Monday, October 28, 2013

Run Bentonville Goblin Run 5K Race Recap

Saturday was the Run Bentonville Goblin Run 5K race in downtown Bentonville.  I was late registering for this race and only signed up the day before.  Registration closed at 4:30 and I was there at 2:30 signing up.  I was too late to get a shirt with my registration but I was okay with that since my running shirt drawer is kind of close to exploding.

Later that night friends and I headed to the local haunted house.  It was awesome! We were definitely scared and had a great time.  I left the haunted house and realized it was time to figure out a costume.  I headed to Walmart to see what options I could find.  I already had some components to work with but needed to try and pull it all together as an outfit.

I had purchased a black tutu at the end of summer in anticipation of Halloween and a headband with a fun spider on it.  I ran into a fellow Rush Runner in the costume aisle and together we tried to piece together some costumes.  I picked out a gauzy cape that I thought I could work with and then made a last minute decision to check out the regular clothing section for some fun leggings.  I found a pair of neon green capris and I was sold! Once I got home I pieced it all together and it worked and would be warm enough which was important since temps would be mid-40's for the race start.

Race morning dawned and I decided to skip the just wasn't necessary and didn't really add anything to my costume.  I put some regular running shorts on over top the tights and then layered the tutu on over top of that.  On top I just wore a black long sleeve top and then my fun spider headband.  It wasn't the most creative costume but it was easy to run in!
My friend and race photographer Chuck Cates captured me pre-race ready for the fun! 

The race began at the Bentonville Downtown Activity Center which was really nice to have a warm spot to be before the race and real bathrooms.  However....there were only 3 bathrooms per gender and the line before the race for the ladies room was quite long! I was glad I had gone early!

The race started right on time at 8AM and we headed out for a tour of the town.

Up first was a run by the city cemetery.  As were running along, a terrifying site passed me and I recognized my friend Coach Moe in his Ink and Burn get up! He and his family all had buffs from Ink n Burn that were like monster faces.  They were super cool! I wished him a good run and he went on along the way!
Zombie Tech Tube
Ink n Burn tech tube
From there we went along to pass by one of the city fire stations where they were blasting some fun music and had a water stop.  Then we went by the old fairgrounds and it was time to head back to the activity center.  I was starting to overheat a little in my smartwool shirt but other than that my costume was working quite well for the run.  I worried that my head band wouldn't stay in place but it didn't move a bit.

The last few minutes of the race were tough as I was trying my best to pick up the pace and have a strong finish.  I was happy to turn the corner and see the race clock was under 30 minutes.  I worked hard to finish strong and the race photos showed face showed the effort for sure.
Finish line photo by

My chip time was 29:08 for 12th in my age group out of 34.  Not bad for my limited run training since Redman in September.  It got me excited to get back to training and put together a race schedule for the next few months!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

2013 Chile Pepper 10K Race Recap

The Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival is an institution in Northwest Arkansas.  It is a signature race event that has been around for 25 years!  It was originally started as a fundraiser to help fund the local high school cross country teams.  It evolved to be one of the premier cross country races in the area for junior high, high school, collegiate, and open races.  More than 4500 runners compete in the various races each year.

This year the Chile Pepper fell just two weeks after my half ironman.  I waited until the last possible minute to sign up and was lucky to be one of the Rush Running team members to earn an entry spot into the 10K.  Yeah! Thanks to Mike and his staff for making it possible for so many of our team to race together.  As the race day neared, things started to look pretty dicey with the weather.  Chile Pepper just wouldn't be the pepper if there wasn't some weather excitement.  Most of my past runnings had been on really cold weather days or days after a hard rain resulting in a soggy course.  This year...I got a new experience!

Race morning began with a radar map that showed a very uncertain weather future for all of Northwest Arkansas.  This was going to be interesting.  I went ahead and got myself to Fayetteville and managed to make it to the race site before the rains began.  Mike Rush had one of the Rush Buses at the Athlete village and so I hung out with the other Rush Runners in the early morning hours.  We could tell that the weather was headed our way and soon it arrived.  We all sprinted onto the bus and began what would be one long weather delay! There were runners huddled under any and every tent possible but thanks to Mike our crew was nice and dry in the bus.

The race organizers made a decision very early on and decided to consolidate the two races in the open division into just one race.  Instead of having the 10K open at 7:30 followed by a 5K at 9:00 the organizers decided to have the two races start simultaneously.  Because of the number of races, for both collegiate and high school, there is only so much delay that they can allow to fit all the student races in.

Around 8:30 the rain lightened up considerably and we were given notice that the race would start at 9:00.  The only caveat was that there had to be 30 minutes without a lightening strike in order for the race to start.  Well, we all piled out of the bus...took a group picture and then proceeded to warm up.  It had been raining heavily for 2 hours and as soon as we headed out we were all squishing through the grass.  I hate...hate...hate getting my shoes wet and dirty.  I was miserable...and then I decided to just go with it and have some fun.  There was no way to avoid the wet and the water was several inches deep over much of the course.  About 5 minutes into our warmup the unthinkable happened...lightning strikes off in the distance.  We continued with the warmup and then headed to the starting line.  We were all hopeful that they would start the race....and then there was more lightning....and then it started to downpour.  We sprinted back to the bus and began to wait some more.
The Rush team before the 1st attempt to start the race! 

Finally at 9:45 we were given word that the race would start at 10:00 and that all participants would be running a 5K.  We headed to the starting line and sought out a spot on the starting line.  This is a cross country race so the starting line is about as wide as a football field and after the first 200 yds the course narrows down to a 5-6' wide trail.

The course was a complete mess after all the rain.  There was standing water everywhere and a few spots that were slick with mud.  There were two spots that were especially spot on the course where there is a dip.  That dip had filled with standing water and it was pretty deep.  The other was the finish line which was one giant puddle!  The course was a two loop course with a modified second loop.  For how rainy the day was I was surprised to see so many spectators there

Overall, I was happy with my performance.  The light mist helped keep me cool during the race and I tried to stay mentally upbeat throughout it even when encountering the messy spots that would normally make me cringe.  I seriously hate to get my shoes dirty so it was good that I had gotten that out of the way early on in the warm up.  I negative split the race with my first mile at 9:48 and my finishing mile at a 9:31 pace.

And for proof on just how crazy my friend and run coach Mike Rush's a pic of him racing in his custom Rush Running Chile Pepper costume! He wasn't planning to race this year but when the downpour started he got so excited at the idea of playing in the wet and muddy conditions that he had to run! That's a true runner...pure love of the sport!

Note: Photos taken from Arkansas RRCA Facebook page.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Back to Boot Camp

Now that the daylight hours are shortening it's time to head back to the gym for boot camp class on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  About six months ago, the gym had an instructor change for the class and I heard mixed reviews.  I had stopped going so that I could ride bikes in the evenings...but work got in the way of that plan more than I would have liked.

Last week I was all set for the return to boot camp.  One of my friends was traveling on vacation so I messaged one of the other regulars for class.  She was also away on vacation but she let me know that there weren't classes for the week since it was the fall break between sessions.  Lucky me I got to delay the pain of boot camp for one more week.

Tuesday night I headed to the gym after work and headed into the locker room to get changed.  I had some new Nike running capris to break in and paired them with a loose fit Under Armor workout shirt.  Both super comfy for a mixed workout.  I headed upstairs to the workout room and joined the waiting queue in the hallway.  There were a lot less people waiting than in the past with the original instructor.  It used to be a full house with people turned away from class.

We filed into the class room and discovered there was another new instructor.  Tonya was the new instructor and this was everyone's first time to experience one of her workouts.  She set the stations up in a circle and it was a little tighter than we were used to.  Normally the stations cover the entire large room and we were maybe using about half of it.  The stations were done in partners and involved a mix of weights and cardio.  Most of the cardio were plyometric things like split squats and rowing on the Shockwave rowers.  We did each station for one minute and sadly only made it through the entire circuit once before moving onto some drills with a 45lb weight plate.  We pushed that weight up and down a circuit and alternated with a few modifications for each rep.  The finish to the workout was much tougher than the circuits.

Most of the boot camp regulars were a little disappointed in the workout since it was more beginner level than the advanced level that all were used to.  Well, fast forward to tonight and Tonya stepped it up a notch! Tonight's class was 10 times harder! The workout she laid out tonight was all done at your individual pace.  It included 5 weight stations and 5 cardio stations.  Each person alternated between the circuit doing a cardio rep then a weight rep.  The weight stations were done to a count of 20 reps while the cardio stations were done for distance.  Some examples that we did were power skips, high knees, and grapevine for cardio and push ups, dead lifts, tricep dips for weights.  The weight stations felt heavy on the legs to me so I'm sure I'll be feeling soreness in the next day or two.

It feels good to be headed back to the gym and I look forward to getting back into my boot camp routine.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

IT's about time...learning about makeup

At a recent party I noticed that one of my friend's had the most amazing eye makeup.  She is one of my triathlete buddies and she can go from athlete to glam in a flash.  I joked with her that I needed a make up lesson and she signed me up for a personal class with her this weekend.  I'm going to share some of my friend Britt's tips with you all.  I'm not a beauty blogger rather just a regular girl that has always leaned towards very little makeup since I just didn't know how to put it on that well.

We met up at Ulta to do some pre-shopping before the lesson.  I picked up some new products including a couple of new eye shadows, eye liner, mascara, and some moisturizer.  I have been squeaking out the last bit of moisturizer over the last week so it was definitely time for a new purchase. Shopping in the anti-wrinkle, anti-aging section is only slightly depressing.

My purchases included eye shadow from Urban Decay.  I won't lie...I sat down on the floor in the store and tried out the different colors on my hand in order to decide on the two colors to buy.  I went with Easy Baked which is one of 78 different shades that they offer.  I also selected an accent color which is darker to wear in the crease.  For this, I chose a color called bust which has a light purple tone to it.  For both color choices, I went towards the less extreme color options...have to ease into color!

After our shopping, we headed to Britt's house for the lesson.  To get started I showed her my current eye makeup routine.  I got praised for having good technique in how I apply makeup but failed in that my current color selection was skin tone and thus not actually that noticeable.  I left one eye done up with my old colors and then did the second eye with the new colors.  The difference was pretty significant with the extra color and made a huge difference.  It was hard to redo the original eye in the new colors since normally you do both eyes at the same time so you don't forget a step.  The most important lesson was to blend, blend, blend.  Also, she gave me the fun ideas for eye liner such as how to extend the liner beyond the eye.  It was crazy how something so simple makes a difference.


Here's my new eye color scheme! It's a horrible selfie but in my defense it is pretty hard to capture your eye makeup in a pic!  Outside of the eye color change, Britt also coached me on adding some bronzer and highlight product to brighten up my look and enhance my cheekbones.  I'm going to venture into the changes slowly but definitely going to try and be more polished in my look.  

On Monday, I was shocked when several co-workers noticed and complimented me on the new eye makeup.  I texted Britt and let her know that her lessons were successful! I can see the payoff of putting a little more effort into my look and feeling more professional in my appearance at work.  Something about turning 35 makes me feel like I need to be more polished and I'm glad to discover that I can get that look for virtually the same amount of time as I was doing before by selecting better color options.  And so my look doesn't get boring, I have a feeling I'll be returning to the store to pick up some alternate color options.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Be Skinny by Health Guard Review

Disclosure: I was provided with a sample 2-pack of Be Skinny by Health Guard juice drinks however all product opinions are my own based on my use of the provided samples.

After training for an endurance event I got used to burning lots of extra calories and thus being able to enjoying lots of snacks including some less than healthy snack options.  However, since I completed my half ironman a few weeks ago and have been enjoying a rest period I have noticed that my snack level is just as high but my workouts and calorie burn are way down.  It's something that I have to catch before it gets out of hand and leads to unwanted weight gain. That's why I was very interested to hear about a new product from Health Guard to help control appetite.  The product is called Be Skinny and it is a 2 oz juice that can help control your appetite.

The product is an all natural product that contains Saffron Extract and Cranberry Extract.  The juice has a pineapple cranberry flavor but to me it tasted more cranberry than pineapple.  The taste was pleasant especially since I had kept mine in the refrigerator so it was chilled.  One bottle equates to one serving and is just 30 calories and fat-free.

The instructions for use are very simple...take one bottle 45 minutes to 1 hour before a meal. The bottle is 2 oz of juice and easy to drink down.  The instructions call for you to shake the bottle to activate the ingredients.  I'm not so sure what that really accomplished but it seemed to make it frothy.  The drink was very easy to drink and was roughly two sips and then I was done.  It almost wasn't even enough to truly detect the taste but my overall impression was that the taste was very pleasant and cranberry like.

I tried Be Skinny out around noon on a Saturday after running a race.  I waited about 45 minutes and then prepared a healthy lunch of salad with protein and veggies mixed in.  I didn't have plans for the afternoon other than recuperating from the race.  Usually this would be a sign for lots of tv watching and snacking on the couch throughout the afternoon.  Thanks to Be Skinny as I was able to control my snacking and just have one snack later in the afternoon.  Usually a weekend afternoon at home turns into me roaming into the kitchen several times selecting random snacks.  I was very pleasantly surprised that my appetite was kept in control.  Snacking is one of my biggest weaknesses so I was happy to have some help in controlling my snacking!

One thing about this product that I hadn't heard much of before was Saffron Extract.  I did a little research to learn more about it and learned that it is possible that Saffron Extract can help increase serotonin levels which can help regulate your mood and control compulsive snacking.  A quick search of the Interwebs shows that there are tons of Saffron Extract products available on the market in capsule forms and Be Skinny is one of the only ones that I spotted in a juice form.

Be Skinny has a great feature on its website to help you locate stores near you selling the product but you can also order it online on their site.  Health Guard is so sure that you'll like Be Skinny that they offer a 30 day money back guarantee.  One of the only downsides to the juice that I noticed is the price point at around $4 per bottle.  They offer multi-packs which can help you receive a lower price of about $3.50 per bottle.  It's something that I would probably look to use 1-2 times per week on high stress days when I'm more prone to emotional snacking.  You can check out the Health Guard site for more information about the product or ordering.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Team Tough Chik

Two years ago I joined an online based endurance team called Team Tough Chik.  I spotted Tough Chik products online and I loved the designs.  I wasn't sure what to expect from an online team but what I have found over the last two years has been awesome.
Tough Chik - performance clothing designed by women for women. This is what tough looks like.

Team Tough Chik is a group of seriously awesome women! We connect with each other via Facebook and share all kinds of inspiration, questions, and just plain fun together.

The 2014 team registration opens today, October 1st.  To join the team, visit the shop page for Team Tough Chik.  Select your registration option...your registration is an apparel purchase that matches your fitness interests.  You can select just a tank/visor option if you are a runner or a cyclist can pick a jersey/shorts combo.  Either way you are going to end up with a fun new outfit and a great group of women to share in your endurance journey in 2014.

Here's a couple pics of me rocking my Tough Chik gear.
Rocking the Team Jersey in Purple at this year's Tour de Fun! 
I love the Burnout Hoodies...I think this one is called Gear Love and it a bunch of cycling gears within a heart shape.

I'll definitely be joining the team again for another year and am hoping to meet some of my awesome teammates in person this year! The head Chik is Shannon, founder of the Tough Chik apparel line.  She pours so much of herself into the team and is always there with encouragement and support.

Update...I went overboard with my purchases this year.  I couldn't resist the black and purple argyle designs of the cycling jersey.  I absolutely love Tough Chik cycling jerseys!!!