Friday, May 29, 2015

Puma IGNITE - Shoe Review

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of PUMA.

Before Boston, Ward was telling me I needed to try a different brand of shoe.  One that was still fast, but was a little firmer and would provide me with more of a push off.  I think I found that with the new Puma IGNITE

At first glance, I was a little nervous.  They seemed super firm.   I've seriously grown to love cushy shoes and my foot issues have loved the cushy shoes as well.  So I was a little nervous that the firmness wouldn't work out.  

Well, guess what?  I was wrong!  SOOO wrong.   In the past few weeks, I've raked up over 50 miles in them and I am loving the feel of the Puma IGNITE.  

The Puma IGNITE features are: 
*Energy Return with full length IGNITED foam midsole's PU blend offers high rebound cushioning 
*Step In Comfort with IGNITE foam that provides instant comfort where you need it most 
*Long-Lasting Performance with foreverfoam that is used in the heel to disperse impact and provide extra durability
*Thermo-regulation technology that helps to keep the feet at an optimal temperature 

I'm not doing long runs, yet.  But can definitely see myself taking on many long runs in these shoes and loving them.    But I have tested them out on a few different runs.  

On the rail trail, for an easy return-to-run after a marathon run.  I could definitely feel the support under my arches.  Keeping them happy.  

After school happy hour runs with the pups. So much comfort for my tired feet!

Track workouts.  Firm.  Fast.  Responsive.  Great turnover!

And hill training (for Mount Washington Road Race) - on the treadmill.  Why the treadmill? Because I can keep it on a constant incline for long distances rather than run up a hill, run back down, run up a hill, run back down.   Which is NOT what I want to do for a race that goes 7.6 miles uphill the entire way!  I want steady treadmill it is!  

I can see many more months, many more miles in the Puma IGNITE.  They've been an amazing ride this far.  I am excited to see where this shoe takes me.  

While you're here...check out this pretty cool video from Puma!  It makes me want to go out and run. Again.  Even though I already ran twice today!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Holding Myself Accountable + Giveaway

I admit it.  I'm a number junkie.  When I'm running, I'm constantly running numbers  through my head "my pace is...",  "I have xxx more laps to do", "wow, my VO2Max is 167", "If I run xxx today, then I have xxx more to run this week to meet my goal."  

We're all guilty.  But it's a healthy kind of obsession.  I think so anyway.  To be honest, I'm getting older, and my memory isn't like it was.  I totally blame it on the kids.  They are memory suckers.  

I still love them to pieces though!  

I've tried many a recording methods - notebook, websites, apps, and now a personalized running log custom made just for me by journalMENU!!!   I've got to say, I'm a huge fan of tracking my running with this running journal!    This is what Erica came up just for me from my blog.... my logo and purple....and a shoe print.  Perfect!  

A quick glance at the book - brings out many great highlights:  

Along with a half marathon and marathon training plan as well.   I like them because they are great starting places.  And if you are interested in upping your 5k training plan after completing a Couch to 5k program - this 5k plan rocks!  

And SMART goals!  The best way to set goals and stick to them! I love SMART goals!  

For the additional numbers in your fitness life!  Mark your progress! 

Plus SO MUCH MORE!  I can't show you all of the bells and whistles!  I want you to want to buy one of these fabulous running journals for yourself and your friends.  

I love the weekly journal parts....sometimes I'm horrible at tracking my food.  Sometimes I'm great at it.  Then there are times my track workout recordings go all over the place.  Oops!   

But I wanted to track my progress.  :)  

My journalMENU has offered one of my awesome readers .... that would be YOU...the chance to win your own journalMENU.  That is super generous and I cannot wait to see who wins and which menu they choose!  

Giveaway begins tonight (5/26/15) and ends 6/5/15.  Good luck!!!!

disclaimer: I was provided a journalMENU as part of a review.  I was not required to post a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Drumroll please..... Spartan Winner!

My apologies for doing this so late in the day!  I seriously meant to choose a winner this morning!  

Here you go.......  

The winner is:  

Congrats Brandi!  Please email me at runningwiththegirls AT to claim your Spartan code!  

If you didn't win....there is still time to use the discount code MEMORIAL for up to $40 off your Spartan registration within the continental US.    

Happy Memorial Day everyone!  

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Spartan - Flash Giveaway & Discount Code

One of the best races I've done was the Spartan at Fenway.  This race and course challenged me in ways I could never imagine.  But when all was said and done, I felt badass.  I would LOVE to do another Spartan.  And I will, just not this year.    

But, for those of you, I have one excellent deal for you!

That's right!  Up to $40 on your next (or first) Spartan race.  Use the code MEMORIAL good through 5/27/15.  The code will only work one time for any open heat (non-confirmed start time) Spartan Race in the continental US.  

But today - I have a FLASH Giveaway today for free entry to any US Spartan race.  Comment below with which Spartan race you would like to do.  Entries will close tonight 5/24/15.  I will announce the winner tomorrow morning.  Good luck!!!  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Thankful Tuesday

Life seriously got a bit overwhelming the past couple of weeks, and sadly the blogging had to take a little break.  National Board exam, National Board portfolio, and Praxis II Mathematics.  I know how to pile it on and pile it on to monumental craziness.  

Crazy?  Yes.  Add that to training for 2 marathons, taper crazies, Tucker in soccer and track, Izzy and her dance recital.  I'm in need of a HUGE break.  Today actually felt a little boring only having to get Tucker from track.  

I have a lot in store for you...a couple of giveaways and my recap of Maine Coast Marathon.  Trust me.  They are coming.  Stay tuned!  

But let me get this off my chest!  I was a special education teacher for over 14 years.  I've proctored many standardized tests.  Sadly, yesterday I experienced the worst testing experience ever.  I went to a local community college to take the Praxis II for my teaching certification (meaning - I have to pass this test).  I've been studying for this test forever and I seriously knew my stuff (aside from a few calculus problems).  When I arrived at the testing center, immediately I felt the building begin to shake and the testing proctor said "oh great, they brought in the rumblers today"...I turned around and looked out the window and right outside the window was a construction scene... lots of activity, lots of noise (beeping, buzzing, slamming, you name it) and the building was shaking.  Oh awesome.  The lady walked me into the room where I was to take my test.  Of course she walked me over to the computer directly in front of the window (with the great visual distraction of a crane lifting heavy things over and over again).  I mentioned the distraction and she offered me headphones.  The noise was not the major distraction!  So...I sat through 2.5 hours of a test....struggled to stay focused and never finished the damn test.  I still had a few questions left when time was up.   (Also - I had to use the bathroom during this test and the proctor didn't know how to pause my I lost time there too).  For such a highstakes test, the testing atmosphere sucked.  Needless to say, after I wiped away my tears, I was on the phone to Praxis letting them know the situation and requesting a retake (at their cost).  I still haven't heard back from them.  Ugh.  Fingers crossed they respond tomorrow - or I'll be calling again!   Okay, vent over!!!!  I like to keep my blog positive - but real as well.   

After Maine Coast Marathon, I took my week off from running.  I just returned to running on Sunday and it feels incredible.  No tired legs.  Not a lot of speed, but that will come back.  I hope!!!  Just getting outside and running feels incredible!  

My running this week - 4 miles on Sunday and 4 miles on Monday.  I took today off and did some yoga and strength.  I'm participating in the Instagram challenge #loveyourhips by @brittanysuel and @lora_hogan.  It's been a ton of fun and I love yoga challenges!  

The rest of the week will be some low miles before I start to do some hill work need week!  Time to gear up for Mount Washington Road Race!  Gulp!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Move It Monday #TaperCrazies

Did somebody tell me running marathons 3 weeks apart was a good idea?  Right now I've got the serious taper crazies!!!

You see, the husband is the more experienced marathoner in the house.  2 times he had a rather unsuccessful Boston Marathon and then has gone on to run Sugarloaf and has gotten PR's.    So when he gives me advice about what to do between marathons, I listen.  I'm not happy about it, but I am listening.   He is forcing me to let my body completely recover from Boston, where it took an absolute beating.  It hurt worse after that marathon than any other marathon I've done.  And he knew it.  I do like a voice of reason.  Sometimes.

I am love with these socks!  I am seriously thinking about wearing them Sunday!  

Because I was so achy last week, I decided to see a Sports Doctor/Physical Therapist.  I felt my Plantar Fasciitis rearing it's ugly head and my butt muscle pull was angry too.  In addition to a tight calf.  I thought I was falling apart.  I know I'm not, but I thought I was!  Dr. Pickle gave me great advice with stretching - some stretches I've never done before for the butt muscle pull - which he said is really a sciatic issue and reminded me to roll my feet on ice.  Then he tried dry needling on my calf.  I've never tried anything like this before - but I'm definitely sold.  Within minutes, my tight calf was feeling normal again!  Dry needling is the absolute best.  I need to get back to see him again post marathon so I can recover for Mount Washington!  

I think I'll wear my black visor this time?  

Yesterday I was planning on going out for 6 miles.  Not because I had to, but because I wanted to.  "Coach" said no.  So, I grabbed my things and said I was going to yoga instead - because if I stayed at home, I was probably going to lose it.

lots of chilling with this girl in my new Freeport Yoga tank!

Thankfully I love yoga and thankfully Freeport Yoga had a morning session of Yin Yoga.  It all worked out.  I gave my body a great chance to do some deep stretching and it felt amazing.   I do plan on getting in some miles this week.  "Coach" said it's okay.

And thank goodness Mallie is cute, that is all I have to say about her right now!
Naughty puppy and taper crazies do not mix well!

We will see this recovery/taper/non-running thing works out for me on Sunday!   I know all of the training came before Boston.  But my head is completely messing with me.  I am feeling like I've gained 20 pounds and I feel like I am no where near ready.  Not to mention, the weather is playing games with me to.  One minute the forecast is 60s and rain, then it's 68 and hot, then its 65 and thunderstorms.  I need to stop looking at the forecast.  I know it.  But I won't.  Why do I do this to myself?

So, dear people in my life, I am sorry.  I have a case of the taper crazies.  I will do my best to keep my cool.  At least I'll try!