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Thursday, February 28, 2013

CORE Foods Review

Being the runner that I am I'm always looking for new ways to fuel before, during, and after my runs. So I was excited to have the opportunity to try CORE Foods.

These meals are made from raw, organic, whole foods ingredients. You can pronounce every ingredient on the package! Since the ingredients are fresh CORE Foods must be stored in the freezer. When you are ready to eat them you just let it thaw for 10 minutes and it's ready!

The concept behind these meals is simple. You eat one pack and drink 2 glasses of water and that is equivalent to one full bowl of oatmeal! It is supposed to give you 4 hours of stable energy.

My question is always "when do I eat this?" CORE Foods can be consumed 30 minutes before your workout, during endurance workouts (hello long runs), or 10 minutes after a protein shake to fuel muscle recovery after a workout.

I was given three CORE Food Defender Meals to try: Raw Walnut Banana, Raw Almond Raisin, and Raw Cashew Cacao.

Just to let you know...I am NOT a big nut fan. I eat nuts very rarely. So these are not my choice of things to eat. But I did try them and was surprised how good they actually were...nuts and all! My favorite was the Almond Raisin! It seemed to have the most flavor out of them all. They weren't hard but were chewy. You definitely wanted water with them. And they did a great job of keeping me full! You eat it just like you would a bar but you have to remember that it's supposed to be like a bowl of oatmeal. They don't have the sweetness to them that most bars do.

If you like healthy options and love nuts then these are definitely for you! The quality of ingredients and freshness is amazing!

Be sure to check out CORE Foods on their website, Facebook, and Twitter!

And if you "like" CORE Foods on Facebook you will be given a coupon code good for $5 off any online order AND you can enter to win a free case (worth $40).

QOTD: Have you tried CORE Foods? Would you like to?

I received this product free to review through FitApproach and CORE Foods. I received no other compensation. All opinions in the above post are mine and mine alone!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon 2013!

Be sure to read my post about the expo!

I ended up sleeping really well! I wasn't nervous at all for this race. It's funny but I don't really get nervous for a half marathon anymore. I guess because I KNOW I can do it. With a full marathon there's always a little doubt on whether I can do it and it makes me pretty nervous. So when my alarm went off I was rested and ready to go!

I did my usual pre-race routine. I got dressed, stretched, went to the bathroom (hey you gotta do this before you run lol), took some pictures, and fueled. It's all about the outfit, right??!! I was super excited to wear my new shirt from Claim Your Journey! Perfect for a race in New Orleans!

I fueled with a Designer Whey protein bar. So good! I had a banana that I planned on eating in the corral about 15 minutes before the start.

Once Jackie and I were ready we headed to the hotel lobby to meet Kimberly and Jeffrey. We took a few photos in the lobby.

As we were waiting in the lobby trying to stay out of the wind and cold as long as possible, I happen to look to my right and saw Shannon from Flamingoz Girls Run! I first met Shannon when I ran the Woman's Half in Baton Rouge. She was running her first full marathon in New Orleans and she did awesome!!!

Finally it was time to head out to the corrals. We walked outside and it was so windy! The temps were in the 50's but it felt much colder with the wind. I knew it would be fine once we started running. I was just thankful that the prediction of rain earlier in the week had decreased for that morning. I ended up running under a sunny sky!

Here's Jackie, me, and Kimberly in the corral waiting to start! Can you tell we are cold?!

As we were standing there we happened to look down at another runner's shoes (so typical of me...I always check out every runner's shoes. Do you do that?). She had wings on her shoes!!! We asked if they made her faster and she said, "Of course!" I had to have a picture...yeah I know you are surprised lol!

Finally we heard them countdown the first group of runners. And sing the National Anthem. It was finally time to get this party started! I was ready! I also had that feeling of not believing I was actually here again. Thoughts of last year kept rolling through my this was my first full marathon last year. I was a little sad to not have Paige by my I told myself I was going to run for her! She's my rock in races!

Once they get started the corrals move pretty fast! It was finally our turn! I was so excited to see that start line!

And then we were off! I knew I would get to run with Jackie and Kimberly for part of the race but they fuel and hydrate differently than me so I knew I would probably lose them at a water stop at some point. So I tried to make the most of running with someone while I had the chance. I really tried to think about my pace during this race. I didn't want to start out too fast and then lose my endurance in the end. I think I did really well with that.

The first few miles were pretty normal...I wasn't warmed up and my legs felt heavy. But running a race helps because you are excited and have the crowd to help you get through it. And around mile 2 we saw the pace car...and there came Mo Farah!!!! Yeah you know Mo...the double medal Olympic champion in London this past year! It was amazing to see him run! He looked like he was running on clouds! He was so fast! I was at mile 2 and he was already at mile 7!!! The crowd cheered loudly as he flew by us! And he ended up winning the half marathon with a time of 1:00:59...which was a course record!!! Amazing!!!

After seeing Mo I was determined to catch a glimpse of Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan. They were running the half too. I focused on the other side of the street trying to see them. But I never did. I actually turned my head to talk to Jackie and I think that's when I missed them. :-( It's funny because you can see how focused I was on trying to see them in my race photos!!!

After realizing I missed them I focused on my own race. Around mile 5.5 I broke apart from Jackie and Kimberly. We hadn't stopped for water yet and my bottles were empty so I needed to refill them. I told them to go ahead and knew I would be on my own for the rest of the race. 

At mile 6.5 I had to pee so bad! I usually don't have to stop to go to the bathroom in a half marathon but I just couldn't hold it any longer. I spotted some porta potties across the street with no line so I headed over there. I was in and out quick but would learn later that it had cost me. 

The fun thing about Rock 'n' Roll races...the bands!!! I love hearing all the bands that play while we are running by!

I was feeling great this race! The miles were flying by! Around mile 8.5 there was a fuel stop...I grabbed some GU just in case I needed it (which I didn't...the two Huma Gels I took were just enough) and heard someone call my name. I looked behind me and saw some of my Sole2Soul Sisters that were running the full! It was so great to see them and they were running strong! I ran with them until I saw the big Brooks inflatable guy with the guitar. I knew I had to stop and take a was tradition lol! When I stopped a spectator asked me what we were running for! I told her...and then asked her to take a picture of me! Thanks random stranger lol!!!

I knew after running under this guy that my favorite part of the race was coming. We got to run through the French Quarter, past Cafe Du Monde, and past Jackson Square! 

The last two miles of the race were so mental for me! My mind kept telling me to stop and walk...but I wouldn't let myself. And I am so proud I won that battle and didn't walk at all!!!!

Around mile 12.5 we reached the point where the marathon course turned left and the half course turned right. I remember this point last year. I was soooo happy to be going right this year lol!!! After we turned I knew the finish line was close! I picked up my pace and started sprinting...and I was sooo glad I still had energy to do this!

My secret goal was to come in under 2:30. But that bathroom stop didn't allow official time was 2:30:31!!! If only I hadn't stopped!!! But I was still happy because I had a great race where I felt awesome the entire time!

And the bling is always fun at this race! I LOVE the Mardi Gras beads instead of ribbon!!!

Overall this race was awesome! I still hate that Paige wasn't there to run with me but I still managed to have a great run and great time!

#14 was done...and it was a success!!!!

After the race I headed back to the hotel to shower and wait for Jackie, Kimberly, and Jeffrey to finish the marathon. Once they finished and showered we headed out for something to eat. We were all starving!!! And because I was so hungry I totally forgot to take a picture of my food!!! But I'll tell you what I had...a yummy steak, salad, and loaded baked potato!!! Sooo good after 13.1 miles!!!

What's next? Seaside Half Marathon next weekend!!!! I can't wait!!!

QOTD: Do you ever play the mental game during a race? How do you overcome it?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans 2013 EXPO!

This weekend got a little messed up. My best friend Paige (the one I always run races with) was supposed to run Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans with me. We didn't have a lot of ladies doing this race this year (due to Seaside Half being next weekend) so Paige and I were so excited to do this one together just the two of us. We always have so much fun when we travel and race together!

We had the weekend all planned. She is a single mom and had childcare taken care of...her mom (who doesn't live far from Nola) was going to watch her kids while she ran. We were going to stay at her mom's house the night before ( lodging) and then drive into Nola for the race that morning. Well...early last week her mom called and told her that her stepdaughter had the stomach bug. :-( Then the next day her mom came down with the flu! :-( We tried to find alternate childcare but it just didn't work out. So Paige relented to the fact that she wasn't going to be able to run. And that meant I would be running primarily by myself...challenging for a girl who always runs with friends.

Luckily, I had another friend, Jackie, who was running the full and said I could stay with her. So I now had lodging (although it wasn't free anymore) but no running partner. Then I had to figure out my ride home after the race. Paige decided to go ahead and go to the expo (with her cute boys in tow) so she could at least get her race shirt and do some shopping. So I was able to ride to New Orleans with her. And I was so glad to have that time with her! But she wouldn't be there for the race so I needed a ride. Jackie rode with a couple from our church, Kimberly and Jeffrey, who were also running the full. Kimberly and Jackie had trained together so they were running the race together. I asked if I could ride home with them and they said I could as long as I didn't mind waiting for them to finish the full marathon. Of course I didn't mind! So...although the original plans got messed up I was still able to work out the weekend....and get to race!

So to start the weekend, Paige and her boys picked me up Saturday morning and we headed to New Orleans...which is about 2.5 hours from where we live. The car ride is always fun with Paige! We got to talk and laugh...and be sad that she wasn't running. :-(

Finally we made it to New Orleans...and after getting stuck in some traffic...we made it to the Convention Center where the expo was being held.

After finding a place to park (parking is crazy and expensive in New Orleans) we were able to go inside. The convention center is huge so we had to weed our way through a cheerleading competition to find the expo. But we finally made it!

Rock 'n' Roll races have their expos organized really well. You walk in and immediately go to Check-In where you receive your bib.

Then you head to Tees/Swag where you get your....tees and swag lol! Rock 'n' Roll always gives you a tech shirt (and I love that they have women's cut shirts) and a cinch bag to hold all your stuff (as well as use for your gear check bag). 

After you get all your race stuff....the fun begins! My favorite the actual race merchandise!

I always like to buy a shirt or two that has the race on it. And since Brooks is a sponsor of Rock 'n' Roll races they always have tons of their stuff there too! You can win prizes from Brooks...I won a red t-shirt! I also got a magnet this year that looks just like the medal! I love magnets and try to get one every place I go. 

While we were shopping in the Brooks area me and Karen from Just Me and My Running Shoes were texting each other trying to find each other. We read each other's blogs and have been at some of the same races but have yet to meet. So we made it a point to meet up this race. And finally we found each other...after discussing that we were both wearing our Disney attire! She's a runDisney fan just like me! And she is even more beautiful and sweet in person!!! I LOVED meeting her! (She ran the full marathon and ROCKED it!)

After browsing a little while longer Paige and I got in line to buy our race merchandise. Just like Disney expos you have to buy the race merchandise first...then you get to enter the rest of the expo. While standing in line Paige offered to take a picture (she knows how I love my pictures) and her sweet son Braxton ran in! I didn't mind...he's a cutie!

We finally entered the exhibitor part of the expo where we sampled fuels and drinks and got freebies! I was so excited to see Zipfizz at the expo! They told me if I would tweet with the #zipfizz hashtag that they would give me a limited edition of their Creamsicle Zipfizz! Well of course I took advantage of that!!! I can't wait to try this flavor!

I also had to make a stop by the Sweaty Bands booth and the Team 413 booth...where I bought another shirt! I love Team 413! And of course I stopped at the runDisney booth....and they gave me a free bag!!!

And then I stopped by the Gulf Coast Half Marathon series booth and talked to the race director Mike. He is also the race director for the Woman's Half that I ran and was a Run Pink Ambassador for in December. Of course while I was there I went ahead and signed up for the Gulf Coast Half on Pensacola Beach and in Mandeville this year. These are two races that were on my schedule but I had yet to sign up for. I love this race series!

I got some pretty awesome swag at the expo!!!

After we were shopped out Paige and the boys and I headed back to the car. This is where my time with Paige ended. She dropped me off at the hotel and I met up with Paige, Kimberly, and Jeffrey. We headed out for dinner. We ate at an Italian restaurant called Frank's Restaurant New Orleans. Check out the awesome menu!

I ordered the Chicken Marsala...which is one of my favorite Italian dishes! I was not disappointed! It was amazing!!!! Yeah I pizza this time lol! 

After dinner we walked back to our hotel...but since we were in New Orleans we saw some interesting things! Like this man that was painted all silver and attempting to dance! LOL!

We made it back to the hotel safely and got all our things ready for the race!

It was time for lights out! And I was ready for half marathon #14!

Stay tuned for the race recap tomorrow! 

QOTD: What is your favorite part of a race expo?

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Weekly Chase #9

I know a lot of you are wondering how my race was this weekend. It was great! I can't wait to write my recap and share it all with you!

For now it's time for another Weekly Chase! Be sure to post your own goals and link up and join us!

Road Runner Girl

This month's challenge is the All You Need is Love challenge! Each week in February make one or more of your goals about loving or being kind to someone. I am loving reading about all your love goals!!!

Here are the goals I had last week:

  • Goal #1: Mail notes to friends telling them how much they mean to me (challenge goal). I did half of this goal. I only mailed to one friend but I have a few more I want to mail notes too. So I will continue this one this week. 
  • Goal #2: Complete all of my Bible Study homework. I got 75% of it done this week!
  • Goal #3: Taper for my next half marathon. Yes! I got in two easy runs and ran my 14th half marathon yesterday!
  • Goal #4: Hydrate and carb up for the race. Yes! I had no problems doing this one lol! I love to eat!

Here's what I want to accomplish this week:

Goal #1: Mail notes to friends telling them how much they mean to me (challenge goal). I'm going to mail the notes to the friends I didn't mail to last week.

Goal #2: Complete all of my Bible Study homework. Gotta get it 100% done this week.

Goal #3: Taper for my next half marathon. The goal is to get in 2 easy runs this week. I am running another half this weekend. :-)

Goal #4: Hydrate and carb up for the race. This one will be easy! ;-)

Goal #5: Get all the laundry done this week. I hate laundry and I'm horrible at getting it all done and put away. I want to stay on top of it this week!

So that's my week! My main focus will be getting ready for the race Sunday. Hopefully, the hubby will get to come with me this race! :-)

QOTD: What are your goals this week? Do you like doing laundry? Or hate it like me?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Runner Spotlights #27

This morning I am running my 14th half marathon in New Orleans! Hopefully the rain has held off for me to run. This is the third year I have run this race (I ran the half in 2011 and the full in 2012) and I love the course! I can't wait to share my recap with you this week!

It's time for anther runner spotlight!!! If you would like to be spotlighted please email me at! I'd love to spotlight you! And I need more runners to spotlight!

Today I am spotlighting Kelley from She Is On A Run!

Name: Kelley
State: NJ
When and why did you start running?
I started running back in October of 2011. I started running because as a kid there was a chance that I wasn't going to be able to walk. So, I had to prove them wrong by walking and then to continue to prove them wrong by running. I was inspired by all of my friends who were running with the C25k App.
What is your favorite race and race distance?
I haven’t participated in my races except for virtual ones though twitter. I love 5ks currently because you can go run a race and be done and move on with your day. It’s a great feeling to go to lunch knowing that you just finished a race!
What is your race day routine?
I don’t really have one at the moment because I haven’t run that many races yet. On the days that I run virtual races though I always sleep in my running clothes the night before. That way when my alarm goes off early I can’t make excuses on why I’m not getting out of bed because I’m already dressed. I never eat before I run though because on experience it’s make me extremely sick.
What is your most favorite piece of running gear?
I love my Sweat Pink Ambassador racing t-shirt because it’s so soft and comfortable. I also love my race watch because I love to know where I’m at in the race and feel comfortable in my pacing.
Do you follow any diet or take any specific supplements that complement your running?
I don’t follow anything specific diet at all, but I try to live an overall healthy life style. I eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and lots of water.
What do you wish you’d known when you first started running?
I wished I would have no that my cerebral palsy was going to have a huge impact on it. I grow up not really thinking about the fact that I have cerebral palsy. I walked with a limp, but that is all that I ever thought about it. Running with it is a completely different story though because it’s not just about moving my legs, but about the balance, and strength on left side of my body.
What is your fondest running memory?
My fondest memory was finishing my four miler. I ran it back about a month ago, but it was the biggest distance that I had run at the time. Since then I've run 6 miles and it was a great feeling to finish that run, but that 4 miler really sticks with me.
What is one thing that most people do not know about you?
I hate the last mile of every run I've ever done. I don’t know why, but that’s the mile that makes me so angry and I usually curse though it because it makes me so mad. 

Here are all the different ways you can connect with Kelley!

Thanks so much for sharing with us Kelley!!!

QOTD: What did you do this weekend that was active?



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