Orange Mud HydraQuiver Vest Pack 1 Review!

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After writing this post a few weeks ago, I was surprised at how many of you are/were in the same boat as me – struggling to find the right hydration source for these sweltering summer runs. We don’t want to hold a bottle, don’t want to have to stop every few miles to drink from a bottle either along course or by our home and hadn’t had luck with belts. Well, I tried a new hydration system this weekend – the Orange Mud.Vest Pack 1 – and am already hooked. First, let me say that I owe a HUGE thanks to Cheri for recommending it to me. I looked into every single recommendation that was mentioned in the comments – and actually got a couple that I will be testing out to see what works best for me. But rather than wait until I try them all out to do one massive review, I wanted to share my initial thoughts on the Orange Mud pack – I feel that after a 16 mile run in 80+ degree weather, you know one way or the other if the vest is going to work! The Orange Mud markets it’s products as “no bounce, ultralight Continue Reading →

13.1 Ways You Know You Are A Runner (Women’s Running)

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This post originally appeared on Women’s Running! ——- I love these kinds of posts. I’ve seen so many over the years and they always make me laugh while nodding my head in agreement. So here is my list. You Know You Are A Runner If… After a long, stressful day of work, school or being home with the kids, a run is the one thing you need. When you go on vacation, half of your suitcase is filled with running clothes, shoes and gear. You immediately think of race distances when you see the numbers “31, 62, 131, 262”. You consider it normal (and acceptable!) to spend Friday night carb-loading, drinking water and heading to bed before 9pm. You break down the year into racing seasons/cycles, not astronomical seasons. Losing a toenail is a regular occurrence in your life. Your idea of “me” time is running in peace and quiet by yourself. When you sort through your laundry, more than half is running-related. You’ve been stuck in traffic and thought, “I could get there faster if I ran.” You know the exact crack in the road that is one mile from your front door (and two miles and three miles…). Continue Reading →

Warm Weather Pace Adjustments -> Don’t Fight It

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The summer heat and humidity has arrived in the northeast and running has been a hot, sticky mess lately. I always seem to start out overly confident of my ability to run through the humid weather each year and I try to fight it. And it usually takes only one long run to knock me upside the head and remind me of how much control the weather has over my pace. I did an easy paced 15 miler two weekends ago. It was my longest run post-Boston – and the heat and humidity chewed me up.  If I’m being honest, it was one of those runs where I knew that I should slow down – I could feel the stickiness in the air and knew that the pace I was running would not be sustainable. The pace felt easy and manageable early on, but I had that little voice in my head telling me to just slow down and take it a bit easier. But I held on to that little bit of hope that today, THIS day, would be different and that the voice in my head was wrong. It wasn’t. I didn’t start the run until 8am. It Continue Reading →

Preparing for Summer Travels with Meta!

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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Meta. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Summer is a time when many Americans travel – whether it’s for an extended vacation or even just an overnight trip to the beach, lake or mountains. My family and I are heading to Alaska for three weeks this summer to spend time with my in-laws! We spent two weeks in Alaska last summer and walked away knowing that a summer trip to my husband’s home state would become a yearly tradition for our family. We are planning some day excursions, possibly a couple of nights up in Denali National Park (we did this last year and our little guys loved it!) and my husband and I are running the Mayor’s Midnight Sun Half Marathon! Should be an amazing three weeks! The only downside to traveling for me is the inevitable stomach issues that go hand in hand with it. I am a creature of habit and tend to eat a lot of the same food on a regular basis. Even with minor changes to my diet, my whole body seems to revolt and I end up with major digestive issues and sometimes even pain in my stomach. Continue Reading →

Team RWB Firecracker Virtual Race

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I’ve talked about Team Red, White & Blue a few times over the past couple of years. It’s one of my favorite charities – and one that means a lot to my husband and I. Team RWB is a nonprofit organization that supports U.S. veterans by connecting them through physical and social activities. There are loads of local chapters that host events, runs and meetings. You can read about Team RWB here. —– Team RWB is hosting a virtual race for the 4th of July – the Firecracker 4 and 10 miler. Every single dollar raised will go directly to Team RWB. Last year, they raised $31,000. Their goal this year is $50,000. Here are the details: – Distance: Run or walk 4 or 10 miles – Date: anytime between June 27 and July 12 – Cost: $39 – All entrants will receive a medal and t-shirt (must input your results after the run) My husband and I are both signing up for the virtual race. We are going to do a family stroller one morning (either two singles or double (and alternate pushing!)). read moreTweet

Back in NYC: Photo Shoot Details

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The last couple of days have been so amazing and special – I feel like the photos and words truly don’t do the trip any justice. The photo shoot aspect was incredible but even more so was the opportunity to meet and get to know some of the other girls participating in the 2015 Saucony 26 Strong Campaign. I landed in San Diego late Monday morning and after making my way to the hotel in La Jolla (Estancia La Jolla), went for a short 5 mile recovery/shakeout run in the area. There was NOTHING easy or flat about this run but it was incredibly gorgeous – and the type of run where you just want to keep running. After a shower and freshening up, I met up with Ruth, who had just landed, and we made our way to dinner to meet the other girls as well as Erin and Allison (reps from Competitor) and Nils (our amazing photographer). The food was delicious -but even more amazing was how fast we all just clicked – by the end of dinner, it felt like we were old friends getting together for a girls weekend. read moreTweet

A Healthy U Conference + Memorial Day Weekend

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If you are in the NYC area this weekend, there is still time to register for the 2015 A Healthy U Conference – I’m really excited to have been asked to speak/answer questions during the running portion of the afternoon! All information can be found here.  ——— Despite the long weekend, I still feel like I needed a recovery from the jam-packed weekend we had – which was mostly filled with family activities. Saturday, we spent the entire day at my sister’s home in NJ for a BBQ. It really was two bbqs – hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken and all that go with that (salads, macaroni and cheese, veggies, guacamole) around 2pm and then ka-bobs, pototoes, corn, etc around 7pm. And then dessert. Lots of eating!! But also lots of running around on her gorgeous 1 acre property – wiffle ball, volleyball, golf, badmitten. My husband and I had planned for Sunday to be a veg-kind-of-day – cleaning, laundry, relaxing and napping – but around 9am, my oldest son asked us if we could go to New York City – completely out of the blue. 20 minutes later, we were in the car, driving to the train station on Staten Continue Reading →

Hydration Help + Stopping During Long Runs

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I always blog a lot less when I’m in between training cycles. I guess I just feel like there isn’t much exciting training to share, so why bother sharing anything? But I also know it’s helpful to share all the details of training – not just when things are going great or I’m logging 20 mile runs. I’m still in the building stage from Boston. I’m up to about 45-50 miles/week and have been enjoying the fewer miles, shorter long runs and lazy mornings. But NYC is rapidly approaching and training will really start to pick up soon, so I’m trying to get back into routine of early morning running as well as core and strength work regularly. I had been planning to run the Memorial Day 4 miler for months. After a few days off for my hamstring pain, I was ready to give Monday a go. But, my coach and I made the call Saturday afternoon to scrap the race. I felt no hamstring pain – and hadn’t for several days / runs. But there were points where it felt tight – and my gut was telling me not to chance things on a race that wasn’t even Continue Reading →

Wear Blue, Memorial 4 miler + Competitor Photo Shoot!!

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If you are planning on running this weekend, consider participating in the Wear Blue: Run to Remember. wear blue pauses to remember the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have answered the call to defend our country’s freedoms. Our goal is to honor those who have sacrificed their lives by reaching over 10,000 runners in blue. All details can be found here. ———– This Monday is the Memorial Day 4 miler on Staten Island (I talked about it a couple of weeks ago). I am still hoping to participate in the race but due to some hamstring pain, I’m waiting until after tomorrow’s run to make the call. I woke up Sunday and felt some discomfort in my left hamstring. It wasn’t pain but more of a tight hamstring. My husband and I went on a 5 mile recovery run (my little guys slept over my sister’s home the night prior so we were taking advantage of some child-free time). My hamstring didn’t hurt – but it was still tight and I felt like I was overcompensating with my stride. I stretched and rolled later that night. read moreTweet

Should You Hire a Running Coach?

Over the last year (and especially the last few months), I’ve been asked a lot about my experience with having a coach – what the benefits are, what I get out of it and whether I would recommend a coach to another runner. Let me preface this whole post by saying that this is not meant to be a sales pitch for me. Yes, I coach. But I truly believe that you have to find the right coach for you. And I know that just because you read here or follow me on social media, doesn’t mean I am the right one for you! I think the benefits to having a coach are extremely specific for each runner. You might be looking for a coach to: – push you out of your comfort zone to run faster – help increase your weekly mileage in a safe and healthy way – tell you to slow down – help you become a stronger racer – work on nutrition and fueling – lose weight or reach a more optimal racing weight – hold you accountable to your training plan – help determine a realistic goal for a race – and the best pacing plan Continue Reading →

2015 Brooklyn Half Marathon: Race Recap

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The only thing better than running a PR at the Brooklyn Half on Saturday was helping a good friend run one. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I had decided to forego racing on Saturday. My coach and I both felt it was a bit too close after Boston – my first speed work was this past week (8 miles with 4 at tempo) and I am still in the regeneration stage. I also felt that I was mentally not ready. Training for – and racing – a marathon takes a lot out of me and I didn’t feel like I could wrap my head around running all out for 13.1 miles so soon. I reached out to my dear friend, Jen, and offered to pace her. I’ve been coaching her for a while and knew that she wanted to run sub-2. It seemed like the perfect option – I could use it as a shorter long run, still get to run and experience the Brooklyn course/race and help a friend achieve her goals. Before I get into the details of the entire morning, I wanted to talk about some of the pros and cons of the race (this Continue Reading →

North Face Mountain Athletic Training App

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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 line by The North Face isn’t just about gear. There is also an app that provides access to expert created, 6-week strength and conditioning training programs specific to outdoor sports including running, skiing, climbing and mountaineering.  Features of the Mountain Athletics App include: Monitored Progress Detailed session calendars Workout Schedules Coaching Messages Tutorials After downloading the free App (for iOS), users can choose between the various 6-week training programs. I (obviously!!) chose running. The running program alternates between Strength & Core (mix of upper/lower/core workouts) 2 mile assessment (every 2 weeks) Running Speed and Power Workout Recovery/Rest day I think this app is a great tool for runners who are looking to get faster and stronger. The speed days are 400m sprints with a short warmup and cooldown. (Note: if you are training for longer distances, you can use the “Running Speed and Power” day as your speed day. You can add on some additional miles before/after to make it a longer run. And then you can follow your normal running plan the other days. read moreTweet

Women’s Running Magazine Feature

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A couple of months ago, I received an email from one of the editors at Women’s Running asking if we could schedule a quick phone call for a story she was working on. My family and I were on vacation (work-cation for my husband!) in Florida and the boys and I had driven to my grandmother’s home (she lives about 90 min away from where we were staying) for the day. Of course I said yes and we spent about 20 min chatting about running, kids and fitting in training with a family. I was pretty excited – I assumed I would be quoted in a story – either for the magazine or for an online article. Either way, it was a pretty big deal for me. So you can imagine my surprise when the magazine got delivered a couple of weeks ago and I saw that it was way more than just a quote. I’m extremely honored to be even be mentioned in the same section with the likes of Deena Kastor, Alysia Montano and Paula Radcliffe – all mother runners who have been such an incredible source of inspiration and strength for me through the years. read moreTweet

Summer/Fall Racing Plans

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Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!! Just a reminder about the THREE giveaways I’m currently hosting! North Face $500 gift card  NOW Foods box of goodies Garmin Vivofit 2 and Jonathan Adler bands ———- There’s something so exciting about sitting down and mapping out the next few months of racing. It’s filled with endless possibilities and dreams just waiting to be chased. Now that Boston is over, I’ve been able to figure out what I want to do for the remainder of 2015. I was on the fence about training for a fall marathon, but I’m still riding the post-race high and have decided to use the momentum and keep plodding ahead. May 16: Brooklyn Half Marathon – Pacing my friend, Jen! FINALLY running this race after years and years of signing up and then not running (pregnancy, family party, recovery from marathon)! The plan is to be in charge of time/pace – Jen will just focus on running – I will keep her on track with pace, grab her water and offer any pep talks that she may need – and hopefully not annoy the crap out of her!! Should be a fun way to celebrate her birthday Continue Reading →

NOW® Immersion Event + Giveaway!!

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Last week, I had the privilege of attending an immersion event with 10 other bloggers at NOW® Foods in Bloomgindale, IL.  I cannot even begin to explain how excited I have been about this event. A few weeks ago, I briefly touched on some of the changes my family has been making in our home, in our food and in the products we use. NOW® Foods not only has the products to help support these changes, but their entire mission is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives. When I was first invited to this event, I didn’t realize the extent of products NOW® provides. I was very familiar with the supplement line but I don’t take supplements regularly – and so I didn’t really see how I would be a good fit for the program. But, after spending some time on the NOW website, I realized how wrong I was. NOW has four distinct product categories – supplements, sports nutrition, foods and personal care. You can read about these categories and the 1,400 natural products (!!) they offer here. read moreTweet

More Recovery + Serendipitous Boston Weekend

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I think the tendency is to not talk much about recovery because let’s face it, it’s not too exciting. But a good recovery can set you up for a strong and successful training cycle. And a shortened or ignored recovery period can derail your next training cycle – or even worse – cause injuries. Boston was 15 days ago. My longest run since Boston has been 8 miles. I’ve run a whooping 40 miles in 14 days. 9 miles the first week. 31 miles last week. And probably 40-45 miles this week. Almost all garmin-free. All easy effort. And all honoring the purpose of the recovery. I’m darn proud of these miles (or lack there of). After hating me for the better part of the week post-Boston, my body is happy again. I feel rested, recovered (almost) and excited to jump back into training (but not quite yet – still have another week of easy running). If all goes well, my long run this weekend will be double digits – maybe 10-12 miles. Speedwork is tomorrow – it’s 10 x 1 min just to get my legs moving again. But nothing too hard or taxing because my body is still Continue Reading →

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 Continue Reading →

Going from 3:21->3:15

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As most runners do, I like to go back and take note of things that worked during the previous training cycle as well as highlight some things I plan to improve upon or change. For this post, I am focusing on things I changed which seemed to work – and which ultimately helped me run my strongest and most-consistent marathon to date. (Note: Even though my PR went from 3:21 to 3:15, the PR was from a few years of training so some of these changes were over a period of time.) Garmin-free as much as possible. This may not work for a lot of runners – but for me, it worked wonders. My problem has always been that I push TOO HARD when I should be taking it easy. Almost every single easy or recovery run this cycle were done sans GPS (unless I was on treadmill). This allowed me to honor the true purpose of “easy” days. Easy-paced days should be just that – easy. Pace is secondary to effort. And so in order to focus on effort and not get distracted by pace, I left the watch at home and either ran routes where I was familiar wih Continue Reading →

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 Continue Reading →

It’s Okay (Women’s Running post)

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Note: This post was originally posted on Women’s Running. Regardless if it’s your first or fifty-first race, you are probably like me and still get anxious and worried about race day. What if you start too fast? What if you don’t run the time you want? What if you do something wrong or make a running faux-pas? Take a deep breath and relax. It’s OKAY to do some things, even if they aren’t necessarily the best decisions or if they technically break some of the so-called running commandments. (Who makes these up anyway?) Life and racing is about living and learning, right? Here are some of the things that (I think!) are OKAY to do on race day: It’s OKAY to cry at the finish. And at multiple points along the course. It’s OKAY to spend way too much money on race photos. I always gasp at the price but if it’s a special race and/or I actually like the way I look running, I splurge and buy them! It’s OKAY to put on some makeup and fix your hair. Because: selfies and #2. It’s OKAY to wear the race shirt even when everyone tells you it’s bad luck. It’s not, trust Continue Reading →