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A Monday Virtual Coffee Date


Happy Monday babes! My friend Dixya over at Food, Pleasure, and Health writes these lovely virtual coffee date posts to share what's been new in her life and what she's been up to. I just love to read them so, I thought today, I would give it a try. Thanks Dixya for the wonderful inspiration!

I had such an amazing weekend and I figured if we were having coffee today, that would be the first thing I'd want to share.

So, if were having coffee today I'd tell you all about the Sprouts Summer Splash event the Dallas Fitness Ambassadors had on Saturday. It was so much fun!


We met up at ALMI Design District apartments in Uptown for an early morning Barre Class hosted by Lauren of the Barre Code - Design District. I've attended some events with the Barre Code before while working for Nuun, but this was the first time I'd actually tried the workout.


(Photos Courtesy of the DFA)

Lauren has to have thighs of steel! Seriously! I had sweat dripping off my brow and into my eyes. Lauren had us working until our legs were literally shaking. Afterword, we cooled down with a beautiful brunch sponsored by Sprouts.


They were kind enough to set up a Prosecco bar featuring sparkling drinks of the tastiest flavors. I'm officially in love with the Sprouts sparkling Mojito and it may very well be my new poolside mocktail (after Nuun, of course!).

We also sat down for a fun smoothie bowl demo by Emily from Zen and Spice who is so incredibly talented. She showed us the basics and gave us some great tips on how to keep our bowls low cal and delicious, like using plain Greek yogurt to reduce sugar or using Acai paste to yield a higher flavor.


By the way, both Dixya and Emily are Registered Dietitians and nutrition enthusiasts like myself. If you're looking for great reads, recipes, or just fun & healthy food ideas, I highly suggest visiting their blogs.



If we were having coffee today, I'd also tell you about the family hike we took after Barre class. I was still riding the high after leaving the girls on Saturday and rushed home to insist that my family get outdoors for the day. I'm working an event next weekend for Nuun and REI at the Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve.

The moment I heard about the preserve I knew I had to take my family out there. My son loves hiking. If you're a mom of a teen boy, you know how hard it can be at times to get them to enjoy anything with you. I just knew he would love it and Cedar Ridge Preserve did not let us down.


We hiked the Cattail trial down to the pond and back. The temperature on Saturday was over 100 degrees, but we didn't let that stop us. The 2.4 mile trail was beautiful, even in the dead heat of Texas summer. I will say this, there is a bit of a downhill/uphill elevation change that makes this trail a bit challenging.



More so on the way back to the trail head as it has a pretty steep incline. I had my Garmin running during the hike and saw my heart rate spike all the way to Zone 4 with 180 beats per minute! Apparently we need to more things like this. ha ha ha!

In total, we spent about two hours hiking and exploring the nature preserve before the heat got to us. We're going to make an effort to go back and hike all of the trails Cedar Ridge has to offer. Perhaps a little earlier in the day next time.


If we were having coffee today, I'd tell about my friend James who completed his very first triathlon on Sunday. James and I go way back, but I haven't seen him in years. He used to DJ at house parties and clubs in the DFW area when I was just 19.


We worked together at one of my very fist jobs and have been friends ever since. Now, he plays shows all around the world and is really making a name for himself. When I heard he'd taken an interest triathlon, I jumped at the chance to reconnect with him and support him in his triathlon journey.

He was racing the Take on The Heat triathlon by Playtri and invited me to join. Unfortunately, I'm still saving all my money for Ironman Texas so entry for this race was out of the question. But that didn't stop me from going out to support him.


My husband and I headed out to met up with his girlfriend Jen (who is also a DJ) to cheer him on. He killed it too, taking 6th place in his age group!

He completed a 300 meter pool swim in 5:28 minutes with an average pave 1:49/100m (that's super fast for a beginner FYI!) ,a 9 mile (two loop) bike ride in 24:02 min with an average pace of 22 mph , and finished up the race with a 5k run in 26:15 min for an average pace of 8:28 min/mile.

James has plans to race Austin 70.3 later this year and maybe even Ironman Texas with me in 2017 if all goes well. I'm so excited for him. It's always amazing to watch a friend fall head over heals for triathlon the way I have.


Also, if you're into electronic music, check out some of James' music links below. Makes for good training tunes and I have to brag, he's not just a great triathlete, he's kind of an awesome DJ!



It was an amazing weekend filled with fun, great friends and adventure. I can't wait for next weekend but until then, tell me what you did! If we were having coffee, I'd ask all about you so don't be shy.

Happy running friends,
Priscilla

Enso Rings Review + Giveaway


Disclaimer: The links in this post are affiliate links. I purchased rings of my own for review.  As always all opinions are my own.

A while back I was invited to join Enso Rings as an affiliate. I like to be picky when it comes to companies that I work with because it’s important to me that I share only the best with my readers. I also wanted to test the product for myself before introducing it to all of you to ensure it was a quality product.

Enso rings is a fairly new product. They began their company as a kick starter, how awesome is that?

“An Enso, in Zen Buddhism, is a circle that is hand drawn or brushed in one or two strokes. It expresses a moment when the mind is free to let the body create. It symbolizes absolute enlightenment, strength, single mindedness, and oneness of life.” – Enso Rings

I just love this symbolism because I truly believe that marriage is two people coming together as one. If I’m not going to wear my own wedding ring, I at least want to wear something that symbolizes the love that my husband and I share as well as the life we’ve built together as one family. I’m a pretty symbolic person, can you tell?

As triathlete I spend a great deal of time in the pool. The most expensive problem I have is my wedding ring. I thought it was a great idea to purchase a micropave wedding band before I became a triathlete. Now that I’ve lost a few of my tiny diamonds in the pool, I’m second guessing that decision.


After complaining to my husband for countless hours he finally asked the question, “Why don’t you just take it off?” Well why don’t I just tattoo my “Single” on my forehead while I’m at it? I hate taking off my wedding band about as much as I hate losing diamonds in the pool. When Enso approached me I thought their product would be a great solution to my swimming troubles, but as it turns out these neat little rings are great for more than just swimming.


My husband works with his hands on a daily basis and is also an avid gym goer. The callouses his wedding ring leaves are nothing short of scary. Not to mention during the work day his hands and fingers tend to swell causing deep impressions to form around his band.
He never complains about it hurting, but I’ve seen him take it off and you can clearly see the inner pattern branded on his finger.
Like my ring, his ring is also micropave, we purposely purchased his ring with diamonds only half way around the band. We wanted to ensure the inner portion of the band that is most exposed to work elements wouldn’t suffer from the abrasive materials. As you can see, his ring has still taken a beating. He was more than willing to give the Enso ring to chance when I told him they were made of silicon and stretched.


I purchased the Ultralite Silicone Ring in the color Obsidian for him and the Infinity Silicone Ring in Obsidian for myself.
Honestly, I wanted the Women’s Ultralite Silicone Ring for myself, but for whatever reason they do not offer that ring in my size (5). Kind of a bummer, but the Infinity ring worked great. I liked the thin design even better.
We couldn’t recall my husband’s wedding band size and our initial order was a bit too small for his finger, but Enso was great with our exchange. I just shot them an email  with the correct size and they mailed it to us with a return label included so that we could send the small one back. It was super easy and quick as well. Something I can totally appreciate when ordering new goodies. No one wants to wait to play with fun new toys!

Once we both had a good fit, we began testing! I wore my ring everywhere in the beginning and never took it off. I absolutely loved it. I never noticed how often I pulled out my hair with my wedding band until I could run my fingers through my hair with the Enso ring on.

Funny story: When I blow dry my hair in the morning my wedding ring constantly snags the on/off switch and turns the blow dryer off. I bet I turn it off and on at least 20 times in one sitting. It’s the most frustrating thing in the world! Problem solved with my Enso ring! It's flat and smooth so there's nothing to snag the switch!


I also wore it to the gym and the pool. What I loved was that it never felt loose or like it would fall off in the water. It was also great post swim in the shower. I was a little worried that the silicon material would pull on my wet hair, but it was the exact opposite. It seems to glide through without tugging or pulling. Now that weather is creeping up in the 90's here here in Texas, my fingers tend to swell at the end of long runs. I’ve been training mid-day in 90+ degree heat and my fingers look like little sausages when I get home. It’s nice when I wear the Enso ring because I don’t have issues with the band cutting into my skin. The most rewarding part of wearing the Enso ring came with open water swimming.

I have a tendency to hold my fingers close together when in open water for fear of losing my wedding band. I’m constantly checking to make sure it’s still on my finger which can really throw off form and slow me down during a race. It was nice to not have to worry about that while wearing the Enso ring. It stays snuggly in place, even in cool open water when my fingers shrink.


Overall I’m very happy with Enso! Their site offers so many designs and has introduced a new line of stackable rings which means now, I can match my rings to my tri suit! The possibilities are endless.

To show my support for Enso and to share the love with all of you, I will be giving away an Enso ring to one lucky winner. You have your choice of any single regular ring or you can choose the two ring stackable bundle. All you have to do is enter through the Rafflecopter below! The winner will be announced on Friday 07/29/2016. You can enter once or use all four entry methods to increase your chances. The winner will be contacted via social media entry method on Friday to discuss color/size and shipping.

Happy Running!
Priscilla

Race Report: Playtri Festival

Welcome to another race recap! I completed the Playtri Super Sprint Triathlon back in May. I know I'm terribly late posting this report, but as I mentioned in my last post, I've been on bit a hiatus. I'm back and trying catch, so, bare with me.

Playtri is a local triathlon and cycling store here in the DFW area. They host several sprint and Olympic distance races throughout the year, but the Playtri Triathlon Festival held in May is the only race to offer a shorter race distance for newbies (or recovering triathletes!).

Coming into this race I knew that I wanted to make having fun my first priority. I was just released by my doctor to run again only two weeks prior to race day. I had been slowly building my way up to being comfortable running a short 3 miles. Isn’t it amazing what a simple orthotic can do for a runner? Apparently, I’m pretty tough on my shoes. I wore right through my semi-custom orthotic in about six months. I thought I still had a couple hundred miles in those things for sure. The doctor had me stop running until I could get a new orthotic so that I wouldn’t risk injury. It was the right call in my opinion, but I hate taking any time off running. Honestly, I hadn’t even been in the pool all that often. I think I may have done a handful of pool swims and I attended my tri club’s open water kick-off event just a week before Playtri. The only thing I had been truly working on was the bike. I’m tired of being a slow cyclist!

Anyway, with all that in mind I signed up for the super sprint knowing that I was out of shape, but I was prepared to have a fun with this short race. Sometimes it’s more about getting back into the swing of things than it is to finish with a PR.

The Pre-Race

This was the first time I had zero nerves pre-race. It was nice because I knew that “tomorrow” would just be another training day. I didn’t have to worry about IF I was going to finish because I KNEW that I would and I would have some fun to boot. I also made a new friend (well call her KB) on the Women for Tri Facebook group. She shared a post on the FB group a few weeks before Playtri and I just happened to see it and *boom* local internet friends! KB and I decided that since we were both going to be racing, we would meet up race morning to have someone to chat with.


It’s crazy how easy it is to make new friends on Facebook in the Women for Tri group. I feel like I know all of these ladies! My husband thinks I’m weird, but he just doesn’t get it. I always spend race morning either chatting my husband’s ear off or nervously talking to strangers so I was happy to make a new friend for race morning whom I had at least met (even if  only online) before the race.

I waited until around eight o’clock the night before the race to pack things up. I’m such a dirty procrastinator! Either way, I think I’ve done enough races at this point to know what I need and what I don’t. KB sent me a text asking if I was going to wear a wetsuit or not and we chatted a bit about the swim. To my surprise, I had a lot of advice regarding the wetsuit and this particular race. I’ve raced in the Playtri Festival several times in the past and I’m fairly familiar with the course as well as the swim. It felt so nice to finally not be the newbie at a race!


The next morning we were up around 5am. My daughter had a sleep over and my son decided to sleep in so, race morning was just me and the sherpa. It was pretty calm, we loaded up my bike and gear bags and headed to the race. It was a bit chillier than I expected. When we arrived at the race I found myself shivering. All I had on was my trisuit and a sleeveless shirt with flip-flops. Yay me! Texas is usually 100 degrees by now, so in my defense, this was a surprise. I headed over to transition to get my bike racked and gear laid out then walked over to the timing chip table.

[Story time!]

Something about race morning is incredibly distracting, even for days like these when I’m relaxed. I found myself chatting with the volunteer while checking out the goods on the table. I looked up and to my surprise I saw my co-worker’s (Mr. Hoot) wife, Mrs. Hoot! What’s funny is that Mrs. Hoot and I have never actually met in person up until that point. I’ve seen her picture at the office and she is even a member of the Women for Tri page on Facebook with KB and I. She was even at the open water swim kick-off with  my tri club! Despite all those commonalities we have never actually met in person [or otherwise]. So to look up and see her in the flesh was hilarious. I asked, “You’re Mrs. Hoot right?” and she smiled back at me. Then, I heard a voice say, “Oh, and I’m Mr. Hoot!” I looked back over at the volunteer and realized it was my co-worker! I had been chatting with him he entire time, not once looking up at him. I couldn’t believe it! I was so excited to be meeting Mrs. Hoot, finally after all this time. Mr. Hoot talks about her all the time and he was always telling me about her training and starting her triathlon journey. I was so excited for her and now I finally got to put a real face and voice to the stories. It’s such a small world of triathlon.

After meeting the Hoot’s I headed out of transition to find the Sherpa. He was still waiting by the entrance poor guy. We then met up with KB and her Sherpa and headed to the swim start.

The Swim

As the morning went on, the weather warmed up quite a bit. KB and I had over an hour wait for our swim start because we were the last group to go. I got my wetsuit on and warmed up. We watched wave after wave enter the water. I saw Mrs. Hoot jump in for the Olympic distance, that woman can swim! 

I couldn’t help but think about last year’s race. The swim portion was cancelled because they had a sewage leak in the lake. Here we are about the jump in the same lake. I kept telling myself to “just keep my mouth shut”. Finally it was our time to jump in. We had a short 300m swim, easy peasy! Just as we neared the timing mat the last of our swim group appeared. 


The kids tri club was racing with us! I swear to you I could hear the rocky sound track as they exited the building they had been hiding in to keep warm. Their coach herded about ten of them to the start line and all of sudden I realized that I had signed up for the kiddie race. What happened to just having fun?! Now, I was going to be beaten by these pro children. Gulp! The other adults and myself made way for them to enter the water first to get a “head start” but as soon as they entered the water, we could all tell that they were going to beat the tar out of us.


I strapped on my goggles and made the jump as the first adult to enter the water. Surprisingly, I was able to keep up with the last kid. I rounded the turn buoy and slowed my pace a bit. There were two other children who stopped to rest and the mom in me wanted to pop my head up to make sure they were ok. I saw a support canoe and decided they had it covered and went about my swim. I headed toward the swim exit and felt great! I hadn’t done much swimming prior to this but I felt like I was in good shape.

300m swim time: 7:26

The Bike

This course was extremely short. The bike for my distance was only 7 miles. I have really been working on my cadence in practice so I was anxious to see how that played out in this race. I found that I was still incredibly slow but “not as slow”.I was able to maintain a much higher cadence during this ride which made up for my 15 mph average speed. 

What I loved  most about the course was that it was a 7 mile loop. The super sprint did one loop, the sprint, did two and the Olympic did three. This meant that there were competitors all over the course and you were rarely alone. Something I can appreciate as a back of the pack slow poke. I saw several of the ladies from my swim start on the bike including KB. Can I just say  how cool it is to make friends with people and then actually see them on course? It’s like entertainment and a distraction! Unfortunately, I also so saw several of the kiddos on the course as well….as they passed me by! I found myself cheering them on as I ate their dust. Who knew kids would be so fast?! Seriously! I was just glad that I was here to have fun.


7 mi bike time: 28:08

The Run

I headed into the run feeling super. The higher cadence on the bike seemed to save my legs from feeling tired or sore. I exited transition for the run feeling awesome. On my way out I saw Mr. Hoot volunteering at the water station. He gave me a big shout! The run was again a looped course. I had one loop to go just out and back. I cracked up at all the young-ins just speeding around me. I caught up with KB who was having some IT band issues and we stayed together for a few minutes before heading into the final stretch. We only ran 1.5 miles for this race, so it was pretty uneventful over all. 

The finish line was still pretty low traffic when I came in. According to the Sherpa they had not been announcing finisher names until I crossed the finish line. So while I wasn’t NOT the first competitor to finish, I was the first name they called out.


1.5 mi run Time: 15:48

I must say, this race was very fun! I really didn't have any expectations going into it. I knew I wanted to keep my heart rate low, which meant going slow. I also knew that I didn't want to stress out about my time. I just wanted to get out there and get back into the swing of thing. I wanted to stretch my legs and I did! I wish every race could be this relaxed. 


I hope you're all having an awesome race season and staying cool out there! Hopefully, I'll have another race report soon. I still haven't signed up for another race, but I'm toying with the idea of Prairie Man in September. Ironman training starts in October so, we'll see how that plays out!

Happy Running!
Priscilla.

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