How to Give Back By Running

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope you all had a great weekend! If you’re struggling with the back-to-work grind that is Monday, just remember, in exactly ten days, IT WILL BE CHRISTMAS!! 🙂 I have my last final and will be traveling home this week, so I apologize in advance – there will probably not be many posts this week! Check in next week and you’ll be rewarded with lots of cute pictures of my dogs. 🙂

Today I have a nice holiday post from my mom to share! So, without further ado…

How to give back by running. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

With the holidays coming fast upon us,  it seems like a good time to take a moment to talk about giving back, whether the recipient is a family member, friend or your community.

There are so many ways to do this (and to even have some fun with it)!

Obviously, the most common way to give back is  straight up donations to your favorite charity, which is always great, especially if you work for a company that has a matching program, something worth asking about, or checking out on your company’s website.

Then there are those companies whose products give back through your purchase. Toms are one example (Nora has a pair, which she absolutely loves), and of course, there’s Janji, whose goal is “to help people in undeveloped countries get access to clean water through the sale of its clothing.”

Buying products from companies like Janji is one way to give back through running.

Nora has reviewed Janji’s great apparel for us in a couple of posts, so we know their stuff is cool and comfy – and you get to support a great cause. (My  Janji shirt is so comfy and pretty that I prefer not to wear it out running, but to keep it as part of my stylish “athleisure” wardrobe. ) 😉

There are even special apps that help you put your running to charitable use! Runner’s World Magazine did a little piece about these apps in their March, 2014 issue, so check them out! FitCause, Run4Good, and CharityMiles are a few examples. Charity Miles works by donating 25 cents per mile run or walked and 10 cents per mile for biking. If one of these works for you, you can make your morning workouts benefit someone else, too!

I really liked this idea and checked these out myself, but as I am rather technologically-challenged (something my husband could definitely confirm)   I decided to make up my own charity running project. I made a simple spreadsheet, (which comes out different every time because I keep forgetting how to use Excel!) to log my miles, both running and walking.

My mileage log for donating. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running duoAt the end of the month, I add up the total and donate 50 cents for every mile to my favorite charity, Homes for Our Troops.  (This is a great organization that works to build especially adapted homes for disabled veterans ) Though I hadn’t intended this as a “motivational” tool for me, I found that I was really proud of the donations I made when the monthly totals were high – from training for the marathon – and so now, even though I’m not running quite as much, I’m still more motivated to get out there to keep those totals up.

Homes for Our TroopsHomes for Our TroopsI’m obviously not the first person to have this idea, but it’s become something I really enjoy doing. It’s simple and fun and that’s what’s made it so easy to incorporate into my routine for almost a year. And I figure when I’m too old to run  (haha), I will go on logging those walking miles, so this is one habit I won’t need to give up any time soon.

If you’re interested in checking out even more creative and inspiring ways to give back, you should take a look at the December issue of Runner’s World: there are some wonderful and inspiring stories of runners who have found some really cool ways to spread a little generosity.

So I hope that gives you a few ideas for your holiday running!

Have a great week! 🙂

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Anticipating the Holidays

Hi again!

Again… Sorry it’s been a while since my last post. I had my first final yesterday and was studying diligently for it. 🙂 It’s crazy to think in exactly 5 days I’ll be done with my undergrad. AHHHHH! Lucky for me, my dad was nice enough to pick out a few things for a care package to help me get through all the studying. 🙂 I’ve been loving the Starbucks peppermint mocha via packets he sent! I only use a little bit of each packet, and mix it with regular coffee, otherwise it’s a little too sweet, but I love how festive it tastes!

Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running duo.

I have to say I am very excited to go home and celebrate graduating and the holidays. I keep getting cute pictures of Brady and Keeper from my mom and I miss them!

Brady and Keeper. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running DuoOther things I’m excited about:

  • Being able to run with my running buddy once again – and running 2 of our favorite holiday races: The Lowell First Run on New Years’ Day and the 5k Resolution Run to Kick CancerThese were the first races my mom and I signed up for after deciding that we wanted to run a half marathon in the upcoming spring! They’re usually pretty brisk, but we always have a good time.
  • Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

    Here we are running the 10k on New Years Day!

  • Getting to see our Christmas tree! Here’s a sneak peak of it:
  • Christmas Running Gift under the tree!Enjoying some of my mom’s stellar home-cooked meals (and helping her out in the kitchen while listening to some good music!)
  • Being able to read books for fun!! Haha, this is always something I miss during semesters, and I’m very excited to finally dig into my copy of Gone Girl.
  • Going to see the movie Into the Woods with my mom. I was in the pit orchestra when my high school put on this play, and I fell in love with the music. With Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, and Johnny Depp all in Disney’s version, it’s sure to be good!
  • Into the Woods.
  • Obviously Christmas. The only individual in my house not looking forward to Christmas is our dog Brady – Christmas is basically his least favorite day of the year because he hates boxes and the tearing sound of wrapping paper. He usually ends up hiding away from all of us until the present opening is all finished.

Brady the ReindeerWhat are you looking forward to around the holidays? Any special winter traditions?

Have a great end of the week/weekend!

 

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Dear Running Sneakers…

Hello again!

Sorry I’ve been MIA this week – finals are here, and things are starting to get crazy! But I did manage to go for a great 6 mile run on Tuesday (averaged 8:57/mile!! Woo!). 🙂 That was the inspiration for today’s post.

Dear Sneakers. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

Dear Running Sneakers,

Thank you for always being there for me. Even if I haven’t visited with you in weeks, I know you won’t hold it against me.

Thank you for protecting me from all the hard and painful things that might hurt my feet on a run. Sharp rocks, pointy sticks – they’re nothing now that I have you. No matter the season, I know you’ll be there to protect me from snow, mud, dirt – whatever I encounter.

Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

Thank you for providing just the right amount of support and flexibility in our relationship. You allow my feet to flex and bend in just the right way to keep my toes happy and uninjured. But you also cushion my high arches and keep them comfortable no matter how many miles I’m running.

Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

Thank you for helping me reach my dreams. I could never have run a marathon without you. And I certainly couldn’t run a half marathon in every state without you! Thanks for making these accomplishments and goals possible.

Finishing the Rochester Marathon

Thank you for boosting my confidence with your great style. I love your flashy blue color, and I love taking photographs with you. We look so good together.

Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running DuoHere’s to many more miles, races, and runs together!

Love,

Nora

 

Have a great weekend!

 

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Holiday Gift Guide for Runners

Hello!

Can you believe today is December 1st?? Christmas is a mere 25 days away! Eek! Given that your Christmas shopping is probably in full-swing, I thought I would do a gift guide for runners in today’s post! Here are some things that I think are pretty cool, and that I think might also appeal to the runners or athletes in your life. 🙂

Gift Guide for Runners. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo.

Gift Guide for Runners. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

1. Compression sleeves from ProCompression. I’ve never gotten to try compression sleeves, but I’ve heard really good things about them in terms of easing soreness and promoting circulation! Plus, I think the powder blue color is so pretty. They have a great selection of colors though, if that isn’t your favorite!

2. Long-sleeved shirt or headband from Janji. Janji sent me these items to review and I love them! I wore the headband out running a few days ago, and it kept my ears nice and toasty in the 20 degree weather.

3. Garmin Forerunner 15. A GPS watch is obviously a little pricey, but if you know a dedicated runner who will put it to good use for many years, then it might be worth the investment.

4. Soakology Muscle Gel. My mom sent me this a few weeks back, and I have been loving it! I usually use it while relaxing in the evenings if I’m sore from a FitnessBlender video, and it helps a lot.

5. Marathon Gear. Ok, this might just be because my mom and I ran our first marathon this year, but I am still really proud of that, and I want all the things that say 26.2. Who cares if it’s braggy. 😉

6. Old Navy Active Women’s Sweater Pullover. I read a lot of good things about Old Navy’s active wear line, and I have been looking at it online a bit, and I’m pretty impressed! A lot of it looks really stylish, but also functional, just like this pullover. Plus, it has thumb-holes, and we all know I love thumb-holes. 🙂

7. This 26.2 Necklace. I love the goldbar necklace craze. And I love that you can show pride for your accomplishment in a subtle way with the roman numerals (they also have 5k, 10k, and half marathon versions as well!). This etsy shop also lets you select if you want Sterling silver, gold, or rose-gold, so you can get exactly what you want. 🙂

8. A nice water bottle. As a runner, I know I should be focused on hydration, but I usually forget to drink water during the day! a couple of my housemates have Camelbak water bottles, and they love them! If you know a runner or someone who goes to the gym a lot, this is probably a gift that would get a lot of use.

9. Lululemon Wunder Unders. Yes, these are expensive (and no, they aren’t see-through anymore!). Personally, I have a lot of issues with my workout leggings falling down, and these are supposed to stay up really well. And while they are quite expensive, Lululemon does offer great customer service, where you can bring them into your local store if you have any problems.

10. Yurbuds headphones. These are made specifically to wear when running or working out. My headphones fall out a lot when I run and get sweaty, and these are slip-resistant and have a lot of great reviews.

So there you go! A few ideas for Christmas shopping. 🙂 Now, I just have to make it through the next few weeks of term projects and finals to make it to the holiday!

Have a great day!

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Why Winter Running Doesn’t Suck

Hello!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I know I did. 🙂 It was so nice to spend the day relaxing and laughing with family and obviously enjoying a fantastic meal! I think the highlight for me this year was the acorn squash stuffed with graham crackers, brown sugar and cranberries that my aunt made. So good!!!

After eating all the wonderful food on Thursday and then leftovers on Friday, it was time for me to get back to running! My cold is all gone now, and I knew I had to get back out there. So, I bundled up and headed out for a nice little 4-miler in the 20 degree weather. So without further ado…

Reasons Why Cold Weather Running Doesn't Suck. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

1. It gives you an excuse to buy more running gear because #Layers

Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

2. You can turn it into a fun game of “Run Around the Ice Puddles” (if you lose, you slip and fall down… This just adds to the excitement.)

Dog slipping on ice.

Hopefully you look that cute when you fall.

3. It hurts to breathe, but in a fun, ‘Look how awesome this is’-way

4. You look really hard-core because everyone driving by is thinking, “it’s 10 degrees out, WHY ARE THEY RUNNING?!” Honestly, it’s a fair question.

5. You get to enjoy the holiday cookies and treats mostly guilt-free (ok, this actually is a pretty nice advantage.)

6. When running up a snowy hill, you can pretend you’re reaching the summit of Mount Everest because honestly, that’s what it feels like.

Gets to the top. My Legs Hurt.

7. If you pass a snowman, you can imagine it magically coming to life and chanting your name. If snowmen cheering for you isn’t motivating, I don’t know what is.

Cheering Snowman.

8. When you finish your run and go inside, your house will feel like a furnace so you can turn down the heat and save on your bills. Get cold again? JUST GO FOR ANOTHER RUN!

And if all those reasons fail, and you are still hating the cold and wishing for summer, try this playlist that I put together and maybe it’ll help change your frame of mind!

Winter Running Playlist. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

 

Hope this helps. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

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Thanksgiving Break

Hello hello!

I know we are still a couple days away, but I just wanted to say…

Happy Thanksgiving. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running DuoI’m not going home for the holiday this year, since I will be home for good in about a month, but I’ll still be spending the break with family and I’m looking forward to some delicious food and a little break from the pre-finals grind! My mom wrote up a little post for today, talking about some of the things she is grateful for, and here it is!

When Nora and I began our “running journey” in November 2011, our goal was simple; train for and run a half-marathon in the spring. And we did that. But we  never expected  that that modest ambition would get us here.
Last month Nora posted her 100th blog entry, as well as hitting the 100 followers mark!!
So with Thanksgiving only a few days away I wanted to say thank you, to Nora and to all of you!

When we revised our goal and decided to aim to run a half-marathon in every state – and to start this blog, we knew we would be in for some adventures, some hard work, and a lot of fun.

But for me it’s meant something entirely unexpected. Of course, I would have kept running after those two half-marathons in 2011, but without these goals, I know my running would have continued in a much more casual way.

Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running DuoInstead, I’ve challenged myself to run more than I ever expected, to read more (of course books about running), to expand my knowledge of cooking and nutrition, and to revisit the writer in me. Three years ago I would never have dreamed  that I would be contemplating running another marathon as a way to celebrate my next birthday! But that is exactly what I am doing and all these things are gifts that I never expected.

How to run a marathon.

My plan for marathon training. 🙂

So I wanted to say thank you to Nora for expanding our running goal to include every state, and for starting this blog which has been so much fun (and a lot of work!) and which has taught us both so much. (Remember the cricket bars? Yes, you can eat protein bars made with crickets.). And I wanted to say Thank You to all of you, our followers for reading about our adventures and contributing your thoughts and ideas.

So Thank you for everything and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

What are you thankful for this year?

 

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Janji Apparel Review

Happy weekend!

So I thought about going for a run yesterday. Then I looked out the window.

Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

Needless to say, the run didn’t happen. Which is a total bummer because I’ve been dying to test out some awesome stuff that Janji sent me to review!

Review of Janji. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running DuoI’ve talked a little about Janji on the blog before (here and here), but in case you missed those posts, Janji is a very cool running apparel company. Their website explains –

“Runners require proper hydration to train, run 5Ks and finish marathons. At the same time, millions of people around the world lack the basic necessities for survival. 

WE CAN CHANGE THAT.

Through each purchase of Janji’s distinctive running apparel, a portion of proceeds funds organizations that are alleviating the worst problems related to water. By funding solutions and raising awareness through our apparel, Janji wants to create a nation of runners that run for another and eliminate the global water crisis.”

It’s a pretty awesome mission, so I was very excited to review a few items for them again. Especially, with Christmas only a few weeks away!

Janji review. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

Janji review. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

I received the Women’s Logo Long-Sleeve Running Shirt and the Women’s Running Headband. While running was out of the question today with the snow, I know the headband is going to be AMAZING for cold, breezy runs this winter.

Janji review. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

I did test out the top today though, wearing it to do a sweaty 21 minute HIIT workout!

Janji review. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running DuoI loved it. The shirt is super soft, has thumb-holes (this is weirdly important to us runners!), and I love the color. I feel like the bright yellow will be nice and visible on dark, winter runs! It was super comfortable to work out in too.

And the coolest aspect behind these items, is that you know you are not only getting an awesome piece of running apparel, you’re also contributing to a great cause. The purchase of the headband provides 6 months of clean drinking water to one person in Tanzania, while the shirt gives 1 week of clean water to someone in the US.

I’m planning on doing a more comprehensive “Gift Guide for Runners” post sometime in the next few weeks, but if you do have a runner in your life (or you are a runner and you want to treat yo’self), I highly recommend Janji for holiday gifts! You won’t be disappointed. 🙂

Have a great weekend! (and send some positive, snow-melting thoughts my way if you can… I’m already hating this winter.)

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