Thursday, June 27, 2013

It's Summer Already?!

I can't believe how fast this year is going.

The Drenched 5K is right around the corner!  July 6, are you free?

We (Randy, the little ladies and I) are so excited for this event!  My parents are coming down from Michigan to participate too!

If you're in the Columbus area, join us in this huge water fight!  Registration is still open.  Use discount code DRENCHEDMOM for $10 off your registration.  Join a team and save an additional $5.  I have a team set up: Slippery When Wet.  I will be planning a meet-up spot for a team picture before the run starts.

If you don't run, no biggie!  I will be walking with Randy, the girls and my parents.  I did warn my dad that we're probably want to run through the fire hose section.

Come join us!  It will be a blast!

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of the Drenched 5K.  I will be compensated for each time my discount code is used.


More fun news: The Pretty Muddy women's run has announced their event location!


Pretty Muddy is coming back to the Columbus area on September 14 and will take place at Mad River Mountain.  If you register before July 1 and use the code MADRIVER, you'll save $20.  Sweet!

Anne and I have a team: Powerful in Pink.  We're starting in the 9am wave.  Come join us!

Another disclaimer: I am a Pretty Muddy Blogger, I received a free entry in exchange for promoting the event.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Electric Run Race Review

Friday night, I ran my first ever nighttime race.  What a hoot!

Now would be a good time to disclose: the Electric Run offered me two free entries, one for me and one for a friend, and a discount code to share with the public in return for helping to promote their race.  All opinions expressed are my own.

I must warn you, many of the pictures are grainy or blurry, it being dark and all, but you'll get the gist.

Friday morning, I hit a local costume store to find black light glowing makeup.  I bought some body crayons and nail polish.  The nail polish looked pretty sweet under the black lights.  The body crayons were a disappointment.  The only color that actually lit up under the black light was yellow.  It's a good thing I'm not writing a review about those.

My friend, Kate, and I got downtown around 8 and met up with some of our Moms RUN This Town group.


My tutu?  It lights up.  Heck yea.
Photo owned by Stuart
(his came out better than mine)
Next, Kate and I wandered around until we found our other running group RunDMC.

Photo owned by Stuart (the guy in yellow)
This is so not a flattering picture of me, but it's a great photo bomb by Stuart, so I'm posting anyway.  I was trying to get a picture of the pink streaks I put in my hair (that didn't glow in the black lights.  Grr.).


After a little more primping and drawing with the body crayons that didn't light up under the black lights, we were ready to head to the start line!


The run was supposed to start at 9:20pm.  When Kate and I arrived, we heard an announcement that we would be starting at 9:40pm.  I was a little bummed about the time change, only because I had plans to meet friends to run at 6am on Saturday and starting later meant finishing later...which also meant less sleep.

The start was done in waves, which is good for crowd control on the course, but I was not in the first wave, so by the time I actually started running, it was 10pm.

I stuck with Kate and Stuart for the run...I use the term "run" loosely.  We walked most of this, we ran some and we skipped a lot.  (Skip to my Lou-skip, not cut corners-skip.)  There was also a little bit of twirling taking place.  It was hot and really humid out.  I was hoping that when the sun went down, the air would cool off a bit.  Not so much.

At the starting line.
Photo owned by Stuart
Mid-race
Photo owned by Stuart
The course was well decorated.  I loved skipping under the pretty lights.  There were lots of course marshals to keep us all safe.  We were sure to thank the police men for coming out and keeping us crazies heading in the right direction.  They all seemed pretty amused by all of the strange outfits.  (Seriously, friends, go do a nighttime run just for the people watching. You won't be sorry.)

At the finish, there was plenty of food and drink for purchase and a huge party going on with music and flashing lights.  It looked like a lot of fun.  The finish line party was scheduled to run until midnight, but I have no idea what time it actually ended.  Unfortunately, I couldn't stay to enjoy the festivities with my early wake up call the next morning.  As it was, I got home at midnight and went to bed without showering.

I know.  Gross.  I changed the sheets on Saturday.

The Electric Run was tons of fun and I'd totally do it again.  For those who love to race, please know that this is not a "race".  There is no clock, no timing chip and no finish prizes.

I'm usually one who will run for bling, but it was really fun to skip twirl walk run with only the purpose of hanging out with friends and enjoying the scenery.

Have you ever participated in an Electric Run?  This was my first, but it won't be my last!

Friday, June 21, 2013

I Lift Things Up and I Put Them Down

I wrote a training plan for the summer.  I've found that I don't do well when I don't have a plan written down.  When I go to bed each night, I like to know exactly what I'm getting up to do the next morning.  If I have no plan, I tend to hit the snooze or shut the alarm off and do nothing.

Yes, a plan is good.

Here is what my typical week looks like:
Monday- run
Tuesday- weights
Wednesday- run
Thursday- AM weights, PM run
Friday- rest
Saturday- run long
Sunday- rest

On Monday and Wednesday nights as I get my clothes ready for my weight workout in the morning, Randy always, always comments something about "I lift things up and I put them down."

Have you seen the commercial he's referring to?  The video won't show up in the email version of this post.  You need to click the title of the post and view it on the web.


Now, let's be clear, the things I lift up and put down are about 20 pounds, but still, I like to say that I lift heavy things.

This didn't really occur to me until I read Kyra's guest post about circuit training...I circuit train every Tuesday and Thursday!

On Monday and Wednesday nights, I make a list of 5-7 exercises.  I arrange them so I have an abs or squats between the arms exercises so they get a break.  I repeat my list of 5-7 exercises two or three times, depending on how much time I have. 

A circuit!

Funny story: while on vacation last week, my mom came to the fitness room with me for a weights workout.  The next day I caught her rubbing her abs.  When I asked her if she was sore, she gave me the sad face and said, "You're mean!"

My work here is done.

In other news, tonight is the Electric Run!  If you're in the Columbus area, you can still register!  The race is not sold out yet and my 10% discount code RRMR is good until the race time!  If you want in on the action, register!  Right now!  The race starts at 9:20.  This post goes live at 6am.  You have plenty of time.

Oh, that's right.  Some of you sleep in the morning.

I went shopping yesterday and bought lots of glowy things.  I may or may not have purchased a light up tutu as well.

I will leave you to look forward to the race pictures.

How often do you lift heavy things?
Ever run a nighttime race?  I volunteered at the Glow Run, but I've never run one...until tonight!


Monday, June 17, 2013

Beach Vacation in Pictures


Last week was our family vacation at the beach.

Awesome would be an understatement.

I love the ocean.  The sand, the salt, the waves.  It soothes my soul.

Most of our family vacations include my parents.  Yes, it's nice to have extra hands for the kiddos, but my parents are fun to hang out with.  After the little ladies go to bed, we adults drink and play games.

This is our third time visiting Virginia Beach but our first time staying in Sandbridge.


The Dunes is a really nice place.  The condos are all individually owned and well cared for.  Our unit was spectacular.  There were 6 of us staying in the three bedroom, 2 bathroom condo and we never felt crowded.  We had a ton of living space.

The view didn't suck either.


We went to the beach every day except one.  It was too cold and we had high winds on Friday.  We went to the pool once.  It wasn't near as awesome as the beach.



Ellie wanted to boogie board, but was afraid to do it by herself.  I took her for a few piggy-back boogie board rides.  We giggled our heads off.

The waves were a little rough on Thursday.  One caught my mom off-guard and knocked her over.  My dad and I were in the water and saw my mom on her butt with her feet up in the air.  We didn't laugh until we saw her head above water and knew she was OK.  I promise.  I crack up every time I think of it.  (Sorry, Mom.)

Friday morning, I hit the road early to knock out an 8 mile run.  The sunrise was gorgeous and my shadow at mile 3.5 made me giggle.  I'll only be tall when the sun is low.


Now, we're home.  It's a little depressing, but kind of nice at the same time.  We missed our own beds and we missed the pooches.

As fun as vacation is, it's always nice to come home.


How was your week last week?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday Faves

Ellie age 2 ~ cherry picking
'Tis the season for fresh cherries!

I love fresh cherries, but they're kind of a pain to serve to little kids which is why I was thrilled to discover this olive/cherry pitter from Oxo.  I bought it the summer Ellie was two and Aleena was just a baby.






This bad boy makes serving cherries a breeze.
Even though the little ladies are bigger now, could you imagine what my kitchen would look like if they were left to their own devices to spit out the pits?  Yikes.

My second fave for the week is Oikos Greek yogurt.


I first hopped on the Greek yogurt bandwagon with Chobani.  I thought it was really good.  Last week, Oikos was on sale at the grocery store and, well, money talks, so I bought Oikos instead of Chobani.

Oh. My. Gosh.

Oikos is way better.  I checked the label because for me to like this so much, it must be bad for me. Oikos has 1g less protein, 10mg less sodium and 2g more sugar than Chobani.  Not too bad.

John Stamos didn't show up when I ate it, but I'll let it slide.


What are some of your favorite things?
Do you have, or have you used a cherry pitter?
What's your favorite Greek yogurt flavor?  I'm a fan of the orange cream and the black cherry.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Circuit Training ~ A Guest Post

Good morning, Friends!  Today, I have a guest post from Kyra, The Get in Shape Girl!  If you've never heard of her, please check out her websites.  She's undergone an amazing transformation.  No surgery, she just busted her ass.  Take notes, people, we can all look fit and fabulous!  Here's some motivation for your Monday.


Oh here we are.. Memorial Day has passed and you know what that means... BIKINI SEASON!!!

I say this with all of the excitement in the world, but not everyone feels the same way I do.  Trust me, I know plenty women who dread this time of the year.. err.. let me rephrase that.  I KNEW plenty of women who used to dread this time of the year, but now they are ready to shed the layers and hit the beach in their bikinis because they’ve been following my workout program.

I’m going to fill you in on a secret I learned a few years back when I was overweight, but first, I figure you should see for yourself what I’ve been capable of, and quite frankly, you are capable of as well...

 
Yep, that picture on the left was me, about 30 pounds ago.  Anyway, enough about me.  I’m going to tell you my secret to how I was able to get rid of enough body fat so that I can be totally confident in my bikini, and YOU CAN TOO!!

Here’s the secret:  CIRCUIT TRAINING.

The lowdown:  Circuit training simply is a way of training where you do exercises in circuits.  For example, you would take four exercises and you would do them in a row, for three rounds.  I’ll get more specific on this soon.  It should also be noted that each exercise should be done with minimal rest.  If you can complete three rounds of about four exercises without any breaks, it will make the circuit cardiovascular in nature, therefor you are getting your strength training and cardio done all at once!

Typically, the rep ranges for each exercises are in the moderate range, somewhere around eight to twelve repetitions for each.  You can use a combination of body weight exercises, plyometric exercises and resistance exercises. 

The benefits:  Probably the most notable benefit to circuit training is the high fat loss rate you will see once you begin circuit training.  Even Jillian Michaels has stated that circuit training is the best tool for fat loss.  With circuit training you are able to increase your strength and lean muscle mass with resistance exercises.  You are also burning fat because it is cardiovascular in nature, and sometimes can even be high intensity cardio.  (Not to mention the more muscle mass you have on your body, the more easily fat can be burned.)

Another great benefit to circuit training is how it really increases your metabolism.  Adding lean muscle to your body increases your metabolism.  Doing intervals of high intensity cardio increases your metabolism.  Thus circuit training increases your metabolism!

Circuit training saves you time!  I mentioned earlier that if done correctly, circuit training is cardiovascular in nature, so you are doing strength training and cardio at the same time.  Then, there’s just no need to do cardio after weights - it’s all done at once.

Other important benefits to include are: you can train your whole body in one quick workout, you will never get bored, you can do this from home with minimal equipment, if you have an injury you can usually still do circuit training, you’re also highly unlikely to injure yourself from overuse of joints because you are always mixing it up, decreased risk of disease and illness and all that bad stuff.. AND LOOKING GREAT IN A BIKINI!!

So what are you waiting for? 

Try circuit training today and rock your bikini with pride this summer!!

I’m going to get you started with a total body circuit training workout you can do from home.  All you need are a couple sets of dumbbells that challenge you.

 
 
Circuit 1 (complete 3 rounds)

Squat to overhead press x 10

push ups x 12

mountain climbers x 30

lying straight leg raises x 15

 

Circuit 2 (complete 3 rounds)

Step up with two arm bicep curls x 10 each leg (alternating legs)

plank x 30 seconds

burpees x 10

tricep dips x 15 (challenge yourself and lift a leg)

 

Circuit 3 (complete 3 rounds)

squat jumps x 15

bent over dumbbell rows x 12

jumping lunges x 30

bicycle crunches x 30

 

If you liked that workout and want more like it, follow my blog and Facebook where I’ll share more workouts, motivation and other fitness tips to get you bikini ready by summer!

Kyra,

The Get In Shape Girl

Friday, June 7, 2013

For the Love of Pooches

Here is the story of how we became a three-dog household. 

No, it wasn't intentional.

Way back in the dark ages (ahem, 2004), Randy and I bought our first house.  Our reasons for wanting a house included, but aren't limited to: we wanted to ditch our irritating neighbors in our apartment, we wanted a little more space, another bedroom would be great, and we wanted a dog.

In early 2005, I started perusing the websites of local shelters looking for a sweet face that just screamed, "Take me home!"

Randy found that face on the website of a local rescue organization, Columbus Dog Connection.


As soon as I saw Odie, I knew.  He was the pooch for us.

We couldn't have him right away, though.  there were a few hoops we needed to jump through first: We had to pass a home inspection and we had to meet Odie before we could sign adoption papers.

 
Odie is a good dog...with a ton of energy.  It didn't take us long to realize that Odie needed another dog to play with so we scheduled play dates with our friends' dogs.  I wish I'd have been a runner back then; Odie would have loved it.

Just over a year later, we were ready to adopt a little brother for Odie.  We didn't want a puppy.  We wanted a dog big enough to play with the O-man immediately.

No, Dad.  It's not time to study.  It's time to PLAY!
Back to the Columbus Dog Connection's website, I went.


Jackson was 11 months old, already potty trained and almost exactly the same size as Odie.  Jackson's foster parents brought him over for a play date to meet Odie.  They liked each other!  Perfect!  Jack's foster mom, Cindy, told me jokingly not to sign any adoption papers until after I see Jackson drink.  He gulps/chomps water.  When he walks away from the bowl, half of a gallon of water drips from his jowls.

We keep a lot of towels near the dog bowls.

Odie and Jackson quickly became best pals.


They were also great snugglers.












As all young boys do, they got into trouble together.
That used to be a couch.
A couple of months later, Columbus Dog Connection asked me to foster a puppy.

I can totally foster a puppy!

Randy told me that I shouldn't foster a puppy.

My mom told me that I shouldn't foster a puppy.

They were both worried that I'd get too attached and not want to let anyone else adopt her.

What do they know?


Adora was tiny when she came to us.  She was between 8 and 10 weeks old and the boys fell head over heels for her.  Adora quickly became "their puppy".

After about a month, I was completely in love.  I cried on the way to adoption events that I had to take her to and I cried all the way home.  (It didn't help that this was about the time that I got pregnant with Ellie.)

My list of requirements for any potential adopters was about a mile long and, if I'm being honest, no one was going to be good enough to adopt baby Adora.

A few months later, Randy and I decided to adopt her.

I concede.  Randy and my mom were right.  (Yes, Mom.  You read that right.)

I suck at fostering.  But I'm really good at adopting.


The dogs have their own couch.  No, they're not spoiled or anything.
I see now that Odie, Jackson and Adora were a pack right from the beginning.  They pick on each other, they protect each other, they love each other.  When one dog is removed from the pack, the other two whine until their team is once again complete.

I also see that we were meant to be a three dog household.  It's overwhelming at times, not a quiet house by any means and the yard always has a lot of poop to pick up, but the unconditional love we get from our large furry babies is worth all of the noise and upkeep.


My five babies.

What kind and how many furry babies do you have?
Have you ever fostered a pet?  Did you do a better job than I did?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Happy National Running Day!

Did everyone run today?

This post went live at 6am.  I know that most of you have not run yet today. 

What are you waiting for?!

(Um, daylight?)

Full disclosure: I haven't run yet either.  I lifted weights this morning and I have a group run tonight to celebrate this wonderful holiday; a holiday, in my humble opinion, worth celebrating.

National Running Day takes place every year on the first Wednesday in June.

How do we celebrate?

We run!

We also share why we run.

I run for many reasons.  I run for patience.  I run for energy.  I run for peace.  I run for alone-time.  I run to set a good example for my little ladies.

Sometimes, I run away from my little ladies.

I run to keep my heart healthy.  I run to eat.  I run for martinis.  I run to see what I'm made of. 

I run because I can.

Mostly, I run for the love of running.
Why do you run?