Monday, March 30, 2015

Move It Monday #MarathonTraining

Happy Monday Morning!  I hope you had a great weekend!  

As you know, I've been training for the Maine Coast Marathon on May 10th.  My training has been going well and last weekend, I ran my first 20 miler of this cycle with my marathon training pal - Carrie.   Of course we look awesome in our Spandits!  See those snow flakes?  Ugh.  Please stop snow.  I'm done with you.  

Ignore the backward 20.... apparently, I have a hard time functioning after a 20 mile run!  In my defense, it was cold and for the last 10 miles, snow pellets were hitting me in the eyes.  I am pretty sure Carrie got tired of listening to me whine about the snow in the eyes.  Thank goodness she's a great friend!  

The next morning it was even colder.... hello!  Where is spring!?  I would like for it to come to Maine and melt all of this snow!  I'm not asking for much.  Really.  I'm not!   So, I hit the treadmill for my recovery run.  My legs felt fantastic, so I pushed myself a little.  

Monday was a little treat - rest day.  I have grown to appreciate rest days because I know my body needs them.    

Tuesday I had a second round of allergy testing.  I had asked my doctor to refer me to another allergist because I wanted a 2nd opinion regarding a recent allergy diagnosis.  This meant I got to spend 3.5 hours hanging out with a new allergist, getting my back pricked by all kinds of awesome allergens and do tons of great asthma breathing tests.  So much  fun.  Not really.  But so worth it!  Update coming this week!   

Part of my appointment was new medication and a quote from my doctor "you came in here and said you were breathing just find, when in actuality you were breathing at 50% efficiently.  With these new meds, you should be breathing better and will be a better runner.  So, try these medications and go for a run to see how it feels."  Doctors order!  Go for a run.  So I did!  6 miles.  And he was right!  I could breath so much better.  Such a difference new medications make.  

And then Wednesday, I was able to squeeze in another 6 miles!  

Later Wednesday night.....this happened.....

I couldn't believe my eyes!  I thought for sure it was wrong.  How in the world am I RUNNING THE BOSTON MARATHON?  But I am!  I won the invitational entry through a contest I came across on instagram.   To enter, I had to post a photo of myself in running clothes holding a sign that said "Boston Strong" by last Friday at 5pm.  Easy enough.  So, I put on my favorite Spandits shorts with my favorite MDI Marathon shirt that also said "Boston Strong" on the sleeve.  And had Tucker do a little photo shoot.  Finally we got one I wanted to post....  

From those entrants, 10 were chosen.  And from out that 10, there were two winners announced Wednesday night. And I was one of them!  

And it's all coming together because yesterday - my paperwork came to complete my registration!  

This meant a little flip in my training schedule. 

The old plan:
March 28 - 16 miles
April 4 - 20 miles 
April 11 - 16 miles 
April 18 - 20 miles 
and then taper....  

So now, my plan is: 
March 28 - 20 miles 
April 4 - 16 miles 
April 11 - 8 miles 

Let's go back to my week in running!  Saturday I woke up ready for 20 miles.  I had my route planned out but then saw the real feel was 15 degree with some strong winds....and then snow.  I had no desire to run outside in the cold and snow again.  So off to the treadmill I went....and happy to tackle a new record distance on the treadmill.   

Ward cautioned me to have a quality 20 miler and not push it too much.  So, I listened.  Sometimes I do.  Sometimes I don't.  But this time I actually listened to him.  

Sunday, I was supposed to run 5 recovery miles.  I was scheduled to work at the gym (and it was cold again) I just went a little early and ran my recovery miles on the treadmill.  While I was running, I realized that 5 miles was going to put me at 199 miles for the month.  I seriously have a problem and couldn't stop there and had to have it end at an even 200 6 easy miles it was.  

And my legs are tired but feeling great!  There are 2 more days left in March, so I know I can add a few more miles to the 200!  We will see, but no worries.  I'll be smart about them.  

How is your training going?   This time around I'm feeling way better than I've ever felt training for a marathon.  I'm doing things so much smarter this time around and wearing ProCompression all of the time.   

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tried It Tuesday - MealEnders Review + Giveaway

There is no question, I love to eat.  I love food.   I also have a hard time saying no to my favorites like pizza and chips.  When I came across the opportunity to try MealEnders lozenges, I had to give them a try.  Being a skeptic, I wasn't so sure anything could curb my overeating.

When they first came, my first thoughts were "ohhh... a hard candy, I love candy!"  

Mealenders is a lozenge that has two layers.  The outer layer is sweet like candy.  It's softer and melts in your mouth.  The inner layer is harder.  It still has a sweetish taste, but also has a tingling after-taste, which is supposed to be the part that tells your brain that meal is over.  

Honestly, of me, Mealenders worked.  At night, when I want to go an binge on that bag of chips, I would grab some Mealenders and that craving would disappear.  I actually keep a handful of them in my school bag to suck on when I'm feeling snacky hungry.  They help distract me enough so I don't go pawing through my snack drawer!   Even better, they are only 15-calories each.

My lucky readers get to enjoy MealEnders with a great discount, 30% off with the code
WINNER-TOO when you checkout at MealEnders.  

And on top of this, MealEnders is offering a giveaway for one of my readers to win their own sampling of MealEnders!  Enter below:  

*the giveaway is only open to US Residents (I am sorry!)  
*winner will receive 4 - 25 piece pouches of MealEnders in all the flavors.  
*giveaway begins today 3/24/15 and will end 4/1/15.  
*I will email the winner of the giveaway (winner has 24 hours to respond to my email or a runner up will be chosen)

Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary package of MealEnders lozenges for review through my affiliation with Sweat Pink Ambassadors. Giveaway was offered and is provided by MealEnders. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Favorites (+Giveaway) #MarathonTrainingEssentials

Happy First Day of Spring!  Now....if the warmer temps would just join us...and that snow would melt, all would be right with the world.  

someday I'll get into Boston, but until then,
I will do crazy ass photo contests on instagram trying to win entries!  

But in the mean time,  I'll just going to keep putting on the layers while my marathon training miles pile up!  At least I have great winter gear, right?  

While I'm speaking about marathon training, let's talk about something new I've been trying.....Salt Sticks.   

During my past 3 marathons and throughout the training, I've gotten muscle cramps.  A lot of them.  One thing I read is that it may be due to low sodium levels.  I started increasing my electrolytes...and those cramps disappeared.  Awesome!   I also noticed that after long runs, I would get this salty paste on my face.  Did you know that salt on the face is a symptom of low sodium levels?  

I decided to try out Salt Sticks on a long run a few weeks ago.  I was nervous.  I didn't want to be far from the car and have an issue.  But, I had zero issues and I felt amazing during the run and I had zero salt on my face.  What I love about Salt Stick is that they are small capsules I put in a baggie and tuck into my Camelbak.  Every hour, I take a Salt Stick.  Not only do I end the run feeling stronger than ever, I do not have the cramping anymore, and no more salt.  

I'm excited that I have a bottle of Salt Sticks to get me through this next round of training - and boy do I have great line up.... Maine Coast Marathon, Mount Washington Road Race, LL Bean 10k, Tri For A Cure, Beach to Beacon, and DeMar Marathon.  I'm sure there some other races that will be added in...but I will be prepared!  

Now, are you ready for my Friday treat for you????  Salt Sticks sent me an additional jar for a lucky winner to have for their own training and racing.  That is super exciting!  

Are you ready?  Enter through the rafflecopter below and good luck!  

The details: 
- giveaway begins today - Friday 3/2015 and ends next Friday 3/27/15
- enter through rafflecopter below
- there will be 1 winner
- I will email the winner (be sure to respond to my email within 24 hours or another winner will be chosen)
- offer open to residents of US only
- one winner per household
- previous winners please do not apply

disclaimer:  I was sent the above products for the purpose of a review.  I was not required to provide a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.  

Monday, March 16, 2015

Move It Monday #Marathon Training Style

The countdown is on.....  53 days until Maine Coast Marathon.  Next weekend, Carrie and I have our first 20 miler.  No big deal, right?  We've been here before.  Many times.  I've even done two 18 milers over the past couple of weeks.... yet, 20 miles just seem so much longer.  

This winter has been the worst winter yet in terms of training outdoors.  February was the coldest month on record and the snowiest.  Needless to say, I've been on the treadmill a lot lately.  Some people would want to poke their eye out  thinking about running on the treadmill, but I seriously have fallen in love with it.  This training cycle has been my strongest yet.  Thank goodness!  

After all of these training miles, recovery is just as important.   Coming home after a long run, refueling and rehydrating are first.  Next, a nice hot shower.  Then I put on cozy clothing. 

As I said, February 2015 was the coldest February on record.  I also live in an old farmhouse.  So, putting on something warm and cozy afterward is necessary.  

I was given the opportunity to review a couple of products from Keep Tight.  As I read about Keep Tight - a few things rang true for me: 

Loves challenges
Trains without waisting time

Yep!  That's me!  I had to get to know the product!  And I'm so happy I did.  I've looked forward to coming home from a run, showering and putting on my KeepTight IronFleece Performance Cloak.  It's not just a zip up hoodie.  It's so much more.  The length is longer, the hood is loose and drapes over you head, and the thumb holes are an added bonus.  Definitely necessary to stay warm on the cold days we've had!  (it even has internal headphone grommets) 

Nothing like a selfie with the puppy post run with my KeepTight Cloak!  She loves to be held and wants to be cozy.  Just like I do!  

I've had to keep this KeepTight Powerband  away from Izzy for a long time.  As soon as it came, she wanted it.  But I wanted it!!!  I love the message - KeepTight - Wear Your Strength.  It reminds me how bad ass I really am.  And I've got to be - right?  Training for another marathon, taking on my first triathlon....maybe doing Mount Washington Road Race (the lottery draw is this week) - eek!  I'm not sure if I should be happy or scared!  

I also was sent the softest cotton t-shirt - The KeepTight IronQueen tee.  It's semi-fitted and super soft.  I failed to have the backside of my tee photographed, but if you click on the link, you'll see something else I love.  The backside is 99.  The year I graduated from college.  The year Ward and I started dating.  I love that year!  

My lucky readers have the chance to win their own KeepTight IronFleece Performance Cloak.  While it's hopefully getting warmer - you still need something cozy to put on after a work out.  And this cloak is perfect to keep your core warm after any workout!  

The details: 
- giveaway begins today - Monday 3/16/15 and ends next Monday 3/23/15
- enter through rafflecopter below
- there will be 1 winner
- I will email the winner (be sure to respond to my email within 24 hours or another winner will be chosen)
- offer open to residents of US only
- one winner per household
- previous winners please do not apply

disclaimer:  I was sent the above products for the purpose of a review.  I was not required to provide a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.  

Monday, March 9, 2015

Move It Monday #MarathonTrainingEssentials +Giveaway

I'm closing in on the big day - Marathon #4 - Maine Coast Marathon.  9 MORE WEEKS! Saturday was my first 18 miler.  It was a solo long run as my training BRF had to work.  Then I came to find out the husband was leaving for a 24 hour skiing - fundraiser event; which closed my window for running to "be done by 10am".  

I looked at the hourly forecast on my phone and when I saw 1F at 7AM, I knew that my 18 miler was going to be at KVHC on the treadmill.  Over the last few years, I have come to really appreciate the comforts of doing long runs on the treadmill.  

1.  I can wear shorts and a tank and sweat when it's 1F outside.  

2.  I have two cup holder areas to put all of my training essentials - Honey Stinger, Nuun, Water, gum, inhaler, and epi-pen (and don't have to carry it!!!).  

3.  I can watch movies on my phone while running.  

4.  I can take advantage of the treadmill and really push the pace on long runs and give myself that much needed challenge/confidence booster.  

5.  When a potty break is necessary - I just stop, run downstairs and use the indoor facilities.  No leaves, hiding behind bushes or porta-potties!

Yesterday's 18 miler was all of that.  And it rocked.  It seriously did.   I even pushed myself for the last 3 miles and ran sub 8 min/miles. That is huge for me!  

But with any long run, my legs and feet were tired.  Heck, I was tired.   As soon as I rehydrated and refueled, I treated my feet to something super nice.   It's a product called The Runners Choice and is advertised as a foot massage in a bottle.  And THAT it is.    

All you do is apply The Runner's Choice to your feet, wash your hands, and sit back and relax.  Maybe put your socks on.  Then sit back and relax.  No rubbing necessary.  

It's that simple.  With all of the mileage I've put on my feet lately, I want to keep my feet happy.  The Runner's Choice has definitely helped me here!  The ingredients are simply as well - almond, eucalyptus, eucalyptus, wintergreen, peppermint, and spearmint oil.  The smell is amazing and soothing as well.   

If you are interested, the manufacture is willing to offer my readers one FREE bottle with the agreement to pay a minimal shipping and handling charge.  (This is a one-time offer).  Click on this link.  

In addition to the incredible special offer, the fine folks at Trusted Health Products have offered 3 lucky Running With The Girls readers a bottle of The Runner's Choice.  

The details: 
- giveaway begins today - Monday 3/9/15 and ends on Friday 3/20/15
- enter through rafflecopter below
- there will be 3 winners
- I will email the winners (be sure to respond to my email within 24 hours or another winner will be chosen)
- offer open to residents of US, Canada, Europe, and Australia
- one winner per household
- previous winners please do not apply
- there is not shipping charge for winners of the giveaway (only for those who want to free bottle through the link above)

Disclaimer:  I was sent a bottle of The Runner's Choice for the purpose of a review.  I was not compensated.  I was not required to provide a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.  

Sunday, March 8, 2015

How Do I Sweat? #SweatYourStory

Happy Sunny Sunday everyone!  There are definitely signs of spring on the way today and this makes me happier than you can even imagine.  I'm looking forward to the warmer temperatures, seeing the snow melt away, and soon seeing new signs of life in my garden.

Today is International Women's Day - a day to bring awareness to all of us to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality.  

Check out this video by GRACED BY GRIT - celebrating all woman athletes - pushing themselves and sweating.  

What is my #SweatYourStory? 

Just in case you haven't figured it out, I love to sweat.   There is nothing like finishing a run and being covered in sweat.  It really is a sign that I worked hard and I love it.  
Running has become my outlet for the stressors in my life.  

I cannot imagine my life without running.   If I'm having a hard time problem solving something, a couple of miles usually helps me clear my mind of the garbage and I'm able to see the solution so much clearer.

I'm not too picky about where I run either.  I'll run long runs on hills, on the rail trail, on the treadmill.    When I smile after a long, sweaty 18 miles, I mean it.

I am truly happy.  All is right with the world.

I love running by myself, with my girl friends, with new friends, my kids, my pup and even my husband.

What is your #SweatYourStory? 

Comment below to share on Twitter or Instagram with the #SweatYourStory hashtag.  
Be sure to tag me too! (@runningwtg)   

Thursday, March 5, 2015

(Kids) Shoe Review: Reebok Zig Big N Fast EX

With two parents who are runners and are super picky about what we put on our feet, you better believe we are pickier when it comes to what we put on our kids' growing feet.  Which makes our kids quite lucky.   I think so, anyway.   I have two mini-me runners on my hands and I need them to have great shoes on their feet.

Which brings me to the Reebok Zig Big N Fast EX.   As a parent, I really like the ZigTech features, which does provide energy the entire length of the shoe - from heal to toe, as well as:

* SUPERSIZED ZIGTECH MIDSOLE - engineered for maximum cushioning in the heel and as well as providing responsive acceleration in the forefoot
* TPU PROPULSION PLATE - which channels energy at impact for lightweight, accelerated mid foot transition
* NANOBREEZE - a lightweight mesh upper which provides superior breathability and comfort

Given the support, protection and cushioning in the design of the newest Reebok Zig Big N Fast EX, I know I feel at ease knowing the feet of my two most cherished littles, have the best support possible.  Happy feet makes for happier, healthier people.  

Now that you know that mom is a fan, you get to know what my kids think.  Tucker, my super picky middle school boy, has actually chosen to wear his Zigs to school on many occasions.  He said they are quite comfortable.  They remind him a little about his first pair of Zigs, which he did like, but said these are "way better", and the "colors are better".

Izzy is in love.  As you can tell by her hugging her shoes.  She said that they are her "fast shoes" and are going to "take her places".  She said now she cannot wait until summer track when she can run around the track in them.  That is after the 4 feet of snow we have melts.  Sadly, the kids have only been wearing them to school and wearing them for PE classes.  If didn't have the feet of said snow on the ground, I know they'd be wearing them all of the time!

And while design and support are important, price is important as well.  The preschool sizes are priced well at $59.99 and the grade school sizes are priced at $79.99.   You can find them at your local Finish Line store or purchase them online here

What shoes do your kids wear?  
Do you think about support or price?  
How much do looks come into play?  

This post was created in partnership with FitFluential on behalf of Reebok.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Free Shoes for A Year?

You know I'm a shoe addict.  My husband has another word for this, but this is a family  blog and I don't like to use inappropriate language on here.... so we'll leave it at addict.  

When I see the opportunity to win a YEAR'S WORTH OF FREE SHOES, I get super excited!   No one can ever have too many shoes - especially when they look as cool as this:  

If you go to Main Line Men's Wear and enter for your chance to win, you are entering for a chance to win a pair of Adidas Original Trainers per month for a year.  12 pairs of Adidas!  

Tell me, what colors would you choose?  I'd probably start with classic black and white first because they ooze cool.  From there, I just don't know!  Too many great colors/choices to choose from!

Tasty Tuesday! (+Giveaway)

In February, I kicked off a Smoothie A Day routine.   My smoothies usually consist of a liquid (like almond, coconut or cashew milk), a green (like kale or spinach), a fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, etc), and a source of protein (protein powder or greek yogurt).  I had no idea that Hemp Hearts were a great source of protein until I had the opportunity to review a sample of Manitoba Harvest's Hemp Hearts.  

Did you know that they have 10g of protein/30 g serving?  I was shocked!  After I read about their protein content, I had to experiment with them in my morning smoothie..... 

and guess what?  SUCCESS!  So much success, I wanted to eat more Hemp Hearts and through together a salad for lunch and tossed the remainder of the sample onto my kale and tahini salad.  Again, SUCCESS!  

I've been so sad about not having Hemp Hearts, and haven't been able to find it sold locally.  I was actually playing around with my Subscribe and Save on Amazon the other night and nearly squealed with delight when I found that I can have 1 lb of Hemp Hearts delivered to my door 1x a month.    Seriously, check this deal out if you are an Amazon lover.  

If not, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts are available online through their own store or you can find where it is sold in your local area by searching here.   There is even a link for $1 off here.  Great deal!

If you are interested in trying out Hemp Hearts for yourself, before you buy of course, because you are going to LOVE it, Manitoba Harvest is letting me host a giveaway of a bag of Hemp Hearts for one of my lucky readers!  The giveaway is limited to those who live in the US or Canada.  

The giveaway begins today and will end 3/10/15.  I will email the winner, so be sure to log in with a working email!  

Disclaimer:  I reviewed Manitoba Harvest's Hemp Hearts as part of a FitApproach Campaign.  I was not required to provide a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.