PRO Compression Ambassador (and sale!)

Good evening! (or good morning… it’s 12:22 a.m…) This is obviously the time that I finallllly have some time to myself to sit down, relax and confront you all about my very eventful week. Stay tuned.

accounting-image-3Event numero uno: Work has been nutzo. Not only is it the beginning of filing season, but all payroll quarterly reports, W-2s and 1099s have to be distributed by the end of January. My office + short staffed + someone out on maternity leave + a “blizzard” + 1,000 clients = one very nice paycheck and a mentally exhausted human. In all seriousness, I really am thankful during weeks like these. In my office, we all have our own work to do and our own deadlines with our clients, but when a deadline crisis hits us, everyone is willing to help each other out and somehow, by the help of a higher power, everything gets completed on time. Then we can breathe for .2 seconds before we dive head first into the next deadline. Times like these really show the importance of teamwork (and a lot of patience). It is also job security at its finest.

Event number two: Earlier this week, amongst the chaos, I got a very exciting e-mail. I was chosen to be a PRO Compression Ambassador for 2015!!!! I found out about these AMAZING compression socks from a past ambassador last year (how appropriate), and my collection can’t grow quick enough. I was extremely skeptical about compression socks when I first head of them, but these are by far my favorite. They have become just as important to me on long runs as wearing sneakers.

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Event 3: PRO Compression is having a flash sale this weekend in honor of me!! JUST KIDDING… it’s in honor of the Superbowl. SO, this weekend only, you can get 40% off your entire purchase and free shipping over $20 with the code “SUPER”. So go ahead, knock your socks off. Get a touchdown on a great deal. Think of your own bad jokes while browsing their website.

So let’s recap; accounting, socks, bad jokes… yup, that just about sums up my life lately! This weekend I’m looking to spend a lot of time getting studying done for my CPA exam as well as a few long runs. There’s also some football game on, I’ll probably watch that. And eat. Helloooo wings and nachos!

The Best Advice I Can Give

Hello there! I’m always being asked about what sort of tips and advice I have for beginning runners or training for a big race. I never know what to say… and then I start to say something and I could just type out a short book which just looks ridiculous. So I’m going to put some thought into this, and actually make a nice concrete list.

Now, by no means do I know what I’m talking about, know anything about how the body works, or should be taken seriously. This all comes from my own trial and error and is what works for me. With any luck, it will work for you as well!

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1.) Shoes. Having a great fitting running shoe is key to happiness. Small, local running stores are full of trained employees to help you find the perfect fit for your running style and foot type. It is also important to change your shoes every 300-500 miles depending on the make. At one point I had a pair of Nikes that I thought looked like they were still new, but the stability cushioning had compressed over time and the shoe was no longer providing the support my flat feet need. The better your shoes fit and feel the less pain and risk of injury for you! It is also important to remember not to buy your shoes too small since your feet can swell half a size up during long runs (and no one wants squished broken toenails… ew.)

2.) Assess your fitness level. Should you really start out running twenty miles a day on your first week of running? Probably not. Start out running with lower mileage until you build up your stamina. If you already lead an active lifestyle, running may come easier than someone who makes little to no time for exercise. You don’t want to overdo it on your first few weeks of running, that’s a sure way to hate it. If you can’t run far in the beginning, it’s ok to walk! It gives you body a few seconds to recover. There are good programs out there like “couch to 5k” that are literally designed to take your from the couch to a 5k. This one in particular starts out with alternating walking and running.

3.) Tying into the last point… Find a training plan that works for you. Having a schedule is a great way to keep on track and record you running. There are A LOT of schedules out there. You may even need to make your own up based on a few. They are generally formed on levels like beginner, intermediate, and advanced. I’m a fan of the programs incorporated through the Nike+ running app. I think they do a good balance of days off with cross training and long runs. For me, the more distance I cover in a week, the more confident of a runner I am. If you have less time during the week, there are training schedules out there that put a bulk of the milage during the weekend.

4.) Get into a routine. Morning bird? Night owl? Find your happy time to run and make it part of your daily routine. I like running right after a long day of sitting at a desk. It loosens me up and relieves any stress I gained at work. However, when it is in the middle of the summer, I like waking up early to run before the heat hits the pavement. Find the best time that works for you and your schedule.

5.) Don’t skip those long runs! These are KEY to building up to running a marathon or half. Distance will come with time, and then speed will come with distance. It’s like a formula.

6.) Listen to your body. I may have just said stick to a schedule, but it is okay to skip a day (or even rearrange your running schedule). If you spent all day at the beach and are sun burnt and dehydrated… it may be in your favor to take the day off instead of going out for a 20 miler. Are you having a pain in your ankle? DON’T RUN THROUGH PAIN. I REPEAT. DON’T RUN THROUGH PAIN. I’ve made this mistake. “Oh! It’s just my knee, it will be fine tomorrow” followed by hobbling around the office. If you are feeling any kind of pain it is best to rest, ice, and see a doctor if the problem persists. Sometimes taking a day off is more beneficial than having a crappy run.

7.) Get motivated. In a running slump? Get some new music. Find a running friend. Treat yourself to a new pair of socks. I like PRO Compression socks. Be all like “If I stick to my running schedule this week, I’m going to get a new pair of shorts!” Little things like that really help me stay motivated. Remember, this is not high school, there is no one telling you when or what to run. You are your own coach/cheerleader/motivator. When all else fails, read about other people running. You will get jealous of their awesomeness.

8.) Do some research. There is a lot of stuff out there about running! If you want to know what someone’s big race day was like, read a blog! There are thousands of race recaps out there. I know I used strategy when I was planning for my marathon. I wanted to know when people to GUs, drank water, if they had to pee, what they wore, etc. etc. You can read about my marathon recap here! I can get wrapped up for hours reading about running, nutrition, racing, gear, gadgets, you name it!

SO, hopefully you found some of that information useful. Or at least entertaining. PLEASE share with me any advice you also think is important! I’m always looking for new tips and tricks!

Happy Running!!!

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Magical Weekend

Hi there! I learned something the other day: blogging is hard when a bad internet connection… Whenever I have tried in the past few days it’s a constant battle of “did this load?” “did that really post?” or “can this hurry up!?” The answer to all of those seas generally a big fat “no!” Blogging and learning right here…

Anyway, provided this post goes according to plans, I just got back Monday night from a wonderful, magical, exhausting weekend at Disney World! I left on the first flight out Friday morning and the last flight in Monday night and didn’t even have to miss a second of work! What a whirlwind of a vacation!

We visited Hollywood Studios:

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The Magic Kingdom:

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Animal Kingdom:

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And Epcot! (personal favorite)

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Everyday was packed from the moment of waking up to around 1 am when the Magic Kingdom closed. I’m feeling like I need a vacation to recover from my vacation! I’m glad I got to sneak in one last weekend away before tax season hits in full speed!

Monday Motivation

Happy Monday! I have no idea how it is already another Monday, but here we are! This week is sure to go by quick. So far this week there has already been a snow storm, but is is a whole 20 degrees warmer than last week (making it a balmy 30!) So here’s to good weather and a short week.

Here’s some motivation for your week:

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But most importantly, here are some jokes. I swear, the cornier they are, the more I think they are funny. I think a lot of things are funny. I couldn’t contain myself this week, hopefully at least one makes you smile big. 🙂

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Becoming Elsa

TGIF!! My office is closed for Fridays before tax season starts up… so I got to sleep in and have a leisurely morning up early to have the best day off ever. I have been looking forward to a run outside all week! The morning called for snow. I obviously had to get out there before it stopped. I think it was actually the worst part of the mini storm. It was awesome. The few cars on the road were extremely confused.

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It was pretty snowy. By the end I couldn’t see much, but I was afraid to take the icicles off of my lashes because of a fear of snapping them off. I think I’ve heard this happen to hair, or that it is not good to let wet hair freeze. I was probably fine, but I didn’t feel like experimenting. Plus, I knew it would look more extreme the longer I went without wiping my face.

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Last night I got prepared for this run by putting hexagon screw in my shoes. It worked wonders. I need to try with another pair of shoes that have a little more to them so I don’t stab my foot… maybe some trail shoes? And side note… DO NOT for any reason think you can walk on hardwood floors to go grab your headphones. I’m an idiot.

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I wore four layers on the top: My Wineglass Marathon long sleeve, a Jones Wares merino wool long sleeve, a Nike 3/4 zip, and this cute purple jacket I got for Christmas. Normally for 18 degrees this would be too warm for me, but with the wind chill making it around 5, I was thankful for my layers. On the bottom I had wonderful fleece lined Underarmour tights and Pro Compression socks. I used a neck warmer and a headband. And no gloves. I hate gloves. I’m pretty sure like 90% of my sweat comes from my hands or something because when I wear gloves I can’t take the off soon enough. They usually last me about half a mile. I’m strange.

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An old pair of Asics Gel-Kayanos were used to experiment with the screws. The only reason I retired the shoes was because I bought them a half size larger than I normally do and they ended up stretching out too much for me. The extra support they provide was perfect for the snowy run.

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COVERED in frozen snow happiness. This whole mini photo shoot with myself happened after my run. At this point I was warmed up and just so excited to be outside during daylight. Such an improvement from my windowless office.

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Looking festive here in New Hampshire!

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Quit a bit of snow accumulated quickly. Now it’s down to a light fluffy so I’m glad I went during the most adventurous part. The only challenging part was that they had not plowed yet so when I car came I was past my ankles in snow and there wasn’t much for my sneakers to grab onto. When I was clear of any oncoming traffic running on the icy road was a breeze!

Now it’s going to be hard to top such an exciting morning, but I’m off to be productive!

New Year, New Hobby

I wrote this once and somehow magically deleted it. Writing something for the second time just doesn’t come as naturally as the first. So please excuse my awful grammar, changes of tenses, and overall ADD style of this post 😉

Greetings! So I may have made an impulse buy. But an impulse buy that is good for my health and well-being. I have recently had an interest in cycling and almost like the idea of doing a triathlon. The only part of the triathlon that I don’t like is that I’m not the best swimmer… and I didn’t own a bicycle. So pretty much the running part is the only part I would be comfortable with. I figured swimming could be fixed with practice but I still didn’t know what to do for a bike.

After doing that 5k New Years day, I was feeling all sorts of inspired. I mean running for your first activity of the new year is seriously getting off on the right foot. Aside from feeling energized after that run, I had a chance to talk to a few friends who do triathlons. Just the fact that I knew someone who did one made me want to. They also informed me that Eastern Mountain Sports was having a sale on select bicycles that they weren’t going to carry anymore or older 2014 models. I thought meeeehhh I should probably check them out.

The closest I had come to buying one before only goes as far as googling “good bicycle for beginners.” That never got me too far. I always thought they were too expensive and I wasn’t sure what I even wanted in one. Besides wheels. I knew I wanted those. Two.

Craigslist was an option as well, or a used one from a shop. My only problem with those is you can’t do a “bike fax” on them and see their history. I wanted to get something I knew would last me a while and be safe.

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So off to EMS I went. I was all like “I’m here to get a new hobby, I need a bike.” I was asked a few questions and the man realized I had no idea about anything and then brought out this beautiful Masi Vincere and I fell in love. It looked like an Italian sports car. He attached some pedals, fitted me to the bike, and put it on the trainer. I pedaled. I looked like a fool. It felt great.

So I was in a state of “This feels good… I think.” I mean it was a little uncomfortable, but I was also sitting weird and had no form what so ever. I just wanted to look at my feet. And the bike. It sparkled.

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I was obviously confused so the man brought me two more bikes. One I said no to right away. It just didn’t “feel” right. Like I even know what it was suppose to feel like. The second one he brought out actually felt just as good as the Masi! Too good. It made me confused. By now my butt felt a little soar and I was exhausted from running that morning and actually working up a sweat.

I couldn’t make any decisions that day and it was literally my first time looking and bicycles so I left. Well I put the first and last bikes on hold, then left.

I did a little research on them, asked around, and then went skiing the next day. Up until then I was leaning toward the second bike, but on my fifth run down the mountain, I decided I should buy the Masi. Just like that.

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I knew I passed EMS on the way home so how convenient was that. I was excited to get off the mountain. After all, the best part of skiing is taking off those uncomfortable ski boots and putting on running sneakers.

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When I got to EMS, I took both bikes on hold out for a spin outside. The Masi, which already won in my mind, won that round as well. I felt like I could ride it all day. This is good considering I hadn’t been on a bike in about five years. It was questionable at times, but I was getting into it by the end! The other bike made me feel stretched out and I was constantly thinking that I should adjust myself. I figured that wasn’t a good feature in a bike.

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So now this beautiful bike lives in my house. If I don’t end up ever doing a triathlon, I know it will be a great cross training device. My knees will thank me down the road for that. I’m looking forward to an winter of training inside before I actually hit the road and embarrass myself. Yay for trying new things!!!

Target x Lilly Pulitzer

Earlier today, Target announced their new collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer. For a girl like me, this is a dream come true. I could spend hours in Target and hundreds on Lilly dresses. Ok this actually sounds like an awful idea, the creators of this collaboration are geniuses.

The line will hit stores on April 19th and include 250 pieces. There will be everything. I will probably camp out. I actually already have anxiety that the pieces I want will sell out. The internet will most likely break as well since everything will be available online. Be prepared.

You can read about the release here on Target’s behind the scenes blog. Meanwhile, here’s some colorful pictures.

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That hammock.

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The line includes 15 exclusive prints.

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The shoes will be a must.

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Lilly dresses at a Target price?! Pinch me.

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Colorful heaven.

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Get ready for summer pool parties!

I feel like Target collaborations have been a hit or a miss in the past, but I really do have high colorful hopes for this one. Meanwhile, I’m going to sit here wrapped up in my heated blanked and pretend I’m in Palm Beach 🙂