Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Knockout! Panties Review and Giveaway!

A while back I was contacted via twitter to do a review for Knock Out! Panties.  I like doing reviews so I quickly agreed.  Since I am a runner, I asked to try the no sweat bra and thong, both out of the Fitness Collection.  I was excited! Not only did they send me those two items to try, but a third pantie, the lacy thong

Smart Pantie, Lacy Thong
I have had these for a couple months now and have worn and washed them several times.  My favorite ended up being the lacy thong. The price is what I consider high, but the value us A+++.   I have never had panties that have fit so well and been so comfortable.  After washing time and time again, they still fit like they are new.  
The thong out of the fitness collection is great too.  I would pick the lacy thong first, but I do think this is an excellent value too.  I even ran in these! 

Fitness Collection, Thong
Fitness Collection, Sports Bra
The sports bra isn't what I expected.  I like to wear a padded sports bra with some support.  The no sweat bra is very comfortable, but there is no padding or under-wire, so I wasn't comfortable going out for a run in it.  I do, love wearing this bra with casual wear or doing at home workouts.  It doesn't pull or pinch at all.  It's so comfortable, I could sleep in it, and most bra's are a big NO for sleeping in.

Some facts about Knock out!
Invented by a women who wanted a little something extra for sweat, spots, and little leaks that can occur during exercise or just because (because it happens and we all know it!!!)
She wanted women to have a better thin cotton liner.  Knock out panties are made with patented technology that protects from wetness and odor all day, everyday!  The liner has an all natural odor absorbing treatment and a dual action wicking fibers built right into the 100% cotton fabric.  It is thin, breathable and natural.  They have styles for every personality and any outfit!


After trying these myself, I can tell you, this is a way better liner than any pantie I have worn. Even brands that I thought were top quality.

Founder & CEO of Knock out! is Angela Newnam 
 Panties are made in the USA
You can find Knock out! on facebook here. 
Find them on twitter @KnockoutPanties

Knock out has generously offered one of my readers a couple free pairs of panties.  I picked the lacy thong since they are my favorite.  Enter the giveaway below and share with your friends! 

Please note: I am not sponsored by Knock out! Panties and received no compensation for this blog. 
All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Portland Marathon 2014

My first marathon was Portland 2010.  A lot went wrong during that race, but I never once regretted doing it. 
I walked away from Portland '10 knowing I wanted to do that over again, but not sure when that would ever be.  2014 was the year.  It was my 7th full marathon 4 years later.

I signed up for Portland '14 about a year ago.  At the time, I was in the best shape of my life with dreams of a Boston Qualifier in '14.

2014 came and suddenly I found myself in the most stressful year of my life.  I found myself going through some things I never thought would happen to me, to loved ones, and other family members.  I found myself having days of wanting to withdrawal from people. Life can get hard can't it?

As I started training for Portland, I knew I had to start running in the early mornings to beat the summer heat.  At the time, I didn't have any running friends who wanted to run at 5:30-6:30 in the
Early group run with Erika and more!
mornings, and it was difficult to get into the mindset of getting up early several times a week to train by myself.  The day I decided to try and get motivated I saw another lady running down the street in my neighborhood with a Boston dog.  A runner and a cool dog, it caught my attention but I didn't know her so we just passed each other.  Later that day, on my facebook page ZaoFit, this very same lady said she thought she saw me.  We decided to meet for a run and there you have it, a morning running buddy!  Eventually we got a group of 4-6 people meeting with us 2-3 times a week between 5:30-6:30 am.  I got used to getting up extra early to get my training in.  These group runs kept me moving forward in my training and moving away from withdrawal.  

As I went to Portland Saturday it was so amazing.  I had dreamed of running that course over again for four years.  I dreamed of running over the St. John's Bridge and being able to enjoy it and not suffering like in 2010.  Last time I ran over that bridge, my head hurt so bad I was on the verge of a migraine.  Also, because of a back problem, I had only made it to mile 15 in my training (not good).  The St. John's Bridge is mile 17 and you go up a nice hill to get to it.
Jerry and I at that starting line! 

I had dreamed of a Boston Qualifier the year before, but because of some things that had happened, I let life take over and chose not to do all my training correctly.  I still was in good shape, but I also knew I needed tempo runs and I really skimped on them.  My tempo runs are very "mentally challenging" and I just didn't want to do them most weeks, so I didn't.
And we are off!  That's the Start!

 The morning came.  Jerry (my husband) and I got to the starting area at 6:00 am October 5th.  We did the normal stuff. Used the port-a-potties over and over and watched people. It was about 56 degrees, humid and dark.  More and more people joined up until the whole block was packed full.  We sang the national anthem, were told some instructions, and we were off in the 2nd wave of runners. I knew I should of used the port-a-pottie one last time!  Why????  I decided I would deal with it and ran! 

I knew I had no business being in the 3:40 pace group but I did put that as my goal time a year ago. Once you register you aren't allowed to change it. I clearly wasn't the only one that shouldn't be in this pace group.  It was so funny to watch some of the people!  I could dropped back after we started, but thought, what the heck, and I ran with them for awhile! By the way, starting too fast isn't a good idea in a marathon!

The marathon is 26.2 miles and to get though the "miles" I play tricks with my brain.  This time I divided the marathon into 4 mile segments.  I can run 4 miles any day, even when I don't feel like running, so this made 26 miles, seem more like 6.  There you have it....a brain trick!  I ran my first 4 miles well.  I was feeling good.  I knew I wasn't completely on track, but I was still within reason.


About half way (mile 13 or 14), I realized the temperature was rising and my head was starting to hurt.  For the first time this race, I walked for a sec, and took a mineral pill and two Excedrin.  A few more miles and I saw the St. John's Bridge.  I was actually looking forward to running up the hill this time.  I had totally lost it at this point in 2010 and I was determined to enjoy this moment.  About half way up the hill I decided I better walk because this was still

steep 4 years later!  I walked about half way up and I was ok with that.  There were lots of people who had to walk too. It was hard, lets face it!  As I got to the top and turned to my right, I was on the bridge!!!!  I still had to run UP over the bridge, but I was up there.  I began running again.  The sun was out and it was beautiful.  I enjoyed the whole bridge.  About mile 17.5, I came down off the bridge and took a sharp right into a neighborhood stocked FULL of people cheering for me and other runners. There were kids giving high 5s.  A man giving out free hugs (no thank you!) Also lots of rolling hills. Too bad  I couldn't skip the hills! 

One of the down hills felt as if it was tearing up my quads.  This was rather uncomfortable and I had to slow down my downhill pace so I wouldn't fall down and end my race there in front of the man giving out hugs!  This was rather frustrating.

I was still in the neighborhood full of fans cheering loudly and along came a person on a bike next to me (about mile 21).  This person starts asking me if I need anything and called me by name.  I was too tired to turn my head but then realized he knew me so I looked at him. To my surprise, it was my runner friend Britt Sexton!  I almost cried!  I was wondering what he was doing there.  He had come to cheer for runners and to see people he knew running the race.  At this point I was really tired and it was really hot out.  I didn't need any of his GU or Gels (that's runners fuel) all I wanted was company.  There were people everywhere but he was the only person who knew me!  I asked him just to stay with me for a few minutes.  Bikes aren't supposed to be out on the course so I only ran with him for a short time.  He went up ahead looking for Jerry and his other running friends.  I saw him off and on until I finished. It was really cool. 

At that point (mile 20+) in a marathon, having someone there for you is a huge deal.  It can lift your spirit up for a mile or more and keep you moving forward.  Soon I reached the Morrison Bridge and I knew the finish line would be coming soon, but first, I had to cross back over the river.

I saw a lady runner being coached by another runner.  It was very clear the poor lady was done.  Her coach never stopped talking so I just listened and took the motivation for myself.  Watching these two ladies helped for another mile or so.  There were some inclines up and down and I could feel the struggle in my own body.  I could also see the struggle in others around me.

At mile 25 I was coming up behind a man attempting to finish the race, but his legs had locked up.  They were flinging out as he moved and I knew something bad was going to happen soon.  We were on a slight downhill and it wasn't long till the man hit the pavement!  His race was over at mile 25!  I started to stop but 3 or 4 other people gathered around him, so I ran up to the aid station and told them to send a medic.  Then I ran on with the rest of the runners around me.

Around a few more blocks I went, running by 100's and 100's of people cheering for family and friends in downtown Portland.  It is an amazing feeling even though my body was spent at this time. I was so tired! My feet were achy, my arm hurt from the stupid water bottle I decided I needed to carry but soon I came to the
  Portland Marathon finish line!  I hadn't made my A, B, or C goal time, but I did finish well for the training I put in!  I PRed that course too! 2010 ..... 5:25.25.    Today in 2014 .... 4:11.12


I knew Jerry came in at least 20 minutes before me.  I was given a finishers medal and handed a rose. Then I was like, wait..."where is Jerry?"  I was feeling happy, confused and extremely tired all at the same time.  I was also very sweaty and hot!  I found my phone and Jerry had sent me a text, "I'm in the Medical tent!"  I couldn't find the tent at first, but then realized it was down from the finishers area just a little.  I told the medical volunteers, "I think my husband is in there."  I was taken to the tent with broken runners lying on cots getting medical attention.  Sure enough, there was Jerry!

This was Jerry's 2nd marathon.  This is Jerry's 2nd time ending in the medical tent.  I was instantly angry at him.  I wasn't trying to be insensitive, I was seriously angry.  My husband likes to finish every race with a sprint and I'm sorry, but you just don't sprint at the end of a marathon ok!!!!  I didn't even have to be told.  I knew what he had done, so, I sat down and said, "I'm never signing you up for a marathon again."  That's all I said!  He got to lay there and get better and I got to sit.  On the finishers block there were no chairs.  At least we were sitting!  I was tired and mad!

Soon they let Jerry go and we walked the finishers block.  I had calmed down by now. Jerry had done a great job, he just shouldn't race the last .2 miles of a marathon!  We were handed our finishers coin, necklace and a tree to take home and plant.  There was all kinds of food and drinks and the only thing that sounded good at the time was the red grapes.  My hands were full so I would eat and go get more, eat and go get more.  Jerry didn't want anything but to get some rest so we made our way around the block and got our finishers shirts.  I did get to chat with a lady I didn't know about the race and other races...always fun.  I ran into Marilyn, a blogger friend.  Check out her facebook at Lipgloss and Spandex.  A block FULL of food and all I ate was red grapes!!!

Jerry and I walked to our van parked a few blocks away and he laid down in the back of the van while I went to pay for parking and get some more food.  I was getting pretty hungry now.

I have learned something from every marathon I have run.  Sometimes its something simple, but most of the time, it's pretty deep stuff!  Running for me, is so much more than just a way to keep fit.  It's a way of life.  Running for me is too keep my sanity, to be healthy, to have valuable friendships, to have alone time, to think, to cry, to feel good about myself, to feel stronger, to feel weak sometimes, to battle the madness in my head, to get away, to get ideas, to clear the head, sometimes I run just to run, to feel alive.  To feel pain. Sometimes I run for food and that is fun! Training for THIS marathon keep me afloat.  It gave me a new friend.  It helped me through a hard year.  Running is a gift!

Dutch Luv
I am going to finish up 2014 with The Runaway Pumpkin Half and Silver Falls 7 miler by Run Wild Adventures.  Also a couple fun runs for food with great friends.

From Donita's Watkins Store
Come January, I will start training for marathon number 8, Newport Marathon.  They also offer a half marathon this year if you are interested. I will never give up on my dream of a Boston Qualifier time, but I know I have to put in the work, to get the PR!

A special thanks to Joe and Karmen from Dutch Bros, Dallas & Monmouth OR and Donita from Donita's Country Kitchen.  They were responsible for sending me to Portland Marathon '14.  Thanks for the sponsorship guys!

I will never stop dreaming of a SUB 3:40

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon 2014 Pre Race News!

Are you looking for a Fall Half?
 I recommend The Runaway Pumpkin Half!
Feeling good in the 2012 race!
It's October 18th in Lebanon, OR (Cheadle Lake Park) at 9:00am.
I have run this race twice and it's one of my favorites for several reasons.  I love to race in the Falls (cooler weather).  It's a really fun atmosphere with a costume contest.   You can walk or run.  It's a fundraiser for the ABC House in Albany, OR.  The ABC House is a Child Abuse Intervention Center serving Benton and Linn Counties.  It also has great food at the end!
Me getting ready to run in 2012 (a PR year for me!)
There are a number of ways you can help or take part in this awesome fundraiser.  
~Run or walk the half marathon.  You can register here for $65.  Price goes up on Oct 7th.
~Buy a hoodie for $25 here.
~Can't make it? You can support ABC house by being a Virtual Runner for $45 here.
~Volunteer on race day.

The Runaway Pumpkin course is perfect for a beginner or if your looking for a Half PR.  Nice and flat.  It's a loop course.  Partly running along the water.  Race is capped at 1500. Currently just over 700 have registered. It is chipped timed. If you like to dress up, there is a contest for the best costume but costumes aren't required.  Packet pick-up will be Friday the 18th at the Phoenix Inn & Suites in Albany from 8-4.  If you can't make that, you can pick up your packet Saturday morning from 7:00-8:45.  You will get your awesome shirt at this time too.  There will be age group winner/prizes and the first place male/female will receive a $250 gift card to Lowe's and a free entry for next years race!  How sweet is that!?
2011, a fun year!

Read about my 2012 race here. 
Read about my 2011 race here.
 Follow Runaway Pumpkin on
Facebook, here.
Instagram, here. 
Twitter, here.
Join me on my facebook page ZaoFit and tell me if your running this race!  I would love to meet you! ZaoFit~Julie Mullins







Thursday, September 25, 2014

Uberthons The Oregon Marathon Half Reveiw



Some of my favorite races have been put on my Uberthons.  Last year I ran the first ever "The Oregon Marathon."
  This year I ran the Half.  

This is Tonya, myself (Julie) and Erika with some serious Uberthon Bling around our necks! We all ran the half this year.

We arrived early September 13th to make sure we were in the correct spot and get Jerry (my husband) were he needed to be for volunteering.   There were lots of people coming in, 920 people registered this year. 38 states were represented. We had a chance to talk to other runner friends we hadn't seen in a while and meet new people we had only seen on facebook.  
It was about 54 degree at 7:00 am as we stood outside the Glockenspiel Restaurant waiting to start.  The Marathoners started first down the road.  The half marathoners lined the streets and cheered for the marathoners as they ran by.  It was a fun way to start off the race.  Soon we were off.  54 degrees is just about perfect racing weather in my opinion, but I knew it would be quickly warming up that day.  
Tony, Mitch and Kelleigh at the start of the half
I had a stomach bug a few days before the race and was nervous about how I would feel out there.  We got only .32 miles in and I knew I had to use a restroom.  The runners were still really close together, rounding a corner when I saw a line of port-a-potties.  I knew we were heading out on a country road so I though, "I better go"  UGH!  I hate having to stop while racing, but it happens sometimes.  2-3 minutes and I was back out there running in the river of runners.  I had some friends who I knew started behind me, so as I climbed the small hill I just looked for them.
 I was feeling pretty good.  I could feel I was dehydrated from being sick, but right now I could run!  I loved the course Uberthons picked.  We had a small climb, but then a nice flat and a few declines for about 9 miles.  9 miles of feeling awesome too!  I was passing people and enjoying all the beautiful farm land.  
Soon I saw my friend Lisa who was running the full marathon today.  We talked briefly and I went on.  I was really trying to make up at least 2 minutes from my stop during the first mile.  

About half way, Darwin (the head of Uberthons) was out there cheering us runners on.  It was fun to see him out on the course.

Mile 9 came and the dehydration set in.  I suddenly felt terrible.  
I tried not to come to a walk but a few times I had too or I would of thrown up.  I knew this might happen, but I still tried to enjoy what was left of the half.  

We ran across Gallon House Bride (the oldest covered bride in Oregon).  I saw people stopping for a quick photo.  It was really pretty, but I didn't care about a photo at this point :(

Soon we started to climb again.  I actually was looking forward to this part of the course, but not now!  The hills made my stomach hurt worse.  I began getting passed and hearing, "your doing great" "way to stick it out"  UGH, yeah, I know, and your wrong!  I'm not doing great!  At the same time, I knew this might happen and I ran anyway.  Afterall, Uberthons has the biggest finisher medals I've ever seen, and one was waiting for me just up ahead!  

After the hill, we went around town some and headed to the school to finish on the track.  I soon saw Eric (finished today at 1:42, his very first half).  Then I entered the track.  This was a nice way to end.  There were lots of people and it was totally flat.  I was able to pass two people and end it at exactly 2:02.  Very sad time for me compared to what I had planned to run, but that's how it goes sometimes.  


Yes, I just passed that guy!!!! Me, at the finish
I was handed a huge Uberthons medal and a water.  Then I went behind the grandstand to hide.  I felt like puking and I didn't really want my friends to see that.  After I composed myself I came around to cheer friends on as they came in and try to eat some watermelon.  It sounded so good!  I got my watermelon and then found a spot on the nice green grass and SAT DOWN!  Sorry friends, I can't cheer you in, I can't get up!  The watermelon, as good as it tasted, didn't seem to help.  My friends soon found me and we all sat together and laughed and just enjoyed the afternoon. 
Erika also ran her first half today and did a fine job!  I saw my friend Kim come in (she was on my Epic Relay team, good job Kim!).  

I was able to pick up my Uberthons Jacket!  It's really awesome.  
Tonya, Lindsay, Myself, and Erika with our Uberthons Bling


I earned my Oregon Marathon Jacket for running last year and this year!  I love it!


Over the course of the full marathon, 13 water


 & electrolyte stations were along the course along with 

several ice-cold watermelon stations.  My husband was 

helping cut up watermelon out there! 


Mile Markers were up along the course

1000's of race photos were taken.  It was really fun, looking

 through all the great photos that were taken!

The Oregon Marathon was Chip timed.

This is a race I highly recommend for anyone looking for a

 full or half in September 2015.  Uberthons does a fine job

 making their events fun and leaving you wanting to come

 back again.  They also have the biggest medals I've ever seen! 
Congratulations to the winners....
The Full Oregon Marathon Winners... Male: Norman Mininger from Colorado Springs, 2:46:52
Female: Jennifer Lloyd from Bend, 3:26:56
For the Half, winners are Male: Jason Griffiths from Portland coming in at 1:08:13. 
Female Colleen Little from Lake Oswego fininishing at 1:22:05

Register for 2015 starting October 1st here.
Full Marathon $105
Half Marathon $85
Marathon Relay $70


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Albany Half 2014 Review

 Last year I did the Inaugural Albany Half, so this year it was on my list of races to do again.  Summer Halves aren't my favorite because of the heat, but they are good for training! 

The 2nd Albany Half Marathon was held at Timber Linn Park on Saturday Aug. 16th
Registration was $45 before July 1st,  $55 after....or $65 on race day.  Your fee included at dri-fit shirt and a medal at the finish line.
All race proceeds and sponsorships went back to the Albany schools. 
My FAVORITE, Dutch Bros was there!!!

This year there were some small changes that made the Albany Half even better than last year.  First of all, when I got to packet pick up the line seemed to flow better.  I was handed my bib number, a dri-fit shirt and a bag with coupons and advertisements in it.  There were more vendors than last year.  I always enjoy walking around looking at vendor booths at races.

This year instead of starting on the grass, we stared on the asphalt with chip timing. That's always a plus in my book! 

There were more porta potties this year.  I used them several times before the race started and never had to stand in line.  Last year I stood in line.  

There was plenty of road control out on the course as well. The Linn County Sheriff's Dept. and The Albany Police Dept. were out on course stopping cars when the runners needed to cross the streets.

There was Energy Gu and Gatorade out on the course along with plenty of water, much needed in summer races. The water was about every two miles with plenty of volunteers.   


Nice bright orange dri-fit shirt this yr!
They offered a walkers start at 7:00 am.  I started with the runners at 8:00 am.  The weather seemed cooler than last year (slightly, lol).  The first several miles were nice and flat.  We ran through local farm land. The course was a big loop.  Half way, our split time was taken.  There was a nice water station and a port a potty for those in need!  Thankfully, I was not in need!!!!!  

My stomach did begin hurting very badly around this time for some unknown reason.  I had to take it down a notch for some relief.  Had to slow down quite a bit!

About mile 7 began the rolling hills and I started seeing walkers.  I always enjoy a race when they start the walkers early so the runners can catch up with them.  Somehow this gives me something to look forward too! It was starting to get hot.


About mile 11 my stomach began to feel better and I was able to speed back up and finish pretty strong.  I like the changes made at the end of the race this year.  We ended on a better road this time and didn't have to run in a grass field.   Every finisher got to hear their named called as they crossed the finish line.  That's always fun.
Some good eats at the end of the race
Fun Raffles and Award.  Lots of Raffles were drawn making it fun at the end for the runners.
AdvoCare Advisor Jennifer Tress
(360) 635-8574
https://www.advocare.com/140169742
Albany Sport & Spine Physical Therapy
541-928-1411
617 Hickory St NW Suite 160
Albany, OR 97321

Advanced Chiropractic
Keven M. Ross, DC
1117 Pacific Blvd SE
Albany, OR 97321
541-928-1010

Mid Valley Physical Therapy
Gregory Pick
631 Elm St. SW, Suite 205
Albany, OR 97321
541-967-1224

These are a few of the vendors I talked too!  There were MORE!  So fun!
 Ended at 1:55.27... 2nd place in age group.  10th women and 52nd runner overall.
If you have any questions about the Albany Half Marathon, please contact Bryce Bennett at 541-730-0413 or bryce.bennett@albany.k12.or.us

Monday, August 4, 2014

Watkins Giveaway from Donita's Country Kitchen

Donita's Country Kitchen and Store has given me some fun stuff to share with you! 

If your not familiar with Watkins, you can check out products here including Home care, Remedies, Bath & Body and Gourmet.  If you wish to place and order, message Donita here!  She will answer all your questions and give you the latest deals.
Be sure and like Donita's Country Kitchen on facebook here.
You won't want to miss any of her delicious recipes.

Enter to win one Naturals Home Care All Purpose Wipes.  
One Menthol Relief Mist (one of my favorite products), 
and
One Natural Beeswax Lip Balm (peppermint).  
Simply enter below, good luck!  Winner will be picked Tuesday the 12th of August!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, July 25, 2014

A look at The Albany Half Marathon, Coming 8/16/2014

Are you looking for a good half marathon to run in August?  Join me for the 2nd Annual Albany Half Marathon  on August 16th.  

This 13.1 mile loop course starts and finishes at Timber Linn Park.  There will be plenty of parking and it's just off I-5 and easy to find!  This is a great beginners course.  It's a great Hood to Coast warm up.  Also, a quick course for the seasoned runner looking for a PR.  Feel free to register as a walker and bring your baby in a stroller and/or dog along for the walk/run! This race will have professional chip timing by Eclectic Edge.  All finishers will receive a dri-fit t-shirt and a medal at the finish line! 
There will be top ten male/female awards in each age group.  Last year a cool medal water bottle was the award.  
The course will take you through local farms and have a small incline about mile 6.  There is a section of rolling hills.  It is a beautiful course and all race proceeds and sponsorship go to Albany schools!
For more information on how to get involved with this race contact Bryce Bennett at (541) 730-0413 or bryce.bennett@albany.k12.or.us

You will be want to know: water stations will be along the course about every two miles.  You will also find two nutrition stations and a porta potty at mile 6.5. 
You can come park as early at 5:30 am.  Pick up race packets as early at 6:00 am.  If your walking, your start time is 7:00 am and for runners, 8:00 am.  After the race, awards will be handed out at 10:30 am.  


Last year I ran this and struggled a bit when I got to the rolling hills.  I plan on going back this year to PR the course.  I hope to see you there supporting the Albany Schools! 
You can view the course map here.
An entry form can be found here.
From now until August 14th your can register for $55 (includes dri-fit shirt)
After that, price will go up to $65
Register on-line here