Summertime-Unofficially

Well here we are, the unofficial start to summer! I am sitting on my front porch writing this post and it is a hot, sunny, Sunday morning. Funny how last week it was cold and rainy and then in a blink of an eye it is full on summer weather. No complaints on my end. I had a different post planned for today about setbacks, but I decided I was not in the mood to post that. The sun is too bright and summer means happiness to me, so I didn’t want to focus on things like setbacks today. I’ll save that for another day.

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So my baby graduated from pre-school on Friday.

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Yep that’s right he’s a graduate.

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It feels like it was just yesterday we were getting our first day of pre-school picture taken and now we’ve wrapped up the pre-school years.

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I’m sad to see them go but excited for what’s next. Brooks is so ready for kindergarten. He cannot wait to go to the same school as his big brother. Thankfully the kindergarten program is only a half day so he still has another year to sleep in and have the majority of his day free. Naturally, I was super emotional at his ceremony, but I am truly happy for him. I’ve said this mantra before on the blog and I think about it whenever I get upset about what’s ahead “give them wings, give them wings”. So I will continue to repeat that in my head.

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So like I mentioned the heat is already on around here. I’m a warm weather runner. I actually like running in the heat. I mean don’t get me wrong, I would take 60-70 degrees over humid and 80 any day, but I don’t mind the heat. I know there are a lot of people that think otherwise. So how do you beat the heat in the summer while you’re trying to run?

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I think the key is you really have to adjust the time of day you run. I always try to get out in the early morning before the sun has really warmed things up. The evening hours are also a great time to head out. As hot as it was yesterday, around 7:30 a light breeze came through and the sun went down making it ideal for running. You just have to make simple adjustments to accommodate the changes around you. Some other things I do-

Drink plenty of water…goes without saying

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Wear a visor…keeps the sun out of your eyes without adding heat to your head. Also, make sure your sneakers are sized up so that you allow room for swelling and avoid black toenails.

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Wear light airy shorts with a liner. These shorts from Old Navy are my favorite and they are inexpensive. I wear them all the time in the summer.

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Wear sunblock and try tanks with dry-fit material to keep the sweat off of your skin.

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Don’t give up your running because it is hot. Stick with it. Simply adjust your sails. Try a shorter run with some sprints. Maximize your effort over a shorter length of time.

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Follow the sentiment on this shirt! This shirt came yesterday! I love it…aside from being super comfy the sentiment is exactly how I feel about life in general. Check out this website for available items.

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This momentum jewelry motivational wrap is also pretty awesome! I love the bronze and black combination.

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In other happenings…we have the garden planted. The cornfield was finished up yesterday. Now today I just have to add the zinnias around the border.

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I have the pots planted.

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I’m sidelined with a kidney issue again so I am just sticking to walking the dog right now. I’ll talk more about this in the setback post.

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Then finally we’re just enjoying this holiday weekend and remembering and thanking those who have served and are currently serving our Country.

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Celebrate Mom & Life

Happy Mother’s Day to all you special mom’s out there! I love Mother’s Day…what better person to celebrate than MOM…right? I woke up Sunday morning and received my Mother’s Day gift right away, a quiet house and a nice cup of coffee while everyone was asleep. Perfect. Just me and the dog.

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I tried to write a blog post before the craziness of our day began and I was too busy to think about how much being a mom means to me. I did just that but am just getting around to posting it. So while it was quiet, I thought about how these two little boys have changed my world and how absolutely honored I am to be their mom. I read the most touching post by Joanna Gaines on being a mom. You should read it. What she says is so true about loving the stage you’re in with your kids and enjoying them in the now.

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I have a tendency to wish my boys were babies again and Josh is always eager and excited about the next step. I guess it is a good balance. We took the boys to a minor league baseball game last weekend with their little league and it was at this game that I realized how much I love our kids now. Right now exactly how they are. This is the best stage, they are the perfect age. Then I reread something I had written about them a few years ago and they were perfect then and were the best age and we were in the best phase. It is funny how that happens…it is all perspective I guess.

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Every phase will be unique and different and special in its own way and navigating these times is the challenge of motherhood, but I cherish every phase of life with Nolan and Brooks. Being their mom is the most important, most fulfilling role I have ever played and raising good humans has become my purpose. Motherhood is simply the best thing that has ever happened to me and everyday I give thanks for my two little boys. I also give thanks for my own mother and all the mothers I know.  Motherhood has taught me just how much my mom means to me and ever since Nolan was born 8 years ago I have had an entire new appreciation for my mom. There is just no one quite like your mom and no matter how old you get, you always always need your mother. So I’ll wrap up my sap but from the bottom of my heart I hope you all had a very Happy Mother’s Day.

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In other happenings…we have been sprucing things up for Spring…if it ever arrives.

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We logged 150 miles in the month of April!! That is the most mileage I’ve ever logged in a single month. At least that is the most I have ever tracked.

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That will slow down a little this month because I start my new job today! Yes more life changes are happening around here. I am very excited to start this new chapter but it is a little bittersweet because I have gotten to spend so much time with my little Brooks.

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He’s heading off to Kindergarten in the Fall and so this little time I’ve had with him has been awesome. He is anxious to get back into his routine too though so I think this new transition will be good for all of us, but it is still a transition. There are schedules to figure out, meals to plan, school activities to attend…you get the picture.

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We’ll figure it out though and it will be good. I am determined to stay positive and embrace this change. My miles will have to be logged in the early morning hours again, but they will be logged!

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Have an awesome week everyone! Once again cheers to Mom and cheers to new beginnings!

work hard and be kind

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When Race Day Conditions Are Not Ideal

Happy Saturday everyone! Today I’m talking about race conditions that are less than ideal. You know, those races where it is cold or windy or raining! You train and train for the big race day and you envision crossing the finish line in perfect sunny 70 degree temperatures and then a few days before your race you get the weather report and you begin to panic.

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When the weather conditions factor into the race it leaves you totally confused and it can reek havoc on your race day plans all the way down to your race day outfit. Suddenly you have to rethink your get up, your running strategy, your shoes, and just how well you’ve trained. You are probably asking yourself why you thought this was a good idea a few months ago when you registered. Maybe you’re not sure if you will be able to run in less than ideal conditions, all your training sessions were probably completed during those so called ideal conditions that I noted above. Maybe all of your training was completed in a temperature controlled environment on a treadmill in your local gym. Whatever the case may be, we all want perfect conditions for almost everything we do in life but unfortunately if we waited for perfect conditions we would never get anything accomplished. You just have to go with it.

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Try and shift your focus which can be an extremely difficult feat, I know- trust me I’ve been there. Here are some tips I’ve compiled for coping with tough race day conditions:

TIPS FOR RUNNING A RACE IN LESS THAN IDEAL CONDITIONS:

Everything is temporary- Nothing lasts forever, even your race! Try and remember that when you’re standing at a start line waiting to get going and you’re cold or wet. Once you get moving you will warm up quickly and you will no longer notice the cold or the wet. If it is raining I recommend wearing a hat. Keeping the drips off your face will help keep your mind off the rain.

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Run the mile you’re in- Don’t think about how far you have to go or how many miles you’ve run. Focus on the now, focus on the mile you’re in. Sometimes the overall race seems daunting and overwhelming to think about as a whole. When you think about the race in its entirety it may feel like something that is too difficult to accomplish. Instead break the race into small sections, break it into miles. If you’re running mile 4 don’t stress about mile 9 because the truth is, if you don’t get through mile 4, mile 9 is really not an issue. So coach yourself through each mile as you’re running it.

Run the mile

Mind over matter- Keep yourself motivated as you run. Remember you trained for this, you can run this distance. Don’t let conditions dictate otherwise, keep your mind clear and focused on the fact that you can do hard things. When doubt creeps in, ignore it. Keep going and repeat “mind over matter”.

Mind over matter quote

Expect the unexpected- Maybe the unexpected is that your sock keeps falling into your shoe or your laces feel too tight. Maybe your music isn’t playing or your earplugs keeping falling out of your ears. Whatever it may be, make a simple adjustment and keep going. Don’t let unexpected occurrences derail your race. Sometimes a million different mishaps can snowball into a lousy race, you have to push those things out of your head and just keep going. Things don’t always go as plan, you just have to roll with it.

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Keep your eye on the prize- When those thoughts of “why did I do this to myself” start creeping in, try and remember how great you will feel when you cross the finish line. It doesn’t matter if you are running the best race of your life or the worst, the finish line is the finish line no matter when you cross it and it will feel truly fantastic. The accomplishment you will feel when you are finished is hard to match so celebrate…finishes, though sometimes difficult, are sweet for certain.

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Then my final tip is the same as the first….your race is temporary and will have an end! Remember every race won’t be your best or one that you PR. Sometimes you have to fight to finish, sometimes the finish comes easy…but finishing is finishing.

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So for everyone racing this weekend especially those of you heading to the Broad Street run in Philadelphia, best of luck to you. Also, to my friend Shannon running Broad Street I hope you have an AWESOME RACE!!! I know you will. Run happy my friend.

 

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Momentum Jewelry Ambassadorship

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I am so excited to tell you that I’ve been selected as an ambassador for Momentum Jewelry! I love these wraps and foot lace charms along with the other items available on their website.

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What I like most about the items is the positive message and vibe they promote! I mean who doesn’t want to look down at their feet and see “Run Happy”! If you follow this blog you know that I’m always trying to promote positive thoughts, lifestyles, and fitness habits. For me, running paves the way to living the type of lifestyle I blog about. I love fitness and feeling good and enjoying simple pleasures in life, which is why Momentum Jewelry caught my attention and I’m thrilled to be able to showcase a few of their things on my blog.

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You can change out the wrap colors and keep the message the same if you like!

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Sometimes all we need to start a new exercise program, new job, new meal plan, or even just a new outlook on life is encouragement. A few words that speak to you can change how you view new things or changes and sometimes that is all it takes. I love that by wearing a wrap on my wrist I can remind myself that “yes this is possible” and “you can do hard things” because I truly believe we all can! Often times we need that encouragement or subtle reminder when we’re running, which is why the foot charm is awesome.

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I love looking down at my feet and repeating the quote I see over and over again in my mind. If your mind believes it your body can achieve it. So be sure to check out Momentum Jewelry. You should check out their Instagram feed too if you haven’t done so.

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So onto more Thursday randomness, we’ve been running like crazy! I did two long runs this week, each one was 11 miles and some change. We’ve been very consistent with our morning boot camp strength training and the weather has been so darn nice that I find myself heading out for a second run to soak up the afternoon sun. All this running is fueling a fire inside of me to run another marathon. I am not sure if I got caught up in Marathon Monday and seeing all of the Boston Marathon posts on Instagram or what, but I keep thinking about it. I need to log a few more races before I make any final decisions but the seed has been planted.

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On the home front this guy graduated from puppy school…I think he got by on his looks.

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Star of the week at school!

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Baseball season has officially begun.

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This little guy had his first game. He wasn’t crazy about the catcher position but he adjusted.

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And this whole kid pitch level has added a whole new level of anxiety for Mom!

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So happy Friday to you! I hope you spend your weekend doing things that make you feel good and as always I hope you run happy!

 

*Disclaimer: While this post contains information regarding a company and products that I am affiliated with through a formal ambassadorship program, the opinions shared are 100 percent my own.

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Rainy Day Workout

A rainy Tuesday morning…this calls for an early morning Tabata Boot Camp and then some coffee and pumpkin muffins. I love these cute little muffins, they are so tasty! If you haven’t made this recipe you should definitely give it a try. It doesn’t get much more simple than this. I actually made these for Brooks’ class snack yesterday. I am never sure how kids will react to pumpkin but they must have liked them because the basket came home empty.

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So I put together this boot camp workout but it was pretty hard and I was pretty sore so I have not done it since! I hope to reuse this workout this week if I can get up the will power.

TABATA WORKOUT: Do each exercise for 40 seconds with a 5 second rest in between each exercise and then a 30 second rest between rounds. Perform the entire circuit 3 times (rounds). When you are finished you can add in a treadmill component but you don’t need to if you don’t have  a treadmill. I liked the treadmill addition because I felt it pushed the workout to the next level. I’ve added links you can click on to view the exercise before you get started.

  1. Straddle Sit-up- straddle legs in the air and do a sit-up reaching through the straddled legs
  2. Lunge With Weight Pass In A Circular Motion– start with a weight over head and then as you are lunging pass the weight between your lunged legs and back up to the starting position (think circular motion)
  3. Around The World Obliques– stand with feet shoulder width apart & hold a weight with both hands and bend at the waist in a circular motion  Around the world obliques
  4. Table Hop– reverse plank so your stomach is facing the ceiling and then bend your legs so your knees are directly above your ankles and then hop your legs out and then return to starting position (this is also challenging if you remove the hop and just hold the starting position)
  5. Full Plank Jack Slides– put your feet on two towels and then in a full plank position slide your legs in and out as you would if you were performing a jumping jack Plank slides
  6. Sit-up on BOSU- if you don’t have a BOSU just do a normal sit-up
  7. Forearm Plank Cat Raises- forearm plank and then lift up onto you toes and pull in your midsection
  8. Ball Pass Sit-up- start with an exercise ball in between your feet, raise legs and shoulders off the ground until your arms can reach the ball, take the ball into your arms and return to starting position; repeat in the opposite direction starting with the ball in your arms and returning it to your feet. If you don’t have a ball just perform sit-up move as if you did.
  9. Burpees– We all know what this exercise entails.
  10. Kettle Bell Swings- swing bell over head in a controlled motion. If you don’t have a kettle bell just use a weight.

Treadmill Addition:

  1. Walk for 2 minutes at a pace of 3.7 mph
  2. Increase speed to 8.0 for 30 seconds
  3. Decrease speed to 6.0 for 40 seconds
  4. Increase speed to 8.5 for 30 seconds
  5. Decrease speed to 6.0 for 40 seconds
  6. Increase speed to 9.0 for 30 seconds
  7. Decrease speed to 6.0 for 40 seconds
  8. Decrease speed to 3.2 for 1 minute
  9. Increase speed to 6.0 for 40 seconds
  10. Repeat entire sequence 3 times

Hope you are able to squeeze in a quick workout today! Remember doing a little something is better than doing nothing. You’ll definitely feel better overall if you get out there and do something good for yourself today- even if it is a rainy Tuesday!

Have a great day.

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Power of Positive Thoughts

I started this post yesterday and didn’t get a chance to actually put it up so that is why it is referencing Friday!

Hello party people! Happy Friday!

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Well that’s a wrap on March!!! April is upon us!  I love new months. They always make me feel positive about what possibilities lie ahead. Starting a new month on a Friday goes against the order my mind likes but hey it makes for happy thoughts and a laid back approach to the new month.

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Speaking of happy thoughts, have you ever noticed the power of positive thinking? Over the past month I have paid particular attention to this. One positive thought or just a general positive outlook can have a snowball effect on so many aspects of your life. I have truly been focusing on the positives in every experience or encounter I have had in the past month. The experience itself can be good or bad but what I take away from that experience is always positive. It is an eye opener. I feel the positive energy bouncing off of everything I’ve been doing and I really feel that it has made a huge difference on my general well being.

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Running as I mentioned here, has felt tough as of late. My breathing and what not and not loving my new shoes (but wanting to love them so badly) has had an impact. However, the difference is, that this situation has only made me get out there more often and really try to overcome this and get my fitness level back to the level I want. But I’m doing this happily. It isn’t a struggle it is a challenge.

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This was me after finishing up a quick 3 mile run. I gave the Launch 3’s another shot. They felt okay.

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Tried them out on the treadmill too.

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When I look at the situation as a challenge instead of a struggle it has a different effect. Perspective changes everything. My friend refers to this statement when she is trying to think about things differently:

“I get to run today” rather than “I have to run today”.

You could replace the word “run” with anything and focus on the opportunity instead of the burden. We had the opportunity to log 109 miles in the month of March. I can’t wait to see how many miles we get to run in April! 

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Every day we have a choice, we can choose joy or we can choose something else but it truly is a choice.  Choose wisely.

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Here are some random shots from the last week. We didn’t run the 5 mile run because of family obligations and logistics…but that did free me up for other activities.

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We took the boys fishing for the first time this season.

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They were very successful in their fishing efforts.

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We celebrated Easter and Pokemon cards have been strewn about my house ever since.

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Have a great weekend! Happy running!

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