Suz's love for COWS + Allan's work with LASERS = one unique blog name! Welcome to our blog filled with race recaps, pictures of our labs, and everything else we share with blogland!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

You Can Never Have Too Many Running Shoes!

I know I've talked about my intense love for shoes on the blog before and it's hard to believe that in such a short amount of time I've gone from 108 pairs to over 120 but that's what happens when Allan's aunt cleans out her closet and we wear the same size shoe! It also doesn't hurt that I told myself "Suzanne, if you are going to run more half marathons you have to get better (and this means more) running shoes." That little statement led to the purchase of these beauties:
Nike Air Pegasus +27

Don't worry Allan got some shoes for himself as well. He's been wanting some of the New Balance Minimus shoes and these are the ones he picked out:

Allan's new kicks!

Now the best part is that because we had won a $100 giftcard from Austin @ Enjoy the Ride when we checked out we were able to use the giftcard, a 10% discount for being an Active Advantage member, and we signed up to be a VIP (it only cost $1.99) so we saved an additional 10% and got free 2-day shipping bringing our total to a whopping $26.39!!! I was pretty stoked about that to say the least. On Saturday as soon as we got back into town I ran out to go to Fleet Feet because I had seen on twitter that they still had some shoes for $50. Besides some apparel that I bought that cost between $10-$20 apiece I also snagged two pairs of shoes that are going to be amazing!

Mizuno Waverider 14-same style just a different color from the ones in yesterday's post that I won in October

Nike Zoom Structure 14
I already knew I liked the Mizunos and when I saw that I could get a second pair for $50 I knew I had to snatch them up. The Nikes are really similar to the Nikes that I have worn this year for my 15K, half marathon, and all my 5Ks. I normally stray away from Nikes because even though they fit my narrow heel well I don't like the narrow toe box. These were wider in the toe box than several others I've tried on before so I think we will be great friends! All the apparel (8 pieces total) and the two pairs of shoes were just over $200 which is less than it would have been to buy both pairs of shoes at regular price. Great deal? I think so.

We did head out at 4AM on Friday morning to get one of these lovely ps3 camo controllers for Allan. It is normally $55 but we got it for $30. At this point Allan hadn't even been to sleep yet so a trip to Starbuck's was a must. I got to enjoy a Venti Pumpkin Spice Latte while Allan downed a Venti Caramel something or another like it was a cup of water! This is the first time I've ever sat in the car waiting for a Starbuck's to open. That's when you know you are up WAY too early!

Yum, yum, yum

We also got my sister's husband an early birthday present while we were at Gamestop. Apparently Skyrim is one of the best video games on any platform right now. All I know is Allan spends his evenings in the office slaying dragons while I get command of the tv to watch my girly shows so it's a win win in our house! I did a little Black Friday shopping online later that night scoring myself TWO Zensah running skirts for $50 total. I got the pink and light blue. I also headed back online to to find some capris or pants that I could run in and I found a pair of each. I have lots of pants but they are mostly for yoga or lounging around the house. They wouldn't survive running. I wore the capris last night when we ran and I'm a fan. We did one mile at Allan speed which means it was a 1mile PR for me. We finished in 9:51 and I racked up one point for HBBC!

I scored some other Black Friday deals online but for now those will have to remain a secret. Even while Black Friday shopping I thought of you all and what might be great to put in a giveaway! One last piece of exciting news: turns out we have 3 FuelBelts to give away so I drew another winner and that is:

Comment 52 belongs to (Just) Trying is for Little Girls
(Just) Trying is for Little Girls is a blog I've been following for awhile now and I always really enjoy what she has to write about. She actually has a giveaway going on right now so you should head on over and check it out! Shoot me an email and I'll get your FuelBelt out to you tomorrow. My apologies to our other two winners because yours aren't in the mail yet. Between Thanksgiving and the snow/ice mix we had yesterday I haven't made it to the post office but Allan and I are going in the morning so hopefully they will make it to you very soon!

Hope all of you have a great Wednesday! Can you already believe this week is almost halfway over?!

What's the best deal you've ever gotten on a pair of running shoes?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What's on Tap

If you thought you might be reading something about beer on tap I'm sorry to mislead you. This is more about what's on tap for us today and later this week. I have listened to all of your great words of advice and I signed up for the 10K this Saturday which will be my first so hooray for automatic PR! My parents will be driving me to the race and waiting for me at the finish so I'm pretty excited about that. This is the first race that they have been to so it will be quite special. Not to mention that the race is in Auburn where Allan and I met and got married. It's my favorite city hands down! The fact that the race was only $15 and I get a long sleeve t-shirt is also pretty exciting!

This morning we got our first snow of the year and although it only stuck in a few spots for just an hour it brings with it the feeling that warm weather is officially gone and cold weather is here to stay until sometime in March or April. If we are lucky we may get a few more warm days but after last winter I'm not holding my breath. Remember how I signed up for POTM and HBBC? Well, I did terrible with POTM only running at least 5 miles 2/4 weeks and HBBC isn't off to a great start for me either. I only ran last week on Thanksgiving and I didn't eat 7 fruits or veggies a single day nor did I do any other cardio or weight training so I racked up a stellar 3 points in the first week. I planning on doing a better job with that this week starting by running with Allan tonight.

Playing in the snow last January
With the last book review I posted a few minutes ago I am finally caught up on the stack of books that has been sitting next to the recliner waiting for me to read. I LOVE reading but it's hard to feel like I have time to read a book when I have audits to do or the house needs cleaning or I need to be exercising. I'm looking forward to budgeting my time better this winter so I can read a lot more.  I'm still way behind on sorting coupons that I need to mail to a friend (sorry Katie) and ones that I'll be mailing to go to troops and their families who are stationed oversees. Allan's brother took some great pictures of us with and without the dogs this weekend for our Christmas cards and I cannot wait to show them to you! I didn't look at any of them so I will be just as surprised as you guys when he gets us the edited shots! For now here a couple shots from a few weeks ago when we were playing in the backyard with the dogs. These are from my camera so nothing fancy!

Princess Sasha

Prince Lucky with some of our firewood
Tomorrow I'll be confessing what we I purchased on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Let's just say I'm good to go on running shoes for a LONG time! Tonight I'll be taking these bad boys out for the second run since I won them at Diva Night. So far I love them wild colors and all!

What's on tap for your Tuesday or Wednesday? Any more races on your calendar in December?

Remembering You by Tricia Goyer Book Review

Remembering You by Tricia Goyer was literally an answer to prayers. This book came at a time when we had been discussing with Allan's family the stories of his grandfathers and their service to our country during World War II. One served in the Navy on the USS Yorktown and the other in the Army driving a Jeep in Germany. We, like many others, wonder about their stories, the men they served with, and what they saw and felt as they experienced war. Tricia Goyer sat down with over 100 World War II veterans and heard their stories of that time in their life. Their stories are woven into this book.

In the story Ava and her grandfather (Jack) accompany his best friend Paul and his grandson Dennis on a trip through France, Belgium, Germany, and Austria to visit places that they fought during the war. Ava and Dennis's unfinished business from that summer 15 years earlier comes to a head as they are both forced to admit feelings that each has been trying to bury over the years. The close friendship between Jack and Paul that began when they were only 19 and half a world away from home has flourished for 67 years bringing them to this final journey that they take not only for themselves but for their families. Ava is able to accompany her grandfather on the trip after pitching to the morning show she works for that this would make a great story. Although her motives were initially more selfish than not, her love for her grandfather shines through and the trip becomes less about ratings and numbers and more about both of them finding what they have been searching for. For anyone who enjoys reading about World War II or if you are just in the mood for a great book that you can curl up with and finish a few hours later this one is perfect!

About the book:
35-year-old Ava Andrews' dream job is interrupted by an unusual request--fulfill her 84-year-old grandfather's last wish by joining him on a battle site tour of Europe. Ava is sure her boss will refuse her request. But, instead, he gives her a directive of his own--to videotape the tour and send it back as mini-segments for the show she produces.

As if juggling these two things isn't hard enough, Ava is soon surprised again ... twice. First, Ava and Grandpa Jack arrive in Europe, only to discover the tour is cancelled. Unwilling to let down her grandfather or her boss, Ava and Grandpa Jack head out on their own. Then, while they're on their way, the pair soon meet up with Paul, her grandpa's best friend, and his grandson Dennis. The same Dennis who just happens to be Ava's first love.

Before she knows it, Ava and Dennis are swept down memory lane as they visit the sites that are discussed in the history books. And even though Ava's videotaping old soldiers, she can see their youth, their hopes and fears, and their pride in their eyes. Soon Ava learns the trip isn't just for them ... it's for her too--especially for her heart.
Read an excerpt, watch a video and find out more here. 

About Tricia:
Tricia Goyer is the author of thirty books including Songbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. On Tricia's weekly radio show, Living Inspired, she shares stories of inspiration and encouragement. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.
For more about Tricia and her other books 
Blog tour schedule

Win a Kindle Touch for YOU and a Friend from Tricia Goyer!
Tricia Goyer is celebrating the release of her novel, Remembering You, with a KINDLE Touch Giveaway for you ... and for the friend of your choice. Then on 11/29 she'll be wrapping up the release of Remembering You with a Book Chat Party!

During the first half of the party Tricia will be chatting, sharing a sneak peek of her next book, and giving away a ton of great stuff. Then she'll head over to her website for a Live Chat! Readers will be able to chat with Tricia via video or text.

Don't miss your chance to win a Kindle Touch for yourself ... and to "remember" a friend this holiday with a Kindle Touch for them!

Read what the reviewers are saying here.

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Brand New Kindle Touch and a Kindle Touch for a Friend (winner's choice!) 
  • A copy of Remembering You by Tricia Goyer for each
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on November 29th. Winner will be announced at Remembering You Facebook Party on 11/29. Tricia will be hosting an author chat (on Facebook and Live from her website) and giving away copies of her other WWII books and gift certificates to Starbucks and So grab your copy of Remembering You and join Tricia on the evening of the 29th for an author chat, a trivia contest (How much do you know about WWII?) and lots of giveaways.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 29th!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Our First Guest Post!

A few weeks ago Jackie Clark contacted me about doing a guest post on our blog and after talking with her via email I knew that whatever she wrote about would be something that you all would enjoy reading. As a runner I do run certain races because it's supporting a charity special to me. Both Allan and I have found it possible to run a little faster and a little bit further thinking of those we were running for. Enjoy Jackie's post!

"The Love of Running
By: Jackie Clark

Every year I run. I keep going until my lungs are burning and my legs feel like concrete blocks. I take every last gasping breath until I reach the finish line. Then I breathe deep…it’s exhilarating, it keeps me healthy and it makes a positive impact on the life of someone on their race against time with cancer. I have run the ING New York City Marathon, the Beijing Marathon, and the Virgin London Marathon: This is where I met my husband. 

The London marathon was my first race. I was in Europe visiting an old college friend and decided to go for it. I was an active girl. I ate healthy and I exercised every day. True, a marathon was long, very long. But I was certain I could do it. On the day of the race I was inspired by how many people were there from all over the world. The race began and nowhere near the middle I was tripping over my feet and desperate to stop. I was completely discouraged. I knew I would be letting down all the people who had pledged to support my run, and most of all, those who could have been helped with the funds. I was also letting myself down, but I just couldn’t go on. That evening I nursed my disappointment with a drink at a nearby cafĂ©. I guess I must have looked miserable enough for one of the other patrons to make his way over. I wasn’t excited to talk but I noticed his shirt had the marathon logo in front, so I asked if he’d run the marathon. He said he did and I wanted to know just how he made it to the end. 

I learned so much from my new friend who was a mesothelioma PA that ran the marathon every year. He had worked with mesothelioma doctors and patients for years and assured me that his job was not simply to try to treat their disease, but to inspire them with hope to keep going. And that’s just what he did for me! We decided to keep in touch after I flew back and we went on a training plan together. The next year I flew to London again and we ran the race together. It was the most rewarding experience of my life, knowing that I, and all the other people there were not only challenging our bodies to health, but were sending a message of hope to those with cancer to keep going. At the finish line my friend dropped to his knees and pulled out a wedding ring. Will you run the race of life with me? I haven’t stopped running since."

Thank you so much Jackie for providing our readers with a great guest post! Hope you all enjoyed Jackie's post. She has done several other guests posts in the runner blogger world so keep an eye out for some of other other wonderful guest posts!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Virtual Thanksgiving 5K Times 2

What better way to kick off Thanksgiving with a Virtual 5K and before 8AM at that! This year I participated in Kiley's Virtual Thanksgiving 5K over at Daily Vitamin F as well as A Journey to Thin's 2nd Annual Thankful Healthy Blogger 5K. Sadly this was my only points for Week 1 of HBBC making my week 1 total 3 points. Need to run more and eat more fruits & veggies!

Thank you so much Kiley for organizing this!
My two four legged running buddies (my dad's dog isn't very photogenic so she isn't in the picture)

I ran with Sasha, Lucky, and Penny (my dad's dog) in the front pasture which is .25 miles wide so we just ran back and forth dodging cow poop, avoiding holes, and trying not to trip and fall. Lucky was absolutely crazy running ahead and then running back. I did stop and walk a few times and he was NOT a fan. He would run back to me and walk alongside me looking up as though he was saying "Mommy, there's no walking! Keep running!" Sasha started getting tired around mile 2 and when she cut the corner at the turn Lucky pounced on her like a flying squirrel and tackled her to the ground. Apparently cutting corners is a big no no in Lucky's book.

Date, time, and temp post race

Although there was no PR for me this was a PR for the dogs since it was their first 5K. Honestly Lucky probably ran over 4 miles with all the running ahead and doubling back he did. We did take two water stops for the dogs. My sweet dad stood out in the pasture watching and shouting words of encouragement. He was also nice enough to print my name on my race bib. Yesterday was his last day of work. He is a retired man now so he and my mom are pretty excited! Needless to say this was one of the most fun races I've ever done and I can't wait for the Virtual Christmas 5K!

The dog's PR time
Hope all of you are enjoying a wonderful, relaxing day with family and friends. There's so much for all of us to be thankful for this year and my health is probably the biggest blessing I take for granted. Have a great time watching all the NFL and college football games, eating leftover turkey, and taking some pretty amazing naps!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Restless in Carolina Book Review

Restless in Carolina by Tamara Leigh takes us to a small town where a woman is fighting to save her family's estate from being sold and becoming a subdivision or industrial park. This tree hugging, earth loving nursery owner named Bridget is trying to help her uncle sell their beloved Pickwick Estate to a buyer who will keep the land as it is or develop it into a nature preserve. Bridget's journey takes her to the big city where she meets J.C. Dirk whose green developments caught her eye. She is convinced that he and his investors will buy Pickwick and after a visit to the estate where she gives him a tour she isn't so sure. Meanwhile her father introduces her to the son of an old friend who is also interested in the estate and perhaps in Bridget herself. Being a widow for four years has kept Bridget out of the dating circuit but she soon finds herself with two potential suitors and two potential buyers. Read the book to find out who wins her heart and who saves Pickwick!

I received a copy of this book from Waterbook Multnomah Publishers in exchange for my honest review. 

If you would take a minute and rank my review I would really appreciate it! To see a list of the other books I've reviewed through Blogging for Books and to rank those reviews as well please go here. Click "Read On" for the review you wish to rank, select your ranking, put in a valid email address, and voila! Also if you want to sign up for Blogging for Books click the button on the right side of the blog. Thank you!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Giveaway Winners & Randomness

I'm going to get right to it and announce the winners of the two FuelBelt Helium 2-bottle Belts (size small) but I encourage you to continue reading if you'd like to know what's been going on with us.

Number #34 (Teamarcia @ The Studly Runner) and #27 (Katy @ Fit in Heels)! Congratulations ladies! Send me an email with your mailing address so I can get these in the mail to you as soon as possible.

#34 belongs to Teamarcia!
#27 belongs to Katy @ Fit in Heels

Life happened this past weekend and blogging fell to the wayside. I'm still catching up on reading all of your posts as we speak. Allan's grandmother was admitted to the hospital last Thursday and with Allan being out of town so much we knew if we were going to Kentucky to see her it would have to be last weekend. We literally threw our stuff together, drove to the interstate where we met Allan's mom, and hit the road. We stayed with one of Allan's mom's sisters who just happens to be one of my favorites! Her dogs are Lucky's grandfather and aunt and Lucky is actually named after his grandfather Rufus.

Lucky is the little yellow one in the middle-still can't believe he came from a litter of 16!
We had a great weekend spending time with family and devouring 3 (yes, 3) boxes of fudge covered oreos. Visiting with Allan's grandmother brought out a Christmas story that she may have never shared before from when she was a little girl. They had a real Christmas tree with candles on it which she lit. When asked what happened to the tree she said, "It went POOF!" Her expression was priceless and one I won't soon forget. After our laughter subsided we asked how old she was to which she replied, "Old enough to know better."

She was able to go home from the hospital yesterday and seemed to be feeling much better over the weekend while we were there. Tonight we will head south to Allan's mom's and then tomorrow morning head down to the farm to see my family. On Thanksgiving morning Lucky and I will be running a 5K in the pasture which I'm sure will prove to be entertaining! Thanksgiving afternoon we head back to Hoover to spend time with Allan's family and then on Saturday we are coming home to watch the Iron Bowl with our little family AKA us and the dogs. Later that night or Sunday morning my best friend and his wife will be here. I'll be back tomorrow but if you are leaving to go out of town today drive safe and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Lucky as a baby! He's still a crazy runner!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

2012 Race Calendar

Have you entered our giveaway to win one of two small FuelBelts? Check Monday's post for all the details and to read my recap of my first half marathon. Giveaway ends on November 21, 2011. Good luck!

As promised today I'm going to let you guys in on which races are potentially on my calendar for 2012 so here goes:

January              Auburn Half Marathon (1/21)
February            Mercedes Half Marathon (2/12)
March               Publix Georgia Half Marathon (3/18)
April                 Gulf Coast Half Marathon-Pensacola (4/15)
May                  Music Moves Me 10K&5K (5/12), Run Thru the Roses 10K (5/5), Cotton Row 5K (5/28)
June                   Alabama A&M 10K Road Race (6/9)
July                    Paint the Streets 5K (7/21)
August               Running of the Bulls 5K (8/25)
September         Nashville Women's Half Marathon (9/23)
October             Liz Hurley Ribbon Run 5K (10/20), Monte Sano 15K (10/13), Spooktacular 5K                                           (10/27), Run for Wishes 5K (10/14)
November          Huntsville Half Marathon (11/10)
December          Reindeer Run 5K (12/15)

Check out The Virtual Thanksgiving 5K
Still on schedule for the rest of 2011 is a 5K on December 17 here in Huntsville and a potential 10K in Auburn on December 3. I'm still trying to decide on the 10K right now. I'm also running Kiley's Virtual Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's 5K races so check out Kiley's post about the Thanksgiving 5K if you want in on that race. Also check out A Journey to Thin who is hosting her 2nd Annual Thankful Healthy Blogger 5K on Thanksgiving as well. You can win some amazing prizes from all these races so if you already plan to be active during the holidays why not do a virtual 5K and win a prize at the same time?! If you can't get enough of virtual 5K's Team Epton is also hosting a TNT Lousy Medal Virtual 5K Run/Walk on December 17. You do have to pay $20 for this one but all the money goes to helping Team Epton reach their goal of raising $3800 for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and you get a medal!

Now I realize that 2012 looks a little crazy but this is a PLAN nothing definite. The only one of these races that I'm already registered for is the Run Through the Roses 10K in May. This is the 10K that kept getting postponed this year and then got cancelled this fall so my registration was rolled to the 2012 race. I feel like all the half marathons are spread out enough to give me time to recover although after my first one (which I hardly felt prepared for) I was back to normal on Monday so I'd definitely say the recovery wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. If I'm feeling crazy I may sign up for the Huntsville Marathon in December 2012!

Should I run my first 10K on December 3, 2011?

Do you think I'm ready for a marathon in 2012?

Any more virtual races in the blogging world everyone needs to know about?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Post-Half Thoughts

Have you entered our giveaway to win one of two small FuelBelts? Check Monday's post for all the details and to read my recap of my first half marathon. Giveaway ends on November 21, 2011. Good luck!

Thank you all so much for all your sweet words and encouraging thoughts over the past week! It means more than you know! I want to take the time and address some questions that have been asked in comments since posting my race recap. Although I respond to everyone that it allows me to reply to I still think it would be nice to address everything in one place that relates to the half and what's next.

Katy @ Fit in Heels wanted to know: "So.. have you signed up for another half yet???"

 I haven't signed up yet but I do have another half in January that I'm probably going to run as well as some others in 2012.

Jill @ Run for the Hills is going to "make my pitch for the Mercedes in Birmingham!"

This is a race that I will definitely run at some point. I may run the half in 2012 and shoot for running the full in 2013.

Christa @ Livin' A Little Life asked "Are you ready to do another??"


So, what did I do after my first half marathon? I scheduled a trip to the spa on Monday to redeem a neck and shoulder massage, moisturizing hand and foot treatment, and opal lip and eye treatment with golden tickets from Fleet Feet's Diva Night back in April. Monday night and Tuesday I scoured the internet looking for races and trying to decide which ones I would run and where. Then I decided to reward myself with an ActiveAdvantage Membership. If I'm going to keep racing (which of course I am) I might as well be able to save some money while doing it and discounted race entries and possible FREE race entries are icing on the cake!

Check back tomorrow to see which races have made their way to my 2012 Race Calendar and what's left in 2011 for my race calendar! If anyone has any suggestions of races that I should look into please let me know!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tommie Copper-My Hero

Have you entered our giveaway to win one of two small FuelBelts? Check yesterday's post for all the details and to read my recap of my first half marathon. Giveaway ends on November 21, 2011. Good luck!

A few weeks ago I contacted Jordan with Tommie Copper asking if Allan & I could review their compression gear.  I figured running my first half marathon would be a great time to see if all of the Tommie Copper praise that has blown up my blog reader in the past several months would hold true for us.  After my first half marathon on Saturday I knew that wearing my Tommie Copper compression shirt and calf compression sleeves were a must unless I just wanted to be sore and in pain on Sunday and Monday. I put them on immediately after my shower and wore them out to lunch (under jeans and my half marathon finisher's shirt) and kept them on until I woke up Sunday morning.

Allan sporting the beanie
She was nice enough to send a women's compression shirt for me along with a pair of calf compression sleeves and a knee compression sleeve and a pair of calf compression sleeves for Allan. She also included a beanie which Allan has been wearing constantly and had on for my half marathon.

Rocking my compression shirt and calf sleeves Saturday post-race

In case you don't know anything about Tommie Copper (if you're in the runner blogger world you must have been under a rock since the spring) here's a little bit of information from my emails with Jordan:

"We have designed the first line of Copper Compression products comfortable enough to be worn all day. Until now, compression wear was designed primarily for athletes to be worn for short periods of time to increase performance, enhance recovery, and alleviate pain.

Today everyone can tap into these benefits with Tommie Copper's Cu29 Copper Compression products. The product line is enhanced with copper infused yarn and engineered to be worn all day, everyday. It acts as a support to aching joints and muscles, and delivers the benefits of copper at the point of your discomfort.

Tommie Copper compression garments are specifically designed to form-fit the user's physique. They are extremely comfortable and lightweight, unlike ordinary compression wear. Because of the enormous surface area of copper in our exclusive fabric, circulation and oxygen flow of the blood are greatly enhanced. Compression sleeves we have are:
You can also check Tommie Copper out at:

Loooove the calf compression sleeves!
Honestly I cannot say enough good things about how pleased I was when I woke up Sunday morning and felt really good. My calves aren't sore at all and the normal tension that I carry in my neck, shoulders, and back post-race is non-existent. I'm a Tommie Copper believer! Here it is Tuesday morning and based on how great I feel it's almost difficult to believe I ran a half marathon 72 hours ago. For those who aren't runners you may be tempted to think that this product isn't for you but you're wrong. Go to their website and read several other reviews or go over and read this review from Penny at Pink Hat Runner. Penny may be a runner but in her review running isn't the only activity her Tommie Copper compression gear was there for her!

Allan left to his own devices posing in his knee sleeve and one of his calf sleeves
Besides being obsessed with the beanie Allan was really pleased with the calf compression sleeves. They fit him well and will be worn quite often I'm sure especially once spring soccer starts. Unfortunately the knee sleeve was too snug on Allan's thigh but he says the bottom fit just right on his calves. Allan has REALLY muscular thighs so his leg is probably not the normal proportions that the knee sleeves are made to fit. You can check out his full review here once it's posted (feel free to harass him until then). If you want a chance to win some Tommie Copper compression gear (and who doesn't) then head on over to Jenn's Adventures and check out her review and enter to win some of your own!

We received all of these Tommie Copper items free of charge but the honest opinions expressed in this review are ours.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Huntsville Half Marathon Race Recap & Giveaway

On Friday night I picked Allan up from the airport around 6 PM and by 8:30 PM we were in bed. I was determined to get a great night of sleep. I went to bed really early before my 15K last month and I think it helped me a lot. I slept until 6AM on Saturday morning and then I got up eager to put on my race day outfit I had laid out the night before. I donned my favorite gray spandex shorts, favorite blue Nike sports bra, plain white socks that I've ran in numerous times (this will come into play later), my Nike Zoom Vomero+ 5's, my Nathan arm sleeves, and my new navy Mizuno Fleet Feet tech tee. I filled my new Ironman handheld water bottle with Gatorade and ate part of a Coconut Creme Pie Larabar before hurrying Allan so we could leave.

We arrived just before 7AM and the race didn't start until 8AM so I stayed in my hoodie and sweatpants until almost 7:40. We got out of the car shortly after 7 to make a trip to the port o potties since there was no line. I hate port o potties so if I am forced to use one then I am determined to be one of the first in there! With our port o potty mission complete it was back to the car. We watched several other runners arrive and get ready to run. At 7:40 we took pre-race photos that almost always result in a crazy pose or two. I tried to take a jumping picture but it was disastrous!

After running into a few friends and my favorite runner of all, Melissa, who inspired me to start running in the first place, I was ready to go! Allan escorted me to the start, took a few more photos, and after the national anthem and a prayer we were off! Miles 1-3 went pretty well but getting from mile 3-4 was rough (probably because I hadn't run a distance further than 3.1 miles since the 15K in early October). I did start eating my GU Chomps at Mile 3 and I think this helped. The watermelon flavor is amazing! After I passed Mile 4 I settled into a great pace which carried me almost all the way to Mile 6.

One of my favorites!
I think it was this point that we hit the greenway. It was absolutely beautiful! I will have to go back there so I can pay more attention and appreciate everything more. Around Mile 7 there were two people who were blaring music and dancing and you couldn't help but smile as you passed that aid station. You could hear the music almost all the way to Mile 8. Before making the turn to come back I ran into my friend from the 15K. She was running a great race and we chatted for awhile before I took a break to walk. I caught up to her after Mile 10 but she ended up finishing strong over 2 minutes ahead of me.

I like to call this Ready, Set, Garmin!
Back on topic! After the turn I took a couple of longer walk breaks because I knew it would be easier for me to run leading up to the water stop where I needed to refill my bottle and to run after that on my way to Mile 9. Mile 9 was my last great mile. I hit Mile 10 and I was at 1:57:00 but I was also out of GU Chomps and the GU gel I had saved and tried to eat at Mile 11 was disgusting. I knew I could run 3.1 more miles in 33 minutes but I would have to run just under 11 minute miles (which is possible for me). That didn't happen as a blister formed on the bottom of my foot. I had felt a blister start on the side of my foot around Mile 3 and I pulled at my sock thinking that solved the problem but in all reality I probably caused my sock to bunch under my foot and rub a second blister which forced me to walk ALOT in the last 5K (3.1 mi) of the race.

Waving at Allan

I walked more than I wanted to at the end but I knew that I was going to finish ahead of the 2:45 goal I had set for myself. I had a secret goal of running 2:30 and I know that could have happened if I had paid better attention when I put my socks on but you know what they say "Hindsight is always 20/20". Once we passed Mile 12 and I could see the last turn I started to run again and ran until I crossed the finish line. This is the first time I haven't sprinted to the finish line and the last thing I wanted to do was puke on the nice lady that was going to hand me my medal. Allan was yelling for me and taking video and pictures.

Almost there!
Once I crossed the line at 2:38:51 (I thought it was 2:38:50 but they changed it by one second when it got posted online) and I had my medal in hand I found Allan and walked to get my finisher's shirt. Then we took more pictures. At that point I was concerned with pizza and nothing else. We found Melissa and talked to her for awhile before heading inside for door prizes and awards. After 15 minutes of being patient my number was called and I won a pair of Mizuno socks that look amazing! I did find it ironic that of all things for me to win I won socks since the only problem I had during the entire race was my socks. 


All in all I'm pretty pleased with how my first half went. I'm glad there were no bathroom issues, that I didn't throw up, and that I wasn't dehydrated. My only regret is not paying more attention when I put my socks on. Aside from the last 5K of the race I'm really happy with how fast I ran. I'm proud of myself for finishing especially since aside from my first 10 mile run and my 15K I've never run more than a 5K. 6 months ago in May I started running and I was doing one mile a day and that one mile was a struggle some days. Now I'm a runner and a half marathon finisher with the medal, shirt, and new truck sticker to prove it! Who knows what I could have accomplished if I had actually had some long runs leading up to this?! When I run this race next year I hope to run a sub-2:30 and have a full marathon on my race schedule!

Pretty happy girl the day after!
Alright let's talk about the GIVEAWAY. We are giving away two (yes TWO) FuelBelt Helium 2-Bottle Belts in black. They are both size small which is 27-29 inches according to the label. The zipper pouch is a perfect size for a bag of GU Chomps! After running my first half I know that staying fueled is one of the most important things you can do for your body during the race. There will be TWO WINNERS and the only thing you have to do is be a follower of the blog and leave a comment telling us you are! You can earn bonus entries by tweeting or blogging about the giveaway and letting us know. I'm @Suz4AU0608 on twitter! Giveaway will end on Monday, November 21, 2011, at 11:59 PM CST and the winners will be chosen via

Here's what you can win!
Good luck and have a great Monday! Check back tomorrow for a great review on our Tommie Copper Compression Gear that is my new best friend post-race! If you can't wait until tomorrow then head over to Jenn's Adventures for her TC review and a chance to win some TC Compression gear for yourself!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day-Day Before My First Half!

First let me apologize for my lack of blogging as of lately. Life happens and when it does and Allan is out of town blogging goes haywire. I've been reading and I'm sorry I haven't been commenting as much but I hope that things will be back to normal next week.

Allan's not here so that means I'm putting pictures of him on the blog today
Second Happy Veteran's Day! As you read this my best friend is on his way home from Afghanistan and I couldn't be more excited. He will get back in the US on Saturday while I'm running my half marathon. If you know me at all in real life then you know I feel very strongly about supporting our troops. My best friend as well as my sister's husband serve in the military and I have several friends who also serve or have served our country. Anyway, I'd like to take a moment to say thank you to everyone I know and don't know who have served our country. Your service and sacrifice is much appreciated!

My best friend Slick is the one in the middle

Third I am running my first half marathon tomorrow and I have not been running like I should have so I am expecting it to be brutal. I may not be prepared physically like I had hoped to be but I'm in a great place mentally if that makes sense at all. I feel ready even though I probably shouldn't. I'm going to be able to sleep in tomorrow and get to bed early tomorrow night so I should feel well rested on Saturday morning. Some of the proceeds from the half marathon benefit charities that support our veterans so I feel like I'm running for a great cause! I am dedicating my race to my dad. He is retiring the day before Thanksgiving and yesterday was his retirement party. He's always been my biggest supporter and if I had made a big deal about my parents coming up here I know they both would have been waiting at the finish for me. Although I will miss them on Saturday I'll have Allan to watch after me and hang onto my stuff and wait on me hand and foot and do whatever I want for the rest of the day.

While I'm apologizing I might as well apologize for sounding a little crazy in this post. It's 1:45 AM and I'm hopped up on caffeine and unable to tear myself away from my DVR. I've managed to catch up on ALL of my shows tonight (except for Castle which I'm saving to watch with Allan). I'm pretty sure I need to go to bed now. Have a great Friday and a Happy Veteran's Day! We're doing a giveaway next week so be sure to check back!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Baker's Wife Book Review

The Baker's Wife by Erin Healy really captivated me from the beginning as the story unfolds and we meet all the characters and learn how their lives intertwine to discover the truth behind a missing woman. Audrey, the baker's wife, sets out on a journey with Dianne, an ex-con, and Mirilee, the daughter of the missing woman, Julie or Juliet as she was known in her youth. They discover more about themselves and their connection to God as Julie relies on her spiritual gifts to find Julie. Meanwhile Jack, Julie's husband and Mirilee's father, have taken Audrey's husband, son, and three other people hostage in their bakery convinced that Audrey had murdered his wife. This is a great mystery story as well as one of self-discovery that I enjoyed reading in one day. Read The Baker's Wife to see if Audrey finds Julie in time or even if she finds her alive. The twists and turns and little connections in the book won't leave you disappointed!

About the book:
To save her husband and son, Audrey Bofinger must rescue her enemy.
The Bofinger family has lost their church ministry in a scandal exposed by Officer Jack Mansfield. Hoping to heal and to restore their reputation, Audrey, Geoff, and their son Ed take over a failing bakery in the small community.
Driving to the bakery one morning, blinded by fog, Audrey hits a motor scooter owned by Jack’s wife, Julie. The mangled scooter is crushed and bloody. But Julie is nowhere to be found. Her disappearance coincides with a sudden illness that nearly cripples Audrey.
Jack believes the Bofingers have hurt Julie to take revenge on him, but the evidence dries up and her trail goes cold. At a breaking point, Jack takes the tiny bakery and its patrons hostage, issuing only one demand: Audrey has six hours to return Julie to him, or lose Geoff and Ed forever.
With only an excruciating and intuitive gift, an ex-con, and Julie’s estranged daughter to help search for clues, Audrey starts the search of her life for a woman who has vanished like the fog.
About Erin :
Well-known to critics and reviewers, Erin Healy has established herself as an award-winning editor and a best-selling co-author with Ted Dekker. Healy received wide acclaim for her two debut novels Never Let You Go and The Promises She Keeps. Her work focuses on the psychological and spiritual, driven by high moral stakes. She lives and writes in Colorado with her family.
For more information please visit
Link to buy the book:'s_Wife&author=Erin_Healy
Blog Tour Schedule: (

Let the flour fly! Beginning October 24th, Erin's celebrating the release of her latest page turner, The Baker's Wife, with an outstanding KitchenAid baking prize package giveaway that includes a brand new KitchenAid Mixer, cook books, and all you need to whip up some fabulous bread or sweets! Then and on November 10th she'll be wrapping up the release of The Baker's Wife with an Author Book Chat Party on Facebook! Don't miss a minute of the fun!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • Empire Red 4.5 QT Ultra Power KitchenAid Stand Mixer
  • Black & White Kitschy Apron
  • Black Silicone Oven Mitt
  • Black OXO Rolling Pin
  • Wilton 9X5 loaf pan
  • At My Grandmother's Knee Cookbook by Faye Porter
  • Second Helpings with Johnnie Gabriel Cookbook
  • The Baker's Wife by Erin Healy
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 9th. Winner will be announced at The Baker's Wife Author Book Chat Facebok Party. Erin will be wrapping up the The Baker's Wife celebration with a book club chat and giving away a bunch of "sweet treats"! So grab your copy of The Baker's Wife (it's okay if you don't have one yet- you might win one!) and join Erin on the evening of November 10th for a book chat, some "baking" trivia and lots of "sweet" giveaways (books, and Amazon, iTunes & Starbucks gift certificates)!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends. Hope to see you on the 10th!

I received this book free of charge from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.