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    Chiropractor Mama Dr. Dolly and professional photographer Elisa B. share about adventures in intentional and natural parenting while living in Virginia's beautiful Blue Ridge.
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For the Running Enthusiast Mom: Running Gear {Review}

Did you know that Elisa and I recently ran in our first 5k since each of us had a baby.  Hats off to Elisa who is less than 5 months postpartum.  You go girl! I’ve had 2 1/2 years of “recovery” since Calvin was born, but I just haven’t had the gumption to sign up for a race…until now.

Looking fresh-faced pre-race

For the record, Elisa and I both agree that races should offer a race award category for moms with small children.  Because the lack of sleep, on call 24/7, and breastfeeding support of a little one is one heck of an endurance wear on a woman…who will then attempt to run a race. Whew!

Elisa and I RAN. We ran for ourselves. We ran for our guys. We ran for each other. We ran for autism.

The Race for Autism 5k, supporting the Virginia Institute of Autism, took place on Saturday, April 17th.  We had perfect weather and a gorgeous spring day for a route near McIntire Park in a lovely neighborhood in Charlottesville.

Out of 465 runners, we finished 290 and 291 with a time of 34:54.  Not bad for a couple of mamas who didn’t even train for this event with running (and who were pretty sleep deprived).

Elisa’s been working out at ACAC on the elliptical trainer and taking some of their aerobics classes.  I did a month of Crossfit’s On-Ramp class plus some kettlebell squats and uphill sprints on my own, but neither of us ran much prior to the race, and we certainly didn’t run 3.1 miles since birthing our sons.  We felt pretty exhilarated afterward because we finished . . . respectably.For the race, I wore my new Mizuno’s Wave Elixir 5′s (courtesy of Mizuno USA). I’m going to make a confession–I only wore them for a few hours of walking a couple days prior to the race.  I didn’t adequately break them in (not something I’d ever do or recommend).  Guess what.  It didn’t even matter.My feet felt comfortable, supported, and blister-free.  Perfect amount of arch support, mid-range control, and adequate room in the toe box.  I felt as smooth on the downhill as on the uphill climb.  Plus, they’re really pretty with the silver and red accents.  Mizuno Wave has been my running shoe of choice since I used to run 3 to 7 miles a day several times a week before I became a mom.  It’s still my go-to shoe for running. LOVE it.  Super light (7.7 ounces) and super ride.

The Mizuno Wave Elixir 5 retails for $95 – $105, and they are available at most running shoe retailers and Amazon.com.

Thanks to GoLite who creates high quality performance wear that’s easy on the planet.  Simple and clutter-free (gadget-free) is their philosophy.  I love so much of what this company stands for, and I was thrilled to wear GoLite’s Tilly Jane running skirt for the event.  It was my first running skirt.  I’m never going back to running shorts again. Ever.

I always felt like running shorts would get bunched up and awkward while running.  Not so with the Tilly Jane.  This stylish and svelte running skirt features a hidden boy short with quick-dry material in the event you need some modesty while you’re doing warm-up squats prior to your run.  Plus, there’s a dandy hidden pocket to stowe your lone key or I.D. while running.  It’s totally comfortable from breathable fabric that moves with you and doesn’t ride up.  Plus, I think it looks way more cute than shorts during a workout, and it’s definitely way more feminine.  Not that I’m overly concerned about those things.

The semi-fitted Tilly Jane is available in X-Small through X-Large.  Three colors are available: Black/granite (what I’m wearing), granite/jade, coral/granite. The Tilly Jane is made from recycled polyester, elastic, and Minerale materials, and it retails for $60 on GoLite and Amazon.com.

GoLite also equipped me with a hydroclutch.  Think cycling water bottle with a reflective hand-grip for runners.  So, you don’t have to actively “hold” the water bottle while it’s strapped around your hand, and you can bring your water with you.

Thinking there would be at least one water station along the race route, I aptly left my hydroclutch in my vehicle to avoid being encumbered by one more thing.  It was a mistake.  NO water along the race route.  I was dehydrated from a long and sleepless night ameliorating a vexed and poison ivy-stricken toddler–so, having my hydroclutch would have been a life saver.  Or at least a breakfast saver (if you catch my drift).  Next run, I’m not going without my hydroclutch.  It’s available on GoLite and Amazon
for $15.

Note: I received a pair of Mizuno Elixir 5 shoes, GoLite water bottle, and skirt for the purposes of this review.

Get in the Picture with Gorillapod {Giveaway}

I love blogging and photographing my family, but sometimes I wish all three of us could be in the picture.  When my husband’s away from home, and there’s a sweet moment that I’d love to capture on film with my son and me, it’s helpful to have a portable and flexible tripod.

Gorillapod’s SLR by Joby is strong enough to carry the weight of an SLR body plus lens (holds up to 1.75 pounds).

Over two dozen flexible joints throughout the legs remind me of my organic chemistry model kit–ya know, legos for adults.  The legs look like a combo of a bunch of single bonds, except the joints on the Gorillapod SLR bend and rotate 360 degrees.

a girl’s best friend by gcfairch via Flickr

The rubberized rings and foot legs stay-put on slick surfaces like cars, recycle bins, or cedar trees.

I’m a total fan of the quick-release level that stays on my SLR camera for easy on/off access to the Gorillapod SLR.  I use it to make sure my SLR is level when I need to set the timer for shots when I’m not behind the lens.

I used the Gorillapod SLR with my Nikon D90 DX Digital SLR Camera with 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S VR DX Nikkor Zoom Lens.

There’s a period of about 6 months where I snapped gobs of photos of my husband and son…and I’m not with them in a single photo.

Since I received my Gorillapod SLR from Joby (Thanks, Joby!) I was able to share the frame with my family for Easter:

I also used it to snap photos of a gorgeous spring day while holding my son.  Definitely not something I could have done without a tripod.

When we go camping next month, I’ll be able to wrap the Gorillapod SLR around a tree or even a tent pole to snap some fantastic photos.  Later when I can afford to spring for an extra Nikon flash and diffuser, I can remotely mount the flash on the Gorillapod SLR while snapping away with my camera, and using a softer light from another angle.  It’s like having a portable photography studio (great for amateurs and aptly enjoyed by professionals).

This lightweight, portable, and super fun flexible tripod retails for $39.95 on Joby and Amazon.com

Win it!

Joby is sponsoring an awesome giveaway for one of our lucky readers!

One (1) winner will receive a Gorillapod SLR (retail value $39.95)!  To enter, hop on over to Joby’s site, then leave a comment on this post telling us something you learned about a Joby product that sounds totally awesome to you or what type of photograph you’d love to capture with your Gorillapod prior to May 15th at 11:59 p.m.  That’s it! Please follow the contest rules and avoid any generalized comments, or you will be disqualified.

*I received two Gorillapod SLRs, one for me to review and keep, and the other to give away. Read my full disclosure policy.

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We’re celebrating motherhood from now until the end of May.  Although, motherhood should be celebrated year round…don’t you think?  Join us for gift ideas and giveaways for Mom.

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