Thursday, July 31, 2014

Instagram Honor Roll

A while back I asked for your favorites in the following categories:
  • Fitmom
  • MotherRunner
  • Run Blogger
  • Fitness Blogger
  • Fitness Brand
  • Yogi
I listened and came up with some amazing people and accounts!  So I've compiled the Top 5 in each category for you to enjoy.  So here we go...

Top 5 Fit Moms:
  • FoodFitFam
  • RunningRachel
  • HappyFitMama
  • NattieRuns
  • Ohm_Maria
Top 5 Mother Runners:
  • StuftMama
  • MilesPost
  • SpeedyMama
  • CateyBall
  • NYCRunningMama
Top 5 Running Blogger
  • Pavement Runner
  • RunEatRepeat
  • RunFarGirl
  • KimberlyDT
  • RunningSouthern
Top 5 Fitness Brands
  • MizunoRunning
  • Oiselle
  • PolarUSA
  • NuunHydration
  • EnergyBits
Top 5 Fitness Blogger
  • Fitnessista
  • FitFoodie_Lee
  • LCotter
  • MommyRunFaster
  • Shauna_Harrison
Top 5 Yogis
  • cyu888
  • sequellife_bp
  • tarastiles
  • janetstoneyoga
  • fitapproach

Congratulations to all! 

What are your favorite types of pictures on instagram?  Who do you like to connect with?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Project Repat T-Shirt Quilt Review

My first marathon, my first half marathon, college volleyball camp, the Paris Hard Rock Cafe, Hood to Coast and some of my high school practice jerseys...

What do all these things have in common?  They now all have a new life.  They have been pulled out of drawers and storage containers and converted into something I'll be able to share with my kids.  They are now part of a t-shirt quilt.  Something I've ALWAYS wanted and now proudly have.  
Project Repat gave me the opportunity to turn all these memories into a tangible artifact that will serve so many more purposes than they were sitting in my basement. 

The process was so easy and they give you so many options depending on your budget.  I chose the full size quilt, which is what you see.  It has 30 of my most favorite and oldest t-shirts.  Once I ordered the quilt online, they sent me a return package size envelop and instructions for sending the shirts.  Once I had picked the shirts I wanted to use, I had to cut them in half and send the side that I wanted in the quilt (this is to make sure you get exactly what you want).  
Send the cut shirts back in the package they provide and wait. I think it took three weeks and then it arrived!
tshirt quilt
The Finished Product
It has a fleece navy blue backing and the shirts are all quilted together.  The only thing I will say is that the shirts need to be stitched to the fleece.  I'll probably do that to make sure they don't get snagged at some point but the stitching is great quality and all done in the USA with fair wage jobs which is a HUGE bonus for me.  I love working with a socially responsible company! 

Would I, Am I suggest you look into it?  YEP!  It's quick, painless, within anyone's budget and so nice to have.  I probably need to do another one. 

Check out Project Repat today!

What t shirts would you put in your quilt?


Monday, July 28, 2014

Tell Me Something Good

Have you heard the studies that say Tuesday is the most depressing of the week?  Yeah, I've heard that too but I'm determined to not let it get me down and you shouldn't either so let's play a game of...

There is so much good in and around us that I thought it would be fun to share what's making you happy.  Here's a few of the things I'm smiling about right now:

1. One of my favorite gals (and her adorable family) are moving within driving distance from me to a place I hold dear to my heart (my grandmother lives there and I love the town)..BlondePonytail is moving to Champaign, IL!  I can't tell you how happy this makes me.  Soon, Jada and MiniE will meet and the cuteness factor will be off the scale.  Jess and I met at Hood to Coast two years ago and I couldn't be happier for her and her family!

2. So many people completed one tough San Francisco Half and Marathon but Pavement Runner didn't just run it once, he ran it twice.  It's a crazy amazing feat and I'm so proud of him.  He's probably sitting at home with his feet up (or at least he should be).  Congrats Christine!

3. I'm so excited for fall racing..October will be a busy but fun month between St. Louis Rock 'n' Roll on October 19th and Los Angeles Rock 'n' Roll the following weekend, it's going to be a rockin month.  Let's just hope I can stay well.  Last year I got sick right before St. Louis.  If you want to run you can register and save $10 off both of these races with code: MOMSLRBSTL and MOMSLRBLA. Register here!

4. Seeing progress...after laying low last week, I finally got back on it tonight with some weights and interval workout and I saw a pace I have NEVER EVER seen...want to see it?  Connect with me on Instagram and you'll see.

So...tell me something good (and make sure you sing it in your best Rufus and Chaka Kahn voices).

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Secret to Potty Training

Oh boy!  I never actually thought I would be able to say this but...

E's Potty Trained!!!

Finally, at 3 and a half, he's wearing "big boy pants" and I'm back to only buying one size of diapers!

This has been so frustrating because I really wanted him potty trained around 2 and half but he had other plans and turns out there's no rushing a toddler boy.  Every mom I would complain to would say..

"Don't worry, it will happen, on their time and when it does, it will be done in a day"

I couldn't imagine how that could actually be true.  My mental image of potty training was treacherous, horrible days full of wet mishaps and constant laundry.  

Back in June we started him in a preschool two days a week, and then a week later he asked me if he could go to the bathroom...YES!  So we went in, got all situated on the potty then I heard it...YES!!

I jumped around and danced and cheered and he was proud.  He was beaming!  From then on he would announce he had to go and we would race in, and cheer!  He hasn't really had an accident since he declared he was "potty trained".  He would tell everyone he me that he was. 

So what's the secret to potty training? 

You can't rush these kids.  They are on their own schedule!  Maybe, just maybe MiniE has figured it out too...
MiniE pretending to use the potty (notice shes wearing a diaper)
How did potty training go in your house?  What parenting hurdle was the hardest for you to overcome (i.e. getting rid of pacifiers, etc)?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Changing Gears

So far this year I'm about 50% the way towards my goal.  You can read my goals here!
  • 5K PR - check!  (read it here)
  • 2 Half Marathons - check! (read it here)
  • Coordinated a successful Celebrate Fitness - check!
The other goals I had were predominately triathlon focused and I'll be honest, I'm probably not going to accomplish those.  A HUGE issue I'm having in that realm is pool access that also has child care.  My only real option is the YMCA down the street and I just can't justify $80 a month for the family membership when I'm only paying $20 for a fully equipped gym with good childcare.  I'm cheap I guess!  I will get back into triathlon next year!

As for the rest of my racing schedule, I'm kind of in a lull till October when I'll be doing a 5K and two halfs back to back, St. Louis on October 19th then Los Angeles on October 26th.  I've never done two halfs back to back this way so I'm looking forward to giving it a try

But until then I was really planning taking it easy you know, running without any real goal with the exception of working on my speed.  BUT...turns out someone/something needs me.  Bike MS is a 2 day ride benefiting MS research and support programs.  The goal is to rid the world of MS.
I'm not super comfortable on a bike for long periods of time so this is going to be a challenge for me.  My goal is to do 80 miles (40 on Saturday and 40 on Sunday) others will be riding as much as 200 over the course of September 6th and 7th in Columbia, MO.

My financial goal is to raise $1,000...right now I have raised about $630.  If you want to donate to the ride, you can do so here..every little bit helps! Donate here!

Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone to help a charity or group?  Have you ever done a ride like this? What advice do you have for me? Lay it on me!

If you have a minute, could you head over and vote for me for the Refuel with Chocolate Milk contest? Vote daily here!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Smarter, Slower, Prouder

First off let me just say that when it comes to putting on an event like a running festival, the Rock ‘n’ Roll team knows how to do it! It’s not easy to orchestrate a race of any size but to do it for 17,000+ takes it to a whole other level. The event itself went so smoothly which is probably part of the reason they just keep getting bigger and bigger. They understand the celebration is as much a part of the run as miles 1-13. Ok, enough of that…let’s talk about the half.

Don’t close the browser after what I’m about to say…I am not a fan of the half marathon….when I’m training for it. I just don’t have the attention span to run for longer than 8 or 9 miles but when it comes to running it the day of, I LOVE IT.

For me it’s all mental. It’s about focusing long enough to finish the race strong. Back in April I ran the GO! St. Louis and had a pretty good race and I realized then that it’s all in my head. I started off this half knowing that it was going to be slow since the day before I had run the 5K and then proceeded to walk around Chicago for 5 hours, not ideal the day before a race but I couldn’t help it. We brought E with us on this road trip and I knew we had to show him as much of the city as we could.

Without going into a mile by mile recount of the race, lets talk about the highlights…I mentally broke this race up into 4 5Ks. I told myself if I got through the first three that I would walk a little at nine. Last year, that’s when I was really struggled and didn’t want to have a rotten rest of the race this year. The first 9 miles actually felt really strong. I found a pace that I could leisurely breath through my nose for and regardless of what watch said I went with it. At mile 10 I was starting to feel my left hip tugging a little but I tried not to think about it. At mile 11 I remember thinking I’m gonna do this. I’m going to run the entire race no matter how slow. At mile 12, it hit me that I might have this half marathon thing figured out, at least for the time being. I crossed the finish line feeling physically exhausted but mentally rejuvenated. I had done something that for me has taken 34 years to figure out.  I realized when it comes to the half, slower and smarter is better for me right now.

After the race, I got stopped by the Maui Jim team for a quick interview, then headed back to the VIP tent and sat down to eat a little something and change my shoes.  I looked around me and realized I was sitting at the table with finisher 1, 2 & 3.  Needless to say, I didn't say a word, just sat there, sipping my mimosa and listening to them recount the race.  A 10 minute conversation I will never forget.
I went to pickup my hardware, met up with this guy, said our good byes and headed our separate ways. 

I love what running is...I love what it does for us as individuals and as a community.  I'm proud of my weekend.  I'm exhausted and fulfilled.  Hopefully you had an amazing weekend too!

What's next for me?  You'll find out soon but let's just say I'm "changing gears" for a little bit.

What lessons has running taught you?  Did you race this weekend?  What made you happy this weekend?

Check out the recap from the first half of the trip. READ HERE!

Want to run Rock 'n' Roll LA? Use code: MomsLRBLA for $10 off  - REGISTER
Want to run Rock 'n' Roll STL? Use code: MomsLRBSTL for $10 0ff - REGISTER

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Rockin Chicago

I have been looking forward to this weekend for so long that I was afraid that I had hyped it up in my head too much and that it would be sort of a letdown but it did NOT disappoint. Hubby and I took E with us. We headed up Friday night so I could be there for the 5K Saturday AM. E was so excited be going, this was his first time in Chicago. We stayed at the Springhill Suites on Dearborn, right down in the middle of everything.
Saturday morning came early! I walked down to the start which was about a mile from the hotel down along the lake front. I picked up my number and ran into Chris (RunWestin) and PavementRunner! When I saw them, I knew it was going to be a good morning. Chicago is fairly flat so I knew this might be a good place to PR. That was my plan all along, a new PR would’ve been anything less than 26:15. We lined up right behind Shalane Flannigan at the start which scared me slightly but I went with it. Shalane was pacing the 8:00 group so I knew if I could stay close to her, I would hit my PR no problem. I was doing just that until I lost my sunglasses (15 seconds lost) argh! I didn’t give up. I kept the pack in my sights and ran hard. My first mile was 7:43…HOLY CRAP! I could tell though that I wasn’t going to be able to sustain that so I tried to slow down to 8:15 and hold it (mile 2 8:16). That’s when I realized I started too fast.. I could feel my legs turning over slower and I couldn’t make them speed up.. Mile 3 8:48finish time: 26:10!!!

New PR..mark it off my 2014 goals!

After the race, I walked back to hotel, picked up my boys and we were off to explore the city. First stop, navy pier and the Children’s Museum. E had so much fun. I loved watching him. Next up, look at big boats then head to Cole Haan to visit my cousin. I forgot to take a picture of him but he’s adorable and really tall. Go in to Cole Haan on Michigan Ave and look for the tall dark haired guy and buy some shoes.
By that time, it was 2:00 and E was delirious. The boys went back to the room to nap and I headed for the expo. To say I love expos is an understatement. The Rock ‘n’ Roll expos are the best, by far. So many amazing brands bringing their amazing products. Here are a few of my favorites:

Apera Bags   |  Jaybird Earbuds  |  McDavid Compression |  Timex Watches
 And after I had spent some money, drooled over races I probably won't get too like Tri-rock, I was about to walk out when I ran into this girl!! (BTW, there was no way to crop out the photo bomber)

We ended our night at a good friends house.  This was the first time meeting her baby so I was happy to get to snuggle him a little.
Saturday day was so full but so satisfying.  I knew that I was going to pay for it Sunday during the half but you'll have to wait to see just how it went!

Does anyone else think that the 5K mentally challenging hard?! How was your weekend? Did you race?

Check out some of these brands: Apera BagsMcDavid | Timex | Jaybird