Friday, August 31, 2012

Let's Glow!

Last weekend was the inaugural Tulsa Glow Run.  This is another fun little extraordinary 5k.  The concept is a nighttime 5k all black-lighted and glowy .  Glow sticks, glow bracelets, glow glasses, fluorescent colors everywhere.

The night time path was lit by glow sticks and there was music along the course and "glow stations" to get your glow on.  Glow in the dark finisher medals were topped only by the glow-ing after party.  I think the medal might just be my favorite yet.  It's a medal and a night light.

 There were a couple of a technical difficulties, lots of people on a narrow course, other runners picking up the glow sticks along the sides of the path making it a little tricky to see the road and people who were a little less lit up.  But all in all I hope it comes back this way next year.

"Glowing" for it..Suz at finish line.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Path to Princess Half: Six Months!

Six months from today I will be running my first half marathon.  I will be running my first Run Disney event.  I will be running in my happy place.  

Most of the big stuff has been taken care of.  My list is getting shorter now it's just the details.  

Flights figured out - check (will book in September)
DVC membership - check
Time off approved - check
Registered - check
Bay Lake Towers booked - check.

So outside of waiting still one small'ish detail is pending.  My princess.  It turned out to be a no-brainer, I started looking at my pins on  Pinterest that were Disney related.  Between my Disney Trip board and my Princess Half board, one princess kept showing up over and over and over again....

The fairest of them all.  Snow White.  I have loved her as long as I can remember.  Merida may have spunk and sass, but Snow has my heart.  

So the who has been decided, now it's time to figure out the how.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Treadmill Tunes Thursday

Looks like it's going to be a hot day again today.  Since I have a late lunch at work this week and it's hot that automatically means treadmill lunch time run. 

Since I shared about how I come up with my playlist and I've shared a little about what my treadmill runs look like.  I thought I would share my most recent treadmill playlist. 

The key component for me is fun.  Since I tend to dread my treadmill runs, I need songs that make me smile and make me forget where I'm at.  Not surprisingly most of the songs on my current treadmill playlist are mostly guilty pleasures.  One deviation though, I don't have my "theme song" on my treadmill list. 

So without further hemming and hawing, let me introduce you to my playlist named Fun. 

Hey ya! - OutKast
Scream - Usher
What Makes You Beautiful - One Direction
Whistle - Flo Rida
Shake Your Thang - Salt n Pepa
Settle Down - No Doubt
Chasing the Sun - The Wanted
Numb/Encore - Jay Z and Linkin Park
Titanium - David Guetta & Sia
Wild Ones - Flo Rida & Sia
The Beautiful People - Marilyn Manson

A bit cheesy but they make me smile and in some cases giggle.  But if I'm going to be on a treadmill, it's all about being happy and a happy Suz makes treadmill runs so so much better.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Adventures in Eating: The Simply Bar Challenge

An odd thing has happened since I started running last year. I've noticed that I am weeding a lot of bad habits out of my diet and trying to find yummy good habits in exchange. A snacker by nature I'm constantly on the hunt for better options. This hunt led me to The Simply Bar and the Simply Bar Challenge.

What was the challenge? The Simply Bar sent me four of their most popular protein bars in exchange for my opinions on a survey. While they did provide me with the bars no other compensation was provided the thoughts below are mine.

I was excited and scared to try the challenge. I have tried protein bars in the past. But I've never managed to take more than a couple of bites before tossing it in the trash. The good thing about the challenge was I was going to have to TRY so I could really see what the Simply Bar was all about.

I started off safe for me and the first one I tried was the Peanut Butter Chocolate. The thing that stood out to me wasn't that it didn't look like a protein bar. It looked like a rice crispie treat.

I had this as a mid afternoon snack at work and much to my surprise, I loved it! No weird texture or flavor, just yummy goodness. The best part? It kept me full the rest of the afternoon and curbed the four o'clock snacking that I often fell prey too. I was still full around dinner time which led to a sensible portion for dinner and led to no after dinner snack.
The next one I tried was the cinnamon pecan for breakfast in place of my normal protein shake. I was super leery of this one as I have a weird quirk where I generally don't like nuts in food. Guess what? I still loved it and once again I found myself full, no between meals snacking. Quite honestly this was even better than my normal protein shake in that it kept me fuller longer.

I tried the next bar after my long run, the caramel peanut and the final bar , lemon coconut after dinner with similar results.

Here are the impressive numbers for my label reading friends and yet another reason I was hoping I would love them. They looked too good to be true. Especially in comparison to the other popular protein bars.

 Nine ingredients, 16 grams of protein, an easy 160 calories, 4 grams of fat, 3 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of fiber. Not to mention that they are certified gluten free and dairy free.

It was hard for me to believe that something that looked so good would taste good and deliver all that was said it would deliver. But The Simply Bar lived up to the hype I built up in my head. The Simply Bar, is simply amazing!

I am quite excited to say that this girl has a favorite protein bar and a new weapon in my eating well arsenal. Hello, the Simply Bar, welcome to my life. I can not wait to order more and am especially excited to try their Cocoa Coffee protein bars.

Thank you to the Simply Bar for letting me take part in your challenge and for changing my opinions on protein bars. Have I piqued your interest?  Check them out for yourself at You will be so, so happy you did. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Crazy from the Heat...Treadmill tales

This time last year I swore up and down that I would never, never, ever, never run outside in the summer.  I was that emphatic about it, only crazy people would be out running in upper 80, 90, 100+ temps.  Guess what?  I have become one of those crazy people.

So far we have had over 30 days of triple degree temps.  We start our mornings at 85 degrees and it is still well over a hundred past 9pm.  It's severely cramped my lunch time runs and has left me resigning myself to one of the treadmills in the fitness center at my work.  It's kind of ironic that the way I started my running adventure is now my least favorite way to run.  I would rather watch paint dry than have to step foot on the treadmill.  I am finding new ways to keep my treadmill days challenging though.  My scenery may not change but the workouts certainly do.

My two favorites so far have been both interval based and stay around twenty to thirty minutes.

I started running 1 mile as fast as I can after I hit the mile mark, I will walk for one minute.  After that minute is up, I will speed back up a little past my previous speed until I hit mile two.  Walk again for one minute.  Then the last 1.1 mile at the fastest speed yet.  Then end with a five minute cool down.  All of this is done on random incline.   This interval work has given me several pr's for 5k time, 1k time, fastest mile.  Because it's been so hot and I have slowed down greatly when I do run outside it's hard to say if any of the speed work has paid off in terms of cutting time off my outside runs.  Can't wait to see how it translates.

The other treadmill work has been working on inclines so I can defeat my nemesis hills.  I stumbled upon this one on twitter.  The original one can be found here.  Quick and Sweaty 20 minute workout.  I have modified it a little for me depending on the days. But this is totally charging up my quick indoor lunch runs and this one I can say has definitely improved my stamina on hills.  I can definitely see a difference when I come up to the hilly portion of my long runs.

My  modified version:
Gradually increase speed and incline the first minute.
Then from minutes 1-5:  8.0 incline, speed at 4.0

Minutes 5-10 (maybe - if I'm not on a time crunch I extend this portion out a bit)
incline: 1.0
Speed alternating by minute between 7.0 and 8.0

Last five minutes:
ramp the incline back up to 8.0
Speed starts at 4.0 but I end up around 4.5

I have really loved the addition of this one to my treadmill arsenal.

I do still have a long outdoor run on weekends, and so far I have gotten up to 6.6 miles.  I got a late start this morning and it was so hot that I stopped short today at 4 miles. I plan to get up early tomorrow and try to get up to 7 miles.

Can't wait for cooler weather, but at least now my treadmill days are anything but boring.