This Runner's Trials

Half marathon training attempt

Posted by runnerstrials

In January, I ran the Dopey Challenge and it was incredible. Little did I know though that the highlight of my 2015 racing would happen only 2 weeks into the year and go downhill from there.


As I’m sure you guessed due to the quietness on this space, I haven’t been racing. And shockingly, I’ve been OK with it.

I’ve been running regularly 4x/ week, but training… the idea just hasn’t excited me like it has in the past. I think I burnt myself out by racing so much in the first 9 months of Hadley’s life. Actually I know I did!

I wouldn’t recommend running 3 marathons within 2 months during cold + flu season. I was on antibiotics five times and hospitalized once. Not my smartest move, but I’m not sure I would have done things differently either. I think I needed to concentrate on making a strong postpartum return to running to mentally cope with the newborn period. It hasn’t been easy for me either time, and having something semi-within my control – training – helped me cope with the big life change.


But now I’m in a good place with my family – and work. By no means do I have it all figured out, but things are going well. I miss training and I miss racing, but I’m not sure I’m ready to make it a top priority again.

I signed up for the Race 13.1 Charlotte at the end of September. It’s a new race, it looks like a great course, and I am really excited for it. I’ve been doing weekly speedwork with a training group all summer and my long run is up to 9 miles. I’ve been loosely following a training plan for the past two weeks, but I’ve already deviated from that plan both weeks thanks to some extra work and a sick kiddo. Normally, I would stick to a plan and make up workouts no matter what, but I’m trying to prioritize sleep now. I’m not sure if giving less than 100% during training is going to give me half marathon results I’ll be proud of, but I guess we’ll see.

I’m going to try to document my training here every week in hopes that it will motivate me to stick with it. Here’s how last week looked:

  • M: OFF
  • Tu: 6mi at 8:20
  • W: 5.5 with hill repeats (speed camp)
  • Th: OFF
  • F: 4.25mi with the Duallie
  • S: 45min bootcamp + 3.1 mi easy
  • S: 9mi long run at 8:42


My husband and I have been trying to run together because we’re running the Disney marathon together again next January. I have big dreams for that race, but first thing’s first – let’s see how half marathon training goes!


My favorite Rodan + Fields products (+ giveaway)

Posted by runnerstrials

I’ve been using Rodan + Fields products for a year now, and I’m completely hooked. (Here’s more about why I gave the products a try.)

Here are my results after using the REVERSE regimen for a year.

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My freckles have faded, my skin tone has evened out, and my acne has improved. I look at old pictures of myself and cannot believe what horrible shape my skin was in before I started using Rodan + Fields. I have so much more confidence now than I used to have. I haven’t used foundation or cover-up in nearly a year, which is the most amazing feeling.

When I tell people I use Rodan + Fields, I usually get asked these three questions:

1. Does it really work?

See above. Yes! At least it’s worked for me, and a lot of other people. But I’ll be honest, I’ve had a couple of customers who weren’t happy with their results using these products. Luckily, there’s a 60-day money-back guarantee with all R + F products. If within 60 days, you don’t like the products, you can send them back (even if the bottles are empty) and get a full refund – no questions asked. The process really is that easy.

2. That seems really expensive. How can you afford it?

I completely agree -- these products are expensive.  The REVERSE regimen retails for $179.00. Which to me, is really pricey! But when you break it down, it doesn’t seem as bad. The regimen lasts 60—90 days, so it costs less than $3 per day. When I first started using these products, I was able to tweak our budget to make it work. Plus, I signed up as a preferred customer, so I got 10% off all products and free shipping.

The reason I made the jump to consultant last September wasn’t to sell these products. I actually just wanted a steeper discount because I loved REVERSE so much. I’ll do a full review of my experience as a consultant at the year mark, but so far it has been more than worth it.

3. What are your favorite products?

Besides the REVERSE regimen, these are my three favorite R + F items:

The AMP MD System:


The AMP MD system is a surgical-grade needle roller. Dermatologists and plastic surgeons have used needle rollers for years on their patients – and it cost a pretty penny!

The roller works by stimulating collagen production. Collagen is responsible for making our skin look firm. But after age 30, our bodies stop making collagen, and wrinkles start to appear. Then the only time that your body makes collagen is when you cut or scrape yourself. To heal the injury, your body has to produce collagen. The roller works by creating tiny “traumas” on your skin to encourage collagen production.

Then after you roll, you apply Rodan + Fields Night Renewing Serum. This contains retinol and anti-aging peptides. Since you just rolled, these products can penetrate deeper down into your skin so that they work better.

Your skin literally feels smoother and softer after the first use. After a few weeks, you’ll likely see fewer fine lines, acne scars, and firmer skin everywhere.

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After 4 weeks of using the AMP MD System and the REDEFINE regimen.

I was really skeptical at first about this product, but I love it! It doesn’t hurt – it just tickles – and you can really feel the products penetrating deeper after you use it.

REDEFINE eye cloths


I’m a huge fan of face wipes in general. I’ve always used them to remove make-up or sweat after a workout when I’m unable to – or just too lazy to – wash my face. What sets these apart from other cloths is that they contain anti-aging peptides. So, you’ll fight fine lines, wrinkles, and under-eye puffiness and remove your make-up at the same time.

Here’s a hint: You can use them all over your face – not just around your eyes. And they’re pretty big, too. I cut mine in half to save money.

REDEFINE Multi-Function Eye Cream


And here’s my favorite product – THE eye cream! I’ve been using eye creams for over a decade and this one is hands down my favorite out of all of the ones I’ve tried. And I’m not the only person who feels this way. This eye cream is so popular that it was sold out for nearly two months this past spring!

The eye cream gets rid of crow’s feet, puffiness, and under-eye circles. What’s more, if you store your cream in the fridge, the cooling effect feels so good. Plus, a little goes a long way with the eye cream. I use it twice per day, and I’m only on my third jar since first buying it a year ago.


To celebrate my Rodan + Fields anniversary, I’m giving away an eye cream to one lucky person who places an order with me this month! At the end of July, I’ll put everyone’s name in a hat and have Wyatt pick a name. Then I’ll send you your free eye cream! This offer is good for existing customers who place an order this month, too.

If you want to learn more about which products are best for you, please use the Rodan + Fields Solution Tool. If you’re interested in ordering or have any questions – about products or becoming a consultant – send me an email at jenilee @ myrandf . com or comment below. Good luck!


Warrior Dash North Carolina race recap

Posted by runnerstrials

Do you know what I love about running? That you can always find new ways to challenge yourself! Seriously, the sky is the limit.

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Mud… not leggings!

I’ve been running for awhile now – 12 years! In that time, I’ve done close to 100. But this past weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to do a new-to-me type of race: The Warrior Dash!


A huge thank you to Caitlin who brought a disposable waterproof, 90’s-style camera to the race to capture these moments!

I have never done an obstacle race before. I did runDisney’s Expedition Everest last month, but if I’m being honest, those obstacles were definitely toned-down Disney obstacles, if you know what I mean.

I’ve always shieded away from the idea of doing obstacle or mud runs because I’m essentially a humungous wimp. I’m petrified of getting hurt, I’m afraid of heights, and I’m also a germophobe so being covered in mud kind of freaks me out (dirty standing water = giardia in my book).


But a couple of weeks ago, Rockin’ Refuel asked if I was interested in doing the Warrior Dash. I read the email and, and thought to myself, “you know what… this would probably be a lot of fun if I could convince some of my friends to do it with me!”

Luckily, my friends are pretty much up for anything. Even one of my non-runner friends happily signed up – and she kicked major booty in the race. We exchanged so many texts freaking out about the race in the two weeks leading up to the event – we were so excited! None of us had done a Warrior Dash before.


Sara, Catlin, Brandi, and I – clearly this is the “before” photo.

We vowed to stick together for the whole race and just have fun. We planned to take a lot of walk breaks and at least try every obstacle. One thing that made me sign on for the Warrior Dash is that you don’t have to do every obstacle – you can walk around any of them without being penalized (unless you’re in the competitive wave).

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Waves go off every 15 minutes all day long. This is to help with crowd control. Our wave was at 2:30 pm and we never felt crowded on the course or had to wait for an obstacle.

There weren’t any obstacles in the first mile. When we came up to the first one, I was so excited! We had to crawl under barbed wire. It was more difficult than it looked, but also a lot of fun.

The next obstacle we came up to was the Diesel Dome.


Again, I was excited, so I climbed up to the top… and completely froze. I was not expecting to have a reaction like that at all. I don’t do well with heights and looking down made me a little panicked. So, I climbed back down the way I came.

I had this same reaction a few more times. I was bummed that I didn’t do every obstacle, but I could not mentally overcome the height thing no matter what I told myself. I knew that the obstacles were safe, but I also knew my own limits, so I had to skip some.


I was able to do the two obstacles that I was looking forward to most before the race – the Mud Mounds and the Warrior Roast. I made it my goal to make it over at least one really high obstacle and I did, so I was happy about that.


However, even with skipping a few obstacles I had an absolute blast. This was seriously such a fun way to spend the day with friends. I loved that you don’t really have to be a runner to do this event, and I also loved how encouraging all of the warriors were to one another. Of course, my teammates helped each other, but even strangers were lending one another a hand which was so nice to see.


The post-race atmosphere was really amazing, too. There was Rockin’ Refuel at the finish line, a bar, a stage with a DJ, dance area, a sitting area with bales of hay, changing room, and – yes – a large group shower. It was fun way to spend the day!


So would I ever do it again? At the end of the race when I was itching from being covered in mud, I would have told you no way. But 5 minutes later I was already thinking of how I could overcome my fears and do all the obstacles the next time I do the Warrior Dash! This is basically the same way I felt after my first marathon. So, yes, I’ll definitely take on the Warrior Dash again. It was a lot of fun!


The medal doubles as a bottle opener!

Thank you to Rockin’ Refuel and Warrior Dash for giving my friends and I the opportunity to do this race. We’ll be laughing about this one for a long time!

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Disclosure: Rockin’ Refuel generously paid for my race entry fee for the Warrior Dash, but all opinions are my own.