How to get the stink out of your workout clothes!

P.U.!

Don’t you hate it when you pull out your favorite summer workout clothes and you pass out from the smell?! Don’t pitch them just yet…try this first!

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Step 1: Fill a sink with warm water and add about 1/2 – 1 C. of baking soda. Swish the water around until the soda is dissolved and add your stinky duds. Push everything down into the water to make sure it’s all covered and wet. Let sit for 30 minutes – 2 hours.

Step 2: Rinse thoroughly;squeezing out the clothes as you rinse. Now fill up the sink with HOT water and add about 1 cup of white vinegar. Swoosh the clothes around until saturated. Let the clothes soak for another 30 minutes – 2 hours (longer is fine too).

Step 3: Rinse thoroughly again and run your dripping duds to the washer. Don’t overfill and don’t use too much laundry detergent (half the usual amount is good). Wash in hot water. Remove once finished and if you can, dry out in the sun for natural odor killing magic…if not, air dry or tumble in the dryer.

TIP: If your clothes still smell, you can buy a special detergent. These “sports washes” can be found in sporting goods section of stores like Walmart and Target, and on Amazon.com. They can be expensive! But it’s what the professionals use – and a good last resort for your odor-eliminating needs!
Follow the directions for the product you buy. (obviously!)

To AVOID the stink in the first place, never just throw your sweaty clothes into the hamper. Immediately following your workout, rinse or soak until you’re ready to wash. Or at LEAST just let them air dry! These fabrics wick the sweat and moisture from our bodies while we workout, but left inside the fabric – it’s a breeding ground for bacteria! P.U.!

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WHAT’S ON SALE THIS MONTH?

Looking for help with your fitness goals? I’ve got a new support and accountability group forming soon! If you’re interested, and would like to be notified when it’s open, just sign up below! Now go get sweaty! 🙂

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Half Marathon + Strength Training…it can be done!

I love a good training plan, but sometimes I need to make my own in order to accomplish the goals I am trying to reach! This time around…I’ve set my sights on a half marathon. BUT…the one thing that’s missing from most training plans is STRENGTH training!

I LOVE to lift, because I love how I feel, and how my body looks with lean muscle mass. Too much running, and not enough lifting, and my legs turn into little toothpicks. I also love that lifting weights turns my body into a calorie-torching machine! Ya, I burn some calories when I run. But if that’s ALL I do, my body adapts and actually starts holding on to extra calories to fuel those long runs. When I lift, I get the benefit of the ‘after-burn’! I keep burning calories even after my workout is done! BOOM!

So…with my half marathon about 2 months away, I’ve been working with a schedule that allows me to do both! I always start with the basic Hal Higdon plan, and then modify in order to fit in the strength training that I want to do each week!

If you’re interested…I thought I’d share! 12week_half_strength_pin

 

To download this FREE 12 week plan, just provide the information below, and you’ll receive an email with directions to download. 🙂 Happy running…and LIFTING!

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February – Short Month – BIG Goals!

So…I’m about one and a half weeks away from finishing up Body Beast! I will definitely be repeating this program. I have REALLY loved it! My only regret is that I didn’t chart my progress very well throughoutbeast_flex the last 3 months. Boo for me! I’m always STRESSING this in my challenge groups, and then I don’t follow my own recommendations! Really dumb move on my part! BUT…I know I’ve made progress! I flexed in front of the mirror the other day and surprised myself! Where did those arms come from?

marathon_finishOver the summer, when I was training for the Chicago Marathon, strength training sort of took a back seat. Being a busy mom of 4 AND training for a marathon takes a LOT of time! But I really missed lifting weights and could ‘weight’ to get back to it! (See what I did there? As you can see…my arms aren’t looking particularly ‘ripped’ in my marathon picture! 🙂 And that’s one of the great things about weight-training, you can really see results FAST! And in a couple of weeks…I’ll be starting my NEXT program…21 Day Fix EXTREME! (More about that later!)

So, now that I am in the ‘off season’, I’ve had time to do Body Beast AND work in some runs each week, too! I truly love to do BOTH!

Back in December, I did a fun little challenge to see if I could run 50 miles during the month. It was such a silly little thing, but it turned out to be VERY motivating! It was fun to tick off the miles as I went! And doing it in such a busy month, while living in Michigan in the winter…well…I was feeling pretty good about it!

So I’m doing it again!!!

Who wants to do it with me?

feb_50

50 miles in 28 days is totally do-able! It’s only an average of 1.8 miles per day!

I’ll have a group on Facebook for the month to help us keep track, stay motivated and cheer each other on until we reach our goal!

Who’s in for this FUN, FREE, FEBRUARY 50 group? Sign up to join me!

 

Week 1= DONE!

So I said that I was going to attempt weekly marathon training updates, so update I shall!

Week 1 is in the books! This is my fifth time training for a marathon, but I’m still just as nervous about it as I was the first time! It’s been four years, but I never swore it off forever – like so many do after their first one. I actually knew I’d do it again, I just wasn’t sure when. When is now! I don’t have any nagging injuries (knock on wood) and except for the asthma, I don’t have anything that will prevent me from at least making it to the starting line (knock on wood)!

I’m following my tried and true Hal Higdon Novice Marathon Plan. Why, you ask, am I using the Novice plan for my FIFTH marathon? Well…all I’m really concerned with is getting up to the mileage I’ll need to run the marathon. That means a slow and steady progression, with a few taper weeks, up to the LONG run, which is 20 miles. That happens a couple of weeks before the big day, and then I’ll taper again until the race.

I don’t actually do scheduled “tempo runs” and “intervals”, etc. My method is very unscientific. If I feel good, I run fast. If not, I don’t. If I get an itch, I’ll pick up and sprint for a spell, if not, I don’t. That’s it. I’m not trying to win…just survive.

 

The other reason is that I don’t want to give up some of my other workouts. I love lifting weights and I love doing other cross-training workouts, especially my favorite DVD workouts. I have been doing The 21 Day FIX workouts, since finishing P90X3. And right now I’m looking forward to PiYo, which is set to be released this week! I excited to pair this program with my running schedule because I ALWAYS need help with flexibility and strengthening. 🙂

Ultimately, I don’t care so much about my finish time, I just want to arrive in Chicago healthy, strong and capable of finishing. If I have a good day…GREAT!

I’m also trying to run this time a little more au natural. I will, however, be wearing clothes. I just mean I’m trying to avoid the fuel of the past. I used to rely on Gatorade and GU shots for hydration and food for long runs, but these days I’m just not that into food coloring and massive amounts of corn syrup. I’m trying out some cleaner, more natural alternatives…so we’ll see how that pans out. So far I’ve discovered that I’m not a BIG fan of the way plain coconut water tastes. I could choke it down, but I might need to doctor it up a bit! I’m looking for ideas on the interwebs!

So this week’s schedule consisted of 3, 3 mile runs (I did 2 of them, and walked on another day). And my long run today was a 6 miler. It’s easy now, the weather is nice and the miles are short…but boy when it gets hotter and the miles get longer…it’s going to be rough!

week 1Today’s LONG Run Report

Weather Conditions: sunny, warm, almost perfect ☀

Injury Report: NONE (knock on wood!) ✔

Nature Sightings: loads of wildflowers ❀ ✿ and 1 chalk drawing of male genitalia (does that count as “nature”?)

Songs that Inspired: “Let it GO” by Elsa ❄

Passers-by: friendly, smiles, though not a lot of “hello’s” 🙂

Chaffing: mild

On a Scale of 10: 8 – Legs felt good, it was a success.

 

 

The Stuff NIGHTMARES are Made Of

So, I had my first (of MANY, I’m sure) marathon nightmares. This one was relatively tame compared to some that I’ve had in the past.

First of all, I’m training for the 2014 Chicago Marathon! Ah! What was Irun_girl_Collage thinking? Yes, I’ve completed 4 marathons, but it’s been 4 years, so I’m feeling pretty nervous about it. My OFFICIAL training hasn’t quite begun yet. I’m in the PRE-training stage of my training. Does that make sense? I’m just trying to get my legs, heart and lungs used to pounding the pavement again. I’m doing about 3-4 runs per week, with a maximum distance SO FAR of 6 miles. That mileage will begin to jump up very soon! It’s going to be a looonng summer!

So anyway…back to my nightmare.

Previous nightmares have been things like, suddenly I get lost in the middle of the race! Or that they’ve decided to throw in some obstacles, like running through buildings, along tight spaces, climbing things, etc… One of my nightmares actually came true! In 2010 (my last marathon), I showed up late and had to sprint across downtown Chicago BEFORE starting my marathon. I was also attempting to pin my bib on myself at the same time. This is not the way you really want to start your marathon. I had to run 26.2 miles after that nonsense!

So last night I had a similar dream. I showed up on time, but realized I hadn’t gone to the Expo the day before to pick up my bib and microchip. The race organizers directed me to a building where I had to stand in line to get my bag, quickly try to attach my microchip and bib, find a place to put my belongings and make my way back to the start. At that point I of course experienced the dreaded ‘running through quick sand’ feeling, where no matter how hard I tried… I couldn’t seem to run! UGH! Thankfully at that point, I woke up and all was well. Crisis averted…for now!

Now…only 138 more sleeps until the race.

I’ve decided to attempt a weekly blog entry to chronicle my training. I’m hoping for lots of nice weather, no injuries and a mild year of asthma symptoms! Is that too much to wish for?

running_momAlso, I started a super cool running group just for moms – or people who have moms – who like to run, or walk, or move briskly from one spot to another! We talk about things like chaffing and running bras and just encourage each other to be awesome! Sounds fun doesn’t it?!


If you’re interested, send a request to join to HERE!

 

PS – I don’t run that fast. It wouldn’t be that hard to “keep up”! 😉

I’M BACK!

I’ve been MIA for so long because 1) It’s vacation season, and we chose remote locations this year, making any sort of computer-use completely impossible! And 2) I decided to update my blog and host it myself, giving me some bells and whistles I didn’t have before! So bear with me…as I try to figure it all out!

Back to vacations…

We had a great time this year camping with 7 of my high school girl friends and our camping2013 (72)combined 22 kids! I am always amazed that we manage to pull this off every year! The kids have so much fun, and we just get to enjoy each other’s company – even as we deal with leaky tents, bug bites, boo-boos and the occasional raccoon!

I do not fancy myself much of a camper, but I’m getting better each year. This year, I even stayed a little longer than I normally do. I decided to suck it up, and take one for the team, which made my “team” very happy! I managed to stay on track pretty well with food and workouts. I abandoned the cooler this fridge_campingyear for a full-on refrigerator! I packed it with lots of fresh fruits and veggies, and of course all of my standard Shakeology fixins! My fantastic Target find, personal Oster Blender was PERFECT! I blended my shake every morning either for breakfast, or after my morning workout. I love when I can stick to my routine. It just makes me feel better, and then I can relax and enjoy my vacation, know that I didn’t set myself back so far that I need to start over as soon as we get home. It’s a win-win!

camping2013 (69)

For workouts, I just packed my running shoes and some workout clothes and counted on some runs, walks or stair workouts. There is a BIG long stair case leading down to Lake Michigan, and I wore a path up and down them MANY times!  I went for a couple of runs, too. Running or walking is such a portable exercise! You really can do it just about anywhere and any fitness level! And when you do it on vacation, you get to see new things, smell new camping2013 (77)smells and it just feels good to get out and do something active!

Apparently, my pepper-eating technique was intriguing enough that one of the kids went home and asked his mom if he could eat a bell pepper the way that he saw me do it while we were camping. He thought it was pretty funny that I just picked it up and ate it like an apple! camping2013 (123)

All in all, it was a very fun trip! Between rain showers and thunderstorms, we managed to get some beach time! And we had a LOT of laughs and made some new memories that will be with us until next year, when we’ll do it all again!

StarvationLake-2013 (66)After that trip, we had a couple of days to unpack, unwind and then re-pack for a quick family get-away ‘up-north’. I wish we could have stayed a little longer, but we had a nice time relaxing, fishing, playing cards and board games, and just being together without the usual distractions.

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So…as summer winds down, I hope that you all found some time to relax, unwind, unplug and spend time with the people you love. I also hope that you have a healthy, happy fall and make your goals a priority. As always, if you need help getting started, don’t hesitate to ask. I’ve always got a new support group starting up each month. Want information? Click the tab “30 Day Challenge” at the top of this page.  Now I’m hitting the pool! I’m holding on to summer until the bitter end! 🙂

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Charlie Sheen is Doing It…You Should Too!

winningWhat on earth is Charlie Sheen doing that YOU should be doing, too? WINNING! We should all be winning every day! Because winning feels good! Just ask Charlie!

Don’t you remember when you were a kid how winning made you feel? Getting a blue ribbon, celebrating a big victory at a little league game, hoisting the team trophy, winning a game of checkers, even just racing a friend across the playground…you wanted to WIN! Now compare that with our adult lives…what do we win? Cleaning the dirtiest toilet best? Cooking dinner that most of your family will eat? Maybe…

In 2004 I ran my first marathon and quickly re-discovered what it feels like to ‘win’ again. Of course…I didn’t win the marathon, not even close. I think I finished in the top half though…so around 15,000th place! LOL! But you couldn’t have convinced me that I hadn’t won! As I turned the corner toward the finish line, and reflected on the last 4 months of training, and the 26 miles I had just run….I remembered all the early morning runs, the heat, the blisters, and leg cramps. In the last two tenths of the race I might as well have been all alone, running toward the tape. I was sobbing, in disbelief of what I had just accomplished. When my foot crossed the line, I WON! That’s how it felt. Even writing about it makes me well-up. It was an emotional as well as a physical achievement. And that feeling is most definitely the reason that so many people repeat the whole process again and again. I have run 4 marathons since then and ‘won’ them all! It feels good to win!

Of course the only person I won against, was me. The me that never thought I could do such a thing. The me that would rather sleep in on a Saturday than lace up, fuel up, gear up and go run for 3 hours. I beat the crap outta that me. She never even saw it coming!

I haven’t run a marathon since 2010, but I win all the time. Every time I start a new 90 day program, and see it through to the final day…I win! Heck, every day I choose my workout over an extra hour of sleep, or a t.v. show…I win! Every time (like this morning) that I take an extra 10 minutes to pack up my lunch and snacks for the day instead of feeling the temptation to stop for fast, convenient, junk food…I win! And I celebrate every little victory. It’s usually a quiet celebration: a smile, a sigh of relief, a skip in my step…but it still feels pretty damn good. In my head I’m spiking the football, doing a victory lap, pumping my fist and screaming at the top of my lungs…I DID IT! 😀 “In your face Old Me!” I’m a much more gracious winner now, than I was when I was a kid. I guess then I was a little more like Charlie Sheen.

*A side note: I wouldn’t necessarily recommend winning in the sense that Charlie was winning. Cause on the outside it looked a lot more like losing. But at least he felt good about being the best loser he could be! So in a sense…he WAS winning!

In short…find victory in the little contests of life. We face multiple battles every day, often with ourselves. Show You who’s boss. Put your game face on and be a winner! And celebrate your victories…it feels good! 🙂

Groundhog Day – Virtual 5K!

groundhog_5k

Interested in doing a 5K? Grab a friend, spouse, neighbor, significant other, dog, stranger, etc…and hit the road, the sidewalk, the treadmill…WHATEVER! This is your 5K to run, walk, skip, hop, crawl ANYWAY you like! *You get the idea, right?!

You’ve got about 2 weeks to train, recruit, and plan for the big event. Map out a 3.1 mile course, dust off your treadmill, or find a local track…and lace up your shoes!

On Saturday February 2, at 10:00 a.m., we’ll all do our own personal 5K’s, however, wherever and with whomever we choose! We’ll then report back with our results and celebrate all of our personal victories! Whether it’s your first or fiftieth 5K, it’s your race to win! Put it on your calendar and start training!

Sign up below to receive additional information, training tips and instructions! Pass it on, and make it an event to share!

Groundhog Day – Virtual 5K!

groundhog_5k

Interested in doing a 5K? Grab a friend, spouse, neighbor, significant other, dog, stranger, etc…and hit the road, the sidewalk, the treadmill…WHATEVER! This is your 5K to run, walk, skip, hop, crawl ANYWAY you like! *You get the idea, right?!

You’ve got 4 weeks to train, recruit, and plan for the big event. Map out a 3.1 mile course, dust off your treadmill, or find a local track…and lace up your shoes!

On Saturday February 2, at 10:00 a.m., we’ll all do our own personal 5K’s, however, wherever and with whomever we choose! We’ll then report back with our results and celebrate all of our personal victories! Whether it’s your first or fiftieth 5K, it’s your race to win! Put it on your calendar and start training!

Sign up below to receive additional information, training tips and instructions! Pass it on, and make it an event to share!

Find a Reason

Image
4 My Dad

In October, two years ago, I ran the Chicago Marathon for the 4th time.  It was my slowest time, but the best run of all.  I approached the whole training season a little differently than I ever had before.  I wasn’t planning to run at all, having recently sprained BOTH of my ankles.  Despite lots of physical therapy, I just didn’t think they’d hold up through all training and the marathon itself.  And then I got a phone call that changed all of that.  I found out that my dad had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.  I was shocked, sad and scared.  What can you do when you get news like that?  Well…you could freak out!  You could donate money.  For me, the first thing that popped into my head was to run the marathon (on 2 bad ankles), rally support from friends and family for my dad, and raise some money for Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s research foundation (a.k.a. TeamFox).  It made sense in my head.

So training was interesting with the ankles, and even more interesting given that it was a REALLY hot summer and my asthma decided to kick into high gear.  Yikes!  I approached every run totally differently than I ever had before.  I started leaving my Garmin (gps) at home, and just went out there to focus on WHY I was doing it.  My reason was bigger than my ankles, bigger than my asthma, and bigger than me.  I focused so much on that reason, that the rest didn’t matter.  I had four months of training to really think, and come to terms with my dad’s diagnosis.  I dealt with a lot of emotions and feelings.  Anyone who runs knows that it sort of becomes a form of therapy.  I needed that.  Don’t we all!?

So marathon day came.  I had no garmin, no watch, somewhat healthy ankles and TWO inhalers!  It was another hot marathon day.  Ugh.  Despite using my inhaler every 20-30 minutes, I made it!  It wasn’t a personal record, by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a personal triumph.  Again, I thought of my dad and my reason for the entire race.  This was the culmination of all of my hard work and therapy!  I felt awesome!  People commented on the message I had Sharpied on my legs and cheered me on.  My reason carried me through, and reaching the finish line was sweeter than ever, despite it being my slowest time.  I felt good!

I have a new goal now, a new reason.  It’s bigger than me!  I feel good knowing that friends and family members are joining me on my new mission!  Health & fitness can be contagious.  I highly recommend getting this bug, it’ll make you feel good.  And feel free to infect other people, they’ll thank you for it later. 🙂