Friday, August 30, 2013

The Happiest 5k on the Planet


I am seriously in love with happy, fun races.  I am especially LOVING races that I can do with my kids and friends.



When I saw the Color Run advertised for Portland, Maine earlier this spring, I really wanted to do it.  But I knew my race schedule was already packed for July, so I didn't.   After reading about some many bloggers experiences doing this race, I now regret it.  And nobody wants to regret not doing a race, ever!  

I really wish the Color Run was coming back to Maine soon, but I guess I am going to have to wait until next July!  I'm a patient girl (sometimes).  




Why wouldn't I want to do the Happiest 5k on the Planet?  This unique paint race celebrates healthiness, happiness, individuality, and giving back to the community.   The Color Run is not about your fastest 5k.  It's an untimed run that focuses on the fun.  Then when you get to the finish line, there's a gigantic "Color Festival" using more colored powder to create even more happiness and more lasting memories.   Oh, and more vivid color combinations.  

There's really only two rules with this race - Wear White at the starting line and finish plastered in color!  Very simple rules and easy to follow.

One great thing about registering a team of 4 or more people, the price is automatically $5 cheaper.  If you use the promo code - COLOR5OFF -  on top of that, you save $10!

Important to remember - the promo code does not guarantee a spot in a race!  If you see a race close to you that is still open register quickly!  The code is only good for a city that is not sold out.   Need to see a list of cities?

Having done a few fun races lately, I definitely recommend having a team.  Whether your team is your family, group of friends, coworkers, random people on the street.  It's still more fun to be with a group of people!  If you register as a team, you get to pick a groovy custom team name.  Then you get to run/walk together and "help" each other get really colored up over the 5 color kilometers.  

Yes!  I am an Ambassador for FUN!


For more information about the Color Run - check out their about page and the FAQ page. 


Disclaimer:  As a Color Run Ambassador, I will receive two entries to a race.  I am not required to give positive review.  As always, all opinions on my blog are 100% my own.  

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Prettier Side (A Review)

 A few weeks ago, I received the sweetest package in the mail from The Silver Maple.


Diana and I had been in contact regarding personalization ideas.  After I gave her some ideas, Diana put her creative skills to work and created a necklace made especially for me.  A necklace that I will cherish for a very long time.



First impressions say a lot.  The packaging for my new necklace was simple and adorable.  And the personalized, handwritten card was so sweet!  Let's just say I was already impressed before I set my eyes on the gorgeous new piece of jewelry made especially for me.

This necklace symbolizes three major accomplishments in my life - first and foremost, my children.   Then there's the 26.2.  Taking the leap to do a marathon, well, three actually, required a lot of time, strength, and support from my entire family.



Simply stated, The Silver Maple has gorgeous jewelry options, all personalized and handcrafted.  They specialize in jewelry for yoga, running, and triathlons.  But it doesn't end there, they also make inspirational jewelry and other personalized items - even flatware.  It's all beautiful and personal.   If you have a birthday or special celebration coming up, I'd definitely look at The Silver Maple.  The prices are really reasonable (with a flat rate shipping fee), the quality is amazing, and the end product is gorgeous.


Disclaimer:  I was sent the personalized necklace from The Silver Maple for the purpose of a review.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Favorite Run (+Giveaway)

As you know, I love running with my kids.  And I love it even more that they really enjoy running with me.  





Katherine is a running mom, like many of us.  And her daughter joined her for their first run together on July 18, 2012.  After recapping the story to her daughter at bedtime, she knew the story had to become a book.  And here it is.  A beautiful story about a daughter joining her mom on a run for the first time: My Favorite Run.


I first came across My Favorite Run when Katherine was raising funds through Kickstarter.  She successfully raised the funds to make her inspirational story into a published reality that many parents can share with their little ones.    I was one of Katherine's backers and couldn't wait to receive my copy of My Favorite Run in the mail earlier this month.  Immediately, Izzy grabbed the book, grabbed my hand, and off we went to the couch for story time.  This book immediately jumped to the top of Izzy's favorite book list and mine as well!





Katherine has graciously offered two Running With The Girls readers their very own copy of My Favorite Run!



To enter please comment below to let me know who you would give this book to.

For additional entries:  
- Please visit & like Fit Kids Publishing on Facebook and let Katherine know I sent you. Then come back here and leave a comment so I know you did!
- Follow Fit Kids Publishing on twitter and tweet the following "I want to win a copy of My Favorite Run from @fitkidspublish and @runningwtg" - then come back here to comment telling me you did with your tweet link.

The giveaway will end on Friday, August 30th at midnight.  I will post my winners on Saturday.  




Monday, August 26, 2013

Home Run 10k Recap

Last weekend I set out for my longest run since all of my injuries started.  My goal was to run for an hour and to see where that got me.  I was hoping it would get me at least 6.2 miles for my Home Run 10k with Jost Virtual Racing, but if it didn't, then I would definitely try again.   Unfortunately, I waited a bit too long to start out on my run, so when I finally started running it was HOT!



I love running at the camp because those side roads provide me with some nice, tranquil scenery while running past a few ponds.  I took the run nice and easy.  Near the end of the run, I couldn't wait to get back there, head straight down to the deck, do some yoga then jump in the water.  Then of course, just sit back and relax the rest of the day.  I'd call that perfect!


And guess what?  My medal came yesterday!   It's a really cool medal.  Heavy and great quality.  A perfect addition to my medal collection!!!!  I love it.  Who wouldn't want a hot dog medal?  It's so much fun!!!  



And here's a view of the Half/Full Marathon Medal.  I love how the middle part spins around.  The half marathon was from 8/11-17.  Darn!  I missed out.   I am pretty confident Ward ran at least a half marathon during that time since he's training (for yet another) marathon.  If I was a nice wife, I'd give it to him.  Since he ran the miles.  He earned it.  It's freaking cool medal as well.  I'm really excited by working with Jost Virtual Racing and the great medals they send out to their racers.  It's really making the $25 fee look even better.  Wow!  A race on my own time and a great medal for a low price?  Yes please!  

Now I'm getting excited for September's races.  Have you seen them?  





Sunday, August 25, 2013

Color US RAD!

Friday afternoon the kids and I headed down to Brunswick to pick up our Color Me Rad packets.  We quickly got our bib numbers and shirts and were on our way.   The crew at packet pick up was incredibly nice and efficient!  


Before heading home, we stopped by the craft store and picked up some white t-shirts and puffy paint so we could make our race shirts.    The kids love their personalized shirts!  Now I need to head out of the store today to get some spray with hopes to preserve the color bombs on the shirts - as they are both in love with their colorful shirts.

We left bright and early Saturday morning and ready for a great day at Color Me Rad with our new, cool glasses!  



I opted to cover the jogger with a white sheet and fun color splat duct tape.  Not to protect the jogger - I'm not worried about it.  It's red and the color bombs would easily wash off.  But to get more color on it! 



But what I didn't take into was when I taped on the sheet at home, it meant I wouldn't be able to fold up the jogger!  Thank goodness we were able to put one of the seats down in the car, cram the kids closer together, and shove the jogger in there unfolded.  I love my wagon.  


We got there earlier than our scheduled wave, but we headed over to the starting line anyway.  As we arrived, the announcer was saying they were doing waves every 5 minutes and to just jump in to any wave you wanted.  Nice!  Since I had the jogger, I wanted to be nice and stay in the back.   


We only stood in the starting shoot for a few minutes before the wave started.  The music was blasting, color was flying around and there was lots of energy.   Lots of fun!  



I wanted to bring my phone along to take pictures, so I put it in a baggie.  It was great having it with us!           As we headed out along the course, you could see the color stations coming up.  Tucker would dart away from me and try to get as much color as possible.  When I came through the color stations with Izzy, the color crew was so gentle with her.  They would get down low and do a little puff of color on her.  That part was incredibly sweet.  Especially since Izzy is a bit on the timid side, I was nervous if this would be too much for her.  But their approach was perfect for her and she really seemed to have a great time!  

We even got to see Ward at one point along the course.  It doesn't matter if it's a race for time or a race for fun, it's always great to see our cheering daddy/husband along the course.  


After we crossed the finish line, Ward found us immediately.  We took a few pictures and then we had to quickly get out of there because Tucker had a soccer game to get to!   Sadly we didn't a chance to really walk around to see all there was because we were short on time.  It looked like there was so much fun to be had.


What I loved:
- The music was fun and upbeat.  It definitely made for a great atmosphere!
- Fun runs are great.  Being an untimed, fun event, it opens up the field for so many more people to be active.  This is an event for all abilities and ages.  It's all about fun.  If you have fun, you won the race.
- The wave flexibility was nice.  Being able to start earlier was a nice touch.  And having waves every 5 minutes helped quite a bit with the huge crowd.
- The venue is a great place for races, especially large races like this one.  There's plenty of space and lots of opportunity and options for courses.  This is a plus.
- The Color Bomb folks were super gentle with Izzy in getting color on her.  HUGE plus!  Very kid friendly!
- All of the race volunteers were incredibly helpful and upbeat.  Trust me, this makes a huge difference at a race.
- Even though traffic was an issue, parking was NOT an issue.  The parking crew was incredibly efficient and helpful.  We got to park super close to the race start.

- At packet pick up, there was a special sale for kid registration - which included a kid sized shirt, RAD socks, and extra color bombs for $15.    I wasn't very impressed with this since I had paid $55 (plus processing) for Tucker weeks ago.  However, the awesome people at ColorMe Rad heard my complaint and are making it good.  Tucker will be getting his kid pack in the mail shortly!  Thank you!
- Kids under 7 are free.  This is a nice touch!  Izzy didn't get a shirt or glasses (I gave her mine) but she was free.  Plus I was buying white shirts anyway, so the race shirt didn't matter for her anyway.
- The race shirt given out is really nice.  I love how soft it is and that it's fitted.  This is one race shirt I will definitely wear.   I'm glad I sized up though because they do run small.  Sadly, I have friends who received shirts that are far too small for them.  I feel badly that they won't be able to wear their shirts.





What I didn't love:  
- The traffic issue.  Brunswick Landing is a large venue; however, getting into Brunswick Landing easily gets congested and when thousands of people are heading in there, traffic was backed up for miles.  We were about 10 miles away when we were stopped.  And when we only moved 10 feet in 10 minutes, I knew we were going to be screwed.  Thankfully I know my way around Brunswick and were able to get out of the line and we took another route and were able to get into the venue in a lot less time and with hardly any traffic.  My suggestion is that next year there should be shuttles getting racers and spectators into the venue.   Or even open up the other entrances into Brunswick Landing!
- The guy at the color bomb tent didn't believe me that I was a Color Me Rad ambassador, which entitled me to additional color.   I even showed him the proof (my blog printout).


Saturday, August 24, 2013

WINNERS!!!

Congrats to the six winners of the Designer Whey Sustained Energy!  








Please email me by Monday, noon.  If I do not hear from you, I'll choose another winner(s).
My email is runningwiththegirls  at gmail.com.  You can also take this survey for Designer Whey and receive $10 off anything purchased from their online store.  


Friday, August 23, 2013

Technology ROCKS!

Technology has definitely made my life a lot more efficient.  Some may even say I'm addicted to technology.  I'm going to take that as a good thing!


Staying Connected
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email, and texting are all pretty darn awesome at staying connected with the various people in my life.  Especially since every time I pick up the phone to call anyone, my kids all of a sudden decide they need to scream, cry, or just act completely insane.  



It's pretty awesome to be able to post a picture out on a run!  


Fitness
I track my runs through Runtastic, then track my workouts onto Daily Mile through the Electric Miles app.  I even have the Yoga Studio app on my phone that I use a few times a week.  Plus, if my phone is with me, my music is with me!  I also enjoy doing challenging through Instagram - it's a great way to keep myself motivated.


In addition to the accountability factor, I love the safety factor of having my phone with me when I'm running.  For me, it's a necessary running "accessory" to take with me.


Shopping and Bills
I have an app for my auto insurance which means Ward and I always have proof of insurance with us.  I am a huge fan of internet shopping - Amazon, eBay, and Groupon are three of my favorite sites.   The Target Carwheel app is pretty amazing as well since I can save even more money on things I regularly buy! And I can stay up-to-date with my banking information while depositing checks into my account by using my bank's app.  How cool is that?

Photos
I really don't use my regular camera anymore since my iPhone came into my life.  It's so convenient to take pictures and share them on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram with only a few swipes.  I even download my iPhone pics to Snapfish so I don't have thousands of pictures taking up precious memory on my phone.


 With the power of technology, I was able to share Izzy's first race experience ever within minutes to all of our friends and family.  This is just truly amazing.

How has technology enhanced your life?  



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Designer Whey Review + Giveaway

Disclaimer:  I was provided two Designer Whey canisters to review as part of my affiliation with FitFluential.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.  


I love smoothies!  I enjoy putting a bunch of delicious ingredients into my blender, blending away, and tasting the sweet rewards of my experiment.  Having an excellent protein powder to add into the mix only makes my smoothies better in terms of taste and a punch of healthy.  



Smoothies are incredibly easy to make in the morning and just bring along with me, where I happen to be going for the day - work, shopping, garden, or just to the deck to enjoy my lovely summer.  I especially had a lot of fun making some fun smoothies with Designer Whey Sustained Energy Protein Powder.  


The first smoothie I decided to make was a Cherry Vanilla Protein Smoothie.  I had a little bit of my cherry juice left over, so I added it to my almond milk and Vanilla Bean Designer Whey Sustained Energy Powder.  The flavor was sweet and rich and quite filling



The second smoothie I made was a Green Protein Smoothie.  I love green smoothies very much.  They are packed full of vitamins, which made complete sense to me to add it with the Vanilla Bean Designer Whey, which would only results in an even healthier green smoothie.   Ingredients:  handful of kale, coconut water, banana, and Vanilla Bean Designer Whey.  *Hint:  Blend the kale and coconut water for a few minutes prior to adding everything else, especially if you have a regular blender like I do.  This gave a chunk-free green smoothie and that I could not get enough of!


I'm a huge fan of anything peanut butter and chocolate.  When I found powdered peanut butter, I fell in love because I could continue with my love of peanut butter without all of those calories.  When I added the PB2 to the Chocolate Velvet Designer Whey Sustained Energy and almond milk, I had another smoothie winner.  


I'm not doing any long runs right now, but Ward is still in his peak marathon training.  And since I'm the best wife, I almost always make him some kind of baked good for him to eat when he comes back from his long runs.  Last night he and his running guys went on their 20-miler, and I made sure I had something yummy and delicious waiting for him - Designer Whey Protein Zucchini Bread.  I had some extra batter, so I made myself and the kids some mini muffins which we enjoyed eating before he came home.  The Vanilla Bean Designer Whey Protein Powder gave these muffins a powerful pack of protein and a great vanilla flavor.  Since I was adding in protein powder, I reduced the amount of flour and I omitted the vanilla and reduced the sugar.  Other than that, I just followed the recipe for a zucchini bread.  



Designer Whey Sustained Energy facts:
- 100 calories
- 5 g Fiber
-16 g Protein
- B6 (100%) and B12 (20%) - which energizes your metabolism and helps to convert protein, carbohydrates and fats into energy so you can keep going strong
- High in antioxidants, Vitamins A, C, and E - which help with immunity so you can recover from your workouts faster
- Calcium (25%) and Vitamin D (20%) - which will help maintain and build strong bones
- Endurance Blend with Soy - is designed to give you a balanced, sustained energy through fast-absorbining whey protein and slower absorbing soy & casein proteins, which in turn give you a more steady supply of the essential amino acids all while helping you control your hunger with fiber


Designer Whey has generously offered 6 of my readers the chance to win their own canister of Designer Whey Sustained Energy!  To enter, you just need to comment below with which flavor you would choose if you won.  Not sure of the flavors?  Read above or go here to see which of the Sustained Energy Protein Powders you'd like.  

The giveaway will run from today - August 20, 2013 through Friday, August 23, 2013.  I will announce the 6 winners on the blog on Saturday, August 24.  


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Running For ME Lately


Since I've been given the okay to run again, it's been like a heavy dark cloud was lifted.  Now, granted, I was making the best of not-so-fun situation by focusing on doing lots of strength workouts.  It just wasn't the same.

4 miles at camp in my Spandits


Now that I'm back to running, I've promised myself and coach Ward, that I won't overdo it.   While I'd love nothing more than to run every single day, I know my body (knee and foot to be exact) would be pissed.  So instead, I'm taking it easy and just running for the fun of it and enjoying it.  I don't really have a set plan.  Nor do I really care about a plan.  I have races lined up, but I'm not looking for any PRs or anything with them.  I'm really just looking to enjoy myself once again and not be driven by a plan like it's work or something.


I won!  


At some point, I know this will change.  I'll get this goal set in my head, like a PR or a new race distance.  I'll train for it when the time comes.  Until then -

I'm all about running for enjoyment




strength/core training

loving core especially in my Galactic shorts by Spandits!

and yoga. 









Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Race on MY TIME!

I love races!  It's like the big hurrah for something I've been training for.  I put in the miles, now I want to see the results! But sometimes, running a race means big money.  Sometimes there's travel time, hotel stay, dining.   Sometimes even child care expenses.  Now that can get super pricey!  And what if you get injured beforehand?  Then you lose out on all that money.  Frustrating!

I have enough going on in my life right now that I don't really need all of that hassle.  I want a race on my time.  Something I can fit into my schedule and something I can even bring the kids with me if I want.  Tucker can ride his bike beside me and cheer me on and Izzy can ride along in the jogger.  They may even run a few miles with me.  Who knows.   I love that flexibility!  I am not saying I'm against organized races.  Heck, I'm even helping to organize a local one in October.  I'm just wanting to race a few more races with a great company when I can fit it in.


As I'm working my way back to (hopefully) where I was before, I'd like a more low key approach to races.   That's where Jost Running comes in.  Jost Running is a family owned, virtual race company that organizes 5ks, 10ks, half marathons and marathons each month.




Running with Jost Running is easy!  Just head over to Jost Running, register and pay for your race.  After you complete your race you share your results and then you get to compare your results with runners all around the world.  About a week before the race, you'll get an email from Courtney with your personalized bib #.  Now, I do feel rather silly pinning on a bib onto my shirt when there are no other runners, but I LOVE Courtney's idea!  

This month, I'll be running the 10k - which means I can run my race anytime from August 18th -25th.  




I'll also be running the September 10k (September 22 -28)  and October 5k (October 6-12).  

September Medal




I must admit, I do love the idea of getting a fun medal after completing a Jost Running race.  That's something you don't get with many 5k and 10k races.   And I like knowing what charity is behind the race.  Jost Running donates a portion of their proceeds to the ALS Association.  




Do you like virtual races?  Larger, organized races?  Or both?