Friday, February 26, 2016

High 5 Friday!

Friday is HERE!  One day closer to my big 39 and gulp, my last year in this age group.  I better make the best of it!   

This week has flown right by.  Just like that.  I'm okay with that.  That means getting closer to spring faster...and then summer.  Of course this week we only had school 4 days.  Monday and Tuesday --- snowday Wednesday, then Thursday and Friday.  A week broken up like that is absolutely perfect.  

What do I have to HIGH FIVE for today?  


I'm focused and more determined than ever to build my strength.  Nightly strength sessions are paying off and I'm feeling stronger and happier.  


Tucker has been healing SO well.  He's starting to rebuild his cardio fitness.  It's taking time, but he's been amazing.  I'm so proud of him!  


I'm definitely getting my family to LOVE Altra's just as much as I do.  My brother-in-law was already a fan.  Now my husband is falling in love too.  Love is an amazing thing.  


My speed workouts are coming along quite nicely.  I'm using my speed workouts from Running Mom's and they are amazing!  I took advantage of the snowday and got in an 8 mile interval session.  1 mile warm up, then 5 min hard, 1 min recovery and repeat until cooldown.  I aimed at my "hard" being a 7:30 pace.  My ProCompression socks, Altra One2.5s, SOS Rehydrate, Momentum Jewelry and Spandits definitely pulled me through this run! And the help of a great treadmill at the best gym in town.  Of course.  


I'm a super happy mamma right now.  My mini-me and I went to yogalates last night as twinsies in our newest thermal Spandits.  She was an absolute natural and I loved having her at class!  

Link up with Happy Fit Mama's High 5 today!  

Monday, February 22, 2016

Motivation Monday & Goal Setting

What gets you moving?  Does the drive to workout pull you out of bed in the morning?  Do you have someone that motivates you?  For me, I'm driven to lead a healthy lifestyle for my family.

My mini-me sporting her Spandits and doing wall sits with me

Nothing makes me happier than seeing my kids be active and being active with them.  

getting Tucker to work on his cardio after recovering from his surgeries

I will admit. There are days, when rest is just necessary.  Sometimes that turns into a two or three days.  It's okay.  I tell myself that it's completely okay and it's just my body telling me I need rest.   

family strength training session

Then there are days, when I really just don't want to work out and it's hard to get out there.  I find this especially true after a race, where I just need time off.     

I feel that I am most focused on my workouts when I specific goal in mind.  This morning I was thinking about what my specific goals are for the year.  I know I have outlined my 2016 Race Schedule, which may shift a bit or have some additions.  Because we all know races come up and you just have to do them!  

Philadelphia Marathon 2015 - My PR Marathon Race of 3:54

I like to use SMART goal planning to help with my motivation.  It definitely helps me to focus on where I want to go and how I'm going to get there.  

S - Specific
*PR in the Half Marathon
*PR in the Marathon 

M - Measurable
*I will PR in the Half Marathon with a time of 1:43 or better. 
*I will PR in the Marathon with a time of 3:50 or better.  

A - Action Oriented
*Beginning in February 2016, strength train 3 times/week (this includes core/legs/arms/back).
*Maintain weekly mileage between 35 - 40 miles/week (gradually increasing that mileage)
*Practice yoga at least once a week.
*Focus on race weight. Not starve myself but refocus my food intake and lose that last 5 pounds. EAT CLEAN!
*Speed work and hill work part of weekly training. 


R - Realistic
*My half marathon PR is a 1:44. I have a previous 5K PR of 21:16 and a previous 10K PR of 46:30. I know I have it in me to run a half marathon faster. 
*My marathon PR is 3:54.  I know I gave up around mile 19 of my last marathon and if I had just powered through it, I know I would have performed much better.  

T - Time Bound
*Register for several races in 2016 and use them for tune ups. I plan on running at least 3 half marathons this year: Race The Runways, Rail Trail Half Marathon, and another one this fall. I didn't put a fall one on the list, but I've been considering a few local ones...I just need to make up my mind!
*Run the Clarence DeMar Marathon in September.  This will give me a couple of half marathons as tune ups beforehand and a summer with time to put into my training.

Now it's your turn?  What are your goals for 2016?  

Thursday, February 18, 2016

3 Things Thursday

Why do vacation weeks fly by so fast?  Seriously!  A regular work week tends to drag on and on sometimes.  But a week off is gone in no time!  

Rocking the newest Tumbledown (fleece lined) hat.      Use SPANDITSLOVE for 10% off (and say Jen B sent you).  
Kinda like the snow this winter.  We get a storm.  Then the next day it's 50F and we have this remaining.  I'm seriously not upset by the lack of snow.  

I would prefer for us to have green grass and flowers.... but I won't complain.  
So what have we been up to this week?  Rest.  Every single day during the school week, we're on the go for one thing or another.  Dance.  Gym. Meetings.  Soccer.  So I make it a priority to rest during break.  We definitely need it.  

And by rest, I mean running.  You get my logic.  Right?  No time like the present for an interval session on my favorite treadmill.  Warm up, 5 minutes fast, 2 minutes recovery & repeat 4 times, cool down.  

Equipped with my newest Altra One2.5's, ProCompression socks, custom Spandits shorts, Run All Day tank
and SOS rehydrate in my water bottle.  Perfect workout!

And Spring made my day by adding in an 80s playlist!  Oh yeah!  Sign up for your free trial here.  

Family Workout Sessions.
And now that Tucker is just about recovered, we have him doing nightly strength sessions.  Ward is gone on a business trip, so last night I carried out our strength session and Izzy joined in on the fun.  

planks, squats, toe raises, push ups, bridges... fun times!

And why not?  During a break, you just need to add some color to your hair.  

Purple streaks for the win.  And Izzy received a couple of smaller ones.  

So there you have it!  What have your been up to this week?  

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

2016 Races [finally]

I've been hesitant to put this in writing.  It seems like so many of my running friends started off 2016 with their race plans and calendars for the year, while we entered 2016 nervous as heck facing several surgeries for our son.

Now that things seem to be progressing in terms of recovery, I think I'm ready to start to put together plans for 2016.  

MidWinter Classic.   
I had registered for MidWinter Classic back in November.  This is usually my only race in February, but it's a great one to keep in there!  

I've never done a 15k before.  So, it's an automatic PR, right?   The course is local.  Challenging.   But local.  There will be nothing easy about this race.  But it will be a great challenge.  

What's even better is Terry will be hosting her monthly Yoga for Runners Workshop after the race. Talk about perfect timing!  

I'm getting back to my favorite routine of yoga and running and it's feeling so good.  I practice a bit of yoga here, but it's not the same as going to a class.  

I've sworn off this race so many times.  But I keep going back.  It's not the course.  This one is so flat.  But it's the wind.  This year, the race directors have pushed the date back a couple of weeks - I'm thinking so it might be warmer and more enjoyable?  So, let's see.  


I'm kind of up in the air about May.  But the one race series that keeps coming up is the Pineland Trail Races.  It's an entire weekend with a 5k, Canicross 5k, 10k, 25k and more.  I did the 25k a couple of years ago.  I'm not sure which race I'll do, but I am thinking one of them for sure!  Perhaps the Canicross 5k?  Pepper would love that!!!  


And before you know it, June is here.  Summer is beginning.  Woohoo!   I have it narrowed down to 2 races in June.  My first choice is the Mt. Washington Road Race.  The lottery opens up tomorrow.  I won't know if I'm selected until mid-March.  But it's worth a shot to put my name in.  Right!  

If that doesn't work out, I'll be returning to the Kennebec River Rail Trail Half Marathon.  It's on my favorite running path.  


Of course the LL Bean 10K is on the list.  

Other than that, I'm kind of up in the air.  I'm not doing another tri this year.  I just don't have the time for the training.  I know my limits.  Other races may pop up here.... I'm keeping it open.   


Registration for Beach to Beacon doesn't open up for a couple of weeks.  And I have to have super fast fingers to register, but I'm going to list it here for one of the races I want to do in August.  Even if I don't get in, spectating this race is so much fun!!!  

Plus there are some other great races I've been considering.  Like the Blueberry Cove Half Marathon.  


The marathon for 2016 - Clarence DeMar Marathon!  I've been wanting to do this one for a while now!  I'm so excited already!  I train so much better for a marathon during the summer.  


A favorite 10k of mine is the Great Osprey 10k.  It's usually in November, but this year, it's at the end of October.  A challenging course but tons of fun!  


A new race to the line up, Cousins Island 10 Miler.  I stumbled upon this race after the MidWinter Classic.  It seems like it can be a great run!  


There's normally not a whole lot of racing happening in Maine during this month.  But if something pops up that I want to do, I'll be all over it!!!  Any suggestions?  

What other races are going on in Maine that you are doing?  Any suggestions?  

Friday, February 12, 2016

The benefits of running on a treadmill and some tricks to get you through it

There was a time when I toughed it out and would run outside all winter long, no matter what the weather was like.  Ice pellets in the eyes, slippery conditions, icicles growing on my eyelashes... I've done my time outside and in the dark and I've seriously come to love treadmill running.  

Now, I get it.  Treadmill running takes a certain amount of training.  At first I hated it.  I couldn't wait to finish a mile on that thing.  But over time I've come figure out a few tricks of the trade to get me through and actually enjoy running on the treadmill.  

Escape the elements!  
Now, you do feel quite badass when you finish a run in the driving rain, or a blizzard, or in the pitch dark.  But let's be honest, I don't find it fun to run in the dark or with ice pellets hitting my eyes.  I do like running in the rain....but I'm a little picky about what kind of rain.  A cold, bone chilling rain? No thank you.  On the treadmill, you get to stay warm and dry (except for the sweat) and get in a quality workout!  

I'd rather be sweaty than frozen.  Warm muscles make for a better run anyway.  Now there are ways to avoid getting overly sweaty.  Turn on a fan or two....or open a window.  I know my favorite treadmill at the gym is right beside the window.  When I start getting too hot, I just open the window and continue to enjoy my run!  Just be ready with some ShowerPill wipes when you are done.  You'll need them!  (use my discount code WIPEDOWN for 15%)

Come prepared.
Bring what you need.  The benefit to the treadmill is that you have a place to put your stuff so you have it at hand when you need it and do not have to carry it.  Have your SOS Rehydrate in your water bottle, towel for the sweat, and favorite ear buds.   My iPhone has been key in getting me through lots of running on the treadmill.  

Always have a large stock of SOS!  And if you don't, you better have Amazon Prime so you can get it fast! (I've learned my lesson)

Mpow earbuds and SOS (along with my fave Altras, ProCompression, Spandits, and Run All Day tank)

I have since switched to wireless earbuds (because I kept yanking the cord of my Yurbuds and my phone would go flying).  My friend Seth turned me to Mpow wireless earbuds.  Mine are bit different than his, but I am loving mine!  

I used to always run with music.  But I've gotten a bit more aware of the dangers of running when you cannot hear what's going on around you.  When I run outside, I usually do not listen to music.  Unless I'm in a race.  But when I'm on the treadmill, I like my music loud.  I don't like to listen to my race playlist too much though - because I don't want to be tired of my playlist before the race.  There is a great app call Spring.  

I've only used it on the treadmill so far, but I love how you can choose the steps per minute and music genres.  You can also skip past some songs you aren't in love with, however, you only allowed to skip past 5 songs.  Which I've only done once.  Most of the time I have loved the music played on the app.  

When music isn't cutting it, I have a couple of favorite apps on my phone.  My DirectTv app and HBOtoGo apps.  I love to watch a great cheesy 80's or 90's movie without interruptions.  Movies have gotten me through many, many runs.  

And have some great workouts ready to go.....

The Incline Workout.  
I will be honest, I don't always turn the incline on when I'm on the treadmill.  But I know that my time on the treadmill isn't getting me ready for any races that's for sure...because basically non of them are flat! (well, maybe a small handful)   

When I trained for Mt. Washington Road Race, my best workouts were on the treadmill.  I'm not training for that race (yet), but I'm still turning on the incline!   The pace varies with this workout.   If I'm training for a 5k or 10k, I increase the pace of this workout closer to a 10k pace.  For the most part, I keep this workout at my marathon goal pace (which is 7.0 speed/ 8:34 pace).  

Ladder Workout.  
This workout can be any distance you want it to be.  Just make the adjustments.  It's a favorite of mine for sure.   I have found that it's best to do an odd number of miles to make a "perfect" ladder.  But even numbers work as well.  You just have to be flexible with it.  

Depending on my goals and distance, I may up the pace or make the pace increases smaller.  But you get the idea.  Start off at a comfortable pace and increase it.  Get to a plateau, then work yourself backwards!  It's easy to modify to meet you needs.  

Now.  What are your tricks of the trade for treadmill running?  What workouts do you enjoy most?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

#WelcomeToWinning A Reason to Celebrate Everyday!

If you couldn't tell by now, I'm not a person who dwells on the negative.  What's the point?  I just don't get it.    There is so much to be grateful for.

Tucker is healthy.  He's making a full recovery from the surgeries and his skin graft has taken quite well.  We still have appointments, but we're feeling rather good about not having to put him through any more surgeries.  

no big surgery reveals.... he's still healing!   

Isabella is 7!  She's a sweet and caring young lady, who loves to dance and create art.  

I've been married to my best friend for nearly 15 years.    

Everyday is a great day to share the celebration of life and celebrate #WelcomeToWinning with a floral arrangement.  Check out some of the great discounts ProFlowers has here.  

disclosure:  I was sent a bouquet of flowers as part of this campaign.  I was not required to provide a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

#ShareRealFood & Larabar {giveaway}

Someone once told me when you are reading the labels of your food, you should be able to actually read and know what each of the items are in the ingredient list.   With Larabar, I know exactly what the ingredients are because they keep it simple and use Real Food.


Thank goodness for Larabar and all of the delicious choices they make!  Now, I've tried most of the Larabar original bars, the Uber bars and Renola.  I had no idea about the Alt Protein bars and need to get on that pronto!


Check out Larabar's Product lineup:

Larabar Flavors
* Apple Pie
* Banana Bread 
* Blueberry Muffin
* Carrot Cake 
* Cappuccino 
* Cashew Cookie
* Cherry Pie
* Chocolate Chip Brownie
* Chocolate Chip Cherry Torte 
* Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
* Chocolate Coconut Chew
* Coconut Chocolate Chip
* Coconut Cream Pie
* Gingerbread
* Key Lime Pie
* Lemon Bar
* Pineapple Upside Down
* Peanut Butter and Jelly 
* Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
* Peanut Butter Cookie
* Pecan Pie
* Snickerdoodle

Uber Flavors
* Cherry Cobbler
* Coconut Macaroon
* Dark Chocolate Peanut 
* Dark Chocolate Pecan 
* Dark Chocolate Raspberry
* Mixed Roasted Nut

Alt Protein 
(Larabar's protein bar)
* Chocolate Chip Macaroon
* Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter
* Lemon Pound Cake
* Peanut Butter Cookie

(the gluten free, real food seed and nut mix)
* Berry
* Cinnamon Nut
* Cocoa Coconut

I enjoy Larabar anytime of day - morning, afternoon or night.  Snacks at work, pre-workout snacks, snacks on the go.  A quick pick me up in the afternoon.  As you can tell, just about anytime is perfect for a Larabar!

I am quite excited to share with you that Larabar is teaming up with Feeding America to help address the issue of hunger in our country.

"Larabar was founded on the idea that real food should be accessible for all, which is why we are thrilled to help support Feeding America's mission.  Together we will help alleviate hunger and bring awareness to the issue of hunger in the United States."  source

You can help support Larabar and Feeding America's mission by:
1.  Spread the word by sharing #ShareReadFood @larabar posts from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter on your social networks.
2.  Get Connected.  Donate, volunteer, learn more and share the facts.
3.  Post a pic or video and be sure to tag @larabar @feedamerica  to share your experiences on how you #ShareRealFood in your community.

And there's a giveaway folks!  Larabar has offered one lucky Running With The Girls readers a Larabar prize pack (valued at $30).

The details:
* Open to all US residents, age 18 and over
* Contest runs 2/9/16 through 2/16/16.
* Enter through Rafflecopter below.
* Winner will be selected via Rafflecopter and emailed.  Winner will have 24 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

disclosure:    I was provided a sample pack from Larabar due to my affiliation with FitFluential.  This is a sponsored post.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.