Friday, August 30, 2013

End of Summer Giveaway!

Sadly, it's that time again. Summer is ending, back to school, back to stress, back to life (....back to reality). Lana Del Ray GETS IT.

To avoid my summertime sadness, I decided to purchase some photos of the summertime memories. I got an email from Prinstagram promoting their new greeting cards, and I jumped at the chance to get creative little pick me ups! I love sending cards, I think it's a lost art. The site and process were easy to navigate, and I loved the fact that I could pick multiple photos AND choose how many cards I wanted for each individual photo! The card package is one set price, $25; you choose the size, which determines the quantity  The options include 36 4x4's, 24 4x6's, or 24 5x7's. I opted for the 4x4's because I wanted as many cards as I could get! When they arrived, I was IMPRESSED with the quality, clarity, and packaging. 

I loved breaking out my pink pen to write a little note!

Since I opted for the 4x4's, I had to use other envelopes to send them. Apparently a 4x4 is too small to mail! I happened to have extra envelopes from my Christmas cards, so it all worked out!

A 4 3/4 inch x 6 1/2 inch envelope was perfect!

There are other fantastic items to order as well! Prinstagram was my go-to spot to get a creative gift for my friends and family. I created a mini book for 3 other couples that we did a lot of with; they loved them! I also made one for Mr. Miller, which contained all the fun things we had done that year. It's a great coffee table addition and conversation starter!

Prinstagram also has mini prints, framed prints, STICKERS, and much much more!

Here's a little information about the company:


Created by Instagramers, we work out of California or wherever else we find ourselves. Printstagram is still in its early phase, with updates and new products rolling out frequently, we are having fun while fulfilling your Instagram fantasies. These are lovingly created by Social Print Studios.

I was so impressed with this company's product, I emailed to tell them so. The people at Printstagram generously offered to give one lucky reader a gift card to fulfill their Instagram fantasies! The prize is a $32 gift card, which gets you a set of cards AND covers shipping (Always thinking, Prinstagram!) These cards are perfect for...

- Throw Back Thursday cards
- Vacation cards
- Birthday cards
- Love notes
- Anniversary cards
- Baby shower
- Basically EVERYTHING!

Good luck!

Note: Prinstagram donated the gift card for this post, but I paid for my order. These opinions are my own. I received nothing in return besides the gift card to give away.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Running the US Open

The US Open has hit NYC! Tennis royalty have descended on Queens to square off on the blue courts. To celebrate this, Nike put on another amazing event. Mr. Miller and I got the chance to play on a ping pong team and check out the latest Nike Tennis line. 

Here are a few highlights:

 I fully love this picture of myself. It's rare that you see a photo of yourself and think "wow!" I own the fact that I did this here. Thank you Nike for the gear and locale to make this picture possible! 
We got to meet and greet with some tennis stars! Juan Martin del Potro was the NICEST guy! Victoria Arazenka did a great Q&A, solidifying herself as our new favorite female athlete!

The new line of tennis gear is HOT! I loved it, even though I don't play tennis!

Thank you, Nike, for a fun event! 

This week, I decided to run to the US Open. Last year our match got rained out (For the second year in a row), so I had to exchange my tickets. Since it's  close to my school, my running partner and I went after a long (dusty) day of setting up! The US Open is located by Flushing Meadow Corona Park, where my yearly half marathon is held. It was fun to run there (Untimed!) and check out the sights while running an errand!

 Shameless photo with my new Nike tennis shorts. I love them! Love Tennis.

 Running partner picture! The US Open employees were SO helpful with anything and everything, including taking seven photos with different zooms and angles. 

There was great scenery! I've never seen the Fountain of the Planets with the water spouts going!!! IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!

Looks like I should be getting out my tennis racket! However, the $190 membership fee for PUBLIC courts has deterred me as an amateur/casual user. I have to find some free courts soon! 

How about you? Do you run errands by running? Do you play another sport for fun? Are you a US Open fan? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Comeback

Get ready...the long awaited summer release of...

The Fitness Comeback

The 40 Greatest Dog GIFs Of All Time

This weekend was a good weekend, but today was a great day. This weekend (Let's include Thursday in the "weekend) I got to go to two Nike events, hang out with a group from my church at an overnight camp upstate, and watched Miley Cyrus make me feel uncomfortable Breaking Bad.

Today? Today, I got the official okay for any and all physical activity. 

Confession: This weekend was also great because I went for a 35 minute run. One of my favorite things to do when I visit a new place is to lace up and run. I was wallowing in whether or not to test the waters by running. Since I knew a lake would not be the most "hygienic" for my healing toe, I decided my own sweat would be nothing more than what they got from regular walking...oh the things us runners convince ourselves of! It was magical. No phone. No watch. It hurt. I got a cramp 5 minutes in. I walked two times. Nature was everywhere. I. LOVED. IT.

This is what it looked like, sans walkway. There was a dirt path...very Hunger Games/Twilight.

Yesterday, I heard the magical words from my doctor: You're cleared for all activity (Including painting my toe nail...I'm vain. So what.). How does one respond to this after three weeks of inactivity? Well, if you're me, you run 4 miles with your running partner, go to the HARDEST NTC workout to date, then wake up today and recover with a 1,000m swim.

I LOVE ME NEW ATHLETA TANKINI! It revolutionized my swimming experience.

Hi. I'm Kristin. I'm running on fitness endorphins. I love it. It feels amazing to be back at it, and I don't care if I'm sore. With school starting next Tuesday, I need the stress relief of exercise now more than ever!!! I feel like I'm in a "Last Chance Summer Workout". I'm ready for it!

How about you? Do you like exploring new places by running? Did you, your kids, your niece etc start school yet?

Friday, August 23, 2013

I worked out! A #Nike #NTC Event!

I've been in a bit of a  workout rut. Stupid minor toe surgery has done a number on me, and I'm very limited in my ability to work out! That's why I was so excited when my AMAZING friend Nadia invited me to go to an event at Nike Town last night. It was an event to pump up their fantastic App NTC. If you don't have it, get it. It's like having a personal trainer in your phone/iPad. I'm a huge fan and recommend that everyone get it! Here are some of the highlights from this great event: 

NTC shut down Nike Town early to set up the store for a late night event.

We went to the roof, where we normally do NTC on Monday nights, for a workout under the city lights!

The DJ was mixing some great songs. We got to dance and hang out as people arrived.
 Some fierce ladies from the Monday night NTC fearless crew!

I L-O-V-E the trainers that led this NTC workout! Will Arrufat and Holly Rilinger were THE. BEST. We did a series of moves, 45 seconds each, with a running holding pattern in between. We went through 12 exercises, and did two rounds of them. Because I'm still "healing" and, well, was TECHNICALLY told not to work out, I took it easy and made adjustments. Basically, if anything involved toe usage, I reverted back to squats. My legs are crying this morning. I. LOVED. IT.

A big thank you to Holly and Will for pushing us with incredible energy!

Blogger fail: No photos from the workout. Well, I was working too hard!

The after party was awesome! We immediately got to take advantage of a photo booth. Nadia, Jessica and I hammed it up for the photo booth. Best part? You could email, tweet, or text the photos to yourself!

Another DJ was spinning next to my favorite quote by Bill Bowerman.

The food was so creative! Mini margaritas and tacos, pear martinis and sushi...basically dream food and drinks!

Nadia and I got one last photo opp at the exit photo wall! We loved the bag and shirt Nike gave us, and were exhausted after dancing, sweating, and lots of smiling!

Thank you, @NikeWomen, for a memorable event. We had a great time. As always, everything was spectacular! Can't wait to continue training with NTC, Count Me In!

How about you? Have you checked out any new fitness classes lately? Are you a Nike Training Club app user? Do you have a favorite trainer? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Race Swag: What do runners really want?

We've all had race swag registrations, right? You know, the race where you sign up because they've got the best stuff included in the registration fee. Some races have been getting more creative lately, so what is the best race swag out there these days?

ING NYC Marathon gives a snack, a long sleeve tech shirt, a bandeau, a magnet for your fridge to record your time, a marathon guide and a bib...$250 well spent?

I found some good use for my bandeau, it's PERFECT for cold weather running!

Still haven't decided whether or not to put my Philly Marathon time on my 2012 magnet. It's a GREAT conversation piece and a continual reminder of my greatest racing day!

First of all, we all know what we DON'T want. We all have too many strappy bags and cotton t-shirts. As I said in my Glow Run 5k recap, we declined the strappy bags they were offering because we always throw them away! (Our nieces/nephews have decided they're done getting strappy bag gifts from us!!!)

Philly Marathon gave me a long sleeve tech shirt and a strappy bag...I kept it because it has a zipper in the front. So it's somewhat different.

So, what is the best race swag?

Themed or local swag often have creative choices:

Beach race: My favorite was a beach towel from the Hamptons Half Marathon FOUR YEARS AGO! That bad boy is PERFECT for lap swimming and hasn't faded a bit in four years!!!

It's a thin towel so it dries fast!!!

Alaskan Race: A North Face flask was the finisher's swag! My friend Heather figured it was a hint at how to survive winter in  Alaska!

Some Race Series are known for their amazing race swag:

Zooma Race Series:

Melissa got some awesome swag in Texas including a yoga mat! 

Lisa got this swag from Zooma Annapolis, which also included a finisher's necklace!

How about you? Do you click "register" when you see some fab swag? What do you do with your strappy bags? What's the best race swag you've gotten? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

What do you do when you're sad?

I didn't think this toe situation would be this arduous. I knew I wouldn't be able to handle looking at it (When I finally did, I was nauseous for the rest of the day), but I figured I would bounce back rather quickly. Turns out you need your big toe for lots of stuff, like, say, walking. So, I had a mini boot{of shame}and a cane for walking more than a block or so.

That cane has made my right arm SO sore! 

I tried venturing out Saturday night. I figured, with a cane and a dress, surely I'll get out of my funk! Sadly, my toe ended up hurting and we had a very early evening. We got to go to our friend's annual white party, where everyone wears white (obviously). Sadly, she's also moving, so it was a bittersweet event!

I didn't know how to get out of this funk. Obviously watching Breaking Bad was amazing, but truthfully, I needed a change of scenery. With the summer coming to an end, I've been getting more and more bummed out to not be doing the things that I enjoy...aka breaking a sweat, roaming the city, going to the get it. 

Thankfully, there were some E babies visiting Connecticut from California, so I high tailed it home. They're not babies anymore...but their mommy has one on the way!
I want to kiss those little piggies!

Being home has been relaxing. I've lunched with my nieces, gone shopping, lounged by the pool, enjoyed (too many cups of) coffee, seen old friends in new houses, and let Lambeau "roam the countryside". 

Happy views for happy feet.

Finally, today, I put sneakers on for a walk. Yes, that's right, A WALK! Shoes on BOTH feet! I think I overdid it in the beginning, so I waited to put sneakers on until today. They fit! Swelling has gone down! Yippee! We took a 30 minute walk, much to E2's chagrin...I had to carry her a bit. Little Bitty 3 year-old legs get tired Aunty Kristin!

Lambeau could go for days on these kinds of walks!

So, here are some tips for snapping out of non-exercise sadness:

1. Eat Dairy Queen Blizzards. No, I'm kidding. No I'm not. They're magical.

2. Change your scenery. Get out of where you've been daily, go visit someone if possible. Even going to a Starbucks could stimulate you for some positive vibes.

3. Talk with cute kids. I'm sure you know SOMEONE with a child who would love free babysitting! It's so refreshing to hear things like "Let's change Lambeau's name. Let's name him "Good Boy Lambeau". This happened. He's been called nothing but that since!

4. Tell people you're sad. It's way easier said than done, but telling people lets them know you made need a pick me up or a check in text. Your friends/family/significant others are NOT mind readers! I'm so thankful for caring friends!!! So many have been checking up on me. It makes me feel better every time.

I know that this too shall pass. Again, I know people battling far more serious things. Mine is minor. The reason I am struggling probably has to do with the fact that I have never been injured as a serious runner. The mental side of this is intense! Also, I had expectations that this would be an easy fix, so I CLEARLY misunderstood my conversation with my doctor. I've never had so much as ONE stitch, so this surgery was overwhelming in terms of "cannots" during recovery.

How about you? Any tips to add to this list? Are you a power-through injury/sickness kind of person? Do you find it hard to reach out? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

My injury is like being post-marathon

We often remember the finish line, and then things go a little blurry. I know that after the finish my legs are tired, but I feel good because of the runner's high, the accomplishment, and the new medal. What no one thinks about at the finish line is "Tomorrow this is going to HURT!" I've taken the day off after both of my marathons. My first marathon did not equate to the soreness I felt in my second marathon, which left me hobbling for a few days versus just sore. With my toe holding me up for a few days, I've been thinking of the correlation between my post-op range of motion and post-marathon soreness. (NOTE: I had minor surgery and I'm bored and thinking too much.)

It's all downhill from here...and not in a good stretch of a running route kind of way.

After toe surgery/marathon, the stairs are your enemy. The awkward hobble, the fear of losing your balance, and the fact that I live in a 3rd floor walk up, present quite the challenge for me.

Have to use a cane? Why not decorate! Repping for my Green Bay Packers!

After toe surgery/marathon, clearly no food is off limits. Heck, I just had toe surgery/ran a marathon, I want all the yummy food!

Bacon Mac and Cheese? Why not.

After toe surgery/marathon, you sort of want to work out, but things aren't working right just yet. After all that food, I should try burning some calories to balance things out...wait, the calories I burned in my three workouts the day before toe surgery/running a marathon don't extend for a whole week!? SHOOT.

I didn't work out. I watched my awesome dad paint our apartment. In love with our light blueberry and nickel gray colors.

After toe surgery/marathon, people are constantly asking you how you're feeling. Usually there's a smile involved, assurance that you'll survive, and then you hobble along.

Football is coming...WHERE is that gold Sparkly Soul Band?!...I lost it. Will I ever run again!? ;-) End drama.

How about you? Have you ever recovered from surgery? Does your mind think random things when on the couch and bored? Who is your favorite football team (College or NFL)? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Training motivation: Links to get you up and running

Rough roads in marathon training are going to happen...literally and figuratively!

Bad runs are going to happen. I can remember numerous times during training when I would just want a run to be OVER. Where I would end a run early. Where my speed work was a JOKE. Ugh. For me, a typical part of marathon training is having a bad run, or a series of bad runs. Bad runs happen, but you have to bounce back. Here are some helpful links for tackling the road back from bad runs:

How to tackle a run when confidence is waning by Lauren ...find the courage to get those sneakers on again.

A challenge to get out of your comfort zone by Abby...challenge yourself to get out of the usual.

Using bad runs to reflect by Christine...there's always some sort of take away from every run.

Tips for getting faster. Hint: It's not going to be comfortable by Jocelyn...if you're comfortable, then you may not be pushing.

I am enough: battling with negativity by Dorothy ...personal circumstances can totally affect your runs.

Think of game changers that can help you succeed by Meggie

Things that are awesome and things that are not so awesome about marathon training by Theodora ... read both back to back, then make your own lists!

It's not going to be easy by Ali...if Ali and Mick can do it, so can you! Be prepared to cry at Mick's video, and send Ali some love!

When you gain a few pounds during training by Michelle...if it happens, think of what you can do to fuel smarter!

Feeling discouraged? It looks like you have some reading to do! Or, check out these posts next time you're feeling a bit down from your run. 

How about you? What do you do to get out of a running funk? Do you have any inspirational posts (Link them in a comment!)? How is training going? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Classroom theme: Triathlon!

First things first: I survived my toe surgery! First ever "surgery", and it went well. My 5am pick up and 6:30am procedure was a bit early, but being back home by 9:30am to rest was priceless!

I spent a bit of my morning trying to get some sun with Lambeau Puppy! We're looking at some cloudy/thunderstorm type weather soon... 

This summer, I wanted to have a fitness focused classroom theme. I didn't want to stick with JUST running, because that doesn't appeal to every student. I chose triathlons because there was more than one focus. Here are a few pictures of the ways I set my classroom up to be fitness focused:

Our "Flow of the Day" was renamed "Class 307-E's Training Plan" accented by photos of Kona Ironman swim start, Craig Alexander on the bike and running to the finish!

We did interactive writing daily to record daily exercise. Each student got to share what they did to keep their bodies healthy!

Each table was named Runners, Swimmers, or Cyclists. Because summer school has smaller class size, I only had runners and swimmers! The pictures are of Chrissie Wellington finishing strong, and another Kona swimming photo.

I printed out individualized race bibs. I had my name, our class number, and "summer triathlete" at the bottom. I personally added each student's name. My most recent half marathon bib went at the top, the students loved this!

Want to do this yourself? Here is the race bib I used! I added the words via Microsoft word, but Publisher would work best! (Add "Word Art")

I also shared some reading passages about triathlons! It was difficult to find, but I located some lower level articles about triathlons. Although my students had limited prior knowledge about the language of triathlons, these articles helped me explain the key facts about triathlons: 

Last but not least, I shared photos of some friends who completed their own triathlon! Heather, Michele, Kara and Juan all were AMAZING finishers at Ironman Lake Placid! It gave me great pleasure to show the students pictures of my friends through their journey; I doubt they understood the greatness of these photos, but I know the oo'd and ahh'd at them.

I'm so glad I did this. I learned what challenges students (The idea of doing races for medals, not to "win", endurance, time frames of more than five minutes!) and their attention when it comes to real life stories about the sports. They were enthralled by my marathon photos and my friend's Ironman photos.

How about you? Are you a teacher? Do you remember an important teacher in your life? Have you been instrumental in teaching people about endurance sports? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Getting the fun in BEFORE toe surgery ;-(

Tomorrow I'll be getting a minor, repeat MINOR toe procedure. 

This is the last you'll see of anything medical. I'm grossed out just looking at this. GAH! Via

I have had ingrown toe nails for the past three years. This is a hereditary situation, not one caused by running. As a proud NON-black toenail runner who maintains all 10 beautiful toenails, I was bound to have some sort of jinx! The first time I had an ingrown toenail I was thirteen. I had a pretty painful procedure done on both big toes and it seemed to solve the problem. Well, for the past three years, my left toe nail has crept over again and again, resulting in three minor procedures. My doctor finally said enough is enough, we need to solve it permanently. So tomorrow I go under anesthesia for the first time in my life to make my toe well. With ten days of being out of water (Stitches yippee!), and possibly two-five days of not being able to work out, I had to get as much fun in as possible to make up for my upcoming "recovery" days!

Of course I got my toes gussied up for the procedure...what are the odds that the pedicure stays in tact?

Here's what I've been doing to let the good times roll:

We got in a good 'ol game of capture the flag! +Nike NYC  put on another awesome event! Rain or shine, we worked it out while playing on my favorite childhood games. One of the changes in rules was that the more Nike Fuel points you earn, the more "weapons" you unlock...oh did I mention there were water weapons involved? Like super soakers, water balloons, water guns, and it was POURING RAIN!? Yea, just the way we like it! I was on the "fuel team", which meant I had to move as much as possible to get points to get us more water weapons. I did jumping jacks, high knees, squats, you name it, I did it. Our team didn't win, but we had a great time! 
 Thank you Nike for this fabulous gear and an awesome event! 

My goal each day is 3,000 fuel points. Beat that by 7,000. You've got to #MakeItCount!

I got back to the beach with some of my favorite people! Baby Adelaide was a stellar companion, along with mom Joan, Mr. Miller, and a huge iced coffee.
Contrary to popular belief, that coffee was for me. Starbucks employers may want to consider spelling tests in their job interview process.

We checked out the Breaking Bad exhibit at the Museum of Moving Image! It was quite small, but it packed a lot of great material from the show. They don't allow photography of this exhibit, but if you're sneaky...
If you know what blue ice, a one eyed stuffed bear, and a book inscription that says "To W.W." means, you know you have to visit this museum!

We ran on the first Saturday of Summer Streets! We got a LATE start due to all our fun leading up to the weekend, so we only got to go in for about an hour. The Voice Tunnel was already closed (BUMMER), but we had a good time. We ran back to Queens for a total of 7 miles, another personal best since the Brooklyn Half Marathon!

Want to know more about Summer Streets? Check out this post! 

Mr. Miller and I started T-25 today! Although I'll be out of commission for a few days, I was excited to join his former test group for a reunion workout in Madison Square Park! It's a 25 minute workout, come on, everyone has 25 minutes! You don't stop moving, and I love it. Check out the website and sneak a peak at Mr. Miller's before and after pictures towards the bottom!

 Tania is one fit mama!

Mr. Miller was part of this crew on his road to a fitter healthier life...I'm so proud to say he's kept it up and is doing great!

Tonight, I'll be hitting up NTC for a "last chance workout". I want to get a good two-a-day in before this surgery! Tuesdays are normally my rest day, so why not tire myself out?!

Note: I am grateful that this procedure is quick, easy, and fixable with minimal recovery. I think of my friends and family going through more serious medical issues and I'm thankful that this will be taken care of!!! Check out one of those friends, Steph, coming off a stress fracture! So excited to get some miles in once we're BOTH healthy!

How about you? Have you ever gone under anesthesia? What are your favorite two-a-day workouts? Have you had any fun lately? Are you squeamish with all things medical? TELL ME ABOUT IT!