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Welcome 2015!

Happy New Year (a few days late)… I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are ready to tackle this new year!! After a roller coaster of a year in 2014, I am excited for a new year, new goals and new adventures!!

So… here are my goals/plans for 2015 broken down by areas of my life:

Work:

  • Be successful.
  • Prioritize daily.
  • Succeed in achieving my goals.
  • Host successful events.
  • Outreach within the community.
  • Grow and learn.

Personal:

  • Be present.
  • Walk my dog every day.
  • Love more.
  • Tell people how I feel about them.
  • Appreciate those in my life.
  • Practice kindness.
  • Read more.  (I just joined an online book club, stay tuned for monthly book reviews!)
  • Smile and laugh every day.
  • Make someone else smile every day.
  • Offer assistance where I can.
  • Volunteer.
  • Learn to say no.
  • Respect my time, emotions, and needs.
  • Cook and bake more.
  • Spend more time with friends and loved ones.
  • Organize my life/schedule.
  • De-clutter my home.

Health:

  • Eat healthy 80% of the time.
  • Start flossing more.
  • Eat less sugar.
  • Cook more meals.
  • Plan my weekly meals.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Get more sleep.
  • Walk 10, 000 steps minimum a day.

Fitness:

  • Create a plan with my trainer that challenges me, yet one I can commit to maintaining.
  • Try new things.
  • Join a yoga studio.
  • Swim more.
  • Bike more.
  • Run more.
  • Complete two sprint triathlons.
  • PR in a half marathon.
  • Don’t let the Philly Half win this year.
  • Become stronger.
  • Build more muscle.
  • Improve my hill running.
  • Be consistent in all my fitness.

Blog/Social Media:

  • Write more.
  • Collaborate with others.
  • Share my knowledge of essential oils.
  • Post more recipes.
  • Be more interactive.
  • Bring you more reviews and information on great products.

Essential Oils:

  • Expand my knowledge.
  • Earn certifications.
  • Share with others both the knowledge, benefits and opportunity with essential oils.

It may seem like a lot, but broken down into life areas… not so difficult at all to manage. To start, I ordered a planner/journal from plumpaper.com and began working with my trainer to create some workout plans/goals for the year. I have worked with my trainer for specific fitness goals, and while some of the goals listed here seem broad, the detailed SMART goals are written!! Now for this cold to go away so I can get to my running and dog walking goals.

What are your 2015 goals and plans? I’d love to hear them!!

 

Hello world!

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Welcome to my new page and the start of my rebranding!! Stay tuned for some great product reviews, recipes and more!!! Thank you for checking it out!

2013 Year In Review

Well… they always say things don’t turn out as you planned, and 2013 definitely reminded me of that. Not just a moment in the year, but the entire year. This year has definitely been an emotional roller coaster for me. I’ve had more laughter than I could have hoped for, treasured friendships that started or grew stronger, found a physical strength and mental determination I never knew I had, dealt with chronic medical issues, and experienced the most painful loss of my life.  (sorry this blog post is a long one…)

In December 2012 I announced I would be running 13 half marathons in 2013. It was 2013, 13.1 miles, I was turning 39 (3×13)… a whole cute concept. I worked out my race schedule. I spent more money than I would like to admit. I know now, I don’t ever need to set that goal again, but I am grateful I was able to accomplish this goal. It was a true life changer for me. For many reasons outside of running, it was an exhausting year. At times I had no interest in going for a run, of training. I just wanted to run to run… I was starting to miss that, and some moments, it felt more like work. Overall, a good, solid running year. Here’s how the races went…

January’s race I woke with an occurrence of the chronic eye issue I have. I was in pain, my vision was blurry and I was frustrated. It was 20 degrees that morning. All of that, showed on the course. From the moment I crossed the start line I just wanted it to be over, and I couldn’t shake that feeling. I couldn’t get warm or find my groove.

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Running From An Angel Half Marathon

February was actually a great race for me, my time was back on point, I felt great, the race was at the beach in CA, truly, a great race. I was able to hang out with a great friend and make some new ones. I wish every race could be like that event.

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Charlene and I at Surf City Half Marathon

March… my husband had been sick for 2 weeks before this race. I woke up race morning with a sore throat. By the time I hit the start line, I was nauseous, achy, it hurt to breathe. I told myself it was a little cold, to get over it and run. I ran, and ran slow. It hurt to breathe when I was running, the body aches were brutal. My stomach was so queasy taking fueling was a challenge. But, I knew this course, and when to take it easy and when to push. I finished, albeit slower than normal. Turns out, I had bronchitis and severe respiratory infection. I was out of commission for a couple weeks.

Six Tunnels Half Marathon

Then, April came. I was excited for April, even though I hadn’t trained it was a shot at redemption, great race, great people, in Hollywood… my running BFF and I had great plans. Then, the start of that week, my world as I knew it forever changed. My grandfather passed away. I lost a part of my heart and soul that day. I made it back to town and felt in my heart I needed to run to try to heal. Maybe for the distraction, I don’t know. I went to the race. Until that race started I wasn’t sure if I would actually run it. Right before the starting gun I decided to start and to finish. Nothing more. To just let the race happen. I did just that. Overall, it was a good race, my pace was solid, and I noticed around mile 9-10 that if I stuck with it, I could PR on a half. When I realized that, I felt nothing, no sudden surge of energy, no intense motivation. I took that as a sign. I decided to just enjoy the last 3 miles, encourage others and enjoy the run. At that moment I felt such a strong presence with me it took me back, I literally stopped on the course to catch my breath. In my heart, I knew it was pappy guiding me. He led me to exactly the race I was meant to have. At mile 11 I came across a limping runner. It was her first half, she had hurt her quad but wanted to finish. She had that frustrated, annoyed, heartbroken yet determined look on her face. I asked if I could walk with her a bit, asked if she was okay. We started talking and I ended up walking with her to the finish, encouraged her as she jogged across the finish line, made sure she got to medical and that was that. That race gave me a brief sense of peace.

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Hollywood Half Marathon!

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Medal and pappy charm

May brought along the second race in the Beach Cities Challenge… OC! I knew from the get-go this would not be an amazing race. I am the Race Chair for the local Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and our event was the day before. So, on a handful of hours of sleep, a long drive from Las Vegas to CA, and an exhausted body… I dealt with the poor race organization and finished this race. Actually, better than anticipated, but honestly I don’t remember much of the course. I was in a daze I think for most of that race and later, when I saw video, thought, I ran there?! Five down…

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Charlene and I after OC Half Marathon

In June not only was I running a half, I was conquering one of my biggest fears: bridges. I have always been terrified of bridges, the Wipro San Francisco Half Marathon I was running ran over and back on the Golden Gate Bridge. Hey, if you are going to conquer a fear, do it big! So… I flew out to SF and stayed with my younger brother. We celebrated his now fiance’s birthday and had an enjoyable weekend. On race morning he chose to run the race with me. This meant SO much to me, and having him by my side for 13.1 miles, including that bridge, a priceless moment in time. He was great at keeping me distracted while on the bridge and keeping me moving on those San Fran hills!!

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San Francisco Half Marathon medals from 2012, 2013, and Half It All Challenge

July brought me to Bryce Canyon, Utah! We planned a lovely girls weekend, rented a house near the finish line and took off for a getaway. The scenery was beautiful! The race was fun. This course was mostly downhill, so that was an interesting challenge. After, we relaxed, ate, relaxed. We went for a hot but amazingly beautiful hike the following day.

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Kristin and I after Bryce Canyon Half Marathon

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Hiking in Bryce Canyon

August… I did my first ever midnight race: the infamous ET Race in Rachel, NV. This was so much fun… it was dark except for runner head lamps, quiet and serene, which made the 7 mile incline at the start of the race less annoying. You could see the beautiful full moon and hear the cattle. If you ever are in the Las Vegas area in August, I suggest running this event. It is totally worth the lack of sleep.

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ET Half Marathon shirt, medal and race bib

September was my double-up month! I did my first ever trail half marathon at the Henderson Trail Classic, and that was truly a challenge, but so glad I did this. It renewed my love of running in a lot of ways… new challenges, new outlook, new workout. I got to spend some great time with my running BFF before and after, a truly great experience. I also ran a satellite Running Troops half marathon with my running BFF Charlene. This was bittersweet… getting to run side by side with her was wonderful, but this was her last run pre-injury and she was out of commission until right before Christmas. 12 long weeks. This brought me to 10 completed races!!!

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Henderson Trail Classic Half Marathon

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Running Troops swag half marathon

October I brought on a new challenge to myself as well as my 11th half marathon. I ran the final race for the Beach Cities Challenge in Long Beach, CA, where I PR’d for the year and got to hang out with some amazing running friends!! I loved this race, everything about it. I was just a little sad that my running BFF couldn’t run it with me as planned. Next up for my crazy October… a sprint triathlon, the Iron Girl. I was looking for a way to change up my training and reignite my desire to complete this goal. This was such an amazing challenge. The training, the event, the challenge of swimming and cycling… just amazing. I loved it so much, I am planning on 2 for next year.

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Hanging with friends post Long Beach Half Marathon

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My Beach Cities Medals and Challenge MEDAL!!!!

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I AM AN IRONGIRL!

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Coming in to the finish!

November brought me to Philadelphia, which has become a running family tradition. I met up with a couple cousins again this year for this event. I returned to PA for 1 ½ weeks prior to the race to spend time with friends, and ended up catching a cold. My goal to hit a sub 2:20 faded on race day with that cold, but, I was proudly able to finish at my regular pace, keeping me on track. At this point, some personal stuff was going strong, and I was struggling with that, so the running and training kept me distracted.

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Philadelphia Half Marathon

December… this is it, the final month, the final race. Due to changes with race schedules, I ended up selecting a satellite location for the Operation Jack Half Marathon on Dec. 28th. Unfortunately, I hurt my hip 2 weeks before, so trained less and had to run slower than normal… but I did accomplish something pretty amazing that day. For the first time in a half, I ran the first 10 miles non-stop. At that point took a 30 sec walk/stretching break and carried on. I took about 2 more over the last 3 miles, for a total of 1 ½ minutes of walk breaks. That to me was amazing compared to the 4/1 or 3/:30 intervals I have been using. I finished this race with a smile on my face, and a few tears. I dedicated a mile to those that over the past year have really made an impact on my life. My running BFF, very fittingly, was at the finish with a huge sign, a huge hug, some tears… and a cupcake. Is there any better way to finish a race? I don’t think so. I was also lucky enough to have a great friend pace me for this, to make sure I didn’t go too fast!

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Operation Jack Half Marathon

So, all in all, a fun racing year. Exhausting, at times overwhelming, but fun racing year. I am grateful I was able to accomplish this and thank everyone for their support. But an extra special, personal thank you to those who truly made a difference in my life the past 12 months; they offered support, love, encouragement and strength. Without them, I wouldn’t be who I am today. So thank you to: RG, JH, MK, CR, CW, FA, WV, KZ, JD, KB, Pappy, and my family. Love you all more than I can put into words.

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My year in bling!!

Here is to an AMAZING 2014!! Stay tuned for the goals I have in store for next year!!

Iron Girl August Recap

I must apologize for being quiet in the Iron Girl training reports through August. Have no fear… the training has been going down!

First, with the help of Franklin at iBodyFit, I have been working on building my strength. He gives me great workouts that are never the same and work my body. I haven’t felt so many sore muscles in forever. It feels great!! We are really focusing on my core and upper body and it shows. Muscles are getting defined and the weight and body fat are dropping.

I’ve added swim/bike brick workouts once a week and bike/run brick workouts as well. I will be adding in another biking day, finally getting a bike to train outdoors on and will be attending an open water swim workout on the 15th!!

I have been a busy bee getting myself in Iron Girl shape and getting excited for this event!!

But… before I become an official triathlete, I will be completing 2, yes 2 half marathons between now and then along with a rowing event.

A huge success for me: I was able to swim 500 meters non-stop in the pool. I know I will not excel at the swimming portion, but am feeling better and better about it as the weeks go on.

I also just completed my first trail half marathon… that report will be coming tomorrow. A true challenge and a humbling experience, but I loved it.

I also met to fellow Iron Girls this weekend which was exciting. I am actually meeting them for the open water swim, did I mention the swim is 2 hours before I need to be at the airport? Nothing says crazy dedicated like heading for a swim, changing in a casino bathroom and heading to the airport for a business trip.

This next week will be a bit more low-key on the training, but, staying focused!!

I am an Iron Girl!! You can be too! Info on how to join me, or find a race near you HERE!

 

Spartan Race Giveaway


Based on the huge response I received on the last Spartan Race giveaway, I’d say I have quite a few followers that love the challenge of obstacle course racing. I have good news!! Spartan Races is partnering with NBC Sports Network to feature the OCR World Championship in Vermont September 21-22, 2013.

There will be cash prizes and thousands and thousands of runners in Vermont that weekend to take on the challenge of Spartan Races. The best part… the TV special is the stories of the participants, the people behind the races.

There is still time to register for the Vermont events and be a part of the amazing weekend, meet other OCR junkies and witness the World Championship. Are you ready??

As an added bonus… I have another race entry giveaway and a discount code, just click HERE for 15% your race fee.

Good luck!! Go forth and conquer!!

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Spartan Race Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to… Ali Bazor!!

Thank you to everyone who entered and remember, there is also the discount code for 15% off with this LINK!

Spartan Race Giveaway

Hello readers!! Are you a fan of Obstacle Course Racing? Interested in challenging yourself to an event that will push your limits with the obstacles and distance?

I am sure you have all heard of the Spartan Race. This is definitely on my list for the next time it is in Las Vegas! Check out this video:

Here are some other great pics as well. Who else is excited about this??

I have great news!! Spartan Race has given me ONE free entry into a Spartan Race to give away to my readers!! On top of that, I have a special link and discount code for everyone. If you would like to register with a 15% discount, please CLICK HERE.

Good luck!!

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Vitacost Giveaway

Have you shopped at Vitacost yet? If not, what are you waiting for? They have great low prices on everything you need from supplements to essential oils to grocery items to gluten-free… They even offer 10% off for items you set up a Set & Save order for. Or, sign up with a friend and through their refer a friend program: Want to sign up with Refer A Friend? https://www.vitacostrewards.com/public/home.pg

Below is a chance to win a gift card for Vitacost to get you started on your shopping spree!

Contest runs from 7/1 12:00 AM EST – 7/14 12:00 EST

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Power Ice Review

As a runner, the importance of electrolytes and fueling is an ongoing topic. As a runner in Las Vegas, the concern with high heat adds to that topic. How does one stay cool and replenish electrolytes in a desert summer? How does a runner keep the heat from affecting their performance? There are many options out there, and we all know, what works for one doesn’t work for another. I can drink water and electrolyte drinks all day… but, when running, I’m not a fan of the water balloon feeling one gets from trying to stay hydrated, not over doing it, and regulating my body temperature.

Then… Power Ice came along! Power Ice is a frozen electrolyte popsicle! It’s a popsicle for athletes!! The first time I saw the packaging I had flashbacks to the days of devouring colored popsicles as a child. Yes, as an adult they will lower body temp, but not provide the electrolyte replacement that Power Ice does.

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So, I tried two flavors: Lime Cooler and Orange Blast. Both were delicious! Not overly sweet, and the citrus flavors were refreshingly tangy!! I tried them in two different ways: pre-run and post-run.

The information packet and website state that the ice bars can be used before, during and after an endurance event. With no way to keep them cold on a run, I opted to try the other two methods. Taking them pre-run helped to initially lower body temp and Power Ice states that runners who ingested the product before workouts ran 19% further before exhaustion set in. I did notice feeling stronger longer on my run and that the heat began to affect me later in the run than it normally would. I definitely noticed a difference in my running performance, pace and form.

Next up, I tried the ice bars post-run. I noticed a much faster recovery and return to normal body temps in no time at all. After running in the heat, the ice bars were extremely refreshing and a great treat that was providing my body with the electrolytes it just used up! I wanted to eat the whole box after some runs, but controlled myself so I could make them last.

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Here is some information on these wonderful things:

  1. 30 calories each
  2. 8 g of carbs each
  3. NO caffeine, fruit juice or High Fructose Corn Syrup
  4. Gluten free and Kosher (my GF friend tried one and had no reactions to it)

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So, if you are looking for a better way to beat the heat and replace electrolytes when training or participating in an event, definitely check out Power Ice! You will love them!!

I received a package of Power Ice Ice Bars in two flavors from Power Ice at no cost in exchange for sharing my opinion with my readers. I was not compensated in any other way for my opinion and all thoughts are my own.

Vi-Shape Chocolate Strawberry Yogurt Pie

I am a huge fan of sweets, I can’t deny it. Most of the time, I will have a small treat, but am trying to make a valid effort to find healthier sweet treats. The challenge most times… how to make something taste like it’s a “cheat” but be good for you. Enter Visalus Vi-Shape Nutritional Shake Mix.

I was recently provided a sample of Visalus Vi-Shape Sweet Cream flavored nutrititional shake mix, several flavor packs and an opportunity to create a recipe outside of the traditional smoothie. I was excited to create tasty treats that provide me with a great source of protein and nutrients as well as satisfy my sweet tooth. When I first received the product I tasted it… and LOVED the flavor, a hint of sweet without being overly sweet and a great flavor to mix with others without it overpowering a recipe. The flavor packets are great for adding flavors to the powder and recipes.

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It also happened that a heat wave was hitting Las Vegas, so I immediately ruled out anything involving serious baking. So, I decided to create a yogurt pie with several healthy twists. The first thing I did was create a crust full of nutrients instead of graham crackers, sugar and butter. Then, made a sweet but not overly sweet filling and topped it with strawberries.

To create my “graham cracker like” crust I used almonds, dried apricots, dates, Vi-Shape and a little butter. It was a nutty and sweet combination packed with added nutrients and no refined sugar.

RECIPE:

Crust:

3 oz. almonds

1/4 + 1/8 cups dried apricots

1/4 + 1/8 cups pitted dates

1 1/2 scoops Vi-Shape Powder

3 T melted butter

  1. Combine the almonds, dried apricots and pitted dates into a food processor and chop.
  2. Transfer to a bowl, add in the Vi-Shape and stir. Lastly, add the butter and stir.
  3. Place the mixture into a pie pan and press into sides and bottom of pan. *Optional: bake crust for 20 minutes (this is not necessary, I did it both ways and the baked crust stayed a little crispier)

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Filling:

3 cups non-fat Greek yogurt

3 scoops Vi-Shape Powder

1 packet Chocolate Cardia Care Health Flavor Packet (can add 2 if you want it extra sweet)

  1. Stir all ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  2. Scoop into pie crust and even out.
  3. Slice strawberries and place on top as a layer of strawberries.

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Then, let the pie chill for at least an hour… then, ENJOY!

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For details on the product, ingredients and how to order, CLICK HERE.

I received a package of Vi-Shape Sweet Cream Nutritional Shake Mix and flavor packets at no cost and compensation in exchange for sharing my opinion with my readers and creating a recipe using their product. All thoughts are my own.