Tuesday, September 20, 2016

My First Half Marathon: Go Girl Run Half Marathon And Family Vacation 2016 Recap

I DID IT! I still can't believe it and it's been a little over two weeks since my first half marathon experience. I am definitely dealing with some post half marathon and vacation blues.

We decided to make a weekend family vacation out of it and it was THE BEST! We had so much fun. We only wished that we could have stayed longer. We debated staying another day, so that we didn't have to drive back the same day as the half marathon, but we decided to suck it up and get back home that night. Next time we will stay longer. I had such a good time that I am wanting to do the Go Girl Run Half again next year if the medals are just as awesome and make another weekend trip out of it with my family and some friends.

Thursday night the week of the half, I packed everything and I made sure I didn't forget my supplement bag filled with NOW Foods supplements, which consisted of Electro Endurance, Omega 3 Mini Gels, Joint Support, Branched Chain Amino Acid Powder, Liquid Melatonin, and Magnesium and Calcium. I used all of these supplements throughout my training. I only used the liquid melatonin when needed for troubled nights. 

We stayed at Coco Key Water Resort in Kansas City. It was a fun and comfortable stay. My daughter had a blast at the water park. It was her first time at a water park. She loved every minute of it.

Our first night at the hotel was nice. After getting settled in we spent some time at the water park, went to the store to pick up a few items and dinner from Denny's. I took a nice warm bath after dinner and that concluded the first day.

The next day was planned full. It was our last full day there and we wanted to explore Kansas City a bit, but didn't have time to do everything we wanted to do.

We woke and went to the water park for about an hour. We got dress and headed out for the day. I had to attend the Go Girl Run Prairefire expo to get my race packet.

It gave us the chance to explore Prairiefire, which was nice. It was a beautiful area. It was kind of like an outdoor mall and entertainment area. It reminded me of the outdoor malls in my area, only better!

It had a beautiful trail, a museum, and apartment complexes on the premises. Overland Park, KS is a gorgeous area! Insane gigantic houses, nice trail systems, and it doesn't seem overcrowded. Most people seemed friendly and we really loved that. You don't get that a lot from my area and it's sad. I really liked it there.

The night before my half I decided to take a nice warm epsom salt bath. I had never taken a salt bath before and I really feel that it helped my slightly sore muscles, which were caused by climbing and walking across nets at the water park for the past two days.

The half marathon course was pretty challenging. I loved it! It was very hilly and I wasn't expecting it until I was told by past participants that it was hilly with rolling hills. This time around I was able to keep my muscle cramps under control. I still got them, but they weren't as severe and they were very manageable. I cannot pinpoint what exactly it was that helped this time around, but I guess I can say that it was a bunch of things all rolled into one. 

The weather was nice! It was cool, cloudy, the sun barely made an appearance except at the start of the race at sunrise, which was nice. I was taking my energy gels like normal although I started getting stomach upset towards the end of the race this time around. I took my electrolyte chews, which was new and different because I usually take the pills, but I hate swallowing pills during a race and I don't think it did anything for me. I love the chews a lot more and they are tasty! I also took mustard packets - advice from a facebook follower. If you are reading this.... THANK YOU FOR THAT!! 

I think that was another thing that helped me keep my cramps at bay. I took one every time I felt one coming on and it would go away within a few minutes, or the cramp would stick around for a little while longer, but wouldn't get severe. The porta potty breaks were nice and I felt really helped my legs recover a bit as well. I also feel like the extra stretching in the weeks before and the salt bath the night before helped, so like I said... I can't really pinpoint exactly what helped the cramps remain at the low levels that they did. I am just happy that they did and definitely made for a less miserable race and experience. 

Truckin' along, but still happy at mile 10 or 11.

At mile 13, which was right around the corner from the finish line, I met up with Jeremy and Harlie Jade. I was super happy to see them. I thought I would have met up with them on another part of the course between miles 6-8 to keep me company for a bit and my mind off of the pain and cramps, but they had trouble getting to another part of the course.


Approaching the finish line!

Check out my Instagram post talking about this photo HERE.

After crossing the finish line, I collected my amazingly huge beautiful medal, finisher wine glass, and my finisher's certificate. However, I was not able to get my certificate because they told me the timer broke or something along the lines of that and it would be mailed to me. I haven't received it yet. I was really bummed to be leaving without one, but oh well. 

After the race, we explored around the Prairiefire area and took pictures. Afterwards, we headed back to the car where we were spoiled with nice views while changing and getting ready for the long drive back home and I recovered with my favorite sports energy and recovery drink from NOW Sports - Electro Endurance. I am so glad I had this on hand and part of my training. This stuff is the real deal! I took it before my race and after.  

Recovering on the parking garage rooftop with my favorite NOW Sports endurance and recovery drink - Electro Endurance.

I am already addicted to 13.1. I think it is a great distance and I see many many more in my future including the Chicago Half Marathon this Sunday and an attempt at my first full marathon in a couple of years. I have a very special plan for that, which will include Hawaii where my weight loss and fitness journey started and the Honolulu Marathon. I am shooting for the 2018 Honolulu Marathon. If the finances and funding are not there then I'll shoot for 2019.

Disclosure: I have received NOW product as part of my ambassadorship with NOW. I value authenticity and honesty, all thoughts and opinions are and will always be my own.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Product Spotlight: NOW SuperFruit Juices

Recently, I have come across a few interesting products that I just had to try. Superfruit juices are something that I knew nothing about, but as I began to read up on them I knew I had to try them out for myself. Superfruit juices can have many health benefits to them ranging from delivering antioxidants and anti inflammatory nutrients to the body to supporting healthy immune system function. It's a great way to make sure you reach your daily recommended serving of fruit - three to five servings. This month, I am giving the spotlight to the SuperFruit Juices from NOW Foods.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Life with Loose Skin After Losing 140+ lbs

Loose skin is something that many fear when it comes to losing weight, especially if one has been overweight for many years. The longer your skin has been stretched, the harder it will be for your skin to bounce back, but it is not impossible. I feel that I need open up a bit about my recent struggles with it. Lately, I have been having numerous conversations with my followers, family and friends about my loose skin. I get asked all the time...

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Jergens Natural Glow Review

I've been getting summertime fine and working on my tan for the summer. Been especially preparing for the Fourth of July holiday weekend which has left us. Even though the sun was nowhere to be seen in my neck of the woods this Fourth of July weekend, I was still sporting a killer tan that looked like I got it from sun tanning. Everyone loves a great tan and an added benefit is it can make your muscles pop and give your muscles that noticeable definition! Well, who needs to take all the risks with tanning beds and sun tanning when you get a tan that looks this good from Jergens Natural Glow products. The Natural Glow line BLOWS ME AWAY!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Vanilla Protein Cookie Dough and Vanilla Protein Froyo Pops

Summer is officially here and I am elated! I have been making all sorts of summer treats that are not only easy to make, but is also high in protein, weight loss friendly, and a healthy and delicious summer snack on a hot summer day. Now, I'm a simple girl when it comes to cooking. I keep it simple and as amateur friendly as I can. Eventually, I would like to open up and be more open minded with complicated snacks and meals, but until I get a new kitchen, it won't happen. Ha! That being said, if you are looking for fun easy ways to get your protein, then these simple snacks are for you.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Polar Balance Scale + Me = Beautiful Harmony

Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Polar US. I value authenticity and honesty, all thoughts and opinions are and will always be my own.

Well, it's been a great time getting to know my new fitness tool! I feel like I have finally made it to the fun part, and it's been such joy being able to play around with the Polar Balance scale! First I'd like to say that we are getting along fantastically well so far! I have set my goals and I am well on my way to achieving them. I'm seeing and tracking all of my progress, and the scale seems to be moving again after a previous slow month. Finally, I have been able to learn more about the features and benefits of this scale and so far, I think it is pretty darn neat!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

My First Warrior Dash: Warrior Dash 2016 Race Review and Recap

On Saturday, June 11th I experienced and survived my first Warrior Dash in brutal 95°+ heat! I completed the Illinois Warrior Dash at Dollinger Family Farm in Channahon, IL. Get this.... Not only was this my first, but I went on to complete another lap and completed TWO Warrior Dash's because one just wasn't enough for me. My goals for this race was to be able to successfully finish my first Warrior Dash and if my body and time allowed... take on another challenge and go for 1-2 additional laps for fun.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Soldier Field 10 Mile 2016 Recap

FINALLY! This post was delayed for a bit, but I finally got it up. I did it!!! I finished my first 10 miler! My longest distance yet. All the training, pain, sweat, and tears were ABSOLUTELY worth this moment right here! This moment meant everything to me. I kicked off my Memorial Day Weekend at the Soldier Field 10 Miler on Saturday, May 28th.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Getting to Know the Polar Balance Scale and 20 Minute HIIT Cardio Workout

Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Polar US. I value authenticity and honesty, all thoughts and opinions are and will always be my own.

There is one item in nearly every household that everyone benefits from having, but some seem to never use. Yes people, I am talking about the scale. While a necessary fitness tool for most it can also be a source of frustration from time to time. Recently, I had the opportunity to try out the Polar Balance scale, and I must admit I was very excited. Now, if you're like me, you research everything you buy because you want something that not only has great reviews, but most importantly... works! Before I dive on in to my experience so far with the Polar Balance scale, let me just say that I have used my previous scale for a little over a year now. So, while I was excited to try this new scale I was still a little hesitant.

Monday, May 23, 2016

12 Tips for a Healthy, Active and Safe Memorial Day Weekend and a Giveaway

Memorial Day weekend is coming up and that means summer activities, spending more time outside, and summer attractions opening up for the summer. It also means good food, temptations, and the extra push you may need to give yourself to stay on track with your nutrition for your health and fitness goals - whatever they may be. For some people fall and winter carry the greatest temptations with the vast amount of sweets and comfort foods, but for me it's the summer. Cool nights, warm days, awesome food...yes this is the time I am truly tested.