Five [random] Things Friday

Love this totally random sign …. uh yeah, about the soccer field being on the archery range – yikes!

It’s FRIDAAAAAYYYYYY!! I don’t know about you but for me, this day took its time getting here! To celebrate another week in the books, I’ve put together this Five [random] Things Friday post. Enjoy!

Rest Day – I have to admit that I’m actually having more of a “rest week.” I’ve been running ragged lately with work and family activities that I am just plain exhausted. Sometimes You just have to take care of you. You know that saying, “if you’re cup is empty how can you fill up others’ cups…” or something like that. I decided to refill up my cup this week. The Selfie Light – here I am showing off with my new selfie light that I got from Rodan + Fields with my new eye cream. It is going to be a game-changer or at least a fun-maker 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Love the Eighties – we recently went to a 50th birthday bash for my sister-in-law. It was an eighties theme and It. Was. Amazing. As you can see from the photo below, my family went all in. My bangs were like blades — even after I slept on them. Oh, and here’s something random: the DJ played all the best of the 80s songs for 4 hours – FOUR! and the one tune that stuck in my head was “Don’t You Forget about Me” ugh!

This New Workout App – Through my affiliation with Sweat Pink Ambassadors, I’ve been able to try out Gixo for the last few weeks and it’s been really fun. It’s an interactive workout app that has LIVE classes with LIVE coaches! Since I work out totally alone 99.9% of the time, I like the tiny bit of competition that you get out of the classes (I like to try and have the most reps or beat my pace goals). You can try it free for a month via this link.

Stiletto Running Ambassador – That’s right, I’m super pumped to be part of the Runway Crew 2018 for Stiletto Running! I’ve ordered a couple of shirts and Can. Not. Wait. for them to arrive! yay! Stiletto Running Ambassador

What’s random in your week? Have you ever taken a “rest week”?

Until Next Time,
Meg

Welcome to My Mid Work-Life Crisis?

Happy Friday Everyone!

I am super excited for today, mostly because it’s FRIDAY and I really really need a break. I’m also excited because my daughter has her second Cross Country meet tomorrow and I can’t wait to watch her run! She’s in junior high and giving XC a try mostly because we asked her to, but she has amazing (untapped) talent. She’s a natural and just doesn’t know it yet.

On the subject of untapped talent…

I think I’m going through a just-before-mid- life crisis. Does that even exist? Maybe I should call it a mid-worklife crisis.  I’m still in my 30s, so I don’t think it qualifies as mid-life, and it’s specifically about my career life, but either way, it feels like a crisis.Maybe it's not a midlife crisis

Just to give you the back story:

I’m in a job that I like…sort of. I have a great boss, the best boss, actually. I’m pretty sure if it wasn’t for my boss, I would be looking for another job. Not to get into the details, but I come home frustrated Every. Single. Day. It’s like when you can see where you need to get and you can see the path to get there. But then others (that should be on your team) throw up obstacles and now I have to be an American Ninja Warrior to even see the goal. That is my day — every day. So, I’m grumpy a lot and I don’t like that.

I took some time to do self-reflection and to think about what I truly wanted out of life. I’m at a place where my kids are getting involved in sports and activities. I love to be able to go to all of their events and really hate to miss out on nightly family time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not leaving my current job. I’ve worked really hard to get into this type of position. I’m on several statewide boards that I love, and I have several projects that I could never walk away from. But I need something more, something fun and something that is about ME. My relfection points me to my passions: fitness, helping people feel better about themselves, wellness, etc.

Which brings me to two major (what I feel are major) steps to change the course of my work life…

The first: I had a phone consultation with a NASM professional about signing up to become a Certified Personal Trainer. What?! you say. How is simply having a phone consultation a big, life-altering plunge? This was a big step for me. I have contemplated becoming a CPT for years and have never told anyone! So a big step was talking to my husband and admitting that it is really something that I want and then to take it a step further and talk to a rep seems like a big step to me. Stay tuned to see if I actually sign up for the course!NASM

The second life-altering decision: I became a RODAN + FIELDS consultant! I know, you’re thinking, “network marketing”? I thought that too, but I’m doing this, you guys. I’m ALL IN. I actually started in early July. It has already been a great opportunity for personal growth. Besides making some extra money and getting a discount on really good skincare, it has opened me up to a whole world of networking. You might not know this about me, but I’m an extroverted introvert or an introverted extrovert (I’m not sure which it is). I like people, but I like people that I know. I am not good at meeting people and I’m uncomfortable in a room full of strangers. This network marketing gig forces you to be friendlier, meet more people, be more open… and… it’s been… AWESOME. I already feel like I’m actually making friends (with people that I kind of knew already). I’m not talking other consultants, but my neighbors, my kid’s friend’s moms. It’s already been a fun journey and I’m still figuring things out. In fact, it’s not about sales at all (thank goodness, because I’m not exactly rolling in the dough), it’s about relationships. I might actually make some friends doing this! (That’s a blog post for another day).

I’d be remiss (and a really bad consultant if I didn’t give you a quick rundown of what Rodan and Fields is: Drs Rodan and Fields are the same two women doctors that created the Proactiv formula and yes, they are also the dermatologists that formulated Lash Boost, the amazing lash serum that makes your lashes appear thicker, darker, longer (100% yours and 100% real).

Rodan + Fields Changing Skin Changing Lives

Sorry, I digress! Now, they are doing for anti-aging what they did for acne. As you know from reading my blog, I struggled with acne nearly my entire life, including most of my adult years. Not only is it tricky to find acne products that work, it’s even harder to find products that will clear up acne while at the same time help my skin age well. RODAN + FIELDS does that. I promise I won’t get pitch-y on you, but check out my website and feel free to contact me anytime with questions!

So, there you have it. My work-life seemed in shambles and this is what I chose to do about it. I’m working on me – – just me. How can I become a better version of myself? Because as a better version of myself, I will be able to do everything better. Plus, I won’t be grumpy anymore.

Whew, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders! I’m pretty private about things (I know, why do I have a blog??) but it feels so good to let you all know what’s going on in my life!

What’s going on with you? Have you ever tried a network marketing biz? Have you ever felt like you’re having a mid-life crisis?

Until Next Time,
Meg

Empowering Young Girls Through Running

Girls become women, but empowered girls become women who change the world.

I am passionate about all things that are associated with empowering our young people and, being the mom to two daughters, I’m especially passionate about those programs that are aimed at young girls. Combine that with my passion for running and fitness and you have Girls on the Run, or as those of us immersed in the program call it, GOTR.

Girl Empowerment + Love of Running = GOTR

Girls on the Run is a non-profit organization “dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.” The program uses running and special curriculum that teaches life skills to build confidence and self-worth within the girls as well as team work and a sense of accomplishment. One of the best things about GOTR is that it can be offered in any size of community. Our small community (population 432) even offers it. My girls have both participated and I have been a “Run Buddy” for the past several years, running alongside the girls in the annual end of the season 5K. Here I am below with my daughter during this year’s 5K.

Coaches must undergo certification and often times personally foot the bill for the training and all materials. Local chapters (ours is Girls on the Run Nebraska) do fundraising annually to help offset the cost to the participating communities as well as to provide scholarships to the girls. No girl should be turned away because they can’t afford to pay the participation fee!

Enter in: ShopWithScrip. ShopWithScrip is a fundraising tool that takes all the hassle out of the mix! It’s an earn-while-you-shop style fundraiser. The formula is simple:

  • The retailers sell the certificates at a discount to ShopWithScrip
  • Families and individuals buy the certificates at full face value and redeem them for full face value
  • Your organization gets the difference as revenue

The typical percent earned is 5%. It’s that easy! The only catch is that you might have to pre-plan some of your purchases, however that’s not really a catch because even retail giants such as Walmart and Amazon participate.

Here is an even better explanation:

I’m joining forces with ShopWithScrip to raise funds for Girls on the Run and I’d love your help! If you’re game, follow these simple steps:

  • Go to www.ShopWithScrip.com and click How to Enroll, then click Join Your Scrip
    Program.
  • Enter your enrollment code for the program you’d like to support. If you’d like to help raise funds for Girls on the Run, please contact me for an access code! 
  • Fill in all required personal information and click ‘I Accept.’
  • Choose two security challenge questions from the list and provide answers.

That’s it! Super easy and super effective! Have you ever tried a program such as this for fundraising? Have you heard about or participated in some fashion with Girls on the Run?

Until Next Time,
Meg

***Please note, this post is sponsored by ShopWithScrip. Through my affiliation with the Sweat Pink Ambassador community, I am fundraising for Girls on the Run, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering young girls through running. All monies fundraised are donated to Girls on the Run at the conclusion of the campaign. Thank you for your readership and interest in forwarding Girls on the Run’s mission of: “inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experienced-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.”

Summer Fun Workouts

Today I’m linking up with Annmarie at The Fit Foodie, Nicole at Fitful Focus, Michelle at Fruition Fitness, and Jen at Pretty Little Grub for the Wild Workout Wednesday Linkup!

Working out in the summer has its ups and downs. For instance, I love that the sun is up earlier so I can get my morning run in during daylight. However, I don’t like that if I don’t get said run in during the wee morning hours that it’s 100 degrees by the time I get off work.

I also love that most of the outdoor activities that we do in the summer sneakily are mini workouts as well!

This weekend, I finally got to try Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP). You guys, if you have not tried it, it is So. Much. Fun. I didn’t even fall off (which surprises certain people that know me!). It is also a great core and arm workout — without you even knowing it!

My debut on the Paddleboard

My blister AKA Badge-of-Fun from my recent paddleboarding and kayaking experiences

I should warn you, if you do too much paddleboarding all at once, you might end up with blisters like I did! I also paddled around the lake in a kayak (also my first time). That was a lot of fun as well and I’ve added both a kayak and a paddleboard to my list of WANTS.

We spend a lot of time at the lake in the summer… jumping off the dock, swimming, playing “keep-away” with the beach ball, etc. all of which equate to a pretty good (non-sweat-filled) workout.

We like to rate eachother’s jumps off the dock — I think this one got me a 9.2

 

 

Two weeks ago, my daughters, husband, and I headed to the river and played what we like to call “sand-bar, no-rules soccer.” That is a lot of work! The sand feels hard on the top and just when you think you have your footing to take off at a sprint, you don’t and you just spin out and look silly. Sorry, I don’t have any pictures or videos of that!

What fun summer activities do you do that turn into mini-workouts? Have you tried SUP?

Remember to stop by the linkup and comment on some posts!

Until Next Time,
Meg

April Ultimate Coffee Date

Happy April Fool’s Day! Today I’m linking up with Deborah and Coco for another Ultimate Coffee Date Linkup!

If we were having coffee…I’d tell you that I’ve been struggling to run lately. I mentioned earlier this week that my husband (who has been running Every. Single. Day. for more than 20 years) has a stress fracture and is unable to run. I know what you’re thinking, he’s the one injured, you can still run. Yeah, it sounds easier than it is. Every time I go run, I can tell it’s like putting salt in his wounds. It’s really hard! He had a conference out of town last week and I ran every day that he was gone, but then fell off again once he returned. I even took my girls along for my cool down mile. I think maybe I’ll take this opportunity to change it up a bit and do some dance cardio or barre-type workout. I know that won’t make him jealous! 

If we were having coffee…I’d tell you that my “coffee” this morning is actually in the form of a protein drink. I recently had the opportunity to try a product from Drink Click that is coffee + protein and it is DELICIOUS! If I heat it up, it is just like a latte, but packed with 24 grams of protein! I read an article recently about weight loss/weight maintenance that suggested beginning your day with a breakfast of 30 grams of protein, so I decided to give it a try. I have to tell you that I love it! I honestly do not get hungry before lunch and all I have is the protein drink (mixed with 12 oz of milk).  If you are interested, check it out here (this is an affiliate link). Stay on the lookout for a giveaway too!

It’s even frothy like a latte!

If we were having coffee… I’d tell complain to you about our recent tax experience. Not only did we get hit hard with a high balance due (tax guy says to blame it on some of the inheritance stuff from my Father-In-Law’s death last year), but we also got a letter this week from the IRS regarding additional monies owed for 2015 taxes. Way to punch me in the stomach while I was already down. I hate taxes. Okay, venting session over.

www.sparklyrunnergirl.com

If we were having coffee...I’d tell you that I can’t wait for nice weather (consistently nice weather, anyway). I can’t wait until summer activities — going to the river, swimming in the sandpit, camping, maybe a real vacation of some sort… Oh, I can’t wait!

If we were having coffee…I’d tell you that I better sign off, I have a lot to get done today on this rare, free Saturday afternoon. I’d tell you that I promise to meet you here next month and that I’ll have so much to tell you!

Until Next Time,
Meg

 

 

 

This Thursday calls for some Thinking Out Loud

Today I’m linking up with my one of my favorite Link-Ups: Think Out Loud Thursday hosted by Amanda at Running With Spoons.

Please excuse enjoy the randomness of it all!

I’ve been drinking protein shakes for the last 10 days in the mornings after my run. The chocolaty goodness packs a full 25 grams of protein and actually keeps me full until lunch! I am super psyched to have just been given this new type of Protein + Coffee goodness by Drink CLICK. It tastes just like a latte but with the benefits of the protein. Can. Not. Go. Wrong. with that combo! Get yours here (at my affiliate link).

The Long Run: I’ve been struggling to run lately. It all started with taking two weeks off due to my Plantar Fasciitis. Right after that, my runner husband found out he has a stress fracture, which means he can’t run. And when he can’t run — look out! So I have this guilt when I go run that I’m just adding salt to his wounds… I will have to get over it because I registered for a half in May and I must get moving along on my training!

And on one final random note, let’s talk about hair for a minute. I know, random, right?! I received this Kenra Brightening mask from Influenster to test and review. I used it for several weeks before taking my “after” photo. The stuff actually works! Now, I still have an appointment next Friday for highlights, but I would definitely recommend this product. The deep purple mask helps remove the brassiness. Don’t beleive me, check out these pictures!

That’s all for now!

Until Next Time,
Meg

Think Out Loud Linkup

Three Running Wishes for Tuesdays on the Run

SparklyRunnerGirl

I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight….

Oh what would I wish for if given three running wishes?!

  1. For it to be easy: I know, I know. There is nothing wrong with having to work hard and I know that running isn’t supposed to be easy. However, here is my reasoning: if it were easy, I would be less likely to dread my run, I would probably do more running, faster running, and be a better overall runner. (Yes, that was just one wish)
  2. To be feared fast: My husband is an elite runner and people at races always know his name and his records, etc. Just once, I’d like people to say that about me, “oh, Megan’s here, I don’t have a shot at winning now.” (this one might end up on the Runfessions post; it’s a little embarrassing!)
  3. To be a running coach: I wish I was a running coach and could do it as my career. I love helping people achieve their fitness goals. I’ve looked into certifications, but just haven’t put the time and money into moving that forward. Maybe writing it down for the world to see will help…

What would you wish for if you had three running wishes?

What are your 3 running wishes? Join the #TOTR #Linkup! #runchat Click To Tweet

Tuesdays on the run linkup

Join the linkup with PattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run!

Until Next Time,
Meg

 

Take a breath — hold it — click register

After much thought, going back and forth in my mind, (and perhaps after seeking advice from my 13 year old) I have clicked “register” for the Lincoln Half Marathon that is on May 7. In case you weren’t at last year’s race, it was super cold, windy, and rainy The. Entire. Race. Thus my anxiety.

Springtime in Nebraska is risky at best and this particular race has seen it all from thunderstorms (lightning delays) to snow storms to sleet storms and maybe to perfect temp days, though I have not witnessed those. In addition, winter in Nebraska is crappy (for those of us fairweather runners), so training is tough at times. (I know, quit whining already!)

The Lincoln Half was the site of my first Half Marathon

Last year, my training was a bit haphazard and I regretted that at about mile 11, questioned whether or not I was still moving at mile 12, and am not sure how I made it across the finish line. But I did, and I will again. Rather than anxious, I should be super motivated to get redemption — to, dare I say it, set a PR.

I will train hard through winter

I will get quality training runs (namely, long runs) outside and off the treadmill

I will incorporate intervals and speed work into my workouts

I think it’s working already. I feel better about clicking “register” and will keep you posted!

How about you? What are you training for?

Until Next Time,
Meg

Get Back Out There & #OwnTheRun

I was on a roll. I was back. I had run every single day for more than a week and I was feeling good. Even the dark scary mornings weren’t keeping me from getting out there. Then, circumstances beyond my control derailed things and I almost can’t recall the exact day that I ran last.

Whether it’s excuses or life events, we probably have all been there. And we all know what we have to do now: get back out there and #OwnTheRun

Easier said than done, right? Especially with the promise of colder and wetter weather looming as winter approaches.

Those of you who know me or have followed my running journey on my blog, know that I am somewhat of a fair weather runner. I like sunshine, a slight breeze (at my back the entire time, of course), no rain, no snow, sleet, nothing adverse. Of course, you might also know that I live in Nebraska, where those types of perfect running days don’t come around very often. You can either choose to run on a treadmill or buck up, get outside, face the elements, and take on Mother Nature no matter what she throws your way. Rather than suffer the monotony of every day treadmill runs, I choose the latter.

The game-changer for running in adverse weather conditions always comes down to the gear/clothes you choose.

My head-to-toe guide for winter running includes:

  • a stocking hat (I’m partial to my Brooks Cross Country stocking hat with a cute little pom-pom on top — sorry, I don’t have a link to this one as it was a coach’s special)
  • a wind-proof pullover (waterproof is also a plus — no link to this one either as it is a golf pullover that my sister gave me!)
  • wind-stopper running pants (my husband found these Saucony Wind Resistant Nomad Pants for me and they are the BEST!)
  • a good pair of gloves (no link because I’m still looking for the perfect pair of gloves — so any recommendations that you have, please put in the comments!)
  • wool socks (I like these Merino wool socks)
  • waterproof shoes (like these Brooks Ghost 9 running shoes with GoreTex)

IMG_4056.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s talk more about these GORE-TEX lined running shoes. Yes, they are a thing and yes, they are a-w-e-s-o-m-e! This is one genius collaboration and runners everywhere will be thanking brands for joining the GORE-TEX bandwagon. Want a chance to try a pair out for yourself? How about a chance to win an entire outfit? Our partners at GORE-TEX are offering readers the chance to enter the #OwnTheRun contest for a chance at great prizes. One lucky winner will win an entire outfit including new shoes with GORE-TEX® liner, running shorts, running pants, a jacket, headphones, and more. Head over to their website, share your #OwnTheRun story and cross your fingers!

I’m forever a Brooks fan, so I’m a little biased, but look at the details — clear down to the insole!

***Sponsored Post***
Links contained within this post are NOT affiliate links, but simply placed for your convenience. As always, all opinions are my own

What gear do you swear by to get you through the winter months? Any glove/mitten recommendations?

Until Next Time,
Meg

My New Compression Socks…and How to Wash Them

I’ve been longing for a pair of compression socks. I’m not going to lie, it’s mostly because of all the runners that I follow on Instagram and the pics they post wearing super cute socks! I’m a big fan of the fun colors and patterns, bold colors, oh, and the benefits of post race and long-run comfort that they claim to help with.

That being said, I finally got my first pair (or 3) of compression socks and I LOVE them! For all of the reasons stated above. I have now tried all three pairs out, wearing one pair in an adventure cross country race. Needless to say, they are stinky, sweaty, and in dire need of a wash. Which brings me to my guest post from SLS3. Workout wear does require a little bit of thought (and sorting) when in the laundry room and these socks are no different. After all, at approximately $30 per pair, you want them to keep their fit/tightness and last a long time. Read on below for tips from the experts at SLS3!

Plus use discount code BLOG40 for 40% off at SLS3!

Washing your Lycra containing garments

Handle with Care

You’ve spent your hard earned money on your exercise gear like Running Shorts or Compression Socks and now it’s time to put it to the test. After a grueling workout, you and your Lycra® containing gear are ready for a bath. By the way, Spandex is the generic Lycra® version. Lycra® is a brand name trademarked by DuPont.

After Your Workout

As much as we hate it, we’re all drenched in sweat after a good workout, which means our clothes are, too. If you don’t have time to wash your clothes right after your workout, or you’re too tired like me, then hang dry your workout clothes, making sure there are no wrinkle or overlaps. This prevents your gear from turning into a mildew breeding ground. Gross! It also helps prevent weird stenches from staying trapped inside your clothes.

Getting the Stink Out

The best method for remedying smelly gym clothes is to give them a prewash. Soak your Lycra® outfits in one part vinegar, and four parts water for at least 30 minutes before hand washing, or throwing them into the washing machine. Rinse your clothes thoroughly before washing them to get rid of any vinegar.

Some Dont’s to Remember

Do not mix vinegar and bleach ever! If your detergent contains bleach rinse out your vinegar soaked clothes before throwing them in the washer. Do not use vinegar in the rinse cycle of your washer if your detergent contains bleach.

Do not use heat for any of your Lycra® garments. Heat will destroy the elastic properties aka the Lycra® fibers of your outfits. Avoid the dryer, ironing and the sun. Remember: Heat is bad.

Do not use chlorine or bleach. This will destroy the fibers of the fabric and you will get “bag and sag” syndrome.

Do not use Fabric Softener. These are used to soften clothes and will make sure your expensive garment will never retain its shape. Avoid the fabric softener.

In the Wash They Go

Although it is said that hand washing is always the way to go, most of us don’t have time for that. Don’t fret though! It is safe for your Lycra® garments to go into the washing machine following these steps. First, make sure that all of your zippered garments are zipped all the way up to prevent the zipper track from snagging onto other fabric during the washing cycle. Turn your clothes inside out. Put delicate items into a mesh laundry bag, lingerie bag, or pillowcase to protect them (Definitely do this for Bib Shorts).

Photo Courtesy of Instagram

Photo Courtesy of Instagram

The Set-Up

If you are worried that a pre-soak just won’t cut it for getting all the smells out, you can put some vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser of your washer. This will make sure your washer will dispense vinegar in the rinse cycle. Always use cold water when washing your Lycra® garments. Heat will destroy them. Set your washer on the “Delicates” setting to prevent damage of your clothes.

Less is More?

Use less detergent than you normally would for your Lycra® clothes. While detergent cleans your clothes, you definitely don’t want a build up of it on your workout clothes. A build up of detergent will trap in dead skin cells and trap bacteria into the fabric. If you want to make sure your clothes last, try a detergent designed for washing workout clothes.

Finishing Touches

After the washing cycle has been finished, hang your clothes up, or lay them down flat to dry. Never put them in the dryer. Remember heat is not friendly to Lycra® clothes. Lycra® is a fast drying fiber so your clothes should not take too long to air dry.

And now you have it! The right way to wash your compression socks (and other workout wear)! Thanks SLS3 for your expertise (and for your offer of 40% off to my readers! –use code BLOG40 at checkout!)

Are you a fan of compression socks and sleeves? I’d love to hear from you!

Until Next Time,
Meg