Seven for Saturday

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What a week! I missed Five for Friday this week, so I thought I would join in on Seven for Saturday instead. Here we go!

1) Vega

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As a #SweatPink Ambassador I had the opportunity to review Vega Sport as part of the #FueldYourBetter campaign. I was originally introduced to Vega through their Vega One wellness line and was happy to see them dive deeper into a sport-specific line. The Vega Team sent me a box of sugar-free (super important!) pre-workout energizer packets in the lemon-lime flavor. The energizer is taken 20-minutes before a workout and enhances mental focus, increases energy, and boosts your endurance. At least 4 times a week I bike to and from work, and run when I get home. I find that after a long work day I am exhausted by the time I ride the 4 miles home and it is difficult to get my butt back out the door for a run. This week has been a little different! After being sick on Sunday and Monday I got back in gear on Tuesday and started using Vega Sport before I got on my bike. By the time I got on my run I felt stronger and was able to run my hill intervals at a more consistent pace than a usual work-day-drag. My super picky (but lovely) husband has even take packets to his office to use for his runs. A co-worker saw me mixing my packet and cringed at the green (and I mean GREEN) color of Vega and I let him try an ice-cold mix. He cringed a little more when I read off the plant-based ingredients, and he grew a little skeptical, and held the cup with caution. He was happy to find out that it in fact did not “taste green” but tastes a lot like a glass of iced tea! Vega Sport products come in three phases: prepare, sustain, and recover. I’ve only tried their prepare stage — so I cannot account for their other phases — but I am very impressed with it so far!

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2) Mother’s Day
This year we are spending mothers day with my mom by having brunch with my mom, cousin, sister, and her fiance. My mom loves the Elizabeth Arden perfume line, so we got her one of their spingy scents as a mothers day gift. Mama B is in the midwest so we mailed her a care package with a set of Bell & Jack preppy beachy earrings and a Super Bowl 43 shirt (Go Hawks!). Now go hug your mothers everyone!

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3) EnergyBits
As I mentioned above, I was out sick for a few days. I fit in a short run on one of those days (not advised) and sat out the second day. Whether it was food poisoning or a stomach bug I will never know…but I sure am happy it’s gone. On day 2 I received a great little package from ENERGYbits with a tin of their bits to try. Ever heard of them? They are tiny tablets of organically grown NON GMO spirulina algae and chlorella that eliminate fatigue and hunger instantly in just 1 calorie tabs. I took one as soon as I got the package with the hopes that it would help bring me back into the world of the living as far as my stomach problems went. The smell is a little hard to handle, but once you swallow the pill there’s barely any taste. It kind of reminded me of feeding my fish as a kid! I haven’t used EnergyBits on too many runs yet, but I am really looking forward to carrying it on longer-runs and half-marathons to take with salt tablets as a source of energy. We tested it out today at the 5k and loved it. Kyle compared it to drinking coffee post run minus the jitters, I agree. I’ll keep you posted on the progress. If you would like to try ENERGYBits out you can use the promocode “blog” when you check out for a 10% discount!

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4) Truckeroo
Once a month DC food trucks get together outside of National’s ball park for a food truck rally with bars, live music, yard games, and tons of great food trucks. My friends Christy and Kyle were over for the weekend so we rounded up the troops and went over for dinner. It may not have been the healthiest choice before a race day…but I knew we were taking this race easy and indulged a little! YOLO! Sorry…I said YOLO…moving on! My dinner included a Maine lobster roll, corn fritters, ice cream, and cider. Cheat day? Sure! But who could say no to this?

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5) MyOatmeal
Several SweatPink Ambassadors are big fans of MyOatmeal and I’ve read several reviews of their product. I was really happy to partner with them in reviewing their oatmeal. They have a really neat feature where you can customize your own blend from a whole host of ingredients and toppings in three different sizes. I made two “small” blends to try — and the small packages were actually larger than I expected and were packed full to the top! You really do get your moneys worth. The first mix was a “cookie” themed mix with oats, cookie dough, snickerdoodle, sugar cookies, flax seeds, pecans, and brown sugar cane. The second mix was “apple” themed and contained oats, apple pie, apple, gingerbread, apples, chia seeds, walnuts, and brown sugar cane. The flavors are AMAZING and I love all of the add-in’s like chia seeds and flax seeds that they offer. It’s hard to pick from so many amazing choices. For the past 2 weeks I have kept one bag of my “cookie” flavored mix at my office and one bag of my “apple” flavored mix at home. I use the at-home bag for snacks and breakfast and the at-work bag as a morning snack to eat after I bike into work. My little morning bike workout can leave my hungry during the day, but a small cup of oatmeal fills me up until lunch time and give me the energy I need to focus during the day. They’ve also extended a 15% discount on their oatmeal and PBLean blends for my readers. Simply enter “healthy15” when you check out! Oatmeal’s often listed as one of the “cheaper” health-foods and I 100% agree…MyOatmeal just proves that!


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6) BrokenMillenial
My best friend from high school has an amazing blog and writes for several outlets including Forbes and most recently TaxAct. Erin interviewed me for her most recent piece. Check it out!

7) 5k
Today we ran/walked the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure 5k in DC. My mom is a breast cancer survivor, as is my mother-in-law, and they are both some of the strongest and most wonderful women I know! My mom actually took part in some of their breast cancer research while she underwent surgery and treatment here in DC this past year. It was great to come full-circle and be there with her on this special day. My mom, sister, and her girl-friends walked the 5k and me and two of my friends ran the 5k. You know me, if there was a 5k run option…I had to run! It worked out well because we were able to get photos of my mom finishing and set up a cheering section for her. It was also really great to run with some of my best friends on this special day – these races always get me choked up. After the race, we headed to my mom’s house and we hosted a PartyLite party through Kyle along with a brunch for family and friends. Check out her site! And lastly, one of my cousins came into town this weekend to start his internship on Capitol Hill for the summer so he joined us as well. All-in-all a blast!! I will leave you with some of my favorite pictures from the race:

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5 for Friday!

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#1

Both my mom and my mother-in-law are breast cancer survivors and 2 of my favorite people in the world! Last October I was able to run a 5k with my mother-in-law when she finished radiation to support breast cancer research and on May 10th I get to run/walk the Susan G Komen 5k with my mom! My mom picked this race because she participated in a research study while she underwent treatment. The research doctors were at each of her surgeries and appointments and she knows firsthand how important the research is. If you are in the DC area we would love to have you join our team and walk with us! If not, we would greatly appreciate your prayers, positive thoughts, and donations to research if possible. You can check out our page HERE.

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 #2

This week I threw my name in the ring to be part of Saucony’s 26 Strong project. Saucony pairs up 26 veteran marathons with 26 cadets (or first time marathoners) and together they train and run a marathon this year. I first followed the project when NYCRunningMama was selected as a coach last year. As you can tell, Saucony is the inspiration behind my blog and the maker of some of my favorite shoes! To make it even better, a local DC area coach whose blog was the first running blog I followed, Mile Posts, was selected as a coach for 26 Strong. There are so many amazing and inspiring applicants so I am trying to not get my hopes up too high – but I would be SO stoked if I won it! I met all of the criteria (having run a half marathon, no injuries, etc.) and find out on the 17th if I made it. Only 26 do…AHHH!! I often watch these Saucony ads when I need a little pre-run inspiration (it works) and thought I would share. The second video is actually Mile Post’s Saucony ad!

 

#3

Marathons have been on my mind (hello, 26 Strong Project) but so have triathlons. My dad is a triathlete and I’ve been feeling a strong tug towards more distance biking and triathlons. Right now I am very overwhelmed with the sticker shock of road and tri bikes because my hybrid bike is not going to cut it…especially if I need to keep up with my dad! My dad needs a biker buddy when he moves back here in July and I want to add biking in as cross training…so I am hoping he will help me out with a road/tri bike! Right now I am in the research phase and would love any input from triathletes on entry level tri/road bikes that won’t break the bank. The only bike I’ve test-driven so far is the Specialized Dolce. I loved it, but I am open to suggestions. Until then, I am pinching every penny so I can make this happen!

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#4

Easter is (almost) here! God is good! I am very thankful my boss gave us off for Good Friday and Monday to celebrate. It was wonderful to sleep in a little today and I am really looking forward to baking a ton, cooking Easter dinner with Max, and celebrating Easter. This is our first Easter without our parents near by (mine are in the Philippines and his as in Missouri) so we are cooking a feast for two this year! On Saturday my sister and some friends are going to a tapas lunch and watching Heaven is for Real. We lived in Spain for 4 years so Alicia and I will jump at any chance to drink sangria and eat paella! Gift giving is definitely one of my love languages and over the last 2 weeks I have made 3 Easter baskets (one of Max, one of my sister-in-law Natalie at college, and one for our friend Tim). I love making them and can’t wait for people to enjoy them. I’ll post pics after the Easter Bunny visits because I don’t want to give any secrets away!

#5

KT tape. Every heard of it? I don’t have any injuries but everyone has the occasional ache or pain. When these aches or pains flare up I love to help them out by using KT tape. Think of it as a tape brace! I use it on my hips, IT band, shin splints, knees, everything! I was first introduced to a KT-tape like product in high school when I dislocated my shoulder but needed to tape it down to play volleyball. I’ve been “stuck to it” ever since! This weekend I wrote out a message on my tape as a reminder to offer up the pain or struggle of running for those who can no longer run. We are all #BostonStrong this week!

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Race Recap – Dewey Goes Pink

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This afternoon I ran the Dewey Goes Pink 5k for the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition. This particular race really held a special place in my heart because my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer just over a week ago AND my mother-in-law won her battle with breast cancer this past summer and is now cancer free. What can I say, I surround myself with strong women!

The morning was a little rough and threw a few curve balls into my game plane. My in-laws live on the bay in Delaware and there are several corn fields in the area. As we drove in last night, we passed through huge dust clouds that almost looked like fog…

picstitchwith the windows down! I was wearing a long sleeve shirt,but my neck and face and hands were exposed. I have pretty strong seasonal allergies and woke up in the middle of the night itchy all over and forced myself back to sleep. Around 7 AM I woke up feeling like my neck was on fire and walked downstairs to Max who was watching the news. I told him I felt like I was having an allergic and he looked at me like I had three eyes. Actually…I had one eye! My left eye was swollen and shut and my neck/face were covered and a painful, raised red rash. Luckily my in-law’s has benadryl and anti-itch cream and I hoped into a cold, cold shower to get the rash down. I popped another benadryl, downed the coffee and protein shake my father-in-law so nicely made me (so yummy), and us running ladies headed over to the race.  I was reluctant to do this…because I looked like a monster…but here is a photo.

We parked, got our time chips, cute shirts, some water bottles, and waited for the men to arrive so we could hand-off our goodies and hand off Marcel (who was so handsome in his breast cancer scarf!). By the time the race started my eye was still swollen but my rash had gone down significantly. Thank GOD! We are having an unseasonably warm weekend down here and were in the 90’s by the time the race started. So the gun went off and I tried to keep up with the front group…and was way out of my pace group! The guy in front ended up finishing in 18 minutes! I ran the first mile, hit up the water table for another cup, and went on a loose 1 min run – 1 min walk strategy for the next 2 miles. It was just WAY too hot and I stupidly did not carry water with me. It was that kind of heat where you feel like throwing up. Not fun. But I really enjoyed the race! We had to cross one major road so runners were stuck waiting on one end as they let cars through so that messed with my time a little. A total of 1,600 runners racing in a small town is always a challenge! The course was pretty flat which was great (hello beach running!) but Bendryl was really taking it’s tole on me and I felt a little like a zombie on the road.

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As we hit the 2.5 mile markers I knew I needed to kick it into a gear a little more. I am one of those runners that gets a real kick at the end of a race and I could see people dropping around me. I caught up to one guy who reminded me of my dad and I started running with him. He

had just stopped to walk and I turned to him and encouraged him to finish strong and that I would help him run the last 0.6 miles. He did it! We picked up the pace and crossed the finish line at 36 mins and 24 seconds. He thanked me when we got to the finish line and that felt great. I love encouraging other runners and helping people make their way to the finish line. The struggle is real, runner friends, the struggle is real!

I crossed the finish line, grabbed my water bottle and ice pack, and made my way over to “our spot” at the Starboard. Our speedy 1.5 milers had already made there way back and gotten their drinks by the time I finished – they did great!! They had a huge spread of cookies, WHOLE pigs, BBQ chicken, pasta, fruit, cookies, drinks, and beer for everyone afterwards. Marcel enjoyed eating my bag of ice, haha, he is a funny little puppy! I on the other hand enjoyed two bottles of water, bbq, and 2 pink crushes (whatever that was? grapefruit juice and vodka I think!

Races like these are my favorites. I didn’t PR, I wasn’t overly proud of my time at all, I ran it mostly on my own, and you don’t get a fun medal…but they MEAN a lot. They mean the world! We raised over $30,000+ for breast cancer research and like the VP of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition said, “we are doing this so that future generations do not need to be affected by breast cancer like ours have.”

Next up? The Marine Corps 10k with Team Peacock!

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Dear Diary #10 – One Emotional (AND Awesome) Race

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This week has been a rough one to say the least. Maxwell and I were making dinner on Friday night and got one of those calls that no one wants to receive. My parents had spent two weeks away from the Philippines visiting Thailand for what I thought was a vacation (in case you missed me complaining on Instagram). Turns out they were visiting with breast cancer specialists at a hospital in Bangkok (I knew their 2 week vacation felt a little long). Mama has breast cancer – early stage invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) breast cancer. We had no idea and my parents did not want to tell us until they knew more about the diagnosis, which I completely understand.  She has her annual mammogram done in this summer while she was visiting and they found an abnormality. Sadly, they didn’t get the results back until my mom was already back in Manila. They order a second mammogram in Manila and again found the abnormality. That’s when she was sent to Thailand because their specialists are better than in Manila. They did the biopsy and then went in and removed the cancer and some of the healthy tissue around it while in Bangkok. Next step? She’s flying back to DC in a week to meet with doctors at G.W. Hospital and start treatment.

It’s going to be a rough couple of months ahead of us as we figure out treatment and find ways to help out – but I am glad she is able to come back to DC for treatment. The early stages of IDC breast cancer have high recovery rates and we are all very hopeful! Please keep her in your prayers. She’s super woman, just like mama B, and I know she will be ok! I believe that – I really do.

Interestingly enough my next race is Dewey Goes Pink – a fun 5k run or 1.5 mile walk for breast cancer research. You see, my awesome mama-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and finished her treatment this summer. She is cancer free and full of awesome! She is why I have full faith that my mom will be ok too. She never complained during treatment or surgery and she stayed so positive throughout her battle with breast cancer. It even inspired my sis-in-law to participate in her campus Relay for Life and now she chair’s her campus’ College’s Against Cancer group. Right now she is working with Cancer Care Connection to fund raise – check it out! We are going to be running Dewey Goes Pink on Saturday October 5th and the profits go to the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition. There’s going to be a ton of pink (you know how I love pink), post-race drinks, many strong breast cancer survivors, music, tech shirts, and a BBQ! Races like these are always inspiring…but running it this weekend has double meaning for me – my mom’s!

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[[EDIT: On of my best friend’s signed up for the Abolish Breast Cancer 5k in Connecticut and will ALSO be running on Saturday. This is her first race in a while so send some encouragement her way!]]