Free Race Entry Giveaway!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Big 3000 Follower Giveaway: Free IMTDMM Marathon, Half, 5 Mile or 5K Race Entries & Swag!


Last month I noticed that I was getting close to 3000 Twitter followers, which is quite a milestone for just one year of MamaGottaRun. I was so excited that I decided to offer another awesome giveaway to celebrate! The last giveaway I offered was a couple of free race entries, and my Tweeps seemed to love it, so I thought I'd try to offer race entries again. Hoping to find a donation from one of my favorite races, I jumped onto the IMT Des Moines Marathon Twitter page and saw that they too were right around 3000 followers, perfect! When I approached the IMTDMM it was easy an sell. They were gracious enough to offer two race entries (full, half, 5 mile or 5K- your choice!) and swag to two additional winners, so 4 prizes! This year the races are on October 16, 2016. Please see the Rafflecopter above and enter daily (starts Monday, March 28), but hurry and come back often as the giveaway ends 4/11/2016. Most of you should be fine, but if you have trouble seeing the Rafflecopter giveaway above from a mobile device, try 1. scrolling to the bottom of the page and click "View Web Version" or, 2. try logging in from a PC or a non mobile device.

This giveaway is particularly special to me because the IMTDMM was my very first marathon in 2014 and last year they invited me to be a guest blogger on their official blog as I ran the IMTDMM half in 2015. This year I will be training to run the full marathon again, so I am really excited to offer these prizes and hopefully get to meet some of you on the start line!

Recent training. Although for a different half I have next month, the miles
will kick-start me as I begin training for the IMTDMM full coming this fall.

I absolutely love the IMT DMM races. As I said, I have run both the full and the half, and both times have been an amazing experience for me. I blogged about both race experiences here and here and am excited to start blogging about my training for my 2016 experience. Last year I posted several articles on the IMTDMM official blog that will help you understand why I love this race so much. Not only is it in my home state of Iowa so I always have family and friends to cheer me on as I run it, but last year my brother even ran the half with me- his very first half marathon. The medals, the course, the option of the I-35 Challenge (two races in one weekend), the amazing food venders, but more than anything the IMTDMM is the most supportive race I have ever run. So many incredble volunteers and spectators cheer on complete strangers as they run the course... the race director does an excellent job of making sure the whole package comes together wonderfully.

Me running the full in 2014.

My 4:19 finish in 2014. I am hoping for closer to 4:00 this year.

Running the half in 2015 with my brother who completed
his very first half marathon that day!

Last year, 2015, when I completed the I-35 Challenge (two
half marathons in one weekend, Kansas City and Des Moines).

Okay, so how do you enter to win these free race entries and awesome swag? It is so easy! On the top of this website there is a Rafflecopter. (Again, most of you should be fine, but if you have trouble seeing the Rafflecopter giveaway above from a mobile device, try 1. scrolling to the bottom of the page and click "View Web Version" or, 2. try logging in from a PC or a non mobile device.) You simply complete a few easy tasks of your choice, such as visit the IMTDMM Facebook page, 'Like" us both and Tweet about the giveaway, as well as a few other options, and you're entered! Some of the entry options you can even complete daily, meaning that you can get even more entries into the drawing. When the drawing ends, Rafflecopter with randomly draw winners from the entries and then I will personally notify winners via email and tell them how they can collect their prizes. The Rafflecopter will run for two weeks and the only stipulation for winners is that they must use the free race entry themselves (no gifting it to someone else). Remember you can decide what race distance you want to enter (full, half, 5 mile or 5K). And that's it! 

On your mark, get set, go! I will post again next week with more details about the race, such as price increase dates, the race weekend events, route maps and anything else I can pass along.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Whole 30: We Did It (and we are still married!)

In case you were wondering, my husband and are still married. I know, I know, I kept you in suspense for almost 2 weeks since my last post, but somehow we made it though this Whole30 experiment with our wedding vows intact. Tomorrow is our last day and we couldn't be happier for so many reasons.

The last time I posted we were coming off a rough patch. About midway through Whole30 many people start to crack for many reasons. Whole food starts to get boring, if you don't plan meals around the clock hunger starts to kick in, and if you are like us, your conversations start to oddly center around food, food and more food instead of say, your children or what you're going to watch on TV later that night.

           Coined as "food porn" by one of my Tweeps.

The key to getting though the midway fatigue was changing the food up a little, as well as our bodies not being as hungry for humongous meals like they were before the diet. Luckily the weather warmed up and my hubby started grilling more (helpfully taking some of the cooking responsibilities from me). I also figured out how to make some new things, like homemade Whole30 compliant mayonnaise (which rocks!), found a few more snacks that were compliant, like more varieties of Larabars, Epic jerky, and vegetables chips. I started shopping at Aldi's for meat, snacks and produce which lowered the grocery bill some (a place I will definitely keep shopping at). 

Oh and the best discovery of all?! I figured out how to make the tastiest smoothie you will ever have in your life. My tip? No ice. Use frozen fruit instead, blend the heck out of it, and it becomes almost like a sherbet. Our favorite mix is a peeled cutie, a splash of lemon juice, half a banana and a handful of both frozen strawberries and frozen blueberries. Also a shout-out to my mother-in-law who gave us a Magic Bullet Blender for Christmas which we use on a near daily basis now. Totally unexpected amazing gift.

To be honest, smoothies may have single handedly saved my marriage. 

Marriage therapy.

Summer salad, now that mayo was discovered!

Homemade Whole30 compliant mayo.

So what next? My husband will not be slowly phasing foods back in, but does plan to take it lighter on the sweets and non-fruit sugars. He actually lost almost 10 pounds these 30 days which he attributes to no beer or sweets (and starvation if he didn't meal plan often enough!). 

Personally, I will slowly be working some foods back in. I need to read more about the plan I will take but I know for sure that I am keeping Gluten and soy out of my diet as much as possible. I also want to keep avoiding over-processed, unhealthily preserved foods as much as I can. I love that my kids (and me!) grab for apples and oranges instead of fruit snacks, crackers and chips when we are hungry. BUT... I am dying for a glass of wine and that will be one of the first things I introduce. I did end up losing about 10 pounds also, but I had gained that over the last 6 months due to my surgery, lack of running, and overall unhealthy eating recently. I feel really trim and great and I don't want to gain it all back now. I did start running regularly again this month too, so some of the loss is likely due to that as well.

I'll post more about this next week when I have been putting foods back into my diet and let you know how it goes. I am so happy I did this. I feel great, I look good. I am healthier. I have less pain and clear skin. This was not easy though. It is the hardest diet I have ever done, like a low-carb diet on steriods, but it ended up opening my eyes to many facts about myself and my nutrition that I am sad to say I wasn't previously aware of.