Saturday, July 8, 2017

Life as a track coach!

I was absolutely positive that coaching would not interfere with my blog.   Wow! I was wrong.  

I still blogged.  In my head.  I wrote amazing posts.  But by the time I got home, made dinner, got in my own run, and prepped for the next day......  yeah, I didn't want to open up the computer again.  All of those posts.... gone.  Because, I'm old and can't remember shit!  

Gotta love it when my Spandits match the school athletic cart! 

Don't get me wrong.  I seriously LOVED coaching track this spring.  It was my first year as head coach and it was a blast.  A steep learning curve and still loads more to learn.  But it was fun.   

He has work to do (get lower to the hurdle) but he made lots of progress this year too! 

It makes the summer track program I started 4 years ago even more meaningful.   I have a newfound love for summer track.  A program I was starting to resent "giving up" my summer.  But not so much.  I see it in a different light.  I see it as a way to hook so many awesome kids to do something fun, with hopes that even if they do not join my HS team when they get to me, they are hopefully heading toward a sport, active life that will keep them moving and happy for many years to come.  I also see it as a way to foster my HS athletes and help develop leadership skills.  
This boy in the orange became an incredible 800M runner this year.  
He took nearly 30 seconds off throughout the course of the season.  

How does this feel?  Amazing.   
Izzy's first year with summer track, rocking the race walk! 

How did coaching impact my running?  At first, it didn't.  During preseason, I ran with my athletes.  And then ran in the mornings before school as well.  But as the season went on, I found myself more and more tired.  My mileage dropped BIG time in May and June.  Like 85ish miles each month.  No wonder my race times have sucked.  Do I regret it?  No way!!!  
Izzy over the years.... getting older and faster!

I feel like my body got a nice little recharge and I'm even more determined and motivated to push hard this summer!   Look out friends!!!  

I AM relentless.  This tank is perfect for me!  Thank you ShineAthletica!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Spectator's Report #BostonMarathon

This year marks my husband's, Mr. Running With The Girls', Boston Marathon. And per the norm, the weather forecast started out with the best racing scenario and quickly escalated to not-so-stellar conditions.  

 Because Boston Marathon day is really a huge family reunion for us, a huge BONUS for us, after we visit the expo, we make a beeline to Aunt Judy and Uncle Pete's house, near, Hopkinton.   We spent hours laughing and catching up with loved ones while I tortured the kids with a 7- Year Easter photo remake of the kids.  



Monday morning started out beautiful.   A slightly overcast morning around 60 degrees.  Already!?!?! Jill and I got in some miles around the pond before heading back to wish our husbands good luck as they headed off to the shuttle.  


This year our sons opted to hang out at Aunt Judy and Uncle Pete's house, which meant I had the chance to drag Jill all over the course and shake things up a bit..... Like get crazy and see the husbands 2x along the course rather than just once.   Our plan almost worked too!  


Our first stop off the T was Framingham.  Not too crowded but definitely an exciting vibe.  Well, except for the stubborn guy in front of us who had to be told a handful of times to get on the sidewalk.  Seriously why can't people just listen to police officers when they are told what to do?  


Coincidentally I ran into Golden Harper, co-founder of Altra, we checked out our shoes .... #twinning and took a selfie then he was off to find a way to the starting line.  


The BAA 2017 app rocked with the updates because we could basically stalk the guys along the course and knew almost down to the minute when they would run by us.  No pics of them at this point, but lots of elite photos!


We barely made it to the T to get to our next stop, Auburndale.   Auburndale turned out to be a nice place.  Not super crowed and only a little wait until someone left their spot along the barricade and then we had front row standing.  


After a bit we saw Wade, Jill's husband.  He was waiting for Ward.  While he waited for Ward, somehow all 3 of us missed Ward run by and next thing we know, Ward was crossing the 30k check point.   Wade took off hoping to catch him, but it didn't happen.  Mostly because Ward thought he was running behind Wade and was trying to catch Wade.  Kinda crazy.  And thank you to the friends who tried to help out today! 

Anyway, Jill and I made the final stretch into Boston and got to our meeting spot before Wade and Ward, I think for the first time.   It was super warm.  I think my phone told me it was around 75 in the city, which is not ideal marathon temps especially with zero heat training and a brutal winter/spring.  

Photo cred Sarah Emerson our lovely friend who scored grandstand tickets!!!!

Their times do not disppoint me at all. They are still amazing.  And the fact that Ward completely his 6th Bsoton and Wade completed his 4th Boston today is a huge accomplishment.  

Photo cred Sarah Emerson our lovely friend who scored grandstand tickets!!!!

I know I said no more marathons, but I can't help but feel inspired to maybe take the leap and try another one. Maybe fundraising for Boston next year?  Who knows what next year will bring?  I think Ward needs to experience what it's like to spectate Boston.  It would be good for him! 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Why prAna?

I've been thinking quite a bit lately about the foods I feed my family, the lotions I use, the clothes I wear.  How much of it is so bad for our bodies?   Then I find a company, like prAna, a company that offers gorgeous clothing that is sustainable, recycled, fair trade certified and hemp items.

I love that my prAna clothing is not only from a good place, it also looks and feels amazing.  The new prAna Spring line has me super excited for warmer days to come and more chances to wear this gorgeous clothing.  

I can see myself living in this new Cali dress and the new Lizbeth skirt this summer.  Both are absolutely gorgeous and timeless.  They will both make into my suitcase when we head off to Florida next month.   

I actually had to read more about why prAna makes clothing with hemp.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it doesn't require the use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers.  Hemp is actually a drought resistant plant and it very good for the soil it's grown it.  prAna's hemp looks a lot like linen.  It's lightweight, breathable and does amazingly well in the washing machine!  Note, you can wash this!   Plus, it doesn't wrinkle like linen, which is another amazing fact because I do not enjoy using the iron!  

It's time for you to check out prAna's new 2017 Spring line and use my code ib4pJB for 15% off all prAna clothing until 4/20/17.  

Thank you so much prAna for the opportunity to share my love for your products and to iBlog Magazine.   As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hurry Spring! #Spring4prAna review (with a discount for you!)

I've had an obsession with prAna for a few years now.  It seems like no matter which prAna piece I put on, I feel great and look equally as great in it.   

My newest prAna additions are the Liana Sweater and the Lizbeth Capri.   We had a little sneak peak of spring for a couple of weeks.  It was heavenly.  My Liana Sweater and Lizbeth Capri came and I wore them - and it felt like spring was just around the corner.  

But then we got dumped on, 19 inches of wet, white stuff.  Yesterday.   I still have high hopes that it will all melt soon.  Track season is right around the corner!  But let's get back to the gorgeous prAna. The new spring line does not disappoint.  

Spring looks are here to stay, and prAna is at the top of my list in choices when it comes to what I want to wear this spring.  The organic and recycled materials make prAna an even more desirable company.  The styles are timeless yet bold and make me feel great when I put them on.  

I always find the cuts to be flattering as well.  Which, sometimes, I admit, I am far too hard on myself and the way I've aged over the years.  The Liana Sweater has a very open and airy feel about it that makes me feel light and summery.  It will definitely be the first item to be packed for our Florida vacation, as well as many other prAna pieces that I know I cannot live without.  

The Lizbeth has been on the website for a little while, but it doesn't take away that the light fabric, which is made from hemp and recycled materials, feels amazing.  I chose the charcoal color, but seriously could have picked any of the colors and been super happy.  They are all gorgeous.  

And the cropped look is so much fun and super springy looking!  Just a little exposure and it makes me long for warmer days without snow!  There are so many new styles in the spring line that are calling my name!  If you do check out the new spring line and fall in love like I have, please use code S4P17RWG for 15% off anything through March 28, 2017.  

Thank you so much prAna for the opportunity to share my love for your products and to Fit Approach, for which, my partnership with you is always an amazing one.   As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Here’s to YOUR Health with Genexa Health

I have seriously lost count of the number of colds that have passed through my family this past cold season.  And every single time, I cringe when I have to take medication or give it to one of my littles (or not-so-little anymore).   First, it tastes nasty.  Second, who knows what the heck is in that stuff!  I usually find myself in the cold medication aisle at the drugstore, looking at medication over and over again, looking for something that might be better for you. 


Guess what folks?  The search is over!  Genexa Health has Cold Crush for adults and children.  Never heard of it before?  It’s okay.  I hadn’t either.  Until I had the opportunity to review it.  Now, I cannot go back.  

Genexa Health is the world’s first and only USDA certified organic and Non-GMO Project Verified homeopathic over-the-counter medication.  Genexa medications are made from healthier, purer products, that definitely made me feel better about giving medication to my daughter.  She is my mini-me and I need to protect that little girl to the best of my abilities.  

The last cold that swept through my house was put to the challenge with Genexa Cold Crush.  First, I need to comment on the taste.  That is super important, of course.  The taste was a slight sweet orangey flavor, not overpowering at all.  Next, I never had an awful feeling from taking it.  No bad aftertaste, no dizziness, no drowsiness.  None of that!   I can definitely say that I felt like my cold symptoms were not as bad while taking Genexa.  It definitely helped me feel like an almost-human being, and that’s saying something!  

Normally, Izzy fights me with medicine.  This time, she said, “can I have that orange flavored pill? I don’t want the other stuff.”     Poor girl.  I hate seeing her sick.  

Definitely check out Genexa’s 11 products.   They make an excellent range of medications to choose from such as medications to help you sleep at night or help you feel less stressed.      The next Genexa product I’m going to try will be the Sleepology.  I’m heading to Portland this weekend, so I can swing by the GNC and pick some up.  To find out where Genexa is available in your area, check out the Where To Buy.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

How To Choose Running Shoes for Beginners (and not-so-beginners)

Congratulations!  You have decided to start running.  Or you are already a runner, but are looking for some advice in finding the the right running shoe.  

First and foremost, we need to talk about fit.   The fit of the running shoe is very different than the fit of your casual shoe.  

Can you imagine running in these shoes?  No way!    That wouldn't feel good at all.    I usually wear a size 8.5 or 9 in casual shoes.  In running shoes, I wear a 9.5.    

The thumb rule applies here.  When you run, your feet expand.  In order to take into account for that extra space you'll need in your running shoes.   A very wise person once told me, if your running shoes feel too big, they are more than likely the right fit.  Now, I'm not saying if you're a size 8, try on a size 11.  That's silly.  

Unless you are the luckiest person on this planet and the first pair of running shoes you put on your feet are absolutely perfect of you, you are going to try on lots of shoes.  Lots of brands.  Lots of sizes.  Doing this is going to give you ideas of what you like and do not like in a shoe.  Cushion? More cushion?  Less cushion?  Zero drop?  There are so many options and you will only figure it out by trying on loads of shoes and understanding what you need.

A hint about trying on running shoes, bring a pair of your own running socks.  That way you get to know what you think about that shoe with the socks you intend on wearing.    If you happen to go to a running specialty store, ask for help.   Most running specialty stores have trained professionals who will tell you what kind of shoe will work for you based on the way you run.  

The way you lace your running shoes is quite important!  As crazy as this sounds, you will need to adjust and readjust the lacing until they feel right.  Your foot is unique to you and lacing your shoes play an important role!  Believe it or not!   Too tight in the forefoot?  Loosen the laces down at the bottom part.  And remember to not make them too tight but not too loose!   So many rules!  But practice will make perfect.  

That extra hole?  Yeah, use it! 

Another hint about lacing is to the runner's lace.   (seriously, check it out, it's a game changer) Yes.  It's a thing.   And it's the best!

much better feel!  no slippage!

This technique helps the shoe to fit your foot better and decreases the chances for slipping.   It works!  Trust me.   And then double knot.  It's annoying as heck to have to stop a run to tie your laces!

ahhh the double knot!  it rocks!  

And after you have figured out the lacing, go for a spin.  Yes.  Some stores have a treadmill you can use.  Others have an indoor track.   If you are shopping online, make sure you find an online retailer that offers a great return policy.    That way you can return the shoes if you find that the fit isn't right for you.

Trust me, you don't want to get a pair of shoes that you'll wear once and never wear again because they were on sale somewhere and you can't return them.   I'm a huge fan of retailers who offer returns.  

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Bradbury Whiteout Recap

Oh jeez!  I am SO late on this one.  This past weekend I ran the Bradbury Blizzard and was so excited to tell you all about it, but then I realized I hadn't done my Whiteout Recap!  I can't recap race #3 of a series if I hadn't done #2!   

So here you go!   The Bradbury Whiteout was nearly a month ago.  (oops!)    Maine had gotten hit rather hard with some snow in the week leading up to the Bradbury Whiteout Snowshoe Race.  Which made me super happy!  I know, I know.  I really do not like snow.  I hate driving in it.  I don't like running in it.  But I LOVE snowshoeing in it.  Then add in running in snowshoes and it was incredible!   
he looks SOOOO happy

The Bradbury Whiteout was a 4 mile race with a lot of single track and some of the course on some snowmobile trails.  The first Bradbury race I went to, I went alone.  But then I convinced Ward to come with me to the Whiteout.  In my head, he was going to go and be my paparazzi.  But in reality, he went to run it!   I am the one who bought the Atlas 22's - running snowshoes.  So they were MINE!  I wasn't sharing.   However, lucky for him (I think) we have an overabundance of snowshoes due to his job at LL Bean.  We get to frequent the employee store, and every time I see snowshoes, I buy them.   I don't care if they are kid/adult/pink/blue, whatever.  To me, I just want them at the house because I never know if the kids will have friends over and they may want to go snowshoeing!   

So Ward got to choose one of the "walker" snowshoes we had.  But even with the heavy "walker" ones, he still kicked butt!  Anyway, this recap is about me.  Not him!  

Like I said, the course had some single track.  And with a lot of snow on the ground, that made for some super difficult passing situations.  I didn't go out hard enough to get a comfortable place and got stuck behind a long train of people.  Which wasn't absolutely horrible.  But, I knew I could be running faster.  When I saw the opportunity to pass, I did it.  And maybe pulled something in my butt.  (It finally stopped hurting 3 weeks later - because I was bad and didn't really rest it).      

There was a little out and back point, that I loved.  Some people hate out and backs, BUT I love them.    I love to see the front runners and love to cheer them on and maybe get a high five here and there.  And then I saw Ward.... crushing it.  So of course I cheered him on.  This little out and back went up a hill for a bit, which was a bit of a challenge, but you know what?  Once I got to the top, I got to go back down... FAST!  That was fun!  I needed to focus on staying in control and I passed several people.  

Yay for Maine Running Photos being there!  You guys ROCK!

You know what I love about the Bradbury series?   It brings in a lot of really awesome people.  They are just super happy to be out on the trail and cheer people along the whole way.  I love that about this group of people!    There was one more single track part, which was challenging and windy... but still tons of fun!  Then I emerged from the single track and saw Ward waiting for me.  Then I knew... the finish was coming up!  Yay!  I pushed it real hard and made it to the end.  

so much fluffy snow stuck all over my legs and inside my legs! and all over my butt
(I spared you the butt shot photo - you are welcome)!

This time I came in 37th (out of 88) with a time of 37:23.  I had taken 10 seconds off my pace from the first race and I was super happy with that!   And with that, I ran my final race in my 30s.  Then next race in the series I'll be 40.  Gulp.  The faster age group!  

Oh, did I mention the shirt?  Oh my!  This one was fun!   I stand by it, TMR make the best race shirts!   Stay tuned for the 3rd race (and final race of the series).  

Don't you love this shirt?  And it's a women's cut.  Not unisex.  LOVE!