Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Maximum Hydration

In the #LoseAMarathon Challenge, our weekly mini challenge is hydration. Participants were asked to research their exact hydration needs based of their own weight, exercise level and environment. Once decided on a number (for me it was 109oz each day), the challenge is then to drink and track that goal for one full week. {tracking chart here}  Even if you're not in the weight loss challenge, you are welcome to give the mini challenge a shot.  With soaring temperatures coming across the country this weekend, see if you can satisfy your body's hydration needs.

Try out this easy online calculator here to figure out your suggested intake on a daily basis.  There is no perfect science to this and frankly no one has the correct answer. Every individual has different water consumption requirements which makes it difficult to apply a general rule.  A good indication if you are hydrated is always that your urine is light in color.

Eating foods high in water can also contribute to your daily water intake.  Typically fruit and vegetables in their natural raw state are the best source of water in food.  If you find water boring, try adding some zing to your glass.  Try zero-calorie flavorings like Crystal Light. Fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, yum!) and vegetables (lemon, limes, mint, etc) are also great additions to water and look pretty fancy. Alcoholic and caffeinated drinks have a negative effect, so you'll need to subtract those ounces from your daily total.

For successful weight loss, research has shown that people lose more pounds the more water ounces they drink.  It is suggested to drink two glasses of water before each meal to more accurately read your body's "full" signals.

Too Much Water? Athletes also need to be conscious of hyponatremia, which means low blood sodium.  It is caused by excessive fluid consumption, which lowers the concentration of sodium in the blood. This may happen while sweating out your sodium (ever notice sweat is salty?) while drinking lots of water but not restoring your electrolytes. Sodium is among the body's most important electrolyte. When you exercise excessively, you need to replace your body's electrolytes to avoid serious fatigue.

To add electrolytes (and sodium) back in my system, I use Nuun tablets in my water.  These quarter-size tablets dissolve and turn your water into a lightly flavored drink spiked with electrolytes - without extra sugar.  Unlike most sports drinks, Nuun only has 4 calories per serving, which doesn't blow up my daily calorie count.

Recently, Nuun added to their portfolio and flavors.  There is now a product for everyone based on your activity level and needs...

  • NUUN ACTIVE HYDRATION is formulated specifically for higher intensity activities and/or higher electrolyte replenishment needs.
  • U NATURAL HYDRATION is all-natural and contains a lower electrolyte profile to Nuun.
  • NUUN ALL DAY HYDRATION helps you drink more water every day with crisp and refreshing flavors and is enhanced with an all-natural blend of vitamins and minerals making it perfect for your daily routine.

I use the Nuun Active a lot when I run and workout. Grape and Strawberry Lemonade are my favorite flavors. I've recently tried the Nuun All Day and can rave on and on about the Grape Raspberry flavor. Yum!

The prize for this week Marathon Weight Loss Challenge is from Nuun!
Next Tuesday, I'll randomly draw three (3) entries from the prize pool
to win a Nuun sports bottle & tube of tablets.
So don't be late on your weigh-in... next Monday 7/2 before 11:59pm

Save 15% on Nuun Hydration with code bloggerslovenuun in the Nuun Shop

Thank You and a Winner!

Thank you to everyone who ordered a RUN FREE shirt, a patriotic BondiBand (still available here) and/or made a direct donation to my Team USO in the past month.  I have soared past my goal of raising $1000+ to support our U.S. troops and their families. I have many of you to thank for that success! Come September 15, I will proudly wear my red, white and blue in the Air Force Half Marathon and run as a member of Team USO. Woot!

Today's Fun-Raffle Winner is...
She won the sparkly patriotic headband from Sparkly Soul!  Didn't win? Visit Sparkly Soul here to order one for yourself.

The Fun-Raffles are now over.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

LoseAMarathon Weekly Weigh-In

This week's weigh-in didn't go quite as planned for me yesterday... and it's totally my own fault.  I did really well all week. I was -4 lbs on Friday and then the weekend hit. We celebrated at two weddings and continued at an after-party. Aw-man, I had way too much fun beer and liquid calories always hibernate in my body. So by time I weighed in on Monday morning, I was back up to where I started the week. Grrrr.  Official weigh-in was -0.2 lbs. I have some ground to make up this week.

The Marathon Weight Loss Challenge closed registration yesterday with 965 participants. I hope everyone sees the journey through and topple some personal goals.  If you didn't register in time, you can still follow the challenge (and track your weight on your own).  It will obviously be my focus for the summer.  Those fall half-marathons (five!) have no idea what's coming from this girl...

Reminder: Weigh-ins are due before midnight every Monday (email me your full name & weight).  If you miss it the deadline, please just wait until the next week to report.

Each week I want to recognize the top performers on the scale.  Losing weight is a tough task, so I am in awe at how these participants attacked the challenge and LOST BIG in week one. Congratulations!
Lost 7 or more lbs
Anita F.
Cindy K.
Kait M.
Lindsey G.
Jackie H.
Nichole B.
Ramza G.
Katie B.
Michelle M.
Laura M.
Tracy B.
Deirdre G.
Suzanne M.
Deb M.
Dolores M.
Lost 4% or more of body weight
Lindsey G.
Meg S. 
Jackie H.
Marcella H.
Cindy K.
Anita F.
Kait M.
Laura M.
Suzanne M.
Katie B. was nice enough to supply some prizes for the challenge and I thought they were best appropriate for week one.  I love visual 'in your face' motivation! The decals pictured above were created especially for this challenge and available for sale here. The whole website has some pretty neat decals, so check it out at

This Week's Prize Winners
Set of LoseAMarathon decals
Winner: Renee Hendricks
Set of LoseAHalfMarathon decals
Winners: Suzanne Westenhofer (purple) and Michelle Robinson (pink)
Runner Girl decals
Winners: Julie Hancock (white), Lizzie Wright (purple), Susie Thomson (green)

Congratulations to everyone on a great week one!
If you are one of the 6 prize winners listed above,
please email me your mailing address.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

MWLC Healthy Recipes #1

It's Sunday, which usually means a fun day in our house. Rest, relaxation and quiet time with our family. It's also the day I clean out the fridge (leftover night!) and prepare for the week ahead.  As I create the menu for the week, my shopping list forms itself.  Each Sunday throughout the summer, I'll share some of the healthy recipes that are submitted by the participants of the Marathon Weight Loss Challenge.  Happy Healthy Cooking!

Rainbow Stir-Fry
Recipe from Vegetarian Times. Submitted by Jennifer S.
Serves 4  |  Prepares in 30 minutes or less
Kids and adults will love this sweet-and-spicy stir-fry. Serve over brown rice (not included in nutritional info.)

3 Tbs. frozen orange juice concentrate
2 Tbs. hoisin sauce
1 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
½ tsp. chile-garlic sauce
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
½ lb. green beans, halved crosswise
1 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
1 15-oz. can baby corn, rinsed and drained
1 small red bell pepper, sliced (1 cup)
1 cup frozen, shelled edamame
1 8-oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained
4 green onions, thinly sliced

Whisk together orange juice concentrate, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and chile-garlic sauce in small bowl. Heat oil in wok or large skillet over high heat. Add green beans, and stir-fry 3 minutes. Add 3 Tbs. water; stir-fry 3 minutes more. Add cabbage, baby corn, bell pepper, edamame, and water chestnuts; stir-fry 4 minutes. Stir in green onions and orange juice mixture; cook 1 minute more.
Nutritional Information per 1½-cup serving:
Calories 186  |  Protein 8g  |  Fat 5g  |  Carbs 31g  |  Fiber 11g

Mixed Berries and Chicken Salad with Strawberry Dressing
Submitted by Elle
Makes 2 servings
3 cups mixed salad greens, washed and spun dry
4 ounces cooked and cubed chicken breast (I used a can of Kirkland seasoned chicken breast)
2 Tbs chopped white onion
10 slices of long English cucumber, slivered
2 small white mushrooms, washed and sliced
4 fresh strawberries, washed and sliced
1 cup mixed frozen berries, thawed (mine has blueberries, blackberries and raspberries)
1/2 ounce slivered almonds

Strawberry Dressing
Makes 2 servings
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, washed and sliced
1 Tbs white vinegar
1 Tbs water
Dash of Stevia or Splenda, your choice
2 tsp olive oil

Tear the mixed salad greens and divide between 2 serving bowls or plates. Divide the rest of the ingredients between the 2 bowls and layer on top of the greens in the order listed. Prepare the dressing by placing the strawberries, vinegar and water in a blender and puree. Add the olive oil and combine well. Pour the dressing evenly over each of the 2 salads before serving.

Nutritional Information per serving, salad and dressing.
Calories 276  |  Protein 31g  |  Carbs 19g  |  Fat 10g  |  Fiber 7g
Weight Watchers P+ = 7

No Bake Chocolate Protein Bars
Submitted by Bill S.
Makes 8 servings
1-3/4 cup Multi-grain Hot Cereal
1/2 cup wheat bran
1-1/2 cup Chocolate Whey Protein
5 Tbs. flax seeds
5 Tbs. raisins
Optional: Cinnamon and Cayenne Pepper
5 Tbs. crunchy natural peanut butter
3/5 cup non-fat milk
1 Tbs. Honey
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl and place to the side.  In a microwavable bowl, mix peanut butter, honey, and vanilla and warm in microwave for 45 seconds then add milk, stir, and heat for another 30-45 seconds.  Mix this warm wet mixture into dry ingredients. Line large baking dish with wax paper then press mixture into bottom and flatten with another sheet of wax paper.  Put in refrigerator over night.  Cut into 24 squares.
Nutritional Information per serving size of 3 squares
Calories 223  |  Protein 14g  |  Carbs 26g  |  Fat 8g  |   Fiber 6g

Berry-Good Angel Food Cake
Submitted by Tracy B.
Makes 15 servings
fat free angel food cake
8 oz fat free cream cheese softened
8 oz light whipped topping thawed
1/4 cup fat free milk
1 pint blueberries
1 pint strawberries

In a large bowl, cream the milk and cream cheese together and then fold in cool whip. Crumble the angel food cake and mix well into the cream cheese mixture.  Spread into a 9x13 pan and layer with berries or other fruit of your choice. Cut into 15 squares.
Nutrition Information per serving
Calories 164  |  Carbs 30g  |  Protein 5g  |  Fat 2g  |  Fiber 1g 

Salad Ready to Go!
Not a recipe, but I had to share this idea that Shelly P. found on Pinterest.  Talk about getting organized for the week!  She says, "Make sure the veggies go on the bottom and the greens (kale, lettuce, spinach) on the top.  Otherwise the greens will wilt.  If you add dressing, the dressing must be on the bottom."

Friday, June 22, 2012

Progression Run

I started 2012 off with one of my best executed races, the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon. It's no longer my PR, but still the best execution in my heart.  I had near perfect control and consistency on my pace the entire 13.1, which attributed to a negative split.  Anytime I run a negative split, it's usually a PR. It's just smart racing when you're going long.  (A negative split is when you run the second half of a race faster than the first half.)  While I have sped up my race times since February, I haven't been as solid in the negative split department.

Adjust start setting based
on your own comfort level.
I run intervals and tempos regularly, but yesterday, I was reunited with an old favorite called the progression run.  Progression runs focus on steady acceleration throughout your run.  You pick your starting pace and increase speed in tiny increments as you cover miles. It teaches your body to run fast(er) on tired legs. This is perhaps the easiest introduction to speedwork for beginners.

My hubby was out of town this past week, so with 24/7 kid-duty, I was forced to use the treadmill once again. I find treadmill running extremely boring and the miles take forever. Somewhere along the line, I turned my 'mill runs into a bit of game, thus creating my own style of a progression run.  It's hard not to constantly look at the treadmill dash, so I use that as part of this run.

Here's how I run a progression run on the treadmill... Start at your comfort pace. For me, that's 6.0mph or a 10 minute mile.  Each half mile, click the speed up one notch. These tiny slices of speed are not overtly difficult for your body to adjust. Whereas on the open road, it's hard to increase your speed in such small increments. In the final mile, I like to challenge myself and raise the bar more often - every 1/4 mile. This is where you really find out how much speed you still have left in tired legs! I always include a cooldown to help my legs recover.

The constant change in pace keeps this run fresh and exciting - even on the dreadmill. Before I know it, my workout is done and I scored a solid sweat!

Read more on progression runs from Greg McMillian HERE. He goes more in depth on the variations, as well as the benefits to your training.

Have you tried a progression run before?
How do you cure treadmill boredom?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Quest to Lose A Marathon

I'm on a misson to LOSE a marathon and could not be more excited!  I have nearly 800 online friends in the fight with me. With that kind of support, I know I can succeed... and so can you! This little challenge has grown way beyond my wildest dreams - in just a matter of days. It's a powerful reminder of how many people are struggling with weight issues. I know firsthand how disruptive obesity can be in all aspects of life. My work, personal relationships, and overall character suffered as my weight soared. I turned things around the day I started to run... and this summer, I want to finish the job by reaching my goal weight before the Air Force Half Marathon on September 15.

Registration for the Marathon Weight Loss Challenge is still open to new participants until June 25. You can sign up here.

I'm ready to start the challenge!
Rarely will you convince an investor to back a new endeavor without a business plan. The same holds true with weight loss. The more you plan, the better chances for success.  A plan provides direction to keep you on track.  It helps to identify your objectives and outlines how best to reach those goals.  Poor planning is one of the top reasons for failure.  No plan is foolproof and it should adjust when necessary.   The mini challenge in week 1 is to MAKE YOUR PLAN, so here is mine!

My plan to Lose A Marathon
I want to lose 26.2 lbs to feel healthy, strong and confident in my own skin. Losing weight will also help me run faster... which is just more fun!

FOOD. I will count calories by journaling my food intake on My Fitness Pal because what gets measured gets managed.  I've also had a lot of success with a Photo Food Journal, taking a photo of everything I eat. My goal is to stay at 1200 calories each day - allowing for 3 real meals with 2 snacks. I will focus on consuming lots of fruit and vegetables throughout the day. Carbs are runner's fuel, so I allow whole-grains through lunchtime and then limit them in the backhalf of the day. Meal planning and preparation are the key to my success. The question "What's for dinner?" sneaks up on me and we too often resort to takeout meals like pizza or chinese. Sitting down to eat as a family is very important to me, so my dinner creations must also be 'real food' that the whole family can will eat. I aim to drink at least 96oz of water each day, three refills on my big water jug.

EXERCISE. This really hasn't been a problem for me in years.  I love to sweat! My problem is that I overeat afterward because I "earned it". I will continue running roughly 30 miles each week.  I also plan to increase the frequency of my cross training - biking, Spinning, swimming, boxing and lastly strength training (which I totally slack on). In the past, I found Two-A-Days have really helped me lose weight. Two-A-Days are simply two workouts in one day - one in the morning, one in the afternoon/evening. Each time you workout, your heart rate increases (burning calories) and tapers off gradually after the workout conclusion (still burning calories at a faster rate than normal). So by doing Two-A-Days, I take advantage of two heart rate spikes and tapers, increasing my overall calorie burn.

MOTIVATION. My best friends these days are my fitness friends. They are daily encouragement to make the right choices. And now I have another 800 online friends to keep me accountable too!  I will also have a visual display of my progress sitting in my kitchen with a new GOAL JAR.  Every time I lose a pound, I get to add pebbles to the jar. You know I don't want to take any out!

How would you like a GOAL JAR like these?
Check out  Susan made custom decals specifically for this challenge that can be applied to any vase, jar, or cup.  Click
here if you have a 26.2 goal or here for a 13.1 goal.  They are $5 each and come in a variety of colors to choose from. She has also donated some of these to be the Challenge Prize for week 1!  Winners will be announced on June 26 - so don't miss the first weigh-in!!

I feel ready to go with this plan.  Writing everything down certainly focused me... and taking those dreaded 'before' pictures definitely motivated me. Ick!  I have my plan... now it's time to work it.  Good Luck to everyone!

"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, 
but anyone can start today and make a new ending."
~Maria Robinson

Note:  I'm getting bombarded with emails this week with the start of the challenge.  Please be patient with me as I try to answer everyone's emails. My food prep and workouts must come first. In the meantime, please read over the week one newsletter HERE. It will probably answer your question and save you an email.  Thank you so much!  
Reminder - Your starting weigh was already recorded at sign-up. Your first weigh-in is not until next Monday, June 25.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fun-Raffle Winner #3

Another week, another winner from the donations to my USO team. The USO is a fabulous organization that works around the globe to support our active soldiers and their families.  They make 'service before self' slightly more comfortable for our troops.  Learn more about the good works of the USO here.  This week's prize was a Road I.D. $35 gift card and the winner is... 


Congratulations - Please email me with your mailing address to claim your prize.
Thank you so much for your donation to a great cause.
Fabulous new Sparkly Soul headband
in red, white and blue!  Donate here for
a chance to win, or buy it here.

You don't want to miss the drawing for next week... the new patriotic sparkly headband from Sparkly Soul!  These headbands are amazingly comfortable, high in fashion and versatile enough for a run or a night on the town.  For every dollar you donate to my USO team, you receive equivalent number of entries into the weekly raffle.  Entries roll over from week to week. Winners are drawn each week until I reach my $1000 goal.  Plus, you are supporting a great organization and our U.S. troops!

to my USO team and be entered into the Prize Raffle for the remaining weeks.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Race Recap: Steamboat Classic 4 mile

Setting goals can be scary.
Smashing them is so darn fun!

I'll never win a race, but I always aim to improve my own personal standings and performance.  I thrive off numbers.  I always review my past racestats and overly abuse the 'pace calculator' app on my iPhone.  I just can't help it.  So in preparing for this year's Steamboat, I pulled up my 2011 stats...
Time 35:55 (8:59 pace).
Ranked 1095 overall, 29 in my age group
Almost instantly, I set my goals for the 2012 Steamboat to run the 4 miles under 35 minutes, rank under 1000 overall and make the top 25 in my division.

Hubby and I arrived on event grounds around 6:15 am.  I met up with the Sole Sisters for our group photo, and then warmed up as I jogged back to the car with the camera.  After just one mile, I could tell it was going to be a hot one.  The air was sticky and temps were already over 70 degrees with a bright blazing sun overhead.

 Sole Sisters before the race!

I got into the lineup a little late and before I knew it the action started with a silent flag drop.  With over 5000 runners lined up (no corrals), this race is known to have a congested start.  Surprisingly, I had a pretty smooth start and made it around that dreaded first right turn without a problem.  My legs felt good and I tried to keep my pace just outside my comfort zone. I wanted every mile to be sub-9 pace.

The course is really flat, essentially an L-shaped out and back, with a nice downhill at the end.  The turnaround area is always fun in a local race where you know a lot of people. I was pretty focused, but loved hearing the "Go Jess" calls from fellow runners. Out of breath, all I could muster was a hand wave back. On the way back to downtown, crowds were very encouraging and the sprinklers delightful.  As I cruised back into downtown, I couldn't believe it was over already. I kicked into high gear down the final chute and was oddly disappointed with how much gas I had left.  Oh-well, lesson learned. 
Mile 1 - 8:31
Mile 2 - 8:45
Mile 3 - 8:39
Mile 4 - 8:35
Finish: 34:33 (8:38 pace)
This is my fastest avg pace ever in a race!
#936 out of 3311 overall
#25 out of 236 in my Age Group
This is my my stopwatch time.  For some reason, Steamboat and I don't seem to have a good relationship over the years - my time is always messed up. This year was no exception. For some reason, my chip didn't register when I crossed the start line (but the finish recorded thankfully!).  So all the race has available is my gun time, no accurate chip time. Boo.

The best part of Steamboat is the post-party in Riverfront Park.  It was toasty and packed this year, but we stayed until the free beer quit - roughly 10am, so we got a good 2.5 hours of recovery beer! Woo-Hoo! 
Serious celebrating here!
 My friend Delisa finished 11th overall with a time of 24:16.  She's amazing like that.
And I got to reunite with my Ragnar Ultra Chicks!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Speedy at Steamboat

Last Friday, I was smack in the middle of my biggest endurance run (Ragnar Ultra Relay).  Just seven days later, I have completely shifted gears... pumping myself up for a quick 4 mile race at the 39th annual Steamboat Classic.  This event holds all the world records for the fastest 4 miles. The reigning world record was set in 1995 on this course... a speedy 17:24.  Yeah, seriously... 4 miles.

Steamboat also has the option of the "hilliest 15K," but I chose to give speed a run. I really have no idea what to expect out of my legs. Over the past several years, I've become a pretty good endurance runner.  I'm not necessarily fast, but I can hold a steady pace for some pretty long mileage.  I have been a regular student of track intervals, which have sped up my long distance pace.  However, I haven't raced a short distance since... last year's Steamboat!  In 2011, I clocked a 35:55. It may be big of myself, but I'm just assuming I can beat that.  So I'm setting my goal on sub-35 minutes. This should be interesting...

Are you racing this weekend?
Good Luck everyone!

After Steamboat, my race calendar quiets down for the summer.  I have several fun races tossed in July and August, but my next big 'A' race is the Air Force Marathon on Sept. 15. I'm running as part of Team USO, which supports our military soldiers and families. Please donate here to my team and you'll earn entries into my weekly prize raffle. (One entry per dollar donated. Prize winner drawn every Monday night. Entries roll over each week.) This week's prize is a $35 gift card to Road I.D.

Don't miss it... The Marathon Weight Loss Challenge starts on Monday! This is going to be EPIC success, I can already feel it.  With over 260 participants registered in the past couple days, it will be a great support system to reach your weight goals this summer.  Sign up here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Marathon Weight Loss Challenge

Heather and I before the 26.2 challenge!
Do you have 26.2 pounds to lose?  Join me this summer in making it happen!!  My friend Heather is running her first marathon this fall and is determined to be 26.2 pounds lighter on race day. In support of her goal (and because I need it too!), the Marathon Weight Loss Challenge has been born.

If you're anything like me, I succeed at weight loss when I have someone to report into and hold me accountable for my weekly actions.  Summer is not an easy time.  Cookouts, beer and lots of social activities typically result in me packing on the pounds.  This summer, I vow to do just the opposite... and I need YOU to keep me honest!

What is the Challenge?
The Marathon Weight Loss Challenge runs 13 weeks over the course of the summer. This time frame is simply MY goal, averaging 2 pounds a week in weight loss.  During this time frame, I will track participants' weight loss, offer tips, recipes, a weekly newsletter, mini challenges, success stories and prize giveaways!  You may have a goal larger or smaller than 26.2 pounds... and you may not even run. That's okay - you can still join for the motivation and prizes. The whole point of this challenge is to encourage one another and hold ourselves responsible in summer workouts and food choices.

START - Monday, June 18, 2012
FINISH - Monday, Sept. 17, 2012

Right click these buttons to copy/save and add it to your social mediums.
Let the world know that you're on a mission to LOSE A MARATHON!

Registration is now CLOSED. 
I'm sorry if you didn't get registered in time. For administrative purposes, I need to end sign-up, as the challenge has reached nearly 1000 participants!! Of course, I'll be sharing a lot of tips and recipes throughout the summer on, so be sure to follow along and chart your own weekly progress.

Starting weight will be recorded at sign-up. The official weigh-in day is every MONDAY.  Why Mondays? I find it helps to keep me more accountable over the weekend knowing that I have to face the scale on Monday. Report back your weigh-in to me (via email) before midnight each Monday. Be sure to include your full name and weight. I will keep a spreadsheet of every participant's progress.  I will never share your weight with anyone, although I may share success stories like "Carly lost 3.5% this week!"  I also suggest posting comments and pictures on my FB page or the Group Discussion page to encourage one another - specifically me! Sorry, only active participants will be approved into the Group Discussion page.

How do I win Prizes?!
Throughout the challenge, I will be drawing randomly for prizes... some big, some small, but all targeted at helping you on your weight loss journey.  Each week that you report back your weigh-in, you will earn an entry into the prize pool. You can also score 1 entry per week by sharing a photo and healthy recipe. Only active challenge contestants are eligible for prizes.  If you miss 3 or more weigh-in dates, I will assume you are no longer participating, remove you from the list and you'll no longer be in the prize pool. There is absolutely no benefit to cheating your weigh-in as prizes are not awarded on results, but rather weekly consistency. The only one to cheat is yourself... At the end of the 13 week challenge, there will be a special recognition for anyone who achieves a loss of 26.2 or greater!  I dare you to LOSE a Marathon!

Week 1 (June 18) here
Week 2 (June 25) here
Week 3 (July 2) here
Week 4 (July 9) here
Week 5 (July 16) here
Week 6 (July 23) here
Week 7 (July 30) here
Week 9 (Aug. 13) here
Week 10 (Aug. 20) here
If the newsletter is not hitting your email box, please open the newsletter by clicking the link above, click the "Subscribe" button in the top left corner to make sure your correct email address in on the list. (Sorry, there were a lot of addresses with typos and syntax errors from sign up)  You also may want to check your spam/junk box.

Edition 1 here
Edition 2 here (healthy drinks)
Each week challenge participants submit a healthy recipe to me, they'll earn 1 entry into prize pool. I'll pick a variety of my favorites and share on for everyone to cook a new meal.

Like my FB page for Challenge Updates...

Tweet with #LoseAMarathon @RUNwJESS


The Marathon Weight Loss Challenge is intended only to assist participants in their personal weight loss efforts. You are urged to seek the advice of a physician before beginning any weight loss program. is intended for use only by healthy adult individuals. The site is not intended for use by minors, pregnant women, or individuals with any type of health condition. If you have pre-exiting medical condition(s) or are taking prescribed medications, you are responsible for consulting with a medical professional.  Such individuals are specifically warned to seek professional medical advice prior to initiating any form of weight loss program.  By joining this challenge, you agree to these terms and you take full responsibility for your health and choices you make during this challenge. All contents provided by in the Marathon Weight Loss Challenge (i.e. newsletters, posts, recipes, challenges, etc) are for informational purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided.  All events, materials, and publications are designed to provide general information or support and not intended for anything else. Any third party website, including services provided by team members are the sole responsibility of those individuals or websites.  Marathon Weight Loss Challenge accepts no liability for any claims, errors, or any omissions of injury to persons or property arising out of services provided by those parties. All participants hereby release and all participants from any claims for loss, damage, or injury sustained while participating in the Marathon Weight Loss Challenge.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fun-RAFFLE Winner #2

Each week I announce another winner from those who have donated to my USO team.
This week's prize was a GU Energy Sample Pack and the winner is... 


Congratulations - Please email me with your mailing address to claim your prize.
Thank you so much for your donation to a great cause.

Don't miss next week's prize drawing for a $35 gift card from Road ID.  For every dollar you donate to my USO team, you receive equivalent number of entries into the weekly raffle.  Entries roll over from week to week. Winners are drawn each week until I reach my $1000 goal.  Support our troops by donating to this great organization. They have so many great programs for our active and injured soldiers, as well as their families.  Donations accepted here.  Read more about the great works of the USO here

Monday, June 11, 2012

Open Letter to Ragnar

Dear Ragnar Ultra Relay, 

I love and hate you all at once. You gave me one of my biggest challenges in running yet.  You made me smile. You made me laugh. You made me sweat in the blistering sun. You made me cry in utter exhaustion. You're the first to make me consider quitting... but alas, our team of six chicks prevailed over your 198.2 miles. One in the hospital, one limping, four exhausted... but we did it.  We crossed your finish line, collected our medals and now swell with pride for conquering you.  But know this... we're not happy about how it all went down.  Revenge is on the radar.  I will be back.
Jess, Chick #4
Team #85 - You Just Got Chicked

Custom shirts supplied by Family Fan Club
Compression shorts supplied by Aspaeris Pivot Shorts
Headbands supplied by BondiBand

Official race recap is in the works as I try to sort through my feelings and the race happenings.  Thank you all for your support and encouragement on Twitter, Facebook, emails and texts.  It meant the world to us!  Team You Just Got Chicked officially finished in 34:22:08.  It's hard not to be disappointed with our time, but honestly, I'm just glad we finished. It was the hardest, most challenging thing I've ever done... and yet days later, also the most rewarding.  So proud of our team's finish!

The winner of my "Guess Our Finish Time" is ROYA, whose guess was 34:16, only six minutes off!  Congrats!!  Email me your mailing address and I'll get your prize pack out to you... an assortment of prizes from our great sponsors.

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At the end of every Monday, I draw another winner from those who have donated to my USO team. Today's prize is a GU Energy Sample Pack!  For every dollar you donate, you will receive equivalent number of entries into the weekly raffle. Entries roll over from week to week. Winners are drawn each week until I reach my $1000 goal. Support our troops by donating to this great organization. They have so many great programs for our active and injured soldiers, as well as their families.
Please donate here.
Read more about the USO here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Road to Ragnar

I'm typically a pretty safe conservative kind of gal. The thought of Spartan and Tough Mudder races scare me - especially when my friend Crystal broke her arm in one!  I stick to paved surfaces for my running. Even at that, I've taken my falls and twisted ankles. I'm fairly careful about my mileage increases and implement lots of cross training to keep on the healthy side of running.

So what was I thinking when I set out to put together a Ragnar Relay team!?!?  Not only run Ragnar, but GO BIG as part of an Ultra team (only 6 runners rather than the standard 12). I've been in organizational mode for the past six months, checking off items on the to-do list for the team. Suddenly this past weekend, the task of Ragnar dawned on me... I'll be running 33 miles over a period of a day and a half, with no sleep, many miles in the dark, possibly by my lonesome at times. It's a tad bit intimidating to think about, even for me. Since the marathon, I've eased up a bit on training.  I'm not 100% ready for this kind of distance, but am giving it my best shot!

At 7:30am on Friday morning, my team (You Just Got) Chicked will be loading up a passenger van at the start line in Madison, Wisconsin. Together we'll be making the 200 mile journey to Montrose Beach in Chicago. Our team of six women (Kate, Tara, Lara, Julie, Joan and me) will alternate driving, navigating and running the 36 designated legs. The legs vary in length with the shortest being 3 miles and the longest one almost 11 miles.  I'm runner #4, so I will have the honor of bringing us across the state line into Illinois. In addition, we have 3 volunteers on our team (Pat working exchange 28; Kelly and Kate at the finish line). 

Putting a team together was not an easy task. Surprising for me... I mean, who wouldn't want to do this??  Amanda has been my "right-hand man" in securing sponsors and team organization.  Last weekend, she severely tore a ligament in her foot that put her on the DL for the next 12 weeks.  Boo-Hoo. Our run sincerely won't be the same without her.  We all scrambled and miraculously found a replacement - Joan, who has saved us some extra miles this weekend.

Tomorrow afternoon, we pick up our rented passenger van and hit the road to begin our crazy adventure. Needless to say, I'm frantically packing today and going over our lists like a madwoman.  Thankfully, we have some pretty great sponsors who have taken care of the essentials for us...  

Dressing the team with custom-printed tank tops is Family Fan Club.  One of the most common questions I hear is "Where can I get a custom shirt made for my upcoming race?"  This is a valid conern when it comes to your outfit for your first big race!  Look no further... Family Fan Club is your answer!!  They have an online store to order from directly, or they will work with you on a custom shirt printing.

On the lower half, our derrieres will be cozy and tight is a pair of Aspaeris Pivot Shorts.  These revolutionary shorts are specially designed to improve performance and recovery. Aspaeris Pivot Shorts are actually two pair of shorts bonded together.  The outer short is a high performance compression short designed to support your muscles.  The inner short features dual sensory compression bands that guide your muscles into proper position - improving your pivot performance, thus preventing ACL and hip injuries. Use discount code PC2012 to order yours today with 25% off the listed price!

Weather is looking good, but the afternoon legs are gonna get toasty. Keeping the sweat out of our eyes is BondiBand.  These stylish yet functionable headbands are an essential element of my running wardrobe.  They offer hundreds of colors and patterns to choose from, along with hats, sweat towels and more!  Check out their website here. And don't forget, I'm selling an assortment of patriotic BondiBands as part of my USO fundraiser here.

It’s going to be a long tiring race, but GU Energy will help keep our bodies energized and moving!  We're loaded up with GU gels, chomps and electrolyte tablets. The gels are by far the most popular on the market, providing a quick dose of carbs and calories into your body... high-quality, easily-digested and long-lasting energy.  The chomps provide the same optimized blend of carbs, but in a chewable form. The electrolyte tablets are light tasting and natural tablets that dissolve in your water.  They are invariably better than water alone and bring your system into balance more quickly by helping you retain more of the liquid you ingest.

Through the two day running adventure, Shower Pill is making sure we don't stink each other out of the van.  Seriously, thank you!  Shower Pill is a hygiene supplement that helps to keep you fresh and clean while on-the-go.  The large ultra thick antibacterial body wipe is individually packaged, versatile and big on performance. These will be key to cleaning up after a run - while still on the move in the van.  No B.O. for us Chicks!

If you'd like to follow along on our Ragnar adventure,
I'll be tweeting @RUNwJESS and dropping Facebook 
updates as we roll through the next couple days.  
I can't wait to report back after the trip... 
if and when we make it!  :)

In a comment below, take a stab at how long you think it will take (You Just Got) Chicked  to run the full 200 mile relay race? The person that comes closest to our official finish time will win a prize from one of our above-mentioned sponsors!  Please make your guess in hours:minutes.