High Five Friday

5 from instagram 62615  happyfitmama.comHappy High Five Friday!

I share more pics on Instagram. Are you following me?

1. What’s your first thought when you see this trail? If it’s, “Let’s run!”, you might be a runner.

2. Happiness is a sunrise. #nofilter needed.

3. I’m committing myself to getting comfortable being upside down. I’ve wanted to be able to do handstand or headstand pose for years. It’s time to get busy.

4. A canopy of green and the wide open road.

5. Using a yoga strap to get closer to my foot. I could probably get closer if my balance was better!

5 Things

1. The Way it “Should” Be – The Mommy Guilt is something that follows us around everywhere. Love this piece from Sarah. Just like I said in my post from Monday – you must take care of yourself before you can take care of others.

2. Running Grandma’s Marathon for Shaylene – Maybe I’m just an emotional injured runner, but I was bawling through this race recap. What an amazing experience for Nicolasa!

3. A Runner’s Strength Workout that Can Be Done Anywhere – Forget about the excuses that you don’t have time to do strength work. Do this and you’ve got everything covered.

4. The Obstacle Course that is Running through Suburbia – Isn’t this the truth!

5. 95 Year Old Completes Mt. Washington Road Race – I have been very close to entering the lottery for Mt. Washington every single year we’ve lived here. But then I chicken out. It’s not joke! Maybe I should wait until I’m 69 when George ran this race for the first time (he’s done it 10 times total). You can never say you are too old to start running. Or climbing mountains.

What would you like to high 5 today?

Tom’s of Maine #GoodnessStory


hannaford  happyfitmama.com

I think there needs to be a good news channel on TV. Everywhere I turn, there seems to be nothing but bad news broadcast 24/7. After being pummeled with it day after day, you start to forget that there are really, really good people in the world. Good things, big and small, are done every single day but the bad gets more attention. That’s just not right!

That’s why I’m happy to help spread the word about a new promotion that has joined two of my favorite local companies – Tom”s of Maine and Hannaford Supermarkets. Together they are celebrating all the good both companies do for the local communities and want to know what’s your #GoodnessStory?

Goodness can be as simple as:

Holding the door for people.

Smiling. It’s free. Use it often and wide.

Helping an elderly neighbor with yard work.

Saying thank you.

Socially Responsible Companies

Tom”s of Maine is known for giving back to the community with goodness. Tom’s employees are able to use 5% of their paid work time volunteering for the nonprofit organization of their choice. In addition, 10% of of Tom’s profits are donated each year to nonprofit, community based organizations committed to human, healthy and environmental goodness. Now that’s some goodness!

I’ve been shopping at Hannaford since we moved to New Hampshire over 9 years ago. One of my favorite things about the store is that they sell local farms veggies and fruit in the produce section right next to everything else. It’s perfect for one stop shopping when you can’t make a separate trip to the Farmer’s Market.

Tom’s of Maine would like to know your own #GoodnessStory. To enter the #GoodnessStory Sweepstakes simply submit, a Facebook comment including the hashtag “#GoodnessStory” and “#sweepstakes”. At the end of each Drawing Period, 1 winner will be selected randomly from among all eligible submissions to receive a $100 Hannaford Gift Card.

Click HERE to enter!

FYI – Hannaford Supermarkets are located in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and New York. You can find if you have a location near you HERE.

What’s your #GoodnessStory?

Disclaimer: Tom’s of Maine and Hannaford provided me with gift cards in exchange for promoting the sweepstakes. In all honesty, I shop there every week already because they have everything I need at great prices!

How Running Makes Me a Better Parent

First Day home  happyfitmama.com

Five years ago, yesterday, I became a mama.

I started getting nostalgic, thinking about how much my life has changed in the past five years. Obviously, things are a lot different.

While I can honestly say it’s absolutely marvelous to be a parent. I had no clue what I was in for when it all became a reality. I had absolutely zero child care skills before my kids were born – I had never even changed a diaper before!

And then there I was with not one, but TWO helpless little ones staring at me, depending on me for everything.

To say it all was overwhelming, is an understatement.

a & L 3months  Happyfitmama.com

Like a lot of women, I really got into running after I became a mama. I mean, I ran before having kids, but things went in a different direction.

I soon found running makes me a better parent.

I found running as a source of comfort. It was something for me to do. Somewhere for me to go when I need to clear my head, recharge my patience, to think without any noise except my breathing and the white noise outside. It became my alone time, where I could just zone out yet tune in at the same time.

In the beginning, I felt guilty for leaving my babies to go for a run. But for every time I would voice my guilt, a fellow mama would squash that doubt. Every single one of them reminded me that I needed to take care of myself FIRST before taking care of my kids. Remember the pre-flight instructions – in the event of an emergency put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others. It’s so true in all aspects of life. You need to be healthy to take care of others.

To the outside eye, it may have looked like I was running away but really I was running towards finding my identity again.

First BOB Stroller Run  happyfitmama.com

Even when we all ventured out for a run in the big red BOB, it still made my day. And they enjoyed it too.

After 5 years of parenting, some days I feel like a pro, and then my kid (or most likely kids) will have a massive meltdown over something ridiculous and I lose my mind because I can’t handle the emotional roller coaster of a Five-ager. I’m reminded how parenting is forever evolving with each milestone and how the majority of us are just “winging it” as we go.

Running is the same way. There are days when I can hit my prescribed paces in a training plan, with no problem. There will also be days when I can barely squeak out 5 miles because my legs feel like lead and I just want to quit running forever. I’m continuously learning how my body reacts and what it needs to thrive as a runner.

Wallis Sands 12 marathon 2014 after  happyfitmama.com

Parenting and running go hand in hand. Running makes me a more patient, confident and healthy parent. It’s a great outlet for stress relief in any stage of parenting – I can only imagine how many miles I’ll be racking up when I have teenagers. I’m setting an example for my kids of how to balance family, work and fitness. I’m showing them to set goals and that it’s necessary to do hard work to achieve these goals.

But mostly, I’m showing my kids that it’s OK to take care of yourself first.

Editor’s note: We won’t talk about what my parenting skills are like since I’ve been injured and not running. :)