Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Oak Island, NC

We are thoroughly enjoying exploring Oak Island, NC. James has been here before but this is the first time I have been here. The weather has been perfect. So far we have enjoyed running, biking and kayaking the island and we have also enjoyed lounging around on the beach, enjoying time with family and eating yummy food!

There is an easy access to the intracoastal waterway. If you visit Oak Island and want to bring along your kayaks at the very end of the island, the section called the point, there is ample parking and great access. We have a large trailer and we able to park with no problem, unload our boats and hit the water! We spent about an hour the first day paddling through the channels in the marsh created by the tide. We had a wonderful time and saw lots of fish, crabs and quite a few White Herrings. We plan to take to the intracoastal waters again and explore another section maybe later today! We also plan to take our kayaks out into the ocean... Well James plans to, I am not sure if I will or not. I am not a fan of hanging out with the sharks and I feel certain they are out there!!! We will see. The surf here is much milder then Topsail Island, where we vacationed last year, so I might venture out. Stay tuned ;)

Oak Island, NC

The Point at Oak Island

Paddling the Intracoastal Waters

Beach Birds Roosting on an exposed stretch of land as the tide rolls in

White Herrings

Of course there are plenty of great running opportunities here as well, both along the coast and on the roadways. Before you hit the beach though you may want to read this post so that you are well prepared. Today's morning run was great! Running into the sunrise was simply wonderful!

Oak Island is a 10 mile stretch of land along the NC Coast. To bike round trip the entire island would be 20 miles. We covered 10 miles yesterday. We biked between 12-14 mph and I definitely broke a sweat! It was very rewarding, especially for me since I haven't been on a bike in years! We're going to go again today and may go a little farther. 

James wants to bike over the bridge... I am not sure about that ha! 

Oak Island is a great place to visit with a lot to offer for the outdoor adventurer and with a very relaxed atmosphere this place is the perfect spot for a amazing summer vacation! 

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Running the Beach!

Since we are at the beach of course I had to give beach running a try. I see people running on the beach every year and I always get a little envious. Since I have been running I have been thinking about running along the waters edge. I expected it to be a different experience but I had no idea how different.  

The ground is naturally a softer, shifting surface. Running on the sand, even on the packed sand closer to the water was harder then the asphalt and dirt trails I am used to. The way my feet would strike the ground was very different and there was a bit of drag when I lifted my feet. 

The erosion of the coast is very apparent when running, in some spots the ground was so uneven making it more difficult to run steady and to keep pace.

I have been running at 6:00 am at the beach instead of my normal 5:00 am. I am on vacation so I am sleeping in a bit. James thinks this is not sleeping in at all ha! I have found that 6:00 am at the beach is much warmer then 5:00 or even 6:00 am in the mountains. It does make a difference, I tend to prefer cooler temperatures to run, it helps me beat exhaustion. The warmer the temps I run in the more likely I am to break for a walk in the midst of my stride. When it is cooler I can generally keep the endurance and pace better. 

In addition to the warmer temperatures the air is also heavier and much more humid. This is very different from the fresh crisp mountain air I am accustomed to on my morning runs at home. These differences made my breathing feel a bit more labored. Once I got accustom to this I was able to regain some control. 

The wonderful peaceful ocean breezes felt more like heavy winds when running against them in both directions! They definitely added some resistance training to my runs! 

All things combined added about an additional minute to my mile. Not too bad! I tried not to focus so much on my time so that I could just really enjoy the serenity of the ocean as I ran along the shore. It is so peaceful and rewarding. I plan to alternate my runs between the beach and the roads while we are here. I enjoy the challenge the sand offers and the breathtaking scenery is so inspiring! 

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Monday, July 29, 2013

This Weekend's VIP - Goal Zero Rock Out Speaker

We received our new Goal Zero Rock Out Speaker just in time for our beach trip! There is nothing quite like laying out on the beach with some great music playing while you soak up some sun! The great thing about the Rock Out Speaker is that it plays our playlists from our iPods/iPhones and is solar charged from our Nomad 13! We soaked up our Vitamin D while the Nomad 13 soaks up some serious energy! We didn't have to worry at all about batteries dying. It was great! 

We also strapped the speaker to one of our bikes for a ride around the island!

The sound quality is superb! 

The only thing that we could find that would make this better is if there was a sound control on the speaker itself. If we wanted to adjust the volume we had to do so on our device. It appears that the soon to be released Rock Out 2 addresses that so you may opt to hold out for that one! 

Goal Zero recommends the Nomad 7 Solar Panel. We used our Nomad 13 which we absolutely love and take everywhere!! We use this in conjunction with the Sherpa 50 to keep all of our rechargeable devices charged. We recently reviewed both of these during one of our backpacking trips, check out this post.

Goal Zero offers great products be sure to check them out!! We look forward to taking our Rock Out speaker on all of our future outdoor excursions, it is perfect for backpacking!!

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Monday Musing ~ Vacation Monday's

Happy Monday from the beach! We love vacation Monday's! We are delayed a day in our This Weekend VIP but will be posting that shortly! We came to the beach on Friday, drove the 5 hour drive back home last night to take our girls to cheer camp and came back to the beach today. Busy, busy, but so worth it to have the girls at the beach for part of our planned family vacation! We had a great weekend! 

We have eaten great seafood, enjoyed time at the beach, spent time with family and had a few interesting (now funny, at the time not so funny) experiences on our first night...

We visited a few scene locations from the movie Safe Haven in South Port. 

Paddled the intracoastal waterway.

We went crab hunting one night.

Enjoyed an early morning beach run.

And a bike ride one afternoon.

The rest of the time we spent lounging on the beach and jumping some waves!

We look forward to enjoying the rest of our time on vacation and we hope you have an excellent week!

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Friday, July 26, 2013

High Five for Friday ~ five highlights of the week

1. My youngest daughter celebrated her 14th Birthday this past weekend! We had so much fun! Bonfire on Friday night, Girls night on Saturday and Sunday morning pancakes with fresh picked blueberries and a day long shopping trip to follow! My oldest daughter decorated the car windows with "Honk for the Birthday Girl" so our trip was very entertaining. 

2. We did our part to reduce littering... Had our cute kitty spayed. She is doing great, she even has an appetite, she thinks she might like some Premier Protein... Ha!

3. James fixed our TV... Apparently if English Ivy is covering the satellite dish it won't receive reception... Who knew ;)

4. We got Goal Zero Rock Out Speakers in the mail this week!!!! Super excited!!! We are trying them out ASAP!! We are also going to host a giveaway so stay tuned to see when that gets set up and register to WIN a Rock Out Speaker of your own!!

5. We are loaded up and heading to the beach very shortly!! We are anxious to hit the water!!! Looking forward to an amazing vacation!

We hope you have had a wonderful week and have lots of fun planned for the weekend!!

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for High Five for Friday!

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Come hang with us socially!

We are packing up and getting ready for our vacation! So ready for some surf and sand :) 

While we are on vacation we would love for you to come hang out with us on a social level! 

Like our new facebook page and see other posts that don't make it to the blog:

Follow us on Twitter, we tweet and share lots of fun stuff! Shout out to us on Twitter @deanneandjames and we will RT you :)

Join my circle on Google+, add me to your circle and I will add you to mine!

Who doesn't love Pinterest??? I have a board for just about everything! Follow me and explore some of my favorite things!

And the newest addition to the social family... Instagram!! Loving it!

We look forward to "hanging out"!! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Kayaking the coast ~ Topsail Island, NC

We are getting ready for our beach trip and I can hardly wait! There is so much to do and so little time to get ready but once we are on beach time it will all be worth it! We are looking forward to taking our Ocean Kayaks to the beach again this year. We will be visiting a different beach this year then we have in the past and we look forward to paddling around and exploring!

Last year we stayed on Topsail Island and it was wonderful! We highly recommend!! We love the kind of beaches that are quaint and aren't to hustle and bustle. We're on vacation for goodness sake and we get enough hustle and bustle every day! Relaxing and enjoying the serenity is what we love! Oh and exploring! More than anything we love exploring the places we visit!

Last summer we enjoyed paddling the intercoastal water way at Topsail! We paddled out to small islands peppered throughout and had so much fun.

The water was naturally calmer in the intercoastal waterway than in the ocean.

We found remnants of days gone by on some of the little islands.

We happened upon a small island that must be the breeding ground for crabs, there were tens of thousands scurrying around on this marshy island.

We also encountered a curious little crab at the end of the big island that enjoyed the shade provided by the Ocean Kayak.

He even posed for the camera!

We had fun with this little guy! He was very entertaining! 

We were so lucky to have such gorgeous days at the coast last year and I hope we are just as lucky this year!


We can't wait to share our adventures from this coming trip! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Stretching and Rolling ~ For the runner in you

I have found that I am less stiff for my run and less sore from my run when I stretch and roll. At the same time I hate stretching, it takes up time that I'd rather be running. None the less I have found it to be very important and try to make sure I carve out some time both before and after my run to stretch.

First thing in the morning before I head out the door I generally complete these simple stretches

After my runs I will stretch again and then I roll :) 

For my Rolling I have found a great foam roller at TJMaxx

I generally roll my calves but on occasion will roll out other areas as well. I have found that it works best when I find the sore spot to hang out for a while on that spot and sometimes will rest my other leg over top that leg to add additional pressure.  It works wonders.

I also had issues with my feet early on, I had sever pain and soreness. Once I started rolling my pain went away completely. I use a golf ball and have also taken one with me to work to roll under my desk from time to time. I wear heals all day so it helps to stretch from time to time. 

How do you stretch and roll? What are some other recommendations to help prevent stiffness, soreness and injuries?

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