Wednesday, October 28, 2015

3 Months


This month we celebrated our 3rd month of marriage at one of our favorite spots, Johnny's Tavern. Back when we didn't have cable (thank you Royals' post-season for changing this) and when we lived down the street from Johnny's we were frequent Sunday visitors.

On Sundays they have $4.50 schooners, tons of TVs, delicious chili dogs, and very few other people...so it quickly became a favorite of ours and affectionately known as "Our Johnny's"

The Chiefs decided to pull it together this week, so we were lucky enough to see them win a game! Let's hope it's not the last for the season ;)

After the game we got extra classy and stopped at the grocery store for a late afternoon snack and headed home to watch the rest of the football games from the comfort of our own couch :)

2015-10-25 18.54.59-2

October was a great month full of lots of excitement and fun...buuuuut it's safe to say after this month it will be awhile before we hop in the car for a road trip again ;)
We started month 3 with the annual "Harrison Hill Hog Roast" This is the first year we have been able to make it to this fun event...and boy am I glad we did! The Harrison's sure know how to throw a party!


Again...this month we (I use the term we loosely) spent more time painting the trim. I am happy to say the living room and kitchen are completely done. I'm hoping month 4 brings the completion of the stairway down to the basement and the family room...fingers crossed!


We also made the trip to Chicago for the Chicago Marathon!! I can't even begin to put into words what an incredible experience this was!! I'm a pretty lucky girl that my husband was willing to spend 16 hours in the car (most of which I spent complaining about my legs) and spent an entire day on Chicago's public transportation system trying to chase me down ;)




Chicago2

We attended our first wedding as a married couple :)

wedding

We tried oysters and mussels most likely for the first and LAST time ;)

dinner oysters

And best of all we enjoyed another wonderful month of marriage :)
Monday, October 26, 2015

Birthday Week fail and the winners are....

I am the worst...

I had every intention of posting my final giveaway/coupon code on Friday...but then life happened. 


My mom and I went to the Royals' game and that had me running out of school the minute the kids dismissed...



Then there was a rain delay...luckily we were under an overhang! However, that meant I didn't get home until after midnight...but I didn't mind because...


THEY WON!!! Our Royals are going to the World Series!!!


And then the weekend was jam packed with a birthday celebration for my grandpa and AJ and I's day date to celebrate my birthday and our 3 month anniversary.


And now it's Monday...of conference week...which means I am ferociously typing this up during my plan time hoping to at least keep a hold of some of my dignity ;) Please ignore any spelling/grammatical errors...

I still have an awesome coupon code for you from one of my favorite companies, but instead of rushing through it and not doing it justice, I am going to wait until later in the week when I have time! 

All I have time for today is announcing the winners of the Birthday Week {GIVEAWAYS} If you are one of the winners I will be emailing you later this week (no later than Friday) to iron out the details :)

Day 1: A box of Cocogo

 Day 2: SLS3 Compression Socks/Sleeves

Kristi S.
**Travis from SLS3 has emailed you directly!

Day 3: Medal Hanger

Congrats to all the winners and a huge thank you to everyone who entered! As always I appreciate you :)

Stay tuned because later this week I will be sharing a coupon code for one of my post-marathon must haves! 


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Birthday Week {GIVEAWAY} Day 4: ENERGYbits

If you have been around for any length of time you know about my love for ENERGYbits.


A little over a year ago I reviewed them HERE on the blog.

Over the last year I have used my ENERGYbits to get me through 6 half-marathons, 2 full marathons, and countless training runs. 


 And my love has only grown stronger ;) 

I talk about them to anyone and everyone that will listen, and I have found a trend among the reasons people haven't or are hesitant to try them...

The taste and/or cost...

Now if you fit into one of both of those categories, let me reassure you....

1) No...they don't taste great if you chew them or suck on them...so don't do that...simple enough. They are algae (gross), but they are small enough that all you have to do is pop a few in your mouth at a time with a big swig of water and you are golden.

2) Yes...they are a big investment up front. A bag of 1,000 bits is $115...but hear me out... that one bag has lasted me over a year. It got me through 2 marathon training cycles and countless races. Before I found ENERGYbits, I was easily spending just as much on GU or other random fuels filled with sugar and other ingredients I couldn't pronounce.

Unfortunately today, I do not have anything to give away...I used up all of my sample bits in Chicago...but I do have an awesome discount code to share: WTHWHYNOT will get you 30% your entire order, which brings the cost of a bag down to $86.25!

Also, don't forget to enter Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday's giveaways...tomorrow is your last day to enter, and winners will be announced on Monday morning :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Birthday Week {GIVEAWAY} DAY 3: Medal Holder


 You guys...I am really excited about today's giveaway...like REALLY REALLY excited!

My incredibly talented cousin, Sheila and her friend Dana, recently opened an Etsy shop; Madison Rose Designs, where they are selling their beautiful custom wooden signs...


We have several custom pieces in our home...they just aren't hung up yet ;)  I also have a few several more items on my wishlist for the holidays! With a new house...It is only right that I get new Christmas decorations right?


Last year for my birthday Sheila made me the most adorable medal hanger (also, still waiting to be hung up), so when I was getting ready for my "Birthday Week Giveaways" I asked her if she would be willing to make a medal for the occasion...she immediately agreed!




How cute is that?!? I love that it is girly with a little bit of sass ;)

If you would like a chance to win this medal hanger, make sure to enter using the Rafflecopter link below. 

And if you are like me and you NEED some new fall or winter (or everyday) decor you can use the discount code: HEATHER for 15% off your order at the Madison Rose Design Etsy shop! 

It's safe to say I will definitely be taking advantage of that discount for a few of the items on my wishlist!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Birthday Week {GIVEAWAYS} Day 2: SLS3 Compression Socks

So this happened yesterday....


and surprisingly I didn't cry (too much)


I kept my cool had a minor panic attack and eventually figured out that it still works (thank you sweet baby Jesus!) Seriously...my life is on that thing. I quickly transferred my life to my computer's desktop (another safe place considering how many times my computer has needed to be re-imaged) but don't worry, I will be transferring my life to a new jump drive today! 

After determining that my life wasn't over I went for a much needed therapy session 2 mile run. I have to say, it was SO nice to not have to worry about speed, distance, or maintaining a certain pace. I sure do love running "just because"

I am still technically in "recovery mode" so I am (and will be) continuing to take it easy for the next few weeks. My focus is going to be on easy paced runs, lots of stretching, and getting back into pilates.

Last year after the KC Marathon I jumped back into running way too quickly and ended up getting burnt out and I didn't want to make the same mistake again this year.

One of the things I did differently this time around was I practically lived in my compression gear and took my foam roller with me everywhere...even school! The kids thought their teacher was a little crazier than normal ;)

I swear by my compression gear after my long runs and I knew that consistency and good compression wear was going to be key in regaining normal mobility again after the marathon! 

  
Luckily, a few weeks before the marathon Travis from SLS3 contacted me asking me if I wanted to try out a pair of their compression socks.

I immediately said yes...because I knew with my 20 miler coming up and with the race a few weeks later I knew they would definitely come in handy...and seriously...who doesn't love a pair of cute compression socks?

I decided on a pair of  butterfly compression sleeves in teal, because I mostly wear them for recovery and with the sleeves I can wear them under my pants (and maybe I wore them under a dress...once or twice) and still wear my sandals and no one is the wiser ;)


 I was immediately impressed with the quality and feel of the socks. They were tight, but not impossible to get on and off (which is a BIG deal) and they have the perfect amount of compression in all the right spots! 

I have to admit, I wore these suckers for almost 4 days straight after the marathon (along with my BioSkin shorts) and I was completely pain free 4 days after the marathon...seriously, compression wear works!! Now if only I could get them to make me a full body suit ;)

Not only did SLS3 send me a pair of compression socks to try out...they gave me an extra pair to give away to one of you fine folks...so I present birthday week giveaway day 2! :)

You can also head over to their website and use the coupon code: WTH40 to get 40% your entire purchase through Friday. Seriously...you can't beat that!! I've adding things to my "must have" list all week...shhh...don't tell my husband ;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 "Birthday Week {GIVEAWAY}" Day 1  
  



Do you wear compression socks? 

Do you run with them or use them for recovery? Or both?

What is on your SLS3 "must have" list?
Monday, October 19, 2015

Birthday Week GIVEAWAY Day 1: Cocogo


Is it just me or are the weekends just too darn short? I think this just about every weekend...but for real this time...I just need one.more.day! 

Sorry for the super awkward photo...I've been trying to get my husband to send me the photos from his phone (mine is pretty much dunzo) and he doesn't realize how important photos are to blogging ;)
This weekend was another busy one...we went to Hays (about 4 hours away) for a wedding. Of course we had a blast...but 8 more hours in the car brings us to about 24 hours spent in the car in the last 2 weeks...

This is how we felt when we remembered we had to drive 4 hours home the next morning ;)
We are staying put for the rest of the month, so don't ask me to travel any where! 

I had really good intentions to have this post done and ready to go live early this morning...but like I mentioned we were gone all weekend and by the time we got home there was laundry to do and sleep to be had :)  



Today's giveaway is featuring one of my very favorite products...



It's been almost 2 years since I have completely replaced all of the sugary sports drinks with this coconut water sports drink...and I have no intentions of ever going back! 




Not only does Cocogo have superior ingredients...but it also tastes better! I love that it is not super sugary and sweet because the last thing I want is something heavy before, during or after a workout. 

I also like that I can dilute it to a taste that works for me. If I want a stronger flavor I use less water (or two packets!) and if I want something really light I use more water. 


Another one of my favorite things about Cocogo is the versatility and variety of uses! I mainly use it after a run...but I have also used it in the middle of the day to satisfy my sweet tooth (instead of soda) and I have used it to rehydrate after a night of drinking (i.e. this weekend)...and let me tell you it works like a charm! ;) 

If you would like to try Cocogo for yourself or just need to restock now is the perect time! For my birthday week Cocogo has increased my ambassador discount from 10% to 20%! When you check-out all you have to do is use the discount code: HEATHER and you will receive 20% off your entire order!

You can also enter below to win a box of Cocogo (any flavor you choose!) You can enter through Friday and the winner will be announced on Monday Oct. 26th.



Don't forget to stop by each day this week for a new discount code and/or giveaway! Tomorrow's giveaway will be one of my must haves for marathon training...trust me you won't want to miss out! 


Friday, October 16, 2015

"Birthday Week" giveaways and my dog hates me....


 5 days post-marathon and my muscles are no longer randomly giving out on me as I walk down the stairs...I can effortlessly squat down to pick things up...and I was finally able to shave my legs (standing on one leg in the shower is near impossible after running 26.2 miles...trust me!)

I had my first run since the marathon last night and it was great! I ran with the Girls on the Run group at my school and spent 2 miles begging one of my 3rd graders to take it easy on me ;)

Seeing those 15 girls out there running, smiling, and feeling so proud of themselves after each lap was good for the soul...
In non-running news...my birthday is exactly one week from today!

And if you know me...you know I love a birthday! It doesn't even have to be my own...I just love an excuse to celebrate :)
This year, to celebrate my "birthday week" I am planning on hosting a "giveaway a day" starting on Monday.
You guys...seriously I have some really great stuff to give away and some great discount codes to share with you all! 
All giveaways will end on Friday evening so make sure you check out the blog every day so you don't miss out!
Since I am awkward and can't find a way to wrap this up naturally, I will just leave you with this...
 Gracie currently isn't speaking to me...but I have to say...it's worth it ;)


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Chicago...I love you, I love you not


This...1,000 times this! Day 3 post-marathon and I am definitely feeling MUCH better...but those darn stairs still get me EVERY time! I've resorted to walking backwards down the stairs at home...it may look funny, but I can confidently walk down the stairs without fear of my legs giving out ;)

At school I have refrained from walking down the stairs backwards (or taking the elevator) so I do look a bit like a zombie from "The Walking Dead" as I hobble down the stairs to my classroom...don't worry, my kiddos are getting a kick out of it ;)

Before the race I held on to the hope that I would miraculously not be too sore...It's like I blocked-out the after race soreness from last year and was living in a fantasy world...Running 26.2 miles will ALWAYS make you sore! 


I have been going back and forth all day about how I wanted to proceed with this race-recap...because on one hand I am over the moon excited with my performance and couldn't be happier and overall I was really pleased with the race...but there is still this side of me that felt a little disappointed.

I don't like to dwell on the negative and I always try to find the best in every situation...but I just can't seem to understand all the hype behind "The Chicago Marathon"

I mean...it was a great race...but I can't say that I would have felt the same if I didn't walk away with my PR and sub 4:00.

There were a lot of great things about the marathon...like packet pick-up...What.A.Breeze! Most definitely the smoothest packet pick-up I have ever experienced...and with 45,000 runners I did not anticipate this at all!  



The expo was phenomenal...they had tons of vendors and lots of cool stuff. I wish I hadn't been so distracted and anxious about the race so I could have enjoyed it more! 

I also loved the course...flat, mostly shaded, and filled with spectators from mile 1 to mile 26.2! I never felt that isolated feeling that I had last year in KC during miles 23-26. It was definitely a HUGE motivator to keep moving and finish the race strong. 
But that is about where I stop with "things I loved" about the race. I feel bad saying this...because everyone I have ever talked to RAVES about the race and talks about how wonderful it is...and while yes, it was an incredible experience and I am SO grateful I had the opportunity to do a big marathon like this...I can't say that if I had the chance...I would do it again.

I'm a solo runner...so 45,000 people running the streets of Chicago with me was definitely something that had me feeling anxious going into it.

Saying our good-byes before I headed to the corral! I was a HUGE ball of nerves!

Also, when I registered they asked me what my expected finish time was, and I put 4 hours flat...so it was a huge surprise to me when I got to the corrals Sunday morning and I was in corral H with the 4:40 and 5 hour pacers...The 4 hour pacer was 2 corrals ahead of me and started almost 10 minutes before my corral...no way would I ever catch up to them! 

Corral H felt like it was MILES from the start line! I was in wave 2 and they started at 8:00...my corral didn't cross the start line until almost 8:30! Talk about idle anxieties!
Not having a pacer I can deal with...but dodging and weaving through hundreds of runners going almost 2 mins per mile slower than me? Not fun...not fun at all!  I spent almost 13 miles using up more energy than I would have liked trying to get out of the crowds and catch up with runners going more my pace...and even then there were still SO many people. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I got bumped in to, stepped on, or elbowed. There were even people that would come to a complete stop right in front of me without any warning...it was frustrating to say the least.

I tried taking pictures along the course...but with the congestion it wasn't easy! I stopped trying after the first mile!


The water stops were very frequent and the volunteers were top notch...however every time we came to an aide station it would get very congested and it was often tough to get what you needed. I usually like to slow to a walk through the aide stations so I can drink my water without choking...but early on I realized that I would need to figure out a way to drink my water/Gatorade while running...needless to say I spilled on myself a few times ;)


In most races I have run, the crowds tend to clear out within the first few miles...but this was definitely not the case with The Chicago Marathon. I ran shoulder to shoulder with the other runners all 26.2 miles. While the camaraderie was great and it definitely kept me motivated...it caused me to miss seeing my friends and family along the course. 

While this wasn't a HUGE deal...it was definitely one of the things I enjoyed most about the KC Marathon.

Another struggle for me was my GPS connection...with the buildings it was WAY off (at some points it said I was running a 3 minute mile!) and by the end of the race I had NO clue what my finish time was...according to my watch I had run 27.28 miles...which I suppose with all the weaving I did it's possible! But can I tell you how heartbreaking it is to have your watch flash 26 miles...only to realized that you are only at mile 25!



Thankfully my friend Kristen texted me within minutes of me crossing the finish line with the good news! :)





Another negative for me was the finish line...while there were crowds all 26.2 miles, spectators were not allowed past the finish line. I crossed the finish line and walked for what felt like forever to get my medal, a mylar blanket (which it was WAY too hot for), and a beer-on second thought...this part can be added to the list of things I loved :)

I was definitely a little disoriented after crossing the finish line (I'm sure the beer went straight to my head lol!) and I was loaded up with more things than I ever want to hold post 26.2-usually AJ holds my stuff ;)

This made getting ahold of AJ a little difficult. I tried calling (poor cell reception) and texting (the sun was so bright I could hardly see the screen) so I ended up walking around aimlessly looking for him. I walked (for what felt like 26 more miles) to the runner reuniting areas (stairs were involved-MEAN!) and spent an additional 30 minutes looking before I finally found him.

While we eventually found each other (whew!) it definitely took some of the wind out of my sails. I was tired and feeling a little cranky...and all I really wanted to do was celebrate  my sub 4:00! 

Luckily, after finding the whole group...and grabbing another beer I was feeling much better and was able to fully take everything in! In that moment...nothing (not even all of the frustrations from the crowded course) could have brought me back down from cloud 9!

Family :)


No better person to share this experience with!
It's like Jenni knows us or something? ;)


No trip to Chicago is complete without a visit to THE BEAN!



While part of my review was complaining...I have to say all-in-all I couldn't have asked for a better day! 

And yes, the crowds while running were rough...



I can't help but wonder if my slower pace in the beginning helped me to finish the second half faster. My first 13.1 was 2 hours 1 minute and my second was 1 hour 53 minutes...which was a huge win in my books!

Another big win for me was that I ran the whole thing...I NEVER thought this was possible. I hit the wall pretty hard last year in KC and ended up alternating between walking and running for the last 3 miles...

Not this year...I ran the whole darn thing!! I owe this in large part to the incredible spectators and volunteers! Their excitement and enthusiasm definitely helped me to push through the pain and mental games my brain was trying to play on me. 

So again...I hate to complain because all in all it was a great experience...I may or may not still be smiling about it. All the stars aligned perfectly for me and this race. I got a PR, a sub 4, and I felt great while running the race...so I suppose I will forgive the minor inconveniences...this time ;)