Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011 & Challenges

and hello to 1300 miles!  


I did it.  In the pouring/freezing rain.  But I did it!!!  


photo courtesy of Tucker


I did wait a little while to go out for my run because this is how the guys looked after their 14 miler this morning.





What looks like just a wet jacket, is really ice!









What are your goals for the 2012?   

I have a few in mind for myself. 
- remain active, healthy and injury free
- challenge myself 
- train for/complete a tri
- curb the swearing - Izzy is a little parrot 


A few ways to keep myself motivated to stay active - 










in Belgrade, Maine (if you're in the area)







By riding my new (to me) bike - 


Like it?  Izzy surely does.  I just bought it via craigslist yesterday!  
Try to ignore the mess in the picture.   Now we just need a place for it to call home.  I vote the living room so I can bike and watch tv.  Ward votes bedroom.  
Just wait until I'm riding at 4:30 am right beside his head.  He'll change his mind quickly.  



AND 

host my very own January Challenge - the January Streak!  



Historically, January is the coldest month in Maine and let's be honest, it is incredibly hard to get outside and get your run on when all you want to do is curl up by the woodstove (or whatever heat source you have) with a cup of hot cocoa.  


I challenge you to run everyday in January, even if it's only a mile.  Especially on those days when you would think "it's too cold" and just show mother nature that whatever cold weather she throws your way, it's not going to stop you!  

Now, I don't want you to do anything dangerous.  I mean, the weather has dipped to -25F (or so) here in January of 2009, and I'm not so sure I'd want to run in that extreme cold or if it's even safe to run in those temps.  I would like to note that I did not run on that day in 2009 as I was 1 week from my c-section date - but Ward did.  He's a freak.  Also, think about the windchill too.  While the thermometer says one thing, the wind can absolutely make it far worse.  Just be safe!  

Prize?  It's in the works.  How lame is this?  I don't even have it ready yet.   I'm putting together a goodie collection of some of my favorite winter running gear along with some of my other favorites.  I will post pictures soon.  I promise.  

How to enter:
1.  Mandatory:  be a follower via GFC  and keep some type of running log proving you ran every day in the month of January 2012 to submit to me between the dates of February 1-4 at runningwiththegirls AT gmail DOT com.  
2.  Bonus Entry:  Take a picture of you in your winter gear, and a thermometer on the coldest day you ran in January and send it to me at the email above between February 1-4.  I want to see what defines "cold" for your area and what you're wearing this winter!  

The winner will be chosen at random using random.org and will be announced here on this blog on February 5th, 2012.  The winner will have 72 hours to respond via email.  If the original winner does not respond, I will choose a new winner on February 9th.  



Friday, December 30, 2011

Zipfizz Review


I had the incredible opportunity to review Zipfizz.  This stuff is absolutely amazing.  I actually think it is magical. 




What exactly is Zipfizz?
Zipfizz is an all-natural powder that transforms water into an energizing performance drink.  Each serving gives you a powerful charge of 25 nutrients comprised of vitamins, minerals, key amino acids, electrolytes and antioxidants to fuel your body.



How do you use it? 
This is the easy part.  Zipfizz comes in these small little bottles that you pop the lid and pour into your water.  You can either add it to water in a glass and stir or pour into a water bottle and shake.  You choose.  The directions say add it to 16 to 20 ounces of water, but if you like a super strong taste, go ahead and add it to less water.  There is some fizz associated with it, so be careful with any small explosions that may happen if you choose to shake it in a water bottle.  The provided water bottle top doesn't secure very tightly and always gives me a little pop if I don't put my finger over it.






What's in it?
Zipfizz is a healthy energy mix, with only 10 calories and 2 carbs is jam packed with 41,677% Vitamin B12.

It also has the following antioxidants:

  • KonaRed Coffee Fruit
  • Vitamin C 833%
  • Vitamin E 33%
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • Grape Seed Extract
  • Green Tea Extract


And the following electrolytes:

  • Sodium 60 mg
  • Magnesium 100 mg
  • Potassium 905 mg


And caffeine.  100 mg to be exact, of naturally occurring caffeine from Guarana and Green Tea Leaf extract.



Flavors
Zipfizz comes in Grape, Orange Soda, Pink Lemonade, Citris, and Berry.  It also comes in a "limited time" - Orange Creme flavor.  Of course (because it won't be around forever), Orange Creme was my favorite.  To me, it tasted just like an orange creamsicle.  Although, each of the flavors tasted great to me.



How does it make me feel?
Within 15 minutes of drinking my water bottle filled with Zipfizz, I felt energized.  I actually had two amazing, training runs this past month with some of the miles coming in at 7:40’s.  Just prior to running each of those times, I had downed a bottle of Zipp Fizz and there you go!  The Zipfizz website says the increased energy will last for 4 to 6 hours without the sudden "crash".  I definitely did not notice any type of crash.



Want to learn more? 
Visit Zipfizz here:



Buy Zipfizz online at:



Or, if you are lucky enough to have one of these places local to you and for them to carry Zipfizz Unfortunately, Zipfizz hasn't made it to either of my Targets yet.  Someday, I hope! Or I will have to bite the bullet and go to Walmart.

Note: I did receive Zipfizz free in in exchange for a review.  All opinions here are my own and I was not required to give a positive review.  





Wednesday, December 28, 2011

13.5

You may or may not remember from the beginning of December that I had a friendly little household challenge regarding who could get to 1200 miles 1st between Ward and myself.  I won, obviously. The prize?  Bragging rights.  He so kindly reminded me that he did BQ and should count for more.  Umm....no.  

Anyway, I was checking out my yearly mileage again last week and noticed that I was darn near close to 1300 miles.  1200 was cool, but add on another 100 miles in less than a month and that's awesome!  (for me anyway)  

So, after this mornings run, I logged in my mileage at logyourrun (which is back, thank goodness!) and saw that .......





I only have 13.5 more miles to run in 3 days.  I have this one.  Yes I do.  I'm not very good at logging in my cross training time in but you better believe I am good at logging in the running!  


I can't believe it's Wednesday already.  Why does vacation week have to fly by so fast?  I think I need at least 2 more weeks to recharge before heading back to school.  


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

HBBC Recap

I can't believe we're into week #6 already of the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge. 
I've been keeping track of my points on the sidebar, but here's the detailed scoop:



Week #5:

12/17 - 
3 1/2 mile run + 7 servings of fruit & veggies + 40 minutes of Jillian Michaels = 8.5 points

12/18 - 
10 mile run + 7 servings of fruit & veggies + 60 minutes of Jillian Michaels  = 17 points (huge point day!!!) 

12/19 - 
60 minutes yoga + 7 servings of fruit & veggies + 40 minutes of Jillian = 8 points 

12/20 - 
4 mile run + 7 servings of fruit & veggies + 40 minutes of Jillian = 9 points

12/21 - 
7 servings of fruit & veggies + 60 minutes of Jillian = 7 points

12/22 - 
5 1/2 mile run + 7 servings of fruit & veggies = 6.5 points 

12/23 - 
5 mile run + 20 minutes of Jillian + 7 servings of fruit & veggies = 8 points

My weekly total = 64 points.  My highest point earnings to date.  


Now I need to get myself dressed and ready to head out for a run.  Yesterday was a rest day and I'm feeling quite restless.  



Sunday, December 25, 2011

2 for 1

First and foremost, I hope you all have had a great Christmas.  I have to say, our Christmas was exactly what we needed: tons of family time, great food, and of course, presents!  




Izzy's Chickband - now she matches mommy




Our Christmas routine goes like this:  Christmas Eve is at Ward's parent's house and his family.  Christmas morning is just for us at our house with the kids.  Then around noon, we head to my dad's house.  

After a morning of gifts and an excellent dinner at my dad and Barb's house, we went over to Ward's parent's house again.  The original plan was for Ward and I to go for a run and Kathy and Bou would watch the kids.  However, he's been sick for the last 3 days and is still not up for running, so the plan changed to just me going for a run.  We could have just gone home because we didn't need Kathy and Bou to watch the kids anymore BUT I really wanted to soak in the hot tub after the run.  Makes sense, right?   And running in Brunswick, meant nice flat roads.  Another bonus. 

I got the run in.  It wasn't fast.  It wasn't easy.   I ate entirely too much at dad and Barb’s.  My fault completely.  I  couldn’t resit the yummy spread.  But, there was no way I wasn't going to run, so run I did.  



Total mileage: 6.43 miles.  I got in  Kiley's Christmas 5K and Stephanie's Home for the Holidays 10K.  Awesome!!!!  


 Official times:  
Christmas 5K - 26:30
Home for the Holidays 10K - 53:45  


When the running was all done, I could not get in that hot tub fast enough.  What a perfect way to end a run!  I so need a hot tub.  

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I Wish You A Merry Christmas

I participated in Kim at (Just) Trying is for Little Girls' Christmas Card exchange this year.  




I had a fabulous time getting cards in the mail from these wonderful blogging ladies!  And I've found a few new blogs to follow.  Double bonus!




sweet sticker!!!




Right now I'm waiting for Tucker to fall asleep so I can sneak upstairs and haul out the gifts.  I am one tired momma right now.  Come on, kiddo!  Fall asleep.  


Tomorrow I've got to get my run on - for Stephanie's Home For the Holidays Virtual 10k and Daily Vitamin F's Virtual 5K.  

Merry Christmas to all of you out there and to your families!  


Friday, December 23, 2011

A Run With The Snowplows

If I wanted to get my run in today, it meant I had to do it before Ward went to work.  No biggie.   I enjoy running in the morning.   But this one was different than many of my recent morning runs. Maine finally got some snow this morning.  We only got a few inches and it was that awesome, wet & sticky snow.  You know that stuff.  Well, maybe you do.  Sorry, southerners!  Excellent snowball snow.






Anyway, the timing of my run was when the snow was still falling and the plow hadn't been down my road yet.  This made for the perfect combination to break out the Yak Trax.  My thought is that if I was running on my road, I'd need to jump off to the side when I saw a car coming and these babies would help out a lot.  And help they did.  Boy was it slick!


love love love my Mizuno Wave Rider 15s & my yak trax




I went out for 5 miles.  It was a recovery run as last night I did a 5.5 mile fartlek run.  I was out there with the snowplows this morning.






Now they weren't pushing that much snow, but it really seemed like it as they came toward me.   When they came my way, I got to the other side of the road - quickly.   I am grateful the traffic was on the light side this morning because if a car had been coming from behind me, I don't know what I would have done.  Perhaps jump into the woods?






Anyway, it was a refreshing run this morning.  I do enjoy the snow coming down and melting on my face and hearing the crunch of the snow beneath my feet.  I also enjoy the feeling of being a Tough Chik for sure after a run like this.  Incredibly empowering.


horrible pic - but I am sporting the snow on the hat




I must admit, my legs are feeling a little sore.  Which means, I am wearing my Aspaeris compression shorts.  They are the perfect recovery gear for me.  Review coming shortly.




After the run, and after a quick egg wrap and shower, I took the kids to Izzy's daycare Christmas party.
I've been a slacker this year and haven't gotten the kids to see Santa anywhere.   I don't have the patience to wait in line at the mall, and I just hadn't heard of any places for Santa visits locally.  So I was thankful Santa came to this party today and I could take some quick pics with the phone.


Izzy did NOT want to go up to Santa,
I am a bad mommy and kind of gave her a little push toward him.  But, hey, no tears!  

Miss Karen even wrapped up a book for Tucker.
She is the absolute best, ever.  


I apologize for the blur and not-so-hot quality of the pics.  That's what I get for not bringing the camera and having to rely on the phone.


A double bonus, is that after the party, Tucker actually stayed at daycare too (he hasn't gone there in years) to play with Miss Karen's son and Izzy wanted to stay, so I was kidfree for a few hours.  Since I had already gotten my run in, I went home and wrapped.  I know, I lead an exciting life.  This was a gift from heaven because I was really getting nervous about when I was going to fit in the wrapping.  I am happy to report that it is all done.




If you have kids, do you take them to see Santa every year?  When do you wrap the presents?  Does your husband help at all?  (Ward, I love you, but you are just as surprised as the kids on Christmas morning.  A little help would be nice once in a while!)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Yummiest Lotion

A few years ago, Jill and I took an adult education class at our local high school to learn how to make all-natural products.  Some of the great things we learned how to make were bath fizzies, lotions, and body scrubs.  These things are surprisingly simple and very inexpensive to make.  Plus, they make incredible gifts.  Jill and I decided that this year we would get together and make lotions for our running girls and our teacher friends.  Three hours of lotion making = lots of fun with Jill and 47 jelly jars filled with yummy lotion.    There are online universities that offer entrepreneurship programs if you're interested in business ventures like this.
  
Directions:  
Straight from my class notes.  I'm a nerd like that and kept all of my notes in a cute little notebook.  





You can use just about any type of solid/liquid oil combinations here.  
We chose to use 3 oz of coconut oil with 6 oz of canola oil.  
 Our super advanced method of melting the beeswax in the coconut oil and canola.  


Next up was heating the water, just enough to get to body temperature.  
Then we had to wait until the wax/oil mixture cooled to body temperature.  That part took forever.  We finally figured it out that if we took the wax/oil mixture to a cooler room in the house, they would cool off much faster than in the hot kitchen with the stove going and the wood stove cranking out some incredible heat.  


We chose to use 4 oz jelly jars, but you could use just about any size jar - plastic or glass.  
The 4 oz jelly jars were fairly inexpensive and were found at a local hardware store which meant they were readily available. 


Jill mixed the oil/wax mixture with water and you get this creamy lotion.  


We also added this Allantoin.  We couldn't remember why we had it, but a quick internet search came up with this about it:
  • For the temporary protection of minor cuts, scrapes, burns and sunburn.
  • Helps prevent and temporarily protects chafed, chapped, cracked, or wind burned skin and lips.
  • Relieves dryness and softens cold sores and fever blisters
  • Helps treat and prevent diaper rash. Protects chafed skin/minor skin irritation due to/associated with diaper rash and helps protect from/seal out wetness.  source

Sounded good to us, so we added it in.    


Next up, add in your scent.  We had plenty to choose from, but went with Toasted Coconut Oil, 
Oatmeal Milk & Honey, Coconut Lime Verbena, Energy (a very orangey type of smell), 
and then Grapefruit and Pink Sugar.  



And to get the oil into the lotion, we used these little pipettes.  
Using at least 30 drops of fragrance oil for each batch of lotion.  


Then we topped each of the jars with a little Christmas Embellishment.


And labeled each jar.


And there you have it, our collection of yummy lotions.  

Sunday, December 18, 2011

It's only going to get colder

11 degrees is what I saw on the thermometer just before heading out the door for our 10 miler this morning. 

As I was getting my clothes ready last night, I paused for a moment to remember what I would need for a cold run.  It's been a fairly mild December up to this point and I've been a bit spoiled. 

Winter running tights - check
Winter weight running shirt - check
Beanie - check
Gloves - hmm...medium weight Under Armor or heavy duty LL Bean Thinsulate mittens - mittens it is

Next up, 2nd shirt or running jacket?  My thought was this: We're running by the river and who knows what the wind will be like there....jacket.  Definitely jacket.  I may or may not have said this aloud.  I do talk to myself quite a bit.  I'm crazy like that. 

I looked around for my neck gaitor, but couldn't find it. I'm pretty sure a certain 8 year old boy has stashed it somewhere.  No worries, after today's run, I ran to Reny's and got myself a new Columbia neck gaitor.  I'm all set for future runs now!

Then the normal stuff - socks, shoes, Garmin, gum, water

It was breezy out there today.  We met up for our 6:30 am run and ventured out on the rail trail.  All 6 of us.  

Here we are - after our 10 miler this morning. 


Jen, Jill, Carrie, Kim, Stacy, and Jess


11 degrees at the start and 20 degrees at the end, and it's only going to get colder.  Next comes the ice and snow.  Brrrr.....




One completely wiped little girl who wouldn't nap, but then found a cozy (ha)
spot in front of the woodstove. 


How was your run this weekend?  Is it getting chilly where you live? 

Also, what do you think about my new header?  I've been playing around a lot lately with new ones and can't seem to decide what I want for my new look.  I do want a clean look, but not too plain.  Be honest.