AMRAP Review & Giveaway!

Recently I was given the opportunity to review AMRAP bars. The bars arrived the day after I was supposed to post the review…what can ya do?!??! Anyway, they arrived and I’ve managed to taste them all without reading anyone else’s review(s), not an easy thing to do.

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AMRAP creates food that is 100% Paleo, gluten-free, GMO-free, dairy-free, and unprocessed. Raw whole foods, like almond chunks, are a top priority in our bars because we know from experience it is clean fuel that feeds our bodies’ daily activity the best. Our bars have an optimal research-based combination of good proteins and carbs for well-rounded athletes. Recommended for a meal supplement or replacement, and especially a pre or post-workout snack.

Piper’s Review:

I had three bars to test out: Almond & Honey, Fig and Cacao, and Cashew & Vanilla. I brought them to work as I thought they looked fairly large that I couldn’t eat all three at once…or even in three days. My co-worker, Melissa and I tested them out and this is what we thought.

AMRAP

Food Facts on the Fig & Cacao

Bar #1: Cashew & Vanilla (we actually tried this one last)

It wasn’t great. The vanilla tasted weird and neither one of us could figure out why. We both felt the texture was weird and had a rush of sweet like cake batter when you bit into it.

Bar #2: Almond & Honey (middle of the pack)

The smell was awesome as soon as we opened the packaging. The nuts were still crunchy and it wasn’t dense like other protein bars. It wasn’t heavy. We both loved this one.

Bar #3: Fig & Cacao (we tried this one first)

It was good. You see all the ingredients lists and it didn’t taste artificial. Another one for the win!

Overall: We both really liked the Almond & Honey and Fig & Cacao but felt the Cashew & Vanilla just didn’t cut it for us. We’d both would buy these and recommend them.

They tasted home-made and didn’t look, feel or taste “processed”.

PR AMRAP

And now for the GIVEAWAYS…three of them!

There will be three winners.

Each winner will receive an 8-pack of AMRAP bards in a flavour of your choice (Fig Cacao, Almond Honey or Cashew Vanilla).

Winners can be from the US or Canada.

Contest starts Wednesday September 17th and ends Monday September 22nd, 2014.

To enter the contest please fill out this rafflecopter –>a Rafflecopter giveaway <–Must fill out to enter.

Good luck!

Have you tried AMRAP bars before? 

Half Marathon Training Week #8 ALL DONE!

Ummmm, so I finished week #8 of my half Marathon training on the weekend and now only have four more weeks to go! I had such a ride this past weekend at Maritime Race Weekend, I think I’m still high from it all. Last week’s training went a little like this:

What was planned VS What happened

Monday: Stretch & Strengthen – 20 Squats. I was completely unmotivated to do anything, so I did 10 really good squats. And then after 5 minutes of nothing, did another 10 really good squats and called it a day! #trainingfail

Tuesday: 7k run –  7k outside with a 5k PB of 27:30 Had an amazing 7k run and the first 5k managed a new PB. I felt great.

when you legs can't run anymore

Wednesday:40 minute tempo run –  7k outside. A little slower than Tuesday’s run but I ran the same route and loved it. I’m really not good at tempo runs but Tuesday nights run could have been considered a tempo run.

Thursday: 5k + strength - Rest Day. Packed our bags for the weekend, cleaned the house and hung out with my husband.

Friday: Rest Day - 5k Tartan Twosome 5k NEW PB 27:05 <–Read about it here.

Saturday: 8k -  10k Tartan Twosome, PB 55:58 plus 6k (36:22) for a total of 1 hour 32 minutes (16k). <–Read about it here.

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Sunday: 16k long run –  Rest Day (moved 15 wheelbarrows full of mulch from my neighbour’s house on a hill to our backyard).

Total mileage this week: 35 km

Total mileage training: 273 km (Since July 21st)

I feel like a BADASS MOTHER RUNNER NOW :)

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Week #8 was 100% different and better than week #7…it’s amazing how your training can change from week to week! I felt comfortable and confident with my running.

Four more weeks to go of training and then my half marathon. I also signed up for another race…HA! The 5k BLT run in Timberlea with the Timberlea Tundra Pounders Running Group (October 25th).

Anyone training? How’s it going?

Tell me something that has nothing to do with running?

Are you loving the Fall weather where you live?

Check back tomorrow for 1 of 2 Giveaways open to US & Canadians :)

Tartan Twosome: 10k Race Recap (Race #2 at Maritime Race Weekend)

And just like that it was race number 2! Saturday morning sunrise 10k was on tap…so was another 6km run after my race. This is what happens when you are training for a half marathon and have other races on your long run day.

If you missed my Maritime Race Weekends’  Tartan Twosome 5k recap, you can check it out here.

First off, I had the worst sleep ever after a run and the night before a race (my second race). And it had nothing to do with my girls not sleeping. I just couldn’t relax enough to sleep, tossed and turned all night until my alarm went off at 5:25 am.

After I jumped up got out of bed at 5:35, told my husband what time it was, we quickly got ready to go and were out the door by 6:10. With the girls still asleep, my Dad came in the room to stay with Hilary as she was sound asleep. We picked up my long-time (high school) friend, Tracey and I ate my breakfast in the car. Tracey and I played soccer together for years and she was running her 2nd half marathon (and did great!).

pre 10k tartan twosome with tracey

It was cold and I was dressed in my capri running pants with sweatpants over top and a long-sleeved sweater on. Brrr! We decided to park a little further way from the start/finish area so we could leave after our race. When we arrived at 6:45 we decided to hang out in the car until 7am.

It was less than 10 minutes from our car to the start area which was perfect. We walked by one porta-potty and turned the corner to see a massive line up for 10 porta-pottys. I went back to that short-line single porta-potty so I could pee one last time and changed from my capri running pants to my running shorts – Best.Decision.Ever! I also drank my Vega Pre-Workout Energizer Drink - love this!

I wanted to line up early in the shoot but time got away from us and at 7:43 I rushed to the start shoot and squeezed my way in. I lost Krystol and Tracey but found @epileptrick and Bagtown Blogtrotter so we chatted some more. It was getting super crowded, even more so then the night before. OH and, the 5k, 10k, 1/2 and FULL all lined up together. It was kinda crazy having all distances together but I guess it worked out okay in the end.

As the gun went off we all shuffled forward and as I crossed the start line I hit start on my Garmin. What a lovely sound that is at the start line….multiple Garmin’s beeping at the same time.

Krystol and I ran together chatting for a while and then just before the 3km marker we saw THE HILL. I seriously knew nothing about this course and almost freaked out when I saw this hill. It started off as an incline that was manageable then quickly turned into a massive hill. I tried my best not to look all the way to the top and focused on my little steps. Twice, I wanted to give up and walk but I didn’t. We both pushed up the hill and high-fived each other at the top!

Hill accomplished!

The remainder of the run took us back down that hill and onto flat ground from about 4 – 10km. Around the 5km mark, Krystol started to pull ahead of me by a few steps. She was ready to push the last 5k of the race, I was not. As she made the turn around point we smiled and waved to each other.

I took a GU (tri-berry) around 7k and some water the volunteers were handing out and kept on running. The scenery was amazing at this point; I could see a golf course up on my right and the ocean on my left with the sun at my back. The moon was still out and I decided to take it all in.

I have to admit, I loved running on my own. I’d pass a few people then have a bunch of space to run by myself. I got passed a few times and repeated this until just before the finish. I had to remind myself that this 10k was just the beginning of my day and I had another 6k to go later in the morning…so I paced myself comfortably.

Around 43 minutes I figured I was going to get a Personal Best, so I started to push it. I slowly increased my speed just like the 5k run but was completely comfortable and confident with my pace. I passed my husband again and gave him a thumbs up as he tried to take a picture of me running past.

As I entered the finish shoot I sped up even more and once I turned the corner I said a quick “hello” to a TTP runner/spectator and sprinted to the finish. I stopped my Garmin once I hit the finish line and quickly bent over in exhaustion! I couldn’t believe that I got another PB when it wasn’t my focus and was super excited as Krystol finished before me with a Personal Best too! It was simply awesome.

PR Post 10k Tartan Twosome

We got our medals (two: one for the 10k and one for completing the tartan twosome) and I quickly headed for some food. Chocolate milk, bagels, banana’s and watermelon again…yes please…I have another 6k later this morning :) We all met up afterwards and watched the men’s half marathoner speed past us!

I still can’t believe the races I had this weekend. The weather was amazing, Cow Bay/Fisherman’s Cove was BEE-UUUUU-TA-FULLLLL and the pirates once again did not disappoint.

We walked the 10 minutes back to our car, I stretched and then we went to quickly buy Lilly a pair of ski’s/boots and bindings for Christmas! Early yes, amazing price – oh yeah!

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On the way back to my parents place I ate some Welch’s fruit snacks and some water. Sai dropped me off about 6km away from home and off I went. I took it the next 6k at a slower pace but completely enjoyable. There were over 30 people biking, walking and running on the rails-to-trails in Timberlea – so awesome. I had some time to reflect about my runs and comments from friends during this 6k and got a little emotional about it all.

Once off the trail and into my parents sub-division, my father drove by as I was climbing up my last hill and he pulled over to wait. With concern written all over his face, he asked “Wanna drive home”? I responded with “Nope, I have 1 more kilometer to go”. He asked how my race went and I said “awesome”.

PR Personal Best at Maritime Race Weekend

I did exactly what I wanted to do; finish 5k under 30 minutes, finish 10k under 60 minutes and have enough juice in my legs to run 6k after both races. It was a complete bonus that I PB’d at both races.

Would I do this race again? Hands down, YES. When can I sign up again?

Best part of my this event: Having my husband at both runs :)

The Maritime Race Weekend was an awesome event in a beautiful location. As I said before, the race director put her heart and soul into this weekend. Thank you to all the volunteers, police officers, the community of Cow Bay/Fisherman’s Cove, race committee and race director, Michelle. What a fantastic event.

Sign me up for 2015!

Ever go blind into a course/event and come out with an amazing experience?

What’s the most bling you’ve received for a race/event?

What’s the most important “thing” for a successful race?

Check back this week, I have two giveaway’s coming up :)

Tartan Twosome: Sunset 5k Race Recap

Wow, what an awesome event! I don’t even know where to begin so I’ll start from the beginning…I signed up back in January – you can read more about that here. 

To summarize my goals were to 1. Dress like a pirate. 2. Have fun with me mates! And 3.  Finish the 5k Friday and 10k Saturday with enough juice in my legs to get another 6k in sometime Saturday for my “long run” (16k). I didn’t set any time goals but wanted to finish 5k under 30 minutes and 10k under 60 minutes but not focusing on a Personal Best.

Race Expo – I missed this as it was on Thursday as was working. Bummer

Friday: I worked in the morning as we hosted a Natural Playground Workshop (which was awesome). Sai had taken the girls to my parents place in the morning and I met them for lunch. Once we got Hilary down for a nap and Lilly was occupied with Grammy & Grandad, Sai and I took off to run some errands, have an early dinner and head over to the races for 5:30. The 5k Sunset didn’t start until 7 but I didn’t know the area and wanted to get a good parking spot.

Expect traffic delays and PIRATES!

Photo credit: Maritime Race Weekend

Photo credit: Maritime Race Weekend

My friend messaged me to come take her parking spot right at the start/finish area of the race as her Mom was volunteering and heading to her spot. Lucky! It was sunny and warm…perfect for getting on our pirate costumes and just hanging out chatting.

PR tartantwosome 5k sunset

I managed to meet a few friends from twitter…or tweeps…or peeps…I don’t know what to call them. Anyway, it was cool to chat with them in person after some run #RunATCan chats on twitter. They were running the 5k and 1/2 Marathon.

Around 6:30 everyone was encouraged to line up in the shoot according to finishing time. IT WAS PACKED! It seemed like we were waiting forever in the shoot before it started. It was cooling off as the sun was starting to go down and I was starting to regret wearing a tank top. The gun went off and the crowd slowly moved forward and then stopped. They were doing three starts to allow for the mass of people running together. It worked okay but it was still super crowed on your way out.

KM #1: This was really frustrating for me as there were some walkers (which is great) and slower runners (which is great) but we literally weaved through people for one full kilometer on the left hand side of the road only. Krystol was wanting to push it and see how fast she could go. She quickly jumped on the sidewalk like other people and I followed her for a bit.

KM #2 & 3 were great…I was able to weave around people and just enjoy the run out and back, on a fairly flat ground. My goals of both races was to finish them with enough juice in my legs to run another 6k so I could get my long run in. I didn’t want to go all out and push myself for a Personal Best.

OH – let me talk about the view…..this is the only photo I got but I WISH I had my phone during both runs. STUNNING doesn’t even explain the views.

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KM #3-5 Around the 3km mark, I noticed my time was pretty fast and physically I was happy with my pace so I figured why not keep going at this pace. Steady pace, steady race…right! Around 4km I knew I could get a PB so I pushed the last kilometer.

Last KM: I felt great as I increased my speed gradually over the last kilometer and was able to see Sai (and Krystol’s husband/kids) before the finish line. With the last little bit to go I really picked up my pace and sprinted as I turned the corner to the finish line. As I crossed the line I was full-out sprinting and gave it my all.

5k: 27:06 (Garmin time)  a new Personal Best – IT. WAS. AWESOME! Krystol finished ahead of me, a Personal Best for her too. She rocked it! We high-fived each other and waited for our friends to cross the line. Chocolate milk, bagels, banana’s and watermelon (yes, please…we all have another race in the morning). Oh – and I am glad I stayed in my tank top – didn’t regret that decision after my run :)

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 52/499 Division Total (F30-39)

27:43 Gun Time

27:05 Chip Time (even better than my Garmin time)

5:26 Pace (5:21 Pace on my Garmin)

We hung out for about an hour after the race and the sun was gone. It was getting really cold so we took off, missing the fireworks. When we got home, we had a visit with my parents and some family friends. I grabbed a quick shower and then got my race gear ready for Saturday’s 10k.

What I loved about this race: the energy, the view and of course the pirates everywhere. I wish I would have taken pictures of other pirates but I didn’t want to seem creepy, ha ha. The course was beautiful and 95% flat.

What I would do next time: I would book a hotel close to the event, enjoy the fireworks, have a drink with friends and just enjoy the night. I’d also line up a little early so I didn’t have to weave through so many people (maybe next year they will divide the Sunset 5k in more waves/times; those under 15, 16-25 minutes 26-35 minutes etc.)

Stay tuned for the Tartan Twosome 10k Race Recap :) 

Do you run in costume races?

Ever get a PB when you aren’t trying to?

Any chance you ran the Tartan Twosome?

 

 

Tartan Twosome Time!

Back in January….YES, January, I signed up for the Tartan Twosome! It’s part of the Maritime Race Weekend events. I am running two events in two days. Friday night is a 5k sunset run with about 5,000 other people and Saturday at sunrise, they have 5k, 10k, 1/2 Marathon and Full Marathon distances. I am running the 10k.

TartanTwosome

I signed up for these two races knowing that I wanted to run my second 1/2 marathon in October and figured it would be good timing for training. Now, when you sign up for a race nine months in advance you can sometimes forget about the race for a while. Not this one. I’ve never seen so much effort and dedication that one race director (and her team) put into this massive event. Each month, each week and every day they posted something on their Facebook page. I even won a $50 gift card to the Running Room from one of those posts. I don’t know the race director Michelle but she sure has put every ounce of energy she has into the Maritime Race Weekend. Hat’s off to you Michelle!

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Glow-in-the-dark toque: I might need this hat Saturday morning before my run!

I’m really excited to run this race because I get to run with my friends dress like a pirate! I mean, really you can’t dress like a pirate every day as people might frown at you. So yes, I am going to wear some pirate stuff, enjoy my run with a bunch of friends and take in the beautiful scenery in Cow Bay, Nova Scotia this weekend. I’m hoping to meet up with some other bloggers and #runatcan (Running in Atlantic Canada – @RunATCan) peeps…or is that tweeps.

Some BLING for the event:

Friday’s 5k medal:

glow in the dark medal

Double Spinner medal for the Tartan Twosome (2 races in 2 days):

double spinner medal tartan twosome

And if you are running any event on Saturday you get this medal….I’m hoping for the special winning one.

Last but not least:

This is just the bling for the Maritime Race Weekend.

Saturday’s BLING!

My goals for the race:

1. Dress like a pirate, rrrrrrrrrr- right!

2. Have fun with me mates!

3.  Finish the 5k Friday and 10k Saturday with enough juice in my legs to get another 6k in sometime Saturday event for my “long run” (16k). We’ll see!!!

Time goals: 5k under 30 minutes and 10k under 60 minutes but not focusing on a Personal Best.

You can follow me on Instagram for play-by-play updates of the pirate shenanigans that are going to take place. And I’ll do a recap next week if I don’t have to walk-the-plank this weekend.

What are your weekend plans?

Anyone dress up like a pirate for a race?

Double running event? Yes or No?

PR’s, PB’s and PB and J … Let’s Break it Down.

Acronyms are fun. However, in the running world it can get a bit confusing. PR – Personal Record; PB – Personal Best; PB & J – oh wait…that’s Peanut Butter & Jam….nothing to do with running….well, maybe a post run snack!

I’ve had a lot of Personal Bests’ this past year in 5k and 10k runs…during training and in races too. My most recent 5k PB was last night. I was actually dreading the run, kinda trying to avoid it even though as soon as I got home I put on my running gear. That’s right, I cooked and ate dinner in my running gear and then put the girls to bed. Saï is home so I knew I was able to get outside for a run – bonus!

I laced up and after a conversation with my neighbour and I headed out for 7k. I was running fast! I was running strong. I was running tall. I just felt really great on my run so I kept an eye on my time. I knew I would be close to a PB so I pushed each kilometer.

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September 9th New 5k PB

According to my Garmin, I got a 14 second PB for 5k. The sixth kilometer was much slower but I managed to run fast durning the last kilometer. It was a perfect evening run!

Six weeks ago….

New 5k Personal Best

6 weeks ago

I’ve come a long way with my running this past year and I’m pretty proud of that.

April 27th

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April 10th

New PB Anna

April 4th

NEW PB!!!!

NEW PB!!!!

Last October 2013 – Valley Harvest 5k

mileage at VHM 2013

From 32:15 last October at the Valley Harvest Marathon to 27:30 on an evening training run, I’ve cut my 5k down almost 5 minutes!

Running Acronyms: 

PR – Personal Record (best time in a race of a certain distance)

PB – Personal Best (best time for a certain distance)

TM – Treadmill (me, I refer to mine as TB – The Beast)

C25K – Couch to 5K

GF – Garmin Forerunner

RHR – Resting Heart Rate

HRM- Heart Rate Monitor

LDS – Long Distance Run

LSD – Long SLOW Distance Run

LR – Long Run

DNF – Did not finish (not a popular one with runners)

DNS – Did Not Start (again, not a favourable one among runners)

DNQ – Did No Qualify (I don’t qualify for anything so I’ve never experience this one before…ha ha ha).

RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation (No running wants to have to use this acronym)

PW – Personal Worst – cause it happens!

 Do you use Personal Record or Personal Best? What’s the diff ?

What are some other acronyms you use? Do share :)

 

Half Marathon Training Week #7 DONE!

I kinda can’t believe that I’ve just finished week #7 of this Half Marathon Training Plan. It can consume your life in good and bad ways ;)

Last week, we were on vacation in PEI (Prince Edward Island), it’s a 5 hour road trip for the girls and I with usually one stop. Luckily we were in Halifax already for a wedding so that cut it down to 4 hours. Let’s just say driving in a car with two little girls isn’t always fun when you are on your own. However, going to a wedding once you arrive at your destination with two little girls and your husband is awesome!

PR Wedding fun Citadel Hill

What was planned vs. What really happened:

Monday: Stretch & Strengthen – Ran 5k on the hotel treadmill. It was a massive treadmill and hard on the legs. I went after we got the girls down to bed sometime around 8:40 and managed to get 5k done before calling it quits. #motivated

We also swam in the pool with the girls…I did a few laps that confirmed I should never do a triathlon. #neversaynever

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Massive Beast of a Hotel Treadmill

Tuesday: 7k-  Nothing :( Saï had to work all day so it was 2 against 1 with the girls in a hotel. We did venture out, tried to swim again but the pool got closed down. I decided not to run when Saï came back to the hotel that evening. #unmotivated 

Wednesday: 8 x 400 @ 5k PaceNothing. Was starting to feel a cold coming on and decided early to bed was key.

Thursday: 5k + Strength6k. We left PEI and drove home, 5 hours in the car with the girls with one stop. They did really well in the car…as did I, ha ha. That evening I ran 6k on our treadmill and I have to admit it was like heaven running “my beast” of a treadmill.

This is when I change it up a bit….

Friday: Rest Day - Long run day – 16k. The girls went to daycare and I thought it would be better to run outside than inside on the treadmill, so I took advantage of them being in day care. I ran it with my running buddy, Krystol and I struggled the whole time! It was a rough 16k!

Happy before our 16k run

Happy before our 16k run

Saturday: 7kRest day and foam rolled.  I woke up feeling like crap with a head cold coming on. Physically I felt pretty good, only sore on one thigh and my ankle’s weren’t too happy with me. However, I was exhausted and I believe dehydrated. Since I felt like the head cold was going to blow up, I took a rest day and foam rolled. Oh man, my legs loved me after that foam rolling session!

Sunday: 15k long run – 7k on the treadmill. The first kilometer was brutal, had me second guessing my training up to this point. Afer that it was a fantastic run and I even managed to increase my speed and incline significantly, then ended the run dripping in sweat.  Prefect run!

Total mileage this week: 35 km

Total mileage training: 238 km (Since July 21st)

At this point, I want to reevaluate my training. Well, really…I want to get a little more focused after a not so great week. I’m feeling good with my training and even my bad runs. You sure need those bad runs to make the good runs look ah-may-zing! So for the next 5 weeks (yup, that’s all I have left) I am going to run those hills that I don’t enjoy, focus on my speed work a little more and get more serious about strengthen training.

AND……I just found out the new cycling shop that opened up outside our office doors has GU! Oh, dear lord…I am ready for my long runs now :)

Are you training for a run? If so, how’s it going?

Do you use a hotel treadmill when on vacation?