Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tried It and Love It! Numetrex Sports Bra Review

As part of my new and improved training plan, I am going to monitor my heart race much closer.  And I have a super cool new heart rate monitor that will do the job and do it perfectly!  It's the Adidas Heart Rate monitor which is paired with my new Numetrex Adidas miCoach Seamless Sports Bra.  You know it ladies!  A sports bra with a pocket to snap your heart rate monitor into it!  We all wear sports bras.  Right?  I always found it annoying to wear a sports bra and then add on a strap that sometimes just felt like cold and hard plastic on my chest, just under the sports bra - just adding in another annoyance and another thing to remember to do. 

With the Numetrex Sports Bra - one step is completely taken out of the loop and you have a pretty awesome system going on!  

Now, I've got to be honest.  I am picky about sports bras.  I have thrown a ton away.  If it rubs me in the wrong way - it's gone.  If it doesn't provide enough support to my stretched out breasts (thank you nursing and losing tons of weight) - it's gone.  I hate bounce.  I hate chafing.  What I do love is support and comfort.  And this bra has it!   It is definitely one of my favorite bras.  

How in the world does it work?   There are sensor fibers knit into the fabric along the band.  All you need to do is get them slightly wet (like a dab of water along the silvery part of the bra -- check out the video here!) snap the heart rate monitor into place, sync it to your phone and go!  (note - I had a slight issue getting the heart rate monitor to sync with my new iPhone 6 at first...but eventually I got it to work when I refreshed the apps under settings and turned on the locations - always.  Just a hint for you if you have some troubles!)

The bra itself comes in berry, white, electric blue, black and red and retails for $55.  (pst...the red is marked down to $25 and only comes in a size small)

Now, the heart rate monitor does come separately.  Since the bra is an Adidas miCoach product - it makes sense that it is compatible with the Adidas Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor, which requires a download of the miCoach train and run app.  

great visual progress bars and the app tells you if you are running too fast or too slow! 

Out of all of the running apps I've used before, I am in love with this app! You can select a training plan which will lead you to specific goals and while you are running, the app will provide you with verbal feedback letting you know where you are in terms of the workout "you are 1/2 way through your run",  letting me know if I'm in the correct "zone" etc.  I love it!  

Tons of feedback all in one place.  I needed this.  

Do you train with a heart rate monitor?  I need to make this a consistent part of my training.  With the NuMetrex bra - it's going to be way easier to incorporate heart rate training!  (no worries - if the bra is in the laundry - I did get a strap to use too...but I don't want to use the strap when I have a kick butt bra!).  

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Words To Sweat By Review + Giveaway

"I'm too busy.  I have a meeting.  
I have to go grocery shopping.  
I have kids.  I have to work. 
 My husband is working and I don't have anyone 
to watch the kids."  

Yeah, I've heard it all.  I've said it all.  

But there comes a time when the excuses run out and all you have left is that unfit/unhealthy feeling where you don't even know what to do with yourself anymore.   I've been here too.  Not fun.  

I've got the cure for you!  No excuses.  
If fitness is your goal - make it your priority.  No excuses.  

Or better yet.  Let's look at my past few months.  Training gone bad with an injury. Which left myself gaining some weight and not really being at my best.  Then heading off to MDI to watch other runner friends I know kick some major bootie in their races.  Why is that? Because they trained hard.  They didn't make any excuses.  They just did it.  Watching them has inspired me to not only just make time for fitness but make time to train hard and kick ass.   Yep.  No excuses.  

We all have a lot going on.  I've got a ton of things going on right now.  New job.  Lot's of new responsibilities.  National Board Training.  Senior Class Advisor.  Studying for the Praxis II.  Job at the gym.  Husband who works ALL OF THE TIME and is always training for another marathon.  Kids who (rightfully) want to be involved with dance, soccer, basketball, name it.  We are super busy.  BUT, no excuses.  The plan is on paper.  The plan is cemented in my brain.  I'm kicking it into gear and going to kick ass.  

I'm not saying I'm going to BQ at this next marathon.  But my goal is to PR.  That is an attainable goal and is one step closer to the ultimate goal.  I'm making SMART goals and training SMARTER.  

Ever heard of SMART goals?  In the teaching world, it's something I've been doing in terms of professional goals and student learning goals for years.  

S - Specific 
M - Measurable  
A - Action Oriented 
R - Realistic 
T - Time bound 

Makes complete sense to apply my professional life practices to my fitness/personal in terms of SMART goals!  And I have an incredible new piece of inspirational jewelry to accompany me along my journey to meeting my goal - my No Excuses bracelet by Dana at Words to Sweat By.  

I have my beautiful daily reminder that excuses are not acceptable and that if I'm going to meet my goal - I need to stick to the plan.  No Excuses.

I've been wearing this bracelet non-stop for the past couple of weeks.  I love the way it feels, I love the message.  I can wear it while working out.  I wear it to work.  I even sleep in in.  AND I've gotten TONS of compliments from co-workers and students.   Words to Sweat By has a huge variety of inspirational sayings you can wear on your wrist.  Check it out!

And because I'm all about running with friends - I have TWO bracelets to giveaway.  
YES!  ONE winner will win a bracelet for themselves and one for their best running friend.  

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Win-Win for me and a Win-Win for you Review + Giveaway #SweatHardSmellGreat

I was recently provided the opportunity to review Win Detergent as part of a FitApproach Campaign.

Let's face it.  Sweaty clothing can create quite the stink.  Now let's x4 and we have my family.  With running, soccer, dance, basketball - we all create quite the stink.  I do laundry all of the time, but it's still not fast enough to combat the stink.  Let's be honest, regular detergent doesn't quite cut it.  Sadly, I've tossed quite a few of my favorite running shirts/shorts due to the stink.  I just wish i had known about Win beforehand.  Perhaps it would have saved me some heartache.

we accumulate a ton of stinky clothing daily

Last weekend - both kids played their Round Robin Soccer  games.  Izzy played an hour of soccer and Tucker played 2.5 hours of soccer.  Then I went away for the weekend for the MDI Relay.  When I returned home on Sunday afternoon - I was greater with the stench of the kids sweaty clothing from soccer the day before, Ward's sweaty gross clothing, and all of my sweaty half marathon clothing.  I was grateful for WIN!

Win even helped my stinky 11 year old boy's sneakers....they were seriously on their way to the garbage.  But I scrubbed them with the brush and some diluted Win and then soaked them in a mixture of Win and water for a few hours to take care of the stench his sweaty feet created.  Now we have a happy boy because I didn't toss his sneakers and they don't have that disgusting stink anymore (note: the stink has been gone for over 3 weeks now!)

How does it work?  Science is not my thing.  Math is.  Check out the link for more information on how Win works!

Win comes in two different formulas:  Blue for the original very light/clean smelling scent and Green for the no-fragrance/no-dye option.  Both work great!

I have a great giveaway for my readers!  2 FULL sized bottles of WIN detergent: 1 regular and 1 green.  Giveaway begins today and ends 11/1/14.  Enter through the rafflecopter below.

If you don't want to wait to see if you won, go ahead and use this great code to save $1 from a bottle of WIN from AmazonWINGIVE1.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, October 26, 2014

LL Bean Twilight 5k Recap

A new Maine race is on the scene and it rocks!  This year was the inaugural LL Bean Twilight 5k in Freeport.  Like all LL Bean activities, this event was well organized.   

I didn't run.  I was too late to register.  BUT, the kids were able to run the fun run and Ward was able to run the 5k.  Which meant I was more than happy to be there as the #1 spectator and photographer, wearing my Spandits (go buy some and tell Kelley and Sarah I sent you!) of course and making Izzy dress like my mini-me.  

LL Bean has the Camp Sunshine Event that was taking place on the LL Bean campus throughout the day.  If you aren't familiar with this event, it's an incredibly cute family event sponsored by LL Bean to raise funds for Camp Sunshine.  We didn't make it down earlier in the day; however, since we were heading down for the race anyway, we took a few minutes to enjoy some of the festivities prior to running.  

The Kids Fun Run was first.  The course started at the start/finish line - took a 1/4 mile loop around the LL Bean campus and returned to the start/finish line.  Tucker took off like a rocket.  Which made me nervous.  But we had a pre-arranged meeting point where I told him he had to be when Izzy and I finished.  (and thankfully he was there!)   Izzy, did a fantastic job.  I didn't really have to run with her, but given the amount of people I felt better running with her.  We started off holding hands and then halfway through she let go and took off!  

After the kids finished, the announcers started calling the 5k runners to the starting line.  A good 15 minutes prior to the start.  In Ward fashion, he was out warming up.  I was nervous he wasn't going to make it back in time.  I was also a bit nervous he wasn't going to make it to the front of the line up.  Why do I worry so much?  It wasn't even my race!  

Because the race organizers were so well prepared, they had a great little map done on a card with turn by turn instructions.  This meant I knew exactly where I could stand to make sure we saw Ward a few times on the course.  The course itself was a loop the runners ran 2x (with one little out and back added in to the 1st time around).  I loved it because we saw Ward 4 times by only moving about 100 feet.   And we were able to cheer on the other runners!  Which is always exciting to me!  

Ward said he loved the double loop and it was a great course.  I thought it was well organized.  And even better?  The Camp Sunshine event had a live band playing during the race so the runners were finishing to live music.  Nice added bonus!  

All in all - a great event.  But really, I wasn't surprised.  LL Bean knows how to put on an event that is sure to please.  We are already looking forward to next year!   

Links to my photos I submitted to Maine Running Photos.  Album 1.  Album 2.  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

MDI Relay Recap

This past weekend, the girls and I made our way back to MDI for our 2nd girls weekend and my 3rd time running at MDI.

My Apera Bag packed full of Oofos Recovery Shoes, Spandits (because one can never have too many pairs of Spandits), Stable 26 socks.  What you cannot see:  Skechers GOrun3 and enough fuel to get me through an ultra or two.
I might have a problem overpacking.  

We had decided were going to have 2 relay teams:  

It was all Carrie's idea!  And it was perfect.  This year our outfit was whatever Spandits you want to wear.  Last we all matched in our skulls - but this year we spiced it up a bit.  

Saturday morning was the kids last soccer game which was to be done round robin style - basically short 20 minute games while rotating through the other teams allowing each team to play each other one last time.  I made it to Izzy's games and made it to half of Tucker's games before Jill and I loaded up her car, made a pitstop at Starbucks (and then my house because I may have forgotten to pack my inhaler!) and we were off!

apparently when you are 5 it's best to play soccer holding hands

Saturday was a perfect fall day.  Warm and sunny and gorgeous colors reflecting from the orange and yellow leaves.  Kind of like the last hurrah.    Jill and I made it to packet pick up, found our bibs, gathered up our awesome race shirt and went to do some shopping in Bar Harbor.  Of course!  We promised the kids we would bring back some goodies, so we did.

After dinner at Paddy's, we headed back to the motel to check in.  We had a restful evening hanging out and watching some tv and opened up some birthday gifts to Carrie (since it was her birthday and a belated one from Carrie to me!).  I love that I have crafty friends!  (now I have a lot of pressure to make sure I get her a kickass gift...I sure hope she likes what I ordered!!!)

The next morning we were up bright and early ready to go.  It's crazy how fast you can get ready when you don't have kids with you!  We made our way to the continental breakfast and then to the starting line.  Once we got there, we decided to head back to the cars to get our arm sleeves - because the wind was rather crazy!  We met up with Gretchen, my new running friend, who just ran her first marathon 2 weeks prior and decided to run MDI.  That woman rocks!

We made it to the starting line area so we could get our starting line photos taken, got to see some running friends and then waited patiently for the AC/DC to start pumping through the speakers and before long, we were off!

Carrie and I stuck with Gretchen for our leg.  This weekend was about fun so that's what we did!  The three of us got to see gorgeous views of MDI and talk about everything.  As we neared the 13.1 point, we said our goodbyes to Gretchen and then Stacy and Jill took over the running part.
Photo Courtesy of Gretchen's husband 

That's when it got hard.   We had no idea where we were going!  The spotty cell service wouldn't let us download the email (because I didn't follow directions and didn't print out the map beforehand) BUT thankfully, Jill is smart because she left the color map on the dashboard of her car - so after a brief panic, we finally figured out to look at the map and refresh my memory on how I got out that area last year.  It wasn't really that hard, just took a little bit.  

photo courtesy of Stacy

Carrie and I made it to the finish area parking lot in no time and decided to go scope out the finish line area.  We did read the part that we were not to cross the timing mat at we made sure to not go near that thing!  The awful part is that we wanted to scope out the beer tent (since we couldn't find it last year).  This year we found it! But couldn't get to it because of the timing mat.  (When I came home and explained the problem we faced, Ward said "why didn't you just take your shirt off and leave it on the other side of the timing mat?"  Ummmm...I don't know why we didn't!  It's not like we didn't have other shirts with us.  Next year, that's what we'll do!

Jill & Stacy stopping for a self with the famous tree along the course
photo courtesy of Stacy and Jill 
As always, the course did not disappoint.  It's a gorgeous course that is well laid out and organized.  The volunteers are absolutely amazing.  I loved the bands along the course as well!  If you ever get the chance to run MDI - you have to do it! 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Make Everyday Cancer Awareness Day with Skechers Performance

When I run, I usually run for myself, for my health, for my sanity.  But lately, it's been more for those who cannot.  Those who are fighting against Breast Cancer, a horrid disease that just needs to go away.  I'm running for my loved ones that are completely exhausted after their treatments, yet they find a way to go on and be the strong, courageous women I love.

More recently, I have come to learn of several people I love and cherish are battling cancer.  I am in awe of their strength and dignity when it comes to fighting this deadly disease.  One friend, who was just recently diagnosed with breast cancer, is my age and has young children.  She's an amazing woman.  This hits close to home.  Perhaps too close.  I have cried many tears for her and her family.  I have cried many tears for all of my friends who are battling cancer.

Cancer really should be a four letter word.  It's awful.  It's broken my own family.  I lost my mother to lung cancer just over 8 years ago.  The pain and hurt will never end.  For me, the word cancer makes me sad and angry.  I hate cancer.

Skechers, one of my most favorite companies of all, has just developed a line of Breast Cancer Awareness shoes.  Even better, Skechers has a Breast Cancer GOrun3! My absolutely all time favorite shoe.  (I may already have two other pairs)  My newest pair was welcomed lovingly into my Skechers shoe family.

You have got to check out the Skechers Breast Cancer Awareness Line and let me know which one is your favorite!

Skechers GOrun3 - Awareness ($77)
The GOrun3 is designed for speed.  Skechers used it's technologies to design and develop a shoe that promotes a mid foot strike and provides a nearly barefoot running experience while providing some cushioning.
- forefoot is roomy (love!) 
- GOimpulse sensors offer flexibility allow for a responsive running experience 
- the M-Strike Technology™promotes a mid foot strike 
- 4 mm drop to bring you closer to a barefoot experience 
- Resalyte™ Midsole is a lightweight injection-molded compound with memory retention that helps to absorb impact 
- the upper is nearly seamless and does not have any friction points (especially on my picky feet) 
- 5.2 oz.

How is Skechers Supporting American Cancer Association? 
I am proud to announce that Skechers Performance is joining the American Cancer Society in the fight to end Breast Cancer as they continue to invest in ground breaking research, provide comprehensive support to people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and to continue to advocate for laws that ensure access for women to need it so more lives are saved.  

In addition to the Breast Cancer Awareness footwear and apparel line, Skechers is also supporting the American Cancer Society in these ways: 
1.  Skechers Performance is donating the proceeds from the awareness line (apparel and shoes) to the American Cancer Society.
2.  Skechers is hosting the American Cancer Society San Francisco Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk and will also donate a percentage of their proceeds from the sales of Skechers at the event.
3.  All Skechers Retail stores have launched a register round-up program which allows customers to round up their purchase to the nearest whole dollar to benefit the American Cancer Society for the entire month of October.  And to sweeten the deal - if customers donate $5 or more, they will receive a 20% discount for their next visit.   With the purchase of a limited-edition awareness shoe, Skechers Retail stores are also offering a breast cancer awareness canvas tote or pink water bottle.

Who do you run for?  
What motivates you to run?  

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

    Sunday, October 12, 2014

    Long Run Necessities

    As my dreams of completing my 4th full marathon came to an end with that nagging gluteal injury, I decided to scale back and do the MDI Relay with the girls!  Next Sunday we will be heading up to MDI with two relay teams.  

    As I recovered from my injury, I didn't say goodbye to my long runs.  I still kept up my longer runs - getting back to 10 miles, then 12, 13.5, then 14.  And I plan on keeping long runs in my training plans.   Especially since I'm eyeing up a spring marathon.  

    As I continue to train with long runs, I continue to use my favorite running accessories to get me through these long runs.  

    Camelbak Marathoner 
    My love for Camelbak has been been increased.  You see, I had trained for my first 3 marathons and few half marathons with my Camelbak original.  Heck, I've even raced with it.   I love the hands-free design of Camelbak - a place to store your fuel/cell phone/toilet paper/gum and a water carrying system that allows you to have water whenever you want!  As you can tell, I was already a Camelbak fan.  

    The only thing that has changed over the years - is that my cell phone has gotten larger - which takes up space in the little single pocket of my original Camelbak.  And I was starting to get annoyed at not being able to quickly access my fuel in the pocket on the back.  I have tried other options for fuel and water in the front of me - carrying a water bottle, fuel belts, shoving gum/fuel into my bra - all have been annoying.  

    But then I came across an opportunity to try out the Camelbak's Marathoner.  Still - a wonderful method to bring water with you on the long runs but with pockets along the front strap areas for quick and easy access to everything you need (or may need)! 

    Camelbak didn't stop there in the improvements - they also went ahead and made it possible to lengthen the straps of the overall pack with velcro hidden straps - to allow for taller or shorter runners to enjoy this fabulous pack.  They also made the straps a lot easier to use and have provided a great way to tie up the extra straps so they aren't swaying around while you run. 

    Some people have asked if the sloshing of water bothers me.  Nope not at all.  The water doesn't even slosh around because after I've finished filling up the water reservoir, I close it up and tip it upside down.  Then I hold the water hose higher than the reservoir and squeeze out the excess air!   

    My fuel of choice is usually Honey Stinger.  I can have an angry digestive system when I run, but it loves Honey Stinger!  

    Toilet Paper
    I live in an area where there are not a lot of public restrooms or stores to stop by to use the facilities.  But luckily I live in an area where there are plenty of wooded areas.  The problem is that leaves do not always do the trick with wiping.  Just before heading out the door for my long runs, I roll up a portion of toilet paper and tuck it into my Camelbak pocket.  Now I'm good to go.  And do not worry if it's raining....your toilet paper just back a wet wipe and that's even better!  

    I always run with gum.  It is something I started early on and now I have to have my gum.  I've even gotten out a mile on a run and realized I had forgotten my gum - so I come home and get it.  When I'm out on a long run, I like it to be accessed easily.  I've also noticed with sweat and heat, gum can get sticky and start to dissolve if I leave it in the original packaging.  To avoid this, I unwrap individual pieces and put them in a small plastic baggie.  That way I don't have to worry about unwrapping the gum or the dissolving part!  

    My phone
    For safety mostly.   Sadly most of my running has been solo.  I feel a bit better having my phone with me.  But I also like having my phone with me for the random selfie or if I'm not feeling okay - the RESCUE ME call (that is if Ward answers)!  If my mileage isn't super long, I'll use my phone for a gps to track my mileage as well.  But most of the gps apps do take up a ton of battery, so I try to not do this all of the time.  

    My Garmin and the old Camelbak....which has been given to Izzy, because I love watching her run around the
     house with it on saying she's a runner girl and training.  
    Garmin 10
    I don't use my Garmin a lot but I tend to pull it out when I'm going for a long run.  The battery lasts  a lot longer than my phone and it's easier to see my mileage with the watch on my wrist rather than having to pull out my phone.  I love the simple design of this Garmin.  I don't need all of the fancy bells and whistles of the higher priced Garmins.  I just need mileage, average pace, and time.   

    Of course.  Zero chaffing.  Fun colors!  The smoothest fabric that stands up to hundreds of washings and does not fall apart!  Made by two lovely woman runners who know what runners love.  That's why I love Spandits!  

    When you order your Spandits - let the ladies know I sent you!
    Of course shoes are super important for a run.  Wearing shoes that do not fit right or do not give you the ride you want are no good.  If they make you hurt, don't wear them!  It's really that simple.  but finding the right shoe for you can be a daunting task.  For me, the search took a long time - but I have found them (thanks to my job at the Rail Trail Run Shop and my friends Amy and Seth).  Now my feet and arches are happy every time I wear them.  I admit it.  I do switch up my shoes every so often.  I think it's necessary.  But every time I put my Skechers on my feet after wearing another brand, my feet seriously say "ooohhhh thank you!"  My favorite Skechers have been the Go Run Ultras (super cushioning) and Go Run 3 (lighter weight yet still cushy).  Stay tuned for more on this shoe as I have a new pair coming tomorrow that has a ton of meaning to me.   I just wish I was faster so I could be an ambassador for Skechers - because they really are the shoe for me!  I would give up all of the other shoes if Skechers chose me.  Just had to put that out there!  

    Stable 26
    And you cannot  forget socks.  Socks have the power to make or break your run.  It's crazy that one little piece of clothing has so much impact on your run.  Stable 26 has been an amazing addition to my running routine.  My shoes do not slip and I do not get blisters.  I'm impressed!  

    What are your long run necessities?  Share!  

    Friday, October 10, 2014

    1 Voice Headband Review + Discount Code

    Friday is always my favorite day of the (work) week.  Today wasn't necessarily my most favorite Friday - it was a teacher workshop day.  I'd rather teach any day of the week.  Today's task was to analyze the new state required test our juniors will be taking this spring.  I don't usually talk about my professional opinions on here - but to say I'm not impressed with this test is a complete understatement.    

    But let's turn this around and make it more positive.... like running!  Not a stupid test that will be replaced soon.  
    Earbud wires are not my friend.  I hate the dangling wires swaying around.  If I do bring music with me, I use my iPod shuffle and tuck the wire under my shirt. It doesn't always keep the cord from swinging around, but it's better than a cord flinging out my arm!  But now I have a brand new workout's the 1 Voice headband.  

    1 Voice headband has built-in bluetooth earbuds - so I don't have the cord swinging around.  Huge plus.    Now I don't have to bring along my shuffle, my phone, corded earbuds, and a separate headband.  I've just cut down my list of running items:  phone and headband (with earbuds attached). How do you like the sound of that?  Get it? Sound? Music?  I crack myself up.  

    Not only does the bluetooth earbuds make it easier to listen to your favorite music while you run, you also get great sound quality from the earbuds!  And the headband?  It's simple and black.  Which I love.  There is something to be said about simple.  It matches everything.  And it doesn't slip around and it helps to wick sweat.  Even better!  Check out this video!

    1 Voice headbands retail for $59.00, but with the code, B1V40, you save 40% and get free shipping!  (Which means you pay $35.40!)  How about that for a great deal?  

    Do you run with music?  What's your favorite running song?  I've been loving listening to Meghan Trainor lately!  

    Disclosure: I was provided a 1 Voice headband for the purpose of a review.  I was not required to give a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.