Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Marathon Training with Octane Fitness' Zero Gravity Runner #FueledbyZero

Last week I had the honor of attending Octane Fitness' Zero Runner demonstration in NYC as a FitFluential Ambassador. I arrived at Gym Source with just enough time to change into some running clothes and get my name tag. I filled out my drawing entry to win the Zero Runner, crossed my fingers, and took my seat.
As we waited for the presentation to begin, Larry kept us laughing and talking until the introductory video was ready to begin. This is where the love story begins. Not with the Zero Runner, although I do have a crush on it for sure, but with Larry. What an amazing man, which I will talk about soon!
The Zero Runner is an amazing piece of equipment, designed with the runner in mind. It mimics your every move, and provides you with safe and effective workout every time. As someone who will be training for a marathon starting this Spring, I was definitely intrigued!
We learned about the awards they have received, we learned that Oprah just loves it, and we learned that not only does the UFC use it, but Team USA's runners will be adding it to their training in the future. It allows you to run faster and longer without injury, it has knee and hip joints so that it moves with you, you can adjust your body's position to get in uphill and downhill runs, and it has no motor. The silence was insane!
You can hook your iPad to it via Smart Link, and it has a free app that utilizes Bluetooth. There is also a heart rate monitor for all you tech savvy runners out there!
Time to get down to the serious business. Using a zero impact machine will make you a better runner. A treadmill, when used exclusively, can actually weaken you. You are not using the same gait, and the surface can be brutal on your joints. I personally cannot use one because it kills my shins every time! The Zero Runner replicates your running motion without impact to your joints, allowing you to run longer with no pain. You will use the same muscles, with full range of motion, and the same pace you would use outdoors, and you greatly reduce the risk of an overuse injury. Zero Runner has an app that traces the health of your stride throughout your run so you can concentrate on your form so you are as strong at mile five as you are at mile one.
At the front and back of the Zero Runner there are exercise bands so that you can mix your cross training in with your running. I know that I don't so enough alternate exercises, I tend to just want to run!
Next we got to hear from Carrie Tollefson, an Olympic runner and Mom, who was just perfection. Sorry, it has to be said! She is a drug and alcohol free runner, a Runner's World Cover Model, and an all around super mom. She ran during all of her pregnancies, and got back to it a month after each pregnancy! I was not into running while pregnant, I started much later, but this seems amazing to me! Carrie was sidelined by several injuries, and would have been much better off had she been able to train with the Zero Runner!
Ahhhhhh Larry. He was adorable. Larry is an addicted runner. He started running again at about 38 (same as me!!) and quickly became addicted. He has completed 83 marathons, 17 ultras, and 6 Iron Man Tris, one in Kona! For real, this guy is perfect. During Kona, however, he started noticing some pain. Osteoarthritis in his hips. He quickly went from a front of the pack runner to a back of the pack runner. And this is okay with him because he shares my philosophy. Eventually, he will be in his 70s and then his 80s, and he will start accumulating those age group prizes.
I told you. True love.
Larry discovered the Zero Runner at the Boston Marathon expo and basically harassed the company into hiring him. No lie. He did a demonstration for them at an expo and ran 23 miles a day for six days with no pain. He cannot do this on the road. He and his wife each have a Zero Runner, and because there is no motor, they can run together and talk without shouting. How cute is that? He suggested using the Zero Runner for all of your short runs and then running the road for your longer runs.
After Larry was finished (sigh. so sad.) we learned about size (as wide as a treadmill but shorter), weight (about 200 pounds) and ease of assembly (about 30 minutes your first time, although I am sure it would take me an hour!).
There was a drawing for the free Zero Runner, and Carrie chose the winner. Hint: It wasn't me.
And then we got to test it.
There were two lines, and one was Carrie and one was Larry. I of course chose Larry because of my little crush. Don't judge me. Once I stopped thinking about it, and just moved, it was amazingly easy to use. It really does move any way you want it to, and I mastered it in about 15 seconds, which impressed Larry. Swoon.
Alas, it was time to go. They generously hooked us up with some serious swag, before sending us back out into the city. I am still hoarding a lot of it, although my family tried to snag some of it for themselves!

Want to learn more? You can stalk Octane on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Just don't stalk Larry, he's mine!

Have you ever tried a Zero Gravity Runner?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Octane Fitness.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Getting Ready for the Holiday Season

Today is the start of two challenges I joined in the hopes of decreasing my waistband instead of increasing it! I would even settle for maintaining it!

Holiday Sweat is an exercise and healthy eating challenge. You get points based on exercise, water intake, and freggies. I never win the points contest, but I have gotten a couple prizes from the drawing over the last few years of this challenge.

Elf 4 Health is a healthy habits challenge. Each day you tackle a healthy challenge, such as meatless Monday or Meal
Planning. You are assigned a fellow elf for each of the two week periods to help motivate you, and you in turn motivate them. Another one I have done the last several years!

I started today with the best of intentions. I did PiYo lower body and intended to either run if weather permitted or do another DVD. 

I need a pedicure! 
I did the PiYo, and had breakfast. While I was eating, I got several startling emails. Someone hacked my starbucks account and used the reload feature to steal $300 in three $100 increments before PayPal stopped them from continuing. Instead of working out again, I spent the next hour on the phone with Starbucks and PayPal, and the hubs called out bank, to make sure we were protected.
No second workout!
I did walk to work though, and will walk a bunch more before the day is over, to burn some more calories.

Because of after work commitments, I may not get in that second dvd, but so far I have managed to avoid eating my emotions, which is normally what I would do!
Score points for me!

Please be hyper aware of your finances this holiday season! Thieves are hoping you will be too busy, and spending lots of money, so that you won't notice that they are robbing you! 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Turkey Run Five Miler recap

Yesterday was my fourth year registering for the Turkey Run in Manasquan, but only my third year running. In 2012, they had to cancel because of damage caused by Sandy. The first three years it was called the Turkey Trot ( and for many years before it, although I wasn't running it) but this year it changed names when it changed hands.
The hubs stopped on Thursday night to get my tee and bib, and although I was loving the tee I was disappointed that the new race director stopped giving out mugs with the registration. All of the emails said everything would remain the same, and I was expecting another mug for my collection. 

When I woke up on Saturday the temps were in the 20s, and when we arrived at Leggetts, it was about 35. A lot of runners were keeping warm there until the race began!

It was finally time to start the race, which meant going outside. Ugh.
I found my friends Cheryl and Ronnie  and we posed for a picture before the race started.

The course stayed the same as previous years, beginning just outside of Leggetts and heading south before turning into
Town. The locals are amazing during this race, no matter the temperature! They were cheering, offering up high fives, and handing out beer. My only complaint was the number of dogs and strollers on the course. Now before you get worked up, here is why. The race info sheet said absolutely no dogs or strollers, and I am sure a lot of people who would normally bring one or the other stayed home. To allow those who showed up to race didn't seem right to me. One guy even had both, which amused and angered me at the same time. A rule is a rule, and to make that rule and not uphold it seems irresponsible to me.

I went into the race with no expectations. I am recovering from a cold and not feeling all that great. I figured I would take a lot of selfies and just get it done.
I hit mile one in about 10:40 and each mile after was similar. I couldn't believe it! I felt pretty decent, too, until about mile 4.5 when I started to feel tired, run down, and a little nauseous. Breathing was hard. I was having images of passing out at the finish, but I was determined to finish as well as I had started.

My finishing time was exactly 53 minutes. I was so thrilled with that time! It is not my best ever, but it was a PR for the year! Wow! So unexpected!
I got some water and a bagel half and found Cheryl. We decided to wait for Ronnie to finish and we cheered her in. From in and eating settled my stomach, which was nice.
The hubs wanted to get pizza at Leggetts but it was far too crowded so we settled for Surf Taco instead.

A pretty good end to the morning!

How did your Turkey Run go? I hope it was warmer than mine!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

2014 Elf on a Shelf Photo Contest

I have about an hour before I leave for my Turkey Run, and it is 26' out here at the Jersey Shore. I am pretty sure this will be the longest Five Miler ever!
With the weather feeling so wintery, what better time to announce the Elf on the Shelf photo contest?

I am co-sponsoring this event, so don't give me the credit! It is run by Darlena at Run, Find Your Happy Pace!
The links will take you to her blog, where she explains the contest so well, but here are a few quick bits before you go over to her blog!
  • The contest will start on November 28
  • There are four $10 iTunes gift cards up for grabs!
  • This contest is family friendly
  • DO NOT post any pics of the elves doing anything inappropriate
  • be creative
  • have fun
  • join the facebook page, link is on Darlena's blog
  • Contest ends on December 24th
  • it's FREE to enter!

I am so excited to join in on this contest again! I love to see the creative things that people come up with! I wish the Elves had become popular when my kids were young!

Score! It's 27' out now. I am hoping it will hit 40, but the race starts in a couple hours, so I am thinking that it won't!

Will you be joining our contest?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Flat Mama Friday

I am doing a Turkey Run tomorrow, which Blissfully starts at 11:00, and I get to run along the ocean for parts of it. It's my last five miler of the year, and should be a cold windy mess. It's likely that I will be wearing leggings under my shirt and some kind of jacket as well!

Are you doing any Turkey themed races this week?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Loving the new Influenster App

I must be living under a rock! I spent the last couple months without a laptop, when the cat spilled water on my Mac and fried it. The hubs just bought me an early Christmas gift, and Acer Touchscreen laptop, and I am finally finding some great new things out.
Such as the Influenster App!

Now, I know there is an app for everything, but it never occurred to me that Influenster had an app! They also got a facelift, and added some great new ways to save!
I was so excited that I immediately uploaded it and added it to my Rewards board on my phone. Yes, that is Morgan on there from her performance in Disney. I'm a proud mama. Don't judge me.

There are now VoxPerks, and I had about 6 of them. Great ways to save on things you were probably about to pay full price for!

 You can see all of your badges, from Lifestyle badges, to Campaign badges!

I love having apps for everything, and Influenster is certainly no exception! It makes it easier to hook yourself up with some great VoxBoxes, like the Cosmo VoxBox, which has been my favorite to date!

Another bonus is the challenges that involve taking pictures of products while you are the store. I always forget what the product is while I am at the store, so I don't snap the pic, and I don't get the badge. Blogger fail. With the app, everything you need is right there. Score!

I plan to make the most of this app in the future!

Are you an Influenster? Do you have the app yet?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The REAL reason I went to Disney, not quite Wordless Wednesday style

My trip to Disney started with the teenie and her Theater Company getting invited to perform in Downtown Disney. The official video will be at the end of the post, here are some of the pics I took during the performance.....

the stage.....

our view as we waited

my daughter Morgan doing her thing!
Cassie opened the show!

Pocahontas.... Morgan again


group shot during the Hercules number
Taylor sang Poor Unfortunate Souls

Bear Necessities, by Griffin

Morgan and Lucas dancing

Nicholas and Stephanie dancing

our version of a boy band ;)

group shot during Supercalafragilistic.......

"Anna" being proposed to....

final bow

we are Daydreamer Productions

before the show. Hams. All of them.

And now, the moment you may or may not have been waiting for!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

#SweatHardSmellGreat with WIN Detergent #giveaway

****I was provided with two bottles of WIN detergent in order to facilitate this review. As usual, all opinions are my own! Special thanks to FitApproach for hooking me up, as part of my Sweat Pink Ambassadorship!****

I was very excited to receive this detergent when I did. It arrived in late October, which usually wouldn't really be important. One would think that Sports Detergent would be more effective in the summer months. Not so much, though! I had been noticing that my sports bras smelled fine when I put them on, but as soon as I started to sweat, some residual stank would appear. No, that is not a typo. Using the word stink just doesn't seem enough in this case. It was nasty.
I would come home and immediately rip my sports bra off, getting even more grossed out.
WIN detergent gets rid of the stank. No lie. It is a glorious thing.
Fast forward to Wine and Dine.

If you read my review, or anyone's for that matter, you know how wet we all got. I took my clothes and put them into my race bag, rolled it up and stuffed it in my suitcase. For four days.

 Stanky? For sure. It had a very special kind of smell. But not anymore.
WIN won't just help you in the summer months, either. You know how winter running goes. You put on your super warm pants, your running shirt, your running jacket, and your warm cap. And then you sweat. Profusely. You don't really care at the time, because sweat basically means you are finally warming up, but when you get home and you peel those layers off, the stank is there!
I am not much of a gym goer, but I have joined in years past to get in my miles when the weather is too cold. It is warm and toasty, and you sweat like mad! Definitely not something you want lurking in your gym bag!

WIN is generously offering one of my readers two bottles of detergent to try out for themselves! One bottle of regular, and one green! You don't want to miss this chance! The giveaway will run until November 25 and I will announce the winner after the Holiday weekend, if not a little sooner.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to place an order now? The code WINGIVE1 will get you $1 off until December 15th. Stock up now for those winter runs!

Below is an affiliate link, I'm not gonna lie. If you are anything like me, you like to shop through Amazon.com as often as possible. It's Prime, too! Bonus.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Recap

Or, as some of the ladies from my running club are calling it, Splash n Dash.
Saturday was a long day! I ran the 5k, went to the Magic Kingdom with the teenies until about noon, and then headed over to a cupcake fundraiser. We all had a great time and I won some cute holiday Magic Band decals, which I passed on to two of the families from Ms theater company.

Time to nap. Of course, I laid out my clothes, which I changed at the last minute due to the rain in the forecast. I was so wired that I had to read for a little while to relax. My two hour nap was frequently disturbed by the hubs and the teenie who kept texting me. I couldn't turn my phone off because it was my alarm.
I got up and dressed at about 6, but I woke up feeling stuffy and my stomach hurt. Ugh. Dinner was not an appetizing thought so I bought a muffin and a water in the hopes of getting some food in my belly, and some hydration. I was definitely not hydrated enough that entire week. Runner fail.

I usually bring three Honey Stinger waffles for a half and always end up with one extra, but this time I only brought two. This did not seem wise after my pathetic dinner.
On to the shuttle bus with my fellow runners, as we all worried about the alarming weather maps for the evening. A tropical storm? Nooooo problem. It's Disney, how bad could it be?
I got to the race so early that I breezed through security, dropped off my dry clothes instantly, and stood alone at the PbRC meetup spot for a little while.  
Slowly, the members showed up and we all started taking pics and goofing around. I love my running buddies.

PbRC group photo
creative use of the club tattoo
taking a pic to send to my friend Colleen
Shannon's first Half!

Shannon and I had hoped to run together but she was in the last corral, and my fear of the balloon ladies prevented me from bumping back. Plus, the rain had started and I wanted to start ASAP.
I waited in the corral with my PbRC girls and soon enough we were off.
We started in the ESPN Game Zone and made our way to Osceola parkway. Not very exciting.
Before long though we were in the Aninal Kingdom, and the characters were out in full force. You could not have paid me to stop. I was miserable from the start and my poncho was only keeping me mostly dry.
I had started with the hood up but all I could hear was the rustling of it, so I room it off. I did have a cute cap that I bought at the gift shop on my way to the bus. 
The Tree of Life looked amazing and I finally stopped to take a picture. I have to say that running through AK was terrifying. It was very slippery and the puddles were insanely deep. Volunteers were really efficient though, and they pointed them all out. They were also super cheerful which helped. A lot. For real, people, thank you so much.

Soon we were leaving the park and headed towards Hollywood Studios. It felt like forever before we got to that hill with the Green Army Soldier. I kid you not when I say that he talked me up that hill!
Soon we were approaching Hollywood Studios and I could see the park rides. I was so excited to see the Osborne Lights, it was the only thing keeping me going at that point.

We entered the park around mile 9 I think, and we twisted and turned, and twisted and turned with only a glimpse of the lights. I was starting to think that glimpse was all there was! I did stop for a pic of the Sorcerer's Hat, since its days are numbered.

this was  how I got my character pics

As we ran through the costuming tunnel (official name? I don't know!) and they had disco lights and music and it.was.dry. So delightfully dry.

And then it seems as if  we ran away from the park again. Where are the damn lights? At this point, I needed those light more than I needed air. Shannon and I were texting a little and she told me she was at mile ten, which I had just passed, so I slowed down a lot! I thought it would be great to see her before the lights. And then I turned the corner.


There are not words to describe the lights in all their glory. It was total heaven. I ran through them or, rather, walked through them. And took a ton of pictures. The rain actually stopped too. Total heaven. 

this was my favorite!

Just as I left? Shannon caught up! I decided to pee in an actual potty before I left, and stripped off and tossed my poncho. 
Shannon had kept going and it took me about a mile to catch up. We entered the boardwalk together, which was also very slippery. 
Once we hit EPCOT, I finally relaxed. The rain had started again, and with no poncho, it did not feel good! The finish was the same as marathon weekend, so I talked my way through the finish and ran happily over that finish line! They had an amazing light show overhead just before the finish, which was a nice touch.
We got our medals and our mylar blankets and made our way to the food area. I was starving! I had stretched those waffles as far as I could, but it was a huge stretch. I was so cold and wet, that I basically shredded the box to get to the food!
We then had to wade through a TON of people to get to our checked bags, although that process was super speedy. Next we had to make our way past all the people waiting for the free beer or wine. I was so not interested!
Unlike marathon weekend, the busses were not right there when we finished. We had to walk around the entrance to EPCOT and over to the area where you would catch a park bus, pass that by, and then get to the special busses. By then, I was a shivering mess. I was soaked, freezing, starving, and near tears. The first bus was full, but the next bus was waiting so I got right on with minimal waiting. I took my mylar blanket off and stuck it on the floor to keep the seat dry. And finally snapped a photo of the bling.


Surpisingly, there was no chafing. I broke the cardinal rule and wore stuff I bought at the expo, but it was all good in the end. I was still freezing and exhausted when I finally got the hotel. Another mistake: staying at the All Star Movies for the week. Every bus we took all week had already been to the first two All Stars and we stood practically every time! I was the last bus to be dropped off, and I shivered all the way to my room and took a long hot shower. It was glorious.
Most of the race was a blur, and I do not look back on it fondly at all. I did beat my last Disney half marathon time by over 20 minutes, which is a plus. Disney rocked it out. they volunteers were amazing and there were still tons of characters on the course, monsoon or not. The expo was crazy, but not overly so. The race itself ran smoothly, but......
I was a victim of "medalgate", part one. I was packing up to leave on Monday morning, and as I leaned over my daughter's bed, the middle just fell out. I thought I had fixed it, but was afraid to wear it, so I put it in my backpack. When I pulled it out later, it was broken again. I emailed runDisney though, and should have a new one by Christmas.
All in all, I would do Wine and Dine again if the chance arose. This was not a planned race, I scored my bibs last minute through my running club, after I found out that we would be there for my daughter's Theater Company performance.
I still plan to run Goofy in the future. As expensive as it is to run Disney, there is truly nothing like it! The course was hilly and treacherous, due to the rain, but it would have been  beautiful if it was dry.
Did you run Wine and Dine or Avengers? Did your medal break as well?