Organic Runner Mom

Run Green. Eat Clean. Laugh Strong.

How does swimming make you a better runner?

Swim like a fish. Run like a gazelle.

Have you tried swimming as a form of cross-training?

Have you tried swimming as a form of cross-training?

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I wish I had been a swimmer back in high school or college. I have taken on swimming as a new sport since I began training for my first triathlon. I was always a fish when I was little and could spend hours in the water but I never had any official coaching.  Now that I am back in the water I am truly loving being in the pool for workouts and love the awesome benefits that swimming is having on my running! Last year after the Boston Marathon my body began to feel more beaten up after training runs and I dealt with nagging injuries through the summer and fall.  Prior to the 2013 Boston Marathon my training consisted solely of running.  I hit the roads and the trails hard and my body was definitely beginning to show the wear.  Also, as I am getting older I find that my body does not recover quite as fast.

Pool and open water workouts can give your running the boost that you need!

Pool and open water workouts can give your running the boost that you need!

Deciding to train for a triathlon is one of the best things that I have ever done for my running.  Swimming has many important benefits for runners which I had overlooked for a long time (Perhaps I am getting smarter with age?).  I am so happy that I finally decided to dive back into the pool and here is why:

How does swimming making you a better runner?

Don't forget your goggles!

Don’t forget your goggles!

  • Swimming is low impact which means you can get an awesome workout without putting a heavy load on your muscles and joints. Say goodbye to overuse injuries and hello to faster recovery!
  • Swimming is a great way to build your anaerobic threshold by completing shorter sprint workouts.
  • Go for a swim for great active recovery after a tough race or hard training run for low impact recovery.
  • Swimming is awesome for building core strength because you engage your core as you take free-style strokes.
  • Your cardiovascular conditioning will improve.
  • You will experience increased flexibility.
  • Taking a break from going running and hopping in the poll to swim laps will give you a great mental break from the challenges of running.
  • Swimming also helps with body and breathing awareness which is helpful during long runs where your body becomes tired.
  • Your body will stay in balance because swimming will give your upper body the strength that running doesn’t.  Increased upper body strength can be used as your body becomes fatigued to during longer runs and races.

So what are you waiting for? Now is the time to hop in the pool, lake or river and to go for a swim. How has swimming improved your running?

Organic Runner Mom

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Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm!

My other middle name is enthusiasm!

Seek adventure and live life out loud.

Seek adventure and live life out loud.

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Lately I have been feeling enthusiastic. My life is punctuated by exclamation points! I have been feeling inspired and energized.  Perhaps its the gorgeous New Hampshire summer weather or perhaps its just an ease that I have been feeling with the daily rhythm of life. I have been allowing myself to try new things more these days. I am working hard to leap into opportunity without allowing fear to talk me out of it. It’s been a long time since I have felt like this and it feels good.  Perhaps it is a new phase of healing from PTSD after the Boston Marathon. I have overcome the hurdle of racing Boston this year. I finished the race and I am okay.  I finished the race and faced my fear.  I am lucky to be alive and to have a family and friends who love and support me.

So from this point forward I will move through life filled with enthusiasm followed by many exclamation points and seek to seize whatever opportunity that comes my way!

Nothing GREAT was ever achieved without enthusiasm. –Emerson

Nothing GREAT was ever achieved without enthusiasm. –Emerson

What is your next adventure big or small?

Organic Runner Mom

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#redGift Thank Your Rock Project

Thank you for being my rock Organic Runner Dad

Thank You #redGift

Thank You #redGift

I was recently contacted by Red Envelope to participate in their #redGift “Thank Your Rock” Project.  The people at Red Envelope believe it doesn’t have to be a holiday to show your rock that you appreciate everything they do! This one is an easy one for me and is definitely my husband Jesse (aka Organic Runner Dad, Daddy, J-man, Chief Egg-excutive Officer).  

Jesse has been my rock for almost 15 years now.  We met when I was the freshman women’s rowing coach at Bates College and he was a senior rower on the team. I will spare you many details of our whirlwind romance however let’s just say it may have been a little scandalous ;). It all began with some innocent time rowing in our single shells on the Androscoggin River in Greene Maine and became a lifelong friendship.  Fast forward to 2014 and Jesse and I now live in his childhood town where he leads his family business Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs and we raise our two silly, imaginative little kids. Life has been an adventure since we first met.

Jesse has forever been my rock.  When we first moved here I was uncertain about my own career and nervous about moving to a small rural farming community.  As I supported his new venture in the family business Jesse cheered me on as I pursued a new career in teaching first grade, as I became a marathon runner, and as I became a Mom. He has been with me through times of great joy, welcoming our children into the world, and has hugged me and consoled me through times of great difficulty struggling with post-partum depression and PTSD after the 2013 Boston Marathon.  We are partners in our relationship and work to give each other the things that we need.  Jesse has given me the courage to begin writing this blog and has been there as I have logged many quiet miles on the roads and trails, knowing how important my goals are and the need I have to run to keep balance  in my life.

Jesse is my rock because he is a strong role model for our kids. He is highly-motivated and shows our kids his passion for his job especially when he tells them about our family farmers and we go to visit our hens.  He takes our kids on adventures and shows them his favorite secret places from his childhood.

I am thankful for my “rock,” my J-man, every day. Thank you for being strong, kind, caring and smart. We love you!

You are my ROCK Organic Runner Dad #redGift

You are my ROCK Organic Runner Dad #redGift

Who is your rock? Have your thanked your rock? #redgift

Organic Runner Mom

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Chafing. Ouch!

How do you prevent chafing?  

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Trail Running

Trail Running

If you are an athlete here  is one subject that you are most definitely familiar with–Chafing.  Ouch! I am usually very careful to avoid chafing and it is usually not something that bothers me much when I run. Perhaps I have tough skin? Or maybe because it is usually too cold in New Hampshire to get chafing?

Racing over this past weekend was different. I realized as we arrived at the Bear Brook State Park that I had completely forgotten to pack and sort of Body Glide to protect those more delicate areas that can be susceptible to chafing especially when running on a hot and humid day. Not good! Plus the mileage that I was about to run and the time running was going to be greater than anything I had ever run before so I was worried . . . and rightly so! When I finished running the Bear Brook Trail Marathon (actually 29+ miles in 6:07) I discovered that I had awful chafing under the band of my sports bra and in a place that was literally totally “the pits,” my armpits. Discovering this kind of chafing makes me cringe at the thought of  hot shower water hitting the painful areas of skin making you wince.  I have been dealing with discomfort under my arms all week and what’s worse is I know that this was totally self-inflicted and could have been prevented. (#runnerproblem)

So what’s a runner to do?  Here are some tips for what to use before during and after your run to help prevent or relieve the dreaded chafing!

Before & During:

  • Body Glide

    Body Glide Anti-Chafe

    Body Glide Anti-Chafe

  • Vaseline
  • Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Boudreaux’s Butt Paste (A great chafing preventative for babies and athletes alike!)

Boudreaux's Butt Paste

Boudreaux’s Butt Paste

After

  • Apply Aquaphor to all of the areas where chafing is present prior to entering the shower or before getting dressed to protect the sensitive areas of skin
  • Use antibiotic cream as needed and keep areas of chafing clean.
  • Try to avoid wearing tight clothing or clothes that will re-aggravate the areas that have chafing.

What are your methods for preventing chafing during long runs or runs in hot and humid weather.  How do you take care of your skin if you discover chafing after a race?

Organic Runner Mom

Please vote for Sandra Laflamme to be on the cover of Runner's World Magazine

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Find your passion for running!

Passion on the trails. Remember why you run.

This weekend I ran the Bear Brook Trail Marathon.  A marathon is typically 26.2 however this “marathon” was closer to a 50K (#justcallitanULTRA) with my Garmin clocking a total of 29.2 miles as my feet crossed the finish line. The last marathon I had run was the Boston Marathon in April and I hadn’t been planning on racing anything quite this long this summer until I was convinced it would be an epic adventure by my awesome friend Joanna.

Strong Women Ready to hit the trail at the Bear Brook Trail Marathon. #runlikeagirl

Strong Women Ready to hit the trail at the Bear Brook Trail Marathon. #runlikeagirl

It is amazing how one race day can be so different from another. My race at Boston this year was important for me because I needed to finish it to help me overcome everything from Boston 2013 but it was definitely not my best race or fastest race. On Boston Marathon Monday I was a bundle of nerves, anxious, ready to run but feeling uncertain about what the race would bring. I ran a strong race (3:45 finish time) but felt unfocused during the race.  I ran but did not feel strong. Finishing the Boston Marathon this year was hard but I needed to run it to make peace with what had happened last year. Boston Marathon day gave me the healing that I needed.

On Saturday morning at the Bear Brook Trail Marathon I felt relaxed and was having fun hanging out with the girls before the race.  The race atmosphere was very mellow and I felt like I was getting ready for an adventure.  The contrast from the high stress environment at the Boston Marathon was strong.  This was just the race day that I needed.  I had no expectations about how long this race would take or how it would go but I was ready to get out there and run on some gorgeous NH trails.

While Boston had helped me to heal in many ways. This race gave me back the joy of running and racing. I enjoyed every minute of that 29+ mile course even when it was extremely challenging and my body wasn’t sure that I could run any longer.  I ran and I soaked up the course and loved the other runners pushing hard through their own challenges on the course.  For me the Bear Brook Trail Marathon re-ignited my passion for running.  I still was not the fastest out there but love my 6:07 finish time and the fact that I could finish with strength.

I will share more about the race in my next post but just wanted to let you know how much this run fueled my fire to run with passion!

I hope that you have found your passion!

Organic Runner Mom

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What’s in my pack for the Bear Brook Trail Marathon?

Fresh Five for the Bear Brook Trail Marathon 

What's in your hydration pack when you run a trail marathon (or any other distance)?

What’s in your hydration pack when you run a trail marathon (or any other distance)?

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This Fresh Five is a quick list of five things I will be bringing in my bag for the Bear Brook Trail Marathon on Saturday.  I am feeling a wee bit nervous about the race as the temperature on Saturday will be a high of 84 and the humidity has been high lately here in New Hampshire.

The last time I ran a race when the temperature was this hot was this years Boston Marathon. I never got into the full details of the aftermath of Boston 2013 but basically my hydration on race day was a fail. When I stepped across the finish line this year relieved to have finished, overwhelmed with residual anxiety, and fully exhausted the volunteers quickly recognized that I needed to sit down in the medical tent.  I sat for a few minutes and when they checked back in I wasn’t doing well. My hands, arms, face and legs had begun to feel tingly and numb and I felt as though I might pass out. The medical tent volunteers carefully led me to a cot in the tent where I had to spent quality time resting vertically on a cot sipping on large  quantities of  salty bullion and eating bags and bags of chips to get my salt levels back into balance. Basically I had become severely salt depleted causing my blood pressure to drop and obviously not a desired outcome after running 26.2 miles. As I have said before each race is a learning experience!

On Saturday at the Bear Brook Trail Marathon I want to be extra careful that I have enough fuel and hydration supplies in my UltrAspire hydration pack to keep me feeling strong and hydrated as I cruise along the Bear Brook Trails.  I know that I may have to slow my pace a bit and focus on fuel and hydration if the temperature starts heating up. I am also going to work on running a smart race on Saturday keeping an even (as even as possible) pace during the race and hopefully negative splitting at the end.

Now onto my fresh five for the trail marathon!

  1. Skratch Labs Hydration Mix
  2. Beef Jerky. Yes, you heard me correctly. On my last long trail run (a 17 miler I was feeling depleted and my friend Bridget graciously shared some of her homemade beef jerky with me. The combination of the protein and the salt gave me a lasting boost of energy.
  3. Endurolytes (Commonly referred to as Salt Sticks)–I will use these in case of extreme heat
  4. H2O (to be refilled as needed at Aid stations)
  5. Vermont Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

*I will probably have more than 5 things in my bag but these are definitely the essentials!

Bear Brook Trail Marathon

Bear Brook Trail Marathon

What are your top 5 essentials in your hydration pack for a trail marathon (or any other distance?)

Organic Runner Mom
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The Active Times in NYC

Active in NYC with The Active Times. Be Fit. Find Adventure. Visit the Wild.
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Organic Runner Mom visits The Active Times and The Daily Meal

Organic Runner Mom visits The Active Times and The Daily Meal

During our recent trip to New York City where Organic Runner Dad spoke at the United Nations about family farming we had the chance to squeeze in a brief visit to take a peek at what goes on inside The Active Times (and also the Daily Meal).  Earlier in the spring I was asked to join the Active Times Blogger Network which is a new and exciting opportunity for me and my little blog.  If you haven’t yet heard about The Active Times and you are and endurance athlete, outdoor enthusiast and in search of adventure The Active Times is an awesome resource for you.  Here is a little bit more about The Active Times and the mission,

“The Active Times aims to be the world’s best source of authoritative, inspiring, enlightening content for living the active, adventurous life. Whatever your passions in outdoor and endurance sports, travel and adventure, The Active Times provides the tools and information you need to do your best—and enjoy the ride.”

Hungry Runner (AKA Katie), Organic Runner Mom, and Ethan at The Active Times

Hungry Runner (AKA Katie), Organic Runner Mom, and Ethan at The Active Times

At the Active Times I was greeted by Katie of Hungry Runner who I originally met a the firs Fitness and Social Media Bloggers Conference in Colorado.  Katie is an editor at The Active Times and a passionate runner and blogger herself.  She introduced me to Ethan, another editor and gave me a quick peek into The Daily Meal Kitchen which was so cool!

The Kitchen at The Daily Meal

The Kitchen at The Daily Meal

In addition to being a part of the blogger network I have contributed quotes to several articles about running on The Active Times and hope to be able to do more!

The quick impromptu visit to The Active Times was fun and I hope to be able to stop in again the next time I am in NYC!

Have you ever checked out The Active Times?

Organic Runner Mom
Gear for the Active Athlete

 

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I’m running a trail marathon (plus a few extra miles) this weekend. What?!?!

Bear Brook Trail Marathon

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Running has been off and on for me this summer due to having a hard time finding time to squeeze in runs, illness, triathlon training, and basically just busy life with the kiddos on summer vacation. So what better way to challenge myself than to jump into a trail marathon (which I hear is actually closer to a 50K due to trail damage) this weekend.  Even though my running mileage has been low my swimming, biking and paddle boarding mileage has actually been high and has my body feeling strong and my legs feeling refreshed. I actually haven’t felt this good in a long time.

Bear Brook Trail Marathon Course

Bear Brook Trail Marathon Course

The goals for this weekend at the Bear Brook Trail Marathon are to run a consistent pace (with a possible pick-up/negative splits at the end????) and to run strong (#runlikeagirl) and to enjoy the gorgeous trails at Bear Brook State Park (although probably not the deer flies which sounds like they may be like a raging swarm of bees. Yikes!).  I am going into this race with no expectations of a goal finish times as this is a  new to me course (yes!) which means I will not be a slave to my watch for pace!

Race Day Accomplices!

Race Day Accomplices–Joanna and Meghan!

And of course my awesome marathon training partner Bridget!

And of course my awesome marathon training partner Bridget!

What makes this trail marathon race adventure even more awesome is that I get to head out for the run with some of my best girlfriends who are the most amazing people to run with! We haven’t had a race adventure like this in a long time and I cannot wait for the laughs and the stories that await at the finish line!

Have you ever raced a trail marathon? I’d love to hear about your adventure!

Oh and one more thing! Please help me  “run” onto the cover of Runners World magazine. Please vote for me from now until August 26th and you could see me smiling at you when you open your mailbox! Click here to VOTE

Please vote for Sandra Laflamme to be on the cover of Runner's World Magazine

Please vote for Sandra Laflamme to be on the cover of Runner’s World Magazine

Organic Runner Mom

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Summer

Bubbles

Bubbles

Summer

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Hello there Monday morning!  I am back in New Hampshire after some soul nourishing time with my family at my most favorite place on earth, a quiet little lake in Pennsylvania.  Our were filled with giggles, games, running biking, water play, swimming, paddleboarding, kayaking, and good food.  I love that I can now share my childhood adventures with my children where they are building their own treasured memories of making salamander homes in the woods and swimming in the lake that washed over me as a child.

Salamander Room

Salamander Room

While I have been out enjoying life’s adventures I allowed a little dust to collect on my blog.  Sometimes it is just necessary to unplug and to enjoy the simplicity of life as we all used to before the digital age became a daily obsession.  Stepping away from the blog for a bit also brings with it a renewed sense of passion and new goals for what I want this little blog to become.

Trail Run

Trail Run

What do YOU want to see more of on Organic Runner Mom? I am open to suggestions and hope to continue to inspire you to laugh a little more, to eat well, and to go out and go after what you want whether it be on a bike, in a lake, on a trail, on paper.  Now is the time to live your dreams!

As far as dreams go for me I’ve got some big races coming up! Here is what’s up next for me:

July 19th-Bear Brook Trail Marathon put on by Acidotic Racing.  This trail marathon may have been extended to cover closer to 30 miles due to some recent damage to the trails due to the weather. My training has been all over the place this summer due to illness and travel so this should be an epic adventure. I have no expectations other than to run and finish and to have a blast. I will be running the race with my most awesome amazing best friends and excellent running partners so it should be wonderful (albeit a “little” painful!). I am ready to get out there and to #runlikeagirl

These are the strongest women I know!

These are the strongest women I know!

Runner’s World Cover Contest

Runner’s World is looking for everyday runner’s to be on the cover of Runner’s World. Please Vote for me in the Runner’s World Cover Contest! I would love your vote! You can vote once a day from now until August 26th, 2014.

Please VOTE for me HERE. Thank you for your amazing support!

Organic Runner Mom

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Organic Runner Dad and Family Farming

Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs at the U.N.

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The U.N. in NYC

The U.N. in NYC

This week my husband and I got to do something totally out of the ordinary.  We went to the United Nations in New York City.  Organic Runner Dad was invited to speak at the U.N. to speak about,”small food producers and family farmer as agents of change for sustainable agriculture and food systems in the post-2015 agenda.” This was a once of a lifetime opportunity not to be missed and a chance to share our family farm, Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs and how we partner with small family farms to provide them with a stable and sustainable farming livelihood. I was not involved in family farming in any way prior to meeting Organic Runner Dad but when we were given the opportunity to go back and to join the family egg farm in 2000 after Jesse graduated from Bates we decided it would be a great adventure.  

Organic Runner Dad getting ready to talk about family farming at the U.N.

Organic Runner Dad getting ready to talk about family farming at the U.N.

Organic Runner Dad is a third generation organic and cage free egg farmer now Chief Executive Farmer following in the footsteps of his grandfather (a World War II dive-bomber pilot and squadron leader who returned to the family farm after the war) and his father who married into the family business.  For the last 20 years our family farm has been at the forefront of adopting organic principles and continued change towards sustainability. 

We love our family farmers. Mother and daughter packing eggs.

We love our family farmers. Mother and daughter packing eggs.

Nourish our People. Nurture our Planet.

Nourish our People. Nurture our Planet.

 

I was very proud of Jesse yesterday as he spoke with great passion about what we do and how we are working hard to support family farming in the U.S.  Jesse spoke to a room of about 75 people including many ambassadors. He even spoke with an ambassador from South Africa where they are now setting up organic egg farms to supply eggs to the local schools who was looking for advice.

We are at the U.N. in front of a piece of the Berlin Wall.

We are at the U.N. in front of a piece of the Berlin Wall.

I was so happy to be able to be a part of this amazing experience and to get a small glimpse into what happens in the U.N.  We heard many different languages being spoken throughout the day and were even allowed a sneak peek into one of the General Assemblies.

Have you ever visited the U.N. in New York City? Do you support family farming?

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