Holiday Traditions (Running and otherwise)

What I like best about the holidays are the traditions that come along with them. This year, as I’ve done for the past few, I joined in The Light Run.

Although it nearly did not happen.

My son, Lucas, and I registered for this way back at the beginning of October. At only $14 (and the request for unwrapped toys), this untimed fun run is great and supports local charities.

That said, I think both Lucas and myself were feeling a little overwhelmed with all the stuff we’ve got going on. He had a few tests in school coming up, a band concert to rehearse for, and he was voicing his concern about getting it all done. (He is his mother’s son, for sure.)

Rather than getting stressed about it, I asked him what he would like to do. Between you and I, I wasn’t really feeling it but I also didn’t want to SAY that to him. This is a good hobby that we both share so if he wanted to run, we’d run.

A few years ago it was bitter cold and there was a 5k route and a 1-ish mile route. That year we ran the shorter route. He asked if we could recreate that this year and of course, I was happy to oblige. Since it was a fun run, there was no added pressure about what we did or did not accomplish.

While the rest of the runners went off straight at the beginning to do the first larger loop, we peeled off on our own journey. We were completely solo but thankfully we’d printed out directions and there were signs along the way to mark where we needed to turn.

Soon enough we came to the main event, the Hagerty Lights display. Lucas loves it, I love it, and naturally Santa and Mrs. Claus love it too. Santa asked Lucas what he wanted and when he told him he was asking for a weight set, Santa actually took some time to talk to him about weight lifting and making sure he makes smart choices. It was very sweet.

Notice how I say that everything is our favorite? Um, yes. We just love to love and it’s easy at to do at this lavish display.

You can tell how much hard work and effort this family and their neighbors put into hosting this free show each year. They have an area set up for donations so I made sure to bring money (and a little extra, because I’ve forgotten during past years!).

Once we finish our quick jaunt through the streets of Pitman, Lucas and I both agreed that we were really happy we decided to do it. No regrets!

Creating new traditions is always fun too. I’m currently doing the “no rain dance” because tomorrow I’m volunteering at the Elf ‘n Coca Run representing Healthy Kids Running Series. I’ll be handing out medals at the finish line of the kids mile race and I am very excited for that!

Tomorrow evening we are going on a train ride through a light show with my extended family. This is a new to us activity as well but I’ve heard good things so we’ll see what it’s all about.

And next weekend (right before Christmas, omg), Rachel is coming back for round two of baking with the Daniels! Will my cookie design reign supreme over all the land? We shall see!

What are your favorite holiday traditions?

TRE Influencer Day

Disclaimer: I received a travel and hotel stipend and swag from The Running Event as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! No further compensation was given and as always, all opinions are my own. If something was given for review purposes, it will be disclosed.

The Running Event is a huge convention for the running industry. Brands and those involved with anything running related, from nutrition to medals to recovery to gear (just to name a few) converge in Austin, Texas for this week-long show. Closed to the general public, this is a chance for vendors to explore new products and prototypes, hear from innovators and inventors, and connect with others in the field.

Besides new products and prototypes, there was something else that was brand new to The Running Event this year was… ME. The coordinators of The Running Event partnered with BibRave to bring 20 bloggers/social media influencers into the exhibition hall for TRE Influencer Day. I was lucky enough to be chosen to explore The Running Event and it was beyond awesome.

Group A for awwwww, yeah!

The BibRave Pros were split into two groups of 10 with official Team BibRave tour guides, Andy and Steph. We were on a tight schedule with plans to visit 10 booths within a two and a half hour span throughout The Running Event. The (Vooray) swag bags we received at the Welcome Reception had goodies and gear from Addaday, Altra, Arcanum, HandfulVuori, CEP, Incrediwear, Zwift, Brooks, and Nuun. These are the brand we visited on the expo floor.

It was a great opportunity to learn more about their products, designs, and visions for each brand. Hearing the passion and excitement from each of the brands presenters made us understand the vision and thought process behind the products.

Throughout the month of December I’ll be putting these products to the test and sharing my own thoughts and opinions about them. But for now, here’s a small peek on the extremely cool morning at The Running Event.

Arcanum

Cannabidiol (CBD) is not something I knew a lot about prior to TRE. The buzz regarding it has been great so I was interested in learning more about its benefits and how it can be used during workout and recovery.

At TRE we met Lindsay of Arcanum. We learned her personal story about her autoimmune disease and how activated hemp assisted in her recovery. CBD oil can be used pre and post workouts, aids with sleep, and even helps to combat anxiety. I was interested to learn that she uses the Sarco Breeze as moisturizer on her face to help with redness and acne.

Arcanum means mystery within and in this case, it’s the activated hemp.  But don’t worry, I won’t be keeping my thoughts a mystery regarding Arcanum. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the Arcanum Sarco Breeze, Sarcho Freeze, and The Quill in the upcoming weeks.

Handful

As with anything in this world, there are wants versus needs. For me, a good bra is a need. I have a generous “handful” and it was great to hear from the ladies of Handful bras and apparel. One of their original goals was to make a sports bra NOT have the dreaded uni-boob. Well, they have succeeded!

From there they’ve added more to their line, including this Flippin’ Awesome Tank which they demonstrated at TRE.

Along with the Y-back bra, the lady BRPs also received leggings from them in our swag bag. While we visited their booth they also gave us each a sweet Handful hat, which I’ve been wearing non-stop since I got home.

Vuori

California founded company, Vuori was founded with the goal of making technical clothing for workouts that would transition to casual wear. The brand started with men’s clothes; however women began to gravitate toward wearing them and they saw the want for it, they expanded to include a women’s line too.

We were encouraged to feel the materials and check out their clothes. Incredibly soft and modern/stylish. I have my eye on the Halo pullover.

I always find it interesting to ask what the brand name derived from because I think it says a lot about the vision of the brand. In this case, Vuori means mountain!

Vooray

Hooray for Vooray! These gear bags had me at hello. The goal of Vooray is to offer great bags and a price point under $100.

The folks at Vooray were very receptive to ideas, asking for input and opinions on the spot which was awesome. I especially like the bag above has a ventilated shoe pocket for stinky shoes after a workout.

Our swag bag was the Vooray ACE Backpack (you can see many of us wearing it in top picture) and they also gifted us the Active Fanny Pack while we were there. I know that both will get a lot of great use!

Addaday

Next stop on our tour was to Addaday, which many associate with their massage rollers and therapy tools.

However, the first thing we learned about was their new full leaf runner’s tea! The importance of keep the leaves full, not crushed, is that to preserves nutrients. We were able to sample the tea and also get packets to try at home, which I’ll share more about in my upcoming review.

In our swag bag we received a muscle roller, which particularly rocks because my hamstrings have been tight lately. The Addaday booth also had a sweet set up with chair and foot massagers. I think we would have been perfectly content hanging out there all day!

Alas, there was more to see and do at The Running Event so we were on to the next!

Nuun

While some of the products and brands we were introduced to were ones I’d not been aware of previous, I’m not new to Nuun. It’s always been a tried and true for me and I usually grab a tube when I visit my local running store. I was looking forward to trying the samples but I didn’t really think I’d be hearing things I didn’t already know.

Boy, was I surprised!

Just as a quick example: I learned about the different types of Nuun (caffeinated has the colored cap, while non-caffeinated caps are write) and the Immunity boost (which I’d heard about from Ash’s review but hadn’t yet tried myself). Obviously I’ll be sharing a lot more information once I’ve tried them all in my upcoming review. Also, at their suggestion, I’m planning on trying Nuun warm and maybe even a Nuuntini. Fancy!

Incrediwear

Incrediwear is another new to me product that I’m really excited to use during my workouts. It always says something when you hear directly from an athlete that has had great success with products. World class sprinter, Manteo Mitchell, shared his story of breaking his leg during the 4x400m relay at the 2012 London Olympics. Despite the break halfway through his lap, he finished the race and helped his team get a second place victory!

Afterward Manteo was looking for something that would aid in his recovery. Incrediwear has done that for him and he’s passionate about their products. It was great to hear him speak about the brand.

While I don’t currently have any injuries, I’m looking forward to using Incrediwear products during my training and recovery. I’ve already checked out the Sport Socks during a recent run and they were great!

CEP Compression

CEP Compression was next and while I’ve worn compression socks before, I really had no idea about how and why they worked. The pressure from the compression accelerates the removal of metabolic waste as well has assists in keeping you stable while running in addition to reducing swelling.

The products are made in Germany by Medi. Medi is the brand that make compression for medical purposes while CEP is their athletic branch.

We received compression socks and Merino wool socks to try during training/recovery and I’m looking forward to trying them. In the past I’ve always fought to get compression socks on however I learned a little trick called the toe pocket so I’ll be trying that with CEP Compression!

Altra

The next stop on our TRE tour was at Altra. I’ll admit, this is a brand that I didn’t know too much about prior to visiting their booth. I think that the idea of zero drop shoes was always something that made me nervous, mainly because I didn’t know what it was or how it would pertain to me.

I was also very interested to learn about the Fit4Her technology which caters specifically to the female foot. We were able to see a number of different shoe styles as well as see a few of the new colors coming out in 2019.

Compared to what I usually wear they are super lightweight. I got a pair of Escalante 1.5 (Silver) to try and I’ll keep you posted on my thoughts when I hit the road.

Brooks

Our final destination on the official BibRave/TRE tour took us across the expo floor to the Brooks booth. I’m well-versed with Brooks apparel  but I’ve never run in their shoes before last week!

I’ve considered getting Brooks shoes in the past but have always wound up sticking with the shoes I’m currently in for fear of change. However, I was given a pair of Brooks Ghost 11 at TRE (some of the other ladies were given the Adrenaline GTS 19).

I’ve been wearing the Ghosts for my runs and training sessions since then and they’ve been working really well for me. More thoughts on those and the LSD jacket coming soon!

Final Thoughts…

We learned about Zwift the day prior at the Zwift Welcome Reception so we didn’t spend time with them at their booth however I did get the chance to wave as we passed by at the expo. We had a bit of time after our TRE tour to stop look around and stop at a few booths along the way. Unfortunately, Kim and I had to get back to our hotel to check out so we didn’t get to stay too long but it was fun to swing by StuntPuppy, PROHairTie, Untapped, MUD, and Boco Gear.

What stood out to me the most at each brand we visited was their intense excitement and love for their products. The passion for their products stand out and it’s clear that this is how they get better and evolve each step of the way.

Before we said goodbye to our group, we had to take the obligatory group selfie!

I love these people.

Thanks BibRave and TRE for the amazing experience! Let’s do it again in 2019!

Want to read more about The Running Event? Check out the BibRave Pros blogs:

Jessica, Vanessa, Kim, Teddy, Mai, Nicole, Mark, Jenna, Corey, Amy, Ryan, Gina

#GiveGoodVibes with AfterShokz

Disclaimer: I received AfterShokz Trekz Air and Titanium wireless headphones through the #GiveGoodVibes campaign as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

Real talk: I’m overwhelmed at the moment.

I was just perusing my planner and every single day is busy, busy, busy. No tiny square is left untouched. December is filled with holiday concerts (we have three in the next two weeks), wrapping presents (we celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas), parties, cookie exchanges, company dinners, the list goes on. There is not enough room to hold everything that needs to be done, neither in writing nor in hours of the day.

All of those things are piled on top of the every day things such as work, laundry, meals, cleaning, karate lessons, piano lessons, Scouts.

My husband makes the comment each year that I seem more high-strung during the holidays and it’s supposed to be FUN. I am fully aware it’s supposed to be fun but man, sometimes fun can feel like a lot of work. There are so many moving pieces that have to all fit together and if one small thing changes, it throws everything off. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Which is why when I’m feeling particularly stressed out, I like to swing by this:

Do Good December.

Granted, I love doing good deeds all throughout the year but right now this little calendar is helping me bring a bit of joy into every day of the month. When I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed, I get ideas on how to have a more balanced day and it really does help me feel better and bring a smile to someone else.

The AfterShokz #GiveGoodVibes could not have come at a better time because it ties so well into Do Good December and also the spirit of this time of year.

During the hustle and bustle of Black Friday, the AfterShokz team had a special Buy One, Get One deal on their bone conduction headphones and as a BibRave Pro I was fortunate enough to get the Trekz Air for myself and Trekz Titanium to gift.

#GiveGoodVibes tag on the AfterShokz gift.

It’s safe to say that I’ve been a huge fan of AfterShokz since first trying the Trekz Titanium wireless headphones a year and a half ago. I use them often and not just during running.

Going to the gym in the morning helps me reset throughout the week and clear my overwhelmed feelings better than anything else.

It stands to reason that the person I chose to spread holiday cheer is a big part of my morning gym routine.

Sarah is my trainer’s wife, an avid runner, and an awesome friend. She’s a beast in the gym; she works out with my husband on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and while she’s petite, she is seriously strong. On her “off” days (when I’m there, Tuesday/Thursday) she’s either running around town at 5am or she’s on the treadmill.

She’s also incredibly giving. Sarah is the one who organizes our Giving Tree at the gym and she works mentoring youth; she’s an all around incredible person. As soon as I heard that I’d be able to gift AfterShokz to someone, I knew it was going to be her. I did a few Instagram stories leading up to the gifting and as you can see, she was so excited to try out her new AfterShokz!

Additionally, now that I’m the proud owner of the Canyon Red Trekz Air, the Trekz Titanium that I received last year were looking for a new home. My 13 year old son, Lucas, has been consistently running for nearly a year and has borrowed them in the past.

I knew that he’d be stoked to have them and put them to good use. He’s already in his room with them on, but he can’t ignore me because I know he can hear me. Mwahahaha!

I’m loving my Trekz Air thus far. They’re amazingly light. I didn’t think it was possible to make them lighter than the Titanium’s 1.27 oz., and yet… here we are at 1.06 oz.

I can’t wait to spend many miles with them; they’re perfect for music, podcasts, and even the occasional dreaded phone call (I try to avoid those as much as possible). You’re also able to skip tracks, pause, mute, from the headphones. No need to fumble for the phone, which is very convenient.

I hope the holiday season makes you feel more joyous and giving than it does overwhelmed! What types of things do you turn to when you’re feeling like things are a bit too much? I obviously am a big fan of connecting with others and also, writing blogs. It helps me relax and gives me a bit of perspective.

BibRave + The Running Event = A HECK OF A GOOD TIME

Disclaimer: I received a travel and hotel stipend and swag from The Running Event as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! No further compensation was given and as always, all opinions are my own. If something was given for review purposes, it will be disclosed.

Picture this: You’re traveling solo to the new-to-you city of Austin, Texas. You get off the airplane and your eyes bounce around the airport, in search of the color orange.

The faces you’re looking for are ones you’ve never seen in person (save for a few, whom you’ve met previously at races); You know them from social media posts, Twitter chats, and the occasional conference call. You’ll be spending the next two days with these people and it’s a bit nerve-wracking.

And then there they are, beacons of light in orange, wearing their BibRave hats and shirts and huge smiles.

In that instant, you know that you’ve found your family.

As a BibRave Pro for the past two years, I’ve had so many awesome opportunities. However, I’ve got to say, this opportunity was the granddaddy of them all! A trip to Austin for The Running Event and the chance to meet 20 fellow BibRave Pros and 5 members of Team BibRave, the staff that includes Tim, Jessica, Julia, Andy, and Stephanie.

Once I received word that I’d been selected to go, it was a pinch me, I’m dreaming moment and that sentiment continued throughout the course of two day adventure!

We didn’t have anything “official” on the agenda until the Zwift Welcome Reception that evening but it’s clear to see that you can’t keep Pros apart. After arriving and meeting up with Kim, Chris, Brenda, and Mark, we took an Uber to our hotel. Once getting settled we decided to have lunch at Moonshine.

It started with four of us and after sending out a quick text to let everyone know where we were, we ended with 14!

From there a few of us branched off to take a quick tour of the city. I’d never been to Austin before but from the brief time we took walking around, I know that I must go back!

Don’t Mess with Texas or Casey, Mark, Chris, Gina, me, Tedrick, and Kim!

After our quick walk about town (and visit to Voodoo Doughnut, natch), we headed back to the hotels and got ready for the Zwift Welcome Reception.

Zwift is a virtual game that you use on the treadmill. For those attending the conference, our representation were the “chosen” four!

A run was set up with our other Pro friends and they all “met” up in the game at 5:45 for a 5k run. Cheering them on was so much fun. Give me a pompom and let me loose!

 

I was given a footpod from Zwift (the device that connects you to the virtual game) and we’ll be doing another BibRave virtual run on December 18th so I’ll be able to give you my full review on that in a couple of weeks.

Earlier in the week, Team BibRave announced the winners of The BibRave 100, a comprehensive list of the 100 best races in America, voted on by runners. Benjamin the lion is The BibRave 100 mascot and we were excited to see him in attendance! Of course my roomie, Kim, and I had to take a picture with the lion of the hour!

The welcome reception is also where we received an incredibly generous amount of SWAG from companies at The Running Event.

Holy moly, it was honestly like Hanukkah and Christmas morning all rolled into one. And maybe my birthday too.

My eye doesn’t know where to go first!

Following the reception we went for barbecue dinner and then finished up the evening at the Brooks Party. A good number of us wore the Brooks LSD Jacket that we’d just gotten and soon realized just how reflective it is.

Jessica, Kim, and myself

Can we say awesome? That’s a lot of reflection! Check out the picture above and see if you can spot the same jacket without the flash.

Due to the early morning wake up (3:30 for Kim and myself) we decided to head out early from the party. However, just before we left, we got to meet Des Linden, this year’s winner of the Boston Marathon. What a great way to wrap up day 1!

The following morning we were up before the sun, as we prepared for a 6:30am BibRave group run. It was such an awesome experience running around Austin in a big orange pack. I might sound a little bumpkin-y here but city running is certainly different than running here at home.

Thanks to Larry Castillo Photography for the amazing shots during the group run!

Kim and I even ended up twinning in our Skirt Sports Temper Tantrum print and BibRave shirts!

Team BibRave had a great spread of food set up for us after the run, which was so awesome and appreciated. We grabbed our bagels and ran back to the hotel room to grab a quick shower and get ready for TRE Influencer Day!

TRE Influencer Day was so epic, I covered it in a separate blog post. Click here to hop over!

From Philly to Austin, With Love

Whoa whoa whoa. How is it November 28th already? This month has been filled with running, food, family, running family, more food, and lots and lots of Philadelphia pride.

Over the past 10 days, I’ve spent about half of them in Philadelphia.

It kicked off on Friday, November 16th at the Health and Wellness Expo for the Philadelphia Marathon weekend. I chose to run the Rothman 8k this year so I had to get into the city to grab my race packet.

Time was NOT on my side because I (stupidly) scheduled a doctor’s appointment for my son that afternoon. So rather than enjoying the city and visiting Reading Terminal for lunch, I took a train in, ran over to the Convention Center, grabbed my stuff, and ran back to catch the train out of the city… all within an hour. A new travel PR!

The race was on Saturday and started at 10:45am. I didn’t need to be up before the sun, which was nice but I was also totally thrown off by this turn of events. What train should I take? What should I eat? Who would I meet up with for the 8k?

Thankfully I got into the city with at least an hour to spare, naturally, so I took my time walking to the race village. Then I stationed myself in between the finish of the half marathon and the start of the 8k.

And nearly immediately found people I knew!

Larry and Amy from the Sub-30 Club were also running the 8k. Hooray! Larry is a pacer and offered to help pace me through the miles, which was awesome.

The 8k course is along the river, so it’s a standard Philly race in that respect. The distance makes it special though and it’s a nice way to be involved with the Philly Marathon weekend.

We did 30/30 intervals and he stuck with me through the entire race. I wanted to finish under an hour but with self-seeded corrals and the course being congested nearly the entire time, we finished at an hour and one minute. Ooof. So close, yet so far! There was a finish line for the kids race that faked us out, which was cruel but finally we crossed the actual finish line with smiles on our faces.

I did this race in 2011 and it’s grown up in the last 7 years. 2011 there was 1,460 runners, a cotton t-shirt, standard bib, and the knowledge that you ran the race as the awards for your achievements. This year there was nearly 3,500 runners, a tech t-shirt, personalized bibs, a beautiful medal (and the knowledge that you ran the race).

In between this and my next Philly adventure, it was Thanksgiving! We hosted this year and I think we might finally be seeing the light at the end of the leftover tunnel.

Since we were hosting, there were no Turkey Trots for us this year. Instead my son Lucas and I opted to take part in the #TotheStarbucks run.

I heard about this awesome, free event from Rachel and I was immediately drawn in because… well, just read part of the description of the run.

Join us for a morning fun run, the Saturday after Thanksgiving! We run (or walk! That’s ok too!) we have fun, and then we eat some donuts outta a trunk (oh and there’s Starbucks nearby if that’s your jam!) the route is TBA but always has a short 2.5mi and Long 5min distance. 

A given, am I right?

Through the years of running in Philly and going to City Fit Girls retreats, I’ve met lots of people and many of them were at the #ToTheStarbucks run. My son started out running with us and nearly immediately took off to run ahead. I knew that he was in good hands because these were all good folks and I’d meet him at the Starbucks, of course.

Let’s review. A run, handmade medal, donut, photos, and being cheered on. CAN EVERY DAY BE LIKE THIS?

Not to be outdone by Saturday, on Sunday we went to (you guessed it) PHILLY for the Eagles/Giants game. I grew up in central Jersey so I was mostly surrounded by Giants fans, including my dad.

However being in south Jersey for nearly half my life, I now know the “error” of my ways. My son is an Eagles fan which means that we are all Eagles fans. My first game ever was as insane/fun as I expected it to be. And the Eagles WON (it was looking a little dicey at the beginning).

I’m sure it’s not a surprise that I’ve got more Philadelphia fun on the agenda for 2019. My first scheduled event is the first weekend of April, I’ll be running the Hot Chocolate 5k, representing Team BibRave!

Speaking of BibRave, I’ve got some exciting news to share!

Tomorrow I’m off to Austin, Texas for The Running Event‘s TRE Influencer Day! This is an amazing opportunity that I’ve been given (along with some of my fellow BibRave Pros) as a perk of being a BRP.

I’ve never been to Texas before and this will be a short, jam-packed trip. I can’t even properly articulate how pumped I am. I’ll work on that before tomorrow since I’ll be sharing a lot of information on Instagram Stories and maybe I’ll even try my hand at the live feed (gulp, I’ve never done that before!).

What are you looking forward to in the next day/week/month? Have you been to Austin before? Anything I MUST do? I can’t even promise I’ll have the time to do it but I’ll try!

Recipe Box – Thanksgiving Bone Broth

Did you save the turkey carcass from Thanksgiving promising yourself you’d be all Food Network-y and do something with it? Maybe you thought you’d make stock, or even try jumping on the bone broth bandwagon if you haven’t already. Guess what?! ME TOO!  But why bone broth, specifically? Bone broth is special because the process of making it extracts the collagen in the carcass and collagen helps to heal all kinds of your parts. Parts like your intestines and joints, and it makes a great, easy breakfast, especially on cold winter mornings.

I’ve been on this wagon for a few months and I’ve gotten a bit bored with my standard recipe. I was super excited to have a turkey carcass to use and to mix it up with some fresh herbs. The carcass was so big (we had a 17.75 pound bird) that it made two batches of bone broth. Don’t forget the apple cider vinegar. The vinegar is the magic ingredient that pulls all the good stuff from the bones.

Reuse glass bottles for the perfect fast breakfast or recovery drink. Reheat for 2 minutes and BOOM!

I do use a six quart Instant Pot when I make bone broth because the stove top or Crock Pot method takes twelve hours for poultry based bone broth. The long cooking time is needed to extract all the collagen, and having a gas stove burner on for twelve hours makes me nervous. Instant Pot to the rescue! This method only takes two hours.  If you’re using the stove top or a Crock Pot, follow all assembly instructions and cook for twelve hours minimum.

Thanksgiving Bone Broth

  • Turkey carcass, cut into pieces so it will fit in your pot
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Smashed
  • Sage, Fresh
  • Thyme, Fresh
  • 1/2 Onion including skin
  • 3 Large Carrots cut to fit in pot
  • 2 Stalks of Celery cut to fit in pot
  • Mushrooms, handful
  • 1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Water

Add carcass to pot first, then add all other ingredients, adding the apple cider vinegar last. If using an Instant Pot, fill it with water to the max fill line. Lock the lid in place, select “Pressure Cook” and , and set the timer for 2 hours.

If using a pot or Crock Pot, leave two inches of water below top of pot and watch pot throughout cooking, you may need to add water as it evaporates. Cook for twelve hours minimum.

After your broth is done, you’ll need to strain it. All you want is the liquid. Once my Instant Pot is cool enough to handle, I nest a colander in a metal mixing bowl, and use a slotted spatula to remove the large bits of bones, veg, and meat from the pot. Once I’ve gotten most of that removed, I nest a fine sieve inside another large bowl, then pour the broth through the sieve to strain the broth of smaller bits. The next step is to pour the strained broth into a fat separator. If you don’t have one of those, you can spoon off the fat sitting on top of the broth once it separates. With my separator, I can pour off the fat.  I toss the bones and veg in the trash and add whatever is at the bottom of that bowl to the strained broth. Then, I pour my broth into 12 oz mason jars. (There is a lot of pouring going on).

This turkey version is tasty, and I’ll be sure to put the carcasses from my husband’s meat smoking experiments into future recipes. Bone broth has become a routine part of my mornings. I appreciate its unassuming gentleness and subtle healing properties.

Self Care Stuff

Self care Monday! I don’t know if that’s a thing, but for the sake of this post, let’s just roll with it, okay? Since I started marathon training in the spring (you knew that, right?) I feel like life has been pretty busy. The summer flew by and once school started it was work and training and that’s about it. It’s been over a month since Chicago and it finally feels like things are starting to slow down a little.

This weekend was the first weekend in a long time, I’m talking months, that I actually got to do absolutely nothing.

And it was amazing.

Now, that’s not to say that I didn’t have household chores or papers to grade, because I definitely did those things. But here are some other things that helped me relax this weekend that may help you out over the holiday break. Or just a weekend if you don’t get a few days off.

Read a book. Yeah. A whole book. You can do it. Turn off everything, get a cup of coffee, and read. Don’t get up until you’re done.

Go to a movie. My sister and I saw Crimes of Grindelwald this weekend and, while it definitely left a lot of questions unanswered and had some obvious plot holes…Jude Law as Dumbledore. That’s all.

Make that Yumbledore.

Sleep in. Full disclosure: I never sleep in. I’m a single, childless woman, but I have an internal alarm clock that makes sure I’m up before 7AM on the weekends. I have to drag myself out of bed on the weekdays, of course.

Workout. I actually didn’t workout this weekend, but I hear it’s nice to do.

Binge watch TV. I’ve finished with season four of Gotham, so now I’ve got to wait until January for the new season to start. This week of break will give me time to catch up on my regular weekly shows. Anyone else feel like Netflix judges them when they watch for too long?

Quality time. I live with my sister and two cats and we do spend a lot of time together. The weekends are a good time to catch up, though. To talk about stuff other than work or school. It gets tiresome and sometimes it’s nice to just hang out.

WriteI have a couple of personal blogs I write for so I tried to work on those this weekend. I like to write book reviews and I also write about my teaching experience. Both are great outlets to let me get my feelings out concerning my other passions.

Cook. Okay, fine. I ordered pizza this weekend. But I also made banana bread. From scratch! I even used a recipe book.

Nap. I accidentally fell asleep while binging TV today. It happens.

As we begin to move into the holiday season, where many of us will be in high demand and our lives are going to get even more busy…remember to take some time for yourself. Take care of you and be the best version you can. We don’t always do it. Sometimes we’re too busy taking care of others to even notice that we need a break.

So. Read the book. Take the nap. Go for the run. Take care of yourself.

Road Tested: Orange Mud Transition Towel 2.0

Disclaimer: I received an Orange Mud Transition Towel to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Good morning and happy Wednesday!

Is anyone still getting used to the time change with Daylight Savings Time ending? I struggled all last week and I’m still feeling “off”.

Not to be outdone by last week, this week has been an interesting one too. My husband is out of the country, traveling for work. I can hold down the fort when it comes to our household, make no mistake about that. But when you’re used to the divide and conquer method, it’s a bit challenging to conquer solo. Our kids are older so it’s less about parenting little ones (like it was when they were little and he’d travel) and more about just making everything happen for both of them (Scouts, piano, karate, after school activities, etc).

Additionally, he and I usually switch off going to the gym in the early morning hours so I’ve had to adjust my schedule because someone needs to be here with the kids to see them off to school. We make it work because having that time carved out for MY activities is just as important as getting them to theirs.

If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

I’m still able to get to the gym and get my workout done, which is important to me. AND, I have a race this weekend.

After my last race in Atlantic City.

While the weather has cooled significantly over the past few weeks, I am still absolutely gross when I finish with a workout or a run. I’ve said it time and time again, I am a heavy sweater. And not a pretty knit kind.

I sweat hard, no matter the workout. There’s nothing I can do to change it though so I just need to deal with it. Last year when I got my new car, I knew I didn’t want my seats to get gross after my workouts so I threw towels in my car that I occasionally remembered to use.

Then BibRave brought the Orange Mud Transition Towel to my attention! The transition towel is pretty cool because not only does it save the material on your car seats but you can also use it to wrap around yourself and change clothes.

via Orange Mud

I’m bringing it along with me for the Rothman 8k this weekend. After nearly 5 miles I figure that if I’m cold and gross (which is nearly as bad as hot and gross, but not quite), I can do a quick change into comfy sweats.

Since receiving it last month, I’ve used it for every single gym session and run and the towel stands up to my sweat. I’ve also washed/hung dry it at least 10 times and it’s still plush and snuggly.

By the way, while the company is called Orange Mud, this towel comes in a slew of different colors. There a cotton version and also the new microfiber option.

Want to get a Transition Towel? It retails on the Orange Mud site for $39.95. If you order now, you can use code “OMTRX” for 15% off! Also, join us for the Twitter BibChat next Tuesday evening at 9pm est, using the hashtag #BibChat! I’ll be there!

Check out my fellow BibRavePros thoughts:

Lindsey
Mary Jo
Lisa
Matt
Vanessa
Jonathan

Race Recap: Disney’s Wine & Dine 10K

If there’s one thing most people know about me it’s that I’m a Disney fanatic and, yes, that includes runDisney races as well. I know I’ve posted about a few Disney races here already, so now I’m going to tell you about another one of my favorites!

Last year was the first time I ran the Wine & Dine 10K, but my running buddy and I liked it so much that we decided to go back for seconds (get it?) this year. Now, a lot of you might be wondering why we just went for the 10K and not the half. Last year the half was full and the 10K opened a few more spots. This year we decided the 10K was all we wanted to do. It was pretty simple. We also signed up for this after we signed up for Chicago and thought that this would be a nice recovery run!

In typical pre-race style Michelle and I took a Friday off from work and headed to Orlando for the weekend. The 10K is on a Saturday so we had to take Friday to visit the expo. And also we had FastPasses for Hollywood Studios. The expo wasn’t a huge to-do. I feel like more people would have been there the next day in preparation for the half marathon that was happening on Sunday. This race series, like most Disney races has a 5K, 10K, and half marathon. It also offers a “two course challenge” of 10K and half marathon. I’ve yet to do a runDisney challenge, but if I were to do one I’d go for the Princess Weekend one. I’m not made of money, however.

Friday was nice and easy at Hollywood Studios with some best friend time that included a freak thunderstorm and tornado warning while in the park. It wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle with a bathroom hideout and a spirited coffee from Joffrey’s.

After we freshened up and tried to dry off, we had dinner and Disney Springs (check out The Polite Pig next time you’re there) and tried to get a decent night of sleep. If you’ve ever run a Disney race you know that the wake-up call is ridiculously early and you’ve got to get yourself to the start line at a certain time also. We had to be on a bus leaving the hotel by 4AM, so we got up a little after 3AM the next morning. Thankfully we were staying on Disney property and they were serving coffee. We woke up race day to temps in the low 60s and they kept dropping before the race even started. The corrals were packed and I swear I heard the announcer say there were 30,000 people racing. That’s a lot of Disney runners. Official race start time was 5:30, but we started closer to 6. The cold didn’t let up and, even though we’d just raced in the cold in Chicago, this was just different. Of course, I’m a born and bred Floridian, so anything under 75 is cold for me!

Once we were off it definitely warmed up. Michelle and I noticed at the expo the day before that the course had changed and we were a little disappointed. Last year we ran through Hollywood Studios and on the Boardwalk. This year the course was, well, boring. We took off from Magic Kingdom parking lot and basically ran through Disney property. Only the last two miles or so was through Epcot and that was only halfway through the World Showcase, then out a side passage in England and back around through France and the rest of the Showcase. I’ll admit that the Showcase as the sun came up was impressive, but not really enough to make up for the lack of excitement on the course. There were a few character spots, but no PhotoPass until we got into Epcot and it was mostly just other runners and traffic on the course.

I feel like a lot of runDisney fans run for those things (me) and I know I was a little sad at the change this year. I know it’s tough because it’s only a 10K and there’s not a lot to work with, but I hope something changes for the better next year. I love a good 10K and I think Disney puts on amazing races.

Other than that it was a great race. It was Michelle’s first time running since Chicago. I’d done a 10K the previous weekend and had some light workouts with my Girls on the Run group. We had great time considering we hadn’t really prepared. It was kind of funny because neither one of us were too worried about it. After conquering Chicago we might have been feeling a little cocky about it all. We didn’t bring KT Tape or fuel or anything really to help us prepare! There were a few times on the ramps where the crowd got to be a little much and our time was slow, but other than that we finished the race strong and happy.

After all, we were at the Happiest Place on Earth!