Back-To-School 2014

We’ve had a busy summer around our house….lots of summer camp time, hockey, camping, and BBQ’s. But today, it was time to return to “reality” or what we call in normal people terms “school”. My son was ready to start school again and see all of his friends. He had an extremely hard time going to sleep last night and was up at like 6am this morning. He was anxious to go!

First Day of Fourth Grade! #backtoschool #fourthgrade #beastmode

He was ready to leave the house at 7:30am, which is about 45 minutes before school started. So I had a little photo session with him. I asked him a bunch of questions that seemed very confusing but the photo above, was the result from all of my questions. I think it turned out pretty good.

First Day of 4th Grade 2014-2015

I always take a traditional first day of school photo with a sign saying what grade my son is entering. I got him to pose for this photo for about umm….5 seconds and then he was done. Like I said, he was ready to go to school!

First Day of School 3rd Grade/4th Grade

And for comparison purposes, a little photo collage from the first day of school last year and today.

First Day of Fourth Grade

And I even got him to take a photo with me. I do it every year. As for school, he loves his teacher and his class. ALL of his close friends are in the class and he is pretty stoked about that.

This year will be full of new adventures, hockey, and even some CrossFit. Ya, the kid drank the Kool-Aid too! Wish us luck!

Reebok Nano 4.0

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Reebok.

I’ve been doing CrossFit since February of this year. I haven’t posted about it yet because I really haven’t had the time. But I’ve learned a lot from doing CrossFit the past few months. One of the #1 things I’ve learned is that you need the proper gear.

I’ve been running consistently for almost three years now, so I’ve accumulated a large amount of running shoes. But running shoes are made for just that, running. After attending CrossFit for only a week, I realized that I needed different shoes for my workouts, or WODS (Workout Of The Day) as they are called in CrossFit speak. I had also noticed that my running shoes were getting thrashed from the CrossFit movements (i.e. jumping, lifting, gymnastics movements, rope climbing etc.).

I knew that minimalist shoes with a sole that is flat and low are recommended for CrossFit. The shoes should also be light. And my standards also include that they need to be comfortable and durable. I researched several different shoe brands recommended for CrossFit-type workouts and settled on the Reebok Nano 3.0.

I’ve been wearing the Nano 3.0′s for six months and I am super happy with my purchase. I usually wear a 9.5 in women’s running shoes and my Nanos are a size 8.5. The fit is perfect. I have found that I don’t have problems with my arches and heels like I did with my feet when I was wearing running shoes while doing CrossFit.

I came home from the beach and found a package with these awesome @reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0 inside. I love new shoes! Can't wait to try these out on my next WOD. #nano4 #fitfluential #crossfit #crossfitfly

Now let me stop talking about my Nano 3.0 and let me rave about the new Reebok Nano 4.0. I saw the announcement online about the Reebok Nano 4.0 via the Reebok website. You could pre-order the new Nano 4.0′s before they would arrive in stores, and even order personalized shoes. I attempted to make myself some personalized Nano 4.0′s online the first night that the pre-order went live. I was quite impressed with my initial attempt. Of course, my shoes were mostly black, gray, and a teal color. But I had to see the shoes in person before I was going to purchase the new 4.0′s.

I attended the CrossFit Games in Carson in July, and immediately had to check out the Reebok booth in the vendor’s village. I tried on the new Nano 4.0′s and fell in love. I have wide feet and love my Nano 3.0′s because of the wider toe box and the overall fit of the shoe. But, the Nano 4.0′s are lighter than my 3.0′s and the toe box is more snug. Some people might suggest sizing up in the 4.0 if they have worn other Nanos, but I’ve found that the shoes relax and that I would have been upset had I sized up.

Deadlifting in my Reebok Nano 4.0

I recently received a pair of Reebok Nano 4.0′s to review. I wore my Nano 4.0′s the day after I received them to CrossFit. Along with a series of other movements, I ended with an WOD that had 5 RFT (five rounds for time) that included deadlifts. I love the flexibility of the Nano 4.0′s where I can go from doing deadlifts onto air squats with no problems. The Nano 4.0′s duracage (protective upper) was re-engineered to allow more flexibility in the forefoot and toe. The shoes are also lighter and more breathable. I love the more supportive toe cage (toe box) also. Whether I was lifting, running, or doing box jumps, I felt more supported.

Overhead squats while wearing my Reebok Nano 4.0

Obviously at 6am, I was barely awake when I had a friend take my photo. My other friend, Katrina, from CrossFit decided to photobomb me in the back. I was trying to be very seriously (totally kidding). Because I’m totally serious when I’m about to do an overhead squat with just a barbell, no plates, and Hello Kitty wrist wraps!

After wearing my Reebok Nano 4.0′s for almost two weeks now, I am fully and completely in love. I’ve been on Reebok’s website several times now attempting to make the “perfect” customized Nano 4.0′s. There are so many options. I’ve seen some people post some awesome customs on Instagram. If you search for #nano4, you can see the variety of colors that people have used to make custom Nanos. They are a bit more expensive, but they look amazing! Just click on “Design Your Own” on Reebok’s website.

If you want to see the Reebok Nano 4.0 in action, please check out the video below of the Fittest Woman on Earth, Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet, the female winner of the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games.

My husband recently started doing CrossFit also. He has been wearing running shoes. As I never say, “I told you so”..but I had to this time, because he said that he needed different shoes. He actually told me last night that he is going to probably go buy some Nano 4.0′s this weekend.

I’m not sure if I will wear my Nano 3.0′s anymore because these new 4.0′s fit so much better. The fit of the shoe completely changed for me. If you have any questions about the Nano 4.0′s, let me know!

Have you tried CrossFit before? What was your last WOD?

oh, and don’t worry…I’m still running…I have a half marathon in like two weeks….eeek!!!

Disclosure: The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Reebok. All opinions and photographs are mine.

Renegade Racing: Summer Trail Series #1-3 Race Recaps

Last summer, I ran the July and August  races at Renegade Racing’s Summer Trail Series at Peter’s Canyon. The July race was my first trail race ever. I did not know what to expect. I had hiked before, but I had never done a trail race. I survived both races luckily, because I came back this year to do more!

I actually started off the series with a 3-mile trail run at the XTerra Renegade Off Road Triathlon in May. That was a hard hot race. Even though it was only three miles, it was one of the hardest races that I’ve ever done. I rewarded myself with some Yogurtland after the race as lunch.

Renegade 3-Mile Trail Run Challenge

Race #1 (June) of Renegade Racing Summer Trail Series was not bad at all. I carpool’ed with Heather and we usually run around the same pace. Neither of us had trained very much for the race. Because I did two of the series races last year, and I hike there frequently, I knew the race course. Going into a trail race and knowing the race course is half the battle. I knew where the hills, and where the flat spots were along the way. I also made sure to bring water with me. Even though it was past 6pm at night, it was very hot and I needed lots of water during the race.

Renegade Racing Summer Trail Series Course

The Race Course-5 Miles

June-Counter Clockwise

July-Clockwise

August-Counter Clockwise

Renegade Racing Summer Trail Series #1 2014

Heather captured this photo of me while I was running the race. You can see my hydration belt in the photo on my waist. It has two 8 oz. bottles on it. Heather and I both PR’ed the race and we were pretty stoked, for ummm not training. After the race, there is a BBQ which is always awesome!

A PR tonight for @hmgiraffy and I @renegaderaceseries Summer Trail Series! We conquered the hills together! #renegaderacing #renegadereps #summertrailseries #teamsparkle

Heather and I took a picture together post race to celebrate our PR victory! Heather wrote about the race and our awesome 5-minute PR on her blog.

Race #2 (July) of Renegade Racing Summer Trail Series was super hot and humid! I already knew that it was going to be. We were leaving for vacation a few days after the race and I was not very focused but I still PR’ed from last year’s race, yippee! Heather did not make it to the race this time, which made me sad. But I finished, which is always a good thing! It appears that I pretty much copied Heather’s outfit from June’s race for race #2.

Completed Race #2 of the @renegaderaceseries tonight! Survived the heat and humidity! #renegaderaceseries #renegaderep #teamsparkle #fitfluential

and now for the last race, Race #3.

Race #3 (August) of Renegade Racing Summer Trail Series  was faster than last year but a total bust. Let’s just say that I will blame it on lack of training and problems/issues with my feet. Oh, and hydration. What’s that? Ya, Julie…it’s summer, you might want to drink some water. The running wasn’t super hard for me, it was more of an endurance issue. But oh my goodness, I was soo happy to be done. My pace for race #3 was the slowest of all three. I did get a new pair of trail shoes between races #2 and #3, the Brooks PureGrit 3, which I love the new design. I realized after race #2 that I needed a new pair of trail shoes, and bought my PureGrit 3 the day after the race.

Starting Line of Renegade Racing Summer Trail Series #3 with Andrea

Andrea (WeRock Coach, Badass UltraRunner, and Badwater Finisher) and I at the starting line of the race. We look so happy to be racing! She is much faster than I am, and obviously, she has been running a lot lately. She finished way faster than me. I was just happy to complete the 5 miles.

Conquered Race #3 of the @renegaderaceseries Summer Trail Run Series! 5 miles done! Technically Race #4 for me since I competed the #dirtyseries. #renegaderacing #summertrailseries #teamsparkle

Yippee!!!! I’m done. You have no idea how happy I was to finish the race. I wore my Sparkle Athletic skirts for every race. Yes, you can trail run and race in a skirt!!! It makes everything more fun!

Now to wait for the medal…

Renegade Dirty Series

I think there were only like 30 people who completed the entire “Dirty Series”. We will be receiving our medals in the mail soon. I cannot wait to receive mine.

Have you raced lately? Why not! Now’s the time to sign-up for some great Fall events!

I’m a Renegade Racing Representative also and wanted to share a discount with you!!!!

Get 10% OFF on all Renegade Race Series events with the CODE: JULIEDISCOUNT

Disclosure: I’m a representative/ambassador for Renegade Racing. I was provided entry to these races free of charge. I was not compensated with cash or any other bribes to run these races and post about them on my blog. All my complaints about the heat and lack of training are true. All photos are mine except for the ones Heather sent me, and the one I stole from Andrea.

CDM Scenic 5K 2014 Race Recap

I’m usually a planner but at the last minute {the night before}, I decided to run a race. My CrossFit box, CrossFit Fly had signed up as a team to do the Corona Del Mar Scenic 5K. I had a babysitter for the kid, so I figured why not. I got up a little early, because I was worried about parking, and headed off to the race.

CDM Scenic 5K

The starting line had a beautiful view of Corona del Mar State Beach, and the weather was perfect for running! Runners love overcast weather! Before the race we got our group together and did a little warm-up and stretching. As usual, I needed lots of stretching because my hamstrings were tight. And then, we took a few photos!

CDM Scenic 5K 2014

We headed towards the starting line and got ready to race. The men started 25 minutes prior, and we had our own start for the women running the 5K.

CDM Scenic 5K

Oh, but wait…before I run my race. I need to have a photo taken of my race outfit, right? Outfit for the day: Black Under Armour Heat Gear visor, CrossFit Fly tank top, Sparkle Athletic Rainbow Checkboard Skirt, and New Balance 890v4 shoes.

CDM Scenic 5K 2014

And then we started running….

Right after we started running, I heard someone calling my name. It was Heather, one of my running friends. Her daughter was running the race also. Her daughter ran a spectacular time and actually placed 3rd in her age division. Heather was cheering my name, and she even took a picture of me. I look like I was picking my nose in the picture, which is why I’m not going to post it (hahahaha). Heather has a history of taking the most awesome race photos of me. She has a photo of me puking from last summer.

Luckily, we had our very own race photographer for our group. Brian came out to take pictures of our team, while his wife was competing in a local CrossFit competition. He race over there right after though…

CDM Scenic 5K 2014

And because I like to make crazy faces when I’m running past photographers at races. I have several race photos where I make this crazy face with my hands in the air. Freak!

There were a ton of hills in the course. I always forget about that when I do races in Corona del Mar and Newport Beach. While I was running this race, it reminded me of the OC Half Marathon. I ran in this same area as part of the course in 2013. I should have remembered all of the hills, but of course, I didn’t.

I had  a few setbacks during the race. At mile 2, my shoelaces came untied. I had to untie them to put the timing chip on, and I didn’t re-tie them tight enough. And then part way during the course, I had to use my inhaler, because my asthma was coming on.

But I PR’ed! A new personal record for 5K races for me! Yippee!

We also took a post-race sweaty picture! We had several people who PR’ed in our group!

CDM Scenic 5K 2014

They have a huge restaurant row breakfast after the race, but I didn’t stay {wait in a really long line} for that. I had a busy day Saturday, and had to head off to Anaheim to watch friends compete in a CrossFit competition. I always forget about 5K races, they are so fast and fun!

My next race is in a little over a week from now, The Renegade Trail Series #1, on June 19th. This is the 1st race of 3 summer trail runs! I did two of them last year and had a blast.

You can use my discount code: JULIEDISCOUNT for 10% off!

Renegade 3 Mile Trail Run Challenge Recap

On Saturday, I made my way to San Dimas for the Renegade 3 Mile Trail Run Challenge. This race was one of the several events going on that day including the XTERRA Renegade Off-Road Triathlon, and the Off-Road Duathlon. After the heat that we’ve had the past week, I was very happy with my choice of only the 3-mile trail run.

Watching all of the triathletes set-up their gear for the @renegaderaceseries XTERRA Renegade Off Road Triathlon this morning! #renegaderaceseries #renegaderacerep #triathlon #trailrunner  #instarunner

It took me less than hour to arrive at the location, because I wasn’t quite sure how the traffic would be. I got there a little early, and was able to set everyone setting up for the triathlon. I had this beautiful view at about 7am that morning.

If you look to the top of the photo, you can see those hills with the trees. Yeah umm, what I didn’t realize was, but found out later, was the course for my 3-mile run.

Renegade Reps 03-17-14 at Renegade XTerra Off-Road Tri

Before the race started, I hung out at the Renegade Race Series booth and handed out information, and answered questions. I also hung out with some of my fellow Renegade Racing Rep buds (from left to right; Andrea, Bryan, Bill, and of course, me). It was just starting to get a “little warm”, right when we took this photo.

At about 8:00am, the triathletes started their swim, and I headed over to the starting line for the 3 mile trail run and duathlon start. It was a pretty small group of about 100 people. We were all laughing at ourselves because it had been so hot all weekend, and it was already getting quite warm. And then the race started…

Now, I’ve turned into quite the trail runner in the past year or so…but wow, was this some trail running. Or should I say, trail climbing? We kept running up, up, and up, then we would go downhill a bit, and then up, up, up. Did I forget to mention that it was hot? Luckily, I had my fuel belt on with (2) 8 oz. bottles of water, because I needed it, plus my inhaler for my asthma. My pace for the run was all over because of the terrain. There were several times that I had to walk up the hills. When I say walk, I really mean, brace my hands on my thighs and I force myself up the hills. You could say that my hamstrings were a bit tight during the race.

Renegade 3 Mile Trail Run Challenge Course
A Map of the Race Course and the Elevation

I looked at my Garmin while I was running at one point and was shocked to see that I had only gone 1.5 miles, which was half way. Luckily, we had some of the mountain bikers pass us and cheer us on. I’m pretty sure that they were starting to realize that they also had to endure this part of the race after their bike ride. That part motivated me and got me to push myself a little harder to finish.

At the end, I was happy to run down the hill and towards the finish line. I literally choked down a bottle of Gatorade in like 2 minutes. I also grabbed two bottles of water, one to drink, and one that I could pour on myself.

But I was sooooo happy to be done, yay me! I will stick with hiking and my Summer Trail Series at Peter’s Canyon from now on. These hills were a bit too intense for me. I highly recommend this course if you like a “difficult climb” in your trail race.

Survived the @renegaderaceseries XTerra 3 mile trail run today. With the heat and the incline, one of the hardest races that I have ever done. Had to use my inhaler several times! But I survived! #renegaderacerep #renegaderaceseries #teamsparkle #trailrun

As for race attire, I wore my usual uniform of a Sparkle Athletic skirt and tank top, along with my Brooks PureGrit 2, an Under Armour visor, white Oakley sunglasses, Garmin 310XT, and of course, as always my GoSportId on my wrist.

Father's Day Gift-A Bike

Did I mention that I bought my husband a bike while I was at the race? One of the vendors was selling a used mountain bike at the race, and I could not pass up a good deal. My husband already has a mountain bike, but it is old and needs a ton of work. So “Happy Father’s Day” to him.

Finished my race earlier and drove to @yogurtlandinc for lunch. So hot, it was the only thing that sounded good. Of course, I am starving now!

I was pretty hungry on my way home, so I stopped at Yogurtland for some lunch. Yep, this what my lunch on Saturday. It was delicious.

Like I said before, I cannot wait to run Renegade’s Summer Trail Series, with the first one starting June 19th. There are (3) races in total, on Thursday nights at 6:15pm. There is even a BBQ after the race. You can use this code: JULIE10 to get 10% off the races!

Until the next race!!

Disclosure: I am a representative/ambassador for Renegade Race Series. I received a free bib to run this race. I was not compensated with cash to run this race or even write this blog post. All opinions and awesome iPhone photos are mine.

The OC (Half) Marathon and The Beach Cities Challenge 2013

In October of 2012, I ran my first half marathon, The Long Beach Half Marathon. The Long Beach Half Marathon was the first race in a series of three races for The Beach Cities Challenge. The second race was The Surf City Half Marathon in February of 2013. In May, I was set to finish The Beach Cities Challenge by completing The OC Half Marathon.

I figured that I should finally do this post since the 2014 OC Marathon is coming up this week!

Race outfit prep. A little @nuunhydration, some @runteamsparkle and my @brooksrunning PureFlow 2. Awesome friend @themfdre mailed me her Nuun singlet so I could wear it for the race! #ochalf #ocmarathon #nuunambassador #runhappy #pureproject

I was training non-stop during spring time last year. I had already completed a 10K, 2 half marathons, ran Ragnar Relay, and was an alternate for another relay team when The OC Half came around. I was ready to run!

I had the perfect out for the race already. I was a Nuun Hydration ambassador so I wore my Nuun singlet, along with a Sparkle Athletic skirt with shorts under it, and my Brooks PureFlow2.

Getting ready to start the OC Marathon Half!

I had trained and I was ready…of course, I had to take a pre-race selfie. I was literally running a bit late to the race, and had no time for any other pre-race photos. I usually sign up for races with friends, and I was on my own for this race, no biggie!

The course was beautiful and scenic. I wish I would have taken pictures along the way….but alas I was trying to run a good race and run faster. The weather was also perfect, not too hot and not too cold.

I loved this course the most out of all three of the races (Long Beach 1/2, Surf City 1/2, and OC 1/2) for the Beach Cities medal. If I was to do any of the races again, I would do The OC Marathon again.

Finally completed the Beach Cities Challenge at the @ocmarathon half today! Couldn't have done it without my @runteamsparkle skirt and visor plus @nuunhydration singlet! #ocmarathon #ochalf #teamsparkle
I successfully completed the OC Half Marathon and Beach Cities Challenge. Plus, I PR’ed (got my fastest 1/2 marathon ever, up until that point). Yeehaw!!!

OC Marathon 2013

Cause really, it is about all the bling, right?

2012-2013 Beach Cities Challenge

All of my medals for The Beach Cities Challenge from 2012-2013. Those medals represent a lot. My first half marathon ever was The Long Beach Half Marathon, and my fastest half marathon up to that point was The OC Half Marathon.  Between the start and finish of this challenge, I had ran five half marathons in seven months.

Eventually, I will get all of my race recaps done. I’ve been a bit swamped lately, and sometimes, it is hard to focus on my computer when I just want to sleep.

Netflix Stream Team

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Netflix as a part of my participation on the Netflix Stream Team. All opinions are always my own.

We are a busy family, and even though we love our TV watching, we rarely have the time. My husband and I both work, and my son is busy with school and sports. When we watch TV, it usually Internet-based shows or movies. We have tons of movies on our computer that we watch digitally, plus a Netflix streaming account.

Netflix Stream Team #streamteam

I was recently chosen to be part of Netflix’s Stream Team. Which is pretty awesome since everyone in my family uses Netflix daily! As part of the Stream Team, they sent me a Roku 3, which was completely new to me. Not only is the Roku awesome for streaming Netflix, but my favorite part is the headphone jack that is built into the Roku remote control. My husband likes to watch shows that I have no desire to even see, and he now wears headphones while watching these shows.

You can also stream and watch Netflix on the following devices:

  • Game Consoles {XBOX 360, XBOX One, Wii, PS3, PS4, WiiU}
  • Blu-ray Players {See Netflix for specific list}
  • HDTV TVs {See Netflix for specific list}
  • Set-Top Boxes {See Netflix for specific list}
  • Home Theater Systems {See Netflix for specific list}
  • Phones, Tablets, and Computers

Netflix Profiles

One of my favorite things that Netflix added a few months ago was the “User Profiles”. We have a profile set-up for each member of our family. Profiles allow different members of your household to have their own, personalized Netflix experience, built around the movies and TV shows they enjoy. You can create up to five individual profiles within a single Netflix account. We also have our son’s account “flagged” as a kid’s account which has parental controls and is set for “kid-friendly” viewing and for under age 12 viewers.

Each profile allows for its own:

  • Personalized movie and TV show suggestions
  • Recently Watched list
  • Ratings & Reviews
  • Taste preferences
  • My List

Binge Watching on Netflix

But really, what do we really do with Netflix in our house? We BINGE watch shows. I have been known to start a show that I have never watched before, and spending an entire week watching multiple seasons of the show. A little over a year ago, I spent all of my free time watching the show, LOST. I could not stop! My husband recently caught up with the show, Supernatural, and my son is OBSESSED with Pokémon right now.

My husband is currently looking for a new show to watch on Netflix, so if you have any suggestions, let me know! I’m also in-between shows. Of course, the kid watches the same stuff over and over and over again!

Netflix_StreamTeam_Badge

Any suggestions for some new shows to binge on?

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Netflix as a part of my participation on the Netflix Stream Team. All opinions are always my own.

A Beautiful Day For A Hike {Wordless Wednesday}

My husband and I barely have any kid-free time together and we have opposite days off. So we try to do something on one of our half-days together. We went for a hike at one of the beautiful parks in Orange County last week.

A view from today's hike @ocparks.

 Be sure to check out Wordless Wednesday Link-Ups at these other sites also:

Better in BulkCrazy About My BaybahDear CrissyDude Mom,  Five Minutes For MomLive and Love…Out LoudSarah HalsteadSeven Clown CircusThe Divine Miss Mommy

Also, Lindsey from The Pleated Poppy does “What I Wore Wednesday” every week with a great big link-up.