Monthly Archives: June 2014

Life…ups and downs…

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Beautiful sunset reminding me my auntie is always with me…

This past weekend was full of ups and downs.
The ups included the hubs and I getting away for a little trip to celebrate our anniversary.  Overall it was a good trip.  We had yummy food, I got to run with the ocean (gulf) next to me, and I even got a little bit of sleep.  The downside to the trip was that our hotel lost power for a few hours Friday evening, so it threw our plans off a bit.
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The drive in, and our view from lunch!
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The BEST burger place we have yet to eat at!  Cafe Michale Burger! We eat every time we are in Galveston 🙂
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More of our view from lunch 🙂
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Hotel ‘fitness center.’ Yeah, I ran outside instead…
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View from our room.  We were able to check in a little early, so we got one of the good rooms.
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Chilling by the pool…we never actually got in cause there were about 20 kids in there while we sat and read for a bit.
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View from dinner 🙂
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We tried a new spot, called The Spot.  I had the most amazing salad 🙂
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Walk on by the beach at night! Love hearing the waves 🙂
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Morning run and some fun in the sun.

I am so thankful we were able to get away, even just for 24 hours.

The downs:
On my way to babysitting Sat afternoon my mom called to say her sister passed away.  It was (and still is) a huge shock that she is no longer here.  I miss her so much!!  I will cherish the memories and always hold her in my heart.
Thankful that these kiddos brought me many smiles and gave lots of hugs on Saturday!
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The last pic of all of us together from my sister’s wedding.
Sis, auntie, grandma, mom and me.
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Till we meet again…Love you always…

Five things. . . I won recently. . .

So who doesn’t like to win things?? Especially things that are really awesome!!!
So over the last few weeks I won a few things, and this week I received them all! Yay!

1. This past weekend I was at a baby shower for a dear friend.  Part of the shower included a raffle for guests who bought a package of diapers.  So I played the game, and I won a sweet basket filled with goddies 🙂 Wine, chocolate, stationary and a candle that smells AMAZING!!
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2. A few weeks ago I saw a super cool give away on Kristen’s blog and decided to enter! And a few days later she posted the winners! Yep, I won a pair of Injinji socks!  I was thrilled that I was able to pick my own color! All the ones I have owned up till now have been black, white or grey.  So purple is now in my possession! Yes!
I broke them in at the gym on Tuesday with body pump and a short jog and they ROCK!
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3. With my connection as a Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador I saw a giveaway on the site for a few unique items related to Father’s Day!  A few days after I entered, I got an email saying that I won one of the giveaways!
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This smoothie recipe book is amazing!  I LOVE smoothies! I have been making them for myself for the past 15 years!  The hubs and I have been looking over them and trying to decide what we want to test taste first!  I will try to update y’all on what we choose!
If you want a few of the recipes, check out the like on the giveaway above 🙂
4. Another book from the GGS giveaway
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Another really awesome cookbook!  I have been feeling like I have been in a rut lately with cooking, so this little book will help spice up the kitchen again!
5. The third book from the GGS giveaway!
IMG_0001IMG_7306(Sweet note from the publicist)
I am extra pumped about this book!  Since I have taken up biking again, and am training for another duathlon (and hopefully a triathlon soon), this book is perfect to learn even more about bikes!!

If any of these books look good to you, you can order them for yourself:
Paleo Smoothies
The Spicy Paleo Cookbook
The Bike Deconstructed

What was the best prize you ever won?

Happy Friday and happy WEEKEND!!
Xo
Esther
-Chocolate Runner Girl-

Happy Anniversary!!

(Side note: I am posting from my phone for the first time so I hope it looks ok!)

3 years ago today I anxiously awaited my walk down the ‘aisle’ to my love! My loving sister was there for me every step of the way. We had many friends and family surrounding us on that day both physically and from afar!
We were blessed to share the same wedding date as Wayne’s parents and my great-grandparents!
It has certainly been an adventure and I am so thankful I get to live this life with Wayne!! Love you to moon and back baby!

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Vega Sport Review

This past week was super busy, and fully of hard workouts every day!  It was the perfect week for me to try out the new Vega Sport Recovery bars that I received thanks to my partnership with Fit Approach & Sweat Pink!

Before I joined up with Sweat Pink, I had not heard of the Vega Sport before.  So when I was given the opportunity to try them I was very excited.  I was especially excited to try a new plant based item that was also gluten free AND GMO-free!  The Vega Sport line comes in a variety of items to prepare you, sustain you and assist with recovery!  All together it is a great system.

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The recovery bar comes in 3 flavors, chocolate mint, chocolate coconut and (the one I received), chocolate peanut butter!
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I received my chocolate peanut butter recover bars last weekend!  They were literally sitting on my front porch when I arrived home from my Dad’s Day 5k race! It was perfect timing!  I tried one of the bars not really knowing what to expect.  It had a great taste!  I mean, how can you go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate?  Especially around here 🙂
I was very happy that there was no weird aftertaste.  The bar was almost like a candy bar, but a healthy candy bar!
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I enjoyed a bar after each of my HARD workouts this week, and I have to say I am very happy to report I felt great each time!  Normally when I have a super tough workout week I am very sore for days and days, even with stretching and proper fuel.  This week, I was only slightly sore!  That alone is amazing to me!!

I even shared with the Hubs and he really liked the bars as well!

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Enjoying a bar after my personal training session!

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You can learn more about the recovery bars, click here.  To learn more about ALL the Vega Sport items here.  To learn more about click here Fuel Your Better.

Disclaimer: Although this product was given to me, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Have you ever tried any of the Vega Sport products?  If not, what would you LIKE to try?

Xo
Esther
-Chocolate Runner Girl-

 

Dad’s Day 5k

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend celebrating.  Whether you were celebrating your dad or another male father figure/role model I hope it was great!
Saturday morning I got up early (again) after only a few hours of sleep.  I literally rolled out of bed, brushed my teeth and threw on my race clothes.  As I walked out to my car it already felt like it was going to be a hot day…

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I headed downtown for my 15th race of 2014! It was a little bit of a drive, but the traffic was light so I made it down with no issues.  I also found parking right away which I am so shocked about!

I found the packet pick up, got my bib, pins and t-shirt and went back to my car.  I got my bib & timing chip on and put away everything I did not need, and took my essentials with me.  I have not used this kind of timing chip in a long time!!! Brought back some memories of the first time I had a timing chip I could keep!
The shirt is super cute!  It will look great in my quilt one day!
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The opening ceremonies opened with a small choir singing the National Anthem.  They did a fine job.  They also had a few people talk about the cause this race was supporting, prostate cancer research!  The most touching speaker was the widow of the man who founded the race.  She was so thankful and appreciative of all the work that was being made.

Next it was time for the kids 1k!  They were adorable and did really well!

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After the kids race, all the adults lined up for the 5k and the 3k.   The heat was already coming on strong and I almost wished I had signed up for the 3k!
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And we were off.  The race was all on 1 road near downtown.  It was an out and back loop.  The first mile I felt ok, but knew I was going to be slower than last weekend.  Pace: 12:52

Mile 2 was even slower.  The sun was just hot.  I could feel my hands start to swell, and the only thing I could think about was how I needed to not pass out like I did in the AZ half a few years back! Pace: 13:56

Mile 3 was ROUGH!  Just when I thought I might be able to pull off a time close to last week, I choked on water and had a coughing fit.  Ended up having to stop running or walking for a min before I felt ok to at least walk.  Pace:15:11

Even though it hot, and I was exhausted, I finished strong! Pace: 12:35

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I was very thankful to cross the finish line!  I headed over to the post-race party, grabbed some water and goodies.  They had a nice little band playing.  They had a good set up for the post race food, and a small tent with the race results.
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Overall I felt the race was very organized.  If I am around next year it is a race that I will consider doing again! Only downside besides the heat was no race bling except for the kids and the super fast runners (top 3 in age groups and top male and female).
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Did you race this weekend? Tell me about it?
How is the weather for you?

XO
Esthe
-Chocolate Runner Girl-

Five Things Friday….There’s a new store in town!

I was recently contacted by a new store that just arrived in the Houston area!  Five Below!
I was given a gift card and got a chance to check out this new store!

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The hubs went with me and we had a blast!  The store is bright, colorful and well organized!  Each category they have is displayed in huge letters around the store, as well as color coded.
The categories include Style, Room, Sports, Tech, Crafts, Party, Candy, and Now.

We were greeted cheerfully by the manager on duty and got a chance to look around the store! It was the grand opening weekend, and the word had gotten out!  The store was full of people!  It was hard to know where to start since I was drawn to each area of the store right away!  We began on the right side of the store and made our way around.  Along the way we found several items we decided to purchase.  Most of them we were able to get with the generous gift card provided by Five Below!
It was hard to only pick a few items!  Everything was so fun and they had so many items to play with!  The hubs really enjoyed the sports section! They had a really great variety of items, and I know I will be back for more fitness supplies!
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Got a great new yoga mat AND a carrying case!
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The Hubs got a new bag that he has been needing (and a Cowboys bag is perfect for him!)!!
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I got a fun new water bottle! Purple and bling!  Yahoo!

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We got a few technology items as well!  A zebra charger, how can one go wrong with that?
And sometimes it just feels old school to have a regular phone to talk into 🙂
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My Favorite item of the day was a new hat!
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Five Below is a really fun store!  I am so thankful for the opportunity to check it out during the grand opening!
Here some some fun facts about the Five Below Stores!

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If you like fun, and creative items that are a good deal, check out your area to see if there are any Five Below stores near you!

If you find one, let me know what you think!!!!

Disclaimer: This was a sponsored post.  All ideas, thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Hope you have a fabulous weekend!  Off to the races again tomorrow!

Xo
Esther
-Chocolate Runner Girl-

 

Houston Heights Race Recap

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This past Saturday I participated in my 14th race of 2014! Yay!  I am almost halfway to my goal of 33 races for the year! I originally was thinking of doing a half marathon, but my lack of training and the increasing heat helped me decide to stick with a simple (sort of) local 5k.
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The race held race day pick up (I am so thankful), and I arrived about 6:50 am.  There were already a bunch of people there and the line was long for pick up and race day registration.
When I got my race bib they made an announcement they were out of safety pins!! I have never had that happen at a race before.  They had already sent someone to the store for more, so I just got everything else ready till there were pins to use.
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Ready to race!
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I headed back to the start area after taking my energy bits and they had more safety pins available for the runners.
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And we were off!
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It was pretty humid and starting to get a little hot even before 7:30am
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My goal for the race was to work on my 4:1 pacing.  I have been working my way back up from 2:1 to 3:1 and I wanted to see if I was ready for 4:1.  I had paced myself that way the last few runs, but I felt really slow.
The first mile seemed to go ok.  There was a lot of energy in the air and people really encouraging each other.  A few people came up behind me and gave me a supportive pat.  I ran most of mile 1 with an older man.  His breathing really helped me stay on pace.  I was able to stay 4:1 yay! Pace: 13:18
Mile 2 was a little slower.  I could feel the heat start to get to me a little bit, but still kept my 4:1. Pace: 13:53
Mile 3 I was really starting to feel fatigued.  One moment I was feeling ready to give up and just walk and a lady came up beside me and said I was doing a great job pacing her and her group! So that gave me a little motivation to keep plugging along!  Pace: 14:00
When I saw the mile 3 sign I sped up a little bit then charged in towards the finish line!
Not my fastest time, but the best I have done in a while! Pace: 12:51
They race directors did a great job with the water situation with it being such a warm and humid day.  We had access to water before and after the race, and while on the course they had a water stop every 0.75 miles!  Well done, well done!
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A few min after I crossed the finish line I saw the man that paced me through mile 1! I congratulated him and he told me he was 75 years old!  I want to still be racing like this when I am 75 (and beyond!)
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They had a small little post race breakfast.  It was alright, but the line was super long.
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The best part of the morning was the kids 1k fun run! They were adorable!
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Overall it was a fun morning! Despite the humid weather the race was fun and I am glad I was able to participate!

After the race was the BEST part of my morning, a post-race massage!  I went to one of my gyms locations near the race and got to shower then went and got my 90 min massage!!
Win-win!

Did you race this weekend?  How do you prepare for your summer training and races with the weather?
xo
Esther
-Chocolate Runner Girl-