Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Running Costume

Okay because I'm a big fan of being comfortable, and I'm a big fan of dressing up in costume to run races, I really had to think through my Halloween costume for the annual local Halloween race.

I will admit that I own a few costumes and I've worn them a few times over the years.  My favorite is Minnie Mouse.  So when I started figuring out what to wear for the Halloween race, I was all over the place in thinking about what to wear etc.  Like I said I hate being uncomfortable.  So while I admire the runners who can run a race in a banana costume or with a bowl of pasta on their head, I'm not one of them.

Okay so here is what I decided.  I decided to reinvent my favorite costume running style:.  I purchased Running Skirts red mini dot skirt.  Its red with white dots just like Minnie's skirt.  I will add a black running top (dependant upon the temperature that day), my regular road shoes, black knee socks and my signature sequin Minnie ears (held in place by barrettes).  We will see how it all pulls together soon!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Even Dogs Love Yoga :)

On a sad note, our Roxy was diagnosed with Lyme disease this week.  She is on medication and should be just fine.  She's a little tired and somber it seems, but loving all the attention she is getting from being sick.  She's also loving the daily peanut butter and cheese sticks she's getting that help me hide her pills!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Roxy Love

I know I talk about my doggie all the time.  However, my husband recently took some photos that need to be shared.  We're been taking her on more and more hikes  and working with her off leash more and more. She is doing great!  She will follow by my side or behind me on voice command.  Of course she gets excited from time to time, runs ahead, etc and I need to pull her back.  The long term goal is that she can run with me, off leash and stay by my side.

Speaking of running, I did a killer speed workout the other day on a new course.  All of my sprints were up BIG hills!   It was hard but I'm sure it was also worth it.  I'm off in a few minutes to try out another new route I found on Map My Run.  This one has parking and sidewalks!  (And a Starbucks!)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Status Update

Well the past few weeks have been very busy trying to get settled into our new home, resume normal business activities and catch up with our clients.  I've also been trying to find new running trails, get back into my routine, etc.

I will say that I haven't found that "one" park and set of trails that I love and feel comfortable at yet.  I am still in the running, looking, carrying a map and phone stage.    I am still using the GPS to get to some of the parks too.  I'm hoping to spend some more time at a park in New York this weekend and get more comfortable with the park itself.

I have also been taking hot yoga at least three times a week.  Its been a lot of fun.  Today I was able to hold crane pose for three breaths and I was able to get my heels on the floor.  These are both very small victories.  More importantly, I feel stronger and more aligned in my poses and I feel less wobbly.  I am addicted.

Lately running and I have had less of a love affair.  We will never part ways but I've been working learning balance in my life in many ways and running has taken a smaller role.  However, the role is no less important, just different.  I'm looking forward to working on our relationship all winter and maybe going for a faster or longer distance next year.

Oh and my new trail shoes rock!  I bought he Brooks Cascadia and despite them being so bright I could be seen a mile away, they are super comfortable and durable.  I didn't feel one rock and my bone bruise has heeled.  The colors may even grow on me :)

More to come as things progress and I regain some normalcy in my life!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fekkai Review

I am a pretty low maintenance person.  As long as I have products that are environmentally responsible and work fairly well, I don't really have much of a preference.  I will admit I have semi curly hair that is sometimes unruly.
I was recently sent a bottle of Fekkai's Glossing Shampoo, Conditioner and a few sample sizes of their Glossing leave in.  I gave them a try right away.  I don't have oily hair and I don't have to wash my hair every day.  So I really want the shampoo I use to do a good job.

I used both the shampoo and the conditioner and when I was done my hair was well conditioned.  It felt clean and it still held its natural curl.  My hair didn't feel heavy as it sometimes does with other conditioners.

I loved the smell of the shampoo. It was clean and fresh and not over fragrant.  However, my hair still smelled good after I got out of the shower.  As a matter of fact, it still smelled good after two hours of yoga too.
Fekkai sells other lines of hair care; Shea Butter, Color Care, Full Volume and Glossing.  The Glossing series is designed for normal or dull hair.

I googled the shampoo and conditioner and its very reasonably priced for a high end hair care product.  Its available at hair care boutiques, and I've even seen it at Target.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Manduka Yoga Mat Review

As you all know I've been taking more and more yoga classes lately.  I've been trying out various types of mats, etc.

I believe I have finally found "the one".  The mat is Manduka's eKO Mat.  The mat is very heavy duty.  I will tell you its hefty to carry around.  It weighs seven pounds.

However, those seven pounds are worth it! This mat in particular, is made from non Amazon harvested rubber.  It is eco friendly and durable.  The mat does not contain any PVC.

The top is covered with a pretty pattern that almost looks like wheat flowing in a field in the wind.  Its subtle, but pretty.

I got my mat in Thyme and the color is amazing.  Its not a traditional color so it stands out at the studio which I like when everyone's mats look the same.

The mat is grippy but its still comfortable.  I wouldn't say its squishy, but it pads me enough from the floor to make me comfortable during any pose.  Even poses where I'm on one foot or my tail bone are more comfy on this mat.

The mat doesn't absorb moisture and dries quickly.  I haven't used it yet, but Manduka also offers renewal spray to make sure your mat stays in the best shape possible.

The Manduka mats are a little more expensive than other mats on the market.  However, in just the short time I've been using mine, its well worth it.  The durability and features that this mat offers are heads and tales above others on the market.

Take a peek at all of their offerings here:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

More Hot Yoga

Okay the day after my first hot yoga class I could hardly walk.  Granted it wasn't my only workout that day but the other workouts don't leave me sore at all.  However, this day I was so sore that I didn't want to brush my hair.  I was sore in places like my ribs and the tops of my feet.  However, I knew I was hooked.

I had to skip yoga the next day but I really wanted to get back as quickly as possible.  Today I went back and tried another type of class.  The last class I tried was power yoga.  This class was restorative.  I had no idea what to expect.

I spoke with the teacher at the start of class and she told me that while the last class had 118 poses, this one had five.  Each pose was very deliberate.  We took time to "get into it" and really stretch out each muscle being used.  We used props.  Each student had two blankets, two blocks, a bolster, a strap and a sand bag.

I had never done anything like this before but I really enjoyed it.  Some of the poses hurt at first but soon felt good.

The point is to align your body and release the tension.  I can't say that I stopped my mind from racing entirely, but I felt wonderfully relaxed afterwards.  I don't feel like I got a fabulous workout from this class, but I felt refreshed.  Its important to take the time to relax and realign like this and I hope to include this class in my routine once a week.

Of course, today was my speed work day and I didn't get to run before hand so after the calm class I did speed

I am thus far loving adding hot yoga into my routine!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Jade Yoga Mat Review

Now that I've been doing more yoga and we've had some guests on our radio show related to yoga, I've been getting a lot of questions about the gear, etc that I use.

I was recently sent a Jade Yoga Professional Mat to try out.  I took it to a hot yoga class to give it a whirl.  It rolled out easily and once I had it in place, it really stuck to the floor.  I was using a towel over it so I didn't sweat directly on the mat.  However, I did pour water on my towel to increase my grip and the mat really gripped.

I have a sharp tail bone.  I can't do sit ups without a blanket underneath me without doing harm to myself.  So my usual yoga mat (a Target special) sometimes hurts in times like boat pose.  This mat provided me with plenty of cushioning.  But again, no movement on the floor, which I liked.

Jade mats are made of natural rubber, a renewable resource.  How cool is that?  They also won't release any of those nasty chemicals that are found in other mats.

The mat is hefty, about five pounds.  However, it rolled up easily and fit into the mat bag I have been using all along.

This particular mat is available in two lengths, 68" and 74".  Of course, it comes in various colors too. Even if this mat isn't for you, Jade Yoga has lots of other mats.  Check them all out here:

These mats make the perfect gift for the yogi or budding fitness enthusiast in your life.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hot Yoga

Well I finally tried hot yoga.  I bought a Living Social deal what seems like forever ago, but with the move, etc I finally got around to using it.

I love it and I have a new addiction.

The teacher asked me at the start of class if I had ever done yoga before and I told her that while I had taken some classes a while ago, I had never tried hot yoga.

She told me that when I get woozy or light headed, go ahead and get into child's pose.  I thought this was ominous.

I also knew that there was a very good chance I might not make it through class.

Everyone else was dressed in long leggings and tanks.  I had on some hot yoga shorts and a tank.  I'm glad I did as I needed to be able to adjust to the 105 degree temperature.

I actually made it through the whole class and from the classes I've taken in the past, I knew all of the poses.  I am very glad that it wasn't my first yoga class overall.

At the start of class, the room feels hot. As class goes on, it feels warm and nice.  You stop noticing the sweat dripping off of you and start to really focus.

Its hard work.  I won't deny that.  However, at the same time, its very relaxing.  Its kind of like going for a hard run while drinking a glass of wine.

I only have 30 days on my membership so I'm going to try to get as many classes in as possible.  And after that, we will see.  However, I'd love to add it to part of my workout routine this winter.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Go Sport ID Review

I was recently sent a Go Sport ID Inspire bracelet to try out and review.  I have used other ID types in the past and been happy with them, but because I trail run a  lot I'd managed to ruin a few of the other ones.

I received the bracelet and I immediately slipped it on.  It was comfortable right out of the package.  I am always concerned about having to put on bracelets as I don't always get ready for a run with someone around.  I didn't need any assistance with this one.

Since it was colder out, I was wearing the bracelet underneath my long sleeve top.  I even used the thumbholes for part of the run.

I was concerned that I was going to feel the bracelet and have to fidget with it.  I never even gave it another thought.  It stayed flat against my skin and hardly noticeable.

I also thought the bracelet might get sticky or yucky after running with me for a while.  It has not.  The silicone band is easy to clean and doesn't get sticky after wear.

The stainless steel plate is clearly engraved and not only holds all of your personal information, it holds motivational saying of your choice.  I also like the fact that your personal information is on the under side of the bracelet's plate.  If I stop for coffee I'm not worried that someone might get ahold of personal information with just a glance.

I feel safer wearing the bracelet and I know my husband feels better that I go out with it on my wrist.  Its a small investment to make in my safety and well being of being a runner, especially one who runs in the woods.  This is a great gift for someone who runs, bikes, or even a child who plays a sport.

The bracelets come in various colors and wrist sizes.  Go Sport ID also has other bracelet products and even a "dog tag" like id necklace.  You can view all of their products here:

So this holiday seasons or for your loved one's next birthday, pick up a Go Sport ID!

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Okay I've decided to get a few more races in this year.  In the past year I've run nine and although it didn't meet my goal of one per month, I'm happy that I will round out the past 12 months with 10 races (one is at the end of the month).

And so I'm now thinking about my plan for the next 12 months.  I will be running a race at the end of the month (Halloween) and I will run the local Turkey Trot again.  I'd love to find a Jingle Bell race even if it is hard to fit something else into December.  (Its worth it just for the outfits I could come up with to wear!)

I'm debating on running the Brookfield series of races again next year or maybe I should branch out and find new races to run.  I'm still only into running about one per month as they do cost money to enter and I don't want to tie up every weekend with races.  My husband is super supportive and comes to every race, but I do want to leave time for hiking, photography, etc.

So I'm wondering how you pick races to run and where you find them?  I have been using the site of a local track club, but I'm interested in branching out, traveling farther, etc.

2012 is going to be my best year yet and I know that making it the best year requires a little mental, physical and emotional preparation.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

New Territory

Well its official, I am moved to a new town.  And its not so easy to make it back to the park where I used to run every day.  While its sad, I am optimistic about finding a new park that I will love equally as much.

The past two days have been spent with printed maps in hand, exploring new parks.  The first is called Hemlock Hills and while its not nearly as large as my old park it was the most similar that I've seen thus far.  It had a large road sized trail with many off shoots of single rider trails.  We explored about 2 miles of the trails and I feel like I have a grip on how to navigate around the park.  Its fairly hilly and my cell phone seemed to work the whole time we were hiking.

The second trail was a rail to trail and while it was nice and flat and had fresh crushed gravel on the trail, it was almost too flat.  I found it kind of boring to run on.  The trail follows high tension wires and looking at the backs of people's home and the large poles were less than thrilling.  I will say that seeing the trail in front of me just made me want to get it over with, and before I knew it I was running one to two minutes faster than my normal pace.  So its a great trail to use for my speed work days, but I don't think I will be putting in any distance days here.

When I was thinking about new running shoes (which I need) I was thinking about road shoes as I thought I'd be running on roads more frequently.  I also through about a hybrid pair.  However, it now looks like I will be able to continue to trail run as frequently as I want so I'm going to try a new brand of trail shoes.  I usually wear North Face trail shoes, but I'm not going to hit a North Face outlet any time soon and they aren't easy to find other wise.  So I've done some research and I am going to try a pair of Brooks.  I hope they work out well!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Heart Walk

The day after the Newtown Race I participated in an annual tradition of the Westchester Heart Walk with some dear friends of ours, the Ang family.  We are walking for and honoring the memory of their beloved Ernesto Ang.

The walk is low key and it is one of the only events that is actually just a walk.  It takes place on a lovely paved an almost flat course in White Plains, NY.  There are walkers of all shapes and sizes and the best part is checking out everyone's tee shirts.  Each team designs and prints their own tee shirts.

Our tee shirts were awesome and unique:

The race is a great reminder of the work and preparation it takes to be and stay healthy.

Despite it "only" being a walk, they are super prepared ahead of time.  There is a warm up before the walk starts.  There is juice, water, apple slices, snacks, etc.  There is even an activity tent for the kiddies!

After the walk we go out for dim sum with our friends and eat up every calorie we expended during the walk.  Being outdoors in October and walking all morning makes the food taste even better!

This year we took Roxy for her first real outing of the sort.  She did very well considering how frantic she was with people and other dogs back in the spring.  She barely barked at anyone.  Mrs.  Ang even made her a heart and peace sign bandana!  Its so cute we haven't taken it off since.  Because Matt and I were so tied up with watching Roxy we didn't snap a lot of photos, but I hope to have some new ones soon.  Here is one we did catch:

We will be back to the Heart Walk again next year!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Newtown Road Race Review

I've been waiting to run the Newtown Road Race for years.  Literally.  The first year I started training for it I got mono.  I trained last year and disconnected my IT band.  This year I was sad to find out it was taking place while I was away on vacation.  Well due to the hurricane, it was delayed until this weekend and I signed up right away.

With the move and renovation going on, I was really not prepared at all and my whole goal was to finish at all without feeling like I was dying.

The race morning was wet and cool, and I debated what to wear more than once.  I finally decided on one of my dresses, and my new Halloween Sweaty Band.  I was quite comfortable with the temperature.

The race was a rolling course and its one I have run quite often over the years.  I didn't wear my watch and I just did my best.  Shockingly, it was only 17 seconds off my PR.

I loved the race, taking part and getting back into it.  I am doing a race on Halloween weekend and I'm anxious to really get some great fall training days in,  I am off to explore some new trails tomorrow.