Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Spooky Socks Giveaway and Discount Code!

It's only October 6th and I've already been to both Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens and Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. I'm basically winning at Halloween.

The S.O. and I went to Halloween Horror Nights on Saturday and it did not disappoint. Scares were had and butterbeer was drank. It. Was. Awesome.

Creepy clowns need love too.
In keeping with my love of Halloween everything AND running I have yet again partnered up with Milestones Sports for a sweet and scary giveaway. What does that mean?


Skull socks make you look SUPER tough.

Rainbow skull socks, natch.

That's right, Milestones is giving away a free pair of skull socks! In addition they are offering a code for 10% off EVERYTHING! Just enter SKULL upon check out and your discount will be applied.

In addition to all of the endurance clothing and jewelry, they currently have some fantastic costumes that would be perfect for those Halloween themed runs and races. Since Halloween is close, and I want you to have your socks ASAP I am going to draw, well rafflecopter, is going to draw the winner on Friday! That's only a few days to get in your entries. Better hop to it.
Good luck! And don't forget to check out Milestones...they have everything you need to show off your love of endurance sports.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Giveaway ends October 9, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST. Open to Residents of the US only.  Prizes cannot be shipped to PO Boxes.  Winner will be selected by Rafflecopter and be notified by email. Winner have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Please note that Discombobulated Running is not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes.  I have represented the sponsor with the expectation they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. I will contact the sponsor regarding your prize(s). The sponsor, in most cases, are shipping their items to you directly. I will make every effort to assist you obtaining your prize. If there is an issue with a sponsor, please notify the blog you won a prize from within 30 days for assistance, after that we may be unable to assist you.  The product provided for the review was free of charge from the company. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation.  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google+ are in no way associated with this giveaway.  By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to me and me alone.  I do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

September Recap/Stats

Holy moly it's October! October is hands down my favorite month. The weather starts to cool off a teeny bit for us Floridians and Halloween everything comes out. I will try to cram in as much spooky scary creepy crawly action as possible...with a side of running of course. Wink.

Rule #1: Cardio.
 Run 89 miles. Not as big as I'd like but I'm getting there.
Bike Nada
Swim 6 miles. Still ramping up and seeing improvement at Master's Swim. (You still have time to donate to the Navy SEAL Foundation!)

Strength 4 sessions with Coach Jon & Coach Nick and The Tribe.
Races NOLA Blue Doo 2 miler and a 5K I'm going to forget happened.
Current Reads I finished The Silent Girls and bought another book, but I didn't read much in September. I'll have to catch up.
Current Obsession The new TV show Scream Queens. Oh and Veep. And Empire. Crap I'm watching a lot of TV!

Hail the OG Scream Queen!
 Current Song Eh...not much really thrilling me right now. Here's hoping some new and better music comes out soon. It's been all podcasts and classic hip hop....

I miss the classics.
Current Need An extra week in October. Not only do I love October, but I happen to be slammed this month with baby showers, bridal showers, and not one, but TWO half marathons!
Current Triumph Getting to the pool several days this week!

Not this pool.
Current Bain of My Existence Dry skin. Stupid chlorine. Any lotion I must try?

Buffalo Bill recommended.
Current Goal Working on my mental game at the races I have planned this month. If one more person tells me that my issues are all mental I'm going to run away and cry and never come back. See what I did there? Seriously though, I am going to see what I can do about this whole being more confident in my athletic self thing.

Current Indulgence Nada. I'm trying to eat healthier and avoid all the damn candy.
Current Blessings A really kick ass and amazing boyfriend.  
Current Excitement HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream 2015 Review

I received two free tickets to Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream in exchange for writing a review on the blog.
As you all know, I'm obsessed with Halloween. I adore all things spooky and scary. I think this love came from my mom who always went all out on Halloween when we were growing up. She still decorates a bunch and dresses up on occasion. Anyway, I was THRILLED when Busch Gardens offered tickets to some of the Tampa Bay Bloggers to attend their annual Halloween scarefest, Howl-O-Scream.
I've been to Howl-O-Scream a few times before and it's always frightfully fantastic. This year's theme is Unearthed...

Basically, during some construction, the park crew digs too far and unearths a mysterious house full of oogie boogies and other murderous spirits. These are also known as scare-the-pants-off-you amazing make-up "scare-actors" that fill up the park's seven haunted houses and those roaming certain areas of the park. My favorite are the trees and shrubs that come to life. And of course, the wraiths that welcomed me into the park.

Ghost host with the most.
In addition to the haunted houses, there are more than a few roller coaster open for even for screams. You haven't lived until you've ridden a coaster at night. It's seriously the best.
And since Busch Gardens is a drinkin' park you can get your drink on with all sorts of adult libations. I especially enjoy the scantily clad dudes who roam about with Jello shots. What can I say? I'm becoming a dirty old lady. Heh.
My two biggest "You got me!" scares of the night were pretty funny. First, and I won't give the costume away, a fairly innocuous park roaming baddy got me really good. I am not a screamer but she gave me a good start and I laughed at myself after. Some of these roaming ghouls and ghosts look like regular park guests...with a twist. The second big scare for me came in the Deathwater Bayou house, my favorite house of the night. This house is a Louisiana bayou theme chock full of voodoo priestesses and dueling banjo creepers. Again, not to give the scare away but the one that got me wasn't exactly standing on solid ground...
While I was familiar with most of the houses and coasters, this was the first time I went on Falcon's Fury. It was also the first time I've ever been REALLY scared on a ride. It's hard to tell by looking at it but when you get on and the seats keep climbing skyward, you are really, really, really high up. I had to tell myself to calm down a few times. Here's the description from Busch Gardens:
"Falcon's Fury is the tallest freestanding drop tower in North America, standing at 335 feet. At the ride's highest point, like its bird of prey namesake, riders pivot 90 degrees in midair to a face-down dive position. An instant later they'll plunge 60 mph straight down."
Yeah, so I may have closed my eyes at one point. This ride is no joke and I can't wait to go on it again!
Before leaving the park I had to have my annual churro. I love a good theme park churro. So much cinnamon and sugar goodness!
Disregard the post rain hair-do.
It did rain a little bit but there's a fun show in Patopia that's perfect for getting out of the rain and getting your eat on. "Fiends" runs throughout the night and features hilarious pop culture jokes and songs. That Igor is a trip! Little known fact, I had my prom in the same building that houses "Fiends." Seems fitting now that I think about it.
Ultimately, Howl-O-Scream is a must attend if you love haunted houses with a side of thrill rides and tasty treats. I can't wait for it every year and I'm stoked I got to go and check it out for you all. The front of the line passes are worth it and don't miss the theme house: Unearthed: Scarlett's Revenge.
*Again I was given two tickets to Howl-O-Scream in exchange for a review. I was not compensated in any other way. But as always, all opinions are my own.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

About that ironman...

This weekend is a big one in anniversaries for me. It marks the first time I ever toed the line at a half ironman distance triathlon, Augusta 70.3 way back in 2012. And it's also the anniversary of my full ironman, Chattanooga 144.68 (Yes, you read that distance right. The bike course is long and appears to be staying that way.) These races are actually similar in swim course as they both sort of feel like you've been shot out of a cannon, they are that fast. The bike courses are both hilly, although I think Chattanooga has a touch more. The run courses are very different, but both memorable in their own ways.
Since almost a full year has passed from Chattanooga Ironman I feel like this is a good time for me to reflect honestly about my experience and how I've felt since.
First, I had a tough time during the training for the ironman. I can say there were a lot of fun moments, but there were also a lot of low moments where I doubted myself and so wanted to be stronger. Most of that has to do with that old killjoy named Comparison. And of course some of it had to do with just being dead tired. A lot. Not to mention that training for an ironman during the middle of the summer in Florida is HARD. Major props to all of my friends who do it year after year.
Second, race day was magical. I had a great time. I obviously LOVED the swim, gutted out the bike with a smile, and did my best on the run. I had some tough moments but ultimately it was a great day. There's really no finish line like the ironman finish line. And ya'll know I heart finish lines.
Now, after the race I felt super proud and thrilled with what I had accomplished. I also felt relieved it was over. I set out what I intended to do and that was finish. I had some small goals in my mind that I wish I didn't have because I think that's what led me to feeling not so great about my finish time.
After a few more weeks passed I was feeling really bummed. I felt crummy about my run time and it wasn't made much better when folks asked about it or mentioned my "five hour marathon." It stung a little because in the back of my mind I really thought I could run sub-five.
I know a lot of this has to do with the HUGE drop in endorphins and I got a classic case of ironman blues. Which led to a full downward spiral. I have never admitted this on the blog before, but I have had bouts of depression on and off throughout my life. Running and exercise have been wonderful in helping me through them. I know I'm not alone in this. And running is truly my favorite therapy...and yet after the ironman I couldn't get my shit together through just exercise. I felt sad and whenever anyone talked about my ironman I felt a weird mix of pride and sadness.
By December of last year I knew it was time to head back to actual therapy, which helped immensely. That, mixed with continuing my exercise has helped get me back on track and feeling good again. I'm very fortunate to have a strong support system, not to mention insurance!
So what do I think now? Well, I think the ironman was like any race. I trained and executed what I had prepared to do. I raced to what my body was capable of that day. And, I definitely don't think I'm a slouch. My race time is nothing to sneeze at but it's something I'd love to improve upon. That's how it always goes, right?
The ironman distance is no joke. The training time, the physical pain, the mental pain, all of it can be a lot. I think the first one, like any first time distance or event, is eye-opening. I remember thinking before Augusta 70.3 that I was out of my mind. Now, having completed multiple 70.3's, I'm not scared of them at all.
Will I do another full ironman? I think so. Not any time soon. But I feel a lot more confident that the next training cycle I'll be better able to manage since I know what to expect before, during, and after. I feel I've fully recovered mentally and physically, even if I haven't ridden my bike more than a handful of times. Hee hee.....
Obviously, this is not the outcome all first time ironman finishers, everyone is different. So to those of you heading into your first 70.3 or your first full ironman distance triathlon remember to be kind to yourself during the race, and after. Your body is doing so much work and you have to remember how amazing you are just being out there. This is something I learned and am always working on. From the first person to cross the finish line to the very last, every person out there is doing something amazing.

Best of luck to everyone racing this weekend! When the going gets tough, remember to smile. It doesn't take a lot of effort and I swear it helps.