Running

Race Review-Tower of Terror 10 Miler

Good Morning Fellow New Runners!

On October 4th, I did it.  I entered the fifth dimension….I entered….The Twilight Zone.

Source: RunDisney.com

Source: RunDisney.com

I had been looking forward to this race for over a year, the first time I read about it on another blog.  It sounded like so much fun and the medal…well..more on that in just a bit.

My family arrived in Disney on Friday and we immediately went to our resort to check in.  This time we stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort.  I will do a review of our Disney experience in a different post, but once I checked in, I also had to go to a different desk in the lobby to check in and get my free mini-golf passes(that’s right, I said FREE mini-golf passes.  With no expiration date…bonus!)  and my Tower of Terror weekend pamphlet.  After that, we headed over to the Wide World of Sports section of Walt Disney World for our packet pick up.

I was concerned as I’ve heard that packet pick up and the expo’s can be very crowded, but this one was so well organized, we could have been in and out in a matter of minutes (and I had to pick up 2 bibs, one for myself and one for my daughter who did the Kids Races).  Kudos to RunDisney for the expo.  As someone who hates crowds, this was a very pleasant surprise.  I took a look around the expo floor at all of the neat runner specific things that they had for purchase, but the highlight for me was to see all of the other RunDisney Medals!  That is right, all of the other medals from upcoming races were on display.  My favorite?  Let’s just say I need to make a trip out to Disneyland for the Avengers race. (my apologies for no pictures, this area was constantly crowded with people wanting a look.  Can’t really blame them!)

On Saturday I tried to nap, but I was too excited and before I knew it…it was time to board the bus!  Funny enough the usual butterflies that accompany me heading to a race were completely absent.  I had made a pact with myself that I was just going to enjoy the experience.  Everyone told me that with a RunDisney race, you can’t worry about your time, so I decided, I would not (note: I did still have a target finish goal in mind, under 2 hours).

Photo credit: My mom

Photo credit: My mom

The bus was a great experience as people were so friendly.  I met three lovely ladies and we chatted about running and what we hoped for from the run.  (To finish was the over-arching theme.)  We got to the waiting area outside of the corrals and what fun!  There was an absolutely fantastic DJ who had moves to every song, so it was like a dance party, warm up, and aerobics class in one.  I know I should have sat and rested my legs but darn it, if I hear a fun song I just half to boogie down.  Apparently, I am not alone.

I went to a race and a dance party broke out!

I went to a race and a dance party broke out!

While waiting, I also signed in to the Hollywood Hotel guest registry.  I’ve heard good things about this hotel, especially the elevators.

sign in

The only fault I found with this part of the process?  At 8:30pm (race starts at 10pm), all of the port-o-potties were out of toilet paper and the portable sinks were out of soap and paper towels.  There was no one near to report this to.  Next year I hope they have extra supplies of such essentials, especially for us lady runners!

At 9:15 we loaded into our corrals and walked to the start.  It wasn’t long now…the excitement was overwhelming.  Then, promptly at 10pm we were off!!  I always force myself to slow down at the start of a race, and this one was pretty easy to do just that because it was crowded at the start.  Not “running into others” crowded, but certainly too crowded to sprint out although I saw people doing just that.

I was nervous because I was told not to bring headphones and when I got to the race start everyone was wearing headphones, but honestly, I didn’t need them.  Within a mile there were DJ’s, a character meet and greet (Jafar) and water and powerade.  In fact I could not believe how fast the miles ticked by, it seemed like I had just completed a mile when buzzzz, my Garmin vibrated another mile down.

By far, my most favorite part of the run was when we ran into the Wide World of Sports Complex.  It was a well lit trail that added such a different vibe, I thought it was really fun.  I also LOVED running through the baseball stadium.  People were cheering and screaming, oh it was a blast!  Additionally the volunteers on this part of the course were simply amazing.  They were clapping, had kazoos and clappers and were cheering us on.  They deserved a medal too, in my opinion.

It was also a wide world of sports that I got some super fun pictures.  I had to get a picture when the infamous grave diggers, and surprisingly their line wasn’t that long at all, maybe 5 people in front of me?  I also got a picture with the “zombie tailgaters” who had literally zero line. Then at mile seven I stopped to get a picture with the “corpses”.   Every picture I took I was amazed, the people playing the characters NEVER broke character.  They were all fantastic!

corpse brides zombie tailgaters

 

Once I left Wide World of Sports I knew the end was close.  We ran into Hollywood Studios and they had a DJ who was not only playing music but hilarious.  At this point, I sent a text to my husband letting him know I was on property and had about 2 miles to go.  We ran into the lights motor action speedway and through the back lot.  Then we ran down New York City (so cool!) and around the Mickey hat.  It was here that family and friends were cheering and another amazing DJ was playing music and saying “you got this, you can do it!!”.  It was mile 9 and I can’t lie, I almost starting crying (I get a little emotional when I run).  More twists and turns and then through the seamstress section, which was super neat to see all of the clothes.  They also had a disco ball and music, I felt like breaking out into a dance.  Then a straight away with more amazing volunteers cheering and clapping.

My Garmin buzzed 10 miles…yet I was STILL running!  What the what?  I saw a huge screen ahead that had various race photos, the Twilight Zone music and once I hit that, I turned a corner and there it was…the finish line!!  I high fived Goofy and cross that line in my goal finish time!  Bonus was that unlike my Gasparilla experience my husband actually saw me cross!  As soon as I crossed I got a chill towel (ohhh so nice!) and a snack box.  I also snagged my most awesome medal.  Folks, the elevator moves and the windows glow in the dark.  Yep, coolest medal around!

TOT finish!

Photo Credit: My husband..who waited up until almost midnight to see me cross the finish line.

Once my daughter sees this, I will never get it back!

Once my daughter sees this, I will never get it back!

 

Two things about this race that were a bit of an inconvenience:

1. The walk to the bag check to pick up your bag is looooonggg.  For the love of God, I just ran 10 miles, can you make this pick up a little closer?  Also, if you had to pick up your bag, there was no way to tell your loved ones waiting for you where to go.  I wish they would have made that a bit easier.  Lesson learned: I will always tell my family to go to the bag check section or changing tent area to find me.

2. The snack box had all carbs in it.  Almost no protein.  I don’t know if it is just me, but after I run I have got to get some protein into me or else I get a wicked headache (which I had the entire next day).  Lesson learned, next time I will bring a protein shake in my bag check.

I am very bummed to see that RunDisney has elected not to do this race in 2015 (no explanation why), but I hope that this a temporary stoppage.

The Pros:

“Smaller” RunDisney race

Night time course so no hot sun beating down on you

Different terrain breaks up the miles

Wonderful volunteers

Absolutely phenomenal medal and tech shirt (the shirt glows too!)

10 mile distance is a great entry point for someone who wants more of a challenge than a 10k but is not ready for the full half marathon distance

Very cool theme

 

The Cons

That walk to the bag check!  Sweet Jesus.

No ability to meet family right after the finish.  No way to tell them to meet you at bag check vs. party

The fact that family must buy a villains bash ticket to see you finish.  We are annual passholders.  For almost every other race (except for Wine and Dine) my husband could have used his pass to get into the park to see me finish.  But because it was a night race, he had to buy a special ticket.  I am still kind of miffed about that.

There is no Tower of Terror Race scheduled for 2015 😦

 

I loved this race and I want to do it again.  I hope RunDisney does bring it back, and better than ever.  A run through the Magic Kingdom..by the Haunted Mansion ride perhaps?  How amazing would that be?

Enjoy the Run!

Yvonne

Question: Have you run the Tower of Terror 10 miler?  What are your thoughts?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Don’t Call It a Comeback…

Hello, Hello Fellow New Runners!

Yes, once again I took a hiatus, but now I am back!!  Oh I have SO much to tell you!!

Why have I been gone for so long, well…I got one of those 9-5 type of gigs…that’s right after 3 years off I finally got a full-time job again!  Why am I so excited?  Hang on to your hats folks, I actually LIKE to work.  I know, weird right?  The fact is, I enjoy what I do, I love the coworkers and I even enjoy dressing to go into the office.  The one thing I am not a fan of?  Traffic. Blah.

running mom

So now, I am not just a wife, mom and runner, I am also a working wife, mom and runner.  The transition has been a bit easier than I thought, but there have been bumps along the way.  Fitting my running in has been a challenge, but I am making it a priority, so you know what?  It gets done.

Let’s see..what else…

Oh I ran this little race called The Tower of Terror 10 Miler!!  Yes, my longest race ever and my very first RunDisney race.  I will write a post on the blog about that race in a bit but as a preview…it…was…AWESOME!  My daughter also did the Kids Races, and let me tell you, that was the best $15 I’ve ever spent.

I have had a couple of longest ever runs, most notably not one but two 13 milers.  The first one was a little rough as both myself and my running partner were not feeling well.  The second one went much, much better.

I can’t wait to fill you all in on everything that has been going on!

See you on the asphalt and as always…Enjoy the Run!

Yvonne

13.Fun!

Good Morning Fellow New Runners!!

**Yes, I am aware I “borrowed” my headline from the amazing ladies at Another Mother Runner.  Click on the link to see what you are missing…it is a website chock full of great stories, tips and links to their hilarious and amazing books. 

Well, I did it.  My first ever 13.1 mile training run.  It took longer than I wanted and I certainly ached more than I expected during it, but I can no longer ask myself “if” I can complete a half marathon.  Now I know I can.  

4:30am wake up call on Saturday?  Must be a runner!

4:30am wake up call on Saturday? Must be a runner!

VERY early (5:15am) last Saturday morning,  I met up with my running partner and we headed off on long run.  Neither of us had a good running week the prior week.  We were both battling sickness, me a nasty head cold/chest congestion/sore throat thing and she a stomach virus.  So neither of us completed our weekday training runs like we should have.  But, like the troupers all us runners are, we set off on Saturday morning determined to at least get some miles in.

The first couple of miles weren’t hard, but it was darn hot out so we stopped for water breaks almost every mile.  My running partner had more stomach issues during the run so we kept walking for longer than either of us wanted.  With the walk breaks, our legs and feet started aching.  However, that eternal struggle that all distance runners know made us keep going.  We had to get back to where we parked our cars.  So, the last 3 miles we put our headphones in and trudged through.  I kept going until my Garmin read 13.10.  Man oh man was I excited to see that!  Even though my running partner has completed quite a few half marathons and is currently training for a marathon, this was her first 13.1 training run as well.  

We had to get to our cars to take us home...to the food!!

We had to get to our cars to take us home…to the food!!

Source: Runners World

Once we got back to our cars, the aches and pains subsided into joyous elation that we had done it!  We downed a bottle of water each (we had both gone through the 4 8oz water bottles on our hydration belts during our run, summer running in Florida is fun!) and headed home, she munching on a banana, me on my protein shake.  What a way to start the day.

Enjoy the Run!

Yvonne

New Running Lessons..from a New Runner

Good Morning Fellow New Runners!

 

I’ve seen so many people post about their “run-a-versary” but honestly I can’t remember what I did yesterday, let alone when I started running.  Even still, I feel as though I’ve learned a lot within the past year and I wanted to pass along my top 5 mistakes lessons I’ve learned in my first year of running:

So, you’ve decided you want to try this whole “running” thing. You’ve laced up your shoes and took your first steps. Way to Go!  As you get into running more and more you will realize there is lots to learn! 

  1. The “I am not a REAL runner” mantra: You know…only those people who are training for a marathon are the “real runners”.  Those people who can run really fast or who can go really far are the real runners.  Not me.  Excuse me…do you run more than you walk?  Do you go a little bit farther every time?  Then you are a runner.  End of discussion. runner
  1. Not wearing proper shoes.  Make sure you go to a running store (Floridians..FitNiche is simply amazing) and get a proper fit.  Ensure you know their return policy in case you need it.  You will most likely increase your mileage as you get into your new passion and your shoes will make all the difference.

                            2A. For my fellow ladies. Get fitted for and invest in a really good sports bra. Trust me on this.

Saucony's rock!

Saucony’s rock!

  1. Hydration and good nutrition everyday are key.  Believe me, no one was more bummed than I was to learn that sweets and beer do not count as “carb loading”.  Your runs will be easier when you take care of your body and what fuels it. Also, hydration is so important, especially if you are running in the summer.  At least 10 glasses of water every day, and I would argue that at least one of those glasses should have an electrolyte replenishing drink if you are going for a long run the next day or just came from one. 
    Better tasting than Gatorade with lots of nutrition to help you put back what your workout took out.

    Better tasting than Gatorade with lots of nutrition to help you put back what your workout took out.

  1. EAT/DRINK PROTEIN SOON AFTER A RUN.  This seems logical, but let me explain.  I would get debilitating, pounding headaches after long runs.  I would drink water like crazy, but I was never really hungry so I would wait a few hours after my run to eat something.  Big mistake.  If you are going for a long run, have something to eat very soon after.  Go for something with a nice mix of carbs and protein.  Once I started having a protein drink 10 minutes after my long run, my headaches completely vanished. 
    Any excuse to have chocolate is alright in my book.

    Any excuse to have chocolate is all right in my book.

  1. Find a running buddy.  Usually I run alone, happily listening to music, a podcast or just the thoughts in my head. However this can get lonely!  The best runs I’ve had are the ones with other runners.  The time goes by faster because you are chatting and, if you run with someone just a bit faster than you, your pace will ultimately improve.  Plus you can ask all sorts of running questions because if there is one thing other runners love to talk about, it is running.
    running partner

    Yep, she counts as a running buddy, our conversations are hilarious!

     

    Did I miss anything?  Please give me one piece of advice you’d give a new runner!!

Enjoy the Run!

Yvonne

Of Running & Sleep

Good Morning Fellow New Runners!

I’m baaack!  It as been a few weeks, yes weeks, since my last blog post.  My half marathon training has been more draining than I was prepared for.  I’ve been following the plan, taking the prescribed rest days and pushing my mileage only when I felt up to it.  However, my exhaustion level has been higher than usual.  Why?  I think I know.

Should I be asleep now?  My body has no idea!

Should I be asleep now? My body has no idea!

Picture Source 

Runners need more sleep than most, 8-10 hours at least.  Don’t believe me? Read about it here or in this true life tale here.  I don’t know about you but 8 hours of sleeps seems like a glorious dream.  Between family, home and just every day life, getting 8-10 hours of sleep is hard for even the most organized and disciplined.  Add in my varied running schedule (some days it is early morning, other days it is late at night, somedays it is mid-day..) and my body has no idea when it should sleep.  So inevitably I am wide awake at midnight and having trouble keeping my eyes open at 2pm.  It’s a mess.

For the past week, I’ve been trying to get to bed earlier, when I can.  I’ve found an app that tracks my sleep so I have a better understanding of my sleep patterns and how much sleep I’m actually getting.  I’ve utilized the treadmill so I can run during the day vs. waiting until night to run (because running at 4pm in Florida in the summer is just a bad, bad idea).  I’ve also worked on getting more water and making sure I limit my sugar intake as this also affects my sleep.

Will all of this help?  I can only hope so!  The good news?  My running is really coming along nicely.  Last week I completed my longest ever, over 12 miles and my speed is improving as I had a sub 10 minute mile!  I am excited about how much stronger I feel during my runs and even though I’ve been tired and the past few days I’ve been battling a cold, my legs still move when I ask them to.  I know this is a good sign as running is becoming more second nature than it was before training began.  Yes!!!  

Enjoy the Run!

Yvonne

Question: How much sleep do you get a night?

When Mother Nature Doesn’t Cooperate

Rain, rain go away!!

Last week started off so amazingly.  On Monday I did my “fun” workout and this time, I selected swimming laps.  I love swimming, even did it competitively in my youth.  Did a nice variety of different strokes including, Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke and even Butterfly. 

On Tuesday I hydrated like crazy, ate a fantastically good dinner with just enough protein, carbs and veggies and couldn’t wait for my longest mid-week run to date, seven miles.  Then…the rains came.  Having lived in Florida off and on for over 15 years, I know a little about the weather.  I knew enough to wait it out and the storms would stop.  Keeping a watchful eye on the weather radar, when I saw my chance I (literally) ran out the door.  

Oh. My. God.  Those miles were simply awesome.  I felt strong, I felt fast, I was completely in control of my run.  I felt like anything was possible.  The miles simply ticked by one after the other and before I knew it I was on mile five.  Just two more to go. 

Aerial view of Tampa, FL..note the complete lack of elevation of any kind...

Aerial view of Tampa, FL..note the complete lack of elevation of any kind…

One thing about Florida…it is flat.  There are no hills, no mountains, so I was able to keep a watchful eye on the sky throughout my run.  The problem with this is things often seem close when they are far…and some times…like Tuesday night…seem far when they are, in fact, super close.  

I heard the thunder…I saw the lightening.  I just didn’t think it would hit as fast as it did.  Around mile five and a half the skies opened and the rain plummeted to earth.  I hid under a neighbors front porch for a good 10 minutes then when the rain let up, tried to make a break for it.  No use.  The skies opened again and the deluge began again in earnest.  

You may recall I have written many times about how I love a good run in the rain.  Still do.  However this type of rain had thunder and lightening with it and was coming down so fast I literally couldn’t see.  I hid under another neighbor’s porch, this one had cameras (hi neighbor!!) and sullenly came to the realization that my amazing run was going to end prematurely.  My husband was already asleep (he goes into work at 2am) so I called my dad who came to pick me up.  As I sloshed into my house I still felt good about my run.  I mean, if the lightening of a good run can happen once, it can strike twice, right?  

Enjoy the Run!

Yvonne

Adventures in Hill Repeats

Good Afternoon Fellow New Runners!

Last week was week three of my half marathon training.  So far the Train Like A Mother 1/2 marathon Finish It Plan has been super easy to follow.  I feel stronger and my runs are really getting better.  I’ll publish a brief recap of what I did last week, but wanted to dive in deeper to one specific workout.  

Hill Repeats.  I’ve never done these before as I live in Florida…super flat Florida (our hills are either bridges or landfills…true story!).  Luckily for me, the races I’ve signed up for and have run have all been in Florida so there hasn’t been a real need for me to try to tackle hills.  However, the training plan called for hill repeats and I’ve heard there is a hill in the Tower of Terror (on-ramp on the highway, I told you all of our hills are man-made!) so I thought I would give this “hills” stuff a try by using a treadmill.

On Thursday morning I set off, did a nice 1 mile warm up, up to the mini gym in my neighborhood.  There was no one there (thank God, you’ll see why in a second) and I jumped on one of the treadmills to start the hill repeats.

 I quickly realized I had to adjust both the incline and the speed..at the same time.  This was tricky and I never did master it.  It took a few seconds for me to get the treadmill up to speed and the incline I wanted.  Next time I am going to use the timer on the machine vs. my Garmin, hopefully I’ll get a more accurate interval time in.  

My first interval I apparently thought I was superman as I had an incline of over 7 and a speed of just about 6 minutes per mile.  I realized I made a terrible decision pretty quickly as I had to hang on for dear life lest I go flying into the free weight area.  (who puts free weights right behind the treadmills..I mean really!).  

The next incline was a bit better, I lowered the hill just a bit (6) and decreased the speed a ton (8-9 minute mile) and had better luck.  However my euphoria ended on intervals 3 and 4 as I started wheezing and my hamstrings and glutes were yelling at me to stop the insanity. 

As soon as the torture session hill repeats were over, I jumped off the treadmill, cleaned it and headed home.  The mile run back home was hard as my legs felt like lead.  I walked in to the house and promptly plopped myself down on the floor (I was too sweaty for the furniture) and said “never again”.  The problem is I have to do this all over again in two weeks…and add 2 extra intervals on.  God help me. 

Here is how the rest of the week fared: 

Monday: 3 mile run with 4 strides.  Felt strong, fast and just down right amazing during this run.  

Tuesday: 6 mile evening run.  I had some…ahem gastrointestinal issues that made this less fun than it should have been.

Wednesday: Rest 

Thursday: Aforementioned hill repeats.  

Friday: Should have crossed trained, but didn’t.  Does mopping count as cross training, because I did that.

Saturday: 8 mile long run.  This was a great run, finished strong in the summer heat and humidity.  Actually went longer than 8 (almost 9) and was quite pleased at how well I felt during the run.

Enjoy the Run!

Yvonne

Question: How do you handle hill repeats if there is no hill near you?

How to have a terrible run. My week of boneheaded decisions.

Good Morning Fellow New Runners!

Last week was week 2 of my 10 miler/half marathon training plan. Remember in my last post how my runs seemed so much easier? This week that did NOT happen. Mainly because of boneheaded decisions by yours truly. I share in the hopes that you all do not make the same mistakes I did.

Monday: This was “fun workout” day on the calendar. I did a 30 minute pilates video and a 30 minute aerobic video. It was fun, the munchkin even joined me in doing some of the moves. I used muscles I don’t usually use in running plus had fun in the process.
Boneheaded move: Forgot to stretch afterwards. This would haunt me for the better part of the week.

Tuesday: After an air conditioner meltdown on Monday night into Tuesday morning, I got about 4 hours of sleep. My parents were willing to take the munchkin (we still had no a/c in the house and it was going to be 93 degrees) so I ran her up to their house and decided to get my 5 mile run in.
Boneheaded move: 4 hours of sleep. Zero hydration. The run started at almost 9am. It was brightly sunny and around 86 degrees. I brought no water with me. My lack of stretching from the day before was haunting my legs.  Horrific, horrific run. If you can even call it that.  Brisk walk with lots of huffing and puffing might be more appropriate.  

Wednesday: rest (thank God)

Thursday: 4.50 mile run. After the fiasco on Tuesday, I got out early for my run. This one fared better as I didn’t have the sun beating down on me.  However I forgot to hydrate the day before and even woke up with a slight headache due to dehydration. Was also STILL sore from not stretching on Monday.                                                                                                     Boneheaded move: Didn’t drink enough water the day before so I was dehydrated when I started the run.  I conked out around mile 3 and had a terrible pace for mile 4 and beyond.

Friday: Should have crossed trained but went to a 4th of July BBQ instead.

Saturday: 7 mile run. Shockingly this one went right. I brought my hydration belt with me, had a plan for my pace and stuck to it. I hydrated well the day before and ate a bit more knowing I had this run planned (can beer be considered “carb loading”? It should).  Got up early and got most of the miles in before the sun came up.  It was a great run.

Sunday: rest

Let’s chalk this week up to a “learning” week.  I did everything you aren’t supposed to do, but came back at the end of the week and had a darn good seven miler on Saturday.  It felt amazing, especially after how terrible the runs at the beginning of the week were.  Training is showing me that I can dig deep and finish what I started and that I am stronger than I thought.

Enjoy the Run!

Yvonne

Product Review-Fitletic Hydration Belt

Good Morning Fellow New Runners!

My hydration belt kept me happy during a super sweaty Florida run!

My hydration belt kept me happy during a super sweaty Florida run!

As some of you may have noticed on my last post, I was wearing a hydration belt.  As a new runner my opinion of these belts ranged from “those things are so silly, why do you need so many little bottles of water?”  to “whoa only those real runners have those belts”.  Once I started running longer distances I realized “holy cow I need one of those things!”

My criteria:

  • Ideally 4 bottles, would love it if I could remove them when I don’t need them
  • Must have Gu loops (I love my Gu.  Don’t know what Gu is?  Check out my post about it here)
  • Must be able to fit my phone (I almost always run with my phone for safety reasons as well as for my music)
  • Most importantly: MUST NOT BOUNCE.  Honestly, I run with my hair in a bun because I can’t even take a piece of hair bouncing on my neck so a hydration belt that bounced even a little bit was simply not going to cut it.

I went to a local running store to check out what they had.  I found lots of belts that had 4 bottles, but none that would fit my phone (Samsung Galaxy).  Then I turned a corner and saw the Fitletic Belts.  The one I saw had two bottles, but I could purchase two more holders and bottles.  It has 2 Gu loops and it fit my phone!  Oh happy day!  But did it bounce?

The first run I only had two bottles on the belt, but I had my phone in the pocket and took off for a six mile run.  Guess what?  It didn’t bounce.  NOT AT ALL.  The belt doesn’t feel heavy and I honestly forget it is there half of the time.

8oz bottles are easy to use!

8oz bottles are easy to use!

I love how easy it is to take the bottles out of the holders, and that they are all so easy to reach.  The bottles also have free flow spouts so water simply squirts out as soon as I press on the bottle.  No messing with spouts or trying to suck water out of the bottle while trying to run (I simply do not have the coordination for that).  I also am very appreciative of the 8oz bottles.  Nothing against the 4oz or 6oz bottles, but for someone who needs to drink lots of water to avoid serious dehydration, the more water, the better.

20140623_195244 (1)

Don’t let the picture fool you, the Gu comes out easily!

The Gu loops are also super easy to reach, I can easily pull my Gu out as I am running.  I do wish there were two extra Gu loops for half marathon and marathon training.  The pocket is big enough to fit my phone, my keys to my car and even some extra Gu!  How awesome is that?  There are also handy race bib toggles, so there is no more fiddling with pins!

This pocket actually holds a lot more than you'd think!

This pocket actually holds a lot more than you’d think!

I did purchase the extra two holders and bottles as I knew I would need them eventually.  Now that it is summer, I find myself running with all four bottles, even if I won’t be running that far.  I know that some time during the day, I’ll drink that water.  The cool thing is the bottles and holders are removable so I can put on one my Spibelt if I choose.  The only issue with that being, the extra holders are difficult to add and remove because you have to pull the belt through a small opening in the holder.  In the long run, it is good as this is why the holder and bottle don’t bounce, but seriously, its like a workout in itself to remove or add them.

Bonus: I kinda feel like Batman!

Bonus: I kinda feel like Batman!

In short, I am super happy with my Fitletic Belt!  It holds everything without weighing you down and, as I said in the beginning, doesn’t bounce at all.  This Florida girl loves the larger 8oz bottles that keep me hydrated during my run and the fact that I have four of them so two are full of water and the other two full of Rehydrate.  So don’t think hydration belts are only for “serious runners” they are for us newbies too!  Go check one out, especially if you are a big sweater like me (TMI, I’m sorry), and get the one that works for you.  Then…drink up!

Enjoy the Run!

Yvonne

**Note: I purchased this belt on my own and like it so much I wanted to write a review.  I was not compensated for my time and the opinions are all mine**

24 Day Challenge

Good Morning Fellow New Runners!

**Note: I am a distributor of Advocare.  However, I purchased my own 24 Day Challenge bundle and these are my honest, truthful experiences.  I have not been compensated for my time or opinions**

Some of you may have read in previous posts that I was doing Advocare’s 24 Day challenge.  Well, I am officially on day 25 so I thought I would write about my experiences.

Pre challenge picture..ugghh

Pre challenge picture..ugghh

My shirt didn't even fit!  Yuck!

My shirt didn’t even fit! Yuck!

Pre-Challenge: 

As some of you may recall, I had a bit of a health issue earlier this year and therefore my nutrition and workouts suffered.  I found myself craving chocolate every afternoon and wanting to take naps more frequently.  Health-wise, I was not at my best.  My patience with my daughter was at an all time low and I found myself being in a bad mood more often than not, which for me is rare.  My dad completed the challenge a few months ago and was completely transformed, so I was looking forward to seeing what it could do to me!

Cleanse Phase: 

The cleanse phase consists of Advocare’s Spark, Fiber Drink, fiber and probiotic caplets as well as OmegaPlex.  Spark is a sugar-free, multi-nutrient source of energy and mental focus.  It has 20 vitamins, minerals and nutrients that provide you with a gentle, yet long lasting energy.  I use the Spark daily so I knew how great it was, but one thing I hadn’t done before was to substitute Spark for my daily coffee.  I could not believe how awesome I felt.  I had no 11am crash (like I do with coffee) and felt fantastic throughout the day.  (Note: You do NOT have to substitute Spark for coffee.  You can have coffee in the morning and Spark only in the afternoon, if you wish.)  The fiber pills were easy to swallow and the fiber drink was delicious.  On days you don’t take the fiber pills, you take the probiotics and both were super gentle, my tummy was never upset.

The OmegaPlex was a great addition as it lubricates and lessens inflammation that a cleanse can cause.  I know that is one of the reasons I felt good during the cleanse.  I never had stomach problems, never felt achey or tired, something that can and usually does happen on other cleanses.  Once the cleanse phase (only 10 days) was done, my clothes were already fitting better, my energy was getting better and I was pumped for the next part.

Max Phase:

The max phase consists of Spark, a Meal Replacement Shake (for breakfast) and MNS packets as well as the OmegaPlex.  What are MNS packets, you ask?  Well, in short, they are chock full of vitamins and supplements to help your body feel better from the inside out.  The MNS packets are clearly labeled so you know what to take when. The Meal Replacement Shakes were absolutely delicious (my 2 year old kept asking for “just one more sip” of it) and kept me full until well past noon.  The first few days I fell into a great groove with the routine and every day that went by I felt better, and better and better.

Shirt fits!!  Oh yeah!!!

Shirt fits!! Oh yeah!!!

My hydration belt kept slipping down during my run :)

My hydration belt kept slipping down during my run 🙂

Post Challenge:

My ultimate goal was not weight loss, but I did lose almost 5 inches during the 24 days.  Please note: I tried to make good decisions about my nutrition but I did NOT count calories, measure portions or cut out any foods during this time.  I did try to severely limit my intake of my weakness…sweets, but found I was not craving them so I actually cut them out of my diet without even realizing it.  My clothes fit better and I can even fit into shorts I couldn’t fit into before I started the challenge!  However the big, big changes that I found were:

  • My energy level is through.the.roof
  • I no longer crave chocolate (honest to God)
  • My skin looks absolutely amazing.  I have always struggled with breakouts and both dry and oily skin (I have no idea how that happens) but last week, I actually left the house without any makeup on and had the confidence to continue with my errands vs. running home.
  • My running is getting much better.  My intervals are getting faster and the long runs are actually easier.  My stamina is higher and my pace is actually improving without it feeling like an effort.

All of the healthy stuff I put into my body has made me happier.  My energy being higher and craving healthier foods has made me a better person.  This part is important: The 24 Day Challenge made me a better mother, a better wife, a better person.  I have the energy to keep up with my day to day life without losing my patience, without exhaustion.  I am ready to tackle whatever life brings, even if it is just a 2 year old who wants me to make her animals talk and a husband who doesn’t know what he wants, but really wants something to eat.

In short, this was an AMAZING experience.  I want every one of you to feel as great as I do right now!!  There are links below so you can research the Challenge and the ingredients as well as the link to my microsite if you want to order.  If you do, I promise I will be there to coach you every step of the way.  You will NOT regret it!!

Information about the Challenge

Ready to order?  Let’s do this!!

Enjoy the Run!

Yvonne