Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dear...

losers in the big red truck.   Do you really think it's cool that you gawk at me every time you see me when I'm out running and drive by me several times during a short run? Really? I do want to thank you for slowing down - because you gave me the chance to get an awesome description of you and your truck. And I was able to find where you live.  For that, I thank you.  You're not going to stop me from running.  Nope.  Not at all.  I'm just not going to be running on my road.  I don't trust you.  I think you are big time losers that's just looking for trouble and I don't want any part of it.  I hope you enjoyed your visit from the cops you freakin' morons.

Versatile - Wind X-treme Review

A few months back, I was sent the Wind X-treme.   When it came I was so excited to try it out, but it was so cold outside and the fabric was incredibly lightweight.  I thought for sure that it would not be warm enough for the Maine winters.  Then one chilly morning, my thicker hat was in the washing machine, so I pulled out the Wind X-treme.




After a 10F day run, I was quite pleased with how warm my head was during the run. After that run I was sold.  I also loved the fun print.  It is different from most of my winter running hats (boring black) and it looked great with my fun Sugoi running jacket.  The Wind X-treme became my go-to running hat in no time at all.  


Wind X-treme is a lightweight yet heavy-duty headwear designed for outdoor activities such as (but definitely not limited to):

  • skiing
  • hunting
  • snowboarding
  • snowmobiling
  • biking
  • motorcycling
  • running
  • golfing
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • climbing
  • tennis
The above list is from the website, but after wearing the Wind X-treme for sometime, I'm going to add more activities:
  • yoga
  • gardening
  • cleaning
I am positive after trying out Wind X-treme for yourself, you could add even more activities to the list.  

Because Wind X-treme is such a versatile accessory, it is great for all seasons and has many functions.  I enjoyed using the Wind X-treme in the following forms:


skull cap (my favorite winter mode)


neck gaitor (sorry no, picture for this one)


headband 


nice for when it warms up and keeps the sweat out of your eyes
I see myself wearing it more and more as a headband as the temps continue to rise this spring.

But the list of functions doesn't end there - you can also enjoy it as:
  • facemask
  • helment liner
  • balaclava 
  • pirate cap
  • sahariane
  • scrunchy
  • wristband
  • and I'm sure you could add more functions here.....
I loved that the back of the package included a visual of ideas of it's uses and even some directions for the bottom two uses.  Most importantly, if you choose to try out the Wind X-treme, it's best to just play around with it.  





Wind X-treme is also great for all members of the family.  It is definitely Izzy approved.  I've had to retrieve it from her bedroom many of times.




You should definitely visit Wind X-treme for more information about this incredible product.
Visit them on their website here and on facebook here.  Let them know Jen from Running With The Girls sent you over.



Friday, March 30, 2012

This Is What Tough Looks Like

When Tough Chik sent out the email last fall, I knew I had to join Team Tough Chik.   I am now part of a fabulous family of Tough Chiks all around the world.




We had an incredible stretch of weather last week, so I had to get the singlet on and strike a pose. 
Here I am.  Tough Chik, ready to take on whatever comes my way.   

What makes me a Tough Chik?  
- Family always comes first (priorities people!)
- Weather doesn't take me away from my running
- I am not going to let the end-of-year school stresses get to me
- Hills do not scare me
- I am looking forward to warmer weather so I can take Izzy with me in the jogger while I race Tucker on his bike
- I thrive on challenging myself in running longer, faster, trying new workouts


Please head over to the Tough Chik blog to read about my fellow Toughies.  If you are interested in joining this group of fabulous ladies, sign up here.  Membership will open again this May. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Proud

Check it out.  This came in the mail yesterday.



But it wasn't for me.  I am incredibly proud of Ward (and Wade) for their accomplishment.  In a little over 3 weeks we'll all head down to Boston - the guys will run their race and Jill, myself and our kids will hopefully be able to cheer them on somewhere and find them after the race.

Someday, I want this package to come in the mail for me.  I'm not there yet.  I have quite a bit of work ahead of me first.

I'm reaching out to any Boston Marathon spectators out there right now.  How does one spectate (just enough to hopefully see the husband and brother-in-law) and then get to a spot somewhere beyond the finish line with 4 kids?  It's going to be CRAZY.  I know!  Just looking for some hints here.

Also, drive in or take the T?  I've never ever driven in Boston before.  Oh this is going to be an adventure for sure!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Maine Maple Sunday

We are a little less than 2 weeks away from Race The Runways, so the girls and I set out for 10 miles this morning.   It was a bit chilly (40F) and the forecast was calling for rain.  It drizzled a bit on our run and it was just a raw, bone chilling kind of run.

I came home to homemade waffles and our own Boudreau Maple Syrup.  Today is Maine Maple Sunday - so of course we had to have maple syrup.  Why not have our own?

our trees - we tap 3 of our trees

we actually filled this trash can with sap -
but had to dump most of it out because we didn't boil the sap fast enough
& it went bad in our 80 degree streak this past week

our hillbilly approach to boiling the sap - yep,  we're that cool  

Photo Of The Day #25 - Breakfast.  
Not exactly breakfast - but it is what we topped the waffles with.  
even though we had to dump out a large part of the sap, we still ended up with these
three jars and two smaller ones

And if that yummy breakfast didn't give fill us up, we loaded into the car and headed over to Goranson's.


Because it was raining by the time we got there, it meant a lot less people.  Normally there's a long line waiting to get into the sap house.  Today - we walked right in.  It's fun to go inside and hear about how maple syrup is made.  It's how we learned what to do.  



I'd love to have this kind of set up.  I'm pretty sure Ward can handle this, right?

 Our first stop was to the maple syrup donuts.  Not at all healthy for you, but over-the-top delightful.   Moderation is key.


everybody needs a donut maker like this at home, right?  

of course we had to have the maple syrup glaze on top as well
Then we stopped by the ice cream and maple syrup table, of course.   


Do you see the looks they are giving me?  "Stay away from the ice cream, Mom."  




And we met up with Stacy and her family as well.  


The boys had a blast playing in the bales of hay.  



just had to add this in here - a sure sign of spring

Photo-of-the-day #24 - An Animal
This little darling was at Goranson's today.  I wanted to bring him home with us today.  Ward said no.  I don't understand.  We have a farm.  Why not have a cow?  


Do you enjoy maple syrup?  It's one of the things I love most about spring time in Maine.  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I don't know what to wear!

We had a glorious, unexpected week for temperatures in Maine.  For a majority of the week, we have temperatures ranging from in the 70's and 80's.   This was a real treat.  Although it was challenging adjusting to running in warmer temperatures with the rapid increase, it was still nice to wear a tank and skirt while running.

To be honest, yesterday morning, I was getting ready to head out for my 5 mile run and was quite stumped with figuring out what to wear.  It's like 1 week of glorious weather completely wiped out my memory in knowing what to wear for normal Maine weather.  



I couldn't bring myself to wear full length tights.  I should have, but I couldn't. So I opted to break in my Pride Socks winnings (from Penny at the Pink Hat Runner).   I was happy with the pride socks during the run.  They are a thicker sock, so I was nervous about rubbing and blisters, but that didn't happen at all.  They were cushy soft and fun to wear.  


I also couldn't decide if I was going to wear a cap or winter hat and gloves.  I decided to bring all of them with me and decide when I got to the rail trail.  

what to wear?  decisions, decisions


When I got there, I realized that it was a bit cooler along the river - closer to 33F, so I went for the gloves and winter hat.  


I also broke in my SPIband.  The capris I chose to wear did not have a bum pocket, and I needed something to put my keys into.   I won this a while back from Holly at The Pioneer Apron.  This little gem worked like a charm.  I didn't even notice it was on my wrist.  This is great for those days I'm going on a mid length run on the rail trail.  If I'm on a long run, I'll have my camelbak.  


it is so hard to take a picture one handed with my camera!


there you go, a better picture


5 miles done on the rail trail - 42 minutes (8:22 pace).  







Friday, March 23, 2012

Swallowed My First Bug of The Season

We have some big news here in Maine, it's summer!  Well, at least it feels like it anyway.  It is still March, but for the past few days, we've had this amazing heat wave with temps in the 70s and 80s and I'm loving it.  For the most part.  My body needs a little time to adjust to running in new temps.  Most of the time it is a gradual change.  The first cold run for the fall usually has me freezing and then by February, I don't even bat an eyelash at 10F and I think to myself - not bad for February!  I have gone from a 40 degree run Sunday morning with the girls to a 70 degree run Tuesday night to an 87 degree run tonight. Wow! 

Tonight's run wasn't the best of runs at all.   I didn't get out of the door until just before 5 pm.  Which means I was starving!  I did eat a lemon larabar at 4:30 hoping it would help me out for the run but I don't think it did.  It was hot.  I was thirsty.  I drank water all day long prepping for tonight's run - as a matter of fact I filled my Nalgene bottle 5 times today - that would be 120 ounces of water.  For some reason my beloved Brooks Pure Connects decided to piss me off and give me blisters and my feet just ached the entire time.  I did have my phone and I really thought about calling Ward several times to just come and get me but I couldn't bring myself to call.  I wasn't in any pain, I was just not having a good run.  I needed to get over this and just power through it.  And that I did.  Overall time 1:10 for 8.10 miles.  And did I mention, I swallowed my first bug.  Gross!   I know there will be many more.  The first one always throws me for a loop.  Not my best time, not my worst time, so overall just a blah kind of run.  We all have them.  Now I need to move on. 

The first thing I did when I got home was mix up a coconut water and Neocell Collagen Belgium Chocolate protein drink.  Oh yum! 

coconut water

add in belgium chocolate collage protein powder, shake
 and you get this delightful treat


Photo Of The Day Catch Up -
#20 - Before and After

before my run
 (note, it's wasn't really 3:43...I am too lazy and haven't changed this clock yet)

after my run....only dropped 5 degrees...

Another set of befores & afters just for fun....

My the little strap piece broke on my garmin - so I bought the replacement band.


I don't really like how the band is black/gray and my watch is green, but it is far more comforable and fits way better.  I'll take it and just have to get over the looks. 

Photo Of The Day #21 - Delicious


My lunch for the week.  Quinoa Caprese salad.  I spotted this simple recipe on pinterest and it is filling and delicious. 


 Photo Of The Day #22 - Kitchen Sink



Here is my lovely kitchen sink.  I do like the old soapstone sinks we have here.  Ward customized the sink area to make these two work.  I love the wide shallow one and then the deeper one.  These sinks completely fit in well with our old farmhouse. 




Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Easy Peasy Tuna Burgers

I was looking for something easy to make for lunch on Sunday.  I reached for the canned tuna and was getting ready to make some quick tuna melts, but then had a brainstorm - Tuna Burgers.

Instead of checking out recipes on pinterest, like I normally do, I took matters into my own hands and chanced it.   

Easy Peasy Tuna Burgers
- 2 cans drained tuna 
- handful of panko 
- 2 eggs

there really are 2 eggs in there, I think the other one is under the panko


1.  mix ingredients in bowl
2.  form patties
3.  add oil to pan - I used the panini grill and preheat
4.  add patties, cook approx 5 minutes per side
5.  eat! with or without bread, with your favorite toppings, etc.  
     I actually chose to put them on some bulkie rolls, add a little mayo, swiss cheese, and greens.  

my panini grill has been perfect for whipping up burgers and such

Ward raved about these.  
And Izzy at the entire burger.  Now that never happens.
I am going to have to make these again, soon!  



So easy, you have got to do this!  If you do and you try something different - like adding some fun spices and what-not, please come back here and share!   Now that I have a "base" - which was incredibly easy, I am going to have to put some creative twists on it!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Photo Of The Days


Photo Of The Day #18 - Corner of Your House.  



And now that I'm really looking at this picture, 
I am seeing that I have some more painting to do this summer.  


Photo Of The Day #19 - Funny 


It really doesn't matter how many times I look at the picture, I always think it's hilarious.  













Monday, March 19, 2012

Running to Fight Cancer




I am proud to be featuring this article tonight written by Liz Davies. Cancer has touched so many of our lives. We all know that it has taken my world and shaken it up. I wish there would have been an opportunity for my mom to really fight her cancer.




Running to Fight Cancer

Though some doctors may still advise against strenuous physical activity for patients, the evidence shows that every cancer patient will benefit from engaging in a regular exercise program. Just how much and what type of exercise will depend on the current fitness level of the patient and form of cancer. More is better though, barring over-exertion, and everyone capable will gain even more benefits from endurance running than traditional aerobics.

Overcoming Fatigue to Gain Better Health

After the initial shock of diagnosis has worn away, treatments take their toll on the energy levels of the individual. Studies have shown that treatment-induced fatigue can last for years and result in greatly diminished levels of physical activity. The conditions reinforce one another in a downward spiral toward the development of other chronic diseases and even cancer recurrence.

Overcoming the fatigue enough to engage in regular workouts will be a challenge, but the rewards are too many to miss out on. Basic aerobics have been used to
successfully reduce fatigue in several studies.

Is More Really Better?


The most common statement about exercise and cancer is to avoid physical inactivity. This is a short way of saying that some exercise is better than none at all. But is more exercise better? One study found that the more vigorous the exercise program was, the more benefits men with prostate cancer gained. Importantly, endurance and resistance exercises were found to combat the side effects of hormone therapy for prostate cancer patients. A large study on colorectal cancer patients found that more vigorous exercises reduced the risk of death by nearly 50 percent and decreased risk of recurrence.

Matching the Exercise to the Individual


Endurance running is a vigorous form of exercise that many patients are not ready to start with immediately. The same goes for resistance training and even moderate-intensity aerobics. Different types of exercises are better for different types of cancer patients. For example, cancer that affects the lungs like lung cancer and mesothelioma causes cancer patients to focus on cardio exercises while breast cancer patients might focus on flexibility exercises. It is wise to consult with both the oncologist and a physical therapist to determine a good starting place and devise a plan for better fitness. Working up to more intense forms of exercise is necessary for safety and to preserve the benefits.

Exercise offers a powerful remedy for symptoms experienced during treatment and a long-term investment in health. The sedentary lifestyle is a known risk factor for developing cancer, and changing this at any point can help by providing a better quality of life, increased chance of survival and lower risk of recurrence.



Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness. She wants to make a difference in people’s lives because she sees how cancer has devastated so many people in this world. Liz also likes running, playing lacrosse, reading and playing with her dog, April. If you would like to contact her she can be reached at healthylizd@gmail.com.




Saturday, March 17, 2012

Our Artist

Last night was Tucker's special night - as I mentioned yesterday, one of his drawings was selected to be put on display at a local art gallery.  To celebrate his accomplishment, we took him out for dinner at our most favorite chinese restaurant in Hallowell - Lucky Garden. 



Dad & Barb

Ward & his mom, Kathy

the kids and myself

After dinner, we walked down to the gallery.






We spent quite a bit of time walking around admiring the art.  I absolutely love kid art.  It is full of life and created without restraint.  

Then we spotted Tucker's drawing. 




I also knew that Stacy's son had a piece selected as well, so we went on looking for his.  We looked quite a bit but then I spotted it - right next to Tucker's.  




In talking to one of the curators, she explained that display represnted 22 local schools grades K-8, and only 9 students from each school were selected from each school.  It is quite an accomplishment for all of the children who had a piece of art selected by their art teacher.  I am proud of all these little budding artists. 

And before I forget - Photo Of The Day #17 is Green.  





With temps nearing the 70's today, I was quite happy to slip into these comfy Keens today. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Proud Mamma Moment

Photo Of The Day - #15
Car



It is mud season here & I have a huge loop driveway.  Paving that sucker is really out of the question in terms of affordability - at least until the kids are out of the house.  Ha.  Mud is my reality for a couple more weeks.  Unfortunately, it means my car looks like I've been 'muddin' in the backwoods of Maine.  Let me just tell you, my car looks so awesome sitting in the parking lot at HBS, sitting next to those nice new, shiny BMWs, Volvos, etc.  Gotta love it. 


Photo Of The Day - #16
Sunglasses



Today's photo is supposed to be sunglasses.  It's rainy and gross this morning, so I really don't want to put on my glasses, but I'll surely share with you.  I picked these babies up at my fave downtown Gardiner, consignment shop - Girltrend.  I bought them for my Reach The Beach relay team because our team name is Need Food Speed & would like to have aviator glasses.  Don't you love these?  Fun, cheesy & cheap. 


I also need to share with you a proud mamma moment.  Tonight we'll be heading off to the Harlow Art Gallery in Hallowell to celebrate our little artist, Tucker.  One of his art pieces was selected to be displayed at the gallery.  And he was the only one in his class to be selected.  I am incredibly proud of him and his accomplishment. 


Happy Friday everyone!