Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Branson Trip

When I'm writing this I'm a day or so into my Branson trip!  Its a whole new part of the country I've never seen before.  I flew from Portland to Atlanta to Branson yesterday.

I wanted to share with you some of the sights I'm seeing.  I will admit I haven't seen much of Branson.  My hotel is pretty far away from everything "in town" and I don't have a rental car.

The airport here in Branson was small and country themed.  It was funny to get off the plane, onto the runway and then hop into an airport that felt like I was at Disney World.
Cute huh?

I then checked into my hotel room.  It was much bigger than I had thought.  My laptop bag and tiny piece of luggage barely take up any space and I could host a yoga class in the room!

I haven't seen the conference center yet, but I bet it will be beautiful too.
We are on the lake in Branson and I can see if from my room.

Finally, I got to spend some time by the pool.  It felt odd to be sitting there in 80 degree sun while my family at home prepares for a hurricane.  Here is a view of the pool from the restaurant where I ate lunch.
I've been eating hotel food since I arrived and thus far I've had a great veggie burger and a wonderful Missouri beef burger.

I will post more pictures later and post more about my trip!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Roxy Girl!

Happy 3rd Birthday to my furry little doggie Roxy!  I don't think I rescued her, she rescued me!  

Friday, August 26, 2011

The True Meaning of Stress

A friend recently sent this to me and I loved it and wanted to share:

True Meaning of  Stress

     A young  lady  confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining   stress management to an audience; with a raised glass of water, and   everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, 'half   empty or half full?'..... she fooled them all... "How heavy is this   glass of water?", she inquired with a smile.

Answers  called  out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She  replied, "The absolute  weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long  I hold  it. If  I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If  I hold it for an  hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If  I  hold it for a day, you'll have to call an  ambulance.  In each  case it's the  same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it  becomes." She  continued, "and that's the way it is with stress.  If  we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the  burden  becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry   on."

"As with  the glass of water, you have to put it down for  a while and rest  before holding it again.  When we're refreshed, we can  carry on  with the burden - holding stress longer and better each  time  practiced. So,  as early in the evening as you can, put all your  burdens  down. Don't carry them through the  evening and into  the night... pick them up tomorrow.

Whatever  burdens you're carrying now, let  them down for a  moment. Relax, pick them up later  after you've  rested. Life is short. Enjoy it and the now  'supposed' stress that  you've conquered!"

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

One Year

August 23rd marks the one year anniversary of my IT Band injury.  One year ago I was unable to walk and had no idea what I had done or how I had done it.

A trip to my DM and a physical therapist and time revealed I had actually disconnected the IT Band entirely.  While most people need surgery to correct this, my physical therapist and doctor were determined to get back back running without medicine or surgery.  A combination of meditation, massage, dynamic stretching and determination allowed me to be back running (very slowly) in about 60 days.

 The past year has been spent learning moderation, stretching and injury prevention.  I firmly believe that without the dynamic multi pronged approach to getting better I'd still be injured today.  While I am still careful and feel a small twinge from time to time I'm confident an injury that serious won't plague me again.

I also attribute my recovery to the love and support of my friends and family.  Without my husband's help, I wouldn't have even been able to shower when I was first injured.   All in all, the injury was a blessing.  It helped me learn so much about those around me, myself and moderation.  I'm thankful it happened, but willing to do what it takes so it doesn't happen again.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Great Debate

I debate everything!  What to eat for lunch, what to do this weekend, what to wear, etc.  Now that I'm racing again, we can add what races to run and when to run them to the mix.

I've been happily running 5ks, a four miler and a five miler.  However, I am considering a 10k.  Not because I have caught the distance bug or am training for a half marathon, but because its a cool race. Its in Maine in the fall and is called Trails to Ales.  So you run on trails and drink beer.  Sounds like my perfect day.

However, I got to thinking, how serious am I?  Do I want to run a 10k?  Am I happy just the way I am?  Or should I challenge myself?  I tend to think that I'm happy where I am and what I'm doing, however, I could do a run/walk for this race or another 10k just to try the experience.  After all, its only one more mile than the 5 miler right?  (I have the gut feeling that the one mile feels like so much more though!)

I had intended to start seriously training for a 10k.  However, things changed in my life and I'm in the middle of a move, starting a new company and a few other things that have taken my attention away.  So  I'm undecided, and open to thoughts or suggestions.  But I could always go and hang out at the finish like for the beer right? :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Lole Lively Pants Review

Okay we all know I'm a big fan of Lululemon.  And I do love my yoga pants by them.  However, I have a new love.  Its the Lively Pant by Lole Women.  Although they seem like just another pair of black yoga pants, they are a little miracle in my opinion.

I have found that yoga pants are either very comfy or they are very flattering.  These are both.  They are SO SOFT and they were right out of the package.  They are the type of soft item that makes you want to slip them on and cuddle up.  They are also very flattering.  I don't have the world's smallest thighs, they are athletic.  However, these pants slim in just the right places.

I like the material as its not shiny, but its stretchy and moisture wicking.  They are almost dressy enough that you could wear them with a nice sweater and go out to dinner.  Overall, I think I'm going to live in these pants this fall and winter.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I've always loved camping and our annual family trip has always been something I look forward to with much anticipation.  This year is no different.  This year I need the rest, relaxation and renewal more than ever.  I am looking forward to waking up with the birds, falling asleep to the waves and hearing the loons call out to each other.

I love reading in the hammock more than anything. I love warming myself on the beach, only to jump back into the cold lake again.  I am also looking forward to running, biking and kayaking at the lake.  These things are more difficult to do from my home and they are so easy and quick to start doing while camping.

I love campfires and junk food and I love the cold brisk air of night time at the lake.
All of this being said, I haven't started packing yet and we leave in just a few days.  The past year and few months in particular have been so chaotic that the packing process that is usually drawn out, thought through and strategized for is being done in a one day, one shot this year.  I will be spending exactly one day pulling everything together, including clothes, food, gear, dog supplies, etc.  We will see how it goes and if we arrive with anything missing.  However, doing it this way is a little liberating.  Its a lesson for me on letting go.  After all, as long as I pack books and running shoes, I'm all set :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Little funny for today

A pastor skips services one Sunday to go bear hunting in the mountains. As he turns the corner along the path, he and a bear collide. The pastor stumbles backwards, slips off the trail, and begins tumbling down the mountain with the bear in hot pursuit. Finally, the pastor crashes into a boulder, sending his rifle flying in one direction and breaking both of his legs. The pastor is lying there; he’s lost his gun, and the bear is coming closer. So he cries out in desperation, “Lord, I repent for all I’ve done. Please make this bear a Christian.” The bear skids to a halt at the pastor’s feet, falls to its knees, clasps its paws together, and says, “Lord, I do thank thee for this food.”

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Holding Steady

Well I was making great progress with my running until recently.  We are in the moving/renovation process and its taking every last waking minute I have.  I am barely squeezing in my runs as it is.  So instead of going gang busters with new runs and fast speeds, I'm holding steady.

I was first a little bummed by this.  I stopped using my daily runs to increase fitness, but as a release and as an energizer.  I told myself that whatever I could do would be fine with me and I wouldn't kick myself later.  And you know what?  The runs have been awesome!

I am no longer kicking myself as to why I'm not faster or why a particular hill still seems to zap my energy or how there is someone else at the park faster than me.

All of a sudden my daily runs are just for me.  They are rewards instead of punishments.  They are calm time instead of time that I'm looking to be "amped up".

When I get settled into my new place I'm sure I will set some new goals and push myself harder once again, but for now, I'm happy with the status quo.  That, in itself, is a break through for me and I'm happy to share it with you.

On another side note I ordered a pair of sneakers today that are "hybrids".  They are designed to be cushy on pavement and stable enough on trails.  My new place will allow me to run on roads to a trail so I needed something unique.  I tried getting there in my normal trail shoes and on pavement they felt like lead on my feet.  I will review them once they have arrived and I have tried them out.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Trail Blazer

Soon I will be moving a little bit farther away from my favorite park.  Although I sometimes complain about running/hiking/walking the dog at the same park every day, the truth is I love it and its making me very sad to move farther away from it.  It will still be within travel distance, just not a quick enough commute to get there in the mornings like I usually do.  And so I'm trying to find new trails.

I will be able to walk out of my front door and run which I can't do now.  However, roads are tough on the joints and in my case, on the mind.  So I'm seeking trails.
This really got me thinking about how to find new running places.

The first place I've checked is Map My Run and yes they have tons of runs for the town I'm moving to.  However, I wish the site had a feature where people could also enter what the run is like; hilly, sunny, calm, etc.  (I'm not a subscriber and I just use the free feature so maybe the advanced part of the site does this.)

The second way I've tried to find trails is to research running groups in the area.  There is a group, and I'm not gung ho to join just yet as I am still pining for the old running group I know.

Then, there are the running blogs.  As you all know, there are tons of running blogs out there, mine being one of them.  However, its difficult to determine exactly where a blogger is located unless they disclose it, so finding a new run this way is more hit and miss.

I also contacted the town hall.  They pointed me in the direction of a walks book that details all of the trails and hiking in town.  While the book is full of trails, I know that only some will be suitable for hiking.  I ran one the other day and it hadn't bee cared for in some time.  The trail was muddy and covered in pricker bushes.  However, I may go out with cutter later and fix it up.  Some of the trails will be too steep for a daily run and others too easy.  But I'm determined to make my way through the book and find out!  And it all brings up the issue of safety again.  I will be taking my whistle and cell phone with me all over again as I don't have code words for my new trails yet.

I did find one gem I'm really excited about.  Its Weir Farm. Its actually a NATIONAL Historical Site and National Park.  So I'm going to go explore once the soreness of moving has worn off.  Take a peek at their website here: http://www.nps.gov/wefa/index.htm

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Yogitoes Review

Everyone has heard of yoga mats.  However, have you heard of a yoga towel?  Well Yogitoes makes a yoga towel you won't be able to live without.
The yoga towel serves a few purposes.  The first is to place a hygienic layer between you and your mat.  After all your mat sits on the gym and studio floors and you sweat on it.
The yoga towel also helps you improve your grip on the mat.  The back of the towel is covered with silicone dots that stick to whatever surface you place them on; your mat, the ground, etc.
The towel itself is really absorbent and soaks up your sweat and allows you to focus on other things, like your pose.

The mat really makes yoga that much more enjoyable.  If you are advanced, the towel can help you get into the right pose that much quicker.  If you are a novice, the towel can help you hold your position.
This towel is wonderful for hot yoga.  Its gross, but hot yoga is sweaty and giving it someplace to go improves your overall experience.

This particular towel is mat sized at 24 inches by 68" inches.  Its machines washable so you can simply throw it in the laundry once you've had a great workout.  They come in a variety of colors so you can pick one that fits your personality.

The towel I was sent supports the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.  So if you're in the market for a yoga towel, why not also help a great cause?

I also love this towel to use after a run.  When I get back to my car after running, I wipe off with it first of all. Then I put it on my seat to protect it from getting wet and sticky.  The silicone "knobs" hold it to the seat and keep me in place and secure while driving.

The second item I was sent was a smaller version of the original Yogitoes towel.  The hand towel measures 17 inches by 26 inches.  I was curious at first about how I would use this towel.  Well its become my new favorite thing.

I love it in yoga.  During hot yoga its great to simply dap your forehead and hands with.  You can also use this towel to hold poses.  I like it to help me hold my arms onto my legs when I'm sweaty.  It feels great against your skin and it really helps you hold poses.

The Yogitoes collection is a perfect gift for the fitness lover or yogi in your life.  They are reasonably priced and a great treat to give yourself.  I have used mine over and over again in a very short time and have come up with lots of uses for these towels.

Want to get your own Yogitoes towel?  Take a peek at all their colors and choices here:

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monkey Munch

This is the opposite of anything healthy or related to running, but I just spent the night with my favorite kids and made a batch of Monkey Munch.  Its so yummy, I can't help but eating too much.

Take 9 cups of Chex cereal and set it aside.

Take one cup of chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of peanut butter and place in a glass bowl.  Heat for one minute in the microwave.  Stir and add 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Microwave for another 30 seconds and stir again.

Pour onto cereal and mix well.

Dump cereal mix into a large freezer bag filled with 1 and quarter cups powdered sugar.  Shake until all cereal is covered.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

New Favorite Crops

By far these are my favorite running crops.  While I LOVE my Wunder Unders, these are really made for running.  The new luxtreme fabric is much more breathable than the luon and I was dry before I even made it home from my run.  They move with you and honestly, I usually pull at my crops along the run to get them into place, etc.  These stayed put regardless of sprints, stretches, etc.  The seams didn't chafe and after I took the crops off, I didn't have lines all over my legs like you sometimes do with legging type crops.  

The two pockets in front are great for your iPod, gus, chap stick, etc.  Anything you may need on your run.  I also love the zippered pocket in the back for my car key.  I've lost my car key from open pocket in the back so knowing my key will be where I left it at the end of my run is very valuable to me.

On a fashion note, the thick waist band is flattering and the fabric seems to smooth things out.  I don't think there is any special design feature about this but they seem to be butt lifting.  I also love the breathable fabric on the back of the knees that allow your legs to breathe.  And my favorite part of these crops?  The little ruffles on the sides of the leg that make them as cute as they are functional.  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Nuu Muu Love

I have a Nuu love.  Its by Nuu Muu and its a running dress.  I have worn
running skirts for years.  I was an early adopter and what first got me a
lot of strange looks then got me compliments and now is considered a normal
running outfit.  

Despite all of this, I had yet to try a running dress.  I guess I thought I
would feel "uncovered".  I was sent the Sahara dress by Nuu Muu.

I received it and slipped it on right away.  I was shocked at how it felt
like I was wearing nothing and how flattering it was.  Another concern I had
about a running dress was that there wasn't any structure to "hold things

I was a little freaked out at the length.  However, I put on my sports bra
and a pair of boy shorts with it this morning and headed out onto the trail.
I loved driving in the dress.  It was super comfy and soft.

Once I started running I was paying very close attention to how the dress
would bounce upward exposing my legs.  The dress did not ride up or really
move at all.  I was pleasantly surprised and felt confident and well covered
in the dress throughout my run.

When I was done running I left the dress on for a while to see how quickly
it would dry.  I was completely dry in about 20 minutes and I found myself
not itching to get in the shower or to take the dress off.  I really can't
express how comfortable it is.

Nuu Muu dresses come in all sorts of patterns and colors.  The Sahara
pattern is very flattering and adorable.

I would say if you are getting a Nuu Muu dress opt for the pocket style.
The dress I received didn't have a pocket and I was perplexed as to what to
do with my key.  I finally tied it onto my boy shorts but this wasn't the
easiest maneuver at the park without pulling the dress way up.  Or use a
shoe key pouch.  

Overall, I think the Nuu Muu dress is a super way to look cute, feel great,
and wear your running clothes just about anywhere.
And when you receive their dress, take a peek at the tag that comes on it.
It states "
We believe in strong girls and women.  We believe in real bodies and real
friends.  We believe in trying really, really hard. We believe in having fun
along the way."

How cool is that?  It pretty much sums up my life philosophy!

And yes they have extended sizing and dresses for girls too!
Take a peek at their website here: http://nuu-muu.com/
  I promise you that you will love you Nuu
Muu dress.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


My family and recently visited the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.  It was a lot of fun and really breath taking.  I've seen Chihuly pieces here and there but never set up before all together.  They were amazing.

The individual pieces were really beautiful.  However, when placed in a "piece" together such as the "boat piece", they were spectacular.

It really reminded me to take a few moments and enjoy the beauty of things.  Sometimes I go through museums without reading the descriptions.  Taking the time to read them and understand what I was looking at made the exhibit even more fascinating.

Even my little cousin, who is a 13 year old boy got "into it".  It really was a great way to spend a Saturday and a great way to see some beautiful, hand crafted works of art up close!