Winter Running Necessities: What to Splurge and What to Save


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 Continue Reading →

Winter Running Necessities


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 Continue Reading →

DICK’s Sporting Goods


This post is sponsored by Vocalpoint and DICK’s Sporting Goods. All opinions are my own.  Six weeks ago was the first time I had been in a DICK’s Sporting Goods since their remodel . Since then, I’ve been back four times – once to look for some items for myself (see below!), twice to look for things for my boys (running clothes and soccer shoes) and once for pool toys. It has become a store that is fun and enjoyable for my boys and I to go to – even when we don’t have anything in particular to buy! The aisles are wide, it has bright lighting, there’s TONS of options for running and workout clothes…AND, there is a little track for them to run some laps while I shop! One of the coolest parts of the store is where various brands of sports bras are organized according to support – it makes it much easier to find the exact sports bra you are looking for! I found an awesome outfit for me to wear for my core and strength workouts during our last visit. I’ve been focusing on the “other” aspects of running at nighttime after my little guys go to Continue Reading →

Trip to DICK’s Sporting Goods + Giveaway!!


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.  read more

Things I’m Loving + Exciting News

Runner's Connect

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. read more

Looking to Buy a Garmin GPS? Start Here!


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.” read more

Summer Activities


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 Continue Reading →

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


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 →

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 Continue Reading →

Garmin Vivosmart Review


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, Continue Reading →

Garmin Fitness Trackers + Garmin Vivofit Giveaway!


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. Continue Reading →

Women’s Running: Race Bibs and Medals

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This post originally appeared on Women’s Running! I am a packrat. I dislike throwing away things that have even the smallest bit of meaning to me. Everything gets put into chronologically-labeled shoeboxes and packed away for a rainy day when I’m feel nostalgic. Race bibs and medals are no different and for years, I kept everything to do with my running in those shoeboxes. Last spring, I reviewed a medal sign and after hanging it up, went through my old boxes and pulled out all my medals I could find. Then, over the summer, I had the idea to pull out my old bibs and create a wall behind my treadmill.  It’s been a source of inspiration for me to physically see the races I have competed in when I go down my basement to run or work out. With another racing season coming to an end, you may be left with a pile of bibs and medals and not sure what to do with them. Whether you are a runner who is newer to the sport or a seasoned veteran, it’s never too early – or late – to do something fun with your running mementos.  Or maybe you Continue Reading →

Garmin Forerunner 15 Review

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If you have been reading here for a bit, you are already aware that I am a huge Garmin fan! I’ve tried a handful of different models – ranging from the entry-level Forerunner 10 (review here) to the advanced and multi-sport Forerunner 910xt (which I used for my 1st Ironman). I can’t say that I prefer one over the other – there are those that I would recommend to someone newer to the sport and then others that I would recommend for those looking for specific capabilities. I recently had the opportunity to test out and review the Garmin Forerunner 15 – a GPS watch similar in capabilities to the Forerunner 10 – except for two major improvements: it tracks your daily activity (steps, mileage, calories) while also monitoring your heart rate (additional cost). Pretty awesome that one single watch can do it all. The Forerunner 15 (from Garmin’s Website): Tracks distance, pace, heart rate and calories Activity tracking counts steps and calories and reminds you when it’s time to move Compatible with foot pod for recording distance indoors Up to 8 hours of battery life with GPS on or 5 weeks in watch/activity tracking mode Save, plan and share your Continue Reading →

Sylish and Functional Cross Training Gear

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I’ll be the first to admit that my running wardrobe is pretty awesome. I’ve been fortunate enough to participate in a couple of programs with two of the more well-known running companies and in the process received some Christmas-like deliveries of gear. But my pilates/yoga/barre/etc wardrobe has been lacking. I mostly wear running shorts or capris and a tank or sports bra when I do the workouts – which has been totally fine (it’s hard to justify spending $ on clothes that nobody except my husband and I will see). But I’ve begun going to the gym to do core and strength work a couple of times a week and I am beginning pilates and barre classes at a nearby studio (I just found out about this studio that is 1 mile away!). And so I’ve been on the lookout for affordable clothes that would fit the bill for these workouts. It was pretty fortuitous that Amazon Fashion reached out a couple of weeks ago to see if I was interested in teaming up and trying out some of their new gear from their #AmazonActive line. read more

PRO Compression Giveaway!

I find that the more miles I run, the better I need to be with recovery. My recovery regimen after workouts or long runs has really improved over the last year. I used to be awful about recovery – I would finish a run, shower and then go about my day. These days, I try to have some sort of recovery shake, stretch, sometimes take an ice bath (followed by shower) and then I put PRO Compression sleeves or marathon socks on for the next few hours. I am recovering faster and better which makes me able to have an enjoyable recovery run the next day and continue on with my training plan. But PRO Compression socks/sleeves aren’t just meant for recovery. I have been wearing them for most workouts and long runs as well. And I’ve been racing in them – I wore them for the the NJ Marathon in May. I feel like they give me the support my legs need during tough runs. “PRO Compression socks are designed specifically to deliver both maximum comfort and speedy recovery times. The science is complex, but benefits such as improved blood flow, stability and comfort are universally understood.  The moment you Continue Reading →

National Running Day + Adding Fun into Training


Happy National Running Day! I’m sure you’ve been inundated with information about events and deals…so here’s just a quick recap if you haven’t heard yet: Westin Hotels: If you are in NYC today, come by Westin Grand Central at 10:30 for a chance to win some free gear, meet NY Yankees pitcher David Roberston and go on a 5k run! Timex: Use hashtag #IMARUNNER on Twitter and Instagram to celebrate the day. For every use of #IMARUNNER on National Running Day, Timex will donate $5, up to $20,000, towards the Boomer Esiason Foundation’s Team Boomer program.  Individuals who contribute content via the hashtag #IMARUNNER will also be qualified to win Timex® IRONMAN® watches. Sparkly Soul Giveaway: Enter to win one of three 5-packs of headbands Rock ‘n’ Roll Races/Festival: Register today and save $20 on all US races (today only), learn about the new Running Festival at 5 locations across US Rock ‘n’ Roll Fun Runs: 21 locations across US and Canada are hosting fun runs I Run This Body gear: All shirts are on sale (today only!) NYRR events: Fun runs, giveaways and/or water stations will be set up at various locations across NYC. Women’s Running Magazine: Subscribe today for only $1 an issue! Continue Reading →

Sparkly Soul Headband Giveaway

You can never have too much sparkle =)

Don’t forget to enter the other Mother’s Day celebration Giveaways from this week (Vitamix S30 Blender + Entry into in24 Philly Race + Pair of Saucony Shoes) Sparkly Soul has been my go-to headband since I first tried them almost three years ago. I’ve worn Sparkly Soul headbands on virtually every single run and for every race since that time – including marathons, my first ultra, even my first Ironman: I had been looking for a headband that kept my hair out of my face, didn’t give me a headache, didn’t rip my hair when I took it off, and didn’t move when I worked out. Sparkly Soul was the answer to all of these. It also didn’t hurt that they have 360 degrees of sparkle and make me feel girly while I’m working hard. The company was created by a marathoner and triathlete who wanted a headband that stayed in place during workouts without giving her a headache.  For more information on the history of the company, check out their webpage. If you are a new(er) reader, you can check out some of the reviews I’ve done of Sparkly Soul: read more

26Strong + Saucony Shoe Giveaway!


Don’t forget to enter the other giveaways I’m hosting this week in honor of Mother’s Day (Vitamix S30 Blender + Entry into in24 Philly Race). If you’ve been reading here for a bit, you may remember that I participated in the 2013 Saucony 26 Strong Campaign in the fall. I had a blast – and especially loved mentoring and coaching my “cadet”, Hallie, as she trained for her first marathon. So I was extremely excited when Saucony reached out to me this past winter to see if I would be interested in participating in the 2014 Campaign. Saucony and Competitor have teamed up to put together a team of 26 females – 13 “veteran” marathoners and 13 first-time marathoners. The coaches are some pretty amazing (and speedy!) women, many of whom I have the honor and privilege of calling my friends (Dorothy, Jess, Katherine, Jenny to name a few). Saucony left it up to the coaches to select our “cadet”. I knew I wanted to pick someone local – someone that I could train with occasionally and meet for coffee/dinner/training catchups whenever we wanted. Once I narrowed down what I was looking for, it became an easy decision. I’m excited Continue Reading →

Asics Giveaway

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This time next week I will be in California, getting ready to run the LA Marathon. The warm, sunny weather is going to be much needed, much-welcomed escape from the temps we have been dealing with in the northeast. As a member of the Asics LA Marathon Blogger Challenge, I’ve been been able to test out a few pairs of Asics shoes (Gel-Nimbus 15, Gel-Cumulus 15 and GT-2000 2) as well as a ton of their clothes. I’ve also gotten a few pieces of official LA Marathon gear (pic below). I loved everything I tried and am looking forward to racing the LA Marathon in my new Asics gear. I’m excited to share this giveaway with you: Asics has provided me with two promo codes, each worth $150, to give away on NYC Running Mama! These codes can be redeemed on on shoes, clothes or any other gear. (I can help answer any questions you may have about clothes/shoes if you aren’t sure what you are looking for!) Use the rafflecopter below to enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway Rules: The giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on Tuesday, March 4. Promo Codes are single-use codes and cannot be stacked; in other Continue Reading →

Happy National Running Day: Deals, Giveaways and Events

Happy National Running Day!! I am not sure who started this “National” holiday, but every year, it seems more and more companies are jumping on board to help celebrate the fun day.  It also helps that it’s only TWO days before National Donut Day (which is Friday!) – I don’t think this is a coincidence! HA =) Below are some of the awesome deals, giveaways, and events going on today!!  Do you know any other ones that are worth mentioning? Please share if you do =) Timex Tweet or post a photo showing your running story to Instagram with #IMARUNNER to enter to win 1 of 60 Timex Ironman Watches.  You can also enter by submitting a photo or story directly on the Timex Sports Facebook page “#IMARUNNER Tab”.  Winners will be selected at random and official rules are located here: Additionally, for every photo submitted, Timex will donate $5, up to $15,000, toward One Fund Boston which helps those individuals most affected by the tragic events of April 15, 2013. read more