Welcome to 2016!

We would like to take a moment and say thank you to our readers for their support in 2015. We started Tale of 2 Halfs as a fun outlet – a place for us to ramble, vent, debate and enlighten. We are grateful for our engaging readers and glad you come back week after week.

Our family ended the year with a trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The drive home never gets shorter and often gets tougher on us as the parents. We’re not able to stay awake as long as we used to! Both children did very well traveling given the circumstances with only the youngest giving us any grieve when she was hungry.

We made it home a little after 2 a.m. on Christmas Eve and got very little sleep as the kids were up early. Over the next few days we split our time between families to ensure everyone got to see us over the holidays. The kids loved getting to open presents all day long on Christmas and had to have each item removed from the packaging as soon as possible.

While we were home we celebrated each child’s birthday with family, friends, presents and of course cake.
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We didn’t get any workouts in until after Christmas, nor did we workout as much as we would have liked given the holiday and birthday goodies. We used many excuses, some actually valid, to justify missing our workouts. Here is what we managed to do:

Travis

12/26 – 3.90 miles @ 7:42 pace

12/28 – 5.00 miles @ 7:16 pace

12/30 – 3.60 miles @ 8:16 pace

Yearly Mileage Total: 1,303.35

01/02 – 6.20 miles @ 8:00 pace

Jen

12/26 – 2 miles & 21-Day Fix Dirty Thirty

12/28 – 3 miles

12/29 – 3.50 miles

12/30 – 3 miles with 21-Day Fix Plyo & Abs

Yearly Mileage Total: 324.95

01/03 – 2 miles

As you can see, not much in terms of hard or difficult workouts. It was a shocker to both Jen and I when we totaled our yearly mileage the vast difference between us. It definitely shows just how much she compromised last year and why she’s going for a big goal this year.

We have begun our #RuntheYear challenge and although we are off to a slow start, we will be back on pace soon. To make things easier on us both this year, we are anxiously awaiting our new Proform Premier 900 treadmill. This should alleviate issues with the winter weather and shorter days and allow us to both get our runs in, if only on the hamster wheel!
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What is a specific fitness challenge you have for 2016?

Friday Five 12/3: Holiday Wish List

TGIF! This has been an incredibly LONG week. We’re still fighting off illness over here. Hopefully by the end of the weekend everyone will be back to normal again. Sick kids is bad enough but throw in a sick husband to go along with it and I’m completely spent!

Can you believe that Christmas is only two weeks from today? Thankfully, this year I stuck with my goal of being done with all of my shopping relatively early and I finished it up yesterday. A few stocking stuffers to pick up and I’m good to go! Today we’re talking wish lists, and linking up with Cynthia, Courtney and Mar for the Friday Five! We’ve also got another giveaway for you today!

When it comes to buying Christmas gifts, both of us will say that the other is incredibly difficult to buy for. We’ll both deny it too! Today we’re sharing our wish lists for this year.

Travis:

  1. Under Armour Storm sweatpants- These are his favorite sweats!
  2. Asics GT 2000-4– These are his go to shoes, and when he’s training he goes through them so quickly!
  3. Reflective/light-up gear– It’s getting dark so early now that he’d like something to make him a little more visible if he’s running when it’s not quite light or dusk outside. We looked at these at the Chicago Marathon Expo and they were pretty awesome!
  4. Compression Gear– I think this one is on both of our lists. It’s nice to have multiple pairs of compression sleeves/socks when you’re training! To spread a little holiday love, our friends at SLS3 have offered a pair of compression sleeves/socks to one of our readers! To enter, you can click here to visit the rafflecopter for the giveaway! This will run from today (December 11) to December 18! Good luck! We love our SLS3 sleeves! If you’ve never tried them before, you can read our full review here!
  5. A giant buck. Well, this isn’t something that can exactly be bought. Travis is actually away on a hunting trip trying to find his Christmas gift right now. Wish him luck!  

Jen: My birthday and Christmas are only 9 days apart so Travis always says he has it extra difficult! 

 

  1. Sparkly Soul Headbands: I can’t get enough of these! They are the only headbands I can get to stay on my head. There’s a ton of different colors/patterns to choose from!  
  2. This shirt from Fellow Flowers– I love the message in this group and the saying on this shirt would be perfect as I start my training for Chicago 2016. The first step is believing in yourself, right?braveenought
  3. Mantra Band-These are so simple, but I love them! My favorites- “She believed she could, so she did” and “Dream bigger”
  4. Fuzzy socks- This is something I request every year. My feet freeze in the winter!
  5. A Run Far hoodie- I live in hoodies in the winter. This one looks so comfy!

What’s one thing on your wish list this year?

Gifts for Runners and a Giveaway!

Now that Thanksgiving is over I’m in full blown Christmas mode! I’ve decided that unlike previous years I am not going to procrastinate and leave all of my shopping for the last week before Christmas. Today, I thought I’d share some things that would make great gifts for the runner in your life! We also have an awesome giveaway to share so keep reading!

Earbuds – A great pair of earbuds are crucial for running! We both use Yurbuds and love them! They are comfortable and stay put. While you’re at it, why not thrown in an iTunes gift card or a subscription to Rock My Run .

Fuel/Hydration of choice – Runners can go through a lot of fuel when training for races, so a stocking up on some of their favorites would make a great gift! Grab a couple tubes of Nuun and their favorite gels or chews!

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Socks – There are several different options you could go with for this category. You could get them a few pairs of their favorite low cut socks or a pair of compression sleeves/socks.

Road ID – These are an absolute must have for any road runner. I love the rubber style bands with the charms!

A Running Book The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons I run Long Distances, Meb For Mortals, or the Believe Training Journal are a few examples.

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Shoe Charms – I love these Foot Notes from Momentum Jewelry!

A Subscription Box – These are monthly boxes that come with all kinds of goodies for runners so it’s like getting a new gift every month! Some options are The Runner Box or Stride Box.

Shoes – We go through shoes like crazy. A new pair of their favorite trainers would make a wonderful gift!

A Marathon Course Map Print – If your runner just ran a goal race these prints make an awesome commemorative gift! This one looks really nice and can be personalized with the runners name and finish time!

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A Race Entry – Is there a race your runner has been talking about wanting to run? Why not gift them an entry and wrap a copy of the registration for them to open! I’m positive that any runner would appreciate the support of their hobby!

*** None of the products above are sponsored. They are just things we use and think would make great gifts!***

And on that note, we have a giveaway! Our friends at Spartan Race have offered us an entry to one of their races to give away! The entry is good for one entry for any open heat (non-confirmed start time) in any Spartan Race in the Continental United States.

To enter: Leave a comment telling us which race you’d choose. For additional entries: follow us on Twitter (@2halfsblog) and leave a comment telling us you followed and follow us on Instagram (@taleof2halfs) and leave a comment telling us you followed. Giveaway will close Friday night and we will choose a winner at random!

Spartan Race is also offering deals on registrations!

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Friday Five 11/13: Ways To Stay Healthy During The Holidays

Hello! While you’re reading this I’m flying to South Carolina for a girls getaway weekend! Travis is holding down the fort at home while I spend a few days on Hilton Head Island with a good friend of mine! We’ve got some big plans this weekend including a trip to the spa, hiking and shopping.

Holiday season is officially here (although if you go by any retail stores it’s been here since the end of September). This time of year can easily be tough to maintain fitness and healthy eating with all of the holiday activities, parties and treats around! We’re linking up again for the Friday Five to talk about ways to stay healthy during the holidays.

1. Don’t Over Eat: Sounds easy enough but the truth is it can be a real challenge with holiday treats at work and at home, in addition to all the holiday parties. Eat a normal meal and don’t worry about offending family and friends if you do not want a second helping.

2. Get on your Feet: With so many online options these days for shopping, it is entirely possible to buy for one or two dozen people and not leave the comfort of your house. While I hate crowds as much as the next person, actually going to a store, shopping center or mall allows me to get on my feet and burn a few additional calories. It may not be many calories in the grand scheme of things, but it keeps your metabolism and digestive systems working their best and keeps you healthy.

3. Volunteer your Time: You might be thinking…huh? The holiday season is stressful for so many reasons – family, finances, travel, illnesses, etc. – but studies have shown that a great way to reduce stress and improve your emotional health is to give back to someone who may be down on their luck. While you’re worrying about buying your husband the perfect present, that gentleman you serve food to at a church dinner may be worrying about how to keep his family off of the streets this winter.

4. Keep Exercising: This is probably the hardest for us in this house. The days are shorter and always seem to be busier than ever. But it’s important that we find time each day to do a little workout. It keeps us going, motivated and healthy; research suggests those who exercise regularly are better able to fight off the common colds and flus of winter.

5. Be Grateful!: While today’s topic may have been geared towards food and fitness, we feel that it’s important to be healthy in every aspect of your life – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, etc. We are not a perfect couple and we struggle with the same realities of others in our society. But we do our best to be grateful for everything we have. When we are grateful with what we have, and not upset at what we don’t, we appreciate those things more. So your kids may be screaming in the background, or your car needs repairs, you don’t like your job or a host of other issues. Take a minute to pause and be grateful – you may be better off than you realize.

Do you agree with our list? Please leave a comment below telling us why or why not.
Have a great weekend!

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