Heat Wave

We are having a heat wave here in the Northeast! Today marks six days in a row of 90+ degree temperatures with 90% humidity. Not exactly comfortable, but quite the contrast from the endless days with negative temperatures we had this winter.

I don't know how people in places such as Florida run through the summer, although you do build up some tolerance to the heat with time and training. I'm sure they wonder how we run in the snow! I do think I prefer running in the heat than the freezing cold. It is easier for me to cool off than to warm up (ice baths!), I have no Raynauds, there is less laundry, and you don't have to worry about your foot traction. Running in the rain is also way more fun than running with ice pellets. 

We have been enjoying lots of water sports, early morning runs to beat the heat, plenty of fluids, and cold showers before bed. We went swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, and kept the dogs cool. Here are some photos from the week. 

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Active Recovery and Meet Miles

It has been two weeks since my marathon, and I am excited to get back to my running routine. Post-marathon is an important time for full recovery and complete rest, but it is also a time to incorporate active recovery as you begin to feel better and start to get back to training. Active recovery involves gentle exercise to help improve blood flow and stimulate healing with minimal stress to your body. Cross-training involving low intensity movements such as walking, swimming, and cycling are great for active recovery days. 

My first week post-marathon was almost entirely complete rest with some light walking here and there. This week (my second week post-marathon), I got to enjoy some cross-training and a few runs. 

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Vegetable Garden 2018

Today I planted our vegetable garden for the year, and I am already excited for our harvest this summer and fall. There is nothing better than going to the garden to pick fresh vegetables. It definitely saves us money on our grocery bill and makes meal planning easier. Food from your garden always tastes better and helps you eat healthier, too. 

We are lucky to have five large raised beds in our back yard, perfect for gardening. Three of the beds are designated for vegetables, one for flowers, and one for herbs. Today I planted green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, kale, carrots, basil, parsley, bell peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes. 

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Sleep: How to Maximize Your Zzz's

Sleep is the one of the most important components in developing and maintaining health and happiness. Sleep is just as essential as eating well, minimizing stress, and exercising. Poor sleep increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, low immunity, and underperformance in sports. Lack of sleep can also lead to irritability, errors in the workplace, car accidents, delayed healing time, and much more. Our bodies need sleep to recover from injuries, rebuild at the end of the day, and prepare for what's to come. Our bodies simply cannot function well on erratic or inadequate sleep.    

Most sources recommend 7-9 hours of sleep for adults, but this is not the case for the majority of people. Sleep often gets put to the back burner as we prioritize other things. Many people also have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. It can be extra challenging when you are changing time zones, have small children, working overnight shifts, experiencing pain, or have tight schedules with late nights and early alarms.   

How can we maximize our zzz’s? The MayoClinic, National Sleep Foundation, Sleep Better Council, and New York Times all have great recommendations regarding sleep. Here are some of the best tips:

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Therapy Dogs

A slight deviation from my typical posts, today I am writing about therapy dogs – still connected to physical therapy and running! Therapy dogs are utilized in a variety of settings to help provide comfort, affection, and love to people. They are different from working dogs and service dogs, which are specifically trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities or the military. However, most working dogs and service dogs provide many of the same benefits as therapy dogs. Therapy dogs are becoming more widespread and you can find them in schools, hospitals, airports, nursing homes, and many other facilities and public places.

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