Monday, August 17, 2015

Race Recap: SeaWheeze Half Marathon 2015

Race Registration:  Registration will happen on Weds September 16 2015 for the 2016 race and sells out quickly so you need to be ready!  It sold out in 35 minutes last year!  Follow @lululemon on Twitter or Instagram for updates and information.  Lululemon then sends you the limited edition shorts for this year's race in the size and style you selected at registration.    

Expo: The expo and package pick up runs all day the Friday before the race at the Vancouver Convention Center.  We got a great reusable bag to use as gear check, a shoe chip - no bibs, no race shirts- and some goodies like a lululemon water bottle.  The expo was held outside on the waterfront and had lots of free samples of vega, kombucha, KIND bars and more.  There were food trucks giving away free frozen yogurt and cotton candy.  There was a manicure station and a hair styling station!  

The lines were a little too long for me so I didn't do it.  The entrance to the SeaWheeze shop is different.  We went in to see if there was any limited edition gear I wanted to scoop up.  We went to the shop at 5pm and it had been open since 7 am and it looked like a lot of things had sold out.  Which was okay by me, I don't wear bright colors and patterns too often anyway.  

Race Morning:  We walked the mile from our hotel to the Convention Center.  Jim waited in the short line to check our bag and I headed to the warm up to try and catch Sheri.   Lauren P. from San Diego November Project lead the morning warm up at 6:20am.  (shout out fellow Team Nuun).  After the warm up, Jim and I headed to the bathrooms.  They had pink porta potties set up that were women only and the blue were unisex.  Nicely done!  The line was a little long at the first set, so we went one block up where we had remembered seeing some from the night before.  No line!  We went and then found our way over to the start.  Jim was wave 1 and I was wave 2.  We were able to see Sheri as she was at the front of Wave 2 acting as a pace beaver for the 1:40 finishers.  Said hello, hugs, pictures, quick catch up and I let her do her thing.
 I backed up a little knowing I couldn't hang with the 1:40s.  I started talking to a girl next to me because we were both wearing lunarglides.  Her name was Jenna and so nice.  Turns out I would see a lot of her during the race!  I turned around and saw fellow blogger Greg from NYCsweat.  We chatted about goals and I mentioned is love a 1:45 but probably not going to happen as I haven't had a strong training summer.  I would see a lot of him along the course and after as well. 

Course:  One word: gorgeous!  Start at convention center and run through downtown.  Made my first bathroom stop at the first set of porta potties (mile 2).    There was a Hill to get on first bridge/ramp but we were rewarded with great views of skyline.  There was a group of Bikers on spin bikes cheering that were awesome!  
We hit another bridge that was not as bad as I thought.  Long but not terribly steep.  It was nice to see runners on their way back.  I got to see Jim and my friend Cody along with the infamous "thong guy".   After crossing the bridge about 5 miles in I stopped for water and to suck down a Cliff Shot.  It was so much harder to swallow than my huma gels so I stood there by the trash can for a minute trying to get it down.  A volunteer laughed and said, "those things don't go down easy do they?".   Then we headed towards the Stanley Park seawall which was my favorite part!  So unbelievably gorgeous.  Unforgettable scenery, unforgettable support....cheerleaders, bands on a barge, scientists, and mermaids!  
Hill coming off the seawall at mile 11.5 just felt mean as my legs were feeling spent at that point.  Finished with a run past the zoo through Stanley Parks gorgeous forests back into downtown and finish line at the convention center.  

Post-Race:  We were gifted a hat for finishing.  Handed a wet towel, water, Kind bar and an Herbal pack as we walked down the chute.  As I waited to meet Jim since neither of us ran with phones, I got to see Sheri and Lauren, Cody, and Greg from NYCsweat again.  Took pics, hung out.  They were all so supportive and happy for me about my PR.  I love that runners support each other like that!  Jim found us and we got the provided Runners Brunch that included waffles, jam, cherries, grapes and a small quiche.  
I changed into warmer clothes that I had placed in my gear check bag and the finishers hat was perfect for taming my crazy curlies after 13 miles in misty/humid air!  
Post race we grabbed a shuttle from the finish line area to the Capilano Suspension Bridge and spent a few miles exploring the temperate rain forest by foot.  We then returned to the hotel, cleaned up and got ready for the festival.  

SeaWheeze Festival:  We grabbed busses from the finish area/convention center that took us to Stanley Park.  The festival ran from 4:30-11pm and we attended 6:30-10pm.  We were a little late to the yoga but I jumped in anyway.  
It was difficult to do yoga on an uneven surface and hard with my very slippery cheap mat that I brought along since it was so much lighter than my real mat.   I did a few poses and gave up.  We got our Curiosity Lager, checked out the food and artisan vendors and waited for the bands.  

My picture was one of the photos taken from the race that was on the big screen loop!  

I didn't recognize any of the bands by name and once they started playing, didn't recognize their music either.  Was still nice to sit and enjoy the weather and backdrop!  In the past they had bands like Fun and Capitol Cities.  Maybe next year they will have another big name. 

Overall, this was a great race and great experience!  I can't wait to run it again.  I loved the city of Vancouver, I loved the course, the energy, the festival....

My only hope is that lululemon keeps the date in mid August so that I can continue to attend.  In late August it conflicts with back to school time as a teacher.  Think of the teachers, lululemon!  ��

View the video from this year here: 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Chelsea Collective: A Fitness and Lifestyle Experience

I was lucky enough to be invited to a pre-grand opening party at the new Chelsea Collective store at Tysons Corner this week.  It was amazing and makes me so excited for this store's official Grand Opening on August 8 & 9th.  THIS WEEKEND.  Seriously, you should go.  It's a gorgeous store and lay out.  It makes you feel like you are walking into a fitness and lifestyle experience, not just shopping for workout gear at a big box store. 

It has a similar experience feel to shopping at a Lululemon or Athleta, but instead of the store being it's own brand it is a collection of brands that I know and love!  They had a ton of Nike gear and running shoes (one of my faves!), old school new balance trainers, Hunter boots, Calia by Carrie Underwood, Lorna Jane and Spiritual Gangster.  The Lorna Jane and Spiritual Gangster items are only carried by Chelsea Collective in the DC area. 
There is an entire section devoted to "freshening up".  Natural deodorants, dry shampoo (my lifesaver!),  facial sprays, etc.  This is so nice because I do often go straight from a work out to work!  After a morning November Project workout, there are no showers since it's held outdoors, not in a gym.  So dry shampoo, body wipes, and deodorant get me through!  And how inviting is that REFRESH wall?  That is the entrance to the dressing rooms where there is a table with spa water to sip and enjoy while trying on items. 

Chelsea Collective was so generous and let me build a bag of a few items from the store.  I now have a new Nike gym bag along with a mat towel from Calia and a headband from Calia, Evian face mist and a Chelsea Collective Nike towel- perfect for teaching spin! 

If you go to the Grand Opening this weekend, let me know what you think!  Highlights will include: in-store styling demonstrations, expert advice, complimentary services & refreshments. First 25 guests receive a special gift!  Don't walk, RUN...I know you are fast! 

           This post is sponsored by Vocalpoint and Chelsea Collective. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Recipe: Chocolate, Vanilla or Matcha Green Tea Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are so good for you and chia pudding is so versatile to customize into many different flavors!  We love it here in our house!
The basics of chia pudding are to combine 1 cup of non-dairy milk with a half cup of chia seeds.  I usually use a mason jar or reuse the jars that our jelly comes in!  After the basics, it becomes up to you to create new and exciting flavors!  Once it becomes pudding you could top with fresh berries or shredded coconut.....fresh raspberries are a favorite of mine!   
My daughter's favorite: Chocolate Chia Pudding
1 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
1/2 cup chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla
I tsp maple syrup
1/2 scoop of vegan chocolate protein powder
I combined all ingredients in the jar and gave it a good shake.  Then I put in the refrigerator and it was ready in 4 hours.  Another idea is make them at night and they are ready by morning! 
Vanilla Chia Pudding
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla
I tsp maple syrup
Not pictured: Matcha Green Tea Chia Pudding
1 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
1/2 cup chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp matcha green tea powder

Recipe: Cauliflower Fried "Rice"

This is a pretty easy recipe to just "eyeball" and throw together.
I used 3/4 head of cauliflower
1 cup frozen shelled edamame beans
1 cup frozen peas
2 carrots (chopped using food processor)
1/2 of a onion (chopped)
1/2 block of extra firm tofu (drained and cubed)
Coconut Aminos
Toasted Sesame Oil
I added Toasted Sesame oil to the pan to start satueeing the tofu. 
Then I added cauliflower to the food processor in three batches.  I ran it for a sort amount of time until it chopped the cauliflower up into little bits that resembled rice.  I dumped that into a skillet with warm toasted sesame oil and the chopped onions and carrots.  Then did the next batch and added that also to the skillet.  You don't want to fill the processor with too much cauliflower or it wont' chop correctly.  Once the cauliflower started to brown a bit, I added the peas and edamame beans that I had thawed in the microwave.  I kept stirring the mixture.
Once the tofu was browned, I added it to the cauliflower mixture and poured on a few splashes of coconut aminos for a soy sauce flavor. 
I served topped with green onion.  My husband added a little spicy sesame oil to the top of his because he likes things spicy. 
There you have it!  Delicious, nutritious and quick!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Product Review: Rocket Pure Products

Rocket Pure sent me a stick of their Friction Therapy Anti-Chafe Balm Stick.  I've happily been using it for long runs and took it along on my very hot and sweaty Ragnar Wasatch Back trip.  It's a similar product to body glide but the key difference for me is the tea tree oil in it.  
It has many other great ingredients too!  

Tea Tree Oil not only makes it smell nice and fresh but it's an essential oil with natural anti-microbal properties. Perfect for the places you end up running this I right?  

I also was lucky enough to try the powder.  When they sent it to me I thought it was perfect timing!  I was going to be heading to Ragnar Wasatchback and be in a van with six other runners for upwards of 24 hours....things could get stinky!  I brought it along and sprinkled my feet prior to each leg I ran to help keep my feet dry and fresh.  When I was applying it, a team mate got a whiff from outside the van and said, "yum...what is that?  It reminds me of a spa!".  I love anything Eucalyptus!  

They make a few other products that can be found here:  You can use this link to get a 10% off coupon.

I have been so happy with the balm stick and it has completely replaced body glide for me for long runs!  

Thank you so much Rocket Pure!  

Note:  I was not compensated for this review, but was sent product.  All opinions are my own.  

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Product Review: Wahl Hot/Cold Massage Spot Therapy Vibrating Gel Pack and Ceramic & Gel Therapeutic Cold Pack

Women's Health Magazine and Wahls sent me these recovery aids to try out.  
It's like they must have known I was about to get a nagging hip/quad injury!  Ugh.  So I was able to put them to use right away.  I opened it up to heat it up in the microwave and saw this: 
So cute!  

I wore the pad heated in my hip as I walked around the house and I as I watched TV.  It felt good!  You also have the option to activate the massage feature too.  So neat.  
The ceramic beads allows the product to hear/chill faster and then retain the temperature longer than similar products.  

I really have enjoyed these products and it was perfect timing.  

Monday, June 29, 2015

I Will

A winter full of sub par training and illness has really caught up to me.  I'm a much higher body fat percentage than I have been in a LONG time.  I can feel it when I run, do jumping jacks, etc.  I'm determined to get back to where I was.  I'm currently at 22% body fat.  My past measurements: 
While I know 22% isn't terrible (it's in the fitness range) I know what percentage feels most comfortable for me and allows me to be my strongest, fastest and fittest.  

So I sat down and did some math.  I took my weight and body fat % to figure out how many pounds were fat.  Then I used where I want to be 15% to figure out how many pounds of fat to loose to get there.
 I figured I need to loose 9 pounds of body fat.  Since each pound of fat is equivalent to 3500 calories, that maintaining a deficient of 350 cals a day would have me loose a pound of body fat every ten days.  This rate would keep me in the healthy range of loosing no more than 0.7% of my body mass per week.  With this rate it will take me about 10 weeks to get to where I want to be.  Just in time for fall races!  

I don't focus on "weight" but I do focus on body fat.  Weight is relative and not bad.  Since muscle is denser than fat, the more muscle you have, the more you can weigh for your size and that is a good thing!  You can get your body fat measured at your gym by a trainer.  

I plan on doing what has worked for me in the past and you can read that:

I can't just hope for the body fat to melt away....I need a plan and to commit to it. That 350 calorie deficit can't come from food for me.  I eat pretty healthy and don't really over eat.  The deficit will come from training (which the lack of lead to the muscle loss and fat gain in the first place).  Those 350 cals can come from running 4 miles everyday or at least completing some sort of higher intensity activity each day.  And weights are definitely re-entering my life!  

Do you have a goal?  Do you map and plan out how you are going to achieve it?