Tag Archives: running

#GivingTuesday

Hoping all my American friends enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday!  Also hoping everyone survived Black Friday, gave some love on Small Business Saturday, and got some gonga deals on Cyber Monday!

We had a very quiet Thanksgiving with just the 3 of us, but it was wonderful family time.  I cooked (close your mouth)… and the only thing that could have been potentially disastrous was I forgot to put the ham in the oven.  About an hour after putting the chicken in, James looked at me and asked, “How long is the ham supposed to take?”  Oops.

I chose not to partake in the madness of Black Friday and went to the gym instead.  James opted outside as well.  We are headed to San Antonio this coming weekend for the Rock ‘N’ Roll race and he will be attempting the half-marathon (by my side? behind me? in front of me? lol).  He has come a long way from 2 months ago when he couldn’t even walk to the end of the block without excruciating pain.

Anyway… today is #GivingTuesday.  It is the Global Day of Giving Back.  It is time to help out those nonprofits who selflessly try to help make the world a better place with so little funding.  Please consider giving just a little bit to your favorite charity… even $5 makes a difference.

And in honor of #GivingTuesday, I am doing a fun little giveaway to support MY favorite charity and to say a big Thank You to You for all your support of me and my blog.  One lucky winner will receive 1 eco-friendly tote bag, 1 holiday ornament with card featuring our Patient of the Year (the cutest little porcupine you’ve ever seen who looks fluffy, not prickly), 1 set of 8 blank wildlife cards featuring 4 patients from our center, and 1 wildlife calendar featuring our patients which has all kinds of fun animal facts on the inside.

If you are interested, please leave me a comment below.  I’ll leave it open until next Tuesday, December 5th, whereby AJ will draw a name out of his Happy New Year hat to announce the winner.

Until then… I hope you have a great week!

Health Warrior Chia Bars

“Disclaimer: I received both the Health Warrior Chia Bars and Marathon Training Coloring Book 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!”

One of the fun perks of being a BibRave Pro is getting to review all kinds of fun products, including nutritional stuff.

Have you ever heard of the Health Warrior Chia Bars?  I hadn’t.  Okay, let me be the first to say I am not a huge “protein bar” fan.  They do absolutely nothing for me.  If I need to snack, I’d rather snack on a piece of chicken or a hard-boiled egg.  But these are Chia bars, my friends… not weighed-down lump-in-your-stomach protein bars.  Besides, I’ve grown fond of adding Chia to some of my various foods… so I was super excited to try these.

We’ve all heard that Chia is one of those super foods we should all add to our diet.  Why?  Because a 1-ounce serving of Chia seeds contains:

  • Fiber: 11 grams.
  • Protein: 4 grams.
  • Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are Omega-3s).
  • Calcium: 18% of the RDA.
  • Manganese: 30% of the RDA.
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
  • Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA.
  • They also contain a decent amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2.

Now then… Health Warrior Chia Bars contain:

  • Calories:  110
  • Sugar:  4 g
  • Fiber:  4 g
  • Omega-3:  1100 mg
  • Protein:  3 g
  • They are also gluten-free and 100% vegan.

If you have followed my blog in the past, you know I suffer with hypoglycemia and occasional GI issues when I run.  Finding the proper fuel is essential.  And I just may have finally found it. #truth

I have tried these both pre-run and pre-gym.  I have not had one single issue.  They’re not heavy; they have staying power, meaning my sugar doesn’t drop and they hold me over for at least a couple of hours; and quite simply, they taste really good.  I’m pleased.  And when it comes to fueling, I am not easy to please… or should I say my stomach isn’t.

I then had my busy coworkers try them.  Depending on how many animals we have admitted at any given time, sometimes all they get is 5 minutes for a snack and these bars really help with hunger and energy in a time crunch.

The bars also come with a fun Marathon Training coloring book, which is actually quite hilarious when you read through it.  Every runner will be able to relate to the entertaining captions.  (“H is for Hitting the wall.  Walls are bad.  Walls feel big.  Walls can become walks.”)  And really… we’re all adults here… who doesn’t like to color these days!  While AJ did his homework at night, I sat next to him and colored away. #qualitytime

Anyhoo… if you’re interested in trying these yummy bars, click here.  If you’re interested in getting one of the coloring books with some bars, follow this link. A full box of 15 is $15.99, or you can try a sample box for $4.99.

Please do remember that everything stated above is based on my own opinion and the links are not affiliates.  If you’d like to research the bars further or read other opinions, you can check out some reviews from my fellow BRPs:  Brenda, Matt, Amy, Jessica, Janelle, Lindsey, and Emily.

Either way, I give the chia bars an A+.

 

OOfos — Feel The Oo!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of OOFOS sandals 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. 

In the spring of 2016, I suffered from a bout of plantar fasciitis with some added morning heel pain.  It was a very hard year to get through, with 9 races scheduled.  I remember Rock ‘N’ Roll Seattle being a very painful race to finish.  I stood in the corrals for about an hour before I crossed the start line and I was already sweating bullets from the pain in my feet.

After months of Arnica therapy (thanks Rob!) and heat and ice treatment on my feet and Achilles, I got the PF under control.  However, I still suffered a bit from heel pain first thing in the morning.  Enter OOFOS recovery sandal!  Admittedly, I felt the oo the minute I slipped these on.  Heaven sent, and I’m not kidding.  I then put them on first thing the next morning, and holy wow!  No heel pain whatsoever!

Feeling the OO after a Seahawks pedicure!

Why OOFOS?

  • OOfoam absorbs more shock than traditional foam.
  • Patented footbed.  Reduces stress on sore feet, knees and back.
  • Cradles your arches.
  • Biomechanically designed, they enable your foot to move the way nature intended.
  • They bloody well feel great!

Also, with every Project Pink shoe that is sold, $10 will go to breast cancer research.

Final Thoughts

I love this shoe.  My feet feel fantastic after wearing them for a couple of weeks, and they’re especially amazing after a workout.  They’ve passed the rain test… no slipping or sliding.  I now wear two types of shoes… my trainers and my OOFOS.  I feel everyone, runner or not, would benefit from wearing these sandals.  And that is my honest personal opinion.

Still in doubt?  Go check out these reviews from my BRP friends.  If I haven’t convinced you, they just might!  Mai; Meredith; Jenna; Vanessa; Laura; Emily.

Now I’m Here

Focus in life has taken a slight shift as of late.  Here… let me break it on down for you.

Just a refresher… in early September, it was discovered that James had a herniated disk.  Because of this, most of our long-distance travel plans and races were cancelled, as well as some local.  In the meantime, the most important thing going on right now is James healing.

Have you ever lived with a runner/active person who is completely incapacitated?  Not only is there the physical pain to deal with, there’s the depression associated with not being able to be active.  He can’t bend, twist, push, pull, lift anything more than 5 pounds, stand for long periods, or even walk without pain.  And he is not a happy camper.

It’s not been an easy road, especially for James.  His new “normal” is horrible pain if he’s not in a neutral spine position.  He underwent an MRI so that he could get an epidural injection for pain relief and had the injection about 10 days ago.  The injection was supposed to help him start more aggressive physical therapy so that he could begin his healing journey.  The verdict is still out on whether or not it has helped.  We don’t know if James is going to need surgery or not, but we do know if the pain doesn’t ease up soon, the option of a diskectomy at the new year will be discussed.

Hence, I’ve joined a gym to get me the hell out of the house (#kiddingnotkidding).

Actually, as Fall has arrived, and with it rain and 35-degree (F) temps in the morning, I’m enjoying having a change of scenery with the gym and a change-up in routine.  And they have the nicest treadmills on which to run.  As an experiment, I got on the elliptical and realized just how out of shape my non-running muscles truly are, so I believe I got back into the gym just in the nick of time.

Which brings me to why I haven’t been as active on WordPress or social media as I am normally.  I’m in the process of finding the proper balance of a new routine, so forgive me if I’ve been lame and neglectful.

But wait!  There’s more!

I’m also in the process of testing some Oofos recovery sandals and it just so happens I have a brand new pair to give away.  Are you female and wear a size 9? Do you like flip flops? Do you like the color black? Do you like walking on clouds? Contact me at neveradullbling@gmail.com.  You don’t need to be a runner to enjoy these!

By the way, Marine Corps Marathon is this weekend… heavy sigh from both of us.  But definitely something to look forward to next year…

Happy training, my friends!

NOTE:  As of 8 a.m. Pacific, the Oofos have been snatched up.  Yayyyy Donna!  Thank you for contacting me and being such a great supporter and friend!

North County Wine Run Half Marathon Race Recap

As you may remember, I ran the North County Wine Run Half Marathon last weekend in Battle Ground, WA.  Battle Ground is a sweet little town in the midst of Clark County situated near the Washington-Oregon border.  It boasts 3 wineries and, yes, I ran through every single one of them.  We’re big geography geeks, so for those of you who are also GG, here’s a visual:

While this was my first official “BibRave Pro” race, I did pay for my entry.

I was extremely nervous about this race for some reason.  Maybe because it was an “open course” (meaning running in the midst of traffic), maybe it was because there were less than 200 people signed up.  Because of the nerves, I was unable to eat anything before the race.  I couldn’t even force down a couple of Belvita biscuits which is my normal pre-race breakfast.  Bad, huge, terrible mistake.

The horn blew and we were off, starting with a nice uphill climb.  No worries.  I got this.  What goes up, must come down.  I was still going along nicely amongst the farm land when we hit the first aid station at about 2.5 or 3 miles.  I took a shot of Gatorade as I hadn’t eaten anything and thought it would help me.  Mistake #2.  I’ve discovered I can’t eat or drink anything with sugar in it while I’m running unless it’s a quick-dissolve glucose tablet, which I actually had with me.  I did eventually end up with a tummyache.  *facepalm

Still going along nicely until about mile 7.  Miles 5 to 7 were all uphill, and by the time I reached the top of the hill, I was out of gas.  Normal story for me… no hill training which, on top of no fuel, equals the biggest breakdown I’ve ever had with tears and a near full-blown asthma attack.  I recovered my breath after about a mile.  Thankfully a fellow Half Fanatic was behind me who eventually caught up to me at mile 11 and she pulled me across the finish line.  Yay!  I finished!  I was so very grateful to see James there and thankful for all the wonderful support he provided me.  I know it was hard for him to have to sit this one out.

Let me break down the details of the event for you…

PACKET PICKUP:  Short and sweet and organized.  It took all of 5 minutes.

PARKING AND TRANSPORTATION:  We parked at a school and shuttle buses took us to the race start line which was at a winery.  There was no parking at the winery, but the buses were on point.

THE COURSE:  It was open and you ran facing traffic on busy rural roads.  This was the one downfall with the race.  Drivers could care less about your safety as they showed time and time again.  Cones had been knocked down that were marking the course, and there were zero policemen around to keep things in line.  Extremely unnerving.  Following is another visual.  The course was the white line to the cone.  For 13.1 miles.  The side of the road was a ditch.

And it was extremely hilly.  You’d think I would have learned from the Olympic Discovery Half to integrate some hills into my plan, but no.  It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.  Here’s the elevation profile for NCWR.

PEOPLE:  Super friendly and helpful.  Everyone was extremely nice at this race, great aura.

AID STATIONS:  There were 3, two of which were running through different wineries where they offered water, Gatorade, and shots of wine for those who wished to partake.  I chose not to and stuck with water.

POST-RACE PARTY:  Great pasta and bread to be coupled with some wine tasting.  When I was through with the race, I was so sick and nauseous I couldn’t even think about eating.  After about 30 minutes, I forced myself to have about 5 bites of the pasta, the first food I’d had all day.

THE BLING:  Lovely.  A fully-weighted bottle stop.  I could actually cut the ribbon off and use this.

OVERALL IMPRESSION:  Other than the course being amongst tons of crazy traffic, this race was well run, well organized, and well directed.  If they ever closed the course, I would consider going back to run this race again for the challenge alone, to redeem myself and to have a better race.

By the way… after my shower and nap, I was feeling my normal self again, well enough for mine and James’s traditional post-race celebration.  For the first time ever, I had fried Brussels sprouts topped with bacon… I highly suggest you try them.  They were da bomb!

Cheers!

 

5K Crate Product Review

Disclaimer: I received a box from 5K Crate 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!

I’ve always loved the idea of subscription boxes.  No matter what your interest may be (quilting, make-up, clothes, gaming, running), subscription boxes are a fun way to go to guarantee trying something new, or discovering a product you may have not known about otherwise.

5K Crate is a quarterly subscription box that “curates premium apparel and accessories for runners of all types and fitness levels. Each box is carefully hand curated to include 5-6 items that you will use over and over again. We do not want to be just another box full of snacks and gels!”  (Love the personalized note that was inserted in my box!)

The box I received contained:

  • 1 Mission Vaporactive Running Shirt ($25)
  • 1 Mission Hydroactive Cooling Towel ($19.99)
  • 1 pair of Spigen Wireless Bluetooth Headphones ($49.99)
  • 1 pair of Zensah Compression Socks ($14.99)
  • 2 Epic Full-Size Body Wipes ($3 each)
  • 3 La Fresh Travel Sunscreen Samples

Who doesn’t love getting such a menagerie of goodies?!  I know I do!  Every single one of these items is of high quality and absolutely something I can use.  I took the body wipes and sunscreen on my trip this past weekend when I ran my half marathon, and the cooling towel helped me out on some very warmish runs I had.

I can’t praise this company enough.  I feel the products that you get are well worth the subscription price, not to mention… again… everything is usable!!  Their next box is set to be sent out October 16th, and rumor has it that there is Momentum Jewelry in it, saying “Be Awesome Today.”  See?  Totally worth it!

I did not receive any financial compensation for this review and all opinions rendered are my own. If you would like to see some other reviews on 5K Crate, please check out what some of my BRP friends have to say:

Tedrick; Jenna; Mai; Ang; Vanessa; Heather.

Have you ever tried a subscription box before?  Go ahead, don’t be shy… tell me your experience!

North County Wine Run

Tonight I’m in Battle Ground, Washington, preparing to run, I believe, my 13th half-marathon Saturday morning.  Battle Ground is about 200 miles south of where we live and about 20 miles north of Portland, Oregon.

One of the reasons James and I race is to explore new areas.  We’d never heard of nor been near Battle Ground before, and as this event is in our home state, we needed to check this race and area out.

Unfortunately, on September 2nd and about 40 miles south from here, some careless teenagers were lighting off fireworks during a burn ban, which ultimately started the now infamous Eagle Creek Fire, a fire that has burned so massively we have got smoke and ash all the way up where I live.

As of September 20th, the fire has consumed over 48,000 acres and still is only about 50% contained.

The proceeds from the North County Wine Run will go to the Eagle Creek Fire Relief.

Thankfully, the air cleared enough this past week to where we could still run.

This is the first race I’ll be running representing BibRave as a BibRave Pro, but I did pay for my entry.  I will be running through a winery, with wine offered at the aid stations and a wine truck coming up along the course… you know… just in case.

Really looking forward to it!  Cheers!