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Month: May 2014

May 2014 in Review

Miles Ran/Last Month: 65.18/61.64.  May was my first month working with Coach Sara.  Every Sunday she enters my workouts for that week.  I do various types of runs such as easy, tempo, and long.  I did my first ever speed workout on a track and loved it!  I’ve always done them on the treadmill so this was something new to me.

Highest Mileage Week: 19.

Races Planned/Completed: 3/0.  Sigh.  I had planned to run 2 half marathons and 1 5K this month. And I backed out of all of them.  Boo me.  Luckily, I had registered for only one race (and paid $19.72) so it wasn’t that much of a loss.  The reason I did not run it is because I went to the ZOOMA Training Kickoff.  It was another gorgeous day for a run!

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Current Ache/Pain: My knees.  Just a slight pain when I walk.  Might be the shoes?

Current Challenge: None.  Last month was the 30-Day Plank Challenge and did not complete it. Need to think again how badly I want to do these challenges.

Current Book: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.  I finished Catching Fire and loved it.  I finished the book on Monday and went to Redbox to get the movie.

I also read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes for my book club.  It is a great book and can’t wait to meet with the girls to talk about it.  And drink too.  🙂

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Current Song: Feel this Moment by Pitbull and Christina Aguilera.  I love the beat and makes me want to run faster.  Sometimes I find myself listening to it towards the end of a run to keep on going.

Current Treat: All-in-Almond by Picky Bars.

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Next Race: Michelob ULTRA 13.1 Chicago on Saturday, June 7.  I am looking forward to this race. So far weather is looking good.

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Current Excitement: Less than two weeks to go.

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Three Things Thursday, May 29, 2014

1.  Just two more weeks till summer break!  Am I excited?  You bet!   My plans include to continue training for the Chicago Marathon, take one class and work part time.  I know, I know, nothing really exciting.

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Last week I got my official teaching assignment for next year.  I will be moving on up to the second floor to teach 2nd grade.  I am very happy about that move.  I’ve taught 1st grade for 5 years and am ready for a change.

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2.  On Sunday, May 25, several ZOOMA ambassadors and I met at Waterfall Glen for a fun run.  And it was so much fun!  There will be more opportunities to join us on these runs.  For more information about the race on August 2 and to learn more about upcoming fun/training runs, visit the ZOOMA website.

  • Saturday, May 31, 9:30am, Universal Sole, 1333 E. Benton Place, Chicago, IL (Chicago Training Kick off)
  • Wednesday, June 4, 6:30pm, Athleta 3415 N. Southport, Chicago, IL
  • Thursday, June 5, 6:30pm, Old Plank Trail at Wolf Road and Rt. 30, Frankfort, IL
  • Wednesday, June 11, 6:30pm, Athleta 3415 N. Southport, Chicago, IL
  • Saturday, July 12, 9:30am, Universal Sole, 1333 E Benton Place, Chicago, IL (10 mile training run)

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I ran with my Camelback Marathoner Vest.  Ha, wasn’t so difficult to fill it up with water but I did have a little bit of trouble actually drinking from it.  Luckily one of the girls I ran with told me what I was doing wrong so now I know the correct way to drink from it.  I plan to run a few more times with it before I write a full review about it.

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3.  Please check out Kelly the Culinarian’s Vermont City Marathon Recap.  She ran a marathon in March with a 15 minute PR and then ran again this past weekend and got a 25 minute PR.  Her goal is to BQ.  “Next year, I want to come back and Boston Qualify.  When you cut 25 minutes off in two months, shaving off another 14 in a year seems feasible.”  So true and CONGRATULATIONS Kelly!

As you know, to BQ is also one of my goals.  My current marathon PR is 5:16:53.  That means I need to cut a little over 1 1/2 hours.  Yikes!  I am confident that one day I will get there.  It might not be this year and probably neither the following year but I will get there.

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LYFT Clean Caffeine Review

Through my relationship with Fit Approach, I received a complimentary LYFT Clean Caffeine product. As always, all thoughts, opinions and ideas are my own.

Let’s see.  This was an interesting product to review.  I am big coffee drinker.  I drink it every single day.  You do not want to be around me if I haven’t had yet a cup of coffee.  I love the flavor and the energy boost I get from the caffeine.  That is what keeps me going with 23 kids in a classroom.

LYFT® Energy Stir Sticks are a zero calorie, “Clean Caffeine”™ energy product infused with all natural caffeine derived from green coffee bean extract with vitamins A and B complex that can be used with any beverage to provide a sophisticated energy experience with a clean taste. (Source: http://www.purelyft.com/)

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It is a very simple product to use.  Remove strip and stir in drink.

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I couldn’t taste the powder in my drink.  Well, just the slight taste of sweetness.  Nothing to complain about.  Each stick has caffeine that is comparable to a tall cup of coffee.  I tried this in the evening and I was still tired.

Check out this document to see how LYFT compares to other energy giving products such as ZipFizz and RedBull.  

I like the taste of coffee so if I need a “pick me up” then I will just drink a cup of coffee.  However, LYFT is a much healthier choice.  Plus it is convenient since you can put this in your bag and take it anywhere with you.  I think they’re a bit expensive, $5.99 for a 2 pack.  Again, I like coffee so I would rather spend the money on coffee.

Injini Giveaway Winners and Vega Sport Review

Thanks to all of you that entered my Injini giveaway.  The winners are Em Mahr and Janice Wei. I’ve sent you both an email so please send me your mailing address.  If you did not win, don’t worry because I plan to have another giveaway (Injini socks again) soon.

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Through my relationship with Fit Approach, I received a complimentary Vega Sport product. As always, all thoughts, opinions and ideas are my own.

I had the chance to review the Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer.  I chose the acai berry flavor.

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What is it you ask?  “It is a pre-workout drink mix sporting a unique blend of 13 synergistic plant-based performance-improving ingredients, like green tea, yerba mate, coconut oil and rhodiola, specifically selected to: Provide immediate and sustained energy, Increase endurance, aerobic and anaerobic capacity, and Enhance mental focus and recovery.”  Also, each drink mix is dairy, gluten & soy free.

Sounds good to me since I do my workouts after work and many times have no energy to go out for a run.  The first time I tried it, I had to do 10 minutes warmup, 3×1600, 10 minutes cooldown.  I did it in 52:12 with an average pace of 10:16.  Boom!  The second time did not go well.  It was a hot day and I was not properly hydrated.   As for the 3rd, 4th, 5th and up to the 12th time, some days were good and some were not.  I managed to do 4×400 speed intervals, each one under 9 minutes, which is pretty fast for me.  Before any workout, I only drink water.  This energizer drink was new to me and it gave me a boost of energy to get my legs moving and to keep on running.

Each portion comes in a very handy packet.  It was great for me because I just put this in my lunch bag in the morning before leaving for school.  I mixed each packet with 8 ounces of water and drank it 20 minutes before my run.  Sounds very easy.

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The only complaint I have is the taste.  I did not care for the acai flavor at all.  The taste is a little sweet.  Once I finished the drink, it left an aftertaste but eventually the taste went away.  I did not feel jittery or had any other side effects.  Now, I want to try the lemon lime flavor!!

Three Things Thursday, May 22, 2014

1. Join me and several other ambassadors for upcoming ZOOMA runs.  For more information about the race on August 2 and to learn more about upcoming fun/training runs, visit the ZOOMA website.

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  • Sunday, May 25, 9am, Waterfall Glen, Darien, IL
  • Wednesday, May 28, 6:30pm, Athleta 3415 N. Southport, Chicago, IL
  • Saturday, May 31, 9:30am, Universal Sole, 1333 E Benton Place, Chicago, IL (Chicago Training Kick off)
  • Wednesday, June 4, 6:30pm, Athleta 3415 N. Southport, Chicago, IL
  • Thursday, June 5, 6:30pm, Old Plank Trail at Wolf Road and Rt. 30, Frankfort, IL
  • Wednesday, June 11, 6:30pm, Athleta 3415 N. Southport, Chicago, IL
  • Saturday, July 12, 9:30am, Universal Sole, 1333 E Benton Place, Chicago, IL (10 mile training run)

2. Need some running motivation? Check out “Meet the Blogger: Too Tall Fritz“.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Amanda twice: at Disneyworld after the half marathon and before the Chicago Lakefront 50K.  She is a busy woman with a job, two kids, a husband, and a few pets.  She recently completed 3 marathons and an ultra marathon in April to celebrate turning 40.  I ran the same ultra marathon and barely had enough strength to complete a half marathon and yet this lady ran 3 more marathons. Amazing!!

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3. I finally got my Camelback Marathoner Vest.  It didn’t come with any instructions (not that I really need any) but it looks like a complicated piece.  I am worried I will break it while filling it up with water. Shouldn’t be that complicated right?  I’ll let you know how I like it.

BONUS:  Don’t forget to enter my Injinji giveaway.  I will announce the winners on Saturday, May 24. Injinji is having a Memorial Day Sale so go to their website to save 30% on selected styles.