Friday, November 7, 2014

Peachtree City Divas Half Marathon Recap

While at the Publix half marathon expo in March, I signed up to run the inaugural Divas half marathon in Peachtree City in September.  Brandi and I made it an overnighter so that we wouldn’t have to wake up so early on race morning.

I left work early on the day before the race and headed down to the expo to pick up my bib and check out the booths.  My friend, Marcia, was working the runDonna booth so I hung out with her a bit to catch up.  I hadn’t seen her since February so it was good to have some time to chat!

Diva 1

Once Brandi and her mom got to the expo and shopped around, we headed to dinner at Mellow Mushroom – definitely a tasty way to carb up!  We checked into our hotel, laid our race stuff out, and headed to bed.

Diva 4

I didn’t sleep very well that night…it was cold in the room and all i had was a sheet on my air mattress.  At least made getting up a little easier.  We headed to park and catch the shuttle to the race.  We had a bit of down time so we checked our bags and met up with some fellow ATLrunsDisney runners.  We made our way over to the start and watched the 5k runners begin their race.  I briefly saw my friend, Kristen, as she started.  We got a little shout out and wave to each other :)

Diva 5 Diva 7

My friend, Zoila, was also running.  This would be her first half marathon and she did a great job!  We got to talk a bit before the race started as well as on the course :)

Diva 6

Finally, it was time for the race to start.  It was a very hot and humid Georgia morning, and that took its toll on me pretty quick.  The course itself was very nice…some of it on the county and city roads but a majority of it on the golf cart paths (Peachtree City is the golf cart capital in the world…no seriously…look it up if you don’t believe me).  It was nice and shaded, but NO wind whatsoever.  I had some chafing issues, and combined with the heat it really slowed me down.  I have honestly never wanted to quit a race so badly. 

But, I pushed through it, and in the last mile came across a girl who was completing her first half marathon.  We chatted a bit and then when we saw the finish I told her to do a nice easy run.  We crossed together and she was so excited.  I was happy for her!  We got our medals and I told her she had to get a finisher’s picture.  We hugged and I went to meet up with Brandi and her mom. 

We grabbed my bag and headed for the car as I had a wedding to attend that night and Brandi and Karen wanted to get home to see the Georgia Tech game (lucky for me UGA was off that day).

My finish time was a slow one…3:39…I’m not proud of it, but it’s mine and I own it. 

Diva 8

Every race can’t be a good one…it’s the no so good runs that make the great runs feel that much greater.

I think for the inaugural year it was definitely a success.  I will definitely be back to do it again…next time it will be time for a redemption run :)

Until next time,

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

It’s Disney Week!

I am so excited!!!

I’ve been waiting for this week to come since Christmas 2013 when the hubby gifted me the “racecation” to Walt Disney World for the runDisney Wine and Dine half marathon!

wine dine christmas

Well…the time has come!  We fly out Thursday to head to Walt Disney World for our first vacation there since 2008.  I’ve already started packing to give myself enough time to get anything I may have forgotten.  I think hubby is ready to get there so I won’t talk about it so much :)

I can’t wait to run through Disney again, and this time on a whole new (to me) course!  We’ll also be there for the Food and Wine festival and there are so many tasty things I want to try.  We have some fantastic dinner reservations and we’ll be celebrating my birthday as well!  Perhaps the thing I am most looking forward to is seeing some very dear running friends and meeting new ones in real life! 

I’ll be Facebooking, tweeting, and Instagraming throughout our vacation so make sure you’re following me so you can follow along at home!

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

I’ll be scheduling a couple of posts recapping some races to keep you entertained until I get back.  I’m sure I’ll have lots of fun stuff to talk about in the next week or so!

Until next time,

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Esprit de She Atlanta race entry giveaway winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered!   I know it was last minute but I'm glad that someone is getting to use the entry :)

And the lucky winner is....

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats, Elisabeth!  Shoot me an email at hellofitnessjen@gmail.com to claim your prize!  Have fun at the race!

I've got some race recaps to post in the next few days as well as my Wine and Dine trip coming up!  Stay tuned :)

Until next time,

Jen

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Atlanta Esprit de She 5k race recap & Giveaway

Hi guys!!

After close to a 3 month hiatus, I’m back!  I apologize for my absence.  I was starting to get burned out on feeling like I HAD to write blog posts and just needed a little break.  I’ve got some fun race recaps coming up as well as some great product reviews, so stayed tuned!

Not sure if y’all remember (it’s been awhile!) but last year I was chosen to be an ambassador for the Esprit de She Atlanta race that was held last November, and was asked to represent them again this year.  I realized that I never did get up my race recap, and since this year’s race is in a couple of weeks I thought it would be a perfect time to tell y’all about it!

Last year was the first year of the Esprit de She race series.  They were held all over the country, and a few of the locations even held different races, such as duathlons, triathlons, and a cycle race.  The 5k/10k was the race that was held in Atlanta.  The Esprit de She races are geared around women and a healthy mix of competitiveness and camaraderie.

Last year’s race was held in Piedmont Park…right in the middle of downtown Atlanta.  One of my awesome running friends, Ramona, ran the 10k and I ran the 5k.  Parking was a bit sticky as the Park Tavern (which was RIGHT at the start/finish line) was closed for a private parking and we were unable to park there.  Luckily, there is a parking deck in Piedmont Park that we were able to park at.  We walked down to check in and receive our bibs, check out the area (we got there super early), then went back to the car to change.  it was a cold evening!  The race is held on a Thursday night so we got there early to beat the traffic.

esprit de she
Our walk back to the starting line was nice with this beautiful view -
esprit de she 3
There was a bit of confusion about whether or not there was bag check.  Luckily there was so we checked our bags and hung around, waiting for the race to start.
esprit de she 7 esprit de she 8 esprit de she 9
The 5k was a loop around and through Piedmont Park, and the 10k was 2 loops.  The course appears to be the same this year.  You can check out the course map here.
esprit de she 10
The 5k began before the 10k, which I thought was a little odd since it would probably take the 10k runners a little longer than the 5k runners to finish, but I digress.  I actually enjoyed the course more than I thought I would.  There were areas where it was dark and not very well lit but for the most part you could see where you were going.  Even though the race was on the sidewalks that wind through Piedmont Park, I never felt like it got overly crowded, either.  I do wish it was held during the day so that you could really take in the beauty of Piedmont Park (and maybe have a few spectators out there, too).

I kind of messed up and started the race with my hoodie on, covering my bib and therefore, not getting an official “start” so my finish time was the same as the clock time, but oh well…my fault, right?  I stood by the finish line and cheered Ramona in when she finished.  We then went to check out the tapas bar to get some food in our bellies and wind down.  We ran into one of our friends, Stephanie, who sat and chatted with us for a bit.
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One downside to last year’s race was that their “signature bubbly bar” was not onsite at the race – it was at a bar a couple of blocks away.  This deterred us from participating and it would have been fun to share a drink after finishing the race.  Luckily this was remedied this year, and the bubbly bar is at the Southwest Porch at the Park Tavern, which is basically right at the finish line.  Kudos to the race directors for making the change!

After we finished eating we got our things from gear check and headed back to the car.  Had it not been so cold and windy we probably would have hung around for a bit, but we were frozen to the bone and wanted nothing more than to get to some heat!

The swag we got from the race was pretty nice.  We got a reusable bag, an Esprit de She running tank, a copy of “Self” Magazine, along with a few other odds and ends.

For it being the inaugural race, I thought they did a great job.  There were a few kinks here and there but they seem to have fixed a lot of them for this year.  I would be running it again this year; however, I will be at Walt Disney World for a racecation to run the runDisney Wine and Dine half marathon. :)

That’s where YOU come in.  Are you interested in running the Esprit de She 5k/10k in Atlanta in a couple of weeks?  I’m giving away my entry to one person.  It will be good for either the 5k or 10k and you will be running in your name as you will receive a unique code to enter when you register.

Details of the race:
When:  Thursday, November 6, 2014
Where: Piedmont Park (near the Park Tavern)
Time: 5k start- 6:30pm, 10k start – 7pm
        6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. Post-race rendezvous and night market featuring the sounds of Nathan Sexton. Salute your success after the run with two complimentary drinks at our host bubbly bar at Southwest Porch at Park Tavern in Piedmont Park. Find your two complimentary bubbly bar coupons on your race bib. Coupons are redeemable on race night for any beverage up to $10. For any drinks more than $10, the cost difference is the responsibility of the participant.

Packet Pick Up information: (from their website)
Wednesday, November 5 at Athleta Lenox Square
​10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Packet pickup
5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Get race ready! With the help of performance stylists, shop Athleta’s favorite looks for race day and redeem your 20% off any one item – an added perk found on your race bib. Combined with refreshments and good company, this is the pre-race event you don’t want to miss – save the date!
Thursday, November 6 onsite at Piedmont Park4 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. Day-of registration and packet pickup

What you will receive: (from their website)Be the envy of your friends with fashionable freebies from Athleta Esprit de She! To compliment your fun race experience, you'll receive a custom Athleta performance tank perfect for working out, grabbing coffee with a friend or running around town. Also look forward to receiving your gift bag filled with goodies we know you’ll love. But wait, there’s more! Registration also includes the following:
  • One-year subscription to SELF magazine ($12 value - click here for offer and refund details)
  • Two complimentary drinks at our signature Bubbly Bar, plus your own GoVino wine glass (21 and over only)
  • Tasty (and healthy) post-race tapas and treats
  • Access to our Beauty Bar with complimentary massage, mini manicures and hair braiding
  • I ASPIRE photo booth and souvenir photo
  • Professional event timing and live results messaging to track and promote your race success
  • Invitation to join Finish Line Training from Life Time Run
  • Awards for top finishers

    Check out the shirt you’ll receive -
2014_Athleta_Esprit_de_She_Run_Tank_3 (1)
The giveaway will run from right now until Wednesday, October 27th.  I will announce the winner on my blog and email them on Thursday, October 28th.  If I do not hear back from the winner within 24 hours I will then select a new winner.  You will receive a unique code to register for your race of choice.

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

I know this is a little last minute and for that I apologize.  Please feel free to share with your local running friends if you are already registered or have a conflict
.
Thanks for entering and check back soon to see if you won!

Until next time
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Friday, August 1, 2014

Pro Compression Calf Sleeve Review!

Disclaimer:  I received this product for review as part of the Sweat Pink ambassador program.  I was not compensated.  All thoughts and opinions are on my own.

I first learned about compression socks and sleeves when I began to get shin splints in the first few weeks of starting off my running journey.  I've tried many brands but Pro Compression has stood out among them and have been my go-to compression socks for well over a year now.

When I had the chance to review their compression sleeves I was super excited!

So...why Pro Compression?



 A few key points from their website - 


1. MADE in the USA

2. We always have a super fun Sock of the Month!  A new sock designs every month with a discount!  (so make sure you are on our email list).  You can sign up on the home page under: Receive Monthly Specials.  

3. One of the few compression socks companies that makes a true graduated compression sock (the ones that work!).  

4. We sell direct, what does that mean to you?  Bigger discounts and more focus on the customer.  Our goals is to make sure everyone is in the correct sock or sleeve that is best for them! 
Some of the key features about Pro Compression - 
 
1. True Graduated Compression 
2. Arch support with just the right about of compression 
3. Stabilization zone thru the sides to mid foot. Helps provide foot bed comfort.   
4. Open toe box so it will not keep your toes to tight.  
5. Wide cuff for added comfort. 
6. Moisture wicking materials
7. No blisters!  


PRO Compression socks deliver maximum comfort and speedy recovery times. The science is complex, but benefits such as improved blood flow, stability and comfort are universally understood.  The moment you put these socks on your feet, you will feel the difference.
This design requires more effort to put on than standard socks. But it’s that extra effort and much-needed compression that make all the difference. Be patient and your feet will thank you.
True graduated compression promotes circulation by pushing fluid up from your feet and ankles to toward your knees. This design also helps reduce swelling and inflammation while providing critical support to muscles and tendons.
If you already have a specific brand of low cut socks that you love, compression sleeves are a perfect option for you!  It gives you the flexibility to be able to wear your socks as well as the sleeves.  

I also love them because after a run, I can kick off my shoes and socks and still be able to wear my flip flops - this is nice especially in these hot, humid Georgia summers.  They're not only great to wear during runs, but are fantastic for recovery after long runs.  I am not ashamed to walk out and about to run errands wearing my sleeves, especially since Pro Compression has so many fun and colorful patterns.
Have I convinced you yet that these are awesome?  Maybe a discount code for 40% off can entice you to try them out!  Use the code PINK for 40% off your ENTIRE purchase!  And if you're feeling super adventurous, they're even offering a grab bag of 3 pairs of their compression sleeves (and yes, the discount code works for those, too!)  
Don't forget to share this discount with your friends!  Let me make that a little easier for ya -


Thanks to Fit Approach and Pro Compression for the chance to share my love of this product with my readers!

Do you wear compression socks/sleeves?  Where do you wear them the most?

Until next time,

Jen

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

2014 runDisney Wine & Dine medals revealed!

I was driving to work this morning when my BRF messaged me about the Wine and Dine medals...I had seen the first reveal of the medal for the half (you know...the one where everyone said it looked pink?)  Well this new picture squashed that...I love it!


While I'm not running the 5k, the medal is super cute!  And I'm loving Santa Duffy on the Kids Races medal!  The ribbon is interesting with the maroons and oranges in it.  I can't wait to have it hanging around my neck in a few months!

I know I haven't posted a Weekly Workout in awhile, but I am keeping up with my runs.  I had a really good 5 mile run this past Sunday :)  I'm feeling good about my training runs and am trying to work on not starting out so fast so I don't wear myself out.

What do you think of the medals?  Will I see you at Wine and Dine half weekend?

Until next time,

Jen


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Apera Bag review


**Apera sent me this bag complimentary to review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

I think every athlete wants the perfect bag to carry their necessities in, whether it be a runner, a yogi, a cross fitter, a swimmer, or another sport.  I hadn’t heard of them until I saw some of my fellow blogger friends writing up reviews.  I was intrigued and super excited when Stacy contacted me and offered to send me a bag to review!

Never heard of Apera before?  They launched in 2012 and the designers were looking to come up with a bag that would allow the user to be better organized and, what may surprise you, more healthy.  What do I mean by that?

Most gym bags today are unhealthy – meaning they don’t protect the athlete or their belongings inside from odor and bacteria.  Apera bags are made from a groundbreaking antimicrobial product that helps to resist the growth of bacterial odor both on the inside and outside of the bag. 

apera6                                                               Photo from Apera 

They have ample ventilated compartments and the linings are wipeable, allowing for easy cleaning after that trail run or cross fit competition.  There is also a washable insert for your wet clothes to keep them separate from the rest of the bag.  All of these factors help keep your bag clean!

I also love that they support the Special Olympics.  For every three bags they sell, Apera donates one of their Sprint Pack bags to a Special Olympic athlete, which I know means the world to these extraordinary people.

I chose the Tech Pack bag.

apera5                                                             (Photo by Apera) 

When I first received the bag I was impressed by how much room was in it!  One of the best things about the bag is the two pockets in the front for your shoes.  For a girl who has big feet, even my size 12 Brooks running shoes fit in it!

apera1 
Most any runner will tell you that you don’t want to check your running shoes with your suitcase on a flight, just in case it gets lost.  This bag is fantastic for that as it has the extra compartments for your shoes so you can easily carry them on with you!  If you’re going on a short weekend trip or just hitting the gym after work, it keeps them away from your clothes and the rest of the bag.  The pockets are also ventilated so it doesn’t trap the smell inside.

It also comes with a padded pocket at the top of the bag, perfect for any delicate items that you wouldn’t want to get banged up, like glasses, your cell phone, or an iPod.  I also like to keep my Shuffle and headphones here for easy access.  And, although orange isn’t my favorite color, it’s nice to have a light colored fabric so it makes looking for items a little easier. :)

apera2
There is so much room in the second large pocket for clothing.  My husband and I were able to pack both of our clothes and toiletries in the bag for an overnight trip to the North Georgia Mountains.  You can also see the zipper compartment inside the bag, which is perfect for phone chargers, keys, business cards and other smaller items that you may not need immediate access to.

apera3

While I haven’t had the opportunity to use the washable insert yet, I know it will be perfect to put my socks, unmentionables, and other accessories I use for running that tend to get drenched in sweat after a run.  It’s plenty big enough for a swimsuit as well.

apera4

I love that the bag is a backpack, but if you do get tired of carrying it on your back, there’s the option on sliding it onto your suitcase handle.  You can also see how the straps are ventilated as well and how nicely padded the back of the pack is, making it more comfortable.

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It comes with a large pocket on both sides, perfect for a water bottle.  I also used it as somewhere to carry my yoga mat!

 apera10  apera7

What drew me to this bag was that it also had a separate pocket for a laptop and/or Ipad, which makes it fantastic for traveling, whether you’re flying on a plane or in a car.

There’s another small pocket in the front where I store my Nuun, a small hairbrush, and headbands for the gym.  The bag also has a small strap you can buckle across your chest for added stability.

There’s a video posted on the Tech Pack’s page that you can check out as well!

I absolutely LOVE this bag, and while the price point may seem a little high ($124) it is definitely worth it for the quality of the product.  It has already gotten a good bit of use from me and I know it will get more as the year goes on and I keep training for my fall races.

Right now Apera is having some fantastic deals going on!  First off, their anniversary sale!  Now through July 31st, you can get 20% off all bags (excluding all blue bags and Duffel Pack colors) using the coupon code SUMMER2014 at check out.

All of their blue bags AND Duffel Packs are on sale for 40% off as well (discount is taken automatically).

As if that wasn’t enough, Apera is also giving you the chance to WIN a bag!  Just by subscribing to their newsletter you’ll automatically be entered to win.  July’s giveaway will be an Apera Sprint Pack.

apera11                                                               Photo by Apera 

I highly recommend that you check them out.  They have many other styles of bags, both backpack style as well as a sling bag style.  There’s definitely something for everyone!  Thank you, Apera, for giving me the chance to check out your bag and for introducing me to something I’ll be using for years to come.

Until next time,

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