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!  

Monday, October 9, 2017

B.A.A. Half {race recap}

The B.A.A. Half has been on my radar for few years.   I decided earlier this year that this year was going to be the year of the half marathon. So I put my name in the lottery.  I had planned on mastering the half this year, so why not run a race I've been wanting to do?  

Just before I found out I was running the B.A.A. Half, I had applied to be a Maine Marathon ambassador.   I honestly didn't think I had a chance at getting that cool opportunity.  Little did I know that one day I would find out I was doing the B.A.A. Half and shortly after that I would find out I was an ambassador for the Maine Marathon.     I probably should have looked at the dates for each of them, but really, would I have changed my mind?  Absolutely NOT!    So, now I was running two half marathons in back-to-back weekends!   

This weekend we decided to not drag the kids all over the place for another weekend, which meant this was just a Jen & Ward trip.    Being the overly wild couple we are, we checked into the hotel around 7:30, and were asleep by 8:30pm.  We are crazy like that.   

The hotel was only 3.5 miles from Franklin Zoo, and after a lot of stressing and polling everyone I knew about the best race morning way to get there, we decided to just drive there and park where we could.  I was so surprised we found a great parking spot less than a mile from the start!   As soon as we got there, I check my bag and headed out to the porta potty line, with Ward by my side, on his bike.    When I got into line, I had 20 minutes until the start.   

And when I came out of the porta potty, I had a minute until the start.  With nearly 7000 runners, I wasn't going to win (ha!!!) so I didn't feel the need to be in the front, but I didn't want to be in the back either.   So after I gave Ward a kiss, I headed for somewhere in the middle of the pack.   He told me he would see me around mile 3 and I couldn't wait to see him there! 

As I neared the starting line, I started to get excited.   But I also felt hot already.  It was already 70F with 80% humidity (or at least that what my Apple Watch told me).    I told myself I wasn't going to let the head or humidity get to me, and was going to have a fun day no matter what.   

And with that, I went out like I normally start out a race.  Feeling confident.  Feeling happy.  Dodging walkers, left and right.  

The course was so much fun!  I loved running through the Emerald Necklace.   Only a few times did I really feel like I was running in the city.   Most of the time we were running along the parks.  There were hills.  But they weren't horrible.  The humidity was horrible.  But the course was not! 

The first 5 miles I felt great.   Well, mostly.  I was drenched in sweat.  I was getting dizzy from time to time.  But it wasn't horrible.   And then BAM!   I seriously hit the wall.  But this wall hurt so bad.  I was dizzy.  So dizzy.  I didn't know what was up.  I had been drinking my SOS and hitting the water stops.   By mile 10 I had to walk.    I wasn't crushing any PRs today, I just needed to finish.  So I walked.  A lot.    The dizziness stopped.  So I started running again.  Well, slogging.   And then I felt dizzy again.  So I walked again.    

I didn't realize that we were going to run THROUGH the Franklin Zoo, and when we started to enter it, I did get a bit excited!     When I saw some people peel off to the side, I looked to see where they were heading.   A lady said "get your selfie with the giraffe!  They weren't out last year!"  So I did!  It  took a few minutes to defog my phone - through the sweat and drizzle the screen was foggy and I everything I was wearing was soaked with sweat, so I just took the fuzzy, foggy selfie and called it good.  

Finally it started to rain.   I usually love running in the rain.  But this time I was a little pissed.  I mean, where was this rain when I needed it at during mile 1 - 12?  It was a little drizzle and I was already soaked with sweat, so really it just rinsed away some of the sweat.  Right?    

an accidental pic but I kind a like it!  

As I came around the curve to enter White's Stadium I caught a glimpse of Ward off to the side.  And before I knew it, I was on the track, heading toward the finish line.   

After I finished, I walked through the long line to get my kick ass medal had a few photos taken and then had to take a selfie with my medal.   

Ward tried calling me a few times but my soaked phone kept cutting out and when it worked, it sounded like he was underwater.   I thought the iPhone 7 was water resistant?   It didn't rain that hard. 

Finally I found him.  I got my BAA shirt, picked up my bag and headed to the car.   Thankfully we made it to the car just in time before it really started raining.    I took a few minutes to strip out of my soaked clothing, use a shower wipe to clean up a bit and put on some dry clothes.   All that time I held back my tears from such a horrible race time and just feeling awful.   

I looked happy to finish!
 And see those pockets on my Spandits! hold my cell phone?  

We went to the Shake Shack on Newbury Street for lunch.  By that point, the tears started to roll.   I felt like a complete failure.  I was so upset with myself and my finishing time.  I told Ward that I felt like something was really wrong with me.  That I was dizzy for most of the race.   The great guy that he is, reminded me about how bad the bronchitis hit me this time.    A good friend then reminded me that "it is only running" and she was right.  It is only running.  There are more important things to worry about.  So, I sipped on my black and white shake (by the way, is freaking amazing) and thought about the good things I have in my life.  

But you know what?  Thinking back.  I was dehydrated.  I didn't realize it but it took me hours to finally pee.  Seriously.  We were at Trader Joes in Portland.   That's a long time.  Especially for me.  Who has to pee every hour or so.  

And another thing.  I finished two half marathons in two weeks.  That's a pretty big deal for me.  I've never challenged myself like that before.  I know my race times were not very fast at all.  But I did it!   

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Maine (1/2) Marathon Race Recap *2017*

There are runs where everything clicks and all is perfect.  Either you crush you run and hit all of the paces you aimed at.  Or the weather is simply perfect, and you don't care about your pace, and just take in the fresh air and gorgeous views.    Then there are some runs when everything goes wrong.  Your breathing is off, or the weather is absolute crap.  Or you set out to hit specific paces and come no where near them!  

post half marathon, easy run, smiles in my new awesome race shirt

Learning to embrace each run for what they are, and accept that even though that run sucked the big one, you had the opportunity to run.  Not everyone has that chance.  Not everyone has the ability to lace up their shoes and get out the door.  

selfies mid race with Allyn!

When I think about the Maine Marathon course, a feeling of "home" comes to mind.  This course is where it all began.  Well, at least my love for half marathons!  

Scott rocks!  Post race happy faces.  

In 2010, I ran my first half marathon on the Maine Marathon course.  I remember it was an absolutely perfect day.  A typical October morning in Maine.  Chilly in the morning, crisp cool air throughout the day, and the sun shining.   When I finished the race that day, I made the decision that I would be completing the full marathon the following year.  

so old.... but way back in 2010 we did it!  we finished out 1st half!

And that I did.  However, it wasn't perfect conditions like I had experienced the year before.  It was cold and wet.  It poured almost the entire time.  But I didn't care.  The day was perfect.  I completed that marathon and I was now a marathoner.   

a year later, I completed the full, in the rain, with tears rolling down my cheeks with
the cutest boy cheering me on!  

The following year, I ran along with my sister-in-law, Jill, and friend, Carrie, as they took on the 26.2 milestone.  Again, it poured.    

Fast forward to last spring.  I decided I wanted to focus on the half distance.  I have been lacking speed in a big way lately and wanted to take a break from running marathons.  In talking with my coach, we decided that half's were the way to go.  'Half the distance, twice the fun!'    I decided that I was going to train my butt off and kick butt at the half marathon and push to a new PR (which would be a sub 1:44).   

flat jen was ready!

Sometime around mid-August, I came down with bronchitis.  Again.   This time it didn't go away as quickly as I wanted.  That jerk stuck around and annoyed the crap out of me (and is STILL annoying the crap out of me).  Some runs are perfect and I can breathe.  Other runs, I get in a half mile and I have to stop and cough my lungs up and then take a few moments to regain the ability to breathe.  It's frustrating and scary.   (I am waiting to see my asthma specialist.... I've had an appointment made like forever ago)   And then I sprained my ankle.  That set me back again.   BUT, in the midst of all that, I was not going to give up on the Maine half.   I knew the PR probably wasn't in the cards, but a strong run could still be a possibility.   

loved their Maine theme!  

So, when I rolled out of bed at 5AM on Sunday morning, my breathing felt pretty darn good.    The weather forecast looked amazing.  I was excited and ready to go.  In talking with Amy, she suggested I check in with myself at mile 3 and if I felt good, then go for it.  Check in again around 5/6, and if I was still feeling it, then run hard to the end.  If not, put on the breaks and enjoy the run.  

Yes, I forgot to tell you why we had this game plan.  The following weekend I was going to be running the BAA Half Marathon.  

I set out around an 8:18ish pace and felt amazing.   Then it crept down to 8:08, then 8:00.   I was feeling really good.   Then I ran an 8:05, then 8:19, then BOOM!  The wheels came off.  Just like that.   I didn't feel sick or bad.  My breathing didn't feel amazing, but it wasn't horrible either.  I'm not sure what was going on, but I embraced whatever it was and put the breaks.  Actually I decided I would just stop and chat with some friends on the side.  

From that point, I decided I was definitely in the run very easy and enjoy the moment I was in.  And I did.  I decided it was a good idea to do some snaps while I ran on the bridge.  Then I walked a few times, looking behind me for my friends Gretchen and Carrie.  But I couldn't find them, so I kept running along.  When I came up to the Runaways tent with only a little more than a mile left, I stopped again, took a selfie with the rockstar, Sarah, and then continued on my way.  

Sarah is a rockstar! 

As I came around the last bend along Baxter, I remembered the feelings I had before when I came around the curve.  The feeling of pride and excitement, seeing families and friends of so many runners there to cheer them on.   Remembering that 6 years ago, I completed my first marathon here and 7 years ago, I completed my first half marathon here.  

David Colby, from Maine Running Photos, is amazing!  
Thank you for the photos! 

And then, just like that I was finished, with a time of 1:58.  Way slower than I had expected, but seriously happy that I listened to whatever my body was telling me and slowed down to enjoy the day and the race that I love so much.  

a gorgeous day for a race! 

What I've taken away from Sunday's race is that I want to enjoy running for as long as I possibly can. If that means I'm as slow as mud, then so be it.  At least I'll be running.   If my time is fast, awesome. If it's not, oh well!  

this girl has been an amazing friend!  I love going to races with her.  

This doesn't mean I'm going to give up on racing.  I'm going to keep on working hard.   Maybe someday I'll crush that PR again.  Or maybe I won't. 

A proud Maine Marathon ambassador right here sporting all of the Maine Marathon  gear!   

BUT, I will tell you, that I will definitely be lining up at the starting line for the Maine Half again, and again.  This course means the world to me.   

Sunday, September 17, 2017

EverlyWell - Results from HOME!

As I neared 40, I began noticing changes in my body.  I was gaining weight regardless of my meal choices.  It was frustrating.  I began to dread turning 40.  Never mind the eye creases that were beginning to appear as well.  But that's another story!  

I was super concerned about my metabolism.   What on earth was wrong with me?  I've heard some women say "my metabolism crapped out at 40".  Ugh! NO!    When I spoke with my doctor about it, she just said watch what you eat and exercise.  Gee, thanks, doc.  I already do that!   

When I had the chance to try out an EverlyWell Metabolism test, I definitely raised my hand.    

The test itself arrived super quickly to my house.  I read the directions and I was supposed to do the test first thing in the morning after only being awake for a short amount of time, and only after drinking water.   

This part maybe was the hardest part for me because I would get up, drink green tea, grab the box and smack my forehead!   Ugh!  I had to wait another day.  Then I would repeat the same pattern again the next day.  

Finally I got my act together.  I did the blood test and saliva test.   Both were super easy to do.  I packaged up my samples and popped them into my mailbox.  All I had to do was wait.  And that wasn't hard either.    A few days later I received an email letting me know my samples were received and my results would be available in a week.  A week later,  the email came.  And........

1 out of range.  I was intrigued.  What was going on?  

Digging a little further, I see this.  My testosterone is WAY off the charts.   Like crazy.    So, of course, I clicked on it the yellow box to see why and to find out why testosterone is important.  

Okay, infertility.  At 40 and with two kids who are 14 and 8, I'm completely okay with this.   Perhaps if I were younger and wanting more children, I may more concerned.    

Then I needed to check out the other results, because of course I zeroed in on the "trouble" area!  

Learning more about cortisol was pretty eye opening.  I feel like I'm a super stressed out person and I worry ALL of the time.  However, my cortisol levels appear to be low during the time of the test.   

And my thyroid gland appears to be working within the expected range.  Which definitely makes me feel relieved.   I worry about diabetes as it runs in my family. I also realize this test alone isn't the only determination for diabetes.   Under my husband's insurance, I'm required to have my blood sugar levels tested yearly.   This past year, my levels were within normal but only 2 points away from pre-diabetes.  I'll definitely be paying attention to this next year as well! 

How do I feel about EverlyWell's results and explanations? 
I feel like the results were shared in a very easy to understand way.  It was informative and helped me to understand my body.  While I completely understand it is not a substitute for a doctor, I fully intend to share these results with my physician when I have my next appointment.

A Discount for You!  
If you use the code METABOLIZEME, you will receive 10% off your Metabolism Test order.  

Other EverlyWell tests 
Check out the EverlyWell link here for the other tests EveryWell have and also, read about how your HSA and FSA will cover these costs!

  •  METABOLIZEME for your audiences to use to receive 10% off their Metabolism Test order.
  • Key words: health test, at-home health test, metabolism test, metabolism
  • Direct link on social channels to your blog post (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram) 
  • It is also required to properly tag EverlyWell on all social posts (@everly_well) 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Goodbye Summer. Hello Fall! #prAna

I received two items of clothing from prAna to review.   All opinions expressed are my own.  

Goodbye summer.  Hello Fall! 

A gorgeous beautiful time of year.  The trees begin to change.  Nights are cooler.   I freaking love fall.    I'm back to school.  Structured days.  Crazy busy.  Teaching all day, coaching in the afternoon.  Then getting my kids to where they need to be - soccer games, soccer practices, dance.   But I absolutely love it.  

In addition to the gorgeous clothing, prAna makes, they focus on making sustainable clothing.  prAna makes clothing that is Fair Trade and uses recyclable materials and hemp.  Doesn't that make you feel good?  I know it makes me feel good about choosing prAna! 

Penelope Pullover
I've always loved the name Penelope.  It's a beautiful name that sounds inviting.  The Penelope Pullover is definitely inviting.  It's amazingly soft.  The color is a warm cream.   The cowl neck is my all time fave.  I want to live in this shirt.  

Sage Jogger 
When I look in my closet, it's full of prAna.   I have an assortment of Kara jeans, the best, stretchiest jeans I've ever worn.   I had to expand my horizons this time around and chose to try out the Sage Jogger.  I absolutely love the stretch of them.  So comfy.  I'll be honest.  The first night I wore them, I fell asleep in them.  I'm not one to fall asleep in my regular "day" clothing.  But I didn't even notice.  So much stretch.  Incredibly comfortable.   I love how versatile they are.  I can wear them to school with some slip-ons and look professional and feel comfortable.  Then I can slip some sneakers on and a hoodie and they rock the casual look too!  

Discount Code (for you!) 
It's time for you to update your fall collection with some beautiful, sustainable clothing from prAna.  I have a 15% discount code for you MS15JB.   The code expires October 12, 2017.  So hurry!  

Tell me, what prAna clothes are your must-haves?