The Best Race Everrrr – Iron Girl!

I did it, girls. I smashed the Iron Girl 5K last weekend in Clearwater, Florida. If you’re not familiar with the race, Iron Girl is a race for women. And women only. Of the 6 races that I’ve ever participated in, this has been, by far, my favorite. You don’t know girl power until you see thousands and thousands of women running beside you, cheering for you and reaching their goals WITH you. It’s a beautiful thang and I was so honored that Iron Girl provided me with a press pass to attend and run this race.

Iron Girl 5K

According to Iron Girl, their mission is “to Empower Women Toward a Healthy Lifestyle!” (source). It’s a mission that I totally get behind and as long as I am able, I will always make it my duty to do at least one Iron Girl event a year. The Iron Girl event series features several events each year and the Clearwater Half Marathon & 5K held on April 13th was the first event to launch their season.

Iron Girl 5K Clearwater

Some races you participate in and then you move on. From the minute you sign up for an Iron Girl race, you are a part of the sisterhood. And they don’t stop letting you know this. From the sweet paraphernalia to the amount of support you get on race day, look no further than the Iron Girl for your first race.

And when I tell you ORGANIZED, oh my…this event was by far one of the most organized races that I’ve ever participated in. The volunteers were incredibly nice and helpful, and the registration table was easy to spot. Women from all over (and the men that support them) travel from all over to run the Iron Girl in Clearwater because it is such a stunning race.

Iron Girl Runners

The weather was a cool 72 degrees and while going over the bridge, down it and over it again wasn’t easy, I was so amazed to see so many women, mothers and daughters, sisters, friends, running buddies of all shapes and sizes crossing the FINISH line. And seeing signs like this from the guys reppin’ The Best Damn Race didn’t hurt either…

Iron Girl The Best Damn Race

The MC  steadily congratulated everyone who crossed over and we were all greeted with a stunning medal.

Iron Girl medal

I always joke and say that I really only run for cookies and medals but it really does feel good. Every time I felt like quitting, I looked over and saw another woman pushing it and that’s what motivated me. Although, yeah…downing food is a good motivator, too.

Iron Girl food

The race made sure that us racers were well hydrated and fed proceeding the race. They offered a full breakfast with scrambled eggs, bagels, fruit, sausages, biscuits and a very yummy strawberry shortcake. The latter was completely random but definitely appreciated.

Race Pros

  • Affordable! Under $50 for the 5K and under $105 for the half-marathon
  • There’s an app for the race
  • Race provides detailed information regarding travel and parking.
  • Lots of help from volunteers
  • Stunning (and accurate) course
  • Lots of post-run food and water

Race Cons

  • Because of its popularity, finding a hotel near the race may be challenging
  • The line to take a picture by the Iron Girl sign is loooooong

For more information, visit the Iron Girl’s website and follow them via their social media networks so you can jump on board when registration opens up again.

That Girl Who Wears Lipstick When She Runs…

I feel like such a lame-o for just now wearing this lipstick. I purchased MAC’s RiRi Woo – I dunno…months ago! And I really only purchased it because so many of my beauty blogger friends were raving over it. And I fell for the hype.

MAC RiRi Woo

Which is funny because I’ve never been one to fall over MAC, the brand or Rihanna, the artist. But the lippy arrived and I didn’t touch it. Until a few weeks ago when Grandmama Clumps and I ran a 5K.

Black Girls Run

I was inspired by the gorgeous Tracee Ellis Ross who wears red lipstick when she works out. And just like that, the stunning RiRi Woo lipstick has become my #1 workout lippy.

MAC RiRi Woo lipstick

And you can see why, right? This limited edition cool matte of a red lipstick rocks my socks. Every few years, I run across a red lipstick that I fall in love with and it looks like this red is the one. In fact, any time I run a race, I’ll be wearing this one.

RiRi Woo swatch

RiRi Woo lipstick

Yep. Some girls run with tutus. Others run with lucky socks. And then there will be me. I will run with red lipstick.

BOOM.

The Flavor Run Comes To Orlando!

The Flavor Run Orlando

I know. You’re all like…”Seriously B? What is it with you and these color runs?” I can’t help it. I run races, but truthfully, I kinda hate running. Sounds crazy, I know but I really only do it for the bling. Yeah, I do it for health too but if I’m going to run a race, I would much rather run a FUN one. And color races are some kind of fun.

This is my first time hearing about The Flavor Run and while it is coming up in just a few weeks, you still have some time to register if you’re interested in joining me on April 26th!

But if you think you’ve seen all there is to see when it comes to color runs, you haven’t seen anything yet. The Flavor Run is unique in that you can actually eat the fruity dust. Yeah, go ahead and act all adult and say “Ewwww!” Personally, I am all over this as the stuff is already flying in your mouth. It’s nice to be able to have some fruity goodness behind it.

The Flavor Run

Aaaand, not only that but those who cross the FINISH line will be rewarded with a medal and a helpful supply of fruit. Like, REAL fruit. Scoooore! For more information about Do’s/Don’ts of the race, check out their Flavor Questions Answered. Not near Orlando? Keep your eyes peeled, Atlanta and Tampa. The Flavor Run will be coming your way soon!

Stay connected to The Flavor Run’s Facebook page for updates, race pics and details.

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…

Rad-001

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.

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, here I come!

clumps does ww

Guess who joined Weight Watchers?! Meeee! And the cool thing is, I’ll be blogging about my experience the entire time. I actually started last week but that was more of a dry run. It was hard, y’all. I’ve been on many weight loss challenges before and this is proving to be the most difficult because I am a breastfeeding mother. I express on average 60-70 oz of breast milk (through a breast pump) a day and aside from it being draining, it makes me incredibly ravenous. Breastfeeding burns a ton of calories and in return, moms HAVE to steadily nourish themselves. Weight Watchers is the only weight loss program that I’ve ever heard of that actually has a track for nursing moms.

I actually gained a pound from last week. Opps! I’m not worried. There will be up’s and down’s and I’m ready for ‘em. I will even unveil my current size and where I’m looking to go.

So I’m 213 lbs. This is NOT baby weight as I was actually 216 before I gave birth to Elle. I only gained 9 lbs during my pregnancy and quickly lost it all. I am not embarrassed at being 5’6 and 213. Is it an ideal weight? No. But is it fixable? Absolutely. I am human and of course I have insecurities but I have always felt that I looked like I weigh less than I do. I toggle between a size 12/14 but I just happen to have a solid build. I will never be a small girl because I’m an amazon woman. I’ve got big thighs and legs and so when it comes to loosing weight, I like to set realistic goals for myself. I recently had a physical at my midwife’s office and my BP and cholestrol numbers are in healthy ranges, so really it’s just my weight that’s an issue. I have no intentions of being a size 2 and I don’t think my body would let me be a size 2 anyway.  But weighing less would put me in healthier ranges and in a happier disposition so I’m all for it!

This will be the biggest weight loss challenge yet. Trying to find the time to workout, battling the cravings and trying to stay satiated through breastfeeding will be tough but I can do it! I will also be giving you the ins and outs of the very cool Weight Watchers online program. Stay tuned for next week’s update!

Got any healthy snack or workout tips for me? Moms who have breastfed and tried to loose weight, I would love some advice from you!

 

*I have received a free 3-month pass to experience Weight Watchers online. I am not being paid to use or endorse Weight Watchers and thoughts are my own. People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.

Fabulous Fitness Wear from Macy’s. Aren’t I brave to model like this?

FACT: I’m in the gym. Like ALL the time. Remember that post I wrote when I was all like, “I’ve gained weight, blah blah blah blah”? Well, I got my bum in gear. I don’t mess around when it comes to health and fitness. Sure I have my insecurities like most women and may fall off track a bit, but honey, I ALWAYS make my way back to making fitness a priority. Right now I’m in the “zone” and I was beyond thrilled when GigaSavvy asked me to review some of Macy’s workout fits.

And why?

Because if you ever ran into in the gym, you may laugh. I don’t get all cute with my workout gear like some girls. Oh no. I’m that woman that’s all up in the gym with raggedy t-shirts from college volunteer events.

And if you catch me on a good day, I may be wearing something that actually matches.

But usually it’s just me in an old t-shirt that should probably be turned into a carwashin’ rag. And girl, don’t judge me…I am ca-learly very proud of my arms.

Having new workout clothes has turned me into a new woman though. Why haven’t I invested in some before? It just makes sense. Let’s rap on the Ideology Yoga Top first.

I got this seamless ultraviolet cami in an XL because I’ve a woman with a rack on her. I also wear two bras when I work out (the DD’s require this) and so I was hoping the XL was large enough to be comfortable and functional. Aaaand, it is! This top is comfortable, functional and breathable. I’m not sure how confident I’d feel it in by wearing it solo but it does fantastic for layering. Plus it was on sale for $12.99 (originally priced at $19.98) so guess who will be getting more of these on the ASAPness? Yep!

Then there are the Ideology Flared Leg Yoga Pants ($23.99 – regularly $43).

I’ve never actually owned a pair of yoga pants. Which is ridiculous since yoga and I have been tight for quite some time. And speaking of tight, I got these pants in a Large and they are hugging my curves beautifully. They aren’t just for yoga, of course. I comfortably ran and lifted weights in these. And my favorite thing about ‘em? They’re long enough! Nothing sucks more than buying workout pants just for them to turn into workout capris after 1 wash. P.S. – my stretch marks say hi. ;)

And lastly are the Ideology Cropped Active Leggings ($27).

Leggings are everywhere and while some fashionistas say they aren’t for working out, I beg to differ. Actually, after trying out these leggings, I want to wear them EVERY time I work out. These are so so comfortable. I found them to be flattering to my figure, moveable and comfortable. I got ‘em in a Large and kinda glad I did. At first I thought the XL would have been more comfortable for my size 12/14 hips, but I was able to squeeze into these without any problems.

I know my friends at the gym (anyone else have friends at the gym that they’ve never actually talked to?) will be SO happy to see me in some new unfaded and fancier workout gear. You know…because they care about these things. Ha! And I’m glad to see affordable workout wear. I never felt the need to invest in workout clothes because I always felt they would be too expensive. And what’s the point? I’m just gonna sweat ‘em up anyway. But I’ve seen the light and who knows? Maybe for every 10 pounds I drop, I’ll take myself on a mini shopping spree? I think that sounds like a GRAND idea!

Any workout lovers in the house? What do you typically wear when you workout?

TMI Tuesday: My weight and my insecurities

 Ugh. Calories annoy me. Seriously. Why do they have to be in EVERYTHING? Calories should really only be in things  that I can’t stand. Like pickles and olives. Yes, I’m beginning a post complaining. My bad, y’all. But what can I say? Talking about my weight kinda makes me sad. Because here’s the truth….

I will always be “watching my weight.” Yep. I am a beauty blogger and I am not ashamed to admit that I have my share of insecurities. And most of them deal with my weight.

I’ve been watching my weight for as long as I can remember. It comes in spurts. I’ll go months with being obsessed with working out and eating. Something will happen and the next thing I know, I’ve gained all of the weight I lost. It’s a tiresome cycle. But it’s one that I will be dealing with for the rest of my life. And it’s not for the shallow reasons like wanting to fit into a bikini (pshht, never happening) or trying to look “good” for someone. My health will always be an issue for me because I’ve got to keep a close eyes on my reoccurring high blood pressure. It’s stressful, y’all.

Most of last year was my “down” year. I worked out a bit but not as much as I should have. I would go weeks between running or heading to the gym. I’d tell myself that I was too busy or too tired. And because of that, I gained a whooping 20 lbs. My size 12’s got tight and I was forced into a 14. I would see a developing double chin in the mirror and that alone prevented me from doing as many YouTube videos as I should have been doing. Self-loathing ensued; an emotion that I always deal with when I notice myself gaining weight.

In the Fall of last year, I got serious about my weight loss again and so I’ve been actively going to the gym (3-6 times a week) and doing what I have to do to get back in those 12’s. I’m getting there. And I have to remember that I am human. We all backslide from time to time and I can’t always fall into these depressive slumps when I realize that I’ve gained a pound here or there.

Keeping an eye on my weight is a lifestyle for me. I can’t just eat a breadstick without knowing that I’ll HAVE to work out the next day. Yes, I’ll eat my favorite ginger snaps, but never in peace. For I know that unless I work those cookies off, the pounds will pile up. This is my life. This is the way it has to be.

I’ll never be skinny. And I’m okay with that. I don’t mind that my thighs rub together or that my DD’s require my having to wear TWO bras when I work out. I don’t hate my body. But do I want to be in optimal health so that I can be around to keep bringin’ y’all mascara reviews in 2045? Hells yah.

I know weight is a sensitive topic for most of us women. Some of us want smaller boobs. Others want bigger boobs.  Some say they’re too skinny. Others long to be skinny. Mommas feel some kind of way about their post-pregnancy bodies and many of us fall victim to the lies society tells us. Is it important to be healthy? Absolutely.

But do you have to be a size 2, 4 or 6 to be healthy and beautiful. Absolutely not.

What say you? Are you happy with you weight? Or will it always be a struggle for you too?