Other Stuff

How To Become the MacGyver of Running Paces

Ok, who remembers MacGyver? The secret agent who can solve any problem with duct tape and a paperclip? Give him a seemingly impossible task and in almost no time he has completed it. Sometimes I wish MacGyver were here to help me figure out a running schedule (well, to do a lot of things, actually. Like to figure out how to be at basketball practice, a soccer meeting and getting homework done all at the same time).

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Without a plan, I am likely to run at the same comfortable pace for the same distance over and over again.  But the truth is that varying your running pace (which often means varying your distance as well) will improve your performance. It’s great to build a base of mileage at a moderate comfortable pace. But adding in tempo runs (a bit faster than your average run at a similar distance) and speed work (short distances at higher effort levels) will make you a faster, stronger runner. And don’t forget about those slower runs. Active recovery days help prevent injury.

Have you seen a Paceband before? This is a great idea for longer races when it gets harder to make sure you are on target for your time.

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Lately my goal has been to build up distance without re-injuring my leg. Right now, that means avoiding hills and running on soft ground whenever possible. The weather has not been cooperating though! The trail seems to always be covered in ice or full of mud. It’s funny how you don’t notice hills when you are in the car. I was pretty sure Monday’s run was going to be flat. Not so much…

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So for my next run I figured I would change up the pace a bit. Why not? It was going to be a short run anyway. But running in the winter can be tough! I wasn’t expecting the solid sheet of ice to be covering my path! I hope it thaws out a bit soon.

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Happy Birthday Eileen! I love it when we have a really good reason to go out for a long, chatty lunch. These girls are the best.

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Philly Monday has turned into Philly Wednesday for us. Adventures with the boys are fun no matter what the reason.

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Ok, come on! How am I really supposed to keep up with this? I liked it before the update that told me how many emails I need to read. Ignorance is bliss…

Remember,

Without giving, there is no receiving

Without letting go, there is no letting in

Without an exhale, there is no inhale

So, I am wondering, how many email accounts do you have? Do you think 6 is too many?

I Did It All

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I owned every second that this world could give. I saw so many places, the things that I did. Yeah, with every broken bone, I swear I lived.

I think this is what we all try to do, right? Make the most of every moment. The boys and I try really hard to be mindful of how we are using our time and to be present and engaged in our lives. Sometimes this is not so easy!  There is a lot we can worry about if we want to. There are also so many distractions and multitasking demands that engaging sometimes takes effort.  But it’s worth it.

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It’s February! That means that Rare Disease Day is coming up. It’s always the last day of this month. This is a day to raise awareness about rare diseases and their impact on the lives of those diagnosed with them. You can read more about the rare disease that effects our family here.

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Remember to wear jeans this February 28th to support those with rare genetic conditions.

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Your Mission:

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Some days we forget how lucky we are. For me, today is not that day. Even when life gets super busy I have great friends and family to share it with. We started today my favorite way – a snowy run with the girls.

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It is pretty cold out there! It is tough to get motivated to get out of the house. That is when it is especially good to be meeting friends. Once you get into the first mile, it doesn’t feel cold anymore.

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Nerf wars won out again tonight. The boys ran into friends and had a blast.

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In case you were wondering, froyo is not just for summer. Since I am eating healthy lately I restrained myself and didn’t finish the boys’ yogurt that they probably each took one bite out of. For me, that’s willpower!

So, I am wondering, what is your favorite froyo flavor?

– tonight I had mint and peanut butter with a little hot fudge!

Guess What I have Been Doing

This is really going to shock you, I know. I guess I am still pretty excited about it.

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I have been running every chance I get. I realized last week that as long as I don’t run hills, my leg is fine. (No, really! Many of you know how much I used to hate hills and avoid them at all costs, but I got over that. My leg is just not ready for them yet.) So I am trying to talk the girls into going out as much as we can. I talked them into signing up for my favorite race so now they have to train with me!  Yay!!! 😉  April Fool’s Half, here we come. We are going to have the best time.

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But if they can’t make it, I am learning to love running by myself again. It’s not as much fun as being with friends, but you get something totally different out of it. After running by myself my head is totally clear.

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Running in the snow is so beautiful. Today was not runnable on the trail without Trax though. I’m so glad I got them last winter!

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I just went through my spring race calendar and I am getting really excited. :-)

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Aidan made a ping pong ball launcher in Scouts. Thanks, Mr. Gatto!  Actually he loves it. He would like to bring it to his next Nerf War, but we decided that wouldn’t be fair.

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We finally had a real snow day. Not nearly as much as we were expecting, but enough to cancel school. Good enough!

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The girls and I snuck some girl time in too. Always a blast. Sushi and RumChata and lots of laughs.

So, I am wondering, do you like to talk while you run, or just listen?

Feed Your Soul

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Sometimes the daily grind of life takes its toll on us and our happiness suffers. The winter can be tough for this too with less daylight and more time indoors. It’s so important to take care of yourself at these times! We all know how much better life is in general when we are happy. Our outlook is better and our relationships are more fun. So the tough question is: What makes you happy?

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Running always makes me happy. I am readopting my mantra from last year – Never Regret A Run. And I am even happier to be back after having to take so much time off.  So I am pretty happy lately!

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Running with friends is even better. I didn’t get to spend time with some of these girls when I wasn’t running and I am so glad to be catching up with them again. Hopefully we will be able to get our regular runs set up again soon. We have a great running community where I live and I am excited to run with all of the girls again. My leg feels great – what a relief!!!  The hokas and not running on the road are helping too.

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Spending time with my friends always makes me happy. I have such great friends! <3 It really replenishes your energy and positive outlook to be with great friends.

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I’m not sure I ever want to be without hot yoga again either. Meditation and being really present are so hard to do in everyday life! We are always multitasking! Yoga helps me put things in perspective and really take a break from the craziness and “noise.”  I always feel restored after yoga.

What makes you happy? Squeeze in some time to reconnect with yourself – you will be glad you did!

We had our first real snow today. It was beautiful.

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We were supposed to get enough snow to possibly have a delayed school opening tomorrow, but it stopped early! The boys are so disappointed! But Fezziwig is not. Lol.

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Choose Strength

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For many of us January is a time to reflect on the past year, figure out what we liked about it and decide how we can change what we didn’t like about it. It’s the time to set our intentions for the year ahead. Runners are usually big believers in mantras and I am no exception. These key phrases help you keep your focus and motivation during races and tough training days. I believe they work equally as well in every day life.

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Last year my favorite running mantra was Never Regret A Run. This helped remind me on cold January mornings that I am literally always happy that I went out for a run. Can you see it on my bib from the Perfect 10 race? This ended up being an ironic bib choice I made months earlier since I ran this race with a stress fracture – and it is still one of my favorite races ever.

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Here is another great mantra that we may forget from time to time. It’s not always an easy one to make, but strength is a choice.

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Whatever positive affirmation works for you, remind yourself each day that you are strong, you are worthy, you are powerful. It will make a big difference in your outlook.

Speaking of strong, powerful people, I caught up with Melissa and Eileen today and one of the cutest kids ever. There is never enough time when we get together. We leave texting each other all of the things we didn’t get to chat about.

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So, I am wondering, what is your mantra for 2015?

Fun In The Pool

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Today is the first day I have had fun in the pool!  I never thought this would happen. Jeannette and I decided to swim together today, and it is a good thing. It is not easy to get motivated to get in the pool when it is less than 20 degrees outside if you don’t love swimming! But we had a great time. We managed to talk while we did laps and the time flew by. Plus Jeannette taught me some new strokes. It’s nice to have good friends. We did have to race each other once though. Well, once that we admitted to each other. 😉

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We definitely needed a juice fix when we were done. If you haven’t tried the lemon zinger at Schwee Tea yet, you really should. We couldn’t even manage to take a picture before we finished them.

20150107_110554 It was a day for my favorite drinks and late pictures.

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I have been drinking Shakeology now for a while because I am not always good at making sure my nutrition is as good as it can be. I love the chocolate shakes and I don’t have to worry about refueling after a workout. Plus, it has 17 grams of protein per shake.

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Guess what came today???

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I can’t wait until I am able to try them. They even have a secret message inside.

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So, I am wondering, do you like swimming?

The New Style

We have a new fashion trend going on in our house.

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Aidan joined me and our sweet little girlfriend today in the boot club. Shockingly, yes, he fractured the same ankle I did. Dane has been strictly forbidden to join us. Someone has to get all of the doors! (Poor kid).

I have discovered that it is almost impossible not to secretly race the person in the lane next you while swimming. There really is nothing else to do while you are there. Someone told me that there are water proof headphones. I wonder if they work? Today I was chatting with Annette for a while (no, I didn’t race her!) after she finished water zumba. She is in the pool now because she hurt her elbow doing yoga. Not too shabby for 84!

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Guess what I found on our latest Philly trip. One of my favorite wines! George DuBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau. This wine is released every year right before Thanksgiving and celebrates the first wine of the new vintage. It reminds me of my first trip to Paris, a rainy long weekend in the middle of November. This new beaujolais was just released and it was being celebrated everywhere we went. Now I look for it every year around this time.

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Can you imagine having this as a Christmas tree? Its so beautiful, but probably not practical with boys. 😉

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Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

So, I am wondering, what is your Thanksgiving tradition?

Turkey Shoot, Nerf War, Girls Night Out…and no one got hurt!

This weekend I got to see my cute buddy with the matching boot. Isn’t she so sweet? This definitely makes me feel better about wearing mine!

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The kids have half days last Friday and this week (don’t ask – I have no idea) which leaves more time for fun. They kicked off their shortened schedule with a lunch date with their friends. Well, maybe it was more of a snack date.

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They are just getting to the age where they make their own plans that are sort of realistic. The boys in Aidan’s class planned a very detailed capture the flag Nerf War for this weekend. These boys are such great kids. They had a great time.

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After they were thoroughly worn out (and at a sleepover party) I got to catch up with the girls – at night!!!

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The Turkey Shoot (BB Gun Target shooting) event that I have been working on was this weekend too. We got very lucky with the weather! And also with the people who helped us this year. It ended up being a very fun event.

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The boys love target shooting and we are thankful to have the opportunity to do this with all of our friends.

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Of course the boys always look forward to playing football and running around in the woods with their friends too. For some reason food always tastes awesome at camp.

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Look at this cute dragonfly my friend Angela caught! Lisa and I got to catch up finally too.

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We couldn’t have asked for a better day and I couldn’t have been happier when my good friend had us to dinner afterwards. Thanks Loren! It was fun to relax and catch up after a busy weekend.

So, I am wondering, do you think kids should eat lunch at school on half days?

Time To Get Real

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My kids are getting pretty tired of hearing about this as we drive through the neighborhood! Unfortunately it is still going to be a while for me.

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Today is day 1. Again. My orthopedic doctor finally reviewed my MRI and decided I need to be in a boot for 6 weeks and on crutches for 4 weeks. The good news is that then my stress fracture should really be healed. A good friend of mine advised me to start a countdown and I think that is a really good idea. So I guess that makes today day 42.

The other good news is that it is winter and I can wear a real boot to match this one. I can’t even imagine wearing this in the summer! But tall boots are not a bad option at all right now!

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If you need me, you can find me in the pool for a while.

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We have a busy weekend ahead, including the Cub Scout BB gun target shooting event that I plan. I’m excited for it. Hope you have fun plans too!

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