Monday, November 10, 2014

What Makes You Move?


The other day my sister sent me a link that led to a short film called "The Runners" which takes place in Victoria Park, London.  Using a bike with a cart attached for the cameraman, the directors interviewed groups of runners through the changing seasons.   


 

It's a moving video, as the runners shared bits about themselves, it made me think of the different reasons we run. I decided to ask my fellow employees about what gets them moving, and this is what they said:
  
From Marcia: "I am always thinking about what motivates me to run. Some of the things are socializing with my friends, and never regretting my run once it is complete (a great coach told me that). The thing that really motivates me are my daughters. I think it is so important that they see that I make time for myself and exercise and push myself toward a physical goal. I want to lead by example and show them that it is always important to do something you love. It is even more rewarding when you work very hard to achieve that goal."
  
Bill shares that: "Running has truly changed my life. Not only has it improved my health, but I've met hundreds of people through running. I have also run in so many beautiful places such as Lake Placid, N.Y., Central Park, New Orleans, Ottawa, the Napa Valley, Costa Rica and San Francisco, just to name a few. There is no better way to see a city then to run it." 
 
Fred says: "My biggest motivator is the camaraderie that is created when we train and race with a group of people who have all trained so hard together to accomplish a goal or finish a race. We become part of something that is bigger than just our own goal when other peoples' accomplishments become more important than our own."


 

Liz's motivation is: "Knowing my running partner is waiting there for me early in the morning. It's easy to cancel when it's too cold or we're too tired. But those miles before the sun has come up is the time we solve each others' problems, share our good news and support each other. For me, knowing I need to meet my RP (running partner) is what makes me get those feet out from beneath the covers and into my running shoes."

Mary shares that: "My niece is my motivation and my hero in all things. Last year she was diagnosed with cancer shortly before her second birthday and although she has a pretty clean bill of health now, it was a tough road at times. Watching her strength gave me so much perspective on life and every time I think I 'can't' I think of her and somehow what seemed impossible suddenly gets a lot easier."



 
From Naomi:  "The quote that gets me is 'One day I will not be able to do this anymore, today is not that day.' "

Monday, October 27, 2014

#MollysFall

#MollysFall

I don't think there is a person out there who doesn't like fall. The humidity is gone, the air is crisp, the sky is blue and the colors are vibrant; perfect weather for outdoor activities. My family took advantage of a nice day last weekend by hiking in the Adirondacks, climbing a new trail that rewarded us with a view of Sis and Bub Lakes and the changing leaves. We weren't too far from the trail head when I said what a great hike it was, then immediately tripped over a root, wiped out, and broke my ankle.

I'm rather clumsy and have broken this ankle twice previously; my friends have created my very own hashtag #MollysFall. I know how to deal with this injury; so luckily I was fitted for a walking boot instead of a hard cast. It could have been worse, but I'm not thrilled by the fact that I can't walk the dog, ride a bike, or run for two long months.

Frank isn't happy either; he's not a fan of the boot. 


I can't run, but I can think about my favorite places to run. First up is Limekiln Lake in Inlet. The elevations along Route 28 in the Adirondacks from Inlet to Old Forge are great for hill training; it's nice to go through town and be a part of the activity. But I really enjoy a four mile trek in a nearby campground that offers hills, plus beautiful views of the lake. 



My second favorite is right outside my front door. My neighborhood offers paved trails that lead me through woodsy areas, along a golf course, past small lakes and playgrounds. There is always someone else running or walking, even in the winter!

  


Beaver Lake in Baldwinsville offers trails of various lengths, the 3 mile lake loop is scenic, and it's easy to make a run longer just by adding more trails. Plus they have restrooms!

  


Finally, I have to give a shout out to my treadmill. Depending on my mood or weather, I can run long or short, fast or slow, hilly or flat. Having a television or music helps to pass the time but only so much. Along with physical training a treadmill run really helps with your mental training. 

  



See you out there.....in two short months!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Early Mornings


I'm not a morning person and I prefer to ease into my day after staying up late the night before. My internal clock is set to go to bed at night around 11:30 or midnight, after watching a few more minutes of a movie or reading one last chapter of a good book. I'm also prone to insomnia and there have been plenty of mornings where I listened to the birds chirping outside, not because of an early alarm clock, but because I never went to sleep the night before.  

However, there are times when I happily wake up early for fun reasons, such as a race. I don't have a problem because my excitement propels me out of bed. Aside from my dog Frank, I have the downstairs to myself as I gather my gear, drink my coffee, listen to the quiet and watch the sun rise. 




One of my other favorite places to be in the early morning is the Regional Market on Saturdays. I really enjoy the energetic atmosphere. Everyone is supporting our local farmers and vendors with loaded up reusable shopping bags full of healthy fruits and vegetables. Some days my family goes with a grocery list, other times we wander along the rows just to see what is available. My kids are allowed to bring a couple of dollars each to buy Pokemon cards or gaudy blue nail polish.  


 


My brother-in-law has a produce stand and sometimes I'll help him out, which calls for a 6 a.m. wake up, and is a whole different experience. Most shoppers who come along are focused, some are chatty, such as the gentleman who explained to me how to make ketchup, and some are picky. On a recent cold rainy Saturday everyone seemed to be making chili or soup, and the onions and carrots sold out rather quickly.  

My husband and kids did the shopping on their own that day, and I came home to a kitchen counter heaped with the last of the peaches and silver queen corn of the season, zucchini, heirloom tomatoes, cauliflower, ash ripened goat cheese and something called a Kohlrabi, which is a cross between a turnip and cabbage. 



 


Before we even started to eat all that bounty, I felt healthier just by looking at it!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Prepping for the Disney Parks

Running a race takes planning and preparation. You choose the location, time of year, budget for the registration fee, then train for it. Kind of like a trip to Disney World. 

We made a second pilgramage to The Happiest Place On Earth in February.  

 


I prepared for our recent trip to the theme park as I would for a half marathon: starting with our feet. I made sure each member of the family had on their Brooks, Asics, New Balance or Nike sneakers. Since "cotton is rotten," we paired them with a synthetic weave sock to keep our feet cool and dry. Instead of my Garmin, we took turns wearing a pedometer to track our steps each day. Nutrition was very important; at any sign of fatigue or crabbiness, I had water and granola bars ready for consumption. My sister's bunion started to give her trouble, so I handed over a blister bandage. 
 
During longer races, I tend to watch the feet of the runners around me, to see what shoes they wear or how they run. On longer waits for rides such as Space Mountain, I caught myself doing the same thing. I would point out that one person wore a particular shoe because they were stable on their feet, another because the person probably overpronated. My husband did roll his eyes from time to time, so when I noticed that one woman's shoe was too big for her, and she would probably end up with blisters, I kept the thought to myself.
 We even dealt with injury when my husband broke his toe on the ottoman in our room. But he soldiered through the pain for one last 9 hour day at the parks.
 At the end of the trip, we logged just over 100,000 steps. I decided to reward myself not with a medal, but with a pair of retro Mickey Mouse socks.

 



 And they're not even cotton.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Find Your Spark!

Well well well, what do we have here? A blog post????
Six months ago I started working at a fantastic place......a running store! My co-workers are athletes, I help people find just the right shoe for their feet, work on securing race sponsorships, and write for our newsletter.  
I'd like to post regularly here again, but I thought I would start by sharing some of the pieces that I've written for the store.  So I'll start with the story of how I found my running spark.......

Every once in a while, due to my footwear, someone will ask me if I'm a runner. Last week it was when I was in the dentist chair getting a cleaning - a time when it's particularly hard to answer due to the suction thing stuck under your tongue. I most often hear the runner question while I'm fitting someone for new shoes, which was the case yesterday. As I helped a woman who had recovered from foot surgery, she asked "Do you run? I can't run, I could never run. I would like to run, but I can't run." My answer? "You'd like to run; you've got new shoes, so you must think you can run."  


There are so many reasons why it's hard to try something new, but when you find that motivation, you never know what can come of it. I used to be a gym rat, when the number of calories burned was my focus. I wasn't on a journey to a goal. That is, until after I had my children.  


I had a different sense of motivation after they were born, partly because I wanted to be a good example. However, I also felt a sense of empowerment (making it through 36 hours of labor will do that to you I guess.) I thought, "What else can I do?" So when my daughter was six months old, I started to train for the Boilermaker 15k. That went well, so I figured "Why not try a half marathon?" Which turned into a marathon, then the Iron Girl. Before I knew it I had gear, clothing and accessories for every season and every activity.  


Since I started, I haven't stopped.
 If you can find your spark, light it up, and keep it burning. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Review Time: Reds All Natural Burrito's


RedsAllNaturalRedPackaging.jpg

When I eat lunch, I'm usually starving after a full morning of various activities. Half the time I eat leftovers, and if I'm at work, it's a turkey sandwich. Which gets boring after a while, and when it's freezing cold out (hello polar vortex) a hot lunch is comforting.




I recently had a chance to try "clean" burritos by Red's All Natural. What makes them clean?  Their products are 100% natural, preservative free, non-GMO, made with antibiotic and hormone free meat, and rBGH-free cheese.

Mike and I love Mexican food, but it's not the healthiest choice, and when I think of frozen burritos I'm reminded of the kind they used to sell at the convenience store in my college town. They get hard in the microwave and are pretty much the worst thing you can eat. So we were happy to give Red's a try.

They have several varietes, including chicken, steak, bean and cheese, even BBQ, in 11 oz burritos, and a
5 oz snack size. There is also a line of Quesadilla's, made with buffalo chicken, pulled pork, and steak.





The first one I tried was bean and rice, which I had for lunch on a No Meat Monday.  You can microwave them, but since I had time I put it in the oven, which I made the tortilla crispy. 





As you can see, the beans were whole, and not mushy, with a nice mix of corn, onion, tomato, cheese and brown rice.  I usually put a side of salsa on mexican food, but I didn't need it here. 

Mike had the chicken, then steak burritos for lunch two different days while he was at work. He didn't take a picture, but he said it was quality meat, not like the mystery meat you usually find in frozen products.

Next up was the Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas. 



Once again the quesadillas were filled with real, quality ingredients. This time I added some salsa for dipping, and paired it with a salad to complete my lunch.  

The verdict? I shy away from frozen convenience foods, but I'll keep a supply of Red's in our freezer for when we need a quick lunch that is actually good for you, and tastes great too!

You can find Red's in most major grocery chains, including Target.

*Note: I was sent samples of Red's products for the purpose of this review. The opinions of the product are my own. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Rewind, Rehash, Reflect, Renew

I was doing the dishes earlier, amid the noise of two televisions, one turned to Lilo and Stitch, the other to the local news, with one sick kid, a barking dog, all of us still in pj's, and thought how I haven't had a time to reflect on the past year, much less set goals for the new one rapidly approaching.

Then out of nowhere, I heard Joni Mitchell's River, which is the type of song that perfectly fit my mood. I located it's source, an ipod sitting under a book on the kitchen table that someone forgot to turn off, listened for a bit, took down the calendar, then sat down to think about 2013.

I feel like we've come a long way since last January, Mike and I were both unemployed, but happily, we are ending the year in jobs that we both enjoy, and hope to stay in for a long time.

I got out of the habit of writing down how many miles I run on my daily calendar, it seemed like since I had different races going on throughout the year, I didn't need to keep doing it. But now I'm curious as to what the final total was, so I'm going to start keeping track again.

There was the Shamrock Run:





Then I fell down some stairs and wrecked my ankle.






During the summer, I made some great new friends and we ran in the early morning, training for The Boilermaker.




Then came the Empire Half:





I tried Cross-Fit, and my arms blew up.





My fitness goal for 2014 is to get planking again, and I want to add more half's to my schedule. I really like that distance, the training is manageable, and it's long enough to feel accomplished at the end.


We spent lots of time in the Adirondacks, a place we truly feel like we can escape to.




Although there is a bench on the lake where you can get WiFi, just for a minute or two.





We were reminded again of how life can change in an instant, and how fortunate we are in so many ways.





Although I got tired of picking rubber bands up from every corner of the house.




I loved watching the kids challenge themselves in different ways this year.






Luke flipping off the high board:





Frank thinks he's the third child.




Every night at 7:00 he brings his bone into the kitchen, and drops it at my feet, which means he wants me to put peanut butter in it.  Every. Night.

Speaking of the kitchen, I once again cooked Thanksgiving dinner, and Mike mastered the art of deep fried turkey.





In 2014 I want to finally master marinara sauce.
                                                                           ~

I really can't ask for a better ending to 2013.

I haven't made any major resolutions, aside from dropping some more un-wanted pounds before our next trip to Disney.

I'm going to keep moving forward, staying positive, hopeful, and grateful.





Wishing you a happy, healthy 2014.....
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!