M.I.A.

Okay, not really MIA. I’m actually in Hawaii! And it can be hard to keep up with you wonderful people while on holiday, so do please forgive me! My days have been filled to the brim with fun Hawaii activities, and I’m exhausted by the time I settle down to relax. I’ve only managed 2 runs while here, have had to forfeit the biggest Squad Runner mission points of the month, but I’m enjoying life immensely right now and loving the kicked back Island lifestyle.

My entertainment this morning has been watching some Nene geese (Hawaii’s state bird) chase off wild roosters and chickens from their turf. (“Watch me whip… watch me Nene…,” okay, sorry, corny much? lol)

We return to the Pacific Northwest late Monday night, where it’s going to be a very cold 19 deg F. This is one time I’m not looking forward to going back home. But I mustn’t think of that now… I still have 2 days left in paradise!

Another Year, Another Birthday

It doesn’t take much to put my family into celebration mode.  We’ll celebrate any little thing.  But this week was a full-on celebration all week long. Okay, kinda sorta.  Okay, not really.  We celebrated one night.  But the spirit was there all week long.

Yes, another birthday has come and gone for me.  Cheers to my Squad Runner teammate who told me if I ran a kilometer for every year I was alive, I would complete a half marathon.  A half marathon is just over 21K… so yeah, I couldn’t help but smile… or in reality, laugh out loud.

Jamesy surprised me with a few goodies… especially the Momentum Jewelry.  Do you all see it and get it?  “I can and I will” is the tag line for my blog!  And the “Be Awesome Today,” well that’s because I’m awesome every day, isn’t it!  (Ha! Someone is sure full of herself right now, lol.)

He also got me some new shoes!!  We all need new shoes, don’t we!!  The more, the better I say!  Twenty years ago, my closet was filled with high heels and sandals… now it’s overrun with running shoes.  My how times and priorities change.

And meet Riku, a gift from my son. Riku is a character from my favorite video game, Kingdom Hearts.  Everyone in this family loves the Funko figures; AJ has the most by far, but James is closing in on him for a very close 2nd. Me, I’m at the back of the pack with just this one (see what I did there?  Running reference, lol).

And with that, my friends, it has been a very good week.  And even after a night of karaoking, I still managed to get 4 miles in today, with the goal of a 10K tomorrow.  So, yeah… a really good week.

Happy trails!

 

Heart Zones HRM

A couple of months ago, I was approached by a representative from heartzones.com to try out their Blink 3.0 heart rate, step, and cadence sensor (cycling cadence).  With all the talk about heart rate training, I decided to give it a go.

The package itself contains a Blink 3.0 HRM, a charger, a wrist strap, and an ankle strap.  They also sent me a cool shirt for trying it out (thank you!!).

If you have an iPhone, you can use their downloadable app.  It is my understanding that the app does have training programs that you can follow.  Alas… I am an android user, so what I ended up doing was pairing it with my Garmin.  To be truthful, that was actually more useful to me so that I could have all my data in one place.

I added a data screen to my watch so that I could see my HR at any given time.  This was super handy.  Sometimes when I’m running, I feel like my heart is going to pound right out of my chest and I’m going to die so I tend to slow down. (Remember… running can be just as much mental as it is physical).  However, knowing what my HR is at all times, I don’t get to use that excuse to slow down, especially when my HR is only 120.  It’s good to know your body and to know which extremes it can be taken. It has helped with my training being able to see the actual numbers and the exertion being put out.

A prime example of going out too fast too soon and then losing momentum towards the end, hehe

One thing about Heart Zones… they’re all about schools and “Smart PE,” as well as other aspects of fitness.  Schools can purchase groups of devices for their students to wear that can count steps as well as assess physical condition in real time.  Kids are all about technology these days, and it’s fun for the kids to wear them then upload their data to see the results.  When my child was in the 5th grade, he got to participate in something similar, with his own step counter.  He loved it.  He used to walk back and forth in the hall just to get his step count up (it was usually raining too much for him to go outside to do it). It’s just another way to get kids excited about fitness.

I’ve had a lot of fun playing with this product and seeing where my training is taking me.  If you’ve been wanting to try HR training, the Blink 3.0 is a relatively inexpensive way to try it.  The Blink 3.0 runs for $99.99, but if you check out their online store here, I see they have a pretty cool one on sale for less.  Just in time for the racing season! #trainsmart

I did not receive any financial compensation for this review and all opinions rendered are my own based on my personal testing experience.

Happy New Year!

I got an email from my big sister nagging me about being lax on my blog, so I thought I’d just stop in and say “Hiya!”

My big sis Angela on graduation day from the University of Arizona.

Hope everyone had a rockin’ New Years Eve!!  It was traditional for us… a little karaoke and then we watched the Space Needle fireworks on TV.  We had some Christmas crackers to pop open at midnight, so minimal noise… other than the whistle AJ got in his.  And no… I have no idea why they sell Christmas crackers for NYE here.

After a nice 10-day vacation, I had to go back to work on Tuesday which proved to be difficult.  I had gotten used to sleeping in; however, I managed some time on the treadmill before heading off to work, hoping it would put me in the right frame of mind.  It may have helped. A little. Our first patient of the year was a barred owl trapped in a chimney.  PSA:  If you don’t want birds in your chimney, cover your chimney with wire so the birds can’t enter.  Nesting season will be here soon and some birds love to nest in chimneys.  Once a bird has laid its eggs, it is a U.S. federal offense to disturb the nest until it’s empty, so plan ahead and be prepared.

Tomorrow is D-Day for AJ.  Back to school he goes after a nice 2-week winter break.  I probably dread it more than he does.  Getting him up in the early morning hours is hellish… but Santa was smart and gave him a new alarm clock.  Now if only I could find one that sounded more like an air raid siren…

#truth

Thanks to #SquadRunner and the motivation I get from my teammates, running has been good to me… or I’ve been good to my running.  Either/or.  While my mileage wasn’t high by any standards last week (just over 13 miles), I did have a 6-day running streak going through New Year’s weekend, with 2 runs completed on January 1st to start the year off right (one was 1.5 miles, the other a nice 5K).  I have my first race coming up the beginning of March (Seattle Hot Chocolate 15K… more on that later), and I’ve also entered a 175-mile challenge… run 175 miles by March 16 (34 miles down, 141 to go).

Points reset every month.

So endeth the first week of 2018! Dilly dilly!  Make it a great 2nd week, my friends!!

Okay sis, you can stop nagging me now, lol. (c. 1973)

Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay

That’s a saying we use regularly in my house. “Sittin’ on the dock of the bay.”  It completely explains our current state of activity.  No further explanation needed when asked ‘whatcha doing.’

I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooo, I’m just sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time

(Admit it… you sang those lyrics while you read them, didn’t you)

Today is the first real day of my holiday vacation and I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay.  And I’m not ashamed to say it loud and proud.

Anyone having fun with their runs and participating in the #RunChatHunt?  I doubt I’ll complete the challenge, but I have managed to find a couple of the items, such as inflatables:

And a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree:

James also created a SquadRunner team of 20 people to keep us motivated and running through the holidays and beyond.  We compete with other teams around the world for standings, and each day there is a quiz you can take for points, not to mention new missions (must reach a certain distance or time) which will also give you extra points.

Today’s mission is 9.5 miles.  I need to get out and complete at least half of it, but it is so cold out there.  Okay, nothing like riding a bike in 18 deg F cold (Jim… brrrr), but it’s cold for us… for me.  My cat has taken up residence in the warmest bathroom in the house and is laying on the heating vent.  You see, we had a White Christmas.  Yes indeedy… it snowed.

 

Anyway, back to SquadRunner, we have a great team and are currently ranked 41st out of a couple hundred.  Our 20 team members hail from around the globe… Germany, UK, Canada, East Coast, West Coast.  We motivate, encourage, and celebrate each other.  It has been such a great and positive experience and it makes me want to get out and get some mileage for the team… cold or no cold. But right now, I’m still sittin’ on the dock of the bay.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my relaxing morning, getting caught up with all of you:  AJ vacationing in Arizona; Brian re-running his Village of the Damned series (which is what got me hooked on Bonnywood Manor to begin with); AB traveling during the holidays and most recently Rome; and I always enjoy reading T’s happenings and thoughts, as well as Marie’s Monday school.  Also hoping for wellness for GH and a speedy recovery for Randy who recently ruptured his Achilles and had to have surgery.  And hey!  After a long hiatus, welcome back, WBFM!

Sometimes it’s good just sittin’ on the dock of the bay!

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas!

Rock ‘N’ Roll San Antonio Race Weekend

Are you ready for some pictures??!!  Because you know me… my race weekend recaps usually contain more pictures than words, sooo… here we go!

James, AJ and I left a cold, wet Seattle on the morning of Friday, Dec 1, and touched down in warm, muggy San Antonio around 6 p.m.  There is a two-hour time difference between Texas and Washington, which is kind of a big deal come race day.  Getting up at 5 a.m. Texas time is equivalent to getting up at 3 our time.  Painful.

Anyhoo…

Our first night there we left AJ to enjoy some peace and quiet in the hotel room (which is what he wanted) while James and I started to explore downtown San Antonio.  Mostly, we walked the famous River Walk looking for someplace to eat.  If you’re visiting S.A., definitely try to stay close to, if not on, the River Walk path.  They have absolutely everything you need.  We were mesmerized.  With it being the holiday season, there were lights hanging from practically every tree, and the city was lit up in red and green (is this year ’round?).  There were even carolers riding in the boats singing away.

The next day was reserved for the race expo and a river boat tour.  Have you ever been to a Rock ‘N’ Roll race expo?  They’re huge and so much fun.  Here’s a bird’s eye view:

A couple of hours later, and after spending a small fortune at the expo, it was time to round up the child for lunch and the river boat tour (we don’t drag AJ through expos anymore; they’re quite boring for him).  We settled on Mexican food for lunch.  Okay… being born and raised in Arizona and eating Southwest Mexican food my entire life, I miss it greatly living in the Pacific Northwest.  Needless to say, my taste buds were squealing with delight when the plate of rice and beans were placed in front of me!  And I know what you’re thinking… Mexican food the day before a race!?  Yeah baby!  The key is to eat early.

Race Day

As I mentioned before, it was an early start.  We were meeting up with another Bib Rave Pro before the race for photos.  Ta-Da!  Meet Kolbe from Dallas.

I was in corral 16, and the following is what the start line looked like from way back there.  If you notice, it was quite misty and overcast, for which I was thankful as it had been hot-hot-hot that weekend (80s) and I was slightly concerned.  At least the clouds hid the intense sun.

I was about a mile into the race when the heavens decided to open up and bring forth a monsoonal type of rain.  I’m used to the rain, so no big deal.  I wear a visor to keep the rain out of my eyes, and I was thankful to be comfortable and not hot.  The Streets of San Antonio, however, were not so forgiving.  It poured down solid for at least 1/2-hour, hard and fast, which was just enough to flood the streets.  I was jumping through puddles where the water came to my shins.  Enter the reason why I lost two toenails.  My socks never dried out, so my feet remained wet until I reached the finish line.  My two little toes blistered so severely that it lifted the nails right off the nail bed.  Funny enough, this has happened once before… both times I was wearing Balega socks.  Is it the socks?  Maybe.  Or is it operator error as I know I have sensitive toes and forgot to tape them beforehand?  Most likely.  C’est la vie.  I finished.

I loved this course.  It was flat!  What a great way to end the year… with a flat course!!  Okay, there was one hill that stretched from mile 10 to mile 11, but what goes up, must come down, so it made for a fast finish.  I also had zero fueling issues and zero GI issues.  I ate 2 quick dissolve glucose tablets every 20 to 30 minutes to keep me going.  I even had a shot of coffee out on the course at mile 7.  Minus the painful feet, it was a fantastic time.

After a nice long nap, we had dinner with my high school friend, Mindy, whom I wrote a little bit about here.  She just recently moved to San Antonio from Arizona to be with her boyfriend and loves it.  We met them at Margaritaville down on the river (yes! more Mexican food!).

Monday was spent touring the Alamo and flying home.

When we left San Antonio, it was 85 deg F.  When we landed in Seattle, it was around 36 deg F.  Apparently two days later, it snowed in San Antonio.  A fabulous weekend, but there’s no place like home.

If you haven’t already, go check out James’s post on the race itself and for all the finite details that I tend to miss.  After being injured and flat on his back for a few months, he somehow managed to complete the half marathon.  Muscle memory is a beautiful thing.  Don’t ever get down on yourself for being injured because, if you have the drive within you, you WILL come back.  In spades.

Happy running y’all!

I Loves Me a Visor!

On December 1st, I was on my way to San Antonio, and now BAM!  It’s almost Christmas.  I don’t know where the time goes.  Oh wait, yes I do… I’m a gamer and a runner… two very time-consuming hobbies.  However, the one that has taken me away from all you beautiful people is the gaming.  When James first got ‘benched’ back in September, he/we started playing The Witcher III on the PS4.  I’m one who likes to play a game to 100% completion, soooo, that’s where I’ve been.  Sorry.  But this happens about once a year, if you’ve followed me that long (last year, I replayed Kingdom Hearts).  I’ll get back to normal soon… I still have to recap San Antonio!  (spoiler alert… it was fab!)

But that’s not why I’m here today… today I’m here to tell you about BOCO Headgear!!

Disclaimer: I received a BOCO Gear Visor to review 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!  All opinions are my own.

You should know, I can’t wear hats when I run.  I have a ton of hair that keeps me plenty warm and I get too hot if I wear a hat.  I only wear visors and I am extremely picky about the type.  My visors absolutely have to have an elastic comfort band as opposed to the velcro adjustment in the back.  To me, the elastic is far more comfortable than the non-giving nature of a velcro adjustment hands down.  And BOCO Visors have that oh-so-coveted comfort elastic band baby!  Total win!!

Following are other details about the visor:

  • Lightweight wicking woven or dry tech polyester outside
  • Wicking internal sweatband to move sweat from your forehead
  • Soft brushed elastic back for comfort and fit
  • Relaxed fit front panel for a better performance and comfort
  • Black underside of the bill to reduce glare
  • Curved bill
  • Machine Washable

James made me do it…

Now, the first thing I noticed about the visor is that the material is incredibly soft.  And then I discovered that the nice, soft material is super absorbent (because, you know… I went for a run and all).  But oh, the comfort… it can’t be beat.

And when you’re running all the miles… comfort counts.  Amiright?!

Stayed tuned my friends… coming soon is my recap of San Antonio.  You’ll get to read all about how I lost two toenails…