Wednesday, August 27, 2014

SkyZone SkyRobics Review

First of all - a great big internet hug to all of you for your kind words and comments on my Monday blog! I think it's awesome that God uses the things He is teaching me to encourage you, too! Thanks for sharing!!!

On a much, much lighter note - I promised a review of SkyZone's SkyRobics last week! The clan from Gruver Fitness took over 50 trampolines at SkyZone in Lancaster last week. It was hilarious to watch 50 adults immediately turn into kids the moment we bounced onto the trampolines!!!
 We got these super cool SkyZone socks to wear. They're basically like high quality hospital socks - the kind that have the plastic tread on the bottom. 

Then we headed to the trampolines! We started with several minutes of jumping, back flipping, front flipping, toe touching, and general shenanigans before our SkyRobics instructor started the class.

Overall, I enjoyed the class part. We did a lot of basic aerobics stuff: different jumps, side shuffles, squats, planks, push-ups, etc. 
(blurry image of us doing side-to-side jumps)

It was a really great workout! My legs definitely felt it the next day. The best parts, for me, were when we were just able to jump around and have fun. If I had little kids, we would be hitting this place in the winter for sure! They have dodge ball, a big foam pit, basketball, and tons of bouncing opportunities. It would be a great way to get the energy out of your kids when they're stuck inside this winter!

(our fearless leader, Jeremy, showing off his toe touch)

The whole crew! (Can you spot me? I'm in orange. What? That doesn't narrow it down?)

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Race I Didn't Run

I think I did 1 or 2 "Marathon Monday" updates before I got caught up with summer stuff and became an absent blogger! So here's a general marathon training update, and a blog about the race I was supposed to run Saturday that I backed out of 20 minutes before the start.

In general, marathon training is going well! This week my mid-week runs are 2 5-milers and an 8 miler. My long run will be (eek) 18 miles!

Overall, my legs are definitely tired but feel way better than I thought they would at this point. I was especially worried that being back to school would torture them, but I think it's actually better for them. I eat better, sleep better, and just take better care of myself in general when I'm working. The routine helps keep me focused.

The biggest challenge is the mid-week "semi long" run. 8 miles mid-week is tough to wrap my brain around. That used to be a LONG run. 

Saturday I had 17 miles on my training schedule. The longest I've done is 15 miles, so this would be a new distance PR for me. Our town was having a 10 mile race on the local Rail Trail, so I figured I would run 7 miles before the race and then run the other 10 with the race. 

The morning dawned and I woke up on time, had my long run breakfast, and started getting dressed. As I headed out for my pre-race miles (and at this point I knew I only had time to get in about 5 of them oops!), I was feeling terrible. My legs were tight and my hips were aching. My typical long run pace is about 10:30-10:55 minute miles. I hobbled my way through 4 miles all nearing a 12:00 mile. 

I was hurting.

I called it quits at mile 4 and came home to foam roll and stretch before the race. Then I pinned on my number and started to cry. Yup. I stood there in my living room and CRIED. (truth be told, I had cried during my 4 miles too)

I hurt. I didn't feel good. Mentally, I just didn't want to race.

But I told myself it would be fine once I got to the start and saw some of my favorite faces and friends. I got in my car and started off.

Then I looked down and saw my low pressure light was on in the car. I cried again. And turned the car around to go home. I sent a text to my friends to let them know I wasn't coming.

I was worried that I would end up in the middle of this race and be hurt. So I decided to regroup at home and head out on my own. 

I started with a 4 mile route that I could cut back by my house to refill water and stop if I needed to.

I put on some "Jesus music" (that's what my dad calls it) and started just talking to God while I was running. But somewhere around mile 7, I stopped talking and started listening. And this verse popped in my head "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion" (Phil. 1:6)

I didn't plan to run a marathon this year.  When I planned my races for the year, I was going to be doing the Baltimore HALF Marathon again and going for a sub 2:00 time. God planted this marathon dream in my heart.

And I realized, that I wasn't running His race. I was running mine. I found myself saying out loud (Yup - out loud. Don't worry, it was a back road with no houses!) "it's not my race, it's Your race" and with each step and each time I said that, my legs got looser. My pain decreased. My steps got easier.

I wasn't meant to run that 10-miler Saturday. I needed to run those 17 miles alone with God.  I needed to give the marathon back to Him who gave me the dream and the strength in the first place.

And as I finished those 17 miles, it was raining. Actually it was POURING. My iPod shuffled to the song "Grace Like Rain" and as I heard the words "Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me" -- I ran with a smile on my face. My legs were tired and my feet hurt, but my soul was full of joy.

It's not my race.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Can it really be...

1. Can it really be...3 weeks since I last blogged? Yes. I kept thinking of things I should blog about, but I just didn't feel like it. Sometimes, you need a break from things. Besides, I was a little busy this summer having tons of fun with friends! Hiking, running, kayaking, tubing, amusement parks, fire pits, dancing, picnics, parades, late nights, long runs, and lots of laughter! So many memories were made this summer!

2. Can it really be...the first day of teacher inservice? Yes to that too. As this blog publishes, I'm on my way into school to meet some friends for coffee before our big "welcome back" inservice meeting. (or at least I should be, but if you know me you know I am probably running late)

3. Can it really be...week 10 of marathon training? Another yes. I feel like I just started training and we're already over halfway through! Saturday I joined my friend Nina and her group from Team in Training. Nina is running the Marine Corps Marathon in the fall in memory of Isaac. They did their run 2 weekends ago dedicated to him, but I wasn't able to join them to run. This week, their run schedule matched with mine so my friend Steph and I joined them! It was great to run with some new faces! Support Nina's race by visiting her fundraising page!


Now that summer is over, I will likely be back to a little more regular blogging! Tonight I'm visiting Sky Zone in Lancaster with my fellow boot campers, so look for a review of trampoline based "Skyrobics" this week!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer Blogger

Typically during the summer I blog pretty frequently but clearly, that hasn't been the case lately! I've been busy doing lots of fun things!

I ran 12 miles for my long run 2weeks ago with my motto penned on my hand. I chose a 12 mile route that is really hilly. The Baltimore Marathon course is described as hilly, and so was the half course last year. So I'm following a similar training strategy to what I did last year for the half - train on the biggest hills I can find. The 2.5 mile climb halfway through my 12 miles was no joke, but I conquered it!

That same weekend, some friends and I spent Saturday tubing on the Yellow Breeches Creek. There are few things more relaxing and fun than 6 friends + 1 cooler of adult beverages floating down a creek - no cell phones allowed. This is the only picture we took all day, and it was nice to be unplugged even for just a few hours.

Before we hit the creek to float, my pal Steph and I were spectators at a local 5k. I toyed with running it, but ended up deciding that I just didn't want to. Plus it was fun to actually see my speedier running folks, like my friends Justin and Mark, cross the finish line! They're typically across the line well before I even have it in my sights!


This week I went kayaking with my friend, Shea (who crafts and creates at Mack Made), went hiking with Michelle and Levi, went hiking again with my friend Kim and her kids, and worked on some online class work.  There's been movie watching, dinner cooking, game playing, and pool time mixed in there too. I have to say, this summer I've spent far less time with Netflix than usually do during the summer. While it is making the summer fly by quickly, it's also so full of fun that I'm enjoying every second of it! 

And in other news, I got some new kicks! I've been a loyal Brooks gal for awhile now, but Mizuno Wave Riders were my first pair of running shoes ever. I even blogged about them once here! Last month, Zulily had Mizuno gear for insanely low prices. I saw these Wave Rider 17s for $67 and couldn't resist.  I wanted something with a little more cushion for marathon long runs, and these are perfect. I may also have grabbed a pair of Wave Sayanoras too. For $67 - how could I resist? They're $115 regularly!! I think my first run in my Wave Riders was a smashing success, so they're a keeper for sure!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

That's my JAM - Jamberry Nails Review!

Have you heard about Jamberry nails?

I'm a low-maintenance gal. My hair stylist (who I haven't visited since November) calls me "no muss, no fuss" -- so true! But, I do enjoy make up and sometimes I even curl my hair (though it took me until I was 32 to figure out how to do this).

Occasionally I even get really fancy and do my nails. But then approximately 10 minutes later, I get annoyed because I bump my wet nails on something and mess up the polish. And then a few hours later, the polish chips and I am mad that I wasted my time.

Enter - Jamberry.

These nail wraps are so much fun!!!

Aren't they cute?? 


The big question I wondered was -- how long do they last? Well here they are after 6 full days! There's a little rubbing on the tips, but this is 6 days people!! 2 pool days, boot camp workouts, and my toes even looked perfect after an 11 mile long run. I am not gentle on my nails either.

The cost is about $15 a sheet. I did a full set of fingers plus my big toes in the pink wraps, and still have enough on the sheet to do at least 2 more manicures. So, at least a month of chip-free nails for $15? Yes, please!

They apply pretty easily with just a pair of manicure scissors, a cuticle pusher, and a hair dryer. You basically trim them, heat them, and put them on your nails.

I love the fun patterns and colors they come in! You can get jams for all kinds of sports and hobbies too! They have this adorable purple one with a runner girl on it that I just must get!

I found a great Jamberry review on a blog that you can check out here!

If you want to try Jamberry for yourself, I'm having a little online party. Check it out HERE!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Marathon Motto

This morning, my "Fab Five" girlfriends and I were texting about running and workouts. We're all in kind of different places in our fitness journeys right now, and it's always so encouraging to chat with them. We were talking about giving ourselves credit for the hard work we do, and I shared my motto for this marathon training -- and realized I hadn't shared it here. 

Every time I get ready to run lately, I think this:

I even wrote it on my shoes. That's the goal of my marathon training: get stronger with every run. In the July heat and humidity, and with increasing mileage, I just can't focus on getting faster. But I can focus on getting STRONGER. I can give myself credit for getting out there - even when it's hot and humid and I don't feel like it and I won't be as fast as I am in the winter. I'm out there.

One of the fab five said this -- "I'm 46 years old and I'm gonna try to start giving myself more credit for getting out there than beating myself up for not being good enough or fast enough or long enough." 


This is what we - as women, as runners, as friends, as athletes - need to be doing. Giving ourselves some credit! We're getting out there. We're making the hard choice. We're not taking the easy way out! We're getting off the couch, putting in the work, and showing ourselves how strong we are.

So keep going.

Give yourself some credit!

You're awesome!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Who Runs Your Body?

I recently purchased a shirt I've been eyeing for some time now. One of my favorite female runners is Dorothy Beal. I first heard her on the Another Mother Runner podcast, and then started following her blog (Mile Posts) and Instagram. Dorothy lives in the DC area and she has an online shop that sells shirts with phrase she coined - I RUN THIS BODY.  She is a Christian, has 3 kids and has run 27 marathons!

First, I'll say that this is quite possibly the softest shirt I've ever owned. Plus it is pink. So basically I want to live in it. Please don't point it out if you see me in real life and I'm wearing it AGAIN. Haha!

But, more than just the fabulous feel of the shirt - I love the saying. I RUN THIS BODY.  

This doesn't apply just to running. It applies to every area of life. You are in charge of you. I am in charge of me. I make the choice to skip the workout or crush the workout. I make the choice to grab the burger or the salad. I choose whether I'm going to go to bed early and get enough rest or watch "just one more" episode on Netflix.

I'm an adult. I make my own choices. No one is forcing me to do anything. 

Yes, there are circumstances that drastically impact your choices. Your kids are up in the middle of the night so you aren't getting enough rest. You're busy with work and can't fit in workouts as often as you'd like. You're injured and can't do the workouts you want to do. Your budget is limited and buying healthy food can be more expensive. It's hot and humid out and you hate running in that weather and you don't want to run. (<----- br="" me="">

I get it.

We all have stuff.

But the thing you can you. We all get the same 24 hours each day. Make the choice to treat your body like a temple -- not a trash can. 

Are you choosing action or excuses?  

Who runs your body? 
You do. 

Run it well, my friends!