Friday, July 22, 2011

"LOVES Me a New Pair of Shorts!"

Yep! And I deserved them... for some reason I'm sure! Here's my back story, surely you'll agree.
I, like many of you, thoroughly enjoy Lululemon. Their products' fabrics, sewing, versatility, and long-last wear have past lead me to purchase several items over the year.
A brief sampling:

Several of these products as well as those not listed have lasted me not months but years! That's a tall order in the fitness industry! With stretch fabrics like spandex and nylon, it's tough to get a good pair of running crops to last a year without either stretching out or falling apart due to shotty sewing. Not with Lulu's, no sir.
I digress. My past several months have filled with more of a running schedule than a gym schedule, largely due to my somewhat healing piriformis syndrome and definitely healing GI issues. My running wardrobe, however, left much to be desired. My shorts were boring and slouchy. The warmer temps left running crops out of the question. What was a girl to do??
Exhibit A:
Don't you LOVE??? OK, I know what you're thinking and believe me, I can respond:
1: No they're not as tiny or tight as they look. They're just right on me and I'm on the taller side of the scale. The waist band feels non-existent. The moisture-wicking, light-feeling fabric keeps me cool. There's even that oh-so-handy zipper pouch in the back of the waistband to fit a car key or phone.
2: Yes, I know they seem pricey. But to be honest, a normal pair of running shorts (that fill the 4th drawer down in my dresser) are priced between $30-$40. None can compete with the Run: Speed Short in comfort, style, wear- ability, fabric, and quality. I'd probably replace those cheaper shorts 3x more frequently than the Lulu's. Let's face it, I saved money!! Right?
3. No, they don't ride up. They don't move. No chaffing. No slouching. It's seriously like they're not even there. Did I say that already?

Have I proven my point? One special shout out to my sis-in-law, Jamie, for gifting me a $25 Lulu gift card for my BDay. Thus, giving me all the more reason to shop till I drop!!

** Nope, Lululemon has no clue that I just spent a good 20 minutes gushing about their amazing products. No sponsorships needed! Pro-bono props!**

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Surround Yourself with those who Challenge You...

Let's just say I won't be skipping any remedial 8 mile runs anymore!!
"My oh my..." is all I could say as I read more about Lisa Bliss. A local woman, someone who I have yet the pleasure of meeting, will set out Monday morning to tackle a feat few have even thought of tackling before.
On July 25, 2011, Lisa plans to attempt to be the first woman and second person ever to cross Death Valley solo, unsupported and self-contained—meaning she will run alone, without outside help of any kind, carrying all her food water and supplies in a 230-lb cart custom designed for her by Glen Copus of Spokane’s Elephant Bikes.

The journey from the Badwater Basin to the summit of Mt. Whitney will take her from the lowest point in the contiguous U.S. to the highest—an altitude change of more than 14,000 feet. Lisa will cross more than 135 miles of asphalt followed by an 11-mile climb to the summit of the mountain for a total of 146 miles in blistering desert temperatures up to 130 degrees.

Why would Lisa want to do such a thing? To help the homeless youth at Crosswalk.

“I believe with all my heart and mind and body and soul that there is no failure in trying, for as long as we keep trying.” That’s something she wants to prove to the youth at Crosswalk teen shelter—both by making this attempt and also by attempting to raise $10,000 to fund the GED and college scholarship programs at the shelter.
Lisa wants to show the youth that when you choose to keep moving toward a glimmer of hope, focusing on any minute possibility of success—rather than focusing on the obstacles in the way—you succeed simply in the trying. Join Lisa by making a tax-deductible donation.


Information and excerpts from

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Who Do You Run For?

What if you were told tomorrow,
"You will never run again"?
Would you go for a run today? Maybe walk to the grocery store rather than drive the 2 blocks? Take the pups for a much needed walk?
I would. All of the above.
I like to keep my "Home Life" seperate from my "Work Life" for several reasons. However, I make an acception after experiencing one of those "A-Ha!" moments a few weeks ago. My 9-5 job consists of planning events to benefit and fundraise for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). The best part of my job is meeting the beneficiaries of these fundraisers: the clients and their families who battle this terminal disease every hour of every day. You can probably understand why it's difficult to leave work emotions at work; some days tax my heart strings more than others.
An interesting facet to my job occurs every Wednesday at clinic. We have the opportunity to sit in on doctor's appointments where new MDA clients receive initial diagnosis and counseling. Ok so it's a little intense.... but I love it. One gentleman stood out to me a few weeks ago. We'll call him Ed.
Ed caught my attention for a few reasons: He arrived alone. He seemed physically fit for his age (67). He had a sense of humor much like my own, which made him all too relatable. Ed didn't say much but when he did his commentary remained dry and synical. I liked him.
Unfortunately, Ed had been in and out of doctors and specialist's offices for nearly 2 years. No diagnosis as to why his legs could no longer bear his body weight. Ed's an athlete. A marathoner, to be specific. Why aren't his legs working the way they should? Within the 40 minute appointment, Ed received a diagnosis of ALS (aka Lou Gehrigs disease).
Enter the not-so-fun portion of my job. How do you offer a smile to someone who just received a terminal diagnosis? Ed will die from this muscle-wasting disease, one where your muscles are viewed as a sort of bank account that never get's replenished. Once you've used them, they're gone.
One of the few questions Ed asked perked my ears. "You mean I'll never run again?" He had hoped that some sort of rehabilitation could give him is legs back. ALS patients- and most patients with muscular dystrophy- are instructed to avoid tiresome activities because their muscles don't rejuvinate themselves like ours do. No trips to the mall. No evening walks through the neighborhood or on the beach. No marathons.
I didn't talk with Ed much but I knew I liked him. Like I said, we have similar personalities and could have possibly run the same race in another life.
Ever since my visit on that particular Wednesday, I think of Ed while i tie my running shoes. How many times have you talked yourself out of a run for one reason or another? I can tell you that ever since my visit with Ed, I can't think of any reasons that override the feelings I felt that day. Which raises the question,
Who do You Run For?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Top 10 Reasons to Run!

In an effort to keep up with the trend of the New Year's holiday, I found it only necessary to publish my own Top 10 list. I'll avoid boring you with 2010 flashbacks. Instead let's gear up for 2011 with a strong list of reasons to hit the road!!!... or trail, or treadmill....

10. Running keeps you going. What's that supposed to mean? Ever heard of the "runner's high"? The endorphins released during and following a good run differ from those produced from any other extracurricular activity like weight lifting or golf. This is truly a natural "high" and I invite you to discover it!

9. Running leads to weight loss. (If that's what you're going for.) Depending on your body composition, running for 30 minutes can burn anywhere from 250-500 calories!! Click here for a link on calorie burning specifics.

8. Running leads to involvement. A great way to get involved with your social atmosphere lies in joining a running club comprised of like-minded individuals. Man or woman, teenager or senior, active-mom or lazy single, your likelihood of finding a group with common interests in your area ranks pretty high.

7. Running leaves your wallet alone. My husband may disagree with you, seeing how much cute
active wear and fitness gadgets I MUST purchase, but all you really need is a pair of running shoes. I tried thinking of other sports as economically efficient as running and I only came up with some pretty sorry forms of baseball (stick, pine cone), football (shoes, rock), or skiing (sticks and bigger sticks). We win again!!

6. Running can be different for everyone. And that's why it's great. Run slow, run fast, run in circles! We still call that running, which is yet another reason why #9 makes me smile!

5. Running contributes to society. It seems that every weekend, a race to benefit a great cause takes place locally. This way, you not only run for fitness and socialization but also for insight into a cause needing fund-raising. Warms your heart!! Click here for some recommendations.

4. Running is weight-lifting. Double-whammy score! In a day and age where multi-tasking remains the largest, most prevalent trend out there, it's no surprise that more Americans seek the easy- street than the alternative. Two-for-One deal? Sold!! By now we know all about how weight-lifting tones muscles, prevents running overuse injuries, and improves bone density as we age. Just picture your body constantly carrying it's own weight, battling with gravity, achieving ultimate balance every nano-second you're running. Ah, how I love the efficiency of multi-tasking.

3. Run anywhere, anytime, any day. Business trip, holiday, morning, afternoon, nighttime. Whenever, wherever you are. Your shoes sit by the door or in your suitcase patiently waiting for your cute 10 toes. Rain or shine, running takes no excuses because you can do it anywhere. Genius.

2. Running reduces stress. Yes, I know. Most forms of exercise attain some endorphins. But running is one of the only sports that endorphins increase and remain at a sustainable level, which leads to a consistent rise in serotonin. We like serotonin. For more information on the relationship between stress reduction and serotonin production levels, click here.

1. We LOVE Running! What better reason do you need than those listed above? Read them again! And again! Got it? Good. Let's go! 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Set a Goal: Find a Race!!

Has a month really passed since my last entry? I suppose the holidays claimed my priorities once again- argh balance!! Did someone say "balance"? Hmmm, I'll put that on my list of things to achieve...
What a great lead-in to my topic! I keep trying to motivate clients and friends to broaden their goals to include fitness achievements rather than focus on that stupid scale. My short-lived brainstorming led me straight to participating in a race. It didn't take an all-nighter for me to find that registering for a race or group fitness activity inspires a fresh outlook on your current fitness regime. Heck- that's what I do when I'm feeling mopey (yep, the act of moping. urban dictionary says so).
Here's some brief tips for finding a race perfect for YOU.

Type of Race
Road race vs. Trail Run: One question- where are you training now? On a road or a trail? Train for where you plan to run, meaning, if you're not trail running now then do not register for a trail run. If you would like to begin trail running, purchase trail running shoes and test them out on a safe, popular running trail. There are a lot of considerations necessary for trail running: narrowed paths, tree roots, rocks, puddles, etc. I'm all about challenging yourself but chose a race you plan on training for. Twisted ankles= not fun.
Running Race vs Biathalon vs Triathalon, etc: Do you like mixing up your workouts with a fun bike adventure? Were you raised in a lake and love to swim? If running is not your obsession then consider signing up for a multi-faceted race: a bi- or triathlon. Training involves conditioning in all areas (besides just running) and can keep things interesting. If running flat out bores you half to death, training for a triathalon could keep you in the saddle. Considerations: $$ for bike, suit, shoes, etc, time to feel comfortable competing in several areas.
Single Entry vs Relay vs Team style: Did you know that most half marathons and full marathons offer a team or relay aspect? I figured this out after running the Windermere Half Marathon last spring. Who are these people standing on the side of the road in running gear and why didn't I know this option? If you prefer the team/group aspect of training, this works for you. Get a group at work or some family members with a fitness goal together. A team or relay team also fuels accountability- bonus!
Themed Races: Highly recommended- especially if you're just starting out. St. Paddy's Day Dash, Jingle Bell Run, Rock 'n Roll, all aid in keeping you distracted in your quest for the finish line. You may also want to look into races benefiting a local non-profit or charity. Check out your local Susan B Komen Race for the Cure 5k.  Makes you feel good!
Race for the Cure Spokane 2010
Race Distance
It's time to get real with yourself. How far do you run now? How many days can you train? How long do you have to train for this race?
For example, when I train for a 1/2 marathon (13.1 miles) I usually try working up to 3 training runs of 10 miles each. This is 75% of the total distance of the race- 10 is 75% of 13.1. No matter if you train for a 5k or 50k, apply the 75% rule to your training.
Back to "How far are you running now?". If you run 5 miles a day, 3x a week skip the 5k and register for a 10k or even a 1/2 marathon. The key remains in challenging yourself and setting goals to achieve higher levels of fitness!

Local vs. Out-of-state: The main task to consider here is cost. Setting a goal to finish the Las Vegas Rock n Roll Marathon sounds great when you register but what about flights, hotel stays, etc? However, is doing your local fun run just not interesting enough for you? Sometimes setting a dramatic goal tickles your feet to the street.
Hilly vs Flat Terrain: This topic relates closely to the topic on distance. What can you train for? If you've done your fair share of flat races, challenge yourself with hills. Yes, your time may reflect this obstacle but your legs will thank you for it. Do you live near hills or frequent a favorite running trail yet avoid hills there? Attempt a flat course before a hilly one- this way you focus on one thing at a time (distance then terrain).
Time of Day, Time of Year, Season, etc.: A piece of advice: Don't register for a December marathon in North Dakota if you live in LA unless your lungs are made of steel. Try training runs in the environment that most mimics that of the race you train for. Make sense? Race at 7am? Get your booty out of bed and get your body and diet acclimated. Otherwise, you could face intestinal issues due to your lack of familiarity with running at varying times of day. Same goes for winter vs summer races. A 9am race in Phoenix in July looks very different from a 9am race in New York in February. Check average temps here.

Helpful links in finding a race near YOU:

Friday, November 19, 2010

Treadmill Workout (without the "yawn")

I would LOVE to meet someone who smiles at the thought of spending 30-45 minutes on a treadmill. Whenever I suggest a cardiovascular/strength training program to a client, their smiles soon fade at the mention of blasting calories on a treadmill. My bet lies on the idea that you or someone you know struggles with "Treadmill Burnout". (gasp!!)

Treadmill Burnout Victim, Type 1: You've recently realized that climbing 1 flight of stairs leaves you winded. Not okay. Especially when, last week, you divided your closet into "feeling skinny" clothes and the more frequently visited "relaxed fit" clothes. Time to join the local fitness facility!! Day 1: Treadmill for 30 minutes, feeling perky, healthy, and stoked to begin this new step in your life. Day 2: Treadmill for 30 minutes, thank heavens Oprah retained your attention today, otherwise I may have died of boredom. Day 3: Treadmill for 21 minutes. You just couldn't do it anymore. Your mind raced with to-do's and angst over frustration at the thought of subjecting more of your schedule to this hamster wheel! Done!!

Treadmill Burnout Victim, Type 2: You, like Victim 2, notice the ever-present "relaxed fit" clothing creeping into your daily wardrobe. However, gym memberships require commitment as well as a schedule that fits with gym hours. You bought a treadmill. Now it sits in your basement rec room. After operating it three times, your treadmill's job description transformed into "clothes hanger". 'Nuff said.
Let me save you from this vicious cycle!

Here's my trick: I devise several treadmill programs which, based on the theme of the program, vary in speed and incline. This way, your stamina and strength are constantly challenged.
Fat Blaster- Beginner Edition
0-3 min.          2.5mph         1incline
3-5 min.          2.8mph         1incline
5-8 min.          2.8mph         4incline
8-12min          2.5mph         2incline
12-15min        2.8mph         4incline
15-18min        2.5mph         4incline
18-21min        2.8mph         4incline
21-24min        2.5mph         2incline
24-27min        2.8mph         4incline
27-30min        2.5mph         1incline

Fat Blaster- Intermediate Edition
0-3 min.          3.3mph         3incline
3-5 min.          4.0mph         3incline
5-8 min.          3.8mph         7incline
8-12min          4.0mph         4incline
12-15min        3.8mph         7incline
15-18min        4.0mph         7incline
18-21min        3.8mph         4incline
21-24min        4.0mph         7incline
24-27min        3.5mph         4incline
27-30min        3.3mph         3incline

Fat Blaster- Advanced Edition
0-3 min.          6.0mph        2incline
3-5 min.          7.0mph        4incline
5-8 min.          6.5mph        6incline
8-12min          7.0mph        4incline
12-15min        6.5mph        6incline
15-18min        7.0mph        6incline
18-21min        7.0mph        4incline
21-24min        6.8mph        6incline
24-27min        6.5mph        6incline
27-30min        6.5mph        2incline

*My personal advice: Load up the ipod with your favorite tunes and tape a program to the front of your treadmill. This way you eliminate the possibility of a program flying off the treadmill, you losing your balance, face/body part slam(s) on running belt, embarrassment and injury ensues.... not good. Boy scouts said it best, "Always be prepared."

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gluten Free, the Way to Be.....???

Gluten- free pasta. Gluten-free muffins. Gluten-free pudding. Yes, seriously, pudding!
Did you know what gluten was 3 years ago? 1 year ago? Overnight, health and nutrition stores along with most larger grocery chains began carrying food options marketed towards individuals with "celiac disease" (aka allergy to gluten). Individuals with celiac disease account for 1% of the world's population. Wait, wait, wait... then why do gluten-free options keep popping up on more grocery shelves and restaurant menus?
Health conscious individuals and fitness professionals continue delivering positive results after trying a nutrition program "sans gluten". There's SO MUCH information surrounding this topic, not to mention how many opinions and studies for and against this nutrition regimen.
Therefore, I took a new spin on researching the topic. I chose to spotlight an established, respected, and well researched blog by my fellow expert, Erin Elberson.

A few reasons why she receives my stamp of approval:
  • Her topics are current
  • Her thorough discussions regarding athletes and the specific gluten- free nutritional benefits  
  • Erin has up to date information regarding the basics of a gluten-free lifestyle
  • She got married 6 days before me. Wedding bliss for all!!!
Explore, educate yourself, experiment. I took the gluten-free challenge 13 months ago and it improved my life in so many ways. A few of them include: decreased belly fat, increased energy, improved appearance of skin, hair, and nails, increased awareness, etc. The list goes on and on.
I challenge YOU to open your mind (and your mouth) to the benefits of this nutrition program.

*All references and information utilized from has been pre-approved by owner and proprietor, Erin Elberson.

Friday, October 15, 2010


One Day prior to my wedding day, up far too early in the morning, what better way to communicate some advice to future brides than reflect on the past year. From the day I got engaged, it was "go time" for creating an exercise regime to achieve that toned, strong bridal look (without looking "ripped", "bulky", etc)
Here's a slice of how I sought balance between attempting a well-rounded workout schedule while also spending adequate time with wedding planning, fiance' time, and family.

Obviously, running would be the first thought when wanting to stay slim yet tone up. Most bridal gowns leave shoulders, decolage', and back nearly bare, requiring a little tweek in my weight training program since my prior regime focused on lower-body weight training. Yoga/Pilates provides a challenging, multi-faceted environment where you're toning muscle groups while elongating them with balancing and stretching poses. The main theme here is to create a program that keeps your muscles guessing, thus avoiding "burn out". You have no room in your busy schedule to brainstorm up a new program. Mix it up and your new, toned muscles will thank you.

 3 days cardio, 45 minutes per session. 2 days weight training (yes, this can be on the same days as cardio), target muscle groups that are most exposed by your gown, 3 different exercises per muscle group until "failure". 1 yoga/pilates or zumba class per week. Or get more creative- rock climbing kicks your ass too!
The most important advice to keep in mind: Although balance is key to managing a busy, emotionally challenging schedule, not every week will be "gym friendly". And that's ok. Quit stressing, prioritize your "to-do" list. You'll look fantastic!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fall Fashion

Falling leaves, misting rain, blustery Sundays... all reasons to cozy up by the fire with a hot cup of tea. Right? Wrong!! You couldn't stand it for a minute! Knowing there's a puddle or five to run through is incentive enough to get your toned little booty outside. But what to wear, you ask?

Athleta "Windwarrior" Tight
A unique blend of polyester, spandex, and polyurethane make this high-tech pant ready for your next rainy day run or even snowshoeing adventure. Side zip ankle vents, windproof front panels, reflective strips make the "windwarrior" exactly that, warrior-ready!!

1. It's green; 2. It's waterproof; 3. It's also a vest (removeable sleeves); need I say more?
Offering a balance between weather protection and breathability, the Sugoi Versa Jacket is the best of both worlds in one super cute, lightweight, versatile jacket. The hemline sinches at the waist with an adjustable cord and the sleeves attach with sewn in magnets (yes, magnets!). Definately a must!

Want to know the one amazing feature to this jacket? It has a hood. But wait there's more: There's a hole in the hood for your pony-tail!! Those experts at Lululemon seriously think about everything. Hand warming cuffs, reflective strips, and a slim fitting waistline keep this fashionable jacket at the top of the charts. Yet another lulu success!

I'll have to admit, I'm a big fan of Mizuno brand running shoes. For several years, I've worn out pair after pair of my Mizuno WAVE Rider running shoes. Why not feature a trail running shoe by the same great company to combat the trying weather conditions during what others refer to as the "off" season. (Pffff!! right...)   The WAVE Cabrakan offers a fiesty styling with reinforced toe protection, tread outfitted for the rainiest, muddiest run possible, and water-resistant mesh to keep your tootsies as dry as possible. Knowing Mizuno's no-fail approach to shoe manufacturing and performance testing, you will not be disappointed.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Shin Splints, What are They Anyway?

Anyone who runs, anyone who even exercises knows the pain called "Shin Splints". The discomfort may start at the front of the ankle joint, travel up the shin bone, and prevent foot flexion either during or after activity. You may notice tenderness, soreness, or pain along the inner part of your lower leg. But what is it and can this excruciating pain be prevented?
Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, commonly referred to as "shin splints", is caused by "an overload on the shin bone and the connective tissues that attach the muscle to the bone." - {Mayo Clinic}

- Pain over the inside lower half of the shin
- Pain at the start of exercise yet eases as exercise increases
- Pain returns after exercise and persists oftentimes for the next 24-48 hours
- Swelling and/or sometimes redness
- Bumps might be felt along the inside of the shin bone
- Pain when the toes or foot are flexed upward - {Sports Injury Clinic}

An increase in physical activity, running/jogging, and overall exercise can lead to inflammation in the lower leg musculature. Some runners tend to pronate, roll excessively inward onto the arch, which can aggravate the tension as well. Weak ankles and a tight Achiles Tendon cause irritation in the lower leg as well.

Help, Fix It!!
RICE Method: Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate. A common therapy for most sports injuries, this simple method proves effective when connective tissues, muscles, tendons, and ligaments get inflammed.
Relative Rest Method: 
- Choose cardiovascular activities that lessen impact compared to running. i.e. bicycling and pool running
- Apply ice packs post exercise
- Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen
- Stretches isolating the calf muscle and muscles at the anterior location of the lower leg. This can be done by flexing and relaxing the ankle joint.
- Select a running shoe made for your foot shape and running style. Check out Road Runner Sports for their expert opinion and great selection.
- Be smart about where and how you run: Level, soft terrain; decrease running distance; decrease running intensity. Once pain decreases, work back up to a comfortable distance and pace.
The Tennis Ball Method: (my personal favorite!!) Simple simple simple. Sit so your leg is relaxed, releasing tension in your foot. Take a tennis ball or golf ball and begin rolling it lightly from the base of the knee down the anterior area of the lower leg, ending at the ankle joint. Continue in the reverse direction. Although this action creates discomfort, wincing, perhaps even a tear or two, the ball forces the muscles and connective tissue to relax under the pressure. By relaxing, blood flow increases along with oxygen and fluid circulation. Try this for 5-10 minutes before and after physcial activity. Follow up with ice and rest.

Remember!! If pain persists or increases, go see a professional. Most of the time shin splint pain will subside if the above suggestions are implemented. If pain shoots down into the foot or to the posterior area of the lower leg, seek medical attention!
Happy Pain- Free Running!