Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bring On....

The Fitness Games!!!!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by The Fitness Games through their partnership with Fit Approach. I was not compensated monetarily, but was provided the Platinum Version of the application for review. As always, all opinions are my own.

In August, I was lucky enough to be selected as a part of a test group to review the app The Fitness Games.  Having just had a baby, I was ALL for another way that I knew would keep me accountable for working out and getting moving.  I didn't have any baby weight to lose but I needed to tone and I needed to train so with great excitement I downloaded my version of the app.  

I knew that, I would need something extra to bring me back into the routine of working out on a schedule again and with up coming races I thought YES this is the way to get back into it! The
 app takes working out and turns it into a social media game.  Ummmm HELLO, the workout doesn't count
unless posted to social media anyway right?  You can challenge anyone, anywhere to a workout OR do what I did and challenge yourself.  I knew that each time I came back I could push myself just a little further.  You can jump into any type of workout that were designed by personal trainers or even create your own workout.  Which is what I did most of the time, I saved my Piyo workouts and used them to challenge myself.  

Oh and the best part? Well, I have and admit to having a slight addiction to social media sites.  I love connecting to others with the same interests all over on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Blogging so the fact the app has a running newsfeed of all the workouts that the peeps on my friend's list were completing was like an extra little bonus motivation.

I never used the app to challenge anyone else, because I always second guessed myself when I was about to hit challenge.  I think that if I *knew* that someone wanted to be challenged I would have been more likely to hit the challenge others button.

The only downfall is that I kept forgetting to turn the app on when I would go out for a run or walk and there is no way to add in a workout at a later date.  The app has to be running in order to document the workout.

Overall, The Fitness Games is a great unique social media workout buddy.  The different workouts and levels were great to choose from.  I recommend that if you are looking for a workout app to check this out and give it a try! The only thing you have to lose is possible a challenge or two ;) And iTunes OR the Google Play store there is no stopping you from getting out there and getting your challenge on.  If anyone wants to challenge me I would LOVE it and you can find me at the name of CrazyMamaRunner, of course ;)
since it can be downloaded in either

Other features include:

- Personal trainers can send unique crafted workouts via the “Create Your Own Workout” feature and track their progress remotely. 

- Each user has their own "My Profile Page" where they are encouraged to post fitness pictures and videos and other users are able to post comments. 

- A News Feed called "My Feed", is available for you to browse recent pictures and videos posted by your friends. Users will also have the ability to track the activity of their closest friends by liking, commenting, and following.

- Access to over 50 carefully designed workouts or they can create their own workout with our easy to use system by choosing from over 250 exercises, each with instructional pictures and videos.

- Encouragement gym selfies! With the Gym Selfie button you can quickly take a selfie in two clicks! The camera will already be facing you when you hit this button.

- Rankings Page will feature local and international rankings by challenges won and experience points.

- Cardio category includes GPS tracking and connection with friends local or international and in real time! (watch them running with you on your phone)

- The Fitness Games lets you see the most inspiring and popular fitness content on the "Popular Photos and Videos" page.

What are some fitness apps that you love?  That you use?  Have your tried The Fitness Games?  What did you think?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Stepping out and Meeting up!

Stepping out of my comfort zone is hard.  Very hard.  I am a creature of habit and I am totally a shy social person.  I love to be around people, meet people yet I have such a hard time doing it.  I am always second guessing myself and finding me lacking so I tend to shy away.  I write this blog and I am present on all social media but I do not consider myself a real blogger or a real runner for that matter.  Yesterday,
however, I did something crazy.  Totally unlike me.  The cards seemed to align and I found myself eagerly accepting an invitation to the #NHRunBloggerMeetup.

WOW! As I drove in the car to meet Sarah from Run Far Girl, I was beyond anxious.  Totally, second guessing myself and almost calling her to say I was out at the last minute.  But I didn't I got in her car and rode along to Runner's Alley in Concord.  The entire time, scared and nervous.  I knew the meet up was starting off with a group run and I knew I am not yet back 100% from having the baby.  I know I am slow normally but super slow right now.  I also had no clue the millage we would be covering and so far I had only been doing 2 miles with the occasional 3.

The entire hour drive Sarah was the sweetest person I have ever just met and found myself having a conversation with.  I opened up to her about my blog being new and not having a large following (I literally have 3 followers right now).  I was apprehensive about having to mingle with some very amazing and inspiring bloggers and didn't want to sound like a total doofus.  She never even broke her stride and gave me
some amazing and wonderful tips and advice.  She was so honest and upfront and I learned so much from her!

Runner's Alley was so gracious and Jeremiah was such a great guy! The group run he led was fantastic and he answered all questions along the way.  A 4.5 mile running tour of Concord was so much fun!!!! I couldn't really talk and keep up and found myself
drifting further and further behind but I was having the time of my life.  Taking in the sites and listening to the blog talk and the runners world info.

After the run both Jeremiah and Sarah gave me great advice on the blog and writing reviews while we snacked on the newest Stonyfield yogurt and I tried to get the
sweating under control.

I got home last night and just honestly, couldn't believe I had done what I had done.  I stepped out.  I let myself call me a blogger and a runner and I connected with other bloggers and runners and I now have a direction and some tips that I hope will take my blog into something new.  I stepped out of my comfort zone and let the magic happen and boy did it.  I highly recommend finding meetups in your area! Whether it be for blogging or for running.  If you live in the NH area I strongly suggest popping into one of the three Runner's Alley stores and seeing what they have to offer for group runs, PT nights, shoe fitting, apparel, running accessories.  The Manchester store even has stroller run groups!!!! How cool is that? Get out and connect with people it is AMAZING!!!!

PS I am still speechless with the swag I walked away with last night!!!! Including winning the raffle for a new pair of sneakers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PPS Go follow Run Far Girl if you are not all ready.  She is so absolutely amazing!  She has some absolutely adorable and comfortable tees and tanks printed with Embrace the Hill and proceeds go to CHaD kids!

Some other NH bloggers that are great to follow are:
Shoelaces and Bibs
Organic Runner Mom
Saltmarsh Running
Running Escapades
Running on Peanut Butter

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


I have an appointment with running.  As I sit here watching my children enjoy the last day of summer, I have found I need this appointment.  You see running is my friend but also my therapist.  I am sitting here with thought after thought running through my head, and tears threatening to fall, yet there is a huge smile on my face.  I need running, I NEED it.
Running makes me happy, makes me fit, makes me healthy but it is oh so much more.  Running makes me, me and it helps me to process everything.  When I find myself stressed, anxious, happy, sad, tired, EXHAUSTED mentally and physically running calms me.  It is my therapist that can see me at any time and
any place with no time restraints. 

So instead of calling my real therapist, I am going to make a running appointment.  I am finding myself needing to have a bit of release and some time to pound down my thoughts as my feet cover the ground.  My baby starts kindergarten tomorrow.

Yes, that is right, my little side kick that I have had next to me every day for the last 5 ½ years starts school tomorrow.  I will go from having her with me all day every day to sending her off on the bus and not seeing her til pick up time.  And yes I have read countless blogs this past month on kindergarten moms and the tears and the sadness that accompanies sending them off.  I have also read the blogs on not understanding the sappy moms who are crying over this.  And I have come to this conclusion:

I am muddled.  You see, I feel happy, sad, proud, devastated, anxious, ecstatic, empathy, exhaustion, scared, shy, confused, joy, excitement and so many more emotions that I can’t even pinpoint words for them.

I am so happy and excited and PROUD of the little girl that is going to march into those hallways and learn something, become more of the grown up self she will be some day.  She is so ready for this. And I am ready for her to experience this.  (Can I also mention that I am sort of excited ok THRILLED to not have to be constantly breaking up sibling fights all. Day. Long.)

But I am also scared, anxious and exhausted from the worry.  I am a worrier, it is my nature and I can’t help it.  I actually suffer from anxiety attacks and do really see a therapist to get them under control. But I am worried about sending her off on this great adventure.  I am worried that she won’t make friends, scared she will be bullied or will feel like crying and no one will be there to comfort her.  Not to mention, the extreme panic I feel that I may get a phone call that something bad has happened to her or at her school.  I do not watch the news at all but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have some sort of handle on what is going on.  The world is a scary place and I am no longer the only one protecting her from it.  (Is it too late to home school?)

And I am selfishly pissed that I will have to make time for this new schedule.  I am devastated that I can no longer let my children sleep until they wake-up in the morning.  No more mornings to myself until 9:00.  No more half thrown together breakfasts in our jammies or packing up and going on an adventure on a whim. 
No more lazy days, and not having to worry about being home for bedtime or to make a bus, or to get into the pick up line.  Now I am a mom to a kindergarten.  I will have to live on a schedule.  I will have to wake them up, feed them breakfast and get them dressed all by 8:00 am.  I will have to pack lunches and make sure homework is done.  I will have to have a schedule for dinner and homework and bath.  I will need to create carpool pickup groups and make new friends so that I can let her go to playdates and sleepovers.

My life as a mom that I have carved out over the past 5 years through mistakes and achievements is all about to change.  I am stepping into the unknown.  I will have to learn through trial and error again, I will have to help us both navigate through all of the ups and downs of hurt feelings and new friends.  I am going to have to let her fail (forgetting homework, not being ready for the bus…) in order for her to learn.  I am not sure I am ready for this….

My appointment with running cannot come soon enough.  I will be out there tonight, in the solitude of dusk, listening to the crickets and feeling the changing of the season of the fall breeze on my sweat soaked skin. 
Coming home in the dark to the light of the moon and the soft glow of her bedroom window.  Knowing that I have to feel all of these emotions, embrace them and go in and pack a lunch and set her backpack out by the door.  For in the morning I have to have a smile on my face and a hug ready to go as I see that big yellow bus round the corner to our street.

My baby is growing up and running I need you.

What are you feeling as your kids head back to school?  What are some first time tips you can share with us kindergarten moms?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Running and Birth....

They say running a marathon is like giving birth.  You often see all of these analogies between the two.  I can’t REALLY say if this is true or not.  I have now given birth 3 times but have yet to run a marathon.  I have however, run a few half marathons and will start training this fall for my first full and can tell you that even in my half marathons I have found some similarities between running and birth.  Heck even in 5ks there are similarities.  So maybe, it shouldn’t be running a marathon is like birth but how running anything is like giving birth.  Whether it be training miles, hill workouts, track workouts, long runs, short runs, 10ks or marathons there most definitely are similarities between the two.

How Running is Like Giving Birth

·        You sweat.  Never will there be any more sweat pouring out of you then there is in the middle of birth or in the middle of pushing your limits and trying for a 5k PR or smashing a hill workout.

·         You swear.  Oh yes, I am a classy lady but give me a hill or around mile 11 in a half marathon and that F word likes to just pop right out.  Likewise, I may have been known to utter it a few times during some intense contractions……
·         You go into it with some anxiousness and trepidation.  Can I do this?  Will I fail?  Will it all be ok?

·         You beg for water or a way to cool yourself down.  I have run a few races where I couldn’t believe that they didn’t have more water stations.  It was hot, we were thirsty, and where was the water?  At the same time you know those lovely people who have houses along the race route who actually know that runners will be hot so they set their hoses and sprinklers out to send a refreshing spray of water?  Yes, those people would totally be appreciated during labor too.  I would have loved to just have been sprayed with cool water in the middle of all the breathing and moaning. 

·         You breathe heavily, yep you do and your breathing technique changes too.  There is no normal breathing.

You want on as little clothing as possible, yes strip down and get to work.

·         You discover that your body can do things you never thought were possible.  You realize that you are stronger than you think and that it doesn’t matter how much pain you may be in, you can indeed finish.

Ii It is all mental.  Getting over the mental blocks is harder than any of the physical exertion.

·         When it is all over the “high” is unbelievable.  You are a super hero and have plans of picking your cape up on the way home.

·         The bling is always so cool!!! (Although race bling tends to sleep through the night and not poop as much)

·         While during you swear you will NEVER EVER EVER UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE do that again, yet you do and you rock it even more the next time J