Yesterday and today I’ve found myself itching to run another half marathon. For weeks I’ve been fondly recalling details of the Inaugural Women’s Running Magazine Half Marathon T and I ran walk-ran. The decision to run it came as a result of feelings of nostalgia over the first half I ran (oddly enough, also an inaugural race- the RNR San Antonio), a new-found love of running for T following a summer PE class and a delight over the pink extravaganza that the swag bags, Crocs, tech T’s and medals promised to deliver.
We had only one goal: to finish. We learned countless lessons. We finished feeling a great sense of accomplishment.
The memories now tumble over each other and I am compelled to pour over the photos, to recapture in some small way the excitement surrounding the race.
As I sit here corralling my thoughts into semi-coherence, I realize I’ve stayed away from racing for far too long. There is a void that needs to be filled by the excitement of another fun and girly race. We’re doing all we can towards getting a slot in our dream race, but in the meantime I need another race to tide me over.
Sometimes it’s the small things that make your day and keep you going. A stunning sunrise or breath-taking sunset provide hours of smiles. Today finding out our Sweat Pink Ambassador application had been accepted made our day! Yesterday, it was finding out our blog had international readers. Some days it’s been getting nice comments from respected bloggers and Twitter followers whom we truly admire. Having cool brands trust us to review their products. An encouraging word from a stranger. Sweet words from family you didn’t even realizing was reading. The sum of these seemingly little things help make our days happier. Thank you to each one of you who puts a smile in our heart! :)
As I was nearing the end of a run and feeling particularly slow, sluggish even, an older gentleman I frequently see walking his dog, called out “Que rapido que corre! Ya quisiera tener la energía que tiene usted” (“How fast you run! I wish I had the energy that you have”). The timing of his spontaneous comment came at a time when I most needed it. In addition to feeling s-l-o-w, I was self-questioning. Questioning whether I could complete a half marathon (let alone with respectable time), whether T could complete a half ….whether we should continue blogging or if it was a complete waste of time, a journey I had perhaps guilted T into joining me on.
This man’s comment put a smile on my face and a pep in my step. It reminded me that, yes, I could – I have twice before with less preparation than I have accrued these past months. I remembered T had too, at the age of 14 after having barely slept, inadequately trained, after a week of performing the lead in a high-school opera production – of course she could! And the blog, oh this blog: it was then that I remembered the day the idea of “All Roads Lead To Happiness aka Roads2Happy” was born – and, no, it was not only my idea, T was every bit as excited as I. Life, and happiness, is all about keeping things in perspective. My slow is another person’s fast after all…
Today’s long run was a challenge of the mental variety. All day I vacillated between going and postponing for another day…. But the part of me wishing to stay true to myself, and my goals, forced me to go out and run. The compromise? I would allow myself to take photos along the way. The justification? This is what I will be doing during the races. The catch? I could only do so during my walk breaks. The lesson learned? Life is best lived outside the box.
And how, you might ponder, did I come to this conclusion? Well, it came after I had missed the 3 most interesting photo opportunities of the run.
Photo #1 was taken during my 2 minute warm-up walk.
Photo #2 was taken during my first walk break. In my mind I had named it “The Long And Winding Road” right then my watch beeped signaling it was time to run – I look to my right and behold: a rainbow! A rainbow fragment to be precise. I was sorely tempted to grab a quick picture but, a deal is a deal even if it is a deal with myself.
Photo #3 was taken during my second walk break. This one I mentally named “Not My Time To Stop”
Photos #4 & 5 were taken during walk break number three.
Photos #6-8 were my sad attempt to capture my feet in motion, taken during walk break number 4.
Photos #9-11 were taken during walk break #5. Immediately after the beep that signaled the time to run had come, I looked up only to be met by one of the most vivid and gorgeous pink sunsets – yes, SoFla skies put on quite the show!
During walk break #6 the not so smart phone acted up and I missed all photo opps. By then I was tired enough I wanted to be home and low and behold as I ran the final stretch I almost stepped on a snake! This signals the 3rd most interesting site. At that point in dawned on me that had I not kept my photo taking inside the self-imposed box it would have been a whole lot more interesting….. that in turn made me think it was a good analogy of life. How many times might we miss the most interesting things by staying inside the box?
How’s that for runner’s philosophy?
We’re super excited to share with your our very first product review post. As a new blog we get that brands are looking to work with the ones whose traffic is the highest, whose reach was the greatest and so we were elated when we were first contacted by ENERGYbits. Intrigued by the product, but leery to fall prey to any ‘supplements’ (per their website they are not, in fact a supplement) or artificial products I started my research. Let me tell you, they had me at “organic” and “all natural”. We eat sushi so how bad could Spirulina Algae be? Besides, a couple of years ago a very health-conscious boss of mine (A) introduced me to Spirulina chocolate bars, which I not only survived by enjoyed immensely.
One single ingredient. Spirulina Algae. Nutrients: 40. The claims: sounding almost too good to be true. (Best used for: Increasing Energy, Endurance and Mental Vitality, High Protein Snack, Curbing Hunger, Meal Replacement, Balancing Blood Sugar, Lowering Blood Pressure, Reducing Fatigue) We could not wait to try them!
ENERGYbits Review: Amy’s take
First Impressions: I could barely stop from squealing when I saw the package from ENERGYbits, the details spoke of a company that cares, from the sticker on the back to the adorable tin that contains the source of energy. I open the tin, take a sniff and am instantly transported to the days when we had pet fish and the smell of their food. So then I thought a minute and realized fish are lean AND athletic, isn’t that how we would all like to be. Deep breath. Let’s do this!
And now time to confess…. I didn’t try chewing these until after T had (what kind of a mother does THAT?!) and said they didn’t taste bad. She was right. I didn’t notice a huge and immediate increase in energy but my runs were solid. I was afraid the number of tablets, and amount of water needed to swallow, would cause my sensitive stomach to revolt, but I was pleasantly surprised that it did not (true to the claim) upset my stomach at all.
Final thoughts? I don’t think this product is for me at this time, but down the road as the intensity of training increases I may consider it. It’s a product I believe would be best suited to a more seasoned athlete who is in the habit of taking some sort of supplements, pills, shakes, gels, etc. prior to working out; someone who has this incorporated into their lifestyle and has budgeted it in as well. To these individuals, I would recommend trying ENERGYbits as a natural alternative. I can think of several people who might be perfect candidates.
ENERGYbits Review: Tori’s take
We were given the joy of trying out Energybits! I’m not sure if they actually worked or if it was a psychological factor, but my running time was improved by a few minutes. I did find it a bit annoying that you have to take 30 of the little tablets. Also, when they say don’t chew them, don’t chew them! I don’t mind the taste of algae, but as you can see, it turned my tongue bright green!
Overall, I’m a little conflicted about this product. I believe it does work, but may be more trouble than it’s worth.
Ta-ta for now!
If you’re intrigued, please read on:
“ENERGYbits are only available at ENERGYbits.com, and Jonathan (their Brand Manager) has shared with me that he’d be happy to connect anyone with a current ambassador to share a discount on a bag of bits – you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org”
Read about ENERGYbits and their contribution to the Breast Cancer Awareness month – a cause near and dear to our <3 s as women, and as friends of individuals who have been affected by its viciousness.
We love the idea of product reviews. There’s no better way to know whether or not you will truly like something until you give it a test run. That said, as I’ve perused various blogs I’ve noticed a couple of trends. There are those who seem to maintain the integrity of their blog identity even while reviewing products, and there are those who appear to do anything for a buck, or a freebie. I find it hard to take the freebie-seekers seriously (I get it, we all love them but at some point it loses all credibility) I gravitate towards the first kind and so have thought long and hard about the whole product review concept.
Here’s our take: we will be overjoyed to test and write product reviews for any product in which we believe. We will not review anything which we would not ourselves consume. Now, that doesn’t mean every bra is for every girl, but if the product is high quality, attractive, etc. it can get a great review even if it doesn’t work for size 32DD to run in, we would simply state that and move on. For me the trickiest products to review become the ones we ingest: the food, the drinks, the supplements. Prior to accepting, or seeking, to review any of these we will do our research. If we like what we find, and think it’s a product that we would not be afraid to consume we will do the reviews. Our promise to you is that.
Something fun and unique about our reviews is that you will get to read the perspective, opinions and reactions of both a college freshman and a business professional all in one place.
What you read will be our opinions and experiences. They are not the opinions or recommendations of medical (or fitness) professionals. And finally, these reviews will have come after the brands reviewed have generously supplied us with their product.
This is our philosophy and this is our disclaimer. :)
Every Princess Needs A Goal…Even Without Guarantees
The name for our blog was born out of the dream of a race…one very special race. A race we fell in love with during the expo of the first Half Marathon we ran together as mother and daughter, T’s first. While walking the girly-girl, pink extravaganza that was that expo we stumbled across the booth for the Disney Princess Half Marathon. We could barely believe our eyes, and thought we had won the lotto when they gave us each a tiara. Then and there we decided that we would race the Princess. So why has it taken this long? The answer is simply it did not work with our schedules. The dates fell during some of our busiest seasons, one which was performance heavy for T and work heavy for me.
And so, we have dabbled with running, doing well for a few weeks only to have something come up. Next thing we knew 3 weeks had gone by since our last run….which practically put us back to step 1 of any kind of training and conditioning. One mid-summer morning’s run we looked at each other, with wishes of Princess half marathons in our hearts and decided to commit. In order to guarantee we would stick to the training ahead, we agreed we would register only after we had been training for a set time without our letting life interfere. In other words, this race registration would be our reward for truly committing ourselves to the training required for a successful race. Just days before we met our goal the race sold out.
We decided we would go ahead and train, not only for the Princess Half Marathon but also for the Tinker Bell Half. We’re hopeful that a way to register will work out. If not, we will chose a different race. In the meantime, our training has been consistent for months and we are both excited about running. A week ago we ran our first race together, a 5K, towards our fairy tale race.
Time For A Plan: When Simply Running Isn’t Enough
When we started the ‘roads2happy’ project, something that for us also signified a commitment to training, just getting out the door and running or cross training was enough. Now, a few months into it, we are still consistently training and thus accomplishing the main goal, but I’m beginning to remember a time when my training also took significant planning. That time is nearing for both of us. As mileage gets higher the focus on nutrition will have to become sharper. The dedication to rising EARLY, before the Florida heat and humidity sets in, will have to solidify.
I’m working to build a plan that will work going forward. For now, prepping healthy, nutrient-rich food for the week is an essential part of the plan. Another key is getting runs in before sunrise. Finally, we have to formulate a cross training plan that will strengthen the muscles we’ll need to race safely. So, this week will be focused on research and planning. We’re also excited about a product review we’ll be starting towards the end of the week.
Thanks for reading friends – we would love to hear what’s worked for you! :)
As I was lunching with a friend I was reminded of the slogan, “Just Do It!” which inevitably took me on a trip down memory lane. For one of my college courses I had to write a report on a company…our group chose Nike and in researching and writing I fell in love with their corporate philosophy which in many ways can be summed up in the famous “Just Do It!” But I digress….
Back to lunch and what prompted the memory. It was one of those wonderful rambling conversations where we jumped around from one topic to the next touching on everything from empty nests to songwriting extravaganza to juicing and whatever could possibly be in between. She said something wise which immediately struck a chord with me, drawing a mental parallel between my own attitude towards this blog and “those” people….those people being ones whose quest for perfection in their creative outlets freezes their creativity hindering their production. What she said was simple….yet brilliant. You’ve got to just throw it out there, that’s the only way to grow and keep getting better at it. And she is right. It resonated deep in that fearful place inside of me that is scared of the criticism I might receive, especially from those I know. But after a pause to ponder I thought to myself, “just do it!”
I have spent some considerable time starting blog ideas and NOT throwing them out there. I have spent a good 3 months mulling over this specific blog idea. I mean, I knew I wanted to write one. The girl thought she might like to write one. One day, during an evening stroll, we came up with what we continue to believe is a good blog idea that will give us room to talk about many things we love while focusing on the core of it: fitness. We’ve researched and bookmarked favorite blogs, taking note of recommendations for (among other things) blogging. One core nugget of advice is often repeated in the best of blogs, and that is to just start it, growing and learning as the blog takes shape and finds its own identity. So what kept me from it? Perfectionism. And now I’m reminded of a Spanish quote my boss has been known to use, “la perfeccion es enemigo de lo bueno” which roughly translates “perfectionism is the enemy of Good” which I have also learned to be true. And so, here we are today. Imperfect though it may be, it’s time to let go and let it flow.
As of this moment I will embrace throwing it out there. I will just DO it!