Having fun being active with prAna

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Disclaimer: I was provided clothing from prAna thanks to my association with Fit Approach. All opinions are my own :)

I love exercise clothes and frankly, I own a lot of them; BUT, you can never have enough ;). When I was offered the opportunity to try some clothing from prAna, I was over the moon.

I have always been curious to try their clothes. As the daughter of a naturalist, I do my best to buy environmentally friendly products. Not only does prAna use recycled and responsibly sourced materials, they treat their employees well. They are constantly evolving and working to protect the environment while providing an amazing product.

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The hardest part was selecting clothes to try. I could have used everything!!

I decided to go all in when trying their clothes. Of course, I wanted something I could wear for yoga, running and power classes. It also seemed like a good opportunity to try something new.

Speaking of new….I’m working on my headstand ;)

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Leggings were pretty far out of my comfort zone, but as the last person to the leggings party – I gave them a try. I love them!! I was nervous about unflattering lines and maybe a little cellulite showing its face. Not with the prism leggings! They were snug enough to keep everything in place while being easy to move in. The seams are perfect, creating a flattering silhouette! I am very picky about my bottoms and plan on buying more of these leggings :)

I’ve worn the leggings for all styles of fitness as well as running errands and getting the kids where they need to be. I didn’t run outside in them as capri season has passed here, but I’m looking forward to trying them in the spring.

For a top, I selected the Phoebe top. This fell right in my comfort zone – only so many risks at once ;). I wish you could feel the material through the screen, it is so soft and amazing! The design couldn’t be more flattering and all of the colors are beautiful.

I’ve been asked a lot about sizing from my students. In my opinion they run true to size. I’m always nervous about buying fitness clothes. It seems more often than not, I have to go up a size. This was not true with prAna. I looked closely at the sizing guide and double checked my hip width. The guide was spot on.

I love finding good, responsible companies that provide durable, stylish clothes that I can wear to work (exercise in) and run errands, grab lunch or whatever in the same clothes. I am definitely planning on adding more of their clothes from the early winter collection (hint, hint for those looking for gift ideas ;))

Know someone who loves exercise clothes as much as I do (maybe even you?)? You can use this discount code, pspf14smd, to receive 15% off your entire purchase! How fun is that?!?! Happy shopping and have fun being active!!!

Have you tried PrAna? What’s your favorite piece? Do you like leggings?

Oh October

I keep thinking, next month will be easier, it won’t be as busy. The reality – life is busy. September was the beginning of school and sports with a trip at the end of the month. October began with one trip ending and travel in the middle of the month.

November doesn’t have any travel, but the holidays are upon us. Any parent knows we are entering crunch time. All of this shows me how hard consistency in miles really is.

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Luckily, I was able to hit my goal of being consistent in October. I am pretty optimistic about November. If I can maintain my schedule while the boys are in school and know I might be shorter on miles over Thanksgiving, I should have success.

There’s even a chance I’ll log more miles in November. The key for me is to keep showing up to run with my friend. She is preparing for her first half marathon this weekend (how awesome is that?!?!) and keeps me on track.

Our runs are an appointment on my calendar. Maybe there will be more for longer distances in the future. So far, I couldn’t have predicted where my running adventure has gone and am along for the ride :)

How do the holidays affect your fitness routine? Are you consistent in your activities?

Running with friends

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When I began running, it was all about me. I didn’t want anyone else running with me. Sometimes on the treadmill was ok because I could go at my own speed. I wasn’t responsible for anyone else’s workout.

Now, I hate running by myself. I’ve been walking on the treadmill to keep moving and often clear my head before teaching a class. Running has become social.

I love it in the summer when I run and walk with friends at the track. Again, it’s like the treadmill. People can go ahead or slow down at their own pace, but we are all there together. Somewhere along the way, running with friends has become a huge highlight of my week!

It’s my “me” time, the equivalent of meeting for coffee. I don’t know when this happened! There are so many strange phrases coming out of my mouth. For example, “it’s only _ miles” or “I wish I brought my running stuff on vacation”. The craziest was this past week.

My running friend and I had scheduled a 5 mile run on Friday afternoon. Her daughter wound up being home with a stomach bug (life of a mom) and she had to cancel. I was genuinely disappointed. I looked at my husband and said I can’t believe how bummed I am about not going for our run.

On my way to teach, I thought of a friend I might be able to talk into joining me. The running gods smiled down, because there she was running on the treadmill when I got to the gym. I mentioned going for a run/walk in her neighborhood AND she said YES!

I was psyched! Of course the weather was cold and wet. It was supposed to clear, but typical New England – it didn’t. I called after my last class to see if she was still game and she was! We ventured out for a 3.25 mile run/walk.

Her long legs made her fast and we only walked for a little over .25 miles. It was great :) We chatted along the way and I found myself explaining that I love getting out and catching up while running.

I can still see the irony as a friend last year told me how great it is to run and talk. I thought she was CRAZY! Who can run AND talk, that’s just insane. Somehow, this has become my reality. I love running with friends. The mileage is secondary to getting out and catching up.

Not to mention, it keeps me accountable. I’m not going to be the one wimping out when the weather isn’t perfect or I don’t feel like it. I have an appointment, somewhere to be and someone counting on me.

I am capable of motivating myself to workout, but why make it less fun? As the winter months approach, I may be stuck back on my own. Right now, I plan on keeping it outside and with friends as long as it’s safe.

There is nothing like the fresh air and quality time with friends.

Do you exercise with friends? What has surprised you about leading a healthy lifestyle? Do you prefer being outside or inside when exercising?

Back to BOKS training

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Last week I ventured up to Reebok (again :)) with two moms for BOKS training. I am the lead trainer and thought it is great team building and frankly, just fun.

We were a little early and snuck in some shopping before the event began. The training was full at 75 people! It felt like double from last year’s training. How awesome is that?!?

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While I knew it would be fun and I love going to Reebok; I had forgotten how contagious everyone’s energy and passion is. It felt like a BOKS pep rally as we sat and listened to Kathleen talk about starting the program and how far it has come.

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They made the point that it has really been a grass roots movement. The trainers and people bringing it into the schools have to be passionate about it. In districts where it’s been mandated, people feel forced and it doesn’t have the same impact. They also mentioned Eli Manning as a spokesman didn’t go very far either.

Like any training, the group makes or breaks it. We had an awesome group. It was large and diverse. There were other parents, grandparents, retired educators and people from a YMCA in the Boston area. This allowed for great questions and discussion. It also made the games fun and realistic from a size/chaos perspective.

75 adults running around and playing toilet tag was a fair representation of what it feels like in the gym when running BOKS. We all did sit-ups and planks, ran around and laughed. It’s a great way to meet new people as you’re cheering on your team of strangers :)

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This year’s training touched a little bit more on the numbers side of things. The original school has been tracking performance based numbers and they are currently being analyzed. They know that attendance is better for children enrolled in BOKS. Test scores are showing improvement as well. Of course, there are the testimonials from teachers in favor of BOKS.

At our school, kids didn’t want to miss a BOKS day. There are many stories from parents saying how easy it is to get their kids up and out on BOKS day because the kids can’t wait to get there. To the adult eye, it might seem basic; but that is the beauty!

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The games are simple and easy for all children to understand. We have a wide range of kids involved and they cheer each other on. It was asked at the training about handling kids who were maybe faster/more athletically inclined and those who are not. Most of us agreed that it isn’t the issue adults think it will be. We break our kids up into even groups and emphasize cheering on your team. So far, this has brought smiles to even the shyest kids.

Another question that surprised me but seems worth mentioning, do trainers have to be fit. The answer – no! It was emphasized that a good trainer is charismatic, has control of the room and has fun demonstrating and playing the games.

Keeping the program volunteer run and free allows all children the opportunity to be involved. We were shocked at how many people signed up the first time we offered it. This year has been no different. Even finding volunteers was easier than I anticipated it. The kids love it so much, you don’t need any publicity ;)

Does your school offer BOKS? What was your favorite game to play as a kid? When was the last time you played tag?

Oysterfest ~ Friends, Hills and Fun!

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Last year, Oysterfest was one of our favorite races. It was far more challenging than we had realized going into it, but we ran with friends and attended the festival when we were done. Who doesn’t like live music, seafood and a beer with friends after a difficult race?

I had remembered last year was chilly pre-race and thought a lot about clothing options. I went with capris, t-shirt and light weight sweatshirt. My husband had a hat on the counter and I thought to grab my own (best idea of the day).

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We enjoyed a pretty sunrise on our drive down Cape (which is actually north) to Wellfleet. We drove the course before picking up our numbers and there were those hills as we had remembered. Somehow, they had grown to mountains in my memory. Driving them, they didn’t seem as scary.

We picked up our numbers and met up with our friends. As we bounced around to stay warm and did a little yoga pose for fun (and stretching) we chatted about last year’s race. We were excited that my husband had his watch on this year and we would know what the elevation is.

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There are three hills in this out and back race (so you climb and descend 6). The race began at 7 feet above sea level. The first hill is 61, the second 55 and the third 57. No wonder my quads were crying for mercy ;)

I ran the first part of the race with my running buddy. She keeps me working hard to keep up and I always feel pretty good. It was running with her that I had my best time in August. I sent her ahead near mile 2 as I knew I needed energy for that last hill.

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I felt pretty good going into the race. My running has been funky this month with travel, but I’ve still put in some decent runs. Hills are difficult to find on the Cape and it’s hard to be ready for them. I remembered feeling strong on them last year and was hoping for the same success.

It seemed I was ready to give in and walk just as we reached the top of each hill. No matter how big the hill was, the top came at exactly the right moment. I was able to keep trucking and enjoy the down hill that much more.

As I ran and warmed up, I took my hat off. I watched people peel off layers expertly. I kept going with my long sleeves which I was thankful for at the finish. The cold wind took care of that heat as soon as I stopped moving.

Luckily, we all brought a fresh change of clothes and pulled a Clark Kent in our cars before walking up to the festival. Sadly, I have an old iPhone (new one has been ordered) that doesn’t hold its charge and I didn’t get any pictures from the festival.

In the end, I finished the race in exactly 33 minutes, shaving just over 3 minutes off last year’s time! If I’m honest, I was hoping for 4, but am happy with 3. It’s been fun to re-run a few races and have something to compare it to.

What’s your favorite post race activity? What fall festival is your favorite?

500 miles and counting!

500 milesAs I approached 500 miles from when I began tracking mileage in April 2013, I looked back at a few posts. The one that struck me was my one year recap and how surprised I was to hit 246 miles. That was in March and here I am at 500 miles with the same surprise.

I began to wonder why I was so shocked. Did I really think I would quit? Was I expecting to be one and done? Honestly, I’m not sure.

It’s not my personality to only go half-way. I’m always in it to win it and maybe that’s it. I knew I wouldn’t be winning any races and thought I would throw in the towel.

I am here to say I have survived not winning. I have survived and embraced cheering others on. I have survived being, literally, in the middle of the pack.

Somewhere along the way, I began to love it. The feeling of accomplishment, camaraderie, and fun. As each mile passes, I feel stronger and more comfortable calling myself a runner. I’ve even missed it when I was away – who knew that could happen.runner

I have loved each goal I’ve worked for and right now, I like just doing it. I enjoy my time on the treadmill (you read that correctly) and truly love running outside with my friends. It is a time to relax, reflect and laugh.

If you had ever told me I would talk and laugh while running I would have had you committed. Yet, here I am on the other side. Somewhere along the way, it became a lifestyle and a part of me.

As I write this, I wonder if I will feel the same at 1,000 miles or some other huge milestone. All I can say, is I can’t wait to find out because at some point in the future I will hit 1,000 and more miles.

I can’t believe everything this adventure has brought so far and I can’t wait to see where it goes!!

Have you surprised yourself by sticking with something after reaching your initial goal? Do you track your progress? What’s your favorite fitness/healthy living accomplishment to date?

Maintaining my stride

With the boys back in school, I’ve been back to running outside with my friend. Our first run was a TOUGH one! It was the first day of school and the hottest day of the summer, yet we made it through!

Frankly, it could only get better from there. We knew we had to jump right in and create our routine. We logged five 4 mile runs in the month of September. The last week, we ran early in the week and snuck in an extra one on the Friday as I was going away the following week

I thought it would be fun to check in monthly on our outdoor runs and of course mileage ;)

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I’m hoping to have more consistency in my monthly totals. I seem to run a lot one month and then drop the next. My focus isn’t so much about a number, but staying even. Life and weather happens, but I think it can be done with a little effort!

Are you consistent in your training or does it vary monthly? What’s your favorite fall activity?