Thursday, March 29, 2012

Zipfizz Energy Mix Review

Living in Houston, TX, we have some pretty high temperatures almost year round. It can easily be in the mid 80's during spring but when summer comes it's 80* before the sun even comes up.

Working out in those kinds of temperatures causes a lot of sweating!! During summer runs I am soaked within a few minutes. When the sweat dries there is a layer of salts on my face that you can see! It's white and flaky. Ick.

The problem is that I need electrolytes in my body. I need that potassium and sodium. So when training hard it's important to replenish those lost electrolytes.  That's why they offer Gatorade during those long races.

I tried Gatorade once but it instantly made my stomach nauseous. I've tried the effervescent tablets that you put in water but they taste like cold/flu medicine to me. It was very hard to get them down.

Then the folks at Zipfizz contacted me and wanted to know if I'd like to try their product. Heck, yeah! Not only did they promise it would taste good but it only had 10 calories and 2g carbs and 0 sugar. Exactly what I needed!

I got a cute package in the mail that included my water bottle and a sample of each of their flavors.
 Berry, citrus, orange soda, pink lemonade, and grape.
 The first time I went for a sweaty run I mixed up  the orange soda. I figured I'd use that one the first because that's typically my least favorite and I wanted to get it out of the way.

It mixed up very easily. All you do is dump the whole tube into 16-20 oz of water. And the tube is small enough that you could carry it in your pocket.

I ran 3 miles in my neighborhood, stopped by the house for a drink, then continued on with another 3 miles. This stuff really does taste great. I was shocked. I expected something nasty but I really liked it!

After finishing up my run I cooled down and drank the other half of the mix. It never upset my stomach in the slightest which is very important.
 Same held true with pink lemonade which turned out to be one of my favorites. That and the berry flavor! They're so good that I asked my son to try them and he even liked it. It's hard to believe these are 0 sugar. What are they sweetened with? Sucralose. Think Splenda.

I am impressed with Zipfizz for the flavor and for the nutritional profile. Not only does it have 30x the electrolytes as "the leading sports drink" but it also tastes good, is low carb, zero sugar and only 10 calories per tube. It's portable so that's a plus. And each one of these has a little caffeine and their "proprietary mix" for a little boost of energy.

I was thinking about how this would work out in a race situation. I have a half marathon coming up. I hate fuel belts and the handheld water bottle on long runs. Sometimes they're a necessity, I understand, but I just don't like carrying them.

So I'd probably stash a couple of these in my SpiBelt and then add a bit of a tube into a cup of water at a water station, swirl it around and drink it back.

I love Zipfizz and was a little sad when my samples were used. I'm sure I'll be buying more of them.

Thank you for the chance to review your product, Zipfizz. It was exactly what I was looking for!

**Note: For any laws that I don't know about or understand and anyone who cares about those laws, I received these products from Zipfizz to try for free but I am an opinionated person and all of the above is my own opinion. It's not like they told me what to say because I don't play like that. I just got some free stuff and happened to really, really like it.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Muddy Girl Recap

I'm just letting you know up front that this is a photo intensive post. I'm sorry. You should see how many I left out!!

Sunday we got up at 6:30am. It's not early for a lot of you early birds but I like to stay up late and the weekend is supposed to be for sleeping until at least 8am! But when you're getting up early for a race there's a sense of excitement and urgency in the air.

I had packed everything I needed the night before so I wouldn't forget anything. This wasn't the typical race gear of Bodyglide, electrolytes, etc. No, I had trash bags, a change of clothes, hat, brush,mosquito repellent, towel, and deodorant.

Ate breakfast and headed out. It was a very foggy morning but we made it safely to our destination. It only took about an hour. Texts were flying around all morning to friends. "Where are you?"  "Which exit?"  "Where am I?" LOL

I was all over the place!! I get so excited at these events and I can't seem to take in all the sights fast enough. I'm bouncing off the walls. Rachel doesn't seem to be too perky just yet.
 Shelley and friends decide to meet, where else, by the port-o-potties. Here's Chuck making his grand exit. (Got the port-o-pottie pic idea from Jeff, Shelley's husband).
 We're all smile and cleanness before the race starts. From left to right is me, Shelley, Rachel, Jennifer and Katherine. Katherine is VERY nervous. I didn't think she was going to show up. And it was Jennifer's birthday!! She chose to wear a grocery bag with flaming duct tape on her head. Why? To keep the mud out of her hair. LOL Bold fashion statement.
 There was so much food and free beer! We could have had some before the race but we really didn't know what to expect on the obstacle course so were worried about jostling the stomach around.

It's finally time to line up. We're all sprayed with mosquito spray and ready to go. We line up near the back because there are some people who take this very seriously and want to run full throttle through the course. We, on the other hand, want to get our money's worth and stay out there until another wave passes us. That really happened. We were wave 11am and wave 11:30 had no trouble passing us.

And we're off!
 It's a loop course so the finish is also the start.
 The first obstacle could have just been running on the ground because it was so uneven. We had to be very careful where we stepped or it would have been easy to twist an ankle.

We ran to a place where nice firemen hosed us down. The water was pretty and created a double rainbow across the sky. (Double rainbow. What does it mean? It's a reference to a stupid youtube video). We twirled around in the water and enjoyed it. It actually felt good. Except I got it in the face once and that wasn't too enjoyable.

We made our way to the first little mud puddles we were to walk/run through. This isn't bad at all! I thought we were going to get muddy. Rachel smeared some mud on her face and I threw mud on her back. All good, clean fun.

Then we came to hills. Oh no! I didn't train for hills! LOL  Rachel and Jennifer rolled down one hill. Funny. I wish I would have brought a camera on the course with me but I didn't want it to get ruined.

Then we come to some woods and we hear people screaming in there. What kind of obstacle is this?! Texas Chainsaw Massacre?

Nope. Crawling in deep, watery mud under ropes. The mud would suck your hands and knees deep into it. Nasty nasty nasty. We ended up very muddy in there.

Then had to "jump" across some barrels then wait to go over the cargo net. The paparazzi saw us and just wouldn't leave us alone so we waved. You can see the mud up our arms. It looked like mud gloves.

 "Look at me. I can stand on one leg," says Kelly. "Ha, ha. Girl, you're so crazy," says Shelley. Actually we're just being goofy for the camera.
 This cargo net crawl is a lot shorter than the one we did at Beachpalooza. But it made up for it by being slick with thick mud and being wobbly.
 Shelley makes it to the top! Hang on tight. This thing moves.
 Shelley is a pro at this now. The celebratory wave.
 Rachel and Jennifer make it to the top next.
 Jennifer makes it over with no problem. I'm making my way to the top and still have not overcome my fear of heights or slippery ropes or wobbly boards.
 This was Rachel's first time on a cargo net. She was pretty scared but she did it! I'm descending but the ropes move and are so slippery so taking it slow.
 Rachel and Shelley give a high five. Yay! And in the background I'm still clinging to the ropes.
 Go, Katherine! You can do it!! We'll just stand here and watch.
 Victory pose. We're quite proud of ourselves.
 Around the corner was our water station. Each cup of water had a little something extra in it: mud. Mud was everywhere. Oh well. Just extra minerals, right?

We leap crawl over hay bales. Then we vault crawl over more barrels. I can't believe how fast this is going! These obstacles haven't been too tough.

Then they direct us into the woods where the mud makes a horrible sound like stirring up a big pot of macaroni and cheese. Ewwww. And it doesn't smell pleasant.  It was nasty but not terrible. We fell a few times in some puddles but we made it. We can see the last obstacle is next then the finish line.

Wait....what's this?? We have to go through the woods again before the last obstacle. Shelley's reaction pretty much captures how we all felt when we found out.
 This part of the course was tough! Think knee deep water and mud mixture. The bottom is uneven and you can't see it. The mud goes up past your ankle. You can't stop moving or you start sinking and the mud tries to suck off your shoes! 

Then we start falling. Shelley goes down first and I laugh so hard. Ha ha ha ha.  Let me tell you something: karma is a bitch.  I couldn't stand up for the rest of the run. I kept falling down. 

Once both my legs slipped out from under me and Shelley steps on my foot as she passes me.
Shelley: "I stepped on something."
Me: "*grunt* Yup! Sure did!"  LOL

We see shoes left and right that did not make it out with their owners. It was tough!!

Rachel comes out alive but her shoes keep coming off so she carries them. Rachel is tall. Check out where the water is on her. And the mud is clay on the bottom so it's very slippery.

 Shelley walking along. She has the eye of the tiger. She sees that finish line. I've fallen again behind her.
 Did I mention it's slippery? LOL
 Hey! I have an idea! I'll just swim through it! Something was inside my pants biting me. I didn't want to know what it was. And I felt something under my hand and picked it up. It was a stick but it looked like a snake for a minute and I squealed and tossed it.
 Rachel finishes first in our group and gets her medal. She's already posing for pics while I'm still tackling the muddy beast.
 Katherine and I are so happy to finally make it to solid ground! Finish line is coming up next!
 We all get our medals and pose in front of the banner. This was a lot of fun! And it was over too fast in my opinion.
 Time to act goofy. Looks like I have mud boogers. Ugh. Mud everywhere!
 We were so hungry afterwards and were grabbing food on the way to our victory pictures. Pizza, cupcakes...anything!
 Some Bud and mud. And a shiny new medal.
 Jeff hosed Shelley off (I'm sure he just hated doing that). It was funny watching Shelley dance around because that water was cold!
 Rachel, Katherine and I decided to wash off in the lake instead. The water felt so good plus it's swimming in a lake! Fun, fun, fun!
 She's a poser. LOL  I have to get in the pic too. Peace out.
 Exhaustion!  This girl needs some food!!
  We turned Dash (my car) into a changing room by opening a door and holding up a big sheet. We took turns getting on clean, dry clothes then headed over to Tortuga for food, ritas and laughs. It was fun talking about our favorite moments of the run.

So what do you say? Want to do it with us next year? It's a lot of fun. Girls only though. Sorry, guys. There's also Beach Dash coming up in October in Galveston and it is open to all. These kinds of races are so much fun!!

**To see Shelley's recap of the race, visit HERE.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A (crazy) Day in the Life of a Happy Texan

Crazy, crazy day.

First, let me show you a picture of my race goodies for the Muddy Girl run/walk/obstacle course.
And an insulated lunch bag?! *squeal*
 The shirt is a LARGE. It is NOT large.
Friday afternoon we drop Rachel off at a friend's who lives pretty far away so they could get up early and go to College Station for some sort of farm animal judging class at A&M on Saturday. Fun road trip for a couple of teens, right?

Saturday I get up at the buttcrack of dawn and make some breakfast: scrambled eggs, chicken fajita meat with sauteed onions and peppers, and spinach.

(Upon further investigation, I see I did not take a picture of my breakfast. You'll have to use your imagination. Sorry)

Then it was off to Chuck's shooting match.  I bring a chair and this was my view most the time. Kicking back on a beautiful day.
 There were several different scenarios they had to shoot. This one required them to pretend to brand a deer then shoot a bunch of stuff. See the black hands? That represents a hostage or something. Don't shoot the ones with hands or you lose points.
 I'm not sure how putting a noose around a mannequin plays into this scenario. Maybe it was a warning to follow the rules?
After all was said and done, Chuck won the whole match!! Champion. Yay! Congratulations, Chuck.

But while we are at the match, I receive a phone call from an upset Rachel. Apparently her friend cut her hand on a machete and they were at the hospital getting stitches for said friend. Rachel and friend kept their heads about them and handled it well. Friend needed 3 stitches.

Then home to eat a salad. More chicken fajita goodies but with jalapenos this time. I likes it spicy. :)
 Then it was off to drop Charlie off at the in-laws because he doesn't want to go to the mud run Sunday morning.

Then we drove for an hour to pick Rachel up at her friend's house. Her friend was asleep due to pain pills and Rachel was pretty exhausted too.

On the way home picked up a bottle of post-race celebration juice at the liquor store (tequila) then headed to Carl's Jr for a low carb burger (no tomatoes, onions or ketchup) except they put ketchup on it! Ewwwww. I don't eat ketchup but I was so hungry I scarfed the burger pretty quickly.

Oh crap!!! I forgot to do my daily 5K and it's already after 8pm?!  So I put all the blinkies on my light on full blast and head out for a night ride. The bugs kept hitting me in the mouth and one finally lodged in my eye. I almost wrecked. Ouch! I finally dug out the offending insect and finished my 3.1 miles ride in record time. It's scary riding at night. Cars are everywhere!

Back home I celebrated an eventful day with a shot of tequila. Cheers. Stay thirsty, my friends.

What a day!!!  Tomorrow is the Muddy Girl run. Wish me luck! :)  Expect lots of pictures Monday.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Weight Loss Thoughts

As I've mentioned over and over, this month is an experiment for me. I am merely observing what the scale says day to day. When there is a gain it's not a big deal but a lesson learned. When I lose it's a very happy lesson learned.

So far this month I'm at a 13.7 pound loss. Yeah. That's epic.

Even better? I'm not taking any of my meds. No thyroid. No metformin. Only a couple of supplements like vitamins and alpha lipoic acid, etc.

I have an appointment with my gynecologist/endocrinologist (yes, he's a multitasker...and a lawyer too...overachiever....graduated from Yale and Harvard) in April. I want to prove to him that I can lose weight without all of the prescriptions. He told me it was almost impossible and I really want to prove him wrong. Silly? Maybe. I just don't want to have a ton of prescriptions. He's already not happy with me for discontinuing birth control. And he insisted that I will take metformin but it makes me feel like I'm knocking on Death's door. Hate it.  And I'm out of thyroid meds so here I am.

Not only am I losing weight but I can feel my thyroid or metabolism kicking in. I don't get so cold anymore. Hair loss has slowed down. I feel warm inside. Something is happening and it's good!  Now I'm anxious to get blood work done to see how that looks.

So far the experiment is working. I'm still learning a lot and it will take more than a month of experimenting to perfect it. And this is for my body. You may react differently.

Since losing the equivalent of almost 14 boxes of butter this month, my clothes are fitting a bit more loosely. As in I can pull my pants off without unbuttoning them. It's awesome but I don't see a difference in the mirror and it's driving me a bit crazy. I want to see a difference!

Even when I was a skinny girl, I always felt chubby. 5'7" and weighing 120-125 pounds I still felt big. I still hated being seen in a swimsuit. Crazy!

While I'm shedding pounds I'm trying to shed that negative self image. It's not easy! I've read about people who have lost a lot of weight but still see themselves as heavy. I don't want to be like that but I don't know how to change the way I view myself. No clue how to even start! Is there a 12 step program?  I've never thought of myself as pretty or anything like that. I don't hate myself but I don't see anything special in the mirror either.

Oh well. This post is really just a mind dump for me. Spilling things that are on my mind. 

My focus is on
  • getting healthy
  • getting off prescription meds
  • build muscle
  • fit in size 8

Self love. I'll worry about that one later. ;)

In other news, yesterday was another round of 3.1 for 31 days. I don't know if you saw Houston weather on tv but there was a tornado spotted near us. Yeah. And heavy rains.  But I am committed to this so Chuck and I went for our walk anyway.  And it rained.

I always see something interesting while on these 5ks. Yesterday, even though it was raining, a kitty decided to walk with us for about a quarter mile. In the rain!


Did you notice that there is no rain in the picture? That's because this was taken a different day. Same kitty though. I just forgot to post this picture.  But that kitty greets us and runs along with us. It's cute. :)


Also, I had the honor of being voted a motivational person on Sparkpeople.com! Wow. That makes me want to try even harder to reach my goals.

So far so good. Lost 1.5 pounds yesterday. Yay!! Onward and downward.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Your Luck is About to Change?

Let's start with the eats because that's what links the title to this blog post.

Yesterday started out in the usual way: Chuck calls to wake me up at 8am (yes, I also use "the help" as an alarm clock) then I weigh, and grab some caffeine.

Had my eggs and spinach mix with salsa...
 Lunch: was some tuna with lemon pepper seasoning, salsa and olive oil drizzle on a bed of lettuce......
 I didn't feel like cooking dinner so we ordered Chinese. I got broccoli beef with extra broccoli. I maybe ate half of this. No rice, of course. Still, I could taste a slight sweetness in the sauce and I'm almost positive it's thickened with cornstarch.
I crushed my fortune cookie up into pieces to retrieve my fortune and this is what it says:
But....but....I had a pretty good day. Does this mean I should be worried?

Let's have a glass of chianti.

For exercise I went on a 6.5 mile bike ride. I didn't think it would be tough so I just wore some shorts and flip flops. Obviously this is not optimal biking attire but this was before I received the mis-fortune cookie of death so I thought I was ok.
 It's hard to see in the photo but there were whitecaps on the front pond. The wind was blowing so hard! It made for a very good workout. My legs were on fire as I pedaled against the wind.
Also did my 90 squats, wall pushups and chest pulls.

 I got cleaned up and headed to the grocery store. The wind is still blowing hard making it a great hair day. I call this the hurricane look.
Let's see what's on special. Oh good. Naked celery!
It makes me wonder: if the naked adjective is needed here, what other kind of celery is available? Clothed? Not naked celery? Why is this celery naked?

Interesting day, no?

So Tuesday I get up and weigh. Only half a pound down. I blame it on the Chinese food. Or was it that mis-fortune cookie? Hmmmm.......

It was a nasty morning in Houston! There was even a tornado spotted near our house but we were fine.

I waited for a break in the weather so I could bring in the trash can. I opened the garage door (I am the garage door opener) and it started to pour rain again. I rushed outside and dragged in the can as quickly as possible. Started to close the garage door but water had already accumulated on the door and poured on my head as I closed the door. I was soaked.  Is the fortune cookie coming true?!

I got dried off, fixed a cup of coffee, sat down and heard a crash outside. I knew immediately what it was. I borrowed some vocabulary from Gordon Ramsay and headed outside. Yep. My beautiful bird feeder had fallen and broken all over the sidewalk. It was a Christmas gift from my parents. :(

Frack! I go to the kitchen to get a trash bag so I could clean it up. What?! We're out of trash bags. Ugh!!!

OK. I'm going to just sit down to enjoy my coffee before it gets cold. The glass isn't going anywhere.  Hark! What's that? A knock at the door?

It's the mail lady who informs me that my birdfeeder broke and she has a certified letter from my HOA. Oh good. They want me to pull weeds. I'll get right on that.


I hate that mis-fortune cookie. I'm not leaving the house. Except to do my 5K. In the rain. If you don't hear from me for a while you'll know I was attacked by flying monkeys and ended up in a hospital.

Totally reminds me of a Rocko's Modern Life episode about a fortune cookie:

Happy Tuesday to you!!!  And Happy First Day of Spring!!! Spring has sprung.