Wednesday, January 28, 2015

An @ActivMotion Bar Review and Workout #workoutwednesday #sweatpink

The following post is sponsored by ActivMotion Bar and FitApproach. Despite product and payment, all opinions are my own.

I use body bars in my classes and with my clients. They’re a great piece of fitness equipment, one you can find in almost any gym. So when FitApproach came to me with an opportunity to test out an ActivMotion Bar, I jumped at the chance.

ActivMotion Bars are quite similar to body bars, except that an internal steel rod is replaced by rolling steel balls. Yes, you can imagine how this will change any exercise you might do with a body bar. ActivMotion bars come in a variety of weights that range from six to 18 pounds, and cost anywhere from $120 to $160 when purchased individually. This might seem pricey, but I’m of the opinion that any piece of fitness equipment can be worth the investment if you think you’ll use it. (And let’s be honest, it’s probably going to be cheaper than a bad-health bill from your doctor’s office.)

You can also purchase a number of different instructional exercise videos, too.

Speaking of videos. Check this out:

As I mentioned in the video, and since it is Workout Wednesday, I put together a workout for you. Repeat the sequence four times through, doing 15 repetitions of each exercise. Please don’t forget to warm up and cool down as well! And always check with your doctor before trying anything new. Be smart, guys.

If you’re wondering what some of these moves are, I give you this:

Holy cow, two videos. New territory! So much to learn, just so much to learn.

Question: What’s the most random piece of fitness equipment you use? Anything non-traditional?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

6 Good Workout Songs

I don't know about you, but I'm always on the hunt for good workout songs. I listen to Songza and Pandora while I run (inside on the treadmill or track), and frequently screen capture songs that I want to remember. Because, you know, I also need good music for the classes that I teach. Below, six that I've been obsessed with lately.

Here are the corresponding videos on YouTube. Please note that you might have to click through to actually watch...I'm not into breaking copyright laws, but I do want to make it easy for you to check out the songs. Also, fair warning that there might be content in the videos you might not like. For example, I heard one f-bomb in the Maroon 5 video. I forgive Adam, mostly because he's hot.

Question: What's your go-to song these days?

Monday, January 26, 2015

6 Ways to Stay on Track with Goals and Resolutions #c9atTarget

This post is sponsored by Target® through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Target® C9, all opinions are my own.

A few days ago, I wrote a post about ditching New Year's resolutions in favor of big-picture lifestyle changes. I stand by that post because concrete goals, resolutions and line-items aren't for everyone. Maybe they work for you, maybe they don't. But I think everyone can relate to the idea of a big picture with corresponding changes and adjustments, especially when it comes to creating a greater good and even better well-being.

So whether you're going the resolution route, checking off line-item goals or simply choosing to take each day one step at a time, I present to you six different ways you might keep yourself on track. 

No, I'm not talking about joining a gym, or signing up for personal training. I'm not even talking about starting an accountability journal. I'm talking about...

1) ...believing in yourself.
I know this is hard, but step one is to actually believe you can take step two. Because what's the point if you've already decided that you can't? Go ahead, decide that you can.

2) ...banishing negativity.
Don't put yourself down. It's not nice. Encourage yourself whenever you can. Don't tall about weak muscles or slow miles or "problem areas." Why dwell? Why enhance? You are not a pile of bad. You are a pillar of perfection in your own little way.

3) ...seeking out change.
Because it doesn't happen automatically. You have to want it, and you have to go after it. Plan accordingly. Do what it takes, and do it correctly. Any other way is just not OK.

4) ...finding the support you need.
No one says you have to go it alone. If you need help achieving your resolutions/goals/whatever, realize that there's no shame in asking for it. And when you do get support, embrace it. And be very thankful for it.

5) ...adjusting as needed. 
Things don't always go the way we think they will. You've obviously heard that before. So be flexible. Be willing to change your direction or plan. Maybe even your end resolution/goal/whatever. Take these points of adjustment as learning curves and propel yourself forward. Not backward. 

6) ...being realistic.
Don't set yourself up for failure. Dream big and aim high within the bookends of your personal life and you'll do just fine. Don't get lost in being better or going bigger than your neighbor. The only person you have to impress is yourself, and if you can rise above yourself in any way (however big or small), then you've achieved great success.

Bottom line, stay focused on true lifestyle changes that will lead you to whatever it is you want. When you change your life, you'll change what life, in turn, gives back to you. There are details to consider, there are milestones to reach.


This is your year. Repeat that over and over.

Now, can we shift gears for a second?
Let me tell you about the clothes I'm wearing in the photos above.

Because, fitfashion!

They're from Target®, obviously. You don't need me to tell you how awesome that store is. I walk in there and it makes me happy. Cuteness abounds at prices that mesh with my budget, especially my fitness clothing budget.

One other, more concrete way you can stay on track with goals and resolutions? New workout gear! Is there anything more motivating?  A closer look at the gear I picked out with the stipend provided to me in order to facilitate this post:

1) C9 by Champion Women's Yoga Tank
2) C9 by Champion Women's Cocoon Jacket
3) C9 by Champion Women's Legging

Bonus points for thumb holes:

Question: What resolution or goal have you set for yourself? What are you doing to keep yourself on track?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

#linklove: Good Reads from Around the Internet, Vol. 2

One of the things I'm working on this year: Relaxation. I'm not, like, trying to be lazy or anything. Don't get me wrong. Naturally speaking, I'm a go-go-go type of person. Whenever I sit, it's like my brain knows to immediately remind me of something that I should/could be doing instead. So, yeah...I'm working on relaxation. Stopping. Sitting. Enjoying. For me, this means finding more time to read when the kids are in bed. Magazines, books, articles on the Internet. I just love the written word. So today, I give you some link love. Just in case you, too are working on the whole "relaxation" thing.

1) Behold, 20 nutrition facts that should be common sense—but they aren't because there's just so much (often false) information out there. Also, these food and nutrition myths.

2) I can't do pull-ups. OK, I might be able to do one or two if I really try super hard, but I basically suck at them. And yet, they remain on my radar as "that one thing I want to perfect someday." Which is why I'm pocketing this pull-up training plan

4) I really like high-intensity interval training. I like walking away from a workout knowing that I just kicked my own ass. But here's the thing—I also like lower impact workouts. Workouts that are slow, yet still get the job done. Because these types of workouts are just as good. And fitness does not have to be an "all-out war on the body." Note: Fitness should also enhance your life, not hurt it.

5) Do you work with a personal trainer? Don't insult them. (PS: Read the article for a quote from yours truly.) Do you want to be a personal trainer? 8 Reasons why it's an awesome job.

6) I am addicted to Starbucks. For real. Gold card member. It's an expensive habit, so I am grateful for this list of 14 money saving Starbucks hacks. Oh, I also like saving money at Target.

7) Pretty sure I'm gonna make every. single. one. of these healthy and portable mason jar meals.

8) Every time I hold my kiddos, I feel...literally feel them growing up. My babies, still so small, yet getting so big. Make it stop. Read this: In the nursery, where time stands still.

9) Whenever I buy something new to wear, no matter what it is, I always want the white, black or grey version of it. Is that a  problem? Not according to this post.

10) Need some motivation? 15 Inspirational quotes to knock the winter blues out of you.

Question: When you buy clothing, shoes or accessories (or anything you wear on your body), do you gravitate toward certain colors and/or color schemes? Just curious!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Moderation means eating the brownie. #SpecialKBrownies

When the Holidays ended, I purged our pantry of any and all sweet treats because...ugh. Seriously. We all overdosed. I should say, all of us except my sweet tooth. I swear it has an unsatisfiable mind of its own. As in, it wants something ALL THE TIME. Which is not a good thing because I'm prone to giving in to its request.

Now, I'm a firm believer in the "moderation" approach, so completely cutting out all things sugar and sweet is really just a non-negotiable. I can't and won't do it. But I do need to work on the "moderation" thing. And picking the right sweets. So when FitFluential presented the opportunity to test out the new Special K brownies along with the snack bars I recently told you about, well...yes, please.

These little treats are the perfect size, taste like heaven and clock in at just 80 calories. Loosely translated, that means "great way to end a meal."

I packed one in my Planet Box this week when I had to eat dinner at the gym. Perfect size, perfect amount of flavor. Oh, so chewy. They reminded me of these packaged brownies I used to pack in my lunch back in grade school. 

I refuse to think about how bad THOSE were for me. 

Back to the better choice: Special K brownies come in Divine Fudge and Heavenly Caramel varieties, and if those names alone aren't enough to make you salivate, then I can't even be your friend. (Just kidding, of course. We can be friends.)

A closer look:

That right there is real cocoa in brownie form with a dash of caramel and some chocolate drizzle. Better choice than a plate full of cake? Could be. Better than your homemade batch? Maybe not, but the convenience factor is nice. 

Now, you're probably wondering why a personal trainer/health nut is backing boxed brownies.

Explanation: Because "moderation" is my word of choice when I dish out nutrition advice. Restriction isn't in my vocabulary. The more you look at that brownie and say "you get away from me," the more you want it to run right into your mouth. So eat the dang thing. Learn how to incorporate it into your healthy diet.

Luckily, these 80-calorie brownies are perfectly portioned from the get-go, which helps.

Moderation, y'all. 
You can do it.

For more information, you can follow Special K on Facebook and Twitter

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Special K.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

My 5 Best Health and Fitness Decisions #dishthefit

I've always been a pretty active girl. Cheerleading kept me busy in school, and access to a free gym in college taught me that exercise could be fun (and important). I did my best to eat well, and I read magazines like Self and Fitness to learn new things. But it wasn't until 2009 that I really, truly came to realize that fitness was my calling. I was working a job I hated in a city that wasn't near to the people I loved, so I turned to the gym.

I decompressed at the gym.
I took care of myself at the gym.

I seriously loved the gym.
It felt like being at home.

I didn't doubt myself there, or feel lost.
I felt like I knew what I was doing, and I needed that.

But when I look back on where I was and how far I've come, being in that gym in that city where I felt alone...deciding to make fitness my job instead of a hobby...those moments make up just one of many great health and fitness decisions I've made.

Here are five of my best in no particular order.

1) I started a fitness blog.
My second favorite hobby is writing. It was my job when I was in advertising, and I loved it. So when I decided to switch gears and become a personal trainer, I figured a fitness blog would supplement that and provide a creative outlet. Little did I know how much it would return to me: I've found so many other bloggers that offer up such great inspiration. I've worked with companies that have so graciously given me products to sample. Without the blog, I might be a little less stressed or have a bit more free time, but with the blog, I'm learning more and more about this industry and what others like me are doing in it.

2) I started teaching group fitness classes.
When I became a certified personal trainer (also a good decision), I knew immediately that I would never...ever...EVER in my life be a group fitness instructor. It wasn't for me, I simply wasn't interested. And then (after much begging) my then-boss convinced me to take on a Circuit Sculpt class which, she said, would essentially be like group training. I was terrified, but I did it.

And now, I might...dare I say teaching group fitness more than training individually! Group fitness is awesome, so social, and has this way of feeling like a party. It's also given me a good confidence booster in and outside of the club. Because if I can stand, jump, bend, flex, twist and shout in spandex in front of a studio full of people, I can pretty much do anything, right?

3) I ran the Chicago Women's Half Marathon on June 23, 2013
This is the half marathon that really, truly cemented my love for the distance. It was my second half marathon. It had been four years since my last one, after which I swore that I'd never run another. I don't even remember what made me sign up for the Chicago Women's Half, but I did and I finished. And it left me wanting more. I've since done two more half before I got pregnant with Evan, and one a few months after he was born. And I'm looking forward to running more.

4) I exercised through two pregnancies.
Every pregnancy is different, and not every mother has the ability to exercise their way through pregnancy, but I was blessed with this ability and I took full advantage...

Pregnancy #2, about a month before I delivered.
...despite wanting to eat all the things and veg on the couch all the time, I did my best to keep up with my pre-pregnancy fitness routines. I had safe, healthy and happy pregnancies, and I firmly believe that fitness (heavily modified at times) played a huge role.

5) I switched to an ACE personal trainer certification.
When I got certified in 2009, I did it through a local organization that followed the ACE program. I could have taken the ACE test at the end of the term, but opted for their test instead. It was cheaper and, consequently, not as recognized. It didn't hurt my ability to find a job, and I learned so much through the hands-on structure....but the organization itself ended up being a pain in the rear to deal with. I switched to ACE last year and haven't looked back. Yeah, I had to spend some time with my nose in a book, but now I feel a bit more official.

Question: What is one of your best health and fitness decisions?

Monday, January 19, 2015

6 Things I'm Loving Right Now, Vol. 11

I was just thinking about how it's been awhile since I've shared a "6 things" post, so that's what you're getting from me tonight. Insert smiley face here. I love reading posts like this on other blogs and websites because you never know what you'll find and, consequently, end up loving yourself. So, here you go:

1) Old Navy Socks
I'm really picky about my socks...kind of. I'll wear just about anything, but they have to hit my ankle at the right spot. Like, way below the ankle bone and not too high above the top of my shoe. Too high and they bother me, or run into the bottom of my pants which creates an odd bunching that drives me nuts. Whatever, I know. This makes me weird. But seriously, Old Navy socks. I grabbed two pairs out of a bin by the checkout counter and have major regrets that I didn't buy more. They were cheap, are cute and fit perfectly. Proof:

2) 2015 Blog Action Planner
If you think I'm picky about socks, then you might think I'm over-the-top with my planner. Or not, because planners have to be JUST RIGHT, otherwise they'll hinder productivity. Amiright? I've been using a standard planner from Target, cheap and effective, for all areas of my life. But I wanted to pull the blog out of that this year to see if it would help me stay more productive from week to week, so I searched high and low and ultimately paid for a 2015 Blog Action Planner from TheNativeNewYawker on Etsy. You get so many different weekly/monthly/yearly blog-specific pages to work with, it's pretty great—and totally customizable. You can print/not print whatever portions you want to use if/when you want to use them. And since it ends up in a binder, you can add/subtract important documents (like post contracts) as needed. Here's a glimpse at the post content planner page that I (sort of) used to make a list for this post. Sometimes I fill this out completely, other times I use it to jot down quick ideas. And sometimes I don't even use it. Again, super flexible.

3) Ecotools Styler + Smoother Hair Brush
I got a Vox Box from Influenster a few weeks ago and it contained a hairbrush (among other things). Now, I've been using the same hairbrush for years, mostly because it works and I don't really care that much about what hairbrush I use. This is one thing I'm decidedly NOT picky about! But this brush from Ecotools takes the cake. I'm newly convinced by it. It works well with the hairdryer, glides through wet hair, and doesn't make my daughter scream. So, winner.

4) Maroon 5 — "Sugar"
I love this song, and I love the video times five thousand million. Seriously, have you seen it? I'm totally mad they didn't film it on October 10, 2009 in South Bend, Indiana. #redo

5) A Busy Girl's Guide to Happy Eating by Skinny Sometimes
(Note: Affiliate links in this paragraph.) I introduced you to Shannon's new e-book a few days ago, and I'm currently working through Week One. If you need some inspiration in the kitchen, please check this book out! Shannon will help you get into the habit of healthy, happy meal planning. And she shares some delicious recipes with you, too. Like this Buffalo Chicken Salad:

6) Beech-Nut Baby Food
OK, so I make a lot of Evan's baby food. But I do like to keep a few store-bought items on hand in case I run out or if we choose to eat out. Or if I just want to give him a combo that's different from anything I've made him. Beech-Nut is by far my favorite brand. It's literally nothing but the food, which is quite comforting. He loves these carrots, which he got from Rudolf in his stocking (wink-wink):

Question: What is one thing you're really loving lately?

Friday, January 16, 2015

I spy tasty ingredients in @SpecialKUS snack bars. #SpecialKSnackBars #sponsored

Typically speaking, I hit the grocery store alone with a detailed list in-hand. And before I leave the house, I always check in with the husband to see if he has any specific needs. Most popular answer: Cereal. I always ask him what kind, and he always says "get whatever" which is not the response I'm looking for because I've picked the wrong thing one too many times.

I've learned to just grab Special K Fruit 'n Yogurt.
It gets the job done every single time.

So when FitFluential presented the opportunity to review the new Special K Chewy Snack Bars, I bit because I wanted to know if he'd like them. I mean, they look delicious:

In general, he's not a big bar fan...but I swear, the man has a special (ahem) place in his heart for Special K Fruit 'n Yogurt. And he struggles with healthy snacks as much as I do. Maybe this would be a box of yum we could agree on?

With flavors like "salted pretzel chocolate," "berry medley," "salted caramel chocolate" and "blueberry bliss," I figured I'd be an easy sell. Plus, when you look at the ingredients, you can see that they're both tasty and wholesome. Literally, you can see the ingredients:

Clockwise from top-left: Salted Caramel Chocolate, Berry Medley, Salted Pretzel Chocolate, Blueberry Bliss

Each bar offers up 100 calories. I'll be honest: Some 100-calorie snacks taste like cardboard, but these bars go down quite nicely. I'll be honest again: I'm not a fan of the fact that they contain corn syrup and one or two other questionable ingredients, but in the grand scheme of things, this bar is probably better for me than some of the others out there that taste just as good.

Sure, you can probably make a healthy snack bar at home, be don't always have the time for that, but we're always in need of a quick fix. And thanks to the yummy chocolate-based versions, Special K helps you avoid the candy aisle, too.

Proud owner of a raging sweet tooth. Anyone else?

I'm also hungry all the time, especially after I teach, so I like to have bars like this in my gym bag in case I don't have the time to pack something homemade. Seriously, I have a whole pocket in my gym bag dedicated to snacks. It's my pantry pocket. You think I'm joking. Sadly, I'm not. #priorities

I often breastfeed my son right after I teach, which makes having healthy snack options even more of a priority. Because seriously, I could eat a snack or meal, breastfeed my son, then eat another snack or meal. This is not an uncommon site in the nursery at the gym:

Here's the thing, though. These bars aren't just snack bars.

Crumble them up and you have a delicious topper for your (homemade?) yogurt!

Moral of the story: Next time you stare blindly at all the granola bar options at the store, maybe grab a box of Special K Snack Bars and see what you think. Because if you're going to buy a packaged snack bar, you might as well buy one that's tasty and wholesome. Amiright?

Speaking of tasty, the husband put his stamp of approval on the Berry Medley flavor. He says it tastes like his cereal, and that he'd "have one, and then the next day have another one." #snackwin

Oh, and guess what? Special K makes brownies, too. More on that to come.

For more information, you can follow Special K on Facebook and Twitter. Special K Snack Bars are available at retailers nationwide at a suggested price of $2.69.

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Special K.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

I didn't run today (and why that's acceptable). (#pinspirationthursday)

Is anyone else having a crazy week? Show of hands...

Alright, good. I'm not alone. I'm never alone, at least that's what I tell myself. What would life be without a little bit of crazy? Boring, that's what.

I started the week off without my usual Monday client, which led to a morning full of meetings. And a 2-mile run, since I'm technically training for a race (maybe). And then on Tuesday, I taught Spinning.

After which I sat through another meeting.

See, I've had this disorganized to-do list in front of me all week. I can't get it together, and I can't get it to go away. I've also had an unusual amount of meetings this week in addition to regularly scheduled classes and clients, so that could be the problem.

Let me continue:

On Wednesday, I taught my Barre Fit class, then spent the rest of my shift trying to get a few things done only to return back to the gym at night for another meeting. Before which I treated myself to a PiYo Live class. I like being a student every once in a while because it helps me keep my knowledge of the choreography in check.

Which brings me to today.

I had every intention of checking off another training run—three miles, to be specific—and then ANOTHER meeting got the best of me. So I didn't run today. When I realized that it probably wasn't going to happen, I started to freak out a little because #training.

I could have headed back into the gym after dinner, but I wasn't willing to give up time with the husband and kids. Not today. I just felt like being at home was more important since I was gone last night.

And you know what, as I sit here right now typing this, I'm totally OK with my impromptu rest day. It happened, I enjoyed it, and I'll pick up again tomorrow where I left off because:

Pin / Source
I can't restart the day, so I'm not going to dwell on it. But I can still focus on what's to come, whether that has anything to do with running or not.

Sometimes we have to do that. We just have to move forward. Because that's where life is. In front of us. And in this time of resolutions, goals, hopes and dreams, it's incredibly important to remember that the past is in the past. So, you know...

Let it go...
Let it go...
Don't let it hold you back anymore.

Let it go...
Let it go...

Geeze, sorry.

We're clearly not over Frozen in this house.

Question: When it comes to working out/balancing life/doing all the things, what's the first to go if you need more room in your schedule? When you miss a workout, does it stress you out? How does it make you feel?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

I started training again...maybe.

I kicked off a new training plan this week, which means I dusted off my Chicago Women's Half training plan that I've been using for pretty much every race since. It's basic, builds miles and fits into my group fitness schedule. So it works (for me).

What am I training for? Well, since I posted my 2015 race wish list, I got this crazy idea to run a 25K in May. As in, 15.5 miles.

No, seriously. 
This is a crazy idea because:

1) I will be doing my training in the dead of a Michigan winter—my slow season.
2) I hate the treadmill (but see #1).
3) This distance is longer than a half marathon, which is currently my distance of choice.

We shall see. 

I updated my 2015 race wish list accordingly, adding this and a new half marathon to the list (which would essentially be my last long run before the 25K...and/or the Spring half marathon I'm gunning for). No, I haven't registered for either of these races yet, mostly because I want to get into the training a little bit more to see how it goes.

So...maybe I kicked off a new training plan?

I'm crossing my fingers.
Cross yours for me?

This 25K would be a huge accomplishment for me if I can make it happen. Like, huge. (See above.)

And since I'm aiming to increase mileage again, I'm reacquainting myself with the foam roller. Christmas gift:

I mean, it's pink. And it raises money for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Hello.

Pink gym bag, pink Spinning I dare get a pink Yoga mat? Because I've been looking for a new one. Would that be too much? Say " would not."

Speaking of running, I knocked off three miles on the track at my gym today before I jumped on the treadmill for one more. Four miles done inside. Stupid snow outside. My (beach) town is much better in the Summer. #puremichigan

Question: How do you get through Winter running if you live somewhere that sees actual Winter weather? Like, mentally, how do you do it?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Resolutions aren't necessary (but they can be helpful). #pinspirationthursday

Oh, man—the gym is hopping right now! It's that time of year. We employees refer to the new faces as "resolutioners," because that's typically why people join a gym in January. Or why they come back to the gym in January. This is a good thing, of course, as it's always nice to see a crowd of people making strides (literally and figuratively) toward good health and fitness. But here's the thing: A lot of these people disappear again before Spring.

This is common, yeah?

People make resolutions and set goals and get all gung-ho about them, but life ultimately gets in the way and those same resolutions and goals get pushed aside. And then the guilt sets in. I've been there. You've been there. You know that nagging feeling. Part failure, part self-inflicted kick-in-the-pants.

Resolutions are hard. 
Goals are even harder. 

But they don't have to be. See, sometimes I think the words "resolution" and "goal" are enough to make a person squirm. There's pressure involved in both. Pressure we put on ourselves, and we either crack or succeed under it.

If resolutions and goals work for you, then you should absolutely employ them as change tactics. They are not (at all) bad things and can have a very healthy place in our lives. 

But they're also not for everyone.
I repeat: Resolutions and goals are not for everyone.

Sounds crazy, right? Let me explain:

This year, if you've struggle with sticking to resolutions and goals in the past, I challenge you to step outside the box. Don't think in terms of black and white line items you have to abide by. Instead, focus more on the big picture. Because really, it's not about January and starting fresh and getting X, Y and Z done in a set amount of time. That's only part of the story, and it's the part that gives us the most trouble.

The true story is about living life, your life, the way it should be lived day in and day out.
Think outside of the traditional resolution/goal box. Think big picture:

Pin / Source
And then live your life accordingly.

Because when you do that, you live freely, and then it's much easier to enjoy the road to goal achievement, the process of making changes, the transformative experiences and even the little, most precious moments.

Promise yourself.
Do it right now.

Question: Do you make resolutions? Do you use January as a refresh/restart opportunity? How are you approaching 2015?

Monday, January 5, 2015

4 Reasons to Invest in a Good Workout Shoe (plus, an @ASICSAmerica Gel-Fit Sana Review) #FitwithAsics

A few weeks ago, FitFluential gifted me with the opportunity to review a shoe meant specifically for working out. Not running, dancing or biking—working out. Otherwise known as training and/or exercising on a fitness floor and/or in a class setting. Or, you know, wherever else you like to wear workout shoes. Grocery shopping, perhaps?

The shoe: Asics GEL-Fit Sana. Totally comfortable, totally cool. Incredibly stylish, too. Because these days, fitgear is fashion gear, too. This is evidenced by the latest Athleta catalog. Imagine my surprise (actually, I wasn't surprised) to see this shoe in their catalog:

I want everything in every Athleta catalog. So cute for working out, so cute for everyday wear. Like the GEL-Fit Sana, which is also great for working out, as I've hinted. A closer look:

Now, when the opportunity to review this shoe first came across my path, I went right back to my cheerleading days because seriously, that's the last time I had an Asics shoe on my foot—and I remember every second of my time in those shoes as being super comfortable. They fit like a glove, hugged my foot, and provided the right amount of cushioning for my feet. Such is the same with this shoe. Check out the heel:

The GEL-Fit Sana is light and flexible, and really forms to your foot (see above). The top is all one piece (if that makes sense) so it essentially wraps your foot in support. So much so that it's somewhat difficult to get on, meaning you have to pull and tug a little because the tongue is actually attached to the rest of the shoe. The laces?

You could take them out and still wear the shoe. Which means these shoes fit my foot so good that I feel a bit barefoot. Which is exactly how I like it when I workout.

Or when I'm training clients:

(You know you love my leg warmers.)

Bottom line, if you're serious about all of your gym activities, you need to be serious about your gear! Right? You have running shoes, and you should reserve those shoes for running to max out their tenure. And you should get training/workout shoes because that's what their meant for. Not running, just training.

Having the right footwear really does make a difference.

Consider it an investment in your health.
And consider these four reasons to invest in a good workout shoe:

Question: What's your fitness shoe collection like? Do you buy shoes for each of your activities, or do you rock one pair until they absolutely need to be replaced? 

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of ASICS.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2015 Running Plans (My Wish List)

If there is one thing I'd love to have, it would be a gazillion dollars so that I could run every single race on my wish list. Let's be honest, that's not all I'd spend a gazillion dollars on and realistically speaking, I'll never have a gazillion dollars in my pocket—so it's really a moot point. Which means I'll just have to pick and choose a few again as I do every year. 

I actually ran quite a few races this past year:

The highlights:

Now, on to 2015.

And here's what I'm thinking:
I ran one half marathon in 2014, two the year before, and I'd like to shoot for three this year. 

One in the Spring.
One in the Summer.
One in the Fall. 

Again, successful completion of this trifecta of half marathons will depend largely on funds and time, but I'll give it a good go. I'd like to run a few shorter races, too. Realistically speaking, I'll have to start training right now if I want to run a Spring race. I'll also have to pick a Spring race. 

Consider this my wish list/list of potential races for 2015:

January 17: Jost Running See How Far I've Come 10K (Virtual) DONE!
February 7: Second Annual Ice Fest 5K Chocolate Run (Saint Joseph, MI) DONE!
May 3: Borgess Run Half Marathon (Kalamazoo, MI)
May 9: Fifth Third Riverbank Run 25K (Grand Rapids, MI)
June 6: Beacon Sunburst 5K, 10K or Half Marathon (South Bend, IN)
July 25: BTN Big10K (Chicago, IL)
August 16: Michigan Wine Trail Half Marathon (Baroda, MI)
September 6: The Magnificent Mile Chicago Women's Half Marathon
September 12: The Color Run 5K (South Bend, IN)
September 20: Detroit Women's Half Marathon
October 18: Foster Swift Half Marathon (Grand Rapids, MI)

Question: What are some awesome midwest running events? I'm looking for things in Michigan, Northern Indiana and/or Northern Illinois. I mean, I'd definitely consider going further away but...time and money, right?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Write this note to yourself:

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