Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fall Favorite Things!

First of all, it's the first Monday of fall (Forgot to hit post...shocking I know...)! Yea. Well. I'm exhausted, but when I see this picture I laugh. Every. Time. 

Don't worry, I know it's Tuesday. This day was JUST as in my face as Monday. Sighhhhhhhh.

It's no secret that I love this season. What's not to love?! Pumpkin everything, marathons, FINALLY drinking hot tea without wanting to die, and the return of the hoodie. I. LOVE. IT. This weekend I had the chance to do some great fall things. Here are a few of my favorite fall things:

OBVIOUSLY I need this Packers gear!!! Via

Running in the fall. It's the PERFECT season to get those miles in. I got the chance to check out a trail with my sister. She's training for her first marathon...a TRAIL marathon! GO COACH JEN!

We ran a great trail in Vernon, CT. It was so secluded we couldn't get a picture together!

Picking apples! I honestly ran out of time to pick my own...hopefully they will still be in season when I go to cheer on Ashley at the Hartford Marathon in October! I picked up a basket full of apples AND some apple fritters...aka DREAM world desserts. 

Come on foliage! You can proceed now!!!

Fall recipes!!! I LOVE cooking in the fall! SO many amazing flavors. Here are a few of my favorites:

Butternut Squash Risotto
Pumpkin Cookies
Pumpkin Pasta (Yes, this is yummy)
Apple Cookies
Slice apples. Pair with a slice of strong cheese (White sharp cheddar is divine)

How about you? Are you a fall fan? Are you having a tough week? Any races on the horizon? TELL ME ABOUT IT! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mondays can be hard

Lambeau Puppy's latest hobby...sleeping in under the covers. He leads quite the life...

We've all thought it: I just don't want to work out today. Since school started, I've been battling some serious exhaustion. Like, I slept 12 hours straight Friday night exhausted. This weekend, I applauded my friends running half marathons, high double digit runs, and overall kicking asphalt. Me? I PR'd in movie watching, light house cleaning, brunching, and football watching (GO PACKERS!). I'm so thankful to be healthy and able to be active, but sometimes, life happens. Life can be hard. Life can be TIRING. 

Hmmmm. Sometimes I agree with this, other days I don't. Smart rest vs. suck it up to get endorphins... Via

Monday, I was TIRED. I had to go to the chiropractor after work, and really wasn't feeling my 4 mile run to  a Nike Training Club workout. Thankfully, my running partner was joining me, so I got dressed. Getting your foot out the door isn't the hardest part. It's getting dressed THEN getting your foot out the door. I took it easy on this run. I knew I was tired, and getting frustrated at my fatigue was not a battle I wanted to fight. I ran at an easy pace, chatted with my partner, and made it to Niketown for NTC. 

When I got there, I REALLY wasn't in the mood to work out. Then, something fantastic happened: friends showed up. Along with Mr. Miller and my running partner Ms. Bailey, there were three newbies, three old timers, and I was thrilled to see their faces. There's something amazing about knowing you're not sweating alone. Will led us in a tough work out, but I tried my best. It was a great way to relieve my stress from work and break a great sweat. I am so glad I stuck it out and went. 

NTC fearless crew after dark; picture stolen from Will! Vampires everywhere!

Sometimes, Mondays aren't so bad. Granted, I barely made it through dinner Monday night...and we slept through the alarm this morning...but hey, I made it through and was smiling at the end. Sometimes, I need a good sweat. Other times, I need a glass of wine and some Law and Order SVU. Knowing the difference, what your body is ready for, makes all the difference.

This could be said for any day....it's hard, but it's okay! Via

How about you? Do you take a day off when you feel like you need it? Do you sweat through exhaustion? What's your go to rest day treat?Do you watch Breaking Bad? (This has nothing to do with this post...I just can't stop thinking about it...) TELL ME ABOUT IT!!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Moving for Good

There is nothing better than breaking a sweat for a cause. This past weekend was a great weekend because I got to participate in TWO great sweat worthy causes! 

I was invited by my Team World Vision leader to an amazing event. Steve Spear, the top fundraiser for Team World Vision of all time, was finishing his run from LA to NYC. SAY WHAT?! That's right. Steve had embarked on this journey from the Santa Monica Piers five months ago, ran 35 miles a day five days a week, and was finishing it off in the greatest city in the world. His goal was, and still is, to raise 1.5 million dollars for villages void of clean drinking water. What inspired this trek? He got to visit his sponsored child Winnie in Africa.When he walked 1.5 miles with her on her daily chore to get water, dirty water at that, he carried the enormous container back for her. He struggled, as a fit individual, to complete a child's chore. He eventually realized he wanted to run across America to raise awareness and funds. His mantra? 

"If I can run a few miles to take away a few miles from Winnie, I will."

Steve shared a few words with us before we ran down the East River for his final 3.8 miles in an almost 3,100 journey. Naturally, they were inspiring!

We ran to the finish with Steve. When we arrived by the World Financial Center, HUNDREDS of people were cheering him on! It was so inspiring to see perfect strangers, prompted by his support team, witness the completion of an amazing feat. When he got there, it was very emotional. He had been moving for good for months. He shared a few words, and then his amazing family shared their thoughts and congratulations, including the coolest mom in law ever, a wife, son, and daughter.

This woman is amazing. She lived in an RV for 5 months, cheered him on, supported him, and is so stylish and cute. Kudos Mrs. Spear!

Talking with Steve was like talking to an old friend. My running partner and I got to share a few minutes with him, and he is the kind of person that you are instantly comfortable with. We shared our passion for our kids in the states to get healthy, and he was so encouraging. To learn more about Steve and his work toward bringing health and wellness to developing countries, visit www.runningforwater.com .

Mr. Miller and I also were moving for good this weekend. We participated in Nike's challenge for NYC/NJ to garner 20 million fuel points in order for them to donate 1 million dollars to public school sports facilities affected by Superstorm Sandy. We got invited to their last Summer of Fuel Event, another round of capture the flag. It was fantastic! Three teams, water balloons, water guns unlocked by earning fuel, and tons of sweat. I designated myself as the flag protector/fuel earner. I was doing jumping jacks, high knees, COOL DANCE MOVES, and squat thrusts for over 40 minutes. It was a blast. Team yellow was awesome. Boom.

Mr. Miller and I were on opposing teams, oh the horror! Don't worry, we never saw each other!!!

Thank you @NikeNYC for enabling us to #MakeItCount as we were #MovingForGood!

Overall, it was a great weekend. I earned over my goal of 10,000 fuel points, but NYC/NJ as a whole blew that goal out of the water! We all moved in order to provide the opportunity for students to gain priceless opportunities through athletics.

27 million. Go big or go home. That's how we do. NYC/JERSEY Strong!

Thinking about sweating for a cause? Abby posted a great read on participating with charities during runs. If you're thinking of running with a charity but aren't sure, this post should seal the deal for you!

How about you? Do you run with/ partner with a charity? Have you seen anyone moving for good lately? Do charity events inspire you beyond belief?! TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Calling all NYC/NJ Fitness People


Nike has just one upped itself. It's no lie that I have enjoyed some fun events with Nike this past summer. They put on various events around the city to launch a summer of fuel, hyping up their fuel band.

So naturally, when I saw their new campaign, I was EXCITED. Nike donated almost 2 million dollars to restore areas devastated by Super Storm Sandy. Now, on September 8, if the people in NY metro area can accumulate 20 million Fuel Points, they will donate another million dollars to restore school sports facilities affected by Sandy. Basically, get active to get funds to schools that need it! My kind of day. For more information, click here.

Here are some ways you can help:

-Wear a Nike FuelBand and accumulate points. Upload that at the end of September 8 to be counted in the total fuel points in the NJ/NYC area.
- Use Nike+Running while running on Sunday to accumulate points! Download the free app and go about your usual business, but maybe go just a little bit further to add those points!
- WALK using Nike+Running! Going about your business in the city? Running some errands? START YOUR NIKE+! No matter how little, it will get points for students who need their athletics.

As a teacher, schools are close to my heart. As an active person/teacher whose school has LIMITED activity space, I am wholeheartedly ready to try to get over 10,000 fuel points that day. That is a HUGE amount, but I am ready to do it for the kids that need it. 

How about you? Have you ever helped out a community group? Do you volunteer at any local schools? Will YOU be counted toward the 20 million fuel points? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ode to the End of Summer

It's been a good summer. I had tons of fun this summer, got to see some great family and friends, enjoyed the beach as much as possible, got my sweat on in many different ways, and taught some fun kids in between. Needless to say, I enjoyed myself.

Here is my ode to summer.

Summer, you were...

fun beyond belief...

filled with the best people...
 healthy and fit...
 simply delicious...
 overwhelmed with heat...
 rockin with sweat...
 unmatched in creativity...

and overall, a lesson learned in the art of "Just being present".

I am glad to have had this summer. This summer was filled with so many fun memories. I loved each of them. We went to a Mumford and Sons concert this past week (EEK! That's for another post...still reeling over the incredibleness of it all...), and I loved how a band member told everyone to put their phones away and be "present in the moment". I hadn't taken my phone out once, and so glad that I continued to do so. It was my last "super fun" event of the summer, and it was amazing. I'm hoping to enter the fall confident, calm, and ready to continue being "present" and ready for the good times ahead.

I loved reading all your summer memories in my giveaway! You all shared some really great moments. Congrats Rachel M, you're the winner!!!

How about you? Do you get the summer blues? Do you prefer to be sans phone? What are you looking forward to this fall? TELL ME ABOUT IT!