My First Run Happy Experience!

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This post is sponsored in collaboration with Zappos.

If you have been following or reading here for a bit you probably know that when I find something that works for me, I tend to stick with it – whether it’s food, training, my running gear. I typically do not even try other alternatives – why fix what’s not broke, right?

So when I was approached and asked if I wanted to test out some Brooks shoes and gear, I hesitated. But I decided to give it a try as Brooks is one of the only running brands I’ve literally never tried! I’ve heard great things from friends and other runners about the brand and its gear so wanted to see for myself.

All of the Brooks items were ordered through Zappos.com – which ended up being one of the easiest, fastest and hassle free online experiences to date. Zappos promises fast, free shipping and has a 365 day return policy (<- this is amazing for someone like me who tends to procrastinate mailing things back!). It’s also a great place to order if you are someone who likes to mix brands or are someone who is looking for running gear without being focused on a brand – there is a full range of styles and brands available!

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    Going for the Gold (#BabbleBoxxGold)

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    **This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Single Edition Media. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

    If you are like me, then you can’t get enough of the Olympics right now! I love that I’m almost guaranteed there is at least one fun sport to watch on TV at any given moment in the evening or on the weekend!

    I was pretty pumped when I received a complimentary BabbleBox – full of products to bring out the Olympian in all of us. It featured a mix of brands including performance enhancing products designed to “ignite your inner athlete and encourage you to make self-care a top priority”.

    Here is a breakdown of the awesome products in this box:

    1. I loved the patriotic Casio Baby-G watchWith blocked red, white and blue, the timepiece combines fashion with function and pretty much goes with anything! Plus, it’s water and shock-resistant – which makes it great for the summertime. Other features include an LED light, world time, stopwatch, countdown timer and multiple alarms.

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      Winter Running Necessities: What to Splurge and What to Save

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      Running clothes and gear are not cheap. It can be a bit overwhelming if you are newer to the sport, and see all the expensive gear that comes out season after season.

      Winter running is no different. Between jackets, vest, hats, gloves, mittens, pants and so on, you can easily go for broke if you jump at every piece of gear that you see advertised.

      But dressing for winter running takes some finesse. You need to wear enough layers to stay warm, but not too much where it’s cumbersome or weighs you down. (I shared my clothing tips for winter running ).

      The truth is you don’t need to spend a lot of money to run through the winter, but you do need to ensure you have the necessities. So where should you spend your money and where/how should you save?  Below are my recommendations. (Keep in mind that I live/run in NYC so my winter may be different from yours!)

      Splurge

      • Gloves/Mittens: I started long distance running when I was stationed in Texas and deployed to Iraq. My first winter back in NYC was a huge shock for me. I ran a 15k in Central Park one winter day and can remember actually crying after the race ended because of how cold and numb my fingers were. I had worn the thin gloves that I used while I was in Texas. Lesson learned. I have no qualms these days with spending the money for a thick, insulated pair of gloves and/or a warm pair of running mittens. Protect your extremities!
      • Outer Layer – Jacket: Other than your shoes, this is probably the most expensive piece of running gear you will own. In years past, I assumed a few thin layers would do the trick, but my core always felt cold. I had nothing to protect me from wind, rain or snow. Last year, I bit the bullet and purchased the Saucony Reflex Jacket. At $110, it’s not cheap, but it’s wind and water resistant. So far it has kept me warm on 10+ mile runs in 20 degrees and rain+sleet in 30 degrees.
      • Hat: Again, for years, I assumed that a non-running cheap earwarmer would do the trick and keep my head warm. It didn’t. I was losing so much heat from my head. Once I started sweating, the band got wet and cold. My trick these days (thanks to Jess!) is to wear a running hat with a winter hat on top. It keeps my head and ears toasty warm without being bulky.
      • Good Pair of Tights:  Your legs will only have one layer so ensuring that it’s a good, protective layer is vital!

      Ways to Save:

      • Use What You Have: A lot of your summer or fall running gear can be used in the winter. They work just fine as layer pieces. Short and long sleeve shirts, shorts or capris work on the warmer days. Use these as layering pieces to keep your core warm.
      • One good piece: If you run 5 days per week, there is no need for 5 jackets. Purchase one (or two) good ones and use them over and over again. I have one heavy duty jacket, two pairs of tights, gloves, mittens and two hats that are my staples for this winter.
      • End of Season Sales: Amazon and some running sites (such as RunningWarehouse) often carry last year’s line of clothes for a fraction of the cost. Or get in the habit of purchasing ahead. Look to buy next year’s necessities when the brands put them on sale at the end of this season.

      (From now until Dec 31, if you use the code “26STRONG”you will get 20% off your entire order of full-priced items from Saucony.com,excluding the EVERUN and Life On The Run products)

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        Winter Running Necessities

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        Last year was the first winter where I can say that I truly ran through the entire winter season. In years past, I start out with the goal of running on the roads, but typically end up doing most of the sub-freezing runs on the treadmill. I strongly dislike cold weather – give me an 85 degree day over 0 any day of the week. But after a few spring marathons where I finished not feeling as good as I wanted or running the times I thought I was capable of, I made a promise to myself to try to learn to love (or at least accept) the colder weather. I wanted Boston to be a strong race and I knew that in order for that to happen, I needed to focus on more running on the roads, regardless of wind, cold, rain or snow.

        And so, in the Boston trainup, I did just that. With the exception of one tempo long run, every long run was outside.

        And virtually all of my easy or recovery days were outside as well. The speed days were a tossup – I chose the treadmill when I was worried about footing or visibility outside (hard to concentrate on not slipping when you are trying to run as fast as you can). With Boston on my race calendar again, I plan to mirror a lot of what I did last year. The 2015 Boston Marathon was my strongest marathon ever. It was one of those perfect racing days where you run strong the whole way through. The weather was less than ideal, but it was a great day of racing for me.

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          Maximizing Wellcoin Activity + Rewards

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          It’s been about two months since I started using Wellcoin on a daily basis (I first talked about it here). It’s been a learning process for me – for the first week or so, I wasn’t logging my activity in the most advantageous way and therefore wasn’t maximizing the wellcoins I could be earning! So, I wanted to share some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned about the app and how to maximize your wellcoins!

          – Always choose “verification”. You can earn more wellcoins by letting the community verify your activity. The community can give you anywhere from 1 to 5 stars – if you earn 5 stars, you can triple the wellcoins you originally were receiving for that activity. So if you post a healthy lunch for 20 wellcoins, have the community verify it and you can receive 60 wellcoins! (Note: the verification option is on the final screen before you submit the activity (see below).)

          – Attach a photo. A photo will increase the chances of your activity being verified – picture of your meal, treadmill readout, weights, scene on your run – it doesn’t matter – as long as it helps show that you are logging the activity.

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            Introducing Wellcoin

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            Have you heard about Wellcoin? 

            Wellcoin launced this week as the world’s 1st health currency with a mission to help Americans lead healthier lives.

            What is health currency and how does it work?  

            On Wellcoin, members report and verify healthy activities they do and earn Wellcoins (health currency) for their effort. This health currency has real-world purchasing power: members shop with Wellcoins in an online marketplace stocked with goods and services from Skechers, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Pure Barre, Whole Foods Market and dozens of premier local fitness partners and vendors (see below for full list of partners). (Source)

            Some of the basics of Wellcoin:

            • It’s a free site for your computer and/or free app that you can download on your smart phone:
            • You can earn Wellcoins in an endless amount of ways – sleeping 7+ hours night, eating a healthy meal, logging physical activity, doing chores/helping others.
            • You can upload photos, recipes, or other info to go along with your activity
            • You have ability to view and verify other user’s activities (you can like/comment/follow them)
            • The more wellcoins you accumulate, the more rewards you can receive. They range from % off items to gift cards (stores such as Whole Foods, Dicks and Pure Barre)
            • The Wellcoin app connects to apps that you are already using (such as Fitbit, Strava, RunKeeper) so you don’t need to do double the work (you automatically earn wellcoins when you record a run, ride or sleep)
            • The Wellcoin app connects to a few yoga studios – you automatically earn wellcoins when you attend the class
            • At launch, some of the rewards are location-focused in the NYC and Boston areas (there are a lot that are redeemable online so regardless of where you live, you can participate). The plan is to grow and offer the same discounts to other cities across U.S.

            I’m excited to announce that I’ve teamed up with Wellcoin as one of their ambassadors to help promote and kick off this awesome program.

            It’s easy to sign up and start logging your activity -> Click here to head over to Wellcoin’s page. Use code “NYCRUNNINGMAMA” to receive 500 Wellcoins!

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              Trip to DICK’s Sporting Goods + Giveaway!!

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              This post is sponsored by Vocalpoint and DICK’s Sporting Goods. All opinions are my own. 

              I do a lot of online shopping these days. The thought of taking my two little guys into a cramped store to (attempt to) do some shopping for them or me makes my heart race. I often have two choices: bring the stroller (either double or single) which helps increase the attention I can put on what I’m shopping for. The downside is that a lot of stores are not designed for strollers; they have small aisles that often aren’t even wide enough for the stroller. The other option is to go in with them sans stroller (which is often the case) but I inevitably end up spending most of the time trying to keep them close to me. 

              Last week, my boys and I made our way to DICK’s Sporting Goods to check out the new women’s department and remodeling of the entire store.

              It was pretty impressive. The aisles are wide (and VERY stroller friendly). The lighting is bright and it feels spacious and welcoming. 

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                Things I’m Loving + Exciting News

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                There’s been a few things I’ve been meaning to share, but they haven’t worked themselves into other posts, so I wanted to include them in a roundup here.

                First, I am excited to share that I am featured on Runner’s Connect today! My super speedy friend, Tina, interviewed me a couple of weeks ago for the weekly podcast series. You can find the whole interview here!

                I’m also super excited to share that I have joined the Generation UCAN team as an ambassador. For those that have read here for a bit, you know I am pretty serious about brands I partner with – they have to be ones I believe in and provide products I use on a regular basis. And so, it made sense to team with Generation UCAN. I’ve been using the Superstarch Drink Mix for several years now – it has become my go-to before long training runs and races. And I’ve begun using their UCAN Hydrate (electrolyte replacement drink), snack bars and protein-enhanced mixes to supplement my meals and water consumption.

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                  Looking to Buy a Garmin GPS? Start Here!

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                  There is no shortage of running GPS watches on the market today – each one with a different capability and price point. And so it can be incredibly overwhelming to narrow down a watch from the long list available, especially if you’ve never tried any of them before.

                  I have been a faithful Garmin user since 2007 when my sisters gifted me my first Garmin as a going-away/Christmas present before my deployment (I have the best sisters!). I’ve used many of them – ranging from the Forerunner 10 to the Forerunner 910xt and wanted to share my thoughts on the Garmin Forerunners on the market today. (Keep in mind that there are a ton of other Garmin GPS watches – these are just the Forerunner models!)

                  All of the below watches offer these capabilities:

                  • GPS enabled
                  • Garmin Connect

                  ————

                  Forerunner 10 (retails for $129)
                  My review can be found here.

                  The Forerunner 10 is an entry-level GPS watch that Garmin released two years ago. The Forerunner 10 is a “GPS running watch that tracks your distance, speed/pace and calories. It also identifies your personal records and motivation along the way.”

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                    Summer Activities

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                    My older sister has an awesome pool in her backyard so most weekends during the summer, we head there for time with family, a BBQ and some pool time – a perfect summer day!

                    A couple of weekend’s ago, the day started off with an early morning 13 mile run. My husband and I high-fived when I returned and he left for his training run. My little guys, our doggies and I enjoyed a relaxing cool-down walk while my husband was out running (I am trying to get better about doing some walking or light stretching post-run).

                    My running clothes were soaked (hello, summer!) so I changed into the Essence Energizer Tank and Sonar Shortie. I LOVE the back design of the tank – and the supportive shelf bra makes it easy to literally just throw on and go!

                    After the walk on the trail behind our home, we all showered and got ready for the BBQ/pool party at my sister’s home. I opted for the Downplay Capris and Limitless Crew Pullover – over my Encinitas Bikini.

                    The Encinitas Bikini was perfect for a day in the pool with my little guys. It’s cute and fashionable but has an athletic feel to it – with awesome support!

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                      Jonathan Adler + Garmin (Review + Giveaway!)

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                      I’ve had my Garmin trackers (both the Vivofit 2 and Vivosmart) for over four months. I wear one of them pretty much every single day – and when I don’t, my wrist feels bare and naked and I spend the day feeling like something is missing. There have been plenty of times where I have opted for a bare wrist and thus, no data (gasp! =) ) in lieu of fashion. For example, two weeks ago, my husband and I went to a wedding – we were all dressed up and the black band just looked out of place. It’s not that it looked bad – but it looked like what it was – a fitness tracker. The rest of me was covered in jewlery – and the band stuck out.

                      Needless to say, I am so excited to help launch Garmin’s newest product line! Garmin has teamed up with renowned potter and designer, Jonathan Adler, to offer a collection of chic, pattern-printed accessory bands for the Vivofit 2 (as well as the Vivofit!).

                      “Jonathan Adler + Garmin combines fashion with purpose-built wearables, so users never have to choose between personal style and trusted technology.” – Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales

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                        North Face Mountain Athletics Gear + $500 North Face Gift Card Giveaway!

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                        This post brought to you by The North Face . The content and opinions expressed below are that of NYC Running Mama.

                        The Mountain Athletics Gear is an activewear line released by North Face targeted at individuals who run, lift, do yoga or strength train. I was recently given the opportunity to test out some of this gear!

                        From their website:

                        The Mountain Athletics line by North Face is technical training apparel, footwear and technology that is designed to help various levels of athletes have longer days and more fun times outdoors doing the activities they love…built to help elite, experienced athletes train for their sports activities. 

                        The clothes are extremely comfortable and functional for workouts as well as pre- and post-workout.

                        Some of the features of the Mountain Athletics Line:

                        • Utilizes exclusive active stretch fabric that provides an unparalleled durability and strength
                        • Allows a range of motion and performance to help athletes strive in training outdoors
                        • Uses FlashDryXD, a technology that keeps you dry and won’t snag, pill or pull
                        • Engineered materials that stretch, flex and move with your most rigorous workout

                        There is a wide range of gear available – casual, relaxed pieces that you can wear to the gym or to run errands. But there’s also amazing gear you can rock while you are working out. And there’s some really fun, bright colors across the line.

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                          9 Ways to Prevent Running From Breaking the Bank (Women’s Running Post)

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                          My first half marathon in 2007 – Danskin pants and a North Face half zip (not meant for running)

                          I wrote this post for Women’s Running a few weeks ago and wanted to share it here as well.

                          At it’s core, running is an inexpensive sport. All you really need is a good pair of sneakers — and I’m sure some would argue against even that!

                          However, I feel like every time I blink, there is a new gadget, accessory or piece of clothing that is on the market. Don’t get me wrong – I own a lot of these things, and I think a good number of them have their uses to make running more enjoyable. But, the reality is they aren’t necessary. If you are new to the sport of running, it can be overwhelming to see nothing but dollar signs all the time.

                          Here are some ways to keep the costs associated with running down:

                          Buy the previous shoe model: It’s always fun to own the shoes that were just released, but you will be paying the full cost for that pair. If you wait until the next model comes out, you can often get them for up to 50% off the retail price. They are still unused, new shoes, just last year, last month or even last week’s model. Not everything needs to be wicking/running-brand: For years, my running pants were cheap leggings, my outer gear was a fleece half zip and my gloves were from the 99 cent store. And you know what? They worked fine. 8-12 years ago, I ran both my first half marathon and first marathon in that type of gear. Now, I will admit that the thicker and better quality gear keep me warm for the long, wet or cold runs in the winter months. But for day-to-day short runs, it may not be necessary to spend a ton of money.

                        • Shop end of season clearance: The worst time to buy a running jacket, tights or gloves is in the weeks leading up to winter or smack dab in the middle of the cold months. Use what you have this year. Then buy the necessities when the large brands begin selling their spring/summer gear. Typically, clothes will go on sale/clearance but if you wait a few weeks, they’ll be a deal to save an additional 25-50% off those prices.

                        • Use old/used gear as base layers: I usually wear last year’s gear as my base layer during the winter so I keep the newer gear in better condition for the warmer months. Nobody will see what’s underneath your jacket or long-sleeve shirt anyway, so save a few shirts with stains or holes in them for that very purpose.
                        • Focus on local races: Local races are typically much more inexpensive. Most of the short local races are between $25-30 while the longer distance ones are still well under $100. I would love to run my favorite races (NYC Marathon, NYC Half to name a few!) each year but I simply can’t afford to do so because of the high entry fees.
                        • But if you really want to do a large one – sign up early: If you have a larger, more expensive race on your bucket list, sign up as early as you can. A lot of races offer reduce pricing if you register 9-12 months in advance, and then the price continues to climb as you get closer to race day.
                        • Buy in bulk: Gus, chomps and gels can be incredibly expensive if you buy 1-2 at a time. I always buy them by the case. I know I will use them and I end up paying 50% of the cost of single packs. If you don’t think you’ll go through that many, find a friend or two and split the box!
                        • GPS: I think this is a personal decision. I know plenty of runners who don’t use a GPS or who rely on their iPhone. (There are some great apps out there that can track your pace/mileage/etc.) There are just as many runners who feel their GPS watch was their best purchase. I am okay with spending some money on a GPS because it’s something I use almost every single run (just like a good pair of shoes). I find it keeps me on track when I am training for a specific distance. If you are inclined to purchase one, I’d recommend doing some research online before you head to the nearest store. There is always a sale somewhere, and you can often save a lot of money if you wait until the next model comes out (much like shoes and gear!)
                        • Utilize online retailers: I check out sites such as Zulily, The Clymb, Rue La La, 6pm and HauteLook (FYI: some of these are referral links) for deals on running-related gear. They are free to join and have different brands on a daily basis that are usually sold for 3-4 days at a time. You have to be diligent and check these sites fairly often, but you can get some awesome deals on gear when they are listed!
                        • Any other money-saving tips to share? 

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                            Winter Running

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                            It was 15 degrees (with windchill) for this past weekend’s “long run” (12 miles) which may make it the coldest weather I’ve ever run in. I realize that many runners routinely run in temperatures most colder, but passing up the treadmill for the cold is something fairly new to me.

                            In years past, anything under 25 would be a no-brainer treadmill run. I don’t know if it is a mental shift, a change in clothes from previous years, my weaning motivation to run on the treadmill or a combination of all of the above. But, I’m pretty pleased with the minimal amount of treadmill running I’ve done the last few weeks (note: I haven’t run that much to begin with, but when I have run, most of the time I’ve been outside).And it’s been more than just getting the runs in outside – I’ve actually been enjoying them along the way – which has been the most surprising part of the whole thing.

                            Since the only really tangible change I’ve made is my clothing, I wanted to share what I’ve done in case you are looking to run more in the cold or need some ideas for winter running clothing (most of my gear is Saucony since I have participated in a few ambassador programs with them, but most running brands should have comparable items!)

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                              Garmin Vivosmart Review

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                              Back in December, I was asked to participate in the Garmin and Whole Foods #PathtoFit Campaign. I am a huge Garmin fan and absolutely love Whole Foods. The only issue was that the closest Whole Foods to me (these days) is ~45 min away; 90 minutes in the car (once/week for six weeks) was just a bit too much for me.

                              So I was ecstatic when Garmin asked if I wanted to review the new Vivosmart (and give one away) in lieu  of participating. 

                              Wearing an activity tracker has been an eye-opener. I don’t sit a lot during the day and assumed I was taking a lot more steps than I actually was. The most useful information was being able to see my steps broken down hour-by-hour so I could determine when I was moving most throughout the day and when I was stationary. The total number of steps, while interesting, doesn’t mean as much to me since my primary form of exercise is running.

                              Below are some of my favorite aspects of the the Vivosmart:

                              • No Buttons: There are no buttons on the Vivosmart. You toggle between the information by a simple swipe (right to left)
                              • Invisible Display: It features a sleek, invisible display that comes to life when you get a notification or when you give the band a tap.
                              • Standard activity information: Steps, Distance, Calories, Current Time and Heart Rate (if you purchase the heart rate model). No surprises here – this is the info that most of the trackers provide.
                              • Smart Notifications: Hands down, my favorite part of the Vivosmart. It’s a bluetooth enabled device that gives you notifications on your wrist when you receive a text, email or phone call. This allowed me to keep my phone away from me during the day while still being able to see any important or time-critical messages or calls. Since using the Vivosmart, I have used my cell phone exponentially less while I am with my boys. Even when I would keep my cell phone in a pocket or on a table, I would immediately check it when a notification came through. And then I would continue to check Instagram, twitter and Facebook – at least a 5 minute process. 
                              • Tells you when to “move”: After sitting still for one hour, the Vivosmart vibrates and displays “move” on the screen to let you know it’s time to move (once you move, it resets back to “0”). It made me more mindful of prolonged periods of sitting – something I had never paid attention to before.
                              • Garmin Connect: The Vivosmart connects (via Bluetooth) to Garmin Connect on your smart phone where you can view all of the data that it is collecting including Mileage, Calories, Steps, Sleep info (see below). I loved being able to see each day’s activity displayed by hour – it provided a lot of useful information as to when I was most active and when I was spending longer periods of time sitting and/or remaining still. 
                              • Sleep Information: Via Garmin Connect, you can view your total sleep time (you enter in when you go to sleep and wake up), periods of movement and restful sleep
                              • Adjustable Daily Goal: You can either set a manual daily step-goal for yourself or you can have one generated based on your previous day’s steps (which is how I used it!).
                              • Color Choices: You can choose an all black band or four other color choices for the band – pink, purple, blue or grey (You pick the color when you purchase the Vivosmart). The bands also come in two sizes to ensure it fits your wrist!

                              My ONE complaint about the Vivosmart is the battery life – which I know goes with the territory of a bluetooth enabled activity tracker. Fully charged, a vivosmart can last up to 7 days. I got better about remember to charge it (the Vivosmart has a battery icon that comes on when it starts to get low) at night every 5-6 days to ensure that it was never in jeopardy of dying during the day!

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                                Garmin Vivofit Winner + You Can Still Win a Vivofit!

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                                I announced the winner of the Garmin Vivosmart Instagram giveaway on Thursday – congratulations to Kelly!!

                                The winner of the Garmin Vivofit giveaway is: Sarah Evans!

                                A couple of ladies participating in the #Pathtofit campaign with Garmin and Whole Foods are/will be giving away a Garmin Vivofit (as well as gift card to Whole Foods!). If you didn’t win one here, go check out their blogs for a chance to win!! Dorothy, Christine, Lindsay.

                                  Garmin Fitness Trackers + Garmin Vivofit Giveaway!

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                                  Garmin has released two models in their activity tracker line – the Vivosmart and the Vivofit. The Vivosmart is the higher model – but both have several awesome capabilities (review of the Vivosmart coming soon!). Below is a chart outlying the differences:

                                  I’ve hosted a bunch of Garmin giveaways lately. The 910xt and the Vivofit were/are not sponsored by Garmin (or anyone else for that matter). One of the perks of this blog and being on social media is getting awesome swag – both of these fall into that category. I already have a 910xt and knew I was getting the Vivosmart (plus my Garmin Forerunner 10 tracks steps and mileage) – so I certainly don’t need another activity tracker. I feel wrong for selling them since I didn’t spend my own money on them in the first place. So I decided to give them away as a thank you for everyone who reads, comments or supports me and my running journey.

                                  The Garmin Vivosmart that I’m giving away on Instagram right now (go check it out!) is sponsored by Garmin. They had reached out to me several weeks ago to participate in a campaign they are holding ICW Whole Foods. I would have loved to participate, but unfortunately, the nearest Whole Foods is 45+ min away – and I couldn’t justify a weekly trip that far to buy my groceries, so I had to opt out. My contact at Garmin offered to send me a Vivosmart to review – as well as one to give away!

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                                    Strut Your Stuff Sign Co: Medal Holder Review + Giveaway

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                                    I never thought I would be a runner who wanted to display my bibs, medals and trophies, but after my husband and I set up our home gym in our basement, I realized that I kind of loved the idea of being able to see all my running-related paraphernalia when I worked out.

                                    I’m incredibly excited about the two medal holders I received from Strut Your Stuff Sign Co.

                                    Here’s what I loved:

                                    • Design: There is a wide variety of designs (200+) and paint colors (12) that you can choose from – or you can have one personalized with our logo or favorite mantra/quote! 
                                    • Hooks: Easy access to add/remove medals
                                    • Capacity: There are 13 (or 9 on the smaller ones) hooks – but they are sturdy enough to hold multiple medals on each one (up to 10!) so you can easily store over 100 medals on one sign!
                                    • Handmade and Made To Order
                                    • Easy to Assemble/Hang: The medal holder comes with pre-drilled holes in the front (for the hooks) as well as keyhole slots on the back for a flush wall mount

                                    The holder is made with ecofriendly MDF, silver L hooks and computerized text.

                                    Strut Your Stuff Sign Company can be found on:
                                    – Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/StrutYourStuffSignCo
                                    – Instagram: @strutyourstuffsignco

                                    I’m hosting a giveaway on Instagram – giving away the two race medal holders (shown below) to TWO winners (one per winner)! All the details can be found below. Giveaway ends on 12/8 at 11:59pm EST.

                                    If you don’t win and still want one (or want to purchase one for a holiday gift!), use NYCRUNNINGMAMA for 10% off your entire order!

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                                      Octane Fitness: Zero Runner

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                                      Last Thursday, I attended an event hosted by Octane Fitness in NYC to learn about their newest product on the market – the Zero Runner.

                                      I went into the event with some doubts – it was hard for me to conceptualize a piece of equipment that resembled an elliptical but that gave you the ability to stride out like you were running outside or on a treadmill. In my mind, it seemed it would be more of a cross-trainer than a replacement for running.

                                      The Zero Runner was first conceptualized almost twenty years ago but it wasn’t until recently when those ideas fully came to fruition. The Zero Runner was created by Octane Fitness because there was a need for runners to be more efficient, run faster or longer and avoid injury.Octane Fitness set out to create a machine that would replicate real running motion with the benefits of running, but without the stress and pounding on the joints and knees on the body.

                                      At it’s core, the Zero Runner is zero-impact running. You use the same muscles while running on the Zero Runner as you would when you run outdoors. But with zero impact there is no stress on your body.

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                                        Marathon Training Favorites

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                                        It’s been a while since I highlighted some of the things that are helping me get through training – lots go into 70+ mile weeks – recovery and nutrition are the two big ones but it also helps to have things that make me smile through the whole process.

                                        – Stroller Running: I never thought I would actually love stroller running as much as I currently am. Stroller running is hard. Even a 5 or 6 “easy” run is not easy. It’s a full body workout and I feel it in my abs and upper body the next day. I know running with the stroller makes me a fitter, stronger runner – maybe not necessarily in the paces I can run but more in my endurance and overall shape. I think what has made the last few months even more enjoyable is that both boys are loving it just as much, if not more than, me – it’s that little extra bit of motivation I need to make it a double stroller run instead of a treadmill run.

                                        Saucony Kinvara 5: I am in completely love with this shoe. I started wearing them on short recovery runs (or switching them out halfway through) and have gradually built up the mileage and frequency I am running in them. I wore them this past week for my 6×1600 workout (11 total miles) and may wear them this weekend for the SI Half Marathon.

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