Friday, November 30, 2012

ZINIO Winners!

As promised - I'm here to announce the winners for the Zinio magazine.

Congrats to every single one of you!!!!  
Please email me the following information by Sunday, 12/2/12, midnight to  

Email address, First & Last Name, & Publication Name 
(be sure to check that the magazine you desire can be 
downloaded to the device you want to use!!!)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sprigs Does It Again

If you run outside, then you know that each season provides you with different conditions in which to run in.  Fall is one of my favorite seasons for running.  The temperatures begin to drop, the air is dryer, and in early fall, the colors are glorious.  But there is one thing that drives me crazy about fall.   While it's cooling off, sometimes it's not quite cold enough for a fleece beanie or but yet it's cool enough to have something on your ears.  I dislike wind in my ears very much.

And I don't like the burning cold feeling on my ears either.  What to do?  

a convenient little bag to keep your new earbags in

Sprigs has earbags to for situations like these as well as many more scenarios.  They are sometimes called bandless earwarmers.  

I chose the Black Thinsulate Earbags to try out.  I do live in Maine and it does get quite cold here.  My next run I put them on my ears, which was incredibly easy and took no time at all.  Here's a quick little video demo to show you how to put them on.  They stayed put the entire time.  

I even popped them on my ears while out in the yard with the kids.  They fit perfectly, looked cute, and were thin enough for me to still hear the kids.

Be careful though, if you have kids, you'll probably have to get more than one pair because in no time, I had a certain 9 year old boy asking me to wear them because his ears were cold.  Like a good mom, of course I gave up my warm ears for his happiness.  

Sprigs has an offer for you to take advantage of.  Using the code RWTGEarbags, you'll be able to enjoy 10% off orders up to $29.99 and 20% off orders above).  This code will be good from today 11/27/12 and will expire on 12/31/12.   

Disclaimer:  I was provided a pair of Earbags from Sprigs in exchange for this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own and were not influenced by Sprigs.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

After Dinner Run

This is going to be a little backward.  On Thanksgiving Day I ran 2 races.  One official 5k in the morning (post coming tomorrow) and then an after dinner "virtual" race with the husband.  I was completed wiped out after running the 5k in the morning and had just about decided I was not going to get in my 2nd run of the day until Ward woke up from his nap - yes, lucky him, and he asked "wanna go for a run" and my response was "okay".  He completely twisted my arm.  Can't you tell?  

We were still at my in-laws house and the kids were having fun with their grandparents, so this was also a date run and my virtual race for Kiley at Daily Vitamin F's Thanksgiving Race.  We don't get many of those.  It was absolutely freezing and the capris I had packed weren't going to cut it, so I decided to wear my compression socks on the run.  

See?  Running fashionista here.  

Ward and I ran around Brunswick and Topsham and had a great time talking. Something we don't get to do a lot of either with his crazy work schedule lately.  We even found a new little paved path in Topsham.  Even in the dark we knew it was a great little place.  Maybe someday we'll return there in the daylight.  We also ran across a little foot bridge.  It was so cool running over the river at night and seeing the lights of the fort and the town from where we were.  I tried to take a picture, but it didn't come out very well.  

In all, our date night run was 6 miles in 50:54 and full of incredible conversations with my husband.  

Saturday, November 24, 2012

In A Digital World

Keeping up with the ever changing digital world can be overwhelming.  For such a long time I held out on making the switch to a smart phone because I absolutely knew once I jumped into the smart phone world, I would become obsessed.  And obsessed is simply just understated here.

The Ultimate Guide to Marathon Running

But now I hear that I can download my favorite magazines on my iPhone or iPad?  (well, technically it's Ward's iPad, but he'll share with me because he loves me)  Sign me up!

Zinio has over 50,000 digital magazines ready for you to download onto your favorite device so you can read it anytime, anywhere (except when driving!).

Clean Eating

Right now Zinio is giving away 3 iPad Minis over the next couple of weeks and everyone who enters to win will get $5 toward a magazine subscription of his/her choice.  In addition, Zinio has some incredible Black Friday deals going on right no with 230 magazine titles up to 50% off their already-discounted rates.  Some titles available on Zinio are Running Times, Wine Enthusiast, and Food Network Magazine.  You can follow this link here to find out more information Zinio's sweepstakes.

In addition to the sweepstakes at Zinio, the folks at Zinio have offered my readers 8 magazine subscriptions of their choice.  I will choose 8 different winners on Friday, 11/30.   Please leave a comment below with what magazine you would choose if you were selected.

Disclosure:  I will receive two free subscriptions from Zinio for this post as compensation.  All opinions expressed in this post were not influenced by said compensation and are 100% my own.  

Friday, November 23, 2012

So Much to Be Thankful For

Everyday should focus on giving thanks and spending time with family.  In the craziness of life, it's easy to lose sight of the things we should be thankful for in our lives.  It's definitely hard to not take the good things for granted.  

On Wednesday, my family had the pleasure of having an incredibly talented local photographer come to our home and photograph our family.   There is definitely something special about having a photo session done with the people you love the most and then seeing the love captured forever in the finished products.  We had an absolute blast with Brianne walking through our fields posing for her.  

Within an hour of our photo session, Brianne had a photograph edited and uploaded to her facebook page.  Immediately we fell in love with her work and couldn't wait for more pictures to be uploaded.   

Seeings these pictures reminds me of the things I am thankful for.    
Mostly I am thankful for these three amazing people in my life.  
I am thankful for my family and friends, my health and families health and my job.  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Top 10

My friend Michelle at Average Girl Doing Average Things posted today about the Top 10 Things she learned in 2012.  I loved her 10 things and thought I'd try it out.

1.  Changing jobs this summer was the best thing I could have done.  Working 3 miles from my house has been fantastic.  Yes, I took a pay cut.  But it has been worth it.  This is the first time in a very long time I can honestly say that I really do enjoy my job.  Along with that, I now have the same school schedule as Tucker.  We'll have the same snow days, early release days, last day of school, etc.

2.   In my mind I'm still training for a marathon and burning tons of calories, but I'm not.  Yet I'm still eating like I'm burning those calories and my pants are getting tighter.  I need to either run more miles or eat less.

3.   When the stylist says "I can wax your brows while you're back here" - she's really saying "Holy crap, look at those crazy ass brows.  This woman needs help."  A thank you to her because she definitely convinced me to have my brows done for the first time ever.   Along with that, I learned that I am happier with short hair styles.  Even if it means I now cannot pull my hair up into a ponytail.  

4.  Pepper is an awesome running partner.  I knew that already.  But what I'm finding out is that the girl is addicted to running and when she sees me get my running clothes ready, this quiet dog becomes a very vocal girl.

5.  I am 100% addicted to my iPhone.  I really don't know how I survived without one previously.

6.  Even at the age of 35, I still enjoy seeing an A+ on any paper with my name on it.  I was observed a couple of weeks ago by my boss.  Attached to my evaluation was this sticky note & it made my day.

7.  If I want my stomach to disappear, the chips need to disappear as well.  I know this, yet I keep buying them.

8.  The Kennebec Local Food Initiative is fantastic.  I've been getting their email for months now, but last week I finally decided to email them to request a password so I can begin to purchase from them.  I was absolutely amazed with the selection when I logged in for the first time today!  The KLFI brings together local products and makes them easily accessible to community members at very reasonable prices.  The choices are endless - veggies, meats, cheese, honey, jams, breads, pies, etc.  1 lb of grass fed ground beef for $4.59 in Gardiner?  Yes please.

8.  Cars need coolant?  Thanks Michelle for reminding me of this.  I kind of knew this already - but my car has not been warming up at all the past couple of mornings.  Tomorrow morning I'm checking the coolant level.  It will be a long winter if I have to scrape even after letting my car warm up for 10 minutes.  Especially knowing we're going to get hammered with snow.  I just know it.

10.  And an obvious one - one can never have too many pairs of running shoes.  Ever.  But what I do know is that some of these are done and I cannot bring myself to part with them.

What have your learned this year?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Shhh.....don't tell

Parent Teacher Conference time is here and for all teachers it means extra long work days.  Fortunately, I had a break between the time school ended and the time I needed to back at school for conferences, which = RUN time!   The only issue is that if I go for a run, I'm going to be stinky.  I won't have time to shower before having to head back to school.    And I definitely don't want to be known as that stinky teacher.

Timing couldn't have been more perfect because the day before conferences, I received a nice package in the mail from ShowerPill - full of Athletic Body Wipes.  

I am impressed with ShowerPill.  The scent was light and fresh and the cloth itself was thick and quite large.  It definitely did the job.  I immediately felt refreshed and confident that I wasn't going to be stinky.

Right now, ShowerPill is offering my readers a special promotion to Buy 2 boxes, get 1 box FREE for a special Black Friday sale on  To receive the discount, you have to put 3 boxes in your cart, then enter the code SPFRIDAY to activate the coupon.  Please note: this coupon is only valid from 11/23/12 - 11/25/12.  I know I'm going to take part of this deal because in just a few days, I've already used all of my ShowerPills sent to me to try out.

Disclaimer: I received this product free to review through a FitFluential campaign. I was not paid to write this post.  All opinions are 100% my own. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Are You Ready?

After my last post about virtual races - I started thinking that I should do a master list of virtual races.  To me there seems to be more of them at this time of year, or I could be delusional.   Probably the later, since I feel like I'm on overdrive right now.

I'm going to break them down into categories -


My college friend, Leslie and her running buddy have created a facebook community you definitely need to check out.  It was Leslie's goal to run a half marathon each month this year and she was having a hard time finding one for month of December.   Their solution?  Can't find one - create one!   Now that was easy.  And what's even better, you don't have to travel or be at a race at a certain time.  They've created a few races on their page.  Right now they have a Virtual Thanksgiving 5k on 11/22, a Virtual Frigid Half Marathon on 12/2 and 2013 New Years Day Virtual Race.  All you have to do is like Kickin' Asphalt on facebook, run your race and then go back and record your time.  Super easy.   Tell Leslie & Christine I sent you!

Hope Endures 5K 12/1-8 
Cortney and her husband lost their daughter, Ashlyn, in 2008 to stillbirth and her family has worked hard to move past the pain.  Check out her blog to read about her journey.

From the website "This is a virtual 5k that is not about winning or prizes, it is for anyone who has to edure life after something they think they can't.  It's about just enduring life each day when we are down.  It's a celebration of change and a celebration of never-ending love."  You can sign up for this race here.  


Kiley's Daily Vitamin F

If you need an extra little push to get out the door for a run and cool prizes are your motivation - you should check out Kiley's Thanksgiving Virtual 5k.  Remember to take a picture of you with your bib # & be sure to run around town with your bib # on as well so everyone knows you're racing that day!


Amy's Awareness Run 11/26 

Amy and her running friend went out for a run and Amy was hit and killed by a car.  Even more sad, she left behind a daughter who isn't quite 2 years old yet and a husband.  This race hits me hard because this could be me or anyone of us.  Scary.

Wear Purple Virtual Run/Walk to Cure Epilepsy 11/30

From the facebook page
"November is Epilepsy Awareness month. Wear purple and show your support by participating in this virtual race. Run or walk a 5K or a marathon or any distance you can to show your support to raise awareness and help find a cure for epilepsy. The event runs the entire month of November so you can run at your own time and pace. You can run it all at once or add up your miles throughout the month. Run on a treadmill or outdoors, anywhere you want. Any age can participate; include the whole family!"

A blogger friend of mine, Jamie, is a running mom, who also epileptic.  Read her story here.  She is an incredible motivator.  I am running this race for Jamie, her family, and every single person affected by epilepsy.

Lobstah Virtual Run

Louise is hosting a Lobstah Virtual Run - you choose the distance - to raise money for her friend Tony who is out of work and needs surgery.  I did my virtual race for Louise and Tony last weekend with Pepper and decided that Pepper definitely earned the medal.  Yes, that's right, you get an awesome Lobstah medal as well!

While I haven't officially signed up for any road races for the months of November and December, you can see that I've been busy and have a full line up with these fabulous virtual races.  All of them are put together for excellent reasons and I can fit them in to my schedule when it works.  Even better for this crazy busy mom!

What virtual races are you doing?  Share here & be sure to add the link.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Virtual Race Opportunities For You

I do enjoy racing - but lately I'm finding it harder and harder to fit them into my schedule.  I'm also trying to not run every race I see/want to do in trying to save up for the larger races I want to do - those marathons aren't cheap!

I've been finding virtual runs to be much more conducive to my odd schedules.  Which means I can now run a 5k at 5AM if that's the only time in my schedule to run it.  Love the flexibility here.  What's even better is a lot of the virtual races I've been doing have been raising money for causes such as Suz & Allan's latest virtual races- for Wounded Warriors and Breast Cancer most recently Louise's Lobtah Virtual Run which focused on raising money for her neighbor for some much needed surgeries so he can return to work.

Or, you could always join my friend Leslie's Virtual Running Community - Kickin' Asphalt and participate in free virtual races.  Today was their first virtual 5k, but there will be an opportunity for a Frigid Half Marathon on December 2nd as well.  I am positive Leslie & Christine will be adding more races to their events list.  Just keep checking back.  

Another virtual race on my calendar is Daily Vitamin F's Thanksgiving Virtual 5K.  I'm looking forward to this one because I'm going to make it a family 5k before a delicious Thanksgiving Dinner.  

Today was a day when fitting in a race was going to be a challenge - so I was more than pleased to make my 6 mile run two virtual races this morning.  I was able to get out there bright and early at 6 AM with my four legged running girl, Pepper, and we took on the cold (24F) morning together.  I was sporting my new Wave Universe shoes and I'm falling in love with them more and more every time I wear them.  

Louise's Lobstah Run Medal  

and a loving post run hug 
Thank you Leslie & Louise for hosting two fabulous races.    How about you?  Are you a racing addict?  Do you enjoy virtual races?  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Inside & Outside

When it comes to running, I definitely prefer to run outside.  There is something about the fresh air and running to a destination that is much more pleasing to me.  Last year, I somehow managed to run outside for almost every run.  I believe I only "came inside" 1 or 2 times and I had to borrow my day care provider's treadmill.

This year is FAR different.  I now work at a local gym, which = access to a treadmill basically anytime I want AND I work at my local high school that has a fantastic fitness room - just a few doors down from my classroom!  I went to having access to zero treadmills to TWO!  Anytime I want.  

As you know, fitting in longer runs can be a challenge for me when it comes to my work schedule, Ward's work schedule and taking care of/being around for the kids.  For some reason, Ward worked from home on Wednesday and Thursday which to me = GO RUN JEN!  So I did.  

On Wednesday I took on 10 miles afterschool on my beloved rail trail.  We had a snow storm approaching us so the winds were picking up.  It was 34F, with 20 mph winds and a "real feel" of 24F.  Brrrr.  I know, I know.  It's going to get colder.  I can handle the cold.  It's the wind that kicks my butt.   

Fortunately for me, I ran into the wind for the first 5 miles, which meant smooth sailing on my return run.  Nice.  

I was quite satisfied with this run.  I basically had the trail to myself.  I only saw two other crazy runners out there and a few people walking.  I felt incredibly underdressed compared to the walkers for sure.  They had on their winter books, big thick down jackets, hats, scarves, and thick mittens.  It was quite a site for sure.  

I also got to try out Runtastic again.  I've got to say this app is pretty awesome.  

Thursday morning we woke up to a few inches of the heavy, wet snow.  Nothing major at all, especially for Maine.  We definitely got the easy part of the storm.  I felt especially bad for the folks in NY and NJ who already suffered with Sandy and then got hit by this storm.  Not fair at all.  

For us, the few inches of heavy wet snow, meant Izzy got to pull out her winter boots.  She was so excited to put them on before heading off to day care.  She was even super proud of herself for being able to put them on all by herself!  When did she grow up so fast?  

The few inches of snow also gave us a 2-hr delay for the boys and I.  Which meant I drank an extra two cups of coffee and the boys played in the snow.  I did think about going out to run, but thought sitting beside the wood stove drinking coffee sounded much better.  

Yay 1st Snow!  (and it's gone already)
Just because I chose to not run Thursday morning, doesn't mean I skipped out on my run.  I definitely ran!  Ward was home again, so I headed off to the gym as soon as I could afterschool.  I did consider running outside.  Last year I would have.  But like I said, I have access to two gyms - and I didn't feel like running outside, so I took my run inside.  

I thought about taking on 8 miles on the school treadmills but the thought of running 8 miles on those treadmills (they aren't as high quality as the gym ones) didn't appeal to off I went to the gym.  

And this is what I had.  The entire cardio room to myself.  I only had two visitors during that entire time - Ron, the manager, and then my pal, Mike, who came up to run as I was finishing up.  I meant to take a sweaty picture of myself after the run, but I completely forgot. 

So, end result - 2 days = 18 miles!  Which means that today is a rest day and a day that I'm sporting my ProCompression socks. 

Yes - I wore them under my LL Bean boots.  And my calves love me for it.  Actually, I'm still sporting my socks just because I can.  

Where do you prefer to run?  On the treadmill or outside?