Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Race Recap - #OrlandoUnited5k

This race is all about mixed emotions. The #OrlandoUnited5k was a benefit for 49 people who lost their lives too soon and many others that were injured and impacted from the violence that occurred in Orlando on June 12. I am honored to be able to help, even in a small way, but wish no one had to experience those events.

The good thing about the race was that E has been asking to run a "runnin race" for a few weeks. She has done some of the kids races at past events and really enjoyed the one we did in Feb. I looked at some of the upcoming races, and in all honesty, I am over 5ks right now. I would much rather sleep a little later and get up and run 3 or 4 miles around the neighborhood. I told her it would probably be the fall, but then this event came together.

As soon as I saw registration was open I registered myself and my husband. I also registered E for the virtual option. I knew she would spend most of the race in the stroller, but that way she would get a shirt and medal like Mommy and Daddy.

5 a.m. came very early Saturday morning. Especially since I had been sleeping (I use that term loosely) with a restless E since about 3:30 a.m. I quickly dressed and got ready and woke E up about 5:30 a.m. A few snacks, some water and we were on our way a little before 6 a.m.

The drive to the race and parking were both super easy. We got to the race start with about 20 minutes to spare. E immediately spotted the Dunkin Donuts tent and we grabbed her a couple of donut holes. (I think we have been to DD once in her life, so I am not sure why she noticed it so quickly.) This, along with the banana she had in the car, was the beginning of her fueling for the race.

Lots of people wait to run
There were a lot of emotions as people were gathering at the start. It was amazing to see all the rainbows and support. Since we had the stroller, we hung out toward the back of the pack. I didn't want to catch anyone's ankles. Promptly at 7 a.m., after a few announcements and the national anthem, we were off.

Before we passed the start line, E spotted the post race bananas and had to have one. E went back and forth between being pushed in the stroller and running with me or my husband. The course was great for this. It was pretty, not super packed and had a lot of shade. It was inspiring to see how many people were cheering us on from their driveway.

Enjoying her banana

Running with Daddy
A little over 2 miles in E asked to go home. I think she was getting bored and tired. I told her we had to finish, but that was were we were headed. After a bit in the stroller, she decided to run again close to the finish. Crossing the finish line with her and my husband was amazing.

Working it at the end

I honestly don't really know what my time was. I think it was somewhere in the 50s. Most times I would be really annoyed with a time like that, but this race was different. We stopped a bit to get E in and out of the stroller or give her snacks. (I think I have done halfs with less nutrition.) A not quite 3 year-old also has little legs, but I was honored to run with her. 

I have to give a huge thanks to Final Mile Race Management. They did an amazing job putting this race together in a very short amount of time. It also raised over $100k for the One Orlando Fund. 

I am still over 5ks, but this one was worth getting up early. I hope that this is just the start of a love of being active (and maybe running) for E. What they say about kids is true, they want to do what you do, so you have to set a good example. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

First Look - Lucky's Market Orlando

For a long time I have been saying that the East Orlando area needed some sort of natural foods market. While we have a number of Publix Stores, a Super Target and even a Winn Dixie, but there is no where with a good selection of organic/alternative options. This was especially frustrating when E needed to drink goats milk. The only place I could find it was at Whole Foods or Trader Joes. Neither of which are close.

When it was announced that a Lucky's Market was coming to our part of town, and that the store was a cross between Whole Foods and Trader Joes, I was pretty excited. It is located on a corner that I drive past pretty frequently, so I watched as they made progress on the store.

The stars aligned and I was able to check it out on opening day. (Yeah, I am a giant nerd, but I spend a decent chunk of time at the grocery store each week. The more pleasant the experience the better.)

My first impression is that this is going to be an amazing addition to East Orlando. Lots of nice produce, a ton of local products, a great cheese and meat selection, a bar with coffee and other delicious items (hello Kombucha on tap), and the option of beer or wine while you shop.

Yummy Cheese

Pineapple Ginger Kombucha

My second impression is that our grocery bill is going to go up. There are a lot more impulse items I want at this store than others in the area. (Hello fancy cheeses). That said, their prepared food items should offer a nice alternative to take out for the nights that cooking isn't going to happen.

Lots of options
Check back with me in a month or so and I can let you know if my initial impressions were on target. I know I will be shopping here at least for a while.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Thank You to the Fathers

Today is Father's Day. It is a day of mixed emotions for me. My father passed away a few years ago, and that scar is opened a bit on days like today. He shaped me to be the person that I am today. He worked hard, but also showed me what an involved father was.

I wish Ellie could have known her Grandpa for longer.

That hurt is lessened a bit watching my husband be a father to E. As any parent will tell you, this parenting gig is no joke. It is a lot of hard work and takes a lot of patience and understanding. I am thankful that I have an amazing partner to share the load. 

This Father's day I would like to give a big thank you to all the fathers out there who are involved and active with their kids, but especially my husband. I probably don't say it enough, but thank you for everything you do.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Too Close to Home

Sadly it seems like mass shootings and terror attacks seem to occur more and more often. My heart went out to those in Paris and Brussels and I know that there are places in the world where attacks and violence are far too common. But this weekend, it hit far too close to home.

The news can give you the details, but a gunman killed 50 people and injured many more at a nightclub in Orlando this weekend. This was after another shooting the previous night.

I am a transplant, but have lived in Orlando for going on 14 years, give or take, so it is as much my home as anywhere else. It was only one venue, but it feels like the city as a whole, my city, was attacked.

Now, my clubbing days are long gone and the same goes for many of my friends (toddlers will do that), but one of the best things about Orlando is that it is a big-small town. That means that you know a lot more people than you realize and my heart goes out to the victims and their families. 

This type of attack, this close to home makes me wonder about the world. The world we are creating for my daughter and all those her age. One small glimmer of hope in all of this is that the people of Orlando have responded with positivity and strength.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Tips for Summer Running

Just in case you hadn't noticed...summer is here. Especially in central Florida. It seems like summer came overnight this year. One day it was warm, but manageable, and the next is was a total sweat fest. (It may just be that I didn't run much in May because of travel and a sick child.)
Time to sweat it out.

Living in Orlando, I train in what many people would consider summer conditions pretty much year round. Couple that with a constantly changing schedule and I have had to figure out how to run in pretty much all conditions. Here are some things I have learned about training when it is hot. (Please note: I am not a doctor or a trainer, so please research what works for you.)

Run Early or Late

It is going to be cooler when the sun is not beating down, so if you can go before the sun comes up or after it goes down it helps. Unfortunately E doesn't sleep very consistently, so early morning runs are an option for me.

Visors are your Friends

If you have to run in the sun, a visor is a huge help. It keeps the sun off your face, absorbs sweat, but still lets your head breath. 

BodyGlide will Keep your Skin Happy is never fun, but often a consequence of summer running. BodyGlide has made running in the heat so much better. No more painful bra lines.

Ban Cotton

I still remember when my husband, boyfriend at the time, convinced me to purchase my first tech fabric workout gear. It made running outside in the heat so much more comfortable. I couldn't imagine going back. (Little did he know that this would kick off a whole workout clothes buying problem.)

Find a Sunscreen that Sticks

Make sure you are protecting your skin. Finding a sunscreen that sticks and doesn't irritate your skin is huge. I like babyganics, but there are a ton on the market.

Replenish with Electrolytes

When the temperatures start to climb, I need something more than plain water when I am done. Something that helps replenish the lost electrolytes is key to not feeling dead for most of the day. Finding the right product for this one has been a challenge. I am not a fan of most of the sports drinks because of the taste or ingredients. I like Nuun and have been playing around with Coconut water.  

Think about a Hydration Loop

I hate carrying things with me when I run, but I need water on long runs, so I created a loop that brings me back to my water every 2 or 3 miles. That way I can stop and grab a drink, but don't have to carry a bottle. (Warning: this can feel a bit repetitive.) I know people who use trails or other routes with water stops as a solution too.
I don't mind summer running, but I know it is not for everyone. Hopefully these will help you to embrace training in the heat and enjoy the speed benefit when the temperature drops.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Managing the Rungery

Not only is today National Running Day and Global Running Day, but it is the start of half marathon training for me. I am excited to get back to running with a goal and a purpose in mind. I am also a little nervous, because I haven't had a great training cycle since before I got pregnant.

I have been working the past few months on building a solid strength foundation before upping the mileage. To add to that, my training plan is also built with some additional base building before the mileage really starts to climb

One of my biggest struggles during training is the rungerys. As I start running more, I get crazy hungry and my sweet tooth is a bit out of control. The past few years I haven't been great about monitoring my nutrition during training, and I think that some improvements can be made.

A big focus for me is going to be increasing my protein intake and decreasing the number of sweets I eat. That is why I am excited about the new Chobani Simply 100 Crunch line of yogurt. I am a big Chobani fan already and  and these offer a nice treat with a good amount of protein (10g per container) and just enough sweet to satisfy my sweet tooth. (You can find out more about Chobani Simply 100 here.)

The Simply 100 Crunch yogurts are great because they are one of my favorite things (yogurt and topping) all in one package. With flavors such as Mango Cone Crisp, Blueberry Cookie Crumble and Strawberry Chocolate Truffle there are some great options for my sweet tooth.

Even when training, keeping weight in check is a balance between eating and activity. These are a nice 100 calorie treat to balance with my workouts. If running is not your thing, there are lots of ways to burn a 100 extra calories in a day. My friends at Chobani have outlined a few. (Playing with E at the park or in the pool are some of my favorites.)

(Disclaimer: Chobani provided some of the information for this post, but all opinions are my own.)