Monday, December 30, 2013

Making Changes....

I am obsessed with running shoes.  Hmmm...shocker.  I know.  It's really the first thing I notice about runners.  Their shoes.  Next....since they are attached to the shoes....legs.  Specifically the muscles.   Like RunEmz's legs.  Awesome.  If you don't follow this rockstar on instagram, you are missing out.   (I want her abs too by the way)

I've also been quite inspired and impressed with Jody, who at the age of 56, is a freaking power house and her legs look amazing.  I've been slow to come around to this, but I'm getting there.  I want powerful looking legs.   I want more definition.  So..... I'm going to do something about it.  I AM doing something about it.  

not really revealing of my progress.....next time I'll wear shorts!


I started focusing more, consistently, about 2 weeks.  Doing lunges and squats, as I have been doing, on top of leg curls and leg presses at the gym.  

Then yesterday morning, completely out of the blue, the gym manager commented on my legs.  He hasn't seen me doing any leg workouts at all...since he's usually gone before I start my workout.  But apparently it's paying off because he noticed!  100% total boost to my confidence and after only 2 weeks!  Yep, I'm doing it it.  Stronger legs +  Stronger core.  = better (hopefully non injured) runner.   You see, it's all part of my plan.  My plan that when I'm 39, I'll start running marathons again....with hopes to BQ for the 40 year old qualifying times.  So, the work starts now.  

As far as core work....that's coming.  Not as consistent.  But it's getting there. It's all part of the puzzle.  

Have you made any tweaks to your training?  Something you just added in?  New focus?   

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Getting In Some Iron

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Among my handful of supplements I have been taking daily, iron is one of them.  I never had a problem with low iron until I was pregnant with Izzy.  And since then, I've had troubles with anemia. Now I am much better at knowing the signs when my body is heading towards anemia.....low energy, headaches, dizziness.  That's usually when I forget to take my iron pill (or run out!) for a couple of days.  When I take that pill, I have zero issues.  But, truth be told, taking another pill isn't always my favorite.  I could eat a more iron rich diet, but that doesn't always happen and doesn't seem to be enough.

Then I came across an opportunity to try a liquid form of iron - pur-Absorb.




What I like about our-absorb is that it's in a liquid form and I just add it to a little bit of orange juice or any other juice, and I'm done!




I did read that there is a bit of a iron taste if you take it alone and I had to try it.  Yes.  It does have a bit of a taste, but the juice takes care of that.  I'm sure any juice would be great.  It just so happens I'm on a Cheribundi kick lately and that's what I had!   Actually, I added it to my morning smoothies a few times and it didn't change the flavor at all either.  So nice to know I got in my iron dose with my breakfast! 

I definitely think having our-Absorb on hand is a great thing - either to replace any iron pills you currently take or to have for back up.  

pur-Absorb is available online here or at these retailers.  



Do you have problems with low iron?  Do you take a supplement?  

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

2013 in Running


I ended 2012 on a high note.  I ran 1600 miles and had some pretty awesome PRs.  2013 started off rather strong.  I had quite a few great months in the beginning.  I even ran a 200+ mile month!  

December is actually now 96!!!  

I ran my 3rd marathon and had a pretty fantastic PR.  



Izzy completed her first ever fun run! 


 And Tucker took off like a rocket!  



I completed my first Dirty Girl with my bff.  



And then I injured myself.  It was series of issues that probably all stemmed back to overtraining.  I hit my foot on a rock while trying stand up paddle boarding.  Because I was training for GCI, I continued to run on it.  Which lead to some major arch pain and then a morton's neuroma.  A trip to a sports trainer who hooked me up with a great analysis of my foot and made me a quick insole, several visits to the physical therapist and chiropractor and I felt like I was on my way to run my first ever ultra.  Then, 3 days prior to the big day, I bent over to tie Izzy's shoe and pop!  The dr's feared it was a meniscus tear but it turned out to be a burst Baker's Cyst.  Phew!  But I needed to take a step back.  I needed to listen to my body and do something different.  I missed out on GCI and didn't run Beach to Beacon.  But I needed to be kind to my body and that was far more important.  



I took some time, rested and slowly built myself back up.  



 The kids and I did our first Color Me Rad 5k.  



Then I ran for Team Reebok at the Tufts 10k.  

I teamed up with Jost Running and ran three virtual races with them (and Pepper!).  


Carrie while she completed her 2nd marathon.  


I strongly feel that I broke my body by not strengthening the rest of it and only running.   I've truly enjoyed taking a step back and incorporating other forms of fitness into my routines.  While I was training for my first Spartan, I enjoyed doing some of the Spartan workouts.  The burpees, squats, lunges were great!   Which helped me (and the girls!) complete Spartan Fenway!  


I've made it more of a priority to do yoga at least 30 minutes, 3 times a week.  


I'm adding in other forms of cardio as well with elliptical, rowing, and spinning.  




These changes are exactly what I needed to do.  My body is much happier now and I'm looking forward to finishing 2013 on a strong note and kicking off 2014 with a bang.  I've got some fun things planned for 2014 and cannot wait!  








Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas! 

Thanks to the ice storm we are on day three without electricity.  We are thankful for our time together as a family.  


Thankful for our wood stove.  



Hoping you are all having a great holiday!


Monday, December 23, 2013

Giveaway Time!!!! Core Power Fit Kit

Happy Monday everyone!  2 more days until Christmas.  

Are you ready?   

All I have left to do is some wrapping and a last minute trip for Ward's stocking stuffers.   Do you do stockings?  What do you put in your husband/significant others?  I'm putting some running sleeves and then I'll head to Rite Aid and get some cheesy things like a toothbrush, floss, deodorant, and such.    But that's all I have left to do.  



I have some exciting news.  I've been asked to be an ambassador for Core Power.  Core Power has been named the "Official Protein drink of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games".   You are excited for the Olympics, right? I, myself, cannot wait!!!  

Everyone needs protein.  Even Olympians!



Core Power is made with natural whey and casein proteins found in milk, never removed from their original state.  What I'm impressed with is that these protein drinks are made with simple ingredients and do not have a chalky taste or texture!  Core Power comes in premixed bottles that are easy to grab and go, so you can get your protein fix on the go.   And if you want to get creative with your Core Power drink, you can check out these tasty looking recipes here.  




I personally like the selection of flavors to choose from.  Core Power is found in stores across the nation or you can purchase some through Amazon.  


Now, for my readers, Core Power has offered to send a lucky winner the following prize package:  an exercise ball, water bottle, towel, and gym bag - all with the Core Power brand on them.  (They are sending me one too!  I'm so excited!)  

I know I'm looking forward to the ball and towel.  My kids have killed my ball and I need a new one. And that towel will come in handy while I wipe the sweat off of myself while I get in my miles on the treadmill this winter.  That water bottle will be perfect for me to drink with while I run and that bag will be a great place for me to have my running clothes and shoes always ready for a run!  




Ready set, go!  Enter below.  
I will choose my winner next Monday - 12/30.  
Best of luck everyone!  



Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happy Holidays From Bestowed


I've been quite lucky to have the opportunity to review the past couple of Bestowed boxes and each month the selection gets even better.  This month Bestowed focused on featuring brands that give back to the community.  



Now.....what was in my box?  
A great selection of YUM!  

Please note, I have to open this box in private and take quick pictures before the vultures (aka my family) find the box and start eating MY goodies!   They are very lucky I like love them.  Very.   


I've already sampled the I Heart Keenwah, Baked Fries, and Kind bar.  I couldn't post without at least trying some of the goodies!  

I only snagged a couple of these before Ward took off with them.  He runs much faster than I do, so I didn't bother chasing after him.  I'm so glad I did.  These are amazing!!!  I now need to order more.  I am positive the kids are going to love them! And 50% less fat than potato chips, gluten free, and non GMO!  

Kind Bars never ever disappoint me.  Ever.  And this flavor went over the top.  Amazing flavor combination.  A flavor I need to seek out and get more of.  That's for sure.  

Honestly, I'm not a fan of ginger.  Ginger makes me think of my morning sickness days when I was pregnant with Izzy.  Yes, it's been 5 years since I was pregnant with her, BUT those memories do not go away.  However, given my initial reaction to ginger, I was delightfully surprised and wowed by the flavor.  Quite delicious!!!   And gluten free.  

 I did add the Simply Stock to my ham and potato soup I made for the Ice Storm.  Very simple flavor.  Definitely not overloaded with sodium and other things I've seen in stock.  

My family is not a fan of spicy, thai.  But I am!  This is going to be part of some kind of yummy dish I make for myself over break.  Actually, the recipe on the back of the package looks fantastic.  I'm doing that.  I'm so excited!!!  

All you do is mix this with 2 cups of greek yogurt, chill it for 30 minutes and you have a great dip with half the calories.  I'm thinking this is a great side to bring to a holiday part.  Who wants to invite me over?  I'll bring the dip!  


Have you signed up for Bestowed yet? Now is a great time to do sign up. Bestowed offers a 3 month membership for $57, 6 month membership for $114, and a 1 year membership for $209. Want to try one month? That's great too. That's only $19! Order before 12/31 and use the code HELLOYUM40 and you get your first box for $10!!!

That's a great deal and would make for a great gift for someone on your list! Of course, if you order now, they won't get it in time. But you can always make a little card and let them know what awesomeness is coming there way!!! There is nothing like opening up a Bestowed box each month and checking out the delicious selections that nutritionist Heather Bauer picks out.

Disclaimer:  I am a Bestowed affiliate and have reviewed this month's Bestowed box in exchange for this promotional post.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.  

Ice Storm!


Yuck!  Right now we're in the middle of an Ice Storm.  Personally, I'd rather have feet of snow than dealing with this.  Not much I can really do about it and it's not the end of the world.  All I can do is be safe, keep my family safe, and be prepared.  




So, let's see.... if and when we lose power, we're ready.  
  • I made a huge pot of ham and potato chowder yesterday and cooked it on the wood stove.  
  • I filled 5, 5 gallon buckets with water and have them sitting by the toilets.  We have a private well, so no electricity means no running water.  It might be overkill, but I'm ready!  
  • I have 3 gallons of water that I always have on hand for emergencies.  Then I bought 4 more gallons & then went on to fill every single water bottle we have in the house.  At least we'll have plenty of water!  
  • And we have the wood stove to keep us warm.  


More rain is coming and the temps are going to drop even more...we're at 28F right now.  Oh and the wind is picking up.  Awesome.  




But at least it's pretty!

And I had zero desire to run outside today. So, I picked Jill up and went to the gym this morning. I ran 6 miles, rowed for 10 minutes. I call it a great day. In preparation for today, and the possibility of the gym being closed, I went to the gym last night and got in 3 miles and 5 minutes of rowing. Not too shabby.



Sorry for the blurry selfie.  I got in a quick one before running off to the shower.  I didn't want to be stuck smelling like this without power.  Gross!


Friday, December 20, 2013

Omega Shots + Giveaway --- Winners Announced!

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

The other day I wrote about Omega-3's and how important they are for you.

Omega Infusion "Shots" offer a great alternative for those who do not like to take pills or fish oil.   The kids actually loved these shots of Omega-3s so much more than they like taking their gummy versions.   They are just a small shot of Omega-3's in liquid form.  The flavors I was sent were:  peach mango and pink grapefruit.


The little bottles make it quite easy to just open and drink your omega-3s whether you are at home or on the go.   This makes it so easy to never forget your Omega-3s!   I personally tucked a couple in my school bag so I wouldn't be without my Omega-3s for the day if I happened to forget my morning pill before heading off to school.




You can purchase you own Omega Infusion "Shots" here.  Or you can enter to win your own sample of these great shots!

Would you like your chance to win your own Omega Infusion "Shots"?  You can right now below.  


WINNERS!!! 


The company has been notified and your winnings will be shipped in a couple of weeks!  Congratulations!





I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Why Take Fish Oil?

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

In the past couple of months, I've been really consistent in taking fish oil supplements daily.  It really all started when I did the Grain Brain Challenge in November.  Prior to the challenge, my head was feeling rather cloudy or cluttered and I was having a hard time focusing on paperwork at school and managing family life.  To describe this feeling as overwhelmed is an understatement. I was sinking and I was sinking fast.  However, I started taking the fish oil supplements in within a couple of weeks, I started noticing that my ability to focus on these tasks were improving, drastically.



I've been taking 1000 mg of Omega-3's every single day for the past 7 weeks and more specifically, Wiley's Fish Oil for the past 4 weeks.  Honestly, I've never felt more focused.  However, feeling focused isn't the only benefit of taking Omega-3s.  
Taking Omega-3's can:
- reduce inflammation throughout your body
- prevent blood from clotting excessively
- lower the amount of lipids circulating in your bloodstream (cholesterol and triglycerides)

Taking Omega-3's can help reduce the symptoms in:
- depression/anxiety
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- cardiovascular disease
- type 2 diabetes
- joint pain
- dry, itchy skin and brittle hair/nails



How does Wiley's Finest Wild Alaskan Fish Oil stand out above the rest?  
Personal.
The Wiley Family delivers their customers with the finest Fish Oil Omega-3 concentrates in their family owned and operated facility in Coshocton, OH.  All products from Wiley's are 100% US produced and and sourced.  

Sustainable.
Wiley's fish oil are made from US wild-caught Alaskan Pollack and Pacific Whiting Fish.  They only use fisheries that are certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and are considered the most well managed fisheries in the world.  

Effective Nutrition.
Wiley's registered AlaskOmega® concentrated Omega-3 fish oil provides people with a potent doses of   the essential fatty acids EPA & DHA Omega-3's in every single serving.  Wiley's products are also tested by a 3rd party - the NSF (the Public Health and and Safety Organization) for purity and quality. 

Competitively Priced.  
While maintaining a high quality product, Wiley's also worked hard to make their Omega-3's available to their customers at a very affordable price.  

Easy Swallow Minis (630 mg of EPA + DHA) - $14.99
Peak EPA (1000 mg of EPA + DHA) - $21.99
Cholesterol Support  (400 mg of EPA + DHA and 800 mg of Plant Sterol Esters) - $19.99
Orange Burst (a great tasting liquid form) - $24.99 

You can purchase Wiley's here.  If you enter the promo code BLOGGER at checkout, you'll save 20% on your purchase as well!  

Do you take fish oil supplements?  Have you noticed a difference?  



I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Running Inside and Outside

I know it's technically not winter yet, but the weather is sure here!  Actually it feels more like brutal January running.  I've been doing a lot more running on the treadmill because I'm really not digging the bitter cold.  

Saturday I toughed out 10 miles on the treadmill.   Some people think treadmill running is cheating, but man oh man, I think it's tougher, mentally, at least.  And thankfully my sister-in-law was only two treadmills down from me for 6.84 miles of my run.  So I talked her ear off the entire time.  She was probably sick of me.  But it helped the time go by.  When she left, I put in my Koss Fitbuds and cranked out the last few miles.  


And what makes that 10 miles even better is that I ran it in 1:26, at an easy pace and was pain free.  My goal for the Mid Winter Classic 10 miler is to run it at a sub 1:19.  Which means, I have a little less than 2 months to get in some speed work.  Speedwork is on!  


On Sunday, New England was pummeled with a bit of snow.  We ended up with over a foot.  I had a fabulous day snowed in with the kids, making holiday treats, and cleaning up around the house.  I even decided it was time to get my winter gear out for the season.  Yes.  It took me a bit to get these things out, but at least they are ready to go!  


Ward built an incredible bench a few years ago and we each have our own cubby.  I love our cubby system and it's where I leave most of my running gear so I can just grab it on the way out the door.  I had to take a few items out that are mostly warm weather items to make room for my numerous gloves and hats.  One can never have too many of these winter things!  

I was planning on doing some miles earlier in the day, but got caught up in the holiday treat making and then just wanted to chill and be lazy with the kids.  Then Ward came home and convinced me to run a couple of moonlit miles with him.  It was pretty cold, but the moon was gorgeous and the company was great!  


Today I had some time after school so I hit the treadmill again.  I wanted to do some speed work today and that I did!  I did a little treadmill pyramid workout.  

1 mile @ 7.0 mph
1 mile @ 7.5 mph
1/4 mile @ 8 mph
1/2 mile @ 7.5 mph
1/4 mile @ 8 mph
1 mile @ 7.5 mph 
1 mile @ 7 mph

Total: 5 miles in 40:41 (8:08 pace!)

Next speed work day will focus on hills.  Oh yes.  There are hills on the Midwinter Classic course!


How's your training so far?  Any goals you are working toward?  



Sunday, December 15, 2013

Busy Life, Meal Prepping and Ozeri

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.


Lately it seems like it's always go time. Prepping meals for the family during the weekend are turning into a must-do. Plus, I need to have quick meals for Ward to grab and take to work as well, or his dining out bills gets to be rather outrageous. Even if he does a budget lunch of of $6, multiply that by 5 and we're definitely going over our food budget. I don't have a set budget, but that extra $30 has to come from somewhere!


I've been trying my best to find common ingredient meals that can be used in a variety of dishes throughout the week. This past weekend I made a rather large batch of spaghetti sauce with ground beef and ground pork. I poured half of it into a large container that I was going to use as sauce for spaghetti, cheesy/beefy skillet, and pizza. The other half became chili by just adding in black beans, kidney beans and chili powder. Then put that in a container. Then I made a rather large portion of rice in the rice cooker and put that in a container.



These three large items provided my family with lunch for Ward for the entire week and meals 4 times this week! All I had to do was cook up some pasta for two of the nights.



Finding large, heavy duty containers for large portions of food is sometimes difficult for me. The cheaper, more common ones don't always close correctly and then I have a major spill. Or they just don't come in a large enough container. Then I have this problem of putting my prepared meals in multiple containers. Sometimes I lose track of those containers and then a few weeks later I find some type of gross "experiment" that finds it's way to the trash. Not exactly saving time or money that way, am I?

My newest kitchen gadgets - Ozeri Instavac Green Earth Food Storage container have been working wonders for me with meal prepping and storing. These containers offer far more than any other plastic container I’ve ever used.  
A few facts:
- BPA-free
- Stain-resistant
- Shatter-proof
- Spill proof
- Freezer, microwave, and dishwasher safe
- Vacuum seals with pressing on the center of the lid
- Unique wave pattern on the bottom to keep cut produce elevated from water/juice
- dial at the top to indicate the date you are storing your food in there



What I'm noticing about these containers is that they are super heavy duty. They have made tons of trips through the dishwasher and microwave already and are standing up quite well.

I will say, the 8 piece set (4 bottoms, 4 lids) are available on Amazon.com for $24.95.  And if you have Amazon Prime, you won’t pay any shipping and you’ll have your package in 2 days! It's a little bit of an investment upfront, BUT already they have save me in terms of time which makes that price well worth it!

What I want now is for Ozeri to create a line of smaller containers for lunches.  I don’t necessarily need the vacuum sealing since I’ll be eating them in a matter of a few days.  But I love the locking lids and being microwave and dishwasher safe.  

What tricks do you use to prep meals for your family? Do you prep on the weekends? Have you found any sketchy experiments in your refrigerator lately?





I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Spinning!

Last night Jill and I tried our first ever Spin class at Kennebec Valley Coaching.  We were both a little nervous.  We had never done this before.  We had no idea what to expect.   


Heck, I have never been on a spinning bike before either!  I need a lot of assistance to get it set up perfect for me.  Thankfully Trisha, our instructor, is a fabulous gal, and walked us through the set up and was incredibly sweet about it.  

However, her sweetness didn't last long.  Sorry Trisha.  You kicked my butt!  We started off the class with a warm up, then started with sprints and recoveries.  She then had us hovering and standing.  I looked over at the clock and saw that only 15 minutes had passed.  Holy, crap.  I didn't think I was going to survive. Then more speed.  Oh my word!  Oh and more hovering and standing.   OUCH!  Then finally we moved into the cool down.  Finally!  



And when it was all done, I felt like I had just been put through a kicktastic workout and I am now hooked!  I WILL be back there next week. 

Have you ever done a spin class before?  I know, I'm late to the party.  But now that I've arrived - I know how much fun everyone has been having!!!    



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Working It Out Wednesday

First I'm going to start out with a little random picture…..


Yesterday I felt like wearing my wool peacoat to school.  Apparently I haven't worn it for 3 years, because I found these items in the pocket.  Darn no money!  BUT, I know it's been at least 3 years because we made Izzy give up the pacifier at age 2 and she'll be 5 next month!!!  And that bracelet?  I'm so happy I found it!  My aunt gave it to me after mom passed away from cancer.  I thought it was gone forever.  

I have been spending a bit on treadmills lately mostly because of my schedule and Ward's schedules.  The kids have been spending a lot of time in gyms/my classroom as well.  Thankfully they are easily entertained.  Sunday I gave them my phone and let them hang out in my classroom while I ran on the treadmill in the fitness center down the hall.  When I came back, I saw this video they made and that they had already sent to Ward!  





Last night, I ventured to the fitness center with the kids again.  This time, when we got to school, I saw the custodian was cleaning my room.  I couldn't let the kids hang out in there knowing it had already been cleaned, so I made them stay in the fitness center with me.  No worries.  I didn't run 20 miles or anything like that!  I did 4 miles.  


This is my view of the kids….they are on the far side drawing on the board.  And there is a tv in the fitness center.  They were completely entertained and well behaved!!!  


After my 4 miles, I jumped on the rowing machine.  Izzy LOVES it when I row because she loves the wind blown look!  ;)  


Today I FINALLY had time to get in a run outside!  It was gorgeous.  Freezing. (real feel was 18F)  But gorgeous!  My Reeboks really did well in the snow too.  I was mostly on the road, but from time to time I had to jump off the road into the snow to avoid a car.  I'd much rather be safe!!!  


Then I came home, changed out of my sweaty nasty clothes, and put on this beauty of a shirt!  Thank you, Pavement Runner!!!  My Run All Day shirt came today and I love it!