Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Favorites

Helllooo FRIDAY!  

First full week of school and I AM WIPED!  

Just in case you missed it, I have a new teaching assignment this year, which I am quite pumped about.  I made the switch from teaching Special Education for 14 years to mainstream High School Math.  I've got to say I absolutely LOVE it!   It is taking a little bit of time for me to adjust to my new role, so I've been a bit absent in the social media world.  

Since it's Friday, one of my favorite days of the week, I'm going to share some of favorites!  

Marika Slimming Capris
Every woman needs a basic black pair of capris in her wardrobe.  If you've been looking for THAT pair...Marika has the best one for you!  I was sent a pair of Marika Slimming Capris to review and they have quickly moved up to top of my rotation.  You know how it is - we women have these drawers/closets full of clothing, but somehow we tend to wear the same things over and over again.  Yeah, these capris have made it to that level.  I love the 4-inch waist band that puts the perfect slimming touches on my not-so-flat tummy.  



So let's talk about how they hold up to tons of washing.  Yep.  They've been washed a ton.  And they are black.  So fading could be an issue.  But it isn't!  Go Marika!  

Another thing that I love about them is that they are 98% cotton.  I don't have a ton of cotton capris.  I actually tend to shy away from cotton capris when I think about fitness clothing.  But it is isn't a concern with these capris.  They feel absolute amazing.  They are perfect for yoga, running, casual everyday errands, anything!  I'm actually wearing them now, as I type.  

If you are looking for a great pair of all around great for just about anything pair of capris - Marika has a coupon code for you!  Use the code MM30 for 30% off your entire purchase at Marika through 9/30/14.  


Cooler Weather 
The last couple of days, the weather has definitely been cooler and crisper.  Just the way I love it!  I with it could be like this year round.  Really.  It can stay like this.  Perfection!  



Wednesday night, while Izzy was at dance, Tucker and I snuck away to the rail trail for a 4 mile mom/son exercise time.  He rode his bike while I ran.  The weather was delightful and so was the company.  I love moments like those.  

Keurig 2.0
Another thing that has me smiling a lot lately is my newest Keurig.  We have a Keurig problem addiction.  We currently own 3.   And the latest model is by far the best one.  The Keurig 550 has all of the bells and whistles one could ask for with a Keurig - from choosing your cup size, brew strength, setting the timer, automatic shut off, to making a carafe of coffee.  This machine has it all.  The only part that made a little sad is that my generic off brand k-cups didn't work in the machine.  But no worries, that was a quick fix.  The old k-cups are now at school with my old Keurig and we have a new set of k-cups and carafe packs at home!  



To be honest, most mornings I now brew my own carafe, which I gladly drink up before even heading off to school.  I love the carafe option we have now!  

Happy Friday!  What are your favorites lately?  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Tasty Thursday with AMRAP #Raisethebar


I've taken a bit of a hiatus while I adjust to my new position and adjusting to having both kids in school.  But I haven't taken a hiatus from delicious, healthy foods!  I was quite fortunate to be able to sample a new bar - called the AMRAP BAR.  



The AMRAP Bar is a 100% paleo, non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, preservative free and artificial free.  It also packs a powerful punch with it's high protein content as well and is full of flavor!  It came in Cashew and Vanilla, Almond and Honey, and Fig and Cacao.   



The flavors were amazing!  I loved that it was packed with flavor and is clean fuel for your body - developed by athletes, moms, experts, and health nuts.  Each bar had 12 to 15 grams of protein and fell in the 270-320 calorie range.   To top it off...the ingredients are real.  You just have to love a company that develops a product with ingredients you can actually read!  For example, in the Fig and Cacao Bar - the ingredient list is: egg white protein, figs, almond butter, almonds, unsweetened coconut, cacao nibs, and coconut oil.  AMRAP definitely gets a high five from me for creating a fabulous tasting product that's full of real food.  

AMRAP is hosting their own Pre-Order $300k Giveaway to celebrate the launch of AMRAP Bars!  Beginning 11 MST today, there will be a limited chance for customers to pre-order a 12-count variety pack of the new AMRAP BARS for $45.  You can place your order at www.amrapnutrition.com.   Please check out the link for more details.  This exciting news!

And lucky you!  I have a giveaway you can enter so you can fall in love with AMRAP too!   * Correction!!!!  There will be THREE LUCKY WINNERS!!!  Each winner gets to choose 8 bars of their favorite flavor!  Enter below via the rafflecopter. The giveaway will end 9/11/14.  I will email the winner.  


Disclosure.  I was provided a sampler pack from AMRAP through my affiliations with FitApproach to review on my blog.  I was not required to post a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.  

Monday, August 25, 2014

Move It Monday

55 days until MDI Marathon.  I have a few more 20/22 mile runs left in this cycle and then it's go time!  



Plyometrics 
One of the major components to this marathon cycle has been plyometrics.  Not really sure what they are?  Check out this article on Competitor.  There are benefits to plyometrics - faster turn over and stronger legs - which are the two reasons that convinced me to give them a shot this time around.   

Earlier this summer, I received a Gymboss to review, which I used quite a bit with coaching track and  my own training.  Last week I decided to take my plyos workout to the next level and push myself with the Gymboss.  



The result?  Pure exhaustion and a great workout!  I used my outdoor gym - i.e. the driveway, grass and rock wall for my equipment.  My box jumps were on the the rock wall, the jumping lunges in the driveway and burpees on the grass.  

I chose to do 10 rounds of 50s on/10s off intervals.  What I love about the Gymboss is that it takes exactly 10 seconds of looking at the instructions to figure out how to use it.  So easy.  I really dislike equipment that is complicated - and the Gymboss is not!  

Yoga
In addition to the plyos, I have been adding in yoga more and more into my routine.   While I trained for my first marathon, I participated in a group called Yoga to Run hosted by Terry and Jen.  Terry is the owner of Freeport Yoga Company.  In addition to yoga, Terry is also a seasoned marathoner.  She knows what runners need!  If you live in the Freeport, Maine, area, I urge you to sign up for Terry's Yoga for Runners 5 week session starting on 9/2.   (If you sign up, let Terry know I sent you!)  

Yoga for Runners

I hope to make it to at least one session.  I work at the gym on Tuesday nights.  Maybe I can swap with one of the guys.  I really want to make it.  Terry is amazing!  

How is your training going?  What are you training for?    



Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Favorites

So sad.  Terribly sad actually.  Today is my last Friday of summer vacation.  Not a hardship by any means.  I know.  Just a transition - back to reality.   I've gotten my classroom set up and organized.  It took me a little bit to get my head in the game, so I would go in for an hour or so here and there and do a few things.  Today, I left with a finished room.  Now, to get ready for the teaching part.  

I've been teaching for 14 years as a special educator for grades k-12.  This year will be my first year teaching regular education as a high school math teacher.  Nervous?  A little.  Excited?  Oh yes!!!  I have so many great ideas and cannot wait to get the school year started.  

Have you seen this video?  It's hilarious!  Back to school

Now - onto my Friday Favorites!  

Dinner With The Girls 
Jill recently celebrated a birthday at the beginning of  the month, which meant the girls and I went out to Slates for a birthday dinner.  Always so much fun hanging out with the girls.   




Kid Fun 
I have had so much fun with the kids this summer.  This week we went for a bike ride on the rail trail.  It was Izzy's first time and she was fantastic.  She made it an entire 2 miles and only tried to kill me a couple of times.  



The boys have been wanting to go to a skate part for a while now.  After a little internet searching I found out there was one in Augusta.  Yesterday I took the kids there.  


I was pleased to see a playground for Izzy and the boys were happy to try out their skateboards.  





Spandits 
No surprise.  I love Spandits.  Last night, I ran in my Seasick Tiger skirt.  I forgot how much I love that skirt!  



And because Spandits does not come with undershorts (which is great because you are in charge of what you where underneath - capris/full tights/shorts.  You choose!  So I paired it up with my Galaxy shorts.  Fun combination!  (remember- mention my name when you purchase your Spandits!!!)  



Marathon
I was training for the Maine Marathon.   But as I mentioned before, I never registered.  As the Facebook status updates appeared 80% full, 90% full......  I would go to the website, enter my information but couldn't get myself to press submit.  I did this over and over again.  Something was keeping me from registering.  Perhaps it's the course?  The lack of scenery?  I just don't know.  

Then I found a great looking one in Keene, NH.  I was thinking - this is the one!   But then I saw something on twitter that caught my attention.  Because MDI is on the 19th of October, every 19th of the month - MDI is giving away a free entry to the marathon on twitter.  I thought - I loved MDI.  Such a gorgeous place, gorgeous course.  I'd love a redo.  I fell short in meeting my goal last time I ran there, so why not?  So I entered.  




And then I won!!!  Woohoo!  My Fall 2014 will be MDI Marathon.  Now to get all of the girls to do the half.  Come on Stacy, fold!  


KushyFoot

Have you ever tried them? I was surprised I had never heard of KushyFoot before.  So, when I was contacted to review their product, I was excited to try them out!  I was a pair of Yoga Socks, two pairs of Sport Foot Cover, and three pairs of athletics low cut socks.  



I noticed immediately how soft and silky they felt.  Very pleasing to feel on my feet.  When I practice yoga, my feet always slip.  




With the Yoga Socks, my toes were free and I didn't slip at all! 



The Sport Foot Covers are super low cut and thin socks with a little gripping on the inside heel.  I liked the fact the my socks didn't slip down at all.  I've had socks that have slipped down into my shoe so many times and they are quite annoying.  This was not the case with the Sport Foot Covers.    



The Athletics Socks were a little thicker than the Sport Foot Covers and a little higher cut, but still a low cut.  What I noticed right away was the softness.  My feet love soft socks and they were definitely socks!  



I've run in these socks a few times and I haven't experienced any blisters at all - which means they get my seal of approval!  KushyFoot has been in business for over 10 years and they are dedicated to offering their customers with high quality products at an affordable price.   



Disclosure:  I was sent samples for the purpose of review through affiliation with Lipton Publicity.  I was not required to provide a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tried It Tuesday

I don't know about where you live, but the weather here in Maine is starting to feel like fall.  I like it but I don't.  Rather bittersweet as today is my last Tuesday of summer vacation.  Not a tragedy.  Just time to start thinking about back-to-school for myself and the kids.  

I have a special treat for you today...the unveiling of the Bestowed box.  Even hear of the Bestowed box?  It's a subscription box that is crammed with 





This month's Bestowed Box had:  

Energy Fruits.   
Texture like applesauce only more fruit and a great fuel for long runs.  Well, at least I thought so!!  

Kelapo Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.
100% organic, trans fat free and a very natural flavor.  I used it as an olive oil replacement for my veggies.  Absolutely delicious.  

Saffron Road Crunchy Chickpeas.  
Non-GMO, crunchy, packs a ton of heat!  I'm still snacking on them and I love them.  Going to be a staple for me to put in my snack drawer at school.  

Zevia Ginger Ale.
Refreshing, no calores, no sugar - no guilt.  A soda I feel okay letting my kids drink and I enjoy just as much.  And I don't even like soda.  But Zevia does it for me.  

Zing Bar.  
Which I ate immediately  There was no waiting for that!!!  Non-GMO, gluten free, soy-free - fudgy brownie bar that is packed with 10 g of protein and 6 g of fiber.  


Runa.
A light and refreshing tea packed with energy.  My two samples disappeared far too fast.  Loved them!  

Aquatowel.  
Perfect to stash in your gym bag or purse.  You never know when you are going to want to freshen up!  The smell wasn't overwhelming it was absolutely perfect.  

Have you ever tried Bestowed?  Now is the best time to try!  Great products.  Great price!



Sunday, August 17, 2014

Beach to Beacon Recap

Beach to Beacon is the road race in Maine that sells out in under 4 minutes on a cold, early March morning.  For a 10k, this race takes a lot of planning.  Not only is it organized by the incredible Joan Benoit Samuelson, it attracts over 6500 runners from all over the globe and offers an entire 6.2 mile wall of spectators cheering you on to the finish.  The race organizers put in a ton of thought and work into this race - as do the thousands of volunteers that help make this race successful.   To add to the excitement of Beach to Beacon, elites and master level runners from all over come to this little coastal town in Maine to race - this year Shalane and Meb joined the elite runners to run this course.  

Love meeting fellow bloggers - especially this one!  Kara, a Maine Native, and teacher runner too!


I'm not a big crowd kind of person.  They make me nervous.  Give me a small town race any day.  But, for some reason, I still love Beach to Beacon.  Two summers ago, Ward and I chose to not run the race and wanted to spectate and had an absolute blast!  Last summer I was registered but my darn injury kept me from running the race.  Yet, I still hobbled to the finish line chute and cheered on the runners!   

things can get a little wild on the shuttle....  Wade apparently has a problem and wants to lick his wife's face!

This year, Ward and I ran Beach to Beacon.  While registering is a challenge, getting there requires a bit of organization as well!  The course itself is not a loop and a shuttle system is necessary.  With the race being in Cape Elizabeth, a small coastal Maine community, parking is an issue.  The organizers have really done an excellent job at creating satellite parking and having busses shuttling the runners to the race start.  It's taken a few years, but we've gotten so much better at getting up early enough and leaving our house so we're not sprinting to the final shuttle bus.    



We had our own carpool to head down to the race - Jill, Wade, Stacy, Ward and myself and we parked at Southern Maine Community College, visited the porta potties and got on a bus immediately.  We made it to the starting line with plenty of time to check bags, visit porta potties (again), visit with friends and stretch.  

Weez, myself, Jill and Stacy 

And then it was time to line up in the corral and wait.  It seemed like I waited forever, but really it wasn't.    When the gun went off, there was a bit of a wait time, a little stop and go...and soon enough I was crossing the starting line.  I started my Garmin and eased into a comfortable pace.  My goal?  I just wanted to do better than LL Bean and have a great race.  I wasn't looking for a course PR since I knew I had to save something in my legs to finish off the 18 miles I had on my training schedule for the day.  Yes.   18 miles.  Ouch!!!  

my race outfit!  New Spandits (I picked up at the expo the day before!),  Spandits singlet,
Skechers Go Run 3, and Stable 26 socks. 


So my goal turned out to be a good speed workout, finish strong, and have something left in the tank for the remaining 12 miles.  

Soon enough it started misting and I was in heaving.  I thought - please please please rain!!!!  But no.  Just mist.  For a few miles.  But it felt good.  I loved it.  My pace was hovering around 8 minute miles and they felt comfortable.  

photo courtesy of Maine Running Photos 

One of the things I absolutely love about this course is the crowd.  Imagine a 6.2 mile wall of spectators cheering you on.  Awesome!   Such a great feeling!  



About mile 5, I got to see David the man behind Maine Running Photos!  Lots of fun seeing him taking photos at races!  Thank you, David!   This is when the hills come.  I don't mind them all too much and I know they are there...but I also know that after the hills - comes the best part!  


get up that hill!  Photo courtesy of Maine Running Photos 
The finish line chute!  There is so much energy along the finish line chute, it is amazing.   When I come through the chute - it's a little crowded - so I just push hard and hope to not run over someone.  

photo courtesy of Maine Running Photos 

Finishing strong!  Time says 50:39...but it took me 39 seconds to get to the starting line...official time was 50:00 even.  I couldn't have planned that any better!    

photo courtesy of Maine Running Photos
And now I'm thinking..... oh crap...12 more to go!  

Immediately after I crossed the finish line I made a beeline for Joan Benoit Samuelson to shake her hand because of course I had to do it!  And then I made the walk up the hill to the meeting area and food court.   This is the part where I'm so happy we have a regular meeting area because it is incredibly overwhelming trying to find people up there!   



Our meeting spot is next to the TD tent and this year they had a photo booth.  Jill, Stacy and myself had a little fun with this part!   And then we settled down in our spot for a bit.  


Our friend Mark, Kelley (co-owner of Spandits), Wade, and Ward - posing for a photo!  While I'm lucky enough to be one of her ambassadors - I think it's fabulous that she was Mark, Wade, and Ward's HS track coach.  She's a rockstar!  


And then I had my photo op with Kelley!  


then of course we had to had a photo bomb by Wade. 

After a little rest, some snacking and hydrating, we started our trek back to the car.  I had decided that I was going to run back to the car so I could add on mileage easily.  I never expected the rest of the group to do it.  Well, maybe I expected Ward to do it.  But no one else!  But they are amazing - Ward, Wade, Stacy, and Jill all ran back to the car with me!   Our car was only parked 2 miles away, but it was an easy way to add in more mileage.  


After we got home, I changed my outfit, snagged Izzy's new Spandits headband, put on my new B2B race shirt, my Tommie Copper compression shorts, new pair of Stable 26 socks, and my Skecher Go Run Ultras and got in the rest of my mileage.  My Garmin had said that the race was 6.25 miles + the 2 miles back to the car - I had 8.25 miles completed, which meant I only had 9.75 more miles to go!  

Those miles were slow and tough.  I wanted to make sure I was well hydrated - so I brought my Camelbak since the temps were rising by this time of day.  Thank goodness I brought it.  I really needed it.  


I did it!  18 miles.  And a great Beach to Beacon race!  

When you have a long run scheduled, what do you do?  Run before? After? Another day?  



Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Favorites

The temps are cooling down and it's starting to almost seem like fall isn't too far away.  Running in the fall has so many advantages - crisp cool air is a great reward for marathon training in the heat of summer.  Now to actually register for that marathon.....I'm not really sure what in the world is keeping me from pushing the register button.  Maybe I'm hoping for a better one to pop up?  

Here are some of my Friday Favorites to share with you!

Long Run Running Friends
Yesterday I joined a group of ladies at Kennebec Valley Coaching for my first 20 miler in this cycle.  Amy and Sarah had 15 miles scheduled and Gretchen had 18 miles.  

Track Tuesday with my Spandits and GR3!  Photo courtesy of Tucker. 


My legs were tired.  I had done my track workout Tuesday morning and busted my butt with the paces and then came home and asked Amy when she was doing her long run this weekend.  She replied - Thursday.  Ouch.  Well, if I wanted company, then I was going to have to make it work!!!  I took Wednesday off for rest and by rest, I mean I didn't run, but I spent the entire day moving Izzy's bed (a huge custom made bed made by my husband) that didn't fit though the doorway, which meant taking it apart and putting it back together, and then moving all of her toys and furniture into her new big girl room and then cleaning the house for our dinner guest that evening.  No rest for the weary, right?  

I met up with Amy, Sarah, and Gretchen first thing yesterday morning and we talked about where were going to run.  They had a route for the 15 miles in mind which worked and then Gretchen and I would just tack on the rest of our planned runs at the end.   We parted ways at 14.5 miles - Sarah and Amy headed back to the studio and Gretchen decided to do 20 miles with me instead of her 18, which was super sweet of her.  We stuck with the rail trail for the last 5.5 miles.   Thank you, Gretchen for sticking with me!  

by the time Gretchen and I returned the KVC, Sarah had left, but Amy was still there waiting for us! Sweaty Selfie time!
BANa
I love water.  I drink nearly a gallon a day.  But that isn't enough to keep me hydrated enough for all of the summer running and sweating I've been doing. 



 I have to replace the sodium and electrolytes somehow and BANa is a quick and efficient way to do it without adding calories or sugar to your diet.   




I was sent a sampler of adult and kid BANa.  I loved it.  Sweet and salty at the same time.  My perfect combination.  I drank them before my long run one hot morning and felt well hydrated the entire time.   BANa replenishes the body with sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate - which are all essential for the normal function of your cells and organs.  I think it's rather cool that BANa was developed by a physician working in an ER and modeled BANa after the normal saline IV.  That's what the medics do for some runners after a race, right?  I don't really know because I haven't visited the medical tent after a race - yet.  So, basically, BANa is a personal IV for you to give yourself.  



The kids had mixed reviews.  Izzy loved it and Tucker wasn't impressed.  But, then again, Tucker is rarely impressed unless it's super sugary.  Izzy tends to like healthier things.  



BANa is for runners, those who work outside, those who are sick, just about anyone! You can find out where BANa is available here.  For now, I have got to get mine online until a local place carries it.    


My Garden.
I must have lost my gardening touch or something because I haven't produced as much in the garden as I have before in terms of squash.  The plants look rather weak and some critter has been eating whatever grows.  I've gotten 4 summer squash from the garden and that is it.  Boo!  But, I've gotten tons of kale, sugar snap peas, yellow wax beans and green beans.  The tomatoes are coming along quite nicely as well.  But, even with the lack of squash - I still do love harvesting my own food and feeding my family with it.  



Our Home.
While our house is probably always going to be a work in progress, it's still a great place to live.  We have a huge loop driveway where the kids can ride their bikes aways from the busy traffic, lots of fields, woods, and a stream.  




After a large rainstorm, you can hear the stream from the house.  Last night we took a little stroll down to the stream to check out what the rain had done to our stream!   


Selfie Contest!  
I love selfies.  Sweaty Selfies, kid selfies and now soda selfies.  Zevia has a #zeviastyle #sodaselfie contest going on right now!  Check it out at zevia.com/stylecontest.    It's a ton of fun.  They are giving away $100 Target Gift Cards and other prizes every single day from 8/15 - 9/05.  Check out zevia.com/style for inspiration and share you post/pics with the hashtag #zeviastyle.


Who wouldn't want to win a gift card to Target?  I know I would!!!!  


Join the fun!!!