Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chilly Challenge 2013

Are you already struggling to keep up with your exercise routine due to the cold weather? Would you like a fun way to stay motivated through the cold month of January? Whether you run, walk, or elliptical, Janine at The Purple Giraffe and I have the answer to keep you moving through your winter blues.

What is it? The Chilly Challenge is a friendly team competition to see how many miles you can log in a month. The team that completes the most miles during the month of January wins the competition. All members of the winning team will be automatically entered to win prizes from some of our favorite companies!

So, what do you do?
  1. Pick a Team: It’s a competition. Are you Team Running Escapades or Team Purple Giraffe? (You can read our bios at the end of this post) To pick your team, visit the Chilly Challenge spreadsheet and sign up. Then get ready to log as many miles as you can! 
  2. Run: On January 1, start logging those miles: run, walk, or elliptical. 
  3. Report: After you get nice and sweaty, log your miles on the Chilly Challenge spreadsheet. If you are on Facebook, join the Chilly Challenge 2013 group to find motivation. If you use Twitter, encourage your teammates by using hashtag #ChillyChallenge #TeamEscapades or #TeamGiraffe 
  4. Tell Your Friends: The more peeps you get to join your team, the better chance you have of winning! Recruit, recruit, recruit! Tweet it, Facebook it, blog it, stand on the corner holding a sign! Be sure to tell your friends which team to join, ehem ;)
What do you get for all this hard work?
  1. Moving: What can be better than that? Oh, maybe the waves of happy endorphins cruising through your body.
  2. Motivation: When it's cold and dark, it's hard to stay on track. That's where we come in. Your team will help keep you going because they really, really want to win!
  3. Your Best Happy Self: At then end of the competition, you will be fitter, stronger, and healthier. How can that not make you happy? And you might score a shiny new PR too!
  4. SWAG: Everyone loves prizes and the team with the most miles is eligible to win. We are lucky enough to be sponsored by some of our favorite companies, which means you have the chance to win some great gear just for doing what you always do! Winners will be chosen randomly from the winning team.
Prizes: Here is a list of what our fabulous sponsors have donated to help motivate you through the month of January. BIG thank yous to our awesome sponsors:

(3) Pairs of ProCompression Socks
(5) BIC Bands of varying colors/styles
(3) BIA Technical Shirts
(2) Custom MyRaceRagz Technical Shirts
(1) Aspaeris Pivot Shorts
(4) packs of (2) Sweaty Bands
(1) Whole Foods $25 gift card
(1) Simple Hydration Water Bottle
(1) RockMyRun Three month gold subscription
(3) Sprigs assorted prize packs
(3) hats from Sauce Headwear

So, are you wondering which team you should join?

Meet the Captains:

Team Running Escapades - (aka Amy)
Favorite distance: half marathon
Favorite pre-race meal: pepperoni calzone
Favorite running shoe: Mizunos
Mantra: Keep running! 
What I do when I'm not running: High school teacher
Why you should be on my team: I might not be the fastest or the youngest captain ;) but I have lots of enthusiasm and passion. I promise to keep you motivated and entertained!

Team Purple Giraffe - (aka Janine)
Favorite distance: 5 miler at the moment - training for my first half marathon!
Favorite pre-race meal: bacon pizza
Favorite running shoe: Saucony for the win!
Mantra: Workin' off my ass & toppin' off my glass - everything in moderation...including moderation! 
What I do when I'm not running: For my day job, I'm a Process Expert at a health care company...and I blog at TPG, of course!
Why you should be on my team: I may never win any land speed records while running, but I sure do have fun - running in costumes, running for beer, being a complete goofball- why WOULDN'T you want to be on my team?!

Will you be joining us for #ChillyChallenge 2013?

    Monday, December 3, 2012

    TrainingTruths: Spontaneous Running

    I'm waiting to find out when my next big race will be. If I don't get into the NYC Half Marathon in March, then I will probably run the Half at the Hamptons at the end of February. In the mean time, my weekly runs have been unplanned and spontaneous. We run whatever sounds good. 

    #TrainingTruth: "Running made me feel like a bird let out of a cage, I loved it that much" - Priscilla Welch

    Monday runs have never been a favorite of mine. Maybe it was coming back to work after a weekend that made my runs feel crappy. This was my first Monday run in a loonnngg time and it was MARVELOUS! I really felt like I could fly.

    #TrainingTruth: Hamstrings can be a real pain in the rear.

    I took Anatomy in high school (like a billion years ago), but I had no idea that the knot in my a$$ was actually inflammation of my hamstring muscles, commonly known as high hamstring tendinitis. Luckily Trainer Brian thinks Active Release Therapy combined with daily foam rolling and stretching after runs will put me on the mend.

    #TrainingTruth: A short hill run is just as good as a long hill run.

    Unexpected kid duty changed this run from a long run on a hilly course to a long hill on a short course. I'm not a fan of any kind of hill work, but it does feel good when you get to the top. 

    #TrainingTruth: Maintenance running should include something fun.

    Instead of meeting up for a long run on Saturday, the girls and our families got together for the local Santa Shuffle downtown. This 3 mile run amongst thousands of Santas in the frigid temperatures and snow flurries was a perfect way to kick off the holiday season and have fun with running friends.

    Guess what wasn't cold during that fun run? You got it, my ears! And thanks to Sprigs, Tracey, Jill, and Nancy will also have warm ears this winter! Ladies, I've already sent you an email. Congratulations!

    What does your training look like right now?
    Scheduled or impromptu?

    #TrainingTruths is not just about me. We all like to see what everyone else is doing and use that information to assess ourselves. It's not judgement. It's a way to share and learn and make changes when necessary.

    To participate all you have to do is share your #TrainingTruths:
    1. Tag a Twitter post with the hashtag #TrainingTruths
    2. Comment on the Running Escapades Facebook page 
    3. Leave a link to your own blog post in the comments
    I look forward to reading your #TrainingTruths!

    Friday, November 30, 2012

    Fitness Friday: Holiday Gifts for Runners

    Looking for holiday gift ideas for the runner in your life? I thought I'd put together a simple list of runner items that won't require you to know a lot of details (brand, size, color) and that won't cause you to worry about whether your runner already has one.

    Gift Cards - Runners love to shop for new gear. A gift card to the local running store or sporting goods store is great, but there are also awesome online stores for runners, such as Road Runner Sports, and Running Warehouse. There are also specialty stores that runners generally like to shop online such as Lululemon, Oiselle, and Athleta.  

    Massage and Spa Visits - Reward your runner for all their training efforts with an hour long massage at her/his favorite masseuse, or treat your runner to a manicure/pedicure at the local spa.

    Bling - Bling isn't just about the big medals at the end of the race anymore. Surprise your runner with a pretty necklace or bracelet. You can find some nice selections at Erica Sara Designs, Sporty Girl Jewelry, and some non-traditional safety bling at Road ID

    Books - If your runner is also a reader, think about running books. There are books on running, runners, runner's diets, runner's form, running history, and more. Some popular titles include Born to Run, Mile Markers, Going Long, Sole Sisters, The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life, and Train Like a Mother. You pretty much can't go wrong here.

    Magazines - Buy a subscription to one (or more) of the popular running magazines so your runner can stay up to date with current trends in gear, get training tips, and read advice from experts. Consider Runner's World and Women's Running

    Race Registration - If you know your runner is planning to sign up for a race, gift her/him the registration. Better yet, sign yourself up too and join the fun. You might also consider planning a destination race. I pinned some great ideas here. Just be sure that you are both ready to take on the distance. You can search for races on Active and Cool Running.

    Stocking Stuffer Ideas - Some smaller items that would make great gifts or fit in a stocking include running fuel, like GU, Sport Beans, or small bottles of Gatorade, all of which you can easily get at your local running/sporting goods store. All runners need a good water bottle and Simple Hydration is awesome. There are also cute car magnets for runners and you can never have too many socks. And for your female runner, you can't go wrong with a wrist wallet or some Sweaty Bands

    Running Shoes - Unless you know exactly what pair, color, and size because your favorite runner has been dropping hints left and right, I would avoid picking out a pair of running shoes. Runners are very picky and want to know what's in this kind of box.

    So there you go. A simple runner-friendly gift guide to get you through the holiday season. And remember, it's ok to ask your runner if there is anything she/he is hoping to find gift wrapped this year! 

    What's on your holiday wish list?

    Don't want to wait for the perfect gift that will keep your ears warm? Enter my Sprigs Earbags Giveaway before it's too late! And don't forget, if you place an order, you can use my coupon code Escapades20 for 10% off of orders up to $29.99 or 20% off orders over $30. It expires 12/12/12 at 11:59 PM EST.

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

    Sprigs Earbags GIVEAWAY!

    Saturday's weather reminded me that winter is right around the corner and I need to protect my ears from the cold and wind. Just because Mother Nature hasn't dumped a bunch of snow on us yet, doesn't mean it isn't biting cold out there.

    So this morning as I packed my running bag with my favorite Nike running capris and a warm pullover, I also made sure to include my Sprigs Earbags. I have been using them ever since receiving them to review.

    The afternoon temperatures hovered near 40 degrees, but with the added winds and lack of sunshine, it was chchchchilly

    The run was cold. You can see me hiding my hands in the picture. During the run my lower legs were cold (I should've worn long pants instead of capris), but my Earbags kept my ears nice and warm.

    Now YOU can win a pair of your very own. Sprigs has generously offered three winners a pair of Earbags of his/her choice. 

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Monday, November 26, 2012

    TrainingTruths: High Fives

    Holiday weeks can make it challenging to maintain a normal running schedule. In the past, I have participated in a Thanksgiving Day Race which means no interruption, but this year we traveled to the in-laws in Massachusetts. I was able to score a couple of five mile runs and we enjoyed a fun lunch stop on the way back to NH on Friday.

    #TrainingTruth: Running is a good way to de-stress before the holiday.

    I look forward to holiday breaks, but the days leading up to them can be stressful. Tuesday's run was extremely helpful in allowing me to dump some of the negativity both physically and emotionally. High Five to Daisy for always being a great listener!

    #TrainingTruth: Sometimes a missed opportunity to run is an opportunity for a family adventure.

    After spending Thanksgiving in MA, my sister-in-law told us about a great place to eat that happened to be on our way back to NH, so we stopped for lunch. The girls, my husband, and I had a wonderful meal sitting by an open fire before taking a few laps through the candle, holiday, and chocolate stores. The Farm Table is very popular (reservations are usually required, but we lucked out by arriving just after a cancellation was made) and offers gluten-free options on the menu. High Five to my step-daughter for her panoramic photo-taking ability.

    #TrainingTruth: Best way to forget being cold...get lost on a trail run.

    Bitter cold winds greeted us on this second attempt at running the trails inside a local state park. About 2 miles in and we were already trying to figure out where we missed a turn. Since I was carrying my phone in my Big Banjees wrist wallet, we were able to almost figure out the trail. High Five to Daisy for picking herself up and dusting herself off after taking a dive on the trail. 

    Don't forget my Big Banjees coupon code is good through Nov. 30th at Just enter RUNNINGESCAPADES20

    What were your High Fives?

    #TrainingTruths is not just about me. We all like to see what everyone else is doing and use that information to assess ourselves. It's not judgement. It's a way to share and learn and make changes when necessary.

    To participate all you have to do is share your #TrainingTruths:
    1. Tag a Twitter post with the hashtag #TrainingTruths
    2. Comment on the Running Escapades Facebook page 
    3. Leave a link to your own blog post in the comments
    I look forward to reading your #TrainingTruths!