Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tried It Tuesday

Happy Valentine's Day!  And if you're in Maine, happy late start or snow day for you.  The clean up is still going on from yesterday's blizzard dumping, just in time for another crazy snow tomorrow!  I can honestly say I am 100% done with snow.   But, from the looks of it, the snow will be here for a little while, so I may as well embrace it.   Sorta.  



I love snowshoeing and if I can make a trail or two, I'll get out and do more snowshoe running in my fields and woods.  But someone suggested I look into snow mobile trails.  I'm sure there are some in my area.  I just don't know where.   I'll do some searching and perhaps head out there.  That would keep me from the side of the roads where it is super dangerous (on my road especially!) and change it up a bit from my treadmill love-affair.  



Something I thought would be perfect to share with you today is my love for Red Ace Organics.  I've been trying them for a little while now and really do love them!  What are they?  They are shots of beet juice to give you energy all day.  



I love beets and the benefits of beets.  But I don't like peeling them and cooking them.   My problem is solved with Red Ace Organics, because all I have to do is open this cute little bottle. 


Red Ace Organics comes in three different flavors:   Beets Performance Shot, Beets and Turmeric Shot, and Beets and Greens Shot.  I cannot say if I liked one more than the other because they were all tasty.  




I am super sad they are all gone, but if I head over to the Red Ace Organics website to order, and use the code runningwiththegirls, I will save 15% off my order and YOU WILL TOO! Which I think is definitely worth it!   These little shots were tasty and definitely gave me a boost of energy that we all need!  



Have you ever tried beet juice before?  I have and didn't like it.  BUT, Red Ace Organics is FAR better and tastes amazing!  


disclaimer:  I was sent a case of Red Ace Organics to review. I did not receive any additional compensation and was not required to give a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.  

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Monday, February 13, 2017

2017 MidWinter Classic Recap

My 6th MidWinter Classic is in the books.   If you live in Maine, I believe this is the must-do race in the winter.  I look forward to it each year and this year was no different.  

MidWinter Classic is a 10 mile race in Cape Elizabeth usually held the morning of Super Bowl Sunday.  You never know what the weather will be like.  One year the temperature was in the 40s and I wore shorts!  But this year was definitely not shorts weather (for me anyway).  


It was actually a pretty nice day.  Sunny, in the high 20/low 30s but windy.  I opted for my Spandits fleece lined Bandit, Spandits custom tights (half Abyss and half Fast Cat), Darn Tough socks, Mizuno gloves, Altra One 2.5s, and my Altra half-zip top.  


Before heading down to the race, I rolled out my tight hamstrings (and calves, quads, IT band... the works).  I love how my Trigger Pin does the job. 


I mostly chose my One 2.5s because they had my Momentum shoe charms "Finish Strong" on them; always the best inspiration on race day! 


Pre-Race photo op with Emilie, fellow Altra Ambassador.  Love repping Altra!  This is one race I usually don't care too much about being in the front.  It's a great race.  Not too big, not too small.   It's only crowded for the first 10th of a mile, then after that, you can find your pace rather easily.  So I usually just hang out in the back.  This time, I was definitely not ready when the cannon went off.   But I quickly kissed Ward, our pre-race ritual, then off I went.  


The hardest part of the race is to not go out too fast.  The first couple of miles are mostly downhill.  This year, I had been battling a cold the entire week before the race, so I knew going into the race that it was not going tone a fast one.  I just wanted a good workout.    As I've run this race 6 years, I know exactly when I need to smile and be ready for David Colby of Maine Running Photos.    Thank you, David!  


The course itself was great.  The hills were exactly where they were the last 6 years.  They didn't get any smaller, which is a shame.  But I was ready for them.   And finishing smiling is always a plus!     I finished in 1:25 and change, 6 minutes shy of a PR but 6 min faster than my slowest MWC, so I'm good with this.   And I didn't end up with Pneumonia like I did after the race one year.  


I couldn't wait to get out of my smelly clothes and put on something dry, comfy, and cute!   My #LoveRun t-shirt from Run Far Gear is a definite favorite of mine. (PS I'm a new Ambassador for Run Far Gear.  Use code RFG2017JB for 10% off!)


While it wasn't my fastest year, and I was FAR off from any age group placing, my husband was 3rd in his age group and scored this awesome backpack!  I love the different prizes MWC hands out to the winners and AG winners each year.  


After the race, we went to C Salt, a cute market just beside Cape Elizabeth HS.  We could smell the deliciousness as we ran past it toward the finish and had to check it out.  I chose the perfect breakfast/lunch - the burrito with green tea and a blueberry Kombucha.  My only question is why haven't we gone there before? We've been missing out.  


One more thing.  I do love how MidWinter Classic has kept the same style of race shirts each year for the past few years.  The simple style is something I really like, but the color this year is my all-time favorite.  Thank you, MidWinter Classic for putting on a fabulous race each year!  I am already thinking about next year's race!  



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Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday Favorites with Kamagon Ball

The following post is sponsored by Hedstrom Fitness via my partnership with Fit Approach.  In addition to compensation, I was given free product to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own. 

Fridays ARE my absolute favorite day of the week.  It's almost like suddenly I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I feel rejuvenated again!  Or maybe it was the early release Tuesday, late start on Wednesday and then full on entire day off Thursday all due to that four letter word - SNOW!   The week kinda flew right by and before you knew it, Friday was here!

This weather lately has me wanting to stay inside as much as possible, which is completely okay with me as I've been building my home gym for a bit so I'm pretty much all set.  The latest and greatest piece of equipment has been the Kamagon Ball.  They what ball?  Yes, the Kamagon Ball.  It uses Hydro-Inertia, the utilization of water to create an unstable resistance that increases core strength and stability during exercise.  And you get to choose how heavy you want your Kamagon Ball to be because YOU fill it with water.  Sooo easy!  



It's THAT easy.  I love it.  Customizable fitness.  You don't have to have several different sizes laying around.  One piece of equipment.  DONE!   I like that it looks like a kettle bell but it isn't because it has two handles, which adds to the range of uses.  BIG time!   




As you can tell from the 4 weeks of #FridayFiveMoves - you have arm, legs, core - all at the same time.  


The Kamagon Ball is easy to adapt to just about any strength exercise.   Lunges, squats, oblique twists, crunches, jumps, tricep extensions... the list goes on!  



You get what I'm saying??? I love this thing!  



And I have a super discount for you from now until my birthday (the BIG 40!) use the code SPHF25 for 25% off until 2/28/17.  How on earth am I going to be 40?  I think I need to do something crazy to celebrate.  What do you think?  What are your suggestions?   




Until then, enjoy my little cameo here.  I'm seriously such a dork when it comes to videos.   I should practice them a little more.  



    Wednesday, January 25, 2017

    Thank Goodness it's Hump Day!

    A short week can seriously mess you up!   Actually, I don't think I ever recovered from the past weekend.   Saturday was packed full of cleaning and decorating for Izzy's birthday party.  No run.  But I was dead tired!   

    at least I had my Tokala's from Altra!  happy feet for sure

    We had Tuesday off due to a nor'easter that brought us a ton of sleet. I did take advantage of the day off and got in 8 miles yesterday in my pain cave.  My workout called for hill intervals.  Given the icy and dangerous conditions outside, I felt the treadmill would be the best place to get in my workout.   And I was right!  I did have to wear my Embrace the Hill tank for motivation to get me through an intense workout.   It matches my Spandits perfectly! 




    It was so messy, we had a 2 hour delay this morning.   I am thankful for the call being made, it was for everyone's safety.  The roads were still quite dicey when I went into school.  But the shortened schedule still makes for a crazy day!  You know what it's like when your schedule is thrown off!    My water bottle adorned with this beautiful Momentum Jewelry bracelet, was a nice reminder to take a moment and Just Breathe.  




    The day started out late, but it went super late!   And when I finally got home, I saw this post on FB and it completely described how I was feeling!   




    So true.  But I do it to myself.  I take on too much sometimes.   BUT, the way I balance things out with the crazy life, is to make time for myself.  So after dinner and after I let it settle for a bit (I'm not good at running after I eat at all!)... I made my way down to my pain cave for another date with the TM.



    Seriously.  How much do I love this combo?  One leg tiger stripe, the other leg abyss.  Spandits - you seriously make me happy with your custom styles!   They look perfect with my Darn Tough socks and black Altra One 2.5s.  Plus, I think I'll be wearing these ALL of the time when I'm coaching this spring!   Gardiner Tiger colors and print ALL THE WAY!   

    Like I said.  Thank goodness it's hump day.  Now we are technically more than halfway through the week.... I am positive I can make it through Thursday and Friday now.    Well, that is, I can just avoid ALL of the negative stuff on social media.  Seriously!  I just want FB filled with happy thoughts.  Ward and I were talking tonight.  Can we just post pics of our kids doing odd things, or cute puppies, or fishing trips or whatever and stay away from all of the name calling and meanness!   End rant.  

    Now, we can focus on a great and happy end of the week.   What plans do you have for the weekend?   I am not racing, so I'm excited to run with the group at KVC and get in some snowshoe running!  



      

    Tuesday, January 24, 2017

    Bradbury Squall Race Report

    I finally crossed SnowShoe Race off my bucket list!   It's been something I've been wanting to do and when I purchased my running snowshoes last month, I knew I had to finally take the plunge and register myself for a race.   The Bradbury Squall 3.5 miler is done!



    I was rather nervous that the race was going to be cancelled due to our lack of snow or that the race would be a trail race.   But then the email came from the race director - the race was ON and to wear snowshoes.   I had been prepping myself for a sloppy, winter trail race - but was excited because I have been wearing the sweet KingMT's that Altra will be releasing in the next month.  


    When reality sunk in that I was indeed going to be running my first snowshoe race, I became SO nervous.  I had only run in my new Atlas 22's, twice since I purchased them.  I have also been on the treadmill a TON lately.  How on earth does that prepare me for a snowshoe race?  It doesn't.




    I got to the race early to get my bib and to get a parking spot.   The race director's email warned us of the limited parking, so I thought it would better to get there early.  I didn't have anyone to carpool with, sadly.  Maybe next time I can convince a friend to run with me?  



    When I checked in, the very kind people at the table asked me what size shirt I wanted.  I asked if they were unisex and she said the best thing ever.  "no, all Trail Monster Races get men and women sizes". I love her.   After she gave me my shirt, I knew I had to earn the right to wear it.  How awesome is this shirt?   I think it is definitely the best race shirt I've ever gotten.   


    One thing is for certain, I was rather impressed to see so many Altra shoes on the Lamey Wellehan table!  Of course there were some other brands, but Altra is my fave.  


    People started heading over to the starting line area, so I thought it would a great idea to do the same. Time to get my head in the race and to make sure my snowshoes were on correctly.  


    And then I saw this guy.  He's badass.   It was overcast and barely 37 degrees.  


    Snowshoes on and ready to go!  


    But I wasn't quite ready to take off my jacket!  It was definitely a little chilly.  I guess I was spoiled with 43F the day before and sun!   I think it was about 37F at race start and it was overcast.  Not bad at all.  It definitely could have been worse!  Eventually I took my jacket off and hung it on a branch.  


    Still not sure about this running in snowshoes thing?   And single track?  Oh jeez!  That part made me nervous.


    But then I saw a great friend of ours and all was right.  Thanks, John!   It's always great to see you.  (and your tiny house!)


    I set myself in the middle of the pack (ish) and waited for the race directors directions.   I loved how laid back he was and everyone around me seemed quite chill.   Shortly after his directions, we were off.  I waited for a bit to start my Garmin because I was SOOO far back.   My actually results are smidge longer since this definitely was not a chip timed race.  I love smaller races!   

    The trails were taken care of quite well!  I was impressed with the work the race director and John had done the day before.  I was appreciative for sure!  



    I had NO idea there was a trail cam out there.  Lucky for me, it caught me focused and working hard. See!  Proof I did work hard for this one!   I had passed several people (when I could, safely).  I was only passed by 2 people.  I would call that a win.  I had NO idea what to expect for a finish time as I had never raced a snowshoe race before.   


    photo courtesy of Maine Running Photos

    The actual distance of the race was 3.5 miles; therefore my pace is off.  But the time is correct (well, from the moment I started to the moment I crossed the finish line).  The official results have me with 42 minutes and change.   That Momentum Bracelet has become my go-to race bracelet.  Make It Happen is the motto at KVC - a lovely group of runners I have recently joined and already love being part of.  


    I came home from the race feeling absolutely pumped.  I had a blast and before I even left the race, I registered for the next one on 2/12!  The next race in the series is the 4 miler.  Then there is a 5 miler in March.  If I do the March one, it would be my first race in the 40 age group!   Eek!

    goodies found on my run 

    Actually, after completing this race, it got me thinking that I want to run more trail races this year.  Which means I will have to train on more trails.  Gulp.  That's the hard part because I am such a nervous nelly, I won't run on trails, in the woods, alone.  That will take some planning to get a friend to run with me, but it's worth it!   I'm eyeing up the Pineland's 25k right now.  We'll see!


    When I came home, I didn't bother changing and I went out directly for more mileage!  It was Izzy's 8th birthday, so I had to run 8 miles.  Only makes sense!   I'm almost dressed head-to-toe in Altra above.  Altra half-zip (the bomb!), Altra tights (with mesh behind the knee...love this), Altra gaiters, and Altra KingMT trail shoes.  I HAD to have on something Spandits, because Spandits is my first love.  So I chose the super awesome bandit. (20% off right now at Spandits! - tell them Jen B sent you too!).   


    Yes, the best race shirt.  I had to wear it after I showered.  I cannot wait to see what the swag is at the next race!  TMR, you rock!


    Oh, and I have some freaking AWESOME news!  I'm going to the Head Track Coach at Gardiner HS this spring!  To say I'm pumped would be a complete understatement.   




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    Monday, January 16, 2017

    Compression Just Got Better #KProChallenge

    We're just a few weeks into the new year and only a couple of weeks away from my first race of the year.  Training is going well!  I'm learning to push myself through some tough workouts - intervals, hills, distance, strength workouts.  And they are leaving me tired and sore.  A good kind of sore!



    I will be honest.  I have spent a ton of time inside on the treadmill.  It's seriously so much easier for me to not worry about the kids schedules, less daylight, and cold.   I can just put on a tank, grab a towel, and bring my phone downstairs to enjoy some Netflix loving time and to bang out some miles on my treadmill.  

    A photo posted by Jen Boudreau (@runningwtg) on


    Sunday morning I woke up so sore!  My legs were saying no more! But I had 10 miles to get done.  Then I remembered my 12 miler last weekend and I had similar feelings.   I wore my SKINS K-PROPRIUM tights last week and they were amazing.  I had only planned on 10 miles, but just kept going.  12 miles later, I still felt pretty good.  After I showered and got into my daily routines, I noticed that I did not feel like I had run 12 miles.   So, I thought, let's try out those SKINS compression tights again.



    And I did.  And 10 miles never felt so good.  The sore muscle feeling went away.  The miles just ticked away.   It was an odd feeling.  Something I haven't experienced before on a longer run.  It got me thinking, how on earth are my legs feeling so good running in compression tights?  I've tried running in compression tights before and it was not a good situation.  It really turned out to be that I should only wear them as recovery tights.  So I was a little timid to run in the SKINS tights.  But I did, and now there's no going back!




    I have had the opportunity to try out the K-PROPRIUM compression tights for the past few weeks and lucky you,  SKINS' is launching K-PROPRIUM compression tights for men and women this February.



    SKINS' K-PROPRIUM combines the best dynamic gradient compression with strategically placed Proprioceptive Power Bands (PPB's) to fight fatigue and reduce the risk of injury and improve performance by enhancing proprioception.  




    But wait!  I know what fatigue is.  My legs feel it almost every time I bust out a tough workout or a long run.  I definitely know what injuries are.  I've had far too many.  But seriously, what the heck is proprioception?  Thankfully, the people at SKINS have defined this for us.  



              "Proprioception is the unconscious perception of motion and spatial awareness.  
               It's the body's ability to sense movement in the joints, so you're aware of where 
               your limbs are without having to look.  It's important to everyday activities like 
               standing and walking, but it's even more important during physical activity where 
              dynamic movements and co-ordination are vital for optimal performance.  When 
              you're active for long periods of time, the body's ability to perform at a sustained 
              intensity drops as the muscles become fatigued.  This reduces the joint support that   
              controls normal motion effectively and can lead to poor form and increased risk of 
               injury."    - from SKINS' 


    So basically, what I'm telling you is the SKINS' merged two amazing compression methods into one pair of tights to bring us tights that will help improve performance when your legs are fatiguing and will help you persevere through that tough workout.    


    But all of this doesn't really matter unless you try them our or know of someone who has tried them out.  I had the opportunity to try out a pair for the past few weeks.  After several workouts in them, I can assure you that they feel amazing on my legs and have definitely made a few workouts much better.




    And with my new SKINS K-PROPIUM tights, I'm also joining in on the #pistolsquat challenge.  Right now, day 1.  I'm not so good.  But given time, patience, and lots of practice - I'm going to master the pistol squat.  That's what determination is about!  I think you should join me on instagram!  


    disclosure: I received a pair of SKINS K-PROPIUM tights to try out.  I was not required to post a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.