Saturday, April 19, 2014

Getting Ready for Boston

Tomorrow morning we'll be heading out to Boston for the 3rd year in a row to cheer on my speedy husband.  

We are beyond excited to head down to Boston for the expo, to spend time with family, and to spend the day watching the Boston Marathon - waiting for this guy to cross the finish line!  

this is last year at our meeting spot - we'll be meeting him here again!

Not only did he qualify again, he also raised money for the Boston One Fund at work and will be running in one of these shirts on Marathon Monday - honoring Boston One Fund and his coworkers who donated.  

Yes - two shirts made, just because he didn't know what he really wanted to wear on Monday and he'd rather be prepared!  

Here's to a great, safe, trip to Boston!  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

1 in 5 - 5k Recap - As a Volunteer

Sunday morning, I volunteered, for the 2nd year, to take photos at a local 5k at Thomas College in Waterville, Maine.  From what I gather, this is the 3rd year for the race.  The first year it was a senior project, then grew to about 200 people last year to over 500 racers/walkers this year.  For a Central Maine town, it's a pretty decent sized 5k.

The 1 in 5 piece to the race is this "1 in 5 people will experience sexual violence in their lifetime".  For more information about the race, visit the website here.  

What I like about this race is that it starts a little later than a lot of 5ks, with a 9am start time.  The race registration/expo is well organized, in the gym, which allows the participants a great place to stay warm until the race starts as well.  Since it is April in Maine, you never know if it will be 80F or snowing!  Race morning was a bit chilly and quite windy.  Knowing it was cold there last year, I came prepared and brought my rain shell to fend off the wind and brought my gloves to stay warm. 

I found Harold prior to the start, chatted a bit about his training lately and checked out his new shoes and wished him luck.  Then I found a group of HS girls who were there with their PE teacher, which I found to be quite inspiring.  

Shortly after 9, racers came out to the starting area and after a few announcements, the race started and off they went, up the hill.  

Yes - this guy ran in his jeans!  I think it's absolutely awesome he does this.
He did it last year too!  He really makes me think I put far too much energy into picking out my race outfits!  

After the group of runners and walkers went past me, I headed inside to check things out and to warm up.  Then I headed over to the finish line area.  There I was standing next to a wonderful lady who was cheering on every single running coming in.  She was full of exciting and I loved it!  We chatted a bit and I found out that she will be in Boston on Monday as well, as her husband qualified for Boston too!  This was going to be his first year and they were both so excited to be going down.  I shared some of the things I've learned over the past couple of years.     

You can see my race photo collection on the Maine Running Photos blog or on the Facebook page.  I am happy that I've been able to take race photos over the past couple of years.  I know that after I run a race, I love going back and checking out my race photos and Maine Running Photos does this all for free.  The man behind Maine Running Photos - David Colby - spends endless hours finding races in Maine and trying to get coverage from the many volunteer photographers throughout the state.  It's a pretty amazing thing to be part of.  I look forward to taking more photos at more races this season and many more seasons to come.  

Do you volunteer for races?  Ever take race photos before?  How do you give back to the racing community?  

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sometimes I forget

Yesterday morning I had plans to run with my bff, Stacy.  She's training for Sugarloaf Marathon  in May.  I'm not.  But, I like to run with her when I can.  Which hasn't been a lot lately.   She had 14 miles scheduled and I could actually fit it in after my morning commitments.  But then her daughter got sick and she had to change her plans.  

So, when I got home from taking photos at a race, I changed and told Ward I was going for my run.  He asked his normal questions.  How far?  Where are you going?  I said 14 and to the rail trail and back.  He suggested a different route closer to the house that I haven't done in a long time and I thought, why not?   

So off I went.  For my 14 miler.  In the freezing cold rain, with crazy wind.   After 3 miles, I remembered why I don't do that loop a lot.  Someone put freaking mountains along that route.  I might be exaggerating a little bit here.   But they are some pretty significant hills. 

No worries.  I always need some hill training.  I'm never going to love them, but they will make me stronger.  So this run definitely was going to make me stronger.  After the third little mountain, about mile 5, I started thinking, as the winds picked up even more.  Wow, another 9.  Ugh.  This really sucks.  Oh wait!  I'm NOT training for a marathon!  Hmmm......  I'm going going home.  For a hot shower.  For a hot coffee.  Yep.  That's what I'm doing.  So, when I got to my road, I turned and went home.  So, yes.  I bailed.   And I think it was a great idea.  

But hey!  It's not like I've been slacking in the training department.  Here's my week in review:  

15.25 miles - with the girls!!!!  

3 miles.  And planking.  Actually, I've been planking all week.  All month.  But I don't have a running pic for Monday, so you get to look at me in my Spandits doing a side plank.  

4 miles.  With Pepper!  Poor dog.  She was exhausted after this run!  

3 miles.  Home.  Uphill.  The whole way.  From Tucker's conference.  
I wanted to go further, earlier in the day while Izzy was at dance.  Just as I dropped her off, Ward called and asked me to pick him up because the brakes were gone in his truck.  I had this little dilemma.  Go for my run or get the husband.  Ugh.  Get the husband.  So, off I went to pick him up.  Which meant my run would be after Tucker's conference.  I was able to squeeze in 3 before it got too dark for my comfort level.  

3.1 miles.  Got home just as the bus dropped off the boys!  


4 miles - with Tucker!

7.57 miles.  

April total: 60.52.  Not really slacking.  PLUS, I have a long run planned with Stacy and Jill next weekend.   Poor Carrie has to work.  

Plus, I've been planking everyday.  I even had a plank off in my class on Friday morning.  I won at 1:30.   They were not impressed they lost to me.  We actually turned it into a great math activity afterwards.    I had to related it to math some how!  

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Meal Prepping

There are some weekends when it all comes together and I can get my meal prepping done.  I love it when this happens because my week just goes a lot smoother when I do that!  As I type this, I have two meals already done and in the refrigerator plus my lunch for the week is already completed and ready to go too!  

I love to eat salads for lunch. I love them even more if I can prep them on Sunday and just grab them in the morning.   With the weather getting warmer, I was feeling like a fiesta kind of salad.  So I tossed together some chickpeas, black beans, corn, tomatoes, avocado, pepper, and onions.  Then I added Newman's Own Lite Lime dressing.  And boom!  I have a super simple fiesta salad and a new favorite salad dressing.  Since I only have four days of school this week, I only need 4 lunches!

Kind of cheating - but dinner at Reds, a local pizza place.  Reds is hosting a fundraiser for the Class of 2015, donating a percentage of the proceeds toward the class, and since I'm a Junior Class Advisor, I should really go and support my kids.  Which means dinner is done!  

Stuffed Manicotti with meat sauce.   Already done and in the refrigerator ready to pop in the oven.  Tucker is not a fan of ricotta or cottage cheese and always complains.  But for some reason, he is completely okay with greek yogurt.  So this time, I shredded some monterey, sharp, and parmesan cheese and mixed it with greek yogurt to stuff into the manicotti.  We'll see if he complains about this one!  

Meatloaf.  Already done and ready to reheat.  Plus Ward can take some to work with him, since he's working that night.   Izzy has dance tonight and isn't out until 5:30.  I love having something done already so we can just come home and eat!

French toast and eggs.  Always super easy and a huge hit here!  Tucker has dance tonight and isn't out until 5:30, so again, it's something easy!  

Homemade mac n cheese.  

Leftovers or burgers.  Or both!    

Did you meal prep this week?  What are you eating?  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Ward and I have been talking about taking the kids to their first Red Sox game this summer for quite some time.   Then I received an email yesterday asking me to try out ScoreBig.   ScoreBig is just that.  It's a ticket selling venue that offers it's customers tickets to concerts, theater events, or sporting events a savings of up to 60%.

I was a bit skeptical at first, 60% off?  Now how on earth do the venues make any money off of prices like that?  But, ScoreBig is the first sales channel created to sell unsold ticket inventories.   They've been featured in 

I have found a place where I can get tickets to the Red Sox at incredibly affordable prices for all four of us!  

So, guess what?  We're taking the kids to see their first Red Sox game as soon as school let's out in June.   Now, it's incredibly easy to get tickets at ScoreBig.  First, just type in your zip code on the top of the page and then choose your event.  I immediately knew I was going to be looking for Red Sox tickets. But there are many other options available on the site.  For New England folks, there's Bruins and Celtics games as well.    Not sure what ScoreBig has available in your area?  Check it out for yourself!  

Next, decide how many tickets you are looking for.  Of course, since we're a family of four, I chose 4.  
Then you decide where you want to sit, based on the tickets available.   

I liked how when you clicked on the different "star" seating areas, the website showed you the pricing areas.  

After you choose the seating area you would like, click on "make offer".  If you are new to the site, you'll need to create an account.  But that doesn't take a lot of time at all.  Put in your price and you know within seconds if your offer is accepted. 

Some other awesome facts - you are not charged outrageous fees either.  No delivery fees.  I for one and getting rather tired of fees for this and fees for that.  To be able to purchase tickets online with no extra fees is an extra bonus. 

Check out ScoreBig on Facebooktwitter,  and the ScoreBig blog.  Have you ever tried ScoreBig before?   

Disclaimer: I was provided with a promo code towards the purchase of event tickets from ScoreBig to try out their website. Of course, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Product Review: Tommie Copper ALL DAY LONG

It is not secret.  I live in workout clothing and do try to fit in workout clothing/gear even when I'm at school.   My wardrobe is roughly 75% running apparel, leaving my everyday and work clothing to a measly 25%.  I don't really want to change that either.  I'd much prefer to wear running clothing anyway.    
I've been a fan of Tommie Copper for the past couple of years.   Tommie Copper's compression isn't the typical compression, where it goes on tight.  The science behind Tommie Copper is that the fabric is lined with copper, a healing element.  That leaves the clothing and accessories Tommie Copper produces to be comfortable for all day wear.   Not something you feel like you have to take off after a couple of hours.   

I recently was given the opportunity to review a few pieces of Tommie Copper apparel.  I received the Camisole and Capris while Ward received the ActiveFit Full Zip Mock Neck Jacket.  Now Ward and I have a set of clothing that is perfect from morning til night, workouts to work to recovery to date night.  

Working Out

Focusing on strengthening my legs.  

And photobombed by Izzy.  

At Work

I didn't keep my shirt hanging out like this all day.  I just wanted to prove I was wearing my Tommie Copper at school under my shear sweater!  

Date Night 

After we ran a total of 20 miles earlier in the day, the best way to recover is put on our Tommie Copper and hang out.  Ward is wearing the ActiveFit Full Zip Mock Neck Jacket and I'm wearing my Tommie Compression Camisole Tank  under my denim shirt (it has been a super cold and long winter, meaning layers!) 

and Tommie's Women's Compression Capri Pants.    The thing about my Tommie Compression Capris is that they are a soft fabric that looks great all of the time and doesn't look like workout clothing at all.  

Pair the compression tights with some leather boots and you are almost instantly dressed up!  

Hanging Out and Recovering

The wide waist band is flattering for my mommy belly.  Thank you, Tommie Copper, for creating a very flattering capri I can wear anytime!

Put on my Tommie Copper, put my legs up and drink some hot tea on a cold winter night.

Compression gear.  Are you a fan of it?  When do you wear it?  Have you tried Tommie Copper before?  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Results Are In..... #EIA

And, I have allergies.  But I already knew that.  I had the back scratch test years ago.  Way back when I was in college.  The only change from then to know in terms of those environmental allergies is that I am no longer allergic to dogs.  Back then, I was.  

Anyway.  Last Thursday I finally got in to see the allergist.  I had orders to get my asthma under control.  And I did.  I passed the breathing test with flying colors!  Now just 3 more months of the steroid inhaler and I can hopefully change my prescription to Singulair.  Fingers crossed.  

But aside from the asthma, I need to figure out why the heck I was experiencing Exercise Induced Anaphalaxis.  The allergist wanted to rule out food allergies.    And I was tested for: wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, nuts, fish, shellfish and tomatoes.   I was also pricked with a positive and a negative - part of the control. The positive was supposed to react and the negative wasn't supposed to.  

After I was pricked I sat there for 15 minutes.  I wasn't allowed to scratch or itch.  Which was fine because I didn't experience a lot of itching.  I did feel a little bit in the area of the positive and the tomato.  But that was it.  At the end of the 15 minutes, the nurse came in and declared I wasn't allergic to any of those items.  The allergist came in and said the same.  He did note that the positive was supposed to have a bigger reaction and asked me if I had taken any antihistamines.  To which I said nope!  I was 5 days antihistamine free.  

see that? not huge, but definitely a reaction!

I will say that I NOTICED that out of the scratches I had on my arm - the positive and tomato were both larger than the other ones.  They were puffy.  Not super puffy.  But there was some puff to them. And they were the same size.  I will also say that the next morning, there was zero evidence that I even had all those scratches on my arms EXCEPT for the positive and tomato.  I could still see those spots.  Hmmm......  I'm not an allergist, but I can't help but think.  

Anyway, while I was there, the allergist thought he'd run me through even more tests to find out what I'm allergic to for environmental allergies.  So this time it was the back scratch test time.  

It was a little awkward trying to take pics of my back, but I did it.   Pen marks, moles, and red blotches.  Nice.  

The verdict?  Cats, dust mites, pollen, grass, weeds (all).  But I knew all of that already.  I just haven't had many major allergic reactions to those things lately.  

So, I asked him about the EIA and the allergists suggestion was - continue to run 4 hours after I eat.   I just spent 100's of $$$ perhaps maybe $1000s on allergy testing and that's his recommendation?  Ummmmm.....seriously?  So, does he not get it?  I'm a working mom, who has a very small window on most days to run. If I see an opportunity, I do it.  But most of the time I need to get out for my run by 2:30, so I can be home in time for the boys to get off the bus at 3:15.  So that means I'm eating my lunch at 10:30?  and then not snacking at all.  I can do it, but I'm starving and then I have zero energy when I run.  I only did it a few times because I had to be antihistamine free for 5 days prior to the testing.   

I did demand a prescription for an EpiPen because I do not want to be in the middle of a Ragnar leg this May and have a reaction without anyway to deal with it.  That scares me.  

So, after all of that, my plan?  Work on my asthma treatment and take antihistamines prior to running.  It's been working, so I should do what works.   

And since EIA is random.  Those who suffer from it do not react every single time they run or exercise, I'd rather be safe than sorry.  I was rather hopefully for answers, but super disappointed in the suggestion because I think it is not a realistic suggestion.  Or maybe I'm just too stubborn.