Monday, April 20, 2015

ABCMOUSE Early Learning Academy Giveaway

By now I'm heading to Athlete's Village or hanging out there.  Either way - wish me luck with the Boston Marathon today!  It's going to be a wet one, but I am no stranger to running marathons in the rain.  I've got this!  But now onto something for you!  

I'm joining in with some other fabulous bloggers for giveaway for  If you have a little one on the brink of reading or an elementary aged child, this is for you!  

I first heard about ABCmouse from a television commercial.  Having a kindergarten aged daughter, who was struggling with reading but really loved technology, ABCmouse pulled me in.  

So, we signed up for the trial and fell in love with it!  Izzy absolutely loves it.  It's an app on her iPad and she really enjoys going through the games.  

Her confidence has increased quite a bit when it comes to school work.  

We're giving away a one year membership to Early Learning Academy and a backpack full of books.  The giveaway is open to US residents only.  The giveaway is open 4/20 - 5/1.  

Friday, April 17, 2015

Trying to Not Freakout Friday

I'm promise, I'm going to do my absolute best to not freak out.  If I make my to-do list, I will hopefully stay on track.  

I've only run 3 marathons before.... 2 of them in the rain.  Yes, let's break that down - 67% of my marathons have been in the rain.  It looks like Monday will increase those percentages to 75% of my marathons being run in the rain.  No biggie.  I'm pro at running in the rain.   

Since we are going to get dropped off in Hopkington Monday morning, we won't have the option of checking a bag.  This is kind of a bummer because now I won't have dry clothing at the finish line for me.    But that problem is easily solved.  I'm just going to slip my credit card into my ArmPocket so I can just buy something to keep me warm while we wait for the T and for the ride back to Ward and Wade's aunt and uncle's house.  

We're heading to Boston early Sunday morning.  Just so we don't forget, I already put our Runner's Passports in my handbag!  

On the agenda today - YOGA!  My calf and hamstrings are so tight.  Any my yoga friend Terry is absolutely amazing.  I'm going to take her Yin Yoga class, to get that really deep/long stretch my body is needing right now.    

Then packing.  I've already started pulling together some things, but my goal is to have it all done today!    I'll have a flat Jen post shortly, when I finally decide which shoes and capris I'm wearing.  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

3 Things Thursday

Happy Thursday!  Today was supposed to be my last day of school before April Break, but Tucker and I started it a little early.  The surgeon told Tucker he needed to take 2 days off from school to recover from his cyst removal.  So here we are.   I'm here to make sure he doesn't push it too much.  No running or overdoing it.  Which is kind of sad because today was supposed to be his first track practice.  Bummer.    Oh well.  When he's 100% recovered, we'll go for a run next week sometime.   After I'm recovered from Boston!  

1.  We're at 4 days out from the Boston Marathon and I'm beyond excited!  Can you tell?   I'm ready to start talking about my goal for Boston.  My #1 goal is to have fun and enjoy the race.  I am NOT a Boston Qualifier, nor do I feel that my training this cycle have been what I would consider BQ workouts, especially with my BQ time for 2016 still being 3:40.....  16 minutes faster than my PR marathon nearly 2 years ago. 

While we're talking BQ - I'll officially be 40 in 2017.  That means if I BQ after Boston registration this September, I'll be shooting for a 3:45 time.  Still quite a bit of time off my PR, but a little closer to my wheel house.  We will see!!!  Maybe this November will be my BQ Marathon.  Fingers crossed for smart training.

fingers crossed that the BAA doesn't change the qualifying times for 2017! 

Running Boston on Monday is a dream come true.  Part of me feels like an imposter, as I'm not a qualifier.  However, I am running it in a legit way.  Just not the qualifier route.  One day I will qualify.  That is still my goal.  

Yep! My fall race!  

I have a short run in the plans for today sometime and some strengthening workouts.  Followed up by tons of rolling and stretching.   I've been pulling my workouts from my newest book addictions.....

2.  Meb For Mortals written by Meb Keflezighi with Scott Douglas.   Let's just get this out of the way..I love Meb.   I had the opportunity to meet him this past summer and it was such a cool experience!   

Meb For Mortals has 9 Chapters:
Chapter 1 Think like Meb
Chapter 2 Run like Meb 
Chapter 3 Train like Meb
Chapter 4 Race like Meb
Chapter 5 Eat like Meb
Chapter 6 Strengthen like Meb
Chapter 7 Stretch like Meb
Chapter 8 Cross-Train like Meb.  
Chapter 9 Recover like Meb 

Every single one of things chapters pulled me in.  I loved reading about Meb's views and thoughts on the mental aspects of running, his suggestions in running form and exercises, how he trains (what his training plan looked like just before last year's memorable Boston Marathon WIN!   I love how the book is organized so you can use it as a resource and flip to where you need is for that time.  

While I can see myself using this book over and over again - the chapters I have enjoyed the most in the past month were Strengthen like Meb and Stretch like Meb.  I've been doing a lot of his exercises - tons of core work and some upper body strength.   The Stretch like Meb chapter has been a great resource as well - because while I know stretching is important, I don't do it all of the time.  When I'm coaching track, I'm much better at it.  But not all of the time.  Meb stresses the importance of doing it regularly.  

If you are going to be in Boston on Friday.  You can head on over to the Harvard Book Store Event to get your copy or you can purchase the book here for $19.99.   A great price for such a useful tool.    

3.  Next up... Dr. Jordan Metzl's RUNNING STRONG:  The Sports Doctor's Complete Guide to Injury-Free Running For Life.  The cover says it all.  A resource book all runners need.  By trade, runners are headstrong.  But we get injured.  That's just how it goes.  

Running Strong is split up into sections.  

Part 1: Nuts and Bolts, which contains Chapter 1: The Right Stuff and Chapter 2: The Mechanics of Healthy Running.   A great overview of running, strength, stretching.  My favorite line:  Strong Butt = Happy Life.  Yep.  I do not have a strong butt.  Every so often that "pull" from September reminds me it's still there and I go back to this line.  Strengthen that butt runners!!!

Part II: Uh-Oh: What's that Pain?  Chapters 3-11 takes you through all of the injuries you can imagines, along with symptoms, what to do, how to prevent.  It's amazing.  This section also has a cool feature using the Blippar App you can download onto your phone.  Blipp the page and you'll be taken to a video addressing common questions patients ask Dr. Metzl.  

Part III: Getting the Most from your Machine with Chapter 12: Body Work, Chapter 13: Rev It Up: Mastering the Science of Running Technology, and Chapter 14: Unleash Your Biggest Weapon.    In Chapter 12: Body Work - you can download the IronStrength Workout for Runners with the Blipp.   There's also a section on the Dynamic Workout and strengthening workouts.  Chapter 13 goes through the importance of stretching, foam rolling, massages, and rest.  All important and necessary!  

Part IV: Tools of the Trade.  Chapter 15: Good Food reviews diet and fueling.  I used to eat whatever I wanted because I ran.  Not so much anymore.  I'm working like crazy to eat smarter and healthier.  I love resources like Dr. Metzl's book to guide me through eating smarter.  Chapter 16: Good Shoes and Cool Clothes.  Yes.  Good shoes are so important and clothing that works for you is needed.  This chapter rocks!

Part I:  His and Hers...Chapter 17: Gender Differences.  There are quite a bit of differences people!  I see it here in my house every single day.  

You cannot go wrong with Dr. Metzl's book.  A handy resource to keep for those aches and pains and how to stay injury free!    I highly recommend this book and you can get it here for $21.99.  

Disclaimer:  I received digital copies of both books reviewed above through my affiliation with Runners World.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.  


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Welcome to Taper Madness

Oh jeez!  Where do I start?  I'm a ball of nerves.  I seriously think I'm falling apart.  Not really.  

First off - I am getting the damn cold.  I've done everything I could to keep it away.  But it found me. My head is swimming right now, my chest is tight.  I'm just hoping I can flush this crap out of my system before the weekend.  Fingers crossed!  

first time ever this came in MY name to our house!

Second - nervous mama is coming out right now.  My son has a cyst growing on his face, right on the bridge of his nose.  It's been growing quite fast over the past few months.  We've seen his primary care physician a few times about it and she referred us to a plastic surgeon.  You read that correctly - plastic surgeon.  Because of it's location.  After our consult with him, the surgeon determined that he was going to remove it.  Tomorrow is the big day and I'm so nervous.   Thankfully his procedure is first thing in the morning so we can both come home and get some much needed rest after this.  I promised him no social media pics - so we won't be posting anything here.  

love this kid!  & these pants are a strong contender for marathon Monday!

But!  The weather is gorgeous!  Spring is here and it's lovely.  I've been stalking the Boston weather for a bit now.... the forecast is still holding in the 50's right now.

the weather seriously changed in the past 5 minutes....
when I looked 5 minutes ago - it was 50% chance of rain.  And it's going to change at least 20 more times!

Sounds just about perfect if you ask me!  I'll take it.  

See this lovely card Carrie made for me?  It is my motivation right now....

I have maybe been obsessing about my outfit.  No! Me?  I know for sure it's going to be my Spandits singlet, Headsweats visor, ProCompression socks, and Skechers Go Run 3's or 4's, and Spandits capris.  I'll have the outfit narrowed down even more this weekend as we get closer.  

3 Boudreau's running!!!!  Woohoo!

I'm also thinking about my hours I'll be spending at Athlete's Village Monday morning.  I'll be there for hours!  I'm building my list of things to buy/bring:
*throwaway clothes 
*possibly my big fluffy robe (because I want to be warm!) 
*sharpie marker 
*anti-chafing cream 
*bottled water (with Nuun and SOS)
*my fuel (Honey Stinger)
*earbuds and iPod
*ArmPocket for my iPhone (because I'll want it after the race) 
*FlipBelt for fuel 
*Salt Sticks 
*my inhaler (I have one with 30 puffs left that I'll bring with me)

Yes...I'm going to follow Ward and Wade.
So I can look at my phone if I want to see when they finish.
The suspense will get to me if I don't.  

That's the list so far.... some of those things are going to be left at Athlete's Village.  I'll be running with just the necessities.    Oh and I'll probably be bring my credit card or stash some cash in my ArmPocket just in case.  You never know!  

The sweet note from the gym owner....  thank you Sharon!!
Taper Crazies are here and I'm obsessing.  Such a lovely picture.   But after it's all over..I'm going to put on my Boston Socks and Boston jacket and recovery in the glory!  

And no, I have not worn the socks or the jacket!  It's bad race mojo to wear the race jacket before the race!  And the socks are just my sweet reward to my legs after all those miles!  

What am I forgetting?  I'm sure I've left something off my list!  

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Log Off, Shut Down, Go Run

Race season is here!  The weather is improving.  Sometimes slowly.  But it's getting better!  There is no time like the present to start registering for those races to motivate you to MOVE!  Gone For A Run is hosting a Log Off, Shut Down, Go Run 10k Race.  

Log Off, Shut Down, Go Run Virtual 10k

Even better is that you get some rather awesome swag with this race!  
*women's athletic tank or men's lifestyle tee
*race bib
*finishers medal
*Gone For A Run car magnet 

Here's how you register: 
*click here to visit Gone For A Run
*Register before April 14th (hurry!!!! it's at 95% right now!)
*Complete the 10k race either by running, walking between the dates of April 24-26th
*You'll receive your race swag before you run.  
*The medal will come separately and will arrive to you prior to your race day!

I'll be participating in this year's 10k - it will be the perfect race to follow up Boston. 

To be entered for additional raffle prizes from Gone For A Run, you can share your recap on there Facebook page here.  Some of the raffle prizes include some best selling Gone For A Run items such as the BibFOLIO, Hooked on Medal Medal Hanger, Medal Hook, Beach Towel, and Decorative Throw Pillow!

Disclosure:  I am a Gone For A Run ambassador.  I was compensated for this post with a free entry to the race.  I was not required to provide a positive review.  As always all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.   

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Three Things Thursday

and today we have a 2 hour delay, because of this:  

Will it ever end?   and, we put the shovels away.    Ugh.  

Speaking of weather - it's almost time to obsessively watch the Boston weather and drive Ward absolutely crazy.  He hates it when I start announcing the forecast.  Especially when it's 10 days out.  His response is always going to be "it's too early to tell". 

Oh heck, I'll start now.  I'd LOVE it if the above were true.  Fingers crossed.  

It's taper time.  
I'm not going crazy.  Yet.   The mileage is going down and I'm giving my legs the much needed rest they need.   This week Ward and I will maybe log 25 miles.  It seems like that's not even running at all.   I remember the days when I thought 20 miles was a ton!  Things have changed for sure.   

Where do you track your mileage?  For the longest time, I tracked it online.  Then I started tracking my mileage on an app.  But I was missing something.  So I switched to tracking it in a journal.  I liked being able to add more information - pace/shoes/weather/diet/thoughts - whatever I wanted.  Then Ward commented on my journal and said he'd like one.  

Gone For A Run offered to send me a journal.  But I already had one.  So, I asked if I could get one for Ward!  And so they made him his own personalized journal.  

I like that it's easy to follow.  Add whatever information you want or need to each day of training.  Right now it's not getting much action, but soon, after Boston and after his recovery, he'll be adding more data again.  Especially as he gears up for Mount Washington.  (and I will be too!).  Thank you Gone For A Run!  

Music time!
I'm undecided if I'll listen to music or not during the marathon.  I'll bring my iPod.  Hmm... where did I put that little shuffle?  It's so small and easy to lose.  I haven't used it in such a long time too!  At the gym, I use my iPhone.  But I don't want to drain my phone battery during the marathon.     

So far, I have this:  

84 minutes of music.  Sadly, I do not run an 84 minute marathon.  If I did, I'd be a freaking record holder!   I don't think I want to repeat songs either.  Well, maybe a few of them.   So l need your help!  Tell me your favorite running songs!  

Happy Thursday to everyone!  Have you signed up for my Spring Into Fitness Virtual 5k?  

Disclosure:  I was sent a journal from Gone For A Run to review in exchange for a donation to my virtual race.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.  


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spring into Fitness! {a virtual race}

I do realize it's been spring for a few weeks now, but seriously it just doesn't feel like it in Maine!  We get glimpses here and then and then BAM - snow again!  I've been wanting to post about this virtual race for sometime now, but held off due to a crazy busy life AND the lack of spring here!  I *think* we're getting there, so here it is!  

I'm taking a huge leap and doing the entire Tri For A Cure this year!  Last year I participated in a relay team for this race.  It was an amazing experience and a truly emotional experience.  I made the commitment to myself last year that the next year I would be completing the entire triathlon.  So here I am.... taking on the entire triathlon.  Swim in the ocean and all. 

Tri for a Cure
Tri for a Cure was founded by Julie Marchese and Abby Bliss in 2008.  It only a few years, it has become the largest triathlon in the State of Maine.  Each year, over 1000 women gather in South Portland, Maine for this event.  I failed to mention that it is Maine's only all-women's triathlon.  The race follows the shores of Cape Elizabeth and South Portland - which always provides gorgeous scenery.  Tri for a Cure is a USAT-sanctioned course consisting of a 1/3 mile swim, 15 mile bike ride and a 3 mile run.  

Tri for a Cure provides women a unique opportunity to come together in the fight against cancer.  Tri for a Cure consists of cancer survivors and others racing in support of their loved ones - but in the end, all of the triathletes are coming together to share their desire for a cancer-free Maine.  

Who am I running (and biking and swimming) this for?  
My mom.  My rock.  It's been over 8 years since her death and I never know when the grief will hit me.  Sometimes it comes it comes out of nowhere and hits me like a truck.  Sometimes it's is triggered by a memory.  Either way, I miss that woman like crazy and I mourn for her every single day.  

My college friend and still cherished, great friend, Carissa.  A lovely person, sweet as can be.  Married to her college sweet-heart and mom to 3 incredible boys.  She is in the midst of fighting this battle.  I am in awe of her amazing strength.   She is on the road toward a full recovery and can start running again next week!  She's registered for Beach to Beacon this August and I cannot wait to see her kick cancer's ass and run that super awesome race!!!  

Next up, Victoria.  A lovely lady who came into my life thanks to my husband.  She and Ward used to work together a long time ago and they just clicked.  And then I met her and we clicked.  She is so amazing.  She has tons of wild crazy stories and has lived many adventures I could only imagine doing.  Not to mention, she has two gorgeous daughters.  She's a cancer survivor and showed cancer who is boss!  

I do have one more person I am running for, but this person is going to remain anonymous.  I promised them that.  But this lovely lady was like my second mom for many years.  

In addition, I am doing Tri For A Cure for everyone who is battling cancer, won the battle, lost the battle or anyone impacted by cancer in anyway.  Let's fight to end cancer.  

The fundraising part? 
This year's goal for Tri for a Cure is to raise $1,500,000.  An amazing goal but definitely possible.  Last year this amazing race raised $1,380,000!  The money goes toward Maine Cancer Foundation.  Each triathlete is required to raise $350 toward this goal.  It's a bit of money, but definitely worth it considering where the money goes and what it does!  That's where you and my virtual race come into play.  

Spring into Fitness 5k
I am hosting a Spring into Fitness 5k to raise my part of the fundraiser requirements.   The weather is improving in most parts of the country (Maine is slowly getting there) it's time to get out and get moving!  Everyone can participate!  You don't have to be a runner - you just have to move the distance of a 5k - walk, bike, run (crawl it if you have to!).  And if you run out of time one day and can't get it all in?  No worries!  Finish it up another day.   

I've had several outstanding and amazing companies donate for the raffle component of my Spring into Fitness 5k - in order to put your name in for the raffle, you do need to donate to my fundraising page.  The minimum donation for Tri for a Cure is $20.  But check out the prizes you can win!  

The Sponsors
I am so excited by this!  I have some amazing sponsors who have donated items to the prize list this year!  

Have you ever tried NuttZo?  Oh you have to!  I wish they carried it in my local grocery store but it's okay.  I know where I can get it!  This amazing nut butter is organic and made from 7 seeds and nuts. If you haven't tried you, you must!  Thank you, NuttZo for your donation! 
This year I was lucky enough to be chosen to be a ProCompression ambassador.  I've been a huge fan of ProCompression for years so it means a lot for me to be able to represent this outstanding company!  I was even luckier that they agreed to donate a pair of marathon socks as a prize!   If you are looking for a great discount for ProCompression socks .... look no further!   Use the code PRO15 for 40% off anything on their website.  That's a great deal! 

A couple of years ago I won a great hat from a blog giveaway and it was a Janji.  This hat is loved very much by Ward and myself.  Actually, there's an ongoing battle who gets to wear it for winter running.   I have been drawn to Janji because supports running for another.  They have made the promise to fight the global water crisis.  They support a number of countries like Ethiopia, Rwanda, Haiti, Kenya, and many more.  If you purchase an item with that countries name on it, proceeds help provide water for one person for a year in that country.  

Another brand I cannot live without!  Headsweats!  It started with my love for the supervisor, now I'm obsessed with my race hat!  I'm lucky to be one of their amazing Ambassadors and look forward to wearing Headsweats at Boston!  

Sparkly Soul 
Sparkly Soul is one heck of a headband company!  Have you worn one yet?  I have a couple of them and they are amazing.  I sadly lose them every so often to a little 6 year old in my house...but when they reappear, I grab it and hide it.  Now that winter hat season is over, it's time for me to find my Sparkly Souls for running!  They are a no headache, no slip headband that has sparkle or satin 360 degrees.  Also - from 4/8 - 4/16, you can use the code Runningwiththegirls for 10% off at SparklySoul and they will donate a portion of your purchase toward my fundraising efforts as well!!! (the code is valid for individual headbands and not packs/giftcards on the site)

Gone For A Run 
I am a Gone For A Run Ambassador and I love their products!  Of course I do, or I wouldn't have applied to be an ambassador!  From socks, sweatshirts (that I'm wearing right now), training logs, shoes, ornaments, to beer glasses (and more).  They have all of the best running gifts one could ask for and at a super high quality.  PS: Gone For A Run has a virtual 10k coming up that you can sign up for too!   
I've sorted the prizes into a few different packages (and added something more items).  

A blue *gorgeous* Sparkly Soul Headband and NuttZo 2go packs!

GU Brew Recovery, GU Brew Electrolyte, GU Chomps, and 
Sparkly Soul Headband.  

Assorted Clif Shot Recovery and Hydration and the 
blue Sparkly Soul Headband.  

Assorted fuels with a Rundana.  

Headsweats Reflective Cap (high vis yellow)

Headsweat Reflective Cap (coral)

Cordskinz (to not get your earbud cords tangled up), 
Skratch Labs and assorted protein bars.  

Nature Box snacks.  A favorite in our house. 
Because I love them, I'm going to share with you!

A medium reflective skirt.  I honestly won this a couple of years ago and 
have never worn it.  It has a pocket inside and no shorts.  Super cute.  
Very nice to touch.  Just never ever worn.  

Nuts Pack with Chike Protein Coffee and Power Bar - 
because nut butters are great with coffee and chocolate!  

The ProCompression winner will get one pair of marathon socks. 

A gift certificate to Gone For A Run.  
(I haven't been told the amount yet.  I'll update when I know!)

Janji is sending me a shirt.  
I will update when I have a pic and exact size!

Now - the virtual race details!  
*run, walk, or bike a 5k between the dates of 4/7/15 -4/26/15
*donate to my fundraising page 
*enter through the rafflecopter below
*bonus points for a sweaty selfie - emailed to me (be sure to comment below saying you emailed me your sweaty selfie!) at runningwiththegirls AT gmail DOT com
*be sure to earn as many entries through the following rafflecopter prompts 
*remember to indicate what your top prize choices would be if you are one of the winners - there is a prompt in rafflecopter!  (please be clear....  Prize Pack #1, Prize Pack #3.... etc)  
*there will be 13 winners in all

Disclaimer:  I was sent products from some of the above mentioned companies as part of a donation toward my fundraising efforts.  Some products I did purchase or win myself.   As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.