Color Me Rad 5K – Orlando 2014

Yo. So I am all over running races. It is just a wee bit of an addiction. I’ve gone as far as to run 2 races in a weekend and sign myself up for races that aren’t for months and months. I figure this “get fit” thing has to be some kind of fun and so doing races is my way of enjoying it. Kinda.

Color Me Rad 5K

When I was offered the opportunity to score a pass for the Color Me Rad run here in Orlando on March 30th, I jumped at it. Because…obviously. A fun 5K that involves a ton of rainbow dust, loud music and doesn’t involve a huge clock that will track my time? DONE!

Color Me Rad friends

By the way…I took all of these pictures with my iPhone. If they look a bit gritty, don’t judge a sista, ok?

There are many color runs that are held in cities nationwide and since this is my first one, I can’t compare Color Me Rad to any other run. What I can do is give you fellow runners and non-runners an idea if this is the kind of race for you.

Color Me Rad

The short answer is YES! For $50, those that register for this race get a race bib, t-shit (and a VERY cool t-shirt, at that), RAD tattoo, sunglasses and a sticker. More than anything, though, you’re paying for the experience and had this race been around when I was in elementary, middle or high school, I would have sooooo tried to convince my parents to let me run. I would have also done it with my college girlfriends and boyfriends. That’s just it. This race is so much fun at all ages and I think many non-athletes will appreciate how carefree and FUN it is. In fact, many people didn’t run at all. They casually walked with friends and chatted.

Color Me Rad race

So, let’s get down to the details. What to expect at Color Me Rad…

Color Me Rad operates on a wave system. When you register, you sign up for a time and that’s when you head to the Start line. And that’s when the madness begins. Things like this happen at the Start line…

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You get to chattin’ with strangers and watchin’ them toss color bombs all over each other. It’s good time to be had and this is all before the race even starts. Unlike many races, Color Me Rad is NOT timed. I love this idea. I tend to be pretty competitive but I love not having to worry about meeting my personal record. I ran with a gal pal who keeps me motivated and so we did run but it was great not having to worry about beating a certain time.

Color Me Rad Finish line

Every half of a mile or so Color Me Rad has a color station set up that blast with you different colors of colored cornstarch or colored water. I am clearly a 7-year old trapped in a 29-year old’s body because I loved this part.

Color Me Rad finish

Color Me Rad color bomb

And at the end of each wave (and several times during), at a stage an MC will pass out color bombs to every one, a countdown begins and folx toss the bombs all over the air. Best.time.ever. It has been forever since I’ve bounced up and down with my hands in the air begging for free t-shirt. But it was a fantastic time. And I would so do it again.

Color Me Rad dust

Pros:
-When registering, you save money by signing up as a team.
-Color Me Rad is ALL kinds of high energy. Lots of music and lots of excitement.
-Registration at the event was super easy.
-Parking was well laid out (this may vary at different locations).
-The post-run party is a lot of fun with the chance to score a ton of freebies.
-Staff was helpful and plentiful.
-Bottles of water and snacks greet you at the Finish line.
-The colored cornstarch removes easily from skin, clothes and hair.

Cons:
-The race wasn’t mapped out so well. We got lost around certain parts.
-We didn’t receive our post-run color bomb.
-There aren’t any medals.
-The course was far less than 5K. In fact, I tracked it on my GPS and it was only 2.60 miles.

Color Me Rad face

But hey, you know what? The cons are practically forgettable as I think anyone that participates in this race will have an amazing time. They will be at a ton of locations in the U.S. Sign up today!

 

Disclaimer: I received a press pass for this event but all opinions are my own.

Wanna Guess My Shoe Size?

Running shoes

Girls! Oh, how I’ve missed y’all. Granted, I haven’t been away for that long, but I have been missing clicking that “Add New” post button that glows every time I log onto my WordPress dashboard. Thank you all so so much for the support and sincere comments on my Can’t Do It All post. Y’know, it really does take a village. Not just to raise a child but to continue to grow and figure out this LIFE thing. I can’t do it alone. I don’t want to do it alone. No one should. I am beyond grateful to have so many of you in my village.

In other news, guess who will be running her second 5K of the year on Saturday? Me! Woot! Best Damn Race (sorry Ma…it’s really called that) is coming to Orlando and many of the gals in my Black Girls RUN! group have been raving about this race. Apparently, serving participants cold beer after race is a great motivator to get people to sign up.

Well. Beer tastes like sour liquid bread to me so I’m not excited about that part. But I am excited about the medal. I haven’t really trained for this one. Sorry, not sorry. Between fighting this cold, not having a babysitter and being too lazy to run at work, I just haven’t really gotten a good practice run in. Oh well. A few of the girls in my running group and I will be doing intervals so that should give me a good pace.

But yes, overall…I feel so much lighter now that I don’t have the stress of getting posts up. I’ve been able to come home and just relax. It has been amazing. I guess I’m comforted by the fact that you guys aren’t going anywhere. Right?

Right? Don’t leave meeeeee!

Okay, I’m kidding. But really…thank you. And how gorgeous are my new kicks up there? Hot, right? I got them custom fitted for me by the amaziiiiiiing team at Fleet Feet in Altamonte Springs. Guess what size running shoe I wear? A freaking 11, y’all!!! Craziness. But I’ll take it. Big lips, big boobage and big feet. I’ll take it all.

Check in soon. :wink:

I Can’t Do It All. So I Won’t.

Baby in stroller

I’m a stubborn woman. I ignore sleep when I’m exhausted. If it doesn’t work the first time, I keep trying. I overwhelm myself with promises and responsibilities and then get into mental clusters. Some would say, well…“Welcome to Motherhood”. But honestly, I was like this before my sweet girl graced my life. My Type A personality enjoys taking over and it wasn’t until a friend told me “You can do it all.” that I realized, well…that I CAN’T do it all.

Oh, but honey, I’ve tried. Attempting to raise a sweet toddler who understands English, Spanish, sign language and who gets enough exposure to nature, diversity, music and healthy food? Done. Work full-time at a job that sends me on trips and requires my undivided attention the entire time I am there? No problem. Maintain a 6-year old beauty blog by keeping up with new products and trends, draft posts, connect with the world on social media, take 1,000 pictures of a mascara and polish my nails 5 times in 20 minutes? Cool. Sign up and train for 4 races before April? Easy peasy. Be a loving and supportive wife to my workaholic husband, attend church regularly, volunteer at events on the weekend, plan and prepare healthy meals for my family, be active in social groups, keep up with friendships, find time for “me”. Um…how? How can I do all of that?

I’ve tried. And honestly? I’m failing at it. I want so badly to be MORE than “just a Mom”. I’m trying to be everything to everyone and…failing. I am beginning to scale back. Which is why you may notice sporadic posts on Clumps of Mascara. It’s the reason why sometimes I post on Instagram and sometimes I don’t. I stopped going to so many social meetings. Life can be simple. We complicate it. Oftentimes, WE are our own problems. My goal is to simplify as much as I can.

To spend time with my baby instead of rushing to post a picture of her.
To enjoy that date with my husband without snapping shots of food to upload to Instagram.
To enjoy training for my races without posting an update each time I put on my kicks.
To live disconnected.

And that’s tough considering my day job requires me to be connected aaaaand, my night job requires me to be connected. To share, to comment, to post, to snap. I don’t want to. I just want to be…

Being is easier and most times more gratifying than doing.

Thank you so much for understanding that I can’t do it all. And for supporting me through my faults.

Shark Week Can Be Fun Again…Kinda. Thanks U By Kotex!

Because I’m all about keepin’ it real up in here, you should know that this is a sponsored post for U by Kotex, who provided me products to review. You can get a free sample from U by Kotex too here and Do the Demo.

Now. Who’s ready for some TMI? You know I am. I stay in the TMI Lane. As lady people, we shouldn’t be so secretive about the things that so many of us deal with. And let’s face it, we’ve all dealt with our cycle at some point in our lives. It’s been about 16 years since Aunt Flow has made herself a regular visitor. And I hate her. I really do. But she’s a necessary evil and so while I cringe at her every appearance, I have come across ways that make dealing her, well…easier.

U by Kotex box

Through Socialstars I had the opportunity to test some of these U By Kotex products and at first I was like “Oh snap…my menstrual cup lovin’ friends are so going to disown me.” Yes, I do proudly roll with the cup crew but honey, I’m a girl who likes options. And no one likes to be unprepared when their cycle decides to make their first appearance after 21 months of being ghost (thanks pregnancy and breastfeeding!). And said cycle comes when you are out of town. Oh yes, girl. This happened to me. And I wish I would have these U by Kotex CleanWear pads on hand.

U by Kotex

First of all, can we talk about the pretty packaging? “B, who cares if they’re pretty. They’re sanitary napkins!” Look. There ain’t anything pretty about Shark Week. But U By Kotex is trying to lighten the horror a bit with colorful wrapping and decorated pads.

Kotex packaging

And, I for one, can appreciate this. In fact, how I’ll go back to regular plain pads is beyond me. It was as if U By Kotex sat down and said “Hmm…how can we make this awful time of the month just a little better?” And while they aren’t able to make the cramps and bloat feeling disappear, they can at least bring a smile on my face when I open up these pretty pads.

Kotex napkin

Just, wow…

And they aren’t just pretty to look at. Without getting too graphic (calm down…I won’t put it ALL out there), I love how the U by Kotex Barely There Thin Liners don’t leak. They just don’t. Also, the adhesive has a nice and firm stick and you can ensure that it’ll last for as long as you need it to.

Kotex tampons

Colorful pads with pretty packing and housed in a slick and sexy black box? Well done. U By Kotex gave us something that we didn’t even know we needed. And I love it. Now if only they can think of a way to get rid of that “Give me all of the sweets and leave me alone for the next 3 days” feeling…

 

I wrote this review while participating in a content series through Crowdtap on behalf of U by Kotex, and received products to facilitate my post and compensation for my time to participate. But y’all know me. I don’t mind writing about this kind of stuff for free because, well, uh…I have before!

So About That 5K That I Ran…

…I ran it! And it was awesome. Seriously. I had such an incredible time running that race. And this is all kind of crazy, because, hello…I’m not the running  type.

Granted, runners don’t have a “type” but I don’t think I have the outwardly appearance of someone who could run. I’ve got awkward flat feet. My thighs rub together. I’ve got ginormous boobs that have to get tied down with TWO bras and I when I run, I breathe heavily; I don’t have a breathless stride with brief puffs of air. But you know what?

I don’t even care. Because at least I’m running. I wasn’t running last year so I try to provide myself with plenty of “You go girl”s.

Clumps of Mascara 5K

My first post-baby 5K was excellent – mainly because I didn’t have a goal. Well, I take that back. My goal was to complete. And I did. I ran with a girlfriend of mine and we decided to do 1-minute run/1-minute walk intervals the entire way. This was great for me as I was able  to control my breathing better and looked forward to the breaks. At the end of each break, I mustered up everything in me to run. My stride could use some work, but I think that’s because I need new shoes.

Run a 5K

But I won’t be getting new shoes until I run another race. That’s right, at the end of every race, I reward myself with something. At the end of this one, I got a heart rate monitor watch. And I’m loving it! I’m just getting back in town from NYC and haven’t run all week (except during work when I got caught in a rain storm and got SOAKED) but I am so looking forward to it this weekend.

I’ve got another 5K at the end of March and that will be another fun run except I think I’m going do run 2-minutes/walk -minute intervals. By Spring, I would love to be able to run an entire 5K without stopping. I’ve found fantastic support in my local Black Girls Run group and between them and the local running stores in Orlando, I’ve been feeling the love.

Nike + Running Stats

I’ll keep you guys updated! Oh, and I’ve lost a total of 6 lbs with Weight Watchers. Totally thought I would have lost more but I have lost 3 inches on my waistline so heyyyyy…progress is good, right?

Weight Watchers Simple Start – I finished!

Orlando

How gorgeous is that shot at Lake Eola here in Orlando? A few days ago a few mommy friends and I hit that park for a 2 mile walk with our babies. Since starting Simple Start, I have turned my fitness intake up so much and it feels…so good.

I can’t believe that it has already been 2 weeks since I’ve started Weight Watcher’s Simple Start program. As cheesy as it sounds, I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun. I’ve always associated losing weight with being deprived. I would get anxiety at the thought of having to give up the things that I love. But it’s true what they say…if I want things to change I NEED to change. And luckily, the Simple Start program has made this easy. I won’t regurgitate what I’ve already mentioned but I will say that if you’re looking to start a weight loss program but the Weight Watchers point system intimidated you, give Simple Start a try.

Fruit smoothie

Not gonna lie – it was tough the past few days. The key with this program (and with all weight loss programs) is planning ahead. I forgot my lunch at home one day and was totally thrown off. It was difficult to find healthy options. I made one bad decision and well, the entire day went down. But, hey…I got back up and the next day and I did better. I’m not even going to pretend like it has been easy, because it hasn’t been. But I’m learning and I hope to do better now that my Simple Start days are over.

Onions and green peppers

Aaaand, Simple Start has inspired me to cook. Yes, y’all. Veteran Clumps readers know that I married Esposo for his cooking. Yeah, I love him too but really it’s his cooking that sealed the deal for me. ;) The man has spoiled me so much so that the most I cook is…a green smoothie and kale chips. But I ran into some recipe ideas that included green peppers and onions and I couldn’t hold back. ‘Twas delicious!

I’ve got nothing but fantastic things to say about the Simple Start program. And for my Pinterest lovers, follow Weight Watchers on there. I’ve been pinning like a mad woman.

With the support of my Mom and Mom-in-Law, I will continue on this journey. To my fellow WW kids, if you have any advice for me, send ‘em my way!

 

I was given a free one month subscription to Weight Watchers to try their new Simple Start plan and write about my experience. Though I was compensated for my time and commitment, all views, positive and negative, are my own.

1 Week of Weight Watcher’s Simple Start

photo 2

Soooo it has been a week since I’ve started Weight Watcher’s Simple Start program and…I’ve survived. No, I’m kidding. It really isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. The first week of any weight loss challenge can be a bit difficult because you’re telling your body, “Look. Those old habits are gone, dude. We’re on a new and healthier track.” And while you may think and feel this, your stomach may think otherwise. Your mind plays tricks on you and makes you crave the things that you really don’t need. I’ve been combating this by making sure that I have delicious eats on hand.

Simple Start rocks because well, it’s simple. You won’t starve yourself. You can’t because unlike the Weight Watchers PointPlus, points don’t matter. I find this to be extremely reassuring to those new to WW because counting can be stressful. Portion sizes don’t matter and that’s big too because worrying about portion sizes as always been an issue for me. Luckily, the Simple Start meal recipes are not only practical and delicious but they are filling! Over-indulging is difficult because I’m already eating things make me feel more satisfied quicker.

This has been working out so much better than my first attempt. I feel more motivated this time around. I did a run/walk of 5.5 miles with a friend. I walk at least a mile a day and I do workout videos at home. I’m drinking my water and making sure that I don’t deprive myself. It was particularly cold the other night so I had Esposo whip up a Weight Watchers Simple Start-friendly recipe of Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken and Kale soup.

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Chockfull of healthy proteins and fiber, 1 serving of this soup filled me up completely and the variations of flavors was just so satisfying.

My post-baby belly is gettin’ its shrink on. Of course I don’t expect any extreme changes for quite some time but the pudge isn’t as pudgy and that makes me a very happy mama. Oh! And did I mention that the recipes are all toddler-approved? When I eat at home, I usually feed her from my plate or bowl. I love that the recipes easy enough to feed a babe, but also flavorful enough to peak her interest. Granted she would rather eat scrambled eggs all day. Then again, so would I!

I’m feeling good and my body is looking good. Even after only a week, when I complete Simple Start, I’m pretty sure I am going to go along the Weight Watchers program. I am that dedicated to changes my body for the better. Check out the video I made sharing how excited I am.

Stay tuned for next week!

I was given a free one month subscription to Weight Watchers to try their new Simple Start plan and write about my experience.Though I was compensated for my time and commitment, all views, positive and negative, are my own.

Weight Watcher’s Simple Start…I’m ready!

Well, here we are again. This is my second attempt at trying Weight Watchers. Attempting to start a weight loss plan 6 months after a baby just wasn’t ideal for me. I was trying to get into the groove of going back to work and breastfeeding had my hormones doing crazy thangs. But now, I’m weaning from the pump, and I’m ready!

Through Socialstars, I was given the opportunity to try  Weight Watcher’s Simple Start plan and I couldn’t be more excited. Nervous? Well, yeah. I don’t want to fail again. I want to be successful. I want to be one of those women who when I tell you I lost 50 lbs, you look at me in amazement. I want be an inspiration to others.

And uh…excuse my vanity a bit, but seriously…I NEED to drop this post-baby weight. Not because I’m in 2 weddings this year. Not because I feel so uncomfortable in my skin but because I’ve got a little one who is becoming more observant.

#Simple Start weight loss

A great deal of parenting is leading by example and now that Elle is eating food, I want to make healthy choices for the both of us. It just makes sense.

And I want to feel confident again.

I always joke that red lipstick is confidence in a tube, but I truly feel confident when I am happy in my skin. Lately, I haven’t been happy. I can acknowledge this with ease because I know that the real work comes with FIXING this problem. And I can do it because I’m ready to love my body again. Ultimately!

Weight Watchers #SimpleStart challenge

So about this Simple Start deal… My Mom was the first to tell me about Simple Start and I think it’s a fantastic idea for those new to Weight Watchers. Starting any lifestyle change is challenging but Simple Start allows you to sloooooowly make your way into to selecting healthier food options. It takes the guesswork out of what many people find challenging…finding eating healthy meals to eat. And the best part? I don’t have to worry about portion sizes just yet. I just use the app, select menu options, make it and boom…eat it. The menu choices can be as easy as grilled chicken on top of a salad to as gourmet as pasta primavera. And if you’re like me and your chef of a husband is working late and you’re too lazy to do something fancy, you can build your own meal from their options. Like a spinach and tomato omelette.

Weight Watchers #SimpleStart

Cool, huh? Simple Start will last for  2 weeks and then I’ll continue on with the regular Weight Watchers program. I like the ideal of taking baby steps. Jumping right into Weight Watchers with the point counting can be a bit daunting so I really appreciate the flexibility that Simple Start provides.

Wish me luck! I can be pretty hard on myself so I REALLY want to succeed this time. If you’ve got any tips, thoughts or advice for me, let me know. I’ll be sure to keep you updated!

 

 

I was given a free one month subscription to Weight Watchers to try their new Simple Start plan and write about my experience. Though I was compensated for my time and commitment, all views, positive and negative, are my own.