Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Epic Relay with Complete Strangers! AND Giveaway!

My EPIC Team at the finish line!

I came home Thursday evening to find a message on a facebook page asking me to run Epic Relay the next morning. Team "Tripping on Shoelaces" needed a runner.  I needed to let them know by 10:00 pm.  It was 9:00 pm!  YIKES!  With only a couple hours of sleep, I was in Keizer, OR standing in Lisa's living room with a team of people I didn't know.  

Meet my team:

Van one
Van two!

Chris, the Caption!
Anthony, the Elite!
Kim, the Rookie!
Melissa (Mel) the Cheerleader!
Alyssa the Beaver Fan!
Julie, just call me Jen!

Aaron, all Ducked out!
Lisa, the Go Get Er!
Simon the Great (59th relay)!
Garret, the Night Runner!
Matt, the Traffic Cone!
The invisible man!

Together, we are called, "Tripping on Shoelaces!"  

We loaded up.  I found out after we got on the road that I was runner 5.  I would run legs 5, 17 and 29.  They were easy legs so I sat back and tried to relax.  
MEET KIM the Rookie
Both van one and two went to the starting line in Beaverton.   Our first runner Kim, the Rookie took off running at 8:30 am. 

We all loaded up to drive to the first exchange.  I found out Chris, our Captain ran The Oregon Marathon with me last year. That was a stormy one!!!!  We were starting to chat and get to know each other.  
By the 2nd exchange we were all talking and seemed to be mixing well.

 It was starting to get fun!  Finally it was my turn to run!

My first leg started at 12:01 noon, on McKay Rd NE.  It was hot and humid and the runners were really spread out.  It was only a 2.78 mile run, so it wasn't that bad.  I came in at 22 minutes with no roadkill reports (a roadkill is when you pass another runner).  I did pass a dead deer, so I told my team, I kinda got a roadkill!

After we all finished our first legs, we handed off to van 2 and headed to Roth's to get food from the deli.  We all got to sit together, eat and chat.  We were all in a good mood and were starting to feel like we knew each other.  It was nice!

Leg 17 started at Stayon Scio Rd about 8:30 pm.  It was cooler now and I was feeling good.  I ran 3.7 miles in just over 30 minutes and reported 3 roadkill's!  Felt good to get some kills for the team! I did pass another dead deer too! 

After we handed off to van 2, we headed to Corvallis for the night, or should I say a few hours!  As we drove into Corvallis it was very dark.  We drove past a small park and saw a very scary human form, dressed in a hooded outfit with a bag. The best way our team could describe it was, "we saw a ghoul"  As we drove by in the dark, it stopped and slowly turned towards us. It was terrifying!  We were all very happy to be in the van together.  It really was freaky!  

We got to the school and most of us got an hour or two of light sleep.  Some of us in the van, some of us outside.  About 2:30/2:45am Kim jumped up and said, "I JUST SAW LISA GO BY."  Kim was supposed to be out at the exchange to take over for Lisa but nobody got her up.  Kim had her shoes on and was out at the exchange in seconds.  I just sat there in a daze!  

Kim quickly found out, the reason nobody got her up is there was a problem.  The race people told the runners we were going too fast and we needed to slow down.  Apparently volunteers weren't in place for the last leg until 3:00 am.  Kim had to stand in the cold until 3:00 am, before she could take off again. My team was like????? All we could do was get a good laugh out of it, we were too fast for the race, kinda funny really!

Kim had never ever ran in the dark before, and after seeing that ghoul, it was a little scary, but she rocked that 2nd leg. She ran it faster than ever!  Van one was so proud of Kim!

Leg 29, done!
It was my turn about 6:15am.  My favorite time of day to run! My last leg was 6.5 miles and I finished in 56 minutes!  It was a nice stretch of road, and hardly any traffic.  The temperature was  perfect!  A cute little black pug dog came out and watched runners go by!  I wanted to take him with me! So cute!  I passed two guys and a girl.  I had about two miles left and I could see a runner up about 1/4 mile or so.  I would think, I could catch her, then I would think, no way!  Then I would think...if I don't roadkill her, Anthony will get her and he doesn't need anymore!....(he's really really fast)!   As I ran along at a nice steady pace, I realized I was slowly getting closer!  Then, she walked! So, I ran faster!  With about a mile left, I passed her!  I couldn't wait to tell my team, 4 road-kills!  I passed off to Anthony and I was done!  

Then something amazing happened to my team!

Anthony, our elite runner started to get a cramp or something in his leg.  There wasn't much traffic, so we would drive up a little and ask him, are you ok? And then drive up a little and ask again.  With about two miles left he said, someone needs to run with me!  We all kinda paused, Ummmm, Anthony, we aren't fast like you!!!  I was ready to run and in the front of the van because I had just handed off to Anthony, so I said, "I'll do it!" (what was I thinking?)  I jumped out of the van, turned on my Garmin (these miles were gonna count!) and off I went with Anthony the Elite.  My legs were cramped, dog gone it! I made the mistake of looking at my watch!  We were running in the 6's and my first though was, I can't do speed work right now!  I looked over at my van driving slowly next to us and looked at them like, "help me."  I of course, couldn't hold that pace and Anthony went on ahead and I got back in the van!  I made it a half mile!  

We checked on Anthony again and he said, I need a runner!  Seriously Anthony! We all realized you are slowing down for us but yikes!  You are really fast and we aren't!  We came up with a plan.  We would take turns running a block or two with him until we reach the hand-off to van 2.  We did this until everyone of us had had a turn running with him, then we saw the exchange area.  Chris was out running with Anthony, and Kim said, lets all run him in together!  We pulled over and all six of us ran in together.  It was the coolest thing ever!  Our van really felt like a team and we were all done! I think we became a family at that moment! 

Watching the Elite mind at work is truly an amazing thing to witness.  Thank you Anthony for slowing down enough for us to each sprint with you.  You were in pain, but willing to go the distance!  You are an inspiration! By the way, Anthony's leg is ok. The muscle was tight and he runs so fast it cramped up for the moment.

Van one eating FOOD! VooDoo in Eugene!
We headed to Eugene, got some VooDoo donuts and some Starbucks.   Then headed to the park to chill out until van two came in for the grand finish!

When Elites eat hills for breakfast! 

A few stories:  Anthony's 2nd leg was full of hills, huge hills.  We drove ahead guessing how many people he would pass and then bet on the time he would come up over the biggest hill!  We were ALL wrong!  We guessed too slow by a lot!  The boy is fast!  Later he talked about how he ran those hills like they were nothing, just plowed up them!

 Kim, our Rookie Relay Racer got faster with every leg.  I think she surprised herself.  She almost canceled and didn't' come.  We are all so glad she came, and I know she is glad too! She is planning on running her first half marathon this Sept! We are proud of you Kim!

Alyssa is a bacon loving, doughnut loving girl who is passionate about her Beaver Football!  She is such a cheerful person and a joy to be on the team.  She ran some major hills and she seemed to like them!  I think she may be half crazy!  We love you Alyssa!

Here we have Mel.  Mel was the biggest cheerleader in my van.  Every time a runner was out, she would get water ready.  She was always the first to jump out and make sure our runner was ok.  She not only yelled and cheered for our runners, but for other runners she didn't even know.  Mel, made sure to get as many photos as she could of all of us before her phone went dead!  Thank you Mel, for cheering me on and getting some sweet hand-off photos for me!

After running a super hilly 2nd leg!
Our Captain Chris was a little hard on himself.  We were short a runner in van 2 and he took responsibility for it.  He took the hardest legs in van 1 in hopes that everyone would have a Epic time and come back next year.  He never made anyone feel bad if our times were off (course we were all smoking!).  He just wanted everyone to have fun and fun is what we had.  I think Captain Chris did a great job and it was an honor to run on his team!

In van two Lisa the Go Get Er was our recruiter.  She got so many people to join our team and did a good job! We all liked each other and had a great time!  Not everyone is good at recruiting, but Lisa gets it done! She was also our anchor runner and it was sure fun watching her run across that finish line!

Simon the Great is a guy who just likes to run.  Epic Relay '14 was his 59th relay.  I think that is amazing!

Garret, the Night Rider.  He was one of our fill in runners for the runner who never showed up!  Three of our guys took turns, taking one leg each.  For Garret's night run, he doubled up and ran a half marathon, actually more than a half. In the process, he took out 14 roadkill's! Watch out for Garret people!

Aaron, our all Ducked out Runner.  Need I say more?  He is a Oregon Duck Fan runner!  We finished in Eugene!  I think he was pretty happy about that!

Matt, the Traffic Cone Runner.  The photo tells all!  I will add, Matt loves his family!  I loved hearing him talk about his kids!  I have seen Matt at some area races! It was nice to see a familiar face when I first showed up at Lisa's house.

So who wants to win our invisible runner's shirt? Along with two SHOT Blocks for a training run.  Sign up below to win (Women's Large).  Contest ends July 14th! 

Rafflecopter giveaway

They are opening Exclusive Registration on Monday June 30th During this time, 2014 Epic participants can register for 2015 race at a discounted price. This registration period will last for 1 month. Early Registration for new teams will also open on the 30th, but ONLY 2014 runners will get the discounted price. 

Watch your e-mail 2014 runners!  An Epic Photo Contest will be starting in the next day or so! Get ready to submit your EPIC Race Photos!

Win a FREE entry to theThe Oregon Marathon Full or Half  here!

Win a 13.1 or 26.2 temporary Tattoo from Marathon Tattoo here in a Shoefie Contest here.

Get 10% off at My Soxy Feet

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Julie's Clean Bars ~ A Delicious Treat!

 Last week at Circuit Training Class I brought my "Clean Bars" for everyone to try.  Here is the recipe I promised you!

Start with one cup Oatmeal (your favorite brand)
And ripe bananas.
Mix one banana=one cup Oats
This time, I used 3 banana's and 3 cups of oats
This is your base, now for the fun!

Add whatever you like.  Some examples are fruit, dried or fresh, cinnamon, peanut butter, nuts, seeds, coconut, you get the idea! Be creative 

This time I added, dried cranberries, chia seeds, flaxseed, raw sunflower seed, and peanut butter.  I didn't measure anything, just added it.

Now put the mix into a baking dish and cook at 350 for about 20 minutes.  I like to store these in the refrigerator or freezer (bigger batch).  You can make these into cookie form too, just cook about half the time if you do that. 

Ready to eat!

Comment below what you would add in to make these a tasty treat for your mouth!

ENERGYbits Review and Giveaway

A few months ago I did a review for ENERGYbits.  They contacted me the other day and said we can give more away!!!! Enter our giveaway below!!!

Recently I was introduced to Energybits and thought they would be worth trying.  I am a marathon runner who generally will not "fuel" for long runs or races due to stomach issues when fueling before the run.  I have tried different fueling ideas from oatmeal and bananas to GU and gels. Everything seems to upset my stomach.

Energybits agreed to send me some samples, so I figured what do I have to loose?  For two long runs, I gave Energybits a chance.  I'm training for a marathon now, and it would be nice to have something for my longer runs that didn't upset my stomach.

The first time I used Energybits was for a  9 mile run.  I took a full serving (30 bits) right before heading out the door. I swallowed them whole with water.  It's not as bad as it sounds (swallowing 30). They went right down with just water. 

 I started running and about half way into my run I realized I felt full.  I hadn't eaten any food, so this was surprising to me.  I generally start getting hungry after 4-5 miles. Later I found the reason I felt full was because energybits are 64% protein.  They also have 40 vitamins and antioxidants and nitric oxide.

The next week I used Energybits for my 14 mile run.  I took another full serving and headed out for my run.  I got the full feeling again, but it did start to wear off slightly the last few miles. I never did get hunger pains, just started to get hungry because I had run for so long. 

For both runs my stomach felt fine.  This seriously was a surprise.  I haven't been able to fine anything to date that works this well for me.  I liked that you just swallowed the energybits whole.  You can chew them but they have a strong fishy taste.  They are 100% spirulina algae.  I bit into one and could taste it for a long time.  If you like the algae flavor, go ahead...I just don't care for it so I would rater swallow them.  I would use these for marathon training in a heartbeat.  

Facts about energybits:

100% NON GMO, organically grown algae that have just one calorie per tab.  They contain no sugar, no chemicals, no caffeine, no gluten, no soy, no additives of any kind.  They are 100% raw, 100% green, 100% nurition from 100% spirulina and chlorella algae.  Chlorella and spirulina have been identified by NASA and United Nations as the world's most nutritionally dense foods and have been safely used by tens of millions worldwide for 50 years. 

Find energybits website here
Also on facebook here
Twitter @energybits

"ENERGYbits are only available at, and Jonathan (their Community Manager) has let me know that he'd be happy to share more info on their sample program - you can email him at"

Jonathan from ENERGYbits has offered one lucky reader a two serving prize pack.  Simply enter our drawing below. Winner will be announced on November 3rd.
Please note: I am not sponsored by ENERGYbits and received no compensation for this blog. 
All opinions expressed are my own.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

One More Mile

Recently One More Mile gave me a chance to review a product.  They were quick to send me this awesome shirt to try and see how I liked.  They also are giving you a chance to win one as well.  

One More Mile is a company that makes quality workout clothing with fun slogans.  Their mission:  "Our Goal is to provide fun, high quality exercise apparel at great prices.  In this impersonal, fast-paced world, we will try to offer highly personalized service to each customer and will strive for complete customer satisfaction."

I was sent a Women's Heather Tech V Tank with the slogan "It's a RUNderful Life"  It's 100% Wick-Lite Polyester. I washed and wore this shirt several times over the last couple weeks.  It is very comfortable and stylish to wear for training runs, races or just as casual wear.  It still looks as good as new after wearing and washing lots! 

I like that with One More Mile you can pick out the color you want.  Short sleeve, tank or long sleeve. Then your own slogan. This can get really run for races or team events.  You can even create your own slogan.  What fun!

Take a look at their website here

One More Mile has generously offered one lucky reader at HeatherTech shirt of your own! Enter below!
~ Giveaway for a HeatherTech Tank with your choice of slogan, color and size.~
(US only)  (I do double check to make sure entries are completed!)

Disclaimer:  One More Mile provided me with their product to review.  I received no compensation for this post. All opinions are my own

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Crazy Compression Review and Giveaway

Embrace Your Crazy with CRAZY COMPRESSION!  
I recently was given the privilege of trying out a pair of Crazy Compression Sleeves. Their website caught my attention because they have such fun designs.  I have never wore compression sleeves so I was excited to give them a try.   

My dog wanted to be in the photo, lol
Crazy Compression Sleeves are made in the USA of 70% nylon, 20% polyester, and 10% spandex. Crazy Compression is crazy about keeping your feet and legs in great condition to go the distance, while looking stylish in their true graduated compression socks and sleeves! Made for both recovery and endurance.
I love that Crazy Compression is an out of the box company that wants to make the world more colorful and unique.

My review is on the Pink Camo Sleeve ($25 value).  I wore these around my house for recovery and on several  of my training runs. Including long, short, cooler weather and warmer weather.  They also were washed several times.  
First of all, I really like how they look. They are very cute and trendy. I liked how comfortable they felt. They hugged my legs just right. They were comfortable while out on my run. I was able to wear them, even on my warmer runs because they didn't cut off air getting to my legs.  They held up to wearing over and over and washing as well.  They still look new, with no fading.
I can't think of anything I didn't like about them.  I highly recommend the Crazy Compression Sleeve.  I would like to get several more colors!  These are so perfect for not only training, but races!
You can place an order here.  Use CRAZY25 for 25% off today!

You can also enter to win a free pair of sleeves or over the calf sock in my giveaway below. (US only)  (I do double check to make sure entries are completed!)

Disclaimer:  Crazy Compression provided me with their product to review.  I received no compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Some of my Favorite Healthy Snacks

Sometime people tell me they don't know what to "snack" on.  Here are some ideas!

First off all............

                            String cheese and a small apple
                            String cheese and Raw Almonds
                            1 small apple and 1 TBS peanut butter
                            Hard-boiled egg
                            Just the egg white (only 17 calories)
A cup of fruit with a spoonful of cool-whip or whipping cream

Raw cashews and fresh strawberries
Brown rice cakes and 2 tbps almond butter
Celery sticks and hummus
Cottage cheese and fruit
Celery and peanut-butter
Air popped popcorn
                           Tuna and a few whole grain crackers

These are only a few. 
Comment below your favorite healthy snack ideas. 

Check out Uberthons, The Oregon Marathon for a chance to refer a friend to run a full or half marathon for free here!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Bondi Band Review and Giveaway

A few weeks ago, I was asked to review a Bondi Band headband and give one away!  Sounds like fun? Yes, this is fun!  I was given this purple "It's all Good!" headband ($9.00 value). Bondi Bands are made out of a blend of nylon, lycra, and spandex.  They are nice and stretchy, yet form fitting to hold up to my crazy hair and yours too!   I wore, and washed it several times.  It never lost it's shape or faded.  In fact, after several washes, it still looked new.  

My favorite things about my Bondi Band Headband:
    ~It's very comfortable 
    ~It never slipped
    ~It made me feel really awesome
    ~It caught all my nasty sweat.  I seem to sweat more than other people, seriously!  The Bondi Band was soaked after every run.  It kept my eyes from getting the sweaty eye burn.
    ~I will enjoy wearing this for training and for racing 
    ~It washes well
    ~It pulls the sweat away from my head, and onto the band

My least favorite things about my Bondi Band Headband: 
    ~It doesn't have a shade over my "sensitive to light eyes."  

  A word from Bondi Band:
 We are a simple company with a dedication and belief in our product. Our philosophy is to make a great product at a great price and to build relationships one at a time. And as much as we believe in making a tidy profit we also believe in giving back. Each year we donate 10% of our pretax profits to charity. For 2009 we have chosen the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) is a Comprehensive Cancer Center designated by the National Cancer Institute. It is a major affiliate of Harvard Medical School and is located in Boston, Massachusetts.

The origins of DFCI date back to 1947. DFCI employs about 3,000 people. Most importantly, there are more than 150,000 patient visits a year, and it is involved in some 200 clinical trials. It is internationally known for its research and clinical excellence.

Want to order your own Bondi Band right now?  Use code SWEATPINK and get 10% off all items except Bargain Bin, Design Your Own, and Custom Items. This code is good through June 28th.  Visit Bondi Band here.

 WIN THIS!!!!! Sign up below!
Winner will be randomly picked June 7th! 
WINNER: Becky Ginther

Monday, June 2, 2014

Road ID Giveaway

Road ID was created in 1999 with the concept that active people should be wearing ID as a part of their gear when participating in outdoor activities. As a marathon runner, I see the value in a product like Road ID and I highly recommend it.  

Road ID has generously offered a $35 e-coupon for their website to one lucky reader.     

Road ID is available in 6 different styles.  It's a cool piece of gear and it's peace of mind! Check out their website here.

Contest end June 9th at 10:00 pm
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fun Shoefie contest going on here.