbits- A Review

A few weeks ago I messaged ENERGYbits about seeing if they can send me a sample of their product to sample and review. I have been reading a lot about other runners that use ENERGYbits, especially Linz over at See Sharp Run. If you have not checked out his blog yet, I highly recommend heading over there and giving it a try. I would love to be able to run half the runs he does! But back to the bits.
So I have been really experimenting a lot with fueling lately due to the Half Marathon being less that a week away, YIKES! I think I have the electrolytes down with my Nuun, Hammer, and CocoGo but I wanted something else. I have also been using GU with much success but still wanted to try something else. I received my ENERGYbits in the mail really fast, I was impressed with the way they came.
 I received the bits and a lot of great information about the product.Isn't the tin cute? Well the tin is important, you see the ENERGYbits are just that, bits. Little bits, or what look like tablets, of 100% organically grown, NON GMO spirulina algae and loaded with 40 nutrients. Ok I will admit, when I opened the container I was taken aback by the smell. Yes I know algae smells but I was not ready for the pure sea like smell. Plus there are no calories, chemicals, or added sugar. Here is how they look when you open the tin:
Very green and algae full! I went for a run last week with my co worker, we were going 5 miles. I figured this was a great time to go ahead and give the bits a try. The website highly recommends you swallow them whole, they are food so you can chew them, but with the smell I decided to just swallow them down. They suggest you use 30 bits, but I am hording them for a second run so I only tried 15. They were very easy to swallow and I was so pleased to admit almost no taste going down. Also zero, I said ZERO after taste. I was not burping up algae taste at all on my run or hours later.
I headed out for my 5 miles about 10 minutes after taking the bits. I was shocked, usually by mile 4 I am like get me out of here. I was still pretty full of energy and could have kept going. I did not get a sudden burst of energy but it felt like sustainable energy and zero crash. I never really noticed the energy wearing off per say. After the run I was also surprised how full I felt. Sometimes after a run I want to eat all the food in sight!! I did have a protein bar to replenish myself but I ate that out of need and not want.
Like I said I only took half the recommended amount and was still pleased with the effects. I plan on using more before my Half Marathon on the 14th. They were gentle on the stomach and provided the sustainable energy I needed. Plus it was nice to feel satisfied after my run and not starving! I plan on writing a second blog post after my next usage.
Have you used ENERGYbits or something like them on your run? For more information visit their site- They also offer different kids of bits like Skinny and Recovery.

Weekend Wrap Up- Finally Organized the House

Sweet Tobi hanging out in the bathroom, I shaved him again this year and surprisingly he does not look mangy.
This was a busy week for us. Lots of running around here and there. Lots of me running around literally.
This was my second to last week prior to my Half Marathon on June 14th. Where as I did not want to run too long, I wanted to get in some quick, fast runs mid day to experience the hit of the day. I ran Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and walked with Justin Friday. Total mileage this week was 11 miles and fastest mile was 11:14 mm, not too bad and all. And on National Running Day none the less!
Friday I went and got L early around 3:30pm after work and we went to the pool. It was beautiful outside and we could not pass it up. I also ordered two new swimsuits from Victoria's Secret and they came Friday. I could not wait to wear them! We played with her doll in the pool when she met a little friend named Ashlyn and they went off and swam a bit. I was happy to see her meeting friends as she is still working on her social skills some. We stayed for about 40 minutes and headed home. This is the joy of having the pool pass.
Saturday I spent a lot of the morning working on FINALLY weeding all my winter clothes and hanging up my summer ones. Justin and I spent some time playing catch by the school. After that L and I went to the pool. It was a bit overcast and a little windy. The girl Ashlyn from the prior day was there again and they played with the new diving rings we bought. After that we went home and to Denny's for dinner. I had their grilled chicken salad and was impressed. I also had the birthday cake shake, yum! We went to Toys R Us and I got L some leappad games for $7, they were on clearance.
Sunday we headed out to Goodwill and Savers. I got L a little Mermaid comforter, gently used for $6. I also found a new backpack for next year for $4 amongst other good deals. We also ventured to Trader Joe's so I could restock. Can I please get out of that place for less than $50. We also worked on some school work. She has some things to work on before next school year and I want to make sure she is all caught up. For dinner I mad chopped salad and surprisingly she ate it, we also watched WrestleMania 28. It was a busy weekend but not a bad weekend. How was yours?

What We Did Last Weekend

Argh who can remember? No seriously I slacked on a post last week so let me think :) Last weekend Justin's parents came to visit. It was the first time L saw them since Christmas, so she was quite excited. I kept having to remind her they were not coming until after she was asleep Friday night. I got a run in Friday during lunch, 3.4 miles not too bad.
We headed out to Goodwill for a bit and did some damage. Lots of clothes and some toys, for her not me. Then we headed to the park for a little fun.
Saturday we got up and Justin's parents took her to McDonald's for breakfast. We got to sleep in a bit, yes! We packed it all up and headed to the pool about 12:45pm. L, Justin's mom, and I all went. Justin's mom watched while L and I played in the pool. She has become quite the fish. That night we went to Ruby Tuesday's for dinner, I had the tasty steak. Then we headed home and watched some wrestling.
Sunday we got up and went to Denny's for lunch. I had the excellent Fit Skillet. I highly recommend it and it fit in nice with my weight watchers. That night we had an excellent Stoffers dinner, it was a Mexican bake, bit hit at our house.
How was your weekend?