Saturday, August 12, 2017

Hitting the Trails with Under Armour | UA Horizon RTT Review

Disclaimer: I received Under Armour Horizon RTT trail shoes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Trail running was my first taste of the marathon world, it's really what got me hooked. I love the varying terrain, the peace and quiet, and running free in God's creation. The trail feels like home to me!

2011: Aid station at my second trail marathon. They even served cookies & pretzels!

While I haven't ran in true trail running shoes in years (mostly because I prefer stroller running on pavement), my love for the trails was rekindled when, as a BibRave Pro, I received these Under Armour Horizon RTT trail running shoes.


The Horizon RTT's offer a strong sole that can withstand tough, rocky terrain with a high traction rubber lug outsole that provides dependable traction wherever you run. Whether it's a mix of trail and road or wild, rocky paths in the woods, these lugs dig in to give you more grip than regular running shoes.

I look forward to trying these on the ice and snow (minus the cold weather part). With that kind of traction, I may not even need my Yaktrax on every run!


After logging quite a few miles in my Horizon RTT's, I most appreciate their breathability and the protective outer part of the shoe. Dirt and rocks weren't able to sneak into my shoe while on the trail and yet my feet weren't suffocating either. Breathability + Durability.

Overall, I am very pleased with the Under Armour Horizon RTT trail running shoe. They are the most comfortable trail running shoes I have ever owned and are still durable enough for the toughest trails or just on my short little country jaunts lately.


If the trail running bug has bit you, sign up for the UA Mountain Running Series Killington and Copper Mountain coming up August 18 & 19 and September 9, respectively, using discount code "BIBRAVE40" to save 40%.

Even better, race the series in your own pair of Under Armour's Horizon RTT trail running shoes! They retail for $109.99 and come in a variety of colors. Check them out UnderArmour.com.


B3 Pregnancy: Week 27 Wrap-Up

Baby "Rocket" is currently the size of LETTUCE and rolling and kicking is his/her favorite past time. The flipping and rolling caused some extra Braxton Hicks contractions this week, so I've been trying to drink more water and rest a little extra to err on the side of caution.

Per our visit with the midwife on Monday, all is going well and baby is measuring right on 27 weeks. Hello, third trimester!


MONDAY: 

3 mile run with our dog.

TUESDAY: 

Ekhart Yoga's Runners Yoga video (25:28). I'm trying to make yoga more of a regular thing again. I feel so much better when I do!

WEDNESDAY: 

3 mile run on the country roads with our dog again.

THURSDAY

Ekhart Yoga's Vinyasa Yoga Flow (17:55). Yoga day 2 this week!

FRIDAY:

3 mile early morning run with the dog. The mornings have been dark and cool - perfect running conditions for Saul and me! We are hosting family from Thursday through Monday, so the days have been extra fun and busy.


SATURDAY:

Walks with the kids and visiting with our out-of-state family/guests. The days have felt long this week and I'm doing my best to rest when I can.

SUNDAY:

Rest day & more visiting!

Do you prefer the road or the trails?



Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Bold Activewear with Jill Yoga

Life with small children is active to stay the least and comfortable clothes are a must. Make it stylish and that's an extra bonus!

Yoga pants or running shorts are my regular wardrobe components for practical reasons but I also don't want to look like a slob. What can I say, a girl appreciates cute clothing! I was sent a vibrant activewear outfit from Jill Yoga to review and their clothing is anything but blasé.

Jill Yoga's mission is to promote confidence and healthy active living - Be Active, Be Bold, Be You.


The Ladies' Seamless Quarter Zip is a brightly colored top made of a very comfy, breathable material with long sleeves and thumbhole detail. I wear this long-sleeve for casual non-workout days as well as when I'm out on a run.

Even with a 6-month-pregnant belly (pictured below), this quarter zip does the trick. The thumbholes and plenty of length in the torso are my favorite aspects.


Though the days are still hot here, on the chilly early mornings I am wearing Jill Yoga's Retro Capri Leggings. I love the retro style! It's a nice change from the typical black leggings and capris that I'm used to.


I also received the Ladies' Yoga Shorts with a "galaxy print" pattern that work nicely for just lounging around the house on a hot day or wearing as an under layer with dresses or loose shorts. I'm okay with this pattern but the plain black yoga shorts would be a better fit for me - definitely perfect for running days!


The Jill Yoga quarter zip long-sleeve retails at $45 (CAD), retro capri leggings at $45 (CAD) and yoga shorts are $35 (CAD). Check out more clothing items and shop online at http://us.jillyoga.com!

I received these clothing items from Jill Yoga in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Put the "OO" in RecOOvery | OOFOS Review

Disclaimer: I received OOFOS OOlala Sandals to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Every other morning of the week tends to start with a morning run. As this pregnancy is progressing, the earlier the better to beat the summer heat!


Then I spend the rest of the day (minus the event that both kids nap) on my feet. It's awesome! Active days are something I missed dearly while sitting in my old desk job but my legs do get TIRED. Add 6 months of pregnancy to that and my feet are throbbing by the end of the day!

Thankfully, as a BibRave Pro, I received OOFOS OOlala Sandals to take the stress off my feet, knees and lower back! The name OOFOS came to be because every who puts them on says "OO". Clever, right?!


After my usual morning run and a quick shower, into my OOFOS OOlala sandals I go and we're ready for the day! These sandals offer a cradling arch support so I can literally wear them all day long without hurting my feet.

While non-supportive sandals can cause plantar fasciitis, it's not the case with OOFOS sandals. The biomechanically designed footbed allows for natural motion and stride.


Throughout the day we walk/run A LOT. Mostly forward, sometimes backwards or in the form of skipping, jumping... or crawling. These boys are my energizer bunnies and I love it.

The OOfoam technology absorbs 37% more shock than other materials, taking that much more stress off my joints. Less joint stress = every pregnant woman's dream! Check out the OOFOS website for more details on this unique OOfoam technology.


I have worn my OOFOS sandals to the pool many times now and they are now, hands-down my favorite pair of sandals. My other sandals have had plenty of traction on the sole of the shoe but the top part (where my foot sits) gets super slick and hard to walk in when wet.

OOFOS sandals are moisture-resistant yet I didn't feel like I was walking on a slip-n-slide while wearing them. And, yes, I even wore them to my cousin's wedding last weekend. OOFOS style points!


These sandals are absolutely amazing! Honestly, my legs don't throb at the end of the day when I wear them and I chalk that up to the arch support and shock absorption in these sandals. Definitely try them out. Your feet earned this!

OOFOS OOlala sandals are available for $59.95 and come in 13 shades that will go with everything (my sandals are called "Blue Jay"). Join us for #BibChat with OOFOS on August 15 at 8 pm CT for a chance to WIN a pair for yourself!



B3 Pregnancy: Week 25 Wrap-Up

This week, Baby Rocket is the size of a CAULIFLOWER. Only 12 more weeks 'til baby is considered full-term. That was a nice realization this week! I'm feeling great minus being too hot pretty much all the time.

My belly button has "popped" (as much as it does at least) and E thought that was pretty funny. "Why does your belly button stick out, Mom?" Because the baby is pushing everything out of his or her way, I explained. Make room, baby. There's a lot more growing to be done!


MONDAY: 

3 mile run with our dog on the gravel roads.

TUESDAY: 

Stretching and non-running day.

WEDNESDAY: 

3.12 mile run with our dog testing out my new Under Armour Horizon RTT trail running shoes on the country roads.

THURSDAY

Stretching and non-running day again. It's hot, I'm tired. The kids and I pulled weeds instead!

FRIDAY:

3.1 miles with our dog out on the gravel again. Today heated up fast and I was glad I did run early! My tolerance for heat right now seems to be about zero :s The dog doesn't much like heat either.

SATURDAY:

Ekhart Yoga's Vinyasa Yoga Flow (17:55). Doing yoga again felt awesome! I need to get back into doing that two days a week and running three, especially as the third trimester is fast approaching. My muscles were too tight!

SUNDAY:

Rest.

What is your must-have recovery tool or technique?



Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Seeing In COLORS | Knuckle Lights COLORS Review

Disclaimer: I received Knuckle Lights COLORS to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Harvest is on the horizon and the days are getting shorter. It makes me a little sad to even write that! The bright, early morning sunrises are arriving later.

Come August, the sun doesn't rise until after 6:00 am (Gasp!). And then winter — the time of darkness and freezing cold — will be back for the next 6 months. Nooooo! I'm not ready.

Flashback to Snow :(

Whew. It's still July. Let's just enjoy the rest of this summer and fall!

While my usual light source for dark running has been a headlamp wrapped around my hand, I am taking advantage of some new technology as our mornings darken. As a BibRave Pro, I received Knuckle Lights COLORS to light up my early morning running all year long.

Knuckle Lights COLORS are available in Blue, Pink and Black.

Knuckle Lights are lightweight and small but they pack a big punch! Each light has three power settings — high, low and flashing — and the LED pattern is a wide flood beam, sending out light in all directions and providing a steady light source that doesn't bounce as you run.

I tell ya, these lights are very hardy, too! My 2- and 4-year-old have been playing with them (not gently either) and they have stood the test. They work as excellent handheld running hand-lights and as pretend "light sabers" for small children.


Key features of Knuckle Lights COLORS include:
  • 2 LIGHTS PER SET — The units connect together magnetically. The soft silicone straps can be adjusted to fit any size hand and even over gloves. 
  • 120 TOTAL LUMENS — The super bright lights provide a wide flood beam, providing a steady, even light in front of you that does not bounce around, even with your arms moving. 
  • BATTERIES INCLUDED — Each Unit Operates on 1 X AA Battery. 
  • WATERPROOF — Units can be used in any type of weather.


On this particular morning, a storm had just blown through and I knew I could run safely in the rain with my Knuckle Lights on! I love that the light doesn't bounce around as I run and the light beam covers a broad area, unlike my other headlamp/hand-light set-up.

According to the Knuckle Lights website, these lights will even operate in below freezing temperatures down to -20 Celsius (-4°F). I should be able to use these on many of those dark, winter morning runs, give or take a few crazy cold days.

Running with my Knuckle Lights COLORS is one thing I do look forward to this winter!


Knuckle Lights COLORS are available for $39.99 with free shipping in the U.S. They use your typical AA battery (two batteries are included!) and they have a 5-year warranty for any defects in materials or manufacture too. This product is very practical and the price is reasonable considering the high quality of Knuckle Lights COLORS. I'm a big fan!

Use discount code "BRKL2017" for 15% off at knucklelights.com (expires 9/1/17) and join us for #BibChat with Knuckle Lights on August 1 at 8 pm CT for a chance to WIN a pair of Knuckle Lights COLORS for yourself!


B3 Pregnancy: Week 24 Wrap-Up

Baby Rocket is the size of a CANTALOUPE this week with only 16 weeks to go (that's like the length of a marathon training plan!) 'til his or her due date. Heartburn has been "my thing" lately, especially in the evenings. Baby is very busy kicking and punching. I actually really love that part of pregnancy (minus the bladder kicks later on).

Running is still feeling comfortable though I have been very tired lately, likely due to too much summer fun. The parades, fair time and pool trips are just wearing me out but the kids think it's great!


MONDAY: 

3 mile run with our dog after the main part of the storm rolled through. Rain is okay but I don't like lightening!

TUESDAY: 

Major cleaning and packing prep followed by a walk/bike with the kids and a little pool time that night. Whew, I'm beat!


WEDNESDAY: 

3.15 mile run with our dog. Another beautiful run watching the sun rise and our first trip to this year's County Fair! The kids enjoyed rides and we shared a big corndog :)

THURSDAY

More fun at the County Fair in the morning and then another trip back in the afternoon. We fit in plenty of rides and a couple treats. Enough so that I was well one with this fair business by the evening. The kids could have stuck around longer though!

FRIDAY:

E got to ride his horse at Grandma and Grandpa's farm. I fit in a 3-mile run by my parents' farm and then we all cleaned up, packed up and left for a family wedding weekend.

SATURDAY:

Wedding festivities! The day felt full but it was a great time.

SUNDAY:

Rest. So... tired... The kids and I were clearly at the point of emotional breakdowns. Time to go back to normal life and enjoy being home again!

Are you an early morning or late night runner? How do you run safe?



Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Camping Trip Dos | B3 Week 22

We went camping for the pre-Fourth of July weekend at my favorite place ever, Itasca State Park. The wildflowers were in full bloom and summer storms stayed at bay, making it a perfect trip!

My mom has been keeping a count and it's crazy how much camping our kids have done in their short years! E (4) has been camping 10 times and W (2) has been camping 7 times. Granted, in an RV for majority of the trips, but that's my kind of camping when it comes to small children ;)

I did a lot of running with a half-loaded double stroller which gave me a little break on the rolling hills (37 less pounds at least). Little W and I found a couple patches of Showy Lady Slippers, the Minnesota State Flower, and some were a beautiful hot pink.

Like I said, it was wildflower galore along the bike path. I'm a little obsessed.




Itasca has a great network of paved bike paths, including a boardwalk, that are perfect for stroller running. The bumpy boardwalk tends to put W to sleep. There are some awesome non-paved trails, too, but those will have to wait for a time when I can run solo.


With no summer storms rolling through our camping trip, Saul was one happy camper! Honestly he is a perfect dog minus his crazy fear of thunderstorms.


We ate all kinds of food, the guys did a lot of fishing and I ran a few miles. Overall, it was another amazing camping trip and hopefully not the last of the year!

My Nasty Northern

B3 Pregnancy: Week 22 Wrap-Up

Baby Rocket is a COCONUT this week. I usually don't feel as big as I look. As I was leaving the campground bathroom, my very obvious bump caught me by surprise... and I wonder how baby is going to fit in there for 18 more weeks.

The heartburn has arrived and I'm feeling much "tighter" as Baby's growth is becoming more rapid now. Running is comfortable with the support belt and morning runs in the cool weather are best for me. I think that's how I will have to survive my first over-the-summer pregnancy!


MONDAY: 

5 miles on the boardwalk bike path at Itasca State Park with our dog and one in the double stroller.

E spent most of his time fishing with the guys so I spent some extra quality time with little W. We ran to the Headwaters and back (walking up hills, by the way) and enjoyed some HUGE ice cream sandwiches during our stop there.


TUESDAY: 

Packed up and back home we went! The kids didn't sleep a wink on the 2.5-hour drive home. That was a shocker but thankfully they napped later that afternoon.

WEDNESDAY: 

3 miles with the double stroller on a grocery run. And I was just getting used to pushing one kiddo in the stroller... I forgot how heavy two are! We went around 9 am that morning and it was already blazing hot, for me at least. 70 degrees with 70% humidity (all you southern runners can laugh at me). It's the humidity that kills me!


THURSDAY

We had a play date morning and then Teeny Ball that afternoon. I stretched my tight hamstrings that evening (still possibly tight from the Itasca rolling hills) and called it a night.

FRIDAY:

What a weird morning. The kids slept great, the weather cooled off beautifully and what woke my husband and I up at 4:45 am??? A robin! That's what! I left our windows open to air out the house and apparently that early bird is our new alarm clock.

My sweet husband made breakfast and coffee while I laid in bed, debating on waking up or not. Then I ate breakfast and poured rotten half-n-half (and I had just bought it at the store!!!) over the coffee he so nicely had made for me. Pregnancy hormones got the best of me and I figured it was best if I just went out for a run before tears happened (blame the hormones). I promise I'm not usually an emotional basket case!

I ran 3 miles at the slightly still emotional pace of 9:24/mile (fast for my pregnant self). After a quick stretch, I returned to the house feeling much more level-headed. Somehow the breakfast I ate immediately before running didn't come up. That was a pleasant surprise!


SATURDAY:

TBD: Run day planned.

SUNDAY:

Rest

Are you a camper? A fan of RV camping or hardcore backpacking?



Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Hey, Baby! | B3 Week 21

After cool and windy days for the past two weeks, the summer warm weather returned and then came the rain. The two inches of rain was welcomed as it gave me a day off garden and grass watering!

I'm really just not the most dedicated gardener but I'm trying. We did pick our first crop of spinach this week and that was fun. Something actually grew! Dirt-fresh and so delicious... after rinsing, of course.


A big milestone this week was W, now 2 years old, being done with his pacifier (not by his own choice). The process wasn't too painful, only tears one night, and him asking over and over again, "Where paci go? Paci went bye-bye??" 

Oh that boy loved his paci but the world is a better place without it. Now onto potty training in the next couple months.

The little boys and I did get to see "Baby Rocket" this week at our 21 week ultrasound! Getting a 2 and 4 year old to sit still during a 30-or-so minute ultrasound process was quite an accomplishment (without letting them play on my smartphone... that's a pet peeve of mine). Anyways, they survived and were semi-interested in seeing their baby brother or sister.

Just like with the boys, we didn't find out the gender. Any guesses? Girl or Boy? I don't even have a hunch this time. I just love that sweet little baby nose :)

(Note: Don't read into the pink heart in below image. It's not a clue!)


B3 Pregnancy: Week 21 Wrap-Up

Baby Rocket is an ENDIVE this week. What in the world is an endive!?


MONDAY: 

3 mile early morning run with the pup on the gravel roads. The kids and I went to the park in the morning and the pool in the afternoon to make the most of the sunny, warm days.


TUESDAY: 

(Cross-training) Tennis with the kids in the morning and another hour at the pool in the afternoon followed by church cleaning that night. That night I was spent! Legs throbbing, time for some sleep.

WEDNESDAY: 

Strength Training: 3 sets of squats, opposite arm/leg extensions, boat toe-taps. We actually needed some rain (2") and it felt nice to stay home and indoors a little. Keeping the kids busy inside... that was interesting.

THURSDAY

3 miles in the early morning. Then dog washing, Baby's ultrasound, errand running, Teeny Ball and an outdoor concert. That all led to no naps and a late bed time. Needless to say, there was some sleeping issues that night and the little one was super cranky the next day :(


FRIDAY:

Cleaning, major laundry and packing for a camping trip!

SATURDAY:

TBD: Run day planned.

SUNDAY:

TBD: Rest day planned.

Do you have any fun plans for the Fourth of July?



Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.



Friday, June 23, 2017

Feeling Strong During Pregnancy | B3 20 Weeks

Gaining 10 pounds over the course of five months can be a shock to the system! While this is perfectly normal (and healthy) during pregnancy, your body goes through SO many changes, SO fast, while growing a baby.

This pregnancy with our third baby has been identical to my pregnancies with the boys. Up ten pounds at week 20 and enjoying the "golden" second trimester. Though my belly is feeling bigger than last time and my Gabrialla maternity belt is being used on every run.

Besides being tired from usual life with two littles and sporadically waking up at night (night potty training struggles and cutting 2-year molars), I'm feeling really great.

My motivation to exercise does decrease during pregnancy, partly because my "competitive fire" disappears while growing a baby, but I know exercising regularly is one of the main reasons I DO feel strong right now. It certainly helped during pregnancy and postpartum with our boys!


Exercise takes time but it is time well spent! 

Just 30 minutes of exercise a day makes a BIG difference. It doesn't have to be fancy. Bodyweight strength training while cooking supper counts too.

8 Pregnancy-Specific Benefits of Exercise

  • Builds stronger bones, muscles and maintains healthy joints to support growing baby
  • Improves your mood and your sleep
  • Less backaches and fatigue
  • Increases stamina for labor
  • Strengthens and improves flexibility in muscles needed for childbirth
  • Keeps digestive system working properly (reducing effects of constipation!)
  • Reduces stress while increasing focus and concentration
  • Strong muscles burn more calories1

Disclaimer: Check with your doctor or midwife before beginning an exercise regimen or trying something new. I am not your personal trainer!


What kind of exercises are we talking?

Choose pregnancy-safe activities that improve your cardiovascular system, your strength and flexibility. Running and light strength training are my favorite forms of exercise. While running isn't for everyone, a 30-minute walk provides health benefits as well.

Ben Greenfield's Ab Exercises for Pregnancy offers great ideas for pregnancy-safe core work. While pregnant, I replace crunches or planks with opposite arm/leg extensions and dumbbell thrusters along with others from Ben's list. These exercises are more comfortable through the later months of pregnancy and they strengthen my core to better support my growing baby.

Whether it's running, walking, prenatal yoga, swimming, strength training or chasing toddlers, there are so many ways to get out and be active! Stay hydrated, count your blessings and keep moving this summer :)
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8

B3 Pregnancy: Week 20 Wrap-Up

Baby Rocket is a BANANA this week. He or she has been moving regularly and is sitting just below my belly button. The little boys really aren't interested in baby but I think that will change when they can feel/see kicking on the outside of my belly.

We did get bunk beds for them this week and that's been pretty awesome! They have their "Big Boy Fortress" all ready now (minus the sheets currently in the wash). Now to work through more of my To-Do List before baby's arrival this Fall...


MONDAY: 

3.1 mile run with double stroller

TUESDAY: 

Strength Training: Push mowing the lawn, yard work... exhausted.

WEDNESDAY: 

3 miles with the double stroller paired with a trip to the grocery store. The rain caught up to us for the last .25 miles but the kids got a kick out of it and the groceries were fine!


THURSDAY

We went for a walk by the river, played by the dock and went out for a tractor ride with Daddy. Then E had his second Teeny Ball practice for the year. After putting the kids to bed, I did a short strength training workout with three sets of 10 squats and core work (bridge and arm/leg extensions).

FRIDAY:

3 early morning miles with our dog and listening to some tunes. I love that the sun rises so early now! Getting out the door in the morning was hard over the winter when it was still dark as night. The sun makes it much easier.


SATURDAY:

4 mile run in the windy, rain and cold. Weird June weather! I ran without the belly band today and felt good. Could have used a bathroom break or two!

SUNDAY:

Off

Are you a morning, mid-day or evening exerciser?



Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

Source Included in Post:
1 "The Christian Childbirth Handbook" by Jennifer Vanderlaan