Tag Archives: life

5 Healthy Tips for the New Year

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Fit and Healthy- These are the two goals I am striving to maintain this year.  Fit and healthy will lead to stronger and sustainable running.  Ultimately, running is something that I want to continue doing well into my 50s and beyond!  Prioritizing what works for my health will help me reach my goals as a runner.

5 Fit and Healthy Tips

  1.  Yoga is a great way to improve balance, flexibility and strength!  Run. Run, Run,-Why can’t I just run and run?!  Over the years, I have come to realize, through minor injuries and set backs, that I must incorporate various fitness activities into my running routine.  Yoga is something that I can do at home or at a studio.
  • I recently had a chance to take a Yin Yoga Class  at the Freeport Yoga Company I learned that this type of yoga promotes stimulation of the connective tissues or fascia in our bodies.  As we age, it is important to maintain flexibility of the connective tissue by practicing deep stretches and staying hydrating!

2. Eat More Fish!  This is a great  protein to support health and recovery of muscles! Fish is a great source of Omega3s, vital to the health of runners!  I recently read this article on the many benefits of eating more fish, which include improved joint health and anti-inflammatory properties!

  • I have incorporated more fish into my weekly, monthly diet by taking advantage of this great seafood delivery service for more than two years now!  Salmon, cod, and haddock are three of my faves!  This company delivers conveniently, individually frozen fish to your door!  In less than 30 minute I am able to prepare a meal with Omega3 rich fish!  Try out SizzleFish today!!

3.  Food Prep- Okay, this may seem simple and basic and it really is, but taking the time to prepare food from scratch can have huge benefits on your health!  Cut out the prepackaged, processed junk and focus on just eating real food!

Tips for Food Prep!  Freezer bags are your friend!!

  • soak, cook and freeze various types of beans!
  • Prepare, bake and freeze healthy muffins!
  • Rice and quinoa also freeze well!
  • Stock up on recipes for Overnight Oats for breakfast and Hearty Soups for lunch and supper!
  • Capitalize on seasonal produce and roast fall veggies to toss in the fridge!
  • One of my older posts on Meal Prep/Planning Found Here

4. Invest In Your Health-Get your Blood Work Analyzed! Twice this year, I gotten a thorough blood work analysis through Inside Tracker a company that helps athletes dig deeper into their health through analyzing a number of key biomarkers in their blood!  The tests offer a more in-depth look at what our bodies need, as oppose to the basic, sometimes vague blood work done at a general practitioner’s office.  I wrote about my previous blood work analysis here

  • Optimizing nutritional needs based on results
  • Adjusting workouts and training to better meet the needs of our bodies
  • Takes the guess work out of what foods to eat and which supplements are necessary for our body’s best performance!
  • The Inside Tracker Dashboard can guide you in setting goals for your health and training!

5. Mental Health– Just as important as physical health!  This coming year, I am taking a “step back” each day/night from all the stresses of the day.  It is important to incorporate ways to relax and de-stress! Remember to find time for quiet peace, clarity and reflection.

  • Turn off the tv, cell phones and social media for some time each day
  • Keep a written journal and write to unwind and reflect
  • Celebrate the little things each day that bring you joy!  Remember to just breathe and exhale!

Cheers to a Fit and Healthy New Year!!  Find Ways to be your best self! -MaineGirl2RUNS

What are your fit and healthy tips?  Would love to hear your tips!

Running and Life: New Year, New Chapter

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This year I choose to . . . 

  • Reflect– If we are willing to stop, analyze and reflect on where we have been, then we can use those moments to gain perspective and move forward.  Reflect on what went right, but also be open to opportunities to adjust or change things that didn’t work.  Our ability to reflect allows for an innate awareness of ourselves that will lead to personal growth in running and life. Each day, week, and month, setting aside time to reflect and learn from ourselves.

“A journey, I reflected, is of no merit unless it has tested you.”
Tahir Shah, In Search of King Solomon’s Mines

  • Celebrate–  Be good to yourself.  Stop and celebrate the small achievements, instead of waiting for what you think might be the biggest achievement.  Celebrate the tiny steps that we take each day to change and improve in running and life.  These moments are far too often overlooked because they mean seem small or insignificant.  It’s refreshing to celebrate each step in the direction we take to train hard, race strong, and live life well.  Encourage and celebrate the achievements and success of others.  There is unmistakable power and strength when we celebrate not only ourselves, but others around us.

 

  • Aspire- Each new year is another chapter in this book of life.  The pages are blank, waiting to be filled with new hopes, dreams and adventures.  We have this great big opportunity to set new goals, goals that will make us stronger, more capable and confident.  Our goals don’t have to be huge, lofty out of reach goals, just focus on the series of steps that will bring us closer to empowerment and success in running and life.  Our goals should give us pride and accomplishment upon achieving that goal.

Discover a purpose that gives you passion. Develop a plan that makes you persistent. Design a preparation and motivates you to optimize your potentials. Do it because you love it!”
Israelmore Ayivor, Dream Big!: See Your Bigger Picture!

  • Endure- Strength is born from enduring the tough moments. Being persistent is following our heart, our dreams and goals.  From endurance comes fortitude and resilience.  As we endure the hard training, early or late evening runs and all those tough moments in between of “fitting it all in” , we are rewarded with that feeling of accomplishment that is so freeing and empowering.  Endure the hard days, those times when we must find the strength to push ourselves when faced with challenges that test our will.  Believe in yourself and your ability to find strengths hidden deep within the uncomfortable moments of our lives.

“Craving for the top of the mountain is a feeling to yearn for, an endurance we learn from.”
Goitsemang Mvula

Happy New Year!  What will be next for you in  this new chapter!

I’m excited to continue to connecting and sharing in this journey of running and life!- MaineGirl2Runs 

Rise. Run. Retreat-Uplift, Motivate and Inspire

These three words-Uplift, Motivate and Inspire.  That is how I can best sum up the four days spent at Rise.Run.Retreat  A surreal four days spent with an amazing group of women-each of them possessing great strengths, talents and the warmest of hearts.  It amazes me how running has led to such experiences and opportunities to connect and create friendships.

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Photo Courtesy of Many RISE.RUN.RETREAT runners/bloggers

Running is at the core of my heart.  From the moment I began running track and cross country in high school (26 years ago) and now, in my forties, running has been a huge piece of my life.  Running has been the constant thread that stitched the pieces of my life together.  It has been through running, that I have forged some of my greatest and lasting friendships.  I’ve become part of a community of runners that uplift, motivate and inspire.

RISE.RUN.RETREAT 2016

It is not easy, to put into words what an incredible four days it was, spent in the mountain valley of Vermont at RISE.RUN.RETREAT. The air was cool and crisp, fall was showing all its vibrant colors among the trees that crested the hills and mountains.  Running led to social media and blogging, which led me to an amazing group of women at this retreat.  Sarah from RunFarGirl and Jess from RunLadyLike are two extraordinary women who had the enthusiasm and passion to create and organize this event, which is now in its second year! They took a dream and made it a reality!

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The views of Camel Hump Mountain in Vermont

As my plane landed in Waterbury, Vermont last Thursday, I was excited and nervous at the same time.  I was meeting up with nine other women-who for the most part, I only knew through their blogs and other social media outlets.  It was a bit surreal to actually be meeting so many of these women, for the “first time” even though I felt like I already knew them through their blogs and social media sites.

Priceless moments shared and life long friendships created

There is so much to share about this wonderful retreat.  Some of it will have to be broken down, bit -by -bit into other posts.  The most important part of this retreat was the time spent with everyone!  SO much nonstop chatting and sharing stories about life and running, marriage and motherhood.  The ease in which we all gathered and mingled throughout the weekend was magical.  There was such a strong flow of warmth and positive energy from each and every person.

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Chatting and wine and cheese on the deck

It was truly incredible and wonderful how easy it was to just chat and share so much about running and life. The love of running had brought us together, but we also had so much more to share as moms, friends, and just being women.

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Yoga Pose on the Deck

Incredibly grateful to be in the company of these incredible women.  Their strength, motivation and perspective on life is empowering.  Surrounded by these women who inspire me, yet reminded me of my own strengths, as I witnessed their strengths and grit!  The deep, honest conversations we shared about life-blogging and running, left me feeling very reflective on my own goals as a blogger and runner!  Each of these women, so talented, strong and creative.

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So many beautiful smiles!

Rise.Run.Retreat was the perfect four day-weekend for ten women to come together and share their love of running, blogging and life!  We ran, stayed up late chatting, had amazing food, laughed and simply enjoyed the moments as they unfolded.  Sarah and Jess did a fabulous job of organizing guest speakers, catered breakfast, lunch and dinners. It all came together seamlessly!  

Oh, the ways that running has been the thread that weaves these moments and meaningful experience through my life!

This retreat reminded me again, how running has led to these connections that lift you up and give you the energy to keep going!

Stay tuned for more highlights from this incredible retreat!

So much more to share in regards to the guest speakers, the fitness and yoga sessions and of course the Vermont Leaf Peeper Half Marathon with stunning views of mountains and killer hills!!  On Sunday, as a final event for everyone, we ran the half!!

Check out these incredible runners/bloggers on the social media site!!

Angela – Happy Fit Mama

Allie- VitaTrain4life

Christine- Love Life Surf

Sandra- Organic Runner Mom

Laura-This Runner’s Recipes

Natalie- Nat Runs Far

Sue- This Mama Runs for Cupcakes

Co Creators/Organizers of RISE.RUN.RETREAT-  (The Creative Duo Extraordinaire)

Sarah- Run Far Girl and Jes- Run Lady Like

Uplift-Motivate and Inspire-  Have you attended a running retreat?  What memorable life experiences have you gained from running and blogging?

Running is Both Solitary and Social

 I have always felt that running has been both solitary and social.  Solitary in that sense that many runners train during the days, weeks and months leading up to races, alone-out there on the roads and trails, putting in the miles in solitude.  Whether it is solitary by choice or just circumstance.  The social aspects of running bring with it many benefits and rewards.  It is a sport that thrives on encouragement, motivation and the celebration of hard training. 

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Solitary miles can be soul searching and therapeutic.  Out there on the roads, trails or track-hearing just the sound of your own breathing and your stride hitting the pavement.  This is where you are not just strengthening your body, but your mind as well.  Willing yourself, motivating yourself to put in the work, even when no one else is around to push you through the workout.  Getting up in the early dark hours or getting out there in the late evening hours, no one but yourself to push and motivate.

It is in these singular/solitary moments, that you remind yourself that there are others out there at this very moment, training and putting in the early morning or late evening runs.

Running is a social sport, in the sense that it brings camaraderie and  common goals together through training programs and on race day.  Social Media has also made running a social sport, virtual cheers along the way during training and race day.  Runners sharing their ups and downs with training and celebrating their accomplishments on various social media outlets.    Even in those dark, solitary hours during training-thoughts of other runners motivate you to keep going.  Running can can connect people. Running grows friendships among individuals, through training, blogging and racing.  

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A celebration of hard training on race day

On race day, runners celebrate together.  It is a social event of ‘cheers and high fives’ along the course, everyone moving towards the finish line.  Out on the course. runners giving each other words of encouragement.  The sense of belonging-every runner out there for the same reasons-to be strong, trust their training, and be the best of themselves.  We are all out there-feeding off the energy of each other on race day! 

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That moment when all runners toe the line on race day.  All of us waiting to give our best. 

Whether you train alone on a regular basis or meet up for regular training runs with a partner/group, running straddles the line of both solitary and social.  There are those common threads that connect and motivate us through the training miles and on race day.  Miles of sweat, moments of doubt and trusting our training.  Knowing that we are all out there giving our best effort and sharing the celebrations of hard training, connects us.

 

A Quick Look Back, Update and Summer Memories

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Geez!  I totally fell off the blogging wagon this summer!  Summers are usually my best blogging months too, because I am not teaching!

Okay, so here it is in a nut shell!   I ended up in Maine for the entire summer!  I rented a house on Peaks Island, Maine for two weeks in July, then stayed at my parents’ new beach house in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.  (OOB)

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Peaks Island, Maine

Backstory-  I was born and raised in Maine until the age of 13.  My parents are from New Jersey, but met up in Maine during College.  They raised my brother and I in Alfred, Portland, and Gorham, Maine until January of 1988!  Then, we moved to Upstate New York, along the Hudson River.  A year later, my parents bought a second home, a condo in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.  So we would spend summers and holidays at the condo in Maine through my high school years. (End of June through Labor Day, because my mom was a teacher)  Maine was always our second home, but first in our hearts.  My parents would own that condo in Maine, until the fall of 2003.  Life happens, things change and my parents sold the condo in Maine, just after my daughter turned two years old.

My parents eventually ended up living in southern New Jersey.  I ended up going to college in Baltimore, Maryland where I met my husband-he is from southern Maryland!  I have taught in an elementary school in southern Maryland for the last 18 years.  My Redhead (Daughter) is now 15 years old and a sophomore in high school.

Fast Forward- My parents are now retired, well my mom is definitely retired from teaching, but my dad still works, for now.  As of right now, southern New Jersey is still their permanent residence, but this past July 4th –they bought a seasonal beach house in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.(six months out of the year)!!  So. . . I spent 6 weeks in Maine this summer!  Excited that once again, Maine is home-at least 6 months out of the year for my parents!!

Summer Was. . . magical. relaxing, and rejuvenating!

  • two weeks at a beach house on Peaks Island, Maine-then headed to my parents’ house in Old Orchard Beach
  • tons of days spent on the beaches
  • evenings sipping wine and watching the Olympics with my mom
  • running my favorite roads and beaches that I grew up on
  • seeing old friends and new friends in Maine
  • Running two Races
  • Simply unplugging and enjoying the salty sea air
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Took my mom back to Peaks Island by ferry for a day!

So many times, I wanted to type a blog post-a ton of thoughts swirling through my head, but in the end it just didn’t happen this past summer.  I was just enjoying so much “down time” and honestly living out a dream, that just a year ago seemed unlikely.  I had wished for so long for my parents to own back in Maine again.  I know it’s only 6 months out of the year (May through end of October) but, it’s ‘one foot back in the state of Maine’-my happy place.

Here are my summer memories in pictures!

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Lobstah Supper on the Beach

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Cuddling goats at Smiling Hill Farm in Westbrook, Maine

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Evenings included Wine at my Parents House

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Sunrise Runs -Old Orchard Beach, Maine

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Paddling out to sea-Pine Point Beach, Maine

Running Update-

I had a good, solid summer of running.  Running to stay in racing shape for 10ks and half marathons.  Logging weekly mileage of 25 to 30 miles a week.  Some good hilly running through the Cape Elizabeth, Maine-near Portland Headlight and sandy beach runs!  In July I had run the Old Port Shipyard Half through hilly Portland, Maine.  In August I ran Beach2Beacon for the 5th time/year in a row! I haven’t really put in the time to write race recaps for both of those Maine summer races.

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Old Port Shipyard Half Marathon-Portland, Maine

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5th Time Running Beach2Beacon -Cape Elizabeth, Maine

My weekly training looked like this-

  • weekly long run 10-12 miles
  • easy 6 miles runs twice a week
  • 8 mile progression run 1x a week

Upcoming Fall Races: 13.1 is the Lucky Number!

So excited for Rise Run Retreat in Waterbury, Vermont!  An amazing weekend of running with some awesome running/blogger women at a lodge overlooking picturesque mountains in Vermont!  Stay tuned for more on this event!!

Share your summer highlights!  What fall races are on your schedule? 

Friday Five: Five Ways Running Has Shaped Me

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Birthdays and a Time to Reflect:

Birthdays always bring about a time of reflection, as well as, a chance to “dream big” for another year.  Running has been a part of my life for the last 27 years.  At the age of 14, I joined my high school cross country team, then went on to run indoor and outdoor track.  I was fortunate to have an amazing coach that instilled in me and so many other young athletes- the love to run.

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 I feel so lucky to still be active, healthy and running the miles as I turn 41 years old today.

Today I am linking up with Mar Cynthia and Courtney  for their Friday Five Link Up and I am sharing five ways that running has shaped my life.

Empowerment- That feeling of knowing that I am in charge of my health and fitness. Knowing that I have the power to choose the miles and the pace everyday.

Friendships- The running community is strong.  Through blogging, running events and social media- I have formed some great relationships with other women.  These women are no longer just running buddies, but true friends.  Running is the thread that weaves through our friendships.

Clarity- Over the years, despite what life throws at me, running has been that cleansing and soul searching aspect of my life.  Running helps me clear my head, stay focused and gives me an healthy outlet for releasing tension and stress.

Motherhood- Yes, running and motherhood do balance the other.  Running has given me an opportunity to be a strong role model for my daughter.  It is so critical to keep the lines of communication open during the teen years.  I am grateful that running is something my daughter and I share together.  Sometimes, it during those few miles,  out on the road or track,  where my daughter and I can talk about what is going on at school and in life.

Inspiration/Motivation- All around me, other runners are inspiring me.  So many opportunities to plan for and reach new goals.  I love reading about other runners setting goals and working hard to achieve them. Its a bit contagious.  Running reminds that my goals are attainable.  The miles run each day bring inspiration and the tough workouts motivate me to push through any obstacles.

 “Love yourself, for who and what you are; protect your dream and develop your talent to the fullest extent.” – Joan Benoit Samuelson

How has running changed or improved your life?  

Be sure to check out the other blog posts today from some awesome runner/bloggers over at Friday Five Link Up! 

 

 

 

 

Life: Mother, Runner, and Teacher

     Not even sure where to begin with this post! I feel as if years have past since my last post on April 29th.  I turned 40. Do I feel older? Not really. However, I feel as though I’m just getting started with new adventures! 

    Back in April, I attended a two day RRCA Coaching Certification course. 

   

So much information over two, full days! Two days of lecture, note taking and group discussion.  This course was so beneficial in helping to build a solid foundation of knowledge in the world of running and coaching! 

  • History of influential coaches
  • Types of runners and their needs through training
  • Types of running
  • Business of coaching
  • Nutrition 
  • Sports psychology

Two great resources to add to my coaching library!

And. . . I passed the 100 question online exam with a 90%!! 

My coaching certificate, but my last name is spelled wrong. “sad face”

  

Fast forward- End of April and Early May! Here are some photos with captions! 

 

Birthday Celebrations! I turned 40 and my Redhead turned 14!

  

My Redhead attended her 8th grade formal on May 15th!

  

Proud Mommy Moment! My Redhead won the 200 meter run at the middle school track meet! 29.20 seconds!

  

Enjoyed a Saturday morning Zooma Annapolis training run with some new friends!!

  

Love it when ZoomaNation and Charmcity Run collaborate! Fun times!

  

Getting back into barre class with a bunch of local ladies! Love having a Pure Barre class that is local!

  

Continuing to journal my weekly running and workouts in my Believe Journal!

  

The first night of the local barre class ended with a little bubbly! So much fun!

So! Cheers to catching everyone up on some big and small moments in my life lately! Pictures are worth a thousand words, right?!  

Do you ever fall behind in blogging? How do you catch up? What’s been keeping you busy?