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Monthly Archives: December 2012

My Spoils – I was totally SPOILED!

I hope your Christmas was as fitness fruitful as mine!  Check it out… (and there are a few missing items here waiting to be washed!)

Totally Spoiled on Christmas!

Totally Spoiled on Christmas!

I got just a few of my favorite things! haha! Cute two toned  Under Armour hoodie there on the right!

New Nike cold weather gear.  My 3 year old picked out not one, but two American flag water bottles for me, and my daughter chose the foam roller!

New Nike cold weather gear. My 3 year old picked out not one, but two American flag water bottles for me, and my daughter chose the foam roller!


New Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s!  Some Gu Chomps, and a massage ball!

New Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s! Some Gu Chomps, and a massage ball!

My mother in law mentioned that she ordered the Mizunos online and had them 2 days later – impressive!  Can’t wait to try them out in all the snow!
I do enjoy the Gu chomps on the long runs; apparently many people foresee some long runs in my future!
The massage ball will take the place of my tennis ball. LOL  Wonder if I can talk the kids into using it on my back?

Nike cold weather shirt, more Experia socks, and new Jay Bird headphones!

Nike cold weather shirt, more Experia socks, and new Jay Bird headphones!

Notice the thumb holes in the shirt?  LOVE!  Experia socks with Thorlo technology are my favorite… this might make 7 pairs now for me. :)  And the Jay Bird wireless ear buds are replacements for the ones I received last Christmas!  Let’s just say I let my 8 year old borrow them during a car trip… when I found them again they needed some duct tape and wouldn’t stay in my ears anymore.  Glad to have a new pair!  I absolutely love having no wires to deal with when I run!

Do you spy the Piece de Resistance? New Oakleys?! Heck ya!

Do you spy the Piece de Resistance? New Oakleys?! Heck ya!

So spoiled with some new Polarized Oakley sunglasses!!!
And Santa put a few items in my stocking like this foot cream, some chapstick, and anti chafing lotion.

And like I said, a few items are missing from here!  Some Nike workout pants, an mpg sports jacket, and some Under Armour head bands!  I’ll get a picture soon!

I certainly appreciate everyone getting me some useful and awesome fitness gear!!!  (I know, I’m totally spoiled!)




I Survived the End of the World…

Oh wait, so did you or you wouldn’t be reading this!

First, I’ll tell you about the race.  Second, I’ll tell you how we made it work with our big family!  Why do I feel the need to explain how we make it work?  To encourage you to get your whole family active as well of course!

Race day was a chilly one (I think about 32*?), but thankfully a sunny one.  The race started at 11 am so we got there around 10:30.  We picked up our bibs and unfortunately 2 bibs were not only missing but they didn’t have one of my girl’s or my brother’s name on their list.  I had sent in all 6 registrations at the same time and paid with one check.  They gave my daughter a bib no problem.  However my brother came into the cafeteria a little later, didn’t realize I had paid for him and hence paid again.  Since the race was by donation only and they were selling long sleeved shirts for $10 I asked if he could have a shirt since we paid twice for him and was told no.  Didn’t love this part of the experience.  But again, it’s a small town race with I think only 150 participants so we let it go.

The race started just a few minutes past 11 am and after about 20 steps out of the parking lot we turned right and faced a hill smack dab in the face!  And let me tell you, this hill didn’t let up for 1.25 mile!  I knew it was a loop so I kept telling myself I’d get to go down the hill soon enough.  There was a water stop at mile 2 and shortly after that I needed to take off my headband and mittens.  I handed it to a young girl standing at a corner telling the runners which way to turn.  She didn’t say a word to me, just took my stuff and smiled at me.  I asked her if she could just bring it back to the cafeteria and I’d find it.  Lucky for me this cute girl found me later in the caf!  I thanked her profusely, gave her a hug, and she still just smiled.  Too cute.

Well, back to the course… there were two more small hills in the middle of the course and then we had this great downhill!  What took me 9:20 to run up took me 7:30 to run down!  I pushed it and that is evident in my heart rate!  Even though I was going downhill my heart rate was still high!  I finished under my 35 minute goal (which I changed to 36 minutes when I was told the course was very hilly) at 34:28 (and my Garmin told me I had run 3.97 miles).  So I was thrilled!  My brother and husband did awesome as well!

Course Profile

Course Profile

Heart Rate profile.  Notice my HR went down with the first downhill, but then stayed high during the long downhill at the end!

Heart Rate profile. Notice my HR went down with the first downhill, but then stayed high during the long downhill at the end!  I was giving it my all to beat 35 minutes!


So, while we ran the four miler, the kids did the one miler.  Well, I have to say I was disappointed that my oldest ended up walking the whole thing.  She complained her knees hurt.  I think she was just worried she wasn’t going to run it as well as she had said multiple times she wanted to (under 10 minutes) do so, so made an excuse and walked.  But, oh well.  At least she participated.  My 5 year old walked only about 30 seconds and my daughter decided to run with her brother and our sitter instead of running ahead of all of them like we know she can!  They all have another one miler coming up on 1/1 and I’ll run it with them this time!

Quite the group shot! LOL

Quite the group shot! LOL

I wish I had taken a picture of the spread at the end of the race!  They certainly did it up right!  Bananas, orange slices, kiwi halves (yum!  I wish more races had kiwis at the end!), granola bars of all kinds, chocolate cake, red velvet cake, cookies, and plenty of water! They also gave every participant a free raffle ticket and had oodles and oodles of prizes that they gave away.  Here’s what we walked away with!  The kids were thrilled to get so many rubber ducks! lol

Lots of prizes given away!

Lots of prizes given away!

So, all in all it was a fun, small town race with a few glitches.  The race wasn’t done by chip and the course was just shy of the 4 miles, but it had a great vibe with lots of fun people.  Apparently this school does other races using this same 4 mile course.  I think we would do it again if it fit our schedule!  Actually, I think there’s one on February 3rd but we have a lot going on that day already so we won’t be there.

My husband found this small town 4 mile race with a witty name “I Survived the End of the World 4 miler” and because it also had a one mile fun run we worked hard to make this race work for our family.  My brother was coming up for Christmas and so of course I asked him to run it with us and of course he said yes.  What made it a little tricky was they ran the two races (four miler and one miler) simultaneously.  So if we both wanted to run the race we needed to find someone to run the one miler with the older kids.  Lucky for us our long term babysitter was home from college and willingly said yes to running with them.  Then we needed to find someone to watch the youngest child and my dad’s wife immediately said yes to hanging out with him. Turns out my dad hung out too!  So the kids had a blast hanging out with Grampa, Grammie, and our great sitter!

I certainly appreciate the efforts of the school to coordinate this race and of course the efforts of our family and sitter to run with/ watch the kids for us to be able to run!

Lots of good gear here!

Lots of good gear here!

Latest Motivating Song

So yesterdayI wrote about music possibly helping me to run faster without feeling like I’m exerting any more energy.  So I thought I’d share the song that sticks in my head these days.

It’s funny – even though I ran without music recently,this one song kept replaying in my head.  It’s one of those songs I can listen to 10 times a day and it STILL makes me want to move!

And the song is?  ”Feel This Moment” by Pitbull and Christina Aguilera.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!!!

Not only is the beat catchy and makes me want to run faster, or climb a really heavy hill in SPIN class but the lyrics are motivating and reminds me over and over again to just “Feel This Moment” that I’m in and not worry about anything in the past or where I need to be after my workout – JUST FEEL THE WORKOUT!!!

Click here to listen to  "Feel This Moment" by Pitbull and Christina Aguilera!

Click here to listen to “Feel This Moment” by Pitbull and Christina Aguilera!


(side note: Please tell me that’s not the real video for that song? Hmmm….)

For those who like to know the BPM of the song it’s 136 BPM which for my SPIN class translates to 68 RPM when pedaling on the downbeat.  (Not sure what I mean?  Read this post where I explain how to use BPM for your SPIN class!)

Hope you love the song and it motivates you to run faster, pedal stronger, lift heavier, whatever it is you do!  ENJOY!!!

And appreciate how music can be a wonderful motivator!

What I Love About Six Year Olds…

I have been crying off and on since Friday in the wake of the Newtown, CT tragedy as I’m sure most of you have as well.  On various news sites, Facebook, blogs, etc I have seen many people start their expressions of sadness with:

  •  ”As a mom…”
  • “As a grandmother…”
  • “As a teacher…”
  • “As a father…”
  • “As a sister to a __…”
  • “As the daughter/son of a teacher….”

The list goes on… but one thing remains… we can all, in some way, feel extreme grief related to this horrific tragedy.

If I were to post my sentiments somewhere online I would start my expression of shock, disbelief, grief, and sadness  with “As a mom of four children ages 9, 8, 5, and 3…” but even that doesn’t feel quite right.  It wasn’t until I read this blog post by Jen, a Cleveland housewife, that I feel like I understand more fully my grief even without knowing any of the victims directly.  In Jen’s words: “…we do, indeed, know what six looks like. We do see it every day. In all its glory. We see the good, the bad, and the ugly. The beautiful and the infuriating. It’s in our face. We live it and breathe it.”

I encourage you to read her very well written post.  Everyone should remember how truly amazing human beings 6 year olds are… because as Dr Seuss said “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

Music as Motivation?

Do you enjoy running to music?  Or are you one who enjoys the music of nature, the streets, the neighborhoods, etc?  There are many runners out there who feel passionate one way or the other.  I have always loved music and definitely turn to it as motivation n many areas… how much better is it to clean the house and fold laundry to your favorite music versus silence or the kids TV shows??   But there is something about leaving everything behind and just running and listening to the sounds around you.  Those sounds can be a large part of your running experience.  And of course running sans music is on many levels safer for you as a runner.  You can hear dogs barking, cars coming, and even another person running behind you.  Let’s just leave those scenarios stop there… no need to go into what could happen within each of those circumstances.

I guess I would say I certainly enjoy a music filled run versus a no music run.  I wanted to see if having the music affected my performance.  So the last two Tuesday mornings I have opted to run without music.  Ya, I know – it’s just two runs and I don’t have certain fixed variables set up (i.e. amount of sleep the night before, same nutrition the day before, consistent weather conditions, etc.) but hey, it was just a little test for my own knowledge!

I did run the same route all three times.  A nice 4 mile route that starts and ends at my home.  And I headed up at about the same time in the morning for both runs without music.  I wore the same sneakers, my Mizuno Nirvanas for all three runs!

So here’s the first run without music:

12/4/12 run

12/4/12 run splits

And the second run without music:

12/11/12 run splits

12/11/12 run splits

As you can see they’re pretty similar.  Only a couple of seconds off variance in each mile.  I didn’t have my heart rate strap on for the first run, but did for this one…

Heart Rate Info for 12/11/12

Heart Rate Info for 12/11/12

Now here is the same run WITH MUSIC:

12/13/12 run splits

12/13/12 run splits

Um, hello?  Do you see that not ONE of those miles is above 9:00?!?!  I honestly don’t think that’s ever happened before.  I should add that the time of this run was not early, early morning rather it was about 11:00 am that morning.  And check out my heart rate:

HR 12.13.12 runIt’s certainly a few beats higher for most of the run and I like the consistency of it much better.

So, it makes sense that the faster you run the higher your heart rate.  But honestly I didn’t feel like I was exerting any more energy during this run than those without music.  I have always said I think I run better with music in my ears because then I don’t hear my breathing.  When I hear my “heavy” breathing I believe my subconscious kicks in and slows me down a bit because it “sounds” like I’m working too hard.  In actuality, that heavy breathing isn’t that heavy!

So, that is my little tiny experiment in a nutshell.

So tell me, do you run better with music?  Or do you think my experience was a coincidence?

A Great Run WITH Music

A Great Run WITH Music

My NEW Mizunos!

So, back on November 16th I was SUPER LUCKY to win a pair of Mizuno running shoes from RunMommaRun on Facebook. (I posted about how/why I won them here.)  I was super excited and had lots and lots of shoes to choose from… except the Wave Inspire 9s which happen to be on my Christmas list.  LOL  But ya know what?  That’s OKAY because now I’ll have 2 pairs of awesome Mizunos, provided Christmas yields the new sneakers for me!  No, I didn’t take the Wave Inspire 9s off my list because I still really want them!  Can one ever have enough shoes?

So, what did I choose for my freebies?  After MUCH research on the web and a few tweets to @SethMizuno I decided upon the Nirvanas.  One great resource is known as the “Mizuno Shoe Guy.”  I wonder who this is?  Is it really one guy?  Or maybe a woman answers the questions too?  Or maybe lots and lots of people! LOL No matter who it is, there’s a ton of info!  I was able to find out the sizing information I needed fairly easily.  I know I overpronate slightly.  I completely killed two pairs of Mizuno Wave Inspire 7s in the past (LOVE THEM!) but the 8s weren’t comfortable at all.  So the quest was on to find another great pair.

The Nirvana 8s looked like my next best (or maybe even better?!?!) option to the Wave Inspire 9s.  The color option was easy – they only had one choice for me!  LOL  But check them out in the pink/gray too – super cute!

I was BEYOND THRILLED when they showed up on my front porch last week!  I think the UPS driver (Pam) thought she was cute too when she left them under a small little Christmas tree we have by the front door!  LOL  It really was like getting an early Christmas gift!

Mizunos under the tree for me!


Of course it took all of about 3 seconds for me to take them out of the box and put them right on!

They felt great right out of the box!

So initially, I thought ‘uh oh’ because they were a little tight on the outer side of my right foot.  But literally within a minute of walking around the house with them that was feeling was GONE!  I wore them around the house for a while that day and didn’t want to take them off!  So at this point I knew if they didn’t turn out to be great for running they’d certainly be great for every day use.  Unfortunately that day I didn’t get to run.  (booo!)  I taught a HIIT class that night but wasn’t sure I should wear these, so I didn’t.

But the next day I had my Group Personal Training and we always run laps in between exercises so I put them right on!  They were AWESOME!  I know running sneakers aren’t made for lateral support but they performed well and I was psyched.  They went right into my suitcase as I headed for Florida that night.

Lucky me, I was able to wear my new Mizuno Nirvana 8s here for an easy 4 mile out and back run with a friend.

a Brilliant Run in the Sun!

And the next day we went for a bike ride to a nearby park, walked around the entire park, and cycled back home.  Although I didn’t get a picture of the shoes on this adventure I did snap a photo of this gator in the park!!

I spy with my little eye… a Gator in the Park! (see him sunning himself in the middle there?)

So, thank you Mizuno running for your Mezamashii project and giving everyone their Brilliant Run!  I’m looking forward to some runs this week in them for sure!  And thank you RunMommaRun for hosting the giveaway!

I appreciate a great company with not only a great product but a great spirit.

Santa Shuffle…literally

This past Saturday was a nice treat for the training schedule.

Before I jump to the Santa Shuffle I just want to quickly mention the Toys for Tots SPIN(R) class I helped coach in the morning.  First off, LOVED it!  It’s such a fun tradition my Club does each year.  We host a 2 hour SPIN ride and members must sign up for it ahead of time.  Instructors have 1/2 hour “shifts” so the members are able to ride with 4 different instructors and in between coaching and riding ourselves we get to “wait” on them!  The club provides bananas, oranges, and water, so we walk around with a tray offering these bits of nutrition to the members as they ride!  I prefer to refill water bottles (less waste!) instead of handout new plastic ones so I tried to do that for everyone at least once as well.  All the members need to do is bring an unwrapped toy that the Club then donates to Toys for Tots.  Following the 2 hour ride members can participate in a 1 hour Strength class and a 1 hour Zumba class!  Again, with a different instructor every half hour!  I wasn’t able to stay much past the second shift of SPIN (I was the opener at 7:30 am!) but I’m sure the studio was PACKED!  Always a great time… kind of wish every ride had the energy of the Toys for Tots ride!!

So… jumping ahead to the Santa Shuffle…

I was able to take 3 of my 4 kiddos to the shuffle (one had indoor soccer).  Unfortunately, due to the weather (slippery roads with a little snow and slush still on them and 26*!) the kids fun run was short, like very short.  Like so short my 9 year old was upset. (Inside, I was beaming that she was upset and begging me to let her do the 3 miles with me!)  She hasn’t run over 1.17 miles thus far so I wasn’t going to let her attempt 3 miles with me just yet.  But they looked cute wearing their Santa hats and shuffling down the street – for about 10 seconds.  haha.

Waiting to run…

My 2nd oldest in white hat. Youngest at end… his shirt reads: Santa, I can explain… Ya. Sometimes he needs that shirt. ;)

The 3 mile course was so easy.  Nice and flat, out and back.  What made it so fun?  My running besties of course!  We all agreed ahead of time that we would literally “shuffle” during this race.  (Personally, I really wanted this as I coached a Race Day SPIN ride the day before and had taught the Toys for Tots ride that morning and have some pain in my leg leftover from last Sunday.)  And since we all agreed easily to shuffle along it was nice.  I got to chat with the ladies and catch up on their next running goals (NYC for Daisy in 2013?!  Fingers crossed!  NYC half for Amy in 2013?!  Gotta love the lottery system!) and just kind of mentally check out from the ‘run’ and enjoy the ‘run’ with each other.  It’s not often you actually run alongside your running friends so this was just perfect! (I actually haven’t run this pace for a loooong time and it felt a little too good!  LOL)

Here we are before and after… (Aren’t our Sweaty Bands cute?!?!)

Honest. We did just run 3 miles.

Not every day your name is listed near your running pals in the results!

On a side note, one of our girls from Van 2 Reach the Beach this year couldn’t make the shuffle but her son (also our van mate!) Lucas did.  Although we didn’t see him at this race he certainly KILLED IT! You go girl!!!  (LOL – Ya – if you’re the only guy in a Van full of women for 32 hours you become one of the “girls”!)

Awesome job Lucas!

So the moms reading this are probably wondering where my kids went while I shuffled along… shout out to my dad’s wife Eileen!  She braved the cold and three kiddos so I could have some fun with the girls.  THANK YOU!!! (Sometimes, we moms don’t like to ask for help.  Trust me, it’s okay to ask.  The “worst” that can happen is no one is available to help out and then you’ve just gained more time with the kids.  Either way is okay!  Just ask!)

Random cute dog – my daughter took the picture!

This race is one in the Millennium Running series.  They really do a GREAT job with their races!  We have participated in almost all their races at some point in time.  They are well organized, have great offerings after each race (even free massages after this 3 miler!), and have a fun atmosphere.  At this one there was water, Powerade, Portland Pie pizza (yum!), bananas, Stonyfield yogurt, and probably more I didn’t see!  The next one is the Millennium Mile on New Year’s Day.  Check it out!  Maybe we’ll see you there!

I appreciate working at a Club that hosts such fun events and the high energy the members brought to SPIN that morning at 7:30 am.  I also appreciate a fun run with great running friends!!  And I appreciate family helping out so everyone can be involved!

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