December 16, 2014

Happy Holidays.

All winners of the Triathlete/Runner Stocking have been notified. The response to the giveaway was incredible! Thank you to everyone who entered. I really wish I could have picked more than 13 winners. And one last shout out to the amazing sponsors that provided all the prizes. I could not have done it without them.

As we head into Christmas and the New Year I will be signing off from this blog to reflect and spend some time with my dearest loved ones.

Here's to a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from our family to yours. See you in 2015.

November 30, 2014

The Triathlete/Runner Stocking Giveaway

It's that time of year again! If you recall last year I held this big GIVEAWAY. Well to keep with tradition I am once again hosting a large giveaway from all my sponsors and companies that I worked with personally this year. 2014 was a great year and I am overwhelmed by the support from various sponsors, friends and blog readers. As a thank you I like to hold my annual end of the year giveaway called the Triathlete Stocking.

It started out the first year as just triathlete stocking stuffer ideas but it has since grown. It now includes large items that are not just for triathletes but for runners as well. So if you are either a runner or a triathlete you are going to love this gift guide and giveaway. I guarantee there will be something for you. And here is the cool part there will be MULTIPLE WINNERS. There are 13 prizes so that means there will be 13 winners! 

So here is my 2014 Triathlete/Runner gift guide... Disclaimer: All of the items were provided to me by amazing and generous sponsors I contacted and worked with this year. These are all items I LOVE and continue to use as part of my training and during races. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own and I feel you'll love them as much as I do! To enter you must follow all of the prompts on the Rafflecopter page. You have until midnight on December 16  pm EST to enter this contest!

I know it looks like a lot of entries to complete for one giveaway, however I have to make it fair for each and every sponsor that generously included an item to giveaway. You don't have to do all of the prompts but your chances of winning increase with every additional entry. 13 winners will be chosen at random. Those 13 winner's names will be placed into a hat (and to make it fair) my children will randomly pick the names out of the hat and match them up with a number. For example, prize number 1 will go to Joe Black and prize 2 will go to Susan Smith, etc.

So here are the prizes in numerical order along with a description as to why I love the product!
  1. Mio Link Heart rate Monitor Here's a great little heart rate monitor that connects with Blue tooth and is ANT+ compatible. I love that it syncs with so many of my apps on my phone. It is also great that IT HAS NO CHEST STRAP! Hooray, it's worn on the wrist. It's extremely comfortable and stylish too. Here is your chance to win the electric green one.
  2. Headsweats Visor Have you ever seen me run a race without a visor? Nope. It's obvious I love visors. They keep the sun off my face and my head cool.  The Supervisor visor is one of my favorite styles by Headsweats. They have offered one in a cool black and white color to giveaway. If you don't win this visor you can always use my code TRIMOM25 to get 25% off your order. 
  3. Nuun trucker hat, water bottle and 4 tubes I couldn't host a "favorites" giveaway without including Nuun! Nuun is my favorite hydration choice and they have been a wonderful sponsor this year. One of my favorite memories from 2014 was running with the Nuun team during Hood to Coast. I think my face still hurts from laughing so much that week! Here is your chance to win the awesome Nuun Energy trucker hat that everyone always says "oh my gosh I want that hat!"  It's true I watched the CFO give away many hats that week to adoring Nuun fans! Now you can have the hat along with a Nuun Energy water bottle and 4 tubes of hydration.
  4. FuelBelt Revenge R20 belt I have an older style FuelBelt but this one seems much more comfortable. I still use my FuelBelt on almost every run over 5 miles. It's extremely comfortable and it's held up over the years so nicely. The R20 has tow bottles for hydration and includes a removable storage pocket. The winner will get this model in Artic Blue.
  5. Sweat Pink Performance Run Tee Here's a super soft comfortable run t-shirt with the Sweat Pink logo on it. Sweat Pink a community for women to come together via social media and to spread their love and passion of health and fitness. They recently came up with this new run tech tee and while I don't yet have one, I jealous to whoever wins this shirt. The tech shirt is made by Tribe Sport and features the Sweat Pink logo and reflective trim.
  6. Newton Running Shoes It's no secret that after my knee injury I was encouraged to change my running stride and my running shoes. After doing a little research I discovered Newton Fates and thought I would give them a try. To date I am still running in Newton's and love them! I even added the trail shoes to my collection. Have you wanted to try Newton but were afraid to invest? Well now you can try them out for free if you are winner #6! The winner will get to pick ANY SHOE off the Newton website. I hope you enjoy your Newton's as much as I enjoy mine. It's strange but they actually make me look forward to running now. Who am I?
  7. Apera Blue Sling Tote During Hood to Coast I was allowed to take one backpack in the van with me. I had a chance to test out a pack from the Apera brand. I was pleasantly surprised how study it was. All their products contain an antimicrobial protection, along with ventilated compartments, waterproof base and pockets galore! These bags hold a lot. They are perfect for triathletes or runners as they have separate shoe compartments and even a padded jewelry pocket. The winner will receive this tote in blue.
  8. Chase This Skirt It's been tradition for quite sometime now that the lady runner's on the Hood To Coast Nuun team wear sparkle skirts. Of course this year the ladies of Team Wild Berry and Lemon Lime had to honor that tradition. I was lucky enough to get in contact with Katie at Chase This Skirt to make us all custom sparkle skirts. The skirts are really cute and come in two-toned colors. You can also design it any color combination you like. The winner will get one skirt of their choice.
  9. One Entry To The Rock n Roll Half Marathon Series I have to admit this is one half marathon I haven't yet had a chance to run. But I have it on my list for 2015! Rock music at almost every mile during the race and a fabulous race party afterward...what more could you ask for in a race? The winner of this prize will get to pick ANY Rock'n'Roll race in the United States for 2015. 
  10. A Pair of XX2i Sunglasses Just recently I was sent a pair of these sunglasses to review and to giveaway. I wasn't sure about the brand as I had never heard if them before but after doing a little research and wearing these on several long rides and runs, I absolutely love these! They compare to another high end running brand that I have. They even have inter-changeable lenses for various lighting conditions. The winner will receive a pair of : USA 1 PRO RACING BLACK ONYX RED FLASH sunglasses with 2 spare lenses. The winner will also get a couple black short sleeve t-shirts with the XX2i logo on them.
  11. Coeur Sports Shirt This year I had the honor to represent a new company called Coeur Sports. I love being a part of something brand new. They company is just getting their feet off the ground but so far 2014 was remarkable for them. They may be little now but watch out tri world they are moving up fast! This company is run by two amazing women who have put their heart and soul behind every design they have created. What I loved the most was being able to actually fit into the triathlon kits and wear them for long periods of time. So many tri kits out there are designed for ladies with no curves. Well this mama has curves and she needs a little more than a few inches of stretchy material to cover all the right places. The winner will get one t-shirt from Coeur Sports.
  12. RoadID $35 Store Credit If you are a runner or cyclist I hope you have a RoadID. This little band could possibly save your life one day. The RoadID is a band you can wear that has phone numbers of important people. This way if you are ever involved in an accident your loved ones can be immediately reached. Here is your chance to shop the store if you win this prize. If you already have a RoadID you can check out some of their other safety items they have listed as well. Shop, be safe.
  13. RoadNoise Vest Here's a really cool gadget that I didn't know existed but after I tested it on a run, I was hooked. One morning before I got the vest my husband decided to join me on a trail run. He laughed when he saw me stick my phone in my pocket with the music playing. He wondered where my headphones were. I explained to him that I don't feel comfortable running in the wilderness with headphones on. A couple times I have had horseback riders come up behind me and I don't hear them until they are just about passing and it scares me. I also worry that I might not be able to hear animals nearby if I have my earbuds jammed in my ears. This vest has built in speakers! It is also a reflective safety vest. All you do is plug your phone in to the front and the little speakers in the vest sit near the tops of your shoulders (closer to your ears). The music is clear and can play loud if you want it to. The winner will get a vest in their color and size.
Well there you have it, the Triathlete/Runner Stocking for 2014. Yes I know these were really not stocking stuffers but I had a theme going from previous years so I had to stick with it. Runners/Triathletes I hope you enjoy these items as much as I did.

Good luck and Happy Holidays to all.
Contest ends 12/16/14 at midnight eastern time.
ALL ENTRIES will be verified.
Must be 18 or older.
US Residents only.
All winners will be chosen at random.
Winners will be notified via the email they provide me. I will make one (maybe two attempts) to contact you, if no response within 48 hours I will move on to the alternate winner.
Some items will be shipped from me and some directly from vendor.
No changes, trades, or substitutions on any of the prizes.

Disclosure: A benefit to keeping a blog about training for triathlons is a chance to receive various products throughout my training season to use and review for my readers. These products are often provided for free or at a significant discount to me. I don't receive additional compensation and I'm not under obligation to provide a positive review of the product. My opinions on the product are entirely my own. Some of the products I review may work for me, but they may not work for you. 

Part of the Holiday Health and Fitness Giveaway Hop hosted by Runaway Bridal Planner and Suzlyfe. Please check out all the other great giveaways going on in December.

November 19, 2014

Ironman Arizona & my story.

Many of you already know my triathlon story but it began at Ironman Arizona on Sunday November 21, 2010. It was the day that I stood on the sidelines watching my brother complete his first Ironman. I didn't even really know what an Ironman was, in my mind it was "just a LONG ASS race." (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, followed by a 26.2 mile run) I volunteered that day at a water station called "bike aid." It was at that station that I got a real sense of what triathlon was all about. You see most people volunteer at Ironman Arizona to get priority registration for the following year and they are all die-hard triathletes. Many of the volunteers didn't really understand why I was there and but I told them it was to support my brother who was racing. They also couldn't believe that I really knew nothing about triathlon. After a quick lesson on how to hand off water bottles to cyclists traveling at their "slowing down" speed of 10-12 miles per hour, I was off. It didn't take long to feel the energy of Ironman!

It drizzled that day. We made rain ponchos out of water bottle packaging. I know I look ridiculous.

 After my volunteer shift was over I met up with the rest of the family at the finishline. This my friends is where the magic happens! From the excitement of Mike Reilly's voice, to the music, to the screams and thundering cheers, one can't help but become inspired. It was there that I saw the athletes coming in one by one. They all looked beat down those last 100 yards but as soon as the archway came into view those tired bodies picked up speed, exhausted faces turned to smiles, and as they crossed the finish those smiles turned to tears of joy. It was at that moment I became envious. Something inside of me longed to feel what they were feeling at that moment. Something inside of me said; "do a triathlon." I laughed at the idea as I didn't even know how to swim freestyle.

But I knew I had to change something about my life. I had two young boys and I wasn't feeling like myself. I was still battling anxiety and post partum depression. On a daily basis I had severe doubts about motherhood. I may have looked perfect and put together on the outside, but on the inside I was mentally breaking down.

The day after Ironman Arizona I made a commitment to search for a local sprint triathlon and to sign up for it. I kept with my promise and started months of training. During the training something wonderful was happening, I was feeling normal. I was sleeping better at night and much more relaxed as a mom. The day I crossed my first finishline I felt a rush of emotions, perhaps like the emotions the Ironman athletes had felt. It was at that moment triathlon had sucked me in.

Look at all those spectators!

So exactly 5 years from the day I stood on the sidelines, I will race Ironman Arizona for the first time. In the back of my mind I have considered doing a full Ironman. However my negative thoughts and doubts about myself would always make me shy away. This year when I saw that I could register and race for charity, it was almost like a calling. I have decided to stop all the negative thoughts because I'm racing for charity and if anything can keep me motivated it's the thought of helping others. My goal is to raise $4000 for the Ironman Foundation. 

Ironman Foundation is a non-profit charity that gives back to the community where the Ironman events are held. So for example you donate to my fund and those funds then get dispersed locally. That money is going right back into the communities surrounding Tempe, Phoenix and outlying areas. Here is a recent article about the money that was raised for this year's Ironman Arizona.

On November 15, 2015 I'll be toeing the line with 3000 other friends. Some have said just getting there is the toughest part. It will be a long journey over the next 12 months but I intend to keep my head up, my mind clear, and my heart set on raising as much money as I can for this charity.

If you feel inclined to give to my charity, you may do so here: Crowdrise Ironman Foundation Fund 

Thank you.

And lastly I'll leave you with this inspiring video: