Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Team GAB run!

Part of my long run with the girls on Sunday was dedicated to Team Gab.  Have you gone over to her blog to check it out?  Giraffy is raising money for Pediatric Cancer Research in honor of her daughter who has been diagnosed with leukemia.

I signed up for a 10K, so here you go, 6.2 miles of my 10 mile run with the girls on Sunday is for you, Gab and Giraffy!

How To Win Your Own Handful


Do you remember how much I love my Handful bra?  



I love it so much, I actually bought a nude color one when Handful put the bras on sale for $28 (by the way, they are still on sale!).   Basically, I alternate between the pink one and nude one for my daily bra and if I'm going to run that day (which I did run every.single.day.in.January), that's one less thing I have to change out of and into.  


Do you want to win your own Handful?  Please check out this incredible video.  It is on the long side, but worth it.  And I love the song too. 



In celebration of the promotional video, Handful is offering a chance to win a bra. 

Here's how you enter:
  • 1 entry per Tweet: Mention @runningwtg & @handfulbra in a tweet with link to video "Enter this incredible @HandfulBra giveaway @runningwtg told me about! Watch: http://youtu.be/lAi5m1csr5I?hd=1 & visit http://www.runningwiththegirls.com/"
  • 1 entry per Facebook post with tag to Running With The Girls FB page and @handful to display on our page!
  • 1 entry per Blog post (email me with link or post link on our facebook pages!)

Please let Handful know that I sent you!  

My Turn At Being Tagged

I was lucky enough to get tagged by two fun bloggers in two days!  It's taken me a little while to answer the questions and get my post up here.  
Thank you Danielle and Amy for the tags!  

the rules:
1. you must post the rules
2. post 11 fun facts about yourself
3. answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create 11 new questions for the people you tagged
4. tag people and link to them on your post
5. let them know you’ve tagged them


11 Random Things About Me...
1. I’m sitting here beside a sick little girl, with a fever and complaining about her ear.  My heart is breaking for her.  I should be holding her, but she seems content to cuddle beside me. 

2. I have bunions and need to wear wide shoes with a big toe box – therefore, I will always be “stuck” wearing men’s racing shoes.  Sometimes I can pull off a woman’s wide trainer for everyday running, but not very often. 

3. My house will never be finished, ever.  We’ve been here for 8 years and I convinced there will always be something unfinished.

4. I plan on raising more meat birds this summer, getting more egg layer chickens and I want to raise some turkeys.  Oh, and I'm actually going to plant my own garden this year instead of participating in a foodshare.  It's been a few years since I've grown veggies, so I think I'm recharged and ready to go with this again.  Just call me Farmer Jen.  

5. Since my pregnancy with Izzy, my allergies/asthma have virtually disappeared.  I honestly have no idea where my inhalers are.  That is bad, right?  I probably should know where they are, just in case. 

6. I cannot drink caffeine past 4 pm or I’ll but up all night long. 

7.  Speaking of coffee, it takes all the willpower in the world for me to not swing through the Starbucks drive-thru on the way to school every morning.  For the first 3 months of school, I did go daily.  It was my reward for going to school.  Sounds good, right? 

8. I’d rather get my run done 1st thing in the morning on the weekends– like between 5 and 6, that way I have the rest of the day to do what I need to do. 

9. I have finally learned how to split wood with a splitting maul.  I am a powerhouse.  Ha! 

10. I’ll be 35 years old next month. 

11.  I am in love with shelled edamame from Trader Joes. 

Danielle’s Questions for me (ohh breathe, just breathe
1. What is your favorite blog(s) to read and why?
Oh jeez, do I really have to answer this one – I could take the easy route and say my own, but I really just don’t know.  I could list the first one I fell in love with and that was One Mom In Maine. 
2. If you are a runner/swimmer/biker/all 3...
I’d love to be all 3, but haven’t taken the “plunge” into swimming yet.  My next race is Midwinter Classic 10miler this weekend. 
3. Coffee or tea? 
Coffee for sure and while we’re at it, Starbucks. 
4. What is your favorite recipe?
What we’ve been eating a lot lately & is super easy & done in the crockpot: 1 small whole chicken (we’ve been using the chickens we raised this past summer), put in crock pot, pour in a can of beer, toss in a clove of garlic (you can mince it if you want or not), ½ stick of butter, 6 cups of water, put on high for 4 to 6 hours and you have an easy chicken dinner and leftovers for the week – for chicken tacos, chicken taco salad, etc. 
5. What TV show do you never miss? 
NCIS – we don’t have cable anymore, so my choices are very limited.
6. What is the best book you've ever read? 
The only books to hold my attention and leave me wanting more have been the Twilight series.  I am pathetic.  I know. 
7. Peanut butter... discuss. 
I could seriously sit down with a jar of peanut butter and a spoon and be a very happy person. The only thing that holds me back are the calories.  Since PB2 entered my life, I am a very happy girl.  I always go for the pb/chocolate desserts and any ice cream with pb/chocolate in it is my fave.  AND, Ward better have a pb and chocolate cake for me in a few weeks or he’ll be sleeping in the barn. 



8. If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life for all meals what would it be? 
Cheese – doesn’t it make everything taste better?
9. What article of clothing do you own that you would be devastated if you lost or it somehow got thrown out?
My handful bra – I have two now and basically rotate through them.  
10. What kind of cell phone do you have? 
Definitely not a smartphone – some LG, slide out keyboard number.  That’s about as high tech I get with phones. 
11. Are you going to the movie theater on March 23rd??? 
I haven’t even read the book yet – perhaps I should get on board.  You are talking about Hunger Games, right? 

Amy’s Questions for me (Juice Boxes & Crayolas)
1. What food are you craving right now? 
Ben and Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup
2. Biggest guilty pleasure? 
Same answer as above (that’s not cheating, right?)
3. Go-to Saturday outfit?
Yoga capris and some type of running top. 
4. What's your Starbucks order?  
Or, if you're not a Starbucks junkie like me, your favorite pick me up beverage?
Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte
5. Best book you've ever read? 
The Twilight Series – seriously.  I am 13 years old. 
6. What's one thing you're really loving lately? 
PB Gu
7. What were you like in high school? 
Total dork – I didn’t fit into any specific crowd at all – I played sports (but wasn’t very good at them – for example, I was on the jv basketball team for 3 years – yes, I sucked), I was an honor roll student for most of hs, and I was in various clubs.  Yep, dork. 
8. What's one thing you don't mind splurging on? 
Fresh fruits and veggies. 
9. Where would your dream vacation be?
Oh goodness, right now, just about anywhere that is hot and on a beach. 
10. Favorite song? 
Favorite song right now or ever?  I’m just going to go with now – and I’m going go with I’m Sexy And I Know It.  Just a catchy little tune.  If it was favorite song ever, I’d just have to say just about any Poison song.  (yes, I am a dork)
11. What's your favorite way to spend a Saturday? 
My favorite way would be to go shopping by myself but my Saturdays are normally cleaning the house (because I don’t want to do it on Sundays after my long run), cleaning the chicken coup (again, don’t want to do that after the long run), and grocery shopping with the kids.  Sometimes, we get in a Target/TJ Maxx stop in as well.  I really need to get a life. 


Jen’s questions for my lucky tagged friends....
  1. What is the best vacation you have ever taken?  
  2. What is your favorite post exercise food?
  3. Why do you run?
  4. What is the food you could not live without?
  5. Describe your most favorite race.
  6. Describe your most horrible race. 
  7. What is the farthest place you’ve traveled to?
  8. Chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla?
  9. Favorite pre-race meal?
  10. Do you cross train and what specifically?
  11. Do you taper for races and do you go crazy? 

TAG!!!
Lisa @ runwiki
Tara @always under construction 
Holly @ the pionner apron
Jenn @ will run 4 food



I have no idea who hasn’t been tagged yet other than the fine ladies above, so feel free to tag yourself.  I know it’s against the rules, but oh well!

Monday, January 30, 2012

I Need to Buy a New Blender & Navitas Yumminess (+Giveaway)

I recently had the opportunity to review some Navitas Naturals products.  Navitas has a simple food policy "Nutrient rich whole foods are best produced using organic agricultural methods with minimal processing.  Focusing on both food safety and nutrition, we handle our premium superfoods with care.  This includes third party testing for all our products.  Our facility is Organic, Kosher, and GMP/HACCP Certified.  In addition, we utilize methods such as freeze-drying and low temperature processing to ensure maximum nutrition and safety." source  


First and foremost, adding more unprocessed food into our diets is a priority for me. I try my best.  I am aiming to provide my kids with a healthy lifestyle through the foods we eat and daily activities.  This makes Navitas a perfect product for me.   Navitas has a huge selection of superfoods for everyone in your family.

                             


This is the incredible shipment I was sent.  



The Cacao Goji Superfood Power Snack was the first bag I opened ripped into.  They are nice little bites of chocolate yumminess.  These little snacks are made from cacao, maca, chia, and camu-camu. 1 bag provides you with 8 servings.  The bag says 1 serving is 28 grams.   Looking in the bag, I would estimate to say a serving is about 5 of the pieces.  Each serving is 120 calories,  9% fat, 2% sodium, 1% potassium, 10% dietary fiber, 25% vitamin A, 45% vitamin C, 4% calcium, and 4% iron.   To me, they kind of have a cherry, dark chocolate taste going for them.  I love cherry and I love dark chocolate, so obviously I enjoy these little bites.  It is hard to only eat a few pieces.   



The Superseed Blend:  I was very excited by this blend because I love Chia.  Yes, I am a chia lover.  I became obsessed with chia after reading Born To Run.   The only problem with chia is the texture.  Those seeds definitely get stuck in my teeth.  The Superseed Blend is ground up chia seed, flax seed, and brown rice.  

Uses:  smoothies, breakfast cereals, and flour substitute.  


Superseed Blend Close up




I had never heard of Maqui Powder before.  It's a Patagonian Superfood - right in antioxidants, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. It is also a natural anti-inflammatory food.  Some of the benefits of antioxidants include improved brain performance, heart health, liver strength, anticancer activity, and overall longevity.  

Uses:  try blending with other fruits or sweet items in smoothies, desserts, or you can even sprinkle it on your cereal or oatmeal.  




Maca Powder is an Indian Superfood and Maca has been used to increase stamina, boost libido, and combat fatigue.    Maca powder has a somewhat nutty taste with a subtle hint of butterscotch.  

Uses:  smoothies, in milk, with chocolate, or mixed into the flour for dessert recipes.  




I've definitely heard of mulberries before, but I don't think I've ever tasted them.  Now that I have, I will be using them a lot more.  They are an incredible source of iron and vitamin C.  Mulberries also have resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant found in mulberries and is also found in red wine.  Studies have shown that resveratrol can promote a healthy heart.  

Uses:  smoothies, shakes, oatmeal and granola, cookies and desserts.


Earlier in the month, Navitas hosted a Smoothement - suggesting readers to replace one meal each day with a Navitas smoothie.  I signed up for the Navitas Smoothement daily email so I could get ideas for my smoothies.  I loved their ideas, but didn't always have the necessary ingredients at home.  All of the recipes emailed did sound yummy and worth a try.  If you would like to check out some of the recipes, go here.  

I opted to get creative with creating smoothies by taking some of the ideas on the website and adding in whatever I had at home.  The only negative part of this, I had forgotten my blender was broken.  Oops!  
So, I got creative again, I pulled out my food processor.  I had seen Joe and Jess use their food processors to make smoothies, so I thought - why not?  


Recipe # 1:  Strawberry Smoothie

  • Frozen strawberries
  • Maca powder (1 Tbs)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup of almond milk


One for Izzy & one for me!

Another note - I used my margarita glasses throughout my smoothement because Ward keeps threatening to throw them away because he says I don't use them.  Ha!  Guess what?  I used them!!!


Izzy approved

Recipe # 2:  Tropical Smoothie
  • Kiwi
  • Banana
  • Superseed Blend
  • Almond Milk





Verdict - Yummy!  You've got to try this one.  I never thought I'd like kiwi in a smoothie.  Actually, I never even thought of putting kiwi in a smoothie, but now that I have, I will add it in again.


Recipe #3:  Pumpkin Smoothie
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • almond milk
  • banana
  • maqui powder 
  • plain yogurt








Recipe #4:  Kale/Strawberry Smoothie
  • handful of kale
  • strawberries
  • yogurt
  • superseed blend
  • almond milk








Recipe #5:  Blueberry Smoothie
  • frozen blueberries (hand raked from Joe and Jess this summer)
  • banana 
  • plain yogurt
  • almond milk
  • superseed blend









To be honest, I wasn't really sure if smoothies would be filling enough to get me through the morning.  I've tried smoothies in the morning before and they weren't enough.  But, adding in some Navitas ingredients to my smoothies seemed to have done the trick.   Making smoothies in the morning was so easy too.  It actually took a lot less time to make a smoothie than my other breakfast choices.

Would you like a chance to win your own Navitas product?

I'm going to make this one easy on you.

All you have to do is head on over to Navitas to sign up for their newsletter here.  While you are there, shop around a little bit and come back here to Running With The Girls and leave me one comment letting me know you signed up for the newsletter & which smoothie ingredient you would choose!   GIVEAWAY ends 2/1!  Winner will be announced 2/2. 




I was sent a sampling of Navitas Naturals free of charge with the purpose of providing a review and hosting a giveaway; however, all opinions posted here are of my own.  


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Long Run With The Girls

When the girls met up this morning, it was about 30F but the sun was shining!  The rail trail is completely off limits right now due to the ice.  I'm hoping that the weather will cooperate and we can return to our beloved rail trail sometime next month, but until then, we'll be running the roads of Gardiner, Richmond and Wiscasset.  

This morning we met up at Kim's house, which meant she got to plan the route.  To be honest, at first I wasn't excited about the hill she took us on, but it was at the beginning and it really wasn't as bad as hills we've done before.  

All in all, the route was enjoyable.  It's great to change things up and to try different routes.   The route actually took us along the same River Road I ran yesterday but a totally different stretch of it.  Maybe someday I'll do the entire stretch from Richmond to Gardiner?  



I did actually bring my phone with me, so when the girls weren't looking, I took some pictures.  

only 5 of us today - Jill's off on a mini vaca right now



Today was our last run until the Midwinter Classic 10 Miler - which is next Sunday.  I may or may not drive Ward crazy all week with questions like - am I tapering too much? should I taper?  should I run?  what should I expect for a time if my 10k is this and my 1/2 is that?  He may move into the barn for the week just to avoid me.  I can't say I wouldn't blame him at all.  Before a new any race, I get kind of on the crazy side.  Just a little.  

Until then, I'll probably be over-analyzing every twinge or muscle tightness and obsessing about the course map.  

Course Map

Elevation

Do you get crazy before a new or any race?  Do you taper?   

& more importantly, have you been tagged in the 11 Random Things/Questions?  I was just tagged 2x in the past couple of days, so I need to get working on that & tag some peeps out there.  Do you want to be tagged?  

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Race Your Thorns Off Virtual Recap

Today the Boring Runner hosted a virtual run - Race Your Thorns Off.  










It was a sunny day here in Maine & temperatures were in the 40's.  It seemed like a spring day to me.   So I went "light" today - I wore my "throw away" gloves (you know the super cheap magic gloves that cost $1), a thin shirt under my thin jacket, sunglasses, & no hat!  I opted to wear my cute Chickbands headband instead.  


my first attempt at an action shot while running -
just needed to prove we actually had sun today!




I actually left for my run after Ward got home after his 20 miler this morning and I had to retrieve his car that he left at Jill and Wade's house.  I had two options with this a 3 mile or 5 mile route.  I'm kind of bored with the 3 mile route so I opted for the 5 miler that takes me down a nice long hill and along the river.  Of course, when you go down a hill, most of the time you need to go back up a hill.  And I did.  The last part of the run was all up hill and it was tiring.  




I had to retie my shoes at this point and thought I'd show you the river view

Pepper came with me as well.  This was day 2 of running with a halti collar for her and I think she gets it now.  Our first run with the halti was last night.  I only went a mile with her to try it out, it was dark, and freezing rain and the roads were super slick.  Pepper wasn't happy about the halti and got off of it twice.  I was not happy, she wasn't happy.  The run just sucked.  Thankfully today's run was way better.  I didn't have to pull her back at all today and I was barely holding onto the leash.  She was the perfect running partner today.  

action shot of Pepper - she was quite focused and didn't want to smile for you

If I'm going to continue to run with Pepper, and I'm pretty sure I will.  I will need to get used to the mud splatter that I will have all over my legs.  Don't you love the look I had going today?  Capris with calf sleeves.  Super hot.


Total mileage:  5.1 miles - time 45:04.  

Thank you, Boring Runner for putting this race together.  Sorry, I completely forgot to print out my bib!  
But here's what it looks like.  I like that we are all #1!  



I love a successful run!  



Friday, January 27, 2012

Still Streaking? & New Winner

Okay, I am getting tired.  Whose idea was it to streak anyway?  It seemed like a good idea at the start of January.  Maybe I should have waited to do this streak for a shorter month, like February.  Too late now and I'm not going to be streaking next month.  I'm tempted to take the next month off.  I won't, of course.  But the idea sounds pretty appealing right now.

I only put in a mile last night and mile tonight.  I normally wouldn't do 2, 1-milers like that, but the weather just sucked tonight.  31/32F & freezing rain and the roads were slick (again).   Yuck.  I would much rather run 10 miles in  -9F anyday than do a mile like I did tonight.  

I also have to admit, my glutes on my left side have been a bit sore for the past three days.  I actually had some tightness going on in my IT band area as well.  Nothing major, but enough for me to say, "a mile is enough" only because I have the Midwinter Classic 10 miler coming up the morning of Super Bowl Sunday.  I trained for that race last winter and it was postponed, rescheduled, then cancelled due to horrible weather.  Lucky me, because the race was cancelled, meant I had free registration this year.  Free registration - well of course!  Sign me up.  (in all honestly, it was free for me last year, Stacy actually registered me last year as well - it was all her idea to do this race - I did not want to do it).  Anyway, I have never run a 10 mile race before - especially in the dead of winter.  I don't have a baseline & I will get an automatic PR, but I want to do well.  I'm hoping for something between my 10K and 1/2 marathon PR times.   Makes total sense, right?  We'll see.   I also don't want the IT band issue to revisit, so resting the past two days was my plan.  Oh and foam rolling, bengay, ibuprofen, yoga & rocking my aspaeris shorts.  

How many of you are still streaking?  Only a few more days left!!!  




On another note, I chose a new WrightSocks winner.  Originally, there were 10 winners posted.  9 winners emailed me within the 72 hours.  It's been 120 hours since I posted the winners, so I picked another.  Random.org chose #37........


So, miss Holly - can you please email me at runningwiththegirls AT gmail DOT com?  Please!  I'd like to email Tom this weekend!  I'll give you 72 hours as well!  






Aspaeris Review


I recently had the opportunity to review some compression shorts from Aspaeris.  When I opened up the package and looked at them, I thought “now way am I going to fit into these!”  I was wrong.  They are true compression gear for sure.  They go on a bit snug, but the fit didn’t restrict my movement at all. 





I have been wearing these for a few months now and I am in love.  They are my go-to wear after a long run or anytime I’m feeling sore or tight in my hips, glutes, or quads.   Sometimes I put them on under my jeans or sweats before heading out to do some shopping.  Actually, today, I wore them under my khakis at school.  I’ve even slept in them.  They are that comfortable.  

What makes these shorts so special? 
First and foremost, they are made especially for women.  That statement in itself makes them well worth it to try out.  Aspaeris Pivot shorts are made from of seamless, wicking nylon/spandex that compress around tired muscles to help them feel fresh while remaining comfortable. 





This is a picture of the under layer of the shorts.   Aspaeris has dual-sensory compression bands that are designed to guide muscles into proper position. 



Right now, Aspaeris has a kick-butt deal going on.  These shorts regularly retail for $60, but for a limited time (until 1/31) you can enter the code “cooleronline” when you visit  to get 50% off!  


For more information on these incredible shorts, like their facebook page here (and tell them Jen from Running With the Girls sent you) and/ follow them on twitter here









Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rail Trail Chicks: Carrie

Okay, it's Carrie's turn! Carrie joined our group this past fall. You should definitely go check out her blog at Maine Mom on the Run. She is not new to running. She used to be a hurdler back in the day and was actually pretty good at it too. She just returned to running last February and has had a very strong return. 




Name: Carrie



Who/what inspires you to run? My boys. I run to recharge, be with my own thoughts, stay sane, and be a better mommy. Also, I run for my dad. He has a form of Muscular Dystrophy that makes it difficult to walk, let alone be able to run. I run because he can't.



What is your best training tip? Rest often. Our bodies need periods of recovery to be ready to get back out there at 100%.




What is your favorite post run indulgence? A tall glass of chocolate milk. Or my husband always makes blueberry pancakes when I get home from long runs.



2012 Race Plans: New distances! Mid-Winter Classic 10-Miler, Race the Runways Half Marathon, Reach the Beach 200-Mile Relay, and the Maine Marathon, with other races sprinkled in.



Favorite Distance to Run: This is a tough one. In school I would have said 400 meters. I did cross-country but did not consider myself a distance runner. Having really only run 5Ks and 10Ks so far, the two both have high and low points. I like 5Ks because they are short and fast, but they hurt! I like 10Ks because they offer more of a challenge. In my head, I think I'm going to fall in love the the half marathon distance, but we'll see!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

WINNERS!

Today is the day!  Yep, it's Izzy's 3rd Birthday.  We have an adorable little cowgirl on our hands with one of the best big girl beds around.


3 Years Old!  

I want a bed like this!  


To go along with the theme, I made horse cupcakes.  Super easy.  Make cupcakes, add green frosting.  Head off to toy store (or in my case, Reny's) to buy cheap plastic horse playsets w/ fencing.  Push cupcakes together, add fencing and add horses.  Done!

do you think we might be trying to brainwash Izzy into wanting a horse?  






Before I could do any birthday celebrating, the girls and I had to get our run in.  Unfortunately, a sick babysitter meant no run for Stacy.  We missed her terribly and she definitely missed out on a rocking, I mean, freezing, hilly run from Jess's house to my house.  Thankfully the hills are in the beginning of the run.  We started out with a temp of -9F and ended with -1F.  We covered 9.8 miles in 1 hr 38 minutes.  We could have added on another .2 to make it a nice 10 miles, but when we saw my house and the smoke coming out of the chimney from the woodstove, we were DONE!

I love my runner husband who truly appreciates running in the cold.  Before we could get to the door, he was on the steps with the camera telling us how awesome we look!  It's hard to see, but Jess has the BEST ice goatee going on.


we look so awesome, don't we?

if you look closely, you can see the ice goatee

That's been my Sunday so far!  

I bet you want to know if you were one of the lucky 10 winners for WrightSocks.  Well, lucky you, I have had time in between the run and the birthday festivities to figure it out.  The winners are:



Lisa



Jess @ Run With Jess



Sarah Jordan 


Jenn @ Jenn's Adventures


Laima


Amy


Boston Bound Brunette


Zaneta


Penny


Amy @ Juice Boxes and Crayolas

Congratulations!  

If you could send me off an email at runningwiththegirls@gmail.com with your full name/address, dress shoe size, and choice of lightweight, midweight, or cushioned that would be awesome.   You have 72 hours to respond.  If I don't hear from any of the winners listed above, I will choose another winner(s).  

Once I have information from all of the winners, I will forward your information to Tom.  Then WrightSocks will take care of you.