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Birthday Flash Giveaway + National Running Day

First let me wish everyone a very sweaty and Happy National Running Day!! Is there a single better day in the world? Nope! None! I hope you all have a chance to get out and running today. It's been pretty rainy here in Texas but I'm hoping it stops long enough to get a runch in.

So many of you may not know this, but my birthday is tomorrow!! Eeeekkk!!! Why is that a year older, always feels MUCH older? I'll be 33 tomorrow. My husband has been 33 for almost 7 months and he's is not old, but 33 on me, well that's old(er). At least I don't look my age, or so I've been told.
Last year, I opted out of material gifts and asked my friends and family to give back in my honor. It was truly a reward for me.

This year, I'd like to ask that you to gift me one random act of kindness in honor of my birthday. It could be anything you choose! Open a door for someone, give someone your seat, pay for a cup of coffee ANYTHING. Then, take a picture and post it to social media. Be sure to tag me with your story in the description.

On Friday 06/03, I will gather all the stories of kindness into one blog post and randomly select one of YOU to receive a gift from me as my act of kindness.

To enter simply do one random act of kindness today 06/01 or tomorrow 06/02 (my birthday). You can post a picture, any picture, on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and tag my social handles (linked below) OR simply post your story of kindest in the comments section below:

I'll randomly select one of you to receive a gift on Friday 06/03. The winner will be contacted via their entry method and notified. 

Happiest of birthdays to me! Now get out there and spread some love in the world!

Love the Pain

Happy hump day! Today I'm so incredibly excited to share that I have joined the ranks of the pain hunters as a Love the Pain Ambassador. (queue cheers!) If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you may have already seen my posts. I'm just slightly obsessed!

Love the Pain is an apparel company...wait,  no....they are more than just an apparel company! I cant even begin to explain how much I love this brand. As a blogger and a social media influencer, I'm often approached by companies who are looking for someone to represent their brand. Whether it's apparel, neat gadgets, and even water filtration systems. You'd be surprised the weird offers I get! I'd never represent a company that I didn't truly believe in. When I first heard about Love the Pain I fell in love immediately. The name says it all!

The phrase "Love the Pain" refers to the pain we must endure in order to rise that next level in racing or training. If you are a cyclist or a triathlete, you may be familiar with the phrase "The Pain Cave". It's that dreaded place where we go to kill our legs and lungs. If we want to become better athletes we must learn to embrace the pain of training, we must learn to love it. 

As endurance athletes we're constantly pushing our boundaries in order to become better. We sacrifice our time and our comfort in an effort to be better, to race faster, and to be awesome. Any beginner triathlete can tell you, the addiction comes on fast. Soon after completing your first triathlon, you're hooked and you find yourself fully submerging yourself into the lifestyle. You're swimming, biking, and running 6 days a week in hopes of smashing out a PB at your next race. 

There are days that you literally feel like your limbs may fall off or that your lungs may burst, but you never stop. You have learned to love the pain because you know what awaits you because of it. We're all out here to be awesome and to find glory in ourselves. It becomes a lifestyle. A totally awesome lifestyle!

Happy Running!

Race Report - Keller Kids Triathlon

Last year was a big year for me in triathlon. I raced my very first half Ironman and spent a good chunk of the year training for it. It was only natural when my daughter, who watched me train that year, told me that she too wanted to race triathlon. We found a local race for her in August, but she fractured her wrist the first week of school and had to drop out of the race due to her cast. She was more that a little disappointed, but I promised we would get her registered as soon as we could find a race this season.

So today, I'm so incredibly proud to be writing this race report.  You see today's post is an exclusive interview with Keller Kids Triathlon finisher (My little) Alonna! This pint sized triathlete newbie sat down with me to give her thoughts on being a first time triathlete and share her experience with swimming, biking, and running.

What: Keller Kids Triathlon
Where: Keller, TX
Who: Dallas Athletes Racing
When: Sunday, April 10th, 2016
Course: Swim 125 yards, Bike 3 miles, Run 1 mile
Age group: Gladiators (11-13)

Q: What did you like most about the race?
A: The swim because it was really challenging. Even though I was like the last person to finish my swim I still liked it because I tried really hard and I finished!

Q: What was your least favorite part of the race?
A; Well, on the swim, it was that I got so much water in my ears. It hurt so much when I couldn't get it all out. On the bike, it was my seat because it hurt so much especially under my bottom because of all the pressure on it. On the run, my toes were hurting so bad too.

Q: What did you think about how the race was set up?
A: I didn't like the swim start because they made us wait forever and we couldn't be with our parents. They should have let us stay with our parents until it was our time to start. I waited for a REALLY long time before I got to swim because the Gladiators were last.

Q: Did you make any friends while you waited?
A: One person, the girl sitting next to me. She asked me if this was my first triathlon and I told her, "yea" and then she told me this was her second. Then she just started making more conversation.I didn't get her name though. She told me she came all the way from Oklahoma just to do this race!

Q: Did it make you feel better to have someone to talk to while you were waiting?
A: Yea! Because she told me she was nervous about the bike and the run and I was like, "No! I'm nervous about the swim!"

Q: Did she have any advice for you about the swim?
A: She just said, "Don't worry about anyone around you, just worry about you and focus on yourself do it and be done!"

Q: What did you think about the transitions?
A: It was so hard to put on my shorts because my swim suit was still all wet.

Q:What did you think about the run? Were you able to run or did you walk?
A: I walked most of it because my stomach and ears were hurting so much. But one of the volunteers gave me some great motivation! I was running past her and she yelled, "Come on girl, you can do this!" and then she started running with me. That really helped and gave me motivation to run or else I would have kept walking.

Q: What did you think about the volunteers?
A: They were all really young! They were all really nice though. On the swim one of the girls said, "Good luck sushi girl" because I was wearing a sushi swim cap. Another volunteer told me, "Props to you, because I would have NEVER done this!" Then, on my bike part there was a police man volunteer, he was cheering for me yelling, "C'mon!" He was really helpful, because I kept riding over the circle things in the middle of the street and he joked with me and said, "Oh, you don't want to go on those!" He was just funny. It made me laugh.

Q:What would you do different in your next race?
A: Stretch! I didn't get to stretch before the race. I would want to stretch my legs before my bike because they hurt so bad. Then I would also wear different shorts.

Q: Overall, if you had to do this race again would you do it?
A: Duh!

Q: How did you feel after you finished?
A: It made me feel like I accomplished so much especially since the announcer guy called my name at the finish line.
[Wait until she learns about Mike Reilly!]

I think any parent would be proud of their child for being so brave as to even start a race. I hold a special place in my heart for this race though. So much of what my daughter was able to experience in her first race brings back many of the experiences I have had. From making new friends while nervously waiting to start a race to realizing that race volunteers are just the best people. Most of all, I'm proud that she went out there and finished her race. She was so worried about being last, but she never gave up and she kept a smile on her face the whole time. We rewarded her with fruit and pancakes after the race. And of course, she got her well earned medal too!

Our experience with Dallas Athlete's racing was wonderful as well. The race was very well organized and they were so considerate to make it a special day for the kids. There was no timing, every child had a lifeguard in their swim lane, there were tons a volunteers at every corner, and they made special allowances for parents to help their children in transition as well as on the course. It was such a great experience for everyone involved!

I hope you are all staying active and achieving your race goals this season! Hopefully I will be back very soon with a race report of my own. I received my new orthotic yesterday and took it out for test run. Things are looking better for late season racing!

Happy Running!
Alonna & Priscilla

Beyond 500 Fitness Class Review

Oh fitness, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: 1, 2, 3, 4,.... 500! Yes, that's right, 500 ways to love fitness! ...because when you burn 500 calories in one session, how can you not? I recently had the esteemed pleasure of attending a PHIT-ness class with the DFA at Beyond 500 in Dallas, Tx. 

Beyond 500 is a PHIT (Pilates Hybrid Interval Training) program that combines three disciplines to create the most efficient and balanced workout program. It includes pilates-inspired functional movements, cardio intervals on their amazing self propelled treadmills which they've lovingly dubbed "The human hamster wheel", and strength exercises utilizing body weight and kettle bells.

When we first arrived on site at Beyond, I took a moment to look around and inspect the equipment. I just love little studios like this because everything is so new and fun! 

Just check out these awesome lockers!

Not to mention their stylish apparel....

I was a little puzzled with their equipment however. I've never seen a treadmill with a curve like the ones above. 

I asked the instructor about it and he explained that they were "self propelling" treadmills. There is no motor to move the belt, it's all self propelling. They actually promote better running posture too! As you lean forward into your stride, your speed increases. Likewise, as you lean back, you slow down. This style of treadmill is known to burn 30% more calories and you also target more of your hamstrings while running.

And then there was this thing...

I didn't even know what the heck this thing was until someone explained it to me! It's a Pilates chair! Spoiler alert: This thing is officially an instrument of torture in my book.

Photo courtesy of DFA
Photo courtesy of DFA
So after exploring the studio and learning more about the equipment, we all settled into a warm up routine. Our instructor took the time to go through some of the sequences for us to explain how the workout would run.

Photo Courtesy of DFA
Photo Courtesy of DFA
We would alternate in three stations. 1) the pilates chair, 2) the floor, for kettle bells and body weight exercises, and 3) the human hamster wheel. The intervals are designed to keep your heart rate up and really get your muscles burning. (and oh did they ever!)
Of course, I started my workout on the treadmill, running is kind of my thing. One thing I noticed was that the self propelled treadmill did wonders for my foot. I've been having some issues with my feet again and I really shouldn't be running. I figured I would take it easy and just walk when I needed to and run when it was comfortable. The curve of the treadmill actually seemed to help alleviate some of the pain I've been experiencing.

As we moved through the stations I found that I was really getting a TOTAL body workout. These pilates chairs were super hard. The kind of burn that makes you wonder if you will actually be able to get back to proper stance without falling over! I'm not a very coordinated person so I really had to focus on  balance and form. Which made it all that more difficult on my muscles. 

Photo courtesy of DFA
Photo courtesy of DFA
Photo courtesy of DFA
The kettle bell and floor exercises were calming. We followed each pilates chair workout with a floor workout which gave my heart rate time to slow down. Believe me there was still lots of burning and sweating, but it was less intense than what I experienced in the chair. At least I didn't have sweat dripping into my eyes!
Photo courtesy of DFA
Photo courtesy of DFA
Photo courtesy of DFA
Photo courtesy of DFA
Luckily Beyond 500 had several trainers and instructors on hand to correct our form at any given moment. There were several times I had to grab onto one of them for balance. ha! Everyone was great though. The instructors were very attentive which I feel was extremely important in the pilates chair. It would have been so easy for me to pull something or strain a knee. I also noticed that I've had terrible form with the kettle bells. I could really tell a difference after my form was corrected.

After our workout and a cool down we gathered for fruit gluten free waffles by Double Dose Bakery and mimosas by Royal Blue Grocery. They had the waffles cooking for the last fifteen minutes or so of our workout, which was pure agony. I could think about were the delicious carbs waiting for me!

I would totally do this workout again. I'm especially interested in the self propelling treadmills now too. I have never ready any research regarding the change in posture or form so I will be sure to look into that. Treadmills and running are so hard on the body, if these self propelling treadmills can alleviate some of that, I'm all for it!

Well, I hope you all are staying active! I've been out of commission for while but hope to get back to running this week now that I have a custom orthotic. Hopefully my next few posts will be race reports!

Happy Running!

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