Tuesday, December 26, 2017

2018 Goals #BeBraveAndGrow

As 2017 comes to an end (thank god!), I'm looking forward to 2018 with much excitement.  


In terms of my training, 2017 started off fabulous.  I was hitting the mileage I needed to get 1700 miles in 2017.  BUT, then stupid bronchitis hit me like a Mac truck several times.   And then a badly sprained ankle.   Both tried to keep me down, but I got back up again.  I focused on gaining more strength.  

Then I added in a lot more yoga.   With regular yoga classes, yogalates, and aerial yoga, I'm feeling that I have the yoga bug back and I'm loving it.   

I'm focusing on a strong 2018 and would absolutely be thrilled if I could build my mileage back up to a 1600+ year.  To keep me motivated I've already gone and signed up for several races: 

MidWinter Classic 
You never know what the day will bring.  A Sunday morning race in early February can mean 40+ degrees or negative temps with brutal winds.  Who knows!  But I do know that I'll be there tearing up the course again in Cape Elizabeth.   This is a fun 10 mile race that sells out quickly in Maine and I cannot wait!  If the weather gods are with us, I'm hoping for a killer race.  If not, it will at least be fun!  

Bradbury Snowshoe Series
I signed up for all 3 races in this series.  Again.   I had such a blast last year, I know I couldn't miss out this year!   And when I mentioned it to Ward, he said "sign me up too!"   

Lake Auburn Half Marathon
I've never done this one before.   And I'm excited by it!

MDI Half Marathon 
Only on the prettiest marathon and half marathon in Maine.   This race is the held during the beautiful peak foliage times in Maine and runs along the rocky coast of Downeast Maine.   

Sugarloaf 15k
The 15k distance is so much fun! 

When the time comes, I will be signing up for the next few races.   

Bond Brooks Trail Series 
This series kicks my butt each time.   To be honest, this race is at the worst time for me.  Thursday evenings after I have stood in the hot sun all day long at track meets.  BUT, I have had super race envy every time my husband goes to run and I don't.  I'll definitely getting in a few, if not all, of these races this summer!

LL Bean 10k 
Registration for this one is in March.   Doing this 10k is a tradition.  It was my first 10k and I love it.  

Mount Washington Road Race 
Yes! I'm going to put my name in the lottery again and I have my fingers crossed that the 3rd time is a charm.  

Pineland Farms 25K 
I haven't 100% committed to this one yet because I may change my distance.  If my big goal of the year doesn't work out.   We will see!!!   

Bradbury Trail Mountain Series
Last year I wanted to do it so bad but somehow missed the sign up.  I signed up for the Breaker, but had sprained my ankle the week before.   Which means 2018 is the year!  

Eastern States 20 miler
This one would be the perfect final tune up for my big goal of the year.  It's been on my "to do" list for years, but I never make it happen.  

and drumroll please......  
I'm finally going to do it!   I've been inspired to follow my big dreams and go for it.    I have my eyes set on my first Ultra!   

TARC Spring Classic 50k.  
I don't know a ton about this one except that it's a loop course.   Registration isn't even open yet.   But I do know that the timing of it works out almost perfectly with track.  A bulk of my training will be done before track season begins.   

and we will see........  
Tri For A Cure
I put my name in the lottery.  We will see!   I'm doing this one in honor of all of the women in my life impacted by cancer.   Or if that one doesn't work out, then the Dempsey Challenge.   

There will be more.   I am sure.  I want to add more trail races into the mix and I will!  Perhaps there will be a 6 hour race in there somewhere?   Who knows!!!!  

Monday, December 4, 2017

prAna is where it's at! #giftedprAna

I was sent a pair of Kara Jeans and the Rockaway Jacket as part of this campaign for prAna.  I was not required to give a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.  

On my (very short) list of must-have clothing, prAna is at the top.   Not only does prAna stand for amazing quality they are a company that prides themselves for their sustainability.   prAna's clothing line includes many pieces that are Fair Trade, recycled clothing, and hemp clothing.   That very fact that prAna is conscientious about the materials they use to create their gorgeous and amazingly comfortable clothing makes prAna a company I will always go to when I want to add more to my daily collection.   

In addition to the sustainability of prAna, they also make the most comfortable workout and day-wear clothing I've ever worn!    A little backstory for me, many of you know I'm a teacher.  I absolutely hated wearing "school clothes" to work.  I would long to wear leggings and dresses and anything running related I could.  But the problem was, I am not a PE teacher.    It doesn't really look professional to wear leggings and a hoodie - which is what I would prefer.  

Then I found prAna.  Specifically, the Kara Jean.   In my honest opinion, the best jeans ever made.  They come in a huge range of colors and prints.  What I lover about them is I can wear all of the colors, a comfy prAna top, add in some fun flats or boots and boom!  I look and feel great!   

I feel that if I can do yoga in a pair of jeans, then that company is doing something pretty freaking amazing.  prAna - you are amazing!       

I also feel that when I actually choose a pair of Kara jeans for a 9 hour drive from Pennsylvania to Maine, then prAna is doing something very right.   Before I would put on a pair of yoga pants or sweatpants for the ride.  But the Kara jeans are the perfect jeans for anyone with any body type.   Can you tell I freaking love them?   

I've loved my prAna tops very much over the years as well.   The newest addition, my Rockaway Jacket, tops them all.   Somedays I wear it as a top and somedays I wear it as a layering hoodie.  Either way, I'm winning at life when I wear this comfy and stylish, woman cut hoodie.   

To be honest, my classroom is freezing!  Not just in the winter.  But all year long.  When it's hot outside, the A/C nearly blasts me out of my room.  I'm the person who brings her down jacket to school on a super warm fall day because I know that A/C is going to freeze me!   The Rockaway Jacket not only looks a lot nicer than the down jacket, but it's amazingly comfortable and super cute.   Everyone needs one of these!  

Are you looking for the perfect gift for the guy or gal in your life?  Let me introduce you to prAna.  You’ve GOT to check out prAna’s holiday gifts for under $50 for women and men! If you are looking to get someone the best gift you could possibly give this season (or yourself - I won't tell!) - use my code CMRG17 for 15% off (non sale items) and free shipping until 12/15.  Don't wait!  This deal won't last forever.   Let's go shopping!   

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Must-Have Sports Massager..... MYO Buddy

I received a MYOBuddy as part of a campaign with FitApproach.  All opinions in expressed in my blog are 100% my own.  

If you haven't started your holiday shopping, it's probably time to start now.   But better yet, if you haven't started your shopping, I have a the best gift idea for you!  This gift can be for ANYBODY!   

Young, old, man, woman - whomever, whatever!  It doesn't matter.   The MYOBuddy fits just right for everybody on your shopping list.    If you or someone you know suffers from chronic pain, then you need to get them a MYOBuddy.   If you know someone who suffers from insomnia or chronic stress, then they need a MYOBuddy!   Or what about the forever athlete?  Yep!  They need one!   

Living in a house full of runners, I can attest that all runners NEED MYOBuddy!   Ward and I brought the MYOBuddy along on our road trip to Pennsylvania over Thanksgiving.   After sitting in a car for over 9 hours, we were definitely right and sore.   Knowing we had a race to run on Thursday, I knew we needed to massage those tight muscles.  It felt heavenly to have a massage on the floor of my dad and Barb's house.  

MYOBuddy has 3 speeds, is heated, and offers a professional grade deep massage.   If you don't have somebody to give you the massage, you can actually massage yourself if you want to!  

There are many nights I sit here on the sofa, watching TV and massaging my quads and IT band.  It feels SO good.   It's like having my own personal masseuse living with me.  On call, whenever I need a good massage.  

If you use the code SPJEN by the end 12/4/17 -you will get $100 off this fabulous must have tool!  

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Running in PA

Happy Hump Day everyone!   I'm finally feeling recovered from the whirlwind Thanksgiving Break we had.  I swear, the older I get, the longer it takes to mentally and physically recover from a long road trip!  

This year, we switched things up and make the trek to PA to celebrate Thanksgiving with my side of the family.   To sum it up - the entire trip was glorious.   It made me miss and long for my family even more.   Of course our trips are always so short, there is never enough time to squeeze in a trip with everyone and I always leave feeling guilty for not getting the chance to see everyone.  

Aside from the incredible time we had with family over the break, I had the chance to run with Ward 4 days in a row!   I don't usually get excited by this, because, well, the chance to run with him doesn't exactly happen a whole lot at home.   

I wanted to run part of the course for the Pie Gobbler 10k we were going to run on Thanksgiving.  The race started on City Island in Harrisburg and started out going over a metal walking bridge.   After I registered, I watched a video of the race.  I immediately felt sick to my stomach knowing I HAD to run over THAT bridge.   gulp.  Which led me to urge Ward to head down to the course and run over the bridge without a couple hundred people - so I could get over that fear.  

It was a crazy windy day along the Susquehanna River.... but running along the river was a great new experience for us.  We run along the Kennebec River in Maine.   But there was something about running along a river I used to look at all of the time as a kid thinking it was a biggest river ever!  
We managed to get in a nice shakeout of 4 miles in and got in a nice preview for the course.  

On Thanksgiving, Ward and I headed over to City Island early to get in a warm up run.  It was a bit cold, but nothing a Maine Girl can't handle!  

I had two goals going into the race.  Run the 10k under 50 minutes and run the last mile fastest.  I succeeded with both.   I forgot my Apple Watch charger in Maine and by Thursday it was dead.  Oh well.  I loaded a running app onto my phone and had to rely on waiting for the mile marker (or somewhere near them) to find out my pace (because I didn't want to mess with the phone while I was running.... it was nice an snug in my arm holder and that's where I wanted it to stay.    I only caught a couple  of my splits, so I didn't really know *how* I was doing.  It drove me crazy, but at the same time it felt liberating.  

I focused on running hard, pushing through, my breathing.  It all seemed to click for once.   When I was on my return trip and saw that walking bridge and knew it was time for a final push.... I went. for it.   But of course, there were TONS of obstacles with this final mile.  I mean, all of the 5k walkers.   I seriously had to should "runner on the left" at least a 100 times.   But in all, that was the only thing that drove me nuts.   

The rest of the course we awesome. Flat, flat, flat with the exception of 2 inclines.... and they were nothing.   And racing over the bridge?  So much fun!   

The result?  My fastest 10k in the last 5 or so years (not a PR) by at least 3 minutes.... with 47:49.  Woohoo!  I felt strong.... and felt like I could have pushed more.  Which is super exciting.  Perhaps I have the racing bug back?  Or I was just feeling spunky for being back in the state where I grew up.  

That 47:49 earned me a 1st place in my age group.  AND even better, none of the top 3 overall ladies were in the top three either... so this wasn't a "by default" age group winner prize either.  I'm pumped!  I have an engraved plate on the way and I cannot wait to share!  

Ward didn't have a shabby race either.   He actually snagged 3rd overall with a super solid race!  I bet his engraved plate will look better than mine. ;). 

Was our last day in Harrisburg.  I had been wanting to run more of the Green Belt my dad had been raving about.   Ward and I headed over to a section of it and got in a beautiful 6 miles full of brick homes and buildings on some windy trails.  It never really felt like we were running Harrisburg.   

It was our last day in Pennsylvania and we knew we had to get in a final run on the farmlands where my Aunt Vic and Uncle Snooze lived.   The rolling hills and pastures are among my top running places.   The views never disappoint and I while I am always whipped after running out at the farm, I feel exhilarated.   

Then like that, our time in Pennsylvania was over and we're back to reality.  But running in Maine isn't all too bad.  I actually pretty much love living here and love running here.   

Did you travel over the break?   Get in any awesome runs?  

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Must-Haves with Joules Athletics

I received four items of clothes from Joules Athletics to review as part of my affiliation with FitApproach.  All opinions expressed are my own.  

The Holiday Season is approaching faster than ever.  Can you believe it that next Thursday is Thanksgiving already?   Where has the time gone?   

What immediately drew me to Joules Athletics, was the moto: 

 I can.  I will.  Watch me.

If you are shopping for a special someone in your life who loves athletic wear whether they are working out, shopping, running errands, or just hanging out.  Joules Athletics has a huge assortment of beautiful clothing made for real people.  You can read more about how Joules Athletics came to be here.  

Stacy Vest 
It's time for cozy clothes that keep you warm, look great and move with you.  The Stacy Vest is longer than a regular vest, has a higher neck, has rouching on back for a nice fitted look.  I love the pop of purple on the front as well.  It stands out as a fun new, versatile vest that has already gotten a lot of wear.  

Kristen Top
Hanging out at home on a dreary rainy (or soon to come snowy) day, is made better with the pop of colors of my Stacy Vest and my Kristen Top

And damn I look good waiting for my chiropractic adjustment!   The Kristen Top has zippers on both sides to unzip for a looser look or feel and runs a bit longer.  It's a slim fitting, sweatshirt-like top that I wear to the chiropractor, to yoga, and just simply when I want to look good and feel good.  

Felicia Legging
And it pairs beautifully with my Felicia Leggings.  They are long and soft with a wide waist band for a flattering look.  I'm 5'6" and have loads of extra length to the bottom of these leggings.  I love the look.   These leggings will get you through your day from yoga to running to chilling out on a Sunday afternoon watching football.  Or whatever you choose to do!  

Stacey Capris 
Let's talk about the basic, but not-so-basic, black capris but with a the slightest rouching to add a certain flair to them.  Like the Felicia Leggings, these capris are incredibly soft and comfortable with the wide waistband.  The mid-calf height and rouching make the Stacy Capris stand out as a spunky pair of capris you cannot live without.   For the lady in your life, who needs a little twist on black capris, these are the ones you need to get!  

A girly touch, yet badass to get you through a kettlebell workout.   Yeah, you need them.  

What are you waiting for?  Head over to Joules Athletics and pick something out for yourself and your shopping list and save 15% with the code "sweatpinkroules".   Joules Athletics has something for almost everyone -  tweens, men and women.  Check it out!   Then tell me what you plan on buying!