It's a very slow process - two steps forward, one step back - but I'm inching in the right direction. - Rob Reiner

February 25, 2013

And The StrideBox Winner IS............

Thanks to everyone who entered!  Unfortunately there can only be one winner.  I pulled out all the eligible entries and used to select:

Deb @ Deb's Daily Life!  Congratulations you have won a StrideBox!!

Please e-mail ( me with your contact information and address and you should receive their March box.

Even if you didn't win, remember you can go to today and purchase March's StrideBox for just $15!  No committment...a great way to try it out for yourself!

On another note, I think I'm going to use the Rafflecopter app th next time I do a giveaway.  I've seen a lot of bloggers go to this recently.  It's amazing to me how many people don't follow the instructions of the giveaway.  I had to eliminate several people :(

Has anyone used Rafflecopter?  Thoughts?

February 24, 2013

StrideBox Giveaway Ends tonight!

Last chance to enter my StrideBox Giveaway and get some great free running stuff.

It ends tonight at 8pm CST.

See details here!

February 21, 2013

Lost Dutchman HM Review & Racecation

When my husband Jim of 50 After 40 decided he wanted to do a marathon in every state, I knew there would be some fabulous places I would want to tag along (and some I would not).  When we started looking at our 2013 race schedule we started talking about Arizona.  Neither of us had ever been to Arizona, and I had always wanted to go.  I started researching marathons in the area, and while there is a Rock N Roll marathon in Phoenix; I didn't want to do a cookie cutter race (here).  We looked at Sedona, which looked just beautiful, but there were hills for days.  In the end we decided on a fun, small race just outside of Phoenix called the Lost Dutchman Marathon.

The view for most of the race.  Beautiful!
If you want lots of detailed information about the story of the lost Dutchman, etc you can read Jim's blog.  He's great about giving every detail.  I'm gonna "try" to keep this short, as I just don't have a ton of time to blog these days.

I have to admit, I was FAR more interested in the vacation part of this race than I was the actual running of the race. The race looked beautiful, but I'm in about the worst running shape I've been in for awhile.  I didn't go into the race with any goals really - just enjoy the scenery and finish.  It's Winter here in KC which  means days on the treadmill and extra padding pretty much everywhere, so I knew there was no PR in me for this race.  I wouldn't even try.  I just hoped to be under 2:40 for the half.

View from our resort balcony
Jim and I got to Phoenix on Valentine's Day and arrived at the very nice Pointe Hilton Taptio Cliffs Resort.  If you ever need a place to stay in Phoenix, I would highly recommend.  It's a little older, but the views are beautiful and it has an absolutely awesome pool.  Plus it's an all suite hotel, so lots of room.  Anyway, Jim and I got settled and headed out for our very early 4:45 dinner reservations (at least it was 5:45 KC time).  Dinner was great and set the tone for a truly wonderful race-cation!

Over the next few days we would explore the Phoenix area heading to the local Desert Botanical Garden (beautiful), Papago Park - home of the Hole in the Rock, and a few Spring training sites.  We had a great time hiking and just enjoying all there was to do.  We were on our feet alot though, with hiking, etc.  By the 2nd day my calves were tight and I was feeling the effects of all that walking.  Probably not the smartest thing to do before a race.  Oh well, I didnt' care I was having fun.

I also got to do my favorite pastime while I was there......lounge by the pool!!  Who doesn't love being able to lay by the pool in February??  At home it's in the 20s, and in AZ its in the mid 70s and sunny.  Not a single cloud in the sky the entire time.  The weather couldn't have been more perfect!  Of course, I'm super winter white, so I used the 30 sunblock and limited myself to an hour....even though I could have stayed poolside all day!

Ahhhhh.....resort pool
On Saturday we switched hotels and went to stay a little closer to the actual race which was in Apache Junction, AZ about 40 minutes from Phoenix.  The 2nd resort was nice.  It was much smaller and definitely catered to the golf crowd....well it was the Gold Canyon Golf Resort.  But it was also the host hotel, so we got a great nightly rate.

Aren't we cute, we are so in love.

We had already picked up our packets at Road Runner Sports the day before (because we had never actually been to a real Road Runner Sports store before - we were super excited)  but we still went to the local packet pickup because they had been out of small shirts the day before, and the medium they gave me hung to my knees.

Shoe Dog at RR Sports!

Super excited to be at RR Sports
Packet pickup actually had an expo which was surprising for such a small race.  It was a small expo,  and had many of the traditional vendors, but it was still nice that they had it.  We wondered around a bit and I found a chiropractic place that was offering stretching and massage. Contrary to Jim's blog, I did not get a massage, but asked them to stretch out my very tight left hip and right hamstring. The guy was great and had me feeling better in no time. Jim did not enjoy watching me get stretched by another man.  He should probably definitely never go to the ART Dr with me. 

Pre-race Dance, AZ style - Cactus!

Panning for gold???
The next morning was finally race morning.  I left the hotel about 5:30 and headed to the Rodeo grounds to park.  You actually start about a mile away, but the very accommodating race, has a nice warm school bus as a shuttle to take you to the race start.  That went off without a hitch, but put me at the race start about an hour ahead of time.  It was a little cold outside, upper 40s before the race started so it was a bit chilly - at least bag drop was very close, so I was able to keep on my jacket until about 15 minutes before the race started.  One of the things that had drawn me to this race was the pictures of people out by a warm cozy fire at the base of the mountain.....well that part is for marathoners only.  Those of us doing the half marathon, 10K or 8K were just in a park...with no  I won't complain too much, but it was disappointing.

The Desert Crane - AZ State Bird
By race start the sun was just coming up.  It was beautiful to watch the sunrise come up over the mountains.  It didn't take long for it to warm up either, but honestly most of the race was almost perfect conditions.  It was sunny with just a light breeze and mid 50s.  By the end of the race I was starting to feel the heat, but most of it was great.

View from the Hole in the Rock
The race started with a with uphill, and then moved into some super short easy rolling hills.  I was feel pretty great and it was just fun to be running on such a beautiful day surrounded by the gorgeous mountains and sky.  Then we started going down hill.  There was a very nice downhill portion....which meant, there was going to be a very not so nice, uphill portion on the way back.  From about mile 4.5 to 6.5 you have a slow gradual climb of about 100 feet.  This one hurt, but it's an out and back course so you turn around and get the downhill right back - which was nice.  But then, from 8.5 to 10.5 you have another slow gradual 100 ft climb.  That one hurt, and I really started to see my pace slip away.  Through about mile 8, I was running about an 11:30 pace, which wasn't bad at all.  But as the hill took its toll on my legs I started really slowing down.  You finally do get another downhill for those last 2 miles, but even with that my legs were spent.  I knew the last 3 miles would be hard regardless because I hadn't ran over 10 miles in nearly 2 months, but I was dead.  I put in a final little kick that last .1....and finished unofficially with an 11:58 pace.  My official time would be 12:00 a 2:37 finish.

I wasn't thrilled with my finish time, but it wasn't a bad finish time for me. And for my first race of the year, I'll take it.  They can only get better from here right??  I sure hope so.

After the race I hit the food station where they had some fruit, yogurt, and cookies...the basics.  They also offered me a burrito.  I said no to that, I didn't think a burrito would settle well with me after a thank you.  The guy actually seemed kind of offended that I turned it down. Oh well, it was still a good decision. 

I then waited for Jim to finish and then we got out pictures with the famous Lost Dutchman and his Donkey.  We jumped back on the shuttle and back to our car....race was over.

This is a great small race and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an Arizona race.  The weather is perfect, the scenery is awesome, the people and logistics are great and it's just a good experience overall.  The technical tee and medal are also pretty awesome!

After the race we grabbed lunch and then I spent one more hour by the pool...magical.  Then we headed out for our final dinner in AZ.  We were super excited that by total coincidence Rachelle of Running for Trevor was also in AZ for a different race!  She was staying very close to us, so we met for lunch that final night.  It was great fun meeting her and her friends Chris and Heather.  Rachelle was so super sweet, just like I expected.  She had also just set a new Half Marathon PR in her race of a smoking 1:21!!!  That girl is insanely fast.  She was over an hour faster than me....I just don't have the capability of understanding that kind of speed.

Rachelle, Me & Jim
Ok, so that's it in a nutshell.  I said I would keep it short...which it's not...but there is still so much more I could tell!

It was a great race and a great vacation.  One I won't soon forget.

February 19, 2013

BOA Chicago Marathon and -You Get a Big Fat F!!!

Jim and I have been planning to run the BOA Chicago Marathon for well over a year now.

We had heard that the race would likely sell out in the first day this year and this might be the last year that it wasn't a lottery or time qualified.  So we knew if we wanted to run Chicago it would probably need to be this year.

So, I have been stalking their website for months waiting on the registration date and time.  Finally a few months ago it was announced.  I put it on my calendar and planned around it.  We were planning an AZ trip, but made sure we were home yesterday and not traveling today in order to be online promptly when it opened.

BOA partnered with for know - the largest online registration website out there.

Registration opened today at noon CST.  I was online at 11:45 and kept hitting refresh until about 11:58 when it actually opened a few minutes early, I was so excited...maybe that was a good sign I would get in.

NO!!  I don't know if anyone else tried to register today but what an EPIC failure on the part of Bank of America, the Chicago Marathon, and

The website crashed all day.  You would get into the registration site over and over and go through the full registration process just to have it crash at the end.  Finally after a couple of hours they shut down the registration link....then they brought it back up...same issues.  They finally took it down again and everyone waited patiently for the 6pm update on what they were going to do about registration.

Here is there update from their website:

We are incredibly sorry that runners interested in signing up for the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon experienced such difficulties today. We have been working nonstop with our registration provider to find the root of the problem and a solution. Many runners were able to sign up before the registration process was suspended. There are currently 15,000 entries remaining. Before we re-open registration, we need to make sure all technical issues are permanently resolved. We will provide ample notice regarding when the registration process will re-open.

For those who were able to successfully complete the registration process, you can confirm your registration by going to For those that were charged more than once, our registration provider is in the process of refunding any duplicate charges and will notify these participants.

We do not plan on reopening registration within the next two days. We will provide another update on registration by 5 p.m. Central Standard Time on Thursday.

I wasn't one of the lucky people to get registered.  I tried for hours and hours.  I waited and waited for updates.  It's frustrating to say the least.  I even tried calling to see if I could register over the phone.  I waited on hold for 45 minutes only to be told there was nothing they could do.

Many people (according to Facebook) got registered 2 and 3 and even 4 times.  Nothing about this process worked.

It's not looking good that there will be a 2013 BOA Chicago Marathon in mine and Jim's future and it's really just not fair.  Now when they re-open registration - people who didn't even try to register today will have just as good as a chance to register as me.  That's NOT OK.  And, the chances of getting not just one, but two of us registered....seems almost impossible to me.

There is just no excuse for the technical difficulties they experienced.  They knew there would be massive amounts of people trying to register for this event today.  It's happened to many times at races recently, but this one was EXPECTED to fill and fast.  They had to know that hundreds of thousands of peopel would try to get into the site at the same time.  As my friend Coy said - If TicketMaster Can do it - they should be able to do it too.    Ridiculous!

Anyone else try to register today??

"You've Gotten So Big!"

So last night, my subconscious told me what my conscious has been telling me for some time now......I'm "fat".

Last February, I was 17 pounds lighter than I am today.  That's alot of added weight.  Last February I was motivated, and I was within 5 pounds of where I would ultimately like to be.  Today I am more than 20 pounds from that goal.

I know I have been gaining weight...obviously.  I get on the scale and it tells me.  I try on my clothes and they tell me.  But I look in the mirror and it does not tell me.  I see the same person, I don't look "that" different.  But pictures tell a different story.

This past week Jim and I were on a racecation (review coming soon).  In many of the pictures I just look at myself and think, man do I really look like that?  I have gained alot of weight.  I am not happy with how I look, but more importantly I know that the added weight is because I am not eating the right things - which is unhealthy.

I know by conventional standards I'm not "fat".  I'm at the high end of my ideal body weight range, but for an endurance athlete I am heavy.  I am already slow, and adding weight to the scenario is not going to make me faster. 

Last summer while training for my Half Ironman I realized I could pretty much eat anything I wanted.  I was training 2 to 3 hours per day and I needed calories.   And that developed into unhealthy habits that are still with me.  I have and always have had an addiction to sweets.  Training for my Half allowed me to indulge that addiction, and it just hasn't left.

Last night I had a dream.  I saw a friend I hadn't seen in a long time.  She looked at me and the first words out of her mouth were "Oh, You've Gotten So Big!".  I just replied "I know" and ran off feeling sorry for myself and wondering how someone could be so mean.  But, I knew she was right.

Yes, it was just a dream, but between pictures and the dream, it's a wake up call.  It's time to get my healthy eating back on track and drop a few pounds.

It's hard to share these things some times, but I know many of you have been there before too.

So sorry Starbucks, but we have to break up.  It's been nice knowing you. 

On a brighter note.....don't forget to enter my StrideBox Giveaway.  It ends this Sunday!

February 13, 2013

StrideBox Review & GIVEAWAY

About a month ago I was on Facebook and you know how they have ads on the side now?  Well I saw an ad for StrideBox that said it was a monthly subscription box for running products.  I was intrigued so I clicked on the link.  I thought it sounded pretty great, so I contacted them and asked about doing a review and giveaway to help get their name out and they said yes!!

Image courtesy of

So what is StrideBox?

"StrideBox is a fun and exciting way to discover running products and accessories. Each month, as a member, you will receive a curated box of apparel, accessories, and nutrition products to fuel your training sessions, workouts, and races."

How much does StrideBox cost?

It's just $15 a month and shipping is free or just an additional $5 to Canada.  You sign up for autopay/shipments, but you can cancel at any time.

Want to learn more about StrideBox?  Find them at:

They are also on Google+ and Twitter.  They are everywhere!

StrideBox just got started and their very first boxes went out in February.  I was lucky enough to get one of these first boxes to review. 

So what did I get?

  • Gu Chomps Energy Chews, Lemon Flavor
  • Hammer Bar Ultimate Energy Bar, Cranberry Flavor
  • Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes Fizz, Peach Flavor
  • Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gel, Acai Pomegranate Flavor
  • Mazama Bar High Performance Energy Bar, Wild Berry Flavor
  • Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix (2), Lemons And Limes, Oranges
  • Dr. Hoy’s Natural Pain Relief Gel (2)
  • Lock Laces – Shoe Lace System (in pink)
  • On The Go Towels (3), Unscented, Am Rush, and After Hours Scents
  • StrideBox Bend-A-Bottle Soft Water Bottle

  • They guarantee the value of the box is at least $20.  I estimated it to be somewhere between $22-23.  You also get a card that has discounts for many of the products.  It didn't include a discount for everything, but you could get discounts from 15 to 25%.  The products that were eligible for a discount were Hammer, Honey Stinger, Mazamabar, and Skratch.

    So what did I think about the StrideBox?

    • Convenience.  It comes right to your door.
    • Great way to try new products you may not even know exist
    • Discounts available for some of the products you like
    • Reasonable price
    • It's fun to get a box in the mail with a "surprise" inside.  Makes it feel like Christmas!
    • You can't choose the colors or flavors you receive so you may get stuff you do not like or can't use (I didn't like the flavors of either of the energy bars)
    • Products received monthly "could" be very similar.  This is just an opinion since I've only received one box, but it seems like it would normally be bars and gels, etc for the most part.  If you need these anyway and you don't want to go out and buy new items - this could be a pro.
    Would I sign up for a monthly subscription?

    Yes.  I think it is a very reasonable way to try new products and I would definitely like to try it again.

    Would you like to try one for yourself?????

    Of course you would!! 

    Details of the Giveaway

    Please leave 1 comment for each item you do.

    1.   Be a follower of this blog AND leave a comment telling me why you would like to try StrideBox.
    2.  "Like" StrideBox on FB AND leave a comment on their FB page saying I sent you! (and leave a comment here saying you did so).

    Remember 1 and 2 are REQUIRED for entry.
    Bonus Entries (1 additional entry per item)
    1. Share this giveaway on your blog, FB, etc. (leave a comment for each one you do; each is worth a bonus entry).
    2. Follow StrideBox on Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter (leave a comment for each one you do; each is worth a bonus entry).
    Giveaway will end on Sunday, Feb 24 at 8pm CT.  Winner will be announced Monday, Feb 25.

    Disclaimer:  I was given a StrideBox to review for free.  I was not compensated for my review or asked to provide a positive review.  All comments are my own.


    February 05, 2013

    I'm Still Alive!!!

    Laughing the hours away these days :)

    I just wanted to check in and let everyone know I'm still around.

    Life gets crazy sometimes you know.

    I started a new job on Jan 15 and I've been traveling and just getting acclimated.

    I'm still training and doing well over all.

    I will do a catch up post soon, but just wanted to say a short Hi for now.

    Hope all you guys are doing well!!!

    I do have an awesome giveaway starting stay tuned!  I'm pretty excited about this one.