Sunday, November 30, 2014

Holiday Health and Fitness Giveaway

The Holiday Health and Fitness Giveaway Hop is finally here.  It's also the last giveaway hop I'll be hosting until March.

What is a giveaway hop?  In case your not familiar or this is your first time joining us then let me explain.  We have several incredible health and fitness bloggers (list below), who have all put together each of their own individual amazing giveaways.

All of us have linked up our blogs together, to make it easy for you as a reader/viewer to easily enter each and every giveaway you would like. Start with one blog, and just work your way down the list.
An easy way for you to have many many chances to win some awesome fitness related items to help you keep in shape during the winter months!

Holiday Health and Fitness Giveaway Hop
Hosted by Runaway Bridal Planner
Co-Hosted by Suzlyfe
My Giveaway is open to both U.S. & International Entrants


What can you win on my blog?

Tis The Season to Stay Active

These are my favorite Jillian Michaels workout DVD's.  ONE lucky winner will get their choice of ONE of the below DVD's.  A great way to help you workout indoors during the colder winter months and keep yourself in-shape and active!


DISCLAIMER: You must be 18 or older to enter.  Winner must have a US shipping address.  If the winner lives outside of the US, they will be sent a $10 Amazon gift card instead.  Winner will be selected via Rafflecopter random pick.  Winner will be notified via email as well as listed on this blog by December 17th.


So how can you enter my giveaway?
Well it's easy, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below and Viola your entered!  I have a few extra entries for those who like to follow in various ways, but they are only optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
WANT A CHANCE TO WIN DOZEN'S OF MORE AWESOME PRIZES?  
SEE THE LIST BELOW, now that you've entered my giveaway, hop on over to the next blog on the list and check out and enter their giveaway, lots of great prizes and lots and lots of chances to win!

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and are able to keep the true meaning of Christmas in your hearts this Holiday Season.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Another Random Monday

Decided that I was going to go with another totally random post about my life this week.

I am not going to blog much this week, in fact this might be the only post I do!  With Thanksgiving I figure I will spend my time reading other blogs, or spending time with my family!



If your interested you have 4 days left to sign up and join us for the last hop of he year.  
Our December Health & Fitness Holiday Giveaway Hop starts next week.

This is the last hop I will be hosting until March of next year.  So if you enjoy doing them, or have been thinking of giving one a try, we'd love to have you join us!

You can check out the official rules HERE, if you are okay with the terms, go ahead and sign up with us below:





I got out and went running most days this past week.  It was harder getting myself out of bed when the temp outside read 18 degrees, than it was to actually go out and run.
But truthfully, it had warmed up to 20-29 degree's for morning run temps by mid week so I really didn't have much to complain about by then:)

Last week I said I thought that being off running for the better part of 2 years made me weak, and that was answered this last week.  It did!
Truth is, I still like running in the winter, dressed correctly I hardly notice the cold... much....
It really is refreshing to get out there in it... well except ask me if my answer is the same next time I say I had to fight icy winds and storms:)


I still haven't gotten my treadmill fixed up for the occasional winter use.  I really need to get on that!  The good news is, I cleared it off.  Because, I may or may not have been using it as an extra jacket rack:)


I've still been seriously tired, I am back to taking supplements and iron pills so it's going to take some time, but at least not I am back on track to get my energy levels back up.  Of course that doesn't mean I didn't sleep in until 9am or later almost each day this past week and their may have been a few naps thrown into the days too:)  I have no shame in admitting that, apparently:)


This week I re-discovered it is so much easier to compliment and help out strangers and people you like, vs. people that get on your nerves!  However, helping someone who gets on your nerves... getting through it is almost more rewarding in some ways.  After all, they can't help being annoying, well in theory:)
Although I will say, it takes on a whole new lesson in patience, which is also always a good thing to get a lesson in!


Finally found a few good books to read this week.  Went ahead and put another series on hold at the library earlier last week and it came in.  Although I am sure because of Murphy's Law, as soon as I pick it up and get into it.  The sequels I have been waiting on, will arrive at the library for pick up:)

I usually only try to read one book a week, I reserve Sunday afternoons specifically for this:)  But Saturday was such a stormy day and since I didn't have a whole lot else going on I got through a book that day as well.


My sister got me to download a game app, and it's horrible.  But I am totally and completely addicted to it.  (This is why I don't play video games!)
I tried to stop playing it, but I can't because the stupid game doesn't have a pause button it just goes on and on and I can't help but keep playing.  I roll my eyes that I am playing it, I not only will not tell anyone which game it is, but its so embarrassing I think this is one of those things that I would actually lie to the diary about, LOL
I think this one may have brought my "dork" to a whole new level, and I curse her for it, haha!


Well I will stop there!  I hope everyone has a great week, enjoys some great times with family or good friends.  Hope you are all blessed with a week that you can sit back and remember all you are thankful for!

Happy Thanksgiving!






Thursday, November 20, 2014

Why your GPS Shows you Went Further Than the Race Course Distance

I have seen this question a lot on many running pages this fall.  Many runners wonder why their GPS device always show further than a race is supposed to be.
In fact I have seen the question so much over the past few weeks, it made me too many don't know or understand the answer.  So for those who read my blog, if you keep reading and you didn't know before, you will know the answer.

First, I am talking about races that are on certified courses.  These are courses that have been tested and verified to be correct distance. 5k - Marathon and beyond.
Races that are not certified, last minute altered courses these are something different and I am not going to be talking on those.

When a race is mapped and certified the race officials take the absolute shortest route possible to map this route.
Which is actually good and done so that say your running a half or full marathon, you can guarantee you ran at least 13.1 or 26.2.

ITS IMPOSSIBLE TO RUN A COURSE EXACT

When you are running a race, it is impossible to cut every corner exact and run the race to the absolute exact distance.
In fact, I am even going to go on the record by saying it is impossible to do this!

WHY?

First, take the start for instance, most of us are not on the front lines.  So think about all those runners at the start, even if you try to cut every corner as close as possible.  Think about how many individuals you moved to the side to avoid running into, or moved to run around them.
Each time you do this, you add distance.  You may even be starting on the opposite side of the road than the course was marked, you add up that distance (although minimal) it does add some to it.

Next, take the water stations into consideration.  Most of them are off to the side, they are not right in the middle of the road.
As you move to the side to grab your water, you just added a little extra distance to the course.

Even if you are a front line runner and you can avoid the crowds and you hit those road lines near perfectly, you are still going to have to weave in and around the water stations to get your hydration...

Now think about your last race, and you're probably getting the idea of where I am going with this.

THE GPS YOUR WEARING

Your GPS device or tracker you are using is tracking your mileage and taking into account each person you moved around, each wander to the side to get water, each corner that you had to take wide to avoid collision with other runners.
Most GPS are pretty darn accurate.
Which is why lets say your running a marathon, and you are at the mile 26 flag on the course and your GPS says you are at 26.4 or more.
Are you done?  Not at all!

You still have finished the race, you have to finish the actual course to finish the race. An extra .4 or even as much as an extra half mile (if in larger races) is added to your race distance, who cares!  You trained for the race (hopefully), a little extra isn't going to matter, especially since everyone else is in the same or similar boat as you!  Unless you put it in your mind that it will, in which case it will and you'll probably not enjoy your finish as much.

Also, your finish time is not your GPS time, your finish time is what the race officials time you (chip time), regardless!
I know their are some who like to show off their GPS time as their finish time instead of the real finish time.  That is fine I guess for your own personal thing.  But as for the race goes, race times count.  Everyone else ran the same course, so just because your GPS says you finished several minutes faster than your chip time, doesn't mean you beat all those people who crossed the finish line several minutes before you:) Yes, I have actually heard a runner argue that one before, LOL...

This is going to make a few of you roll your eyes, but I have actually been running a marathon and have heard more than one person say.  "Well my GPS says I am done, so I am done..." and they walk on to the finish???
I seriously will never get that, I mean a race is a race.  Throw that GPS out if it messes with your mind so much that you forget that little fact that you are in a race, a race to the finish:)

CUTTING THE DISTANCE DOWN

Their are a few things you can do to cut down the distance you run in a race to make it closer to the 10th's of the actual race distance you are running.

AT THE START - Hopefully you are in a corral or section of runners who run in the timeframe you are shooting for.  Even if you are, you will notice (especially in larger races) that you're probably in a group and running a slower pace than you'd like for a while at the start.
If you start weaving to bob in and out of each runner, you'll only add extra distance to your race. Depending on how long it lasts, a few minutes of being caught in the shuffle is okay, in fact I once read that the person weaving and bobbing through the crowd may only be a few seconds ahead of the person who stayed in the shuffle until it thinned out.
Then the person who weaved in and out, just spent all that extra energy.
The person who stayed in the shuffle, can easily pick up their pace and make up that time a bit later on and not have to add any extra distance/energy like the weaver did.

WATER STATIONS - Don't wait until you are right next to them to move over to get your drink.
Look ahead when you see one coming up, gradually work your way to the side but not all the way (yet), don't go for the first people handing out water (if you are in a group of runners).
Most runners go for those first few handing them out.  Wait, eye one of the volunteers at the end of the water line (so they know you are coming to them.) and grab your drink there.
(don't worry the water at the end of the line tastes the same as the water at the first of the line, LOL)
What this will do, you'll avoid the packs getting to the first water, you may not even have to weave around anyone.
You can get your water and avoid the abrupt "stoppers/walkers" and drink and move on.

CORNERS - When possible if a road turns think of it as lines.  What is the shortest distance to that corner, is it the side, or maybe the road middle?  After you practice this, it actually becomes second nature!
A lot of runners will hug the shade, or hug the white lines.  But sometimes the middle of the road can give you the best view of what is ahead so you can cut each corner or turn as short as possible when you get to them.  However, don't fight for it, if someone else is there don't crash or push, just take a wider line and avoid getting yourself hurt!

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you worry that your mind will get screwed up with the mileage on the GPS, leave it home!
Don't complain out loud on courses and in races about distance, hills or other things!  No one likes a complainer, we are all out there to have fun, let everyone who came out to enjoy their race that day, have a good time.  A negative attitude can bring all the others around you down.  That or you risk having a few people around you secretly wishing you'd slip on the next banana peel on the road:)




Wednesday, November 19, 2014

An Underwater Adventure Book Series

This is another book review that I decided to wait to just review the entire series at once.  For a couple reasons, but mostly because I found them to be very fast reads.
Of Poseidon was actually recommended to me by several book blogger friends a couple years ago.  I didn't have time to read it then, and now I am glad because when I finally found the time, all three books in the series were out, so that was a total bonus!


I never write spoiler reviews, so although this is a review of the entire series.  Don't worry, this won't ruin or spoil any of the books!

Emma is your average New Jersey teenage girl, being raised by her mother.  She takes off on vacation with her best friend to Florida.  After running into one of the best looking guys she has ever seen, (literally running into.)  From that moment on things for her begin to change.  But not all things for the better, while out surfing her friend is attacked and killed by a shark.
However, Emma isn't about to let her friend go without a fight and that is when things start getting a little weird and interesting for her.  Everything from not even realizing she was under water fighting with the shark for longer than humanly possible to hold her breath and then under water yelling at a shark, and then the shark actually listening to her.

Emma chalked it up to adrenaline and when she heads back to New Jersey to start up school other than being a little traumatized and depressed about losing her best friend things are pretty much normal for her.  That is until the guy she ran into at the beach shows up in her first class.  Not only just her first class, but all her classes.

Galen noticed there was something different about the girl at the beach from the moment he saw her eyes.  The violet color of them, usually only meant one thing.  She was like him.  But a lot of things didn't make sense, especially that if she is the same as he, why did she let her friend die in Florida in the shark attack?  Set out to find out for sure what she is and what is going on, Galen enlists an old human friend of his to get him a house and enroll him in Emma's school. 
What he found out, and what he expected couldn't have been more different.  Not only that, but the last thing he thought would ever happen would be to begin to have feelings for this girl, a girl who if he falls for, would be a forbidden romance because of who he is.

Emma pretty much can't stand Galen, but a little persistence on his part and his great looks don't hurt the cause.  She eventually agrees to go out with him.  However, what she finds out on her first date is something she never would have imagined.  Opening her world into a whole new world filled with powers, abilities she never dreamt possible and some new unlikely friendships.  Not to mention the possibilities of falling in love, that is if she is willing to let her heart go there, and if there will still be someone to take it.

With old rules from his society, and rules about how and whom he can fall in love with.  Not to mention life is not without its adventures as he begins to teach Emma what she is, and help her discover herself. 
Lots of fun twists and turns, and lots and lots of both human and underworld water adventure is what you'll get with Of Poseidon, Of Triton and Of Neptune.


This is a fun YA trilogy, that if you had asked me before if I would enjoy a story about "Mermaids" I would have probably told you no.  But after reading this fast paced, page turner fun series I have to admit I really enjoyed it and would definitely read a Mermaid book again!  If your looking for anything from a fun beach read, to a weekend escape, I have The Poseidon series on my high recommended list!  Although this is YA I will say its not just for teens, adults will really enjoy this series too!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Fantastic Caverns

If you find yourself near Springfield, Missouri in the beautiful hills of he Ozark's, this is a little afternoon adventure for a couple or a family who wants to go inside a cave.  Or for someone who wants some adventure without having to get their hands dirty:)



Today for Travel Tuesday I want to introduce you to Fantastic Caverns.  This is actually the name of the business.  It is also a family owned business and I could tell they take a lot of pride in the area and it's surroundings. Additionally, they are America's only Ride Thru Cave.



Yes, that is correct.  You actually get inside a I guess you could call it large wagon pulled by a jeep.  The wagon has seats, and I think when I went we had around 16 people sitting comfortably in it.



Additionally, no matter what time of year you go, the cave is always around a comfortable 60 degree's.



This isn't just your chance to ride through a cave, but you also get to enjoy a little bit of Civil War History too!
My tour guide told us a few stories of the caves history.
One of the unique things about this cave, the owner hid it's existance from both sides on the Civil War because he didn't want either side to use it to gain an advantage over the other.
Also, when the owner asked for cave exploers, it was actually a group of 12 women in a  Woman's Athletic Club that were the caves originally explorers.



Another unique thing about this cave, that you don't normally get to do in most caves.  They actually let you reach out and touch some of the low ceiling stalacites



This cave has a rich history of different uses.  It was once used as a Speakeasy during the Prohibition era.  It also once hosted music concerts in the 50's and 60s.




IF YOU GO:
* It's about an hour long tour.
* They are open year round except certain holidays.  You can check their hours of operation and other infomation HERE.
* They do charge to go through, and I remember it was a little pricey.  You can check their website if you are planning to go, to know what the current fee's are.
* It's just a 1 hour drive north from the famous Branson, Missouri.




FYI - I am not being paid to promote this.  This was just a place I visited and enjoy and wanted to share with you all.


Monday, November 17, 2014

My Totally Random Lowdown

Ever have those days, where you want to blog but you have a bazillion thoughts running through your mind and your not quite sure which one to actually pick?

Well instead of picking one, I decided to give you The Totally Random Lowdown on my life; starting now:


We had our first snow, which is probably great news for some.  I mean if you ski....  But no, even though I live within a 20 minute drive or less to some of the best ski/board resorts in the world.. I don't ski or board (way to expensive.)
The good news is, its only 16 degree's today, so it's a bit too cold to snow anymore!  Bad news is, it's only 16 degrees outside!


I didn't run last week, not even a little.  I should feel guilty, but I don't.  It was a rough week, my energy levels were zapped because I let my iron level got too low (my fault).  In fact I actually slept off the better part of two days, and frankly, I felt much better the days following so, no guilt!


I will be back to running this week, but I am not looking forward to running in the cold again. I don't know why, it's never bothered me before.  But I think 2 years off racing has made me weak or something!
On another note, I need to dig out my winter clothes, and running clothes... probably right after I finish typing this!!!


Eventually it's going to get icy, and since I have some great (insert sarcasm) neighbors who don't even bother to shovel their sidewalks in the winter (karma gets them I am sure.) It's going to get too snowy/icy some days to go outside to run, which means I need to fix the treadmill.
I ran too much on it over the winters through the years I actually wore out the tread mat...  $100 for a new mat, beats thousands for a new treadmill.  Hopefully, that fixes it!


I sent my resume out to a few companies and I don't even know if they are hiring.  But why not, I'd rather send them to a few places that might be my dream job, than apply to a few guaranteed jobs that I might not like as much... So yeah, we will see how that goes, but I have my fingers crossed that I will find a great and awesome job!  I even listed my blog on one of my resume's, yup after I thought about it I realized it might even help with that one, so we will see!


I got caught up on my own blogging, only to have an exhausting week (last) to get behind on keeping up with some of my favorite bloggers.  But I'm thinking now that I am feeling much, much better life might be able to get back to it's norm.


I have 2 giveaways going on.  Today is the last day to enter my $25 Amazon gift card giveaway HERE.  Also, my giveaway for book lovers just started over the weekend, so if your interested go ahead and enter HERE.  They are both parts of giveaway hops, so on my Gift Card giveaway link, you'll also see 19 other bloggers who have amazing giveaways to enter too!
On my book giveaway their are literally over 150 bloggers participating so in other words, lots and lots of chances to win some free stuff for yourself for the Holidays!


After chatting with a friend who is going through some very hard struggles and times right now, and who is also severely depressed.  I generally only offer my ear to listen, but when she kept asking how I stay happy I told her, I run.  After some time she thought about it, and started working out in the mornings.  She said she's been doing much better.  I have to say, this made me really happy to hear! Not only that, I could clearly see a difference in her face after just her first morning workout!  Just goes to show, you never know who you may be able to influence by your own life!


I don't watch much T.V. but their are a couple of shows that I do take the time to watch, because well they are quality made t.v.:) haha.  Walking Dead, and I am loving it this season and of course I am still a Survivor fan, because I would seriously be an awesome contestant on that show (my dream!)


As of this morning, my car is back with the mechanic (I think it's starting to like it there, rather than at home with me, and that isn't making me happy)!  Thankfully, this won't cost anything because it's still in relation to what they fixed.  But I think they'll put a new mechanic on it, and hopefully he will get it figured out!  One can only hope!!!


I am listening to one book on audio right now as I run.  But I am not actually reading anything else right now.  Which is a first for me this year, I am always reading something!
Instead I am anxiously waiting on my local library to get in a few sequels, final books in series I have been reading and waiting for, for years!

______________________________________

Alright, so is that is probably enough black and pink randomness for now:)
Last week, my weekly challenge was to compliment someone each day on one of their talents.  This one was fun, it made me really look at others around me, and who I work with differently and see them in a different light!



This week, my challenge is a little different, I am going to go with the Act of Kindness route. This week, I am going to look for someone who is in need of help with something and help them out with it.

If you enjoy inspirational challenges for yourself, I challenge you to do this too!

Doing something for someone else, may not seem like much, but to someone else it might mean the world, so why not!


So tell me some total randomness on your own life!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Gratitude Giveaway Hop

Two things about me, I love to run and I love to read great books!  Lately, I have been loving to go out on a run while listening to a great book!

Which is why I am excited to be participating in I Am A Reader, Not A Writer's Gratitude Giveaway hop!

It's a chance for me to thank YOU all the fabulous readers who stop by my blog on Wednesdays to read my book reviews.

My hop is open Internationally.

What can you win?  I thought I would giveaway one of my favorite reads of this year.  I have read over 65 great books this year, and it was hard to decide.  So you will have your choice of 1 of the following:


If you are not familiar with these books, you can heck out my review by clicking on the title below:



However, if you are located outside the U.S. and you are a winner, you will receive a $10 Amazon gift card instead.  Or if you are a U.S. winner and you'd prefer the gift certificate instead, that is also fine.


HOW TO ENTER
This is a hop to simply thank you!  Which is why all you have to do to enter is to follow my blog in any way you would like.
On the right sidebar near the top is all of my follow options: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin or email.  Just pick one, and then comment below on how you follow me, and your entered!

As you leave your comment, my comment section asks for an email address.  Please place a valid email address in this field, as this is how I will be contacting and reaching out to the winner.

Giveaway ends on the 30th, Winner will be selected and notified by December 2nd.
I do require you to be 18 or older to enter, or have a parent's permission.  Winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email notifying them as the winner.  If no response another winner will be selected.





NOW HOP ON OVER TO THE NEXT BLOG ON THE LIST AND ENTER THEIR GIVEAWAY 




Thursday, November 13, 2014

How I Fuel For My Runs as a Distance Runner

I was asked a while back to write on how I fuel for runs.  So I thought today would be as good of time as any to give you an insight into what I do what I do and why.

I am not alone in the running world in fueling as I do, a lot of runners fuel this way.  I train and fuel this way for a purpose and because it works for me.

I want to mention that I am in no way promoting this or offering it as advice.  I am not a Doctor or Professional Sports Trainer so all thoughts and opinions on this subject are my own and should not be considered as anything else.

I would like to first start off by saying what I am about to tell you is nothing new for me.  In fact I have been training and running this way for the better part of the past 14 years.

Do I fuel before a run?

I have a very simple answer, I don't... Not really... But let me explain.

A lot of runners these days get caught up in all the supplements and sports drinks, protein shakes, energy bars, the list can really go on and on.
Although I don't have really anything against them other than the huge amount of calories in them.  I personally don't use them and if I do its a very rare occasion.


As for how I DON'T fuel for my runs:

1-10 miles runs:
I eat nothing before I run, I prefer to run on an empty stomach - I'll explain later.
I do drink water, usually a glass before I start and if it's a hot day I might stop and get a drink of water once or twice as needed on a 8-10 mile route.  Usually if it is less than 8, I just drink again when I am finished.
When I finish with my run, I make sure to eat within 20 minutes of the run, and try to eat something higher in protein to help with the muscle recovery.  I also make sure I drink up after a run, and regain all I lost in sweat.

(If you don't know how to properly hydrate, or don't know your body well enough.  Weigh your body before you go for a run, and then right when you get back, that will tell you how much weight you are sweating off, and how much you need to hydrate to get it fully back.)

11-20 mile runs:
I still do not eat before my run and run on an empty stomach (except, see below)
I do drink water before my run, and once about every 2.5 - 3 miles.
I avoid sports drinks (except, see below)
I ALWAYS eat within 20 minutes or less after a long run, with something in higher protein again to help promote quicker muscle recovery.  I also always make sure I am properly hydrated before, during and after the run!

Marathon or Race Day
I DO eat a light breakfast in the morning.  Usually a bagel with just a little cream cheese and a Banana as well as some water.
I may eat a little around or after mile 18, if I need it (most the time I don't need anything). Sometimes I enjoy a couple of small pretzel's or suck on a hard candy or fruit like an orange.
I drink mostly only water until after mile 16, and if I feel it's a hot day and I need it I may alternate with a sports drink, but I always chase a sports drink with a water to make sure it's diluted enough in my stomach.


My Exceptions:

I will pick 1 or 2 if needed, of my longer runs (18-20 milers) and I will eat something light like a bagel or muffin before I run. Just to make sure the item is still okay for my stomach.  (Basically I call this training for my stomach so I know what still works and won't keep me in the port-o-potties in a race.)

On a rare occasion if I am training for a super hot summer marathon where I may enjoy a sports drink in the race, I may test out that sports brand drink on one of my longer runs after the 14 mile point just to make sure it agrees with my system.
Only on a rare occasion I reward myself with an ice cold Gatorade after a 18-20 miler if it's hot and I feel extra deserving:)


Why do I do this:

Some of you are probably thinking I am crazy, or that I do the dumbest things.  We are all entitled to our opinions.
The important thing is to remember we all train the way we want/do because it works for us.  I don't just train and fuel this way because I thought it was a brilliant idea that I came up with on my own. It was actually how I was originally trained to run and believe it or not there is actually quite a bit of I guess you can call it runners science behind it.  Most importantly it works for me.

For instance, running on an empty stomach forces my body to find stored fats to fuel and burn. Which actually really helps endurance athletes to go stronger and longer than others.
Training my body to do this, actually benefits me over others who's bodies are running on recent food "sugar" fuel storage.
In other words, it's pretty possible they will run out of gas long before me.  Additionally, if a race is particularly harder and more endurance than normal is required.  I may actually outlast others and have an easier time coping with it, because I haven't trained my body to require constant sugars and fuels.  My body is already trained to dig deeper and work on stored fuels.

(Side note: some even believe training this way can eliminate "hitting the wall" in a marathon or an ultra.  Personally, since I have only hit the wall twice, I would lean on the side that I agree with this. But can't say I believe it to be a fact.... Yet...)

This method is actually far more beneficial for me for distance running than anything because it teaches my body to find the stored carbs and calories to burn.  Which teaches my body to dig deeper when needed to find energy.
In fact you actually can run out of recently stored sugars pretty quickly in a marathon.
Because I train this way I can't tell you how much this has helped especially the years I was running 13-14 full marathons a year.
Some take those different shots during a race for extra energy, but although I have tried them I personally didn't see much of a long term difference and they mess with my stomach too much to make them worth bothering with, so I don't use them at all and I don't really need them.


Hydration:  Just like if you train your body to need fuel in a race every so many miles, you will.  The truth is, if you train your body to drink water every mile.  You are going to want it in a race frequently too.

But you don't need water this frequently, it's actually not good for you to run and drink too frequently.
If you are running a half or full marathon, you really only need water every 2-3 miles.  Most races only offer water stops like this, so I train to drink at this rate.
On a rare occasion (and it happens) races run out of water or have problems at the water stops and you might be forced to miss a stop.  But if you've trained your body to already only drink every 2-3 miles you can usually be okay even if you have to go 4 miles between stops to get a drink.  (This going with being correctly and fully hydrated to begin the race.)

I also participate in this thing called the Sugar Method
(Although I have heard other names)  

3 Weeks leading into a marathon I try to avoid sugars.  Meaning I stay away from soda, candy, pastries some fruits or other items that are high in sugar.
I don't mean I avoid it all together (that's impossible), I just mean I avoid high sugar foods.
It's true, this can make a person quite tired and I may need an extra nap that day, especially in peak training. But it has a very cool purpose and result come race day when done correctly!

In fact as I introduce them again into my diet whether that be the morning before or even into the race (depends on when I feel I need it), I get a much stronger energy boost than others who's bodies are used to burning off recent sugar intakes.  I know there are articles out on the Internet on this, but it's been so many years since I looked into it, I don't have any that I can think of right now to link to, but if you want more information on it, I am sure there is loads of it out there.

But don't get me wrong, when I say I eat sugars race day.  I am NOT downing a sports bar or sugar pack before or in a race (I will never understand why some do that), that kind of behavior can just create a sugar crash and even slow you down or use up your energy too fast too soon.
I prefer using Banana's and fruits mixed with proteins and carbs, gives me a much better endurance boost than the claims of most sports bars out there.  Which the result is a more long term energy boost from the newly added sugars into my body.


Correct carbohydrate loading

I wanted to touch on this subject too, because believe it or not unless you have been trained on how to correctly carb load before a race, most runners especially new runners do it incorrectly.  So much so that it really doesn't benefit them at all, in fact a lot of times it can even hurt them and they rarely ever realize it was the problem.

As for me:
I mentioned that I avoid sugars 3 weeks leading into a race, and this also includes a reduction in carbs in my part to.
But what I do, when I am correctly carbo loading is 4-5 days before the race I start carb loading. Why? Because it actually takes your body several days to build these carbs especially if you want to store up enough stored energy for a race. (I still lay off high sugary items though.)

I personally think carb loading is really more beneficial for distance runners.  I never saw much of a benefit from it for anything shorter than a half marathon.  I remember trying it in high school for 5k's & 10k's but never really saw any noticeable difference from when I did it or didn't.  I just don't think I was out there running long enough in those distances to see the effects come across.  But others may disagree, so I guess it really comes down to what you have convinced your mind, or what works for you:)

A lot of people believe carb loading is a big pasta dinner the night before a race.  But if that is all they are doing, they aren't really carb loading in a way that will help them.  In fact that can actually hurt a person, especially if it is a really big meal.

Which is why I take the 4-5 days before the race to introduce more carbs into my diet.  Pancakes, French Fries (less greasy), pizza, breads.  That is my thing.  I will enjoy higher carbs 3 meals a day for those days leading into a race.
I also reduce dairy, no ice creams and less in other dairy products the week leading into a race.
(I avoid pasta, it took me many years to realize pasta is the one thing that is sure to keep me running from outhouse to outhouse, ha ha.)

The night before a race, I will eat dinner early, and definitely do not over eat!  I eat like normal or as I have been all week, I never try anything new.  Why?  Because I don't want to start running a race with a huge full stomach the next morning of food that still hasn't finish digesting, or eating something that disagree's with me.

Also, quickly I will touch on hydration

You can't fully hydrate for a race if you start drinking and filling your belly with water the day before a race.  In fact if you do that, you risk starting the race with a belly ache or stomach problems.
Technically a runner should aim to be fully hydrated all the time.  (Pee the color of light lemonade is a good indicator, too clear means you are over hydrated, too yellow under hydrated.)

However, as with the 4-5 day carb loading, it also takes your body 5-7 days to become correctly and fully hydrated.  So a week before a race is when you should start making sure you are working on being correctly hydrated for a race.

___________________________________

Okay, so I know this is a long post, but that is my short version of how I fuel for running.
I am not a Sports Doctor, so like I said above I am not pushing my method out there for anyone.
If your interested in trying any of these things, I suggest looking into them more and speaking with your doctor or a Professional Sports Nutritionist or Coach first to understand the benefits and in's and out's of what to expect, and to find out if it is right for you.
I wrote this purely so in case others wondered how I did it, now they know:) please don't take it for advice.


But I am going to ask, do any of you train/fuel in any of these ways?

I'd love to hear who else is a marathon/ultra runner who uses the sugar method, most of those who I know who do it, love it and experience similar results as me, but I'd love to hear how it helps or benefits you, or if you do it differently, I'd also enjoy hearing how your method is especially if it is different than mine as I know there are a few different ways of going about it!



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Royally Lost by Angie Stanton

If your ever in the mood for a lighthearted fun summer romance read, then Royally Lost by Angie Stanton is one you might want to pick up.

Becca recently dumped by her boyfriend who went after her best friend instead.  Just graduated and is supposed to be getting ready to attend a college she didn't choose and start on a degree she doesn't want.  She'd rather be home alone than where she currently is.  Which is stuck on a family vacation in Europe with her father who hasn't been around much since her mothers death, and her noisy stepmother and brother who goes after every pretty girl he see's.
On a river boat cruise stopping at port after port, listening to tour guides after tour guides.  She is everything that goes with the word miserable.

Nikolai is a prince, who just found out that his parents intend to have him follow in his forefathers footsteps and join the military.  Growing up in palaces with fancy parties, political events with important people and parents, he has everything or so it seems.
A king and queen who expect him to be dignified and every bit the handsome prince that the public Adore's him for.  Nikolai has had enough, on a whim he packs a bag and escapes for a little freedom to figure out what he wants and how to convince his parents that what he wants is in their and the country's best interest.

Nikolai and Becca meet in a brief chance encounter in a European tourist town.  Then as if fate has something to do with it, they meet again in another town.  Not interested in letting each other slip away again Nikolai and Becca begin a friendship and a possible summer romance.
At first Nikolai tries to keep his identity a secret, but with the royal guard and paparazzi quickly on his tail, his secret eventually comes out.
Then things become a bit of an adventure as the two escape their own realities and take their own European vacation.

Just as powerful as the forces that brought them together, the powers that mean to tear them apart are just as strong, if not stronger.
Royally Lost is a fun summer romance, that has you smiling and keeping your fingers crossed that they will be able to find a way to make things work, before their own families try to tear them apart.

If your interested in a fun light romance read, with a little adventure and European history.  A handsome prince who has everything, and an American girl who seems to keep losing everything. Then I suggest adding Royally Lost to your reading list!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran's Day

Special Thanks to all Military past & present 
who have served our country!





Make sure your taking the time to express your thanks not just today, but year round.  
To those past or present Military who have made the sacrifice to serve our great country for the freedoms and rights we all share in today!





Monday, November 10, 2014

Goal Re Evaluation & Life's Ups and Downs

I mentioned a few weeks ago, I was having a string of bad luck.  That is still happening.  However, I also mentioned I was going to try to shift my focus on others, so I wasn't constantly dwelling on my problems.  I challenged myself to compliment at least two people a day for a week.
I enjoyed it so much I carried it onto a 2nd week!  Let me tell you, not it hasn't solved all of my bad luck problems, but it really has changed my mood.  Even when I get hit with something not so good, I am able to push it aside and let it go.
So I am grateful for the challenge and I have decided a weekly challenge to show some type of kindness to others is exactly what I need to put my focus into each week going forward!



THE GOOD NEWS
I finally hit the 10 mile point.  I know I had spoken about likely hitting this weeks ago, but due to circumstances it was best for me to hold off for a few more weeks.
It wasn't the best run as far as time, but I am not working on time right now.  The good thing is, it felt far less tiring than my 9 miler a few weeks back.

Sorry, if you follow me on Instagram and already saw this, but this is my elevation map for my 10 miler.  As you can see, I love hills!  I kind of only have the option around here to run uphill one way, and downhill the other.  So I prefer to do the uphill first:)
But mile 4.2 until around 5.3 were a bit of a bear, I turned up a street I had never gone up and found a new hill:)  (I was careful with my tendon, but did have to take it super easy going up it.)




THE BAD NEWS

I won't go into too much of the bad.  But it is my life, so I will share a little.
Car problems, still have them, my car was in the shop twice last week.... I think my car hates me, but I am really (really) hopeful that this will be the last for a while...  The thing I am most bummed about, I don't think I trust the car enough to take the planned road trip to Las Vegas this weekend to cheer on my friends at Fairytales and Fitness.  So I will just have to wish them luck and cheers from afar!

Several weeks ago I had a little "flair up" with my tendon.  My life has been so busy it wasn't until later last week I realized it never went away, and it has been getting slowly but increasingly worse.
I know, your wondering how I didn't notice.  But I have been in pain for so long, sometimes a little more pain is easy to dismiss.
So, I have gone back to wearing the boot again at night to keep the tendon stretched out instead of retracting at night.  (Ya it sucks, but its a necessary evil and it has been helping!)
I am also starting the PT over again.  No not going in weekly, but I kept all my information and workouts.  I am going to start from around the middle.  Since I the early stuff was to introduce my muscles into walking again, and I don't need that part.
We'll see what happens.  But keep your fingers crossed for me!

On the other note, my stress fracture in my right foot, still not completely healed but getting better all the time.  A week ago I pulled a 2nd smaller stress fracture in the same foot, in a different place.  This foot has been under too much strain from the other foot.  I think because things were getting worse with the tendon, this foot was forced to take on more...
Additionally, I've started just the last few days with a little tendon pain in the right foot.  I attribute this to too much time on my feet the past week, I am fairly confident I can get rid of this quickly again like I did earlier this spring when it tried to creep on before.

Running hasn't been bothering it or irritating it more yet, so I am going to keep it up.  But play close attention to it at the same time and if needed I will back off or even stop if needed for a few weeks.

WHATS NEXT

I have revisited my goals.  The number one goal has always been to finish a marathon in each of the 50 states & D.C..  Once that is done, I can re look at things and put my focus into other area's and races.

I was toying with the idea of running a Half this month, but decided I am not going to.  Not because I couldn't finish, because I could.  A race, would make me want to push myself and that could risk my "unstable" healing injury, and that isn't worth it.

So I have done a few things:

First, I officially joined Marathon Maniacs.  I am one of their newer members 10,007.  I joined in at the 5 star level.  (I actually qualified for this back in March 2011, but never put too much into joining.  I don't know why...)
If your wondering why I decided to join now, of all times.  Well it's simple members get marathon discounts on some race entry fee's..
Let's face it, with all I have paid out in medical bills the past 2 years, I NEED discounts wherever I can get them to finish this marathon goal.  Since I will be applying for marathons soon, I thought the timing was finally right.

Second, I have picked my first Marathon that I am working towards as my comeback race.  I have not yet entered, but they usually don't sell out until January.  I'll keep my eye on it just in case.  I'll enter it as soon as I am confident that my tendon will not be an issue. I am not sure if I will announce it on the blog (still deciding) until after I run it.  But I will say it is in late March of 2015.

Third, I have also picked my 2nd and 3rd Marathons for 2015.  All in March-April, and they are pretty close together.  This is actually for a reason.  I may do a few back to backs, to save money on travel costs.

Fourth,  New training plans.  In the past I was used to back to back marathons, but lets be honest it took me a little over a year to teach my body originally to handle the back to back beatings, and to be able to do them without risking injury.
So, my focus right now through February will be purely building back up distance, and then teaching my body to remember how to handle more of it.
No speed at all, I don't have any time for that since the races will start in about 5 months, and I want to keep chances of injury out of the picture.  I am sure my pace will pick up a little as I train, but it's going to take a lot of hard work to teach my body to enjoy back to back long runs again.
It's frankly just cheaper and as weird as this is going to say, even slightly easier on my body overall to do back to back marathons.

FYI, not going to tackle my hope to do 2 marathons in 2 days anytime soon.  The earliest I would even consider that would be fall 2015.  But I am looking at 6-14 days between marathons when I say back to back for the spring.

Fifth & Last, I am going to get back on my weight loss goals.  I am going to really push it up a few notches and I have a goal to weigh 30 pounds less by my March marathon.
Which is hard for me because I never lose weight running:)  But it is possible, so I am going to shift a lot of focus onto that each day as well!

Will I finish the last 19 marathons I need to finish my goal next year?
If it was up to me, yes.  But reality is no.
I know how much it cost me to run the first 32, so knowing I need around $25,000+ for the last 19 and that is cutting my budget down on them.
The reality is, I don't have that kind of extra cash on hand anymore.  So unless someone wants to finance the trips, ha ha... I will just do what I can and we will see what happens!



WEEKLY INSPIRATIONAL GOAL

This week, Compliment at least 1 person each day on one of their talents!

If your up for it, you are more than welcome to join me!
If any of you participated a few weeks ago on my other compliment 2 individuals a day on anything, let me know how it went, did it uplift your life too?



Thursday, November 6, 2014

What Does it Really Mean to Hit The Wall

One of my favorite pro runners is Kara Goucher, she's a great role model, mother and a very talented runner.  Sunday, she didn't have her greatest run, she hit the wall for the first time in her career.  To most of us, 14th place in the NYC Marathon would be incredible.  But after Hitting The Wall it is even more impressive and really inspiring!

When people find out I am a marathon runner the most common question I get is.  Do you hit the wall?  I tell them, I have a much better chance of hitting a rare Runner's High, than Hitting the Wall.
Why?  Well believe it or not, despite how popular the term is.  Actually Hitting the Wall is exceptionally rare.  Most runners go their entire lives without having it ever happen!


Many have this assumption that if you run a marathon, you get tired in it and getting too tired means "Hitting the Wall".  Well I have news for you, it doesn't mean that, and you probably wont.  So don't let those little three words bother you in the least!

In fact, most people, even those who think they have hit the wall in a race, really haven't.  It's true, and I don't say that to offend anyone.  In the several dozen I have run, I have only "Hit the Wall" twice. Once when I was completely healthy with no other factors involved.

So before I go off offending anyone let me explain.  I have talked to many, many runners through the years, even those you'd call pro's and experts.  I love to hear peoples experiences and thoughts on the subject.  So my thoughts on this are in a combination with what I experienced and what has been the result from those previous conversations with others.

WHAT IS NOT HITTING THE WALL

Why do most people think they have hit the wall, when they really haven't?  There are several I will name a few:

Maybe they have a cold or flu or stomach pains and get extremely tired at a certain point of the race or were tired to begin with and maybe shouldn't even be running. Or over ate the night before and are having stomach pains and just feel awful that day or even dehydration.  Most will likely agree when I say, this rarely brings on Hitting the Wall, this is just having the bad luck of being sick and being sick just makes you more tired to begin with.

Many runners under train, they don't really put in the work ahead of time.  Then they get tired at some point in the race and just start shuffling or walking.  This isn't Hitting the Wall, this is just what happens when you don't train correctly for a marathon.  When your under trained chances are you'll get really tired and slow down long before Hitting the Wall would have the chance to occur.

Over training, this happens a lot.  Runners will try to cram everything into the last few weeks of marathon training.  You can even add incorrect tapering to this.  Their legs are tired before they even begin the race, so they get overly exhausted early and stop and walk or shuffle through, this most likely isn't really Hitting the Wall either.

They start out too fast, maybe ran with a pace group that was too fast for what they trained for.  They get exhausted early on, or have to stop and walk and feel like they never get the energy back.. This isn't really Hitting the Wall either, this is more like getting burned out.  However, if your not careful I have heard this could potentially lead to it depending on your training level.  But I have had a few coaches tell me that most people burn out when they do this long before they ever get to the Hit the Wall point.

Also lets not forget, the runner who is complaining loudly telling everyone in the race their exhausted and they Hit the Wall.  If you've ran into these type you know what I am talking about.  Trust me, they aren't Hitting the Wall.  If they were, they wouldn't have the energy to be complaining.  This runner is just tired and a complainer!

There are lots of factors like these above that can make you tired and give you a miserable race, but generally most of these things rarely mean your Hitting the Wall.
THE GOOD NEWS
The best part about everything I listed above (aside from having a cold or flu) they are all preventable.  If you listen to you body and use your training runs to learn how to run a race, and how your body is going to respond to different situations, then generally you can prevent rookie mistakes like those above.

So maybe your asking, well then what is Hitting the Wall??  What does it really feel like?  Who does it really happen too?  What causes it to happen?

The answer is, kind of vague.  No one really knows, exactly.  It can happen to top athletes (take Kara Goucher's NYC Marathon on Sunday for instance.) it can happen to beginners and it could wait to happen until your 101st marathon.  It can happen to even those who do absolutely everything right in training and preparation!

WHAT IS HITTING THE WALL

There is a BIG difference between Hitting the Wall and experiencing being really tired in a race. Unless it happens to you, you won't really be able to understand what it does to you.

What I have found is for those who have really "Hit the Wall" their opinion is pretty much right in line with my own.  When you hit that point, your body stops, its finished.  You hurt, true pain from head to toe, your legs have no gas left in them, the thoughts of continuing on are as painful as distasteful. 

What happens:
Your done, so beyond spent that the actual impact of pushing your strides takes more effort and pain than you could ever imagine it could.
Your body and mind begin to shut down.
When hits it can be quite sudden. Bam... Which is why the term "Hitting the Wall".
You literally feel like you just ran into a wall, and yes a solid wall.
It playing with your mind and emotions and tears you down.
Thoughts of quitting, thoughts why am I doing this, how am I going to push into my next step pass emotionally through your mind.
Even if your not an emotional person you'll likely start crying, or tearing up.
Anyone around you, can see it on your face, it's not something you can disguise or would have the energy to.

(Going off my experience and many others I have spoken to.) Generally if this is going to happen to you, it seems it generally happens around or after mile 22ish. Although I once heard it happened to a guy around miles 19 & 18, I'm sure even more rare but what a nightmare that would be!

SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?

How to you finish a race at this point?  Well this is when all your pre-training comes in.  You've probably heard the term running a marathon is 60% mind and 40% body (or some variation of that).  Well, as you train your body to get ready for a marathon, you should also be training your mind.  If you do, and if the rare "Hitting the Wall" does in fact happen to you, you'll be ready for it!

How do you get passed it?  
Well some runners don't, its just a fact not everyone is cut out for what it does to you.  The ones that give up, you won't find them walking to the finish, because if you hit this point and you let your mind take control and give up, your done, you really wouldn't be able to walk to the finish.  The only option would be the swag wagon.

First, if this does happen the absolute worse thing you can do is stop to rest or start walking! You actually should to do just the opposite.  You have to find that part inside of you, that is the heart of the love for running.  You have to want it, and you have to want to finish bad.  You take that desire, and then you force your brain to push your feet forward.

Second, as soon as you can (sooner the better) you need to grab a hold of your thoughts and shift your focus.  You tell yourself, this is going to hurt bad, but you are trained, your body can take it. Use pure motivation to push forward and get yourself to the finish.

Third, you go faster, even if its just the slightest increase in stride.  It will hurt horribly, but you pick up your pace.  Get mad if you have to, and use any anger at having this happen to you to help you push the strides forward.
(I can't even describe the pain that calls for do do that at this point, but doing this really does help.)

Fourth, hopefully you already know how to use your brain to let go of the pain.  Hopefully you practiced this in your training runs.  It's a form of self meditation.  It is possible to push that pain the the back of your mind.  Shift your focus on what you want, that finish line.

Fifth, believe in yourself, believe you can!  Bite back the sheer pain your legs are experiencing ignore any burning and exhaustion in your lungs.  Block everything out around you if needed, the other runners, the crowds. Ignore the comments, especially those few people that for some reason are always their saying your okay or your almost there.  You can curse them your next race:), don't spend your thought energy on how annoying that comment is now.  Let your mind and determination take complete control and want that finish!

** This may sound like a lot to do or think about, but from the time you Hit the Wall, between shifting to focus on the finish this all takes place in minutes.  This isn't a set of things to slowly start to work on.  When you Hit the Wall, you have a short amount of time to find the endurance and motivation, or stop and get a DNF. **

WHAT WILL HAPPEN?

Occasionally, if you can push on it could wear off a tad and you might be able to have some of the hurt lift a little.  But even if that does happen, it's still going to be a very painful finish, one you'll never forget!  But if you in shape for it and are prepared mentally, even if you don't get any relief, you WILL get to the finish line!

But like I said above, Hitting the Wall is very rare.  I know runners who have ran 10-50 marathons in their lifetimes, and have never had it happen.  Even met a guy who's run over 600 marathons in his lifetime and only hit it a couple of times.

I'm sure they've had some very exhausting races and days, (everyone does).  If the marathon was easy, then everyone would be doing it, instead of just the 1% of runners out there.
The important thing to remember is, the chances of it happening to you are pretty slim.  So don't let the term "Hitting the Wall" distract you from signing up for a marathon!

More than likely if you train correctly, and put in the work ahead of time, you'll end up having a great enjoyable race!  Don't put all the work in ahead of time, and you may feel tired and sluggish during the second half and might not enjoy it as much, but even then you probably still won't Hit the Wall!


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Not all Gitz and Glam & Stain Remover Tips

I get asked all of the time, about what it is like to be a Wedding Planner & Decorator.  They think my job must be so glamorous (thanks to the movies.) and all fun and rewarding.

Yes, there is that part that you get to use your imagination and turn something plain into a brides dream. Yes, you get to make someones day and get lots and lots of comments of praise and thanks!
It is a lot of fun, and for me highly rewarding!

However, that part of it is actually only a small part of what happens to create someones special day. The rest is a lot of sweat (some blood) and occasional tears:) on my end.



So in case you ever wanted to know what it is like to be a Bridal Planner and Event Planner, I thought I'd give you a real peek into what it is really like.
Also, if your a mom some of these tips might help you with your kids clothes or to get stains out of things!

I'll skip the part about meeting with the bridal party and the planning and go straight into what all goes into making someones day unique and special.

A quick FYI - Because I own my own decoration company, my perspective may be a bit different than someone who only organizes an event and just makes the phone calls to all the event places to make something happen.  I am also a mobile company, I bring everything with me to the different event centers or churches.  So in a way I am a bit more involved than most event planners!


PREP WORK
For me about 5 days leading into an event/wedding is when the prepping begins.  First things first, I hitch up the truck and large trailer together and I drive over to where I keep all the beautiful items, backdrops, linens, centerpieces, flowers, tree's, gazebo's etc... stored.
Sometimes I bring others, especially if the equipment I need is over 100 pounds.  But generally I enjoy the workout so it's just me and my pink leather work gloves.  It takes me about an hour to two hours to get everything loaded.
I am picky, I like everything to be loaded a specific way, and generally only the items I will need for each specific event so it takes a while for me to get this done correctly.


CRAFTS AND PROJECTS
Then there are the crafts, it may be making signs, painting things, putting centerpieces together.   Just depends from event from event.  This also includes putting the floral arrangements together.
This can take 2 - 5 hours...


LINENS
Last prep work are getting all the linens pressed/steamed and ready for use.
I am highly picky and hate wrinkles.  I iron/steam individually every single chair cover, table linen that we use.  If you can imagine what 20-30 tables consist of, not to mention how many chairs....
I also usually do this myself.  I could pay crew to do it, and I do occasionally.  But I am picky, I like things to look a certain way, and if I do it, then it's more money in my pocket.
Besides, it gives me 12-14 hours to catch up on TV series, or watch movies while I am getting this all done.

Candy Buffet Table Design- before candy added
EVENT DAY
I am organized, my team and I usually can do an entire transformation in about 4-6 hours depending on what we are doing.  We set everything up early in the morning same day as the wedding or event. (Other than in rare occasions.)
Each person on the team generally ends up walking (yes I have Fitbit checked it) about 6-10 miles just doing the set up.
Also a lot of those miles walked, we are carrying heavy items!


-I mentioned blood & sweat & tears-
- Accidents happen, fingers get cut or sliced setting things up.. Not often but blood does happen.
- All that carrying and lifting and walking lots of sweat! (and calories burned:)
- As for the tears, well sometimes things go wrong, very wrong.  I handle stress very very well, in fact so well I almost never stress because I have backup plans, or the ability to come up with a new idea on the fly.  However, occasionally their are just those days where nothing goes correctly and wears me down or something breaks...  I have taken a minute to walk away, take a deep breath, wipe a tear before going back in to regroup with the team on how we should solve the problem and move on.

DURING THE EVENT
This is the time the event or bridal party arrive and sometimes I get to watch their faces as they walk into the room, and I love watching that amazed, you made my day look they get!  They get to have fun and enjoy the day and atmosphere.
This is my time to relax (a little) I generally can get off my feet for a few hours.  Unless its an event that I need to be their the whole time... in which I look forward to crawling into bed that night even more:)
This is also the time, I finally get to go get something to eat for the day!  Generally I get so busy I end up skipping breakfast and sometimes lunch unless I get so hungry I order it in for me and the crew while we work.

AFTER THE EVENT
When an event is over, my team and I go in and take down everything and get it all packed back up in the trailer in about 1 hour or less.
We drag our already tired bodies and sore muscles back over to do it all in reverse but faster.
Generally another 1-2 miles are walked doing this, all of which are carrying 10-100 pounds with each step we take.
Yup, quite the workout and it makes for some very late nights and some very sore muscles the next day!



If you think it is over now you'd be wrong

Now the really NOT so fun part starts.  Remember all those linens?  Well they have to be washed and quick before stains set in!  I generally try to get them all done within 24 hours!

STAIN REMOVER TIPS
Grease can be usually removed with a stain remover spray, but you'll want to wash quickly.
Getting pen out, Hairspray or just straight Rubbing Alcohol.  (Test a part of the fabric first)
Set in stains, I use -
Fels-Naptha - Rub some in with water, rub the fabric and stain together then wash.
FYI - Fels-Naptha will even get in drenched in set chocolate fondue and other stains.
But it will take a little elbow work.
I use it and it has worked for me getting things bright white again every time.  However,
you do have to immediately start on it, leaving it even overnight and you risk the stain setting in.


Dry cleaning is too expensive these days.  So they are all washed and dried by me. (again I am picky)
First, I have to inspect each linen and even though they are all a stain resistant material, I still have to spray certain ones with stain remover spray, just to be safe.

Chocolate Fondue- Punch - Jelly's & Fruit Creams - Grease - Sticky Candies  are my least favorite, but I have ways to get them all out!

FYI - Fels-Naptha will actually even help get out drenched in and set chocolate fondue!  I know, it will take a little elbow work, but I can get it out of my whites every time.  However, you do have to immediately start on it, leaving it even overnight and you risk the stain setting in for good!

STAIN REMOVER TIPS
Goo Gone is my new best friend for gum or wax stains!
Fresh gum, just put a little Goo Gone on and then take your fingernail and the gum comes right up.
Set in gum, or gum washed in the washer and dried.  Apply Goo Gone let it sit for a minute or two.  Then
take a white towel or rag and start blotting it, or rubbing it out.  Eventually it will come out.
Always test the fabric first.
For wax, or other gummy products it's also just as easy to remove them with Goo Gone.

However, my absolute least favorite is gum and pen!  Yes, some people (I always hope they are kids) are so lacking in manners that they actually think it is okay to stick their gum into table linens! Other parents never watch their kids, and let them color all over other peoples property!

Then they are washed, dried and folded or hung if another event is coming up.
Imagine folding up 100-200+ individual chair covers.
Or 100-200+ chair sashes - which have to be folded and ironed flat.
Yup, it can take me a day alone just to get the washing done, and the folding and getting everything put away another day or two.



So, that is the not so glamorous part of being an Event Planner!  Sure the parts that are fun, and making a bride and her families day are why I do it.  Thankfully those parts outweigh all the hard work.

Oh, and in case your wondering.  Although the room set up pictures are from a few different events.
All these (Issue & washing) pictures are what I dealt with at 1 event, not several events just ONE... In fact it was one I did last week, which while scrubbing out these stains gave me the idea for this post, haha.



PRODUCTS MENTIONED ABOVE
FYI, I am NOT getting paid to promote these products, I am just showing them to you because they have and do work miracles for me and I have tested them out time and time again and they seem to always come through for me!

All can be purchased at a local store.  These are the exact ones I use.

Fels-Naptha is a stain pre-treater that looks like a bar of soap.  It will last you forever and mine only cost about $1.

Goo Gone removes gum, crayon, wax, stickers and tape although you may find other uses.  It has a citrus scent which is nice and a little bit goes a long way!  Prices may vary depending on the size but mind cost me about $5 for the bottle.

As for a stain pre-treater spray, their are lots out on the market.  I have found that they pretty much all do the same thing.  So I buy whichever is the cheapest brand at the time.  Although it may be interesting to do a comparison sometime:)

As for detergent, I always use TIDE.  For me it works the best, and in college while working on my Interior Design degree, I actually did have to do a project and compare this brand with others to remove various stains, and Tide won almost every time.  Which is why I have stuck with Tide with Bleach for all my linens & satin washing needs!

Wondering what one of the most popular wedding theme trends was this year?
PEACOCK WEDDINGS
Basically taking Peacock Feathers and their colors and tying them into everything from
the decoration, to the bride's dress.
_________________________________

Okay, now you probably know more than you ever cared to know about being a wedding planner!
However, even if you don't plan on becoming one.  This will give you a little insight into what to expect if you decide to help someone else decorate for their wedding.

Or if you have a friend/family member who is getting married and THINKS they will save money on set up costs by doing it themselves (in other words having you do it.)
Now you know if you want to tell them, no way or agree to do it!
Oh and if you are going to be a bride and you're thinking of having your family do it all.  Just FYI its generally surprisingly cheaper and your family will like you more to pay someone else to do it!

For the rest of you, hopefully some of these stain tricks will help you out in the future!