Thursday, October 30, 2014

14...15...16...17...18: Mizuno Wave Rider 18

This post is sponsored by Mizuno through Fitfluential. Please know that all statements are my own true opinion!

Running has been an important part of my life for many years. It has evolved so much from where I started. I ran my first half marathon in 2009 and my second in 2010. Then in 2011 something happened. I ran 4 half marathons that year alone. I finished 13.1 miles in 4 different cities in 3 different states. I guess I woke up one day and decided I really liked running. And I wanted more. That year I visited my first running store and bought my first pair of official running shoes. Not just the same shoes that I worked out in or taught my fitness classes in. Real live, meant for running, running shoes. That year I tried on my very first pair of Mizuno Wave Riders and became addicted. I started with the 14's and eventually got to where I am now with the Wave Rider 18's!




The Wave Rider 18 is the ideal balance of fit and performance. It is a neutral shoe designed specifically for runner's with just enough support to fit a wide variety of runners' needs. Mizuno uses a wave technology in the heel for proper absorption and forefoot flexibility with every strike. It also makes the shoe look pretty cool in my opinion! It also has an ideal heel fit and secures the midfoot making this lightweight shoe (Women's are only 7.8oz and Men's are 9.2oz) feel like a part of your foot. Personally, a light weight shoe with just enough support is ideal for running. Mizuno has nailed this fit in the Wave Rider 18's; they deliver maximum responsiveness and a harmonious feel, with just enough support for each run.




After taking the journey through the 14s, 15s, 16s, 17s and now 18s, I know that the 18s are my favorite. These are an excellent upgrade from the 17s. They redesigned the toe box and upgraded the sock liner which provides more rebound on every foot strike. The shoe tongue of the 17s really bothered me, but the 18s stays in place much better without sliding over to the side. I have a tendency to run towards the outside of my feet and find that the 18s help to stabilize my foot without being a stability or support shoe. I also prefer the look of the 18s! I mean, just check out how good they look...





This model's design is quite different from the Mizuno's past. The look is very sleek and I about squealed when I opened the box and saw the neat design and colors. They also come in blue/silver, white/pink and purple/pink. I may be biased because I have the black/silver/teal, but these are my favorite color combo. And we all know that the color of your running shoe matters. We say it doesn't, but it does. Teal clearly makes me go faster. :)

I've been running in my Wave Rider 18s for a little over a month and have tackled a few long runs, a half marathon and a few short runs! I finished my first half marathon of this running season last weekend in 1:53:19 (check out my race recap) which is about 2 minutes faster than my average half marathon finish! Like I said, the teal is giving me super speed. That or the comfortable fit and feel of the shoe.




Now get out there and harness the positive energy of every step in the new Wave Rider 18!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

2014 Houston Half


This past Sunday I ran my 17th half marathon and my 21st distance race! {I consider distance half marathon distance and further!}

As always, it was a total blast. There were parts that I loved and parts that I didn't love so much. Let's relive it shall we?

The morning started dark and early with a 5:30am wake up call. My costume was laid out and wait to conquer this race. Costume...what? Yes, you read that right, costume. Chandra, JP and I decided to dress up as the Incredibles! Chandra got to the house just before 6:15am and we were on our way. The race info said to get to the race an hour before. Clearly we didn't do that since it was a 7:00am start time. Luckily, we were only 2 miles away because parking in the garage was quite the ordeal. We were finally able to get in the garage and on our way to the race start after waiting in line for about 15-20 minutes.

The race is just a quick walk from the garage and was a nice little warm up and a way to acclimate to the weather. Sunday morning was pretty nice considering the fact that we were in Houston. It was about 60 degrees, but 100% humidity and boy did you feel the humidity...as always.




We arrived at the race start with about 15 minutes to spare. Since we live close, there wasn't a need to visit the port-o-potty. Thank goodness because the lines were outrageous. I remember the lines being awful last year. So awful that we didn't get to go potty before the race and had to stop at the first port-o-potty on the race! It looks like that's how they were again this year. Definitely something to remember if I decide to run this race again in 2015.




So what do you think of our super hero outfits? We weren't prepared enough to have The Incredibles logo, but at least we had the masks to hide our secret identities!

We were actually able to procure a spot near the front of the start line. This rarely happens in smaller races that don't have corralled starts. The start line was a bit chaotic, but after we shuffled back a few times, everyone was on the correct side of the start line and we were ready to race!




We took off at the start with a pretty solid pace. Being at the front allowed us to miss all the dodging and weaving around people who are slower. We held pretty steady around a 9:00 for the first mile and a half before picking it up and settling into a rhythm. 

We did notice, thanks to a girl that couldn't stop talking about it, that they were missing some of the mile marker signs. This didn't effect us since we were wearing our running watches, but it did seem to bother some other runners.

The first part of the race is in downtown and then we turn around and headed out down Allen Parkway towards Memorial Park.




We saw some of our running club friends cheering people on, but with our super costumes, they couldn't tell it was us! We did get this blurry picture of us speeding by. It must of been our super speed that did that!

By mile 3 we had settled into a pace between 8:30-8:40 minutes/mile. We ventured up and down the man made hills of Allen Parkway, to Memorial drive, went around Memorial Park and right back to the Allen Parkway hills heading back into town. Miles 9-13 were rough because we were running directly into the rising sun. No sunglasses. No hat. Nothing, but bright sun shining directly into our eyes. We survived though. 

At mile 10 I sent my speedy partner on her way. She's a champion and super speed is obviously her super power. I held onto an 8:30 pace for the remainder of the race which felt pretty good to me considering how much the temperature kicked up once the sun came out.

The last few miles were really fun for me. I had tons of spectators cheering me on and commenting on my costume. I got everything from Superwoman to Super Hero to Mrs. Incredible. At least they knew I was a super and I didn't get confused this morning when putting on my clothes! 




The last mile was pretty rough. This is usually when I start asking myself why I enjoy distance races. Then I remember as soon as I cross the finish line and those silly mile 12 thoughts are all forgotten. I crossed the finish line officially in 1:53:19. Not too shabby for sub-par training and weather conditions! An excellent first race of running season and a great confidence booster for my January goal of a sub-1:50 half!




I must say, not only did we kick this race's butt, we looked pretty good doing it! I'm so very proud of my wonderful husband who also ran the half in 2:05! This wasn't his best race, but it was his fifth half marathon and he's signed up for one more in January. After he ran his first half, he said he wasn't going to run another...clearly the running bug bit him too...just a little less hard then it got me!

I want to give props to the Houston Half for their after race party. There were tons of tents set up with beer, fro-yo, running groups, massages, etc. And the post race food selection was great! Bananas, oranges, bagels, cereal bars, drinks and more. JP focused on the beer while Chandra and I were all about the Menchie's fro-yo. We didn't think twice about jumping into that line!

Overall, the Houston Half didn't disappoint. I think it went smoother than last year. From the packet pick up, to parking, to race start and finish line, I enjoyed the race and would do it again!

Now I have one race under my belt this season. Next up...Houston Tough Mudder this Sunday! YIKES!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Weekends and Flashbacks


This weekend as always was quite a whirlwind. It went by too fast and I did too much. I'm very good at doing too much. I did however, stay in town which is quite rare. Here's a glimpse at this past weekend's too much...


one. Sister picture at little brother's football game! And they won!
two. Can't get enough puppy time.
three. Mother-Daughter time browsing through farmer's markets and craft fairs.
four. Miss Maggie having fun at grandma & grandpa's as always.
five. The Incredibles (Amy & Chandra duh) running the Houston half dark and early Sunday morning.
six. Post race brunch at Tout Sweet in Houston.
seven. Macaroons. Yes. Delicious.
eight. Blogger meet up post race and brunch at Cottonwood in Houston.
nine. Cupcakes to celebrate Whitney & Bre starting Thrive Blog Conference

Don't worry, my race recap will be coming tomorrow! Who doesn't love a good race recap! So all in all this weekend I...

...had a relatively lazy Saturday for me.
...spent time with my family.
...ran a half marathon.
...went to two restaurants that I haven't been to before.
...moved my sister into my house for the next 6 weeks.
...ate too many sweets and had too much fun.

As I was fixing up my picture for this post, I happened to find last year's post from the same weekend! Looks mostly similar but kind of different! Changes...no football game this year and no rain on race day!




We'll be back to football in College Station this weekend!

Hope y'all are having a wonderful Tuesday and stop by tomorrow to see how my first half of this years racing season went. Let me know if you have any racing questions! I love to talk running!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Monster Medicine Ball Madness!

Can y'all believe that it's almost Halloween? That means October is almost over. And that means that the holiday season is among us! I'm so ready to have all my family together at Thanksgiving and then it's Christmas. The BEST time of year by far. Okay so I've skipped ahead a bit. Back to it almost being Halloween. I've created a new workout for y'all to try using a medicine ball! And since it's almost Halloween, I had to give it a spooky theme. Monsters! Mostly because Monster and Medicine Ball both start with an M. And by mostly I mean that's all. Let's just get to the workout...




**Note: Don't have a medicine ball? You can just use one weight! Try 8-12 lbs!

Push Out Jacks: Jumping jacks holding the ball at chest level. As you jump out, press the ball out straight in front of you.

Jump Squats: Squat and jump using your calves to press off your toes as high as you can. Press the ball overhead as you jump up.

Sit Ups: Hold the ball while performing. You can make it harder by adding a Russian twist (twist side to side) at the top of each sit up.

Lunges: Step forward alternating right then left until you get to 30!

Push Ups: One hand on the ball and one hand on the ground, perform 10 on each side. Start with your knees on the ground and as you get better, work up to push ups using the proper form on your toes!

And there you have it! Simple exercises with a little something special to make it more challenging. Give it a go and let me know what you think!

Happy hump day y'all!

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Remember me?

Oh hey lovelies! Remember me? I'm the girl who used to come around these parts in a daily basis and kind of fell on and off the face of the earth. Don't worry. I'm here. I didn't fall off the earth. It's round! Not flat. Didn't Columbus teach y'all anything? Speaking of Columbus, did anyone get Columbus Day off last week? I didn't, but apparently many teachers around these parts did. I don't remember getting Columbus Day off when I was in school. We were robbed. Oh well. I thought I'd ease myself back into the blog world and catch y'all up on what I've been up to lately and by lately I mean the last two weeks!

Running...tailgating...football...

Clockwise from top left.
one. Hot and humid long run. First half marathon is this coming Sunday!
two. Ali & Amy
three. We love Aggie football. Even if we really do suck.
four. Tailgating with my main squeeze

Legally Blonde the Musical...puppy snuggles...

one. Legally Blonde the Musical at Cy Creek High! It was so cute. Now I want to see a professional production. Stat.
two. Flowers for the Technical Theatre Director! So proud of Ashley for her first show!
three & four. Puppy snuggles. I just can't get enough of them.

Mother-Daughter weekend at Coushatta, L'Auberge and Delta Downs...

one. Stop one...Coushatta! Such a blast and I'm super thankful for their smoke-free area!
two. I love elephants.
three. Penny slots for the win.
four. My momma and me! She's the absolute best. 

...P.S. We both ended up big winners! And on the penny slots!

Check that out! She ended up with about 275 free spins! Say what? We both walked away over $100 up on the weekend.

Being a typical white girl and eating & drinking anything and everything pumpkin flavored this fall. From coffee creamer to M&Ms and fro-yo to cinnamon rolls. I can't get enough. And I'm not sorry.



So as you can see, there haven't been too many super crazy and exciting things going on. I have some other projects in the works that I'm keeping on the DL right now. I'll be sure to share as soon as I'm ready. Don't worry, I haven't gone anywhere. Not that I think any of y'all were concerned.

Fall is crazy and I've felt so unmotivated to do anything that involves my computer. I'm jumping back on the bandwagon though. I like writing on my little corner of the interwebs too much...even if no one is really reading :)

So don't worry, I'll continue to stick around. I've got a great workout ready for y'all later this week. You know...the holidays are right around the corner. Plus it's football season which is pretty much worse than the holidays! I'll give you something to kick your booties into shape ;)

Until then...happy Monday y'all!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Flashback Friday: Octobers Past

First of all, HAPPY FRIDAY!!! Hooray, hooray, I love Friday. I love waking up later. I love enjoying my coffee. I love blogging on my couch while watching my DVR. I love productive mornings around the house. I love only working for 2 hours at lunchtime. Yup, I love Friday. You know what else I love? October. My birthday has now come and gone, so it's officially time for me to start cracking down on the holidays. Yippie! I know it's just October, but it's time for fall decor, the beginning of Christmas shopping, Halloween, cooler Saturday morning runs, more football games and everything else that fall and holiday season brings us.

I decided to take today to look back on my Octobers past. You'll see a common trend with things I happen to love a lot. Football...running...weddings...

October 2009


Enjoying my final semester in college. {I graduated in December!} Aggie football, fun times with friends, teaching lots of group exercise classes and only taking 9 hours of school!

October 2010


Six months post wedding and this seems to be the only picture I have! Of course this was a few months pre-blog. Luckily, this is one of my favorite pictures of my daddy and I. It kind of reminds me of this one...

My daddy and me...20 years ago!

October 2011



Another Packers picture, but this time we're actually at Lambeau Field watching the Packers kick the Broncos' butts! It was an amazing trip with my dad and baby brother. I'm ready to go back that's for sure.




October 2012


Danced the night away with two of my favorite people, Luke and Courtney! Isn't she gorgeous? Now if only they didn't live so far away in Denver. I guess all the more reason for us to go back up there again. Especially since we didn't get to see them last time!

October 2013


October is when marathon training season kicks into high gear! Long runs every Saturday and we're running double digits each week. For some runs, we can tackle some races like the Houston Half! Last year, it rained so hard that the race was postponed an hour. We were able to start once the storm rolled off, but it was still raining. Despite a much needed potty break and the rain, we still finished in 1:56. Let's hope the weather is in our favor in 3 weeks for this year's race!




And here we are in October 2014. October 3rd to be specific...

Thanks for the pic Ali!

And it's Friday. As we've already established. I hope y'all have a wonderful Friday and an even better weekend! Happy October y'all!

When do you think Holiday Season starts?
What's your favorite part of October?
Mine is pumpkin spice lattes and football for sure!

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Birthday Shenanigans {+ a workout!}

Guess what? Last time I blogged, I was 26 years old. Now I'm 27! What? Yes, over the weekend I officially turned 27 :) I'm now into my late 20's and I'm not sure exactly how that happened. I started off my birthday weekend with an 11 mile run with my running club followed by a fun little "birthday party" at my parents' house! Of course it was Frozen themed...I sometimes wonder if I'm 7 or 27. No shame.




Saturday also happened to be an Aggie football game day, so everyone came over for food, drinks, swimming, cake and Aggie game day! The game was looking a little rough and was becoming quite the buzz kill until the end. Some how, some way the Fightin' Texas Aggies pulled through with a last minute win! That gave us all the second wind we needed to take some pictures and of course jump in the pool!





I have the best friends ever :) It's true. Kristin brought over some fun props for the most perfect picture opps. Thanks to my dad for being our patient photographer. I think we got about 30 pics! Here are just a few of my favorites.





And no birthday is complete without presents! I got some cute bags, lots of jewelry, perfume, gift cards, money and all sorts of fun goodies. Spoiled rotten I must say. Did I mention how awesome my friends and family are?






In honor of my 27th birthday I created a challenging full body, no weights workout for y'all to do at home, outside, or anywhere really! 




Give it a go and let me know what you think. My Monday afternoon class said it was killer...in the best way! My back and hamstrings are still feeling it two days later! I love being workout sore! 

Happy hump day y'all!

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