Perfect Run + My Arm Has a Pocket {Giveaway}

Yesterday morning I decided to put some of what I learned about running into practice. I didn’t track my miles and I went totally by feel. I swear it was one of the best runs I’ve ever had. I mean, could a running route be more beautiful? I think not.

boone, nc

I definitely wasn’t fast, but I was out there doing my best at that particular moment. It was a good time to practice this new “style” of running since I was going up and down a freaking mountain. If I had been watching my pace, I could have easily tried to push it a little too much. Then I might have 1) tripped and fallen to my death, 2) not paid close enough attention to cars, or 3) never wanted to run ever again in my life. I think I made a smart choice.

boone, nc

While I didn’t need my smartphone for tracking purposes, I still wanted to carry it with me for safety issues. I was running in an unfamiliar place and I am famous for my lack of navigational and decision making skills. I needed a lifeline. Luckily I had my new running buddy with me.

armpocket giveaway

I was recently sent a new armband to test out in exchange for my honest feedback, and it’s safe to say that I’m a fan. The Armpocket is more than just a traditional armband. It’s like the Cadillac of armbands, y’all. Is that still a relevant phrase? Are Cadillacs still a thing? Whatever. I’m not known for being cool.

DSC04433

The band is crazy durable, machine washable, seriously comfortable, and absolutely does not slide around. My favorite thing about using the Armpocket, though, is the ability to carry more than just your phone. There is a credit card/ID slot, a storage strap for your headphones, and room for a house key or three. You can also store your race medal in there, but I’m not sure that recommended. Or normal.

armpocket review

Armpocket has several different band types. I went with the Aero™ i-10 in the brightest possible colors, but you can check out all of the styles on their website. In addition to allowing me to test one out, they are graciously allowing me to give one away! (The winner may not receive the exact model I have. It just depends on size, availability, color, etc. Just a head’s up!) If you’re on the hunt for the perfect armband, make sure to enter via the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will end on 11/2 and a winner will be announced the following day. Good luck! I’ll see you guys tomorrow with a weekend recap. :)

Friday Favorites + Eating Clean with Urban Remedy

It’s FRIDAY, y’all! Get excited. I typed this post up on a four hour ride to the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. I swear I’m torn between the beach and the country. I don’t really need to worry about that, because I don’t have the money to move to either of them. One day, y’all. One day. Anyway, the end of the week means a new round of Friday Favorites. Let’s just get right to it.

 

Urban Remedy

For the past three days, I’ve been experimenting with cleaning up my eats. I will be the first to admit that I rely heavily on sugar, caffeine, cheese, and bread. They are typically present in every single meal I eat. It was getting out of hand. Urban Remedy recently reached out and asked if I would like to try out some of their products. A total juice cleanse is something I wasn’t interested in, but I really liked the look of the Beauty Kit. I decided to give it a try, but I was legitimately 100% nervous to cut out all of my addictions at once. Thankfully, I was distracted by the delicious food they sent me. (PS: one set of juices missed the picture. Whoops.)

urban remedy beauty kit review

My favorite thing, by far, was the raw vegan chocolate mousse. There are no words, y’all. Overall, I’m really glad I decided to try this out. It was three days of clean eating, and I truly feel like my palate was “reset” afterwards. I supplemented the plan with some grapes and apples and they tasted so much sweeter than usual. I definitely feel better in general and I’m just going to pretend that eating veggies for 72 hours made me more beautiful. ;)

The only downside was cutting out caffeine. I swear I couldn’t have spelled my name yesterday for a million bucks. I was out of it, but it just goes to show how dependent I had become. I still plan to eat sweets and drink coffee, but I want to do it on a much smaller scale than I had been doing lately. I know for sure that making these changes would have been harder for me if I hadn’t found a quick “plan” to follow. If I had been left to my own devices, I would have been chugging lattes and burying my face in a carton of ice cream the first night. Three cheers for some structure up on my life! If you have any other questions about the Urban Remedy Beauty Kit, just let me know. I’m more than willing to share even more details if you want them.
 

Runner’s World Cookbook

To continue the clean eating theme, I’d like to send a huge shout out to the Runner’s World Cookbook contributors. Those people know their food. I finally snagged a copy of the cookbook on Friday and I’ve already bookmarked about thirty things I need to eat immediately.

runner's world cookbook

I was able to try a few things over the weekend, but my favorite was the Mushroom Tacos al Pastor. I don’t even like mushrooms. They were just that good. I also heard rave reviews about the homemade energy bars, but I was too busy eating corn bread and butter. I plan on making the bars soon, though! I think they would be the perfect grab-and-go breakfasts for Maddux and me. I’m sure I’ll share they details once I try them out.

 

Fall Traveling

We have been out of town for the past three or four weekends. Normally I’d be pretty exhausted, but right now it’s a good change of scenery. Fall hasn’t quite reached my neighborhood, so I’ve gotten my crunchy leaf fix elsewhere. As much as I love the spring and summer, there is something about fall colors that can’t be beat.

mountains

In other news, I think I’m officially an old lady. Who else waxes poetic about the seasonal changes? I need to get a life, and it needs to happen soon.

 

Continuous Learning

When it comes to all my hobbies and passions, there is so much more to learn and so many more ways to grow. This weekend I was able to listen to people who are a heck of a lot smarter than me and I am so much better off because of it.

First up was a quick breathing lesson from Budd Coates, the author of Running on Air. He’s one of the best running coaches on the planet, so I decided I should probably pay close attention.

budd coates

I don’t notice my breathing pattern all that much when I run. I mean, I’m just usually happy that I am breathing at all. Budd taught us how to monitor our breathing in order to get the most of each run and to ultimately become better runners. I read his book on the flight home and my mind basically exploded. I would explain the process to you, but I’m sure I’d butcher it completely. Read the book, y’all.

Then came a form lesson from Golden Harper, another total authority on running. He only, like, invented his own shoes and stuff. No big deal. Seriously, though, if you haven’t tried on a pair of Altras, you’re missing out.

golden harper

He basically taught me that I know absolutely nothing about running properly. I’m now working on having a proud chest, short strides, tucked back elbows, and soft knees. No injuries for this gal. Seriously, though, I know I just run for fun but I loved learning more about the sport. Maybe one day I won’t have horrendous race photos when I learn how to actually run. Wishful thinking?

Well, I better go. We have Toy Story on the TV and nachos on the way to the house. It’s getting pretty serious over here. Have a great night!

Question: What have you been learning or trying recently? I think it’s hilarious that I’m so interested in things (running well and eating clean)

I’m so terrible at right now. Gotta love it.

Runner’s World Half Race Recaps

I struggled with how to begin these recaps, because there was honestly no racing going on. There was a lot of dancing. There was a lot of laughing. There was a lot of running. There just wasn’t a whole lot of speed.  I’m clearly only speaking for myself. Oh, and for everyone who was kind enough to party on the course with me.

10k dance break

Let’s back it up a bit, though. The Runner’s World Half & Festival is a weekend-long event. There are shake out runs, multiple races, speakers and seminars, delicious dinners, and a whole lot of amazing people to meet.

runner's world rw half ambassadors

I was fortunate enough to attend with the blogger group (full disclosure: they sponsored my involvement in the races), and I left with more memories than I did speedy miles under my belt. I signed up for the Hat Trick, and I had plans to really nail it this time. When I attempted the Hat Trick at Heartbreak Hill, I took it easy. I was bound and determined to actually race something this time. Well, life happened. I’d bore you with the list of excuses, but to sum it up: there was fun stuff to do and I did that stuff instead of training. It is what it is. This is why I run similar half marathon and 5k paces. Apparently it takes work to run fast. Luckily for me, I just enjoy running for the sake of running. Most of the time.

issues

The most awesome part of the races was having three bestfriendsforlife to run with throughout the weekend. I met Dani and Matt in June, but Doug got thrown into the mix to round out our special little racing foursome. We share an affinity for awkward dancing, dumb jokes, and bad karaoke. The four of us ended up hitting the town of Bethlehem hard. I’ve never stayed out so late and had so much fun the night before a race. Much less before multiple races. We’ve obviously got this whole running thing down.

rw-cover

So, about those race recaps. I would be faking it if I sat here and posted the elevation changes, my splits, and “how I felt” throughout each race. I’m learning that I’m not that runner right now and that it’s totally okay. Having fun isn’t a crime, am I right? I will share a few photos and thoughts for each one, though, because I like to hear myself talk. I guess in this case, it’s see myself talk. You get the point.

 

5k

I really liked the 5k course and I got to see some beautiful fall colors and run on some crunchy leaves. Besides the ability to run faster, what more could a girl want?

rwhalf

The four of us danced our way through Bethlehem and finished in 30:28, which happens to be my current post-gambling PR. I’ll take it. We had about an hour break between the two races, so we checked out the expo, chugged water, and laughed about the miles we just ran.

 

10k

The 10k was really similar to the 5k just, you know, longer. In case you were wondering, I think all the fun we had the night before really hit me around mile four. I probably said “Just leave me here to die!” and “I’m going to puke!” about 3,000 times. I’m a blast to run with, y’all. We finished in 1:01, and I was very happy to finally cross that finish line.

runner's world 10k

I have never devoured a bagel faster than I did after that race, and I now know that I’m not 21 and invincible anymore. Going to have to remember that in the future.

 

Half

The third and final race was the following day. We went to bed at a decent hour before the half, so at least I went into it knowing I wouldn’t want to die. That was a plus. The half was pretty freaking hilly for the 7 or 8 miles, so if I were doing a real race recap I would probably share that piece of information with you. Once again, we took it easy and laughed our way through the entire 13.1 miles. My abs ached afterwards and it certainly wasn’t from sprinting.

runner's world half

There were dance breaks, porta potty stops, outfit changes, candies from strangers, and statue kisses. All normal and expected things, of course.

kiss

We finished in 2:10, which means we ran at almost exactly the same pace as the previous day’s races. Consistency counts for something, right? Honestly, I would probably be embarrassed of my times if it weren’t for the memories I got to walk away with. Is that supremely cheesy? Yes. But it’s also the absolute truth.

If you’re looking for actual recaps, these people might have more intelligent things to say: Aliah from The Get Fit Diva, Matt from No Meat Athlete, Katie from Ms Fit Runner, Kristen from Fit Bottomed Girls, Doug from Rock Creek Runner, Sarah from Picky Runner, Dani from Weight Off My Shoulders, Ali from Ali on the Run, Katie from Runs for Cookies, Jamie from From Couch To Ironwoman, Beth from Shut Up And Run, Lauren from The Foodie Runner, Charlene from FAB Running, and Dick from Better Cheaper Slower.

In addition to thanking Runner’s World for inviting me, I want to send a huge thank you to everyone who came out and supported the runners during each race. I was blown away by the amount of crowd support there was on each course. It’s crazy how there was such a small-town feel yet there were people cheering us on at almost every turn. Bethlehem, you rock. Hope to see you again sometime!

Halloween Costumes + Healthier Halloween Treats

The “Healthier Halloween Treats” portion of this post is sponsored by Foodie.com

Tonight I’m playing around on Photoshop trying to make the last bits and pieces to complete our family Halloween costume. I’m going to match Maddux for as long as he’ll let me, because I am totally that mother. We are doing something pretty simple, but it’s from a movie he loves. I win points for that, right?

The other day I went through old pictures to see his first two costumes: Sammy Watkins and Jake the Pirate. He let me be Izzy.

Maddux as Sammy

halloween

Do-it-yourself costumes are kind of our thing. They’re cheap as dirt and I know he won’t look exactly the same as every other boy on the street. I grew up wearing all handmade costumes, thanks to my super-crafty Memaw. Some of my favorites were Mary Poppins, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. And, let’s be real, my sister and I rocked it out as pumpkins.

halloween

Of course, I’ve also gone the tacky and embarrassing route in college as well. Ah, “Let’s just add cat ears!”. Live and learn, folks. Live. And. Learn.

halloween 2008

Costumes obviously aren’t the only thing you can make yourself for Halloween. Homemade treats are easily my favorite thing about holidays. If you’re still searching for some healthier Halloween meals and snacks, look no further. I’ve compiled a list of some festive food I’m dying to make this year. (I realize that was a terrible Halloween pun but I refuse to remove it.)

Check out All Treats, No Tricks: Healthier Halloween Recipes

by Presley at Foodie.com

Question: Are you dressing up for Halloween this year? PS: There is zero shame in dressing up as an adult. I don’t care what anyone says.

Weekend Recap: Bethlehem, Bart, and Besties

Get ready for some honesty, y’all. I ran out of time today and I don’t actually have a real post ready for you in regards to the Runner’s World Half Marathon and Festival. Runner’s World has graciously allowed me to tag along to their events twice now (full disclosure: they sponsored my involvement in the races) and I don’t want to forget anything important. Instead of recapping the races tonight, I’m just going with one of my favorite types of posts: sentence per picture. I’m getting a little too used to writing these, aren’t I?

 

What “Team Wombat” lacked in scavenger hunt skills, we more than made up for in enthusiasm and general awesomeness.

team wombat rw half

 

I was more than excited to receive this new yoga gear, but man was it embarrassing trying to “gracefully” use it all.

yoga essentials

 

They fed us the best food this weekend, and I really don’t know how I’ll cope with having to cook my own mediocre food again.

tacos

 

A very important lesson was learned this weekend: cheap beer does not make you better at blackjack or faster during races.

sands casino

 

There is clearly no better way to prepare for a race than to pull a Taylor and just “Shake It Off”  at the start.

10k dance break

 

I love, love, love meeting new people and these were some pretty awesome ones.

runner's world rw half ambassadors

 

  Golden is now known for three equally important things: running a 2:45 marathon at age 12, founding Altra, and throwing sick gang signs.

altra

 

No big deal, just an altercation with an elderly woman who happened to have an abnormal amount of road rage.

runner problems

 

I had trouble adding multiple layers to my ensemble and apparently that lady can’t really relate.

issues

 

It’s not a Runner’s World race without forcing Bart Yasso to take multiple pictures with you.

bart yasso

 

No worries, y’all. I will post an actual recap soon. In the meantime, just know that I am extremely grateful that I had the opportunity to head to Bethlehem this weekend. I always come back from trips like this feeling a mix of appreciation and inspiration. Now let’s just see if I use that motivation as momentum to actually do something else soon. I said after the last Hat Trick that I might run a marathon, but maybe this time I’ll actually do it. ;)

Question: If you run races, what was the best one you ran all year? I’m looking to form a little game plan for next year and I’d love some input!

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