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Friday Five – 10 Years Ago

Friday Five Link-up with by Eat, Pray, Run DC,   Mar on the Run, and You Signed Up for What?

Today’s Theme

Five Things that I was Doing Five Years Ago!

Ok, it’s time to take a stroll down memory lane.   One of the things that I noticed is that the expression of the more things change, the more they stay the same is so true.   My life has changed a lot in the last 10 years, yet for the most part the core of it is the same.  To me that is a good thing!

1.   My oldest son was graduating preschool ten years ago.   He just finished his Freshman year of High School.   Wow that went by quick.

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2.   I was a Creative Memories Consultant selling scrapbook making products.   I still love to scrapbook, but the selling part was always hard for me.   I will also say that although I have everything I need, I haven’t scrapbooked in a long time.   My poor third child only has his baby book done and nothing else.   Poor third child.    This fall after the MCM though, I plan to take some down time from training to catch up a little.

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3.    Since it seems to be a recurring theme in my Friday Five’s, I also must mention that I was vacationing in Vermont once again.   Same camp site as we still get.

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4.  I was just starting to teach preschool gymnastics at the local YMCA which I still do today.

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5.   I was just starting to bake cakes for my kids which started me on my baking.   This is one of my first cakes.

Jonathan's Birthday

Yes, I realize that he is wearing the same shirt.   He had more than one, but this was his favorite:)

Looking back it is good to see where I started as my cakes have come a long way!

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So, yes many things in my life have changed; but many have stayed the same or were just starting 10 years ago.   Can’t wait to look back in another 10 years to see how things have changed?

Where were you 10 years ago?

Friday Five – Five Things That Make Me Happy

Friday Five Link-up with by Eat, Pray, Run DC,   Mar on the Run, and You Signed Up for What?

Today’s Theme

5 Things That Make Me Happy

Now, I will say these are not in order of importance, but the first one does help me enjoy the rest of them:)

1.  Coffee, Coffee, Coffee

As long as it’s light and sweet, I am good to go.    Be it iced, hot, latte, cappuccino, or even ice cream.

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2.   Running Friends

Running is enjoyable in and of itself, but I know that I would not be getting as much out of it without my running friends.   We encourage each other.    We really do want to hear about what your running.   Most importantly, we enjoy hanging out and laughing together.

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3.   Vermont

Yes, I know this was on my last list; but I can’t help it.   I really love it.   It is a beautiful place to go and it is a special place for my family.   My husbands family has been going there for 30 plus years.   My family has been going since it was just my husband and me.  I think in our 17 years together, I have missed 2 trips and one was because I was 8 months pregnant with my third child and my husband took the older boys.

Camping isn’t for everyone, but I do love it.   I say it forces us to be a family.   There is no tv, computer or such to keep us “busy.”   Therefore, we play cards and other such games together.  Sometimes we just sit by the fire or lay in the hammock. There is no cell service on site and it is nice to disconnect from the world.   One of the best things is the ability to get away from the 24/7 news cycle.

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4.   Family and Friends that are like Family

Life would not be the same without them and they are really what makes it worth it.

5.   My Dogs

There is something to be said about dogs.   They love you unconditionally and really all they want is to be with you.   Maybe some treats, but they love you even without them.    As I’m typing this my little guy is literally at my feet just happy to be hanging out with me.  Although, he does like to get out and have some fun too!

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What are five things that make your happy?

Friday Five

Friday Five Link-up with by Eat, Pray, Run DC,   Mar on the Run, and You Signed Up for What?

Today’s Theme

5 Favorite Summer Activities

I will admit that one of the things that I love, love, love about Summer is not to have a schedule.   This is especially nice after the crazy Spring sport end of year activities.   That being said, I do love to do things on these non scheduled days.

1.   Jersey Shore

Beach  Last year we went to the beach a lot.   There is just something about having the sand between your toes which is so nice.    Please don’t think that I spend all my time on the beach because I love jumping the waves as much as the next person.

2.  Roller Coasters!

roller coaster   Yes, I’m still a big kid at heart.   Last year we went to a few different parks and by far my favorite was Dorney Park because of not just the number of roller coasters, but the number of times that I got to ride them with the boys:)

3.  Day Trips – love to surprise the boys with a trip to the zoo, aquarium, or any such place.   It breaks up the week and is always fun to go someplace that you don’t get to go to often.

4.  Visiting Momo

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   We always have a great time when we go out to Momo’s AKA as Grandma to the boys:).   There is swimming, making smores by the fire pit, tire swing, and usually lots of goodies.

5.   Vermont

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Some people don’t understand my love for Vermont as we go camping, but we go camping right on a lake.   We are able to disconnect as there is no cell service at the campsite.   We spend our days laying in the hammock, relaxing, and just being together.   Plus it’s really pretty.

What are your favorite Summer Activities?

Friday Five – Five Ways to Have Happy Feet

Friday Five Link-up with by Eat, Pray, Run DC,   Mar on the Run, and You Signed Up for What?

Today’s Theme in honor of National Running Day this past week,

5 Ways to Have Happy Feet when you have Plantar Fascitis

or as Happy as our feet can be:)

1.  Shoes, Shoes, Shoes

Hoka One

Don’t skimp on your shoes.    If your lucky, you can even find last years model of a normal $170 pair of shoes at DSW for only $70.   I love my Hoka One’s.  The joke in my MRTT group is that they are made with magical unicorn horns due to the price.   I will say that I do think there is some magic in them.  These are the shoes that I was meant to run in!   Every foot is different, so you need to find the one that your foot was made to run in but I love mine:)

2.   Roll, Roll, Roll your feet

Rolling Foot

This was recommended by my podiatrist and it is one of those things that hurts so good.   A iced water bottle.   This is probably the cheapest trick in my bag of tricks, but it feels so good.   Plus, I can pop the bottle out of the freezer and roll my foot out while making dinner or any time of day.

3.   Stretching

I usually start off the day by stretching my calf before I even get out of bed.  Then there are a few that I do during the day, but by far, my favorite stretch is to have my toes on the stairs and just bring my heals down.

4. Taping feet before running

Taping feet Taping Feet

I just started doing this and it has already made a huge impact on my feet.   It only takes a few minutes to do and I haven’t even noticed the tape while running.

5.  Orthotics

I had a pair made and they are in the process of tweaking them because the arch was made too high on one which was making the pain slightly different.   More in the arch of the foot, but still not alleviating the heal pain.   That being said, I could tell it was making a difference overall.   I was sorry to give them back, but hope to have them back in my shoes in another week.

Have you every dealt with foot pain?

What have you done?

Friday Five – 5 Reasons to have a Running Coach

Friday Five Link-up with by Eat, Pray, Run DC,   Mar on the Run, and You Signed Up for What?

Today’s Theme is a Free Friday.

I went with 5 Things I Like about Having a Running Coach.

For those that have been here, you might remember that I recently started with a Running Coach.    Yes, I still feel funny saying it and somehow I even felt a little bit of a fraud like who am I to have a Running Coach.   Then I remind myself that I’m me and that not only can I have one, but so can anyone.   She is my running personal trainer and I deserve one.

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1.   I no longer need to spend countless hours trolling to find the right plan to follow and then let wondering if it is the right one for me.   Caolan sends me a plan customized for me and my goals.   It is not a one stop shopping plan.  It’s a what does Christine need to do plan.

2.   I am learning.   Yes, I’ve read books, blogs, and talked to other runners before but somehow this is different.   Since I’ve been working with her I feel like I have learned so much.   If there is something in my plan that I don’t understand why she wants me to do it a certain way all I have to do is ask.    She then explains her reasoning, what she is looking for me to get out of it, and why she thinks its an important part of my training.

Case in point – Monday’s are the days that I normally do my long runs.   On the schedule for next week, she wants me to do my 9 miles with no fuel making sure to have my recovery drink ASAP when done.   This seemed strange to me, so I asked.   She then explained that ” Doing long runs at an aerobic pace without fuel forces your body to rely on fat for fuel rather than (limited) glycogen. This only works at an aerobic pace where you can actually rely on fat. At faster paces we must use glycogen (which is why races and tempos must be with fuel).”   She also suggested it is good for mental training and some other stuff.  Her explanation made sense to me and maybe it’s a good thing to try to tap into my fat as I do have some to spare:)

**edited to add that she further explained this is not done for weight loss but that it does encourage fat metabolism which most of us can tap into.

3.   I don’t have to think anymore about “What I should do today?”   I already know.   It’s actually helps me plan out my week and is a real time saver too:)

4.   It’s keeping me on target while training smarter not harder.    The first thing she had me do is slow down my everyday aerobic runs as I was running them close to a minute too fast.   I used to do most of my runs at a 10:20 pace or faster.    She has slowed me down to at least as she calls it a 11+ and many and 11++.    My post half recovery run was done at an 11+++ which was lovely.   So now most of my runs are at and 11:20 pace.    You wouldn’t think a minute makes that much of a difference, but it does.

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5.  It is giving me confidence as I gear up to start my MCM training that I will be able to meet my goal.   Caolan knows my goal is to finish MCM strong.   I’m not going in this to be fast and in our conversations we are thinking possibly a 4:30ish time or that’s what she thinks.   That is 15 minutes faster than Philly, but I must remind myself that I jumped into Philly last minute without a lot of “real” marathon training.  I will trust her and the process and see where it takes me.    More important to me though is to run the whole race unless a planned walk is built into it.   I walked at the end of Philly (unplanned) and for some reason it bugs me.   I know that MCM ends on a hill or there is a hill very close to the end.   I want to go into this with the confidence that when I get there I will still be running.

Have you ever had a Running Coach?

Lastly,

I wrote about this is my Blog Post Dreaming The Dream Until I can’t Dream It Anymore.   I’m not your typical runner.   I don’t have the runner’s body (what ever that is).   I wasn’t athletic ever, but I’ve become a runner along the way.  I have a passion for it.   I have a need for it.   I love to share it.   So I think to myself, why couldn’t I win to be on the cover of Runner’s World.   Wouldn’t it be cool if just your average running mom made the cover?    So, please vote for me here.

Friday Five – Favorite Summer Fruits/Veggies

Friday Five Link-up with by Eat, Pray, Run DC,   Mar on the Run, and You Signed Up for What?

Today’s Theme

Favorite Fruits and Veggies

We all know that we should eat more fruits and veggies, but there is something about fresh summer fruits and veggies that make it so much easier!

Last year, I had them delivered from a place called Just Farmed.  It was great.  Every week, I got a box of fresh veggies from NJ, PA, and some NY farms.   We are going to be gone a lot this summer, so I’m not planning on doing it, but there is always the local Farmer’s Market.

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1.   Fresh Corn – If your from Jersey, there is nothing better than fresh farm corn.

2.  Strawberries – Their season is short, but it is worth the wait.   There is no comparison to the fresh picked on the farm summer strawberry.   It is nothing like the strawberry that you get in the supermarket.

3.   Blueberries – If you ever get a chance to go blueberry picking, go.   First of all it’s fun.   Second of all, you leave with a basket of the yummiest freshest blueberries imaginable.

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I do believe this counts as a serving of fruit too!

4.  Fresh Summer Peaches – just those three words gets your mouth watering thinking of the juiciest peach that only summer brings.

5.  Tomatoes –   I love vine ripened tomatoes.   Growing up my grandmother used to slice them.   Then put them on bread with mayo and a pinch of salt.   So good!

I wonder how many of us love the same summer fruits?

Friday Five – Where is all Your Stuff?

Friday Five Link-up with by Eat, Pray, Run DC,   Mar on the Run, and You Signed Up for What?

Today’s Theme

5 Ways to Organize Your Fitness Gear

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I would like to say this is what it looks like everyday, but it doesn’t.   This is what it looks like after a clean up.   To be honest, this is what it looks like most days.

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Not too bad, but not as good as when I first organized.

Some days worse, but you don’t need to see that!

1.  Bags – different activities require different gear.  Therefore, I have these things in their own bags that I can just grab and go.   I’ve got a yoga bad, a running bag, a gym bag, and a swim bag.   Might seem overkill, but it works for me.   This way when I’m heading out I can just grab the right bag.

2.  Shoes – I don’t know a runner who only has one pair of running shoes.   Maybe this is just the runners in my circle, but most of us have several pairs of shoes.   Plus we find it hard to let go of our old ones.   I keep my shoes under my bed which is right next to the bins in the picture.   This way everything is right there for the taking.

3.  Bins, Bins, Bins – the smaller bin contains smaller things that I use all the time such as my Garmin, running hat or headbands, gels, ect

The back bin holds all my aforementioned bags.

The front bin which has a lid holds miscelanous items that I need but not every day – night running vests and lights, extra belts, ect, ect.

4.  Bags, Bags, Bags – Under my bed, behind my shoes is a bag filled with tutus ( you know I have more than one!).   In the bins, I have my extra belts in a bag, my night time running equipment in a bag, my race day stuff in a bag.   You get the idea.

5.  Clothes – Just like I have to change out my normal wardrobe by the season, I change out my running clothes by season.   Then all my running shorts, pants, shirts ect will fit into one of the bigger drawers in the dresser.   I have a hook to hang vests and jackets above the bins.

My goal is to keep everything contained and out of the way.   There is a method to my madness to because if it’s left out hubby might actually see how much stuff I have.   Then he might begin to ask questions.   What he doesn’t know, he doesn’t need to know:)

Where is all your stuff?

Friday Five – Sharing the Running Love!

Friday Five Link-up with by Eat, Pray, Run DC,   Mar on the Run, and You Signed Up for What?

Today’s Theme

5 Ways to Share the Running Love

To me these transfer to life too!

1.   Be Inspiring – What I mean by this is just do the best that you can on any given day.   The best way to inspire people is to walk the walk or in this case Run the Run.   Be it a run around the park, a 5K, a 10K, a Half, a Full.   What ever it is make it the best run you can have.

2.   Be Authentic –  Don’t try to be anyone else.   The world is full of other people.  What the world needs is you to be you.   If you are a fast runner, run fast.   If you are a slow runner, run slow.   If you are in between, that’s fine too!   Life would be boring if we were all the same.   Running would be boring if we all ran the same race.    Be who you were meant to be and that is inspiring enough.

3.  Be Happy –  Yes, I know that there are things in life that are sad, depressing, and sometimes things don’t work out.   Yes, I know that there are runs that are sad, depressing, and sometimes don’t work out.   That being said, everyday is a gift.   Every run is a gift.    There are things in life and running that we just can’t change.   Don’t focus on those things.   Focus on the positive things, embrace them, and Be Happy.

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4. Encourage Others –   There is a saying about strong women building each other up.   It’s true.   Another woman’s success does not take away from your accomplishments.   We are all in this together and should have each others backs!   You never know what your encouraging word can do to inspire someone.   Besides there is too much negativity in the world without adding to it!

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5.  Be Proud of your Accomplishments –  Now, I don’t mean walk around with your medals all the time.   Although, I will admit that I will bring them to school pick-up after a big event to show my friends.   I don’t mean brag about it to every person you see either, although that is sometimes tempting.   I mean let your light shine.

Sing it with me now,

This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine

let it shine

let it shine

(Admit it, you sang it)

How can we inspire others if we hid away what we are doing?  You can’t.   So be proud of your hard work.  Share your hard won accomplishments, your goals, and what you are doing.

Now, your turn…

   I’m going to ask you to share the Running Love with me now too:)

  I wrote about this is my Blog Post Dreaming The Dream Until I can’t Dream It Anymore.   I’m not your typical runner.   I don’t have the runner’s body (what ever that is).   I wasn’t athletic ever, but I’ve become a runner along the way.  I have a passion for it.   I have a need for it.   I love to share it.   So I think to myself, why couldn’t I win to be on the cover of Runner’s World.   Wouldn’t it be cool if just your average running mom made the cover?    So, please vote for me here.

Friday Five – 5 Things About Race Day

Friday Five Link-up with by Eat, Pray, Run DC,   Mar on the Run, and You Signed Up for What?

Today’s Theme

5 Things about Race Day’s

I’ve done a few races now.   I have a bit of a ritual as I think most of us do when it comes to our race prep.   Race prep is just as much as a mental prep as it is a physical one.   Neither one can or should be ignored.  If you are physically prepared but your head isn’t in the game, you may still have a bad day.   Obviously, you can be as mentally prepared as you want but without being physically ready, you might as well stay home.

Here is my all important check list

1.   Besides the standard carb loading, I also like to increase my water consumption leading up to a race.   Just a day or two ahead of time.  Now I’m not talking chugging extra gallons of water, because that won’t do anything except make me bloated.   I’m just talking about adding a glass or two throughout the days leading up to the event.  The reason that I do this is because as anyone who knows me can tell you,  I am a massive coffee drinker.   Massive.   I just feel like some added water evens it all out.  I should probably do this everyday, but I do feel it more important near race day.

2.   Not only plan out my race attire, but lay it all out including Bib number.   I am a visual person and I need to see it all together down to my Garmin.  This way in my sleep deprived state all I need to do is go to my preplanned pile.   It’s all thought out ahead of time and there is less chance of forgetting anything.   I really don’t know anyone who doesn’t do this unless, of course, you don’t pre-prep.

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3.   Plan my morning “breakfast.”   Usually races require an early start.   This means no time for a big breakfast and who wants that when you will then need to search porta-potties because you ate too much.   My normal go to breakfast is a breakfast bar with a banana.   This way I can eat it while I’m getting ready or in the car.

4.  Have coffee.   I’ve said it before, I drink massive coffee.   Hey, it’s good for me.  Right?   Anyway, race morning is no the day to go through caffeine withdraw.   Even though I am not a morning person, I will wake up at least an hour early to allow time for my morning coffee.

5.  Post Bakery Snack – We have been doing a lot of racing in NYC.   Most of them are near Central Park.   We park in the same vicinity every time.   This way at the end of every event; we come out to Magnolia’s Bakery.  Somehow, you don’t feel as guilty eating a million calories after a run:)   There have been times we have said we wouldn’t stop, but like on Auto Pilot our feet bring us right to the street and we stop anyway.   It’s almost like every road leads to the bakery:)

Bakery

What do you do Race Day?

Friday Five – Five Brands I LOVE!

Here we are again for another Friday Five hosted by Eat, Pray, Run DC,   Mar on the Run, and You Signed Up for What? for hosting the Friday Five link-up!

Today’s theme

Five Brands I love

1.  Athleta – I think this should be a given being as I love their running pants, winter jacket, running vest, and basically anything that I buy from them.   Yes, they do cost more but they are worth it.   Sometimes you really do get what you pay for and with Athleta you are getting top quality.    Plus they have the best return policy I know.

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2.   Savory Spices – Yes, I know this is a running blog.   That being said it is important to fuel your body with tastey and healthy food to keep it going.   Love, love, love their spices.    It is a great way to flavor your food without added fat.  Although, I admit that I may have a Spice problem, but I think there are worse problems to have;)

savory spice

3.  Trek – I felt so much of a difference when I switched to my Trek bike for my Tri’s.   NO, I do not have the top of the line Trek.   I don’t even have the middle of the line, but I know that it has made a huge difference in my biking.  Maybe one day I will upgrade, but for now I’m good.

4.  Gu – you either love them or you hate them.   To me, I’m in the love them category and I like them to refuel.   They are easy to take, tastey too.    I don’t care how good something is to fuel me on a long workout, if I can’t eat it.   Personal favorites are Caramel and Strawberry/banana.  Yummy!

5.   North Face –  They have some really great products and by far my favorite running bra.   Fits comfy.   Small storage pocket.   Double layered.   No chaffing.  What more could a girl ask for?

What are your  top Five?

Can’t wait to see….