Organic Runner Mom

Run Green. Eat Clean. Laugh Strong.

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

 

More ways to connect with Organic Runner Mom

Twitter–> @organicrunmom
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Email–> sandra@organicrunnermom.com

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Happy National Running Day!

It’s National Running Day!

Happy National Running Day!

Happy National Running Day!

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It’s National Running Day today (and my Dad’s birthday!!!). National Running Day is a day to celebrate your passion for running or perhaps even to make a change in your life and to join the current running craze. Last year my goal was to challenge myself and to find inner-strength. This year I run for happiness and positive energy.  Since running the Boston Marathon this year I have been feeling a renewed energy on every run.  I am focusing on the positive energy that running brings into my life to make me healthy and strong in mind, body and spirit.

It's National Running Day!

It’s National Running Day!

I am not currently training for a marathon but have other goal races planned including some mountain races (Mount Washington, Loon . . .) and also my first Olympic Distance Triathlon (and probably more triathlons!).  Since many of these races will be totally new experiences the pressure of the clock is off.  Being a “newbie” going into a race the first goal is always to finish and feel like I did my best, to finish with a smile.  I have no personal best times to compare to in most of these races which has taken off the pressure and added back in the fun of running again. Training and trying to qualify for Boston is amazing but can also make you feel like you are in a giant pressure cooker, making it impossible during most of your training to not be keenly aware of the time on your Garmin (GPS watch).

Today on National Running Day (June 4) I will complete my planned training run (50 minute base run) but will be focused solely on the running and feeling good and enjoying the happiness that fills me up as I run.

When you run today I want you to find what makes you happy on your run.  Here are some things that make me happy when I run:

  • I love the amazing scenery on my runs.
  • I am happy when I encounter wildlife on the trails (well, maybe only the smaller creatures . . . birds, salamanders, chipmunks.
  • I am happy when I run in the warm rain.
  • I feel energized from a good sweat.
  • I love a great endorphin rush.
  • I am happy for downhills and hard uphills conquered.
  • I love the sweet smells of spring and on the trails.

What makes you happy when you run? Have a great National Running Day!

 Link Love for National Running Day

Happy National Running Day: Mom’s Little Running Buddy

5 Ways to Celebrate National Running Day: Running with Ollie

Fill in the Blank: “I love to run . . .” : Olive to Run

10 Ways to Celebrate National Running Day: The Active Times

Why I run and Running Day Giveaway: The Fit Fork

More ways to connect with Organic Runner Mom

Twitter–> @organicrunmom
Instagram–> @organicrunnermom
Facebook–> Organic Runner Mom
Pinterest–> Organic Runner Mom
Bloglovin’–> Organic Runner Mom

Email–> sandra@organicrunnermom.com

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Monday Motivation: Finding healing.

The Finish Line. Boston Marathon 2014.

The Finish Line. Boston Marathon 2014.

The Finish Line. Boston Marathon 2014.

And together we ran again.

Last week was an emotional ride with the Boston Marathon on Monday and the inevitable post-marathon let-down as the week wore on. I am so grateful for the experience of being able to run from Hopkinton to Boylston Street in Boston on Monday. Prior to the race I was extremely fearful about what race day would bring still haunted by the memories of last year.  It has definitely been an up and down year for me since Boston and running has been my one saving grace. Running the marathon again gave me something to focus on and something to fight for!

After the marathon last year I struggled to find any sort of inner-peace often replaying the events of April 15, 2013. I struggled with feeling alone a lot throughout the year, feeling constantly on high alert after having sat by myself, alone in the family meeting area after last year’s marathon for what seemed like an eternity with sirens wailing around me, people in an eerie calm, panic. I was so close to the bomb blasts last year but far enough away that no one knew what was going on and everyone was afraid. The day felt hauntingly like 9/11. A horrific nightmare.

Running the Boston Marathon this year was important to me for so many reasons one being that I needed to run the race again, to make it through the finish line, to complete the race and to feel the celebration, to feel the support of the crowds and the people all around cheering and screaming each runners name. I needed to push through the feelings of insecurity and anxiety and to let the passionate, exuberant crowds lift me and the other runners on our journey of healing.  Marathon Monday was overwhelming and amazing. I have never felt so inspired by the amount of incredible spirt and human strength of body, and heart and the stunning courage of so many people who raced the marathon on Patriots Day 2014.

I am forever grateful that I was able to run and be a part of this experience and to further my own healing.

“The human heart has a way of making itself large again even after it’s been broken into a million pieces.”
― Robert James WallerThe Bridges of Madison County

Love Wins. Boston Marathon 2014

Love Wins. Boston Marathon 2014

May you continue to find peace and love in your journey on the run!

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Boston Marathon Race Day Outfit Preview

Boston Marathon Race Outfit 2014

Boston Marathon Race Outfit 2014

What will I be wearing at the Boston Marathon? It’s time to get ready to run, girl run!

If you have run in any type of long race you know how important your race day outfit can be. First and foremost your race day outfit needs to be functional and comfortable.  The last thing that any runner wants to experience when running a marathon is painful chafing (you know the kind that will cause you to shriek in pain in the shower after the race, no thanks!).  Also, you want to choose running clothes that will stay put (no one likes to have their shorts or running skirt riding up as the miles add up.  When choosing my running clothes for a marathon I always test them out during my long training runs to make sure that I won’t encounter any of these issues on race day.

Once I have determined if the clothes are worthy of 26.2 miles the next thing that I always like to consider is the style factor. Hey, at least if my clothes are cute I have a slight possibility of avoiding an embarrassing race day photo, right? When thinking about race day style I look for running clothes that have bright and fun colors, wild patterns, and I definitely want to be running in a skirt.  For some reason I have always loved wearing tall socks (this goes back to my days of Colby Crew way way back in 1999) so the Compression Sock craze (functional yet fashionable!) suits me just perfectly.

I am truly appreciative of Skirt Sports, Bani Bands, and Crazy Compression for providing me with the awesome gear that I will be wearing on Boston Marathon Monday as I run 26.2 Miles from Hopkinton to Boston.

Here is what I will be wearing on Marathon Monday as I speed by on the race course towards Boylston Street. If you want to track me I will be wearing BIB #18384:

  1. Skirt Sports Eclipse Tank in Azul, Skirt Sports Cougar Skirt in Azul, Skirt Sports Sabrina B Sports Bra in Black
  2. Bani Bands Head Band Sequin Purple
  3. Crazy Compression Purple Over the Calf Diamonds
  4. Brooks Adrenaline GTS

It’s time to run down the course and finish that race!

#BostonStrong

#BostonStrong

What is your favorite Marathon Day outfit?

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5 reasons to LOVE spring running!

Dare I say it? “It’s SPRING!”

Hopefully by saying this I won’t have jinxed it and caused the most epic April blizzard . . . But since spring appears here to stay let’s talk about 5 reasons to LOVE spring running!

Mud. Mud. And More Mud!

Mud. Mud. And More Mud!

1. MUD! Don’t you just love getting a little “pig pen” dirty on a run? I love the smell of the fresh spring mud when the earth is starting to come alive again. And there is nothing better than splashing through a giant mud puddle just like a kid!

2. BIRDS. They are finally coming back to greet me on my runs again. My favorite is the red-winged blackbird cheerfully singing their song from the tree branches as I speed along. Which bird is your favorite?

Hello there running friend!

Hello there running friend!

3. Running with bare legs! Yes, my legs are out of hibernation after the long cold winter and unless it gets wicked cold again it is time for skirts!

Spring has sprung!

Spring has sprung!

4. Daylight. Plenty of daylight. It’s time to put aside the flashing vests and headlamps (unless you are running a night relay) and to run in the late afternoon daylight. Let the sun warm your spirit!

Soaking up the sun!

Soaking up the sun!

5. Racing! Yes! First the Boston Marathon and then hopefully a lot more racing fun. Keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t end up in a boot like last year.

Not exactly the footwear I hoped to be wearing last spring after the Boston Marathon.

Not exactly the footwear I hoped to be wearing last spring after the Boston Marathon.

Happy spring and good luck this spring! I can’t wait to hear about all of your races!

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Peak marathon training and now I am sick.

Healing Tea

Healing Tea

I can’t be sick. I am training for a marathon.

Peak training time when you are a marathoner is exciting. As you see the miles climb to your maximum distance before race day the possibility of running 26.2 miles becomes realistic. The daunting 26.2 mile distance seems within reach. If you are like me and many long distance runners you begin to almost hold your breath during peak training because if injury or illness happen at this time it seems way too close to race day.

Last week I finished an awesome 21 miles and although feeling physically strong I definitely felt a bit off during the run. On Sunday I began to realize why this was perhaps not my best run . . . I was about to get sick! As the week wore on my health went downhill. My energy was totally zapped and as for running mileage for the week my total was zero. By Friday I was at the doctors office after several sleepless nights of horrendous coughing. Ugh! The doctor confirmed it. Viral Bronchitis. Thankfully it was not pneumonia. The best course of action was lots of rest and I was given some cough medicine and an inhaler to help manage the coughing so that I could get some sleep. I spent the entire weekend in bed with absolutely zero interest in lacing up my running shoes.  All I wanted was the comfort of my warm bed, some snuggles from my kids, some chicken noodle soup and lots and lots of hot tea.

It is so hard to be sick and being this sick at the peak of my training has me feeling a bit nervous. Thankfully I got sick during a “rest week” and my coach has encouraged me to continue to rest and to just take things a day a time. According to the Mayo Clinic its ok to exercise when, “symptoms are all above the neck.” This means that until things clear up in my chest I need to take it slow. The last thing I want to do is to start up to quickly before my body is ready and become even sicker. I am thanking my lucky stars that the marathon is still a month away.

I guess this is all just my body’s way of telling me it needed some rest. Here’s to better health and happy running!

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Foam Rolling and other tools for active recovery.

Running Recovery Tools

Running Recovery Tools

  1. The Grid Foam Roller from Trigger Point Therapy
  2.  Ensō Muscle Roller from EvoFit
  3. Due North Foot RUBZ Massage Ball
  4. A Golf Ball

Your body is made up of many different interconnected parts and as athletes we often tend to overlook taking care of certain areas of our bodies.  The ned result can be painful injuries. One of the forgotten parts of a runners body during training is the fascia which according to Wikiepdia  is, “Fascia is the soft tissue component of the connective tissue that provides support and protection for most structures within the human body, including muscle.” This is an area of a runners body that needs to be treated with a little TLC to help prevent injury and keep you running your best.

Foam Rolling is a technique for Self-Myofascial Release.  Through foam rolling you can improve flexibility, performance, and reduce injuries. Foam rolling works your muscles on a deeper level to help remove any adhesions or muscle knots which will end up making stretching more effective too!

I have become a foam rolling addict since I began training for the Boston Marathon. My coach Denise Goode of the Sustainable Athlete  added foam rolling in as a regular part of my training schedule because marathon training can take a huge toll on your muscles and your underlying fascia. Foam rolling is essentially a way to massage your own muscles without seeing a massage therapist although I must say I’d prefer going to a massage therapist if possible!

In the photo included at the top I’ve included some of my favorite foam rolling/myofascial release tools including the smaller RUBZ and golf ball which can be used on the balls of your feet to help if you struggle with plantar fasciitis or other tendon issue.

Do you have any favorite tools to use for foam rolling and myofascial release? Please share them in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you use!

For more information about Foam Rolling:

The Foam Rolling You Should Be Doing (But Probably Aren’t)

Gym Rat Or Not, Don’t Forget to Do This at the Gym

How to Foam Roll Like A Pro (Greatist)

How to Foam Roll Like A Pro (Greatist)

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Organic Runner Mom’s Holiday Gift Guide for Runners and Trail Runners 2013

Organic Runner Mom’s Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Organic Runner Mom’s Holiday Gift Guide 2013

 *Disclaimer: I was provided with items from Skirt Sports, Peppers Eyeware, Swiftwick Socks, and Skida as compensation for review for this gift guide.  All of the opinions reflected in this Holiday Gift Guide are my own.

Organic Runner Mom's Holiday Gift Guide for Runners and Trail Runners 2013

What’s on your holiday wishlist for running?

It’s that time of year again! The holidays are here and it’s time to find the perfect gifts for the runner or trail runner in your life. This year’s holiday gift guide features my fresh picks to help every runner stay fast, hydrated, warm and colorful during the colder winter running months.

FRESH HYDRATION Pick:

1. UltrAspire Spry Purpleocity SP13

Retail Price: $80

Purpleocity SP13

Purpleocity SP13

When I run longer distances I tend to experience fluid loss at a quick rate so I am always looking for more convenient ways to carry fluids during training.  It is easy as a runner to neglect hydration and I know that if you are like me sometimes a short run can turn into a long run if you are feeling great or the conditions are perfect. The UltrAspire Spry is a great hydration pack because it is not bulky. It has two pockets up front to carry your energy gels, identification and keys.  The pack now also holds a one liter bladder for fluids.  The vest is made of a lightweight breathable mesh.  The UltrAspire bladder is cool because it is easy to fill with a wide opening at the top that is closed using a Slide Seal™. I also love the high flow valve that UltrAspire uses for easy fluid flow.

UltrAspire 1 Liter Reservoir

UltrAspire 1 Liter Reservoir

Fresh Skirt Pick:

2. Skirt Sports Tough Girl Skirt

Retail Price: $90

Skirt Sports Tough Girl Skirt in Aberdeen Print/Black

Skirt Sports Tough Girl Skirt in Aberdeen Print/Black

Meet the Skirt Sports Tough Girl Skirt. As you know, my love for Skirt Sports runs deep and this is my new favorite running skirt to keep me warm and toasty on long, cold midwinter runs. This skirt features super warm running pants that still include Skirt Sports signature pockets on the legs, perfect for holding energy gels, your iPhone or whatever you might need on a cold winter run.  The best thing about the Tough Girl Skirt is the two panel skirt over the running pants which makes you feel warm and cozy, pretty and colorful when hitting the icy winter roads and trails.  The running pants also have a boot cut at the bottom which makes this skirt perfect for wearing on errands after your run. The Skirt Sports Tough Girl Skirt comes in a  variety of bright colors and prints which will warm up your coldest run.
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Fresh Compression Pick

 

 3. Swiftwick Aspire 12 in Pink–Compression Socks

Retail Price: $35.99

Swiftwick Aspire 12 Pink-Compression Socks

Swiftwick Aspire 12 Pink-Compression Socks

I love compression socks for three reasons. The first is that they help increase circulation in your legs during and after running. I also love them because they add an extra layer to keep my calves warm when the temperature becomes chilly. Lastly, I love compression socks because I have always loved the look of tall socks (I guess it is the true runnerd in me coming out). Swiftwick Aspire 12 compression socks have a 4″ double cuff to help keep them in place on your calves which is helpful especially because I have string bean legs. These socks help to improve performance during running by creating better circulation  in your legs and feet and enhance circulation for excellent recovery for tired legs after long runs and races. These socks are made from a unique fiber called olefin which is moisture-wicking and breathable. They also come in white but I love them in pink for a fun burst of color.

Fresh EYEWEAR Pick:

 

 4. Peppers Polarized Eyewear–Circuit Breaker

Retail Price: $49.99

Peppers Polarized Eyewear–Circuit Breaker

Peppers Polarized Eyewear–Circuit Breaker

I fell in love with Peppers Eyewear because they offer stylish glasses at a reasonable price.  Peppers Eyewear come in styles made for sports or for your post marathon celebration around town in their more fashion forward styles.  Many of the frames are offered with both Polarized or non-polarized lenses to suit your needs.  Peppers Polarized Eyewear was generous enough to share with me the Peppers Polarized Eyewear Circuit Breaker frames which have super thin POLARIZED polycarbonate lenses (also available in non-polarized) and a tuff-core GRILAMID frame.  This frame is light and perfect for cycling and running.  The frame is made for someone with a wider face. I have a narrow oval shaped face so I passed these on to Organic Runner Dad to test out.  He loves the lightweight frames and has worn them on rugged mountain runs in the White Mountains.  I think they suit him perfectly.  Peppers Polarized Eyewear will make a nice holiday surprise for your running enthusiast’s next running adventure. Here is a promo code for your holiday purchase from peppersusa.com which can be entered at checkout for 20% off your order. promo code: OUTDOORS  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fresh Tough Chick Look

5. Skirt Sports Tough Chick Top

Retail Price: $85

Skirt Sports Tough Chick Top

Skirt Sports Tough Chick Top

The Skirt Sports Tough Chick Top is quickly becoming another one of my winter favorites.  I love how well thought out Skirt Sports technical gear is when it comes to pockets and other necessary features. This half zip pull-over has a large hidden kangaroo pouch that can hold your gloves, hat or whatever you need to take off as your thermostat warms up on a long winter run.  There is also a little pocket on the left shoulder for your iPhone, your keys, your identification or your energy gel. The other must-have feature for any piece of winter gear are the thumbholes. I would like to extend my personal thanks to the inventor of thumbholes because they help to prevent a draft from climbing up your sleeves when the wind is whipping.  The Skirt Sports Tough Chick Top also has some reflective details for better visibility when running at dusk. This half zip is a must have!

Fresh Post Run Footwear Pick

 6. Women’s Classic High Bogs 

Retail Price: $120

Women's Classic High Bogs

Women’s Classic High Bogs

I have been a huge Bogs fan for years and the Women’s Classic High Bogs have become a staple in my wardrobe. I love these Bogs in the summer when I am working out in the garden. I love them during mud season and on rainy days for keeping my feet warm and dry and I love them in the winter especially after long runs and races because they are comfortable and keep my piggies warm and toasty. Bogs are 100 percent waterproof,  and use unique materials to help wick moisture and keep odor out. Bogs are the perfect after run footwear in the winter. Did I mention that they are rated to 40 below zero? I am also a huge fan of the colorful nature inspired patterns.

FRESH HAT Pick

 7. SKIDA Alpine and Nordic Hats and Headbands

Retail Price: $16-$34

SKIDA–headwear and accessories made in Vermont, USA

SKIDA–headwear and accessories made in Vermont, USA

I was first introduced to SKIDA by my good friend Alison and fell in love with the pretty patterns and the simplicity and wearability of SKIDA hats and headbands.  SKIDA is a Vermont company that was started by Burke Mountain Ski Academy student Corinne Prevot in 2007.  She and her Mom work with local cottage industry seamstresses to create these cool hats and headbands.  SKIDA offers hats in both Alpine (lined with fleece) and Nordic (unlined) hats and headbands. The hats and headbands are made of a printed poly-blend outer fabric and when lined have a cozy fleece. The hats come in many different unique fabrics featuring large polka dots, bold designs, and vibrant colors.  SKIDA also just began producing a kids line of hats which my kids (ages 5 and 3) were super psyched to test out! The nordic hats are perfect for those semi-cold days where you just need to keep your head covered while still not overheating and the Alpine hats are great for days when the wind chills pick up. I wear my SKIDA on the mountain, on nordic ski trails and on all of my favorite runs and you should too! a Rafflecopter giveaway

FRESH FAST SHOE Pick

8. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13

RETAIL PRICE: $110

BROOKS ADRENALINE GTS 13

BROOKS ADRENALINE GTS 13

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS is the shoe that has been with me through all of my marathon training and racing and trail running adventures.  I love the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 because it offers fantastic stability for an over-pronator like me.  It features the signature Brooks “footbridge” to help provide extra support and even comes in a 2AA which I need for my narrow fit.  This shoe fits true to size. The Adrenaline stands up to the grueling miles of marathon training. This shoe is light and is very flexible which is a surprising feature of this stability shoe. If you aren’t in need of a stability shoe Brooks has a lot of other great road trail shoe choices to add to your holiday wish list.

FRESH GIFT CARD Pick

9. Outdoor Divas Gift Card

Retail Price: $25-$200

Outdoor Divas Gift Card

0utdoor DIVAS Gift Card

My last holiday gift pick for runners, trail runners and outdoor enthusiasts is a gift card to an awesome Boulder, CO business.  Outdoor DIVAS is “the first women specific outdoor and snow sports shop in the country.” This business was started by Kim Walker, “a recognized authority on apparel and gear designed for women.” I had the opportunity to meet with Kim and to check out outdoor DIVAS first hand during my last visit to Boulder, CO.  Kim’s store, outdoor Divas, sells great brands such as Prana, Nuu Muu, Stonewear Designs,  Skirt Sports and many more. Kim Walker and her business celebrate and support strong women athletes.  If you haven’t yet heard of outdoor DIVAS this is  definitely a go to spot for your outdoor gear!

Thank you for stopping by to check out my Holiday Gift Guide! I hope you enjoy my selections and now have some great ideas for the runners in your life! Happy Holidays!

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Do you ever get in a running slump?

I have been in a complete and total running slump. A funk of sorts. Feeling frustrated at races. Feeling tired on training runs and allowing the negative self-talk to slowly creep in and take over.

Does this ever happen to you?

According to Active.com getting in a running slump can be very common with many different factors being the cause. When I read active.com’s article, In a slump? How to break that plateau” it resonated with me when author Matt Fitzgerald states,

“Factors in your life outside of training can also cause a plateau by sapping precious energy. These factors can include job stress, inadequate sleep, fatigue from travel, and poor diet. Such things are not always avoidable. However, always bear in mind that as your general well-being goes, so goes your running. So do the best you can to maintain a balanced and healthy overall lifestyle at all times.”

I have had an AHA! Moment! Too much stress from working through PTSD is DEFINITELY a cause in sapping my energy!

Be positive! Try Something New! Change it Up!

Be positive! Try Something New! Change it Up!

So in big news with running for me I have decided NOT to run the NH Pinnacle 50K next weekend.  It has taken some soul searching to make this decision but it is definitely the right decision for me.  I have been struggling with running since the Boston Marathon.  First it was what seemed like an endless six weeks stuck in a walking BOOT.  And even worse than missing running during this time was missing out on talking with my friends on long runs. Just when I most needed the therapeutic release of running and sharing my Boston Marathon story I was stuck in the gym working out alone. Where was my on trail therapy?!?! During a time when I most needed to cry and to try to let it all go (or at least some of it) I did not have that chance and I bottled everything up inside.

Since I was given the green light to start running again about mid summer, I quickly hid my BOOT in the closet and I set new running goals for myself. I also signed up for some races hoping to find happiness and success on the trails.

The way that each person measures their success is very different but for me success means strong completion of a race, sticking to your race plan, and feeling like you have given everything when you cross the finish line. I have run 4 races since I started increasing my mileage again in hopes of finding my own personal success–LOON Mountain Race, Jay Peak 25K Trail Race, Fox Hill 5K, and the Squam Lakes Trail Race (12.2 Miles).  Although I have had strong finishes during these races the biggest thing missing was my positive attitude. During these races (with the exception of the Fox Hill 5K) there were tough times during the race that normally would be much easier to push through. I have been frustrated with myself, I have felt weakness and not strength and I was allowing other runners on the course to take advantage of this mental state to fly by me down the trail. I have not been feeling confident about running a 50K and I have been struggling to stay positive on a daily basis (which is getting better with the help of my amazing counselor helping me with my PTSD).

After much thought, talking to my doctor about my foot (which is feeling better–about 90%), talking with my husband, and my awesome coach Denise (The Sustainable Athlete) I made a decision to take the pressure off and to set my sights on running a strong and POSITIVE Boston Marathon in the spring (in case you missed it I re-qualified for Boston at Boston 2013, a race story which I have yet to tell but will share when I am ready).  I want to have fun with running again. I want it to feel good!

Be Positive! Try Something New! Change it Up!

I feel lighter since I made the choice not to run the 50K.  The pressure is off and its time to have a little fun, to continue to work on getting stronger than ever, and to heal my foot to 100%.  My new plan is to have some fun with running and fitness in general. I am pumped to cross train and to run on the trails just for shear enjoyment. I can’t wait to go for an amazing fall foliage run and to enjoy the warm glow of the leaves (on the trails away from the Leaf Peepers)! I am excited to get back in the pool for some swimming. I want to find a Spinning class and I am most certainly waiting for the first big snow fall for an amazing cross country ski (I know this wish is a little premature but in NH once the leaves fall anything is possible)! I am focusing on the positives. I am focusing on moving forward. I am focusing on just enjoying being me and sharing laughs and fun with the people I love. I need to focus on my own well-being right now and that is OK!

What will you do to focus on your own well-being?

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#Sponsored Fresh Hydration: Skratch Labs Hydration Mix Review

Hydration Mix made from Real Food! (Skratch Labs)

skratch labs hydration mix

skratch labs hydration mix–SECRET drink mix

#Disclaimer: I was asked by Skratch Labs to complete a review of their product.  I was given 16 single sticks of Skratch Lab Hydration Mix in return for this review. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own. 

Have you ever heard of the “Secret Drink Mix?” I had not until it was actually my Mom who let me in on the secret and now I’m whispering that secret to you . . . Skratch Labs Hydration Mix.  So far Skratch Labs is the best hydration mix that I have tried and to know that it was first used by top athletes on the US cycling team instead of using their sponsored hydration drinks is pretty cool.

My Mom and Dad have always been my biggest supporters (and now my husband and kids too) when it comes to athletics and performing well. It all started at a young age when my Mom spent hours watching my sister and I train for figure skating (Patch (Figure 8′s), Freestyle, Ice Dancing, Pairs Skating).  Would you believe that I used to be able to double jumps on the ice and spin like you see on TV (well, maybe not quite that good but you get the picture).  As the sports obsessions continued (next horseback riding, field hockey, rowing (of course)), and now running, my Mom is always on the lookout for new things for me to try when it comes to hydration and fueling myself. She knows better than anyone how much I have always struggled with this. My metabolism runs so fast that at one check-up when I was younger the doctor pulled my mom aside and asked her if they needed to discuss eating issues. My Mom assured him that in fact I have the opposite problem of having blood sugar crashes and can become easily dehydrated Everything that I put into my body seems to process too quickly (i.e. total crash and burn at the VT City Marathon in 2011 from dehydration while trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon).

I am constantly in search of new tricks for surviving longer running distances without bonking and running into issues with dehydration but I am also very mindful about what I put into my body. I try to avoid drinks that contain high amounts of sugar especially refined sugars which require your body to create more insulin to process the extra sugars.  Many sports drinks contain high levels of sugar which amounts to extra empty calories.  Your body will receive temporary benefits from the sugar such as more energy but in the long run the “sugar-crash” will be hard and your stomach may become upset because of the additional refined sugar intake. YUCK! Hydration can be such a difficult balance during a longer run such as a marathon.  You need to get just the right mix of sugar, water, and electrolytes to keep everything in balance or you can end up like me staggering in a crooked line, completely dehydrated with 5 miles left to go at a marathon. I can tell you this is NOT a good place to be!

So, I was very excited when my Mom told me she have found an answer to hydration for me for my training and all of my upcoming dream races (Boston Marathon 2014, First Ultra Run)!  As soon as my mom told me about skratch, I looked them up on line and reached out on Social Media. I was happily surprised when they happily agreed to send me some skratch labs hydration mix to try.

skratch labs

skratch labs

I was sent 4 different flavors to try that all came in these cool single serving pouches which are easy to carry on longer trail runs.  Skratch Labs has some great flavors which I was worried would be too sweet but were absolutely perfect: Lemons and Limes, Raspberries, Organges, and Pineapples.

Hydration Mix

Hydration Mix–Oranges

Skratch labs was started by founder Dr. Allen Lim who has also partnered with Chef Biju Thomas to create a cookbook, FEED ZONE which is filled with recipes for Portables for Endurance Athletes made from REAL food!!!

Feed Zone Protables–Chef Biju Thomas

Feed Zone Protables–Chef Biju Thomas

I have now tried Skratch Labs on short training runs, after workouts, on long trail runs and even used it during the Jay Peak Trail Run 25K.  I would have to say my absolutely favorite flavor is Pineapples! I looove it! The Pineapple flavor totally satisfies the need to boost my blood sugar level and the flavor fills the craving for sweet and salt. It is simply delicious and the best part is that I know that there are no hidden, strange ingredients in the mix! Skratch Labs uses ingredients that are real and they have removed the extra sugars while at the same time adding back in essential salt and electrolytes to help with hydration during sustained athletic performance.  In using the hydration mix during my workouts and even racing the best thing about it is that I have found that my stomach does not get that sick, gurling feeling of having had too much sugar. Skratch Hydration Mix comes in either single sticks ($35.00 for a 20 Pack of Single Sticks)  for or larger one pound pouches ($19.50 per pouch) which can be stored in a cool glass Skratch Labs storage mason jar ($11.50).

skratch labs storage mason jar

skratch labs storage mason jar

I would highly recommend this product to all of my readers and running friends and to ask that you tell your friends about it too. I will definitely be continuing to use Skratch Labs Hydration Mix as a part of my running hydration regimen.  Skratch Labs is based in Boulder, CO which I am super excited about because I may actually be able to go and visit next week as a part of my trip to Boulder and Denver, Colorado for the Fitness & Health Social Media Conference!

#FitSocial

#FitSocial

To find out more about Skratch Labs please visit there website HERE and let them know that Organic Runner Mom sent you their way! Happy hydration!

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