Monday, December 31, 2018

Conquering the Winter Laundry Mountain | WIN Detergent

Disclaimer: I received WIN Sports Detergent in exchange for my 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!

The snow season makes up about six months of the year around these parts and so enters a whole different kind of running. Instead of shorts, tanks and sunscreen, it's all about Yaktrax and layers upon layers of clothing (still wear the sunscreen though).

Though the change of the season is to be expected, especially as a lifetime-Minnesotan, the large increase of dirty laundry in the cold months always catches me by surprise! And it's not just my own - throw in the snow pants and many winter layers for three kids (+ my hubs) and we may just be able to sled down my laundry mountain.

To conquer my laundry mountains and attack the sports-stink in our athletic wear, I received WIN Detergent as a part of being a BibRave Pro. Since the majority of detergents are designed to combat stains and stink in cotton-based items, these detergent prove to be not as effective on the synthetic fabrics used in our sweat-wicking activewear.

Those synthetic fibers are considered "hydrophobic" which allows water (and sweat) to wick away from your body and evaporate quickly. That is perfect for activewear BUT this hydrophobic material can hang on to that sporty stink if only regular detergents are used.

That's where WIN comes in.

The fundamental difference between WIN and other detergents is that WIN contains ingredients that separate oils from the synthetic fibers, thus washing away the oils and bacteria that = stink! Makes sense, right?

I have been testing the WIN High Performance Sports Detergent for a few weeks now and it has indeed cleaned up even my stinkiest running attire. This detergent is available in Fresh Scent and Fragrance + Dye Free.

One 32 oz bottle of WIN Detergent is $10.95 on Amazon, plus free shipping if you have Amazon Prime. That's affordable and certainly worth a try.

Shall we call it a WIN "win"? ;)

Save 20% off your windetergent with code RAVE4WIN on their website. Code is good until 1/15/19 and one offer per household.



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Sunday, December 30, 2018

My 2018 Top Nine


Dear 2018, It's been fun! Here's a little rundown of my "Top Nine" before this year officially closes:
  1. Grandma's Marathon in June, 3:32:17. Check that one off the race bucket list! 
  2. Completed 25 product reviews, 1 race ran with the BibRave Pro team
  3. Many, many adventures with my three wild, wonderful boys (& the dog)
  4. Year #2 with BibRave is now complete
  5. Grand Forks Half Marathon + coffee with my best friend in September
  6. Injured in August. Hip flexor strain that took 4 months to completely heal. 
  7. Met up with awesome homeschool-boymom-sub-3-marathoner, Danielle
  8. Celebrated 6 years of marriage in May with this handsome man. I thank God for him and pray that we have many more years together <3
  9. Many frozen miles ran for that spring marathon, and then I missed the entire tail-end of summer and all of fall running and racing!
What is a highlight from your 2018?

My Weekly Wrap

Easing back into running after a severe hip flexor strain in mid-August.

SUN: At my parents' farm for Christmas. Strength: Kratos hip strength routine from RunnersConnect.com (more on this later!).

MON: 4.08 mi, 34:02 @ 8:20/mi in the snow. Strength: Atlas core strength.

TUES: Off

WED: (Treadmill) 4.08 mi, 36:08 @ 8:56/mi. Strength: Poseidon full body strength.

THURS: (Treadmill) 6.21 mi, 55:25 @ 8:56/mi. Strength: Bia hip strength.

FRI: Off

SAT: (Treadmill) 4.0 mi, 35:06 @ 8:46/mi

18.3 total miles


Let's Connect!




Linking up with Holly and Wendy's Weekly Wrap Up.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas!

It's quite likely that I'm stuffing my face with Christmas leftovers and possibly overdosing on pie and lefse. May you have a blessed Christmas celebrating our Savior's birth with friends and family!

This is a poem that the older two boys memorized that has become a favorite of mine as well:
My Gift
by Christina Georgina Rossetti

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part,--
Yet what I can I give Him,

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Run Virtually Anywhere | GoZwiftRun Review

Disclaimer: I received a Zwift RunPod in exchange for my 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!

Let's just throw this out there right away: I have been either on the treadmill or not running at all lately. Strep throat threw me for a loop but my motivation to run outside in the dark on icy roads has been dwindling too.

Now is the time to, first, get healthy again and then gradually build my running base before marathon training starts in mid-January. Good news here is all signs of my hip flexor injury are gone! That is a huge answer to prayer and I'm praying that it doesn't pop up again as mileage grows.

About those treadmill runs...


The treadmill (or "dreadmill") may be notoriously smack-talked by runners because it's boring but, when it comes to real life, it can be quite a "run saver". I can turn on my kids' favorite show, currently the PJ Masks, and fit in a few miles while they watch and the baby eats Cheerios. A few miles on the 'mill is certainly better than no miles at all!

As a BibRave Pro, I received a Zwift RunPod to take my treadmill runs to exciting virtual training locations. Through the Zwift RunPod, you run in the "real world" to power your avatar across various courses all over the world.

Currently you can get free access to Zwift on their site for a limited time, all you need is a RunPod! {hint: discount code in this post}


To get set up, I first needed to create a Zwift account (for free) and download the Zwift app on their website. The download did take a while, so plan ahead and start the download before it's time to run. I used my Mac laptop to do this and other BibRave Pros have used their phones and iPads as well. Zwift is compatible with many but not every device. I was hoping to run the program on my Amazon Fire tablet but it wasn't compatible.

After I downloaded the app and logged in to Zwift Run, I was able to customize my avatar's outfit, skin color, hair and accessories. As you accomplish more goals in the game, you "earn" access to more avatar items - much like in a video game.



Oh, the places you'll go! - Dr. Seuss

When you're ready to run, choose a custom workout or just a casual run, join up with other runners who are logged in to Zwift or run solo, and then choose your route. I've been craving pizza so I headed over to this Italian Villa:


All that was left to do is RUN. From my treadmill, I ran all kinds of crazy places, which my kids thought was awesome. They even saw Santa! To see a video from my run, check out my Instagram post and arrow right.



Though I don't see myself using Zwift regularly, I am glad I was able to experience this virtual run technology. Call me old school, my little iPod shuffle is all I need for an indoor run.

That being said, with the huge popularity of virtual games these days, virtual experiences like this that actually require the user to move their real world bodies would make for some major health gains. For 15% off a Zwift RunPod use "BibRave15" at Zwift.com. Offer is good for the first 1000 Pods only!

If you could run ANYWHERE on earth, where would you run?


My Weekly Wrap

Easing back into running after a second degree groin pull/hip flexor strain in mid-August.

SUN: Sick

MON: Feeling much better on Day 3 of the antibiotics. Went for an easy 2-mile treadmill run with the Zwift app. 2.01 mi, 17:33 @ 8:45/mi.

TUES: Off

WED: (Treadmill) 4.01 mi, 34:41 @ 8:39/mi. 1:00 plank variations x 6.

THURS: (Treadmill) Easy-Effort 3.41 mi, 30:02 @ 8:48/mi followed by 3 x 15 front squat reps with 20#. Getting back into regular running, I'm noticing I need to be more disciplined with my paces. Like this "easy run" should have been at an even slower pace! And the workouts need to speed up. Getting back at it!

FRI: Traveling to Grandma and Grandpa's for Christmas

SAT: 6.35 mi, 55:05 @ 8:41/mi OUTSIDE in the fresh snow!!! A little hard to run in with ice underneath but I was sure glad to finally run outside again.


Let's Connect!





Linking up with Holly and Wendy's Weekly Wrap Up.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

2018 Review /// 2019 What's New

I was planning to write about returning to the rhythm of marathon training until my early Christmas present arrived.
As the kids opened their stockings for our Christmas party at home, my oldest said, "Mommy, but what are you going to get for Christmas?"

I answered, "Daddy got me a new floor (finished this week!) and a new rug."

"No, like a real present!", he responded.

I then should have said, "Mommy got strep throat, sweetie.  Now let's go find some antibiotics to stuff my stocking with."
;) I joke. Getting sick is part of life and having three small people (one in particular that licks everything) makes it that much easier to get sick. For how healthy of a year we have had in 2018, I won't whine too much about getting strep now. It's an easy fix, thanks to my doctor visit yesterday.

Day 2 and I'm already feeling much better. Let's quickly recap this year and look forward to what's in store for 2019!

Urgent Care Selfie with my babe while the hubs & kids ran the fun errands together

2018 in Review:

  • I joined the BibRave Pro team for my second year and ran one race with them along with writing 23 reviews.
  • Three races were run: The Frozen Feat 10k in February, Grandma's Marathon (with BibRave) in June and the Grand Forks Half Marathon (injury deferral) in September.
  • We are currently half way through E's Kindergarten year using the My Father's World curriculum and continue to homeschool. Tee Ball, swimming lessons and now wrestling & 4H have been fun activities for the kids this year.
  • Baby C is now considered a "toddler" as he started walking at 10 months old. He had his first birthday in November and first bloody nose last week (not so fun).
  • Fall marathon plans were derailed after my hip flexor strain in August. Four months later, I'm fully recovered. 
  • We traveled to Nashville, TN for a family reunion over Thanksgiving.
  • The "She Runs By Faith" blog re-design!
  • After listing our house for sale, then deciding not to sell and reflooring instead, I showed our house last Friday and moving is back on the table again. You just never know what God has planned but we're following His direction. I'm trying to patiently go with the flow... trying.

My 2018 "Top Nine"

2019 What's New:

  • Returning to the Frozen Feat 10k in February and Fargo Marathon in May (& celebrating our 7 year anniversary!). Possibly one or two more marathons, if I can stay injury-free. Still chasing that 3:15 finish time and being more diligent with strength training and stretching.
  • E will be finishing Kindergarten this Spring, and then we're on to 1st Grade and W starting Pre-K in the Fall. Ahhh my boys are growing up so fast!
  • Weaning "Toddler C" eventually, as we did complete the goal of breastfeeding for 12 months! I won't wean until him and I are both feeling better though.
  • I have been accepted for the 2019 BibRave Pro team but am considering stepping back. It's been a great couple years with BibRave but finding time to do any blogging and/or review writing lately is a battle. We'll see.
  • Nature journaling, painting, sketching. I want to do more of that and teach my children more about it! Now that they are getting older, we may be able to slow down for two seconds to nature journal more.
  • And possibly moving? I hate to be the skeptic but I'm not counting my eggs until they hatch. We'll see what the new year brings.


And because showing our current house has been in the forefront of my mind and moving has jumped back into the picture, I have to share this in-home "coffee shop" idea. Isn't that awesome? I would love to set up my own coffee corner in the future!


What's going on in your life lately? Anything to celebrate from 2018 or look forward to for 2019?


My Weekly Wrap


SUN: off

MON: (Treadmill) 4.00 mi, 34:04 @ 8:31 avg

TUES: Hip strengthening exercises and I signed up to run the Frozen Feat 10k in February! That race is one of my favorites. They have the best socks for race swag and a February race, while icy and cold, helps to break up the long winter.

WED: (Treadmill) 5.01 mi, 43:07 @ 8:36 avg

THURS: Starting to feel sick. Decided not to run.

FRI: Sick.

SAT: Sick. Finally went in to Urgent Care because I wasn't able to sleep at night through the throat pain. Figured it was strep throat, and strep it was! Started antibiotics ASAP.


Let's Connect!





Linking up with Holly and Wendy's Weekly Wrap Up.

Friday, December 14, 2018

God's Little Explorers | Preschool Curriculum Review

For my oldest son's preschool year, we followed the God's Little Explorers Preschool Curriculum by Stacie Ann Nelson at "Motherhood on a Dime". This is a 28-week lesson plan that travels the Bible from Genesis to Revelations and explores a new letter of the alphabet per week as well.

I decided to use God's Little Explorers as our preschool curriculum because, as a new homeschooling mom that wasn't homeschooled myself, I wanted a guide to follow throughout the year that would ensure my oldest was introduced to key preschool concepts. I also knew I would need something to serve as a guide for my mind when life felt otherwise chaotic (i.e. our third baby was arriving that November!).


Click here to view more details
The curriculum is a downloadable file that is available for $20. I then printed it from my home computer/printer in black and white. The resources required were mainly standard school supplies and I used our Jesus Storybook Bible and My First Message Bible for the Bible readings. Purchasing the "Wee Sing Bible Songs CD" is recommended though I just looked up each song on YouTube and saved a playlist there.


Stacie includes the following main components in this curriculum:
  1. Bible Adventure: Reading the Bible story, singing any recommended songs, and related craft or project. 
  2. Theme Adventure: Explore the theme with crafts, science projects, cooking projects, and so forth. 
  3. ABC & 123: Specifically introduces an alphabet letter. We also explore colors, shapes, and numbers during the year. 
  4. Life Skills: Review various self-help skills, learn to complete chores correctly, practice manners, and do a service project. I’ve also listed additional activities you can use to substitute for ones you might not like or have time to complete.
Two other optional sections:
  • Book Bag: I list books to go along with the theme and sometimes suggest an activity to be completed around the book. 
  • Learning Bags: These are my version of busy bags that can keep younger siblings busy while mom works with an older student.

Painting apples for 4-year-old and "freestyle" painting for 2-year-old

My two oldest boys were 2 and 4 years old when we used this program and the hands-on projects were a home run for both of them (with special modifications for my 2-year-old, of course!). Stacie presents many craft and hands-on ideas for each week to choose from. We usually picked one or two to focus on as our crafty attention spans diminished fairly quickly. 

E's "Book of Creation"

Along with the "hands on" projects being a hit, we followed many of the "Book Bag" read aloud recommendations and added a few of our own as well. Throughout the year and that summer, we enjoyed E.B. White's "Stuart Little", "Charlotte's Web" and "Trumpet of the Swan". The kids ate those up!

We ended up creating our own version of the "Learning Bags" in box form, called the "Busy Box". Having a few simple activities, puzzles and little books stored up for my younger boys has helped greatly even in Kindergarten this year, too.


The most valuable portions of this curriculum for me personally were the Hymn, Composer Study, and Artist Study recommendations each week. Little did I know, we were being walked through the beginnings of our own "Morning Time" routine. The habit of studying these beautiful ideas was being formed and we built on that in the following school year.


My children and I greatly benefited from using the God's Little Explorers Curriculum for our first year of homeschooling and I highly recommend it for those who are also just starting out. This is an aesthetically well-designed, affordable preschool curriculum and we made many fun memories together using it! Click here to visit Motherhood on a Dime.

"K" is for King