Sunday, November 30, 2014

Time to Relax

I find I have to say this to myself over and over again.   Relax.   As the holidays are in full swing - scheduling gets packed.  

Kid's holiday activities, concerts, work gatherings, family gatherings.  Making sure I have time to do all of those things, get my work out in and take care of myself can sometimes be a little dicey.  I tend to carry my stress in my neck and back.  The foam roller doesn't really do the job for those areas.  

I was super lucky to have a Theracane sent to me to review.  At first, I wasn't so sure about this little device.  My initial thought -- "How in the world is that going to help my achy muscles?"  

You know what?  It is a little miracle worker.  For $35 (on sale through the end of Monday 12/1 @ $29.95) - it does the job, and then some.  It's actually a handheld, self massager that helps to work out the knots in your back, shoulders, neck, gluteus, legs, feet.  

The Theracane does come with a little booklet that shows you how to use the cane and how to work those pressure points to help you relax.  There is not a lot of reading and it's quick to understand.  The photos are really self explanatory, so it takes about 20 seconds to know how to use the Theracane.  I recommend this great little device for anyone who has a tight neck or tight back because it takes care of those hard to reach areas for you.  

I bet you know someone on your Christmas list who could benefit from this great tool!  

I was sent a Theracane through my affiliations with FitFluential.  I was not required to like the product and was not required to give a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.  

Bamboo Deluxe Shower Floor/Bath Mat Review

I love to sweat.  I know, you are not surprised.  But you know what I love even more?  I nice hot shower after a super chilly fall/winter run.  Standing in that hot shower, warming up is a great feeling.  But even more so when I'm standing on something rather than an icky shower floor.  

In the Boudreau household, we love wooden products.  My husband is a very talented craftsman, who is constantly renovating our home.  For us, the Bamboo Deluxe Shower Floor was the perfect accessory for our bathroom.  

We have a small, "master" bathroom with a shower stall.  Not super luxurious at all.  And the shower floor is less than desirable.  I do not like the texture of the shower floor.  But the feel of a bamboo floor is so nice on the feet.  

And it looks great too!  And with the great sales going on right now with ToiletTree on Amazon, you can buy a Bamboo Deluxe Shower Floor for you or as a gift for 33% off!  (Regularly priced $59.95 --- now $39.95).   To follow along with great ToiletTree sales and products - follow on Facebook and twitter.

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, November 24, 2014

Move It Monday

Here we are!  The last Monday on November.  Where in the world has the time gone?  Life gets crazy and then all of a sudden I'm thinking "wow, Thanksgiving is THIS Thursday!"

There are a few great things about that:
1.  I work 2 days this week.  
2.  I will take photos at the Gasping Gobbler Thursday morning for Maine Running Photos. 
3.  I get a lot more time to RUN on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday....  Yippee!!!  
4.  Thanksgiving is always tasty and fun!  

Welcome to running with a hat, jacket and gloves every single time.  Well, when I run outside.  

My eye is on the prize - Maine Coast Marathon.  
If you are planning on that race - my good running friend, Carrie has a code to save you some $$$.  

My plan:
1.  Strength train 3x a week  (so far so good!)
2.  Keep my running base solid (averaging 40 miles/week right now) 
3.  Keep my long runs in the plan (last week 11 miles, this week 10 miles, next weekend 12 miles)
4.  Keep eating in check....  well, sorta.  Chips and pizza are the death of me!   But I have not gained weight.  So, that's a huge plus.  Yes.  It is.  
5.  Yoga.  Ooops.  Fell off the wagon again.  Getting back on.   

Have you tried read this book yet?  It's pretty awesome!

I forgot to report on a 5k I ran a couple of weeks here's the report. 

SugarRush 5k Report

 I love local 5ks.  They are so much fun.  I was sorta up in the air about doing it.  But then decided I wasn't going to do it.  So I ran a speedy 8 miles the day before.  The morning on the race - Ward was gone on a long run, I had new Spandits at my house waiting to be raced in - so I looked at Izzy and said "let's run a race!"   

new running things always come after I get home from a run....  :(  

Who am I?  Running a 5k the day after an 8 miler?  I don't usually do that.  So my thought was - just run for fun since my legs were tired and I was pushing a nearly 55 lb, nearly 6 year old girl in a jogging stroller.  We're probably nearly the end of our racing in the jogger career anyway - so we may as well squeeze in as many as possible, right?   

Remembering how people get all cranky when a stroller runner lines up in the beginning, I wanted to be polite so I started in the back.  I mean far back.  WAAAY back.  Behind the walkers.  So when the race started - I had to dodge the walkers.  This part bugs me.  I wasn't told to start in the back - but so many people comment that strollers need to go in the back.  I seriously couldn't stay back there because I was barely moving.  After I passed like - 90% of the runners/walkers...I finally got my groove on.

oops!  I'm so sorry.  Not really.  It felt awesome to kick butt with a stroller.  

Ward gave me a piece of advice..... USE the stroller to my advantage going down hill because it's going to kick my ass going up hill.  He was completely right!   

Those uphills were horrid.  But the downhills were rather scary.  Plus we took the brakes off the jogger a few years they were doubly scary!   Anyway, I held strong and huffed and puffed..... for about 2 miles.  I started to loose some steam.  Then I saw a little "out and back" part.... that's when I saw the front runner...then the first woman...then the second woman....and then....  OH CRAP!  I'M THE THIRD WOMAN!"  

I looked behind me and there were a few woman on my tail.   Ugh.  I better push.  So push I did.  Like a crazy person.... up those last few hills ... which were complete torture and left my legs screaming at me.  I came around the last corner....and there it was.  The finish line.  Izzy and I held strong and stormed into the finish line chute.  And got stuck.  They made the chute sooooo narrow, we got stuck (it's not like I had a double jogger or anything!).  So the guy started yelling at me ... but I couldn't get anyway.  Finally he picked up the tape along the side and grabbed the stroller and pulled it under.  This park irked me quite a bit.  It was rather embarrassing to be yelled at by the timer and to be holding up the line behind me.  

But ..... that was easily gotten over when Izzy and I found out were indeed the 3rd (and 4th overall women) and lucky for us, the overall winner was in my age we won 1st in age group.  The prize was our choice of homemade pie.  I let my running parter pick it out - Pumpkin Pie of course, for the win!  

Also.... if you haven't entered them yet - here's your chance!  I have THREE great giveaways going on right now.  

Hands Free Hipster - ends tonight at midnight!  (11/24) 

You Saw Me Vest - 11/28 
& I have a free shipping code runningwiththegirls9

FRS - ends 11/29

Happy Move It Monday!  How do you plan on moving it today?  I'm going to get in 3 miles today after school before heading back to school for a parent's meeting for indoor track!  (I'm helping out with coaching!)

How do you keep motivated throughout the winter?  For me - I keep signing up for races!  I'll be registering myself and Ward for the MidWinter Classic this morning!  10 miles in February.   Always cold.  But such a blast!

Here I am am racing Carrie to the finish last year.... in Spandits.  Of course!  You need some too.

Courtesy of Maine Running Photos

Thursday, November 20, 2014

FRS Energy + Endurance #IOWNTHIS Review + Giveaway

Lately I feel like I'm dragging. I'm talking, exhaustion. I've been turning to coffee far too much. I'd much rather a natural source of energy that also helps with my focus and helps to boost my immune system. Being a teacher and having two kids in school - that added immune boost is quite necessary!

FRS® has a Two-10 Discovery Challenge that definitely peaked my interest. You should check it out and even sign up for your own 10 day trial (it's only $19.99!). So I had to give it a try. The idea behind the Two-10 challenge is to try FRS twice a day for 10 days to see if you feel a difference in the way you feel.

Before even trying out FRS®, I had to see what was in it. The patented FRS® formula is made up of all-natural antioxidants quercetin (found in blueberries and apples) and green tea extract as well as 100% or more of the recommended daily intake of 7 essential vitamins (specifically B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C and E).

One of my hopes was that FRS® was going to make me feel much more energized during my runs. About a half hour prior to lacing up and heading out the door, I would mix up the low cal FRS® concentrate with water or grab one of the FRS® Energy + Endurance cans and drink it up. Every single one of those runs felt amazing. I felt like I had so much more to give. My paces were far faster than they had been the prior week. Everysingle one of them.

This is a screen shot of my pace at one point after the first day of FRS®. I felt like I was just running easy but really, I was flying! I did put on the breaks a little after I saw how fast I was really going. But that pace really amazed me since I haven't felt comfortable at that pace for a long time.

So, yes. The results of my runs felt great. But does FRS® taste good? That's very important as well. And I am going say YES. It tastes great. I don't care how good something is for me. If it doesn't taste good, I don't want to drink or eat it. I'll find something else. But FRS® tastes great.

I'm a person who is quite sensitive to caffeine. If I drink coffee after 4pm, then sleep is going to be difficult to obtain. While FRS® does have some caffeine in it, it is the equivalent to 1.5 to 4 ounces of coffee (20 mg to 48 mg), not the normal 10 ounces I usually drink.

I have tried the FRS® Soft Chews before, so I knew I was going to love them. I used to take them on long runs with me because they tasted great and gave me enough energy to get through. I sadly forgot them in my car this past weekend when I went out for my long run with Gretchen and Carrie, so I decided I would just eat two prior to a run one day. I love the Pomegranate Blueberry chews and highly recommend them to anyone - as a late day pick me up or fuel on a run. It is just that good.

As part of this campaign, I have a special giveaway for you to enter! Here is your chance to win your own Two-10 Challenge Pack. Enter through the rafflecopter link HERE.

This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of FRS.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

You Saw Me Vest Review + Giveaway

Every year, as the days get shorter - day light running opportunities are reduced.  While I'm not a fan of night time running - I will do it.  But I want to be super safe when I do go.  Hey - did you know that November is National Running Safety Month?  

I want cars to see me when I'm out there - cranking out the miles.    I have a hot new item that is amazingly comfortable and packs a punch with visibility for runners in the wee early morning hours or after dark runs - either way - YOU WILL BE SEEN with the You Saw Me vest.  

There is no doubt about that!  The You Saw Me vest comes with a yellow mesh pocket system - there is a double pocket in the front and a pocket in the rear (think center of your back).  The double pocket in the front has two uses - the outer most pocket is large enough for fuel, your phone, mace - you name it.  And it's easily accessible.  The inner most pocket holds the 9-volt battery used to power the best visibility vest on the market.  Below the pockets, there is a small control device which allows you to select the color of your choice and the flashing speed (or non flashing option as well).  

I seriously had far too much fun playing with the color options and flash options - I finished my run before I knew it.  

- this vest has 60 custom color, waterproof LED's
- 360 degree visibility 
- 20 dimmable color options and 18 flashing and automatic color cycling modes
- visible a mile away
- one size fits all 
- front and back pockets to carry phone, fuel, keys, mace
- washable (remove belt and battery prior to washing) - wash on delicate and hang to dry
- easy to store
- great for runners, walkers, cyclists, anyone 
- outerlayer is breathable and has a reflective film to reflect oncoming lights 
- retail price is $60 (so worth it for safety)
- See How It Works!

Ummmm....none.  Well - I would love for it to have an air horn or something to scare away whatever animals are lurking in my woods.  But, that might be a bit too much.  Right?  

And lucky you - I have a You Saw Me Giveaway!  Perfect timing, right?  

It's super simple to enter - just follow the steps through the rafflecopter below.  The giveaway will run from today through 11/28/14.  I will email the winner - so please be sure that you provide me with a valid email (and be sure to respond to my winner email within 24 hours - or a new winner will be chosen!).    Also - if you just want to cut to the chase... runningwiththegirls9 will get you FREE SHIPPING!

Best of luck!  

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, November 16, 2014

Hands-Free Hipster Product Review by Outward Hound + Giveaway

I am truly blessed to have a very loyal running buddy who is usually blocking my path when I try to leave for a girl Pepper!  

She is always willing to go for a run with me and is happy to even do doubles when Ward and I do not communicate.   Yes - we've done this before.  She had an 8 mile day because of this.  Oops!    

Running with her hasn't always been easy.  It took quite a bit of training.   She used to be a puller.  Big time.  Once she completely took me out in icy conditions - broke free and got away from me.  That was not a fun run.  But with lots of patience and practice, she has become the best running dog ever.  I don't know what I would do without having her as a running buddy.   

A couple of weeks ago, we were sent the Hands-Free Hipster Jogging Leash and it has earned itself a permanent place hanging by the door.   Now that's quite an honor around here.  

It was immediate love the first time we ran with it.  The waist band has two d-rings, one on each side of my waist, so we can choose which side to put the leash.  A lovely feature as Pepper is very picky about which side she runs on.  She always has to be on my left.   The waist pack itself is a little big - but for good reason.  It's quite secure.  It has a little give, but not too much.  When Pepper ran in front of me or behind me, the waistband moved freely to allow for her comfort as well.  This didn't bother me at all.  

One thing I wished it had was a pocket large enough for my phone.  I have the iPhone 6 and the pocket isn't large enough to accommodate it.  But, really, it's not the end of the world, as I have other methods to carry it - plus my hands are both free now since I do not have to carry the if I carry it for the 3-5 miles I run with Pepper, it's really not a a big deal.  

* Price at $29.95 (currently marked down from $34.95) - this is a great deal! 
* Pockets to carry keys, fuel, smaller cell phone, mace - small items 
* Adjustable waste
* D-rings on both sides to allow for a choice in which side your dog runs on
* Leash part has a handle, so if you had to "correct" or grab on for safety reasons, you can 
* Leash is adjustable 

* Pocket could be a little bigger for phone 

Now here's the exciting part!!!   I have a giveaway here for your own Hands-Free Hipster.  All you need to do is enter through the rafflecopter below.  The giveaway will run from today - 11/16/14  through next Monday - 11/24/14.  Winner must be reachable through email and must respond to my email within 24 hours of a new winner will be selected.  Best of luck!  

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.”

Friday, November 14, 2014

I Mustache You Some Questions

I love survey questions.  One of my most favorite thing to do in my math classes.  It's always fun to learn about people.  Thank you, Heather at Where's the Beach for tagging me!  

4 names that people call me, other than my real name: 
1. Jen
2. Mom - of course.  
3. Mrs. B - I much prefer this to Mrs. Boudreau anytime.  
4.  Coach Jen - from summer track, and I loved this!

snippets from summer track ... my two fave athletes!

4 jobs I've had:
1.  photographer's assistant - 1st job in high school.  
2.  retail - GAP, London Fog, Nine West 
3.  Special Education Teacher - 1st 14 years of my teaching career
4.  HS Math Teacher - newest role in teaching.  LOVE IT

4 movies I've watched more than once:
1. Pride and Prejudice
2.  Pretty Woman
3.  Pirates of the Caribbean 
4.  The Little Mermaid (watching right now with Izzy)

my current view

4 books I'd recommend: 
I don't really enjoy reading.  Sorry.  I go through phases.  I tend to love jr high level books and series.  
1.  Twilight Series
2.  Hunger Games Series - I told you, jr high taste
3.  Just about any Emily Giffin book 
4.  Build Your Running Body (thanks to Christy for posting about this!  

4 places I have lived:
1.  Wiconisco, PA 
2.  Lisbon Falls, ME 
3.  Bath, ME

at a  Gardiner HS football game recently with Izzy sporting her cute Tiger's beanie 

4 places I have been: 
This is rather pathetic.  I don't travel a lot.  I hate to fly.  I have never flown.  Don't plan on it.  
1.  New York City
2.  Niagara Falls
3.  Prince Edward Island, Canada 
4.  Washington D.C.

4 places I'd rather be right now:
1.  somewhere warm, without snow
2.  in bed under my down comforter 
3.  with my mom 
4.  at Starbucks 

4 things I don't eat:
1.  ginger 
2.  raw tomatoes (not anymore, since I've had those allergic reactions...only cooked ones now)
3.  venison 
4.  anchovy paste (as I've had a few allergic reactions after each foods with this in it too!)

4 of my favorite foods:
1. pizza
2.  chips
3.  dark chocolate 
4. peanut butter  

4 TV shows that I watch:
1.  NCIS 
2.  NCIS - Los Angelas 
3.  True Blood (it counts, right?) 
4.  Grey's Anatomy 

4 things I'm looking forward this year:
1.  Passing my Mathematics Content Praxis II exam 
2.  Completing year 1 of the National Board 
3.  Izzy reading more and more (such a beautiful thing to see her flourish in school right now)
4.  The end of 6th grade for Tucker.  He loves it.  But I have not been happy with a lot of things.  

4 things I'm always saying: 
1.   "That car is not going to clean itself" - to Tucker this morning while looking outside at the snow on my car, as I handed him the snow brush.  Poor kid.  I have a feeling I'll be saying this a lot this winter.  
2.   Where are my keys?  
3.   darn chickens didn't give me any eggs today (been going on for a month now)  
4.  I need more shoes.  Of course.  Always.  

always more shoes especially if they are Skechers

4 people I tag: 
1.  Amy at Running Escapes 
2.  Carrie at Maine Mom on the Run 
3. Christy at My Dirt Road Anthem
4.  Rachelle at Living The Fit Life

I don't need to tag you to play along!!!  Answer come questions below!  I love learning new things about people!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Be Good To Your Feet!

I was so caught up in Halloween, I didn't even look at my mileage for October.  Actually, I didn't even look at my mileage for November until today.  Which lead to a peak at October's mileage and then my yearly mileage.  

Note: I'm only good at putting in the mileage, not times therefore my pace and duration calculations are not accurate!  

Now, a look at November....

The rest days part is accurate.  Just not the duration and pace.  No rest days so far for November.  No worries.  I will take one, when my body says to do it!  Perhaps today, since I have Parent Teacher Conferences tonight.  But, while I like conferences as I really enjoy talking to parents, I might need to work out!  So I'm keeping it up in the air.  

With all of this mileage adding up - look at that 1437.32 miles for the year!!!  My feet are sure to get tired and sore.   I want to keep them happy, as I've made mistakes in the past before, which led to unhappy feet and no running.  

OOFOS + Compression Sleeves + Spandits = Heaven

I've been trusting my feet to the comfort of OOFOS for the past month.   I know where the name comes from...when I put my tired, achy feet in them my entire body says "oooo".  They are seriously that comfortable.  

The technology behind OOFOS goes beyond just saying "oooo".  OOFOS is powered by OOfoam and has a unique footbed that hugs your feet, no matter what kind of foot you have.  Even my high arches feel hugged in these shoes.  They seem to just sink right in and feel all of the comfort, cushion and support my feet crave after a long run, short run, long day working or when I just want to wear comfy shoes.  

I couldn't wait to get out my shoes, not matter how much I love them.
After 13.1 miles, OOFOS felt amazing on my feet!

I chose the OOAHH Slide (retails for $39.95) to try out.  But OOFOS has two other models available for their customers.  the OOcloog Luxe and OOFOS OOriginal , if you prefer a different style.  I chose the OOAHH slide because I wanted something I can wear when the weather is warm without socks and when it's colder outside with socks.  And if I'm recovering from a long run, the OOFOS will be paired with some compression socks.   

Do you have a favorite pair of shoes you like to wear after a long run? or a long day at work?  If you haven't tried OOFOS, you should!  

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, November 11, 2014

Tried It Tuesday

Happy Veteran's Day everyone!  A day to honor all veterans across the nation and thank them for our freedom.  With both of my parents being veterans, it's definitely a day I hold dearly.  

With the day off from school, the kids and I had a great day at home - the kids playing and being kids.  I caught up on things around the house. Then I packed up the kids and brought them to the high school.  They played basketball and ran around while I got in 6 miles on the track.  

It was a gorgeous fall day and I was happy to see the kids playing outside while I was able to do something that I love to do.  

Then I came home and did something I don't love doing.  I am trying to love it.  Strength and core work.   Sigh.   Maybe someday.  I'm hoping my newest book will help me love it.  I used my Gymboss to help with the intervals and to keep me honest.  Have you ever tried one of those?  

A very important part of my plan is strength and core while maintaining my running and cross training.  Another part of my plan is dropping a couple of pounds.  I go through phases of using the scale/ not using the scale.  Loving it/hating it.  Happy with that number on the scale/ not-so-happy with that number on the scale.  You know the drill.  We have had cheapo scale for the longest time and I always questioned how accurate it really was.  

sleek and small and tucks away 

Recently I was sent the EatSmart Precision Calpal Digital Bathroom Scale.  It is not just a scale.  This smart little scale remembers who you are (if you have multiple users) and uses your gender, height, age, and activity level to calculate the estimated number of calories you can consume each day to maintain your current weight.

The EatSmart Scale also gives you your BMI (body mass index).  There are calculators all over the internet to give you this information, but this scale does it for it just by stepping on it.  I like this!

With the help of the EatSmart Scale (of course paired with healthier eating and exercise!!), I've seen my weight drop down 2 pounds and my calorie intake decreased only slightly.   I am not about cutting crazy numbers out - that just leads to splurging.  Like me - standing in front of the pantry - inhaling an entire bag of potato chips.  My all-time weakness.

I also really like the look and design of the scale and in immediate information feedback.  It's quite and easy to read.

Do you use a scale?  What kind of scale do you use?  What kind of information do you want from your scale?  Find more information about EatSmart on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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.”