Organic Runner Mom

Run Green. Eat Clean. Laugh Strong.

prAna Early Winter Collection is Here and a discount too!

prAna. Clothing for people who live life fully, play long, and travel well.

Organic Runner Mom's Review of the prAna #earlywintercollection

Organic Runner Mom’s Review of the prAna #earlywintercollection

*Disclaimer: I was provided with this outfit from prAna and Fit Approach through my role as a Sweat Pink Ambassador.  This review and opinions are 100% my own.

I was invited by Fit Approach to share pieces of the Early Winter Collection with you. Since my workout clothes are overflowing  my closet and I actually wear “REAL” clothes sometimes (no really?!?!). I decided to try some pieces from the prAna Early Winter Lifestyle collection. I chose the Kirsten Tunic Sweater in Gravel and the Kara Jean in Herringbone for some comfy styles to throw on after a long run to keep me cozy and stylish.

prAna

prAna

prAna. The company and their mission.

Prana was started 22 years ago in 1992, by Beaver Theodosakis and his wife Pam in their garage in Carlsbad, California.  Their company has grown in size but has worked hard to maintain a small footprint. Their mission is to have a small impact on the environment. They also helped pioneer Fair Trade Certified Apparel. Prana is breath, life, vitality of the spirit and is woven into the fabric of their designs.

prAna. Renewable materials.

prAna. Renewable materials.

prAna Winter Collections

The Kirsten Tunic Sweater in Gravel

The Kirsten Tunic Sweater. prAna #earlywintercollection

The Kirsten Tunic Sweater. prAna #earlywintercollection

This sweater is so cozy, a blend of wool and acrylic with a hood.  There are toggles at the neck and the sweater is a gorgeous ombre stripe. I love this sweater because I can wear it with leggings or legging jeans. It is perfect to pull on over my running tights too. The prAna Kirsten Tunic sweater is also great in place of  a jacket on a milder day.  This will definitely become one of my favorite pieces to wear this winter in New Hampshire as the mercury begins to drop.

The Kara Jean in Herringbone

The Kara Jean. prAna #earlywintercollection

The Kara Jean. prAna #earlywintercollection

I have to tell you that this is one of my most favorite pairs of pants that I have ever owned. I am tall (5’9″) with a very long inseam so buying pants is often very difficult for me. I often end up with pants that are at that awkward, “I can see your ankles length.”  These skinny jeans can be worn long or can be cuffed for a more casual look. The Kara Jean is the perfect length and are made of soft stretch denim which can be worn when going on a hiking adventure and then out for a nice evening with your friends.  I love the herringbone print (because if you know me you know I love prints and patterns).  The Kara Jean also comes in several other colors which I am sure may soon be filling my closet!

A Special Discount Code for your HOLIDAY Shopping!

Now that I’ve shared my favorite new prAna items for the Early Winter Collection it is time for you to add some of yours to your holiday wishlist! From now until November 30th I have a special code from prAna for 15% off of your entire order (one-time purchase).  All you need to do is to head over to the prAna website HERE and enter my SPECIAL Discount CODE: pspf14orm 

PRANA Winter Collection

PRANA Winter Collection

Happy adventuring. Get out there and “live life fully, play long, and travel well.” (prAna)

Organic Runner Mom

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Organic Runner Mom’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014

Organic Runner Mom’s Holiday Gift Guide–Part 1

Organic Runner Mom's Holiday Gift GuideIt’s that time of year again and time to spread the holiday joy and cheer! Organic Runner Mom’s Annual Holiday Gift Guide kicks off with some of my favorite running gear and running apparel picks to keep you toasty, active, and happy through the winter months as you log your miles training for your big goal races. This year I am excited to share some of my favorite brands with you along with some amazing giveaways too!

The Holiday Gift Guide Goodies!

Organic Runner Mom's Holiday Gift Guide Part 1

Organic Runner Mom’s Holiday Gift Guide Part 1

1.  HOKA One One Kailua Trail Shoe

Retail Price: $130.00

Earlier this fall I finally decided to try Hoka One One Running Shoes to see what the buzz was all about.  The endurance running community has embraced Hoka One One running shoes.  Hoka One One’s have “performance midsole geometries that feature higher volume, softer density, and greater rebounding foam than standard running shoes. (SOURCE).” I first spied Hoka One One shoes when I was pacing one of my best running friends to the finish of her first 100 miler and was curious about this new running shoe that was the talk of the ultrarunning race circuit.

I was generously sent a pair of Hoka One One Kailua Trail Shoes for review by the Backbone Media PR agency for my review.  I was sent a size eight in grey/light blue/white. I typically wear a size nine in running shoes but have found that a size smaller in Hokas is perfect and improves overall stability for me since I have a ridiculously narrow foot. Going a size smaller still allowed for plenty of room in the toe box.  The Kailua Trail Shoe is lightweight and provides a thicker midsole with more cushioning than your traditional trail shoe. All Hoka One Ones come with a fantastic Ortholite insole. The extra cushioning and support in the Kailua comes from the signature meta rocker which according to their website, “Supports a runners form, and encourages a continuous Positive Gait Speed roll from heel-strike to toe-off.”  Now that is definitely something I could use on the trails.

The feel of the Hoka One One Kailua Trail Shoe is definitely different at first as these shoes are on the opposite end of the spectrum from minimalist shoes.  However this is one of the more minimal shoes in the Hoka One One Line so it is a great shoe to start with if you are new to Hokas.  I have started running in the Kailuas on shorter trail runs to ease my way into the feeling of them. This shoe comes with speed laces and regular laces. So far I love the speed laces and they allow me to really crank the shoes tight on my narrow foot but it is nice to have other lace options.  These shoes also have great tread on the soles which offers substantial traction when running on wet slippery trails.

So far my experience with Hoka One Ones has been great! This would be a great gift for your favorite runner.  You can also enter to win your very own pair of Hoka One One Conquests (a road shoe) to see what the buzz is all about.  Please enter this cool holiday giveaway and share it with your best running friend!

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2.  Armpocket Xtreme i-30 and Armpocket Racer

Retail Prices: $39.95 and $24.95

Armpocket offers armbands for all of your adventuring needs so that you can easily bring along your phone and other important essential such as a key, credit cards, your ID, cash, or emergency energy gels.  The Armpocket has many features that make it a standout over other products.  Armpockets are:

  • water resistantsweat-proof
  • machine washable
  • Eco-friendly–Made from PET recycled fibers
  • have a touch control window to allow you to easily control your smartphone
  • have an adjustable strap and when you order yours you can choose what size strap
  • come in an array of fun colors
  • lightweight
  • made to fit a variety of phone styles and sizes

 I would highly recommend this product for it ease of use in carrying your phone for any number of crazy adventures; trail running, mountain biking, cross-country skiing . . . to name a few.  I love how easily adjustable the strap is. It fits my skinny arms and I love the comfort of the Armpocket. I also love the variety of styles that are available.  This is a great gift for the music loving athlete in your family. You can also enter to win an Armpocket Extreme i-30 by entering my giveaway.  Don’t forget to share the holiday cheer!

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3.  Ensō Muscle Roller from EvoFit

Retail Price: $69.00

This is absolutely one of my favorite active recovery tools that every athlete should have in their “toolkit.” I first learned about the  Ensō Muscle Roller last year and since then it is my go to roller for sore muscles after a long run or long training ride. I used my ensō roller regularly when I was training for the Boston Marathon last year. The ensō roller is like magic! According to the EvoFitForLife Website the, “ensō roller provides you with both deep-tissue and low-impact massage in order to meet your fitness needs. Unlike any other product, with ensō you can configure the disc layout to attack trigger points and to effectively engage in Self Myofacial Release (SMFR).”  YES! That is what I am talking about!  I love the ensō because:

  • it is easily customizable because you can move the signature discs to a configuration that suits your needs.
  • it can be purchased in a smaller travel size.
  • the ensō works into those harder to release areas.
  • this roller will make your foam rollers seem wimpy!

 This is a definite must have on any athletes holiday wishlist! You can also enter to win one here! Please share the holiday joy!

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4. Skirt Sports Charmer Long Sleeve

Retail Price: $68.00

It wouldn’t be an Organic Runner Mom holiday gift guide without one of my most loved Skirt Sports items (FYI I am now an Ambassador! Woohoo!). Skirt Sports has come out with some really awesome new products in their apparel line this year.  They have expanded their selection of tops and of course continue to carry their signature colorful prints which I absolutely adore. This includes the Charmer Long Sleeve which comes in either Shadow Heather or Fearless Purple/Snake Charmer Print.  I chose the Snake Charmer print to share because I love brightening up those long winter days with bright colorful patterns. This running shirt has a v-neck and the purple fabric is a mesh which helps with breathability. I love that this running top also includes thumbholes because you can still keep your hands cozy even if you need to ditch your mittens.  This shirt is bold, comfortable and warm and will be perfect as you train fearlessly for all of your big goals in the New Year! Please check out the Charmer Long Sleeve Skirt Sports Top and enter to win one too!

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Stayed tuned for PART 2 of Organic Runner Mom’s Holiday Gift Guide and more awesome holiday giveaways coming later this week!

Organic Runner Mom

 

Check out these other awesome Holiday Gift Guides from some of my favorite bloggers!

Run to the Finish

Love Life Surf

Eat, Pray, Run DC

Running with Perseverance

 

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Happy Hug a Runner Day! November 20th

It’s Time to G.O.H.A.R.D. It’s Globally Organized Hug a Runner Day!

HUG a RUNNER Day!

HUG a RUNNER Day!

Today is Hug a Runner Day! It’s time to celebrate you and all of your running friends as well as your loved ones who support your running! Make sure that you hug them all (I will be sure not to miss a single one as I am a hugger anyways!). Hug a Runner is organized by Run the Edge which offers running tips  and more from Tim Catalano and Adam Goucher (Kara Goucher’s husband!). This year in celebration of runners everywhere, Run the Edge has created an awesome Hug a Runner Virtual Race either a 5K, 10K or a half marathon.

Hug  a Runner Day Virtual Race

Hug a Runner Day Virtual Race

All of the proceeds from the Hug a Runner Virtual Race go to their Charity Partner Girls on the Run. I knew immediately that I wanted to join the virtual race because when I first found my passion for running I was actually a Girls on the Run Coach. I know how important and positive sports have been for me in my life.  Working with the girls in Girls on the Run was a way to give them a positive peer group to run, have fun with and  to feel empowerment. Girls on the Run gives girls in 3rd-8th grade a place to learn a lifelong sport while building healthy friendships and self-confidence.

Girls On The Run

Girls On The Run

I have chosen to run the 10K distance for my “virtual race” and am hoping to do it with one of my running friends so that we can celebrate our run together and share a nice sweaty hug at the end! I hope you will join me in running this virtual race! All you have to do is sign up HERE!

And now to get you excited about Hug a Runner Day, a little video from Run the Edge . . .

Happy Hug a Runner Day  and don’t forget to check out my current giveaway for Pierre’s Spicy Nut Butter!

Organic Runner Mom

 

LINK LOVE:

5 Reasons to HUG a Runner from Janice at Fitness Cheerleader

HUG a Runner Day (my post from last year)

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Fresh Review: Pierre’s Spicy Nut Butters

It’s #WIAW: Pierre’s Spicy Almond and Peanut Butters

Pierre's Spicy Almond & Peanut Butter

Pierre’s Spicy Almond & Peanut Butter

Wow! I’d like to introduce you to Pierre’s Spicy Almond & Peanut Butters. When fellow runner and marathon nut Ivy (also a Boston Marathoner) asked me if I’d like to sample Pierre’s Spicy Nut Butters of course I said, yes!  Pierre took almond and peanut butters and raised them to a whole new level by adding a kick to the boring nut butters from your childhood. This is definitely grown up almond & peanut butter.

The story behind Pierre’s Spicy

Pierre’s Spicy is a specialty nut butter company that creates small batch almond and peanut butters.  Pierre, the Founder, started Pierre’s Spicy in 2012 in his kitchen.  He wanted to create flavored nut butters that were reminiscent of the spicy peanut butter from his childhood, Mamba (‘mum-bah’) from his home in Haiti.  Pierre found that there were many sweet nut butters on the market but not many that were savory and spicy.  Pierre is an avid athlete originally a volleyball player with the American team at the Junior Olympics but now enjoys running and has shared his spicy nut butters with his running friends. Pierre’s Spicy is perfect for the running crowd with a healthy fat content and high quality protein. The heat in Pierre’s Spicy might just give your run that kick that it needs for you to get moving!

What’s in Pierre’s Spicy Almond & Peanut Butters?

This product is great because the ingredient list is simple:

  • almonds
  • agave nectar
  • chili powder
  • sea salt

. . .  and that’s it!

I tried the medium almond and medium peanut butters as I am not sure that my tastebuds could handle the hot. The almond butter has a nice smooth texture. The salt and heat give you some warmth at the end. the peanut butter is just as delicious! I love eating Pierre’s Spicy Nut Butters on a bagel or some delicious homemade toast or with some apple or banana slices. This 16 ounce jar is definitely not going to last long in my house!  You can find a recipe for Spicy Nut Noodles on their website and you can now order your very own Pierre’s Spicy to try! This would make a great stocking stuffer for the foodie in your life!

Giveaway

You now also have a chance to win  a 16 ounce jar of Pierre’s Spicy Almond Butter (Medium) to enjoy and spice up your life! Just enter below and please share with a friend!

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Happy healthy eating on the run this week!

 

Organic Runner Mom

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Discover the Benefits of Being a Solo Runner.

Being a solo runner.

Discover the Benefits of Being a Solo Runner

Discover the Benefits of Being a Solo Runner

I was born a people person. I get energy from interacting with people. I thrive off the energy of being with a group or a team. My personality type according to the Myers-Briggs personality test is ESFJ which in a nutshell means, “ESFJs are people persons – they love people. They are warmly interested in others. (SOURCE)” So why is then that I have ended up as a runner and often a long-distance runner where running is mostly a solo sport. Now I often find myself out on long solo runs with no one to interact with except for myself and the world that surrounds me as a log the miles on asphalt and dirt.

Over time I have learned to love being a solo runner and I even crave those long quiet solo runs that bring peace and quiet and a time for deep introspection or a time to let it all go.

What are the benefits of being a solo runner?

  • You can focus on your form without the distraction.
  • You can focus on your breathing by listening to the rhythm of your breath in time with the cadence of your foot-strike.
  • Being a solo runner requires you to learn discipline. You have only yourself to be accountable too. If you are training to be at a certain pace you won’t be tempted to run someone else’s pace.
  • You will learn to work through challenges by yourself which you will need on race day. Your training runs are your practice for race day so you need to be able to work through the physical and mental challenges that will happen when the big day comes.
  • You can pick how far, how fast, and where you want to go. The decision is all yours and not dictated by a group.
  • Sometimes you just need peace and quiet and a solo run is the perfect place to do it. Use your solo run as a time to organize your thoughts.
  • When you are a solo runner you can find the rhythm and the pace of the run and just run driven by the sound of your breathing, your feet hitting the ground, and the beating of your heart.

Don’t get me wrong I still love my group runs but running alone has made me a stronger runner and I have found a deep love for being by myself on the run. Sometimes being a solo runner is everything that your soul needs.

What do you love the most about running alone. What benefits have you found of being a solo runner?

Organic Runner Mom

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The complicated emotions of a runner.

The emotions of a runner.

The emotions of a runner can be complex.

The emotions of a runner can be complex.

Running can conjure up a wide range of emotions depending on the moment in time. I have become a passionate runner and each run is a special experience. sometimes the wide range of emotions that you feel when you are running can be overwhelming or inspiring. Here are some of the emotions that I feel when I am out for a run or running in a race.

  1. Pure joy as the wind pushes my hair back and my feet hit the pavement.
  2. Excitement when I discover a new trail to explore.
  3. Fear when I am running alone.
  4. Comfort when I am running with friends.
  5. Exhaustion as I push hard to cross the line in a race.
  6. Disappointment when I do not achieve my goal.
  7. Determination when I am chasing down my P.R. or a competitor on the course.
  8. Sadness as a race that I have been training for has ended.
  9. Angry when I don’t try my hardest and I quit on myself.
  10. Happiness when I reach the peak of a hard hill
  11. Inspired when I am running with a strong group of women.
  12. Proud when I push myself as hard as I can and achieve my goal or smash it.

What emotions do you experience when you run?

Organic Runner Mom

 

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Skirt Sports. Real Women. Real Bodies. Real Inspiration.

I am a proud Skirt Sports Ambassador!

Proud Skirt Sports Ambassador!

Proud Skirt Sports Ambassador!

I have a very exciting announcement.  It’s official! After all these years of Skirt Sports love I am officially a Skirt Sports Ambassador! Woohoo! I am joining 23 other strong women including Kathrine Switzer (the original Marathon Woman!) representing Skirt Sports from California to New England.  I feel like I am part of a new family! Skirt Sports was started by triathlete Nicole DeBoom an amazing athlete and visionary for women’s running apparel. Nicole dreamed up the original Skirt Sports Skirt in 2003 and in 2004 won the IRONMAN Wisconsin wearing a Skirt! The rest is history and ten years later Skirt Sports continues to celebrate women pursuing their goals and inspiring each other.

My love affair with Skirt Sports began when my friend Michele sent me my first Skirt Sports Gym Girl Ultra just in time for the Reach the Beach Relay before I had my kids. The Skirt which I still have was lime green with the pattern sweet tattoo and it was the perfect thing to wear for the night leg of the relay.  It was my first time wearing a Skirt in a race and it was empowering. I loved feeling fast wearing a Skirt especially when passing male runners (you’ve been chicked!) as I pushed hard up and down the rolling hills of my relay leg. I loved being a strong (sweaty runner) in a skirt.  I knew right then that Skirt Sports was for me and since then I haven’t looked back. It is unusual to see me running without a Skirt (although now Skirt Sports has some rockin’ running tights and capris too!). Now, it’s rare to see me running without a skirt. Skirt Sports has been with me for many miles, up mountains in the sun, snow and rain, down muddy trails, and even down Boylston Street at the Boston Marathon.

Now I am proud to represent Skirt Sports. Real Women. Real Bodies. Real Inspiration.. Please check out my Skirt Sports Profile HERE on www.skirtsports.com  and be sure to check out all of the other strong, encouraging and inspiring women representing Skirt Sports as Ambassadors.  Oh and make sure you take a peek at the gear too. There is plenty to add to your holiday wish list!

Do you ever run in a skirt? What is your favorite thing about running in a skirt?

Organic Runner Mom

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Fresh Recipe: Poached Eggs over Sauteed Garlic Rosemary Spinach #WIAW

Poached Eggs over Sauteed Garlic Rosemary Spinach

Poached Eggs over Sauteed Garlic Rosemary Spinach

Poached Eggs over Sauteed Garlic Rosemary Spinach

I have decided its time to start exploring with eggs in the kitchen. Since we have a family organic egg farm, Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs, I figure its about time I learned how to cook more with eggs than just the simple scrambled or fried. I should become an eggs-pert, right? The one type of eggs that I have always wanted to learn how to make are poached eggs.  There is nothing better than a perfectly poached egg that opens with the gentle touch of your fork letting out a creamy golden yolk.  Poaching an egg is not as simple as it looks. I am definitely going to need some practice at perfecting my perfect poaching technique!

From our family farm to our family table

From our family farm to our family table

 Basic tips for poaching an egg:

  1. Bring your water to a simmer, not a full boil.
  2. Carefully add your eggs to the water one at a time and keep them separated.
  3. Adding vinegar to the water can help to keep the egg whites together.
  4. Don’t cook too long or you will end up with hard yolks and these will not be the perfect poached eggs!

Once I had figured out to poach my eggs I decided to create a savory egg dish that would be perfect for brunch or dinner. Obviously we love eggs in our house and I could eat them at any meal.  Pairing eggs with spinach is a great way to give your body a healthy helping of protein and also lots of vitamins and minerals.  Spinach is very nutrient dense and provides your body with antioxidants. Spinach is also an iron rich food. Our organic eggs also have Omega 3’s and of they are  come from Certified Humane cage free hens. This dish  is light but will leave you feeling satisfied!

Poached Organic Eggs over Sauteed Garlic Rosemary Spinach

Poached Organic Eggs over Sauteed Garlic Rosemary Spinach

Ingredients

  • 2 Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs
  • White Vinegar
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • Olive Oil
  • Organic Spinach
  • Freshly Grated Paremsan
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

    Poached Eggs
  1. Bring water to a simmer.
  2. Add eggs to your pot carefully after cracking them open into a small bowl or ramekin. (eggs can be placed in poaching cups or small ramekins directly in simmering water).
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar to keep the whites from separating (this is optional)
  4. Simmer eggs gently uncovered for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Sauteed Spinach
  6. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to your cast iron skillet.
  7. Mince 1/2 clove of garlic and cook in olive oil until aromatic.
  8. Add rosemary.
  9. Add spinach and cook until sauteed.
  10. Plating
  11. Add garlic rosemary spinach to your plate.
  12. Gently remove poached eggs from water
  13. Place poached eggs on top of spinach
  14. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan and salt and pepper.
  15. Enjoy!
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 Do you have a favorite dish that you like to make using poached eggs? Bon apetit!

Organic Runner Mom

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Tips for gaining self-confidence. Lessons learned from running.

Find self-confidence!

Change your attitude. Change your life.

Change your attitude. Change your life.

Last week I did something that I never thought I would be able to do. I was one of the speakers at the Vermont Specialty Food Network Fall Meeting. The topic–Blogging and Social Media and the Specialty Food Niche. As the meeting date moved closer I was informed that there would be 80 people in attendance.  At first this number was immediately anxiety producing.  The first place my mind went was to standing in front of a large roomful of strangers and having them all staring at me and me standing there frozen with fear.  I quickly realized that this attitude was not going to get me anywhere. I can be the queen of self sabotage. The perfectionist within is always trying to hold me back from achieving the goals that I am dreaming of. Now it was time to take the self-confidence that I have learned from running and apply it to my “real” life!

It’s time for an attitude change.

I realized that I had said yes to this opportunity because I knew that I had the confidence to be able to do a fantastic job. I just needed to able to find my inner confidence and allow myself to shine.

Let me share with you what I did differently this time when faced with a challenge and how I found personal success.

Tips for gaining self confidence. Lessons for life learned from running!

  1. Train for it!–the preparation of my Power Point and practice of my talk was my “training,” the talk would be the race.
  2. Visualize and take deep breaths–This always helps before a race so why not before getting up in front of a group of strangers to talk?
  3. Anticipate any bumps in the road–During a race you can encounter problems such as cramps, or dehydration but if you are thinking ahead you can take measures to prevent any problems that may occur. I came to my talk prepared with a hard copy of my talk and a copy on my flash drive.
  4. Use the nervous energy for a positive outcome–At the start of the race I always have a rapid rush of adrenaline. The same goes for talking in front of a group of people. I decided to embrace the energy and to use it as enthusiasm and energy for my talk.
  5. Warm up– At this speaking engagement I warmed up my speaking muscles by talking to a few people about my blog, what I had prepared to speak about and how I got into blogging. Talking helped me to feel more relaxed and comfortable before I got up to speak.
  6. Know the course (or in this course know your audience)–You would never go to a race without knowing the distance or having a general idea of where the course goes. Before speaking I did a little research about the members in the group that I would be speaking too to understand what they might be interested in learning about as it applies to blogging, social media and their specialty food business. 
  7. Set new goals for yourself and go for them!–When it comes to racing I have let go of fear and take on the challenge of meeting my goals. I decided that there was nothing to lose being a speaker and that I should should embrace the experience and share what I know.
  8. Ditch the negative self-talk–How many times have you second guessed yourself at a race? How many times have you told yourself I can’t do it? I am done with negative self-talk.  Changing the words that I tell myself before I go to do something big like a race or a speaking gig completely changes my entire attitude. Positive talk can be life changing and a huge confidence builder. I highly recommend trying it!

How do you build self-confidence? Do you have any tricks that work for you?

Organic Runner Mom

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Hip Flexors and Running.

Flexibility, hip flexors and running.

Flexibility, Hip Flexors and Running, Ways to Improve Hip Flexor Flexibility.

Flexibility, Hip Flexors and Running, Ways to Improve Hip Flexor Flexibility.

I used to be flexible. I was an ice skater and could do spirals with my leg up high and spins with my leg raised in the air.  That is definitely no longer the case. As I have gotten older and become a long distance runner I have struggled with flexibility especially in my hips. My hip flexors are always extremely tight. When I go to a yoga class I always struggle with hip openers and in triangle pose my hips always give off a loud pop as I struggle to get into the pose. When I run my hips feel tight and I know that I am not able to maximize my stride length but what’s a runner to do?

What are your hip flexors and why are they important for running?

Hip Flexors (Image from traxee.com)

Hip Flexors (Image from traxee.com)

Hip flexors are a group of muscles in the pelvic region and upper thighs that help drive up the knees. Your hip flexors keep the pelvis and thighs aligned when you are running. Your hip flexors will help you maintain good running form and are also important for stride length.If your hip flexors are tight you will have limited hip extension and your stride length can decrease making injury is possible and slowing down running times.  Your running form and posture will begin to deteriorate as you begin to overcompensate for hip flexor weakness and tightness. When this group of muscles is not as flexible it will cause underutilization of the gluteal muscles which work hard to propel you forward.

Ways to improve hip flexor flexibility.

Kara Goucher on the run (photo from zimbio.com)

Kara Goucher on the run (photo from zimbio.com)

If you watch elite runners like Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan run, their stride length is long and fluid and their hips look loose. I am not sure what their secret is but there are specific stretches and exercises that you can do to work on your hip flexor flexibility. And, hey, I can run like an elite in my dreams, right?!?

Here are some great ways to  stretch out and strengthen your hip flexors!

  1. Always do a dynamic warm-up before you run.
  2. Butterfly stretch or Bound Angle Pose
  3. Pigeon Pose
  4. Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
  5. Reverse Lunge with Knee Drive
  6. True Hip Flexor Stretch
  7. Wall SOAS Hold
  8. Lunges

Hip flexor strengthening and flexibility is definitely something that I am going to focus on this winter. What about you? Do you have any hip flexor strengthening or stretching tips to share?

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