First Ultimate Coffee Date of 2017

Happy New Year! Thanks to Coco and Deborah for hosting this awesome monthly link-up! Let’s get started!

If we were having coffee…I would show off my brand new coffee mug! I love mugs and have to restrain myself from buying a new one whenever I come across a cute one. This time, though, I went for it. I mean, this one was made for me. My birthday is in January and I’m kind of a sucker for anything related to my zodiac sign. This super cute mug says on the rim, “Aquarius is the sign of visionaries, unconventionality and intellectual independence.” I. Love. It. Happy early birthday to me!

If we were having coffee….I would tell you that SweatPink, one of the ambassador groups I’m involved in, is doing a year-long campaign, titled #IAmEmpowered I’m not sure if it really needs an explanation — the hashtag phrase itself is so powerful. We can all use a daily reminder of what makes us feel empowered. I’m excited to be a part of it! 

If we were having coffee…you’d ask me about any New Year’s Resolutions that I might have made. I’d tell you that I’m still deciding whether or not to put them on paper. Each NYE, my family and I have our own mini bash that includes making a time capsule. Part of the capsule is filling out a goal sheet. This year I left it pretty general (you know the drill: be more organized, keep a cleaner house, drink more water, etc). If I put one resolution down on paper (or here on the blog) it is: Be more consistent

This is from our NYE Family Bash!

Well, I’m to the bottom of my (super cute) mug of coffee, so I better let you go. I hope we can meet up again soon!

I’d love to hear about your thoughts on resolutions!

Until Next Time,
Meg

Join the Ultimate Coffee Date Link-up!

Friday Five: 5 Things to do for newbies at your gym

It’s that time of year when the gyms are flooded with new people, the trails are being utilized by those that have never set foot out, yoga studios have expanded classes for new students, etc. Ahhh, the first week of the new year, a week full of resolutions focused on change.

I always see/hear a lot of grumbling this time of year from fellow gym-goers about the flood of people crowding the machines, the weights, the pool and about how they “can’t wait until they fall off their resolution wagon.”  

As a fitness enthusiast, I want everyone to find a passion for fitness, even that new guy that’s on my favorite treadmill at the gym. We should all want that. Let’s resolve to welcome newbies and help them stick to their resolutions for a healthy 2017.

Here are 5 easy ways to get started:


Actually say “welcome, nice to see you here.” Be excited!
High Five: you can never go wrong with a high five (unless they leave you hanging– and then,…well, I’m sorry).

high five left hanging

Find out if they need any help. Show them how to use the machines. Even as a regular gym-goer, there are certain machines that still scare me (Hello Jacob’s Ladder)

Invite them to your favorite exercise class. Again, it is intimidating to walk into a gym for the first time. A class helps ease people into things in a group setting, offering some camaraderie and ultimately support.

 

Tell them you’ll see them tomorrow: nothing works better than accountability, especially when it comes from a long-time fitness enthusiast/stranger. Just make sure you’re there tomorrow 🙂

Have you welcomed any newbies yet? I’d love to hear how you’re helping others stick to their goals this 2017!

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

Think Out Loud

Welcome to Thursdays are for Thinking Out Loud! Thank you to Amanda for hosting this fun weekly link-up!

Hooray for a community full of awesome running trails! I recently had to travel for work and I could hardly wait for my morning run because of the great trail system located Just. Outside. my Hotel.  

I miss running trails. Have I whined about mentioned that lately? We used to live across the street from the start of a wonderful running trail. I love everything about our new location except for the lack of any running trails within 20 miles (sad face).

Speaking of hotel stays. I just got this new set of resistance bands to review, so I threw them in my suitcase for the occasion and was pleasantly surprised at how different they were from all my other bands. These are from TKO and they look like this:

 

They have adjustable tension and are supposed to help you focus on abs and core muscles. I used them for some arm and ab exercises and gave my legs a break after my run. *I did receive this product complimentary in exchange for my honest review. However, the above link is not an affiliated link. 

If you have never experienced spring in the midwest, I have to tell you — it is a crazy time of year. A typical week includes two different seasons. For example, Tuesday (the day that I ran on the awesome trail) it was 77 degrees with no wind. Wednesday, I had to leave work at 3:30 and drive in a raging blizzard and whiteout conditions (in fact, my kids were released from school at noon due to the winter weather). It is SO crazy and confusing.

Last weekend it was absolutely beautiful and we spent the day at my parents’ ranch. This fella says “hey, have a nice weekend.”

Until Next Time,
Meg

 

2016 – Let’s Do This!

I’m sure we have all set our New Year’s Resolutions and among those resolutions there is bound to be a goal or two surrounding fitness. If you’re like me, you set relatively the same goals each year. Maybe you stick to them, maybe you modify them, or maybe you totally let them go by the wayside. No matter what happens, the new year rolls around and I always set them again. I’ll save my goals for 2016 for another post, because to tell you the truth, I’m still tweaking them a bit.

In the mean time, here is a quick resource to help you stick to your fitness resolutions. Especially if you are the type that needs variety in your routine rather than someone who is content to practice the same fitness routine day after day without boredom.

1280-720A few months ago, I partnered with Booya Fitness to produce a suggested exercise regimen for the person with a super busy schedule. I originally titled it, “The Busy Mom’s Workout”, but since it is not gender specific, nor do you have to have kids to do the workout, I have since dropped the “mom” from the title. The way that Booya works, is that you buy a workout that guides you through 7-14 days. You can pick cardio, strength, yoga, specific muscle groups , etc. The workouts are super low cost and low commitment.

Now is a great time to sign up with Booya Fitness because starting on January 11, they will be doing a Resolution Challenge and offering tons of prizes! Sign up with Booya Fitness anytime before January 10, 2016 and the challenge details will be announced on January 11, 2016!

Awesome prizes + a hot bod?! Yes please! Start the #ResolutionChallenge with @booyafitness and I!… Click To Tweet

Take a look at the promo video here:

We will do this together and have a GREAT 2016!

Until Next Time,
Meg

**Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you purchase my workout from Booya Fitness, I do receive a small compensation.**

Favorite Workout Wear

Oh, I have so many favorites when it comes to the clothes and gear that I wear to work out! I promise to reign it in and only post a few pictures! By the way, I’m linking up today with Jessica Joy and Jill Conyers, who host The Fit Dish Link-Up every Tuesday! Today’s optional topic is to show “flat photos” of your favorite clothing and gear!

Let’s start with what I am loving now (meaning, what do I run in when it is sweltering hot and super humid?). Disclaimer: I should also mention that I’m somewhat of a chicken in terms of running with vehicle traffic and I recently moved away from my beloved running trail (that was just outside my front door) I now have to run on the highway until I can get to a lesser traveled gravel road (lesser traveled, but still traveled). That being said, I like to dress in super bright clothing to make sure I’m VISIBLE! These shorts are my favorite! They are North Face and are super lightweight. I typically pair them with either this plain white Under Armour sleeveless shirt or my #SweatPink burnout tank, my Garmin Forerunner 220 (of course – see my previous post!), a Sparkly Soul headband, a FlipBelt and my Brooks or Asics running shoes.

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When the weather starts to get that chill in the morning and I can no longer wear shorts, I turn to my Brooks Equilibrium Capri pants. These pants come just below my knee (I’m 5’6″) and don’t fall down or ride up. I. Love. Them. Outside of that first crisp breath you take on a fall morning, they are my favorite part of autumn running.

Last year was my first winter where I truly embraced the weather and continued to run through (almost) anything that mother nature threw at me. I got a pair of Saucony Nomad (wind resistant) running pants as a Christmas gift from my husband, I have a windbreaker pullover in a bright orange, this Brooks stocking hat, and a neck gator when it was really cold. I’m still in the market for a good pair of gloves or mittens if you have any suggestions!

For those in-between days when it’s cold, but not frigid, I like running tights. I have a great pair of G-Fast from Gap and then the pair shown below from Aeropostale, the hot pink pullover is also from Aeropostale, a VSX sport bra, FlipBelt and multiple Sparkly Soul headbands.

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I would also be remiss if I didn’t include my favorite Aspen Yoga Mat that reminds me to stay balanced (figuratively and literally).8c54c-img_07765b15d

As I said, I could go on and on with this post because it couples my two favorite things: fitness and fashion, but I will stop. I’d love to hear about some of your favorites!

Until Next Time,
Meg

The Ultimate Coffee Date Link-Up

The Ultimate Coffee Date

Today I’m linking up with Confessions of a Mother Runner,  Fitness Mom Wine Country and Got2Run4Me in the Ultimate Coffee Date Link-up that they host on the first Saturday of each month. This is my first time linking up with them and I have to say, I LOVE the format — casual, fun, informative — Let’s get started!

If we were having coffee….You’d probably ask what was new with me. And I’d tell you that I didn’t know where to begin. I’d tell you that my husband just recently accepted a new position in a community a couple of hours away. That the new position will start July 1 and we will all be relocating early this summer. I’d tell you that I don’t have a job yet or even any leads (but that I’m hopeful). I’d also tell you that I feel both excitement and sadness at the opportunities that lay before us. I’d tell you that I am sad to leave behind the perfect job that I have with the perfect boss and the perfect colleagues. And yet, I’m excited at the chance to start something new, meet new people, make friends, plus it is a really great opportunity for my husband to advance.

If we were having coffee….I’d tell you that I’m doing pretty well with my fitness goals for 2015. I participated in a challenge to run 100 miles in the month of January – and I DID IT! I’d tell you that I was now ready to commit to trying yoga on a regular basis. You’d ask me to keep you posted on my progress and I’d promise to do so.

If we were having coffee…. I’d talk to you about what races I want to sign up for this year. I’d ask you your thoughts on either the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half or the Mickelson Trail Half. I’d also tell you that the new community that we are moving to has a lot of racing opportunities and I am excited about that.

If we were having coffee…. It would probably be time to go pick up the kids, go for a run, squeeze in some yoga, write a blog post, or go back to work. We would hug and tell each other how great it was to chat and promise to meet up again March 7 for another Ultimate Coffee Date.

Until Next Time,
Meg

Thinking Out Loud Thursday

Thinking-Out-Loud2

Good Morning! I’m glad today is a Thinking Out Loud day because I’m not sure I can formulate a post that flows smoothly on just one theme or topic! Thanks for hosting this link-up Amanda!

I’m having a moment this February where I have nearly fallen off the wagon with my running. It is a conglomeration of things: the weather is terrible, I have been a little sick, I’ve been a lot tired, super busy, and just not that motivated. I know – #NoExcuses, right?! I’ll get back to it. In fact, I have my bag packed for a quick run over my lunch hour. I love running over lunch. It sends me  back to work re-energized (and sometimes a little red faced). The worst part is the mad rush after the workout – the shower, re-dressing, re-applying make-up, etc. But it will be totally worth it.

We are working to get our house ready to sell since we are moving this summer. It seems like every waking moment we are either painting, or cleaning, or organizing, or packing…it’s exhausting! We replaced the basement carpet yesterday and it looks so nice. I hope that when house-hunters look at it they love it as much as I do. We have a great house and I will be sad to move away from it.

Speaking of house hunting, we are going to look at a house this Saturday. I already know we are going to LOVE it! It is a 19th Century Queen Ann style home on a small acreage with a pond – it’s like it was taken directly from my dreams! It has been in one family for 100 years. I am sure it will be a project house, but can you imagine the character?

sparklyrunnergirl

Here I am a few years ago with bangs

Along the lines of change – I’ve been thinking of getting bangs. I have had them before and I know that every time I have them I tell my hair stylist to talk me out of it the next time…but, it’s a way to change my look without having to sacrifice my length. I’ve been growing my hair out for awhile and I really like the length, but I am itching for a change….

That’s it for my Thinking Out Loud. What random things are you thinking about today?

Until Next Time,
Meg

Something New

Today I’m linking up with Jill Conyers and Jessica for #dishthefit and the optional topic is Try Something New. As most of you know in January I participated in a challenge to run 100 miles during the month (and did I mention that I DID IT – 100 miles — boom!). I love running and it is still the easiest way for me to workout (no prep or thought required except for maybe a quick weather check) but sometimes I need to change it up. Here are a few ways that I’m going to add to my running in order to mix it up in February.

  • 2015/02/img_3283.jpgTry Zumba – I recently purchased the FabFitFun VIP Winter Box and in it was a Zumba DVD created by Legendary Zumba creator, Beto. The part I’m most excited about is to try the one hour workout in the privacy of my home rather than in a group fitness class where everyone will notice that I’m challenged in the dance department.
  • Yoga – As I’ve mentioned in my fitness goals for the year I want to practice yoga on a more regular basis (I’ve been attending one class per week since October, but want to do more). I did not stick with the 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene however I did archive the videos and plan to pick up where I left off….which may or may not have been around day five. To further motivate me, I signed up for the #TakeTheLeap With PrAna and SweatPink Yoga Challenge. 
  • Push-Ups – A couple of years ago, I started doing 10 push-ups every night before bed. It was amazing how quickly I noticed visible results in my arms. I haven’t been doing them regularly for quite some time and I’m bringing them back this February. Today’s SweatPink #NoExcuses Challenge happens to be 20 push-ups, so I will start today!
  • PiYo – This is the month that I will try PiYo! While we don’t have the class at my gym, I will check out PopSugar or another online resource to find an intro class and check this one off my list of workouts to try!

What are some things that you want to try? Have you tried PiYo or Zumba?

Until Next Time,
Meg

 

Let’s Do This #NOExcuses

#SweatPink #NoExcuses

To kick off our #NoExcuses Challenge today, the whole team is doing mad lib posts!

WANNA JOIN IN THE FUN? IT’S EASY! JUST…

  1. Copy the questions below
  2. Fill in the blanks with your own answers
  3. Tag 3 friends to share how they’ll make 2015 the year of #NoExcuses!
  • Hey 2015, it’s me Pinkess (nickname, spirit animal, real name, blog name)

  • This year I would like to run more miles, do more yoga/cross training, and be more organized.

  • It would also be super duper awesome if I also did land my dream job this year. It’s not a resolution, though, just a reminder to myself to try and have the best year yet because I’m worth it!

  • The thing I am looking forward to most this year is starting a new adventure in a new community (I know – stay tuned for details!).

  • I’ll use the one thing that truly gets me out of bed in the morning which is my kids to help me get up, get Moving (verb) and get after my #NoExcuses 2015.

  • Speaking of excuses (ahem), my very favorite excuse is I don’t have time and I have used it to get out of doing workouts and house cleaning on more than a gazillion (number) occasions.

  • I vow to move my body and be more healthy this year even if it means I have to get up earlier.

  • Even if my alarm clock gets eaten by the dog cat in the middle of the night, I’ll still wake up happy (I say this to my kids Every. Single. Night)

  • I will stop blaming my husband [ex: kids, dog, husband] for eating the rest of  my dark chocolate peanut M & Ms when everyone knows it was really me.

  • My tired unmotivated self [job, hair, car, husband, kids] is not the reason I make excuses. I will show my tired unmotivated self [same as before] who’s boss this year and get my running [type of sweaty activity] on

  • I know that yoga[type of workout] is better than sitting idle

  • I will reward myself by buying some new workout gear

  • No Excuses 2015 has just begun and already I am imagining myself a winner. I can’t wait to rock a pair of color block capris (article of clothing) from Augusta Active. I can’t wait till my sweaty friends are jealous of how fresh, clean and happy (adj) I am between workouts with help from ShowerPill body wipes. I can see myself rocking Lord of the Dance [yoga pose / workout move] in new Rock the Course Leggings [article of clothing from Actio926] from Actio926 and looking fit and fly while doing it. And of course, I’ll be taking my workouts to the next level and improving my PR [noun] with my new ActivMotion Bar to help me train for my next  Half Marathon [distance] race with Sasquatch Racing.

  • Oh, and let’s not forget how amazing my running tights [article of clothing] will smell in my / during my long run [favorite type of workout] after washing with some WIN Detergent. And lastly, I’ll keep rocking my 2015 with clean eats and nutrition from Beaming with Health!

  • Tag, Tweet, shout-out, call, text, fax or email 3 friends to take this survey and share how they will have a #NoExcuses 2015. Remind your friends to simply fill in the underlined parts! 

  • I’m tagging fellow #SweatPinkers: Jill Conyers at jillconyers.com/ , Georgina at Fitcetera, and Tricia at A Couple of Dashes
  • Use the #NoExcuses hashtag and post to win prizes from Augusta Active, ShowerPill, ActivMotion Bar, WIN Detergent, Actio926, Beaming with Health, and Sasquatch Racing.

  • P.S. Click here to join #NoExcuses.