A Change of Scenery: Running in Downtown Disney

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Aug 22

Disney in the DarkAll of our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.”  -Walt Disney

This past week I was on a work trip to Orlando. So of course, I brought along my new Brooks Glycerin’s! I love the experience of running in different cities. The runs in Orlando were quite different than my last work trip to Philly in February. There I got to have a beautiful run in the snow. (Real snow, not ice by the way). I have to say that the humidity in Orlando, wow, it was beyond humid. I would refer to it as swampy.  (Note to self, don’t do Disney World with the kids in August!) The good thing is that I came equipped with all of my favorite Nike dry fit running clothes. (Although at some point with humidity like this, even dry fit can’t help you) Anticipating the humidity, I decided to carry a bottle of water with me. (Thank goodness because I drank every drop along the way) When you run in this level of humidity, you sweat out even more fluid than on a normal run which can cause dehydration a lot faster. Another problem with humidity is that it prevents the sweat from evaporating off your body so you can’t cool down easily.  (That is why you end up with soggy clothes and for me even soggy shoes.) Walking out of the front door of the hotel was like walking straight into a sauna. Side note, I hate saunas! Downtown Disney Since it was a work trip, I did not get to do the fun things you do in Orlando, like visit Disneyworld.  However, we did stay right by the park which made for some great sightseeing while I was running. I love my neighborhood but it sure was nice to have something exciting to look at. The most exciting thing I have seen on a run in my neighborhood lately is an armadillo that I almost tripped over. (Truthfully that was rather gross and not exciting) I ran through Downtown Disney and by all of the shops and restaurants. So of course like any touristy runner would do, I took a few pictures along the way. I loved the palm trees and all the fun shops.  I have to say that one thing that was so cool to see was a huge statue of Aladdin on top of a toy store looking down over Downtown Disney. In light of Robin Williams passing, it seemed very fitting. I also ran by the casting center and by Team Disney headquarters. I loved their statue and tribute they had out front to the seven dwarfs. Home from work we go smallGeanie SmallIts off to work we go small

When I decided to run outside verses the going to the hotel gym, I decide to set low expectations for myself, focusing on a good pace, since it was way more humid than any run I have done this summer.  I just wanted to see the sights and get some exercise in before I sat sedentary in meetings all day.  It was also dark when I went to run and the sun wasn’t set to rise until right when I had to be in for a shower. So I decided to make the best of it. Then much to my surprise both mornings I had two of the best average paces than I had previously had in a good month or so. So being the over analytical person that I am, I tried to figure out why that would be.  Was it the new Brooks Glycerin? They are great but I had run in them before, so probably not. Was it the humidity? Ummm, definitely not! Maybe it was just the magic of Disney? Ok so maybe a little bit of it was the magic of Disney, but I know what it really was for me was the refreshing change of running scenery.  It was such a good reminder for me that changing up your workouts and your runs is so important in preventing burnout.  Burned out is exactly what I have been feeling lately, which is very normal for me in July and August.  This trip was just what I needed to get me through summer running.

Labor Day is always when I kick off my fall training. I have a half marathon in September, October, and November.  Then I have the Memphis full marathon in December. So the running tip that I unintentionally reminded myself of this week is change up your workouts when you’re getting bored with them or feeling unchallenged. I need to make more of an effort to vary my running path and try to drive to other areas on the weekends when possible.  Adding speed work or interval training is also a great way to change your running up.
Running with Mickey
Returning to Nashville now I can say one thing. You will not hear me complain about the humidity anymore. Sometimes you have to experience something worse to appreciate something you have that just may not be so bad after all. I guess that’s not a bad lesson to remember in any situation.  As tough as it was, I enjoyed my hot, humid Florida runs.  I think it gave me the spark I needed to get through summer.

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. – Walt Disney

What She Wore at DisneyOnce Upon a Toy

 

Brooks Glycerin 12 Review

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Aug 15

Glycerin 12 Review

If you have followed my blogs at all, then you know I am a long time Saucony  loyalist.  It takes a lot for me to choose another brand over Saucony.  Maybe I am a creature of habit, but I have always had success with them. Second in line of my favorites I would say is definitely Brooks. I have had a few pairs of the Ghost and the Glycerin through the years.  A few months ago I bought both a pair of Saucony Triumphs and a pair of Brooks Glycerin. Both are great shoes with a lot of cushioning.  They are top of the line for both brands, and worth every penny. My issue with the last Glycerin, the Glycerin 11, was that it was a little heavy and kind of bulky.  I actually like wearing them to the gym because they do give a fair amount of support as well. Truthfully, I also felt like my feet got a little hot in the previous Glycerin. So after purchasing both the Saucony Triumph and the Brooks Glycerin at the same time, I definitely ran 80% of the time in the Triumphs and saved my Glycerin for the gym and to wear to the kids soccer games and on trail walks at night. (I do have to say that the yellow Glycerin were aesthetically one of my favorite running shoes yet.)

So when it came time to buy new shoes again, I went straight for the Saucony and have been running in the new Ride 7 which I love.  However since then I have heard several great things about the new Glycerin 12 so I decided last week to give the one more shot.  The changes that they claimed to make are as follows:

- 20% more cushioning

- new, Super DNA

- Lighter weight

- sleeker design, less bulk with more flexibility

- more even cushioning to lessen impact from heel to toe

I do have to hand it to Brooks, they made big improvements on this shoe.  I do think it is better than the previous and without a doubt one of the best, most comfortable shoes I have ever run in.  It is still a fairly heavy running shoe, which for some people that isn’t an issue. With the amount of cushioning in the Glycerin it may never be as light as some other shoes.  The Ride is definitely a lighter shoe, but also doesn’t give the same support as the glycerin.  So it is really a matter of personal preference. I am a neutral runner and I like a good amount of cushioning but I don’t want it so heavy that it slows me down.

I would recommend the new Glycerin without any hesitation. I do think that the improvements they claim to have made are accurate. If you haven’t tried them on I highly suggest you do, you may have never felt comfort I’m a running shoe like you will with the Glycerin 12. (And I am totally loving the purple and turquoise combination.)

Glycerin 12

Often times I get questions from friends about certain things that bother them when they run, such as a foot or knee problem.  The first thing that I ask them is have they gotten new shoes and do they think they are wearing the right shoe.  It is so important to find the right shoe and the right fit.

“Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she can conquer the world.” –Marilyn Monroe

 

Kids and Exercise: How Much Should They Get?

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Aug 05

Play 60

“It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings” – Ann Landers

It seems like every day there is a news story on how childhood obesity is on the rise.  There has even been a spike in childhood diabetes.  So obviously a big part of fighting this is diet.  As a country we (kids included) eat too much sugar and too big of portions.  But what about exercise?  How much do they need?  How much is too much?   My kids have often asked me if they can run with me (not at 4:30 in the morning, but in the evening!)  So recently this prompted a conversation about kids and exercise when I was at the pediatrician.  I thought the advice was great so I thought I would share it.

In 2007 the NFL launched a campaign called “Play 60”, which encouraged kids to be active for 60 minutes a day.  Today that is still a great guideline and in fact it lines right up with the AHA (American Heart Association) guidelines which also recommends 60 total minutes a day of moderate, age-appropriate activity for children.  (This can be 30 minutes twice a day, whatever you can fit in as long as it totals 60.) This is important to remember since we live in a world where kids are very into video games.  These are the same ideas that were suggested to me by my pediatrician.

One of the reasons why I enjoy having my kids in sports such as soccer and basketball is definitely because of the pure fun and competition of sports, but also because it is guaranteed physical activity at least a couple of times each week.  I am ok with some TV time as well as some video game time, as long as there is plenty of play and active time as well. As parents we of course have to set the right examples of physical activity.

There are plenty of other ways to get kids active other than organized sporting leagues.  For example in our neighborhood we often play games of soccer or kickball in the empty lot across the street. Good and friendly competition is something children like, it is motivating for them.  Kids are typically much more apt to be active or exercise (with or without a parent) if their friends play too.   Even a good old fashioned game of tag or hide and go seek outside are great ways to get kids active.  Taking the dog on a walk is another activity that can be made fun for kids.  Changing it up and making it fun is key to keeping kids interested, and keeping them off the couch.

Here are a few useful websites with more detailed information:

www.nfl.com/play60

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/exerciseforchildren.html

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/HealthierKids/ActivitiesforKids/The-AHAs-Recommendations-for-Physical-Activity-in-Children_UCM_304053_Article.jsp

http://www.letsmove.gov/blog/2013/08/05/get-kids-and-get-active-national-exercise-your-child-week

Play Ball

The benefits of exercise for kids are for the most part the same as adults.  It improves mood and self- esteem, helps them sleep better, promotes heart health, fights obesity, improves coordination, and has many other benefits as well. Like adults, kids want to feel good when they are active.  Be sure they have shoes that fit properly and have the right support.  Overall keeping kids active and making activity fun shouldn’t be hard, it should be a habit.  Making fitness fun as a family is truly beneficial for everyone!

 

 

My Essential Piece of Running Gear: The Running Tank

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Jul 25

Steph tanksOne very important aspect of making running enjoyable is having the right running gear. Not only do you want to look good but you want to choose things that are practical. Let’s face it, many of us have a long list of things we want…and those of us with kids often have to put those things at the end of the list. So when it does come time to buy running clothes you want to spend your money on things you can get the most use out of. Without a doubt what I have the most of are good, longer length, dri-fit type running tanks.

First let me address the longer description. Luckily almost all running tanks are longer than they used to be. This is good because at 36, I am past the age where I want my torso hanging out! Also, the longer length is much more slimming, it elongates the look. The dri-fit of course is essential because it pulls the sweat away from your body and prevents your shirt from getting too heavy. Another reason why I could never have too many tanks is because I actually wear them all year long. They are always the first layer I put on even in the dead of winter. I do this partly because they are longer and they will prevent my torso from being exposed to the cold in case my pullover rides up. Because they are fitted it helps keep me warm by preventing cold air from sneaking in. I also wear them to the gym all year round. So unlike many pieces of running gear such as tights and pullovers, you can use them twelve months out of the year. For years, anytime I have shopped they are the very first thing I look at. Brand wise I have the most luck with Nike and Under Armour. Here are a few of my favorites.

The Nike Touch Breeze Tank is probably one of the thinnest and most breathable tanks that I have ever worn. With this humidity and heavy sweating that is a huge bonus. It also comes in a lot of great colors! Another one I love is the Under Armor Victory Tank.  It has a flattering neck line and also comes in good colors. I could list so many Nike tanks that I love but I will just mention one more, the Nike Flow Tank is also one that is light weight and breathable and doesn’t get heavy.

There aren’t many articles of any kind of clothing that you can invest in that you actually wear all year long. So for that reason I like to have plenty to choose from. After all, it always helps you feel good when you look good. There are so many great, bright and happy colors now and the style is flattering on so many body types. Sport Seasons has a great variety of styles and an awesome selection of color! They make great gifts also. These are all reasons why the running tank is my most essential-can’t have too many of-go to buy when it comes to running gear!

Under Armour Victory Tank

Under Armour Victory Tank

 

Nike Dri-FIT Touch Breeze Tank

Nike Dri-FIT Touch Breeze Tank

 

Nike Flow Tank

Nike Flow Tank

 

 

Under Armour Boxerjocks – Product Review

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Jul 24

Under Armour Boxer Jocks We wanted to poll a few wearers of the Under Armour Original Boxerjocks to see what they would say about their unmentionables. Here is what they had to say.

“More comfort than the compression shorts, not quite as tight, especially the waist band. The mesh fly front lends more of an underwear feature, and more comfort as well. The 3 inch inseam is short, almost a brief, but then there is no riding up leg of the fabric and the 6 inch inseam is comfortable, I really like the weight of the fabric, it is not heavy and manages moisture well, keeping comfortable in hot weather. Haven’t tried the 9 inch. But, I imagine it would be comfortable over the quadriceps, especially in rough denim pants that drag on the leg.”

“I loved the boxers! Going to buy more ASAP. They have a nice firm fit and kept me in place. I also liked how they dried out quickly from sweat. I would give them 9 out of 10.”

“Seriously they’re great. No chafing, light weight, keeps everything in place. Will definitely continue to wear them during my softball games and plan to buy more soon.”