Sunday, February 7, 2016

MidWinter Classic 10 Miler Race Recap

This past week, spring visited Maine.  I was happy.  I was excited for my upcoming race thinking *hoping* the weather was going to be just as awesome as it was earlier in the week.... the treat of 50 degrees.  I blissfully remembered the year that I ran the MidWinter Classic in shorts and how awesome that was.  

2014 - the year of the shorts....  Running with Carrie in Spandits and ProCompression!  Of course! and thankfully recorded forever by Maine Running Photos!  



Then Friday happened.  The surprise snow storm.  Seriously.  It was a surprise.  Thursday weather reports were saying "maybe an inch"....then by the 6:00 news, it was like "well 3-5 inches".... and in reality it was more like 9 inches.   I was a bit bummed because I was thinking the road conditions were going to be awful for Sunday's race...and I was positive it was going to be freezing.  

2015 - feeling like death.  Wearing Spandits and ProCompression and running with Carrie up the SAME hill!
After this race, I had my weird ass allergic reaction.  Again - thank you David Colby!



Again.  I was wrong.  I don't mind being wrong at all.  The sun was shining.  There was virtually no wind.  A rarity in the winter in Maine.  And the roads were perfectly clear.  It was about 36F at the race start.  

2012 - the year I woke up and had a fever of 103....but felt fine.
So I thought it would be a good idea to run a 10 mile race...which then lead to pneumonia....
and feeling like death.  Yeah.  Dumb.  But glad to always remember it Maine Running Photos!!!!
 (and I'm missing 2013.... oh well!) Apparently I am lost without my Spandits and ProCompression here.



But let's back track to this past week.... yes the weather was awesome.  But my body was in pain.  Lots of it.  I skipped my run on Sunday because I felt awful all day.  I felt sharp horrible abdominal pains and a dull ache in my stomach all day....and felt beyond nauseous.  The feeling didn't really go away all week.  I grew nervous and anxious about how I was feeling and how it was going to impact the race.  I actually contemplated not running and volunteering instead.  But thought I would wait until Sunday morning to decide.  


Thursday came, and I went out for a little jog.  I made it all of a half mile from the house and had to turn around.  The pain was too much to handle and I felt so awful.  Zero energy.  What the heck is wrong with me!!!  Ugh!  Again, I felt like I shouldn't run Sunday....but held off.  

Instead, Friday and Saturday, I filled extra moments with yoga poses to recenter myself and please my achy muscles.   I was careful with what I ate and prayed my issues would go away.   And miraculously they did!

Last minute adding my Shut Up Legs! Momentum Jewelry to my Altra's!


Sunday morning I woke up with zero pains.  No nausea and thought "why not!"  So I picked started at my Spandits and ProCompression collection and carefully chose my outfit.  I wasn't going to be fast...but I surely wanted to look good!   Obviously I paired my Spandits and ProCompression wisely with my Altra Superior 2.0's.  Note - I did switch out when we arrived at the race because the roads were super clear...and I chose the One 2.5's.  Awesome choice!!!!  





We headed down to Cape Elizabeth HS and gathered in our spot and took a pic! 

Thank you David Colby of Maine Running Photos for always being there and being freaking awesome!


And then I did some more hydrating with SOS Rehydrate Mango.  Seriously delicious!  




Then headed out to the starting line.  I pulled out my lovely awesome LL Bean e-store robe again....and wore it to keep warm.  It was meant to be a throw-away, but my brother-in-law parked right at the starting line...so I asked him to keep it for me.  Yay for having that awesome nana-looking zipper robe for another race!  
Thank you David Colby of Maine Running Photos for always being there and being freaking awesome!
The cannon went off and so did it.  Perhaps a little too fast.  But it's mostly downhill in the beginning so I blame it on that.  I held strong in the 8:05/8:08 range for a long time....and then around mile 8, like clockwork, the wheels fell off.  Again.  When will I learn?  I've done this race like a million times...and I know miles 8-9.5 suck so bad!  

Thank you David Colby of Maine Running Photos for always being there and being freaking awesome!

But, I held strong....and finished strong.  With an official time of 1:22:28 (8:15 pace).  Not the sub 1:19 PR I was seeking, but still a great effort and I'll chalk it up as a great workout.  

Actually rather sweaty here.... I tossed my headwarmer AND gloves during the race.  Something I never do!


Now, about this race.  It's awesome. Well organized.  The volunteers are amazing.  Always smiling.  Always positive.  I love it!  I do look forward to this race every year.  The course is tough.... but I love it.  

I love my freaking Custom Tights from Spandits....ProCompression racers and Altra One2.5's the perfect foot shaped shoe!



And the shirt?  I was telling Ward tonight that I like how the logo has stayed the same for the past few years and the color is just changed.  That's pretty cool!  And I love that the shirt is made by a local company.  Pretty fantastic to keep it local!  


Saturday, February 6, 2016

5 Reasons to Have a Smart Scale {+giveaway}

I have broken up with scales over and over again.  I get mad because I don't think they are accurate or I don't like the number it displays.  I go on strike or I throw it away.  




But it really comes down to the fact that I love numbers.  I love data.  I love to know where I am with progress or lack-there-of and that needed kick in the butt to get refocused again.  



1.  Real Data.  Instead of being completely shocked when you step on the scale at the doctor's office for an appointment, you'll have an idea of what you have in store.  I still remember the time when I was pregnant with Tucker and stepped on the scale near the end of my pregnancy and burst into tears when I didn't like the numbers I saw.  By having a scale at home, you'll know where you are in terms of weight.  




2.  More Data.  Your weight is only one piece of the data puzzle.  The Eat Smart Precision Body Check scale gives you so much more information!    How about a scale that measures your body water, bone mass, mineral mass, BMI and Cal-Pal Calorie Estimation?  Yes, there is a scale that does all of that.  


3.   Setting Goals.  Have a goal to gain some weight or increase your bone density? You should have some kind of instrument that will measure this for you, rather than working hard and guess.  I am actually starting a detox group Monday and I'll be using my smart scale to measure my progress throughout the 30 days.  







4. Measure  Progress.  But don't overdo it.  But keep in mind, weighing yourself constantly isn't good either.  Don't toss your scale, just use it in a smart way.  Use it for your knowledge and knowledge is power.  Once or twice a week is a great suggestion - and use it at the same time of day.  



5.  Race Weight.  Yes.  It's a real thing.  For me, I now I run more efficiently and faster when I'm below 135.  Which means, I'm not really at race weight right now.  Does that make me upset?  Absolutely not.  But I know I have to stop hanging out by the pantry shoving chips in my mouth.  


And guess what?  I get to give an Eat Smart Precision Body Check scale away to one lucky Running With The Girls reader! 


The details:
*Entrants must be 18 years of age or older
*Enter below through Rafflecopter.
*Giveaway begins today, 2/6/16 and ends 2/16/16.
*I will email the winner randomly chosen through Rafflecopter.  The winner will have 24 hours to respond or another winner will be selected. 


disclosure:  I was sent an Eat Smart Precision Body Check scale to review.  I was not required to give a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.  



Friday, February 5, 2016

High Five Friday!

Happy Snow Day from Maine!  




The Weather!  
It's been a crazy winter so far...with far below average snowfall and incredibly warmer temps.  I'm not complaining at all.  Winter is my least favorite season.  But I DO love snow days! 



We started out this week with 50 days.  Which made for great running in shorts weather...and a chance for me to run outside in my *custom* Spandits shorts with ProCompression Marathon socks.  I'm addicted to this look.... fun Spandits prints and knee high ProCompression socks... LOVE!  


New Spandits! 


The later in the week, my newest *custom* Spandits arrived.    That is some serious fun!  I love how the ladies at Spandits added black to their spandex choices - black with a fun print really spices things up.  Have I told you I love Spandits?  Perhaps once or twice.  


Tasc Performance Ambassador


I recently was selected to be a Tasc Performance Ambassador.    I am to the moon and back excited by this.  If you don't know about Tasc, you seriously need to check out their new website and check out their clothing lines!  Tasc Performance makes clothing for men and women made from Bamboo that is amazingly soft and comfortable AND it won't stink up.  Ward doesn't know this yet.... but I will have to swap out all of his clothing with Tasc Performance because he's always blaming his stink on his clothes.   Read the Tasc story here.  And while you are there, do some shopping and use my 15% off family and friends discount code FF0103-hjA6 (good through 3/31/16).  



Featured here: Tasc Performance Elevation Hoodie ($120) and Tasc Performance Riverwalk Pants ($68).  The shirt is beyond adorable - hoodie, thumb holes and quite flattering.  I didn't want to take it off.  Is that bad?  


And my new Riverwalk Pants?  You can usually find me in running tights or yoga pants.  Now there's a new favorite sliding in here.  Riverwalk Pants by Tasc.  Please make them in all the colors because these are so soft and comfortable to wear.  And did I mention they are incredibly flattering?  Yeah.  That too!  (PS they match my Altra's too... so a huge win!)  


Organization.
I need to seriously organize everything.  I've kind of let go of my organizational skills at home (classroom is one thing!).  I was keeping my ProCompression collection *addiction* in a basket.  But it started overflowing.  Then I would lose a sock.  Or it would overflow.  But then the other day I had a brainstorm and bought this over the door organizer for a whopping $7.50 on Amazon (not an Amazon affiliate...for some reason that's not allowed in Maine.  Boo.).  I could seriously organize so many things in this organizer.... ProCompression socks, Spandits, shoes, accessories... you name it!  I thought I would stop here with my own closet door - otherwise we would see these organizers behind every single door in my house.  Ward might now like it.


I cannot wait to fill that hole right above here....  my newest Valentine socks are on their way!!!!   Oh wait, the mail truck just drove up.  Darn....denied again.   Maybe tomorrow?  

Positive Thinking.  It's a Powerful thing.  

We have been super fortunate to have a lot of family and friends who care for our family.  Though the power of positive thinking and lots of prayers and love, I feel their strength has helped us get through these difficult times.  



I strongly believe I have the most resilient son ever.  Given all of the surgeries he has been through since last April, I am amazed at his strength and courage.   He has taken all of the appointments and poking/prodding with ease.  When I find myself getting all worked up in a huge tizzy, I look at him and see the calmness and strength, and I'm centered once again.  

My Momentum Jewelry bracelets have added quite a bit to my daily positive thinking each day as well.  Each day, I pull them out and choose one or two that I feel meet my daily needs/goal for the day and all I need to do is look down at my wrist and read these motivational sayings and I stronger and ready to deal with what comes my way.  

Last week he had his skin graft and this week the bandages came off.  For the first time we had the chance to see the amount of tissue that needed to be removed due to the awful doctors we had before we finally found Dr. Taghinia at Children's Hospital in Boston.   Thankfully Tucker (and us) are in excellent hands now and I believe we are on the road to recovery.  


(PS - I'm on blogger so I cannot load this click to tweet link Happy Fit Mama has on her blog, but here's the link to share High 5 Friday!) 





Monday, January 25, 2016

Why You Should Try Snow Shoe Running

Snow shoe races have intrigued me for a long time.   And I'm ready to take the plunge and actually do a race this March.  Insert nervous laugh.  



Living in Maine, there are times that we are completely overwhelmed with snow when it seems like the only option is to strap on the snow shoes and get out there.  Plus, I'm super blessed to have fields that give me a 1/3 of mile loop...where I can strap on my snow shoes and run around my fields while the kids play outside and the dogs chase me around on the trail.  



I love my Buff USA - keeps my head and ears toasty warm!

For some reason, Winter Storm Jonas took a turn and decided to hit the central East Coast States...and we lucked out on the snow dumping. However, I am positive we'll get our turn and have a big ass storm come our way and give us more snow than I really want...but I'll take in all in stride and strap on my beloved snow shoes from LL Bean and head out for a snow shoe run.  


I will add that I'm not one of those hardcore, I'm running outside in all weather types of girls.  Nope.  I love the treadmill too.  But that's another post.  Today's all about why Snow Shoe Running is awesome and why you should do it!  


1.  Raise that Heart Rate! 

Last week when I went out for my first snow shoe run of the season, I brought along my newest Polar RCX5 watch with heart rate monitor.  I knew I was pushing it on the run but didn't realize how much I was pushing it until I came inside and checked out the stats on my watch.  



Woah!  I seriously maxed out there!  Seriously, pushing yourself through the snow like that makes running on the bare pavement seem so easy.  Kinda like running on a beach, but harder.  WAY harder.  And seriously rewarding.  

2.  Embrace the Weather

New snow fall have you missing running?  Your favorite running route is covered and it's hard to get there?   No sweat!  Strap on some snow shoes and just get out there.  With snow shoes, you can make your own path.  You don't have to be sad that your favorite path hasn't been plowed.   


Thermal Spandits, Altra Olympus 2.0, ProCompression socks, and
LL Bean Snow Shoes for the win!


If you are making your own path like I do, be prepared.  The first two loops are a lot slower as you are creating a trail and packing down some fluffy white stuff.  And be prepared for some high drifting that may lead you into hip height (or deeper) snow drifts.  Your pace will be slow for sure, but your heart will be pumping and working hard.  


3.  Fancy Gear Not Required!

Just like road running, you don't have to invest in a ton of fancy gear for snow shoe running. You do not have to get fancy running snow shoes.  What I've done is wear my kids 19 in (lighter and narrower snow shoes) mostly because it's what we have and they aren't too heavy on the feet.  If I get serious about snow shoe running I might invest in some more expensive running types, but until then, I'm perfectly happy with my kids snow shoes.  



If you live in a cold(ish) climate, then you already have hats, buffs, mittens, warmer running bottoms, and jackets.  So you're all set there!  I do notice that I heat up much faster with snow shoe running, so I prefer a buff that I wear as a big headband to keep my ears warm but doesn't cover my head and allows to release some body heat!  Buff USA has great buffs to choose from with fun and fabulous prints.  Or you can choose from one of their hats if you prefer.  


4.  It's FUN!  

It's always fun to try something new and different.  It's also fun to prove to yourself how badass you are.   You can bring the kids along or the dogs along too.  How about that for family fun time?  





I know the dogs absolutely love running through the field with me!  

Have you tried snow shoe running before? 
 If not, now is the time.  Well, if you have snow of course!  



Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Running to Lose Weight

When I first starting running, the weight seriously poured off me.   I loved seeing those pounds melt away..which in turn made me love running even more.  





For a long time after that, I found I could eat just about anything and not gain a single pound.  I'm not going to lie to you.  It was glorious.  However, times have changed.  My body has changed.  And so has my weight.  

I went from 130 to 145 in a year with super slow running times.   Gasp! I know.  Some people would be ecstatic with 145.  Trust me.  I used to be so happy in the 140-150's.  Nothing wrong with 145.  Nothing at all.  But then I got a taste of what it felt like to be in the 130's and I didn't want to go back.  Silly.  I know.  





My weight has been all over the place lately.  I've been feeling frustrated with it so when I received an email asking me to review Runner's World: Running to Lose Weight.  I thought it made complete sense to get this book and see what is all about.  

First of all.  I seriously love the chapters and the layout of the book.  The authors, Jennifer Van Allen and Pamela Nisevich Bede, compiled all of the information you can think of and put it in one place.  

I'm not going to share ALL of the chapters with you... but here's a quick snapshot so you can get excited.   



The book begins with a quiz, that trust me.  It will take some time to complete.  But don't skip over it.  It will stop you and make you think about you.  Your weight.  Your body.  Your health.  Your goals.  It will help you focus on what you need to focus on.  

Some of the questions include: 
* How many hours a day do you sit?  
* Have you, or you, currently eliminating any entire food groups....
* What diets have your tried?
* Do you keep a training journal?

There are 50 of these questions.  So be prepared to really think.  I would write your responses down on a separate piece of paper so you can revisit your answers as you progress toward toward your goal.    



What do I like the most about this book?  I like that it's a fabulous reference tool.  Lately I've been experiencing GI distress (thank goodness for treadmill runs and indoor plumbing!!!).  So, what do I do?  I flip to the GI distress section of the book.  Yeah, that section is in here.  




Wondering what kinds of foods you should eat for certain types of workouts?  Yeah, the fabulous authors added that in there to.  This is a book every runner needs.... we all go through phases of weight loss, weight gain.  If you're gaining and to sure why and might want some additional resources to help you out...then GET THIS BOOK!  







Monday, January 18, 2016

Time to Change it UP with #ChangeAMeal

Some people are all about New Year's Resolutions.  I think they fail for a reason...you wait until January 1st, try it for a few days...you do see the immediate results...and you give up.  I know.  I've done that before!  It's a vicious cycle.

What works for me is...


My change is #ChangeAMeal.  I'm switching out my lunch for a smoothie.  Every damn day.   I am shifting my focus on food as comfort, or boredom buster.... is gone.  Far gone.  I'm shifting my habits to thinking of food as fuel.   Confession time, I've been practicing this since August, and it works!




Smoothie King is encouraging YOU to Change-A-Meal with one of their 20 Meal Replacement Smoothies (click here for the list of delicious smoothies!)- all of them with the goal of helping you reach your goal of being a healthier person.




My first trip to Smoothie King was a couple of weeks ago when we were in Boston for Tucker's surgery.  I wanted a healthy lunch, so while Tucker was in surgery, we power-walked to the nearest Smoothie King, and I enjoyed a super delicious Vegan Mango Kale smoothie while Ward enjoyed an Original High Protein Chocolate.  




Smoothie King has an on-going contest right now, you can enter the #ChangeAMeal Photo Challenge  on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.  Head on over to Smoothie King to share your goal and enter to




The contest is going on now until the end of March. Time to start taking those #ChangeAMeal selfies!




Weight loss is dependent on each individual's needs and is based on a low-calorie diet combined with an exercise program.  Consult your physician before beginning any diet program.











Sunday, January 10, 2016

Cherish The Moments

Forgive me for getting all sappy on you.  I love my kids and will move heaven and earth for them.  With our cancer scare with our older son, it's really shaken me up and I've been wanting to spend more and more time with my kids.  I don't care what we're doing.  If we're cuddling on the couch, shopping at Target, reading a book, taking a walk in the snow.  Just as long as we're together and smiling.  That's all what matters.  






I was sent the Scala Slouchy Beret to review.  When it came, Izzy immediately looked at me with her gorgeous hazel eyes and asked if she could have the hat.  Of course, I melted and said yes.  And she looks so much cuter in it than I do anyway.




She loves it and wears it just about overtime we go shopping or for a walk because it's her "fancy hat".  Isn't that so cute?  I love the way it looks on her and matches just about everything she owns.




This little girl has taught me so much about love.  She has a big heart and loves with all of her heart.  Her smile and laugher is contagious.  I want to keep her little forever.



Disclosure: I was sent the Scala Slouchy Knit Beret to review.  I was not required to post a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own and of course, in this case, Izzy's.