Thursday, December 26, 2013

Post-Christmas Post

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. We sure did. It's so crazy how it is such a whirlwind beforehand and just like that, it's over. Here's a little bit of what we did the last few days...

In the middle of an ice storm, we headed over to my parents' house on Sunday for Christmas with my brother and family as they were heading to California for Christmas this year. We also managed to fit in Zeke's birthday since it was cancelled due to a snow storm the Sunday prior.

I pretty much lost count of all the lego sets Zeke got, but has spent the last few days building them all. 

Eight are pictured, but there are at least 3 or 4 more that he has since completed!
We also got a Wii U and it is awesome! Thanks Mom and Dad!

A lot of folks up here lost power (thankfully we didn't), but my parents did for over 30 hours. They were coming over on Christmas Day for dinner, but the problem was that there was a good 1/2 inch of ice on my dad's ramp that needed to be removed before he could get his wheelchair out of the house. I got a good workout and smashed it up with a sledge hammer. Between that, raking the snow of their roof and then moving all the wet, heavy snow, and shoveling the snow that the plows don't remove in front of our house, I've done some serious strength training in the last two weeks.

We made gingerbread cookies for Santa and the boys had a fun time making (and eating) them. 

Apparently Santa liked them as there was quite the haul in the stockings and under the tree on Christmas morning.

My husband got me some really great running gear for Christmas and I had to get out to try it.

It's been snowing again today, so the roads and sidewalks are pretty slick and it was slow going.

I did take a new route and managed 3.4 miles. Now only 8.2 more to go until I reach 500 for the year.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The end is in sight...

It has occurred to me that it has been a while since I wrote a post about the actual running I have done. I've been busy with Zeke's 6th birthday party that didn't happen due to the snow, but also been trying to finish up a few projects I promised people that would be done before Christmas. It looks like I'll be down to the wire getting everything done, but honestly that's when I tend to be the most room for procrastination. 

I've managed to get out there a couple times a week over the last month, but the long run is currently eluding me. I really need to get in some longer runs in preparation for the Mid-Winter Classic 10-Miler in February. We've been in a deep freeze with a couple of major snowstorms this past week here in Maine, but the temps today are in the 30s and it will be even warmer tomorrow.

I'm thinking that the bike path in Brunswick is going to be my go-to spot this winter. The Brunswick Parks Department does a pretty good job keeping it clear and it's much safer than running on the roads. It's also on the way to pick up Finn from preschool so it's convenient to fit an a few miles every Tuesday and Thursday beforehand. That also means that I don't have to run when it is pitch black out and even colder.

I did four miles on Tuesday and managed to squeeze in three today. It was a little slick with ice and slush in spots and in my haste to get out the door I forgot to bring my Stabilicers with me. I still managed some decent negative splits despite the slippery conditions - 8:31, 8:25, 8:17.

I'm super close to reaching 500 miles for the year...only 11.6 miles to go. I got this, right?  

Okay, I need to get back to work. Just in case I don't get another post up before Christmas I'll wish you a Merry Christmas, now!

Monday, December 16, 2013

KOSS Fit Series {product review}

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Koss. All opinions are 100% my own.

It's not too late to get those last minute gifts and this is a great one for the female athlete(s) in your life. 

Koss teamed up with Olympian Dara Torres to create a series of headphones with women's smaller ears in mind. In fact, the Koss Fit Series earbuds have a diameter of just six millimeters. But don't think because they are smaller, they don't give a good sound. Music is full and pure through these little babies.

Both the Fit Buds and Fit Clips come with three interchangeable cushion sizes since all ears are not created equal! I found that the smallest size on the Fit Clips fit my ears best, while the middle-sized cushion holds the tightest on the Fit Buds. The both are sweat resistant which is a must for an athlete and come in five vibrant colors.

I wore both while running and found that the Fit Clips worked best for me. I really liked how they wrap around my ears to ensure they hold tight no matter how fast you run. 

After a run in my Koss Fit Clips

While I also really like the Fit Buds, I did find myself adjusting them a couple times, but this was before I put on a larger cushion size that fit better. Being smaller, the Fit Buds might be well suited to use as an everyday headphone or for lower impact activities. I do have to say they tucked very comfortably under my headband.

Koss Fit Buds peeking out

Note: For safety's sake, I only wore one Fit Bud/Clip when running on the roads. Being able to hear oncoming traffic is of utmost importance to staying safe.

Both the Fit Buds and Fit Clips regularly retail for $29.99, but are currently on sale for the holiday season for only $19.99. They can be found at major retailers such as Best Buy, Walgreens, K-Mart, Sears, and Wal-Mart. It's the perfect gift for active women.

For more information on the Koss Fit Series or entire line of Koss products, visit You can also follow Koss on social media to stay up-to-date on all the latest products.

Twitter: @KossHeadphones
Instagram: @Koss

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Mizuno Wave Rider 17 {Product Review}

Disclosure: The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno. All opinions are my own.

You all know how much I love my Mizuno shoes, right? Well, I was very excited when I was chosen to test out the new Wave Rider 17 that will be in stores December 5th! 

Prior to the Wave Rider 17, I've run in the Wave Precision 13 (discontinued), Wave EVO Cursoris (discontinued), and Wave Sayonara. I'll be mentioning these shoes within this review for comparison.

Wave Precision 13, Wave Rider 17, Wave Sayonara

The Wave Rider is Mizuno's flagship shoe and had been through many transformations throughout the 16+ years of it's existence. It is a neutral shoe with a little bit of support and great cushioning. So what's new with the Wave Rider 17?

Like the Sayonara, the Wave Rider 17 now sports the U4ic (pronounced "euphoric") midsole that is lightweight, but still delivers excellent cushioning. Out of the box I thought the Wave Rider 17 was a little stiff, but after wearing them for a few runs and around the house I love how they feel. I am a huge fan of all the cushioning around the ankle.

I do wish it was carried a little further forward by the laces as this is a very stiff part of the shoe that tends to put pressure on the top of my foot. The Sayonara do that as well, but they do loosen up with wear. The tongue is also well cushioned that helps protect from the stiffness in this area.

Both the Sayonara and Cursoris are lightweight shoes (closer to racing flats in style) and the Wave Rider 17 has dropped the weight about an ounce compared to the Wave Rider 16. 

Because I had been running recently in shoes with a lower heel-toe drop (Cursoris and Sayonara), the Wave Rider 17's felt a little clunky on that first run. 

Wave Rider 17 vs. Wave Sayonara

I hadn't run with this much of a heel since the Precision 13's several months ago. After a couple of runs, I don't notice it as much anymore. I am looking forward to running in the Wave Rider 17's for long runs (as of this review my longest run is three miles). They do remind me of the feel of the Precision 13's (which I loved and ran my first marathon in) much more so than the Sayonara does which replaced the Precision. 

Wave Rider 17 vs. Wave Precision 13

The Wave Rider 17 seems very breathable, yet has kept my feet quite warm on cold days. The mesh is very flexible and hopefully will hold up to use. I was initially worried about the width and height of the toe box. While the Wave Rider 17 only has two areas with sewn overlays, the one on the toe ends precisely where my pinky toe is and seemed a little tight on the first day.

It has since stretched out and is perfectly comfortable. This is one place on my Precision's that blew out (but not until I put over 400 miles on them). I also have a tendency to lift my big toe when I run and it will poke through the top of the toe box after awhile. In my Sayonara this happened with less than 100 miles (sad face), but the Wave Rider 17 seems to have a little more room and the material feels more resilient so hopefully they will hold up fine. I wear a Women's size 9 and even though some suggest going up a half size, I feel like the Wave Rider fits true to size. It is important to note that the Wave Rider series is offered in multiple widths to ensure a good fit.

I really like the sole of the Wave Rider 17. I did a short run with a light dusting of snow on the ground and in freezing rain with no problem with slipping. I think it will be a good winter running shoe. 

I also like how the outer edge of the forefoot is rounded rather than a sharp edge at the transition from the side to the sole. I land on the outer edge of my foot and the shape of this area keeps my stride smooth. 

The Wave Rider 17 will be offered in three different colorways for men and women for $115, so head out to your local running store on December 5th and pick up a pair. I'm hoping Santa will bring me another pair for Christmas!

Overall, I think Mizuno hit it out of the park with the Wave Rider 17. It is an all-around great shoe that will make Precision fans happy with the structure, support, and cushioning, and Sayonara lovers will be stoked to have a lightweight training shoe that can go the distance. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Quick Catch Up.

Geez, how has it been over a week since my last post? What a slacker! Sorry about that.

Anyway, we had a great Thanksgiving and I feel like I ate my weight in turkey and all the fixings over the last several days. And there are still leftovers in the fridge.

My marathon and Spartan recovery month has come to a close with a dismal 22.9 miles run, a close second to February with 19.8 miles. I really felt like I needed a big step back month to recover and now I'm ready to tackle the last month of the year. I will hit 500 miles if it's the last thing I do. 

I did a quick three miles today and stayed really consistent with my splits - 8:18, 8:17, 8:19.

It's time to start amping up training for the Mid-Winter Classic in February which might be one of my favorite races.

As part of a FitFluential campaign with Mizuno (and we all know how much I love Mizuno),  I have the opportunity to try out the new Wave Rider 17's due to come out in a couple of days. 

I'll have a review of them here tomorrow or maybe the next day. But a little spoiler until then ... I LOVE them!

I'm also trying out some new headphones by Koss and will be reviewing those as well next week.

Let's see, what else?

I decided I've had it with our downstairs bathroom. The ugly plastic tile walls, the nasty shag's got to go. So I'm doing a low-budget mini-makeover before the holidays. 

Speaking of the holidays, the whirlwind has begun. Zeke's 6th birthday (six? how did this happen?) is in two weeks followed by Christmas. So far, I've bought two things. Fantastic. 

Oh, and I spent THREE hours with Finn getting new tires on my car today. I was seriously freaking out a little since we had to be home to get Zeke off the bus. We made it with ten minutes to spare. 

How was that for a random post about everything and nothing at the same time?