Thursday, October 23, 2014

MDI Relay Recap

This past weekend, the girls and I made our way back to MDI for our 2nd girls weekend and my 3rd time running at MDI.

My Apera Bag packed full of Oofos Recovery Shoes, Spandits (because one can never have too many pairs of Spandits), Stable 26 socks.  What you cannot see:  Skechers GOrun3 and enough fuel to get me through an ultra or two.
I might have a problem overpacking.  

We had decided were going to have 2 relay teams:  

It was all Carrie's idea!  And it was perfect.  This year our outfit was whatever Spandits you want to wear.  Last we all matched in our skulls - but this year we spiced it up a bit.  

Saturday morning was the kids last soccer game which was to be done round robin style - basically short 20 minute games while rotating through the other teams allowing each team to play each other one last time.  I made it to Izzy's games and made it to half of Tucker's games before Jill and I loaded up her car, made a pitstop at Starbucks (and then my house because I may have forgotten to pack my inhaler!) and we were off!

apparently when you are 5 it's best to play soccer holding hands

Saturday was a perfect fall day.  Warm and sunny and gorgeous colors reflecting from the orange and yellow leaves.  Kind of like the last hurrah.    Jill and I made it to packet pick up, found our bibs, gathered up our awesome race shirt and went to do some shopping in Bar Harbor.  Of course!  We promised the kids we would bring back some goodies, so we did.

After dinner at Paddy's, we headed back to the motel to check in.  We had a restful evening hanging out and watching some tv and opened up some birthday gifts to Carrie (since it was her birthday and a belated one from Carrie to me!).  I love that I have crafty friends!  (now I have a lot of pressure to make sure I get her a kickass gift...I sure hope she likes what I ordered!!!)

The next morning we were up bright and early ready to go.  It's crazy how fast you can get ready when you don't have kids with you!  We made our way to the continental breakfast and then to the starting line.  Once we got there, we decided to head back to the cars to get our arm sleeves - because the wind was rather crazy!  We met up with Gretchen, my new running friend, who just ran her first marathon 2 weeks prior and decided to run MDI.  That woman rocks!

We made it to the starting line area so we could get our starting line photos taken, got to see some running friends and then waited patiently for the AC/DC to start pumping through the speakers and before long, we were off!

Carrie and I stuck with Gretchen for our leg.  This weekend was about fun so that's what we did!  The three of us got to see gorgeous views of MDI and talk about everything.  As we neared the 13.1 point, we said our goodbyes to Gretchen and then Stacy and Jill took over the running part.
Photo Courtesy of Gretchen's husband 

That's when it got hard.   We had no idea where we were going!  The spotty cell service wouldn't let us download the email (because I didn't follow directions and didn't print out the map beforehand) BUT thankfully, Jill is smart because she left the color map on the dashboard of her car - so after a brief panic, we finally figured out to look at the map and refresh my memory on how I got out that area last year.  It wasn't really that hard, just took a little bit.  

photo courtesy of Stacy

Carrie and I made it to the finish area parking lot in no time and decided to go scope out the finish line area.  We did read the part that we were not to cross the timing mat at we made sure to not go near that thing!  The awful part is that we wanted to scope out the beer tent (since we couldn't find it last year).  This year we found it! But couldn't get to it because of the timing mat.  (When I came home and explained the problem we faced, Ward said "why didn't you just take your shirt off and leave it on the other side of the timing mat?"  Ummmm...I don't know why we didn't!  It's not like we didn't have other shirts with us.  Next year, that's what we'll do!

Jill & Stacy stopping for a self with the famous tree along the course
photo courtesy of Stacy and Jill 
As always, the course did not disappoint.  It's a gorgeous course that is well laid out and organized.  The volunteers are absolutely amazing.  I loved the bands along the course as well!  If you ever get the chance to run MDI - you have to do it! 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Make Everyday Cancer Awareness Day with Skechers Performance

When I run, I usually run for myself, for my health, for my sanity.  But lately, it's been more for those who cannot.  Those who are fighting against Breast Cancer, a horrid disease that just needs to go away.  I'm running for my loved ones that are completely exhausted after their treatments, yet they find a way to go on and be the strong, courageous women I love.

More recently, I have come to learn of several people I love and cherish are battling cancer.  I am in awe of their strength and dignity when it comes to fighting this deadly disease.  One friend, who was just recently diagnosed with breast cancer, is my age and has young children.  She's an amazing woman.  This hits close to home.  Perhaps too close.  I have cried many tears for her and her family.  I have cried many tears for all of my friends who are battling cancer.

Cancer really should be a four letter word.  It's awful.  It's broken my own family.  I lost my mother to lung cancer just over 8 years ago.  The pain and hurt will never end.  For me, the word cancer makes me sad and angry.  I hate cancer.

Skechers, one of my most favorite companies of all, has just developed a line of Breast Cancer Awareness shoes.  Even better, Skechers has a Breast Cancer GOrun3! My absolutely all time favorite shoe.  (I may already have two other pairs)  My newest pair was welcomed lovingly into my Skechers shoe family.

You have got to check out the Skechers Breast Cancer Awareness Line and let me know which one is your favorite!

Skechers GOrun3 - Awareness ($77)
The GOrun3 is designed for speed.  Skechers used it's technologies to design and develop a shoe that promotes a mid foot strike and provides a nearly barefoot running experience while providing some cushioning.
- forefoot is roomy (love!) 
- GOimpulse sensors offer flexibility allow for a responsive running experience 
- the M-Strike Technology™promotes a mid foot strike 
- 4 mm drop to bring you closer to a barefoot experience 
- Resalyte™ Midsole is a lightweight injection-molded compound with memory retention that helps to absorb impact 
- the upper is nearly seamless and does not have any friction points (especially on my picky feet) 
- 5.2 oz.

How is Skechers Supporting American Cancer Association? 
I am proud to announce that Skechers Performance is joining the American Cancer Society in the fight to end Breast Cancer as they continue to invest in ground breaking research, provide comprehensive support to people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and to continue to advocate for laws that ensure access for women to need it so more lives are saved.  

In addition to the Breast Cancer Awareness footwear and apparel line, Skechers is also supporting the American Cancer Society in these ways: 
1.  Skechers Performance is donating the proceeds from the awareness line (apparel and shoes) to the American Cancer Society.
2.  Skechers is hosting the American Cancer Society San Francisco Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk and will also donate a percentage of their proceeds from the sales of Skechers at the event.
3.  All Skechers Retail stores have launched a register round-up program which allows customers to round up their purchase to the nearest whole dollar to benefit the American Cancer Society for the entire month of October.  And to sweeten the deal - if customers donate $5 or more, they will receive a 20% discount for their next visit.   With the purchase of a limited-edition awareness shoe, Skechers Retail stores are also offering a breast cancer awareness canvas tote or pink water bottle.

Who do you run for?  
What motivates you to run?  

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

    Sunday, October 12, 2014

    Long Run Necessities

    As my dreams of completing my 4th full marathon came to an end with that nagging gluteal injury, I decided to scale back and do the MDI Relay with the girls!  Next Sunday we will be heading up to MDI with two relay teams.  

    As I recovered from my injury, I didn't say goodbye to my long runs.  I still kept up my longer runs - getting back to 10 miles, then 12, 13.5, then 14.  And I plan on keeping long runs in my training plans.   Especially since I'm eyeing up a spring marathon.  

    As I continue to train with long runs, I continue to use my favorite running accessories to get me through these long runs.  

    Camelbak Marathoner 
    My love for Camelbak has been been increased.  You see, I had trained for my first 3 marathons and few half marathons with my Camelbak original.  Heck, I've even raced with it.   I love the hands-free design of Camelbak - a place to store your fuel/cell phone/toilet paper/gum and a water carrying system that allows you to have water whenever you want!  As you can tell, I was already a Camelbak fan.  

    The only thing that has changed over the years - is that my cell phone has gotten larger - which takes up space in the little single pocket of my original Camelbak.  And I was starting to get annoyed at not being able to quickly access my fuel in the pocket on the back.  I have tried other options for fuel and water in the front of me - carrying a water bottle, fuel belts, shoving gum/fuel into my bra - all have been annoying.  

    But then I came across an opportunity to try out the Camelbak's Marathoner.  Still - a wonderful method to bring water with you on the long runs but with pockets along the front strap areas for quick and easy access to everything you need (or may need)! 

    Camelbak didn't stop there in the improvements - they also went ahead and made it possible to lengthen the straps of the overall pack with velcro hidden straps - to allow for taller or shorter runners to enjoy this fabulous pack.  They also made the straps a lot easier to use and have provided a great way to tie up the extra straps so they aren't swaying around while you run. 

    Some people have asked if the sloshing of water bothers me.  Nope not at all.  The water doesn't even slosh around because after I've finished filling up the water reservoir, I close it up and tip it upside down.  Then I hold the water hose higher than the reservoir and squeeze out the excess air!   

    My fuel of choice is usually Honey Stinger.  I can have an angry digestive system when I run, but it loves Honey Stinger!  

    Toilet Paper
    I live in an area where there are not a lot of public restrooms or stores to stop by to use the facilities.  But luckily I live in an area where there are plenty of wooded areas.  The problem is that leaves do not always do the trick with wiping.  Just before heading out the door for my long runs, I roll up a portion of toilet paper and tuck it into my Camelbak pocket.  Now I'm good to go.  And do not worry if it's raining....your toilet paper just back a wet wipe and that's even better!  

    I always run with gum.  It is something I started early on and now I have to have my gum.  I've even gotten out a mile on a run and realized I had forgotten my gum - so I come home and get it.  When I'm out on a long run, I like it to be accessed easily.  I've also noticed with sweat and heat, gum can get sticky and start to dissolve if I leave it in the original packaging.  To avoid this, I unwrap individual pieces and put them in a small plastic baggie.  That way I don't have to worry about unwrapping the gum or the dissolving part!  

    My phone
    For safety mostly.   Sadly most of my running has been solo.  I feel a bit better having my phone with me.  But I also like having my phone with me for the random selfie or if I'm not feeling okay - the RESCUE ME call (that is if Ward answers)!  If my mileage isn't super long, I'll use my phone for a gps to track my mileage as well.  But most of the gps apps do take up a ton of battery, so I try to not do this all of the time.  

    My Garmin and the old Camelbak....which has been given to Izzy, because I love watching her run around the
     house with it on saying she's a runner girl and training.  
    Garmin 10
    I don't use my Garmin a lot but I tend to pull it out when I'm going for a long run.  The battery lasts  a lot longer than my phone and it's easier to see my mileage with the watch on my wrist rather than having to pull out my phone.  I love the simple design of this Garmin.  I don't need all of the fancy bells and whistles of the higher priced Garmins.  I just need mileage, average pace, and time.   

    Of course.  Zero chaffing.  Fun colors!  The smoothest fabric that stands up to hundreds of washings and does not fall apart!  Made by two lovely woman runners who know what runners love.  That's why I love Spandits!  

    When you order your Spandits - let the ladies know I sent you!
    Of course shoes are super important for a run.  Wearing shoes that do not fit right or do not give you the ride you want are no good.  If they make you hurt, don't wear them!  It's really that simple.  but finding the right shoe for you can be a daunting task.  For me, the search took a long time - but I have found them (thanks to my job at the Rail Trail Run Shop and my friends Amy and Seth).  Now my feet and arches are happy every time I wear them.  I admit it.  I do switch up my shoes every so often.  I think it's necessary.  But every time I put my Skechers on my feet after wearing another brand, my feet seriously say "ooohhhh thank you!"  My favorite Skechers have been the Go Run Ultras (super cushioning) and Go Run 3 (lighter weight yet still cushy).  Stay tuned for more on this shoe as I have a new pair coming tomorrow that has a ton of meaning to me.   I just wish I was faster so I could be an ambassador for Skechers - because they really are the shoe for me!  I would give up all of the other shoes if Skechers chose me.  Just had to put that out there!  

    Stable 26
    And you cannot  forget socks.  Socks have the power to make or break your run.  It's crazy that one little piece of clothing has so much impact on your run.  Stable 26 has been an amazing addition to my running routine.  My shoes do not slip and I do not get blisters.  I'm impressed!  

    What are your long run necessities?  Share!  

    Friday, October 10, 2014

    1 Voice Headband Review + Discount Code

    Friday is always my favorite day of the (work) week.  Today wasn't necessarily my most favorite Friday - it was a teacher workshop day.  I'd rather teach any day of the week.  Today's task was to analyze the new state required test our juniors will be taking this spring.  I don't usually talk about my professional opinions on here - but to say I'm not impressed with this test is a complete understatement.    

    But let's turn this around and make it more positive.... like running!  Not a stupid test that will be replaced soon.  
    Earbud wires are not my friend.  I hate the dangling wires swaying around.  If I do bring music with me, I use my iPod shuffle and tuck the wire under my shirt. It doesn't always keep the cord from swinging around, but it's better than a cord flinging out my arm!  But now I have a brand new workout's the 1 Voice headband.  

    1 Voice headband has built-in bluetooth earbuds - so I don't have the cord swinging around.  Huge plus.    Now I don't have to bring along my shuffle, my phone, corded earbuds, and a separate headband.  I've just cut down my list of running items:  phone and headband (with earbuds attached). How do you like the sound of that?  Get it? Sound? Music?  I crack myself up.  

    Not only does the bluetooth earbuds make it easier to listen to your favorite music while you run, you also get great sound quality from the earbuds!  And the headband?  It's simple and black.  Which I love.  There is something to be said about simple.  It matches everything.  And it doesn't slip around and it helps to wick sweat.  Even better!  Check out this video!

    1 Voice headbands retail for $59.00, but with the code, B1V40, you save 40% and get free shipping!  (Which means you pay $35.40!)  How about that for a great deal?  

    Do you run with music?  What's your favorite running song?  I've been loving listening to Meghan Trainor lately!  

    Disclosure: I was provided a 1 Voice headband for the purpose of a review.  I was not required to give a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.  

    Thursday, October 9, 2014

    Three Things Thursday

    Happy Thursday everyone!!!  Here are 3 things that are making me happy lately!

    1.  Today was a great day at my school - it's Day of Caring!  

    I have to brag for a moment.  I have the absolute best advisees ever.  I've been their advisor for the past 3 years and they impress me every year we've done Day of Caring.  For the past two years, my group has been assigned to the rail trail.  Last year we painted a wall under a bridge.  This year, my group cleared an embankment overrun by weeds and knotweed (a bamboo-like, invasive plant).  Our group was small this year, but they took it on like champs.   I'm so impressed with them!  

    Boy will I miss them next year! 

    2.  Last week, the entire clan - got together for a fabulous photo session.  All 8 of us.  It was a ton of fun because we are lucky enough to be able to work with the best photographer in our area.  Last night she emailed me our photos....and to say I'm impressed would be an understatement.  The photos she took of are amazing.  See for yourself!  

    and if you live in Maine, please check out 179 Photography!  

    3.  Running has been going great!  This past week I've gotten out quite a few times and haven't experienced any pain at all.  I'm feeling really good.  

    And when I feel good, I start thinking about marathons.  

    Like, which one will I do?  
    Do I still have time to do one this fall?  
    I teeter on the I really need to do one? 
     I just injured myself while training for this last one 
    (that isn't going to happen - instead I'm doing the relay).  
    And then when I decide that I want to do one, I'm on the fence for 
    do I really train hard to try for that BQ? 
    Do I even have the time?  

    So many undecided.  For now.  

    All I know is that next weekend I'm heading to Bar Harbor with my girls and we're going to have a great time doing the relay!  And we'll look HOT in our Spandits!  Have you picked up a pair yet?  You seriously need to get on that!  

    It will probably be too cold to wear this next weekend, but trust me, I'll be representing Spandits.

    And tell Kelley and Sarah I sent you.   That is all.  Have a great Thursday night!  

    Monday, October 6, 2014

    Asics Gel Kayano 21 #ShoeReview

    When I first started running - I ran in Nike and New Balance.  Then I had my first shoe fitting at Maine Running Company and I was fitted in the Asics Gel DS Racer.  I was in love.  Light and responsive.  When it was time to retire them, I moved onto the Asics FujiRacer.  Again, another great shoe.    

    I had never run in the Kayano.   Never even thought of it.   I always thought of them as a heavy, bulky stability shoe that wasn't for me.  But then I was offered the chance to run in the newest and lightest Kayano 21...weighing in at 8.9 oz. and rated as a neutral/light stability shoe. To be honest, I was intrigued.   Scratch that.  Excited!  No just intrigued.  

    I couldn't get the box open fast enough when they came on Thursday.   I put them on, walked around for a few moments, thought "yep...they will be perfect" and took off on a quick 2 mile run.  2 miles?  Yes...only because that's what I had time for before Izzy's bus was going to arrive at my house. 

    After I finished that 2 miles, I was assessing how my body felt- arches felt great, bunions were happy, calves weren't mad at me, shins were happy, and my back wasn't achy.  Those are my usual check points to see if a pair of shoes are right for me.  So, after Izzy got off the bus, I loaded up the jogger into the back of the car and we drove down to my favorite rail trail and ran another 2 miles.  Now, if they were awful shoes, I definitely would have changed out of them and put on my regular shoes.  The fact that I went out again in them says a lot!  

    Today, I started out in a different pair of shoes for my morning run - which ended earlier than I want it too because I felt sick.  But I got back out there later in the day when I was feeling a lot better - put on my Kayanos and I felt like I could run FOREVER in them!  I ended my day with 14 miles and a HUGE smile on my face! 

    What I like about them is that they are a lighter trainer that offers some cushioning.  My toes do not feel cramped in there either.   Which is super important with my metatarsal issues.  Wow, I have picky feet!  And guess what? My picky feet LOVE the Kayanos!  I can see why so many people run in them and I'm happy to say they have earned themselves a spot in my regular rotation.  Now that's pretty gosh darn important!  

    Are you an Asics fan?  Have you run in the new Kayano?  I'm a huge fan now!  

    Sunday, September 28, 2014

    Get Active with #ActiveNationDay

    Have you heard? Today is ACTIVE NATION DAY! 
     So, get off the couch and get outside and MOVE! Lorna Jane and FitApproach want to spread the word that today (and everyday) is a perfect day to get moving. 

    Lorna Jane started this movement two years ago by hosting events all over the world. Now, this year, Lorna Jane has made it their goal to make the movement GLOBAL! 

    If you haven't gotten up and been active yet...there is still time. There's actually always time! No excuses. Bring the kids! Go for a walk, head to the playground and let them run around while you run laps around the playground, push you little one(s) in a jogger, or let them ride their bike or ride a scooter beside you while you run! If you are stuck on the Lorna Jane app and check out the movement ideas there and listen to Lorna's motivating words in her fantastic accent.

    I've only used the running selection, but I do like that there are so many more options to running.  And if you are looking for some motivational quotes....the Lorna Jane app has those too!

    I took the kids out for a run today...well, I ran, Tucker rode his scooter & Izzy ran a little (but mostly sat in her jogger). No worries. She was active too. We ended the run at a playground!

    Lorna Jane is also hosting a #LJMove competition on instagram. You can enter the contest by sharing your video doing the Lorna Jane dance. Check out the moves here and do it! It's fun! (plus you get a chance to win a $1000 gift card to Lorna Jane!   I haven't made my video yet....but it's coming.  Follow me on Instagram and see what I come up with.  If you make a video, please comment below or tag me in your video (@runningwtg) so I can see your awesome moves!