Thanks ESPNW and Oakley!

I had off last Thursday, and, after a very busy and intense 4 day conference across the country, was more than happy to lounge on my couch and play on the laptop. Another #fitfluential ambassador posted about this contest ESPN for Women was holding on Twitter: a giveaway of a pair of Oakleys signed by Olympian Kerri Lee Walsh for you and two friends. So… I figured, what the heck sending a tweet is easy enough, no biggie. So, I sent this:

And low and behold a few hours later, was informed by @ESPNW that I was selected as a winner!!!! I was shocked, excited and in disbelief, but this tweet appeared:

That made it official. (My friends were pretty happy too!)

So, Wednesday I came home from work and found this:

As promised, three pairs of SIGNED by Kerri Lee Walsh Oakley sunglasses!!!  So in it were two pairs of these:

And one pair of these:

So, of course I tried on both styles, first, the Team USA Half Jacket 2.0 Style:

Don’t mind the lack of make-up, was a long day doing research interviews at work, and well, it’s HOT in Vegas. These didn’t look horrible, but, weren’t my favorite….

But these:

I ABSOLUTELY LOVED!!! I think I rock the Team USA Caveat Style!! Don’t you agree??

So, THANK YOU AGAIN to ESPNW, Oakley, and Olympian Kerry Lee Walsh, myself, Running with Charlene and Run with K love our new shades!! Pics of all of us in them coming soon!!

7/25/12 Pace Per Mile Report

Hello everyone! Here is the race report for July 25-August 5th.

Christmas in July 5K and  2 Miler July 28, 2012 hosted by the Las Vegas Track Club. Events start at 7:00 AM. This is a low-key event, costs are $5 for non-members and $3 for members of LVTC. To celebrate Christmas in July if you show up in costume or Christmas colors you will save $1 off the fees! So, dig out your Santa suit and come on out for a good time!!

16th Annual Legends of Cross Country August 4, 2012 hosted by the Las Vegas Track Club. Events start at 6:45 AM. This is run mainly on dirt and grass. There is a Junior 2 miler, 5K and Seeded 5K. Costs are $30 in advance and $40 day of.

E.T. Full Moon Midnight Marathon, Half, 10K and 51K August 4-5, 2012 hosted by Calico Racing. Events start at Midnight in Rachel, NV. Due to this event being about 2 1/2 hours from Las Vegas bus service is available (see website for details). Run along Area 51 on Extraterrestrial Highway, this event is guaranteed to be fun. The course is challenging, but worth it! All finishers receive a medal, Top M/F overall and M/F age group awards as well as best M/F costume awards! Costs are: $105 for the 51K, $100 for the Marathon, $80 for the Half Marathon and $55 for the 10K.

Product Review: BenGay Zero Degrees

A little while back I was given a sample of BenGay Zero Degrees to try out. Thankfully, it took a little while for me to use it. I say thankfully, because that means, my muscles weren’t sore and achy.

I did finally get to try it out last week, it also happened to be during the Vegas heatwave where we hit close to 120. Why is this important? Read on….

BenGay Zero Degrees is their new product that can be stored in the freezer. This gives it an extra boost of cold relief when applied. I remember from years ago the distinct smell associated with BenGay, and am happy to report, this product does not have that.

So, after some heavy workouts, long days at work, and sleeping wrong (thanks dogs for sneaking into bed and only on MY side…) I was sore in several spots. To make it worse, it was hotter than hot outside, and for me, intense heat drains away any energy. So, the idea of stretching, walking, etc to keep the muscles going just didn’t seem like it would happen. Instead, I opened BenGay Zero Degrees. I applied it to my sore muscles. WOW!!!!!

First off, it was being stored in my freezer so it was nice and cold. This alone, when it was 118 degrees outside made me want to apply it everywhere. The instant cooling felt amazing! The best part, hours later, my muscles still did not feel sore and there was no “you have muscle pain relief cream on” smell.

This product is a gel and for ease of application, comes in a deodorant style tube. So it will roll on easily without your hands getting slimy. It dries quickly, so you don’t feel like you have to avoid touching things.

Overall, this product is great. I am considering not telling my husband where it is so I don’t have to share it with him…. is that wrong?

*Although I received this product for this review, the opinions are mine and not influenced by BenGay.

Fear of Being Alone

Relax… this post has nothing to do with my relationship, hubby and I are great. However, I was recently at a conference for work in DC. I went with my supervisor and one of the other faculty at my office. It was a great conference for nutrition educators, and I did a poster presentation on my project. Good all around. Our first night there, after the events were over with, my boss had dinner plans, so, I meandered into the lounge, grabbed a seat and had a drink and dinner, by myself. The next morning, she asked what I did the night before, so I told her, and she profusely apologized for me being alone. This seemed odd to me. I was more than happy to be alone… but, it reminded me of a conversation about dining alone in public I had awhile back.

I don’t remember remember what started the conversation, but remember that in general the consensus was that people were not comfortable dining alone. Perhaps I am indifferent to it because I’ve traveled alone for work or when I was in a long distance relationship. Honestly, traveling and eating alone is not a big deal for me. Some days, I enjoy it immensely.

I keep my life very busy. I work full time, go to school part-time, volunteer regularly, have 2 dogs to care for, stay physically active and somehow manage a social life of sorts in there. So, honestly, alone time, time with just myself and my thoughts is very welcome. I enjoy not feeling that I need to have a conversation or entertain. I take this time to rework my schedule for the millionth time, think about workout ideas, evaluate where I am in life, or sometimes, just enjoy the silence.

I believe some of my greatest thoughts/ideas come from my alone time. Some of my blog ideas, home creations, etc have come from alone time. And, this trip was no different. I started really thinking about my future in my career. I may finally succumb to the peer pressure take the next step in my career and pursue my PhD. To do that, I needed to really look at my goals, the cost, what I would want my dissertation to be on, etc. For me, I need to process those things out in my head before I discuss them with others.

I know that it seems a bit selfish, enjoying the thought of not having to talk to others, or interact with others. I enjoy having the ability to tune out the world and enjoy the introspection. I find that very beneficial.

Do you balk at the idea of dining alone? If so, I suggest you try it… it may become your new favorite escape. It’s a great thing, to learn to appreciate yourself as your own company, to appreciate the silence, and make the few moments of alone time precious and beneficial, even if it’s only to enjoy the silence.

Do you have other fears? My big fear is bridges, or, as I learned today: gephyrophobia. I am slowly but surely working on that fear. Sometimes, it is healthy to work towards conquering fears.

Stay tuned… product review on BenGay Zero Degrees coming soon!

July 12, 2012 Pace Per Mile Race Report

Hello all! It looks like the Vegas heat wave is going to break soon! I am sure this has altered some runs and training. We have only a couple events coming up in the next two weeks:

Low-key 5K and Fun Run (1.5 miles) on Saturday July 14th. This event is hosted by the Las Vegas Track Club and starts at 7:00 AM. As with all of their low-key events, cost is $5 for non-members and $3 for members. Registration is onsite only.

Xcell Triathafun will be held on Saturday July 21st. This event will be held at Lake Las Vegas and will consist of a 400 yard swim, 10 mile bike ride and 2 mile run. Events start at 7:00 AM. Cost is $35 with a $5 increase on the day of. Online registration closes July 18th at 11:59 PM.

Stay safe in the heat and happy running!!

The Yo-Yo Exerciser

Nope, not a review of a new and exciting exercise routine or gadget. It’s what I feel like. I won’t lie, when it comes to running, I am ON THAT. I run 3-4 times a week, love my long runs, and unless my body is crying, don’t miss a run.

However, when it comes to exercising, I am all over the map, really. I go all out, at the gym almost every day, feeling great, walking the dogs on top of it, go go go! Loving every minute of it, the sore muscles, the increased strength. All of it. Then… all of a sudden, I am “tired”, exhausted, busy, etc lazy/unmotivated and don’t get to the gym for weeks. I write out a nifty little schedule, plan to get up early and go before work, etc. and it never happens. I can wake up at 4:30 am for a run, but to strength train?! Nope. Doesn’t happen.

It’s not that I don’t know all the benefits to exercise and how it will help my running, and on and on. I get it. I just can’t continuously stick to a strength training program of any sort. Running, yes. Yoga, absolutely. But strength training, no matter what I try, it doesn’t stick. I have tried machines, free weights, classes, videos, etc. They work temporarily, but then, I just don’t care.

I guess it’s like getting used to eating healthy or changing other unhealthy behaviors. But this one, I just can’t “get”.  I feel better when I work out, but haven’t been able to love it, and that folks is what keeps me from fully committing. I wish I knew how to change this. Really. Because I love how I feel AFTER I work out and it has given me amazing benefits, in 2010 it helped me lose 50 lbs. I am pretty darn sure it will help me lose the last 15-20 lbs. So what is jeeping me from doing it?

I promote healthy living, I discuss the benefits of exercise and eating healthy at work and in my online life. Yet, I yo-yo exercise. Is this a syndrome? It should be.  Perhaps I should start a yo-yo exercisers support group.

So… I am reaching out to all of you… what helps keep you exercising when you don’t love exercising, what gets you to do it? What has worked for you? What gets you out there to do squats, lunges, crunches, bicep curls and so on? Help me fall in love with exercise!!

Yoga Bliss

Well… life is busy. Great, happy, wonderful, and busy. I could go into great detail explaining my blogging absence, but, why waste the space. So much has happened in the last few weeks, and things don’t look to be slowing down, so I really just need to arrange my schedule and life a little differently.
However… this blog, although a week late, is to make you all jealous of my wonderful yoga retreat I go to every year. One of my besties Jen met this yoga instructor at work, they offered yoga classes there and Jen attended classes regularly. Somehow, 3 years ago she found out about this yoga retreat that the instructor holds every year. We discussed and decided to go. That moment, was one of the best decisions of my life.  Jen and I are by far the two youngest at this retreat, but, we don’t care. It’s not held at some big center, it’s not advertised and is small and intimate. To me, it is perfect and every year, happens at the time in life where you truly need to refocus your energies and care for yourself. 
A wonderful lady that the instructor knows owns a house near Dewey Beach, DE. Two weekends a year she allows the yoga instructor to invite others in (for a fee, we don’t get this awesomeness for free) and have a yoga retreat. There are 8 of us total. We go to dinner the first night, then, spend the weekend being pampered and loved. Massages, naps, reading, amazing food, beach, pool, yoga, and entertainment compose the schedule. Really, what else do you need? Although all of those trappings are nice and the house is beyond beautiful… the true beauty, the one thing I look forward to all year is the amazing women that I see every year. Sure a face or two change maybe, but in general, it’s the same group. We catch up on each others’ lives, we celebrate ourselves, we remember that we too are important and need to be cared for. Jen and I often say it is a weekend filled with mom love for us, and we love every moment of it. EVERY MOMENT. As proof, when I gave the Matron of Honor speech at Jen’s rehearsal dinner, I closed the speech with the words of the song we end our retreat with every year. Those moments, I truly treasure every single one.
This retreat every year helps to bring me back to myself. I am a person who thrives on being constantly busy. The more you want to throw on my plate, fine… it will get done. I am constantly on the go, I work, I take classes, I care for my dogs, train for half marathons, volunteer. Idle time seems weird to me. That’s where this weekend comes in to play. I sit still. I do not feel weird being idle. I enjoy quality time with wonderful people just being in the moment. No schedules, I don’t even keep my phone on me (normally the phone is an extension of my body). I sit on the beach, or by the pool or lay on the couch… I just relax, refocus and regroup. I remember that without self care, I am useless. Interestingly, I always leave there and feel overly emotional for a few days after. More in tune with everything I guess. But, I feel better, more myself.
My husband realizes the importance of this weekend for me. Seriously. I moved out here one month before the first retreat. We have continuously budgeted for me to not only attend, but fly cross-country to do so (I love him even more for this). I have been home from this retreat for 8 days and I miss it and the ladies already. I am already counting the days until next year.
So, my goal this year is to remember ALL year, not just part of the year… that I am important. That I need to care for myself, love myself, and be kind to myself. Ignoring this will only cause a risk of burnout, stress, fatigue and exhaustion. My request for all of you, is that you do the same. Take care of you!