Monday, January 25, 2016

Why You Should Try Snow Shoe Running

Snow shoe races have intrigued me for a long time.   And I'm ready to take the plunge and actually do a race this March.  Insert nervous laugh.  

Living in Maine, there are times that we are completely overwhelmed with snow when it seems like the only option is to strap on the snow shoes and get out there.  Plus, I'm super blessed to have fields that give me a 1/3 of mile loop...where I can strap on my snow shoes and run around my fields while the kids play outside and the dogs chase me around on the trail.  

I love my Buff USA - keeps my head and ears toasty warm!

For some reason, Winter Storm Jonas took a turn and decided to hit the central East Coast States...and we lucked out on the snow dumping. However, I am positive we'll get our turn and have a big ass storm come our way and give us more snow than I really want...but I'll take in all in stride and strap on my beloved snow shoes from LL Bean and head out for a snow shoe run.  

I will add that I'm not one of those hardcore, I'm running outside in all weather types of girls.  Nope.  I love the treadmill too.  But that's another post.  Today's all about why Snow Shoe Running is awesome and why you should do it!  

1.  Raise that Heart Rate! 

Last week when I went out for my first snow shoe run of the season, I brought along my newest Polar RCX5 watch with heart rate monitor.  I knew I was pushing it on the run but didn't realize how much I was pushing it until I came inside and checked out the stats on my watch.  

Woah!  I seriously maxed out there!  Seriously, pushing yourself through the snow like that makes running on the bare pavement seem so easy.  Kinda like running on a beach, but harder.  WAY harder.  And seriously rewarding.  

2.  Embrace the Weather

New snow fall have you missing running?  Your favorite running route is covered and it's hard to get there?   No sweat!  Strap on some snow shoes and just get out there.  With snow shoes, you can make your own path.  You don't have to be sad that your favorite path hasn't been plowed.   

Thermal Spandits, Altra Olympus 2.0, ProCompression socks, and
LL Bean Snow Shoes for the win!

If you are making your own path like I do, be prepared.  The first two loops are a lot slower as you are creating a trail and packing down some fluffy white stuff.  And be prepared for some high drifting that may lead you into hip height (or deeper) snow drifts.  Your pace will be slow for sure, but your heart will be pumping and working hard.  

3.  Fancy Gear Not Required!

Just like road running, you don't have to invest in a ton of fancy gear for snow shoe running. You do not have to get fancy running snow shoes.  What I've done is wear my kids 19 in (lighter and narrower snow shoes) mostly because it's what we have and they aren't too heavy on the feet.  If I get serious about snow shoe running I might invest in some more expensive running types, but until then, I'm perfectly happy with my kids snow shoes.  

If you live in a cold(ish) climate, then you already have hats, buffs, mittens, warmer running bottoms, and jackets.  So you're all set there!  I do notice that I heat up much faster with snow shoe running, so I prefer a buff that I wear as a big headband to keep my ears warm but doesn't cover my head and allows to release some body heat!  Buff USA has great buffs to choose from with fun and fabulous prints.  Or you can choose from one of their hats if you prefer.  

4.  It's FUN!  

It's always fun to try something new and different.  It's also fun to prove to yourself how badass you are.   You can bring the kids along or the dogs along too.  How about that for family fun time?  

I know the dogs absolutely love running through the field with me!  

Have you tried snow shoe running before? 
 If not, now is the time.  Well, if you have snow of course!  

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Running to Lose Weight

When I first starting running, the weight seriously poured off me.   I loved seeing those pounds melt away..which in turn made me love running even more.  

For a long time after that, I found I could eat just about anything and not gain a single pound.  I'm not going to lie to you.  It was glorious.  However, times have changed.  My body has changed.  And so has my weight.  

I went from 130 to 145 in a year with super slow running times.   Gasp! I know.  Some people would be ecstatic with 145.  Trust me.  I used to be so happy in the 140-150's.  Nothing wrong with 145.  Nothing at all.  But then I got a taste of what it felt like to be in the 130's and I didn't want to go back.  Silly.  I know.  

My weight has been all over the place lately.  I've been feeling frustrated with it so when I received an email asking me to review Runner's World: Running to Lose Weight.  I thought it made complete sense to get this book and see what is all about.  

First of all.  I seriously love the chapters and the layout of the book.  The authors, Jennifer Van Allen and Pamela Nisevich Bede, compiled all of the information you can think of and put it in one place.  

I'm not going to share ALL of the chapters with you... but here's a quick snapshot so you can get excited.   

The book begins with a quiz, that trust me.  It will take some time to complete.  But don't skip over it.  It will stop you and make you think about you.  Your weight.  Your body.  Your health.  Your goals.  It will help you focus on what you need to focus on.  

Some of the questions include: 
* How many hours a day do you sit?  
* Have you, or you, currently eliminating any entire food groups....
* What diets have your tried?
* Do you keep a training journal?

There are 50 of these questions.  So be prepared to really think.  I would write your responses down on a separate piece of paper so you can revisit your answers as you progress toward toward your goal.    

What do I like the most about this book?  I like that it's a fabulous reference tool.  Lately I've been experiencing GI distress (thank goodness for treadmill runs and indoor plumbing!!!).  So, what do I do?  I flip to the GI distress section of the book.  Yeah, that section is in here.  

Wondering what kinds of foods you should eat for certain types of workouts?  Yeah, the fabulous authors added that in there to.  This is a book every runner needs.... we all go through phases of weight loss, weight gain.  If you're gaining and to sure why and might want some additional resources to help you out...then GET THIS BOOK!  

Monday, January 18, 2016

Time to Change it UP with #ChangeAMeal

Some people are all about New Year's Resolutions.  I think they fail for a wait until January 1st, try it for a few do see the immediate results...and you give up.  I know.  I've done that before!  It's a vicious cycle.

What works for me is...

My change is #ChangeAMeal.  I'm switching out my lunch for a smoothie.  Every damn day.   I am shifting my focus on food as comfort, or boredom buster.... is gone.  Far gone.  I'm shifting my habits to thinking of food as fuel.   Confession time, I've been practicing this since August, and it works!

Smoothie King is encouraging YOU to Change-A-Meal with one of their 20 Meal Replacement Smoothies (click here for the list of delicious smoothies!)- all of them with the goal of helping you reach your goal of being a healthier person.

My first trip to Smoothie King was a couple of weeks ago when we were in Boston for Tucker's surgery.  I wanted a healthy lunch, so while Tucker was in surgery, we power-walked to the nearest Smoothie King, and I enjoyed a super delicious Vegan Mango Kale smoothie while Ward enjoyed an Original High Protein Chocolate.  

Smoothie King has an on-going contest right now, you can enter the #ChangeAMeal Photo Challenge  on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.  Head on over to Smoothie King to share your goal and enter to

The contest is going on now until the end of March. Time to start taking those #ChangeAMeal selfies!

Weight loss is dependent on each individual's needs and is based on a low-calorie diet combined with an exercise program.  Consult your physician before beginning any diet program.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Cherish The Moments

Forgive me for getting all sappy on you.  I love my kids and will move heaven and earth for them.  With our cancer scare with our older son, it's really shaken me up and I've been wanting to spend more and more time with my kids.  I don't care what we're doing.  If we're cuddling on the couch, shopping at Target, reading a book, taking a walk in the snow.  Just as long as we're together and smiling.  That's all what matters.  

I was sent the Scala Slouchy Beret to review.  When it came, Izzy immediately looked at me with her gorgeous hazel eyes and asked if she could have the hat.  Of course, I melted and said yes.  And she looks so much cuter in it than I do anyway.

She loves it and wears it just about overtime we go shopping or for a walk because it's her "fancy hat".  Isn't that so cute?  I love the way it looks on her and matches just about everything she owns.

This little girl has taught me so much about love.  She has a big heart and loves with all of her heart.  Her smile and laugher is contagious.  I want to keep her little forever.

Disclosure: I was sent the Scala Slouchy Knit Beret to review.  I was not required to post a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own and of course, in this case, Izzy's.  

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 in Review in Pictures

I'm a little late to the 2015 recap party.  This past week was a little crazy in my household with a quick trip to Boston for my oldest to have surgery.  Now that we're home and he's resting and recovering, I can focus on the blog again.

Let's see.  In 2015, I ran.....
3 Marathons
Boston Marathon.  

Maine Coast Marathon.

Philadelphia Marathon.  

3 Half Marathons.
Race The Runways.

Maine Half Marathon.  

Runners World.  

I ran Mt. Washington!  

and while I was at it, I conquered my fear of heights! 

I completed my first tri!

I went to the Runners World Festival and ran the Grand Slam!  
(see half marathon above) 

the 5k

the 10k

and the trail 

and while I was there, I got to hang out with Bart! 

And got to meet Deena!  

I went to my first runner's retreat.... 

 I ran the LL Bean 10k
and got to meet Lisa, Kara, and Karen

And Beach to Beacon 10k

The Midwinter Classic 10 miler....
with Carrie... in Spandits and ProCompression.  
(and I wouldn't have it any other way)

And I even logged some miles with this guy.....  

All in all... I logged 1718 miles. 
 Up from last year's 1675 miles.  

I'm looking forward to 2016...and where it's going to take me!  
Happy New Year's Everyone!