Wednesday, December 13, 2017

To Ski or not to Ski?

Last weekend A LOT of our friends got snow!  It snowed in the north, it snowed in the South, heck it even snowed in Mexico!  I thought for sure we would get some too, but no snow for us in our little pocket of the state.  All this talk about snow got me thinking of Winter activities.

 As much as summer running can be tough,  I would rather run in the summer when it is hot and humid, rather than running in the cold.  I actually don’t mind running on the treadmill so I do that a lot more in the winter.  It has finally started to get cooler here after having a mild fall and it got me thinking about activities that I would do while I was younger.  Looking back I feel like I was a bit fearless with some things I have done in the past. Of course you don’t think about that during the time.  

 I remember the first time I ever went skiing.  I was in middle school and my friend’s dad took us out of school for the day. They were both pretty experienced at the time. With the help from them and the lesson I took that morning I caught on pretty quickly and ever since then I fell in love with it.  

When I got to High School I was part of the Outdoor club and every weekend we went to a Ski Resort in the Poconos.   One weekend in my early years of skiing my boyfriend came along with some of his friends on the bus trip. He stayed with me for a few rounds down the mountain and then quickly moved on to ride with his friends that were much more experienced than I was.  I didn’t want to hold him back so I let him go and we did our own thing. I remember going down one of the mountains and I hit a mogle at the wrong spot and continued to fall down on the side of my face.  I’m not going to lie and tell you this didn’t hurt. It did very much.  My whole face was scratched up pretty bad and I had a scar on my wrist for the longest time. I knew right then and there if I didn’t pick myself up and go back down the mountain I would be afraid to ever do this again. For something that I really enjoyed doing, I didn’t want to just give it up. I went down a few more times and then called it a night and had some hot chocolate by the fire in the ski lodge while I waited for the time to get back on the bus to leave.   

I didn’t see my boyfriend until we met back on the bus. He started to tell me about all these black diamonds they did and tricks they were doing down the mountain. I finally turned my head and I looked at him. Oh my gosh what happened, he asked.  I told him what had happened and I could tell that he did feel bad about leaving me.  Oh well. The past is the past, I moved on and I continued to ski plenty of years after that. I skied up until I was in college and  a little while after but then I just stopped. Not sure really why, just life. 

This may have been the last time I went skiing (circa 2007-ish)

I have been seeing commercials lately about advertisements of the ski resorts this season and I think to myself will I ever ski again? Whenever I think about skiing, as much as I loved it, I think about how my love grew for some other activities throughout the years, like running.  I ran track in High School, but I was never a big runner. I was a sprinter and honestly never really liked running that much (but my coaches thought I was good, I think that’s why I did it). If you would have told me I would go on to run 15 marathons in the future I would have just laughed at you. That being said, I love running so much more than I did skiing and my biggest fear after taking so many years off is that what if I take another tumble down the mountain and hurt a leg that would prevent me from running? I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.  Not to mention it would affect my work, since I am in the fitness industry. That is not the chance I want to take. So I will remember all those fun times (and not so fun times) but I have no desire to ski again. 

Have you ever fell out of love with something and can’t say you miss it?  -L

Monday, December 11, 2017

Running of the Elves 5K Holiday Race

On Saturday I ran the Running of the Elves 5k with my mom and my sister.  I have never run this race but my sister ran it last year and really enjoyed it so I was happy to participate!

Lewisburg 5K races

   Like I had said the other day, I was not feeling well on race morning. I was fighting a sore throat and would have given anything to just stay in bed that morning. But you know FOMO.  Plus I already paid for it and I wanted to run it with my family.

It was pretty chilly that morning only in the 30's.  I know people may be thinking that isn’t too bad, but we haven’t had weather like that lately here so it felt cold. My Sister said that it would warm up fast and that we were probably over dressed (which we were), but we were trying to dress festive! 

Soon it was time to line up for the start. There was an announcement that had told us there were gift bags placed along the course that we were free to pick up.  I remember my Sister telling me about this last year and she said had she known which ones they were, she would have picked them up. Last year they were giving out RunLites. I was hoping that they would be giving them out this year because I don’t own a pair of those and thought it’d be nice to have.

One of the pretty church decorations along the route.

 After the National Anthem played we were off.  I surprised myself by keeping a pretty good pace considering I didn’t feel good.  I didn’t know what these bag would look like and thought there was one up ahead that was a draw string bag on the side of the curb, but then thought it was probably the volunteer’s bag that was directing the runners. The Volunteers who were directing the runners were in the Holiday spirit as well because they were dressed up as Elves and Santas!

 A little ways down the course I did end up seeing the bags. These were not gift bags though they were reusable bags that you would use as a grocery tote. As soon as I grabbed one I thought man this is pretty heavy maybe I should just put it back down, but I decided to keep it. Of course there was a pretty steep hill coming up. Between fighting with this bag and readjusting my Christmas hat and scarf I was having a heck of a time.

After conquering that hill I was glad to be on the other side of it. Just when I was rounding the corner I saw my Dad. I was so happy to see him so I could give him my bag. After I had given him my bag I realized that I had put my hat and scarf in that bag and was regretting not having it for the rest of the race.   The only part that was really cold on me was my face. I picked up some more speed after getting rid of all my baggage and I was soon on the home stretch. I saw the finish like about a half mile away and I thought that can’t be right. Why does the Finish Line always look so much closer than it really is? I tried to push anything I had left and crossed the Finish Line strong.

 I noticed on the clock that I was about 2 minutes slower than my average 5k time, but I was perfectly fine with that since I wasn’t feeling well and I stopped a few times to see what were in the goody bags along the course.  

My sister came in shortly after me and we discussed our race while waiting for our mom to come in. My sister said she was one minute slower this year, but she did get a gift bag which was her only goal for this race...haha.

We then met up with our dad and went to the awards ceremony.  Even with my slower time and my cold, I still pulled out a 1st place age group award!  My mom even placed 1st in her age group too.  She was pleasantly surprised and I was happy for her.

Afterwards we all met back at my parent's house where we had brunch and then finally looked into our  gift bags from the race. Since my sister and I both gave our bags to our dad when we saw him along the course, we had no idea what was in them.  Oh, and something about these gift bags, they were not in plain view along the course. They were sort of hidden. Some of them were even across the street from the route we were running on, and most were hidden behind volunteers. A bit confusing for first time runners for sure.

In the gift bag I received an aluminum water bottle and a t-shirt from a race that I actually ran a few years ago.  My sister received the same water bottle, a fleece blanket and shirt from the Fall Day 10K (which she did not run) and a really soft shirt from the Monumental Mile from this year that she DID run. She was very pleased with this since she did not order a shirt for that race and was pleasantly surprised to see that particular shirt was a size small!

Hanging my shiny new AG award on the tree!

Even though I was feeling under the weather this morning, it was another great holiday activity to participate in. However, I end up resting up the rest of the evening.  -L

What do you like about your local holiday race?

We will be linking up with the gals from TOTR.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Weekly Wrap...Dec 10

We are linking up with Holly and Tricia for their weekly wrap!

I should call this post Week #3 of Holiday Festivities!  It seems like every weekend we have something festive going on. I don't remember doing so many festive things last year at this time, so it's kind of nice.

If you missed it......
Week 1 we visited A Longwood Gardens Christmas
Week 2 we did Late Night Shoppers night and Holiday movie

And now this week......

On Sunday My Aunt and I went to the Lights of Love ceremony at our local hospital.

  I got an invitation to the event because I made a donation to the Hospice center in memory of my Grandmother (my Aunt's mom). At the end of the event we sang Silent Night as they lit up the memorial garden with Christmas lights. I'm not going to say this was a happy event, but it did feel good to participate and recognize the work of all the people who help care for our loved ones in their time of need.

The week days were spend gathering things we will need for an upcoming Christmas gathering and gift getting. I feel like I am pretty well set with my Christmas gifts but need to get a few more pieces to make some of them complete! -M


Because of all the running around I did this week to gather gifts and supplies, I only got in one treadmill run and my performance on race day reflected that...haha.

Here are Lacey's Workouts.

Monday I had to teach my spin class then had some clients to train in the afternoon. I met a friend for lunch after work. By the time we finished it was getting cold and dark out so I decided to do 5 miles on the treadmill.

On Tuesday after work I finished some Christmas shopping then I decided to go back to the gym and take a class which I usually don’t get to since I am always teaching them.  I took a CX Works class (which is a core class) and a Body Step class. Both of those classes I do not teach so it is always fun to take something different.  I also did a mile and half on the treadmill afterwards.

Wednesday I had another spin class. I didn’t think I was going to have time after work to run so I wanted to make sure that I got my run in before class. So I did 2 miles on the treadmill before teaching my spin class.  After work it turned out to be a nice day and I couldn’t miss an opportunity to get outside to run since I have been doing my runs on the treadmill lately. I ended up running 5 miles outside at a pretty good pace. It’s hard to believe how much faster your pace can be running outside rather than on the treadmill. I actually went back and did a Body Pump class that evening. I guess I was really feeling good this day.  Another reason I chose to go back and take that class was so I didn’t have to wake up in the morning to take it.

Since I didn’t have to teach class in the morning on Thursday, I caught up on some much needed sleep then I went for a 7 miles run outside.  I had to teach a HIIT class that evening and one of my co-workers took the class and he told me he was sore the next day. It made me feel like I was doing my job well!

Friday I work up with a sore throat. I thought I may be coming down with something but I had a full day with clients and my class so I was going to try my best to get through it. Luckily no one showed up for class so I was able to leave early and not have to teach.  I came home and slept all afternoon hoping that this would help. When I woke up I knew I had to get at least a mile on treadmill. I am trying to do the running streak. I almost didn’t want to share this with anyone in fear that I would not be able to complete the challenge and set myself up for failure. So far so good, but this had to be the hardest day so far since I wasn’t feeling well. I managed a run/walk for a mile and then I was done. 

Saturday morning I woke up still not feeling the greatest. It was a good thing I had a race that morning or I may have forgo my workout.  It was the Running with the Elves 5k. Even though my sister has run this race before, this was a new to me a race so I didn’t know what to expect. Other than it being pretty cold, I was happy how things turned out.  Recap to come. After the race I napped again all day. Later that evening I watched Christmas movies while wrapping Christmas gifts. -L

Friday, December 8, 2017

Merry Fitmas!

Tis the season for holiday shopping and that's just what I've been doing lately, shopping for stuff for the gym that is.

As you know, I teach group fitness classes and do personal training so I felt I needed to update my equipment.

                                                         Here are few things that I bought.

1. This is called a Smart Step.  I bought this for my Body Pump class because we do chest presses on it as well as push-ups off it.

2. This is called a smart bar with the weight set. The weights are 10lb, 5lb, and 2.5lb.  The cool thing about this is that it slides right on and there is no clips.  The other cool thing is that these weights are easy to grip if you want to incorporate them in a workout without using the bar.

3. This is a Smart Band.  It is a resistance band with handles.  Generally the bands with the handles are the "tubes" and they are sometimes hard to use when you are doing moves that require you to step on (or with) the band.   I prefer the flat bands but they don't usually have handles on them. This one is cool because it has both!

4. I also ordered a 10lb Kettle bell.  The lightest Kettle bell I have now at the gym is 17lb and it the moves I am doing with my clients right now require a lighter weight.

5.  I plan to order another Bosu Ball.  The moves on this ball are endless. It makes for a great core workout and I've even taught classes using only the Bosu Ball.

Tell me some moves you you do using any of these pieces of equipment?  L

Monday, December 4, 2017

Favorite moment of 2017

I have written and re-wrote this post several times and I still feel that the words I am using to describe this experience are not adequate enough. 

The Holiday is upon us!

Linking up with Holly & Tricia for the Weekly Wrap

Even  though this past week was only a four day work week, I still felt exhausted. As we get deeper into the Holiday season I bet that feeling will not subside with all the holiday hussel and bustle going one. There is always something to do (or something that needs done)!

This is what we were up to!

Sunday we had our visit to Longwood Gardens for their Christmas display.

My Christmas trinkets ready to be displayed.
Monday I had off work so I finished up my Christmas decorating. I did the inside and then Scott and I put up outside lights. I think putting up outside lights is my least favorite. The weather is usually nice when we put them up but it might not be nice in January when we have to go out and take them down. For that reason I am a "less is more" type of person but my husband is not!

         Also this week I got my first "unofficial" Holiday gift this season compliments of Mizuno!

I'm a sucker for the WaveRiders and these new WaveRider 21's are just perfect! I love the color which is called "Highrise -Greystone"  but the 21's also come in three additional colors (in shades of blue, purple, and pink) which I love just as much!  You really should check out these other gorgeous shoes I know you're going to love the colors too. You can see them HERE.

So of course I had to take them out on a run. It was a busy week so this was my only run for the week but it was a good one! I surprised myself and actually got in 4 miles. Running in the evening is quite peaceful but it is hard to get a lot of miles in before it gets dark.  The first 2.5 miles were at the island and then I decided to run across the bridge into town and order Chinese takeout for dinner. After placing my order (which she said would be done in 15 minutes), I ran back to the island to get my car so I could drive over to pick it up.  This was perfect timing because it was just getting dark by the time I got back to my car and my Garmin showed I had done exactly 4 miles!

 One thing I love about all my Mizunos is that they are just as comfortable for me to run on hard surfaces (like pavements and sidewalks), as they are for me to run on softer surfaces like the trails.  Although just as comfortable as my previous Mizunos, the 21's actually have a redesigned mesh upper.  Even though I mentioned there were a lot of great colors in this style, I'm glad I was gifted the Greystone ones.  My shoes get SO dusty when I run on the rail trail and now perhaps my shoes won't look as dirty!

In other holiday news...

I was so happy to see Friday finally arrive!  I had a few things to pick up at the mall after work and then my sister and I had plans to go to "Late Night Shoppers Night" in our town.

This was SO much fun! All the stores were decorated for Christmas and what we didn't know is that each one of them had free hors'douevre, wine, and cider.  I teased Lacey that it was turning into more of a pub crawl!  My plan was to grab a slice of pizza for dinner as we walked through town but by the end of the night, I didn't need to!

On Saturday we went back into town for the free Holiday movie that was showing which was Christmas with the Kranks! -M

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mizuno. The opinions and text are all mine.

Are you doing holiday activities yet?  How are you doing on your holiday shopping?

Friday, December 1, 2017

Christmas at Longwood Gardens

Christmas Activities in PA

Can you believe it is December already?  I'm actually excited about this month because of all the Holiday activities that will be happening.

This past weekend we kicked off the holiday season by taking a visit to Longwood Gardens.

I have known about Longwood Gardens for a few years now as it is where the largest Flower and Garden show is in the Spring.  However, during this time of year they have " A Longwood Christmas".  I heard this is absolutely gorgeous at Christmas time and that it is a really big deal.  Afterall, it is one of the "MUST DO" Christmas activities in the area.

                         Here are 5 things to know about Longwood Gardens.

Christmas Activities in PA

1. Admission on a regular day is $23 but during the Christmas Season it is $30. I thought $30 was a little high but figured it would be worth it because there would be some spectacular Christmas displays.

Buying the tickets was a little confusing. They encourage you to buy tickets ahead of time because it might sell out. They will add a $6 processing fee if you order over the phone but no fee if you order online. When you order online you have to pick an arrival time. I didn't really see where this was necessary seeing as once you got there you could come and go and stay all day.  We choose a 1:00 arrival time. We arrived  right at 1:00. Apparently you only have a half hour before your scheduled time or a half hour after your scheduled time to arrive. Entrance is not guaranteed otherwise.

Inside the conservatory. The designs on the floor are made out of apples and cranberries. 

2.  There are two main attractions at Longwoods. One is the Conservatory and the other is the many acres of outdoor gardens.

Here are some pictures of the inside of the conservatory.

 Inside the conservatory there were some Christmas displays and then just other garden displays. There was a section that had trees decorated from local school districts and there was also a music room. In the music room there were Christmas sing along concerts every hour in the afternoon.  We did go to one of the sing alongs while the musician played the organ.

3. After the sing along we were getting hungry so we went to the cafe.  There is a fine dining restaurant that would require reservations, a Cafe, and a Beer Garden, all in the same area.

The cafe was cafeteria style and in my opinion it was quite expensive ( $4 for one cookie, $3.50 for one packet of hot chocolate, $18 for one piece of Salmon (not including any sides).  However, the menu in the Beer Garden was a little more reasonable.

4. It wasn't quite dark enough to really enjoy the outside lights so we decided to go browse in the gift shop for a while.

The gift shop was very lovely but again, lots of over priced goods ($17 for a small tin of lip balm).

5.  When it was dark enough, we took a stroll through the gardens to see the outside lights.

I have to admit that I was sort of underwhelmed by the outdoor lightening in the gardens.  The landscaping  here is beautiful and there was SO much more potential for decorative lights and displays.

The one thing that was pretty neat was the fountain show.  The fountains lit up different colors and danced to the Christmas music.   I guess I expected more displays like this one with music and such.

It was a nice day spent with family and I guess it would be more entertaining for someone who was into horiculture.  I wanted to see more Christmas lights and displays.   In my opinion I don't think this is a "Must Do".  I would skip it and go to Hershey's Christmas Candylane instead!  -M

What are some "Must Do" Holiday displays/events in you area?