Showing posts with label giveaway. Show all posts
Showing posts with label giveaway. Show all posts

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Life Goes On...

With the passing of Labor Day, we've unofficially left summer behind. Sadly, it rained all Labor Day weekend and we weren't able to get out on the water one last time. When you live in the Midwest, summer is so short. We try to squeeze in as much as we can, but it never feels like enough. My oldest son and I did get up to Madison to visit my youngest and drop off a few more things. While I did ok saying goodbye after our initial drop off, this time was much more difficult for both of us. I think it felt more real.

I was feeling pretty low this week--missing my boy. You know who really missed him? My pup Cocoa. She was really quiet all week, sleeping a lot and not really eating much. By Friday, she seemed much more like herself. We're all adjusting to our new norm. I was really busy at work and that helped keep my mind occupied. Life goes on.



Friday, September 7, 2018

My Top 3 Moments of the Summer and a Momentum Wraps Giveaway!

Disclaimer: I was given the Momentum Wraps fall collection in exchange for this blog post. All opinions and content are mine.

Summer is winding down and fall is creeping in. It feels too soon, doesn't it? The arrival of Pumpkin Spice Lattes is a sure sign that fall is just around the corner. On our most recent trip to Wisconsin, we spied some trees with the leaves changing colors. Say it isn't so!

I had a great summer. I traveled, I ran, I spent a lot of time on the water. I made a lot of memories this summer. As I get older, collecting moments and memories means a lot more to me than collecting things. During our predictably cold, endless winter, I'll have a lot of warm weather fun to look back on!

For this post, I stopped by the water to do some yoga and reflect on what were my top 3 moments of the summer. It wasn't easy to narrow it down to just 3!



Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Giving a Runner a Pep Talk (and a giveaway!)

This post contains an affiliate link.

It's no secret to my regular readers that running has not been fun for me the past couple of months. In fact, running has pretty much sucked for me. There it is. I've said it.

Since my speedy 10 miler in April, it's like the pod people came in the night and sucked all the endurance out of me. I mean, how else can I explain my precipitous decline in my running times?

All joking aside, my ego has really taken a hit. Fortunately, there are people in my world who get it and give me a lift when I needed it. Funny how that happens, right? I wanted to share some of the tidbits that I picked up this week.



Sunday, February 19, 2017

Practicing Kindness

On Wednesday at yoga class, the instructor came around as we prepared for savasana, which for you non-yogis, is that final resting pose at the end of class. She asked if anyone needed some extra grounding. She walked around the room, distributing sandbags to people who asked. Without me saying a word, she placed a sandbag across my thighs. That extra pressure on my thighs helped me relax. Her thoughtfulness made me feel so good.

The theme for the class was Ahimsa, which we take to mean practicing kindness. The Sanskrit definition, which is non-violence, is much deeper. The instructor's simple act of kindness inspired me to write today's post to reflect back on acts of kindness I observed and practiced this week.



Sunday, June 19, 2016

Life Goes On....My Week on the Run

This was a tough week for everyone. It seemed that every time I turned on the news, there was a tragic story coming out of Florida. First, it was the story about the young singer, Christina Grimmie, who was shot and killed after a performance by a stalker. Then, the unfathomable killing of 50 people in a nightclub in Florida by a self-proclaimed follower of Isis. And while that story was still unfolding, there was the news of a 2-year old who was dragged by an alligator into a lagoon at Disney World while his parents watched, horrified. Meanwhile, the internet was all judgy-judgy towards these poor parents.

It was all just too much.

Some bloggers chose to write about the Orlando nightclub massacre on their blogs. I decided to stay true to my blog and continue to write about running. In fact, I published some humorous posts, which I had prepared in advance of all the bad news. When these stories broke, I seriously reconsidered publishing those posts. Was it inappropriate to write about pooping when everyone was dealing with such horrible news?

Humor has always been a coping mechanism for me. It isn't that I try to make light of horrible circumstances. But sometimes tragedy and bad news are just so overwhelming it can threaten to crush our spirit.

Instead, I choose to laugh about the oddities of everyday life. For me, humor is a distraction.

Thankfully, you all thought so too. No one called me out on my posts--the one about my random thoughts while running or my tongue-in-cheek post about pooping on the run (crude title and all). In fact, one of my regular readers, Paria, who writes beautiful, thoughtful posts on her blog Momontherunsanity and for Women's Running, and who penned a beautiful piece for that publication on the Orlando tragedy commented "LOL! I needed a good laugh! I haven't had one in days." 

I'm glad that I have humor as a coping mechanism. Life is hard. While I wrote about funny things, this week my thoughts have been with those folks affected by all the bad news coming out of Florida.

"Life isn't about waiting for a storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain." -unknown

I am also glad to have running as a coping mechanism! After Sunday's tough run, where I had to call my husband to pick me up, I thought I was going to have to take some time off the road. My foot hurt badly on Monday morning--will this PF ever go away?--and I made plans to head back to the pool the next day for some aqua jogging. But Tuesday morning I woke up with no foot pain! It was a gorgeous morning, and the thought of heading to the indoor pool was not at all appealing. My run felt amazing and I'm so glad I chose to run.

Here's how the rest of my week shook out:

Monday: yoga on the deck. I thought I would try to stretch out my lower legs and give my foot some relief. I had Cocoa on the mat as well. Turns out, she likes yoga too!

Cocoa and me in side stretch. She did this multiple times!
Tuesday: 5.18 miles/44:40 Push-ups.


Wednesday: Yoga with Kathy at the studio. This was an amazing restorative/therapeutic class. We held each pose for 3-5 minutes. It was almost yin-like. I felt fabulous, physically, after this class. I left class feeling more at peace than I had in awhile. During our poses, she provided her usual insight and wisdom. One thing she said stuck with me all week: "find your innate goodness". What a great thought to have as I headed to my wild, crazy job in the clinic!

Thursday: 5.5 miles/ 46:43 It was a cloudy, humid, windy morning and I fought through this run. I was shocked and pleased at the pace I eaked out. After running, I went to see Becky where she tested me on my strength. Grateful that I had been doing my homework, she was pleased. She had me work on a new high bar move, kipping bar swings. Apparently I have tight shoulders and can't fully get into this one. More homework. I finished up with 50 kettlebell swings and 50 atomic situps. The situps took me forever. I'm uncoordinated and my core is wimpy. More homework.

Do you sense a theme here?


Friday: rest

Saturday: 5.18 miles/43:29. I stopped 3 times at the playgrounds on my neighborhood route to do my homework: high bar hangs, scapular pullups, and those kipping bar swings. I also did 80 pushups (sets of 25, 30, and 25). Gittin' 'er done.


Sunday: The pup woke me up at 4:30 am to go outside. After I took her out, she wanted to bite me for a while. Finally, she settled down and we fell back asleep until 7:15. By then, the temperature was already heating up. I also had a few things to do, so I decided to ride my bike today. The only bad thing about going later in the morning is that there are more people on the paths and on the road. I don't know if it was the heat or what but people were driving like maniacs today. Mrs. Kravitz called 911 after 2 drag racing cars almost took her out of commission. Seriously, I hope they got caught. That was frightening. I was getting ready to cross the street when I heard them coming. They were flying. That got my adrenaline pumping! The rest of my ride was uneventful, except for a snake crossing the path! Yikes. It was 90F when I got home.
25.27 miles/103 mins.

Hydrating and fueling with Tailwind
News you can use:

My giveaway ended on Friday! Congrats to Amy from The Tiny Terror for winning her choice of an item from SKINS! Thanks to everyone who participated.

If you didn't win, don't fret! I've got a discount code for you so you can purchase the item you wanted from SKINS! SWEATPINK-SKINS20 will get you 20% off any item except sale items! The code is good until July 31.

The book club linkup opened on Friday and will remain open for 2 weeks! It's not too read this month's book and post your review. Or if you want to read another fitness related book, feel free to link that one up.

Have a great week!

I'm linking this post up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap!












I'm also linking up with Angela and Ilka! Check it out!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Got Compression? #SKINSornothing

Got compression?

Compression socks, tights, tops--all the cool kids are running in compression these days. I don't always run in compression but when I do, I prefer compression tights. When I'm running on tired legs or have a long run to do, more often than not, I'll pull out a pair to help my legs run faster and recover better. I really believe that compression has a place in every runner's wardrobe. 

I've tried a variety of brands of compression tights. Recently, I received a pair of SKINS DNAmic compression tights to trial and review on the blog. Did they stand up to the other tights I've worn in the past?


SKINS, an Australian company, was started when an Australian skier wanted to develop a product that would let him party all night but be able to recover and perform at his best all day. He theorized that by providing more oxygen to the muscles, he'd be able to work harder. He was right, and there has been a lot of research to support his theory. According to the SKINS website, where there are quite a few scientific studies listed, SKINS compression actually: improves venous return, reduces exercise induced muscle damage, accelerates recovery, removes lactic acid faster, increases strength and power, improves endurance, enhances muscle oxygenation, improves body temperature control, and reduces in-flight ankle edema. The DNAmic technology was developed to deliver specific levels of compression to active muscles. 

Pretty bold claims, right? Did these tights stand up to my cynical eye? Or legs?


Mother Nature cooperated with a bit of a cold spell this week so I could try out my tights. I took my tired legs out for a 5 mile run on a cool, blustery morning, wearing the SKINS DNAmic compression tights. At first, my legs felt "tight" as they always do when I run in compression. But when I looked down at my first mile split, I was pleased as I had an 8:25 minute mile. The rest of my mile splits were even faster. All good. 

I also did my pushups for Marcia's push up challenge and did some bar hangs and scapular pull-ups per Becky's homework.


Overall, I LOVED these tights. They were easy to pull on, which hasn't always been the case with other compression tights. They look great. They aren't at all restricting. At first I wasn't sure if I liked the pattern on the fabric, but as it turns out, they look great with a variety of colors of shirts. I don't know if they made me run faster, but my legs felt good while I was running. And best of all, my legs felt great after the run. I went to work, spent most of the day on my feet, and my legs weren't tired at all. Imagine if I could wear compression to work!


The only comment I would make is about the sizing. Even though I followed the sizing chart on SKINS website and ordered accordingly, I found the tights to be a little snug around my torso. The legs fit great but I would have liked a little more breathing space for my tummy. I've had this issue with other brands, so maybe it's just me. I would recommend sizing up one size. Still, I will wear these again and again. I really liked them. A lot.


One other comment: this isn't my first pair of SKINS compression. A few years ago, I bought a pair of SKINS compression shorts for running. My youngest son, who plays rugby, needed a pair of compression shorts to wear underneath his rugby shorts. I gave him the SKINS compression shorts and he just loves them. In fact, when I told him I was trialling a pair of the tights, his comment was, "SKINS are the best". He says they are really comfortable and he doesn't really notice them when he's playing, but he does think they help him run faster.

Running for a try in his SKINScompression!
Do you want to try SKINS DNAmic Compression? You can enter win an item from the SKINS DNAmic compression line! Sorry, but only US residents can enter. Only one prize per person. If you win this giveaway, and have already won a SKINS prize from another blog, please disclose that you have already won so we can choose another winner.

And if you're not a winner or just can't live without the gear you chose, use the discount code SWEATPINK-SKINS20 on everything except sale items!

Do you wear compression gear? Have you ever used SKINS? What item would you choose if you won? 

I'm linking up with the DC Trifecta of Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia for the Friday Five!












Also with Nicole for her Fit and Fashionable Friday Link Up!












And with Smitha and Erica for Wednesday Giveaway RoundUp! #WinAllThePrizes












Disclosure: I was given a pair of SKINS DNAmic tights to trial and review on the blog from SKINS and SweatPink. All opinions are, of course, my own.

Friday, May 6, 2016

5 Things I'm Loving this Spring!

Now that I'm coming down from my post-marathon high, it's time to get back to business. I'm not currently training for anything, and it's nice to just regroup and reflect on all that is good in the world. I'm thinking about all the things I'm loving this spring--as if spring isn't enough to love--and wanted to share some of that love with all of you!

So what am I loving right now?


Running for fun!
Reunited and it feels so good!
I'm wearing those Physiclo tights in this picture as well. See below.
Let's face it, one of the best things about running a goal race is savoring the accomplishment and just running for fun. No goals, no paces to hit, just running because you can. I am so happy to be running pain-free right now. Maybe my training wasn't optimal for a marathon, but it sure has worked out well for post-marathon recovery. My legs feel fresh and I'm hitting paces I haven't seen for a while. A runner's reward for training through those brutal winter months is getting to run in the spring. The brown landscape of winter has turned to green and the temperatures are slowly moderating. It is truly the best time of year to be on the road and I'm glad to be able to enjoy it!

My new Ninja Blender

A few months ago, I was asked to review the Green Blender smoothie service. My sons and I just loved the smoothies but my old Osterizer did not. That old workhorse really moans and groans when I prepare smoothies for my sons. I don't even need to wake them up in the morning because the blender is so loud. I'm pretty sure my neighbors wake up too. I wanted an upgrade and the blog readers overwhelmingly suggested the Ninja. I told my husband I wanted one for Mother's Day, and guess what came this week? Anyone who doesn't want appliances for Mother's Day hasn't met the Ninja. I tested it out yesterday, and it barely made a sound while painlessly pulverizing my smoothie ingredients. Sweet!

Rockport Total Motion Hidden Wedge Shoes


Can you see my feet smiling right now?
With all my foot issues, cute shoes have pretty much been off my radar for a long time. Sure, Dansko has made fun looking "comfort shoes" but they aren't exactly cute. Last week, Angela at Happy Fit Mama mentioned how much she loved these Rockport Total Motion Hidden Wedge Ballet Flats. She had me at flats. Flats? But these are not just any old flats! There's an adiprene™ by Adidas insole and a slight heel lift. Could I wear these? Would my PF flare? I bit the bullet and splurged, and my feet are happy. I wore them to work this week and got a ton of compliments. I bought the ones with the tie but there are several different models--I may have to buy another pair. I'm really excited about the potential of wearing cute shoes again!

Physiclo compression tights with resistance 
Fashion model, I am not. But these are pretty sweet tights.


A few weeks ago, Frank from Physiclo reached out to me and asked if I wanted to trial their revolutionary compression pants. I was intrigued. I received a pair of capris and tested them out on my runs this week. These are unlike any compression gear I've ever worn. The fabric is comfortable and stretchy. The pants are lined with compression bands targeted to specific muscle groups. The company's own research claims that the pants increase muscle activity in the hamstrings and quadriceps by 23% and increase caloric burn by 14%. You know I'm a skeptic by nature but I did like these pants, and I had some super speedy runs this week, so who knows? All I know is that my legs felt amazing during and after both trial runs. The tights were easy to put on, compared to the wrestling match I've had with other compression tights. You just have to make sure all the panels are in place before you head out, which is a matter of adjusting the pants. Very simple. I'm looking forward to trying them out at CrossFit when I get back to the box next week.

Tailwind Nutrition
Big Sur Marathon. Fueled by Tailwind. Nothing else.
My love for Tailwind Nutrition endurance fuel should be nothing new to long-time readers of the blog. I started training with Tailwind a few years ago before my second Chicago Marathon. I have a lot of tummy troubles on my long distance runs and the last thing I want to do is become an internet meme because my GI tract decided to rebel in the middle of a race. Portapotty stops cramp my style. Who wants to stop in the middle of a race? I've had great results since I started fueling with Tailwind for all my long distance races. Prior to switching to Tailwind, I reached out to the company to find out more, and they could not have been more helpful. This year I was selected as a Tailwind Trailblazer and want to spread the love. My Big Sur Marathon partner in crime, Kristina, also fuels with Tailwind and is also a Trailblazer. My son also uses Tailwind to fuel for his rugby games. This is good stuff, and neither my son nor I have any desire to try something else. My husband calls Tailwind our "go go juice".

Fueled by Tailwind and on his way to a try.
Still not convinced? Try it for yourself!

Happy Spring!

What is new in your world? What are you loving lately? Do you do compression tights? How about running for fun?





















Friday, February 5, 2016

5 new things to love on the run!

It's the month of love, right? I've been trying out some new fitness related items! Besides the SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt that I'm reviewing and giving away below, what else am I loving on the run? Or the bike....or the mat?


For inspiration: 
For Christmas, my sister gave me a Momentum wrist wrap with the mantra "just breathe" written on it. I'm sure she had no idea that so far this year I would need frequent reminders to do just that. I wear that bracelet every day and am grateful for the prompting. I just love it. My friend Zenaida hosted a giveaway on her blog, and I won a Momentum wrap from her! That one reads "stronger than yesterday". Sometimes I wear both. I need all the reminders I can get to stay tough! Since you can customize the mantras, you can make the wrap all your own. I had one made for my coach Becky with her favorite mantra "good vibes only". I can't believe she didn't already have one. I also ordered a wrap for one of my little patients who just finished a year and a half of chemo and radiation. Hers says "you are your own superhero". She is my superhero.

http://www.designsthatmoveyou.com/home/wraps
photo courtesy of Momentum designs
For fun!
One of my readers, Barbara Valentin, reached out to me about the book club. She's an author of contemporary romance novels and wanted to know if I would be interested in reading her book, False Start (affiliate link). The story is about a newspaper reporter who gets assigned to train for and run the Chicago Marathon. The catch is that she has to work with a coach, who just happens to be her ex fiance's brother. While this isn't the book genre we read for the book club, the book sounded like it would be a fun read. Valentin offered to send me a copy for my kindle, free of charge. Valentin is a great storyteller, and this light entertaining read would be enjoyable for anyone looking for something fun to read. Plus it's about running, and that's a win!

affiliate link
For the bike:
So it's no secret that I've been spending time on the bike trainer. I really enjoy this form of cross training. But how to track my speed, my cadence, and my miles when I'm not moving forward? I did my homework, and instead of buying a bike computer, I bought the Wahoo Blue SC Speed and Cadence sensor. (affiliate link) This device works via bluetooth with my iPhone. It's compatible with Android as well. I downloaded the Wahoo fitness app, but you can use it with a variety of fitness apps. Being a numbers person, it's been fun tracking my rides. I'm looking forward to the warm weather rides and road testing it.

affiliate link

But wait...how do I use my iPhone on the bike? Have no fear, there are plenty of handlebar mounts out there. Again, I did my homework and chose the Koomus Bike2Go Universal Smartphone Bike Mount Holder Cradle (affiliate link) (KB2GUSBMHC for short). I had my son install it for me, which he did in no time flat. I love it. The cradle is adjustable and holds a variety of phones. You can also adjust the tilt. There's a tether that inserts into your headphone jack in case the phone slips out of the mount. I've only used the KB2GUSBMHC on the trainer, so I'll fill you in on it's performance once I'm back on the road.

affiliate link

For the run:
Ok, now to that SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt. I knew that when SLS3 asked me to review it that I was already going to like it. Double Pockets? Yes, please. Waterproof? Yes, please. You know I love my SpiBelt. But even though it stretches, it doesn't hold everything I need. Plus I hate having everything all in one pocket. I'm always afraid I'm going to drop something and lose it.  The SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt solves that problem for me. Now I have a pocket for my phone and one for everything else. The pockets are large enough to hold my iPhone6. The waterproof material is a plus since I run outside no matter what the weather. It comes in a variety of colors. The belt is wide, adjustable, and comfortable. The only problem I had was since I like to wear the belt low around my hips, it would tend to slide up and I had to keep adjusting it. Other than that, I really can't recommend this belt enough. I'll be taking it out for a long run this weekend, so we'll see how it really performs!
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017DRIKFY

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017DRIKFY
you know that's not me!
photos courtesy of SLS3 and Amazon.com

What running/fitness gadgets are you loving lately? Any running related books you want to recommend?



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Bumper Stickers and a #PowerDecal giveaway!


A couple of years ago, a Wall Street Journal columnist wrote an essay denigrating the many runners who put milage bumper stickers on their cars. You can read this gem here.  Here's a quote so you can get a feel for the article:
"There is only one reason running aficionados display the stickers. They want the rest of us to know about their long-distance feats. So let me be the first to offer my hearty congratulations. I'd even offer to give them a pat on the back—once they're done doing it themselves."--Chad Stafko, 2013
Clearly, he's not a runner. Most likely he has some issues. Maybe he should run. He says he has one of these bumper stickers on his car:


Which makes me think he also has a sense of humor. 

Mark Remy, resident funny man at Runners World, wrote a rebuttal to the WSJ essay. Remy's translation of the above quote: 
"TRANSLATION: People put stickers on their cars. Even runners! This angers me."-Mark Remy 
And as Remy says,
"See? The author is not a bad man. Just an angry one. And you know what's good for that, don't you, Chad...? "
Yep. How do you feel about people putting distance stickers on their cars? Yay or nay?

My husband sported a 0.0 bumper sticker on his last car. No, he doesn't have issues with runners. Or me. It was a joke between us. People ask me all the time if he runs. "Not if he can help it," I tell them. He's had a love-hate relationship with my running, but more and more he displays a sense of pride when he talks my running to other people. We've accepted each other for who we are and that's that. 

He also doesn't mind driving my car with its 26.2 bumper sticker. I put that sticker on after my first Chicago marathon. After almost 4 years, it's starting to fade. And you can't see it at night. But recently, I acquired something new: 






This is a PowerDecal, an innovative LED backlit device that turns on when you're driving and turns off when you're stopped for more than a minute. My back windows are tinted, yet you can see the logo clearly at night! My nephew started PowerDecal, and their biggest sellers are sports logos. But they now have 26.2 and 13.1 for runners. You can also get custom logos. Personally, I think it looks pretty cool.

I have a PowerDecal 26.2 to give away! And remember, less than 1% of the population has completed a marathon. So be proud of what you've done!

Tell me you don't want one! You can enter below. Sorry to my overseas friends, but US entries only. Entries start after midnight 2/4/2015 and contest ends 2/11/2015 at midnight. Good luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway