Stroller Miles and a Family Trip to Maine!

Yesterday, William and I enjoyed some beautiful stroller miles along my favorite running route, courtesy of our BOB. It’s starting to finally feel like spring. The light is changing, the birds are chirping, and my GOD it reached the low 40s yesterday! Woo hoo!

What better way to enjoy some sunshine than to head out for a run along the salt ponds and the beach. It’s been so windy here lately, that it was nice to see the ocean calm and flat for a change (it was also nice not to have to run into the wind!). It’s funny how much William reminds me of my oldest son. They have so many mannerisms in common (you can tell even at 10 months).

Stroller Running Falmouth

My oldest, James, used to LOVE being outside (he still does!). Whenever he would get fussy at night, we would walk him outside and he would immediately calm down. I think William is going to be the same way. He was awake but quiet for the whole three mile run. He actually fell asleep at the end of the run!

Last night we headed up to Portland, Maine to tag along on my husband’s business trip. I LOVE Portland, and I am excited for the boys to fall in love with it too. We are staying at the Portland Regency Hotel & Spa and will hit up the Portland Art Museum and the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine. More on our adventures to follow! :-)

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Spring (Running) Training and Some Exciting News!

I finally feel like I am back in the groove with a regular running schedule. Even though I am not using a GPS watch or GPS running apps, I am enjoying my running more than I have in quite a while! I’m sure it might also have something to do with daylight savings time, more sunshine, and snow melting!

Blueberry Muffins

My regular weekly runs have been just over 3 miles, and I am starting to add a mile each week to my long runs. It’s been so nice to head out the door and just take in the beautiful scenery, without caring about how fast I’m going. Am I still curious about pace sometimes? Of course! But you know what? Right now, I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

I am also SUPER EXCITED to announce that I am an aunt! My niece was born yesterday, and I cannot wait to go see her next month in San Diego. It will be nice to finally have a girl amongst all of these boys! I’m sure she’s going to be one tough chick! :-)

In other news, the kitchen reno is finally nearing completion, and I feel like my sanity is slowly returning with it. There’s a little finishing work left and some painting (that will be done by yours truly and the hubs). It’s so nice to have all of the extra counter space and a gas range! I’ve been spending a lot more time cooking and baking. On that note, here’s a DELICIOUS blueberry muffin recipe I made Sunday (don’t they look scrumptious?!). They’ve been key for a quick breakfast!

 

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Joovy Caboose VaryLight Giveaway!

Let’s start today off right with a HUGE giveaway from Joovy. I wrote about the Joovy Caboose VaryLight a while back–it plays an important role in our stroller brigade! :-) It’s a GREAT stroller if you have a baby and an older child who often gets “tired” while you’re out walking around or running errands. I love how it can shorten or extend too, based on how much storage you need and how much space you have to move around!

Joovy-Caboose-Varylight-side

Joovy-Caboose-Varylight

You can read more about how the Caboose VaryLight grows with your family HERE.

You can enter to win a Joovy Caboose VaryLight by entering via the Rafflecopter widget below (the giveaway will run from Monday at 8 AM CDT and runs through April 6 at 12PM CDT):
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Racing ~ 5 Tips for Developing Mental Toughness

Racing 5 Tips for Developing Mental Toughness

Sometimes you follow your training plan to the letter and you are feeling good, but race day comes, and it just doesn’t come together. Maybe you run out of gas before the finish because you started out too fast, or you just didn’t feel confident in your own abilities. We have all (or at least MOST of us) had a race that we wish we could have done over. No matter how hard you train physically, there is most definitely a strong mental component to racing.

  • VisualizationUsing visualization is a tried and true method for success in running, sports, and so many other activities. In fact, professional athletes and Olympians use visualization regularly. By “watching” your ideal race in your head, you train your brain to fulfill that vision and run your goal race.
  • Relax Your Mind Race Day Morning– While adrenaline and some race day nerves can give you a little pep in your step, they can also psych you out. Anxiety can get the better of you, and when your mind is really tense, your body will follow. Trust your training and take a deep breath before the start of the race. Running relaxed will actually help your form and hopefully help you run a better race!
  • Positive Self Talk– Give yourself a pep talk before the race. Have you ever had a really good coach? What did he/she say to you to get you psyched up for a big game? If it worked, have a similar conversation with yourself. Rather than focusing on self-doubt, tell yourself to trust your training and that “You got this!” :-)
  • Set the Right Goals– Part of being confident at the start of a race is having the right goal. You want to be hungry for your goal, but you also want to make sure that it’s not completely unrealistic. If you run a 10:00 minute mile, you don’t want to start a half marathon hoping to run a 1:25!
  • Focus– Try to tune out all of the other noise around you and keep your eyes on the prize. Having a specific focus will help you use your physical and mental energy to reach your goal, rather than spending it worrying about things that aren’t important on race morning.

How do you stay mentally tough when you’re racing? 

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Stonyfield Love: Smoothies, Chia, and Oh My Yog!

Since we majorly heart Stonyfield in the Morrison household, EVERYONE was excited when this month’s box arrived with some new Stonyfield products including OP (organic protein smoothies), Oh My Yog!, and greek yogurt with chia. The excitement was so great, that the contents of the box were gone by the next day!

My personal favorite was the OP organic protein smoothies. While I love having a protein smoothie, I really don’t like having to take precious time on a busy school morning to make one. The organic protein smoothies were so easy to throw in my purse and drink in the car on the way to school drop off. They have the Stonyfield flavor I love with 15 grams of protein. They currently come in the following flavors: strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate.

Stonyfield OP

The boys loved the greek yogurt and chia. They had never tried chia seeds, so they were very curious about them! I was afraid it would deter them if extolled the health virtues of the chia seed, so I just sat back and observed…they dug in and didn’t come up for air until the yogurt was gone. :-)

greek yogurt with chia

The Oh My Yog is OMG good–a fruit layer, honey-infused whole milk yogurt, and a delectable layer of cream on top. Can it get any better (not for this yogurt lover!)?! The flavors of Oh My Yog! include wild Quebec blueberry, apple cinnamon, gingered pear, orange cranberry, Madagascar vanilla bean, and Pacific Coast strawberry.

oh my yog!

We tested out the gingered pear and Madagascar vanilla bean and give them two enthusiastic thumbs up. If you want to check out some of these new products for yourself, you can find them in Stop and Shop and Whole Foods. You can click HERE to check if they are stocked in your local store.

30 Something Mother Runner is a Stonyfield Yo-Getter (ambassador) and as such, I received free samples of the above products. All opinions and writing are 100% my own.

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30 Something Father Figure ~ Still Winter in New England

I hope everyone who is Irish (or pretends to be Irish once a year!) enjoyed St. Patrick’s Day yesterday. I have a good deal of Irish in me, so while I can be proud of my heritage all year long, I really make it count every March 17th. This year I celebrated by taking the day off… to ski. Of course après-ski involved some Guinness. 

Skis outside at Stratton

I was able to head up to Vermont Monday night with a friend of mine, in order to get a full day of skiing and riding in on Tuesday. I left a sick baby at home with my wife; so I while I battled strong feelings of guilt the whole time, I knew that the little ones were in good hands with her for one night. She knows how crucial skiing is to my well-being, and how badly I need to get more days on the mountain this season.

We had a great day at Stratton. The conditions were typical winter in New England– they changed every hour throughout the day. We woke up to rain, which stopped by the time we took our first run. The fog was so thick on the top half of the mountain that you couldn’t see beyond the chairlift in front of you.

Fog at Stratton

This made for some interesting runs on the uneven snow surface. The snow itself was really nice, except for some sticky patches halfway down the mountain. Nothing keeps you on your toes like the prospect of abruptly slowing down without warning when you’re going about 45 MPH. It’s kind of like riding an escalator that stops and starts randomly, only more fun!

The fog didn’t lift until we finished for the day, although there were times when the sun peeked out.  On our last run, we got pelted with hail! For those of you not lucky enough to experience skiing in hail, it’s like getting hit with a bunch of BB guns while trying not to crash since you’re moving at a high rate of speed. The day ended with a snowstorm to kick off the drive home… followed by clear skies, and wind that pushed cars partly into the other lanes of the highway.

Some people might call me crazy– the fact that I had such a great day despite the “interesting” weather conditions, all while operating on less sleep than normal. To me, “crazy” is wishing away the winter, just to welcome in rain and mud season. I realize I won’t make a lot of friends in Southern New England by talking like this, but I hate to break it to you: the end of winter means that it will still be cold. We’ll just have rain instead of snow.  Maybe we’ll get a few teaser warm days mixed in, you never know. 

skiing at stratton

I will admit that I’m looking forward to getting back on the mountain bike, and playing with the kids in the yard. I signed my almost 5 and 7 year olds up for lacrosse, and I’m volunteering as a coach. The season starts at the end of March, although I’m afraid to see what the conditions of the fields are. I really want to keep the racquetball going, but my schedule at work makes it tough to be consistent with the other guys I play with. 

All in all, I’m happy enough with my efforts to exercise more and get in shape. I felt great even after skiing hard for 20 runs yesterday; but it’s not easy carving out the time to work out in this life that I lead. I think things will get better as our baby gets a bit older, and as the weather warms up. My wife will run outside more and I will mountain bike.  Life goes by too fast to have regrets or make excuses though, so get out there and make it happen! :-)

 

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Bye Bye GPS Watch and Apps (at least for a while)!

After an exhausting weekend (sadly with no running), I had a FABULOUS run yesterday. I wish I could say that the weekend was exhausting for any other reason than having a sick 10 month-old and 4 year-old. Collin had been coughing for a few days and missed school on Friday, but it was William who did us in on Saturday morning.

garmin

The poor baby woke up on Saturday morning having a hard time breathing and barking like a seal—yep, croup! :-( Off to the pediatrician we went, home after a steroid injection and a loaner nebulizer. Thankfully, he is snotty, but on the mend. My much-needed run got me out of the house yesterday for a dose of vitamin D and some beautiful beach views that always perk me up.

I went sans GPS watch or iPhone running app, and I’m committed to running that way for a while. Things have been kind of stressful around here lately, and the last thing I want my runs to do is have me stressed about paces or workout intervals. I have decided to map out the routes in advance (so I know how many miles I’m getting for 10-miler training) and that’s the only thing I’ll be tracking.

I have done this before and I can’t tell you how liberating it is to run without tracking ANY statistics! I love technology, but it’s addictive, invasive, and near impossible to get away from. For a while, my runs are going to be 100% unplugged, and you know what? I am SO looking forward to it! :-) It will be a new kind of challenge. I’m sure I will be curious about paces and where I’m at fitness wise, but I think the mental relaxation will be so worth it!

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Active Life Compression Calf Sleeves Review and Giveaway


Active Life Calf Sleeve The following post is sponsored by The Active Life. You can read a copy of the Disclosure policy for 30 Something Mother Runner HERE I was so excited to find a pair of calf sleeves that work well, but are more cost-effective than some of the other brands out there. I truly believe that you shouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg (pun intended!) to take advantage of the benefits of compression. The Active Life compression calf sleeves are great not only for runners, but for anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet. There are many benefits to using compression–it can be helpful in preventing shin splints in new runners and reducing swelling on long runs. Compression is also great for recovery. After a long run, throw on a pair of compression sleeves or socks and take a nap! :-) I have wear-tested the Active Life compression calf sleeves and find them to be comparable to the other major players in the market. What I think sets them apart is the more affordable price point (right now they are $17.97 on Amazon!) and their 100% satisfaction guarantee–you don’t see that much anymore! If you ever want a refund or replacement, Active Life will grant you one–with no expiration date. Active Life Calf Sleeve GuaranteeActive Life Calf Sleeve Guarantee If you have been considering taking the plunge and trying out compression, I think these would be a great option. They currently come in black in sizes M-L and L-XL. I used the M-L and found the fit to be perfect. They were just the right pressure for me–tight, but not too tight. To make sure you get the right size, you can refer to the chart below: Active Life Calf Sleeves Sizing Chart   I like to wear my calf sleeves for middle distance runs and recovery (compression socks on long runs and cold days). Do you wear compression– for runs or recovery? Make sure to check out the Active Life on Facebook!
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30 Something Mother Runner was compensated for this review. All writing and opinions are 100% my own. 

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30 Something Father Figure ~ Finally Skiing!

I’ve been absent from the blog for a few weeks, but it’s not for lack of activity to report! I finally kicked my ski season into higher gear with back-to-back trips on Sunday and Monday. Skiing is tops on my list of “things worth using a vacation day for.” It’s also worth two day trips in a row from Cape Cod (including one to New Hampshire), and it’s worth the amount of money the resorts rob from you these days.

Game Face Mt. Sunapee

Game Face!

On Sunday I took a trip to NH with a friend of mine. He works the night shift, so if you want to know what dedication to the sport is: he worked until 7 am Sunday, we drove north and skied until 4 pm (with a lunch break for a few Bloody Marys), I drove us back and he went to work that night at 11. He also has no children, so I can call him with little notice and chances are good I’ll have someone to go with.

Monday was a slightly different kind of trip. The whole family hit the slopes for a special event that my wife was invited to at Wachusett Mountain. It was a gorgeous day at Wachusett, and the ownership provided a great experience.  It was truly awesome getting both of my older boys on skis.

Boys Wachusett Mountain

Almost Ready to Get After It!

This was the first time for my 4-year-old, and my 6-year-old hadn’t been for almost 2 years! They were enthusiastic about the skills they learned during their lessons, and I couldn’t wait to head out with them myself.

I love teaching kids how to ski. It can be one of the most frustrating sports to learn, especially if you’re a perfectionist (or a toddler/young child)! Once I’m on skis, I feel like I have a new level of patience that doesn’t exist in any other situation. I try to keep it simple, because you don’t want to over-think things in the beginning – not to mention we’re talking 4 and 6 year olds here… and the most important part of the lesson is to have fun.

After a few runs, my 6-year-old was cruising down the trail by himself. I couldn’t have been more proud [*tear]. My 4-year-old did well too, and we ended by flying down the trail together while he held on to my ski poles for support.

Now that the ski season is entering its second to last month in the Northeast, skiing is all I have on my mind. I need to orchestrate as many trips as possible, working with the following handicaps: 3 children under 7, living 200 miles from the closest decent resort, finishing a kitchen renovation, not having much in the way of discretionary income, and having a busy work schedule.

Father and Son Wachusett Mountain

Fatherhood for the Win

Good thing I have a supportive wife, who knows that I am at my best/happiest when I’m skiing! I’m sure she’ll be fine if I plan a St. Patrick’s Day ski trip next week, as I haven’t taken an actual overnight trip all season. Thankfully my parents are back from their warm weather vacation, because now they can take care of our dog and help with the kids while I get my turns in.

It’s possible they may even come on a trip with us later in the month – that way my wife and I can take some runs together instead of trading off to take care of the baby!

I hope everyone in the northern states enjoys the tease of spring this week, because it’s probably gonna snow again! Actually I will say that it felt fantastic walking around Boston yesterday, it was almost tropical. I’m not ready for spring yet though, so at least that makes one person out of 14.5 million in New England!

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Family Fun at Wachusett Mountain!

We packed up the boys and headed to Wachusett Mountain on Monday for the first time! I had been to Wachusett as a teenager, but this was the first visit as a parent. My husband and I were so pumped to get the boys on skis again, and we arrived to a picture-perfect ski day.

Wachusett Family Ski Day

We’re Here!

The skies were as blue as they could be and the temperature was in the 30s (it felt mild compared to what we have gotten used to this winter!). I love skiing during the week–who wants to deal with weekend crowds?? We breezed into the parking lot and headed in to get the boys signed up for their lessons and rentals.

Wachusett Kids Ski Lessons

James’s Lesson

After heading up to the Spruce Room to connect with Wachusett management and other bloggers/media including Annie, Lollie, Robin and Tamara; we headed next door to get my two older boys rentals and connect them with their ski instructors.

My four year-old participated in Polar Kids and absolutely LOVED it! Wachusett does such a great job getting kids to love skiing and learning to ski. He really enjoyed his instructors–here are the boys talking about their skiing experience:

The Polar Kids skied for a while in the morning, had a snack break, and then headed out again before breaking at lunch time. This is what happens when your child plays hard at Polar Kids (classic from Collin, who will sleep anywhere)! :-)

Asleep in Wachusett Lodget

Passed out in the Spruce Room!

Wachusett Polar Kids

Getting ready to hit the slopes!

Riding the Magic Carpet

Riding the Magic Carpet

My six year-old also loved his lesson. The instructors were great, and both boys had a blast applying their newly learned skills on the mountain in the afternoon! After lunch and learning more about Wachusett Mountain and all they have to offer, we headed back out to the slopes. The weather really was unbelievably nice!

At 3 p.m. everyone met up at the Bullock Lodge for cider donuts from Red Apple Farm. James and I were waylaid making it down an intermediate trail (it took a lot longer than expected!), so we missed the meeting, but we picked up some donuts and fudge for the road home.

30 Something Mother Runner at Wachusett

First time on skis in 8 years

Red Apple Farm Cider Donuts and Fudge

The donuts were AMAZING, as was the cookie dough fudge I tried! I have such a soft spot for family-owned farms, and Red Apple Farm is no exception! We will definitely be heading there to do some apple picking next fall!

We had an all around fantastic time skiing at Wachusett–it’s a great mountain to head to for the day with (or without!) the family. It’s a short drive from the Boston metro area, so grab the kids and play hooky to ski on a week day. Instead of bemoaning all of the snow still on the ground, go play in it! It’s been a phenomenal year for snow conditions here in New England– take advantage of it before it melts. :-)

To learn more about Wachusett’s learn to ski packages, click HERE. There is something for everyone, regardless of age!

3o Something Mother Runner received a free lift ticket and lunch at Wachusett Mountain. All opinions and writing are 100% my own. 

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