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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Kidz Phonz Review & Giveaway

Little Dude loves his tunes.  He loves plugging into his ipod Shuffle and listening to all of his favorite songs.  He also enjoys watching videos and playing games on my ipad.  Sometimes you just don't want all of the background noise when the kids are having their quiet electronic time.  So, Little Dude will use headphones.  Kidz Phonz sent Little Dude a set of customizable headphones to test out.



The headphones have an ear cup that pops out.  You can customize the design or color on the ears to your unique personality and interests.  Little Dude was sent a pair of grey headphones.  But, these also come in hot pink, yellow and turquoise blue.  At only $19.99 these are a great deal for little ones that just need a set of headphones for electronic devices, tablets or a set in the car.  

These are pretty durable, but they aren't overly heavy-duty.   If your child still breaks everything, these may be a better option for a year or two down the road.  These are light and adjustable.  They would fit easily in a diaper bag or in the pocket of a car seat.  The adjustable headband can adjust for the youngest of little ones through elementary school.


Features:
  • Comfortable wearing
  • Compatible with tablets, mobile phones, computers and chrome books
  • Swivel ear cup
  • Adjustable headband
  • Express Yourself pop out clear plastic cups
  • Free design templates
  • Plug 3.5mm
  • Cable: 4 feet PVC Cable


Little Dude opted not to use one of the templates that Kidz Phonz has available online.  He also didn't want to cut out any wrapping paper or existing scrapbook paper.  Instead, he wanted to be creative and truly customize his headphones for himself.  

He got out some blank paper, a pen and some washable markers and went to town designing.  Since he wanted both sides to be exactly the same, he wanted to prepare a scanned image of the image he designed.  We used our color printer for that.




He simply cut out both sides of his design, popped off the ear cap covers and inserted the circles.  He used this as an excuse to watch a video on Netflix.  The sound quality seemed just fine for his needs.





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One lucky winner will win a pair of
Kidz Phonz (in grey)
(US ONLY)

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Enter now though March 7.

[If you would like YOUR product or website featured on Running Diva Mom, please email me at ( runningdivamom at yahoo dot com ) ]

A Visit to the Field Museum - Chicago

 Chicago is full of culture and has many museums to explore.  Last weekend, we stayed on Michigan Avenue and enjoyed a short, one mile walk to the Field Museum.  Much to our delight, the Winter weather cooperated and we enjoyed our walk, with coffee in hand.  The Field Museum opens daily at 9:00 am.  We got a head-start and arrived around 10:00.  There were no lines, but the museum was starting to get busy inside.  






We were advised to head on over to the new Vodou exhibit early.  So, that’s exactly what we did.  This small exhibit was filled with early museum visitors, as we observed statues, pottery, jewelry and other artifacts.  There were also short videos available to educate visitors on the culture.


We viewed all of animal exhibits and were reminded how many species are among us.  The detailed exhibits were so intricate and reflect each animal’s way of life.  There were several artists seated along the exhibit, painting various creatures.  Visitors were in awe of their artwork.




You can’t help but notice Sue the T Rex in the atrium of the museum.  She is the largest and most complete T Rex discovered to date and stands in the entrance of the museum.  The original head skeleton weigh over 600 lbs and are displayed separately from the rest of her remains.


We enjoyed walking through Inside AncientEgypt.  This exhibit was extraordinary to walk through the ancient tomb and view all of the mummies and artifacts.  I enjoyed reading the diagrams on the mummification process and hearing all of the young children asking their parents questions.


We weren’t sure if we would enjoy the Underground Adventure of soil and bugs, but it was quite entertaining – even without the kids along.  Visitors are “shrunk down” to bug size as you are immersed layers underground.  It was interesting to discover what lives a foot beneath your feet – and beyond.  I think that my kids really would have enjoyed this one – it reminded me of watching Honey I Shrunk the Kids when I was ten years old.










 After watching through the dinosaur exhibit and Evolving Planet, we landed at the entrance to the Waking the T Rex 3D movie – just in time for our 1:00 pm showing.  The movie featured the discovering of Sue the T Rex.  We followed paleontologists on their journey to uncovering her remains and how they were transported and reassembled and eventually placed in the Field Museum.  The movie also covered the Sue's lifespan lived until her death.





My husband and I enjoyed our day at the Field Museum and look forward returning as a family in the future.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Book #4 of 2015 - The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

This non-reader actually enjoyed a nightly reading session in 2014.  After being challenged by my daughter to read a Fault in Our Stars with her, followed by a viewing of the movie, I became hooked.  I read seven books from July-December in 2014 and am looking forward to reading twelve books in 2015.  I'm enjoying sharing my daughter's passion and carving out a different kind of "me time" after my workouts are complete.  Running has relaxed me and is also helping me sleep better.



Book #4 completed in 2015:

A client recommended this book to me, and I am glad she did!  I immediately placed a hold at my local library and started the book.  This book was classified as a teen novel, but I loved it.  I also look forward to sharing it with Little Diva.  The book follows a high school track star, Jessica, after she loses her leg in a car accident.  She thinks that all of her joy in life - and joy of running are behind her.  However, Jessica's teammates and the support of a young girl, Rosa, show her that she can do anything that she dares to dream about.  Rosa is a classmate with CP that makes Jessica help herself and others see past handicaps and disabilities, and see the actual person.  You will follow Jessica through her journey of being fit for a prosthetic leg and rediscovering her joy of running.  Jessica also helps Rosa follow her own dreams and desires.  This book will make anyone realize that anything is possible if your heart is in the right place.

Do you have a favorite book that I should be added to my reading list for 2015?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Running Quotes

Here are some running quotes and motivation to get you through that next run ...


Work.  Spouse.  Kids.  Laundry.  Cleaning.  Errands.  To do lists.  Emails.  Groceries.  Meal Planning.  Dishes.  Sleep?  RUNNING.  I LOVE THIS LIFE.


Strong legs.  Big heart.  I've been in love with running from the start.


Friday, February 6, 2015

Running Diva Mom Fun Run / Walk - March 21, 2015


Running Diva Mom – Group Fun Run/Walk!
Saturday, March 21 – 9:00-10:00 am
Upper Yahara River Trail – DeForest/Windsor

Register Now!!
Individual registration:  $5
Running buddies registration (for two runners):  $8


The Upper Yahara River trail is a fantastic recreation trail in DeForest/Windsor.  Take a left at the Windsor Road/Lake Road intersection in Windsor.  The trail head will be approximately a half mile on your right.  The 2.31 mile path (approximate five mile loop) is cleared all year long.  The scenery is beautiful and you will enjoy the variation of paved trail, board walk and two inclines.  Run as little or as far as you want.  All paces/walkers/intervals welcome.  

We will meet up at Windsor Breads for coffee or pastries after the run (not included).

No restrooms or water available at the trailhead.


http://www.vi.deforest.wi.us
http://www.windsorbreads.com/ 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Book #3 of 2015 - Running Like a Girl: Notes on Learning to Run by Alexandra Heminsley

This non-reader actually enjoyed a nightly reading session in 2014.  After being challenged by my daughter to read a Fault in Our Stars with her, followed by a viewing of the movie, I became hooked.  I read seven books from July-December in 2014 and am looking forward to reading twelve books in 2015.  I'm enjoying sharing my daughter's passion and carving out a different kind of "me time" after my workouts are complete.  Running has relaxed me and is also helping me sleep better.



Book #3 completed in 2015:

I accidentally discovered this book while the kids and I were at our local library last month.  It was displayed in a selection of new books at the library.  I saw it and immediately placed it in my library bag for my next read.  This was an easy read and I really enjoyed every minute of it.  the first part of the book describes Alexandra's experiences as a new runner to completing several marathons.  The second part answers many questions you may have about running and the lifestyle of running that new runners may have, but are too afraid to ask.  I identified with much of the book, as I didn't start running until my mid-20's and never thought that I could put one foot in front of the other to run around the block - let alone run marathons.  The funny experiences Alexandra experienced - getting fit for real running shoes, finding the perfect sports bra, overcoming fatigue and crazy thoughts during a race were all enjoyable to read.  In this book, she also touches on the support of loved ones and the misunderstanding of others as you follow your own journey through a healthy lifestyle such as running.  Every seasoned runner or new runner will enjoy this book and I highly recommend to all of my female couch to 5K clients.  

Do you have a favorite book that I should be added to my reading list for 2015?

Motivational Quotes for Runners

Here are a few motivational quotes for your weekend.  Have a good run!


Don't listen to the doubt.  Let it go. Stepping outside of your comfort zone isn't easy.  But, I promise you ... It's worth it.



I wasn't BORN a runner.  I BECAME a runner.



You can do ANYTHING for a minute!  Taking that first step to try is the hardest.



Yaktrax Giveaway Winner ...

I was recently given the opportunity to review several products for active families.  You can read all about my fabulous experiences at the link below.  Please visit their websites below and start shopping.

One winner was chose at random to receive the following items.  Random.org chose ……..

Yaktrax
Company Website - HERE
RDM Article - HERE
Winner - Steph - HERE

Congratulations!!!  Please email me at ( runningdivamom at yahoo dot com ) with your name, email and mailing address.  And, I will get you your prize!

Thank you for following my journey!!

[If you would like YOUR product, event or website featured on Running Diva Mom, please email me at ( runningdivamom at yahoo dot com ) ]

Thursday, January 29, 2015

2015 Icebreaker Indoor Marathon Race Report

This past weekend I completed my first indoor marathon at Icebreaker Indoor Marathon in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  What is an indoor marathon exactly?  It is run on an indoor track, around an ice arena.  The full marathon was 95 laps total.  I had previously completed the half marathon event two times.  I thought that was an adventure, but the 26.2 miles was a whole other test of endurance and mental toughness.






We carb-loaded the night before with a pizza casserole and went to bed early.  The alarm went off at 4:55 and I climbed out of bed for some coffee, got dressed and did my hair and make-up (why, yes I did!).  I have previously had tremendous trouble with chaffing and bleeding on my thighs, so I opted to wear capris under my running skirt.  That ended up working really well for me.  I did miss my compression socks, however.  I ate some cinnamon toast, greek yogurt, and coffee.  We headed out the door around 6:00 and drove to Milwaukee.  After a potty stop, we arrived at the Pettit Ice Arena around 7:20, later than we had hoped.

We checked in upstairs quick and said hi to our friends, Bill and Amy.  I downed an energy shot, a banana and some Power Bar chews around 7:30 and used the bathroom about four times.  I get nervous and think I need to use the bathroom WAY TOO MUCH before a race.  I even tried to limit my fluids the morning of the race.  It was going to be interesting seeing port-o-potties for 95 laps straight.  We found a spot along the track to layer our bags, gear and nutrition.  I lined up energy gels, gum and a bag of peeled oranges.  We took our labeled water bottles over to the water table.  This station was being managed by volunteers.  You would call out your bib number and on your next lap they would have it waiting for you.  Labeled by "water" or "sports drink" they will also refill your bottle for you.  Very handy.  I had forgotten my Garmin watch charging on the desk at home, but was able to locate to spare stopwatches in my duffle bag.  I wasn't going to be using the GPS indoors, so it worked out just fine.


I ran a 4:04 at Madison Marathon in early-November and hadn't trained much over the holidays.  Hubby hadn't either, as he had been struggling with tendinitis in his foot.  I got in my own half marathon the day after Christmas and ran about sixteen miles during a training running at the ice arena two weeks before the race.  Otherwise, my mileage was pretty low.  The goal of the indoor marathon was just to use it to "stay fit" and we had a "just finish" attitude.

About 100 runners lined up on the track and we were off shortly after 8:00 AM.  Hubby and I were together for a few laps, and then I went ahead.  Eventually he passed me with good cheer at some point and then I passed him again.  I continued to be laps ahead of him.





Photos by Bill Flaws
Running in the USA


Every fourty minutes or so I would quickly run off the track and grab an energy gel and a stick of gum.  I would sip on my gel for about three miles, toss it, grab water or sports drink, and then chew gum for a couple of miles.  Then, I'd repeat the process.




I finally got in a rhythm around the one hour mark.  I could quickly tell that just as I had guessed, that most of these runners were seasoned - and faster than me.  I mean, how many people are going to run an indoor marathon as their first event?

Hockey was being played center rink.  Later, families were ice skating in the middle of the track.





Photos by Bill Flaws
Running in the USA


I passed the half way mark around 2:07 which was extremely slow for me (I'm usually 1:56-1:58), but was so out of shape and had put on some pounds over the holidays.  So, it didn't surprise me.

Around 2:45, I felt something pop on the side of my right foot.  I have the same blisters on the sides of my feet that cause me problems, callus and then pop again.  I had used blister bandaids, but the bandaid either slipped or the blister popped through.  Not more than ten strides later, I felt a twinge on the middle toe of my left foot.  I had a feeling my toenail was starting to come off, from a Madison Marathon injury.  I adjusted my footwork for the next mile and eventually forgot about it.  After the race, my socks were bloody.





Photos by Bill Flaws
Running in the USA


I consistently took water and sports drink and my urge to use the bathroom finally left my mind around three hours.  At three hours, I grabbed my bag of oranges and ate the slices while I ran.  They were what I needed.  I always crave oranges when I run long, but never have them on hand.  The accessibility was perfect!

Headphones were not allowed.  I kind of struggled not having access to my own tunes and my power songs when the mood struck.  But the music was decent.  Everyone was able to request a song at registration and songs were made into the marathon playlist.  I was hearing about the winners finishing and the leaders were being announced and how many laps they had left.  I had many laps ahead of me.  It was weird thinking about having "30 laps left" - how many miles did that equate to?  It was between 3.5-4 laps per mile.  So I kept myself entertained, doing calculations in my head.  It was different, not to pass those standard "half way" or "twenty mile / the wall" mile markers along the course.




There was a leader board, that showed how many laps you had left.  There was also another board next to the announcer's table, that coincided with the timing chip mat.  You wore a timing chip around your ankle.  It counted your laps.  I liked that it told me how many laps I had completed and my pace for each lap.  My laps averaged 2:44-2:49 for much of the race.  For the last hour, they were approximately 2:50-3:01.

When I heard that I had five laps left, I got a burst of energy.  I took my last swig of water and was OFF!  I picked up my pace and started using more of the inside lane to pass people.  Finally, I heard that I was on my last lap - and I took that victory lap.  I was breathing heavy as I came off of the track to receive my medal.  It was kind of strange to be done and have no finish line.  But, I had accomplished 26.2 miles for the past 4.5 hours - even more miles, because I ran on the outside of the track for 99% of it.

I finished in 4:26:43 ... and oh yeah, I never used the restroom.  22 minutes slower than Madison marathon 2.5 months ago.  This was one of my slower marathons, but the only one I haven't officially trained for.  So, I call it a WIN!


Chip time:  4:26:53

Pace:  10:20 min/mile
9/15 in my age group (30-39 F)
23/37 F
71/105 finishers








I collected myself and walked a a few minutes and saw that hubby had 15 laps to go.  I cheered him and other runners on for a few lips and then walked to the restroom and put on a heavy sweatshirt, as I was starting to feel the cold temperatures of the ice rink, and my teeth were chatting.  When I came back out to the rink, I was doing the "marathon shuffle" and hubby had less than ten laps to go.  He was walking and I asked if I could join him.  I wanted to root him on, and could use the "cool down" and needed to warm myself back up.  I grabbed a water bottle and we ran/walked the next 8 laps together, bringing me over 100 laps for the day.




My hubby finished in 5:29 and some change.  I was very proud of how much he overcame obstacles he's been struggling with and moved his body for more than 26 miles without much training.  We both said we have another "training run" under our belts.  We grabbed snacks upstairs (tasty cutout cookies, chocolate milk, donuts, pretzels, subs and more treats that were left) and drove home for some pizza and couch time together at home.