The Great Pumpkin Fest

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!  I’ve said it many times before, but Halloween is my most favorite holiday so any excuse to celebrate it and I’m in!  The Ecotarium hosts an annual Great Pumpkin festival that we attended this past Saturday.  They open the museum for special hours from 2-9 p.m. and it is an afternoon and evening full of  family friendly Halloween fun! They have more than a thousand of carved pumpkins that are on display and lit up when it gets dark, they have trick-or-treating, they have vendors, crafts, you name it, it was there.

pumpkin fest 2

As part of the admission price you also get full access to the Ecotarium including a free planetarium show.  While normally we would love this, there was way too much going on outside that we cruised right through the Ecotarium and spent all of our time outside.  We saw a fire breather which I thought was pretty cool but Ashton saw her and the fire and said, “Mama, I don’t like this much!”  This kid kills me so we moved on to something we knew he would like..BUBBLES!

bubble lady

They also had face painting for the kids (the line was SUPER long so we didn’t do it) and they had this great area where the kids could look for frogs hidden in the hay and take home 2 that they found!  Ashton loved this!  Notice he didn’t wear his costume…he got up from nap was wasn’t feeling his costume at the time but he wore this monster sweatshirt.  Win some, lose some!

frog hunting

They also had tee-pees set up with pots, pans, etc inside.

ash teepee 2

Ashton also loved playing in there with some of the older kids.

ash in teepee

The Ecotarium recently set up a really awesome park about a month or two ago but it was PACKED so we didn’t get to play much on it, but I can’t wait to take Ashton here in the Spring to explore it more, I have a feeling we could spend quite a few hours there!

After getting some candy from a few of the stations set up along the grounds, Ashton saw someone with an ice cream cone and that is all he could focus on.  We went to find where we could get ice cream and noticed there were a ton of vendors selling sandwiches, chili, hot dogs, chips, cookies, popcorn, cotton candy and ice cream.  We got Ashton his ice cream and he was on cloud nine and Robyn got a cotton candy as a  little pre-dinner treat.  I’m telling you, I have two kids, one is just much bigger than the other ;)

We at the Ecotarium for quite a few hours and it was getting late so we headed out to get some dinner before getting Ashton to bed.  On the way back to the car, it was so awesome to see all the jack o lanterns lit up, we probably took half an hour just walking back to the car pointing out the awesome carvings.

pumpkin fest

I just love this time of year so much!  I cannot wait to go trick or treating tonight and see the joy on all the kids faces, it really is so priceless!  I hope whatever you do tonight, whether it’s passing out candy, hanging with friends or taking your little ones trick or treating that you enjoy it!

On a random note, I am going to get my hair cut tomorrow and am thinking of changing things up since I’ve had the same hair style for a few years now..I am still not sure what I am going to do, but if you have an thoughts, let me know in the comments!! I’ll let you know how it goes next week (or if you follow me on IG…you will likely see it there first!)

Have an awesome weekend!

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Question of the day

Do you like Halloween?  What are you plans for tonight?

What should I do to my hair?

 

Indoor Skydiving Adventure & a must see video

A few months ago, Groupon was offering almost 1/2 off  for an indoor skydiving adventure at a place called SkyVenture in Nashua, NH.  Nashua is about an hour away from us and since there is no way in this lifetime I would ever get Robyn to jump out of a plane (he is TERRIFIED of heights) I asked him on the off-chance he would try it in a controlled environment and he surprisingly agreed so I bought the tickets and we went this past Saturday.

My niece came over right around Ashton’s nap time and we headed to NH for our “fly high experience.”  We booked two individual 4 minute sessions that had to be used by the beginning of November.  We finally squared away a date and when I called and booked our date and time, they told us that we needed to get to our appointment early as there was a mandatory training session. In my usual Sara self, we arrived in PLENTY of time and then they made us wait over an hour because there was a scheduling issue :(  #planningfail

We filled out all the waivers and after we waited almost an hour, it was our time to go through our training.  It took about 20 minutes and we went through hand signals, how to enter and exit the tunnel and the instructor answered any questions we had.  Then, we got all suited up.

skydiving
What is so cool about SkyVenture is that it is supposed to simulate free fall so accurately that skydiving teams from all over the world often use this technology for their training. So how does it work?  According to SkyVenture, some tunnels (in warm climates) simply suck the air in from ground level, push it through the flight chamber and diffuser and expel it at the top. SkyVenture uses a recirculating airflow skydiving simulator.   This means the exhaust air is channeled and redirected to become the intake air. Because they have complete control of the air, they can maintain a comfortable atmosphere in the flight chamber regardless of the outside weather conditions.

So, after we were suited up, we got helmets, goggles and ear plugs and we were ready to go inside.  We went into the waiting chamber and I was the first in the group to make my first of 2 “dives.”  I wasn’t nervous but I didn’t really know what to expect.  I thought it would be fun, but I didn’t know just HOW much fun I would have!  Once I entered the chamber the instructor immediately helped me get into place. I felt like I was floating and depending on how you positioned you feet and arms/hands, you would move in different directions, so it was really fun to play around with that.  You also feel your cheeks moving around a lot from all the wind, it was kind of a weird sensation.  Before I knew it, my first dive was over and Robyn was up.

What is really cool is that they have photographers standing inside the chamber to get action shots during both dives.  Here are some from our dives.

skydiving 3

skydiving 1skydiving 2

At the end of our second dive, the instructor held onto us and flew us up to the top of the tunnel and would bring us diving down really quickly and spin us around.  That was so exhilarating!  Both Robyn and I wish we had more time to play in the chamber, it was a total blast and we both agreed we definitely would do it again.

Lastly, I wanted to share with you a video and song from One Republic called “I Lived.”  I’ve had this song on replay for a few weeks and not only is the song amazing and speaks to me, but in the video they highlight a Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patient from Denver.  I have talked about my connection to CF through my work and it’s a disease and community that I am really passionate about helping. I am so proud to be working on products to help patients in this therapeutic area and I love that One Republic is bringing more awareness to this disease through this video.  It’s worth a watch and the song really is inspiring and motivating!

That’s it from me today folks, have a great Wednesday!

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Question of the day

Anyone been indoor or outdoor skydiving before? If not, would you try it?

Have you heard this song/seen this video before?

Weekly Wrap Up

Is it seriously Monday already? This picture clearly shows how I am feeling this morning!

monday

I feel like this weekend flew by, but with that said, it was such an awesome weekend filled with so many fun activities that it was worth the exhaustion I feel right now. Now, just remind me I said that tonight when I get home and all I want to do is pass out on the couch! :)

I have about 15 minutes to get this post done before I spend the rest of the day in meetings so…here is what last week’s workouts looked like!

Week: 10/20-10/26

Monday: I decided it was time to start some speed work again since it’s been a really long time since I’ve done any, so I warmed up for a mile and did then did 400 meter repeats at a 6:59 pace with 400 meter recoveries in the low 9’s for a total of 4 miles.  I finished in 33 minutes for an average pace of 8:15.

Tuesday: My legs felt kind of tired but I wanted to run so I got in a 3 mile progression run. I finished in 25 minutes flat, good for an average 8:20 overall pace. It was a pretty crappy run overall, but I am glad I powered through.  After my run I did some foam rolling and planks before calling it a day.

Wednesday: My favorite spin class in the morning.  There is something I love about the horribly awesome burn of my legs and lungs early in the am from a great spin class. Plus, our instructor is amazing, plays the best music and really cranks it loud, which I LOVE!

Thursday: I did a morning vinyasa yoga class and then had to launch the new Group Power release in the evening. My yoga class was nothing crazy but I was dying in Group Power. I never practice the new releases with weights until I teach them in class, which I always tell myself not to do, but let’s be honest, I just don’t have the time practice with weights. I generally learn the release starting on the Monday of the week I have to launch it and it’s always learned in the car on my commute to and from work.  It’s the best I can do, so I make it work but it’s not ideal–which always leaves my muscles screaming at me when I launch it, but again, its the burn that makes you feel like you are really pushing and challenging yourself that I love!

Friday: Even though my body was a bit fatigued from teaching the night before, I ran 5 miles on the treadmill while watching the Grey’s Anatomy episode from the night before.  I did it in 46 minutes and even though I didn’t enjoy it, averaging a 9:11 pace made me happy since it felt like I was running through mud the entire time!

Saturday: We had soccer in the morning with Ashton then we picked my niece up on the way home so Robyn and I could head to NH to go indoor skydiving (recap coming later this week!).  While it’s not a traditional workout, I am counting it as a workout because it was crazy and you do have to use all your muscles!  After Ashton woke up from his nap, we took him and my niece to the Great Pumpkin Extravaganza at the Ecotarium and then went out for a nice dinner. It was a really fun day and I love spending time with my niece and Ashton adores her, so it was a win/win for all of us!

Sunday: Robyn went hiking with one of his friends so Ashton and I got up, headed about a half hour away to my favorite grocery store and lived it up for about 2 hours!  When we got home, it was lunch time and then we put Ashton down for a nap. I had good intentions of doing a workout video but ended up doing my nails and catching up on Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder–sometimes you just have to relax and do something for yourself so that is just what I did!  When Ash woke up from his nap, we met our friend Danielle and her two little boys at a local Halloween party where Ashton got to dress up in his costume, play games and eat cookies and hot cocoa. It was a fun way to end the weekend and I just love watching these 3 guys together!

ash, cason and rylen

Overall, it was a pretty good week of workouts.  I need to get better about consistency on the weekends, but in all honesty, I’m not going to beat myself up about it.  I work hard all week both in the gym and at work so enjoying the weekends doing special things with my boys will always take precent over a workout.  Guess that means I need to push it a bit harder during the week! :)

Okay friends, have a great week!

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Question of the day

What was the best part of your weekend?

 

A new normal and other random things

Hi friends, I am sorry I missed you on Wednesday, but I’m still trying to get acclimated to my new job and I have had no more than 30 minutes free since the day I started, it makes it hard to get a post written, hell, I haven’t even been able to squeeze food in on most days.  I need to figure out a better way, but I’m just not there yet.  I do know that I am probably going to have to try to write my posts in the evenings, which kind of makes me cringe right now because by the time I get home, play with Ashton, have dinner, do our bath, teeth brushing, reading, sleep routine and get my stuff together for the next day, I am barely standing and can’t create a coherent string of words, but we will see.  I know I am just working towards a new normal here, and I should cut myself some slack since it hasn’t even been 2 weeks yet, but I have been in that limbo period and I HATE it!

Anyways, the second half of this week in Boston has been RAINY and pretty miserable.  Wednesday and Thursday both took me almost 2 hours in the morning to get into work and given that I leave my house at 5 a.m., you can only imagine my irritation and the number of expletives that have come out of my mouth this week.  Not cool weather, not cool!   This also means that our mason is unable to work on our stone walkway at the house and like the anal good project manager that I am, my head wants to explode with irritation as I just want it to be done so we can use it! Right now, if anyone comes to the house, we have to open the garage to have them come into the house because the front yard is all dug up. Hopefully I will have a good update for you in the next week or so.

I’ve been pretty much failing at all things these past few weeks, including my Mommy duties.  I kinda feel like crap about this especially since I am already the second favorite in our house so I have been making a really conscious effort to be more engaging with Ashton, especially since it looks like our park nights are numbered (or maybe even gone all together until the Spring.)  I never have a hard time rallying when fresh air is concerned but once I am home and changed into my comfy clothes, I kind of shut down.  I pinned a ton of different toddler art projects to do to get us through the Winter and this week we did our fist one, a ghost art project, which clearly works great since my favorite holiday is next week!!  It gave us a chance to talk more about Halloween, trick or treating, his costume, candy, you know, all the fun stuff in life!

ghost project

Ashton seemed to really enjoy it (and I did too).  Once we finished it, he wanted to hang it on our sliding glass door off the kitchen, so that is what we did.  It was a super simple project, but he was able to help cut and glue everything and it kept him engaged for 30 minutes, which makes me hopeful that we can continue fun projects like this throughout the Winter and have fun!  I’m calling it a win, I need all the wins I can get!

Lastly, I haven’t been able to read/post on all your blogs this week and I’m sorry.  My Bloglovin feed is blowing up and a goal this weekend is to catch up. I miss you guys but I hope you will forgive me and stay with me while I work through this transition.

Have an awesome weekend…we have a few really fun things planned this weekend that I CANNOT wait to share with you next week!

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Questions of the day

Tell me how you guys manage your blog posts? On the fly? Pre planned? Help me out here!

How has the weather been in your neck of the woods?

Anyone racing this weekend?

 

Weekly Wrap Up

Hey, hey!  Here we are again, back at Monday!   I don’t know about you all, but it was COLD here this morning.  When I got into my car, it was only 29 degrees outside….YIKES!  That means Winter is on it’s way, but thankfully, the best way to keep warm is to work up a sweat, right? :)  How was your weekend?  I know a lot of you have been out there racing, I have loved seeing my Instagram and FB news feeds packed with race/training pics and lots of PRs!! Keep up the awesome work!!  So, many of you know that I finished my first week of my new job and it was a whirlwind but thankfully my workouts didn’t suffer, I think having consistency in my workout scheduled helped keep me calm (or as calm as I could be given my anxiety over starting a new job!)

So…here’s what last week’s workouts looked like!

Week: 10/13-10/19

Monday: I had Monday off for Columbus Day and spent the day with my boys.  My workout schedule always gets a little messed up when we are all home together, but I was able to get in the PiYo lower body video followed by the upper body videos during Ashton’s nap time!

Tuesday: I got in 5 super sweaty miles in before work with one of my favorite new tops! There is something about skulls on my shirt that makes me feel bad ass when I’m working out (it’s kind of a joke, because I am SO not bad ass, but one can pretend, right??)

tuesday run

Wednesday: I had an all day meeting at work that started early so I only got to stay for 30 mins in spin class, but I was able to push it to my limit and got in just shy of 16 miles, my legs and lungs were burning, but it was awesome!

Thursday: My day on Wednesday was so busy that I missed the sign up for my normal yoga class, so it was full when I arrived in the morning  :(  I ended up running 4 miles instead, which was good. I took it easy because my legs were tired, so I finished in 35:53 and I was happy with that. I finished with some foam rolling on my IT bands and called it a day.  I taught Group Power at my gym in the evening and I got even more of a workout than normal because it was so hot and humid in the studio that my mic shorted out and I had to teach 1/2 the class with no mic, meaning, I had to scream over loud music while doing the moves and coaching on form, not my favorite way to teach let me tell you, but I made it through and I don’t think it was terrible for the members so that is always my biggest concern!

Friday: I intended to get in 5 miles in but I made it about 1/4 of a mile and knew it just wasn’t going to happen.  My legs felt like lead.  I still wanted to do cardio so I got on the stair climber and sweat it out for just over 3,000 steps. I was soaked, my quads and calves were on fire and it felt so good!

Saturday: I wanted to do a video during Ashton’s nap but Robyn made plans for some friends to come over in the evening so I wanted to clean up the house.  I swept, vacuumed and steam cleaned all the floors, and cleaned the bathrooms, etc.  Before I knew it, Ashton’s 2 hour nap was over and cleaning was the only workout I got.  I guess Saturday became my rest day but it was all good, we ended up going to a local Apple Festival (see pic below) and we had soccer in the morning, so I got in plenty of movement!

ash at apple fest

Sunday: In addition to doing a bit more cleaning and all my food prep for the week, I got in the PiYo Sculpt video during Ashton’s nap.  It was a pretty low key day, we did our grocery shopping and then didn’t leave the house for the rest of the day, something we don’t typically do all that often!

Overall, it was a good week.  It is going to take some time to find my groove at work but it’s really important to me to keep consistent at the gym. I have been really slacking on doing core specific workouts and I need to fix that.  I know I give my core a workout during every run, spin class, yoga class, etc, but I would like to start focusing on core specific workouts soon…maybe this week will be the start of it? We will see.  Acknowledgment is the first step, right?

Have an awesome week!!

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Question of the day

What was the highlight of your weekend?  Did you race?

I survived and Would You Rather–The Runner’s Edition

Howdy friends!  I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am that it is Friday.  It was my first week in my new job and I survived, which is all I was hoping for.  I have never been so exhausted in all my life, I was in bed asleep by 8:45 p.m. every night.  I went through each day being pulled in so many different directions that I barely knew which was was up, but I survived, so I am calling this week a success.  I couldn’t help myself with this picture, it just made me laugh so hard this morning!


In general, I freaking love what I am learning and I think I am going to really enjoy my new job, but my mind is so full and I am on information overload. I have rarely ever felt so lost in any aspect of my life.  I am SO incredibly thankful that at least I know who to go to for things and what systems for the most part we use because I think if I was coming from the outside, I would have ran home on the first day and never come back.

So, I apologize that you aren’t getting an in depth post, rather, I thought I’d keep in light, mainly because I don’t have the brain power to give you anything else right now.  So, you all know I love me a questionnarie or two and I came across this one on Lauren’s blog a few months back and decided I wanted to play along, because I mean, combining questions AND running just make me smile!  So here we go!

1. Would you rather run a 5k or a marathon?

While I love longer distances, I am going to go with a 5k.  Marathons just take SO much time and energy and I can run a 5k anyday of the week, so that’s what I am going with.

2. Would you rather run a flat race in the heat or a hilly race in the cold?

Hilly race in the cold, hands down. Running in the cold is so much easier than in the heat.  While I like the heat (anything under 80 degrees), but I just don’t do well in the heat.

3. Would you rather get new running shoes or a new running outfit?

New running shoes…I tend to stick with the same running outfits I already have.

4. Would you rather run a race without headphones or without a Garmin?

Hmmm..I’d say without a Garmin because I play my music though my phone and could use Runkeeper!  Is that cheating?

5. Would you rather run on the treadmill for an hour or in a circle around the same street block for an hour?

Treadmill.  You all know I am a little weird and actually really enjoy running on the treadmill.

6. Would you rather run a Ragnar Relay or a marathon relay?

Well, I think either would be fun, but I think a marathon relay, only because I wouldn’t have to go so long without sleep.  I am a crankpot without enough sleep–Robyn calls me Sarazilla! :)

7. Would you rather come in 4th in the Olympics or 1st in the NYC Marathon?

I’d rather come in first in the NYC Marathon.  Hear me out…while it would be INCREDIBLE to be on an Olympic team and represent our country, I just think it would be amazing to WIN a marathon (although I’d rather it be Boston!) Like 1st place in a marathon, can you imagine that feeling?

8. Would you rather give up running for 1 year to get a BQ (Boston Marathon qualifying time) or never BQ but run as much as you want?

I would not give up running for a year to BQ.  Mainly because I have already run Boston and have no desire at this point to run another marathon.  Also, the thought of not running for a year is almost unbearable. I love the feeling it gives me and to have to give that up for a year just wouldn’t be worth it to me.  Could I find other ways to workout? Of course, but I just really LOVE running.

9. Would you rather run in an urban area or on a trail?

I run both now and both are so different.  I think a trail so I wouldn’t have to stop at stoplights and dodge people all the time, although I could be dodging scarier things than a person on a mission to get their Starbucks before work in the morning (that’s SCARY, trust me!)

10. Would you rather have a headache during a run or a side stitch?

Side stich, mainly because I can *usually* breath through them and they don’t last long, headaches are usually pretty debilitating to me.

11. Would you rather run in a thunderstorm or a snowstorm?

I’ve run in both, there is nothing that will put fear in you quicker than hearing gigantic thunder when you are in the middle of nowhere!  Don’t let the picture below fool you.  My running partner Jill and I were out one afternoon doing our long run while training for the Cape Cod Marathon and it started pouring and the thunder and lightning was incredible.  Thankfully, our running team knew we headed out to do our long run and knew our route and came out to save us!  So, I’d rather run in a snowstorm!  sara thunderstorm run

12. Would you rather have a rest day on a work day or a day off?

I’d rather have it on a day off, mainly because getting up early during the work week to get my workout in is such an ingrained habit and I would have to get up early regardless to get to work on time because of the traffic, so I’d rather have a rest day on a day off where I can sleep in!

13. Would you rather run just because or train for a race?

I’ve told you guys before that I don’t LOVE to race, so I would rather run just for the fun of it.  It takes a lot of the pressure off of it and for me, makes it more enjoyable.

 

That’s it folks, have a wonderful weekend!!

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Question of the day

Answer one of the questions above or join along on your blog and let me read all your answers!

 

Running on the moon with the Alter-G

Hi friends! I am SO excited for today’s post.  A while back Jess from Outside PR contacted me, asking if I would be interesting in trying out the Alter-G treadmill.  I could barely type out my response quick enough, I’ve been hearing about this treadmill for SO long and was dying to try it out.  It took us a while to find a date for me to go in and meet with Chad Coporale at Worcester Physical Therapy Services because my schedule was so nuts, but I finally made it in and it was AWESOME!!

Let’s start with a little background shall we?  The Alter-G was created by NASA engineers and it uses patented NASA technology that lets you walk or run unweighted up to 80% of your body weight, so you really feel like you are running on the moon.  As most of us runner’s know, sometimes our body’s get tired, especially when we are piling on the miles (hey marathon training!) So being able to increase our volume of training while reducing the risk of injury as there is no stress to the joints and muscles would be amazing.  It’s so amazing that elite athletes like Kara Goucher and Kobe Bryant both use it to train and former Boston Marathon winner Alberto Salazar, who now coaches elite runners for Nike’s Oregon Project, uses Alter-G treadmills in his training programs because he sees the value in unweighted training to increase volume while reducing injury.  However, its not just for runners, its also great for people trying to lose large amounts of weight and for physical therapy for those coming back from an injury, surgery or stroke victims.  What is so great about the Alter-G is that is allows you to run or walk while maintaining your normal gait, so while you may feel like you are running on the moon, you keep your form.

When I arrived for my appointment, I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  Chad was great and gave me a run down about the machine itself and all the components of it.  He then had me get dressed in a pair of neoprene shorts that looked a lot like biking shorts but we thick and tight.


in shorts

Once I was in the shorts, I stepped into the chamber in the Alter-G.  At first, I felt a bit awkward as this treadmill doesn’t look much like the ones I adore at my gym.  You basically step into the middle of a tent like circle and then you pull it up and zip yourself into it via the compression shorts.

Once I was zipped in the Alter-G, Chad had to calibrate the machine specifically for me.  The calibration takes about 30 seconds or so as air fills the chamber, determining your weight, etc.  It was a weird feeling as you definitely could feel the air compressing you and almost lifting you off the ground and then decompressing and letting you back down feeling normal.  Once it was calibrated, I started walking at 90% of my body weight.  It didn’t feel much different but as soon as we started decreasing the numbers, it felt so different.  I started my jogging warm up around an 8:30 min/mile and it didn’t feel difficult at all, soon I found myself around 50% of my body weight and I was running in the low to mid 6’s and it felt like I was running at a pretty normal pace for me (I WISH!!) I could definitely feel it cardiovascularly but I felt no discomfort in my legs.  It was the strangest thing to wrap my head around, but it was really awesome.  I guess this is what the elite runners feel like (but they run even faster!)

Here are some shots of me running on it from different angles!

alter g  collage 2

It has that great open chamber at the bottom to let the coach/PT evaluate your gait and you can even do a video analysis of your session to see where you need improvements.  Chad let me test out the Alter-G for a bit and I got in a good workout.  When I was done, I let the machine decompress and felt my body weight return to normal. It was definitely a strange feeling that you have to get used to again.  Once I was ready, I unzipped myself out of the contraption and stepped out.  I immediately noticed how sweaty I got in the compression shorts, but I guess it makes sense since I was zipped into a compression chamber, I had to be giving off heat while I was running even if I didn’t feel like I was.  Chad mentioned that the people who come and use the Alter-G often usually buy their own compression shorts.  While they have a few in every size available, they have to get washed after every use so there is a chance when you come in that your size may be unavailable.

After my session, I started asking Chad some more questions, like….do “normal” people buy these machines for their training.  I got a little laugh followed by a “no.”  I guess that makes sense when he told me that the machines can run $75k+ Yeah, that just isn’t in my budget!  Who knows, maybe when Alter-G gets super huge and mainstream, they will do a giveaway and I could win, right? Pipe dreams, I know!  But seriously, this machine was amazing.  Not only is it great for us “regular” athletes, I mean, this would have be ideal when I was training for Boston in the snow, ice and freezing temps, but the ability for it to help rehab those with injuries is truly amazing.

Now, the coolest part of this whole experience is that the Alter-G is not just for elite athletes anymore, YOU can try running on the moon too!  Places that have one of these very coveted Alter-G machines now offer day and monthly passes for us regular folks to come in and use it to train. You can visit their website to find one near you.  I know that Worcester Physical Therapy Services near me even runs Groupons from time to time at really discounted prices that you can take advantage of using the Alter-G at a lower rate, but even at full price, a 30 minute session in my area is $25 or 3 sessions for $75.  While it’s not dirt cheap, it’s not really expensive either and if you bought a few sessions to use over the course of a training cycle, I could see it being really beneficial, especially here in New England when the Winter can be really tough to train in with snowy, icy roads.  I would highly recommend giving this a try if you have one in your area, it was a really cool and informative experience.

 

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Question of the day

Have you heard or tried the Alter-G before?  Have you ever tried other ways of simulating reduced body weight running (like in the pool)?

Weekly Wrap-Up and a Winner’s Announcement!

Happy Columbus Day!  Today I am off from work today and spending the day with my boys. As far back as I can remember, Columbus Day weekend has always been my favorite long weekend of the year.  I think it probably has to do with the fact that the weather is usually fantastic and growing up, we always had a Columbus Day Soccer tournament that lasted the whole weekend and I have such fond memories of those tournaments from growing up. I intend to fully enjoy today off with my boys since I will be starting my new job tomorrow! EEK!!

Anyways, let’s get to the weekly wrap up AND the winner of my Young Living Essential Oils Giveaway!

Week 10/6-10/12

Monday: I ran 5 miles on the treadmill at work in 44:20, I wanted to get outside but it was really dark and was in the high 30’s, so I decided to keep it inside.

Tuesday:  I ran 5 miles again. I want to start building my mileage back up again, nothing too crazy but more than what I have been doing.  I stayed indoors again on the treadmill and did 5 miles in 44:40.  My legs were a bit fatigued but overall it wasn’t too bad.  I finished with some foam rolling and stretching.

Wednesday:  I rode 18 miles in my morning spin class.  It felt REALLY hard.  Spin is never easy, but I think my legs were way more tired than usual since I ran back to back days and given my hiatus last week.  I was also drenched after class, but it was one of those hurts so good feelings after, so glad I was done and that I did it ;)

Thursday:  I took a vinyasa yoga class and then taught Group Power in the evening. A pretty typical Thursday for me, except I literally felt like I was going to die during every class in Power.  It all felt so hard.  I never struggle when I teach like I did during this class. I think maybe my prior week was catching up to me and my body was just trying to acclimate again.

Friday: I was off from work and Ashton had a Dr’s appointment so it was a rest day for all intents and purposes. Since I am starting my new job tomorrow I wanted to get a few new pieces of clothing so I got a few good hours of clothes shopping in (trying on all those clothes has to burn calories right?)

Saturday:  It was a busy morning with Ashton’s soccer practice and errands.  It was also miserable outside, it was COLD, like so cold we started a fire and it rained all day so I wasn’t super motivated to do much, although I did pull it together and did PiYo’s define lower body workout during Ashton’s nap.

Sunday:  We had another busy day but the weather was great and we spent some good time playing outside.  During Ashton’s nap I did the PiYo strength intervals workout and after his nap we went on a hike for about an hour near our house.

Overall, a better week than last but I am still looking to improve this week.  It’s probably going to be tough since I am starting my new job, I have a full day meeting on Wednesday so I don’t know if I will be able to go to spin and in general, starting a new job can be time-consuming and stressful but I’ll make the best of it.

 

AND…now, onto the winner of the Young Living Panaway Rollerball!

LAUREN MARIE

Congrats!!  I will be sending you an email to get your details!

If you didn’t win the Panaway but would still love to give a Young Living’s essential oils a try, you will receive a $20 gift card when you order any of the premium starter kits by October 17. You can order your kit here. You can also email Kathy directly at TheOilyMomYL@gmail.com if you have more questions.

 

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Question of the day

What are your plans for Columbus Day? Are you working or do you have it off? Any words of wisdom for my first day at my new job tomorrow?

 

Apple Picking 2014

Hey, hey–it’s Friday!!  I don’t know about where you live, but it is literally PERFECT outside today.  I’ve said it before and I will say it again, there is truly no place in the world I would rather be than in New England in the Fall.  The temps are perfect for running, hiking and generally just hanging out outside.  There is a smell in the air that I call Halloween, you may look at me like I’m crazy, but if you have ever lived here or spent any amount of time in NE in the Fall, you know what I am talking about.  THIS is why I endure the brutal winters, to enjoy this short period of time in the Fall when everything screams of happiness and comfort for me.  With the Fall comes one of my favorite family traditions, apple picking.  Robyn and I started apple picking together in 2005 when we started dating and have gone every year since with a group of our friends.   Our group of 6 has now expanded to 9 and I look forward to our apple picking adventures each and every year.

On Saturday we met up with our friends at a new place (to us), Bolton Spring Farms.  In previous years we have gone to the same place, but it’s grown from a family run, fun, laid back place to a commercial operation and given our experience there last year, we all decided we were up for a change.  I think we found a winner and will definitely be back!  We got our bags and started the trek up a ginormous hill.  Poor Robyn pulled out our Radio Flyer wagon and the two little guys (Ashton and Rylen) both hopped in, so Robyn pulled 60 lbs up a steep hill, poor guy was huffing and puffing when he reached the top!

all in the wagon

Thankfully when we reached the top, we were greeted with this gorgeous view!

landscape

The leaves just started to change while I was in Spain and while you can’t really tell in the picture, off in the distance you could really see the changes in the leaves, it was gorgeous!  We all started picking apples when we hit the top.  The younger guys were so cute!

boys picking apples collage

My two even found themselves in the trees at different points in the day!!

boys in the trees

Ashton must have consumed at least 6 apples while we were out in the orchard (in addition to the 2 cider donuts he scarfed down post picking!!)

ashton apple eating collage

He must have worked up an appetite, you know, climbing on rocks, learning about bugs and general guy talk!

boys playing

Not to mention jumping over streams!

jumping over stream

We took a great hayride to the pumpkin patch where Ashton picked out a pretty great pumpkin and was proud of himself!  We didn’t get it though because it’s too early to get our pumpkins, we made that mistake last year and they were all rotted by time Halloween came :(

ashton pumpkins

We also took some pics of the two of us together since I am usually always the one snapping pics of our excursions so we don’t get a lot of pics, just the two of use!  Ash always asked to take “seffies”–who can say no to that?  (and Yes, Ashton is wearing two different colored Converse shoes (grey and red), he likes to mix and match his shoes?!)

ash and I collage

After we finished up picking apples and running around the pumpkin patch we went across the street to the Country Store and Bakery and grabbed a picnic table for a little snack.  I don’t have any pictures because we were all too busy stuffing our faces with homemade hot apple dumplings and apple cider donuts straight out of the oven.  Everything was so tasty and it was the most perfect way to spend a gorgeous Fall day and finish off our weekend!

Okay friends, whatever you do this weekend, have fun, be safe and if you are racing…kick some butt!!  See you on Monday!

 

***Don’t forget to enter my Young Living Panaway Giveaway!!***

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Question of the day

Do you go apple picking?  Have any Fall traditions in your family?  If you don’t live in a place where you go apple picking, you are invited to my house next year and I will take you, okay??  It’s something everyone has to do at least once!

 

 

Young Living Essential Oils {Product Review and Giveaway}

Hey friends, Happy Wednesday!  Today I am reviewing something a little different over here at Life Between the Miles–essential oils!  Now, before you click ahead to your next blog, give me a minute.  I know it seems like essential oils are the newest trend with bloggers lately, and I am not usually one to play with herbal remedies, but these things are great for athletes (and for everyone else too!)

young living

My first experience with essential oils was a few months back.  You see, I have a terrible time falling asleep at night.  Robyn’s head hits the pillow and within 2 mins (yes, I have actually counted out the seconds) he is passed out and I lay awake in bed for at least 30 minutes every night trying to fall asleep, even when I am dead tired.  My friend gave me some lavender essential oil a few months back and told me it would help me fall asleep.  I am lucky your eyes actually don’t stick to the back of your head when you roll them, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to write this review for you today.  I was skeptical, but let’s face it, I was willing to try anything to help me sleep.  Well, I tried it and fast forward to today, I still use the oil every single night and I am falling asleep quickly and staying in a deep sleep.  That was good enough to convince me it works.

So, when my friend Kathy, a representative for Young Living Essential Oils reached out asking if I was interested in trying a few oils for a review here, I jumped at the chance.  I let her know that my awesome readers are mostly athletes so I wanted to test out some things that you guys would find appealing as you are training and generally living a healthy and fit life.  So, she sent me among other things Panaway, Peppermint and Ningxia Red.

A little about essential oils before we get going:

What exactly are essential oils?

They are liquids that are distilled from plants (including their seeds, bark, leaves, stems, roots, flowers, fruit, etc.).

Why should I use essential oils?

  • They’re powerful antioxidants.
  • They’re antibacterial, anti-cancerous, anti-fungal, anti-infections, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-tumor, anti-parasitic, antiviral, and antiseptic.
  • They’ve been shown to destroy all tested bacteria and viruses, while simultaneously restoring balance to the body.
  • Every cell in your body can be effected by essential oils within just 20 minutes of using them.
  • They help promote spiritual, physical, and emotional healing.

How can I use essential oils?

  • Aromatically by diffusing or inhaling the oils
  • Topically by placing the oil directly on a specific location.  Some oils are considered “hot” and should be diluted with a carrier oil like Coconut, V6, or Olive Oil
  • Internally by placing 1-2 drops in a drinking glass (not plastic as the oils can dissolve plastic or petroleum-based products), or by adding 1-10 drops to a capsule and swallowing,
  • Compresses
  • Baths
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Massage

Essential oils can be used to treat any number of symptoms, as well as be used as a preventative measure.  When I first started researching them for this review, I was SO SO overwhelmed with all the info there is out there on essential oils.  I mean, people use them to treat every ailment there is!  I won’t go that far, I am a big believer in modern medicine when necessary, but I am starting to be more of a believer in natural remedies for certain things, especially things that aren’t urgent to treat.

Okay, now that we know a little bit more about essential oils, what they are and how they can be used….let’s continue on with my experience with them.  First up….Panaway!

Panaway

Panaway

Panaway is a blend of essential oils that was specifically designed for inflammation and pain, which is kind of perfect for most of us runners/athletes.  It is supposed to bring additional oxygen to the site which accelerates the healing process. My first thought is that it would be perfect for sore muscles after a tough run or workout.  Kathy send me this oil in a roller ball, which was great because I was able to pack it in my gym bag for easy storage.  I first used this on a Tuesday morning after I woke up and was really sore from my workout the day before.  I rolled on the panaway and immediately noticed the scent, it smelled like wintergreen and had a really fresh scent. It also had almost an immediate cooling effect, much like a lot of sports creams like Bengay, Icy Hot or Tiger Balm.  I drove to work hoping to make it through my scheduled run and I was surprised that I felt great. My muscles didn’t feel tight or sore like they did when I first got up.  But like anything, I wanted proof it wasn’t a placebo effect.  Well, I have used it 4-5 times since I have gotten it and each time I experienced a similar reaction, so this is going into my bag of handy tools when my muscles are fatigued or sore!

 

Peppermint

peppermint

 

Next up was peppermint!  Peppermint is used for everything from upset stomachs, headaches, pain management and added energy.  I first used it by placing 2 drops on my tongue and then swiped some under my nose.  I will be totally upfront, this stuff is STRONG!!!!  However, once I got over that shock, about 20 or so minutes passed and I really felt a sense of heightened alertness.  It was great, especially super early in the morning when I am usually just going through the motions and trying to get into work.  It definitely got me through some tough workouts.  I also brought it with me to Spain. and it helped a lot with the jet lag when I was getting up at odd hours.  I also used it on my forehead, temples and the back of my neck and when I started to get a pretty good headache while I was in a long session at the conference center (probably also related to jet lag) and it made me feel a lot better. I have also used it a few times diluted in water. I made the mistake the first time of letting too many drops fall into the water and let me tell you, I won’t make that mistake again.  The amazing thing is that you only need a tiny drop or two and it really packs a punch!

 

Ningxia Red

Ningxia red
The last item I tried was the NingXia Red, which is loaded with wolf berry, the world’s highest antioxidant food!  It’s primary benefits are increased mental fitness, cognitive alertness, and physical acuity.  It is also supposed to enhance athletic performance and endurance (who wouldn’t like a little more of this?) and boosts energy.  This is actually a juice that you can drink directly from the tub or mix with 2-4 oz of water.  The first time I used it, I did it more like a shot and it tasted good, not something I have ever really tasted before but I will equate it to what I think mixing berry and orange juice together would taste like.  The second time I used it, I mixed it with water.  I liked it both ways, but for convenience sake, I’d just take it as a shot.  Both times I used the NingXia Red I felt like I had increased and steady energy levels throughout the day and I felt strong during my runs all the way from start to finish. I never felt a crash like I have when I have tried Red Bull and I didn’t have that jittery feeling I get when I have tried energy drinks either.  I felt really focused all day and when I took Ashton to the park, I felt like I had a bit more pep in my step after a long day at work.

Well, that’s it ladies and gentlemen.  I was actually kind of shocked at how much I liked these oils.  Kathy also sent me some special stuff to use on Ashton since he has VERY bad eczema and it seemed to help him as well.   I will spare you the pictures because let’s be real, no one wants to see that (trust me!)  If you guys are interested in giving essential oils a shot, take a look below for some of their starter kits at a big discount.  I will caveat this with the fact that the price looks a bit shocking at first, but I think for what you get it’s worth it.  Also, you can order single oils if you want to give just one or two a try at first like I did.  You can order them through this link!

KATHY

And finally, the GOOD news!  I loved Panaway so much that we are going to be giving away a roller bottle full of this awesome stuff to one lucky reader!  With Fall marathon/racing season in full effect, whose muscles don’t need a little extra TLC? Enter my rafflecopter giveaway below and I will announce the winner on Monday, October 13th.  Please note this is only open to US readers (sorry guys!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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Question of the day

Have you ever used essential oils?  What are your thoughts?  Do you have favorites that you use all the time? Which ones interest you the most?