The Zen Runners

If you have ever seen The Spirit of the Marathon (and if you haven’t, go watch it NOW), you probably remember the clip about the “zen runners.” (sadly, no clip on Youtube – unforgivable!) These are the runners that run without a garmin. They just go out and enjoy the run.

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Well…Saturday I did the “zen running” thing on my long run. It was actually on accident, though. I forgot my garmin. Who does that? Who forgets their garmin?! Then, I though, “Oh, don’t worry, just use your phone.” Well, my phone has been acting crazy, and I just found out the GPS is broken! (No worries, still under warranty and getting a new one!) The universe wanted me to do some serious “zen running.”

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Real scene from my run!

I had a route mapped out, (which included an awesome nature observatory park),so I knew I would get my twelve miles in. So, I just took off. I ran 12 miles with no clue what my pace was. I mean I know the approximate time it took me to complete the entire run, but I actually didn’t want to think about it or estimate my pace. 

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A picture from a day I actually remembered my Garmin.

I love my Garmin dearly, but sometimes I get a little obsessed with pace. It’s my type “A” personality. It feeds on that sort of thing. I think I am going to try and go without it more often, though. Sometimes it is good to just go by feel. I always say I am going to do that, and then I find myself staring at the Garmin. It’s time to let loose!

Do you ever run without a watch or your phone tracking?

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Just Think of It As a Cleanse

“Just think of it as a cleanse.” That is the advice of one of the lovely members of my running club for my upcoming colonoscopy. Since I have Crohn’s disease, I get a colonoscopy approximately every five years. It’s a real treat.  I suppose you could think of it as a nice little cleanse, something fancy celebrities pay a lot of money for. I like to think theirs is a bit more sophisticated than taking a ton of laxatives in a short period of time? I don’t know any fancy celebrities to ask, though.

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Doesn’t that look like fun?

I am hoping I didn’t make a bad choice by picking my favorite gatorade flavor for the MiraLax. I still can’t drink dark blue gatorade after my last colonoscopy…

I did manage to get a run in this morning. I was a little nervous about going outside since I took the Magnesium Citrate last night. I decided to go to the gym in case I needed to make a quick get-away to the bathroom. I managed to make it through 5 miles! I took it slow though since I don’t have much food in me for energy.

I bet you're jealous of my lunch.

I bet you’re jealous of my lunch.

You don’t realize how many commercials on TV are for food until you can’t eat. Literally, every other commercial! I can only eat Jello, clear broth, coffee, tea, apple juice, and hard candy. That Jello sort of sent me into sugar overload. I can only imagine how I will feel after the 64 oz of Gatorade…

I am already thinking about my first meal. Whatever it is, it is going to be big and delicious.

Have you ever had a colonoscopy?

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Giveaway Winner and HILLS!

Happy Monday! Here is a little motivation to get your week started off right!

motivational quoteAnd…the giveaway winner for the tasc Performance shorts is….Tammy M! Congratulations!!

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I hope everyone had a great weekend of running. I am out of town for my sister’s wedding shower and bachelorette, so I tried a new route. I guess I should have paid more attention to the elevation chart before I ran…It was HILLY! I didn’t quit, though! My legs were definitely feeling the burn the next day!

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It was an unexpected hill workout, but I feel really good about how it went. It was also in the rain! Hope everyone as a great week!

How often do you run hills?

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New Workout Clothes! – tasc Performance

I don’t know about you, but it is getting hot here in New Jersey. Summer is in full swing. Running in the summer is tricky business. It is important to protect yourself from the heat with water, sunscreen, and proper clothing. This past week, I was fortunate enough to try some new clothing from tasc Performance that is perfect for all this hot weather.

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There is something unique about tasc Performance’s clothing. Their fabrics are made completely from natural resources. The fabric then undergoes a patent-pending process called BamCo. At first, this all might seem like a bunch of fancy buzz words. I was lucky enough to get to try some products out and see for myself.

0710141522bThe company sent me a pair of shorts (their Magnolia shorts) and a shirt. (their Hot Stuff Tank) What I really liked about the shirt was how structured it felt without being heavy. I felt a little more secure in the chest area than with other tank tops, but the fabric was still lightweight and breathable. The tank top had a nice fit with a cute keyhole design in the back.

back of tankThe shorts were my favorite. In fact, they might be my new favorite shorts of all time. These were the lightest weight shorts I have ever worn. They were extremely comfortable. They were also long enough for my thighs not to chafe, which is one requirement of shorts for me. I put them to the ultimate chafe test on my 12 mile run. Twelve miles if plenty of time for chafing! There is also a small pocket on the back inside. It is too small for a phone or gel, but it is perfect for a key or credit card.

short pocketThe website claims that the clothing also has a UPF of 50+. That basically means it protects your skin from the sun. (It’s ok. I had to look it up, too.) The website also claims that the clothing is anti-odor. I was completely skeptical of that. So, I went right over to my laundry basket about an hour after putting the clothes in there. I kid you not, they didn’t smell! Is this real life?!

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I didn’t realize how reflective my outfit was!

Overall, I really liked how natural and lightweight the clothes were. They were very comfortable, even in the summer heat on a 12 mile run! I like that the fabric is all natural, and the fact that they don’t smell is awesome. Since, I loved the shorts sooooo much, tasc Performance is giving a pair of the Magnolia shorts to a lucky reader! Enter by clicking the rafflecopter link below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Disclaimer: tasc Performance provided me with the products to review. All opinions are my own.

Food! Trying New Things!

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I have been trying some new food lately. I knew Whole Foods had a hot food bar, but I did not realize how awesome it was. My friend invited me to meet her there for lunch. I am so glad I went. I loaded up my plate. I had a little bit of everything. I tried roasted plantains with grilled peppers, zucchini noodles with marinara, quinoa with feta, and salmon pasta. Everything was good, but the roasted plantains were my favorite by far.

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Then….I had one of their coffees. I just had coffee with a little skim milk. This is my new favorite place to get coffee. I can’t even describe how amazing their blend is. I am going back tomorrow and everyday for the rest of my life.

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I have also been trying out some new food combinations. I made a recipe from Runner’s World. It was quinoa with craisins and cinnamon. I added just a hint of maple syrup. It was a great substitution for oatmeal.

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This salad idea also came from Runner’s World. It was so simple, but so perfect. It was an apple, spinach, goat cheese, and balsamic vinegar. It was the perfect combination of flavors.

Have you tried anything new lately? Have you eaten at Whole Foods?

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The Long Run Fail Streak is Over!

I finally got a good long run in this weekend! I am very excited!

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It has been a rough couple of weeks for long runs. About a month ago, I got the stomach flu and could barely make it two miles. No long run that weekend. Then, I tripped and fell on a root. I still finished the nine miles, but I wouldn’t say it was a great run by any means. Last weekend, I tried to run in Vegas, but it was WAY too hot. This weekend, it was a perfect day for 11 miles. I went to a local park nice and early in the morning. The park is by a river, so I also got a little breeze off the water to keep me cool.

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Please note the man showing off his gut!

I also had a friend visiting from Ohio to help cheer me on. To celebrate, we took the train into Atlantic City. It was both of our first times. We had a blast.

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First, we hit up the beach. It was crowded at first, but eventually thinned out.

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Next, we headed to Steel Pier to check out the boardwalk and rides. There was a sand castle contesting going on, too.

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I bought some amazing salt water taffy. It was out of this world.

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We checked out the rides and then went to dinner. It was too dark inside to take a picture, but the food was fantastic. We had a feta and red pepper twist on bruschetta, served with warm pita bread. Then, we split some chicken and waffles, gourmet style. Surprisingly awesome.

We completely lost track of time, and had a total of 10 minutes to spend in the casino before we had to run to our train. It was worth it, though. Hopefully the curse of the long run is broken!

Do you ever have a streak of bad long runs? What do you do?

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Trip to Vegas!

Happy July everyone! Can you believe how fast summer is flying by? It definitely feels like July outside, though!

0627141345aI just got back from my trip to Vegas. Las Vegas is a very interesting place. I had a good time, but I think one time should do me good. I have never seen anything quite like that city. It is so over the top. It is fun to see, but it really is pretty hilarious. I had my first casino experience. I have never gambled before. It was not quite as exciting as I thought. I don’t know what I was expecting, maybe I thought I was going to win big? Not this time!

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The shops were pretty awesome, though. The Venetian and Caesar’s Palace are crazy. That is the ceiling, not the sky! They really commit to the Italian theme. Even the security guards are in costumes! There is also a fake river with gondola rides.

0625141203The food was also amazing. The restaurants were all delicious! I tried to eat healthy most of the time. I opted for salmon with vegetables instead of pasta, things like that. I did  indulge some though. I mean…it was VACATION!

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Speaking of indulgences, you can’t go out west without eating some In-N-Out. My boyfriend loves it. I have to admit, it is pretty good.

0627142026We also saw Cirque de Soleil La Reve. It was a combination of synchronized swimming and acrobatics. I have only seen one other Cirque de Soleil performance before, but this one blew that one out of the water. This show was amazing. I have never seen any show this good.

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We also got some history and nature in. Did you know Las Vegas was originally settled by Mormons? I think the city might have lost its original intention there. Then, we went to Red Rock Canyon, which was very beautiful. Since it is on a fault line, there is a nice mixing of rock layers which makes for some nice views.

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I did do some running. The first day I tried running outside. Ha, that was a joke! I went out at 7 am and it was already 100 degrees. The air was so thick. I couldn’t breathe. After that, I stuck to the treadmill. The first hotel we stayed at had a free gym, so I used that. Then we stayed at the MGM Signature, closer to the strip. That gym cost money. We were only there 2 nights, so I just took a rest day. I just couldn’t do that heat!

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The park was pretty, but I couldn’t focus because of the INSANE heat!

Anyone ever visited Vegas? What were your thoughts?

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Fastest Mile Yet and How Does One Run in Las Vegas?

ImageLet’s get the craziness out of the way first. Today, I ran the fastest mile of my entire life. I have NEVER gone under an 8 minute mile in my life. Must be all this summer relaxing. It is a whole other game when you don’t have to go to work all day! Sometimes being a teacher isn’t so bad! :) 

I was trying to do a 3 mile cutdown. I ran my one mile warm up, then I think I went out a little too fast. Miles 1 and 2 were about the same. Then, I went for a strong finish on the 3rd, followed by a mile cooldown. I went out early because I had an early doctor’s appointment. (Thank you Crohn’s Disease.) It ended up being the perfect temperature, though.

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After the appointment, I rewarded myself with a nice, dark coffee from Starbucks. Oprah added some inspiration, too. The only courage you ever need, is the courage to lead the life you want. Well put, Oprah. I wonder if they went through her old talk show footage to find all these, or she just sat down and spit them all out on the spot for Starbucks. 

In other news, I am leaving for Las Vegas tonight! I am tagging along on my boyfriend’s business trip. Another bonus of being off for the summer! It is going to be insanely hot, but I saw that the hotel charges for the gym. WHAT? WHO DOES THAT? I am super cheap, but I also do not want to have a heat stroke on vacation. I think I might try this route. I will just have to get up early. 

Also, no worries, I am healing quite nicely from my lovely fall.

Any advice for running in Las Vegas? Any Oprah fans out there?

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The Time I Fell Down

Today had all the makings of a fabulous long run. For once, the weather was a beautiful 65 degrees with low humidity. I was feeling great and hitting amazing splits. I literally was just thinking how awesome the run was. Then…I tripped over a tree root. Yes. There was a tree root in the middle of the sidewalk. The sidewalks in south Jersey are treacherous. I usually run on the shoulder for this very reason.  However, there were cars parked all over the shoulder today. Since I try not to run in the middle of the road, I took to the sidewalk.

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Here is one of my lovely, scratched, bruised, swollen knees.

I had started out running with another girl, but she was not going as far and had taken a different turn. I usually have my phone with me, but I did not today. I was five miles out on a nine mile run. As soon as I hit the pavement, I started hysterically crying. Not so much because it hurt, but because I was ridiculously shaken up. No one was around, and I was bleeding all over the sidewalk. After a short pity party, I decided to continue with the run because I knew there was a park just ahead. Surely they had sinks to wash off in.

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Nope. No sinks. At this point I had to run 4 miles to get back to the running store. I could’ve walked, but running would get me there faster. So…I ran back. As soon as I got back to the store, I ran to the bathroom to rinse out my wounds as best as I could. Luckily, someone had a first aid kit in their car. We cleaned the scrapes, put on neosporin, and bandaged them up the best we could.

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Clearly we aren’t the best with gauze. The shoulder scrape is by far the worst.

Lesson learned today: Bring the phone. Even if your running belt gets sweaty on summer days.

Don’t worry, though. I am fine. I did not break anything. I just have some scrapes and bruises.

Have you ever taken a nasty spill while running?

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Friday Five!

Not a whole lot to report on the running front this week. I had to back off a bit due to a lovely stomach virus. (One of the many perks of being an elementary teacher!) I thought I was ok to run today, but the fatigue is still hanging around, and my appetite is nonexistent. On to happier things, though! I thought this would be the perfect time to try and linkup with the ladies at the DC Trifecta!

dc_linkupSince the theme is up to you, I am going to share things I am loving right now!

1: THIS BAG

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It has an insane amount of room inside. There are hooks for jewelry, places for snacks, and all sorts of pockets. The best part, though, is….

0520141535aThere is a compartment for your shoes! I love it! It was great when I was coaching middle school track and had to change clothes right at school. It is made by Thirty-One and is called the All-Pro Tote.

2: Stridebox

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It is a subscription box for runners. It is $15 dollars a month and quite the value. The products are worth way more than that each month!

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It is nice to get to try one of something. Much of the time, products are sold in packs. I have had great products every month. I have gotten to try chia seed energy gels, Quest peanut butter cups, protein bars, drink mixes, and more. Sometimes bigger items come in the box, too. I have received a running belt and running sleeves. It is also something fun to look forward to each month and to spice up your running routine with new products.

3: Field Trip to a Wildlife Refuge

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I went with my school’s third grade for their yearly field trip. They went to a wildlife refuge, which was really cool. We saw vultures, owls, bald eagles, deer, foxes, swans, turtles, and more! The only downside was when I found a tick on the way home. I freaked out since I had just read the Runner’s World article about Lyme Disease. Luckily it was not on me very long. It was very small and easy to pull off, which makes me think it had barely bitten me. I freaked out and threw all my clothes into the washer on hot, including my bookbag. Then, immediately took a hot shower and scrubbed all over like a maniac. To top it off, I combed meticulously through my hair. Knock on wood that I hit all the bases.

4: That there is only one more week of school until summer!

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5: This Random Meme

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What are you loving lately? Ever found a tick on you before?

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