Friday, November 8, 2013

Running Shoe BARGAINS

You all know how important running shoes are.  Well any athletic shoe really.  So head on over to Reebok.com for their 30% Off Friends & Family Sale*! Use code FRIENDS to save with this perfect opportunity to get a jump start on our holiday shopping with one of the biggest sales Reebok.com will run in 2013. There are a ton of great deals to be found for men, women and kids, and for the best deals browse the Reebok Sale collection for 30% off already reduced items! The sale has some exclusions like Reebok CrossFit gear and custom shoes, but most of what you’ll find on the site is included. Don’t miss this great chance to save on awesome workout footwear and apparel from Reebok!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

What are you Thankful for this season?

As the Bugaboo's parade around the house with their new chorus lines of Thanksgiving songs for their fall preschool program I am pricked into thinking about gratefulness.
I have to admit that it has not come easily this season.  The obvious jumps into mind; healthy, growing and happy children.  But to find something that I am thankful for about myself has taken some digging. I'm currently in a running slump; nothing thankful there, I have more gray hairs; again not too thankful, there are only 24 hours in a day; thanks or not.......on and on.  But yesterday during my yoga practice the Yogi reminded us to be thankful for what our bodies can do today at this moment.  That hit home for me.  While I might not be hitting everything on my wish list, I am truly fortunate for what my body CAN do.
So tell me, what are you Thankful for this season?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Marathon Day......

......that was not meant to be.
Today is the day of the Frankenthon marathon that I thought I'd be running this year.  I even planned my eldest daughters birthday party around the race. (She'll be celebrating tomorrow instead of today).  But about 5 weeks ago my training fell apart.  My body and mind revolted at the idea of long distance runs and I threw in the towel.  Today, I am extremely disappointed.  The weather is perfect for 4 hours of running and I am insanely jealous of the people who are out on the trail today.  Instead, I'm sitting in my kitchen staring at un-carved pumpkins, drinking coffee and writing this post.  Boo-hoo.  Ok, that's enough self-pity.  I am a runner and as runners know, we do not give up.  Just because I life piled up too many negatives for this race doesn't mean I won't be lacing up and running 26 at some point.  I haven't looked at the race schedules for my area lately because the family has been in a "transitional" period.  We are waiting to find out if we will be moving out of state or not.  Since I don't know where we might be in 6 months it's hard to choose a particular future race.  But I will still be entering races as they pop up.  In fact, we will be spending Thanksgiving in Little Rock, AK, this year and (although the Hubs doesn't know it yet) I'm hoping to do a turkey trot while we are there.  

Anyone else doing a Turkey Trot this year?


Monday, October 21, 2013

So much fun!

I finished one of my funnest races ever on Sunday, the Cedar Park 5 Miler.  First of al,l I have to say that I am disappointed with how I finished (4th in my age group) but the 3 ladies ahead of me were just faster than I was(my competitive side has a hard time admitting this).  My overall time of 40:45 was respectable and my overall fitness felt great. Following the race I had several people (mostly men) tell me how great my stride/pace were and that they tried to keep up but eventually had to just let me go.......compliments are always appreciated.  Even though I've been nursing some pain in my right inner shin it seemed to flee while I was running and I think I had a grin on my face the entire time.  The weather was beyond perfect and the company around me was GREAT.  The event was sponsored by our local YMCA where I coach gymnastics part time.  This meant that I knew a lot of the people participating and it was really fun to wave at one another as we passed.  I even teamed up with a few ladies who, like me, are Body Combat enthusiasts and we wore matching tshirts.  We didn't run together but it was fun to watch for one another on the course and to team up for a group photo.  I'm not one for running with teams but if you're gonna do it, this is definitely the way to go.  I felt stupidly giddy during the race waving at the policemen who were manning the intersection but they seemed to appreciate my excitement.  Unfortunately, we don't have any photos of this fun run.   My husband was in charge of the 3 bugaboos while I was running and asking him to also keep track of a camera and shoot some candids was just too much :-) 

I'm buried in there somewhere!
So this is how running is supposed to be.  Since I let my marathon training and plans fail a few weeks ago I've had sort of a disgust with running.  I've enjoyed the few miles I've logged but it's taken me a lot more coaxing to get out the door for a run that it used to.  I don't have any long races in sight at this point but with the cooler weather here I still plan to get in some nice jogs and enjoy the sport.  

How was your weekend?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Coconut Oil

I'm sure you've all heard of coconut oil by now.  It's become very popular and mainstream.  I fell in love with the stuff when I was pregnant with the twins and discovered that it soothed the overstretched skin on my tummy without the sticky, over-scented goop like it's cousin.  I've also been using it more frequently in cooking recipes.  So overall, I'm a fan.
Last week when my hairdresser told me to put al little a coconut oil on my dry scalp I thought "why not?"  But as I started searching for my scalp through my enormous amount of hair I realized there was no way I was going to be able to target just my scalp with the creamy oil.  This meant that the root of my hair got coated in the oil too and I began to worry.  Let me just tell you, I didn't worry enough!  I let the coconut oil set for 4-5 minutes and then headed to the shower to wash it out.  But it didn't wash.  In fact it has now been 4 days and 12 shampoos later (this is usually the number of time I shampoo in a month) and I can still feel the greasy slick of coconut oil in my hair!  I am miserable and so darn mad.  I was trying to combat a little dry scalp and I now have a greasy scalp and very dry ends!  Just a week ago I was loving my hair now, I'm considering baldness! Needless to say, my love affair of coconut oil has ended.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Gala Season! (in my dreams)

golden light metallic dress by Aryn K
While we in DC I was reading up on local culture and found that the weekly newspaper for  Georgetown was entirely dedicated to Gala Season for the fundraising elite.  For fun, I read the newspaper with desire and fantasy.  I imagined would it would be like to stroll into an elaborate evening Gala on the arm of a DC Noble and look like a regal queen.  My reverie was broken by the sounds of squabbling preschools and I was plunged back into my reality.  But since then, every time I see a picture of a glorious dress I add that to my imaginary Gala wardrobe.Night and Daydreams Sandal

If I were indeed invited to such an event I have decided that my dress would likely come form Ruche or ModCloth.  Both retailers offer such whimsically vintage and femanine dresses I know any woman would look beautiful and feel like a queen wearing them.
I just found out that ModCloth now had a new private label (ModCloth Private Label) with the brands; Bea & Dot and Myrtlewood.  Just so pretty.  Maybe this year we'll throw an adults only Christmas Cocktail Party and get to play dress up for a few hours........ok, it's more likely we'll host a cookie decorating party for kids and dress up will included icing covered aprons.  But it's fun to dream!
Do you get to gussy up for anything pretty this season?<a href="http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=532051&u=757878&m=43745&urllink=&afftrack=">ModCloth Private Label</a>

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Home from DC

We finally made it home from our long trip to DC.  We had a great time, despite the city being in full shutdown mode. It's nice to sleep in our own beds and have our normal routine back in swing.
While we were there, I had a fun time running the Clarendon 10k.  I got to see Arlington Cemetery while with a crowd of people.  My eldest daughter also got to do a kids dash and has a pretty fun medal to show for it.

Had to support ATX while I was running in DC
In other events at our house; my oldest bugaboo broke her wrist falling off the monkey bars!  Yep, seems like everyone knows a kids whose experienced this.  She's healing well and doesn't seem too fazed by the brace she has
 to wear.

I'm in love with the cooler fall weather and am in full pumpkin mode.  Yum!  I've also been able to fill my lungs with fresh air during my runs this week and that has felt GREAT.



Thursday, September 19, 2013

"Talk Like a Pirate Day!" Who knew?

As I dropped the bugaboos off at school this morning I was greeted by a whole crew of Pirates. No, the school hadn't been overthrown by "matey's" but apparently today is International "Talk Like a Pirate Day" Has anyone ever heard of this?  I certainly hadn't before this morning but apparently I'm in the minority.  In fact, my fun friends over at Mabel's Labels are offering 50% off their  Pirate Ship or Skull 'n' Crossbones Sticky Labels to honor this day. Plus, in case you missed the pirate bargains, on 9/20, Mabel's Label's is offering 50% off Plane Sticky Labels in the first ever Talk Like a Pilot Day created by Mabel's Labels. Don't miss your chance to shop these great offers! 
I have to be honest, I'm purchasing the Pilot Day set for my girls. I think they are totally cute!

So in the spirit of the day; Arrrgh me hardies! (or something like that)


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Yep, I've fallen off the face of the planet.

Or at least it seems like I've fallen off the face of the earth.  I can't get my motivation kickin to do much of anything substantial.  For some reason running still feels burdensome to me and I'm grouchy at the 90+ degree days we continue to have here in Central Texas when the rest of the world is celebrating pumpkin season!
I guess I did drag myself up for a couple things recently.  On Sunday, I raced for Run Free Texas in their 80's 8k and scored a 2nd place win for my age group.  I was pretty happy with that .  I however decided that I need to either be older or younger because I was listening to the times of the winners of the other ages groups and I realized I would've smoked them!  Honestly, the 14-20 year old winner had a time of an hour and change (she was obviously walking).  I'm always proud to see people doing any sort of physical activity but I'm jumping on my hypocritical soap box here and saying that I think there should be a maximum time limit (depending on age) to qualify for a medal. Hopping off my soap box now, onto the darn burpee train!  I swear all my fitness classes recently have upped their burpee requirements and my poor neck an shoulders are screaming about it.
Aside from that, I finished a quilt I've been working on for months.  I'm running a 5k with my eldest this weekend.  Finished this book, 3rd in the Across the Universe series.....seriously you've got to read it. We are packing up for a family stay in the DC area.  And that's about it.



Don't forget to enter the CLICK Espresso Giveaway. It ends on the 20th and you've got a good chance of being a winner.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Suburban Homesteading : Canning Ideas & Pretty Labels


A while back I started telling you about my DIY addiction.  At that time I shared with you my recipe for sandwhich bread.  Today I'm going to continue with a few thoughts on canning/preserving foods and some great recipes.


Woman sterilizing jarsLast summer I had a glut of tomatoes from my garden and an over abundance of strawberries that we picked from a local farm so I began canning.  I fell in love with homemade jams and jellies and found that simple water baths worked really well for fruit based jams/jellies.  I struggled with a salsa recipe worth preserving but I did learn that drying tomatoes in the oven (one recipe here) and then freezing them for later use in salads and pasta dishes was really wonderful. This summer I've had loads of tomatoes again and cucumbers galore so we've been making pickles like mad.
Here is a list of some of my all time favorites:

Slow Cooker Blueberry Butter from Food In Jars
Quick Strawberry Jam from Martha Stewart
Cranberry Ketchup from Ball
Pickles from NY Times
Canned Tomatoes from Better Homes and Gardens

So now that you've made some yummy treats it's time to label them.  You can of course use a piece of masking tape and skratch the contents and dates on it or you could go for a much prettier option.  I choose the later and use Mabel's Label's Wash Away collection.  These little labels are so darn cute. Wash Away Labels are dissolvable and perfect for canning, potlucks, frozen foods even leftovers.  When your done with the jar  simply pop in the dishwasher or under running water to rinse off.  Be sure to check out Mabel's Labels today. Happy Canning!

GIVEAWAY Friday Favorites : CLICK Espresso Protein Drink

Happy Friday!
I realize I am extremely behind this week but I do have some fun news.  A few weeks ago CLICK sent me some of their Vanilla Latte Espresso Protein Powder to try out and today I'm sharing my thoughts with you about the product and I'm also hosting a giveaway for one of my lucky readers.
Personally, I am all for speedy recovery and easy to use products.  So naturally protein and nutritional supplements are a good fit for me.  I also LOVE coffee.  So CLICK is nearly perfect for me!  I'll admit that the the drink is really tasty, especially when you whiz it up with a handheld blender to give it a little volume.  It also has a pretty good caffeine punch to it (there is a decaf version if you prefer).  What I like most about the drink is the 15 grams of protein.  One serving (which is about a cup and a half) has just 120 calories and considering all the nutrition packed into this one drink 120 calories is a pretty good bargain.  But if you don't believe me take a look at the comparison chart below:

So now that you are intrigued here is my honest opinion of this drink; try it!  It took me 3 or 4 uses to figure out how it would work with my body and my workout routine.  For me, the best time to drink CLICK is in the middle of an extra long workout (90 mins or more) or just after I've finished a workout.  Chugging it turned out to be a bad idea for me as it made me nauseous.  I also found that I REALLY liked using it as a breakfast supplement.  While I usually can't start the day without some yogurt with fruit, chia and flax there have been a couple days lately when time just wasn't on my side and CLICK really did the trick. So as you can see, there are several uses for this yummy drink so give it a try and stick with it until you find the routine that is best for you. Your body will be happy you did.
original
Want to try it for yourself?
originalOne lucky Running Shoes and Bugaboos reader will win a canister of Vanilla Latte, a CLICK shaker and a couple individual sample of decaf.  Enter before 9/20/13 on the Rafflecoptor below.  Good Luck. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Back to school running shoes from Reebok

So Reebok just announced these really cool new kicks for kids.  They are customizable!  I don't know about you, but my eldest daughter would LOVE to design her own shoes.  I think these might be just perfect for back to school.

Here's a little more about the shoes from Reebok:

Now available for customization through YourReebok from Reebok.com is the popular back to school shoe, the kids ATV19! Have your kids design their own pair of ATV19s to start the school year off in style. With splatter print designs, and colors to choose from like candy pink, trust blue, sonic green and excellent red, your kids will have the coolest kicks in homeroom. Not only do the custom ATV19s look great, but this all-terrain running shoe features 19 large ATV lugs to help provide traction wherever kids roam. Customize your ATV19s from base to sole, and everything in between -- you can even add text for personalization! Let your kids stand out in their custom ATV19s and make a lasting impression this back to school season! Order your pair of custom ATV19s today!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

3 things to kill your marathon training

I have become acutely aware of a few short comings recently that have derailed my training and put my running in a holding pattern.  If you want to actually complete your training program and find your self crossing the finish line at 26.2 then DON'T do the following:

1. Illness/injury:  Many athletes find their immune systems compromised during strenuous bouts of training and are accustomed to working through these times of runny noses and general malaise but more serious illness or physical injury can shave numerous workouts off your training schedule.  For me, I've been taking an elective dermatological medication that has left my muscles and joints extremely fatigued and achy.  In fact, I now describe myself as a 90 year old woman who needs an oil change.  I groan and creak every time I move so you can imagine what running feels like.  I was supposed to be finished with the regimen last week but on Monday I found out that I have 4 more weeks and I'm pretty devastated.
2. Time: This one seems obvious.  Runners and athletes know that training is a lifestyle and that several hours of their week will be devoted to their physical fitness.  But for marathon training you will need at least one LARGE block of time each week.  We're talking 3-4 hours in addition to the other 8-12 hours your spending on additional runs and cross training.  This has been a bigger issue for me than I though.  We've been traveling a lot lately and finding a 3-4 hour block of time in a new city to desert my family has been nearly impossible.  Not only do I feel guilty about it, I also don't really want to give up this much time during these precious memory making events.
3. Mental commitment: To drag your body through the rigors of pounding out  over 26 miles with nothing but your own 2 feet you have got to make sure your head is on straight.  There is entirely too much time to start talking yourself out of such a labored event and if you don't talk yourself out of it there will be plenty of other people along the way who will try.
This is the deal breaker for me lately.  I've simply started questioning my reasoning behind this quest lately.  I've given up short on too many long runs lately because my mind has simply won the fight.

When it comes down to it, I've failed at the most fundamental elements of training for a marathon.  I have realized this week that I need to take a break from full on marathon training.  This likely means I won't race the the full marathon on Oct 27th that I had planned but I think it's ok.  I am still running and enjoying my runs that are less than 10 miles long.  In fact I am beyond excited for the Claredon 10k I'll be running on Sept 28th (yep, this will be during one of our  family vacation times).
I am also having a lot of fun with several of the fitness classes I've started taking.  I know my condition is top form, but for now, I'm not in marathon form.  Maybe something will change over the next 7 weeks, but I'm not betting on it.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Happy Sunday and a Cocogo Winner & DEALS

I hope everyone is having a fun weekend.
The family and I have been at the horse races.  Let me tell you, those creatures are awesome.  I sure wish I could run as smoothly as they do!



In exciting news.  Debbie Goodman Harris was the winner of our Cocogo giveaway.  Congrats Debbie.  Check your email for more information.
For everyone else who entered but didn't win the freebies don't worry.
Cocogo is offering Running Shoes and Bugaboos the following discounts at their store store.cocogo.com:
40COCOGO (40% off)
FRSH4COCOGO (free shipping)
COCOGOBOTTLE (free insulated bottle when you order two boxes - put the bottle also in shopping cart and the price comes off in checkout)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Favortes: BEER

It's been a while since I've had a Friday Favorite and I really have a few important favorites to share with you but this week is for fun.  I am usually more of a wine drinker but I recently saw Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat Seasonal on the shelves and wanted to give it a try.  All i can say is YUM!  It's like bitting into a refreshing, crisp, boozy apple!  Great with summer meals.



***Remember to drink responsibly.  My opinions are all my own and I was in no was compensated for this post.

6 Tips to prevent running boerdom

So often I hear from "non-runners" that they don't like to run because it's boring! I honestly have never understood this ad I've found running to be cathartic but as I was out today I got to thinking about boredom and how I keep it at bay during my runs.  Here are my tips:

1. Enjoy the quiet time: For me, having 3 small children at home means being surrounded by noise and chaos.  The time I get alone to run is an a mini vacation for me.  I relish the quiet time and enjoy hearing the sound of my own thoughts and breath again.

2. Get lost in your mind: I like to let my thoughts wander a bit sometimes and reflect on recent interactions I've had, books I've read or even tv programs I've watched and then re-write parts of them or predict what's coming. I've also been known to lose mile to my thoughts just redesigning my house!

3. Solve a problem: It there is a conflict in my life I find that running, like nothing else, can help shed clarity on a solution.  Simply reviewing the situation and then visioning myself with the results I want lets my mind start working as I legs keep pumping.

4. Absorb your surroundings:  This one seems obvious but can pick me up like nothing else.  Since we are normally traveling at 60 mph on 4 wheels, settling down to a 8mph pace really lets you see whats around.  I like watching the deer frolic early in the morning if I'm outside or watching families from the window while they are maneuvering themselves through the parking lot when I'm on a treadmill.

5. Play a game: If I need a little more focus and am struggling I set a point at which to stop running or slow down.  It may be a lamppost or bush somewhere ahead or the end of a particular song in my playlist.  This helps me motor through the doldrums and I often find I can go beyond the arbitrary point that I've picked.  It's also a good way to do speed work.

6. Self visualization: Whether your running in a race, training for a competition or just running for your fitness it can be very helpful to see yourself at the end of this run with the results that you desire.  It may be blazing across the finish line, or in a cute bikini or it may just be visualization of the cool shower and big cup of coffee that you get to enjoy when the run is finished!  Athletes use this all the time to help accomplish their goals, I use it to start my salivary glands!

So the next time someone asks you how you keep from getting bored while running share this list with them.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Marathon training

I feel like I'm standing at the precipice.  To marathon or not? I'm 8 weeks out and based on my run this morning I think I really should throw in the towel on the 26 mile idea and stick with halfs and shorter.  BUT, the marathon I have been training for is perfect for me.  It's small, cheap and on the route that I run regularly.  There will not be a better opportunity to give a marathon a try than this one(ok there's always next year).  I'm taking a slightly different stand to my training for the marathon than I did for the 30k.  With this plan I'm running 4-5  days a week with 1 long run(10-20miles) 1 med run (5-7 miles) and the other running days are speed/interval work.  In the past I have just put as many miles under my treads as I possibly could.  This time I'm spending my energy differently. I am maintaining my high intenstity cross training sessions and the interval/speed work is new for me.  My hope with this plan has been self preserverence.  I was not in my best form during the 30k and I don't want that again.  BUT, here I am today having cut my long run short (really short, from 13 down to 5) just because I wasn't "feeling it".  Does this mean I don't have it in me for the a marathon?  I'm not sure.  I realize that mental preparedness is nearly as important as physical when it comes to endurance running but I'm not sure just how to effectively train this aspect.  Ideas anyone?

Don't forget about the Cocogo GIVEAWAY

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Arrggh, I need sleep!

Having twins is twice as nice but it's cam also be twice as challenging.  My girls are 2 1/2 now and are certainly behaving like it.  Honestly, the heinous term "terrible-twos" may've earned it's name honestly.  Over the past month they've not only taken their tantrums up a notch but they've also decided that sleeping is option and that nap-time is unnecessary (yes, I'm sure the lack of sleep is causing the tantrums and vice versa).  My eldest daughter went through this phase just as the twins were born and I was so hopeful that it was a result of having 2 new babies in the house at that time and that it would not be something to ever be endured again. Wrong!  Ok, I'll stop whining now, but honestly I'm so dogged tired with getting up at 4am and being on constant "mom"  patrol for 16 hours a day that I may just throw myself on the floor and start kicking in screaming too!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Product Review: COCOGO Hydration Drink + GIVEAWAY

I hope everyone is having a fun weekend.
The family and I have been at the horse races.  Let me tell you, those creatures are awesome.  I sure wish I could run as smoothly as they do!



In exciting news.  Debbie G. was the winner of our Cocogo giveaway.  Congrats Debbie.  Check your email for more information.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

GI distress

We're all friends here right?  If we weren't before, then we are now because I'm about to get a little too personal.

If you are a runner I'm fairly confident you've experienced your share of tummy troubles.  Since there are volumes of articles and books dedicated to the runner's gastrointestinal workings(here's one article from Runner's World) and the extensive amount of porta-potties you'll find at any race
I think it's safe to assume that a high percentage of has experience with this topic.  I am no exception.  Recently I've been fairly fortunate and haven't dealt too much with the tummy twisting but today breaks my, ahem, streak!
Generally I know that any run longer than 10 miles has the propensity to send me trotting off to the bathroom. But my GI response to these longer runs is so unpredictable it's not something I plan on.  Like I said, recently I've been very fortunate and I assumed that my body had gotten used to the general brutality of running and that I had found a good diet/fueling combination.  So this leaves me wondering what happened today. I have my suspicions about potential culprits but since my GI doesn't actually speak to me to confirm my predictions I'm just  going to have to hope for the best next time.
For any of you who are wondering what might be causing my distress (and perhaps some of your own) here is what I think went wrong today.
1. Irregularity: I have been traveling and have not been as "regular" as normal which is odd for me and I think it explains the frequency and, ahem, volume of today's episodes.
2. Hydration/Fuel during the run:  Due to the high temps and humidity I went through roughly 24ozs of NUUN and water during today's 2 hour expedition.  I also fueled with a combination of Honey Bee Stinger chews and dried apricots.  It's the dried apricots that I think are the culprit here.  I have been experimenting with them successfully lately but dried fruit is certainly known to have some laxative properties about them.
3. Post run fuel: I drank 20ozs of Click Mocha Espresso protein shake within 30 mins of finishing the run.  This shouldn't be a problem since it's designed as exercise supplement, but this is the 3rd time I've tried it and it has given me some mild cramps on my previous attempts. (REVIEW &  GIVEAWAY COMING SOON FOR THIS PRODUCT)

So what's a runner to do?  My advice; hydrate well before, during and after you runs. Stay away from fatty foods as wells as foods that you know cause you bloating or gaseous-ness.  I certainly don't have the answer and I honestly believe each day and each body is different.  But I suppose being a little more vigilant about what goes in will help what comes out!

It's Sunday and I'm in love!

So by now I'm sure you've heard of ModCloth, a totally awesome, vintage inspired clothing shop.  But guess what?  They are growing and becoming even cooler with their Home Decor Collection.  I am absolutely in LOVE with everything on the site.  I wish my budget was unlimited and my children were less, um, sticky so I could justify re-decorating my entire house with ModCloth goodies.  But I think I might just have to settle for a couple fun pieces of art for the walls.  I am really liking these sketch prints of the body (ok kinda quirky but why not?)  This circle frame is also really fun.
So head on over to ModCloth and get yourself something cute and remember that if you spend $50 you can get free shipping right now.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

So far behind.....

We are back in the steamy heat of Central Texas now and I feel like I've got a mountain of stuff to do.  I am waaaaay behind on reviews here for the blog and have a couple fun giveaways to get going as well.  So stay tuned for some good stuff that's coming in the next week.
In the meantime, we have a winner for the Cuppow lids giveaway:Alyssa (an email will be coming your way shortly).  

And a big THANK YOU for everyone who entered.

Hope everyone is able to lace up this weekend and get some miles under their treads.  I'm planning on a 12 miler tomorrow morning but am a little nervous about the heat.  I'll let you know how it goes.




Friday, August 2, 2013

Hiatus?

I have not put on a pair of running shoes or a stitch of dri-fit in a week! This has been unexpected. I knew running would be more challenging while visiting my family but I thought I'd get a little time. As it  turns out, the twins have taken this moment to boycott sleep....either At nap time or night time. This has pretty much meant 24 hour mom duty. My husband finally joins us tomorrow and hopefully having another adult around will help me feel like I can steal a couple hours for training. This was supposed to be an important week for marathon training but looks like we'll need to revisit & revise.

How has your summer been?

Don't forget about the Cuppow giveaway going on now.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Heading to the hills

The family and I are off to Colorful Colorado today. Yep the 5 of us on a jetliner.  It's not the first time  but it's been several months since we've all been airborne and with the raging tantrums the twins have been capable of lately I'm sure the flight will be very, um, energetic!
 We are visiting family and spending a few days in the mountains playing around and enjoying the coolness.  I will always be a Coloradan at heart and when we get back to the humid, stickiness of Central Texas I suspect I'll have a few days of misery and depression.
I'm a little nervous about my marathon training during these 2 weeks.  I still expect to run, but I know that the thin air is hard on my lungs since I'm not used to it.  I'll do my best to stick to my planned schedule, but I also know that the extra difficulty of the workouts will make me stronger when I get back to sea level.

Are you going anywhere this summer?

Don't forget to checkout the CUPPOW giveaway

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Friday Favorites : CUPPOW drinking lids and **GIVEAWAY**


I've mentioned before that I have a slight affliction to suburban homesteading, which I guess is just a nice way to stay I like to make crap!  This includes some food canning and preserving.  I'm not crazy over the top with preserving foods but when I have an excess or when the garden is particularly healthy then I like to whip up a few jellies, relishes or pickles to keep for later times.  Not too long ago I stumbled upon a great book, Food in Jars,  at the library......I need to actually go to the bookstore and buy this book to add to my collection because it's that  great.  With my new infatuation I decided to check out the blog associated with the book http://foodinjars.com/ and have really enjoyed the recipes and ideas that the author shares.  From the FIJ blog I learned about this cool company, Cuppow, that makes nifty little add-ons for canning jars that extends the life of the jars even further.  The fine folks at Cuppow sent me a couple of their drinking lids to try out and I've been having lots of fun this week with them.  

I've used the lids on my drinking mug jars to turn them into a spill-free option for sipping and my daughters were really intrigued.  My oldest has even taken to using them regularly because she thinks they are so fun. I really like to use glass mason jars for my iced coffee and flavored waters.  I don't know why, but something about the ambience screams summer to me.  Since glass jar mouths are so large, and because I seem to have a hole in my bottom lip, I am constantly dribbling.  But with the Cuppow lid snugly in place, no more wet t-shirt contests!  

Seriously, it's one of those inventions that is so simple, but so brilliant. Cuppow makes some other products as well, including a silicone bowl that turns a jar into a bento box!  I LOVE THIS IDEA!  I will be adding a set of these to my lunch box stash soon.


Since I think these little goodies are just so fun I am sharing 2 drinking lids with the winner of the GIVEAWAY below.  So hurry and enter using the rafflecoptor before August 9th (when the giveaway ends).  Good luck and stay hydrated!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Gnarly toes!

BEWARE, the photos you are about to see are disgusting! They are actual human feet (my human feet, actually) and they are hideous.

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After today's hot and sweaty run I took my shoes off and looked at my poor feet with absolute disgust.  Now don't get me wrong, I love my feet.  They carry me from point A to point B with very little complaint and they keep me standing upright most of the time.  But honestly do they have to be so gross?
I've mentioned that my shoes have been giving me some trouble and you can see from the pictures below the just what kind of trouble I'm talking about.  I am currently in the process of regrowing 3 nails that have fallen off over the past few months.  I also have a number of deflated blisters and calluses so big I'd give an oil rigger a run! Gross.
So what's a runner to do?  I do enjoy a pedicure from time to time, but I'm always so nervous that the technician will get a little to carried away and all those hard earned calluses will be too soft for me to run on for a few days.
My new Saucony Kinvara 4's
For now, I've decided to do my own pedi's.  I'll repaint the piggies and cover up the ugly discolorations. and file down what I can of the rough spots.  But since I just purchased a new pair of running kicks (yay for a new pair of Saucony Kinvara 4's), I'm thinking this might be a good time to get my feet down to their basics and get rid of the bad junk from my past shoes.  So maybe a professional pedicure would be in order?
What do you think?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Do you bulk?

No not the Costco kind of bulking!  Although that could be a whole topic in itself!

I mean do your muscles bulk up?  Mine do.  Sadly I was blessed with muscles that like to show their stuff!  Sure if I were a man, it would be great.  But I'm not. I'm a woman and I'd rather be lean than bulky. I know "strong is the new sexy" but that doesn't mean I need my t-shirts cutting off circulation in my biceps!  I look more like a sprinter with over  grown quads than the gazelle gracefulness of a distance runner.  Urgh!  I can't seem to find the right combination of activity and diet to keep my muscles slight but my endurance strong.  My diet is pretty "clean", not much left to give up, but it might be time to try something new.  Ok, I'll stop ranting now and be grateful for what I have.

How do you keep the bulk off and stay strong?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

LSD with the deers...

Saturday had me up with sun and lacing up my sneakers so I could pound out 10 miles before the heat kicked in.  I needed an LSD(Long Slow Distance) this week that was formidable but relaxing.  While it's a little easier to talk yourself of a run when the alarm clock goes off super early, it's totally worth it.  My neighborhood is full of hills, open space and deer.  At 6am it's beautiful!  We've had a very prolific crop of deer this year and the babies are everywhere. They are now finally big enough to hop off on their own and its awesome to see.  I watched a young deer gallop away from me and jump up on spring-y legs to nearly twice its height.  He did this little stunt over and over again and it just looked like fun. 
 If you've ever read Eat & Run or Born to Run you know that Scott Jurek has been nicknamed El Venado (the deer in Spanish) by the Tarahumara Indians and watching the deer this morning made it clearly evident why he would earn such a title.  Their lean and  graceful running form is something we should all try to remember during our own runs and in our own styles.  I love how mother nature provides us with little pick me ups and encouragements when we just remember to take a look.

As for the rest of the run, it was good.  Slow and mundane and longer than I had meant to (at 10.5 I decided to take the the last mile in a nice walking cool down...much needed).  I'm cursing myself today because I did not make it to the running store this week to buy new kicks and I am suffering with several blisters on my toes today...in areas I've never had them before!  I am scheduling a shopping trip for sure, no more of this.  In other events, we are off to Colorado next weekend for 2 weeks with my family and I really need to start packing!
Hope you had a great weekend.

Don't  forget about the 2Toms GIVEAWAY  your chances of a win here are pretty good!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Back to School Sports with Mabel's Label's

It's really sad to think that summer is almost over now.  I know that for any family whose kids are involved in athletics the school year starts even earlier with practices and fundraising events.  In  Texas there is a TON( a little too much if you ask me) of focus on fall football (thankfully I have girls and this won't be an issue for me) but across the country different sports take on different meaning.  So when my friends at Mabel's Label's created a new gear label package for hockey teams I thought it was really a neat idea.  My family and I love hockey and I've often marveled at all the gear that is involved to get the players on the ice.  I can only imagine what a chaotic mess the locker room is and how impossible it must be to get the right set of gear back to the right player.  That is why I love Mabel's Label's, they take something that is simple and make life much easier, and cuter!

So if you are interested in giving this new set of labels a try (and I sincerely think you should)
heres a little more from Mabel:
Get ready for the hockey season with the new Mabel's Labels hockey combo kit! This unique label combo pack has been created especially for the hockey players in your family! With the custom hockey stick labels, equipment labels, number labels & skate labels, you can keep all of your family's sports gear in order and make sure that all of the look-alike equipment gets into the right bag after the big game! Happy Labeling! 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Favorites : GrooveBook (GET A FREE BOOK)

http://groovebook.com/
I recently stumbled across a really great App, GrooveBook.  Download this app to your smartphone and each month you can upload up to 100 of the pictures on you phone to be bound into a 4x6 book of photos.  The service is free, they just charge $2.99 for shipping.  Awesome right?  I loved the idea from the begging but when I go my first book in the mail I knew I was hooked.  I have to admit I am not nearly as prolific with picture taking now as I was during the first couple years of my oldest daughters life.  Now I try to get picts on-the-go but rarely remember to actually print them or send them out to family.  With this book coming to m
y house each month I no longer have an excuse.  The pictures in the book are perforated at the binding so you can easily remove them and have an individual photo for the fridge or for grandma or whatever.  Otherwise, they are kept tidy in a book that you can stack up on a shelf.  Did I mention that I LOVE THIS IDEA.

Ok you get the idea and you know you need this app. So go download it now and be sure to add the code AHRENHOLTZ17 to get your 1st book absolutely free (no shipping fee or anything).  Pass it on.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

2Toms GIVEAWAY

Last week I told you about my new favorite odor eliminator, Stink Free from 2Toms.  I also mentioned their great anti-chafing products; Butt Shield and Sports Shield.
Well today I'm excited to share some of the 2Toms goodness with one lucky reader.  So if you are interested in trying out some of 2Toms StinkFree spray and anti-chafing wipes then enter on the form below by next Tuesday (7/23/13). Good luck.






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