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)

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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

Friday Five

This week’s Friday Five features AfterShokz headphones in an effort to promote #AwareWithPink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month (which, in case you live under a rock, is the month of October).

1. Tunes that inspire! As you know, I mostly listen to audiobooks during my sweat sessions (if you didn’t know, you can read about my obsession here). I also love old-school tunes such as Free Falling, Baby Got Back, and Bitch (I know, not appropriate, but the tempo is great and it’s fun to sing!) I would love to try AfterShokz new PINK headphones for a coupole of reasons: 1) they are PINK! 2) 25% of each purchase goes to Bright Pink – a non profit that focuses on breast and ovarian cancer awareness and education, and 3) They are safer than my current headphones, which pretty much block out my surroundings (PS: I run with only one earbud in so that I can still hear)

2. Give back!? I am hyper aware during October about Breast Cancer, but I need to do a better job throughout the year of educating and supporting #BCA. One of the things that I really like to do is research which companies donate 100% of proceeds from a purchase to an organization for cancer treatment, education, or research. I love that commitment and always try to purchase from that company. A few examples are: This super cute bra from Aerie, or this Key to the Cure Tee by Christian Louboutin, eos body lotion in Berry Blossom.

3. Be a self care advocateIt’s no secret that I am a fitness fanatic. If I can’t get a good workout in each day, I at least try and get a long walk in either by myself or with my kiddos. I lead by example in my household, always reaching for a healthy snack first (popcorn is a whole grain, right?!) Just kidding, my kids know that we expect them to eat fruit and veggies at every meal and we do the same.

4. Inspiring threads!  While these aren’t exactly inspiring, they are still my favorites of the moment: Of course, I love my Sweat Pink tank and lately, due to the morning chill, I also love my Brooks compression capris. They fall just below my knee, so they are perfect transition-wear for fall to winter. I’m also a stickler about my SparklySoul headbands. Seriously, if you have not tried them yet, you are missing out! I am ordering the reflector one in light of my recent running in the dark (find out about my skunk encounters here) and I might or might not own Every. Single. Pink. one they make.

What’s inspiring is all the pink things that are helping spread awareness for #bca…#wearpinkwednesday such as these cool AfterShokz headphones! I’m definitely a fan of the #AwareWithPink movement!

Trekz Titanium Pink wireless earbuds (AfterShokz is donating 25% of each purchase to Bright Pink!)

Trekz Titanium Pink wireless earbuds (AfterShokz is donating 25% of each purchase to Bright Pink!)

5. People who inspire! Nothing inspires me more than my little girls (who aren’t so little anymore — insert sobbing face here). I want to lead by example by leading a healthy lifestyle so that they can have long, happy, healthy lives as well.

My Material Girls … back to the 80s for Homecoming Week #80s

A photo posted by Megan (@pinkess1) on

Do you do anything special to raise awareness during BCA? Or for any other cause?

Until Next Time,
Meg

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by AfterShokz in an effort to spread awareness about their new Pink Trekz headphones, in partnership with Bright Pink to support and spread awareness around breast cancer awareness. All opinions and words are my own and the links that are included in the post are NOT affiliate links, but link to the products for your convenience. I truly appreciate all of the brands that support the Sweat Pink community. 

Fall Running and The Ultimate Coffee Date Link-Up

the-ultimate-coffee-date2-1-600x600Hello, friends! I’m actually ahead of the game this month (even though the first Saturday of the month happened to fall on the first day of the month!) Super happy to be joining the Ultimate Coffee Date Link-up hosted by Coco at Running with Perseverance and Deborah at Confessions of A Mother Runner. Please stop by their blogs and thank them for hosting!

If we were having coffee….you’d ask me what is new? Since it has ben FOR.EVER. since we last chatted, I’d have a lot to tell you. I’ve been in my position for a year now and things are going well. I’m happy and content and really really busy! I’d also tell you that I’m still writing freelance for FashionWeek.com and love it. It doesn’t pay much at all, so I’m not in it for the money. It is just fun to keep up on the fashion and beauty scene and write super quick articles. Plus, my hope is that it will get my foot in the door for more opportunities. You can check out my stories here.

If we were having coffee….you’d want to know about my running. I’d tell you that this fall has been tough (actually, summer was tough too). My mileage is way down, but I’m still getting out there. Lately it’s been super dark in the mornings and I’m such a chicken! Twice now I’ve encountered a skunk. The first time I didn’t see it until I was almost on top of it. The good news is, that I scared it as much as it scared me, so we both jumped, one of us screamed, and we ran away from each other. This morning I saw him, but luckily I was about 10 yards from him and managed to run across the highway before getting too close.

If we were having coffee….You would likely ask about my kids. They are growing So. Fast. I cannot get over it. I already have a 7th grader?! What?! How did that happen? It’s been pretty fun for the most part. I’m enjoying junior high sports but not junior high drama. I’m sure it will end….

Great to catch up with you! Can’t wait until next month when we can sit down again over coffee and chat.

Tell me about any tips you have for running in the dark or any funny stories about encounters you’ve had on a dark run.

**Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my two giveaways going on right now: Enter to win 50 customized holiday cards from Basic Invite and sign up with Audible for a free 30-day trial!

Until Next Time,
Meg

Beat Long Run Boredom with Audible

Running is different for everyone. Some people run for fun, others for fitness, others to compete and some for all of those reasons combined. I’ve been running now for about 15 years and I still have to work to enjoy it and sometimes, I have to admit, I get bored. I know! My husband would have a fit if I admitted this to him.  But, I need a distraction, especially on long runs. I need to have something to take my mind off of my aching legs or burning lungs. I started running later in life as a way to get into shape and lose a few pounds. It is work for me every time, every mile. My husband knows that about me and so he lovingly purchased an iPod for me about 10 years ago. It truly was a game changer for me and my daily mileage.

I was commuting to work about 25 minutes each way and I had become somewhat  addicted to audiobooks. The drive never bothered me because I was always into a great book. I thought, “why not try the same thing while I run?” So I set to work downloading an audiobook onto my iPod and tried it out. Unbelievable! I found myself running a bit further just to get to the end of the chapter.  I’ve been listening to audiobooks for nearly every mile that I’ve run for the last 10 years. I think I might have mentioned my obsession with audiobooks a time or two previous posts (here, here, here, and here) — see, I am obsessed! I credit this form of distraction for getting me through the training for several half marathons among many other distances over the years.

one of my favorite authors: James Patterson

On my iPod at the moment: one of my favorite authors, James Patterson

My favorite type of books are mystery novels. And I have a handful of favorite authors as well, such as James Patterson, John Grisham, David Baldacci, and Michael Connelly. Another author that I just love is Janet Evanovich. She writes this series about a bond enforcement agent, Stephanie Plum, who is such a goof that it typically has me laughing out loud while running. *Try to imagine the looks that I get when I run on the treadmill at the gym–yeah, that happened!

 

**Disclaimer** Please be safe. Just as listening to music lessens your awareness to your surroundings, so does listening to audiobooks. When I run outside, I always only have one ear bud in my ear to leave the other one free to hear cars, bicyclists, or other runners.

You can find audiobooks in a variety of locations. There is a HUGE selection of books, genres, authors, etc. at Audible. If you are unsure of where to start, just head over to their website. They make it easy to find something that interests you.

audible

Audible allows you to search by type, subject, author, etc.

And, as you can see from the image above, they are offering you a free trial for 30 days to see how you like it. So don’t just take my word for it, go ahead and give it a try!

Get a free 30 day trial from @audible_com via… Click To Tweet

Have you ever listened to audiobooks while running? How about while commuting?

I’d love to hear from you!

Until Next Time,
Meg

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Audible . The opinions and text are all mine.