Wednesday, July 31, 2013

5.5 weeks of growth! Time for a new bowl! #chocolatelab #puppylove #labsofinstagram

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Review & Giveaway: SLS3 Compression Sock

As most of you may know I only run in compression socks and the more colorful the better, so when SLS3 contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I would be interested in trying some out of course I jumped at the opportunity.

This is the pair they sent me:
Awesome bright pink and a butterfly pattern! I could totally make these work for Peace, Love and Run Woodstock!
My first time sporting them was my 8.2 mile leg of Red Eye Relay:

I have since worn them for my 18 mile trail run and the day after as recovery socks. This is how I feel so far:

Fit: I was sent a large based on shoe/calf size but I really think a medium would fit better.  The large is almost to long to wear comfortably pulled all the way up because it goes over my knees.

Compression: These socks are a bit tighter then the ones I normally wear even in the larger size.  For me this was a benefit because I tend to like my socks tighter, I feel it makes a bigger difference the longer the run gets.

Quality: The socks appear to be high quality and since I have only had them a few weeks I cannot comment on how they will be a year from now.  But in the first few washings (including one time through the dryer which I know is not a good thing but after Red Eye I just wanted everything clean and dry to pack up before heading the 5.5 hours home) they have held up nicely.  On the 18 mile trail run this weekend they took a beating and ended up with several snags from the over grown trails, but that is to be expected, better the socks then my legs.

I am a big believer in the benefits of compression socks which is why I have worn them since pregnancy and on every run, including increased blood flow, faster recovery, and all the other reasons SLS3 details on their website here: How Compression Works

SLS3 also has what looks like really nice Tri gear (I have no plans for one anytime soon but some awesome tri speedsuits!)  The founders Sebastian and Sylvie Linke were actually pro German triathletes in 2004 so they may know a thing or two about a good trisuit. (Read their story here on their  About Us page)

Overall I was really satisfied with the socks, feel they are priced properly and will happily purchase a pair when the time comes to replace worn out socks.

The awesome folks at SL3S have offered me a free pair to giveaway, all you have to do is like their Facebook page then enter using Rafflecopter below.  I will choose a reader at random on Monday (8/5/13) morning (who wouldn't want to start their week off with a sweet new pair of socks!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do not want to wait for the giveaway to end, go ahead and use the following code to order yours today!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Num num! Wtg #Meijer for a fine craft beer section lately!

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Giving kisses after his 1st .25 mile run! #chocolatelab #labsofinstagram #runhappy

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Pretty sure a Popsicle cannot be good for you when it does this to your skin #hfcs #bluedye

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They swore they heard the Popsicle truck (they have been waiting for a 1/2 hour on the porch) #crazykids #momtoboys

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Watch dog #puppylove #chocolatelab #labsofinstagram

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Red Eye Relay Recap

What is now 2 weekends ago I had the opportunity to run and complete the Red Eye Relay in Bloomington Indiana with 11 other runners (9 Rusted Bears, 1 Emergency substitution/MVP, and 1 other Michigan Runner), and while there were things about the race that could be improved upon over all it was an epic adventure! (This recap is painfully late, but we are finally back into a groove and I am getting a chance to sit down and write relatively uninterrupted)

So here are the numbers:

Rusted Bears - Dirt Cheetahs, Grin & Bear It, Rusty Bear Trap
Team(s) Miles: 103.92
Team(s) Time: 16:27:00

My Milage: 23.28
My Total Time on my feet: 4:07:33

Leg 1 Malaria Miller: 
Distance 8.39 Time 1:25:54

Leg 2 Smokin' the Bear:
Distance 4.41 Time 45:26

Leg 3 Easy Cheese:
Distance: 3.33 Time 35:47

Leg 4 Death Dog House:
Distance 3.85 Time 41:49

Leg 5 Grape Ape:
Distance 3.3 Time 38:37

Rusted Bears celebrating their finish! So lucky to have had the opportunity to meet and run with these folks!
Team Dirt Cheetahs

I am not going to get into the details of every leg since you can see the little recaps on my Daily Mile page, I am just going to talk a little bit about the good and bad of it all.

Good: RUNNING BUDDIES! Because we had 12 runners we actually formed 3 teams and decided ahead of time to stick together, so every leg I was out there with my 2 running buddies.  I cannot tell you how much I loved that we did it this way.  Being out in the middle of no where Indiana in the pitch black by yourself can be a bit creepy, having 2 other people there, while it did not help stop my imagination freaking me out a bit, it did help relieve some of the anxiety.  I would not have done this race as a solo runner.
Hey we just met, let's go run 22+ miles (See the rockstar in the middle-she was a last minute substitute b/c a teammate had to drop for an emergency, anyways later deemed MVP had only been planning to drive her team, instead she ran 23.28 miles like a boss at the last minute!)
2 legs down, ready for the last 3!

After-we did it!

Good: Having plenty of clothes & shoes to change into.  I took 5 complete outfits, 1 for every leg, and while I ended up only wearing 4, it was nice to have the option to change if completely stinky or sweaty.  Having 3 pairs was nice since the race started in the rain. (Side note: One of my van mates was thinking ahead and bought several newspapers when we stopped for gas to stuff in our shoes, that helped dry them out a bit)

Bad: The mental exhaustion that comes with staying up overnight, and also the ups/downs that come with it.  There were several points throughout the night that I did not want to continue, I just wanted a nap.  Those thoughts were then followed with reminding me how much fun I was having and what a fun experience. 

Bad: Fueling for this race was tough.  With the travel I had forgotten to eat a late lunch/dinner and the granola bar before the race just didn't cut it.  Throughout the night traveling in the back of the van really bothered my motion sickness and made for an icky stomach for a few legs till I figured out the cause.  Throughout the night I had 3 Island Boosts, 1 Package Honey Stingers Cherry Cola Chews, a handful of potato chips, a handful of peanut butter filled pretzels, 1 Picky Bar, 1 piece of pizza, tons of Nuun and water, and a total of 1.5 cans of Busch Light (not craft beer but it was still tasty).  I ended the night/morning extremely calorie deficient and I do not think I felt full until Wednesday. 

Bad: The course while marked apparently better then last year there were several typos in the race manual, and several times throughout the night the signs were turned/moved or completely removed by what we could only assume were people who thought that would be a funny prank.

Good: And overnight race means you can sport AWESOME night gear!
Overall I would run it (or another relay) again, even though I doubt I would do more then 1 a year...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Operation get my sh*t together...

In all honesty I have never been the most organized person and since we are being honest I am not the best at completing most things I start (examples include the 1st borns baby scrapbook with 3 pages finished, half completed knitting projects let on needles, a half organized basement).  I have a hard time staying on task and I tend to get bored with projects that take longer then a few hours (some days anything over a few minutes).  Over the years I have gotten "better" but I still tend to get scattered and sidetracked, and life with 3 kids, a husband and a puppy can easily become chaotic on a good day and spiral quickly out of control on a bad day.  Since becoming a full time stay at home and adjusting to the husband's new schedule we have been "surviving" but it is time to get my sh*t together so that our days are happier, our memories better, our food healthier and my anxiety that comes with all the chaos is calmed.  So here are a few things I am starting with:

1. Schedule/routine:  

The whole house runs better when there is a schedule/routine.  I like things to be predictable and the boys do to.  It also keeps us focused and on task. We will be returning to a weekly house schedule that includes laundry/floors everyday, shopping on Mondays and our official cleaning day to be Wednesdays (it used to be Saturday, we would listen to NPR and clean all morning but since the husband is home on Saturdays we have gotten away from that since I have been going running resulting in some deep cleaning being ignored)

We will also start using our daily schedule again.  This allows the boys to see what we have planned for the day and what will be coming up.  It also gives them a bit of control because at the end of the day they can request an activity for the next day.

Daily Schedule: Laminated cards w/ velcro - adapted from the concepts used in AI classrooms
This also means I want to get back to my own personal routine which included some down time in the evening to journal and reflect.  Hopefully using the days more productively will result in a less exhausting day and the energy in the evening for this.  It was so nice to look back and see all the positives of the day and all the small things that make a person smile.  I miss that.  It also means preparing as much as possible for the next day after the kids go to bed.  Sippy cups filled and in the fridge, dishwasher emptied, counters clear of clutter, etc.

It also means getting back to updating our Cozi Family calendar so everyone in the family has access to our current week/month schedule and can easily see any updated appointments and engagements.

2. Meal Planning/Shopping Lists:

This is one of those domestic activities I really stink at, I can have the best meal plan but day of the meal I won't want what I planned and well, we end up eating out or ordering pizza.  The new rule is no matter what we are having what I plan! (This means making sure I have all the ingredients, that they are thawed).  Today I plan to reorganize and inventory our pantry, food shelf and freezer, then use what I have in the house to make a plan that includes 2 weeks of meals (minus fresh veggies and milk since we will need those weekly).

I get all of my meal planning printables from Organized Home and my pantry/freezer/shopping list is a simple Numbers document I save to my iCloud so I can have access to it when I am not at home on my iPhone.  I also use the shopping list on Cozi to keep some smaller shopping lists for things like Christmas or birthdays.

I also want to start getting the kids in the kitchen more, they are always begging to help but by dinner my patience is gone and I do not want to deal with the mess (yep I am pretty sure after this post my Mom of the Year nomination will be revoked, but hey we are being honest right).  This is going to take some planning and prep so that they all will have a job to do and we can safely cook our meal.

3. 1-2-3-Magic:

This is a big one! We used 1 - 2 - 3 Magic as our discipline system a while back and it helped SO MUCH (at least in my opinion) with the yelling (theirs and mine).  Not only did I stop yelling, but the time with the boys was so much better.  Back to this system we will go, I will be rereading the book tonight after bed time and sending the ebook to the husband for him to read, and tomorrow we start again.  My kids are great kids, they are just FULL of energy, excitement, strong personalities, and often times overly emotional which when all of those things are combined it equals fighting, obnoxious behavior and a ton of chaos.  I want to return to the laughter and joy instead of the fighting and yelling. 

Three things is enough to work on for now I think...I will check back in next Tuesday to report how it's going and if I am any closer to getting it together...

Do you ever have days where you feel like you know longer have it together?  Any tips for me on getting it together?  Any tips for getting kids in the kitchen and keeping it all under a decent amount of control?

Well I guess I'll hang out here for a while, looks to sweet to disturb #chocolatelab #puppy

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His new favorite place to lay! ❤ #puppy #chocolatelab #loyal

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