Tuesday, August 19, 2014

EveryMove App

EveryMove on my phone

I've been meaning to write a post about a new app I downloaded for a while now. I was reading a lot of posts about EveryMove through the SweatPink community, including local runner Darlene's recent blog post, and I was curious. I'm a sucker for stats and logging things and I'm also pretty cheap. With EveryMove you earn points for activities that you do--from house cleaning to playing with kidto running--and those points earn you discounts off various things you can buy or charities you can raise money for. So far I've gotten really nice socks, a beach bag that I LOVE and would not have bought otherwise, a discount on EnergyBits, and donated money to cancer research. I downloaded the app on my phone, but I also use it through its web interface on my iPad and computer.

I love that all of your activities count not just the traditional exercise. Biking in the driveway, swimming  in my pool, vacuuming the floors all get points. Not as much as a long run, but it still counts. It's a good reminder that you can stay active throughout the day without formal exercise. If you have a device that measures your activity and you sync it to EveryMove you get extra points. My beloved Bia watch isn't included yet, but MapMyRun is. So I run with my beloved Bia, it automatically uploads to MayMyRun which then automatically syncs to EveryMove. I've suggested they add Bia so I can eliminate the middle man, but it's working for now.

I also synced my Moves App from my phone but I stopped using it after just a couple of days. It registered a stroller run as biking and my biking as walking and it ate up too much of my battery life. I'm not interested in getting another tracker… my beloved Bia (yes, that's what I call it) tracks my running and biking (and swimming too!) and I really don't need to know how many steps I take food shopping. When Apple releases their new phone and tracker I might be singing a different tune… but for now I'm just manually adding my non-run activities. I would love a sleep tracker though because I can't remember the last time I slept a whole night even though my kids do all the time.

In addition to earning points and discounts, you can also have friends on EveryMove and see their activities as well. You can give points to them and they can give points to you and there's a leaderboard so you can have friendly competition to see who is the most active. It's a great way to motivate yourself to move. If you're on EveryMove, be my friend! I'm pretty generous with the points.

I was not compensated in any way for this post. I downloaded the free app on my own and these are my honest opinions. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

2014 Clove Run

It's a good thing I'm not stressing out about races anymore since I didn't do nearly as well as I have in the past. I started out just a wee bit too fast for me, totally unsurprising because the race was pretty small this year, and I hoped I could keep it up, but I didn't. I tried to surge a couple of times but I kinda just didn't have it in me. My right heel has been bothering me a bit so it may have been that, but really I think I just petered out. We finished in 28:56.

Side by side


I kinda don't care.

The entire time I ran Vader was by my side. We finished at exactly the same time, but because of age groups and gender differences he wound up with a 2nd place medal! I ran the 1 mile with the Princess before the 5K and that was fun… and long. My mother was there to watch us, as well as my MIL who always volunteers for the race so it was a real family affair.

 Finishing the 1 mile.

We finished in time to get back home so I could cheer my friends on. A couple we saw as we were driving, but we pulled in the driveway just as Sara was coming so I hopped out and was able to give her a high-five. When I was confident my friends had passed I got back in the car and drove back to the start so I could watch them cross the finish line. I am so used to taking pictures on my iPhone though that I screwed up with my camera and instead of hitting the picture I button I turned the damn thing off. So I have very few pictures. But I saw them cross in real life, so that's good. All but Mr. Speedy himself who finished the 10 mile race in 1:03 (I think) and took home 3rd place!

Me, Sara & Melissa.
Sara & Melissa had just finished 6 miles before running the 10! 

Afterwards we took advantage of my mother visiting and Vader and I went out to dinner and a movie (Guardians of the Galaxy in 3D) to celebrate our anniversary a day early. I also decided to check out a new-to-me store at the mall--Track & Trail--and was able to score not one but TWO new pairs of running shoes. My Merrell Dash Gloves are still in good shape but the bottom of them (Vibram soles) are starting to look worn in places. The treads are smoothed over. Since I have nearly 1000 miles on them I thought I could use a new pair. Minimals are great because you don't have to replace them every 300-400 miles, but you can't wear them forever either. I got an updated Dash Gloves pair that I couldn't find online and I also splurged and got the Bare Access Arc 3 for my long runs. It's still minimal with a 0 heel drop but it has a slight bit more cushioning that I hope will be good for my long runs. I kind of forgot that last year when I was training for the half I had to wear the ankle brace which meant I had to wear my thicker Mizunos. So maybe my feet just need a tiny bit more cushioning for those long runs and that's why my heel is starting to irritate me. Let's hope, because I am not prepared for the alternative (I'm not even thinking the PF word!).

Thursday, August 14, 2014

2014 Clove Run race goals… or lack thereof

Well, as I feared August has not been going well in the running department. I have failed to get up even once… and then the day gets past me and before I know it it's bedtime and I'm wiped. I've spent a good part of this week doing major straightening up/reorganizing of the kids' rooms and our playroom. I feel good that it's done, but scared that it will be undone in the 3 weeks left before school. It was supposed to be a light running week anyway because I've got a race on Saturday.

I'm running the Clove Run 5K again. The last time I ran the 5K I got my PR. Last year I ran the 10 mile but there's just something about the 5K that brings me back. I love running in my community. So I'm back with the 5K but this time I won't be running alone.

I'm starting with the 1 mile fun race with the Princess again. SkyWalker decided he just didn't want to do it and I decided I wasn't going to push him.

I'll be doing the 5K with Vader with certain guidelines. He cannot pass me. But I don't have to wait for him (ha!). He's so much faster but he's concerned about his old man knees. So while he's got the speed, I've got the endurance. We might match each other. In any event, we're starting together and finishing together. I would like to run faster than my last race, I would love to run faster than my overall PR. But honestly and truly, I am not pressuring myself about time. I want to enjoy running our first race together. I'm planning on coming back home after so I can cheer the 10 milers and then going back to the finish so I can cheer them there. It's going to be a race against time to do all of it for sure!

I've been doing my speed work at the track and prior to the last couple of weeks I've been running pretty consistently, so I think I'll do ok. I may have not run at all this week but I am prepared:

Runner Girl Jamberry Nails. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

July stats


July was the best. It wasn't my highest mileage ever, but all but 2 runs were outside and that is just awesome. My long runs are getting longer and now the difficulty will be getting my mid week runs longer with no camp to rely on. I think I'm going to have to get up early… sigh.

Stats: 

July:

Mileage: 75.1
Runs: 16 
Cross training: 2, but lots of swimming, biking and playing with the kids. 

For comparison's sake, last July was 56.1. Hopefully August won't take a nose dive. 


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The All in One Post

This summer has been a whirlwind of activity and not much blogging. I have around 3 or 4 in my head but they never make it here. 

Running:

Running has been so so nice. My last treadmill run was on July 3. Every single run since then has been outside. Either someone has been home to watch the kids or I've only had LightRunner so we do a stroller run. Once a week I take them all to the high school track and they have a picnic snack while I do speedwork. I paid a kid to watch them and make sure they don't choke but I'm not sure I even really need to. I have done no official cross training, no routines, but I have done a lot of swimming and biking in the driveway and those stroller runs are not easy. I think they definitely count as strength training too! The only downside is that I don't run with my friends anymore and I definitely miss that… but getting up at 4:30 when I can just do a stroller run later is just too hard… 

Camp:

Camp has been so so nice. The kids love it. They see their friends, they've gone on great field trips, they have time away from me and each other. Sometimes the rest of the day can be a bit grouchy but not often. Usually they play with each other pretty well since they haven't been bugging each other all day long. I thought I would be so productive while they were at camp… but it hasn't turned out that way. I did go through the papers on the floor of my office, but for the most part I have been running, reading and enjoying the silence during nap time. I don't regret one single thing. I've seen friends, played one-on-one with LightRunner, and gotten a taste of what next school year will bring. 

Kids: 

LightRunner is now 2 and while he is embracing it wholeheartedly, he is still my happy funny little guy. He wants to be independent but he can't be and that frustrates him. Luckily he is more willing to let his older siblings help him than me. SkyWalker buckles him the car, puts on his shoes, gets him out of the crib when he's home, and today he got him dressed. When I let them watch TV LightRunner sits on SkyWalker's lap and snuggles up. Joy. SkyWalker has been so helpful and I will be sad when he goes back to school. He's gotten so old and mature, but he has recently discovered his love of trains and cars again and has no problem getting down and playing with LightRunner. He is a natural big brother. The Princess is still a bit crazy and we butt heads quite a bit but when she's good, she's really good. She takes care of Chewie and LightRunner. LightRunner loves her and is constantly calling for her and looking for her. Chewie is doing great at camp and I have no worries about her going to kindergarten. She's going to get on that bus with a huge smile on her face ready to conquer the world. 

I'm not quite sure how August will go. The idea of the treadmill makes me cry… but so does the idea of getting up in the wee hours of the morning. But I want to do lots of fun things with them before summer is over so I'm going to have to figure something out. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

39

I turned 39 on Sunday. My last year in my 30's. I am totally fine with it. 

We celebrated on Saturday by going to a local lake and watching Vader fish for far too long and then finally we were able to swim. We brought a little grill and had hamburgers and hot dogs and lots of unhealthy potato chips and cheese doodles. I soaked up the sun and it was awesome (on the beach. Dealing with a bored cranky toddler watching Daddy fish was less fun.) We went home and quickly showered and then went back out for dinner. We wanted to go to the same Tiki Bar place we went to last year but it was closed, so we went to another favorite of ours instead. I had my birthday cheesecake but the restaurant didn't have ice cream for the kids. Vader suggested we stop and get ice cream someplace else and when we all stopped gaping in surprise we agreed. It was a late night but it was worth it. 

I started out Sunday with a long slow hot run. Well, actually I started out Sunday taking care of breakfast for everyone since Vader was already outside mowing. Then I went on a long slow hot run. I've been running down to the park so I can go to the bathroom and see the river and break up the monotony a little bit. I did 7.8 because it was 3.9 x 2 and I didn't feel like running 39 miles (or just 3.9). I didn't care about time or pace or anything, I just ran (and walked up my monster hill).  



The girls and I had a birthday party to go to at a local minor league baseball game in the late afternoon, so I got to have pizza and cake on my birthday. Even better, I got to see some of my closest friends. Win-win for me! 

Melissa, Sara, Jen & me. Tracy is off vacationing somewhere. The nerve. 
I know a lot of people get upset at turning 40, but I say "bring it." I wouldn't go back to being a teenager or in my 20s for anything in the world. I am in better shape, more active, healthier, my family is complete, I have awesome friends, I don't have a job getting in the way of my life. I'm going to make 39 my best year ever… until I hit 40.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

June: lasts, kids, & stats

June is always such a crazy busy month. Field trips, field day, flag day, last parties, early dismissals, birthdays. This one was no exception. Chewie turned 5 in the beginning of the month and we celebrated by getting her ears pierced and having lunch at Dave & Busters and swimming in our new pool and Mommy not running. Oh well. The girls will be having a joint birthday pool party next week to continue the fun. We also went to another 30th birthday party just to make me feel even older. 

Chewie graduated from preschool and had her last gymnastics class (I don't do it once they're in school). I'm not planning on putting LightRunner in gymnastics, partly to save some money next year, but also because if I'm going to put him in anything it will be basketball. He truly loves it and I think he could do really well. I don't think there are any programs for 2 year olds though. Chewie also had her last speech session and that was actually a bit sadder than her preschool graduation. She doesn't need any services over the summer and when she is in kindergarten she will have what SkyWalker did--speech correction once a week. The speech teacher there thinks she probably won't need it for long but after a summer of nothing and with kindergarten so demanding these days, I wanted to make sure someone was keeping an eye on her at school. She is doing SO much better and I would hate for her to lose her progress because they have kindergarteners doing advanced calculus now. 

LightRunner will be two in 18 days and is less and less baby-like and more big-boy like every day. It is bittersweet. I eagerly look forward to not changing diapers (10 years is a long time) but he is my last. He plays with cars all the time and says "weeerrrr" and we could probably get rid of all the baby toys we have. He repeats nearly everything we say and calls me "Mama" and sometimes makes me want to have another one. But I don't want to jump the shark. I'd rather end on a high note. He is definitely embracing two and likes to make things difficult sometimes but knows when to use his dimples. I had to stop giving him big boy cups--not because he couldn't drink out of them but because he is a thrower. He intentionally throws his cups of milk across the room and I couldn't stand it anymore. So we're back to sippy cups until he can control himself. 

SkyWalker is at basketball camp and will soon be taller than me. He survived 4th grade and pulled it together at the end. His grades in each subject in his last report card went up (except social studies which stayed at 98). He got above 90 in everything and really worked much harder than in the middle of the year. I hope this means 5th grade won't be so tumultuous. 

The Princess had an awesome report card and once again got S+ in Art. She's a hard worker in everything and likes to teach Chewie things. She's slightly less batshit crazy, although yesterday she told me sometimes she gets angry for no reason and then she just has to stretch it out. Oookay. I need to get her running longer distances. 

They are all going to camp for the next 4 weeks. It was hard for me to fill out the paperwork and actually do it this year, but I am telling myself that it's not babysitting, it's an opportunity for them to all have fun without each other and without me and to do new things. It'll be good for Chewie to make friends with kids going to kindergarten. It'll be good for me to have some time to get boring stuff done (filling/trashing all the paperwork on my office floor!) and to do some stroller runs and have some one on one time with LightRunner. I can't send them everyday because I am odd, but I'm planning on sending them 3 times a week. I wish I could be one of those moms that just says "See ya" and ships her kids off here and there, but I'm not. Even if they drive me crazy, I'll take that crazy over anything else in the world. 

I've probably gone over my break time and I still have 3 book reviews to write. 

Stats:

Miles: 43.8
Runs: 9
Races: 0
Cross training days: 6 (not including swimming!)

Not my best mileage month, but not my worst. Last June was 28.4 miles!! I've got my half-marathon training plan on the fridge so I should start seeing that mileage go back up.