Friday, August 17, 2012

Staycation Day 4: Roller Skating

For those of you who didn't already realized it, I admit it -- I am a huge nerd. I say this to preface my next statement. I love roller skating at the roller rink!

It's hard to describe how fun I find skating. I love the feeling of the movement and the speed. Skating feels so effortless and comfortable -- more satisfying than walking.

My brother and I were total skating junkies when we were little, which probably has a lot to do with my love of all kinds skating now. We used to roller skate along a nearby bike path. We'd roller blade in our driveway (playing "street hockey" with our neighbors from up the street) many many days after school when the weather was nice. In the winter, on Sundays, we'd drive to the neighboring town and ice skate at the rink there. I learned to skate at such a young age that I don't remember it ever being anything other than fun.

So, late last year, when a Groupon popped up on my iPhone giving me $50 worth of skating at the local Interskate 91 for only $25 I purchased it right away.

Unfortunately, despite my love of skating, using $50 worth of skating is a bit tricky. It only costs $10.50 to skate (with rentals), so $50 is a lot of skating. I went skating shortly after I got the Groupon, but still had $40 worth to go.

With this in mind, Thursday of staycation was designated skating day!

We headed over to the local mall for skating after a quick stop at the Verizon Wireless -- we wanted to see if the share everything plan would save us money; it wouldn't.

The skating place was packed with a camp group, but it seemed more of them were concerned with hanging out seated with skates on their feet than actually skating. There was plenty of room on the rink.

Seth is not a lover of skating having had less exposure in his youth. He decided to hang around and watch the proceedings. Fortunately, after an hour of watching and reading the learn to skate article on wikiHow, Seth decided to give skating a try.

He was so successful! He practiced on the carpeting for a while to get his balance and practice the gliding motion of skating. The carpet gave him the extra friction needed to not roll around while learning. After that, he came out onto the skating rink and practiced in an area designed for those learning to skate. He did such a good job that some of the people skating by passed on words of encouragement.

Finally, after much practicing, he decided to make a complete circuit of the rink. He skated around two full times without holding onto anything -- his most successful skating endeavor yet.

Since I love skating so much, I'm really excited by Seth's great progress towards being a skater. When he feels comfortable skating, I'll have a partner to go skating with. Here he is fresh from his skating success!

In other news, I am still in the market for a new nutrition shake since stopping my Shakeology auto-shipments due to cost (even though I loved the taste, nutrition, and how it made me feel).

As some of you may recall from previous posts, I tried the GNC Women's Ultra Mega Active. While the cost was good, I disliked the taste and artificial sweeteners which stuck in my mouth all day. The product also didn't digest well.

 On Wednesday, after our Northampton trip, we made a quick stop off at the local Wholefoods. While browsing their supplements aisle, I came across Vega One Nutrition Shake.

I liked the nutritional information on the Vega One shake and the fact that there was nothing artificial. Seth and I decided to pick up three single serving packets to try it out. I got chocolate and vanilla chai; he got berry. At $70 for a tub, we wanted to see how we liked it before investing -- this shake might still be more than I would want to spend.

I tried the vanilla chai flavor first, for breakfast Thursday. It digested well and, as I said before, I like the nutrients, but the taste did not work for me. I mixed it with water, as recommended but might try milk if I did it again. Overall though, the chai flavor was too vegetative tasting to me.

I did try the chocolate one today (Friday) as a post-workout snack. The chocolate is a bit better tasting. Still a bit plant-like in flavor, but I could get through it. I did read some reviews of the product on Amazon, and noticed that there are some other similar products for cheaper -- more like $30. I might see if I can find a sample in stores and try one of them. The search for a new nutrition drink continues!

I also made a fitness related purchase yesterday, a Nathan Hydration Belt.

I've been looking for a solution to bringing water on my long runs for a bit of time. I've been hydrating before and after my long runs, but now that I am clocking in runs that are over an hour, I find I really need some water during the run. I didn't want to carry a water bottle. I already carry my iPhone, and I find having to hold that annoying enough. 

After talking with some people on Facebook and doing some online research, I decided on the Nathan Hydration Belt with two 10 oz water bottles. This will be enough water for me for the length I run. Plus, I don't like to drink too much when I exercise because it upsets my stomach. As a bonus, the pouch on this belt is large enough to hold my iPhone, which will help solve another problem. 

I plan to take the belt out for my long run tomorrow and see how it feels to make sure I like it. I want to insure it doesn't move around too much or chafe. I'll post a review after I've tried it. 

It's day 5 of our staycation now -- the last day I have special plans for. I had better go prep for them. Post to follow tomorrow!

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