Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"My Favorite Things" Medal Display Giveaway

It's that time again for "My Favorite Things: Bamboo & Medal Display". I didn't have to ponder to much about what I wanted to share with you this month, bamboo vs cotton, and a awesome medal display by Allied Medal Diplays who was gracious enough to help out with a give away!

Bamboo vs Cotton

I absolutely love running in bamboo fabric. I have shirts, as well as sports bras in this material. It looks very similar to cotton, but its much softer and is so much better for your skin. As I mention in "Favorite Things & Ifitness Giveaway", Caleah a good friend of mine and esthetician, has stepped in with some information regarding allot of the products I share on these posts. She told me about bamboo when I asked her what to do about small breakouts on my shoulders from summer running. I purchased my first bamboo shirt from Gypsy Runner at a expo and instantly feel in love! Then Penny gave me a fun shirt for Christmas that she also purchased from Gypsy Runner. When I asked Caleah to compare Bamboo vs Cotton this is what she shared with me;

"Bamboo fabric is softer than cotton with a texture similar to silk. It is a naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic product grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides. It is also quick to absorb moisture, dries very very quickly, and therefore keeps you dry and odor free. Bamboo socks have been proven to help eliminate athletes foot and in a study performed by the Japan Textile Inspection Association, making them ideal for runners. I love the feel of Bamboo fabric. I own bamboo sheets, bath mats, yoga pants, and even makeup brushes. The environmental benefits of bamboo are even more reason for me to utilize this tree"

Bamboo Shirt from Gypsy Runner (Thanks Penny)

This material is affordable and will keep you cool during hot summer days. Here are some good sites to purchase bamboo clothing.

Gypsy Runner

The House of Bamboo, Bamboo Batu

Asana Green

Doce Vida

Green Apple Active

Allied Medal Display

My Medals!!

I saw these medal displays on my friends Facebook page and had to purchase a few for gifts during the holidays. I purchase the "Always Earned, Never Given" for my dad, and a "Soccer" one for my niece. Then to my surprise my boyfriend got one for me for Christmas as well. Before I got the display I had my medals hanging on a single nail all bunched up and you couldn't really see them. So I love the fact that I can display these in the living area of our house. I get compliments when ever we have new visitors! The style isn't bulky and looks really nice on the wall. Allied Medal Display was gracious to host this months "Favorite Things" giveaway, they are letting the winner pick any medal display they like on their site! So take a look and enter to win..here's how!

1. Comment on my blog, make sure to leave a email address when you sign in so I can contact you if your the winner!

2. Like Allied Medal on Facebook by clicking here, then leave a comment on my wall post letting me know I sent you. Please don't post directly on their page, but only on my wall post that way I can keep track of entries!!

3. Retweet the giveaway, don't forget to add @kristylpants!

The winner will be chosen on Friday.....GOOD LUCK!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fresno Half Marathon - Eye-Q California Classic Weekend

Saturday morning at 8am I headed out to pick up Penny for, "Kristy & Penny's California Classic Fresno Half Marathon Road Trip 2011" I was excited to finally get a little weekend away, and to race in a different city with friends was making it that much better. The drive from LA to Fresno is about 4 hours. We had snacks and plenty of music to keep us entertained while we drive through farmlands. We decided to take highway 99, which in my opinion is allot better then highway 5. There is a little more to "see" but not much.

I learned a few things about Penny on the 4 hour drive, she likes to rock out to Floggin Molly, her dancing skills have improved since she works with dancer and singers at her job, and she's is extremely competitive with FourSquare. Between her dancing and my horrible singing, we had quite the show going in my car.

We had been on the road for a while when I spotted a Sonic Burger advertisement. Since it was feeding time for me we decided to stop. Who can resist tater tots, burgers, and milkshakes...NOT THESE GIRLS!!! It was the best meal EVER...seriously it was delicious, totally hit the spot!

Meal of Deliciousness!

After 4 hours of complete shenanigans in my car we finally reached Fresno. Packet pick up was at Chukchansi Park, home of the Fresno Grizzlies the minor league team for the San Francisco Giants. We met up with Row, grabbed out swag bags, then headed out to watch some of the cyclist come in from the 100 mile race that was taking place. I had never seen a bike race "live" before so it was pretty cool to watch!


After checking into our hotel Penny and I decided to head out to find a place to relax maybe get a drink and snacks. The only place close enough was the "Club One Casino", so we did what was logical and went it. This had to be one of the best people watching places I have ever been to..it put Disneyland people watching to shame. I would go into details but this casino would need a whole blog post to itself. Let's just say it was fun and we laughed so hard that my stomach and cheeks hurt.

That evening we had reservations at 5 restaurant with Linda and Row. Dinner was delicious and the company was even better. I'm not a big carb loader since I have a fragile tummy, so indulging on food the day before a race isn't really my thing. However, when I read what the Capellini came with, I had to order it. It was so good that I forgot to take a picture of it. Take my word for it....DELICIOUS!!!

5 Restaurant

Now that I was done eating for the day, and after driving 4 hours, I was definitely ready for bed. The day was taking it's toll on me because I was completely exhausted. We set our alarms for 5am and off to bed we went.
The next morning we knocked on Row's door at 6:15 to head over to the start line. We were lucky to find a hotel about 2 blocks from the start and finish. Kind of nice not to have to worry about parking or anything!

Punk Rock Racing Tee and my Baby Spice Buns!

The race started exactly at 7am, we heard the air horn and we were off. We all stayed together for awhile then speedy Row was out of our sight. I told Penny at the beginning of the race that this was a fun run for me, so I was planning on staying together the whole way. I was doing fine for the first 3/4 mile then all of a sudden I had the worst pain going from not one, but both exterior ankles up to my calve. I'm not sure if I didn't stretch enough, but I knew if the pain didn't go away there was no way I was going to be able to run 13.1 miles. For 3 miles I was telling myself to "run it out, just run it out" I could feel my muscles warming up, so I had big hopes the pain was going to go away...my goodness it really hurt! I let Penny know what was going on since I kept taking walk breaks to see if it would help. Then finally around mile 4 I realized the pain was gone...Looks like an appointment with my A.R.T.therapist is in my future.

The course took us in and out of streets, over one overpass and in an industrial area. Then at mile 6 we hit the zoo entrance. This was my absolute FAVORITE mile. The animals were all out...except for the bear he wanted absolutely nothing to do with what was going on. We were running in the cool shade, the birds were singing, and the volunteers were having a great time..I loved it! If the race lapped around the zoo for the rest of the run I would've been a happy camper!

Giraffe's at mile 6!

Penny and I stopped for a quick photo!

Running through the zoo!

The weather started to get a little hot and I know how much Penny HATES the heat. I also know that this weather is not good for her asthma. I would run up a little past her, and she would catch up during my walk breaks. We did that for most of the way. Everything was fine then all of a sudden at mile 9 she started to feel an asthma attack happen. I pulled her to the side of the course into the shade, and did my best to keep her calm. After the experience I had with her asthma at the Surf City Half Marathon, I did a bit of research on what to when this happens. I will never experince having one, but now I'm aware of what to do when she does. I stayed allot calmer this time then I did at Surf City. I made sure she took her time to get her breathing back before we were off again on. We walked a bit then started on a slow run until she was ready to speed up. Penny is such a trooper, if that was me I would've been all dramatic and called for a ride.

Finisher!! HOT, HOT, HOT!!!

We did a run/walk pace up till mile 12, that's when Penny told me to just go! Ahead of me I saw a guy that had been playing cat and mouse with Penny and I the whole race. I wasn't racing for time, but for some reason I felt the need to beat this guy. There was no reason really I just wanted the satisfaction of running past him. I would ran past him, he would run past me. I think he realized what I was doing because every time he pasted me he would look at me. Then when I would pass him he would speed up. If he wanted to play that game I was all in, he was just throwing gas into the flame at this point. We reached the turn to the finish I looked and he was a few steps behind me. I ran a little faster and BAM!! FINISH LINE! Take that random stranger!! He came in a few seconds after me, but you know what I totally WON! Official time 2:41!


Penny crossed the finish, and we found Row waiting that stands for us! The finishers area was great, tons of food, beer for Penny, and Cold Stones ice cream for me! We walked back to the hotel, showered, after a quick stop for some food we got back in the car for another 4 hours of shenanigans drive home. Half Marathon #15 in the books!

I really had a great weekend and run in Fresno. I'm always skeptical about registering for inaugural races, but this one was allot of fun. I think since they have the experience of organizing the bike races, they did well with the half marathon. The only thing I can say that I didn't like was there were maybe 5 "restroom facilities" throughout the entire course. The zoo had restrooms but that was mile 6, I didn't see another one til about mile 11. I do have to say the volunteers for this run were AMAZING! They were all over the place, cheering us on, making sure everyone was safe along the way AWESOME, AWESOME volunteers! There was also a large police presents making sure we were all safe running the streets.

Great Race....Great Weekend!!

This weekened I have Laguna Hills Half Marathon..my last half until later this year! Bittersweet!

Gym vs No Gym

So I'm in some what of a pickle and need some help with making a decision. I've had my gym membership for about 4 years, and the past 8 months or so the gym has become more of a pain then a place to work out. It’s completely over crowded and machines are constantly broken!!! I get frustrated when I have to stand in a line 3 people deep waiting for a machine that someone is using while on their cell phone. I'm not able to go early in the morning with my work schedule, so I have to go during the hustle and bustle of the day. I don't mind waiting for bit, but the cell phone thing makes me want to explode! One day before yoga class I wanted to go for a swim and there was a couple just hanging out in the pool as if they were at a backyard BBQ! SO FRUSTRATING! Also within the past few months they decided to start charging a $1.00 for classes to reserve a spot. You would think this would make classes less crowded, but they still sardine everyone in. The whole paying a $1.00 to reserve a spot just seems ridiculous especially since I already pay a monthly payment. I mean if I were to reserve a table at a restaurant I wouldn't have to give them a $1.00. I know it’s not much, but it’s the principle darn it... I get all worked up about the whole thing and can go on a rant about it forever!
With all this stuff happening I'm really considering canceling my gym membership. I made a list of pros vs. cons, so far its aiming towards canceling. I really only use the gym for yoga, the pool, and maybe the elliptical from time to time. I always choose going for a run outdoors over the treadmill, then when summer hits I use our community pool for lap swimming. Its close to my house so I can run there, swim, then run home. They have a pretty cheap summer pass that includes unlimited use of the pool and gym....Now for my yoga that I love, yesterday I tried a yoga studio, I absolutely loved it! It was 100 times better then class at the gym. I walked out feeling so refreshed, calm, and excited to go back.
So you can see I do have alternatives to working out besides using the gym, but for some reason I can't get myself to pick up the phone and cancel my membership. So if you were in my little running shoes what would you do??

Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Pasadena Half Marathon

I'm not sure if Mother Nature is upset with me, but I haven't ran a race since March without rain. Some people may say they don't mind running in the rain, but after my LA Marathon experience, I'm not fond of it at all. I would rather have overcast and a little wind with........NO RAIN! I'm sure I'll get over it at some point, but right now I will stay a "Bitter Beaver" about the whole thing. I don't think I would have ran this race if my friend Jessica wasn't running her first half. We planned this race together, and I was not about to be "Flakey Jakey" over rain. I knew I had to suck it up and be there with her!!

Race weekend started on Saturday for me. Robert and I headed out to the expo in the afternoon for bib pick up. I think he likes going to these now so he can try all the free samples! HA! The expo was very small, bib pick up was easy peasy with nothing to chaotic. We had nothing else planned for the rest of the day, so we decided to go walking for a bit around downtown Pasadena. We stop at our favorite coffee place Intelligentsia and also for cupcakes at Sugar Fix....Delicious!!

Cupcakes & Coffee of Deliciousness

Jessica and I planned on driving together in the morning, so I decided to stay at my parents house since they live closer to her. I hadn't really ate dinner yet, so when I got to their house I mentioned that had a weird craving for wonton soup. This soup is my moms weakness, so I knew she would join me for soup shenanigans! It totally hit the spot and it made a perfect pre race mea! Great meal, with great mom and me time! I was in bed with Nanee (our furbaby) by 10pm. Not as early as I wanted, but it worked.

Nanee not excited that I woke her at 3:30am

Next morning I got to Jessica's house at 4:45am...goodness it was early. We made it to Pasadena in about 30 mins which was perfect to get settle in, and relax a little before the race start. While waiting I could feel drops of rain coming down, it wasn't steady just random large drops falling. I kept saying "please no rain please!!" I had a throw away sweatshirt on but it wasn't water proof, and under it was a WHITE tech shirt.....Yup I chose white because everyone was saying "it's not going to rain tomorow, only 11% chance" You know what happens to white shirts when they get wet? Well if you ever been to any Spring Break vacations you know very well what happens to white shirts when they get wet.. I was now thinking that I would have to run with my throw away for the whole race if the rain didn't let up, or pin my bib up on my chest. Being under trained, the rain, and now a future wardrobe malfunction was actually giving me race jitters. I haven't gotten half marathon race jitters in over a year. I was in for quite the morning!

Jessica and I in the morning ready to go!

The race finally started and we were off. I stayed with Jessica up till about mile 2 which is when I had to ditch my sweatshirt because I was overheating. I had to really ponder getting rid of it, because like is said before WHITE tech shirt. I was hot and it really wasn't raining to much, so off it went. I guess with me trying to take it off my sweatshirt and slowing down, speedy Jessica and I got separated. I told her before the race started that if she lost me for any reason to just go. She's faster then me and I didn't want to hold her back for her first half. There was a slight drizzle up till about mile 5, then it started to really rain. I have to admit I had a small temper tantrum at that point. Now that I think it about it, its sort of funny. There were 2 runners next to me wondering what was going on, I just looked at them and said "I don't like rain" They didn't say a word to me, they just smiled, and went a little faster to get away from the crazy girl cursing at the weather. I knew there was nothing I could possibly do to control the weather but like 5 year old..it made me feel better. So there!

I had set a goal to hit mile 6 under 1:15, I hit it at 1:07 which was perfect. I wanted to keep the pace I had but my legs really started to get heavy. This is when I realized that all this non running mojo stuff was really taking a toll, so I gave myself a pep talk through the next few miles. I was taking advantage of the down hills and making sure to push through the up hills. Mile 7 was my favorite mile, beautiful green trees all around us, and the rain made it so calming (only time I was happy about the rain). I took my ipod off so I could listen to what was going on around me. I could hear the trees moving in the wind and the sound of other runners hitting the wet pavement. You never realize how quite a race really is until you remove your music, it's sort of hard to explain but I'm sure other runners can relate!

I remember when looking at the elevation map the day before that miles 8-10 were all up hill, so I had planned to do run/walk interval for those 2 miles. The rain also decided to stop so that definitely turned my frown upside down! I hadn’t checked my phone at all, so I figure "hill time" was a perfect "check text messages time" When Robert comes to my race we always do a quick "I'm here are you ok".."yup I'm ok, I'll see you at the finish" I feel better knowing he's there, and he feels better hearing from me =)

After mile 10 the race was all down hill WOOHOO! I looked at Mr. G 2.0 and my time wasn’t bad so I thought maybe I could possibly PR by a few minutes. So I pushed as much as I could and kept looking at my time to see if that was even possible. As I turned the corner into the home stretch I saw Jessica and her family cheering me on....she finished in 2:17! Ms Speedy! Then a little ways down was Robert, my photographer for the day! I crossed the finish, looked at my watch...2:34...no PR for me, but man I was very happy with my time. I’m not kidding when I say I didn’t train for this race, so I was a bit shocked that I came even close to a PR.

Almost there......


So what did Kristy learn from this race? Well I learned that I can do better, but in order to do that I need to train better. I've been in a funk lately about running and was really hoping that this race would help. It totally did and I think I found my mojo again. The weather was meh, but the course was awesome and I honestly did enjoy myself...even during a temper tantrum. Like I said in my previous post, I have 2 more half marathons this month. I will push myself and reach for that PR. I know I can do it I just have to try!...oh and just in case your in suspense, my white tech tee behaved in the rain. I apparently had enough layers to keep my run rated PG-13 for explicit language only!


Friday, May 13, 2011

I be up at the gym..working on my fitness!!

I still haven't been running much, but I did get in some solid workouts this week that made me feel great. I'm hoping for some solid running the next few weeks since I have 3 Half marathons in a row starting this weekend...apparently I didn't plan that out very well. My three half marathon series starts with the Pasadena Half Marathon this weekend. I'm going to do my absolute best Sunday up and down the hills of Pasadena. I hope my bad running mojo turns into good juju!! If this doesn't work out as planned I have 2 more chances to kick ass. I'm more excited that my friend Jessica is also running, and its her first half marathon!! WOOHOO! Next weekend Penny and I are driving up to Fresno to run the half marathon with Row, then on May 30 I'm joining Danica at the Laguna Hills half marathon. So that's 3 half marathons, 3 weekends in a row....one of them is bound to be great right?

The past week I did a few workouts that I was happy with. I did my usual Tuesday night yoga with Krissy. Wednesday Bob was in town for a trade show so we ran a very slow 5 miles through the hills of my neighborhood, then yesterday I attempted a Fit Bar class. Let me skip yoga with Krissy and running with Bob talk to discuss this "FitBar" class for a moment. I have one word for it AMAZING! I had heard about this workout from some friends and they had nothing but positive things to say about it. A few weeks ago I saw a Groupon offer for 2 classes at Living Fitness in Newport Beach. It’s a little far from home, but I really wanted to try this and it was such a good deal. I decided since I had a short day at work yesterday it was a perfect opportunity to head out to Newport for a class I wasn't to sure what to expect but I'm always up to finding new things for cross training. Bar workouts are pretty much a mash-up of pilates, yoga, aerobic and ballet moves. Lots of stretching, cardio, and strength training. The one thing I realized during this class is I'm not flexible at all, and my legs are so stiff. I never noticed it in yoga for some reason, but I totally noticed in this class. Our instructor Jody was great., she was very knowledgeable, and she explain things as we went along. She came around and helped correct the "newbie" to make sure I was doing things correctly. Great workout, great environment, and great instructor! If you live in or around south Orange County I highly recommend this class. I have one more class to take with them that I plan on doing after my half marathon series is over! I wish this gym was closer to me because I would most definitely go back more often.

As for yoga with Krissy it was great as usual. We've been going to another gym location because the instructor at our "normal gym" was to cookie cutter with her classes. It was the same thing week by week legs, abs, relax...wash, rinse, repeat Meh! This new found instructor likes to change things up weekly which keeps us excited about going to class. However now that we found a new instructor that we love, we also found a gym that we don't love. It’s so crowded it's unbelievable. So after much discussion Krissy and I have decided we are going to try a yoga studio. We'll be going to our first class on Tuesday night, if all goes well.....good bye crowded gym and hello weekly yoga studio.

My running for the week was with Bob. He was in town for a trade show so we decided to meet up on Wednesday night. He got to my house dressed in the same outfit as me totally not planned at all, but it was definitely hilarious.


We did a total of 5 very slow miles and chatted about what we're training for, and he once again was answering 101 questions I had about triathlons and cycling. I hadn't seen him since LA Marathon so it was nice to do a little catching up. Running at night is always a challenge for me because I'm so sluggish from being at work all day, but we did it!

That's pretty much my week. I've had to promise myself that I wouldn't let my blog go longer then a week without posting. I'll be working on a new "Favorite Things" post with a great give away from Allied Steel Fabricators. They make some awesome medal displays. I'll also have my race reports from Pasadena, Fresno and Laguna Hill half marathons.

Hope everyone has a great training weekend!!