Saturday, May 3, 2014

Family hike - Haycock Mountain

Today's destination was Haycock Mountain. It's about an hour's drive from Princeton, maybe a bit more as we came from Lawrenceville instead as our almost 5 year old had soccer practice. The trail is located near Quakertown, Pennsylvania. The trailhead isn't clearly marked, we actually passed it the first time around. There is a small parking area and today it was actually full. At the start you see signs for hunting as the trail is on State Game land. There is nothing that says it is for Haycock mountain, but you do see a trail and a gravel road. We took the trail up and today it was pretty muddy at the start. It actually seemed like we were following a stream up.

The trail wasn't hard to follow until we got what seemed like a boulder field. We just followed what looked like a trail and followed the paint on the rocks. There were more than one color, but they seemed to all take you to where you to go which was a bunch of rocks. :)

It was a fun hike, and as usual the boys enjoyed climbing on the rocks. There are some parts where we had to be especially careful but in all it was good. The total hike was about 1.5 miles round trip. 

With the hike being so short, we took a side trip into Doylestown, where the Kid's Castle is located. We had been there before and the kids loved it. It's basically a huge castle playground, where inside are ladders, and passageways that lead up to two huge slides you can go down. It's a pretty neat play area for kids.

Well, that was our adventure for today. Tomorrow is my 5K and the kids have their races. :)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday Rest day

Today's a rest day. On rest days, it always seems like something is missing. I feel that I need to be running or at least exerting myself in some way, but I know I shouldn't because my body does need rest. It is good for me and my muscles to repair themselves. Here's a great article with tips on tapering from Greatist, Tips for the Perfect Taper. I'm really hoping this taper will help me get a PR for Sunday's 5K. I'm getting pretty excited and a little nervous just thinking about it. :) 

What will be really fun, is watching the kiddos do their run because they have races for them as well. My 3 year old will be running 25 meters and my 4.5 year old will be running 50 meters. It should be fun to watch.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Rewards of a Fitbit One Activity tracker

Thought I'd try something new today and talk about my Fitbit One.

What's a Fitbit One Activity tracker?

For those that don't know, it is a device that tracks steps, distance, calories burned, and stairs climbed. It can also monitor your sleep and can wake you with a silent alarm (a perk as I don't have to wake my husband up in the morning). They do have a wristband called the Flex but I opted out of that, as I already had a watch at the time and didn't need another accessory. I also like to keep it hidden, either in my pocket or strapped to my waist.

I've had my Fitbit One Wireless Activity Tracker since February 10th and I like it. Ever since I got it, it has motivated me to move around and get the 10,000 step daily goal. It wasn't hard for me to get the goal on the days that I ran as 10,000 steps is roughly 5 miles. But on days that I didn't run, my husband has caught me walking around or marching in place as I watch tv at night, just so I can get the daily goal (silly isn't it?). However, I have noticed that the Fitbit can be a bit off and is not totally accurate when it comes to running or climbing stairs, so I don't rely on it for accuracy in that aspect as I've got my Garmin for my runs. If anything, the Fitbit is definitely a device to get you to move more if you don't already. It also displays your stats nicely on their website.

Another aspect of the Fitbit that I like, is that you can add your friends and you can see how many steps they have so it can be a competition if you like, between your friends. If you are a competitive person (like myself) I found myself trying to get more steps than my sister. This competition can give you a little push to walk more, just so you can say you did. ;) There's even a weekly report email sent out and you see who makes it on top of the leaderboard with the most steps for the week. It's a nice thing to see when you make the top of the list.

The last thing but most rewarding aspect of having a Fitbit is you can earn rewards just for exercising. A lot of my friends know that I like to find good deals out there and there are some Apps and programs out there that will reward you or donate to charities just for exercising. Isn't that awesome? With these rewards, I have already earned the amount that I paid for my Fitbit and more. :)

Here are the programs/Apps I have found to be worth it.

1). FitStudio By Sears - You pretty much connect your fitness apps and devices to get rewarded for activity you’re already doing. I earn about $7+ a week just for connecting my Fitbit and RunKeeper. Only catch is you have to use your points by a certain date and you need to use the ship to store option if you don't want to pay shipping, but it hasn't been a problem for me. I usually buy shirts for the kiddos and they end up being free. Sometimes the kids shoes are on sale, so I only end up paying a couple of bucks for their shoes. It's a great deal. I never used to shop at Sears, but if they give me money, I will definitely use it for things that we need.

2). Everymove - Connect all your apps to earn rewards. This one does not have gift cards, but a lot of discounts on items. For example get a certain dollars off when you purchase a certain amount or, a special sale deal to buy a specific item. With just discounts, I don't usually pick them, however they do have $5 to donate to Make a Wish Foundation for 2000 points and I always choose that. I'm all for exercising for charity. Makes me feel good. :) I've already donated $15 to Make A Wish so far.

3). Nexercise - Just connect your Fitbit or you can track right from the App or even enter things manually. I like how this one has an extensive list of activities to choose from as exercise from playing with kids to housework, to P90X and of course running. Just track them through the app and you earn points. You earn what are called mPoints and you can redeem them for rewards like Starbucks or Amazon gift cards. 

4). AchieveMintYou get credit for all the activity you do for all the apps you connect. Then they will email a $25 virtual Visa card when you reach 25,000 points. I started the program on 3/14 and I am 79% to the 25,000 points. 

5). Earndit - Similar to Everymove, just link your device and start earning points for your activity. The rewards are more like discounts or a certain amount off for spending a certain amount. There are also challenges which are nice, where you can win things, but of course I haven't won anything yet. ;)

6). Weightless Project - Only for Fitbit or Jawbone users. Link your device and work out to donate calories. Every 1000 calories donated, raises $1 to fight world hunger. The more you work out, the more money you help raise. I've already earned $28.16 for fighting hunger.

These are all great and what's really nice is you are getting rewards, for doing something you already would anyway. So to me it's like free money or free donations. 

Do you have an activity tracker? Do you use these programs or know of any others?

Disclaimer: I purchased the Fitbit One on my own and am not being compensated or sponsored in any way whatsoever, so all opinions are 100% my own, along with the programs/Apps that I mentioned above. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rainy Wednesday & 72 miles in April!

Woke up to rain this morning and it's still raining. Seems the rain just won't stop today. Some roads are even closed due to flooding right now. I just want it to stop and for spring to come back and stay!!

 According to my Smashrun report for April, I logged in 72 miles for the month. Not bad!

I'm happy with it. I really like Smashrun, because I never really had a way to keep track of my miles in a nice report like Smashrun has. It's a lot easier to read and pleasing to the eyes than the reports right now on Garmin. You can check them out here: Smashrun. Another cool thing about Smashrun is that when you import your runs from Garmin, or whatever device you keep track of your runs on, it imports everything. So you have an all time mileage, which is pretty cool. Mine isn't totally complete as I didn't use to log my treadmill runs in, but now that I have this, I've been manually logging them in. It will be nice to see my overall miles for the rest of the year!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tuesday Gym Day

Gym day today. I've got the 5K coming up this Sunday and wasn't quite sure how to prepare for it as I've been running by following a half marathon schedule. I looked online and saw that Hal Higdon also has a 5K training schedule (of course he does). 

I'm just looking at the last week, number 8 and so far I've been going by that. Yesterday, I did the 2 miles (but actually did 3 easy miles, I couldn't help but do another). Today I did the 6x200 on the treadmill. It would have been nice to run on a track, but that wasn't possible with my two year old around and with rainy weather. I also jogged 2 miles. Tomorrow will be the 3 mile tempo. 

Other interesting things of the day, took the boys to their swim lesson. We were actually late due to a downed power line that blocked both sides of Route 1. Luckily we were on the side that had lanes open. The other side going North was at a complete stand still. I would have hated to have been on that side. I felt really bad for the drivers on that side. As for us, we were only about 15 minutes late to the swim lesson, which I didn't think was too bad. Their swim instructor was really nice however, and said we can have a make-up session tomorrow at the same time. That was so nice of her.

After swim was a MOMs Club ice cream social event, where the boys had fun running around the park. It's amazing how kids can still have fun even though it's cold and wet out. They loved the ice cream and toppings. Doesn't that look good?
Hope you had a great day!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Signed up for the Wineglass 1/2 Marathon today

I'm excited because today I signed up for the Wineglass 1/2 Marathon in Corning, NY. A friend of mine mentioned she was thinking about doing the run, and I told her I was definitely interested. I'm not even sure if she signed up yet, but I wanted to get registered sooner rather than later, as according to the site's website the run sold out last year by Memorial day weekend. I'm so excited for the run, I'd run it even if she decided not to run it. :p I even went as far as searching for accommodations before I registered. To my surprise, many of the area hotels were already booked. Pretty much all of the ones in Corning are already booked, unless you want to spend a lot of money in a really nice hotel (something we don't have right now, especially as a SAHM). But, I guess that's what I get when a race is so popular and I register later than most people. 

I did find that the Erwin Motel had rooms still available and it's about 10 minutes from Corning. The man on the phone stated $64 a night, so I was like ok. I'll reserve it. I checked online and the reviews were ok for the price, sorta like you get what you pay for. I figure it's ok, as we're only there for one night. I can always still cancel the reservation, if I find something else that's decent priced and still available. The drive from Princeton to Corning is about 4 hours. So we'll get there Saturday and leave Sunday. 

I'm pretty excited about this run because it'll be in a state I haven't ran in before. I can tell people that I ran in NY, in Corning for the Wineglass 1/2. It's a small town with a popular glass museum (where the expo is this year) and I've heard it's a popular run for both the full and half marathons. I'm excited that the medal is made of glass and that we also get champagne and a glass along with a long sleeve T. The run's got some pretty good schwag and that's something I'm always excited about when I look at a race. :) To top things off, I hear the run is supposed to flat, fast and scenic. Maybe I will actually PR in this run!

As far as runs go, looks like this is my schedule:

I'm looking forward to all these runs this year!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Family hike at Point Mountain Preserve

With today being a rest day from running, it meant family hike day. :) The weather wasn't bad, partly cloudy and a little cooler than last week, but in all decent weather for hiking. 
Today's hike, we ventured to Hunterdon County, where Point Mountain Preserve is located. According to Google Maps, it was about an hour and 10 minute drive to get there from Princeton. 
At the trailhead
From the parking lot, we weren't quite sure where to go at first glance. Then my husband noticed the orange markers. Luckily he had a map of where we were supposed to go. This is the map he had. We were to follow the orange markers until we got to the blue. It was interesting, because most of the orange part was walking through old corn fields. Once, we got to the blue, we got really close to the river, the Musconetcong river and it was pretty nice. We even saw a fisherman in the water with his waders on fishing.
Along the river
After following the upper blue markers along the river, we came to a point where we veered left to follow the orange markers. At this part, we were heading up the ridge to the mountain. The kids really enjoyed the rock parts and scrambling up following the orange markers along the way.
Heading up
It was .5 mile up to the overlook. Both boys made it all the way up on their own. They did a great job. The scenic overlook has a nice view. The only thing I disliked about it was the graffiti on the rocks. It just made a beautiful rock of nature look pretty ugly. It also makes for a bad picture. 
To get down, we followed the orange markers down the ridge and crossed a little creek, before getting down to the corn fields and to the parking lot. 
Point Mountain
I enjoyed the hike. The whole hike was 3 miles, perfect for the kiddos. I liked the scenery- seeing the river, scrambling up the rocks, and a nice view at the overlook made it all worth it.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

D&R Canal Long Run & Big Red Run 5K next week

Went on my long run and it was perfect weather. This is how beautiful it was. 

I love running on the D&R Canal trail on days like this. The trees looks so pretty. However, the one thing I did dislike about today's run, was there were a bunch of puddles I had to maneuver around at times. I'm not too keen on getting my shoes wet and muddy. Good thing was it was just in a few areas that the mud and puddles were bad, so I guess I shouldn't complain. It's not as bad as when I ran in the snow this last winter. 

The run overall was pretty good. I went for 8 miles this week as I am still 8 weeks out before the Seattle Rock and Roll half Marathon on June 21st.

I do actually have a 5K next weekend. I'll be doing the Big Red Race 5K in Lawrenceville. I've done the race before in 2012. That was the race where I actually got 3rd place in my age group. I remember being so shocked, since I had never won anything for a run before. I got a time of 27:02.6 and got trophy for it, I was pretty happy. It'll probably never happen again that I place in a race, but it's ok. I run not for trophies but for myself, for being fit, and so I can eat that doughnut or handful of pretzel M&Ms. :)

I would have done the race again last year but I ended up doing the Broad Street run (10 miler) instead which is a great run, if you haven't done it before I highly suggest it. The run is the largest 10 miler in the US. As for next weekend's 5K, I'm hoping for a PR. I'm hoping to beat the time I got last time. If not, no biggie, there will be other 5K's. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Focus T25 Alpha Total Body Circuit & Ab Intervals

Today was another Focus T25 day. With my not so great run yesterday on the treadmill, I figured I'd take a break and not run today. Looking at the Focus T25 calendar, Fridays are usually double days, so I thought I would give it a try. I picked out the Alpha- Total Body Circuit & Alpha- Ab Intervals workouts. Boy was I in for a surprise. Both were very tough. Alpha Total Body Circuit started out great but when we got down on the ground and we started doing shoulder taps, plank walks with additions, and spider lunges, and push ups, I was beat! Very tough workout!

It's only 25 minutes, but a very tough and drenching 25 minutes. After the workout, I questioned myself on if I should even try the Ab Intervals workout. I thought I still had some energy left and it's only another 25 minutes, so why not? If anything, I can always follow the person that does the modified (easy version of the moves). That's another thing I like about T25, there is a person on the right hand side of the screen that does a modified version, ( I think her name is Tonya) and you follow her if the moves are too hard. It's nice that they include that, so anyone at any level can do these workouts. I definitely needed to watch Tonya at many parts of this workout. There were many planks, v sits with arms up, oblique push ups, etc. all which are very tough but great for the abs. I liked the workout, but I just need to work on the moves more. 

I'm just happy I did the workout and did the best I could. Yay! It's Friday so, 

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Treadmill Thursday

Today was another treadmill day. Goal was to do 5 miles. I felt ok for the first two miles, but then I started getting tired. I definitely wasn't feeling as strong as I was a couple of days ago. I kept thinking to myself "I can't stop, I can do this. I can't stop, I can do this". That helped me and I also slowed my speed down. I started at a speed of 6.0, went up slowly to 6.5, then back down to 6.0. 

The Rachael Ray show also helped as it was entertaining watching about crashing weddings and they even got a couple to get married on the air on a whim. Lucky couple got everything paid for, including the bride's dress, and the honeymoon! LOL, see! Watching tv at the gym can get your mind off of how long a run you are doing, and it definitely helps in making the time go by.

Anyway, close to the end of my 5 miles, I did my usual sprint at the end, where I ended at a speed of 7.2. I'm just happy I did the 5 miles I said I would do today. I did do a cool down with a walk for another 5 minutes. 

As I look at the calender, it looks like I've got about 8 weeks until the Seattle Rock and Roll Half Marathon. Thinking about the run, I think my goal is to try for running it in under 2 hours. I think it is very doable. I think the key to reaching my goal is to strengthen my core more and also do more speed work. The long runs help too, to keep my endurance level up.

Below is a pic of my kiddos. Just thought I'd include them in today's post as they are my cutie pies. It was taken at the playground today, they were being silly and putting dirt on the slide then sliding down. They are amused by things like that so easily.  :)

Anyone have any races coming up? What are your goals for them?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Focus T25 workout day.

Today was a Focus T25 workout day. The kiddos had a playdate in the morning to go to, so I saw this was the only workout I could get in before we had to leave. I chose to do the Alpha speed 1.0 workout. 

It focused on speed, stretch, and stability. This workout is a bit different from any I've done so far, as we did a lot of quick moves (jogging in place, hop hop turning, burpees with kicks etc.) and then Shaun T would have us stop to do some stretching, and then right back to the fast moves. 

It worked out great as you are in need of a little rest, but I've just never seen a workout put together that way where you would do some stretching in the middle of it all. I actually liked how it was different in that aspect. I also like how you know you are working your core and how he incorporated some punch moves that reminded me of body combat. Burnouts sessions are the best. This is when he has you going back to key exercises and pushes you harder and faster. In all this was another great workout that left me with some serious sweat at the end.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday Gym Day

Today was a treadmill run. Did 4.5 miles with .5 mile cool down walk. I actually felt pretty strong running, not sure if it's the Focus T25 or if it's because of all the miles I've been running lately. I really enjoy the feeling of not being so tired on the treadmill. I have also been trying something new. Lately, I'm starting out at slower speed, then gradually increasing. I started with a speed of 6.2 for a few minutes and then was at 6.5 for majority of the time until the end where in the last .5 mile, I went up to a speed 7.2. In all, it was a good run at the gym. My legs weren't tired and I felt I could have stayed on longer. With that said, today was a great treadmill run day.

Happy Tuesday and Bloglovin

I've just discovered Bloglovin. It's a great site that helps you follow all your favorite blogs that fits with whatever you are interested in (whether it be running or fashion) and it helps you discover new ones. What I really like is that it lets you know when your favorite blog has a new post. So far I like it a lot. They even have an app which you can find here. There are a lot of cool running blogs on there. 

I definitely recommend you check it out. :)

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Monday, April 21, 2014

Marathon Monday - Thoughts on today's Boston Marathon

What an amazing day of running! Thousands of people all gathering to run 26.2 miles in a great city. This is the first time I actually took the time to watch it, and wow, what an inspiration it has given me. These runners are amazing! They push themselves so hard and look so strong. 

Congrats to Meb Keflezighi,who became the first American male to win since 1983. I loved watching him cross the finish line. It was so emotional. Such an amazing moment.

Photo from cbsports

I've also got to mention Shalane Flanagan. She was my inspiration to watch today. She didn't win but she ran an incredible race and was just plain awesome. She PR'd with a great time. She didn't win today but I'm sure we'll see more of her.

I myself have never ran a full marathon, only half marathons. With just doing half marathons I know exactly how difficult they can be so when I think another 13.1 miles after running a half, it just sounds crazy and exhausting. But watching today, I know it can be done. Even if I have to go at a slower pace, I think I can do it. So, with that being said, it will be one of my long term goals. Maybe a Walt Disney world marathon in the future? Or if I ever get into the NYC Marathon lottery? We shall see. :)

On a side note, I did work out today. I really wanted to go for a run, but that didn't happen with watching the marathon this morning and all the errands/cleaning I needed to do, it was too late for me to go to the gym with the boys. However, I did do Focus T25's Beta Core Cardio workout. Another great workout with Shaun T. Hard at parts, especially on the floor with the plank taps. I think I really need to work on my arm strength since I had so much difficulty with those. Anyhow, it left me in a nice sweat. I love how they are only 25 minutes and you see the clock right on the screen so you now how much time is left. 

I actually can't wait till after I do the Seattle Rock and Roll half, that way I can actually follow the T25 schedule the correct way and see if I get the results others have been getting when doing these workouts.