Warrior Dash Photos

As I mentioned in my Warrior Dash recap, Warrior Dash now has free photos for all who run their races! (I still would prefer to have the timing back but that is another debate for another time.)

Initially I was just going to share with you the photos that I liked BUT I decided I would share all of them with you. The good, the bad and the ugly. I think they will speak for themselves.

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Nalgene Bottle Review

I received some water bottles and a food container from Nalgene to review. All opinions are my own. 

Thanks to Nalgene, B and I have been having a lot of fun staying hydrated! Check out all of the different water bottles (and a food container) that they sent us.

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So many options and there are even more to choose from on their website! Turns out their tagline, “a bottle for every adventure” is no joke!

I have been using the two larger bottles (the 32 oz wide mouth and the On The Fly bottle) as my work water bottles. I love that they have the ounces listed on the sides of the bottle so I can keep track of my water intake.

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B has been enjoying the kid sized bottles (the Grip n’ Gulp and the On The Fly Kids).

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In addition to Nalgene having a water bottle to fit every need, there are also many more reasons to use Nalgene products.

- Their products are BPA and BPS free!

- They are made in the USA!

- They are dishwasher safe. (Hallelujah!)

- They come with a lifetime guarantee! (How awesome is that?)

If you are in need of some water bottles for you or any member or your family, I highly recommend Nalgene!

 

 

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The Adventurers

Chris and I have big news!

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We have decided to join forces and start a blog together! Our blog is called The Adventurers and it is about us traveling and eating away around Michigan and beyond. You can take a peek at it by clicking here.

The decision to start a blog together came about because we travel pretty frequently and then we both write posts about the trips on our individual blogs so we thought why not blog about it together.

This will be an adventure in more ways than one for us. Obviously it will be an adventure because of all the experiences that we will have together but also because we have never blogged together and since each of us has our own individual blogs we are pretty used to being in charge of our blog space. It will be a good exercise in compromising to say the least. lol

As many of you know, it is a challenge to get a new blog up and running so it would mean a lot to each of us if you stopped by to check it out.  We would also be very excited if you added us to your blog readers and followed us on on our social media channels. Links are listed below!

The Adventurers Blog

The Adventurers Facebook

The Adventurers Twitter

The Adventurers Instagram

The Adventurers Google+

We will both still be maintaining our own individual blogs, so keep following us there as well! (Click here to get to Chris’s in case you are not familiar with his.)

 

 

 

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Warrior Dash #4 Recap

This past weekend I ran my 4th Warrior Dash and Chris ran his 2nd!

All of the Warrior Dashes that I have done have been at the same location in Mt. Morris Michigan, so when we pulled into the parking lot of the event on Saturday morning I told Chris that I felt like I was coming home. It may seem like a silly thing to say, but running my first Warrior Dash 4 years ago sparked a journey that I never imagined. It just goes to show that sometimes when you do something our of your comfort zone you will find a passion that you didn’t know existed!

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Okay, enough with the sentimentalism, let’s get on with what you really want to hear about it…..The Warrior Dash!

The day before the Warrior Dash I had to check my email confirmation to see what time Chris and I had signed up for. We signed up for the race almost a year ago, so I wasn’t sure what we had picked. To my surprise we were signed up for the competitive heat! Those in the competitive heat were expected to maintain a 7:30 minute pace or less. Ummm, what?! Even when I was more trained, I didn’t maintain that kind of pace.

Luckily the Warrior Dash is very lax when it comes to what wave you actually run in so Chris and I did the first open wave after the competitive heats. (As a side note, it appeared that there were plenty of people in the competitive heats that didn’t maintain the required pace so we just may run in the competitive heat next year to see how we do.)

There were a lot of changes at the Warrior Dash compared to what I am used to. If memory serves me correctly, at all previous packet pick ups you had to stand in a line that either corresponded to your last name or bib number. This year you could stand in any line which was confusing to me at first. lol Waivers were done electronically at packet pick up on a tablet versus the paper waivers that they used in the years past. Saving trees is always a good thing!

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The biggest change of all (for me anyways) is that the Warrior Dash is no longer timed. This is a big thumbs down for me. I like to know my time, I just do. Taking that away turns the Warrior Dash into a just a fun run and I tend to shy away from un-timed events.

On the upside, the pictures taken by the on course race photographers are FREE now whereas in years past you had to pay for them. This is a big plus! (But I still want my timing back. Grrr.)

The layout of the course and the arrangement of the obstacles was slightly different this year as well. Spectators weren’t able to see as many obstacles as they had in the years past as the new obstacle Goliath took up a lot of room at the end of the course. However, Goliath is an obstacle that has several different obstacles within it, so that makes up for it.

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Now let’s talk obstacles! I am not going to list out and describe each one because you could simply go to the Warrior Dash website to see that info. Instead I am going to talk about the ones that stood out to me.

By far my least favorite obstacle is Alcatraz. It is a water obstacle where you have to swim to a large square raft and pull your self up, walk to the other side, get in the water again and then swim to the shore. I am not a good swimmer and every year I feel like I am going to meet my death on this obstacle. This year was no exception. The water was much deeper than in the years prior probably due to the large amount of snow we got this past Winter. On top of that people are either not paying attention to what they are doing or they just do not care or maybe they suck at swimming like I do. Regardless, it seems that people will push you down to get themselves up or they take their time getting up while everyone else is treading water behind them. Long story short, I didn’t like it at all but I survived.

Goliath is another obstacle worth mentioning both because it is new and because I was dreading it. I am scared of heights and everything about this obstacle is high up. First you climb a cargo net, then you walk across a 2×4 type plank high above water with just a rope on either side of you to help you cross while simultaneously being blasted with water so that the plank is slippery and it is hard to see. Once you get across that you go up a small ladder and then you arrive at the giant slides that will spit you out into a pit of muddy water. I let several people go ahead of me before I got the courage to go down. I tried to use my elbows to slow myself down before I got to the bottom of the slide and that turned out to not be such a great idea.

The walk the plank section of Goliath.

The walk the plank section of Goliath.

The slide section of Goliath.

The slide section of Goliath.

My Warrior wounds from the slide.

My Warrior wounds from the slide.

After the race, there was a picture station where you could take your muddy picture and have it emailed to you or you could post it directly on Facebook. I thought that was a pretty cool idea and the line wasn’t very long so we gave it a go.

Looks like we weren't prepared for the pic! lol

Looks like we weren’t prepared for the pic! lol

My Warrior Swag!

My Warrior Swag!

A close up of the awesome medal!

A close up of the awesome medal!

All in all Chris and I had a great time at the Warrior Dash. I am still bummed that they are no longer timing the event but I don’t think that will deter us from coming back next year!

 

What do you think about the Warrior Dash changes?

Did you do any racing this weekend?

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Next Up: Warrior Dash!

Finally, it is time for another race!

It seems like it has been a while since I have done one. Hmmm let’s see, my last one was the Kona Run which was the beginning of June, so yeah, it HAS been a while!

Luckily my racing withdrawals will be coming to and end because tomorrow Chris and I will be running the Warrior Dash!

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As you probably know by now, the Warrior Dash is very near and dear to me as that is where my love of mud runs / OCRS started. It is hard to believe that it was four years ago that I ran my first Warrior Dash. Want to see how my first three Warrior Dashes went? Click here to read #1, here to read #2 and here to read #3. (Funny story….. At my first WD they had me listed as 60 years older than I was. After the race results posted I had many people contact me in awe of my accomplishment! Even a reporter wanted to interview me. It was pretty funny.)

If you read the recaps you will notice that a lot has changed for me since my first Warrior Dash both on the course and off and I couldn’t be happier with where I am today!

Chris and I don’t have any goals for the race other than to go out and have some fun together which will be pretty easy to accomplish!

As usual I will post a recap here sometime after the race, so stay tuned for that!

Anyone else racing or getting muddy this weekend?

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WeeRide Together

Ever since Chris got me a bike for my birthday I have been eyeing a WeeRide Co-Pilot for B. B has a bike of his own but he won’t ride it very far or for very long which means bike rides together aren’t really an option.

My only hesitation about the purchase was the price. On Amazon the WeeRide goes for about $90 and that’s certainly a hefty investment for something that I wasn’t sure was going to be a good fit for us. Although the reviews on the WeeRide were mostly good, the real reviewer was B and we had no way of testing it out before purchasing it.

Luckily I came across a listing on ebay for a gently used WeeRide for half of the cost! I was sold!

That's his excited face, I swear! ;)

That’s his excited face, I swear! ;)

B and I have used it every day since we brought it home. Granted that was only 3 days in total, but I think I can safely say that this was the best purchase I have made in a while! We have been having a BLAST together.  I love spending any type of time with B but there is just something different about getting outside and being active together.

Our bike ride selfie!

Our bike ride selfie!

The great part about the WeeRide is that we are literally connected together. Where I go he goes. That closeness allows me to hear his giggles when we go over bumps and when we go down hills. We get to talk about things that may not have otherwise come up….like this gem from B.

B: “The earth is beautiful, Momma. And we get to live here.”

Wise words from a six year old if I do say so myself!

The WeeRide also allows B to take breaks when he needs to as he knows that I can keep both of us going. But when he is pedaling it makes us feel like we are going super fast! B has also enjoyed the comments and looks we get from people as we pedal by.

The only downfall about the WeeRide is that I will miss B even more on the weeks that he goes to his Dad’s. Our bike rides have been THAT fun, no joke! I am already looking forward to our bike rides when he comes home next week!

What type of activity do you enjoy doing with your kid(s) the most?

Or if you don’t have kids, what type of activity did you enjoy doing with your parents?

P.S. This was not a sponsored post. I just loved the WeeRide and wanted to share our experience. There is an an Amazon Affiliate link in the post, so if you decide to get a WeeRide for yourself it will help build my running fund if you use my link. :)

 

 

 

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Spartan Beast Change Up

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Did you hear the news? Spartan Race is bringing their Beast to Ohio! Woop!

Chris and I were originally signed up for the Spartan Beast in Texas on 11/1 but after hearing that news we changed it up and we are now registered for the Spartan Beast in Ohio on 10/4. Nothing against Texas but getting to the Ohio race is going to be much gentler on our bank accounts.

The change however, may not be very gentle on our bodies. On 9/27 we are doing the Spartan Super in Chicago so that means just one week later we will be tackling the Beast. Crazy, right?! You all will need to remind me when the time comes that I thought it was a good idea because I am sure as I get closer to those dates, I will be questioning my sanity. That’s a lot of Spartan in one week’s time!

Anyone else joining us for the Spartan Ohio race? All three distances (the Sprint, Super & Beast) will be there that weekend, so it is a great opportunity for us Michiganders (and Ohioans) to get our Spartan on! Aroo!

 

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OOFOS Recovery Footwear Review

I received a pair of OOFOS in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

About a month ago I received a pair of OOFOS Recovery Shoes (the flip flop) version to review.

Chewie was a bit bummed to find out that there was not a dog version for him.

Chewie was a bit bummed to find out that there was not a dog version for him.

As soon as I put on the sandals I discovered why they were named OOFOS! The first word out of my mouth was….”OOOHHHHH!” They are THAT comfy.

After that first initial try on, I started wearing my OOFOS everywhere. After working out, on my way to work, after work. I was hooked on feeling the OO!

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Curious to learn more about the OOFOS? Here is some information that they shared with me that I found interesting, so I will share it with you as well!

What is OOFOS footwear?

-  OOFOS footwear is powered by our innovative and proprietary OOfoam technology combined with our patented footbed design

Leader in the Recovery Market

  • 37% shock absorption than any other foam material currently being used in the footwear market.
  • Each step OOFOAM disperses your body’s impact to the side of the shoe, rather than coming up back through your body.
  • Allows the body to recover after athletic activity.  Endurance athletes in particular benefit from the well-designed massaging footbed.

History of OOFOS

  • OOFOS was started with a renowned foam chemist in Korea.  The chemist has been making foam material for all of the major athletic brands for years.  He made foam for athletic shoes, football helmets and other applications.  His mother was suffering from arthritis and using a cane, so he set out to create an impact absorption foam that would alleviate the pressure on the body when people are not exercising.  He developed a footwear foam material and the results were incredible.  His mother’s pain was gone when she was standing and walking.  His factory workers pain was eliminated when they were standing on their feet all day.

  • This is where the OOFOS team came in and joined with the chemist to study/test the material more.  Through the testing we created a biomechanically designed footbed that maximizes what this pioneering foam material could offer consumers to make their bodies feel better.  The patented footbed design offers arch support that customizes to the foot of the consumer, whether they have a low arch or high arch – thus offering them the proper support and alignment for their bodies.  Combining this with the innovative impact absorption properties, and softness of the material, consumers repeatedly told us that OOFOS footwear made them feel better!

Ready to get your own pair of OOFOS so you can feel the OO for yourself? Head on over to the OOFOS site and use the code CREWnorth at check out to get free shipping!

But before you do that,  I have to give you an advanced warning….the people you live with are going to try to steal your OOFOS so you might as well just get a pair for everyone.

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Why yes, yes that is the bf wearing MY OOFOS! He couldn’t care less that I caught him, he was just enjoying feeling the OO!

 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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SURPAHS Body Fat Scale Review

I received the SURPAHS body fat scale to review. All opinions are my own.

I have never been a fan of standard scales as I don’t feel that your weight alone is a true depiction of how healthy you are. I do however, like body fat scales as they give a broader view into your health.

Recently I received the SURPAHS body fat scale to review. And the verdict? I LOVE it!

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What’s to love?

- It is aesthetically pleasing with its slim and modern design. It blends in with my bathroom instead of standing out.

- It stores multiple users (up to 8) so your whole family can use the scale.

- It is smart! You don’t have to turn it on or even let it know which family member is stepping on it. It is able to remember who you are right after your initial set up!

- It provides a greater look into your health by not only measuring weight but also body fat, water, muscle and bone mass!

The only thing I can’t vouch for regarding the scale is the accuracy of the body fat, water, muscle and bones mass readings. I have no way to determine if those readings are accurate but I can say that the weight read out was correct so I am hopeful that the other readings were as well.

Interested in getting your own SUPRAHS Body Fat Scale. Click here to purchase one through Amazon!

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Are We Blended Yet?

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The bf and I have been living together for over a year now so I guess it isn’t news that we are a blended family.

For those of you who are not familiar with our relationship let me bring you up to speed. Chris and I have been dating for over 2 years and we moved in together in May of last year. I have one son from a previous marriage who is six and Chris has two boys from a previous relationship, one is 12 and one is about to be 10. So all of us combined together make a happy blended family.

But to be quite honest we are not always happy and we don’t always feel very blended. In short, being in a blended family is hard. Really, really hard.

I know that some of you will say that being in a “traditional” family is hard too and I get that because I have done that as well. But being in a blended family is different and with that brings its own set of challenges.

Of those challenges the most difficult of all is our exes. Neither Chris nor I have a great relationship with our respective ex. (Not because we don’t want to but just because that is the way it is.) As you can imagine our exes have tremendous influence over our kids and because of that a tremendous influence over our relationship and our family unit. It can be very frustrating and sometimes very hurtful.

Another challenge is the kids themselves. Each of them is great in their own way but sometimes they can be…..well…….kids! Sometimes they like each other and sometimes they don’t. But when they don’t like each other it is in a “you’re not my real brother” kind of way. Sometimes the kids don’t like Chris or I either and when they don’t like one of us it becomes a ” I don’t have to listen to you because you are not my parent” kind of situation.

Another challenge is Chris and I ourselves. Our relationship can be defined as relatively new and as such we are still perfecting things between the two of us. As many of you may know, this can be difficult without outside influences but we also have all of the above playing into our relationship. We also came into the relationship with our parenting styles firmly intact instead of learning to parent together as is the case in “traditional”relationships which adds an additional layer of challenges.

Despite all of the challenges, we have made some significant progress in our blended family. There are times when everything is going smooth and everyone is getting along. Those times are wonderful and give us hope as to what the future can hold. We may not have this blended family thing down completely but we are headed in the right direction and at the end of the day that is all we can ask for!

Are you part of a blended family?  I would love to hear about it!

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