Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sponsored Post: @MizunoRunning #WaveRider18 Shoe Review

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential, LLC on behalf of Mizuno. Regardless of payment or free product, the following opinions are my own. 

My feet hate me. For years, I'd strap them into inefficiently high heels and walk around like nobody's business. That was back when I worked in advertising (and went to bars), but I work at a gym now (and I rarely go out) so my feet rejoice. Because now, I live in sneakers. And I run in sneakers (obviously). My feet still hate me, but only when I take them OUT of my sneakers. Or when my sneakers wear out, which has been the case as of late.

I've talked about my hunt for a new running shoe before. In fact, I settled on the (bright green and pink) Sayonara 2. I got the chance to review the original Sayonara when they launched it, and I've been a Mizuno fan ever since. So when FitFluential offered up the chance to test out ANOTHER Mizuno running shoe. I jumped at the chance because, well...new shoes.

So enter the Wave Rider 18.

This is an upgraded pair of Wave Riders, which are neutral running shoes. Are they better or worse than the previous model? I wouldn't know, but I can tell you that they're different than the Sayonaras, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. I love the Sayonaras because they feel light on my feet without compromising comfort.. They are perfect for short and/or fast running, in my opinion, but can still go the distance. But a little EXTRA padding never hurt a girl's feet, which is why I wasn't totally turned off by these new Wave Riders.

In fact, I really like them. They offer just enough support—enough to notice the difference. But they don't feel squishy beneath my feet, which I hate. I need a good, solid pair of running shoes. Most especially because I suffer from bunions on both feet. (If this is an issue for you, or if you have wider feet, you should know that I have no issues whatsoever with the width of this shoe—hooray!)

So what's up with that little silver logo on the back end?

Mizuno pulled inspiration from the Japanese concept of "Hado," which is a "life force energy that promotes powerful transformations. Evidence of which can be found in the shoe's sleek design which, theoretically, conveys power and energy. And who doesn't need that while they're running?

I broke out the shoes a week before I ran the Grand Rapids Marathon as a relay.

My first run was ten miles, and then I had two shorter runs before the race. Even though I had IT band issues at the race (because I wasn't properly warmed up), I still felt comfortable in the shoes. This picture might look familiar:

My feet have been loving them ever since.

Also, can we talk about the colors? I mean. I'm digging the black for this time of year because, well...the roads are on the verge of being constantly dirty because of leaves, rain and snow. Also, the blue matches my new Garmin. #winning

Are the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 running shoes for you? If you're a neutral runner, they just might be! Not sure? Head on over to your local running store and get fitted. Ask for Mizuno specifically and see what they say. (Personally, I think you'll love them.)

Question: Do you run in Mizuno shoes? If so, what model? And what's next on your race calendar?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Feedly Finds, Vol. 9 #linklove

I can't keep up with life right now. Seriously, my list of things to get done fills up an entire page in my (full-size) notebook, and I could probably even extend it to another page if I got super serious about everything that needs to get done. But I'm trying to stay focused on that which is most important. So clearly, my family and my job are getting most of my attention (in that order) right now, which leaves little room for blogging. But I'm incapable of completely ignoring a to-do list.

And obviously my to-do list has items on it that are directly related to Daily Dose because, obviously. So I'm here today with one of my favorite posts to write each month: Links that I'm loving from my Feedly and elsewhere on the Internet. Some are old, some are new. I think they're all cool.

1) I do what I can to eat healthy, and when my kid started to eat anything other than my own milk, I got borderline obsessive about buying all the right things for her. And then I realized how hard it was going to be to completely shelter her from the junk. I mean, call me a hypocrite when I won't let her eat the good (translation = bad) fruit snacks, but I'll give myself a sugar bomb latte from Starbucks. So now, I'm much more relaxed about it. Like this mom. Because we all have to just do what we can, when we can and let the rest fall into place.

2) Exercise is not war on the body. You don't have to destroy yourself in order to see fitness and health gains at the gym. Here's why.

3) When I was packing for the Grand Rapids Marathon relay, I seriously contemplated cutting up an old pair of knee-high socks to create a pair of arm sleeves. Clearly I'm behind in my Feedly reading, because post-race, I read the post I just linked you to and it gave me instant regret. #nexttime

4) I'm pretty sure Fall clothing is my favorite. (That green coat, though. Want, need.)

5) An edible coffee cup?! WANT. (Also, so guilty of not bringing my own cup to 'bucks.)

6) Whenever I meet with new clients or introduce people to the fitness equipment, they...mostly the women...always say, "well...I just want to tone up. I don't need to, like, build muscle." Sorry, what? Let's talk about the difference between toning muscle and building muscle.

And elsewhere on the Internet, because my Safari app looks like this:

Seriously, I have no less than 20 pages open in my app at any given time because I never have time and/or get interrupted when I'm trying to read, so there they sit. And here they are:

1) I'm not going to lie, nor am I going to be embarrassed by the fact that I geek out over pumpkin at this time of year. From candles to cake to lattes, give it all to me now (please). So when POPSUGAR posted a recipe for pumpkin-based protein balls, I mean... #yesplease

2) I'm teaching PiYo Live, and will soon be teaching a barre-based class. Which means my Yoga mat is seeing a ton of action right now. So I should probably make this tea tree/lavender oil spray to keep it germ free.

3) Yes, I know I have a toddler.

4) I went to Trader Joe's this weekend because God planted one right by an out-of-town bridal shower I went to. And even though I'm trying to curb my sugar intake, I still walked away with a tub of chocolate covered s'more things. #fail so bad. So I really need more articles like this one that details how to kick a sugar addiction because clearly I have one.

5) As most basements are, ours is filled with stuff that should really just be tossed. Like bags of bags. Shopping bags. Because you never know when you'll need one. But a few months ago, I tossed a bunch of them into the recycling bin. Including some from Tiffany. Because when you get jewelry from Tiffany, you keep the bag. And the box. Because the box is awesome (here's why).

6) I really love this new #strongHER campaign that ACE is promoting. If you don't follow them on Facebook, you should. They post a lot of great articles, like this one that explains why women should hit the weights.

So tomorrow, we talk about the new Mizuno Wave Rider 18 running shoes. #lovethem

Question: Just curious and totally random, all you MAC users out there, Air or MacBook for blogging/general internet use/mild photo editing? I currently use a desktop MAC but want more portability. Just wondering what your thoughts are because obviously anything portable would be a sub-computer in terms of storage and program use. Like, I wouldn't need to load everything on it. Anyway. Go...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Workout Wednesday: Treadmill + Strength

It's been awhile since I've given you any sort of treadmill workout. And since the weather is forcing us indoors a lot more frequently as of late, I thought I'd have at it. So today, I've got a treadmill workout for you. One that has you doing intervals with some traditional body weight exercises. It's a great way to spice up a standard 3-miler. For example, you feel like running...but you don't want to go far...but you want to sweat hard/work hard.

This workout might be your solution.

As always, check with your physician if this is all new to you. Make sure it's right for you before proceeding. Note that I've built this as a running workout, but you can absolutely change the running to walking if that's more your style.

Safety precaution: Absolutely turn off the treadmill when you're not actually running on it. I do not want you flying off the back end or getting shoelaces/fingers stuck in the belt as you work off the side. That said, here's your workout:

Pretty self-explanatory, right? Any questions, let me know: tara (at) adailydoseoffit (dot) com

Question: Treadmill...love it or hate it? If you hate it, what do you do to survive it when you're forced to use it?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

#RaceRecap: @GRMarathon Relay

I ran a marathon on Sunday. Well, 11 miles of it. Not sure if I'll ever go the full distance, but going part of it on a team with my mom and sister certainly qualifies as an experience that I'll keep with me. It was the Grand Rapids Marathon, and it might have been one the most well-organized races I've ever signed up for. I can't imagine what it takes to plan a 5K, let alone a half or full marathon. And I certainly can't imagine the logistics involved in the planning of a marathon relay (hello, buses everywhere). So I tip my hat to Don Kern, the race director, and his team.

My only complaint about the weekend? It was friggin' cold. Much colder than we anticipated.

My mom ran the first two of five legs, which meant that I had to catch a bus to the start of leg three. What's hard about this is that I ultimately had to guess when she'd be arriving at our check point, which meant that I had some time on my hands as I waited for her.

Thankfully, the buses hung out so I could sit warmly.

My essentials for the race:

The applesauce and my phone went into my FlipBelt once I got it back from my mom, and I mixed the Cocogo into my water before I started (since I knew there would be fresh water on the course). I highly recommend both for fuel when you're going long.

I digress: So I sat on the bus for a bit, staying warm, and headed out to the checkpoint about 20 minutes before she arrived. I certainly did not want to miss her. And it was incredibly inspiring to see the full marathoners run by.

But, I froze my ass off. And my toes. Which made for some uncomfortable miles once I got started. My toes where so cold that I literally felt like I was running on pebbles. I knew that I would heat up quickly, so I ditched my long-sleeve tee, but my toes...dang. They stayed cold much too long.

It took about three miles for me to finally settle into a nice pace. I stayed right around the 9:00-mile mark, give or take depending on the course. I gotta say, it was the first time I've ever shared a course with marathoners. Here's the thing: I felt bad when I'd run through patches of spectators! Like, don't cheer for me. I'm just doing the relay! Focus on them. Ha!

Speaking of spectators, support on the course was awesome. I enjoyed all the signs ("smile if you just peed a little"), and the groups working the water stations rocked them with efficiency and support. And the course itself? Wow. My legs of the race literally took me on paved paths through trees.

Quite possibly the most beautiful run I've ever been on, that's for sure. I wish I had more pictures to show you, but 1) My hands were too cold to fiddle with my phone, and 2) I was enjoying myself too much to fiddle with my phone.

Well, at least until my dang IT band kicked in. Then I was miserable.

I don't normally have IT band issues, but somewhere in my 7th mile, it started to scream. I seriously had to push through my last three or so miles. Here's the thing: I blame it on being cold. My legs were not sufficiently warmed up when I started to run, which I think is why my right-side IT band threw a fit. Eleven miles isn't usually a big deal for me in terms of comfort, but it's been awhile since I've gone so far in such cold weather—I'll need to be smart about that when I run the Hot Chocolate 15K in Chicago in a few weeks.

Anyway, I pulled it together because that's what you do when you're stretching on the side of the course and a marathoner runs by you and says "you got this, you can do it." Regardless, I was happy to hand off the timing chip.

I made it back to the finish line in time to jump in with my mom as my sister approached the finish line:

Like our outfits? If you're wondering, we found everything at Target. I mean, animal print purple/blue leggings? Yes, please. They felt like butter on my legs. (Not that I've ever had butter on my legs, but you get it.)

What the picture above doesn't show is my hobble of a stride. "Eff you," said my IT band. (Sorry, language, but it paints the best picture of how I felt...despite the smile.)

Can we also talk, for a minute, about how warm the sheets are?

This was the first time I've ever had one around me. I couldn't believe how much warmer I felt.

Here's how we finished. Group on the left, my individual run on the right:

Overall, a great race. And an awesome experience. I wouldn't mind running the half marathon next year. Still not sure I ever want to run a full. But, never say never.


Congrats to all of the runners that I saw on the course. And congrats to you, too, if you crossed a finish line this weekend.

Question: Do you run full marathons? Why or why not?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Workout Wednesday: 45-Minute Total Body Workout

A few weeks ago, my mom asked me to put together a workout. Her company has an in-house gym, and she works out with a coworker once a week. They've been scouring Pinterest for ideas, but...you know...when your daughter is a certified personal trainer, you eventually go right to the source.

They seemed to like the workout, so I thought I'd provide it here for you. As always, proceed with caution as I don't know your exact medical needs and/or restrictions. And please consult with your physician if this is something new to you.

That said, the following workout doesn't really require much equipment at all. Just weights that are heavy enough to challenge your back, biceps and shoulders. From start to finish, including a warm up and cool down (stretching?) of your choice, it should time out close to 45 minutes.

Some notes:

1) Circuit #1
Add weights to your reverse lunges if you're capable. Keep legs bent softly in your dead lifts, and keep your elbows tucked in when doing the push ups. As for the mountain climbers, one rep is equivalent to each knee coming toward the chest once before repeating.

2) Circuit #2
The shoulder press is done after the side lunge. So, lunge to the side, then push the weights up as you return to center. Feel free to add a wrist twist to the bent rows to increase the intensity. So, start with your palms facing back, then twist your wrists to face them forward as you lift.

3) Circuit #3
This one's a bit heavy on the core, but you can do it. Feel free to add a time limit to the planks. As for the "up-down-down-ups," it's really quite simple: Start in a push UP position, drop DOWN to your right elbow, drop DOWN to your left elbow, then push UP again starting with your left arm. Then reverse, dropping DOWN to your left elbow first. So on, and so forth...

Oh, and if you don't have a kettlebell, mock the move with a dumbbell.

Questions? Let me know.

And since you're bound to get your fitness gear a little sweaty, you should probably head on over to my WIN detergent giveaway. Stuff gets your gear clean...

Question: How does your place of employment promote health and wellness?

Monday, October 13, 2014

@GRMarathon Relay Race Prep (and a @WINdetergent giveaway)

I am running the Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon this weekend on a relay team of three people. My mom is taking the first leg (10.3 miles), I'm taking the second leg (11.1 miles) and my sister will cross the finish line (4.8 miles). #soexcited

I get a little antsy the week of a race, and this week presents no exception. Thing is, I'm not really nervous about the running. I ran ten miles at a comfortable pace this past Saturday, so I know I'm ready for another 1.1 miles. This is what I'm nervous about:

1) Will I be able to figure out the shuttle system to get to my exchange point on time?
2) How will I balance all of this with breastfeeding?

But first, let's back up to this weekend's 10-miler. I broke in some new running shoes, which came at me courtesy of FitFluential, LLC and Mizuno. Expect an official review soon, but so far, my new Wave Rider 18 running shoes seem to be working out:

My feet were pretty comfortable, as was the pace of this run. I joined up with Sunset Coast Striders, which is a running group in my area. It was my first time with the group, and I wasn't sure what to expect. Turns out, it was truly good company. And they're all running Grand Rapids, too—the full marathon, not the relay.

Back to race weekend: Seriously, I'm completely worried about the shuttle system. How the heck does that work? I'll have to pick someone's brain at the expo. And then there's the whole breastfeeding thing. If the race starts at 8, I'll have to pump about an hour before that. There will be milk readily available for my son, but it'll be another, oh...four hours after the gun before I can possibly meet up with the family. And, um, I'll be ready to explode by then.

Do you see how my brain is swirling over this? I just keep telling myself that Evan will have food, and I'll just have to go with the flow (hopefully not literally).

ANYWAYS. I'll figure it out.

And in the meantime, I'll distract myself with more running:

And, you know, laundry and everything else that needs to be done.
Speaking of laundry—I have a fun little giveaway for you.

The following portion of this post is sponsored by Fit Approach and WIN Detergent. I was given two free bottles of laundry detergent in exchange for my thoughts—which are, of course, my own.

With all this running I'm doing, and...oh, there's the day job at the gym, too...I'm frequently producing a pile of fitness gear that needs to be washed. Because I'm neurotically picky about how my clothing gets washed, I let that pile grow until I don't have anything in my drawer left to wear. When it's time, I wash it all at once in cold water sans fabric softener on the Normal cycle. (Skip the dryer, of course.) And for the most part, it gets clean. But as you know, sometimes fitness gear just never feels clean. So when Fit Approach offered up the chance to sample two bottles of WIN Detergent, I bit.

WIN Detergent is designed to clean sweat, oil and odors from the synthetic fabrics that are commonly used to make fitness gear. Regular detergents do this, too, but WIN is supposedly more efficient at breaking down all the bonds in the crap that makes your sports bra smell. WIN GREEN is, as you can imagine, dye- and fragrance-free.

My honest opinion? My fitness gear definitely smells nice. In addition to all of my clothing, I've used it on my Vibrams, my Nike Studio Wraps and my tune belt (that holds my mic when I'm teaching), as well as my daughter's swimsuit. Clean factor? In check. Good.

Do I suggest that you drop your favorite detergent in favor of WIN? I leave that up to you, your budget and the frequency at which you wash fitness gear. Personally, I find it easier to stick with just one bottle of laundry detergent. And honestly, my gear never really smells THAT bad, so regular detergent works for me. But if you've got kids in sports, or if you don't wash laundry as frequently as I do, then you might think differently.

Wanna see for yourself?

I've got two bottles for one lucky Daily Dose reader in the USA. Contest ends Friday, October 17, 2014 at Midnight, EST. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Workout Wednesday: 30-Minute Lower Body Workout

Just popping in today with a quick redirect: Head on over to Running Rachel, where you'll find me guest posting with a lower body workout.

You can use this workout on its own for leg day, or combine it with last week's upper body/core workout for a 60-minute burner. If that's the approach you take, I suggest working your lower body first, then your upper body and core.

With that, it's time for me to run through some more PiYo Live choreography. I'm splicing in some new segments on Friday. Seriously, this class is changing me.

Question: What kind of workouts do you search for on the Internet? What kind of workouts do you want to see here on Daily Dose? 

Monday, October 6, 2014

6 Things I'm Loving Right Now, Vol. 9

I usually post these roundups more toward the end of the month, but the end of September really snuck up on me so I'm breaking tradition. Going with the flow. Doing what I want to do. There's nothing wrong with that, right? Are you loving a lot of things right now? Maybe you'll love this stuff, too:

1) Garmin Forerunner 15

I bit the bullet and ordered a GPS tracker a couple of weeks ago. I had been using my iPhone and MapMyRun, but I was getting sick of pulling it out of my FlipBelt whenever I wanted to check my stats. It's not something I could do easily without stopping. And I'm definitely loving having all of that information on my wrist now. I debated between the Forerunner 15 and the Forerunner 220—if you're contemplating a new GPS tracker, check out DC Rainmaker for extremely detailed reviews. He ultimately convinced me that I should save some cash and go with the FR15. It does, after all, do everything I need it to (and then some): It tracks runs indoors and out, and functions as a heart rate monitor during Spinning and/or other traditional workouts. Plus, I mean, it's that Tiffany blue color. (Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see shots of it in action.)

2) Schwinn Indoor Cycling Class Tamer Music Player
If you teach Spinning/cycling classes, check out this free app. It allows you to upload your playlist and add both notes and sound effects to each song. I used to upload music to an iPod, write out my profiles on a note card, and strap a stopwatch to my bike handle. Now, I have all of that in one place right in front of me. As you can imagine, it all syncs up a lot better. And I find myself spending a lot less time putting together my classes.

3) Menage a Trois Midnight Dark Red Blend

I'm still drinking iced coffee, but I definitely made the switch to dark reds (as I'm prone to do when it gets colder). Lately, I've been going for dark red blends. And this particular blend is fantastic. Very rich and not at all sweet. Try it, if you can find it.

4) The Secret Place, by Tana French

My damn phone keeps me from reading, evidenced by the large stack of magazines next to my bed. Seriously, they go back to July. Totally not my style. But when I heard that my favorite mystery writer came out with a new book, I put my name on the waiting list at the library. If you like mysteries, check out Tana French. She's written a series of books centered around a single murder squad, but each story stands alone so you don't have to read them in order of publication—but wouldn't hurt, as she's prone to pulling a small bit character from one novel and making them the star of her next. I'm not very far into this particular book, but I'm loving it...and, oops, it's already overdue (crap).

5) Thumb holes.

Because seriously, there is no better detail in a long-sleeved shirt when it's chilly out. I swear. 

6) Scandal
Are you watching the new season? I binged on Netflix, and now I'm watching it live. I'm not sure what's more fantastic: The show itself or Olivia Pope's black and white wardrobe. I mean, it makes me want to choose a color scheme for my closet. Hello, chic.

Question: What is one thing you're absolutely loving right now? Tell me so I can check it out.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Hello, October! (plus...it's #workoutwednesday)

Man, the leaves are already changing up here in Michigan. Emotions = mixed. I love Fall, but I hate Winter. And I hate wearing coats, so I'm soaking up every last minute of this non-coat weather. Because let's be honest, it's much more fun to cozy up in a nice sweater or sweatshirt instead of a coat. They're just so...bulky.

Here are my goals for September with notes on how I did:

1) Teach my first PiYo Live class without messing up too badly.
I am really loving this format. The first time I mic'd up, I was really super nervous. But I got through class just fine. Sure, I made a few mistakes. I'm not perfect. But the students came back for more the following week, so I felt pretty encouraged.

2) Have fun at The Color Run in South Bend on September 27.
Consider it done.

3) Sign up for the Hot Chocolate 15K in Chicago on November 2.
All set to go! I'm looking forward to running in Chicago again. I haven't crossed the finish line in the city since The Chicago Women's Half Marathon last summer.

4) Reduce the amount of sugar in my diet.
OK, friends. I need help with this. I've spent the last few weeks reading up on taking sugar out of my diet. I just don't think I can make it an all or nothing thing, so I've been trying to make smarter choices here and there to reduce total intake. #notdoingwell

5) Friggen' buy new running shoes already, gah!
So, I decided to get another pair of my beloved Wave Sayonaras... And then the FitFluential gods smiled down on me with the opportunity to review a pair of neutral running shoes. They're set to get here next week. If I like them, problem solved. If I don't, then I'll be purchasing some Sayonaras pronto. Only 18 days until The Grand Rapids Marathon.

6) Figure out a team uniform for the Grand Rapids Marathon relay.
We decided that we want to be bright. Any suggestions?

And that's enough about September.

My goals for October:

1) Successfully complete (and enjoy) my first marathon relay race.
2) Introduce new segments to my PiYo Live class.
3) Continue making efforts to reduce sugar intake.
4) Read a book.
5) Add some clothing to my fall wardrobe.
6) Celebrate 5 years of marriage with a great, kidless date night.

Now, since today is Wednesday, that also makes it "Workout Wednesday" up in these parts. So I've got a workout for you! It's a short upper body workout—I've been loving short workouts lately. Between my teaching schedule and training for the Grand Rapids Marathon Relay, I haven't had much time for long, intense strength training sessions.

This workout can get you in and out in just about 30 minutes.

Most of the exercises are pretty straightforward. My guess is that you've heard of them before. If not, leave a note below and I'll explain. And, as always, be cautious when trying out new workouts. All of mine are backed by my experience as an ACE-certified personal trainer, but I don't know your specifics so they might not be right for you. 

Question: Tips, tricks, resources for cutting back sugar intake?!


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