Monthly Archives: August 2015

Fit Friday: My First Marathon (Registration)

It’s official!  My registration is complete and I will be running my first marathon on 13 March, 2016.  I selected the Newport News One City Marathon because it has an earlier start time than Shamrock, a smaller field, is run on a course I’ve never seen before and it’s point to point.  Mostly, though, one of the biggest reasons behind my choice was that as I fight through my first 26.2+ mile journey I didn’t want to be passing the finish area packed with partying friends who have finished the half like the Shamrock course does midway through.  I know it’s going to be a mental battle for me and the first marathonfewer distractions there are the better off I’ll be.

That being said, am I looking forward to my first marathon?  Absolutely.  It’s a new challenge and I’m 99% sure I’ll succeed.  Winter training will be a nice change even though we’re supposed to have a rough one.  With this winter predicted to be worse than the last, I actually like the idea of having some really boring treadmill runs that will make any outdoor 20+ miler seem like a slice of heaven.

I’m anxious to get training.  I’ve set a big goal to BQ (Boston Qualify) which means I’ll need to average 8:00 miles to give myself the 5:00 cushion I expect to need.  I’m not hell bent on hitting that since this will be my first try at 26.2 but it’ll definitely help keep me pushing on the challenging winter training runs I’ll likely face.  That being said, I have a good 16 mile base to build from and most of those runs have been at paces between 7:05 and 7:25.  With over six months to go before race day, I’m ready to see where my baseline is.  My first ever 18 miler is scheduled for the week after I (plan to) PR my 10k at Heart of Ghent and I’m ready to rock my first marathon training test long run.


How excited were you for your first marathon?  What worried you the most?  Did you train in hot or cold weather?

Bulu Box Review + Discount Code!

I received my first Bulu Box last week and could not wait to try the products.  The monthly subscription service provides five sample size products in each shipment.  If you like something, they offer every sample as a full sized product on their website.  When you register you’re asked to fill out a profile to help determine what samples are perfect for you which is a great way to know you’ll use every Bulu Box sample, every month.bulu boxMy Bulu Box contained Fusion Chicken Jerky in Lemon Pepper flavor, Movit Energy Gummies, Runa Tea, Earth’s Care Anti-Itch Cream and Simple Being Dietary Supplement.

As soon as I opened the box I dove into Fusion’s Lemon Pepper Jerky.  Delicious!  I had never had chicken jerky before, only venison and beef, and was very pleasantly surprised.  It was chewy like expected but not unreasonable so, perfectly flavored and smelled great.  The hint of spice doesn’t become overpowering when you eat more than one or two slices which is great for someone like me who doesn’t like a lot heat on food.

While I sitting out on the deck with my book Saturday afternoon a few mosquitos got their jaws in me and the Earth’s Care Anti-Itch cream was a nice tool to have handy.  I wiped some on as soon as I noticed the red bump and never had the urge to itch it.  Not once!  I typically just suffer and scratch away for a few minutes but after this experience, I might invest in a little less itchiness.

Sunday morning I had a long run scheduled.  After a sleepless night, my original plans were derailed and I got off to a late start.  Luckily, I still had time to devour The Movit Energy Gummies my Bulu Box contained.  The citrus flavor was yummy.  I love a gummy and all of the nutrients the chewies contained.  The package recommends eating about 20 minutes before your activity and even though I only gave them 12-15 to kick in, I think I noticed a difference in my energy level past the 10k mark.  It was hot and I was fighting with some hydration issues that made it hard to really tell what was going on.  Looking forward to trying these again.

Not much of a tea drinker beyond the very rare Arizona Green Tea, I was a little nervous to try the Runa Guayusa Tea.  I’ve never steeped my own tea and didn’t know how it would taste.  The Focused Energy flavor was surprisingly good.  I typically steer clear of caffeine and didn’t really feel a big boost but I suspect this could be because I drank it very slowly over about 20 minutes.  I appreciate the whole foods aspect and the company’s mission.

I haven’t yet tried the Simple Being supplement and am not sure when I will.  Like I mentioned, I’m cautious with caffeine.  When I do feel brave enough to take it, I’ll probably split the package with Doug and see how differently we respond to the same ingredients.

Aside from sending awesome samples with no shipping charges (ever) every month, Bulu Box offers cancellation at any time and a kick butt rewards program.  Each month you can earn points for sharing thoughts and reviews of the samples you received.  Those points can then be used to purchase full size products in the Bulu Box store.  How awesome is that?  Free stuff!

Thanks Bulu Box for sending me great things.  If you’d like to try Bulu Box, use discount code SWEATPINK to save 50% off a 3 month subscription.


Do you get a monthly Bulu Box?  What other monthly sample do you subscribe to?

**I received this complimentary Bulu Box as part of my partnership with Sweat Pink and Fit Approach.  All opinions and work are my own***

My First Rock Climbing Adventure

Last night I went indoor rock climbing for the first time in my whole life.  I had no idea what to expect but with some of my favorite Team RWBers by my side, I knew I’d have fun.  I missed the first outing and was excited to make it for the second of many Team RWB rock rock climbingclimbing adventures to come.

I pulled into the gravel parking lot at Virginia Beach Rock Gym, surprised by how full it was.  Wide eyed, I walked into the massive warehouse and met up with our group.  After filling out waivers, getting special rock climbing shoes (didn’t even know they existed) and harnesses, we left the reception area for the actual gym.  We were given a short class on how to self belay, including the correct way to lock in our carabiner, then let loose on the myriad of walls and rock climbingboulders.

There were a few SEAL Team guys getting a rock climbing workout in, plenty of regulars, Team RWBers with some experience and me.  I was prepared to fall off the wall at every opportunity but ended up being pretty OK at getting up there.  Coming down?  Not so much.  I was neither graceful nor correct in my dismount but I did survive injury free.  Thanks, Gravity.

Here I am on my very first attempt, getting passed by Karla and swinging from the challenging side of a boulder with the whole Team RWB gang.

After hanging for this picture and playing a bit on the big walls, I gave bouldering a serious try.  Thank goodness for those big fluffy mats!  The spider guys hanging upside down from the boulder made it look so easy.  I landed on my rear a few times before finding a more vertical wall to learn on.  I had better luck staying perpendicular to the ground and actually got to the top of the boulder twice.  Getting down from here was more of a climb back down challenge but I gained some confidence jumping off from a higher height each time.

With burning forearms and tired legs after a second workout for the day, I washed my hands and headed home.  The Virginia Beach Rock Gym is a cool spot even when it’s hot and I’m looking forward to my next indoor rock climbing adventure.  Will I ever tackle the Grand Canyon?  Most definitely not but it’s fun to try.

rock climbingMeredith

Have you ever been indoor rock climbing?  Did you like it?

Fit Friday: Moving! and Workouts

It’s been one busy summer and it looks like fall is going to kick off with even more activity.  We are moving!  This adorable townhouse will be our new home as of September 1 and we couldn’t be more excited.  We’re moving back to the beach (4 blocks), I’ll be less than 1.5 miles from movingwork (can’t wait to ride my bike more), closer to friends and an easy walk to some of our favorite places for drinks and dinner.

Even with all the moving excitement, I’ve been getting all of my workouts in since Joggin’ for Frogmen.  The fall season looks to be a good one with attainable goals of hitting PRs at 5k and 10k.  Here are the workouts I’ve at least tried to rock since August began:

Week 1 August
Saturday – Joggin’ for Frogmen 5k (new PR!)
Sunday – Long Intervals – 4 x16min on, 4 min off (12mi)
Monday – Crossfit (Deadlift 5×3 then 34 seconds on/26 seconds off x double unders, pull-ups, goblet squats, deadlifts at 65% of 1RM)
Tuesday – Team RWB 4mi recovery run
Wednesday – Rest!
Thursday – AM – Hills in 68 degrees, 55% humidity that felt like heaven in PA (5 mi).  PM – 31 Heroes Memory run, 31 minutes/4 miles
Friday – Crossfit (5RM push-press – my shoulder was not happy- then 15min AMRAP partner x row 200, 10DB thrusters – 15lbs, 7 rounds)

Week 8 August
Saturday – Another easy run, 4.5 miles
Sunday – Long Run – 3x3miles, 7 minutes rest (11.5mi)
Monday – Crossfit (Skill work on full snatch – I need it – then 12 min AMRAP x 9 ring dips, 3 power snatches, 6 snatches – 7 rounds+14)
Tuesday – Team RWB 4mi recovery run
Wednesday – Crossfit (5RM deadlift – new PR – then 15, 12, 9, 6, 3 x deadlift, seated shoulder press [sub for HSPU], KBS, 30 double under after each round)
Thursday – Long Intervals – 2 x 2mi-1mi-800M, rest 5, 4, 3 (10.5mi)
Friday – 5 mi barefoot sand run with some up and down on the dunes just for fun :).

Workouts continue into the last two weeks of August in the midst of packing, transferring services, signing papers and arranging schedules.  I’m looking forward to our new home but also to finding some new running routes!


What have you been up to as the final month of summer rolls on?  How do you manage moving?

Freekeh Foods Fun + Giveaway!

Freekeh Fun + Giveaway!

I recently received two packages of Freekeh Foods thanks to my partnership with Sweat Pink and FitApproach.  I opted for original and rosemary sage flavors and couldn’t wait to give the whole grain a try.  Before my recipe, here’s a little bit of background on just exactly what freekeh is!

The Freekeh Foods website proclaims freekeh is “a process which means “to rub” in Arabic.  Freekeh was created by accident nearly 2,000 years ago when a Middle Eastern village was attacked and their crop of young green wheat was set ablaze.  Most folks would sulk over their misfortune, but the crafty villagers rubbed off the chaff, cooked it up and ‘Eureka!’ Freekeh was created.

freekeh foodsOne serving of freekeh contains three times the protein and fiber you’ll get from brown rice with fewer calories than both quinoa and white rice.  It has a home low on the glycemic index, making it a good choice for everyone, especially diabetics.

For those of you who are gluten free by choice or necessity freekeh may not be a good choice.  With its early harvest, the gluten is denatured and may result in fewer stomach problems than other wheat and grain products but if you have Celiac, steer clear.

The Freekeh Foods website is home to a library full of delicious recipes but I chose to mix my rosemary sage up with teriyaki grilled pork chops.  The flavors mixed nicely, I loved the texture, taste and how easy it was to make.  The rosemary really complemented the Asian flavors and it’s a combo I’ll use again in the future.  I’m also looking forward to giving some of the official Freekeh Foods Recipes a try!

freekeh foodsEnter for you chance to win a package of Freekeh Foods right here!
Open to US residents only.


I received this product as part of my partnership with Sweat Pink and FitApproach but all opinions and work are my own.

Fall Racing is Almost Here

It’s August!  Time to start getting ready for fall racing and working towards some new PRs.  I’ve had a busy few weeks with three race weekends in a row (RnR Chicago, Kill That 5k and Joggin for Frogmen) and am looking forward to some easy weekends with nothing more than a long run on the schedule.  My fall racing schedule includes a little bit of everything and will be lots of fun.  I’m pacing and racing at the half marathon distance while looking to PR at both 5k and 10k in the next few months.

Fall racing season kicks off with Rock n Roll Virginia Beach and it will be here before I know it.  I won’t be racing this one but will be pacing the 2:15 group again this year.  Eric at Hampton Runner will be my pacing partner and we couldn’t be more excited to help people reach their half marathon goals.fall racing

Next up is the Heart of Ghent 10k on 26 September.  Along with some cooler weather this flat course will give me a chance to hit the new 10k PR I’ll be looking for.  I had a great race last year (super comfy tees) and it’ll be a nice opportunity to push myself without a PR attempt half marathon on the schedule until December.

Two short weeks later I’ll return to pacing for the Hartford Half Marathon 2:00 group.  The next day it’s racing mode (hopefully) for the Narragansett Half Marathon and to check off my second state for the weekend.  Neither race will be fast but I’m looking forward to pushing myself for the first time in the second of back to back half marathons.  After a whirlwind trip to New England, I’ll be back in Virginia Beach for a little breather and five weeks to dial my training in for a 5k PR attempt at the Harbor Lights 5k on 21 November.

Fall racing will wrap up with a trip to Louisiana for the Baton Rouge Beach Half Marathon.  It’ll be a quick one night stay as I use this flat, uncrowded race as my 2015 half marathon PR goal race.  Even though I have plenty of fall racing on the calendar, each event has plenty of wiggle room for training tweaks if I feel I need them and I’m looking forward to going after new PRs as the weather cools down.


What’s on your fall racing schedule?  Going for any new PRs?

2015 Joggin For Frogmen

Held in conjunction with the 31 Heroes Main Event, the 2015 Joggin for Frogmen 5k took place Saturday August 1 in Norfolk, VA.  It was my first road race 5k since early October 2013 and I headed in with a goal of checking up on a serious 5k time, a full week of training behind me and legs that felt good but not fresh.

I got the race a little over an hour early which gave me plenty of time to pick up my packet, stretch out, have a snack and some water, socialize with fellow runners and Team RWBers, snap a few photos and attend the opening ceremonies joggin for frogmenbefore a one mile warm up.  The entire day benefits the 31 Heroes Project, the Travis Manion Foundation and the Navy SEAL Foundation and it was a honor to celebrate the sacrifice of the members of Extortion 17 as the 31 names were read, Taps was played by Bugles Across America and the national anthem came over the speakers.  Time to get Joggin for Frogmen!

I chatted with Joe, another Team RWB member, while lined up in the Start area and we actually ended up running the race together.  The honor system went off right on time and everyone had done a really good job of talking about expected times to prevent any traffic.  There was none as Joe and I rolled into the first 800M.  We came out of the shady, cool first half mile a little quick then slowed a bit heading into a long sunny kind of out-and-back stretch for the next 1.5 miles.  We had expected to see water around the halfway point but it wasn’t on course until Mile 2.  Past the 31 Heroes WOD set up we ran with 1600M to go.  Joe and I kept on moving through a few turns around the joggin for frogmenHalf Moon Cruise Center just to be stopped for emergency vehicles with 1k to go.  After a nice little five second breather, we picked it back up to go around a city block and find the Finish in our sights.  It was a blast to help push another Team RWBer through the race and we both finished strong.

The course was very flat, had sections of both shade and hot sun, ran along the water and finished with a slight uphill grade.  All accounts had the uncertified course at 3.2 miles (apparently just like last year) and my watch agreed.  In spite of the extra 40+ seconds I spent running, I was happy with an official finish time of 22:31 on a humid, sunny, no taper race day.  I was third female overall, third in my age group and 33rd finisher overall.  A super cool 2015 joggin for frogmenJoggin for Frogmen 50 caliber Bottle Breacher was my third place award in addition to a bottle opener finisher medal and an age group award medal.  I also grabbed this pic with RWBer Paul, who was at his first event with the Team.  We were so happy to have him!

When I got home, surprise!  I had PRed my 5k time by 24 seconds.  I’m happy with that, too, and looking forward to beating it at the Harbor Lights 5k in November.  In the end, the 2015 Joggin for Frogmen 5k was a great day with awesome people that gave me a good feeling about my fall 5k PR goal.


Have you ever had a surprise PR?  Participated in a Joggin For Frogmen or 31 Heroes event?