Friday, February 12, 2016

The benefits of running on a treadmill and some tricks to get you through it

There was a time when I toughed it out and would run outside all winter long, no matter what the weather was like.  Ice pellets in the eyes, slippery conditions, icicles growing on my eyelashes... I've done my time outside and in the dark and I've seriously come to love treadmill running.  

Now, I get it.  Treadmill running takes a certain amount of training.  At first I hated it.  I couldn't wait to finish a mile on that thing.  But over time I've come figure out a few tricks of the trade to get me through and actually enjoy running on the treadmill.  

Escape the elements!  
Now, you do feel quite badass when you finish a run in the driving rain, or a blizzard, or in the pitch dark.  But let's be honest, I don't find it fun to run in the dark or with ice pellets hitting my eyes.  I do like running in the rain....but I'm a little picky about what kind of rain.  A cold, bone chilling rain? No thank you.  On the treadmill, you get to stay warm and dry (except for the sweat) and get in a quality workout!  

I'd rather be sweaty than frozen.  Warm muscles make for a better run anyway.  Now there are ways to avoid getting overly sweaty.  Turn on a fan or two....or open a window.  I know my favorite treadmill at the gym is right beside the window.  When I start getting too hot, I just open the window and continue to enjoy my run!  Just be ready with some ShowerPill wipes when you are done.  You'll need them!  (use my discount code WIPEDOWN for 15%)

Come prepared.
Bring what you need.  The benefit to the treadmill is that you have a place to put your stuff so you have it at hand when you need it and do not have to carry it.  Have your SOS Rehydrate in your water bottle, towel for the sweat, and favorite ear buds.   My iPhone has been key in getting me through lots of running on the treadmill.  

Always have a large stock of SOS!  And if you don't, you better have Amazon Prime so you can get it fast! (I've learned my lesson)

Mpow earbuds and SOS (along with my fave Altras, ProCompression, Spandits, and Run All Day tank)

I have since switched to wireless earbuds (because I kept yanking the cord of my Yurbuds and my phone would go flying).  My friend Seth turned me to Mpow wireless earbuds.  Mine are bit different than his, but I am loving mine!  

I used to always run with music.  But I've gotten a bit more aware of the dangers of running when you cannot hear what's going on around you.  When I run outside, I usually do not listen to music.  Unless I'm in a race.  But when I'm on the treadmill, I like my music loud.  I don't like to listen to my race playlist too much though - because I don't want to be tired of my playlist before the race.  There is a great app call Spring.  

I've only used it on the treadmill so far, but I love how you can choose the steps per minute and music genres.  You can also skip past some songs you aren't in love with, however, you only allowed to skip past 5 songs.  Which I've only done once.  Most of the time I have loved the music played on the app.  

When music isn't cutting it, I have a couple of favorite apps on my phone.  My DirectTv app and HBOtoGo apps.  I love to watch a great cheesy 80's or 90's movie without interruptions.  Movies have gotten me through many, many runs.  

And have some great workouts ready to go.....

The Incline Workout.  
I will be honest, I don't always turn the incline on when I'm on the treadmill.  But I know that my time on the treadmill isn't getting me ready for any races that's for sure...because basically non of them are flat! (well, maybe a small handful)   

When I trained for Mt. Washington Road Race, my best workouts were on the treadmill.  I'm not training for that race (yet), but I'm still turning on the incline!   The pace varies with this workout.   If I'm training for a 5k or 10k, I increase the pace of this workout closer to a 10k pace.  For the most part, I keep this workout at my marathon goal pace (which is 7.0 speed/ 8:34 pace).  

Ladder Workout.  
This workout can be any distance you want it to be.  Just make the adjustments.  It's a favorite of mine for sure.   I have found that it's best to do an odd number of miles to make a "perfect" ladder.  But even numbers work as well.  You just have to be flexible with it.  

Depending on my goals and distance, I may up the pace or make the pace increases smaller.  But you get the idea.  Start off at a comfortable pace and increase it.  Get to a plateau, then work yourself backwards!  It's easy to modify to meet you needs.  

Now.  What are your tricks of the trade for treadmill running?  What workouts do you enjoy most?  

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

#WelcomeToWinning A Reason to Celebrate Everyday!

If you couldn't tell by now, I'm not a person who dwells on the negative.  What's the point?  I just don't get it.    There is so much to be grateful for.

Tucker is healthy.  He's making a full recovery from the surgeries and his skin graft has taken quite well.  We still have appointments, but we're feeling rather good about not having to put him through any more surgeries.  

no big surgery reveals.... he's still healing!   

Isabella is 7!  She's a sweet and caring young lady, who loves to dance and create art.  

I've been married to my best friend for nearly 15 years.    

Everyday is a great day to share the celebration of life and celebrate #WelcomeToWinning with a floral arrangement.  Check out some of the great discounts ProFlowers has here.  

disclosure:  I was sent a bouquet of flowers as part of this campaign.  I was not required to provide a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

#ShareRealFood & Larabar {giveaway}

Someone once told me when you are reading the labels of your food, you should be able to actually read and know what each of the items are in the ingredient list.   With Larabar, I know exactly what the ingredients are because they keep it simple and use Real Food.


Thank goodness for Larabar and all of the delicious choices they make!  Now, I've tried most of the Larabar original bars, the Uber bars and Renola.  I had no idea about the Alt Protein bars and need to get on that pronto!


Check out Larabar's Product lineup:

Larabar Flavors
* Apple Pie
* Banana Bread 
* Blueberry Muffin
* Carrot Cake 
* Cappuccino 
* Cashew Cookie
* Cherry Pie
* Chocolate Chip Brownie
* Chocolate Chip Cherry Torte 
* Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
* Chocolate Coconut Chew
* Coconut Chocolate Chip
* Coconut Cream Pie
* Gingerbread
* Key Lime Pie
* Lemon Bar
* Pineapple Upside Down
* Peanut Butter and Jelly 
* Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
* Peanut Butter Cookie
* Pecan Pie
* Snickerdoodle

Uber Flavors
* Cherry Cobbler
* Coconut Macaroon
* Dark Chocolate Peanut 
* Dark Chocolate Pecan 
* Dark Chocolate Raspberry
* Mixed Roasted Nut

Alt Protein 
(Larabar's protein bar)
* Chocolate Chip Macaroon
* Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter
* Lemon Pound Cake
* Peanut Butter Cookie

(the gluten free, real food seed and nut mix)
* Berry
* Cinnamon Nut
* Cocoa Coconut

I enjoy Larabar anytime of day - morning, afternoon or night.  Snacks at work, pre-workout snacks, snacks on the go.  A quick pick me up in the afternoon.  As you can tell, just about anytime is perfect for a Larabar!

I am quite excited to share with you that Larabar is teaming up with Feeding America to help address the issue of hunger in our country.

"Larabar was founded on the idea that real food should be accessible for all, which is why we are thrilled to help support Feeding America's mission.  Together we will help alleviate hunger and bring awareness to the issue of hunger in the United States."  source

You can help support Larabar and Feeding America's mission by:
1.  Spread the word by sharing #ShareReadFood @larabar posts from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter on your social networks.
2.  Get Connected.  Donate, volunteer, learn more and share the facts.
3.  Post a pic or video and be sure to tag @larabar @feedamerica  to share your experiences on how you #ShareRealFood in your community.

And there's a giveaway folks!  Larabar has offered one lucky Running With The Girls readers a Larabar prize pack (valued at $30).

The details:
* Open to all US residents, age 18 and over
* Contest runs 2/9/16 through 2/16/16.
* Enter through Rafflecopter below.
* Winner will be selected via Rafflecopter and emailed.  Winner will have 24 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

disclosure:    I was provided a sample pack from Larabar due to my affiliation with FitFluential.  This is a sponsored post.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.  

Monday, February 8, 2016

Time to Detox

And no more excuses!  

That about sums it up.  Last August/September, I participated in my first Arbonne Detox.  I was so concerned and nervous about the detox and how it would impact my body, my running, my marathon performance.  It turned out, the detox was the best thing I could have done!  

The results of the Arbonne Detox:
* I lost 14 pounds
* My face was clearer than it has ever been (and I didn't use Arbonne face product)
* My energy levels were high
* Bloating was reduced

Not to mention I ran a half marathon PR AND a marathon PR just after the detox.  Hmmm......   

This got me thinking.  I continued with the 2 replacement meal shakes/day since the detox and a meal at night.  For a long time, I was really controlled and only splurged 1 time a week.  But then the delicious holiday food happened.   And then we started going to Boston every other week for surgeries/appointments for Tucker.  My stress level rose...and my desire to devour a bag of chips increased.  

Well, it's time again! I've been battling an angry stomach.  I may need to have gall bladder surgery, but the doctor said I can control it with diet.  I'm seriously not looking forward to another person in my family needing surgery, so I am starting a detox with a couple of friends today as a (new) Arbonne Consultant.  

Going into this detox today, I've set a couple of goals for myself:
* Increase water consumption
* Zero cheating in the 30 days
* Lose 5 pounds 

Part of the detox isn't just about nutrition, it's about focusing on a fitness goal.  I've been lax about committing to races, because I wasn't really sure what our future held in terms of surgeries for my son.  However, it seems like we've rounded that corner and heading toward recovery.  So, it's time to refocus my running and training and make some definite plans.  

What does that really mean?  I know it's not going to include a spring marathon.  I wanted to.  But I also don't want to commit that amount of time to training right now.  If I were to commit to a marathon right now, I'd want to put everything I have into it so I could go big.  I seriously do not have that time right now to do my training justice.  Which is why I'm sticking with a fall marathon.  

My eye is on a half marathon or two this spring, a few 10ks, maybe a 5k or so.  Then work my ass off for DeMar this September.  I'm still deciding which races I really want to do this spring/summer - but the list does include some favorites:

* LL Bean 10k
* Beach to Beacon 10k
* Rail Trail Half Marathon 
* Mt Washington Road Race (if I get picked from the lottery!) 
* and maybe Race the Runways - not a favorite, but it's flat and it is a couple of weeks later than it normally is, so I'm hoping for improved conditions?!?!  

There's lots of room for more races, I just haven't decided yet.... but it will come together!  

Have you ever done a detox?   How about your race schedule???  Tell me about it!  

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 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!)  

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!)