Non-Toy Gifts for the Holidays

I am back from Philadelphia and will be sharing my GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon race recap tomorrow. There was too much fun to write about for me to get it done this morning! 

Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Kids

There gets to be a point when you realize your children have WAY too many toys! We were at that point a while ago! This year, I am asking family to consider non-toy gifts for the boys. Recently I took some of the toys that aren’t played with any more to our local swap shop. I also removed some from the current rotation and put them in the garage. I can’t wait to swap them out again in the future, and they will seem new again!

There are so many other non-toy things you can give as gifts (along with a few small token toys). Here are some of the ideas I came up with:… 

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Headed to the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon!

Tomorrow I will be headed to Philadelphia with my husband and William for the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon! It’s going to be a whirlwind trip–we arrive in Philadelphia at 3:00 p.m. and leave at 3:00 p.m. the next day after the race! After touching down in Philly, we will head to the expo to pick up my number and then back to the hotel before a team Gore-tex dinner!

Gore Tex Philadelphia Marathon

I am also excited to get to meet up with my BFF and her family for a quick brunch after the race before we head home! I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little apprehensive about how this race is going to turn out. While it was originally slated to be my PR race, I had a toenail surgically removed a month ago and had to take a bunch of time off and my stepfather passed away last week. It hasn’t been a really productive training cycle here, but I’m okay with it. Sometimes life gets in the way of running and that’s just it.

I really have no expectations about time for this one – just to finish and not seriously injure the brand new toenail that is finally coming through! :-) I know that I will think of my stepdad, John, every step of the way. He was born in Philadelphia, so I will be treading through his hometown, and he will never be far from my thoughts. His strength and never quit attitude have always been a tremendous source of inspiration. I can hear his voice in my head, saying “Don’t worry about it!” I am trying hard to heed the advice I know he would give me!

Are you running in Philly? If so, stop by the Gore-tex booth at the expo!

Gore-tex provided 30 Something Mother Runner with travel to the Gore-tex Philadelphia Marathon, lodging, and a complimentary race entry. All opinions and writing are 100% my own. 

 

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5 Popular Speed Workouts

5 Popular Speed Workouts

Today’s post is a round up of 5 of my most popular articles on different types of speed workouts. Even though most of us are done (or about to be done!) with the racing season, it doesn’t mean we don’t want to sneak in a little speed here and there to keep our feet fast! Check out the following articles for some inspiration for your next workout:

What’s YOUR favorite speed workout? 

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Hostess Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season!

Since Thanksgiving (and Christmas- gasp!) are not too far off, it’s time to start thinking about holiday parties and hostess gifts! Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I love to bring a small gift to a get together during the holiday season.

My mother always brought a small hostess item, and she put together the cutest little gifts. They didn’t cost a lot, but they were so festive and beautiful. With all of the cute DIY decorative materials available at Michaels and machines like the Cricut and Silhouette, the possibilities are endless!

Holiday Hostess Gift Ideas

I thought I would put together a list of great hostess gifts to bring to a holiday get together. I love dish towels–above is a picture of three beautiful towels I purchased from Zazzle. There were endless options, and you can even create your own design! Dish towels are a very functional hostess gift that you can even match to your guest’s kitchen. They also make great little stocking stuffers! There were so many different gift ideas at Zazzle–it was hard to choose! So, here are some hostess gift ideas to get you started!… 

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Saying Goodbye to John Maloy…

This past week we had to say goodbye to John (my stepfather–  he and my mom never married, but I consider him a stepdad), after his long battle with melanoma. Defying all expectations at his diagnosis, he made it just shy of 5 years. I feel so blessed to have had him in my life for the past fourteen years, and I miss him so much already. There are so many things every day that remind me of him…

John Maloy

I will remember how he always said that “For every problem, there’s a solution.” He was never one to sweat the small stuff, always making the rest of us feel at ease during difficult times. I can never remember seeing him angry; he just took everything in stride.

I will remember that he always considered himself blessed to be alive. Even when he was at the end of his journey, he would remark about all of the things he had to be thankful for in life.

I will remember his “never quit” attitude. He never gave in to cancer, even until the end. He always looked for the silver lining at his appointments, refusing to believe that his illness would be terminal.

I will remember his quiet generosity. He went out of his way to help so many people, whether it was as a teacher or at his tennis club. Many people never knew how much he did for others. He didn’t do it for acknowledgement, but because it was the right thing to do.

I will remember his sense of humor. He never lost his sense of humor either. He jokingly referred to himself as the Godfather, as everyone from different parts of life came to visit him at the end. He was always quick to offer a witty remark.

I will remember his tremendous ability to teach. As a fourth grade teacher, he was often given the most difficult students, because he was the only one who could get through to them. Years later they remembered John as a light in their educational journey.

I will remember his infectious smile and piercing blue eyes.

I will remember how much he loved and appreciated my mother. After a difficult divorce, my Mom met John and he treated her like a queen. It made me so happy to see how much he loved her and appreciated everything she had to offer. They had so much fun in their years together, whether on the tennis court or off.

I will remember John and how much he loved his little dog Mickey. It was so funny to see the two of them riding around in his convertible. The girls at the bank used to smile and laugh every time they came through the bank’s drive through! They were a dynamic duo, with each missing the other every time they were apart.

I will remember him as a father figure, always there to talk to and help you figure out what to do. I will miss you so much John. I think of you every day, and I hope that you are up in heaven on the tennis court, doing what you loved most. I know that we will have a guardian angel up there looking out for us, urging us to not sweat the small stuff and enjoy living in the moment….Rest in peace…

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Urbini Avi Jogger Review

There is another new entry into the jogging stroller market– the Urbini Avi Jogger. This new jogging stroller is sold exclusively at Walmart, and it’s a great alternative to some of the pricier jogging stroller models. The Urbini Avi is just $199.00! There are a lot of things I like about this jogging stroller, most importantly that you can quickly fold it with just one hand– HUGE selling point in my book! It also stays upright and in place when folded (something I have had an issue with on other strollers).

Urbini Avi Jogger Side View Close up

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The Reverse Taper – Returning to Running after the Marathon

The fall marathon season is pretty much over at this point, and many marathoners are starting to think about getting back into their regular training schedule. How do you do it? The answer is a reverse taper. Just as you tapered your mileage for a few weeks preceding the marathon, you will do the same thing as you ease back into your training schedule.

Reverse Taper After Marathon

Reverse tapering is crucial to preventing injury when coming back from a marathon. Your body has just completing a very grueling physical challenge, and it needs time to recover! I’m going to put a disclaimer here–everyone is different, so listen to your body as you get back into running. Some runners bounce back faster than others. If your body is telling you to slow down and rest more, listen to it! ;-)

The general idea is to use the same formula that you used to taper before the marathon, but do it backwards. After three to four weeks (however long your taper was), you would ideally be back at a normal training volume. You can find some sample reverse taper plans for the half marathon and marathon HERE. Make sure you take good care of your overall health when reverse tapering, just like you did while tapering. Take naps if needed, rest, get a massage, make sure you are sleeping well, etc. If you follow these general rules, you body should start feeling back to normal in a few weeks. Just don’t forget to go down the stairs backwards! ;-)

 

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Heart Rate Training and the Maffetone Method

If you haven’t already signed up for my monthly Training Tips Newsletter, you can do so HERE. Inside you will find tips on gear, nutrition, training, and any sweet discounts I get from running companies! :-) When you sign up, you will automatically receive my 10 Tips for Staying Injury-Free! 

Heart Rate Training and Maffetone Method

I mentioned in Monday’s post that I was going to start working on heart rate training, using the Maffetone Method (named for its creator, Phil Maffetone). Why? Well, quite simply– I am sick of feeling like I’m overtraining. The nagging, niggling injuries pop up, you feel drained instead of energized, you know the drill. I know everybody’s body is different, but mine is just telling me I need to slow down and rebuild from the ground up. I am sure having child number 3 in May didn’t help! ;-) … 

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We’re Headed to Disney World!

I cannot WAIT for our vacation next week! We are headed back to Disney World for a quick 3 night, 4 day vacation. After this weekend’s Nor’easter, I am definitely ready for a few days of warmer weather!! We actually got our first snowflakes of the season yesterday. An early Nor’easter came in with lots of rain and howling winds that gusted up to 60 mph. There were power outages nearby and lots of branches and items tossed about.

Mickey Mouse Luggage Tag

The temperature plummeted over Saturday night into Sunday, and we woke up to temps in the 30s, with “feels like” temps in the upper 20s! Yikes–the heat went on! But back to Florida, we leave next week for some sunshine and Disney fun. We are staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort. I am so excited to hit up the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and for the first time, the Animal Kingdom…. 

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Lots of Shrieking and Squealing with the Wubble Bubble Ball!

Last week the boys had the opportunity to test out the Wubble Bubble ball, and all I can say is that all of the excitement and squealing was contagious! It started as they ripped open the box and discovered that the ball would be 3ft in diameter by the time it was all pumped up! The Wubble Bubble comes with a pump to inflate it, and it takes about 2 minutes to fully inflate. The pump required 4 D batteries (not included in the package). You can use the same pump to deflate the ball for storage.

Wubble Bubble Ball

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