Friday, January 11, 2013

Fitness Friday: No Gym Required

When I lived in Ohio, I was a member of the local YMCA. It was affordable, conveniently located, and offered many amenities that appealed to me. Since moving to New Hampshire, I have opted not to join a gym and instead find other ways of working out.

Running is obviously my first choice and because we have a treadmill, I have the option of running inside when the weather is bad. Lately I have also been using the treadmill to do walking workouts on my non-running days.

One thing I have learned over the last couple of years is that to be a better runner, you must cross train and do strength training. One way that I incorporate strength training is by following various 30 day challenges. Several sites publish calendars to follow making it easy to find one that works for you.

I also search for workouts in magazines that I can tear out, tack to the bulletin board, or save for future use. 

A new workout that I recently learned about is a challenge from TribeSports called British Military Fitness: Blue Workout. It's a circuit workout that anyone can perform because all you need is your own body weight. 

I like these workouts because they are easy, quick, and can be done indoors or out. No gym or equipment required.

How do you feel about gyms or fitness centers?

Chilly Challenge Reminder: Log your miles for Team Escapades!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Review: Rock My Run

I live in a very rural area in New England. Now even though it was deemed one of the best small towns in New Hampshire, I would never run on the roads and use earbuds to listen to music. Instead I save my music for indoor workouts or blast the volume from an armband.

I first heard about RockMyRun after running the Rock 'n Roll Providence Half Marathon. It was one of the goodies I found in the swag bag. I used my free download credits right away and fell in love with the mixes. Here are a few of my favorites:

I love that you can choose music by the beats per minute. I really started using the RockMyRun mixes consistently when I was training for Reach the Beach and the ZOOMA Cape Cod Half Marathon. I knew I would be running solo and needed a way to maintain my pace. Lately I have been using the mixes more during interval treadmill runs or walking workouts to keep me entertained. 

Do you have a favorite playlist?

RockMyRun is one of the prize sponsors for the Chilly Challenge. If you haven't already, show them some love on Twitter and Facebook and tell them I sent you!

I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I just really like RockMyRun and they were generous enough to donate prizes to the Chilly Challenge that I am hosting on this blog.

Monday, January 7, 2013

TrainingTruths: Fun Challenges

Last week my training coincided with the kick off of a couple of fun monthly challenges. Challenges are fun because you can find motivation, sometimes win prizes, but most importantly improve your overall fitness.

#TrainingTruth - If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you

This month I am hosting the Chilly Challenge with Janine from The Purple Giraffe and I want my team to win the prizes. I logged my first miles for Team Escapades with a 10K race on Tuesday. 

Shrinking Jeans has me motivated again with Fab Abs January. This 30 day challenge is meant to supplement your current fitness routine (like running) and build your strength by progressing each day. I did a couple last year with positive benefits to my running and overall fitness, so when I saw this one I had to do it. 

With temperatures at a feels like 8 degrees, I took my Thursday run indoors where I could wear my favorite Oiselle shorts. After logging another 10K on the treadmill, I cooled off in front of the fan - which just feels weird when it's so cold outside.

Temperatures warmed up to 29 degrees on Saturday, so it was time to head back outside. I layered up in my favorite Nike thermal top with built in mittens and mixed up some Cytomax to put in my Simple bottle. For the first three miles around the frozen lake I felt like I was overdressed, but the higher elevation and winds kept me cooler on the second half.

Last month I mentioned that I was learning how to use my Polar HRM. Mid-morning Sunday, I drank half a serving of FRS and then fired up the treadmill for a 30 minute walking workout determined to get in one day of cross training for the week. I listened to Grrl Power Vol. 2 from RockMyRun and watched the end of Legally Blond while treading out 1.77 miles.  

How was your first week of 2013?

Want to know more about how to join Team Escapades in the Chilly Challenge? Check out all the details here or skip right to the sign-up part and be sure to choose #TeamEscapades! Already a member? Don't forget to follow #ChillyChallenge on Twitter and join the Facebook group.

Friday, January 4, 2013

First Run 10K 2013

Once again, my running partner Daisy and I made plans to kick off another year of running by signing up for the First Run 10K in Lowell, MA. We ran this race last year and I started the year with a shiny new medal and 10K PR.  

It was also a great way to ensure that we racked up some Chilly Challenge miles for Team Escapades. We weren't the only ones to have that in mind. While waiting for the start of the race, we ran into several people planning to log miles for our team including Bill (who I might have guilted into joining) and Dani and some members from that other team. Just kidding, it is always fun to see what Janine will be wearing!

At the last minute, my husband decided to join us and run the 5K. He's planning to re-start his own running adventure and begin training for his next half marathon. I really love having a fit-husband.

More than 1600 people participated in the 5K/10K combination race this year. The unchanged course was a neighborhood loop that started and finished at the local Elks Lodge where pre and post race amenities were held. During the first loop it was very crowded, but since they offered pace corrals the glob of runners surrounding us moved at a pace I was comfortable with. From the 5K split to the finish it was much easier running, if you could ignore the occasional bitter cold head winds. 

One of the fun parts of this race is the crowd support including my husband right at the finish ready to get the best shot! And there's my Simple Hydration water bottle in action, too. That little gem let's me cruise right through the water stops and without the aggravation of carrying it in my hand.

Katherine also surprised us by signing up for the race last minute and despite arriving last minute (barely getting her bib on when the race started), she took her speedy self right past me to the finish. I think it is because she joined the Mizuno club...check out our #brilliantrun gear.  

Spending the first half of New Year's Day running with my husband and friends is nothing less than awesome. Even though this race seems to have outgrown it's facility, the course, the volunteers, and the community make it a fun one to do. So despite only finding some granola cereal and Emergen-C packs, I was very happy to discover that I tied my 10K PR at 56:23!

How did you start your new year?

How do you feel about poor post race experiences?

Want to know more about how to join Team Escapades in the Chilly Challenge? Check out all the details here or skip right to the sign-up part and be sure to choose #TeamEscapades! Already a member? Don't forget to follow #ChillyChallenge on Twitter and join the Facebook group.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Review: PV.Body December

To my delight, the little pink package arrived at my door again last week causing a slight delay in departing for the local grocery. Everyone knows that all packages must be opened immediately, right?

I'm still loving the extra touch pv.body puts into their packages by wrapping each item in tissue paper. Plus it adds another layer to the suspense of wondering what they put inside for me this month.

Once again I opened the package containing the top first. The NUX Rib Racer Tank in midnight blue is vibrant and similar to the capris I received last month. At first I was worried that the tank would be too tight for me, but it was comfortable once I tried it on. If you are unfamiliar with NUX activewear, you might like to know that it is made in the USA so you can wear it with pride.

I was happy to find a darker color in the second package. Now even though I'm not a yogi, the raven black Pisces Yoga Crop from Cozy Orange looked cute with the hyacinth purple asymmetrical color block waist band. Hidden under the front part of the waist band is a pocket big enough for a key or id.

As promised, pv.body is getting caught up with their shipments after the mad rush of orders they experienced in November. Despite the delays, I am excited about the outfits they have put together for me and being introduced to some new names in fitness fashion.

Have you discovered any new fitness labels recently?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”