Sunday, August 27, 2017

Yes UCAN (WW # 108)

We appreciate your support of the Weekly Wrap.  Our Guest Host Series will be winding down soon.  This week's guest host is the lovely and vivacious Teresa @ Finding Fabulous at Fifty.  Be sure to visit my southern sister (and century ride cohort) Teresa and leave a comment.  Please do not just drop a post and run.  The sole purpose of this linkup is to support active women.  Our next guest hosts will be Montana from Pretty Lil Mudder on September 3rd and we'll end the series with Sara @ Sara Runs This Town on September 10th. Thanks to all of you for making our Guest Host Series a success.  We appreciate you for sticking with us through the summer and making our guest hosts feel welcomed.


I think you may recognize these ladies!

While in Chicago for the marathon last year, UCAN hosted an informative session where I met fellow bloggers as well as Olympian Meb Keflezighi and professional runner Sarah Crouch.  We learned UCAN began from the search for a life-saving steady energy source for a child with a rare condition.  We were given samples of UCAN products and I remembered thinking the snack bars were delicious. So when UCAN contacted me about trying their products, I quickly agreed.

With 50 cycling miles planned on Saturday, I took the opportunity to try the Tropical Orange drink mix.  It mixed easily and I sipped on it while preparing to ride.  I carried one bottle of orange and also one of their cinnamon snack bars to eat half way.  UCAN does not mix clear.  It's thick with a milky appearance.  Being completely honest, it did take a little getting used to.  Not a bad thing...just different. 

Feeling great at the half-way point!

I sipped on UCAN every 15 minutes for over 20 miles.   It tasted a bit like orange sherbet.  I didn't notice an aftertaste as I sometimes do with other products.  I averaged a steady 15 mph during this portion of my hilly ride.  I ate my UCAN snack bar around mile 24 and continued on.  Without any more UCAN, I began to drink from my other bottle.  I must confess, after mile 35 -- I struggled. Perhaps I should have had another bottle of UCAN with me?  Hmm....

After spending 3.5 hours on the bike, I felt pounding the pavement Sunday morning would not be the smartest decision.  I opted for pool running instead.  Not only is pool running the perfect solution for injured runners, it is also a killer workout.   If you need to strengthen your feet, ankle or lower leg areas -- it is ideal (subject for another post).  I blended Cranberry Raspberry UCAN with water and ice and kept it beside the pool, sipping every 10 minutes.  I loved this flavor!  It reminded me of the smoothies my college kid makes.  UCAN's slow-releasing Superstarch kept me energized through my workout.

If you are curious -- the chocolate snack bar is my favorite, Their bars have a consistency of dense cookie dough.  They're also yummy with coffee for mid-morning office fuel [just sayin']. 

If you read my August Runfessions, you know I recently took a mini running break.  Now, I look forward to using UCAN as I train for the RnR Las Vegas half marathon.  I think it is noteworthy to mention that you can mix it with very little water and use it like a gel or with as much water as you want, just depending on your taste. They also have no sugar and protein mixes. 

After my mini-break, Friday's run felt great!

The best way to know if something works is to try it yourself!  The wonderful people at UCAN are allowing me to give away two Fitness Boxes with Shaker Bottles.   It's the  perfect way to end our Weekly Wrap second anniversary month of giveaways.  (Make sure you see what Tricia is giving away this week!)

You can also use HOHORUNS at UCAN to save 10%.

Two winners will each win both items --  the Fitness Box and the Shaker Bottle!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And that's a wrap!

Tell me how often you fuel during a workout!

Do you take mini breaks?

What are you training for?

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Five Runfessions for August

As August winds down, it's time for a cleansing dose of Runfessions!

I runfess...

After installing new bike pedals and shoes combo, I knew it was coming.  A fall.  Where is a videographer when you need one?  I'm still laughing.  I rolled up to the woods to stop, get off, and walk my bike up a steep path.  Except, I forgot to unclip.  I made the split second decision to release my brakes and roll mere inches more where I could fall in the weeds and brush as opposed to the pavement.    It was one of those slow motion falls {oh frig, this may huurrrttttt...} which left me sitting perplexed and sock-footed with weeds sticking out of my helmet and out of poor Sanity's crevices.  I'm pleased to say, I went ahead with that ride.   Nothing was seriously hurt...but my dignity...and maybe Sanity's too.

330 calories {gulp}

I runfess...

I was giddy with excitement to recently find my beloved frosted shortbread cookie back into Starbuck's lineup.   Mmmmm....tastes like an octopus.   I wish I had never looked up the nutritional information, however.  I did not know octopi were so high in saturated fat.

I runfess...

I was looking forward to the grand-puppy going back to college and school starting for our still-at-home high school senior.  I was craving normalcy.  Tranquility.  Who was I kidding?  Not only did I have to extract 21 (you heard me, twenty-frigging-one) dead frogs [toads? does it matter?] from the pool skimmer, but my special needs dog brought a young squirrel in the house the other morning. What's a gal to do?  Just calmly step over said dying squirrel to get the milk out of the fridge so I could eat my oatmeal.   I'm learning to roll with the flow...

I runfess...

So far, I've taken two weeks off of running.  Yep.  It was a hard decision, but after experiencing a weird (yet mild) pain in my leg that wasn't going away -- coupled with a lingering hamstring issue -- I needed to.  With two race-cations this fall, ain't nobody got time for that!  I'm water skiing, I'm still training for that century ride too, but I've been running in the pool in lieu of on the pavement.   The best news?  I feel so much better!  Now I've got to make the equally tough decision when to hit the road again.

Thank you Wendy for the beautiful hand-made totem!
 I runfess...

Although I'm so over dew points of 75 and feels-like temps of 85 before 8 am, I will be sad to see the water skiing season come to an end.  After all, it was my first sport -- the one active thing I was encouraged to do as a girl in the 70's.  It's noteworthy that as kids we were so wide-eyed impressed that our lake neighbor was a "old" lady in her 60s that could still ski.  That.Will.Be.Me.    

Is it crazy at your house too?  (Please say yes!)

What would you like to runfess?

I'm linking with my friend Marcia today from Marcia's Healthy Slice.
Please stop by and join in with your own Runfessions!

I'm also joining on the Friday Five 2.0 linkup
Stop by and see what everyone is talking about.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

It's in the Bag (WW # 107)

We appreciate your support of the Weekly Wrap.  Our Guest Host Series will be winding down in a few weeks.  Thanks to all of you for making it a success.  This week's guest host is the lovely Madhuri @ Ponder 'N' Wonder.  Be sure to visit Madhuri and leave a comment.  Please do not just drop a post and run.  The sole purpose of this linkup is to support active women.  Our next guest hosts will be Teresa @ Finding Fabulous at Fifty on August 27th and Montana from Pretty Lil Mudder on September 3rd.

To learn more about the Weekly Wrap please click HERE.


I don't have much to say.  I'm not really back in running training mode just yet so I'll keep this short.  We are, however, back in triple heat indexes.  No big surprise.  We headed to the lake Saturday morning with out of town guests and stayed all day in that heat.  Everyone had a blast skiing and tubing.  In fact, their 7 year old daughter is fearless and was a boss on the tube -- all by herself!  We also got the adults up on skis. Whoop!

Just a little jumping action...

To say I was toast Sunday morning was putting it mildly.  {Pass the jelly, please}  I scrapped my planned 50 mile bike ride. I.just.couldn't.  The thought of the excessive heat rising from the pavement (like last weekend) just did not appeal.

Got to love all the data...

I put on  my thinking cap and...voila!  Two fans, an outdoor view, some rocking tunes, shade and plenty of Gatorade did the trick for cranking out 30 miles on the MAG trainer in 97 degree heat.  That put my cycling mileage at 55 for the week.  I tried my new CycleOps wheel riser too.   It's a definite keeper.

Our celebration of the Weekly Wrap's second anniversary continues all month.  Sarah Marie has been very gracious to supply another Runner Girl Gang bag for me to give away to a lucky winner. This bag will include a few extra Sarah Marie Design Studio items and other surprises too.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And that's a wrap!

Tell me a highlight from your week!

Do you carry a bag?  What is something odd you haul around?

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Odds and Ends (WW # 106)

We appreciate your support of the Weekly Wrap.  Our Guest Host Series continues for a few more weeks.  Thanks to all of you for making it a success.  This week's guest host is the lovely and inspirational Michelle @ Running With Attitude.  Be sure to visit Michelle and leave a comment.  Please do not just drop a post and run.  The sole purpose of this linkup is to support active women.  Our next guest hosts will be Madhuri @ Ponder 'N' Wonder on August 20th and Teresa @ Finding Fabulous at Fifty on August 27th.


If you read last week's Weekly Wrap, you know that Wendy came to visit.  In addition to our crazy water skiing antics, we also ran the Shake and Bake 5k.  Initially, I wasn't going to do a recap because....well, my performance sucked.  I didn't want to sound whiny.  But, that isn't fair to the race itself. 

You never know who the mailbox cam will capture!

The Shake and Bake 5k is a small race with a hometown feel.  I've run it twice before and did quite well both times.  Located in the shaded, hilly, quaint planned community of Mt. Laurel {note the word mountain in the name} it is the prettiest neighborhood route you'll ever experience.  I remembered their nice T-shirts -- in fact I still sleep in one -- and great post race fare.  When looking for a race, although small, I knew Wendy would enjoy this one.  Please read her excellent recap HERE.  Spoiler alert:  she smoked it.

The softest T-shirt you can imagine!
What went wrong?  It was hot but we did not have our usual excessive humidity; there was no visible muck in the air.  I could  say it wasn't my day and leave it at that -- but that is not quite accurate.  I have no legitimate excuses.  I simply failed to respect the distance and follow my normal routine.   Sparing you all my stupid decisions, I'll just mention the worst one -- drinking coffee while driving to the race, which I know from experience is a HUGE mistake.  {Yep, I had the side stitch from hell over that cup.}  No lie, I thought I was going to toss my cookies when I came across the finish line.  I had to sit in the grass for a few minutes and collect myself. 

When you boil it down,  I got what I put in ... my worst 5k time since my very first one!  Shame on me for not controlling the things I could.  I threw myself a wee pity party. By the time I had eaten the post race watermelon and a buttermilk popsicle from Steel City Pops, I felt much better.   [By the way, we both decided that popsicle was the best thing we'd ever eaten.]  After the stop at Peach Park on the way home for peach cobbler, I had decided it was good (yet humbling) lesson learned. 

Moving on...   Although I wasn't proud of my own performance last weekend, I am incredibly proud of this lady right here!

Congratulations, Karen!

Some of you may know Karen from Fit in France.  She has taken a step away from blogging but you can follow her on I/G @ fit_in_france.  I am privileged to be coaching Karen for her upcoming Disneyland Paris Challenge.  Because she was also registered to run the Beach to Beacon 10k, that's what we concentrated on first.  She tackled her speed intervals like a boss!  I'm so pleased to report she ran an excellent (yet hilly!) race with a finish time of 56:20.  I could not have asked for anything more.  I'm incredibly proud of the hard work she's put in over the last months.  It definitely paid off on race day. 

Saturday's "short" and hot ride of 21.6 miles

I ran a couple of times this week, but nothing over 5 miles.  With a few half marathons on the fall calendar, the real work will start soon enough.  Wanting to increase my cycling mileage for a fall Century Ride, I planned to ride 50 miles on Sunday.  I didn't make it.  I cried uncle at 33.  It was disgustingly hot and there was no shade on this route...except in the gazebo.  My total cycling mileage for the week was 79.7 collected from three rides.   I'm OK with that.  

Taking a shady break on Sunday's hotter ride.

We are celebrating the Weekly Wrap's second anniversary all month long.  Make sure you visit Tricia to enter this week's giveaway!  Next week you can find another giveaway right here.  Congratulations to last week's winner:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
And that's a wrap!

Are you training for a fall race?  If so, which one?

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Visit and Giveaway (WW # 105)

We appreciate your support of the Weekly Wrap.  Our Guest Host Series continues strong.  Thanks to all of you for making it a success.  This week's guest host is the lovely and talented Heather @ 3 Black Cat Co.  Be sure to visit Heather and leave a comment.  Please do not just drop a post and run.  The sole purpose of this linkup is to support active women.  Our next guest hosts will be Michelle @ Running With Attitude on August 13th and Madhuri @ Ponder 'N' Wonder on August 20th.

To learn more about the Weekly Wrap or being a Guest Host please click HERE.


I had a visitor this week!  Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home came to play.  Our mission?  To water ski, and then water ski some more.  We had to be creative due to the iffy weather forecast, but we succeeded.  You know we had to throw in a steamy southern 5k for good measure.   How could we not?  It will take me some time to recap what all went down.  But for now, here are a few highlights.


Our first trip to the lake was in the wee morning hours of Friday.  That early wake up call was tough but absolutely worth the smooth lake conditions.  Sadly, we could not see the sunrise.  Wendy got up like a pro on her first attempt.  [Boom!] I was very impressed!  After seeing she had mad skills, I suggested we ski together -- in tandem.  This was something she had never done -- but always up for a challenge, she agreed immediately.

Smooth as glass!

#oldwomenstillslalom (but I'm not saying you're old, Wendy!)

The tandem skiing produced a lot of comments and suggestions from friends and family and it quickly morphed into what we did the next day...complete with 50's era flowered bathing caps and patriotic flags. We had a very enthusiastic audience of complete strangers riding by in a passing pontoon boat (who actually stopped to watch our amazing production).  This naturally added fuel to our fire. We laughed so much over this short video. 

It's fun to be silly, right?


To celebrate our Weekly Wrap's second anniversary, we are giving away prizes all month long!  The newly formed Runner Girl Gang celebrates the love, passion and friendship that is brought about by our shared love of running.  So, it's very appropriate to give away a Runner Girl Gang duffel bag (with other surprise goodies inside).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What's the last thing you did that was complete silliness, but so much fun?

Who or what is part of your Runner Girl Gang?

And that's a wrap!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Coffee Talk (August)

Thank you, Wendy!

Welcome to Coffee Talk!

We've ushered in a new month and it's time for our monthly coffee date.  I'm excited to say I'm having an actual coffee date with one of our own.  Wendy from Taking The Long Way Home is visiting and we are sipping and swinging on my back porch.  

I haven't had the chance to thank her for my We Are Here Starbucks mug.  After finding out I did not get a Wisconsin mug at the airport after we ran the Door County half marathon, she sweetly had one sent to me.   I will always think of our weekend adventures when I use it. 

Over Coffee...

I'd admit I'm looking forward to getting my running mileage up and training for my next half marathon.  While the lower mileage and summer break was intentional -- and quite honestly it's been so hot and humid here that the running hasn't been the most enjoyable experience -- I do miss training.  Now that it is August, we should start having cooler mornings within 6 weeks or so.  It's something to look forward to.

Over Coffee...

Although my running mileage has been low, my cycling mileage is increasing nicely in preparation for a fall Century Ride.   I'm confident I can go the distance, but the time it requires is mind boggling.  First of all, I'm not a fast rider.  By the time you stop at a few (OK, all) rest stops, it will be an all day event.  It will be nice to have Teresa @ Finding Fabulous at Fifty pedaling beside me. We played around with the idea of only doing a Metric Century Ride but both realized it would be more satisfying to do the full 100+ miles.  Ha Ha -- someone as nutty as me!

There's a little my neighborhood...

Over Coffee...

If you are reading this Saturday morning, weather permitting Wendy and I are running a very steamy 5k.  The name should be a clue -- Shake and Bake.  I have run this race before and even placed in my age group.  I love the fact they give out gift certificates to the farmer's market located on the quaint town square where the race is held.  I don't think it will be me, but maybe my cohort will bring home the bacon (and squash and zucchini and tomatoes and peaches and honey and...).

Over Coffee...

I'd admit how disappointed I was with our weather when Wendy arrived Thursday.  After all, the plan was to water ski...and then water ski some more.  Sadly we didn't make it to the lake Thursday afternoon, but made up for it in the wee morning hours of Friday.  Don't we look as if we came straight from the Cypress Gardens Ski Show?  All we need are the retro flowered bathing caps.  

Over Coffee...

Yes, finally!  School starts next Thursday.  (What the what?  Who decides it should be a Thursday?)  Routine.  Normalcy.  Last child.  Senior year.  The official empty nest countdown has begun. 

What would you tell me over coffee?

I'm linking with the lovely Ultimate Coffee Date hostesses Coco and Deborah!
Be sure to stop in for coffee on Saturday and chat with everyone.

I'm also joining on the Friday Five 2.0 linkup
Stop by and see what everyone is talking about.