Product Review: Believe Training Journal

I have been eyeing the Believe Training Journal by Lauren Fleshman & Roisin McGettigan-Dumas for a while, and had the opportunity to review it so I was excited to get a chance to use it and see why so many people enjoy it.


First impressions: it’s beautiful! And I was surprised by all the bonus content. I wasn’t expecting all the extras like detailed workouts, recovery strategies, a pace chart, a section on defining goals, etc.


I also enjoyed reading the pages from Lauren and Ro’s own training journal. It was very cool to see that they’re normal people just like you and me, even though they’re professional athletes. They still have workouts that they struggle with, and they still feel tired and unmotivated at times just like anyone. Here are some pages I filled out from the past two weeks. I have learned my lesson to use it like a journal and not a planner, because I switch things up sometimes and then have to use whiteout haha! 😜 So my next week should look a little nicer.

Week 1:
Week 2:
The pro athletes created the journal when they couldn’t find one that made them want to keep journaling. I have high hopes using this journal will help me achieve my goals and it will be a good thing to do at night to unwind and refocus. It will be interesting to look back at certain workouts that went particularly well, and see what I did around that time to get those results…Ideally I’d like to start noting how much sleep I got, and what I ate all week to see if there are any patterns to how I feel during my workouts.

I’d suggest this journal to anyone who is interested in looking back at their training for sentimental purposes, or to learn from your past and improve.

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Free Garmin Watch Face Download (made by me!)

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I’ve posted pictures of my state of Michigan Garmin watch face a few times on Instagram and had a few people comment on mine since Garmin came out with the option to upload custom watch face images. 

I thought I’d offer up the image so all you fellow Michigander’s could showcase your home state pride on your Garmin as well.

When I went to find the original image on my computer, I realized I had deleted it. No biggie…I created a new one and was so excited to find out they had added more options when creating a custom watch face. I love being able to look down and see not only the time, but the date, step count, and battery life. So, that was great seeing this as an option now.

To find out if your device is compatible with the Garmin Face-it App, click HERE.

Here’s how you get this neat image on your watch. I’d love you to share pictures of your watch with this and tag me on Instagram! 😊

  1. Save the image below to your phone.mittenrunnergarminwatchface
  2. Download the Garmin Face It App, if you haven’t already.
  3. Open the app.
  4. Click the + sign on the top left corner, and select your watch.
  5. Select the photo and name it.
  6. Click the button to send it to your device, which will bring you to the Garmin Connect app to sync it to your watch.

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Have you ever created your own watch face using the app? What image did you use? It’s such a great feature to really make it your own.

Mackinac Island 10 Year Anniversary Trip (There’s running involved πŸ˜œ)

If you know me, you know how much I love Mackinac Island, Michigan. It’s a little island located to the east of St. Ignace, a city in the upper peninsula just across the Mackinac Bridge. This island, just a little over 8 miles in circumference, feels like home to me! We visit at least once a year and it’s always hard to leave. The main modes of transportation are by bicycle and horse, and the only motorized vehicles on the island are that of emergency units and garbage trucks (we actually saw the Waste Management truck out during my run around the island).

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We are always on the Island for our anniversary weekend since the 8-Mile race is the same weekend, and that race is a tradition. We knew we wanted some extra time there to explore more of the island on our mountain / adventure bikes. But, the 8-Mile weekend is a big family filled weekend…it’s my absolute favorite weekend of the entire year. So, we opted to plan our anniversary trip a few weeks early so we could get away just the two of us and it wouldn’t interfere with our daughter being in school.

Our daughter hung out with her grandparents, aunt, and cousin at the cottage for our trip.

The drive to Mackinaw City was a wet one! We drove though some nasty storms, but it cleared enough when we arrived to get a bike ride in.

We did some shopping too, which was fun. I got a bicycle necklace in rose gold, a Mackinac magnet, a Christmas ornament, and a cool framed wooden map of the island that I always comment on when we visit.

Friday was a pretty low key day. It rained some more, and TMI — I ended up getting my period with horrible cramps (I rarely get cramps, go figure!) so I took a nap (haha!) while my husband did some reading. I felt better by evening and we had a great dinner at The Pink Pony. I loved the waterfront views!
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SaturdayΒ morning I got my 8 mile run in around the island. This was my “time trial” for the race. It was a big confidence booster! I made a pace band for this and it was so helpful seeing where I was at each mile and knowing if I had time to slow it down near the end of a mile and recover a little before picking it up again for the next mile. So although my splits didn’t follow the band exactly, having it on definitely helped me see how I was doing and it was a good guide. I ended up finishing faster than goal pace! πŸ™ŒΒ I think I need to re-think my race-day goals now!

 

 

My husband took this picture below as I started.
Here’s my official stats…8.13 miles, 1:11:54, 8:51 pace.

We biked about 10-12 miles Saturday afternoon and biked to the top of the island (Fort Holmes), Fort Mackinac, Arch Rock, Sugar Loaf, and watched some planes land and take off at the airport.
That evening we got dressed up and took a carriage to the Grand Hotel’s Cupola bar for pre-dinner drinks, then headed down to the 5-course dinner at the hotel after.Β 
It was a great meal, but I wouldn’t spend money on that again. I’m too Dutch for that! 🀣

It was such a fantastic little get-a-way, even with the weather not being great in the beginning. We were still able to do everything we wanted to, so I’d say it was a success! I’m really looking forward to returning with my family in a few weeks.

Product Review: Lucky Rings

You may have seen me wearing silicone rings in place of my wedding rings on Instagram. I’ve been wearing them for workouts since mid-July.

Kelsey, at Lucky Rings, reached out to me about trying their silicone rings and offered both my husband and I some rings to try.


My husband and I are celebrating our 10 year anniversary in September and I love my wedding rings. But, I understand why people have been swapping them out for Lucky Rings during workouts. I had never heard of Lucky Rings (or even silicone rings) until just recently, but I love the idea behind them so I decided to give them a shot.
My husband doesn’t normally wear his wedding band while running or biking because he doesn’t like the feeling. His wedding band is tungsten carbide, so it’s heavy and bulky. He was definitely intrigued by these when I told him about them. He wondered if they’d be more comfortable for working out.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram for a while, you have seen me fall off my road bike (fell on my hand and knee), and you’ve seen me trip on a sidewalk while running. Clearly, I’m bound to have another spill being active πŸ˜‚. Damaging my wedding ring from an accident is something that never crossed my mind, but it’s definitely possible!😬

Cue Lucky Rings!….

They are smooth and comfortable! We both have enjoyed wearing them.
I asked Kelsey to share a bit about the company:

“We are a family run business located south of Atlanta, Georgia. The Owner and his wife were having a baby girl, and he wanted to give her the opportunity to stay home with their daughter and work from home! Business only grew and grew! Then I was hired, also a mama to a baby girl, to run the office and I was able to bring my daughter to work. I have been with this company for almost a year, and I am so grateful that I can still spend time with my daughter and work with people from all over. The Owner and his family truly do put family first- and now a days the work place loses sight of that!”

What’s not to love about a small business who respects and puts family first?! That same positive energy carries through their business. They offer free exchanges and returns on customers purchases at any time. They really strive to keep their customers happy.
If you’d like to get yourself a ring (or a few!) you may use code: mittenrunner20 at checkout for a discount.

You may enter to win your own Lucky Rings (a set of 10!) on my Instagram page. Click on the picture below to read how to enter. Good luck!

Product Review: Senita AthleticsΒ 

I love it when I have the opportunity to try new athletic wear! Senita Athletics sent me a sports bra and matching pair of running shorts to try and I was overjoyed…who doesn’t get excited about new gear?! 😜


First impressions….SO CUTE! I love the fun floral print.

There are a few cool features for this set:

  1. The bra has a cell phone pocket between the shoulder blades. It’s surprisingly easy to get it in and out too, but stays in place well during the run. I have an iPhone 6s for reference.
  2. The shorts have compression shorts underneath the outer layer. AND they have grippers so they don’t ride up during your run! πŸ™Œ This was my attempt at showing that…can’t really see it though haha 😬.
  3. The shorts have two places for storage in the waistband; a zippered pocket on the back that I used for my keys, and a small un-zippered pocket in the front that would be good for energy gels.

My thoughts:

That bra fit was great! It was comfortable and supportive. It has some removable pads in it too. I probably won’t use the cell phone pocket in the bra again because my phone got sweaty. I’d suggest putting it in a sandwich bag to protect it if you’d like to use this feature.

The shorts are amazing! I love the zipper pocket on the back and the grippy compression shorts underneath. I wish the outer layer was just a little more form fitted around the legs though. It’s not bad, I just prefer a more fitted look.

Overall, I love this outfit and I’d definitely recommend the brand to others.

Senita makes some great tops, leggings and capris, and accessories too. If you’d like to buy this outfit, or any other items from Senita, you may use code ‘mittenrunner’ for 10% off your purchase.πŸŽ‰

Vegan Mac and Cheese

I haven’t posted a recipe in forever, as I had determined I’m definitely not a food blogger. So I didn’t take pics as I made this, but, I just had to share the recipe because I really enjoyed it.

I’ve tried a few different healthier macaroni and cheese recipes over the years, but this one won over my meat eating husband and sometimes picky 6 year old daughter. My husband couldn’t believe there wasn’t any dairy in this recipe (AND no vegan cheese ‘product’ like Daiya).πŸ™Œ

Just a few notes about this…I’m terrible about following recipes and often just do my own thing and use a recipe as a general guide. Also, this is most definitely not Candida safe….after April I was given the go-ahead to start introducing those off limits foods and am struggling again. So although I’m good at not eating added sugars, the gluten free starches are a problem for me and cause me unbelievable discomfort. I think I will be battling this for life unfortunately. It’s hard to find that balance. That being said, this recipe tastes great!


I started out by boiling a few chopped red skin potates (left skin on), then once they were somewhat soft I dumped them into a pan with some avocado oil and sautΓ©ed them with the carrots, onions, tomatoes and garlic. In a separate pot I cooked 16oz of gluten free pasta. Then I dumped the cooked veggie mix plus maybe a cup or so of water, and the remaining ingredients into the blender and purΓ©ed until smoothe. Then I mixed that into the pot of cooked pasta and stirred to coat evenly. I steamed some broccoli and added it when serving. Done! I sprinkled mine with a little crushed red pepper. I doubled the recipe below. I’d suggest less ground pepper if you don’t like spicy food. I wish I knew where I found this recipe! If I find it, I’ll link 😊.

Vegan Mac & Cheese

INGREDIENTS:

2ΒΌ cups water

1 medium potato (about 1 cup) or use ΒΎ cup mashed potatoes (I used maybe 6-7 organic red skin potatoes)

β…“ cup chopped carrots

4 garlic cloves or 1 tsp garlic powder

2 tbsp chopped onion or use Β½ tsp onion powder

Β½ green chili (optional)

Β½ medium tomato, chopped

Β½ to 1 tsp prepared mustard

2 tsp soy sauce or liquid aminos (I omitted)

3 to 4 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 to 3 tsp lemon juice

2 tbsp avocado oil (omit to make oil free)

β…“ tsp paprika

Β½ tsp sriracha (optional)

ΒΎ tsp or more salt

Β½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

8 oz elbows pasta, cooked to preference

1 cup broccoli, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

In a skillet, add water, potato, carrots, garlic, onion, chili and tomato. Cover and cook over medium-high heat for 17 to 19 minutes or until the potato is very tender and breaks easily. (add 2 Tbsp cashews for creamier sauce). Cool slightly.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta to aldente. (in parallel with the above step if you like).

Add the potato carrot mixture to a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth. taste and adjust salt and spice.

Transfer to the pan over medium heat. Add salt, white pepper, β…“ tsp black pepper. Mix in. Bring to a boil. Carefully taste and adjust salt, cheesiness (add more nutritional yeast if needed).

Add the cooked pasta and broccoli or other veggies. Mix in. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the sauce comes to a good boil and thickens.

Let it sit for 5 minutes. Mix in the rest of the freshly ground black pepper (1/2 to β…” tsp). Sprinkle more pepper if you wish and serve/

NOTES

For creamier sauce or variation: Add tbsp cashews, or 1-2 Tbsp sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds with the potato and carrots or add a tbsp of flour to the blended sauce.

If you like your broccoli and veggies a bit cooked, add them to the pasta pot, 5 minutes before the pasta will be taken off heat. Drain both and keep aside.

Run Streak Ended…or did it?


I completed 30 days of running at least a mile a day for #streakingwiththeCOOLKIDS, which was started by Jen (@pinkcupcakegirl). I averaged 3.43 miles a day (103 miles for the month), and 13,299 steps a day (always meeting my minimum goal of 10k a day).


I didn’t run on July 1st, but did lots of walking to meet my step goals. The streak really just instilled being more active. So if I’m not running because I’m biking or doing a HIIT workout, or taking a rest day, I’ll still be getting a few extra miles in by walking.

I am starting training on Sunday, July 2, for an 8 mile race that’s this fall and I have big goals for the race. So, starting with rested legs was important to me so that’s why I stopped the run streak, but continued with walking.

I loved seeing everyone’s posts on the Facebook group through the challenge. It was a place to share your daily triumphs and struggles too! It was cool having like 2,000+ other cheerleaders there going through the same thing!


Congrats to all the finishers!!