Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Radio Silence Explained

Is it possible to enjoy NOT running?

That is what I almost titled this blog post, but that's doesn't encompass everything that I want to talk about.

Some of you may have noticed that I've been rather quiet the last few weeks and some might even have been wondering why.

Well, a big part of it I can't talk about now, but I will soon. It might sound cague, but I just haven't felt well and running has just made me feel worse lately. Some of it is the pressure of working out, that I HAVE to get it done or I'm somehow a terrible person (my anxiety rearing it's ugly head).  A larger part is that I'm just burnout and need to work on finding my enjoyment in it again.

I do find the time to do some exercises like planks, squats, tricep dips and pushups but none of it at the level I had been doing them before.

What have I been doing if I'm not running?  Sleeping for one!  Or trying to as I suffer from Adrenal Fatigue. Life in general has kept me pretty busy especially with the holidays upon us.

Recently, we took our 4 year old daughter to The Nutcracker. She loves dance class so we thought she get a kick out of it. To our surprise, she seemed more interested in the orchestra!

I also used my extra downtime to start and FINISH my Christmas shopping.  Since my daughter wanted a bike, I headed to Wal-Mart to find a good deal.  I counted the fact that I had to push the bike, 40 pounds of kitty litter, 13 pounds of cat food and various other supplies through the store all while blissfully child and husband free. 

Seriously, it's all good though. I'll get through this rut and get back on me feet running when I am both mentally and spiritually ready. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Rodan & Fields by Diane Hodge

This post is sponsored by Rodan & Fields by Diane Hodge. I received samples in order to facilitate this post. No compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.  Diane provided the products for this giveaway.

My skin problems, like most of us, started when I was a teenager.  Not only did I get terrible acne all over my back, a joy that I got to reexperience when I was pregnant with my daughter, but it appeared on my forehead and chin too.  

After trying all the over the counter solutions we could afford, my mom took me to my first dermatologist.  It was just a few minutes into the meeting that he declared I had inherited some "terrible Irish skin."  He sent us home with some heavy duty samples of skin creams that helped for awhile, but I've always wondered what kind of harsh chemicals I was smearing all over my skin back then.

Seriously? What is that brown line doing there?

Flash forward 20 or so odd years and I still have terrible Irish skin.  It doesn't help that as a runner I subject it to all the elements:  extreme heat, frigid cold, dry and humid air.  Now, I don't suffer so much from acne anymore although that is still an issue, but I do from time to time get very flush - my face will suddenly turn beet red as if I am baking in the sun, but all too often I am just sitting inside as cool as a cucumber.  

A good friend of mine, Diane, a fellow runner and executive consultant with Rodan and Fields, introduced me to their Soothe Regimen.   She herself loves being outside running, gardening, fishing and camping which means lots of time in the elements.  Plus, she's a redhead so she has to be especially careful with her sensitive skin.  The results that her clients have had with this skin care product have been amazing!

I decided to try it out myself to see if it could help with my "terrible Irish skin."

The first thing I noticed that I liked about these products was that everything was labeled with a number so you knew in which order you had to use it. Sounds overly simplisitc, but when you are just not awake in the morning it really takes the guessing out of the routine. The other nice part about them is a little bit goes a long way so your shipment will last awhile.  Lastly, bottle #4 is sunscreen that you put on in the morning.  Now, I HATE sunscreen and I avoid putting it on my face at all costs.  Why?  Because it burns my pores.  I don't know about you, but I don't enjoy wanting to scratch my face off all day because the burning sensation won't stop.  

This sunscreen DOES NOT BURN MY FACE.

That's kind of a big deal for me.

Especially since I run outside as much as I can in nice weather so my face is exposed to the sun.  I don't know about you, but I'm pushing 40 now and I don't need to look any older than I am.

I've just started using this product a few weeks ago so I don't have my own miracle stories to share about how much better my face is on Rodan and Fields' Soothe Regimen, but I can tell it is so much better than any drug store facial cleanser you are going to find.  What sets Rodan and Fields apart is that they are the same Stanford trained dermatologists who started Pro-Activ. Rodan + Fields offers skin care regimens to combat red and discolored skin, acne, aging skin (gasp!) and sensitive skin.

Now if you are interested in trying this wonderful product for yourself you can contact Diane Hodge via Facebook, email (edhodge@swbell.net) or just check out her website,  dhodge2.myrandf.com. There is a Solution Tool there that helps determine what you most need.

If you try an R&F product or if you already use one, please leave me a comment below and let me know what you think of it! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Making History with my Daughter

Voting Selfies are NOT illegal in New Hampshire.  Life Free or Die, baby!

The day is finally here.

Unlike many states in the U.S. New Hampshire doesn't have the luxury of early or mail in voting so out of the total population of 1.5 million people who can vote, we have to wait for election day.
So early this morning I loaded my 4 year old into the car even earlier than usual all bundled up with the idea that we'd be standing out in the frosty air for awhile. Hell, I even packed her snacks because for the 25,000 residents in our town we only had one polling place to go to.

Polls didn't open until 7am, but we left the house by 6:35 am expecting traffic. By 6:40 am we were stuck in traffic about a mile away from the high school where we go to vote.

I quickly debated how far away I could park and haul a 4 year old when I spotted open spaces about a half mile away. I warned Scarlett she'd have to walk and she seemed amenable to it.

I have to say the walk over with many other people who had the same idea, park far away and walk, was a favorite of mine. We all marveled at how many people were already out to vote before the polls opened.

It was a remarkable thing.

Once we made it to the high school we stood in a long line outside, but it moved. Thank God it moved. Scarlett was quiet and definitely overwhelmed by it all, but it was nice to see her soak it all in.

As we waited in line at the letter "H" table (for our last name), I couldn't help but get teary eyed. At almost 40 years old with my daughter in tow, I was going to cast my vote for a woman president.

A woman president.

Just let that sink in.

My daughter was going to watch me vote for a woman president in a hotly contested election with what will likely be the highest voter turnout in recent history.

Luckily, when it was my turn to hand over my ID I had my emotions under control so I could say my name and get my ballot. 

Keeping a curious 4 year old entertained while in a voting booth is not easy. I had to keep reminding her not to peak just like when we are in a bathroom stall. At one point she exclaimed, "I see other people!" after she stole a quick glance.

I quickly explained to her what I was doing so she'd give me time to fill out my ballot.

When I was done I had to capture the historic moment for posterity, of course. Ballot selfies are surprisingly NOT illegal in New Hampshire.  Life Free or Die afterall.  

My first born daughter and I voted for a woman president today.

It still hasn't sunk in  

20 years ago as a teenager I voted in my first presidential election for Bill Clinton.  This year as a nearly 40 year old woman I voted for Hillary Clinton, who has shattered that glass ceiling for the rest of us.  

I couldn't have been prouder.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Low Carb Recipes for the Holiday Season

Believe it or not, the holiday season is upon us!  And if you are anything like me and my family you can't wait to eat and eat and eat your way to the new year. You're trying to eat healthier you say?  That doesn't mean you need to be eating a boring salad while your family is eating a delicious turkey and all of the fixings. You can indulge in a healthy way too. The recipes below will help you do that. Didn't find what you are looking for?  You can find many more on my Pinterest boards.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Lesson for the Day: Fixing Your Mistakes

Yesterday at the Little Pumpkins Dash, Scarlett received a medal for her efforts. She was thrilled! 
On the way back to the car after the race I told her how lucky she was to get a medal,  that even I didn't get one. She replied very sincerely, "It's OK, Mommy. I'm sorry you didn't get a medal. Maybe next time?  You can have mine if you want."  An older couple walking by her heard what she said and chuckled to themselves. It was very sweet.

Then we got home and couldn't find the medal.

We frantically checked the car and emptied out the bag that we were sure it had been placed in. Then it dawned on me - in my haste to find my bib at the start of the race I had dumped most of the bag's contents on the ground. The medal most likely was left in the grass. Ugh.

Since it was my fault that the medal was left behind,  I quickly shot off an email to the race organizer and hoped that in the meantime, Scarlett didn't notice it was missing.

Luckily, he got back to me that there were 10 medals left and I could have one if I could make it in to pick it up. I thanked him and quickly made my way down to get it.

Success is mine!  I have the replacement medal! 
Now, if my daughter had lost her medal I wouldn't have jumped through as many hoops as I did to get another one, but since it was my mistake I had to make an effort to fix it.

And I'll be sure to let her know what I did so she can learn how to be responsible for her mistakes too.

What lessons has life taught you lately?