Thursday, May 23, 2013

Rock City Skirts Review and Giveaway!

Rock City Skirts is a great business that started from a passion to have fun while on the run! It is very much an "American Dream" type of story. Read Story {here}. Amy, the founder of Rock City Skirts started making these skirts for her own races and as friends noticed them they started asking her to make them for her. As the interest grew the development of Rock City Skirts was made.

I had the priviledge of trying the Cotton Candy Rock City Skirt! I will be the first to admit that I am a black and white, not stand out, European flair kind of gal that was a bit timid of wearing this cotton candy peice. However, I had the perfect shirt just waiting for this cute, little pink number to make my ensemble complete!

I wore my new sparkle skirt to my local running group, Building Steam.  I became very comfortable in it as the compliments started flying! I was stopped numerous times by fellow runners asking "Where did you get that skirt?' to "You look so cute!". People even were touching it! I think my skirt may have been detracting from the opening speaker! lol! :)

The real test came when it was time to run. I wore my sparkle skirt over a pair of compression shorts and I was very anxious to see if it stayed where it was placed, felt comfortable, rode up, etc. I ran three miles that night in my new sparkle skirt and it was amazing! No movement, it flowed, and was super-cute! The one and only thing it did was receive many compliments! I even stopped for ice cream on my way home and the ladies working stopped all services and asked about my skirt! No kidding! They loved it!

I ended up having a blast that night. Amy was right, Rock City Skirts are fun! They are super-cute and very functional. I smiled the whole night and who doesn't love that?! I am so glad that I was given the opportunity to try one and I am definitely wearing it for my next race!

The best part of this post is that you have a chance to win an awesome sparkle skirt of your very own from Rock City Skirts! Here's how you enter:

First, like and share this post on Facebook. Second, reply to this blog post. Lastly go to Rock City Skirts Facebook page and give them a like by telling them Sexy Mother Runner sent you! The more times you share, the more entries you receive. So, increase your odds by telling your friends and sharing the love!

We hope to see you sparkling and shining on the run in a Rock City Skirt!

Happy Running!


Race Entries close on: May 30, 2013 and the winner will be
announced via Facebook on May 31, 2013.
Winner must provide Rock City Skirts with their mailing address.
Now get to sharing! :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Run River City 25k Recap

It's done! I can't tell you how happy I was to finish that race. Training really burned me out this time around. I'm so excited to be able to just go for a run again without it feeling like work. I love running but training tends to become work to me after a while. Do you ever get that?

This was the inaugural River City Marathon, 25k, Marathon Relay, and 5k event. Pretty great to have a hometown event like this one. Best part, the event benefits St. Jude Children's Hospital.

The plan was for my friends and I to all meet up at 6:30am before the race at 7am. This meant we had to leave the house at about 6:00am. I woke up at 3:38am and thought, "The alarm will be going off at 4:15. I can sleep until then." But of course I really just laid there until the alarm went off. Then I was up and moving and before long it was 5:55... and Fred was in the shower. Hmmmm...

Finally we were on the way and my nerves were not doing well. Which is ridiculous. It's not like I'm trying to place or anything. So why am I such a wreck before a race? Weird. Anyway, I was irritated* that we were running behind but Fred was awesome and dropped me off where my friends were meeting and went to park the car. (*irritated is code for: pissed off to a psychotic degree but biting my tongue because even in this state I'm able to recognize my own lack of rationale... sometimes.)

We took pictures as a group and wished each other luck. There were four of us running the 25k, 4 girls running their first marathon, 1 running her second marathon, and several running the marathon relay. Then there was Danyelle who just showed up to to support us all and be the BEST. Cheerleader. Ever! The best thing about having a local marathon event like this is the fact that I knew so many people who were running. It really made it special.

Debi, Me, Heidi, Eunji - the 25k-ers and then three people
in the background who I don't know. Not sure what they
are doing either. Dancing lessons maybe?

We all met up at the starting area. Fred included. He was registered for the 25k but work has been crazy busy and he's been working a lot of hours which left little to zero time for training. He decided to run the first leg (about 6.5 miles) and then be my 'water boy' for the rest of the race.

The first part wound through downtown Peoria. There were water stations every 1-2 miles, which was nice because, did I mention it was supposed to get up to 88 degrees??? Yeah, delightful. It was really cool running through the relay exchanges and seeing all my friends who were cheering while waiting to run their leg of the relay.

Then there was the hill. The course ran up Main Street which is a bit of a hill but thankfully it's the only big hill of the course. Most people were walking up. I knew if I started walking it would just take longer and I just wanted to get it done. That hill sucked. No, really. Halfway up there was a guy taking pictures and someone yelled, "Cameras ahead! Pretend you're running!" I would have laughed at this if I thought I could spare the extra breath without getting intimate with the pavement.

Finally I was at the top of the hill. Now, right here, I'm going to get off topic for a quick second or longer to explain something about my iPod. See, I load music onto it and add to my existing playlist which is in no particular order. I don't care what song I start off to or which one I hear in the middle, yada yada... but it never ceases to amaze me how the right song always seems to play when I need it. Sometimes it's that extra push I need when my energy seems to fade, sometimes I'm in my happy pace and it's the perfect song to keep me feeling like I can run forever, and sometimes it's just situation appropriate. Well, in this case it was situation appropriate and even made me laugh a little. Only on the inside though because of that whole I-just-ran-up-a-big-hill-and-can't-breathe thing. Once I was coherent enough to realize what song was playing, it was already to the chorus of 'Catch My Breath' by Kelly Clarkson. Yes, this was very appropriate.

That's when my friend Debi ran up next to me. This was a wonderful surprise. I really love running a race with a friend, especially a long race. It just makes it go by faster, it makes it fun. Also, it worked out great because for the rest of the race when one of us was struggling, the other was there to keep pushing, to be supportive, and to make sure we finished. Thankfully, there wasn't really a time when we both were really struggling or we may have ended the race with margaritas at one of the bars along the course...

There was a section of the course that was severely lacking in water stations. Had the 25k route been marked I could tell which miles it was but only the marathon route was marked and poorly at that. We never saw a mile marker until mile ten. It was sometime after mile 10 and before14 where there was only one water station. This sucked. This was the most boring and hot part of the course. Direct sunlight on one of the main roads, no mile markers and no water stations. Definitely the worst stretch of the whole course for me. Thankfully, Fred met me at the one water station, right before mile 12, and brought water for me to fill my hand held bottle. Then we didn't see anymore water for a long time. Luckily, there were people sitting out on their lawns passing out Gatorade to runners who needed it. I loved seeing that kind of support in our community.

We finally were heading down Main Street hill. The finish line was waiting just at the bottom and to the left. It was a great feeling to know we were so close to completing the 25k. Which was good because I'd already bought the bumper magnet for my car. In the last stretch I turned to Debi and said something brilliantly profound. Actually, I have no idea what I said and she might not either but she grunted a response so I assumed she knew it was time to kick it into gear and finish strong. So that's what we did. We got a final boost of energy and flew across the finish line together.

Our friends, Heidi and Eunji had already finished the 25k and were waiting for us there with our husbands. Debi and I got our medals and gave each other a hug. I know everyone says this, but I really don't think I could have done it without her. For me, running has never been about being faster than someone else. It's just about what I can do and how I can have fun while doing it. Without Debi there, I would have been doubting myself the whole second half of the course and it wouldn't have been fun.

After I changed into some comfy flip-flops, I stood with Danyelle and some other wonderful friends to cheer for all of the finishers as they completed the race. I LOVED this part. If you have never stayed at a race to cheer until the very last person crosses the finish line, I highly recommend you try it sometime.  We were waiting to cheer all of our friends who were running the marathon and marathon relay. We ended up staying the entire time as some of our friends were the last relay team to finish. Almost everyone else was gone except for our small group and a few others. We cheered the last marathoner across the finish line and the last relay teams. It felt good to be there for them but it was also incredibly motivating to see perseverance in action.

Here's the part where I get a little mushy and give a very sincere 'thank you' to all of my friends who helped me train by running long runs with me, to my parents for watching my kiddos during said training runs and the race, to my wonderful husband who supports me in everything while also refraining from strangling me when my crazy starts showing, and to God for giving me the ability and the belief that I can do this crazy stuff.

As far as plans for a full marathon... yeah, not anytime soon. I'm really thinking of sticking to half marathons from here on out. But, like giving birth, the pain will soon fade and someone will talk me into thinking it's a good idea to do something a little crazy.

Peace, Love, Happiness!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Pre-Race Jitters, Anyone?

It's official. I am a freaking train wreck. Not exactly a Charlie Sheen style train wreck but still, a train wreck. Today alone, I have cried over a song on the radio (I don't do that), drove to a sporting goods store for no apparent reason and wandered around for about 30 minutes before realizing I had no idea why I even went there, teared up again on the way home from the grocery store while giving myself a pep talk, wanted to stab someone when I saw the weather forecast for Sunday was posted on Facebook ( I don't weather stalk before races due to that whole 'not-being-able-to-control-the-weather-or-the-stress-caused-by-weather-stalking' thing), debated over which sunscreen to buy for 15 minutes before choosing the same one I always buy... oh and I'm eating Larabars like the fate of the world depends on it.

Here's the worst part. I feel like I have no business feeling this way since I'm running the 25k while several of my friends are running the full marathon. It's even the first full marathon for a few of my close running buddies. They are running the whole 26.2 which is so amazing to me and I'm here whining about 15.5.

I know that it's ridiculous for me or anyone to feel like their goal is less important than someone else's. I really do understand that but it's driving me crazy on top of crazy. The breakdown: I am going crazy about running my 25k and then going even crazier because I don't feel validated in my current craziness when others are doing so much more. See, I'm a train wreck.

Fred has been really awesome. He is so incredibly supportive. Plus, he gives me perspective. His words to me, "Really, what is the worst thing that can happen? You don't finish. So what? You're young, healthy, and hot. (his words, not mine) You have a husband who loves you and three wonderful kids who are also healthy." This is why I married this man. He keeps me grounded. He's amazing.

So, the next couple days I am going to do what I need to do. I've already trained so that's done. I'm loading my iPod with new music. I know what I'm wearing. I'm foam rolling now to race day. I'm drinking lots water. I've threatened Fred that on Sunday morning he needs to just do what I say and go along with it no matter how crazy he thinks it sounds. (See, he does not like to arrive early for anything. Ever. While I am happy to arrive an hour early and stand and wait knowing that I will be ready when it's time. This calms me.) Then, I'm going to run 15.5 miles. I'm not going to think or care about how long it takes me. I'm not going to worry about my knee. I'm just going to soak it all in and get it done while taking pride in the fact that I am capable of more than I ever thought. I'm going to get my medal. I'm going to hug my husband and tell him how much I appreciate him putting up with my crazy.

Then, I'm going to wait and cheer for all of my friends who are running the full marathon. After that, I'll start planning for the next race...

Good Luck and Happy Running to everyone who is running 
River City this weekend!!! 

Peace, Love, Happiness!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mother's Day Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to 

Elaine Pardo!

You have won our Mother's Day Giveaway!

Have a very Happy Mother's Day everyone!

Peace, Love, Happiness!
~Bekah and Danyelle

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mother's Day Giveaway!

Mother's Day is just days away and we think this is a great time for a 

We have once again teamed up with the wonderful people at
to give away this awesome Mother Runner t-shirt. 

It's cool, right? Yeah, we think so too. 

Here's what you need to do for a chance to win, 3 easy steps:

1. 'Share' this blog post on Facebook.

2. Become a 'follower' of our blog and Facebook page.

3. Leave us a comment either here or on our Facebook page letting us know that you 'shared' the blog post. 

That's it! That's all you have to do for a chance to win! 
Pretty cool, huh?
The winner will be drawn randomly and announced on 
Friday May 10th.

Good luck, everyone!
Peace, Love, Happiness!

Monday, May 6, 2013

GMO: Why should you care?

This is a topic I have debated discussing for a while now. I've gone back and forth because it isn't the usual running or family related issues I enjoy writing about. It's more serious. It's a little scary. It's very controversial. It's something that I am getting more and more passionate about. Now it's come to my back yard. This is MY OPINION based on the research that I have done.

What is GMO?

If you don't know what GMO stands for, it is Genetically Modified Organism. In other words, it is not something that would naturally occur in nature but is produced by scientists. Why should you care about that? Because you and your family are probably eating them. Every day. You won't find them listed on the label though. In the United States there are no labeling laws to force manufacturers to label GMO products.

Is that a big deal? Well, if you want to know what you are really eating or feeding your children, then yes, it is. There have been studies done, not just here but in countries all over the world, that link GMO's to an increase in allergies, illnesses such as cancer, organ failure, birth defects, and even infertility. For instance, in one study where rats were fed Monsanto's GM corn, they ended up with organ damage and developed large tumors all over. You can read more about it HERE.

Monsanto Company is a leading producer of GMO seed. Most common GMO crops are corn and soybeans but those are not the only GMO's by any means. Monsanto Company also produced such excellent products as DDT, PCB's, and AGENT ORANGE. Yes, you read that correctly. This company is now making our food. In a lab. When you stop and think about how many products contain soybeans or corn in one form or another, you will begin to grasp the vast reach of GMO's. Soybean oil alone is in thousands of products. And, again, even though soybean oil may be listed under the ingredients, it will not say that it's from GMO soybeans. Thankfully, more and more brands are labeling with the NON GMO Project label. Click HERE to find out more about the NON GMO Project.

If there really is nothing wrong with GMO's then why did Monsanto Company alone spend MILLIONS of dollars to keep GMO labeling from becoming law? Monsanto spent 8.1 million dollars in opposing the passage of Proposition 37 in California. Why did a bill, HR 933, which recently passed through Congress and was signed by the president, have a rider (Section 735) now being referred to as the 'Monsanto Protection Act', anonymously added? Why would Monsanto even need protection?

Here's how explains the rider. You can click on the link for the full article:

Included in the bill is a rider, Section 735, which says federal courts cannot intervene and halt biotech companies from planting and selling GMO goods to the public, even if testing proves them to be potentially hazardous to the greater public. Because the legislation largely shields agriculture giants Monsanto from litigation, it has been dubbed by its critics the “Monsanto Protection Act.”

This has caused quite a stir. Understandably so. Now one senator is saying she didn't know about what was going on while another senator, Roy Blunt of Missouri, which happens to be where Monsanto's headquarters are located, has been credited with working alongside Monsanto in crafting the language of HR 933.

Here's a clip from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart regarding the issue.

Obviously, I feel very strongly about this topic and I think it's pretty clear that my opinion of Monsanto Company is not at all good. Please, don't let my opinion sway you. I will list some facts on the matter and some resources so you can all do your own research as well. Please, please do your own research on the matter.

Fact #1

The United States does not have any labeling laws regarding GMO's. Produce in the grocery store has a sticker on it with a UPC number. If that number is four digits beginning with a 4 then it is conventionally grown with pesticides and may also be GMO, but maybe not because without labeling laws we have no way of knowing. Five digits beginning with 9 are Organic and non-GMO. If GMO labeling ever becomes law here, then GMO produce will have a five digit number beginning with an 8.

Fact #2

USDA Certified Organics do not contain GMO's.

Taken from the USDA's website:

The USDA organic regulations prohibit the use of GMOs, listing them as “excluded methods,” and defining those methods as “a variety of methods to genetically modify organisms or influence their growth and development by means that are not possible under natural conditions or processes…. Such prohibited methods include cell fusion, microencapsulation and macroencapsulation, and recombinant DNA technology (including gene deletion, gene doubling, introducing a foreign gene, and changing the positions of genes when achieved by recombinant DNA technology).”
To prevent GMOs from being introduced into organic production, producers do not use genetically modified seeds or other materials when planting crops.  They also work with their certifiers to implement preventative practices that effectively buffer their farms from GMO contamination.

Fact #3

Taken from Wikipedia, click here for the full article:

Former Monsanto employees currently hold positions in US government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), United States Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) and the Supreme Court. These include:
  • Michael A. Friedman, MD, was Senior Vice President of Research and Development, Medical and Public Policy for Pharmacia, and later served as an FDA deputy commissioner.[289][290]
  • Linda J. Fisher was an assistant administrator at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before she was a vice president at Monsanto from 1995 to 2000. In 2001, Fisher became the deputy administrator of the EPA.[138]
  • Michael R. Taylor was an assistant to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner before working as an attorney for King & Spalding, a private-sector law firm that represented Monsanto among other clients.[291][292] He later served as deputy commissioner for policy to the FDA on food safety between 1991 and 1994 during which time the FDA approved rBST.[138] He was accused of a conflict of interest, but a federal investigation cleared him. Following his tenure at the FDA, Taylor returned to Monsanto as Vice President for Public Policy.[260][261][262] On July 7, 2009, Taylor entered government as Senior Advisor to the Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration for the Obama administration.[264][293]
  • United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas worked as an attorney for Monsanto in the 1970s. Thomas wrote the majority opinion in the 2001 Supreme Court decision J. E. M. Ag Supply, Inc. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.[294] which found that "newly developed plant breeds are patentable under the general utility patent laws of the United States."[138][294][295]
Public officials with indirect connections or who worked for Monsanto after leaving public office include:


Fact #4

Countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, and South America have put into effect bans or some form of GMO restrictions and labeling laws. Ireland has banned all growing and cultivating of GMO food.

The United States has no restrictions on GMO's, no labeling laws, nothing. See Fact #3 for possible reasons as to why.

What can you do?

Research GMO's.
Research the companies who sell food containing GMO's.
Stop buying from those companies.
Buy organic, preferably local.
Look for the 'Non-GMO Project' label on items that are not organic.
Write to your congressman, a lot.
Spread the word!!!

Eat well and stay healthy!

Peace, Love, Happiness!