Swedish Days Lopp 5K Race Recap

What’s Swedish Days?! It’s a really cute little week-long festival in our neighboring town, Geneva, held every summer with street vendors, lots of food, a little carnival, musical entertainment… and now a new 5K event put on by a great local running store, Geneva Running Outfitters called the Swedish Days Lopp 5K Race.

I found out about this inaugural race through our local running club and had a nice little coupon making the race just $30. I loved that the race was so close to my house and along a route I know very well along the Fox River. It also came with a T-shirt and post-race pancake breakfast.

This was my first race of the year and in 9 months. I typically don’t run 5K events because they are so short, but have missed testing myself. My heel still has its moments, but isn’t so bad that running on it hurts. It’s usually first thing in the morning or when I have been sitting for a long time and am not walking with good supportive shoes or flip-flops.

Race packet pickup was the afternoon before at the running store, or early race morning at the event. If you go the day before, I recommend parking around the streets north of the store because most of Swedish Days events and traffic are south of the main drag where the store front is. The goodie bag was filled with tons of great coupons and offers from the local stores and some have no expiration date which is a nice bonus.

swedish-days-lopp-5k.jpg

The next morning, I planned on leaving my house at 7:15 and ended up leaving closer to 7:30 which ended up being perfect since I was only 10 minutes away. There was a commuter lot with a path and quarter mile walk downhill to the race start at 8:00am. I was suprised that not many people used that lot because it was so easy to get in and out of (my secret spot for next year!). Before the race I snapped this quick picture and kind of wished I had a few friends running with me.

swedish-days-lopp-5k-me.jpg

There were only about 300 people participating in this inaugural race which was good because the start was a bit tight as we started running onto the course and over one of my favorite bridges. We had to still share the space with cyclists and pedestrians who were not part of the race, so there were a few dicey moments as bikes carefully made their way past a few narrow places on the path until the running crowd started to space out about a half mile in.

I felt great the first mile and had a hard time judging if I should have been running faster, or holding back a little bit since we were running mostly downhill to run along the river. I’m used to really holding back for those much longer races and I like that laid back running strategy… maybe one reason I’m not a fan of the faster 5Ks. Here were my splits (you can guess what happened):

Mile 1:   9:17.53 (much better than my 10 min/miles)

Mile 2:   9:07.43 (not bad!)

Mile 3:   9:34.99 (oofta! uphill?)

Unofficial Time:   28:17.10 (Happy! My goal was to go under 30 minutes)

In the second mile, I really felt great. There was a lot of shade as the temps and humidity were starting to creep up there. There was also a water station just after the first mile and I thought I would definitely not need water. (famous last words).

The turnaround was at a pretty little spot over by some Japanese gardens and then back across the river. By the time I hit the water spot, I thought… WATER! YES! So, I walked through the station quick and started picking up the pace to finish strong.

But, suddenly I wasn’t feeling so great. I actually started feeling light-headed, so I stopped to walk and slow my heart rate. I also remembered that I could just slow down my running pace!!! DUH!  Has it really been that long since I ran a race? And so the goal was to keep running until the finish even if it was a much slower pace. I stopped one more time on a really hot part of the course and then decided it was hotter walking there than just plowing through slowly and getting back into the shade again.

By the time I finished, I was having a harder time breathing and was glad I slowed way down. Looking at my splits, though, I didn’t really slow down as much as I thought I did. I thought I was closer to a 10 or 11 min/mile!

Race volunteers were handing out bottled water at the finish and I walked in the shade to try and cool off. Even the slight breeze wasn’t helping much. I bumped into a running acquaintance, Tom R. and his friend, Sarah and we spied a snowcone machine in the distance!!! The snowcones were the BEST! I’m not one for usually eating junkfood after a race, but the ice cooled me off quickly. (p.s. check out and read Tom’s book in this link!)

swedish-days-lopp-5k-snowcone.jpg

The pancake breakfast after the race was wonderful! I took my car and drove it a few blocks over to the church that provided the meal. Instead of just having a buffet type of breakfast, there were 2 people taking orders for Swedish pancakes. You could have your choice of Sugar/Cinnamon, Blueberry or Lingonberry with two sausages and coffee or juice. I intially ordered one sugar and 2 blueberry, but was glad they made a mistake giving me one of each. Next year it’s Lingonberry all the way!

pancakes-swedish-days-lopp-5k.jpg

I have to admit to being a cheapskate with race fees and wanting to find the biggest bang for my buck since races have been getting more and more expensive. This one definitely gave us a great race for our money and I’ll be back next year… and I’ll be encouraging some of my friends to try this challenging, but beautiful course, too!

Anyone want to join me?!

Love and xo,

Teri

Adventures Await… Part 2!

Wow, I can’t believe how time just flies. It’s been nothing short of an exciting and crazy start to summer for our family. Let’s just say we have lots of adventures packed in: camping trips, fishing, scouts, football, tennis, baseball, basketball, band, water parks, swimming, friends, fireworks and more!!!

fishing-adventure.jpg

Scout camping fun with my youngest!

In the meantime, I’ve been working on something really HUGE and SCARY but totally EXCITING at the same time. It’s actually completely unrelated to running and health, but I wanted to share my latest endeavors because it has to do in part with my last post about working with kids and finally figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. (and why I’ve been so absent).

Back in March, I had an experience that lit a fire under me (it actually made me so angry and sad at the same time, but I won’t get into it here). The experience opened up my eyes to the state of our current education and the quality of the people who teach our children.

I’m someone who wants to help everyone… I know that’s impossible… but, I know I can be part of the solution! If only I can make a difference for one… or two… maybe a handful of children and their families?!

And so I started talking to my teacher friends; mostly, my Paraprofessional friends.

What’s a Paraprofessional, you ask? It’s a very special someone for many students and parents and teachers.

They are the aides in the classrooms helping the teachers. They are the ones on the sidelines who actually do much of the loving and care-giving, documenting and one-on-one guiding. They reassure students, work with emotions and behaviors across the full spectrum, they monitor in the lunch-room and they teach solutions on the playground, they talk to teachers, parents, administrators and do a ton of work behind the scenes. In my opinion, they don’t get enough credit for the massive amount of work they do for our children who need the most help in the classroom!!!

And so, back in April, I initially applied for my Paraprofesional license! A few days later, I was encouraged to apply as a Substitute Teacher which means I can accept a much broader role as an educator and at the end of May, my request was approved! The last week of school gave me two opportunities to work and I enjoyed it immensely!

school-adventure.jpg

Like this just makes me even more of a Sucker!

In the meantime, I also thought about going back to school. It’s been in the back of my mind for a long time. I started working with a university whose program I really respected and one that would allow me to do a majority of my studies online during the day while kids are in school and be the soccer mom in the evenings and weekends. In the end, I’ll be able to get my teaching license and master’s degree in special education after 2 years!

There was just one problem!

My undgraduate grades were too low to waive taking the GRE and so I studied my well-rounded tushy off for 4 straight weeks into June!!! I carried this huge notebook and study guide from the library with me everywhere and was constantly quizzing myself on vocabulary, comprehension and math problems. I studied at baseball games, when I woke up, right after lunch, after dinner and into the late nights when I couldn’t sleep, on the airplane, on vacation, and in the car (my hubs was driving).

study-buddy-adventure

My family was awesome cheering me on every time I studied. Mr. Dino was there to help, too!

Let’s just say remembering how to do proportions and rate word problems after 20+ years of actually learning how to do them was a huge challenge along with re-learning quadratic equations and geometry even though math used to be my strongest subject! (There was actually a word problem involving and cyclist and runner on a track and I had to figure out how many times the runner would get passed in a certain amount of time… that NEVER happens in real life, does it?! PLEASE!).

Thankfully, my 7th grader and Kahn Academy helped me with most of it!!! #humbled

The first week of June, I drove to the test site and after 4 of the longest mentally challenging hours I’ve had in a very long time, I walked away with the scores I needed!!! HIP-HIP-HOORAY! (I’ve gotten better, but I’ve always strugged with test anxiety so, this felt so great because I was about ready to take the darn thing again 21 days later if I had to).

And, today I officially sent in my official application to start school in the fall (gulp, August). I hope to find out before the end of July, but I’m excited and hopeful right now, so please cross a few fingers and toes for me.

take-a-chance-adventure.jpg

In the meantime, I’m now focusing on my first ‘race’ of the year this weekend. It’s a brand new 5K in my neck of the woods… which happens to conclude with a pancake breakfast! The next official race is in September – The Fox Valley Half-Marathon. I’ll start officially training in about 2 weeks, but for now, I’m kicking it off with new shoes 🙂

adventure-shoes.jpg

The biggest sadness for me this year, though, is missing the Christmas in July 12-hour event I was hoping to join in on. My plantar fasciitis was no joke and I still have to be careful. This was our crew last year and most of them will be back!  I’ll be there as part of the volunteer crew on the back half of their race so I can cheer for them and feed them… and maybe carry them as they limp to their cars, but it won’t be the same as toughing out a longer ultra race with my compadres.

adventure-grew.jpg

My UBAGE gals! They are a special bunch. And yes, I mean that kind of special, too!!!

Anyway, that’s where I’ve been. And this is where I’m hoping to be headed. I plan to still blog and run, so I appreciate you all reading whenever I get a chance to digitally spill my guts to you all.

Here’s to new adventures!!!  Any new ones for you?

Love and xoxo,

Teri

SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt Review & Giveaway

SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt Review

I was so excited when SL3S contacted me and asked if I’d review their new belt with a generous and amazing offer below.

Click on this Tweet link box and share the love with your friends!

SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt Review - Get 40% off and enter to win a free belt! Click To Tweet

It so happened I was in the market for a new belt because the one I’d had for 3 years just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I hope you’ll keep reading (and watching below) to learn why I think this belt is the best thing since sliced bread.

SLS3 is a German company that creates and develops their products from scratch, is thoroughly tested by athletes and then, if deemed awesome, put into production! They know that runners, cyclist and triathletes want high-performance gear that does its job without getting in the way.

WATERPROOF

I really liked the SLS3 Dual Pocket Running Belt, primarily because it is waterproof!

As you know, I love photography and my phone is permanently attached to me at all times so I can catch the perfect shot. However, when the weather is bad, I am always putting my Samsung Galaxy S6 in a plastic sandwich baggie for protection from the elements.

Now I don’t have to worry because the belt has a top-grade stretchable waterproof polyurethane lining with water-proof zipper.

CAPACITY

Another critical benefit is the large capacity of the belt when needed.

I run too long and with my allergies and asthma, I need to carry extra junk that most people don’t have that could literally save my life… and save you from having to call 911 and perform CPR on me as my running partner! And, I run long enough that I also need to carry fuel with me, but not necessarily water since our trails have tons of easy access, so being as minimalist as possible on these runs, is great!

The bonus? My large Samsung Galaxy S6 (and your new iPhone) will also fit easily in either of the pockets. I think the Samsung Note might also make it, too!  There is plenty of room for cash, credit cards, sports gels, energy bars, inhalers and any other essential supplies.

The SLS3 belt is soooo roomy, it’s almost ridiculous!  Watch this!

ADJUSTABLE

I appreciate that it’s a fully adjustable belt fitting sizes 24″-38″. I’m a woman’s size 8-10 with hips and there is still room for the belt to expand (like I do!). It’s very comfortable to wear while running.

Use it every day if you want to – this belt can take a beating. I thought it might be a great alternative to keep my money and phone safe while going down Splash Mountain at the amusement park this summer, or take it on our bike rides into town for ice-cream. It is fully washable, so any spilled ice-cream can come right out!

If you’re fashion conscious, it comes in several great colors, too!

BONUS!

SLS3 shared a special 40% off coupon especially for my readers when you use the coupon code on anything in their store. Use coupon code: BLOG40.

You can also purchase this belt on Amazon for a bigger discount here:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017DRIKFY

This is a limited time introductory price for the dual pocket run belt. The belt retails at $29.90 and the Amazon store has it listed for $16.90 (43% Off).

And, if you want a chance to win a SLS3 Dual Pocket Running Belt of your own, sign up right here! Winners will be announced in a week.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*SLS3 sent me a lime green SLS3 Dual Pocket Running Belt in exchange for a comprehensive review. All opinions are my own. Thanks SLS3 for the opportunity to showcase your great product!*

2016: The Journey To Joy

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I posted my training plan for the next 8-10 weeks?

Of course I haven’t followed it… and I am a bit behind in my miles (as usual.) But, it’s not stopping me from running more than one planned ultra distance in 2016 and creating an epic year!

I won’t go into any details, but 2015 was just an M’er F’er for me in so many ways. It’s just life and despite a tough year personally, there were many highlights, too.

  • Great friends rallying around me with a big life hug during the times I needed it the most. Thank You!
  • A new running puppy – Mr. Leo
  • Several new running PR’s!
  • Spending time with loved ones and making new friends with new memories!
  • An injury-free year 🙂

I’m ready to jump into 2016 with a BANG!  How about you?

wpid-wp-1451967708901.jpg

New year resolutions are just not my thing. In the past month, two words jumped out at me and I knew that I wanted to focus on them for 2016.

GIVE JOY 

Right before Christmas, a woman approached me begging for money in the grocery store parking lot. I was immediately skeptical and without going into too much guilt-laden detail, I walked out of the store with $10 cash and a rotisserie chicken. But, she was gone and my heart sunk.

I knew right then and there I wanted to focus on GIVING more freely. At first, I thought about the word ‘generosity’, but I also wanted to include ‘service’, so I’m sticking with GIVE as a reminder to be thankful for the abundance in my life and to give more freely.

I always have something to give. It’s not necessarily giving money, but giving of my time, of my thoughtfulness, of my heart, of my smiles, of my ear, of my friendship, and more.

After this past year, I also crave more joy. Ever since I was little, it’s been in my nature to live on the serious side. I think that’s why I married my husband. He and his family make me laugh so much! And now my boys are taking on that witty, goofy nature and I love listening to them all joke and make up funny songs around the dinner table.

I want to just feel JOY so it explodes my heart. #givejoy Click To Tweet

Like the cup runneth over… and then I can’t help but spread it to others! I know I won’t be able to do it every minute or every day. But, you know when you focus on something, it happens? JOY is going to happen! (because I declare it, damn it! Didn’t you know you can curse and still be joyful?! LOL)

Give

So here’s a sneak peek into my ‘PRODUCTIVITY’ list for 2016.

RACES:

  • Frosted All-Terrain 50K (aka #FAT50k… a new training event for fun just between friends). This is happening in a couple weeks, so stay tuned for insane crazy fun!
  • Chicago Lakefront 50K – three out and back loops on the flattest 50K in N. America!
  • Grandma’s Marathon, Duluth, MN
  • Christmas In July 12-hour run (50 Miles?! Whatever. I’m going to set up Margaritaville in our drop-bags along the route and pray I find the finish line after 12 hours! That’s joy!)

RACE GUARDS: This all volunteer group continues to grow in the number of races they are being asked to participate in. In fact, several of my races I had already paid to run last year (Great Western, Fox Valley Marathon, Naperville Marathon) ended up being RaceGuards events, and so this year I plan to volunteer at those races!  That’s why my race calendar only has a couple of events – I want to spend more time with giving back to the running community. I just don’t need the medals or the shirts.

MY HOME: If you’ve been following me, you know that I’m leading and participating in a 30-Day Declutter Project on Facebook (leave me a comment to request an invite)! We started today and I’ve had a couple huge ah-ha moments that solidifies my need to bring joy into our home.

I’ll write an update later this week, but the idea is that in the next couple months, I’m going to be clearing our home (mostly my things) that don’t bring me (us) joy, unless they are necessities. (I can’t just toss out the toilet paper!). My goal is to have the house in the order I want by May and then only do minor declutters 2x a year forever after.

BLOGGING & PHOTOGRAPHY: I love blogging and photography. I’d love to grow this into something you love, too! I’ve always loved photography and so the first part of this year is going to be a lot of learning and tweaking. In fact, I’m helping a major blogging expert with editing a new class and finished it just a few days ago.

WOW, I was so blown away with the content, I can’t wait to share it and incorporate the ideas into my blog and social media.

give-joy-photography.jpeg

It’s my goal to start offering some free downloads later this year and more to help you improve your own moments of clarity, joy and life on camera!!! (Yes, just thinking and dreaming about this is making me so incredibly happy!) Joy!

What kinds of giving and joy are you planning for in 2016? Do you have a special focus word for the new year?

P.s. join me for the goals LinkUp with Marcia’s Healthy Slice !

I Am NOT A Super Hero!

Some days I wish I was Ironman, or some sort of super cool Super Hero.

wpid-20151210_101248-02.jpeg

How About Super Runner?! Does this qualify as flight?!

But, this week has clearly proven that I am not.

As the mother of three boys, I have a hard enough time keeping track of who needs to be where and when… and then making sure they get home and fed (again because their stomachs have suddenly become bottomless, food-devouring, black holes).

I have failed to win the Mother-Of-The-Year Award on several occasions in my children’s lives (and I’ve learned to accept that).

Being a parent is the hardest job on the planet. Give yourself some credit. Click To Tweet

The last week has been so incredibly busy for our family. We seriously do not have one single evening free until winter break.

Despite the craziness of our family life during the holidays, here’s where I HAVE won this week.

  • I’ve exercised three times this week so far (big win!)
  • I’ve watched Toy Story with my family (You’ve got a friend in me)
  • I’ve managed a home cooked meal every night (a pizza from the freezer counts. It was not takeout).
  • I took care of myself with three major doctor appointments (three cheers for cortisone shots)
wpid-wp-1449792303636.jpg

Waiting for a cortisone shot in my shoulder!

  • I spent time volunteering and giving back to my community (#UPE)
  • I told my kids and hubs I love them (to infinity and beyond)
  • I got a good night sleep almost every night this week (7+ hours)
  • I started holiday shopping (thank you Amazon Prime)
  • I folded a load of laundry (usually it sits on the couch until worn)
  • I’ve talked with or spent quality time with my best friends (never enough time)
  • I did not eat all the chocolate chips (yet)

And so, I have no guilt over not being able to blog every single day. The 30-day challenge is just that. It’s a challenge that I’m finding challenging AND rewarding.

I refuse to feel guilty for not putting up a single Christmas decoration. It will get mostly done tomorrow and if we leave out a few things, Christmas will still happen. One thing I’m thinking of letting go this year is the Christmas card (maybe we will do a new year update).

I don’t feel bad for eating the extra cookie my friend lovingly made and shared with me, or the fancy dessert I shared with my friend on her birthday, or the bowl of popcorn I ate watching a movie with my sons. I love food and I love running. I’ll run an extra mile.

I will not fret over the extra dog hair piling up in the corners, the pile of dishes in the sink most days, and the dust I clearly see on the dining room table. I’ll have plenty of time to be a neat freak when the boys go to college.

It’s time we put life into perspective during the holidays. Sometimes, some of us just can’t pull it all together to create the ‘perfect’ holiday that Pinterest and social media pressure us into.

wanting-quotes-8.jpg

I just can’t. I won’t. I’m tired enough already and I’m going to guess you are, too.

I’m not going to ruin the holidays by stressing myself out over shopping and baking and decorating so I can miss the joy of the season.

We still have basketball games, scouts, music lessons, homework, reading assignments, grocery shopping, laundry, miles to run and just living… and that’s challenging enough.

This year, we’re toning it down and giving back to our community by giving our time.

We are focusing on our love for each other and sharing that love as we go along by making a difference for others.

We are refocusing on the reason for the season and enjoying the sights and sounds around us.

What are you doing to keep the holidays in perspective? What’s one thing you are going to do to tone it down and enjoy the most wonderfultime of the year?

 

Secrets to Professional Looking Selfies Outdoors

Do you just stick your camera out in front of you and say ‘Cheese’ when it comes to selfies?

photography-quote

Recently, I’ve had a handful of people ask me who my photographer is and let me just tell you, this cheap-skate, bargain-loving, Mama Runner has hired… myself.

I went for a gorgeous snow run yesterday and my 4.5 mile run took almost an hour and a half because I thought it would be a great opportunity for some amazing pictures, but also to share with you how I get some of the usual shots I do. (Follow me on Instagram for more ideas).

If you’re new to the selfie, a picture of yourself using your camera, the most helpful tip is to use the forward facing camera (most of the time) so you can actually see yourself in the photo!

Here are some of my biggest photography selfie secrets to help you think outside the box.

Your Voice Is Key

I have a Samsung Galaxy 6 phone with the capability to use voice activated photography!

I can just say the words ‘Smile’ or ‘Cheese’ at my phone and it’ll take a photograph without me having to fiddle with the photo button. It works great because you can easily take several photos from far away (more on that later).

say-cheese

I believe you have to download an App for the iPhone to use voice commands with the camera. Curious to know who might use this and what you think of the ease of use on the iPhone.

The Angle

Straight on is… well, boring.

When you approach a place you think is photograph worthy, it looks completely different to you in person than it will on a two-dimensional window because you are able to take in your entire surroundings.

Think about the angle you want to shoot the picture from. It could be from a high or low vantage point and sometimes coming from really low or really high angles completely change the look for the photo… and certainly the background.

Move your camera around while looking at the selfie to see what the background looks like from that vantage point. Or, move your head… climb a tree or on top of the hill or rock to see what the vantage point might be. Or, crouch down to examine your surroundings before you decide where to put your camera.

I love ground shots. Here’s one from where I just leaned up my camera against the side of the basketball hoop pole in my driveway.

INKnBURN-wildflower-tech-shirt-selfie.jpg

INKnBURN Wildflower Tech Shirt – My favorite!

Use What’s Around You

You could be in the middle of the desert and still come up with an unusual way to prop up your phone! (I’ll show you in a minute).

I’ve been in the middle of a forest and used branches, vines twisted around sticks, rocks, the lucky fence find, a bridge railing, and even your car or water bottle. You have to be a bit of a McGuyver sometimes, but where there’s a will, there’s a way.

wpid-wp-1449177012161.jpg

I had this great double bridge on both sides of the road as a prop. I just rested my selfie stick on one bridge to take a picture of myself on the other side of the street!

Here’s the resulting photo of me across the street:

far-away-scenic-selfie.jpg

Just a few years ago, this would not be possible. I actually used my voice to yell ‘Cheese’ across the road and it took the picture!

Take a Selfie Stick

I don’t carry a selfie stick with me on 99.9% of my runs….  But, with snow or group runs, it’s a great tool. Here’s how I carried it Clint Eastwood style in my gel holster!

INKnBURN-selfie-stick-selfie.jpeg

“Go Ahead. Make My Day!” – Clint Eastwood

The stick allows you to get in more of you and your group… and you can also use it as a prop even from those high and low vantage points.

Here is an instance where I just left the stick on the ground to help hold my phone in place. This is what I would do in the desert, too. You could find a sand dune and leave your phone at the top of the hill while you run to the bottom. Either leave it on the sand angled down, OR, take the straight end of the stick and stick it into the ground! Or look for a rock or cactus to help with propping.

wpid-wp-1449176997105.jpg

Fancy and exciting, right?! LOL!

This angle with the stick on the ground produced the photo below!

INKnBURN-ground-up-selfie.jpg

Take Several Shots

It’s always helpful to take several shots. Move your body, head, arms and sometimes the angle of the phone, too. Thanks to modern technology, you can figure out which one or two poses you want to showcase from the comfort of your home just a few minutes later.

I think a lot of people are surprised at how many ‘takes’ it takes to get the right shot.

Most of the time I get pretty lucky and can get the shot in 1-3 tries. But, then there are the times that I’m there for what seems like forever and I just about give up. I shrug it off and hope for great help with my photo editing software later on.

Set The Timer

Did you know your camera phone has a timer?!

I just figured this out earlier this year! It comes in very handy for those running shots when your ‘Cheese’ comes out at the wrong time or it can’t be heard from far away on a noisy street or area.

There’s usually a settings function on the face of your camera phone and you can look for the timer which is usually set to ‘Off’.

Check it out and start playing with it!

wpid-wp-1449177591832.jpg

Here’s where I used the timer to be able to count to myself when I needed to be ‘there’ for the shot. I only needed to take 2 shots to get this.

INKnBURN-rear-selfie.jpg

I love the snow kicking up in this shot! I think I also used the Sports Mode.

This is the first time I tried this kind of shot before and truthfully, I’d love to keep trying this to get an ever closer shot of the bottom of my shoe. However, running finally called my name and I hoped for the best 🙂

Double Check The Background

When I first learned photography, one of my teachers said to get rid of the trash… literally.

How often have you accidentally photographed a trash bin in a picture?! Now that I’ve mentioned it go back and look at your photos and start counting!

The telephone wires, the sign on the side of the trail, the garbage on the side of the road, someone walking behind you, a cluttered background, a house on the side of your ‘scenic’ photo all detract from a potentially great photo.

Here’s a side-by-side-example of moving from one side of the path to the other. It’s not a selfie, but you get the idea!

wpid-wp-1449189439118.jpg

Nice power line in the background, huh?!

Scope Out The Best & Practice

So, where do you go from here?

Get on Instagram. Scope out some of my favorite accounts, or do some searching of your own for the great photographers in the hobbies and interests you love the best to snag ideas. If you’re a runner, follow running accounts!

Once you have a few fun ideas, take some time on your next outdoor run or activity and practice, practice, practice! You’ll take a ton of bad shots, but you’ll also snap some brilliant ones, too!

If you’d like to learn more and stay in touch, sign-up for an email from me whenever I put together a new post. To be fair to you if you’re a new reader, I want to warn you that I’m currently in a 30-days of blogging challenge (Nov/Dec ’15) and have 13 more days left, so sign-up and feel free to just delete the posts that don’t sound interesting to you in the next 2 weeks!

P.S. I love this new tech shirt from INKnBURN! They come out with new limited-edition designs all the time. I ordered an XL (I normally wear a large) so I could layer under it and it’s worked perfectly for temps right around freezing!

 

TMI Tuesday: Successful Snot Rockets

Can you blow out a kickin’ snot rocket when needed mid-run?!

If you think you’ll gag reading this… stop now. 🙂 LOL!

Today I’m linking up with a few other bloggers for TMI Tuesday and immediately thought about discussing a funny little skill I rather pride myself on.

I know…

tmi

Don’t worry, I will not demonstrate with any pictures. Just Google it. I’m sure you’ll find enough to be disgusted over on your own! In fact, Runner’s World actually made a rated-G video to show you how to do this.

I think I’m venturing into male dominated territory here, so if you’re a man and want to critique my skills with your own nuggets of wisdom, by all means, I’m game!

Blowing your nose without using a nice pretty handkerchief or disposable tissue is something most guys probably master at a young age. I just spent the weekend with my nephews and brothers-in-law who let them fly during our family boot hockey game. My boys tend to also utilize their sleeves from time to time… which this Mama vehemently abhors! (insert disgusting face here)

In fact, you know those fancy handkerchiefs worn in the breast pocket of a suit? Those were orginally meant for women back in the old-fashioned days where chivalry abounded. My sweet husband still carries one on occasion to offer up when needed! #hemakesmyheartflutter

But, ladies, let me tell you… The men do not carry handkies for us on those long, nose-sniffling winter runs where colds seems to be more prevelant and the mucous runs freely.

You are on your own!

keep-calm-and-blow-snot-rockets-3

When I started running 4 years ago, I was a bit embarrased to try it on the trail. But, eventually, I worked up the nerve on a particularily clogged up day with nary a kleenex in sight and made it happen.

There is some technique to it and it does take practice lest you leave evidence of your attempt on yourself, or worse hit an innocent bystander, or even more worse… a fellow runner and hopefully a friend who might forgive you. NASTY!

So, I thought I’d give you a few tips so you can become a Professional Snot Rocketeer one day!

Pre-Launch – It doesn’t really work if you just have a little sniffle. You have to be pretty congested to get enough to come out all at once. Make sure you scope out the trail in front of you to give yourself space, or just stop momentarily staying to the side of the trail if you’re with friends so you don’t get in the way.

Launch Countdown – Turn your head to the side and over the front of your shoulder. It works best if your launch side is over the same shoulder. You’re pretty talented if you can rocket ‘goofy-style’ without misfiring on yourself. Place your knuckle or finger on one side of your nostril making sure there is a good seal. You want all the airflow to go out the rocket side.

Blast-Off – Take in a big breath through your mouth, close it, and forcefully blow out to get those boogs on one side to fly to the moon, not on your shoes, in one hot shot! If you did it right, you won’t need a little sleeve action to tidy up. Then, just repeat with the other side.

And that’s it! Of course practice makes perfect, so bring a tissue with you just in case.

Are you a good Rocketeer?!

If you want to read about other TMI topics in the blog linkup, just visit Marcia’s Healthy Slice here.