Our Life With Hugo

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Hugo.  Huu-ga-ba-doo-ga, Stinker, Boo Boo.. what a dog!  It is amazing how he changed our lives.  There is something about a living creature overflowing with unconditional love. This little puppy can pee on our floor, make us frustrated and a minute later have the entire family giving him kisses.

The first couple months were the most work.  Have you ever worked in a factory and seen one of those signs that say how many days since the last accident?  That is exactly what it was like with our dear Hugo.  We would have a good week, go 6 days with no accidents in the house, and all of a sudden we would be back to 0.

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Hugo is a lover.  He loves all people and dogs.  As I write this post he is already 6 months old.  Each and every day he enhances our lives.  The way he fearlessly approaches everything is remarkable.

Our kids adore Hugo.  In addition to finally having a dog, they are learning so many valuable lessons.  Don’t get me wrong, they are not taking care of the dog.  That is my job.  The girls really help on a daily basis.  My older daughter takes the dog out every morning and will pick up after him on walks.  My younger daughter will feed him lunch and is incredibly sweet and gentle.  Hugo is a family dog, and the entire family contributes.

It’s important to my girls, so I’ll list his tricks.  Hugo is smartish.  Let’s just say he can learn fast if food is present.  At 6 months of age he can sit, down, side, touch (my hand when I say the word), leave it, drop it, fetch and sits before he is feed.  My biggest accomplishment is that I taught him how to ring a jingle bell hanging from the door when he needs to go out.  He’s far from perfect, but aren’t we all a work in progress?!

The past 4 months taught me a ton about Frenchies.  They make crazy sounds (like they are trying to talk), jump pretty high considering their size, have a mind of their own, are big dogs at heart, love fruits and veggies, love the outdoors, don’t like hikes, shed a little, are always hungry, live up to all non-sporting breed standards and honestly can not handle the heat (anything over 80 for Hugo).  I grew up with dogs and other animals, but I have never had a pet that wanted to be with me all of the time.  For example, Hugo loves the garage for some crazy reason.  A couple days ago I peeked in to see what he was doing.  He was sitting in the dark by my car door so I wouldn’t leave without him.  I take him almost everywhere!  What a sweetie!

Yes, life is busier and more complicated with Hugo.  He is worth it.  Our life with Hugo is the new norm.

 

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One Mile Bang

Let me start by saying I identify myself as a distance runner.  No pressure, just run and run.

One of my lofty summer running goals was a sub 6 minute mile on the track.  Pre-summer my previous mile PR was a 6:43.  I had some serious work to do!

My summer training began with long consistent runs while my kids had a couple weeks of camp.  When the girls’ camps ended and my running time became synonymous with kid time, I took to the track.  Sometimes going several times a week.  My workouts weren’t that long.  A mile warm up (done with the girls at a 14 min pace), 2-3 miles of intervals with recovery laps between with the girls and a mile cool down was my formula.  I got in some speed work, the kids ran a few miles and we would bring the dog so he could run around.  It was a win, win, win.

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I never really felt the benefit of track while on it. Track is hard. It is always really hard. Especially for a distance runner. Even if you improve your times, you feel every bit of the effort and pain.  Little did I know my track works would pay off.

A not so short pre-race prayer by a prayer leader, real track gun start with a very loud blank and this intense and foreign race distance almost paralyzed me.  The one mile race.  It was all a blur.  The gun went off, my ears were ringing and the people around me took off from their track like starting positions. I was way, way out of my element.  I had no time to laugh or cry, just get moving!

My hubby helped me plan the race.  He found me a bunny. The person to keep in my sights.  She was a young, cute high school aged girl with long legs I would kill for.  I was also told to expect quarterly splits by people on bikes.  When the race started I was so thankful someone would have splits because during the ‘short’ prayer my Garmin went into power save mode.  Lovely.

My bunny was great, but I knew this race was a constant push. I had more, so I passed her. Unfortunately, my quarterly splits didn’t happen.  The only person I saw on a bike was mumbling and riding against the race flow.  All I could do was run faster.  My next bunny was the next woman I could see. I could hear her breathing heavy and just knew I wasn’t that extended. So I passed her too.  Then the craziest thing happened. After my next turn the finish line was right there! I picked it up just a little more and finished with a time of 5:56! I can’t believe my body ran a sub 6 minute mile!

One mile races are catching on and more than doubling in quantity over the last 10-15 years.  I can see why they are so popular.  They are a fun and different distance for most of us.  My hubby rocks the one mile race.  Two years ago he ran a ridiculously fast 4:51 mile! The crazy part is, that doesn’t win the race.  He placed 11th overall and 2nd in his age group!

One Mile Bang, Run, Racing, Moms Run

I don’t know if any additional training could have prepared me for that race.  I learned a ton and was able to reach my time goal and be the first woman finisher! I’ve been running since I was 9 years old and never placed first in any category!  Maybe there’s a little sprinter in me after all…

My Wonder Woman, My Mom

11 Days after hip replacement surgery my mom went back to work.  Two weeks after surgery my mom walked a mile and ditched her cane.  A month after hip replacement surgery my mom volunteered to be race support for a 50 mile run she planed to run pre-injury.

Obviously, my mom is crazy strong and determined.  You have to be, right!  Doctors are telling her she will never run again or best case scenario she only has a set amount of “miles” on the prosthetic hip.  Her response should be obvious to us all.   She plans to log a few miles.

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This picture was taken just after surgery.  You can easily see which leg is swollen.

My mom’s only complaint stems from something other than her hip replacement.  Why is it that she feels noticeably stronger from her hip replacement surgery each day, and for years she couldn’t pick up her pace running?  I don’t know the answer to this, but I love that with all that she’s going through this is her gripe.

While my mom was in the hospital preparing for her surgery I found her a great blog to turn to for support.  It is called Hiprunner.  If you ever need inspiration, look no further.  The blog is a support group of runners of all ages that have gone through the same surgery either as an elective or by necessity.  My mom is now a member and a contributor.  Now my Wonder Woman can help and inspire others.  I’m so proud of you mom.

Two Running Partners, One Day

I’m writing this post on Monday, April 21st.  I am exhausted and unable to sleep.  Today my first running partner, my mother, had a total hip replacement and my current running partner ran the 118th Boston Marathon.  The irony is beyond belief.

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My mother had a milestone birthday this year and had a goal of re-qualifying for the Boston Marathon.  She has run it 4 times.  Last time she ran with Team Hoyt in 2012. Her birthday gave her additional qualifying time, and she was determined to give it her best.  Training was tough, full of old and new injuries and with a ton of races lined up she continued to chip away at her time.

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On Saturday, April 19 on a rainy Florida day she set out to run a half marathon trail race.  A half mile from the finish line she tripped and fell.  Her hip was crushed.  Devastation.

Today my mom had her operation.  The surgery seemed to take forever, but she came out in great spirits.  Honestly, she is the strongest woman.  My own Wonder Woman.  We know running is about the journey.  Difficult and full of hurdles at times, but everyday should be embraced.  My mom will run again.  There’s no question in my mind.  We even made plans to run her first 5k together!

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My current running partner ran the Boston Marathon today.  She too had her share of injuries and hurdles to overcome.  No marathon is without huge sacrifices and extraordinary determination.  Today she had a great race.  The races she runs may be difficult, but this woman is a competitor.  Honestly, I don’t think she has had a bad race and today was no exception.  Let’s just say if she wants to run again next year, she’s already in!

Dealing with all of the emotions that come with a marathon, being so close to my running partner and the stress of my mother’s upcoming surgery made for a tough day.  I dealt with it just like they would.  I went for a run.  My wonderful husband sent me marathon updates by text and my sister kept me current about my mom.  I cheered for Meb Keflezighi as I heard he won the Boston Marathon, visualized myself with my running partner on the course and cried when I thought about my mom’s injury.  Basically, it was my favorite 5 mile hill run on auto pilot. My legs took me up and so my mind and heart could deal.  That’s just what runners do.

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Pure Barre Modifications for Runners

My chronic running injuries include tight ITB (Iliotibial band) and tight hamstrings. Naturally, I have other injuries at other times, but I almost always have some version of the above.  Both of these injuries are in focus areas for Pure Barre classes and require some slight modifications during class to avoid further injury.

First make sure your injury doesn’t require medical attention.  Next, I recommend talking to your instructor before class begins.  This way they can give you modifications throughout the class.  Most importantly stop if an exercise is hurting!!

Hamstring injury modifications

  • Drop the ball from behind your knee
  • Use the bands
  • During seat work instead of flexing your foot keep it relaxed to help relieve tension
  • The closer your heel or foot works to your hamstring the more work in your hamstring, so during seat work work with your leg closer to the ground  

ITB modifications

  • Keep your knee on the ground when doing seated exercises
  • Lower your leg

Regardless of the modification, Pure Barre is always a great workout.  I’m thankful that I found this great form of cross-training!

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~ MARISSA BORELLI SPRING SCARF GIVEAWAY~

Who doesn’t need a new spring scarf by Marissa Borelli, right!  We all love the feeling of layering on a beautiful and stylish scarf.  This giveaway is simple to enter.  Just follow Marissa Borelli on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and leave a comment below to enter this giveaway!

All entrants must live in the continental United States. The winner will be announced the week after the contest.  The contest runs from April 1st – April 7th.

Good luck!

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The Cleanse

I eat healthy 90% of the time.  One year ago if you asked me about a cleanse my answer would have been there is no way I could go without eating.  Now when asked to join friends doing a cleanse, I didn’t even hesitate.  The progression of my healthy lifestyle made this experiment relevant and exciting.

We did a juice cleanse by a company called Blue Print.  They offer 3 different levels: Renovation, Foundation and Excavation.  I just figured if I was going for it, why mess around.  I chose the Excavation Cleanse.  This is the most intense of the three recommended for vegans and others who have eaten raw before.  The main difference between Renovation and Excavation is 200 calories.  Those 200 calories can be a lot on a 1,000 calorie daily program!

Blue Print Cleanse, Blue Print Review, juice cleanseWe do not need to eat all of the time.  You really learn that with a cleanse.  Surprisingly, the low caloric intake did not starve me.  At least not initially.  I supplemented with green tea in the morning and was always drinking hot lemon water, tea or the juice.  My energy level remained constant.  There was no mid-day lull.  In fact, I felt increased energy.

The habit of not reaching for food or eating took effort, but the most difficult part of the three day cleanse was day 3 from 4pm.  From that moment on, I was starving.  Doing a cleanse is all mental, clearly we don’t need all that we eat.  Three days of vitamin packed juice and a ton of liquids should not be that hard.  If it had been a 4 day cleanse, I am not sure day 3 would have been so difficult.

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Would I recommend a cleanse?  Yes.  Would I do another cleanse?  Yes.  The Blue Print Cleanse is easy to follow, tastes good and very convenient.  Downsides include finding the right time to do a cleanse and the expense ($195 for 3 days).  The upside is a sense of accomplishment and hard reset when it comes to dietary intake.  It is a win, win in my opinion.

I have a little suggestion for Blue Print.  It would be very cool to have this cleanse at airports.  Flying cross country is such a great time to do a daily cleanse, but we are unable to get the juice through airport security.  What a great way to avoid all airport food and arrive at your destination feeling healthy and energized!

I was not compensated by Blue Print for this review and I purchased the product.  As always, all opinions are my own. 

Recreation, by Trina Turk

I love Trina Turk clothing.  The introduction of an activewear line to Trina Turk was exciting!  My peers, community, and my readers all have a sense of style and I know would love the newest TT endeavor.  This collection fuses fashion and function.  I love it!

The collection currently consists of: shorts, leggings (mid and full length), jackets, sports bras, tank tops, long and short sleeve model tops and a track suit.  The colors and patterns range from neutral solids to classic Trina Turk prints.

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Trina Turk, Trina Turk activewear, Trina Turk athletic wear, activewear, stylish workout clothes, RunStylish, mommaIn addition to looking fabulous while working out, this Trina Turk collection would make great stylish loungewear.  I can already see so many of these items working into my world. A short run or Pure Barre class straight to school pick up.  All while looking great!

Thanks Trina for continuing to broaden your collection!

www.trinaturk.com

I was not compensated by Trina Turk although they did provide the images.  As always, all opinions are my own.