Sunday, May 31, 2015

12 Tips for a Safe & Stress-Free Stroller Run! #StrollerRun15

Being a stay at home mom, there are many days that it can be really difficult to get a workout in. I often take advantage of nap time for a quick yoga session or HIIT, but some days there are other chores/errands/etcetera that need to be done during that time. I'm thankful enough that I was generously gifted a wonderful jogging stroller and I LOVE IT!

It's so convenient being able to pop our toddler in and go. We both love being able to get some fresh air, it can lull him to sleep if need be, stimulates his senses, allows me to get a good sweat session in and allows each of us to zen out for a bit. I'm thankful that he really digs being in his stroller (the faster we run, the better), but there are definitely steps that I take that can make it much smoother of a run.

Below are a few tips for making your stroller runs smooth and tear-free!
  1. SNACKS! - I always make sure to have snacks on hand for our son. If he starts to get a little antsy, giving him some yummy fish crackers, fruit or raisins to nosh on can completely allow me to get another mile or two in. 
  2. DRINKS! - Make sure to pack drinks for both of you! A lot of the time I'm so busy getting his stuff together, that I forget my own drink. DOh! There's been a time or two where his sippy cup definitely came in handy for me as well. Lol. 
  3. DRESS APPROPRIATE - I get super hot quickly, so I always wear lots of layers. Make sure to do the same for your kiddo. Remember, while you might be hot, your child could be cooler since he's not expending very much energy while sitting there are you run (plus the wind from movement can add a chill). I always keep a light blanket in his stroller for additional warmth or sun coverage. A hat to shield your child's face is a must too for sunny days. Don't forget bright colors and reflectors on clothing as well. 
  4. SUNSCREEN - Use it and use it liberally. I always lather both of us up a half hour before heading out the door to make sure to have full protection. 
  5. ID - Always carry ID. You never know when you might need it or in case of emergency. I usually keep $10 in my stroller too, just in case.
  6. ATTACHED TOYS - We have toys that are always in the stroller and attached via links. No one wants to have to backtrack when a favorite toy is thrown out and also it prevents potential trips and falls. 
  7. WRIST STRAP! - I cannot stress this enough, use the wrist strap that comes with your jogging stroller. If you don't have one, get one ASAP. Using the straps ensures that if you were to fall or lose grip of the stroller that you child and stroller don't go flying down a hill, ravine, into water and so on. I've read tragic stories of parents losing control of strollers with dire consequences. It's not worth it and gives you additional peace of mind. This story solidified it for me. PLEASE, use one. Accidents happen.  
  8. BRAKES/LEVERS - If you need to stop, use the back brakes or levers so that the stroller doesn't roll off with your precious cargo.
  9. RUNNING FORM - Be aware of your running form. It can take some time and practice to get used to running with a stroller. Your gait changes and arms are actively being used. Run tall, don't slouch and alternate what arm you use to hold the handle.
  10. SCHEDULE WISELY - Don't go during your child's fussy times (before meals, while tired unless you want them to nap while you run). 
  11. 5 POINT HARNESS - I highly recommend a stroller with a 5 point harness. They protect your child better in case of a quick stop.
  12. AGE - Be aware of what age is safe for your child to ride in a jogging stroller. Most professionals warn against jogging with a stroller before 6 months of age (some even 12 months). While young, their neck muscles are not strong enough to support their heads and for the potential jarring motions during a run.
May 31st, is National Stroller Running Day! If you don't have a jogging stroller and are looking to purchase one, now is a great time to do so since many companies (BOB gear definitely is and their strollers rock!) are offering amazing promotions in celebration. 

For more information on National Stroller Running Day check out Moms Little Running Buddy! Also, be sure to tag your photos on Instagram with #StrollerRun15

Do you plan on getting out and running this National Stroller Running Day? 
Do you have tips for a great stroller run? 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Surprise Yoga Love Swag from Lululemon...My Lucky Day!

I feel like this week has been a mini Christmas with all the goodies that have shown up at my house. I've recently signed up with a few blogger ambassador programs and cannot believe the generosity of the companies and the awesome products they have sent. You guys will likely hear about a lot of these products in the upcoming weeks but today I just wanted to send a special shout out to Lululemon and their awesome social media team.

As some of you know, I'm a pretty avid Twitter user (say hi!) and often use the platform to get ideas and recommendations on products. I randomly tweeted out to the twitter-sphere asking for recommendations on a new yoga mat since I've been looking to upgrade now that my practice has become more serious. Several minutes later I receive this response from Lululemon:

Definitely intrigued, I quickly respond to be asked for my size, address and being told I was receiving a surprise! Not even 24 hours later, these beauties showed up on my doorstep:

Love the colors!
Sticky & it so far! 
LOVE! This was the exact mat I had been looking at as it's suppose to be a great option for hot yoga since it's extra sticky and absorbs sweat (I'm laying in a puddle after being in class 30 minutes). I can't wait to give this a try next week at class and have already had a few short practice sessions on my own at home. I'll definitely let you know what I think after a few classes. The shirt is super comfy too. Loose, breathable and will be fabulous for yoga or long runs this hot summer.

I just thought it was a pretty amazing response from what seems to be a pretty cool company and I'm definitely feeling pretty lucky and grateful. They've definitely caught my attention as a consumer and I'll remember them more in the future for athletic purchases.

A little deck yoga action for the #MayIBeginYoga2015 challenge
Even little man is into it. 
The giving spirit caught after this too. I had a large bag of clothes that I had been meaning to sell (through online facebook re-sell groups), but decided I'd give them away instead since I've received some great goodies lately. Feels good to clean house and help some others out as well.

This is in no way sponsored...just my personal experience and wanting to share what I consider an awesome surprise. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

E-Cloth Eye Cleansing Pad Review & Giveaway!

E-cloth was wonderful enough to provide me with their eye cleansing pad to review AND host a giveaway to my readers as well.

The e-cloth Cleansing Pad has soft, fine weave fibers that gently removes eye makeup from your eye area without being harsh, intense scrubbing or with the use of other chemicals. Interaction of the super fine cleansing fibers paired with a a little soap and water provides a rich lather that easily removes makeup, oil and other impurities from your skin. And one of the best parts? No harsh chemicals are used!!
Soft and finely woven fibers provide a rich lather and gentle cleanse. 

I'll be honest, when I first received this product I was skeptical that it would work well. I wear a lot of eye makeup, including under eye concealer, mascara, eye liner and eye shadow. When I first opened the product I was impressed by how soft the material was as I'm used to using a more rough washcloth to wash my face to remove all my makeup. I first used it with water and was surprised how much makeup it was able to remove without the use of a cleanser. I added a small amount of cleanser to remove the remaining makeup and it easily came off without having to scrub hard. I definitely loved that I didn't have to rub vigorously (much less irritation and redness) to remove eye makeup, as I usually do with a washcloth and that I didn't have to use additional makeup removers or disposable cleansing wipes. I felt like my eyes were cleaner than they normally get and had no residue makeup leftover.

Another great thing about this product is that it's reusable. It can be washed in hot water with detergent alongside your other laundry for up to 300 washes so there is also less waste (compared to disposable wipes) and a more economical option.

If interested in learning more follow them on their social media outlets below and be sure to sign up for their email list for special promotions.

  Twitter: @eclothUSA
  Instagram: @eclothUSA

To win one for yourself (or as a gift), follow the prompts below (US residents only):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I did receive this product complimentary, however I do give my honest opinion - the good, the bad, and the fabulous.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Running season has begun! Tri to Finish's Cinco de Mayo 5k & 10k run race recap!

This Saturday was our first 5k of the year and it was a perfect day to start the season! We woke up to a bright and warm morning (which has been an oddity here until recently), got ready, dropped the kiddo off at his grandparents and made our way to Flint to Swartz Creek Golf Course to pick up our bib and race swag for the Tri To Finish Cinco de Mayo 5k.

Registration went quick and I loved this years shirts too! Soft cotton blend and a women's fit so this is a shirt I'll most likely be wearing pretty often. Anymore, my "mom" wardrobe consists of race shirts and tanks. Lol. We also received sombreros, a few product samples in the race bag and Redbox vouchers (perfect for lazy evenings after race days). I also ran into an old college friend, who was working on the timing of the race, so it was nice to catch up real quick.

Once we were all set we headed to the starting line, which was about a 1/4 walk (a nice warm-up) and got our positions. Ryan and I were both feeling a bit sluggish that morning (no coffee!) so we were trying to amp ourselves up for the run since we both wanted to at least beat our times from last year and I really wanted to place in my age bracket. I don't think that either of us were feeling super confident going into the race since we hadn't really ran all that much the past month (all my runs had been short or easy runs since it was before or after yoga). We made our way to the front of the crowd since we didn't want to get stuck behind walkers and having to dodge our way through. We joked that this would be the first time in our lives that we'd ever be following the lead bike.

The race began and we both worked into getting into our cadence. Ryan darted ahead (wayyyy faster than me) and I paced myself with a girl that looked like she was in my age group. I'm terrible with pacing myself so I always look for another racer to follow and hopefully surpass (anyone else do this?). The race course is an out and back and is full of a ton of climbs and declines and through a residential neighborhood and it's actually part of the CRIM course (you pass the 7 mile marker on the course). Hilly courses are my favorite, despite the fact that they kill me. I felt pretty good until mile 2 when i started getting stitches and had to walk a few seconds. :(  I came around the final bend and saw that I was going to be cutting it close to the 27 minute mark and just missed it (darn those stitches!)! Oh well, I was still pumped about my finish since I hadn't trained much and it was fast than prior races.

One of the things I love the most about this race is that everyone get's finisher medals. I'm always really bummed when I find out that a race doesn't give a medal. Also, everyone gets race photos too,  without paying for them and the normal ridiculous photo fees! There was also an after-party with Mexican breakfast foods (eggs & chorizo, beans, tortillas, bananas, apples, etc) from Rico's. I love the atmosphere at the Tri to Finish races. It's always a super friendly, happy and supportive group/community of runners, organizers and volunteers. I actually ended up exchanging info with the runner I was pacing so hopefully we can get together for some runs/races in the future as well.

Post-race glow

Refueling with some mexican food!
Once we checked results, we found out that Ryan & I both placed first in our age groups! That was a first for both of us! I finished the 5k in 27:01 (1st place in 30-34 year group and 18/198 overall) and Ryan finished in 23:48 (1st in 25-29 age group and 8/198 overall --- I'm totally jealous of his pace!). It was definitely a great way to start the running season!

Speed demon!

Both gals were great! Third place ran the whole thing with her baby in a
 jogging stroller too (a tough run on that hilly course)!

Did you have any races this weekend or coming up soon?