Review: Prana London Jeans & Devan Henley

I am on a roll this week and am knocking out blog posts left & right, LOL. I’m back with another review, this time I partnered with my friends at prAna and FitApproach to review an outfit from prAna’s fall line.

It was a 103 here in San Diego on Monday and we’ve had temps in the 90s ever since fall officially began but it’s much cooler in other parts of the country.

While we don’t have the fall temps here, there were fall temps when we were in Tahoe for Tahoe 200 earlier this month and I got a lot of use out of both of my new pieces from prAna.

prAna has 5 different styles of jeans for women.  The London, which I picked, are prAna’s most fitted jean.  They are a mid-rise, with traditional 4 pocket styling and come in different inseam lengths. Ignore Mr. Purrums head-butting me ;).

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The London jean is made out of organic cotton, with Sorona® polyester which adds natural stretch, durability, and allows the jeans to retain shape.

I reviewed the Meme Pant last fall and I got a size 6 which is my normal size, but they were a bit big in the waist so I decided to go with a size 4 with the London Jean so they weren’t too big.

The verdict?  I think they fit like a glove, but the waist is a bit tight when I sit down sometimes, haha.  But other than that, they fit just like a pair of yoga pants, they are sooo comfortable.

I rarely wear jeans, I spend the majority of my time, in running or yoga clothes, but I was really impressed with fit and comfort level of these.

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I picked the dark indigo color, and the London Jean also comes in Antique Blue (a lighter blue color).  When I got the jeans it came with a notice that I should wash the jeans alone a few times to avoid color transfer, which I did.

The London Jean comes in 3 different inseam lengths, short is 29in, regular 31in and tall 33in.  I’m 5’8″ and wouldn’t call myself short, but for some reason prAna sent me the short length.  I was expecting to have to send them back to get the regular length, but surprisingly they fit well.  I took a few photos and asked Smitha @runningwithsd what she thought and we were in agreement that they fit fine.

Now for the top, I originally wanted to try the Yarrah dress because it looked like it would be perfect for work.  As we’ve established, it doesn’t get very cold here in SD so I didn’t know which of the fall sweaters I would even be able to use.  I finally decided that the Devan Henley would be a good option.  It’s a cute hoodie and seemed a bit lighter weight then some of the other sweaters.

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Made of a mix of organic cotton and polyester, the Devan Henley is made to be layered.  It comes in 4 different colors, mineral green, vintage cobalt, winter & black and sizes XS to XL.

I got the mineral green color in a size small.  I’m not of huge fan of green, but it looked really nice on, if I had it to do over again, I would choose the vintage cobalt since I’m more of a blue girl ;).

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The Devan Henley fit pretty well, it was roomy and allowed me to wear a long sleeve jacket and a short sleeve shirt under it.  I probably would have gone with an XS if I wanted it to be more fitted.  It’s supposed to be a relaxed fit so I’m ok with a little looser fit.

Are you looking for some new casual clothes for fall?  Head over to prAna and check out their new fall line, it doesn’t disappoint.

And use code PFS16LEGS to save 15% until Oct 31.

Review: Terra’s Kitchen

Disclosure: I received a $100 credit from Terra’s Kitchen to do this review.  As always all thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you have been following me for any length of time, you are probably aware that I love food, but I’m not really a big fan of cooking.  That’s not to say that I can’t, it’s just that I don’t enjoy it and with all the traveling that we do, even just going to the grocery store is not a common occurrence.

We don’t have air conditioning and turning on the oven is a no-no during the summer and I need easy recipes that are quick to make.  I’ve seen and tried a few other meal services and I have to say that Terra’s Kitchen fulfills those needs.

So how does it work?  You start by putting in your zip code and email address.  You can either pick the recipes you’d like to cook or their chefs can choose for you.  They prep and pre-portion, pre-chop the ingredients for you.  This is a huge plus, some of the other services give you all the ingredients but you still have to chop veggies, etc. which takes a lot of time.  They deliver everything weekly, I believe there were options for Thursday & Saturday in my zip code.  And then finally you cook the healthy meals in 30 minutes or less using the step by step recipe cards.

I had a hard time picking my meals there were so many to choose from, I finally settled on 4 meals and filled my vessel.  The meals come in this super cool climate controlled vessel that looks like a mini fridge.  You can see more in the video that I made below (sorry I’m still learning how to take the best videos and I didn’t realize that I needed to hold my phone the other way, oops).

The meals I chose were Crispy Salmon & Watermelon Salsa, Tilapia Salad with Arugula & Apples, Bacon, Kale & Caramelized Onion Pasta Salad & TERRAchilada.  All the meals I received had organic grass-fed beef and sustainable fish in them.

So once you get the vessel which was sent via FedEx, you take out all the food, peel off the label and then leave it in the same place you found it for FedEx to pick it up the next business day.  You don’t have to do anything special, the pick-up has already been arranged for you.

Terra's Kitchen, Meal ServiceI got our first delivery on Thursday after we got home from Tahoe and made our first meal that night.  I picked to have meals for 2 people because it’s just Sean & I, but you can pick to have meals for up to 4 people.  All of the meals are pre-portioned & pre-chopped and labeled with a number that corresponds to the recipe card so you know exactly what you need.

Our first meal was the Crispy Salmon with Watermelon Salsa.

Crispy Salmon & Watermelon Salsa Prep for Crispy Salmon & Watermelon Salsa Crispy Salmon & Watermelon Salsa

 

I actually skipped the next 2 days because we went to Kodiak and needed to carb up and then spent the night out of town, fortunately all the meats had use by dates that went until the following Tuesday so we had some time to use them.

Next up was the Tilapia Salad with Arugula & Apples.  I did another video so here goes :).

This salad was so easy to make, the tilapia was so tender, it literally fell apart as I was cooking it.  The only caveat on this one is that I didn’t realize it at first but I received 2 containers of almonds and no honey for the dressing.  I didn’t have any in the house so I made the dressing without it.  It was still good but probably not as good as it would have been with the honey.

Tilapia Salad with Arugula & Apples Tilapia Salad with Arugula & Apples

Next up was the Bacon, Kale & Caramelized Onion Pasta.  Again super easy, I made a mistake on this one though, I don’t normally cook with sugar so I left the brown sugar out of the caramelized onions but then Sean was like you should use it so I threw it in after the fact and I felt like the sauce was a bit too sweet for me.  For some reason I didn’t take any prep photos so all we’ve got is my finished product :).

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The last meal I made was the TERRAchildas which is Terra’s Kitchen’s version of the enchilada.  These don’t look the same as the photo and were very tasty but not easy to eat.  I think I didn’t make the tortilla’s exactly right, but it was super yummy.

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I have to say these meals were so easy, I would start them when Sean said he was on his way home and they were always done before he arrived.  I felt like they were done before you knew it.  I never once had to turn on the oven and the step by step directions were perfect.

We loved Terra’s Kitchen and I’ve already placed my order for this week, on my own dime.  Sean & I cleaned our plates every single time.  This is a big deal for me because I really don’t like to cook.

Want to try Terra’s Kitchen for yourself?  You can use code TOAST30 for $30 off your first-time order.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Terra’s Kitchen. The opinions and text are all mine.

Race Recap: Kodiak Back 50k

It has been an incredibly busy 6 weeks for us, between a trip to Phoenix for work for me, a trip to Hawaii for Sean to visit his dad, UTMB, coming back and almost immediately leaving for a work event in Cleveland then heading to Tahoe to crew/pace Sean at his third Tahoe 200, I figured it out and we were home maybe 5 days out of the month so I wasn’t too keen on immediately coming home from Tahoe and heading up to Big Bear for another 100 mile race.

Fortunately Sean was on board with that and we decided against him running the 100, but after talking about it a bit more, we decided that maybe doing the back 50k on Saturday would be a good final training run for my first 100k 2 weeks later.

Flat Jenny Kodiak Back 50k

So we got in the car Saturday morning at 4:00am and made the drive to Big Bear.  Fortunately Sean drove and I’m pretty sure I slept at least 75% of the way.  It’s approximately a 2.5 hour drive from San Diego even without traffic.  We got there just before 6:45am when they had told us to arrive so we could register the morning of.  This is a pretty small race, there were only 36 people who started the back 50k and when we arrived there were a few people at the finish line area.

It was pretty cold out when we got there and Sean was freezing so we stayed in the car for a bit before heading over to the finish line to catch the bus to the start line at the bottom of Sugarloaf Mountain.  The bus they had to take us over wasn’t very big and once we were all on, they told us that we weren’t able to stand so that meant we had to wait an extra 30 minutes to get to the start line (right before the race was to start at 8:30am).

A fun, silver lining, side note, since we weren’t on the first bus, it actually worked out that we were able to see the overall 100 mile winner arrive.  It was pretty exciting because he was just under 20 hours and got a new course record by over an hour.

The bus finally came back and took us over to the start, we got there just in time to get bibs and pins and then pretty much immediately took off.

I didn’t feel like I was fully prepared for the start, but the show must go on and away we went.  The whole race is run at elevation, most of it around 7,000ft and ranges from 5,800 to almost 10,000.  We had been in Tahoe for a week and I had run/walked/hiked there with no issues, but for some reason I could definitely feel the elevation here, way more than in Tahoe.

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The first section of the race goes up to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, 9,920ft and then back down about 12 miles.  There was a guy at the top checking & marking bibs but no aid station.  This section was really rocky and tough to run on because of the shale rocks.  We hiked the majority of it and I ran what I could on the downhill.

Sean & I at the top of Sugarloaf

We finally made it to the aid station which was the start of our race, I had a few potatoes, refilled my bottles and used the bathroom and then we were off.  I don’t know what my problem was during this 5 mile section but I was exhausted, I seriously felt like I could lay on the side of the trail and take a nap, haha.  But we pushed through and did a bit of running downhill and then once we got on the road.

At this aid station we saw Paul Romero, the original RD and founder of Kodiak, and 2x podium finisher at Tahoe 200.  We chatted for a bit, had some snacks and then got ready to start headed up to the skyline trail for another 3 miles.

I felt a lot better after we got to the aid station, I don’t know why I was so tired.  It was during this section that we decided that there was no need to worry about our time and just walk/hike/run as we could.  I think that really took the pressure off because I didn’t think I was going to be able to get anywhere near my 50k PR and I was putting that pressure on myself.  Come to find out later, this is an extremely challenging 50k, definitely not a beginner course and the winners came in at around 7/7:30 so my finish time was actually about on par with what I would have done on a normal course adding in the difficulty level.

Paksit Photos

This section started on the street and then headed to the skyline trail which was a steady climb but not horrible.  The climb wasn’t super steep and there were a lot of switchbacks.  This part was pretty and relatively short.  We got to the aid station, they had a lot of bees at this aid station and not a lot of food so we just refilled our bottles and then headed out.

The people at the aid station told us that there was going to be a downhill section and then we would have to go straight up for 2 miles, oh yay! lol and it was an 8ish mile section.

Well the show must go on so away we went, starting out with a relatively steep fire road which we hiked up and then eventually we got to a beautiful downhill section that went down with views of the canyon.  This downhill section eventually got really steep and it was probably about 4 miles.  I have to say that I never thought I’d say it, but I was definitely ready for this downhill to end.

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It reminded me of the red house loop at TRT that they call the taste of hell, that seemed way less like a taste of hell than this, although beautiful, it was super rocky, steep and seemed to go forever.  We eventually go to the bottom and then turned to go up to Grandview.

Oh boy, was this an interesting climb, it wasn’t exactly straight up, but it was pretty steep which was made worse by the fact that it was a very sandy trail.  It section wasn’t exactly 8 miles so the super steep part of the uphill climb was maybe a mile before it flattened a bit with some smaller uphill sections.  We could hear the aid station waaaay before we got there.  They were super nice to be cheering for us, but with all the crazy switchbacks it was like alright already, I just want to be there.

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We finally made it and only had 4 mostly downhill miles left.  I got my bottles filled, drank some awesome broth which seems to be my go-to lately, especially when it gets close to dark.  Since we were going to be chasing sunlight, Sean was urging me to get a move so I chugged my broth and we headed out.  I tried to run as much as I could during this section but I still took a bunch of walk breaks on the uphills and then we ran and ran and ran down the trail to the city watching the sunset over the lake, which BTW was incredibly low.  We finally made it to the road only to have to go up another short hill before we turned down towards the finish.  That section on the road to the finish felt like it when on forever, but eventually we made it and over the line we went!

We saw a few of our friends and chatted for a bit while they were doing the awards ceremony before getting our medals and an awesome finish line photo.

Kodiak Back 50k Finish!

Our friend Eric from Elevation Culture made the 50k medals and they were really cool with a bear claw on the front.

Elevation Culture, Kodiak, 50k, medal

By this point it was getting cold so we got our race shirts, which I really like and then headed to the car to get warm clothes on.  I have no idea if they had any post race snacks because of the awards ceremony, there were a ton of people there and they weren’t obvious.

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All in all, even though it was probably the most challenging race I’ve done yet, it was a well run race and we didn’t have any issues with course markings during our section of the race.  There were some issues earlier in the 100 mile race where people had gotten off course for up to 7 miles, but the section we did was pretty straight forward.

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If you are looking for a challenging race in a beautiful location, make sure to check out Kodiak next September.  They have 4 races, 100 mile, 50 mile, front & back 50k so there is something for everyone.

**2 of the on course photos are a from Paksit Photo (close up and full body shot), Jay Woolwine (photo of Sean & I with Kodiak Logo)**

REVIEW: JORD Watches Cora Series & Giveaway

I received a Cora Series Watch from JORD Watches in exchange for this post, as always all thoughts and opinions are my own.

My dad has been into wood working since I was a little kid.  I remember when he got his Shopsmith and when my parents planned vacations around finding a Shopsmith store, haha.  I’ve been the go-fer in the shop for as long as I can remember and occasionally I’ve made a few things by myself, with dad’s help of course.

So when I was given the opportunity to test out a wood watch, I was so excited.  I took a look at their website and I knew immediately which watch was my perfect fit.

Unique Watch, Woodwatch, JORD watch, womens watch

They are all beautiful, but I knew that the Cora series was so me.  First off this series had some beautiful colored faces, like turquoise, coral & lavender.  I was drawn immediately to the Zebrawood & turquoise and the small section of the gear showing on the front is super cool.

From the JORD Watches website the Cora watch has awesome features like a Sapphire crystal glass (no scratches!!), Swarovski crystal hour markers, it’s a self-winding automatic watch, which means NO BATTERY!!! How cool is that?  I have a lot of watches but I always stop using them when I have to get the battery replaced because it’s so annoying to get it changed.

Unique Watch, Woodwatch, JORD watch, womens watch

FEATURES:
Sapphire Crystal Glass, Deployment Buckle with push button, Swarovski Crystal Hour Markers, Screw-down crown
MOVEMENT:
Sea-Gull ST6103K, Displays hours, minutes, seconds, 21 jewels, 36 hour power reserve, frequency of 21,600 Beats per Hour, is accurate +/- 3 seconds/day (if worn often), with a self-winding automatic drive system which means no battery
FINISH & CARE:
Hand finished natural Zebrawood & pretreated with tung oils. The Cora is splash-proof but should not be submerged in water.
Avoid extreme hot, cold & excessively dry or humid environments when storing your watch and use Lemon or Orange oil extract to clean the natural wood.

  • Unique Watch, Woodwatch, JORD watch, womens watchJORD watches come in 8 different types of wood from all over the world to give a lot of variety.  You can find watches in Ebony (East Africa/Mozambique), Koa (Hawaii), Purpleheart (Solomon Islands), Zebrawood (West Africa/Congo), Sandalwood (East Africa/Mozambique or Argentina), Maple (Northeast North America) & Bamboo (South Asia).There are a number of different style for both men and women, each style is available in a few different types of wood.You can find more info on the women’s styles here.  And men’s styles here.Unique Watch, Woodwatch, JORD watch, womens watch

    A lot of JORD Watches, including mine from the Cora series, are have automatic movements, which means you don’t need to change the battery.  It also means that if you don’t wear your watch often it might be off since it is charges with the movement of your body.

    Another awesome feature on a number of JORD watches is the Sapphire crystal glass. Second in hardness only to a diamond, it’s colorless, clear to the eye and one of the most scratch resistant materials.  I’m so happy my watch has a Sapphire crystal because I’m always scratching mine because I like to wear my watch face on my inner wrist.

    I did have to take my watch into a local store to have some links removed and all 3 of the people in the store said that this was the nicest wood watch they had ever seen.

    It comes in a very nice wood box on a little pillow, with a cleaning cloth to keep it nice and pretty.

    Unique Watch, Woodwatch, JORD watch, womens watch

    I love my cool new watch and have been wearing it everywhere (outside of on my runs) because it’s super comfortable, looks cool on and is so bright and colorful which totally fits my personality.

Want a JORD watch for yourself?

I’m giving away a $75 e-gift card towards your very own watch!

You can enter here.

And if you don’t win the $75 e-gift card, don’t worry, you’ll still get a $20 e-gift card just for signing up!  With the holidays coming up, this would be a great gift for yourself or someone special in your life!

Winner will be selected and emailed by JORD Watches.  Contest ends on October 2, 2016.


Luxury Wooden Watch

Crewing at UTMB

This post is super long & also way over due but with all the traveling, I’ve been exhausted, it took a lot to even get my sponsored posts up, but I know this could be interesting to a lot of people so here we go.  On Friday, 26 August at 6:00pm Sean stepped to the line in Chamonix, France to run 170k and I was there to support and “crew” him.

Start & Finish Line UTMB

If you’ve been following either of us, you would know that Sean has run a lot of 100s this summer, in fact this was his 8th 100 of 2016.  All of which were building to this race, and of course Tahoe 200 in early September.

I’ll admit after AC100 a few weeks prior, I was burnt out on crewing and as we got closer to the race, I realized that there was no way this trip was going to be anything other than about the race.  Which meant I got more and more stressed out.

Honestly I’m not sure why I thought it was going to be different, but somehow, ever since we booked the trip in January, I had it in my head that we would actually be doing some sight seeing, etc. before the race and that it would be a vacation with the race in the middle. Unfortunately, this is not the type of race that you just show up for right before the start, get your bib and go run.  With over 2,300 runners in the UTMB race along, it’s quite a production and requires a lot more time than a race here in the states.

As soon as we made it to Chamonix on Wednesday, we were starving so we headed to eat and then check out the Salon (what they call the expo).  It was fortunate that we did because there were specific times that you had to check in for each race and you had to take your pack with required items with you when you checked in to get your bib.  When we walked by the line was enormous so we decided to come back the next day (Thursday) to take care of everything.

When we did come back the line was much much shorter and it only took Sean about 20 minutes to go through the line.  First they check you in and give you a check-list of all the required items with 5 items that you have to take out of your pack.

UTMB Required Items

After you take the items out, someone checks them and then you sign off that you will have all the required items with you at all times.  From there you get in another line for your bib and then shirt.

Bib Pick-Up UTMB

As Sean waited to get his shirt, I went to get my bus pass validated. Since the race was going to go around the mountain into 3 countries, they said it was best if you just took the shuttle buses instead of driving around.  It was 30 Euro and you just needed to get it validated at the packet pick-up.

Another San Diego runner, Matt Whalen, was also running so Sean & I met up with him, his wife and dad.  They were super nice to let me join them for the start of the race on their balcony and then hang out with them (along with SD100 RD Scott Mills) for the first half of the race.  We met up after packet pick-up, had lunch and then watched some of the final TDS (another race of 119k) finishers come in.

Since the race started on Friday night, Sean slept as long as possible on Friday and then got ready so that we could get over to Chamonix at a decent time.  We were staying in a neighboring town called Les Houches (actually the site of their first aid station) so we had to take the bus over to Chamonix.  It was pretty crowded so we wanted to make sure we had enough time to get there and we did good, getting on the 3:30pm bus.  Buses came every 30 mins.  I was hungry and not in the best of moods so I was definitely anxious about getting on the bus and getting to Chamonix.

Once we got to Chamonix, we made our way to drop off Sean’s one allowable drop bag, which would be available at the halfway point in Courmayeur and then made our way over to Matt’s place so I could hang out with his family.  We eventually headed back over near the expo and met them there.  After a short while, we headed to their house and the guys headed to the start line.  It was already crazy and we still had about an hour until the actual start.

Sean & Matt before the start

Once we got back to their house, SD100 RD Scott Mills came over and was giving us some insight into his race the day before, he ran the very challenging 119k TDS.  We watched the actual start on his iPad and then ran to the balconies so we could watch everyone run through Chamonix on their way.  It was pretty cool to see all the runners come thru.  It was also funny because with 2,500(ish) runners they would run for a few steps and then be forced to a walk by the crowds.  I was fortunate to see Sean and he saw me as you can see in the video.

Once the last participant when through we packed up and headed out to catch the first bus to San Gervais, which wasn’t an official aid station, but the first on the route to the first assisted aid station at Les Contamines.  We didn’t have to wait too long until we got on the bus and then we were off.

The interesting thing about these buses is that they were run by each of the 3 countries, France, Italy & Switzerland so you never knew which bus you were going to get.  Some were definitely nicer than others and having air conditioning was a huge plus.

Once we got to San Gervais, we made our way into the town to look for a place for dinner & watch the runners come in.  We were super lucky to find a spot for 6 and close to the runners too.  This part of France there was a lot of beef and so many french fries, which I love, but it was so fascinating that everywhere you went they served french fries at practically every meal.  I had the  special with a very yummy steak, fries & a salad.  I felt 100x better after eating dinner.

French fries everywhere!

We were able to see Zach Miller, the lead American come through and then finally, Sean passed us without a glance, he didn’t realize we were going to be there.  The tracker showed Matt had come through already, but he took his time in the aid station and stopped to chat with us a few minutes later.

Then it was time to move on to the next aid station in Les Contamines.  This station we would be able to “assist” our runner.  Here, the aid stations are relatively small and in most cases, you are allowed inside the aid station to fill up bottles, grab food, etc. for your runner. At UTMB, the aid stations were like mini cities.  You had to show and in most cases hand in a ticket that had the runners name and number on it.  They wouldn’t let you into the area until 10 minutes before the runner was supposed to arrive, according to their tracking. There were 5 “assisted” aid stations where I could see & help Sean.

Once inside the assisted area of the aid station, there were 2 parts, a section where you could assist the runner and then the food & beverage area.  At this aid station, I wasn’t allowed in the food & beverage area, which was really the only spot Sean wanted/needed to be.  They were heavily guarding the entrance to this section and I was told to move back by 3 people even when I was just trying to go behind the line.  It was crazy!

This particular aid station, Sean got his bottles refilled, did what he needed to do and made his way out the were I was.  I chatted with him for a few short moments and then he was off.  Matt wasn’t too far behind, although he was staying in the aid stations a bit longer than Sean.

After both of them came through, we waited for the buses to go back to Chamonix.  The way the buses worked was that they all originated in Chamonix.

There were 3 main buses, one going to San Gervais & Les Contamines, one going to Courmayeur and then a last one that went to Champex Lac (with a transfer in Orsieres), Trient & Vallorcine.

Since we were staying in Les Houches I had already decided that it would be best to just following the course and sleep at the aid stations.  I bought a fancy Helinox chair from REI and a waterproof Northface jacket and had super heavy backpack full of gear to keep warm.

UTMB Crew Gear

Probably the most important piece of equipment I had was the Tep Wireless mifi device that I had brought with my from the states.  I’ll do a full review shortly but it was amazing and so helpful!

In any case, I had decided to head to Courmayeur after getting back to Chamonix.  Matt’s family was staying in Chamonix so it was pretty easy for them to just go back and get some real sleep, but it was definitely going to be more of a challenge for me so this was easiest.  The first bus left at 1:00am and I was on it.

The aid station at Courmayeur was at the Forum Sports Center, which was very nice.  They had a nice indoor area where we could rest and a cafe that was literally open all night long, it was quite nice.  Also in the morning I watched speed skating & figure skating practices and there were real bathrooms.

I saw Zach Miller come speeding through around 3am, I think, and then some of the others before heading inside to get some sleep.  Unfortunately my back was in really bad shape (from my pelvis tilt issue) so I was in significant pain most of the trip and sleeping on the floor didn’t help.

Once I got up, I went outside only to see the best views.  It started out a little foggy and then as it cleared up the view of the mountain was spectacular.

Courameyer

I kept tracking Sean and he eventually came in around 10am, I believe.  He was happy to see me but not super happy overall because he had fallen around mile 40 and hit his knee on a rock.  It was really making it difficult for him to run the downhills.  He took a bit of time to get himself together and then got some food before heading out again.

Sean coming into Courameyeur

Side note: this was the most challenging aid station to get into.  Since it was inside there was a huge line of people waiting to get inside.  I finally pushed through and was like my runner is here.  They still had to do the whole computer thing and then finally I was able to get inside.  This was probably the most challenging aid station to get in to.

I waited with Matt’s family for him to come in and then we watched runners come in/out and the kids races while waiting for Matt.  He eventually came out about 45min – 1hr later.  After which we took a very long, hot and not fun bus ride back to Chamonix.  I seriously thought I was going to pass out on this bus, it was that bad.

We finally got off the bus and I was like if I jump in the river will someone catch me at the next bridge, LOL.  We ate a quick lunch and then we went back to their place.  I emptied out some of the stuff from my backpack, put in some new things from Sean’s drop bag and then we all took a nap.

Brooke & I then headed out to get some Gu for Matt and just happened to see the top 3 Americans, Tim Tollefson (3rd), David Laney (4th) and Zach Miller (6th) come in, which was super cool.  I got a great video of Tim Tollefson finishing in 3rd place.

Once we got back, I checked the tracking and Sean was coming much faster than was expected and it was going to take approx. 2 hours to get to Champex Lac so I very quickly made my way to catch the 5:30pm bus.

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There was a bus change in Orsieres and we had to take a city bus up a very steep & windy mountain road.  When we finally made it up to the aid station, it was going to rain so I took a quick walk down to some trails opposite of the race course.  I eventually walked down to get some dinner because it showed I had a few hours until Sean would get there.

Champex Lac at dusk before the rain

As I was eating my salad before my amazing pasta with chanterelle mushrooms, I was chatting with another runner from Thailand and then I refreshed the tracker and saw Sean was there! OMG I was going to miss him.  I went to the servers and told them Sean was there and I could pay them now and then come back but they were super nice and allowed me to just come back once I was done.

Near Champex Lac

I ran over to the aid station and made it just in time to see Sean walking to a table.  This aid station was pretty big in the back with a waiting area for the families and then you would hand in your ticket before going inside to see your runner.  It was really easy to see your runner.  I made my way over to him and we chatted for a bit, he had made a friend, Jan, who is from Slovakia but lives in North Carolina, and they were going to run together.  Since it was starting to rain we had to get his new Ultimate Direction waterproof jacket out.

When they were ready to go, I walked with Sean & Jan to the lake (my dinner was next door lol) and saw them off.  By this point it was dark, thundering & lightening and would be for a few more hours.  I ate and then raced over and just made the bus before it left to head down the mountain.

Pasta with Chanterelles

I eventually made my way over to Trient, which was the next assisted aid station.  It was raining when I got off the bus, I pretty much slept from the time we got on the nice bus until we got to the stop.  Once I got off the bus, I had to walk for a bit through the town to find the aid station, it wasn’t immediately clear but I figured it out. They had some nice portable bathrooms outside the aid station, they reminded me of some that we had on set of Dolphin Tale.

Once inside they too were having a bit of a party, with a vendor for beer & coffee and then you could order some food as well.  I was sitting there watching these guys with big wheels of cheese.  They heated the cheese and then scraped it off.  I found out it was a Swiss specialty called Raclette and they served it with some small potatoes. When I told them it was my first time trying it, they were like you have to try it because it’s a local speciality.  It doesn’t look like much but it was really yummy.

Raclette

It took Sean a bit to get there and when he did, he didn’t really need much, just to refill his bottles and then get some food.  He and Jan didn’t spend much time here – I went outside to see them off & get a photo.

Trient

Next stop was Vallorcine and it was the last station I could assist him at.  I met a few other American’s in the bus on the way there.  One of them was the wife of a guy who had also run Tahoe 200 and his sister.  We chatted on the bus and in the aid station until her husband came in. Sean & Jan were about a 1/2 hour later.  This station didn’t go quite as well for Jan.  He was having a lot of stomach issues and was struggling.  I got Sean all set up and then we waited so Jan could get a few minutes of sleep.  I told him he could have 5 mins & I think I gave him 3 before we pushed him to get some food and then get out.  Eventually I was like Sean needs to go, you either need to get ready to go or he’s leaving you and that got him moving.

After they left, I made my way back to the bus to head back to Chamonix.  Once in Chamonix I knew I was going to have a few hours until Sean came in, it was maybe 4:30am.  I went to a hotel near the bus station and asked them if I could get a taxi to our hotel.  This is not a big place where you can find a taxi easily.  And there is no Uber.  Fortunately I was able to find a kind soul who took me back so I could get a short rest before heading over to watch the finish.

Sean coming towards the finish

The first bus back to Chamonix was at 6:30am and I was intent on being on that bus.  I made it and into the city.  A cappuccino & croissant and I made my way to an area where I could see Sean come in and then be at the finish line quickly.  I watched a bunch of people come in, run to the finish with their families and and then finally I saw that familiar gait coming towards me.  I got a few photos and then headed over to the finish line where I was able to get a pretty decent video of Sean crossing the finish line.

And then 39 hours and change after he started he made it across the finish line. It was pretty awesome to see!

We took a few photos at the finish before heading over for a coffee to celebrate with Jan.

Treats at the finish

Now that we’ve been back for a few weeks, I have had time to reflect on it and I was really fortunate to be able to be able to support Sean in Chamonix, I would do it again, hopefully not as our main vacation of the year though, unless we could stay for longer.  I also would want try to run one of the races, most likely the OCC, myself so I could experience the trails as well.

It’s time to get our #sparklingdetox on!

**I am participating in the Gerolsteiner #sparklingdetox as part of a partnership with FitApproach, I was given a case of Gerolsteiner Natural Sparkling Mineral Water to participate in the detox. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own.**

 It’s time!  Gerolsteiner’s #sparklingdetox began today! If you haven’t signed up yet, there is still time. Head over to and join the Facebook Group and check out the store locator to find Gerolsteiner in your area.

All the racing, traveling, & French fry consumption (I swear every single meal in France included French fries lol) has taken its toll and it’s time for me to get back on track.  As I’ve mentioned before, I love doing little detoxes here and there and I’m so excited that this detox doesn’t restrict food, but I will be making a concentrated effort to find more healthy options and to limit my French fry intake significantly, which in itself will be a challenge, lol.

img_9117 I mentioned in a previous post that I’m going to be crewing for Sean at Tahoe 200 for the first few days of the detox so I’m interested to see how that goes with no coffee and little sleep, but I know after traveling so much in the last month I really need to make some changes with my diet. I’ve noticed that when I travel, I tend not to drink enough water so having to drink 2.5 liters per day is going to be interesting.

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Since I’ll be away from home and a kitchen, not that ours gets much use when we are home, I’ll be on the look-out for healthy options vs. the normal fast food fare. If you read my (very long) Tahoe 200 recap from last year, you’ll know that it’s a pretty easy race to crew and while there is a lot of driving & downtime, there are also quite a few spots around the lake where I can find decent food options. The detox doesn’t require any specific food choices, but since I’m using this as a way to kick-start a healthier diet, I’m going to look for better choices, even if it’s not super easy.

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Are you ready?  What’s your #sparklingdetox plan?

 

 

AfterShokz Trekz Titanium is #AwareWithPink

If you remember a few months back I had the opportunity to test out the AfterShokz Trekz Titanium bone conduction headphones as a BibRavePro – you can read a full review of the Trekz Titanium here.

Now AfterShokz has now gone PINK!  And I’m happy to be collaborating with them and FitApproach!

What does it mean that AfterShokz has gone Pink?

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They literally have gone pink, with new Limited Edition bright pink colored Trekz Titanium headphones.  These seriously are my favorite wireless headphones because they allow you to be aware of your surroundings because you don’t wear them in your ear, but instead they sit on the bone in front of your ear.

They are sweat-proof, light-weight and stay put pretty much no matter what.  I’ve got about 10 hours on one charge when I wore them at Nanny Goat 12 hour listening to audio books.

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With the purchase of every pair of the Limited Edition Trekz Titanium headphones from now until the end of October 2016, AfterShokz will donate 25% of the proceeds to an organization called Bright Pink.  Bright Pink is a non-profit organization that brings awareness & action to breast & ovarian cancer.

I’m excited to see AfterShokz partnering with a non-profit like Bright Pink, because I truly believe that being proactive and advocating for your own health is super important. Especially in light of my brother-in-law’s fight with cancer right now as well.  As they say, hind sight is 20/20 but if he had sought a second opinion in the early stages, his treatment might be very different right now.

AfterShokz’s open ear design was created to allow users to be more aware and this campaign brings that full circle.  They are not only bringing awareness of what’s around us, but also bringing breast & ovarian cancer awareness to the forefront.

So what does that mean for you?  First off, if you are interested in purchasing a pair of the awesome Trekz Titanium Pink, you can receive an awesome storage case.  I absolutely love mine.  It’s so much nicer than the original case that came with the yellow/blue Trekz Titanium.  I took it with me to Europe and it was jam packed with cords, cables, jewelry and of course my new hot Pink headphones.

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The Titanium Pink headphones retail for $129.99 which is comparable to similar wireless headphones and if you use code PinkGift you’ll receive a small portable storage case ($11.95 value).  **To receive the case for free, you’ll need to add it to your cart and then use code PinkGift which will apply the discount.  The code won’t work without the case in your cart.**

And from here until the end of October, use the hashtag #AwareWithPink on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter and AfterShokz will donate an additional 25 cents to Bright Pink everytime the hashtag is used.

Pink is not only one of my favorite colors, it’s also a way to give back and I’m happy to be partnering with an company that cares in so many ways.

Sparkling Natural Mineral Water Taste Test

**This post is sponsored by Gerolsteiner through a partnership with Fitapproach, as always all thoughts and opinions are mine.**

Gerolsteiner’s #SparklingDetox is going to be starting in mid September and I’m so excited! I just spent a week in the Alps and boy are mineral waters popular in Europe.

Gerolsteiner and I want you to join us for the #SparklingDetox Challenge from Sept 12 – 15. Don’t forget to join the Sparkling Detox Facebook Group so you can meet other detoxers. Fitness Expert & Nutritionist, Ariane Hundt (link to page about Ariane http://www.gerolsteiner-usa.com/enjoy-life.html) will be sharing tips and guidance during the detox.

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Also, check out this link to a cool Mineral Calculator, http://www.mineral-calculator.com/the-mineral-calculator.html, that is on Gerolsteiner’s website. Before I left, I checked out what sparkling natural mineral waters are in that area.

Gerolsteiner’s mineral calculator compares the amount of calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, potassium, sodium, chloride & sulfate in the water and gives you a total mineral content for 1 liter of water.

Having lived in Italy in college, almost 20 years ago, yikes! I am familiar with some of the brands that I could compare in the calculator.  I picked 3 other brands that I felt like I could find in France, Italy & Switzerland and then set out to find them and do a taste test.

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 I decided to go global since we would be visiting 3 countries during our trip.  I tried Gerolsteiner Sparkling (German), San Pellegrino & Perrier.  I wanted to try a few other brands but they weren’t readily available in Chamonix – Mont Blanc.  There were however a lot of other brands of both sparkling & flat mineral waters that were sold in various restaurants.  Surprising to me, San Pellegrino was quite popular in this area of France.  We were served it at every dinner.  Perrier was also quite popular – I saw it in all the Casino’s (grocery store).

According to the Mineral Calculator here are the mineral contents of the different waters.
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Could I taste the difference? Oooh….interesting question.

I moved to Italy when I was 22 as part of a consortia program with Indiana University, 9 other US universities and the Universita di Bologna for a year of study abroad.  Do you believe I’m pretty sure when I moved to Italy I had never had sparkling mineral water?

I have cousins that live in Rome and showed me around the city and shared their favorite meals with me.  It was interesting that at restaurants, they don’t give out glasses of tap water like we do here, you would ask for either acqua naturale or acqua minerale or frizzante.  I quickly learned that naturale was flat mineral water and frizzante/minerale/gassata was sparkling and my family, at least at the time, drank a lot of acqua gassata.

I remember when I moved back to the States for my last semester at IU, I was craving acqua minerale, but mineral water here is way more expensive than it is in Europe & as a poor college student, I was buying 2 liters of sparkling water, which I later found out was nothing more than carbonated water. Insert sad face emoji here lol.

When was the first time you had Sparkling Mineral Water?  And did you notice a difference?