Lake Placid Marathon Recap

Good day everyone! I hope everyone is well. Today I (Travis, of course) am excited to bring to you, finally, my Lake Placid Marathon race recap.

The race was held on Sunday, June 8th. Packet pickup was Saturday afternoon at the Lake Placid Convention Center. I didn’t really enjoy driving two hours each way the day before the race but some good came out of it. I found the approved parking areas the day of the race, got a look at the start, finish, and spectator areas and lastly drove the entire course to know what I was facing.

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There was no expo and hardly any type of merchandise available so packet pickup was quick and simple.

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I was gone most of the day Saturday and when I got home it was time to do my shakeout run, pack my gym bag, and prepare my race day attire.

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Race morning came early and I can tell you I saw 1, 2 and 3 a.m. all tick off on the bedroom clock. I got up at four to shower (pointless, but woke me up), eat a normal breakfast and load the car. I got my wife up who in turn got our son ready and we were off at 5 a.m.

We arrived early but parking was limited so it was okay. We managed a great spot only a 100 yard walk to the start area.  I won’t bore you with my preparation details but the next hour flew by!  And before I knew it I was standing on the starting line.

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The race had no corrals so I was worried the start would be a free for all. I was pleasantly surprised to see that everyone was really easygoing and actually did a great job organizing themselves appropriately. Race officials were right on the money and we were off at 8:00 a.m.

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What transpired is as blur. I remember a good portion of the race but I honestly kinda zoned out and just ran. I know anyone reading this probably wants details – so I will do my best.

I ran – fast! (Fast of course is relative to a subjective view – not objectively) I tried so hard to not get caught up in the excitement of the start and I actually felt I did a good job, but I was still running faster than I planned or trained. For perspective I was training for a sub-3:45 race. However, I didn’t think I would break 4:00 hours after recovering from the hernia injury and losing 7 weeks of training.

I ran the first 10 miles under a 7:30 pace. Miles 11-15 were all under 8:00 minutes/mile. I passed my wife and son right at mile 11 and was feeling awesome. When I hit the turn at mile 12.5, I began to count runners on their way back and saw that I had run the first half of this marathon in the top 20!

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I did not train for a negative split the second half so my times slowed. Miles 16-19 were still below my expected pace of 8:45 and I was feeling good still. Mile 20 was rough!!! I added one minute to my pace. This is the point in the race where the temperature rose above 80 and I started lagging.  I planned for a warm race and hydrated well – I thought. But the next few miles were only ok, substantially slower than I wanted at 9:29 & 9:19 respectively.

Then came my worst nightmare at the end of mile 23. I suffered a massive hamstring cramp that literally put me on the ground. Luckily I was only 10-15 yards from an aid station and after getting help off the asphalt I managed to get to the aid station. Volunteers were wonderful bringing me water, Gatorade, bananas and more. I worked on my cramp and slowly began to be able to move. Unfortunately, I was sidelined for around 8 minutes and watched as people began passing my location.

I began to walk, finishing mile 23 and beginning the next before I could start running again. I began a slow job testing my leg and once I felt confident began a normal run. Mile 23 & 24 took me a total of 22:49 to complete – which looking at my average means I lost one mile of time!  Following the cramp I finished strong dropping to 9:44 for mile 25 and an 8:47 for mile 26.

The final distance was up a big, big hill until you reached the Olympic Speedskating Oval and had about 300 yards to the finish. When I hit the oval I kinda got choked up and emotional realizing that I had accomplished one of my personal goals. The best part of the race, that’s easy – getting to run the last 100 yards with my son and crossing the finish line together – in 3:35.52!

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I only wish I had a photo capturing that moment, finishing with him. But then I thought back to something the late Herb Brooks, coach of the 1980 men’s Olympic Hockey team said when he was asked if he ever watched a replay of the “Miracle on Ice” which occurred about 300 yards from my finish line.

Coach Brooks replied, “No, I never needed to. I lived it.” And the same is true for me as I have a memory with my son that is priceless.

I ended up finishing in 47th place overall, 10th in my division. After having a week to reflect and look back at my first marathon I have no regrets. I did everything I could to prepare, sometimes things happen. I learned many valuable race lessons that I hope to use during the Empire State Marathon this October when I look forward to breaking the 3:30.00 mark!

I would like to say thank you to my family and friends who were so supportive and understanding during this experience. Training for a marathon is a full time lifestyle and everyone helped me accomplish my goal.

The Reason I’ve Been MIA…

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve kind of fallen off the face of the earth for the past few weeks. I promise there’s good reason for it!

Without keeping you waiting any longer…..

WE’RE EXPECTING !!

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Baby #2 is due this coming this Winter!

So far this pregnancy hasn’t been a walk in the park. We found out right around Mother’s day (ironically, this baby and Parker will have very similar due dates! With Parker we found out I was pregnant on Mother’s Day!) About a week after I found out I got hit hard with nausea. At first I was just constantly feeling hung over (minus any of the fun!) but then I started getting sick. It’s been lasting all day, just about every day. My doctor finally gave me a prescription for Zofran, so I’ve gotten a little bit of relief from that but not as much as I had hoped. I had a few medical issues with Parker but was never really sick at all!

Not only have I been constantly sick and exhausted, but being pregnant and having a toddler is a whole new ballgame. While I was pregnant with Parker I was able to just take a nap in the afternoons if I needed a pick me up. Definitely not the case this go around!

Working out has been basically non-existent. I ran a 5k a few weekends ago and felt ok during that until we turned onto the farm roads and the smell just about killed me. I’m really hoping that I can start to pick things up again soon. Especially since I’m due to start a new training plan for my fall half marathon at the end of the month! The plan is to plan on doing the race, but if it comes down to it and I can’t continue we had purchased the race insurance so I won’t have any issue with pulling out of it.

So there you have it!
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Any nausea recommendations for me or tips for exercising while pregnant?

NWHM DC Race Recap

Here is my incredibly overdue race recap from the Nike Women’s Half Marathon DC! Better late than never right?

The morning started with a 4 am wake up call. I had brought my usual pre race oatmeal with me only to find out that the hotel didn’t have a microwave. Anywhere. Thankfully the concierge was able to hook me up with some hot water delivered to the room at 4:15! I got ready and took my time eating and made my way to the lobby for 5:15 where the Team in Training Flex group was meeting for a pre-race photo and to ride the metro together.
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I had checked the weather and knew it was going to be chilly right away in the morning so I was thankful that I had an old race shirt to use as a throwaway. It was still pretty cold though. The metro was filled with runners and spectators and we arrived to the start area at around 5:45. Team in Training had its own bag check and warm up tent (which I was SO thankful for) separate from all of the other bag check areas. I hung out in the tent for as long as possible before heading to the corral. I ended up being in the same corral as Roaen and Stephanie that I had met at blogger brunch the day before and after some spotty text messages (cell signal was awful with so many people) we were able to meet up! I was thankful to have some familiar faces!
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The race was set to start at 7 and since we were a few corrals back we ended up crossing the start at 7:15. My Garmin had conveniently lost signal right before the start so I spent the first couple of seconds trying to get it started up.
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We started off heading right towards the Capitol building (perfect, since we hadn’t made it there in our sightseeing!) and rounded past the National Archives (also something we hadn’t made it to) We headed into some tunnels just before hitting the first mile, and came out on the other side to some orange slices. I normally wouldn’t have eaten this early in a race but they were seriously delicious! The first few miles were a lot of weaving, but that’s to be expected in a race this size. I originally had some lofty time goals for this race but ended up letting them go and just had fun instead!
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The three of us stuck together, walking through each water stop we came to. This was one of my only gripes about the race. Some of the water stops were completely unprepared for runners, leaving us to wait while cups were filled. Each water stop did have Nuun and water available though, which I enjoyed!

The miles were flying by at this point, and we had already passed the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial and were heading over a bridge coming up on mile 6. I was really enjoying having the company and chit chat to keep me distracted while we were running! At this point, Roaen went up ahead. Shortly after mile 6 my legs (knees, calves and hip) started to give me a little grief, so I was extra thankful to have Stephanie with me to keep me motivated and moving forward! (Thanks again! :) )

Somewhere around mile 8 we came up on a spectator handing out Oreos! Again, not something I would usually eat while running 13 miles, but why not?
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I also thought that we had missed all of the blooming Cherry Blossoms but we found a tree that was still going!
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The next few miles were around a golf course and were pretty uneventful. Nike did a wonderful job though making sure there were bands set up all throughout the course. A little while later we came up on the Whole Foods Chocolate Mile- yep, there was chocolate everywhere! This was a really nice touch towards the end of the race! The volunteers were handing out milk and dark chocolate truffles! We ate a few and saved a couple for later!

After the chocolate mile we were headed back towards the finish and through the tunnels we had run through earlier in the morning. They had the signature wall from the Expotique as well as the “WE RUN” sign, so we stopped for a quick photo
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Coming up out of the tunnels Nike had set up chip mats that read your bib and displayed your name on huge screens coming around the corner towards the finish. I wasn’t quick enough to snag a picture but I really loved all of the personalization that this race offered!

Finally the finish line was in sight! Stephanie and I crossed together with a time of 2:45 which was a 2 minute PR for me! Can’t complain about that!
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After we crossed the finish we were directed towards a table that had bottles of water- not just plastic bottles, but reusable bottles with the race logo on them!
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After the water table was a table for the post race refreshments. They handed out bags to carry everything in which I was super thankful for! This area was a little bit chaotic- first they handed us empty bags and then took them back and filled them themselves. There was also chocolate milk, which was awesome!

Once we made it through the food and got our space blankets we finally saw what we had been waiting for! There were several lines with gentlemen in tuxedos handing out the little blue boxes!
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The necklace is really nice! It has the nike logo and a pattern on the front and on the back side it is engraved with Nike Women’s 13.1 Washington DC 2014.
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Once you made it through all of the post race things Nike had tents set up where you could freshen up, foam roll and charge your phone but I didn’t go into that one. Stephanie and I got in line to go into the finishers boutique instead. Here begins my only other complaint from this race. Stephanie had a plane to catch that afternoon, so she left after a few minutes of waiting. I waited for another 45 minutes and barely moved. Finally I gave up. I found out later that had I waited I wouldn’t have been able to get any of the finishers gear anyways (they had a really awesome zip up that I would have grabbed) because it sold out. When asked on Facebook, Nike was telling people that Nike Georgetown still had gear left and were taking phone orders but when I called I was informed that they did not. I feel like there could have been several areas where you could purchase the finisher gear, or at least make enough to have it available online after!

For the majority of things, this was a really well done race. Just about everything from packet pickup to gear check and getting into the corrals was really smooth and there were a lot of included perks! I will definitely be considering running this race again!

Listening to your body

Travis is back with an update on his training!

So the question of the day is, “Where have I been?” The answer is not exciting, really. I’ve just been busy with training for my upcoming marathon. I run in less than two weeks and I am very nervous! Last weekend I completed the longest run of my life to date and the longest run of my chosen training plan- a 20 miler. It went ok.

My longer runs and distance training have improved dramatically. Jen and I laugh now because I find myself saying “Oh good, today’s run is ONLY 10 (12, 13) miles.” I never used to run more than five or six. I’ve learned to enjoy the long runs. I admit, they’re brutal on the knees and I always have to take a nap afterwards, but, getting up early before everyone else and having the road to myself and feeling the sun getting warmer on my body is awesome.

This training cycle has been brutal. Not because of the training program, but rather the injuries I keep getting. The hernia was the main culprit which some of you may know, and I lost so much time (5 weeks), conditioning and training miles (over 170). Now the knee! I suffered a minor knee “tweak” at work and it is just giving me enough problems that I thought it best to take most of this week off to recoup. I am looking forward to the end of June where I plan to run very little, heal up and hopefully spend a little more time with my family before launching into training for my fall marathon.

A few weeks back I did two long runs on the same course. One 15 miles, the second 18 miles. The 15 miler was supposed to have been an 18 mile run also but unfortunately I could not finish it and called my wife to pick me up. I was heartbroken to say the least. The problems with the training I missed were coming back to nip me when it mattered most. But I told myself, “just listen to your body…you’ll know when you’re ready.” Two weeks later I attempted the same 18 miles. Not only did I finish, but I ran the distance only two minutes slower than my 15 mile time! My pace dropped from 9:37/mile to 8:08!!

And this is the point of my long winded post– LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! You know your body, you know its limits. Respect what it is telling you, and feel confident in understanding it, even if that means missing training runs two weeks before the race like I am.

I did, however run a local 5k race this weekend and was fortunate enough to place first! In full disclosure, it was a smaller race and some of the normal local competition was absent due to the holiday weekend. I didn’t quite break the 20 minute barrier but I am happy to see that some of my speed is finally starting to return and I look forward to future opportunities to break 20 minutes– once my body recovers from the beating it will take in Lake Placid in 12 days!

Did you race this weekend?

12 WBT weeks 7/8 and a catch up!

Hello! Sorry about the little hiatus there. We had family in town and since then life has just been a little hectic!

Here’s a quick catch up on what we’ve been up to!

I’m still plugging away on the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation! Week 7 was a lesson in planning. One of the biggest things that the program stresses is scheduling- both meals, and workouts. A lack of said scheduling caused a few missed workouts, and some not so great eating days. With Travis in his peak weeks for marathon training, things were just a little hectic between his work schedule and runs.

Week 8 was slightly better, but I was still a little off track. This was another mini milestone week and that meant the fitness test. I still did show improvement which I am pleased with. I’ve been doing the workouts in the evening after Parker goes down for the night, which for now is working well. I’m hoping to switch to the mornings fairly soon.

I’ve been sticking to the workout plans rather than the videos, but will be going back to doing both this week just to change it up a bit. I’ve been varying my locations also and doing some of my workouts on our back deck which has made for a nice change of scenery!

Some new recipes were added this week that I’m looking forward to giving a try! One of my favorite things about this plan is how customizable the meal plan is. There is a whole bank of recipes to choose from for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and you can swap out as many as you want for the week and the program automatically changes the shopping list and calorie counts. It does all of the work for you!

After Nike DC I was in a little bit of a slump in my running as well. I ended up taking nearly 2 weeks off from running entirely (I definitely DON’T recommend this!). The first run that I did following was awful! It’s been getting a lot better but still has been pretty tough to get back into the swing of things. My plan for the month or so I have before the next training cycle was to work on my speed a little, but I think I’ll be just mainly focusing on keeping a base until then. I’ve got a race this weekend (a local 5k) so that’s been providing a little bit of motivation. My next training cycle will start at the beginning of July for an October Half- the Empire State Half Marathon.

As I previously mentioned, Travis just finished the peak weeks of his training for the Lake Placid Marathon. He started taper this week and the race is just 19 days away!

While my mom was in town we made a trip to the Syracuse Zoo! While the zoo itself isn’t very large we really enjoyed it! Parker was able to walk the entire time instead of having to be in the stroller. He got to see his favorites: the elephants and penguins. There were two penguins that seemed to be putting on a show for him right at the glass, and he loved every minute of it!syrzoo1

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Question of the day:
Have you ever found yourself in a slump post big race? How’d you get out of it?

Nuun Energy

Hydration is essential when exercising or training for an event. Even the slightest amount of dehydration can significantly decrease performance along with a whole other mess of problems that goes along with it. Some of the symptoms include headaches, dizziness/light-headedness and constipation. Definitely doesn’t sound like fun to me!

I’m not a very big plain water drinker. Usually if there isn’t a little flavor in it I’m a lot less likely to drink it. I am also a super sweaty/salty runner and need something in addition to water to replace what I’ve lost. I was introduced to Nuun (pronounced noon) as an electrolyte drink through another blog that I read when I was in the early stages of training for Princess. I immediately liked the light taste that it provided without any additional sugar and very few calories (just 8 calories per 16 ounces!). I quickly became a loyal user and now often drink it daily. I have a pretty decent stock of tubes on hand, in a ton of flavors (my favorites are tri berry, watermelon, and cherry limeade)! Mixing a drink is simple. Drop a tab in 16 ounces of water, and let it fizz for a few minutes. Give it a little shake and you’re good to go! A word of caution though- leave the top off of your bottle if it’s pressurized at all! I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve sprayed myself in the face with it when I use my squirt bottle! If you’re planning on drinking it frequently, you can mix 4 tabs in a 1 gallon pitcher and keep it in the fridge!

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I was recently given the opportunity to try the new line of energy tabs. I chose to try the Cherry Limeade flavor as it is usually one of my go to’s. I also picked up a tube of wild berry at the Expotique for Nike Women’s Half DC. Nuun was a sponsor and had a booth with a complete line up of flavors to try!
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The first thing I noticed about the Nuun Energy was that the taste was a little bit stronger (in my opinion) than the active energy tabs. While the flavor is a little more noticeable it’s still nowhere near overpowering. I really enjoy the fizzy refreshing taste! Both the wild berry and the cherry limeade are delicious! Basically, what Nuun has done is take their active hydration tabs and given them a caffeine shot! For a few days I replaced an afternoon cup of coffee with a glass of Nuun. There are 40mg of caffeine (equivalent to a 1/2 cup of coffee) in each tab. Just enough to give me a little boost! Here’s a rundown of what you’re getting when you drink Nuun Energy:
B Vitamins (B6, B12) for sustained energy
Riboflavin
Niacin
Pantothenic Acid
Caffeine
Electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium)

The tubes are incredibly portable (and recyclable!), so you can easily keep one in your gym bag or purse for when you feel like you might need a little pick me up!

If you’d like to try Nuun Energy for yourself, you can find the full line of flavors on their website!

I was given a tube of Nuun Energy for free for review purposes. I received no other compensation for this post. All opinions are my own. If I hated it, I’d tell you!

Liebster Award

A few days ago I was nominated for a Liebster Award by Chaitaili at Running and Enjoying (I also had the chance to meet her in person at NWHM Blogger brunch!)
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A Liebster award is given to bloggers, by other bloggers as a way to help generate attention for new/ up and coming blogs. Here’s the rules:
1. You must link back to the person who nominated you. Thank you Chaitali!
2. You must answer the set of questions given to you by the person who nominated you.
3. You must pick 10 other bloggers to nominate
4. You must come up with 10 questions for those that you nominate.
5. You must go to that persons blog and let them know you nominated them!

Here are the questions that Chaitali had for me:

1. What inspires you to lead a healthy lifestyle?
-I want to be able to provide a good example for Parker!
2. Why did you start blogging?
-I started blogging shortly after I started training for the Princess Half Marathon (My first half). It was a place to document the things I was going through and I’m pretty sure that Travis got super tired of hearing me talk about it all the time!
3. What is the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome?
-In terms of my training, I’m still working on it constantly. I have a tendency to get in my head and start doubting my abilities and start falling apart immediately. Getting out of my head during a run is something that I have to really work on!
4. What’s your favorite vacation spot?
-Disney for sure!
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5. What is the one piece of gear or clothing you’d recommend a new runner purchase?
-Properly fitted shoes, and good socks to go along with!
6. What is the last book you read, and would you recommend it to someone else?
-I’m currently reading Divergent, but I’m not far enough in to make a solid decision on that. The book before that was Gone Girl. I would definitely recommend it! So many plot twists! I couldn’t put it down.
7. What is your preferred way to spend a weekend?
- With both of my boys. Often times with Trav’s work schedule we don’t get weekends together.
8. What’s your favorite race you’ve run so far?
-It’s gotta be a tie between Princess and Nike Women’s DC. Princess was my first so it will always be special, but I REALLY loved Nike!
9. Puppies or kitties?
-Puppies! But, in addition to our 2 dogs we also have 2 cats
10. What’s a dream race on your bucket list?
-If I ever convince myself to go for a full marathon, I’d love to run the NYC Marathon! For a half, I really am wanting to try one of the Rock N Roll series races!

Onto my nominees!

- Stephanie at Cat Lady Runs

-Roaen at Love, Life, Logistics

-Kristen at Run Away With Me

-Lizza at XOXO Lizza

-Lauren and Kathleen at Sister To Sister Running Blog

-Desi at A Northern Girl

-Sarah at Shh, Fit Happens

-Elizabeth at Train With Bain

-Nicolasa at Shoelaces and Bibs

-Cynthia at You Signed Up For WHAT?!

And here are the questions for you lovely ladies!

1. What is your favorite race distance and why?
2. Other than where you currently reside, what state would you like to live in?
3. What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
4. What’s your go to motivational quote
5. What’s a piece of advice you’d give to a new runner?
6. What race that you’ve done holds the most meaning to you?
7. What’s your favorite kind of music?
8. What’s your favorite season?
9. What’s one accomplishment that you’re extra proud of?
10. What’s one piece of running gear that you can’t live without?

Thanks again Chaitali! This was fun! :)

12 Week Body Transformation Weeks 5 and 6

Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend! We didn’t do much around here. Just some yard work and grocery shopping!

We were traveling last weekend and I missed my week 5 recap so I’m just going to combine it with week 6.

I’m definitely starting to see more results now, and I’m loving it! The past two weeks have been a little lax in terms of the workouts. This was due at first to conserving energy for my Nike race, and then recovery. I’m finally back in the swing of things with the meal plan as well. I tried to follow the food plan as best I could while we were traveling, but it was definitely difficult to stick with the healthy option! I packed a ton of snacks for us to grab while we were out sightseeing so that we didn’t feel the need to grab fast food and I think that helped a ton!

I can’t say enough how much I am enjoying the recipes that come with the program. Most don’t take more than 30 minutes to cook and are delicious!

My favorite meals are:

-Spaghetti and Meatballs- the meatballs are packed with veggies (zucchini, peppers, onion)!
-Glazed pork chops with mashed sweet potato and sautéed apples- SO good! I add a little bit of cinnamon to the apples in the pan and they taste like dessert!
-Banana breakfast smoothie- Milk, frozen banana, and PB2! I’m completely hooked!

This weeks Super Saturday workout may have taken over as my new favorite! It was called “Hop to it” and by the time I was finished my whole body was exhausted!

I will say, one of my complaints with the program is that it is only online. I do wish you got a hard copy of the workout videos. I’ve been doing them on my iPad, and having them on a bigger screen would definitely be a bonus!

I do feel like the program is working though. I take measurements again in the middle of week 8 along with the fitness test. I’m excited to see what kind of progress I’ve made!

This is completely off topic but I feel the need to share!

A fellow Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador (Brooke) recently had a pretty tough experience with Shape Magazine. They were doing an article on her AMAZING transformation (she lost 172 lbs. via healthy eating and exercise) but yet refused to publish a photo of her in a bikini. She eventually ended up turning down the feature. You can read her blog post here The Girls Gone Sporty founder Laura has set up a link up of posts that are celebrating bikini bodies, no matter where you are on your journey. Check out the link up here

Women’s Under Armour Marbella Sunglasses

(*I received these sunglasses for review purposes as part of a campaign through Girls Gone Sporty. No financial compensation was received. All thoughts are my own*)

For me, shopping for sunglasses ranks right up there with shopping for a new bathing suit or jeans. I can never find sunglasses that fit my face well but still look good. I’d previously just been wearing my everyday sunglasses to run with when I needed to and they definitely weren’t very functional. Sure they kept the sun out but they were constantly slipping off my face when I started to sweat. I had been avoiding trying to find a pair of sport sunglasses, so when I received the opportunity to review the Women’s Under Armour Marbella  I as still a bit skeptical.

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Here are some specs from the Under Armour Website

Ultra-light ArmourFusion® frames are built from a combination of titanium & Grilamid for superior strength & flexibility
• ArmourSight® lens technology delivers up to 20% more undistorted peripheral vision & are up to 10X stronger than ordinary polycarbonate lenses
• Three-Point Grip ensures a comfortable & secure fit
• Airflow technology keeps you cool & comfortable
• Adjustable nosepad
• All Under Armour® Performance Eyewear lenses block 100% of UVA, UVB & UVC rays

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These sunglasses are built to fit the female face. My first thought when I put them on was how lightweight they are. They don’t feel tight at all, but still stay put. When I say that they stay put, I mean that they don’t budge. The first run longer than a few miles I wore these on was the Nike Women’s Half Marathon DC. It was pretty warm once we got going, and these sunglasses stayed on my face no matter how sweaty I was. I was able to see clearly while having the sun blocked. I didn’t feel like I had to constantly wipe my face to keep them from slipping. Another bonus- they didn’t fog up!

If black isn’t your thing the sunglasses also come in white with a pink-tinted lens!

Do you wear sunglasses when you run? What’s your favorite brand?

DC Trip: Sightseeing and Blogger Brunch!

Happy Friday!

As I’ve mentioned before, this was my first trip to Washington D.C. I had made up a list of the things I wanted to see during the short time we were there and Friday afternoon we began checking things off of the list.

After visiting the expotique, we headed over to Alexandria, VA to check into our hotel for the night. We would be staying in a different hotel for Saturday and Sunday but weren’t able to add an extra night on due to availability so we opted to stay outside of the city a bit. From our hotel we took a shuttle to Pentagon City where we were able to hop on the metro to the Smithsonian area of the National Mall. Our first stop was the White House! We didn’t make any reservations for a tour so we just opted to view it from the gate.
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Unfortunately, this is where the photos end for Friday. Shortly after we left the White House we walked over towards the WWII memorial. We got there just as it was beginning to be lit up for the night. Had we been able to stay a while longer I’m sure it would have looked stunning all lit up but, about 5 minutes after we got there it started pouring (the umbrellas we saw for sale in the metro station were looking fantastic at this point!). We tried to wait it out, but it didn’t appear to be letting up any time soon and we decided that it would be best to call it a night and head back to the metro. By the time we walked several blocks there we were completely soaked and starving. Take out from TGI Fridays and TV for the rest of the night!

Saturday morning was pretty hectic. Travis got up bright and early for an 18-mile run he had to complete while Parker and I stayed at the hotel and packed everything up to move over to our other hotel. We were able to get an early check in and had our bags delivered to the room while we hopped back on the metro back to Georgetown for a blogger brunch that I was attending.

NWHM Blogger Brunch was hosted by Stephanie from Cat Lady Runs and Roaen from Love, Life, Logistics. We met at a restaurant called Sequoia right in Washington Harbor. I had the most delicious French toast I’ve had in a long time! These ladies did such a great job putting on this event! We were each given a bag with all sorts of items from a variety of sponsors and there was also a raffle with some really great gear!
It was so nice to meet and connect with some awesome ladies that were either local to the DC area or were in town for NWHM. In the raffle I won some awesome sunglasses from XX2I Optics and an Arm Pocket that not only fits my phone in its case, but stays on my arm too! Huge thank you to all of the sponsors from the event! I’m really looking forward to trying out all of the gear! Thank you again to Stephanie and Roaen for putting everything together for us!
blogger brunch program
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After we finished up at Blogger Brunch, we walked around the Potomac back towards the National Mall. I was determined to cross more off of my list today and there was more rain in the forecast for the evening so we wanted to hurry!

We started out at the Lincoln Memorial, which is by far my favorite, Next up was the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial where we came across a purple heart left at the base of the wall with a piece of BDUs, The Reflection Pool, the Washington Monument and finally a stop back at the WWII Memorial.
dc collage
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We didn’t make it to Arlington National Cemetery, The National Archives, or the Jefferson Memorial. There just wasn’t enough time this trip with everything going on. DC is such a beautiful place and I’m looking forward to the next visit we get to make!

Question of the day:
Ever been to DC? What’s your favorite spot to see?