Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Powered by Bits

I recently discovered energybits on Twitter. I quickly became intrigued. I started following them and started researching energybits and got excited by the things I was reading and seeing.

Fast forward to last week when I was fortunate enough to win a free sample of energybits via Twitter. I was so excited because I would finally get to try them for myself. Friday in my mail, I got this sweet looking little package and I was so excited. It came right before a long run on so it was perfect timing. Haven't heard of energybits?

They are definitely worth looking into. Their energybits are 100% organically grown spirulina algae. There is only ONE ingredient spirulina algae. They are 64% protein and have the highest concentration of antioxidants and beta carotene. Check out the Nutrition facts on these tiny little bits.

They contain no sugar, caffeine or chemicals. For being so little, they pack a great value in terms of vitamins/minerals and nutrition. The best part? All of this is in one handy dandy little bit that is only a whopping one calorie per tab.

 Spirulina algae is know to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, helps reduce the risk of heart disease and balance blood sugar. It can help reduce anemia and curb hunger. One of the other traits that jumped out at me was that it can help improve skin, hair growth, and fingernails. Those are all attributes governed by the thyroid. Since my thyroid is now non-existent (thank you thyroid cancer) I am constantly having issues with eczema, hair loss and weak, ridged fingernails. So anything that can help improve those issues is a definitely plus in my book.

On Saturday I tried the energybits for the first time. I took 30 before my run and headed out. The run itself was a comedy of errors. But I did feel great and after I got home I took a few more because I knew it would be awhile before I would get a chance to rest and recover. I felt amazing the rest of Saturday, there was no lag, no residual dragging from it being my longest run yet at this point. Even on Sunday I still felt great. I am amazed that none of my normal long run aches and pains were not as prevalent.

I decided at that point that I knew I wanted to continue on with energybits and see where they continue to take me. The health benefits and the recovery benefits along with the extra energy and clarity were enough for me. I am excited to announce that not only am going to continue on being Powered by Bits, I am now an Ambassador for energybits and I could not be more thrilled. I'm proud to represent energybits and the whole Bits of Health family.

 Even more excited to bring you a discount if anyone has been wanting to try them but sitting on the fence, try them. You might be surprised by how a little bit of algae can change your day. I will have my discount code in the future, but for now if anyone is interested? Just use the code BLOG for a 10% discount. I should also add the disclaimer my original sample was given to me as part of a Twitter giveaway, but my opinions are my own.

 Got algae? I do!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Path to Princess Half: Four weeks

Yes, that's right four weeks. By this exact time 28 days from today I will have completed my first half marathon.

Oddly, enough I'm not freaking out. I'm excited. After yesterday's run I know I am about as ready as I can be. I feel prepared. Of course that may change in the early morning hours while waiting in my corral before the start.

It's been funny to see me go from "this is going to be my only half ever" to "my first" to committing to a few more this year.

I have gone from being scared of a 10k to being happiest running ten miles consistently on Saturday. I have learned that miles seven to nine are my favorite. Mostly, I have learned to believe in myself above all. I am capable of way more than I think I am.

So what do I have to do at this point? Oddly enough, just wait. Oh and pack! Hotel is booked in Kansas City for the night before our flight. Mickey's Magical Express has arrived. As have our park tickets. My half costume is done and my Sparkle skirts Ariel skirt is en route.

I suppose my biggest jitters at this point is leaving my family for my longest stretch. No doubt I will have fun. No doubt my littles will be ok and have fun with their Daddy. Especially since my little Princess will be getting her new super cool bed. It's just the mommy nerves.

Here we go on the final stretch of this journey! Watch out Mickey and friends I'm on my way!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Big 13.1

I did it! I really did it. I ran 98% of my first 13.1. I am super excited and super proud that I know I can do it...But I'm disappointed because I didn't pace myself well and was all over the map on my pace

The run itself didn't start off great, it took five minutes for my Garmin to get my signal. Then I realized I needed to make an unplanned potty stop. Thank you coffee buddy for being on the path. I had to tie my shoes twice and this was all within the first mile and a half.

Despite the yuck at the beginning I carried on and kept going. I hit my stride at 8 miles in and then after that I kind of faltered a bit. I just couldn't get back to my pace. I saw numbers I haven't seen in months.

But I suppose my take away is this. I still have time to figure it out. I started off goofy. I still finished under what the high end of my Princess Half goal. I also ran 13.1 miles for the first time. That should be more than enough!

Hi, I'm new!

Ok, not really.  It's the same Suzanne.  But notice anything different?  Look around....The orange is gone and in its place is the new.

Thanks to the lovely Sarah at My (Mostly) Healthy Life...If you aren't familiar with her, go check her out.  I think she is awesome.  I happened upon her blog via a tweet about a giveaway she was hosting for Nutrition Snob clothing.  I quickly became a fan of both of them.

When I saw Sarah say she was starting to do blog designs on Twitter, I jumped right on it.  After spending two days pouring over colors I finally got my stuff together and let her do her work.  I absolutely love it.  I feel like the new design is a perfect fit for me and for the blog.  My goals were to do something light, fun and cheery.  Which tends to be my goal in posts as well.

Thanks Sarah for putting up with my silliness and I'm glad I was able to give you some laughs along the way.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I'm cheating

That's right, I said it. I'm cheating on my prized Brooks.  I've picked up two new friends.  They may be small, but make me feel mighty.

Say hello, to my little friends....

One of my goals this year was to bring in a little weight training to my run schedule.  I've always been slightly intimidated by the idea of weights.  I'm slightly, uncoordinated.  Ok, highly uncoordinated.  I think I've mentioned that once or twice.  I also have this fear of looking like a complete doofus while learning something new so while I have plenty of free classes available to me via my work's Fitness Center (like Body Pump).  I have shied away because I'd rather look like a doof in my own home than in front of people I could potential work with, or even pass in the tunnels that connect or building.  

The other piece to this puzzle is that I really didn't want to commit any time that would take me away from my family at night, or take me away from my running during the days or on Saturday.  I wanted something that I could fit into my schedule and keep my inner klutz contained.  

So for Christmas I got my first Kettlebell.  A whopping five pounder, and I tracked down a You Tube Video for guidance.  I ultimately landed on Kettlebell Bombshell 10 minute Workout.  I figured this would be a good starting point. Since I had a lower weight I upped my reps to 20 and then gradually increased from there.  

As I got more comfortable with it, I saw this video shared by Fit Approach from Fit Sugar and I incorporated that into my Kettlebell Bombshell work out.  

I recently graduated up to a ten pound kettlebell and I'm already planning on adding to my collection very soon.  Right now I am doing both workouts every night followed by a wallie.  It's been great to see my progress and I have found oddly enough that I really enjoy it.  I can also see the smallest of small results and that enough is to keep me going.  

Once again what did I learn?  Stepping out of my comfort zone can be a good thing.  Not sure I'm ready to do any type of kettlebell or Body Pump class anytime soon.  But for now I'm good in the privacy of my living room swinging my kettlebell.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Switch'em Up

This post is a couple of days in the making.  I had this all planned out during my 4 mile training run, turned eight mile I don't want to stop run.  Then we went shopping, and then when we got home I had a super special package that made me forget about this one.  That would be the package with my sleeves.

Saturday was a different run for me. This was the first run with my new Garmin Forerunner 10, and my first run using my iPod as an iPod and my phone as a phone.  It's too early to tell on my Garmin, but I can say at least with my run on Saturday the mileage was spot on and seeing as that was correct I'll take the pace happily as well.  Please note I said happily, I'm almost to my goal and I can definitely see progress in that regards.  So for that I say thank you Treadmill Speed Intervals, you are paying off.  I will also say at this point that I love my Garmin and am now actually forcing myself outside in cooler temps (for me) just so I can play with it.

I ran with my SPI belt fully loaded and that took a bit of an adjustment.  But it was awesome to have my phone, my ID, my keys, and my Gu all within easy reach.  Bonus points for uncoordinated me because I actually figured out how to unzip it, locate what I wanted to find all while still moving.  It's probably not a super huge feat for most, but I can barely walk and chew gum so for me this was huge.

I'm a huge Gu convert now, at least Chocolate Outrage Gu.  It's chocolate,enough said.  I tried one before my run for the first time and then brought a second one for mid run, just in case I went beyond four miles. I think I can see more of a difference in terms of my energy level staying consistent and not feeling like I was dragging towards the end.

I went on a new part of my path, one that I haven't really explored today and I really enjoyed the change of scenery and not seeing the same area three or four times.  It was also nice to have a better idea of my progress because there were more street/landmarks for me to look at for.  It also gave me an impressive mom moment for the day, I could actually tell L & E where I started, what streets, areas I passed and where I turned around and went back, my eight mile run to them was such a long, long way.  They know I run, but it has been abstract to them to be able to put a physical location on it they got into it a bit more and not once did they ask me if I won.

Finally, I tried a new app that I discovered probably a month or so ago.  It's called Rock My Run, and it has some of the coolest running play lists that I have found.  I think by now you know I love my play lists, and love  Hodge-podging things together.  But Rock My Run was awesome. It does not require Internet access or 3G or 4G.  You can play it directly through the phone app, or as I did on this day add it to iTunes and upload it to your iPod or MP3 player.   The first play list I downloaded was the Brooks fan mix (who is surprised by this?).  It was heaven, anything that combines U2, my Foos, Linkin Park, Prince, Tom Petty and Disturbed (among others) is awesome.  I can honestly say there was not one song on there that I did not love.  I can't wait to add my newest play list to my iPod for Saturday's fourteen mile run.  I just downloaded Miles Fly By which is an awesome 80's mix.  If it energizes my run as much as it energized my massive closet decluttering spree on Sunday I'm going to love it.  Also have my eyes on a hair band play list that would be so fun too.  If you haven't checked them out do, it's a great app/resource with lots of fun music.

There have been a lot of breaks from my routine, and for a creature of habit.  A serious creature of habit.  I have learned something, change can be good.  I need to be more open to go outside of my comfort zone every once in awhile I might actually like it.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Costume Love

After many, many, many months of obsessively searching, planning, shopping my Princess Half Costume is complete.

Ok, well sort of. I have to get my shorts to go underneath. But the main components are finally together!

Before I get to the picture I would like to thank the people who helped me piece it all together.

It all started with the tutu, the one I fell in love with after a Google image search. The tutu was the start of the whole thing and I am so happy to say its even prettier and softer in person than I had imagined. Thank you Kristal @atutudes for helping me with this. I love it.

The tank was an eBay find. Super cheap (even better and NWT) and the perfect shade of blue.

Next up the sleeves are courtesy of my friend Brooke at Five Little Monkeys designs! They turned out so cute and really help tie the whole costume together.

The lovely red wide sparkly headband is from Sparkly Soul. I know it seems goofy for a short haired girl like me to have a headband but you can't be Snow White without the headband and who can resist sparkles? Not me. For the record it is super cute, super comfy and fits my big old head. Bonus.

Now that it is all put together I can honestly say the costume is exactly (if not better) as I imagined it would be. When I put it on yesterday I felt like a little girl. I didn't want to take it off. For those who are counting five weeks from today I will be wearing this awesome costume for my first half marathon! I'm positively giddy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I've Gone and Done it

I feel so semi-official now.  I have purchased the domain for Suzanne Ran.  So you can now find me at  How cool is that?

Nothing new, same random Suzanne ramblings, same moments of geekiness.  Just a slight name change and sometime in the near future a blog background overtime to make it more me.  Less generic. In the process of getting that sorted out even as we speak.

New year, new beginnings.  I feel like there are super exciting things ahead and I'm talking about more than the Princess Half this time.  Actually, have my next big long term running goal in my head and wheels are in motion.  But stayed tuned for more on that later.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Bits & Pieces

I just realized I was overdue on some updates on some of my self-imposed late November / early December challenges.  It was a way for me to see if I could stick to my guns and rethink my normal.  I will say overall that both of them achieved that goal.  But one did not turn out quite as I hoped.

In the Great Christmas Cookie Challenge I was hoping to find some good/somewhat healthy sugar cookie recipes to fuel our normal Christmas cookie baking extravaganza.  My goal was to find something that I could sneak past my son that he would eat and that would be not quite so bad ingredient wise.  I scoured recipes even pinned a couple but in the end I realized that maybe instead of fixing the recipe, that maybe just maybe we could do the real thing but practice this thing called moderation.

 When it got right down to it, I went with what would work for the entire family and not just me.  I have been able to sneak some things past my Munch like Cake Batter Protein Pudding, but most new things he will not try.  The whole point of our Christmas baking frenzy is family fun and togetherness and making something that my son most likely won't eat just seemed kind of the opposite of that.  Maybe when he's older and not quite so set in his eating habits I'll try again but for now this mama is going to live by all things in moderation.  I will say that this year we practiced that quite well and only made one batch (a total of four dozen) sugar cookies spread out between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I would call that a success for us.

In my Every Day Fit December Challenge I was vowing to ditch the elevator and take the stairs. I managed to do that and actually had turned that into a habit that I'm still practicing.  I found that the more I did it the less of a deal it was to walk UP the four (or five) flights of stairs.  My office is being moved to another building and up to the sixth floor, so I'm going to have to work up to that one again.  But once I figure out where I'm going on a regular basis I will take that on too.  I like that something so small can create a huge change and go from a challenge to a habit.

After the Princess Half is done being looking for a new Every Day Fit Challenge.

I also wanted to mention you can now follow me on Bloglovin.  It's a great site that gives you the ability to follow all of your favorite blogs and receive notification when they are updated.  In the upper right hand corner there is a widget that will take you to my information.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Path to Princess Half: Six Weeks or 41 days

But whose counting?  Certainly not me.  So surreal to have gone from months to weeks to even be able to count days.

Just a few quick updates.

I have now officially registered for the Royal Family 5k.  Only six days after I emailed Leah about a skirt for the 5k.  A girl has to have her priorities right?

Six day Park Hopper tickets were ordered today.

Also based on the recommendations of Shannyn at Frugal Beautiful and Leah I decided on the Run Pretty Far tank.
I love the color and it's fun.  I can definitely see me wearing this more than just for the 5k.  If they are half as awesome as I've heard I will be happy.  

So so so so so excited...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pick Me Up Playlist

I've had a case of the blahs lately.  We've been unusually grey outside and then add on top of that either allergies, sinus infection, general winter ick.  Yesterday I had a migraine so bad it took two (possibly three) Advil Migraines and a Zyrtec to get me feeling almost human.  I even ditched my run yesterday because of it.

I went into work today still feeling kind of yuck and while I was feeling better today I still didn't get geared up for my run.  So what did I do to motivate myself?  I create a new play list.  I'm play list silly and I know I have mentioned it before but music is an obsession and sometimes it can make or break my run.  I should add that I only have music if I am on my own.  But if I'm with friends, it is not so important.

Today's play list turned my day around and changed a short 20 minute run into a 32 minute four miler on the treadmill.

I think there was only maybe one repeat track on here from my last list.  It was fun.

All My Life - Foo Fighters (Love me some Foos)

Diamonds - Rihanna

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap - AC/DC (oddly enough this was Bon Scott and honestly I just zoned out and ran but it got me going).

Get Ur Freak On - Missy Elliott  (absolute blast of a song has a really good beat to it and the timing was perfect towards the end of my run.)

Ho Hey - The Lumineers

Locked Out of Heaven - Bruno Mars (still haven't burned out on this one)

Lost in the Echo - Linkin Park (love, love, love Linkin Park, this song came on 2nd to last and really got me going)

One More Night - Maroon 5

Rope - Foo Fighters

Space Age Love Song - Flock of Seagulls (yes, they had another good song other than I Ran...this is probably my favorite)

Run - Flo Rida featuring Red Foo from LMFAO - (Another super fun song...starts out "You might not want to jog on this one..." plus it riffs on Bryan Adam's Run to You and has Red Foo an a smidge of Party Rock Anthem and Sexy and I Know it thrown in)

Something that I want - Grace Potter (Hello, Tangled)

Brokenhearted - Karmin (happy, poppy an sunny)

So that's my most recent play list. It certainly made me smile.

Anyone have any songs that cheer them up on the blah days?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Call me crazy

I decided last Friday that I wanted to run the Royal Family 5k with my running partner in crime while at the Princess Half Weekend.  (Hello Friend).  Due to an injury she has been out of running action for awhile and I just have missed running with her.  Or I guess I should say starting the race with her.  She usually whacks me at some point and makes me go on.  But I digress.  I thought it would be fun to do with her.  Also running through Epcot, how cool is that?

So what was the first thing I did when I made that call?  Your average person probably would register for the race.  Me?  I sent an email to Leah at Sparkle Skirts asking for inspiration for a new costume.  Very shortly after I hit send I had a response and was reminded of this lovely...

Ariel SparkleTech

Not familiar with Sparkle Skirts?  You must check them out.  I have been emailing Leah pretty much since I first decided that I was going to run The Princess Half. Once again before I probably had even registered I was emailing Leah. She responded quickly, and answered my questions. Never once did I feel like I was bothering her.

Even after I decided on my Princess and bought my tutu I was emailing with questions about the shorts. I knew once I decided to do the Royal Family 5k that I had to get one of her skirts. Anyone who could be so patient, sweet and oh so funny is good in my books.I am so excited to finally have ordered something from her and Sparkle Skirts, and I find it very , um, fitting that the first person I ever spoke to about the Princess Half is also going to be behind  my 5k costume.

All of that to say if you are looking for super cute running skirts check her out. I am sure you won't be disappointed.  Leah will be more than willing to help you out.  :)

Now I have to decide on a top. I'm totally torn between this one from Run Pretty Far
I love the sparkles and I love the color on the run free...sort of makes me think of water, which would go with the whole Ariel idea.

or this one from Athleta:.  A little more simple but pretty.

Decisions, decisions. (Have I mentioned my husband is totally not enjoying my costume shopping as much as I am?)

What do you think?  Which one is your favorite top?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Surprising Saturday

Today was a big day for me.  It was my first twelve miler.  As you may suspect I had worked myself up about it.  It really shouldn't have been a big deal, My last super long was ten miles, and I went ahead and ran eleven.  So what's one more mile right?  Today's run turned into kind of an experiment in new.  I ran with new running friends, new gear, new running app, new socks and new fuel.  It ended up being a whole lot of fun and as is almost always the case I learned something and came out feeling very encouraged about my ability to not only finish the half, but possibly even obtain my goal.

At any rate, I decided that since it looked like it wasn't going to be super cold by Okie standards that I would run outside.  I also decided to hit up Facebook to see it anyone wanted to run at least part of it with me.  I had a friend respond yes, so I joined her, and one of her running partners for their Saturday morning run.  They ran with me for the first 9 miles and I finished off for the last three.  It turned out to be a lot of fun. I was afraid I would slow them down, that I wouldn't know what to say.  But it was good and I think ended up with some new running friends.

What I also learned from this is that as much as I may like to run by myself it's better for me to run with others.  I pushed myself with them, whereas if it's just me if I think I am tired I will stop and walk.  Here I not only kept up with them, I fought the urge to walk.    We made one water stop in nine miles and I was good with that.  I also found when I didn't have the accountability of others I did find myself walking for here and there. Mostly fueling, but I could be using that as a good excuse.

So the other new things today.  My awesome husband got me an SPI and two new pair of Balega Socks.  Today was my first run with the SPI belt, I loaded it up with my ID, a GU gel that I got at the Route 66 Marathon, my trusty Gatorade Fruit Punch Fruit Chews and my car key.  I was amazed how flat it stayed and how I totally forgot it was there.  There was no bouncing, no friction, no nothing.  This is totally going to turn out to be an amazing thing and I'm not quite sure why I waited so long to get one.

 Also in the same, I'm not so sure why I waited so long department, the addition of Balega socks to my running arsenal.  They are heaven on earth.  No blisters, no friction.  Just padding and comfort.  I feel a bit goofy still for spending so much on a pair of socks, which is why I balked at buying good running socks for so long.  But I can tell you they really do make a difference and my feet are so happy (and totally blister free) which is huge for me.  If you are on the fence on whether to invest in a good pair of socks, DO IT!  Happy feet, make for a happy you and a happy run.  

Today was also my first day using the Runtastic Pro app.  I have had several issues lately with my trusty Nike+ app.  Both the GPS version and the iPod version.  My mileage was consistently off (over by several miles) or in the case of one run last week way under.  Hello .16 miles in 28 minutes.  Think that maybe my slowest run to date. Ha!  Needless to say, that one was deleted.  I've heard a lot about Runtastic and I still had iTunes credits from Christmas so thought I would try it today and put it to a challenge.  I had the Nike+ iPod on my wrist and used the Runtastic Pro on my phone.  Imagine my surprise when the Runtastic was dead on.  The iPod was three miles over, even after calibrating it again after my last long run.  I also liked that it gives a live view option, so the hubs could check on me.  Which probably would come in handy on days that I forget to text him before I take off.  The drawback was that it totally ate my battery life.  I started the run at 99% and ended up at 18%.  I should add though that I didn't choose the Power Saving Mode option.  So I will try that next run and see how it goes.  All in all awesome for a 4.99 investment.  

Lastly I broke my fear of the GU.  I had mentioned back in my A Few of My Favorite Things  post that I wasn't sure I would like the gels due to the texture.  I had packed one that I got as a sample at the marathon relay and decided I would try it.  If I didn't like it, no biggie, I hadn't invested in it.  So the sample I got was Chocolate Outrage and oh my goodness it was yummy.  It was a bit thicker than I had anticipated but it tasted like a melted tootsie roll.  I could totally deal with that.  So I now have a new favorite fuel and will be buying a 24 pack shortly.  Yum!  Yum!

All in all it was a good run, a good two hours of my day. I also came away with the fact that I CAN do 13.1 after all.  Truth be told, I thought way back in the early day of this blog that 13.1 was going to be more than I was capable of doing.  That I was aiming too high, but now as I'm getting closer I have proven to myself that I can do it.  Even if I didn't think I could, I can.  I am my own worst critic and probably the first person to maybe throw myself under the bus.  What I learned today is that maybe it's time to stop the self doubt and live up to one of my favorite quotes "She thought she could, so she did".  

Friday, January 4, 2013

Path to Princess Half: Sneak Peek

The tank has arrived and I could not be happier with it. It matches perfectly. Now I just need the sleeves and I'm good.  I am so excited because this is actually turning out looking like the vision of my costume that I had in my head way back in the early days of my planning. 

The tutu is gorgeous.  It's bright, sparkly and so soft.  The tank is super cute and super comfortable.  I have no doubt that I will be able to run in this on the big day. 

Only 48 days until the adventure begins.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Sugar Rush = Sugar Rehab

I have a secret.  I have a closet sugar addiction.  To those that know me in real life it's not too big of a secret.  Hello, Sugarica Walk-in Wednesday and their oh-so-good, but oh-so-bad cookie sandwiches. Having a bad day that a run, doesn't cure?   Hello, Reeses Mini's. Sugar is and has been my comfort food.

I will admit that I have seriously cut back on my sugar intake. I used to have a serious cupcake habit.  But that was then and this is now.   I've managed to get rid of my two bottes of Pepsi habit a day.  I've managed to curb my snacking.  But, sugar, sugar has been so much tougher.

So it's time.  It's time for me to change my sugar habits.  It's one thing for me to say I want to quit sugar, but it's another thing for me to throw this out where someone at some point might actually ask me how I'm doing.    In light of that I have decided to link up with Sneakers and Fingerpaints and linking  in on her Sugar Rehab Wednesday's.

Not quite sure where this Rehab is going to go for me. But as much as I love my nightly Reeses Mini's, it's time for me to let go of probably one of my bigger bad habits.  I don't know that I will ever be a 100% sugar free, but balance is good.

As of today, I am checking in...

Anyone want to join me?  Who wants to hold my feet over the fire?