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 →

Back on My Feet in24 Philadelphia Entry Giveaway

I figured most of you don’t want to read about my first week of recovery post-marathon (lots of eating, laziness and cuddling with the boys…and then handful of runs I have done have been easy-paced and short). And so instead of boring you with those details, I am working on having a bunch of giveaways for you this week! Plus, it’s a fun way to celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend. =) In 2010, I began training for what I planned to be my first ultra – the Back on My Feet in24 Philadelphia Race. There are a slew of different distances, but I had registered for the 24-hour one. My plan was to train for and run 50 miles and then call it a day. My family planned on traveling to Philly to cheer and since the course was an 8.4 mile loop on paved roads, they could get some chairs, relax and see me run by 6 or 7 times. Seemed like an awesome first ultra. I was a couple of months into my training and had just completed my first 30 mile training run when I found out I was pregnant. Best surprise but it meant no race that summer.  Continue Reading →

Vitamix S30 Review and Giveaway

Over the holidays, our blender broke (totally my fault since I put the glass container within reach of the boys). My husband and I used the blender on a fairly regular basis to make smoothies and shakes and were looking for a good sale on a new one. About the same time, I was asked if I wanted to test out the new Vitamix S30, the personal blender, and obviously jumped at the opportunity. Perfect timing! So first, let’s talk about the Vitamix S30: First personal-sized blender created by Vitamix Allows you to create individual servings and small family meals 20-oz container (fits in most cup holders) turns into a travel cup with a flip-top lid and handle 40-oz container blends small batches of soups, sauces, frozen deserts and more Small size (20.3 x 8 x 9 in – h x w x h) takes up little room on your counter Variable Speed Control to achieve textures from coarse to smooth Pulse Feature – chops quickly for easy ingredient prep Dishwasher safe (containers, lids, and blade) Comes with a cookbook FULL of recipes for beverages, dips/spreads, dressings, soups, sauces and desserts 5 year warranty I’ve tried a few of the recipes from Continue Reading →

Thera-Gesic Review + Giveaway

I rolled my ankle a few weeks ago during one of my AM runs as I discussed briefly here.  My ankle was slightly swollen but I had no pain walking the next day, so it seemed to be more of a light roll then a sprain – or something worse. But there was still a bit of pain when I rotated my ankle. Not shooting pain – just more along the lines of a general soreness. It was strangely fortuitous that I was recently sent Thera-Gesic, a topical cream used to treat minor aches and pains of the muscles/joints . Over the course of the next few days, I used the cream a few times a day to help relieve the pain. It worked and I was able to continue with my training (I only had to skip one training day) including an 18 miler that weekend. Within seconds of of applying the cream, I found relief. And, it wasn’t greasy or messy like some other products are – it is absorbed immediately and leaves no residue behind (think BenGay or Icy Hot). Thera-Gesic is produced by Mission Pharmacal, a family-owned Texas-based pharmaceutical company. It has been used to relieve sore muscles, joint pain, Continue Reading →

RnR Philly Half Race Recap + Review

Me + My godson + his parents + sister + godfather

Sunday was an absolutely wonderful day for two big reasons. I PR’d the half…but more importantly was what happened AFTER the race: My adorable, huggable godson’s Christening Day! After crossing the finish line at 9:32, I chatted for a few minutes with Mike, a runner who I managed to hang with through mile 9 (I think?) and then who negative split the heck out of the race and finished over TWO minutes faster than me. I got my medal, grabbed a water bottle, and ran the 1.5 miles back to the hotel – where my car was waiting {bags packed and already in the car too} at the valet. I drove the 80-90 minutes home to Staten Island, showered, got ready, and my husband, boys and I were at my sister’s house by 1pm. I may not have had the fastest race time of the day, but I’m fairly certain I would be in the running for the fastest transition. HAHA.  Thankfully, my husband is amazing and got both boys dressed and ready while I was concentrating on myself. —————— read more

Saucony Ride 6 (Toddler/Baby) Review

With the exception of my sons’ first few pairs of walking shoes, I don’t think I have paid more than $20 on a pair of shoes for them.  I do most of their shoe shopping at discounted stores (TJ Maxx, Target, zullily) and moderately priced stores during sales and when I have coupons (Gap).  I just cannot justify spending $$ on shoes that that they will wear for only a few months. However, their walking shoes were a different story. When both boys started walking, I was very intent on getting them good, supportive walking shoes.  Stride Rite was the store that was recommended to me by my mom and sister. Whether they’re running circles around you or taking their first steps, small feet require big care. We understand the significance of every step. Our entire collection, every single shoe, is created from an in-depth knowledge and understanding of how children walk and grow. stride rite studies have led to important breakthroughs and new technologies in children’s footwear. Every new material and component is rigorously tested. And with 30 to 40 tests per shoe to ensure proper fit and durability, you can trust that nobody knows more about growing feet than stride rite. Continue Reading →

BOB Strollers Review + Stroller Running Q&A

Please take a moment to vote for me to be on the cover of Runner’s World Magazine – would mean so much to me! =) Thank you! Are you on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook? Let’s connect!  ————– When I lived in NYC and had the opportunity to run in Central Park every day, I saw tons of mothers pushing their little ones in running strollers. I always knew that I wanted to be one of those moms when I had little ones of my own. So when it was time to register for my baby shower, I did some research and asked a few friends which stroller brand they recommended for running. All signs pointed to a BOB Stroller by Britax. But then I had to decide which model to get – there’s the Revolution SE, Revolution CE, Ironman, Sport Utility and Motion. It was a bit overwhelming with all the different models and it was made even tougher because a lot of the baby stores we went to didn’t carry the stroller in the store or only had one model to test out. read more

Sparkly Soul Giveaway

You can never have too much sparkle =)

The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays.  As a little girl, there was something so magical about it.  It signaled the start of summer break (school ends the last week in June in NYC), the air would smell of charcoal from the BBQs and the day would be spent in the sun and pool.  Perfection. Today, it is still one of my favorite holidays.  But the 4th of July has even more meaning than the reasons above.  Now, it’s a day for me to celebrate our country’s independence, our freedom. To proudly wear the colors of our country.  To be with family and loved ones.  And this year, I’m looking forward to spending time with not just my family, but my husband’s mom and dad who will be visiting from Alaska. We are a very color-coordinated family =) I’m not sure what I will wear this year {yet} but I will definitely be rocking one of my favorite accessories – my Sparkly Soul Red, White, and Blue headband. If you’ve been following my blog for a little bit, then you probably have already realized my love of these headbands. read more

Garmin Forerunner 10 Winner

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Good Morning! The winner of the Garmin Forerunner 10 Giveaway is Gabrielle Mareaviva: You have one week to email nycrunningmama@gmail.com to claim your prize before a subsequent winner is selected! Thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway!  Check back next week for another review/giveaway =) Also, check out the new colors that Garmin has released for the Forerunner 10: Check them out here!! Ways to Follow NYC Running Mama  Twitter       Pinterest       Instagram       Facebook

Garmin Forerunner 10 Review + GIVEAWAY

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I am a Garmin lover.  I purchased my first Garmin in 2002 when I ran my first marathon.  I have no idea what model it was – all I remember is that it was huge and covered half of my wrist!  My second was a Christmas gift from my sisters before I deployed to Iraq in November 2007.  After a few wonderful years with the Garmin, I decided to upgrade in August 2012.  The Forerunner 610 had recently been released and I decided to spend the extra money and get the newest model. The Forerunner 610 was on my wrist for my first ultra, when I won the Foot Locker 5 Borough Challenge, during many of my runs during my 2nd pregnancy, and on all my outdoor runs postpartum…I love everything about it – the touchscreen, all of the cool features, the ability to customize what information is shown on each screen (up to 4 data fields at once!) to name a few. I’m often asked which watch I would recommend for a runner’s first GPS.  I love the 610.  But to be totally honest, there are a lot of functions that are probably not necessary for a casual or beginning Continue Reading →

Saucony Virrata Review

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Over the years, I have dabbled with zero-drop shoes on more occasions than I can remember.  I SO wanted to wear a lightweight, more natural shoe.  But each time I have had to sadly return to my previous training shoe because my foot felt too naked, too unsupported for anything more than a mile or two. They just didn’t feel right on my foot and I couldn’t get used to the feeling of having NO support from the pavement. So, understandably, I was intrigued when I heard about the new Saucony shoe – the Virrata. The Virrata is Saucony’s lightest and most flexible training shoe which allows your foot to move naturally.  But Saucony did something different with this shoe – something I hadn’t seen in other natural 0mm drop shoes. Rather than completely strip down the shoe and leave a 0mm drop shoe with no support or cushioning, they ADDED 18mm of cushion at the bottom. GENIUS.  I loved this concept because it addressed my biggest issue with lightweight, 0mm drop shoes – the lack of protection and support.  read more

PRO Compression GIVEAWAY!

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As I discussed yesterday, I am LOVING PRO Compression socks lately (and as evidenced by my IG feed).  They have been my go-to recovery method post-long and speed days and have helped me build up my mileage and intensity during my marathon and Ironman training. On top of the functionality of the socks, they are fun to wear – there are some awesome colors and patterns available. Bright solids: Fun Argyles: And AWESOME holiday themed socks.  These are the socks they currently have available for St. Patrick’s Day: Make sure you subscribe (bottom of the page) to their email list to ensure you get updates with specials and new socks. AND, if you missed it yesterday, check out this amazing giveaway PRO Compression is holding on their website – including Marathon Socks (2 pair), Marathon Calf Sleeves (2 pair), an iPod Nano (1 item), and an iPad Mini (1 item) – so six total prizes up for grabs!!  For more information on how to enter their giveaway (and official rules and regulations, click here).  read more

PRO Compression Socks Review

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Monday’s Workout: 6 easy miles at 7:33 pace.  A bit faster than I was anticipating, especially coming off Sunday’s 10k steady state run, but my legs felt fresh and loose so I just went with it. The run actually turned into a perfect progression run – with miles 3-5 at/just under 7:15 pace.  They felt totally comfortable and in control.  Makes me very excited for my upcoming half next Sunday. It was also the longest run (up to that point) in my Saucony Virratas! Tuesday’s Workout: Speed day.  5 x 1 mile repeats + warmup/cooldown.  I decided to try something different this week.  After some recent conversations on twitter about the benefit of eliminating the rest in between each mile repeat and only utilizing an active recovery, I wanted to give it a try.  I still like doing a 1/4 mile active recovery (usually I do the active recovery + 30-60 sec of rest to stretch/drink water) so my active recovery was about 2:15.  My goal is to get that down closer to the golden 2-minute recovery that I’ve been hearing / reading about.  To ensure I was able to get through all 5, I made a conscious effort to Continue Reading →

Ava & Liam Motivational Sign Giveaway

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Happy Tuesday!!  I am BEYOND excited to share this giveaway with you today! I am a visual person.  Seeing things – words, numbers, whatever – helps me focus and stay on track.  Which is why I LOVE these motivational signs created by Ava & Liam. Ava & Liam is a small business that makes gifts and home decor – they are made to order and totally customizable. The sign I have – which will be hung down our basement on the wall next to the treadmill and stationery bike – is approximately 12″ x 12″.  It is handpainted on wood and distressed to look vintage. One of the coolest things about it is these signs is that the bottom half is a chalkboard.  So you can write your next goal and then erase it and write the next one when that race/event passes.  This is what my sign currently looks like: I was chatting with Nicole, the shop owner, about what sign I wanted.  After deciding on the one pictured above, I mentioned that my 2nd option would have been something with my favorite mantra – Go Big or Go Home.  She surprised me by creating a mini-sign (measures 6″ x 3.5″): read more

Mustela Review + Giveaway

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Mustela is the #1 Baby Care and Stretch Marks Brand in Europe and just began selling their line of products, including the 9 Months and Bebe lines, in Duane Reade stores across the United States.  Mustela focuses on selecting only the most natural ingredients to use in their products – any questionable ones such as parabens, alcohol or oils are excluded since they can be harmful to both babies and the expectant moms. Mustela® prides itself as being the skincare expert for babies and mothers-to-be. For this reason, Mustela® offers effective, easy-to-use products of the highest quality, designed to meet the specific needs of newborns, babies, children and expectant and new mothers.  Mustela is the leading cosmetic brand in the European pharmaceutical market for baby products.  In France, Mustela products are present in 90% of all pharmacies and used in more than 50% of maternity units for the care of newborn. I was familiar with several Mustela products, but hadn’t actually tried any until my second son was born two months ago. read more

Gone For A Run: Running Medal Hanger Review + Giveaway

Despite moving into our house over four months ago, my husband and I just recently started to focus our attention on decluttering and setting up our basement.  We now have a quasi home-gym in one section (with a TV, treadmill, trainers, and a few other pieces of workout gear).  This is realistically going to be where I log most of my winter miles this year while my two sons nap (fingers crossed that they have simultaneous nap times!!). I have always wanted a medal hanger for all of my race medals whose previous home was a box in my closet.  The awesome people at Gone For A Run offered to send me a personalized one: We decided to hang it right next to the treadmill.  I love that I can run right next to my medals! What I Like Design: There is a wide variety of designs that you can personalize with your name, logo, mantra, etc Clip:  Clip on side allows for easy access to add/remove medals Capacity: Can hold over 20 medals Bar: You can easily space out your medals based on the number that you have Room: You can add a second bar if you need more space for Continue Reading →

Race Recap / Review: Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival Weekend 10k

Runner's World Half & Festival

The Runner’s World 10k was my first “race” post-baby.  I wasn’t completely racing it as I am still trying to be patient with my return and not over-exert my body before it’s ready…but I certainly pushed myself harder than I have in 10 months! Although the course description and profile didn’t sound or look too hilly, it was much hillier than I expected and was ready for.  I avoided hills like the plague at the end of my pregnancy (I was recovering from posterior pelvic pain that developed in July) and so I haven’t run on really any hills since the first week in July. I started off the run with two amazing (and speedy!!) ladies that I got to spend time with and get to know this weekend - Kristin and Kat.  They ran the Hat Trick over the weekend and were still the flying in the 10k like it was the only race of the weekend! Somewhere just before the 1st mile, I started to drift back from them.  I was worried about starting way too fast and then crashing and burning at the end, so I didn’t try to keep up (and I wouldn’t have lasted very long if I had tried!). Continue Reading →

Mother’s Day Traditions / Review + Giveaway of Erica Sara Designs

So beautiful!!

My family celebrates EVERY holiday, birthday, and special occasion by gathering at a family member’s home (usually my mom’s!) to enjoy a home-cooked meal and family time.  Four years ago, my older sister was celebrating her first Mother’s Day (my other two sisters and I did not have children at the time).  The decision of where to convene for Mother’s Day was left up to her.  She (somehow) convinced us to skip the home-cooked meal and go out to brunch at a popular local bistro.  The food was delicious, it was relaxing to share a meal without any of us worrying about cooking or cleaning, and we enjoyed dressing up and spending a few hours out of the house!  And so, a new tradition was born! This will be our fourth year of celebrating Mother’s Day with a delicious and enjoyable brunch! ————————————— I was recently contacted by the sweet and talented Erica from erica sara designs to see if  I would be interested in hosting a Mother’s Day Giveaway on my blog.  Erica started her company offer beautiful and stunning jewelry at an affordable price.  She has a wide range of options including race bling, mother’s jewelry, a gemstone collection, monogram Continue Reading →

Sparkly Soul Headbands Giveaway Winner!

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The Winner of the SPARKLY SOUL INC Headbands giveaway is…. Entry #138 (earliest entry is #1, last entry is #174) The winner has one week to contact me and claim their prize before a backup winner is selected!  Please email me at michele.king1021@gmail.com Thank you to everyone who participated and helped spread the word about one of my favorite running companies!