The Fit Foodie 5K Race Weekend Recap

Last weekend I had the exciting opportunity of attending the weekend long events at the Fit Foodie 5K Race Weekend as an Ambassador.  And to make things even more fun, my BFF (and BRF) Sarah from Sarah ‘n Spice was also chosen to be an Ambassador, so we got to make it a super fun girls weekend!

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We headed out of Vegas on Friday morning and got into San Diego just in time for the Light Up The Night VIP Cocktail Party.  This was held at Florent Restaurant and Lounge in the Gaslamp District in San Diego.  At this party, we got to rub shoulders with celebrity trainers, instructors, and chefs and also got to sample some really yummy food and cocktails.

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After that it was back to our room to lay out our racing outfits for the morning and hit the hay early.

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On Saturday morning, we were up bright and early with a beautiful view on the San Diego harbor.

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We got dressed and headed over to the Hilton Bayfront for the 5K race.

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The course was awesome.  Right along the water and flat.  Perfect conditions for a PR!

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We walked around the Finisher’s Village a bit and then headed over to the stage for a hilariously fun warm up with The Run MC.  This guy is awesome.  I immediately recognized him from the Temecula Half Marathon (he also did the warm up and post race ceremonies for that race).  He is funny and energetic and has got some great dance moves!

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After that was a quick stretch with Kristin McGee and then it was time to head over to the start line.

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This was Sarah’s first race ever, so I was really hoping she would do great.  This was my last race of the year, so I was also hoping to perform well, although I really didn’t have high hopes for a PR.  While I’ve been staying on track with running, I haven’t done speed work in a few months, so I wasn’t sure if a PR was going to happen for me.  But as usual, I just decided to give it my best and have fun.  There were about 1,400 runners, so we were in the second start wave.  The first wave was off and about 5 minutes later it was our turn.

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The course area was pretty small, looping around different areas and then heading back to the start line.  There were a lot of people, so it was a lot of maneuvering around and there was one really bad choke spot where it was single file and I got stuck behind a couple of people, but other than that, the course was really nice.  I’m not a huge fan of 5Ks because I push myself so hard that my whole body hurts for pretty much the entire race.  I really enjoy the long distances better where I can get in the zone and pace myself.  But, at least with a 5K it’s over pretty quickly.  I forgot to start my Garmin, so I had no idea where I was at pace wise.  I just kept pushing and pushing until I got to the final stretch and then I pushed even more to the finish line.  I felt like I was going to die when I got done.  I grabbed some water and got out my video camera so I could capture Sarah coming across the finish line to complete her race.  When she came, I was so excited for her.  She did it!!!  She has been working really hard for this and I was so excited to see her accomplish her goals.  After a congratulatory hug, and some waters, we went over to the results board to see how we did.  She ran faster than she ever had and finished in the top 30% of all runners.  I couldn’t be more proud of her.  And I scored a PR!  Previous to this, my fastest 5K was 22:31 (7.15/mile) and that was back in May.  I hadn’t been able to beat that ever since.  So I was in complete disbelief when I saw my time for this race.  21:34 (6.57/mile).  Holy moly!  I broke under 7:00/mile!!!  Woo hoo! I got 4th in my age group, 8th overall female and 26 overall.  Not to shabby at all if I say so myself!

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Once we were recovered a bit from the race, we headed over to the Finisher’s Village.  There were tons and tons of booths set up with juices, bars, coffees, massages, running attire and a beer garden.

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We also did some post race workouts with Patrick Goudeau and some more yoga with Kristin McGee.  There were also several cooking demonstrations with Chef Robin Bashinsky and samples of the food he was cooking, as well as prizes given out all day by The Run MC.  All in all, is was a great was to spend the rest of the morning and we had a really good time.

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After some R & R in the room, we headed back over to the Gaslamp District for some dinner and drinks.  We had dinner at Berkley Pizza, a total dive, but with great food and an even better beer selection.

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Then we hit up Barleymash for our favorite Framboise.

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And one last stop at The Tipsy Crow for a drink before catching a ride on a pedicab for a little tour around the area with our hysterical driver Yadi from Lebanon (he was seriously the best!).

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On Sunday, we got up and headed back over to the Hilton for a 60 minute celebrity yoga session with Kristin McGee.

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She is so awesome.  She is super sweet and nice and a really great instructor.  She led us through a pretty tough workout (especially being post race), but it hurt so good!  We got to chat with her for a few minutes and she gave Sarah and I a couple of her DVDs to try at home. I’m really excited to try them out because I haven’t done yoga in a while and it really shows!

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After yoga, we had a yummy brunch consisting of egg white frittatas, chicken sausage, greek yogurt parfaits, oatmeal, fruit and delicious Stella Cidre.  It was held on an upstairs patio at the hotel overlooking the bay.  It was a beautiful view and a beautiful ending to our fun weekend.

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On top of all the fun we had, we also raised over $1,100 for City of Hope.  Our initial goal was $500 and we more than doubled that.  Thank you so much to everyone who donated.  It really means so much to us and to our dear friend Tom.

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All in all, it was really a fun filled weekend that I would definitely do again.  I really want to thank all of the wonderful people at the Fit Foodie 5K Race Weekend for giving me the opportunity to attend as an Ambassador.  I would definitely recommend this event to anyone looking to have some fun fitness and food wrapped up into one weekend!

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I’m back and I’ve Got an Exciting Giveaway!

Well after a little hiatus (aka whirlwind trip to the east coast and busy with life in general) I am back to the blogging world.  Did you miss me?  No?  Well, that’s okay if you didn’t.  But now that I’m back, I have a really exciting giveaway for you!

A couple of months ago I opened up my monthly Ipsy bag and was pleasantly surprised to find a sample of Lavilin’s Jojoba Gel Cream in it that can be used for post workout relief.  Now, real quick, if you don’t know what Ipsy is and you like trying new beauty products, you must check them out.  It is a monthly subscription service where each month you get a package in the mail with 5 different beauty products all tucked inside a cute little makeup bag.  Some of the products are sample size, but many are full size and it’s all for only $10 a month!  Such a bargain!  I have discovered so many awesome beauty products that I never would have tried otherwise and it’s also helped me branch out a little and experiment with different looks.

Okay, so now back to the Lavilin Jojoba Gel Cream.  I was so excited to try this gel cream post workout to see if it really did anything, and I can honestly say it did not disappoint!  Each day after I run, I rub this into my legs after getting out of the shower and it makes them feel aaaaaaamazing!  Have you ever put on your favorite pair of comfy sweats right out of the dryer when they’re still warm and they just feel so good on your legs?  That is what this gel cream feels like.  It is just so soothing and leaves you with a warm, relaxing feeling in your muscles.  I am in love with it so much.

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So, after going through my sample from my Ipsy bag pretty quickly, I contacted Lavilin to see if they would send me some Jojoba Gel Cream that I could give away on my blog.  Well, being such an awesome company that they are, they not only sent me a giant tub of the Jojoba Gel Cream for myself, but they also sent me two additional tubs to give away, along with some additional products that I didn’t even know they made!

In addition to the Jojoba Gel Cream, they also sent me a some of their 72-Hour Roll-On Deodorant and their Underarm Deodorant Cream.  Now being the somewhat hippie that I am, I stopped using antiperspirant/deodorant that contains aluminum several years ago.  So I was really pleasantly surprised when I saw that neither of these deodorants contained aluminum.  And not only are they aluminum free, but both products last for days!  The 72-Hour Roll-On Deodorant lasts for well, as I’m sure you can guess, about 72 hours.  And the Underarm Deodorant Cream can last for up to 1 week.  How amazing is that?  So for the past six weeks or so, I’ve been alternating between the two and while I love them both, I am partial to the 72-Hour Roll-On Deodorant because it has a nice scent to it that I like.  The Underarm Deodorant Cream is also great, and I love that it only needs to be applied about once a week (I know you probably are shaking your head, but it really lasts that long), but it is unscented and I like having a little bit of a fresh scent in my underarm area.  But I can say that both are really great products and I would definitely recommend them.

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So, on to my giveaway!  Two lucky readers will be winners this time around!  The first prize is a tub of the  Jojoba Gel Cream and one 72-Hour Roll-On Deodorant.

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The second prize is a tub of the  Jojoba Gel Cream and one Underarm Deodorant Cream.

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I will let the first winner pick which prize they want, and the second winner will get the alternate prize.  Comment below and tell me if you are interested in these products and why, and then follow this Rafflecopter link to win.  Contest ends Friday night at midnight (PST) and winner will be announced on Monday, September 22nd.  Good luck!

And the Winner Is…

Just a quick post today as we are busy getting ready for our summer vacation.  My Pocket Fuel Naturals giveaway has ended and the winners are (in order):

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Congratulations ladies!  I will be in touch to coordinate your prizes!  I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

And, just for fun…what are your weekend plans?

Fueling With Real Foods, Part 4: Pocket Fuel Naturals {and a giveaway!}

I’ve written before in this series about how convenient gels are for fueling on the go, but unfortunately they just don’t agree with me.  While whole foods are a great alternative, they’re not always practical.  In my search to find foods to fuel with that are effective, yet convenient enough to take with you on your workout, a friend of mine recommended I check out Pocket Fuel Naturals.

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Pocket Fuel Naturals makes on the go pouches of 100% natural butter blends.  There is nothing in the ingredients that I cannot pronounce or that I don’t know exactly what it is.  For example, here is the list of ingredients for their Banana Blueberry flavor:

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See?  Isn’t that a beautiful sight?  All whole, natural ingredients for 100% natural energy.  You can also see from the  Nutritional Facts that it contains all the essentials that your body needs to fuel an intense workout (169 calories, 38mg sodium, 173mg potassium, 12g carbs, 5g protein).

Now that I was satisfied with their quest to provide natural energy, I wanted to try it for myself to see if it is effective.  I took a pouch with me on my 11 mile run over the weekend.  At about mile 6, I was starting to feel fatigued, so I pulled out my Chocolate Haze Pocket Fuel (hazelnuts, almonds, sugar, cocoa powder, sunflower oil, sea salt) and opened it up.  Can I just say, these things are dangerous.  Talk about freakin delicious!  The consistency is thicker than energy gels, but thinner than peanut butter.  The sweetness of the chocolate combined with the hazelnuts and sea salt make for one seriously delicious way to fuel.  I could eat these as a snack.  My one and only complaint is that it was a little difficult to get all of the product out of the package.  It does say on the package to squish and squeeze before opening, which I did, but apparently not enough.  I was a little sad that I couldn’t get that last little bit out of the bottom because it was so damn good.  But alas, it worked great.  I had enough energy to finish my 11 mile run, even in super hot temps.  I love that it is all natural, contains everything your body needs and that it comes in such a convenient package.  Did I mention it comes in a variety of flavors as well?

Also, if you’re looking for a little extra energy, Pocket Fuel Naturals makes Cold Brew Coffee Energy Shots in Mocha, Vanilla and Java.  I think I will be taking one of these along for my midnight half marathon coming up in a few weeks!

And now on to the best part.  Pocket Fuel Naturals has provided me with all of these Pocket Fuels and Energy Shots to give away!

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Isn’t that so awesome of them?  So, comment below and tell me if you’ve ever tried Pocket Fuel Naturals and then click on the Rafflecopter link to enter.  I will choose 3 winners at random and each winner will receive 3 Pocket Fuel Naturals Nut Butter Blends, along with 1 Cold Brew Coffee Energy Shot.  The first winner will get to pick the flavors they want, then the second, and the third winner will get what is left.  Giveaway ends Thursday night (7/24) at midnight PST and winner will be announced on Friday.  Good luck!

Fueling With Real Food Series, Part 3: Coconut Water {and a giveaway!}

Now that we’ve covered a couple of foods in Part 1 and Part 2 of my Fueling With Real Food Series, I’d like to talk about beverages.  When I think of sports drinks, the first thing that comes to mind is Gatorade, PowerAde, Propel, etc. and it seems at just about every race when it comes to beverages your choices are these or water.  Unfortunately, although sports drinks are very convenient for replacing those lost electrolytes and sodium, they don’t agree with my body very well.  I’m not a soda drinker and other than my morning cup of coffee and my occasional glass (or two or three) of wine, I pretty much just stick to water.  So, it makes sense that sports drinks that are loaded with sugar would not agree with me since I’m not used to drinking sweet beverages.  I was looking for something more natural that I could drink after a long run or during an intense workout that would hydrate me and replace electrolytes and I found coconut water!

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Coconut water has been dubbed as nature’s sports drink.  It has fewer calories, less sodium and more potassium (as much as 4 bananas) than a typical sports drink.  Some studies have shown that it hydrates the body just as well as sports drinks.  However, because it is lower in sodium than typical sports drinks, if you’re using it to replace lost sodium from a really intense workout, sprinkle some sea salt in it prior to consuming.  Coconut water is very refreshing and some brands sell coconut water flavored with pineapple, mango, or peaches for a little extra taste.  For me personally, if I can fuel with something natural and get the same effects as something created in a lab, I would much rather go the natural way.

And now it’s time for my next giveaway!  The lovely folks over at Edward & Sons provided me with two cans of their organic coconut water and a cute little cooler that will hold 6 cans for your next outing!

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To enter, tell me in the comments below if you’ve ever had coconut water.  Follow the Rafflecopter link to enter to win!  Contest starts today and ends Friday night at midnight (PST).

Fueling With Real Food Series, Part 1: Dates

In my relatively short running experience, one thing that I’ve learned is that as much as I like to fuel long runs with gels and sports drinks, they don’t always like me. They give me horrible stomach pains and as convenient as they are,  the hippie in me would rather fuel with foods that are natural and have ingredients that I can pronounce rather than something created in a lab.

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So over the next several weeks I’ll be trying, reviewing, and recommending alternatives foods to fuel with. I’ll even be doing some giveaways, so stayed tuned!

My first review of food to fuel with is dates.

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Dates are a really great food to fuel with because they are small, don’t need refrigeration, and have a lot of carbohydrates and potassium, both which are essential for fuel on a long run. Potassium is essential in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. Compared to a banana, an equal serving of medjool dates provides almost twice as much potassium (696mg vs 358mg) and over three times the amount of carbohydrates (75g vs 23g).

When I go for a run first thing in the morning, I’ll usually have a banana, but I’ve been experimenting with dates and I can say that they work really well. I’ll eat a couple of them before heading out the door and because they’re so small, I don’t feel over full and I have enough energy to get me through my run. I also use dates as a post workout recovery snack. I almost feel guilty eating them because they are so indulgent. Medjool dates are really soft and creamy and pretty much melt in your mouth, so I have no problem eating them while running or biking. They are also small enough to put in my FlipBelt which is bonus points for the convenience factor and a 2 lb package only cost $10, which is a bargain compared to gels.

On a scale from 1 to 10, I give dates a perfect 10! Watch out though, because if you like the taste of dates they can be very addicting!

Have you ever tried dates? What’s your favorite way to fuel a long run?

Exercising When You’re Sick: Should You or Shouldn’t You?

For the past week I’ve been fighting something, a cold, the flu, I don’t know, but I can sure tell you that it is making me miserable.

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I’ve probably done about half of the workouts I had planned, which is totally making me feel like a slacker.  When it comes to working out when sick, depending on how sick I’m feeling, I’ll usually either scale down my typical routine or take some extra rest days.  I started feeling sick on Thursday, so I took a much needed rest day that day.  On Friday I skipped my morning Body Pump class at the gym because I was feeling horrible, but started feeling a bit better later in the day, so I did a DVD at home.  On Saturday, I really wanted to meet up with my run club for our weekly run, and even though I felt sick, I went and did it anyway.  That was a horrible run.  I felt so gassed and my pace was about a minute slower per mile than usual.  I also had a 2 hour yoga workshop later that day that I didn’t want to miss, so I sucked it up again and went to that.  On Sunday, I was feeling even worse, so I took a rest day again.  On Monday, I was planning on running, but felt really yucky when I woke up, so opted for a bike ride instead.  I probably should have rested again because I woke up on Tuesday feeling the worse I’ve felt so far.  So…another rest day.

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It’s so hard getting sick when you’re training for something (my something being my first triathlon).  I feel guilty for not sucking it up and doing the workouts anyway.  I feel like a slacker, a baby, a wuss.  I feel drained and sluggish, partially due to being sick, but also partially due to not exercising.  My appetite is all out of wack and my muscles feel weak.

When you’re training for an event and you’ve got a schedule to stick to, what happens when you get sick?  You know all those workouts are important, so how do you help your body get better, but also stick with your plan?  After doing a bit of research online, it seems the consensus is the “neck check.”  If your symptoms are above the neck, you’re probably okay to run, but if they’re below the neck, you should rest.   Ashley Erickson from Wommen’s Running Magazine wrote an article about this very topic here, and also included this handy flow chart to check if you should rest, scale down your training plan, or go full steam ahead.

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According to this flow chart, I should be resting since some of my symptoms are below the neck. Not ideal, but this will at least ease a little bit of the guilt I’ve been feeling.  My pity party just got a little less pitiful.

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So tell me, do you suck it up and stick to your training plan when you get sick, take a break and rest, or something in between?  Do you want to join my pity party?