Tuesday, July 24, 2012

And The Winner IS.....

Jill Conyers
Fitness, Healthy and Happiness

follow Jill at

Jill just send me your info at
mrsjohnson15@yahoo.com and I will get your VEGA to you!
(winner found using Random.org)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Vega Smoothie Review and Giveaway

Vega asked me to review their Vega Energizing Smoothie.  I love so many of the products that I had no trouble trying this line out! 

It promises to be
From the VEGA website: Energize your day with a convenient, on-the-go nutrient boost. Energizing Smoothie gives you the all-natural, plant-based goodness you expect from Vega—compete with protein, fiber and Omega-3—but unlike traditional smoothies, you only need water to shake and go. In four mouth-watering flavors: mixed tropical fruits, chocolate, vanilla almond and berries (plus an unflavored natural), Energizing Smoothie is so delicious it will make you forget how healthy it is.
One serving of Vega Energizing Smoothie features
  • Two servings of veggies
  • 10 g of complete, plant-based protein
  • 5 g of fiber
  • 1 g of Omega-3
Just add water, shake and go!

Now, if you have been reading I do drink my morning VEGA ONE nutritional shake every morning and I swear by it.  The Vega Energizing Smoothie is not meant to replace this shake but more of a nutritional boost for during your day....kind of like a very healthy snack.  I would also look at it as a substitute for one of those Emergen C packets alot of people take...I've taken them when you just feel a bit run down. 

I tried two of the packets- it came with 5...and I'm going to share some with you!  The two I tried are the Bodacious Berry, and Choc-o-lot.  They say that you can take with water, juice or a non-dairy beverage.  The first one I tried was on a boat and seriously just needed to have something good in my body and had thrown one of the packets in my pocketbook. 

I like that they are individually packaged so that you can throw
 them in a suitcase or pocketbook without worrying

I like that even though it had all the nutrients that I wanted
I didn't have to pay for it with a million calories.  Only 90 if you use water!

I tried this one with just water because
I wanted to give a fair review--and you can't always carry around almond milk or juice.   
I thought it was okay with the water but definitely not 
how I would drink it all the time.  
It was doable though so after a race I could see putting a packet in my bag check and just mixing it on the spot in a bottle. 
I do think I would have more preferred it with a juice or almond milk.   

The second one: Choc-o-lot

 The second one I tried I was in a rush again...
I'm thinking this "on the go" concept is a  good one;).
I tried this one with almond milk and mixed it in the car on the way to the library
with my Vega Shaker.
I really enjoyed this one. 
 It was like a creamy chocolate milk. 
It was fine with my senstive stomach and...
My kids even took a few sips and it was "kid approved"!
(That says a lot about the taste...cause they don't like much)

The Great thing about these Smoothie's is you can take them anywhere, get the healthy nutrients you need to feel good and it tastes good!

I'm going to share the wealth and let you have a chance to try VEGA Energizing Smoothie.  

 You have to
1. a comment about which Vega smoothie flavor would be your favorite...


2.  Become a follower of (Running) In the Right Direction (if you are just tell me so!)

and for an extra entry let me know that you...
3.  Tweeted about this giveaway using #GetEnergized and #runthertdirect

Giveaway ends JULY 23!!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday -VEGA

Review coming tomorrow

New Vega- On the Go Energizing Smoothie

Friday, July 13, 2012

Being a Mommy, A Runner and Fitting it In

It's been a busy two weeks and I am finally starting to get my running schedule down that was given to me by NYRR.  It's work figuring out how you are going to schedule things in and not neglect your children at the same time.  It takes a lot of work but I'm slowly getting it down and being lenient on the fact that some days I need to switch the mileage with another and I have accepted that god forbid I need to knock off a mile it's-okay-nothing-is-going-to-happen. 

It is only the the four week base building stage so the mileage isn't too high.  It was more of a 'get settled in to your routine' period...
July 1-8
Monday- Off
Tuesday 5 miles
Wednesday 3 miles
Thursday 5 miles
Friday 7 smiles
Saturday Open Water swim
Sunday 4 mile track workout

July 9-15 (not finished obviously but this is what I'll be doing)
Monday 3
Tuesday 5
Wednesday 6
Thursday 4
Friday 7
Saturday off
Sunday 3 miles

The ways that help me get it DONE!
#1 I try to run in the AM (which is a joke right now because I'm tired and I haven't been waking up...hence the word try).  I have been running more when Scott comes home which works out okay because it is a little cooler....

He's my bigger guy on the left ;)

#2  I have been utilizing the gym daycare which the kids love waaaaay more than I do.  I am fine with the daycare but I'm not so fine with the treadmill...but its what works...so I do it.   
NYSC childcare...actually ours has a million and one toys.  I didn't love that at first because I worried about germs...but the kids love it and they haven't walked away with any major ailments.

#3  Its the great invention called JOGGING STROLLER.  Now it ain't easy pushing a 42lb year old and a 28lb pound ( I think he is 28lbs) 3 year old...but its doable and if you have no other option you do it.  I've been finding that I actually enjoy this option a lot and so do the kids.  It is really nice in the evening because it calms the kids down after a long day and it sometimes even puts them to sleep!!! I mean if thats not a bonus I don't know what is.  I will often choose this option if its a 3-5 miler.  Anything beyond that I lose them and I'm hurting from pushing that and trying to keep a somewhat decent pace.  I also usually recruit Scott as a partner on these runs and we do 1/2 mile on 1/2 mile off with trading the stroller.  It's definitely a harder and more intense workout. 

#4  Babysitter.  I don't know about your children but my kids really like having a babysitter.  They think it is so much fun... I really don't do this option much because I can't be paying someone to run.  I use this option when I see I will need a babysitter anyway and then hook on one more hour and there's a 6 mile run.  For example, Scott and I had both had appointments last night.  I needed a sitter for an hour while we were at our appnts.  I added another hour on and him and I met at the trails to do a 4 and what we think may have been 5 (forgot my garmin) mile run. 

Long story short.  It is possible to make it work.  I do prefer doing the deed before the kids even wake in the morning.  I feel its the best option...but sometimes that just isn't happening and you have to have other ways to getting done what makes you feel good. 

This weekend we will be going to the Poconos.  I look forward to the little get-away and running somewhere different.  Ileft only a 3 mile run becaue I get a little spooked with all the stories out there about running alone...and not knowing the area well makes me a little iffy. 

I'm also going to get to use the Just Shake and Go! Vega Smoothie mix that VEGA sent me to review.  I like that I don't need to have my bullet smoothie mixer on me...I'll see how it tasts and let you know!

How do you all get your runs in while also managing a house and kids (or doggies, or kitties)?

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Pretty much open water swims scare me.  I don't really know what it is--
the 'stuff' I see on the ground,
the fact that I am getting pummeled by other swimmers,
the salt water soaking into all my pores,
the fact that I could possibly die....lol
Each time in the water I have this conversation with myself..
"this just isn't for you, you like running, why are you doing this?"
(my answer is I'm doing what Eleanor tells me to lol...no seriously...I hate quitting-I'm not a quitter)

I went to the open water swim meet this morning at 7:30.  Joe knew from the start that I was nervous.  I can't help it...and heck I'm there right?! Give a girl a break.
I'm there because I know I am scared and because I know to get over it I have to be there. 
The whole time I swam I thought of this quote.
I figured Eleanor must be right...and I should just go with it. 

I DIDN'T like when Joe wanted to talk strategies and my toes were being nipped by creatures down below
I DIDN'T like when he thought it would be clever (even though it was)
for him and I to start and for the others to literally swim OVER us...
to get to where they needed to be..
no, I didn't like that but I survived
and today I am a smidgen stronger and more confident
in the swimming department because of it.
Okay Eleanor...
...I get what you're saying
Callahan's Beach where all the 'action' happened!

Friday, July 6, 2012

GREAT Run...Too Many Variables..!

I decided to run my long run tonight instead of tomorrow-for a couple of reasons:
1-  There is a slight chance I will drag my but out to join Team Go for an open water swim tomorrow.
2-  It is going to be 105 degrees tomorrow and I don't want to die. 
3-  I will be going to do track repeats with the group on Sunday and I don't want to have it back-to-back with a long run.  Look at me respecting my body...;)

The crazy thing is it was a really STRONG run for me and I felt very good before, during and after it. I would have never predicted it would be a good run because I had...
1-Spent the day at the beach with two kids (enough said)
2- Not eaten dinner yet
3- It was still very hot

But low and behold...it was still a good run!  The problem is I'm not sure what made it that way because there were too many variables!!!  Was it that I was running at night?  Was it that I didn't drink coffee today (caffeine does give me a high but it sometimes makes me too jittery and my breathing gets off)?  Was it the Zico water I chugged before hand?  Was it that Coach John keeps telling me to run a 10 something minute mile and I am not worried about pace at all?  Was it the new country music everyone keeps pushing on me?  Was it the night running?  Is it that I am just becoming more accumstomed to the schedule?...

After the run...I may look hot, sweaty and tired...but this is actually what good looks like on me lol

Me triple checking my times...because I really was suprised that this "good" feeling also equalled out to "good" times for me...
(I've been struggling with my normal 9:30 for a while now...)
1- 9:44
2- 9:16

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Pinned Image
The question is when do you want to quit?
There are times I want to quit because I am tired, or because I just feel like I can't go more step, or just because. 
It's work training my brain that I CAN do what I am doing...it doesn't come naturally to me...so to say the least I'm proud of my accomplishments...especially that is becoming more of a 'natural' thing for me to just get out there and do it, to support what I am doing by eating healthier and just living a healthier lifestyle.
How far do you push yourself? 
Hm...I can't say I go past my comfort levels all the time...I think if I could work with someone that's the one of the thing I would benefit from more.  I know I have more in me and I think a few words of "get going and stop stopping" would help me.
...when it comes down to it discomfort...is uncomfortable lol.
Do you base your performance on others performances?
I used to in the beginning a lot more than I do now.  I've realized their are so many different types of runners and levels that its impossible to compare. If I compared I would be upset a whole lot...there are some fantastic athletes out there!On that note, I do stilll compare at times but it doesn't aggravate me as much as motivates me to try harder. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

4th of July in front of Brooke and Lucas' new play house...

Because this is how us girls roll....

Happy 4th Everyone!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Are You Getting Enough?

BTW...that's not me...but I've been there.

So training started for me two weeks ago and so far I have diligently ran everything I am 'supposed' to run.  I've been eating pretty well minus the three days before and after Aunt Jemima comes to visit...(I can't help but to have a few pieces of chocolate during these times) and I've laid off most of the summer drinks...which is another topic in-and-of itself.  So why do I feel like absolute crapola in the morning and/or during the first three miles of my runs??? I've been asking my self this question when the answer just sucker punched me this morning.....I don't get enough friggin sleep folks.  Now, I am not saying that if I did; my pace would be faster..although it probably would a little, I just think I would run more easily, enjoy it more like I know I can and just not have a feeling of regression....I don't like feeling like I ran a marathon after six miler.... 
This past week my bed times have been a range of 11-2:30 am in the morning!  2:30AM who the hell do I think I am??   I was driving home from Virginia and it just took that long but seriously....come on.  I need to start treating my sleep as seriously as anything else.  It's like taking the time to send an expensive  package somewhere...have it bubble wrapped--twice...putting it in a sturdy box but then asking my son to deliver it on his bike, no wait--scooter whilst eating an ice pop.  I mean seriously, I am sending my body some crazy mixed messages. 

I have always been a night owl. This is no surprise...but I've been able to break free from some of the pattern ever since I have been running. Long story, very short.  I need to be paying attention to my sleep just as much as I am to my mileage and fueling.  Below is an article that I found very interesting...something most of us know but always a good reminder!  Get your sleep folks!!

How many hours do you get a night??
I do best on 8-9 ;) but get around 6 maybe 7 if I am lucky.

Owner's Manual: Sleep Your Way to a PR

The importance of sleep
For years J.D. Byrne had considered trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon. A former 16:20 5K runner and top-seven cross country runner in high school, his training went south during his late 20s as his career in the financial services industry started to soar.

He finally got around to training again in his mid-30s, but by then he and his wife had three young children, so he really had to squeeze out time for his runs, and that often meant running late at night or early in the morning.

And that meant he was always fatigued -- at work, before, during and after training, and even during meals. He had logged plenty of miles and anaerobic workouts during his 16-week training program, but instead of running 3:10:59 to earn a trip to Boston, he managed only a 3:21.

Weeks later, he still found himself physically and mentally fatigued, and that's when he knew he'd have to get more rest if he was ever going to qualify for Boston. "I was always tired and fatigued, especially during long runs on weekends," he says. "It was rough."
While elite marathoners often have the luxury of sleeping eight or more hours a night and can afford mid-day naps to help their bodies recover from their training, that's not realistic for fast recreational runners. But whether you run 2:25 or 3:15, you should consider sleep an important part of your training regimen, says Dr. Bob Gazzola, a longtime runner and Mankato, Minn., physician.

"Sleep is really important when training for an endurance event," Gazzola says. "During sleep a lot of important things are happening to aid in the recovery process. Besides just feeling more rested and ready to tackle the day ahead, adequate sleep -- at least seven hours, uninterrupted -- can make a big difference in your recovery."

It's during the third and fourth stages of a typical sleep cycle when a body heals itself. That's when the human growth hormone (HGH) is released from the pituitary gland. Although it's gotten notoriety as a performance-enhancing drug, in its natural form it plays a key role in building and repairing muscle tissue and bones, as well as acting as a catalyst for the body to use fat as fuel. Without the right amount of HGH in the blood, recovery from workouts is hindered, prolonging the time it takes the body to build a strong aerobic engine.

When a person is chronically sleep deprived their level of HGH decreases and another hormone, cortisol (also called "the stress hormone"), increases. Too much cortisol can be dangerous because it can prohibit the body from recovering fully and it can also interfere with the repair and growth of soft tissue.

A study published in the British medical journal The Lancet showed that a period of decreased sleep of only a few days can cause a disruption in glucose metabolism. Glucose metabolism is the process responsible for storing energy from the food we eat and is why marathoners carbo-load before a big race or long run.

"With impaired glycogen synthesis runners can't get their glycogen stores as high, which means they may bonk sooner during longer runs or races than if they were well-rested," Gazzola says.
Other recent studies have revealed that people suffering from sleep deprivation often experience adverse changes in their diet (they eat more and often an unhealthy diet), make poor decisions, can't focus, and become unmotivated. And those things can throw a wrench into your training plans and not allow you to reach your workout goals.   YES THEY CAN!
Quality Counts

Sleep experts say while most people need seven to nine hours of sleep a night to feel fully rested, the number of hours varies by the individual. Some people seem to do fine on less, while others need more. The best way to gauge how much sleep you need is to go to bed at the same time every night and then wake up on your own, without the aid of an alarm clock.

While you may need to sleep a little longer when training for a half marathon or marathon, the key to fully recovering from your workouts is not just how many hours of sleep you get, but the quality of your sleep. The more fit you become, the more likely the quality of your sleep will also improve.

"Some miles are more important to your training and give you more benefit," Gazzola says. "Well, the same is true of your sleep. There are different stages to your sleep, and training helps you achieve a more restorative sleep. People who are restless in their sleep don't get to those deeper states of sleep where a lot of the significant emotional and physical benefits occur.

"For the highly trained athlete, sleep becomes more important but the hours might be less because their sleep is more effective sleep," he says. "Most people find when they are in the midst of their training and they're feeling good and confident, their sleep comes much more readily versus the tossing and turning that, unfortunately, a lot of people do."

Jenna Boren, a 2008 U.S. Olympic trials marathon qualifier, seems to do well no matter how much sleep she gets. The St. Paul runner logs 100 miles a week and works full-time as a chiropractor but only averages five to six hours of sleep a night.

"When I am stressed, it tends to affect my sleep more than anything," she says. "Ironically, the one remedy I use to manage stress is to run. Often, when I run the most, I sleep the least."

The one thing most runners, coaches and doctors agree on is being well-rested leading up to a race. "The one thing I tell all my runners is that, in the final weeks of training -- or actually tapering -- you can do more by sleeping than you can by running," says Chicago-area running coach C.J. Welter.
"That's when sleep should really become your primary training component and biggest focus."

Copyright © 2012 Running Times Magazine - All Rights Reserved.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Mommy Monday and BtB

BtB- Back to the Bloggin!
Hello Y'All! (Um..that's from hanging with Caroline too much ;)  School's OUT for SUMMER!  I've been doing a lot and its been crazy hectic but I am starting to slowly get into my summer rhythm. 

I started training for the ING NYC Marathon last week.  I am using their training program and have the pleasure of being 'coached' virtually by Coach John.  I'm excited to see where I will go with this and just pumped to run NYC...its going to be such a crazy awesome experience...I get excited just thinking about it.  On that excited note, I have been running what the program has detailed for me..I will get into all that in another post.  I have been struggling with some numbness in my right shin, yes, I did say numbness.  I have an appointment on Thursday to get all this checked out but I'm not tooo worried.  What I am worried about is this lil' guy below. 
This is a pic I took last night when traveling home from VA!
Yes, that would be the Verrazano bridge.  Just a lil' something I'm nervous about ....I'll try to let that be the last time I mention....'him'. 

Mommy Monday!
I've been loving up my kiddies lately and feel so lucky that I get to stay home during the summers.  It's such a nice balance of time and I've worked on 'being ready' to enjoy them in the summer.  It may sound weird to some that it "took some work" for me... but it used to be a hard transition for me....I needed to find a nice balance.  I struggled with between being a total summer bum that does absolutely nothing and having way TOO many things to do.  So here's a taste of what's been going on in the past month....

We've had a dance recital! Look how big she is getting!

Visits to the library for the summer reading program!  It's so funny listening to Lucas explain a book!

The kids in the 'homemade' play house!

Brooke GRADUATED PreK and this is what Uncle Danny got her!!
A huge blow up Graduating Monkey!  I mean why not?!
We celebrated Lucas' birthday and I made him Froggy cupcakes...he likes frogs ;)

Brooke making pizza!
Lucas "cooking" pizza

Eating the goods!

This is what happens during their "free time"

In Baltimore...on our way to VA. 

So here's some of the things this Mom/Runner/off for the Summer (did you hear that rhyme??) has been doing!
I look forward to sharing the trials and tribulations of my first TRI...
see you tomorrow!

What have you been doing that is fun in the sun??

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