Thursday, November 1, 2012

Saucony Women's Guide 6 Review

loy·al {loi-uhl} adjective:
1. faithful to any leader, party, or cause, or to any person or thing conceived as deserving fidelity: a loyal shoe buyer.
4. characterized by or showing faithfulness to commitments, vows, allegiance, obligations, etc.: loyal runner
 I consider myself a loyal person...a loyal friend, a loyal employee, a loyal brand ambassador to the brands I truly believe in, etc.  Since the day I became a runner, I was loyal to a brand of shoes, and everytime I needed a new pair, I would always go back to the same shoe, buying the latest addition.  For a while, this shoe was perfect, but over time it evolved into a shoe that no longer met my needs, but I kept going back to it.  I would tell myself, "You just need to break them in; its the socks you're wearing; your feet should hurt after running that many miles," and the excuses continued.  But finally, after blisters, aches and pains, etc I decided make the switch to Saucony! I knew after my first run {13 miles}that Saucony was the perfect fit for me, and my feet have never been happier.  I started off with Saucony Kinvara 3s {I think I NEED to buy this color!}, and was excited to try another pair of Sauconys: the Guide 6

RUN - Guidance
The latest edition of our flagship shoe arrives with a fit and ride even more attuned to the needs of runners seeking stability in an everyday training shoe. A new sole unit features triangular IBR+ pads integrated with deeper grooves in the forefoot for better flexibility and responsiveness. Three independently responsive pods in the SRC crashpad provide a smooth, efficient transition onto the midfoot, while a midfoot saddle promotes a snug, secure fit in the upper. Weight: 8.9oz.

Offset: 8mm
Heel: 26mm
Forefoot: 18mm

Overlays in the upper have been redesigned to secure forefoot fit. Triangular lug design on outsole and an additional flex groove in the forefoot increase flexibility. Increased ground contact through the midfoot for support benefits. Added 1mm of thickness to the midsole for improved feel under foot. New ComfortLite sockliner is contoured to cradle the foot, support the arch and reduce peak pressures in the forefoot

Upon receiving my shoes, I put 33 miles on them {speedwork, hills, and a long slow run}  in the first week and was once again pleasantly surprised with Saucony! The fit is perfect...comfortable and light, with the just the right amount of support for my longer runs. Having wider feet, many shoes are too snug through the laces, but the Guide 6s have plenty of room. I also have high arches, and started wearing arch supports in my other shoes, but with the added arch support of the Guide 6, I don't feel the need to use them! After the first 33 miles {which I have since ran more} I had no blisters, calluses {which I used to develop below my big toe}, aches/pains, and most importantly NO FOOT pain following my long run!

Now let's talk about what is REALLY important...the color choices! I WILL be ordering the pink/citron ones and the black/purple/citron ones are on my list!

 The Saucony Guide 6 will continue to be my shoe of choice for my long runs!

I was not compensated for this review, but I was given a pair of Saucony Guide 6s at no cost. All opinions are my own and 100% honest.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

BOOing...My Favorite Halloween Traditon

I love everything about fall...the color of the leaves, cool crisp morning runs, Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, Dairy Queen Pumpkin Pie Blizzards, & pretty much everything pumpkin {beer, cookies, soup, etc}; curling up by a fire and watching football on Sunday, wearing puffer vests, corn mazes, and of course HALLOWEEN!!! I love to dress up and start planning my costume weeks, sometimes months in advance {but not this year, I still don't have anything planned, and I am going to a Halloween party on Saturday night}. In addition to dressing up, one of my favorite Halloween traditions is BOOing, have you heard of it? Its sort of a fall/Halloween take on "Secret Santas" or May baskets, and is a fun way to spread the spooky spells of Halloween!

How to BOO:

First decide who you want to BOO and then create BOO baskets filled with fun Halloween items for each house {I usually make sure there are even amounts of everything for each child in the house}

This is a bonus, but I like to dress up when I go BOOing! 

Then, once it is dark, head out to BOO the basket {along with a poem} on the doorstep, ring the doorbell and run as fast as you can so that you don't get caught!

As the driver, I love to sit in the car {with the lights off} and watch the kids anxiously walk up to the door, hesitantly ring the door bell, then run like crazy {screaming and laughing} to the car, jump in and start fearfully and excitedly tell their interpretation of what just happened {They saw us, I was running SO fast I almost feel, I've never been so scared, they'll never know it was us!} 

The house that was BOO-ed then places a picture in their window saying they've been BOO-ed, and continues the fun by BOOing others!

It's a night filled with racing hearts, laughter, fear, excitement and creating memories that will truly last a lifetime! 

Have you ever been BOO-ed OR BOO-ed someone?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Rogue Run-Half Marathon

Last year the first annual Rogue Run was one of my favorite races of the year: perfect weather, great course {one-way, flat, on the bike path}, fabulous course support,  local event, and I had a one of my best runs {which always helps}.  So needless to say, I was excited for it again this year.  I knew the race was going to fall right in the middle of marathon training {on a day that I was supposed to run 20miles} and a week after Ragnar plan was to stick with the training plan the week before {aka NOT taper}, and race the half marathon the best I could {I wasn't exactly sure what to expect...would I be recovered from Napa OR still tired, would 13 seem easy, or would I struggle to push the pace}..with a goal to break 2 hours! {a 7 min PR from last year}

I was so fortunate to have the best running buddies join me!

A new friend who I have enjoyed running with and getting to know! 

And my parents!! My dad and I have ran several races together, but this was the first time my mom went from #1 cowbeller to runner!! {and yes, she chose to run a half marathon for her first run in over 20 years!}

We had a group of people from work who signed up to walk it: Go Team Rogue!!! {Photobomb courtesy of Big Earl}

We started off the race with the goal of going sub-2...and about 2 miles in to the race there was a group of 6 of us girls who were all running together.  We were having a great time chatting and laughing...making the miles go by quickly.  My NIKE app kept saying "average pace 8:50, 9:05, etc}...we were on track to reach our goal.  I was feeling really strong and continued to encourage Mandy, who was a little nervous about keeping up the pace for all 13.1 miles.  Around mile 8 we started to separate...Steffanie ran ahead and Mandy dropped back a little.  I was definitely getting tired but kept pushing the pace, and focusing on people in front of me that I wanted to pass.  I came up on an older gentlemen who was "tuting" non-stop.  And ironically enough, he was still "tuting" when Mandy passed him near the finish...maybe he was gas powered!? I hit mile 10 and was ready to be done...but I knew I was so close! I knew the course extremely well {I've ran on the path several times}, and continued to focus on the next landmark, turn, etc.  Before I knew it I was coming up on the last mile and there was a guy there running the other way on the path encouraging the runners {come to find out, he was heading back to meet his wife to run in with her} and saying, "keep pushing, you can make it under 2 hrs!" I was so happy to turn the corner and see the finish line...I had a smile from ear-to-ear {I am always overwhelmed with a feeling of accomplishment and joy when I cross the finish line} and loved running through the finish line and hearing people cheering for me.  Official time: 2:01.46!!  So close!! Was I disappointed!? Not at all! I ran the best race I was could &  was so excited to drop another 6 minutes off of my time; I know my half marathon time will start with a 1 in San Antonio. 

We did it!! 

My dad ran with my mom and helped pace & push her...she finished in 2:18!!! {Impressive!!!}

Our buddies James and Makenna came out to cheer us on! A family that runs together stays together! 

In 2 1/2 years, I have shaved 22 minutes off of my half marathon time, and I am looking forward to shaving another 22 minutes off! 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

September Foodie Penpals

It amazes me how every single month my Foodie Penpal never ceases to impress!!! This month my package came from Joanna, who blogs over at Midwestern Bite!  I knew based on our email conversations she was going to put together a great package, and that she did:

Pop Chips {Sour Cream and Onion}
Tomato Preserve {from the Amish Country}
Honey Sticks
Bee Pollen
Esther Price Chocolate {a local favorite and popular gift} 

Joann mentioned in her card that Bee Pollen has a lot of health benefits, so I quickly started doing some research. One website said A supply of bee pollen is like holding a whole health food store in the palm of your hand. This one convenient source is a storehouse of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and oils, carbohydrates, amino acids, over 5,000 enzymes and coenzymes, hormones, peptones, polypeptides and globulins, high concentrations of the nucleic acids RNA and DNA, and a variety of antibiotic substances. Another site referred to it as a superfood.  I've started out by putting a small amount of bee pollen on my PB toast, and am looking forward to incorporating it into more recipes.

I wasn't sure what to think about the Tomato Preserve, but it is delicious....especially as part of an almond butter & jelly sandwich!

This just might be new favorite dressing...good thing I can order it online

I love the opportunity  to meet new people every week from all over the country and to try local flavors from all over.  You too can join in on the Foodie Pen Pal fun:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ragnar Napa

At 4:45am on Friday, Van 2 of team SORE LEGS {Southern Oregon Running Enthusiasts, Luckily Enhances by Greater Seattle} met at the Wal-Mart parking lot to decorate our van and head south.  The excitement and energy was already high...I knew the next 2 days were going to be EPIC!

It didn't take Rosie long to pull out her snack of choice: giant carrots, and enjoyed eating them while boinging and group'ing {oh the things that are funny during a relay}

We used the GroupMe app to be able to group text so we would know where each van was at, but also have fun along the way.  And Rosie's text tone is a boinging you can imagine where we went with Group-in and boinging. The things that are coming when in a van for 40+ hours with people

After heading to the wrong transition, we headed back to transition 6, went through the safety briefing, etc and got ready to run our first set of legs! It was already getting hot, so we found some shade and waited for Emily to come in.   

Amanda totally rocked her first run and then handed off to Ann, who was running a short, but gnarly leg...with a ginormous climb! Ann loves hills and powered up it with a smile on her face, but was very happy to run up her last little hill and hand off to me.  My first let was 4.4 VERY HARD miles, with the first mile being straight up.  When I took off, I looked ahead and could see cars at the top...and they were WAY up there! I put my "head down, elbows back" {Ann's hill motto}, shortened my stride and powered to the top. Upon reaching the crest, I enjoyed a beautiful 3 miles through the country before handing off to Nate.

Nate and Paul {The Giver} both had LONG, tough runs, with minimal we pulled out the squirt guns; the runners were so thankful to be cooled off! Colin, our fearless leader {aka DD}, took every opportunity he could to relax and enjoy. Rosie finished our first legs off with a short run through town {lots of stops at traffic signals, giving us time to make it to the transition in time} and then we handed off to van 1 and headed to La Gunitas for some grub, interesting music and a break.  We were entertained with songs about ethanol, midgets and weed! {the rest of the trip we were singing about the "M" word and "ethanol, ethanol..."}

After about 2 hours of sleep in the van {the major exchange where we would be receiving the "baton" didn't have indoor sleeping, showers, and only had 3 indoor bathrooms...disappointing}we were ready to rock n roll through the fog lit streets of Santa Rosa. Amanda was thankful to find a running partner to run with as she was running past all of the bars just as they were closing...interesting characters out to say the least.  We were able to stop and check on her a few times, and make sure her ankle was ok {she had rolled it at the beginning of her run}. Next up was Ann, who rocked a Team Sparkle skirt for her nighttime run {I couldn't pass up a photo opportunity with another team of Team Sparkle runners}. And then it was ME...and I was a lil excited to be running at 1:30am. I had my tunes rocking through my Road Noise Vest and I was ready to go.  Luckily, I always had people around me so I felt safe and enjoyed running through the fog lit streets among a sea of blinking red lights.  Before I knew it I was handing off to Nate.  Nate had an 8 mile, no van support leg, so we went straight to the next exchange and got a little more shut eye.  I'm not sure what happened to me, but after Nate finished I curled up in the back of the van and didn't get out again...hence the lack of nighttime photos.  I slept through 2 exchanges {sorry team} and a container of pretzels &  a bag of food falling on my face!

Believe it or not, at this point in the relay, I had had NO caffeine {NONE from the time we left Medford}, so after resting a little bit we headed to, a flushing toilet and running water to brush my teeth were HEAVENLY!! Most people in van 2 had short third legs, but not me...I had 8.1, VERY HARD, NO VAN SUPPORT miles to run.  The phenomenal views of the wineries made every step of those hot, 8  miles worth it. It was seriously the most beautiful run EVER!

Clockwise starting top left: Amanda proud to be done, Rosie staying cool while waiting for Paul to come in, Rosie heading out on her 5 mile run to the finish, and Nate handing off to Paul

Clockwise starting top left: Ann heading off to enjoy an easy 2 miles, Amanda taking off for our last legs, "party foul" at the exchange, spirit tunnel for Amanda

Showing off our NUUN tattoos


{One of many} Finish line photo!

One of my tweeps and fellow blogger, Paulette, was running the relay as well, but in van 1.  Throughout the relay we would tweet back and forth, hoping to meet up at one of the major exchanges {I think I was sleeping the one time we were actually at the same place at the same time}.  She had tweeted me as we were waiting for Rosie to come in but I was running low on battery and had limitied my team came running through the finish line I saw Paulette standing there waiting and after taking a million team pictures, I ran up and gave her a big hug! It was SO nice to finally meet someone I felt like I already knew so well IRL!

Well I think it's safe to say I have a new running addiction: relays! Its amazing how well you get to know people and the relationships that are formed in such a short amount of time. I love the team aspect..the support, encouragement, and non-stop fun are truly one of a kind, and something that is hard to put into words. I already have my eye on Ragnar Wasatch Back {currently on the wait list}, Colorado and Tennessee for 2013...who wants to join me???

Friday, August 31, 2012

It was a peach of a day {or should I say week}

To be honest, I don't even know where my desire to can, especially peaches, came from, but I heard about the Harry and David Peach Palooza, where they sell peaches for $.10/lb.  and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to learn! I text my friend Kaylee and she was totally on board to can with me {even though she thought it was a little random!}.  We showed up around 12:00pm only to discover they were out of peaches, and had been since 10am, but would possibly be getting more the following Saturday.  I called on Wednesday, and they confirmed they would have more peaches that Saturday.  Kaylee and I were ready to be there bright and early...only one problem, we were going to a Sugarland concert that Friday outside of Eugene {about 3hrs north of Medford}.  So we did what any crazy-country-music-loving-wanting-to-learn-how-to-can girls would do, and drove home after the concert {got home around 3am}, and set our alarms for 6:15am to head to the Peach Palooza.  We were not the happiest campers when our alarms went off, but that quickly changed when we arrived to thousands of pounds of peaches and people frantically grabbing them...we were instantly caught up in the excitement and ready to fill our boxes {note to self: next time take smaller boxes!} We started singing {and playing on my iPhone} Peaches by The Presidents of the United States of America, and before we knew it, we had 250lbs of peaches! Yes, 250 lbs of peaches!

Now the question was what to do with all of these peaches!? The thought of a ton {a few yes, but a ton, no} of canned peaches didn't sound all that appealing {I don't remember the last time I had canned peaches}, so I started looking up canned peach ideas {thanks Pinterest}, and found a recipe for peach salsa and peach BBQ sauce.  I later found a canning edition of Better Homes & Gardens with a recipe for Jalapeno-Peach Jelly and Peach-Bellini Jam. Oh, and we had to have frozen peaches for smoothies and cobblers.  

We started our canning adventure by going over to my friend's house who is the canning queen with the perfect kitchen for it, and busted out 100 jars in one evening! We now felt like we knew enough to can on our own!

Wednesday night we were up until 2am slicing, dicing, mixing, boiling {burning}, {deliriously} laughing, wanting to cry, and canning. {another lesson learned: being more creative and making salsas, BBQ sauces & jellies is quite a bit more work than just canning the peaches}.  My kitchen is not quite equipped for a canning extravaganza, but we made the best of it...and now have great memories, chopped peaches for more cobblers, and cutely labeled jars full of peaches! 
The kitchen aftermath

This picture was taken around 1:00am

Canning wouldn't be complete without cute labels

I have made 3 peach cobblers in my entire the last 3 weeks!

Best cobbler recipe every courtesy of the Reluctant Entertainer!

We are already thinking of what our next canning extravaganza will entail...perhaps applesauce! 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Marathon Training Has Begun

Disclaimer: I looked up the difference between begun and began when typing the title of this post, because I wasn't sure which was the correct word, and based on my research "begun" is correct, but if not, please let me know :)

It's a little surreal, but yes, I am training for Marathon #3...there was a point when I said I would never run a marathon, but here I am training for my 3rd {all over a time span of 15 months!}.  After completing the Rock N Roll Seattle Marathon, I knew right away that I wanted to do another marathon;   there was also talk about a NUUN reunion at CIM {which I had heard was a phenomenal event!}.  The only thing holding me back from signing up for another marathon, was finding someone to run it with me...I was only willing to do it if I had a running partner{s} to train with. I asked a few people, and within a week was signed up for CIM and had two running partners to run it with me {Heidi and Mandy}. We {ok I} have decided to do the Run Less Run Faster training plan again for this marathon.  

Speedwork: 3x1600 at 8:00 pace....eek! I was a little nervous for this one, especially being our first speed workout in a long time...but we dominated it.
Tempo Run: Instead of doing a tempo run, we did a hill run {total of 6 miles} with the group...Heidi and I had our marathon mojo going and powered up the hill
Long Run: 13 miles at 10:20 pace...we ended up averaging 9:30, and felt strong the entire way. 

Speedwork: 1200, 1000, 800, 600, 400, 200 at an 8:00 pace.  We ran them faster, closer to a 7:30 pace
Temp Run: Once again we did the hill run with group {6 miles}
Long Run: We have 15 miles schedule for tomorrow...we are all a little nervous but it will be great! I'll check back to let you know how it went!

Ok, as promised, I'm back to report on today's run! Well despite nerves, and being pretty tired at the start, we totally rocked 15 miles, with an average pace of 9:40. 

Our trip to CIM was always going to be a girls weekend...My friend Shannon {Mandy's sister} and her friend Stephanie were going to come with us and be our cheerleaders...well after a run a couple of weekends ago I convinced the two of them, along with another friend Alicia to sign up for the team "Dragged Into This" will now be joining us for 26.2 miles!!!  

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Thank you Paulette and Tasha for nominating me {and forcing me to write another blog post this week...I've been a little busy to say the least}.The Liebster Blog award is meant to honor up-and-coming blogs with smaller followings that you really like. I'm excited to be a part of it to share my story and to nominate other bloggers you should check out (including the above ladies who nominated me). 

The Liebster Blog award asks the blogger to do the following:
1. Answer 11 questions posted by the person who nominated you.
2. List 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Nominate 11 blogs.
4. Write 11 questions for the blogs you nominate.

Ok, without further adieu, here are 11 random facts about me:

1.  I have broken my collar bone twice, once when I was younger and rolled out of my bed and once when I was in a bike accident last year.
2.  A big item on my running bucket list is to run all of the races on the Rock N Roll series {according to the list of races from the rate they keep adding them I'll never catch up!}
3.  When I was a senior in high school I went to the Grammy's, and met {and also have my picture with} Meg Ryan, Jennifer Aniston & Brad Pitt, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, and Bonnie Raitt {just to name a few :)} 
4.  I'm a trash {not trashy} girl...I have a degree in Kinesiology and work as an executive assistant at the garbage company.
5. I was a competitive swimmer for 10 years. 
6.  I am a CASA {Court Appointed Special Advocate}.
7.  I am working my way towards 27 dresses.
8.  I have twin brothers and twin cousins.
9.  My parents have been married for 35 years.
10.  2 years ago I did Cycle Oregon 
11.  I have never owned a GPS watch {I've always used my phone, but am SO excited to get my BiaSport watch}

Paulette's Questions for me:

1. What is your favorite race? My favorite race to date is the Country Music Rock N Roll in Nashville.
2. What is your least favorite race? The Pear Blossom...a local 10 mile race! I love the camaraderie of the event, but dislike the course, and can't seem to PR for the life of me!
3. Do you have pets, and if so what kind? No
4. Where did you go to school?  I went to college at the University of Colorado, Boulder. GO BUFFS!!!
5. What is your favorite long run fuel?  Honeystingers
6. Name one thing on your running bucket list. Hood-To-Coast
7. If you could vacation anywhere for a week, where would you go? Australia or New Zealand
8. Coffee, tea, or none of the above? Coffee
9. What sparked your commitment to healthy living and fitness? I read and commented on a lot of blogs, and 2 of my good friends were bloggers, so I decided to start my own! I got more serious about it after following all of the girls on the NUUN Hood-To-Coast team last year.
10. What hobbies do you have outside of running & fitness? I love working with children {nannying, teaching Sunday school, being a CASA}, waterskiing, quad riding, playing the guitar, I am a member of the Storytelling Guild and Junior League...
11. Why did you start blogging?  After reading blogs, I wanted to join the community and be able to share my story with others as well.  I love the support, encouragement and "friendships" that are created from the blogging world

#3 and #4 on the Liebster Blog Award guidelines say to nominate 11 blogs and write 11 questions for them to answer...but I am going to cheat a lil! Most of the people I would nominate have already done a post and answered questions {and if they haven't, they're even more behind than I am}, so instead I am going to provide links to 11 blogs, where you can read their random facts and answers to fellow blogger questions!

Ok...I changed my mind last minute and am going to tag a few more bloggers, and come up with 11 questions for them to answer {that the above mentioned bloggers can feel free to answer as well!}


1. What is your favorite running tune?
2. What is your favorite running gadget/accessory?
3.  Are you a morning or afternoon runner?
4.  Who/what is the inspiration behind your running?
5.  What is your favorite inspirational quote/saying?
6. What is your biggest fear?
7.  What is your favorite meal after a long run?
8.  What is your favorite FroYo topping?
9.  If you could run a race anywhere, where would it be?
10.  What is one thing you said you would never do, that you have done?
11.  What was your favorite event to watch during the olympics?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Practice Safe Hydration

One {of the many} fun parts about running with NUUN, was spreading the NUUN love to all of the runners and encouraging them to Practice Safe Hydration {thanks to Mason for the clever phrase}.  So when we had downtime we distributed NUUN tattoos {we even offered to apply them} and handed out single serve NUUN tabs.  Most people were familiar with NUUN and happy to see us out there, and others had never heard of it, and were curious to learn more & give it a try!

Who knew the NUUN tattoo would start a new tramp stamp trend!?

Risky Business wasn't complete without a NUUN tattoo...and of course he didn't hesitate to offer up his cheek! 

A fellow NUUNie 
Yes, we had a request for a neck tattoo! 

It didn't take long for me to be fired from my job as a tattoo artist...there were one too many NUUr tattoos! 

In all seriousness, practicing safe hydration is crucial...

Whether running a relay, racing a marathon, doing Crossfit or just out on a training run, proper hydration is key! When we sweat, we lose electrolytes, and need to replace them...simple as that! It's important to replenish electrolytes in order to avoid cramping and to help muscles function, communicate and burn energy efficiently! NUUN contains Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B2...for more information click here



Monday, August 6, 2012


My schedule can get pretty busy, especially during the summer; before I know it summer is over, and I have only made it to the lake a handful of times! This summer I have made a valid effort to go to the lake more often, because after all, it doesn't get much better than spending the day with family & friends, waterskiing, airchairing, rocking out to music on the lake, playing cards, etc! 

My family's new favorite toy is the airchair, and being that we are kind of competitive, we always try to get more air than everyone else {as you will see below, Nick dominates in the air category}.   Every time I strap onto the board, my dad and brother say, "Come on Holly, big air this time; just launch yourself" {let me tell you, it's a little scary to "launch" yourself  while strapped to a seat, with a 3-4ft pylon below you}

Dad, living the dream!
Kaylee joined us for fun at the lake this weekend!

BIG AIR {kind of}
hand to knees, hold, freeze, eyes open, look up

Nick: The Pro! 

I think I got as much air as my dad!?

James is getting the hang of it! 

Riding the foil! 

My mom airchairs as well, but she is really the Surf Queen, and loves to bust-a-move while surfing 

I haven't quite mastered surfing, but I was able to surf without the rope for quite a while this weekend! 

Lil James decided he wanted to surf with me...

...but we weren't successful! 
I have a couple more weekends to really master "launching" myself! I just might even be jumping the wake by the end of the summer {OK, not really, but one can dream, right!?}.

This is what summer is all about!!!