Monday, April 30, 2012

Leatherman's Loop Prayer

I love this!

Beauty before me when I run.
Beauty behind me when I run.
Beauty below me when I run.
Beauty above me when I run.
Beauty beside me when I run.
Beauty within me when I run.
I see Beauty all around.
In beauty may I walk.
In beauty may I see.
In beauty may we all be.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Leatherman Race Review

I just want to start this review out by saying Best.  Day.  Ever.

I was insanely anxious about this race.  I've never raced a 10k before and I have never done a trail race before.  I've certainly never done a trail race with obstacles.

This race wasn't like a Tough Mudder or anything like that but it did have three river crossings, a lot of mud and a "wall".  It wasn't a man made wall, just a big hill that goes just about straight up for a while.

I did walk the course ahead of time.  We did as much as was marked on the map.  We weren't keen about going off trail in a place where cell phone service was limited and the park is about 4,000 acres.  I was calmed a little by walking the course...However I was scared stiff at the distance and running it.

The day was pretty chilly and a lot of rain was on its way.  However, my a miracle it held off.  I was cold at the starting line but I was able to shed my windbreaker and give it to my husband before I went into the woods.

The first mud section slowed everyone down a lot.  I mean really people started walking.  The first mile was filled with downed trees, streams and mud patches that needed care and to be walked through. This isn't a race you can really do for time, you're there for run.

As soon as the prayer was said (which I LOVED and will post later in a separate post) the the first pitch thrown out, we were off.  I knew right away I was in love.

I run trails almost every day and because trail runs are hard to find I've been road racing.  However, trail running is my true love.

The first river crossing was a bit of a shock.  To actually go into the river on purpose and then come out with soaking wet feet was a little unreal but it was so much fun.

I talked with people the whole race.  I never had to walk like I'd feared and I wasn't out of breath really either.  I was shocked at how fast it went.

At the last river crossing, my family was there to cheer me on.  It was so much fun seeing them there as I crossed the last river.  They were muddier than I was because all of the other runner has splashed them!

The last .3 of a mile was uphill on a field and it was a pain int he you know what.  I hated the end.  It was anti climactic too because all of the spectators were back at the river crossing.

I finished and was on such a high I wanted to do it all again.  Here are just a few photos from the day.  If you go to their site there are thousands more!  Its a lottery to enter this race, but I'm praying I get in again next year!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Race Plans

So at the start of the year I sat down and planning out the races I was going to run.  I had planned for six.  Well somehow things got out of hand and I've already run four.  And despite already being in love with racing, for some reason, now I'm really hooked.

I started the year with a four miler on New Year's Day, then another 4 miler for St. Patty's Day, followed by a 5k on April Fools and a 10k mud run this past weekend.

I was looking ahead at my calendar and I already have three more races on the books...A Mother's Day 5k, a Father's Day 5 miler and (the one I'm most excited about) A Color Run at the end of July.  I may squeeze in another trail run in May and hopefully a few out of state runs this summer up in Maine, but I'm looking forward to a 10k in September and maybe?  a half this fall.

Of course, I will never give up my holiday runs that are local and fun but I'm loving finding these new runs around New England and trying out new things!

Friday, April 20, 2012

New Shoes

Okay its official, I've joined the barefoot revolution.  I've been looking at barefoot shoes for a while and ignoring them, telling myself it wasn't for me.

When it came time for me to pick out a new pair of spring shoes for road running...I started doing research and while I didn't have any particular traits in mind, I knew I wanted something LIGHT!

I started doing research and it was a tedious process.  I took lots of quizzes, and read the reviews and I kept coming up with light weight barefoot shoes.  Its a bid and pricey decision, but I decided on the Nike Free 3.0 v4.

Nike has three levels of barefoot shoes; one with a 3mm drop, one with a 4mm drop and one with a 5mm drop.  The latter being the most popular.

Anyway, the shoes arrived and I was shocked as to how bright they were and how light weight they were.  I put them on and I knew I was in love.  They don't have a traditional tongue like other sneakers but they fit like a glove and were instantly comfortable.

I did exactly what you are told not to do, put them on and go for a three mile run.  I did and I was comfortable and injury free.  So while I don't suggest doing this, it was right for me.  My feet felt light and like they could breathe.

Since I've been running in these shoes I've felt lighter on my feet and as if I have had better form.  While I don't know that this is technically true, I know that I now look forward to road running instead of dreading it.  And, as a bonus, I've gotten lots of compliments on the shoes!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bear Mountain CT

Last week I substituted my long run for a mountain climb.  My husband, my uncle and my cousin traveled to Bear Mountain in Connecticut to take a day hike.

The day was beautiful!  It was about 50 and sunny.  I had on shorts and a long sleeve top and fleece.  It was breezy at the start and I was concerned I was going to be cold.  However, as we started to ascend, we started to warm up quickly.

Its a fairly easy hike.  While you do gain a lot of elevation (3200 feet in total), its gradual and the trail is friendly.

We crossed a few streams and Roxy dove into every one of them.  Everyone commented on 1.  How adorable she is and 2.  How we are so smart for making her carry out gear.  In reality, her backpack only carries her own water and

We met a few other dogs on the trail and Roxy did pretty well.  She is still a little afraid of tall men and some other dogs.  We've had her about a year plus now so those things may never completely go away.  The fact that she's so cute makes people think they can come right up and pet her and she's friendly.

Before we knew it we were at the junction where the AT meets the Bear Mountain trail.  From there, we broke tree line quickly and it got very breezy.

We ate a picnic lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, goldfish crackers and other assorted treats on the top.

I was so proud of my little cousin.  He's 14 and this is only his second mountain.  I love hiking with him and spending the day together!

Overall it was a great start to the hiking season and I can't wait to climb a lot more peaks this year with my hiking crew!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Chipkos Sandal Review

I first read about Chipkos sandals in a yoga magazine and I loved the idea of them.

Chipkos are cute, but they are so much more.  They are environmentally friendly sandals.  For every pair you buy, Chipkos will expand a national protected forest by 100 square feet.  How cool is that?  The carbon footprint from your shipping is also off set.

The sandals come in all sorts of colors.  I received red.  They arrived in a nice carrying bag that would be perfect for vacations, travel, etc.

While they look a little different from other sandals, they fit just right.  They look cute on your feet.  (I liked these because my feet looked small in them!)

The sandals are quite comfortable.  Despite the fact that they look flat, they have quite a bit of "squish" to them and the straw like foot bed feels like its giving you a massage as you walk.

These are a great Mother's Day gift, or gift to yourself!  Check out their website and order your paid here:

Friday, April 6, 2012

April Fool's Day Race Reveiw

Okay, this was a surprise race.  I ran it last year, but I wasn't planning on doing it this year.  My uncle then decided to run the 1/2 marathon and asked me if I wanted to do the 5k.  I said yes.

I've been having some troubles with my hip again and I've been nervous and backing off because of that.  I keep remembering those days 18 months ago when it was just a twinge, and I just wanted to do "another mile" and ended up with a detached IT band, physical therapy and six months without running.

So I signed up and was a little nervous.  However, I was there for fun and nothing else.
For the first time ever I took advantage of the pre race massage.  I told the therapist abut my hip and he went to work on it.  Before long it was apparent that he was shocked at how tight my hips were and hoped I was able to run that day.  I didn't know if I should find this funny or horrifying.

The race started and I was off at a decent pace, I kept slowing myself down, telling myself I had a while to go.  The race went by fast and before I knew it, I was in the second half and I knew it was time to pick up the pace.  I did stop for water and to loosen my hip.

I managed the second half in a two minutes less than the first half.  It wasn't a personal record, but I was happy with my time and I know that held back in order to avoid any more hip damage.  30 seconds gained would NOT have been worth the whole summer in physical therapy.

I'm glad I went and I had a great time!  My uncle finished his second half marathon and it was a wonderful day overall.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Buddha Nose Booster Spray Review

This spray, made by Buddha Nose is an all natural energy booster.  It can be sprayed to wake you up, or sprayed to calm you down.  Its scent lends itself to both.  The spray is anti bacterial so its great to fight off colds.  I love using this spray on my yoga mat after a long practice.  

This spray is great to refresh any room.  I love using it in my bedroom before I settle in for the night and I love using it in my office mid day for a boost of freshness and energy.

I love a little "refresh" during the day, especially in the late afternoon.  This is a perfect alternative to perfumes or other chemical sprays.  Its also great to refresh the carpet from pet smells and other traffic.

The Booster Spray is very reasonably priced compared to other all natural sprays.  You can check it out and get your own bottle here:

If you're wondering what's in it, this is from their website:
Ingredients include the essential oils of Ravinstsara, Lemon, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus Globulus, Thyme and Marjoram, blended with distilled water.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Rest Time

Okay I have nothing to report this week on running or yoga.  Literally nothing.  I didn't run, go to yoga, lift weights or anything.  I did some hiking, played with the dog, cleaned a lot and walked with my dad....but other than that I spent my spare hours sleeping.

I thought back to the last time that I had a week like this and it was after I finished a big project; I was just wiped out.  The same thing happened this week.  I've been working crazy hours, long days and just pushing too hard.  I kept thinking that I could keep pushing so that I could take a mini vacation but I just had to get one more thing done, take one more meeting...etc.

And so I think my body has decided I needed some time off NOW.  I've gotten dressed in my running clothes every day, put on my shoes, filled the water bottle, etc, but it just hasn't happened.  I guess I am kind of grateful.  I have been having problems with my "good hip" and my old injury is acting up again as well.

I used to get angry, upset, etc when I was off schedule.  However, this time around I feel serene and happy.  And so this week I can say that I've learned the value of rest.  Finally.