Sunday, June 30, 2013

#Mezamashii For Sure

My legs have been feeling heavy lately.  My ITB hates me.  So do my calves.  Oh and the arch of my foot has started to ache.  I'm falling apart.  Not really.  But it feels like it.  Maybe I'm being overdramatic.  Just a little.    

In addition, I feel like I've lost all speed in my legs.  I wasn't super speedy before, but I definitely feel like I've lost progress in the speed department.

But I've got to ask myself - is speed really important to me?  Is that the only reason why I run?  Hell no!  I am running to ease my anxiety, I am running because it makes me smile.  I am running for my health and to be a positive role model for my kids.

I am training for my first 50k which will be happening in 29 days if I'm ready or not.  My plan is to be ready for it.  And I'm going to stick to that plan.  I'm not going for speed at all on this one.  I'm just going for the experience of my first 50k, an experience I will take with me forever.  I have a few speedy friends who are also running this race, and while I would hope that they would slow down and run with me, it's a lot to ask, so I may be doing this race solo.  Which won't be so bad - since I will see the kids and husband quite a few times on this out and back race on a 2 mile long island off the Coast of Maine.

According to my training calendar, I have time to get in 2 more big weekends before the taper comes on.  My last big weekend was 22.5 miles on a Saturday and then 8 miles on Sunday.

remember this?  I sure do!!!


Thursday I had one of those runs.  You know that run.  The run where everything aligns and all seems right with the world.  Well, at least while you are running.  Since I've been hating my pace, I decided to head down to the rail trail where the mileage is marked, and leave my Garmin and iPhone behind.  I laced up my beloved Cursoris and headed out for a 10 mile run.



Out of all the Mizuno shoes I've run in, the Cursoris is at the top.  First and foremost, they are women's shoes.  Which doesn't happen a whole lot for me with my extra wide foot.  But the open mesh really allows for a lot of room and zero rubbing, which means for a comfortable ride.  I'm also a fan of zero drop shoes and these shoes offer just that as well as ample cushioning, so I don't feel like my feet are slapping on the ground.  With the cushioning, I also feel that this shoe can definitely take me through a marathon.  I also really like that I can actually go sockless with these shoes if I want and not really fear getting blisters.   I don't do this a lot, but it's nice to know that I can if I choose to.

I've run in the Universe, Musha, Wave Rider and they've all been men's shoes.  I really wish Mizuno would make a wider foot bed for women rather than having women who have wide feet have to resort to a clunky, heavy shoe or have to wear men's shoes.  I like a lightweight shoe, with minimal support and I want to wear girly colors.  Is that wrong?

What shoes do it for you?

Disclaimer:  This is not an ad.  I bought these shoes (the Mushas and Cursoris) with my own $$ based on my previous experiences with Mizuno.  All opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

#AD: Cheribundi She's My Cherry Pie (+Giveaway)

I am a girl stuck in the 80's.  Sometimes I find myself singing random 80's Hairband songs. Trying out this drink brought this song to my head immediately.




Of course I know the song isn't really about cherry pies, but the song is catching as hell!  

When I was growing up in Pennsylvania, we had a cherry tree and I used to love going down to pick cherries.   Those cherries never made it into the house.  I do remember that!  

Now when we visit family in Pennsylvania, my kids enjoy heading over to the cherry tree and picking cherries.  They haven't fallen in love with the cherries, yet.  But I know in time, they will love them!  

I know, I just used this one yesterday, but it is incredibly fitting

So when Cheribundi sent me a sampler case of their tart cherry juices, I was quite excited!  



In my sampler case I had - Relax, Restore, Rebuild, Light and Original flavors.
A few facts about Cheribundi juices:

Tart Cherry Juice - 
contains 50 cherries
130 calories

Tart Cherry Juice Light - 
contains 40 cherries
80 calories

Tart Cherry Relax - 
 contains 45 cherries + L-Theanine
90 calories

Tart Cherry Restore - 
 contains 40 cherries + electrolytes and vitamins
90 calories

Tart Cherry Rebuild - 
contains 45 cherries + protein
160 calories

To learn about the ingredients and vitamins - please visit Cheribundi's Our Juices page.

At first I was blown away by the flavor.   I really enjoy cherries, especially tart ones.  So drinking them was even better.  I must add, most of the time, I do not like to drink calories.  I usually save those calories for the occasional margarita or beer, but when it comes to a drink that promises recovery, improved health and improved sleep, I'll definitely choose some calories.  

Dr. Oz featured Cheribundi back in February.   Some of the health benefits highlighted on the show included:

Pain Relief
- Studies have proven tart cherry juice blocks inflammation-causing enzymes which reduce pain felt within the body.  Because of this, tart cherry juice is often used by many athletes after strenuous workouts for fast muscle and joint recovery.

Sleep Aid
- Tart cherry juice has been shown to encourage melatonin production and which allows you to sleep more peacefully, naturally.  

Fights Heart Disease
- Tart cherry juice naturally helps fight triglycerides, which is often the cause behind heart disease

Now that I have happily tried out all of my Cheribundi samples (I even shared some with the family), I must report that I did noticed that I slept far better than I have in a long time.  I take a melatonin supplement because I have trouble falling asleep and falling back asleep after being woken up in the middle of the night (kids), but during my Cheribundi challenge, I didn't take the melatonin and noticed an improved difference.  

Also, I did try Cheribundi after my May marathon.  I was quite sore afterwards, and continue to be rather sore.  During the time I was trying Cheribundi, I definitely experience less pain.  The difference was so much, that I just went to the grocery store and bought more Cheribundi juice because the pain in my foot is back!  

Cheribundi is also hosting a cool 7-day Challenge on their facebook page.  You can go there and sign up to get coupons to start out the challenge if you are interested!!!

The incredible people at Cheribundi have offered one of my readers a sampler pack of tart cherry juice. 

I'm going to keep it pretty simple to enter. 
  • Be a follower of my blog and let me know you are in a comment (mandatory!)
  • Tell me in a comment why you want to try Cheribundi and what flavor you would like the most.  
  • Share this giveaway via twitter, facebook or on your blog and leave me a comment with the link.  A sample tweet could be "I want to win a sample pack of @cheribundi from @runningwtg  http://www.runningwiththegirls.com/2013/06/ad-cheribundi-shes-my-cherry-pie.html "  

You have 5 possible chances to win this delicious juice with it's amazing properties.  The giveaway will end on July 5th.  I'll post a winner on July 6.  

The giveaway is only open to those living in the continental US.

Disclaimer:  I was provided a sampler case of Cheribundi in exchange for a review/giveaway.  I was not obligated to post a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.  

Friday, June 28, 2013

Road Trip! Our Mini Vacation

This past week, we took a quick little vacation to Pennsylvania to visit family.  We always stay with my aunt and uncle and have tons of fun.

It was a long drive down.  But I'm not complaining, since Ward did a majority of the driving.  And I may have been distracted by facebook and instagram and we may have missed our exit, which resulted in a slightly longer trip.  However, the route we took was a far better drive than going through Hartford, CT.  Which really bites the big one.


What exit?  
Thankfully we aren't really crazy when it comes to getting to PA in record time or anything.  We do make a few stops on the way.  Especially potty trips or sometimes when the view is absolutely gorgeous.  Or even just to stretch.

NY Rest Stop Yoga

Since it was in the 90's, with quite a bit of humidity, we did a ton of this.



And I drank some of this.  It is a childhood favorite of mine and it only tastes right in the carton.



I didn't do enough of this.




But the day I did run, I broke it into two runs.  Once along the farmlands near my aunt and uncle's house and then next run was part way up a mountain, then back down.  Which then lead to immediately jumping in the pool.   I did pause long enough to take my sneakers and Garmin off, but that was it!




We did do some sightseeing.




And we did get to see my dad and Barb.  We tried out a new place to eat and it was delicious.  



We ate at the Appalacian Brew Company in Harrisburg.  The wait was incredibly long, but the burgers were the best burgers we've ever had.  Ward ate Switchback (pictured) which was piled high with cappicola ham, smoked bacon, caramelized onions, rootbeer BBQ sauce, and provolone cheese.  I had the Sasquatch - which had brown sugar caramelized apple smoked bacon, sliced apples, caramelized onions, and cheddar cheese.  And I did enjoy two Susquehanna Stouts as well.  The kids even tried homemade pierogie's for the first time, and they really enjoyed them.  



And since Pennsylvania's growing season is so far ahead of ours, my aunt and uncle have been picking lots of cherries.  We had a blast picking cherries and even brought home a few bags (already pitted) to make our own jam or pie with them!  



Pay attention to these pictures, they have something to do with a review/giveaway I'm posting tomorrow!  

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Healthy Meals with Diet-to-Go

If you haven't heard yet, Diet-to-Go is hosting an outrageous sweepstakes on Facebook until June 30.  If you haven't entered yet, stop what you are doing and go enter now!  If you are a lucky winner, you will not regret it!   

I am one of Diet-to-Go's ambassadors and I received a great selection of meals to try out.  


Remember this box?  I sure do!   


It was packed with all of this delicious food.  I had to fend away the husband.  He wanted to eat my goodies.  I was torn if I was going to share but I ended up sharing because I kind of felt bad.   

Breakfast Meals:

  • Mango Cranberry Muffin
  • Noodle Kugel
  • Blueberry Pancakes with Turkey Sausage
  • Fruit Ambrosia 
  • Ratatouille Omelet

Lunch Meals: 

  • Curry Chicken Salad
  • Chicken Alfredo Melt
  • Tuna Meltovers
  • Turkey Ham Salad
  • Szechuan Turkey Burger

Dinner Meals:

  • Lobster and Veggie Ravioli
  • Italian meatball On Fettucini 
  • Penne Pasta with Turkey Meat Sauce
  • Chicken Pizza
  • Turkey Chili 

Above is a sampling of what you can get with a 5 day meal plan.  

My favorite meals were:  


I prefer light breakfasts.  This Fruit Ambrosia was perfect in my opinion.  Light, sweet, filling. 

My next favorite breakfast was the Ratatouille Omelet. 



Next up:  Lobster and Veggie Ravioli. 


Being a Maine Girl, I know my lobster.  I was expecting to taste more lobster in the ravioli.  Unfortunately, there wasn't a lot of lobster but it still tasted amazing!!!


I am surprised I have a picture of this Chicken Alfredo Melt.  I am serious when I tell you this.  Ward looked away for one moment and when he turned around this heap of deliciousness was gone.  


This Italian Meatball on Fettuccini was another good one.  I can easily overload when it comes to pasta so I was grateful for the portion control help on this one.


This Chicken Pizza was surprisingly tasty. I wasn't sure if I was going to like it or not but sure enough, Diet-to-Go delivered again!

And, because I can't help myself from raving about the meals, I have one more I need to share with you.  The Szechuan Turkey Burger was a tasty lunch.  I really the sauce was delicious and the meal itself was quite filling.  


I have to add that the carrot and beet salad was light and refreshing as well.   Perfect salad for the summer.

I did end up sharing. I let Ward choose a couple of meals so he could eat something yummy and healthy at work rather than having to do take out or pack a lunch.  He took the Penne Pasta, Tuna Meltovers and Turkey Chili.  Of course he doesn't get blogging and taking pictures of everything but I have his report!  He said "They were tasty.  Thank you for sharing."   Jeez, Ward, I wish you'd give me more details.  

There were a couple of meals that didn't wow me.  The Mango Muffin, Noodle Kugel, and Blueberry Pancakes were okay but not as amazing as the meals described above.  But out of the 15 meals I received to review, I was amazed by 9 of them, shared 3 that my husband did enjoy and wasn't in love with 3.  I guess Diet-to-Go's success rate is still pretty high.   

Now that I have you drooling over the amazing meals that Diet-to-Go has to offer, I also have a Gift Card you can use so you can enjoy your own Diet-to-Go meals.  



Disclaimer:  I am a Diet-to-Go Ambassador and was provided these meals to review and was compensated for this campaign.  As always all opinions stated on my blog are 100% my own. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

There's Always Time To Fit In A Run & New Running Buddies

I've been at a Math and Science Conference for the past three days.   We're at a gorgeous facility with breathtaking views.  The only issue is that our schedules have been jam-packed with workshops and sessions, lasting until 6 or 8 pm.  For an active person like me, sitting in chairs for 10 to 12 hours has been absolute torture.  While I am getting something out of the conference, I have found myself sitting here obsessing about running, where I'm going to run and how long I am going to run.



Lucky for me, I happened to find myself sitting next to a wonderful young woman at one of my conferences.  Like how all of my conversations go when meeting people, running came up.  I was beyond excited to learn that she is a runner too!

Immediately we began looking at our schedule trying to figure out when we could fit in our run.  We found a small hole in the schedule, ran back to our cabins, changed, and took off.

Our first run on Tuesday, we took on some trails going up the summit.  The trails were quite muddy and challenging - meaning they were all uphill, which meant it was tons of fun!  After some trail running we made our way to the paved road that took us to the summit.  The view from the top was absolutely breathtaking.



On Wednesday, we decided to change things up a bit and run down to Lincolnville Beach.  Again, gorgeous views.  It was hard to return to the conference, but it had to be done.



Our little group ended the night with some drinks up on the Summit, then dinner in Camden.  If you've ever been to Camden, it's a gorgeous little coastal town.  Even at night.


Today, Thursday, there was no running.  But, during one of our mini breaks, we walked over to the fitness center to check out this stretchmate.  I really think I need one of these for myself.  There was a poster with suggested stretches, but I am positive with more time, I can come up with a wide variety of incredible stretches.  


On our way out of the fitness center, Melinda, my new running friend, noticed this quote on the wall.  



I want this to be me, one of those older ladies in my 70's and 80's who looks amazing and just keeps running.  

Have your gone out on adventure runs while away from home?  Tell me!



Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day & A Winner!

Wishing all father's out there the best father's day ever!  Especially to my own dad and husband.  Those two men are the best I know!


But I know why you are really reading tonight - to see if you won!  Congratulations to Amanda and Run To The Finish!  You are the winner for the Oral B Deep Sweet Triaction.  Mine came on Friday after I posted, and it is amazing!  I hope you like it too!  I'm sending you an email!  





Friday, June 14, 2013

#powerofdad: Power To My Dad (and a giveaway)

With Father's Day just around the corner, I find it fitting to post about my dad.  He is an amazing man.  He's overcome quite a bit in the past 7 years.   Within a week of each other, his mother and wife passed away.  What could have broken him only made him stronger.  This man rose from the devastation and has found a new outlook on life - running.




This past January, when Gary Allen made his 700+ mile run from the top of Cadillac Mountain to Washington, DC, my dad ran with him for a portion on the back roads of Freeport.  

I haven't run with him, yet.   But I will be at his first race to cheer him on, support him and take tons of pictures on July 4th at the LL Bean 10k.  

I am proud of my dad.  He is a true inspiration to me and proof that it is never too late to start running!  

Seeing my dad smile again warms my heart more than words can describe.  

I love you, dad.  Happy Father's Day!  

How has your father made you smile?  






As part of Oral-B's #powerofdad campaign, one of my lucky readers has the chance to win their own  Oral-B Deep Sweep TRIACTION™ 1000 power toothbrush (retail value of $64.99).    I will be receiving one as well.  

To enter, please comment below with your own #powerofdad moment.  

For an additional entry, share your #powerofdad moment on facebook, instagram, or twitter with the hashtag and share your link below as well.  

This giveaway will close at noon on Sunday, 6/16.  I will post the winner on the blog.  






Wednesday, June 12, 2013

#diettogo: Common Sense Healthy Eating

Ahhhh....summer break is HERE!

10.5 weeks of absolute bliss:  lots of time with the kids, husband, running, beach.  The only downside for me is that when I'm home, I have a tendency to frequent the refrigerator and pantry, a lot.   Because I have more time to prepare my meals and more time to eat, I usually eat more.  Which is why I am more than excited that I received this today:



Talk about perfect timing!  

As a Diet-to-Go Ambassador, I am excited to announce that as part of their Summer Shape Up campaign, Diet-to-Go is hosting a bunch of great giveaways and promotions.  This gives you the chance to win free meals, gift cards, a FitBit Flex Wristband or even a gift card or cash!

Diet-to-Go Facebook Sweepstakes 
First go to Diet to Go's Facebook page and "like" them.  Then enter the sweepstakes here.  There will be one grand prize winner to win an entire month of free meals from Diet-to-Go and 5 runner up winners will each receive a week of free meals.  Please check out the official rules here.  









Diet-to-Go Diet Bet
Join in on the weight-loss challenge on Diet Bet with Diet-to-Go.  If you lose 4% of your weight in 4 weeks, you win part of the pot!

Diet-to-Go on Google+
Join Diet-to-Go's Google+ community "Common Sense Healthy Living" for easy and common sense approaches to eating healthy.

Diet-to-Go Twitter Chat
On Tuesday, June 19th, at 9pm EST Diet-to-Go will host a twitter chat discussing losing weight for the summer using common sense methods and practices.  Participants will be eligible to win 1 FitBit Flex Wristband and 1 week of free meals.  More information coming on this soon.  Be sure to follow @Diettogo and use the hashtag #diettogo.


Keep in touch and come back here for more information as I share my thoughts on my new meals and a giveaway.

Now, which meal will I choose first?  And the bigger question, will I share?







Disclaimer:  As a Diet-to-Go Ambassador, I am promoting their sweepstakes and promotions.  As part of the promotion, I will be reviewing a week of Diet-to-Go meals.  All opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.  



Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What The Dr. Ordered....

Last Friday I made the trip to my monthly chiropractor appointment.  Usually when Dr. Jen asks me how I'm doing, my response is "great!"  But this time, I said "not good, I hurt.  I went on to explain where I hurt."  She just looked me and shook her head.

She went about doing her business with my adjustment and then got to my legs.  She said "are you rolling?"  I admitted I hadn't.  Ooops.  I knew it.  I know better.  I just got lazy.  She did her magic, told me to roll and take it easy, and to come back in a week.

I went home and immediately began rolling.  I rolled for about 45 minutes.  It hurt so much, but I felt fabulous afterwards.

I rolled everything I could:
- back
- glutes
- hamstrings
- inner thighs
- quads
- calves
- inner calves

The entire time I kept singing to myself "rolling with my foamie" - mostly because I'm a dork, but because it made me smile thinking about Terry, my yoga instructor, during my first classes with her while training for my 1st marathon.



Since Friday, I've rolled every single day and I am no longer in pain.  No weird aches, no pains.  I feel great!  But I'm NOT going to go crazy and jump back in like I want to!

I'm going to ease back in and be smart about it.  Or about as smart as I can be, knowing that GCI is 45 days away!

On Sunday, I set out for an 10 mile run.  Around mile 7, my knee felt achy and I didn't want to push it so I finished up at mile 8, came home and rolled.  It was a slow run too.  I wanted to go fast.  I wanted to crank through the miles, but I knew I shouldn't.  I just took it easy and enjoyed being able to run.  It's all about recovery right now and training for that ultra!

I even stopped to admire my favorite places along the rail trail.



Spring is one my most favorite times to run, mostly because it's like rediscovering life all over again.  New blooms, flower smells, running streams.  

Tell me, when is your favorite time of year to run?  What kind of flower are those in the picture above? There is a wall of them along the rail trail and they smelled absolutely fantastic.  I wanted to hang out there all day long.

When you return from an injury, do you play is smart and take it easy? or do you just dive right in?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Winner Winner & Another Giveaway!

As promised, I'm here to announce the winner of my 6dollarbands giveaway.



I think it was meant to be, Marcia!  Congratulations!!!!

Email me at runningwiththegirls at gmail dot com with your address so I can get your headband out to you as soon as possible!

Now onto another fun giveaway!  The folks over at TheSilverMaple.com have graciously offered a $100 gift card giveaway to one lucky winner.  They make personalized, handcrafted jewelry that would make an incredible gift or to keep for yourself!

If I had my choice, I'd have to choose this race bracelet:













Disclaimer:  I was contacted by SilverMaple to share the giveaway with my readers.  I was not offered compensation of any kind.  

Friday, June 7, 2013

I’m A Stress Eater



There you have it.  I eat when I’m stressed.  A lot.  Mostly chips.  I am lacking the shut off valve when it comes to them.  If I have an extra large bag of chips, I will mindlessly eat the entire bag.    Add that to the fact that I’m not running a lot lately and you’ll see that it’s not a good combination.

I’ve gained weight.
My clothes don’t fit the way I want them to, which makes me grouchy. 
I need a change.  A major change.   



What’s a girl to do?  First and foremost, I am going to journal what I eat beginning TODAY!  That was the best way for me to keep track of what I put in my mouth.  I’m not going to get any fancy apps to track what I eat either.  I’m going to do it with an old fashioned paper and pencil, in a notebook.  


 This is going to hold me accountable.  

I am also going to eat clean.  I have a great new book written by fellow FitFluential, Angela, to read tonight and this weekend with some fabulous, easy recipes in it.  Don’t worry, I will share my review with you next week.  I'm very excited by this.  Just glancing through the recipes, I know I'm going to love them!  
           
In addition, while I’m easing back into running, I’m going to increase my cross training.  My week has looked like this so far:
-       Monday: 
-       Tuesday:  45 minutes on stationary bike, 1 hr circuit training (back, arms, shoulders, legs), 2 x 1 min planks, 10 pushups
-       Wednesday:  1 hr circuit training, 2 x 1 min planks, 10 pushups
-       Thursday:  3 mile run, shoveled 2 large “scoops” of bark mulch (it counts)


3 miles done pain free!

The plan for the weekend is to run 5 miles on Saturday and then 15+ on Sunday.  This is down from the 8 miles/22 miles plan for my ultra training.  Right now it’s more important to not be in pain. 


Big boots to fill!  This is what we wear when we mulch! 

What have you done when you get in a funk?  I am refocused and ready to go!  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Happy Running Day! {Giveaway, too}




Have you claimed your National Running Day badge?  

I do enjoy a national day dedicated to a sport that I love.  I really do, but it does seem a little silly to dedicate only one day to running - because to me, everyday is a running day.

Well, except for me, right now.  I on the other hand will not be running today.  I'm injured.  Boo!

I'm not sure what's going on, but I do know the area just below my knee, to the inside hurts.  At random times, I'll get a sharp, shooting pain, but most of the time, it's just sore to touch and achy.  I'm resting right now, wearing Ward's Tommie Copper knee sleeve, icing, and stretching.



I want to run.  I want to run so badly.  I'm 8 weeks away from the GCI 50K and I want so badly to do this race, especially since it's the last year this race will take place.  Fingers crossed this isn't major.  Depending on how I feel, I'll try to go out for short run tomorrow and I have a chiropractic appointment on Friday.

Rather than be a downer about not being able to run on National Running Day - I'm going to reward one of my readers with a great new running accessory!


Will you be the lucky one?  


I was sent two headbands from 6 Dollar Bands - one for me to try out and one for me to giveaway to one of you!  The purple one above is the one that is being offered in the giveaway.   I promise I did not wear it!  Not even once.  I snapped a picture of it and put it away so Izzy wouldn't get it either!

As I said, I was sent two pairs.  I chose to try out the pink double band.



I've never seen a double banded headband before, so I was quite happy to try this one out.  I do love sparkly headbands too!  What I enjoyed about this one was that 6dollarbands are adjustable and they did not slip at all.  Each of their headbands are lined with velvet and are quite affordable.  As the name of the store suggests, most of the bands are $6, but they do have a selection of $8 bands as well.   A woman can never have too many headbands, especially if you have a daughter who likes to take them!
Needless to say, I love this headband.  And I received tons of compliments wearing it as well!

Now, the great part - how do you get your chance to win that purple beauty above?  You'll have 3 possible ways to enter and you'll need to comment below for each separate action.

- Leave me a comment telling me why you run.
- Follow me on twitter  and  6dollarbands and tweet "Happy National Running Day!  I want to win a new headband from @6dollarbands & @runningwtg http://www.runningwiththegirls.com/2013/06/happy-running-day-giveaway-too.html"  & leave me a comment with the link.
- Visit 6dollarbands store and tell me which print you would love if you bought one!

The giveaway will end Saturday 6/8/13.  I will announce the winner on Sunday 6/9/13.

Disclaimer:  I was provided 2 headbands at no cost.  1 headband was intended for a review and the other for a giveaway.  I was not required to provide a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.