One Week Until Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver 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!

Happy October! Where did September go? When life is full of family, work, and fun, time seems to just fly on by!

Just because I haven’t been blogging, doesn’t mean I haven’t been running. Just the opposite, in fact. I am happy to report that in the last two weeks, I’ve ran 12 out of the 14 days! 😄

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Today, one week out from the Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon I’m feeling pretty good.  Last week, I ran a spur-of-the-moment local half marathon.  At first, I was pretty bummed because my time was about 28 minutes slower than my half marathon PR from March 2016. (I was not expecting a fast time.)  But then I remembered that my half marathon time was 20 minutes faster than the half marathon I ran in July! #progressnotperfection

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Half Marathon 10/01/17

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Half Marathon 07/16/17

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Half Marathon 03/19/16

What are my goals for Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver this upcoming weekend?  Definitely not expecting any PRs.  (Oh, have I mentioned that I’m running both the 5k and the half marathon?  I figured, why not? )  My goals are to finish and have fun!

Speaking of having fun, let’s talk about the two products I am testing out right now. The first product is this awesome Boco Gear Bibrave Visor I am sporting in the following picture with Christa of SweatingAwesome (this picture was taken right before Christa ran her first half marathon… woohoo Christa!).

img_9649The visor nicely stays in place, keeps the sweat from dripping in my eyes, and cleans nicely by just popping it in the washing machine!

The second product is a pair of Oofos from their Project Pink line.  For every pair of shoe purchased from their Project Pink line, $10 is donated to breast cancer research! You might remember the Oofos I reviewed a few months ago that I absolutely loved.  These Oofos are no different!  I changed into these Oofos immediately following the half marathon I ran last weekend which provided my feet wonderful recovery thanks to their unique OOfoam technology.

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You can bet that both my Boco Gear visor and my Oofos will be coming with me to Denver! 🙂

Denver, I’ll see you soon!

What race (or races) are you training for right now?  Tell me about it.  I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time,

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Half Marathon Training

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver 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!

Wow!  My apologies for my blog absence over the last three weeks.  If you are a teacher, were a teacher, or have a teacher in your family, then you know just how insanely busy the first few weeks of school can be!  Now that I’ve successfully made it through the first 12 days of school, I feel as though I can now finally take time to sit and write a blog.

Before I get into the meat of this blog post, let’s first stop to appreciate my classroom. I had completely too much time on my hands this summer and totally revamped my classroom!  I took out my teacher desk, removed the student desks, and added a bunch of different flexible seating options.  Here’s a video of my classroom on the first day of school before all of my students arrived…

Training

Now, on to the reason I started this blog post… Half Marathon Training!  Today was Week 4, Day 7 of my half marathon training plan.  The training plan I am using for this go around of half marathon training is the New York Road Runners Moderate 10 Week Training Plan.  I chose this plan mainly because it was one of the first plans that popped up when I typed “10 weeks half marathon training plan” into Google.

I haven’t been sticking to the midweek runs exactly as they are suppose to be run, but I have been consistent with hitting my long run distances.  If you’ve been following my journey over the last few months, then you know that I just started running again mid July after taking a couple months off of running (Read THIS blog post to learn more).  I had stopped running not due to an injury, but due to other medical reasons.  It’s been tough getting back into running, but I have noticed a big growth with the work I’ve been putting into training over the last four weeks.

Those of you who are moms and/or dads with full time jobs know just how difficult it can be to find time to run in the midst of household duties, making dinners, helping kids with homework, kids’ sporting events, etc.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, 4:30am works for me and seems to be the best time to run!  Everyone is still sleeping, I feel refreshed after a good night’s sleep, and the weather is nice outside. (I especially enjoy running in the early am hours when I have friends to run with!)

Goal Race

Just this past Tuesday, I officially purchased my flight to… DENVER!  I am so stoked to be running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Denver on October 15th!  Not only will this be my first time running in Colorado, but this will also be my first Rock ‘n’ Roll series race!  In a mere 6 weeks, or 42 days, I’ll be crossing the finish line on my umpteenth half marathon. (Ok, maybe not umpteenth, but I really have no idea how many half marathons I’ve ran since I first started running in 2011!)

Want to know what else is exciting about running Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver?  I’m running this race as a Bib Rave Pro, so I get to proudly run in my bright orange BibRave shirt!  As a Bib Rave Pro, I’ve got a discount code for YOU so you can join me in Denver!  Use code BIBRAVE15 to save $15 off of your half marathon registration.  (Insider bonus information: You can use this code for other RnR races too!)

One of my other reasons for being stoked about running Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver (I know, so many reasons), is that I get to visit my Aunt Margie!  Not only does she live in Denver which provides me a place to crash for the weekend, but she is also a runner and will be running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver half marathon too!  SO awesome!

To continue following me on my half marathon training journey, be sure to check me out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook (if you’re not already doing so). 😉

What are you training for right now?  Are you also an early morning runner?  If not, when do you prefer to run?

Until next time,

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Review: Oofos… Feel the Ooo

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Oofos 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 don’t know about you, but the first thing that I want to do after a run, is take my shoes off (not to mention also taking off all of my sweaty clothes)!  After I take my shoes off, the question then becomes, “What do I put on my feet?”  Before Oofos entered my life, I’d normally just throw on any ‘ol pair of sandals.  Now, however, with my Oofos, my body can tell a difference and its thrilled!

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Makes you say, “Oooo”

Oofos slogan, “Feel the Ooo”, is so appropriate!  I can guarantee that the first time you put on a pair of Oofos, you will make an audible, “Oooo” sound.  Here’s a clip of my 12 year old putting on a pair of Oofos for the first time. (Note: When he says, “It feels weird,” what he really means is, “It feels so amazing!”)

My husband also tried on my Oofos.  After trying them on, he quickly hopped online to purchase himself a pair.  Here’s my husband and son discussing how amazing the Oofos felt and trying to decide which color to buy.

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What’s so great about Oofos?

  1. ABSORBS MORE SHOCK THAN TRADITIONAL FOAMS – Traditional athletic shoe foams are designed to “rebound” and propel you forward. With OOfoam, however, it does the opposite, absorbing 37% more shock with every step than traditional footwear foam.
  2. REDUCES STRESS ON SORE FEET, KNEES AND BACK – Your feet and joints take a pounding on hard surfaces everyday. Slipping on OOFOS after a workout, provides them with relief and a chance to recover.
  3. CRADLES YOUR ARCHES – Unlike flip-flops, the OOFOS patented footbed is designed with tremendous arch support to take the pressure off of ankles, knees and hips, as well as your lower back.
  4. ENABLES MORE NATURAL MOTION – Biomechanically designed, OOFOS flex with both your foot and the ground. The soft, flexible OOfoam material enables your foot to articulate the way nature intended. (Oofos.com)

An Everyday Shoe

While testing out my Oofos, my husband and I traveled to Cancun, Mexico.  Yes, my Oofos most certainly came along with us!  Here’s my Oofos on the beach.

img_7027Here’s my Oofos on our kayak. (The Oofos are made with a moisture resistant closed cell foam which is shower-ready and machine washable!)

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Here’s my Oofos during a relaxing morning by the ocean with a mimosa in hand.

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After spending a whole day walking around with my brown sandals on, I could not wait to put on my Oofos to finally feel some relief from my tried feet, ankles, knees, and back!

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Although my pair of Women’s OOriginal Sport Sandal may seem a little big, it’s amazing how lightweight they are!  They provide the support my body needs while adding minimal weight to my feet!

One Monday evening, while at my friend’s house to watch the Bachelorette, my friend asked, “Are those Oofos really as great as you say they are?”

I then took off my Oofos, handed them to her, and said, “Try them on for yourself.”

As soon as she put them on, she giggled and said, “Wow!  These are amazing!”

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Recently, while at the Oakland Town’s Half expo representing the California International Marathon, I spotted some Oofos for sale at a booth across from me.  I so badly wanted to purchase a pair of the Women’s OOlala sandals, but I was a good girl and kept my wallet put away.  (I’ve spent way too much money lately for my classroom!)

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In the end, I’d highly recommend that everyone own at least one pair of Oofos.  Wear them before you workout, after you workout, and even on your rest days like I did below.

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Check out what my fellow BibRave Pros had to say about their Oofos.

Jeannine     Amy     James     Vanessa

Do you own a pair of Oofos?  If so, what do you think about them?  If you don’t own a pair of Oofos, what do you normally wear after a hard run / workout?

Until next time,

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Review: Knuckle Lights… See and Be Seen

Disclaimer: I received a set of Knuckle Lights 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!

If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, you’ve surely seen my early am running posts.  As a busy wife, mom, and 5th grade teacher, running at 4:45am makes sense. When I try to run in the evenings, helping kids with homework, making dinner, or simply feeling exhausted all get in the way.  It’s no surprise that at 4:45am, it is dark outside and I have found myself in need of a light of some sort.  Enter Knuckle Lights.

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Similarly to  Dan Hopkins, founder of Knuckle Lights, I too have tried carrying a flashlight with me and wearing a headlamp.  The flashlight was annoying since I didn’t like having something in my hand that I had to carry.  The headlamp was annoying because 1) it’d leave a line indent going across my forehead (and it’d still be faintly visible when I went into work) 2) it’d hurt my head.  When I found out about Knuckle Lights, I couldn’t wait to try them!

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Here are my thoughts after testing out my Knuckle Lights…

Pros

  • Lightweight – hardly felt them there!
  • Bright – it was easy to see in front of me!
  • Steady – the wide beam of light did not bounce around, even with my arms moving!
  • Adjustable – the knuckle lights can be made smaller or larger depending on hand size and/or with gloves.
  • Magnetic – great for storing at home and once the sun comes out! (Since I usually wear my SPIbelt, I was able to attach my Knuckle Lights to my SPIbelt once the sun came out.)

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Cons

  • Sweaty – Yes, they made my hands sweat.  Not really too big of a deal because when my hands would begin to feel a little sweaty, I’d simply adjust where the knuckle lights were placed.

The Knuckle Lights that I tested out were the Knuckle Lights Colors.  Here are the specs:

  • 2 LIGHTS PER SET — The units connect together magnetically. The soft silicone straps can be adjusted to fit any size hand and even over gloves.
  • 120 TOTAL LUMENS — The super bright lights provide a wide flood beam, providing a steady, even light in front of you that does not bounce around, even with your arms moving.
  • BATTERIES INCLUDED — Each Unit Operates on 1 X AA Battery.
  • WATERPROOF — Units can be used in any type of weather.
  • Price point: $39.99 and ALWAYS free standard shipping for US orders

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Knuckle Lights has recently come out with a new, rechargeable design!  So, if you’re looking for a product that can be recharged, be sure to check out the new design.  (I’ve been using my Knuckle Lights for about a month now and the batteries are still going strong!)  There’s also the original Knuckle Lights design.

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So, if you’re an early morning runner such as myself or a late night runner, then you need to ditch your flashlight / headlamp and get yourself some Knuckle Lights! BONUS: Use code “BRKL2017” for 15% off your purchase at https://www.knucklelights.com/ (expires 9/1/17).

Check out what my fellow BibRave Pros thought about their Knuckle Lights.

Mai     Allison     Amy W.     Lindsey     Tedrick

Until next time,

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When One Door Closes

When one door closes, another opens. As I was sitting in the San Francisco airport waiting for my connecting flight, I watched pilots and flight attendants walk past. This reminded me of the time in my early 20s when I flew to Texas to interview for a job as a Southwest flight attendant. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t even make it past the first round of interviews. I was disappointed. I really had envisioned my life as a flight attendant. (This was during my 1.5 year break from college.)

Today, all of the sudden, I had a revelation. If I had gotten that job as a Southwest flight attendant a decade ago, I probably would never have finished college. If I had never finished college, I would have never become a teacher. If I had never become a teacher, I would have never traveled to China, Honduras, and Mexico to live and teach abroad. If I had never traveled to Mexico, I may have never picked up running since I began running while living in Mexico. My life, therefore, would be radically different.

Clearly, in those early years of my 20s, God had different plans for my life. Jeremiah 29:11-13 states, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” NIV

This is hard for me. I am a strong, independent woman who likes to be in control. It’s not easy for me to give up control of my life. Today, however, I will choose to remember that sometimes the plans we make for yourselves are not God’s plan for our life.

I am appreciative for where I find myself now, a decade later. I am married to the love of my life, I have two fantastic “bonus” children, I am a 5th grade teacher, and I am a 15 time marathoner. I’m so glad God knows the desires of my heart and has great plans for my life.

Does your current life reflect the one you had envisioned for yourself 5, 10, or 15 years ago? Tell me about it. I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time,