In January I wrote a blog about my goals for 2014. Now that we are almost done with June, I thought it was time to check in on my goals and see how I'm doing so far. You know, for accountability and stuff. 

Goal #1 

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Run a race in a State we haven't raced in before.

Boom! Done!
We crushed this goal already by running the Mustang 50th Half Marathon in Nevada and the Garmin Half Marathon in Kansas

We'll also be able to cross California off the list for The Hubbo when we run the Half at the Ventura Marathon in September! If you want to join me or meet up at this race, you can use the discount code: BibChat10 to save $10 on your race registration! Let me know if you'll be there!

Goal #2

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Earn more medals in 2014 than 2013.
Almost Done!
In 2013 we ended up with 9 medals total. So far in 2014 we've earned 7 medals and have several more races on the books! 

If all goes according to plan, we'll pick up the following medals for the rest of 2014:
  • Firecracker 5K
  • Fleet Feet Quarter Marathon (Maybe)
  • Tulsa Run 15K
  • Ventura Half Marathon
  • Jenks Half Marathon
  • Route 66 5K
  • Route 66 Full Marathon

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Medals as of June 2014

Goal #3

PictureGoal #3B. I still need to wear this shirt!
Complete a Marathon in under 5 Hours for a new Marathon PR.

This is the goal I am most worried about. I haven't ran a full marathon since March 2013. Also, I have never ran a marathon pain free. I'm interested to see if I can make it through this training session pain free and see how good/bad I'll do when I have a fair shot at a full marathon. My previous full marathon PR is 5:16. My plan is to run the full at Route 66 here in Tulsa in November. My realistic goal is 4:50-4:59. My ideal goal would be 4:45 - 4:50. We'll have to see how my body holds up. I've been doing things a lot differently this year which includes more cross training and trying to eat better. 
Side Note - At the Route 66 Full, I'll also be doing the Center of The Universe Detour which adds .3 miles which makes it a 26.5 mile race! 

Race Announcement! 

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You guys! I'm so excited to officially announce this on my blog! We are running the Honolulu Marathon on December 14th! 
This will be my second full marathon for 2014 but I'm not going into this one with any goals other than to have fun, enjoy the view, and cross the finish line. I'm not a hot weather runner and suspect this one will be hot and humid. 
The Hubbo and I opted out of a summer vacation this year to run the Honolulu Marathon and turn it into a Winter Racecation. 
Have you ever ran this marathon? Or traveled to Hawaii? Any advice for me? 
If you want to meet up at this race let me know! I also have a Honolulu Marathon discount code to help you save some cash. Be sure to check out my Discount Page on my blog for race discounts and product discounts.
 Use Code: BibRave15 to save 15% off a race entry fee for the Honolulu Marathon.

Question! How are your 2014 Goals Coming Along?

 
 
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In some of my previous blog posts, I've shared with you that I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). I don't talk about it a lot but it's really not a secret. It's just not fun to blog about. In the past, I have whined and complained about how hard it is to be a distance runner with insulin resistance thanks to PCOS. Runners like carbs, right? Well not if you are insulin resistant. Carbs actually have the opposite effect. Too many carbs and my blood sugar will spike and then crash and burn! Not fun during a marathon. Not fun at all! 
I've also complained about my struggle with my weight and how marathon training had actually lead to some weight gain. I know I'm not the only one who has struggled with maintaining weight while marathon training thanks to being rungry and all. But still, PCOS makes running more difficult, and here's why:

1: Due to carb sensitivity, we store carbs as fat which makes it VERY difficult to lose weight
2. Carbs spike my insulin levels which make me nauseated (Also not fun at mile 22 of a marathon)
3.  After a spike in my insulin, since I don't regulate my insulin well on my own, I crash and I crash hard!
4. When you are crashing from low blood sugar you crave sugar. So after a long run when you are rungry, you want all the bad things like muffins, cookies, ice cream, and the list goes on and on. Seriously, ask any lady with PCOS if she craves sugar like a crack fiend and she will tell you the answer is, YES!! 
5. The usual energy gels or chomps that most people take are made up of mostly carbs/sugar. Those don't work for me for the reasons listed above. 

BUT! What I haven't shared with you yet is that last fall I finally found my race day nutrition of choice and it works perfect for me! I was first introduced to ENERGYbits via Twitter but didn't give them much thought until they showed up in one of my StrideBox shipments. I received a single serving of these strange little tablets in a small black baggy. I opened them up and chewed one up to see how it tasted. Worst! Idea! Ever! It's perfectly fine to chew them because they are real food, they just taste very green. I highly recommend that you please read the directions. If I had read the directions it says to swallow them with water. Lesson learned. 

What are they and how do you take ENERGYbits?
I take a single serving of bits before all my longs runs. I swallow (DON'T CHEW!!) 30 bits about 15 minutes prior the start of my run. ENERGYbits are made from 100% organically grown, Non GMO spirulina algae and have 40 nutrients. Each tablet is only 1 calorie but has a high protein content (64%) in each tablet. 

Do they work?
For me, yes! Last fall when I finished my juice fast I needed race day nutrition that wasn't loaded with carbs and sugars. I remembered trying my sample of ENERGYbits and wanted to give them another shot. I bought an entire bag (1000 tablets) in August and started using them right away. I was very impressed that even though I was eating a low carb diet, I didn't crash on my long runs like I always did in the past. I just felt like I could keep going and better yet, I could keep going at the pace that I started out instead of slowing down or hitting the wall.

I also noticed that when I was done running I wasn't starving or craving sugar! It was such a nice change for me! Also I didn't get that blood sugar spike and then crash because they are mostly protein which is what I need. 

Since I started taking ENERGYbits I was able to PR in every distance I ran over the last 9 months. I PR'd twice in the Half Marathon, PR'd twice in the 15K, PR'd once in the 5K, and PR'd once in the 10K.

The Hubbo has even taken them before a few races as well and managed to take several minutes off his half marathon PR for his first sub 2 hour half!

Since last fall, I've purchased 2 full bags of 1000 bits. Since I only use them for my long runs, races, or when I haven't been able to eat much before a run, they have lasted me a long time. Some people take them for every run, you can do that too or just the long ones. 

Where do I Buy ENERGYbits?
You can buy them online here. Since you get 1000 tabs and you only take 30 at a time, you are really buying your nutrition in bulk. They will ship them right to your door and then you just pop them in the refrigerator for safe keeping. 
To save 30% on your order you can use my discount code: RGR30

Are they hard on your stomach?
Not for me. Because they are made from a super food, spirulina algae, and not sugar, carbs, gluten, chemicals, or caffeine, I haven't had any tummy issues using them. 

Disclaimer - I was given a sample of ENERGYbits to try out as part of my ambassadorship with BibRave, but I've already been loyal customer since the Fall of 2013. They didn't ask that I write a review nor was I compensated in any way. 

ENERGYbits is sponsoring #Bibchat tonight on Twitter. Join in at 8:00pm CST for a fun chat about race nutrition and some lucky giveaway winners! 

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Photo: energybits.com

Question! What do you use for race day nutrition?

 
 
As a blogger of any kind or especially a run blogger, there are certain themes or recurring thoughts I think we all like to blog about from time to time. It also seems that we've all been guilty of most, if not all, of the themes below. At least, I hope I'm not alone in some of these! If you are curious and not sure if you qualify as a run blogger... 
You may be a run blogger if...

#1 You Like to Take Selfies with Your Race Medal

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Guilty!

#2 You Run All The Races so You'll Have Something to Blog About

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#3 You Have a Fantastic Blog Idea but Feel Like You Can't Post it Because Another Blogger Beat You To It

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Ugh! This may be the most frustrating part about being a blogger/fan of other blogs. I'll come up with an idea and I usually sit on them for a bit and tweak them over time. But then, just when I get ready to finalize it and hit publish, I'll stumble across another blogger who did the same thing! Christmas time is the worst! Everyone is putting out Christmas Gift Guides for Runners, or their New Years Goals. 

#4 You Spend HOURS Searching for the Perfect .gif to Showcase the Awesomeness That is Your Hilarious Post

Seriously! I've spent more time looking for memes or .gif images than I truly care to confess. I seriously hope I'm not the only one! 

#5 You Have To Decide Between More Nutrition in Your Running Belt or Take Your Phone for Mid-Race Pics!

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Mid-Race Photos Are Awful! Should have brought more ENGERYbits!
We've all had to make the gut-wrenching decision of more nutrition in your fuel belt or using that tiny, yet highly coveted, space in your fuel belt for your cell phone so you can get some pre-race or mid-race pics. I always take my phone for pic opportunities and for safety, but after reviewing my typical in-the-corral pics and mid-race pics, maybe I should just starting using that space for fuel! 

Look how red my face is in that pic! This was around mile 5 of the Garmin Half Marathon in April 2014.

#6 You've Been Recognized at a Race or Event Because of Your Blog

Tulsa is a tight-knit community of runners and it's not uncommon to randomly hear someone shouting out your real name as you are running a race even though you didn't necessarily invite family and friends for moral support. But when someone yells out your blog name at a race, two things immediately happen. 
1. You're excited that someone recognized you from your small blog!
2. Then you immediately panic because you aren't quiet sure who they are! 

You panic not because of stranger danger (well maybe a little bit) but because you don't want to seem rude for not knowing who they are. Blogging is funny that way. Bloggers put so much out there that people know a lot about you even when you first meet and yet you know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about them! But really, I love it when people say Hi to me when I'm out at an event or race. 

Leave A Comment! Do You Carry Your Cell Phone When You Run Races?

 
 
PictureBlogging + Wine Go Together, Right?
Okay, that headline may be a bit dramatic but really, changing my blog layout lead to a series of ups-and-downs. In my last blog post, I announced that I had updated my blog and promised to give you more details about how it all went down. Because I know you are just dying to read that intense, extremely entertaining, not-boring-at-all story of changing my blog layout so here is how it all went down. #YoureWelcome

I know that some of my readers are bloggers so maybe they can feel my pain or at least learn from my mistakes! So sit back, relax, and enjoy the roller coaster ride you are about to embark upon with me as I tell you the tale of The Time the Ginger Tried to Change Her Blog Layout.... 

I've been considering changing the layout or theme of my blog for a few months but never really took the time to make it happen. I wanted to make it look a little less "themed" and more like a website. Not too long ago, the Hubbo was out of town for a few days for a work trip and I found myself with more time to work on my blog. Hooray! 

Unfortunately, there were a few steps that would require his help so I couldn't do it from start to finish while he was away.  Boo!
But I did take advantage of my free time and started planning what I wanted to do. Hooray! 

While he was gone, I locked myself in my home office with a glass of wine (or three) and started looking at all the different blogs I follow to get inspiration on what I like versus what I don't like. Then I logged into my blog portal and started surfing all the themes they offered. After a few hours of perusing the depths of the Weebly theme library, I found one that I loved! Yay!  

After the Hubbo returned from his trip, the urge to make the changes popped up again. I logged in and went to find the layout I wanted. I thought, this will be easy and will only take a few minutes. Yay! So I asked him to help me at about 10:00 o'clock one night thinking it would be a breeze. I remember thinking to myself when I was looking for layouts "I don't need to write this down, I love this layout so I'll remember it.

So The Hubbo kindly agreed to help me and put down his iPad game while I logged into find the layout I wanted. 

Once I got logged in, I realized that the layout I picked absolutely LOVED wasn't an option anymore! Boo!
Or at least, if it was still an option, it wasn't speaking to me the same way it was when I found it the first time and we already know that I didn't write anything down. Again, let's blame the wine for this!

I was so determined to find a new layout and update my blog that night and The Hubbo was super sweet and sat patiently in the office with me until I finally found one that was okay enough. Somewhere around midnight, I was able to have him do his part of the update and it took him a hot 15 minutes. Which was my estimated time for updating my blog when I asked him to help me two hours before. Sorry Hubbo! But I learned some valuable lessons and I have shared them below with you.

Lesson #1 in Updating Your Blog - Write That Shit Down!
Lesson #2 in Updating Your Blog - Don't Drink!
Lesson #3 in Updating Your Blog - It will take longer than you think!

And that, my friends, is the emotional roller coaster of a story of how updating my blog went down. 

What do you think of the new layout? Did you like the old one better? 

 
 
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Hi Running Buddies!

How is your running going? The Hubbo and I took about 3 weeks off from training to give our legs some time to recover from our half marathon spree in April. But now It's time to start pre-training for marathon training which starts in about 4 weeks. Eek! 
Recently, The Hubbo, some of my co-workers/friends, and I ran a fun local 5k here in Tulsa.  The Fat Guy's Burgers and Baseball 5k!

But before we get to my typical recap of the race, you may have already noticed something. My blog may look a little different to you. It does. You're not seeing things. I changed the layout and I'm still making changes. I'll be sure to post a blog about how it all went down when it's all done. 

So let's get to the race!

The Crew

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A big group of friends and co-workers and I met up before the race in downtown Tulsa. Luckily, this was a small race so parking and finding each other wasn't hard at all. We also were fortunate enough that even though it was warm and humid, we had a nice cloud cover that day and the sun wasn't beating down on us. THANK GOD! I can't run in the heat y'all! #GingersDontLikeTheSun 

This race had two options. The 5k and the Fat Guy's Challenge! Fat Guys is a local burger joint located in downtown Tulsa right by the baseball field. 

The Fat Guy's Challenge consisted of running to a burger station and consuming an entire Fat Guy's Burger before being able to run the 5k. At the end of the 5k, participants also had to chug a vanilla milk shake just about .25 of a mile away from the finish line. I ran the 5k because I'm a total weeny when it comes to running and consuming large amounts of food/beer at the same time. The Hubbo on the other hand, ran the Fat Guy's Challenge and said it was ROUGH! 

The Course

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The 5k started right by OneOK Field which is were the Tulsa Driller's (minor league baseball team) play. Hence the Baseball portion of this race. We ran around downtown Tulsa before heading back to the baseball field and running around the outfield and then across home plate to finish! They even had a camera set up so you could watch people cross the finish line on the jumbo tron! 

I was lucky enough to get this picture from Angela (in blue). Her family members came down to the race and snapped a few photos and I was just close enough to be included in some of them. 
The course wasn't very hilly but did have a couple small inclines so I wouldn't say this is the flattest 5k I've ever ran, but it wasn't hilly either. The best part about the course was running down the ramp to get into the baseball field before we crossed the finish line at home plate!

The Swag

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The cost for the 5k was $35 and the cost of the Fat Guy's Burger Challenge was $40, I think. 
For registering for the 5k we got:
  • 1 Ticket to a Driller's Baseball Game
  • Post-Race Fat Guy's Burger 
  • Post-Race Beer x2
  • A Cotton T-Shirt
  • Cute Bib

The ticket to the baseball game was good for any regular season home game for the Tulsa Drillers. It just so happened to work out that the same day as the race, they had an evening game at home and Fireworks! So not only did we get to see the Drillers win, we got a nice celebratory fireworks show at the end! Bonus!

My Stats

PictureSun in your face = Goofy Selfie!
This wasn't my best 5k and also wasn't my worst 5k. It was warm and y'all know, I'm not a hot weather runner! Also before this race The Hubbo and I enjoyed a 3 week hiatus from running to recover from our full month of Half Marathons in April. That being said, I'm still really pleased with my results!

Here are my stats:
Time: 30:22
Division Place: 10th out of 47
Female Overall Place: 67th out of 280

Total Number of Finishers: 531

Click here for the link to my race recap on Bibrave.com

Question! What race has the best swag? What did you get?